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Concupiscence

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Jongin leaned heavily over the railing inside the elevator, the doors sliding shut silently and ascending above the ground. He stared blankly out of the glass walls of the elevator, watching the people down below grow smaller and smaller as he rose rapidly to the twentieth floor where his office was located.

If he had his way, he wouldn’t be seeing what looked like a million people scurrying across the white sandstone of the lobby at this ungodly hour of the morning. If he had his way, he wouldn’t have to be up at seven in the fucking morning, choosing outfits just to attend some boring morning meeting with the board.

He sighed heavily, yawning. If Kim Jongin just had his own damned way, he wouldn’t even have to come into the office all the time, were it not for his overly hardworking PA, Sehun, who constantly pestered him on his personal number and informed him of every other meeting the board wanted to hold every other day. Jongin didn’t even know why he decided to attending this meeting. He supposed it was because Suho had personally called him up and pleaded with him for him to come. Suho never usually did that.

The elevator came to a stop and dinged. Jongin heaved himself away from the railing of the elevator, eyes lingering at the lobby below him. There were more people working in this building than he thought. Do I really support all of these people financially? He thought wonderingly.

His eyes shifted upwards for a brief moment as the doors slid open, inviting him to take a step out onto the lobby.  

He would’ve walked through and greeted Sehun with a brusque good morning at his desk just eight steps away from the elevator, were it not for the fact that he noticed a man—no, a boy really, from his stature—at the opposite side of the building. And he would’ve brushed away the sight of it as soon as he saw it, except the boy had a smart phone lifted to block his face, its camera focused directly on Jongin.

As soon as he saw the smart phone, Jongin immediately thought paparazzi. But this was the twentieth floor; how would any of the sleazy reporters get in through all the tight security? Another pressing question came to mind: why was he snapping a picture of Jongin?

The boy seemed to realize Jongin was staring blatantly at him through the glass walls of the elevator. He visibly gasped and turned at once on his heel, smart phone gripped tightly in one hand as he marched in the other direction.

Jongin frowned. That was… unexpected.

“Jongin? Jongin, are you listening to me? Jongin, will you just step outta the elevator already?” someone said in exasperation, grabbing Jongin by the arm and tugging him out of the elevator just as the doors began to slid shut.

He whipped his head around, expecting to see Sehun (How dare he grab me out of my own elevator, Jongin mentally huffed), but it was Suho, rattling off about being late and scowling at him.

“Who—Wait, did you see that kid just now?” Jongin asked, frowning as he tried to see if the boy was still walking in the other direction, where an elevator for regular employees was located.

Suho blinked midsentence, leaning back just a bit to look past the elevator. Whoever that kid was had fast feet. He had already disappeared off to who knew where, to Jongin’s disappointment.

“What boy? What was he doing?” Suho frowned. Jongin removed Suho’s hand from his suit. It was Ralph Lauren, he wasn’t about to let Suho ruin it so early in the day. “Nothing, I guess. He was taking a picture of—of me,” Jongin replied, straightening out his suit jacket. Suho wasn’t dressed badly too. He was wearing Hugo Boss, that much Jongin could tell from the fit.

Suho lifted an eyebrow in mild disbelief. “Self centered much?” he said flatly. Jongin looked indignant. “I’m just telling you what I saw. It could’ve been paparazzi—”

“Oh, then how would they have gotten in without a visitor’s pass? As far as I know, no reporter’s been allowed access to the building today,” Suho answered, holding up his tablet in his hand. Too late, Jongin realized Suho’s PA was standing a little ways behind him, pretending with all his might like he wasn’t listening in.

“Baekhyun,” Jongin said dryly in greeting. Baekhyun blinked and looked at him, bowing politely. “Good morning, Mr. Kim,” he replied, a cheeky smile on his face.

Suho and Jongin had worked together far too long for Baekhyun to not be comfortable with them. He was there wherever Suho was, like a shadow, and since Jongin wasn’t the stuffy sort of guy, he had shaken hands with Baekhyun on the first day they met and said, “We’ll be seeing a lot of each other, so get cozy.” Baekhyun took his word seriously and was almost like a friend to the both of them, but still kept work and pleasure separate.

“No, don’t let Baekhyun interrupt you. What were you going to say?” Suho said in a snarky tone, folding his arms. Jongin squinted at him. “You know, just because you’re older than me doesn’t mean you get to talk like that to me. I’m still your boss,” Jongin said. Suho rolled his eyes at Jongin.

“What’re you gonna do, fire me? Besides, you don’t have that authority. Only your dad does,” Suho said, jabbing a finger at Jongin’s chest. It was Jongin’s turn to roll his eyes. Just because he knew Jongin from college and managed to climb the social ladder quickly…

“Can we talk about this while we walk to the meeting room?” Suho said, motioning down the hallway. Jongin gave a shrug of the shoulders. If the boy was gone then there was no point hanging around here. They walked together side by side with Baekhyun trailing a safe distance from them.

“He was taking pictures of me, I swear,” Jongin muttered. He knew what it was like to be on this side of the camera, there was no mistaking it. Suho wasn’t all too bothered.

“So? Did you ever consider the fact that this building is relatively new and is quite the architect’s dream?” Suho gestured around the smooth walls of the building. Yes, it was lovely, with its steel and glass finishes and all that, but the boy had had his phone directed right at Jongin. Frankly, it was hard to miss.

“What do you think, Baekhyun? Was the guy snapping pictures of Jongin here, or admiring the work of a genius?” Suho said, turning his head. Baekhyun cleared his throat. “I think the guy could’ve been admiring the view and Mr. Kim just happened to be in it.”

“Exactly,” Suho declared. Jongin didn’t understand at all. “It was just weird to see someone taking photos in here, that’s all,” he said, almost defensively. They turned a corner, where a glass walls separated a large space from the rest of the floor. About ten people or so were in the meeting room, seated around the table with their personal assistants standing against the glass walls.

Jongin caught sight of a familiar but unwelcome face about the people in the meeting room and made a face at Suho. “You didn’t tell me Yifan was coming,” he said. Suho smiled lightly, placing a hand on the door handle. “If I did, would you be here?”

Suho had a point. Jongin had no idea Yifan was going to be here, otherwise he’d be sleeping peacefully on his bed. His father wanted to expand the company into China and open up a few factories to manufacture microchips in Guangzhou. Apparently collaborating with Yifan, a multibillion dollar tycoon with a string of companies under his sleeve, would ensure the smoothest of transactions.

That also meant, unfortunately, buttering up the tall and handsome guy. Even for a guy, Jongin had to admit, Yifan looked like he’d be a hit with women. And that, did not slide with Jongin very well. Just something about the guy that was a little too sneaky, too calculative and menacing somehow.

Furthermore, Suho knew he didn’t like Yifan, and that was exactly why he was here at this meeting without knowing what the meeting was held for. For all he knew, it could’ve been Yifan’s birthday party (albeit a boring one).

When Suho pushed the door, everyone glanced up at them, and most stood up to greet Jongin. Baekhyun gave an overall bow to them and stood aside with the rest of the PAs, mingling with Minseok and welcoming Tao to Korea.

Jongin on the other hand, bowed to most of the board members; old, balding men or middle aged women with thin lips and an indifferent air to them. He greeted Jongdae, the lawyer who was more or less the middle man between Jongin and Yifan, and then shook hands with Yifan, who gave him a warm smile that didn’t meet his eyes.

“Hello, Wu, good to see you. Thank you for coming all the way out here,” Jongin said, smiling back. Yifan lifted an eyebrow, and this time his smile was amused. “No, thank you for coming, Mr. Kim. I was starting to wonder if morning meetings were a problem for you,” he replied.

Just that playful jab, that one remark and it soured Jongin’s mood completely. Yifan knew next to nothing about what Jongin was really like, had only heard of ridiculous rumors floating around. So what if Jongin liked coming into the office only during the afternoons, if he ever came in? It wasn’t like there were tons of things for him to do; Suho and Sehun did their jobs very well. That much he could admit. The company wasn’t falling into shambles anyway, so really, what was the big deal about morning meetings?

“It won’t be a problem for me if it isn’t a problem for you,” Jongin said jokingly, and Yifan laughed on cue, even though it really wasn’t all that funny. It was just small talk between two people who wanted nothing more from each other than good business and money. Besides, Jongin didn’t want to let Yifan get an upper hand on him.

“Shall we all sit down and get started?” Jongdae said brightly. Sehun, who had been lingering in the background, moved towards Jongin and handed him a tablet, as well as a folder filled with papers.

Yifan and Jongin exchanged a few words before they sat down at their respective seats. Jongin sat at the end of the table while Jongdae went over to the other end, carrying an easel with a black cloth over it and placed it at the head of the table. While he set up his things with Minseok, Jongin powered up his tablet— which was fully charged, God bless Sehun—and read the note Sehun had left on the tablet for him.

‘Check in the folder and read everything I’ve highlighted for you. I’ve written a little something for you to say at the end of the meeting just in case. Good luck.’

Jongin did as Sehun told him to and pulled out all of the papers, skimming through most of them. In a nutshell, Yifan was updating them on the progress of opening those factories in Guangzhou, and wanted to bring to Jongin’s attention the amount of money he had invested so far.

Ten million dollars and counting, Jongin noted. The accounts seemed to add up, as Sehun noted with a pencil over the papers, and that was satisfactory for Jongin. The last piece of paper was a short speech, just a few obligatory words of thanks here and there. Jongin was going to have to throw a bonus at Sehun sometime; he had done all of Jongin’s homework for him.

Jongdae started off his talk while Yifan listened rather intently, whereas his assistant looked deadly bored behind him. Jongin listened for awhile, but there was nothing Jongdae said that wasn’t on the papers already, so he just read through everything Sehun had highlighted in yellow for him. It was all dreadfully dry and did not capture much of Jongin’s interest.

Halfway through the meeting, while Jongdae was going through the accounts, the boy with the smart phone suddenly popped up in Jongin’s mind again. Was he really just taking photos of the elevator Jongin was in?

There wasn’t much to it, but maybe it freaked the freak out of that boy’s mind with its architectural beauty. Or maybe he wanted a private elevator for his own use as well. Chanyeol wanted one too, and always brought it up whenever he came to the office with Jongin for fun.

The possibilities were endless, Jongin soon realized, but he knew it couldn’t be too hard to find out who he was. If he was in the building, then that meant he was either an employee or a visitor. Jongin hoped he was a visitor; it’d make him a damned sight easier to find.  

While everyone was absorbed with Jongdae’s absolutely fascinating talk, Jongin decided to start up the tablet in his hands and look through the list of visitors who were supposed to come in today and who were usually welcome to the building, like temporary interns or janitors. Jongin suspected the boy wouldn’t be on the VIP list like Yifan was; if he was a VIP, he’d be in this boring meeting as well.

Jongin read through the list carefully, picking out any familiar names. There were pictures of the visitors included in the list, which helped somewhat, even if Jongin never did see the boy’s face. None of the visitors who were supposed to come in today popped out at Jongin. The men were either too well built or too skinny to even be the guy.

So maybe he’s a nobody in the company, Jongin thought. A nobody as in: someone who worked nine to five, five days a week like clockwork without ever standing out from the rest. That just made everything harder, but at least Jongin knew he wasn’t just some visitor. The boy wasn’t just taking his photo because he was the Kim Jongin; he was taking photos because he knew it was the Kim Jongin.

Nobodies meant one of those hundred little ants Jongin had seen at the lobby today, and just the thought of looking through the entire list of all 5000 plus employees dimmed his momentary good mood. Maybe he’s a janitor, Jongin thought, bringing up another list.

But the boy was dressed in proper pants and a blue collared shirt. Jongin knew, at the very minimum, what the janitors here were dressed like. Most of the employees here who weren’t working in the offices had uniforms, and the boy was most definitely not wearing a uniform. He scrolled through the list without really looking through them, sighing heavily.

“…that’s it. Er, Mr. Kim, would you like to have a word?”

Jongin jerked up in response. Suho gave him a pointed look like, were you watching porn? Jongin switched his tablet off and grabbed the papers in front of him, pretending to flip through them like he’d been in deep thought the entire time. Yifan watched Jongin with an amused look.

“I’d say good job, Jongdae, on the presentation, and um, thank you to Yifan for working so hard. Hopefully everything will continue this smoothly,” Jongin started to say dismissively. That was when Suho swooped in to rescue Jongin.

“And so it’s an okay then? We’ll go to London and sign the contract?” Suho said, lifting his eyebrows at Jongin. Was that a yes? Jongin had to assume so. It looked like a yes. “Yes, definitely. London. Who doesn’t like it there?” Jongin joked. The board members laughed a little.

Jongdae nodded while he laughed. “Very well then. I’ll email all of you the details once everything is sorted out, and we might be able to close this contract at the end of this month,” Jongdae said.

Jongin didn’t even know what contract he was talking about, but nodded anyway. With that, the meeting was summed up and everyone started to stand, collecting their things. Jongin tucked his tablet under his arm while he stood up, grabbing all the papers into a flurried mess and shoved them back into the plastic folder.

Some people had a few things to discuss with one another, but Jongin wasn’t one of them. As soon as Jongin shook hands with Yifan, a woman came up to him to speak with Yifan, giving Jongin a chance to tap Sehun on the shoulder to follow him while he made his escape from the meeting room.

Sehun walked briskly after him. “Office, before he sees you,” he muttered. Jongin’s shoes clicked against the floor of the building. He still was more than halfway to his office, and he could already hear Yifan’s voice slowly getting louder from behind him.

“I won’t make it,” Jongin mouthed to Sehun without opening his mouth. “Pretend you need to make a call. I’ll stall him,” Sehun said, before he turned around to face Yifan.

Jongin could hear the surprise and protest in Yifan’s voice when Sehun said, “Mr. Wu, it has been a delightful honor to have you here. Will you require any transportation back to your hotel?” Yifan had to stop in his tracks while Jongin made his way towards his office, apparently oblivious to Yifan behind him.

“Mr. Kim? May I have a word?” he called, ignoring Sehun. Jongin pretended to turn around and point at his office, making a regretful face at Yifan.

“Mr. Kim needs to make a few calls. He’s very busy, you see,” Sehun said politely. Tao stared daggers at Sehun while he waited for Yifan to give up. Yifan gave a humph, straightening his jacket sleeves.

“I do see. Well, if Mr. Kim cannot make time for me now, perhaps he can fit a brunch or dinner into his busy schedule before I have to take my private jet and fly back to China tonight, at midnight the latest. Will you let him know and have your people contact mine to see if we can talk business before I go?”

“Of course, sir. Now, will you need a limo, a reservation for lunch…?” Sehun’s voice faded away while Jongin successfully walked past Sehun’s desk and dumped his things on a second assistant, some boy whose name he couldn’t remember, taking only the tablet with him. “Good morning, sir,” the boy said meekly.

Jongin barely glanced at him. “You’re new, right?” he asked, walking backwards towards his door. The boy nodded at Jongin, clutching the folder with all the papers sticking out of it. “Got a job for you. Will you bring up the security footage on my computer?”

“Which camera, sir?” he enquired eagerly. Jongin pointed towards the elevator’s direction. “Any camera facing the opposite side of the elevator will do. Give me all the footage from… Say, the past hour,” Jongin said, feeling the sliding door behind him. The door slid open when he bumped into it, and he took a step inwards.

“Hey, I’m counting on you,” he called, just as the frosted glass door slid close with a hiss. The boy yelled back ‘I’m on it’ so Jongin took him for his word, and faced his office, walking to his desk. The glass walls around him gave him a great view of the city, and now that Seoul was baked in sunshine, Jongin felt just a tiny bit better about today. Maybe he could stay in the office, chat with Suho a little bit and call Chanyeol to meet up for lunch later on.

He pulled back his leather office chair, sat in it and leaned back with a groan. His office wasn’t very entertaining unless one wanted to take his shoes off and leave his socks on to ‘skate’ on the slick black tiled floors (Chanyeol did that once for fun), but it had internet and a very comfortable seat. These two things weren’t too bad when put together. Jongin spun in his seat while the computer booted up, a thin layer of dust over the screen.

Have to get the cleaning lady in later, he mused, staring over the horizon. The computer screen soon popped up and some windows opened up at once. Jongin clicked on a few icons, and a video started playing. It was the security footage from fifty five minutes ago according to the time stamp.

This video was facing the elevator but it was placed at an angle from above so that it captured a bit of the opposite side of the building as well. Jongin couldn’t remember how close the boy came to the elevator to take his picture, but there was no harm in checking this video out. He watched his elevator arrive at the floor and saw himself staring down at the floors below. A bit of movement from the top left of the screen caught his eye and he saw a pair of Converse sneakers just as the image of himself noticed it as well.

The boy didn’t move any closer, unfortunately, and took off without ever revealing his face to the camera. Jongin closed the window at once, clicking on another icon. This time, the camera wasn’t facing his elevator, but he could see it on the left side of the screen.

For a while, nothing happened but soon he saw the boy’s figure appear on the screen, only to stop in his tracks right before the camera could capture his face. He stood rooted at a spot where the ground from the twenty first floor came into view and blocked a bit of the opposite side of the floor, thus cutting the boy’s face off till the neck.

Damn, Jongin thought. Almost had him.

Jongin watched for at least fifteen seconds while the boy stood there, holding his phone out towards the elevator. He must’ve seen me on the ground floor, Jongin realized. The boy had waited with his phone held out for far too long for it to be a coincidence. He was definitely waiting for Jongin to arrive at the twentieth floor.

Why?

Was he some kind of sick stalker? Jongin wasn’t even a celebrity to begin with. Why yes, he was rich and was friends with a few celebrities he’d met at clubs or parties with Chanyeol, but that didn’t mean he was as recognizable as them. It just didn’t work that way.

The thought of the boy actually being a stalker sickened him. He knew Jongin would arrive at the twentieth floor without hesitation, which would mean he was definitely working in the building under Accuretta Systems.

Just as he moved his mouse to the little x, he saw the boy turn on his heel and his lower half of his face momentarily came into view. Jongin quickly paused the video and replayed it again, trying to see if it was someone he could recognize.

The boy had very pale skin, from what he could tell from his cheeks, as well as a pair of rather plump lips. It was strange to see such cherry lips on a boy; Jongin had seen these sort of lips on models who were genuine fakes; plastic girls with plastic noses, plastic boobs and Botox injected everywhere into their bodies. If Jongin didn’t know better, he’d think it was a girl cross-dressing as a boy.

Maybe it is a girl, he thought. Jongin looked closer to see if there was a chance that the boy could’ve been a girl, but his answer came soon enough when he replayed the footage enough times to notice that the person had a very defined jaw line. He was no expert, but it looked more like a guy than a girl.

“JONGIN,” Suho’s voice suddenly hollered. Jongin closed all the windows on his computer in fright and looked up. The door slid aside as Suho leaned on the doorframe, squinting at him.

“Where were you?” he asked curtly.

“At the meeting. I believe you were there too,” Jongin replied coolly. Suho stepped into the office, looking around. There wasn’t much in Jongin’s office other than a small wet bar on the right side of the door and his reinforced glass desk. Suho pulled up one of the seats in front of Jongin and plopped into it, propping his legs up on his desk.

“Don’t kick my name plaque down,” Jongin said lightly, leaning back into his seat as well. He wasn’t CEO officially yet, but it was good to have a name on his desk. Made Jongin feel like it wasn’t a complete waste of time to be in the office, if ever.

“What brings you here?” he muttered. Suho motioned to him with his chin. “What brings you in here? Don’t tell me you feel like earning the money you spend,” Suho said snidely.

Jongin huffed at him. “Actually, I’m here to overlook all of you while you earn the money that I spend. And since we’re going to London soon, you’ll have to work hard to pay for the expenses.”

Suho sighed. “Ah, London. You know, Yifan wanted to have you and me for lunch to talk about London. I told him that you were going to be busy for the past few days since—”

“As you should. I will always be too busy for that tall bastard,” Jongin said. Suho snorted in response. “He’s not as bad as you might think, y’know. I’ve been to lunch with him before, and he’s not all business—”

“But he should be. I don’t want to be friends with him,” Jongin said petulantly. Suho sighed, looking at him. “Look, just because he refused your offer that one time to go to a club—”

“Nobody says no to a club,” Jongin said, offended. He had taken up one of Yifan’s offers to dinner once and wanted to end the night with some fun, only to have Yifan refuse to enter the most famous hostess club in Seoul, Club Red. It was then Jongin knew that Yifan was uptight and very proper, and they wouldn’t blend well if they went any further than business.

“I don’t like hostesses,” Suho said, pointing at himself.

“No you don’t, but you do like hookers,” Jongin teased. Suho rolled his eyes. Jongin loved the chase, while Suho only wanted girls when he needed to let off steam. Jongin preferred to let the tension build till the girl could take it no more and bring her to life under his touch. It was that much more satisfying for both of them and hey. At least he’d get his money’s worth out of her.

“Hostesses are only after money. I’m just a no-strings-attached kind of guy,” Suho said nonchalantly. Jongin thought Suho looked quite the contrary; he was always dressed well, always had a smile for almost anyone walking past him and a very easy going nature. That façade obviously faded away once Jongin really got to know him in college. This dude could chug down a six pack without batting an eyelash.

 Jongin agreed. “I’m not in it for a relationship too, but it’s just,” he shrugged, smiling. “It’s easier to talk to a girl when she already knows who you are.”

“Well. I don’t know if the girls in London know who you are but if Yifan invites you out in London, for Christ’s sake, Jongin, please say yes,” Suho said, throwing his head back in exasperation. “What if he pulls out of this deal? He’s the best and we won’t be able to start up those factories this year if I have to look for someone else in China.”

Jongin sighed. “Fine then. Wanna go out with him today? Chanyeol will have to come though, so that I’ll have a reason to leave early,” Jongin said. Chanyeol was bound to want to go shopping today; he was complaining how he couldn’t seem to find any clothes that he had never worn before in his closet. Suho thought about it. “Call Yifan up and see. I could do lunch,” Suho offered.

Jongin picked up the phone, tapping a button. Sehun picked up on the other line almost immediately. “Sir?” he said crisply.

“Sehun, Suho and I are thinking of meeting Yifan up for lunch. Should we go?” Jongin asked. Sehun snorted on the other end. “I’m your PA, I can arrange that but whether you should go or not isn’t my place to say.”

“Since when did you become such a little kitty, Sehun? You used to be really snarky before,” Jongin teased, wriggling his eyebrows at Suho. He laughed a little, listening to Jongin’s conversation.

“I like how much my boss pays me. Maybe you’d like it too, if you worked a little harder to meet Yifan on his terms,” Sehun muttered.

“Ah, now that’s the Sehun I know. You should come too, y’know. I think I’ll bring Chanyeol, just so I have an excuse to leave.”

“Okay. Shall I call him up or do you want to make the call personally?” Sehun asked.

“I’ll call. Remember what happened the last time you made a call?”

“Yes. It was not a pleasant memory,” Sehun replied frostily. Jongin laughed. “I’ll call the guy. Arrange lunch with Yifan,” Jongin said. Sehun hung up without so much as a goodbye.

“Do you have bourbon?” Suho asked, scratching his chin thoughtfully while admiring Jongin’s wet bar. He lifted an eyebrow. “Seems a lil’ early for bourbon,” he said, digging out his phone from his jacket pocket because Chanyeol was a bitch and didn’t want to take Jongin’s company calls.

“I’m your friend, I don’t have to go through your PA if you want to fucking see me,” Chanyeol had yelled at Sehun (as a message to pass on to Jongin) before. That was after Sehun had called him up on Jongin’s behalf to arrange a night out with a few girls. And it wasn’t even like he didn’t know Sehun; they all went to the same college and graduated together.

“If we’re going to lunch with Chanyeol, I’m going to need it,” Suho said, getting up to get himself a drink. Jongin shrugged, dialing Chanyeol up. “Help yourself.”

The phone rang a few times in Jongin’s ear before someone picked up.

“This is Chanyeol.”

“Who answers the phone like that?” Jongin asked.

“Me. What do you want, I’m trying to see if there’s anything I can wear for tonight’s date in the closet, and let me tell you, this isn’t looking pretty.”

“The girl or your situation?”

“Both. No one is prettier than me. But seriously, why are you calling?”

“Let me treat you to lunch and we can shop for an outfit for you after that. How does that sound?”

“Is Sehun going to be there?”

Jongin frowned and told Chanyeol to hold on. “Sehun, are you coming to the lunch with us?” Jongin called towards the door. There was a momentary pause before Sehun replied, “You’re an idiot.”

“Ah. Chanyeol, are you there? He says yes,” Jongin said to Chanyeol. Glass clinked while Suho poured himself and Jongin a drink. “Why does it matter?” Jongin asked, waving at Suho and holding up two fingers at him when he picked out a few ice cubes into the glasses.

“It matters because then I know what to wear,” Chanyeol replied. Something rustled on his end of the line; it sounded like a crushed plastic bag.

“Well, he’ll be there so. Dress properly, ‘cause Wu is gonna be there. You remember Wu, don’t you?” Jongin asked. Chanyeol made a noise of appraisal in his throat. “No, but okay.”

“Cool. I’ll text you the time later.”

“I was talking to my stylist. Is Wu the really tall Chinese guy with really great eyebrows?”

“You have a stylist?” Jongin asked, a little shocked. Someone actually helped Chanyeol dress the way he did? If dressing in wrong clothes for all the wrong occasions was a crime, Chanyeol would be on death row.

“Who do you think arranges my shoes according to color? I tell you for free, it is not me. And yeah, text me the time and place later. There’s an emergency, I can’t seem to find my feather boa,” Chanyeol said, sounding a bit distressed as he clicked off.

 “Chanyeol has a stylist,” Jongin stated slowly, putting the phone down on the table. “And a feather boa,” Jongin added, frowning. Suho returned with a glass of bourbon for Jongin and sipped at his own. “I know. Don’t you?” Suho replied mildly, sitting down once more before Jongin.

Jongin took the drink, swirling it around in the glass a few times. “Well I do, but. How does Chanyeol’s stylist style him? Is it even considered style to wear tight leather pants and a fur coat in summer?” Suho and Jongin stared into blank space while drinking their bourbon, both wondering what Chanyeol’s stylist’s life must be like. They were silent for so long, Jongin could almost hear the sound of Sehun working grumpily on his computer outside.

“Wanna get some food from the cafeteria?” Suho said when they were done with their drinks, patting his own stomach. Jongin stood up to leave. “Why not?” he replied nonchalantly, motioning for Suho to get up. Breakfast was starting to go down and lunch was probably in the late afternoon.

They left the office and Jongin handed his tablet to Sehun when they were outside. “I’ll be back for this later. I hope you still love me,” Jongin pouted at Sehun. His stoic friend glared at him. “What’s with you? Get out if you wanna eat or something so I can do your job.”

This wasn’t the friend Jongin met in college, who threw the craziest frat parties ever on campus and made out in public with his girlfriend whenever he was drunk. Jongin wasn’t sure what happened to him ever since he became an official adult, but patted his head before he left with Suho.

“What’s with Sehun? Did I piss him off?” Jongin said to Suho, pressing a button to open the elevator doors.

“He missed an episode of Mad Men last night ‘cause he was highlighting those reports for you. Said it completely slipped his mind and he totally forgot to record it,” Suho explained. Sehun could still hear them and called, “It was the series finale!”

Jongin nodded in comprehension. “Well, I’ll thank him later for doing my homework,” Jongin said as the elevator doors opened. He stepped in first and briefly considered making Suho take another elevator. This was his elevator after all.

Then he remembered that Suho had once punched someone so hard in the face in college that the guy only woke up two days later just because he stained a copy of his One Piece manga. Maybe not today, Jongin thought. He made way for Suho in the elevator.

“So where was that guy standing?” Suho asked, pressing the button for the ground floor. Jongin turned and pointed at the opposite side of the building. There was no one there, although Jongin half expected the boy to still be standing there.

“Huh. Pretty obvious place to sneak a photo of you, don’t you think?” Suho asked.

“Oh, so you believe me now, that the guy was snapping photos of me?”

“Your assistant needed help in pulling some security footage. I just took a peek,” Suho said nonchalantly. Jongin smirked. “I did think he was doing a bit too well. Anyway, so you totally saw the way the boy waited for my elevator to come up, right? It’s pretty creepy, now that I think about it,” Jongin said, a little shiver running down his spine.

Suho wasn’t as creeped out. “I dunno. Maybe he thinks you’re hot,” Suho said flatly. Jongin nudged him on the shoulder playfully. “Stop. If he’s a stalker then it’s not that bad, but a gay stalker? I can’t even hate the guy now,” Jongin laughed.

“I’m just saying there are all kinds of freaks out there, y’know? And he wouldn’t be a stalker if he wasn’t gay about ya, right?” Suho joked, glancing up at Jongin. He shrugged. “Feels weird to think he’s gay, man. I’m starting to like the idea of him snapping pictures of the building.”

They laughed, exiting the elevator once it stopped on the ground floor.

*

Lunch with Yifan was an absolute disaster.

First of all, Jongin wasn’t familiar with the menu. He didn’t like eating at unfamiliar places because that would mean he was at the mercy of the chefs in the kitchen, and God damn, did he hate the spicy steamed fish with garlic and chili Yifan had ordered. Jongin had tears in his eyes by the time he finished chewing a small piece of the fish, and they weren’t tears of happiness.

Second, Chanyeol arrived late. Worse, he came dressed in a rhinestone studded suit made by Jeremy Scott or some other flamboyant male designer. And it was pink rhinestones, so it was impossible for Yifan not to be surprised. Jongin was not entirely familiar with the code of dressing one was supposed to follow on casual business lunches, but pink, sparkly suits somehow did not seem appropriate.

The last disastrous point to wrap up the disastrous lunch was that Yifan’s assistant had tagged along, only to sit stonily beside Yifan like a stern mother-in-law observing her future in-laws, finding them incompetent in her eyes, particularly Chanyeol.

Jongin felt mostly uncomfortable throughout the lunch, and was sure Suho and Sehun shared the same sentiment. They were either shifty, tapping on their cups of tea far too nervously or talking too much. Chanyeol was a bit smug because he thought Tao loved his outfit, and acted normally (as normal as he could manage) in front of Yifan and his oh-so-cuddly assistant.

Yifan on the other hand was pleasant enough and was sincerely eager to maintain a good relationship with Jongin for future business opportunities. “For both of us,” he had said warmly, holding up a cup of hot tea for a toast.

Jongin scalded himself when he bumped their cups together for the toast. He almost whispered a prayer of thanks to God when Yifan called for the bill and paid with his card.

“Yes, I think we should,” Jongin declared, practically jumping out of his seat. Each of them stood up slowly, smoothening out the creases in their expensive suits. Chanyeol’s pink suit glittered at Jongin whenever he moved, which was rather distracting. Jongin was already looking forward to the next alcoholic drink of the day.

Yifan was exceedingly polite when they had to part ways. He shook hands with Jongin while they spoke. “It’s been good to talk, Mr. Kim. May I call you Jongin?” he said hesitantly.

“It’d be weird if you didn’t,” Chanyeol butted in. Jongin eyed him and his sparkly suit.

Luckily, Yifan laughed good naturedly and waved a hand. “Let’s not be too formal, Jongin. I just wanted you to know that if you need someone with relations in China, I am a mere phone call away. I see great potential in your company and in you, and I’d love to be part of your journey to success.”

Jongin wondered where Yifan learned to be so eloquent in Korean. Even Sehun couldn’t speak this well.

“That’s good to hear… Yifan. May I call you Yifan?” Jongin asked. Yifan released his hand, flashing a million dollar smile as his Cadillac drove up beside them. “Of course, Jongin.” He sounded almost fatherly. Jongin almost expected Yifan to say, ‘Sure, sonny boy’. He shook hands with Sehun, Suho and Chanyeol as well, exchanging a few friendly words with them.

“Send my regards to your father, mm?” Yifan said. Tao opened the car door for him and he stepped in, tipping two fingers towards Jongin. “Definitely. Thank you for the lunch, Yifan. And of course, for your work in China.”

Yifan flashed them one more blinding smile before the car door slammed shut and Tao bowed stiffly at them. “Been a pleasure. We will see you soon,” he said monotonously. If Jongin didn’t know better, he’d think Tao was jealous of the fact that Yifan smiled at them. Chanyeol waved cheerfully in oblivion as Tao got in the car as well, and they soon drove off.   

“That went well,” Chanyeol sighed. “You know, I think Yifan might be great to introduce to my dad as well. Sehunnie, do you have his name card or something?” Chanyeol asked. His father owned a pharmaceutical company; very tricky business but a lucrative one.

“I don’t answer to that name anymore, and yes, I’ll e-mail your people once I get back to the office,” Sehun said somewhat sourly, drawing out a phone to call for the driver.

“What, you’re not coming with us to shop for clothes?” Jongin said, sounding close to whiny. Contrary to what Chanyeol said on the phone, they were closer to each other than Jongin was with Chanyeol. Whenever those two did go out together, they would always paint the town red. Besides, they were just better as four.

“I’m going back because I actually earn a living, and Suho is coming too. Right?” Sehun looked at Suho for confirmation. Suho was unfazed. “There’re some things I need to do, yeah. You guys will be alright together, right?”

Jongin pouted at them. “We barely go out together anymore.”

“Sure we do. Chanyeol, wanna come with us to London in a few weeks?” Suho said lightly. Sehun muttered a few words into his phone, casting a glance around the area. Their car was not to be seen.

“Of course. We’ll need to shop for clothes then,” Chanyeol said, turning to Jongin. He shrugged. “I’m up for shopping. Anything but staying in the office all day.”

“Some people do work, y’know,” Suho laughed, digging out his sunnies and putting them on. Jongin laughed along. His father may have been grooming him to become the successor of Accuretta Systems, but for now, Jongin was content with throwing his duties to Sehun and Suho. They were really good at it since they’d started working in the company long before Jongin’s father suddenly decided he wanted the next man of the house to take over the company rather than his two, much more capable elder sisters.

One of them was a fashion designer and another was pursuing her PhD in Europe. Jongin acquiesced to his father’s wishes since he wasn’t really sure who or what he wanted to be. Again, Sehun and Suho were there to help him, and so far they were doing fine. Jongin would learn to be CEO someday, just not now.

“I’m not the only one who doesn’t work,” he replied, nudging Chanyeol in the sparkly ribs. “Careful, I don’t want any of the rhinestones to fall off,” Chanyeol said, checking to see if there was one less sparkling rhinestone on his suit.

“You’re both a waste of time, to be honest,” Sehun said dryly. “Don’t get smart with me, I’m trying to get into my shopping mood,” Chanyeol held out a hand into Sehun’s face. He slapped it away, making a face of disgust.

“But someone doesn’t think Jongin is a waste of time. Did he mention to you guys about his stalker?” Suho said, tucking his hands into his pockets when the wind blew through the streets. Spring in Seoul was chilly, but Jongin didn’t really mind. He liked the cool wind on his skin.

Chanyeol’s eyebrows shot up and disappeared behind his fringe. Sehun looked like he wanted to be anywhere but here. “He has a stalker? On Instagram or…?”

“Real life,” Suho replied for Jongin. Chanyeol wowed silently, staring at Jongin with wide eyes. A bit scary if one stared at his face too long. “Who is it?” he asked excitedly. Jongin shrugged his shoulders. “No idea. Never got the chance to see his face.”

“Was he the guy on the security footage you were watching this morning?” Sehun asked. Jongin nodded.

“Tried to sneak a photo of me. I saw him, and before I could even pose he ran off. CCTV didn’t help,” Jongin said dismissively. Chanyeol furrowed his eyebrows. “Why would you watch the CCTV? Are you morbidly intrigued by him or something?” Chanyeol asked. Two familiar cars turned down into the street. One of them was Jongin’s company ride, a sleek Rolls Royce while Chanyeol’s personal ride was a large Range Rover, silver with gigantic wheels.

“He works in my building. Couldn’t be that hard to find him but his face didn’t show up on camera,” Jongin shrugged, eyeing Chanyeol’s Range Rover suspiciously. Chanyeol caught his line of view and smirked.

“I know what you’re gonna say. ‘Chanyeol, that’s a really sick ride’.”

“No. What made you think of buying a Range Rover? I don’t think anyone in Korea actually drives one,” Jongin said, puzzled. People like them usually spent their money on European luxury cars, not large, bulky Range Rovers with tires half the size of a tiny Smart car. They weren’t exactly uncommon on the road, but Jongin never took Chanyeol as someone who would go around in a Range Rover.

“All the rich kids in Beverly Hills have one. I thought I’d take a page outta their books,” Chanyeol shrugged.

“You’re in Seoul,” Suho frowned. Sehun nodded. “My thoughts exactly.”

“But it’s nice,” Chanyeol argued. The two cars approached them and came to a halt with their indicators on. Jongin and Chanyeol piled into the gigantic Range Rover while Suho waved at them and joined Sehun in the Rolls Royce. Jongin thought Suho always matched the Rolls Royce better than Jongin ever did. No, Jongin was more of a sports car kind of guy, something flashy and fast whereas Suho was a black Lamborghini, the kind of ride that awed people and lingered in their minds.

Suho should be the one with the stalker, Jongin thought amusedly. Jongin wasn’t the sort of guy one could obsess over without getting hurt in some way. “Driver,” Chanyeol called, crossing his legs and putting sunglasses on. “Let’s go.”

*

Jongin sank into his seat, sighing happily. There was a glass of sparkling champagne in one hand and his tablet—hooked to the jet’s Wi-Fi—in the other. Flying in his private jet was never this good. Flying in his private jet never felt any better than this.

After a long wait at the airport thanks to Chanyeol who couldn’t find his ‘other’ black leather jacket (“Not the one I always wear, the one with all the zippers on it!”), Sehun, Suho, Jongin, Chanyeol and Baekhyun got into the company’s private jet (technically Jongin’s dad’s jet, but what was his was Jongin’s anyway) and were off, on their way to Heathrow Airport.

Yifan had called a few days ago to say that the trip to London was an okay, and that he’d be there to meet them and introduce Mr. Fitzgerald to Jongin, a man who was somehow important to the factories opening up in Guangzhou, although how exactly, Jongin still wasn’t sure. Suho and Sehun hadn’t explained anything to Jongin yet, but since they had to go to London, they did. Travelling with his three good friends was always fun.

And Chanyeol ended up wearing his go-to leather jacket anyway, which incidentally also had a lot of zippers on it. Jongin wasn’t sure how the other leather jacket would look different in London, but then again no one ever questioned Chanyeol’s taste for a good reason.

They were served chilled champagne by a charming stewardess—in the morning, honestly—but Jongin did not refuse. As long as he wasn’t drunk by midday, a little alcohol never hurt anyone. Most of them took the glasses of champagne from the stewardess and sipped at them gingerly except for Suho, who was ‘on his meds’.

“I take these red ginseng pills every morning and they don’t work if I drink two hours after I’ve taken them,” Suho said uneasily, eyeing the glass in Jongin’s hand, which was already half empty. “You drank bourbon the other day,” Jongin pointed out, swirling the translucent liquid around in its flute.

Recently started taking red ginseng pills,” Suho corrected himself. “And what effect are they supposed to have on you? Warning, side effects include bad taste in airport fashion,” Chanyeol said, getting all snarky. Even Sehun looked up and snorted at that.

“What’s wrong with my clothes?” Suho said indignantly. Everything was wrong about it. Chanyeol had texted all of them (even Baekhyun) to wear casual formal clothes, and most of them acceded to his instructions. Of course, different rules apply to Chanyeol since his idea of casual formal is usually different from others, and had arrived in said leather jacket, black jeans and a T-shirt with Notorious B.I.G. printed on it. Suho, on the other hand, came in a matching sky blue two piece outfit, and had his knees out on display. It was spring in Seoul, for God’s sake. The rest of them came in V-necks or tees with suit jackets. Chanyeol approved all of their outfits except for Suho, apparently.

“No guy shows his knees unless he’s one, a K-pop idol. I sense that you work in the corporate world and that your salary is not at the mercy of teenage girls getting horny over your legs. I will say, however, that you do have a lovely singing voice when we karaoke. And two, are you a model? With your height? One thousand percent no. And lastly, are you going to the beach? No. IT’S LONDON PRINTED ON THE BOARDING PASS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.” 

Suho looked mightily offended. “Well what do you suggest I do?” he asked stiffly smoothening out imaginary creases on his shorts. He was the oldest out of all of them, for Christ’s sake. Jongin didn’t understand why he didn’t see what was wrong with this outfit.

“Take my glass of champagne, drink all of it and tell me what you think of your outfit,” Chanyeol said, handing his glass to Suho. The stewardess who was lingering somewhere behind them appeared with a new glass of champagne and quickly passed it on to Chanyeol, murmuring that other light refreshments would soon be served.

Suho took the glass and downed all of it, his throat bobbing as he swallowed. Sehun and Baekhyun were too busy playing some online game against each other, but Jongin was far too entertained with the scene in front of him to read the article on his tablet just yet. Suho placed the glass down on a tray just as the plane shuddered, going over a cloud or something like that. Jongin felt the champagne in his hand tremble, but the rest of them didn’t seem to notice.

“I knew it was a bad idea to wear knee length shorts in spring,” Suho muttered. Chanyeol stood up and whooped, clapping his hands loudly like he was expecting an encore. Jongin couldn’t help laughing while Suho palmed his face in despair, drumming his fingers on the tray beside him. Sehun looked up at Chanyeol blankly.

“Could you sit down? It’s very distracting to have your arms flailing like that above my head,” he said politely. Sehun was only ever polite when he was annoyed, so Chanyeol toned it down a notch, settling back into his seat and patted Suho over the back. “The first step to rehabilitation is to admit you have a problem,” he said kindly.

“I’ll change into a different pair of pants later. I can’t believe I let my stylist talk me into wearing this,” Suho said sadly, looking down at his knees. “I mean look at my legs! They’re so pasty and white,” he said, stretching out his legs. Jongin was looking at his legs, and the colour of his skin wasn’t the worst part about knee length shorts.

“Have you ever thought about shaving?” Jongin asked, looking at the unruly curls growing on Suho’s calves.

“I have, but I just never got around to it. Besides, I heard it was manly to just be cool about it.”

“There’s nothing cool about your leg hair, dude. Get it shaved or I’ll never go out clubbing with you ever again,” Chanyeol threatened, staring at Suho in the eye while downing his champagne in one mouth.

“More champagne!” he roared.

A few hours later, Jongin finally got around to reading the news on his tablet over lunch. There was an earthquake in South East Asia, and thousands of people were in need of medical supplies, blankets, clean water and food. Jongin made a note to himself to donate some money to the appropriate fund; publicity was important to Accuretta Systems. Besides, if it meant helping those helpless buggers, then why not?

In a more fascinating article, the number of gay couples getting married were on the rise overseas, and the writer of the article interviewed a few locals to gain insight on their thoughts about this subject. Homosexuality was not something Asians, particularly Koreans, looked upon favorably. The younger generation generally wasn’t homophobic; they were just tentative about people liking other people of the same gender. But they were opening up, that was for sure. The older generation, on the contrary, were of course, appalled and bigoted by the idea of homosexuality.   

This topic made Jongin think about his stalker, whom he hadn’t thought about since the day he saw him. Stalker boy never made a second appearance, as far as Jongin could tell. Probably realized he was in the building to work and not to take photos of me, Jongin thought. It still poked at him though; was the stalker really gay? Jongin was as straight as a flag pole just as his friends around him enjoyed all the pleasures a woman could offer. What was it about Jongin that seemed to appeal to his stalker?

“Guys, can I ask you a serious question?” Jongin said, looking up from his tablet. Chanyeol looked busy cutting up his steak but said, “Yeah, what?” Suho looked up at him, indicating that he was listening while Sehun and Baekhyun ignored him, crunching on their garlic bread.

“Oi, I’m talking to all of you,” Jongin said indignantly, hitting Sehun on the arm. Sehun chortled on his garlic bread and glared at him balefully, but at least he had their attention.

“What do you guys think about homos?” Jongin asked, poking at the pile of warm mashed potato on his plate. Sehun snorted at him. “Is that it?” he asked.

“Well, it’s a serious question,” Jongin said defensively. Chanyeol made a face. “Can I ask where did this question come from?” Suho nodded. “Yeah, Jongin. Why do you ask?”

Jongin held up his tablet for all of them to read the title of the article. “Gay couples getting married; what are your thoughts?” Chanyeol read aloud.

“Yeah. What do you guys think about it, homo jokes aside?” Jongin asked.

“Gay people are just there, man. They’ve always been there since like, forever. You know those eunuchs in the Imperial Courts in ancient China? I heard that some of them were actually gay,” Chanyeol said, putting a bit of well done steak into his mouth.

“So you’re neutral?” Jongin said. Chanyeol shrugged. “I don’t hate them. They haven’t done anything bad to me or any of us, so I don’t see why I should. Besides, gay designers make the best clothes,” Chanyeol added. That was a good point.

“What about you, Suho?” Jongin said, scooping up some mashed potato into his mouth.

Suho pursed his lips, thinking hard. “I’m going with Chanyeol on this. I don’t hate homosexuality or feel strongly about it. It’s just an issue that’s always been around and it’s never really affected us, I guess, so I can’t say that gay people are… y’know.”

“Would you guys be okay with being friends with a gay person?” Jongin asked.

“I never knew that reporting was your calling, Jongin. It really suits you,” Sehun snickered. Jongin held his sticky fork towards Sehun’s white jacket menacingly. “Answer the damn question,” he muttered, cheeks going pink.

“I have a gay friend,” Sehun said petulantly, pushing Jongin’s fork away. “And it’s not like, weird or anything. We talk like normal guys and sometimes he gives me great advice on how to dress. That’s the only thing that I’d say is different compared to talking to one of you guys.”

“’Scuse me, but I give out great advice on fashion too. For free,” Chanyeol added for emphasis. Sehun studiously ignored him.  

“The point is that being gay doesn’t change anything to me. You’re still a human so why should people treat you any differently?” Sehun said nonchalantly, returning to his garlic bread. Jongin nodded in comprehension.

Baekhyun leaned over. “Can I…?”

“Yeah, go ahead,” Jongin said, gesturing for him to talk. “Okay,” Baekhyun sat up, putting his fork down. “So I used to attend an all boys school, and I didn’t really know what homosexuality was until I saw this boy being bullied. The older guys were kicking him in the guts and I just. I don’t know, I felt sorry for him at the time, I guess, so my friends and I got that kid out of trouble without knowing why he was being beat up.

Then he told me he was gay, and that someone had spilled his secret to everyone in school. He told me he wanted to kill himself by jumping over the roof, but those boys found him and guessed that he wanted to jump because everyone knew. So instead of letting him jump or saving him, they pulled him back only to beat him up and make him feel worse about himself.”

“What did you say to him?” Jongin asked, absorbed into the story.

“I told him that I didn’t know he was gay, so obviously the secret wasn’t as out there as he thought, and that that wasn’t a legit reason for those guys to bully him. I reported those guys with my friends to the school authorities and the gay guy is now a very good friend of mine,” Baekhyun smiled.

They were silent for awhile. Obviously, being gay certainly didn’t mean you were challenged in some way. And why did the gender of your preferred sexual partner matter? Whatever happens in the bedroom should obviously stay in the bedroom.

“That was a good story, Baekhyun,” Jongin said, breaking the silence. “I didn’t know what I felt about homosexuality, but I see now that it doesn’t really matter because at the end of every day, your sexual orientation doesn’t define who you are. And it shouldn’t,” Jongin said, thoughtful.

“Is this about your stalker?” Suho asked, his lips lifting up into a half smile. Jongin huffed a laugh, looking down at his lunch. “It might be. It just makes everything different if he is gay.”

“But you just said sexual orientation doesn’t matter,” Chanyeol protested. Sehun could tell the conversation was over and started chatting to Baekhyun about attending an all-boys school. “Who had the biggest dick in your class?” he asked.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s gay,” Jongin replied Chanyeol. “It only makes things different because I am straight, very straight, and stalkers do what they do because they—”

“Covet the object of their affections?” Chanyeol finished helpfully.

“’Affections’ is an understatement, but you get the point,” Jongin allowed. “I mean, he has to be attracted to me physically or something, right, enough that it makes him want to take photos of me?” Jongin said.

“I don’t think analyzing the mind of a stalker is wise,” Suho said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “He could be attracted to you or he could be a P.I., you never know. Isn’t this like, Stockholm Syndrome anyway? Empathizing with a kidnapper, or in your case, a stalker?”

“He’s human too,” Jongin argued weakly.

Chanyeol laughed light heartedly. “We’re humans too, and we’re all too complicated for any of us to fully understand one another.”

*

Jongin pursed his lips while waiting for Yifan and Mr. Fitzgerald. It was eleven p.m. now and Jongin had landed in London approximately three hours ago. All of them had gotten on the plane feeling excited but they had gotten off sleepy, tired and aching for a soft bed to fall asleep into. Upon arrival, they were whisked away in limos provided by Yifan himself to collect them from the airport, and were all sent to the Hilton Hotel within the hour.

Jongin sank into his bed once he was led to his suite but of course, there was none of that for now. First, they had to get ready to go out and have a quick dinner. Jongin ate in his room while his stylist, who had arrived the day before and stayed on another floor in the hotel, came in and did his hair and dabbed a bit of makeup to hide the circles around his eyes. He drank some coffee to stay up, and the caffeine was kicking in now, although he hoped all the energy he had now wasn’t about to go to waste.

The bistro they were sent to under Yifan’s orders was called Bungalow 8, located at the very top of a very tall building. It was an outdoor area so there were bright, neon lights lining the branches of thin, tall straggly trees, and the colors changed every so often, casting blue, green, pink, purple shadows on the patrons hanging around the bistro.

Sensual, husky music played over invisible speakers, setting an ethereal mood around the neon playground. Young women hung out by the bar while men ranging from adolescent to middle aged were scattered throughout the bistro; some were drinking at their own tables, some were eating by the bar and some were smoking cigarettes over the glass balcony, talking amongst themselves.

“Why is Yifan late?” Jongin complained, looking at his watch. He wanted to order a substantially stronger drink other than a Bacardi and Coke, but Sehun had advised him to hold back until Mr. Fitzgerald arrived. “You’ll have to drink and convince him to drink as well y’know, just to make him happy,” Sehun had murmured in his ear. Jongin wished he was the kind of guy who smoked. At least he’d have something better to do than to stare at London’s skyline, pretty though it was. For now, Jongin, Sehun, Suho, and Baekhyun were huddled around a tall table, standing in different positions exuding boredom while Chanyeol was already throwing back martinis at the bar, keeping a distance from them until they had a deal with Mr. Fitzgerald.

“Champagne for everyone!” he bellowed, almost slipping off his stool by accident. Jongin looked over at him wishfully, and wondered if Yifan was ever going to arrive so Jongin could just get this over with. Chanyeol looked like he was having drunken fun already, and they’d only been here for half an hour.

“He’s gonna be here soon,” Sehun muttered, looking over the edge of the balcony in distaste. He never liked getting drunk at high altitudes.

“Well, he should be. He said ten, and we were already running late, so for him to be late on us is just short of annoying,” Jongin complained, draining the last few drops of his cup. Suho was sipping at some vodka tonic, but he was doing so very sparingly. Jongin knew he was dying to just throw it all back as well.

“No, I mean he’s going to be here soon because I think I saw his ride down below,” Sehun said, nursing his bottle of cold beer in one hand. “Finally,” Jongin sighed, waving a waiter over.

“Some Cristal for all of us, please. There’ll be more people in a few minutes, so could you serve it to us when they arrive?” Jongin said in English to a young waiter, not much older than him. “Right away, sir,” the boy smiled. His British accent had a slight twang to it. Probably Irish, Jongin thought.

“I bet Mr. Fitzgerald’s gonna want more than champagne,” Baekhyun said, scrolling on his phone. Jongin frowned. “Why?”

Baekhyun handed his phone to Jongin. There were a few photos of Mr. Fitzgerald at a nightclub, arms around two Russian models while he gripped a bottle of whiskey in one hand. The man looked exactly like how his name sounded; strong, prominent features with a large pot belly sticking out from his front. His face was red in most of the photos, with a spattering of hair on his round head. Jongin read the captions below the photos: The man was in his late forties and he’d been married thrice already. He was a heavy drinker and had been arrested multiple times for driving under the influence of alcohol, but what were a few summonses when he was a multimillionaire living in London? This was news to Jongin.

“No one told me this guy was the future version of Chanyeol,” Jongin said, looking up at Suho and Sehun. “Well you know now. But no matter how his personal life looks like, he’s got killer connections, Jongin. We need him as an ally,” Suho said, motioning to the phone. Jongin looked through a few more photos before he handed the phone back to Baekhyun. 

“And you’re telling me now why?” Jongin asked. Suho smirked. “If we told you any earlier, you would’ve insisted on visiting some hostess club. Then we’d never get anything done,” Suho smiled.

Jongin snorted but looked away in embarrassment. There was some truth in that, yes, but he wasn’t going to admit to that. The champagne came almost at once, along with a tray of glasses. The waiter stood beside them on standby while Jongin and Suho made their way to the elevator.

“Be nice, yeah?” Suho smiled at Jongin. Jongin plastered on a fake smile as well, waiting for Mr. Fitzgerald’s arrival. Any minute now…

The red numbers above the elevator stopped at the thirty second floor and dinged loudly. A moment later Yifan stepped out, head bowed because he was too tall for the entrance, even in the UK. 

“Wu!” Jongin said brightly, holding his hands out welcomingly towards Yifan as if he wanted to bear hug Yifan. He looked up, briefly startled before he regained his composure. “Oh, Jongin, it’s you,” he said, eyes disappearing into a smile. He was dressed in a white collared shirt and dark pants, his entire length encased in an unbuttoned fabulous trench coat.

A man, visibly shorter than the both of them, stepped out of the elevator behind Yifan. Jongin recognized him as Mr. Fitzgerald right away and peered at him curiously.

“Mr. Fitzgerald?” The man glanced at him, then at Yifan. “Yes, it’s Mr. Fitzgerald, Jongin. Sir, this is Mr. Kim, whom I’ve been telling you about,” Yifan said, putting a hand on both their shoulders. The Englishman brightened up at once and practically yelled a ‘Hello’ at Jongin and Suho.

“Wu here has told me lots of things about you, son. Have you booked a table for us yet? We must simply talk, Mr. Kim, call me Scott,” Mr. Fitzgerald, now Scott, said. Jongin was a bit bewildered but did not show it, instead took Scott’s proffered hand and shook it.

“I hear you’ve been here for only a few hours. How was the flight?” Scott asked as they headed to where Sehun was standing straight now, a tinge of concern in his voice. Must be English hospitality, Jongin thought. “Oh, it was a long flight but I’m alright now,” Jongin replied lightly.

The waiter popped the champagne cover and all of them had a sip while chatting about idle things. Scott got down to business easily enough, and they talked for about an hour or so. Jongin listened to what Scott had to offer, and found it all to be fair. Suho nodded at Jongin when Scott was done talking, so Jongin agreed to do business with Scott. At the end of it, Yifan produced a contract in which he, Scott and Jongin took turns in signing it.

To Jongin’s relief, the deal was sealed and that finally meant real booze. Buzzing from the bottle of champagne, he called the waiter over and finally said, “Bring us some shots.” Scott agreed explicitly that shots were in order and that even the prude (also known as Yifan) would have to do at least two rounds.

“One for the contract, one for the future,” Scott declared. Yifan laughed nervously. He had no choice to agree and take the shot glass from the waiter once it was brought over. Jongin held it up with a flourish, his mood notably lifted now that alcohol was finally involved.

Yifan rolled up his sleeves like he was expecting a fist fight while Jongin cried, “To success!”

“To success!” Everyone around the table yelled. At this point, Chanyeol (who was more than halfway to passed out drunk) came and joined them, holding up his margarita, tiny umbrella and all. “Hell yeah!” he shouted, voice cracking.

Jongin clinked his glass against Chanyeol’s margarita before throwing it back. The brandy burned its way down the back of Jongin’s throat but he didn’t even care. Work hard, play hard, Jongin thought, waving at the waiter for another round. Yifan looked like he’d just swallowed a dead fish, but Jongin ignored him. He’d never met a businessman who couldn’t drink anyway.

The next few hours were a bit of a blur. Jongin could only remember bits and pieces of the night like he wasn’t really there. At first it was shots, but then somehow vodka was involved and Jongin couldn’t refuse so he drank every drink offered to him until the next thing he knew, he was dancing with a Caucasian girl, blue eyes and red hair out on display.

She wasn’t shy with him, that much he could remember. The girl rubbed her entire body over Jongin’s front, hands running down from his waist to his thighs and squeezing them. He couldn’t recall much of what she said, but Jongin supposed it must’ve hot at the time. That would certainly explain why the next memory he had of that night was of him stumbling into the elevator with her, promising that her millions of dollars if she spent the night with him.

“Baby, you have to stay with me tonight,” Jongin slurred, her image doubling and then tripling at an alarming rate. “Honey, you’re gonna have to give me more than just your credit card if you want me,” she giggled, curling her arms around Jongin’s neck. Jongin wasn’t sure how he was still holding a glass of vodka, but when he noticed it in his hand, he drank the entire contents and flung it to the elevator floor, where it shattered into pieces.

The girl giggled deliriously in his arms, pressing her boobs to his chest. Jongin didn’t know if he’d make it to the hotel room in one piece, but a man had to hope. Where was Suho anyway?

“Where’s my—where’s my um. My friends? Suho?” Jongin said blearily. The elevator doors opened and the girl dragged him out, ignoring what he said while laughing at something. Jongin was tugged towards the exit while he scanned the lobby, looking for a familiar face. There was no one around except the both of them and the receptionist at the desk.

“Where’s Chanyeol?” Jongin muttered, double vision making him feel sick all of a sudden. He burped and held back his puke while stumbling out of the building, looking frantically from left to right. “What’s wrong?” the girl said, frowning at him.

Jongin made it into an alleyway before he spewed the contents of his stomach into a ditch, stomach rolling nauseously inside him. He was so dizzy he couldn’t even see straight anymore and wondered if everyone had already went home.

“Gotta get home,” Jongin groaned, spitting on the ground. Somewhere outside the alley, he could hear the girl’s high pitched voice bitching about something, but he couldn’t hear it clearly. Jongin’s ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton and his legs were starting to go numb too.

“Gotta go… Gotta find the…” Jongin mumbled to himself, tripping over his feet while he gripped the walls beside him and took three steps forward.

Someone was outside the alleyway, waiting for him. “Jongin, are you okay?” Whoever it was sounded panicked. Jongin’s vision was not to be trusted; he couldn’t make out the person’s face other than fair skin and a collared shirt. “Yifan?” he said in confusion. But Yifan wasn’t so short…

“No, I’m—Never mind, let’s get you back to the hotel,” the guy said. Jongin thanked the Lord someone was here to save him. Where was the lobby again? Was it that speck of sepia light in the far off distance? Jongin could hear the thrum of a car engine and the sound of someone grappling with the door handle.

“To the Hilton Hotel, please,” Jongin’s savior said, putting Jongin’s arm over his shoulder. “I’m living in the suite,” Jongin muttered, feeling sleepy. His savior grunted as he tried to carry Jongin’s weight.

“I know.”

Chapter Text

Jongin suddenly opened his eyes, a sense of panic gripping his heart.

Where the fuck am I?

His head throbbed right after that thought. “Shit,” Jongin muttered, closing his eyes before he could register anything. The pounding in his head was almost too much to take. It felt like someone was hitting him over the head with a crowbar, and that wasn’t a nice feeling.

Distracted by his hangover, Jongin settled back into bed only to realize that… he was in bed. Who the fuck got him into a bed? He tried to think about what happened last night, but everything came up blank, like the previous night didn’t even happen. Did I sleep with some chick last night? He thought. Jongin came up blank; he couldn’t really think of how he got into a bed.

The blankets and everything were cozy around him though, so he waited till the pain in his head abated just a bit and then slowly, agonizingly slow, he opened his eyes again.

Jongin could see the ceiling and it wasn’t in double vision, so that was good. The walls, however, looked a tad bit closer than yesterday evening, and he was positive that the wall on his right wasn’t supposed to be this close.

This isn’t my suite, Jongin thought. He prayed that he was still in the same country at least.

Now that his senses were slowly starting to function, he could hear the sound of water running in the shower. It was coming from the wall beside him, and he knew that showers meant that someone was in the bathroom.

So he wasn’t alone. Whether that was a good thing or not, he wasn’t sure. Jongin rubbed his eyes, pushing himself up with one arm.

Lord, Jongin thought, what did I drink last night? His headache was definitely a product of jet lag and alcohol, there was just no other way to be this hung over right after waking up. He had gone clubbing before, but had never experienced drinking a few hours after getting off a plane. He made a mental note to never try this again for at least five years.  

Before he could even get a sense of where he was, the shower squeaked and everything was silent. He blinked rapidly and tried to guess where he was from his surroundings. Curtains blocked his view of the windowsill on his far left. A telephone sat on the dresser beside him. Hotel, Jongin thought.

He decided to risk being beat up by some mobster in the shower and leaned over towards the telephone. All he needed to see was a card with Hilton Hotel over the top and a list of numbers below and immediately sighed a breath of relief.

Of course. It was probably Baekhyun or Sehun in the shower. Who else could be in there? I’ve been worried for nothing, he scoffed.

The bathroom door opened and Jongin flopped back on the bed, tucking himself back into bed. “Hey, Sehun. Or Baekhyun, maybe Suho. Thanks for rescuing my ass,” Jongin called without looking over his shoulder. It took him a moment to realize that the blanket was soft against his bare skin and that he didn’t have his own shirt on.

Sehun must be feeling extra nice, Jongin thought. If he was feeling this bad after the night before, he’d have to have puked at some time. Meanwhile, his savior was still silent behind him.

Savior, Jongin thought. A sense of déjà vu came over him; he was rescued last night by a savior, wasn’t he? Jongin remembered thinking that his savior was a little short too. And Sehun wasn’t short by any standards.

He turned around, half praying for it to be Baekhyun or Suho. It wasn’t.

Whoever it was, he was trying to get his own clothes on as fast as possible without feeling the chill of the air conditioner in the room. His skin was so blindingly white, Jongin could hardly believe this could be Baekhyun. But his silhouette was strikingly familiar…

The person turned around and suddenly gave a loud WHOA when he met Jongin’s gaze. Jongin only caught a glimpse of his frightened expression before he turned around. “I thought you were going back to sleep?” he said, pressing himself against the closet and covering his face. Jongin frowned. “I was. Then I realized that you’re not Sehun.”

Where have I seen him before?

“I’ll um. I’ll leave so that you can use the bathroom if you want. Do you need… coffee?” the person asked. Jongin was still too out of it to really remember who this person was, but supposed he was harmless enough if he was going to bring him coffee.

“Yeah. Two sugars and—”

“Low fat milk. Got it,” the person said, grasping for the door and flying out so fast before Jongin could even continue his sentence. Is this Sehun’s junior secretary? Jongin thought. Junior secretaries usually worked on the twentieth floor as well, except they were on the other side of the building where Jongin saw his stalker. Junior secretaries usually got coffee for Jongin and Sehun, including the new boy working as second assistant—

Stalker boy, Jongin suddenly thought. It came to him like a revelation, as if someone had whispered it to him in his ear. It was Stalker boy getting him coffee, he just knew it from his slight frame and pale skin. Jongin was confident he’d be able to identify him if he could just get a look at his lips.

Who the fuck else would remember his coffee order anyway?

Wait, wait, why does he know my coffee order? Jongin interrupted himself. That was a tad bit more personal than just snapping photos of him. In any case, he reached for the telephone gingerly and grabbed the card with numbers all over it, scanning it carefully to see which number he was supposed to dial to call up someone else in another room.

“Hello?”

“Oi, Sehun. It’s me.”

“Fuck, Jongin, where the fuck are you right now? You never came back last night,” Sehun said, sounding relieved but angry at the same time.

“Relax, I made it back fine. Stalker boy brought me back to the Hilton,” Jongin replied, swinging his legs over the bed to stand up while massaging the bridge of his nose. His pants were spattered with dots of dried vomit, but he was thankful Stalker boy didn’t attempt to remove it. If he did, Jongin would have to press charges and that would just make his headache worse than it was now.

“What? Which stalker? And you’re in the Hilton? Which room?” Sehun demanded. He sounded like he was pacing the room.

“Will you calm down, I’m safe, okay? For now anyway. Stalker boy, remember him? He’s getting me coffee while I use his bathroom,” Jongin said, flicking the curtain away to see if the view matched his own view from his suite. It was a few floors below his top floor suite, but yes, the opposite building was still the same. He was at the Hilton for sure.

“Why are you using his bathroom? Come up to your own suite, there’s more towels anyway. And stalker as in the one from the security feed?” Sehun asked.

“Yeah. Look, I’d take the elevator up to my suite but,” Jongin looked around. Yup, his shirt was gone. “I can’t find a shirt to put on, so—”

“I don’t give a shit, come up with clothes on or no, or I will come to your floor. Which room are you in?” Sehun demanded, irritated.

“Hold on,” Jongin replied. Jongin padded over to the door on his numb feet and looked out of the peephole. There was no one in the hallway, so he quickly stuck his head out and checked the room number.

“Room 1563. I might be in the shower though,” Jongin said, shutting the door carefully. He wasn’t sure why he was being so careful. Must be the foreign feeling of having his stalker about to bring him coffee.

“I don’t care, I’m coming now,” Sehun snapped.

“Look, you really don’t have to come get me. I’ll come up right after I shower, okay, I feel pretty nasty right now.” His headache wasn’t easing up on him either. Some hot water would do him good.

“Call me back in fifteen minutes and I’ll send someone to get you. If you don’t call, I’ll bring MI5 here, I swear—”

“Yeah, love you too, Sehun, bye,” Jongin dragged the last word out and hung up on him. There was coffee coming, a shower waiting and some questions to be answered. All this had to be done in fifteen minutes, but he could work with that.

Jongin was out of the shower in two minutes, a record time really, but he’d wash his hair properly and soak in the tub in his own suite later. As long as the taste of bile and vomit was out of his mouth, he was fine. It was a pity he couldn’t stay in the shower any longer; regardless, he wanted time to poke around the hotel room before Stalker boy came back, and he was bound to return sooner rather later.

He came out with a towel around his waist and another draped over his head, hair dripping wet while he peered through the peephole. Still no sign of Stalker boy, so he took it as an opportunity to open up the closet and see if there was anything there. Nothing much in his luggage bag except for clothes and underwear. His underwear wasn’t branded, a sign that he wasn’t that high up in the company.

What about his desk? Jongin thought, spotting a long lens camera he didn’t see at first on the table across the bed. Some papers and a laptop littered the desk; a fount of information in Jongin’s eyes.

He was willing to bet that the laptop had a password so Jongin grabbed the camera first, pressing every button on the thing until the screen came on. The papers weren’t much, just drafts of a contract. Boring stuff. Jongin tried to turn the laptop on, but it was dead.

The camera beeped in his hand, and he returned his attention to it. At first, he was disoriented by what he saw.

His face filled up the entire screen and it took him some time to realize that it was a photo taken some time ago, probably in Seoul during winter, when he wore his coats with the collars turned up because scarves were too much of a hassle. Jongin didn’t understand why his face would be on the camera, but he soon came to realize that every photo on the camera was of him.

Every last one.

But of course, he thought, going through what seemed like hundreds of photos of himself. Stalker boy was a stalker. The proof was resting in his hands, final and concrete. There were photos of him looking drunk, serious, sleepy, moody from that time when Sehun gave him a rather disappointing Christmas present… How did he even get some of these shots without Jongin ever noticing? He scrolled to the latest photo, and it was a picture of him sleeping in bed, eyes shut and mouth opened slightly.

Okay, this is just borderline obsessive, he thought. How was he supposed to delete this photo? It was far too personal to allow Stalker boy to keep this photo for himself.

The door clicked quietly. Jongin glanced up, panicked and switched the camera off, sacrificing subtlety for speed and thunked the camera down on the table while reaching for a remote with his other hand.

“Ugh, how do you turn this on?” he said obnoxiously, looking at a TV in false distaste. Stalker boy had his head bowed as he shut the door behind him. Jongin pretended to fling the remote aside, and shifted his gaze to Stalker boy.

Stalker boy shuffled over, keeping his distance from Jongin and placed his coffee down on the desk, along with salted crackers on a plate. “Just in case you’re feeling nauseous,” he muttered, already turning away.

“Wait,” Jongin blurted, taking a step forward. Stalker boy stopped, but didn’t turn around. “Are you gonna leave?” Jongin asked, which wasn’t the most important question he should be asking right now, but was the safest one he could ask without embarrassing the both of them.   

 “I have things to do,” the boy muttered.

“You work for me, don’t you? Don’t go yet,” Jongin said, obviously abusing his position as future CEO, but at least it made the boy hesitate.

“I sent your clothes for dry cleaning. It’ll be sent to your room when it’s cleaned,” the boy said softly. His voice was firm somehow. It was surprisingly steady for someone who was supposed to be obsessed with the person talking to him right now. The voice of a psychopath, Jongin thought briefly.

“Thanks, but that isn’t why I’m not letting you leave just yet.” The boy tensed like he was thinking of running away.

“How do you know I work for you?” the boy asked, turning just a fraction to the right with his head still bowed.

Jongin reached for his coffee languidly, sipping at it. The coffee wasn’t too bad. He pulled the chair out from the desk and sat down, bringing himself closer to the boy. He still couldn’t see the boy’s entire face yet, but his lips were unmistakably the same ones Jongin had seen on the security footage.

“Look at me first, then maybe I’ll answer your question,” Jongin said boldly. At this point, they both knew that Jongin could fire him in a second if he wanted to and that obeying him was probably better than going against him. Jongin waited patiently for the boy to react. He couldn’t just stand there with his head down forever.

He finally looked up uncertainly, his gaze roaming the entire room. The boy looked at the ceiling, the carpet, his shoes, the bathroom beside him, anything but Jongin in front of him. It was almost painful to see.

 And he didn’t look the way Jongin thought from the way his voice sounded. Rich and smooth like soft ice cream whereas his face was slightly round, with a large pair of almost shimmering eyes and distinctive lips. Jongin almost had to remind himself that this boy was his stalker, and a good one at that. Most of the photos he had taken were at private functions; clearly he knew how to be subtle.  

“What’s your name?” Jongin asked.

The only sign that the boy was nervous under Jongin’s gaze was from the way he wringed his wrists. “Kyungsoo,” he mumbled. He sounded deferential, but he looked defiant.

“Kyungsoo,” Jongin said decisively. “So Kyungsoo, care to explain why I’m in your hotel room right now and not in my own suite?”

“You were drunk and I—I had to help, otherwise you’d just stumble around London like some drunkard. I mean, you could’ve been mugged o-or taken away to be sold off as a slave or something—”

“Or kidnapped by a stalker.”

Kyungsoo blushed a deep red, looking away. “I knew I shouldn’t have been there at the elevator.”

Jongin looked at him incredulously. “That’s not why I’m staring at you like this and I think you know it,” he said, widening his eyes at the boy in front of him. Up close, his features were soft, muted with the morning light filtering through the curtains. Jongin didn’t know if it was the buzz from all the alcohol a few hours ago, but the boy had the most fascinating face. 

“I know,” Kyungsoo sighed, blinking rapidly. “And I-I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“That’s not the worst of everything yet. What’s this about?” Jongin said, pulling the camera towards him by the strap. He figured if he was going to interrogate the living lights out of the poor boy, might as well ask him about everything now.

“Well?” Jongin said, holding up the camera. Kyungsoo paled visibly. “That’s personal property,” he muttered. For a moment, Jongin thought his gaze lingered over Jongin’s naked chest just a little longer than necessary, but Kyungsoo looked away so fast he couldn’t even decide if he was affronted that he’d look at him like that.

“Yeah, but this face isn’t yours. Just be out with it, Kyungsoo. Are you stalking me?” Jongin asked flatly. The least he could do was be honest.

Kyungsoo sighed, covering his face with one hand. “I take it as a yes then,” Jongin said. He put the camera down and reached for a cracker, biting down into it. It was crunchy and salty just the way it should be. Perfect for someone who’d been drinking the previous night and was sort of kidnapped by his stalker.

“I’ll get my own flight ticket home,” Kyungsoo muttered, running a hand through his hair. Jongin looked at him bewilderedly.

“Why?”

It was Kyungsoo’s turn to look bewildered. “Because you’re here, asking me questions about your—your pictures and I’m sorry about everything, so will you please leave, or at least let me leave?”

“I’m not done with this conversation.”

“But I am.”

“You don’t leave unless I tell you to,” Jongin said, a little displeased with the way Kyungsoo was acting. He was neither disgusted nor fascinated by Kyungsoo’s apparent obsession over him, just overall very… curious about why Kyungsoo would be obsessed about him, of all people in Accuretta Systems.

Kyungsoo didn’t move, chewing his bottom lip nervously as Jongin ate his cracker, staring at Kyungsoo.

“I have to ask, Kyungsoo. Are you—Well… Gay?” Jongin said, breaking the momentary silence.

He looked at Jongin with wide eyes, mouth dropping open in surprise. “I-I don’t think that’s any of your business. Look, if you want to press charges o-or sue me, just get it over with, please. I don’t want to deal with you directly like this, I don’t. Like it,” Kyungsoo said, the words spilling out in a rush.

Jongin sensed that maybe Kyungsoo didn’t think about this part when he hauled Jongin into his room instead of his own suite. But then again, Kyungsoo could never have managed to get up to the suite without the key that Jongin had left with the receptionist. He decided that this wasn’t a good time to push Kyungsoo for details. Perhaps when they returned to Korea, he’d call Kyungsoo to his office once he calmed down; he was too shocked to do anything else but be defensive.

Jongin picked up the plate and cup of coffee, standing up abruptly in front of Kyungsoo. He looked up at him questioningly. “I’ll leave, Kyungsoo. This is your room and I think I’ve outstayed my welcome,” Jongin said flatly.

Picking up his pants, he headed for the door, brushing past a stiff Kyungsoo. Jongin stepped out onto the hallway, topless and all before Kyungsoo suddenly called him. “Mr. Kim, um, wait! What about… me? What are you going to do?” Kyungsoo asked fearfully.

Jongin shrugged. “Haven’t decided. My head hurts too much for me to think any further into the future than five minutes so. And don’t call me that,” he said nonchalantly. Kyungsoo stared back at him like he’d just grown two horns, eyes wide.  

“Good. See you then,” Jongin said, walking to the elevator without a backward glance.

-

In his own suite, Jongin left the tap of hot water on to fill up the bathtub and then got into the shower to wash his hair properly. He hadn’t even finished washing the shampoo suds out of his hair before he heard someone barge into his suite. Jongin had a good idea of who it might be. A few seconds later, and there was Sehun knocking on the bathroom door loudly.

“Tell me it’s you in there, Jongin.”

“Room service,” Jongin called back, snarky. He could practically hear Sehun roll his eyes as he stopped banging his fist on the door and the shadow of his feet at the bottom of the door entered his room. Through the walls, Jongin distinctly heard the sound of his TV turning on. Sehun could make himself comfortable outside for all Jongin cared. No one was going to stop him from getting into the hot tub waiting for him.

Sehun was flipping through TV channels in Jongin’s suite, bored and impatient, when he realized that the showerhead had already been turned off for the last ten minutes, and Jongin still wasn’t out. He got up from the bed and knocked on the bathroom door to check on Jongin.

“Oi, you done washing your hair yet?”

No reply.

Was he poisoned or something? Sehun thought. Maybe Jongin was dead inside the shower. He could already imagine the piles of paperwork he’d have to go through… Trying the doorknob, Sehun found it unlocked and flung it open, expecting to see Jongin’s cold, dead body on the bathroom floor.

Fortunately, Jongin was alive and well from what Sehun could see. There was water all over the ground in large puddles but Jongin was in the freestanding bathtub in the center of the modern and tasteful bathroom, eyes closed as he soaked in a pile of foamy bubbles. Obviously, Jongin had been too busy making bubbles to ease poor Sehun’s nerves.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Sehun deadpanned.

“Taking a soak, what else does it look like?” Jongin replied, sticking a leg over the edge of the tub. He flicked a lazy eye open to look at Sehun leaning against the door.

“Do you know how much paperwork I have to go through if you were kidnapped, Jongin?” he asked flatly.

“Let me guess. A lot?” Jongin said, smiling.

“You guessed correctly. Please be more careful the next time you try to sleep with someone,” Sehun muttered dryly under his breath.

“I wasn’t trying to sleep with Kyungsoo,” Jongin protested, “all I wanted to do was crash by the time I was done with last night’s party.” Sehun lifted an eyebrow at him. “Kyungsoo? What were you doing with Kyungsoo? He wasn’t supposed to be at the party last night either.”

Jongin cocked his head to one side. “You know who Kyungsoo is?”

“Yeah, do you?” Sehun shot back at him. Jongin blinked. “Kyungsoo is the name of my stalker. How do you know his name already when I haven’t even told you?” Jongin asked slowly. Was Sehun actually Jesus Christ in disguise, an all knowing being in human form?

Sehun gave him a strangled, eyebrow twitching look. “Your stalker? You mean you were in Kyungsoo’s room a minute ago?”

“Yeah, but I thought you knew that already,” Jongin said.

Sehun exhaled with a loud hiss, arms moving to hold a hand to his forehead and another to the door behind him. “Kyungsoo is your stalker? Kyungsoo? The Kyungsoo working in your building making copies every day?”

“He makes copies? Explains a lot,” Jongin replied, readjusting his position in the bathtub. Sehun looked like he was going to faint, and Jongin wasn’t about to get out of the tub anytime soon.

“He’s a nine to five kind of guy. Doesn’t do much in the office, just mundane little things,” Sehun said to Jongin, walking over to the sink to splash his face with some water.

“You mean he doesn’t do much beside take lots of photos of me,” Jongin said, picking up a small part of foam and plopping it on his head. Sehun snatched a hand towel up to wipe his paler-than-pale face, taking deep breaths.

“He takes lots of photos of you?” Sehun repeated.

“I think you’re overreacting to the identity and activities of my stalker, Sehun, stop breathing like a horse,” Jongin said lightly, picking up some more foam to put on his head. He hoped he could achieve a foam Marie Antoinette wig in time for Sehun to snap a photo to put up online.

“He doesn’t look like the kind of guy to stalk anything, Jongin, don’t you think so?” Sehun asked.

“I don’t know how stalkers are supposed to look like. But he was kind of cute, I guess, in an adolescent kind of way,” Jongin commented.

“So there was a camera in his room?” Sehun asked. Jongin nodded as best as he could without jiggling his foamy wig too much.

“He’s Baekhyun’s friend. They eat lunch together sometimes in the cafeteria, and they’re both into photography. Guess he was into it because of you,” Sehun said.

“Oh, so that’s how you know him. I plan on interrogating him when we get back to Korea. What say you?” Jongin asked, holding the foam on his head in place. Sehun frowned at him.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“It is very rude of you to ask me that twice in less than five minutes. Do you have your phone, Sehunnie, I need you to take a photo of my Marie Antoinette look,” Jongin said, picking up some more foam to dab near his ears. Sehun snorted at him.

“I’m not going to take a photo of you in the bathtub, people will think I’m dating you. And I say, get Kyungsoo to bring his camera and everything he has of you to your office when you interrogate him. I’ll be there too. We can’t have him spreading these photos or anything else he might have on you,” Sehun said irritably.

“Are you jealous?” Jongin asked incredulously.

“No, stop being ridiculous,” Sehun said, whipping a hand through Jongin’s foamy wig and destroying it into foamy bits. Jongin cried out inarticulately, trying to hold what was left of his wig in place without much success.

“That was just an honest question, how could you do this to me!” Jongin said indignantly. If he wasn’t completely naked under all the foam he would’ve reached out to strangle Sehun. He settled for splashing soapy water at him, and smirked when Sehun yelped and skipped awkwardly out of the way.

“Get out, and don’t come back in unless you can offer me food!” Jongin shouted, scooping up more water and flinging it at Sehun. He grabbed a towel before he slammed the door shut behind him, leaving Jongin to soak in his tub once more in peace.

Even though it was silent after that in the bathroom, Jongin’s thoughts were filled with Kyungsoo like white noise in his head. There was just… something about the way he was nervous around Jongin that intrigued him. He’d never had anyone react that way to his presence, ever. People either knew him, or they didn’t, it was that simple. Jongin had never stopped to think what it would be like for someone to be there in almost every day of his life since who knows when and not know him at all. Was that why Kyungsoo was nervous, or was it really just embarrassment from being caught with his hand in the cookie jar?

-

It was two days later when Jongin finally touched down in Korea. Chanyeol had bought an obscene amount of clothes and arranged to have them all shipped to Korea, the deal with Mr. Fitzgerald was signed and done with, and Jongin had yet to cross paths with Kyungsoo.

He had thought that he would bump into Kyungsoo sometime during their stay in London, but surprisingly, Jongin saw no long lens camera lurking about when he left the Hilton for dinner with Mr. Fitzgerald or when he was hanging around the hotel lobby before they left for the airport.

Now, Jongin couldn’t even tell if Kyungsoo was somewhere among the crowd. Someone must’ve tipped the local photographers off, because they were swarming Jongin and his staff with flashing cameras, probing questions about their trip to London thrown around. Sehun brushed all of them away when they came too close (there were no bodyguards because they didn’t expect to make a scene) and gave them curt, clipped answers when photographers insisted on having their questions answered.   

“What were you doing with Mr. Fitzgerald of S & S?”

“Have you signed a deal with him?”

“No comment until a public announcement is made,” Sehun said to all of them. Some of the photographers who recognized Chanyeol as a fashionista (or fashion terrorist) asked him questions too. Sehun didn’t bother to deal with those photographers. Chanyeol loved answering their questions. Jongin just walked and walked until they finally reached their waiting car outside the airport and got in.

“Well, that was exhilarating,” Jongin whistled when they were all squeezed into the company limo. They were tired but since they were still on London time, most of them were just stiff from sitting down too long and talked amongst themselves.

“I think I just accepted an offer to feature in Vogue,” Chanyeol said, adjusting the piece of fabric hanging from the back of his pants as he tried to sit down. Suho frowned at him.

“Why do your pants look like there’s half a skirt attached to it?”

“It’s fah-shion, dah-ling,” Chanyeol replied haughtily.

“I didn’t see Kyungsoo with us just now,” Jongin said quietly to Sehun. They had all heard about Kyungsoo through Sehun now, and surprisingly, even Suho knew him. Baekhyun said he knew nothing about Kyungsoo’s obsession; they weren’t that close, apparently.

“He’s not flying first class, Jongin, he came back yesterday,” Sehun replied easily, digging out his iPad to start it up and check through his e-mails, or whatever it was he was always doing. The car jolted, beginning to move out of the parking lot of the airport.  

Jongin was surprised. “Really? Didn’t he come with the other group of staff?” A small group of staff had come on a short holiday with them to London as well as to iron out any minor details with Yifan and Mr. Fitzgerald’s people.

“Nope, he came back yesterday with another group. There’s a lot more staff than you might think came with us, Jongin,” Sehun said dryly, “we’re going to have to make this deal work with Mr. Fitzgerald if we’re going to compensate for all these costs.”

“I’m sure you’ll do well,” Jongin replied mildly. This was Sehun and Suho they were talking about. They did their jobs better than Jongin ever would.

“So he’s at the office now?” Jongin asked. It was a Monday, and they had reached Korea at two p.m. Sehun thought about it and nodded. “He should be there. Unless he’s too scared of what you might do and he’s already ran away.”

Jongin hoped Kyungsoo didn’t bail on Jongin. He wanted more answers to all of his questions. There were a lot of things unsaid, and Jongin didn’t want to let Kyungsoo off the hook just like that without satiating his curiosity first.

 “Shall we head to the office, guys?” Jongin said. Everyone stopped chattering around him and turned to gape at him.

“He did not just say what I thought he did,” Suho said.

“I think he did,” Chanyeol murmured, taking off his sunglasses to stare at Jongin some more. Jongin frowned at them. “I’m merely suggesting that we should earn more money. Nothing wrong with that,” he huffed. The limo was rather warm, so he shrugged off his tweed jacket. Jongin had thought that he would try a hand at airport fashion, but wearing a jacket made for autumn when it was nearly the end of spring was like a sick joke.

“Oh no, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to earn money. There is however, something worth gaping at when Kim Jongin says he wants to go to the office just to see some office boy,” Sehun said flatly beside him.

“I never said that,” Jongin protested.

Baekhyun and Chanyeol smiled in amusement. “So you want to check Kyungsoo out, hm?” Chanyeol grinned. Jongin pursed his lips in distaste.

“If you were in my position wouldn’t you want to know more about him?” Jongin asked huffily.

“If I were in your position I would buy more clothes, not worry about what my stalker thinks of me,” Chanyeol replied breezily, running a hand across his new Hermes sunglasses. He showed it to Baekhyun. “Guess how much this was.”

Jongin wondered if he was being a bit too obsessive himself over Kyungsoo. But he wasn’t now, was he? It was well within his right as future CEO of Accuretta Systems to call Do Kyungsoo (he’d learned his full name from Baekhyun) up to his office and question his hobbies even though they might and might not be during office hours… surely?

Then he decided not to sweat it. He’d just call Kyungsoo up to his office this one time, and that’d be the end of it. He’d never have to face him again, and Kyungsoo chose to keep up with his habits, then so be it. Jongin wasn’t the sort who liked to dictate to others.

*

When Suho, Baekhyun, Sehun and Jongin were squeezed into Jongin’s private elevator, Jongin began to feel nervous. It wasn’t because his three friends were practically chest to chest with one another and they were like four sardines in a can made for two sardines, but it had something to do with Kyungsoo, he was sure of it.

Do I really want to find out more about this? He thought.

Of course he wanted to. But how would it affect Kyungsoo? Was this imminent interrogation a form of bullying as well? He didn’t know.

The elevator jolted at the twentieth floor, and the four of them spilled out, inhaling as if they were on Mount Everest, breathing a different, thinner kind of air. “Who told all of you to come into my elevator?” Jongin asked offhandedly, swinging his jacket over his shoulder.

Baekhyun looked sheepish while Suho and Sehun were unaffected. Jongin’s second PA suddenly popped out of nowhere and offered to take their coats. Jongin flung his coat into his arms and demanded coffee. Then he thought about it and changed his order to coffee for two. The boy scurried off at once, eager and willing.

“Who is going to get Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked Sehun. He ignored Jongin, heading into the office and placing his iPad on his desk. He turned his computer on, clearing his throat calmly as he sat down and began leafing through papers.

“Hello?” Jongin called obnoxiously. Sehun looked up.

“You, of course. I’m not going to get him for you. Last time I checked, I’m not your Saint Bernard.”

Suho and Baekhyun lingered behind Jongin, waiting expectantly for him to make a decision. “Where is his desk?” Jongin asked Baekhyun stiffly, unbuttoning the cuffs of his long sleeve shirt.

“Over there. And it’s a cubicle,” Baekhyun informed, pointing past the elevator where another office was located. “He’s in cubicle 33, I think.”

“Good luck,” Suho said wryly, patting a hand on his shoulder. Jongin scowled at the both of them as they buggered off to do something more beneficial than snigger at him. Jongin walked towards the office in a somewhat irritated and anxious mood, absently making his way to the other side of the building.

When he pushed the glass door open, Jongin was genuinely surprised by the sheer size of the office. It made him realize that he’d never explored much of the office beyond his own office space, the meeting room, cafeteria and men’s room. In fact, it was downright discerning to see so many cubicles like a maze stretching out from left to right. Some of the cubicles were empty, but there were still a lot of people in the office.

He looked around, trying to figure out where cubicle 33 would be. There was no numbering system as far as he could tell, which wasn’t very helpful. He walked towards the left first, hoping to see Kyungsoo without having to try very hard to look for him.

“Er, Mr. Kim?”

Jongin turned around at the sound of his name. A pretty mid twenties office girl looked up at him in curiosity. “Are you looking for someone, sir?” she asked hesitantly. Aha, Jongin thought. Someone to help him with his task.  

“Uh, yeah, his name is Kyungsoo,” Jongin ventured. Recognition lit up her eyes through her chocolate brown contact lenses, and she smiled, happy to be of help. “His desk is in that direction,” she said helpfully, pointing in the opposite direction Jongin was headed to. “His cubicle faces this side,” she added, waving vaguely to the view of Seoul.

“Oh. Thank you then,” he said, sending her one of his most charming smiles. She practically melted in front of him as he walked past her and began to look over the dividers of the cubicles.

Jongin thought he saw a cubicle labeled sixty, and then another one labeled fifty five in small, discreet numbers, so he walked deeper into the office until the carpet floors and stacks of files and papers muted all sounds, including hushed conversations and the click of fingers on a keyboard.  

When he was about to approach the right end of the building, he finally saw a cubicle labeled thirty five. He’s got to be somewhere here then, he thought, glancing around. There weren’t much people towards this end of the office, so one really bothered with Jongin’s presence. Sending another cautious glance to his surroundings, Jongin slowly entered the cubicle area and tried to see which desk was Kyungsoo’s. It couldn’t be that hard surely, to find the desk of someone who liked photography.

It’d be boring, clean, with no pictures of family or stickers of cute cartoon characters but pictures of landscapes maybe, and—

He stopped at a desk that fit his description. It was exactly as he pictured, and facing the left side of the building as well, except instead of pictures of landscapes there was only one picture of someone.

Jongin looked closer; oh, it was definitely Kyungsoo’s desk. There was a small picture frame made of porcelain, half hidden in the shadow of a computer screen, only big enough to fit a passport size photo of Jongin looking over the camera into the distance. It was a black and white photo, grainy even. It totally fit Jongin’s idea of Kyungsoo’s aesthetic.

Something dropped behind him. Jongin turned to see if he had bumped into something by accident when he bent over, but instead he saw a large stack of messy papers at his feet and a pair of legs that were not his own (unless there was a mirror which somehow distorted his fabulous leather shoes into worn sneakers, but that’s, of course, impossible).

His gaze travelled up those legs, caught sight of a pair of worn slacks, a long sleeved shirt with pinstripes and finally, Kyungsoo’s scared and pale face, eyes almost too large for his frail overall look. He looked like a deer caught in the glare of Jongin’s headlights, frozen in panic in that instant.

“What… Why are you here?” Kyungsoo half whispered, his voice almost gone.

“I told you I’d see you again in Korea. And we are in Korea now, so…” Jongin trailed off. Kyungsoo bent down to pick up his papers, clearing his throat.

“I… didn’t think you meant it,” Kyungsoo said softly, straightening the papers before setting them on his table.

“I don’t make promises I don’t keep. Can I have a word with you in my office?” Jongin asked, unconsciously running a hand through his hair. Kyungsoo didn’t look very busy, but then Jongin didn’t know how normal people usually looked like if they were busy. Sehun’s version of busy was surly and rude (only to Jongin though), while Suho was clipped and professional. Neither of them were normal by any standards, in Jongin’s opinion.

Kyungsoo wiped his hands nervously on his slacks, looking at the picture of Jongin on his desk like he wanted to burn it with hellfire. “Um, sure I guess.”

“Good. And by the way, do you have your camera with you?” Jongin asked, remembering what Sehun had said. Kyungsoo froze for a moment, and then nodded slowly like he was reluctant to give away that particular piece of information.

“Bring it,” Jongin said, making his way out of Kyungsoo’s space to let him take his bag out from under his desk. Jongin waited while Kyungsoo dug around a bit, dark head of hair bobbing about above the desk as he moved.

Wonder what it feels like to touch his hair, Jongin thought, running a finger over his chin thoughtfully.

Would it be soft or slightly rough? It looked silken under the lights, jet black and falling in soft waves, a stark contrast against Kyungsoo’s almost white skin.

Jongin snapped out of it when Kyungsoo stood up once more and cradled his camera like a precious toy in his hands. Jongin turned and began to walk towards the exit, frowning to himself as he led the way.

What the fuck was that? he asked himself. His thoughts had taken a strange direction a few seconds ago. Weird. The people who were in Kyungsoo’s office stared openly at them, wondering if Kyungsoo was in trouble with Jongin.  

Suho and Baekhyun were standing by the elevator, obviously waiting for Kyungsoo’s appearance. They cleared their throats and pretended to talk about work when they saw Jongin and Kyungsoo emerge from the other side of the building, Baekhyun opening up a file and gesturing towards it like he was presenting it to Suho. Jongin could see right through the act and sent them a condescending look, hoping they would feel judgment from his gaze, if not see it.

“Afternoon,” Sehun said politely to Kyungsoo, although he didn’t look up from his desk. Jongin almost wanted to bop Sehun over the head with his hand, but then Sehun might karate chop him instead so Jongin settled for a loud sigh, gesturing at Kyungsoo to enter the office first.

“Will you stop acting like he’s a criminal?” Jongin said in a low voice when the automatic door slid shut.

“I won’t until he’s proven otherwise,” Sehun said, standing up and picking up a small voice recorder on his desk. He pressed a button on it, a red light flashed, and then placed it into Jongin’s shirt pocket. “I’m not going in there because it’s going to seem weird so. Have at him,” Sehun said. He gave Jongin an encouraging look, and sat down again.

Why are all of my friends acting weird? Jongin thought to himself. And his coffee better be on his desk, he was craving caffeine at this point. 

Upon entering his office, Jongin saw that Kyungsoo was seated in front of his desk, looking at the view of Seoul with his mouth slightly agape in awe. Jongin saw steam rising from a mug of hot coffee from where he stood and sent a silent thank you up to the heavens. This was going to be the weirdest conversation he’d ever have.

“Like the view?” he said, deciding to start off with something casual.

Kyungsoo jerked like he’d been pulled rudely out of his dreamy thoughts and blinked, looking up at Jongin as he made his way behind his desk and pulled up his seat. “Um, it—it’s worth photographing, I suppose,” Kyungsoo replied. He looked and sounded afraid, perhaps because it was Jongin’s space now, completely and utterly foreign to him. Only a handful of people were allowed access into this room, after all.

He must think this is like paying a visit to the principal’s office, Jongin thought, amused. He sat down, picking up his mug of coffee and tasting it. He almost spat it back into the mug; it was far too bitter and vile. Clearly, Kyungsoo did better at making Jongin his coffee than his PA did. The nerve to serve him full fat milk…

“And you find me worth photographing as well, yes?” Jongin asked, leaning back into his seat. He gestured to the second cup of coffee with a flick of the wrist. “That’s for you.”

“I don’t take coffee,” Kyungsoo muttered, face going red at Jongin’s question. Jongin lifted an eyebrow, keeping a straight face. Well, this was novel. His stalker didn’t take coffee. Jongin pushed his mug away subtly then laced his fingers together, placing it over his diaphragm.

“I’m still waiting for an answer,” Jongin said. He didn’t know why he was teasing Kyungsoo like this, maybe it was the way Kyungsoo got all flustered yet held himself back like it somehow… wrong to feel flustered. But Jongin didn’t take back his question, and Kyungsoo’s face didn’t look any less embarrassed than when Jongin recognized him in the Hilton.

Finally, Kyungsoo gave him an answer. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

Neither did Jongin. “A yes or no would suffice?” Jongin said, cocking his head to one side. “And well, if you can’t answer that, then there are plenty of other questions I’d like answered. I’ll start slow, alright? When did you start… taking photos of me?” Jongin finished. He was skirting the point, but Kyungsoo understood well enough.

Kyungsoo exhaled visibly like he’d been weighed down with a ton of bricks, looking down at the camera in his hands.

“Three years ago.”

Jongin nodded, counting back the years. He was surprised Kyungsoo gave him a straight answer. He’d half expected him to break down and cry. “And can I ask you for your age?” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo blinked, not expecting that question. “28 this year. Why?”

Jongin was noncommittal, waving both his hands vaguely. “Out of curiosity. You do realize you’re older than me by a year?” Jongin said. Kyungsoo looked away like he was guilty of a crime, the tips of his ear burning red. He looked younger than his age. If he’d never said anything, Jongin would’ve assumed he was 21 or 23 at the most. It was the way he put himself out there, Jongin thought. Only a young, naïve, inexperienced adolescent would think of snapping photos of Jongin in broad daylight.

“You know what, that was rude. I take it back. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how old I am. But what does matter to this company and my PA because he’s an anxious freak, is what you do to those photos you have of me on your camera.”

Kyungsoo looked down at the camera in his hands again like he was seeing it for the first time. “I don’t… do anything though? I don’t spread them online or anything like that if that’s what you mean,” he replied, looking up at Jongin. He looked sincere enough.

Jongin took his word for it. “Good. It’d be a big problem for both you and I if you did. Now, this question might be personal, but I feel like I have every right to an answer, considering that you have what? Hundreds of pictures of me? I could have you arrested for invading my privacy,” Jongin said softly, calmly, the threat in his voice clear as a bell.

“But I don’t want to do that. It sounds like too much work, honestly, and I think you’ve got better things to do than wait in jail for mom or dad to bail you out,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo’s shoulders had tensed, but he relaxed slightly when Jongin said that.

“Right then. Are you gay?” Jongin asked flat out. “Anyone special in your life, maybe?” Jongin asked, trying to soften the blow. There was every chance that he wasn’t gay after all, although Jongin highly doubted it.

Kyungsoo looked like he was on the verge of tears, hands squeezing around the camera in his hands. Jongin knew that question hit a nerve, but he had to say it. Kyungsoo was probably expecting it as well; what kind of normal person wouldn’t ask this question?

His lips trembled as he spoke. “What does it matter to you whether or not I’m gay?”

Taking a stand, Jongin noted. He might have had to take this sort of crap in high school perhaps, but still, this was Accuretta Systems, Jongin’s office and Jongin’s question. There would be no way around the question.

“I don’t think I have to answer that question, Kyungsoo,” Jongin said, voice hard.

Kyungsoo looked up at him then, eyes red rimmed and filled with unshed tears. “Then I don’t have to answer your question either.” Jongin met his gaze, waited patiently.

“I don’t have to take this shit from you,” Kyungsoo said slowly. “If you want to take away my camera, every single photo I have of you, take it.” His voice was shaky, but he went on, “But I know I don’t have to answer your fucking questions if you’re going to be a jerk like this.”

Jongin was surprised, but rather proud, almost happy that Kyungsoo was holding firm. It wouldn’t be any fun if he’d be easy to run over.

“I thought you knew what kind of jerk I was if you’ve been following me for the past three years,” Jongin said, smiling just a little bit. If the photo of him at his desk was any indication, Kyungsoo probably had a crush on him, gay or straight.

Kyungsoo placed the camera on Jongin’s desk gently, tears falling as his lips, cheeks and ears flamed red. “I know. I just never thought I’d be on the receiving end,” he answered, wiping his tears away angrily.

“What do you want to do with me?” he asked, sniffling. Jongin thought about it. What was he going to do with Kyungsoo? He was a loose end; Jongin couldn’t leave him hanging, wasn’t going to leave things like this. He needed to do something, and he thought it would be clear once this conversation was over but Jongin was decidedly… undecided. He stared at Kyungsoo’s red face, the tracks of tears and his trembling hands, the unspoken fear in his wavering gaze. 

Jongin sat up and pushed the camera towards Kyungsoo.

He watched his own camera slide towards him until it was right in front of him. Jongin leaned back again, waiting to see what Kyungsoo would do.

Kyungsoo stared dumbly at his camera. “Why aren’t you taking this away?” he asked.

“I can’t decide what to do with you, Kyungsoo, I’m being honest here. Since it’d be unfair for me to deprive you of your… hobby while I take my time to decide, I think you should just keep the camera until I think of something appropriate to do with you.”

Kyungsoo looked up at him questioningly. Jongin could read the question in his eyes, he never had to say anything. Why?

 Jongin didn’t have an answer.

Kyungsoo bit his lip, picking up his camera again and holding onto it like it was the Holy Grail. “Can I ask you a question?” he said.

Jongin waved grandly at him. “I’m all ears.”

“Do you think this is a game?”

Jongin lifted an eyebrow at Kyungsoo. “Is it? I think your hobby is fascinating, Kyungsoo, and I really see no reason why I should stop you from continuing to indulge in this hobby.”

“I don’t call it a hobby,” Kyungsoo said, looking away like he was disappointed. In himself or in my answer?

“Oh? Pray tell, what do you call it then?”

Kyungsoo turned and walked away. The conversation was over now. Jongin bit his knuckle, watching Kyungsoo make his way to the sliding door. Oh, this is going to be fun. Jongin couldn’t remember the last time he felt so exhilarated, high from almost nothing except a sip of foul coffee.

Kyungsoo stopped suddenly, looking over his shoulder like he didn’t expect himself to stop. “I call it a bad habit.”

*

“Whoa,” Suho breathed, nursing his third dirty martini. Jongin and Suho were leaned over a bar, speaking in hushed voices as they sat in the farthest corner away from everyone else.

“Then what did you say?” Suho asked, sounding awed.

“Nothing, of course. I let him have the last word,” Jongin said, Suho’s figure blurring a bit as he struggled to focus his gaze on him. He’d been throwing back far too many shots, that was for sure. They had been here since six, and it was dark outside now. How many drinks they had drunk in that period of time, Jongin wasn’t very sure. He lost count after the seventh shot.

“You okay?” Suho asked, sounding worried for a second. Jongin blinked rapidly to clear his vision, then nodded. “I’m fine.” He didn’t want to admit it, but Kyungsoo had left an impression on Jongin, an impression deeper than he’d ever let on.

“Can’t believe Kyungsoo called you a bad habit,” Suho said, looking at his martini and then sipping at it, shaking his head. Jongin laughed throatily, waving at the bartender for another round.

“I know right? Callin’ me a bad habit? I fucking invented bad habits,” Jongin slurred, gesturing at himself. The top button of his shirt was undone, his hair was a mess and he couldn’t even keep both eyes open any longer. Suho wasn’t sure he could’ve invented anything in this stage beyond stupid mistakes.

“You’ve had too much to drink, Jongin,” Suho said, sounding like Jongin’s dad when he stayed up late to watch TV when he was younger.

“I’ll stop when I can’t walk a straight line,” Jongin promised, giving him the okay sign with his fingers. The bartender came over to refill Jongin’s glass, eyeing him worriedly when he laid his head down on the bar. Suho nodded at the bartender, silently promising him that he’d take Jongin home. Suho was slightly drunk, but not enough to have trouble getting them both home safely. He also wasn’t drunk enough to tell Jongin that he had heard all of this already from Sehun through the voice recorder, but Jongin seemed like he really needed a drink.

“The thing is, Suho,” Jongin said, sounding wistful, “I can’t tell if obsession is like, a sin. Didn’t God ever put down in stone somewhere like, ‘you ain’t allowed to get thirsty over nobody, especially if he’s a dude and… you’re also a dude’?” Jongin stared into the air blankly.

Suho thought about it. He couldn’t remember which Book it was from in the Bible, but Suho was fairly sure there was a commandment like that from his Sunday classes at church when he was ten years old. “Yeah, there is. Ninth commandment, I think,” Suho said. Jongin hummed in his throat, sitting up to slurp at his shot like it was a cup of hot milk.

“You’re such a church guy, Suho, a really, really good guy. You work for me when I’m supposed to be working for you, you clean up my shit and get all my work done all the time… Why didn’t Kyungsoo ever like, think to obsess over you rather than me?” Jongin said. It was something he’d always wondered in the back of his mind.

“Well, I can’t answer that since I’m not Kyungsoo.”

Jongin went on as if Suho hadn’t spoken a word, “I mean I’m nothing, man, like I haven’t done anything productive in my life except bang a couple girls when they’re still cherry. I’m like, I’m like—like that guy in the Bible, you know the guy in the Bible? The one betrays Jesus and kisses him or something like that—”

“Judas?” Suho supplied, frowning.

“Yeah, that’s the guy,” Jongin said, leaning forward once more and pointing a finger at Suho. “I’m like Judas and you’re like Jesus, and between us, who would you pick, Suho? Like, if we were both worth obsessing over, who would you pick?” Jongin asked drowsily.

Suho knew the answer Jongin wanted and pretended to mull over it half heartedly. “Um, me?”

“Yeah, see?! No one wants me, Suho, I’m just trash really, I haven’t done anything productive except—”

“Bang a couple girls?”

“No. Well, that and I bought some really nice clothes for summer. I’ll show you when I get home later.”

