Chapter 1: - Prologue -
“Nana, look at all of the flowers!”
The delicate voice of a woman filled the air, followed shortly by a squeaked laughter of a little boy. Sound of sneakers stomped on the crunchy ground broke the previous silence of a wide and lonely field. A woman on her early thirties and a little boy whose age was probably around 5 to 6 years old traveled around the blanket of green grass aimlessly.
“Mama we shall bring some for papa!” The little boy blabbered excitedly as he looked around the flowers happily.
“Shall we?” The woman, Mrs. Na, chuckled and elegantly flipped the strand of her long hair back, cautious enough to not let her warm brown hat blown off along with the wind before hummed. “Okay, let’s gather pretty ones for papa.”
Nana, the little boy nodded hard, chubby cheeks jiggled with the force before dashing out to check the flowers around him. He was in awe with the colorful varieties of flowers, before crouching down and started to collect some of the pretty looking flowers. He used to see his mom making bouquette of flowers at times, and he wanted to make it as pretty as them.
Mrs. Na on the other hand, was watching what her son did with smile played on her lips. At times, she checked her phone, waiting for a call from her husband. She sighed, turning around to steal a glance at a car parked pretty far away from the place she was standing. From a far, she could see her husband speaking to a tall Italian man. Black suited mens surrounded them, separated into two groups. All of them stood calm across each other and yet, there were tense on the air.
Mrs. Na sighed again and looked away. It was supposed to be a family vacation, but her husband didn’t seem to understand the essential of it. She looked down on her mustard colored boots before slowly returning back to her son, watching what flowers he was picking until she paused.
Nana started to move toward a group of flowers not too far from them, with a beautiful pale purple color. The beautiful woman approached her son, taking a closer look on the flower beside him before drew in a sharp breath and pulled the little boy away from the flower.
“Nana, don’t touch that one!”
Nana, who got shocked with the sudden grasp, widening his eyes and dropped some of his flowers. “M-ma-?”
Mrs. Na furrowing her eyebrows as she examined the flower, her son wrapped tightly inside her arms. She then pulled Nana away from the flowers before smiled. “Nana, you shouldn’t touch that flower. That one is poisonous.”
“P-posonius?” Nana almost slipped off his tongue, still not familiar with the term his mother just taught him.
“It is dangerous, and it could hurt Nana. So, Nana can’t touch it.” Mrs. Na said as she spare one more glance to the flowers.
The little boy turned around to follow her mother’s eyes, landing her vision to the flowers. He also furrowed his eyebrows. “...but mama... it is so pretty...”
Mrs. Na smiled when she heard Nana’s words. “I know... Mama think it is pretty too...”. She turned her son’s body around. “...but at times, beautiful things could be dangerous too.”
Nana pouted, imagining the combinations of the purple “dangerous” flower with some white and pink lilies he just got. It would be so beautiful, too bad he couldn’t take it. Yet, he couldn’t take his eyes off the dangerous flowers, their beauty drew him in that he wanted to keep on looking at it. “...I can’t get close to it?”
Mrs. Na turned to find her son’s eyes, blinking for a few times before smiled. “Well you can see, just don’t mess with it.”
Nana nodded before scouting closer, stopping a bit far from the flowers. “What is this flower’s name, mama?”
“It is called, Autumn Crocus.” Mrs. Na explained.
Nana winced. Even the name is just so beautiful.
“It is so pretty but it is so lonely...” Nana spoke slowly. “Because no one loves them...”
Mrs. Na chuckled more. Her son is so cute. He looked really sad for the flowers. “Well, you can keep on loving them though.”
“But how...” Nana still pouted. “I can’t even touch it.”
“Well... at times, to love something you don’t have to be able to touch and own it.”
Mrs. Na put her hand on top of Nana’s head, making the boy blinked when his bangs covered his eye visions a bit.
“...you can love them by just leaving them on their own.”
Chapter 2: Lee Jeno
Jeno couldn’t help but slightly feeling a need to be extra cautious around the caramel haired boy these days. He knew that behind that sweet overloaded sugar face Jaemin has, hidden a big desire to get whatever he wants. Na Jaemin may not looked dangerous, but Jeno understood completely that he’s not the one Jeno could mess up with.
Morning has always come friendly in springs. The gentle ray of sunlight peeked over shyly, before releasing her warmth all over the town. Yet, the hustle bustle of busy Seoul city had long started since the dawn. The sounds of life filled the air, seeping through the slight opened window in one of a cozy and small room down in the heart of Seoul.
The room wasn’t particularly quiet. Strumming sound of acoustic guitar being played filling the air, followed by raspy sound of shower being turned on and a splashing sound of water from a bathroom. Just a few seconds later, the splashing sound stopped and the bathroom door creaked open to reveal a jet black haired color boy. He came out with a towel encircled his slim waist and a half wet hair. Some droplets of water dripped down from his neck to his toned chest and abs.
It’s Lee Jeno. The owner of the house.
Well-, actually it wasn’t really his house. The real owner of the the house is a half Japanese half Korean noona who kind-heartedly gave Jeno a low monthly rent cost.
Jeno went to the kitchen and leaned against the dining table as he finished a glass of cold water. His eyes washed over his house, making sure it was pretty clean because he had to leave soon. The house itself isn’t much luxurious or what, it is just a plain looking house from the outside with a simple and minimalist interior inside. It is actually designed to fit two people, but Jeno lived there by himself. He chose it because it’s very close to his university, and sometimes his cousin Mark would stay over too.
It wasn’t too lonely, it’s perfect for Jeno.
Jeno stared at his reflection on the mirror, smiled in satisfaction when he saw his well toned and lean body. He always does that every morning, simply to adore himself. After all, he doesn’t work hard at the gym three times a week to have an average body.
“Aigo, who’s this hottie standing in front of the mirror?” Jeno murmured to himself while striking some poses. He made sure each pose showed his well defined biceps that could make anyone drool.
The reflection he saw in the mirror was just perfect, as it always be.
Satisfied with himself, Jeno started to get dressed. He chose a brandless simple hem and dark jeans from his closet and wore them. Jeno doesn’t collect any branded clothes. He doesn’t want to. Wearing too many branded things will attract people’s attention on him, especially when he’s trying so hard to keep his profile low.
Jeno gave a slight touch-up here, tousled his dark bangs a bit, before sprayed a little perfume and he’s ready to go. He swiftly took his bag and slung it on his right shoulder, before walked out of the bedroom and crossing the kitchen.
Once he opened the door, a warm breeze greeted his skin. The handsome man sighed at the wonderful scent of flowers that were brought along with the swirling wind. Spring had always been his favorite season since he was little. Growing up in Hokkaido, he always waited not so patiently for winter and spring to arrive. It’s always so beautiful there, it never failed to take his breath away.
Jeno looked down on his wristwatch to check the clock, before starting to fasten his pace toward his university.
Today had marked his official third year since the first time he came to Korea. He took a business management in Dongseo University, one of the famous university in Seoul. Next year would be his last in Korea, and Jeno had already planned to continue his further study overseas.
Such a dilligent kid for a look that could kill, might be what people thought of him if they recognized him. It’s great that Jeno decided to not show himself up too much, keeping himself covered well under blanket of question marks. His existence is a mystery for other students, but he could paid them no mind.
Jeno made his way into the small authentic Chinese restaurant not really far from his rent house. He sat himself in the wooden chair available in the middle of the restaurant.
“Like usual, Jeno?” the old lady behind the stall asked with a big friendly smile on her face.
“Yes!” Jeno replied the woman with a beaming grin.
The old lady gave a nod as a reply and immediately made his usual order.
Jeno pulled out his slightly outdated phone out of his pocket. Not a brand new, but also not too old. Just average, like what Jeno like to keep himself as. His onyx eyes caught a misscall notification on the screen, and immediately rose his left eyebrow.
One miscall from his dad.
Jeno dialed back his dad, once again checking the time. 7.34 AM. At this time, his dad usually is busy preparing the ingredients for his udon restaurant. If he called, then it must be something really important.
Jeno’s parents live in Hokkaido, Japan. They run a traditional udon restaurant. On vacations, Jeno will comeback to their hometown and spends holiday with family, and sometimes if Mark didn’t have to return to Canada, he would join as well. On that vacation, Jeno will be out there helping in the restaurant, taking order and delivering bowls of noodles with his fatal eyesmiles. Their family’s udon restaurant did pretty good, enough to not raise suspections on how they afford sending their son to study in Korea by himself.
“Tou-san,” Jeno greeted and started to talk in Japanese with a low volume “You called me? What’s wrong?”
“Ah, I want to talk to you about the next corporation meeting.”
The man on the other line talked in relaxed tone.
“I would like you to meet Boa later, only to re-confirm and sign the deal for putting one more employee in SM company. Our debt collector had just gotten him last night.”
Jeno’s eyes glanced all around the restaurant. When he decided it’s safe enough to talk, he continued his words.
“Okay. Will do. I’m free tomorrow. I will just text her later.”
Jeno was about to bid his goodbye and end the call when his dad suddenly spoke again.
“I heard from Boa the son of JYP mafia corporation is really curious about SM mafia group. About us.”
Jeno rose his left eyebrows before whispered a name.
“…That Na Jaemin?”
“Yes, him. Heard that he has asked multiple questions about us to Boa. But she doesn’t reply at all.”
“He actually goes to the same university with me.” Jeno hissed. “I should be really, really, careful.”
“You should. Don’t let our secrets spoiled, okay?”
“Count on me, dad.” Jeno replied again, still with eyes scanning the whole room. “…I think I should hang up. It’s not too save to talk here.”
“Then… I’ll talk to you later, dad.”
“Take care and stay healthy.”
Jeno smiled when he heard his dad’s words. He whispered sweetly back into the phone.
“You too, mom too.”
And with that the phone call ended.
Just after Jeno slipped in his phone into his bag, the auntie came with a big bowl of Chinese chicken porridge, two steamed pao, a small plate of vegetables and a glass of hot tea.
“Thanks, auntie!” Jeno cheered and took his chopsticks. He put his hands together, deeply thankful for the blessing of food and started to dig in.
That’s right. SM mafia group. The real occupation of Jeno and his family. The udon restaurant they run is just a business camouflage. Jeno’s dad is multitasking between making delicious udon noodles as well as taking the lead as the big boss of SM mafia group behind his cashier table. No one would know that under the thick books of his recipes in the tables, were hidden the datas and updated activities of his group to keep him on track. No one would suspect that it wasn’t just cooking knives hidden inside the cabinet in the kitchen, but also some gun for the possibility of a sudden attack.
Seoul is known for top three big mafia group. They are SM, YG, and JYP. Among these three, SM is the biggest, oldest, and the ultimate strongest one. SM doesn’t function like the other Mafia group. They keep their hands off the dark activities like killing or something like that. SM focuses their attention on some weapon trading and some drugs trafficking, with opponents that they had chosen very carefully, in a good way. They provided the drugs and weapons to the wars in the third wold countries, and supplying the amount of medicines and drugs mostly to the doctors there. SM also tend to lend people who is in desperate need of money. If they can’t pay back then SM would take them to their chambers and they would undergo such an intensive training. SM wouldn’t take people’s lives, they would turn them into their killing machines. The very professional, high skilled, and intelligent ones. If not, they’d move them into their company. Yes, SM also has a company which produces the biggest and the best home furnitures in Korea, well known with their super high quality yet low-priced furniture.
That it is. Lee Jeno is actually not just an average person. He has a strong background, he has money, he has power, and most importantly he has the brain that could easily make him number one among kids his age. Then, why do they need to hide, to pretend that they are the normal civilians who doesn’t even have interesting life? Why don’t they just admit that they are the mafia family, so that everyone will cower in fear and do anything they desire?
Because that’s not how SM works.
Mafia life is dangerous, and it is risking your family member. Jeno’s grandfather, a strong Korean man who had lead the big mafia group in Seoul since he was young, was well aware of this. The day he married Jeno’s grandmother, a beautiful Japanese woman, he had vowed to erase his existence from Seoul completely, disappearing into dust. His wife and him moved to Quebec, Canada, and become a normal civilian.
Nobody knew where the great almighty mafia leader had gone, he only left a few trusted assistants who handled everything in Korea while he himself had never returned back to Seoul ever since. Rumours said he died in the dens of the family, others said he had stopped becoming a mafia and handed the authority to his subordinates. Yet, SM still remained as strong as before. Even stronger, because Jeno’s grandfather got to gain the trust of Canadian businessmen and got them to work together with him. Yet, everything about him hidden as a secret, from his marriage, kids, to the end of his life. Away from the public’s attention, Jeno’s grandmother gave birth to two son. The first son is named Lee Dongwook, and the second son is named Lee Donghae.
Lee Dongwook decided to marry a Canadian woman in Quebec and have a baby boy they named Lee Minhyung. Dongwook took control of the SM corporation due to his outstanding businessman skill. He is the CEO behind the curtain and not much know how he looked like. He stayed hidden and rule from his resort, disguising himself as an introvert writer.
Lee Donghae on the other hand decided to go back to Seoul and continued as the mafia leader to replace his father. It took him around 6 years during his stay in Seoul until he fell in love with the daughter of small bibimbap house he frequented in Dongdaemun. Im Yoona, the girl’s name, stole his heart away and he decided to marry her. They moved to Japan afterwards, and gave birth to Lee Jeno.
Jeno spent his childhood receiving many life-lessons and wise advices from his dad. He grew up as an independent, open-minded, smart, and of course ambitious boy. Just like his dad and grandpa, Jeno also wanted to take lead of SM mafia group. That’s why once he graduated from his highschool, he decided to move to Seoul, wanting to learn more about how things go there in their motherland.
Jeno murmured quietly before putting down the chopsticks down and reached out for his drink. It’s good as always, this small eateries’ comfort food. To be honest, Jeno still wondered why people would spend so much money just to eat in a restaurant with so little food that taste like crap. Just for what they call prestige.
After finished with the Chinese breakfast, Jeno went out of the restaurant and headed toward his university. Once he stepped his feet on the gate, he fished out his phone and dialed his favorite number, Minhyung’s. Or more like Mark, the name he used while he was in Canada.
“Hyung, you are in campus already?”
Jeno asked in casual Korean. Unlike Jeno who had gotten used to speak in Korean with his family back in Hokkaido, Mark was a whole different kind of stories. He knew very basic Korean since his family mostly speak in English, and therefore Jeno decided to keep on forcing him to speak in Korean.
“Yes, I’m in class now. Come here quickly.”
“Oh, okay. Heading there.” Jeno replied lightly and walked toward his class in a fast pace. His first class was Strategic Management, he couldn’t get late.
Entering the class, Jeno immediately spotted his lonely cousin. He was sitting in the middle row. Not too far in the back because it would create an image of bad boys, not too far in the front because it seemed to pop out too much.
Just in the middle.
Mark seemed to play with his phone, white headphones covered both of his ears as he spread the ‘I don’t give a fuck’ vibes around him. Just like Jeno, Mark doesn’t talk much to people unless he really need to. They both had successfully pulled off the peasants’ life unless the fact that they looked a bit too good to be just average. Jeno knew some of the girls and boys were definitely drawn to them, but he paid them no mind. None of the people here caught his attention, anyway.
“Morning.” Jeno greeted while put down his bag on the desk. He sat down beside Mark who immediately took out his headphones.
“Hei, morning.” Mark replied as he took a closer look to Jeno’s face. “You seemed fresh but you have eyebags.”
“Thanks for sending me a pic of Momo Challenge to my phone in the middle of freaking night.” Jeno sarcasmed the other and earning a giggle from his cousin.
“I accidentally saw it and I didn’t want to suffer alone.”
Jeno groaned and supported his chin with his left hand. Mark was totally a devil at times, before straightening his body when a door being pushed open. “…ah. Professor’s here.”
Mrs Kang, one of the most killer professor in the university, entered with a loud “good morning”.
Mark immediately put back his headphone into the bag, and pull out his laptop and papers. Jeno also did the same, a bit unenthusiastic since the Mrs. Kang is more like a type of professor who at times scolds the children around more than giving them the lessons they need to learn.
“Okay, students. I think everyone’s ready for the class?” Mrs. Kang spoke out loud. “Today we are going to learn about how to manage people. So, have you downloaded the paper for today?”
Jeno clicked open the file and scrolled through it. Yes he did, infact he had read that last week. Mark beside him also looked rather bored. If Jeno had read it once, then Mark probably had done it thrice. After all, the equally dark haired kid get his blood straight from his dad. Nothing could interest Mark more than business and pizzas.
“So, we are talking about the positive and negative of having Y Generation as the next working mass.” Mrs. Kang said while pointing at the slide on her LCD. “Anyone can state what are the positive and negative impacts?”
Jeno and Mark threw their glances around to avoid Mrs. Kang’s face, not because they don’t know the answer. They just despise attention, and being called out to answer a lesson that hadn’t been taught and earning impressed look from Mrs. Kang would definitely be no good.
It was all silence until Mrs. Kang sighed loudly. “Seriously? I told you guys to learn it before! How could you guys become a well, independent adult if in just doing such a simple thing like this you guys still needed an order!”
Jeno groaned a bit. There she goes again.
“Okay, Renjun Huang, try to answer!”
Mark and Jeno immediately glanced toward the kid sitting all alone in the front seat of the class. Huang Renjun, the Chinese kid that got pointed on at, blinked in surprise and paled. He fiddled with his large glasses that was a bit too big for his small face before answered with a faint, shy voice, but he got it absolutely correct.
“As expected from Huang Renjun.” Mrs. Kang smiled and the whole class silently snickered. “You guys, learn more from Renjun or I have to add the amount of papers you need to submit!”
This time, the class literally released a louder groan. Renjun on the other hand, looked as awkward as before as he hung his head low.
Jeno watched the kid’s back from afar, traveling on the narrow shoulders before tilted his head a bit.
Ah yeah, he said no one interested him before... but actually Huang Renjun caught his attention a bit. The way that his small body would drown in the crowds of people and the way he always shied away from everyone’s eyes made a protective instinct inside Jeno grow, and he felt giddy whenever it happened.
The onyx eyed boy only looked away from Renjun when the door suddenly being opened to reveal a caramel honey haired boy dressed in stylish loose shirt outside of the classroom.
Jeno almost rolled his eyes once he saw the interrupter.
Na Jaemin, as expected.
Jaemin just gave a slight nod and threw silly grin toward Mrs. Kang, then entered the class guiltlessly. His long earring on the right ear swung as he made his way to the last row, together with his rich-ass gang of friends. One of the kid excitedly threw his hand out, asking for a highfive that Jaemin responded immediately.
Mrs. Kang usually doesn’t tolerate anyone who’s being late, but for Na Jaemin, she just can’t do anything. The aged but still beautiful lady just sighed and shook her head before continued the lecture.
Well, that’s it. No one dares to rise a finger at Na Jaemin. He is the son of Park Haejin, the owner of JYP Mafia Group. It is the third biggest mafia group in Seoul after SM and YG. They do what the mafias do.
Park Haejin is believed to hold authority over a lot of nightclubs and casinos. They earned money from the pleasure of gambles, while YG Mafia Group on the other hand was believed to be darker.
The power of YG Mafia Group was now in the hand of his second son, Song Mino. People might wonder what happened to the elder brother, Song Jiyong. Since his father’s death, Jiyong started to develop mental illness and therefore he was sent to asylum. Rumour has it that Mino was the one that terrorized his brother like that, and Jeno didn’t have a hard time believing it. Song Mino might not realize it, but he had met the older a few times already. That man is too obsessed with power. It’s not Song Jiyong that is insane. It is Mino.
“That kid never changes.” Mark whispered to Jeno.
Jeno scoffed. “It could be considered an amazing view to see him popping out in the class today.”
Jeno glanced at Jaemin who had pull out his phone and played with it, gave no slightest interest with the subject that Mrs. Kang started to teach in the front.
“I can’t imagine how JYP will be, if someone like Na Jaemin take the lead.” Jeno whispered toward Mark. “YG is pretty lucky to have that sick Song Mino. He’s slimy and clever... but JYP? I can see it crumbles down right on my eyes.”
Mark gave a slight nod and they both turned their attention back to the professor.
The lecture continued for another 2 hours before it fully come to an end. Mrs. Kang closed her presentation laptop and stood straight in front of the class.
“So, for the next assignment, will be done in a team.” Mrs. Kang said. “…and I will divide the group.”
Both Jeno and Mark stiffened a bit, but immediately relaxed back. They had gone through these a lot, and they acted pretty well among the team. They only need to do the tasks given to them, while trying to keep the meet up as less as they could. They would make excuses if the groupmates have to gather but will do their portion as good as possible. They suceeded to make most of the students think that they are just two random and introvert best friends who tends to be a little lazy but could be so dedicated to their work if needed.
“You all will be split evenly. I’m going to type the group dividend on a paper, and stick it on the announcement board. You can see who’s your team-mates soon. Get it?”
The students replied with a yes and Mrs. Kang nodded.
“Then I will end the class here. You can be dismissed now, see you next week.”
Everyone in the class immediately stood up, stretched their aching body and put their belongings back to their bags.
“Where will you go after this?” Mark asked while slung his backpack on his shoulder.
“Library.” Jeno replied. “Your class will start soon, right?”
“Yes.” Mark nodded. “I’ll text you later once I finish my class, and we can meet for a lunch. Okay?”
“I understand.” Jeno nodded.
“And can you please borrow me a book about the business management? A good one.” Mark asked again. “I won’t make it to the library today.”
“Will do.” Jeno nodded. “Tsk, what a business freak. You have collected so many business related books in your house.”
“Well there’s always something to learn. Our library has the best books ever.” Mark rose his shoulders.
Jeno just smiled. “I will get it for you.”
“Okay! I’ll head to my class! It will start in 15 minutes!” Mark waved his hand.
“Okay,” Jeno replied and watched as Mark walked out of the classroom. “Ah… what a hard worker. Taking four classes in one day, he could kill himself.”
Jeno shook his head before turning around, untuil suddenly something or more like someone, bumped onto his right shoulder. The dark-haired boy turned around to see that it was Jaemin who bumped into him.
The mafia son didn’t apologize, he just looked innocently at Jeno with lollipop in his mouth, then walked away just as if nothing happened.
Jeno scoffed again and re-arranged the strap of his backpack.
Well Jaemin is not a bad person, not that type of troublemakers that feel like they own the world just because they got the power. He’s just a type who never gets serious. He always lazying around and Jeno has never seen him study or do his homework well. If only he wasn’t the JYP’s heir, he would’ve been kicked out of the university within the first few months since he started.
Jeno kept on watching Jaemin as he left the lecture hall until the caramel honey haired boy truly got out of his view.
Na Jaemin... that kid has a great interest in discovering who’s SM. Jeno noticed that he had been getting curious since quite a long time already, but hadn’t gotten a chance to gather any clue yet.
“Why doesn’t he just study or doing something useful instead of being curious about people’s life?” Jeno clicked his tongue. “…what a nosy guy who never respects time.”
Jeno shrugged and then started to make his way out. He had a plan to stay in library to read until Mark finished his class before they could come home together. Jeno likes libraries. That’s where intelligent people gather. It is peaceful, no one makes fusses here and there. Only the sound of classical music and rustles of flipped pages of the books opened were heard.
…and definitely a certain Na Jaemin wouldn’t be there.
Jeno couldn’t help but slightly feeling a need to be extra cautious around the caramel haired boy these days. He knew that behind that sweet overloaded sugar face Jaemin has, hidden a big desire to get whatever he wants.
Na Jaemin may not looked dangerous, but Jeno understood completely that he’s not the one Jeno could mess up with.
Hi guys! You have completely finished the first chapter of "Autumn Crocus" ! 'shoots you with some honey candies.
I hope you have a nice time reading aaaand, see you on the next chapter !
If you were wondering how JaeNo looked like here, take a look on Go mv!
Chapter 3: Na Jaemin
"You are just like a mystery. A beautiful mystery. I want to know who you are, I want to see how you looked."
People who hear this name will get terrified and shrink in fear. Of course, everyone should. After all, he’s the only son of Park Haejin from JYP mafia group. Even though it wasn’t as extreme as how people treat Song Mino, there are still obvious difference in the treatment. Na Jaemin himself, didn’t really say he enjoy them.
Now, you might wonder why Jaemin didn’t have the same surname with his father. He took after his mother’s surname, Na Hyesun. Why shall he take after his mom’s when he supposed to take over his dad’s?
That’s the part that Jaemin didn’t want anyone to know. Nobody dared enouugh to question as well. Obviously, Jaemin and his father looked alike. The only part of his face that took over his mom’s was the only his lips and his smile. Therefore, there was no point to start gossiping that he was not Park Haejin’s real son.
Not that Jaemin cared, though. His parents had their own reason why they named him after his mom’s, and he didn’t mind it.
The honey caramel haired boy was sitting on the cafeteria with his inner circle of friends.You attract what you are, and that’s why he was always surrounded by chosen people with the same level as he is. Jaemin was glad, though. They shall either being very wealthy, or someone extremely popular.
“Jaemin oppa, this is the paper that has to be submitted today.” Nancy said while handing a quite thick report to Jaemin.
Jaemin just glanced to it and took the report from the girl. He made a quick scanreading through the papers and turned toward Nancy to show his eye smile. “Thank you, Nancy.”
Nancy replied with her prettiest smile. The flowers inside her heart bloom perfectly, just like Plateau De Valensole in the spring. Nancy always shows his affection toward Jaemin. She always does Jaemin’s homeworks because Jaemin could never possibly done that by himself.
…well it’s not originally Nancy who does all the homework. She just copies it from Huang Renjun, the smart nerdy who happened to be mostly in the same class with Nancy and Jaemin.
“Nancy, you don’t eat?” One guy with a fair, white skin asked, showing Nancy the food he had just bought.
“Ah, no I can’t, Jaehyun oppa.” Nancy shook her head, still with a smile playing on her lips. “I’m on diet. I also bring my own salad for lunch.”
Upon saying that, the mixed blood girl pulled out her salad box and open it, revealing fresh greens inside to the rest of the boys.
“Ouch,” Another man with a snapback on groaned loudly. His face confronted in disguise, as if he really despised the view in front of him. “It looked so green and it’s hurting my eyes.”
“You indeed are not born to eat vegetables, Lucas.” Jaemin laughed.
“You can’t oppa, even if you hated it you still need to eat it.” Nancy said half chuckling when he saw Lucas-, the snapback boy’s name- whined loudly.
“It’s not that I don’t like it. It just, too much of it could kill me!” Lucas replied while waving his hand, as if sending the salad box away. “I’m sure Jisung is agree with me. Yes, Sungie?”
Jisung, another guy who had a slightly a slightly messed up blonde hair and piercing on his left ear handed his hand out and made a high five with Lucas.
Jaemin just shook his head and chuckled seeing his friends.
In the university, they are also well known as the “Boys Before Flowers”. 4 hot looking rich ass boys and 1 girl in the team. People randomly give them nicknames, and of course Jaemin get the Goo Jun Pyo role. Nancy obviously also get Geum Jan Di’s, and the only thing that differ her from the girl in the manga is just a matter of money.
Let’s start off with Jung Jaehyun. Both of his parents are doctors, and together they the biggest hospital in Seoul. Jaehyun is the only child of the family, and he supposed to follow his parents’ path as doctors. After graduating from his medical school, he chose to study about business management afterwards. He’s the oldest in among them all, and the wisest one too. Jung released just as many charisma as how his uncle, Jung Yunho once killed the college long time ago.
The second in line, Wong Yukhei. He’s half Thailand and half Hongkong, and somehow ended up in Korea. His mom is a very well known national badminton player from Hongkong while his dad ran a very succesful online travel application in Huahin, Thailand. He was sent to Korea and recently live with his equally loud older brother Wong Jackson in a luxurious apartment down in Gangnam.
Third boy is Park Jisung. Youngest of the group who started to go to school a bit too early compared to the kids his age. Owning the biggest electronic factory in Seoul, Jisung was more like a carefree kid who never plan to be too serious about anything in his life. He’s the epitome of chill. Whenever things went bad, he always manage to stay cool. Even when he knew exams are coming and his scores went downhill, he’s still chill. Jisung gave no fuck to anything in his life unless his xbox game... and a certain cute kid on the art major that he frequently visited since the college’s entrance ceremony.
Last but not least, the F4’s very own Geum Jan Di with silver spoon on her mouth. Nancy Jowel McDonie. A half Korean half American. His father is a chief in editor of Korean’s number one top magazine while her mother is a top supermodel of Korea who happened to meet her there. Nancy has been a model since she was in elementary school, and is on the list as one of the prettiest girl in the university. Yes, everyone with eyes would see she has a thing on Na Jaemin, but looked like the caramel honey haired boy didn’t even care about it.
Jaemin’s phone suddenly vibrated, making him looked down on it. The caller was Jaemin’s favorite person to annoy in the whole entire world, the one person who could see straight to his soul despite of his status as the only heir of JYP mafia group. His very own personal bodyguard, Seo Young Ho. Codename, Johnny.
“Ah, hyung! How is it going? Have you found more data about SM?”
“I have, I heard that tomorrow SM will send their pretty secretary to sign an agreement for their company. If you were lucky enough, it would be the SM heir she’d talk to. If it wasn’t, maybe you could go and talk to her again?”
“Aissh, that noona.” Jaemin hissed. “So pretty but also secretive as hell. It’s not like I’m piping in her personal life even, I just want to know about SM a little more.”
“Jaemin-ssi, I think we should just stop now. We don’t want to ended up seeking problems with SM just because of your curiosity, right?”
Jaemin just smiled widely, totally didn’t listen to Johnny’s words. “I’ll try to come tomorrow and stalk that noona a little bit more. Text me where is she tomorrow, okay?”
Without listening to what Johnny was about to reply on the other line, Jaemin ended the call.
“You are still after the SM?” Jaehyun tsked. “Just stop it, Jaemin-ah. Don’t seek for problem, silly.”
“I am just curious. I heard from somewhere that the next generation of SM is someone around my age.” Jaemin replied before stuffing his mouth with pasta.
Nancy looked a little unhappy when she heard it. “And if you have met them, what you gonna do, oppa?”
“I don’t know.” Jaemin rose his shoulders. “Become good friends? I promise I will keep their identity as a secret. I just feel extremely challenged to know who is this SM mysterious Cinderella.”
“Why don’t you just become best buddies with Song Mino instead? Hahaha!” Jisung broke into loud laughter, mentioning the name that Jaemin dislike the most.
“Aish, that jerk. Never ever again I want to see his face.”Jaemin hissed and gulped down his orange juice. His heart dropped down a bit when that name was mentioned, but he tried to pull it cool.
Jaemin and Mino had never gotten any warm relationship. The very first time Jaemin met Mino, was in a party. The older was incredibly handsome, even more than Song Jiyong himself. Dressed in black suit, a glass of wine on his right hand. Jaemin still remembered how those filthy, strong eyes landed on Jaemin’s face, exploring every inch of his skin, undressing him among top people from all around Korea.
Jaemin looked away as much as he could when his father stopped by to talk to Mino. It was very unpleasant. They both smiled, but they had different meaning and intentions on their own. Jaemin remmbered shuffling around nervously, unable to stay put until Mino suddenly talked about him.
“What a frail, delicate pre-bloomed flower.”
He said it with chin lifted, eyeing Jaemin as if he was just a little kid.
“You sure need to tell your pretty son that this world of ours need more than just a beauty to survive.”
Jaemin was shocked when he heard that. Humiliation and anger bubbled up inside his chest, but he knew his father would be so angry if he lost control. Even though he would definitely lose against Song Mino, Jaemin really wanted to land a good punch on that arrogant face of Mino for once.
Ever since, Jaemin tried to avoid the older the best that he could. Luck was never on his side, because as the heir of JYP he needed to come along to a few parties, and he got to meet Mino more than he wanted.
And somehow... it lead on to some deep shits.
Jaemin was soon trapped in the spider web of what seemed to be Song Mino’s little game.
And he couldn’t bring himself to tell anyone else about it.
“Hey, what will you guys do tonight?” Lucas asked with an excited tone, distracting Jaemin from his previous thoughts about Song Mino.
“Gonna visit my parents.” Jaehyun replied. “They celebrate their 25 wedding anniversarry.”
“Aw...” Lucas cooed. “It is so sweet... so Jae is out.”
“I have a meeting with Lele tonight.” Jisung replied.
“…Lele?” Jaemin furrowed his eyebrows.
“Lele.” Jisung replayed again, before something struck him and he started to blush furiously. “Ah, I slipped off my tongue. I mean, Chenle!”
“Ah, your boyfriend?” Nancy asked before nodded. “Date?”
Jisung broke into his famous grin. He rubbed the back of his neck shyly. “…yes.”
“Aishh you are no fun!” Lucas pouted before turned toward Nancy and Jaemin. “What about you guys?”
“I have some dresses fitting for my next runway.” Nancy replied while forking her salad.
Lucas slumped on his seat and turned toward Jaemin. “Jaeminnie, how about you?”
“I have a hot date with pillow and blanket so I don’t fancy any party or club tonight.” Jaemin replied without looking up from his phone.
“You guys are no fun!” Lucas whined.
“If you have a time to play around, why don’t you just fix that hair of yours? The black roots are starting to show.” Jisung said while pointing at Lucas’s head.
“How do you know? I am cover it with snapback recently.” Lucas said while touching his head.
“It is showing when you take off your hat earlier.” Jisung replied again.
Lucas sighed and took off the snapback. “Well you are right. Time to dye my hair back. What kind of color should I go with this time?”
“Go blue.” Suho suggested.
“Or salad green. Back to nature.” Nancy joined, giggling oh so prettily when Lucas threw her a look.
“Don’t take any crazy color, just dye it brown again.” Jaemin clicked his tongue, couldn’t quite imagine how Lucas gonna look in blue or green.
“Or dye it to like, raven color.” Jisung who was looking away suddenly pointed at one spot. “Like that kid. Raven. It is almost black, but there are hint of very dark blue on it.”
All the eyes turned to see who Jisung pointed at.
“…ah, that kid... Lee Jeno.” Jaehyun who recognized the one Jisung meant immediately shook his head. “Wouldn’t look good for Lucas.”
Jaemin kept his eyes locked on Jeno’s dark raven hair. At first glance, it was just a very normal color. Nothing so special. But, the way the dark raven hair contrasted with the other’s white skin made Jaemin paused to enjoy the view. That kid’s skin was not as fair as Jaehyun, obviously, but the way sunlight seeped through the window beside him and lightened the locks up captured Jaemin for no reason.
“Do you know him?” Jaemin curiously asked.
“He’s in the same class with us.” Jaehyun replied.
“But I’ve never seen him?” Lucas frowned.
“He’s not much a talker, I guess.” Nancy randomly gave a comment.
“The color looked good on him.” Jaemin replied before turning back to Lucas. “But you should stick to brown.”
“I know, I know. Become the prince Ken again, aren’t I?” Lucas scoffed and put on his snapback once again.
Jaemin yawned and took a look at the wrist watch. “Ah, I’m sleepy. I think I just gonna skip the next class.”
His friends didn’t look really surprised to hear Jaemin’s words. Well, Jaemin always does what he wants. No one can stop him, not even the professor could.
“Nancy, could you submit this paper for me?”Jaemin asked, with both hand clasped together to show a little aegyo. “Pweeease?”
Nancy just broke into a laughter. “Okay, oppa. Will do.”
“I will just go home and sleep.” Jaemin said while standing up and lifted his expensive bag, swung it over his shoulder with a cute grin.
After bidding his friends goodbye, Jaemin walked toward the parking area. An all new sport car in black had already waited there. His driver bowed respectfully when he saw Jaemin walking toward him, opening the door of the car. Jaemin hopped onto his car almost immediately, shoving his earphones into his ears. He laid his head on the seat, closing his eyes and sighed as the song from Family of the year, Hero, was played.
Jaemin had always been the one got exhausted easily, both physically and mentally. He wasn’t entirely sure on how to explain, it just he felt as if he had been living such a meaningless life.
What had he done? What would he do?
Everyday he just goes to school, mostly even not. He eats, he sleeps, he talks with his friends…
What else does he do?
He lives a pretty boring life.
Everything’s too easy. He can get anything he wants within a reach.
It’s too easy that he feels empty.
Jaemin’s hand shifted upward, running through his honey caramel hair. He let his fingers swept away his bangs and let it stay on that position for a few seconds.
Being the next mafia leader to follow his dad’s track is the last thing he want to do. He doesn’t want to work like his dad. He wants to be free, he wants to run away from everything. All the responsibilities he has to endure exhaust me. He lives off other people’s fear, intimidacy, and also expectations. He needs to be strong, he needs to be brave, he needs to be smart. He needs to be everything a good mafia leader should, and none of it fill his interest. Not at all.
“Aishh…” Jaemin hissed and murmured under his breath. “…why do I even need to become a freaking mafia…”
Jaemin stopped thinking once his brain started to hum in discomfort.
“I have no other choice than to learn become one, after all…”
Jaemin opened his eyes again, his hand slipped into his bag and reached out to take a piece of photo from his wallet. Inside that photo, there was a silhouette of a boy, standing in front of the SM company building. Johnny said the spies predicted it’s probably the SM’s son, the one rumored to be around Jaemin’s age.
Jaemin didn’t tell any of his friends that he had found the gender of his target already. He’s a boy, with quite tall and slim body. Nothing more could be known from it, unless to the fact that he alwasy use hat, mask, and glasses... and that he moved extremely fast.
It’s not taken from the best angle neither the best lighting. It even blurred a little, probably because Johnny’s hand trembled when he took the photo.
“Who are you?” Jaemin whispered to an empty air. His finger caressed the boy on the picture. “One day… can I really meet you? Knowing who you truly are?”
Jaemin had had enough with his life. To distract him from his messed up mind, he decided to play this catch me if you can game. This SM heir kid is no ordinary. There are many reasons that keep pushing Jaemin to find out the boy’s identity. Jaemin really wants to know why he stays hidden all this entire time. Jaemin wants to know how is he like in the real life. Jaemin adores SM from the bottom of his heart. About how big, clean, and magnificent they are. Though he never tells, he knows most of people think that way too.
“Can I get a step closer to you tomorrow?” Jaemin asked again. “You are just a like mystery. A beautiful mystery. I want to know who you are, I want to see how you look…”
The slightly skinny heir sighed and put the photo back to the bag. The car had already moved out from the parking area and now strolled on the busy street of Seoul.
Jaemin didn’t really want to go home, actually. There’s nothing there! Just bunches of maids and servants who serve him like a robot. It’s not like his dad would be at home, and even if he was there they wouldn’t even meet anyway.
While for his mom...
Na Hyesun, Jaemin’s mother died when Jaemin was 12 years old out of traffic accident. Jaemin was in a really deep shock when he learned that, he even fainted and needed to be hospytalized for almost a full month. The accident brought such a grief and loss to the entire JYP family. The news were everywhere, and Haejin specially requested the hospital to cut off the television for Jaemin.
The poor 12 years old kid stayed alone in the VIP room for an entire month.
Thankfully Johnny, the son of JYP’s right hand Seo Ji Sub, who was by that time had just graduated from senior highschool, decided to accompany him all the time. Making sure that little Jaemin wouldn’t feel too lonely.
Ever since, everything changed. Jaemin was no longer a bright child with positive mindset, and Haejin seemed to come home lesser and lesser. It was all a mess. Jaemin became traumatized, and he forbid everyone to call him Nana again. The name that only given by his one and only mom. Johnny eventually took role as Jaemin’s older brother, protecting him, hugging him and being the first one to be there when Jaemin needed him.
Johnny was soon appointed by Haejin to become Jaemin’s personal bodyguard. To keep the unstable little boy away from danger. To make sure he’s safe all the time. Johnny of course took it without second thinking, and become even more protective toward Jaemin ever since.
Time moved, and everyone slowly moved on. Due to Johnny’s personal cares, Jaemin found himself being dragged out back from the hole of grief. Johnny made sure that he attended events where he could meet new friends, the ones that wouldn’t hurt him and guide him to return to his usual self.
That’s how Jaemin met Jaehyun from the first time in a happening royal new year party held by one of a popular actrees in Seoul. That’s when Jaemin finally learned how does it feel to have friends once again. That’s how his friendships started to grow again.
Sadly, it was only Jaemin’s circle of friends that moved on. Haejin became more and more distant with Jaemin, and it saddened him so much. Jaemin tried to talk with his father a few times, but the response he got was cold. Haejin had always been cold before indeed, but Jaemin had never felt that sad whenever he talk to his dad.
“Take me to the usual cafe.”
Jaemin asked the driver, and the older guy glanced a bit before nodded respectfully.
The honey caramel haired boy sighed and closed his eyes again.
Hopefully, a glass of earl grey milk tea made by his favorite barista Park Jihoon would ease his feeling more.
Sweeter than honey, permenmadu is here!
Since I gave you background of Lee Jeno on previous chapter, I dedicate this chapter for Na Jaemin's!