“That’s not necessary, Jongin,” Suho laughed easily, finishing his dirty martini in one shot. He knew there was something wrong when Jongin said he wanted to go out for a late drink and tell him about what happened when he talked to Kyungsoo, but he didn’t think it was really about Kyungsoo.

It seemed to be more about Jongin’s strange insecurities that emerged only when he was drunk and talking to someone one-on-one. Sehun and Chanyeol had been through this with Jongin before; he was always moaning about how he was the only one among his siblings who had yet to do something with his life and ooh, I’m 27 going on thirty and I still haven’t got the hang of dad’s company. All of them tried to comfort him, but it always went away when he was sober. It was one of those things he just never talked about to anyone, so they always just left it alone but this time with Kyungsoo thrown into the mix his insecurities seemed more real than ever.

“No, Suho, I wanna show you everything and tell me if it looks good on me. Then I’ll get Kyungsoo to photograph me in all of the clothes and I’ll be Chanyeol’s feature in his feature in Vogue next month,” Jongin said, sounding bitchy and whiny and insistent.

“Okay, okay, show me then. Shall we go home so you can show me your clothes?” Suho said, lifting Jongin up from his seat.

“You’re such a good friend, Suho. I feel—I think—I need—” Jongin blubbered incoherently, talking more to himself than to Suho.

Suho dropped two hundred dollars on the bar, not waiting for the change and heaved Jongin off the stool, draping his arm over his shoulder.

It was unlike Jongin to ever talk about someone else even when he was drunk, and Suho thought it’d be interesting to see where Jongin and Kyungsoo might end up.

Maybe it was the late night, or the alcohol in both of their veins or the way the city lights flashed past the car windows when they finally collapsed into the back seat of Jongin’s Rolls Royce, but Suho knew, just knew, that Kyungsoo wasn’t just anyone to Jongin. He had to be, even if Jongin didn’t know it otherwise Suho wouldn’t be there, thinking about it while Jongin was passed out drunk beside him on the car seat.

-

Somewhere between the bar and stumbling into his own apartment, Jongin lost consciousness. The next thing he knew, he was heaving the contents of his stomach into his toilet bowl, retching and gagging while he struggled to keep his eyes open. There was someone else with him too, tripping and cursing over things in his room outside the bathroom. Jongin was sort of glad he wasn’t the only one feeling a bit too drunk.                                                                                                                                                                              

“Jongin, are you okay?” Suho called.

“Yeah,” Jongin croaked hoarsely, leaning on his left arm as his legs stretched out towards his right. He felt like a helpless mermaid on land; he couldn’t seem to get his legs working and Suho wasn’t coming in to help him either…

He flushed his puke down the drain and then began to pull himself out of the bathroom like a physically disabled person, dragging his entire body out in search of his bed. Or another drink maybe, just to get the taste of bile out of his mouth.

“Whoa, Jongin, don’t drag yourself on the ground like that,” Suho’s feet suddenly stepped before Jongin.

“Oh, now you wanna help?” Jongin snapped, reaching up both hands. Suho lifted him up and clutched his underarms with both hands, groaning as he shuffled towards Jongin’s bed.

As Suho flung him on the bed, Jongin’s head hit something hard as his body dropped like a rock onto the mattress. “Ow, did you hit something?” Suho winced, having heard an audible thwack when Jongin went down. Jongin’s hissed loudly and touched the right side of his forehead tenderly. There wasn’t any blood, but it felt like a fucking concussion if he ever knew one.

Suho searched the bed blindly since he didn’t know where the light switch was (and neither did Jongin because he was too out of it to remember) and felt for anything hard. His fingers closed around what felt like a remote control, and he placed it on Jongin’s dresser carefully.

“What d’you think Kyungsoo is doing now?” Jongin said quietly, putting a finger to his lips.

“Sleeping?” Suho guessed. He pulled the covers from under Jongin and set it over him, covering him up to the shoulders.

“Just go to sleep, Jongin, and you’ll forget all about Kyungsoo soon enough.”

“He’s like, a mystery, Suho, I can’t just put him out of my mind,” Jongin muttered, hugging a pillow to himself. He was already feeling cozy in his own warm bed and drifting off to sleep as Suho spoke.

“You’re in no position to be solving mysteries now anyway, Jongin. Good night and I’ll see you in the morning.” He patted Jongin on the head. Jongin whispered ‘good night’ to him, and then he was gone, darkness his only companion.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jongin woke up feeling like shit at eleven in the morning at his own apartment.

He felt drowsy, nauseous and cranky all at once, which didn’t go very well together. The sun was too bright through the glass walls and thin translucent curtains, pain slicing through his head when he tried to open his eyes.

Jongin turned in his bed and fell to the ground in a pile with his blankets around him. Luckily for him, his bed frame wasn’t very far off from the ground so he fell with a muted thump, nothing more.

“I. Need. Help,” he said to himself, throwing the blankets over his head and then crawling into the general direction of the bathroom.

What happened last night? Jongin asked himself.

He remembered talking to Suho about the conversation he’d had with Kyungsoo, but the rest was a blur. He hoped he didn’t say anything to offend Suho; if he did, it would explain the bruise on his temple that throbbed in time with his heartbeat…

A door opened somewhere. Probably the cleaning lady coming in to clean up whatever mess he’d made during the night. Jongin continued to crawl blindly on all fours as footsteps rang out in the room. Then suddenly the blanket over him was thrown away, and Jongin curled up into a ball and hissed like a vampire in the sun.

“I can’t see! I’m blind, I tell you, blind!” Jongin screamed theatrically, keeping his eyes closed. What kind of demonic cleaning lady would do this to him? Someone—the demon who exposed him to the sun— sighed at him, keys jangling loudly.

“I don’t care if you’re blind, deaf or mute, Jongin. Get your shit together because you have a meeting with Yifan in two hours,” Sehun said, nudging Jongin in the ribs with a shoe. “I could’ve been sleeping during those two hours,” Jongin whined, cracking open an eye. Of course it was Sehun. The only person who actually abused his key to Jongin’s apartment.

In the corner of Jongin’s eye, he saw that the cleaning lady was in the room with them; she was lowering the blinds over the glass walls of Jongin’s room with a remote control as Sehun stared down at him with an irritated look.

“Good morning, sire. Hope you had a fun time last night,” she said dutifully.

“Morning,” Jongin grumbled back, covering his eyes with both hands.

“I don’t wanna go,” Jongin said petulantly, lying limp on the ground once the room was shrouded in darkness.

“You don’t have a choice in this,” Sehun said flatly. He shoved his keys into his pocket and reached down to pull Jongin up despite his throbbing head, weak stomach and numb legs. Jongin leaned on Sehun heavily as he grunted to carry Jongin’s full weight and began to struggle towards Jongin’s bathroom.

“This is what you get, you know, for barging into my apartment when I have a hangover,” Jongin said balefully, pouting at Sehun.

“Suho told me to get you because this is important. Look, you don’t have to be very sober for this meeting, alright, just be there, I don’t care if you wear your sunglasses the whole time as long as you pretend to listen to what the lawyers have to say and just. Be there,” Sehun bit out, kicking the door open and flinging Jongin into the bathroom to wake him up.

If Jongin hadn’t regained his footing in time, he would’ve cracked his skull open on the edge of the bathtub. But he was rather sure footed despite the weak feeling invading his body, and tripped to his feet, earning an amused smirk from Sehun. Ooh, his PA was evil personified.

Sehun closed the door to give Jongin privacy, but warned him to hurry up or “You’ll never look in the mirror and like what you see ever again.” Sehun was such a ray of sunshine in the bleak, cold reality of Jongin’s world. Really.

Jongin began to remove his clothes, stopping to gag and puke into the toilet bowl when his stomach tightened in his abdomen. He distractedly noted that all of his clothes were still on him, down to his shoes. That meant he never lost anything in the night, but a hassle now that he had to take off everything while his head throbbed like a vibrating gong.

Jongin got in the shower first after his clothes were off, his head too fuzzy to remember how to brush his teeth yet. Warm water cascaded over him as he tried to go over last night’s events; Suho was there, and he was talking about Kyungsoo, Jesus must’ve come up at one point… Did Suho take him home in the end? He must have; Jongin could suddenly vaguely remember sleeping on the leather seat of his Rolls Royce. He’d have to thank Suho later for helping him into his apartment, bruised or otherwise.

Hmm. Kyungsoo, Jongin thought.

Like a plague, he lingered in his mind again once he thought of him. Jongin had spent the entire day yesterday trying to figure out what to do with him and what he really felt about Kyungsoo’s obsession over him.

Was he disgusted, really? Initially, perhaps. But now… Jongin was far too curious about how far he could take this to be revolted by Kyungsoo’s behavior. Maybe stopping by the office would do him good. He could see Kyungsoo again, if he was still there, and maybe try to think about what the consequences of Kyungsoo’s ‘bad habit’ should be.

The warmth in Jongin’s loins though, told him that he wasn’t entirely repulsed by the idea of Kyungsoo always watching him. It was strangely erotic enough to turn Jongin on, the thought of Kyungsoo snapping pictures of him secretly for three years, keeping his obsession a secret. Was it thrilling for him, to have pictures of Jongin in his camera? What did he think of when he looked at those pictures at home, alone?

Maybe it was the last bits of alcohol in his veins making him feel brave about being horny after waking up only five minutes ago, but Jongin tried to ignore his growing, heavy erection while soaping himself up. He couldn’t help his thoughts returning back to Kyungsoo’s eyes, his tears and red face as anger directed at Jongin built up in him…

“Mm,” Jongin bit down on his lower lip as his finger circled the tip of his cock and squeezed, imagining Kyungsoo breathing heavily as he thought of Jongin.

Imagined Kyungsoo sweating as he masturbated perhaps, to the pictures of Jongin in his camera, or on his laptop. It helped to think that maybe Jongin was the object of Kyungsoo’s sexual desires. Pleasure curled low in his body, made him close his eyes as he fisted a hand against the walls of the shower.

It felt so filthy, so dirty and foreign to think of Kyungsoo this way in his shower, alone with water dripping from his hair and body, but it’d been a long time since he thought of anyone while touching himself.

Jongin tried to finish up quickly, pumping his cock multiple times to speed things up. He couldn’t stay in the shower very long, or Sehun would wonder why he was taking so much time to just clean up.

What would Kyungsoo’s skin feel like if I touched him? Jongin thought, letting his imagination do all the work. It’d be soft like warm silk, maybe, and Kyungsoo would tremble in his arms as Jongin ran a finger down his spine. His lips looked like they’d be soft, yielding to Jongin’s demands. Just the thought of the taste of his lips had Jongin’s erection twitching and dripping in his hand.

 Jongin, he’d sigh softly, breathy and light. His skin would get rosy as Jongin kissed him hard over the lips and pinch his pink nipples in both hands, making him moan and keen beneath Jongin.

It was all Jongin needed to come all over his hands and the wall in front of him. He pumped his cock a few more times for extra measure, just in case he got horny again in the office. God, it felt good to think about Kyungsoo, dirty and wrong though it may be.

When he washed all evidence of his abrupt desire down the drain, Jongin hurriedly brushed his teeth and washed his face at the same time. With a towel around his waist, he came out of the bathroom to find Sehun lounging by the table and chairs in the corner of Jongin’s room, reading a book from the bookshelf.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Sehun said as Jongin moved towards his closet. He froze for a moment. What did Sehun mean? Did he hear Jongin in the shower? Good God, was he really Jesus in disguise as Satan in a suit?

“You didn’t take long at all. Can you come out to the kitchen in ten minutes?” Sehun said without looking up from the book he was reading. Oh. “S-sure,” Jongin muttered, opening his closet and trying to decide what to wear. Of course, Sehun didn’t hear me in the shower, he thought. Even if he did, he wouldn’t have known what Jongin was thinking of. But it made him blush to think of what Sehun would think if he knew he was touching himself in the shower thanks to Kyungsoo.

“Put on something casual formal. We might go out for lunch with Yifan again,” Sehun said. Jongin nodded, not trusting his voice. Now that he was out of the shower, it felt a little weird to think he was horny for Kyungsoo a minute ago.

“What is this meeting about?” Jongin asked Sehun, putting his clothes on without looking at them carefully.

“You didn’t think opening up a factory in a foreign country would be easy, did you?” Sehun said. Jongin could hear the smile in his voice.

“No, I didn’t,” Jongin answered dutifully.

“Yeah, well, there’s still more contracts to sign, details to compromise on with Yifan and his people… It’s a mess, frankly,” Sehun sighed.

“Did you pull up all the details and things I need to know?” Jongin asked, putting on a pair of dark green slacks he’d never seen before. Probably a gift from Chanyeol when he was in one of his bored-so-I’m-shopping-for-my-friends moods.

“Of course. I came to let you read up on everything before we leave. I got some sushi for you,” Sehun said, standing up when Jongin re-entered the bathroom to dry his hair.

He just put on a white, short sleeve collared shirt on and threw a light, cream sweater around his shoulders, hoping it would pass for formal. The weather wasn’t too cool today for short sleeves, and his stylist wasn’t around today.

Once Jongin’s hair was nice and dry, he devoured a sushi platter for breakfast while sipping at coffee, a weird combination but tasty all the same. Sehun read out some of the papers for him while they ate together. The cleaning lady did her work quietly around them, doing Jongin’s laundry and then cleaning his spacious two bedroom apartment by wiping everything down.

Jongin was hopeless in the kitchen, and so it was almost spotless on most days since the only things he ever used were the coffee machine and his drawers of cutlery.  Sehun watched her work at intervals, eyeing her curiously every so often.

“She’s here almost every time I’m here. Don’t you ever clean your own apartment?” Sehun asked after a while.

“No. Do you?” Jongin asked. Domesticated Sehun was something Jongin would pay good money to see.

“Sometimes I vacuum, yeah. It’s exercise for me,” Sehun shrugged. Jongin gave Sehun a dry look. If there was anyone who needed exercise, it wasn’t Sehun. He was tall but so skinny Jongin sometimes wondered if he was perhaps bulimic.

“Well, I would vacuum too, except that I have a gym membership. Ever thought of that?” Jongin asked sarcastically.

“Paying money just to exercise when you can work out and have the satisfaction of owning a clean house. Rich people,” Sehun grumbled.

*

At Accuretta Systems, Jongin made Sehun ride in a separate elevator. He didn’t want to feel like a sardine again and didn’t want Sehun to have the habit of forcing himself onto Jongin and his elevator. Those precious thirty seconds of riding up to the twentieth floor was Jongin’s and no one else’s.

He was rushed into the meeting room almost right away, having only ten minutes before the rest of the board members came in. Yifan was already there, naturally. Jongin wouldn’t be surprised if Yifan had camped out here just to see Jongin arrive after him. An infuriating small smile played on his lips as they shook hands.

“You had a good time in London, I presume,” Yifan said to Jongin. His stony faced assistant looked like he wanted to strangle Jongin’s neck.

“You presume correctly. Did you have a good time as well? Of course, we have to do that again sometime,” Jongin said. It was an empty invitation, and he hoped Yifan knew that. He wouldn’t go to Bungalow 8 with Yifan again, not for all the beer in the world.

“Oh yes, I did. London is very entertaining,” Yifan smiled wryly. Jongin couldn’t see how London was ‘entertaining’ for him when all Jongin could remember Yifan doing at the club was purse his lips as everyone else partied around him while he held a glass of red wine.

They didn’t say much after that; Jongin kept bugging Sehun by pretending to ask him serious questions when all he was whispering in his ear was, “When are the rest of the fucking board members coming?”

“Just be patient,” Sehun hissed back. Then he would return to his work by furiously tapping on his tablet and it would happen again a minute later.

“We might not have to go to lunch after all,” Sehun whispered in Jongin’s ear when Jongin was considering committing suicide by taking a shortcut down to the ground floor. “Tao just told me Yifan has to take a flight back home after this meeting. If he doesn’t say anything, we don’t have to go.”

“Oh, thank God,” Jongin replied, rubbing a hand over his mouth to cover his ecstatic smile. That was the best news he’d heard so far. It took half an hour for Suho and the rest of the board members to come in the meeting room and start to settle in nicely.

Suho looked good for someone who’d been drinking quite heavily the night before. He came over to see if Jongin was okay, and he obviously wasn’t. Sehun had gotten him his second cup of coffee of the day, but he was still feeling the effects of last night.

“Sorry about throwing you too hard on the bed last night,” Suho said sheepishly, taking a seat beside him.

“Oh, so it was your fault I have a bruise the size of an egg here now?” Jongin asked, pointing at his right temple. It was still tender and sore, he didn’t want to touch it. Luckily, his hair covered it up so if no one looked too closely they wouldn’t notice the bruise at all.

“Well, you were drinking a lot last night. Maybe if I wasn’t forced to help you into your apartment…” Jongin muttered incoherently under his breath. Suho smiled back at him.

“Anyway, you’re here now. I thought you wouldn’t come in for the meeting.”

“Sehun told me you wanted him to get me, don’t pretend to be surprised,” Jongin mumbled. “It’s actually a real surprise that you got out of bed for a meeting, Jongin. I’m proud of you,” Suho said reassuringly, clapping a hand on Jongin’s shoulder.

All Jongin wanted to do was walk out of the meeting room and call Kyungsoo into his office already. Instead, he had to sit through a lengthy talk about a draft and discussing the terms and conditions with Jongdae to make sure what they wanted were perfectly legal and clear. Jongdae and another lawyer from China, Yixing, were typing on their laptops and making notes on the draft in pen as the board members discussed everything over them.  They argued lightly about money here and there, but finally settled on dividing the profits between Accuretta Systems and Yifan’s company, Wu Enterprise and Holdings equally.

In the end, Jongin never had to sign a single thing. All he did was give a bit of input once in a while and drum his fingers on the table impatiently, waiting for the meeting to be over.

“Somewhere you need to be, Jongin?” Yifan suddenly asked when Jongdae finally said, “I think we’re about done here.”

 Jongin stopped fiddling with his pen in his hand and looked up at him. “Not at all, Yifan,” Jongin smiled sweetly at him as the board members stared at them. There were a thousand places Jongin would rather be.

“I sense you were somewhat disconnected throughout the meeting. Rest assured, Jongin, this will all be executed just fine,” Yifan said, reassuring him on something Jongin wasn’t even thinking about. No, all he was thinking about what Kyungsoo would say if Jongin called him into his office again.

Jongin’s eyes were hard when he stood up and said, “Rest assured, Yifan, I wasn’t worried about our deal at all. I have great faith in you that you’ll watch over and make sure everything runs smoothly… Won’t you?”

Yifan sent him another one of his infuriating smiles, the one where Jongin couldn’t tell if it was sincere or a sly smile.

Sehun saw them staring each other down while the other board members started to filter out of the room and quickly came over to rescue Jongin.

“Jongin, I believe you have someone waiting for you in your office,” Sehun said discreetly.

“Oh, do I?” Jongin replied, feigning surprise. Yifan backed off at once; they’d stare each other down some other day at some other meeting again. Jongin said to Sehun, “I’ll be there right away,” and then turned back to Yifan.

“Good to see you here again,” he said, shaking his hand.

“Oh yes, indeed. You know, Guangzhou has many interesting places to offer. You should stop by one day to check out my office,” Yifan said, patting Jongin’s arm. That was probably code for ‘I’ve been flying myself and my staff to Korea too many times for my liking and it’s about time you flew your ass to China instead.’

It wasn’t something Jongin could ignore; he could read through the lines right away so he promised sincerely that he would drop by China soon. “Maybe the next meeting?” Jongin suggested.

“That would be preferable. Until then,” Yifan said conclusively, bowing and stepping away from Jongin. Tao came up to offer Yifan his briefcase while Jongin turned to sigh a silent breath of relief. Finally, this meeting was truly over. He joined Sehun who held the door open for him and gave another farewell nod in Yifan’s direction.

“Any minute and you were going to start a fight. Control yourself, Jongin,” Sehun muttered.

“Not my problem he’s so weird,” Jongin muttered back, adjusting the sweater around his shoulders. He was certain he looked and felt much more comfortable than Yifan in his oh-so-classic suit and Sehun’s modern looking long sleeved shirt made of a stiff, scratchy fabric.

“Thanks for saving me,” Jongin said.

“Don’t thank me, I was just the messenger,” Sehun replied coolly.

“Oh. I take it back then,” Jongin teased.

“I didn’t say I didn’t appreciate a word of thanks every so often for what I do and deal with every day,” Sehun replied dryly, handing Jongin his tablet.

“Look good for your guest,” he said, when they reached Jongin’s office. He frowned. “There’s a guest in my office?”

“Yeah. Did you think it was a lie?” Sehun said, genuinely smiling at Jongin. Of course he thought it was a lie. What kind of person would want to see Jongin and would be willing to wait in his office instead of lurk around the building to look for him?

Jongin couldn’t see through the frosted glass of the sliding door, so he had no idea who it was. “Who is it?” he asked, waving at his other assistant.

“See for yourself,” Sehun replied.

So Jongin did. He entered his office, half expecting his father and mother to be standing in the middle of the room. That would certainly explain the amused look in Sehun’s eye and the excitement of his second assistant (whose name he should get around to learning soon).

Instead of a member of his family, Jongin entered the office and found himself staring at the back of Kyungsoo’s head as he sat with a stiff back in front of Jongin’s desk.

“Kyungsoo?” Jongin said in disbelief. He turned around to look at him. “Um, yeah. Taewoon said I could come in to wait for you, so I…”

The name didn’t ring a bell. “Who’s that?” he asked honestly.

Kyungsoo gave him a dry look, almost rolling his eyes as he stood up. “Your assistant.”

Ah. So his name was Taewoon. Gotta remember that, then, Jongin thought. Taewoon with his eager-to-please personality and overly friendly treatment to guests who wanted to see Jongin; that sounded about right.

Jongin made his way around the table, dropping into his seat heavily. “I just left an incredibly boring meeting, so what you have to say to me better be good,” Jongin said. He did not mention that he was thinking of Kyungsoo the entire meeting and during his shower too. Kyungsoo sat down hesitantly, perhaps having second thoughts of his reason of coming here to see Jongin.

“I won’t take up much of your time, I just… I came here to say only one thing, and then I’ll be out of your hair,” Kyungsoo said, sounding like he was trying to convince Jongin.

He waited for Kyungsoo to go on. Jongin noticed that he was much calmer today than he was yesterday. Maybe he wants to resign, Jongin thought. That would make everything much easier, but it would also be disappointing to see Kyungsoo go down without so much as a fight.

“I-I know I was pretty out of line last night, Mr. Kim—”

“Jongin,” he interrupted.

Kyungsoo stopped and stammered over his words. “Right. Sorry, Mister—J-Jongin. Jongin,” Kyungsoo said slowly, as if testing out the word on his tongue like it was a new ice cream flavor he’d never tried before. Jongin nodded for him to go on. ‘Mr. Kim’ was what people used to refer to his father. Jongin wasn’t his father.

“Yesterday, I said some things that I wish I didn’t, and I feel like I should apologize,” Kyungsoo said.

“You mean you didn’t mean what you said yesterday?” Jongin asked, almost playfully.

“No. Well, yes, but—No, I didn’t mean it the way I said it yesterday, I just—” Kyungsoo stopped, clenching his hands into fists. He looked as nervous as a boy at his first job interview. Jongin wasn’t sure why he was smiling but… maybe he did like Kyungsoo looking all meek and sad.

 I think I’d like to see him cry again, Jongin thought. Not out of sadness, but of more passionate emotions like anger or maybe pleasure.

“So did you mean what you said?” Jongin asked, giving no indication to his inner thoughts.

“I don’t know,” Kyungsoo mumbled, shrugging his shoulders. “I’m sorry about yesterday, I suppose. That much I know. And as much as it looks like I’m here to fool around, I’m not, I really like my job,” Kyungsoo said, looking up. The anxiety mixed with apprehension in Kyungsoo’s eyes was apparent.

“Do you like your job because you’re actually working for me?” Jongin asked teasingly, smiling just a little. Kyungsoo looked away like he couldn’t take the sight of Jongin’s face when he smiled, ears turning red almost instantly. “That’s only one of the reasons why I like working here.”

“Oh, really?” Jongin said, standing up. It felt like an out-of-body experience in that moment, like it wasn’t really him who got out of his seat and watched Kyungsoo look up at him with fear in his eyes. There was fear but something else too… Anticipation, perhaps. Like he expected something to happen, although what, Jongin didn’t know. He could read Kyungsoo like a magazine, whether Kyungsoo knew it or not. 

Jongin stood beside Kyungsoo in his seat, lifting a hand to Kyungsoo’s fringe. Jongin brushed it away from his forehead, his eyes becoming more pronounced now that his hair was out of the way. Kyungsoo looked intriguing as he sat there, frozen as Jongin’s fingers brushed over his fair skin.

“Am I your favorite reason for working here?” Jongin whispered.

Kyungsoo blinked, looking confused. “Aren’t you… going to fire me?” he asked.

Jongin placed a hand on the back of Kyungsoo’s chair and bent down to his height, bringing his face centimeters away from Kyungsoo’s face.

“I told you I haven’t decided yet,” Jongin replied huskily. He wanted to kiss Kyungsoo, see if his lips were as soft and inviting as they looked, to see if he could make Kyungsoo flustered again. He was tense now, like a tightly coiled spring. When would he let go, blossom before Jongin like a pretty, delicate little flower?

He wasn’t gay, Jongin knew that, but Kyungsoo made everything different. Kyungsoo made Jongin rethink, snapped him out of a trance he didn’t know he was in. There was a new world out there he’d never thought to explore until Kyungsoo came around with his sneaky photo snapping skills.

“I’m going to kiss you, Kyungsoo,” Jongin said, bringing his other hand up to hold Kyungsoo’s jaw up. It was a warning; if Kyungsoo didn’t want this, he could walk away now. But Kyungsoo was breathing hard as Jongin neared his mouth, and he closed his eyes without moving, without resisting or leaning into Jongin’s touch.

Maybe he’s never done this before, Jongin thought. But whatever Kyungsoo’s reasons were for not moving, Jongin didn’t care. All he wanted was one kiss, just to see what it’d be like. 

He brushed his lips over Kyungsoo’s mouth, feeling the velvet softness of the skin of his lips with his own. Kyungsoo stayed very still as Jongin pressed his lips over Kyungsoo’s just a little harder. Jongin took it as permission to lick Kyungsoo’s lower lip gently, tasting green tea and a hint of mint. It felt electric, like a shot of adrenaline to Jongin’s heart to kiss Kyungsoo like this.

“Don’t forget to breathe,” Jongin whispered, moving a fraction of an inch away to see Kyungsoo’s reaction. He inhaled deeply like he had been underwater for the past minute, shuddering as he opened his eyes and looked up at Jongin, the innocence and naïve expectancy in his gaze endearing.

Jongin moved his hand down to Kyungsoo’s chest, feeling his heart beating an irregular, fast beat like an out of tune drum. There was a faint roaring in Jongin’s head; he couldn’t tell if it was an effect from the hangover or Kyungsoo’s kiss.

“And you still refuse to tell me if you like boys,” Jongin smiled, moving out of Kyungsoo’s space.

His cheeks burned a bright red as he seemed to deflate when Jongin stood up straight to look down at him, sinking into his seat like a limp doll.

“Does it even matter now, if I say yes?” Kyungsoo asked.

Jongin nodded. “It would matter a lot. Then I’d understand your reasons for your bad habit, Kyungsoo. Tell me, do you like practicing this bad habit of yours even if you know it’s bad?” Jongin asked, returning back to his seat.

“Maybe it makes me feel happy,” Kyungsoo answered softly. “Maybe I like it even though I know it’s wrong.” He looked like he was in a daze now.

“Mm,” Jongin hummed appreciatively. “You’ve just made my decision harder to make, Kyungsoo. Very hard.”

Kyungsoo blinked, looking up at Jongin. “I’m sorry then. You shouldn’t have done that if it was going to make things difficult.”

“Oh, difficult, but the answer is still clear, Kyungsoo. I have decided what I shall do to you, Kyungsoo, and I think you’ll find it to your liking,” Jongin smiled, trailing a finger over his lips.

“Am I out of a job?” Kyungsoo asked. He didn’t sound like he was sure he wanted the answer to that question.

“Not at all. Consider yourself an employed man, Kyungsoo. Congratulations,” Jongin said, leaning back into his chair to gauge Kyungsoo’s reaction. He scoffed lightly like he couldn’t quite believe it, like what Jongin just said was a bad joke.

Jongin couldn’t believe it either, that he’d just kissed another man a minute ago and found it exciting. This was new territory for him, but he knew that nothing had really changed. The world just felt new now, like someone had pressed the refresh button for Jongin. Maybe it was the same for Kyungsoo too.

“You’re not going to fire me?” Kyungsoo asked in disbelief.

“Careful what you ask, or I might change my mind,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo kept quiet at once, but was still surprised, if not shocked at what Jongin just said. I thought he’d want to keep his job but maybe not? Jongin thought to himself.

“B-But I tried to take your photo the other day and I… I took you to my room when I should’ve—”

“A stalker with a conscience. How original,” Jongin said, putting his legs up on the desk. Kyungsoo hesitated, face going red once more. His eyebrows furrowed together as he looked down in his lap in confusion.

“I don’t understand why you’re letting me stay. What I did was wrong and you have every right to reprimand me,” Kyungsoo said softly, pitifully in his lovely voice. His fingers twisted and fidgeted as he seemed to think about it.

Reprimand, Jongin chuckled. That was one of many things Jongin would like to do to Kyungsoo. He was interesting to Jongin, an unexpected surprise from Fate itself. Maybe the right thing to do was to fire him, but nothing about this was right. Everything was possible at this point.

“I know what you did was wrong. But I can’t help feeling like firing you isn’t the right thing to do, y’know? Not just yet,” Jongin enunciated with his hand.

Kyungsoo listened carefully and then pondered the meaning of Jongin’s words, looking up at him curiously.

“What are you going to do to me?” he asked, so quietly that Jongin almost didn’t catch his question.

“Nothing. Yet,” Jongin added, biting his lip and smirking at Kyungsoo. The truth was, he couldn’t yet decide if he wanted to have fun with Kyungsoo or torment him first.

“You’re toying with me,” Kyungsoo said. He didn’t sound accusatory, just very matter-of-fact. Then it would mean he didn’t hate that kiss, Jongin thought. If he could say that without going red in the face, then maybe there was a chance after all. A chance at fun.

“I am. And there’s something I’m curious about, Kyungsoo. If I gave you the chance to show me your collection, would you show all of it to me?”

Kyungsoo frowned at him. “But why would you want… to see?”

“Call it plain curiosity. I’d like to see how much of me you’ve captured in the past three years,” Jongin said. Surely he’d taken some pretty good photos in that period of time. And if he was going to say no then… Well, Kyungsoo was working for Jongin. It wouldn’t be that hard to dig into his past, present or future.

“Are you making fun of me, perhaps?” Kyungsoo asked, a hard edge in his voice. He was getting defensive again; Jongin was going to have to tread carefully. Kyungsoo wasn’t ready to be pushed too hard yet. But Jongin could wait. He had more than enough time to wonder who Do Kyungsoo really was under all that fair skin and defensiveness about his sexuality.

“Making fun of you? Not at all. Does it look like I’m making fun of you?” Jongin replied, keeping a straight face.

“You sound like you’re having fun,” Kyungsoo lowered his head.

“And can you honestly say that you’re not having fun?”

Kyungsoo stiffened as he’d just been accused of something. Jongin knew, from the way he reacted, that he was intrigued as well. How could he not be the least bit intrigued, if he was stalking Jongin for the last three years of both of their lives?

Jongin was about to open his mouth and say something again, when the sliding door to his office slid open and Suho ambled in, digging for something in his coat. “Jongin, what do you say to a traditional Korean restaurant for lunch? I got this coupon yesterday from my brother so maybe we could talk about what you said last night—”

Jongin leapt out of his seat and ran towards Suho, making an inarticulate sound in his throat. “Ah, yes, that’d be great Suho, absolutely fantastic. I’m a little busy now—” he pushed Suho backwards to the door once more, hoping he wouldn’t say too much.

“With what? Your thoughts on Kyungsoo? Give me a break, Jongin—” Suho was laughing when he looked up from his coat and suddenly spotted Kyungsoo staring at the both of them with his wide eyes.

“Well, well, you have a guest. Why didn’t you say something?” Suho said, looking at Jongin. “Why didn’t Sehun say anything?” Jongin corrected him, looking over his shoulder to see what Sehun was doing. Obviously, he was not doing his job. He was playing a racing game on his iPad, completely immersed in the game.

“Nice to meet you, Kyungsoo, we’ve heard lots of things about you,” Suho started to say. Jongin shut him up by giving him a final push out of his office and hitting a button on the wall to shut the door permanently until he pressed the button again.

“Did you get any good pictures of Jongin?” Suho’s voice said through the door. Jongin turned to face Kyungsoo, sighing and running his hand through his hair.

“You told him? Does everyone in the office know?” Kyungsoo asked, horrified.

“No, just these people. Look, they’re not going to say anything to anyone, alright? Don’t worry about that, they’ve—” Jongin waved a hand towards the door. “They’ve heard of worse things.”

“Did Jongin fire you yet? I’ve got some small positions open if you’re looking for a job,” Suho said through the door. Kyungsoo gaped at the door and then blinked a few times. “Well, um. No,” he said loudly.

“Oh.” His silhouette was still standing at the door. Jongin decided to ignore him and send Kyungsoo out for now; he couldn’t talk if one of his friends was listening in like some creepy weirdo.

“Kyungsoo, it’s been good talking to you but I think we’re going to have to continue this some other time,” Jongin said loudly for Suho’s benefit.

Kyungsoo got the message and stood up at once, straightening his long sleeves and adjusting his pants. “Yeah, um, I guess. I—I’ll just go now,” Kyungsoo stuttered, walking to the door.

Jongin stepped aside to press the button for Kyungsoo again, but not before he reached out to grab Kyungsoo’s wrist and kissed him again, just because he could. Kyungsoo was caught off guard and whimpered against Jongin’s lips, holding onto his arm to balance himself. The way his mouth dropped open slightly and the way Kyungsoo unconsciously squeezed Jongin’s arm tightly made him realize that Kyungsoo did want this, wanted him the way Jongin strangely wanted him back. 

He touched Kyungsoo’s tongue with his own, teasing him wetly and then kissing him just a little harder. A shiver ran down Kyungsoo’s spine and he shuddered against Jongin’s larger frame, his breath catching in his throat.

Jongin broke off the kiss first, dragging his thumb over Kyungsoo’s warm, pink cheekbone and chuckled under his breath.

“Careful. Don’t want to hurt yourself, do you?” Jongin said. He released his hold on Kyungsoo and reached for the button on the wall with one hand without taking his eyes off Kyungsoo. “I can’t believe we’re not the only ones who know about this,” Kyungsoo murmured softly. Jongin chuckled. Guilty as charged, his eyes said to Kyungsoo.

Suho looked at the both of them expectantly when the door slid away, leaving no obstacles between them.

“Coming?” Suho said to Jongin. Kyungsoo bowed at Suho and inched away from them slowly, maybe expecting one of them to completely brush him aside, but instead Suho and Jongin watched Kyungsoo walk away, head bowed as he walked away with an awkward gait. Jongin was amazed he could manage to look unaffected by Jongin’s kiss.

“What the fuck was that?” Jongin said to Suho the minute Kyungsoo was out of earshot.

“What was what? I didn’t know Kyungsoo was in your office,” Suho said, holding both hands up in surrender.

Jongin sighed, watching Kyungsoo disappear back into his side of the building. 

“So? How did it go? Did you really not fire him?” Suho asked. Jongin nodded. “I can’t really fire him when I haven’t seen the true extent of his obsession.”

“You mean you don’t want to,” Suho said, giving him an appraising look. Jongin pretended to ignore that and squinted at Taewoon threateningly. “You. You should’ve warned me Suho was coming,” he said.

Taewoon looked up at him sheepishly, twiddling his thumbs. “S-Sehun told me not to.”

“I don’t care, you’re not working for him, you’re working for me. If you make so much as another mistake again, highlight the wrong word for me in a document and you are done,” Jongin added some hand gestures for emphasis. “Do you hear that, Taewoon? You. Are. Done.”

“Hey, you know his name,” Suho smiled, patting his arm. Jongin curled his lip in mild annoyance at Suho. “Course I did. Knew his name from the moment he started working here.”

“Yeah, just like you knew I was going to work for you way back when you were in college,” Suho replied brightly. Jongin looked at him, trying to stifle a smile as he exited the office. It was hard not to laugh when Suho was being this dumb.

*

Sitting outside an urban, modern café under a large umbrella, Sehun, Jongin and Suho shared a bottle of wine in the afternoon spring breeze to talk about what happened in Jongin’s office approximately an hour ago. They couldn’t go to the traditional Korean restaurant because Suho’s coupon was only valid for two diners, so thanks to Sehun the third wheel, they had Western food for lunch instead.

“You need to tell us everything that happened, Jongin, from the start to the end without skipping over a single thing,” Suho said when their food came. He ordered steak and potatoes, while Sehun and Jongin had fish and chips.

Jongin looked down at his crispy, baked fish, hiding the guilt in his eyes from Suho’s scrutiny. It was a little embarrassing to think about what had happened in the office, and he was sure that Suho and Sehun would have a lot to say if he ever told them about it. He pretended to nod and cut himself a slice of fish first, dipping it into some mayo.

“I was surprised obviously, to see him there in the office,” Jongin started, building an alternate story as he spoke without wandering too far from the truth. He couldn’t lie too much or they’d see through him right away.

“Yeah, Sehun told me he sent Kyungsoo in without telling you it was him,” Suho grinned, feeding himself some mashed potato.

“Because only my PA would do that, yeah. Anyway, I er, asked him what he wanted, and he apologized for what he said last night, which you both obviously know of.”

“I sent the voice recording to Chanyeol. You know, for an employer who’s supposed to take up this company someday, you sounded like you were trying to hit on Kyungsoo more than put him in his place,” Sehun commented. Jongin wondered if Sehun could read minds; he certainly could tell there was something going on between Jongin and Kyungsoo.

Clearing his throat, Jongin quickly denied it. “I wasn’t trying to hit on him. I honestly didn’t know what to do with him at the time, and even if he did apologize for his behavior yesterday, I didn’t hear him apologizing about stalking me for three years,” Jongin said, adding just enough defensiveness and appall in his voice.

“He owes you that much at least, yeah, totally,” Suho agreed. Jongin could tell that Suho meant it, although the last thing Jongin wanted from Kyungsoo was an apology.

“Right? So… he apologized and I said okay, but that I still hadn’t yet figured out what to do with him,” Jongin said, keeping the fact to himself that he was undeniably coming onto Kyungsoo really hard by taking advantage of his obvious attraction to him.

“Oh. Is that it?” Suho said.

Jongin frowned and nodded. “Yeah… Why?” Jongin asked, shoving some fries into his mouth, literally eating his guilt away. It felt better to have something in his mouth to shut him up in case he wanted to blurt something out.

“He was in there for an awfully long time. You guys really didn’t say anything else after that?” Sehun said, glancing at Jongin. He couldn’t listen in to Jongin’s conversations if they kept their voice low in the office (Thank God for that), so he couldn’t have known what happened. But still, they were expecting him to continue.

“He um, begged me to keep him then. Told me he loved his job and wasn’t ready to leave over this small issue,” Jongin quickly said, saying the first thing that came to mind.

Sehun and Suho snorted at the same time, mouths busy chewing on their food.

“Begged you?” Suho repeated.

“Small issue?” Sehun parroted.

“He didn’t get on his knees, alright, but the pleading was there.” It was sort of true. He did say that he loved his job and that he wasn’t going to let this get him in trouble.

“He’s got a lot of nerve to call this small issue. Huh, stop by his house and then we’ll see if it’s small,” Sehun scoffed, taking a sip of wine to take away the greasy taste of oil in his mouth.

“What, you think he has like giant posters of me in his room like some teenage fantasy?” Jongin laughed. Actually, if he did, it would just be that much more interesting for Jongin. Sehun gave him a weird look and shrugged.

“I don’t know what he might have in his home. He’s stalked you for three years, there’s bound to be evidence of his obsession over you.”

“I believe the correct terminology is ‘bad habit’,” Jongin corrected him sarcastically. Sehun chortled on his food, nodding as he agreed with Jongin. “Bad habit, yes,” he smiled.

 “As if anything good can come out of loving you,” Sehun joked. Jongin picked up his glass and toasted to that.

“I’m a loser,” Jongin said. “Amen to that,” Suho had to agree. “You know, I think we should totally check out which area he lives in,” Suho said, gesturing for a waiter to refill his drink.

“What?” Jongin said flatly, putting down his glass. Seemed a bit early to be stalking Kyungsoo at this stage of their… situation. But Suho doesn’t know, Jongin thought. He couldn’t say that he wasn’t curious about where Kyungsoo lived either, but it felt like crossing an invisible line. He’d rather be invited into Kyungsoo’s place than to seek it out himself.

Suho sent him a questioning look. “Aren’t you curious to see where he lives?”

“Curious, yes. But not enough to want to see it just yet,” Jongin said. His cod fish was divine; he would have to take note of this café more often. Maybe he could come back here when it was warmer.

“I could check out where he lives from his files,” Suho said, lilting his words into almost a suggestion. Sehun shrugged. “I think it’d be good to see where he lives too. See what we’re up against.”

“He’s not a fucking criminal, there’s nothing we need to brace ourselves for. Can you both stop regarding him like some wild animal?” Jongin said, exasperated. All this tension made him feel like dessert, and he hadn’t been to the gym since London.

“He’s a loose cannon, Jongin,” Sehun said, shaking his head. “I can almost feel a storm coming whenever he’s around. He’s not going to go away easily.”

“That’s ‘cause I’m keeping him around,” Jongin replied like he was talking to a child. Sehun continued to shake his head and sliced his fish up into small pieces, putting two at once into his mouth. “I watch enough Mad Men to know that he’s not good for you,” Sehun said, pointing his fork at Jongin.

“Mark my words, he’ll hurt you. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but…” Sehun trailed off, shrugging. Jongin lifted an eyebrow at him wryly.

“You’ve been watching too much Mad Men to think he’ll ever do that,” Jongin laughed. Kyungsoo was far too mild mannered to ever do that.

*

 After lunch with Suho and Sehun, Jongin left the office for the day and went back home to his apartment with nothing else in his schedule.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have things to do at the office. There were a million things that probably demanded his attention, but any other board member would’ve sufficed and that was where Suho stepped in. Sehun wasn’t on the board, but he knew the ways around the corporate world to know which sort of things required Jongin’s full attention and which one didn’t.

And so because his two closest friends did their jobs so well, Jongin was left with plenty of time on his hands to read quietly at home. Maybe I’ll drop by the gym before dinner, he thought, and have dinner at Club Red. He smiled to himself at that. Jongin had never left Club Red without having a good time.

But first, he wanted to read the script of a Broadway play, Venus in Fur.

Contrary to his public image (depending on the way you look at it), he wasn’t just a well-to-do, multimillionaire playboy. He was a well-to-do, cultivated, multimillionaire playboy. College sometimes required a bit of reading and since he had picked up the habit of reading something every so often, he liked buying books or copies of scripts online and reading them whenever he had the time.

He came across Venus in Fur a long time ago, when the play was first written and performed in Broadway. Jongin had only heard a bit about it, something about two people on opposite sides and finding their passions ignited by one another. Or something cliché like that. It had been a long time since he skimmed through the pages. It was a two-person play, which meant very few characters and an easy to follow plot. He liked reading, but he didn’t like long winded stories.

After changing into some sweats and a tank in preparation for the gym later, he made himself some tea and went into his room, running a finger over the spines of books, both new and old, and found the script of Venus in Fur squeezed among other scripts, a thin stack of papers stapled together. 

Settling into his seat, he started to read through the first few pages. It was a seventy five paged script about a playwright who couldn’t find the right woman to play his female lead, only to have a woman barging into the theater when he was alone, and insisted that she audition for Vanda, the female lead, even though auditions were long over. He doesn’t expect much, only to find out that she says the lines perfectly and is almost the character herself.

Towards the twentieth page or so, Jongin realized that this play wasn’t really about the actress and the director. It was about the play in the play. The play, also called Venus in Fur, was about a man named Kushemski living in the eighteenth century who was beaten by his aunt as a young boy, and enjoyed it. The beating changed him, made him want to be subjugated by a woman, although he had to hide that desire from the world until he met Vanda, to whom he spoke of his desires to and signed a contract with her, promising to be her slave.

It was all very sexist, very Fifty Shades of Grey at first to Jongin, but halfway through reading the script he realized that there was more to the story than he initially might’ve thought. Vanda, who was actually in love with Kushemski all along, pretended to want a man whom she could dominate over when in fact, she wanted Kushemski to dominate her instead.

It wasn’t the part where she wanted to be dominated that Jongin was interested in, but rather, how it must’ve felt to have complete power, contract or not, over someone. Jongin wasn’t into BDSM, but he could see the appeal through this play.

To degrade and humiliate someone, to see them beg for mercy and yet know that they loved it and wanted more was almost as fascinating as Kyungsoo was. Jongin couldn’t imagine shouting obscenities at someone on purpose, but he supposed it would feel good.

Like when you’re in a fight and you get to say what you want because you’re in heat, in anger and passionate about whatever the fight is about, Jongin thought.  Furthermore, it was rather taboo to want to dominate over someone and vice versa, but maybe that was what this play was all about. Experimenting with the primal desires that came with being human; this probably was what people in the past enjoyed, back when being civil and having morals wasn’t common duty, when there were slaves and different kinds of rules for different kinds of people.

Jongin was in for a surprise, however, when he finished the script. Instead of the woman playing Vanda and the playwright playing Kushemski, they changed roles and Vanda was the one tying the man up, even though it was supposed to be a man tying a woman up in the real play. It was a rude awakening for the playwright, Thomas, because in a way, he was on the receiving end of humiliation when it was supposed to be a woman and thus felt every bit of humiliation men usually handed out to women in the 1800s. In a way, Vanda took revenge on the playwright for basically writing a play about the glorification of oppressing women in the eighteenth century.

Jongin understood that the woman, Vanda, wanted the tables turned on Thomas for once. But that wasn’t what left him feeling like a new man when he was done with the script. It was the knowledge of how one could crave pain or like causing pain to others and yet still love each other, if that could be called love.

But love is subjective, Jongin thought. It was different for everyone.

-

Jongin went to the gym with his mind preoccupied.

He ran on the treadmill for forty five minutes straight and all he could think about was the play and the effect it left on him. It was refreshing to read about primal desires and not read primal desires itself. He thought that maybe he could like it too, being the hammer in a relationship, and his partner the anvil. In the play, they had said somewhere that in every relationship only one could rule. If that were truly the case, Jongin was definitely the kind who would have the upper hand. He couldn’t picture wanting to be put down in his place by another and liking it; it just wasn’t in his nature.

Then he sighed and smiled to himself as he ran on the treadmill, sweating buckets. He wondered if Kyungsoo had ever read this play, and which character he could relate to. Did he, in other words, want to dole out bruises for fun or receive pain yet feel pleasure from it? Jongin thought Kyungsoo rather looked like he could do both and still enjoy it all the same.

Do I like seeing him flustered because I want to beat with him a stick then? Jongin asked himself. Now that was a thought.

It wasn’t about beating Kyungsoo that made him run that much harder as adrenaline coursed through him. It was seeing him flustered, sweaty, tired but maybe craving for more. Probably wanted more. Jongin never thought he had it in him until Kyungsoo came around, wrapping himself around Jongin’s head like a vice.

He couldn’t say he hated it though. In fact, he sort of liked it. He liked that Kyungsoo wanted him, plain and simple. Did he like Kyungsoo back? That was debatable. But it would be weird, Jongin thought, I’m a guy and he’s a guy…

His thoughts kept swirling in a circle until he didn’t want to think anymore about Venus or Kyungsoo or pain. I’m a guy, Jongin thought, getting off the treadmill to do some sit ups, and Kyungsoo’s a guy.

He’s gay, I’m not gay.

He wiped his sweat with a towel around his neck, draping it over one shoulder. Jongin found a vacant sit up bench and sat on it, looking at his reflection in the mirror. His hair was floppy and damp with sweat, his black tank was soaked in some places and his reflection was breathing hard, breath coming and going in ragged drags. Jongin could look in the mirror and find himself sort of good looking, but what was Kyungsoo’s real reason for his obsession over him, he’d probably never know. He wasn’t drop dead handsome, he didn’t have the kind of chiseled, classic Asian look that designers would want in a male model but he did have confidence in himself. There were plenty of girls in his lifetime for him to know that hey, I’m not that bad at picking up girls.

 A bright light momentarily flashed behind Jongin, and he saw the reflection of the flash in the mirror, somewhere towards his left. He squinted, the light blinding him for a second and he had to look away to blink rapidly as spots appeared in his vision.

It was bright and brief enough to be a flash from a camera, and he turned to see who or what it was, but there was no one. About five other people were in the gym, but they weren’t lurking towards his left side. All there was in the left corner was a doorway and some lockers.

It couldn’t be Kyungsoo, could it?

He couldn’t help but think so, but this wasn’t another average gym, it was a members-only gym with membership prices only celebrities or people like Jongin could afford. Last time Jongin checked, Kyungsoo couldn’t even afford Calvin Klein underwear. Probably the flash of someone’s watch when they walked past, Jongin thought dismissively.

It happened, didn’t it? Besides, he was probably thinking too much about Kyungsoo today, too much for his liking.

*

Jongin went to Club Red despite feeling like he wasn’t in the mood for dancing around with the girls there.

He had gone after working out and taking a shower at the gym, fully expecting to get wasted with this one girl, Jiyoung, from Club Red who loved to pester him at work (Sehun couldn’t go one day without taking her call and having to tell her that Jongin wasn’t in, regardless of the fact he might’ve been) and wanted to distract himself with her conventional Korean beauty, all her perfumed rosy skin and perfect features but instead only found himself annoyed at her.

Jongin was annoyed that she wasn’t what he thought he wanted for the night, her perfume was far too strong, she didn’t have the right kind of voice for the mood he was in and she didn’t have the right kind of skin shade, which didn’t make any sense to Jongin. Kyungsoo wasn’t Jiyoung, and Jiyoung certainly wasn’t Kyungsoo in every way.

He had a feeling that he was selling himself short by spending time with her in the club, making her pour his drinks and kiss his lips whenever he pulled her close. She tasted like strawberries. Jongin tried not to gag at the taste of her mouth.

Of course, he spent more money than sense in the end, and left feeling empty although on his merry way to passing out in the back of his Rolls Royce. Jiyoung screamed goodbye as he left, trying to get him to promise to call her.

Jongin felt empty, yes, but that void was constantly refilled by annoyance and irrational anger. Fuck Venus and her motherfucking fur, he thought hazily. Fuck Kyungsoo and the way he makes me feel. He hoped he wouldn’t feel like this in the morning. When sunlight shone in through his windows, he wanted to forget he ever kissed Kyungsoo. 

 

Chapter Text

Jongin went to the office in the morning with sunglasses on as he stumbled into his elevator and punched the button to go up to the twentieth floor.

He was in a bad mood today, and for no good reason. Jongin had gone to bed after coming home from Club Red, only to dream about standing in an empty room as he watched Kyungsoo run his fingers over tall heathers from a window, walking slowly away from Jongin. He had shouted and begged through the window (typical of dreams, the window couldn’t be opened) for Kyungsoo to help him get out of the white room littered with sand everywhere at his feet, but Kyungsoo couldn’t hear anything from outside. It only served to make him feel frustrated the moment he opened his eyes.

Needless to say, Sehun was surprised to see Jongin coming in. His version of surprised was to look up at Jongin stumbling over his feet and say, “Good morning,” voice thick with sarcasm.

Jongin ignored Sehun and muttered at Taewoon to get him a cup of coffee in five minutes and walked agonizingly slow into his office, trying not to jolt his head with his footsteps. He considered lacing his coffee with brandy when it came, but then remembered it was because of alcohol that he was feeling like this in the first place. I don’t even know why I drink this much if I wake up like this all the time.

Taewoon’s five minutes weren’t even up yet and the phone rang loudly in its cradle. Jongin glared at it and begrudgingly picked it up, held it to his ear, and covered his face with one hand. 

“Someone better be dead.”

“Is that what you plan to call Accuretta Systems when you’re CEO? Doesn’t sound bad.” Suho. Typical of him to monitor Jongin like a stalker.

“Don’t make me laugh, I have a killer headache today,” Jongin groaned, pulling a crank under his seat to lie almost horizontally in his seat, settling into the plush leather and praying that his headache would go away after his coffee. He didn’t know why he didn’t have one at home; Taewoon was probably going to mess it up like yesterday again.

Oh shit, I thought about yesterday again, Jongin thought to himself. So much for trying to put Kyungsoo out of his mind. He pressed a finger to his temple as if to expel Kyungsoo out of his mind by squeezing his thoughts out. 

“You mean you’re hungover and forgot to drink your coffee at home. Well, fret no longer. I’m sending Baekhyun up with some hot bagels. Told this boy to get three bagels and he got six instead…”

“I don’t want to eat,” Jongin replied. The thought of stuffing his face with bagels was tantalizing, but moving his jaw was like picking up a ten ton rock.

“Shut up and take the bagels. Sehun and Taewoon can have it if you don’t want it,” Suho replied. He sounded too leisurely, Jongin wondered if he was really pulling as much weight as he thought he did. Or maybe work isn’t as hard as I think it is. 

“I went to Club Red last night,” Jongin said, closing his eyes. Suho tutted at him down the phone.

“Jiyoung is annoying the hell out of Sehun, y’know. You should stop going just so she realizes that you’re not interested in her.” Suho had been to Club Red before. He had vowed to never set foot into the place again when a hostess left thirty six missed calls on his phone the next morning. And that was after he promised he’d come back the next night.

 Jongin thought that maybe he should take that sort of vow too. Jiyoung was really a pain in the ass last night, complaining and whining about how Jongin didn’t stop by often enough. He knew he was leading her on by giving her big tips every time he dropped by, but he couldn’t think of a nice way to say, “You’re a whore and there is not a sliver of hope that I’ll marry you and get you out of this trailer park life. Ever.”

“I will. Maybe. I read Venus in Fur last night,” Jongin said to Suho, just because he didn’t know why Suho was still on the line.

“Oh? Was it good? I thought the part where Vanda makes him sign the contract was a little—”

“Too many words, Suho. Come up if you feel like it,” Jongin said lazily when Taewoon knocked on the door. Jongin hung up without giving Suho a chance to protest and mumbled for him to come in.

“Rough night, sir?”

It wasn’t Taewoon. Jongin lifted his sunglasses to see Baekhyun in a sharp suit and holding a paper bag in one hand. “Your bagels,” he smiled, holding them up.

“Thank you, Baekhyun. Although I wish I knew where my coffee is,” Jongin groaned, sitting up as Baekhyun placed the bagels in front of him. The smell of freshly baked bread cleared Jongin’s head momentarily. It smelled of better days when he didn’t get drunk so very often. He tossed his sunglasses aside to receive the bagels, breathing in the warm, homey smell.

“I actually sent Taewoon back to the kitchen ‘cause I’m guessing that he doesn’t know your coffee order yet since he’s new. He’s making a new one for you, sir, so I’m sure it’ll be here very soon,” Baekhyun said. Jongin only caught the words new, coffee and soon. He nodded distractedly and opened up the paper bag, reaching into for a warm bagel.

“Been a pleasure to see you, sir. Have a nice day,” Baekhyun said, bowing slightly and turning to walk away. Jongin called goodbye after him while chewing on his poppy seed bagel, pulling the crank again to lean at about 45 degrees into his chair.

After about two minutes, Jongin’s good sense came back to him. “Why am I here?” Jongin asked himself out loud. It seemed very important in the morning to come in, but now that he was here…

Jongin moved his chair with his feet towards the door, pressing a button to slide the door open while holding his bagel in one hand. “WHY AM I HERE?” he repeated loudly, using his chair to roll out and sit at Sehun’s desk, staring at him.

“WHY AM I HERE?”

“In a universal sense?” Sehun replied him dryly without looking up.

“We could start there,” Jongin said, biting into his bagel. He had brought the entire bag and offered it to Sehun, who shook his head.

“I’m not religious so I don’t know how you want me to answer that,” Sehun said, lithe, artfully slim fingers reaching for a stamp and pressing it a few times into an ink pad. Jongin chewed quietly, watching Sehun work with a bland expression on Sehun’s face.

“You’re not religious? That’s like a vegetarian saying he doesn’t eat carrots,” Jongin said.

“Maybe I don’t like carrots,” Sehun shrugged, stamping the piece of paper in front of him and putting it aside. “Now, do you need something or can you let me get on with my work?”

“Until my coffee comes, you’re gonna explain to me why Taewoon doesn’t know how I take my coffee.”

Sehun sighed. “There was that one time I told him and he said…” Sehun was blathering on about the coffee situation when suddenly Jongin caught a bit of movement in the corner of his eye.

He looked beyond Sehun’s computer, still chewing on his bagel, and saw Baekhyun hugging someone. When they pulled away, Jongin realized it was Kyungsoo. He stopped chewing and stared, leaning over Sehun’s desk and to get a better look.

They chatted good-naturedly, it seemed, smiling at each other. It was the first time Jongin had ever seen Kyungsoo smile. He couldn’t really get a good look though, Kyungsoo wasn’t facing him so it was hard to see through all the glass.

“And—Oh, here’s your coffee. Go away now please, my mouth feels tired from talking so much,” Sehun’s voice said. Jongin looked back at him, blinking. A shadow was standing over Jongin, and judging from the smell of coffee, it was probably Taewoon looking at him expectantly. 

Sehun mistook Jongin’s momentary daze for uncertainty and said, “Baekhyun made Taewoon get another coffee for you, so don’t worry.” Jongin cleared his throat, then realized he had some bagel left in his mouth still and just nodded at Taewoon in thanks. He pointed at his office and swallowed his bagel down, patting Sehun’s arm frantically when Taewoon walked away.

“What do you think they’re talking about?” Jongin asked, pointing at Kyungsoo and Baekhyun. Sehun looked at where he was pointing and sighed, pursing his lips.

“Not you?”

“Kyungsoo’s smiling. I’ve never seen him smile.”

“You’ve never not threatened him since the day you met him. What did you expect?” Sehun said, rolling his eyes. Then he placed his hand on the armrest of Jongin’s chair and pushed him towards the direction of his office.

“Go away and eat your bagel alone. Me and Taewoon will have this,” Sehun said, holding up the bag and flinging it to Taewoon’s desk.

Jongin got out of his chair and grabbed a file, holding it up to his face as he stood near the glass wall separating the lobby from their office, staring at Kyungsoo a little longer. If they looked over, hopefully they would mistake Jongin’s body for a coat hanger or something. Kyungsoo was still smiling, for God’s sake, and it was almost endearing to see his lips curled up into a shy little smile as Baekhyun patted his arm and laughed at something.

What’s so funny about Baekhyun? Jongin thought. Kyungsoo was holding back a laugh and looked like he was snorting at Baekhyun in reply. Jongin shoved the last of his bagel behind the file into his mouth and chewed with effort, trying to read their lips.

“Is sir alright?” Taewoon’s voice said from somewhere behind Jongin.

“He’s sleep walking, don’t mind him,” Sehun replied.

Kyungsoo and Baekhyun exchanged a few more words before Baekhyun gave Kyungsoo a little wave. He turned and faced Jongin’s direction for a moment, and Jongin thought he was going to get caught peeping on them. I’m the future of this company though, he thought distractedly, squinting over the file. He probably had the right to stare at them, didn’t he?

Luckily for him, Baekhyun’s gaze didn’t linger on him, so his sight was more questionable than Jongin thought. Kyungsoo probably couldn’t see Jongin from where he stood, so Jongin just stayed still until Baekhyun finally walked to the elevator and Kyungsoo went back into the office, presumably to do his work instead of chatting to his friend while still at work.

Jongin turned around with a flourish, his brain processing everything he’d just seen. Taewoon and Sehun were still hard at work, just as Jongin had left them and so, sat back down into his seat and started to ponder at Sehun’s desk on what they could possibly have been talking about.

“Do you think—”

“I’m sure Chanyeol would love to provide more insight on what Kyungsoo and Baekhyun might’ve been talking about in the lobby. Would you like me to ring him up for you?” Sehun said icily.

“You’re right, I need to talk to someone with more fashion sense. I shall do so immediately,” Jongin said, just before Sehun flung a heavy file filled with papers at him. He ducked just in time for it to graze his shoulder and fall beside Taewoon’s desk.

*

Chanyeol and Jongin sat at a park on a bench side by side, one of them dressed in a fur coat and another dressed in a light sweater and jeans, nothing more. People passing by such as mothers with young children or elderly people out on a walk would probably have mistaken them for a gay couple, especially since they were holding cups of mocha in their hands.

“Thank you for asking me out today. I couldn’t find an occasion to wear my new Fendi fur, but then you called and here I am,” Chanyeol beamed at Jongin.

“Please stop, we’re in public, honey,” Jongin said sarcastically.

Chanyeol laughed. “But no, seriously, I couldn’t find an occasion and now I have one so you can tell me all about whatever it is you want to talk about,” Chanyeol said, patting his hair lightly to make sure everything was still in place.

He had apparently just left the hair salon to meet Jongin in the park because ‘the public deserves to see what true fabulosity looks like.’ Jongin cleared his throat, sipping from his mocha. It burned his tongue, but at least it made him feel more focused. Taewoon’s coffee was much better at the office, but not enough to give Jongin’s a good kick start hence the coffee.

“Saw Kyungsoo today,” Jongin said, looking into the distance.

“For Christ’s sake, Jongin, just fuck him if you want to already,” Chanyeol said, exhaling loudly like he’d heard this far too many times.

“B-but I only said I saw him, I haven’t like…” Jongin trailed off. He wondered if maybe Sehun was Jesus (or Satan), and maybe Chanyeol was an all knowing angel like Gabriel or Raphael. Did he guess at what Jongin did in the bathroom that day?

“From the way you talk about him, it sounds like you’re in love. I bet you just caught a glance of him today and that’s all you called me out for. I knew this wasn’t an occasion to wear Fendi, I knew it…” Chanyeol bristled like a cat, touching his fur like he was offended by Jongin.

Jongin made an ugly face at Chanyeol and said, “I’m not in love with anyone, alright, and neither am I planning to fall in love. I’m just. I don’t know, curious.”

“That’s all you’ve ever said about him since you met Kyungsoo. How curious are you going to get, Jongin? You either stick it in for once and see if you like it, or shut up about it because I can’t be coming out for these little therapy sessions every time you feel delicate about Kyungsoo.”

Jongin was reminded of an Arctic Monkeys song when Chanyeol put it that way. “Suck it and see, you’ll never know?” he said, turning to look at Chanyeol.

“Yeah. Suck it, eat it, I don’t care. Unless,” he squinted his eyes at Jongin, “unless you’re coming onto me, to which I say, ‘fuck off’.”

“I wouldn’t be able to afford you and your ways,” Jongin said, taking the easy way out of this potential argument, that is to compliment Chanyeol. He took the bait right away and smiled, giving Jongin a sly smile. “That’s right. Thank goodness you know that. Now that I’m here in my fur and all though… spill.”

“Can I be really honest?” Jongin asked, voice muffled when he held the cup up to his mouth.

“I’m expecting honesty, you little shit.”

“Excellent. The thing is, I’ve always been straight, Yeol, straighter than all of you.” Chanyeol hit him across the chest quite hard and made him cough till his lungs almost shot out. His friends were violent whenever they tried to show their love, Jongin understood that now.

“And because I’ve been so straight all my life, it suddenly makes me feel weird to think that someone’s like, gay for me,” Jongin wheezed. Thank God he didn’t take sip of his mocha yet. Chanyeol’s left arm certainly had him firmly planted in reality now.

“Who says Kyungsoo was gay for you? He was probably gay all along and you’re just one of the many guys he finds hot,” Chanyeol replied breezily.

“I fail to see how that changes things. So, I’m undoubtedly sure that I’m not weirded out by his… fetish,” Jongin said. Chanyeol nodded encouragingly. “But what I am weirded out about is how I’m starting to feel like… I don’t know. Like maybe, I do find him sort of cute, in a sad way?”

Chanyeol absorbed this silently without moving.

“It’s like how if you found out someone had a crush on you, and you like them back because they like you, y’know? And I guess this feeling will probably go away if Kyungsoo wasn’t around all the time but he is, and so I was wondering if I should, like, go for it,” Jongin said. This was probably the most honest thing he’d said about Kyungsoo this entire time. He was proud with the fact that he didn’t even need to mention kissing Kyungsoo in his office.

“Go for it… how?” Chanyeol said in confusion.

“Like how we get girls? I wouldn’t know the way around it yet, which is why I’m here,” Jongin replied. Chanyeol replied with an eloquent ah and nodded, tapping a finger over his lips.

“So what you’re saying is you kind of like Kyungsoo,” Chanyeol said, as if to make sure he had all the right facts. Jongin nodded slowly, then shook his head. “No, no, no, I mean I’m attracted to him but it’s so weird because we’re guys and he’s a guy and—”

“Jesus was a guy too, settle down, Jongin. You don’t think it’s weird for him to be gay but… you find it weird that you’re attracted to him as well, is that it?” Chanyeol said.

Jongin nodded.

“Right. Well, first of all, I don’t know why you’re being so weird about this. If you like him or think you might like him then just take him out on a date, say it’s a coffee break or something and just suss it out and see if he’s that into you first.”

“But what if he doesn’t want more with me?” Jongin said.

“He takes photos of you in broad daylight. Trust me, he’s sort of into you. And anyway, if he doesn’t then you can finally sit your ass down and say, ‘Yep, I’m straight and it was nice going down that road but I wouldn’t go there again’.”

Chanyeol had a point. Jongin could probably get Kyungsoo to come into his office later, or maybe stalk him instead and see where he lived just to check out what kind of place he was living in and… Wait, this was going too far.

“How—How do you suggest I suss things out? Coffee break is too cliché, give me something that I’ll probably remember,” Jongin said, drinking some of his mocha. Chanyeol stuck out his bottom lip, thinking hard by furrowing his eyebrows.

“Something to remember, hmm? A date that you and Kyungsoo would never forget for the rest of your lives…”

“Try to keep it within the Republic of Korea, I don’t think I want to fly a stalker to another country on my private jet,” Jongin quickly added to put on a lid on some of Chanyeol’s predictable ideas. His face soured, but he still tried to think of something for them to do so that they could talk and yet still be casual about everything.

“Do you think taking him to dinner to have some seafood together is fine or?” Chanyeol suggested.

“Seafood sounds expensive. And he could be allergic, I’d never know,” Jongin said. What if he ordered lobster or oysters, only to find out that Kyungsoo only found him very photogenic and did not want to know what was lying beneath all those good looks?

Chanyeol twisted his lip to one side, tapping his cheek absently. He muttered under his breath as he went through what sounded like at least seven, crazy ideas for a casual date before Jongin said offhandedly, “What about asking him to show me all the pictures he’s ever taken of me?”

It was a joke, but Chanyeol looked at him like he was a genius. His fur danced in the wind as he stared at Jongin for three full seconds before saying, “Why don’t you do that?”

Jongin blinked back at him. “We’ve only met like, twice, I don’t see how I’ve earned my right to make him show me all his stuff.”

“But you’re future CEO of Accuretta Systems, aren’t you?” Chanyeol said, looking away to drink his mocha. Jongin started to says something but Chanyeol held up a finger at him as he gulped down his frothy mocha from the paper cup.

“And CEOs don’t wait for opportunity, Jongin. People like you are supposed to make opportunities,” Chanyeol said when he put down his cup.

It was probably the best advice he’d ever received from Chanyeol, ever. Jongin thought that maybe it would seem like he’d be coming onto Kyungsoo too strong, but they’d already shared that one kiss after all. Surely they were past all niceties and were well aware that there was definitely something between each other?

“You’re not joking when you said that, right?” Jongin asked. “Hell no. At least, when my dad said it to me he didn’t sound like he was joking. Unless maybe he was?” Chanyeol frowned.

Jongin rolled his eyes. Joke or not, it made sense to Jongin. He was all up for testing boundaries now, and if he wanted to put his words into action he’d just have to get Kyungsoo to come along, and it shouldn’t be that hard.

“I think it’s time I pulled up his file,” Jongin thought aloud. Chanyeol nodded, smiling. “Yeah, take the situation by its horns and shit. By the way, am I allowed to tell Sehun about all of this or—”

“Not if you have a death wish,” Jongin said, mouth a thin flat line as he gave Chanyeol the most threatening look he could come up with. Chanyeol returned his gaze with a deadpan look, holding Jongin’s gaze without blinking his scarily large eyes.

Then they both laughed at the same time at their own expressions, snorting as they tried not to spill their mochas on each other. It wasn’t as hard to make a decision now that Jongin had all his facts laid out.

*

It wasn’t that hard to make a decision but definitely harder than Jongin thought it’d be to call Kyungsoo to his office. First of all, he had to ask Suho to get his hands on Kyungsoo’s details. Suho took the liberty to come up to his office to make everything easier, but Jongin was uncomfortable with explaining why he wanted Kyungsoo’s details. He didn’t mention his conversation with Chanyeol for one, which only meant more lying.

“Are you going to check out where he lives and everything now? Are you going to assassinate him to tie up loose ends?” Suho questioned him. Jongin felt like he was sitting on the wrong side of his desk when Suho fired those questions at him one after another.

“What? I don’t even know where to get a gun for hire. No, I’m just trying to see if… If y’know, his financial situation is good. He can’t be doing this without spending money, right?” Jongin said.

Suho stared at him. “What does his financial situation have to do with anything?” Exactly, Jongin thought, I don’t know why I said that.

“Well, he’s still human and I just wanna see if I can help him in some way, y’know, maybe get him a promotion or something.”

“To fund his obsession of you?”

“No. He said he liked his job, surely not many people can say that. I’m just trying to reward his earnest by boosting him up a little bit. I don’t want to threaten him forever, what if he wants to kill me?” Jongin said. It sounded like the stupidest excuse he’d ever come up with since he was six years old, but Suho seemed to see the sense in it (if there was any sense at all).

“That’s probably a good idea. What he does with his salary isn’t our problem but suppressing him could back fire on us. I like that idea,” Suho said, nodding while thinking about it.

“If you like it then can you send me his profile already?” Jongin suggested gently. Suho jolted out of his thoughts and began to tap on his tablet. Jongin could hardly believe Suho swallowed that excuse, but said nothing to break the spell as he waited patiently for Suho to access the company’s server. A few seconds later, Jongin’s computer pinged and he opened up his e-mail.

“His contact details, family, ID, driver’s license, everything’s there.” As well as his home address, Jongin thought. And with a bit of digging, he’d know if Kyungsoo was living in his own place or renting a place somewhere in Seoul.

Jongin clicked here and there on the screen a few times, and soon Kyungsoo’s profile came out. Name, date of birth… Home address. Jongin read the address, trying to guess where it was. He wasn’t living in Gangnam, that was for sure.

Jongin Googled the place and saw that his home was built on a hill, and guessed that he probably lived in a small room of someone else’s place on the outskirts of Seoul. That was the only reason Jongin could think of where Kyungsoo could probably keep his stash of Jongin’s pictures and God knows what else without his family finding out at some point. Three years was a long time if he was going to hide everything in his drawers, so Jongin thought it safe to assume that Kyungsoo most likely lived alone.

He reread the address again, and confirmed it when he realized it wasn’t an apartment. Probably lives on the rooftop of some old grandma’s place, Jongin thought. Rent would be cheap, grandma landlord would probably cook him his meals for free because he looked like a good boy… and he’d have tons of pictures of Jongin all over his walls.

How predictable poor people were. It sounded like a sappy Korean drama to Jongin.

“Right, so he’s probably renting a room for himself,” Jongin said. Suho made a noise of acknowledgement. “And he’s not the sole breadwinner of his family but it seems like…” Jongin clicked three times on an arrow, and smirked. “He has a brother but his salary isn’t much better than Kyungsoo. Don’t know about his parents’ finances but I bet he sends money back home like a good son.”

“He actually sounds like a decent guy were it not for the fact that he has this major thing for you,” Suho allowed.

“One sin doesn’t make up an entire person,” Jongin said lightly.

“That sounds like something a pastor would say to me after I’ve confessed to him,” Suho replied. Jongin chuckled in reply, reading through all of Kyungsoo’s details.

There wasn’t much to him, to be honest. He was a very average guy working from nine to five like any other person in the building, and had a steady income every month. Jongin felt like yawning at him; one sin didn’t make up an entire person’s character but it certainly made Kyungsoo look a whole lot more interesting.

“So when are you going to scope him out? Today?” Suho asked.

“No… Or should I? I don’t have anything planned today but five o clock is still a long way to go,” Jongin said, checking his watch. It was two p.m. now, and he was getting hungry; Jongin needed lunch soon if he was going to harass Kyungsoo after work.

“Suho, have you eaten yet?” Jongin asked.

“Not hungry,” Suho shrugged.

“Come with me to the cafeteria. We need to eat and then I’m going to see if I can’t catch Kyungsoo at lunch,” Jongin said, getting up from his seat.

They left the office together, leaving Sehun at his desk because he always ordered in and ate at his desk on normal days like these, and got into Jongin’s elevator, descending to the ground floor where the cafeteria was. Jongin sincerely hoped Kyungsoo would be around the cafeteria.

The cafeteria was a nice enough place that Jongin didn’t mind dropping by whenever he had the chance. The floors and walls were white, first of all, so he knew it was clean. The chairs and tables to fit four at a time all matched the surroundings, as did the uniforms of the people working the kitchen. One could order traditional Korean food such as stews or stir fried dishes Monday to Thursday, as well as Western food on Wednesdays. It was Japanese food only on Fridays, although Jongin had never been here on Fridays.

Despite his ‘I’m not hungry’ routine, Suho made a beeline for traditional Korean food. Jongin too, was craving some good old kimchi stew and lined up while waiting for his turn to order.

“D’you see him?” Suho asked.

“Kyungsoo? Hmm,” Jongin looked around. Not many people were around; lunchtime was almost over, although there were a few people who had come a little later than the rest to avoid the lunch crowd. Jongin eyed each person in the large cafeteria carefully before spotting Baekhyun sitting by the wall alone, eating what looked like bibimbap.

“Baekhyun’s here though. Do you think Kyungsoo is around?” Jongin whispered to Suho. He turned around to see where Baekhyun was, and then shook his head. “If Baekhyun wanted company for lunch he would’ve had someone there by now. He’s probably here to eat and just get out, not to relax.”

That meant Kyungsoo had left already. Or maybe he never eats here, Jongin thought. Jongin had never considered this possibility. But my cafeteria has great food, Jongin frowned. Why would anyone working in this building not stop by?

Be reasonable, he told himself. Maybe Kyungsoo was late for lunch too. Maybe he’d be here in a minute.

A minute stretched into five. Five stretched into eight, and Jongin was holding a tray of kimchi stew and rice in his hands, looking for an empty table. Suho suggested not to sit with Baekhyun just so he could come over when he noticed them and then they’d be able to question him casually about Kyungsoo.

“You’ll be cool about it though?” Jongin asked Suho, sitting down across him and opening the lid of his warm rice. Steam wafted into the air as he mixed the rice around to make sure it wasn’t lumpy.

“When have I not been cool about things?” Suho replied. This was the guy who freaked out when he watched a horror movie in 3D with Jongin and Sehun, and almost cried at the end of the movie.

“I’m not saying you’re not cool, just… be subtle about it, Suho. You’re not very subtle sometimes,” Jongin commented, scooping up some rice to shove into his mouth. His stew bubbled away merrily as he poked at it with his chopsticks, trying to get it to cool down.

“Yes I am. I’ve never had ginseng chicken here before. Is it good?” Suho asked, changing the subject. Jongin shrugged. He wasn’t a health freak like Suho; he’d never been the type to order herbal soups for his meals.

 “Nothing in this cafeteria is bad. I personally had a hand in picking what food should be on the menu last year, when they were updating the menus,” Jongin said.

“You mean you actually contributed to your father’s company? One small step for you, a giant step for Accuretta Systems,” Suho said sarcastically. Jongin stabbed at his chicken, poking holes with his chopsticks into the soft, white flesh.

“Hey! My chicken looks like road kill now,” Suho said, swatting Jongin’s hand away. He returned to his rice and kimchi stew, rolling his eyes at Suho’s forlorn expression. They started to eat after a while, talking about mundane topics. Suho watched Baekhyun over Jongin’s back by glancing at him every so often. He didn’t notice them yet, but when he got up to leave he’d surely spot Suho and Jongin at their table.

When Jongin was halfway through his kimchi stew, Suho suddenly broke off mid sentence and waved at someone. “Is it Baekhyun?” Jongin muttered.

Suho hummed in reply. Jongin then turned around to pretend to see who it was and waved at Baekhyun when he spotted him a few feet away. Baekhyun looked genuinely surprised that Jongin and Suho were here in the cafeteria, eating like the rest of the staff.

“Hi, Mr. Kim. It’s a surprise to see you both here,” Baekhyun said when he approached their table.

“Mm, is it? Jongin’s had a hand in picking out the menus here last year, so it makes sense for us to eat here,” Suho replied. Jongin wanted to spit out his food into Suho’s bowl of soup for his attempt at subtlety.

“Really? That’s actually pretty cool. Anyway, I need to hand Sehun some things and head out before the post office closes for the day,” Baekhyun said.

“Oh, I won’t stop you then. Eating alone today?” Suho asked, sounding nonchalant.

“Yeah. My usual lunch mate is busy today so I’m alone,” Baekhyun smiled.

“Busy, hmm? The usual mergers and acquisitions all day, eh?” Suho laughed. Baekhyun nodded along. “I’ll get on then. See you back the office later, Mr. Kim. Sir,” Baekhyun nodded at Jongin.

He walked off with a file clutched in his hands.

Jongin stabbed Suho painfully with a chopstick when Baekhyun was just a distant figure. “You didn’t ask about Kyungsoo at all! Talk about subtlety,” Jongin complained. Suho looked hurt that Jongin would stab him with a dirty chopstick.

“But I got what I wanted out of him,” Suho muttered back.

“What did you get other than small talk? God damn it, Suho,” Jongin said, knowing he was overreacting but scowled at Suho anyway. He snatched at Suho’s fork and placed his now dirty chopsticks into Suho’s hand.

“He said ‘my lunch mate is busy’. Today, they’re making copies for next month’s target of profit and so on. That means Kyungsoo upstairs making copies and arranging them all so that the right copies get passed around to the right people. He’s too busy to eat, Jongin. I’d say he’s still in his office right now,” Suho said.

Jongin held his fork in midair. “I’m sorry I ever misunderstood you, Suho,” he said almost reverently.

“Happens all the time,” Suho smiled easily.

*

Jongin went back up to his office alone when he was done with lunch. Suho was tactfully at his own floor, so as not to disturb Kyungsoo and Jongin like the last time they tried to have a conversation. Jongin ordered Taewoon to fetch Kyungsoo for him, and settled in his office first while he waited for Kyungsoo.

He tried to look busy by pouring himself a drink at his wet bar and placed it at his desk, and then went through a file labeled ‘urgent’ on his desktop. Since Sehun and Taewoon’s computer were synced to Jongin’s computer, he could go through whatever work they were doing, so long as they saved everything nicely. Jongin scrolled through 36 files in the urgent folder and realized that opening up a company certainly wasn’t easy, as Sehun had to read through quite a lot of things and edit the documents here and there. Most of the documents didn’t require Jongin’s signature yet, so it became clear why he never knew how much work went into opening a large factory in Guangzhou. There were the government officials they had to go through, then permits…

The phone rang. Jongin picked up and said hello in English just for fun.

“Er… May I speak to Mr. Kim?” Taewoon said uneasily. Jongin rolled his eyes. “Send him in.” He hung up, drumming his fingers on his glass desk impatiently.

He heard Taewoon say, “You can go through now,” before the door slid aside, revealing a nervous looking Kyungsoo. He still looked intimidated by Jongin’s office, but he squared his shoulders and walked in anyway, eyes landing on Jongin who pretended to read through the files on the computer like his life depended on it.

“Mister—Jongin,” Kyungsoo said hesitantly, the word coming out of his mouth like it was a pain to say Jongin’s name. He briefly glanced at Kyungsoo.

“Sit down, why don’t you?” Jongin said lightly. The window with Kyungsoo’s profile was still open, and he brought it up again, briefly reading over the words. Kyungsoo pulled up the seat and sat down, looking down at his hands.

“So… You live alone?” Jongin asked.

“…No. With a roommate,” Kyungsoo answered slowly, like he wasn’t expecting this line of questioning. Jongin glanced at Kyungsoo’s hands and saw ink stains on his fingers, dark blue streaked in lines and small words all over his fair skin. He’s really working after all, Jongin thought.

“And how do you hide your bad habit from him?” Jongin asked.

“He knows about it,” Kyungsoo replied, not explaining any further. Jongin nodded at that and then finally shifted his gaze fully on Kyungsoo.

“If he knows then that means you don’t really hide it, do you?”

Kyungsoo shrugged. “He’s very understanding and he doesn’t say anything about it so long as I don’t impose on him.” Ah. So it was a he, not a grandma.

“A he, hmm? Nothing special there, I’m assuming?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo met his gaze.

“Nothing but friendship,” he said steadily. Were they friends with benefits? Maybe the other guy was gay too…

“Remember what I said last time, about showing me all of your photos?” Jongin said, crossing his legs under the table. Kyungsoo nodded uncertainly and clenched his fingers. “Do you want your photos back after all?” he asked. He looked like a kid about to have his toy taken away from him.

Jongin stared at Kyungsoo’s lips. “No, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t know what to do with them anyway. No, I don’t want to take them away but… I want to see them, Kyungsoo. All of them.”

Kyungsoo furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “W-Why?” he asked. 

“Because I can. And there’s no one else to look at all those photos you’ve taken the past three years… It’d be fascinating to see how much you’ve captured of me. I don’t know much about photography but I’m sure you learned a thing or two from snapping photos of me,” Jongin said, lifting an eyebrow.

Kyungsoo looked terribly embarrassed, and Jongin didn’t even blame him. It was probably a big step for him to show his subject of his obsession the evidence of his obsession. But he looked like he could handle it. If he could take Jongin’s prying questions the first time they were here, surely he could handle showing him the work he’s done since three years ago?

“I don’t—Can’t I just bring all of them?” Kyungsoo asked, sounding desperate. Maybe he wasn’t entirely ready to show all of the photos.

“And have you walk around with pictures of me? The entire building will know about you and I in minutes. No need to be bashful, Kyungsoo, just let me see them and then maybe I’ll leave you alone once and for all.”

Kyungsoo opened his mouth, and then closed it. He seemed to process Jongin’s request, and then slowly said, “I’ve never… shown anyone my photos, Jongin. They’re personal to me, and I know it’s weird to say this to you but it feels like showing you a very private part of me. You have to understand, I’ve never shown this to anyone, not even my roommate. He knows, but it doesn’t mean I let him come into my room—”

“So you keep the photos in the same room you sleep in?” Jongin quirked an eyebrow at him. Kyungsoo flushed.

“N-No, they’re in a small spare room. But that’s not the point. I’m not ready to show the photos to anyone, even if it’s you. Don’t take it personally, because I’ve never shown anyone the photos either so—”

“But the whole point of taking those photos has to be to show me one day. Maybe you always wanted me to see it without realizing. Maybe you took those photos as a way of expressing this… bad habit. You like me, I know that much and now, you’ve piqued my curiosity, Kyungsoo. I want to see your collection,” he lowered his voice huskily.

Kyungsoo shifted in his seat uncomfortably, not daring to meet Jongin’s gaze. He was nervous, but not flustered. So he’s interested? Jongin thought. It wasn’t hard to guess what Kyungsoo was feeling.

“Fine,” Kyungsoo suddenly said, face red. Jongin blinked in mild surprise.

“Fine?”

“Fine.”

“Is today good?” Jongin asked, pretending to click here and there on his computer to ‘check his schedule’. If there was a meeting he would’ve cancelled it anyway.

“Today is too sudden for me,” Kyungsoo replied uneasily. “Oh. Well then…” Jongin scrolled through his schedule. He was about to reschedule, and then suddenly wondered if Kyungsoo would hide away his favorite photos of him.

No, Jongin thought vehemently, biting his lower lip. I want to see everything, every last photo. It was the only way he could tell if Kyungsoo wanted him as badly as Jongin expected him to.

He has to be at least 70% interested, Jongin thought. That way, Jongin could push Kyungsoo into more without worrying if he actually wanted it or not.

“Terribly sorry, Kyungsoo, but…” Jongin pretended to sigh. “I’m fully booked till next month, and I want to see those photos now,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo scoffed for a moment, as if he knew luck wouldn’t be on his side. He looked away, staring into the distance of Seoul’s skyline.

“I’d never spoken to you before this, but I think I always knew you were this stubborn,” Kyungsoo said softly.

Jongin smiled. “A lot of people have said similar things, that’s true.” Kyungsoo looked wistful, rubbing the ink on his hands absently.

“I don’t know but… Maybe it’s what I always liked about you. You always get your way in the end, and I,” Kyungsoo sighed, “I give in because I can’t find it in myself to resist for very long.”

Jongin smirked at that, leaning into his seat. “Then don’t resist, Kyungsoo. Let me see those photos and maybe,” he lifted an eyebrow suggestively, “I’ll let you take as many photos of me as you want. In any position, any lighting, any kind of clothes,” Jongin gestured grandly. “You can snap away to your heart’s content.”

Kyungsoo looked at him, clearly tempted by the offer. Jongin thanked God that his father was an entrepreneur and that he must’ve somehow inherited his skills of talking people into doing what he wanted.

“You’d do that?” Kyungsoo asked. Jongin nodded, resting his chin into the crook of his hand as he observed Kyungsoo closely with an eager smile.

“I would.”

*

Jongin took a nap in his office after Kyungsoo left. All the coffee he’d had during the day didn’t really work in the end, and he wanted to energize himself up for later. Besides, he thought he deserved his nap. It had been such a long day.

 When he woke up at the sound of his alarm from his phone, it was precisely five o’ clock. Everyone would probably be rushing out of the building now, signing off and heading to their cars or bus stops, ready to go home and rest for tomorrow. It was the first time Jongin had ever stayed till five since the day his father decided he should take over Accuretta Systems.

Life sure is full of surprises, Jongin thought blearily, turning off his alarm and lying back down in his seat. Sehun and Taewoon were probably packing up outside; he’d have to leave soon if he didn’t want to be locked up for the night.

He got out of his seat, messing the back of his head up in case his hair was flattened from sleeping for two hours straight. Stuffing his phone into his pocket, he shut down his computer and headed to the exit of his office.

Taewoon looked up at him when he came out of the office, arranging his things into his backpack. “Oh, sir, I was about to wake you up. Have a nice evening,” he said politely. Jongin smiled and nodded in silence. Sehun was still clicking at his computer, sighing as he shuffled through some papers and looked back up at his screen.

“Sehun, you leaving soon?” Jongin asked. Taewoon had finished packing up and bowed at Jongin. He gave Taewoon a little wave goodbye as he headed out.

“No, I’ve still got shit to go through. It’s just never ending sometimes,” he muttered, typing at the speed of light on his keyboard.

Jongin didn’t know what it was at that moment, the fatigue in Sehun’s eyes or his efficiency at his job but he thought, Sehun doesn’t deserve this. He was a great guy outside of work; wild, young and free. It wasn’t in Sehun’s nature to just sit in an office and stare at a computer screen all day long.

“Go home, Sehun, you can do all of this tomorrow,” Jongin said. Sehun glared up at him. “Half of this needs to be done by tomorrow. I can’t just wing it and come in and rush through of all this tomorrow—”

“It’s my work, right?” Jongin interrupted him. Sehun nodded. “At least a third of everything I’m doing right now is supposed to be done by you.”

“Then leave it, Sehun. People won’t exactly whine about me if ‘I’ hand in something a little late. No one’s gonna blame you for it, Sehun. Go home and watch Mad Men or something,” Jongin suggested.

“I’ve never been late on your behalf before,” Sehun replied, running a hand through his hair.

“There’s always a first time for everything,” Jongin said, smiling down at him. Sehun snorted at him, closing his eyes as he stretched his arms above him.

“There’s at least twenty files to correct and make sure there are no mistakes before I can declare them fit to be read by others,” Sehun said. Jongin shrugged.

“So what? Kim Jongin is busy all the time. And he doesn’t throw all his shit to his PA ‘cause he’s responsible like that,” Jongin said. Sehun tapped a finger on his keyboard, considering Jongin’s words.

“I guess handing all the stuff in a day late won’t hurt,” Sehun said carefully. Jongin nodded. “No, it won’t.”

Sehun laughed a little, then finally decided to shut down his computer, downing the rest of his lukewarm coffee beside him. “Guess I’m heading home then, huh?” he said. Jongin glanced towards the other side of the building. People were crowded around the elevator, waiting patiently to be taken down to the ground floor. Kyungsoo had promised he’d wait where Jongin first spotted him.

“What are you doing here at five anyway? I thought you’d leave sooner, but I lost track of time,” Sehun said, standing up wash his coffee mug in Jongin’s office at the wet bar.

“Waiting for Kyungsoo,” Jongin said nonchalantly. Sehun lifted an eyebrow at him.

“Kyungsoo?”

“The one and only.”

“Did he promise to hand in all of his stuff?” Sehun asked, entering Jongin’s office. Jongin didn’t follow him but instead stood by the sliding door in case Kyungsoo came out and wasn’t able to spot him.

“No, but actually I’m here, waiting for him to get off work so that I can drive him to wherever he lives and see if his stuff is worth taking away from him.”

“You can’t leave him alone, can you?” Sehun asked, his voice barely audible over the sound of the tap.

“Nope, and I’m doing what I think is suitable for this situation. It’s just some harmless poking around, and this is less aggressive anyway,” Jongin said, lying smoothly. Because Sehun wasn’t looking at him, he couldn’t tell Jongin was lying and just hummed in reply.

“I can’t tell you what to do but I’m sure you wouldn’t listen to me anyway,” Sehun said. At that moment, Kyungsoo appeared from the other side of the building, looking out for Jongin.

Jongin put a hand in the air to wave at him. Kyungsoo nodded at him and stood there on the opposite side of the building, waiting to meet Jongin halfway. “Look, I gotta go, Sehun,” Jongin said to Sehun, keeping his eye on Kyungsoo.

“He’s there already? Have fun then. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t,” Sehun said without turning around. Yeah, Sehun probably wouldn’t kiss another guy, Jongin smiled to himself. He would probably punch the living lights out of him and then spit on him for extra measure. Sehun was most likely very secure in his sexuality, which was something Jongin couldn’t say about himself.

“I won’t. Bye,” Jongin called. Sehun waved without looking at him still, rearranging the bottles at the wet bar. Jongin shrugged and finally walked off to meet Kyungsoo, who was checking his watch nervously as he fingered the strap of his bag slung across his chest.

“Somewhere you need to be?” Jongin asked when he was close enough to speak to Kyungsoo.

“I haven’t told my roommate that you’re coming to our place. He’s going to want to be the perfect host regardless of why you’re there and he might buy dinner for us,” Kyungsoo said, “And I don’t know what kind of food you might like, so…”

“Anything is fine. I’m not really picky about my food,” Jongin replied easily. He motioned for Kyungsoo to follow him to his elevator since he wasn’t going to wait for the elevator with the other employees.

“Is… spicy rice cakes with you? Maybe he’s going to get fried chicken today, it’s his snack day,” Kyungsoo mumbled.

“Fried chicken sounds excellent to me,” Jongin smiled. Usually he avoided oily food to take care of his skin, but he could make an exception for today.

“Oh. Okay then. I’ll uh, text him that you’re coming and that um, fried chicken is good,” Kyungsoo said nervously, digging his phone out of his bag. They reached Jongin’s elevator, and some of the employees noticed Kyungsoo with Jongin. He wanted to yell, what are you guys staring at? But it was irrational to do so. No one apart from the VIPs of this building could enter that elevator so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see people staring at them. Still.

He pressed a button for the elevator, and they both entered. Kyungsoo was typing out a message articulately to his roommate, possibly warning him that Kim Jongin of Accuretta Systems was going to stop by and have dinner with them. Jongin didn’t mind, so long as he could get what he wanted out of this.

Kyungsoo was silent as they slowly approached the ground floor. The doors opened just as he finished texting his roommate and put his phone away, trailing after Jongin quietly. They had agreed to take Jongin’s car for convenience and also for Jongin’s safety. Kyungsoo could still very well be Hannibal for all Jongin knew about his private life. He was trying to be careful as Sehun told him to be.

“You ever photograph me with my car before?” Jongin asked. He was proud of his Rolls Royce after all. It was a classy car and he loved it very much even though he wasn’t the one driving it around every day.

Kyungsoo shook his head.

“You should. My baby’s the best,” Jongin said, walking out on the street. He dialed his driver, and he said he’d be out of the car park in three minutes. Cars were already starting to jam up the streets, the smell of exhaust thick and heavy in the air. Jongin and Kyungsoo stood together, although not closely, enough space for people to doubt if they were waiting for their transport together.

“Traffic is terrible,” Jongin commented. He knew that talking about traffic, politics and the weather were the three things one should avoid when on a date but it was really bad. He’d never seen so many cars out on the street before, or so many people by the bus stop waiting for their respective rides.

“You’ve never seen this kind of traffic before?” Kyungsoo asked, half smiling in disbelief. Jongin shrugged.

“Heard of it. I’ve never seen or experienced it either, not until today. Looks miserable, if you ask me,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo looked around like it was his first time standing on this side of the street.

“I suppose it is miserable if you’re caught in traffic. But it’s beautiful in its own way,” Kyungsoo paused as if he’d just said something he wasn’t supposed to. Jongin turned towards him, motioning for him to go on.

“I’m listening.”

Kyungsoo looked down at his scuffled shoes, chewing his bottom lip. “I don’t think you’d want to listen to the philosophy behind a traffic jam,” Kyungsoo said.

Jongin pretended to look affronted. “I beg your pardon, because I have nothing better to listen to than the sound of horns blaring and wheezing engines. And anyway, I expect a photographer to have his own reasons for thinking traffic is beautiful. Go on,” Jongin insisted. Now that Kyungsoo brought it up, he couldn’t just sweep it under the rug.

Kyungsoo waited for what felt like ten years just to finally open his mouth and say something. Jongin wasn’t sure if this was what it was like for every single photographer out there to explain the beauty behind mediocre things ‘normal people’ took for granted, but Kyungsoo sure was nervous when he spoke.

“I like how everyone’s rushing somewhere, anywhere from home to dinner to a special someone’s place for their anniversary or some other special occasion. It’s just beautiful to think that almost every working citizen in this moment is in a hurry, all of us synchronized and yet still our own individuals,” Kyungsoo said softly. Jongin could hardly hear what he was saying from all the white noise around them, but he caught enough of it to realize that Kyungsoo was a bit more melodramatic than he thought.

“I know it’s dumb,” Kyungsoo added, looking away from Jongin’s direction. Jongin blinked at the remark. It seemed to sting a little bit, the honesty and the way Kyungsoo made no effort to point it out. It wasn’t dumb. It was just Kyungsoo.

“No, it wasn’t. Don’t demean yourself like that. I wanted to hear your thoughts on daily traffic and that was all,” Jongin said seriously.

Kyungsoo looked up at him, eyebrow slightly lifted in surprise. “I didn’t expect you to… to—Well—”

“To defend you against yourself? Well, I’m just full of surprises, aren’t I?” Jongin smiled. As if on cue, his car approached them in all its pearly white glory. The driver stopped right in front of Jongin, and he got out to open the door for Jongin.

The rest of the people in their vehicles were either in awe of the Rolls Royce or could not believe that Jongin’s driver had the nerve to get down and hold their back door open for them when the roads were already congested enough. Nobody seemed to want to blast their horns at them, and Jongin wondered if that many people could recognize him. He wasn’t all that famous…

Jongin got in and mentioned to the driver that they were going somewhere new today with Kyungsoo. His driver was an older guy, probably in his forties and didn’t really have a lot of things to say. He just nodded at what Jongin said and bowed at Kyungsoo, who bowed back hurriedly like it was a crime not to bow back in greeting.

“Can you tell my driver how to get to your place?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo nodded silently.

He got into the back seat with Jongin and sat with his legs pressed together like he was afraid to take up more space than necessary. The door closed behind them after they got in, and Kyungsoo looked positively terrified now that he was well and truly on his way to showing Jongin all of his photos. Jongin was feeling nonchalant about it all; maybe it hadn’t hit him yet. He just hoped he could provide the right reaction accordingly when he saw the photos. Wouldn’t do to smile at his own photos or something like that.

Actually that would be sort of funny, Jongin thought, snorting to himself and pretending to dig for his phone to hide his smile.

“Where to, sir?” Jongin’s driver asked from the front. Jongin motioned with his head to Kyungsoo to give him the directions to his place. He gave a few brief words on which direction to head to and then said it should only take about a half hour to reach his home if traffic would let up soon.

“I usually take the bus and sometimes it take forty minutes just to get home but maybe today won’t be too bad,” Kyungsoo blathered, more to reassure himself than Jongin.

Jongin was content to sit in the car where it was warm and cozy until they reached Kyungsoo’s place.

“So you don’t have your own car?” Jongin asked conversationally.

Kyungsoo shook his head. “I have my license but I don’t have the money for a car.” Jongin was the complete opposite. He couldn’t find the time and the motivation to go for driver’s ed classes but he already had two or three cars registered under his father’s name assigned to him to use whenever he pleased.

“What car do you think you’ll get?” Jongin asked.

“A local make, probably. Second hand, most likely. Fresh ones are just out of budget,” Kyungsoo muttered, looking out of the window as the car pulled away from the sidewalk. The windows were tinted so that no one could look in, but there were people who stared at the windows anyway, hoping to catch sight of the big shot in the Rolls Royce.

“Tell me about your roommate, the one who shares nothing but friendship with you,” Jongin asked, watching Kyungsoo look out of the window like it was a new world.

“You’ve been asking an awful lot of questions,” Kyungsoo remarked distractedly. Jongin tipped his head to one side and smiled to himself. Did Kyungsoo want to know more about him? He’d thought that Kyungsoo knew all there was to know about Jongin.

“Well, you can ask me stuff too if you want,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo whipped his head around in surprise. “I. I don’t have a lot of questions and besides, I have no right to ask you anyway,” Kyungsoo said. “I didn’t think I said that particular comment out loud, I just… it was just a thought,” Kyungsoo quickly said, red tinting his cheeks. He shot a nervous glance at Jongin’s driver to see if he was listening in.

Jongin chuckled. “Just ask me whatever you want. And don’t mind him, this isn’t the first time he’ll have heard about my personal life. I’m sure I won’t be as fascinating once you’re done, but go ahead.”

Kyungsoo cleared his throat, turning in his seat to face Jongin properly. “Um… Okay then. When did—” he stopped like he wasn’t sure about his question and then continued, “What made you want to take over Accuretta Systems three years ago?”

Jongin was slightly disappointed that he was going for the most basic question, but decided to answer him honestly rather than give him the usual crap Jongin would give to a reporter or an interviewer on TV. They knew too much (and yet too little) of each other to even think about selling one another out now.

“I never wanted to take over the company. My dad wanted me to do something with my life and made me take the company just so he could start another one overseas,” Jongin shrugged. Kyungsoo made an oh with his mouth, like it completely threw him off.

“You mean… this isn’t your dream?”

“Nope. Told you I wouldn’t be as exciting to know once you get down and dirty.”

Kyungsoo shook his head. “That’s not what I meant, I just… I thought you were ambitious and arrogant enough to think that you could handle your dad’s company. Not that you couldn’t, you probably could if you want to—” Kyungsoo started to say, but Jongin cut him off.

“To have a great title like CEO sounds great, but honestly, it’s a hassle, especially since this isn’t something I want. But family is family and I can’t really say no to my dad. Besides, I haven’t found anything more interesting to do, so.”

Kyungsoo listened carefully and took in each word with concentration. He seemed genuinely surprised but still interested to know more.

“Then do you think you’re ready to take over your father’s empire?” Kyungsoo asked. It was more or less the same kind of question magazine interviewers asked Jongin, and he always gave the same answer that Sehun had written for him, but this was an unscripted situation where Jongin had to either make do with whatever came to him or spill the truth. He much preferred the latter; it wasn’t in him to lie all the time.

“I don’t know. My father says you never know when you can be a good leader until you’re forced to be one. I guess he’s throwing me in the deep end, and for now I’m swimming fine but maybe I’ll drown one day. I’ll go down like a light falling into a deep tunnel and after that no one will ever bother about me,” Jongin shrugged.

Kyungsoo asked him a few more questions, and Jongin answered all of them truthfully, surprising Kyungsoo with most of his replies, but he wasn’t going to regret telling the truth. He didn’t want to lie to someone like Kyungsoo.

After about five questions, Kyungsoo tapped the driver on the shoulder and told him to make a few turns. Jongin’s driver took a guess at Kyungsoo’s area, and Kyungsoo said yes, that was where he lived. His driver told him that he was familiar with where they were supposed to go, so Kyungsoo sat back down in his seat quietly, looking out of the window to see where they were headed.

“You haven’t answered my question yet, you know,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo blinked in confusion. “What question?”

“About your roommate.”

Comprehension dawned on Kyungsoo and he nodded, exhaling through his mouth loudly. “Right, the roommate. Well, what do you want to know about him?”

“Anything. His name, how you knew him…” Jongin trailed off. He loved watching Kyungsoo’s mouth move, and the sound of his voice. It had such a lovely timbre and sound to it, the Do Kyungsoo sound. Jongin felt sure he could recognize Kyungsoo’s voice anywhere now that he was listening to it in such an enclosed space.

“How I knew him? It’s boring, you don’t want to know,” Kyungsoo said, picking at some lint on his pants.

“Boring is you leaving me hanging when I’m curious. I’ll decide if it’s boring,” Jongin said, crossing his legs. Kyungsoo bit his lip, looking up at the driver.

“It’s—I don’t think I can tell you if… if someone else is here, whether or not he’s listening,” Kyungsoo said softly.

“Tell me when we’re at your place then,” Jongin said. The car made a sharp turn into an unfamiliar neighborhood. It was a part of Seoul Jongin was sure he’d never seen before, not in the twenty seven years he’d lived in this country.

The houses were kind of cramped together on either sides of the street, the road was rather bumpy as his driver slowed down to avoid damaging the car and the cars in the area certainly weren’t expensive, foreign made cars. So this is what the other side of the coin looks like, Jongin thought.

“Careful when you turn to the right,” Kyungsoo said to the driver. “There has been a number of accidents at that corner.”

No one’s going to come out alive if they’re crashing my baby, Jongin thought. He’d sue everyone possible if he couldn’t go home in his Rolls Royce without smashing it to pieces. His driver maneuvered a drab colored wall carefully, managing to scrape by without scratching the Rolls Royce. Jongin felt like he couldn’t breathe from the breathless way his driver was driving.

Kyungsoo noticed the way he was holding his breath as they moved through the neighborhood. “Don’t worry, no one’s going to steal your ride,” he smiled, although it didn’t quite reach his eyes. He was probably thinking that Jongin was judging his area, and he tried to keep his voice light as he replied, “I know, I wasn’t thinking about that. Just wondering how you get out of this neighborhood if you don’t have a car. Do you walk?” Jongin asked offhandedly.

He couldn’t remember where he last saw a bus stop, but he supposed there was one nearby.

“Yeah, I walk about ten minutes out to the main road and wait for a bus. Owning a car would be a problem if I was still living here anyway,” Kyungsoo said, sounding slightly relieved that Jongin wasn’t completely checking everything out in utter distaste. Walking in this area in the early hours of the morning and the darkness of the evening seemed like a daunting task to Jongin.

“This is the road, sir. Which house do I stop at?” the driver said.

“At 52, on this side of the street. I’ll tell you when to stop,” Kyungsoo said, pointing to the left side of the street.

The houses here only had one floor, and the driveways were far too small to fit the Rolls Royce, so Jongin was trying to figure out where his driver should park his precious car. Some cars were parked up on the sidewalk to avoid blocking the road, but Jongin would prefer it if his driver didn’t do that. Maybe I should just send him away and tell him to pick me up once I’m done here, Jongin thought.

“Here it is,” Kyungsoo said. His driver stopped to let them get down, and Jongin said, “Why don’t you wait till I call you again? I’ll call you when I’m ready to go home.”

“As you wish, sir.”

Kyungsoo had gotten down and leaned down, about to tell the driver to park the car somewhere but Jongin stopped him. “I’m afraid of what might happen to my baby if he parks like this, so he’ll come when I call him,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo shut up, and stared at Jongin.

“He can have dinner that way, and he won’t be bored with waiting for me,” Jongin added. Kyungsoo looked like he wanted to say something, but decided against it and just said okay.

Jongin got down, shutting the door behind him as he looked around the area. There were other cars driving up and down the road and middle aged women tending to their gardens. It looked like the kind of neighborhood where everyone knew each other and probably gossiped about their neighbors whenever there was a fight or a significant change to the neighbor’s home. It wasn’t exactly the area Jongin pictured Kyungsoo would be living in but it fitted nicely anyway.

“So,” Kyungsoo started nervously. “Here we are.”

 

Chapter Text

“Here we are indeed,” Jongin said, turning around to look at the house Kyungsoo supposedly live in. It was on a hill as he had checked, but he didn’t see any street signs to tell him where he was. Kyungsoo had a bunch of keys in his hand and shifted his weight from foot to foot nervously, looking around like he wasn’t sure about letting Jongin into his place.

“Can you promise that if you’re a serial killer, you’ll make my death easy?” Jongin asked to lighten the mood. Kyungsoo stopped fidgeting when he spoke, and laughed nervously.

“I’ll mail your body back to the office if you want too,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin nodded. “That would be preferable, yes. Is this the one?” Jongin asked, pointing at the rusty metal gates in front of him. The gates obscured Jongin’s view of looking into Kyungsoo’s place, what with its top to bottom cover up and high walls around the house.

“Yep. Come in then,” Kyungsoo said, moving to unlock the gates. He pushed one of the gates aside for Jongin to enter, so Jongin walked in first, unsure of what to expect.

The front yard of Kyungsoo’s home was small, about as large as Jongin’s bathroom. There was a two by two meter wooden platform built under a large persimmon tree and a clothesline hanging from the window on Jongin’s left reaching across the yard and tied onto one of the branches of the tree.

The house looked like a traditional Korean home from the late nineties maybe, with its wooden floors and pale, green walls. It was shaped like an L, stretching out on Jongin’s left and ending in front of him at about ten feet from where he stood. Quaint, frosted glass windows were set into the walls to provide a sense of wider space, Jongin supposed. It was homey if one liked to live in tiny spaces, but Jongin rather liked his large two bedroom apartment. Kyungsoo’s home was… pitiful.

Kyungsoo came in after Jongin with some mail in his hands, closing the gate after himself and locking it up. “Here, take off your shoes and come in,” Kyungsoo said, moving past him to get the door.

The traditional sliding door (Jongin didn’t know people still lived in houses with doors made of paper and wood) clashed with the green walls, and Jongin knew Chanyeol would think it was an atrocity to live in a house like this, with all its copy and paste characteristics but luckily, Jongin wasn’t the kind to run his mouth without filtering his words.

Kyungsoo took off his shoes and placed them in a shoe cupboard, leaving it open for Jongin. He went into the house first, bustling about. A small traditional dining table was visible from where Jongin stood to kick off his shoes, and he saw a loaf of bread sitting on the table as well as cushions on the ground to sit by the table. There were only two cushions, so Jongin could see that Kyungsoo was telling the truth about his roommate.

Jongin entered the house, taking in the sights. On his right, a tiny kitchen and a door possibly leading to the side of the house. On his left, there was a coat hanger with an assortment of clothes hanging from it as well as a few empty sling bags. Next to the dining table, directly ahead of Jongin where the house bent to the left was a TV, looking surprisingly modern and expensive.

Kyungsoo appeared from around the corner, dressed in a simple tee instead of his usual office shirt. “You want something to drink?” he asked.

“Sure,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo brushed past him to get him his drink. “I know it’s not much but it’s enough,” Kyungsoo said as he walked away.

“What is?” Jongin asked. He took a step forward to observe a few photos hung on a wall. Jongin squinted to see who were the people in the photos and saw Kyungsoo in one or two of them. The pictures were mostly taken at parties or right in this place, by the TV with a few others. There was one guy who appeared in all of the photos. He had black hair sometimes or blonde or even pink hair sometimes, but he looked close enough to Kyungsoo to be in so many photos.

“My place,” Kyungsoo said from the kitchen. “You want tea, Coke, water?”

“Iced water is fine. And I’m not a real estate agent so my thoughts on your place are irrelevant.” Not that there were any thoughts of his place worth voicing. It was an unassuming humble abode, and that was all. Jongin was about to turn away when he saw a photo of Baekhyun on the wall, his arm slung around Kyungsoo’s neck as he made a feisty expression while Kyungsoo cowered behind him.

I thought they weren’t that close?

“The guy with pink hair is my roommate,” Kyungsoo said to him, opening the fridge to get ice. Jongin looked for the guy in the photos again and hummed in appreciation.

“What’s a wild looking guy like him living in a place like this? No offense, of course,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo laughed. “He doesn’t save up, that’s why.”

And you must’ve spent five months’ worth of your income just to get yourself that long distance camera, Jongin thought. Suho had a thing for cameras too (but not photography), and Jongin had picked up a thing or two about cameras. He knew Kyungsoo’s camera wasn’t cheap, at least.

“So you live with him long?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo padded over to him, handing him his iced water. Jongin murmured a thank you and sipped at it, waiting for his answer.

“I’ve been living with him ever since I came to Seoul to work,” Kyungsoo replied.

“And that was how long ago?”

“Four, maybe five years ago. He found this place and wanted to split the rent equally so I agreed. The rooms are small and the hot water is only warm sometimes, but it’s good enough for the both of us,” Kyungsoo shrugged.

“Hmm. And you both met under what sort of circumstances?” Jongin asked slyly. Perhaps they met at a bar, or at a club where Kyungsoo once went for fun and found a friend in this pink haired dude.

“I met Luhan at a job interview, actually,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin lifted an eyebrow. “Oh?” An interview for a host club, maybe? Some people who were desperate enough for money sold their bodies in the sex trade sometimes. Luhan looked like the kind who’d be up for that.

“We met when I was waiting to be called for an interview at your building,” Kyungsoo said. This was surprising to here, and Jongin’s expression said as much.

“He only had pink hair when he first came,” Kyungsoo smiled gently. “He still wishes he could have that hair and a proper job, though.” Proper job. So that means he’s not working at Accuretta, Jongin thought.  

“He wanted the same job that I came in for, and he asked me if they’d take him in with his pink hair. I asked him if he was serious, and we’ve been friends ever since,” Kyungsoo said, placing a hand over a picture of Luhan and himself sitting together at a party. Obviously, there were good memories associated with Luhan.

“If that’s how you met then why were you so afraid to tell me in the car?” Jongin asked.

“He’s not working at your building, obviously. And you’ll inevitably ask me where he’s working and I can’t think of a way to lie to you and have him come home without contradicting my words.”

“Tell me,” Jongin said, shaking his glass to listen to the sound of ice clinking against the glass. Kyungsoo sighed, looking up at him.

“I suppose I can’t hide it for very long. His job isn’t exactly legal, so I hope you’ll keep this to yourself…”

“Half of the things I do after six are illegal,” Jongin said suggestively. Kyungsoo blushed, dropping his gaze to his feet. Jongin waited for a few seconds before Kyungsoo spoke up.

“He’s working for a loan shark,” Kyungsoo whispered softly.

Jongin almost dropped his glass of water in amazement. A loan shark? He looked at the pictures of Luhan again. There was nothing to indicate loan shark in his photos. Luhan looked like he was about Jongin’s age, looked like the kind who could party the night away and most of all, did not have any tattoos. Loan sharks have tattoos at some point, and his sleeveless tops revealed nothing but alabaster skin.

“I know what you’re thinking. He’s from Beijing and he needed to earn money for his parents back home at the time. He’s not the kind who beats people up or anything like that. He’s actually the accountant for the head of the loan shark operation. They don’t make him do or see any of the dirty work so long as he counts the money right and banks everything in to the right account,” Kyungsoo explained.

“You mean they don’t put him through the criminal acts as long as he doesn’t fuck up,” Jongin said dryly. “And he does all this just so he can keep his pink hair?” Jongin asked.

“Well, the pay is pretty good so he changed his hair colour right away… He can’t find another job that pays just as good, so he’s stuck in a way,” Kyungsoo said.

Jongin snorted. “Maybe he should let go of his pride and just get a proper job?”

Kyungsoo stilled at that. Jongin sipped at his iced water, looking away from the photos. “Accountants don’t get very good pay and you have to work long hours… Luhan prefers to work flexible hours and I let him be. He pays rent and buys me food all the time so I don’t say anything about his job.”

Jongin decided to let it go. Luhan’s life wasn’t his business, though Jongin thought Luhan was acting like a little bitch. What good would a big fat salary do if the cops caught him one day? Then he’d never get another job again, and it would be the end of his life before he was even in his thirties.

“I won’t comment. Why don’t you show me your photos instead, and put Luhan’s job out of my mind?” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo looked relieved to be off the subject of his roommate’s affairs and moved away to lead Jongin down the small hallway. “Right this way,” he said. Jongin walked past a plastic door, so he guessed it was probably the bathroom. Kyungsoo tapped on a door as he walked.

“This is Luhan’s room. At that end, it’s my room and this room is…” he trailed off. The door opposite of Luhan’s room looked just like the rest of the house, unassuming and plain. But the inside… Jongin smirked. He couldn’t wait to see the inside of the room already.

Kyungsoo bit his lower lip. “It’s a spare room, so it’s not that big, and um. It’s where I keep everything,” Kyungsoo said.

Jongin shrugged. “I’m waiting. Any moment you’re ready,” Jongin motioned to the door. He drank the rest of his iced water, holding the wet, cold glass in one hand. Kyungsoo placed a hand on the doorknob, taking a deep breath.

Then he twisted it in his hand, pushing the door inwards.

The light wasn’t very bright in the room but Jongin went in anyway, looking around in half darkness. There were small photos criss-crossing on a string above his head and a desk pushed up against the wall. On it were magazines, a small plastic box and the camera Jongin knew Kyungsoo had brought along to London that day. No doubt the magazines were the ones where Jongin had made appearances or interviews. Kyungsoo entered the room as well, switching on a light.

That was when the full force of the room hit him.

All of the Polaroid photos up in the air were of him, first of all. The ones by his head were mostly photos of him at private events, such as his birthday party or when he went out clubbing with Chanyeol and Suho. The paparazzi didn’t even know about half of these events, how did Kyungsoo even know where to find him?

On the walls there were more photos, mostly the same events but taken from different angles. He couldn’t even tell what color the wall was, it was completely plastered from ceiling to the floor with hundreds of photos. At the desk, the magazines were as he predicted. Every issue of Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue with a feature of Kim Jongin, Kyungsoo had it. Even the ones where he appeared in the tabloids for stupid rumors, Kyungsoo had them.

To finish everything off, by his left stood a large canvas image of himself walking on the street. It was almost life sized and the entire image captured him from head to foot. He was walking by the side of some street he couldn’t recognize and had his hair all messed up, hands tucked into his pockets.

“I can’t even remember when this was,” Jongin said flatly, looking at the poster. Kyungsoo pointed at the bottom right corner of the poster.

“It says June 26th 2014. You were at a party, I was waiting for quite some time outside, and then you came out…” Kyungsoo said. His lips were practically white as he waited for Jongin to say something else about the poster.

“It’s a lot like a teenage girl’s bedroom, wouldn’t you say?” Jongin asked after a moment of silence.

Kyungsoo swallowed the lump in his throat and shrugged. “Maybe. I haven’t um… There’re still a few more photos in my bedroom that I didn’t put up. Would you like to see them as well?”

Jongin nodded. “Why are they in your room? A secret stash just in case you need to clear this room out?” he asked. Kyungsoo blushed.

“No, I’ve been meaning to label them and put them up on a board. The desk here is too small so I usually do everything in my room instead.”

“Can I come and see?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo shrugged, hands trembling. “I guess.”

So they left the room and went into Kyungsoo’s room. It was very clean for someone who couldn’t afford a maid, from the perfectly made bed and the computer sitting on a larger study table across the bed. There was not a speck of dust to be found.

When Jongin came closer to the desk, he saw at least fifty photos of himself littering the desk, most of them with a bit of writing on it. He picked up one of himself at a boutique, choosing clothes with Chanyeol in the background. Neat writing accompanied the photo beside his face: ‘2013/5/3 Shopping in Hongdae. Love his hair.’

Another said, ‘2012/4/12 Lunch with friends. New coat, and it looks so good on him as usual.’

Jongin read through a few more, looking into the past at a glance. The photos all sported a short comment written in Kyungsoo’s hand, commenting on his new shoes or new hairstyle or the way his jeans looked really good on him… Kyungsoo watched him reading the comments, blushing the entire time, but he didn’t make any attempt to hide it.

“I notice most of these are photos of one event at one time, rather than a series of photos from the same day. Are they your personal favorite or something?”

Kyungsoo nodded, searching through a few and putting away the ones without any comment yet. He picked one up and held it out to Jongin silently.

Jongin took the photo. It said, ‘2015/3/12 In the building before eleven. Saw me.’ The photo was of Jongin staring right at the camera for the first time in any of these photos, from that fateful day Jongin came in too fucking early for a meeting. He smiled.

“So you like this photo best?” he asked. Kyungsoo shrugged like a petulant child.

“I think you do like it best, otherwise you wouldn’t have had this printed out. Tell me, do you ever regret taking this photo of me that day?” Jongin asked, holding the photo out to him and blinking innocently.

“Of course not. It’s hard to get you to look at the camera without revealing myself. I just wanted a photo of you since it was the first time I’d seen you after about a week and...” he shrugged eloquently.

Jongin smirked. “Well, you’ve shown me all this. I promise I’ll look in the camera next time you want to take a photo of me, okay?” He placed the photo down on the desk among the rest.

“You don’t have to do that,” Kyungsoo muttered. Jongin gave him a solemn look. “But I want to.”

“Why? To see what it feels like, being photographed by someone who’s been watching you for years?” Kyungsoo snapped bitterly. It surprised Jongin; he didn’t think he would be so vehement about it. 

“To see what it feels like to be seen through the eyes of another,” Jongin corrected him. “I’ve never wanted to, but you’ve got me curious. Can’t you indulge me by taking just a few photos?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo shook his head. “No. No, I think it’s just too personal to just take photos of you when you know I’m there. I-It creeps me out just to think about it—”

“Hey, it’s a new experience for me too. I’ve never confronted a stalker before and somehow end up at his place, looking through all the photos he’s ever taken on,” Jongin said, trying to adopt a lighter tone to calm Kyungsoo down just a little bit. He wasn’t very cooperative when he was worked up.

His tone didn’t seem to work. In fact, Kyungsoo looked even more agitated than a second ago. “It was a terrible idea to have brought you here. I, I can’t believe I let you see all those photos. You must think I’m a freak or something now, and you’re just trying to play along so that I won’t like, attack you—”

Jongin put down his empty glass and took Kyungsoo by the shoulders firmly, shutting him up by rattling him just enough to surprise him.

“Kyungsoo, listen to me. I am not playing along, I am trying to get to know you. You are the one freaking out now when I’m the one with his face all over a spare bedroom so why don’t you just grab this cup,” Jongin released him and picked the glass up to put it in Kyungsoo’s hand, “and wash it.

“Go to the kitchen, wash it up and make it real clean and spotless. You think about photographing me while you’re at it, and when you come back you’ll be calm and ready to present an answer without having a mental breakdown.”

Jongin pushed him gently into the direction of the door. Kyungsoo made a sound of despair in his throat, turning around to look at him pitifully.

Go.”

Kyungsoo turned around to leave as Jongin told him to. Jongin sighed in exasperation.

He knew Kyungsoo wanted him that way, so why was he even pretending to resist? Jongin could admit that he was totally coming onto Kyungsoo now, but why would Kyungsoo say no to taking photos? Maybe he’s afraid of what might or might not happen, Jongin thought, laying his hand heavily on the desk. The drawers jolted.

Out of absent curiosity, Jongin shook the desk just a little, and found that the contents of the drawers were moving around noisily. Hmm, what could it be? Jongin thought in a sing-song tone to himself.

Without really thinking about it, he pulled open the first drawer. He looked down at the contents, first not comprehending what he was looking at and then realizing what they were. Oh ho…

Reaching into the drawer, he lifted a pair of handcuffs, examining them. They were made of metal and looked like the kind the cops would use. Well, well, well, he thought, smirking to himself. What else could Kyungsoo be hiding?

He rummaged through the contents, spotting a pair of nipple clamps, a bit of rope and a small vibrator. He switched it on to see if it had batteries, and the vibrator started to buzz in his hand. Does he use this at night when he thinks of me? Jongin thought with a smile. He turned it off, placing it back into the drawer and then holding up a flogger among other unrecognizable sex toys. “Wow,” he said to himself. This was certainly a new side of Kyungsoo.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Jongin turned around, caressing the flogger around his neck. It felt quite nice actually, stiff and unyielding. Probably leather, he noted dimly. “Something you wanna share with me?”

Kyungsoo’s face turned red so fast Jongin thought he’d turn into the Hulk. He crossed the distance between in three large steps and snatched the flogger away from Jongin’s hands, shoving it into the drawer of secrets and shutting it with a hard push.

“Christ, Jongin, don’t you know how to respect other people’s privacy?” Kyungsoo snapped, looking up at Jongin angrily.

“The irony,” Jongin said dryly.

“That’s different,” Kyungsoo very nearly shouted, probably agitated beyond reason now. Jongin cocked his head to the left, waiting for Kyungsoo to explain how it was different.

“Why would you go through my drawers? I’ve shown you all your photos, isn’t that humiliating enough?” Kyungsoo asked, tears pooling in his eyes. Jongin didn’t expect him to cry, but thought that maybe he should have expected it. It was a little cute to see him cry, like a child crying after being taken away from the playground. Or like watching a bug trying to turn itself over on its back.

“Do you use those things on someone? Or maybe the other way around?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo wiped at his tears angrily, sitting on his bed.

“Oh my God, Jongin, just go away. Please. All I’ve ever done since I’ve spoken to you is cry and I’m so fucking tired of it,” Kyungsoo sighed, putting his face into his hands. Jongin sat down beside him, ignoring what he just said. He couldn’t actually go away. He still needed to wait a few minutes if he was going to have to call his driver.

“Why would you cry over the fact that I stumbled onto your kinky collection? I’ve been around the block, Kyungsoo, it’s not the first time I’ve seen those things,” he said, trying to get him to stop crying. He was sobbing into his hands now, making soft, sad noises. Jongin thought it probably wasn’t a good time to mention that he would just love to use those nipple clamps on Kyungsoo. Maybe later, he thought.

Jongin pulled Kyungsoo’s hand away from his face, lifting his face up with his hand. Kyungsoo refused to look at him stubbornly, probably from the shame and shock of revealing another secret. His lips looked swollen and a little redder than it usually was from his tears. Jongin smiled. He looked irresistibly cute like this. It was exactly like the bug metaphor. Kyungsoo didn’t have to cry or resist all the time; he was only really fighting himself in the end.

“Look, Kyungsoo. Do you know why I came here?”

Kyungsoo coughed, sniffling as he ignored Jongin.

Jongin went on. “I came because I was interested in more than just my photos. I came because… I don’t think you’re a freak or a weirdo for following me around for the past three years. Frankly if you think about it, it’s kind of admirable.” Kyungsoo glanced up at him. \

“But I digress, Kyungsoo. You see, your predilection has only served to ignite one of my own. Or at least, the start of one. Won’t you, really, just indulge me a few photos and see where this all might lead?” Jongin asked, lowering his voice. Kyungsoo blinked his pretty eyes, biting his lower lip. Jongin used his thumb to touch the soft flesh of his chin, feel the warmth emanating from his skin.

Kyungsoo lowered his eyes. “You’re lying.”

“Lying?” Jongin echoed.

“You don’t want to know where this leads. You just want to mock me and my—my tendencies, my bad habits, the worst parts of me and just throw me aside. I know guys like you, Jongin, and there’s a good reason why I stayed away from you.”

“But you’re intrigued, no? You want to know what it feels like to be with someone like me, as you claim. And although I admit I was undecided when I first found out about you, I’m here now, aren’t I? And so are you. Don’t lie to me and say you don’t want this.” Something about what Kyungsoo just said clicked in Jongin’s head, and he went on, “You were the boy Baekhyun talked about, aren’t you?”

“What boy?” Kyungsoo frowned.

“A boy whom he saved at an all boys school from bullies. It was you, wasn’t it, about to commit suicide because you couldn’t stand being bullied?” Jongin said. Kyungsoo twisted away from him, pressing his cheeks together.

“So what?” he muttered.

So, you’re afraid of who you are and what other people might do when they see this side of you. But you don’t understand, Kyungsoo, I’m not here to mock you. I’m here because it’s a new experience for me and I’m open to… new sensations and feelings. Don’t push me away, Kyungsoo, open yourself to me and see if you like it first,” Jongin said, coaxing him out of his fit of self loathing and sadness.

 “You’re straight. I’m not stupid, Jongin,” Kyungsoo said.

“People change. I have a good reason for testing my limits, and that’s you. You’re gay, so why are you resisting your basic instinct? Maybe I’m gay too, only I’ve never found someone attractive enough till you came along.”

Kyungsoo gave him a withering look that said he sounded too insincere to mean those words. “Come on, I mean what I say. You’re not ugly, Kyungsoo. I like your lips, for example, and the way you try to steel yourself around me even though we both know you melt at the sight of me,” Jongin said, moving his hand to the back of Kyungsoo’s neck. He inched closer, waiting for Kyungsoo to say something.

“Are you always this charming?” Kyungsoo asked, voice a little stuffy from crying.

“Mm, always. Ask Sehun or I could persuade you to believe me. Shall I persuade you?” Jongin replied.

“N-No, I don’t think I want—”

“I will anyway, just to be clear. I’m not asking for your hand in marriage, Kyungsoo, or a commitment. All I’m asking is a photographing session entirely for your benefit and maybe,” Jongin leaned in closer, mouth hovering over Kyungsoo’s lips.

“Maybe one more kiss.”

Jongin touched his lips to Kyungsoo’s and tentatively moved against his jaw, waiting for him to resist. Instead, Kyungsoo tried to kiss back like a naïve schoolboy, and Jongin led him gently by slipping out the tip of his tongue to lick at his lips. Kyungsoo’s mouth was salty from his tears and a little dry, but it wasn’t something Jongin couldn’t handle. He much preferred the natural taste of Kyungsoo to Jiyoung’s strawberry mouth. Jiyoung tasted saccharine at best, but Kyungsoo’s mouth was divine.

Kyungsoo placed a hand on Jongin’s shoulder, kissing back with some effort. Jongin hummed into his mouth, prying his pretty little mouth open to taste his tongue. Kyungsoo gave a breathy moan, fingers squeezing Jongin’s shoulder tightly.

He pulled away with a wet sound, breathing heavily. “I… Air…” he panted. Jongin smiled blandly, brushing his hair away from his face.

“Do you make people gag you and tie up, Kyungsoo, or do you perhaps, like it the other way around?” Jongin asked huskily. Kyungsoo’s wet lashes brushed his cheeks delicately as he looked down in his lap.

“I…”

“Be honest.”

“I’ve never done it but… I’ve always wanted it to be the other way around.”

“Oh?” Jongin remarked, trying to look at Kyungsoo’s face. It was certainly a revelation. Jongin never knew Kyungsoo had it in him, would never have guessed had he not looked through that drawer.

“Have you always imagined it to be me?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo hesitated for a moment before he gave a brief nod, his red face turning even redder. He’s a walking tomato now, Jongin thought. But a cute tomato. He was going to have to give Kyungsoo a cute nickname soon, if this was the start of something.

“I’d love to try everything in that drawer, Kyungsoo, but only if you let me. Only if you consent to letting me in instead of arguing and fighting me all the time. Cease the fight, Kyungsoo,” Jongin whispered.

He was so close to Kyungsoo, close enough to steal another kiss from his sweet mouth. An angel, Jongin thought, he must be an angel. How could anyone still be so naïve and untouched in this world? He’d caught an angel like a fragile butterfly in his net and he wasn’t going to let go, even if Kyungsoo thought he wanted to be a cage. Someone had to open the door for him; Jongin didn’t mind being the one to do it.

A horn suddenly blared from outside, jerking them from their thoughts.

Kyungsoo quickly stood up. “It’s Luhan,” he gulped. Jongin could hear the sound of a car engine turning off from outside.

“Does he know I’m here?” Jongin asked.

“He doesn’t know it’s you, um… I didn’t know if he’d believe me,” Kyungsoo said somewhat apologetically. Jongin shrugged, running a hand through his hair.

“He’ll believe it when he sees me then. Shall we?” Jongin said, motioning to the door. Kyungsoo moved first then hesitated, placing a hand on Jongin’s arm imploringly. “Don’t talk about his job, will you? It’s not something I tell everyone about so…”

Jongin placed a finger over his lips and smiled bashfully. Kyungsoo thanked him silently by returning his gaze with a grateful look and led him out of the room, flicking the light switch off. Jongin obligingly shut the door behind him as Kyungsoo made his way to the front of the house, waiting for Luhan to come in.

A noisy clash of metal marked Luhan’s entrance into the home. “Hey, Luhan,” Kyungsoo called nervously. He couldn’t hope to hide the blotchy marks on his cheeks, but whatever Kyungsoo’s excuse would be, Jongin would go along with it.

Kyungsoo went out of the house, slipping on a pair of sandals to greet Luhan properly. Jongin peeked out and saw Luhan stumbling through the gates with a heavy bag in his hands. Dressed in casual clothes, he didn’t look at all different from the photos. His hair was jet black, but it was sticking up in so many directions Jongin couldn’t tell if it was on purpose.

Luhan looked up at Kyungsoo and said, “Hey, grab this while I get our takeaway, will ya?” Luhan’s Korean was awkward, but it was good enough for a foreigner. Kyungsoo took the bag from Luhan, nodding at him.  

He hadn’t yet noticed Jongin standing at the doorway, and was out of sight for a few seconds before he came back in. Kyungsoo lugged the heavy grocery bag in both hands, tottering precariously as Luhan shut the gates, holding a bulky bag in one arm.

“Am I late, Kyungsoo? Is your guest here yet?” Luhan asked. Kyungsoo grunted in reply, ducking to reenter the house. Jongin moved aside for the both of them to come in.

For a moment, no one said anything until Luhan came in and looked up at Jongin. He gasped so loudly the minute they made eye contact, it scared Jongin. Kyungsoo cleared his throat pointedly, pretending to sort things out through the grocery bag. Luhan dropped to his knees, gaping at Jongin.

“Is he real?” Luhan said in a choked voice.

“In the flesh,” Jongin said, holding out a hand to pull Luhan up to his feet. Luhan gasped again when he spoke, grabbing his hand and swooping up into Jongin’s face.

“Talks exactly like the real guy too,” Luhan breathed, squeezing his hand to see if it was real. He stared at Jongin’s face so hard, he could probably see every pore on Jongin’s skin. Kyungsoo turned around to roll his eyes at Luhan and flung a packet of tissues at his head.

“Stop it,” Kyungsoo said.

“Even smells like money, Kyungsoo, where the fuck did you find him?” Luhan said without looking away from Jongin’s eyes. Jongin wasn’t sure if he was allowed to blink with someone this close to his face. He was afraid to even try it.

“At Accuretta Systems. Stop scaring our guest, he’s not used to you yet,” Kyungsoo said lightly. Luhan backed up at once, shaking his hand vigorously.

“You prob’ly here for them photos, hmm? Tell you what, give Kyungsoo a good price and he’ll never bother you again—” Kyungsoo scowled at him and picked up the packet of tissues on the ground to throw it at him again.

“I’m actually here just to see them,” Jongin smiled. Luhan made an appreciative noise in his throat, sticking out his lower lip while nodding.

“Fascinating. And how are you here again?”

Jongin glanced at Kyungsoo. “Why don’t we uh, eat and talk?” Kyungsoo suggested. Now that they were past awkward handshakes and first impressions, Jongin rather thought that that was a good idea.

-

Luhan was a wonderful guy.

In the three hours that the three of them spoke, Jongin learned a lot more about Kyungsoo and Luhan.

Luhan was looking for a job, for one. He was tired of working for the loan sharks and he just couldn’t find another job that could pay just as well, which was why he still worked for them. Jongin promised to look into jobs that he could do and would get Suho to see if Luhan couldn’t work at Accuretta by next month.

Kyungsoo and Luhan were been friends, yes, but they were closer than Kyungsoo made it out to be. Luhan knew everything about Jongin because Kyungsoo had told him, and wasn’t freaked out by the spare room at all. He said, “It’s cute, don’t you think?” and made Kyungsoo blush as they ate their honey drizzled fried chicken.

 Jongin discovered that Luhan was quite a spender when he noticed his shirt was from HBA. He loved branded goods, and it was the reason why he was still living with Kyungsoo when he made good money from the loan sharks. “I can’t leave this guy alone anyway. He’ll cry,” Luhan had said, pointing at Kyungsoo with his chopsticks.

“You’re the one who can’t sleep alone when there’s a thunderstorm,” Kyungsoo had snapped. Luhan laughed good naturedly. Jongin didn’t even have to bring up Luhan’s job. Kyungsoo was just being a protective friend, and it was so sweet of him, Jongin wanted to kiss the living daylights out of Kyungsoo.

When they had eaten, Jongin had to tell Luhan his intentions of coming to their place, and Jongin skimmed over the fact that he and Kyungsoo kissed, merely implying that he was definitely interested in Kyungsoo romantically (and sexually, but he didn’t want to embarrass Kyungsoo or himself). Luhan had asked Kyungsoo if he’d been crying before he came home, and Jongin said that he was the one who made him cry.

“I’m not surprised he cried over you. It’s not the first time,” Luhan said nonchalantly. It was like charming the in-laws, and Luhan obviously approved of Jongin almost right away.

“Don’t be icked out by the photos and the crying. Kyungsoo has a heart of gold and I’d date him if I wasn’t dating someone else,” Luhan told Jongin. Kyungsoo glared at Luhan to shut up, but it was too late. Jongin had charmed Luhan’s pants off, and they were, in his opinion, on very good terms now.

To Kyungsoo’s horror, Luhan gave Jongin Kyungsoo’s number on a small slip of paper before he had to leave and insisted that he at least text Kyungsoo. Jongin thanked him for his kindness while Kyungsoo pushed Jongin out of the gates, having had enough of Luhan’s shenanigans. 

Outside, Jongin waited for his car to show up and Kyungsoo stood there beside him to make sure he wouldn’t get mugged or something.

“Luhan’s some guy,” Jongin remarked with a smile.

“He is. He’s also very nosy,” Kyungsoo said flatly. Jongin tutted at him. “I thought he was great. I’ll have to find him a job soon, I don’t think I like the thought of him working for loan sharks. See, I’ve grown attached now. Even if you don’t want me around I think Luhan and I are best friends now.”

Kyungsoo scoffed at him, blushing for some reason. “He’s always friendly with everyone he meets.”

“Mm, unlike you.”

Kyungsoo shrugged unapologetically. “I just don’t do people. It’s not my thing.”

Jongin took a subtle step closer to him, glancing at his lips. “Now that I have your roommate’s blessing, I wanna know if you’re still up for the photo session. Are you?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo glanced at him, hugging his arms to himself. “I don’t know,” he mumbled.

Jongin tipped his head to one side. “You don’t know, or if you’re unsure of my intentions?” Kyungsoo bit his lip when he said that and looked away.

“Well, yeah. You’re charming and all, but you’re still Kim Jongin. You can’t possibly want me, not after all the hostesses I’ve seen you with.” Jongin laughed aloud, surprising Kyungsoo and himself. So that’s what this is about? Jongin thought, chuckling at Kyungsoo’s startled expression.

“Kyungsoo, I’m not going to pretend that I’m not straight, but the girls don’t matter to me. They never did,” he shrugged, taking another step closer to hold Kyungsoo’s shoulders gently. Kyungsoo gave him a suspicious look, but Jongin ignored it.

“You’re different. I like that.” Jongin brushed his lips over Kyungsoo’s own, feeling his small frame shudder when he nibbled on his upper lip. Jongin could taste the honey and iced tea on his lips.

“I don’t believe you,” Kyungsoo whispered, curling his lips inward in a shy manner.

“I’ll make you believe it then, Kyungsoo. I’ll call you and you’ll take photos of me and I’ll kiss you and then we’ll see what else we can do, hmm? Maybe even put those things in your drawer to good use,” Jongin whispered back with a smile. Kyungsoo looked up at him then, like he wanted so much to believe that Jongin was here, clearly seducing him from head to toe, but the conservative side of him won over, and his eyes were sad as he seemed to think it over.

“I don’t know if I can, Jongin,” Kyungsoo said softly.

Jongin took his hand, squeezing his fingers. “I know. But I can wait. I’m willing to wait for you.  I’ve got plenty of time,” Jongin said, pecking his pink cheek. Kyungsoo was at a loss for words, but before Jongin moved out of his personal space, he gripped his arm and said, “Thank you.”

Those two words seemed to hold so much meaning. Jongin could almost feel its weight as Kyungsoo said it and his brain processed the unspoken gratitude behind those two words. He realized that accepting Kyungsoo’s quirk probably meant more to him than Jongin initially thought.

Jongin met Kyungsoo’s gaze and smiled.

*

At home, Jongin couldn’t get Kyungsoo off his mind as he lay in his bed, trying to fall asleep. It was hard not to think about him now that Kyungsoo had so much more depth and dimension. It irked him to think that he was hesitant about Jongin because he’d been bullied so badly as a kid enough to want to commit suicide, and he wanted to prove to Kyungsoo that although this was entirely new for Jongin, he wouldn’t just bail on him the minute the going gets tough. Jongin wasn’t that kind of guy.

Well, with the exception of the hostess girls from Club Red, but he had very good reasons why he strung them along instead of just breaking up with them.

But it wasn’t like that with Kyungsoo. He was that much more human, that much more fragile like spots of thin ice on a frozen surface than any other person Jongin had ever met, and he liked that. He really did.

*

Two days later, it was the weekend and Chanyeol had everyone over at his parents’ mansion for a small barbeque party. It was only the five of them, but Chanyeol had brought in two chefs just to prepare the barbeque and a buffet table for him. You’d think he was catering for a dozen people, but then again they were pretty big eaters, and Chanyeol wasn’t exactly a penny pincher.

Chanyeol’s place was built on a large piece of land, isolated from everyone else. If his mansion didn’t take your breath away, his backyard certainly could. There was a pool, a Jacuzzi, plenty of space to host a garden party in the summer, and lots of grass spread across a large area of the land. It reminded Jongin of a golf course, and he wasn’t surprised to see Chanyeol’s parents playing golf far off into the distance today, hitting balls across the expanse of the backyard to see how far they could go. Jongin was sure that if Chanyeol wanted to buy the entire country, his father’s bank account could definitely afford it.

All the green grass and Olympic sized pool couldn’t provide enough distraction though. Everyone was laughing around Jongin about some joke and Suho was fascinated with Chanyeol’s parents’ golfing, but Jongin was constantly thinking about when it’d be appropriate to contact Kyungsoo while he sipped on his can of beer. He had been too lazy to drop by the office the last two days, but now that it was the weekend it occurred to Jongin that he had no idea what Kyungsoo was doing or where he was.

Probably in the bush, taking pictures of me, he thought idly. He sat up straight at that, in case Kyungsoo was lurking about with his camera.

A splash of water at Jongin’s feet snapped him out of his thoughts. Sehun and Baekhyun had jumped into the pool a few feet in front of Jongin, and were complaining about how it was too cold.

“Oh, sorry, forgot to turn on the heat,” Chanyeol said apologetically, getting out of his seat to adjust the heat. Jongin watched him absently enter the house and disappear for a few seconds before he reappeared and called out to Sehun and Baekhyun, “Should I turn it up to twenty degrees, or would you like it a little a warmer?”

“Twenty five degrees,” Sehun called back. As usual, Jongin thought. Sehun was meticulous about small details like that. Jongin felt like he was acting a bit nitpicky. Chanyeol nodded, readjusted the heat (probably with a fuse box inside the house) and bounded out of the house when he was done.

“Jongin, you’ve been quiet. I think it’s about time you share with us about your trip to Kyungsoo’s place,” Suho said when he noticed the distant look on his face. Chanyeol and Sehun ooh-ed loudly, and Jongin rolled his eyes at them.

“There isn’t much to share,” Jongin said. Sehun splashed some water up at his face rudely. “Don’t lie. If there wasn’t much to share, you’d spill everything and complain about how everything didn’t go your way,” Sehun accused. Jongin pursed his lips at Sehun; thanks to him, his can of beer was now drenched in pool water.

“It’s not that interesting,” Jongin said reluctantly. Chanyeol held up a finger, “Oh, we’ll be the judge of that,” he said, glugging down some beer.  

“Yeah, why don’t you tell us and we’ll see how boring it was?” Sehun sneered. Suho agreed in amusement and Jongin squinted at them suspiciously, wondering if it was alright to tell them the truth. If he was going to have Kyungsoo around for some time, they’d probably guess his true intentions sooner or later, but he wasn’t sure if he was comfortable with telling them.

So this is what being cornered feels like, Jongin noted in his head. He sighed, looking around at the faces of his eager friends. Maybe I’ll just mention that I kissed him and that’ll be all, he thought.  

“Um, I went to his place, saw all of the photos he had of me—”

“How many?” Sehun interrupted.

“Didn’t bother to count,” Jongin replied.

“But there was a lot?” Chanyeol asked. Jongin shrugged. “There was enough of it to indicate that it was an unhealthy obsession, yes,” he answered.

Suho motioned for him to go on. Baekhyun splashed around the pool, oblivious to Jongin’s story. Sneaky little bastard, Jongin thought, before going on.

“Right. There was a big ass poster of me too, and it was almost life sized. After that, I er—I went out to the living room, chatted with him for a bit and maybe I sort of like, put my lips on his—”

Suho made a loud roaring sound, so loud that a few birds flew out of the trees.

“YOU KISSED HIM?”

“Jesus Christ, Suho, not so loud,” Jongin said, frowning. Chanyeol was pumping his fist into the air, face scrunched up in victory. “You owe me five hundred dollars,” he said to Suho. Jongin found it rather disturbing that his friends had betted on him. How long had the bet been going on? Suho looked at him in dismay. “But you said that time that you were going to just…” he trailed off, speechless. Sehun only lifted an eyebrow at Jongin in the pool, cocking his head to one side.

“You really kissed Kyungsoo? Like, with your tongue and everything?” he asked, voice almost inaudible from Suho’s loud groans and Chanyeol’s incomprehensible noises of victory.

“Well, no. Just a peck on the lips, nothing more.  It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, I wasn’t planning on it or anything,” Jongin said. Sehun nodded, sloshing around in the water as he looked at Jongin thoughtfully.

“Did it feel weird?”

Jongin lifted an eyebrow. “Weird how?”

“I don’t know, you tell me. I’m not the one who kissed a guy. What did it feel like?” Sehun asked, smiling up at Jongin now. He was teasing Jongin. Jongin rolled his eyes.

“I dunno, nice?” he replied, unable to take Sehun seriously now. He reached for another beer in the cooler behind him, wondering what it was that made him think his friends would react normally to what he just said. Of course, he wouldn’t know what normal would look like in the first place.

When Chanyeol finally settled down, he said, “So are you dating him now?”

Jongin looked up at him with wide eyes. It was just a kiss; that didn’t necessarily mean they were dating. Or did it? But he had kissed hostess girls before, would that mean he was dating all the girls at the club… “Er, I don’t think we discussed that,” Jongin replied quickly. In fact, he’d prefer it if they never, ever discussed that.

“What did you talk about then?” Suho asked, digging out his wallet dejectedly and pulling a wad of hundred dollar notes. Chanyeol snatched them away from Suho, counting and recounting them happily. “Victory never tasted so sweet,” he sighed.

“We talked about… His roommate. And how he came about with the idea of taking pictures of me in secret. Very fascinating and all that,” Jongin nodded.

His friends just scoffed at him and finally moved onto another interesting topic; the girl Chanyeol was dating. Apparently, she had sent him a few nude pictures of herself and felt the need to show said pictures to them. It was all well to see a girl’s naked body when you’re having sex, but really, to see your friend’s girl friend in the nude was frankly, off putting. Not that Chanyeol ever grasped the meaning of boundaries.

“So you’ve had sex already then?” Sehun asked, getting out of the water. Lunch was almost ready; Chanyeol’s butler had politely informed them that lunch would be ready to serve in ten minutes. Baekhyun got out as well, searching for a towel.

“Hell no. Not till she gets tested for STDs. I am, after all, the heir to an empire. But she’s sending me nudes to ‘keep me interested’. I’m only interested for as long as I know she doesn’t have crabs or syphilis,” Chanyeol said, shoving his phone back into his pocket. Suho and Jongin gaped at him.

“Who asks their partner whom they’ve only started seeing for a few weeks to get tested?” Suho said it like it was a dirty word.  

“Well, me. I can’t be taking over dad’s company if I have HIV or AIDS,” Chanyeol shrugged. Still, the girl he was seeing was a supermodel. Surely she didn’t sleep around all that much.

“Do you think I should ask Kyungsoo to get tested too?” Jongin said offhandedly. It was merely a thought, but Chanyeol, Suho, Baekhyun and Sehun froze as if he’d just pulled a gun on them. Jongin blinked at them, holding his beer up to his lips.

“Somethin’ wrong?”

Sehun was the first to say something. “You planning on sleeping with Kyungsoo?” he asked.

Oh. Right, he didn’t mention about his plans to use nipple clamps on Kyungsoo to his friends yet. But he’d told them that he kissed Kyungsoo already, obviously it meant he wanted to get to third base with Kyungsoo…

“Maybe?” Jongin’s voice came out in a hesitant squeak. “WHOA WHOA WHOA THERE COWBOY,” Chanyeol said loudly, holding up a hand at him. Suho placed a hand over his heart as if to say he was keeping Jongin in his thoughts and prayers.

“Have you even gone anal with anyone?” Chanyeol asked bluntly. Sehun piped in, “Yeah, Jongin, have you even done a girl from behind?” Oh, how subtle his friends were. They could win the Subtlest Friends Award if there ever was such an award.

Jongin frowned. He’d done it once with a girl and it was quite fun, but it’d certainly be different with a guy… He’d be riding Kyungsoo of course, not the other way around.

“I have had anal sex but not with a guy,” Jongin admitted. “Do you think it’ll be weird?” Jongin asked. Chanyeol looked thoughtful. “Who’s going to be on top?”

Jesus Christ, was he never to be free? “Me, duh,” Jongin rolled his eyes. Even Baekhyun laughed at that while his friends silently scoffed at him; was Jongin being on top such a difficult thing to conceive?

“Well, why don’t you do the do soon and you can tell us all about it when we have another one of these parties?” Suho chuckled. As if Jongin having sex with a guy was the wildest thing they’d ever heard of. Suho had been in a foursome before, and he was the only guy (Jongin knew this to be true because sadly, he’d accidentally seen it in college). Sehun claimed he’d been to an orgy before. Fucking a guy up the ass was certainly somewhat civil when compared to his friend’s previous escapades.

“I’ve seen and heard you guys do crazier things before, why y’all gotta judge me?” Jongin pouted.

Sehun rolled his eyes, taking a proffered towel from Baekhyun and wiping himself down. “That’s ‘cause we’ve all done this in college, Jongin. It’s alright if you’re just testing the waters but don’t be ridiculous, Jongin. No one just changes their preference in a blink of an eye.”

But Sehun didn’t know Kyungsoo the way Jongin did now. He had so much more to him, or as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland had put it, more muchness that it didn’t matter that he was a guy. Kyungsoo was just so painfully human with his past and secret desires that he outshone anyone else he’d ever met. Jongin was about to say something like that to Sehun, but Chanyeol suddenly clapped his hands and said it was time for lunch. The conversation ended abruptly, the guys dispersed quickly, and Jongin had to stand up slowly, feeling a little weird and misunderstood. Maybe even lonely.

I am the biggest cliché ever, Jongin thought.

At lunch, Jongin chose a seat beside Baekhyun on purpose after choosing some dishes from the buffet table and piling a mountain of meat on a second plate. Why did Suho even bring him along anyway, they were all friendly with him but not that friendly.

Maybe he’s really close to Suho and Suho thinks we’re an extension of him, Jongin thought. But why he was here, Jongin wasn’t too bothered. There was another bone he had to pick with Baekhyun.

“Baekhyun, I need to ask you something,” Jongin said, when Suho and Chanyeol were out of earshot and Sehun was on the phone, talking to someone in a low voice.

Baekhyun looked up at Jongin innocently, chewing on a barbequed slice of pork belly.

“You knew Kyungsoo had an obsession with me. You lied,” Jongin said flatly.

“A little white lie, nothing else. Bet you saw that photo of me at his place,” Baekhyun laughed. He was certainly calm for someone who had just lied to his boss. Well played, Jongin thought, very well played.

But Jongin was still his boss technically, and had the authority to yell ‘Off with his head!’ (figuratively, of course).

“I did see. And I also see something in the future. Would you like to know what it is?” Jongin asked. Without waiting for Baekhyun to reply, he went on: “I see Suho’s desk, and right outside his office is a boy typing at his computer. Funny enough, the boy is. Not. You,” Jongin said dryly.

Baekhyun was unfazed. “If honesty is supposed to be my policy then I suppose I should mention that Kyungsoo is my good friend. Very good friend. I wanted to be his roommate, but he wouldn’t let me have the second bedroom as a walk in wardrobe,” Baekhyun huffed.

“So, in accordance with what good friends should do, I stuck up for Kyungsoo because I know what kind of guy you are based on the conversations you’ve had with the rest of the guys, and don’t pretend you’re anything but a scumbag when it comes to love,” Baekhyun said, holding a hand up when Jongin tried to protest.

“I honestly didn’t expect you to go so far as to visit Kyungsoo’s place and kiss him, but if Kyungsoo’s happy about it for now, then I’m happy for him too. But if you hurt him, Kim Jongin, I swear, I will leave your company in a lurch and Suho will never be able to do all your work for let’s say, six months. You think he’s the one pulling your weight in the company?” Baekhyun asked, cocking his head to one side.   

“Your point?” Jongin said.

“I may be working for you, but I am most definitely on Kyungsoo’s side. He’s had a lot of bullshit happen in his life, regardless of what kind of façade he might’ve shown you so love him right, Jongin.”

Jongin nodded slowly. “Are you finished?” he asked. Baekhyun nodded, holding up a piece of pork intestine. “I believe I’ve said everything I needed to.”

Jongin grabbed Baekhyun’s hand holding up the pork intestine, and he took the piece with his mouth, chewing slowly. “What you’re saying is… you’re Kyungsoo’s good friend, right?” he said.

Baekhyun blinked at him. Of course, Jongin was only being deliberately obtuse.

“If you’re his good friend then I will give you a thousand dollars in cash to tell me the reasons behind his drawer full of sex toys,” Jongin said seriously. Baekhyun dropped his mouth open. “You saw it? He showed you his drawer of things? What did he say, ‘Ooh, Jongin, please beat me with a flogger, please Master’?”

“Er, I stumbled upon it but hey, you know about it. So tell me about his fetish. Has it always been me or is it just his desire to be beaten and tied up?”

Baekhyun huffed around. “You can’t buy friendship.”

“Five thousand dollars in cash and I will pretend I know nothing when I discuss this with Kyungsoo.”

“Say eight thousand and five, and an extensive reveal on the how, the why and the when.”

“Done.”

“He read a really kinky book from like the medieval times about four years ago, y’know those kinds of books that get really down and gritty, and came across BDSM and all that stuff. Because he was too shy to search it up online, he asked me about it instead. I told him that he wasn’t the only person out there who liked having a master or being a master. Wasn’t long before he saw you in a magazine and I dunno, maybe it was really good timing or something, but he said—let me be clear, you have to act like you don’t know anything at all about this,” Baekhyun warned Jongin.

He nodded eagerly. “He said that he’d like it if you were his Master, or at least, someone with your aura. Obviously he doesn’t know you like I do, and doesn’t see you in the same light as I do. But I guess I can see the appeal… He’s shy, you’re hot—or that’s what he thinks—and you’d never know him because he stalks you so well, but he still knows all about you like a good girlfriend would. Nevertheless, it’s his secret, and he’s only ever told me and Luhan about it. Mostly because he thinks he’ll never get laid. Evidently,” Baekhyun dragged his scrutinizing gaze all over Jongin’s face and shoulders.

“Evidently, that might change soon.”

“He actually told you that he wanted me to beat him up and like, bruise him or whatever?” Jongin asked incredulously.

“Well—No. He didn’t say it outright at the time, but he had started buying lots of magazines with you in it and taking days off work just to follow you around… Had a lot of deliveries sent to his place too. Luhan opened one up by mistake, and found an anal plug. He told me about it, and I just figured everything else from there.”

Quite an interesting turn of events. Jongin had, in a way, kick started Kyungsoo’s sexual desires. Blood rushed to Jongin’s head as he thought of Kyungsoo buying all those toys with Jongin in mind… But something was still off.

“But if he bought all those things over the years then… Did he think I’d just come up to him one day like some crappy porn video and start to beat the shit out of him?” Jongin asked.

“That’s not exactly it—He’s never dreamed of you coming up to him, like ever. Kyungsoo bought those things I guess, thinking that if he ever had the courage to come out of his shell and see if there’s someone out there who can substitute you in his heart, then those toys would be there, ready and on hand. He’s had a lot of time to think about this sort of things obviously,” Baekhyun said, picking up his beer and drinking some of it.

So Kyungsoo had only bought those toys out of wanting to manifest his desires into something physical. Jongin was willing to bet he’d never used any of those things except the vibrator, perhaps.

“Thank you for that, Baekhyun. Expect your payment by the end of the day,” Jongin said, reaching a hand out to shake his hand.

Baekhyun shook his hand discreetly under the table while sipping at his beer and nodded stiffly. “This conversation never happened.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Baekhyun smiled.

Eight thousand and five hundred dollars was nothing compared to what Baekhyun had just told Jongin. It was more than enough for Jongin, and he’d have to research on BDSM soon if he was going to live up to Kyungsoo’s expectations. If truth be told, he couldn’t wait till it was appropriate to text Kyungsoo.

 

Chapter Text

Jongin sat on his bed, staring at his phone.

He reached for it, then glanced at his clock. The clock blinked 1:45A.M at him in thin, green digits. Jongin resisted the temptation and shuffled away from his phone, biting on the corner of his pillow.

Jongin had been researching on his Macbook about BDSM relationships and what it took to be a good master since he got home from Chanyeol’s party. So far, the results were interesting. He more or less already had an idea about a slave and master relationship before he started researching, but now his knowledge on the quirks and kinks of BDSM was rather extensive, if he could say so himself.

First of all, people who were masters liked control, and the thrill that came with forcing someone to do as they bid, consequently including causing pain and leaving marks on the slave. Jongin wasn’t into that at all, he just wanted to see how much Kyungsoo would enjoy it. On the other hand, most people who wanted to be the slave liked the pain or liked to be put into their own place by their masters. Jongin had no idea which category Kyungsoo belonged in, but would love to find out, if only he could pluck up the courage to text him, thus leading to the fact that he’d been reaching for his phone only to take his hand away at the last second for about a hundred times this evening.

It wasn’t like he was nervous to text Kyungsoo. Not at all. This wasn’t some kind of teenage chick flick; Jongin could very well text or call Kyungsoo if he wanted to. Calling seemed a bit forward though, and he thought that maybe texting was better. He just wasn’t sure if the questions he wanted to ask were appropriate at the early hours of the morning. Would Kyungsoo be awake? Would Kyungsoo answer him honestly right away or lie to him or, God forbid, make him wait till he woke up the next morning to reply his text?

Christ, I’m turning into Sehun, Jongin thought, alarmed. No, no, I just have to get my shit together and just text Kyungsoo already, Jongin thought, slapping himself to collect his senses. 

 He reached for his phone, but uncertainty made him hesitate once more. There were things he wanted to know, and maybe Kyungsoo would be more comfortable answering them in text rather than face-to-face but once again, WOULD HE REPLY MY TEXTS THOUGH?

Jongin had never been this nervous to send a text. In fact, he’d never been this nervous about anything. Why would texting Kyungsoo make him feel nervous? He was just a guy, and Jongin was just a guy as well. And guys text each other, don’t they? Jongin asked himself.

Well, he wouldn’t know. Jongin wasn’t the sort to text his friends, he knew that for sure, even though Chanyeol added him and the other guys on an online chatroom and was constantly posting things in the chatroom even though no one gave a flying pig’s bum about the music he listened to. To bug Jongin is one thing, but to bug him and make him listen to The Phantom of the Opera original soundtrack was… taking it a step too far, to be honest. 

To hell with it, he thought, biting his lip. Jongin snatched up his phone before the inner, jittery part of him could stop his hand from picking up his phone. He brought up the messaging app and typed Kyungsoo’s name in the contacts, and stared at the blinking cursor.

What should I say?

What would a normal person say, that was the real question. He had to say something that Kyungsoo could respond to, but what?

‘What are you doing?’

No, that was too aggressive. He cleared the message he had typed out and thought carefully again. What about… ‘Are you awake?’ It was a legit question and if Kyungsoo didn’t reply him then he would know if Kyungsoo was awake or not.

Yes then. He typed it out slowly, making sure there weren’t any dumb spelling mistakes and, holding the phone away from himself, pressed send.

Jongin made an embarrassingly loud noise in his throat, flinging his phone aside and hugging his laptop to his chest. Technically he still had a bit more of research to do, so he should just get back to it. He continued to read a page where dominants had posted on a website about the thrilling feeling of tying their slave up and distractedly chewed on his thumbnail, waiting eagerly for Kyungsoo to reply his message.

After five minutes, his phone pinged and he lunged for it, unlocking it and opening up Kyungsoo’s message quickly.

‘Who is this?’

Didn’t Jongin give him his number? He pursed his lips impatiently, typing: ‘It’s Jongin. Guess you’re awake.’ Only when Jongin sent the message did it occur to him that maybe Kyungsoo was trying to play coy with him. Oh, he wasn’t the only one who could play at this. Jongin snickered to himself and waited for Kyungsoo to reply, shutting his laptop with a flourish.

There was another ping. ‘Yes, I am.’

Don’t need to point out the obvious, Jongin thought. Jongin wanted to play it safe first, so he said, ‘What are you doing?’

‘Watching a movie with Luhan.’

Fascinating. Was it Titanic? Or maybe something more risqué like… Pitch Perfect. Jongin smiled to himself as he pretended to be curious and typed out, ‘What movie?’

‘An anime movie. You wouldn’t be interested.’

Oh, so Jongin wouldn’t be interested now, wouldn’t he? He rolled his eyes. Quite the contrary; he wasn’t a big fan of anime but he knew enough from his friends. They were all watching anime series with names too long to pronounce and were constantly talking about it whenever a new episode came out or whatever. Jongin wasn’t too bothered with things like that.

‘Try me.’

It took Kyungsoo about five entire minutes to reply. So he’s probably lying about watching a movie then, Jongin thought, feeling smug. Kyungsoo could Google all the anime movies in the world if he wanted to, Jongin thought he knew enough to catch Kyungsoo if he was lying.

‘Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light.’

Damn. Jongin didn’t know that one. He called Suho up because he was too lazy to turn on his laptop again, and paced around his room nervously while Suho took his sweet time to pick up the phone.

“Hello?”

“What kind of movie is ‘Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light’? Is it like a horror kind of anime movie?” Jongin asked.

Suho paused. “You do realize it’s past two in the morning now?”

“Your point? Hurry the fuck up and tell me, will you?”

Suho laughed a bit, before continuing: “It’s a sad movie. The guy disappears at the end. Very tragic, I watched it with Chanyeol and we cried.”

Jongin rolled his eyes. Suho sounded like a twelve year old girl at a sleepover party. “Right then. Did you like the movie? Was it really sad or just sad enough to linger in your thoughts?”

“Chanyeol cried for a week about it and wore black the entire time because he was ‘in mourning’. You take a guess.”

That was all Jongin needed. He hung up without saying goodbye and sat down to text Kyungsoo.

‘I know that one. Guy disappears at the end, right?’

You don’t look like the kind of guy who watches anime.’ That was Kyungsoo’s reply. Jongin didn’t look like the kind of guy to text another guy at two in the morning too, so what was he trying to say?

‘I’m a man of many interests ;)’

Was a winking smiley too flirty? He didn’t think he’d ever used it before. Mind you, he’d never texted anyone before in the first place, so he wasn’t entirely sure about the rules of when to send and when not to send a smiley. Jongin was about to overthink it all again, and quickly sent it before he could clear the smiley from the message. This time, it took Kyungsoo six minutes to reply (not that he was counting the minutes, he just happened to notice the time was all).

‘That’s good to know.’

“That’s it?” Jongin said aloud. Oh, no doubt about it now, Kyungsoo was toying with Jongin. Vindictive little bastard. Very well, they could play this game. Jongin had played this game before; he knew it all too well from Club Red.

‘I have a question for you, maybe two. Care to answer them for me?’

Pretending not to notice Kyungsoo wasn’t obviously flirting with him as well was all Jongin could do for now. Besides, he really needed to get these questions of his back soon.

‘What is it?’

‘What are the things in your drawer for?’

It wasn’t what Jongin intended to ask exactly, he wanted to see if Kyungsoo would take the bait first and maybe unwittingly admit his true desires. This was of course, terribly cliché to Jongin. Texting a guy in the dead of night to see what turned him on… Jongin rolled his eyes at himself, sending the text to Kyungsoo.

When Kyungsoo’s reply came two minutes later, Jongin was so excited to read his reply he almost kicked his laptop to the ground. He put it on the ground safely while reading Kyungsoo’s text.

‘Recreational purposes.’

Dear God. Jongin wanted to call him up right then to hear his voice was steady or as flustered as he thought it would probably be. But he resisted the urge and typed out a reply instead: ‘You said you wanted me to be the one to use those things on you. Did you want it because you like pain or because you want me to be causing pain?’

He knew it was a bold question to ask via text message, but it could probably get Kyungsoo to be honest without clamming up from shyness; shy Kyungsoo was reluctant Kyungsoo, and Jongin didn’t want reluctance. He sent the text, running his hands through his hair anxiously.

‘The second reason.’

Well. Jongin’s cock went half hard at that, it was just too sexy a thought for him to resist. He could picture himself tying Kyungsoo to a bed and using that leather flogger on him. Oh, it’d be so lovely to see his white skin turn pink if Jongin were to strike him with the flogger. Wonder if he has a riding crop, Jongin thought. If Kyungsoo had a riding crop then Jongin would have to use it on Kyungsoo. It simply had to be used on Kyungsoo’s ass, there would be no doubt about that.

Jongin slipped a hand under the waistband of his baggy training pants and touched the tip of his cock, imagining his fingers to be Kyungsoo’s white, smaller ones. He typed out a reply to Kyungsoo, his breath catching in his throat as he imagined Kyungsoo touching himself as well.

‘Do you own a riding crop?’

Kyungsoo’s reply came when Jongin’s cock was totally hard in his hand. He rubbed his hand up and down his length, the friction delicious against the skin of his cock.

‘Yes. I’ve hit my hand with it once. It hurt.’

Christ in heaven, Kyungsoo was much braver when he wasn’t around Jongin. He loved it, and wished Kyungsoo would be this bold when they were face-to-face. Some semen dribbled onto Jongin’s hand and he pressed his hand around his cock, squeezing exquisitely. I bet Kyungsoo’s ass is tight…

‘Did it leave a mark?’

It had to have left a mark, Kyungsoo’s skin was so white and flawless, a small slap would’ve been enough to bring blood to the surface of his skin. If Jongin spanked him then surely his handprint would be there for days. Jongin groaned at the thought and rubbed his cock a little faster, biting down on a sigh of pleasure.

‘Yes, it did. It lasted two weeks on my palm.’

Fuck, Jongin thought, feeling heat rushing down to his groin. Kyungsoo was such a prick tease.

‘How many times did you hit yourself?’

‘5.’

He came into his hand when he fingered his urethra, picturing Kyungsoo’s tongue licking at his cock while he came. Jongin’s hand was wet and slippery with semen when he was done, and he went to wash his hands in the bathroom with soap before he returned to his bed to type out a reply to Kyungsoo.

‘Wish I was there to see the mark.’

He could certainly picture red, parallel lines across Kyungsoo’s palm lasting for days, hurting whenever he clenched his hand and reminding him of his secret, oh-so-shameful desire. Jongin wanted to see him soon, wanted to kiss his lips and feel his breath catch in his throat whenever Jongin licked at his mouth.

‘It’s gone now. I’m going to bed soon.’

Boo, Jongin frowned. He didn’t want to stop texting Kyungsoo now that things were getting interesting, but it was a good time to turn in as well if Kyungsoo was going to go to sleep now. Jongin got out of bed to turn out the lights, suddenly remembering that he had yet to brush his teeth and set off to the bathroom with his phone in his hand.  

‘You’re working on Monday?’ While waiting for Kyungsoo’s reply, Jongin pressed some toothpaste onto his toothbrush and started to brush his teeth slowly. His phone pinged when his mouth was full of foam.

 ‘Yes, as per usual.’

It was Saturday, or in the early hours of Sunday now that Jongin thought about it. He wanted to see Kyungsoo, but he wasn’t sure if later in the day was too rushed. Better to pace it out, Jongin thought. Also, there was a photo session to be scheduled. He’d think about that tomorrow and tell Kyungsoo later on Monday then.

‘I’ll see you on Monday. Sleep well.’

‘Okay. Good night.’

*

When Monday rolled around, Jongin accidentally woke up too early and hit the gym to get a good start on the day.

The gym was practically deserted when he arrived but it was open anyway, so Jongin went about his business, warming up and then running on the treadmill for half an hour and doing a hundred sit ups right after that.

Yesterday, Jongin had been searching the Internet for a good spot to have Kyungsoo take photos of him. He didn’t want to do it at his own place, obviously, and so was planning on renting out a room or something so that there’d be plenty of good light to take photos by and enough privacy so that Kyungsoo didn’t feel too pressured or anything like that. Sadly, he couldn’t find a place suitable to his needs—it could be that he didn’t search the Internet with the right kind of words, but whatever—and so, was hoping that Kyungsoo could think of a place to take photos.

He still had some energy left when he was done with his sit ups, and decided to work on his arms a bit and pulled some weights with both arms, sweating in no time. He could lift twenty pounds after working at it for about an hour (although he didn’t realize he’d taken so long) and thought he should call it a day at that. He’d come in another day and try to lift thirty pounds.

He showered languidly and emerged from the gym at twelve (wearing the most casual clothes he could find in his closet; black jeans and a loose tee since he couldn’t be arsed to put on a suit because it was too warm today), just in time for brunch. Jongin told his driver to take him to a noodles stall he frequently quite regularly (usually late at night) and knew would still be open at this time.

The food stall he had in mind was squeezed between a DVD store and a store selling Chinese dumplings for takeaway only. Suho was the one who brought him to this stall in the first place, and he loved it because the place was surprisingly clean, the flavors of the different noodles were always distinct and no one ever recognized him in this area. The middle aged lady at the stall greeted him with motherly warmth when he got down from the car.

“Oh, it’s you, kid! It’s been a while since you last came by with your friends. You were drunk last time you were here, remember?” she laughed heartily. Jongin laughed along, sitting at a table. “Nice to see you too,” he replied. There was a couple sitting a ways from him, but they didn’t notice him so he sat down without feeling self conscious, ordering a bowl of noodles for himself.

“Hey kid, why didn’t you invite your driver to eat?” the lady asked while she prepared his noodles for him. His driver was parked across the street, waiting by the road as he looked around periodically, scoping the area.

“Not my job to feed him,” he replied jokingly. The lady tutted at him, clearly disapproving of the way he treated his staff. Either she didn’t know him or didn’t give a shit about who he was; she had the nerve to put him down as she liked and he didn’t really mind. He never liked it when people tip toed around him all the time, because he never knew if they were dishonest. At least the lady spoke her mind without giving a damn about what Jongin might think of her.

“Call him in and buy him lunch, will you? He’s a person too,” she said, still tutting at him. Jongin shrugged and dialed his driver from his phone, asking him to come in.

“Is something wrong, sir?” the driver asked, looking at the stall in alarm and yet saw nothing wrong.

“No, the lady making my noodles just thinks I should buy you lunch. Come in and order whatever you want,” Jongin said, clicking off and waving at him to come in. His driver looked uncertain, which only stood to solidify the fact that Jongin was never terribly nice to his staff.

 His driver came in with a rather frightened expression, which was quite funny since he was usually stony faced and never displayed any emotion on his face.

“Mr. Kim, there’s really no need to buy me lunch, sir—”

“I’m not Mr. Kim, so there is a need to buy you lunch. C’mon, it’s not like you don’t know me. Aunty, don’t let him pay for his meal, whatever you do,” he said.

His driver looked like he’d just been shot. The lady chuckled and served Jongin his bowl of noodles before proceeding to ask Jongin’s driver what he would like to have. He tried to whisper, “The cheapest thing on the menu,” but the lady betrayed him right away and told Jongin that he was trying to order as little as possible, so Jongin ordered for him instead.

“You don’t mind pork, do you?” he asked.

“No, sir,” he shook his head. “Good. Make sure there’s a lot of pork in his bowl, Aunty. He’s my bodyguard too, so he needs his strength,” Jongin joked.

His driver paled visibly, mouth opening to say something and yet, no protest came out.

“You don’t have to thank me, Mister… Driver. What’s your name?” Jongin asked offhandedly. His driver sat down carefully at the table beside Jongin, looking around nervously.

“You don’t even know his name? You’re really rude, kid,” the lady tutted at Jongin once more. He laughed. It wasn’t in his nature to ask people for their names unless he intended to have some sort of relationship with them. Most of the people he knew, Sehun had to introduce anyway.

“I—I’m Lee Jung,” his driver stammered.

“Lee Jung. Fabulous name. I’ll call you Mr. Lee from now on, that alright with you?” Jongin smiled, slurping on his noodles. Mr. Lee nodded.

“So Mr. Lee. Am I a hard person to please?”

“No, sir, certainly not.”

“I take that as a yes. Do you think I pay you well enough?”

“Well, sir, I think what you pay me is more than—”

“More than enough, hmm? Good then. Wouldn’t want you to suddenly swerve off the road one day and become the second Princess Diana,” Jongin said. Unexpectedly, Mr. Lee chuckled at his joke.

-

Mr. Lee stopped the car in front of the Accuretta building, and he gave Jongin a friendly smile as he got out of the car. “Thank you for the lunch, sir. Call me when you need me,” he said. Jongin nodded and said he would, waving goodbye as he drove off to the car park on the other side of the building.

Ah, Jongin thought, inhaling the musty air of Seoul’s busy streets. It was unexpectedly nice to be nice. He learned over lunch that his driver had two kids and his brother was going to be married soon. Not that he cared particularly about his driver’s personal life but it felt good to have known a bit about his driver. Maybe he wouldn’t feel so lonely in his car next time. 

The lobby was abuzz with chatter as people walked past Jongin to the elevators or to the cafeteria for lunch. Some people bowed at him and eyed his sloppy outfit curiously while others couldn’t see past the outfit and brushed past him without so much as a glance. He couldn’t tell if he liked it or not, the fact that people didn’t bother with him when he wasn’t dressed up. 

In any case, he went to his elevator and went all the way up to the twentieth floor, sauntering into his office and dropping his gym bag in front of Taewoon’s desk.

“Taewoon, could you go to the dry cleaner’s and drop my clothes there? I think you’re supposed to collect an outfit too,” Jongin said. Taewoon replied, “Good afternoon, sir, and yes, right away.”

“Good man,” Jongin remarked as he scurried out of the building with his wallet and keys to do Jongin’s bidding. Jongin looked over at Sehun, who was typing something gravely at his desk.

“He’s an alright fellow, mm?”

“I can’t believe you plan on banging Kyungsoo,” Sehun replied.

“Are you jealous?” Jongin laughed, entering his office. “Who in their right mind would be jealous? And Baekhyun told me that you paid him off to tell you more about Kyungsoo.”

“Yes, I did. It was money well spent,” Jongin answered, fiddling with a pile of files at Sehun’s desk. He swatted Jongin’s hand away in annoyance.

“And I also can’t believe that you came into the office today with flip flops on. What if you had a meeting today?” Sehun asked.

“I would attend the meeting as I normally would,” Jongin replied, puzzled. Would the appearances of his toes in public make any difference in the stock market? Sehun was very nitpicky sometimes.

“I wouldn’t let you go to any meetings dressed like that, don’t be stupid. Anyway, go into your office and wait till I come in with some things that you need to sign,” Sehun said, making a shoo shoo motion with his hands towards Jongin’s office.

“Okay. Can I have like, the number for the office over there?” Jongin asked, pointing at where Kyungsoo’s office was. Sehun didn’t even have to look to know why he wanted the number.

“No.”

“If I want to sleep with Kyungsoo, I think I’m well within my right to do that,” Jongin said indignantly.

“No because there is no number there. You wanna see him, you go in there and get him out.”

“But I’m dressed like this today,” Jongin protested, gesturing at his outfit, flip flops and all. Sehun shrugged. “Your funeral.”

Jongin harrumphed and went off into his office. Fine then, if there was no number to Kyungsoo’s office, he had another number he could call to get Kyungsoo to come into his office. He wasn’t sure if Kyungsoo would pick up his phone during office hours, but there was a sure fire way that Kyungsoo would be here in minutes.

He dialed a few numbers on his phone, sitting in his chair and putting a leg up on the seat. Sehun and Suho are going to shit their pants when they find out about this, Jongin smiled to himself. The phone dialed twice before someone picked up.

“Mr. Kim?” a woman said crisply. Evidently, the PA system knew his office number.

“Yes, I’d like you to announce an urgent message right now. It’s addressed to Do Kyungsoo, and he is to see me in my office right away.”

“Excellent, sir. Could you give us a call once he’s responded?” the woman said. Jongin said alright, so they hung up and Jongin laid back in his seat, his ears on alert for the PA system to start announcing his message.

It took only one minute, and he heard a familiar tune play over the loud PA system before a disembodied voice said, “Do Kyungsoo, please report yourself to Kim Jongin’s office. Do Kyungsoo, please report yourself to Kim Jongin’s office.” Ta da, Jongin thought, holding out his arms.

From outside, Sehun yelled, “JONGIN!”

He could yell to his heart’s content, the message was going to play every few minutes until Kyungsoo showed up. The PA system repeated the message three more times before it turned off, and Jongin laughed loudly to rub it in Sehun’s face.

His phone rang. Probably Suho.

“Yellow?”

“For God’s sake, Jongin, you can’t just call an employee into your office like that—”

“The PA system never said so. And besides, if you don’t want to hear it then find Kyungsoo for me,” Jongin said lightly, checking his nails for damage.

“Sehun’s looking for him already. For the love of God, Jongin, don’t do anything stupid, alright, I—”

“Okay dad, bye,” Jongin sing-songed down the phone gleefully, dragging out the last word to drown out Suho’s protests. He hung up quickly and hummed a song to himself, spinning in his chair while he counted down the minutes till Kyungsoo came into his office. If Sehun didn’t want to help him, this was what it had to come down to. Kyungsoo’s office was just too far away…

It barely took three minutes before Sehun punched a button and the door slid open. He looked like death personified as he dragged Kyungsoo into the office by the arm.

“Thank you, Sehun,” Jongin smiled.

“Get the message off the PA system NOW,” Sehun just about yelled. He pulled a scared looking Kyungsoo forward, and pointed a finger at Jongin threateningly as he backed out of the office, fuming with his hair all messed up around his face. He must’ve run all the way here with Kyungsoo, Jongin thought. The door slid shut after him and Jongin just stared at him till he was gone.

If that was all it took to get Sehun to work a little harder Jongin would have to do it again next time.

“Did he scare you, Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo was staring after Sehun as well, and blinked when he turned to face Jongin.

“Erm no, but I was busy with something before I was thoroughly embarrassed by the PA system so if you could just get this over with, please?” he said. Jongin rested his chin in the crook of his hand as he leaned forward to scrutinize Kyungsoo’s face.

“I suppose we could get this over with quickly, except that I thought maybe you might want to stay a little longer?” Jongin said nonchalantly, his eyes trailing over Kyungsoo’s body deliberately. Kyungsoo had the most boring outfit on, but Jongin didn’t mind. If he tried hard enough, he could see the shape of Kyungsoo’s cock at the crotch area of his pants. Wonder if his dick is as pink as his lips? Jongin thought absently, eyes lingering over Kyungsoo’s lower abdomen for too long to be considered appropriate.

Kyungsoo took an unconscious step back as he looked at Jongin. “Why would I want to stay here a little longer?” he asked nervously, subtly placing both hands in front of himself to block Jongin’s view.

Jongin frowned. Cockblocker, he thought. He’d been enjoying the view till Kyungsoo’s hands were in the way. Well then, if Kyungsoo couldn’t read the signs he’d just have to be a bit clearer with his intentions. Jongin got up from his seat, taking three steps to cross the space between them.

“Jongin, w-we’re in your office—”

“What’s wrong, it’s not like we’ve never kissed in here before,” Jongin remarked, which made Kyungsoo look away in embarrassment. He tried to back away but Jongin brought both hands up to Kyungsoo’s face, his fingers teasing the hair at the back of Kyungsoo’s neck as he invaded Kyungsoo’s personal space and placed his lips over Kyungsoo’s mouth soundly.

Kyungsoo tasted of toothpaste and red tea, Jongin noted, when he kissed him. A lovely combination nonetheless. Kyungsoo moaned in Jongin’s mouth before cutting himself off, putting his hands on Jongin’s forearms to pull away from him.

“Jongin, there has to be a better reason for you to call me in here,” he said, cheeks burning red.

“Well yeah, but I thought we could start off slowly,” Jongin shrugged, pulling Kyungsoo towards himself again and kissing him a little harder. Kyungsoo reluctantly kissed him back, turning his head slightly at a better angle. Jongin placed a hand on the small of Kyungsoo’s back, pulling him flush against Jongin’s body. Their bodies were aligned as they kissed quietly, not wanting to let Sehun or anyone else hear them. Frankly, Jongin wouldn’t have cared if Sehun walked in on them; kissing Kyungsoo felt like something he could do forever.

Then suddenly, the PA system started up, playing a short little tune before it went, ‘Do Kyungsoo, please report yourself to Kim Jongin’s office.’

“Shit,” Jongin swore, breaking off the kiss to fumble for the phone. He dialed the number quickly, while Kyungsoo stood there awkwardly, watching Jongin hold the phone to his ear at an awkward angle.

“Mr. Kim,” the same woman picked up the phone.

“Ah yes, Kyungsoo is here now so…” Kyungsoo blushed, looking like he wanted to melt into the ground from embarrassment.

“Very well, sir. Will there be anything else?”

“Nope, thanks for er, broadcasting the message.”

“It’s my pleasure, sir.” She clicked off, and Jongin hung up, sighing with relief. The PA system played the message for about five more seconds before it ended abruptly.

“Well then. Shall we er, continue or would you like to know why I called you in? If you ask me, I’d want to continue where we left off—”

“Tell me what you have to say, I have to get back to work soon,” Kyungsoo interrupted him. Jongin pouted, blowing up his cheeks momentarily. He deflated his cheeks and tugged at Kyungsoo’s pants’ belt loop playfully, unwilling to let Kyungsoo leave so soon.

“Fine. One, I can’t find a nice place with enough privacy for a photo session. I was wondering if you know a place, or if I have to get Sehun to rent a place for me. Two… My, my, Kyungsoo, you’re certainly much braver when you’re not with me, aren’t you?” Jongin waggled his eyebrows suggestively.  

“I-I-I wouldn’t know… what you mean, um,” Kyungsoo muttered, cheeks flaring up again.

“Oh, I think you do, Kyungsoo. But it’s alright, be coy if you want. So long as I get to kiss that pretty mouth,” Jongin smiled, running his thumb over Kyungsoo’s lower lip.

Kyungsoo blushed, swatting Jongin’s hand away. “I um… There’s a place where I a-always want to um—Well, to take photos of you, but uh,” Kyungsoo looked down at Jongin’s feet, stumbling over his words like he wasn’t sure how to phrase his sentence.

“And?” Jongin said.

“It has a lot of light and erm, enough space too. It’s near here, just five minutes outside of Seoul in a quiet area—”

“Whatever the place looks like, I don’t care, Kyungsoo, as long as you can get your photos. You’re stalling even if just you said that you need to get back to work, so what is it that you’re so nervous about?” Jongin asked. Really, what was there to be shy about?

Kyungsoo bit on his lower lip, blinking a few times. “I would take you there, or you could have your driver drive us there or whatever but um, it’s just that the place is in an apartment, so if you wanna rent out a place for an entire day, it takes quite a lot of money—”

“Ah, so it’s money. Well, how much is it?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo looked up at him, baffled. “I—I’m not letting you pay for the place, just so you know. I want the photos more than you do, so it’s only fair that I pay for the day’s rent—”

“But you’re going to need that money for something else, no? C’mon, Kyungsoo, it’s not like I’d hold this against you or anything—” Jongin tried to say, but Kyungsoo stopped him.

“No. Don’t argue with me on this, I’m—I’m older than you, so you have to let me pay,” Kyungsoo said defiantly. Jongin chuckled. “I’ve always wanted to date someone older than me.” Kyungsoo glared at him, stabbing a finger at his solar plexus. It didn’t hurt, but Jongin was mostly surprised Kyungsoo had the nerve to do that.

“Fine then, hyung, have it your way,” Jongin enunciated ‘hyung’ sarcastically. “If all goes well then, when do you think we can have this photo session?” Jongin asked.

“Maybe next Thursday, it takes some time to get a place... But I thought you said you were busy for the next few months?” Kyungsoo asked, narrowing his eyes suspiciously at Jongin. He smiled breezily. “I was hoping I’d be busy with you.”

Kyungsoo rolled his eyes and turned to walk towards the door, but not before Jongin caught the half smile on his lips. Jongin couldn’t help but laugh as well, grabbing Kyungsoo’s hand and pulling him back to where he stood in front of Jongin a second ago.

“Don’t go yet, Kyungsoo—”

“Hyung, please. The audacity to call me by name without any honorifics is just… appalling and out of this world,” Kyungsoo muttered under his breath.

“Ooh, giving me directions, I love it already. Anyway… Let’s just make out a little more, why don’t we? I’ll be bored the whole day if you deny me on this,” Jongin whined.

“I have a lot of copies to make still, so I can’t really stay for long…” Kyungsoo said, though Jongin caught a bit of longing in his voice. For some reason, it made Jongin smile just a little bit, his heart warming. Kyungsoo was surprising him at every turn.

“Very well then, go make your precious copies. I’ll be waiting eagerly for you to text me… Hyung,” Jongin smiled, kissing Kyungsoo’s mouth once more and sticking his tongue in to make sure Kyungsoo would have something to think about while making his copies. The kiss would’ve went on and on if only Kyungsoo let it, but he broke away like he suddenly remembered something and said goodbye to Jongin.

“Can you use your phone at work, by the way?” Jongin asked as Kyungsoo walked off to the door. “If it’s just the occasional call or text when my supervisor’s not around, sure,” Kyungsoo replied.

Jongin would have to make sure his supervisor was busy all the time then. He noted mentally to pull some strings and also, to make a call to Suho about Luhan.

“Do I press this?” Kyungsoo asked to be sure, pointing at a small button beside the door.

“You know it,” Jongin chuckled. To his surprise, Kyungsoo smiled at him, nothing more than a little shy smile playing over his lips, but it was surprisingly… endearing to Jongin. He’d never seen Kyungsoo smile like that before. He’s so cute, Jongin thought fleetingly as Kyungsoo walked out.

Tastes cute too, Jongin thought to himself. But it wasn’t time for him to get distracted by the taste of Kyungsoo or the texts they’d exchanged on Saturday. He went back to his desk and picked up the phone.

“Hello?”

“Suho, you son of a gun,” Jongin chuckled.

“What do you want?” Suho snapped. He sounded irritated, probably because of the PA system thing. He’s very superficial if that’s all it takes to get angry, Jongin thought.

“Suho, I remember you saying something about having a few small jobs open?”

“Why, do you suddenly feel the urge to work?”

“I will never feel the urge to labor for you, my good friend and that is a fact. No, I’m calling ‘cause I want you to put in a good word for someone I know.”

Suho was suspicious at that. “Who is this good friend? Is it one of the hostess girls trying to get a job in the real world, because I assure you, Jongin, they won’t be allowed to put on their hoochie mama outfits here—”

“It’s not a girl in a hoochie mama outfit, Suho, for God’s sake. It’s Kyungsoo’s roommate,” Jongin said, fingering his computer mouse.

“You’re trying to get a job for his roommate? Why would you do that, it’s none of your business whether or not he has a job.”

“Why can’t you ever do me a small, measly favor without questioning me? Why, Suho, why? When you need a wingman I’m always there for you, and I always mention that you’re a big shot here in Accuretta—”

“Fine,” Suho sulked. Jongin was going to list all the favors he’d ever done for Suho if that was what it took.

“Good. His name is Luhan, and he’s from China, but I guess he has a visa or whatever. He’s really good at accounts, so if you could just figure that part out on your own…”

“I can do that. In return, I have a party to go to tonight and y’know. We could chat some girls up…”

“You want me to be your wingman, as usual. Fine, fine, fine. As long as you do me that thing for Luhan.”

“Why do you want him to have a job, though, it’s only Kyungsoo you’re interested in,” Suho said wonderingly. Jongin pursed his lips. Suho was curious about the wrong thing at the wrong time, in Jongin’s opinion.

“It’s nothing.”

“Wait, now that I think about it, you want Kyungsoo to have a good impression of you, don’t you—” Jongin hung up before Suho spiraled into insanity and dragged Jongin along as well. Quite sensationally mad, Jongin thought. As if I need Kyungsoo to have a good impression of me, Jongin rolled his eyes. Was there anyone who had a bad impression of Jongin? 

*

“Oh my God, aren’t you Kim Jongin?” an obnoxious girl’s voice said loudly from behind Jongin. He sighed inwardly, turning around with a half empty champagne glass in his hand. It was the third time he’d been interrupted while texting Kyungsoo at the stupid house party Suho wanted him to attend.

“Yes. Do I know you?” Jongin said, not bothering to be polite any longer. Suho was the one who wanted to get laid tonight; Jongin didn’t know why he was the one being approached by girls when, for once in his life, was not interested.

“Well no, but,” the girl arched a perfectly plucked eyebrow at him suggestively, “Maybe we could get to know each other? I’ve heard so much about you.” Her white teeth almost blinded Jongin. She had quite a lot of cleavage on show and her black dress showed off her toned, slim body. Jongin would’ve been interested in getting to know how long it’d take to peel her out of the dress had this party happened about a week ago, but now… He was texting Kyungsoo, for fuck’s sake.

“Not interested, sorry,” he sighed, turning his back on her to return to his phone. Kyungsoo had just texted him a short list of all the classic literature books he’d ever read. Jongin was surprised to know that he and Kyungsoo shared similar tastes in books.

The girl was undeterred. She sidled up to Jongin’s side, sitting down on the high stool beside him and crossing her legs.

“This is the first time anyone’s ever turned me down,” she said, trailing a hand over his arm. Was this her idea of getting his attention? Jongin turned his phone screen off and got out of his seat as if she’d never said a word, looking around for Suho. It was eleven already, all he wanted to do was go home if being at the party meant being constantly interrupted every time he wanted to reply Kyungsoo’s texts.

“What—Hey, did I say something wrong?” the girl called after him. Jongin walked through the marble hallways briskly, looking for Suho. He disappeared quickly among the crowd, nodding at a few people who seemed to recognize him.

Jongin and Suho had left the Accuretta building together at five, eating a quick dinner (using his coupon) at a traditional Korean restaurant and had arrived at the party in separate cars in case Suho wanted to take a girl (or more) home. The party was unexpectedly boring, and Suho quickly found his entertainment, leaving Jongin to fend for himself. Out of boredom, he’d texted Kyungsoo, only to find himself constantly exchanging texts with him till he was too absorbed with his phone to mind his surroundings.

Finally, he found Suho, or rather, heard him in the bathroom by chance. A girl was moaning in the bathroom, and, since he had nothing to lose, Jongin knocked on the door: “Suho, is that you?”

“No,” he replied. Something fell from inside the bathroom.

“I’m leaving just so you know. You wanted to get laid and you’ve obviously achieved that so.”

There was a squeal, a muffled thump and a loud “Hey!” before the door flew open as Suho gaped at him, pants pooled at his knees but his underwear thankfully still on. A girl with her bra unhooked looked up at Jongin with disdain before she recognized him and giggled coquettishly. As if he was going to be interested in her after Suho had his hands (and mouth, for all he knew) on her. “You’re leaving? Without a girl? Damn, Jongin, what’s wrong with you today?” Suho said.

“Nothing,” Jongin replied, furrowing his eyebrows. “Anyway, I’ll let you get back to er…”

“Cindy.”

“Get back to Cindy. I’ll be outside waiting for my driver,” Jongin said, already turning to exit the penthouse. He was sure that nobody would miss him except all the girls who had come up to him, smiling suggestively as they tossed their hair over their shoulders. Right now, all Jongin wanted to see was Kyungsoo’s shy smile and his pretty mouth.

He went down to the ground floor lobby to wait for Mr. Lee after sending him a text to come get him (he was now a texter; what else would Kyungsoo change about him?). Jongin was at some exclusive, swanky apartment, and the party was held at the top floor where the penthouse was located. He had no idea which part of Seoul he was and it felt a little lonely tonight to be standing without a partner.

I wish Kyungsoo was here, he thought irritably. Then he stopped, wondering why of all people, he’d want Kyungsoo to be there with him. He’d out of place in this lobby, the walls reeking money and luxury.

Maybe I want him because he’s not like me, Jongin thought. Speaking of Kyungsoo, he still had to reply Kyungsoo’s last text. It was something to pass time while he waited for Mr. Lee to come around.

‘I didn’t know you were a reader. Does Luhan read with you as well?’  

‘He’s a numbers kind of guy, not words. It’s been really nice texting you, Jongin, but I have to get up early tomorrow.’

Jongin’s heart dropped into his stomach. He’d hoped that Kyungsoo would stay awake for him to text all night long, but it was probably dumb to think that way. We’re not teens anymore, Jongin reminded himself.

‘Okay. Keep me up to date with next Thursday’s appointment.’

‘Sure. Good night.’

Jongin was about to tuck his phone away into his coat pocket when he suddenly wondered if the place Kyungsoo wanted to rent was private enough for a bit of fun. I’ll ask while he’s still awake, Jongin thought, typing his message so fast that the words came out in a jumble.

‘Is teh place you’re tryong to rent sounddproof and evrrything?’

Kyungsoo replied with one word: ‘Why?’

Why? What kind of question was that? Jongin wanted to fuck him up his ass, that’s why. But that sounded a bit too crass, so he typed: ‘We could get recreational. Just a friendly suggestion, of course.’

Kyungsoo took so long to reply, Jongin thought that maybe he was ignoring his text on purpose. His phone buzzed in his pocket almost ten minutes later.

‘I’m going to sleep now.’

Nope, Jongin wasn’t going to have that shit. Kyungsoo couldn’t just sweep this under the rug. He typed out another quick reply: ‘So you don’t want me that way anymore?’

This time it was Kyungsoo who replied with multiple spelling errors less than a minute after Jongin sent his message. ‘It’s nit loke that.’

‘Then what’s wrong? Is it private enough for me to use maybe, your riding crop? Or your flogger? Or I could tie you up…’

‘Floors would probably be dirty.’ Jongin bit on his lip to stifle a smile. How lovely of Kyungsoo to reconsider.  

‘I’ll get a yoga mat.’

‘Don’t pretend a guy like you does yoga.’ What did Kyungsoo take Jongin for, some desperate Beverly Hills housewife?

‘Of course I don’t do yoga. Only Suho does it.’

‘??? Okay...’ Aha, now there was Jongin’s window of opportunity.

‘So you’ll bring some rope? That’s good, can’t wait ;)’

Kyungsoo took five minutes to reply his text. ‘Don’t be stupid. I’m not going to bring anything other than my camera.’

‘Why the hell not? Where else would we be able to do all the things you wish we could do?’ It was a serious question; Jongin couldn’t bring him back to his apartment and unless Kyungsoo wanted Luhan to join in, he wasn’t going to Kyungsoo’s place either.

‘Stop texting me, I need to sleep.’

‘Food for thought, hyung. Where do we do the do?’

‘Good night.’ Fine then, if he wanted to be that way. But there was something else Jongin wanted to say to Kyungsoo. Jongin bit his lip nervously, wondering if it’d be alright to send what he had in mind to Kyungsoo. It wasn’t dirty or flirty in any way, but rather intimate.

‘Dream of me.’ Jongin stared at the screen for a long time. Seems a bit risky, he thought. But it was worth a try, surely? Still, it wasn’t something he could take back once he sent it… Fuck it, he thought. Fuck it, fuck it, he wants me to beat him up anyway, this is nothing compared to what he wants. Jongin pressed send.

“Jongin, is that you? Isn’t your car here yet?” Suho’s voice suddenly said from behind Jongin. He slipped his phone into his pocket hurriedly, suddenly feeling weirdly guilty about what he’d just sent to Kyungsoo.

“Er, no. I thought you were with Cindy upstairs?” Jongin asked. Suho had his pants up (thank God) and was looking at Jongin curiously.

“We’re done already. She’s not worth taking home, honestly… Were you texting someone just now?”

“Um, no, just uh, updating some apps,” Jongin laughed nervously.

“Oh. Well, I’ve called my driver to pick me up too. You gonna stop by the office tomorrow?” Suho asked conversationally. Jongin sighed inwardly in relief. So he didn’t suspect anything, Jongin thought. Good. 

“Why? Is something interesting going to happen?” Jongin asked. Suho gave him a dry look. “No, but you never know, right?”

“That’s not how I see things,” Jongin shrugged. What would he do at the office besides sleep and eat at the cafeteria? Jongin would rather be at home, watching crap daytime TV or reading his books.

“Oh well. Anyway, there’s a meeting coming up soon with Yifan, and he wants us to go down to China.”

“Yeah, I know. When does he want us there?” Jongin asked. Suho looked at him with renewed interest. “Making an effort to work now, hmm? Never thought I’d see the day… He wants us there sometime in the first week of next month, I think.”

“Right. Will note that down somewhere to pack a bag,” Jongin replied. Suho sighed, folding his arms as they stared at the street outside, a car or two driving past once every few seconds. Jongin was dying to dig out his phone to see if Kyungsoo had replied, but with Suho here he was afraid that he’d try to peek at the phone screen and realize that he was texting Kyungsoo.

He shifted his weight from foot to foot anxiously, wondering what was taking Mr. Lee so long.

“Hey Jongin, now that I think about it, do you seriously still plan on sleeping with Kyungsoo?” Suho suddenly said. Jongin blinked at him.

“Er, I wouldn’t say I’m planning on it…” His phone pinged loudly in his pocket. Jongin froze, then scratched the back of his head awkwardly, looking around like it wasn’t his phone. Suho gave him an appraising look.

“Don’t you… wanna get that?”

“Nah, it’s probably just my driver texting me back to say he’s caught in traffic or whatever. I’m fine with waiting.”

Suho lifted an eyebrow at him. “Since when do you text?”

Jongin looked at him. “Since like, forever. Why?” It was a blatant lie. He’d never texted anyone in his life, and Suho knew him since they met in college; meaning they knew each other far too well and it wasn’t looking good for Jongin right now.

“No, you don’t text. Who is it?”

“I told you, my driver.”

“How’d you know if you didn’t read the text?” Suho snapped. Surrendering, Jongin dug his phone out slowly. “Gosh, who do you think I’m texting, Suho, a murderer or something?”

“Oh, I have a pretty good idea who it might be. It’s Kyungsoo, isn’t it?” Jongin stiffened for a millisecond before he shook his head and unlocked his phone.

“No,” his voice came out in a high pitched voice. Damn.

“I knew it, you were acting so suspiciously a minute ago!” Suho accused. Jongin pulled the notifications display down from the top of his screen and stared at the text in amazement. It was a text from his mobile service, some stupid ad to promote free streaming music.

Jongin held it out to Suho without a word. “I don’t wanna read your texts to Kyungsoo, for God’s sake,” he grumbled.

Jongin pushed it at Suho’s face. He finally glanced at it, and blinked a few times in mild surprise.

“Who’s paranoid now, bitch?” Jongin laughed, turning his phone off. It was relief that it wasn’t actually a text from Kyungsoo, but it miffed him to think that Kyungsoo had ignored his text. Dear God, Jongin thought in silent horror. I’ve become a teenage girl. I’m actually worried if Kyungsoo’s seen the text or not.   

“I’m sure you’ve been texting him the whole night. You think I didn’t notice you sitting by the bar tonight, mooning over your phone for the last few hours?” Suho said, a tinge of annoyance in his voice. He could be as annoyed as he wanted to be; Kyungsoo didn’t send him a text so na na nana na.

“I wasn’t texting Kyungsoo. I was texting my sister,” Jongin huffed. She was somewhere in Japan probably, promoting her label and so forth. The last time he spoke to her, he was still in college. Needless to say, they weren’t very close. The age gap between himself and his sisters were just too large to fill with meaningless conversation.

“Oh yeah? Bet you didn’t know your sister is in the news, after hooking up with some billionaire from Europe,” Suho remarked.

“Mind what you say, Suho… Of course I know my sister hooked up with that billionaire from Europe.” He meant that he was texting his second sister from Japan, but Suho was talking about his other sister, the eldest one. Whatever his sisters wanted to do, he would stay out of it. He was the youngest in the family so it wasn’t like they’d listen to his advice (not that he’d give any).

“Aren’t you worried about your sisters? Kyungsoo isn’t the only person in this world who matters, you know,” Suho said.

“Oh please, my sisters can take care of themselves. We were never close so it’s not like I can change things. And why are we talking about my sisters? This conversation is getting out of hand.”

Suho sneered at him. “Do you ever think about what it might be like if your sisters found out that you’re trying to get into some other guy’s pants?”

Jongin pursed his lips. His second sister, who would probably have seen wilder things in Japan than homosexuals, would most likely say, “Congrats, Jongin. You grew up.” His other sister would say, “How did it feel like?” while blowing cigarette smoke in his face, because homosexuals wouldn’t be the most exciting thing she’d ever hear about either.

“They wouldn’t care, Suho. They’re more like distant cousins than siblings,” Jongin said.

“I don’t mean what would they think about the gay part, Jongin, I mean what would they think if they found out about it through some tabloid news. Wouldn’t want the press to get it out there that you’re gay and sleeping around or something like that. Not that I care, you know, but I don’t know what investors might think.”

Ah. I thought the sister question was starting to get personal…

“Yes, well, no one knows about it so far. Kyungsoo’s been dropping by my office more often than usual, true, but I could call in other people just for show. Maybe shake them up a bit so they think I’m being hard on Kyungsoo.”

“Yes, but you’re actually just coming onto him,” Suho smiled.

“Shut up,” Jongin said half heartedly, pretending to punch Suho on the arm. Suho sighed, looking at Jongin.

“Not that I’m against gay people, Jongin but… you really don’t look like someone who’d even consider walking down that road.”

Jongin shrugged. What could he say? Kyungsoo had more substance than any other girl in Jongin’s social circle, and it was refreshing to see what real struggle to have some sort of standing in this world looked like. He was not disillusioned; Jongin knew he was lucky enough to always be able to take the easy way out in life. People like Kyungsoo and Luhan didn’t have it as good as Jongin did. Bullying, working for some crime lord with full knowledge that it was illegal… Those were real struggles. The only real struggle Jongin had was whether or not Kyungsoo had read his text.

“He’s different,” Jongin finally replied. It was all Jongin could think of without spilling too much. It was enough that they knew he wanted to get romantically involved with Kyungsoo, never mind the vibrators and riding crops that Jongin wanted to use on him.

Their cars came not long after that. They waved goodbye each other and headed in opposite directions.

“Sorry for the hold up, sir. Traffic jam on the highway because there was an accident. You might be getting home late, sir,” Mr. Lee said apologetically. Jongin shook his head. “It’s okay, I’m not in a hurry to get home.”

“Honestly, sir?” Mr. Lee said, lilting his sentence into a question.

“Hmm?”

“I thought you’d be bringing company.” Mr. Lee sounded amused.  

Jongin chuckled, looking out of the window to stare at the starless night sky above. “Me too, Mr. Lee. I thought I’d be coming home with a girl on my arms but,” he sighed. “There wasn’t anyone interesting enough.”

“Did you have a good time anyway, sir?”

Jongin shrugged. “I guess I did.” But it wasn’t the party he enjoyed. His entertainment was miles away, probably already asleep in his bed while Jongin was still in his Rolls Royce, thinking of Kyungsoo.    

 

Chapter Text

Next week came relatively slowly. Jongin had quite a lot of things done (without even stepping a foot into the Accuretta building) while he waited for Kyungsoo to give him the okay on the photo session.

First of all, on Tuesday he managed to pass along a message to Luhan through Kyungsoo that if he applied for a job as an accountant within the week, he’d probably get the job without a hitch. Kyungsoo was surprised that Jongin came through with his promise and thanked him somewhat begrudgingly.

‘I’m not some selfish bastard who just wants to play with you,’ Jongin had texted to Kyungsoo with a secret smile.

‘I never said you were. And I just think you’re only around for the fun of it…’

Jongin wanted to shake Kyungsoo by the shoulders and kiss him with all his might when he read his text in the sanctity of his own bedroom. He couldn’t tell if Kyungsoo was flirting with him or he was just being honest. Regardless, Jongin was helpless smitten with Kyungsoo before Thursday ever came around. He grimaced at himself whenever he looked at the mirror; it was disgustingly weird to look at his smiling reflection every time he thought of Kyungsoo.

On Wednesday, Jongin bought some unorthodox items for the upcoming photo session. If the photo session didn’t work out, he’d still find a way to put the items he’d bought to use anyway… He bought a riding crop for horse riding online with his credit card at a relatively cheap price, and it was express delivered less than four days later. If Kyungsoo didn’t want to bring a riding crop, well, he had one now.

However, a riding crop wasn’t the only thing he bought online. Somehow, searching for appropriate spanking implements led to searching up sex positions. And that landed him from the Kama Sutra to an online sex toys shop where he purchased a sex swing on impulse. Apparently there were all sorts of positions one could try, and since he could go anal with pretty much anyone, why not? As a plus, he’d be able to strap Kyungsoo into something too, and that on its own had tons of sex appeal.

Though he’d have to call in somebody to install some hooks into the ceiling… Still, it was worth the effort. His spare room beside his bedroom was begging to be used, and a room where he could have sexy fun sounded good. He just had to be careful when inviting people over to his apartment then. 

Jongin also went to a sports equipment store during the weekend and asked for a paddle usually used for playing cricket. It was, of course, for nothing remotely linked to cricket. He was offered by the sales assistant a good quality paddle made of some kind of heavy wood with ten holes drilled into it. He asked the boy with terminal acne why some paddles had holes whereas other didn’t. Apparently, the holes were there to lessen air resistance and therefore, one could strike faster in a game of cricket.

“Be careful with it though,” the sales assistant had warned Jongin, “If you hit anything else with the paddle like someone’s leg by accident, it has quite a sting. My friend hit his brother with it for fun and it left a bruise on him for weeks.”

Jongin said, “Oh? In that case, I’ll take it.”

The final task he had done on Monday was to call a handyman to come into his apartment to do a bit of redecorating to his spare bedroom. He wanted the man to put up a few hooks in the empty room, strong enough to carry the weight of half a ton.

The guy said okay easily enough, and set to work at once on Tuesday, drilling and pounding and so on in the empty, windowless room with nothing in it except an air conditioner while Jongin lolled around in the living room watching TV in case there was something the man would need. He was also staying out of the man’s way in case he wanted to know why Jongin needed hooks installed in an empty room. Jongin just hoped that maybe the handyman would guess that Jongin wanted to use them for kinky reasons and would leave it alone without asking any prying questions.

While watching reruns of a soap drama on KBS, it suddenly occurred to Jongin that even if he had the hooks installed, he’d need a bit of furniture and other miscellaneous pieces to spruce up the room. He couldn’t leave the house because of the handyman, but he could get Taewoon to shop around for him.

Jongin dialed his office up, drumming his fingers on his soft leather sofa. “Accuretta Systems, Mr. Kim’s office,” Sehun said in a dull voice.

“Hi, I’m Kim Jongin and I’d like to speak to Taewoon?”

Sehun was silent for a moment. “What the fuck do you want?”

“To speak to Taewoon,” Jongin replied, puzzled. Was Sehun deaf? He sighed over the phone and there was a rustling sound before Taewoon’s chirpy voice said, “Hello, Mr. Kim, what can I do for you?”

“Hi, I’d like you to get me some items from the furniture store…” He told Taewoon to get a daybed made of velvet, preferably red or black. He also told Taewoon to get a medium sized chest of drawers so that he could keep all his kinky items. “Make sure the drawers can be locked,” he said to Taewoon. As for light fixtures, Jongin told him to get the strangest looking one in the store; he really didn’t care about lights so long as it could light up the room nicely enough. Lastly, a plain carpet made of any material, as long as it was soft and fluffy.

“Also, if you have the time, buy me a can of paint. Get me some in magenta and use the company credit card. I think Sehun has it.”

“Are you redecorating, sir?” Taewoon asked. Jongin could hear him scribbling everything down on a piece of paper in the background. “I guess you could say so. Have everything delivered by today or tomorrow, at the very latest. Do or say whatever you need to.”

“Yes, sir. Oh, Sehun would like to speak to you,” Taewoon said. He passed the phone to Sehun before Jongin could think of hanging up.

“Why are you treating Taewoon like a Saint Bernard? And why would you need a daybed, Jongin, you have your own proper sofa for fuck’s sake,” Sehun hissed. Faintly, Jongin could hear Taewoon say goodbye to Sehun.

“I needed some furniture to fill up my empty spare room. You know the one, behind the living room—”

“I know full well where it is and what you intend to do in there. You’re building some kind of sex room, aren’t you?” Sehun snapped in a low voice. Let no one ever say Sehun can’t tell it like it is. Jongin chuckled.

“Just let Taewoon buy me the items and you won’t hear about this ever again.” Jongin clicked off before Sehun could murmur a string of obscene swear words down the phone.

-

Jongin was pleasantly busy for the rest of the day. Taewoon sent him many photos of all the daybeds and chests of drawers he could find in three furniture stores. Jongin bought a daybed in a subtle shade of harlot red for 899 dollars and a simple chest of drawers for 500 dollars over lunch (he ordered takeout for himself and the handyman). The carpet was easily found; Jongin bought a black, fluffy carpet large enough to cover the floor of the room at only 700 dollars. Taewoon even managed to get the can of paint for Jongin, but the last item proved to be more elusive than Jongin expected.

All the pictures of the weird looking light fixtures just didn’t fit Jongin’s aesthetic. He wanted something dark, something no one else would ever think of buying and a light fixture that Kyungsoo might like as well. There were heavy looking chandeliers, innovative lights made of fiber wires and even lights shaped like animals, but none of them looked right.

Taewoon wandered the streets of Seoul on Jongin’s behalf till four in the afternoon. Even the furniture and carpet came in, and he still couldn’t find a single light fixture close to what Jongin wanted. It wasn’t until he stumbled into an antique furniture store minutes before the shop would close up for the day that Taewoon texted Jongin excitedly.

‘I think I found it, Mr. Kim!’ 

‘Send me a pic.’

He was doubtful while he waited for the photo to load; Taewoon’s idea of strange wasn’t morbid enough for Jongin, but when he saw the picture of the light fixture, he knew it was the one. ‘Get it, no matter the price,’ he sent to Taewoon at once.