I hope you guys could get the background of the story for now, cause on the next chapter we are proceeding to the next one.
And the shit, is about to go down ;)
Chapter 4: Discovered
That’s when Jaemin finally able to see his full face.
The sharp eyes, the alluring red lips, and dangerous vibes…
…it’s the face that Jaemin recognize.
Jeno put on his casual shirt and hat on his head. A slightly loose and baggy black shirt with tight ripped jeans. The Japanese born boy checked his appearance in front of the mirror once again before nodded to himself. He looked pretty okay, pretty normal. Nothing too stands out, he might as well looked like a teenager with unstable hormone that either use ripped jeans for style or just too broke to buy a decent one.
Jeno rolled his shoulders, glancing outside of the window. That day, he only had one class so by the middle of the afternoon he immediately returned back home. He had schedule to be that afternoon, and he glanced at his wristwatch. He only had 3 hours before his Japanese class start so he better be quick.
The SM heir fished out his phone from the ripped jeans pocket and typed a short message for Boa, her dad’s personal secretary, telling her that he would be on his way soon. He then put his phone on the backpack, before headed outside. Boa and him had promised each other to meet in one of a small café not far from his apartment.
Jeno re-arranged the white hat on his head to cover his face more. They should be very very careful, or they would be in trouble.
Johnny followed the tall and slim woman walking in front of him, being extra careful he almost forgot how to breathe. His mind repetetively reminded him not to mess up or else he would disappoint Jaemin.
The woman, Boa, was wearing a super thick nerdy glasses. She wore a casual shirt with long pants and sneakers. Her golden brown hair was braided well like Anna from that Frozen he caught his subordinates watched long time ago. Boa looked a lot younger than her actual age, very much different from the image she showed on every meeting. She looked just like a normal university student who was on her way for a group project with her friends.
Johnny had spent a very big effort in stalking this woman. He woke up really early today to very carefully stalked the hotel Boa supposed to sleep in. Looked like the woman didn’t realize she was being followed, and due to the super privacy matter she purposely didn’t bring the annoying bodyguards that usually loitered around her. Yet, even without any guards, the woman is surprisingly... very slimmy. Even for a professional and well trained bodyguard like Johnny, Boa is a hard case. He almost missed the woman when she slipped out from hotel before. In one second Boa was spotted in a lift with a sunglasses and a mask, on the next second she had suddenly gone among the crowds, and on a few minutes she was spotted again dressed like what she’s wearing now.
Johnny started to doubt that Boa is just a mere secretary, could she possibly an ex CIA member?
Thankfully, no matter how good and agile Boa is, Johnny still could catch up with her more. It was a very nerve wrecking task, and Johnny cursed Jaemin for making him doing what he’s doing. Dressed in ridiculous clothes, making sure that his face is hidden, and more importantly... staying uncovered.
Johnny felt like he was about to die that Boa turned around all of sudden, and he had to pretend to talk to one ahjumma that happened to pass by, pretending as if he was her son. Soon after Boa turned around, Johnny bid his apologize with face redder than tomatoes.
Johnny couldn’t be even more relieved when Boa finally turned to enter one place that he believed is the place arranged for the meeting.
Finally, he could breath now.
“She’s in Little Cotton Café.” Johnny informed on the phone.
Jaemin, on the other line, asking back with confusion.
“Huh? What kind of café is that?”
“Don’t know, just tell the driver to turn on GPS. Quick, before they are done with the meeting!” Johnny half whisper-shouting, forgetting his manner. All of this work Jaemin asked him to do is just so frustrating he wanted to let it out.
It’s not like Jaemin mind, though. He just chuckled on the phone.
Jaemin ended the call without further words and Johnny put his phone on his back. He glanced at a petite man who had just arrived whie half running. Annoyance was clearly written on his face, as he slightly panted with his mini exercise. He had been following Johnny from the beginning, but he had to hide in a lot more extreme ways. Thankfully
he’s used to it. He just didn’t know what’s the point of him doing it now.
“Wooyoung hyung, you go stalk them.” He said from small microphone on his ear.
Wooyoung, the petite boy sighed. “Actually I have a way more serious job to be done in the office, but here I am now peeping like a pervert on a girl.”
“It’s boss Jaemin’s order.” Johnny rose his shoulders. “Ah, go faster!”
Wooyoung tsked again, groaning as he threw his head backward before half-heartedly approaching the café. Once he entered the café. He walked straight to the cashier and ordered a cup of coffee. The petite man then casually sat in one of the unoccupied table, choosing the one that had Boa’s back on him so he could see directly the person Boa was about to meet.
Wooyoung pretended to sip his coffee while adjusting a small camera hung on his earring. Jaemin bought the expensive camera only to know who’s the boy who might be the SM’s heir.
Ah… Wooyoung really couldn’t understand his young boss at all. Why bother trying so hard to uncover the identity of SM’s heir? It’s not like they could gain anything beneficial from it, it would only risk JYP. What if SM got angry and turned to be against JYP? What would happen?
Jaemin’s lucky his personality could slithe into them well. The only reason why Wooyoung bother to agree on this mission, running it in just a group of four with Johnny and his two other friends, and even keeping it covered from anyone else especially Park Haejin, is just because Jaemin is his precious young boss. Wooyoung too, had been standing by JYP side since he turned 17. He had seen the wrecks and everything that the family had gone through, and he has his special spot for Na Jaemin.
No, more like Jaemin is a dangerous kid. He could get whatever he want with just a sweet smile and sweet words. Wooyoung found himself doing whatever Jaemin wanted just to see the crinkle of the eyesmiles and the smile the young JYP heir posses.
So... if they were found out and had to die, Wooyoung would die for Jaemin.
The man silently screamed inside his head. He had tried to speak to Jaemin about it a few times, but caramel honey haired boy just smiled and acted as if it’s not a big deal. Jaemin promised that even if he had known the heir’s identity, he would never let the world know. He would just keep it to himself, and Wooyoung couldn’t say anything again about it.
He’s too weak when it comes to Na Jaemin, screw his life.
“If only he could just quit playing around too much and start to learn to be a useful human in the future...” Wooyoung hissed with a low voice that only he himself could hear. “If I got killed while trying to get this heir’s face, I will definitely haunt boss Jaemin his whole entire life. I swear.”
Wooyoung tried to pose as normal as he could. It’s not hard for him, since he’s the best secret agent in JYP. He could pull off any acting with the most natural look. Being a secret agent for 8 years had really helped him developing his talent as actor. He would just sign up to be one if he lost this job later. If he could make it out with his head
still on his body, as well.
There were 5 minutes of silence in the café. Boa looked busy with her papers and books. Wooyoung realized that she got her eye on him for a few seconds and his entire blood froze, before finally let it go.
Afterwards, there were another two and three customer entered, successfully distracted Boa from Wooyoung. One of the customers was Yugyeom, from JYP’s hacker team. He’s also the member of “Let’s Uncover Who Is The Next Heir Of JYP” team. The tall kid chose a seat in the corner of the room, with big headphones on his head and laptop opened in front of him.
10 minutes passed, and Wooyoung who pretended to just sit and chillin slowly became bored.
What the heck. What kind of normal person just sit down and enjoy his coffee for the straight 10 minutes without doing anything?
Wooyoung thought in annoyance.
The girl had been sitting there for 10 minutes already and the one he would meet up soon hadn’t come yet!
…did she know already? That’s why she told the heir to cancel the meeting?
Hold on, what if the one coming is the airforce of SM instead? What if they took Wooyoung and Yugyeom to SM’s underground jail to lock and torture them there?
Wooyoung started to think of worst possibilities until the door of the café being opened once again. The secret agent glanced at the newcomer from his black sunglasses on the table, heart thumping.
The newcomer walked swiftly passing Wooyoung’s table. Wooyoung could see the back of that person. Tall, slim, and definitely not a girl’s body.
It’s a man.
Wooyoung pretended to drink his coffee once again, trying to cope with the bitterness of it with eyes fixed on his phone. The boy had sat in front of Boa, and Wooyoung’s body tensed even if it didn’t show. He used his best sense to predict whether the boy was looking to his direction or not, before glanced at him in a blink of an eye and looking back at his phone.
Ah… so that’s the next possible heir of SM. Sharp eyes, tall nose, and intimidating aura. He looked nothing like any other mafia’s son, though. He looked so much different from Jaemin or Jiyong. He almost looked too ordinary to be true.
…is that really the heir? Or was it just a lackey that came to fool them?
Wooyoung furrowed his eyebrows while fixing his earring. The super small camera on his earring had been connected with his phone. All Wooyoung had to do is to take a picture from his phone, with the camera angle directed straight to the SM heir.
The petite man’s hand trembled as he pressed the shutter button. Bad luck for him, the boy either keep on moving or just looked down so low that his stupid hat covered all of his face. Wooyoung got great difficulties in taking pictures. He cursed and cursed, when all of photos turned out ugly.
Fuck you, look up!
Hey man, I don’t care if you were the heir or not, look at me!
Just at least tilt your head a bit!
In the middle of his inner grumbles, Wooyoung was about to take one more shot, when suddenly the boy rose his head and looked dead toward Wooyoung’s direction.
Wooyoung’s hand which had pushed the shutter button paused, making him taking multiple photos of the boy in one shot. His blood ran cold, his back felt cold. So cold that he held his own breath.
Even though he felt like his life had been taken away from him by a few years, Wooyoung still tried to keep his cool up. He closed his eyes, inhaled deeply before turning off his phone. He faked a stretch and finished his coffee lazily.
The boy then lowered his head again, and not a second later he stood up from from his seat.
…okay… what the hell…
Wooyoung’s inner side screamed so hard. Did he find out? Would he die?
This is just stalking a kid why he had to be this nervous???
Turned out, the boy then walked out of the café. He passed by Wooyoung again, without even glancing at his direction. His movement was as swift as the first time he came in.
Wooyoung released his breath once the boy had truly passed by him. All of his body went rigid. He’s so happy that he had turned off his phone before the boy stood up before. If he immediately shoved his phone back or just simply turned it off once the boy approached him, he would create a big suspicion.
...by the way did the boy before leave because he got suspicious on what he did?
Wooyoung saw from the corner of his eyes, Boa slowly gathered all her belongings. She then stood up with books and files on her hand, then walking out casually from the café.
Wooyoung released a soft sigh then glanced Yugyeom who’s also looking at him at that time. The younger grinned a bit.
Wooyoung just sighed and turned his head out. When he didn’t see neither Boa or the boy outside, he nudged his head outside to ask Yugyeom to come out with him. Once they’re out again in the open hair, he ran his palm on his face. “You have contacted Johnny?”
“Right when the boy come out.” Yugyeom replied. “Woah, is that really the heir of SM? He looks nothing special the first time he walked in.”
“That’s why I also doubt it.” Wooyoung tsked. “Hei, do you think Boa trick us?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Yugyeom shook his head. “I see the boy writing something on the paper. He probably sign the paper. When he’s done, he nodded toward Boa and stood up.”
“How do you know it?” Wooyoung frowned. He didn’t even have guts to glance even just a bit toward the duo before.
“Cameras. I don’t bring my laptop for nothing.” Yugyeom grinned, and
“You are lucky cause you didn’t have to capture the boy’s face.” Wooyoung added. “Is Johnny continue tracking the Boa?”
“Probably... yes.” Yugyeom nodded his head. “Let’s hope he would be okay.”
“Ah, why are we working so hard for something that might put us in a dangerous position?” Wooyoung once again protested as he ruffled his hair in frustration.
“Because that is what boss Jaemin wishes, hyung.” Yugyeom grinned. “Do you want me to buy you frappe? You looked really weird sitting there and sipping coffee.”
“Ah, forget it.” Wooyoung sighed. “I better go back to the office. I suppose to investigate the drug dealing process, not playing around like this.”
Yugyeom nodded his head. “Okay, hyung. See you soon.”
Wooyoung walked out of the café while grumbling inside his heart. He just hoped they wouldn’t get in trouble because of this.
“That boy, he just walked out of the café!” Johnny whispered while pointing at a certain someone who walked out swiftly from the café.
Jaemin immediately stood up and chased the boy.
“Ah, boss! Don’t you need a car?” Johnny asked while pointing at the car that Jaemin used the first time he got here, yet Jaemin kept on running and ignored the other completely.
Jaemin got really excited that he slightly ran after the boy. Of course, he made sure that kept a quite big distance between him and the boy, but he could really see the boy’s figure from behind.
Slim, tall, a boy with a hat on.
His posture 100% matched the boy Jaemin saw on the photo, and Jaemin was 100% believe that he’s the heir of SM.
The boy kept on walking, and Jaemin kept on following from behind. Luckily there were too many people in the crowds, so Jaemin’s small body could easily hid among the number of people. He watched as the boy finally turned to an alley and hurriedly walking into it.
Jaemin entered a supply art shop just beside the alley. He peeped into the far, crawling down to see the boy’s figure through the window under the gaps of marker shelves in the store. If standing up would make him too obvious, crawling down would be better. He held his breath as he saw the boy stopped.
Jaemin’s toes curled, his hands fisted into pumps in anticipation, afraid that the boy might have realized his existence even when he’s peeking under the very thin gap under the shelf.
Then suddenly, oh suddenly, boy pulled his hat off. Jaemin widened his eyes, and all he could see was a gorgeous dark raven color of locks.
Jaemin stunned when he saw the color.
It’s a color he had ever seen somewhere…
The boy suddenly turned around, almost making Jaemin jumped. The boy made his way back from the corner of the alley and Jaemin scrambled backward and his beside a large sketch book shelf. He glanced backward a bit and seeing the boy passed just by him, his glorious dark raven hair swayed with the blow of the wind.
Jaemin stood up and saw as the boy continued his walk to the way he headed to before, so fast that in just a few seconds he had he disappeared in the middle of the crowds.
Jaemin stared at the boy and blinked a few times.
…that’s the heir of the SM…
Jaemin couldn’t believe that he could finally see the mysterious boy who had been haunting him day and night! That boy was right in front of him! They breathed the same air, and was so close before!
Jaemin felt a little disappointed with the fact that he didn’t get to directly see the boy’s face earlier, since he kept on looking down.
…the raven black hair...
That boy seriously had a dark and strong raven colored hair.
Jaemin took a few times to remember where he might saw that kind of hair.
In the university, yesterday!
The JYP heir furrowed his eyebrows deeply then hurriedly took out his phone. He dialed Johnny’s number, euphoria filled his lungs and forced its way out of him. His body trembled in what seemed to be excitement and other things he couldn’t describe well.
“…o-oi, hyung. Did you get the photo of that boy earlier? In the café?”
“Of course. Wooyoung’s professional. I will send it to you.”
Jaemin then cut off the call connection. He waited not so patiently with thumping heart as Johnny send the picture of the boy.
Jaemin's phone rang and he almost bit his own lip. He opened the line chat and tapped open the photo he had been long for.
It’s indeed the photo of that boy. With cap on his head. It just this time, the boy was directly looking at the camera.
Direct, to the camera.
That’s when Jaemin finally able to see his full face.
The sharp eyes, the alluring red lips, and dangerous vibes…
…it’s the face that Jaemin recognize.
The face of his classmates.
Sweeter than honey, permenmadu comeback with the fourth chapter! Have a nice time reading everyone!
Chapter 5: Screwed Up
“Let’s work hard together then, Lee Jeno-ssi.” Jaemin said with a light tone, making shivers ran through every veins in Jeno’s body.
Jeno didn’t say a word-, or more like he couldn’t. He just remained with his neutral surprised face expression, even though his hearts screamed out only one thing at that moment.
“Fuck. I’m screwed.”
That day, Jeno had an afternoon class. His class began at 11 AM, so he just arrived at the campus at 10 A.M. Mark was having a class by the moment he arrived so the raven haired boy just went straight to the library, hunting for some interesting books to read.
It’s been a habit for Jeno to spend his free times in library. He just simply amazed with how many books he could find and read in that library. From fictional to histories, psychologies to mysteries, business to baking recipes. It is amazing how he could enter such a completely different world just by opening one page of a book.
Time passed by since the first step Jeno put on the library. He had spent 20 minutes in the searching for a good book to read. He was planning to look up for some books with biographies, but then he felt like he wasn’t in a mood of reading tracked up histories of someone’s life, so he went to the old novel sections instead, searching for his mom’s favorite books, novels written by the British writer Enid Blyton.
Jeno pulled out the third book he was skimming, glancing at the title to make sure he didn’t pull the same book with what he had read before. He soon got distracted when he sensed a presence of another person beside him, his head turned to the right to see the intruder.
That’s when he felt his heart stopped.
The caramel honey haired boy was standing right beside him, looking at the same shelf of books with the one Jeno was checking out. Once he felt Jeno’s eyes on him, the JYP heir turned around and smiled that one damn trademark smile of him that’s enough to melt the glaciers.
Jeno widened his eyes, even bigger than before.
Shit, the last thing he wanted in this world is for Na Jaemin to know his name!
“H-h-hello…” Jeno stuttered wildly and bowed down a little. He took a step back and was about to turn around when Jaemin’s voice suddenly stopped him again.
“What kind of book did you just take? It looked pretty interesting.”
Jeno felt like cursing. He didn’t want Jaemin to talk to him, why the fuck did he do so? The raven haired boy forcefully turned around again. “urmm… I’m reading E-Enid Blyton novels… i-it’s an old novel so I don’t think you are interest-,”
“Ah… this?” Jaemin pull out a novel which was written by Agatha Christie, a completely different author with what Jeno just mentioned instead.
Jeno wanted to snicker, but he decided that it’s wiser to not continue the conversation anymore so he just nodded. He once again twisted his body to turn around and run, but once again Na Jaemin got to stop him.
“If I’m not mistaken, we are in the same class after this, right?”
Jeno’s jaw dropped in shock. Oh no! Why Jaemin had to memorize the class they share together? Well, actually Jeno has a lot of matching classes with Jaemin’s indeed. Jeno also didn’t know why this semester bringing him such a bad luck, being placed in the same class with Na Jaemin, but now he realized that it’s no more a bad luck. It’s more like a curse. Now, see? Na Jaemin knowing his name and even talked to him!
“Then… should we go together?” Jaemin asked again.
Jeno took a step back and cleared his throat. “…I…-, I can’t. I need to g-go to visit my f-friend.”
“Ah, really?” Jaemin rose his eyebrows. “That tall one? Mark?”
Jeno almost dropped his jaw again to the floor. This kid even know Mark’s name!
Jeno let out a nervous laugh and shook his head while walking backward. “Uh… n-no… I… I mean… I’m about to m-meet my teammate…”
Jaemin rose his eyebrows. “…your teammate?”
“W-well… a friend of mine, we… want to… have a discussion? About… the… t-topic last time…” Jeno kept on walking backward and accidentally bumped to a guy behind him. He turned around and bowed down while apologizing before hurriedly walking out of the library, leaving Jaemin before the caramel honey haired boy got to ask more.
Jaemin let out a small laugh as he saw how cute and clumsy Jeno was. He leaned against the bookshelf, abandoning the novel he was about to read with a smug smile on his face.
This gonna be so interesting.
Mark almost let out a shout if Jeno didn’t hold his hand in a deathly tight grip to prevent it.
“He talked to you??”
“He talked to me.” Jeno hissed. “Did I not hide well? I tried so hard to not attract any attention! Why should he know me? Just why??”
“I… also don’t know.” Mark sighed and massaged his temple. “You are right. You have never done anything that attract anyone’s
attention. Then how could a Na Jaemin recognize and even know your name?”
“That’s what I’m telling you!” Jeno tsked. “And he also knows yours!”
Mark looked as if he had just got slapped by a whale’s tail, his lips parted open in disbelief. “He knows? M-me too?”
Jeno nodded and sighed again, running his fingers on his raven locks. “Ah… what should we do?”
In the middle of the two boys’ desperation, the door of the classroom swung open. Na Jaemin entered the class, throwing smirk to Wong Yukhei who had suddenly whistled all his loudness out from the back. Jaemin walked passed Jeno’s table, and suddenly stopped. He placed a hand on Jeno’s shoulder, startling the poor boy to death.
“I will read the book that you recommended to me in the library,” Jaemin beamed with his eye-smile, a very damn pretty smile that managed to mercilessly knock the air out of Jeno’s lungs for a split second. “That looked interesting. Thanks!”
Jeno just looked at Jaemin with unreadable expression. “Y-yes…?”
Jaemin then continued his walk with a smile that never left his face, while Jeno still tried so hard to stay conscious and begged for his soul to not leave his body just yet.
“What the hell…” Mark whispered. “Why he suddenly talk to you now? He has never seemed to notice us before!”
Jeno shook his head and gulped down nervously.
No, no… this is bad. He supposed to stay away from Na Jaemin, but he sensed something so bad happening. He never expected Na Jaemin to start any conversation with him, or even to throw a glance toward him. Until a few hours ago he was so damn sure that he’s hidden well from a Na Jaemin , but it didn’t seem to be like that now.
This couldn’t happen. Jeno’s secret is in danger!
Jeno grimaced and covered his face with his left hand, and Mark looked at him symphatetically.
Meanwhile, from the back, Jaemin fixed his eyes on Jeno’s back with a smile.
That raven hair of Jeno, looked really enchanting from behind. The locks swayed in unison whenever the owner moved, capturing
Jaemin’s attention in every way possible. It might look nothing special at first but when you decided to look at it once again-...
...-it captured you right in the heart.
Jaemin tapped open the photo taht Johnny sent the day before, and examining the picture of the boy there. With black shirt, and a cap.
It’s really Lee Jeno.
Jaemin closed his phone when Yukhei suddenly stopped his conversation with Nancy and swung his arm around Jaemin’s shoulder, pulling the smaller to his gigantic chest.
“Wow!” the Hongkong boy exclaimed in definitely overexcited tone. “I thought you wouldn’t come here today, man!”
“Yes, what happened to you? Why are you so early today?” Jaehyun joined the conversation with confusion all over his face.
Jaemin just let out a smile, turning off his phone and put it facing down the table. “I’m bored. I have nothing to do in home, anyway.”
His friends nodded without much more questions, before then started to bicker about the upcoming host parties. Nancy spoke out her excitement because her favorite fashion designer sisters Jung Jessica and Jung Krsytal would be attending the party. Their conversation didn’t even stop even though the professor had come and started to teach the lessons for that day.
Jaemin played around with his phone, having zero interest for either the subject the professor was teaching as well as the topic their friends were talking about. Instead, he opened his instagram and started to search for Jeno’s name.
Jaemin tsked lightly before glanced at Jaehyun who was sitting on his right. He then leaned close to the older guy and whispered.
“Hyung, you know Lee Jeno, that boy sitting there, right?”
Jaehyun turned his head with eyebrows lifted high. “I just know his name. Not much.”
“So you don’t know his instagram user name or something?”
“He doesn’t have one.” Jaehyun shook his head. “I once teamed up with him and we took a team picture together. But when he was asked about his instagram username so that they could tag him in the picture, but he said he doesn’t have one.”
Jaemin stared at Jaehyun for a while before nodded slowly.
Ah… so he really doesn’t have one.
It’s not weird, remembering that he should live his life secretively. But still, Jaemin got a little disappointed. He wanted to know
more about Jeno, but the other seemed to be very mysterious, even in real life.
Nobody knows that Jeno is the heir of SM, and Jaemin think that nobody should. He would keep this secret just for himself. Call him selfish and egoistic, but Jaemin didn’t want to share the information he got to anyone else beside him and his little team.
Jaemin lazied himself down a bit, his hands dangled on the corner of the table as he looked at Jeno. The whole entire class, he kept his eyes on Jeno.
Jeno didn’t do anything funny. He just sat there, listening to the professor’s rambles. He kept his head down on the book, and talked to Mark once in a while.
Jaemin then turned his attention to Mark.
Jaehyun told him before that those two are inseparable best friends. Always together. Some even said that they are lovers, two antosocial introverted people who couldn’t interact with other students well. For Jaemin now though, if Jeno could let the other stayed so close to his side like that, it couldn’t possibly be a friend. Not to mention that they had some familiarities in face. It just, Jeno has a sharper v-line while Mark has a stronger jaw line.
Mark Lee, must be one of Jeno’s siblings. Either it blood-related, or not. Still, Mark Lee didn’t really interest Jaemin as much as Jeno did, though.
Jaemin supported his chin with his right hand.There were a lot of questions running on his mind at the moment, but the answers were still floating in the air.
Why Jeno should hide his identity? Why SM is a very secretive mafia group? Is there a big secret behind everything?
If Jeno really is the heir of SM, why he lives as if he wasn’t? Why he doesn’t use any facilities like Jaemin, Jiyong, and the other mafia kids in general?
Jaemin didn’t tear his eyes off Jeno throughout the lessons.
There are so many things Jaemin just couldn’t understand about Jeno.
He wanted to know more.
Jaemin just tore his eyes away from Jeno when Nancy nudged him from beside.
“Oppa, this is the notebook from yesterday’s class. Since you didn’t come, I copied it for you.” Nancy said sweetly while handing some papers with neat hand-writing on them.
Jaemin took the copied papers and looked at it. It was really well written, with colorful pens and markers here and there. Some important sentences were highlighted as well.
It couldn’t be Nancy’s.
“Thanks!” Jaemin beamed, sending flutters throughout Nancy’s body. “As usual, Nancy’s notes are just so pretty!”
Nancy blushed hard and groggily tidied her hair. “A-ah… t-that’s nothing…”
“Nancy is the best.” Jaemin smiled again. “If I got good scores this semester, I’ll treat you out for dinner.”
Nancy felt herself fly to the sky when he heard Jaemin’s light voice. “-a, anything f-for you oppa…”
Jaemin just smiled at glanced at Huang Renjun who sat in the front row of the class.
Jaemin knew the original note belongs to Renjun. He had ever accidentally heard the conversation between Nancy and Renjun when the pretty girl asked for the note to copy. Nancy herself isn’t a very dilligent girl. She might looked as if she was writing the whole class but it is more like she doodled something on her notebook instead.
Poor smart-ass kid. Well, that’s actually quite his mistake as to be that smart. Smart kids are always taken advantage of, after all. They don’t really have rights to say no, after all...
Renjun Huang himself looked pretty cute, actually. He came all the way from China, and just adjusted in Korea for a few years. His Korean pronouncation is perfect. He has small and lithe body with brown eyes that’s always hidden behind the thick nerdy glasses. He has a small lips, and small face, but he always looks down and let his hair covered most of his forehead.
Jaemin tore his gaze away from Renjun. He’s not interested in the nerd. He averted his glance back to Jeno instead.
Jaemin couldn’t believe it. He had been chasing this kid for a long time, but he never realized before that the kid had already stayed around him. Everyday. Breathing in the same air, walking the same way. That fact almost drove Jaemin crazy. His head pounded everytime he recalled back his conversation with Jeno before.
He’s... so cute.
The semester had just begin. He could start to make his move to approach Jeno before he’s running out of time.
“Okay, kids. The class is over.” The professor on the front stated. “We will see each other again next week. Ah, and professor Kang actually gave me a short message. She told me that the team for your group project has been divided and the list of your team-mates could be seen today. Have a nice day!”
Jaemin put his phone back to his backpack and walked out from his seat, and walked down the stairs, followed by his friends.
Once he passed Jeno, he placed his hand on the other’s shoulder light enough to not catch anyone’s attention, making Jeno turned toward him.
Jaemin sent a wink before continued his way out of the classroom.
Jeno turned toward Mark, who also kept his shock expression on Jaemin. “D-, did you see it?”
Mark nodded in his speechless state. “H-he just… like, winked at you?”
“Oh what the f…” Jeno groaned and buried his face between his palms. “What the heck did I just do? Why he suddenly-, d-did I
do like… something… weird? Hell, I have never even talked to him!”
Mark also shook his head in confusion. “I… I have no idea. Seriously.”
“…he doesn’t know, does he?” Jeno pulled out his face from his hands.
“Well… he… c-couldn’t possibly…”
“I am totally ruined if he knew it!” Jeno hissed.
“He wouldn’t.” Mark said, even he himself not really sure about that. “…well… let’s just… try to… not attract too much attention.”
“Since when have I attracted…” Jeno whined but at the end he just sighed loudly and nodded. “…okay… let’s just…. Hope that we didn’t have to run to him or else next time.”
“…and tomorrow, you and I will sit over there.” Jeno stated while pointing at the seat row beside theirs.
Mark followed Jeno’s fingers and nodded again.
“Now let’s just go to see our project teammate that Professor Kang had divided. Ah, I wanna go home quickly. I think staying here any longer would cause more trouble!”
Jeno and Mark immediately went down to the first floor of the university building, where the announcement board was placed.
They could see a lot of kids surrounding it, and Mark who had this slight discomfort to be in crowds immediately stopped.
“Wanna wait up a little bit? It’s like super crowded down there.”
“No, no, no. I want to go home quickly.” Jeno shook his head. He scanned the area and when he found no Na Jaemin or the traces of his other friends, he hopped off the stairs and slithered in the middle of the other students. It was a bit of a struggle, but Jeno seriously didn’t feel like staying back in the university for any more minutes, so he didn’t care even if he managed to shove someone out his way.
Jeno scanned the paper list on the board for his name, but he accidentally saw Mark’s name first.
“Damn, he’s with Huang Renjun.” Jeno hissed.
Huang Renjun is the smart kid, and he’s a type who doesn’t really give a damn to other… or at least that’s what Jeno thought.
Lucky Mark. Jeno wondered why he had never got paired with someone like Renjun, he always got paired either with a very unmotivated student or that very nosy one that loves to mingle.
“Wait, wait… my name… where is my name…” Jeno cursed slightly while scanning the paper. He hoped, this time his teammate wouldn’t be much of a burden-, and please not let it be those annoying girls in the classroom too.
Jeno’s eyes scanned the paper once again with eyebrows furrowed, before finally found his name.
...Then his orbs went wide.
There, under his name, Lee Jeno… was written another name he supposed to avoid as much as he could right now.
Jeno’s mouth hung open in pure shock.
Jeno blinked a few times, before opening his eyes wider, while hoping his eyes played some kind of trick with him. Perhaps their name just written next to each other, but they are not in one group.
Journal Research for Human Resource Project,
Jeno felt as if all his blood had been drained out from his body, sucked dry and leaving him hollow.
Damn, so he’s really with Jaemin?
He preferred to be with those annoying girls back then rather than a Na Jaemin!
Why the heck… why can’t professor Kang just pair Jaemin up with his other rich friends?
Jeno was still so busy in his own world and only got pulled back to reality when a voice suddenly hit his ears.
“Oh? We are in the same group?”
Jeno’s heart stopped, almost dropped down from his ribcage. He slowly turned to his right, and greeted by a caramel honey haired boy with that pretty face, smiled at him with his blinding bright face.
“Let’s work hard together then, Lee Jeno-ssi.” Jaemin said with a light tone, making shivers ran through every veins in Jeno’s body.
Jeno didn’t say a word-, or more like he couldn’t. He just remained with his neutral surprised face expression, even though his hearts screamed out only one thing at that moment.
“Fuck. I’m screwed.”
Sweeter than honey, permenmadu returns with the fourth chapter! Hahahaaha.
Now that Jaemin has slowly showing his affection to Jeno, just how long to go until Jeno broke his identity down? Or would he even gotta break it? ;)
Chapter 6: The Obsession
“…well… let you choose this wisely, Tablo-ssi.” Jaemin said without tearing his eyes off the little girl’s photo. “ …your pretty daughter…or Lee Jeno’s class schedule?”
Tablo looked at Jaemin in disbelief. His small eyes had reached its maximum size. Jaemin’s previous cute smile had turned wicked. So wicked that it sent shivers throughout Tablo’s body.
And obviously, Jaemin won the battle.
“Aissssh! Why is this happening to me?” Jeno groaned as he slammed his hands onto the table. His slightly unnatural strength caused the table to shake. His loud voice attracted the other customers in the street food stall where Jeno and Mark were dining in.
“Maybe you’ve done something that make the heaven punish you.” Mark made his own assumption while pouring down the soju into Jeno’s glass.
“That sneaky Na Jaemin… argh, I don’t know how I gonna deal with him!” Jeno babbled angrily. His hand reached out for the soju glass before downed the content in one gulp.
“Calm down.” Mark said while pouring another glass of soju, shaking his head with how Jeno drank the soju in just one shot. “If now you are making such a big fuss about it already, you will be even more suspicious. We don’t know yet if he knew your secret or not.”
“But I mean, why he suddenly talk to me?” Jeno asked, drinking another shot of soju. “He didn’t even acknowledge my existence before!”
“…you didn’t do anything weird to him, right? Like… making a mistake or…?”
Jeno frowned. His brain started to recall everything that might be the cause to attract Jaemin’s attention.
…well he didn’t do anything, he swore! He had never talked to Jaemin! He had never even look at him directly in eye-…
Jeno squinted his eyes as he tried to remember the accident occurred two days ago, when Jaemin bumped to him. That time, they indeed looked at each other in the eyes.
Jeno gasped and grabbed both of Mark’s hands tightly. “C-could it… p-possibly be… b-because he b-bumped to me that day?”
“L-last time?” Mark replayed Jeno’s words as he tried to pull out his hands from Jeno’s iron grip but failed as the other just tightened it even more.
“Yes! T-two days ago he bumped to me-, a-and he looked at me! Could it possibly be… he developed an interest in me? L-like the F4 in M-meteor Garden?”
Mark showed a funny expression. “…Just because he accidentally bumped into you…?”
“On shoulder!” Jeno explained with exaggerated movement, pointing at his right shoulder.
“O-oh, I see.” Mark nodded and then tugged on his hands, but even with only one hand, the raven haired boy’s grip was still as tight as ever. “But can you please let go of my hand? You are hurting me, in case if you don’t realize it.”
Jeno blinked before he released Mark’s hands. “…sorry.”
“You are getting stronger and stronger, do you spend everyday in the gym?” Mark tsked while pulling his hands, massaging his fingers.
“Just three times a week.” Jeno rose his shoulders. “…but anyway do you think it’s really because of me bumping to him? Like, he’s the one bumping to me! S-should I apologize?”
Mark shook his head. “I don’t know… but if it IS because of that reason, then you are really in a deep shit.”
Jeno groaned and was about to take the third glass of soju when Mark held his hand.
“You better stop drink or you will get a hangover tomorrow.” Mark warned.
Jeno groaned once more before stuffing his mouth with tteokbokki. “…then I will try my best to not meet him that often. Like usual.”
“Yes.” Mark nodded. “Just do what you usually do, or else it would arise the suspicion.”
Jeno nodded and chewed on his tteokbokki with a determined look on his eyes.
You will never get to know me, Na Jaemin!
“I can’t do this alone.”
Jeno blinked when he heard the caramel honey haired boy in front of him. “…eh?”
“We should do this together.” Jaemin said while pointing at the journals he had just printed before. “I’m sorry, my English is poor.”
Jeno felt his previous smiling face suddenly turned a little sour. He had just offered Jaemin to work individually before gather up the results later, but the blonde then said he couldn’t work on it alone.
“Let’s meet up somewhere to work on these journals.” Jaemin suggested, with a smile that never left his face. “Agree?”
“W-well…” Jeno stuttered. He looked at the journals in Jaemin’s hands.
There are at least 80 pages of it in total, and Jeno wouldn’t be crazy enough to translate it all to Korean in just two weeks, on his own. Not with his already packed up schedule.
“…w-why don’t you just use… google translate?”
“Ah, I could never trust google translate.” Jaemin shook his head. “The last time I used it, the translation of my journal turned out as a classical poem from the 18th century. I can’t understand it at all.”
“That’s why, let’s just work together.” Jaemin said again. “I can translate the journal a little by little, but I will need your help.”
Jeno just looked at Jaemin for a couple second before sighed and closed his eyes. “…okay, but I can only help you one time. Okay?”
Jaemin smiled when he heard Jeno’s words before nodded. “I got it. Now, can I ask for your number?”
Jeno forcefully took a paper and scribbled something on it, then offered it to Jaemin. “My phone has...broken down. Just... email me later.”
Jaemin stared at the email address Jeno had just given to him for a few times before finally nodded and then smiled. “Okay.”
Jeno and Jaemin then fell into silence. Jeno awkwardly avoided Jaemin’s eyes before cleared his throat. “…well, I think the professor…has come…”
Jaemin turned around to see his professor had indeed entered the classroom. Tch, what a cock blocker. The caramel honey haired boy then smiled and bid his goodbye.
Jeno smiled forcefully in return as he watched Jaemin returned back to his usual seat at the back of the class, before turned his head toward Mark. “And I still need to see him in my other two classes, where you are not in! What should I do?”
Mark bit his lower lip and patted his cousin’s shoulder. “It’s only for two weeks. You can do it.”
Jeno just sighed loudly and nodded. “Yes, just for two weeks. I can do this.”
The rest of the lesson, Jeno tried to focus all of his attention toward the professor. He tried so hard, but he couldn’t help to keep on wondering about the main reason why Jaemin suddenly approaching him. The SM heir sighed and slowly turned his head back to look at Jaemin’s seat. Much to his surprise, the JYP heir turned out was looking at him by that time!
Jaemin looked so surprised that Jeno caught him red-handed, then immediately turned his head away.
Jeno just cringed. He turned his head back to the front.
Ah, he didn’t think this hide and seek would be easy...
Jaemin had developed a high interest in Jeno’s life. Once the class finished, he waved his goodbye to his friends and went straight to the student council. The JYP heir boy opened the door and spotted a man sitting in front of the laptop, alone.
“Hello!” Jaemin greeted while taking his seat on the chair in front of the man’s working desk.
The man rose his head and widened his eyes in surprise when he saw Jaemin. “J-Jaemin-ssi? Wh-what brings you here?”
“Oh well… I want to ask for a favor, Tablo-ssi.” Jaemin smiled and folded his arms on the top of the working table. “Can I ask for the class schedule of a student named Lee Jeno?”
Tablo frowned and cleared his throat. “I am really sorry for this inconvenience, Jaemin-ssi. But, we can’t really give the schedule to you. It has to be under the permission of Lee Jeno himself-,”
“I am just asking for a class schedule, not his address or any private information.” Jaemin rose his shoulders. “I suppose that you can do this for me.”
“I-,” Tablo looked nervous as he gripped onto his mouse. “I c-can’t, J-Jaemin-ssi…”
Jaemin stared at Tablo with unreadable expression on his face, before he curled his lips into an enchanting smile. “…I see…”
Tablo widened his eyes, looked absolutely surprised to see how fast Jaemin gave up.
But, no. Jaemin didn’t.
Na Jaemin always gets what he wants.
The caramel haired boy’s eyes fell to a small photo frame beside Tablo’s table. He reached it out and looked at it. Tablo on the other hand felt his sweat ran cold when Jaemin was looking at his daughter’s photograph.
“Your daughter?” Jaemin asked in a sweet tone.
Tablo’s throat got choked out of anxiety. He blinked a few times in nervousness as his sweaty palm gripped onto his jeans tightly.
“…well… let you choose this wisely, Tablo-ssi.” Jaemin said without tearing his eyes off the little girl’s photo. “ …your pretty daughter…or Lee Jeno’s class schedule?”
Tablo looked at Jaemin in disbelief. His small eyes had reached its maximum size. Jaemin’s previous cute smile had turned wicked. So wicked that it sent shivers throughout Tablo’s body.
And obviously, Jaemin won the battle.
Jeno only had two classes that day, so by 2 PM he had walked out of the campus. The sharp eyed boy glanced at his wristwatch. He had a Japanese language course at 3, so he should be quick. Jeno stopped by a minimarket and grabbed his favorite convenient store food. One kimbap, one sandwich, and a bottle of pure kale juice.
In the midde of eating, his phone suddenly vibrated. Jeno fished out his phone and looked at the email that just came.
Let’s work on our assignment together tomorrow. You can pick the place.
Jeno widened his eyes, almost choking on his sandwich.
Tomorrow? So fast!
Jeno closed his eyes and took a deep breath, tried to calm his sudden jolted nerves.
Okay, Jeno… Relax… Just finish everything in one day, then you can come home real quick. Then, you won’t need to meet him again. You hear that? One day.
Jeno slowly opened his eyes and sighed. He slowly typed back the message to Jaemin.
Okay, let’s do it tomorrow in the library.
Then, Jeno put his phone on the table. A few seconds later, came a reply from Jaemin, agreeing to his words.
Jeno finished his lunch, with a bit grumbles. The raven haired boy spent a little more time in the convenient store, before finally got up and went straight to his Chinese Language Course location.
By far, Jeno had mastered three languages. He can speak Japanese fluently, of course because it’s his mother-tongue. He also can speak English really well, since he had been learning it from his childhood. His Korean is also quite awesome, because he had been living in Korea for three years already. Jeno loves languages, but that’s not the only reason why he decided to learn Chinese. SM has a big popularity in Japan and Korea, but JYP lately has been pretty well-known in China. Jinyoung managed to make an agreement with one of the biggest company there. Mark could see the awesome economic of growing China so Mark targeted to build a company there as well. Since he planned on to build a company in China, Jeno of course had to operate his mafia group there as well. Jeno learned about Chninese language so he could approach the Beijing Mafia in a lot friendlier way. The SM heir targeted Yan Ya Lun, the owner of Fahrenheit’s modelling company to be his new spokesperson.