It was a light fixture in the shape of a deer’s head made of some kind of metal; it looked like dirty gold to Jongin. The horns were the most interesting characteristic of the deer’s head. Rather than jutting outwards like the head, it lay flat against the wall, although Jongin could see small joints where the dull glowing pieces of metal were fused to one another at different angles to form the shape of the horns. It looked like the deer was trying to materialize out of the wall, and it was unusual but perfect. Jongin’s phone pinged with a message from Taewoon.

‘The horns stretch up to one meter across. One of a kind custom piece, the owner says. Light comes from the back of the head. Costs 650. Take it?’

‘Without a doubt,’ Jongin replied Taewoon’s text. One meter across… It was going to be a hell of a light fixture, that was for sure.  

“Mr. Kim?”

Jongin looked up at the handyman who had stuck his head out of the room. “Yes?” he replied blandly.

“The hooks are done. Would you like to take a look?” he asked. About time, Jongin thought. He never knew putting up a few hooks into the ceiling would take so long.

“Sure,” Jongin got up from his seat. His ass was numb from having sat down all day, but he had accomplished enough today. Jongin entered the room where the hooks were sticking out from the ceiling. There were about eight hooks, all in different spots and Jongin wondered if the handyman had already guessed at Jongin’s intentions.

“Damn. So this is it? I can hang whatever I want here?” Jongin said, peering up at the ceiling.  

“Yup. So long as it doesn’t weigh over half a ton, of course. Say um, I saw a can of paint arriving with your new furniture. Do you need someone to paint the walls?” the handyman asked. Jongin blinked before answering him uncertainly.

“…You know what, yeah, I do need someone to paint it. I actually forgot that I don’t have a paint brush or anything like that with me.”

The handyman laughed good naturedly. “I can paint it for you tomorrow, sir, if you want me to. Though I will be charging you differently for that…”

Jongin waved a hand. “Charge away. Thank you for reminding me that I actually have to paint the walls. For now though, I think your work is done, right?” Jongin said. The handyman nodded, picking some tools up from the ground and placing them all in his duffel bag.

“So I’ll come in tomorrow to do the walls, hm? And thank you for the lunch sir, it was very kind of you,” the handyman said sincerely. God, Jongin thought, I have accidentally been too nice to people now. Damn, it was all Kyungsoo’s fault.    

“Don’t mention it. I’ll see you tomorrow then. Oh, bring your tools tomorrow though, I have something else for you to put up on the walls,” Jongin said, remembering the deer’s head. He dug his phone out to see if Taewoon had sent it out yet.

‘Mr. Kim, I’m on the way to deliver the head for you. The shop said it was too late to send out today TT.TT’

Well that was certainly very Saint Bernard-ish of Taewoon. Whatever then, Jongin said okay and let the handyman out, pacing the living room anxiously while he waited for his deer’s head to arrive. Taewoon said that he’d be running late due to traffic, which did nothing for Jongin’s pent up energy. By then, he was too antsy from sitting in his home all day and wanted someone to entertain him.

I could call Chanyeol to see what he thinks about my new room, Jongin thought. Chanyeol was the most open friend he knew, and would certainly check out the room without questioning him too much. Or maybe he will, but it’s easier to explain things to him than to Suho or Sehun, he thought. If Chanyeol could come over then they could get something to eat together too.

“Do you want to park Chanyeol or ride Chanyeol?”

Jongin made a face at Chanyeol’s way of answering the phone. “Neither. But I’d like Chanyeol to come over to my place tonight to keep me company.”

“As I have said before, Jongin, you’re a nice guy and all that but I’m just not interested in you,”  Chanyeol replied. Why couldn’t his friends be a bit more normal? “I meant, come over and tell me if the things I bought for my spare room are tasteful enough for a person of my standing and have dinner with me after that, not come over and we’ll get frisky with each other.”

“Oh. Well, that can be easily arranged. I was going to visit a few clubs tonight though… Wanna come? I can be there in fifteen minutes; I’m in your area.”

“Excellent.”

Exactly twenty minutes later, Chanyeol in his giant, black hat from Forever 21 was standing in the middle of Jongin’s living room, his large eyes assessing Jongin’s latest buys. Jongin had ripped off the plastic off the couch and drawers before he came, and had even unrolled a bit of the carpet for Chanyeol to test out with his hands. It all seemed to look good together, but you never know with Chanyeol. Jongin wasn’t born with his fine eye for luxury items. 

“The daybed’s a bit… whore-ish, don’t you think? Like you bought it secondhand from the owner of a brothel,” Chanyeol said, running his hands over the velvet. His hand left a handprint from where he touched it, and Jongin almost shuddered at the thought of Kyungsoo lying nude on the daybed, his white skin almost dazzling against the bright red of the daybed…

“And the carpet is alright, but I’ve seen better, you should get a Persian carpet next time. Very exotic and elegant… Still, this is soft enough if you plan on fucking Kyungsoo over it,” Chanyeol shrugged. Jongin snapped out of his dirty thoughts and stared at Chanyeol.

“Who says I’m going to fuck Kyungsoo on the damned carpet?” 

“Oh, come on, Jongin, nobody’s stupid enough to believe you bought a soft carpet and a daybed for no other reason than to decorate your room. It’s so obvious that you plan to bring someone in for a frisky good time,” Chanyeol rolled his eyes. Thank goodness that Jongin hid the sports equipment he had bought in his room then.

“I bet you’re gonna paint the walls of your room some kind of dark and morose color too, right?” Chanyeol said, feeling the velvety surface of the daybed before he suddenly spotted the can of paint behind it.

Chanyeol tutted away as he picked it up, weighing it in his hands for a moment before putting it down and shaking his head at Jongin.

“Ugh, stop judging me, alright, I know Kyungsoo’s a guy—”

“That’s not why I’m shaking my head at you,” Chanyeol cut in seriously. Jongin thought he was joking, but there wasn’t a twinkle in his eyes that was usually there if he was joking around, and neither was he smiling.

“It’s just… you’re going to some pretty extreme lengths just to sleep with somebody. Are you sure you’re not—”

The buzzer from the door interrupted Chanyeol’s sentence. “That’ll be the deer’s head,” Jongin said, making his way to the door to let Taewoon in. “You went hunting and stuffed a deer’s head?” Chanyeol called out from behind him. “Not exactly,” he replied distractedly. He flung the door open and saw Taewoon standing at his doorstep with his knees bent while he struggled to carry the full weight of the light fixture, made all the more heavier from the tight plastic wrapped around it for protection. Jesus, it’s bigger than I thought. “Hi,” Taewoon said weakly.  

Jongin reached over just in time to grab the deer’s horns before Taewoon fell over backwards and they shuffled into the apartment together, squeezing through the tiny doorway. Chanyeol was as unhelpful as ever, sitting down on the sofa as he watched the struggle with the entire, unrelenting length of the light fixture.

“Could you get the door for us?” Jongin grunted at Chanyeol, motioning with his chin towards the spare room’s closed door.

“Oh, I thought you had it all handled,” Chanyeol said nonchalantly, standing up slowly to swing the door open for them. Jongin bit down on a stinging comment, reminding himself that Chanyeol was like this with everyone. After a bit of shuffling about and poking the plastic because Jongin couldn’t get a grip on it, they got in—barely—and set it down on the ground, letting it lean against the wall carefully. The horns took up a good part of the wall, but as Jongin thought, it looked absolutely fabulous. Even Chanyeol couldn’t deny its steam punk beauty when he joined them to admire it once the plastic was ripped off.

“Now this is something worth every won you spent on it,” Chanyeol said, touching the horns. The head, Jongin noticed, wasn’t as defined as one might think it would be. It just had the important features; eyes and nostrils. It was completely smooth, without any small indentations made to emulate as fur. It looked great anyway; smooth, uncomplicated and straight to the point. “It’s gonna look hella great once you put it up. Where are you going to hang it?” Chanyeol asked.

Jongin pointed at the wall above the chest of drawers. Chanyeol’s mouth twisted to one side for a moment, perhaps picturing it in his head for a few seconds before he nodded his approval. “That’s a good spot, yeah. The drawers are dark too, so I think they’ll complement each other,” Chanyeol said.

“Yes, I think so too. Anyway, here are the receipts for all the things I bought today, Mr. Kim, so…” Taewoon dug into his pocket but Jongin stopped him.

“Let Sehun handle everything. Or get him to teach you how to handle it, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with the receipts anyway,” Jongin shrugged. “Oh. Right. Well, if there’s nothing else I can do for you, sir…?” Taewoon said, shoving the receipts back into his pocket.

“Nope. You can go home now,” Jongin smiled at him. “Thank you, sir. I’ll see myself out,” he said, bowing slightly before walking out of the room. Chanyeol barely noticed his exit, feeling up the horns and the deer’s head like he was looking for something. “Er, Chanyeol, I think you will find that the horns are not in fact, the limbs of your girlfriend,” Jongin said, clearing his throat.

“Is this custom made? There’s nothing on it to indicate who designed this hunk of metal,” Chanyeol said, ignoring his jibe.

“Yeah, it’s custom made apparently. By who, I wonder? Taewoon found it at an antiques store,” Jongin supplied. Chanyeol gave up on fondling the horn and settled for staring it again.

“An unknown designer maybe. It’s still quite a showy piece, very unlike you, Jongin. Did you pick this out to impress someone in particular?” Chanyeol asked, waggling his eyebrows at Jongin.

“No,” Jongin said, miffed. “I just picked it out ‘cause it’s pretty.”

“But it’s so unlike you.”

“Well, maybe you don’t know me well enough,” Jongin huffed. He did have a theme to stick to; he couldn’t very well hang a plain looking lamp or something in the room. This room deserved a center piece, and it was this magnificent deer’s head in all its dull gold and horn-y glory… Jongin laughed to himself at that joke.

“Oh God, now you’re laughing without telling me the punch line. What’s wrong, am I too fat for this hat? I knew it was too small for me,” Chanyeol muttered, adjusting the hat on his head.

“No, no, it’s just that… The deer’s head is horny,” Jongin said, before laughing soundlessly, bending over as he tried to stop himself from laughing and failing miserably. Chanyeol tried to pretend it wasn’t funny, but soon they were making the weirdest noises, unable to breathe and unable to laugh properly.

-

Jongin waved his hands in the air, moving around to the beat of some Rihanna song as a girl flexed her hips over Jongin’s crotch. “Another round of shots!” Chanyeol’s voice shouted from the bar, before he hollered, spilling half of his drink on himself. Oh yes, Jongin thought, this is the life. They’d been here for three hours already and he felt he could go on till morning light.

“Babe, you wanna go some place private?” the girl in front of Jongin asked huskily, running her acrylic nails over his jaw. She was pretty; high cheekbones accentuated with heavy makeup and smoky eyes. Her skimpy little silver party dress revealed her chest and long, tanned legs and occasionally, a flash of pink nipples every time she threw her head back against Jongin’s body.

Jongin had been drinking enough to feel like he was walking on air, but sleeping with her felt like biting down on something vile and bitter. “After a few more drinks,” he replied honestly. Why couldn’t they just dance? The girl smiled as if she’d just found something very shiny and expensive, wrapping her arms around his neck possessively.

Jongin shimmied with her to the bar, throwing a shot back into his throat and swallowing quickly. “I got something that’ll make you trip, Jongin, do you wanna try it out?” she asked, sipping on a Cosmopolitan she’d left at the bar some time ago.

“How do you know my name?” he asked stupidly. She said, “Everyone knows you.” He didn’t come here to get laid or to be recognized. He just wanted to dance a little bit, get drunk and go home, period. But this girl insisted that she had something that he was going to absolutely love once he tried it and so Jongin sighed, letting her pull him into the men’s room. This better not take too long, he was thinking of going home to maybe, drunk dial Kyungsoo for a bit.

“Let’s get this down with quickly then,” he muttered, unbuckling his pants. She laughed in a throaty way that sounded like she was trying too hard as she locked the door but whatever, he was here for a quickie and he’d be out in the crowd again. Lucky enough for the both of them, he brought a condom (because you never know) in his pocket. Instead of taking off her clothes though, the girl dug out something from her boob area and held out a small packet of white powder at Jongin.

“And what’s this?” Jongin asked flatly. He’d done drugs before (who hadn’t?) in college, but only because he knew the dealer. For all he knew, this could be one of those drugs that could poison him and have him on his back in less than an hour. The girl caught his expression and tried to reassure him.

“I’ve snorted this before. It’s designer ice, honey, and it doesn’t have much of a come down, so you’ll feel fine in the morning,” she smiled slyly. “If you don’t believe me, I’ll snort it first for you.”

Jongin shrugged. She could do whatever she wanted. He lifted her up and placed her by the sink, running his hands up the skirt of her dress and digging his fingers into what felt like her g-string. Pulling it down at the same time she ripped the plastic packet open, he watched her pour some of the white powder down beside the sink and use the plastic packet to line it up, making a thin line of powder.

Leaning over, she pressed one side of her nose and sniffed the half line up into her nose. Throwing her head back a bit, she inhaled and exhaled a few times, pinching her nose between her fingers tightly before she said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

The confidence in her voice surprised him though he didn’t show it. He started by kissing her red lipstick off her mouth, smearing it all over her jaw and chin. He could see that his face looked no better than hers in the reflection of the mirror, but it was a small price to pay once she started to giggle in his arms and slid her dress over her shoulder, exposing her extra large breasts.

They were obviously plastic, but felt real enough when Jongin fondled it with a hand, rubbing his palm over her nipple till it peaked and became hard. The thought came unbidden to him, but he couldn’t help but suddenly wonder if Kyungsoo had pink nipples like this girl before him, or darker, brown ones.

Maybe this won’t be so hard, Jongin thought. She moaned, eyes closed as she locked her ankles around Jongin’s waist. It was so wrong and he’d never even done this before, but he suddenly wanted to imagine that this girl was Kyungsoo instead. As soon as he closed his eyes in feigned pleasure as he bit down on her left nipple, Kyungsoo’s nipple, his pants grew uncomfortably tight and suddenly all he wanted was to rip everything off her.

“See, honey, it isn’t cheap stuff. Have some, won’t you?” she whispered, pressing his face to her chest. His hand was under her dress, feeling her up to see if she was wet yet. He slid a finger into her and she bucked under his touch, heels digging into his back as she tried to ride his finger.

“Maybe I will have some now,” he smirked. If she was going to keep moaning and crying out in her girly voice, he might need some of that ice to take reality away and bring Kyungsoo into his arms.

Snorting two thirds of the line rather messily, the powder burned its way through his nostrils and down his throat. He didn’t want to get too high, just enough to get through with this girl. The ice hit him almost immediately, making the lights above him seem as bright as the sun and the girl’s dramatic moans volumes louder.

“Keep it down, will you,” he muttered, and she obeyed, thinking that he wanted her quiet because he didn’t want anyone to walk in on them. He grabbed a fistful of her hair, tasting the alcohol on her lips as he kissed her hard, viciously and cruelly because she was the wrong person at the right time. Her hand felt around the sink for the condom he’d left unopened, and she made herself useful by opening the foil packet and tugging his boxers down, nimble fingers wrapping around his cock.

“Put it on,” he said, pulling her closer to himself. The ice clearly was pure; it had only been a few minutes since he snorted it up his nose and he was already seeing new colors in his eyes as she rolled the condom on, kissing him like she was afraid he’d leave her without satisfying both of their needs.

When it was on, Jongin let her squirm forward onto his cock, pressing her chest to Jongin’s mouth again.

“Touch me, baby, please,” she said. He obliged her, grabbing her ass—or what was there on her rump; there wasn’t much to grip—and squeezed her ass cheeks, coaxing her onto his cock. She was tight as his cock slid into her, fucking her slowly. Her mouth dropped open in soundless desire, fingers digging into his shoulders. The girl’s cunt was hot and gripping him like a vice, and it didn’t take much to imagine that this was probably what it felt like to fuck Kyungsoo’s ass. He’d have much more of an ass, that was for sure. This girl trying to fuck his cock was too skinny for his taste.

You’ll have to do, he thought. She started to bounce on Jongin’s cock, long legs latched around Jongin’s own to lift herself up momentarily before sucking him back into her cunt. All Jongin did was hold her, kiss her and imagine that her skin was ten shades brighter and her cunt would be Kyungsoo’s ass, making beautiful wet sounds on Jongin’s hard cock.

How many times did you hit yourself?

Five.

 Jongin wanted to be the one to cause red marks and lines all over Kyungsoo, wanted to be the one who could break him down to tears and still have him beg for more pain. He felt his cock twitch at the thought of flogging Kyungsoo, and a pulse of heat swept through him, warm and sweet as he rode closely to the edge of orgasm. They both started sweating, their skin wet and slick from their rough fucking and the airless surroundings.

Someone was banging on the bathroom door, but Jongin and the girl couldn’t hear it. All they could hear was the sound of his cock thrusting deep into her and their own ragged breaths, trying to get more friction.

He’d had his hands on the girl’s waist to help lift her up, but on an impulse thought, he suddenly reached up to grab her hair and pulled it back painfully. She cried out incoherently, and it was in her real voice, a little lower than her mewls and small cries. It was probably the ice and the pleasure pumping through Jongin’s veins, but he thought it sounded a lot like Kyungsoo crying out.

He came into the condom, spurting white streaks as his hips stuttered and she came as well, tightening around him with a hoarse scream. It felt like sweet bliss to come at the thought of Kyungsoo, the sinfulness of it making it all the better. His heart pounded in his ears erratically, as loud as the muffled thumping throughout the bathroom from the other side of the door.   

Jongin pulled out of her a few seconds later, sliding the condom off and tossing it into the toilet bowl behind him. She leaned back on the large mirror, panting, legs spread wide open in an obscene show. His head was spinning now, but in a good way, and it was time to get back to the party outside now that he was finally done.

Wasn’t bad, Jongin thought. Probably the best sex he’d had thinking of someone else. He did his pants up quickly, already heading to the door.

“Jongin baby, don’t you want more ice?” the girl called after him, giggling as she brought her legs and looked around for her white powder. “No,” Jongin replied. He didn’t need the ice when Kyungsoo was the best kind of drug.

He unlocked the door and quickly blended into the crowd of hot and sweaty bodies to avoid the girl from the bathroom. Jongin didn’t want her to think she had a hold on him now that they’ve had sex; they were finished and he sincerely hoped they wouldn’t run into each other again in the club. Jongin danced around a few other girls, all of them smiling up at him in recognition. He was tired of being recognized now though. Why couldn’t he be a nobody for one day in his life and have fun as an anonymous stranger and not some rich kid from the newspaper?

Jongin had had enough of dancing and decided to just sit at the bar until Chanyeol was ready to go home. At first, he couldn’t find Chanyeol, but then through the haze of the ice in his head, he suddenly heard Chanyeol’s voice over the speakers.

Jesus, he was rapping to G-Dragon and TOP’s High High. He better hope no one recognizes him, Jongin thought, motioning to the bartender with his credit card to pay for all the drinks they already had just in case he couldn’t make it through the night without passing out. To pass time, he ordered an iced Americano to hopefully dull the effects of the ice on him. Thank God he didn’t sniff the entire line otherwise he’d be up onstage with Chanyeol, pretending to be TOP and God knows who else.

He spent forty five minutes just staring into the distance, letting the music and people wash over him like a wave. God, the ice is good, he thought. He was itching to join everyone in the crowd, but restrained himself. Lord only knew what sort of people were dancing in the club and what if he lost his credit card or phone? Then he’d be in serious trouble.

For someone who’s tripping on ice, I’m quite sensible, hmm? He thought. Then Northern Lights started to appear in his vision and he knew it was time for another cup of coffee. The bartender gave him a sympathetic smile as he placed a tall glass of iced Americano in front of Jongin.

“Waiting’ for your friend, that wild guy over there?” he asked.

“Yeah. We came together so I can’t leave him,” Jongin shrugged. He didn’t mind if Chanyeol wanted to rap his lungs out tonight, but he needed something to distract him while waiting for Chanyeol to finish his ‘concert’. He was rapping to a Jay-Z song before Jongin finally figured out what to do now that he was so bored.

He dug out his phone, checking to see if there were any messages. Suho had texted him: ‘Are you with Chanyeol? His mom called me to check up on him.’ “Ugh,” Jongin blanched. How did Suho get Chanyeol’s mom’s phone number and vice versa? A disturbing thought. He briefly texted back to say that he was with Chanyeol, and to not expect him to come home till the late a.m.

His phone told him that it was now one a.m. and it was possible that Kyungsoo was asleep but Jongin wanted to text him, hear his voice even, except that it was too noisy to hear himself think. Jongin settled for texting, but promised himself that he would call Kyungsoo up if he didn’t reply in ten minutes.

‘Are you awake?’

Jongin fiddled with his phone in his hand while drinking up his Americano, waiting for Kyungsoo to reply. The minutes couldn’t have gone by any slower, but to his surprise, Kyungsoo replied him three minutes later.

‘Are YOU awake?’

Oh, how Jongin missed this.

‘Don’t be silly, of course I am. Just thought I’d tell you that I’ve been redecorating my place and I hope one day you’ll come up to my place to see how everything turned out ;) ;)’ He added two winkies for maximum flirtation and hoped Kyungsoo would get the hint.

‘Cool.’

Jongin rolled his eyes at Kyungsoo’s reply, resisting the urge to smash his phone on the counter of the bar. He really couldn’t tell if Kyungsoo was ignoring the way he was trying to flirt with him or if Kyungsoo was just too shy to respond to it. Jongin tried again; nothing came easy in this world anyway.

‘Would you like to know where I am?’

‘If you will.’

Jongin almost snorted at that. What kind of guy said ‘If you will’? He wasn’t even sure what that meant, but since Kyungsoo was still texting him back…

‘At some club in Hongdae, thinking of you. I would dance with you, you know, if you ever came up to me at a club like this.’ There was no need for a winking smiley in this text.

However, Kyungsoo’s reply almost made Jongin fall off his seat. ‘Funny, I’m in Hongdae too.’

Jongin dialed Kyungsoo up at once, too antsy to type out a reply. It ringed a few times, and Jongin thought Kyungsoo was lying about being in Hongdae until the call went through and there was a second of hesitation before Kyungsoo said, “Hello? Jongin?”

“Hyung, where are you?” Jongin asked, getting up to walk away from the dance floor. He made his way to the entrance as Kyungsoo said something to him.

“What?” Jongin yelled.

“I’m in Hongdae with Luhan. He wanted me to come along just in case anything happened,” Kyungsoo repeated himself.

“Oh.” Disappointment lay heavily over Jongin’s heart. He’d thought that maybe Kyungsoo had followed him to Hongdae or something, but of course. Luhan looked like a pretty wild guy, why wouldn’t he be out partying as well?

“Which club are you at then?” Jongin asked.

“I’m at a karaoke bar. Luhan’s dealing with… you know. People,” Kyungsoo said, and Jongin understood. The loan sharks must’ve called him out for some reason and Kyungsoo was his backup in case something bad might happen.

“Can I come see you?” Jongin asked, chewing his bottom lip.

Kyungsoo was silent on the other line. “If you’re in Hongdae you can’t be that far away…” Jongin said, almost pleading with Kyungsoo.

“I—I wouldn’t mind it, Jongin, it’s just that I don’t want you to get hurt or anything.”

That could easily be remedied. “I have my bodyguard with me. Just tell me where you are, I’ll see you for a minute and then I’ll leave you alone. Promise.”

“I don’t know, Jongin…”

“If you don’t tell me where you are I’ll just make Mr. Lee drive around Hongdae till I find you. Do you want me to do that?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo sighed over the phone. There was a murmur from someone in the back, and it was quiet for awhile before Kyungsoo said, “Just for a little while then. I’m at Good Karaoke, you know the one with the really flashy neon lights?”

Jongin did know it, and practically ran out of the club where Mr. Lee was parked by the curb, waiting patiently for him. He was leaning against the car and bowed slightly when Jongin came out of the club.

“Got a friend to meet, Mr. Lee. Take me to that flashy karaoke place please. And fast, we need to come back in case Chanyeol wants to leave and he can’t find us,” Jongin said to him, getting into the car quickly. “Flashy karaoke place, sir?” Mr. Lee echoed.

“I’ll show you the way,” Jongin said.

It took less than five minutes to find the place since the roads were deserted and there were only a few cars parked by the sidewalk. They passed the occasional pedestrian, girls wearing short and tight dresses alongside heavy makeup. When they got there, Kyungsoo was waiting outside at the entrance. The headlights washed over him and he looked up at the same time Jongin noticed that he was holding his camera in his hands. 

“Wait for me to come back. I won’t be long,” Jongin said to Mr. Lee. He got out of the car, taking five strides to stand in front of Kyungsoo, who shuffled around uncomfortably under his gaze.

“Hey,” Jongin breathed, trying to keep his hands off him.

“Hi. Were you planning on actually saying something or are you just being excessive by driving all the way here to see me?”

“Well, I’m wounded by your suspicion, Kyungsoo. I did have something to say to you, only I want you to hear me say it face-to-face so I know what you think,” Jongin said, smiling down at him.

Kyungsoo swallowed thickly, hands gripping the camera in his hands. “We could go inside the karaoke room. Luhan is in another room so it’ll be the two of us…”

“And no else? Perfect,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo nodded awkwardly and turned to re enter the karaoke place, leading him down a hall of doors. He stopped at room 11 and opened the door, letting Jongin into the dark room before he closed the door behind himself. The room was plain, identical to all the rest; there was a low table, an L-shaped sofa and nothing more.  

“How is the photo session shaping up, hyung? I hope you’ve got the place you wanted, otherwise we could always go to my apartment…” he trailed off suggestively, taking a seat on the sofa. Kyungsoo sat across Jongin and cleared his throat, clearly pretending to ignore the suggestion in Jongin’s words.

“It’s actually shaping up okay. I was going to text you in the morning to say that the landlord of one of the apartments says it’s okay to use his place for a day at a pretty good price.” Shame, Jongin thought. Would’ve loved to have tested out my new swing on him. 

“Well, I’m glad then. And I must ask, Kyungsoo…” Kyungsoo bit down on his lower lip tantalizingly, “Why is your trusty camera with us tonight? Were you planning on taking a few photos tonight?” Jongin asked, crossing his legs.

“Yeah, I was going to do it after Luhan finished up his work, and you called me out so I didn’t want to leave it in the room without anyone to look after it…” Kyungsoo babbled and then slowly cut himself off.

“Didn’t think you took pictures of anything but myself.”

Kyungsoo sputtered indignantly at him, gurgling and tripping over his words.

Jongin just laughed it off and went on, “You know, I meant what I said about me thinking of you back at the club. I was, how do you say this appropriately? Hmm… Oh yes, fucking this girl—don’t get jealous just yet, hyung,” Jongin tutted at him, slowly getting up from his seat and making his way to Kyungsoo. He had winced the minute he heard Jongin say he was doing it with somebody else, but he hadn’t heard the rest of Jongin’s sentence yet.

“Don’t worry, Kyungsoo, as much as I had fun with her, inside of her, all I wanted was to fuck you, hyung. Do you hear that? I envisioned what it’d be like to ride your ass and turn your glorious, fair skin into pretty shades of pink and red…” he straddled Kyungsoo, thighs on either side of him and leaned down to mouth at his lips, placing both hands up on the wall behind Kyungsoo to hold himself at the right angle. Kyungsoo was breathing hard, hands clenched on his knees.

“I… You slept with someone else?” Kyungsoo whispered hoarsely, face tilted upwards for Jongin to kiss and behold.

“Are you jealous, hyung? I didn’t exactly sleep with her, you know, I just explored her body for a few minutes. And besides, Kyungsoo,” Jongin leaned down to kiss him properly, sealing their lips together for a few brief moments in a chaste kiss, “it was either fuck her or touch myself whenever I think of you.”

Kyungsoo gasped at that, a blush rising to his cheeks. He was about to look away, but Jongin was emboldened by what was left of the chemicals in his bloodstream and he caught Kyungsoo’s chin, daring him to look away.

“We’re not exclusive, are we? I mean I’d love to say that we are but you… Well, you resist me quite often, Kyungsoo. And I still don’t understand why. I know how you feel about me, and you know that I want you too so why don’t you just let me have all of you, hyung?” Jongin caressed his thumb over Kyungsoo’s silken, milky skin.

Kyungsoo opened his mouth to say something, and at first nothing came out. “…guys like you don’t want guys like me,” he managed to croak. Jongin placed a soothing kiss over his mouth, nibbling on his lip gently.

“Hmm, that may be true but guys like me don’t usually like to be kept waiting, Kyungsoo. My offer is still open for now but,” he shrugged, “don’t be too late.”

“You’re not offering exclusivity, you’re forcing it out of me,” Kyungsoo accused, sighing when Jongin pressed a kiss to his jaw. His hands automatically went up to pull Jongin down lower to his height.

“That’s because I know you’ll take forever to decide,” Jongin whispered in his ear, sucking on his earlobe gently. Kyungsoo arched his back with a sharp gasp, his groin momentarily brushing up against Jongin’s already half hard cock. “No, Jongin please,” Kyungsoo moaned, offering his neck up to Jongin’s mouth.

He was about to sink down into Kyungsoo’s lap and let someone ride him for the second time that night but suddenly the door opened and Kyungsoo looked up, mouth dropping open when he realized who it was.

“Whey hey guys, I didn’t think I’d see this happen,” Luhan said, mouth curved in a smirk. Kyungsoo pushed Jongin off him and scrambled away from him as if he’d just caught the plague, cradling his camera in his hands.

“Me too. Did Kyungsoo tell you he was going to see me?” Jongin asked.

“No, he said he wanted some fresh air. I can tell you, he got quite enough of air a second ago,” Luhan smiled. Kyungsoo tutted at him, sending him a glare that clearly said ‘shut up’.

“Didn’t mean to interrupt you guys. Shall I leave and come back in a few hours?” Luhan said, about to close the door. “NO,” Kyungsoo shouted, leaping over Jongin to catch the door with his hands and pushing it back wide open. Jongin felt his camera plop down into his lap, and he briefly wondered if he should take a photo of himself for Kyungsoo. I don’t make a habit of taking selfies though, Jongin thought with tinge of regret.

“There’s no need to be shy, Kyungsoo,” Luhan started to say but Jongin waved at him, putting Kyungsoo’s camera down on the table behind him. “No, no, I should be the one leaving. Kyungsoo, I’ll see you on Thursday, text me the time and place. I’ll be thinking of you as usual,” Jongin got up, kissing Kyungsoo on the forehead spontaneously.

Luhan’s smile couldn’t get any bigger as he watched the scene unfold in front of him. “Play it safe on Thursday,” he said jokingly.

“Yes, I do intend to play,” Jongin nodded, squeezing his shoulder as a way of saying goodbye. Kyungsoo was positively blazing a lovely color only a fruit/vegetable could achieve as Jongin walked away.   

In the car, Jongin took his phone out to text Kyungsoo: ‘Missing you already. Looking forward to our photo session.’

*

When Thursday came around, Jongin woke up seconds before his alarm rang at nine thirty. He got out of bed feeling rested and pretty energized for the day ahead. The last time he set an alarm, he was still in high school but he had a very good reason for getting up early today.

As vain and superficial as it might sound, he wanted to go to a hair salon today. Kyungsoo had texted him the day before to meet up at a place just outside of Seoul at 1, and so with that in mind he decided to make an appointment at the best hair salon he knew (as in the only hair salon that actually understands what Chanyeol wants when he says, “I need to look hot tonight”). He wanted to look good, but how good or what kind of good, he wasn’t sure and was hoping that Chanyeol’s hair stylist there would know what to do. Consequently, he wasn’t sure what kind of hair style Chanyeol’s hair stylist might want to whip up either so here he was, awake before ten in the morning and brushing his teeth like his life depended on it.

Jongin had already picked out a cool outfit last night after a long Skype session with Chanyeol. He was—as directed by the self-proclaimed god of fashion himself—to wear a black oversized coat over his shoulders, his best pair of slacks and a button up shirt that said ‘STRANGER’ across the chest. He’d never seen it before in his closet, but apparently Chanyeol’s arms were too long for it and he had sent it to Jongin instead.  

“Why doesn’t my housekeeper ever mention that you send me all these clothes?” Jongin had asked, foolishly.

“Well you need clothes that actually look good,” Chanyeol had replied, implying that Jongin’s taste simply wasn’t good enough. But whatever, the shirt did look good on him when he tried it on, so he let that remark go and begrudgingly set it aside.

For extra measure, Jongin shaved just a little bit around his chin. Not that he had a lot of facial hair, but he wanted to look clean and impeccable today so that Kyungsoo could not possibly resist his attempts later on. After that, he showered quickly, not wanting to waste too much time in the bathroom although there was an unexpected obstacle when he spotted his rarely used Calvin Klein cologne by the sink. He picked it up and stared at the bottle, wondering if Kyungsoo would appreciate him smelling all musky and masculine or if he would just think Jongin was trying way too hard to impress him.

Subtlety is always the best, I think, Jongin thought. He placed it down by the sink and got dressed, putting on his watch and cufflinks. He picked up his wallet and was about to walk out of the room to the door to pick out which pair of shoes to wear when he caught sight of the deer’s head up on the wall in his spare room. The handyman had taken less than half an hour to put it up once he painted the entire room magenta. The smell of paint was heavy in the air, still. His furniture had already been arranged into the room, ready to use whenever Jongin wanted to.

Should I bring the paddle? Jongin thought idly. Or maybe the riding crop, he’d be able to hide down the back of his pants till he needed it. Maybe it’s too early for this, Jongin thought. He decided against bringing anything along except himself, making his way out of his apartment.

Mr. Lee was already waiting at the car park for him. He had not told Mr. Lee who he was meeting today or why he suddenly felt the urge to go to a hair salon, and sensed his curiosity despite keeping mum during the drive.

“I’m meeting Kyungsoo,” Jongin said suddenly.

Mr. Lee glanced at him from the driver’s seat. “If you say so, sir,” he said blandly. “He’s going to take photos of me today. I honestly don’t know what to expect,” Jongin said.

“Some good photos, maybe?” his driver replied. Jongin laughed. “Maybe, yeah. I hope we get some great shots.”

-

At the hair salon, Chanyeol’s hair stylist, Kim Daehyun or also known as Dae, was absolutely gay and flamboyant. He had his honey colored hair turned up and a loud, obnoxious voice. Jongin felt like he could trust the man with his hair already the minute they shook hands.

“What can I do for my first client of the day?” he gushed, leading Jongin to a seat. The hair salon itself was on the second floor of a three storey building while the first floor was only the reception area. Sunlight poured in from the ceiling-to-floor glass walls, glaring into Jongin’s eyes. The place smelled faintly of hair spray and ammonia.

“I’m told that you understand what your clients without them actually being very specific about it, like you understand clients on an unspoken level?” Jongin said, sitting down and crossing his legs. Dae swept an overall around Jongin’s shoulders, nodding as he spoke.

“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m all that good, but I suppose I do my job very well,” Dae giggled before he burst out into a brief cackle. Oh God, Jongin thought, blinking at his reflection in the mirror. They were all alone upstairs and Jongin hoped Dae wouldn’t murder him with a pair of scissors later on.

Dae stopped himself just before he started to sound mental and ran his hands through Jongin’s hair. His hair was plain black, messy and falling into his eyes most of the time. “What would you like me to do with your hair, Mr. Kim, it has quite some volume, so we can work with most hair styles,” Dae said, cocking his head to one side thoughtfully.

“I would like to look a touch more sophisticated without crossing over into the idol-group-perfect-hairstyle border. If you could make it look naturally messy and still appropriate…”

“You mean the ‘I just fell out of bed’ look?”

“Ah, yes. But I think I have a pretty good forehead so if it’s visible that’d be great,” Jongin said, fondling with his fringe.

Dae clapped his hands in glee, jumping up and down on the spot. “I can already picture it, Mr. Kim! I’ll have to trim your hair just a little bit here and there and also slick on some gel though, if that’s alright with you?”

“Do what you need to do. How long do you think it’ll take?” Jongin asked.

“Not more than an hour or so,” Dae shrugged, picking up a pair of scissors from the little cart beside him and holding it up to the light. Luckily, Jongin had eaten before coming here, so with luck he could at least put a fight against Dae in case he accidentally on purpose tried to murder him.  

For the next hour and half, Dae snipped at his hair here and there, literally. He trimmed his fringe to just above his eyelids with calm expertise and snipped around at the back as well, using a comb to cut Jongin’s hair properly. Then he picked up the hair dryer when he was done with that and blew Jongin’s hair out, fluffing it up ‘for more oomph and je nais se quoi’.

Jongin didn’t mind, so long as he didn’t end up looking like someone from Super Junior. Dae put down the hair dryer once Jongin’s ears started ringing and set to work with some hair spray first. “Your hair isn’t as thick and heavy as it looks so I’m just going to see if hair spray will work, or if I need some gel to put it in place,” Dae explained.

He asked Jongin to close his eyes and sprayed the can over his face, his hand working at his hair. Dae sprayed multiple times, going hmm or tutting at Jongin’s hair. He dabbed some cold gel at the back of Jongin’s head and gave his head a final spray before he said, “Have a look, Mr. Kim!”

Jongin opened his eyes hesitantly; his hair still looked messy somewhat, but it was in a controlled shape now. He could see half of his forehead in the reflection still and touched his hair at a few spots, looking at the mirror Dae held up to the back of his head to see what it looked like from the back. “I think it’s okay, actually,” Jongin said. He’d never had his hair styled this way before.  

Dae looked appalled. “Okay? You look okay? Mr. Kim, if I may say so and I will say so indeed, you look like a fine specimen of the human species,” Dae exaggerated, holding out his hands for emphasis.

“Er, in that case, I look fantastic,” Jongin tried again.

Dae clapped his hands and shouted, “Praise the Good Lord, baby, I’ve done it once more!” Jongin could suddenly understand why Dae was Chanyeol’s favorite hair stylist if he was like this with everyone. Still, his enthusiasm was infectious and Jongin smiled, standing up and sprinkling bits of hair to the ground.

“Oh, let me get this for you, sir. Is there a special event you need to attend?” Dae asked, removing his overall.

“Just a private photo shoot,” Jongin replied. Dae went oooh and nodded understandingly. “One must look good at all times, Mr. Kim. Otherwise, where will all of us be?” he said, before throwing his head back to laugh loudly.

Jongin pretended to laugh along, mumbling thank you and goodbye to Dae who couldn’t stop laughing and went downstairs to pay the bill. “You look good, sir. Would you like to pay by cash or by credit card?” the girl beamed at him from behind the reception desk.

“Card,” Jongin answered, handing her his credit card. There was a mirror beside the reception desk and he checked his reflection once more, admiring Dae’s work and touching his hair gently to make sure everything would stay in place. Kyungsoo is going to be in for a good time, Jongin thought. He looked better than he would’ve expected.  

Checking his watch, he realized it was twelve thirty already, and it took only fifteen minutes to arrive at the place Kyungsoo wanted to meet him. Should I get there early or dither around for a bit, Jongin thought, walking out of the hair salon once he paid up.

There was a chance that Kyungsoo wouldn’t be there but… He has been stalking me for three years. Surely that makes him very punctual? Jongin frowned.

Mr. Lee opened the car door for Jongin and he got in, distracted. “Could you maybe drive slowly, Mr. Lee? I don’t want to be too early or it’ll seem like I’m too keen,” Jongin said. Mr. Lee chuckled. “I could try, sir.”

-

Jongin got there just in the nick of time. They pulled over in the unattended car park of the apartment. Most of the lots were empty and the apartment looked sad, like it was standing even though it was past its time to be knocked down. The walls were streaked with black and white, and the once red roof was now a light shade of beige. Mr. Lee got down to escort Jongin into the apartment, saying that the area looked ‘fishy’. It just looked rather deserted and quiet to Jongin. All the more reason why Kyungsoo should’ve brought his toys, Jongin thought in disappointment.

They rode the elevator up to the tenth floor, looking around for apartment 10-E.  

Jongin took a deep breath, standing at the door for a few seconds while Mr. Lee walked back to the elevator. It was weird that he was so nervous for this photo session now when he was all excited about it just this morning.

He exhaled through his mouth, trying to calm his nerves. Here goes nothing, Jongin thought. Holding a shaky hand up to the door, he knocked thrice.

Kyungsoo came to the door a few seconds later, opening the door by an inch first to see if it was him. His mouth dropped open slightly at the sight of Jongin—probably the hair, Jongin thought—and opened the door properly, hiding his expression with a scowl. “Why did you knock like that, I thought you were a murderer or something.”

“Excuse me, but you’re the one who’s early. For all I know you’re here to murder me too,” Jongin said, relaxing at the sight of Kyungsoo. He huffed around a bit in annoyance but told him to come in anyway, stepping aside for him.

The tiny apartment was empty of furniture, Jongin noticed. The living room was empty, the kitchen as well and so was the bathroom, equipped with only a sink and toilet bowl. Kyungsoo led him into one of the small bedroom where his camera bag and a lumpy backpack sat on the ground. Room’s pretty bright, Jongin thought. It was almost as blinding as the hair salon. A tripod in the centre of the room had already been set up, his camera sitting on top of it.  

“Wow. How long have you been here?” Jongin asked.

“Since half an hour ago. I took the day off today so if you feel uncomfortable or anything and you need some time to adjust…” Jongin lifted an eyebrow.

“I’m anything but uncomfortable, just so you know. Where do you want me, hyung? By the window? Or up against the wall?” Jongin asked, biting his lip suggestively. Kyungsoo studiously ignored his facial expression, although he probably heard the deliberate implication in Jongin’s voice since his ears turned red rather quickly.

“By the wall for a start would be nice,” Kyungsoo mumbled, fiddling with his camera. “Here?” Jongin pointed at the wall beside the window. Kyungsoo nodded.

“Okay. Tell me how you found this place,” Jongin asked, going to the wall as Kyungsoo instructed. “It’s nothing interesting,” Kyungsoo said, turning the camera on and pressing a few buttons on it.

“Oh, c’mon. It’ll take my mind off posing and I won’t come off looking too fake,” Jongin cajoled Kyungsoo. He sighed, not saying anything for a minute. Kyungsoo shifted the camera upwards, zooming in on Jongin while he adjusted the coat over his shoulders, leaning back on the wall. “Is this fine?” Jongin asked.

“You can pose however you want to.”

“But this is for your benefit.”

Kyungsoo paused, staring at him through the lenses of the camera. “I found this place when I first came to Seoul, looking for a place to stay,” Kyungsoo said, voice shaky. Aha.

“Luhan didn’t want to live here because it doesn’t have enough space for him,” he continued. Jongin was listening intently when Kyungsoo snapped a photo of him unexpectedly. He jerked in surprise, blinking and composing himself by relaxing his shoulders.

“I still like this place though. It’s really quiet, the neighbors don’t bother you, and there’s a lot of light. My place is kind of stuffy now,” Kyungsoo said. 

“My apartment is pretty quiet too,” Jongin replied, lifting his hand to touch his lips. Kyungsoo snapped away, his camera clicking every second. Kyungsoo smiled at him, though Jongin couldn’t see his eyes.

“I’m sure it is.”

Jongin leaned towards the window, tucking half of his hand into his pocket and looked right into the camera. “Chin up,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin did so, and Kyungsoo snapped a few times.

“Would you like to see how the photos are coming out so far?” Kyungsoo asked, standing up and plucking his camera off the tripod. Jongin shrugged and ambled over to have a look. Kyungsoo held out his camera towards Jongin, showing him a series of photos.

“The first few came out nicely. The lighting is great, and—Well, you dressed really nicely for today.”

“Chanyeol picked it out,” Jongin smiled. Kyungsoo blushed at his smile, returning his gaze to the camera. “I think you can try looking out of the window. Maybe um. Like, open your mouth just a little bit? ‘Cause your jaw looks tense when you—”

“Mm, like this?” Jongin asked, letting his jaw drop very slightly. Kyungsoo visibly swallowed, putting his camera back on the tripod. “Yes, well, that’s good enough.”

Jongin went back to the window, leaning over like he was looking at an airplane fly over the apartment. He moved his hands a bit, to give Kyungsoo variety.

“Chin down,” Kyungsoo said after snapping five photos. Jongin lowered his face, keeping his eyes trained at a spot outside the window. “Beautiful,” Kyungsoo said distractedly. Jongin couldn’t help but smile at that, and Kyungsoo snapped at his smile too, moving the tripod one step back to get a wider view.

Jongin varied his poses with each click of the camera, like touching his neck or putting a hand to his hair without really touching it. Kyungsoo must’ve taken at least twenty photos before he finally stood up straight, taking the camera off the tripod again to look through the photos.

“Okay, I think you can um, stand just over here,” Kyungsoo said, pointing at a spot by the corner of the room.

“Do you like the photos so far?” Jongin asked. He was quiet, and Jongin couldn’t see his expression with the camera blocking his view but he thought Kyungsoo was enjoying everything so far.

“Y-yes,” Kyungsoo muttered. Jongin went over to the corner, putting his foot up on the wall and shoving his hands into his pocket.

“I’m honestly upset that you didn’t bring anything with you today, hyung,” Jongin said huskily, biting his lower lip while staring at the camera. Kyungsoo snapped away, keeping quiet. Jongin went on carefully, “I mean I think this is quite fun and all but…” he hunched forward, letting his mouth drop open the way Kyungsoo told him to a minute ago.

Kyungsoo’s camera clicked and clicked, deafening in the tangible silence of the room. “I just think with all this quiet, we could do more than take photos,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo stopped to look over the camera at him. “Well, you didn’t bring the yoga mat like you said you would anyway.” Jongin laughed at that, head dropping down for a moment as his entire body swayed against the wall. Kyungsoo quickly snapped at all that, and Jongin let a smile play on his lips, looking at the camera coyly.

You never said anything about bringing your riding crop. Did I mention that I bought one as well?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo didn’t answer right away, snapping more photos of Jongin.

“I bought one, but I didn’t think to bring it today. I wish I did bring it with me now though,” Jongin said suggestively.

Kyungsoo stiffened. “As a prop, of course. We both know you like a bit of recreational fun.” He still didn’t say anything, and it was frustrating for Jongin, like a one sided conversation with someone online who, for some reason, didn’t cut off the connection but just left it hanging.

“If you need a prop then you could take off your coat. Hang it over your arm,” Kyungsoo said after a while. Hmm. At least it’s something, Jongin thought. He took off his coat; it was starting to get warm in the room anyway, and draped it elegantly over his arm. While he did it, Kyungsoo clicked at the camera, capturing every move Jongin made.

Jongin tried a pose with one of his arms bent and another in his pocket, one foot stepped forward as if he was about to walk away.

“Um, don’t do that, it looks too editorial now,” Kyungsoo said.

“Oh. Would you rather I posed like a man waiting for someone to make a move on him?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo blushed at that.

“Just—don’t hold the coat like it’s something important, just treat it like it’s an afterthought,” Kyungsoo advised him, turning the camera over to get a full body shot. Jongin lifted an eyebrow.

“I quite like it, though. It’s pretty enough that I don’t want it to be an afterthought,” Jongin said. He wasn’t really posing, but Kyungsoo was still taking photos of him, hiding behind the camera. I don’t want you hiding behind the lenses, Jongin thought, furrowing his eyebrows slightly. Jongin just wanted Kyungsoo to be clear and honest with him. 

“Just treat the coat as you would with your other clothes; without too much concern,” Kyungsoo murmured.

“But I’ve never worn this coat out before. I think it deserves a little concern, at least,” Jongin replied. He hoped Kyungsoo would understand that he wasn’t talking about the damned coat at all.

Kyungsoo looked up at him from above the camera. “It’s just a coat, Jongin.”

Jongin threw the coat over his shoulder then, folding his arms. Kyungsoo returned to the camera and continued snapping photos. “It’s not just a coat, hyung, otherwise I wouldn’t have worn it all the way here,” Jongin said, almost tetchily. It was hard to keep the frustration out of his voice when Kyungsoo was being so obtuse and evading his efforts at every turn.

“Thanks for putting on something nice from your expensive wardrobe then. I won’t take up your time anymore after this,” Kyungsoo said softly. 

The surprise on Jongin’s face was apparent when Kyungsoo said that. It was clear enough that Kyungsoo had to look over his camera cautiously. “What’s… wrong?”

“I never said anything about you taking up my time. I would like you to fill up my time, in fact,” Jongin said, sounding more upset than he cared to admit. Why can’t this stupid boy tell that I want to be here? he thought crossly. He wanted to be there ever since he touched himself at the thought of Kyungsoo’s naked flesh and blatant desire for Jongin.

Kyungsoo stood up, wringing his wrists nervously. “But you… you’re who you are, Jongin, and I’m just. I work for you,” Kyungsoo said slowly.

“So what? I don’t work at Accuretta Systems technically, so I get to do whatever I want with you and get away with it since I’m not exactly bound to the no-dating-among-employees rule.” Kyungsoo gurgled at that.

Jongin dropped his coat on the ground. “Kyungsoo, you’re a nobody, yes that’s true but I don’t care who you are and who you’re not. You want me, and I want you. Plain simple,” Jongin said, stepping forward to back Kyungsoo up against the wall behind him. His feet kicked at his backpack as he tried to protest weakly, looking down to avoid meeting Jongin’s gaze.

Jongin placed both hands on the wall to prevent Kyungsoo from escaping. “Why oh why, hyung, are we still pretending to be civil when it’s clear you want me to do rude things to you? And I think I’ve made it oh-so-clear that I’d be delighted to do all the rude things you want me to do to you,” Jongin said, leaning down to nibble on Kyungsoo’s earlobe.

 Kyungsoo squirmed away from his mouth, putting both hands on Jongin’s chest to push him away half heartedly. “It’s—It’s not normal to want you to do those things to me,” Kyungsoo said weakly.

“So? What we might get up to is our business, isn’t it? It’s our private party and there’s no one else invited,” Jongin replied, taking one of Kyungsoo’s hands away off his chest to invade his personal space and cup his chin upwards, planting a kiss on his sweet mouth. Kyungsoo couldn’t resist and kissed him back, his hand scrunching up Jongin’s shirt.

Jongin flicked his tongue in and sucked on Kyungsoo’s tongue gently, savoring the taste of Kyungsoo’s mouth. He could do this forever if Kyungsoo would allow him.

Kyungsoo broke away when he couldn’t breathe anymore, lips wet and slightly swollen. His pupils were dilated with desire but he looked sad as his hands shook and he said, “I’m just… afraid that you’ll hurt me, Jongin, I—I’ve never done this before with anyone and—”

“Neither have I, hyung. It’s not every day that I get someone who wants me to beat him because he likes it,” Jongin whispered, brushing his mouth over Kyungsoo’s lips. “And I won’t hurt you, I promise. Not unless you want me to.”

Kyungsoo’s hand moved to grip Jongin’s wrist by his head. “I-I do, Jongin. I do want you to. I…” he seemed at a loss for words. Jongin pressed a kiss to his lips, his eyes hooded as he waited for Kyungsoo to finish talking.

“Go on, hyung,” he said, sucking at a spot on Kyungsoo’s cheek. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes when Jongin’s mouth made a wet sound against his skin. “I… Oh, Jongin, I don’t know how to say this, but um. I b-brought the…”

Jongin pulled away to look at him incredulously. “You brought the riding crop?” he asked. Jongin held his breath when Kyungsoo nodded once, keeping his eyes averted from Jongin’s gaze. His cheeks were blazing a bright red as he stood against the wall quietly. Jongin chuckled, pecking Kyungsoo’s mouth happily.

“Do you want me to spank you, right here, right now? Well, well, Kyungsoo, I never knew… I’m very happy you brought the riding crop. Where is it?” Jongin asked, looking around, half expecting it to be lying on the ground. Kyungsoo looked at him with wide eyes.

“W-what do you mean, where is it, do you intend on using it?” Kyungsoo asked. Jongin lifted an eyebrow.

“Of course I plan on using it when we have the time and space to do it. C’mon, tell me where it is,” Jongin said, bending down at Kyungsoo’s feet to dig into his backpack. Kyungsoo gurgled incoherently and pushed Jongin away, swatting his shoulders with his hands.

“Stop, stop, I’ll get it out for you,” he said, grabbing his bag, and unzipping it. Jongin hesitated for a split second before he shrugged and backed off from Kyungsoo’s bag. Who knew what other goodies he’d brought? Maybe he was afraid that Jongin would want to go all nine yards on him if he saw what Kyungsoo brought in that bag. I suppose a bit of spanking can do for now, Jongin thought a bit regretfully.

Kyungsoo got the riding crop out and zipped his bag up firmly, putting it aside. Jongin bent down to take the riding crop out of his hand while Kyungsoo looked around and decided to move the tripod aside.

Jongin swiped his hand with the crop to test it out, and found that it did have a sting, although it didn’t last for more than five seconds. If he hit a little harder though, it would probably leave a mark. “Where do you want me to spank you, hyung? Your back? Your thighs? Or your ass?” Jongin asked offhandedly.

Kyungsoo looked up at him expectantly and said, “D-do you think you could spank my behind?”

Jongin smiled. “Of course, my lovely Kyungsoo. Anything to indulge your rude desires. On all fours then,” he said. Kyungsoo shuddered for a moment, and then got down on his knees, about to bend over when Jongin had an idea.

“Take off your pants, Kyungsoo,” he said decisively. Kyungsoo hesitated.

Jongin lifted the riding crop and swung it down against his perky ass once, making him jerk and yelp in surprise. “Go on and take it off, Kyungsoo. Or I won’t spank you and then you’ll go home, thinking about all the possibilities…”

Kyungsoo adhered, undoing his belt and zipper slowly. While he busied himself with his hands, Jongin glanced at the camera.

Wonder if I should record this, Jongin thought idly. He could hear Kyungsoo take his pants off as he pondered, and finally decided against it. When we’re properly alone, he thought.  

He turned his attention back to Kyungsoo to see if he was done taking off his pants and was slightly disappointed to see that he was too shy to take off his boxers.

“Oh, come on, Kyungsoo,” he said lightly. Kyungsoo stiffened like he’d done something wrong. Jongin just went over to stand behind Kyungsoo and pull his underwear down roughly, exposing his lower half to his view. “Today, we’ll just do a bit of spanking. The next time we have a private moment to ourselves, hyung, I promise you I’ll fuck your ass. Understand?” Jongin said lightly, standing straight over Kyungsoo. He nodded, entire body trembling eagerly.   

Kyungsoo’s ass was as flawless as Jongin thought it’d be, rounded and clearly begging to be marked. He couldn’t see Kyungsoo’s cock clearly from where he stood but he was sure he’d be hard by the time they’d be done with this. He wanted to start already, but suddenly remembered something.

“What shall we use as a safe word?” Jongin asked, bending over to touch Kyungsoo’s ass. Just in case; Jongin didn’t want to hurt Kyungsoo badly. Kyungsoo shivered under his touch. “Ah—um, I t-think ‘stop’ will do just fine,” he muttered. Jongin smirked. “Very well then. Stop,” he repeated with surety, taking his hand away to grip the riding crop properly.

He counted from one to three in his head, heart beating in his throat before he struck the riding crop across Kyungsoo’s ass hard.

The riding crop snapped against Kyungsoo’s skin loudly. Jongin watched as a red line blossomed mere seconds later just beneath Kyungsoo’s skin, red and angry. Kyungsoo had jolted when the riding crop struck him, but it was probably because of surprise rather than pain.

“Is it okay? Did it hurt?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo shook his head with a whimper.

“Can I go on?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo nodded once, bracing himself for the next strike.

So he hit Kyungsoo again, putting more strength behind his strike, and another red line appeared on his ass. Kyungsoo jerked at that, shuffling to tighten his thighs together. Jongin bent down to slide a hand between Kyungsoo’s legs, pushing them back apart. He tutted at Kyungsoo, brushing his fingers over Kyungsoo’s cock on purpose.

“Already so hard? You’ve been waiting for this haven’t you?” he said huskily. Kyungsoo dropped his head in shame, thighs trembling as he waited for the next sting from the riding crop.

Jongin hit Kyungsoo’s ass three more times, trying to elicit a cry from him but Kyungsoo held on. His ass has to be sore by now, Jongin thought. At the fifth strike, Kyungsoo trembled violently, but there was no safe word, no cries of pain.

Jongin then tried to aim a little lower instead, and smiled when he hit close to Kyungsoo’s balls and he gasped loudly, arms giving out for a moment. His ass pushed up into the air for a brief second as he tried to catch his breath, returning to his former position.

“You love this, don’t you, Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked, brushing the riding crop across the red marks gently. Kyungsoo moaned, cutting himself off halfway and tried to shuffle his thighs together again. Jongin stopped him from doing so, leaning over to place a hand over his trembling legs.

“More?” he asked, kissing Kyungsoo’s ass cheek gently. Kyungsoo whispered a shaky yes.

Jongin considered breaking his promise and just fucking him right here, but at the same time he still wanted to go on making red lines across Kyungsoo’s ass. It was exhilarating to know that Kyungsoo was enjoying this, and Jongin was mildly surprised to realize that he too, was enjoying it far more than he expected.   

He hit Kyungsoo near his thighs about four more times, watching his cock twitch with each strike and his feet fidgeting around as he tried to look for some kind of friction against his cock.

When he hit Kyungsoo for the umpteenth time, Kyungsoo cried out incoherently, and one of his hands reached for his cock, but Jongin pushed his hand away to grip his cock tightly. Kyungsoo trembled beneath Jongin, sniffling as he tried to sit up. Jongin crouched behind Kyungsoo, tugging on Kyungsoo’s cock and whispering promises of more to come in the future. Kyungsoo’s eyes were squeezed shut and there were tear tracks running down his face.

“You look beautiful like this, Kyungsoo. On your knees, subdued and hard for me,” Jongin said, biting on his earlobe as he fingered the tip of Kyungsoo’s cock, rubbing slow circles. He pressed his own erection into Kyungsoo’s back, a hand brushing over the red marks.

Kyungsoo came abruptly, spilling his come all over Jongin’s hand with a shaky sigh. Jongin pressed his hand around Kyungsoo’s cock, stretching out his orgasm and wringing every last drop of pleasure out of him. Kyungsoo leaned on his shoulder, mouth open as he spasmed and shook against Jongin’s frame.

He kissed Kyungsoo’s cheek chastely. “Good boy, Kyungsoo. You did very well,” he whispered into his ear.

Jongin brought his hand up to Kyungsoo’s mouth, the one with Kyungsoo’s come all over it and smeared it over his lips. He gasped in surprise, and Jongin pushed two fingers into Kyungsoo’s mouth.

“Suck,” Jongin ordered him softly. Kyungsoo’s lips closed around his fingers obediently as he looked up at Jongin with an unspoken emotion in his eyes, sucking on Jongin’s fingers. His tongue moved against his skin, lapping his own come up.

When he was done, Jongin pulled his fingers out of Kyungsoo’s reluctant mouth and caressed the red, sore skin of his ass with the same hand, feeling the calloused surface.

“I suppose you enjoyed that,” Jongin said, palming his ass. Kyungsoo nodded shyly, breathing heavily from his orgasm.

“Did I… fulfill your darkest desires?” Jongin asked, dragging a finger up Kyungsoo’s ass. He pressed his finger to Kyungsoo’s entrance, feeling his breath hitch and his entrance tightened instinctively.

“Don’t worry, I won’t fuck you now, not today when you’ve enjoyed yourself so much,” Jongin laughed, taking his hand away. Jongin pulled Kyungsoo up to his feet, clutching him to his chest as he kissed Kyungsoo on the lips, dropping the riding crop to the ground. Kyungsoo leaned on him, tentatively wrapping his arms around Jongin’s neck as he kissed back, standing on his tippy toes.

“Admit it, hyung,” Jongin smiled at him, bumping their foreheads together. “You can’t resist me.”

“Don’t be such a prick,” Kyungsoo muttered in embarrassment. Jongin smacked his bum in retaliation and Kyungsoo jumped, yelping in surprise.

“How long did you say it would take to heal?” Jongin asked thoughtfully. Kyungsoo seemed to sense the unspoken question in his voice as he said that and he bent down to pull his boxers up slowly, chewing his lip nervously.

“I think it’ll take about two weeks. I don’t know if they’ll bruise later on, but my guess would be two weeks, at best,” Kyungsoo replied. Jongin lifted his chin up with a finger and met his shy gaze. “Then it’s probably safe to say that we’ll see each other again in two weeks, hmm?”

Jongin was about to lean in for a kiss, but instead Kyungsoo moved first, pressing his lips chastely to the side of Jongin’s mouth. “T-thank you,” he whispered briefly. His lips curved upwards into a shy, small smile but it took Jongin by surprise.

He didn’t know why his heart clenched just a little, didn’t understand why he felt his own mouth curve into a smile, but he liked it. It felt nice, like he’d come home after being away for a long time. 

Chapter Text

 “You look different,” Suho remarked, squinting at Jongin suspiciously. He had a leg propped over the knee of his other leg and a pen in his hand, rolling it around while he observed Jongin closely, as if he could see what had changed about him if he just stared long enough.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Jongin said steadily. He had come in at twelve today for a small board members meeting to agree on a few terms and conditions with Yifan’s lawyer as well as to arrange another meeting with the man soon. Even though he was in the same building as Kyungsoo now, he resisted the urge to call him into the privacy of his office and steal a few kisses. They had not gone beyond texting these past four days, but Jongin was practically still spinning from the thrill that came with spanking Kyungsoo in the lonely apartment that day. He couldn’t wait to get his hands on Kyungsoo; just as soon as the marks over his ass healed and he’d have him by the end of next week.

“It’s like you’re… happy now. Positive even. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you as anything beyond narcissistic,” Suho went on. The other board members had yet to arrive and Suho obviously saw this as an opportunity to get all dad-ish with Jongin.

“Maybe it’s the coffee I had today. It was actually quite nice,” Jongin said, to throw Suho off his trail. But no, Suho just continued with his psychoanalysis and said, “See, you never say anything good about your coffee. The only time you talk about it is when the coffee is bad.” Jongin rolled his eyes inwardly and looked around for something else to distract himself with; there was nothing entertaining except Sehun sticking his head out of the meeting room every so often to see if Jongdae and Yixing were here yet, and if Jongin laughed at that then it’d be execution for him.

“Did something happen between you and Kyungsoo?” Suho asked, probably just taking a wild guess. Jongin stopped for a very short moment before he composed himself and replied, “Nope. Nothing at all.”

“Ah… so what happened?” Suho said, putting the pen down and folding his arms, narrowing his eyes with an amused smile on his face. Jongin wanted to punch him and tell him to mind his own fucking business but put on a cheery smile and said, “Nothing happened. And even if anything happened, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Suho would lose his rag if Jongin told him what he’d been up to just a few days ago with Kyungsoo. The only person who could probably take the news without exploding is Chanyeol.

“Did you have sex with him?” Suho asked. Jongin pretended to look mighty uncomfortable and went, “No, ‘course not.” Suho pursed his lips, unwilling to give up.

“Can I guess then?”

Ha! I’d like to see you try, Jongin thought.

“No, I’m not going to waste my time playing games with you. Oh, here are Jongdae and Yixing now,” Jongin said, looking up when five board members and the two lawyers came in, carrying a briefcase each. Finally, the meeting could start and Suho could distract himself by bothering Jongdae and Yixing instead.

It was boring as usual, after Jongin shook hands with Jongdae and Yixing, greeting them and making a bit of small talk. Minseok, Jongdae’s PA, was busier than usual, setting out different sets of papers on the table and rearranging them every so often for Jongdae and Yixing. It was probably for their convenience and sanity; Jongin would lose his mind if there were so many papers to go through all the time.

Not that he ever needed to, of course. Jongin wondered if Kyungsoo had to deal with so many papers every day. How the hell would he know which is which? Jongin thought, making a face subconsciously. Suho caught him making weird faces to himself and wriggled his eyebrows at him, trying to send a message with his own weird eyebrow movements but Jongin just ignored him. He didn’t know why Suho was so nosy about what was happening between him and Kyungsoo.

It’s not like I’m so gay now, Jongin thought, feeling miffed as Jongdae gently slid a piece of paper to Jongin for him to pretend to read through. Suho kept staring at him pointedly, but all Jongin could think of was how Suho might actually react if he knew the truth about Kyungsoo and him. He said that he didn’t mind if Jongin wanted to test it out, but would he mind if Jongin actually quite liked it?

 Why should it matter though? Jongin thought. He could fuck whoever he pleased. Chanyeol wouldn’t give a shit if Jongin was gay but… Jongin glanced at Sehun, who had a bored expression on his face like he’d done this so many times he could do it in his sleep. Maybe Kyungsoo can just be my secret for now, Jongin thought cautiously. Chanyeol was the only person who had an inkling of what Jongin wanted to do with Kyungsoo, and maybe it was just better that way. Well, him and Baekhyun. And this was temporary only, after all, it’d be till Jongin knew what to do.

Kyungsoo probably wouldn’t want the whole damn world to know about us anyway, Jongin thought. He was reluctant enough in the beginning for Jongin to know that he wasn’t comfortable with people knowing about the way he felt for Jongin.

Maybe I’ll just ask him one day and see what he thinks, Jongin thought. Yes, he’d do that and then ask Chanyeol out to lunch to clear his conscience (not that he was feeling guilty, oh no). A third opinion in where everything was about to go wouldn’t hurt.  

“Mr. Kim, is your schedule clear next week?” Yixing suddenly said. Jongin heard him just as his thoughts came to a conclusion and he blinked, looking up at an expectant Yixing. That was a good question; he usually had to ask Sehun the same question sometimes.  

“Um, Sehun?” Jongin glanced at Sehun from over his shoulder. Sehun was already stabbing at his iPad viciously and nodded his approval. “Nothing we can’t move around,” he said to Yixing.

Jongdae and Yixing asked the same question to the rest of the board members slowly said yes, next week would be good and it wouldn’t be a problem to get a flight to Guangzhou to meet up with Yifan for some finalization before they signed everything. Jongin wasn’t paying attention though; he was too busy squinting at Suho to get him to shut his eyebrows up.

“Right then. I’d say we’re done here, hmm?” Jongdae said. Yixing nodded, beginning to rearrange his papers in neat stacks to tuck them back into his briefcase. Hallelujah, Jongin sighed gratefully. Jongin stood up as the rest of the board members slowly collected their things, ready to get on with the rest of their day. The meeting wasn’t too long, just as Jongin liked, and now he could go back to his office and loiter around for the remainder of the afternoon.

Jongin was swinging his arms around as he walked back to his office when Sehun crashed into his shoulder on purpose and said, “You’re really okay with going to China next week?”

“Who said I was going to China next week?” Jongin asked nonchalantly. Suho had all but left Jongin alone now, heading to the elevator with the rest of the board members for a casual brunch, which left Jongin alone.

“You agreed to go to China when you asked me to check your schedule,” Sehun replied.

“That’s absurd, just because my schedule is clear doesn’t mean I’m clear to go to China. I heard Guangzhou smells,” Jongin said, wrinkling his nose. “And it’s almost summer now so I don’t think I’m up for it.”

Sehun rolled his eyes. “Well, it’s too late. I already told them your schedule is clear for the whole of next week so you better pack up. I’ll get you your flight ticket and everything.”

Jongin pouted as Sehun walked ahead of him. But I was going to meet Kyungsoo, Jongin thought. Meet him and beat him too. His bruises better not have healed yet or Jongin was going to stay put in Seoul and have at Kyungsoo by next weekend.    

Jongin entered his office, pouring himself a tiny bit of vodka to cheer himself up and texted Kyungsoo on the off chance that maybe he wasn’t busy.

‘And how is your lovely derrière today?’

Kyungsoo had told Jongin the day after they went to the apartment that there were red lines and an overall purple, mottled color on his bum in the morning. It hurt to sit down, but in his own words he had said, ‘I don’t mind, since I wanted it in the first place.’ Jongin was mortified to find that he liked the fact that there were marks on Kyungsoo’s ass, a personal and erotic reminder of what they’d done that day.

The red lines had disappeared, Kyungsoo reported yesterday, but the bruises were still there. Jongin hoped they’d healed up some; he really wasn’t looking forward to going to Guangzhou where it was warm, sticky and apparently smelly when he had a wonderful distraction right here in Seoul.

Kyungsoo’s reply came just as Jongin finished sipping his small cup of vodka.

‘Still bruised. Doesn’t hurt as much unless I’m seated for too long.’

Damn. Then he wasn’t physically fit for what Jongin had in mind just yet. It’s been barely a week anyway, he told himself, annoyed with the way he wanted Kyungsoo so badly. It was best for the both of them to wait these two weeks out separately to know whether or not they wanted this weird relationship to move on. Jongin knew he wanted Kyungsoo and that was more than enough, but he wondered if Kyungsoo was still somehow hesitant with Jongin because he was afraid.

Jongin definitely wanted him because he was interested in the physical aspects of this relationship but maybe Kyungsoo wanted more. He looked like the kind to want more anyway. Jongin wasn’t against getting to know Kyungsoo better, but he still wasn’t sure if he was okay with being gay. Gay for Kyungsoo, at least.

And what about everyone? If everyone knew Jongin was in a relationship with him then would that change the way they might see him? Was he even ready for that sort of commitment?

Shut up, shut up, Jongin suddenly thought, slapping himself. Let’s just take this one event at a time and see what happens with Kyungsoo. That was a scary direction to go into; one he hoped he wouldn’t have to go through till he was really ready for all that heavy shit.

‘I’m going to China to finalize a deal with Wu Yifan next week. Do you think your bruises will heal by next weekend?’ Jongin sent the text.

It wasn’t long before Kyungsoo replied: ‘I don’t think so. Maybe after next week. The bruises haven’t started to fade yet.’

Jongin couldn’t help but say, “Boo,” out loud alone in his office and pout at his phone. Then there was nothing he could about it. His schedule was clear now, far too clear for him to whine and pretend to stay in Seoul. The only light at the end of this tunnel was that he’d heard a long time ago that Guangzhou sold sex toys pretty openly, so maybe he could get a few items at a good price.

‘Do you want a butt plug, hyung? Should I get you a butt plug from China or an extra large vibrator as a gift?’ Jongin texted Kyungsoo offhandedly.   

His answer came less than a minute later. ‘No to both.’

Jongin laughed at that, he could almost picture Kyungsoo blush and deleting the text from his phone before anyone saw it. There’s no need to be shy, Jongin thought unabashedly. If he said no then he’d get it, without a doubt now. Maybe he’d even get some handcuffs with faux fur around the sides for a laugh, or a proper blindfold. Ooh, the list is endless, Jongin thought excitedly.

He snagged a piece of paper from the left side of his desk to scribble a list of items he wanted to get in Guangzhou. At least, he’d have something to look forward to when he was in China without Kyungsoo around.

-

Two hours later, Jongin was sharing the list with Chanyeol over lunch at a barbeque restaurant, first spilling his guts about Kyungsoo’s shameful secret and that he was going to get all those items on the list because he could afford it and because he wanted to use all of it on Kyungsoo. Maybe even all at once if his body allowed it.

Chanyeol had the usual shitload of questions when he heard that Kyungsoo was into the kinkier type of sex but once Jongin answered his questions as best as he could, Chanyeol seemed to accept it with nothing more than, “I would never have expected this from him but you can’t judge a person by first impression, I guess.”

Chanyeol then read the list carefully, which was longer than Jongin would’ve thought, lifting an eyebrow at a few before looking up at him and said flatly, “You kinky son of a bitch.”

“That is a rude thing to say about my mother,” Jongin replied, poking at a piece of pork sizzling on the stove in front of him.

“Do you even know how to use a butt plug?” Chanyeol asked in amazement. Jongin shrugged. “How hard can it be? Just stick it up there, no?” Chanyeol let that slide and moved on to other items on the list.

“Oh, for the love of God, Jongin, genital clamps is going a little too far—”

“I like to think we’ll have plenty of time to see if that particular implement is as pleasurable as it sounds.”

Chanyeol shook his head and set the list aside, crossing his fingers on the table like an interviewer.

“You do know that being a Master to your slave and all that blurs the lines between… whatever it is you guys have?” he asked seriously.

“I’ve already spanked him once before, I don’t think there’s a lot more to blur out,” Jongin said. Chanyeol pursed his lips. “You spanked him? With what, your belt? And when did you do this, you dirty old man?” Chanyeol said, snickering.

“With a riding crop and I did it like, four days ago. It was really fun, and Kyungsoo’s definitely open to more things, I’m just. I want him, Chanyeol, I really do, but I don’t know if I want him that much,” Jongin said, picking up a piece of cooked pork and dipping it into a sauce before eating it.

“Ah, so now you’re starting to feel apprehensive about everything?” Chanyeol said, finally picking up his chopsticks to eat. Jongin had to barbeque everything because Chanyeol had never done all this before, let alone come into a barbeque restaurant. “Makes my clothes smell like charcoal and death,” he’d said. Jongin only just managed to force him into the restaurant by promising him that he’d tell him something juicy.

“Not apprehensive, just… well, maybe I am unsure. I’ve never done this kind of thing before, especially not with a guy, and I don’t care that he’s a guy, but I do care about what people might think, y’know. Like Sehun or Suho. Baekhyun knows everything about Kyungsoo, so I don’t think there’s anything to hide from him but apart from Baekhyun…”

Chanyeol nodded understandingly, picking up multiple pieces of pork with his chopsticks. “I see where you’re coming from, so okay. But why don’t you just keep it all under wraps till you’re truly ready to come out with whatever you want to say? It’s not like everyone’s breathing down your neck, trying to figure out what your relationship with Kyungsoo is about,” Chanyeol said, glancing up at him.

“That’s the thing, though. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. And at the same time I really like where everything is going to go, so I don’t want to hurt Kyungsoo,” Jongin said.

It would be a jerk thing to do if he somehow hurt Kyungsoo with all this. He was probably the first person that Kyungsoo opened up to, and he’d be scarred for life if he hurt Kyungsoo’s feelings. He’d shrivel up like a little butterfly and just stay like that, Jongin thought.

Jongin was kind of careless, yes, but he wasn’t incapable of empathy. He knew what he was getting into with Kyungsoo on this.

“Maybe you could make it clear to him?” Chanyeol suggested. “Tell him that you like what you have with him right now, but you’re not entirely ready to go public. See what he thinks, and decide from there. You’re not the only person who has thoughts too.”

Jongin hummed in appreciation, indicating that he was listening. They were quite for awhile, eating their meat and rice before Chanyeol said, “What about you though? Are you okay with yourself? Have you accepted that you might like other guys?”

“I don’t think I like other guys...” Jongin said hesitantly. “I like Kyungsoo just fine, but it’s not like I’m turned on when I see certain guys.” Chanyeol chewed thoughtfully.

“But you still like girls?” he asked in a confused tone.

“Well. If a hot girl came in right now, I’d still check her out,” Jongin shrugged. It wasn’t like someone had switched off his heterosexual button and switched on homosexual instead; it was like the bisexual switch had been turned on without him realizing it and yet, he was only attracted to Kyungsoo. Which was weird, obviously. He’d never heard of selective homosexuality.

“By the way, is he really going to start calling you Master and everything?” Chanyeol asked.

“We’ve never discussed that before. I don’t think I want that though, I mean so long as he lets me have his way with him I don’t think he needs to call me anything but my own name.”

“Then that isn’t really a BDSM kind of relationship,” Chanyeol replied.

“Can’t we just be together as we are and have fun when we’re alone? Even if he calls me Master while I beat him no one would know,” Jongin pouted.

He didn’t want Kyungsoo to be a ‘slave’, he wanted to know what Kyungsoo wanted him to do or not do, and he wanted Kyungsoo to enjoy it not because he was being put into his own place but because it was a two way kind of thing. They both would enjoy it equally. Kyungsoo pleased Jongin just the way he was anyway. He didn’t have to change anything or call him Master.

“So that means you both are literally in a kinky relationship that isn’t necessarily master-and-slave but you do beat him up and Kyungsoo would actually like it if you did,” Chanyeol said flatly.

Jongin paused for a moment, absorbing the sentence before he nodded brightly. “Yes, that’s about it. All I have to do is make sure Kyungsoo prefers it that way too and we both can start having real fun once I get back from China.”

“I say clear the air before heading to China, that way you know what to expect when you get back home. I’m coming with you guys too, so we can probably stop by the toy store together,” Chanyeol smiled.

“Toy store?” Jongin repeated with faint amusement.

“Yes, toy store.”

Jongin shrugged. He didn’t know how Chanyeol knew so much about BDSM relationships, but talking it out felt much better. “Text Kyungsoo now and tell him to meet you at your office when you get back. I’m coming with you and I’ll pretend to hang out in your office casually,” Chanyeol said.

“What should I say? ‘Come up to my office, would you, and I’ll pat your head for it’,” Jongin said, digging his phone out of his pocket.

“Don’t be rude about it, dude, just say you need to discuss something face-to-face,” Chanyeol replied. A dot of sauce dropped onto his lap, and he made a soundless, horrified expression while Jongin typed slowly, unaware of what just happened.

‘Meet me in my office at 3. There’s something I need to talk to you about.’

Sounds serious, Jongin thought, while Chanyeol sputtered and looked for something to wipe the red sauce off his white pants. I think it gets the message across though.

“Do you think my text is too serious?” Jongin asked, looking up at Chanyeol. He set his chopsticks down angrily, face red, and said, “I need a new pair of pants. NOW.”

*

Jongin and Chanyeol had to go for an emergency shopping spree to get Chanyeol a new pair of pants that could go along with his outfit after they ate. Chanyeol flung the stained pair of pants away in disgust, and that was no surprise. Chanyeol refused to wear anything with stains even if it was just a tiny one on his inner thigh. Jongin chose not to comment and just waited for at least forty minutes at Topman while Chanyeol tried on a variety of white pants that looked all the same to Jongin.

He bought a shirt and a pair of shoes as well to pass time, but Chanyeol took forever to decide between two white pants.

“I really don’t see the difference between those two, Chanyeol,” Jongin had said flatly. Chanyeol held them up to Jongin and shook the one on his left and said, “This has creases near the pockets, and this one has nice back pockets. Which one should I get?”

Jongin had to remind him that they were supposed to meet Kyungsoo at 3, and that hurried him up. He bought both instead, and put the one with nice back pockets on. By the time they got to the office it was already 3:30 and though Jongin had hoped that Kyungsoo would wait for him, he was gone and had left a message with Sehun.

“Call him back in if it’s so important or wait till tomorrow, he said. He’s got things to do, like the rest of us,” Sehun said sharply. Chanyeol mimicked a slapping motion across Sehun’s face. “So rude, Oh Sehun, Jongin has things to do, you know, being a CEO and all,” Chanyeol said defensively.

Sehun snorted and told Taewoon to get Kyungsoo.

“How long did he wait?” Jongin asked Sehun. Chanyeol bustled off into Jongin’s office first for some refreshing glass of white wine.

“Fifteen minutes, maybe twenty. Came right after lunch hour. What took you so long to get back anyway, I thought you’d left for the day,” Sehun replied, printing something out. Chanyeol hollered from inside the office, “GUYS, DO YOU WANT SOME WINE TOO?”

“We don’t have enough glasses,” Sehun called back.

“Chanyeol had to get a new pair of pants because he spilled some sauce on the ones he was wearing. He wanted to meet Kyungsoo, or else I wouldn’t have waited for him.” Chanyeol stuck his head out at the entrance of Jongin’s office and looked at them both.

“Sehun, what is Kyungsoo like?”

“Short,” Sehun said immediately. It wasn’t exactly the kind of description Jongin would give, but Chanyeol seemed to understand. He leaned against the doorway and went oh like it made so much sense. Not.

“Is he like Jiyoung?” Chanyeol asked. Jongin and Sehun shook their heads at the same time. “He’s cuter,” Jongin replied. Sehun made a face at him.

“He stalked you, Jongin. Major stalked you, from what I understand and he should have a restraining order against him,” he said in disgust. Chanyeol tutted away for the pride of the Republic of Korea, shaking his head. “Harsh, Sehun. That was harsh.”

He shrugged. “It’s the truth. I don’t know why Jongin keeps toying with him like a cat plays with a dead mouse before eating it.”

Jongin opened his mouth, and then closed it. “That. That is a very strange metaphor,” he said stiffly. He turned to enter his office and placed his shopping bag by the foot of his desk, sitting down nicely in his seat while Chanyeol and Sehun went on about how Kyungsoo looked. Jongin didn’t understand why they were discussing it so intensely if Kyungsoo was just going to walk into the office in a few minutes.

Regardless, it took only five minutes for Taewoon to bring Kyungsoo into Jongin’s office. Chanyeol gave him an overall look, scanning him from head to toe as if he had x-ray vision and held a thumbs up to Jongin when Kyungsoo walked past him.

What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Jongin frowned. Kyungsoo entered Jongin’s office looking curious, perhaps expecting something to jump out at him. He was walking rather strangely as well, like there was a hot poker stuck up his bum. Jongin wondered if people thought that maybe Kyungsoo fell down and hurt himself.

“Erm, could you shut the door?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo did a double take and pressed the button to slide the door shut in Chanyeol’s face while Sehun had a grim expression on his face.

“That’s um, my friend Chanyeol. He’s…”

“Your friend, I know. I’ve seen him with you before. His dad is Park Jaesung, right?” Kyungsoo said, easing into his seat. He isn’t as nervous as he used to be, Jongin noted. Maybe the spanking finally broke the ice between them.

“What did you er, want to talk about? It sounded urgent,” Kyungsoo said, lifting an eyebrow at Jongin.    

“Ah. Right. It won’t take long, I just… wanted to be sure about a few things,” Jongin said, clearing his throat. This would be a little more awkward than he thought. Kyungsoo tilted his head to one side curiously.

“Sure about what?” he asked quietly.

“About—well, for starters, us. I mean, Kyungsoo, I like what we have now but I don’t know if I want it to be public. My friends know a little bit about us, but I haven’t told them about what we did in the apartment, so they won’t think that we’re dating or—or in a relationship. Do you see?”

Kyungsoo nodded. “I know what you’re saying. Honestly, I didn’t think you would tell anyone about—about um,” Kyungsoo mumbled.

“About us?” Jongin supplied helpfully.

“Y-yeah. And if you prefer it to be quiet then, I think that’s fine with me. It would hurt my reputation too, if it ever got out that I’m like this,” Kyungsoo blushed.

“Like this? Like how, exactly?” Jongin frowned. Like this as in tied up? A stalker? A pain slut? What?

“W-well. I’m gay. I like you. No one knows that apart from Baekhyun and Luhan, and well, maybe your friends too. I-I’m not ready for the whole world to know that I’m like this,” Kyungsoo said softly in embarrassment. Jongin had never seen the true extent of the shame of his true nature, but surely this was a record breaking kind of shame and embarrassment?

“I won’t tell anyone you’re gay, Kyungsoo, don’t. Don’t worry about that. If you prefer it to be kept quiet then we’ll keep it that way. And also, if you don’t want it to get out that you’re gay then I assume that also means you don’t want people to know about us as well?” Jongin asked, just to be clear.

Kyungsoo nodded. Good then, Jongin thought. Jongin wasn’t ready for absolutely everyone to know that he was interested in him either. The fact that he went to hostess clubs regularly was bad enough; he didn’t want to seem like a sex maniac. Not a great way to step into the corporate world.

“Then it’s alright with you to keep this between us till we’re ready for…” Jongin searched for the right word. “Ready to part, or to take this a step further.”

Kyungsoo laughed at that. “We won’t go any further, trust me,” he said, almost bitterly. Jongin leaned forward and lifted an eyebrow. “Why not? I suppose I never told you that I have a room in my apartment that’s ready for you. We could go as far as you want, or as little as you want, you know.”

His breath hitched at that. Kyungsoo looked away from Jongin’s gaze, squeezing his hands in his lap.   

“You didn’t have to do anything for me. I know this isn’t something that can last for long,” Kyungsoo said.

“Maybe it won’t last, true, but I intend to enjoy every last minute of it till a scandal breaks out or either of us decide to back out. I, for one, know that I’m not going to leave this so easily. Not till I have you up in my apartment and I’ve tested all your limits,” Jongin said, letting his gaze trail across Kyungsoo’s mouth.

He’s going to have to suck me off with that mouth soon, Jongin thought. If possible, he wanted to fuck that mouth hard and make him take his cock deep into his throat.

“My bruises haven’t healed yet still,” Kyungsoo said, squirming in his seat.

“I know. A great travesty, so I’ll have to wait till I get back from China to get my hands on you. Don’t hold your breath, hm?” Jongin teased, winking at Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo took a deep breath and released it shakily, pressing himself into the seat like he wanted to disappear.

“Can I see the bruises though?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo’s head snapped up. “W-why? Here, now? We can’t possibly—”

“I won’t try anything, I promise. I’ll just take a quick peek and you can pop off to your office as usual,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo sputtered in protest, but Jongin was already getting out of his seat to stand by Kyungsoo, motioning for him to stand up.

“Your office doesn’t have any privacy, how can you expect me to just take my pants off?” Kyungsoo asked indignantly, standing up slowly like he was hoping Jongin would change his mind.

“You didn’t seem to mind when I spanked your ass near the window in the apartment that day,” Jongin lifted an eyebrow at Kyungsoo. He blushed a deep red at that, moving to stand before Jongin, hands dithering around his waist.

“Just turn around and take your pants off,” Jongin instructed. They didn’t have much time before Chanyeol and Sehun would notice something was up. Kyungsoo turned slowly, hands going to the belt of his pants. There were a few clinks as his pants loosened around his waist and Jongin dragged his chair over to get a better view.

He sat down as Kyungsoo dropped his pants, letting them drop to his ankles, and he seemed to pause at his dark green boxers. They framed the shape of his ass perfectly and Jongin had no doubt the front probably looked just as great. Jongin reached a hand to touch his thighs, and Kyungsoo jolted at his touch.

“Don’t be shy,” Jongin coaxed him, hooking a finger into the waistband of his boxers and pulling downwards. Kyungsoo started to tremble, and Jongin just pulled his boxers down slowly, his shirt covering half of his ass as he shimmied out of it without trying to put on a show.

Jongin flipped his shirt over, and the afternoon sun hit the bruises at the right angle, lighting up his pale skin like alabaster. It only made his bruises all the more clear, like a watercolor stain across a blank sheet of paper.

The bruises were purple, darker at some spots and they looked like vague criss-cross lines across Kyungsoo’s ass and the upper part of his thighs. No doubt it would hurt to sit or walk as well, Jongin lifted an eyebrow, ghosting a hand over the bruises.

“They actually look pretty painful. But you don’t mind the way it feels?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo shook his head.

“I… I like how they feel,” he whispered. Jongin placed a hand on the small of his back, where small dimples appeared when he exhaled. “So you like the pain and the fact that I was the one who made you this way. Why don’t you bend over so I can see the bruises a little better, hm?”

“Y-you said you wouldn’t try anything,” Kyungsoo said weakly.

“I’m not. I just want to admire the work I’ve done and kiss it all better for you. Would you like that?” Jongin asked, trying to gauge Kyungsoo’s reaction. He couldn’t see Kyungsoo’s expression but he thought that maybe he was squeezing his eyes shut in a silent prayer for mercy from which ever god that could get him out of this predicament.  

Kyungsoo hesitated far too long in Jongin’s opinion. Jongin pinched his bum lightly and he yelped, instinctively taking a step forward away from Jongin’s hand. Jongin grabbed his thigh and pulled him back roughly, trying to push his back downwards.

With a choked sob, Kyungsoo stepped out of his pants and boxers, spreading his legs a bit to bend over.

“Keep your legs straight, Kyungsoo. There’s a good boy,” Jongin smiled, watching his ass stick up into the air, his cock hanging down between his legs. It was a picture perfect pose, and Jongin wished he had a proper camera to take a picture of this. His entrance parted ever so slightly as Kyungsoo grabbed his ankles, breathing hard.

“Perfect, Kyungsoo, absolutely perfect. I can see every mark I’ve made.”

 Jongin scooted forward on his seat, placing a kiss over a bruise on his ass cheek. His skin was warm and smooth despite the bruises. He kissed another bruise a little lower from the first one and brushed his thumb as if to ease the pain, and pecked a few more before he ran a finger across the lines on Kyungsoo’s thighs. Kyungsoo’s knees trembled uncontrollably.

“What about these bruises, Kyungsoo? Should I make them feel better for you?” Jongin asked, looking at his face from upside down near his legs.

“Y-yes. Yes, please,” Kyungsoo said shakily. Jongin smirked, lowering his head to kiss them better as well. He placed four kisses over each thigh agonizingly slow, catching a glimpse of Kyungsoo shutting his eyes in pleasure.

Deciding to tease Kyungsoo a little bit, Jongin slid his tongue out while Kyungsoo wasn’t paying attention and licked his balls carefully, a thin stripe from the very top down to the hilt of his cock. Kyungsoo gasped and his knees gave out, but Jongin quickly caught him and made him bend over properly again, patting his thigh gently.

“Don’t make me hit you when you’re still bruised,” Jongin said warningly. It was a threat and they both knew it; Kyungsoo gripped his ankles tightly, trying not to tremble.

Jongin brought his face to Kyungsoo’s balls again, mouthing gently with his lips and sucking on the fragile skin. “You like it?” Jongin asked huskily.

“Yes,” Kyungsoo said softly, cock twitching visibly.

“Do you have any idea how beautiful you look right now, hyung? Ass in the air, your pants on the ground… I could have you right now, where everyone can see through the glass walls. And when I make you scream the boys outside will know what kind of slut you are for me. You’d love it too, hyung, I know it. You’ll love it when I’m inside you, fucking your ass open right here in broad daylight…”

Kyungsoo whimpered. Jongin licked a trail to his entrance, sticking his tongue in tantalizingly. Kyungsoo unconsciously stuck his ass up a little higher, trying to get more of Jongin’s tongue.

“Imagine me inside of you, hyung. I’ll stretch you open,” he licked Kyungsoo’s entrance again, tasting salt and the sweetness of Kyungsoo’s skin, “and you’ll suck me in, grip me tight ‘cause you won’t ever want me to leave.” Jongin sucked on his entrance just a little, felt the tremor in his body and the way he tensed with Jongin’s mouth at his ass.

“But that’s for another day,” Jongin said, taking his mouth away. He sat back in his seat as Kyungsoo made a small, disappointed noise in his throat.

“You can’t have it all within a week, Kyungsoo,” Jongin said admonishingly. “Stand up and put your pants on.”

Kyungsoo straightened his back, his shirt slightly damp with sweat now. He picked his boxers up from the ground, putting them on slowly over his hard cock. Jongin watched him put his pants back on, his erection pressing against his pants.

“Turn around, hyung,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo did so, facing him with his gaze downwards.

“Kiss me.” Kyungsoo looked up at him, maybe affronted that he would talk to someone older than him by a year this way.

Kyungsoo stepped forward anyway between Jongin’s legs, lowering himself once more to place a hand on Jongin’s shoulder and neared his face, pressing a kiss to Jongin’s mouth. His lips were soft and smooth like butter. When he moved away, Jongin smirked. “I think this will all be a lovely reminder when you get back to work, hm? And one more thing, Kyungsoo.”

Jongin stood up, immediately crowding his body around Kyungsoo’s smaller frame. He was so close he could smell Kyungsoo’s body wash and an underlying hint of sweat. “Don’t touch yourself. I want you hot and hard for me by the time I get back from China,” Jongin whispered in his ear. There was a mole on his tragus, a small tiny one that Jongin wasn’t sure if he’d ever noticed before. It’s cute, Jongin decided. Real cute. Jongin quickly pecked it before moving away.    

Kyungsoo was burning red, but he managed in a small voice, “I’ll see you when you get back from China then.”

Jongin smiled, running a hand through Kyungsoo’s hair. “Yes, you will. I assume you know the way out?”

Kyungsoo walked out of the office stiffly, head lowered as he left and Chanyeol ambled in, cooing goodbye after Kyungsoo’s retreating figure. “So?” he said excitedly, holding an empty wine glass in his hand.  

“So what?” Jongin repeated.

“How did it go? Is he alright with everything?” Chanyeol rolled his eyes.

“Oh, I think he is. We’ve cleared everything up and now all there’s left to do is get ourselves to China,” Jongin said, smiling knowingly. Chanyeol went over to his wet bar to refill his drink.

“Good then. I wanted a refill but I wasn’t sure if it was alright to come in. Sounded pretty hush-hush awhile ago,” Chanyeol said, digging around to see if Jongin would tell him what they spoke about just now. Jongin just shrugged, pulling chair back behind his desk, dropping down heavily into it.

“It was nothing,” Jongin said. What they just did was nothing compared to what Jongin wanted to do with him, that is.

*

Jongin flew to Guangzhou as he promised Yifan in his private jet with the rest of his friends. Chanyeol made them all dress accordingly once more and sent a long string of messages to Suho on their group chat the night before their flight, reminding him that it was a sin to wear shorts no matter the season.

‘I won’t!! I already set out an outfit just like you asked.’ Suho had said on the group chat. He then uploaded a photo of himself wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a pink long sleeved shirt. Jongin blanched at that, but at least it was better than shorts. Chanyeol told him to burn the top but to keep the pants on.

Sehun chose to wear a sleeveless top and jeans tighter than the ones Suho had on. Jongin and Baekhyun were the only ones who looked normal with a normal cotton t-shirt and pants that didn’t threaten to explode every time they sat down. Chanyeol topped off the madness as usual with a hat so big it couldn’t fit into the entrance of the plane. He had to take it off and hold it vertically to enter and exit the plane.

In Guangzhou, it was hotter than Jongin expected. They started sweating the second they got down the plane; the heat practically slapped Jongin in the face and left him breathing the warm, humid air with some difficulty. Even the sun felt different here; it glared down at them angrily, trying to pierce their dark sunglasses with its sunbeams.

Chanyeol had his stupid hat on so it wasn’t as bad for him, though there was no cooling breeze so his back started sweating just like the rest of them. They couldn’t pile into the limo Yifan deployed for them any faster when it arrived.

At the hotel, Jongin, Sehun and Suho sat together around a small table in Sehun’s suite to cover some details with the air conditioning blasting from the ceiling at 16 degrees. Suho informed Yifan that they’d arrived safely and they were to meet him at his private residence after sundown. Jongin desperately wished in the back of his mind while he read through endless sheets of papers that he could be back in Seoul or at least, have Kyungsoo with him in this heat.

I wouldn’t mind getting down and dirty with him in the heat like this, Jongin thought idly. The heat would be a blanket over their skin and Kyungsoo would probably turn a delectable shade of pink all over in mere seconds.

Sadly, Kyungsoo wasn’t needed on this trip to make copies or whatever it was he did and he was back in Seoul, doing God only knew what. Jongin could still text Kyungsoo, but Sehun and Suho were being a pain in the butt as usual. After an hour of constant talking and rifling through papers, they suggested getting something to eat.

Finally,” Jongin sighed, sinking into his seat. All he’d had the entire day was food from the flight and nothing else. If he couldn’t rest then he needed something to fill his tummy with. Sehun got out of his seat to call up room service and read efficiently from the menu, ordering in a few Chinese dishes. 

“Do you think Yifan has a girlfriend?” Jongin asked distractedly, putting his feet up at the foot of Sehun’s bed. Suho was still reading through a few papers and making edits here and there, but looked up when Jongin said that.

“Why? You plan on getting it on with her?”

“God, no. Lord only knows what kind of girls he’s into,” Jongin made a face. Suho laughed. “Then why do you ask?”

“Dunno. He’s such a stuck up guy… What kind of girl would want to date him?” Jongin said. Suho stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Well, now that you put it that way, a guy I know seems to come to mind who is very similar to what you just said, except he has a stalker—”

Jongin kicked his chair viciously, hoping to topple him over on his seat but Suho was far too sure footed for that. He gave Jongin a haughty smile as he scowled back.

“He doesn’t have a girlfriend,” Suho replied. That wasn’t a very big surprise. “And why not? Don’t make me kick you over again,” Jongin said.

Suho ignored his threat and said, “He used to date someone. It went on for about three years before there was absolutely no news about his personal life. Sometimes people overseas recognize him at resorts or holiday spas, but no one’s ever really seen who it is. He’s smart, I’ll give him that ‘cause he always brings a few people along so no one except themselves know who he’s really with. Then he made it clear early this year that he wasn’t dating anyone anymore. Poor girl probably couldn’t take his charisma and all.”

“Huh,” Jongin replied eloquently. Yifan had something, that was for sure, but it wasn’t charisma. Not to Jongin. He had as much warmth as a practiced smile and had this cold look in his eyes sometimes. He scared Jongin just a little, like he had to watch his back rather than see him as a partner in business. 

“Does that answer your question?” Suho asked dryly.

“Well, yeah, but why did they break up? Do you think it’d be rude to ask him when we go to his place later?” Jongin asked.

“I welcome you to try although I won’t be there to back you up if he gets angry or whatever,” Suho said easily. Helpful, Jongin huffed. Sehun hung up the phone, done with ordering in and joined them, rearranging the papers in different stacks.

“Heard you asking about Yifan’s girlfriend. Let me just point out that you are now in a very suspicious game with Kyungsoo and if you somehow get tangled in dating trouble I have no power to do anything for you,” Sehun said icily. Ah, the love he was receiving from his friends.

“He’s not dating anyone, but thanks for the concern,” Jongin replied, snarky. Sehun shrugged back.

“Baekhyun told me that Yifan has a pool at his place,” Suho said nonchalantly. Sehun lifted an eyebrow. “Well, don’t let Chanyeol know. He’ll want to come along in his studded Speedo or God knows what else he harbors from home—”

“Where does one even get a studded Speedo?” Chanyeol’s deep voice suddenly asked. Jongin hadn’t even heard him enter, let alone see him sneak up behind Sehun. Scary, Jongin decided. Very scary. Sehun turned around, unruffled, and said, “I don’t know, but I supposed you would own one. We ordered in so join us.”

“Don’t change the fucking subject, I heard everything,” Chanyeol accused, poking Sehun’s bony chest. Oh dear God. Jongin silently prayed that Chanyeol would see how important this trip was and have the sense to not want to come along.

“I am so coming along if he has an infinity pool,” Chanyeol declared. Suho and Jongin looked at each other.

“He has a normal pool,” Sehun tried to say, but Chanyeol pushed him aside and sat down. “Baekhyun and I were chatting before I came over to see what you were all up to, and he told me he has a pool the size of two Olympic pools. Two, guys. You can swim in there and lounge at the same time without feeling the fucking ripples from whoever is doing laps,” Chanyeol said, emphasizing the words.

“I um, I don’t think any of us will be doing laps,” Sehun said uncertainly. Chanyeol shushed his protest.

“And I brought swimming trunks, my good friends. So I’d say this is my destiny to swim in Wu Yifan’s pool,” Chanyeol said, folding his arms. Baekhyun came in then, shutting the door behind him. Sehun looked at him up and down. “What is this place, the public bathroom?” he asked no one in particular.

Jongin tried to reason with Chanyeol instead. “There’s a pool right here in this hotel—”

“Public. Everyone and everyone’s mother has been in it. Meanwhile, Yifan’s pool probably only has his germs floating around,” Chanyeol countered. “And how can you expect me to survive in this heat any longer than twenty four hours without a large body of water for me to submerge in or 24/7 air conditioning?”

Suho tried to point out that no one was going to turn off the damned air conditioning, but there was no reasoning with Chanyeol when he was this far along with his own madness.

“I will get into that pool and I don’t care what you lot think. It’s not like you don’t want to jump in either.” But where was the sense of etiquette? Jongin furrowed his eyebrows. Last time he checked it wasn’t the norm to jump into whoever’s pool was convenient. Jongin suddenly briefly wondered if he would get into the pool if Kyungsoo was going to jump in as well.

Things would certainly be different if he’s here, Jongin thought almost wistfully. Yes, there’d be an entirely different set of rules and he’d be in a totally different mood. He suddenly wished he’d never spanked Kyungsoo so hard.

Suho motioned for everyone to settle down. Baekhyun took a cautious seat beside him, handing him a file. “Sorry if I’m intruding,” he muttered.

“It’s okay, Baekhyun, Sehun is just being the unfriendly neighborhood cat he is. Chanyeol, why don’t we ask Yifan if we’re allowed to use his pool first, and if he says it’s alright—”

“Which he will,” Chanyeol cut in. Suho went on as if he hadn’t interrupted.

“Then we’ll all get in, alright? But if he doesn’t then you’ll have to stay indoors till we’re done. Unfortunately,” Suho added mournfully. Chanyeol opened his mouth to say something, and then thought the better of it and shut his pie hole.

Jongin suddenly remembered what he was here for in the first place. “Er, Chanyeol, I might need to do some shopping soon so maybe you’d like to come along for that?” he asked subtly. Chanyeol took the hint and nodded knowingly. “I’ll come,” he said.

“If everything goes well, we can go back the day after tomorrow,” Suho confirmed. If everything goes well, Jongin thought, stroking his chin. If everything went well then Kyungsoo better be prepared for when Jongin came back.

-

Jongin thought he made a very wise decision in wearing the exact same outfit to Yifan’s home, since he didn’t have anything else that was more cooling. Beach shorts is probably taking it too far, Jongin had mused. It might be Yifan’s private residence they were heading to, but it was still a meeting nonetheless.

He did, however, make Chanyeol borrow him a pair of beach shorts ‘just in case’. He had a feeling that if Yifan didn’t mind them getting into the pool, Chanyeol would want all of them to get in as well.

They rode for a half hour to Yifan’s residence, a large five storey building that could rival Chanyeol’s home in terms of beauty and price tag. It was in an isolated area with no one around for miles as well. Guess he likes his privacy, Jongin thought to himself while getting out of the car. Though Jongin didn’t know what kind of privacy an unmarried man would need (except for the sexual kind of privacy).

Yifan’s home was a lot like him; cold-looking with all its stainless steel and glass, ultra modern design and unapologetic in size. Baekhyun had briefly mentioned that some superstar had rented his place out for a day once to film his music video. It looked like the sort of place where one could throw pool parties every night. Bright lights lit up the whole place as if it was still day.

Yifan greeted them by the gates of his home, apparently having a glass of sparkling water on the grass, where a large glass table and chairs had been set up. He had on a white collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up at his arms. It was the most casual Jongin had seen of him. He waved and smiled when he saw them approaching his lawn, although his smile faltered when he saw Chanyeol’s head bobbing behind the rest of them.

“Chanyeol, I think he doesn’t like you from that one time we had lunch with him,” Jongin said casually, pretending to look at Sehun.

“He’ll love me once I put his pool to good use. Where is it anyway?” Chanyeol replied, looking around surreptitiously. Suho stomped on Chanyeol’s foot to shut him up and he yelped, hopping the rest of the way till they finally stopped before Yifan.

“Suho, Jongin… Lovely to see you here in my hometown. I see you brought your friend as well, from last time,” Yifan said, glancing at Chanyeol whose face was crumpled with pain as he gripped his foot.

Jongin cleared his throat quickly and smiled, “Ah yes, he’s quite a good friend to all of us. He um, came along with us for a short holiday and—”

“We heard that you have a pool. Can we swim in it? The heat is just short of unbearable,” Chanyeol cut in. A shocked silence fell over the rest of them. Sehun closed his eyes as if he wanted the world to disappear, and Yifan’s mouth fell open slightly. Jongin made a mental note to never ever bring Chanyeol along on a business trip ever again.

Then Yifan spoke slowly: “I had no idea the heat would be so terrible for you Seoulites. Is it that bad? It’s considered quite cool today,” Yifan said, sounding a little guilty.

“It’s not that bad,” Suho started, but Chanyeol cut in once more. “Oh, it’s terrible here, I don’t know how you take it, Yifan. Can I call you Yifan? I’ll call you Yifan and you can call me Chanyeol okay, let’s not get too formal, I’m really just here for your pool…” And so on.

The funny thing was that Yifan didn’t even look startled or affronted that Chanyeol was just here to use his home’s facilities. In fact, he looked like he wanted to be friends with Chanyeol. Jongin was starting to wonder if Yifan was as normal as he seemed.

“I must apologize then, I should’ve chosen a day when it is cooler to have company over. But the pool is around the back and you’re all very welcome to use it. I hardly use it myself so it’d be good to see someone in the pool for once,” Yifan said, gesturing to the green lawn behind him, where it led around the side of his house all the way to the back.

“Oh, we don’t mean to intrude, Mr. Wu, really it’s not all that hot—” Suho sputtered, good manners overriding everything else but Yifan hushed him and made his servants (who were middle aged women, Jongin noted with mild surprise) carry the glass table to the back where the pool was.

“We shall dine by the pool for convenience. If it’s alright?” Yifan said, glancing at Jongin. He shrugged. “Poolside sounds good.”

If the front of house was stunning, the pool was downright heavenly. Lights stuck to the bottom of his gigantic pool made the blue water look like a magical portal and ripples across the surface threw silvery shadows all over the place. His home overlooked part of Guangzhou’s Pearl River, and it was a pretty sight to behold as Yifan’s private chef served them dinner, ‘progressive Chinese cuisine’, as he called it.

Chanyeol wasn’t as hungry as he was eager to get into the pool, but he ate and bided his time anyway, listening to their conversation quietly and letting them get on with their work while he fiddled with his phone sometimes.

The food was great, Jongin noticed as they talked. The portions were small but apparently each dish from the twenty four course meal served not to fill one’s stomach but to tantalize the senses and linger in one’s palate. It all could’ve gone down with a bit of wine or beer in Jongin’s humble opinion but he didn’t have to ask to know that Yifan probably didn’t have a drop of alcohol in his home.

By the twentieth course, Jongin, Suho and Yifan signed the papers accordingly. At the twenty second course, Tao arrived surprisingly and Yifan welcomed him to join them. He was stony as ever but seemed very at ease with his surroundings like it was his home as well.

Chanyeol, Baekhyun and Tao sat together at the table and somehow managed to strike up a conversation about Guangzhou’s sights while Jongin was occupied, and when he turned to look at them Tao was actually smiling. Suho caught his line of view and smiled.

“Looking good,” Suho mouthed at him. Meanwhile, Sehun was not interested in conversation, but rather was intrigued by the taste of roasted duck flavored ice cream. It was strange to Jongin, yet somewhat delicious. He never knew duck could taste savory as an ice cream. At the end of the meal, Chanyeol and Baekhyun practically leapt out of their seats to jump into the pool.

As they spoke, Yifan suddenly changed the course of the conversation from business to something else. It got boring all too quickly and while Suho distracted Yifan with stimulating conversation, Jongin dug out his phone to snap a photo for Kyungsoo since he wasn’t here to see all this anyway. He was pleasantly surprised though, to see not one but three messages from Kyungsoo waiting for him; they had all been sent about three hours ago.

‘Luhan here. How dare you leave Kyungsoo here in Seoul while you whore around in China.’

He chuckled. There was another message as well.

‘That was really Luhan, I didn’t send that.’

 And another that said: ‘Are you mad?’

Jongin could practically hear the sadness in the text. He took a photo of the view first, and then typed out a reply:

‘No, I’m not mad. And I’m not whoring around, I’ll have you know that. I’m here solely to get some items at a cheap price without shipping them to Korea.’

He sent it, checking the time. Seoul was ahead of Guangzhou by an hour, and it was midnight already back home. I’ll wait, Jongin decided. He wouldn’t be surprised if Kyungsoo was waiting for his reply.

Jongin placed his phone on the table and attempted to launch himself back into Yifan and Suho’s conversation, but listened closely to their conversation and realized that Suho was talking about his childhood to Yifan. And Yifan was listening very intently, as if the childhood of a rich boy from Seoul was absolutely fascinating. Is Suho blushing? Jongin frowned.

“I think I’ll go for that swim now,” Jongin said, getting up. No way am I going to get cozy with Yifan, he thought, shuddering inwardly. Yifan blinked as if someone had just poured cold water down his back.

“Oh right. Go right ahead,” Yifan said, eyes unfocused and moony. Suho had stopped talking and gave Jongin a sheepish smile.

“Thanks,” Jongin said without making eye contact and hurried off to the pool with his phone. What the fuck was that about? Jongin asked himself. That was even scarier than watching a horror movie alone in a haunted house. He quickly took his shirt off and placed his phone together with his shirt on a recliner, kicking off his shoes and getting into the water in record time as if he could wash the experience away.

“This is the life,” Chanyeol declared loudly, lying on the surface of the water while his feet paddled to keep himself afloat. Sehun was texting while standing still at a spot in the pool.

“Sehun, since when did you get in the pool?” Jongin demanded, swimming over to him. At the same time, Baekhyun got out of the water to get a drink or something. Huh, Jongin thought, good luck getting anything out of Yifan now. 

“Since I finished dessert,” Sehun replied.

“Oh,” Jongin replied eloquently. “Why is Suho talking about his past like it’s some hushed up secret?” Sehun glanced at Yifan and Suho at the table. Tao had magically disappeared as well, maybe into the house for something interesting to do.

“Dunno. Maybe Yifan likes him,” Sehun said, before snickering.

“Don’t, Sehun, that sounds weird. Suho’s not gay,” Jongin laughed. He swished some water around, making little torpedoes in the water as he tried to get out of the water and check his phone to see if Kyungsoo had replied.

He did, and Jongin opened up the message, leaning against the side of the pool to read it.

‘I never said you were whoring around, that was seriously Luhan. Is everything going alright with Yifan?’

Jongin replied: ‘Will you let Luhan know that if I could, I would’ve brought you along? And yes, thank you for your concern. How did you like the picture of Guangzhou at night?’

Jongin would’ve done more than bring him along. He would’ve brought him vibrator shopping and whatnot, and try them all out on him before even leaving Guangzhou. But buying the toys alone tomorrow, with only Chanyeol for company would be fun too. He could surprise Kyungsoo with some fun toys.

Kyungsoo’s reply came. ‘It’s beautiful. I’ve never been. Yes, I’ll tell Luhan that.’

‘It’s pretty but I think it’d be prettier with you around.’

Jongin didn’t know how Kyungsoo might take that, but it was true. He didn’t want to be here in the first place but had Kyungsoo came along he’d have the perfect distraction at hand. Whatever, Jongin thought. He sent it, biting his lip.

Kyungsoo’s reply three minutes later made him laugh aloud, till Chanyeol and Sehun glared at him.

‘Stop trying to flirt with me.’

“Jongin, why are you acting like a bitch?” Sehun asked conversationally. Jongin ignored him and held back a fit of laughter and snorts, turning away from them to type out a reply without feeling like his friends were watching him like a flock of hawks.

‘I’m not flirting, I’m merely trying to point out the truth… Did you touch yourself today?’ Jongin asked. He put his phone down after sending the text to look up at the night sky, wondering if maybe Kyungsoo was doing the same too, sitting outside his house under the persimmon tree with Luhan, doing… things that people do when they sat under a tree. What could they do though, have a picnic or something? Before his thoughts could trail off into a lucid stream of senseless thoughts, his phone buzzed.

‘No. I wanted to but I didn’t.’

Jongin bit down on a smile. It might’ve been all the weather or all the food he had but he was ludicrously happy that Kyungsoo obeyed him. Maybe this won’t be so bad, Jongin thought. 

*

“Does this come in a larger size?” Jongin said into his phone. A few seconds later, there was a boop and an audio translation of what he’d just said played for the sales assistant waiting patiently beside Jongin. The young girl working at the store went yes, yes, yes excitedly in Mandarin (that he could understand, at least) and hurried off to get the vibrator for Jongin in the back of the store.

“Are you sure that can even fit into someone’s ass?” Chanyeol asked distractedly, weighing two different colored love eggs in his hands. “Which one is better do you think?” he asked. One was silver and another was pink. Jongin stared at both before pointing at the silver one. He placed the vibrator he’d been holding back on the shelf (which wasn’t all that big), and continued to browse through other items.

The business part of this trip was finally over. They’d been in Guangzhou for two days, and tonight they were to return home but not before Jongin and Chanyeol bought all the items on their own respective lists.

Apparently, Chanyeol’s girlfriend was quite the frisky gal, and had requested Chanyeol to buy just a few sex toys, nothing too extreme. Chanyeol had already found most of what he wanted at a sex store less than ten blocks away from their hotel, but Jongin was nowhere done with his list.

The store was painted a cute pink, with five tall shelves selling all sorts of inappropriate looking items rather openly. Because he’d never seen, much less used most of these items, he took far longer to browse through the store than Chanyeol, picking up strange looking devices every so often. There were some pretty bizarre ones, from something called Arab strap, to a ball lock and a triple crown. Jongin could only guess what most of these were for, since everything was in Mandarin and the only English words printed on the boxes were the names of the items. Nevertheless, Jongin thought it’d be easier to just get everything and dumped whatever that could be used on a cock into a basket the girl working at the store provided for him. He could Google all this shit later in Seoul or ask Kyungsoo about them. Jongin was willing to bet Kyungsoo had never seen half of these items in real life, though.

Can’t wait till I get home and use one of these things on him. Kyungsoo’s gonna freak, Jongin thought with a smile.

The girl returned from the back of the store with a box in her hand, taking out the largest vibrator Jongin had ever seen for him to examine. It was dark purple and shaped vaguely like a dick, but it looked like it could fit into anyone’s ass with a bit of lubrication. The widest part of it wasn’t even that wide.

“Do you have some batteries for me to try?” Jongin said to his phone once more. The internet was so helpful at times like these. The girl listened to the translations and nodded, taking the vibrator out of his hand to put the batteries in behind the counter.

He’s gonna have a hell of a time with that up his ass, Jongin thought.

“Jongin, do you need some of these sex swings?” Chanyeol called from the other side of the shelf.

“No, I already have one,” Jongin called back. Still uninstalled too. He wasn’t going to put it up till he was certain Kyungsoo would be coming around, otherwise it’d be a damned hassle to get it down from the ceiling in case of unwanted guests.

Abruptly, there was a loud clatter, like a small item dropping to the ground. Jongin thought he’d bumped into something but when he turned around there was nothing. He was trying to decided what kind of gag would be best to use on Kyungsoo when Chanyeol’s head popped from around the corner of the shelf, mouth gaping open.  

“You bought a sex swing?” he asked, voice choked. Jongin blinked. “Well, what did you think I was redecorating my room the other day for? For the fun of it?”

Chanyeol furrowed his eyebrows. “So you really want to do this with him then?” he asked. Jongin sighed, laughing. “I wouldn’t have flown all the way to China just to get me some toys,” Jongin held up a ball gag for emphasis, “at a good price if I didn’t want him.”

“It sounds like a lot of effort just to have sex with someone is all I’m saying.” Jongin rolled his eyes.

“Which gag do you think is better, something made of cloth or a ball gag?” Jongin asked.

“I dunno, use a tie or something. And why do you need a sex swing?” Chanyeol asked, shrugging his shoulders quite violently. Jongin smirked.

“What, you think it’s weird that I want to dangle Kyungsoo from the ceiling and have my way with him while he’s suspended?” he asked, placing the ball gag back on the shelf. A tie actually sounded pretty good. It felt like a more personal touch, and he did have quite a selection of ties. He could certainly spare a few for kinky purposes.

“No, I just don’t think I’ve ever been this close to a sex maniac. But anyway, I see you plan on having a helluva time with him. You’re buying quite a lot,” Chanyeol remarked, pointing at the basket Jongin was holding. It wasn’t heavy since most of the items were small but there was definitely a large variety of items. Jongin wondered if he’d ever really use all of them.

“I will. Kyungsoo doesn’t even have this much in his stash so it’ll be worth what I’m spending,” Jongin winked. Chanyeol shuddered as if he accidentally pictured Jongin and Kyungsoo in bed, and ran an anxious hand over the sleeve of his fabulous shirt.

“Sounds like you’re trying to outdo him,” Chanyeol remarked. He picked up an object from Jongin’s basket and looked at it suspiciously.

“More like I’m trying to do him.” Jongin waggled his eyebrows playfully. Chanyeol couldn’t stop rolling his eyes during the rest of their shopping trip.

In the end, Jongin bought at least half a dozen vibrators of different sizes, a few different types of cock rings, nipple clamps, genital clamps, three dildos and a gag or two in case a tie didn’t cut it. He bought handcuffs as well, soft nylon rope and other restraining devices. The two white, non-descriptive plastic bags he carried back to the hotel were surprisingly heavy, but he was already clicking his heels together with glee, eager to get back to Seoul.

Chapter Text

“Kyungsoo, how is your ass doing and is it up for a bit of pain?” Jongin said over the phone. A plane flew over him as he spoke, and the sound of wind and engines thundered in his ears, drowning out whatever Kyungsoo’s reply was.

“What?” Jongin yelled into the phone at the top of his lungs. Suho and Sehun turned around to glance at him but he pretended not to notice. They couldn’t hear what he was saying from the front, the runway was too fucking noisy. The only people who could hear what Jongin was saying were Chanyeol, who walked beside him happily, smiling up at the sun with his sunglasses on for no apparent reason, and Baekhyun who glanced at him from beside Chanyeol, but that was all. He probably could imagine what Kyungsoo would say.

“I said, I’m busy and I don’t have time to talk to you about things like that,” Kyungsoo’s voice said through the phone crossly.

“But I want to know how you’re doing so I can move my schedule around,” Jongin protested mildly. They had just landed in Seoul five minutes ago, literally, and Jongin was dragging his brand new luggage bag containing his new toys across the large expanse of the airport runway because he didn’t want customs opening up his bag only to find his spanking new collection of sex toys. Needless to say though, making a call from the runway was about as easy as trying to pick an outfit to wear today. He could hardly hear anything Kyungsoo was saying but he couldn’t wait till he got home.

“Look, I’m doing something right now and I can’t really talk ‘cause my hands are busy so can you call me back at a later time?” Kyungsoo said, sounding impatient. The noises in his background were pretty loud too, and Kyungsoo was talking awfully softly for some reason.

“Fine then. Is an hour alright with you?” Jongin said, already feeling sulky. He’d been itching to send him videos of how the vibrators looked when they were switched on and how one of them could even light up to see if Kyungsoo liked them or not, but he obviously wasn’t feeling very generous right now.

“An hour… Yeah, I guess that’s fine,” Kyungsoo said, sounding distracted. Then there was a familiar noise in Kyungsoo’s background but before Jongin could identify it, Kyungsoo said quickly, “I’m hanging up now, bye.” Jongin opened his mouth to protest, but only a dial tone remained, signaling the end of the call.

He stared at his phone as he walked across the runway with his friends. Sehun and Suho were blissfully unaware ahead of him while Chanyeol lifted an eyebrow at him. “He hung up on you?” he asked.

“It’s not the hanging up part, it’s the nerve to hang up on me part,” Jongin said blankly, stuffing his phone into his pocket.

“Ah. Well, good news is that you’re his boss, hmm?” Chanyeol replied. He exhaled, looking up at the sky again. “Seoul is just so beautiful, don’t you think?” he asked, taking off his magnificent hat and placing it on his chest in a gesture of respect.

“I dunno, I want to go home,” Jongin pouted. They entered the airport building, luggage bag wheels rolling quietly across the tiled floors. Chanyeol and Baekhyun each had roller bags like Jongin, but Sehun and Suho held briefcases determinedly because ‘it makes us look like we came back from a business trip, not a fucking holiday,’ as Sehun so snidely put it. Clearly, Sehun was in need of a holiday.

“He needs to work, y’know, for the country’s economy. Kyungsoo is actually indirectly supporting you,” Chanyeol said, trying to sound wise.

“Yes, but it’s me who gives out paychecks at the end of the day—”

“You mean your dad.”

“My dad, me… What’s the difference? And I don’t care who pays who, but why did he hang up on me? What could possibly be so interesting that he has to hang up on me?” Jongin asked. Chanyeol thought about it.

“Something that pays him good money?” Chanyeol guessed. If only Jongin had something to biff his head over with, like an expensive hard clutch. He settled for a dry look and continued to sulk as they walked.

“Oh shit,” Suho suddenly groaned, slapping his forehead with a hand. He stopped in his tracks, and so did the rest of them. Jongin looked at him. “You need to shit?”

“No, I—God, I completely forgot to ask the flight attendant to lead us to the VIP section,” Suho said. Oh, Jongin thought. It was no secret that they were in China, and undoubtedly there’d be photographers waiting for them at the lobby. Well, luckily he was dressed nicely for the occasion. Sehun sighed audibly.

“I know the way, so it’s okay,” Sehun said. Suho shook his head before he was even done talking. “No, the usual place is closed for renovation; I saw a signboard before we left for China. I don’t know where the temporary new VIP hall is.”

Chanyeol listened, furrowed his eyebrows together, and shrugged, starting to walk again. He brushed between Sehun and Suho, his hat messing Suho’s fringe.

“It’s not the first time we’ll be dealing with the photographers,” Chanyeol said nonchalantly over his shoulder. Suho rearranged his fringe with mild annoyance, tutting away. Sehun sighed for a second time and followed Chanyeol’s example, his lips pressed into a thin line. There was nothing they could do, after all.

“Whatever then,” Jongin shrugged, trying to catch up with Sehun. He didn’t want to be walking alone when the photographers gathered around him.  

Once they emerged in the public area, photographers swarmed around them like flies to honey, fingers clicking eagerly at their cameras. At first it was annoying, the way the flashes kept coming every single second. But it did remind Jongin of that photo session he’d had with Kyungsoo and a smile played on his lips for a few moments as cameras flashed around them, almost blinding him were it not for the fact he had sunglasses on. Suddenly it didn’t seem so bad. This outcome of fame certainly wasn’t the worst part of it.

They shuffled slowly through the crowd as Sehun shooed everyone away with his thin, arched eyebrows and cold words. He spotted Mr. Lee somewhere over the chaos and waved at him. Jongin was soon led into his Rolls Royce, where he and Sehun climbed in and the door slammed shut in the photographers’ faces, to Jongin’s surprise.

“Isn’t Suho getting in?” Jongin asked, glancing at Sehun.

“Nope, he has to see his parents. Chanyeol’s driver is here to pick him up, surprisingly, and I think Baekhyun went home with him,” Sehun replied.

“Ah. And you’re here with me because…?” Jongin tilted his head to one side. Sehun hit him in the chest with his hard briefcase. “Because I’m your friend and your driver knows where I live.” Oh, the joys of friendship. 

“…Okay. I don’t understand why Kyungsoo hung up on me,” Jongin whined, jiggling his small roller bag to make it stand properly.

“Did you call him just now? Jesus, Jongin, could you just calm down, he’s probably not that interested in you,” Sehun scoffed, running his hands through his black hair. He sniffed his fingers after that and made a disgusted face. “Need to wash my hair soon…” he muttered.

“Ew. Don’t touch me with those fingers now. And I have reasons to believe that Kyungsoo is plenty interested me okay, I just—I rarely call him so I don’t get why he didn’t want to talk to me,” Jongin pouted. Really, the only time he ever called Kyungsoo was that time at the club in Hongdae. Sehun sighed heavily, shaking his head and taking off his sunglasses.

“He’s gonna call you back soon, okay? This isn’t a big deal so stop bitching about it already. God, you sound like one of those desperate middle aged women trying to get a guy.” Jongin sputtered indignantly, but Sehun wasn’t done. He glanced at Jongin’s luggage standing innocently in front of Jongin.

“And what the fuck is in the luggage bag, Jongin, you look like you’re five years old when you drag it all over the place,” Sehun said, reaching for it but Jongin kicked it away quickly, almost like a reflex move.

“It’s nothing. Why? Some personal items, that’s all,” Jongin said, trying to sound nonchalant. Sehun lifted an eyebrow at him.

“Is there a dead body in there?” Sehun asked slowly.

“What? Fuck no, how can an adult fit into the bag?” Jongin said.

“You must’ve cut it up then. Okay, so who was it—”

“Quit joking! My pride is hurt now,” Jongin said, slapping Sehun’s arm hard. That shut him up although he was smiling a crooked smile as he settled into his seat. “As if you could murder someone…”

Jongin whipped his head around to snap at Sehun but bit on his tongue. He wanted to yell at him that he was going to do very rude things to Kyungsoo soon, things Sehun probably never even dreamed of doing and that murdering a man wouldn’t change the fact that he was most likely going to Hell for what he had in mind for Kyungsoo. Instead he just took a deep breath and thought of something smart to say.

Before he could even say anything, Jongin’s phone rang in his pocket. He and Sehun glanced at it at the same time.

“You gonna get that?” Sehun asked.

“Told you he’s interested in me,” Jongin scoffed, digging his phone out and answering the call without looking at the caller ID.

“Oh, are your hands free now?” Jongin said loudly. “’Cause I think my hands are not free at this moment—”

“Shut it, Jongin, it’s me,” Chanyeol said on the phone. His voice was loud enough that Sehun heard it from beside Jongin, and he laughed aloud, leaning over the seat and clapping his hands like a seal.

Jongin rolled his eyes, pursing his lips. Really, how childish could Sehun be? “I’m hanging up now.”

“No you’re not, I can’t find my Rolex so could your eyes peeled for it in case I left it in your luggage bag by mistake? If you find it, just send it over to me… Who did you think I was?” Chanyeol asked.

“Not you,” Jongin deadpanned. He hung up, too insulted and disgruntled at this point to care about what Chanyeol might do to him for hanging up without saying goodbye. “Who taught you your fucking manners?” Chanyeol would ask.

Meanwhile, Sehun was wiping his tears of happiness away when Jongin stomped on his foot, just because it felt like the appropriate thing to do.

-

When Jongin finally reached his apartment, Mr. Lee came in with him to drop off his luggage bags. It had been fifty five minutes since he called Kyungsoo and he was wondering if calling him five minutes too early might seem too keen. Well, he was keen. That was to say, keen to show Kyungsoo his new stuff and get his opinion on the toys.

Mr. Lee shut the door behind him as he left, but he barely noticed. Jongin made his way to the spare room with his new luggage bag of toys, kicking the door open and staring at the room as if it was to blame for all his troubles.

If calling him is too keen then I might as well call him a little later, Jongin thought. Tonguing the inside of his cheek tetchily, he dragged the luggage bag to the daybed where he sat down and unzipped it, throwing the cover open to reveal two large, white plastic bags bulging with hard spots here and there. He took them out and poured the contents of both bags into the luggage bag.

Most of the items were pink for some reason, although there were a few toys in black, mostly the restraining devices and one of the dildos. Jongin had no idea what he’d actually do with half of these items, but the internet was always there to provide advice and guidance. Besides, learning how to use them on Kyungsoo would be an experience, in any case. He began to arrange them into different drawers slowly, placing the vibrators into a separate drawer, and butt plugs, dildos, his paddle and riding crop into another drawer.

Some of the drawers were sort of empty when he finally shoved them back closed, but at least the room looked neat and didn’t give too much away if he ever had to let people into his apartment. He looked at the time, and it was now fifteen minutes past the promised time to call.

With a smirk, he dug his phone out once more and dialed for Kyungsoo. He picked up after only two rings, though he sounded breathless.

“Hello?”

“Are you still busy or are you going to stand me up again?”

Kyungsoo was silent for a brief moment. “It was just a call, Jongin. And I was, in fact, doing something—”

“Doing what? I’m giving you attention and you don’t want it now?” Jongin asked pettily, laying down on the daybed and staring up at the magenta ceiling. Kyungsoo tsked at him. 

“I’m sorry then. Is there something important or can I go back to my life?” he asked. Kyungsoo didn’t sound particularly sorry, but Jongin supposed that would suffice for now. Seeing Kyungsoo flustered would probably make up for his lack of empathy towards Jongin, he supposed.

“Well, if you’re not too busy then I wanna send you a couple videos. Maybe pictures too. You like pictures and videos and things like that, don’t you?” Jongin asked. He hadn’t yet told Kyungsoo about the things he’d bought, hadn’t even hinted at it because he wanted it to be a surprise.

“Er, I suppose. Why can’t this wait till we meet up or something?” Kyungsoo asked, sounding genuinely confused.

“Because I think you would find them very interesting. Text you in a minute, ‘kay?” Jongin said, mood considerably uplifted. Though he was puzzled, Kyungsoo just said alright and hung up. With a big smile, Jongin got up from the daybed and went to the ‘ass’ drawer, where all the toys would (hopefully) go up or be used on Kyungsoo’s ass were kept. He snapped a photo of the dildos, butt plugs and et cetera and sent it to Kyungsoo at once.

Then he picked up a vibrator that came with complimentary batteries since he spent over 200 dollars at the sex store from the ‘variety’ drawer and turned it on, recording the way it buzzed in hands for a few seconds and then sent the video to Kyungsoo as well.

Kyungsoo’s reply came a few minutes later: ‘I can’t believe this what you think I will find interesting.’

Jongin tutted at his text, typing out a lengthy reply of admonishment. ‘Don’t be shy, I know you like what you see. I bet you’ll like it even more when I see you in the future and put all of these things to use ;) Mind you, I don’t know how to use all of them but I’m sure the pleasure will be mutual.’

Kyungsoo’s reply was almost cute. ‘Why would you waste money on buying those things? I have some of them at home.’ Either Kyungsoo was being deliberately modest or he had no idea Jongin’s father was in the top ten in the list of Forbes’ Richest Businessmen in South Korea.

Because I can?? And your own set can just be your spare stash whenever you miss me J’

Jongin could practically see Kyungsoo rolling his eyes at him when he sent that, though he was laughing. He dug into his drawers again and found a cock ring. He held it out on his palm and snapped a photo of it, sending it to Kyungsoo with a caption: ‘Definitely putting this on you.’

He hoped Kyungsoo was giggly and flustered at that. He sent another video of a special sort of vibrator; its head was made of soft rubber and could move around in small circles. It could even light up at the press of a button, and Jongin recorded it for a few seconds, its full functions on display.

‘The lights are distracting,’ Kyungsoo replied Jongin.

‘We’ll see how distracting it is when I put it in, hm? By the way, is your ass really all healed now or is it still bruised?’ Jongin couldn’t wait to put up the swing. Or maybe they could do that another time, though it was tempting to just put it up now and imagine Kyungsoo strapped into it.

Jongin left the room while waiting for Kyungsoo, packing everything back into their respective drawers and pushing his luggage bags into his bedroom. The cleaning lady would arrange and hang his clothes up later when she came in, so he just left his bags by the closet door. Everything in his room was just as he left it; his laptop was on the table by his bookshelf, the sheets on his bed were neatly made… It was as if he’d never left.

He was going to change into something more comfortable than tight jeans when his phone finally pinged to life. Jongin grabbed it, heading to the closet to find something comfy to wear.

‘It’s all healed now, of course. I think it cleared up two days ago.’ 

Ooh yes, just as Jongin hoped and prayed for. If his ass was all healed up and the bruises were gone that meant they could meet up soon, very soon indeed, and Jongin wouldn’t have to hold back in case he accidentally made the bruises on Kyungsoo’s ass any worse. I think I’m up for another spanking session, he thought, mulling the idea over in his head. Yeah, why not? Kyungsoo came so fast when he spanked him that one time, so it obviously meant that he enjoyed it.

He typed quickly into his phone: ‘Whrn can we meety?’

The spelling errors were weird but he was sure Kyungsoo could read just fine. He changed out of his clothes, throwing them on his bed to put on a simple, gray baggy shirt and training pants. Jongin thought that maybe he could go to the gym soon, he wanted to be physically prepared if they were going to get up to something kinky in the near future.

Jongin changed quickly, heading to the kitchen to pour himself some apple juice and drank a glass of it in the kitchen, rushing back into the bedroom when he heard his phone ping once more. He took the carton of juice and his glass back into the room, jumping onto his bed and unlocking his phone to read Kyungsoo’s message.

‘Is this weekend okay? I can’t take any days off work this month.’

Even if the world was scheduled to end this weekend, Jongin was determined to meet up with him. However, the second part of his text made him a tiny bit curious. Why couldn’t Kyungsoo take any days off? Did he already take three days off this month? That was the maximum number of days one could take off from work at Accuretta, unless there was a family or health emergency.

‘Sure. Why can’t you take a day off? What if I want to have you during the week?’ Jongin asked. He picked up the remote from the dresser beside him and turned the air conditioning on. The summer heat was at its highest today, but it wasn’t as bad as Guangzhou. Just the thought of it made Jongin feel all sticky and sweaty.

‘Don’t be silly,’ Kyungsoo replied. “What’s so silly about wanting to see you on a weekday?” Jongin asked himself, frowning. What if he was horny and needed to see Kyungsoo’s ass right away?

‘I’m not being silly, I’m being honest. Did something happen while I was gone?’ Jongin replied him. They’d texted each other while in China, but Kyungsoo never said anything. Jongin had thought that his life was going on as usual.

Kyungsoo’s reply came while he chugged down gulps of apple juice. ‘Depends on how you see something. Money’s tight is all.’

“Ah,” Jongin said knowingly, though it didn’t explain much. Was earning money that hard? Jongin was starting to think that maybe taking over Accuretta didn’t sound like a very good idea if it meant worrying constantly about money.

‘Everything alright?’ He was perhaps mildly concerned, though he was sure it wasn’t a big deal.

Yes. Landlord decided to raise the monthly rent fees on us when he stopped by the other day and saw Luhan puking on the lawn. He was hungover but I guess I can see why he doesn’t like us now.’ 

Well that was just plain sad. Jongin’s father had paid for Jongin’s apartment in a lump sum when he picked it out but he’d heard of annoying landlords from Sehun. He was living in a rented condo, and his landlord apparently didn’t like it if he brought girls back to the apartment, though Sehun didn’t really give a shit.

‘I’m sorry then. Hope everything works out for you,’ Jongin typed out. It sounded stiff and clichéd, but it was the best he could manage. It wasn’t like he knew what to say in this sort of situation, and it wasn’t something he could help with. I could give him a raise but he’d probably take it as me paying him off to have sex, Jongin thought.

His fingers hovered over his phone’s keyboard as he wondered if it was unseemly to offer Kyungsoo a raise in his salary or just a small check to help him with his rent. It was rather early in their unusual relationship to be paying his bills already but money truly wasn’t an issue with Jongin. Still, he could guess what Kyungsoo’s reaction might be and how he might perceive the offer as something else other than Jongin lending a hand.

Maybe if it gets worse or something goes wrong, he thought. Not now. He sent his message without adding anything else to it and started typing out a new message when he realized he forgot to ask something important.

‘Do you want to meet up at my place or yours?’

Jongin sincerely hoped Kyungsoo could come over. Jongin’s apartment had thick walls at least, and there was only one other person living on the same floor as Jongin. He wasn’t even in for the most part of every year, so Kyungsoo could scream or they could bang as hard as they wanted without worrying about making too much noise. If Jongin had to go to Kyungsoo’s place though, then they’d have to be extra quiet. Jongin wasn’t sure if he could keep it all quiet, what with the sex toys and all.

It took Kyungsoo almost ten minutes to reply, and by then Jongin had already drank every last drop of the apple juice from the carton. He was staring at a patch of sunlight on the ground, feeling slightly lethargic when his phone buzzed on the bed beside him. 

‘Let me see if I can get Luhan out.’

Jongin frowned. What was wrong with his apartment? Hell, if Kyungsoo came then Jongin could hang him up on the swing but if everything had to go down at Kyungsoo’s place, there’d be no chance of that.

‘What’s wrong with my place?’

He honestly couldn’t see what could be wrong with his apartment. Maybe he should’ve sent Kyungsoo a picture of the swing, then maybe he wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Jongin’s place.

His phone buzzed with a reply less than two minutes later. ‘Nothing’s wrong. I’ll let you know if I can get Luhan out by Thursday or Friday.’

If only Jongin could somehow get his hands on Luhan’s number and tell him to stay at home so that Kyungsoo would be forced to come to Jongin’s apartment. He could ask Suho or Sehun to get Luhan’s number, but then they’d ask why. He frowned, reading the text over and over again till the words started to swim.

Jongin’s thoughts swirled in his head, conspiracies on how to get Luhan to stay at home and to get Kyungsoo all nice and docile in his apartment. There were quite a number of ways…

-

When Jongin woke up abruptly on his bed, there was a loud ringing in his ears and his apartment was cloaked in darkness. He blinked blearily through the dark and scratched his head, feeling a little disoriented before he suddenly realized that his phone was ringing, and it was what woke him up in the first place. Jongin didn’t even realize he was asleep; he had been dreaming about something pleasant just a few seconds ago.

He grasped at the spot of bright light towards the far end of his bed and answered the call quickly, sitting up against his pillows.

“Hello?” His voice sounded thick and husky with sleep.

“J-Jongin? I um. It’s me. Kyungsoo, that is,” he stuttered over the phone. Jongin rubbed at his eyes, sighing as he stretched his legs.

“Mm. Why are you calling, is something wrong?” Jongin yawned, flopping sideways onto a pillow.

“Erm, no, nothing’s wrong. I— Are you busy?”

“No,” Jongin mumbled.

Well, you didn’t reply my text from this afternoon a-and since I, you know, I don’t, like—I just thought that maybe you were um… angry. With me. ‘Cause if you are then. Um, okay.”

Jongin furrowed his eyebrows. Didn’t he reply Kyungsoo this afternoon? And what were they talking about? Something about his place and getting Luhan out for the weekend…

“Oh. Right. That. Yeah, I wasn’t angry. I fell asleep, actually. I didn’t think jet lag applied to a well travelled person like me,” Jongin said, laughing weakly. Kyungsoo’s sigh of relief was audible on the other line, and there was a soft shuffle, like Kyungsoo had thudded against something else.

“I thought jet lag applies to everybody?” Kyungsoo asked curiously.

“But Chanyeol said that you only get jet lag if you don’t travel a lot,” Jongin mumbled, not really aware of what he was saying. Kyungsoo chuckled, and Jongin could picture his shy, gentle smile across his pretty mouth.

“I think your good friend, Chanyeol, is just showing off. You’re human anyway, right?” Kyungsoo said, and Jongin could hear the smile in his voice. He smiled too, though he wasn’t sure why he was smiling when Kyungsoo couldn’t even see him.

“Yes, I suppose I am,” he replied softly. They didn’t say anything for a long while, maybe four or five seconds of companionable silence passed.

“So…” Kyungsoo cleared his throat. “Are you… mad at me? Or upset? I thought you were, from your text. There’s nothing wrong with your apartment, I just. I wouldn’t dare to even dream about entering the Gangnam area, and it’s only been a few times since we’ve actually spoken to each other…”

“Doesn’t feel like a few times,” Jongin said, biting his lower lip as his mouth curved into a wide smile. It felt like a lot of time had passed, and Jongin knew quite a bit about Kyungsoo, although there was still so much more of him to uncover.

“Yeah, I guess. Me too,” Kyungsoo said, lowering his voice by an octave.

“You shouldn’t be so modest though. My apartment is well stocked with things now and I don’t have a roommate to kick out. All you have to do is bring yourself and maybe a spare change of clothes. And your toothbrush, of course, if you plan on sleeping over,” Jongin said. His stomach growled; he had to hunt for dinner soon. Jongin clearly slept through lunch, and his mouth felt dry from sleeping.

“I d-don’t… I won’t sleep over. I mean, I don’t want to intrude like that,” Kyungsoo said, sounding nervous.

“You wouldn’t be intruding if you slept over, I promise,” Jongin replied, smiling. He got up and went to the bathroom to splash some water on his face, putting his phone on speaker and placing it by the sink. 

“I wasn’t raised to sleep in someone else’s home, no offense. I came to Seoul to be independent, after all.”

“Well, none taken. And it’s just one night, Kyungsoo, it’s not like I’m asking you to move in,” Jongin replied, splashing cold water on his face. He rubbed at his face while listening to Kyungsoo’s reply.

“I dunno, I just don’t feel comfortable about going over to your place. I’d feel much better if we did it at my place, right here,” Kyungsoo replied, sounding distracted. Jongin was wiping his face with a towel and said, “What do you mean by ‘it’ though—”

“Hey Kyungsoo, you coming out to check on your pasta or what, ‘cause it’s boiling—” There was a loud thump, an indignant hey followed by ooh is that Jongin on the phone let me say hi and a loud slam. Jongin was fairly sure it sounded like Luhan.

“Just stir it and I’ll be out in a minute,” Kyungsoo called, sounding far away from the phone before he said, “Hello?” breathlessly a second later.

“Is this a bad time?” Jongin asked, lifting an eyebrow.

“No, no, no, no, it’s not a bad time! I was cooking and I just thought I’d call you and then Luhan realized I wasn’t taking a shower…” Kyungsoo trailed off.

Jongin smiled. “What kind of pasta dish are you making? I haven’t had dinner yet,” Jongin said, putting the phone to his ear once more. He went out of the bathroom to turn on the lights in his bedroom; his luggage had already been cleared away and the clothes he’d thrown over the bed had disappeared. I must’ve been out cold, Jongin thought. 

“Just kimchi spaghetti, nothing special… Say, um. If you’re not mad at me then that means we’re cool, right, you’re not like. Angry with me?” Kyungsoo said.

“Never knew you could cook, and kimchi spaghetti sounds good. And we’re cool, I suppose, but I still think you should come over to my apartment,” Jongin replied allowing a note of longing to creep into his voice, leaning against a wall.

Kyungsoo coughed on the other line before replying, “Um. O-okay. In that case, I’ll be off to er, cook dinner now… Bye then, Jongin.”

Jongin smiled at the nervous note in Kyungsoo’s voice. “Bye, hyung,” Jongin said softly. Kyungsoo didn’t say anything else, so Jongin waited for Kyungsoo to click off first. Either Kyungsoo thought he already hung up or he had thrown his phone away because Jongin was still on the line when he heard Luhan’s voice say very softly, “So are you going to fuck him soon?”

*

Jongin paced the room, running his fingers over the swing distractedly. The carpet was clean, the daybed was perfectly angled and the deer’s head light fixture was nice and bright. The swing was installed just the way the manual said it was supposed to, and when Jongin tested it out by sitting on it, the hooks in the ceiling held his weight nicely.

Everything had to be perfect, there could be nothing wrong at all if he was going to get Kyungsoo to feel comfortable in his apartment. There were still ten more minutes before Kyungsoo was supposed to arrive, but Jongin couldn’t help feeling jittery and nervous.

Over the course of two days, a few things had happened. Jongin had signed the last of the contracts with Yifan and they were all sent to the government for approval. Suho had promised that he knew someone in the government who could put their file at the top of the pile, so it shouldn’t be too long before everything would be approved and they could start building those factories.

In terms of the Kyungsoo situation, he had surprisingly failed to get Luhan out of the house on Saturday (to Jongin’s delight). Apparently, he’d just broken up with his girlfriend so he was moping around the house, eating pasta and chocolate all day long. Jongin sensed, however, that maybe Luhan guessed that Jongin’s apartment would be much more accommodating than their place and purposely refused to budge from their shared home.

So, that meant Jongin rushing to Skype with Chanyeol to pick out an outfit casual and simple enough to look effortless and yet appealing enough to keep Kyungsoo interested (a black tank top and loose fitting pants for convenience) and staying up all night to research on all his toys. Just yesterday, he spent almost an entire afternoon dedicated to the gym, working out to increase his stamina and well, his physical appearance. All he had to do now was to wait and hope that Kyungsoo wasn’t lying when he texted him: ‘I’m on the way now.’

He wondered what he was supposed to say. Should he offer a drink, coffee maybe, but wait, Kyungsoo didn’t like coffee. He had tea somewhere in the kitchen, but was he supposed to search for it now? Jongin left the room and walked over to the small kitchen area, opening up all the cabinets. There wasn’t much, just ramyeon noodles, a carton of beer he didn’t know he had, and some snacks for when he was craving junk food. After a bit of searching though, he found a small box of tea from China, hidden in the back behind his snack stash.

 This will have to do, Jongin thought. He placed the tea on the counter and looked around his apartment, wondering what else could he do make it seem homey and welcome, thus more convincing for Kyungsoo to stay the entire weekend and not for just today. In all honesty, the research on what his toys were for was very exciting and he wanted to use them on Kyungsoo as soon as possible. One whole day just wasn’t enough for his chest of drawers full of sex toys.

He was considering turning on the TV and pretending to play one of his video games so that it wouldn’t look like he was waiting for Kyungsoo, but the front door suddenly buzzed, making Jongin jump out of his skin.

He rushed out of the kitchen before catching himself, taking a deliberate deep breath for extra calming effect and took the last four wide strides to the front door, pressing a button. The screen came on and Kyungsoo’s curious face filled the screen, glancing at his surroundings nervously.

“Um, Mr. Kim?”

“It’s Jongin here, Mr. Kim’s not in,” Jongin replied irritably. Kyungsoo looked surprised when he heard that but realized it was a joke and laughed weakly. “A-ah. Right. I thought I got the wrong place but I guess it’s really you then.” He placed a hand over his neck absently, smiling awkwardly. Jongin smiled.

“Come on up. Take a right turn when you get off the elevator,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo listened and nodded obediently. “Okay.”

Kyungsoo pressed a button, and the screen blacked out.

Jongin blinked at it for a few seconds, his heart thudding out of his chest. We’re really going to do this then, Jongin thought.

It felt all too real for a moment. Kyungsoo was here, in Jongin’s area of Seoul and was coming up to his apartment any minute now, literally to have sex and leave. It was like a one night stand, except it wasn’t night at all and they were going to do more than fuck. Probably the most intimate thing Jongin was doing voluntarily in his entire life.

 He stood at the door, waiting and counting the seconds till Kyungsoo would knock on the slab of wood. He’d step into the elevator where there were mirrors on all four sides and he’d probably mess with his hair and try to think of something to say, just like what Jongin was doing now.

He’d press the button for the fourteenth floor and stand rigid in the elevator, feeling the motion of the metal box carrying him all the way up to where Jongin was waiting behind his front door, his breathing uneven and his heart in his mouth. He caught sight of the shadow of a pair of feet stopping at his door.

Kyungsoo’s knocks were timid as he rapped on Jongin’s front door. Jongin waited for him to knock thrice before he threw the door open abruptly, meeting Kyungsoo’s surprised gaze.

His hand was in mid air, but he lowered it slowly, letting his arm drop to his side. Kyungsoo looked scared. “I—” his voice came out in a hoarse croak. “I didn’t think you’d answer so fast.”

“Been expectin’ you,” Jongin drawled, leaning against the door to observe him. Kyungsoo wore plain looking clothes and had a messenger bag over his shoulder, his small but somewhat masculine hands gripping the strap tightly in a reflex move.

“Can I… come in?” he asked. Jongin smiled gently, holding out a hand. Kyungsoo looked at it like it was a tentacle and then back up at Jongin’s smiling eyes.

“Come on,” Jongin motioned, taking a step back. Kyungsoo ran his tongue over his bottom lip, reaching out a trembling hand to place it in his. Jongin felt his smooth, warm hand brush against the skin of his much more calloused hand and pulled him into his apartment gently.

Kyungsoo could see the wide expanse of Jongin’s living space and his mouth dropped open slightly at the sight of the large apartment.

“Like it?” Jongin asked. His answer came a few seconds too late when Kyungsoo looked back at him. “Hmm?”

The blatant awe on his face was answer enough. “Never mind,” Jongin smiled.

“Where do I um, put my shoes?” Kyungsoo asked, glancing down at Jongin’s bare feet.

“Just there,” Jongin said, pointing at a space behind the door. Kyungsoo kicked his scuffled sneakers off, and was about to bend down to pick his shoes up when he realized Jongin was still holding his hand.

“Ah, sorry,” Jongin quickly apologized, releasing his hand. Kyungsoo laughed nervously, murmuring an apology as well and bent over to put his shoes aside, straightening himself when it was done.

They stared at each other for a moment, half a meter apart. Kyungsoo’s socked feet looked soft and kind of cute under the cuff of his jeans, Jongin noticed. Kyungsoo caught him staring and he got even more nervous.

“Um, my feet don’t smell, but I can wash them in the bathroom or something if you want—”

“No, that’s not what I’m—Nah, just. You can take them off if you want, I don’t care,” Jongin said, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. God, this was a lot more awkward than he thought it’d be. He felt like melting into the ground right now, the atmosphere just felt so… tense. Were they going to take this tenacious air with them all the way into Jongin’s spare room?

“O-oh,” Kyungsoo stuttered, and then jerkily bent over to peel them off his feet. He pushed them into his shoes and held his hands out in front of him, looking around. “Where do I wash my hands?” he asked curiously.

“Uh, here, let me show you around,” Jongin said, snapping back into consciousness and led Kyungsoo into the kitchen where he motioned towards the sink. He washed his hands meticulously, rolling his sleeves up and using the hand wash.

Jongin stared for a while, and he was sure Kyungsoo knew he was staring as well till good manners suddenly kicked in and he said, “Hey um, hyung, you want something to drink? Coffee, tea, juice, water? Oh right, you don’t take… coffee. Shit,” Jongin muttered, hands balling into fists on the counter.

Kyungsoo turned around with a tentative smile. “Tea sounds nice… What tea do you have?” he asked softly. Jongin pointed at the box of teabags beside him. “This is all I have. I should probably have more, but… I don’t,” Jongin said, finishing lamely.

Kyungsoo glanced at the box curiously, turning off the tap and wiping his hands on a tablecloth. He stepped closer in Jongin’s direction to read the box’s label, mouthing the words to himself.

“It’s Pu Er tea,” he said after a while. Jongin lifted an eyebrow. “You don’t… like Pu Er tea?” ‘Cause that’d be a bloody great start to an afternoon that was supposed to be spent fucking Kyungsoo over.

“N-No, I’m fine with it. Where do I get hot water?” Kyungsoo asked, putting the box down carefully and taking his messenger bag off. He had that look of determination on his face like Jongin’s cleaning lady when he asked her to prepare a cup of coffee. Jongin held out a hand to stop Kyungsoo.

“I’ll make you your tea, just sit down, will you?” he said. Kyungsoo looked up at him with forlorn expression.

“But I can make my tea—”

“But it’s my house, hyung, so. If you don’t want to sit down you can look around. No one’s home, obviously, except me and I won’t stop you if you want to explore a bit. How do you take your tea?” Jongin asked, opening up the box and pulling a teabag out. He brought out a mug from the cabinet by his leg while Kyungsoo stared at him wordlessly.

“I’m serious, hyung. It’s just tea,” Jongin said, dropping the teabag into the mug and moving past him to press for hot water from the coffee machine. “Well yeah, it was tea I could’ve made on my own,” Kyungsoo mumbled, arms wrapped around his bag pitifully.

“Don’t fight me on this,” Jongin singsonged lightly, feeling himself relax and tension bled out of his shoulders. “Now how do you take your damned tea or do I let it soak in its bitter misery?” Jongin asked, turning around.

“Let the bag sit for a minute or so. I don’t take sugar,” Kyungsoo replied reluctantly. Jongin smiled, placing the mug of tea down on the counter.

“See? Wasn’t so hard, was it?” he asked, leaning over the counter to meet Kyungsoo’s disgruntled gaze with his own playful eyes.

“It’s weird to have someone make me tea. You, especially,” Kyungsoo mumbled, pulling the mug to himself. Jongin chuckled, pulling out a stool from under the counter to sit. Kyungsoo followed his example and pulled out a stool as well, placing his bag on his lap.

“What? Kim Jongin of Accuretta Systems can’t make an exemplary employee who isn’t going to miss a day of work this month a cup of tea?”

“People like Kim Jongin don’t make cups of tea for just anyone,” Kyungsoo narrowed his eyes at Jongin, taking the string dangling from the teabag and dipping it in and out a few times. “Do you have a saucer?” Kyungsoo asked.

Jongin furrowed his eyebrows. “No. Or maybe I do have one. I dunno, why?”

Kyungsoo rolled his eyes, dropping the teabag back into the mug and getting off the high stool to open up Jongin’s cabinets and drawers one by one.

“Why do you need a saucer, hyung?” Jongin asked.

“To put the teabag aside for later. It’d be a waste to throw it away now,” Kyungsoo said.

“You could just put it on the table,” Jongin reasoned. Kyungsoo shook his head. “Stains,” he said, by way of explanation.

Jongin reached over and pulled his teabag out of the mug, plopping it down on the counter. Kyungsoo heard the soft, wet squelching sound the teabag made when it hit the surface of the counter, and his head whipped around, eyes wide.

“Problem solved,” Jongin smiled sweetly. Kyungsoo pursed his lips. Then he continued to look for a saucer anyway like a stubborn mule, and it made Jongin laugh.

“You shouldn’t have done that, Jongin, honestly. Now you’ll have to clean it up.”

“The cleaning lady will come by tomorrow or something and she’ll know what to do,” Jongin replied. Kyungsoo went, “Aha,” when he opened up a cabinet under the electric stove and found a saucer, grabbing the tablecloth by the sink and moving back towards where the teabag was. He placed the teabag on the saucer firmly, giving Jongin a pointed look before he wiped the stain away with the tablecloth.

“Just drink the tea, Kyungsoo,” Jongin sighed, smiling at him.

Kyungsoo wiped at the table till there was nothing left before he sat down on the stool once more, holding his bag on his lap while he finally sipped at the tea.

“Can I ask you something?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo looked at him over the mug and nodded.

“What’s in the bag?”

Kyungsoo’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed the tea down his throat. Jongin watched it move beneath the fragile skin of his neck. He wondered if Kyungsoo would deep throat his cock like that or swallow his come down like it was Pu Er Tea.

“A spare set of clothes.”

Jongin lifted an eyebrow, shifting his gaze back to Kyungsoo’s eyes. “It was Luhan’s idea. He…” Kyungsoo mumbled something, but Jongin couldn’t hear properly when he held the mug to his mouth.

“What?” he frowned. Was Kyungsoo going to stay over after all?

“Luhan. He suggested that I bring a spare change of clothes in case I—I change my mind about staying. He says there’s nothing to do at home anyway,” Kyungsoo said, dropping his gaze to the mug before him.

“Well, I’m sure he needs to take time for himself to heal and everything,” Jongin replied. “He also said that it was just in case you…” Kyungsoo trailed off. “Never mind.”

“Never mind? Tell me,” Jongin insisted, inching closer towards Kyungsoo.

“It was just a stupid joke,” Kyungsoo muttered, sipping at his tea again.

“Oh come on, now I wanna laugh too,” Jongin whined, reaching a hand under the counter to squeeze Kyungsoo’s thigh. He jerked involuntarily at Jongin’s touch but Jongin did not relent, keeping his eyes trained on Kyungsoo. 

“U-um,” Kyungsoo stuttered, putting the mug down and peeling Jongin’s fingers off his thigh. Jongin took his hand away but didn’t take offense; Kyungsoo was just probably too nervous here in Jongin’s apartment. I can take it slow, Jongin thought. They had all day to dance around till Kyungsoo felt comfortable enough with him.

“Luhan j-j-just said um. He said that I should bring clothes in case you—Well. I don’t think it’ll happen but, just in case you… rip my clothes off.”

Jongin stared at Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo stared right back, trying to see if it was the wrong thing to say. “Jongin?”

Then he snorted, turning away to laugh. Kyungsoo exhaled, closing his eyes for a moment before he swatted at Jongin’s arm. “Stop—Don’t do that to me. God, I thought you were mad at me,” Kyungsoo complained, picking up his mug of tea and gulping down on some of it.

“That was a good joke, Kyungsoo, could you pass that along to Luhan? And would you have liked it if I did rip your clothes like some beast?” Jongin asked teasingly, waggling his eyebrows. Kyungsoo glared at him, a blush coloring his cheeks.

“No, ‘cause clothes are expensive these days so I’d prefer it if you didn’t do that,” Kyungsoo snapped. Jongin just laughed, ruffling his own hair and stretching his arms out on the table. “So is that all there is in your bag? You didn’t bring anything fun with you?”

Kyungsoo shook his head. “Well, I brought lubricant, in case you… didn’t have any or you ran out of it. Or something,” he mumbled.

“Trust me, I’ve got everything prepared,” Jongin said reassuringly. It didn’t seem to reassure Kyungsoo though, because his back stiffened and he continued to sip at his tea like some kind of stuffy old guy.

Jongin just sat there in silence, blinking at Kyungsoo while waiting for him to say something else. “I also brought the photos from the, er… photo session. I had them printed and I brought them ‘cause I thought you might want to have a look,” Kyungsoo said after a minute or two of awkward silence.

“Oh?” Jongin tilted his head to one side.

Kyungsoo unzipped his bag and dug around, pulling out a thin stack of photos. Maybe it was the cautious way he held it face down, away from Jongin or the way he seemed to avoid Jongin’s gaze, but he just knew that there was more than just photos in his hand.

Jongin reached forward and snatched it away fast, surprising both himself and Kyungsoo. He cried out indignantly and immediately stood up to retrieve it but Jongin was already jogging towards the TV, trying to look at all the photos and see if there was anything particularly unusual.

There were lots of photos of him in black and white at first, and he flung them all to the ground as he went around the sofa to avoid Kyungsoo. He was shouting at Jongin to give back the photos but he paid no heed, looking through the photos rapidly.

It was just Jongin, Jongin, Jongin, in the apartment, by the window, against the wall, in the sunlight and suddenly, there was one photo that was different from the rest and he knew this was what Kyungsoo was trying to hide from him.

“You followed me to the gym?” Jongin asked incredulously. It was an image taken from afar, judging from the grainy texture of the photo. It was Kyungsoo when that light flashed, Jongin realized. He threw it down to his feet and there was another photo, not from the gym but from the airport.

He squinted at it first, trying to guess when it was taken. Was it when he first went to London? But no, Sehun had said that Kyungsoo’s group was sent ahead so it couldn’t have been him.

“Isn’t this from like, three days ago?” Jongin asked, holding the photo up.

Kyungsoo stiffened.  

“…Yeah.”

“You knew what time I was going to land? Damn, hyung, this is some insider shit—”

“No, I didn’t hack into the system or anything, okay, I just! It might’ve slipped from Baekhyun and I might have…” Kyungsoo shrugged weakly, “taken advantage of some information. But that’s all, I’ve never done anything wrong, Jongin, I swear—”

“You scared me back at the gym, I hope you know that,” Jongin said, picking up the photo once more. Kyungsoo put his head in his hands. “I—I wasn’t… I didn’t know that we’d be doing—I mean, it didn’t cross my mind that I was doing anything that you didn’t already know about, okay—”

Jongin glanced at his small figure. Was Kyungsoo crying? Oh, for fuck’s sake, Jongin thought in exasperation, though he was sort of smiling. He moved away from the sofa, crossing the distance between them and hugged Kyungsoo.

“Alright, alright, I didn’t mean to touch your precious photos. I honestly thought you had like, nude pictures of yourself or something. You could’ve just told me you wanted more photos or asked me for another photo session,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo wasn’t crying, but his eyes looked just a tiny bit teary and red around the edges. “The—I don’t know what to say to you, Jongin, it just happened and I wasn’t—Christ, I can’t even,” Kyungsoo sighed, putting his head on Jongin’s chest.

“Do you like the fact that I don’t know it’s you when you’re taking pictures of me? Is that it?” Jongin asked. It’d be weird if that was the case, but it still wouldn’t change Jongin’s opinion.

“No, I’m not a freak. I’m—not that much of freak,” he corrected himself, looking up at Jongin.

“So then what is it? I mean, you’re here now with me and you could just take photos of me right now, Kyungsoo, I wouldn’t care,” Jongin said, framing his face in his hands. His skin was soft, so soft like butter. It felt like years since he last touched Kyungsoo.

“I don’t like it when you know I’m taking photos of you because I always end up trying to explain myself to you at some point. It’s just—it’s a whole lot easier when you didn’t know I was around and I could just take photos of you on my own terms and not have to think about what you might think. And that sounds wrong, I know, I know it’s wrong but there isn’t any other way I can take photos of you,” Kyungsoo said, on the edge of tears.

Jongin hushed him, hugging him close to calm him down. Honestly, Jongin thought, such a delicate little thing. Kyungsoo was most definitely gay; if he’d done this to Sehun, he’d be on his back right now, most likely with a busted lip and a twisted arm.

He patted Kyungsoo gently over the shoulder, till his breathing slowed and he was quiet in Jongin’s arms.

“You okay now?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo pressed his face into his sternum. “I don’t know. Depends on how you define ‘okay’. I’m a little embarrassed though,” Kyungsoo said.

Jongin chuckled, using a hand to bring Kyungsoo’s face up. There was a rosy tint to his cheeks and his eyes were slightly dilated. Jongin could understand why he’d be embarrassed, but honestly, this was nothing compared to what Jongin and Kyungsoo wanted from each other.

“Tell you what, hyung?” Kyungsoo hummed in reply. “You don’t have to take any more pictures of me, okay? I’m right here with you, in full HD, 3-D, 5-D, in every dimension right now, you are here. In my apartment, right here standing in front of me, so you don’t need a camera to be a mediator between us anymore.

“It’s just us now. You don’t have to hide anything from me, just as I don’t have anything to hide from you either,” Jongin said, brushing away the hair from Kyungsoo’s forehead.

“You’re just… unbreakable to me, Jongin, so untouchable for so long that I can’t help but hide. It’s hard, you know, to be this close to you. It feels like I can’t breathe,” Kyungsoo half-whispered. Jongin placed his forehead against Kyungsoo’s, a smile on his lips.

“I’m glad you feel the same then. I… I’ve missed you, I’ll be honest. You have no idea how much I wanted to touch you the past few days,” Jongin said, breath blowing over Kyungsoo’s face lightly. Kyungsoo closed his eyes.

“I thought about you in my sleep too. But I didn’t touch myself, just like you told me to,” Kyungsoo said, squeezing his eyes shut.

Kyungsoo could feel Jongin’s sharp intake of breath against his body. Jongin lowered his mouth to nip at Kyungsoo’s jaw, blunt teeth scraping on his skin. 

“What was I doing in your dream?” Jongin asked softly. He felt so pent up at that moment, as if there was something he’d been waiting for all this time. Maybe he was; he needed Kyungsoo to say okay, that it was alright to take this up another notch otherwise they’d never go anywhere beyond this.

“You were… flogging me. I could feel the pain, the bite of the leather on my stomach, my chest and my legs, it was everywhere and so were you. I wanted to come so badly but you wouldn’t let me, you told me to be a good boy and I was, to the very end,” Kyungsoo replied, his trembling hands resting on Jongin’s waist.

“Would you like me to flog you today?” Jongin asked in his ear, nibbling on his earlobe. He pressed Kyungsoo close, made him feel his erection through his loose pants. God, Chanyeol was right, it didn’t feel as tight when he was wearing jeans. Still, it suddenly felt like there were too many layers between them. Jongin couldn’t wait to undress Kyungsoo and touch his beautiful skin everywhere, light him up like a firework and watch all the sparks fly.

“I’d let you do anything to me,” Kyungsoo murmured, honesty radiating from his words. Jongin’s hand traveled up to his hair and he tugged lightly, revealing his bare throat to his gaze.

“Tell me what you want, Kyungsoo, or I won’t touch you at all,” Jongin said huskily, lips hovering over Kyungsoo’s pulse.

“Hit me, please, Jongin, hit me hard and make me scream for you, please,” Kyungsoo moaned. Jongin smiled, sucking at a spot on Kyungsoo’s throat. He writhed in Jongin’s arms, one of his thighs squeezing between Jongin’s legs in an attempt to get some friction.

“Hit you, hm?” Jongin repeated, kissing Kyungsoo gently.

“Yes, yes, please,” Kyungsoo gasped, hands grasping his shoulders tightly.

“Where? How hard?”

“Anywhere. As hard as you want it to be,” Kyungsoo replied.  

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Jongin asked, kissing his supple lips. He nodded briskly, running a hand over Jongin’s chest.

“Please,” he whispered softly. Jongin kissed him hard, taking his hand and pulling him towards the spare room around the corner. “No backing out from here,” he warned.  

Kyungsoo reached a hand up to his face, pressing a chaste kiss to the corner of his mouth. “I trust you,” he whispered. That was all Jongin needed. Kicking the door open, Jongin tugged Kyungsoo into the room, their feet digging into the soft carpet soundlessly. Kyungsoo’s mouth dropped open at the sight of the magenta walls, the daybed, the swing.

Jongin could tell Kyungsoo liked the room from the unabashed wonder in his eyes. Thank God for the invention of sex toys then, Jongin thought. He brought Kyungsoo to the daybed and sat him down, watching him like a hawk.

“Strip,” he ordered softly. Kyungsoo complied at once, and quickly shed his clothes as fast as his shaky hands could manage. Jongin went over to the chest of drawers, trying to decide if he should flog Kyungsoo or move forward with the swing first and then flog him. He looked over his shoulder at Kyungsoo, who had shucked all of his clothes and was sitting on the daybed, staring at Jongin intently.

“What do you want, Kyungsoo?” Jongin deliberately forewent honorifics. Kyungsoo met his gaze; he did not seem to mind that Jongin wasn’t calling him hyung, silently understanding that in here, with Jongin like this, their age difference didn’t matter and neither did their occupations. Kyungsoo was placing his pride and trust in Jongin, and Jongin would do his best to make both of them happy.

“… I would like you to flog me, please. You could blindfold me, perhaps,” Kyungsoo said, lilting it into a suggestion.

Jongin had already set aside a tie for this particular purpose, and he was pleased that he was fully prepared. Blindfold Kyungsoo, now that he could do.

“Come here then,” Jongin motioned with his finger. Kyungsoo scampered forward eagerly, hands over his cock. Jongin picked up his tie from one of the drawers and held it out to Kyungsoo. He nodded, and Jongin placed it over his eyes, tying a knot behind his head securely.

He surreptitiously slipped a finger between the tie and Kyungsoo’s head to make sure it wasn’t too tight and made him take a step back. “Hands behind your back,” Jongin said, not quite a fan of Kyungsoo’s modesty here in this room.

Kyungsoo hesitated for a second, before he did as he was told. Jongin blatantly stared at his cock, admiring the length and girth of it. His cock wasn’t small, that was for sure, despite Kyungsoo’s small stature and his cockhead was already a glistening red, curving slightly upwards.

Jongin looked for his flogger in the ‘spanking’ drawer, brushing his hand over the fronds to feel the material out. He could probably strike Kyungsoo pretty hard with this, it wasn’t too soft but it wouldn’t make Kyungsoo bleed either, so that was good.

He took Kyungsoo’s hand, taking a few steps away from the chest of drawers so that there was enough space to move. Jongin pushed his shoulder hard downwards, and Kyungsoo went down on his knees, face inches away from Jongin’s hard cock. He wanted so badly to make Kyungsoo suck him off, but he had to wait this one out, keep each experience separate to make sure Kyungsoo would remember this for the rest of his life.

Jongin was about to start, his mouth opening to count down to three, but then he brushed against the swing, and an idea came to him.

“Kyungsoo, I’m going to hang you up in the air from your arms. You will be able to touch the ground, but you will not stand under any circumstances. Understood?” Jongin asked.

He nodded. Jongin slapped his face lightly to test how much pain Kyungsoo could take. To his surprise, Kyungsoo moaned piteously and said breathily, “Yes, I understand.” His cheek was pink from where Jongin had hit him, but it would fade before this was over.

“Good then,” Jongin smiled. He placed the flogger down for a moment, found some handcuffs in the ‘restraints’ drawer and spotted something shining at the bottom of the drawer. Oh, I could definitely put this to use, Jongin thought with a smile.

Handcuffing Kyungsoo was easy. He made him clasp his hands in front of him and told him to put his hands up. Jongin only had to hook the handcuffs to a thick part of the swing and then he just had to adjust the length of the rope dangling the swing down. Jongin pulled at it for a few seconds, and suddenly Kyungsoo’s arms went taut. Two more tugs and Kyungsoo was pulled up in the air, his toes barely grazing the carpet.

“If your arms go numb and you can’t take it anymore, tell me,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo said yes, he would warn Jongin if his arms had pins and needles, so it was now time to start.

Where should I hit first? Jongin thought. His thighs? Or his ass? No, his ass seemed like an obvious choice. His chest then, Jongin thought. Or to be more specific, his pink nipples. Jongin wanted to suck and pinch them, hear Kyungsoo cry out from the pain and pleasure of it but that would have to wait for later.

Flogging couldn’t take too long because Kyungsoo was suspended, so Jongin went for it. He swung the leather flogger right across Kyungsoo’s nipples, watched his chest contract at the sensation and heard his breathy moan of appreciation.

His cock twitched as well, and Kyungsoo tried to clamp his thighs together but Jongin pinched at his thigh lightly in warning. “Keep your legs apart until I say otherwise.” Kyungsoo whimpered but obeyed, holding his legs out.

Jongin flogged Kyungsoo’s chest vertically next, letting the fronds brush his skin tantalizingly from his shoulder to his belly button, but he went no further than that. He flogged Kyungsoo’s nipples repeatedly, watching his toes curl in pleasure and his thighs tremble every time as faint lines appeared across his skin. Kyungsoo was like living art, life imitating art with his shuddering breaths and beautiful, pale flesh.

He counted the strikes carefully in his head, keeping time to make sure Kyungsoo’s arms wouldn’t go numb without him realizing. Sometimes he hit a little harder, and Kyungsoo would jerk whenever he put more strength behind the strikes. He dragged the flogger around his torso and made his way to Kyungsoo’s back when his front was a bright shade of pink, drawing an imaginary line with the flogger from the back of his neck to the cleft of his ass, where it clenched when the flogger came close.

He was sweating now and so was Jongin, though neither of them intended to pull out of this game. The sheen of sweat over Kyungsoo’s skin shone in the light; an erotic sight somehow, all on its own.

Jongin struck his ass five, six, seven times over the ass, making sure there were visible lines when he was done. Kyungsoo’s arms were gripping the handcuffs tightly now, and Jongin took it as a sign that he was ready to let go soon.

He caressed a hand over Kyungsoo’s ass gently, massaging his ass cheeks. “How are you feeling?” Jongin asked, pressing a kiss to his back.

“It feels nice,” Kyungsoo answered, hands shaking as he shivered under Jongin’s touch. Jongin reached a hand around his waist to finger his cock gently, gripping his length and squeezing gently.

Ah,” Kyungsoo’s figure trembled violently. Jongin hushed him, making a ring with his forefinger and his thumb, gently sliding his fingers up and down Kyungsoo’s cock. The skin of his cock slid back and forth with a slick motion. “You’re dripping for me, aren’t you, Kyungsoo? You want me to fuck you, Kyungsoo, here on the floor where I’ll make you scream for my cock till the neighbors know how much you want me to fuck you?”

“Oh yes, Jongin please, I’m begging you, I want you inside me so badly,” Kyungsoo said desperately. Precome dripped down from the slit and Jongin’s thumb caught it, rubbing it all over his length.

“Do you? Then come for me with your ass untouched, Kyungsoo, show me what kind of slut you are for me,” Jongin said, squeezing Kyungsoo’s cock roughly with his hand.

Kyungsoo cried out a series of ah’s, thighs clamping together momentarily. He was so close, Jongin could feel it from the way his body tensed and got his other hand ready. He only had to rub his finger over Kyungsoo’s tip before he came in spurts, his hoarse, broken scream loud in Jongin’s ears.

But Kyungsoo never fully came. Jongin’s second hand went around his body and he pushed the cock ring down Kyungsoo’s length, just enough to hold back his orgasm. Kyungsoo hardly noticed it first but then he screamed, long and low till it choked off. His back arched upwards as he curved helplessly in the air, unable to come.

“Oh please, please, Jongin please, let me come, I’ll be a good boy for you, please,” Kyungsoo whined, his words coming out in a rush. Jongin caught the part about being a good boy though, and blood rushed down to his cock.

Kyungsoo’s thighs were straight and rigid as he tried to gain footing, tears running down his face.

“You didn’t keep your legs apart as I told you to. Are you lying to my face, Kyungsoo?” Jongin demanded. Kyungsoo whimpered, fingers clenching and unclenching nervously.

“N-No, I was bad. I’m sorry,” Kyungsoo said pleadingly. “Sorry doesn’t cut it,” Jongin tsked at him. He decided to bring Kyungsoo down, and tugged at the straps, allowing Kyungsoo to stand on his own two feet once more. His cock still dripped a few beads of precome, but Jongin knew he couldn’t go any further than that.

“Hold your hands out,” Jongin demanded. Kyungsoo let Jongin take the cuffs off, and he put them aside, running his hands up and down Kyungsoo’s arms to bring the feeling in them back.

“Are your arms alright?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo nodded, sniffling. He shuffled forwards daringly at Jongin, his cock grazing against the fabric of his pants. He shivered at that and Jongin shoved him away roughly. On impulse, he backhanded Kyungsoo hard and was rewarded with a twitch in his cock and a red mark over his cheekbone.

“You need to be patient,” Jongin said, trying to chastise him. Kyungsoo made an incoherent noise in his throat but stood still, this time remembering to keep his legs apart. Jongin smirked at that, and thought maybe he should reward Kyungsoo now, for doing so well.

“If you don’t come from this, Kyungsoo, then I promise I’ll fuck you so deep you’ll never want my cock out of your pretty ass,” Jongin said, pulling open a drawer and running a hand over a selection of vibrators. Kyungsoo was still blindfolded so he couldn’t see a thing, but his breath hitched nonetheless.

“I-I won’t. I’ll be a good boy for you,” Kyungsoo said, sounding determined. Jongin was excited to see how this would work out in a minute, not to mention turned on. He took out a small vibrator, putting it on top of the chest of drawers for later.

“Have you ever been fucked through the ass, Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked, taking his time to squirt some lube onto his palm. Since it was Kyungsoo’s first time (but Kyungsoo didn’t know that Jongin knew it), he wanted to take things gentle and rip his ass apart if he didn’t come from this. The scent of strawberry filled the air, and Kyungsoo licked his lips, shaking his head slowly.

 “Hmm, I thought so. Very well, take my hand and listen carefully,” Jongin said, guiding Kyungsoo to the daybed once more. He told Kyungsoo to get on all fours on top of it, leaving enough space for Jongin to climb behind Kyungsoo on his knees.

“Once again, if you come from this then I’m sorry but it will be the only thing you get out of this experience. If you want my cock as much as you say you do, then this will be just fine,” Jongin said, swiping some lube onto his fingers to dab it at Kyungsoo’s ass.

“Hold your ass open,” Jongin said calmly. Kyungsoo complied, leaning forward on his shoulder, thus pressing his face into the opposite end of the daybed with his hands gripping his ass. He parted his ass cheeks obediently, exposing his tight, little entrance to Jongin.

“I’m putting in one finger now,” Jongin said as a warning. He made a small noise of apprehension in his throat. Kyungsoo arched his back further, pushing his ass right at Jongin’s face eagerly.

He coated his fingers with the lube, pressing his finger into Kyungsoo’s entrance slowly. The lube made everything all slippery and nice so Jongin’s finger slid in with a slick sound, with hardly any resistance from his ass.

Kyungsoo’s ass milked Jongin’s finger hungrily when it was inside of him, his inner walls gripping Jongin’s finger like a vice.

Oh, I cannot wait till I’m inside him, Jongin thought, sliding his finger out slowly. The sphincter of Kyungsoo’s ass held on tightly though and Jongin felt compelled to slide it back in once more, watching his entrance stretch around his finger.

He fitted another finger gently when Kyungsoo’s ass was more pliable, pushing into Kyungsoo’s entrance. He mewled softly, ass sucking Jongin’s fingers in almost eagerly. “Does it hurt?” Jongin asked huskily.

“No,” Kyungsoo sighed, rocking back on Jongin’s fingers. He pulled them out with a wet sound and placed a stilling hand over Kyungsoo’s left ass cheek. “Patience, Kyungsoo, patience,” he cooed.

Adding a third finger, Jongin slowly fucked his ass wide open by spreading his fingers, watching his entrance stretch obscenely. Kyungsoo’s thighs shook with the effort from keeping still, his breath coming in hard huffs and his fingers pressing tightly against his ass cheeks. Jongin slid his middle finger in and out to see how Kyungsoo would react, his two other fingers moving in tandem to the rhythm of his middle finger.

“You like this?” Jongin asked huskily.

Kyungsoo nodded quietly, a drop of sweat sliding down between his shoulder blades. “You’re doing well, Kyungsoo, feel the way your ass squeezes around my fingers? Just imagine what it’d be like once I let you fuck yourself on my cock. You want that, don’t you?” Jongin asked.

“Yes, I do want that,” Kyungsoo answered obediently, mouth dropping open with an ah of pleasure when Jongin’s fingers crooked in his ass. He shuddered for a moment, as if an orgasm just swept through him.

Jongin kissed his ass cheek gently. “Pace yourself, Kyungsoo,” he said softly, “I hope you’ll be able to hold on this, Kyungsoo. I can’t wait to get inside you too.” He said this as an encouragement, and prayed Kyungsoo would be able to stand the vibrator inside him soon. Jongin pulled his fingers out from his ass reluctantly, standing up to move on to the vibrator.

Wiping his fingers on his thigh, Jongin told him to hold himself up properly. Kyungsoo gripped the daybed tightly as he propped himself up on all fours, panting desperately, impatiently.

Jongin pressed some more lube on the vibrator, turning it on with a remote control to make sure it was working. It was pink and transparent, though it could not light up. Shame, Jongin thought. Would’ve been interesting to see if he could see the lights from inside Kyungsoo’s ass.  

“You’re going to enjoy this one, Kyungsoo. In fact, I’ll let you take a short break to take a sip from your cup of tea outside once I put this in you. You’ll be a good boy and do as I say, right?”

Kyungsoo’s ears perked up at that, and perhaps he could already guess what Jongin wanted to do.

“Y-yes, I will,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin smiled, getting behind Kyungsoo once more. “Good. And you will be rewarded for this if you promise me not to come, alright?” Kyungsoo nodded, ready to comply with Jongin’s demand.

Jongin let the head of the vibrator touch Kyungsoo’s entrance. His ass clenched at it, trying to get it in but Jongin didn’t push the vibrator into his ass yet, waited till Kyungsoo was still and obedient. Kyungsoo fidgeted for a few seconds out of anxiety, but stopped once he realized it was too quiet in the room. Then, and only then did Jongin part his ass cheeks with two fingers, pushing the vibrator oh-so-slowly into Kyungsoo’s ass.

Kyungsoo threw his head back with a low mewl, breaking off by biting down on his lip. Jongin pushed it gently all the way in, watching his ass clamp down on it inch by inch with a strange fascination till there was only the horizontal handle left.

The vibrator was about four inches long, not a terribly big stretch but a stretch all the same. It would do for now till Kyungsoo was used to the length and feel of it and if he didn’t orgasm in the next five minutes, Jongin would fuck him as slow or as fast as he wanted. Kyungsoo dropped his head down and groaned, a sheen of sweat appearing over his skin almost immediately.

“Does it hurt?” Jongin asked, patting his ass gently.

“No… Can I, do I move now?” he asked, turning his head in Jongin’s direction. He was still blindfolded, so Jongin reached over to pull his tie over Kyungsoo’s eyes. His pupils were fully dilated and dark with desire as he waited for Jongin to say something. The tears tracks from a while ago were drying up now, though Kyungsoo’s eyes were already starting to water again.

“Yes. Just give me a kiss before you go to the kitchen and take a sip,” Jongin said, hiding the remote in his hand. He hadn’t turned it on yet, and maybe Kyungsoo thought it was just a butt plug.

He couldn’t hide the smile on his face as Kyungsoo got up and stood between Jongin’s legs to lean down and kiss him gently. Jongin ran a hand through his soft hair, kissing him back languidly a few times. Kyungsoo was getting better at kissing now, daring to slide a bit of his tongue into Jongin’s mouth.

Jongin broke the kiss first, savoring the taste of Kyungsoo on his mouth. “Leave the door open,” Jongin said, running a thumb over his lower lip. Kyungsoo nodded, biting his lip. He took a step back and jolted slightly, probably from the feeling of the vibrator move around inside of him. Kyungsoo took a shaky breath and walked stiffly to the door, his ass jiggling ever so slightly with each step. Jongin leaned back, watching him twist the doorknob and take a step out into the living room cautiously.

The handle of the vibrator slid downwards when Kyungsoo’s legs were apart, but it moved back up into his ass when he brought his leg forward, only to have it slide down when he took another step. It was interesting to watch it move in and out, and Jongin could only imagine what it must sound like.

His cock loved the thought of that as well, and Jongin pressed a hand to his crotch, sighing as he palmed his cock and watched Kyungsoo move to the counter to take his mug of now lukewarm tea. He waited till Kyungsoo took a sip as Jongin told him to, watched his Adam’s apple bob in his throat before he pressed a button on the remote in his hand.

Kyungsoo jerked violently the second the vibrator started to buzz and he placed a hand on the counter to support himself.

Jongin smirked, alternating between two different speeds by pressing up and down on the remote repeatedly. Kyungsoo hissed, putting the cup down with a shaky hand and moaned, fisting his hands on the counter.

“Are you done already, Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked lightly. Kyungsoo didn’t answer right away, closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths, chest rising and falling as he breathed. Jongin never knew pleasuring someone else could feel this way. Kyungsoo’s apparent enjoyment fed Jongin’s own sense of gratification as well.

“Come here,” Jongin ordered softly. Kyungsoo, with much effort, walked back into the room, cock flushed red and dripping precome on the ground. He shut the door behind him without being told and stepped forward in front of Jongin, hands behind his back and legs apart.

Jongin held the remote in front of him. He set the vibrator to the highest level, the sound of the vibrator’s quiet buzz audible in the palpable silence of the room.

“Come closer,” Jongin said, taking Kyungsoo’s hand. He took another step forward, a blush over his cheeks and his ears tinged red. His cock was at the same level as Jongin’s mouth and he reached over to hold it in his hand, thumb caressing the cockhead gently. He leaned in to suck at the swollen head, tasting Kyungsoo’s precome on his tongue.

Kyungsoo gasped, whining in his throat. Jongin smiled at his reaction, releasing his cock and then reaching behind him to touch the handle of the vibrator. He pressed on it, pushing it just a little bit deeper into Kyungsoo’s ass.

“You’re a good boy, aren’t you?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo nodded frantically as Jongin tugged the vibrator out by an inch. However, his ass clenched down on it instinctively and it slid back in with a wet noise almost at once. Jongin lifted an eyebrow at Kyungsoo.

“You like it this much?” he asked. Kyungsoo hesitated and nodded. “But please, I want your cock in me so very much,” Kyungsoo mumbled shyly.

“Mm, so do I, but you seem to be enjoying this. Perhaps this is all you need?” Jongin suggested. He wanted Kyungsoo to beg, wanted him to bare his all before he’d give in to their baser desires. Kyungsoo whimpered.

“No, I want… I want you, Jongin. Will you please fuck me?” he asked politely. Jongin leaned back on his arms.

“Depends,” Jongin said, biting down on a smile. Kyungsoo seemed at a loss on what to do, staring at Jongin in confusion. When Jongin made no move to help him or remove his vibrator, it became clear to Kyungsoo that Jongin wanted him to demonstrate the extent of his desire. The red of his cheeks flared up as he looked around, flustered.

“Show me, Kyungsoo. Show me and I’ll see what I can do,” Jongin said. “B-But you said—”

Jongin held his hand up as if he wanted to slap Kyungsoo, and his protest stopped. “Are you going to do as I say?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo sniffled, nodding obediently. He then turned around slowly, to Jongin’s mild surprise, facing his back to Jongin. He had no idea what Kyungsoo was going to do, but he certainly had a lovely view when Kyungsoo reached down to grab the vibrator.

At first he thought Kyungsoo was going to tug the vibrator but instead he pushed it deep into himself and pulled it out with a moan, fucking himself with the vibrator with his shaking hand. Jongin watched carefully as he pushed the toy in and out, in and out without any rhythm, moaning all the way but keeping his other hand in Jongin’s view. 

“J-Jongin, I’m a good boy, I didn’t come from the vibrator so please, will you put your cock inside of me?” Kyungsoo begged.

Jongin chuckled, Kyungsoo’s hands working to shove the vibrator deep up his ass. “Well, now that you ask so nicely, how can I refuse?” he said, placing a hand over Kyungsoo’s hand to stop him. Kyungsoo sighed in relief. “T-thank you, Jongin,” he said, looking over his shoulder.

“Thank me later when I’m done,” Jongin said, pulling the vibrator out of his ass. It was warm from being in Kyungsoo’s body for so long and buzzed insistently as ever.

Jongin switched it off and dropped it to the ground, pulling Kyungsoo towards him by the arm. “Get on all fours again,” Jongin commanded softly in his ear. Kyungsoo clambered onto the daybed once again while Jongin threw his tank top off, flinging it to the ground and tugging his pants off. His boxers felt constrictively tight and he was glad to be rid of it, kicking it off and moving towards the chest of drawers to snatch up the bottle of lube.

He turned around to admire Kyungsoo’s figure on the daybed and caught him staring at his cock. Jongin suddenly realized that Kyungsoo had never seen his cock before, not once in all this time and made no attempt to hide it as he smeared lube all over his length.

“You like what you see?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo licked his lips and nodded slowly. “I’ll let you suck me off next time,” Jongin smiled, placing the bottle back down once his cock was completely slicked up.

Kyungsoo looked nervous as Jongin came over to the daybed. He got behind Kyungsoo, placing his hands on Kyungsoo’s waist to balance himself on the daybed. Kyungsoo’s hips shook and Jongin rubbed his hands over his soft skin to calm him. “It’s alright, don’t be too nervous. I’ll try not to hurt you,” Jongin promised.

He nodded quietly, tensing up to brace himself. “Relax, Kyungsoo,” Jongin breathed, running a finger down his curved spine. Goosebumps appeared all over his skin and he shuddered beneath Jongin’s touch. Kyungsoo tried to relax, breathing deeply despite his shivering.

“You alright?” Jongin asked, using his hand to place his tip at Kyungsoo’s entrance. He stiffened at the sensation but nodded, fingers squeezing the end of the daybed.

Jongin patted his side in an attempt to reassure him and placed a hand over Kyungsoo’s shoulder to slowly inch him backwards onto his cock, lifting his hips slightly to slide his cock into his ass. Kyungsoo’s face scrunched up in pain as Jongin’s cock stretched his entrance, thin veins appearing on his neck.

“Does it hurt?” Jongin asked, halting with his half of his cock inside Kyungsoo’s ass. He groaned and said something incoherently under his breath. “Y-yes but I don’t want you to stop,” he mumbled, eyes closed.

Good. His ass was softer than Jongin expected and much hotter as well, and he wasn’t sure if he had the will to back off if he was hurting Kyungsoo. He gripped Kyungsoo’s shoulder and went on, sliding into Kyungsoo slowly. He stopped once every inch of him was inside Kyungsoo, his balls brushing against the bottom of Kyungsoo’s ass.

Jongin took a few seconds to let Kyungsoo get used to the feel of his ass being stretched. When he glanced down he could see faint veins at his entrance, straggly, dark lines just beneath Kyungsoo’s white skin. Kyungsoo’s body trembled as he whimpered at Jongin’s intrusion.

After about a minute of panting and struggling to stay still on the daybed, Kyungsoo moved forward slightly, leaning towards the wall in front of him experimentally and that was all but it was enough to make Jongin feel close to heaven. His ass practically sucked at Jongin’s cock and Kyungsoo cried out half in pain and half in pleasure.

“I’ll be moving now,” Jongin said softly, digging his hands into Kyungsoo’s sides. “Gently, please,” Kyungsoo pleaded.

Jongin went slow, pulling out of Kyungsoo slowly. He pulled his cock out till there was only the tip left inside of Kyungsoo waiting for a second or two before snapping his hips forward. Kyungsoo keened in his throat at the stretch again and his ass instinctively gripped Jongin’s cock, pulsing around his length.

“Alright?” Jongin muttered, leaning in a little closer. Kyungsoo nodded, pushing back on Jongin’s cock gently. “Can I go faster?” Jongin asked.

“Please,” Kyungsoo replied. Jongin chuckled under his breath, settling behind Kyungsoo in a more comfortable position. “Good then,” he answered, pulling out and thrusting back in quickly. Kyungsoo gasped quietly, breath hitching in his chest but Jongin knew it probably didn’t hurt anymore. And if it didn’t hurt that meant he could move faster now and try to hit Kyungsoo at the right spot while he was at it.

Jongin started to thrust into Kyungsoo roughly, pulling Kyungsoo back slightly by the hips to fuck him open. Kyungsoo obliged him by moving back and forth on his knees in time with Jongin’s thrusts, making small noises of pleasure every time Jongin’s cock slid into him with a wet sound. Jongin felt like he couldn’t breathe every time Kyungsoo’s ass clenched down on him; he fitted around his cock nice and tight; and hot as well, so hot he felt like he was burning up with each thrust of the hips.

It felt wrong to be enjoying this as much as he did, but he loved the noises Kyungsoo was making, each moan and cry growing louder as he approached his own orgasm. Jongin shifted at one point to slide in a little deeper and he felt his cock touch Kyungsoo’s prostrate at the same time Kyungsoo jolted like he’d been electrified, sighing loudly.

“Oh, not there, Jongin p-please,” Kyungsoo stuttered, but Jongin just bit his lip and started to move a little faster, a little sloppier as he tried to hit the same spot again.

He grunted as he fucked Kyungsoo repeatedly with his cock, varying the angles to see if Kyungsoo would moan for him again. It was the upward thrusts that had Kyungsoo’s arms buckling over weakly as he let a string of ah ah ah’s fall from his pretty mouth, had his cock dripping precome all over the velvet daybed and had him begging for Jongin to let him come.

“P-please, Jongin, I want to come for you, I’ll do anything for you,” Kyungsoo pleaded, hips jerking up every time Jongin hit his prostrate.

“You’re just saying that,” Jongin bit out, feeling heat curling in his abdomen, he could feel the build, it was coming soon but he put it off a little longer, enjoying the slick feeling of his cock sliding into Kyungsoo’s ass, of fucking him hard like this.

“No, no, I want to be a good boy, I promise I’ll be good, ah—” Kyungsoo bit on his lower lip when Jongin pressed into him and leaned over his back heavily, skin to skin with his legs between Jongin’s.

He reached down to tug at the cock ring while thrusting a little slower this time to drag it out, biting on Kyungsoo’s earlobe harshly. The ring dropped to the carpet with a brief, muffled sound and Kyungsoo’s cock swelled considerably in Jongin’s hand. He slowed his thrusts and made each stroke long and hard inside Kyungsoo, pushing him deliberately close to the edge.

“Come for me then, Kyungsoo, come for me like the cockslut you really are,” Jongin whispered in his ear.

Kyungsoo moaned, eyes scrunching shut before he hunched forward, his cock spurting all over Jongin’s daybed. Jongin continued to move inside him, relished the way Kyungsoo’s ass milked his cock as he came with a choked noise. “J-Jongin, you—” Kyungsoo wordlessly tried to move backwards on Jongin’s cock, clenching as hard as he could despite his orgasm, trying to get Jongin to come as well.

“No, stop,” Jongin gasped, watching the way Kyungsoo bounced without any rhythm onto his cock. He gripped Kyungsoo by the hair to try and stop him, but his ass felt so good on his cock, tugging him and squeezing eagerly. His enthusiasm caught him by surprise, and Jongin came as well, unexpectedly, into Kyungsoo’s ass.

His come dribbled out of his ass almost at once, trickling down his shaking thighs and smearing on Jongin’s legs.

Jongin pulled out of him, dropping down onto the carpet like a newborn deer. He felt like he’d been reborn, having fucked a guy for the first time in his life and enjoying it so immensely. Kyungsoo heard him thump to the ground and crawled down as well, his eyes red and teary from his orgasm.

“T-thank you, Jongin,” Kyungsoo mumbled, reaching over to give him a chaste kiss. Jongin threw an arm around his shoulders, tugging Kyungsoo to him and lying back on the carpet, sated and pretty much speechless with the moment they’d just shared.

“I think,” Jongin panted, “that perhaps, thanks are in order on my part as well.” He turned to kiss Kyungsoo gently, sucking on his moist lower lip and caressing his hair. “You did surprisingly well,” Jongin said between kisses.

Kyungsoo laughed weakly back at him, half of his body lying on Jongin and his legs tangled between Jongin’s longer ones. “I—it was more than I could have ever expected,” Kyungsoo said softly, eyes downcast as he spoke. Jongin smiled, peppering kisses all over his damp face. “I take that as a compliment,” Jongin replied.

Kyungsoo made a small noise of comprehension and snuggled against Jongin’s chest, their sweaty bodies lined up somewhat perfectly against each other. Jongin pressed his nose into Kyungsoo’s hair, closing his eyes to savor the moment.

“I can’t believe that was my first time,” Kyungsoo said, his voice quiet.

“If you stick around there’ll be more to come,” Jongin smiled, looking down at him. “I… It wouldn’t be right for me to stay,” Kyungsoo murmured.

“Then stay long enough for a shower, hm?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo hummed in consideration, glancing up at Jongin. He looked conflicted with staying or following his instinct to back away from any intimate encounters, but Jongin meant it when he said he didn’t mind Kyungsoo staying over. It wouldn’t be the first time sharing his home with someone else, though he didn’t say so because it might hurt Kyungsoo.

“Just for a little while then,” Kyungsoo relented. “You’ll have to let me feed you as well,” Jongin said, trailing a fingertip over the red mark on Kyungsoo’s cheek. “And maybe give you something to put on your bruises,” he murmured.

“That already sounds like too much,” Kyungsoo muttered.

“No, it sounds like good manners. I can’t just let you take the bus home after smacking you around,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo scoffed at first, and then giggled behind his hand at that remark.  

Jongin smiled down at him, lifting an eyebrow. “So it’s funny to you now, what we just did?” he asked, huffing a laugh before ruffling Kyungsoo’s hair. His heart skipped a beat at the sound of Kyungsoo’s laughter, soft yet bold, just like who he really was inside. Jongin could see why Luhan and Baekhyun were so protective of him now; he was very much a child despite being a year older than Jongin. Maybe he never really grew up since the bullying happened, Jongin thought. He shoved that thought away hastily; he didn’t want to get down from his cloud of happiness just yet.

Maybe he was just hiding from the world, and Jongin was the first person to drag him out of his shell, albeit kicking and screaming (theoretically).

“I liked it when you ‘smacked me around’,” Kyungsoo said, “I dunno, it was just… the way I imagined it to be, and maybe even better. But I shouldn’t stay too long, ‘cause…” he trailed off.

“Because? Because you have a roommate to take care of? Because it’s not proper to stay? If we played by the rules all our lives, hyung, then we would never have met in the first place,” Jongin said, chucking Kyungsoo under the chin.

“It’s not my place anyway, I wouldn’t know what to do,” Kyungsoo fidgeted nervously. “You’re free to do whatever you want, it is a no safety limit zone here,” Jongin said, absently running his fingertips over Kyungsoo’s neck.

“It sounds dangerous,” Kyungsoo said, lifting an eyebrow at Jongin. “And I don’t—I’ve never done anything really dangerous in my life.”

“Ah yes, other than stalking me there was not much excitement in your life, was there?” Jongin asked jokingly. Kyungsoo blushed, pushing at Jongin’s chest half heartedly. “Shut up,” he muttered.

Jongin laughed. “Look, don’t think so hard about things, will you? Just let me get you all nice and clean, and then we’ll put some cream on your bruises, get something to eat, and then you think about it, hm?”

“But I’ve already thought about it—”

“Nope,” Jongin cut him off with a wave of his hand. Kyungsoo blinked. “But I—”

Jongin placed his mouth over Kyungsoo’s lips, swallowing his protest easily. Kyungsoo tried to push him away but Jongin slid his tongue into his mouth and kissed him senseless, leaving both of them breathless when he broke away.

“Stop. Thinking,” Jongin ordered. Kyungsoo chewed his lower lip, staring up at him with an unfathomable gaze. “O-okay,” he muttered.

Jongin smiled. “Wasn’t too hard at all, now was it?”

Chapter Text

Kyungsoo sat in the bathtub awkwardly, surrounded by foam and hot water on all sides. Jongin sipped at his red wine, sitting at the opposite end of the bathtub across from Kyungsoo. He hadn’t said a word in at least eight minutes, and it was starting to make Jongin nervous.

“Is… everything alright?” he asked tentatively. Kyungsoo had refused Jongin’s offer of red wine, but he certainly looked like he needed it more than Jongin. And they were both in the bathtub right now, which was supposed to be relaxing. Kyungsoo looked up at Jongin when he spoke but looked away once he met Jongin’s gaze.

“Y-yeah,” Kyungsoo replied, looking down at the blob of foamy bubbles in front of him. He shifted beneath the water, and the foam floating on the surface moved as well.

“Are you sure?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo didn’t seem ‘alright’ in any sense of the word at all. Nervous, perhaps, or on the verge of a mental breakdown was much more apt than ‘alright’. He nodded, slowly leaning back on the curved wall of the tub. Jongin had his legs stretched out in the tub and he couldn’t feel Kyungsoo’s legs underwater, thus guessing that Kyungsoo probably had his legs folded in a lotus position. He couldn’t fathom why Kyungsoo was acting so uptight.  

Jongin placed the wine glass on the small table by the bathtub beside him and settled back in the water, watching Kyungsoo as he stared at the foam around him like it was something he’d never seen before.

“If you’re alright… then why are you so uncomfortable?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo cleared his throat, casting a hasty glance up at Jongin. “Uncomfortable? Nah, I’m not uncomfortable, I’m just a little tired, I guess.” Jongin pursed his lips at Kyungsoo’s reply. Kyungsoo was the epitome of uncomfortable right now; lying about it didn’t help in any way.

If Kyungsoo wasn’t going to start acting normal soon, then Jongin decided that playing nice wouldn’t work. He moved forward in the water abruptly with a loud slosh, parting the foam as he crawled on a straight path directly headed towards Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo gurgled when he saw Jongin heading towards his side of the tub and splashed water up at him in a vain attempt to keep him away. “Stay away, I tell you—” Jongin splashed the foamy water right back at him and soaked him through and through, cornering him by placing both arms on either sides of the tub behind Kyungsoo. He blushed furiously, grabbing some foam up in his hand and pressing it to Jongin’s face.

“Is this how an ‘alright’ person behaves?” Jongin asked, voice muffled through the foam. “… I don’t know!” Kyungsoo all but shouted indignantly, “I wouldn’t know because you’re so! SO YOU,” Kyungsoo yelled.

Jongin wiped away the foam from his face, sitting back on his hunches to look at Kyungsoo amusedly. He was red in the face and breathing hard, most of all somewhat ashamed.

“I can’t help being who I am, you know,” Jongin tried to point out.

“I know,” Kyungsoo replied, folding his arms, not caring to elaborate any further than that.

“Was it something I did, something I said? ‘Cause if it was then I’m sorry,” Jongin said hesitantly. Apologizing first was always a good way to butter someone up, and Jongin was definitely trying to get on Kyungsoo’s good side at this point (he really couldn’t help being who he was, after all).

“N-no, it wasn’t—it’s not you,” Kyungsoo answered, rolling his eyes in exasperation. Jongin reached a cautious hand down to Kyungsoo’s arm. “Can you tell me what is it, at least? I can’t help but feel a little distant from you right now,” Jongin said, caressing Kyungsoo’s arm to calm him down.

“I— I told you I wasn’t comfortable with staying over any longer than I’m supposed to,” Kyungsoo said irritably. Ah. That was enlightening indeed. Jongin nodded along to encourage him, inching a little closer to Kyungsoo.

“And?”

“And, I—I’m here in the tub with you,” the outburst from earlier seemed to deflate from him as he trailed off. Jongin waited patiently.

“I mean… everything’s nice. The hot water is nice, your bathroom smells nice and I feel nice from—from what we did earlier,” Kyungsoo blushed, “I don’t understand.”

You and me both, little pally, Jongin thought to himself. “You don’t understand what again?” he asked, not quite following Kyungsoo’s train of thought.

“I don’t understand why you’re being so unnecessarily nice,” Kyungsoo said, hissing the word like it was a filthy curse. But all I did was offer a bath and wine, Jongin thought in protest. Surely that wasn’t being overly nice and completely undeserving of this accusation?

“If you want me to be ruder to you or something then you’ll have to tell me though,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo laughed in disbelief at that, covering his face with his wet hands. There were faint, red lines around his wrists from the handcuffs they’d used earlier and Jongin touched them gently.

“You—No, I’m not complaining about how you’re treating me, Jongin, I’m just not used to it,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin took his wrists and pulled them away from his face, cupping Kyungsoo’s cheek in one hand. “Are you sure I didn’t flog you too hard?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Kyungsoo said hurriedly, nodding his head. “I just thought that you... someone like you would be— I dunno, finished with me once we’ve done it,” Kyungsoo mumbled.

Finished with you?” Jongin repeated.

“Yeah,” Kyungsoo looked up at him. “Like, done with me. Completely done once we… Well, you know,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin chuckled.

“Yes, I do know. But it’s the right thing to do to offer a bath and some food before you leave. Did you think I was going to throw you out the minute we were done having sex?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo nodded in embarrassment, sliding down into the water. His shins bumped into Jongin’s thighs underwater as he went down, and Jongin had to drag him back up by the arms to talk to him.

“I’m not going to throw you away like that. Contrary to popular belief, I do have manners and empathy, you know. I mean, out of all people I thought you knew that, or at least guessed at it,” Jongin said.

“Yes b-but I’m nobody and if anyone knew what we were doing you’d be in so much trouble—”

“Nobody knows about us, okay? Nobody important, anyway, and nobody who’s that much of a snitch to tell on either of us. Right? You haven’t told anyone besides Baekhyun and Luhan, have you?”

Kyungsoo shook his head. “I don’t have any other friends, so…” he trailed off.

“That’s because you’re too shy, hyung,” Jongin said. “Look at how long it took for me to get you to tell me how you feel, for God’s sake,” he said, and Kyungsoo flinched. Jongin stopped, then sighed heavily.

“Hyung, no one’s going to laugh at you here or make fun of you. It’s just us, and you can tell me how you feel or if you need something. Honestly, how would I know anything if we didn’t communicate?” Jongin retorted.

Then Kyungsoo sniffled, and Jongin was filled with horror. Why was Kyungsoo crying again?

“Oh God— I’m sorry I said that, it was harsh and stupid of me, okay, hyung, stop crying for fuck’s sake,” Jongin said, hugging Kyungsoo quickly.

“No, I’m not sad, Jongin, I’m just—” Kyungsoo wailed, putting his arms around Jongin’s shoulders.

“I’ve never felt this way,” he whispered.

“What, bipolar?”

“No, I’ve never felt… cared for. And I wish you weren’t so nice to me, it just makes things harder for me,” Kyungsoo muttered, laying his head on Jongin’s shoulder. Jongin sank down in the water, pouring water down Kyungsoo’s smooth back to soothe him.

“Harder in what way?” Jongin asked.

“Harder to just wake up from this dream and tell myself that it wasn’t real,” Kyungsoo said, sounding close to tears.

“Oh hyung, this isn’t a dream, I’m sad to say. The water’s not going to stay hot forever, you know,” Jongin said, trying to cheer him up. Kyungsoo must’ve been holding back most of his emotions if talking about this was all it took to bring him to tears. 

“I know,” Kyungsoo said, pulling away to look at Jongin. His eyes were sad and filled with unshed tears, and Jongin couldn’t help but hold his face in his hands, kissing his lips gently.

“I know that after this I won’t be the same and that you’ll probably get tired of me soon. It’s fine if you’re tired of me but I—” Kyungsoo bit his lip, “I’ve liked you for a long time. I won’t get over it as easily as you will so if you could just save me a lot of pain by letting me leave—”

“Hyung, stop, listen to yourself. Don’t be afraid,” Jongin said, brushing a thumb over his tears. “Don’t be afraid of what we might be or where we’ll go in the future. Just live in the present, hyung, and feel what you want to feel. Don’t think about what might come or what might’ve been, because life never works out that way and you can’t keep second guessing every move, can you?”

Kyungsoo shook his head forlornly. “Right, see? I’m nice to you because I want to be nice to you, and you deserve to be treated nicely. Okay? Unless you want me to be not so nice to you, but that’s another story…”

Kyungsoo giggled despite himself, holding Jongin’s hands to his face. Jongin smiled. “I won’t get tired of you, hyung, not in the near future or anytime soon. I know you’ve been… feeling things for me for a long time, and that’s alright. I like you too, you know, even if you did slap me in the face with foam just now.”

“You’re not the way I thought you were, that’s all. I was bracing myself for you to turn a cold shoulder but you made such a nice and warm bath for us, and you s-said all those nice things in the room,” Kyungsoo looked like he wanted to cry again, and Jongin shushed him.

“I won’t be nice to you anymore if all you’re going to do is cry. I’m not used to getting people to stop crying,” Jongin grimaced. He cupped some foam in his hand and blew it over Kyungsoo’s face.

“Stop crying, hyung. I mean it, or we’ll be here all day,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo seemed to collect himself at that and wiped at his face, laughing weakly.

“Now play with me or I’ll be the one crying soon,” Jongin demanded, picking up more foam to plop it on Kyungsoo’s head. Kyungsoo smiled, wiping the residual foam from Jongin’s face with his fingers. Jongin couldn’t tell what he was thinking of from his expression but he looked much more cheered up now, and that was enough for Jongin.

-

Jongin dabbed some of the bruising gel on Kyungsoo’s wrists with a cotton bud carefully. “You’re too slow, Jongin, and that’s too little anyway,” Kyungsoo tutted at him, trying to snatch away the tube from Jongin.

“No, no, I’m doing this for you and you can’t say shit about it,” Jongin said, stretching his hand out of Kyungsoo’s reach while rubbing the gel over Kyungsoo’s skin.

“My mom used to apply this for me when my sisters pushed me over when I was a kid. I had bruises everywhere and everyone used to think I was always getting into fights,” Jongin said distractedly.

“I didn’t know you had sisters,” Kyungsoo said, lifting an eyebrow. They were out of the bathtub now, the water draining away as Kyungsoo sat on the sink while Jongin inspected him carefully, applying all sorts of creams from his medicinal kit. Some were for bruises, like the one he was using now and some were to ease any kind of soreness Kyungsoo might feel. Pink and messy lines criss crossed Kyungsoo’s front and back from where Jongin had flogged him, and Jongin made sure to smother all those lines in medicinal cream.  

“We’re not close,” Jongin replied. “We’re really far apart by age, so there’s not much we can say to each other. My dad keeps them off the media because they wanted to make a name for themselves. Too bad I’m his only son, otherwise I might’ve had a different kind of career path now,” Jongin smiled, pressing more gel onto the cotton bud and spreading it over Kyungsoo’s other wrist.

“You said that you never wanted the company,” Kyungsoo said, referring to the time when they were on their way to Kyungsoo’s place. It felt like a long time ago though it must’ve been less than a month.

“Yeah, and I still don’t want it. Going places is fun, I guess, but I don’t like the pressure I’m getting from being my dad’s son. His shoes are pretty big shoes to fill,” Jongin shrugged.

“But it’s your responsibility nonetheless,” Kyungsoo said gently. He didn’t sound accusing or questioning; it was just a statement.

“Mm. I wouldn’t know what to do if he didn’t set me on this path, but it would’ve been nice to know that I had a choice,” Jongin said, a bitter note creeping in his voice. He blinked his thoughts away quickly, not wanting to sour the mood. Kyungsoo’s wrists were finally done, and Jongin threw the cotton bud away in the dustbin.

“You’re all patched up now. You feel pain anywhere?” Jongin asked, dropping the tube of gel into the medicinal kit.

Kyungsoo shook his head. “I’m fine. Thanks,” Kyungsoo said, looking away in embarrassment. Jongin had to dab some BB cream on his cheekbone to cover up a purple bruise, but even that couldn’t hide his blushing cheeks. Jongin smiled, shutting the kit and putting it aside. “Good. Let’s change our clothes now and move on to… searching for something to eat. Shall we?” Jongin said, holding out a hand to Kyungsoo. He took his hand and hopped down from the sink, gripping the towel around his waist.

“I can cook though, do you have anything I can use?” Kyungsoo asked as Jongin led him to the bedroom.

“Er no, not unless you plan on cooking with junk food and ramyeon noodles,” Jongin said apologetically. He had brought Kyungsoo’s bag into the room along with his clothes he was wearing when he arrived before they went into the bathroom, so Kyungsoo picked at his clothes, turning them inside out while Jongin looked into his closet for something to put on.

“What do you feel like eating, hyung? I feel like Italian food, maybe some pizza. I know this great place with authentic Italian pizza…” Jongin babbled on for a bit, throwing his towel aside to put his boxers and a pair of worn jeans. He turned around after a minute to get Kyungsoo’s opinion on which shirt to wear, only to see Kyungsoo still standing there with the towel around his waist and eyes averted to the ceiling.

“Hyung?” Jongin said, holding two shirts up.

“Yes?” Kyungsoo said, reluctantly looking at Jongin. “Oh. I think that shirt’s nice—”

“Why are you not getting dressed?” Jongin asked incredulously. “And were you talking about this shirt?” he added, holding up one with an obscure pattern on the front.