Jeno entered his Chinese Language Course building with big steps.
Without him knowing, someone had been very, very carefully following him. That someone wore a casual cream colored jacket with long black jeans, and been watching him since he got out of the campus. That someone looked intensely at the Chinese Language Course building, before took a step back and disappeared within the crowds.
Jaemin was laying on his comfortable bed that afternoon, listening to his favorite music from his new iPod. He opened his eyes when his phone rang. The caramel honey haired boy pull out his device and answered to the call.
“He’s having his Chinese language course.”
Johnny’s voice was heard from the other line. Jaemin’s left eyebrows twitched, and he pulled his body to a sitting position. “…he learns Chinese language?”
“Yes, and he takes his class in Hanyu Jiaocheng course. It’s the best Mandarin language learning center in Seoul.”
“Well, as expected…” Jaemin grinned. “Hanyu Jiaocheng Course… must be expensive, right?”
“Absolutely. Junsu just went there and took the pricing brochure.”
“Have you taken the photo of him?” Jaemin asked. His eyes shone in pure interest.
“Yes. I did.”
“Good. Print it and hand it to me.” Jaemin smirked. “Keep on following him. Don’t let yourself get caught. I believe in you.”
With that, Jaemin ended the call.
Well, Jeno might be the SM heir who had been trained so well, but Johnny is one of JYP’s best spy as well.
Jeno might be sharp, but he would never expect someone to follow him. After all, Jeno still had no idea that his identity had been slowly exposed.
The JYP heir stood up, and walking toward his balcony. Jaemin had known about the hanyu Jiaocheng Course. He had known that it’s the best language center in Seoul. The price couldn’t be that low, since all the teachers come direct from the mainland of China. The smart, strict, and best laoshi are chosen to teach their students.
“Only the best could satisfy the best…”
Jaemin mumbled before smiled again.
“…as expected from the SM heir…”
Oofs !! Sorry been missing , I've been taking sweet time traveling around these days. Enjoy the newest chapter of Autumn Crocus, and I'll see you guys soon ~
Chapter 7: Determination
“I will…and even if he do know one day… it’s either he bring that secret with him to the grave, or I will make sure JYP is over in just a night.”
Jeno’s eyes scanned the heavy English sentences written on the journal in front of him. His brain translated them to a perfect Korean and in just less than 2 minutes he had understood clearly what’s the main topic of the page.
“This page’s main topic is just about the difference between Western and Asian way of judging a service quality.” Jeno explained smoothly, while handing Jaemin the journal. “Asian is more into the way of someone bringing the service, while western is more into the affectivity.”
Jaemin rose his left eyebrow and looked at Jeno.
“You know, it’s because of the power distance.” Jeno explained again, without even bother to look up from the journal. “Since Asian is well known with its high power distance, they demand for more attention and respect from the hotel employees.”
Jaemin’s lips curled into a smile as he looked at Jeno.
“…do you understand?” Jeno asked while forcefully look at Jaemin. The other hadn’t been responding to his words so he had to check him up.
Jaemin nodded, without stopped smiling.
Jeno cleared his throat nervously and glanced at his wristwatch. “Well, look at what time is it already. I need to go.”
“Where?” Jaemin asked. A hint of disappointment flashed on his face.
“Oh well…” Jeno’s brain started to think of a good reason. He didn’t want to sound rude, but he didn’t want to sound as if his leaving could be postponed anymore. “…I need to go to the market for a shop.”
Jaemin stared at Jeno for a split second before smiled. “Okay, then shall we continue this tomorrow?”
“No, we don’t need to.” Jeno shook his head. “You have finished all of your journals anyway, you just need to write the summary on microsoft word and send it to me. I will take care of the rest.”
“But…” Jaemin furrowed his eyebrows. “We still need to make the power point…”
“You can just make your own and send it to me. I will gather our slides together in one PPT to present it.” Jeno nodded. “Can we call it a deal?”
Jaemin’s expression changed a little bit, before he smiled again. “You looked as if you don’t want to work together with me.”
Jeno blinked a few times when he heard Jaemin’s words. A sudden guilt piped in his heart but then he shook it away. “No, it’s not like that! I’m just… very…busy recently.”
Jaemin nodded. “Okay, let’s do it.”
Jeno finally could release a relieved sigh before standing up, a bit too quickly he almost knocked his knee against the desk. “Goodbye, Jaemin-ssi. Sorry for leaving you like this. I’m… I’m kinda in a hurry.”
Jaemin nodded and watched as Jeno dashed out of the library. Once the raven haired boy’s gone from his view, Jaemin flipped the pages of his journals. All of his journals were done in just an hour. Jeno explained the context of his journals in such a pleasant and simple way, and it just proven that the other is actually a highly intelligent person.
“These journals are written with high-level English language…” Jaemin talked to himself while eyeing the journals. “From what I heard Jeno is not really smart, but he could finish these all in just an hour.”
Jaemin fell into silence for a few seconds before chuckled.
“Revealing his true nature like this to me…”
Jaemin put the journal down to the table with unknown smile playing on his lips.
“…he’s trying so hard to avoid me.”
Jeno wasn’t lying, though. He indeed stopped by the supermarket to buy ingredients to cook. Mark said that the other would drop by to eat dinner in his house so he had to prepare the Chinese food his cousin likes.
Jeno was busy making his stir-fried vegetables when his handphone rang. It’s his mom calling.
“Hello, mom?” Jeno greeted in Japanese. “What’s wrong?”
“Just want to know your condition.”
The soft voice on the other line replied.
Jeno smiled happily. “I’m fine, mom. What about you?”
“Mom is fine. Dad is also fine. What are you doing?”
“Cooking a dinner. Mark nii-san will come and eat dinner here tonight.” Jeno replied while adding some salt and pepper into his vegetables. “What about you, mom?”
“Just finished washing the dirty dishes. Restaurant’s a little bit busy today so mom has a lot of dishes to do. So tiring.”
Jeno chuckled when he heard his mom’s complaints. “Well, take care mom. Eat a lot of nutritional food and get enough rest. Okay?”
“Yes… will do.”
Jeno could hear a smile on his mother’s voice. “What is dad doing now?”
“Preparing for tomorrow’s noodle. He promised that he will take mom out for dinner tonight.”
“Ah, how envious!” Jeno chuckled. “I miss mom and dad!”
“Just come home once the holiday started.”
“Yes, will do mom.”
“I’m a little bit worried though, are you really doing fine? You use so little money. Is that amount is enough?”
“More than enough for me.” Jeno replied, knowing his mom referred to the credit card Jeno was given. “You don’t have to worry, mom.”
“You are not just eating noodles all day long, aren’t you?”
“Of course not, mom. I am eating nutritious food!” Jeno chuckled. “It’s just I cook a lot recently, so I am saving up a lot of money.”
“I see… because the amount of money you are using is so little. I get worried.”
Jeno smiled again. His mom gets worried easily. She’s always worry whether Jeno fall sick or he hasn’t been taking care of himself …
“You can always go and shopping, Jeno. You don’t have to save up so hard.”
His mother replied again from the other line.
“I will do, mom. Don’t worry.” Jeno chuckled. “Dad wouldn’t get pleased if you keep on forcing me to shop around.”
“He wouldn-, eh what? Oh, okay. I’ll go get ready now.”
His mother seemed to talk to someone before finally back to the phone-call.
“He’s calling. Mom will go preparing first. Bye, Jeno!”
Jeno replied before ended the phone call. He stirred the vegetables on wok once more, before finally turning off the stove.
Jeno talks a lot to his family. Sometimes through the messages, sometimes through the phone call. His mom calls the most, while his dad only call him when there’s something really important to talk about.
The raven-haired inhaled the smell of the stirred fried vegetable he just finished cooking, then put the vegetables on the big plate. Suddenly, he heard the sound of his door opened. Jeno glanced out and saw Mark came in while ruffling his hair.
“You are here already?” Jeno asked. “Go and help me with the fruits.”
Mark walked straight to the fridge and opened it. He took out a watermelon and pineapple, and brought it to the table beside Jeno. “I just talked to the Huang guy about our assignment today.”
“And?” Jeno asked while adding more soy-sauce to the black pepper chicken he was cooking.
“He’s a weird one. He looked as if he’s afraid of sharing the task with me. When I asked him what can I do to help, he looked really surprise and asked ‘do you want to do this together?’ instead.” Mark explained while furrowing his eyebrows. His right hand took the fruit knife and started to cut the watermelon. “I am really surprised when he asked me that.”
“He was in the same class with me last semester.” Jeno replied. “A type who used to work on the assignments alone. He’s known as the smartest kid in Business Management, you know. Not a weird thing if he trusted nobody but himself to work on assignment.”
“You are right. He maybe think I can’t be trusted.” Mark laughed. “Well, I am indeed looked lazy, but not that hopeless. Hahaha.”
“Really a smart-ass, instead.” Jeno replied flatly while glancing at Mark. “You should help Renjun. That kid got taken advantage of a lot.”
“What do you mean?” Mark asked in confusion.
“Do you know what people say? Be in the same team with Renjun, and you won’t need to bother working.” Jeno stated. “All you need to do is stay still, and good points will come to you by itself.”
“Horrible.” Mark tsked. “Now I understand why Daniel throws a big tantrum when he found out he’s not in Renjun’s team.”
“That kid sticks to Renjun like a gum.” Jeno replied again, this time while trying the sauce of the chicken he’s cooking. He nodded when he got a perfect taste of the well flavored sauce then turned off the stove. “And Renjun’s really afraid of him. I can see it.”
“Renjun needs to stand up for himself.” Mark frowned.
“With that small body and personality?” Jeno asked. “I don’t think it’s gonna be easy.” With that, Jeno poured the chicken he was cooking from the pot to another big plate. He then took the plate to the dining table, and ushered Mark to take the fruits along.
“How’s Jaemin?” Mark asked while sitting on the floor, scooping rice to his bowl. “You guys worked together in the library, right?”
“Yes, and he was looking at me the entire time.” Jeno groaned. “So annoying. Why he’s suddenly behaving like this?”
“Perhaps he likes you?” Mark furrowed his eyebrows. “Maybe you suit his type.”
“Hey, he’s surrounded by the good looking kids, why he needs to chase after me?” Jeno tsked. “Like what you see, that model is always after him.”
“Ah… the one with mixed blood?” Mark asked. “Yes, she follows him everywhere like an obedient puppy.”
Jeno rose his eyebrows up and down. “That’s why, I also wonder why he keeps on chasing after me lately. He couldn’t possibly know that I am the heir of SM, could he?”
“That’s right. I heard he’s after the SM mystery as well.” Mark nodded. “What will you do if he really knew who you are, Jeno?”
“…I will run away from Korea.” Jeno mumbled while looking at the empty space. “…damn. I only need a year to get my degree, should he spoil everything? Does he need to?”
“…and if he doesn’t really know who you are, but he’s in love with you?”
“Just tell him that I’m afraid of him and his power so he better stay away from me or I will commit suicide.”
“Playing innocent victim, huh?” Mark chuckled. “When in fact you can crush JYP in just one hand.”
“I just don’t want to attract attention.” Jeno shook his head while spooning his rice. “I think he would’ve known, if everyone is afraid of his power. Including me, a normal Japanese boy who lives alone away from his homeland.”
“What if he forced himself to you? You know he could do anything because of his status, right?” Mark asked again.
“If he really had crossed my patience…” Jeno narrowed his eyes. “…I will show him that he shouldn’t have messed with me from the start.”
“Oh, scary~” Mark laughed and shook his head. “But what if your identity got revealed?”
Jeno stopped eating before sighed. “Run away to Dutch. Or somewhere far, faaar away. Stay there until the crowds calmed down, then coming back to Korea when I’m already old. Ah, just… please just don’t let anyone know. It will really bring nothing good for me.”
Mark chuckled, then his face turned serious. “You should keep this secret save. Okay? Don’t let Jaemin know. Okay?”
“I will.” Jeno nodded. “…and even if he do know one day…”
The raven head put his chopsticks on the table.
“…it’s either he will bring that secret with him to the grave, or I will make sure JYP is over in just a night.”
Hi ! Permenmadu is here!
I am going to be MIA for the next 10 days cause I'll be traveling toooooooo KOREA !
That's why I update now hahahaha.
Hope you enjoy the new chapter and see you when I get home <3
Chapter 8: Found Out
“I am interested in you.” Jaemin said. “Especially in some cases… that you think I don’t acknowledge.”
Jeno’s eyes widened in surprise. His fists clenched tightly.
Na Jaemin had known it, hadn’t he?
“And I am also really, really, curious, about many things…”
Jaemin leaned down to whisper on Jeno’s left ear.
“…including why you should hide your identity as the SM heir…”
Jeno’s class would start in two hours. He had just finished his first class, so he headed straight to the library. A book was opened on the table in front of him, as the raven haired read it in silence.
Reading itself, has become Jeno’s hobby since he was little. His bedroom back in Japan was filled with numerous kind of books, from the self-discovery to classic novels, comics, and poetry books. Little Jeno would rather choose to spend his free time reading storybooks in his bedroom than watching television. Sometimes, he would invited Mark to read together with him. Reading any kind of story-books.
The book he’s reading at the moment is called , “The Little Book of Hygge”. The Danish secret of happy living. Jeno found the book randomly in one of the book shelf in the library and immediately took a liking on it. The book talks about Hygge introduction, a cozy concept of Danish living. It’s a book that teaches people how simple happiness and life is. It’s a very interesting book and Jeno made up his mind that he would bring the book home later.
As he was to deep into reading it, he didn’t even realize someone had been paying attention to him since minutes ago. That someone had been stealing glances at Jeno for quite some times already, before then making his way toward the boy. Jeno’s concentration immediately got distracted when someone suddenly sat in front of him. He looked up and his eyes widened when he found out that someone turned to be no other than Na Jaemin.
“Hello!” Jaemin greeted with a big smile, and Jeno hates how the caramel honey haired boy’s pretty smile successfully took half of Jeno’s breath away. “You are quite a regular here, aren’t you?”
“A-ah… h-hello…” Jeno bowed his head and cursed silently.
“What is that you are reading?” Jaemin asked, still with his angelic smile.
“-uh? J-, just a random book.” Jeno grinned awkwardly.
“You read a lot of books.” Jaemin smiled.
Jeno just nodded-, as if it couldn’t get more awkward than this. “Y-you? What are you doing here?”
“Me?” Jaemin rose his eyebrows. “Just need a place to cool down.”
Jeno nodded and looked around, hoping that he could at least see Lucas Wong’s annoying smile so that Wakanda’s Kingkong could call Jaemin back to them. “Y-your friends… they are not here?”
“They’re allergic to books.” Jaemin waved his hand and smiled. “You seem to hang out in library a lot.”
“Oh, no!” Jeno shook his head almost immediately. “I… I am just here… b-because I.. have a... some… tasks to do.”
Jaemin stared at Jeno with unreadable expression, driving Jeno even more nervous as the time ticked by.
“…well, so I…” Jeno’s eyes shifting away to everything but Jaemin. “…D-don’t really like libraries! Hahaha.”
Jaemin nodded while pursing his lips, holding back his smile. “…is that so? Well… a smart kid like you don’t even need to study, do you?”
Jeno shook his head with hands balled to tight fists on his laps. “No, it’s not like that. I am not smart, I hate studying too. I am just-,”
“…since you have a big responsibility to handle in the future…” Jaemin continued, without changing his smile.
Jeno stopped dead on his track. The words he had just about to say disappear into the thin air, leaving him speechless.
“I mean,” Jaemin leaned to the table, erasing some of the spaces between him and the SM heir as he stared at Jeno with pure interest in his eyes. “Since you need to feed your future wife and kids. That’s one big responsibility, isn’t it?”
Jeno still couldn’t open his mouth. He was still in daze until he managed to force himself to break away and forced a laugh. “Oh haha yes, you are right. T-that’s why we need to study.”
Jaemin smiled again, but Jeno could see a totally different meaning in his smile. It’s a smile of someone who knew something. It’s a triumphant smile as if Jaemin had just discovered something-, or confirming something. Jeno once again fell into silence.
“…well, I think I will go first, I am afraid I will disturb your reading time.” Jaemin said while getting up.
Jeno still looked at him with an unreadable expression, he didn’t even bother to reply anymore.
“I’ll see you soon, then.” Jaemin patted Jeno’s shoulder in a friendly manner. “Bye!”
Jeno still didn’t reply. He just watched as Jaemin left. The raven haired didn’t tear his eyes off Jaemin until the JYP heir disappeared from his view. Jeno then turned his head back slowly to face his book. His eyebrows furrowed, and his expression hardened.
“…since you have a big responsibility to handle in the future…”
Jaemin’s words earlier… there’s definitely a hidden meaning there.
What’s with that expression? What’s with those words?
…could it be possibly…
Jeno put his fists next to the forgotten page of the book, his eyebrows knitted deeper. Nervousness, annoyance and terror were clear on his shining orbs. The fair skinned boy then closed his eyes and inhaled his breath.
If it’s getting more than he could handle, Jeno would really left with no choice...
…other than to talk to Jaemin.
The next class passed just like that for Lee Jeno. He couldn’t really focus on what his professor said. Thankfully, he wasn’t in the same class with either Jaemin or Mark so he could take some time to think about what had really happened.
Jeno would talk to Jaemin. Jeno would ask the caramel haired boy about everything, from Jaemin’s sudden change to notice him and the list of other questions. This suspicion had reached its max. Still, Jeno would be very careful. Like very, very careful.
Jeno walked out of his class and headed straight to the next building. He planned to talk to Mark about this once his cousin’s class finished later. When Jeno walked passed the small garden hidden behind Mark’s class building, he was stopped with the view of two people talking.
Jeno just scoffed. That kid probably hid there to smoke with his friend… or probably try to seduce someone-, since he’s well known as a fuckboy anyway.
The Japanese boy was about to walk away and left the garden when he accidentally spotted the boy standing next to Daniel. A boy with thin, small fragile body, and terrified look on his face.
“...you will help me, right?”
Daniel’s voice reached Jeno’s ears.
Renjun looked helpless and also terrified at the same time. His small body had plastered to the wall. His hands held the thick book in front of his chest, as if it was a shield to protect himself from Daniel.
“You should help me, okay?” Daniel asked again. It didn’t sound like a plead for Jeno, just an egoistic order.
Renjun’s trembling hand reached for his glasses, lifted it upward nervously. “B-but… i-it’s less than t-two weeks f-from now. H-how I am s-supposed to…”
“You are a smart one, aren’t you?” Daniel asked with an irritated look. “You can do it easily, even when you are asleep.”
Jeno could see Daniel hovered over Renjun’s body. The raven haired boy sighed heavily before he turned on his heels. He better not stick his nose on other people’s business.
But as he was about to walk, he heard a loud bang, like a punching sound so he turned on his heels back with a surprised look. Daniel had punched the wall right beside Renjun with a great force, making the smaller fell to the ground with jelly knees.
“You will help me, right?” Daniel asked with a low voice.
Jeno felt his blood boiled when he saw that scene. He felt even angrier when Renjun nodded his head.
“Y-yes! Yes! I w-will!”
Jeno fisted his hands to tight grip. He was extremely annoyed with what he had just seen. Bullying is one thing that he hates the most in this world. Jeno had ever gotten bullied when he was little, and that’s why he understood clearly how horrible it felt.
Daniel laughed. He ruffled Renjun’s hair. “Aigoo… good boy. See? Agreeing to it is just easy. Why do you even need to stutter before?”
Renjun didn’t reply. He just looked down, obviously biting his lower lip as his glasses slid down again.
“I will get going then,” Daniel said again. “I am very thankful for you, Renjun-ah.”
Jeno who saw Daniel headed to the other direction closed his eyes and sighed. He really need to stay away from other people’s matters.
…and that’s when he heard Renjun’s sobs.
Jeno opened his eyes and glanced at Renjun who had curled into a small ball, crying. He buried his face into his arms, and his thick book before laid beside him helplessly.
Jeno bit his lower lip.
…he really…need to stay away…from people’s business…
Jeno turned his body away again but then Renjun’s cries got louder. Something inside of Jeno broke with the sound, and he sighed heavily.
He couldn’t leave the poor boy alone.
The raven haired boy then approached Renjun. He stopped a few steps away from the small kid and awkwardly scratched his head. Renjun seemed too engrossed deep in his cries that he didn’t realize Jeno had already stood in front of him for quite some times.
Jeno stared at the crying boy for a few seconds before taking out his handkerchief from his pocket. The raven boy squatted down before speaking in soft voice. “Be careful, you will get choked if you cried this hard.”
Renjun rose his head almost as fast as a lightning. His eyes that were hidden beneath the glasses looked swollen. His whole body trembled when he saw Jeno.
“Don’t worry, it’s just me.” Jeno said while handed Renjun his handkerchief. “Are you okay?”
Renjun nodded his head as fast as he could. He looked at the handkerchief and Jeno, then back again at the handkerchief, then back again at Jeno.
“Don’t worry.” Jeno shook his head. “I just stopped by then I heard you cry. I don’t know what happened to you, but if you cried this hard, it wouldn’t be good. People might hear too.”
Renjun’s cry slowly died down, leaving him only with heart wrecking sobs.
Jeno looked at the other in worry. Renjun’s body was incredibly small for a man. Especially the way he wore such a big sweater that reached his tips of fingers. His glasses hung low on his red nose and he looked even more…vulnerable.
“…I-, I’m… f-fine.” Renjun whispered and stood up. He handed back the handkerchief Jeno had given with shaking hands. “T-thank you. S-sorry…”
Renjun then hurriedly ran out of Jeno’s side. The small boy accidentally knocked over the wall, and Jeno hissed when he heard the loud voice. Jeno watched as Renjun stumbled to be out of his view. The SM heir sighed and ran his hand across his hair.
As much as he wanted to help Renjun, and as much as he wanted to kick Daniel on the face for being a big jerk, Jeno just couldn’t do it. Huang Renjun needed to stand up and protect himself. The Japanese then put his hands onto his pocket, turned to leave the garden.
When he had stepped out and returned to his original path to Mark’s bulding, his legs stopped moving.
There, standing not really far from him, was Na Jaemin.
The caramel honey haired boy was standing with his back leaned against the wall. A lollipop stuck between his pale pinkish lips, and he looked at Jeno with an innocent look.
“…you done?” the JYP’s heir asked with a casual tone.
Jeno’s eyes widened as his body went stiff. “…s-since when have you been here?”
“Since you are watching that nerd got threatened by the gangster before.” Jaemin rose his shoulders.
Jeno’s expression changed. His eyes darkened a little and he looked at Jaemin in seriousness. “…why you keep popping out everywhere that I go?”
“I do?” Jaemin rose his eyebrows high before broke into his usual smiling face. “That’s just your feeling.”
The caramel honey haired boy turned around and was about to leave but Jeno talked again.
“What is this?”
Jaemin stopped moving.
“Why you suddenly keep on appearing in front of me? Why all of sudden you talk to me? What’s with you?”
Jaemin slowly turned around, still with his smiling face. “…hm?”
“Tell me, Jaemin-ssi.” Jeno’s expression turned dead serious. “Why?”
There was a dead pause of silence between the two of them before Jaemin scoffed a laugh.
The JYP heir crossed his arms.
“…don’t you actually know the main reason, Lee Jeno?”
Jeno didn’t reply. His eyebrows twitched. A sudden chill ran down his spine.
Jaemin still smiled and approached Jeno while the later took a step backward from Jaemin instead.
“I am interested in you.” Jaemin said. “Especially in some cases… that you think I don’t acknowledge.”
Jeno’s eyes widened in surprise. His fists clenched tightly.
Na Jaemin had known it, hadn’t he?
“And I am also really, really, curious, about many things…”
Jaemin leaned down to whisper on Jeno’s left ear.
“…including why you should hide your identity as the SM heir…”
Jeno closed his eyes as he filled his lungs with a deep breath.
He’s totally screwed.
oofs ! I am back from Korea, and it's been an awesome journey! Here I present you the latest chapter of "Autumn Crocus" and I hope you enjoy it ! <3
Time passed and crawled like eternity just right after Jaemin asked the question. Jeno could hear his own heartbeat beating so close to his own ears. His breath came out ragging from his lungs, as he tried so hard to stay calm. Still, his expression was the pure reflection of the white virgin sheet of canvas. Pale.
How did Jaemin know?
How much did he know?
Everything hit hard and got mixed up inside Jeno’s head, but he knew he could no longer deny this statement. Jaemin might be stupid, but he’s not a fool. If he had known, that meant he had undergone a serious research before.
Jeno closed his eyes and sighed. Once he opened his eyes to reveal the darkened orbs, he stared dead to Jaemin’s eyes. Slight annoyance and anger seemed to mix in his face, showing just how much he despises what was happening.
“What do you know?”
Jaemin smirked. Smart move, admitting himself because the more he avoided the question, the more Jaemin would definitely suspect him. The SM heir \fished out his phone from his pocket, sliding it open before turning the screen around to show something to Jeno.
The SM heir furrowed his eyebrows deeply as his eyes spotted a photo of him. Full face, while even facing straight to the lens of the camera.
…and that hat…
Was taken from that day, the day when he met Boa for a business purpose.
…so he was really being followed that day. No wonder he felt the atmosphere was chilly and simply uncomfortable.
Jeno scoffed and lifted his gaze off the phone, back to Jaemin who was still smiling. “You really have nothing else to do, huh?”
Jaemin put his phone back to his pocket. His gaze softened once he landed his eyes back on the raven haired boy. “I’ve been looking for you since long, long time ago, Jeno-ah.”
“I know.” Jeno replied shortly. “You, and your crazy obsession toward SM. That’s what I said, do you really have nothing to do, that you need to be so nosy and do useless things like this?”
“I am interested in you.” Jaemin replied with an innocent face. “Your family is interesting. I have so many questions about you guys.”
“Save it for yourself, because I ain’t gonna respond to this shit any longer.” Jeno replied and turned around to leave.
“Aren’t you afraid that I would spread your pictures on the internet?” Jaemin asked. “I can post it now, you know?”
Jeno scoffed again, this time louder then turned around. “Do you think this is funny, you bastard?”
“You really changed.” Jaemin pouted. “The Lee Jeno I talked to last time in library wasn’t like this. He was sweet, cute and he stuttered a lot.”
Jeno’s eyes flashed with flame. His legs shuffled toward Jaemin without tearing his eyes off the blonde. In a flash of seconds, he had slammed Jaemin to the wall. Loud, hard, and left the unprepared Jaemin coughing softly with the force.
“You know who I am, Na Jaemin.” Jeno said in a low, dangerous tone. “And you know what I am capable of.”
“I am fully aware.” Jaemin nodded. “That you can ruin me and my family. I know it.”
“Then why are you playing around with me?” Jeno asked again. “Even if my face went viral to the world, I will never let you escape me. I’ll make sure that your life would be a torture, that you would regret to even think about knowing me. So stop mess around while I still have some patience left, Na Jaemin.”
Jaemin looked at Jeno for a few seconds, his round hazelnut eyes rounded in such an adorable way. He looked pretty shocked, but soon his lips curled into another smile. “The Jeno I talked to wasn’t like this, but you are a lot more interesting this way.”
Jeno slammed his fist beside Jaemin’s head, making the other winced and shut his eyes. This isn’t funny, and Jeno had gotten pushed further and further of his limit. The raven haired growled. “Stop this nonsense.”
Jaemin opened his eyes to look back at Jeno before smiled. Jeno hated how innocent and sweet the other looked with such expression. The JYP heir sighed and placed both of his hands in front of Jeno’s chest, not hard enough to push him away but sturdy enough to show Jeno he didn’t wish the raven haired to come even closer. “I am not having any intention to reveal who you are, so can you please move away from me? People will have weird thoughts if they saw us this way.”
Jeno glared at Jaemin before pulling away from the caramel honey haired boy. Jaemin on the other hand flashed him an angelic smile before tilted his head to the left. “You don’t have to worry about me spilling your identity to people. That’s not my forte. And moreover, I hate sharing what I’ve got, especially when I have to work extra, extra hard to get it.”
Jeno narrowed his eyes.
“Like what I’ve said, I am interested in you.” Jaemin said and crossed his arms. His back still flat against the wall. “I just want to be your friend.”
Jeno’s left eyebrow rose. “…huh?”
“Friend.” Jaemin repeated again. His smile turned softer this time. “Let’s become a friend.”
Jeno’s frowned deepen for a few seconds, before he shook his head. “Are you crazy? That’s not going to happen.”
“Why?” it’s Jaemin’s turn to frown. “Just to be a friend. I can’t?”
“I think you have a mental problem here.” Jeno shook his head in disbelief. “I mean, are you even in your right mind now?”
Jaemin still looked confused. Man, the way his hazelnut eyes shook made him even more adorable. Still, he still looked like an idiot in Jeno’s eyes. “Is that wrong? To be your friend?”
Jeno shook his head in disbelief, then turned around to walk away from Jaemin.
“…I am interested in you.” Jaemin repeated that word for who knows how many time already. “About why you hide your identity, about how could you stay low throughout your life in this university. About how could you live in peace…”
Jeno stopped on his track.
“…I am so curious about many things.” Jaemin continued. His voice trembled a little as he spoke. “…so please? Let me know you a bit more.”
Jeno turned to look at Jaemin. He gave a nasty glare to the caramel boy before opening his mouth. “…that would never happen, Na Jaemin.”
With that, Jeno walked away, leaving Jaemin alone. The raven haired boy kept on walking forward, didn’t even bother to turn around and checked the JYP’s heir’s condition.
To be friends? With that many questions about his life? Who would willingly become friend whose intentions is as clear as those paparazzis? If this was another mind game from JYP to win over SM, this is a stupid move.
Lee Jeno cursed Jaemin’s name inside his mind as he left the school. He’d just leave now and talk to Mark later on at home.
“Friend, he said? Friends?”
Jeno grabbed a small cream pudding before slamming the fridge of Mark’s apartment closed.
“Does he even know what friend means? How could me, the mysterious heir of SM becomes his friend? A fucking JYP heir? Heck, he said that as if it was something normal!”
Mark was sitting on the sofa, watching how his younger cousin been cursing around here and there ever since he popped up in front of Mark’s door. Jeno suddenly called before, saying he’d drop by to stay for a sleepover and the clueless Mark accepted. He didn’t expect he’d open the door for an annoyed Jeno who blabbered all his way and taking his last supply of cream pudding just like that.
“What did uncle Donghae say?” Mark asked curiously. “You just called him, right?”
“He said I have to be careful.” Jeno hissed and ran his fingers through his raven hair. “If anything happened, we should take a year off from the university. Geez, if only… if only I had known that Na Jaemin would go to our university, I would’ve just signed to another one! I am going crazy, really!”
“A year off…” Mark repeated before sighed. “That’s a shame. It’s only one year left until we are graduating.”
“I know, right? But I hope if I ended up shall take a year off, that lazy-ass Jaemin had graduated from here and go. Never comeback again.” Jeno spooned his caramel pudding and shoved it to his mouth. The cold and sweet creamy texture of the pudding soothed his flaming emotion for a bit. He grunted in appreciation, a small habit he has whenever he tastes a great food.
“What will you do in the year gap then?” Mark supported his chin with his right hand.
“Go to China.” Jeno replied. “Taking one year language class there. We shouldn’t be neither in Seoul or Japan. If that kid were to tell people our identity, they’d come spazzing around in Japan.”
“Then what should I do?” Mark groaned. “Geez, I have no option than to go to France then. Learning French language will help me communicating with those arrogant Parisian businessmen.”
Jeno pouted again and slumped on his sofa. He felt bad for troubling his cousin like this. Geez, it’s been years since he done this hideaway. He never expected that he’d got uncovered like this. “…ah, I really want to graduate as fast as I could from this university… why that brat should show up and ruin everything…”
Mark shook his head. “What can we do? Since he’s that obsessed to you.”
“Now thanks to his obsession, my life is at the risk.” Jeno rolled his eyes.
As the Japanese leaned back to his sofa, he remembered how Jaemin changed his usual sloppy expression to a serious one when he talked to him earlier.
“I want to be your friend.”
That word rang across Jeno’s mind, once again.
Oh, for JYP’s advantage of course. After all, JYP had been weakened these days.
“…I will never let him get what he want…” Jeno mumbled to himself. “…never.”
Mark watched as his little cousin left him for a glass of cold water. The dark brown haired boy silently hoped that the iced water could cool down his cousin’s head a bit. The raven haired had been complaining here and there, somehow making Mark’s head hurt. The older then turned back his attention to his phone, looking at Jaemin’s photo he just browsed. In that picture, the honey caramel haired boy was smiling at the camera. His angelic and pretty smile could really captivate anyone within a second.
Mark tilted his head to the left and read the articles about the JYP’s heir one by one.
Well, Jeno and him had actually known about Jaemin and Mino since before. About their backgrounds, their behaviors, and what people think about them as well. Heck, they even knew how those two communicate around. All because, Mark and Jeno also attend each of the parties SM group invited to. Sometimes, there would be a party held for all the important and Seoul’s top people. They invite successful entrepreneurs, CEO of big companies, celebrities, high-class models, and also the people from the government. SM is always invited in every parties, but Jeno and Mark never come as the heir of SM. They come, disguised as bodyguards.
They had been watching Jaemin for a long time, but Mark never expected the frail looking caramel haired boy would take such a daring move like this.
Jaemin indeed is a son of JYP, he indeed could be dangerous for Jeno and Mark.
But, somehow… something inside Mark tells him that maybe this guy isn’t like what they really think.
Jaemin entered his bedroom with a lazy, bored expression. He threw his bag on the sofa, didn’t even care when his ipad fell on the carpeted floor with a soft tud. The heir jumped and bounced on his expensive bed before laid dead on it. He closed his eyes, and sighed heavily.
Ah… So tiring.
It’s been a tiring, tiring day.
All, because of Jeno. Jeno, and his stubbornness.
Well, Jaemin’s fully aware that the raven haired boy had all right to be angry, but he didn’t know that he could say something so cruel like what he said before. The caramel haired boy pouted and extended his hand to his night-table, pulling some photographs of Jeno he asked Johnny to print earlier. His hazelnut eyes tracing the figure of Jeno inside that pictures, admiring every curves and expressions there.
Lee Jeno, is absolutely handsome and breathtaking. Under that extra simple look, laid such a strong and amazing look he couldn’t get enough of.
In that picture, Jeno was standing in an alley full of instant food. The red-head extended his hand, reaching out for a bottle of tomato canned soup in the top rack. His right hand holding some packs of instant ramen.
Jaemin smiled at the photo. Jeno looked a lot like a little kid there. So cute.
Then, the caramel haired boy swiped to see another picture. In that picture, Jeno was learning when he got his picture taken. The photo was taken from the outside of the classroom, through the window. Jeno was reading his book seriously, with right hand holding the pencil. His left hand supported his chin, his eyes were fixed in one of the page.
Jaemin continued to look at the other pictures again.
There are some pictures of Jeno, walking carelessly in the street. Then, a picture of Jeno in the campus. Some also showed the picture of Jeno dazing off with a can of hot drink on his hand while he looking mindlessly at the Han river.
Jaemin’s finger caressed Jeno’s face in the picture.
Is it just him, or Lee Jeno indeed looked beautiful from any side?
Jaemin’s smiled then widened again.
“I am not giving up.” The caramel honey haired mumbled to himself. “I will never stop approaching you. You have really captured my attention, Lee Jeno.”
While Jaemin still admiring Jeno’s photos, his phone suddenly vibrated. The caramel haired boy frowned, turned to reach for his phone.
Who is that? Johnny?
There was a sign of message and Jaemin tapped it open.
From : Song Mino
Hi, pretty. You asleep?
Jaemin’s expression changed. His eyebrows furrowed in disgust. He inhaled slowly, before putting his phone away.
Lately, ever since he caught Jaemin alone in one of the party and told him what he wanted, he had been texting Jaemin frequently. Jaemin feels his skin crawl whenever he received messages like that from the older. Jaemin isn’t naïve. He knew Mino’s intention.
JYP was having a hard time. YG, being a bigger and stronger mafia group from JYP, had been taking over all of the drug selling section lately. This put JYP in a hard position, moreover because YG has more access and more rights to rule the drug selling.
YG’s trying to bring JYP on their knees.
Jaemin understand Song Mino and his rotten ideas. He knew what Jiyong was trying to do, but he’s actually helpless and couldn’t do anything to reject it. The caramel haired boy took Jeno’s photograph and laid his body on the bed. He looked at Jeno’s picture, before sighed and closed his eyes.
“…why can’t I just live a peaceful life like yours, Jeno-ah?”
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Chapter 10: Huang Renjun
Meanwhile, Jaemin stopped at the row where Jeno sat on earlier. He glanced at the table and found the chocolate he gave Jeno before was neglected just like that. Jaemin stared at his chocolate for a few seconds before turned his head to the front and sighed.
Well-, perhaps, Jeno doesn’t like chocolate.
“A year off?”
Jeno stared at the administration teacher in front of him with half-hearted grin.
“But you have fully paid the fee for this whole semester.” Tablo’s voice was filled with pure concern, his eyebrows furrowed and dark small eyes stared in curiosity. “Why do you want to take a year off?”
Jeno just grinned sheepishly and scratched his head. “I… need to go back to Japan to take care of some personal problems..”
“Personal problems?” Tablo repeated Jeno’s words then sighed. “I see, but don’t you feel sorry for the amount money you have spent for this whole semester? It’s just the third month and you want to stop midway…”
Jeno just cringed. “It’s because my situation is not too good… so, can I ask the requirements of what do I need to take a year off?”
Tablo stared at the student in front of him, sighed again, and extended his hand to take a big brochure in his drawer. He then placed it on the table and pushed it toward Jeno. “This is all you need. But if I could really give you advice, if your problem isn’t too urgent, I suggest you to just take a year off next semester. It’s not really wise to do it now, when you only have two more months to get finished.”
Jeno nodded and took the brochure. “Thank you, sir.”
“And what is your name?” Tablo asked while busied himself with his working laptop. “I need to check your transcript. If you want to take a year off, you gonna need that.”
“My name is Lee Jeno.” Jeno stated his name with a smile.
Tablo stopped on his track, almost abruptly. He looked up and stared at Jeno with wide eyes.
It’s the name of the student whose schedule was asked by Na Jaemin a few days ago.
Jeno smiled wider and bowed his head. “Thank you for your help. I will get going now, then.”
Tablo replied Jeno’s gratitude with an awkward nod. His eyes didn’t leave the Japanese boy until the red-head truly gone from his office. Tablo furrowed his eyebrows, eyes still boring holes to the closed door.
Did Jeno got into trouble with Na Jaemin? Is that the reason why he wanted to take a year off? Is that the personal problem he meant before?
Why the JYP heir even asked for his schedule back then?
Numerous questions ran on Tablo’s mind, until he forcefully pushed them all by the end. He better not trying to interfere this matte. He’s a married guy with a little daughter, he couldn’t risk his life by being nosy to know about just whatever Na Jaemin trying to do. Tablo cleared his throat and scrolled through Jeno’s student journal.
Let’s just hope this Jeno guy will be okay.
The class would start in just a few minutes, so Jeno had sat down sweetly on his own seat. Mark hadn’t come yet, the older said he had a little trouble with his stomach so he should visit the bathroom first.
Jeno glanced at the back row and saw Jaemin wasn’t there.
The raven-haired rose his left eyebrow before turned his head back to the front again.
That guy… wasn’t that hurt by Jeno’s words last time, right?
Well, Jeno realized his words were a little bit too harsh indeed, but he had to do it. He should show his dark side, or else Jaemin wouldn’t realize his position. Good thing if he had given up.
Jeno dug onto his bag, searching for his phone.
…but what if Jaemin truly got offended with Jeno’s words and planned a revenge to put Jeno’s real identity at risk? Jeno’s position would be affected so greatly. Even if it wasn’t about his power, but the peaceful life his family had maintained for years would be ruined.
Jeno furrowed his eyebrows before taking his phone out angrily.
If he dared to do it… well he better not do it. If he still did that, Jeno would make him regret to even got born into this world. Or shall he just ask his men to kidnap Jaemin? Shall he put spies on the caramel haired boy just like what he had done to Jeno before? Or shall he just-…
His thoughts were stopped by a milky white hand putting a bar of Hershey Dark Chocolate on the desk in front of him. Jeno looked up in surprise to find the owner of the hand, and his eyes widened a bit more when he saw Jaemin . The pretty boy’s lips curled into a sweet smile and he walked away almost immediately, leaving Jeno’s table straight to his usual place in the back of the classroom.
Jeno grabbed the chocolate and furrowed his eyebrows. “What the hell… giving me this.”
That’s when Jeno realized there’s a small note stuck on the back of the chocolate.
I hope we can be a good friend ^^
- Jaemin -
Jeno frowned and turned his head to look at Jaemin, and the other just flashed him a cute smile. Jeno turned his head back to the front and groaned in frustration.
“What the heck!” Jeno cursed silently and ripped the note off the chocolate bar. He crumpled it and shoved it inside his bag and left the chocolate on his left.
Jaemin’s really confusing. Normal kid will get angry when they receive harsh treatment like what he got the day before, but looked like it didn’t affect Jaemin at all. He even gave Jeno chocolate. …or is the chocolate poisoned?
Jeno took the chocolate and studied it. It seemed normal, the chocolate looked normal.
But he shouldn’t eat it.
Jeno sighed and put the chocolate back on its position, a little far from him. He turned his head back to the front and found Mark approached him.
“Ah, I drank too much soda last night.” Mark cursed as he sat beside Jeno. “Should really stay away from it in a few days.. “
Jeno just gave him a pity look before keeping his eyes back to the front of the class. “You do? So sad, I am about to order pizza and coke for tonight’s dinner.”
“Since when do you eat pizza?” Mark frowned. “Usually you will blabber about that being fattening and blah blah blah.”
“Just want to eat.” Jeno tsked. “I’ve been utterly confused about many things lately.”
Mark pursed his lips, knowing exactly what Jeno meant. “Oh, you got the requisite for taking a year off already?”
“I have.” Jeno nodded. “Since we are quitting in the middle of the semester, I bet our scores will do a bungee jumping. Down, down, down.”
“Not surprised.” Mark grinned. “But well, since you think that kid is disturbing, there’s nothing else we could do.”
Jeno rolled his eyes when he heard how Mark stressed some of his words a bit. He sighed and accidentally glanced at the chocolate beside him again.
“…friend my ass.” Jeno whispered to himself.
“Even though I love pizzas so much, I don’t think I’d be able to eat with you tonight..” Mark said as he opened his laptop. “I have to work on the journals together with Huang Renjun tonight. Might just eat there as well.”
“Huang?” Jeno rose his eyebrows high. He extended his head to see the said boy, sitting at the front row as usual. “…where?”
“Mouse Rabbit.” Mark replied shortly, mentioning the cafe’s name.
“Can I join?” Jeno asked. “I will drop by, once I’m done with my taekwondo class.”
“Yes, come by.” Mark nodded. “I’m pretty sure Huang wouldn’t mind. Heck, he looked even more awkward when it’s only two of us, anyway.”
Jeno smirked and nodded. “Alright, I’m coming by then.”
The two focused back their attention to the professor.
A soft voice from behind made Jeno turned his head around. When he found Hina, one of his classmate behind him, he rose his eyebrows in a friendly way.
“Can I borrow your pen?” Hina asked with a polite smile. “I forgot to bring mine.”
“Of course.” Jeno replied while taking one of his pen before handing it to Hina.
“Thank you!” Hina thanked him with a pretty smile.
Jeno smiled back at Hina and was about to turn his head back when his eyes caught Jaemin’s figure at the back of the classroom. The honey caramel haired boy’s eyes were closed, his head leaned against Jisung. Sleeping.
Jeno furrowed his eyebrows as something weird tingled him. Somehow, he felt annoyed.
“Huft. Not studying, end up sleeping instead. What a lazy-ass…” Jeno muttered to himself as he turned his body back to the front.
A man like Jaemin would never become a good heir for JYP.
Once the class finished, Jeno grabbed Mark to run away from the class immediately. He didn’t want Jaemin to approach him anymore, so he better disappear as fast as he could. Jaemin watched how Jeno flee away from the class with unreadable look. He stared at the door where Jeno had just gone and sighed. .
…Jeno really avoided him.
The caramel honey haired boy grabbed his own backpack and stood up lazily. He made his way out of the class, until he was stopped by Jaehyun’s voice.
“Jaemin-ah, where are you going?”
Jaemin turned around and looked at his confused friends. “Home.”
“Home?” Jaehyun furrowed his eyebrows. “…you stay in your house a lot these days.”
Jaemin just smirked sheepishly and turned around while waving his hand.
“Hey, let’s go and watch movie tonight!” Jaehyun shouted again.
“I’ll call you later.” Jaemin replied without looking back.
Jaehyun and his friends were quiet for a while as they watched Jaemin’s retreated back.
“…Jaemin’s a little weird lately.” Lucas mumbled. “…what’s wrong with him?”
“He usually skips classes, but these few days he keep on coming diligently.” Jisung added. “Which makes it weirder.”
Nancy didn’t say anything. The model just looked at Jaemin’s back in silence, even though her heart also questioning the JYP heir’s sudden changes.
Meanwhile, Jaemin stopped at the row where Jeno sat on earlier. He glanced at the table and found the chocolate he gave Jeno before was neglected just like that. Jaemin stared at his chocolate for a few seconds before turned his head to the front and sighed.
Well-, perhaps, Jeno doesn’t like chocolate.
“Okay! The practice’s finished! Good job, everyone!” the Taekwondo teacher, a Taiwanese handsome man called Bang Sunghoon clapped his hands.
All the kids bowed and started to pack their belongings.
Jeno picked up his backpack and slung it on his shoulder. He went straight to the shower but was stopped by a tall man, one of the taekwondo’s student, Jihoon.
“Lee Jeno-ssi!” Jihoon said with a big smile. “Your moves are awesome as hell! I really admire you!”
Jeno flashed a genuine smile. “Thank you.”
“Let’s try to go for a match one day! It will be an honor for me!” Jihoon bounced on his place cheerfully.
“Okay, okay.” Jeno smiled and patted the younger’s shoulder while walking away. “I’m gonna looking for that day too.”
Jihoon turned his body to watch Jeno heading to the shower room with an admiring eyes.
Jeno doesn’t talk much in the taekwondo class, but his movements and taekwondo skill are really eye-catching. Jihoon always find it hard to breath whenever he sees Jeno goes on a match with Sunghoon. It’s always intense and even though mostly Jeno ends up losing, the Japanese senior always looked cool in Jihoon’s eyes.
…well basically in all the students’ eyes. Jihoon adores Jeno. He promises to himself that he will train hard and become as awesome as Jeno.
Jeno entered one of the shower stall and closed the curtain. He turned on the shower and let the hot water hit his sore muscles.
For him, taekwondo is very important. Even though he keeps his identity uncovered, Jeno should be extra careful with his safety. He couldn’t risk himself to be in danger. A self defense. Very normal.
Jeno’s brain flew back to the images of Song Mino and Na Jaemin.
Mino is pretty good. The last time Jeno saw him, Mino had become leaner and his muscles were showing. The YG’s heir must have been working out lately.
That kid is just as skinny as stick.
Jeno dried his body with towel, and changed to a more comfortable clothes. He wore a grey long sleeved shirt with black pants. While half rubbing his hair dry, the Japanese boy walked toward the mirror in front of washroom stall.
“…I have to dry this to a different color temporarily…” he murmured while touching his raven locks. His natural raven hair had never caught attention before, but the thing is he should attend the usual party as a bodyguard. Jaemin would be there, and it would be so easy to recognize him since his hair wasn’t as dark as the natural black Asian people mostly have. He shall dye it with temporary hair dye to another color just for the party.
Jeno tsked while he looked at his reflection. “Because of that kid, I will need to use a thicker makeup than usual. Ugh.”
Jeno sighed and threw his small towel into the dirty linen box not far from the entrance door.
After drying his hair for a good five minute with hairdryer, Jeno bid his goodbye to Sunghoon and made his way to Mouse Rabbit café, the place where Mark and Huang Renjun supposed to work at.
The taekwondo training center which Jeno enrolled to is located really far from the center of the town. It is very secluded, and Jeno had to ride a bus for almost an hour to reach it. Well, the reason is simple. That’s because he doesn’t want anyone from his campus find him there. Moreover, it’s not a really big taekwondo training center. Sunghoon is his dad’s junior when he was still in Korea. He’s trusted by Donghae as the best taekwondo guru he had ever known. That’s why Jeno signed up for his class. He didn’t regret it at all.
Jeno had almost fallen asleep, enjoying some soothing music from his small iPod when he arrived at his bus stop. The Japanese immediately got off, and headed toward Mouse Rabbit café. The café isn’t a very big one. It only has around 10 to 12 tables inside. Everything is painted cream white, with cute and also classic decoration on the wall. There were not many people there that night, and no one talked too loud to each other as well. The staff turned on a classical piano instrumental, setting the ambience to a perfectly relaxing one. So peaceful.
Jeno’s eyes spotted Mark and Renjun in one of a table, letting his legs shuffled toward them. The two were too focused on their papers until Jeno tapped Mark’s shoulder.
Mark slightly jumped from the sudden tap and turned around to look at Jeno’s face. “Tsk! You startled me!”
“Gomen.” Jeno chuckled, completely guiltless, before sitting on the available seat. “Wow, you guys have so many journals and they covered the whole table. Have you guys ordered something?”
“Nope, we haven’t.” Mark shook his head. “Should we order something now, Renjun-ssi?”
Renjun was pretty much startled when Mark suddenly called his name. He blinked a few times before nervously nodded. “U-uhm…”
“Well then…” Mark rose his hand, waving to the server. He turned his attention to the menu book, which had been buried deep under the numerous journals Renjun and Mark had been working on before. “… My order will be one portion of whole wheat sandwich and an iced coffee.”
“And me,” Jeno cleared his throat. “Please get me your best pasta here, and I’d like a mineral water.”
Mark turned toward Renjun. “What about you, Renjun-ssi?”
“U-uh, me...” Renjun looked down to his menu in panic, and fidgeted with his glasses for a good second before looked up. “…I, t-taro milk tea…”
Jeno rose his eyebrows. “You don’t eat?”
Renjun shook his head and bowed a little. “I-, I-, w-will just eat at h-home…”
Jeno and Mark looked at each other, before they decided to ignore it.
“You are okay with I’m being here, aren’t you?” Jeno asked, referring to his appearance there.
“Y-yes, I’m o-okay.” Renjun stuttered with his soft voice.
Jeno started to feel uneasy, because Renjun didn’t really look comfortable. Did he make the other feel that way, or he indeed always behaves like that? Jeno put his attention on the task Renjun and Mark were working on.
Mark scribbled down on his journals, finding some good quotes that he could put in the report. He had read and understood the main context of his journals, and now just need to type it on laptop. Living in Canada for pretty long so the journals were just crumbles of cookies for him. Mark decided he would just wait until Renjun started to do his first, to not beat the smaller one. Renjun looked super serious. He read the journals with eyebrows slightly furrowed, tried to understand the high leveled English sentences written there.
Jeno on the other hand, was busy enjoying his pasta. He should wait patiently for Mark because he wanted to do a sleepover again in the older’s apartment. He didn’t have any schedule on the next day, just a part time job in one of a restaurant around Mark’s apartment. Jeno stays in Mark’s apartment on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays he usually return back to his own house. Besides, they were planning to do a horror movie marathon that night. With popcorns, since they couldn’t eat pizza.
The Japanese then averted his gaze toward Renjun. Once he settled his eyes on the dark browned hair boy, Jeno found himself looking, couldn’t tear his eyes away from Renjun.
Huang Renjun, is actually a small boy with quite a pleasant looking face. He has a small v-line shaped face with small eyes that were hidden underneath his glasses, along with small lips and also small nose. His small body, as usual is covered with oversized white sweater and long skinny black jeans.
Everything about Renjun screams small and cute to Jeno.
Without realizing, the corner of Jeno’s lips curled into an unknown smile. Jeno didn’t realize that he’d been staring at Renjun for quite a long time until the smaller lifted his face and accidentally met Jeno’s eyes.
Renjun blinked a few times before looked down at his journal again. His body went rigid and awkward.
Jeno almost choked on his own spite, face turning a bit red after getting caught red-handed. He looked away and took a long sip from his drink, pretend as if he wasn’t purposely looked at Renjun’s direction before.
The work then continued again in silence, and in less than 2 hours later, they had wrapped up.
“I have sent my work to your email.” Mark said with a smile. “Check it later when you have reached home.”
Renjun groggily nodded and gathered all his belongings. “T-thank you, M-Mark-ssi…”
Jeno and Mark watched as Renjun stood up. His hip accidentally knocked his glass, but Mark grabbed the glass right before it tumbled and fell down.
“Ah…” Renjun’s face paled and he bowed his body repeatedly. “I’m-, I’m s-sorry…”
“Eoh, that’s okay, just be careful.” Mark replied.
Jeno stared at Renjun with slightly confused expression.
Why that kid keeps on apologizing and stuttering?
“Then…” Renjun threw a short and quick glance at Jeno and Mark before bowed down. “…g-good bye.”
Mark and Jeno nodded in unison.
The smaller then walked away, leaving Jeno and Mark in the café. He looked slightly clumsy indeed, almost bumped himself to an ahjussi who passed by.
Jeno looked away and shook his head.
That kid, so clumsy, stutters a lot, and always looked scared. No wonder people pick on him a lot.
“That kid is too kind.” Mark stated while shutting down his laptop. “He said he would make all the report and power-point by himself, since I have worked so hard on my journals.”
“And you let him do so?” Jeno asked, taking last sip of the drink down.
“Nope. I said I will make and print the report. He will take care of the power point. Gee, this is the first time I meet group-mate like him.” Mark rose his shoulders.
Jeno just sighed and shook his head.
Renjun… Did he really end up doing Kang Daniel’s report as well?
Jeno bet he did, since Renjun is scared of Daniel.
Like, a lot.
Jeno really dislike it. The annoying thug like Kang Daniel, who can only use people as his stepping stones, that kind of people are the one Jeno hates the most in this world.
Well, Jeno couldn’t defend Renjun last time, since he didn’t want to make any scene or attract any attention in the campus.
…but remembering the way Renjun fell on the ground due to the fear last time… somehow made Jeno a little angry.
I met you again today, and you are shining even just from a far.
Beautiful, untouchable, perfectly and wonderfully crafted by the hands of God.
I bet He takes a favor on you, sparing more time when He created you.
Sparkling sharp gaze, beautiful smile.
You got it all. All the blessings from the heaven above.
Do you acknowledge me?
Would you even remember me?
We live in two different worlds, I knew it more than anyone could.
I die a bit more loving you each day and everyday.
But still, I keep on loving you anyway.
Huang Renjun closed his small notebook and sighed. He stared at the book for quite a long time before softly humming a tone.
Yes, that notebook is filled with some quotes, poets, and lyrics about someone that Renjun really likes.
Someone he would never get a chance to be with, someone who would never be more than the words written on the paper of his book.
T G I F ! ! !
I updated this fic on friday for you all to enjoy it as the weeekend's coming. I give preview of Renjun here, since he'd take big parts of the story soon. Can you guess already for who Renjun's song would be?
P.S : I am writing a very naughty fic of Jaemin x NCT soon , I'll introduce dropped link to it on the next chapter or you can check the story in sometime soon ;).
Chapter 11: Sour Pasta
Jeno opened his eyes as soon as the loud song of his alarm filled the room. He blinked a few times to get rid of the tiredness of his eyes, before then groaned loudly.
It’s 8.10 already.
Jeno dragged his body out of his bed before took his phone. He swiped the alarm off, yawning and stretched his body.
Ahh… so tired.
Of course-, he’s tired. Last night, Mark and him were too focused on the horror movie they were watching that they didn’t realize it had passed the midnight already.
“I shouldn’t have slept in too late last night…” Jeno tsked and walked toward Mark’s wardrobe. He casually took his underwear and clothes, before going straight to the bathroom. 25% of Mark’s wardrobe was filled with Jeno’s clothes indeed, since he slept over in the older’s apartment a lot. Just like how it is with Jeno’s wardrobe.
Jeno locked the bathroom door and turned on the shower. He let the warm water ran through his head before silently calculating time inside his head. He should arrive in the restaurant where he’s working part time on 9, so he better be quick. After done showering, Jeno walked out of the washroom and went to the mirror to fix his appearance. When he once again saw his hair, the raven-haired tsked and glanced at Mark who’s still sleeping on the bed.
“Hyung!” Jeno called while fixing his hair. “Hyung!”
Mark didn’t reply. He kept buried his face under the pillows, and Jeno ended up jumping straight to the bed.
Mark also jumped in surprise when he felt sudden weight beside him. He blinked his eyes open and groggily shoved Jeno away. “What the heck, Jeno! It’s still so early!”
“Wake up, wake up, you lazy ass!” Jeno chuckled and rolled on the bed. “Let’s go to Myeongdong tonight. I need to get some wig!”
“What the heck?” Mark murmured, didn’t really show any interest with Jeno’s invitation. “Why would you need a wig anyway?”
“For the upcoming party.” Jeno said while walking toward the cabinet and opened it. He grabbed a bottle of perfume and spritzed it to his skin. “I want to buy a blonde wig.”
“…whatever…” Mark replied sleepily. “…and I thought you say blonde hair grabs a lot of attention.”
“Not that kind of bright blonde. I just want to get that natural healthy looking wig.” Jeno thought for a while before smugly smiled. “Or shall I just dye it for sure before we move to China later?”
Mark just smirked, and without opening his eyes replied. “…we seriously gonna move?”
Jeno put back his perfume in the cabinet, turned around and sighed. “…if situation went out of control, yes that’s what we gonna do.”
“Is he still disturbing you? Like, threaten you or else?” Mark asked.
“Who? Na Jaemin?” Jeno crossed his arms. “…not really. He never threaten me, he just keep on repeating about how bad he want to be my friend.”
Mark peeked at Jeno before closed his eyes again. “You know, Na Jaemin doesn’t seem so bad for me.”
Jeno frowned and turned around. “What do you mean?”
“Unlike Song Mino, he is much more well behaved. I’ve never seen any articles of him creating chaos, like you know, Mino had ever get caught fucking around with numerous girls in his favorite bar’s table.”
“Jaemin could’ve threaten the media not to report it.” Jeno scoffed. “Remember what happened to the bartender who spread Mino’s pictures on his social media?”
“Dead, I heard.” Mark shook his head. “Life’s cruel, dude.”
“Not even newspaper dared to broadcast those pictures, and there the young bartender do that.” Jeno replied. “And no, not dead. I heard, that kid is forced to be a servant in YG’s mansion.”
“Equal to death-, or even worse.” Jeno shook his head. “You know that Song Mino is a maniac.”
“Yeah well… You will see Jaemin on Monday, right?” Mark asked, this time had opened his eyes but with back still flat on the bed.
“Yeah, and I will take one of your bread.” Jeno said as he pointed at Mark’s bread container on the dining table.
“Of course,” Mark replied and slowly stood up. “Good luck with the work.”
“Thanks,” Jeno replied lightly. He headed toward the kitchen, grabbing a slice of wheat bread and an apple. “I’ll get going.”
Mark waved his hand lazily, and once Jeno had closed the door, he slumped back to the bed. Mark usually wakes up at 12 on weekends. He had worked so hard with the extra classes throughout the week, guess he deserves the red date to be a total homebody after all, didn’t he?
The boy who was casually dressed in his long-sleeved white shirt and washed off denim jeans turned to the source of voice when his name’s being shouted. A red sport car stopped right beside the boy, and the window rolled down to reveal Jaemin’s bright face.
“Jaemin-ah!” Jihoon greeted with a grin and immediately hopped into the car.
“Is Jinyoung really okay if we leave him taking care of the bubble tea shop alone?” Jaemin asked while starting to drive away. “Or do you want me to send some of my kids and help your brother?”
“Ah, forget it. He could take care of himself.” Jihoon shook his head. “You have used your guards to do a lot of things lately. You shouldn’t overwork them anymore.”
“They do nothing but guarding me all day long, anyway.” Jaemin shrugged. His eyes glanced at the car that followed him from behind. “Useless job.”
“They do that because you are an important person.” Jihoon said as he leaned his back comfortably against the sofa like seat. “Remembering you almost got kidnapped two times already, your dad must have risen a lot stricter guard around you.”
“He doesn’t have to, it all happened when I was in junior high school anyway. Now I am in university already, I am not a kid anymore.” Jaemin tsked. “And it’s not like I behave badly, anyway. Unlike that Song Mino, I don’t like to make scenes.”
Jihoon smiled and patted his best friend’s shoulder lightly. “Don’t be like that. This has proven that your dad worries a lot about you.”
Jaemin just rose the corner of his lips bitterly. If he did, he should have watched over Jaemin with his own eyes. Not just by those stupid bodyguards.
“Ah, right. What about the SM kid you are looking for? Have you found him?”
“Ah, that?” Jaemin rose his eyebrows and smiled. “I’ve forgotten about him already.”
“Ah?” Jihoon looked surprised, his eyes doubled the usual size. “No way. You have been chasing him for months and months, Jaemin-ah.”
“It’s just… I suddenly lost interest in him.” Jaemin cleared his throat to prevent his voice from sudden shake, a small habit when he was telling lies. “Well, I find someone more interesting than him.”
“Oh? Who?” Jihoon asked in curiosity.
“Just an ordinary student in my university. I’m going to take you to meet him.” Jaemin smiled. “He’s very shy, and just a little bit fierce.”
“Oh?” Jihoon rose his eyebrows. “…I thought your type is pretty people like Nancy?”
“The one that has Nancy as his ideal type is you, not me.” Jaemin replied lightly and scoffed when he saw Jihoon’s face turned slightly pink.
“W-what are you t-talking about.” Jihoon murmured as he looked down on his shoes.
“I gave her number to you, have you contacted her yet?” Jaemin asked without tearing his eyes off the road.
“W-well…” Jihoon scratched the back of his head nervously. “I don’t… I don’t think I can do it yet… I, I need time.”
Jaemin smiled when he heard Jihoon’s stuttered. Jihoon indeed had taken interest in Nancy since the first time Jaemin took his gang to his bubble tea shop, and Jihoon had been asking a lot about Nancy ever since.
“A-ah, you said that we are going t-to meet your crush?” Jihoon asked suddenly, tried to change the subject. “W-when?”
“Now.” Jaemin replied with a smug grin.
“Table four, one truffle cream pasta and one carbonara! Two less sugar iced tea, one with extra honey and prepare two lava cake for the dessert!”
The sound of Han Gi Tak, the head chef and also the owner of an Italian restaurant where Jeno had his part time job at, filled the kitchen. He’s dressed in black chef uniform, holding a paper which contained lists of order from the guests. Jeno showed up in front of him and took away two plates of food which Gi Tak had just plated, then brought them to the guest.
Jeno turned around and saw an office worker rose his hand, calling for him. The Japanese boy immediately approached the guest and threw a polite smile. “Yes, what can I do for you?”
“Can I get another ice lemon tea?” the officer asked.
“Yes, of course.” Jeno nodded, still with his charming smile before turned and approached the raptor which was placed not too far from him to input the ice lemon tea order.
Jeno turned around when he saw another hand was raised. He approached the guest again with his professional smile. This time it was an ahjumma with her husband. “Yes, how may I help you?”
“Can we take-away a box of garlic bread? You guys make a very delicious garlic breads, we crave for more.” The ahjumma asked.
“Aigoo, I’m so glad you like it, omoni.” Jeno smiled and bowed. He used the omoni to give a friendlier approach. “Of course, one box of garlic bread, take away. Right away, omoni!”
Jeno sped up his steps back to the raptor, then continued straight to the kitchen.
“Is this for table seven?” Jeno asked, pointing at two bowls of puff pastry soup that just had been garnished by Gi Tak.
“Yes, yes. Bring it away.” Gi Tak replied while taking a parmesan cheese and started to pour them on top of his bolognaisse spaghetti. “After that, this pasta is for table number two.”
“Roger, sir!” Jeno replied cheerfully and brought the soup bowls to the table number seven.
Well, that’s how Jeno’s part time job goes. He comes at 10 to prepare all the utensils and clean plates while his coworker Sungjae clean the floor and tables. Their restaurant opens at 11.30, and will be closed at 23.00. Jeno’s shift will last until 19.30, while the other shift will start from 15.00 to 23.00.
Jeno finally could breath when the busy lunch hour rush passed. It’s almost 3, and he decided to go to the kitchen to rest.
Gi Tak and the other chefs looked much more relaxed than before as well. Sunwoo, the sous chef, seemed enjoying his time preparing fresh ingredients for the dinner, while his other coworkers almost passed out on the chair.
“Always so busy everyday, aren’t we truly blessed?” Gi Tak laughed out loud, earning a tired soul-less chuckle from his chefs.
Jeno also smiled when he heard the joke, before then grabbed a glass of water and drank it.
Jeno wanted to take a rest for five to ten minutes when Sungjae suddenly entered.
“Jeno-yah, can you cover me in the front? I need to use toilet.” He asked while heading straight to the restroom.
“Ah, of course.” Jeno nodded, put back his glass on the table and headed out. He stood up behind the cashier table, eyes scanning the room on full alert if suddenly someone called for him.
The door suddenly pushed open, grabbing Jeno’s attention as he turned his head toward the freshly arrived guest. The guest looked young, probably around Jeno’s age with dark brown tousled hair and pleasant looking cute face.
“Good afternoon, for how many people?” Jeno greeted warmly.
“Two, please.” The guest replied. “I have a friend who will arrive soo-, ah here he is.”
Jeno followed the guest’s eyes and saw a caramel brown haired boy entered the restaurant. Jeno found his eyes went twice than his original size when he saw who was the guest.
It’s Na Jaemin.
“Hi, Jeno!” Jaemin greeted with a bright smile.
Jeno felt his body turned into a stone statue due to the shock, awaited to be blown by hurricane and broke into dust.
“Oh? Your friend?” the man, who turned out to be none other than Jihoon, looked back at Jaemin.
“Yes, this is the classmate that I told you about.” Jaemin replied, still with a gummy smile on his face.
“Aaah, is this it? The boy that had caught Jaemin’s attention lately?” Jihoon asked with his friendly smile and offered his hand. “Hi, I’m Jihoon. Nice to meet you.”
Jeno felt his breath came out uneven as he tried to hold the strong urge to kill Na Jaemin right there right now. Instead, he tried his best to twitch his lips into a professional smile. “H-hello. Y-yes, I’m J-Jaemin’s classmate…”
Jaemin hid his smile when he saw Jeno’s stiff expression. He looked so adorable like that. “Jeno-ah, I’m hungry. Please give us your best food recommendation here.”
Jeno’s jaw hung open. Shit, so these kids would eat here? At his workplace?
Damn, Na Jaemin really needs a beating!
“I’m looking forward it!” Jihoon added cheerfully. “I’m hungry now and I really want to eat Italian food. Jaemin tell me this is the best Italian restaurant in Seoul!”
Jeno widened his eyes and threw a glaring glance to Jaemin’s direction, and the caramel brown haired boy only responded with a slight smirk.
“O-oh yes…” Jeno forcefully threw a grin and awkwardly lead the two to the table in the center of the room. After the two were seated, he went to take menu books.
“This restaurant has a classical feel, don’t you think?” Jaemin asked Jihoon while sitting down.
“Yes, and I can really smell butter and milk!” Jihoon replied enthusiastically.
Jeno bit his lower lip as he stood with notes on his hands. “Err… well, t-the recommendation for this restaurant… we have Truffle Cream Pasta and Shrek Spinach Pasta for the special menu.”
“Shrek Spinach Pasta?” Jaemin asked with eyes sparkling in excitement. “What kind of pasta is that?”
“S-spinach based creamy pasta with mushroom and bacon. It’s like a carbonara, but with a spinach based pasta and a hint of lemon juice.” Jeno explained with eyes darting to a space beside Jaemin. He definitely avoided to look straight at the JYP heir’s eyes.
“Then I will take the truffle pasta cream.” Jihoon nodded when he looked at the special menu’s photos.
“Me, I will get the spinach shrek pasta.” Jaemin added in a sing sang voice. “But don’t add the lemon juice. Not at all. I don’t like sour things.”
Jeno looked at Jaemin for a split second. A naughty glimpse passed on Jeno’s eyes, then a mysterious smile spread on his face.
After Jeno brought the order to the kitchen, Jihoon leaned forward to Jaemin. “He’s not so bad. Pretty good, in fact. But why suddenly him?”
Jaemin smiled. “I saw him that day, walking passed me. So beautiful, with that raven hair. He looked so elegant, strong, but delicate at the same time. The next second, I’ve fallen to his charms.”
“Wow…” Jihoon furrowed his eyebrows. “He must have something so special, I didn’t remember you to be the one who easily fall in love, Jaemin-ah.”
Jaemin just curled his lips into a smile. “He has a special personality. He is nowhere impressed with my looks, neither fear me for who I am.”
Jihoon rose his eyebrows high. “…not interested…in you?”
“Unlike other kids who either fall into, or perhaps fear me, this kid is an exception. Heck, he doesn’t even glance at me!” Jaemin could feel that his lips curved into an uncontrollable smile. “And I like him for that.”
“Wow…” Jihoon laughed. “I see now, I almost forget that you really love it when people don’t treat you as a mafia son.”
“Yes…” Jaemin replied, and his voice went an octave lower than before. “I love it. So much.”
15 minutes later, Jeno came back with two plates of pasta and served it in front of them.
“Please enjoy the food,” Jeno said sweetly, with a friendly smile which made Jaemin paused for a bit.
That smile, he had never seen Jeno smile like that before. Jaemin slowly lowered his gaze and stared at his pasta.
…so if he went there daily, perhaps he could see Jeno’s smile everyday.
Yes, he could!
Jaemin silently cheered and rolled his pasta with the fork, then excitedly shoved it into his mouth.
It smelled so buttery, so soft, chewy and…
Jaemin grabbed the tissue beside him and threw up the pasta into it. His face turned into various kind of funny expressions. In normal situation, Jaemin would definitely explode and threw the food inside the plate to the waiter’s face.
But this time, he wouldn’t.
Because Jeno’s the waiter.
…and, judging by the way the Japanese boy was dying to muffle his laughter, it was definitely his own idea to do this.
Throwing pranks like this, so cute.
“Why, why, why?” Jihoon asked with a worry expression written all over his face. “Are you choking on something?”
Jaemin cleared his throat, before forced out his famous eye smile. “Nooo, I’m fine! It just… it just it was so hot I think I burnt my tongue.”
Jihoon just tsked and pushed the ice tea they ordered before toward Jaemin. “Be careful, will you? Just eat slowly, it’s not like it will fly somewhere else if you didn’t eat it.”
Jaemin just grinned.
“Aigoo, look at you.” Jihoon chuckled. “…ah, I know. Could it possibly… you want your secret crush to bring the water and show his affection to you?”
Jaemin immediately chuckled and nodded. “I should have done that, shouldn’t I?”
On the other side, Jeno watched the JYP heir’s expressions from a far. He really enjoyed the expression Jaemin had just made. Before, Jeno went straight to Han Gi Tak and requested to add extra, extra, lime juice into the Shrek Pasta. He explained to Gi Tak that the one ordering that pasta is a pregnant woman who keep craving for the extra sour food, so there the chef added a lot of lime juice onto the food.
Jeno wasn’t scared about his doing, since he knew Jaemin was not in a position to get angry. Even if he exploded and threatened to bring down Gi Tak’s restaurant, he couldn’t, and he wouldn’t.
Han Gi Tak is Donghae’s Korean best friend, who he had put so much trust into. Gi Tak knows about Donghae’s real identity, and the chef keeps the secret buried within him safely. Gi Tak is like a real brother for Donghae. Mess up with Gi Tak’s restaurant means mess up with Donghae, which also means a challenge for SM.
No, no, Na Jaemin wouldn’t dare.
Jeno actually expected Jaemin to get annoyed, at least showing a slight anger through his expression. He actually hoped the kid would consider this as a strong sign of Jeno hating the caramel brown haired guy, but Jaemin didn’t seem to bother.
That afternoon, Na Jaemin finished his sour pasta until the very last bite.
Chapter 12: I'm fine. Save me.
“That crazy kid is literally obsessed with me!” Jeno groaned as he walked through the busy street of Myeongdong with Mark. “He even stalks me around, knowing where Gi Tak hyungnim’s restaurant is!”
“Wow.” Mark said with a voice tinted thick in amazement. “He really have some guts, huh?”
“Ah, I’m so pissed off.” Jeno held his sudden throbbing left hand with his right hand. “Next time I see him, I’ll strangle him to death.”
Mark just chuckled. “You will meet him in the party tomorrow, won’t you?”
“Yes, I will.” Jeno sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “Ah, I am screwed up. Hope he wouldn’t recognize me tomorrow.”
“Hey, don’t you trust Irene’s makeup?” Mark scoffed, mentioning their most trusted makeup artist, Irene. Bae Irene is Boa’s closest cousin, and she had been given full trust to do a make-over for Jeno and Mark on their special occasions ever since the two moved to Seoul.
Jeno shrugged, slightly not trusting himself anymore ever since Jaemin got to discover his real identity last time.
“I need to go to see Boa noona now, let’s meet in my apartment later.” Mark said as he pulled his phone out.
“Oh, okay.” Jeno replied lazily, waving his hand not too enthusiastically. “Goodbye.”
Mark then headed to the nearest bus stop. He had told Jeno that he needed to have some words with Boa about the company. The owner of Starwood, a big imported house-good company would come to the party that Jeno was about to join. Mark wanted Boa to lure the ahjussi to make agreement with SM, signing a contract for them to work together.
Jeno himself still needed to take some of his belongings in his house before heading back to Mark’s apartment. He kicked a thrown can that must have been abandoned by unresponsible citizen.
Na Jaemin, Na Jaemin, Na Jaemin…
Just how annoying could that little kid be. Jeno really enjoyed his calm and peaceful life before Jaemin decided to pop on it, but after that regretful moment he had to struggle hard just to keep that kid away from him. Jaemin popped out almost everywhere, and surely it had driven him crazy.
Should he really go to China? Hiding there for about a year without being known by anyone? Should he just go vanished completely to get rid of Jaemin?
Ah-, or shall he bring Jaemin to his medical team and wiped the kid’s memory out of him?
Realizing that he slowly had gone to a complete nonsense, Jeno groaned. He couldn’t believe Mark would be so cool about everything that had happened. His cousin didn’t really care about moving things anymore, since Jaemin had never done anything dangerous on his eyes. Either way, he predicted that Jaemin wouldn’t even dare to do anything, anyway. It’s a suicide. To get their real identity revealed isn’t really a big matter for Mark and Jeno, it would just disturb their privacies. While Jaemin, he would be in such a big trouble if he was stupid enough to do that.
Jeno huffed. “If he dared to follow me around again, I will personally strangle him to death. Aishh!”
The SM heir then walked into some empty streets. Just when he was about to take a right turn to the main road of Mark’s apartment, he stopped. Not too far from his standing place, there were group of men, laughing so hard.
Jeno just glanced at them, let out a tsk, and wanted to walk away again, until he spotted a slightly familiar small figure of a boy around those gangsters. Jeno narrowed his eyes, tried to see who’s the small boy, then gasped in surprise.
Jeno’s breath hitched as he slowly approached those people.
What the heck?
“…come on, just a few hangout,”
Jeno could hear one of the guy’s words as he shuffled his feet toward them.
“I-, I’m s-sorry…”
That was Renjun. His voice was small, trembling, and frightened as usual. Just that time, it sounded a whole more pathetic.
“Hyung will buy you some delicious drink.” The same man continued again, with low flirty voice. “Just for a few hours. Okay?”
“I-, I need t-to go home…” Renjun replied again. He was plastered to the wall, and he seemed to sunk even smaller from his original size in front of those men.
“You can go home a little late, you are a grown man after all.” Another one joined the conversation, and also suddenly yanked Renjun’s arm forward.
“Ah!” Renjun yelped when the strong force pulled him toward the man, earning ugly laughter from the disgusting men.
“Come, come. Be good and follow us.” The man who was holding Renjun’s hand said while dragging the smaller toward the opposite direction.
“Ah! Please let me go! I need to go home!” Renjun cried out as he struggled from the man’s grip.
“Just a few drinks. A few drinks and you are free to g- UGH!”
A sudden force hit the man’s back, causing him to stumble and released his grip on Renjun. The other men turned around in surprise, and they spotted Jeno standing not far from them.
Renjun widened his eyes and gasped in surprise.
“What you guys are doing with him?” Jeno’s voice was as cold as ice, sending chills through the spine.
The man who got kicked rose from his spot and angrily turned around. “What the fuck did you think you do, huh?”
“Oh, no. What the FUCK do you think you are doing?” Jeno asked harshly while nudging his chin toward Renjun’s direction. “What were you trying to do to him?”
“Oh,” the man glanced at Renjun and smirked at Jeno. “What? Your boyfriend?”
“Let him go.” Jeno demanded.
The men suddenly all laughed, filling the empty alley with their laughter.
“Aww, poor little boyfriend. You are angry because we take your lover away? Don’t worry, he just gonna accompany us for a few hours…or more. Hahahaha-,”
That man couldn’t even finish his laughter when Jeno’s feet had swiftly kicked him straight on the stomach, sending him flying backward until he landed on the trash bin. The other men were surprised to see such a great force from the young boy. The other two ran to help their fallen friend while the other two approached Jeno angrily.
“Who do you think you are fucking mess with, kid?” The other asked angrily and swung his fist toward Jeno, but the Japanese dodged it with his right hand, then used his left hand to return the punch instead. Jeno’s fists are strong, he has trained them really well in condo. The man who he had punched fell to the floor while holding onto his cheek dearly as if it had been hit by rock.
Meanwhile, Jeno had also kicked the other one with his right feet on the stomach, and on the head with his other feet. The other two men who were helping their friend earlier frozen in shock with all that they see.
Jeno then extended his hand and grabbed Renjun’s wrist. He turned a little toward the men and coldly said. “Don’t you ever dare to show up in front of me or him anymore.”
With that, he pulled Renjun along with him, away from the alley and the shocked five men. Jeno lead the way with big steps, and Renjun had to run after him depserately. Once they reached the main street, Jeno released his hold on Renjun and eyed him in annoyance. “What happened? Why are you there? And moreover, why are you alone?”
“I j-just cameback f-from m-mart…” Renjun stuttered out. His body was still shaking uncontrollably.
“Then how did you meet them? How could they get you?”
“I-,” Renjun’s tip of nose turned red and the corner of his eyes got teary. “T-thought it’s n-nearer that w-way…”
“What way?” Jeno furrowed his eyebrows, before blinked and sighed heavily. “Can’t you see how dark that alley is?”
“I’m s-sorry…” Renjun bowed down and he held to his bag tightly.
“Why are you apologizing to me? Apologize to yourself! Imagine what would happen if I didn’t come sooner!” Jeno tsked.
Renjun kept his gaze on the ground. His lower lip trembled and lone tears flew from his eyes. Jeno who saw it suddenly got awkward. He looked around to check whether people were looking or not, then hurriedly touched Renjun’s shoulder. “-hei? You alright? Don’t cry.”
Renjun still didn’t lift his head, then shook his head. He brought his hand up to erase away the track of tears on his eyes before looking up to look at Jeno with his red puffy eyes. “I-, I’m f-fine…”
Jeno was stunned when he saw Renjun. The other didn’t use his glasses that night, and it revealed his small puppy-shaped eyes in a perfect way.
Jeno felt blood rushed to his face and he cleared his throat awkwardly to shoo the sudden jolting feeling inside his stomach away. “Y-you said you are fine but you are crying.”
Renjun looked down again. He tried to hold his tears as hard as he could, and he unconsciously pouting his lips to prevent it from shaking. Jeno had to look away and focusing his sight on the main street instead. “O-okay. Go home now. A-and take the main street!”
Renjun looked at Jeno before bowed repeatedly. “T-thank you for today… I- I’m… t-thank you...”
After a few more bows, the brown-haired boy turned around to walk away.
Jeno watched him for a while before called him. “Renjun-ssi?”
Renjun turned around with a surprised look. “Y-yes?”
“Don’t tell anyone about me helping you today.” Jeno said. “Okay?”
Renjun looked at Jeno with his confused eyes, before bowed again. “I-, I will. T-thank you.”
Jeno inserted his hands into his pocket as he watched Renjun away with the corner of his eyes. Once the small boy had disappeared from his sight, Jeno sighed and scratched the back of his head in frustration.
“Look at what I’ve done, look at what I’ve done!” the Japanese boy hissed. “I should’ve just called a cop or someone to help that kid. I don’t have to help him myself! Ah, he must have caught something is off from me! Congratz, Jeno. For you and your cleverness!”
But somehow, in the middle of his grumbles, something inside Jeno just exploded like crazy once he saw the man grabbed Renjun’s hand away before. A tingle of bit protectiveness that drove Jeno’s body by his own. And the next thing he knew, he had put all the men down.
Jeno kicked the small stone near his feet and angrily huffed.
He hope Renjun wouldn’t tell anyone what he had just done.
He really hope so.
No more stalking. Thx for this week. I’ve gotten all of his schedule.