Kyungsoo nodded. “I er, was hoping I could change in the bathroom instead,” he said meekly, blushing away. Jongin rolled his eyes. “I’ve seen you naked already, what more is there to hide?”

“Feels a little more personal now that we’re not up to… anything,” Kyungsoo finished lamely. Jongin half smiled, putting his shirt on. He waved a hand at Kyungsoo to get changing. “I won’t look, then. I’ll be in the bathroom drying my hair,” Jongin said decisively, going back into the bathroom and shutting the door behind him.

His hair didn’t take long to dry and it was pretty messy despite running his fingers through it to tame his slightly curly hair, but there was no helping it. Even with the recent trip to the hair salon, it kept falling into his eyes. He could only hope that Kyungsoo didn’t mind him looking a little messy.

While he was trying to get his hair in place, Kyungsoo knocked on the door quietly. He turned the hair dryer off and he told him to come in, resisting the urge to roll his eyes at Kyungsoo; there was no real point in being all polite and modest around Jongin.

“I’m done now. Can I use the hair dryer too?” Kyungsoo said, poking his head through the door.

“Sure. I need to get my things anyway,” Jongin nodded. Jongin ruffled his hair, unsure of what to do with it and decided to just let it be. He exited the bathroom, trying to figure out where he last saw his wallet while Kyungsoo dried his hair. Jongin searched in his closet and came up empty, so he moved on to his bedroom when he noticed his room looked a little neater than before. He didn’t remember folding his blanket into a neat pile, and wasn’t there supposed to be a towel on the ground from just now?

“Did you clean up my room?” Jongin asked through the open bathroom door, spotting his wallet on the dresser. “Y-yeah,” Kyungsoo said, paling visibly.

“I hope you didn’t mind, it just looked kind of messy…” he said over the hair dryer.

“I’m fine with it, I just didn’t expect you to clean my mess up. I usually have someone who does that for me,” Jongin replied.

“Ah,” Kyungsoo laughed nervously. Having found his wallet and his phone, he stuffed his wallet into his pocket and walked out of the room while dialing Mr. Lee up.  

“Yes, sir?”

“Mr. Lee, remember that Italian place in Garosu-gil?” Jongin said. Mr. Lee said yes he did, and would be waiting for Jongin in the car park downstairs. Jongin looked around his apartment to make sure he had everything he needed with him, and then suddenly realized that the mug of tea had disappeared from the counter in the kitchen and the living room was clear of Kyungsoo’s photos.

“Did you clean my entire apartment as well?” Jongin asked, when Kyungsoo appeared while he was keeping his half full bottle of wine into the fridge.

“I was afraid someone might come over and ask questions…” Kyungsoo shrugged awkwardly. Jongin smiled in appreciation, shutting the fridge and kissed his cheek affectionately.

“Did you clean up the other room as well?” Jongin asked jokingly. Kyungsoo said, “I could do it later if you want—”

“God, hyung, you don’t have to do that, okay? You’re my date, not my maid,” Jongin said, taking his hand to prove his point. Kyungsoo gurgled incoherently, trailing after Jongin out of the place.

They rode the elevator down in silence, and when they reached the car park Jongin reluctantly released Kyungsoo’s hand as they approached Jongin’s Rolls Royce. He thought that maybe Kyungsoo looked slightly disappointed as well, but it was… too early to really say anything. And Jongin still had mixed feelings about this despite already having slept with Kyungsoo.

Maybe, if he decided to stay over, they could talk things through and see where they were supposed to go from here on.

The ride to Garosu-gil was mercifully short despite heavy traffic, and Mr. Lee said he’d hang around the area till Jongin was ready to go, so they entered the restaurant with ease and were sat at a table in a surreptitious corner where no one could tell it was Jongin unless they came all the way to their table. Jongin suspected the waitress could recognize him because she was extra friendly with him and enthusiastically recited to them their daily specials from the menu.

“I think we’ll need some time to read through the menu,” Jongin said, subtly trying to get rid of her. Kyungsoo looked rather frightened of her; probably because he’d never faced this much enthusiasm from a waitress before.

“Oh yes, I’ll take your order whenever you’re ready, sir. Would you like some water for now?” she asked, looking from Kyungsoo to Jongin excitedly. “Um, sure,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo gave her a wide eyed look as she scampered away to get them glasses of water.

“Does everyone act like this around you?” Kyungsoo asked, face burning a bright red.

“Sometimes,” Jongin laughed. Kyungsoo just said oh, and continued to read through the menu, eyes widening every so often when he glanced at the price of every dish.

“I er, I think this place is out of my budget, Jongin, it’s not—” he shook his head.

“I’m paying though? You’re not going to pay for this,” Jongin replied. Hmm, fresh basil and feta cheese pizza sounded pretty good…

“I’ll just order a drink then,” Kyungsoo said, shutting the menu with a click and putting it aside. Jongin lifted an eyebrow. “You do realize I’m trying to feed you, not starve you?”

“I’m not hungry,” Kyungsoo mumbled, touching the silver knife and fork beside him.

“Well, I say you are, and if you don’t know what to order I’ll just order for both of us then. How do you like wine?”

“You just had wine at your place,” Kyungsoo protested.

“So you’re okay with wine then,” Jongin said, waving the waitress over. He ordered a large pizza to share with Kyungsoo and a plate of creamy carbonara with cod in case the pizza wasn’t enough, along with any sort of light red wine to wash everything all down. Kyungsoo had his lips pursed the whole time as if being forced to eat at the best Italian place in Seoul was such a travesty.

When the girl left after serving their water and promising that their food was going to arrive soon, Jongin looked at Kyungsoo. “Don’t you like having someone to pay for your food, hyung? Really, this place isn’t that expensive and it’s alright to let me handle this sort of thing if you can’t do it,” Jongin said, taking a sip of water from his glass.

“I’m older than you, I should be paying,” Kyungsoo said, leaning back in his seat.

“Oh come on, no one really cares about that rule anymore. Why don’t we start over for now, hm? We’ll pretend this is a date and that I don’t know about our age difference so whoever gets the bill doesn’t really matter,” Jongin said. Technically it was a date, their first one in fact, not counting their photo session because Jongin didn’t exactly wine and dine Kyungsoo that time.

“I’ve never been on a date before,” Kyungsoo said softly.

“Well. Neither have I,” Jongin said. It wasn’t exactly the truth but it wasn’t a lie either. He’d never dated someone after he’d already slept with them and it was never with someone he wanted to see again. It felt new to Jongin as well, and it might as well be his first time too.

“Don’t lie, I know you’ve dated before. I followed you on a date once, with a girl,” Kyungsoo laughed weakly.

“Then you’ll also know that I never saw her again after that date. Come on, hyung, work with me. This is a public place, so it’s mutual ground and,” he gestured at the both of them, “there’s a lot we don’t know about each other. You can ask me about anything you want, about how terrible the date went with that girl, or how my sisters bullied me because they were so much older than me…”

Kyungsoo cracked up into a smile. “I can’t picture anyone bullying you,” he said.  

“Huh. They used to dress me up in a Japanese kimono and tell me it would make me a man,” Jongin scoffed. Kyungsoo laughed, looking away as he did so but it worked. Jongin didn’t understand why Kyungsoo insisted he should pay for everything just because he was the hyung when it was clear he couldn’t afford it anyway, and Jongin didn’t mind paying for the meal and things like that. He was glad that they were off that subject for now, at least, till Kyungsoo was in a better mood and more open to discussing that.

Jongin told Kyungsoo a few amusing stories from college to keep him smiling, and by the time their food came Kyungsoo was definitely distracted by Jongin to think much about what he was doing. The pizza was delicious, the pasta was perfectly cooked, and the wine helped to loosen Kyungsoo up.

“I’ve never had real wine before. Luhan always preferred beer and that’s all I’ve ever really drank,” Kyungsoo said, tasting the wine tentatively.

“Have some pasta and then drink the wine, it goes down better that way,” Jongin said, pulling a slice of pizza from the pan and placing it on Kyungsoo’s plate. Kyungsoo did so, and realized that the wine did taste slightly different with a bite of cod and cream.

“So Kyungsoo, you’ve never really um, talked about yourself. Are you an only child?” Jongin asked, pretending he never did a bit of stalking of his own that one time in his office.

“No, I have an elder brother. I wasn’t born in Seoul, as you might’ve guessed by now. I still don’t know my way around sometimes,” Kyungsoo said, his smile faltering slightly.

“Seoul isn’t the center of the world; it’s okay if you didn’t grow up here. Where did you come from then? Did you live with your grandparents and everything, the whole nine yards of living outside of Seoul?” Jongin asked lightly.

“Nope, my grandparents lived separately from us. Seungsoo and I— um, that’s my brother’s name, we only ever played with each other when we were younger. I guess that’s why I don’t open up very well,” Kyungsoo chuckled nervously, taking a bite from the pizza, “I’ve been around people who knew me their whole lives, so it’s hard. To be around different people and to pretend that I’m,” he shrugged his shoulders, “not gay.”

“Did it ever come up very often?” Jongin asked.

“When I was younger?” Kyungsoo said. Jongin nodded. He frowned before continuing slowly. “I never knew I was gay, actually. I didn’t notice till one day I realized all the fairy tales were about a prince and princess falling in love, and I’d always pictured myself liking boys. I talked to my brother about it and he was fine with it, but um.” Kyungsoo’s voice dropped low, “My parents weren’t happy. Obviously. They always wanted grandkids, so it was hard for them to take.”

Jongin reached over to take his hand when his voice cracked audibly. “You don’t have to talk about this if you… don’t want to,” Jongin said softly. “You can skip to something else if you want.”

Kyungsoo took a deep breath, blinking rapidly. He picked up a napkin from the table and dabbed at his eyes. “It’s nothing really, I’m just being silly. They got over it once I told them I would try to get a job here in Seoul like my brother so they could retire and enjoy life a bit,” Kyungsoo sniffled, taking another sip of wine.

“It’s not silly. You wanted acceptance, and that’s not a lot to ask from someone,” Jongin said, patting his hand. He didn’t want to bring up his high school years here, and so quickly changed the subject by saying, “How’s the food, by the way?”

Kyungsoo looked down at his pizza. “It’s… great, actually. I’ve never tasted any of these ingredients before but they go very well together,” Kyungsoo said, smiling up at Jongin. Suddenly, Jongin felt thankful that they could enjoy good food like this, and that he was willing to offer Kyungsoo so much more if it meant putting that shy smile on his face again.

Jongin returned his smile with one of his own and pushed the plate of pasta towards Kyungsoo. “Have some more,” Jongin said warmly. They ate heartily, and Jongin felt pleasantly full by the time the pizza and pasta was all but gone.

“Hyung, you know, there’s something I feel like we should really talk about,” Jongin said, after the main course and Jongin demanded some Italian gelato from the waitress.

Kyungsoo didn’t look very surprised when he said that; he probably knew this conversation would happen sooner or later. “We need to DTR, don’t we?” Kyungsoo asked softly.

Jongin nodded. “Yep. There’s a lot of defining to do, to be honest, and I don’t know where to start,” Jongin said. They fell silent on the matter when the waitress breathlessly came back to tell them they had choices of strawberry, bubblegum, chocolate and raspberry gelato at the moment, and which flavor would they like to have?

“I think I’ll take raspberry,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo went for chocolate gelato instead, and the waitress went off to get them their gelato as well as wine to refill their glasses.

“You were saying?” Kyungsoo said.

“Ah. Right, well. You don’t want to go public, and the truth is neither do I. Not yet anyway. But there’s some things we need to clear up, like…”

“Who pays the bills?” Kyungsoo supplied helpfully.

Jongin gave him a dry look. “No, that’s obviously me because I don’t want to burden you with that kind of thing when you’re struggling to pay rent now, so don’t try to fight me on this…”

“But I don’t want to be your burden,” Kyungsoo said pleadingly. “Don’t take this away from me, Jongin, just let me do something for you at least, if you don’t want me to paying for our meals together.”

Jongin thought about it. “Okay. So if I let you do something else for me, you won’t argue with me about the bill later on?” he asked.

Kyungsoo sighed and nodded reluctantly. Jongin stuck his bottom lip out. “You won’t argue with me even if I try to offer financial help?” he asked hopefully. Maybe the wine would go right to Kyungsoo’s head and he’d say yes but instead Kyungsoo glared balefully at that. “I will argue with you about that till the day I die if that’s what it takes.”

Jongin pretended to tut at him. “Look at you, getting all aggressive with me already. Fine then, but if you’re in any sort of financial trouble, you’ll tell me, right?” Jongin said. He didn’t want Kyungsoo getting tied up in debt or maybe helping Luhan out with whatever problems his roommate might have when he clearly did not have enough resources even for himself.

“I won’t promise you that, but it’s a tentative yes for now,” Kyungsoo said. That was fine by Jongin. The waitress returned to their table with a tray of their gelato and a bottle of wine, pouring what was left of it into their glasses.

“Should I get the bill now, sir?” she asked Jongin. “In a minute,” Jongin said. She nodded— curtsied for fuck’s sake— curtsied and walked away, breathing heavily for some reason. This was certainly the most ridiculous behavior Jongin had seen from someone who recognized him. If this was how people reacted to him, then how would they react when they realized Jongin was on a date with Kyungsoo? Would they recoil as if he were leprous or give him dirty looks? It was… uncomfortable to think about, to say the least, and Jongin had to give Kyungsoo credit for surviving in this world for so long.

“...Is everything okay, Jongin?” Kyungsoo’s voice suddenly came into focus. He snapped out of it and looked up at Kyungsoo licking chocolate sauce off his upper lip.

“Yeah, just suddenly remembered something I needed to do,” Jongin lied hastily.

“Oh. Do you need to leave now?” Kyungsoo asked, concerned. “No, it’s not important. What were we saying?” Jongin asked.

“I was saying that Luhan told the loan sharks that he found a job someplace else, and that he didn’t want to have anything to do with them anymore. They gave a fight, but Luhan threatened to call the cops on them if they ever tried to harm him or stop him from leaving. But I think they know that Luhan’s just not like that, he’s loyal that way,” Kyungsoo said.

“Oh. Well, that’s good news. I think he’ll enjoy working for Suho; he’s an alright guy and won’t be too much trouble,” Jongin said, picking up his spoon and scooping up some gelato into his mouth.

“I feel like that warranted thanks in person. It was really kind of you to do that, Jongin, I mean you didn’t have to go all the way to get Luhan a job,” Kyungsoo muttered softly.

“What if I said I only did it to impress you?” Jongin asked, lifting an eyebrow and biting his lip at the same time. Kyungsoo narrowed his eyes at him. “You’re such a drama queen,” Kyungsoo retorted.

“C’mon, would you have softened up to me any other way? Besides, Luhan means a lot to you, so I just opened the right door for him.”

Kyungsoo just stabbed at his gelato with his ice cream spoon quietly, licking it off his spoon with his tongue. Jongin watched his tongue lap at the cold gelato, and wondered if the day would ever come that Kyungsoo would suck him off.

“So um,” Jongin cleared his throat, stirring his gelato around, “Putting Luhan aside, I also need to know if we’re going to do this… regularly. Do you want to keep this up, hyung, or should we go a little slower?” Jongin asked. It was a question that had been lurking in the back of his mind since he wanted to bang Kyungsoo’s ass. He didn’t know how to go about with this, and Kyungsoo certainly never made any indication that he wanted more than this.

“I think we could do this every weekend if you want,” Kyungsoo said. “You know my schedule, obviously, and I’m always free on weekends. Except for every second Sunday of the month, that’s when Luhan and I clear our schedules and watch anime together,” Kyungsoo added.

“Sounds very 12-year-old of you. Do you watch the usual anime, like Bleach and Naruto?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo huffed at him. “Bleach is not ‘usual’ anime, excuse you.”

“Oh God, don’t tell me you think Byakuya is hot,” Jongin said, holding a hand up. Suho and Chanyeol were straight but they both found Byakuya hot; it was most irritating to Jongin.

“Actually, Luhan likes him. A lot. He has a big poster of him behind his door. I’m fine with all the characters in Bleach, but I really like Prince of Tennis,” Kyungsoo said honestly.

There was an awkward silence as Jongin stared at Kyungsoo wordlessly, his spoon in midair.

“W-what?” Kyungsoo asked after an entire minute stretched out.

“Who calls Prince of Tennis his favorite anime?” Jongin croaked. Surely there were more fun things to watch about, like alternate dimensions, magical powers or Japan’s samurai and ninja infested past than fucking tennis?

“It’s right up there, I’m telling you, and a close runner up is Free,” Kyungsoo said, nodding as if it was the gospel truth. Jongin took a deep breath and exhaled very slowly. They were not going to go there; Chanyeol had once mentioned that Free (“And it’s ‘Free!’, Jongin, keep that in mind, it’s not ‘free’ but ‘Free!’” said Chanyeol in Jongin’s mind) was on the verge of yaoi anime and that it was all the rage among teenage girls.

“There’s no real way around this hyung, but… you sound really gay,” Jongin drawled. Kyungsoo glared at him and slapped his arm, at which Jongin laughed hysterically. Do Kyungsoo, 28, a closet homosexual and watches Free in his spare time… Oh, the novelty.

“It’s just anime,” Kyungsoo said defensively, and Jongin backed off. For now. He could tease Kyungsoo about this next time, when he thought this conversation was over and done with.

“Okay, okay, so you’re not free on certain weekends,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo cut in before he could continue, “I don’t mind if you want to go out or have me over on Saturdays though. I-if you want, you could join me and Luhan on Sundays too.” He went red in the face.

Jongin smiled. “That’s very heartwarming to hear, but I don’t want to take away your bonding time with Luhan. It’d be a bore to have me over on those days anyway,” Jongin laughed, finishing up his gelato. Kyungsoo was almost done with his gelato as well, and soon this would be over but Jongin still wasn’t sure if they were going back to his place for round two or if they had to part for now.

“So, Kyungsoo, do you want to go home after this or would you like to take me up on my offer? The apartment’s still open to you, and we can do whatever you want once I get the bill,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo seemed to mull it over in his head.

“I um, enjoyed this, honestly, and I suppose I could come over to keep you company since I don’t know how else to thank you for today,” Kyungsoo shrugged.

“I can think of a way for you to thank me,” Jongin smiled, lifting an eyebrow suggestively. Kyungsoo looked away, putting his spoon down and biting his lips.

“You’re coming over then, hm?”

“I guess.”

Excellent. Jongin waved the waitress over for the last time and paid with his credit card. He dialed up Mr. Lee and told him they were going home, and once he signed the receipt Jongin and Kyungsoo got up to leave the restaurant. There were other people in the restaurant, but none of them seemed to recognize Jongin, except for the staff. They waved to him goodbye and held the door open for him till Kyungsoo and Jongin were standing on the street, waiting for Mr. Lee to get them.

“Are we going to eat out for dinner again?” Kyungsoo asked.

“Yeah, unless you don’t mind cooking instant noodles,” Jongin said, secretly pleased that Kyungsoo was thinking about dinner already, but said nothing in case he jinxed it.

“In that case, can we make a detour and get some vegetables? It’s not healthy just eating instant noodles, after all,” Kyungsoo said, running a hand through his hair. His ears were a little pink and Jongin suddenly wondered if the wine at lunch was too much for Kyungsoo.

“Are you feeling dizzy or anything?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo looked up at him and shook his head. “I’m okay. A little warm I think, but that’s all.”

“Okay. Let me know if you need coffee or—damn, what else do you drink if you’re getting too drunk?” Jongin said. Kyungsoo smiled up at him shyly.

“I’ve never been really drunk before, so I don’t know. The wine wasn’t so bad, Jongin, I’ll be fine,” Kyungsoo said, laughing it off. Jongin decided to take his word for it and stared down the street distractedly, trying to think of some place they could get vegetables.

“Where do people usually get vegetables?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo looked at him as if he’d just lost his mind.

“The market. Or supermarket, if you’re feeling fancy. There’s a wet market just a few minutes away, and your driver can park by the sidewalk while I get the ingredients. Do you like squid?” Kyungsoo asked.

“I’ll come with you hyung, wet market sounds slippery and dangerous. Squid sounds great,” Jongin replied, nodding at his question.

“The wet market is probably where I feel most comfortable, Jongin, it’s not that dangerous,” Kyungsoo laughed.

“Why do you think they call it wet market? There must be water everywhere so that must mean it’s easy to slip and fall. I’ll come with you to make sure you don’t fall and crack your head open like an egg, okay? Don’t take it personally, I’m just not ready to find another stalker to bring back to my apartment just yet,” Jongin said, and Kyungsoo nudged at his ribs in retaliation.

“That’s no way to talk to your hyung,” Kyungsoo rolled his eyes, but Jongin could see he’d won him over. Jongin didn’t think he’d ever seen a wet market up close before anyway, so this would be good for him.

When Mr. Lee arrived, Jongin and Kyungsoo only had to ride for a few minutes as Kyungsoo said before they stopped by a street that looked more like a back alley and smelled like a drain that hadn’t been cleaned in years. It smelt like stinking vegetables, rotting fruits and stale fish but Kyungsoo practically leapt out of the car smiling happily and told Jongin to hurry up as he skipped over to the first few stalls.

“Ooh, the tofu looks so fresh today,” Kyungsoo said excitedly, looking at a very wet tray of wobbling tofu. The road wasn’t even here, with potholes dotting the way while Jongin tried to make his way over to Kyungsoo’s side without spraining an ankle.

“Should we get egg tofu or soybean tofu?” Kyungsoo asked Jongin absently from two feet away.

“Egg!” Jongin yelled, almost slipping on a vegetable leaf. At least it looked like a vegetable leaf; he didn’t want to look too closely to see what it was. He finally slinked his way behind Kyungsoo as he was paying a lady a few coins in exchange for a small plastic of egg tofu.

“Here, hold this,” Kyungsoo said, passing the slightly damp plastic bag to Jongin. He could only hope that he wouldn’t get salmonella or some other virus in his system that could potentially kill him just from being there at the wet and very smelly market.

“Shall we get some kimchi? Egg sounds pretty good too… Jongin, do you have eggs at your place?” Kyungsoo asked, muttering to himself as he walked.

“No, I don’t have anything fresh at home,” Jongin said, wrinkling his nose at a stall selling dried fish and other varieties of dried food.

“Hmm, since I’ll be staying over I should probably get some stuff for tomorrow as well… Ah, chives!” Kyungsoo gasped, and he scampered from stall to stall like that, buying a few items here and there till Jongin’s hands were full, holding bags of bell peppers, fresh kimchi and God only knows what else Kyungsoo thought he needed for today and tomorrow.

It didn’t quite occur to Jongin that Kyungsoo was actually going to stay over till he realized it while Kyungsoo bought fifteen dollars worth of pork belly. The butcher’s shop had red lighting instead of the usual white lights, which made Jongin squint and wonder if he’d go blind if he stood there long enough.

When Kyungsoo paid for the pork and thanked the butcher, Jongin tried to protest but Kyungsoo waved him away.

“The wet market doesn’t take credit cards so you’ll just have to deal with it,” Kyungsoo smiled. Jongin bit back on a remark; Kyungsoo probably brought him here on purpose so that Jongin couldn’t pay for anything… sneaky bastard.

They exited the butcher’s place and Kyungsoo took half of Jongin’s load of bags from him while they started to head back from where they came, counting the money he’d spent carefully in his head. “Twenty dollars, a dollar and sixty, so that makes it twenty one sixty…” he mumbled. Jongin walked with him patiently, looking around but trying not to breathe too deeply.

“Jongin, you do have pots and pans at your place, right?” Kyungsoo suddenly asked as they walked past a shop selling brass pots and other kitchen tools.

“Uh, yeah. A complete set of everything each, yes, unless you need an extra pot or something,” Jongin said, remembering his mother’s housewarming gift of stainless steel kitchen items. He’d never used them before; his mother would probably be disappointed to know that her gift was still in its package, untouched since he moved into his apartment.

“You have more than one pot, right?” Kyungsoo asked flatly. “Ye—Wait, does a sauce pan count as a pot?”

“Yeah. Cool then. I’ll make you dinner when we get back and you don’t have to spend any more money, okay?” Kyungsoo said. The smile on his face was so radiant that Jongin couldn’t find it in himself to protest at that, and he just shrugged. “Sounds great to me,” he said.

-

“Step off,” Kyungsoo said calmly, vacuum cleaner poking and whirring at Jongin’s feet.

“No. Turn off the fucking vacuum cleaner, hyung, it’s so noisy,” Jongin said, rolling his eyes.

“Just a bit more, Jongin, the carpet’s kind of dusty,” Kyungsoo grunted, and Jongin had to move his foot away from where he stood, standing by the doorway of his spare room. Kyungsoo had been vacuuming the entire apartment for the last half hour, and though his place was now free of dust he couldn’t help but feel like he was talking to his cleaning lady.

Kyungsoo had insisted on sprucing the place up a bit by wiping and vacuuming every last, flat surface of Jongin’s apartment, even under the sofa for God’s sake. He said that if Jongin was going to be stubborn on the money thing, then he was going to put his foot down on this matter and clean Jongin’s apartment till it was sparkling bright.

“I like cleaning anyway, ask Luhan about it. I don’t like leaving a mess alone without doing something about it, so you’ll just have to live with it,” Kyungsoo grunted, dragging the vacuum cleaner all over the carpet. Sweat dotted his forehead, but not for the reason Jongin wanted it to be when he was in this room.

“If you want to do the carpet, fine then, just. Vacuuming and no more, okay?” Jongin relented. He never knew people could be this enthusiastic about cleaning all his life.

“I was going to mop the place up though—”

 “HYUNG.”

Kyungsoo pursed his lips and shut up for once. Having assessed his authority over what Kyungsoo could and could not do for the next hour or so, Jongin went back to the kitchen where he was in charge of putting everything in the fridge till later when it was time for dinner. He tied up the tofu bag tightly, flinging it into the deepest part of the fridge in disgust with the pork. It was all just so wet and icky and… ew.

Then there were the vegetables, which were much easier to handle. He just took them out and put them all in one big plastic bag before putting them in the drawer below the shelves in the fridge. He had already put aside a packet of dry seaweed and other items that didn’t need to be refrigerated on the counter, as well as arranged five eggs into the little shelf at the door of his fridge so his task was easily done in a matter of minutes. 

Now all he had to do was show Kyungsoo how well he did with the fridge and arranging everything nicely, and then hopefully he can pull Kyungsoo on the sofa to make out with him till dinnertime.

Yes, I think there’s time to get recreational, Jongin thought with a wicked smile, washing his hands at the sink.

Jongin glanced at the spare room, trying to see if Kyungsoo was done with vacuuming the life out of the carpet yet. It didn’t seem like it, not to Jongin, from the way Kyungsoo was trying to vacuum underneath the daybed by sticking the long head of the vacuum as far as he could while half lying down on the ground.

“That’s it, I’m not going to take this any longer,” Jongin said to no one, going over to the room and pulling the vacuum plug out of the socket from the wall.

Kyungsoo made a confused noise when he realized the vacuum was no longer whining away, and brought himself up from the ground to see what had happened. When he saw Jongin twirling the plug in his hands, Kyungsoo frowned.

“I wasn’t done, Jongin.”

“I know. And you never will be, not unless I pull the plug. Literally,” Jongin said, flinging the plug to the ground. Kyungsoo moved to pick it up but Jongin placed his foot over it.

“Hyung, you’re staying over this weekend to have fun with me, not clean my apartment,” Jongin said flatly. Kyungsoo slapped at his foot repeatedly like it was the root of all evil. “Just—it’s only a little more, Jongin, can’t you leave me alone for another five minutes—”

Jongin pushed Kyungsoo over with his hand, not too hard but with enough force to surprise him and topple him over on his back. Kyungsoo’s breath went out of him in a breathless huff as he hit the ground, the force muffled from the carpet, and he had no chance to regain his breath as Jongin climbed over him and sat down on him, thighs on either side of his waist as he looked down at Kyungsoo.

“I want to make out with you, hyung,” Jongin stated, leaning down to kiss Kyungsoo chastely over the lips.

“Get off, you’re heavy,” Kyungsoo said, no bite in his voice.

“If I do, will you pick up the vacuum cleaner again?” Jongin asked cautiously. He pushed it away from Kyungsoo’s grip just in case he wanted to attack Jongin with it or something.

“No,” Kyungsoo snapped at him, though there was a hint of red on his cheeks. At least he had the grace to feel embarrassed. Jongin smiled and shuffled off of Kyungsoo slowly, sitting on the carpet. Kyungsoo sat up slowly first, and then eyed Jongin and the vacuum carefully.

“Don’t even think about it,” Jongin said warningly, leaning forward to tug Kyungsoo into his lap. Kyungsoo resisted at first, but he was no match for Jongin’s strength. He was dragged over like a rag doll, struggling all the way till Jongin kissed him hard, forcing Kyungsoo’s mouth open to lick at his tongue.

Kyungsoo pushed at Jongin’s chest feebly, his lower half curled over Jongin’s lap and his body held close as Jongin kissed him repeatedly, the small, wet sounds they were making causing Kyungsoo’s cheeks to flare up.

“Stop,” Kyungsoo mumbled, hands going to Jongin’s hair. Jongin noted faintly that Kyungsoo was caressing his hair and pulling at it every time he sucked or nibbled on Kyungsoo’s lip.

“Why would I stop when it’s clear you don’t want me to?” Jongin asked, breaking off to let Kyungsoo breathe. Jongin was on his way to becoming Aquaman very soon; he would give up breathing just to kiss Kyungsoo all year long. Kyungsoo had such soft lips and a very delectable flavor to his mouth, how was Jongin going to stop now that he’d set the ball rolling? Jongin kissed a wet trail down to Kyungsoo’s neck, sucking on his fair skin and leaving a very faint mark near his collarbone.

Kyungsoo held Jongin’s head to his neck, moaning and sighing softly in Jongin’s arms. “Stop because I tell you to,” Kyungsoo said breathlessly.

“But this is what you came for, isn’t it?” Jongin asked, pushing Kyungsoo over once more. He climbed over on top of Kyungsoo, hands snaking under Kyungsoo’s shirt to finger his nipples. “Ah— don’t,” Kyungsoo protested in a high pitched, breathy voice, pushing Jongin’s hand away.

Jongin chuckled at his reaction, kissing his protests away and distracting him while tugging at his nipple very gently, feeling it peak and harden at his touch. Kyungsoo gasped beneath Jongin, legs shifting and moving around helplessly as he tried to writhe his way out of Jongin’s reach.

“Oh, Jongin, p-please,” Kyungsoo begged. Jongin reached his other hand under Kyungsoo’s shirt as well and pulled at both of his nipples, watching him sigh and squirm in pleasure.

“What do you feel, hyung? Do you like it when I do this?” Jongin asked, releasing his hold on Kyungsoo’s nipples to rub his fingertip over the hard peaks. Kyungsoo tried to bring up his hands and push Jongin’s hands away but Jongin quickly held onto Kyungsoo around the ribs and rubbing his thumbs mercilessly over Kyungsoo’s nipples.  

“Yes… Oh yes, I love it,” Kyungsoo mumbled, placing his hands over Jongin’s thumbs under his shirt and pressing down on his chest, trying to push his hands away at the same time.

“How are you, hyung? Are you feeling sore?” Jongin asked, leaning over to bite his earlobe.

 He knew Kyungsoo was probably sore since it was his first time and he wouldn’t be used to being stretched right away, but Jongin couldn’t find it in himself to resist if Kyungsoo was going to be so sensitive to every little touch, every kiss and every bite. He wanted Kyungsoo to moan and scream for him again, fill him up deep and remind him who his body was a slave to.

Kyungsoo didn’t answer right away, lifting his hips up slightly to press against Jongin’s crotch, and he groaned in frustration when he found that Jongin didn’t want to relieve the pressure on his cock at all.

“I’m sore b-but I don’t care, Jongin, I want you,” Kyungsoo said, reaching a hand up to hold Jongin’s cheek.

“You can do what you want to me,” Kyungsoo whispered. Jongin knew he wasn’t exaggerating when he said that from the pure sincerity in his voice.

“I intend to,” Jongin replied, kissing him hard for a moment. “Suck me off,” he ordered softly, taking his hands away from Kyungsoo’s nipples to run them lightly over Kyungsoo’s spine.

Kyungsoo shivered uncontrollably, fingers digging into Jongin’s hair.

“I want to,” he replied shyly, pressing his lips to Jongin’s lower lip.

Jongin smiled at his reply. He loved Kyungsoo’s obedience, particularly because he knew Kyungsoo would only be this docile for Jongin and no one else. Reluctantly, he untangled himself from Kyungsoo, moving to sit on the daybed. It was handy indeed, and he was glad that he thought of getting one.

Kyungsoo crouched at Jongin’s feet, waiting for his command.

“I want you to take my pants off. Then, you’re going to make me come in that pretty mouth of yours, Kyungsoo, and you’ll swallow all of it down. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Jongin asked trailing a finger down his throat, and Kyungsoo nodded eagerly.

“But take off your pants first. I want to see how hard you are before I decide if I’ll let you jerk off while sucking on my cock,” Jongin said when Kyungsoo started unzip his jeans.

He didn’t hesitate, though Kyungsoo’s hands were trembling when he undid his pants. He let his pants sink down to his knees as he slid his thumbs beneath the waistband of his boxers and pulled them down as well, his cock springing up from the constraints, fully hard and shamelessly pointing upwards.

Jongin crooked his finger for him to come closer and Kyungsoo obeyed, shuffling over. Jongin touched his cock, feeling the velvet skin of the cockhead with his fingers. He rubbed his thumb over the slit, enticing a few drops of precome to leak out. Kyungsoo hissed and tensed with pleasure, but Jongin just ignored him, remaining almost clinically blank as he trailed his fingers along the underside of Kyungsoo’s cock. Kyungsoo’s cock twitched at his touch, more precome trickling out; a show of evidence of his desire.

Satisfied, Jongin let go of Kyungsoo’s cock and said, “You can touch yourself while you suck me off for now. What do you say to that?”

“Thank you,” Kyungsoo said meekly, going down on his knees. He was going to unbutton Jongin’s jeans when he pushed Kyungsoo away. He looked up at Jongin questioningly but kept silent and started to reach for his cock again. This time, Jongin slapped him across the face, hand stinging as Kyungsoo’s head snapped to one side.

“Hmm, Jongin, hit me again,” Kyungsoo murmured, a red mark appearing over his cheekbone.

“You ask before you put your hands on me,” Jongin lifted his eyebrow, choosing to overlook what Kyungsoo just said. Jongin wanted to be selfish this time, just this once and make Kyungsoo work to pleasure him.

“You’re an unworthy piece of shit, Kyungsoo. Thank me,” Jongin demanded.

“Thank you for subjugating me… May I suck you off, please?” Kyungsoo said politely. Jongin listened, and then nodded, letting Kyungsoo unbutton and unzip his jeans. He let Kyungsoo tug his jeans halfway down his thighs and smiled in amusement when Kyungsoo grunted as he pulled at Jongin’s boxers, trying to reveal as much skin as possible. Jongin’s cock was exposed at least, hard against his stomach. Kyungsoo bit his lip but refrained from touching it.

“Is this alright?” Kyungsoo asked, glancing up at Jongin.

“It is. Do you need help with what to do?” Jongin replied. Kyungsoo thought about it and nodded.

“All you do is…” Jongin lifted Kyungsoo’s chin up by a fraction of an inch and slid two fingers into his mouth. “Suck hard and pull like this with your mouth,” Jongin said, sticking his fingers in and out over Kyungsoo’s wet tongue.

“Take as much as you can down your throat,” Jongin instructed. Kyungsoo swallowed around Jongin’s fingers and it went down partly in his throat. He waited patiently, nostrils flaring, and Jongin pulled out after a few seconds, trailing his wet fingers over Kyungsoo’s lips.

“Good. Resist your gag reflex for as long as you can, and remember to use your tongue a lot. Oh yes, no teeth as well,” Jongin added. “Or I’ll leave you hard all day.”

“I’ll do my best,” Kyungsoo promised, kissing Jongin’s fingertips. “I know you will,” Jongin said, smiling gently at him.

“Can I… touch your cock? Please?” Kyungsoo asked breathlessly. “Yes,” Jongin whispered. He held his breath in anticipation as Kyungsoo took his cock with tentative fingers, holding it like it was the most fascinating thing he’d ever seen.

He closed his eyes when Kyungsoo placed it in his mouth, careful not to scrape his teeth against Jongin’s cock. Kyungsoo’s mouth was warm and wet, more so than Jongin had ever imagined. Jongin had thought that kissing Kyungsoo was the closest to cloud nine, but this. This felt like bliss; sin and heaven all at once, and he wanted to fuck his mouth already, force his cock down his throat and choke him with his come.

Kyungsoo sucked as Jongin told him to, sucking noisily on his cockhead and tonguing at the slit. Jongin wanted to buck into Kyungsoo’s mouth badly but resisted the urge, digging his hand into Kyungsoo’s hair and panting heavily.

“You’re doing good, Kyungsoo, take it all in,” Jongin sighed, looking down at Kyungsoo sucking hard on his cock. His lips were glistening red with spit and Jongin’s precome, and he looked like a beautiful mess with Jongin’s cock in his mouth. Jongin coaxed him on gently as he took a deep breath and moved forward to take more of Jongin’s cock down his throat.

He let it slide in till Jongin could feel his cock hitting the back of Kyungsoo’s throat and jerked, tugging on Kyungsoo’s hair. He moaned, sending vibrations along the length of Jongin’s cock and set Jongin’s blood on fire.

Breathing through his nose, Kyungsoo slowly took more of Jongin’s cock into his mouth, throat swallowing around his thick length instinctively. Tears started to dot his eyes as he tried to resist his gag reflex and he placed a hand at the base of Jongin’s cock, stopping for a moment to catch his breath.

“Relax, Kyungsoo, and go slow. We have all the time you need to make me come,” Jongin crooned. Kyungsoo’s throat felt amazing around his cock and he couldn’t wait till Kyungsoo took the rest of his cock into his mouth and really suck him off like that, all filthy and dirty.

Hand shaking at the base of Jongin’s cock, Kyungsoo started to move once more. With his wet mouth, he pushed Jongin’s cock slowly down his throat. Jongin gripped his hair, the pleasure almost too much for him to take as Kyungsoo’s throat swallowed thickly. He gasped loudly on the daybed when Kyungsoo finally took it all in, his nose pressed to the thatch of hair at Jongin’s crotch.

Kyungsoo whimpered and made small noises around Jongin’s cock, his tongue sliding around Jongin’s length inside his mouth. Jongin couldn’t resist any longer and thrust his hips gently into Kyungsoo’s mouth just once, a spurt of precome shooting down Kyungsoo’s throat when Jongin’s cock slid in that much deeper into the slick heat of Kyungsoo’s mouth.

Kyungsoo gagged at that, his gag reflex finally kicking in, and he pulled off, coughing to the side. His face turned red quickly, so Jongin waited till his fit was over and Kyungsoo continued from where he left off.

“Take it all in,” Jongin said decisively. Kyungsoo was perhaps a touch inexperienced, so he’d help this time. Kyungsoo was doing rather well though, and Jongin was sure he’d do even better as time passed.  

Barely choking on his cock this time, Kyungsoo started to swallow him down almost greedily. He stopped right before he reached the hilt of Jongin’s cock and hummed, taking Jongin’s hand and pressing it to his head while he let Jongin’s cock slide in and out of his mouth obscenely.

It was what Jongin had been waiting for, possibly since the day he met Kyungsoo, and he loved the sensation of pushing hard on Kyungsoo’s head onto his cock and thrusting into his mouth at the same time. He managed to thrust three times into his mouth before Kyungsoo pulled off with a low cry, like a cat in heat and jerked his cock off with his hand.

“Jongin, do it again, please, I liked it when you fucked my mouth,” Kyungsoo begged. Growling, Jongin pulled Kyungsoo’s head forward and he took Jongin’s cock into his mouth once more obediently.

He didn’t wait for Kyungsoo to swallow him completely, just waited till he had half his cock into Kyungsoo’s mouth before thrusting roughly into his mouth, heat blossoming in his groin as pleasure flooded his veins.

It felt like an adrenaline rush as Kyungsoo hummed as best as he could around Jongin’s cock, trying to get him to come with his mouth alone. Jongin felt like he was pushed over the edge of sanity when Kyungsoo swallowed hard around his cock just once, because it was difficult for him to breathe.

Kyungsoo tried to tongue at Jongin’s cock experimentally while he thrust into his mouth, and was rewarded with Jongin coming almost at once, very suddenly and deep in his throat. He swallowed and lapped it all up hungrily, milking Jongin’s cockhead by sucking hard on it.

A tremor shook Jongin violently, hips bucking into Kyungsoo’s mouth erratically till his orgasm stretched out into another one and come splattered all over Kyungsoo’s face, droplets scattered over his abused cheekbone and lips.

Kyungsoo tried to catch all of his come with his mouth and tasted salt with a slight bitter undertone. It was filthy but almost delicious regardless, since it was Jongin’s come and he had worked for this, had given Jongin an orgasm for the first time. Victory and a sense of satisfaction swept Kyungsoo in a haze, and he jerked himself off once more, trying to come as well.

“You… did you…?” Jongin asked, dropping limply on the daybed.

“No,” Kyungsoo replied, wincing as he tried to come as well. “No?” Jongin repeated. He sat up once more and reached down to finger Kyungsoo’s cock, pushing at the foreskin and teasing Kyungsoo’s slit incessantly.

“You did very well, Kyungsoo, won’t you come for me like a good boy you are?” Jongin whispered in Kyungsoo’s ear.

“I’m so hard it hurts,” Kyungsoo whined back, and Jongin kissed his cheek gently, promising him that he’d fuck him hard as a reward for sucking him off so well. It made Kyungsoo long for Jongin’s cock inside him again, stretching him open and he felt his cock pulse before he came with a strangled cry, arching his back into Jongin’s touch.

-

Jongin sat at the counter, smiling in amusement. It was almost ten p.m. now and outside, Seoul was lit up with a thousand colorful lights against a black backdrop. In Jongin’s apartment, there was the smell of kimchi lingering in the air, the sound of music floating from Jongin’s music system and Do Kyungsoo standing in the kitchen with no pants on, chopping garlic like a fucking Masterchef.

He was actually genuinely surprised when he woke up less than an hour ago to find Kyungsoo still sleeping in his arms. After that rather intense blowjob in the evening, Jongin had dragged himself and Kyungsoo into his bedroom to take a short but pleasant nap.

He’d never orgasmed more than twice in one day, and coming three times in the span of less than ten hours was strenuous, exciting though it was. Jongin had not really expected Kyungsoo to stay, or maybe it was just hard to believe that someone else was sharing his space, but when he suddenly woke up in the darkness of his bedroom, he could still see the outline of Kyungsoo’s sleeping body; he hadn’t moved an inch, except to stick his thumb into his mouth.

When he woke Kyungsoo up after staring at his sleeping face for ten minutes, Kyungsoo had shot up in bed like an electrocuted dead body and said in a choked voice, “I haven’t made dinner,” which was how Kyungsoo ended up standing in Jongin’s kitchen with no bottoms, Jongin sneaking glances at his cute ass every five seconds. He had to rip out his pots and pans from their packaging while Kyungsoo hurried over without giving too much thought about what he was (or was not) wearing till he realized it was a bit too airy down there.

“Jongin, can you pass me the lettuce from the fridge? I need to wash it now,” Kyungsoo murmured without turning around. Jongin hopped off the stool and opened the fridge, taking the vegetable bag out and digging for the lettuce. When he found it, Jongin went over to Kyungsoo and placed his head on Kyungsoo’s shoulder, holding the lettuce in front of him.

“You should really get some pants on before you cut your dick off while cooking,” he whispered in Kyungsoo’s ear.

“Put the lettuce in the sink,” Kyungsoo replied dryly. Moving away, Jongin dropped the lettuce in the sink and returned to put his head on Kyungsoo’s shoulder once more. He supposed this was how parrots felt like when they were perched on their owner’s shoulder; not very high up but still a little cozy.

“No one’s ever cooked for me before,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo went on chopping at some leek, putting it aside to cook in the stew later.

“Not even your mom?” Kyungsoo asked.

“She doesn’t cook,” Jongin replied. Kyungsoo made a noise in his throat and moved on to chopping up an onion, slicing it up expertly as only an experienced cook can do. “You’re good at cooking,” Jongin commented, “And also sucking me off.”

Kyungsoo turned around and glared at him, stabbing Jongin’s side with a finger. “Go away, you’re embarrassing.”

“It was a real compliment. Should I have minced the words around instead?” Jongin laughed, stealing a kiss from Kyungsoo. “No. You could’ve… kept that piece of information to yourself,” Kyungsoo muttered, blushing as he returned to his task at hand.

“I’ll get you your pants. Don’t slice your dick off, okay?” Jongin chuckled. It was a pity that Kyungsoo couldn’t cook without any pants on, but Jongin was more concerned with his safety than the view he was getting right now… Wait, speaking of the view, his thoughts did a double take.

Sure, he couldn’t keep the lovely view of Kyungsoo’s pink ass for now but he could certainly take a page out of Kyungsoo’s book (more like Kyungsoo’s guide on how to stalk somebody for three years without them realizing anything) and snap a photo of it on his phone.

Could set it as my wallpaper too, for good memories, Jongin thought. Kyungsoo was still cutting things up at the kitchen, unaware of the devious plan that unfurled in Jongin’s head. It’s now or never, Jongin thought. He quickly snatched up Kyungsoo’s pants from the spare room and dug for his phone in his own jeans’ pocket, tapping on the little camera on the screen and moving quietly to the door, where Kyungsoo was visible from his position at the stove.

He didn’t notice anything still, so Jongin snapped away the minute Kyungsoo stood at the sink to wash something, his ass in full view. One angle was not enough, of course, as Jongin learned from Kyungsoo. Then he walked out of the room and headed towards the kitchen, pretending to look at his phone while snapping at least eight photos of the back of Kyungsoo’s figure, his white skin marked with pink lines glowing under the glare of the lights in Jongin’s apartment.

“Here’re your pants,” Jongin said distractedly, holding it up for him. “Oh,” Kyungsoo dried his hands on a washcloth and took it from him, putting it on quickly.

“Is there anything I can help you with?” Jongin asked, looking through the photos. They came out alright, so he made a note to look at them properly later. Kyungsoo didn’t know anything, so he just said, “Wash the rest of these lettuce leaves while I start cooking the stew. And do you have rice?” Kyungsoo asked.

“What? No, I told you I don’t have anything fresh here,” Jongin said, putting his phone on the counter. Kyungsoo sighed, buttoning up his pants and taking a bowl of kimchi to the stove.

“You should’ve said ‘I don’t have anything at all’,” he grumbled. “I can get some delivered to us,” Jongin said, rolling up his sleeves.

“It’s okay, is there a mart nearby?” Kyungsoo asked.

“Yes, but I’m not going to let you leave in case you decide to run away. Besides, it’s late. I can get my driver to buy some hot rice for us from a takeout place,” Jongin said, washing his hands under the tap and then picking up a large lettuce leaf, letting the cold water run over it.

“I can’t run away, I’m halfway cooking here,” Kyungsoo rolled his eyes.

“What if you decide to be cruel and leave me here with fresh ingredients and chopped vegetables? What then?” Jongin asked. What the fuck would he do with the fresh ingredients? He couldn’t even fry an egg without burning it into a black, crispy mess.

“I dunno, put them all in the fridge and wait till morning for your cleaning lady to cook something for you?” Kyungsoo said, laughing.

For the next hour, Jongin ‘helped’ Kyungsoo to make dinner before midnight. Apparently, he was too slow at washing up the vegetables. Jongin thought he was being very careful to wash the lettuce leaves and whatnot with lots of water, but Kyungsoo said that all he had to do was make sure there wasn’t any dirt and it’d be considered clean enough for consumption. That didn’t sound very safe to him but he was pushed to putting the plates and cutlery out instead, partly because Kyungsoo didn’t know where he kept everything.

When Kyungsoo started to fry the pork belly on the pan, he told Jongin to make the call and get rice over quickly before everything got cold. Since it was late by then and way past the dinner rush hour, hot rice arrived in fifteen minutes or so, just in time for Kyungsoo to plate everything up and declare “Dinner is served.” Jongin insisted that they finish his half full bottle of wine from this afternoon together over dinner.

Kyungsoo’s food tasted good, as Jongin expected. It was very homey and reminded him of his younger days when he lived with his parents and they’d eat dinner together at the dining table, the food prepared by a cook who’d been working for Jongin’s family for years. But of course, that was different from now. Perhaps he was biased, since it was Kyungsoo cooking and he’d never fucked someone and then let them cook for him before.

When dinner was over, Kyungsoo shooed him away to clean up the kitchen because Jongin was too crap at washing up to do any form of cleaning. Jongin was reduced to watching TV for an entire hour at his sofa, waiting for Kyungsoo to come over once he was done. The little figures on his television scuttled and ran around almost comically as Jongin’s mind slowly drifted away, going blank till suddenly Kyungsoo dropped on the sofa beside him, leaning heavily on Jongin.

“What are you watching?” Kyungsoo asked tiredly.

“Nothing, I wasn’t paying attention,” Jongin said, putting an arm over Kyungsoo’s shoulders and pulling him close. Kyungsoo sighed, his face damp with sweat. It was probably a combination of the day’s activities and the wine from lunch and dinner, because he looked worn out and in desperate need of a pillow and blankets soon.

“I’m so tired, Jongin, do you mind if I—”

“No, it’s okay, we can go to bed now if you want. It’s almost one a.m. anyway,” Jongin replied, turning off the television with his remote.

“I really don’t mean to go to bed now, I’m just really tired today,” Kyungsoo sighed. Jongin wasn’t such a lightweight and could hold his alcohol much better than Kyungsoo, but he was a little knackered as well.

“I’m sort of tired too so it’s alright. Do you want to shower first so you can sleep?” Jongin asked, pulling Kyungsoo up by the arms. 

“I guess. I’m sorry I can’t do anything else for you,” Kyungsoo apologized, standing up reluctantly and shuffling to the bedroom with Jongin. “Don’t be sorry. It’s your first time anyway, and I wasn’t expecting you to last a whole 24 hours without feeling tired at some point,” Jongin said, patting his hand.

Sending Kyungsoo into the bathroom to take a shower, Jongin went outside to turn off all the lights and take his phone from the kitchen. Kyungsoo had cleaned up really well; there wasn’t a waft of grease in the air and his kitchen looked exactly as it did before they started cooking. No wonder he’s so tired, Jongin thought. Kyungsoo had taken far too much effort in cleaning up.

Maybe I’ll reward him tomorrow if he’s around long enough, Jongin thought, a secret smile on his mouth as he went back into his room and shut the door behind him. He could hear water running from the bathroom and flung himself on the bed, turning the air conditioning on and drawing the curtains to get ready for bed.

He was trying to think of something to do so it wouldn’t seem as if he was waiting for Kyungsoo when he came out from the bathroom and suddenly remembered that he had taken quite a few interesting photos some time ago.

Let’s see how the photos turned out, Jongin thought wickedly, unlocking his phone and tapping on ‘gallery’. The photos popped out almost at once and he looked through them, admiring the color of Kyungsoo’s skin on his phone. If possible, it looked two to three shades lighter than usual, and it made Kyungsoo look like a cooking angel in Jongin’s kitchen.

Oh ho, this is very wallpaper worthy, Jongin thought in appreciation. In fact, it was worth printing as well, but that would have to wait till Monday when he could bring his phone and connect to the computer and printer in his office. Regardless, the photos were so gonna be his phone’s wallpaper, judging looks from Kyungsoo and his friends be damned.

He switched his phone off when Kyungsoo emerged from the shower wearing the same outfit he had on before he went in. Jongin gave him an appraising look as he stepped into the room awkwardly, his towel draped over his arm.

“Where do I um, sleep? On the couch?” Kyungsoo asked.

Jongin snapped out of his thoughts and replied without thinking, “Here, of course.”

Kyungsoo frowned at him. “Here? On the ground? You have a spare mattress I can lay out?” he asked. Jongin rolled his eyes and got out of bed to take his hand, leading him to the bed. “You are sleeping here. On my bed. We already did that just now so it’s fine. You can turn out the lights and sleep first if you want to.”

“B-but I’ve never shared a bed with someone before—”

“And I’ve shared a bed with two sisters before. Two teenage sisters at the time, might I add and they weren’t kind to me in their sleep either. You alone can’t be as bad as two sisters with a habit of kicking around in their sleep,” Jongin said, pushing him down to make sit at the end of the bed.

“No but, what if I get into your space or I take too much of the blankets?” Kyungsoo protested. “I don’t think we’ll be using the blankets; it’s kinda warm today,” Jongin remarked. Looking around desperately for an excuse, Kyungsoo said, “What if I wake you up with my snoring?”

Jongin lifted an eyebrow. “You snore?”

“Sometimes. What if I wake you up and you can’t sleep?”

“I’ll kick you so then we’ll both be awake, simple. Look, just lie down and go to sleep okay, don’t worry about me,” Jongin said. Sharing a bed with Kyungsoo on a king sized bed would obviously be different; it was unlikely they would disturb each other by kicking or moving around too much.

And as an afterthought, Jongin went to his closet and grabbed the simplest clothes he could find, throwing it over to Kyungsoo on the bed.

“What is this?” Kyungsoo asked, lifting an eyebrow. Jongin had thrown a t-shirt and one of his fancier training pants; but it was alright, he didn’t mind if there were crinkles.

“For you to put on. Don’t tell me you plan on sleeping in the exact same outfit you wore when you came over?”

“I do intend to do so,” Kyungsoo replied, picking up his clothes very slowly.

“It’s okay, just admit you forgot to bring pajamas and that’s settled,” Jongin smiled. Kyungsoo tried to protest, but Jongin was already closing the bathroom door.

His bathroom regime wasn’t very complicated; he didn’t take very long to shower, mostly just soaping himself up and washing it all off in less than five minutes. Jongin washed his face at the sink, brushed his teeth and applied a bit of moisturizer; his skin could get a bit dry under the air conditioning sometimes. Then he noticed Kyungsoo’s small case of toiletries and he poked around a bit, checking out his toothbrush, his toothpaste and face wash. There was nothing special about his toiletries, so he put it aside after sating his curiosity.  

Outside, his room was silent as he put on his clothes hanging behind the door. Jongin couldn’t tell if Kyungsoo was already asleep or if his walls were just too thick to hear anything.

Nevertheless, he stepped out less than fifteen minutes later in drab track bottoms and a different black tank top, peeking at Kyungsoo on the bed. For someone who claimed to have never shared a bed with someone before, Kyungsoo certainly fell asleep rather quickly. The lights were turned off already, except for the lamp on the dresser. He smiled to himself, padding over to charge his phone and pat Kyungsoo gently.

“Good night,” he said softly. He was ridiculously pleased when he noticed Kyungsoo was wearing his clothes. Turning out the final light, Jongin climbed into bed too and kept a distance from Kyungsoo in case he wasn’t the sort to share his space easily. He wanted to spoon Kyungsoo, but just pouted and pressed his face into the pillow.

It took a while for Jongin to fall asleep. He was pretty knackered but he couldn’t help but recall all he’d done with and to Kyungsoo earlier that day. It was fun in every sense of the word and he wanted to have more fun with Kyungsoo in the future. He hoped Kyungsoo would feel the same too, in the morning. There were a lot of things Jongin thought he could do to Kyungsoo, if he was willing. 

Jongin smiled at the thought of Kyungsoo coming over like clockwork every weekend. It didn’t sound like a bad idea at all.

Chapter Text

When the sun shone through the curtains and warmed Jongin’s face, his first thought was wow, the bed feels really nice today.

It was all warm and cozy as he breathed slowly, his mind coming into steady focus. He didn’t quite understand why but he felt happy somehow, and he’d only just woken up. Feels nice to wake up in a good mood for once, Jongin thought. Mornings like these didn’t come very often.

It didn’t quite occur to him why his bed was so warm and the rest of him was cool and airy when his pillow was suddenly tugged away from him, ruining his good mood. He grappled for his pillow once more and came in contact with something smooth and warm.

“Don’t wanna wake up yet,” Jongin muttered, refusing to open his eyes. If he opened his eyes then it was over; he’d never fall back sleep. His pillow stopped moving at once. He hugged it back to himself, smiling as he cuddled back something else that smelled familiar. It smelt of shampoo, an underlying hint of sweat and someone, a certain someone whom he’d sniffed not too long ago.

“Kyungsoo?” Jongin mumbled.

“It’s hyung to you,” Kyungsoo’s voice muttered in reply. Yesterday suddenly came back to Jongin at the sound of his voice, dinner at home for the first time, fucking Kyungsoo over the daybed and lunch at four in the afternoon with Kyungsoo…

“You’re on my side of the bed, hm?” Jongin muttered, trying not to open his mouth too widely in case of morning breath.

“Excuse you, you’re on my side of the bed… not that I have a side ‘cause it’s your bed, um,” Kyungsoo said, sounding indignant and then quietly embarrassed. Jongin snuggled closer, his face pressed into Kyungsoo’s hair and his leg hooked around Kyungsoo’s lower half.

“Mm,” Jongin hummed eloquently, squeezing Kyungsoo closer to himself. He liked how Kyungsoo was so warm and—and huggable. It was like sleeping with a live teddy bear, except that Kyungsoo wasn’t furry and he wasn’t stuffed full with cotton. Jongin wondered if he’d rolled all the way to Kyungsoo’s side and slept with him like this the whole night; perhaps his subconscious had craved a warm body to cuddle with. He’d never done much of this before, but it certainly felt nice, to be cozy against someone else.

“We should get up soon,” Kyungsoo said softly, almost dreamily. He didn’t sound like he wanted to get up.

“Let’s just sleep in today, hyung. I’m sure you’re all sore from yesterday,” Jongin replied, laying his head on Kyungsoo’s shoulder.

Kyungsoo reached up a tentative hand to mess Jongin’s hair up. He didn’t mind, allowing a few strands to fall into his eyes as he inhaled Kyungsoo’s scent. There was something so sweet about his scent, like body wash and fabric softener.

“I’m not that sore actually. I think a night’s rest did me good. Should I make you breakfast?” Kyungsoo asked distractedly, running his fingers through Jongin’s hair.

“You can but… I want to sleep in today,” Jongin said. He wasn’t too eager on getting up just yet; Sundays were made for sleeping in, in Jongin’s humble (but right) opinion. “Don’t you sleep in on Sundays, hyung?” Jongin asked blearily.

Then he remembered something Kyungsoo had said the day before. “Oh right, I bet you watch anime on Sundays,” Jongin added.

“Well, no, it’s just that particular Sunday of each month… No, I don’t usually sleep in ‘cause I have chores to do. Like cleaning, and cooking for my hungry roommate.”

Jongin snorted, “You sound like his housewife.”

Kyungsoo laughed lightly under his breath, turning to look at Jongin. “I like cleaning,” he shrugged, sounding matter-of-fact.

“Maybe you have OCD, hyung. Maybe you should be my maid and I’ll pay for your services by…” Jongin’s hand drifted down to Kyungsoo’s crotch, where he palmed him through his pants, “servicing you.”

Kyungsoo whimpered once, squirming away from Jongin. “I-I need to brush my teeth first,” he mumbled, face turning red.

“Oh come on, don’t be such a little girl,” Jongin rolled his eyes, using his fingers to caress Kyungsoo’s length and balls. Since they were awake now and Kyungsoo claimed he wasn’t feeling sore… Kyungsoo slapped a hand over his mouth, a muffled cry escaping as Jongin felt him up. Jongin tsked at him and took Kyungsoo’s hand away from his mouth, using his own hand to rub at Kyungsoo’s length gently.

“Stop, J-Jongin, it’s early in the morning—”

“Well, you were the one who said that we should be up by now,” Jongin remarked, climbing over Kyungsoo to sit on him heavily.

“But really, don’t you think we should brush our teeth first?” Kyungsoo asked meekly, catching Jongin’s hands and lacing their fingers together so that he wouldn’t try anything else. Jongin frowned.

“I brushed my teeth last night…”

“You’re supposed to brush your teeth every morning!” Kyungsoo replied indignantly.

“I know. But I’ve got something better to do than brush my teeth… I want to do you. Do Kyungsoo, to be exact,” Jongin smiled, sniggering at his own joke as he leaned down to kiss Kyungsoo on the mouth. He let Jongin kiss him long enough to fool him into thinking he was over the hygiene thing before he broke off and said pleadingly, “Please Jongin, can we at least brush our teeth and we can come back to do this?”

Jongin sighed heavily, sitting straight to narrow his eyes at Kyungsoo.

“Fine then. Run along and brush your teeth while I go get the lube from the other room,” he said tetchily. Kyungsoo sighed in relief, pushing Jongin off of him none too kindly to hurry into the bathroom.

Is my breath that bad? Jongin thought. He huffed an exhale against the back of his hand and sniffed; he couldn’t smell anything in particular. Whatever then, Jongin made a face. He could already hear Kyungsoo brushing his teeth furiously, even from where he was sitting on the bed so he had to hurry if he wanted to get this done with Kyungsoo.

Throwing his bedroom door open, Jongin was greeted by his cleaning lady sweeping the floor. Was his apartment so dusty that everyone felt the need to clean his place for him? “Morning, sir,” she said conversationally to him.

“Hey,” he called back, walking to the spare room to grab his bottle of lube.

His cleaning lady was specifically forbidden from cleaning his spare room, and though she might have guesses on what Jongin was using the room for, she had no real idea of knowing unless she wanted to risk getting fired and open the door. Nonetheless, she had been working for him for quite some time now and there’d been nothing remotely about who or what he’s been doing in his private time so Jongin had to assume she didn’t mouth off very much.

“I have a guest staying over today. You don’t have to clean my room for now, at least till I’m out,” Jongin said to her, shutting the door of the spare room behind him.

“Alright,” she replied, sweeping small bits of dirt into a dustpan. Satisfied that he wouldn’t be disturbed, Jongin went back into his room, locking the door for extra measure and skipped to his bathroom where Kyungsoo stood waiting patiently.

He was about to sweep Kyungsoo into a deep kiss and fuck him senseless on the marble bathroom floor then and there, but Kyungsoo suddenly pushed him quite hard with both hands and snatched something up from the sink. Jongin thought it was a knife at first and that maybe this was how he was going to die, horny and cock half hard with his mouth sliced up like the Joker, but when he felt the object in his mouth brush over his teeth, Jongin gave Kyungsoo a withering look.

“You’re so nasty, Jongin, you can’t expect us to have sex in the morning without brushing your teeth,” Kyungsoo scolded, brushing his teeth like how a mother would do for her four-year-old kid.

Jongin stood still without moving; if Kyungsoo wanted him to brush his teeth then he could do it himself, he wasn’t going to help him at all when Kyungsoo was being this ridiculous. Kyungsoo realized Jongin wasn’t going to brush his own teeth when he stopped after a minute, Jongin’s mouth half full with blue foam.

“Do I really have to do this for you?” Kyungsoo asked, looking at Jongin.

“You’re the one who wanted to brush my teeth, you do it,” Jongin snapped, with much difficulty around the toothbrush. Kyungsoo pursed his lips but went on with determination, brushing Jongin’s teeth for a few minutes before he told him to spit into the sink.

Jongin rinsed his mouth off and gargled a bit (in case Kyungsoo decided to complain about his breath next), setting the bottle of lube down beside the sink. Kyungsoo made a disgusted sound in his throat when he put Jongin’s toothbrush under the running water, using his thumb to wash the suds away from the bristles. After dabbing his mouth dry with his shirt, Jongin turned to look at Kyungsoo.

“Am I clean enough now? Or do you want me to wash my face and take a long shower first?” Jongin asked, sounding harsher than he intended to. Still, Kyungsoo looked somewhat apologetic and clasped his hands together.

“I was afraid you’d find my breath a little gnarly,” Kyungsoo muttered.

“Well. Since you’re in a very giving mood this morning and you’ve put me off considerably long enough, why don’t you do all the work today?” Jongin said, picking up the bottle of lube and pressing it into Kyungsoo’s hand.

Kyungsoo looked up at him in confusion. “You’re going to ride me today. And I’ll make you wish you didn’t take so long to brush my teeth,” Jongin said softly, kissing his cheek. Brushing past a stiff Kyungsoo, Jongin placed the lid over the toilet bowl and sat on it, spreading his legs. “Come on over then. We haven’t got long before you’ll start to insist that you have to go home soon,” Jongin said, feigning boredom.

Kyungsoo obeyed reluctantly, chewing his lip nervously. “May I take off your pants?” he asked obediently. Jongin nodded, reaching up to brush his fingers over Kyungsoo’s bruise on his cheekbone. He shivered at that, getting down on his knees to tug at Jongin’s pants.

“Do you think you deserve to come after you so rudely attacked with a toothbrush?” Jongin asked. Kyungsoo exposed his boxers, flipping the waistband over to tug it down his thighs. Jongin lifted his hips to let his pants and boxers slide all the way down to his feet, watching Kyungsoo carefully.   

“With all due respect, I was doing it for both our benefits,” Kyungsoo replied calmly, sounding a tiny bit annoyed. But that was something Jongin knew he’d change soon; he was going to make Kyungsoo beg for forgiveness this time.

“Take off your pants now, Kyungsoo. Make me hard and then put it in yourself,” Jongin instructed. Kyungsoo nodded briefly, pulling Jongin’s pants off of himself and setting it aside. When he took off his boxers, Jongin saw that he was fully hard, the cockhead flushed red already.

Ah, so he likes this, Jongin thought with a secret smile. Kyungsoo seemed to enjoy this reprimand and punishment at some level, despite looking irritated with Jongin. Using the lube, Kyungsoo began to slick Jongin’s cock with his hands, rubbing his length slowly. Jongin wasn’t quite hard but he got there very quickly as he felt Kyungsoo’s fingers on his cock, stroking him nice and slow. He groaned, fisting Kyungsoo’s hair as he gently fingered the tip of his cock.

“Is this alright?” Kyungsoo asked huskily, looking up at Jongin for a response.

“Yes,” Jongin said, caressing his cheek. “Now turn around and put two fingers up your ass,” he said, brushing his thumb over Kyungsoo’s lower lip.

Silently, Kyungsoo turned around, squeezing more lube onto his hand and bracing a hand on the wall in front of him to reach behind himself. The pink lines from yesterday had faded, but there was still a streak of pink here and there. He slid a finger in at first, sighing at the stretch. He slid his finger in and out a few times, bending over as he moaned in pleasure. “Add another,” Jongin said, watching his fingers disappear into his tight entrance, his oh-so-tight and greedy little ass.

Kyungsoo hissed and dropped his head once his two fingers were inside him, stretching his entrance by spreading his fingers open and giving Jongin a lovely view of his slick ass.

“Come over and put it in now,” Jongin ordered. He didn’t want Kyungsoo to enjoy this too much; that’d be far too easy. Kyungsoo pulled his fingers out with a wet sound, shuddering as he stumbled backwards and sat on Jongin’s lap clumsily, breathing heavy.

“Put it in, Kyungsoo. Put it in and tell me how much you want my cock inside you,” Jongin whispered in his ear. Kyungsoo keened piteously, half standing on trembling knees to readjust his position and reach for Jongin’s cock. Jongin leaned forward encouragingly, placing a hand on Kyungsoo’s hip.

“I want your cock, Jongin, I do,” Kyungsoo whimpered, placing the tip of his cock at his ass and pressing backwards, crying out incoherently as Jongin’s cock breached his entrance.

Jongin watched Kyungsoo’s ass suck his cock in breathlessly, watched every inch of his cock disappear into Kyungsoo’s ass and felt him sit on his lap, hands gripping the sides of the toilet bowl tightly. It was all the way in now, and Jongin could hardly breathe from how tight Kyungsoo was, so gloriously tight he felt like his cock would burst any second already, and they hadn’t even gotten to the fun part yet.

“Move,” Jongin bit out, running his fingers deep into Kyungsoo’s soft hair and tugged backwards mercilessly. Kyungsoo almost went off balance, but he leaned forward just in time and gasped loudly, his fingers skittering across the smooth surface of the toilet bowl to get a grip.

“Tell me you own me, Jongin,” he breathed, moving his hips back and forth on Jongin’s lap. His cock slid out of his ass with a wet squelch and slid right back in with a similar noise. It sounded filthy and obscene and Kyungsoo loved it, threw his head back while humping Jongin’s cock with quiet sighs.

“I own you,” Jongin growled, placing both hands on Kyungsoo’s chest and felt for his nipples through his shirt. “I own every inch of you and you’ll never forget how it feels when I’m inside you, fucking your ass wide open.”

Kyungsoo moved a little faster at that, trying to reach his orgasm but Jongin made him go slow, forcing him to ride his cock at a slow, almost painful pace.

“Jongin, p-please, I can’t,” Kyungsoo whispered, ass squeezing around Jongin’s cock as he begged.

“Nope. You don’t get to come till I say so,” Jongin said, tugging Kyungsoo closer. His feet dangled an inch above the ground, and he tried to hook his legs around Jongin’s to lift himself up and drop down harder on his lap. Jongin tutted at his desperation, his cock hitting Kyungsoo’s prostrate when he moved further back on Jongin’s lap.

Kyungsoo shuddered uncontrollably, moaning loudly as he tried to hit that spot again. “J-Jongin please, help me…”

“This is what you get when you try to resist me, you know,” Jongin whispered, pressing a kiss to the back of Kyungsoo’s neck. He was sweaty now, and Jongin was starting to feel hot as well, though he wasn’t going to let Kyungsoo come so soon. He could tell Kyungsoo was close from the way his ass clenched down on him sporadically, his hips moving a little sloppier than a minute ago.

Ah—I won’t do it again, I promise,” Kyungsoo said breathily. But Jongin wasn’t done yet.

“No, you will because you like it when I punish you, don’t you?” Jongin asked, tugging on his hair again, forcing Kyungsoo to arch his back while his ass pushed onto Jongin’s cock, his ass brushing against Jongin’s balls.

“N….no, I won’t, I swear, Jongin, I’ll be your good boy,” Kyungsoo whined, shifting around uncomfortably. One of his hands drifted down as if he wanted to touch himself, but Jongin caught it and tugged on his hair brutally, pulling him all the way back till Kyungsoo was leaning on Jongin’s shoulder and his cock pointed helplessly upwards. His hips stopped moving and Jongin thrust into him, barking at him to continue.

“Please, Jongin, I want to come,” Kyungsoo begged, hands reaching helplessly to grasp at Jongin’s shoulders while he bounced on Jongin’s lap without any rhythm. Jongin took Kyungsoo’s cock into his hand, squeezing the head cruelly.

“What did you say?” Jongin asked lightly.

“I want to come, I need to come, Jongin, fuck—can I come, please?” Kyungsoo shouted. Placing a hand on Kyungsoo’s waist to hold him still, Jongin circled his hips to press his cock into every part of Kyungsoo, rolling his hips gently and was rewarded by precome leaking over his fingers.

“Do you promise to be a good boy?” Jongin asked.

“Y-yes, yes I’ll be anything you want me to be,” Kyungsoo said helplessly, eyes closed as he tried to move against Jongin’s cock, but his thighs were too sweaty to hump on Jongin’s lap properly.

“Then come for me and scream my name, make me believe how sorry you are,” Jongin said, releasing Kyungsoo’s cock.

Kyungsoo bounced on Jongin’s cock a few more times, milking it to bring himself to orgasm and came loudly, keening Jongin’s name in a high pitched voice while his come spurted on the ground. His voice sounded beautiful in the bathroom when it echoed and rang out over and over again in Jongin’s ears, bringing him close to the edge as well.

“Oh, come inside me, Jongin, please, I love it when you come inside me,” Kyungsoo begged, sliding back and forth on Jongin’s lap. His ass stuck out as he moved and Jongin only had to glance down at Kyungsoo’s hungry ass milking his cock before he too came as well, stiffening beneath Kyungsoo as his semen filled Kyungsoo up.

Kyungsoo leaned back on Jongin, moving sideways to kiss Jongin’s mouth sloppily, biting bluntly on his lower lip. “Thank you, Jongin,” he murmured shyly. Jongin panted heavily, breath uneven as he kissed Kyungsoo back.

“You’ve become insatiable, hm?”

“Only for you,” Kyungsoo whispered breathlessly, sucking on Jongin’s mouth.

“Why don’t you stand up and let me see my come all over your thighs?” Jongin asked huskily. Kyungsoo obliged him eagerly, staggering to his feet and whimpering as Jongin’s cock slid out of him. Jongin’s semen dripped out of his ass and Kyungsoo tried to keep it in, squeezing his ass cheeks together in spite of come slowly trailing down his pale thighs.

“I wish I had a picture of this,” Jongin said regretfully. Kyungsoo looked at him shyly, biting his lip while he turned around and stood before Jongin.

“I-I meant it when I said I wouldn’t do it again,” Kyungsoo said softly.

“It’s okay,” Jongin smiled up at him, standing up to crowd around Kyungsoo and force him backwards into a wall. “We’ll just do that again until you learn,” Jongin said, and it was a promise that he’d be treating Kyungsoo badly if he wasn’t going to behave.

“Can I wash you up while you shower? In return for letting me… come?” Kyungsoo asked, going on his tip toes to press his lips to Jongin’s.

“Why not?” Jongin asked.

-

“Hyung, all I’m trying to do is be nice to you, why is that so hard for you to accept?” Jongin asked in exasperation.

“It’s hard because I can’t leave fresh food in your kitchen if you’re going to just let it rot. Don’t waste perfectly good food,” Kyungsoo said, stabbing a finger in his direction. Jongin rolled his eyes for the umpteenth time that morning. Why is Kyungsoo so stubborn? Jongin asked himself, trying not to smile.  

They were having a very lovely time in the bathroom just forty minutes ago, where Jongin spent most of the time making out with Kyungsoo while he soaped both of their bodies up till they were both nice and slippery. It had all been rosy and carefree till Jongin merely suggested going out for brunch and Kyungsoo exploded.

“I’M COOKING FOR YOU,” he had said with such conviction before changing into a new set of clothes; Jongin just had to push his buttons and tease him about it.

“Hyung, you’re here to spend time with me not be my servant, cooking and cleaning whenever you come over. Can’t we order in at least, and then we can eat jjajangmyeon from each other’s mouths—”

“That’s disgusting,” Kyungsoo remarked from the sink, washing a small onion. “How would you know, you haven’t even tried it yet,” Jongin protested. On second thought, it did sound very nasty but Jongin wasn’t going to let Kyungsoo in on that thought. All he wanted to do was treat Kyungsoo to some good food since he knew Kyungsoo wouldn’t dine the same way Jongin would on a normal weekend, but he just had to insist on using up the rest of the perishable ingredients in Jongin’s fridge…

“The point is that it sounds disgusting, and why would you order jjajangmyeon when I can just make you a nice meal right here?” Kyungsoo answered lightly.

“I should spank you for this,” Jongin muttered, “For defying me.”

“We already agreed yesterday that you can pay for food if we’re outside but since there’s enough for us here,” Kyungsoo held up the chopping board. “I won’t take long, Jongin, I promise.”

“Oh yeah? Then are you going to vacuum the carpet later and say ‘ooh, it’s dusty here, it’s filthy there’?” Jongin demanded. Kyungsoo sighed, taking a small kitchen knife from the drawer to cut up a red bell pepper. “Jongin, we could go on about this all afternoon. Can’t we talk about something else now?” he asked. 

Jongin stared at Kyungsoo’s back with a sulky expression on his face. “No… We agreed but,” Jongin shrugged eloquently. He didn’t get why Kyungsoo was being so stubborn.

Kyungsoo turned around with the kitchen knife in hand. “But what?” he asked innocently.

Jongin lifted an eyebrow in faint amusement. “Are you threatening me?” he asked, glancing at the knife. 

“Am I?” Kyungsoo replied, cocking his head to one side. Jongin fell silent, and Kyungsoo returned to cutting the bell pepper into thin slices, facing his back to Jongin. He sipped at his coffee languidly, a little amused that Kyungsoo was being such a stubborn but cute little shit. So this is how he is when he feels completely unthreatened, Jongin mused. He couldn’t say he didn’t like it when he was like this.

“Hyung?” Jongin said after a while.

“Hm?”

 “What should we do after this?” Jongin asked conversationally, placing his chin on his hand with his elbow propped up on the counter. It was nice to see Kyungsoo acting like himself for once; Jongin could spare a day just to see Kyungsoo be like this all day. Kyungsoo made a small noise, opening the fridge to get something.

“Dunno. What do you think we should do?” he replied.

Jongin thought about it. “You wanna listen to some music? Shuffle through our music libraries, maybe? We could see which songs overlap and which don’t,” Jongin said, drumming his fingers on the counter.

“That sounds… personal,” Kyungsoo remarked.

“I’m opening up for you so you realize I’m not just your boss; I’m human too,” Jongin said brightly. Kyungsoo cringed, one side of his mouth twisted into a crooked smile. “Don’t. Don’t put it that way, Jongin, it sounds so wrong on so many levels. I thought you said you’re not technically working at Accuretta?” Kyungsoo asked, getting a skillet out.

“Well, that’s true… Accuretta works for me,” Jongin smiled.

Kyungsoo snorted, rinsing the skillet and starting up the electric stove. “I don’t have a lot of songs on my phone so listening to music might be a little inconvenient. What about…” he trailed off, thinking hard while he opened up a drawer absently to get a turner. He looked more at home in Jongin’s kitchen than Jongin ever did, standing by the stove and staring into the distance blankly.

“Reading?” Kyungsoo suggested thoughtfully.

Jongin tilted his head to one side. “I don’t read a lot though,” he said.

Kyungsoo gave him a deadpan look. “Not everyone I meet reads F. Scott Fitzgerald,” he said, rolling his eyes. They had texted about their favorite books before, but that seemed like a separate matter; how would they read together? Would one of them read aloud while the other listened? Did Jongin have to speak in strange voices as well?

“What do you think?” Kyungsoo asked. The skillet was hot now, and Kyungsoo poured a mixture of egg and vegetables into it. The mix began to sizzle and bubble almost immediately, the smell of fried goodness permeating the air.

“If you want to read, say, The Great Gatsby together with me, then do we cuddle in bed and hold one side of the book? Read in voices as well?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo shrugged, smiling at Jongin. “I’m sure we can work it out,” he said. And it sounded so simple, so concise when it came from Kyungsoo that Jongin felt compelled to nod along and agree. There was no hurry, not just yet, and he liked how effortless it felt to be with Kyungsoo.

Consequently, Jongin bore the ‘burden’ of having brunch at home on a weekend, a first in his entire life. The Korean pancakes tasted better than the ones he used to have when servants would cook for him, and conversation flowed smoothly from music to movies, Kyungsoo’s photography and what books they should read later on.

At some point the conversation suddenly took an unexpected turn into Kyungsoo’s past, back when he was still in high school, and Kyungsoo told Jongin about how people found out he was gay.

“I read a romance novel once, when I was 16. It sounded so beautiful to be in love and there was a boy at school,” he winced. “Inevitably,” Jongin added, listening closely and smiling to reassure Kyungsoo that it was all in the past now.

“I didn’t—I thought he was gay too, he used to get really touchy with other boys all the time and never had any interest in girls. I acted on my own assumptions and… and wrote him a stupid confession letter,” Kyungsoo blushed. Jongin patted his hand, caressing his thumb over Kyungsoo’s knuckles.

“You don’t have to tell me if you’re not ready to talk about it,” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo shook his head. “No, I think—I think you deserve to know. You’ve been so kind to me and I know you’ve been curious about this for some time, so at the very least I can tell you about why I don’t do people very well. It’s a part of letting go… Right?” he asked, looking a little teary-eyed.

“People say it is,” Jongin replied. Kyungsoo laughed weakly.

“So yeah, I wrote that stupid letter and—oh, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I s-signed my name because I thought there’d be nothing to lose. I thought he was gay, like me, and that maybe he’d consider my feelings, if not return them.

“I put the letter in his locker and he approached me the next day. He had such a blank face at the time, like he’d seen something he wasn’t ready to see,” Kyungsoo looked wistful.

“He asked me if I had put the letter in his locker, and like the fool I was, I told him the truth. I said yes. He whistled really loudly when I said yes, like he’d been expecting it already and…” Kyungsoo cleared his throat, hands suddenly fidgety and fretting over the cutlery and the bits of food left on his plate.

It sounded painful. Jongin suddenly wasn’t sure if either he or Kyungsoo were ready to revisit his past. Before he could tell Kyungsoo to stop, he went on: “His friends came over when he whistled.

“It was after school hours, and there weren’t many people around. I don’t think they would’ve helped anyway, he had enough influence over the others that they’d think twice to go against him… I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, to be honest. I thought that maybe he was going to introduce me to his friends,” Kyungsoo’s voice was bitter.

“But he didn’t. The first hit felt like fire across my face. The second and third to my ribs was like hell, and by the seventh I broke my nose—” Kyungsoo suddenly cut himself off, as if he abruptly remembered that he was recollecting this to Jongin.

“You don’t need to hear all that, it wasn’t…” he shook his head.

“Nothing about that time of my life was pretty. When they finally left me alone, I thought I was going to die. There was so much blood on my clothes and everything hurt, but the injuries felt like nothing compared to what he and his friends said.

“They called me names, so many that I didn’t understand most of them, but I could tell that they were referring to me being gay. That I wasn’t half the men that they were, and that everyone in school was going to hear about this. It hurt in... so many different ways. It really did, and I wanted so badly to end my life. But my brother found me when he noticed I was running late, and I never had the chance that day to be alone.

“I ran away from them after that, every time I spotted them in the halls. I’d run and hide till classes started, and by then a lot of people knew. They thought I was a freak and that it was weird for me to like other boys instead of the prettiest girl in my class. I couldn’t explain it, and they didn’t want to hear it either. Nobody wanted to talk to me after that, of course. I thought it was the end of my life and that if I suddenly died, nobody would really notice.”

Kyungsoo sniffled. Jongin felt close to tears as well, but was angrier above else. There was no need to shit on somebody who was different. Though Jongin couldn’t say that he’d be above everyone else if he was there, that he would’ve been Kyungsoo’s friend in time of need, he was clear now on what it felt like to be ostracized and to be on the receiving end of bullying. The stigma on homosexuality in society did this to Kyungsoo, made him who he was now; broken and scared.

Jongin held Kyungsoo’s hand, pressing his lips to his fingers. “I know. I know what happened after that. Thank God for Baekhyun,” Jongin said. At least someone knew how to do things right.

Kyungsoo smiled, tears spilling over. “Yeah… I owe Baekhyun my life. I got tired of running one day, and those boys found me when I was up at the roof alone. He helped me out a lot after he saved me from them. He told me that whatever it was I thought I was going through, it wasn’t worth dying for. Nothing ever is, he said. I didn’t understand what he meant, but in hindsight I probably did, I was just… too far gone to realize that there were other ways to live.

“I play things close to the chest now. Nobody thinks I’m gay or anything like that at work because I try not to talk to anyone. It’s easier that way, you know? When you keep your distance, there’s just less pain to deal with and one less thing for me to worry about.”

“That’s why you picked up photography, didn’t you?” Jongin asked, “As much as you want to distance yourself from people, you’re human too. You couldn’t just stay away forever without at least trying to see what life is like for people who don’t have to deal with problems like you.”

Kyungsoo nodded. “For a long time, most of the pictures I took were just Baekhyun and his friends at the time. They were always laughing and smiling, uncaring of what people thought of them when they laughed too loudly or when they did something stupid. I wish I can be that way too,” Kyungsoo smiled weakly.

This isn’t living, Jongin thought sadly. This was hiding away from the real world, Kyungsoo’s defense mechanism to protect himself from physical and emotional pain. Jongin felt fiercely proud of his efforts with Kyungsoo now, that he tried his best to see past his mask of indifference and managed to get into Kyungsoo’s good graces. He felt honored, touched that Kyungsoo was being this open with him and thanked God silently that he wasn’t raised to be a jackass to queer people.

“You can be, hyung. You just… care too much now, about things that don’t matter. But I, for one, am glad you decided to give a shit about me,” Jongin said, trying to steer the conversation away from all that heavy thinking.

“I wish I didn’t care about you too,” Kyungsoo laughed, wiping his tears away on his sleeve.

“Why? Because you think this isn’t going to last?”

“I know it won’t,” Kyungsoo said, sounding so sure and final about it that it just seemed to weigh down on him. Jongin wanted to promise that he’d be here if Kyungsoo ever needed him in any way, that he’d be the one person Kyungsoo could share romantic feelings with, but he couldn’t. He wasn’t ready to do that, and he didn’t think he’d ever be allowed to be ready.

I’m not the guy for you, Jongin thought, the words sitting at the tip of his tongue.

He bit down on it hard. Selfishly enough, he wanted this to last for as long as it could, so long as Kyungsoo was willing.

“You have a lot riding on your shoulders, Jongin, I understand,” Kyungsoo suddenly said seriously, snapping Jongin out of his thoughts. “There’s your father’s company to run, your own family name to live up to, and one day you’ll be expected to have an heir to your empire as well,” he smiled bitterly once more. “I can’t give you all of that and be with you. But I’m happy that I took the chance to come here, regardless.

“Luhan told me that he could see that you’re a nice person underneath it all, and he’s never wrong about things like that. I trusted him and I tried to trust my own opinion of you, so I’m glad that I didn’t get the signals wrong for once,” he said.

“Told you all I wanted to do was be nice to you,” Jongin mumbled. Kyungsoo laughed; it sounded lighter now. “Yes, yes you did. I can’t think of any other person to have my first time with, so thank you, Jongin. Thank you for everything,” Kyungsoo said sincerely, lacing their fingers together.

“You’re welcome,” Jongin replied, smiling at him.

-

They went into Jongin’s room to read The Great Gatsby the way Jongin thought they would; on the bed, with their shoulders touching and the book propped on their knees. They didn’t do any voices, but instead read quietly side by side.

 Jongin never felt this close to someone and yet so far at the same time.

When The Great Gatsby came to an end, it was evening already, and Jongin sent Kyungsoo home in his Rolls Royce, kissing him one last time.

“My place again next week?” Jongin asked.

“Okay,” Kyungsoo replied, kissing Jongin’s lips chastely. “I’ll bring food with me next time,” he promised.

*

“Why are you here?” Sehun demanded, blocking Jongin from entering his office.

“Pardon?” Jongin said politely, holding his latte in his hand. Sehun furrowed his recently plucked eyebrows at Jongin, snatching his latte away and taking a big gulp. Handing it back to a highly disgusted Jongin, he licked his lips and said, “Finally give a shit about what pays for your bills? Never seen you here voluntarily on a Monday.”

“I always gave a shit about where my allowance came from,” Jongin said indignantly, “I just feel like I can earn more money by being around more often.” He pushed the latte into Sehun’s hands.

“Have it, I bet it tastes like poison now that it touched your mouth,” Jongin said flatly. Sehun took it shamelessly, stepping out of Jongin’s way. Taewoon stood up and bowed at Jongin cheerfully, all smiley and bright. Good, Jongin thought, he’s looking eager to please as usual. 

“Taewoon can you run out and get me a new latte? Doesn’t matter from where, so long as you make sure Sehun doesn’t get his hands on it,” Jongin narrowed his eyes at Sehun.

Sehun just sat down at his desk, put up his feet and raised the paper cup of latte in cheers. Taewoon said, “Right away sir!” and scuttled off towards the elevator. Jongin was about to roll his eyes and walk away before he realized that Sehun never had any time to put up his feet so something was clearly wrong. He whipped his head around, one foot in his office.

“Sehun, why are you looking so… free today?”

“Finally managed to train Taewoon to do your shit so I don’t have to do as much anymore. We delegate certain tasks between us, so he’s got all the work today,” Sehun said, a smug smile on his face. The last assistant Jongin had, Sehun had told him to get rid of the guy because he kept taking long cigarette breaks, thus never did any work.

“No wonder Taewoon’s been here for…” Jongin paused, “For as long he’s been here,” he continued.

“Good for you then. Do you think there’s some report or something I can handle today? I feel getting my hands dirty in some work today,” Jongin said.

Sehun thought about it, sipping at the latte. “I suppose there are a few calls you could take… but why are you trying to get busy for once? I usually have to pretend I’m you when I make important phone calls.”

“Nothing,” Jongin replied, trying to keep a straight face. “E-mail me the numbers or something,” Jongin said, clicking his tongue and entering his office before Sehun could say anything else. He let the door slide shut and skipped over to his desk happily, flopping into his chair with a loud exhale and dug his phone out.

‘How are you? I’m in the office today. Should we get lunch together?’ Jongin typed the words out slowly, chewing his lip.

There was a ping from his computer and he glanced at the screen. Damn, Sehun was good. He already sent Jongin an e-mail on who to call today regarding shipments to and from Korea, and everything else he might need for reference.

He sent the text to Kyungsoo, setting his phone aside while he reached for his mouse and clicked on the little envelope to read the e-mail. The reason he was in his office voluntarily today, actually making an important phone call for the first time in a long while was because Kyungsoo had shook Jongin just a little bit the previous day.

Jongin felt obliged to come in for work today because Kyungsoo had made it rather clear that not everyone’s lives were as easy as Jongin’s life, and that he should be more appreciative about the blessings he had in life. He still didn’t like Yifan though, and he wasn’t sure if he could find meetings anything but hella boring; nonetheless Jongin wanted to make a sincere effort to work now. The reality was that he had to take over this company some time or other, and he couldn’t avoid this forever (not if he wanted to keep his Swiss account) so it was time to get his proper pants on and carry his own burdens.

Working also indirectly meant that he could be closer to Kyungsoo and maybe sneak a couple of kisses here and there during the week, but that wasn’t the main reason why he was here in his office, oh no.

His phone pinged while he was on hold and he grabbed it quickly, opening up Kyungsoo’s text.

‘It’d be weird if it’s just the two of us.’

Would it? Jongin frowned. People wouldn’t assume they were gay right away, would they? Or maybe they would. And Jongin wasn’t going to risk hurting Kyungsoo that way. Then maybe he could take Kyungsoo out instead, to some low key restaurants where the staff was used to seeing famous clients—

“Hello, Mr. Jung speaking,” a voice suddenly said in Jongin’s ear.

“Mr. Jung? Yes, this is Kim Jongin from Accuretta Systems,” Jongin said, clearing his throat and trying to get his thoughts back on track.

“…Really?” Mr. Jung said doubtfully.

“What do you mean ‘really’?” Jongin quipped tightly. How dare this fellow doubt the authenticity of Jongin’s identity? Jongin could very well just go to another shipping company if this man was going to be so bloody unhelpful— 

“I remember Mr. Kim sounding a little different…” Mr. Jung said apprehensively, as if he wasn’t sure if this was a serious call or a practical joke.

Jongin rolled his eyes.

When he was finally done convincing Mr. Jung that he was the Kim Jongin, the one and only and not Oh Sehun impersonating Jongin and that the shipments were of utmost importance and needed to be sent to China as soon as possible, he returned to his phone to type out a reply.

‘Shall we go out to eat then? Or you could eat in my office. I could eat sushi off your naked body J’

It was a genuine suggestion from the very bottom of Jongin’s heart. Jongin always enjoyed sushi for lunch, and what better way to get the best out of two worlds by combining food and spending time with Kyungsoo into one afternoon? The best part was that Kyungsoo couldn’t argue with him if he wanted to buy them lunch… Jongin waited for his reply patiently, reading through the email Sehun had sent.

The phone on his desk rang suddenly. Jongin glanced at it, frowning. He considered not answering because it’d probably be Suho (no one else in their right mind would call him from this number) but decided that he was being ridiculous. What if it was Mr. Jung from a few minutes ago? He picked up the phone from its cradle cautiously and held it to his ear.

“Hello?”

“Sehun told me you came in today. I gotta say, Jongin, you’ve been in the building more times this year than the last two years combined.” Oh joy, Jongin thought, closing his eyes. Was he never to be free from his nosy friends?

“Suho, I gotta hang up ‘cause I need to make an important phone call—”

“To who? Why are you making the calls instead of Sehun?” Suho chirped.

“Because I’m the boss of this company and it’s what I’m supposed to,” Jongin replied tetchily. He hung up quickly and let the phone sit on his desk, out of his cradle so that Suho couldn’t call him anymore.

There was a knock on the door right when Jongin reached for his phone. “Sir, I have your coffee.”

God, it’s just one thing after another, Jongin thought crossly. Playing the part of CEO wasn’t as easy as he thought it’d be. “Come in,” Jongin sighed, picking up his phone with a jerk and opening up Kyungsoo’s text.

‘No, thank you. Luhan needs me to show him around today so I don’t think lunch is good today...’

Ah, Luhan, Jongin thought. Yes, he had almost forgotten that Luhan was working here now. If Kyungsoo was needed elsewhere then fine, Jongin could step off. Two days should be enough to show him where the men’s room and the cafeteria were, alongside the rest of the building.

So that means two days without touching Kyungsoo inappropriately, Jongin thought. Taewoon had entered the office and placed a report on Jongin’s desk quietly beside his new cup of latte. Jongin frowned, not really aware of what Taewoon was doing until he left and Jongin reached for his coffee, sipping at it while thinking of what to reply Kyungsoo.

‘If Luhan needs you for today and maybe tomorrow does that mean I can eat sushi off your naked body on Wednesday?’

All good things required planning after all. Jongin could surreptitiously tell Sehun to clear his schedule on that day and have him bugger off somewhere till Kyungsoo was done in Jongin’s office and he could leave without raising Sehun’s suspicions. Yes, he can get quite suspicious sometimes, Jongin thought. He wasn’t quite sure why Sehun was so suspicious about people and things anyway.

Kyungsoo replied less than a minute later with one, clear and concise word: ‘NO.’

How rude. It was even in English and all. It’s alright, Jongin thought, I’ll let him simmer and think about it first. Kyungsoo couldn’t resist Jongin forever. He’d proven that when Jongin invited Kyungsoo up to his apartment and he came like a sacrificial lamb.

Jongin decided to call him up later in the afternoon after settling all the calls he had to make. By then he was sure Kyungsoo would have second thoughts.

He was smiling to himself when he noticed the report Taewoon had left, and he was skimming through it when Sehun suddenly barged into his office, hitting the button to open the door with a slam of his fist and taking large strides to saunter into the seat in front of Jongin’s desk.

“I should just lock the door and never let anyone in next time,” Jongin said idly.

“Suho told me you’re ignoring him. He and I were curious about a few things and I just thought I’d come in and ask you in person is all,” Sehun said conversationally.

“Things like what?” Jongin asked, glancing up at him. He didn’t dare put his cup on the table in case Sehun got any ideas again.

“Oh, things like… you know, the thing that you have between yourself and Kyungsoo.” Sehun held his hands up against the bright sunlight, checking his nails distractedly. He sounded very nonchalant, and Jongin knew him long enough that nonchalance from Sehun wasn’t always a good thing.

“Hmm, we haven’t done anything else since I went to his place to see his photos,” Jongin replied.

“‘We’? Aha, Jongin, so you’re one entity with Kyungsoo now?” Sehun snickered.

God damn it, Jongin had forgotten Sehun had picked up a few things on psychology from watching CSI. He kept his cool, meeting his gaze. I’m not doing anything wrong anyway, Jongin told himself. If he believed he wasn’t doing anything wrong then it would show in his facial expressions… right?

“I only said ‘we’ because you think Kyungsoo and I have something going on… And we don’t, Sehun. Sure, I’ve seen him—”

“You know you’ve been acting pretty suspicious since you came back from China, right?” Sehun asked, narrowing his eyes. Jongin didn’t know if it was Sehun’s eyebrows or his black eyes but he certainly looked intimidating when he wanted to be.

“Have I?”

“Yes— the new clothes, the texting, the suitcase from China… I can almost smell Kyungsoo’s involvement in this somehow. You better watch your shit, Jongin,” Sehun said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. 

“There’s no shit to watch, honestly,” Jongin laughed, but in his head he was secretly wondering if Sehun was an FBI agent in training. “I told Kyungsoo that the kiss was just a spur-of-the-moment thing and that he didn’t have to worry about me firing him or anything like that, so long as he keeps those photos out of the public eye. He understands, and I like it to think we’ve come to an agreement now.”

“We, we, we, Jongin, stop with the ‘we’s or I’ll puke,” Sehun snorted, but Jongin could see that Sehun was a little thrown off now.

“Is there anything else you’re curious about?” Jongin asked lightly. He had nothing to hide… sort of.

“Yeah,” Sehun replied, “where were you last weekend? Was like you disappeared off the face of the Earth for two days and resurfaced just in time for work.”

Jongin blinked. “I was… alone. At home. Playing with my Nintendo. Didn’t feel like going out,” Jongin shrugged. Sehun gave him a snide smile; it didn’t reassure him whatsoever.

“I bet you were.”

-

After that very strange talk with Sehun, Jongin managed to shoo him off and return to the tasks at hand. It didn’t take very long; maybe an hour or two of buttering up a few people and exchanging empty conversations.

Lunchtime came. Jongin pouted irritably when Suho offered to bring him to his father’s friend’s restaurant. I wanted to have sushi with Kyungsoo, Jongin almost said aloud, before he realized nobody knew he was still seeing Kyungsoo behind their back. It was all very hush-hush and Jongin couldn’t say he liked keeping it a secret very much. Sadly, Suho would have a fit and Sehun would have two fits if he ever told them of his sexual escapades.

Thus, he had to go along with Suho’s offer and was about to leave with Sehun when Luhan appeared from around the corner, bumping into Sehun’s shoulder.

“Oh, sorry,” Luhan said quickly, bowing slightly. He sent Sehun an apologetic smile and turned to bow at Jongin.

“Hi, sir,” he smiled.

“Hey. What are you doing here on this floor?” Jongin asked, laughing. Sehun backed off to let them talk, whispering to Jongin that he’d be in Suho’s office waiting for him.

Luhan waved brightly at Sehun as he walked away. “Bye,” he called. Sehun gave a weak wave in return. “That’s your assistant, right? Nice suit… I bet I look better in it. What were you saying again?” he asked Jongin.

“I was—”

“Right, the office. No, I’m on the sixth floor, doing numbers with the rest of the accountants. They’re all very nice but kind of poorly dressed, don’t you think?” Luhan asked. Jongin thought it was a serious question, but Luhan just laughed it off. He had a distinct feeling Luhan would get along very well with Chanyeol.

“Not everyone can afford clothes all the time, I guess. I’m going to be like those people soon, when I spend the last bit of my salary from my previous job,” Luhan sighed dramatically.

“I assume you’re coping pretty well then?” Jongin said cautiously.

“Oh, it’s much easier to work here with normal people than with thugs. No one breaks a table or lights something on fire just because there’s no more hot water…” Luhan trailed off. Jongin wasn’t sure what to say at that.

“I heard you broke up too, by the way, with your er… ex,” Jongin said.

“I’m over her. It only takes me a day to cry and another day to delete everything about her on my phone,” Luhan smiled. It wasn’t even a fake smile. Luhan looked like he was genuinely over her in two days. Jongin thought he should be nominated for an Oscar soon.

Before Jongin could say anything else, Luhan clapped a hand around his shoulders. “Let’s not talk about exes though. I came here to tell you two things. One, thanks for this job. I get three days off each month, which I will most definitely use. The thugs I used to work for thought it was a joke when I said I wanted to take a day off once.

Two, Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo, Jongin, Kyungsoo,” Luhan enunciated his name, shaking him by the shoulder.

“What about him?” Jongin asked, wondering if he should be worried for his safety without Kyungsoo around. How did Luhan even get here without Kyungsoo’s help anyway?

“I don’t know what you did to him last weekend but he’s,” Luhan held a thumbs up, “happy now. Nice, even.”

“He wasn’t nice before?”

“Well no, he was nice, but now he’s even nicer. He smiled when he served dinner last night and actually laughed when we’re watching Gag Concert. He thinks Gag Concert is stupid but he laughed, Jongin. Did you drug him?” Luhan asked wonderingly.

Jongin shook his head. “Where would I get drugs though?” he asked.

“From me… But I checked and my stash is intact so he can’t have smoked weed with you during the weekend. It’s like he’s lighter now, y’know. He used to be a little more grounded, like he was holding back some kind of burden. Now I can’t even keep up with him, Jongin, all he does is float around the house cleaning the floors and wiping every surface down,” Luhan sounded afraid.

Jongin felt a little smug that Kyungsoo had told him all about his past and his feelings on the matter yesterday. Perhaps he’d never shared it with Luhan before. It was also heartwarming to think that Kyungsoo enjoyed himself that much; Jongin was going to have to put more of his toys to use then, if Kyungsoo could defy gravity after one weekend at Jongin’s apartment.

“You must’ve done some pretty good work on him,” Luhan said, not noticing how Jongin had sort of drifted away into his thoughts.

“Um, good work?”

“Yeah. Did you do everything he wanted you to do?” Luhan asked bluntly.

“Uh. Yes. I suppose,” Jongin coughed awkwardly.

Luhan nodded knowingly. “Good. Keep up the good work then, my future brother-in-law. Kyungsoo can’t wait to see you this weekend, and it’s only been like, 24 hours since he’s seen you.” Luhan patted Jongin once, and started to walk off.

“W-wait,” Jongin said.

“Hmm?” Luhan turned around to face him, walking backwards.

“He can’t wait to see me?” Jongin asked. He couldn’t tell if it was something Luhan had said that offhandedly or if Kyungsoo had told him firsthand that he was looking forward to seeing Jongin again.

“Oh yeah, trust me, he’s real thirsty now. Make sure to play safe, hmm?” Luhan called. Thank God no one else was lurking around the corridors.

“Oh. Well, I can’t wait to see him too,” Jongin laughed. Well, well, Jongin thought. Thank you, Luhan. Now Jongin had a very good reason to have Kyungsoo up in his office soon. He waved goodbye to Luhan as he moonwalked backwards to where Kyungsoo’s office was. At least Kyungsoo wasn’t lying about going to lunch with him.  

“Thanks again!” Luhan called.

“Same to you,” Jongin chuckled. Suddenly, it wasn’t so hard to convince Kyungsoo to get into Jongin’s office. If what Luhan said was true, he could probably have him by this Wednesday guaranteed, and the coming weekend would just be the cherry on the icing of the cake.

Jongin took his phone out to call Kyungsoo. It was lunchtime so he knew he’d pick up, and he might as well call him now before he went down to Suho’s office.

“Hello?”

“Hyung, I know you miss me and you should come into my office so I can make you feel better.”

Kyungsoo snorted. “I can’t. I have lots of work to do and Luhan still needs me—”

“Don’t use Luhan as an excuse, he just came to see me without your help,” Jongin laughed. Kyungsoo was silent on the other line, thrown under the bus by his own roommate.  

“That useless…” he trailed off, muttering something quietly under his breath.

“You should thank him. Don’t tell me you’ve never imagined us doing it in my office. I’m happy to accommodate you, my office is more than big enough,” Jongin said happily.

“That’s not the point, you idiot, the point is that what if,” he lowered his voice, “you get caught?”

“I promise I’ll set it all up and make sure it’s all safe and sound. You just have to get your ass over from across the building and come into my office. It’s either that or I will go into your office and bring you over myself—”

“You wouldn’t,” Kyungsoo breathed. Jongin could tell Kyungsoo was aroused. If it weren’t for Suho, he could probably have Kyungsoo now…

“Yes, I would and you know it. I’ve done it before and I can do it again,” Jongin said, voice pitched low.

Kyungsoo was deathly silent. Maybe he’s hard now, Jongin thought with a smile.

“So what do you say, hyung? Come quietly or do I have to drag you kicking and screaming?”

“W-when, when…?” Kyungsoo stuttered breathlessly. Jongin smiled; the battle was easily won. He stepped forward and pressed the button for the elevator.

“Soon. I’ll let you know. You’ll wait for me and be a good boy, yes?” he asked. The elevator doors opened and he stepped in.

“Yes,” Kyungsoo whispered in defeat. Jongin hung up on him, turning to look through the glass wall of the elevator at where Kyungsoo’s office was. Someone was stepping out of the entrance, and Jongin could hardly believe it when he saw that it was Kyungsoo, looking flustered with his cheeks colored pink.

The elevator jolted and descended slowly. Kyungsoo caught the motion in the corner of his eye and jerked his head into Jongin’s direction, meeting Jongin’s gaze with a visible gasp, even from across the floor.