Jaemin typed a short message and sent it to Johnny. He then threw his phone to the bed and crouched down to cuddle Monggu, a fluffy dog Jihoon took as his pet. “He’s gotten much healthier.” Jaemin commented as he ruffled Monggu’s fur.
“A lot fatter than the first time you brought him here.” Jihoon chuckled while chugging down his cold water. “He eats a lot lately.”
“Good boy,” Jaemin smiled at the brown furred dog. “I would love to take care of you, but I think you would be a lot happier in Jihoon’s place-, which is true.”
“Yes, I know you are not that good on taking care of dogs. I can’t really imagine how Monggu’s condition will be if he stayed in your house.” Jihoon scoffed as he brought two glasses of lemon tea to the table.
“Ah, I want bubble tea.” Jaemin whined while giving his best kicked puppy’s eyes toward Jihoon, and the other mercilessly only responded with a flat expression.
“We are not in a café, so drink whatever I offer you.” Jihoon answered while sitting beside Jaemin. “Drinking bubble tea everyday isn’t good, as well.”
“I am going to the gym, after all.” Jaemin said while taking sip of his lemon tea.
“No, you are not. You never go to gym for more than four times a year. No, no.” Jihoon chuckled as he shook his head. “Na Jaemin and gym, no no.”
“I am being serious.” Jaemin nodded his head. “I have a great, great, motivation to start.”
“What? That kid earlier?” Jihoon rose his eyebrows high, before letting out a smirk. “Oho… I see. You want to be someone cool to protect him?”
“Of course!” Jaemin stressed his words out proudly. “I have a mafia blood after all.”
The last sentence that Jaemin stated, somehow made Jihoon fell to a silence.
“I want to at least train my arms or my sto-,”
“Anyway what about that YG kid?” Jihoon asked curiously. “Is he still haunting you?”
Within a second, Jaemin’s expression fell and he sighed loudly. “Not really, but I know he has something going on his mind.”
Jihoon furrowed his eyebrows, scout his body closer. “You haven’t told your dad about this yet?”
“No, I never even meet him, how do I tell it to his face?” Jaemin asked, busied himself with the glass on his hand.
“But still, at least let someone know.” Jihoon sighed. “You only tell this problem to me. Right?”
Jaemin didn’t answer. That’s right, Jihoon’s the only one who know about the text messages and the threats Mino sent him.
Not everyone needs to know it. It’s not like they could help, anyway.
“At least let Johnny know this.” Jihoon advised. “You know-,”
“He will just double the protection, double the number of bodyguards around me, and double his talkativeness on me. It’s not like Mino will really make his move, after all.” Jaemin rose his shoulders.
“Ah, Na Jaemin.” Jihoon hissed as he ran his hand throughout his hair. “You shouldn’t be like this.”
“Waa, our Monggu is really fluffy! Do you still take him to the salon once a month, Jihoon-ah?”
“I’m afraid he will really get his hands on you and destroy JYP. We all know how materialistic Song Mino is.”
“How old are you, Monggu-ah? Almost three years I guess. Shouldn’t you get him a lover, Jihoon-ah?”
“He is no joke, and you keep on loosening protection around you. You even keep the bodyguards away, so what will you do if something happen to you?”
“My friend Jaehyun has a female toy puddle. Should I borrow her to get Monggu some kids?”
Jihoon inhaled his breath deeply and closed his eyes.
This Na Jaemin… he’s just wouldn’t listen to him.
Jaemin focused his attention back to Monggu, playing with his fur. He didn’t look worried at all, even when they’re talking about Song Mino, the former leader of YG mafia group.
He has power, he has brain, he has charisma, and he has ambition.
Big, big ambition.
To defeat SM and become the top number one mafia group in Korea.
The only one.
Since he would never win against SM, he wants to gather the army. And his target’s JYP.
Jihoon stole a glance at Jaemin who’s still busied himself petting Monggu.
Jihoon really hoped nothing but safety for this stubborn friend of him.
Sometimes I hate myself from being so weak
How could I protect you from any harm if I myself keep on involved into one?
But fate’s written so clear just like droplets of water in the mountain
We are both from two different worlds that would never collide
And what I hate the most from myself
Is that I can’t help but keep on falling for you.
Even when I know I shouldn’t do.
Renjun closed his book and sighed. He closed his eyes and hugged himself on the chair. What had just happened really shook him up, and he still couldn’t stop trembling even after he reached his house.
Renjun hates how he always being so weak, how people picks on him a lot merely just because of his looks. He wants to protect himself, he also wants to prove people that he’s capable in taking care of himself.
He hates his helpless condition.
Could it be, one day…
…he would be strong enough to also defend someone that he loves?
Chapter 13: Party
" Who? I’m not letting you get away from me anymore, Na Jaemin. Not until I get what I want. "
“Jeno-ah, can you please, don’t move around too much?”
Irene, the pretty girl sitting in front of Jeno asked in annoyance. She pouted as she pulled the makeup brush away from Jeno’s face. Jeno kept on moving and it distracted him from drawing an illusion of bigger eyes on Jeno.
“Wait, I almost win this one.” Jeno replied while focusing his eyes on his game on the phone.
“Tch,” Irene scoffed then put her makeup kit down on the table. She extended her hand to reach for a comb and gently combed down the blonde colored wig on Jeno’s head down, the long bang slightly covering the Japanese’s eyes.
Mark who had just taken a shower whistled when he saw his cousin’s appearance. “Claude is back, Claude.”
Jeno just let out a smirk without taking his eyes off the phone.
“He will perfectly be ready if only Lee Jeno stopped playing game.” Irene pouted. She scouted down a little to take a better look of Jeno’s face. “Almost perfect. Just need to add the glasses.”
Mark hummed and looked at Jeno in pure interest.
“He looks nothing like Jeno, does he?”
“100%.” Mark nodded. “If only I had never seen him in this look before, I wouldn’t have recognized him.”
The boy sitting in front of Mark, is no longer Lee Jeno. He had transformed into Claude, one of SM’s bodyguards. He would blend in with another 9 SM’s bodyguards and guard Boa to keep her company. Bodyguards don’t talk much. All they need to do is to walk around, keeping Boa safe, while enjoying the party. For Jeno, he loves to learn about his friend and foe by analyzing what they do, the way they talk to other people, and how they socialize. Jeno is already so tall, but when he becomes Claude, he will put 5 cm insoles to make him looked even taller. Black sunglasses, stern look, and charisma are all that is needed to complete Claude’s personality.
Claude has a lot sharper jaw line than Jeno. That’s why Irene applies thick bronze on his face. He also has taller and slimmer nose, thinner lips, and pale complexion. If Jeno has a slightly tanner, healthier skin, Claude has the opposite. He’s very pale, almost like a vampire. Irene spends a lot of her whitening cream on Jeno’s face. Lucky, since Jeno’s other parts of body are covered in black long suit. Jeno usually walk casually, Claude walks with a very straight body. Claude speaks nothing, but if he needs to, he speaks three tones lower than Jeno’s usual voice. Jeno tried to use it as a prank on his dad one time, and it succeeded.
Jeno and Mark pay really detailed attention when they disguises themselves into someone else. They really differentiate their habits, and even the way the talk.
Finally Jeno finished his game and Irene could complete the sharper edge of his eyes, barely showing from his dark sunglasses.
“Perfect.” Irene complimented as she clasped her hands. “Now, let’s go.”
Jeno followed Irene to walk out of Mark’s room.
“You have made sure that no one is following you, right?” Jeno asked cautiously. He’s worried that Jaemin did a crazy thing by stalking Mark’s apartment.
“Positive.” Irene replied. Her eyes also wandered around in alert. “Now get inside my car. I will drop you in the minimart, as usual. The other bodyguards are there already, unnie said.”
“Copy that.” Jeno answered with his Claude’s voice.
Soon enough, they were both ready inside the car. Irene started to drive away to the minimart where they usually drop either Jeno or Mark before they go to the parties. Jeno couldn’t help but feel slightly nervous.That would be the first party he attend since Jaemin discovered his true identity. Na Jaemin undoubtedly would be there, and Jeno’s a little nervous that Jaemin would recognize him.
…well, but then he decided to just trust Irene’s transformational makeup.
A black metallic car had waited for Jeno once they reached the minimart. Irene parked her car right beside it, and Jeno got off almost immediately. He saw three people already there, waited for him. The rest probably had guarded Boa to the party. Jeno then entered the black car and watched as Irene’s car drove away, leaving the minimart.
“Good evening, boss.” the men greeted.
Jeno just gave a quick nod and checked his wristwatch. “Boa’s there already?”
“Yes.” The driver answered. “We shall go now.”
Jeno nodded again, sent a sign that it’s allowed to start the car’s engine.
The party is held in one of a big mansion in Gangnam area, and it is well known as the prestigious place where only a rich-ass can enter. Normal civilians could only pass by and stare at the beauty of that mansion in curiosity and envy. How would that mansion looked like inside? Is it as pretty as the outside?
Jeno, on the other hand, had been here for numerous times. Ever since the first time he moved to Korea, he had been going to these parties. Sometimes with Mark, sometimes alone. The black metallic car which was driven by Jeno’s bodyguard passed the security system after they handed the id cards.
Yes, Jeno make an id card under the name of Kim Sung Jae, who gets the nickname ‘Claude’. A normal human who works as one of Boa’s 10 personal bodyguards. The faked id card was done secretively in such a professional way by Boa. Jeno and his other bodyguards got off the car and went straight to the ballroom party. The party would start in 10 minutes, and Boa had already been there. Jeno got a plenty of free time to explore and watching over the guests, especially some companies which had captured SM’s attentions as the potential B2B relationship later on.
Once Jeno entered the room, he was greeted by wave of businessman in black suit and business women in expensive dresses. The pleasant smell of rose filled the air, and the sound of classical piano being played also light up the ambience.
Classy, elegant, sophisticated.
From the decoration to guests, from the food to music... Everything was in sync just like a melodious harmony. Beautiful.
Jeno walked around with straight back, eyes hidden behind his black sunglasses. He could see the bodyguards from JYP and YG also walked around the room, keeping their distance near enough to protect their bosses but at the same time far enough to not let their presence bother their bosses.
Jeno’s eyes wandered across the room.
There, the CEO of Woolim furniture group. The old man’s 56 years old this year. He’s really serious, hardworking, and a little too strict on rules. His slightly curved eyebrows and sharp eyes are enough for Jeno to imagine what would happen if one of his employee made a mistake. He doesn’t look that patient, after all.
Jeno’s eyes then shifted to another person around that CEO.
Ah, Jung Jessica. She’s quite s frequent there, since she’s a famous fashion designer and most of the guests even wore her designs to the party. Jessica was talking to someone that Jeno recognized as the former owner of Sunjin Department Store, Lee Donghae. Jeno had been watching them, and he could immediately know there’s something going on between those two. Jeno tore his eyes off the lovey-dovey couple, and he found Boa in the corner of the room. The beautiful lady was talking to no other than Song Mino, the current owner of YG.
Jeno stared at them expressionlessly. Mino was smiling sweetly toward Boa, but Jeno could see the hidden meaning behind that smile. Jeno scoffed. Mino probably was trying to ask a few information from Boa, maybe about SM’s recent activity or about Yedam, a little kid who was almost sold to a prostitution by YG. Yedam’s parents borrowed a big amount of money but they couldn’t pay them back in time. Mark who accidentally heard that, demanded SM to pay the debt and took Yedam back instead. His parents now were both working in SM company.
Mino must be mad. Yedam could be his moneymaker in his prostitution, after all.
Boa’s very swift. She could reply with an angelic voice, but with words that sting like a bee. Great sarcasm hidden behind the poetic reply, hiding different meanings that brings out ambiguity.
Jeno knows who’s Boa is. She’s her best worker, after all.
Mino then left Boa with a bright smile, then he turned his head upward to the second floor. Jeno followed the YG owner’s eyes and spotted Na Jaemin standing on the second floor, together with Jaehyun and Lucas. Jaemin was wearing a white suit. The classic design of that suit revealed Jaemin’s slim figure, hugging his waist in a perfect way. His caramel brown haired fell perfectly on his sides. That day, he put his bang upward, creating a cooler and more charismatic vibes around him.
Jeno’s breath hitched a little when he saw Jaemin, but he held it inside.
Among the three heirs of mafia groups, Jeno admit Jaemin’s the prettiest one. With a v-shaped face, tall nose, white creamy skin and small lips, Jaemin totally looked like a doll coming out from a Barbie house. Jeno tore his gaze away from Jaemin before that annoying blonde could take his attention any further, then turned back to Mino.
Mino hadn’t moved from his previous place. His eyes were still on Jaemin, but his lips curled into a mysterious smirk.
Jeno sensed something bad behind those smiles.
Mino at the end looked away, leaving his place and headed straight toward another guest. Jeno’s eyebrows furrowed in suspicion. He turned toward Jaemin who’s still making eye-smiles while laughing with his friends on the second floor.
Is there something going on between Mino and Jaemin?
“Luckily you guys are here.” Jaemin sighed with a right hand holding a cocktail. “I couldn’t imagine staying in the party just alone, with those ahjussi and ahjumma who only talks about money.”
Jaehyun and Lucas chuckled when they heard Jaemin’s words. Couldn’t be helped, though. That’s what this party was actually made for. To talk about business with people those don’t have much time outside the company. Expanding strings of businesses with big number of people in just one night and under one rooftop.
“The party’s not bad, actually. Especially since their caterer is the best.” Lucas grinned while holding his plate up. “Yuqi’s foods are no joke.”
“You are actually saying that because you’ve been crushing on her.” Jaehyun mocked.
“It ain’t the only reason.” Lucas pouted. “I bet you guys also taste the same heaven. Don’t try to make me looked like a sick love puppy.”
“Yuqi, the one with curly long hair?” Jaemin rose his eyebrows. “She owns a catering business?”
“Yeap. That’s her.” Jaehyun nodded. “She is Nancy’s best friend. Only people in the same level dare to get close to her.”
Jaemin mentally face palmed himself. He knew it, about the social gaps and circle of friends happening on their level.
Ever since they were little, they had been put in a prestigious school, surrounding themselves with kids from the same level. By same level here means, the money level and status level. Kids not coming from their circle wouldn’t make it to be their friends.
Well, unless for Jihoon.
Jaemin didn’t meet Jihoon in his school, Jihoon had never been in his luxurious circle of friends. He knew Jihoon from a small ice cream shop in the heart of town. Jihoon doesn’t come from a wealthy family. His brother and him had started working from the age of 17, to help supporting their college fee. They started to live a more comfortable life ever since Jihoon and Jinyoung opened the bubble tea shop. They’re not wealthy yet, but at least they are financially stable now.
But that doesn’t enough to capture Nancy’s attention. Jaemin pursed his lips.
Jihoon picks a wrong girl to fall in love with.
Just when he opened his mouth and about to say more things, a tap made him turned around.
“Jaemin-ssi, some words please?”
Jaemin widened his eyes in surprise.
There, standing in front of him, was Song Mino.
Someone he didn’t want to meet recently.
“Urmmm…” Jaemin turned to his friends, which looked a little bit frightened as well. It’s Song Mino, after all. Even though he’s not as mighty as SM, his appearance itself is enough to bent people’s knees downside.
Mino gave both Jaehyun and Lucas a smile before turned back to Jaemin.
Jaemin knew he couldn’t find a reason to say no, so he weakly just nodded.
Mino’s smile widened and he turned around to lead the way, as Jaemin followed behind.
Jeno’s eyebrows furrowed when he saw both Mino and Jaemin making their way to the balcony. He didn’t know why but he got a bad feeling. The SM heir tapped one of his bodyguard and gave a quick glance at the second balcony. The bodyguard nodded and went to the second floor, while Jeno moved fast toward the corner of the first floor.
The bodyguard secretively slid down a very small-sized microchip under the door to eavesdrop the conversation between Jaemin and Mino.
Jeno held his earphone closer to his ears, as he listened to the conversation.
You haven’t replied my messages in ages.
Mino’s voice was heard and Jeno’s left eyebrow twitched at how low that voice was.
I don’t use that number anymore, I dropped my phone on the pool two days ago.
Jaemin’s voice was heard after. Jeno’s eyes shifted toward the balcony of second floor. From his place he could see the silhouette of both Jaemin and Mino, blocked by a thick dark glass of the window.
Jeno could hear Mino’s dark chuckle and a sound of footsteps. Looked like Mino was approaching Jaemin.
You know you can’t run away forever from me, Na Jaemin .
Jeno’s eyebrows twitched as the sense of danger ran on his body. He turned to walk to the second floor. On his way, he touched Boa’s hand to make the beautiful lady turned around. Jeno gave a sign to the second floor and went ahead to lead the way.
Excuse me, but I really need to leave.
The sound of Jaemin talking was heard again, as Jeno stepped his feet on the stairs taking him to the second floor.
We are not done yet, why should you leave? Are you afraid of me?
Jeno fastened his pace to the second floor, and once he reached it, he went toward the balcony.
I… need to meet someone…
Jaemin’s voice went two octave softer, almost inaudible.
Who? I’m not letting you get away from me anymore, Na Jaemin . Not until I get what I want.
Jeno’s hand reached forward and pushed the door toward the balcony softly, making the two people there turned around in unison.
“Good evening, sir. I am so sorry for interrupting, but miss Boa wants to talk to you, Mr. Oh.” Jeno spoke in Claude’s voice, an elegant smile curved on his lips. His right feet stepped upon the microchip which his bodyguard put under the door previously, crushing them to pieces.
Jaemin widened his eyes in shock, while Mino rose his left eyebrow.
Jeno then stepped aside, revealing Boa who had just reached the second floor. The lady approached them with a charming smile on her face.
Jaemin blinked a few times before stepped his legs forward and smiled nervously. “A-ah, good evening, Boa-ssi.”
Mino just scoffed slightly as he closed his eyes. A smile then appeared on his lips. The YG leader inhaled deeply, then turned around to face Boa with a smile.
“I’m sorry,” Boa gasped. “Did I just interrupt something?”
“Nope.” Mino clasped both of his hands. “We just… had a friendly chat over there.”
Jaemin’s smile came out bitter, but he said nothing.
“I should be leaving now.” Mino smiled and bowed down shortly. “Enjoy the conversation, and have a bite of canape down stair if you haven’t. It tasted amazing.”
Boa chuckled and nodded. Both her, Jeno and Jaemin watched as Mino left the second floor. She then turned around to face Jaemin, then smiled.
“Evening, Jaemin-ssi. Mr. Park can’t make it to come today, I see?”
“No, he couldn’t.” Jaemin faked a smile. “Get a few business to take care of, that’s why I’m alone today.”
Jeno slowly dragged his feet away from the two, keeping a safe distance where he could still slightly heard the conversation but also didn’t disturb both Boa and Jaemin with his appearance.
“I see. Actually I’m coming for…”
Boa said slowly, didn’t really know what to talk about. Jeno just asked him to go up so suddenly and she didn’t prepare any material to chat with Jaemin.
“…asking about your recent questions regarding the heir of SM.”
Jaemin’s eyes rounded, while Jeno sharpened his hearings.
“Why are you so curious, Jaemin-ssi?” Boa asked, still with a charming smile. “You know no matter what happen, I will never answer any of your questions, do you?”
‘He knows already’ Jeno sighed inside of his heart.
“Ah, I have stopped it.” Jaemin smiled. “I am not chasing them anymore.”
Boa rose her eyebrows, slightly surprised. “Really?”
“Yes, I have been extremely nosy, and for that I apologize.” Jaemin smiled. “Now I truly respect the privacy of the next SM heir. I am no longer curious about whoever it is.”
‘That’s because you know it already. Ha.’ Jeno mocked inside his heart.
Boa still looked unfazed. Jeno hadn’t told her about the fact that his disguise had been discovered by Jaemin.
“I see…” she finally nodded. “But I’m still wondering… why are you curious.”
Jaemin smiled and scratched the back of his head shyly. “I don’t…know? Probably because I adore them.”
“Adore?” Boa rose her eyebrows.
“A mysterious person who hides their identity away, has always been a cool thing for me.” Jaemin said. His innocent eyes twinkled in purity. “In a world where everyone is over exposed, the coolest thing somebody can do, in my opinion, is to maintain their mystery. The SM heir has done that perfectly.”
Jeno stood there motionlessly, listening to the conversation in silence.
“I am not a good heir, you know. I have too many flaws to be the next boss of JYP. I am afraid to fail my dad, I am afraid that in years JYP will be left as nothing but just a name.”
Jaemin’s eyes slowly shifted to his feet.He didn’t know why he told Boa those things, but the woman looked so motherly and radiate warmth so the next thing he knew he had spurted everything out.
“I need someone to be my role model, to show me where I am heading and what I shall learn. The SM heir seems to be very humble and down to earth, I really want to get to know them. But now I realized I had stepped over the boundaries. I am truly sorry, Boa-ssi.”
Boa blinked a few times when Jaemin bowed to her and smiled. “No, it’s okay. I understand. It’s not a big problem, it’s okay.”
Jaemin smiled then glanced at his two friends who were still waiting for him.
“I… probably should go now.” Jaemin said. “Is there anything more you want to talk about, Boa-ssi?”
“I’m done.” Boa smiled. “Thanks for your time, and also your understanding.”
Jaemin returned the smile and headed back to his friends, leaving Boa and Jeno remain on their spot.
Boa took a few steps closer to Jeno.
“The corner of his lips curled slightly downward when he said those things. He’s being honest about his feeling.” Boa said and smiled. “He’s a good kid, I see.”
Jeno just gave a hum of agreement.
“But he blinked two times faster when he said he had stopped chasing after you.” Boa said again. “Jeno-ssi, you still need to guard yourself up.”
“I understand.” Jeno replied again.
“But being found out by him isn’t really big deal, after all.” Boa sighed. “JYP is almost in the edge of crumbling down, after all.”
Jeno frowned when he heard that. “What do you mean?”
“YG has been sabotaging all the drug dealing, leaving JYP with no room for business.” Boa explained with a low voice. “It has been two months already. JYP is slightly in a critical condition. They couldn’t fight back as well, remembering their weaker position.”
Jeno’s eyebrows furrowed deeply.
I’m not letting you get away from me anymore, Na Jaemin . Not until I get what I want.
The sound of Mino’s voice flashed on Jeno’s mind. He turned his head toward Jaemin who was talking to his friends, back with his usual smiley eyes.
What’s wrong? What’s the meaning of Mino’s words?
“Either way, I think YG is targeting something bad to JYP.” Boa said seriously. She sighed then turned toward Jeno. “I shall get going now, Jeno-ssi. I should speak some words with Mr. Liem.”
“Go ahead.” Jeno whispered.
Boa then left the second floor, leaving Jeno alone near balcony. The Japanese boy slowly glanced at Jaemin again.
He couldn’t help but feel worry filling his heart.
I'M SORRY FOR BEING AWAY,
HERE'S FOR THE NEWEST CHAPTER OF "AUTUMN CROCUS"
HAPPY TUESDAY AND SEE YOU NEXT WEEK AYE AYE
Jeno supported his head with right hand. He was sitting in the classroom, with Mark on his right side. The professor was explaining something in the class but his mind was somewhere else. Lee Jeno’s busy thinking about something else that had been bothering his mind lately-, about Jaemin and Mino’s conversations that time. He didn’t know why, but he felt like Jaemin’s in danger and that SM’s also not in a safe condition.
Jeno’s eyebrows furrowed, and anyone who saw it probably would praise him for being super serious in the class that day, but nope. He ain’t got time for a Marketing Management the professor blabbered about in the front of the class. He could ask Mark to summary it up to him later at night. He was busy making conclusion about what had happened, and that thought was terrifying.
What if… Mino was the one who asked Jaemin to dig the information about SM’s next heir, which is Jeno? What if… once Mino knew about him, Mino would kill Jeno? Jeno didn’t even have any bodyguards around him. He never used any, since he didn’t think he ever need any.
Not until his identity was revealed, though.
The Japanese boy tsked lightly and ran his hand throughout his black hair. He forced Mark to stay awake until 2 AM in the morning before and told the older cousin everything that bother him, and Mark finally started to blame him for being careless.
The stupid cousin didn’t help him at all.
Jeno turned around and saw no Jaemin in the class. He sighed and bit his lower lip.
…but is what he think true? Or is he just being paranoid?
“I am not a good heir, you know. I have too many flaws to be the next boss of JYP. I am afraid to fail my dad, I am afraid that in years JYP will be left as nothing but just a name.”
Jeno closed his eyes tightly and shook his head.
Jaemin said that sincerely. Even Boa who had learned to read facial gestures for years admit it. There’s no way Jaemin would do that, wouldn’t he?
Jeno tsked again and ran his hand throughout his hair. He accidentally turned his head to the right and saw Huang Renjun was staring at him. Right when Jeno’s eyes met his, Renjun turned his head around quickly. So quickly that Jeno afraid his head would snap.
Jeno felt his heart thumped when he caught that. Renjun just looked at his direction. Why should he looked at Jeno’s direction?
Renjun looked down to his opened notes while biting his lips. His hands played with each other underneath the table, the sign that he’s nervous. Jeno gulped down and forcefully tore his gaze away from Renjun.
Shit, shit, what had happened to him? Why he suddenly behaving like this?
The small glance from Renjun had successfully averted Jeno’s mind and attention from whatever he was thinking of before, making him almost got crazy with questions. Not to mention his heart that started to hammer against his ribcage. Well, shit !
Once the professor left the classroom, Jeno put back his notes into his bag. He could see from the corner of his eyes, Renjun didn’t move even an inch from his position. Jeno and Mark had gotten up from their seat, with Mark heading first saying he’s hungry. Jeno closely followed his cousin from behind, and when they passed Renjun’s seat, his eyes met the smaller.
Jeno felt a warm sensation tingled his heart when he saw Renjun. The small kid was all dressed in loose grey hem, paired with jeans and a glasses hung loosely on the edge of his nose. He was looking at Jeno, with eyes filled with both innocence and slight fear.
Shit, why Renjun must looked that cute?
Jeno just rose the corner of his right lips into a slight smirk before turned around and left Renjun.
“I want to eat Bulgogi.” Mark yawned, then suddenly spoke in Japan. “…ah, I need to eat as much bulgogi as I could before we were moved to China.”
Jeno sensed a sarcasm in Mark’s tone before scoffed. “I also don’t want to move, hyung. But that stupid caramel heir really haunts me around like a ghost.”
“I still can’t believe that kid would do that kind of thing to you,” Mark said while scratching his head. “I mean, he looked really attached to you, and he always has this happy radiating aura around him every time he talks to you.”
“It could be some kind of acting.” Jeno shook his head. “Probably he’s a good actor.”
“But didn’t you say Boa saw him and tol-, Renjun-ssi?”
Mark suddenly changed his language to Korean when he spotted Huang Renjun standing not really far from them. Renjun looked surprised. His hands moved to hide something behind his back.
Jeno turned around and rose his eyebrows high when he saw the small boy. “Oh, hei.”
Renjun started to stutter. “A-ah, I’m s-sorry. I-, d-didn’t mean to e-eavesdrop…”
Jeno and Mark looked at each other before shook their head.
“Oh no, that’s okay.” Jeno replied. Renjun couldn’t understand what they were saying too, anyway. “Do you need…something from us?”
“Is it because of the task?” Mark asked. “If it’s about the task, I will send it ton-,”
“No, no.” Renjun shook his head. He bit his lower lip before took a step back. “T-that’s okay, I’m sorry that I-, ah!”
Renjun’s words were cut off with a sudden bump on his back, causing something he had been holding behind his back earlier fell down to the floor. Jeno and Mark rose their eyebrows when a dark brown colored box came into their view.
“Omo!” Renjun gasped. He bowed down apologetically to the woman he just bumped to, and crouched down to pick his fallen box in panic. He opened the box and sighed when he saw the still perfect looking chocolate brownies inside.
Jeno also crouched down, joining Renjun on the floor. “You alright?”
As if he just remembered Jeno’s existence behind him, Renjun widened his eyes and nodded his head. “I-, I’m ok-, okay…”
Jeno saw Renjun slowly pulled the brownies backward. “Thankfully the brownies is still pretty.”
Renjun’s face turned into a deep shade of red and nodded stiffly. “U-un…”
“You run into a lot of things,” Jeno couldn’t help but chuckled. He found that the small boy’s clumsiness was cute.
Renjun didn’t lift his head off the box of brownies on his hand. He bit his lower lip again in embarrassment.
“Try to be more careful next time.” The black haired boy said before rose from his sitting position.
Renjun watched how Jeno got up and hurriedly stood up. “J-Jeno-ssi!”
Jeno turned and rose his eyebrows when he heard Renjun called him.
Renjun awkwardly approached him. “Uh... I… mm…”
Jeno and Mark watched as Renjun struggled to find something to say.
“I... t-this…” Renjun could feel his face got redder and redder as the second passed. He tried to get his head straight and before he could faint, he had pushed the Brownies box he’s holding to Jeno.
Jeno and Mark both widened their eyes in surprise.
“A-, ab-, about t-that t-time,” Renjun stuttered wildly. His eyes couldn’t find their way to Jeno’s directly. “T-t-thanks…”
Jeno was shocked at first, but on the next second he felt his heartbeat quickened. “Eh-, oh… f-for me?”
Renjun took a step back when Jeno’s eyes met him. He felt nervousness hit him directly, making his legs all woobly.
Jeno gulped down nervously as he extended his hand and took the brownies box. “Ah… thank… thank you…”
Renjun seemed to lost his further words, so he bowed down and immediately turned his head around to run away.
“Eh…” Jeno opened his mouth, wanted to say something but Renjun had taken a turn and disappeared from their view. Mark who had been watching them in silence furrowed his eyebrows and approached Jeno from behind.
“What is that? He give you cake?”
Jeno opened the box and the delicious looking loaf of chocolate brownies was out on their view.
“Wow…” Mark whistled. “He even cut them to small pieces, so you could enjoy it immediately. How sweet.”
Jeno felt like a smile crept on his face, and he couldn’t help but grinned widely.
“Is it because of that night?” Mark asked. Well, Jeno indeed had told Mark about what happened to Renjun that night. “Man, you get a jackpot.”
Jeno still grinned, and he took a small piece of chocolate brownies and popped it inside his mouth. As he chewed and enjoyed the chocolate taste, his eyes sparkled in delight.
“Delicious?” Mark asked while extending his hand and took a small piece. “How lucky you, to get an energizer like this in the middle of cold afternoon.”
Jeno just smiled happily and he took one more piece of brownies. Once he had finished the one inside his mouth, he popped another while his fingers grabbed for another.
Well, Renjun’s brownies was really delicious.
Jaemin stood not really far from the location, watching as Jeno and Mark happily enjoyed the brownies. His expression was flat, and his hands curled into tight fists.
He had tried so many way to get close to Jeno, but he had never seen Jeno smiled like that. While that boy before, all he need was to give a brownies and Jeno had already looked that happy.
Something clenched his heart painfully and he felt something choke his throat.
Does Jeno dislike him that much?
Jaemin still stared at those two Japanese boys in bitterness when he saw Renjun was also peeping at them from behind the corner of room. Oh, so he hid there to watch their expression. Renjun turned around and Jaemin saw a happy smile curved on the boy’s small face.
Jaemin couldn’t help but feel slightly angry.
Nope, but jealous.
Yes, Na Jaemin is jealous.
Renjun fastened his pace toward Jaemin’s direction, with a happy smile and eyes on the ground. He didn’t really pay attention to his surroundings, too busy with his own world that he didn’t see Jaemin was standing in front of him.
That’s when the boy ran flat onto Jaemin’s chest.
Renjun gasped and he fell onto the floor with loud thud.
Jaemin widened his eyes and immediately crouched down to help the small boy. “You okay?”
Renjun blinked a few times. He stared at Jaemin in shock. His small lips parted open.
Jaemin was jealous of this boy of course, but it’s on his reflex to help the boy. With such a small body, he’s afraid Renjun would broke his bones when he fell down.
“I-, I’m o-okay…” Renjun stuttered out. He averted his gaze away from Jaemin, and his whole body trembled.
Jaemin just rose his left eyebrow and got up. He put his bitch face after knowing the boy was okay and looked at him with a flat expression. “Be more careful next time. You lucky I’m in a good mood.”
Renjun blinked a few times before he got up with a shaking feet. The brown-haired puppy bowed down deeply before walking away.
Jaemin watched the boy leaving with cold face.
What’s so good about that boy before? He looked like a loser and nerd, with such a thick glasses and small frame. But why he could make Jeno smiled? And moreover, the smile Jaemin had never seen before?
Jaemin gulped down forcefully and looked down to his feet.
He hated the feeling of worthlessness. He had been living with that kind of feeling his whole life, but today it felt worse than usual.
For the first time, Jaemin felt as if he wanted to cry.
Jeno was listening to his iPod as he ran on the treadmill. He closed his eyes as he felt the addicting feeling of adrenaline filling his lungs. Jeno loves working out. He loves how he trains his body to keep on moving, becoming faster and stronger each day. He loves how his muscles grow and his body gets lean. He loves how working out making him feel so much like a man.
Jeno only paused his music when a call from Mark came. He slowly slowed down his treadmill and picked up the call.
“Yes, what’s up hyung?”
“You are going back to your house today?”
Mark’s voice was heard on the other line.
“Yes. Why? You wanna come over for dinner?” Jeno asked.
“No, no. I need to go to Busan tonight. I need to meet up with a Chinese restaurant which just opened its branch in Busan recently.”
“Oh…” Jeno replied lightly. “So you will stay there tonight?”
“Two days, approximately.”
“So you won’t be coming to uni tomorrow.” Jeno tsked. “And I’m alone.”
Jeno could hear Mark’s laugh on the other side.
“Forget it. You have Renjun to accompany you, aight?”
Jeno could feel his cheeks reddened. “What are you talking about, hyung. It’s not like what you think.”
“What is not like what I think, he even gave you brownies.”
“It’s a ‘thank you’ gift.” Jeno sighed. “Let’s not talk about that. So, is there anything else you need to tell me?”
“Nothing, just want you to remind me if we have tasks to do tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.”
“Hm. Got it.” Jeno nodded.
“Then, I’m off. I will buy you some snacks from Busan.”
“Yes. Please do.” Jeno replied while chuckling. After that, he turned off the phone and finally pushed the stop button on the treadmill. Just when he turned and was about to hop off from the treadmill, a very familiar voice greeted him.
“So fast? I think the calories from brownies you just ate hasn’t completely burnt yet, Jenu-ah.”
Jeno widened his eyes when he saw Jaemin was standing there, with a cheerful expression on his face. “Y-you!”
“I didn’t know you are a member in this gym!” Jaemin looked so excited. “I just signed up today, does that mean we can go together on a gym? Yeay! Gym-friend!”
Jeno almost swore out loud when he heard Jaemin’s words.
Jaemin definitely had known it and signed up to the gym because of it!
“I just arrived, and I don’t really know what to do.” Jaemin said while looking around. “Should I go ask for a personal trainer or what?”
Jeno closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, tried to calm down his sudden rising anger. “…are you stalking me, Na Jaemin?”
“Me?” Jaemin blinked innocently. “No, I didn’t know you are a member of this gym, Jenu-ah.”
“Stop calling me Jenu-ah!” Jeno snapped angrily. He sighed and put his hand on his forehead. “…you… aishh… ah, what should I do? Why… why are you so annoying? Tsk!”
Jaemin just grinned childishly. “What a sweet coincidence, right?”
Jeno looked away and ran his hand across his hair. His good mood before had changed.
“Ah, you also bought the working out clothes from Nike?” Jaemin asked while pointing at Jeno’s shirt. “It looks really good on you. Shall I buy a shirt that is similar with yours?”
“Don’t play around with me, Na Jaemin.” Jeno hissed. “What you have done, is truly out of the limit.”
Jaemin looked at Jeno. He had stopped smiling, and the innocent childish look on his eyes had gone.
“Can you please, stop annoying my life?” Jeno hissed. “You keep stalking me, pick your nose into my problems, and also popping out almost everywhere that I go.”
“I just…” Jaemin’s voice was weak and small. “…want to be your friend. Can’t I?”
“No, we can’t.” Jeno snapped. “I really don’t have any interest to become friends with people in Korea. No.”
Jaemin frowned. “…but you being kind to that nerdy guy from our class.”
“Nerdy-,?” Jeno furrowed his eyebrows for a split second before realized who Jaemin referred to. “-no. I’m not being his friends.”
“You talked to him, he even gave you brownies.” Jaemin said flatly. His eyes were locked on Jeno’s, silently asking for explanation.
“He did that because he’s feeling grateful to me.”
“Grateful for what?” Jaemin furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “Oh, do you guys meet up often outside the campus? Or does he secretly know your identity t-,”
“And for how many times I have told you, it has nothing to do with you, Na Jaemin.” Jeno gritted through his teeth. He tried to hold his emotions down, to not cause any scene in the gym.
Jaemin looked at Jeno with unreadable expression, but Jeno could see hurt on those eyes. Jeno felt guilt crept on his heart. He knew Jaemin was trying so hard to be his friend, but what the boy did was unforgivable. Who wouldn’t get mad if someone watch over all of their activities and also their personal information? Jeno could’ve sued Jaemin if only the caramel haired boy wasn’t the next heir of JYP.
And moreover… he’s being extremely cautious with the possibility of Jaemin stalk his personal information and giving them to Song Mino.
It’s gonna be disaster.
It’s not only Jeno’s life that was put on the bait, but also his parents, Mark, his family, and the whole SM mafia group’s.
Jeno couldn’t risk any soul being in danger.
The Japanese boy groaned and turned away from Jaemin. He had lost his working out mood and approached the washroom. Jeno changed his working out gym back to his casual clothes. Damn, he hadn’t even spent a good 15 minutes in the gym and yet he had prepared to go home.
The black haired boy grabbed his bag and walked out of the washroom.
But then, when he’s out in the middle of the gym…
…he couldn’t find Na Jaemin anywhere.
Renjun stopped playing his piano. He looked at the tuts on it and smiled. The small boy turned his body and stretched his hand to reach out his notes from the table. Renjun opened the new page and grabbed his marker. He slowly scribbled down on the notes.
You smelled like mint and woods
Fresh, masculine, but at the same time also sweet and calming
If only I could hug you, I would have done that
I want to know that feeling to be around your arms
Would it be as heartwarming as that time when I saw your smile?
You know I wouldn’t mind staying up late, writing thousands and millions of songs for you.
And one day…
I want you to listen to all of my melodies.
Because from the beginning it’s all for you.
And until the very end it is still you.
Renjun smiled at the notes he had just written and hugged the book close to his arms. The familiar mint and wood perfume he used to spritz on the book smelled just like his secret crush.
…and at the same time also sweet and calming.
My heart aches for Nana, please don't kill me for making everything go this way lmfao.
Chapter 15: Fainted
Jeno sat in the class with an opened book on his hands. He put earphones on both of his ears as he listened to the music. Mark wouldn’t come that day, so he sat alone. For other people it would be a bit weird and uncomfortable to sit alone, but not for Jeno. He enjoys his time sitting alone, reading to the books he likes without needing to hear bullshits from people beside him. Most of the students sit in groups, leaving some other who sat alone by themselves.
…for example Huang Renjun, who always sits on the front row in every classes, all by his own.
Jeno stole a glance at Renjun who also buried his nose onto a book. Unlike Jeno who loves reading a psychological and self improvement books, Renjun seemed to engross himself on novels instead. Jeno noticed that kid keep bringing a lot of different novels to campus everyday. The corner of Jeno’s lips curved to a smile, finding how cute Renjun when read that kind of genre.
Jeno then tore his gaze away from Renjun and turned his head backward. He checked the spot where Jaemin usually sits. His friends were all there already, but the caramel haired boy hadn’t showed up yet.
Jeno felt a pang of guilt in instant, worry filling his heart a bit.
He was really annoyed yesterday that he spoke a little harsher than he should. Last night, he really couldn’t find Jaemin anywhere. One of the staff in the gym said the caramel haired boy had gone home and also canceled his membership in that gym.
Jeno stared at one certain page on his book for a while before furrowing his eyebrows.
...why should he worry about Jaemin? Isn’t that a good thing, if the caramel haired boy got offended with his words?
Jeno cleared his throat and was about to regain focus his full attention on the book again when someone suddenly entered the classroom. Jeno looked up, his gaze strong passing the fallen bangs on his forehead.
Jeno felt his breath hitched as he saw the boy making his way from the entrance door. Jaemin looked a little bit different that day, probably from his eyes that lacked sparkles. His expression was gloomy, and he walked with eyes glued on the floor.
He walked, without sparing even a glance at Jeno’s direction.
Not at all.
Na Jaemin just pinned his gaze on his two feet, walking straight to his usual spot with his friends at the back of the classroom. Jeno couldn’t help but followed Jaemin’s movement. The SM heir’s eyebrows curved in both confusion and also annoyance.
…did he just… walked passed Jeno? Without… saying anything? Or perhaps… show any expression?