Jongin waved at him, mouth lifted into a smile. Kyungsoo stood motionless till Jongin was out of view, the elevator taking him to another floor of the building.

Chapter Text

There were five reasons why Jongin was in a bad mood today.

The first one: He was foolish enough on Monday to ask Sehun to let him do more work that he was supposed to do in the first place.

Sehun agreed readily enough but instead of easing Jongin into the tasks he needed to do, Sehun threw a shitload of work at him (literally) and now refused to help Jongin with his work, only agreeing to get him coffee, arrange his schedule and print anything Jongin e-mailed  to him. Jongin couldn’t really blame him; that was the real job of a PA after all.

But the shitload of work Jongin needed to do now was a lot to take. It manifested itself physically into gigantic piles of A4 sized papers bound together into neat stacks, accumulating themselves all over Jongin’s desk and feet in his office. And that was the second reason he wasn’t feeling very nice today; his office was messy and he couldn’t concentrate when his surroundings were messy.

Which led to the third reason; it was messy because there was an emergency meeting to be held today.

One of the board members suddenly dropped a bomb on the other board members by telling them that he was going to take a leave of two weeks for summer just this morning, and that this meeting that was supposed to happen in ten days had to happen today because the factories in Guangzhou wouldn’t launch in time without the consent and signature from every member of the board. The worst part about this meeting however, was that it was expected to last till this evening.

Never mind the meeting though. Jongin wasn’t sure if he could even make it to the meeting thanks to his lack of knowledge on a few things, and was now in other words, cramming to get himself up to speed with everything.

Suho had graciously come in like an angel of salvation to help him sort through which reports and acquisitions he should read about now and the ones that could be set aside for a later time. He was grateful for Suho’s help but nonetheless, cramming made him stressful and thus, irritated.

However, despite receiving help there was something else Jongin could not handle today of all days, and it only made things worse than they already were; the weather.

God, it was warm in his office today. Sunny too. The sun was too bright but he couldn’t pull down the blinds over the glass walls because then he and Suho would have a hard time reading (the energy-saving lights in his office were dim). They moved their seats to the center of the office where sunlight couldn’t reach them, but instead of being able to read without a problem, they were too warm at their spots in the center of the room. The air conditioning was on full blast, but Jongin was still sweating in his coat (he was sensitive to heat and cold so he couldn’t take it off either).

“How many pages do I still have to read through?” Jongin moaned.

Suho counted the pages from his own copy of the report they were both reading through. “Twenty three,” he informed Jongin.

He sighed heavily, flinging the report to the ground. “I give up, Suho, I give up,” he exclaimed, rubbing at his eyes, “I give up trying to earn money the good and honest way. I want to be a pirate and steal everything I want,” he declared.

“I’m sure that’s just the heat talking,” Suho joked weakly. Jongin felt restless in his seat. He wanted to strip off his clothes, he wanted to take a walk to forget this unexpected burden on his shoulders, he wanted Suho to get out of the office so that he could get someone else to come into his office…

Ah yes, the fifth reason why he was so surly today. It was Wednesday today, and if the meeting lasted till five o’ clock this evening, he’d be going home without putting his briefcase full of toys to good use today. He had initially planned to have an easy breezy day today, perhaps reading through a report or two and making a few calls to some people but nope. This meeting just had to smash through his plans, and now here he was; horny as fuck for Kyungsoo and upset that his plans could not go as planned. He was not very productive when he was anything but relaxed.

Working was very stressful, he knew now, and wondered if he could throw all of his work back to Sehun.

“Is there anything you want me to ask Sehun to get for you? Something to eat maybe, or a cold drink?” Suho asked after reading two pages out of the twenty three they had left to go through. He looked concerned with the way Jongin looked; eyebrows furrowed in concentration and body tensed the way it was when he was really upset about something.

“No,” Jongin grunted.

“Is there something wrong?” Suho asked. He could see why Jongin would be upset from the way his office looked and the boring pages they had gone through, but Jongin looked preoccupied about something else outside of work and his mind was only focused on his work because he had no choice.

“Nothing’s wrong, I’m just… I didn’t come into the office prepared for any of this,” Jongin replied, running a hand over his face.

“I could convince Sehun to come in to help out,” Suho offered. Maybe clearing some of the files and stacks of paper in Jongin’s office would take his mind off how much work he needed to do.

Jongin shook his head. “Let’s just read through this,” he said. Suho didn’t say anything about the matter after that, though he looked like he wanted to.

It took forever to get through that report and understand it thoroughly. By the time they were done, an hour had passed and the meeting was scheduled to take place in another hour and a half.

“Why don’t you take a toilet break, Jongin? You look pretty stressed and I think we both could use ten minutes to take our minds off of work,” Suho said when Jongin stretched in his seat.

“I don’t think I need a toilet break yet,” he replied.

Suho held up a thin report. “I think we should go through this report in a bit since we have some time left. Are you sure you don’t want to refresh yourself?” he asked.

Jongin sighed and stood up. “Fine,” he yawned. “I’ll just take a piss and come back.”

“I’ll get Sehun to buy us lunch. You want anything in particular?” Suho asked, getting up with him to walk out of the office.

“Anything that’ll fill me up,” Jongin replied easily. He didn’t want to go hungry during the meeting and eat the board members later. Suho nodded and spoke to Sehun while Jongin took a leisurely walk down the empty hallway to the men’s room, grateful that Suho could tell that Jongin was feeling the pressure. He was also relieved that Suho did not berate him for trying to take on too much at once and was there to help him through this ordeal step by step.

It made him feel lighter, even though it was only by a little bit.

As he walked to the men’s room, his gaze lingered to the other side of the building. Kyungsoo was less than a hundred feet away from him, so close and yet so far. He couldn’t touch Kyungsoo in public and couldn’t have him today thanks to that fucking meeting.

Well, there’s always next week, he thought regretfully. He’d have to text Kyungsoo soon to tell him that office sex wouldn’t happen today. Sure, Thursday or Friday Kyungsoo would be around, but it’d be too near the weekend and it made Jongin feel like he was being greedy if he tried anything in the next two days. Jongin would rather wait till the weekend then, to ravish Kyungsoo’s body and leave red marks all over him.

Oh yes, he thought with a brief smile. The marks he’d love to leave on Kyungsoo’s pale skin…

He was staring down at his feet while he walked, feeling kind of drowsy when he stepped into the men’s room and accidentally bumped into someone who yelped in a familiar voice. His head snapped up immediately; he’d know that yelp anywhere.

“Hyung?” Jongin said partially in disbelief, taking in the sight of Kyungsoo standing before him with a surprised look on his face.

“Jong—Mr. Kim,” Kyungsoo muttered, cheeks turning red.

“I told you—” Jongin snapped, but cut himself off when a guy Jongin didn’t know brushed past them out of the men’s room.

“Kyungsoo, there’s something I need to tell you,” Jongin said quickly, casting a quick glance over Kyungsoo’s head to make sure they were alone. He took Kyungsoo’s hand before he could protest and tugged him into one of the cubicles, slamming the door shut and locking it.

“Why do you always have some— mmph,” Jongin kissed Kyungsoo hard, pressing him flush against his body. Kyungsoo bit down on Jongin’s lip angrily till Jongin tasted blood on his tongue but he didn’t stop kissing him, forcing Kyungsoo’s mouth open and taking his breath away. He did the thing with his mouth, varying pressure over Kyungsoo’s lips and smirking in satisfaction when Kyungsoo kissed him back just as hungrily, tongue flicking into Jongin’s mouth.

Jongin broke off first with much reluctance. He liked kissing Kyungsoo very much; he had such a nice mouth after all, very kissable and all that. Kyungsoo looked positively ravishing with his messed up button up shirt and red lips, already starting to swell from Jongin’s less-than-gentle treatment but he had to get this out before he forgot why he was here in the first place.

“Today was supposed to be a fun day,” Jongin whispered, running a thumb over Kyungsoo’s bottom lip.

“W-what?” Kyungsoo frowned, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. “Your mouth tastes like coffee,” he said, making a face.

“Thanks,” Jongin replied, chuckling. Kyungsoo rolled his eyes, stepping back an inch in the tiny space. “What do you mean, it’s supposed to be fun today?” he asked, eyeing Jongin suspiciously.

“Don’t play coy,” Jongin chided him lightly, “you know what I mean. Or don’t you remember what I promised you on Monday?”

Kyungsoo scoffed at him. “I remember. I also didn’t really expect you to make good on that promise. So you don’t have to feel bad or anything like that,” he shrugged nonchalantly. It was then Jongin noticed the thick powder or foundation over Kyungsoo’s left cheekbone. He remembered slapping Kyungsoo in his spare room, and ran his finger over it, certain that a bruise lurked beneath the makeup.

“For what it’s worth, I really thought we’d be in my office going at it like rabbits, you know. Brought lube and everything with me in my little briefcase,” he said.

“Such a way with words,” Kyungsoo glared at him.

“I knew it, I knew you were looking forward to bending yourself over my desk while I—” Kyungsoo stabbed his solar plexus viciously while Jongin broke down over the toilet bowl, laughing and wheezing at his own joke.

“Keep laughing,” Kyungsoo muttered sarcastically.  

“No really, hyung,” Jongin said between wheezes, “today’s not a good day so I just,” he wiped his tears away, “I thought I’d let you know just in case you missed me too much.”

“I’ll last,” Kyungsoo blushed, offering a hand to Jongin. He took it, standing up and dusting off his pants.

“So I guess you’re busy today, right?” Kyungsoo said, straightening Jongin’s coat for him.

Jongin sighed. “Yeah. There’s supposed to be a meeting later on, and I might be here till late evening. You’ll still come over for the weekend, right?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo nodded, looking away from Jongin’s gaze for some inexplicable reason. “Good luck for your meeting then,” he said, fussing over Jongin’s clothes for a bit before he let his hands fell to his sides.

“Mm. Can I get a kiss along with that good luck?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo looked like he wanted to stab Jongin again but he just leaned forward and pecked Jongin lightly over the lips, cheeks burning a bright red as he accidentally caught Jongin’s gaze.

“Thanks. See you on Saturday then, hm?” Jongin smiled, reaching a hand behind Kyungsoo to pat his ass reassuringly. He nodded shyly.

Jongin wanted to say more, but there was nothing he could say that could convey how sorry he was that office sex was out of the question today. He knew he himself was looking forward to it and Kyungsoo had to feel a twinge of disappointment too, if the call on Monday meant anything.

He let himself out of the cubicle first, pretending to wash his hands and coming out of the office with a renewed will to finish off this meeting and to have Kyungsoo all to himself during the weekend with nothing to worry about.

-

“Refer to page seventeen, paragraph 3,” Suho said, looking up at everyone around the table. Pages rifled against one another as the board members referred to the correct page and paragraph. Jongin held back a yawn, rubbing at his eyes.

They had been at this for two hours now. Every board member had something to say about the report, including Jongin. They were taking turns around the table to go through the report and point out any questions or a suggestion, and each member took at least twenty minutes or more. Jongin’s turn had come and passed, having only one question about the report they were reading through.

Suho was the second last member to voice his questions and opinions and hopefully, Mr. Bae beside Suho didn’t have much to say otherwise they’d be here all night. It was just past five, and Jongin could already hear people leaving the building, cars and buses clogging up the streets outside.

 Damn Mrs. Lim and her summer leave, Jongin thought, sliding a glare at her. She had no shame at all and evidently felt no guilt at making all the board members stay in the office till after office hours just because she wanted a holiday.

Look at her, Jongin thought, narrowing his eyes at the oblivious woman. She had on a ton of makeup on her wrinkly face and she smelled like mothballs when she walked past Jongin. Ooh, I hate this bitch, Jongin thought, pretending to make a note in his report. He’d been doing that the entire meeting, drawing a tree, a wolf and a hazy sketch of Kyungsoo’s ass to keep himself awake during the meeting.

Kyungsoo’s ass, he thought, staring his sketch thoughtfully. He did have quite a beautiful ass. And lovely thighs, too. Jongin wondered what he should do with him this weekend, bury his face between his legs maybe, or eat sushi off his body like he was supposed to today.

Bet rice tastes good on him, Jongin thought. He’d bet that even raw eggs would taste nice if he could lick it off Kyungsoo’s body.

A loud tick in the room brought Jongin back into reality. Suho had clicked his pen in his hand and glanced at Jongin surreptitiously over his report while talking. Oh boohoo, Jongin rolled his eyes, just because I don’t want to listen to you talk doesn’t mean I’m disrespecting you.

Suho looked like he could read the message in Jongin’s eye roll and sighed, continuing to speak. Jongin listened for a bit, before he closed his eyes for a while, pretending to read his report. He was hungry, tired and worn out from the day’s activities. All he wanted was to jerk off thinking about what he could’ve done with Kyungsoo today and go to sleep and hope tomorrow would be better.

He was imagining Kyungsoo giving him a lap dance when Mr. Bae took over Suho’s voice suddenly.

“Refer to page six, paragraph seven please,” he said. He was a pretty old man, balding with a raspy texture to his voice. He always had the most to say in every meeting, and Jongin prayed that he didn’t have that much to say today. Jongin glanced at his watch; Lord, only ten minutes had passed.

Kill me now, Jongin thought. He couldn’t understand how the rest of the board members were still awake.

Perhaps he could just close his eyes for a while, Mr. Bae couldn’t see very well and if Jongin just leaned back slightly he wouldn’t notice Jongin sleeping…

He was subtly trying to get himself in a comfortable position to take a nap when Mr. Bae said the four words Jongin never thought he’d say after talking for less than five minutes: “I think that’s it.”

Jongin almost fell out of his chair.

“I know we’re all eager to go home and Mrs. Lim, you probably need to pack up for tomorrow,” Mr. Bae chuckled.

Mrs. Lim tittered, waving a hand in Mr. Bae’s direction. “If there’s anything you feel like we should cover, let’s do it now,” she urged him.

Jongin went no, no, no let’s do it when it’s not so late in his head and looked over at Mr. Bae to see if he couldn’t direct his thoughts towards him and make him feel as close to suicide as Jongin was feeling right now.

Luckily Mr. Bae must be tired like Jongin as well, because he said, “Oh no, we’ve covered everything we needed to do. I think it’s safe to say this meeting is concluded.”

Jongin sent a silent prayer of thanks to God. Finally, he could see an end to the longest day in his life. Suho saw him smiling widely and gave him a dry look as they all stood up, stretching their arms and gathering their things to head out.

“Thank you,” Jongin said sincerely to Mr. Bae, shaking his hand spontaneously. Sehun appeared from behind Jongin, clearing his throat and blinking rapidly. Jongin suspected he’d been asleep; he was strangely quiet behind Jongin the entire meeting. Mr. Bae was puzzled but shook Jongin’s hand anyway, waving goodbye to him as they left.

“You got any plans for tonight?” Sehun asked as they filed out of the room.

“Sleep. I’m not going to come into the office tomorrow. Three days in a row is my best record,” Jongin said, holding his hands up in surrender.

Sehun chuckled. “Now you know what life is like for the rest of us. If you feel like coming out for a drink later, call me,” Sehun said. Jongin nodded and said he would if he didn’t collapse in bed the minute he reached home.

They went their separate ways; Sehun went to the elevators right away since he already had his briefcase with him and Suho left as well to head back down to his own office.

Jongin just had to grab his briefcase in his office and maybe take home a few reports to read at home so that he wouldn’t have to come into the office tomorrow. Taewoon had already left for the day, but was thoughtful enough to keep the light on in Jongin’s office.

His office looked like a hurricane had passed through it, but he couldn’t bring himself to care anymore. Jongin went to the wet bar to pour himself a shot of whiskey as a reward for not committing suicide today.

Been a long day today, he thought to himself, holding the glass up in cheers and pouring all of it down his throat. The bitter alcohol burned, giving him shivers along his spine. Damn, it’s good, he thought, grimacing. It felt like a shot of adrenaline to his head. He was considering pouring himself another glass when there was a timid knock on the door.  

“Come in,” he called without thinking, hands paused on the cork of the whiskey bottle. He could hear footsteps entering the office and leaned over the wet bar to see who it was. 

This day couldn’t get any better. “Kyungsoo?” Jongin cocked his head to one side in mild surprise. Kyungsoo didn’t spot Jongin right away, eyes widening at the mess on the ground and his desk before he saw Jongin standing in the corner at the wet bar. 

“Jongin,” he said breathlessly, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed. The glare of the lights in Jongin’s office brought out the shadows from the planes of Kyungsoo’s face; it made him look a tad bit afraid as he tensed visibly at the sight of Jongin.

Jongin popped the cork on the whiskey bottle. “What are you doing here?” he asked lightly.

He had thought Kyungsoo had left the building at least half an hour ago with the rest of the employees and that he’d be on a bus now, heading home. Kyungsoo bit his lip.

“I was um. I thought I’d wait for you since you said you’d be here in the office for a while,” he replied. Jongin poured out a glass of whiskey and set the bottle down.

“Wait for me?” he echoed hollowly.

Kyungsoo nodded. “W-well, yeah. It occurred to me this afternoon that security doesn’t lock up the building till eleven and there’s plenty of time between now and eleven…” he trailed off nervously. Jongin listened carefully, noting the wavering note of anxiety in Kyungsoo’s voice.

Surely he’s not suggesting what I think he is? Jongin thought, eyeing Kyungsoo curiously.

“Is that true?” Jongin asked, taking a sip of the whiskey.

Kyungsoo looked like he was about to faint. “Y-yes. I came once at around nine because I left something in the office a-and… yeah. The security guard told me that.”

“And you waited for me because you wanted to…?” Jongin let his sentence hang in the air, throwing back the rest of the whiskey into the back of his throat. He swallowed it, placing the glass in the sink.

“Don’t tell me you stayed behind to tell me how the security guards do their jobs around here,” Jongin teased, lifting an eyebrow.

Kyungsoo straightened his back, his gaze trailing over the ground. “I-I came because you promised me something this week. And all I had to do was come into your office. So here I am,” he said, trying to square his shoulders and sound a little braver than he was. Jongin could see through all that.

He resisted a smile, taking a new glass from the shelf behind him and grabbing some sherry. “I did promise you something, didn’t I?”

He pretended to tut at himself, “How could I forget… Would you like a drink?” he asked, pouring out the sherry into the glass before Kyungsoo could answer.

“I’d rather not, actually—” he tried to protest.

“Just one drink,” Jongin said, winking at Kyungsoo. His protests came to an abrupt stop.

He heard the sharp intake of breath as he motioned for Kyungsoo to come over and take his drink. Jongin waited patiently for Kyungsoo to walk awkwardly over, pick up the glass with a shaking hand and place the glass to his mouth, meeting Jongin’s gaze over the glass of sherry.

“What did you think we were going to do today?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo drank only half of the sherry and set it down, wincing at the taste. “What is this?” he asked in disgust.

“Sherry,” Jongin replied simply, taking a step into Kyungsoo’s personal space. “And I won’t repeat myself for you,” he whispered, tipping his chin up and forcing Kyungsoo to meet his gaze. Kyungsoo looked up at him, pupils shaking with trepidation.

“I thought we— I’d let you do whatever you wanted to me. Because I want to be good for you,” Kyungsoo said, voice hardly audible.

“Hm. It’s wonderful that you want to be a good boy for me today. I’ve had a trying time since this morning and I suppose I can’t refuse this offer now, can I?” Jongin asked, leaning in to kiss Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo held his breath in anticipation, subtly leaning into Jongin as well to lift his face up to Jongin’s mouth. Jongin trailed his fingers around Kyungsoo’s ear, letting his lips brush over Kyungsoo’s. He could taste the sherry on his mouth and felt a sigh of air when Kyungsoo dropped his jaw open for him.

But instead of deepening the kiss Jongin just moved away, taking his hand with him as well.

“Drink up,” he said, tapping the glass of sherry. Kyungsoo looked like he’d been shaken out of a pleasant dream and frowned slightly, looking down at the glass.

“Yes,” he said softly, picking the glass up and putting it to his mouth. He drank it slowly while Jongin smiled, just a little, and walked away from the wet bar to get his briefcase from under his desk.

“Close the door,” Jongin said when he saw that Kyungsoo was done with his sherry. He didn’t enjoy it very much obviously, but Jongin felt like he needed it for what he had in mind. Kyungsoo could be modest at all the wrong times and wanted him a little loosened up, more at ease around Jongin. He didn’t offer whiskey because he didn’t want Kyungsoo to get drunk, just tipsy.

Kyungsoo pressed the button to shut the door as he was told to do and went to stand before Jongin, putting his sling bag down on one of the chairs beside him.

Jongin opened up his briefcase and ran his hand over the contents thoughtfully, trying to picture which would be best to use on Kyungsoo when he was here in his office. He had brought a bit of everything; a vibrator, handcuffs, nipple clamps…

He picked up the nipple clamps attached to each other on a chain and held it before Kyungsoo.

“Does this pique your fancy?” he asked.

Kyungsoo swallowed thickly, nodding just once. “I’ve used them before.”

“And did you think of me while you had them on?” Jongin asked, letting the chain dangle from his fingers. It swayed before Kyungsoo, the bright metal chain twinkling in the light. 

“I’ve always had you in mind whenever I—I used any toys,” Kyungsoo blushed, dropping his gaze.

Jongin chuckled softly. “How heartwarming. Then I think I’ll put them to use today, hm? It’d be a shame to pass up this opportunity now that we’re here,” he said, setting them down on his desk. Then he returned to his gaze, taking out the bottle of lube and placing it beside the nipple clamps.

“One toy doesn’t sound like enough now, does it? I want you to remember this experience, Kyungsoo, so I think…” he grabbed at a piece of leather and held it up for Kyungsoo to see. “Perhaps this can be useful today.”

Kyungsoo wet his bottom lip, staring at the piece of leather and metal rings in Jongin’s hand.

“What is this?” he asked nervously.

“I believe you may have heard of it before. It’s called an Arab strap, my lovely Kyungsoo.” Jongin picked up the two metal rings attached to the leather and said, “These are cock rings. The leather goes around the testicles and holds them back while the cock rings keep your cock hard for me,” Jongin smiled darkly.

Kyungsoo understood what he meant right away. “…I promise I won’t come until you give me permission,” he mumbled.

“You say that now but wait till I’m inside you, fucking you over my desk and you’ll be begging for me to let you come. It is merely a measure of precaution, Kyungsoo. You have nothing to worry about as long as you’re a good boy,” Jongin said, rubbing his fingers over the smooth cock rings suggestively.

There was no chance for Kyungsoo to come at all if he had on two cock rings, one at the base of his cock and another at the tip of his cock. Jongin was sure he’d enjoy this particular toy; it was a form of restraint regardless, and it’d exercise Kyungsoo’s self-control.

 Kyungsoo looked like he wanted to say something, but Jongin cocked his head to one side and said, “You did say that I could do anything I wanted to you?”

“I did.”

“Excellent. There’ll be a higher chance of you coming this evening then,” Jongin said, putting the Arab strap down beside the nipple clamps. Kyungsoo’s mouth dropped open slightly at that, determination setting his mouth into a firm line. Jongin pointed to the glass window behind him.

“Stand against the window,” he said. Kyungsoo obeyed easily, standing to face the view of Seoul. There were cars up and down the streets, people milling around by the sidewalks like little ants. Seoul was still alive at rush hour, and Jongin wanted to show Kyungsoo off to anyone who might see.

“Undress,” he ordered Kyungsoo.

He obeyed, unbuttoning his shirt with a tremor in his hands, but he moved without hesitation, dropping his shirt on the ground and peeling his pants and boxers off slowly, revealing his half hard cock to Jongin. If anybody on the streets decided to look up at Jongin’s office they’d be rewarded a wonderful view of Kyungsoo’s pert ass, and Jongin smiled, watching the blush spread over Kyungsoo’s cheeks.  

“Come,” Jongin said, flicking a finger towards him. Kyungsoo took two steps forward obediently, hands behind his back. Jongin wondered if he’d ever get tired of this; it wasn’t hard to grow fond over Kyungsoo’s docile manners when they were playing like this.

Especially when somebody is this excited to see me… Jongin thought, taking Kyungsoo’s cock in one hand and tugging slightly.

Kyungsoo went hard almost right away, and Jongin didn’t miss the flash of pleasure across his face, the flush over his flawless skin as Jongin fingered the tip of his cock. He could feel Kyungsoo’s cock grow bigger in his hand, and he kept his gaze on Kyungsoo’s face as he jerked him off gently, fingers dragging and dancing over the sensitive, heated skin.

“You like?” he whispered, tugging at his cock.

“Mm—yes,” Kyungsoo bit out, breathing heavily as he held back from making any noises. Jongin pressed his thumb over his cockhead on purpose just to see him gasp in surprise and push at Jongin’s hand instinctively.

Jongin chuckled, taking his hand away. His cock would do for now, hard and ready for Jongin.

He picked up the Arab strap and went down on one knee to put it on for Kyungsoo, placing a hand on Kyungsoo’s thigh to make him step a little closer. Kyungsoo braced a hand on Jongin’s desk as he watched Jongin unbutton the leather strap, fitting it at the base of Kyungsoo’s cock and tucking the strap between his balls. Buttoning it into place, he felt at Kyungsoo’s cock gently.

“Is it too tight?” he asked.

Kyungsoo shook his head.

“Feels nice to be strapped in?” Jongin asked, biting down on a smile.

Kyungsoo nodded shyly. As he thought, Kyungsoo obviously loved feeling like he was owned. He had remembered that moment in his bathroom while packing the toys into his briefcase when Kyungsoo wanted to know that Jongin owned him. Jongin felt a sense of fulfillment as well, like he had proven his right over Kyungsoo by putting the Arab strap on him. If only people could see this and they’d know right away who Kyungsoo’s body belonged to…

Jongin fitted the larger cock ring down his length first. It sat snugly at the base of his cock, attached to the Arab strap with a small piece of almost invisible rubber string as well as connecting it to the smaller cock ring. Jongin pushed the second cock ring around Kyungsoo’s cock till it couldn’t go any further and made sure it had a bit of space to give, not wanting to cut the blood circulation off.

“All strapped in and hard for me,” Jongin said, when he was done. He stood up, reaching for the nipple clamps next, and checked to see how tight they were by clamping one down on his finger.

“How tight is tight for you?” Jongin asked. It didn’t feel too tight, but Jongin wasn’t entirely sure how they’d work on Kyungsoo’s nipples.

“I can take them,” was all Kyungsoo said.

“I trust you’ll say something if your nipples are feeling numb?” Jongin said, unclamping the nipple clamp from his finger. He held both up in both hands to Kyungsoo’s pink nipples, approaching slowly.

“I will,” Kyungsoo nodded.

With that, Jongin placed the clamps over Kyungsoo’s nipples gently, placing them over the pink buds. Kyungsoo’s body shivered involuntarily at the sensation when Jongin let go of the clamps and the chain hung down heavily across his stomach.

“Quite a sight you are,” Jongin said approvingly, stepping back to see how Kyungsoo looked. His cock was flushed red, probably from the sensation of having his nipples pinched so tightly, and it was strangely erotic to see him totally naked except with his socks and shoes on.

“Do you think you’re ready for some real fun now?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo nodded. Jongin took a few steps back, sweeping the papers off his desk to the ground. Then he kicked the two chairs in front of his desk aside, motioning for Kyungsoo to come over.

Kyungsoo began to breathe heavily as he walked over to Jongin, standing before him with a flustered expression on his face.

“Put your hands on the desk,” Jongin ordered. Kyungsoo did so, turning around to face the glass wall. Jongin took off his coat, draping it over Kyungsoo’s bag and undid his tie, unbuttoning the top button of his shirt. He had intentionally worn a suit because he wasn’t sure if he wanted to use his tie as a blindfold or not, but decided that the Arab strap and the nipple clamps were enough. Maybe next time, he thought. There would definitely be next time.

Jongin didn’t take his clothes off on purpose, unzipping his pants and pushing his boxers aside to press his cock against Kyungsoo’s entrance. His pants chafed against Kyungsoo’s soft skin and Kyungsoo moaned loudly, pushing back on Jongin’s cock.

“Patience,” Jongin cooed, digging his fingers into Kyungsoo’s hair and pulling his head back slightly. Jongin rolled his hips against Kyungsoo’s ass cheeks to feel Kyungsoo’s bare skin on his cock, sighing in pleasure at his warmth.

“Do you feel how hard I am for your hungry little ass, Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked, reaching a hand around Kyungsoo’s front to tug on the chain. He jerked with an incoherent noise, moving his legs apart to bend over a little further and press his ass to Jongin’s cock.

“I do, I want your cock inside me, please,” Kyungsoo said softly, his entrance clenching and relaxing like it was trying to get Jongin’s cock in.

“And how long have you dreamed and yearned for my cock inside you, here in my office while the world goes by through those glass walls? Anyone could see you like this, anyone, and they’d know right away what kind of slut you are for me,” Jongin whispered in his ear.

“I don’t care,” Kyungsoo sighed, squeezing his ass cheeks together around Jongin’s cock and moving his hips up and down to rub all over Jongin’s length.

“I love being your slut, Jongin, I do,” he said helplessly.

“Do you want me to put my cock inside you, let everyone see how much you enjoy being stretched?” Jongin asked, reaching for the bottle of lube.

“Yes, please, Jongin, I want you to stretch me open with your cock—”

“And fuck your ass wide open till you’re so close to coming because you’re my slut and no one else’s?” Jongin cut in, pressing lube messily onto his fingers and dropping the bottle to the ground.

“Fuck me hard, please, Jongin—” Kyungsoo broke off with a hoarse cry when Jongin pressed two fingers into him at once, smearing lube all over his insides. His skin was warm as it clenched around Jongin’s fingers deliciously, milking his fingers hungrily like he couldn’t wait anymore.

Jongin couldn’t tell if it was the sherry Kyungsoo drank a few minutes ago or the fact that they could be giving a complete stranger from across the building a show, but Kyungsoo certainly was louder than usual today, mewling and moaning in his throat while he pressed his ass onto Jongin’s fingers. He writhed and moved for Jongin, taking his fingers in to the knuckles.

Jongin pressed a third finger in and let Kyungsoo sink down on it slowly. Kyungsoo showed no signs of pain or slowing down, bending over the desk and arching his back to suck at Jongin’s fingers with his ass with a wet sound. It was almost beautiful to see Kyungsoo acting so wanton just for Jongin’s fingers inside him and wished, not for the first time, that he could record this and show Kyungsoo how much his ass wanted Jongin’s cock.

 “I think you’re ready now,” Jongin said decisively when Kyungsoo trembled, a wave of pleasure crashing over his body. His ass tightened when Jongin said that, but Jongin pulled out anyway and Kyungsoo cried out pitifully, tears running down his face.

“Please fill me up, Jongin, I’m begging you, I-I missed your big cock inside me—” Jongin flipped Kyungsoo over roughly, the chain across his chest rattling lightly as he whimpered quietly. Jongin lifted him up by the waist, placing Kyungsoo on his desk and kissing him hard.

Kyungsoo cried out weakly against Jongin’s cruel kiss, wiggling backwards with his hands around Jongin’s neck to prop his legs up on the desk. Spreading his legs as far as he could across the desk, Kyungsoo broke off the kiss hurriedly and placed his sweaty hands behind him, leaning back for Jongin’s benefit.

“Jongin,” he breathed heavily, eyes half closed in delirious pleasure and excitement, “I wanna be good for you,” he whispered, the chain connecting the nipple clamps together winking in the light. His cock was impossibly hard and red, there were tears running down his cheeks already and all Jongin could think was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Kyungsoo over and over again in his head, hands caressing his soft thighs.

Kyungsoo’s head dropped back slightly in pleasure when Jongin touched his left nipple, toying with the clamp gently. “Say you’re a slut for my cock, Kyungsoo,” Jongin whispered, his dark gaze weighing heavy on Kyungsoo’s body.

“I’m a slut for you,” Kyungsoo repeated softly, toes curling as Jongin pressed a kiss to his sternum. “Jongin, please…” he begged quietly.

“Show me,” Jongin said, pressing his hands flat on Kyungsoo’s inner thighs. “Show me where you want me,” Jongin demanded. Kyungsoo lifted his hips up slightly, one hand moving forward to spread his ass open for Jongin to glimpse a peek at his puckered entrance.

“I want you here, Jongin, I want your hands all over me,” Kyungsoo moaned. Jongin lowered his face to peer at Kyungsoo’s entrance, cupping his hand over the slick warmth. Kyungsoo surged upwards, thighs tense and shaking as he tried to hold himself up on one arm. “Please, please, Jongin,” he pleaded, rolling his hips down on Jongin’s hand shamelessly.

“It seems like a lot to ask,” Jongin said blankly, pressing his hand tantalizingly against Kyungsoo’s hot entrance. His other hand tugged on the chain across Kyungsoo’s chest and he jerked at the feeling of his nipples being pulled, crying out incoherently.

“But I’m good for you, I’m your slut, Jongin, I just want to feel your cock inside me,” he begged, tears running down his face and dropping onto Jongin’s glass desk. 

“When you put it that way…” Jongin pressed his hand heavily on Kyungsoo’s waist. Kyungsoo took it as a sign to return to his former position and leaned back on both arms again, legs spread obscenely on Jongin’s desk.

He was going to have very fond memories of this desk if Kyungsoo was going to be this articulate with his words.

“Put your legs around me,” Jongin said, holding out his hands to grip Kyungsoo’s creamy thighs. Kyungsoo slid forward slightly, eyes trained on Jongin’s face wordlessly as he inched closer to Jongin’s hard cock. Jongin held Kyungsoo’s legs to his sides, slipping a hand underneath his supple ass to lift him upwards on his cock.   

“Hold onto me,” Jongin said warningly, and Kyungsoo’s hands scrambled to pull himself up against Jongin’s chest. He mounted himself on Jongin’s arms, breath harsh in Jongin’s ear as he gripped Jongin’s back tightly, lowering himself onto Jongin’s cock.

Jongin held his ass open, fucking him open inch by inch as Kyungsoo let gravity do its job and stretch his ass open. Kyungsoo whimpered and mewled against Jongin’s neck, bare skin brushing against Jongin’s clothes. Jongin could feel his tight ass gripping his cock welcomingly, pulsing as Kyungsoo approached the base of his cock.

When Kyungsoo felt the glass desk on his ass he sighed happily, loving the feel of being completely filled up with Jongin’s cock.

“Please, can I move for you?” he whispered in Jongin’s ear, kissing his jaw gently.

“You can,” Jongin bit out, feeling sweat break out on his skin. The heat from this afternoon seemed to come back with a vengeance as Kyungsoo tried to get a good grip on Jongin, moving around to get himself in a comfortable position.

Kyungsoo had a hand around Jongin’s neck and another over his shoulder for support when he settled nicely over Jongin’s cock and took a deep breath. Jongin waited patiently, kissing Kyungsoo’s cheek chastely. Kyungsoo lifted himself up slowly with his legs, Jongin’s cock sliding out of his ass as he moved upwards.

When there was only the tip of his cock left, Kyungsoo dropped down heavily on his cock once more, repeating the motion as carefully as he could, moaning quietly in Jongin’s ear.

Jongin could feel his legs tensing and relaxing each time he dropped down on his cock, fucking himself on Jongin’s cock greedily. He held Kyungsoo’s thighs tightly, closing his eyes and letting the pleasure wash over him, warm and sweet. Kyungsoo began to sweat in no time, soaking Jongin’s shirt as he threw his head back. His cock kept rubbing over Jongin’s shirt, heightening the sensations he was feeling and bringing him closer to orgasm with each slide of Jongin’s cock into his ass.  

“J-Jongin,” Kyungsoo hiccupped, lower half moving sloppily against Jongin’s still body. Jongin hummed in reply, eyes heavy lidded.

“I’m hard, Jongin,” Kyungsoo whined, one of his hands going to his cock.

“So?” Jongin replied lightly. Kyungsoo could touch himself till the day was over and he’d never come.

“I’m hard for you, Jongin, I want to come for you,” Kyungsoo said, words jerky as he continued to fuck himself on Jongin’s cock.

“I know what you’re trying to do,” Jongin whispered, one of his hands cupping Kyungsoo’s face. Kyungsoo leaned into his touch, his mouth dropping open in a sigh. His leg curled around Jongin’s figure like a vine, still trying to get Jongin to come inside him.

“I know you know, Jongin, please,” Kyungsoo begged, kissing Jongin hard with tears in his eyes. “Don’t leave me hard like this.”

“You’ll have to do better if you plan on coming this evening,” Jongin replied conversationally, licking Kyungsoo’s salty tears. “I-I want to come… I…” Kyungsoo’s frantic gaze met Jongin’s calm ones. “Please?” he tried again.

Jongin did not answer. He let Kyungsoo fuck himself that much harder on his cock, trying to express himself in actions and felt his orgasm slamming into him like a brick wall. Jongin groaned and dug his fingers cruelly into Kyungsoo’s hair, pulling back as his ass milked Jongin’s cock.

Jongin came into Kyungsoo’s ass in spurts, hips moving erratically to drag his orgasm out. Kyungsoo cried out loudly as if in pain, hands scrambling all over Jongin’s body as he tried to move faster, do something because he didn’t want to stay hard like this forever—

“Jongin, Jongin, please, I’m begging you, oh Jongin please—” Kyungsoo cried.

 “I’ll be your good boy, Jongin, please, make me come for you, I’ll scream for you Jongin, I’ll do anything—Ah,” Kyungsoo winced as Jongin pushed him back on the desk, his head clunking heavily over the edge of the desk. But it was fine because Jongin was moving now, thrusting into Kyungsoo so hard he was certain he’d be sore when this was over.

“Tell me you’ll be my good boy,” Jongin growled, hand over Kyungsoo’s cock while he pummeled into his ass.

“I am,” Kyungsoo sighed, pulling at the chain on his nipples, “I’m so good for you.” The pain made him feel that much more pleasured, and he imagined the clamps to be Jongin’s fingers, pinching his nipples brutally, mercilessly.

Waves of pleasure washed over him repeatedly; he knew he was close, so close to coming already, “Oh Jongin, I’m your good boy, I—” he broke off with a loud scream when Jongin unsnapped the button on the Arab strap and tugged the cock rings roughly off his cock. In that second, Kyungsoo felt so painfully hard, harder than he’d ever been in his life and Jongin only had to jerk him off twice with his hand before he came, his body seizing up in surprise and pleasure.

His come streaked across Jongin’s shirt, over his stomach and pooled in a small puddle on the ground when his flaccid cock lay flat, as worn out as he felt. A red line circled near the tip of his cock and it hurt just a tiny bit when Jongin touched the red line, pleasure sizzling in his veins at his touch.

“No don’t, too sensitive,” Kyungsoo mumbled, pushing his hand away.

Jongin left his cock alone, but he should’ve known Jongin would try something else. He pulled out of Kyungsoo and tugged the nipple clamps off at the same time, causing him to hiss in pain and curl into a ball on his desk.

“Hey,” Jongin called, taking his hands and lacing their fingers together.

“Hm?” was all Kyungsoo could manage. His throat felt dry and he felt dry too, like he’d been squeezed out like a sponge. Jongin tugged him back up, standing between Kyungsoo’s thighs.

“You okay?” Jongin asked, fingering his now red nipples. 

“More than okay,” Kyungsoo said hoarsely, clearing his throat.

“I liked it,” Jongin said, patting Kyungsoo’s thigh.

Kyungsoo glanced back up at him. “You did?”

Jongin nodded, stepping back with his lips curled into a crooked smile. Kyungsoo huffed a laugh, looking away shyly.

“You’re such perv, I don’t even—” The both of them froze when something buzzed loudly, followed by the sound of phone ringing. Jongin frowned, digging into his pocket.

“It’s my phone,” Jongin said, his phone buzzing incessantly against his leg. Just when we were having a moment, Jongin thought crossly. He hung up without checking to see who it was and shoved his phone back into his pocket, looking around the office.

“Do you need a tissue to clear up?” Kyungsoo asked, hopping off the desk and walking over to his crumpled pants on the ground. Jongin was going to give him a coherent answer but his line of gaze caught and followed the curve of his ass he moved and bent over to grab his pants. Maybe we could go for a second round, he thought. Eleven was still a long time, after all.

Kyungsoo turned around to hand Jongin a tissue. He reached for it, a thank you at the tip of his tongue when his phone rang again, vibrating in his pocket.

“Are you sure you don’t wanna get that?” Kyungsoo asked, placing the tissue in Jongin’s hand. “Apparently, I don’t have a choice,” Jongin muttered, digging his phone out again. He squinted at the caller ID; he already had a half a mind to bite this caller’s head off regardless if it was Sehun or Chanyeol—

“Dad?” Jongin frowned. Even Kyungsoo lifted an eyebrow, dropping a used tissue into the wastepaper basket beside him. “You should probably get that then,” he said, turning away to give Jongin a semblance of privacy.

Jongin tapped on a green button on his phone’s screen and held it to his ear.

“Hello?” he could hardly believe someone from his family was calling him up, let alone try to comprehend why the fuck his father felt the need to call him out of nowhere.

“Son,” his father’s raspy voice rumbled on the other line.

“Dad,” Jongin said stiffly. Kyungsoo put his clothes on slowly, trying not to look at Jongin.

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Been too long, boy,” his father chuckled. Jongin resisted the urge to roll his eyes; he never understood it when his father tried to make it out like they were two businessmen who weren’t related to each other in any way.

“Yeah. Look dad, I’m in the middle of something now—”

“Hard at work, I assume? Mr. Yoon just made a call to your driver and he says you haven’t left the Accuretta building,” his father said idly. Jongin swallowed the lump in his throat. Mr. Yoon was his trusted personal assistant and always did his father little favors. Clearly these favors included spying on his boss’s son. Why’s he so nosy? Jongin thought. It was certainly new.

“There’s nothing to worry about, son,” his father said, mistaking his silence, “I only wanted to know if you had anything planned for tonight and it turns out we’re both free and in the same country at the same time. What a coincidence, hm?” Jongin laughed hollowly.

Mr. Kim was never free. There was always money to be made somewhere, people to see and land to develop. “A big coincidence,” Jongin said flatly.

His father chuckled. “It is… I’m at the mansion tonight, son. Join your mother and I for dinner, hm? What say you?” Jongin recognized an order when he heard it. As much as he disliked spending time with his family, his father in particular, he knew he didn’t have much of a choice. Mr. Kim didn’t make social calls.

“What time?” Jongin asked.

“Seven thirty?” his father replied.

Jongin said he’d be there soon and hung up before his father could say anything else, squeezing his phone in his fist. Kyungsoo appeared before him, hands hovering over his shirt. He had a wet tissue in his hand and tried to clean his come off Jongin’s shirt.

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll go home and change my clothes,” Jongin said, taking his hands away.

“Is something wrong?” Kyungsoo asked, sensing the tension in Jongin. “My dad wants to see me,” Jongin said, doing his pants up.

“Wait, let me—” Kyungsoo pushed Jongin’s hands away, holding his cock in one hand and wiping it hastily with the wet tissue. Jongin sighed. “My father never wants to see me unless there’s a reason. He says he wants to meet for dinner tonight and I can’t refuse,” Jongin said, running a hand down Kyungsoo’s cheek.

Kyungsoo’s nimble fingers tucked his cock back into his boxers, deftly doing the fly up and buckling his belt on. “You have to do what you need to do then,” Kyungsoo said softly, looking up at Jongin.

He shrugged. “Story of my life. I think I’ll need another kiss for good luck, then I’ll have to go home to change out of my clothes and rush to my dad’s place,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo smiled, tiptoeing to give Jongin a proper kiss. Jongin licked at Kyungsoo’s lips, trying to coax another kiss out of him.

“Stop,” Kyungsoo broke off, placing a hand on his chest. “We’ll see each other during the weekend again,” he whispered.

“Hm, we will,” Jongin smiled. Kyungsoo turned around to pick up something and shoved Jongin’s briefcase at him. “Everything’s packed in already. You leave first, and I’ll go down once you’re gone,” Kyungsoo said.

“I’ll text you,” Jongin promised, taking his briefcase and walking backwards. Kyungsoo waved at him with a smile. “I’ll be waiting.”

*

Jongin tapped a nervous tune with his fingers on the leather seat beside him, his thumb in his mouth as he chewed his fingernail. The surroundings outside the car were familiar now, the greenery and the smooth ride bringing back memories of travelling this very road, thinking distant thoughts and building castles in the clouds. Jongin hadn’t travelled this road since three years ago.

His phone buzzed in his lap. ‘I know you’re nervous. Don’t be. Maybe it’s nothing.’

“Huh,” Jongin snorted. Kyungsoo was trying to calm him down, sure, but nothing certainly wasn’t the reason why he was here, weaving through a private road to his father’s residence.

Jongin had gone home to change into another outfit less than twenty minutes ago, trying to choose something that would fit the occasion. Of course, he’d have a much better time figuring out what to wear if he knew why he was going to pay his dear father a visit, but he had no fucking clue at all.

He decided on a grey suit, one that would probably be suitable for pretty much any event, in case his father had something tricky up his sleeve. Maybe he wanted to introduce Jongin to some investors or something, though again, he could’ve just said so instead of leaving Jongin out of the loop.

He had spent the entire ride home trying to figure out why he was being summoned to his father’s place and even now, with less than five minutes before he’d be on his father’s front porch, he couldn’t think of something that explained everything. If his father wanted to poke around to see if Jongin was free, it was possible that he sniffed around as well to see if Jongin had anyone in his life worth noting.

What if he knows about Kyungsoo? Jongin asked himself.

That was something he didn’t want to think about. He didn’t care about what his family thought of him but he’d have to take a lot of shit from his parents regardless; how could he do such a thing, how could he be so careless with the family name, how could he have committed such an atrocity with another man

Who could’ve told him though? he thought, glancing at Mr. Lee. No, whoever told his father didn’t matter. What mattered was how Kyungsoo would take the news and if he’d be affected at all. He doesn’t deserve to be pulled into all this, Jongin told himself.

Still… Maybe it’s really nothing, Jongin thought.

Perhaps a little caution when he was around Kyungsoo would be necessary now, and that’d be it. His father probably didn’t know a single thing about what he was doing with Kyungsoo, after all. Nothing was confirmed at this point.

God, I have to stop worrying about things like this, Jongin thought, running a hand through his hair in frustration and rubbing his dry eyes. He remembered a saying he’d read somewhere that one only worried about things when they were either guilty or too anxious. He was feeling a tiny bit guilty about Kyungsoo, but Jongin was determined not to let it show. He’d keep his cool and live through this dinner, sexual activities be damned.

Maybe all his father wanted to was feel him up and see if he was hiding anything. Well, two people could play at this game. Jongin had watched his father do this for the past twenty plus years of his life; obviously he’d picked up a thing or two along the way.

Right then, Jongin thought. Mr. Lee was turning into the path leading to his father’s front porch now and Jongin needed to get his shit together.

 He looked down at his phone and typed out a quick reply: ‘I’m here now. Text you later.’  

When Mr. Lee got out of the car to get the door for Jongin, he was calm and poised, ready to face his father. He gave Mr. Lee a curt nod in silent thanks and stepped forth towards the large doors of the mansion.

Mr. Yoon, Jongin’s father’s henchman was there, waiting for him with an unfathomable smile. He had grey thinning hair and rather small eyes like a rat. Jongin never liked him, not once during all the years of growing up with his presence by the sidelines and still couldn’t find it in his heart to like him now.

“Young Mr. Kim, it’s been too long,” he said, bowing slightly. Jongin did not return his bow but instead smiled tightly at him.

“I suppose it is. How has my father been?” Jongin asked.

“Well. He often speaks of you,” Mr. Yoon said, not caring to elaborate on what his father might’ve said about Jongin. Probably not so nice things. Jongin wasn’t exactly a golden boy after all. He didn’t say anything after that, allowing Mr. Yoon to lead him through the doors and down the empty hallways of where Jongin grew up, the white, pristine walls still the same as ever.

The mansion wasn’t as big as an estate like Chanyeol’s family mansion, but it was a mansion regardless. Jongin called it home once, before he felt a disconnection, a rift between himself and his family. He couldn’t even pinpoint the reason or when he started to feel this way, but when college ended he knew he couldn’t live under the same roof with his family anymore.

Something had changed, and it couldn’t be undone.

Still, he couldn’t help feeling melancholic as he noticed the little details in the mansion, imprints he’d left when he lived in this place.

There was that crystal chandelier he’d damaged when he was ten while playing baseball with his sisters. Of course, he took the blame because he was the youngest and the maids had to clear up the mess, and even now as he looked up at it, he could see a spot where a crystal or two should be dangling.

Then there was that streak of red paint in the corner he’d spattered across the wall with his second eldest sister when they were going through their Chinese calligraphy years (he was trying to be a scholar at the time and felt compelled to spread his wisdom on the walls). They could never quite get rid of the stain no matter how hard the maids scrubbed and it was left alone now, since no one would actually notice it unless you knew it was there. They were good times while they lasted, Jongin thought bitterly.

Mr. Yoon took a turn to the left, where the dining room was. Jongin followed, leaving the haze of his childhood memories behind.

The smell of herbal chicken soup wafted through the hallway as they neared the dining table. It brought memories he’d rather not think about, happy though they might be. Jongin closed his eyes, tracing his footsteps from memory. He didn’t open his eyes till he knew he was standing at the fireplace, facing the large mahogany table that could easily fit ten people around it with ease. The lights were a touch too bright for his taste in the room as usual, and there were the old obscure paintings hanging on the wall, paintings he’d never cared for but always seemed to hold favor in his father’s opinion.

Said father always sat with his back facing the fireplace and turned when he heard Mr. Yoon and Jongin enter the room.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

“Son,” he smiled widely, one of those smiles that always made Jongin feel just a tiny bit shy about himself, like a child would feel shy at a parent’s words of praise.

He hated himself immediately for feeling that way, of course, because it went against his thoughts of this man before him. As much as he hated it, he didn’t like his father but he still loved him, somehow, somewhere deep in his heart and always felt a sense of fear and respect for him.

“Dad,” he smiled reluctantly back in return. Jongin’s father still had that air of command around him as he stood up to greet Jongin, his deep set eyes taking in Jongin’s face, clothes, everything. His mother was there at the other end of the table as well, her dark hair done up in a neat chignon. She was in her favorite Chanel two piece outfit and looked the same as ever, if not a little choked up at the sight of her only son.

Jongin was pulled into an unexpected hug and patted his father on the back, suddenly feeling choked up himself. “What’s with the hug, dad?” he croaked.

“Hug? What hug?” his father said gruffly, releasing him. He grabbed Jongin’s hand and squeezed it tightly, giving him a once over glance.

“You look good, son. You’ve grown into a fine man,” his father said, eyes shining wetly in the light. Jongin’s mother nodded at the end of the table, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief delicately. “We haven’t seen you in a long while, Jongin,” she said kindly.

It did feel like a long time. Three years didn’t sound like a long time but lots of things had happened in that period of time.

Like Kyungsoo, the words came unbidden. He brushed the rush of guilt aside quickly. He didn’t want the waterworks to start without even figuring why he was here.

“Sit, sit, son,” his father said, motioning to a chair beside Jongin. They sat down with Jongin’s father at the head of the table and with Jongin at his right hand, the way his father always wanted it to be.

“Now that you’re here, we can start eating, son,” his father said, smiling at him. Mr. Yoon, who had been watching everything silently, bowed and made his exit.

“Dad, what—” Jongin started to say, but his father waved his questions away dismissively. “Son, I know you have a lot of questions. It’s unusual for us to be in the same country most of the time and today, I just wanted to see how my son was doing,” his father said.

Jongin took it as a hint that the real conversation wouldn’t start till they were halfway through dinner at least. His parents probably had more questions for him than he had for them anyway.

“Jongin, we’ve missed you, my boy,” his mother said from across the table. Jongin smiled shyly at her, fiddling with the fork and spoon in front of him. “I know. I’ve thought about you,” he replied.

Jongin always felt a twinge of regret as the only son for leaving his mother alone to deal with his father, but inside he always knew she was strong enough to be by his side. His children, not so much. There was a reason he and his siblings kept a distance, after all; his father could be ruthless when he wanted to, in so many ways.

 “How has everything been for you? Your father was just telling me you were at the office awhile ago,” his mother said.

“Um, everything’s great. Nothing’s been too much trouble and Suho’s always there in case I need him,” Jongin said. His father chuckled at the mention of Suho; he was always fond of Suho.

Jongin suspected it was because of his spotless image and his easy charms; Jongin knew better but chose not to burst his father’s bubble. He wouldn’t believe me anyway, Jongin thought. His mood soured slightly, but he tried to keep his mood light. It wouldn’t do to get upset at something as small as that.

“Suho… How has he been? Taking care of things for you, I assume?” his father said. Jongin knew he didn’t mean it that way, but it stung a little to hear those words from his own father. If he didn’t trust his son to take control of his company then why pass it over to him?

Fuck, keep your cool, he told himself, you know this is how he is.

Shake him up then take what you need, Jongin remembered the words his father said when he was seventeen. It was a business tactic to suss things out, and Jongin couldn’t believe that after all these years, even to his own family, his father could use this sort of approach.

Though Jongin had expected it, the real thing felt different; reality always worked that way.

We take care of things together, actually,” Jongin said, subtly putting himself and Suho as a team. Jongin’s father had told Suho to mentor Jongin, in short, because Suho had entered the corporate world first. Of course, his father didn’t know how close they were and that Suho’s version of mentoring Jongin was to do his homework.

His father chuckled. “I’m sure you both do,” he said. What’s that supposed to mean? He thought. He wasn’t feeling too good about this.

Servants entered the dining room with bowls of rice. They were silent as all the side dishes came pouring. His father must’ve been overseas for far too long; there were 12 side dishes today to go with their rice (usually they only had six or seven) as well as a small clay pot of ginseng chicken broth for each of them.

Jongin’s stomach rumbled at the sight of home cooked food and ate heartily, placing pickled radish and dried anchovies on his rice before scooping it up to his mouth. Nothing beats comfort food, Jongin thought.

They were quiet for perhaps ten minutes, eating in comfortable silence. His father was picking at his chicken when he spoke up: “Son, tell your mother and I about what you’ve been up to these past few years. Are those rumors true, boy, about you and that model or some other girl from Germany—”

Jongin chortled on his rice. It was a bit of a tizzy two years back, when Jongin was far too laid back and partied way too hard with that sort of crowd. He’d gone out with a leggy German model but once, and the tabloids lapped it up, labeling them as the next ‘ it couple’; she came from a good family too, but what the tabloids didn’t know was that she loved snorting cocaine and heroin up her slender nose, anything she could get her hands on in powder form.

Jongin tried not to involve himself with drug addicts; they were always boring people. He’d learnt that lesson from her, and once he spent one night with her in Vegas it was enough for him. Her legs kept getting in the way…

“She’s nothing. It was just a fling,” he said. His mother and father shared a relieved look across the table.

“Good, son, good to hear that. Her father wanted to do business with me but I wasn’t sure if you had something serious enough with her,” he said. Then he went on, “What about that girl then, the one after the German? What was her name again, something ridiculous…”

Jongin thought about it and said, “Mimi?”

His father nodded. “I do hope you haven’t been seeing her, son, she was wilder than a stray growing up on the streets—”

Jongin’s mother tutted at his father, laughing a little. Jongin laughed weakly.

That girl was a fling too. He couldn’t even remember how he met her, it must’ve been at some party sometime ago, but could clearly hear her tinny, high pitched voice in his head as he pictured her short hair and thick makeup. She was great at kissing though, Jongin thought regretfully. Most party girls were good, yes, but it was clear there was no future between them.

“Then you haven’t been seeing anyone these few months, boy? I haven’t seen much of you in the news,” his mother said.

Jongin stilled. Oh, he was definitely seeing someone now, it was just that they weren’t in the sort of relationship you’d bring up to your parents. “Nope,” he said, “I haven’t found someone worth seeing and neither have I the time.”

He thought his father looked disappointed. “It’s alright, son, keep looking. I didn’t meet your mother till I was 35, and by then I thought I’d leave this world alone. Now, I have your mother with me every day,” his father smiled at his mother.

Jongin nodded, keeping his eyes locked on his rice. It was too early to say Kyungsoo was someone special to him, but he certainly had no intention to look for someone else till he knew everything was over between himself and Kyungsoo. “I still have time,” Jongin said.

“Time is a fleeting being, son,” his father admonished. “Don’t despair, boy. Don’t despair,” he said wisely.

“I’m not,” Jongin laughed. “When the time is right I know the right person will come along,” he said, just to get off the subject. They asked him a few questions after that, about what was happening at Accuretta, and since Jongin had spent so much time today reading those stupid reports, he recited everything to his father quite easily. 

“The deal with Yifan is closed. We’re just gathering material and manpower to start up the factory now,” Jongin said.

“Will you be going to China in my stead for the opening?” his father asked. Jongin blinked; he’d forgotten about that. God, not Guangzhou again, he thought. “If you can’t go then I will,” he said.

“Perhaps we could go together. Give the public a united front,” his father said. Jongin shrugged. If his father could be there in China then that would be great; Jongin wouldn’t have to give a speech then, since his father was such a fan of giving long, dragging speeches.

“Yeah, sure, sounds great,” Jongin said easily. He was almost done with his meal now, with only the broth left to finish up in front of him. The conversation seemed to have reached a full circle and they ate quietly at the table in a somewhat uneasy silence. Jongin felt like he should speak up but what could he say to his father whom he hadn’t seen in three years? There was just too much and yet too little at the same time.

When the servants came to take away the empty dishes and returned with caramel pudding, Jongin was starting to doubt all the reasons he’d come up with to explain why his father spontaneously decided the three of them should have dinner together.

Maybe there’s a slight chance he’s getting old and he wants to make up for everything he’s done, Jongin thought, or to be more precise, the things he never did when I was growing up.

His father didn’t touch the pudding he was served. Instead he picked up the small dessert spoon idly, watching Jongin closely. Jongin didn’t quite feel his gaze till he thought it was a little too quiet on his left and glanced at his father, who had a secret smile on his face.

That was when a shiver ran down Jongin’s spine and all those questions from before resurfaced in his head; why did he ever think his father would change?

“You know, son, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you,” his father said softly.

Jongin’s blood went cold but he didn’t show it, continuing to eat his pudding. His mother was quiet at the other end, her expression suddenly solemn.

“What is it?” Jongin asked. Does he know about Kyungsoo? Does he want to confront me about him? What do I say? His hands started shaking. Jongin fisted his left hand under the table while he placed his spoon down and pretended to turn towards his father with a questioning look. His heart raced in his chest as he waited for his father to say something.

“The truth is, son, I’ve been keeping tabs on you for the past few months,” his father started, and Jongin’s heart dropped into his stomach. Keeping tabs? God, why now of all times to spy on Jongin? He would never have laid a finger on Kyungsoo had he known his father was watching him.

“…And though your progress was rather… lackluster at first, I see a real improvement these days,” his father continued. Jongin frowned. Progress?

“You see, boy, I’m not going to live forever,” his father grimaced, “somebody has to be around to keep things going. Your sisters have done me proud overseas as you might’ve noticed, they’ve made a name for themselves without ever having to mention my name…” Jongin tried not to wince at the implement in his words, “but it doesn’t change things over here.

“I’ve watched you, my boy, from afar, and though I don’t say it often enough,” his father reached over to take his hand. Jongin’s hand was trembling, but his father didn’t seem to notice as he looked into Jongin’s eyes.

“I’m proud of you, son. Jongin, I know you were reluctant to take up the mantle all those years ago but I can tell now that you’ve started making an effort to keep the company together.” Jongin relaxed just a little bit as the conversation steered away from his personal life, but was still apprehensive on what his father was trying to say.

“Is that all you wanted to say to me?” Jongin asked. His father chuckled away, shaking his head.

“Of course not, my boy. I’ve got news for you, son, great news,” his father beamed.

Jongin wasn’t sure why, but he could feel goosebumps all over his skin and his heart dropped further into his stomach at that. If it was great news for his father, it meant bad news for Jongin. He didn’t want to hear what his father was going to say but he was stuck to his seat, with no way out of this situation.

“W-what…?”

“Accuretta, boy. Accuretta Systems… I’ve signed it over to you. It’s all yours now, Jongin, my empire shall be the foundation of yours, starting from Accuretta. It’ll take a while before the news can get out, but I thought it best that you heard this from me in person,” his father said.

Jongin sat there, feeling stunned. Accuretta? Signed over to him? “But… why?” Jongin choked, feeling the blood draining from his face. The tremors started up again, this time with a vengeance and Jongin almost couldn’t breathe. This was too sudden, too much at once for him. He was just thinking of taking a week off less than two hours ago, for fuck’s sake.

“What do you mean ‘why’, son? Because you deserve it,” his father smiled, though Jongin could tell this wasn’t the reaction he’d been expecting, “You deserve a head start in the corporate world, son, and I’m giving it to you. Three years ago, I could see that you weren’t ready for it but now… Now, you’re different, Jongin. You can take over Accuretta Systems now, and I’m giving you my blessing.”

But I don’t want to take over Accuretta, he thought at once. I don’t want a head start in the corporate world, I don’t want a company with my name on it—

“I can’t—I’m not going to take it, dad, it’s too much for me,” Jongin squeaked, taking his hand away from his father’s hold. His mother looked on anxiously while his father had the grace to look hurt.

“It’s a gift, Jongin, you don’t get the chance to say no to it,” his mother said softly. Jongin felt like he was being ganged up on.

“It’s too much of a gift, mom, you don’t understand—”

“I told you, son,” his father said gravely from beside him. “I’m not going to live forever and someone has to take care of the family legacy. If not for me, son, then do this for the future of this family. Would you like to see all this taken away from your children, your grandchildren and their grandchildren? All these opportunities are only offered to a chosen few, son. Wouldn’t you like this family to be a part of those chosen few?” his father pleaded with him.

Jongin had nothing to say against that. Besides, his father had said that he’d signed the company over already. He could fight this, but he couldn’t undo what his father had done. Accuretta belonged to him now, whether he liked it or not.

“Will you take it, son?” his father asked, begged, taking his hand once more. Suddenly his father looked old, weathered and beaten down to Jongin, like all the years he’d lived through just crashed down on his father all at once. He could see the wrinkles on his face, wrinkles he didn’t notice were there, the liver spots on his father’s hand.

Don’t take it, a part of him urged. How was Jongin supposed to be a leader to a company of more than three thousand staff, including Kyungsoo, when he couldn’t even handle more than three days of coming into the office? He wasn’t built for this; he never was and didn’t understand the blind faith in his father’s eyes.

“I… I will,” Jongin said, defeated.

-

Jongin swirled the wine around in the wineglass absently, watching the red liquid move in circles and stain the walls of the wineglass almost gently, leaving translucent yet reddish patches in its wake. It was possible that he’d been drinking too much, but Jongin thought the Lord should forgive him this one time.

Accuretta, Jongin thought. Accuretta Systems was under Jongin’s name now. The thought of it was unnerving, to be honest.

Something inside him told him to be rational; he had this coming the minute his father had put him on the board and gave Jongin his office. His father had told him that it was training to go into the corporate world and Accuretta was to be treated like it was his own company because it’d belong to him soon. In the back of his mind, he’d been expecting it, just. Just not like this, Jongin thought.

He just never thought it’d be quite so soon, as in within this decade soon. He sighed heavily, drinking up the wine.

The sun was coming up now; Jongin could see the pinkish orange sky blazing brightly from the open balcony. Cool wind blew the curtains up like wraiths, constantly reaching for Jongin at the sofa. He looked at the table beside him and two wine bottles stared right back at him, one empty and the other well on its way to having its contents drained into Jongin’s throat. Two bottles in one night alone, Jongin thought. It was a new record for him. 

Strangely enough, he didn’t feel very drunk. Just wistful, thoughtful and very much afraid of the coming months.

Or month, to be exact, he thought. His father had said something to him last night before Jongin had left the mansion: “It’ll take a month or less to process everything and we can officially let the press know about this. I think it best to keep this to yourself for at least two weeks, and then the board members will be notified of your new position.”

Jongin couldn’t bear it, keeping this secret to himself. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep and that was why he turned to the wine, trying to get himself tipsy but instead all it gave him was more and more thoughts. He wanted to tell Suho and Sehun about this; they’d know what to do and what to say but… what good would it do, really? There was only so much in their power before Jongin would have to be on his own.

I don’t even know if I should go into the office, Jongin frowned, I probably shouldn’t. The hangover wouldn’t hit right away but it’d definitely hit him full blast sometime soon since he was out of wine now.  

I just want the year to end and everything will have happened without me going through it, Jongin thought, sinking into his sofa and wrapping his arms around himself, one leg propped up on the sofa in an inappropriate but comfortable position.

God, he thought, one minute I’m about to take a long weekend off to rest and the next minute I’m thinking about work so much that I can’t even sleep. Talk about mood swings.

“It’s just you and me then,” Jongin said to the half empty wine bottle on the table. “I trust you to take all of this away till I’m ready to face it,” he said, and ignored the way his voice slurred as he spoke. Leaning over, he poured what was left in the wine bottle into his glass and held it in both hands, inhaling the rich scent of grapes before drinking all of it.

Chapter Text

There was a fumble. A few shuffles, and then another fumble followed by three sharp noises. “Jongin?” someone called. The voice sounded fuzzy, faraway and distorted. Jongin couldn’t tell who it was at all, but he or she was disturbing his nap.

“Go away,” he mumbled softly, doubtful the person at his door could hear him. At least he said it aloud; that way whoever it was could be charged in court for disturbing Jongin with no valid reason even when he told them to bugger off. Couldn’t the world tell he wanted to be alone? He already turned off his phone to prove it…

It was quiet after he mumbled at the person to go away. He dropped his head back down on the sofa, trying to settle back into sleep when the noises started the fuck up again.

“Doesn’t sound like he’s home. Maybe he’s at his parents’ place,” someone suggested. Yes, Jongin thought. Please go away and leave me in peace. A rumble blossomed slowly in his gut, but he ignored it. Like the noises and the guest—or guests— he hoped it would go away quietly.

“His driver said he hasn’t left the place since last night. His cars are all in, so I doubt he’s not inside,” another someone said.

Dear Lord, Jongin thought with a groan, why couldn’t his friends leave him be? The rumble in his gut slowly moved down the scale and started to itch and twist into a painful knot. Still, Jongin didn’t feel up to getting off the sofa. Moving around would alert his friends outside anyway. Maybe there was a slight chance they’d just go away—

“Did you hear that? It sounded like a squeak, like the floors creaking or something,” a voice said. Jongin could tell it was Suho.

“Told you he’s in.” Sehun.

“But if he’s in then why’s he ignoring us…” Chanyeol said, his voice fading out. There was a reply from either Suho or Sehun that Jongin couldn’t quite catch, and then the banging started. “COME ON, WE KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE,” Sehun’s voice said loudly through the door, somehow managing to sound bored instead of irritated.

Despite the pain in his lower abdomen, Jongin sat up with much difficulty, glaring at the door balefully. “No,” he managed to say, loud enough that the guys could probably hear him now. His mouth felt like it’d been stuffed with stale tasting cotton.

“What d’you mean ‘no’, you idiot, open up before Suho manages to find your apartment key in his stack of keys,” Sehun answered.

Jongin thought for a moment, and then said, “No,” again, collapsing on the sofa. God, his bones felt like they weighed ten tons. The hangover was definitely here and it had him in its tight grip. The pain in his stomach was verging on uncomfortable now. Gotta puke soon, Jongin thought, clambering down on all fours to the ground very carefully so as not to jolt his stomach.

“Hey, hey, guys, I think I got it. Chanyeol, try this key,” Suho’s voice said. There was a jangling noise and Jongin tried to crawl a little faster. He wasn’t sure why he was trying to get to the bathroom before they came in but it seemed rational and he moved like a demented crab, trying not to jostle his stomach too much.

Jongin wasn’t paying too much attention to his friends by the time he was at the toilet bowl, barely making it into the bathroom before he puked his dinner from last night. There was a strong, herbal taste in the back of his throat and it only made him feel even more nauseous. When Chanyeol, Sehun and Suho found him, he was heaving and gagging loudly, hugging the toilet bowl as if his life depended on it.

“Why do I feel like I’ve seen this before?” Sehun said dryly. Suho gave him a scathing look that said ‘shut up, now isn’t the right time to be snarky’. Sehun sent him a bored look; he’d seen this all too many times in college. Chanyeol peeled his velvet gloves off his fingers, approaching the bathroom slowly.

“Jongin, you need to stop drinking yourself to oblivion like this,” Chanyeol said wisely.

Between heaves, Jongin managed to say, “Ha,” and his mouth lifted in a half smirk. “Smart,” Sehun remarked. Jongin turned to the toilet bowl again, puking up whatever that was still in his stomach.

“Is there a reason why you’re drinking so much all alone, Jongin?” Chanyeol asked. Jongin held up a finger, dry coughing into the toilet bowl. It felt like there was nothing left inside, but wracks of nausea had his gut in countless knots. This is probably my punishment for expecting Jesus to forgive me, Jongin thought miserably.

When he finally managed to reach for the handle to flush everything down, Jongin felt like a bag of bones and skin, nothing more. He breathed heavily, leaning against the bathtub for support.

“Still waiting,” Chanyeol chirped, standing by the door. Sehun and Suho were looking through his closet. Nosy perverts, Jongin thought. Thank God he kept his spare room locked on weekdays. But he had to conserve his energy and chose to ignore them, turning his gaze to Chanyeol.

“N… No reason,” Jongin croaked hoarsely.

Chanyeol sighed. “I know you only drink when there’s a real problem or if you want to party. Clearly there hasn’t been a party in here otherwise I’d have been invited, there’s only one wineglass outside and sadly, your clothes are still on. Jongin, what the fuck, man? Do you know how worried we all were?”

“I’m touched,” Jongin mumbled.

“You should be! I hurried over the minute Sehun sent me a message saying that he thought you were dead…”

“Makes my job a whole lot easier,” Sehun called from the closet. Jongin could see him holding up a pair of pants to his waist and checking himself out in mirror set into the door of Jongin’s closet. How conceited of him, Jongin thought.

“Glad to hear that you missed me,” Jongin said to him. Sehun sent him a sly smile.

Then Suho filled up the entire doorway of Jongin’s bathroom, his face concerned and hands fidgeting nervously. “Jongin, seriously. Why didn’t you take any of our calls?” he asked, “We wouldn’t have known but your driver actually called us up and told us that you hadn’t left the apartment the entire day since he sent you to your parents’ place last night…”

“Huh,” was all Jongin said. How nice of Mr. Lee. Still, it would’ve been nice to be left alone for the entire day for him to just contemplate the meaning of his life.

“And I heard your dad’s in Korea too. Has this,” Suho motioned with his fingers, “got anything to do with him?” he asked.

“It has nothing to do with him,” Jongin replied immediately, his voice cracking mid sentence.

Chanyeol nodded once, as if he’d been waiting for Jongin to say that. “It’s definitely about his dad,” he said, looking at Suho. Jongin rolled his eyes. Sometimes he wished he’d never told his friends about the tumultuous relationship between himself and his father. It was a part of him he didn’t want to be reminded of.

Suho entered the bathroom, getting down to Jongin’s level to look at him in a pitiful way. Jongin didn’t want his pity. He was such a fucking cliché, to be honest; rich kid about to inherit an empire he didn’t want from his own estranged father. It was enough that he felt sorry for himself; there was no need for people to start a pity fest for Jongin.

“Don’t look at me like that,” Jongin said.

“I’m only looking at you like this because you look like shit,” Suho replied. “I guess I should’ve known that your father would try to contact you. Hasn’t been home since 3 years ago, has he?” Suho said thoughtfully. Jongin shrugged eloquently. Very blasé, he thought. Yes, he’d try to keep it that way.

“I honestly didn’t know your dad came home anyway, till this morning. I’d have warned you about him and you’d have time to stay away,” Suho said, looking around the bathroom. Jongin frowned at him.

“I’m not upset just because he’s home, you know,” Jongin said. Did his friends really think he drank himself into a stupor just because his father was in Korea? Jongin would’ve laughed were it not for the fact he was sprawled on his bathroom floor like a rag doll. He was made of much tougher material than that.

But not tough enough to take over Accuretta, he thought, swallowing thickly. He could taste bile on his tongue.

“Then what is it?” Suho asked, blinking in mild surprise. Sehun poked his head through the doorway. “You admit you’re upset then,” he said flatly.

Jongin scowled at him. Sehun chuckled. “You know, for someone who says he hates his dad’s guts, you really do let him get to you.” Suho tutted at Sehun, but Jongin just waved him away.

“No, Sehun’s right. I just… I don’t know, whenever my dad comes around it’s just,” he shrugged, “it’s never a good sign.”

“What happened?” Chanyeol asked. Jongin’s thoughts automatically went back to when his father said it was better to keep things quiet. But why should it be quiet? Jongin wasn’t a sneaky bastard who liked keeping secrets, especially big ones like this, from his friends. Tell ‘em now, two weeks from now… Why should it matter? Jongin figured.

“Dad called me over for dinner last night,” Jongin said, struggling to sit up. His stomach felt empty and hollow, but at least he wasn’t feeling nauseous anymore.

“He was real nice to me, asking me questions about who I was seeing, what I’d been doing since he was gone and…” Jongin shrugged. “When dinner was almost over, he just came at me out of nowhere and said,” Jongin deepened his voice to imitate the timbre in his father’s voice, “‘Son, I’ve signed over Accuretta Systems to ya.’”

“What,” the three of them said flatly in unison. Sehun and Chanyeol shared a look. “We both lose then, huh?” Chanyeol said. Sehun shrugged.

“Did you guys make a bet on me?” Jongin asked.

“We always bet on you, what’s wrong?” Chanyeol shrugged. Sehun smirked at Chanyeol. “Thank God I can keep my money then. I was starting to think I’d been betting a little too big on Jongin…”

Jongin rolled his eyes. Suho had his eyebrows furrowed in confusion beside him. “So wait, he just signed it over to you? Why? I mean, not that you don’t deserve it—”

“I don’t deserve it, I really don’t. It’s a big ass company and I really—” Jongin groaned, “thinking about it just makes me sick to the stomach. I can’t even cook, Suho, and my dad just has to push Accuretta off to me at the worst possible time—”

“Jongin owns your ass now, Sehunnie. Literally,” Chanyeol said to Sehun. He narrowed his eyes. “I don’t like the thought of that,” he muttered.

“Neither do I,” Jongin said sadly.

“But you do realize that whether you like it or not, Jongin, you still have to lead this company from now on? No wait, it takes time to transfer everything to your name…” Suho trailed off, thinking hard.

“It’ll take a month before the entire world will know how pathetic I am at running my dad’s business,” Jongin muttered. He really wasn’t ready for it, any of it at all. He didn’t know how to be a leader to a large crowd, didn’t know how his father could command a stage so easily, didn’t know how to run a company… He was under qualified, in other words, and in his opinion, the wrong person for the job. Suho would make a great CEO, or maybe even Sehun. Anyone but Jongin would do better.

“Oh come on, don’t be like that. True, running a company as big as Accuretta won’t be easy, but you have the board members, us… We’re all gonna be here even if your father doesn’t own the company,” Suho chided him.

“What if some of the board members leave because of me?” Jongin pouted.

“Trust me, you’re the real key man. They can all leave but with your father signing all the authority over to you, it won’t matter if they’re not there. Your dad’s got influence,” Suho nodded.

“But I can’t make big decisions,” Jongin protested. “I’ve never made a big decision in my life. The biggest decision in my life was if I should get a white or black Pontiac,” Jongin held his hands out desperately. “I can’t do this,” he croaked.

Suho reached out to pat his knee. “Jongin,” he said in his mom voice, “Jongin, listen to me. You have made big decisions before. It just didn’t feel big because you didn’t over think it like right now,” he said reassuringly.

“Oh yeah? Like what?” Jongin snorted.

“Moving out of your parents’ place. Remember? You didn’t like it, but you did it in the end because it felt like the right thing to do.” Jongin sighed. Sure, that was a milestone in his life, but it wasn’t a decision that affected the lives and livelihood of at least three thousand people. And that was just those people working in Korea; the factories in China required staff, and those were Jongin’s people too.

And one of the three thousand happens to be Kyungsoo too, Jongin thought. He’d forgotten all about him. He felt sort of nauseous again.

“Jongin, you don’t have to be afraid of taking over the company, you know,” Sehun suddenly said. They all looked at him. 

“You were doing just fine till you didn’t come into the office today, and honestly, you have people working for you, Jongin. These people do your work and all you really have to do is give everything the okay sign. The meetings are boring yes, but think about all the money that’s gonna come in. Business is just a game, Jongin, and you only need a little common sense and a plan to win the game.”

Jongin’s chest felt heavy. “I dunno,” he muttered under his breath.

“A word of advice, Jongin,” Chanyeol said to him: “Just take things slowly. Don’t over think shit, and you’re gonna be fine. Trust me on this. You’re a descendant from your father, Jongin, you had to have inherited at least a bit of his skills.”

“But what if the company falls into shambles? What’ll happen to me then?” Jongin asked.

“Take it as a lesson,” Suho suggested. “Never a failure, always a lesson, yeah, I got it,” Jongin rolled his eyes. He didn’t need philosophy right now. If failures were lessons, then failures were expensive and hard to swallow. And God help him because most of all, failing was embarrassing.

“Jongin, there’s always going to be a lot of if’s in life. The only way to deal is take it by the horns, y’know,” Sehun said. “Maybe wave a red cloth at it too,” Chanyeol added.

Jongin frowned. Why would someone metaphorically wave a red cloth at a bull representing life? He decided not to comment on that. “It’s just… I don’t think I was ever ready for Accuretta,” Jongin shrugged. That was just the basic truth of it all. It didn’t feel like he’d ever be ready.

“Leaders weren’t born,” Sehun shrugged. “If you really have a problem with being a CEO anyway, I’ll be there as your PA still. You’re not alone in this.”

They could convince him all day in his bathroom, but Jongin knew he’d have to face the truth sooner rather than later. I own Accuretta Systems now, Jongin thought, turning the words over in his head. Sounded weird and awkward. He looked up at his friends.

It was stupidly naïve and maybe slightly childish to think this way, but it felt a little bit better to know that his friends would have his back.

 “Get dressed,” Sehun said to Jongin after a quiet moment.

“Hm?”

“We’re all going to dinner together.”

“Dinner?” Jongin frowned. Wasn’t it dawn a while ago? He could’ve sworn it happened less than an hour ago…

“Yeah. It’s dark outside already so get moving, I’m hungry,” Sehun said, kicking his foot for emphasis. Damn, Jongin had slept through the day like a polar bear in hibernation. He didn’t even feel well rested, he could tell there was a headache inevitably on its way already.    

-

It was eleven thirty p.m., half an hour to midnight. 

Jongin switched his phone on, anxiously waiting for it to boot up. He had turned his phone off shortly after he left his father’s mansion last night; he wasn’t sure who was calling or sending him texts but it had been annoying at the time and he’d switched his phone off without too much thought.

Now that he was in a better state of mind and could remember who he last texted however, his guilty conscience was in overdrive. He didn’t shut Kyungsoo out on purpose but it happened like that anyway and Jongin was practically sweating with anxiety now even though the air conditioning was on.

Does he hate me now? Does he think I hate him now ‘cause I don’t, I still want to bang him for the entire weekend… Jongin chewed his on thumbnail, biting down absently.

About three hours ago, Jongin had showered and left with the guys for dinner. He didn’t know if they were doing it on purpose, but they brought him to some kind of holistic-herbal-gourmet restaurant and every fucking dish had ginseng in it. He had nothing against ginseng but it did kill his hangover immediately and though he was feeling fine now, his headache still lingered.

Maybe it’s because my phone’s taking too damn long to turn itself on, Jongin thought, rolling his eyes. It took another minute before his phone finally pinged to life.

Message after message came in, some from his service provider informing him that he had 16 missed calls from Suho’s number, only three from Sehun, nine from Chanyeol and astonishingly, one from Kyungsoo. He made a face; Kyungsoo had never called him up before.  Kyungsoo must’ve been more worried than he thought.

He looked through his other notifications. There were 178 messages from the group chat Chanyeol had added him into and he quickly scrolled through them to get rid of the notifications. He read a few of the messages though; some were quite disturbing on Sehun and Chanyeol’s part.

Sehun: ‘I think he’s dead. I tried calling, but he didn’t answer. Rejoice, Suho. U r our leader now.’

Suho: ‘He can’t be dead! L

Chanyeol: ‘Nah he ain’t dead he knows dying young is like dying in Vegas.’

Suho: ‘I’ll keep calling him… We should stop by his place later. What do you guys think???’

Chanyeol: ‘Is a top hat appropriate for a funeral?’

Sehun: ‘Yes.’

Some kind of friends Jongin had, indeed. But those messages were hardly anything compared to the four measly messages Kyungsoo had sent him. Jongin wasn’t sure if he wanted to die or read the messages first. The first one was from last night at around midnight.

‘How did everything go?’

Badly, Jongin thought. Very bad. The next message came at eight in the morning, and the following came from one in the afternoon.

‘Is everything alright? Did I say something wrong? I’m sorry if I did.’

‘I called but you didn’t pick up. What happened? Are you okay? If you’re busy or something then just tell me. I won’t bother you anymore.’

“God,” Jongin said vehemently, gripping his phone tightly. He definitely owed Kyungsoo an apology for making him worry like this. Jongin didn’t want people to worry over him, especially not Kyungsoo when he had his own problems. The last message from Kyungsoo was at five p.m. on the dot. He probably sent the text the minute he got off work.

‘Jongin, are we still on for this weekend? A yes or no would suffice.’

Rubbing a hand over his face, Jongin dialed Kyungsoo’s number. He wasn’t sure what to say and whether or not it’d be alright to talk about it over the phone like this. Would Kyungsoo even believe me? Jongin thought, waiting for him to pick up.

After eight long rings, the call went through. “Hello?” Jongin said hesitantly.

“IS THAT YOU, JONGIN? YOU LITTLE SHIT, TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH TO CALL BACK—” Luhan’s voice broke off into a squawk of pain and there was a series of shuffles before Kyungsoo’s voice said breathlessly, “Hello? Jongin? Is that you?” He sounded a bit incredulous; Jongin didn’t blame him for it.

“Um. Hi,” Jongin said sheepishly. “I guess it’s me.”

“H-Hi, I um, I didn’t think you’d call—” his voice was interrupted by Luhan again.

“Let me hear too, put it on speaker so I can hear—” a loud thump effectively shut him up, though Jongin wasn’t sure for how long.

“Can you just hold on?” Kyungsoo said. “Yeah,” Jongin replied, amused. Then there was a loud sound over the line like someone crushing newspaper right at the phone before Jongin could hear Luhan shouting quite clearly, “I just want to listen! I won’t say anything else, I promise, Kyungsoo, don’t be so— no, no, NO, NOT THE POSTER, NO!”

Finally, a loud slam and Kyungsoo was back.

“… First of all, it isn’t what it sounds like.”

“You mean you weren’t threatening Luhan with his Byakuya poster and you’re not locked in your own bedroom right now? Oh, sure, I believe you,” Jongin said, biting down on a smile.

“I’m actually in his bedroom, so we can’t talk long before he gets paranoid and thinks I’m sitting on his bed…”

“GET OFF MY BED IF YOU’RE SITTING ON IT,” Luhan’s muffled but still loud voice said in Jongin’s ear. It was like a three way call except Luhan wasn’t invited into this conversation; how bizarre. “I’m not on your bed, so go away. I’ll cook you something in a minute, okay?” Kyungsoo called, voice sounding a little far away from the phone.

“You were saying?” Kyungsoo said after that, clearing his throat.

Was Jongin saying something a minute ago? He couldn’t remember. “Um. I wasn’t saying anything, I think. But I do think I owe you an apology for not replying your texts and calling you back sooner than this,” Jongin said nervously. 

“O-oh, you don’t have to apologize for that, I wasn’t expecting you to—”

“No, I should. I um,” Jongin couldn’t think of an excuse for his behavior. “I just got a little carried away, is all. I’m fine now though, thanks to my friends.”

“Mm,” Kyungsoo hummed, and said nothing more. There was an awkward silence. Shit, Jongin thought. There had to be a better way to have this conversation.

“So um, I guess we’re still on for this weekend, if you want to come,” Jongin said.

“I do. As in, I do want to come,” Kyungsoo laughed nervously, “I just… I thought you were busy with work or family, maybe.”

“I’ll never be busy with family, you can trust me on that,” Jongin said. It was supposed to be a bad joke but Kyungsoo didn’t laugh. “Kyungsoo?” Jongin said softly.

“Hm?”

“Hyung, I’m really sorry I didn’t call you back. And there’s something I need to tell you but I don’t think I can tell you over the phone. It’s a long story, kind of, in a way and you,” he faltered, “you deserve to hear it from me.”

“Are we going to break up?” Kyungsoo asked, sounding a little shocked.

“No,” Jongin replied, rolling his eyes. Then he thought better of it. It wouldn’t be a breakup necessarily, but it would be… similar. Like living apart. Or to be more specific, keeping their lives separate from one another in the public eye.

It’ll be hard to see Kyungsoo once I’m officially CEO, Jongin thought. How would that affect them as a whole?

“We’re not going to break up or anything like that, but… I think what I need to tell you will affect us somewhat anyway. I want you to know though, that I wish it wouldn’t change anything about us,” Jongin said hastily.

“Well, sometimes things change,” Kyungsoo said, almost sadly. “What time do you want me to come over?” he asked.

For a moment, Jongin didn’t understand and thought Kyungsoo wanted to come over now but he quickly realized what Kyungsoo meant and scrambled for an answer. “Uh… What time is good for you? Like last weekend, in the afternoon?”

“Okay, I can do that. I’ll come over at one then. Is there anything you want me to bring over for you, soybean tofu, fried pancakes…?”

“No, just yourself,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo laughed weakly. “O-okay. See you on Saturday. Bye,” Kyungsoo replied.

“Bye,” Jongin said, reluctantly hanging up after a few seconds.

That went well, he thought. In his humble opinion anyway. He’d know for sure if it did go well this Saturday. If Kyungsoo comes over at all then it’s probably a good sign, he told himself. He couldn’t wait for Saturday to come and at the same time, he was dreading bringing all this up with Kyungsoo.

I don’t have a clue what he’ll say about it, Jongin thought. What if Kyungsoo didn’t want to sleep with him after that, or worse, have nothing to do with him? Maybe I can try tomorrow and see if I can’t get a private moment with him.

For now, all he could do was rest up and prepare himself for tomorrow.

*

Friday flew by in a haze.

Sadly, Jongin spent the day at the office with hardly a moment to think about sneaking away to see Kyungsoo and maybe break the news to him a little earlier. Suho and Sehun were in his office all day, constantly drilling him to read this and go through that and explain what it meant. As much as he appreciated their help, it was tiring nonetheless.

Jongin was grateful the weekend came relatively quickly. He could use some time off to think about things, after all. Maybe Kyungsoo could help him think, among other things.

He woke up at ten forty five without an alarm and went about with his bathroom routine, taking a nice long shower to wash away the week’s exertions.

There had to be a clear line between working hours and his own leisure time to do what he wanted. Obviously, for the weekend all he wanted to do was Kyungsoo and hoped Kyungsoo wouldn’t be difficult with him today.

What should I use on him later? Jongin thought, lathering his body in shower cream, going through a mental list of all the toys he had in his head. There were a whole lot of items he had yet to use on him. Jongin wanted to put a vibrator up his ass and fuck him at the same time but wondered if it was too early for that; it seemed like a big stretch for someone who’d lost his virginity only a week ago. If Kyungsoo wanted that though, Jongin sure as hell wouldn’t mind.

The swing’s never been touched, Jongin lifted an eyebrow. Damn. It seemed a bit early but Jongin would love to see Kyungsoo strapped into the swing. He’ll have to decide for the both of us today, Jongin thought, standing under the cascade of water coming from the shower head to wash the suds away.

At this rate, almost anything could do for Jongin, as long as he could get his hands on Kyungsoo’s supple ass and feel his smooth skin soon.

It seemed like one o’ clock would take eternity; Jongin saw that it was eleven thirty when he left his room. Jongin refrained from eating to make space for whatever Kyungsoo wanted to bring him (not that he had an appetite, he was actually quite nervous), just sticking to coffee and sitting down at the sofa, watching the news just to see if anything major happened. His father was apparently still in Korea, hanging out with a few politicians on Friday for a ‘casual afternoon lunch’.

Jongin scoffed. His father never did casual and certainly wouldn’t start now, not when he was so far down the road. He bet his father was trying to procure a favor out of the politicians; no doubt he had an ulterior motive for sure.

The news ended after Jongin finished his coffee. He was in deep thought, wondering how he should bring up the delicate matter of his new position to Kyungsoo when someone buzzed in at his front door from downstairs. He frowned; there wasn’t supposed to be anyone coming over except Kyungsoo.

Is it one yet? He glanced at the clock. Nope, it was only twelve fifteen. Maybe it was the postal service; sometimes Chanyeol sent him clothes through the mail, though it was rare for anything to arrive on a Saturday.

He went to get the door anyway, pressing a button to turn on the screen and see who it was.

Colors and shapes flickered over the screen for a moment, before it focused properly. “Hyung?” Jongin frowned at Kyungsoo’s face in the screen. He looked sweaty and red in the face, as if he ran all the way here.

“Hey,” Kyungsoo smiled weakly. “Sorry I’m late,” he said.

“Late?” Jongin repeated blankly.

“I know, I know, I’ll make it up to you. I’m really sorry,” Kyungsoo mumbled, his already red face turning a bright red.

“Hyung, it’s twelve fifteen,” Jongin said flatly. “You’re not late, you’re… actually really early.”

“What?” Kyungsoo frowned, looking at his watch. “Says one fifteen on my watch though,” he said, shoving his watch at the camera for Jongin to see. How strange, Jongin thought. His watch really did say one fifteen.   

 “Are you busy with something? I could come back later if you want, though I think you got the time wrong,” Kyungsoo said, lifting an eyebrow.

“I’m not doing anything, you can come up now. And you’re the one who’s got the time wrong,” Jongin laughed, buzzing him in. Kyungsoo’s scowl was the last thing Jongin saw before the screen blacked out. “Well, well,” Jongin said to himself, more than slightly amused. He wanted one o’ clock to come along a little faster but got Kyungsoo instead.

Thank you, universe, Jongin thought, pointing up at the ceiling. Very nice of the celestial beings or gods up in the sky to send Kyungsoo to Jongin forty five minutes early.

Jongin was waiting at the front door patiently for Kyungsoo when he came out of the elevator. He looked tiny when he walked over, not to mention short in long sleeves and full length pants while carrying an eco-bag with something bulky in it. It was summer, for fuck’s sake, and Jongin could not understand people who covered up all the time during the sunniest months of the year.

“Hyung, why are you completely covered up? Did I really leave that many marks on you?” Jongin asked as he took the eco-bag from Kyungsoo so he could take his shoes off.

“No,” Kyungsoo snapped, blushing as he undid the laces on his sneakers. “I don’t like getting tanned is all.”

“Don’t you feel warm though?” Jongin asked, peering into the eco-bag to see what was inside. The smell of something deliciously greasy rose from the container in the bag; Jongin guessed it was probably their lunch.   

“I’m used to it,” Kyungsoo shrugged, standing straight with his shoes in one hand. Jongin stepped aside for Kyungsoo to enter and dug the container out of the bag, opening the cover slightly to take a peek at its contents.

 “Ooh, did you bring kimchi fried rice?” Jongin said excitedly, going over to the kitchen to put the container down and get a spoon. Kyungsoo had to shut the door and put his shoes aside by himself, entering the apartment somewhat cautiously.

“Yeah. Have you eaten?” Kyungsoo asked, looking around.

“No, I was waiting for you,” Jongin said, searching for cutlery in the drawers and smiled in triumph when he found forks and spoons in a drawer.

“You’re sharing it with me, right?” Jongin asked, taking out two sets of cutlery and placing it at the counter.

“I don’t mind if you want to finish it… Is it really twelve fifteen?” he asked, going over to Jongin’s living room where a clock hung on the wall. Kyungsoo’s eyes widened slightly when he looked up at the clock.

Jongin was too busy digging into Kyungsoo’s fried rice to care what time it was. It tasted good as usual, just like something he’d expect from a small restaurant. “Don’t worry about the time, hyung, just come over and eat with me,” Jongin said over his shoulder, patting the stool beside him. Damn, his fried rice was good. It wasn’t too dry or too moist and sticky; the flavors were on point…

Kyungsoo was puzzled as he came over to sit beside Jongin absently at the counter. “Why is my watch and alarm clock at home offset by an hour if it’s only twelve fifteen?” he asked in a deadpan voice.

“I dunno, did someone prank you or something? Sehun used to wake me up in college and tell me it’s six when it’s like, five in the morning,” Jongin replied, scooping more rice into his mouth.

“Did you bring any soup, by the way?” Jongin asked.

“Didn’t have time to make any. I brought this though,” Kyungsoo said, snapping out of his thoughts long enough to rummage through his bag and place a plastic cup of instant seaweed soup on the counter.

“Works too, I guess,” Jongin said, his mouth full. Kyungsoo automatically stood up to get hot water for Jongin, still deep in thought.

“But no one I know is idiotic or crazy enough to prank me like that. Who would have access to my alarm clock and—” Kyungsoo stopped mid sentence, hands halfway tearing the paper over the plastic cup of soup.

“Could use some seaweed soup, you know,” Jongin said, trying to be subtle. Kyungsoo turned around, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. Jongin thought Kyungsoo was going to murder him for hurrying him up but then he said, “That fucker Luhan.” He sounded ready to kill someone with his bare hands.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you curse like that when we’re not having sex—” Jongin dodged a cloth thrown at his face, almost choking on his rice in the process.

“I’m not some kind of prude, you know,” Kyungsoo muttered, already turning away to prepare Jongin’s soup, “and I’m going to kill Luhan soon.” Jongin laughed, shoulders shaking as he tried not to spit his rice out. Kyungsoo ignored his struggle, calmly pressing for hot water at the coffee machine and placed the plastic cup before Jongin.

He was chewing on his second mouthful of rice when Jongin was finally over his fit of soundless laughter. Kyungsoo gave Jongin a dry look as he ate.

“You sort of are a prude, hyung, you know that, right?” Jongin said slowly, trying to keep his laughter down. Kyungsoo rolled his eyes, scraping the bottom of the container to push a portion of rice to his side of the container.

“I’m not, I’m just not vulgar, alright?” he said.

“But you are a prude. I mean, you had your first time with me just last week—” Kyungsoo slapped hand over his thigh, not painfully but enough to indicate that Jongin should shut up before Kyungsoo decided that he deserved more pain. The smack came as a surprise to Jongin, if anything; who knew Kyungsoo was so easy to agitate?   

“Don’t talk about sex like that, it’s…weird,” Kyungsoo shuddered. Jongin relented, biting down on another rated R comment and ate his fried rice quietly, watching Kyungsoo eat at a much slower pace than him.

Jongin swallowed his rice and opened his mouth to say something. “Hyung, do you—”

“What was it—”

They stopped at the same time and looked at each other. Kyungsoo’s mouth curled up into an embarrassed smile a second later, looking down at his fried rice.

“You go first,” Kyungsoo said.

“No, the oldest should speak first,” Jongin said playfully, wiggling his eyebrows at Kyungsoo. It made Kyungsoo laugh a little, and Jongin relished at the sound of his laughter; Kyungsoo didn’t seem to laugh much.

“Fine then. I don’t mean to bring this up so suddenly but, um… you said that there was something? That you needed to tell me?” Jongin faltered slightly at that, chewing on his rice thoughtfully.

Kyungsoo caught his reaction and quickly said, “If it’s not something you think you can talk about then it’s alright, you know, I can wait—”

Jongin shook his head, sipping at the hot soup. “I’m fine with talking about it, hyung, it’s not like, a big thing. Well, it is but the whole point is that I’m fine with talking it through with you, I just…” Jongin dragged his gaze over Kyungsoo’s body, “you might not let me touch you again, that’s all.”

Kyungsoo lifted an eyebrow. “What is it? Are you a certified pedophile or something? Or a sex maniac, maybe?”

Jongin rolled his eyes. “No. Although ‘sex maniac’…” he made a sound of appraisal in his throat, “maybe some people could attest to that, but no, that’s not what this is about.”

“What is it then, this subject that you’re fine with and yet so evasive about?” Kyungsoo said, keeping his tone light, but Jongin could hear the nervous wavering in his voice. He was sure Kyungsoo was very curious; it was just his reaction that Jongin was worried about.

“I’ll tell you then,” Jongin said, sounding braver than he felt, “It’s about Accuretta. And my dad. And me, as well, obviously,” Jongin mumbled, putting his spoon down. There were bits of rice still left, sticking to the sides of the container but Jongin suddenly didn’t feel too hungry. He hated feeling nervous.

“I was at my dad’s place, as you know, on Wednesday. We were having dinner and it was kind of nice for a while. I really thought that maybe it was nothing after all, like you said, but it was anything but nothing. My dad, he’s…” Jongin paused for a split second, “He signed Accuretta over to me.”

Kyungsoo blinked. He tilted his head to one side curiously, “…And?”

And I’m expected to run a company that I don’t want a month from now. And I don’t like going into the office. And, most of all, it means less time to, y’know,” Jongin shrugged eloquently, “play around. With you.”

“Oh,” Kyungsoo said, a little loudly, now properly comprehending what Jongin was saying. “Oh,” he repeated, clearly thinking hard.

“You uh… You don’t have to make time for me, you know that, right?” Kyungsoo started to laugh nervously. “If you don’t have the time to meet me, it’s fine.”

“No, it’s not fine,” Jongin insisted. “I want to make time for you hyung, I like spending time with you even if you’re so infuriating sometimes. It’s just that… It’d be kind of against the rules if we were to see each other. You do realize that, right?” Jongin asked slowly, lifting an eyebrow. Clearly Kyungsoo didn’t quite get it yet.

“Against the rules? Why? Are you illegal now?” Kyungsoo asked, widening his eyes at Jongin.

I’m not illegal but we will be considered illegal if we get caught seeing each other. For real, this time,” Jongin added.

Kyungsoo stared at him for a long moment. Jongin gave him a knowing look as if to will Kyungsoo to understand what he meant because surely he didn’t have to point it out, and after what seemed like an hour of staring at each other Kyungsoo finally got it.

“Shit…” he breathed.

“Yes, it’s very shite, I know.”

“We… we can’t see each other because you’ll be an official employee—Oh God,” Kyungsoo moaned, covering his face with his hands.

Jongin chewed his lip. This was going well. “Look, hyung, all we have to do is make sure we don’t get caught is all—”

“No! No, no, no, we can’t sneak around people’s backs! It’s against the rules,” Kyungsoo hissed, his face going red again. His skin had faded back into its usual shade of cream only a minute ago but now he looked like he was going to explode soon.

“I’m fully aware that it’s against the rules,” Jongin pointed out.

Kyungsoo made an angry noise. “I know you know, don’t make jokes at a time like this. I—We—My God, we have to break up now, don’t we?” he said, running a hand through his hair.

“Ah. That’s where I thought we could still do this and keep it all under wraps,” Jongin said brightly. “You see, we only have to break up if there’s really something between us. And…” Jongin gestured at himself and Kyungsoo, “is there really something going on here? Because as far as I’m concerned I thought we were just keeping things really casual…”

Kyungsoo nodded slowly, “Well yeah, we are just casual. That’s how it’s always been and how it should stay,” Kyungsoo said, stiffening his back suddenly.

“Okay, but how does that solve anything? We’re casually seeing each other. So?” Kyungsoo asked.

Jongin thought he sounded a little vehement but went on carefully, “Since we’re casual, that would just mean fewer outings in public. That includes meeting up in the office to have fun,” Kyungsoo blushed, “eating out… We can always get takeout anyway, so I think we’ll do fine.”

“You’re not suggesting how to solve this problem at all, you know,” Kyungsoo said dryly, “you’re just coming up with ways to continue our… casual thing that we got going on here.”

Again, Jongin could sense the vehemence behind Kyungsoo’s words but didn’t understand why he was getting upset about any of this. Maybe he’s just worked up about breaking the rules, Jongin thought. Kyungsoo certainly was the kind of person who played by everyone else’s rules. But not Jongin; there was always a choice.

“Hyung,” Jongin said rather seriously, taking both of Kyungsoo’s hands into his own. They were clammy but Jongin didn’t care; he met Kyungsoo’s gaze with his own level eyes, trying to calm him down.

“Do you honestly want to end this?” he asked. Kyungsoo shook his head numbly.

“Then we’ll work together on this. I’m willing to try and it takes two for this work so we should be on the same page before doing anything else.”

“But, Jongin, a lot of trouble will come out of this. I could lose my job; you could lose credibility with investors and all that… for what? Just some petty relationship that won’t last through this year—”

“I don’t think it’s petty, what we’re doing,” Jongin disagreed. “I think you’ve shared some very personal details with me and so have I, and that makes us one step above friends with benefits. We’re like…” he tried to think of a proper word, “dating. Except we’re not dating conventionally, of course.”

“We’re not dating,” Kyungsoo repeated petulantly.

“We’re doing what most couples who’re dating platonically wish they could do, that’s for sure,” Jongin replied, and Kyungsoo slit a glare at him before stifling a giggle.

“It’s not just about sex for me though. You know that, right, hyung? I’m not just... sleeping with you because I feel like it. I mean I do feel like it, I’m just not doing it based entirely on that reason alone.” Kyungsoo lifted and dropped a shoulder eloquently, looking over at Jongin’s living space distractedly.

“I guess.”

“Oh, come on. I wouldn’t invite just anyone to my apartment. Ask Sehun or Chanyeol,” Jongin said, squeezing Kyungsoo’s hands.

“I wouldn’t go over to anyone’s apartment too, y’know. You get that too, right?” Kyungsoo asked. Jongin nodded.

“I do get it. I know you don’t just sleep with anyone, hyung, so it’s partly why I’m still here trying to convince you that sneaking around isn’t a complete waste of your time. It’s my responsibility to make you feel good, if nothing else.”

“What makes you think that’s your responsibility?” Kyungsoo laughed, trying to take away his hands. Jongin held on, tugging him forward. Kyungsoo slid off his stool with a surprised noise and Jongin pulled Kyungsoo closer by grabbing his waist and wrapping his ankles around Kyungsoo’s calves.

“Because you like me,” Jongin replied as if nothing had happened, looking into Kyungsoo’s eyes. They were the same height like this, with Jongin seated and Kyungsoo trapped between his legs.

“You like me and you like all the things you let me do to you… Right? Otherwise you’d be out of the door, running for the hills because it’s ‘against the rules’,” Jongin said, brushing a hand over Kyungsoo’s jaw line. Kyungsoo’s breathing was uneven and tense, like he was holding his breath. Kyungsoo’s hands lingered over Jongin’s thighs as he kept his gaze lowered from Jongin’s eyes.

“I do like you,” Kyungsoo admitted. “But it’s not fair for you to use it against me,” he accused, sounding breathless.

“It’s the only thing keeping you here. You can’t blame me for using everything I can get my hands on,” Jongin said huskily, his hand on Kyungsoo’s waist trailing its way over Kyungsoo’s ass. Jongin pressed his other hand to the back of Kyungsoo’s neck and leaned forward to kiss him, deepening the kiss by angling his head to the right.

Jongin groaned when Kyungsoo swiped his tongue tentatively into his mouth. “No wait, Jongin— s-stop, it’s actually wrong to do this now,” Kyungsoo suddenly broke off, his lips a little wet and not just slightly swollen.

“There’s a lot that’s supposedly wrong about us,” Jongin replied, feeling a little dazed. He wanted to kiss Kyungsoo some more; it was very rude of Kyungsoo to just break off like that…

Jongin kissed Kyungsoo again, his hands going up Kyungsoo’s shirt to run over Kyungsoo’s smooth and warm skin. He liked that Kyungsoo’s body had a bit of give to it and that he could pinch Kyungsoo’s flesh gently and feel him keen into his mouth as they kissed. Kyungsoo ran both hands through Jongin’s hair, holding Jongin’s face close.   