Jaemin was completely lifeless, and Jeno bit his tongue before his jaw could drop.
What? Isn’t he suppose to be happy? Na Jaemin looked as if he’s still super angry about what had happened on the previous day. That’s a good thing, right? Doesn’t that mean Jaemin wouldn’t disturb him anymore?
Jeno gulped and tried to neutralize something that suddenly stirred inside of him. He didn’t know what kind of feeling is that, but when he got ignored by Jaemin it felt awful. Jeno’s stomach twisted in unpleasant feeling and emotion, and he had to clear his throat before glaring holes to the page in his book so he could take his mind off the angry beauty that had just walked passed by him.
Jaemin didn’t feel well that morning. He couldn’t sleep the previous night even just a blink, all because of the short message Mino sent to him last night on the gym.
Jaemin was planning to wait until Jeno came out before explained to the older that he had never meant to disturb Jeno’s life and so on, but he suddenly received a text message from Song Mino.
I have asked your dad to meet. We’ll talk about this. Once he agree s , you will have nowhere to run.
That message haunted Jaemin so bad that it made him running out of the gym before he could even think. He called his dad’s trusted secretary, Nichkhun, to ask about his dad’s whereabouts. Nichkhun told him that his dad’s overseas, and the man would be back on the next week.
Jaemin closed his eyes and massaged his hurting head. It’s still so early in the morning, and yet he felt as if all the energies had been drained out of him.
When Jaemin opened his eyes, they caught the figure of Jeno down there on the front row.
Jaemin walked so mindlessly that he didn’t realize he had passed Jeno earlier without greeting the Japanese boy yet. Yes, Jeno indeed had rejected Jaemin ’s friendship, but that didn’t mean Jaemin would give up that easily.
He wanted to be Jeno’s friend. He wanted to learn a lot of things from Jeno. He wanted to protect Jeno and wanted Jeno to protect him from any harm and danger that might come around.
No, Na Jaemin wouldn’t give up just yet.
The caramel haired boy stared at Jeno’s direction with a dreamy eyes. Ah… it must be so good if he could tell his problems to Jeno. Jeno must have a way out of his problems. Maybe he could even get a protection from SM.
The problem is, Lee Jeno hates him.
Jaemin sighed and closed his eyes. His head had gotten a little dizzy and his whole body was as weak as a thin sheet. He hadn’t eaten anything from last evening and he also hadn’t been resting as well. Last night Jaemin couldn’t sleep even a blink, Mino’s face keep haunting him whenever he closed his eyes. He could’ve just skipped classes, but staying in home doing nothing would just make his anxiety gone worse.
Jaemin ’s head lolled to his right, laying his head on Lucas’ shoulder.
“Oppa, are you okay?” Nancy asked while touching Jaemin’s forehead. “You looked pale.”
“I do?” Jaemin responded weakly, grinning with his eyes closed. “Maybe I put on too much face powder today… hahaha…”
“It’s not funny, man.” Lucas replied while looking at Nancy. “He got a fever?”
“No, his temperature is normal.” Nancy shook his head. Her pretty face turned worried, her eyebrows furrowed and her expression turned serious. “Oppa, let me take you to the infirmary room, okay?”
“No, no.” Jaemin rejected weakly. “I am staying in the class. It wouldn’t be long, anyway.”
Nancy and Lucas looked at each other, before sighed. Jaemin could be really stubborn if he wanted to.
The lesson had already been going for around 45 minutes, when the professor suddenly closed her books. “Now, I want you to sit in pairs. You have 15 minutes to do these 10 numbers of exercises and submit it to me. I will take it as plus point.”
Jeno sighed. A teamwork right when Mark is out of town, good. The Japanese boy was about to turn around and looked for another kid who probably hadn’t gotten a pair yet when he suddenly saw Renjun.
Jeno immediately turned and saw how Kang Daniel who sat on the back row started to make his way to Renjun.
Jeno wouldn’t let Daniel take advantage of Renjun anymore.
The Japanese boy stood up and sprinted toward Renjun’s direction, sitting straight beside him. Renjun looked up in surprise, and he got even more surprised when he saw who’s the sudden intruder.
“Hi,” Jeno greeted. “Can I get you as a partner?”
Renjun’s eyes widened and he blinked twice. He looked so out of his world so Jeno directly took it as a ‘yes’.
“So… let’s split the numbers. I will be working on 5, and you will be working on the other 5 as well.” Jeno said while taking his pencil out. “Okay?”
Renjun groggily agreed with a weak voice, seemingly still surprised.
Jeno turned around to steal a glance at Kang Daniel’s pissed off expression. The Japanese boy cheered loudly inside his heart. Just when Jeno shifted his gaze away from Daniel, his eyes caught Jaemin ’s figure.
Jaemin was looking at him with unreadable expression. Jeno was slightly stunned when he saw those deep, calm and hazy eyes. Jaemin must be questioning about him and Renjun again. Jeno forcefully turned his head around so he could break their gazes. Jeno couldn’t look at Jaemin ’s eyes for too long. He’s afraid that those eyes are judging him.
Jaemin bitterly sighed when he saw Jeno abruptly moved to Renjun’s seat.
Not interested in making friends… he said.
Jaemin lowered his gaze to his hands that had fisted together.
Jeno must’ve disliked people with high reputation. If he wanted to make friends, then he would choose a nobody. Someone whose existence is barely noticed. Someone like Huang Renjun.
Jaemin wanted to believe that it was all for them. Just friends.
But, Jaemin still couldn’t get rid of that memory. That flashback when Jeno happily ate the brownies Renjun gave and also the way Renjun smiled as if he’s fallen madly in love with Jeno. It annoyed Jaemin to no end.
Jaemin tsked and closed his eyes. Thinking about that matter would only make his head spun faster, so he stopped. His eyes found their way back to Jeno, and that’s when he met Jeno’s longing orbs. They stared at each other for a split second, before Jeno tore his gaze away from Jaemin .
Something inside Jaemin cracked a little when Jeno did that.
Jaemin suddenly felt his body went numb, and he almost fell to Nancy but luckily he could handle himself.
“Oppa!” Nancy gasped in a choked voice. Her hands holding Jaemin ’s body in place tightly. “You okay?”
“Y-yes. I’m fine…” Jaemin replied while blinking a few times. He tried to normalize his sudden blurry vision.
“No, you are not fine.” Nancy said and stood up. “Come, I will take you to the infirmary. I will call my driver to take you to hospital afterwards.”
“No, no. I’m fine.” Jaemin rejected and waved both of his hands, but he was helpless when Nancy pulled him slightly.
“Yes, you should go.” Lucas said in worry. “You are too pale, man.”
Jaemin sighed and stood up, following Nancy out. He ignored the questioning looks from Jisung and Jaehyun who sat a little further away from them. Nancy held Jaemin ’s left arm and guided the caramel haired boy down.
Jaemin and Nancy passed the front row where Jeno sat, and Jaemin could feel Jeno’s eyes on him. The caramel haired boy wanted to turn around and flashed Jeno a smile, but his head started to pound like crazy.
“Professor, can we get a permission to go to infirmary?” Nancy asked the professor who was sitting on her seat in the front politely.
Jaemin felt the breathes that came out from his lungs became even hotter and shorter. His head light, and all of his energy was completely drained out of him.
“Oh sure.” The professor replied. “Mr. Na looked so pale. Go ahead and-,”
The next few words that came out from professor’s mouth buzzed on Jaemin’s head. The caramel haired boy’s head lolled to the back and his feet gave up on him.
Jeno’s eyes widened in surprise when he saw Jaemin fell to the floor and fainted. He didn’t even think, his legs had just suddenly dashed to the front. He crouched down and lifted Jaemin’s head onto his laps.
Nancy also fell down to the floor, freaking out. “Oppa! Oppa!”
The classes became chaos. The students ran to watch Jaemin’s condition up close, including Renjun.
Jeno tried to wake Jaemin a few times but it didn’t work. The caramel haired boy had truly passed out, and Jeno immediately lifted Jaemin’s body in his arms. The Japanese ran out of the class toward the infirmary room, leaving the whole class in silence.
Nancy, Jaehyun, Jisung and Lucas also ran after Jeno to check on their friend.
The classroom suddenly broke into a mess. The kids talked to each other with loud voices, while the professor needed a few seconds to regain her consciousness.
“Okay, class. Calm down, calm down. Now back to your seat and continue the task. You have 11 minutes left now.”
Renjun, along with the groaning kids returned to their places. The brown haired Chinese boy slowly sat on his seat, looking confused and puzzled.
Jeno had just brought Jaemin away from the classroom.
In his hands.
Jeno lifted Jaemin with his hands.
Close to his chest.
Renjun swallowed a sudden hitch on his heart. He looked down and bit his lower lip.
The exercise in front of him was left untouchable.
“His blood pressure is too low, and he hasn’t been resting well. Probably he’s a little stressed out so this is what happened.” The infirmary nurse explained.
“I have called my driver, he will bring oppa to the hospital.” Nancy said with a slight trembling voice.
“Yes, he may get a little iv and resting time.” Lucas nodded. “Ah, should we call Johnny?”
“I have.” Jaehyun said. “I have sent him a message. Don’t worry.”
The four kids looked at the now sleeping Jaemin in worry.
Of course, Jaemin has the worst health record among them, and it’s not the first time Jaemin fainted in front of them. Therefore, Jaemin ’s health is what they are concerned about the most. Just like taking care of a little brother, they always freak out whenever Jaemin gets sick.
Jeno watched them from outside of the door, listening to every conversations.
Stressed out…? Is that because of…
Jeno furrowed his eyebrows.
Could it be… because of his words yesterday?
Jeno ran his fingers across his hair, slowly cursed himself from being mean the previous day.
Jeno disliked Jaemin, of course, but he didn’t mean to hurt the caramel haired boy’s feeling that deep. He didn’t mean to let the caramel haired boy stressed out and got sick like this.
Jeno sighed heavily and turned around. He was just about to leave when he saw Renjun standing not really far from his place. Once their eyes met, Renjun awkwardly approached Jeno with small steps.
“H-how’s his condition?” Renjun asked with a small voice.
“He’s okay, just a little stressed out and exhausted.” Jeno explained.
“Ahh…” Renjun nodded and looked at the ground. “Thanks God…”
Jeno stared at Renjun’s cute expression then chuckled. “You were surprised, weren’t you?”
“Y-yes…” Renjun nodded. “I t-thought… s-something happened and… and…”
Jeno smiled and landed his big hand on top of Renjun’s head. “You worry too much.”
Renjun widened his head and his face turned into a deep shade of red color.
“Ah, what about our tasks? Sorry, I couldn’t help you.” Jeno apologized.
“I-it is done. D-don’t worry.” Renjun shook his head.
“Next time in exchange, I will take you out for drink. Okay?” Jeno widened his eyes once those words left his own mouth.
WHAT HAD HE JUST SAID?
DID HE JUST…????
Jeno opened his mouth wide, and wanted to take back his words when Renjun rose his head and looked at Jeno’s eyes. Those eyes were filled with innocent shock, but then an angelic smile spread on his face. “…r-really?”
Jeno closed back his mouth when he saw that expression.
“-I… no one had ever taken me out for walk.. ehehehe…”
Those words clenched Jeno’s heart.
Well Huang Renjun is a loner, of course. But Jeno didn’t know why those words Renjun had just said could affect him that much.
“I-, I will tell you the date.” Jeno awkwardly tore his eyes away and desperately calmed down his increased heartbeat.
This is a problem. Jeno didn’t know why, but whenever he looked into Renjun’s direction…
…his heart wouldn’t stop thumping hard.
Chapter 16: Made Up
Jeno glanced once again at Jaemin’s phone on the table, then back to Jaemin again, then finally turned around to walk out of the bedroom. His right hand clicked off the lamp of the room once again, then opened the door.
Before he really went out of the room, he turned slightly before smiled.
Jaemin didn’t go to campus on the following day.
Jeno groaned as he tried to focus his attention on the whiteboard in front of him. He’s in the middle of his Japanese language lesson, but all he had been thinking about was just Na Jaemin.
How’s he? Is he still in the hospital? Has he recovered yet?
Jeno felt he could almost go crazy with those questions flooded inside his mind. He was thinking about something else but yet Takizawa sensei in the front of the classroom kept on talking and talking and talking. Jeno sadistically wanted to rip the Japanese tutor’s mouth so he would leave Jeno with his own thoughts… yet Tao realized that wouldn’t ever do that unless he wanted to end up in jail.
Jeno sighed once the class’s over. Why was it so long? Once it had ended, the dark haired boy immediately took his bag and ran outside. Ugh. His brain had been a total wreck the whole day, and that’s all because of a certain weirdo called Na Jaemin. Jeno groaned. Mark would just return from the trip in the middle of the night, so he was all alone for the night. Jeno wanted to get rid of a certain caramel haired boy from his mind, and all he could think of is to fill his tummy with tteokbokki and soju. The SM heir sighed and tightened the jacket around his body before making his way to the bus stop.
Just when he took a turn on the street, he saw a certain caramel haired boy with black jacket walking mindlessly around the alley.
Jeno furrowed his eyebrows.
…ah? Is that…
The caramel boy turned around and revealed his face, and Jeno swore he almost forget how to breathe when he finally saw the other’s face. It was Jaemin.
Jaemin smiled happily, with eyes turned into a shape of crescent moon. He waved both of his hands happily. “Jenuuuuuuu!”
Jeno cursed under his breath when Jaemin used that name again. Jenu, Jenu… Why the hell did Jaemin call him that? Though, he couldn’t deny the light feeling he had inside his heart as he walked with big steps to approach Jaemin. Jaemin on the other hand, smiled a bit too wide once Jeno had stopped in front of him.
“Woaaah! Such a coincidence, huh? We meet here even though I don’t know where your Japanese lesson’s place might be!”
Jeno almost choked on Jaemin’s innocent lie. He bit his lower lip to prevent him from laughing. Sure, sure. Jaemin didn’t stalk Jeno and found out about his Japanese course, and didn’t purposely drop by and wasn’t nowhere near guilty when he mentioned all the lies with the most sincere expression he could give.
Jeno put on his best flat expression though, tried to hide a spark on his eyes as he saw the other’s face after just haunting his mind all day. “What do you want?”
“I am hungry!” Jaemin said. “But I have no one to eat with at home, and I want to eat with you.”
Jeno scoffed. If this was him a few days ago, he’d probably get angry and exploded, even after he gave such a harsh warning back then-, but instead, Jeno felt relieved. So, so relieved to see Jaemin standing in front of him, with a big smile and cheerful face. He was so relieved to hear Jaemin’s voice. He didn’t even know since when had the voice started to become his addiction.
He’s relieved, that Na Jaemin was no longer angry with him... or had he ever-?
Jeno sighed and looked at Jaemin.
“…so what do you want to eat?”
“Am I just dreaming?” Jaemin sighed dreamily while stabbing his fork on the tteokbokki. “I am eating with Lee Jeno, sitting front to front.”
Jeno scoffed and drank his soju. “You acted as if you were eating with an idol.”
“You are my idol.” Jaemin chirped and stuffed his mouth.
Jeno just glanced at Jaemin for a split second before lowering his gaze back. A tint of blush appeared on his cheeks. “What idol are you talking about…” He mumbled.
“Hmmm?” Jaemin asked, leaned a little forward to hear more of what Jeno said.
“Nothing.” Jeno replied shortly.
The time flew between them, filled mostly with Jaemin’s rambles and Jeno’s half hearted replies. Okay-, not half hearted. The respond was short and unenthusiastic, but it was far from half hearted. Even-, Jeno was secretly glad to hear this endless rambles again.
“Ah~ peach soju is sooo good~” Jaemin said while drinking the second bottle of his soju.
“Stop drinking. Finish your food and we go home.” Jeno said shortly.
Jaemin pouted and gulped down his bottle of soju. “I don’t want to go home yet.”
Jeno rose his eyebrows high. “Then sleep on the street.”
Jaemin gave Jeno a flat expression then drank his soju again. “I want to spend more time with you.”
“I don’t want to.” Jeno replied shortly.
Jaemin pouted again and laid his cheek on the table. “Do you hate me that much?”
Jeno looked at Jaemin’s face, noticing the deep crimson blush on his cheeks, even down to his neck that shown peeking a bit from behind his shirt, then frowned. “You are drunk?”
“No!” Jaemin suddenly sat up straight. “I am not drunk! I have just finished two bottles! I am not drunk!”
“You are obviously drunk.” Jeno commented flatly. “Stop drinking, and call your bodyguards here.”
“Bodyguaaards?”Jaemin tilted his head to the right. “I don’t have bodyguards~”
“You have them, don’t play with me.” Jeno groaned. “Come one, we have classes tomorrow. We should go back home now.”
“Let’s skip it…” Jaemin suddenly said. “Let’s skip the class and flyyy to the moon!”
Jeno looked around to make sure they were not causing a scene, before groaned and stood up. He pulled Jaemin to a standing position. “Get up, get up. I will call your bodyguards.” Jeno hissed and held both of Jaemin’s thin arms, guiding him outside.
“Nooo~ you don’t have to call theeem~” Jaemin shook his head. “Because I don’t wanna see them, I just wanna flyy to the skyyy~”
Jeno mentally facepalmed himself again. He paid for their food with great difficulties before dragged Jaemin out.
Argh, what should he do? Calling one of SM bodyguard to drive Jaemin home would just cause a great problem afterwards.
…no, he couldn’t risk that.
“Hei, I’m being serious. Give me your bodyguards’ number, or else I would leave you here.” Jeno said, sounded cruel.
“I don’t want to go home…” Jaemin said and suddenly he stuck himself against Jeno, with arms wrapped around Jeno’s waist. “I don’t want to go home…”
Jeno jolted in surprise with the sudden motion, then pushed Jaemin a little. “Na Jaemin, get yourself together! Fine, if you don’t want to go home, I will just leave you here!”
With that, Jeno turned to leave Jaemin alone. He walked further and further, with hands stuck on his pocket.
That kid would call his bodyguard, yes for sure.
Jeno stopped and waited in the corner of the street, silently watching over Jaemin. It was hard not to feel a bit disappointed when Jaemin didn’t call him like he had expected. Jaemin didn’t do anything, just sat on the chair near the food stall they just entered.
A minute had passed, and Jaemin still did nothing. He even leaned his head on the pole, closing his eyes. He was sleeping. Jeno felt his blood boiled, especially when some men were passing by him without taking their eyes off him at all, definitely checking him out in not too appropriate way.
Jeno returned back to pick the other up with an annoyed look.
The SM heir approahced Jaemin and grabbed his wrist, causing the younger to open his eyes in pure shock.
“What the hell, Na Jaemin! Are you seriously gonna be like this?” Jeno hissed angrily.
Jaemin looked at Jeno with his innocent eyes, that slowly turned dewy and sad, before drop of tears slowly streamed down his face.
Jeno widened his eyes. “…eh?”
“I…” Jaemin choked on his tears. “I don’t want to go…home…”
Jeno felt his whole body tensed when he saw Jaemin’s face, and even more when Jaemin leaned his forehead on Jeno’s chest, using Jeno’s chest to support his weight.
Jeno automatically grasped the caramel boy’s hands. He sighed and hoisted Jaemin, carried him piggyback.
Ha. He couldn’t believe he just fell for Na Jaemin’s tears?
The SM heir then turned his head, searching for a hotel where he could drop Jaemin that night. Jaemin could wakeup in the next morning and call for his bodyguard from there. Just as Jeno was about to walk, he was stopped dead on his track when he heard faint whisper from Jaemin.
Jeno stood rigid on his position, listening to Jaemin’s heavy breathing on his ear.
Those weak, helpless whisper was the one that made Jeno’s legs finally moved to turn around and headed to the other way than he planned to.
He didn’t have any other option than to bring Jaemin to his house.
He couldn’t just let a heavy drunk and crying Na Jaemin alone in the hotel room, after all.
Jeno laid Jaemin’s body on a bed in the guest room where Mark usually sleeps. He took off Jaemin’s nike shoes and his socks, then covered Jaemin’s body with blanket. So weird. That guy passed out with just two bottles of soju, while Jeno and Mark could finish five bottles without getting more than just tipsy.
…well, Jeno and Mark’s tolerance of alcohol was crazy big, indeed.
Jeno walked to his room, taking out an aspirin and a glass of water. He brought the two inside of the guest room, placing it on the night table beside the bed. After that, the Japanese boy turned off the lamp and headed outside. Jeno went straight to the bathroom and took a quick shower. While letting the hot water ran to his body, he leaned his forehead on the bathroom wall while thinking…
WHAT THE FUCK HAD HE JUST DONE??
HE HAD JUST INVITED A FREAKING SON OF JYP MAFIA GROUP TO HIS HOUSE!
AND MOREOVER, WHAT IF JYP THOUGHT HE KIDNAPPED NA JAEMIN?
WHAT IF… THEY CAME AND BROKE INTO JENO’S HOUSE THEN SHOT HIM DOWN?
Jeno turned off the shower and grabbed his towel. He hurriedly made his way back to Jaemin’s place. He opened the door and found the JYP heir still slept peacefully on the bed. Jeno took the JYP heir’s phone and noticed that it had ran out of battery.
“Oh, man…” Jeno groaned and looked at the phone’s type. Na Jaemin uses the newest version of iPhone, while Jeno uses Samsung. He couldn’t charge the blonde’s phone.
Jeno put back the phone on the night table and sighed.
“I’m so gonna kill you if my house got burned tomorrow.”
Jeno said, almost to himself. The Japanese sighed and looked at Jaemin’s sleeping face. He could clearly see the dark circle under Jaemin’s face. His face was also pale, even though not as much as the previous day.
Was it really Jeno who caused all of that?
All of sudden, Jeno felt guilty, as if he was the meanest person in the whole entire world.
Jeno glanced once again at Jaemin’s phone on the table, then back to Jaemin again, then finally turned around to walk out of the bedroom. His right hand clicked off the lamp of the room once again, then opened the door.
Before he really went out of the room, he turned slightly before smiled.
WERE U GUYS WAITING ?
I am back with the new chapter of Autumn Crocus !
It was so bright. Jaemin slowly opened his eyes as he felt the beam of the sunrise bounced on the walls of the bedroom and disturbed him out of the slumber. He stretched his body, nuzzling his nose on the soft pillow. The bed was warm, and the smell was so nice…
…but wait, that didn’t smelt like his bed. And-, also wait.
Jaemin opened back his eyes that he closed earlier, widening them as much as possible, as he pulled himself to the sitting position. He looked around the room in panic, never remember any of the room in his house looked like this-, not even his bodyguards’ rooms. The room itself didn’t look bad, it was just… small… and simple? A very minimalist look with a very clean with this wooden room look with bed, a desk full of thick books, a wooden chair, and a huge wardrobe.
“W-what the f…”
The JYP heir’s head was spinning a bit-, as he suddenly pulled himself to a sitting position too fast all the blood suddenly rushed in abnormal speed. Not to mention his heartbeat had increased so much. His fingers clutched onto the blanket desperately, as worst scenarios running around in his head. For split seconds, he forgot everything that he did last night, and as he tried to recall it back he was already shaking too much.
What… what in the earth… Was he kidnapped? When? By whom?
Jaemin panted, as he tried to close his eyes and calmed himself down. There’s only a face of one person running inside his head now, and he definitely hoped it wouldn’t be that person but… Jaemin bit his lower lip hard.
Okay… Na Jaemin, calm down… Okay. Just try to remember it. Last night-, last night where was him? Shattered pictures of last night’s image recollection rushing inside his head with scrambled order, but after a good minute he had slowly pictured it out.
He remembered… he remembered last night he went out… to search for Jeno. Then… then they hung out together… in a snack vendor… with tteokbokki and soju…
Jaemin frowned as he couldn’t remember what had happened next. His eyes widened then, and he gasped. Jeno. Where’s him? What happened to him? Did the kidnapper got him too? Where did they hide him?
Jaemin got off from the bed and looked around. He wasn’t tied, he was still fully dressed in the clothes he wore last night. So could it be the kidnappe-,
Jaemin stopped thinking when he heard a faint Chinese flute instrument was played. He stopped dead on his track, and frowned. He got closer to the bedroom’s door and placed his ear on it. By that time, he heard the sound of someone singing, more likely humming along with the music.
Jaemin blinked for a while, eyebrows knitted together.
The chinese music… could it be...
Jaemin dared himself to open the bedroom door slowly, so slowly that it wouldn’t make any noise and peeked outside. Then, he was greeted with a view of Jeno cooking in the small kitchen. He was only dressed in sleeveless white shirt and shorts. His dark hair tousled back in sexy manner and he was chopping something on a cooking board.
Jaemin’s brain cells rushed all over the place again, for a very tiny second thinking the kidnapper made Jeno cook for them or something-, until Jaemin felt his spirit returned back to him as one realization washed over him.
Looked like he was staying in Jeno’s house last night… ah, so he wasn’t kidnapped after all.
The pale boy pushed open the door with a long sigh and made Jeno turned toward him.
“Morning, drunken master.” Jeno greeted flatly while turning his attention back to the tofu he was chopping. “Hangover?”
Jaemin shook his head as he massaged the back of his neck. “Just slightly dizzy…”
“There’s aspirin on the table.” Jeno said again. “Go drink it first.”
Jaemin turned to look at the living room table and found a sachet of aspirin pill plus a glass of warm water. A smile made his way to Jaemin’s face and he smiled. “Is this for me?”
“Do I look like I need one?” Jeno asked mockingly. “I didn’t know someone could pass out just because of some bottles of soju.”
“You know him. He’s here.” Jaemin said as he rose his right hand. “Besides, your highness Mr. Jeno, even get to finish one bottle is already an achievement to some people.” Jaemin then took the pill and popped it into his mouth. He dunked it with the warm water and sighed as he finished.
“Go shower first, I lend you some fresh shirts and towels in the bathroom already.” Jeno put down his knife to take care of his well cut and defined tofu.
Jaemin turned at Jeno, before turned again toward the bathroom. He let out an amused chuckle. “Omo, you prepare so well.”
Jeno just rolled his eyes as he now switched to chop some carrots instead.
“But what about underwear?” Jaemin asked with a naughty grin. “Do you lend it to me too?”
“I get you a new one, I never use that.” Jeno sighed. “Don’t make it sounded gross. Go shower fast and eat your breakfast.”
Jaemin couldn’t help but got that wide smile on his face. He covered it with his hand before nodded brightly. “Yes.”
Jaemin went into shower and Jeno finished his cooking. While waiting for the soup to be boiled, Jeno sighed and ruffled his hair.
“Why do I offer him such a nice hospitality?” He asked himself in frustration.
The SM heir turned off the stove while still kept grumbling to himself before he went to prepare the dining table for two. Well-, Na Jaemin was really drunk last night that he couldn’t even stand up straight. Jeno didn’t mean anything by that, it’s his nature to protect people.
It’s not like there’s anything going between him and Jaemin.
The door of the bedroom was opened and Jaemin walked out of it. Fresh and clean. Jeno looked at him and got amused a little with how Jaemin’s skinny body looked even smaller inside his shirt despite of them being in a same size. Well-, it is fixed, that the other was just too skinny. Somehow, Jeno’s stomach twitched a little by that fact-, but then he ignored it by clearing his throat and nudged his head toward table. “Go eat.”
Jaemin approached the table and sat down on it. He looked at the food on the table and widened his eyes in delight. “Woah, soy bean paste soup!” he pointed at the big pot of soy bean paste soup Jeno made. “Ah, is this croquette?”
“Pumpkin croquette.” Jeno said as he handed Jaemin a bowl of steaming hot rice.
“And rolled egg! Oh gosh, salad as well! With carrots and cucumbers! What is this? Kimchi? Handmade?” Jaemin still went all hardcore and excited with the food Jeno made. “Wahh, I don’t know you can cook Korean food this well!”
Jeno frowned when he saw Jaemin and scoffed. “You act as if you have never seen Korean food before… and yes I can cook some simple Korean food well.”
Jeno cooks simple Japanese food most of the time, but he also cook Korean food at times. That day because he had Jaemin having a sleepover and the ingredients in the fridge allowed him to cook that menu, he simply just went for it.
Jaemin hummed in delight, holding the chopsticks tight between his hands. “I will eat well, thank you for the food!”
“Say it to God who has given you a chance eating that, not only to me.” Jeno said while grabbing the chopsticks as well.
Jaemin rose his eyebrows high but then smiled again. He grabbed his chopsticks and looked up. “Grace!”
Jeno scoffed for the uptenth time that time, for a reason he himself wasn’t very clear about, before started to eat his food. Jaemin also did the same, and it didn’t take long until the smaller opened his mouth again. “This is so delicious! You are really a great cook!”
Jeno could feel his chest rose a little, proud filling his chest, and he was definitely swayed with the compliment-, yet he didn’t let it show. “Well… this is nothing for me.”
Jaemin took a big gulp of the warm soup before sighed happily. “I have never eaten such a good food like this.”
Jeno faked a laugh. “Liar, you get to eat from all the famous restaurants in Seoul. You must have tasted a lot of delicious food before.”
“I do, they all tasted nice, but somehow bland.” Jaemin replied, before looked up and smiled. “Your cooking is different. It screams love and passion. And now I get to eat such a delicious food with someone, it tasted even more amazing.”
Jeno fell into silence as he heard Jaemin’s words. He slowly stopped chewing, his eyes wavered as he learned something more about this weird kid in front of him. Jeno supported his chin with his hand, looking at Jaemin as the caramel haired boy dug into the food with happy expression.
Well money buys you what you want, but it can’t guarantee to give you what you truly needs, after all…
Jeno inhaled a deep breath before sighed. He glanced at the rolled omelette on the big plate and took it. He moved a few more pieces to Jaemin’s bowl. “Eat a lot, you are so skinny like brick of stick.”
Jaemin gladly accepted it with a big smile. “Thank you! Ah, it must be very pleasing to be able to live here with you.”
“No.” Jeno immediately replied, horrified with that word. “You didn’t know I was so panic last night? What if your bodyguards tracked and came down here? You stupid heir, what if they found my house?”
“Oh, I told them to not look for me last night.” Jaemin replied with innocent face. “I didn’t plan to go home last night so I told them to not follow me and that I would sleep in the hotel.”
Jeno rose his eyebrows. “You were planning to stay outside?”
“I didn’t feel like going home.” Jaemin replied without looking at Jeno. “Some people visited my house last night and I got annoyed by their presence.”
“Some… people?” Jeno asked with left eyebrow lifted. “Who?”
“Some relatives.” Jaemin shrugged and drank more of the soup. “Oh! Don’t we like… have a class at 8?”
“I skipped it.” Jeno replied flatly before sighed. “Right now is 9 AM already, and it’s so not wise to leave the house alone with you inside.”
Jaemin pouted. “What does that supposed to mean… ah, then does that mean we would spend the whole day together?”
“NO.” Jeno replied with a clear and big no. “I still have class at 12 and you should go home.”
Jaemin sighed and looked at Jeno with devastated look. “…but I want to spend more time here.”
Jeno shook his head. “Nope. You. Are. Going. Home.”
Jaemin bit his lower lip before holding his head with his right hand. “B-but-, ah-, I think I still have headache. Can I like… stay for a few more hours so that this hangover could g-,”
“No reason. Go home.” Jeno repeated again mercilessly, making Jaemin groaned.
“Okay, okay. I’m going home after this.” The heir sighed and pulled out his phone and turned it on.
“…huh?” Jeno widened his eyes. “…your phone was dead, right?”
Jaemin nodded. “It was.”
“Ah, it didn’t run out of battery. I just turned it off and locked it because I didn’t want anyone to call me.” Jaemin replied lightly.
Jeno felt like banging his head on the wall when he heard that.
“My bodyguards will pick me up at the bus station in 10 minutes.” Jaemin said once he got a reply from Johnny. He finished all his food before smiling happily. “Thank you for the excellent hospitality, Jenujenu!”
Jeno cringed when he heard the nickname, and stabbed the pumpkin croquette in front of him. “Who told you that you can call me that?”
Jaemin ignored the other’s icy cold glare and went straight to drink his soup instead. He hummed in delight and fed himself more rice. Jeno just sighed when he was completely ignored by the boy in front of him. He stared as Jaemin finished his food, and without him knowing-, the corner of his lip curled into a small smile.
Jaemin looked so cute this way, just like a child.
Then all of sudden, the conversations between Jaemin and Jiyong once again crossed Jeno’s mind. The Japanese gaze wavered, before he leaned away. The conversation… was it really… not about him? Then what did Jiyong mean? What that kid wanted from Jaemin?
Jeno furrowed his eyebrows, letting countless of thoughts running around his mind.
“I’ve done eating, thank you for the food.” Jaemin said as he put the chopsticks on the top of bowl.
Jeno got torn away from his thought, then nervously nodded.
“I think he’s arrived…” Jaemin mumbled when his phone rang, and turned to look at Jeno. “Ah… I don’t feel like going…”
Jeno just gave the other a look and gestured his hand to shoo the JYP heir away. “Go back to your house, quick.”
Jaemin pouted and looked down. “…it’s so hard to talk and spend time with you. Why should I got drunk and fell asleep last night? We could’ve talked a bit more.”
Jeno looked at Jaemin in disbelief. “And you think I would want that?”
Jaemin pursed his lips before rose his shoulders. “…maybe? I should’ve like awakened a little earlier…”
“Then I will shoo you a little earlier as well.” Jeno replied sarcastically.
Jaemin looked at Jeno with a knocked out expression. “You are so mean.”
Jeno scoffed and took a sip of his tea. “I’ve always been this way.”
Jaemin couldn’t help but smile when he heard that. He nodded. “That’s okay, I also prefer it that way.”
Jeno rose his left eyebrow at Jaemin’s answer.
“It sounded more like… Lee Jeno .” Jaemin said with his childish grin.
A very wide, innocent, and happy innocent grin he had never shown to other people. So pure that Jeno felt his heart stopped for a second.
“Then… I will get going now.” Jaemin said before rose from his seat sluggishly.
Jeno awkwardly got up as well, and escorted the smaller to the front door.
“Well… I am going now…” Jaemin said again, looking absolutely unenthusiastic about going back to his luxurious and big home to get more rest in his definitely more comfortable bedroom. He rose his hand and waved it. “Bye…”
Jeno blinked and put both of his hands into his pocket. “…uhm.”
Jaemin sighed before turned and walked away with slightly slumped shoulders.
Jeno watched them all from the front door, and it tickled his heart. He felt somehow like sending a kicked puppy away from the house, and it just didn’t feel right.
“…you know, I kinda like snack vendors…” those words escaped Jeno’s mouth even before he could realize it. “So if you want to like… get another one, well yeah… if I wasn’t busy I could like… well sometimes…”
Jaemin turned sharply on his spot when he heard that, and Jeno felt cold sweats running his forehead.
“…even though I am mostly b-busy all times.” Jeno continued before took a step back into the house.
Jaemin widened his eyes when he heard that. It took a few seconds until he could completely processed what Jeno had just said.
Jeno winced when he heard the sudden excited voice from outside his door. Some part of him regretted what he had just said immediately.
“We could?? We could like go out again??”
Jeno closed both of his ears with his palms with terrified expression. Did he just make a huge mistake?
“Ahhh, I am so excited!” Jaemin suddenly shouted happily. “You promised me! You shouldn’t lie! We should go out again sometimes later, okay??”
Jeno groaned and leaned his head against the door. He’s officially ruined now.
“I will see you soon, Jenujenu! Very soon!” Jaemin said excitedly while making his way out of the door. He could feel his footsteps suddenly became so light that he could fly just anytime.
Jeno sighed and turned toward the door a little. When he heard Jaemin’s voice slowly grew distant and distant, he opened the door slowly and peeked outside. Jaemin was no longer on his garden by the time he peeked over. He had walked pretty far away, and Jeno could see how that kid was partially bouncing around from far.
Na Jaemin looked really happy.
Jeno stared at the retreating figure and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s amazing that he’s so happy just because of that.”
However… Jaemin indeed had been a weird kid from the beginning, so it didn’t really surprise Jeno actually. The SM heir smiled and leaned against the door frame. He crossed his arms as he kept his eyes on Jaemin’s figure until he completely disappeared from his sight.
“Silly boy,” Jeno murmured to himself before chuckled and turned around to close the door. He stretched as he looked at the dining table he used with Jaemin before. Dirty plates and cutleries had waited to be washed, as if mocking him. Jeno only had little time before he should get ready for the next class.
Ah… Jeno doesn’t usually cook for breakfasts. He only did it because of Jaemin that day. He doesn’t like to wash plates before going to campus, but well-, he had done it anyway. There’s no way he would leave dirty dishes on the sink until he returned later on at night, right?
Jeno cracked his neck as he approached the table.
Well okay, let’s go on with the day.
I AM SO EMBARASSED HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA
I posted this chapter in my other story by accident ! Hahahahahahhaa
If my readers didn't remind me beforehand, I could've just go on and live my life without knowing what I have done kyahahaahahahaha
Chapter 18: Jealous
Mark stared at the other with eyebrows furrowed, before followed Jaemin’s gaze to see what the other was looking at. He sighed almost immediately when he sensed what was happening. He gave one more glance at Jaemin before slowly took some steps back.
Looked like it would get a little complicated after this.
Jeno didn’t know how it all started-, to be very honest, yet he and Jaemin had slowly gotten closer ever since that day. They talked to each other a lot, and Jaemin even succeeded to get Jeno’s line id. Yes, the real id. He had his way to got it from Jeno, and Jeno was actually also very confused himself, on how the hell did he ended up giving his line id to that guy. Of course, they did all of it behind the closed wall. Jaemin still respected Jeno’s need to keep himself off attention and any kind of spotlight, so he never talked to the Japanese in public.
…and since he couldn’t do it… he ended up chatting Jeno a lot.
Like, really… really… a lot.
Don’t you get tired of seeing Professor Kang’s face?
Jeno rose his left eyebrow, before then turned to look at Jaemin who’s sitting on his usual position at the back of the classroom. Jaemin grinned from ear to ear, greeting Jeno only with his smile. Seeing that child-like smile, Jeno couldn’t help but scoffed, before turning his attention back to his phone. He typed a quick reply.
Stop playing with your phone and study.
Jeno put his phone on his left thigh, leaving it there before lifted his head to look at the material professor Kang was teaching in front of the classroom. He only glanced back down when his phone vibrated again. The Japanese took the phone and tapped open the message
I don’t need to study. I am already smart, I just don’t show it.
Jeno’s lips curved into a slight smile when he read it. Smart? Ass. The SM heir was just about to type a quick reply back to Jaemin when suddenly a low voice whispered on his left ear.
“Stop texting your poupee, and keep your phone inside the bag or professor Kang would ended up personally come to take it away.”
Jeno gasped and looked at Mark, the owner of the voice, with eyes as wide as ping-pong ball. He was really surprised, he didn’t even notice that Mark would see what he was doing. The poor dark haired boy let out an incoherent mumbles as he slowly put down his phone down, slipping it back to his bag before he coughed, pretending nothing had happened.
Mark chuckled lightly when he saw his cousin’s expression. “Your poupee won’t be gone even if you could only reply to the message an hour later.”
“I-I’m not texting him.” Jeno panicked, his face flushed a little as he busied himself taking the pen back and started to scribble whatever Mrs. Kang was explaining in the front.
“You are texting him.” Mark stated, while wriggling his eyebrows up and down.
Jeno looked away, ignoring his cousin’s rant.
“Since when have you guys been texting each other?” Mark asked again, eyes lit up in pure curiosity. “Much things have happened while I was away, right?”
“It’s not like that.” Jeno sighed without tearing his eyes off Professor Kang. “I just feel sorry because I hurt him the other day.”
“Oho,” Mark rose his left eyebrow. “Well, what did you do?”
“Well-,” Jeno sighed. “He kept on following me here and there so I exploded and…”
“…wow.” Mark smirked. “You made him cry?”
“He didn’t.” Jeno shook his head. “-well, I don’t know but-,”
“You are a bad person, Jeno~”
Jeno sighed and ran his fingers throughout his hair. “Hyung, you know exactly why I am doing that go him.”
Mark’s smirk turned into a soft smile when he heard that. He supported his chin with right hand, eyes focused on the whiteboard. “Na Jaemin doesn’t seem like a bad person for me, even if you suspected him to work with Mino just to reveal you.”
Jeno turned his head toward Mark. “Why are you so positive about him?”
Mark shrugged. “I don’t know. I just don’t get any bad vibes from him. Not at all. It is weird.”
Jeno fell into one deep silence. He suddenly remembered what Jaemin said to Boa that night on the party, and he sighed.
Well… Maybe… Na Jaemin really meant no harm to him after all.
“Alright, class. We are done.” Professor Kang said from the front of the class, sighing as she gathered her documents and books, with the bored look on her face. “The paper task, please submit it now.”