Jongin was sliding a hand under Kyungsoo’s boxers to feel his ass when Kyungsoo broke off once more, breathing heavily. “Um, maybe we shouldn’t—like, I think we should go slow this time, you know? I—”

“You want slow sex, hm? I’ll see what I can do,” Jongin smirked and Kyungsoo quickly pushed at his chest, keeping his face as far away from Jongin’s mouth as possible.

“No, I wasn’t talking about sex at all. I mean I was— it’s just not time yet,” Kyungsoo said lamely, pointing at the clock above Jongin’s TV. It was now twenty minutes to one and Jongin looked at Kyungsoo in amazement.

“Are you really saying that we can’t have sex because it’s not one o’ clock yet?” Jongin demanded.

“We just ate,” Kyungsoo shrugged sheepishly. “Shouldn’t we let it all settle before we move on to… other things?”

“Humph,” Jongin grumped. He didn’t know why Kyungsoo was being so ridiculous sometimes. But he knew he couldn’t touch Kyungsoo if he didn’t allow it or didn’t want it, and so released his ankles around Kyungsoo’s legs, letting his hands drop to his lap.

Kyungsoo gave him a questioning look. “Um. What is this?”

“You said we should take it slow,” Jongin accused, twisting around to return to his cold rice. He scrapped at the bits left onto his spoon while Kyungsoo stared at him in bewilderment. “I know. I said ‘slow’, not stop,” Kyungsoo replied, placing a hand over Jongin’s wrist.

“I didn’t want you to think that I’m—like, rushing you or expecting you to…” he trailed off in embarrassment.

“To fuck you? No offense hyung, but you did come here for that,” Jongin replied, tone unkind. It came off sounding harsher than he intended it to be, and he instantly regretted it when Kyungsoo took his hand away.

He could feel the hurt emanating from Kyungsoo even if he wasn’t looking at him. And his rice still tastes good even when it’s cold… Fuck, Jongin thought, turning to look at Kyungsoo while he chewed on the last mouthful of fried rice. He was chewing his lower lip and standing there awkwardly, looking lost.

“I’m sorry,” Jongin mumbled.

“It’s okay,” Kyungsoo replied a little too fast for it to be an honest answer. “No, it wasn’t,” Jongin growled, turning to face him again.

“I’m sorry,” Jongin motioned for him to come over with his arms wide open. Kyungsoo shuffled over, placing his head on Jongin’s shoulder and an arm over his back. Jongin patted him gently, glancing at the time.

“One o’ clock is eighteen minutes away… what should we do for eighteen minutes?” Jongin asked.

“I don’t know. I thought you had the entire day planned out, actually,” Kyungsoo answered honestly. “And don’t bite my head off at that, I really have no idea what you want to do,” he added hastily.

Jongin chuckled. “I won’t. I was going to ask you what you wanted though. We haven’t tried the swing yet, y’know, but as much as I’d like to try it out I’m not sure if you’re ready for that.”

“Oh. The swing,” Kyungsoo leaned back to look at Jongin, “It’s a little daunting.”

“And you want to go slow so fine, that can wait for another week…” Jongin continued to think about what they could do. Something not too extreme, something simple, without any risk of hurting Kyungsoo too much…

“We could watch TV?” Kyungsoo suggested. “Just till it’s one, so that y’know, we can take our minds off it and then come back to it when we’re more,” he jiggled his shoulders, “relaxed.”

“Or I could make out with you on the sofa while watching TV. Would you like that?” Jongin smiled. Kyungsoo nodded shyly. “Good then. We’ll just kiss like real people do. On the sofa,” Jongin said, standing up and leading Kyungsoo away from the kitchen.

“Wait, we should soak the container—”

“Not this again,” Jongin groaned. Kyungsoo bit his lip and gave the empty container one last look before he gave in and walked over to the sofa with Jongin, sitting down and reaching for the remote control to turn the TV on.

Jongin didn’t give much of a chance to see what was on before he sat down and grabbed Kyungsoo’s chin, turning his head to face him and kissed him hard on the mouth. Kyungsoo wound an arm around Jongin’s shoulders immediately, kissing him back with as much passion as he could muster.

Jongin relentlessly bit down on Kyungsoo’s bottom lip with blunt teeth, making Kyungsoo gasp and pull away, only for Jongin to lean closer to him till they were both lying down on the sofa, half of Jongin’s body draped over him while Kyungsoo’s hands busied themselves by touching him; his chest, his arms, his abs. Kyungsoo’s fingers trailed over each bump gently; it felt ticklish and kind of hot at the same time to Jongin.

He wasn’t sure if this was Kyungsoo’s idea of ‘going slow’ but Jongin’s cock went hard pretty quickly as Kyungsoo kissed him without holding back anything, as if he’d been waiting for years to kiss him like this with such ease and without thought. Kyungsoo had never acted this freely with Jongin before but he liked it nonetheless. It meant that Kyungsoo was comfortable with him and Jongin truly appreciated that. It felt real to be with Kyungsoo like this.

Kyungsoo made the softest of noises in his throat as they kissed languidly. Jongin tried half heartedly to keep his hands to himself but it was hard when Kyungsoo had his own hands all over Jongin too, and Kyungsoo’s skin was so lovely to the touch, like living silk. He tugged Kyungsoo’s shirt out of his pants to run his hand over Kyungsoo’s stomach and chest, brushing his fingers over Kyungsoo’s nipples.

“What time is it?” Jongin muttered between kisses.

“Mm… Don’t know,” Kyungsoo muttered back, sucking at Jongin’s lower lip. It surprised Jongin that he had the nerve to do that and he tried not to smile as he glanced up at the clock. Clearly, somebody has been taking notes whenever they kissed.

“It’s ten to one, hyung, don’t you think we should… slow down?” Jongin whispered against his chin, lapping at Kyungsoo’s tongue gently.

“S-shut up,” Kyungsoo blushed, and Jongin pinched his nipple in retaliation. Kyungsoo jerked beneath him, more from reflex than in pain; it suddenly came to Jongin that he had toyed with Kyungsoo’s nipples not too long ago…

“Are your nipples fine or should I be gentle with you today?” Jongin asked roughly. Kyungsoo caressed his hair absently with his hand, kissing Jongin a few more times before he realized it was a question and said, “Uh, they hurt just a little. But I’m fine, really—”

“It’s alright if it hurts, I’m not going to be disappointed in you. We’ll just have to concentrate on other parts, that’s all,” Jongin smiled, resting a hand on Kyungsoo’s waist.

“Other parts? L-like where?” Kyungsoo asked. He sounded a little nervous, though he had no reason to be. Jongin already had something naughty but painless in mind and smiled at Kyungsoo, running a finger down his cheek.

“Hyung, have you ever been sucked off?” he asked slowly, staring at his mouth.

Kyungsoo swallowed thickly, looking up at him with unblinking eyes. He shook his head jerkily, biting his lip.

“I thought so. I was thinking that maybe we could change that today, but with a little something extra thrown in so that you’ll most likely keep this memory with you for a long, long time,” Jongin palmed at Kyungsoo’s crotch gently, feeling his length through his pants. Kyungsoo was quite hard already and Jongin knew exactly how to remedy that.

You’re going to suck me off?” Kyungsoo asked breathily, as if he wasn’t quite sure what Jongin was hinting at.

“It’s not like there’s anyone else here to do it for you,” Jongin shrugged nonchalantly, tugging on his cock ever so gently. Kyungsoo arched his back towards Jongin when he tugged and slid a finger under his balls to rub at the sensitive skin, teasing him mercilessly.

Ah—Jongin, please, I want you,” Kyungsoo said softly, sitting up with his hands digging into the sofa.

“I know, but you were the one who said it wasn’t time yet,” Jongin replied, releasing his cock to reach under his pants and slide past the waistband of his boxers, wrapping his hand around his length to tug at it properly. Kyungsoo’s face scrunched up as if in pain, but Jongin knew it was he was far from suffering when he moaned and lifted his hips up into Jongin’s touch.

“D-don’t tease, please,” Kyungsoo begged, placing his hand over his crotch area but Jongin flung his hand aside, squeezing his cock tightly.

“When it’s one, I’ll give it to you, I promise… Do you think you can hold on till then?” Jongin asked, glancing up at the clock. It was six minutes to one now, and the prospects weren’t looking good for Kyungsoo if he was such a sensitive little thing to every touch.

Jongin stroked his cock carefully, surely with his hand, jerking him off the way he knew would border on pain and yet feel oh-so-good. Kyungsoo dug his fingers deep into the sofa, sighing and moaning with every tug Jongin gave his cock, his head dropping back with his mouth open and his eyes closed.

Jongin deliberately jerked him off slowly, stretching each minute into painful seconds till Kyungsoo’s cock was impossibly hard in his hand, heavy and dark with arousal. “It’s only been three minutes, hyung, are you sure you’ll be able to handle my mouth on your cock?” Jongin asked gently, caressing Kyungsoo’s face with his hand.

“I can be good for you,” Kyungsoo whispered, huffing each word out as he leaned into Jongin’s hand.

“I know,” Jongin purred, thumbing his slit. Kyungsoo writhed wantonly at that, toes curling as his brown eyes flicked open to meet Jongin’s steady gaze. “I like that,” Kyungsoo murmured.

“You mean this?” Jongin asked, rubbing the pad of his thumb over the tip of Kyungsoo’s cock. Kyungsoo hissed loudly, hips lifting up into Jongin’s touch once more. Jongin tutted at him, “If you come from this then it’s all you’re getting today. Don’t you want to hold on till it’s one and see what I have in store for you?”

“I do but… you’re not making it easy for me,” Kyungsoo shuddered, red coloring his cheeks, ears and lips. He was starting to sweat again; Jongin was almost surprised he wasn’t stirring up a fuss with getting all sticky and sweaty.

“It’s not supposed to be easy,” Jongin flashed a sweet smile at him, his actions a contradiction as he squeezed the tip of Kyungsoo’s cock, his eyes fluttering shut with pleasure.

Only two minutes left, he noted. Kyungsoo was going to be good boy of the year if he could survive this without coming all over Jongin’s hand and sofa. Jongin stroked his cock almost tenderly through the last two minutes, watching his face contort and cringe as the seconds passed agonizingly slow. Kyungsoo’s breathing became harsh, each exhale hissing between his clenched teeth.

When the long minute hand on the clock hit one, Jongin released Kyungsoo’s cock without warning. “You’ve been a very good boy, Kyungsoo,” Jongin whispered in his ear, biting his lip suggestively.

Kyungsoo whimpered and resisted from touching himself, watching Jongin get up quietly and walk over to the fridge in the kitchen. Kyungsoo didn’t understand what he was doing but waited patiently, listening to Jongin take something out from the freezer.

A moment later, Jongin slammed the fridge shut and returned, holding both hands behind his back.

“I will count to five, and you will strip for me,” Jongin said to Kyungsoo, standing over the sofa.

“One,” Jongin said softly, and Kyungsoo shucked his pants off, his hard cock curving upwards tantalizingly.

“Two,” Jongin continued. Kyungsoo undid the buttons on his shirt hurriedly, fingers shaking from excitement. Jongin didn’t even have to count all the way to four; by the time he uttered ‘three’ Kyungsoo was already looking up at him expectantly, spectacularly nude on Jongin’s lumpy sofa.

His cock gave a satisfied twitch at the sight of Kyungsoo waiting for his next command; it was certainly a ravishing sight. He didn’t quite see the appeal in telling people what to do before all of this started, but it was different when it came to Kyungsoo, all compliant and eager for him.

Jongin liked it very much.

“Good. I see you’re fast when you want to be. Close your eyes now,” Jongin said, hands still behind his back. Kyungsoo didn’t hesitate, closing his eyes at once and turning his body to fully face Jongin.

Jongin stepped forward, getting down on his knees at the level of Kyungsoo’s cock. Popping something into his mouth quickly, he kept a close eye on Kyungsoo, making sure he didn’t open his eyes. Kyungsoo didn’t try to cheat at all; his eyes hardly fluttered as Jongin held his cock in one hand to position his cock at an angle.

Leaning forward, Jongin took the head of Kyungsoo’s cock into his mouth, brushing it past his lips. Hmm, Jongin thought, he tastes… interesting. He’d never sucked a guy off before but it shouldn’t be too hard, since he knew what he liked. Kyungsoo let out a sigh of pleasure as Jongin’s mouth engulfed two inches or so of his cock but not before he jerked up in surprise, looking down at Jongin in amazement.

He had felt something cold on his cock inside Jongin’s mouth, way too cold and hard for it to be his teeth or tongue. Jongin pulled off with a pop and opened his mouth, revealing a large ice cube sitting on his tongue, already melting from the heat of his mouth.

“You, I—” Kyungsoo had no idea what to say. Jongin just smiled, holding up another ice cube in his hand and brought it close to Kyungsoo’s cock, rubbing it down the underside of his cock. Kyungsoo cried out incoherently, bucking his hips into Jongin’s hand.

He couldn’t talk around the ice cube so Jongin made a noise in his throat, frowning and shaking his head for emphasis. “But Jongin—”

Jongin still had a free hand and slapped Kyungsoo hard. His head snapped to the left sharply and his cock twitched in front of Jongin’s face. “Ah… I’m sorry,” Kyungsoo sighed, sounding far too pleased.

Jongin gave him a warning look before he brought the ice cube to his cock again, this time ghosting it over the sensitive skin, letting the droplets drip on Kyungsoo’s thighs and send little tingly darts of pleasure to his brain. Moving forward once more, Jongin took his cockhead into his mouth, swirling his tongue over the head before he moved the ice cube forth and pressed it to his cock with his tongue. 

Kyungsoo gave a garbled cry and grabbed at the sofa, his desperate hands looking for some sort of purchase because it felt so, so good on his cock to have Jongin’s hot mouth and the cold ice cube at the same time, though it almost hurt not to be able to move. His nerves were sizzling with pleasure and he felt like he was on fire.   

Jongin bobbed his head down to take more of his cock, the ice cube moving around and sliding over Kyungsoo’s cock in his mouth. He could tell Kyungsoo wouldn’t last very long from this and slid the wet ice cube in his hand over his cock messily, sucking hard on his cockhead at the same time. Kyungsoo moaned loudly, instinctively spreading his legs a little wider to give Jongin more space.

Jongin took the opportunity to press his arms on Kyungsoo’s white thighs—briefly noting the difference in skin tones— so that Kyungsoo wouldn’t buck into his mouth and continued to work at his cock, teasing his cockhead with the ice cube and rubbing the rest of his length with his cold hand.

The noises he was making as he licked and sucked seemed to embarrass Kyungsoo, his blush flaring up every so often though it could be that he was just having a good time is all. He was breathing hard too, chest falling and rising quickly.

The ice cube in Jongin’s mouth was now but a small piece; when it completely melted he wanted to suck him off properly without it moving around in his mouth. He concentrated on rubbing the ice cube in his hand over Kyungsoo’s balls instead, wetting the underside and tasting his precome on his tongue as a reward. Jongin swallowed it down and Kyungsoo shivered when he felt Jongin’s throat tighten around his cock, placing a hand on Jongin’s shoulder.

“Please… I—I want to come,” he moaned.

Jongin just let the ice cube in his mouth brush over Kyungsoo’s slit, relishing in his moans and soft mewls. “Please, Jongin, I can’t hold on— but I wanna be your good boy,” Kyungsoo said, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Jongin waited for the ice cube to melt, moving it around so that it could melt faster. He couldn’t wait to see Kyungsoo fall apart too, but it was a shame that he couldn’t hold out any longer. Jongin quite liked playing with ice and his cock. Kyungsoo’s mouth dropped open as Jongin bobbed his head on Kyungsoo’s cock, taking as much as he could before he pulled back.

“Please, please, p-please, Jongin, I’m so hard for you, I—” Kyungsoo screamed hoarsely, his come spurting down Jongin’s throat. Jongin swallowed it down like a good sport, the ice going down his throat as well as he continued to bob at Kyungsoo’s cock to drag his orgasm out. Kyungsoo’s scream broke off into hoarse sobs, grabbing Jongin’s hair.

Damn, Jongin thought. It never occurred to Jongin that come could taste salty, but now he knew. Learning never stops with Kyungsoo, Jongin thought dryly to himself.

Kyungsoo panted heavily with his mouth open, one of his hands carding through Jongin’s hair. “J-Jongin, I’m sorry I came, I just couldn’t—”

Jongin looked up at him, lifting an eyebrow. He let Kyungsoo’s cock slide out of his mouth. “Don’t be sorry you enjoyed yourself,” he rolled his eyes, shoving the small ice cube into his mouth and covering Kyungsoo’s lips with his own.

Jongin didn’t want to stop sucking at his cock just to say ‘okay’ and go on anyway; it would’ve ruined the moment. Jongin wrapped his hand around Kyungsoo’s cock and gave it a squeeze just to prove his point. Kyungsoo moaned in protest and Jongin slipped the ice cube into his mouth, patting his cheek gently.

Kyungsoo broke the kiss off with a wet sound, looking at Jongin with an unfathomable expression. Jongin sat down beside him, looking at him too. He wasn’t sure why Kyungsoo was in such a looking mood, but he didn’t mind it if he wanted to stare at Jongin’s face.

He smirked at that thought. Kyungsoo must’ve read his mind then, because he scoffed and looked away, biting down on the ice cube with a muffled crunch.

“I’m not—I was only looking at you ‘cause I didn’t know if I should apologize—”

“You can look all you want, hyung, there’s no limit on how long you can stare at this face,” Jongin snickered, narrowly dodging a finger stab from Kyungsoo. 

“I wasn’t,” Kyungsoo insisted, the tips of his ears turning red, “I just. You didn’t give me permission so I-I…” he hesitated. Jongin smiled at him, putting an arm around his shoulders. Kyungsoo didn’t meet his gaze but leaned closer to Jongin, picking at a spot on Jongin’s pants.

“I’ll just punish you later, you don’t have to worry about all that,” Jongin said, bumping his forehead against Kyungsoo’s temple.

“That’s um, unfair, don’t you think?” Kyungsoo asked.

“Nothing’s fair with me. You are staying for the weekend, yes?”

“If you want me to,” Kyungsoo shrugged, looking at him.

“Then I’m sure you can think of a way to appease me into being merciful with you by bargaining. And I don’t have anything planned for today or tomorrow so yes, it’d be nice if you stayed over,” Jongin said, emphasizing on the word ‘nice’.

Kyungsoo seemed to mull it over in his head, moving from Jongin’s pants to his fingers, toying with them gently and probably out of force of habit, picked at Jongin’s fingernails when he spotted a bit of dirt under his nails.

“I guess I could stay,” he said in a very small voice.

Jongin smiled widely, tipping his chin up to peck his lips gently. “Good. I was hoping you’d say that.” Kyungsoo smiled at him, a gentle smile that lit up his eyes and crinkled lines into his cheeks. He looked adorable, though Jongin would never tell him. It was very easy to like him and Jongin was well aware of that.

“We can rest for a bit now, but I still have no idea what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. I mean we can have sex but I dunno, that sounds a bit unfair on your part…”

Kyungsoo giggled. “So now you see the inequality?” he said.

Jongin chuckled, nodding. “What do you feel like doing today? I’m up for anything, so it’s entirely up to you, hyung.” He was fresh out of ideas now and since everything depended on Kyungsoo’s tolerance for pain, Jongin let him think it over carefully, watching him purse his lips and stare at the ground blankly.

Or perhaps Kyungsoo wasn’t exactly staring at it blankly, because he said, “Your floors are really dusty—”

“Oh God hyung, please don’t do this—” Jongin started to say.

Kyungsoo had the nerve to laugh. “N-no, Jongin, it’s really dusty and I think maybe I could clean it later—”

Jongin held his head with both hands. “I can’t believe your inner spirit is a janitor, hyung, of all people—” Kyungsoo pushed at his head, sputtering indignantly.

“I’m not a goddamned janitor Jongin, I just like clean surroundings—”

“Like a janitor,” Jongin cut in, looking at him with a dramatically sad expression. Kyungsoo went red. “I won’t clean your apartment then. You’ll walk around with dirty feet for two days till your cleaning lady comes over and by then it’ll be a mess to clean up—”

“Look mom, it’s nothing personal but I thought we were here to have sex,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo sputtered for a moment and suddenly burst out laughing when he heard what Jongin said.

“Hyung, you’re not supposed to laugh if we’re arguing,” Jongin said, watching Kyungsoo wheeze beside him.

“But what you said sounded stupid—” Kyungsoo managed to say before he covered his face with his hand, his laughter sounding a lot like a dying patient. Jongin didn’t even get why he was laughing; no one ever got his jokes. It was weird to see someone choking on his saliva while laughing at his dumb joke.

After an eternity of laughing, Kyungsoo seemed to realize that Jongin was still waiting for an answer and cleared his throat, “Uh, okay, um. I thought we agreed that you can take me out —or now that things are different— get takeout for us and I can’t say anything about it. So,” he gestured at the floor, “I think I’ll bargain with this for your leniency.”

Jongin widened his eyes. “You want to clean my apartment in exchange for—I don’t accept hyung, I don’t fucking accept. I pay someone to clean this place,” Jongin said crossly.

Kyungsoo was unfazed. “I know. It’d make her job a whole lot easier so it’s a win-win situation here,” he said brightly. Jongin looked up at the ceiling, desperately praying for a deity up in the sky to knock some sense into Kyungsoo’s head, preferably within the next few minutes.

“Hyung,” Jongin said seriously, “Hyung, what does it matter if the apartment is clean or dirty? Furthermore, I know you’re gonna force me to eat your home cooked food which I have nothing against but by doing so it means I can’t buy takeout for us and you can’t clean. Do you see? It’s a two way road and if the traffic light is red on one side, it’s red on the other side too.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Jongin,” Kyungsoo said, tilting his head to one side. Jongin was about to get exasperated with him but he held up a finger and continued, “but if you’re worried that I’ll take too much time to clean your place, I assure you that I won’t like, walk out of your sex room while you’re putting your cock up my ass—”

“You definitely won’t be,” Jongin muttered. Kyungsoo just smiled and went on, “I’ll do it when we’re resting, or gearing up for round two or whatever. You know, just during those small periods of time like now, where instead of arguing I could be doing something productive.”

Jongin gave him a deadpan look. “Hyung. You are here to relax. Not to do something productive. Relax,” Jongin motioned with his hands like a yoga master.

“I know,” Kyungsoo nodded, “but cleaning relaxes me too.”

Jongin was about to argue back but then suddenly wondered if there was a reason behind his insistence on cleaning where ever he is. He had heard before somewhere that bullied kids tend to have more anxiety than most people and it could manifest itself into a social anxiety disorder or suicidal thoughts, anything within that spectrum, really; maybe Kyungsoo’s anxiety wasn’t so life-threatening. Maybe this was his way of dealing with his painful past, even if he was an adult and way past that time of his life now.

Jongin decided to bite on his tongue and shut up, though it pained him to do so. He wanted to reassure Kyungsoo and tell him there was no need for all this anxiety anymore, no one was going to hurt him that way as long as Jongin was around but there was a chance he didn’t know his bullying had something to do with it. Jongin wasn’t about to be the guy to bring it up to him.

“Fine,” Jongin said, injecting as much exasperation and crankiness into the word as possible. “Fine, hyung. Clean the apartment if you really want to. But I won’t be nice to you later on ‘cause I don’t like this.”

Kyungsoo bit his lip, cozying up to Jongin’s face. He placed a chaste kiss on Jongin’s cheek, smiling at him. “Thank you. And I can live with that.”

Jongin tried to keep a straight face as Kyungsoo laced their fingers together and continued to grin at him. “Also, I have an idea what you can do to me,” Kyungsoo said. Jongin made a noise of appraisal.

“Since I know you’re obviously not in the best mood, you could um,” Kyungsoo lifted his eyebrows, “spank me. With your hand. I-I’ve never had someone do that to me before,” the rest of Kyungsoo’s sentence was swallowed up into Jongin’s mouth. Kyungsoo keened around his lips and grabbed at Jongin’s hair, kissing him back gently. Jongin licked at his lips to make him open up and allow Jongin to slide his tongue over Kyungsoo’s, their teeth grazing against one another. 

Jongin only broke off when he felt Kyungsoo struggle to breathe through his nose. “My God, hyung, that’s the best thing you’ve ever said to me,” he said breathlessly. Kyungsoo laughed as Jongin pulled him up and tugged him clumsily into the spare room.

“By the way, did you call this my sex room a minute ago?” Jongin asked over his shoulder.

“Isn’t it your sex room?” Kyungsoo frowned. It was Jongin’s turn to laugh while he walked into the room, motioning for Kyungsoo to sit on the daybed while he closed the door and took off his shirt.

“I guess it is, I just never really had a name for it,” Jongin smiled, flinging his shirt aside. He wouldn’t need to take off his pants for this so he left them on for now, still chuckling softly at the name Kyungsoo had christened this room. He thought he might’ve heard Chanyeol call it a sex room too but like everything else, it was just different if it was from Kyungsoo.

“Shall we get started?” Jongin asked, biting his lower lip.

Chapter Text

Kyungsoo either had this in mind for a very long time or he was the kinkiest boy within a hundred mile radius. He nodded at Jongin, licking his lips in anticipation and straightened his back, his shoulder squared out. Kyungsoo looked ready for this, and so was Jongin. 

Jongin had never spanked someone or been spanked in his entire life but had a very good feeling that he’d get into the swing of it in no time at all; it couldn’t be that different from the riding crop. Fuck, he wasn’t even nervous in the slightest like when he used the riding crop on Kyungsoo for the first time. Oh, it was clear that they were both going to enjoy and get the best of this for sure.

He went over and sat down on the daybed, grabbing Kyungsoo by the arm and pulling him over his knees. Jongin held Kyungsoo’s upper half up across his left knee while he straightened his right leg so that Kyungsoo wouldn’t have any friction on his cock and when he’d spank Kyungsoo the angle would be just right.

Kyungsoo balanced himself by placing his hands flat on the ground, breathing slowly. 

“Are you ready?” Jongin asked, voice husky. He couldn’t wait to get started. Kyungsoo nodded eagerly. “Count for me. If it hurts too much, say stop,” Jongin said, brushing his hand over Kyungsoo’s hair.

“Okay,” Kyungsoo said softly. Jongin placed a hand over Kyungsoo’s smooth ass, feeling the warmth radiating from his body. God, he loved this.

Counting to three silently in his head, Jongin smacked his hand down on Kyungsoo’s ass, the impact stinging his palm. Kyungsoo jerked only slightly from the force of it and Jongin steadied him with a hand on his shoulder.

“One,” he said softly. He sounded too fucking composed for his own good; Jongin intended to change that.

The second blow wasn’t too hard. It served only to sting, not to hurt but Kyungsoo’s ass was already starting to glow a bright pink. “Two,” Kyungsoo murmured. Jongin rubbed his hand in a small circle to soothe the pain for a few seconds before he struck his ass again, this time a little harder.

“Mm, three,” Kyungsoo sighed.

At ten, Kyungsoo’s ass was a blatant red. However, there wasn’t so much as a waver in his voice as he counted, and he was only slightly uncomfortable from pressing his chest against Jongin’s leg for so long. Jongin tried to alternate the force every two or three strikes, sometimes placing his hand on Kyungsoo’s ass for a moment or two to let the pain subside just a little.

By fifteen, Jongin had come to admire his tenacity and tolerance for pain; it was if he was made for this purpose and this purpose alone.

The skin of his ass was raised in some spots now, in the vague shape of Jongin’s hand. He was just happy to be the leaving his handprint on his ass as a mark. Kyungsoo didn’t even squirm from the pain, just counted each strike almost mechanically.

“More?” Jongin asked.

“More,” Kyungsoo replied, curving his back slightly so that his ass brushed against Jongin’s hand. Jongin was more than prepared to give him more.

At twenty strikes, Jongin thought Kyungsoo sounded a little broken.

“Twenty one,” Kyungsoo said, voice cracking when Jongin struck close to his balls. His ass was starting to look too red for Jongin’s taste and tried to aim a little lower, just till the pain Kyungsoo had to be feeling abated and he’d go back to where he started.

“A-ah, twenty… twenty two,” Kyungsoo swallowed thickly. “Is it fine?” Jongin asked.

“M-more than fine. Please…” Kyungsoo begged.

Jongin took it as consent to go on and continued to spank him, his hand throbbing deliciously. It was bright red now, similar to Kyungsoo’s ass but Jongin almost liked it. The throbbing sensation in his hand only made it that much more arousing that he was spanking Kyungsoo, and he was spanking him hard

“Twenty three,” Kyungsoo gasped. A thin sheen of sweat covered his skin, making his shoulder hard to grip as Jongin tried to hold him.

He was sure Kyungsoo was fully hard now and that he’d break down soon; how could he not, when Jongin too felt like his pants were starting to feel constrictive. Still, Jongin went on spanking him. If Kyungsoo didn’t want him to stop, Jongin would oblige.

By thirty five, Jongin was amazed that Kyungsoo hadn’t said anything. He was a shivering, sweating and shaky mess across Jongin’s knees but he still kept counting, crying out occasionally when Jongin hit a sore spot. Jongin’s hand started to go numb, which was good in a way. He could go on for days, he wanted to go on till Kyungsoo finally wore out from this and admitted defeat.

At forty six, Kyungsoo cried out and held back a wrecked sob, twisting away from Jongin’s hand. “Jongin,” he moaned his name in his lovely voice. Jongin felt the heavy hedonistic pleasure of seeing Kyungsoo writhe in pain and pleasure from being spanked hit him like a truck.

“Did I say you could move?” Jongin asked warningly.

Kyungsoo hiccupped and clambered back into position, tears streaming from his red eyes as he stuck his red ass out for Jongin. His hand was numb but he found the strength to hit him thrice quickly, harder than any of the previous strikes. 

“Ah! Jongin please, I want you inside me,” Kyungsoo croaked.

“Count,” Jongin ordered.

“F-forty nine! No more, I— Jongin, please,” he stuttered helplessly, turning to plead softly to Jongin.

Jongin needed no further preamble and got up to get the lube at once, his right hand tingling as blood started to rush back to his palm. He wasn’t sure if his hand would be bruised or injured or whatever but damn, it was worth all forty six strikes on Kyungsoo’s ass.

“Get up,” Jongin barked, kicking his pants off and lying down fully on the daybed. He wanted to feel Kyungsoo now, skin to skin and body to body. Kyungsoo complied, already guessing at Jongin’s intentions and got up on his shaky legs. He clambered over the daybed, legs on either side and shuffled over carefully till his sore ass was hovering just above Jongin’s fully erect cock, waiting for the magic word.

“You’re a cockslut. Say it,” Jongin said huskily, his head resting against the daybed. He dropped the bottle of lube on the ground beside him.

“I am a cockslut,” Kyungsoo repeated softly, putting his hands on Jongin’s chest gently. Jongin loved it when Kyungsoo said filthy things like that from his pretty mouth.

“My cockslut.”

Your cockslut,” Kyungsoo recited dutifully. Oh yes, Jongin thought. This was something he’d probably never tire of, ever. 

“Good… Now sink down on me and ride me like the whore you are,” Jongin said, placing a hand on his cheek as Kyungsoo leaned forward to sink slowly onto Jongin’s cock.

“Yes,” Kyungsoo sighed, when Jongin positioned his cock over Kyungsoo’s entrance. Jongin didn’t prep Kyungsoo’s ass for this, but Kyungsoo didn’t seem to mind.

There was enough lube on Jongin’s cock and besides, Jongin wanted to stretch him today, fill him up and leave him feeling well-fucked when this was over. If Kyungsoo could take forty six barehanded strikes, hell, Jongin knew he could handle this. 

Kyungsoo’s body tensed up when Jongin’s cockhead slid into his ass, thick veins appearing around his neck. Jongin could feel Kyungsoo’s thighs shaking as he sank down on his lap, tears appearing in his eyes while he gasped at the sensation.

Clearly, the stretch felt different when there was no prep beforehand though he went on, biting down hard on his lip. Jongin let him take it at his own pace, admiring the emotions and expressions on his face fluctuate from pain and pleasure till finally Kyungsoo was seated on Jongin’s lap, his entire cock up his ass.

“God, you feel tight like this, Kyungsoo,” Jongin muttered, voice low.

It was better than he remembered. Maybe because there was no prep and he didn’t get a chance to warm up, but Jesus Christ, Jongin had never felt anything as tight as this. Kyungsoo’s ass clenched around Jongin’s length spontaneously as he tried to get used to the feeling, sending jitters down Jongin’s spine. Kyungsoo’s breathing was uneven, his hands gripping Jongin’s shoulders. He looked wrecked, and it wasn’t even the best part yet.

“It feels… full, Jongin. I—I,” Kyungsoo broke off quietly with a shudder when Jongin lifted his hips slightly, pushing his cock that much deeper into Kyungsoo’s ass.

“N-No— ah, please, that hurts,” Kyungsoo mewled softly as Jongin rolled his hips underneath him. Jongin’s balls chafed against Kyungsoo’s ass, causing pain to sizzle there. 

“But you like it, don’t you, Kyungsoo?” Jongin asked softly, thrusting gently into him but once. Kyungsoo cried out loudly, eyes squeezing shut at the sensation. “Y-yes, I like it, Jongin, fuck I like it when you put it in deep—”

Jongin thrust into him again, gripping Kyungsoo’s thighs with both hands so that he could fuck into him properly. Kyungsoo bent his knees, keeping relatively still while Jongin held him and thrust right into his ass roughly. 

A breathy ah fell from Kyungsoo’s lips with each thrust, breath ghosting over Jongin’s face as he leaned over Jongin. The daybed was curved in such a way that Jongin couldn’t hold Kyungsoo close and fuck him at the same time but it was lovely to see pleasure written across Kyungsoo’s face, his facial expression one of wild abandon and wanton lust.

His body jerked with the motion from Jongin’s hips too, and Jongin could tell Kyungsoo liked it whenever he lifted his lips a certain way and grazed his prostrate. He would gasp and exhale shakily, and his fingers would dig into Jongin’s shoulders, leaving half moons etched into his skin.

“J-Jongin,” Kyungsoo sighed, one of his tears dropping onto Jongin’s lips. He licked it away, listening to the sound of his own heavy breathing combined with Kyungsoo’s own fast paced breath and the slap of skin against skin. It felt good to be alone like this with Kyungsoo, felt good to be inside of him and know that he could make Kyungsoo moan and sigh for him.

How could something that everyone claims to be wrong feel so right like this? Jongin thought. Every sigh, every call of his name and every flutter of Kyungsoo’s eyelashes made him feel so electric.

Jongin had tears in his eyes when he came abruptly, still thrusting roughly into Kyungsoo’s ass. Kyungsoo dragged his nails down Jongin’s chest, milking his cock obediently and whispering fervently in his ear to please let me come for you, Jongin, I want to scream for you. Jongin could feel his come dripping out of Kyungsoo’s entrance, warm and wet.

“Come for me, hyung, come for me and show me you’re my good boy,” Jongin bit out. “Yes, yes, yes,” Kyungsoo sighed, closing his eyes. 

Five thrusts later and Kyungsoo came shuddering, his choked shriek loud in Jongin’s ears. His come spattered against Jongin’s stomach, white and hot at first contact. Kyungsoo’s shriek melted into incoherent sobs as he reached down to jerk off his cock and more come spurted out. 

He looks beautiful like that, Jongin thought, on the edge and still hungry for my cock. Oh, Jongin wanted to kiss him senseless.

 Kyungsoo could hardly hold himself up over Jongin when he was done, panting with his mouth parted. Jongin kissed him gently, promising him that he did a good job. It was possibly one of the most intense fucks Jongin ever had. He was inclined to believe Kyungsoo shared the same sentiment.

“I-I can’t move, Jongin, I don’t want to—” Kyungsoo’s sentence became a garbled mess of words when Jongin surged upwards and changed the angle of his cock inside Kyungsoo. Jongin knew he felt overly sensitized and smirked when Kyungsoo’s ass gripped his cock once more, always ready for him despite having orgasmed only seconds ago.

“F-fuck you,” Kyungsoo murmured, a flush spreading across his body. Jongin chuckled.

“That was… intense, hm?” Jongin remarked. “Y-yeah… give me a minute,” Kyungsoo whispered, giving up and lying on top of Jongin heavily. There was a distinct squelch when Kyungsoo’s stomach pressed onto his own come but surprisingly, he didn’t say anything and neither did Jongin.

He just held Kyungsoo for a few minutes, waiting for their breathing to calm and even out before he spoke again. “I know you like to be clean so do you want to shower and then rest properly?”

Kyungsoo hummed in reply, smiling weakly. Reluctantly he stood up straight, Jongin’s flaccid cock pulling out with a wet sound. He whimpered at the bereft feeling in his ass, instinctively clenching down on nothing.

“You alright?” Jongin asked, patting his sore ass. Kyungsoo swallowed and nodded silently.

“Let’s get cleaned up,” Jongin murmured, kissing Kyungsoo’s neck. He got up and took Kyungsoo’s hand when he grunted in agreement, shuffling after him slowly to Jongin’s bedroom while wiping his tears away with his arm. 

“Step into the shower first. I’ll get the hot water running in the tub,” Jongin said, when they were both in the bathroom. He closed the door shut and was about to get his special scented oil from the mirror cabinet but Kyungsoo refused to let him go. 

“No, Jongin, there’s no need to soak in the tub, I think I’m going to pass out soon,” Kyungsoo protested weakly. He held the shower door open for Jongin, imploring him with his eyes.

“You look like you could use some coffee, hyung. Are you sure you don’t like it?” Jongin said, giving in to Kyungsoo and stepping into the shower with him. The door shut quietly behind Jongin.

Kyungsoo shook his head. “I don’t want coffee. Just… let me rest in a minute, before we move onto something else,” he laughed weakly.

Jongin chuckled, twisting a knob jutting out from the wall. Hot water rained down on the both of them at once, and Jongin adjusted the temperature carefully. “You’re worn out, aren’t you?” he asked. Kyungsoo nodded, yawning.

“It’s okay. We could always take a nap later,” Jongin offered.

“No, we should do something that you want to do this week,” Kyungsoo said. The water wasn’t scalding hot anymore so Jongin pulled him gently under the showerhead, watching the countless droplets catch in his hair, dribble down his face and sit gently on his skin.

“’S alright, hyung. I don’t mind sleeping for a bit too. We can’t bang all day and all night anyway,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo blushed, splashing water over Jongin’s face. Jongin laughed, flicking water back at him while he waited for Kyungsoo to rinse off, cupping some water in his hands to wash off Kyungsoo’s come on his stomach.

Kyungsoo was about to move to one side so that Jongin could wash off while he soaped up and shampooed his hair, when he heard something from outside and frowned.

“Did you hear that?” he asked.

“Hear what?” Jongin asked, leaning away from the water so that he wouldn’t get his hair wet. Jongin could practically hear nothing above the spattering sound of water hitting the ground whereas Kyungsoo was closer to the bathroom door. 

“Like a buzz,” Kyungsoo said, tilting his head to one side. He wanted to say something but then frowned again. “It’s going off again. Is it your phone?” Kyungsoo asked, slowly rubbing a bar of soap between his hands.

“Nope, my phone is in my pants in the other room. There’s no way you can hear it,” Jongin said. Unless Kyungsoo had x-ray ears, of course, but he hardly believed that. If he had super powers it’d be a high tolerance for pain, in Jongin’s opinion. Kyungsoo listened closely once more, rubbing soap over his arms absently.

“It’s stopped now. Why don’t you turn off the water and see if you can’t hear it too?” Kyungsoo said. Jongin shut the water off as Kyungsoo said and grabbed the soap from Kyungsoo.

“It’s probably nothing, hyung, don’t worry about it,” he said. Maybe it was from the upstairs or downstairs resident; either way, it was just a bit of buzzing, not an explosion or whatever.

Just when Kyungsoo decided it was probably nothing and started to press some shampoo into his palm, he heard it again and this time, so did Jongin. It sounded familiar. “It doesn’t sound like a phone,” Jongin remarked.

It went off again and they frowned at the same time.

“Do you know what it is?” Kyungsoo asked, scrubbing his fingers into his hair.

Obviously, it wasn’t either of their phones, no phone on vibrate mode could sound this loud. What else in the apartment could buzz though; vibrators, the sound system, the front door… Oh, Jongin thought, realization dawning on him. Oh. No wonder it sounded familiar.

“What?” Kyungsoo said, noting Jongin’s expression.

“Kyungsoo, don’t panic but um. I think we have a guest,” Jongin said.

“Jongin,” Kyungsoo said slowly, “you should’ve said something if someone was going to come over—”

“No one is coming over! I don’t know who the fuck is that the door, but why doesn’t he go away?” Jongin exclaimed. Kyungsoo looked panicked, looking around as if there was something in the shower big enough to camouflage him.

“What do we do?!” Kyungsoo hissed, keeping his voice low, though it was impossible for whoever it was at the door to hear the both of them. “Um,” Jongin turned the water back on, washing off the soap on his body. “Jongin, you’re not supposed to continue your shower—”

“I’m not—Hyung, just stay here while I get the door and see who it is. Don’t come out and don’t make a sound, okay? Maybe it’s just the postman or something,” Jongin said, hurriedly washing off all the suds on his body. Why did somebody or something always have to ruin their moments together?

“Are you sure you weren’t supposed to have somebody over? What kind of postman is so insistent?” Kyungsoo said, standing at the farthest corner in the shower.

“Trust me, I kept my weekend clear for you. Nobody is supposed to come over,” Jongin replied, shutting the water off and stepping out to grab a towel from behind the door. “Stay put, hyung. I’ll get rid of whoever it is,” Jongin reassured him, wrapping the towel around his waist and opening the bathroom door.

Damn right he was going to get rid of the tosser at his door; what if Kyungsoo thought Jongin had some girl coming over?

Kyungsoo nodded, his face starting to pale as Jongin exited the bathroom. He closed the door behind him and called out, “Coming!”

If it was the postman then he was going to get a serious duffing up; he could’ve just left the parcel or letter or whatever in Jongin’s mailbox there was no need for him to receive his shit in person—

Jongin flung the front door open, the sourest expression plastered on his face to welcome the motherfucker. He expected the postman, Mr. Lee maybe, someone he didn’t know or Chanyeol even but he didn’t expect Suho with an angelic smile to be standing at his front door.

“Hey, Jongin,” he called, eyes crinkling at the corners. Jongin furrowed his eyebrows at Suho’s dumb smile. The surprise wore off almost at once; no way was Jongin going to leave his apartment for Suho.

“Bye,” Jongin said, reaching for the doorknob to close the door. Suho protested by slamming a hand on the door and pushing it back open. “What ‘bye’? Did you read through the stuff I sent you yet?” he asked.

“No. There’s still Sunday. And why are you here, do you want me to beat you up or something?” Jongin scowled.

“Why? Why would you want to beat me up? Do you have someone over?” Suho asked suspiciously, taking a good look at the towel around his waist and Jongin’s wet chest. There was nothing remotely sexual or anything suggesting sexual activity on Jongin’s body, luckily. Thank goodness he washed Kyungsoo’s come off already.

“I’m taking a shower,” Jongin said flatly, evading his question. Sometimes lying to Suho was hard since they knew each other too well. “I just woke up for fuck’s sake, can’t you at least warn me if you want to come over?”

“I did. If you read the e-mails I sent you, you’d know,” Suho said, peeking into his apartment like a nosy neighbor. Kyungsoo’s clothes were on the floor, but it was blocked from Suho’s view by the sofa. The way he was eyeing his apartment like a cop made Jongin a little nervous though, and he elbowed Suho aside.

“Look, as you can see I’m not done with my shower at any rate so could you please come back at a later time—”

“Aren’t you gonna invite me in at least? Would make me feel like I didn’t drive down here just for nothing,” Suho smiled innocently.

“I’m going out after my shower. Gonna see Jiyoung,” Jongin added, just so it sounded more credible. Suho didn’t look like he believed Jongin’s story but he wasn’t as aggressive as Sehun or Chanyeol (thank God) and sulked as he stepped away from the front door.                   

 “Thought you didn’t have much planned for the weekend. What time are you leaving?” Suho asked. What was this, the modern, civilized version of the Spanish Inquisition?

“I don’t know. It’s sort of a spur-of-the-moment decision, I’ll leave when I’m ready,” Jongin shrugged. More like I’ll never leave so long as Kyungsoo is in my apartment, Jongin said to himself. “Can I go back to my shower now?”

“Yeah, I—”

Jongin slammed the door in Suho’s face and started to walk back into the direction he came from. “DON’T HAVE TO BE RUDE, JONGIN,” Suho shouted, giving his front door a hard kick.

“Don’t have to be so nosy about my life!” Jongin yelled back, taking large strides to return to his bedroom. He wouldn’t be surprised if Suho and Sehun were in cahoots with one another; they were probably trying to see if Jongin was still seeing Kyungsoo. Well, they’ll have to try harder than this, Jongin thought. He was not going to be driven out of his home so easily.

He knocked on the bathroom door thrice. “Kyungsoo, it’s me. Coast is clear.” A second later, Kyungsoo opened the door slowly, hiding behind the door to peek at him.

“Who was it?” Kyungsoo asked.

“Suho,” Jongin informed. Even Kyungsoo’s eyes widened as Jongin entered the bathroom. He still had foam in his hair from the shampoo, and it would’ve made for a funny picture except Jongin thought Kyungsoo wouldn’t appreciate it if he started laughing at him.

“Suho? Why Suho? Did something happen at Accuretta?” Kyungsoo asked, alarmed. Jongin just tugged off the towel around his waist, flinging it to the ground and dragging Kyungsoo back in with him.

“He stopped by for a friendly visit. Apparently he e-mailed me and told me he’d stop by, but I haven’t read every single e-mail he sent me…”

“So does he know I’m here? Is he in your living room?” Kyungsoo’s voice dropped into a hushed whisper. Jongin shook his head.

“Told him I’ll be going out later. He thinks I’m alone, so don’t worry. I don’t know what gave him the idea that I’ll be home though, he usually doesn’t have the nerve to come over unless—” Jongin’s mouth pressed into a flat line.

“Mr. Lee. My driver must’ve told him I haven’t left the apartment. Dammit,” Jongin grumbled, rubbing the bar of soap from the soap dish on Kyungsoo’s wet body and then washing himself up again. Kyungsoo sent him a curious look. “Your driver? Why would he tell Suho anything?”

“Because he’s ‘concerned’ about me, I’m sure. Really, I don’t know why everyone keeps butting into my personal affairs. I can sleep with whoever I want to,” Jongin mumbled.

“They’re only doing this ‘cause they’re concerned,” Kyungsoo cajoled him. “You know, maybe next weekend we shouldn’t do this, just in case—” Jongin blathered something incoherently to drown out Kyungsoo’s voice.

“Nope. No can do, hyung. I’m not going to just cut our weekends off just because my friends can’t keep to themselves. I’ll handle it, hyung—” Kyungsoo placed a hand on his arm gently; something about it made Jongin fall silent, and he looked at Kyungsoo, who shook his head at him.

“Jongin, you don’t have to split your time between your personal life and work and me. I can back off till it’s convenient for you, and you don’t have to tear yourself apart trying to please everyone.”

“Hyung, I’m not looking please anybody,” Jongin said, lifting an eyebrow at him, “and I want to be with you. There’s nothing more to it.”

Kyungsoo pouted. “Shouldn’t you be happy I wanna be with you, hyung?” Jongin asked.

“I-I am. But you’re not—you don’t belong to me. You don’t owe me your time, or your weekends for that matter…” he trailed off.

Jongin smiled, caressing Kyungsoo’s cheek gently with a soapy hand.

“Hyung, I’m trying to show you that I’m not around you just for sex. I’m here because I genuinely like you. You don’t owe me your weekends either, and we’re both still here in my apartment, right?” Kyungsoo nodded slowly. 

“I like spending time with you. Do you want to spend time with me?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo nodded again, though he looked like he wanted to say something. Jongin placed a finger over his lips. “Then I’ll be around. I’ll be with you every weekend as long as you want me for as long as I can until you get tired of staring at my face. That’s all, hyung. You don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Kyungsoo looked like he was about to burst into tears. “B-but—”

“I like your butt too, there’s no doubt about that,” Jongin quickly said. He didn’t mean to get so deep and cheesy (in the bathroom where they were both naked for fuck’s sake) but it was true, every word of it. Kyungsoo was the most fun he’d ever had; why should he give Kyungsoo up so easily when people like Kyungsoo were rare and far between?

Kyungsoo snorted, smacking his arm. Jongin laughed too. The tension between them dissipated into thin air.

“You need to stop being dumb, Jongin, or,” Kyungsoo stopped mid sentence, laughing at him.

“Or what?” Jongin smiled widely. Kyungsoo shook his head, swiping foam from his hair to dot a blob of bubbles on his nose. “Or nothing,” he shrugged with a smile.

After a good fifteen minutes in the bathroom of cleaning themselves up, they got out of the shower, drying off slowly. Jongin had almost forgotten that he’d spanked Kyungsoo forty nine times till he happened to step back for Kyungsoo to get the hair dryer and saw that his ass was fantastically pink, even reddish in some spots.

“Hyung, you’ll need cream on your ass,” Jongin remarked, eyeing his lovely rear end. If he stared hard enough, Jongin was sure he could see the faint outlines of his handprint. “Why?” Kyungsoo asked, turning on the hair dryer and twisting to see what Jongin was staring at. “Ow. Oh, is it really red?” Kyungsoo asked, ruffling his hair with his hand while he held the hair dryer a few inches away from his head.

“No, but it looks painful. You know, you could’ve told me to go easy on you,” Jongin scolded him lightly. He was all up for leaving marks on Kyungsoo but frankly, if it hurt then Kyungsoo should’ve said something. Jongin brushed against him to open up the mirror cabinet and got his first aid kit out.

“The pain wasn’t all that bad, just two notches above the riding crop, I think,” Kyungsoo said, watching Jongin dig through the kit for the appropriate cream. “Er, I can apply it on my own later—”

“I’ll do it for you, hyung, just turn around and let me apply it for you before it really starts to hurt,” Jongin said, motioning for him to face forward.

“N-no, Jongin, really, you don’t have to—”

“Shove it, hyung, I’ll do it for you and that’s it,” Jongin said, grabbing his waist (but not too roughly) and moving him into a good position. Wouldn’t mind me some one-on-one time with his butt anyway, Jongin thought, a sly smile creeping over his face as he got down on one knee to swipe some cream over a particularly thick red line. 

Jongin applied the cream liberally and slowly over his skin as if it could make the pain disappear just from his touch. In fact, it was all going fine till Kyungsoo suddenly yelped a bit when Jongin scraped a nail over one of the welts on his ass by accident and he bumped his head with the hair dryer.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry, hyung, please don’t start crying on me I don’t have a cream for that—” Jongin said quickly, patting his ass to soothe the pain.

“N-no, it just stung a little, that’s all,” Kyungsoo mumbled, rubbing the spot where he’d hit his head. “Ow,” he turned off the hair dryer to massage the spot the hair dryer had thunked on. Jongin was done with the cream already and quickly grabbed the hair dryer. “I’ll do this for you next, hyung, maybe you wouldn’t have hit your head if you weren’t so sleepy—”

“I can dry my own damned hair,” Kyungsoo tried to grab the hair dryer. Jongin held it out of his reach, placing a hand on Kyungsoo’s chest. “I can clean my own apartment too,” he smiled sweetly at Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo sighed heavily. “This is different, Jongin, you don’t have to do things for me.”

“I know. But you clean ‘cause you like it and I will dry your hair because I like your head how it is. In one piece,” Jongin said, turning on the hair dryer to drown out Kyungsoo’s protest. He rolled his eyes when Jongin waved the hair dryer at his face and mouthed the words, ‘grow up.’ Jongin grinned at Kyungsoo’s reflection the whole time while drying his hair.

It didn’t take long since Kyungsoo already dried his hair a bit, and soon they were out of the bathroom, putting on their clothes. Well, Kyungsoo was putting on his clothes. Jongin just put his boxers and that was it. Jongin thought he saw Kyungsoo look away when he stretched his arms out a bit, but that was impossible. Kyungsoo had seen it all now.

On the bed, Kyungsoo sputtered and gave a bit of a fight when Jongin invaded Kyungsoo’s personal space in a big way by insisting that they cuddled together. “Just in case your bum starts to hurt and I’ll massage it for you,” Jongin smiled.

“Are you going to be weird like this all day and insist on doing everything for me?” Kyungsoo said indignantly while Jongin pulled him close and made Kyungsoo lie against him while he shamelessly wrapped an arm around Kyungsoo’s waist.

“Yes, because you’re in my apartment, in my bed. I will do it for you,” was all Jongin said. Admittedly, he was yearning to feel Kyungsoo’s body on his own in a non-sexual way (even if Kyungsoo was fully clothed). He just liked comforting Kyungsoo and wanted Kyungsoo to know that he was welcome to lean on Jongin for any reason while he was here in Jongin’s apartment, that’s all.

Luckily for Jongin, Kyungsoo was too tired and exasperated to argue; disgruntled, he turned to face his back to Jongin and tried to settle into a comfortable position beside Jongin. “You’re like a thorn in my side in a lot of ways. Like now, for example,” Kyungsoo mumbled, “you don’t seem that tired.”

“True. But I don’t have anything better to do,” Jongin smiled, sliding a leg between Kyungsoo’s thighs. Kyungsoo gurgled when he felt Jongin’s knee approach his crotch and turned around immediately to stare up at Jongin suspiciously.

“What’re you doing?” he asked flatly.

“Warming your legs,” Jongin replied, nuzzling his face to Kyungsoo’s cheek. “My legs don’t need warming,” Kyungsoo muttered, cheeks turning pink.

“Don’t take it so personally, hyung. I’d do this for anyone,” Jongin said, pressing his nose to Kyungsoo’s nape. He had used Jongin’s soap in the shower but Kyungsoo still somehow managed to retain his own scent; he smelled cute, in Jongin’s opinion.

“What are we going to do later?” Kyungsoo mumbled, yawning widely.

“Dunno. We could go for round three if you want. Or four, or five…” Jongin suggested. He wouldn’t mind that one bit. “Sounds tiring. Is that what you really wanna do?” Kyungsoo chuckled.

“I still have many toys I haven’t used on you. Of course, I could just have you sit on my cock and ride me till you’re too worn out to talk,” Jongin whispered, nipping his earlobe between his teeth gently. “If that’s what you want, Jongin, then I’d be more than happy to accommodate. Just be gentle to me, my body’s sore all over,” Kyungsoo said, lifting a hand to pat Jongin’s cheek and turning his head to peck Jongin’s lips.

Jongin could hear the shy naiveté in his voice and wondered how he could be an entire year older than him when he was still childlike in so many ways. “Good night. Or good afternoon, I should say. See you when it’s evening,” Kyungsoo said.

“Mm. Good night,” Jongin smiled, closing his eyes and settling his head on his soft pillow.

*

Jongin was asleep, and the next minute he wasn’t.

It happened fairly quickly. He was in some dream that he couldn’t recall when he started to realize that he was awake and suddenly he was pulled out of his slumber by something, although what he didn’t know. All he knew when he opened his eyes was that the sun had gone down, casting the ceiling in a dismal shade of grey and he did not wake up on his own accord.

Then a second later, he realized it what it was; the left side of his face was prickling with that sensation whenever he knew or sensed that someone was staring at him.

Jongin turned his head into Kyungsoo’s direction stiffly. Through the haze of sleep, he was sort of hoping that Kyungsoo wasn’t staring at him but there he was, blinking his brown eyes innocently up at Jongin. He thought that maybe there was a tiny flicker of gloom in those dark depths, though it could’ve just been a trick of light.

“Hyung?” Jongin mumbled.

“Sorry to wake you,” Kyungsoo murmured back. Jongin stared at him, waiting for him continue.

After a beat or two, Kyungsoo started shifting to move away from Jongin’s space.

“Hyung, what—”

“We um. We should be up. If you wanna have dinner at an appropriate hour, I mean,” Kyungsoo said, flipping the covers back to swing his legs over the edge of the bed and stand up. He avoided Jongin’s gaze, which was suspicious. Jongin sighed and stretched his arms and legs, bones cracking loudly after staying still for a good portion of the afternoon and evening as well.

He watched Kyungsoo enter the bathroom without closing the door, water splashing in the sink for a few seconds before he stepped out with a towel, patting his face dry. It was weird to see Kyungsoo act as if it was his first time in his apartment.

Jongin got up wearily and crawled over to the edge of the bed. “Hyung, is something on your mind?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo had walked over to flip the light switch on, but tensed visibly when Jongin said that. He chewed the inside of his cheek nervously, looking over Jongin’s body at the wall a few feet away from the bed.

“…No,” Kyungsoo lifted his shoulder and dropped it half heartedly.

“There’s everything on your mind, hyung, I can tell. What is it about and how can I help?” Jongin yawned, waving him over. Cool air from air conditioning washed over his skin, and goosebumps appeared along Jongin’s arms. Kyungsoo trudged over like a petulant child and stood by Jongin.

“So?” Jongin quipped, reaching for his hand and pulling him a step closer. Kyungsoo’s mouth was curved into a slight frown. “It’s nothing, Jongin, really,” he said.

Jongin hummed in reply. “Then why don’t I believe you?” he asked, “Don’t tell me you’ve been watching me sleep every time you sleep over.”

Kyungsoo laughed weakly, relaxing a bit. Jongin wondered how long Kyungsoo had been staring at him and what was on his mind till he felt the need to be so melodramatic. He tried rubbing his hand up and down Kyungsoo’s arm to try and soothe him.

“Seriously, hyung,” he said softly, smiling at him a little awkwardly. “What is it?”

It sounded insincere and clumsy, especially since he’d literally woken up to this situation only a minute ago. He kept his gaze level to show he was honestly concerned but Kyungsoo was seemingly too worried to notice.

He bit his lip before saying, “You know um. The thing you said this afternoon? About… like, sneaking around?”

Jongin nodded slowly, struggling to keep a neutral expression. Drat, should’ve seen this coming, he thought, biting down on a curse. Jongin had thought that Kyungsoo was past this topic now since they’d already discussed it in the afternoon but of course, he should’ve known better. Bad habits didn’t go away easily.  

“What about it?” Jongin said. Kyungsoo eyed him curiously. “You sound mad,” he remarked, fingers toying with his towel.

“No, I’m not,” Jongin replied, perhaps just a bit too quickly that it bordered on defensive. “No, I want to know what you’re worried about,” he said, phrasing his words carefully, “Although I do think that whatever it is it’s probably ‘cause you’re over thinking things.”

Kyungsoo looked somewhere between unsure and upset. “I— It’s not like I wanted to be worried, it’s—” he sighed heavily. “I was just thinking a little while ago, right before you woke up that maybe,” he winced, “y’know, maybe we should actually… not see each other for a while. Just for a little while, so that we both can take a step back and re-evaluate what we have here and what we’re both bringing to the table—”

“This is us you’re talking about, you know, not a marketing plan,” Jongin said teasingly, unable to help himself. Kyungsoo pursed his lips and gave him a dry look.

“I’m serious, Jongin.”

“I know you are, I get it,” Jongin nodded, holding a hand up in surrender, “but it still sounds like you’re over thinking things.”

Kyungsoo made an exasperated noise, looking at Jongin in disbelief. “Jongin,” he said seriously, “I’m not over thinking things. I’m thinking through things. And what I’m coming up with is that,” he gestured eloquently with his hands, “we should really take some time off from each other and just clear the air a bit. See where we wanna go from here.”

Jongin was shaking his head before Kyungsoo was even done. He reached up to cup Kyungsoo’s cheeks in his hands, looking him in the eye. “Look hyung, if you don’t want to see me next week, fine. Get your shit together and come back the next week, but you can’t just up and leave, hyung. I mean, what if I’m sure I know what I want out of this?” he asked.

Kyungsoo blinked at him. “N…o. No, you don’t. We’ve only been seeing each other like this for two weeks,” he scoffed.

“I know it’s only been two weeks,” Jongin said slowly, “but I too, have thought about this. Maybe even as much as you have. Hyung, I,” Jongin took a deep breath, taking Kyungsoo’s hand, “I like making you laugh and smile, and I like pushing your buttons just so you’ll get angry with me. Maybe you’re not sure about me, but I am sure about you,” Jongin pointed at himself.

“And you don’t have to be so strict about relationships, you know, the rules always change in different situations for different people. Sure, we can take as much time off as you need but,” Jongin pouted, “I’ll be sad. And I would miss you. A lot.”

“I—I’d be sad as well,” Kyungsoo protested, squeezing Jongin’s hand, “B-but it’s more than just what we want now, and that changes things. We have to be realistic now,” Kyungsoo said pleadingly. “Besides, I’m only saying that we should take time off because I want you to think this through,” Kyungsoo said, moving closer to Jongin. “This… between us, it— it wouldn’t affect me as much as it would you, Jongin. And the last thing I want to do is force you into something you’re not truly invested in because in the end, you’ll be blaming me for all your problems and,” Kyungsoo shook his head, swallowing thickly.

That would really hurt me. It would be painful to know that because of me, we’ll end on bad terms and I don’t want that, Jongin. This is a very good time to break things off while…” he shrugged, “while nothing is set in stone yet, that’s all I’m saying.”

Jongin watched the emotions flicker over Kyungsoo’s face; it was like flipping through the pages of a book. He knew what Kyungsoo was saying and heard him loud and clear, could read between the lines as plain as day. Like hell it wouldn’t affect Kyungsoo as much if they broke things off; if Jongin had learned anything, it was that Kyungsoo had been hurt so many times it’d break him if it happened one more time. But that didn’t matter now.

The thing was that he’d made up his mind. Jongin had his mind made up since he fucked Kyungsoo for the first time and realized that it felt right to be with him, regardless of whether it was supposed to feel wrong or not. This whole time he’d thought that Kyungsoo understood this, but apparently, he didn’t.

Jongin sighed heavily, smiling weakly at Kyungsoo. “Hyung,” he shook his head, standing up to kiss Kyungsoo gently. Kyungsoo didn’t resist, tilting his head to the right to kiss him back. “Hyung,” Jongin whispered between kisses, nipping at Kyungsoo’s upper lip.

“Hyung,” Jongin murmured against his mouth. “Just say it, Jongin,” Kyungsoo whispered, closing his eyes.

“I’ve already made up my mind,” Jongin said, placing his forehead against Kyungsoo’s, “You can force me to take a week off from you and my answer would still be the same, hyung, I want this. I don’t know how else you want me to say it, hyung. Do you want me to get down on one knee with a ring and ask for your hand or something?”

No,” Kyungsoo said immediately, blushing hard. “I—I don’t want all that, you idiot. I want you to say that…” he took a deep, shaky breath, opening his eyes to look at Jongin.

“I just need to hear you say that this is what you want, Jongin. And that you’ll be here for as long I will be, not just for me but for you too—” Jongin kissed Kyungsoo hard over the mouth, digging his fingers into Kyungsoo’s hair. Kyungsoo moaned against him and his fingers fluttered across Jongin’s chest, his hand curving around his shoulder.

Jongin broke off just long enough to say, “I want you, Kyungsoo. I want you and all of you. Stop thinking about what you think I should want or what I shouldn’t want for me. I know what I want and it’s you.”

What sounded like something between a laugh and a sob escaped Kyungsoo’s throat, his eyes a little wet. “I-I…” he stuttered, turning red like a tomato. Kyungsoo pressed his towel to his eyes, dabbing the tears away.

“I hate the way you make me feel,” Kyungsoo muttered.

“God, hyung,” Jongin chuckled, shaking his head, “imagine how I feel every time I make you cry.” Jongin kissed him again, tasting the salt in his tears and felt the thankfulness in his fingers as Kyungsoo held his face and kissed him back.

“Are you making me dinner?” Jongin murmured against his mouth, tugging gently at his upper lip. Kyungsoo shook his head tearfully, giggling a little.

“You don’t have any ingredients to cook with,” he mumbled, tracing Jongin’s lips with his fingers. Jongin sighed in relief. “Finally, I can buy you something,” Jongin said, picking him up and throwing him on the bed, “But first, I think your brain needs a little mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”

Jongin started to tickle Kyungsoo’s sides, just to make all his tears go away. Kyungsoo’s laughter rang out loudly in the apartment, and Jongin savored in his happiness. It felt nice, mysteriously enough, to see someone else happy and act his age for once. It was something Jongin realized all the money in the world could never buy.  

“This isn’t mouth-to-mouth, this is torture,” Kyungsoo gasped, trying to squirm away from Jongin and fight his hands away at the same time. Jongin clambered over to lie heavily over him, holding his arms down and kissing him full on the mouth.

“It is now,” Jongin smiled. Kyungsoo hooked a leg around Jongin’s thigh, breathing heavily. “I-I think I can wait a bit before dinner,” he whispered. Jongin was inclined to agree.

-

When they finally untangled from each other and got around to ordering dinner, Kyungsoo’s mood was considerably uplifted and he was acting normal again. They ordered in an entire chicken, half of it barbequed with a drizzle of honey and the other half fried with garlic. Kyungsoo cooked up some ramen to complete the meal, and by the end of it all that was left of the chicken were bones.

“What are we going to do now?” Jongin asked. They had taken a long nap and now both of them were wide awake so it was obvious that sleep wouldn’t be on their schedule just yet.

“I’m going to clean your apartment,” Kyungsoo said, standing by the sink as he washed the used pot and bowls up. Jongin rolled his eyes and tried his best not to say anything. He would usually use reason in times like these, but when it was Kyungsoo he honestly didn’t know what to do anymore.

“But if you clean then what do I do, hyung?” Jongin asked politely. Kyungsoo shrugged. “You can help. Or you could just sit and keep your feet off the wet floor.” My God, it’s like talking to a hot janitor, Jongin thought.

“I… guess I could help,” Jongin said, very reluctantly. Even Kyungsoo could tell it was insincere and had the nerve to laugh at him. “Stop, Jongin. We both know you’re not exactly an expert when it comes to cleaning,” he said, tossing a smile at Jongin over his shoulder. Jongin frowned at him at the counter.

“And you are?” he asked.

“At least I know when to start cleaning my apartment. Like when the floor’s really dusty for example,” Kyungsoo said, lifting an eyebrow at Jongin suggestively. He finished washing up and turned the tap off, drying his hands on a cloth.

“You could always teach me how to clean instead of clean for me,” Jongin replied.

Kyungsoo gave him a crooked smile. “Sorry, but you don’t strike me as that type,” he said, trying to hold back a laugh.

“What, domesticated? I think you’ll find that I’m very much a stay-at-home kind of guy… especially when I have my own entertainment,” Jongin said, hooking his leg around Kyungsoo’s waist when he came close and wrapped his arms around Kyungsoo, placing a hand over his ass.

“How does this feel anyway? Are you sure you should be moving around and cleaning my apartment for me?” Jongin asked.

“It’s fine… besides, you’re going to help me, right? I’m holding you to that, you know,” Kyungsoo said threateningly. Since Jongin couldn’t think of anything better to do he said “Why the hell not?” and let Kyungsoo get all the cleaning products and things out from the store room while he picked things up from the ground so that Kyungsoo could start vacuuming first.

“Won’t my neighbors think it’s weird that I’m vacuuming the place at night?” Jongin called to Kyungsoo.

“If you don’t vacuum first the mop will get dirty later, so. At least you won’t have to wash the mop later by hand,” Kyungsoo replied. Well, when he put it that way Jongin thought it made a lot of sense indeed, and continued to pick things up from the ground, putting them either on the sofa or the low TV table.

After that, Kyungsoo told Jongin to fill the mopping pail halfway with water. When Jongin rolled it back to the living room, Kyungsoo poured some detergent into it and squeezed the water out of the mop, making sure to wring out every drop of water before he handed the mop to Jongin.

“What?” Jongin asked, bewildered.

“You said you’d help,” Kyungsoo said nonchalantly. “Mopping usually hurts my back and butt, surprisingly. I’ll tell you how to mop, don’t worry,” Kyungsoo smiled.

If Jongin hadn’t promised to help and wasn’t sleeping with Kyungsoo, he’d probably fling the mop out of the balcony beside him. Instead, he gritted his teeth and tried to get on with it, starting at the farthest corner of the living room. Kyungsoo told him to put some strength into the mop as he dragged it back and forth across the floor.

“Yeah, like that,” Kyungsoo nodded when Jongin did it right, “Just do that and dip the mop back into the water once you’re done with the living room. Don’t forget under the sofa as well,” Kyungsoo said.

“Do you really do this every weekend?” Jongin asked. He hadn’t even mopped a quarter of his apartment but was already starting to sweat.

“Every three days, actually. I do it on Wednesdays, too,” Kyungsoo informed him cheerfully. “Right, so you can just mop for now, and I’ll go clean all your windows.” Jongin nodded silently. Kyungsoo went off, and soon Jongin found himself approaching the kitchen after mopping under all the furniture in the living room. It wasn’t as difficult and tiring as he thought it’d be, though it was hard work nonetheless.

Kyungsoo was wiping down Jongin’s floor-to-ceiling window behind his bed when he was done with the kitchen as well, and he went over just to see how Kyungsoo was doing.

“Hyung, come see how shiny the floor is now,” Jongin said, popping his head through the doorway. Kyungsoo was on his knees, wiping the window with his cloth carefully as if it would break if he applied too much pressure on it. He hummed distractedly in reply at Jongin, rubbing at a spot on the window.

“Hyung, it’s a window, not the Pink Panther diamond,” Jongin said crossly. Kyungsoo laughed weakly, taking another moment or two before he turned around to look at Jongin.

“What?” he said, almost dreamily. Jongin sighed half in exasperation, half in disbelief. “You really like cleaning, don’t you?”

Kyungsoo nodded. “Are you done with the living room already? Let me see,” he said, getting up and placing the cloth he was using into a small bucket of dirty water. He too was sweating already, though not as much as Jongin. He would probably need to shower later, if he had to keep ‘putting strength’ into mopping.

Kyungsoo glanced out at the living room and hummed appreciatively. “You actually can mop,” he said in amazement, looking up at Jongin.  

“And you can actually relax. Hm? Hm? Yeah?” Jongin nodded, smiling widely. Kyungsoo waved him away, trying not to smile. “I still have half of your window to clean. You can come in and mop your room now,” Kyungsoo said, heading back into Jongin’s room.

It didn’t take as long to mop up his room obviously, but when he was done Kyungsoo was still wiping at his window like he was working at fucking Buckingham Palace or something. “Hyung, I’m done… what about you?” Jongin said, just to be ironic.

“Mm, not yet. Still gotta get this spot—”

“Hyung, I’m done. Done with mopping my entire apartment. And you’re not done with wiping my window?” Jongin said slowly.

“Big window,” was all Kyungsoo replied. Good God. Jongin couldn’t imagine how long he’d take if he’d let Kyungsoo mop the floor instead. “Hyung, why don’t I do the window instead?” Jongin pretended to offer.

“No, I don’t wanna do something halfway,” Kyungsoo shook his head, caressing the glass. “Hyung, you’re taking too long,” Jongin said flatly.

Kyungsoo turned around then, cheeks red from all the effort of cleaning the windows oh-so-carefully. “We don’t have anything else better to do though,” he replied, “might as well give the window a good clean.”

“We do have something else to do,” Jongin answered without thinking, folding his arms across his chest.

“Oh, really?” Kyungsoo said doubtfully, returning his attention to the window. Quick, think of something, Jongin told himself, looking around the room frantically for an idea. Not sex, because Kyungsoo would just roll his eyes. Not eating, not cleaning…

“We have to make er, paper cranes,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo stopped.

“Paper cranes?” he echoed.

“Paper cranes. For uh, my living room. Don’t you think it lacks paper cranes?” Jongin said, laughing nervously.

Jongin saw Kyungsoo’s reflection smile. “Not the first thing I think it lacks but… sounds like an idea,” he said. Jongin gave a quiet sigh of relief. At least he managed to divert Kyungsoo’s attention from cleaning. A few paper cranes never did anyone harm anyway.

And that was how Jongin and Kyungsoo ended up folding dozens of paper cranes and other animals to decorate every flat surface. They used some old flyers Kyungsoo found in the store room and even a small spool of thread to hang some of them up later. Together they sat on the sofa, sweat drying off under the AC while Kyungsoo taught him how to fold a piece of paper into the shape of a cheetah on the prowl.

“Where the fuck did you learn to do all these animals?” Jongin asked, pressing a corner down to make the cheetah’s head. He told Kyungsoo he was going to try to make a cheetah without his help and was determined that it would come out nicely on the first try.

Kyungsoo smiled sheepishly at his question. “I had a cool art teacher in middle school. She was nice,” Kyungsoo said, shrugging nonchalantly. Jongin nodded understandingly, folding a neat line after aligning it with another fold he’d done.

“What about you, though? What’s your excuse for needing so many paper cranes?” Kyungsoo asked, suppressing a grin.

“Told you it was to decorate the place. It’s the trend to use paper cranes these days… Say, do you think this’ll look nice hanging over my front door—” Kyungsoo smacked his arm lightly at the sudden change of subject.

“C’mon, no one really needs so many paper cranes or paper elephants and paper zebras. Plus, they’re all made of flyers… Doesn’t fit the theme of your living room and all,” Kyungsoo said, leaning against the sofa and looking up at Jongin with his wide eyes.

Jongin felt his heart skip a beat at the way Kyungsoo stared up at him, waiting for an answer. He didn’t know what it was, the warmth in his eyes or the sudden realization that he’d never connected with someone else like this before, not even with Chanyeol, Sehun or Suho. He swallowed thickly, quickly looking away as he folded the flyer in his hand, the cheetah’s shape slowly coming into view.

“Had to get you away from my window somehow,” Jongin mumbled. Kyungsoo burst out laughing, pushing at Jongin’s shoulder half heartedly. Jongin gave a shy smile, biting his lip.

“It’s your window, I was doing it for your benefit,” Kyungsoo started to say, before he looked down at Jongin’s hands and noticed he was done with the cheetah. “Oh, you’re done. And on the first try too. Look at it,” Kyungsoo said, holding it up to admire the shape. Jongin let him take the paper cheetah, staring at Kyungsoo’s neckline.

He was saying something but Jongin didn’t quite catch it, letting Kyungsoo hold it in his palm. He smiled up at Jongin as he spoke, eyes curling into half-moons and Jongin smiled back despite the fact that he had no idea what Kyungsoo was saying.

Kyungsoo giggled sweetly then, placing the cheetah down among the rest of the origami pieces they’d made. “We can place these all over the house later,” Kyungsoo said, admiring their handiwork for a moment. He picked up another piece of paper and handed it to Jongin, motioning for him to continue.

Maybe it was dumb to think of the origami pieces they’d made as anything else but, yet it still felt like they were folding more than just glossy paper between their fingers. It felt like he was folding Kyungsoo into his life and putting the paper cranes around the house would only attest to the fact that he did like Kyungsoo very much, and letting him in was like opening a door to let the breeze in.

“… sometimes, and he’s really good at it.” Kyungsoo cocked his head to one side, looking at Jongin curiously when he realized that Jongin wasn’t folding anything, just staring blankly at Kyungsoo.

“Is something up?” Kyungsoo asked.

 Jongin shook his head. “Nothing,” he said, and smiled knowingly. Kyungsoo blinked at him curiously for a few seconds, before he returned hesitantly back to the paper zebra he was folding. Whatever it was, he’d probably find out later anyway.

 

Chapter Text

“Jongin, my parents wants you over for lunch tomorrow at my place. You wanna come over?” Suho asked.

Jongin gnawed on the end of his ball point pen, tapping his foot against the leg of his desk. He wasn’t sure what to say to Suho. He wasn’t really in the mood to see anyone’s parents lately. Feeling conflicted was weird considering that he knew he had absolutely nothing planned for the weekend. “Um,” he said eloquently, just to stall for time.

“You busy tomorrow? What about Sunday?” Suho inquired. Jongin ran a hand through his hair anxiously.

“No, I’m not busy,” he answered slowly. “Just— why do your parents want me over again?” he asked, dodging the question. Lunch with anybody’s parents other than yours (sometimes including your own parents) was usually never a good sign, but Suho’s parents considered Jongin an extended member of the family (for better or worse, Jongin supposed).

“I told them about you officially taking over Accuretta. They’re ecstatic, you know... Mom wants to congratulate you in person,” Suho said. Jongin could tell he was smiling his fatherly smile on the other line. Suho was such a dad sometimes. 

“Oh. It probably won’t take too long, right?” Jongin asked, cringing. It was hard to refuse when he had no excuse.

“Just lunch, maybe some wine after... Of course you’re welcome to stay over like you used to,” Suho laughed. Jongin laughed nervously in reply. He didn’t even stay over at his own parents’ place after seeing them for the first time in three years, there was no way in hell he was going to stay over at Suho’s place.

“I guess I could make it... what time?” Jongin said begrudgingly. Suho told him to come over at twelve-ish, code for ‘be there at twelve or be ready to answer some gruelling questions over lunch’.

“Fine. Tell your parents I’m coming then,” Jongin said somewhat sulkily.

“That’s the spirit,” Suho said cheerfully. They hung up after that, and Jongin leaned into his seat and dropped the pen onto his desk, sighing heavily.

He didn’t mind Suho’s parents all that much, really. Mostly he was just bummed that it was three in the afternoon on a Friday and his empty schedule for this weekend was still empty. This weekend Kyungsoo was supposed to be with Luhan, and so Jongin backed off to let him have his own nerdy/non-sexual interaction with another human being.

It was easier said than done though, when he came into the office on Monday and almost went hard at the memory of fucking Kyungsoo over his desk last week.

Good times, Jongin thought with a smile. It was the only thing that kept him going through five days of endless meetings and making decisions that would hopefully not cause the demise of Accuretta Systems. That and slowly emptying a bottle of brandy down his throat over the course of those five days. Otherwise he would probably be hanging in his bathroom with his tie around his neck.  

Regardless of boring meetings and even more boring statistic reports on the company’s shares however, Jongin could still find it in himself to smile at times like this.

He kept going through the weekend he’d spent with Kyungsoo in his head and how Kyungsoo’s face had lit up when they were cuddled up in bed after dinner and he’d said almost wonderingly, “I don’t feel alone now.”

Jongin knew then, that if there was any heart-breaking to be done, he’d rather Kyungsoo trample all over his heart and leave than to shatter Kyungsoo and leave him worse than before. He would not hurt Kyungsoo, not if he had every choice to go out of his way and make Kyungsoo feel better about himself. Kyungsoo had gone through enough and so God help Jongin if he didn’t want to be a monster.

It wasn’t like he was in love with Kyungsoo. God no, it was way too early to be in love with anyone. And thinking about Kyungsoo’s smile (and his butt) all day was just... affection. One was supposed to feel affection for one’s secret boyfriend, no?

Boyfriend, Jongin cringed at the word and smiled at the same time. As if he wasn’t clichéd enough, keeping Kyungsoo a secret from everyone he knew. As much as he was happy that Kyungsoo was happy, he felt like a third grader who was friends with some kid whom his parents told him to stay away from.

Jongin glanced at the time on his computer; it was time to go home soon. All he needed to do was go through a few more things and then he could collapse in bed once he reached his apartment till it was time to see Suho’s parents. He was exhausted from the week’s exertions, and it showed when he found himself yawning during the day.

He rifled through a few papers, setting some of them into different sets to handle them next week. Sehun would come in later and put them in the proper folders for him so that everything would be organized when he needed it in the near future. Keeping his hands busy settled him somewhat. As much he disliked the idea still of taking over Accuretta, it did give him a sense of purpose.

At least he had something to do instead of sit in his apartment all day and think about all the positions he could try out with Kyungsoo anyway (though he wasn’t opposed to wondering if Kyungsoo was flexible enough to use the sex swing).

As he stuffed papers into his briefcase and set his tablet carefully into one of the pockets of his briefcase, Jongin’s phone buzzed, surprising him. He picked up his phone and read the caller ID before he smiled, tapping on the green button to take the call.

“Hi, hyung,” he said, wedging his phone between his shoulder and ear.

“Hey,” Kyungsoo replied, sounding a little breathless. Jongin felt a shiver run down his spine at the sound of Kyungsoo’s smooth and oh-so-suggestive voice. Fuck, it’s been too long, Jongin thought.

“Missing me already?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo laughed softly on the other line, probably blushing away. “A bit, yeah. But I know I’ll be seeing you soon.”

“Soon? How is next weekend considered ‘soon’?” Jongin asked. He wished in his heart that Kyungsoo had called maybe to say that Luhan had sudden plans and that Kyungsoo could be his for the entire weekend, pleasing each other in more ways than one, but there was no way Kyungsoo would be this calm if that was what he called up to say to Jongin.

“It’s only exactly a week from now... And besides, I’m not talking about next week. I’m calling ‘cause um,” Kyungsoo paused. Jongin could picture him biting on his lip and wanted to slap himself for acting and feeling so sappy.

“Um?” Jongin repeated.

“Um. Um, is your PA there? Outside your office?” Kyungsoo asked. It didn’t sound like that was the question he wanted to ask but Jongin played along. “Yeah, he is. Why?” he asked, not quite understanding where this was going to lead but loving it all the same.

“Well, I thought—you know, since we’re not going to see each other till next week probably, and we haven’t seen each other this week too, um. Maybe I could come over? To your office? If you’re there? Everyone’s starting to head out, so the coast is clear for me. And just... I dunno. I want to see you,” Kyungsoo said shyly. Jongin wanted to smash through the glass wall behind him from the bashful naïveté in Kyungsoo’s voice.

“You could... I wouldn’t mind you coming over to my office since any time you come in it always leaves an impression on me but,” Jongin frowned, “my assistant technically isn’t allowed to leave till I do.”

“Oh,” Kyungsoo said. The disappointment was mutual. Jongin missed seeing Kyungsoo, even if it was nothing more than a brief glance, just to know that he was fine.

“Then I could always call you later. Or whatever, y’know?” Kyungsoo said awkwardly.

“I don’t mind ordering in if you want to come over to my apartment,” Jongin offered hopefully.

“No, Luhan wants a head start on watching Attack on Titan.... We might stay up till it’s really late and then wake up and continue where we left off.”

“Hm. Sounds more interesting than my own plans for tomorrow. Suho’s parents want to meet me and congratulate me over lunch. It’ll be... interesting,” Jongin said sarcastically. Kyungsoo gurgled.

“Good luck with that then. So... guess I’ll see you around then?” Kyungsoo said.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to send Sehun and Taewoon away so you can come in and give me a good luck kiss for tomorrow?” Jongin asked, biting his lip and shutting his briefcase. He wouldn’t mind giving it a try and see if he couldn’t send Sehun and Taewoon scurrying off.

“You can—You would do that?” Kyungsoo asked, voice going up three octaves and sounding genuinely shocked.

“Are you going to leave right now? I know your bus hasn’t arrived,” Jongin said, looking at the time again.

Kyungsoo paused for a moment. “If you can’t get Sehun out of the way then it’s fine though. Like you said, right? I can come over anytime?” he said, sounding a little regretful.

“Yes, but—you know what, I have an idea after all,” Jongin said with a wide smile, and hung up before Kyungsoo could talk him out of it. Jongin was itching for a chance to see Kyungsoo; his idea would probably work so long as he didn’t rouse Sehun’s suspicions (among other things).

Stepping out of his office nonchalantly, Jongin looked at Sehun and then to Taewoon. Sehun was stapling stacks of paper together while Taewoon was making copies with the copy machine, counting each page to himself as it whirred out. Sehun glanced up at Jongin.

“You heading home now?”

“Yeah... Really tired and all. You guys gonna be here for long?” Jongin asked, pretending to sound concerned. Well, he was concerned but not that concerned.

“Might be here for a little while. There’s still a few more copies to make and then to hand it out to all the board members...” Sehun shrugged. “Mm,” Jongin nodded understandingly.

“Well. You’re working hard obviously, I see. I’ll leave you both to it, hm?” Jongin said.

“Right. Bye,” Sehun said flatly, already returning his attention to the stacks of paper in front of him.

Good, Jongin thought. Since Sehun and Taewoon both had their hands busy, they probably wouldn’t suspect anything. Jongin waved goodbye to Taewoon and headed to the elevator, whistling a tune he heard on the radio to himself for maximum nonchalance.

It did occur to him that he was a tad bit over the top by doing this, but it was his one chance that he could see Kyungsoo for sure, and one couldn’t blame him for going all the way (he was a Capricorn anyway, and thought he should live up to the expectation of how Capricorns were supposed to be; head strong, reckless, one track minded). He pressed for the elevator and got out his phone, whistling away till the call clicked through.

“Hyung?”

“Yeah?”

“Come down to the nineteenth floor and meet me in the men’s room,” Jongin said. Kyungsoo took a deep breath and sighed. It sounded like he had something to say but he went, “’Kay.”

Jongin quickly hung up (because what if Sehun can sense with his mind that I’m calling Kyungsoo, oh God), and stabbed the button for the nineteenth floor with his finger, watching carefully to make sure Sehun and Taewoon weren’t looking in his direction. If they were, they would be able to tell right away when the elevator stopped on the nineteenth floor and guess something was up, since Jongin never usually bothered to stop at any other floors before, especially not at this time.

He cast a nervous glance around when the elevator halted at the nineteenth floor and feigned a limp to the men’s room in case there were any lurking eyes around watching him. Suho wasn’t in the building today because his parents had flown in from their holiday trip to Europe just last night (hence the invitation to lunch), but you never know.

Holding a hand to his stomach, Jongin hobbled slowly till he reached the thankfully deserted men’s room and took a look at his reflection, smoothening one side of his hair before he entered one of the stalls, shutting the door and locking it firmly. He sat down on the covered toilet bowl, listening carefully for any sounds of someone entering the men’s room.

After a minute or two of patiently sitting on the throne, he heard footfalls approaching the men’s room. Finally, Jongin thought, straightening his back and setting his briefcase carefully on the ground beside him.

“Jongin?” Kyungsoo’s voice called. Jongin felt a jitter of excitement rush through him and cleared his throat, “Step into my office, would you?” He unlocked the door with his foot since the stall was so tiny, sliding the lock and letting the door creak open. Kyungsoo peeped into his ‘office’, a crooked smile on his face.

“Small office you got there.”

“Uh-huh, step right in,” Jongin said, keeping a straight face. Kyungsoo chewed on his lip as he shuffled in, trying not to laugh when he locked the door and was practically bumping knees with Jongin.

“You wanted to see me?” Jongin said.

Kyungsoo nodded, hands going to his bag unconsciously to fiddle with the strap. “I heard you were going to see some very important people soon, sir, and I thought you might need a bit of luck,” Kyungsoo mumbled shyly, staring at the ground.

“How kind of you. And exactly how will you be giving me this luck of yours?” Jongin asked.

Kyungsoo took a step forward (as big a step he could muster in the tiny space of the stall) and trailed a lazy finger down Jongin’s tie tucked under his jacket, biting his lip as he kept his gaze lowered.

“Dunno,” he shrugged. “How should I go about doing that?”

Jongin placed a hand around Kyungsoo’s thigh, fingers curving to fit perfectly around his soft flesh. “Mouth-to-mouth is probably the best. Very effective when taken orally, I heard, this luck.”

Kyungsoo’s lips curled into a small smile as he leaned forward to kiss Jongin, sucking at his upper lip. Jongin swiped his tongue across Kyungsoo’s mouth, persuading his mouth open.

Jongin couldn’t help but slide his hand upwards to palm at Kyungsoo’s ass while they kissed, swallowing Kyungsoo’s soft moan when Jongin pinched him gently. “Still sore?” Jongin asked between kisses.

He nodded silently, a hand running through Jongin’s hair as he leaned his head to the right and kissed Jongin fiercely, his tongue swirling over Jongin’s.

“I should kiss it better for you, no?” Jongin asked, squeezing his ass. Kyungsoo gave a muffled giggle and broke off, shaking his head reluctantly. “I can’t bend over ‘cause if anyone walks in they’ll see my head at the bottom of the door,” he said, pressing a kiss to Jongin’s cheek.

“Well. It’s the thought that counts,” Jongin said gruffly, lacing their fingers together.

Kyungsoo hummed in agreement, swinging his leg over and dropping onto Jongin’s lap. He kissed Jongin again, messing his hair up by running both hands into Jongin’s hair. Jongin kissed back with as much enthusiasm, trying his best to fit his hands down Kyungsoo’s pants to touch the bare skin of his cute ass.

It wasn’t till Jongin’s phone pinged intrusively in his pocket and they broke apart as if someone had just barged in and caught them making out like teenagers. “Could you get it for me?” Jongin asked, quirking an eyebrow at him. Kyungsoo gladly obliged and dug into his jacket, feeling for the phone till he found it and unlocked the screen.

Jongin was content to let Kyungsoo read the message aloud for him right up to the second he saw Kyungsoo lift his eyebrow questioningly and realized his wallpaper was still a picture of Kyungsoo’s soft booty.

“What um—How did you get this?” Kyungsoo asked, showing Jongin the wallpaper.

“The way you get all your pictures of me,” Jongin said sweetly. Kyungsoo looked at him blankly. “So that’s what it feels like.”

“Your butt looks nice though, I didn’t even have to add any filters—” Jongin pointed.

“Can’t you set a nicer, maybe more kid-friendly picture of me? I mean, it d-doesn’t have to be me necessarily, you know, I’m just saying—” Kyungsoo rambled, staring at his own butt for another second before he opened up Jongin’s notifications and clicked on his message.

“Suho says to come over at one instead of twelve because Chanyeol can’t make it at twelve,” Kyungsoo read aloud.

Jongin frowned. “Chanyeol’s coming?” he said, more to himself than to Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo shrugged, handing the phone to Jongin. “Evidently sounds like it.” Jongin sighed heavily, locking his phone and shoving it into his jacket.

“I didn’t know Chanyeol was going to come. If Chanyeol comes then means Sehun will come along as well. It’ll be a party for something I don’t think is even worth celebrating,” he muttered. Kyungsoo held his face in both hands, tilting his head up to meet his gaze.

“I think you can do it,” he said softly, “you can’t be that bad at it, right?” Kyungsoo gave him a chaste kiss.

“Who knows?” Jongin asked. “I could ruin my father’s company name, and then you wouldn’t be half as attracted to me as you are now,” he said.

Kyungsoo laughed, neatening Jongin’s hair. “You know that’s not true. I have a whole room covered in pictures of you to prove that I won’t be dissuaded so easily,” he smiled. Jongin, for the first time between them, blushed just a little and looked away, tonguing the inside of his cheek.

“Sure, hyung,” he muttered. Kyungsoo laughed it off lightly, doing his fringe carefully before he stood up from his lap and gave Jongin a small smile.

“I didn’t think you ever got shy,” he said. 

“Only happens once a year,” Jongin replied, resisting the urge to caress a hand along the length of Kyungsoo’s thighs. He had such nice legs, all firm and soft at the same time in all the right places. Kyungsoo didn’t notice where Jongin was staring at and just said, “Glad to have witnessed it firsthand then. We should uh, probably get going since my bus is bound to arrive soon...”

Jongin snapped out of it reluctantly, shifting his gaze from his thighs to Kyungsoo’s face.

“Hm. Okay. Hyung, have you ever thought of wearing skinny jeans?” Jongin asked, standing up slowly. The stall immediately felt crowded at once.

“Skinny jeans? No, why?” Kyungsoo asked, puzzled.

“Maybe you should invest in a pair or two... Your legs would look great in olive-coloured jeans maybe, or just regular black jeans,” Jongin said, reaching behind Kyungsoo to unlock the door.

Kyungsoo looked like he was surprised with the change in direction of the conversation. “I’ll...  think about it,” Kyungsoo mused, “I usually can’t get a nicely fitted pair of jeans ‘cause my waist is a little small, while my thighs are—”

“Lovely,” Jongin interrupted, “I like your thighs. Don’t ever complain about them like some teenage girl with no thigh gap because I like them,” he said.

Kyungsoo stared up at Jongin with wide eyes. Jongin stared right back.

“I’m serious,” Jongin added. “I’d love to peel a pair of skinny jeans off of you someday,” he smiled and Kyungsoo looked away first, pink colouring his cheeks.

“S-stop,” Kyungsoo mumbled, stepping out of the stall and standing to one side for Jongin to come out.

“I’m not going to stop when it’s the truth...” Jongin bit his lip, “and anyway, you should really think about it. Just think of all the possibilities,” he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. Then he changed the subject before Kyungsoo exploded.

“Text me, will ya?” he kissed Kyungsoo’s temple.

“Yeah,” Kyungsoo said breathlessly, patting his own cheeks. Jongin chucked him under the chin before walking out, whistling as if nothing had happened.

*

Jongin had thought that seeing Kyungsoo in the men’s room was enough to last till next week at least, but he was already thinking of him by the time he reached home after eating out.

He’d never thought of someone like this before; like it was a constant itch he couldn’t help scratching despite the fact that he was aware the relief from the itch would only be temporary. Jongin didn’t even know why he was thinking so much about Kyungsoo anyway, it wasn’t like he was thinking about him in any particular way.

It was just little things like oh, I wonder if he’s eaten or I wonder if he’s already started his anime marathon yet, should I call and tell him I miss him? He wondered at one point as well, that if Kyungsoo was thinking of the same things about him. Of course he could text Kyungsoo, but he didn’t want to seem desperate and chase Kyungsoo away.

Not too long after that though, it all became a bit too much while he was taking a shower when he accidentally put body soap in his hair and shampoo on his body just because he was staring at the bathtub and picturing both of them in it.

Jongin decided he’d have to visit the gym sometime during the weekend for sure just to distract himself. Otherwise I’d never make it through this weekend without him, Jongin grimaced. He hated feeling needy or coming off as needy; it just didn’t seem to be a trait in him he wanted people to see in him.  

For the meantime however, Jongin needed something else to distract him as well. It was only ten, far too early for bedtime and there was nothing on TV today. Jongin powered up his laptop and determinedly clicked on Skype and then on Chanyeol’s name; the ultimate distraction.

Chanyeol’s face appeared on Jongin’s laptop a few seconds later.

“Jongin?” Chanyeol’s deep voice made his entire laptop vibrate. “Mm,” Jongin replied, propping the laptop beside him while he sat in bed.

“This better not be some kind of sex Skype call,” Chanyeol said suspiciously. Jongin could see a bit of glitter around his eyes and wondered if he was going out soon. “Are you busy?” Jongin asked, a little disappointed.

“No. But it’s rare for you to call unless it’s something urgent... Is it about taking over the company again? Or Kyungsoo? Or is it what to wear on a date with Kyungsoo? Because God help you and your closet, Jongin—”

“It’s actually none of the above, I’m just calling because I’m bored and I know you’ll have something to talk about to bore me with so I can fall asleep while listening to you,” Jongin replied, tone snarky. It seemed like the entire universe was against Jongin on not thinking about Kyungsoo. In fact, the universe hasn’t been much on my side lately, Jongin thought.

Chanyeol looked like he was about to reply with an equally scathing comment but changed his mind.

“Maybe it’s not Kyungsoo or your dismal wardrobe but I bet it’s something that’s been on your mind. Otherwise you wouldn’t be taking desperate measures,” he said, before turning his laptop till it faced his bed.

Since Jongin was familiar with Chanyeol’s room he assumed the laptop was on Chanyeol’s vanity table (aptly named) and... yup, he was drawing eyeliner as he waited for Jongin’s answer. On Jongin’s screen it looked like he was staring at a spot somewhere above the laptop’s camera, where a mirror was located.

Jongin pursed his lips. Well sure, he’d been thinking about Kyungsoo an awful lot lately. Thinking about what kind of restaurants had takeout so they could eat-out-in-the-apartment, thinking about what kind of positions they could explore in the sex room... Oh sure, he was thinking about Kyungsoo a lot. And that was actually an understatement.

“Maybe I am thinking a little bit about Kyungsoo,” Jongin mumbled.

Chanyeol laughed, holding his eyeliner brush away from his eye to avoid messing up the black line on his eyelid. “And you just said it wasn’t about him.”

“No, it’s not that I denied thinking about him out of spite, I just... I can’t seem to help it,” Jongin exclaimed, shifting in bed uncomfortably. Chanyeol gave a wise hmm. Hmm’s did not help Jongin’s case. Not one bit.

“Are you heading out soon, Chanyeol? That’s a lot of eyeliner,” Jongin commented.

“I don’t sleep wearing full makeup, y’know,” Chanyeol replied flatly. Whatever then, Jongin thought, so long as he was still willing to stay online.

“Chanyeol, is there a real reason why I’m thinking so much about Kyungsoo? Like seriously? Because other than thinking about him itself, I’m also thinking about other shit like where to eat, where to take walks with him, where to make him feel like it’s not a big deal to be with me...”

“It isn’t that big of a deal to be with you, I assure you, Jongin,” Chanyeol replied immediately, finishing off his eyeliner neatly, “Not as big a deal as it is to date me anyway,” he smiled.

Jongin rolled his eyes. “Whatever, okay? Just. Hear me out,” he said, motioning for Chanyeol to humour him.

“Okay then... What was your question again?” Chanyeol asked, capping his eyeliner and putting it down somewhere beside the laptop, out of Jongin’s view. He grabbed something and disappeared from the screen for a moment while Jongin just said absently, “Why am I thinking of Kyungsoo so much?”

Chanyeol kept a blank expression on his face, impassive as a god. Two caps came into view as he tried to choose between two of them and said, “You must’ve had quite a lot of sex with him if you’re thinking about him so much.”

Jongin grunted at Chanyeol, sending him a dry look. Sex wasn’t everything. It was maybe eighty percent... or seventy percent. No, it’s definitely fifty-fifty now, Jongin thought. He had to admit, he did come into this (the intangible this) mostly wondering about what it’d be like to have sex with another man. And then all the spanking implements came along, which made Jongin all the more curious and he dug deeper into the rabbit hole.

Of course, that was just until he realized Kyungsoo was more broken than he appeared to be and how much he wanted to fix him so badly.

“Well?” Chanyeol demanded, putting a cap on that said ‘hot stuff’ in bold, iridescent plastic alphabets stuck to the cap. “Well,” Jongin repeated, “We do see each other weekly,” he said slowly.

“Oh, then that solves everything, doesn’t it? You think about him ‘cause you see him every week,” Chanyeol said, adjusting his cap carefully over his hair. He took it off and put it on again while Jongin frowned at him, eyebrows furrowed. That wasn’t the answer Jongin had been expecting.

“I—”

“If you think about him so much then why don’t you take him out on a date already?” Chanyeol asked, “You’re already sleeping together, it can’t be that weird to ask him out.”  

“Well, it’s not weird, and I have taken him out before, just once... We can’t really go out together in public, though,” Jongin grimaced. Chanyeol adjusted his cap onto his head for the millionth time in one minute, squinting at his reflection.

“Why the fuck not?” he asked, a little flatly as if he wasn’t aware of what Jongin was saying.

“I’m taking over Accuretta soon,” Jongin shrugged, “People are gonna be watching me. Who knows what the press will assume about us even if we just say that we’re friends... And then Sehun too, will see me on the news for being out and about in Seoul with an alleged ‘friend’; he’ll eat my heart out,” Jongin said, shaking his head. Too much trouble for a light lunch, really. 

“You haven’t told Sehun and Suho about Kyungsoo?” Chanyeol asked, sparing a pitiful glance at Jongin.

Jongin shook his head, chewing his bottom lip. “I don’t plan on telling ‘em. They almost had a mental breakdown when I told them I’d kissed Kyungsoo; what will they do when they realize I’ve been sleeping with him this entire time?” Jongin laughed hollowly.

Chanyeol chuckled. “I dunno. I think they’d support you though, after they get over the initial shock. Don’t you agree?” he asked, finally setting his cap offset at an angle that made it look very casual and cool, though Jongin now knew otherwise.

He shrugged at Chanyeol’s question. Would Suho and Sehun support him? Jongin didn’t know, and he didn’t intend to find out.

Talking about all this was one thing with Chanyeol; he wasn’t biased in his opinions and neither was he the sort of person to look at people differently (unless you dressed badly). It was another thing entirely, a whole other planet even, if he had to break it to Suho and Sehun that they were sort of together now.

Who’s to say they wouldn’t start World War Three just because of this? Jongin laughed softly at that thought. 

“Sehun and Suho are like the voices of reason, y’know?” Jongin said to Chanyeol.

Chanyeol lifted an eyebrow in amusement, fiddling with his fringe. “So what am I, the voice of reckless activity?”

Jongin laughed. “No... You’re the answering machine,” Jongin declared, “An answering machine who deletes all my messages whenever I make a call to listen to the voice of reason.” Chanyeol rolled his eyes and laughed, flicking the cap he wasn’t wearing aside.

“What’s the point of telling you not to do something when I know you’ll do it anyway, though? I might as well help you out,” Chanyeol grinned at Jongin before standing up and walking away from the laptop.

“You heading out now?” Jongin asked.

“Yup. We’ll continue this session when I see you tomorrow. Don’t forget to take your medication,” Chanyeol called. He sounded like he was shouting from a distance. Oh right, Jongin thought. He almost forgot about Suho’s lunch.

“Ha-ha,” Jongin rolled his eyes. “Bye,” Chanyeol shouted, and Jongin ended the call.

He flopped back into bed after shutting his laptop down, staring up at the ceiling blankly. Well. Was that therapy session helpful? he asked himself.

Nah, he answered his own question. No, not really. He still wasn’t sure why he was thinking so much about Kyungsoo. Chanyeol had distracted him well enough, but now he was back to square one again.

“So much for clearing things up,” Jongin sighed to himself, folding his arms over his chest. He bit his lip, looking over on the right side of the bed where Kyungsoo usually slept. Kyungsoo was out of sight, certainly, but he was definitely not out of mind. Jongin wished that Kyungsoo was here now, just so that he could touch him and feel like everything in the world would be alright.

*

By morning, Jongin couldn’t resist the temptation of his phone lying on the dresser anymore. He couldn’t remember what he’d dreamt of in the night but was fairly sure it involved Kyungsoo and women’s underwear.

He got up and did his morning routine first, brushing his teeth followed by a quick shower before he dialled Kyungsoo’s number while standing at his closet, wondering what to wear.

It’s just a phone call, he told himself. Nothing wrong with a short little phone call.

Besides, he had every right to call him up as a... a something-like-a-boyfriend person in his life and ask him what to wear to Suho’s place. It was weirder not to call him anyway; usually one of them reached out to the other after 24 hours of silence, and though Jongin wasn’t counting the hours (oh no, he didn’t wake up at nine in the morning and think wow, it’s been 16 hours since I saw him. Nope, not at all) it already felt like 24 hours. Surely that meant something.

It was kind of early in the morning though, and when Kyungsoo didn’t pick up by the sixth ring Jongin was about to hang up when the call suddenly went through.

“Hello?” he said cautiously.

Kyungsoo or whoever was on the line didn’t answer right away; there was only silence except for some faint banging noise in the background. “Hm,” someone finally grunted.

“Hyung?” Jongin lifted an eyebrow.

“Speaking,” Kyungsoo mumbled. 

“Hyung, are you okay? You sound terrible,” Jongin remarked. He sounded like his vocal chords had taken a spin in a food blender and only stepped out after being shredded to within an inch of its life. What were they doing last night? Jongin thought, getting into a screaming match against one another?

“Hm... too much,” Kyungsoo croaked, clearing his throat, “too many chips last night.”

Well, at least someone enjoyed himself last night, Jongin thought, smiling just a little. “What did you watch last night?” he asked, fingering one of his dress shirts in the closet. 

“A lot,” Kyungsoo replied, sounding bleary and tired.

“I bet you enjoyed yourself. Are you even awake right now?” Jongin said teasingly.

“Physically or emotionally?” Kyungsoo murmured softly. Jongin laughed. He wouldn’t be surprised if Kyungsoo stayed up till four or five in the morning, just watching anime like a bona fide nerd.

“I won’t interrupt your sleep then. I just wanted to ask you if you had any idea what I should wear today and...” Jongin paused for a moment, “just wanted to know if you’re doing okay.”

“I’m fine,” Kyungsoo sighed, “why wouldn’t I be? And I wouldn’t know what to tell you to wear...”

“You stalked me for three years though, I’m sure you’ve seen quite a few outfits you liked,” Jongin replied, biting down on a big smile. Kyungsoo grunted in reply.

“... I dunno. Where are you going? Suho’s parents’ place?” Kyungsoo asked.

“Yeah, for lunch,” Jongin affirmed.

Kyungsoo seemed to think about it for a while. “Well, what do you feel like wearing? Something black, something colourful?” he asked.

“Something that will pale in comparison to whatever Chanyeol might wear since he