Mark and Jeno both rose from their places. They went in front of the class along with the other students to submit the paper. Mark insisted to be the one who print and submit the task since Renjun had worked on more than half of the tasks by himself. Jeno on the other hand, was pretty surprised but also somehow wasn’t that surprised when he received the portion task from Jaemin on the previous day, done almost perfectly. Who else did this kid asked help from?
“Is this all?”
Professor Kang asked lightly. Her eyes scanning the rest of the class, and once she received no answer from the class, she gathered the tasks and got up. “Well then, have a nice day.”
The killer professor walked out from the class in a sassy way, accompanied by triumphant sighs from all over the classroom.
“Free tonight? Mind if I dragged you for Patbingsu?” Mark asked while slinging his backpack on his shoulder.
“Of course,” Jeno shrugged. “Usual place?”
“Do we have another choice?” Mark chuckled.
“Nope. Sulbing’s perfect.” Jeno replied and got up from the seat. He turned around and glanced at Jaemin, finding the boy was busy talking to Nancy about something. Jeno stared at their interaction, at how Jaemin smiled like usual, and how Nancy seemed to be more expressive than usual, laughing with one hand covering her mouth. Even from here, they looked so good together.
Well, that’s why they deserved to be called the couple of the university, of course.
Just as Jeno was about to look away, he spotted Kang Daniel dashed from his seat at the back with fuming anger that was very clear even when Jeno was sitting far away from him. Jeno blinked, and immediately turned back his head to someone who might possibly be the cause of Daniel’s wrath.
Daniel approached the table and slammed his fists in front of Renjun roughly. “What the fuck did you mean by ‘forget to bring my task’, huh??”
The whole class fell into silent shock when they heard Daniel’s loud voice. They stared at the furious boy in shock. Daniel’s presence was so intimidating, with his tall built and sharp eyes. People around them started to shift away, tried to avoid the scene as much as they could.
“I-, I s-swear I f-forgot, D-Daniel-ssi… I-, I w-was planning t-to go back b-but p-professor wouldn’t l-let me out-,” Renjun tried to explain with shaky voice. He tried to look at Daniel, but he couldn’t bear to see that cold glare the taller gave him. Renjun looked down and pressed his the palm of hands together, apologizing with a weak, small voice. Yet, Daniel didn’t seem to give a fuck as he gave the other a long groan.
“You did it on purpose, didn’t you?” Daniel asked with a threatening tone. “You indeed want to set me on trap and see me failing that witch’s class!”
Renjun shook his head. “N-no! I-, I s-seriously overslept I d-didn’t mean it I-,”
“Shut up and follow me scumbag!” Daniel growled while grabbing Renjun’s wrist.
Renjun yelped loudly as he was being pulled out of his desk roughly. “D-Daniel-,”
The whole class stared frozen at the scene. Everyone seemed too taken a back to react, and the fact that Daniel was one of the most fearless troublemaker in their university also didn’t help.
Everyone’s afraid of Daniel.
Everyone, but Mark, Jeno and the BBF crew of course.
“He’s at it again.” Jisung sighed while popping a gum into his mouth.
“Poor Renjun.” Nancy added. Well, she also asked for Renjun’s help to do Jaemin’s tasks most of times… but at least she asks nicely and even give Renjun extra pocket money as reward.
Jaehyun, Lucas and Jaemin just looked at the scene in front of them with poker face. Daniel only feared Jaemin and his gang among all the kids in the university, because they had all power in the world to expel him… but again-, of course Jaemin didn’t think it would be that necessary to help Renjun.
…Not until Jeno suddenly dashed forward and yanked Renjun’s hand away from Daniel.
“Don’t touch him.” He said with a low voice, growling at the taller boy with a threatening gaze.
Jaemin widened his eyes when he saw what Jeno did. His breath hitched as he leaned forward, staring at the scene in front of him without blinking. He watched as Daniel grew furious and kicked the desk in front of him angrily. He fisted Jeno’s collar and dragged him, raising his hand to aim a good punch on the annoyingly unfazed face.
Mark rose from his seat, went all panic as he looked at Jeno. Well he knew exactly his cousin could defend himself, and he of course believed that Jeno could kill Daniel right away-… and that’s the problem. Jeno shouldn’t create a scene. Not at all.
Jeno looked away, the locks of his bang covered his eyes as he tried hard to control the rising emotion.
“Who do you think you are, to interfere me and Renjun?” Daniel asked sharply, hands still fisted on Jeno’s collar.
Jeno just looked at him with a glare, but he didn’t prepare himself for a punch. “You shouldn’t force yourself into others like that.”
The whole class gasped when they heard Jeno’s words, and Daniel widened his eyes in anger. That was probably one of a very rare time that someone spoke back to him. There was a tiny bit of intimidation, panic, and even slightest-, fear-, on Daniel’s eyes before he suddenly laughed and grabbed Jeno’s jaw.
“You think you real cool, jumping in and suddenly say that?”
Jeno just glared at the other, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t want to create more scene by saying anything. He shouldn’t even have jump to the scene in the first place, but he did it anyway. He didn’t know why he was that impulsive, and he was pretty sure Mark would scold him to no end if they got home later.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Daniel hissed, dangerously low. He sounded so annoyed, probably because he didn’t want anyone to go against him. Jeno thought Daniel was pretty funny himself, trying to scare him off like that.
Anyone perhaps thought Daniel was this rude, ruthless person, who feared nothing. Yet, Jeno could definitely see something through those eyes. There was slight helplessness inside, and Jeno couldn’t help but wonder what had happened behind that appearance, the one he tried to put on too hard. Daniel was protecting his frail side by acting all tough and mighty. The punch wouldn’t hurt too much… it shouldn’t hurt too much…
Jeno ignored the other’s words, didn’t tear his eyes away at all from Daniel. It was bad, he shouldn’t have done it.
“This son of a bi-,”
Just as Daniel was about to punch Jeno and Mark was all ready to jump forward and defend his cousin, a loud sound of books being slammed with a loud bang captured the attention of all students.
There, in the middle of the class, Jaemin stood with hands folded on his chest. There was a stack of book on the table, thick ones. The JYP heir’s expression was annoyed, almost flat. “So noisy,”He hissed, there was an obvious dislike in his voice. “And what you gonna do with my teammate? Put your hand down.”
Daniel turned toward Jeno who was also looking at Jaemin in surprise. He glared at the other, then snapped his head back to Jaemin who was still looking at him with left eyebrow lifted high.
“Put your hand down,” Jaemin repeated again, stressing down his sentences to show that he wasn’t joking around. “You are ruining my mood in this beautiful afternoon, with all of this unpretty view.”
Daniel gritted his teeth emotionally as he felt anger bubbled up even more inside his chest. If he could, he truly wanted to punch the mafia son in front of him. Yet, he couldn’t. He ended up releasing Jeno with a great force, causing the other to stammered backward, almost tripped over his own feet, before putting both of his hands into his pocket. The tall guy then dashed out of the classroom without even bother to look back.
The kids in the class immediately murmured loudly, talking to each other about how cool Jeno was there to stop Daniel from harming Renjun, and how cool Jaemin was there to protect Jeno from Daniel.
Jeno turned to look at Jaemin, who kept his eyes on Renjun with expressionless face. He still had his arms folded in front of his chest. As Jaemin took his eyes off from Renjun and accidentally met Jeno’s, he let out a small smile. It was a brief one, very brief one, before he put his expression back and walked passing by Jeno to go out from the classroom.
Jeno turned to look at Jaemin’s retreating figure, until the caramel haired boy completely disappeared from the view.
…why did he do it?
Jeno’s lips parted open a little. He wanted to run after Jaemin and called him, but a hand tugged on his shirt and made him turned around. Huang Renjun was looking at him with worried expression. He reached out to touch Jeno’s messed up collar with a terrified and sad expression. “I-, I’m s-sorry… d-did you get hurt?”
Jeno couldn’t help but smiled when he heard that. “Why are you sorry? It’s not like you are the one that about to punch me.”
Renjun shook his head, noticing Daniel had left a pretty red bruise on Jeno’s chest when he grabbed his collar before. “It’s my fault. You shouldn’t have helped me. Come with me, let’s go to the infirmary room.”
Jeno followed as Renjun guided him out of the classroom and straight to the infirmary room. The smaller encircled his arm around Jeno’s waist, guiding him even though Jeno didn’t get hurt there at all. Mark who was suddenly all forgotten, ran out of the classroom and about to chase after them but stopped when he saw how Renjun affectionately touched Jeno’s bruise and how they were waking side by side, so close to each other.
Mark huffed and folded his arms. Should they even be that romantic in the middle of campus?
The tall Canadian boy chuckled as he saw those two disappeared from his view, and turned around. He would just check on Jeno later on when they got home. However, as he turned around, his eyes spotted Na Jaemin leaned on the pillar not really far from him with arms crossed. His eyes were pinned to Jeno and Renjun’s retreating figure.
Jaemin’s expression was unreadable. He kept his mouth shut, eyes hazy and mark swore he couldn’t really read the meaning behind those look. Mark stared at the other with eyebrows furrowed, before followed Jaemin’s gaze to see what the other was looking at. He sighed almost immediately when he sensed what was happening. He gave one more glance at Jaemin before slowly took some steps back.
Looked like it would get a little complicated after this.
I didn't post on the wrong story again-, right...
Here, enjoy the latest chapter of Autumn Crocus!
Oh-, and I heard some of you are being so sad for Nanaaaaa, asking if I would make the third person appear.
Actually, what will come is about to be pretty heart-clenching, but don't worry I will make Jeno taste the same medicine with what Nana had been drinking from the start !
I'll see you on the next chapter then !
“So which one do you like? Huang Renjun, or Na Jaemin?”
Jeno almost choked on his red bean bingsoo when Mark suddenly shot him that question. He coughed a few times before turning his full attention toward his cousin with a shocked face. “W-what is that even supposed to mean?”
“Well-, you are softened up a lot to Na Jaemin.” Mark shrugged, yet his eyes were sharp as he laid them on his cousin. “But… I see that you’ve been giving more attention to Huang Renjun as well. What is this supposed to mean, actually?”
Jeno cleared his throat and looked down at his bingsu. “I treat Jaemin better because he’s sticking to me nonstop like a gum. I treat Renjun that way because… well you do know why.”
“That is not the question.” Mark shook his head. “So, are you interested in Renjun or Jaemin? In that way-, that you yourself know how.”
Jeno bit his lower lip nervously. He knew Mark wouldn’t stop asking this question until he answered it. He sighed and placed his spoon on the table.
“Okay, I have a slight… very slight interest in Renjun.” He stated, with a low voice. “For a reason that you definitely know why. I have this urge to keep on protecting him, like I don’t want him to get hurt. He erupt the protective side of me that want to protect him.”
Mark fell into silence when he heard that. He didn’t tear his gaze away from Jeno at all, before asked again. “What about Jaemin?”
It was Jeno’s turn to fell into a quick dead silence. He looked at the other with a troubled expression before shrugged. “…he’s just a friend.”
Mark sighed when he heard that. Seemed like luck was nowhere by Jaemin’s side. He suddenly remembered how the caramel haired boy looked back then in the campus, almost resembling the expression of a jealous puppy.
Somehow… Mark pitied the other.
“What about you and that Haechan kid?” Jeno asked, suddenly drifted hard to change the topic.
It worked. He felt a triumphant drums banging around his heart when he saw how Mark grew flustered once that name rolled out from Jeno’s mouth. “What do you mean?”
“You pestered me to answer before. You think I don’t know what’s going on with you and that Busan kid? The Chinese restaurant owner’s kid?” He asked with a mocking, annoying smile. “Boa told me everything. Every. Thing.”
Mark pressed his lips into a thin line.
“He’s cute, huh? I stalked him on instagram.” Jeno said flatly while showing a picture of Haechan on his phone.
“Hey!” Mark hissed as he pushed the phone away, was being extra shy even when he just looked at the picture only.
“I wonder why you especially want to go to Busan, when you could’ve just asked Boa to go instead.” Jeno smirked then moved his phone away, yet didn’t let Mark escape his teasing face. “So this is the reason~”
Mark sighed and finally gave up. “He’s good.”
“Like, what good?” Jeno asked again, wiggling his eyebrows up and down. “You are being so ambiguous about it. What are you talking about, actually?”
“Nice, humble, kind. Diligent.” Mark started to mention the things he likes about Haechan. “I still need more time, though. It’s not like we have met many times already. I have only met him three times.”
“Yet the chat history in your phone is enough to be bundled up as novel series.” Jeno commented flatly. “I wonder why you’ve been holding your phone a lot more often recently.”
“Why did you open my phone!” Mark hissed again. “Extremely rude of you, Lee Jeno-ssi.”
Jeno just chuckled, before secretly sighed.
Finally, Mark had forgotten the topic about Renjun and Jaemin.
Jaemin stayed inside his bedroom the whole day. The tray of the dinner his maids left was still ignored, untouched on the table. He wasn’t hungry. Instead, he felt sick. Each time he doze off, the image of Jeno and Renjun crossed his mind. It made him frustrated, and his appetite was drowned beyond surface.
That day, he literally didn’t want to do anything other than just sit around on the bed and daydreaming. Jeno’s pictures were right beside him, all put facing down. He didn’t feel like seeing Jeno’s pictures at that moment, but he also wanted to keep them close to himself.
Jaemin ran his hand through his caramel brown hair locks and sighed.
What’s so special about Huang Renjun? Why Jeno had been hanging around him a lot recently?
“Small deer who can’t even protect himself…” He whispered due to his annoyance. He hated how easy it was for Renjun to steal Jeno’s attention. All he needed to do, was to act like victim, and Jeno would be all over him. That’s cheating, right?
Meanwhile-, Jaemin? He tried so many times, yet he also got so many rejections… he had to bear the pain of getting ignored and pushed away, and all he reached after those struggles… was only to get Jeno a little less cold toward him.
Jaemin sighed again for the up tenth time, and laid on the bed. He closed his eyes and covered his face with pillow. He suddenly felt so exhausted-, both mentally, and physically. It was just tiring, to chase after someone that wouldn’t even spare a glance more than some prior seconds to you.
It hurts. To love someone who doesn’t love you back.
Jaemin had never known how is it feel, the one sided love…-, yet now he understood it.
Jaemin didn’t know to whom he should talk about this. He couldn’t say any of this to his squad. Even though they are all loyal and understanding, there would be no way Jaemin could reveal Jeno’s identity to them. If he didn’t reveal it, they would ask why it should be Jeno when there were thousands of good looking girls and guys lining up for him. Worst case, Nancy wouldn’t accept the fact that Jaemin likes Jeno easily. Ever.
Jaemin really didn’t want to ruin the life Jeno’s been struggling to live in secretively.
His phone vibrated and Jaemin shot up straight on the bed. He grabbed the phone away, thinking it would be Jeno who sent him messages.
Turned out it’s not, and he should swallowed back a big lump of disappointment. He sighed, before opening the message he got from a random unknown number, then his blood ran cold.
I know you blocked my number. Cute.
Jaemin’s breath raged when he read the message. He slammed his phone to the bed and scouted away from it. Mino texted him again, and he hated how he couldn’t do anything about it. He wanted to text him back, saying stop messing with his life but he couldn’t.
He had no right to do so.
His life, and JYP’s life, are on the edge of hook after all. And the worst case is… Song Mino held the key to whether they could stay alive or not. He jumped on his spot when his phone vibrated again. He didn’t want to see it, but he should. As much as he didn’t want to see it, he couldn’t just ignore it. So, he took the phone again with the trembling hand and swiped it open.
Hey, thanks for earlier.
p.s you don't really have to do that.
Jaemin frowned when he read the message-, that turned out to be a line chat. He checked who was the sender and widened his eyes.
It was Jeno.
It was as if a ton of weight had been released from his body, all of sudden all his bad feeling he got previously forgotten. Flowers bloomed from all over his stomach and he laid on the bed happily to chat back Jeno. He giggled as he hit the stickers button and sent so many silly stickers to the SM heir.
Well, things were not going as smooth as he predicted and maybe, maybe wouldn’t ever go that way ever.
Yet Jaemin still had that hope.
He would willingly would spend another and another night, just to be with Jeno.
Renjun sat on his bed with a smiling face. He hugged his pillow close to his chest, as he replayed what had happened earlier that day.
“I like him even more…” He sighed and buried his face to his pillow. He swung on his spot side to side, before got up and ran toward his study table. He sat on it and pulled out his book, opened the new page.
Words per words were started to be written on the paper. Time ticked, and there was only the scribbling sound of pen against the surface heard on the air. After a while, Renjun smiled as he looked back at the book. He hugged it and waltzed around the room. He finally jumped to the bed with the books still pressed close against his chest.
The small boy rolled to his side and smiled to his own self.
He was so happy, he didn’t even know why he did-, when what had happened literally was just-, nothing. Yet-, it felt so light… and he knew it brought such a big change to his own feeling.
Renjun looked at the book again and put it beside him.
He would definitely make a song out of the words he wrote down there.
Enjoy the latest chapter !!
Chapter 20: How The Trouble Started
At that time, Jaemin thought he was the only one who was looking at the view outside of the window. He thought, he was the only one frowning with a lot of things going inside his mind. Little did he know, Nancy also looked out to find whatever he was looking at.
It just, what’s running in her mind was completely the opposite of what running inside Jaemin’s.
Jeno knew he admitted that he, indeed, had developed a slight- tiny- bitty- interest in Huang Renjun… but he didn’t think that the petite boy would be the first person he ran into once he stepped his feet on the campus gate on the next day.
“J-Jeno-ssi,” Renjun greeted with his usual nervous face, awkward smile as if he was afraid on whatever his friend would mention. He bowed down, rubbing his arm with his hand as he gotten nervous. “G-good morning…”
Jeno felt the massive butterflies flew all around inside his stomach, and he blinked a bit faster than usual. “G-good morning…”
“T-the wound from yesterday…” Renjun said softly as he looked at the bruise on the corner of Jeno’s lips. “A-are they still hurting?”
Jeno felt something twisted on the bottom of his stomach. He felt that giddiness again, warmth filling his stomach as he shrugged off and grinned. “Well, that’s nothing.”
Renjun’s eyes didn’t leave Jeno’s for a while, before slowly he averted his gaze down. “…I am glad…”
Jeno couldn’t help but smiled when he saw the adorable expression. His hand moved on its own, finding himself patting the smaller on the head. “We have the same class, right?”
Renjun looked at Jeno for a bit, hesitated, before nodded. “Uhm… yes.”
“Let’s go, then.” He said before nudged his chin to the classroom’s building direction. He felt his heart fluttered when he saw Renjun following right beside him.
There was a slight awkward silence filling the air. Jeno was busy wondering why Renjun’s scent was lingering on the air and it comforted him so much-, while Renjun himself was sincerely didn’t know what to say or do. After some unproductive seconds passed, Renjun suddenly played harder with his fingers. He stole shy glances at Jeno, before awkwardly said. “I… I still have to repay… w-what Jeno-ssi did yest-, yesterday…”
Jeno rose both of his eyebrows when he heard that, before laughed softly. “What are you talking about? What is there to repay? I am just defending you because Daniel is a jerk.”
Renjun looked down on his feet, then looked up again. “But Jeno-ssi had saved me so many times… I should do something… to repay you.”
As if the invisible trumpets been blown all around the room, Jeno could feel something inside him cheered up loudly. He cleared his throat, and tried to play it cool. “W-well, it’s nothing. Really.”
“But...” Renjun lowered his gaze down, making him looked even more like a kicked puppy.
Jeno couldn’t stand the view so he cleared his throat, before putting both of his hands into the pocket. “W-well… we can… we can go somewhere… if you wanted.”
Renjun looked up and widened his eyes. “Somewhere…?”
“Myeongdong’s night market is always nice to visit.” Jeno said, scratched the back of his head nervously. “Well, probably you could like… accompany me buying clothes or something like that…”
Renjun’s eyes lit up a bit and a smile found its way to curve perfectly on his lips. “Sure! I can!”
Jeno looked at him, surprised to see the smile that Renjun had never shown before. “E-eh?”
“I… It’s been pretty a while for me since I l-last visited Myeongdong.” Renjun said, fingers still fiddling with each other. “I t-think… it will be good to be there a-again.”
Jeno looked at him with a wide smile. “Fine then, tonight at 7. How?”
Renjun grinned and nodded. “Um! Tonight at 7!”
They chuckled to themselves as they approached the classroom, and Jeno was stunned when Renjun and him arrived just at the same time with Jaemin and his squads. The caramel haired JYP heir turned to look at Jeno, then averted his gaze to Renjun. Renjun immediately hid his face once Jaemin’s eyes landed on him. Jeno noticed that the other seemed to be uncomfortable around Jaemin-, perhaps because by this time the JYP heir was putting an unamused and cold expression. Weird. Jaemin usually had never shown that expression.
Jaemin looked back at Jeno, before scoffed a little and walked away. Jeno frowned and looked at the other, a bit confused and also annoyed at the same time. Hey? What does that scoff supposed to mean? Both Jeno and Renjun followed Jaemin from behind, before each go to their usual seat. After he sat on it, he glanced to see Renjun on his usual spot. The other’s small back looked even lonelier from Jeno’s spot. Jeno thought for a while, before called Renjun. “Renjun-ssi, why don’t you take a seat beside me?”
Renjun turned around, eyes widened in surprise. “E-eh… could… could I?”
Jeno nodded, and Renjun looked obviously hesitating for a few seconds before he stood up and slowly made his way to Jeno. The two ended up sitting on the table, and Renjun bit his lower lip as he looked around in slight nervousness. When he met Jeno’s eyes, he let out a slight awkward grin. He ran his hand through his locks before looked down and taking the notes out of his backpack.
Jeno tried hard to prevent his lips from smiling, finding how adorable Renjun was. When he accidentally saw the novel book inside Renjun’s bag, he blinked. “You read a lot of novels.”
Renjun seemed to be startled for a good second, looking down to his book before back to Jeno. “A-ah… yes…”
Jeno looked at the book again in a slight interest. “Did you buy all of the novels yourself?”
Renjun shook his head. “I d-don’t have much space t-to store my books anymore so I… I borrowed it from the local lib-library.”
“You mean from our university’s library?” Jeno asked again.
“No, from a local library.” Renjun replied. “S-seoul Metropolitan Library.”
Jeno rose his left eyebrow in curiosity. He had heard that name a lot but he hadn’t really gone there before. “I have always wanted to go there.”
Renjun smiled when he heard that. “R-really?”
Well not much of kids their age love libraries. That’s why Renjun was actually quite surprised that Jeno wanted to go there.
Jeno nodded. “I wanna look up some more books there. I can’t find them in our libraries, nor that I can buy it elsewhere.”
Renjun looked at Jeno for a while, before turning his attention back to the book. He lifted his face again, then looked at Jeno. “W-what book is that…?”
“The Little Paris Bookshop.” Jeno replied. “Written by Nina George.”
Renjun tilted his head to the right a little, trying to remember the certain book Jeno just mentioned. “I… I have never heard about it before… but… but I think with such huge collection, that book…. could exist there.”
Jeno nodded his head out of excitement. “You can take me there.”
Renjun widened his eyes again. He was a bit surprised with the sudden invitation, so his reflex was to look away almost immediately. Jeno who didn’t feel like he said anything funny, also got surprised with Renjun’s reaction. What? Did he just say something wrong? The Japanese’ brain immediately worked hard to replay all the words he had just said.
“W-we can go there t-today too.” Renjun said groggily, eyes didn’t directly landed at Jeno. He just glanced a little, then averted his gaze away for the next seconds.
“Sure!” Jeno smiled. “S, before we go to Myeongdong we will go there. Call?”
Renjun nodded again and flashed a sweet smile. It was a nervous, but also a very adorable smile. Jeno felt his heart warmed up with that expression, before he found himself smiling even wider.
Huang Renjun is just so adorable.
Meanwhile, while the two on the front was having the moment of their life, Jaemin stared at both Jeno and Renjun from his usual spot with his squads. To be honest, Jaemin was already itching to grab Jeno away from Renjun. It’s unfair. He wanted to be the one talking to Jeno, laughing and joking around like what those two were doing. Yet, what could he do, he couldn’t just suddenly be all friendly and close to Jeno, or else everyone would get suspicious. Na Jaemin, the mafia son wouldn’t just hang out with random people. It would be weird if he suddenly got all close to Jeno. While Renjun? He’s just a nobody, nobody had their eyes on him. No one remembered him except when homework, group works and exams were around. That’s why he had all the chances to get close to Jeno.
Cause that’s exactly what Jeno seek that anyway. A friendship with a nobody.
Jaemin hated how he felt so jealous and angry but yet couldn’t do anything about it. The fact that Jeno shown clear interest with Renjun made him grow even more restless. Jaemin closed his eyes when a sudden headache hit his head. His hand moved to give his head a gentle massage, only to open his eyes again when a hand tapped him on the shoulder.
“Okay? 8 PM!” Lucas grinned widely.
“What?” the heir asked in confusion.
“Jisung’s birthday celebration.” Nancy explained as she nudged at the gummy smiling Jisung. “In Pierre Gagnaireà Seoul.”
“…oh?” Jaemin blinked as he straightened up his body. “Tonight?”
Jisung winked at Jaemin. “Yes, seems like you have forgotten my birthday at all.”
Jaemin immediately felt bad and folded his arms. “I-, I am not. Just, kind of like, surprised ‘cause… well, you know, you pick a restaurant in Myeongdong.”
“That’s because he will have a midnight date with Chenle afterwards.” Jaehyun commented before grinned. “Right?”
“Ah, a hot night too?” Lucas asked while wiggling his eyebrows up and down.
Jisung got flustered and waved off his friends. “What the heck guys, it’s just a street food hunting. Chenle doesn’t like fine dining restaurants, so he won’t be joining us for the dinner.”
“Or he just doesn’t like your two’s privacy is disturbed?” Lucas asked again with a teasing tone. “He might want to have you all for himself so he gives up on the dinner.”
Jisung laughed again, eyes crinkled to a moonlight shape. “Well, try to take a guess all you guys want, but me and him still gonna go for the street food hunting.”
Jaemin just smiled as he listened to his squad’s conversation. He didn’t feel like joining, but Jisung had his birthday that day and Jisung was one of the most important person in his life. His squad now was already the best second family he could ever get so he wanted to treasure them.
“…okay, 8 PM in Pierre Gagnaire Myeongdong.” Jaemin said, earning nods from the other.
The conversation continued soon enough, and as they debated about what would Zhong Chenle give Jisung as his birthday present, Jaemin’s eyes darted back to the back view of Jeno and Renjun talking.
It lingered there, as seconds passed by. Questions by questions-, curiosities.
Jaemin somehow sensed something, that he himself didn’t want to admit.
So he would just stay quiet about it.
It would hurt too much if it was true.
Jeno and Renjun really ended up hanging out together later after the class. They spent the rest of afternoon staying in the library, until the sun set and left the sky dark.
“Woah, I can’t believe I find it.” Jeno murmured to himself, his eyes scanning the book he had literally been looking for desperately since the past couple months. “Silly, I should’ve just searched it here from the first time.”
Jeno put the book on his hand, and headed toward Renjun who also had plenty of books already on his hands. Jeno’s stomach grumbled. He knew so well that he needed to eat.
“Renjun?” Jeno called out, and saw the smaller turned his head around, flashing a nervous cute grin.
“Ah, you are done?”
Jeno nodded and touched his stomach. “And I am hungry. We should go now to eat.”
Renjun nodded and started to lead Jeno outside. They took care of the administration, before then brought the books along with them.
“Where shall we eat?” Jeno hummed before glanced at Renjun. “Where do you want to eat?”
Renjun blinked cutely, before looking at Jeno. “…wherever you want.”
“Oho, nope. Tell me where do you want to eat.” Jeno shook his head.
“B-but I am okay with everything, really.” Renjun said with a nervous face, eyes blinking out of consciousness. When he received disapproving look from Jeno, he immediately bit his lower lip. “Hmm… W-well… maybe this J-jajjang tteokbokki place-…”
“Lead the way sir!” Jeno nudged his head toward the directions, and Renjun couldn’t help but hold back his smile.
They made their way to the jajjang tteokbokki restaurant that Renjun mentioned, and made themselves comfortable. Two set portion of menu had been ordered, and Jeno started to take interest with the novel Renjun had just borrowed.
“After you gone.” He read the title, taking the book on his hand and observed it. “Ah, this one. It’s translated to Korean, that’s why the cover is similar.”
Renjun rose his eyebrows. “Eh? What do you mean?”
“I have read the original one.” Jeno said as he put the novel back to the table. “It is good, all about going out from comfort zone.”
“I see.. the synopsis is nice.” Renjun said before chuckled. “Even the to do lists are fun. I think it’d be interesting to suddenly get this kind of list from a friend.”
“I’ve done it once.” Jeno said, grinning. “From a friend. That was one kinda crazy list.”
He did, indeed. From Mark. The crazy cousin of him gave him list of what to do on his short vacation to California last year. The lists varied from seducing a foreigner to finishing a full box of California donuts by himself (and there were 6 donuts inside). However, Jeno really did them all.
Renjun let out an awed expression, before pursing his lips a little. “It sounded fun…”
Jeno chuckled when he saw the other, then folded his arms. “Should I make you one?”
Renjun widened his eyes when he heard that, and immediately shook his head. “A-ah! I did say it sounded fun-, b-but I don’t think I would have enough guts to finish one b-by myself.”
“Why not?” Jeno asked while unzipping his backpack and took out his notebooks. “Aren’t these lists are all about getting out of comfort zone, anyway? It supposed to be challenging, indeed.”
Renjun watched in panic as Jeno held the pen and played it on top of the blank note. “B-but I…”
“If you needed help, I will help you to finish them all.” Jeno said, a smile plastered on his face. “How?”
Renjun fell into silence. Hesitations were written all over his face, but he didn’t say anything more when Jeno started to write.
“You are only allowed to open this note later on when you go back to home.” Jeno warned, covering the note with his free hand.
Renjun still looked kinda worried. He played with his fingers, wondering what might Jeno write there. Seconds passed, and he looked at Jeno. “Y-you are not g-gonna bully me w-with those lists, r-right?”
Jeno looked up and laughed when he heard that. “What are you saying, I won’t.”
The Japanese then looked down again on the paper, scribbling it some more as he talked.
“I will make this list, to be yours to fulfilled. To get you out of comfort zone, and to introduce you to new world. Something you might never knew before, and hopefully you will like it.”
Renjun stared at the notes with thumping hard.
Something he never knew before?
Something he would like?
Renjun lived all his life being boring and all. Study, study, and study, because that is the only thing he is capable of to do. He wanted to feel honored too, so he strived for good grades here and there. After all, without them, what Renjun’s worth is?
Meanwhile, Jeno tried to think for whatever crazy yet good idea to get Renjun out of his comfort zone. He tapped the pen on his cheek, before wrote and wrote.
10 things for Huang Renjun to do.
- Accept this challenge. No backing away.
- Do something you have always afraid of.
- Take care of yourself.
- Spare a day to do everything that you want to do.
5.Stop being afraid with Kang Daniel.
- Create something memorable to someone that matters to you.
7.Back away from all the negativities in life.
8.Be honest with your feeling.
- Live the life you’ve always dreamed about.
- Call me once you are done with all the lists.
Jeno finished all the lists after some very good minutes. He gave them a screen reading once again before returned the paper to the smaller. Renjun blinked as he received the folded paper, and put it slowly inside his bag because of Jeno’s command. He really wanted to see what was inside, but since Jeno had warned him to not touch it, he didn’t.
Huang Renjun always obeys people’s order.
The sound of cutleries dropped on a ceramic plate surface grabbed the attention of Lucas and the other kids. They immediately focusing their attention to Jaemin who was looking outside the window, eyebrows furrowed and lips parted open in shock.
“Jaemin?” Nancy who was sitting beside him called out softly.
Jaemin tore his attention from the window, clearing his throat as he averted his gaze back to the steak under him. “A-ah, sorry. I just remembered something.”
“Remember what?” Jaehyun asked.
“Something…” Jaemin looked up to find his friends’ eyes, forcing his lips to curve into a painful grin. “-it’s about my dog, don’t worry. Ahahaha.”
His friends immediately sighed in relief; tense atmosphere disappeared into thin air.
“Man, I thought you got some big problems all of sudden-, or the steak didn’t fill your standard.” Lucas gave a gentle slap on Jaemin’s arm.
Jaemin shook his head, still tried hard to maintain his fake eye smiles. He reached out again for his cutleries, started to eat again. As his friends back to their whispered gentle chatters, Jaemin glanced back outside the window to see the view that got him surprised earlier.
It was a view of Renjun and Jeno, eating something that looked like Gyeran Ppang in front of a fashion clothing store.
Jaemin’s eyebrows furrowed again, hands tightened around the fork and knife as jealousy washed over him. Shit, Huang Renjun really had taken so much more steps than him. Jaemin ragged with annoyance. He felt like someone had just taken a shortcut to steal the thing Jaemin had been pursuing for so long.
At that time, Jaemin thought he was the only one who was looking at the view outside of the window. He thought, he was the only one frowning with a lot of things going inside his mind. Little did he know, Nancy also looked out to find whatever he was looking at.
It just, what’s running in her mind was completely the opposite of what running inside Jaemin’s.
Happy eid mubarak, to my friends who celebrate it ^^
Enjoy the latest chapter !
Chapter 21: Worry
Somehow it scares him at times, at how attached he had already become. And he couldn’t deny the part of him that keep on telling him that his feeling would never get true.
It was one big black hole in the middle of the sea.
But Jaemin still found himself to swim there despite of the risk.
The sound of treadmill machine button being turned off roughly echoed throughout the gym center, gaining attentions of some people who happened to do the workout around there. Lee Jeno panted as he grabbed the small towel he brought and wiped away his sweat forcefully. Distracted. He was distracted by something.
“What the hell, why that kid hasn’t contacted me lately?” He asked, more to himself as he circled the towel around his neck.
Mark who also joined him for the workout just glanced, then continued whatever he was doing. Jeno didn’t even have to tell him, yet Mark had already could predicted who disturbed his cousin-, who were usually very calm and collective.
Na Jaemin, of course.
The kid hadn’t been coming to the campus lately, and it’d been 5 days already.
And that kid…
Jeno hissed as he moved to another spot, heading somewhere that could ease his mind. Maybe with a little weightlifting, he’d be a little calmer. Heck, Jeno also didn’t know why the fact that Jaemin disappeared without telling him could bother him that much.
Maybe… he had gotten too used to Jaemin chatted him all the time that when the pale boy suddenly stopped he felt weird.
Jeno moved from spots to spots afterwards, tried to find position that could satisfy him a little, but ended up getting even more frustrated because he couldn’t seem to get Jaemin out of his mind.
An hour passed, and they decided to call it a wrap before leaving the gym, straight to the soybean paste tent to have dinner.
“You really, really, looked distracted.” Mark commented as he stirred his soup with the spoon. “If you wanted to contact him that bad, why don’t you chat him first?”
Jeno almost choked on the soup he inhaled, before sending a death glare toward his cousin. “You crazy? There’s no way I would chat him first! It’s not like I am all over him anyway!”
Mark cringed when he heard that, looking down on his soup while mumbling incoherent things.
“W-will you join the meeting again next week?” Jeno asked, tried to change the topic. “The big groups meeting.”
Mark nodded. “Yes. What about you?”
“Me too.” Jeno replied, cleared his throat. “Ah, it looks like Irene will be pretty busy that ti-,”
The sound of a chat tore Jeno’s attention. The SM heir immediately grabbed the phone and checked the sender of the chat, making Mark scoffed to himself in disbelief. Jeno’s face itself, turned a little sour when he had checked it, lifting his face off the screen and put his phone away.
“Who is that?” Mark asked, though he definitely had predicted it wouldn’t be Na Jaemin.
“A spam from Starbucks, promoting their new drink.” Jeno couldn’t even hide the annoyance in his voice.
Mark couldn’t help but laughed at how stressed Jeno’s face looked afterwards no matter how hard he tried to maintain his charisma. Jeno looked like a mess and it entertained Mark to no end.
Ah, life’s such a simple thing, but human really loves to complicate it in their own way.
At the same time, in different place, Na Jaemin also had been looking at his phone for a few times already.
“Oh,” He commented sarcastically as he lifted his phone up. “So you are really gonna do this to me? You gonna ignore me? Really? No chat at all?”
Jihoon sighed when he heard his best friend’s grumbles. Jaemin had been looking at his phone almost the whole day, and commented about it every few hours. “Ah you are so noisy, if you missed him that much why don’t you just chat him first-, you wouldn’t die if you did that.”
“You crazy?” Jaemin snickered as he looked up to find Jihoon’s face. “I have always been the one chatting him first! I just wanna see if he really wanted me in his life-, but seeing that he hadn’t chatted me first in these 5 days-, ha-, I think he must be happy that he could finally get rid of me-, mustn’t he?”
Jihoon rolled his eyes again and continued to make the market list database on the laptop. They were in his café now, and there weren’t really that much guests that day, and therefore Jihoon could listen to Jaemin’s ramble full time… which couldn’t be considered as a blessing for the small kid.
“-fine! If that’s really what you wanted to do-, then alright! Who gives a fuck anyway-, urgh!” Jaemin slammed his phone and grabbed his chocolate bubble tea, drinking it to the very last drop before turned toward Jihoon again. “Hei Jihoon-, I want another one!”
“Fuck you Jaemin-, I am trying to do the report!” Jihoon groaned as he threw both of his hands up in the air.
“But I need another one! Can’t you see these freaking smokes coming out from my head!” Jaemin said again as he pointed at his hair, making Jihoon didn’t have any choice but to move and make one more cup for the other one.
Jaemin slumped on the table as he closed his eyes. Images of Renjun and Jeno continuously filled his head since that night. He even got a couple of weird dreams afterwards, driving the JYP heir almost crazy with whatever he had done.
Jihoon turned his head around from the automatic bubble tea shaker in front of him. “What?”
“Do you think that Renjun guy… is good looking?” Jaemin asked, hands playing around with the table menu.
Jihoon rose his eyebrows for a bit, before turning his attention back to the bubble tea. “Kinda cute-, indeed.”
Jaemin felt his head twitched when he heard his best friend’s answer, turning on his seat to look at Jihoon. “Better than me?”
“Come on-,” Jihoon groaned out. He shook the bubble tea he had just finished and walking out from the counter to approach Jaemin. “We know you are very popular because of your deceiving good look.”
“Then why is he still looking at Renjun all the time?” Jaemin asked, fist slamming on the table.
Jihoon gave the other a tired look before sat in front of his annoying blonde best friend.
The tanned guy started with deep gaze.
“-reputations and good looks are not what people seek in love.”
Jihoon thought he just said something wise and good, but he was definitely wrong.
That day he had to deal with Jaemin’s rants until the sun completely set down, empty bubble tea cups scattered on the table.
What a waste of a beautiful twilight.
Jeno kept on glancing at his phone every few minutes, making Mark who just got out of the shower rolled his eyes in frustration.
“Just chat him, you fool.” Mark hissed, sitting beside Jeno while drying his damp hair with towel. “I’m tired of seeing you checking up on your phone-, don’t you have anything else to do?”
Jeno cleared his throat and suddenly did a stretching. “I am not checking up on him.”
“Oh yeah-, you surely do.” Mark commented as he turned on the television.
Jeno glanced one more to his phone before got up from the couch and heading toward the fridge to drink some water.
“Ow-, it’s a cute puppy.” Mark who was watching the animal channel commented. “But puppies like this would scare no one. I prefer to take care of Dobberman-, though it’s so not pleasant to eyes. At least it’s cool.”
Jeno paused at the mention of ‘puppy’.
Jaemin sends a lot of puppy stickers to him.
Jeno sometimes wonder why Jaemin had so many cute puppy stickers-, and why the heck he sent so many stickers to Jeno.
“Urgh.” Jeno let out a grunt as he put down the glass on the table before mumbled to himself. “Is he sick? Where’s him? Is he okay? He’s not usually goes missing like this.”
“Oh-, husky. Huskies are awesome too. With a look like that, robbers would think we are raising some bad-ass wolves.” Mark still talked to himself while Jeno got busy with his own thoughts.
“-robber… he is not getting robbed or what, right? Is JYP okay? Did he get kidnapped?” Jeno mumbled again, frowning with both of hands on the table.
“I think it will be cute to keep a pup in your house.” Mark said as he finally looked at Jeno. “Should we? Some chowchow or corgi will be fine.”
Jeno ignored Mark’ words as he headed back to the table, taking his phone and opened the line application.
What should he write… “where are you”?
Ah.. no no. It sounded so desperate.
“Hey, Na Jaemin, you alive?”
Hmm… that sounded so Jeno but it sounded like he gives a care about the other’s existence.
“We have tasks for human resource management lesson. It is on pag-,”
The heck, what is he? Walking announcement board? He should write something shorter.
No way, Jeno would never something so cringe worthy like that.
Oh-, send stickers?
Jeno checked on his sticker collections, then shook his head.
What the fuck-, he would never send any stick-,
“So you decided to chat him first?” Mark who suddenly had stood beside Jeno startled the younger so much, making him accidentally pressed “free call” button on the screen.
“FUCK-,” Jeno jumped on his spot as he cancelled the call and turned toward Mark. “AH, WHAT THE FUCK.”
Mark jumped on his spot-, looking torn between surprised and breaking to laughter. “-I was just… hmph-, checking on you.”
Jeno fell to the ground dramatically, groaned out loud as he threw his phone on the sofa. “fuck-, was it recorded on the chat history? Would he know it?”
Mark still held his laughter as he shook his head. “-no… I don’t think so.”
Jeno rolled on the floor, cursing his life loud while Mark joining him laughing his heart out.
Jaemin had to blink a few times to make sure he didn’t see it wrong.
One missed call from Jeno?
The caramel haired boy sat up straight on his seat, making Johnny who sat right beside the driver turned around.
“What’s up boss?” He asked with a frown. “Something’s wrong?”
“Uh?” Jaemin looked up to find Johnny’s eyes before shook his head. “-hmm.. no.”
Johnny still stared at his boss a few more seconds before finally turning back once he got the other’s happy expression.
Jaemin tapped the free call button and waited for the other to pick up the line, but Jeno killed the call almost immediately.
“Eh-,” Jaemin tore away his phone from his ear, looking at the cut off line. He tilted his head a little and was about to call Jeno one more time when a chat popped into his phone.
A cat just jumped to my phone so it got pressed. Sorry.
Jaemin’s left eyebrow twitched in confusion. Since when did Jeno have cat? He was sure he didn’t see any the last time he slept at the other’s house.
He was about to type a question when a chat from Jeno appeared again on his chat room.
Besides you haven’t been to university lately. Dropping out already?
Jaemin rose both of his eyebrows in surprise, before his heart swelled in happiness.
What-, Jeno asked about him?
A big smile soon crept its way to Jaemin’s face, before he started to reply Jeno’s chat happily.
The accident the day before suddenly became long forgotten, as Jaemin drowned the Japanese guy with a lot of puppy stickers. Like usual.
As Jaemin sent one last question asking what was Jeno doing, his smile disappeared a little as he stared at the other’s chat room.
Ah… he really lost it. All his gloomy mood surely got erased only with a chat from Jeno. Somehow it scares him at times, at how attached he had already become. And he couldn’t deny the part of him that keep on telling him that his feeling would never get true.
It was one big black hole in the middle of the sea.
But Jaemin still found himself to swim there despite of the risk.
Chapter 22: In Danger
“But we know Song Mino and his crazy brain. And if it was really true, his intention and psycho mind…”
Jeno paled as he felt Mark gaze on him.
“…that means Na Jaemin is in danger.”
Huang Renjun had been staring at the paper he got from Jeno for roughly minutes already. He put it in the middle of the pages in his text book-, in case if the professor suddenly came and saw him, he would think it’s just one of a studying material. The small boy sighed. No matter how many times he had read the lists-, he still didn’t find it even possible for him to do even only one of it.
The top student blinked many times as he once again read again each point that the Japanese wrote.
…well-, they are interesting. Some are-, …but stop being afraid of Kang Daniel? How would that even possible?
Renjun gulped nervously as he played with his pen. Ah. Just like the main cast of the story-, he also wanted to be more daring. It was a lie, if Renjun said he enjoyed the life he had been living now. He’s not. He hated it. If only he had more courage-, if only he could bite his tongue and man up a bit to make the lists up there come true.
Accept this challenge. No back away.
That meant, once Renjun decided to do it, he couldn’t back away. The boy had been debating since days ago, keep on re-reading the list again and again to the point he had fully memorize everything. Renjun closed his eyes. He got headache, he had overthinking too much.
Renjun bit his lower lip, shifting all along in the classroom.
If he didn’t do it, his life would still be nothing but boring. If he didn’t do it, he would remain a loser all of his life.
If he didn’t do it… he would still stay the same.
And he hated what he was at that moment.
The kid’s eyes shifted to the second list. Do something you have always afraid of. Being a rebel. Renjun had gotten enough of being a good kid. He didn’t want bear with any of the feeling anymore.
The door of the classroom was pushed open, and one of Renjun’s classmate entered. “The professor is on her way, I saw her on the second floor.” She said to her friend who sat behind Renjun.
Renjun who heard it fisted his hand. Would he do it? Could he do it?
Just for this day, could he really escape from the classroom? What about his score? What if the professor gave him a task? What if there was a sudden test given?
Renjun bit his lower lip before shaking his head.
No, now… or never. If he didn’t do it, he’d never do it.
He stood up from his seat, inhaled and exhaled nervously before slowly packing his things back into the bag and lifted it. He fixed his glasses, then swung his bag over his shoulder. The small boy’s body shaking as he once again debating whether he should run outside or not.
At the end, as if someone pushed him, Renjun’s legs shuffled their way out of his desk. He ran toward the door and pushed it open, before speeding off the corridors and left some kids who sat behind him stared in confusion.
Did they see it wrong?
Was Huang Renjun, the honor student of the class just ran outside with bags on?
As if like…
Escaping today’s class?
Jaemin finished his banana milk in one last inhale before throwing it to the bin. He had returned to the university today, but he decided to not attend his last class. Jeno isn’t in the same class with him for that subject, anyway. He actually wanted to go back home, but he was not in a mood of returning just yet so he decided to sit by his favorite place in the small garden outside of the third floor of university.
Jaemin was already in much better mood after chatting with Jeno all night long. Well actually wasn’t really chatting, but more like Jaemin bickering to himself. Jeno just replied with short replies and sometimes stickers. If it was other people, Jaemin would probably got angry and slam the phone right across their faces, but since it was Jeno…
…Jaemin just gave in.
The JYP heir paused with his own realization before hissing. “Why am I so pathetic…”
He whispered to himself before shaking his head and sat up. As he was about to stretch his body, the door of the garden was being slammed open. He turned around, peeking in annoyance to whoever just came. He widened his eyes when he saw a small figure entering, round glasses covering his small eyes.
The nerdy boy was panting, back leaned against the door before he slowly slid down and sat on the floor.
“I did it-,” he panted, trying to catch his breath as he locked his gaze with his own shaking hands.
Jaemin furrowed his eyebrows, decided to watch how the boy slowly calming down for a while before stepping out from the giant bonsai tree that covered him before. Meanwhile, Renjun who was leaning his head on the door frame turned when he realized the existence of somebody else beside him, and widened his eyes when he saw who was standing in front of him.
Jaemin glanced down to stare at Renjun, his eyebrows furrowed. “What are you doing here?”
As if someone just kicked his butt hard, Renjun jumped to stand up. His expression turned super nervous, and his shaking fingers meddled with his glasses. “-ah I’m s-sorry-,”
Jaemin furrowed his eyebrows again. “What are you apologizing for?” he asked in confusion.
Renjun stole glance at him before looking down again to avoid his eyes. He hugged his bag close to his chest, and his feet remained glued on the floor.
“And beside-,” Jaemin tilted his head. “Aren’t you supposed to like, attend the class?”
Renjun widened his eyes in surprise, looking up at Jaemin completely.
“We are in the same class.” Jaemin said flatly. “For statistic.”
The smaller blinked his eyes fast. He pressed his back more to the door.
Jaemin’s eyebrows furrowed. “…oi. I am asking you a question.”
Renjun jolted again in surprise, before lowering his gaze. “I d-don’t feel w-well. I-, I-,…”
Jaemin kept his expression flat as he heard the other struggled to find his words, before Renjun suddenly apologized and bowed.
“I am sorry!” With that, the top student turned around and escaped out, leaving Jaemin who was confused.
“…huh?” Jaemin’s expression turned confused. “What’s with that kid? Alien? Why is he even coming here and why can’t he even reply properly like normal human?”
The JYP heir mumbled to himself about how ridiculous Renjun was, as he walked around before pausing.
…but yet, Jeno likes him.
“Fuck-,” Jaemin groaned and kicked a small pebble on the floor before plopping his butt again on the chair. He tore the plastic of the lollipop and put it into his mouth.
Why someone like Lee Jeno takes a liking on someone like Huang Renjun? From which side of the world? Jaemin sighed as he closed his eyes and threw his head backward to the sky, enjoying the silent sound of breeze.
Lee Jeno and his never ending weirdness.
Jaemin wondered what the other was doing by that moment.
Jeno glanced at the clock, then glanced back at his own phone. The line application was opened there, and one unread chat from Jaemin was yet to be opened.
Jeno didn’t want to reply fast to get the other’s hope high, so he decided to just reply once or twice in every 2 or 3 hours. He was waiting until the minute hit 2.39 to reply. The Japanese decided to take a sip from his smoothie. In front of him, journals of marketing strategic were scattered all over. Mark on the other hand, was reading the journal article in the laptop. He was holding a huge B.L.T sandwich, took a bite of it once in a while. He paused his munch, when he accidentally ran to one article that caught his attention.
“YG group’s Song Mino stated his interest in JYP group’s Na Jaemin.” He read out lout, gaining attention from Jeno.
“What?” the other frowned when he heard that.
Mark screen-reading the whole article before frowned. “Not too clear, but he mentioned that he had developed a liking with Jaemin.”
“Are you sure-?” Jeno’s voice almost cracked as he got up and stood by Mark. His eyes also scanned the news then frowned. Yes, it was indeed clearly written there, by a trusted source.
“You said that last time in the party, Mino said he wanted something from Jaemin, right?” Mark asked, eyebrows furrowing. “Could it possibly be…”
Jeno gave Mark a stern look. His jaw hardened at the possibility Mark was about to mention but looking away. “…it couldn’t be.”
“It kinda makes sense. We all know the obsession Song Mino had over power. By muddling both JYP and YG power together, he could grow stronger.” Mark hissed, fingers tapping on the table. “It’s a risky option, since JYP wouldn’t easily accept it. Joining YG means no more JYP and Park Haejin wouldn’t agree. It’s a battle of pride.”
Jeno fell into silence, eyebrows furrowing together. It’s bad.
“But we know Song Mino and his crazy brain.” Mark stated again. “And if it was really true, his intention and psycho mind…”
Jeno paled as he felt Mark gaze on him.
“…that means Na Jaemin is in danger.”
jang-jang ! New chapter !
Chapter 23: A Demand
“I am not hyped-,” Jeno held his groan before he sighed. “That is just a friendly warning-, and if you were not interested, be careful because he wouldn’t hesitate to use violence to get what he wants.”
Another pause again from Jaemin, and Jeno wondered how many more times would he met the empty air like this.
“…then would you protect me?”
“What do you think?”
Jaemin looked up from the unicorn colored slushie he was drinking to meet Jihoon’s face. His eyebrows furrowed a bit, tilting his head to the left and right.
“Sour…” he paused. “…but not bad. Pretty good.”
Jihoon sighed in relief before taking another sip out of his own cup too. “I guess this could be sold as the new menu here?”
“Hmm-,” Jaemin nodded his head and drank more. “I guess. But, what would the toppings be?”
“I have thought about it.” Jihoon clicked his finger before rushing back to the kitchen, bringing out rainbow jellies in a small container. “Unicorn slushie who puked rainbows.”
Jihoon stated excitedly, pouring the jellies into the drink.
Jaemin gave the other a nasty look. “So boring… so you will give these rainbow jellies to every beverage of yours that doesn’t have milk in it?”
Jihoon pursed his lips, frowning. “But I don’t know what else to put. Like what toppings…”
“Anything but jelly.” Jaemin commented. “The visual was pretty before you put those jellies in.”
“Is it-?” Jihoon asked frowning. “But they are rainbows. Isn’t unicorn and rainbows are inseparable?”
They were just too busy talking and discussing to realize that another person had made her way into the shop, expensive sneakers soundlessly tapped on the floor.
“I like tapioca pearls more.” Jaemin said, pushing the rainbow jellies aside.
“That one is ultra weird,” Jihoon protested. “A unicorn slushie with black tapioca pearls, you are kidding me around.”
“I think popping bobbas would do a job.”
A female voice suddenly startled them, making their head turned around in unison to find Nancy was standing behind them with a smile on her face.
“Nancy-?” Jaemin widened his eyes in surprise, while Jihoon over there had already gotten a mini shock therapy.
“Hello oppa,” Nancy greeted as she smiled wide before turning to look at Jihoon. “-oh, and Jihoon oppa.”
Jaemin knew Jihoon’s soul had flown all the way to the moon when Nancy called him ‘oppa’, and it hadn’t even returned to witness Nancy-, live-, inside his store, so Jaemin decided to greet the other. “Hey, Nancy. What takes you here?”
“I just finished some photoshoot nearby and was about to drop by nearest bakery to buy sandwich,” the pretty model replied before turning to glance at Jihoon too. “Then I spotted you two, so I come in.”
“Oh-, well Jihoon does sell sandwiches here as well. Right, Jihoon?” Jaemin nudged Jihoon, surprising the kid from his mini shock.
“-oh? Oh yeah-,” the small guy replied groggily. “-uhm, yeah we do have some bacon sandwiches…”
“This is Jihoon oppa’s store?” Nancy widened her eyes.
“Yup, he runs it with his brother.” Jaemin replied with a grin. “So-, what popping bobbas did you mean?”
“Uhm, you know, small pearls like the original bubbles but not tapioca. It is a small thin kind of pearl that filled with fruity syrup and it bursts when you bite it.” Nancy explained. “You can browse it on google and I guess it would look prettier with this slushie. And anyway this looked so pretty, do you make this, Jihoon oppa?”
Jihoon felt like his breath running low as he nodded his head, and he swore he just gone blind when Nancy chuckled.
“That is so pretty.”
Jaemin just grinned when he saw his friend’s reaction, then started to do his job keeping the conversation alive. He needed to get his mind off Jeno, anyway. It was a little bit annoying too that he kept on thinking about the other like has Jeno eaten, where is he now, what is he up to…that’s why the caramel brown haired kid decided to put his phone to sleep, then spent the whole day talking with Jihoon and playing with his dog instead. He didn’t know that Jeno sent a tiny chat, asking where is he now-, and on the other side of the line, Jeno was staring at the phone in pure worry.
“He is not replying.” Jeno murmured to himself as he rolled his knuckles on his cheek. “Where is he now? Usually he replies my messages within minutes… it’s been an hour…”
The SM heir couldn’t concentrate on what his Chinese teacher was saying in the front. He kept on glancing at his phone once in a while, expecting a new line chat to pop up but he received none.
As if the dejavu happened again, Jeno’s head started to rotate in any possibilities of what might happened to the other guy. He closed his eyes and groaned a bit, stealing the attention of his Chinese teacher.
“Jeno?” the teacher asked in Chinese language. “You alright?”
Jeno looked up to find his teacher’s face, and immediately shook his head. “-uhm. I am okay.” He replied nervously, bowing a bit to apologize. He bit his lower lip before lowering his gaze down again.
That day’s Chinese class felt so long for Jeno. After much difficulties to stay focused, he finally could finish the class. The boy took bus back to city, checking his phone and still found no chat at all. Grumbling, Jeno shoved his phone into his pocket.
Just what the other was doing?
Jeno’s thumbs started to browse news, checking on JYP group just in case if there was suddenly a news that Jaemin got abducted or what, even though he knows there’s no way JYP would let media know it firsthand.
When the bus finally reached his house, Jeno couldn’t hide his annoyance anymore. He threw his bag into the sofa, then pressed the call button on Jaemin’s line.
He wanted to talk to that caramel kid! Why hadn’t he replied? Jeno had so many questions to him!
That’s the only reason why Jeno called him!
There’s not much more!
…at least that’s what Jeno tried to convince himself about.
The Chinese waited for Jaemin to answer his call.
Jeno pulled his phone away and was about to abort the call as he felt himself becoming pathetic, but paused when the line call was suddenly connected.
“-uhmm…” Jaemin’s voice was heard from the other hand, sounded very nervous and surprised. “…-hello?”
Jeno felt his heart skipped a beat when he heard the other’s voice, toes curled as he formed his fingers into fists. Shit-, why was he so nervous?
“-you…” he almost choked on his spite as he tried to speak normally, before clearing his throat. “-you… w-why didn’t you answer my chat?”
There was a few pause on the air, and Jeno felt like pulling his words back.
“-omo, my phone died today!” Jaemin sounded a bit panic-, and also excited at the same time. “I just got it charged before. I am sorry, is there something happened?”
Jeno cleared his throat when he was about to answer. “W-well of course! What do you think I am calling you for?” he tsked, red flush covering his face.
“I don’t know…”Jaemin replied, before randomly adding a chuckle. “Missed me?”
“Like hell!” Jeno replied back, groaning before immediately got into the point. “I-, I just wanna ask what is your relationship with Song Mino?”
There was another pause once the question was out from Jeno’s lips. The silence was thick in the air, before Jaemin slowly replied.
“Yes, that YG bastard.” Jeno replied again, Mino’s face running around his mind. “I read an article saying that he is interested in you.”
Jeno was greeted again by the silence. This time longer than before, so he decided to speak again. “Hei Na Jaemin, you there?”
“-oh…” Jaemin’s voice was heard once again, he was obviously smiling on the other line. “Are you jealous that he said that about me?”
“What??” Jeno widened his eyes in shock. His fingers tightened around his phone. “Why should I? I am just being kind-hearted to tell you that you better think many times before you decide that you like him back! He is a snake, you know. A snake!”
Faint chuckles were heard again from the phone, followed by Jaemin’s soft words.
“I get it… what are you getting so hyped of for?”
“I am not hyped-,” Jeno held his groan before he sighed. “That is just a friendly warning-, and if you were not interested, be careful because he wouldn’t hesitate to use violence to get what he wants.”
Another pause again from Jaemin, and Jeno wondered how many more times would he met the empty air like this.
“…then would you protect me?”
That small voice suddenly flew in toward Jeno’s ears, making him blinked. “Protect you-? You got a lot of bodyguards to protect you why do you even need me?”
Jaemin didn’t reply again, and this time Jeno decided to just end the call.
“Just be careful around him.” He said, thumb moving toward the end button. It was an inch away, but he didn’t immediately tap it.
Not until Jaemin’s faint yes finally greeted his ears.
Jaemin slowly pull his phone away from his ears. He stared at Jeno’s chatroom that was still open. The JYP heir’s thumb swiped over to see Jeno’s chat before.
Where are you?
So short, but with Jeno calling him before, Jaemin was pretty sure that the other had really been waiting all day. A smile slowly crept into his face before he closed the line application. He pressed the 1 dial button and was immediately connected to Johnny.
“Hyung, how is the latest news?” he asked, sitting straight on his bed.
“Still clear, no sign of YG making appointment or uninvited appearance around here.”
Jaemin’s left eyebrow lifted before he nodded. “Good.”
The caramel haired boy cut off the conversation, then laid his head on the bed. His eyes stared into the ceiling of his room.
“Marry me, Na Jaemin. Then, we will get to rule the world together.”
Mino’s words back then kept on dancing around in his head.
That’s what Song Mino wanted from him.
The one that Jaemin couldn’t escape for.
In order to be the strongest mafia group, that greedy Song Mino kept on making a lot of devilish plan that unluckily always succeeded.
Jaemin sighed and turned on his side. Johnny said the economic of JYP was indeed lowering a bit, but it wasn’t that worse. Jaemin could only hope that whatever Mino would say to his dad, his dad would reject it.
As much as Park Haejin seemed to not care about him, he wouldn’t have given JYP mafia group that easily to Mino.
After all, it’s the only reason why Mino wanted Jaemin, right?
Chapter 24: Confession
“…maybe, I like you more than just what both friend or fan might do.”
The morning came, and the sun chirped its way to enter Renjun’s room. The owner of the room had already sat down on the table, staring at the paper in front of him. There was a quiet moment, before he sighed and shook his head. The lists Jeno gave to him, he got to finally cross one. Finally, and he didn’t exactly know what was that feeling that running around inside of him.
Scared? Nervous? Disbelief?
Renjun was sure it was everything mentioned above but not definitely one thing.
He didn’t regret it. Not at all.
Renjun slowly brought the tip of the pen to cross the list number one and two. The small boy shook his head in yet another disbelief when he saw he had gotten 2 out of total ten lists crossed. He did it. It was a weak start but-, yet he did it.
Renjun read again the other lists on the paper, searching for what else could he do next.
…take care of himself.
He mumbled it out a bit. His eyebrows furrowed, wondering how should he even take care of himself. The kid pushed the frame of his glasses upward a bit, feeling annoyed when it kept on falling and hitting his nose bridge. Renjun hates glasses actually. It is heavy, it weighs him down, and he has to keep on cleaning them so his vision could stay clear. It does not help him in any way, and it makes him uncomfortable.
Renjun thought for a while before glancing to the right, spotting a package of soft lens that he bought like a month ago. He had never gotten a courage to use them just yet, because he’s too afraid that people would look at him weirdly. They’d be like… Hey, where’s the nerdy boy Huang Renjun gone to? Then people would start noticing him more, and Renjun would be a center of bullying even more.
Renjun put his glasses down, wincing when he was greeted by the hazy uncleared vision.
…but maybe-, he should try to take care of himself… for just once.
He pushed away the bangs that covered his forehead, the ones that’s long enough to poke his eyes. His hair also had gotten too long. He should cut it down a little. He should cut it-, like what his mom kept on nagging him about. Renjun bit his lower lip, thinking of any possibilities that would happen if he did change his look. Would it be alright? Would he be safe?
He was in the middle of debating the things up-, before a soft voice inside of him whispered.
Yet… you wouldn’t regret it. You could just stay this way and never bother to change, but when you wake up on the next day… you would still be this unhappy Huang Renjun. Nothing changed.
That’s when Renjun gulped down nervously, reaching out to take a small envelope filled with huge amount of pocket money he had never used before.
Come on… Come on, Huang Renjun.
You can do it.
With that little encouragement he whispered to himself, he walked out of the door and headed outside.
Jaemin and Jihoon took Monggu to the vet today. Monggu needed his daily vaccination and Jaemin was more than happy to accompany Jihoon calming down the little crybaby.
“He is so scared, he’s shaking so wildly.” Jihoon commented as he held one of Monggu’s extended feet, running his finger to calm him down.
“Yeah,” Jaemin blinked, before smiling and pet Monggu. “Calm down, little Monggu. It will be over in no time.”
Monggu closed his eyes under Jaemin’s touch, and Jihoon immediately threw his best friend a grin.
“Look at that, as expected from Monggu’s real owner.” He said before chuckling. “He really likes you. If he got to get babies, I’d ask the female one to give one to you.”
Jaemin smiled, before sighed and shook his head. “You know that I can’t do it.”
“Your dad still forbids you to take care of any pets?” Jihoon asked, wondering if Jaemin’s dad was still the same like before.
“Yeah, of course.” Jaemin rolled his eyes. “It’s not like I am taking in a tiger… I just don’t understand him. Besides, I am not really interested in having other pets. I just love Monggu.”
Jihoon stared at Jaemin’s face for a while before quirked his lips upward a bit. “Look, Monggu. You are so loved.”
The dog swished his tails a bit, but immediately went pale again when his name being called. Jaemin and Jihoon chuckled when they saw the change.
“I’d go inside.” Jihoon said, lifting Monggu up. “You gonna stay here?”
“Yeah, the room is too small.” Jaemin replied before waving his hand. “You are strong, Monggu-ah. I will wait here.”
As both Jihoon and Monggu had gone into the room, Jaemin decided to look around the vet. He looked for some snacks that he could buy for Monggu, as a gift that he was (not) daringly went to the vet.
While he was looking around, he spotted someone was standing outside of the vet. He was reading something on the paper glued on the door. The kid had slightly brown hair, with small eyes…
…and he is Huang Renjun.
Jaemin frowned when he recognized Renjun’s face. That day, he didn’t use any glasses. His usually dull looking eyes were sparkling, with a touch of brown. That kid was using soft lens. His usual annoying long bang and hair also had got cut short. He looked so much like a different person.
Jaemin furrowed his eyebrows and walked toward the glasses that separated them, hovered over Renjun and stared down at the other.
Renjun seemed to realize someone from behind the thick glass of the vet was looking at him, so he looked back. His eyes tripled his usual size and he gasped. He immediately took some steps back, and accidentally bumped to some men who were walking behind him, causing them to shove him back in annoyance.
Jaemin was surprised when he saw the other had fallen on the ground, the group of men before just walking away with grumbles. Those people, where are their manners?
The JYP heir walked out from the vet shop, half running. He crouched down and helped the smaller one up before frowning. “What did you even fall for?”
“I-,” Renjun paused, groggily putting his hand over his bangs and pulled them downside a bit to hide his eyes. “-I-, uhmm-,”
Jaemin frowned as he waited for the other to finish his words, staring into the other’s eyes.
Renjun grew even more nervous when Jaemin kept on looking at him, then he blinked a few times before slipped out of Jaemin’s hold and bowed down deeply. “I AM SORRY!”
“What-,” Jaemin sighed in disbelief. “What are you saying sorry for, now?”
“Urm-,” Renjun paused, fidgeting with his fingers before he ran his hand on the back of his neck. He didn’t know what he was apologizing for too. It just a habit he developed since he was little. “I-,”
Jaemin stared at Renjun blankly before sighed and shaking his head. “What were you looking at even…” The blonde turned his head toward the paper on the glass door, spotting the piano concert poster there. He blinked a few times before glancing at the not-so-nerdy kid anymore. His eyebrows furrowed. “You looked so different.”
Renjun’s face suddenly had turned into deep shade of red. He nervously took a step back again and bowed his head down. He was so embarrassed, getting to run into someone he knew from the school at times like this.
Jaemin on the other hand, was annoyed. Why this kid suddenly started to use soft lens and cut his hair. It made him looked a lot cuter than before, and that meant Jeno’s heart would flutter even more. The thoughts itself had made Jaemin frowned. The JYP hair let out a sigh when Renjun didn’t answer his question, then turning his body around to go back inside. “You have a mouth but you can’t answer properly, I see.”
Renjun bowed down again. His previous red face had replaced with cloudy dark expression.
Jaemin stopped on his track as the memory of Renjun being pushed down before running on his head again. He turned around and squinted his eyes. “Hey, stupid.” He called for Renjun, and the other lifted his head in surprise. “You know it is annoying when you keep on saying sorry for something you don’t even do wrong, do you?”
Renjun widened his eyes again, fingers played with each other.
“Stop looking so terrified and stop keep on saying sorry! If you kept on doing it no one would ever respect you.” Jaemin finished with a huff before he made his way back into the vet.
Renjun stared at the closed door with long gaze, before dropping his eyes slowly back to the ground.
The day had once again passed peacefully for Lee Jeno. He had just finished his shift on the restaurant and headed back to his house. He changed to his clothes and checked his phone, finding a chat from Jaemin.
Have you eaten?
Jeno blinked as he felt something moved inside his stomach. He cleared his throat as he opened the application, typing a short ‘after this’ before proceeded to put on his pants. His phone vibrated again, and he was beyond surprised when he checked it.
I am outside your work place. Let’s grab something together.
Jeno cursed under his breath when he read it. He finished dressing off as fast as he could before coming out with his bag, bidding Gi Tak a goodbye. He stepped outside of the restaurant, turning his head to the left and right before spotting a car parked not too far from the restaurant. Jeno could see Jaemin was talking to someone inside, and he squinted to see it. It was definitely not one of Jaemin’s bodyguard for sure, because the car was nowhere near fancy nor mysterious. Jeno then soon recognized Jaemin was talking to Jihoon, someone who had ever visited the restaurant.
It didn’t take long until Jaemin spotted him. The blonde bid his friend a goodbye and he immediately hopped off the car, waving before walked-, more like half running-, toward Jeno.
“Why you keep on popping in front of me in super random time?” Jeno hissed, frowning when he saw the other using a cap. “What is that for?”
“We are going on a secret date, aren’t we?” Jaemin asked, grinning. “To avoid being center of attention, I decided to just covering up a bit.”
Jeno snickered as he gave Jaemin a face. “Do you think you are celebrity?”
“Omo-,” Jaemin gasped and shook his head. “My face could beat the shit out of other celebrities, don’t you think?”
“You are so confident.” Jeno hissed before shaking his head. “And stop making one side appointment like this. Who wanna go with you, anyway?”
Jaemin pursed out his lips. “It’s been a while since we hang out together…”
“I did hope last time was our time together.” Jeno said in a savage way, even though he didn’t really mean it.
Jaemin stared at the SM heir, face looking exactly like a kicked puppy. His expression fell but he didn’t say anything.
Jeno who saw that, immediately straightened his body in a bit panicking gesture. He cleared his throat before stretched his body a bit. “-uhm, but I think it’s a nice day to eat some tteokbokki and kimbap.”
Jaemin rose his eyebrows as he looked back at Jeno.
“-well people like you need to stay low profiled too once in a while, don’t you think?” Jeno groggily tried to appear more natural, despite the rising heat on his cheeks. Such an uncool way to take back his words before.
It didn’t take long until a grin curved on Jaemin’s face. He reluctantly nodded his head in excitement.
“Uhm-, of course!”
Jaemin had never eaten anything in the snack bar before, but that night he really sat with Jeno, in a small table, with no air conditioner and just open tent. The slight cold of the air attacked them mercilessly, and Jaemin shivered as he tightened his jacket.
Jeno who saw the other rose his eyebrows. “Are you cold?”
“Not really,” Jaemin replied before start stabbing the tteokbokki with fork. “I am fine.”
Jeno rose his left eyebrow, taking in the view of Jaemin in front of him. “…you really can eat in this kind of place.” He said all of sudden, drinking his shot of soju.
Jaemin looked back, eyebrows lifting high as well. “Hm-?”
“I thought the JYP heir wouldn’t be able to eat in this humble place.” Jeno said, mimicking face a bit before putting the tteokbokki into his mouth.
“You’ve ever taken me out to this kind of place once.” The caramel haired boy replied, holding the bottle of soju. He was about to pour it to his shot when Jeno held his hand.
“You are not getting drunk tonight.” Jeno hissed in warning. “I don’t want to take care of a drunken man again-, like last time.”
Jaemin groaned a bit, pulling his hand free. “It wouldn’t be that much, just a bit. Just a bit.”
Jeno shook his head and took a bottle of cold coke out of small refrigerator behind him, slamming it down. “You, drink this.” He said, motioning toward the coke.
“Oho-,” Jaemin gasped in disbelief. “You are drinking a soju but I have to drink coke?”
Jeno ignored the kid’s ramble, shoving more tteokbokki into his mouth before looking back at Jaemin with his infamous bitch face. “Yes. You are a little kid, you can’t drink soju just yet.”
“Tch-,” Jaemin shook his head. “I am pretty sure we are on the same age.”
Jeno shrugged, drinking one more shot of the soju.
“…You drink well.” Jaemin commented once Jeno had put his shot back.
“I have a high tolerance with alcohol,” Jeno replied lightly. “Unlike someone who got drunk just with a few shots of soju.”
Jaemin, definitely knew Jeno was talking about him cleared his throat, drinking his own coke. Once he had put it down, he leaned forward again and squinted his eyes a bit. “Hey, Jeno.”
Jeno brought his gaze upward again to meet Jaemin. “What?”
“You…” the caramel haired boy hesitated for a bit, eyebrows twitched while playing with his chopsticks a bit. “…have someone that you like?”
It was Jeno’s turn to furrow his eyebrows. “-huh?”
“Huang Renjun-,” Jaemin managed to say it loud even with all the difficult expression he’d given. “-do you… like him?”
Jeno felt the tteokbokki he just swallowed almost stuck dead on his throat when he heard Renjun’s name. His heart immediately raced twice harder, and of course his natural reaction was… “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Do you like that Huang Renjun? That nerdy kid from our classes?” Jaemin asked again, eyes gazing deep into Jeno’s. “You have been awfully close to him lately…”
“T-that doesn’t mean that I like him in that way-,” Jeno protested, even though his head was actually confused. So what? Actually, how is Jeno’s feeling toward Renjun? It skips a bit whenever he sees the small kid, but does that really mean Jeno likes Renjun? As in, more than just a friend?
Jaemin didn’t lower his sharp look down, but he managed to pull away and sighed. “-so, you like him just as a friend?”
Jeno cleared his throat before nervously pouring himself another shot of soju. “W-why are you curious even?”
Jaemin fell into silence, and he didn’t meet Jeno’s eyes anymore. He locked it with the tteokbokki in front of him instead. Just when Jeno started to demand for an answer in return, the JYP heir decided to open his mouth. “-because I am annoyed. He could easily steal your attention and all, he gets to sit beside you when you want, and you seem happier when you talk to him.”
Jeno blinked as he proceeded Jaemin’s words. “…you’ve been watching?”
The JYP heir nodded his head. A small frown plastered on his forehead.
“-why?” Jeno asked, dropping his fork down. “Why are you curious? Why do you keep on sticking close to me? Why you keep on trying to talk to me? Is it just for being a friend?”
Jaemin was quite taken a back with the question, but it didn’t take too long until he managed to put on a calm expression. As if he was fully prepared with it, he opened his mouth. “-what if it is more than just wanting to be your friend?”
Jeno widened his eyes when he heard Jaemin’s question, but he didn’t say anything. He just stared at the boy, silently giving the kid permission to talk further.
“I have adored you since long time ago-, since I first knew SM.” Jaemin said, fingers tightened around the fork. “-I found it interesting at first-, I want to know who is the person behind the curtain of great, mighty SM mafia group. They say, the mighty leader had a son around my age, and I grew even more curious.”
Jaemin paused a bit, eyes never left the tteokbokki on his plate.
“I started to find a lot of information about you, as if in mystery movies I watched, I feel like I am uncovering the biggest mystery in the world-, and when I finally knew who you are, my heart was about to burst.” Jaemin bit his lower lip a bit. “But then, it didn’t stay there. It slowly growing, as I get to know you in real life. I grow to be attached to you, getting to know small imperfections you’ve got. I am kinda drawn to your charm, and all of sudden I realized that I am not just a fan of you.”
Jeno felt his breath came out irregular and short. His legs started to move around as he looked up. “-Jaemin, what are you trying to say?”
Jaemin gulped down harshly, eyebrows furrowing deep before he looked up again to find Jeno’s eyes.
“…maybe, I like you more than just what both friend or fan might do.”
IT IS HERE IT IS HERE GUYS
Chapter 25: The Answer
I am sorry I fall for you in a wrong situation.
Mark almost shouted out loud his question in disbelief, staring at Jeno with his wide eyes. He furrowed his eyebrows, covering his mouth. Jeno, who was sitting in front of him with mouth stuffed with tteokbokki shook his head. He was chewing, but his eyes were pretty much dead. “It’s unbelievable-, I also was very surprised.”
“T-then what happened?” Mark asked, leaning toward Jeno, still looking as surprised as before.
“He…” Jeno paused, blinking. “…suddenly panicked on his own, then… got up and ran away.”
“Then what did you do?” Mark asked, still staring at Jeno.
“…I just sat down and surprised. That’s all that I did.” Jeno nodded his head and stuffed more tteokbokki to his mouth. “I was so surprised I couldn’t even think so I packed this food up and bringing them to your apartment.”
“Awkward-,” Mark shook his head, before taking another piece of tteokbokki. “I am not really surprised about it, though.”
“Oh yeah, you surely don’t.” Jeno mocked the other. Mark was obviously screaming out loud out of surprise before-, definitely shocked out of his soul.
“I mean, he has been showing that since way back then. He wasn’t literally obsessed with you, he just fell in love.” Mark explained. “Isn’t that sweet?”
“Sweet my ass,” Jeno mumbled. “I don’t know how to react when he confessed to me like that.”
“Then what do you say?” Mark pulled away, leaning against his sofa. “He just confessed to you-, what is your answer?”
Conflicted look flashed through Jeno’s face, and he sighed before looked down. “What-, I don’t even know…”
“Do you like Renjun or Jaemin?” Mark asked, tapping his finger on the table. His eyes examined Jeno’s expression closely, eyebrows slightly furrowed. When Jeno was still quiet in his own thoughts, Mark sighed. “You are fucked up, cousin. You don’t even know who to choose, right?”
Jeno hissed and closed his eyes. “He’s a son of JYP, Mark. Everyone would put their eyes on me if they read the headlines. The secret of SM might get revealed. I couldn’t be with him.”
“So-, you gonna reject him.”
Jeno’s pupils wavered once Mark let out that statement. He bit his lower lip, twitching his left eyebrow before looked away.
“I could see that you are not entirely sure about it.” Mark shrugged. “You… just admit it, you starting to develop a feeling for Na Jaemin, aren’t you?”
Jeno returned to Mark and let out a denial glare. “I am not.”
“You are.” Mark replied calmly, not even flinching from the strong glare. “It is showing. Why would you even bother got all worried and worked up when you didn’t hear from him last time? Why would you bother to send message to Boa regarding Song Mino?”
The Canadian simply ignored Jeno as the younger widened his eyes. Of course, Boa would tell Mark about Jeno’s weird question last time. He should’ve known better.
“And-,” Mark glanced at Jeno who was still holding his phone with his free hand. “-you keep on checking your phone since a while ago.”
Jeno almost dropped his phone back to the table, getting caught red-handed. He was waiting for Jaemin to chat him and clarified what just happened indeed. The Japanese cleared his throat. “I just want to know-, like maybe he was drunk or-, something…”
“Why would you guys getting drunk while eating tteokbokki?” Mark attacked, eyebrows raising in disbelief.
“Well they sell soju too!” Jeno complained, defending himself.
Mark just snickered before drinking his coke. “Just don’t say too hurtful words when you turn him down,”
“That kid-,” Mark paused as he looked outside of his apartment. “-there are a lot of things he should be worrying other than a love rejection.”
If Jaemin could dig a hole right now, he might do it. He might dig it so deep and endless until he reached the other side of the globe. He was just too embarrassed. What might had possessed him before? A shameless Korean drama main actress? Just like last week he made a meh face when Nancy boasted to her about that scene of a drama where the main lead actress made a massive confession to the male cast-, then a week later there he went and confess to Jeno.
Jaemin started to kick all the pillows on his bed down, face flushed darker than red. He cursed once in a while, hitting his own cheeks. “You stupid-, fuckin’ stupid!” He groaned as he trashed around.
The door of his bedroom was knocked not long after.
“Jaemin-ssi! What happened inside?” Johnny’s worried voice surpassed the door. “Are you there?”
“Yeah-,” Jaemin replied, falling back on his bed.
“Are you okay?” Johnny asked again.
Johnny twisted the doorknob but it was locked. “Why did you lock the door?”
“Because I am a disgrace to human being.” Jaemin replied before burying his head under the pillow.
“Huh??” Johnny seemed to not catch on, as he pounded harder. “Jaemin!”
“Ah just leave me, hyung!” Jaemin shouted. “Let me just mourn over my stupidity!”
“Stupid-,” Johnny frowned for a few moments before sighed. Definitely about that SM heir. “…okay. Just don’t do funny things.”
Jaemin glared at the door when he heard Johnny’s words and the sound of his steps shuffling away. Funny things?? What he did was already so funny! So funny that he could cry while he laughs.
Renjun closed the door of his room and headed to his studying desk. He pulled out the Since you’ve been gone novel and flipped it to the last page. He pulled out the note that Jeno gave to him, and taking over the marker. He crossed off the list number three and four, before smiling.
He did it. He had crossed over 4 lists out of 10. The other turned his head toward the mirror, checking upon his new appearance. He looked different, and despite being terrified of it, he likes it. Even his mom was surprised when she saw him, pulling him to a hug and said he looked nice.
Renjun ran his fingers on his baby hair. Does he really look nice…? Is he worthy enough to gain confidence now? To face people and… to face the guy that he likes?
The other gulped down before bit his lower lip, tracing his eyes over the lists. “Stop… being afraid of… Kang… D-Daniel…”
Shit, even just saying his name had already got him terrified. How could he even look at the gangster in the eyes-, and told him that he was no longer afraid, and that Daniel could no longer rule his life?
Even just imagining it had made Renjun sick.
The kid decided to drag his vision downward, and locked his eyes on the list number six.
Create something memorable for someone that matters to you.
Renjun bit his lower lip and slowly turned to look at his music note. He took it, and flipped the crumpled over flipped papers until the final one that he wrote.
A song that he wrote for the one he likes. Renjun gulped, before releasing a loud sigh. Would he ever able to play it in front of that person? Renjun sighed as he hugged the book closer. He wanted that person to hear him singing this song but… would he be able to?
Renjun sighed and closed the book. He sighed and shook his head, getting up to get changed into comfortable pajamas.
The list was almost impossible to fulfill-, but Renjun unconsciously had completed four. Four, out of it all. Renjun smiled to himself. It wasn’t bad-, it felt so freeing indeed. Even though he wasn’t sure if he could done the rest of the lists on his own…
…he still am so satisfied that he got to finish the first four. He had done something he never thought he’d ever done.
Renjun’s heart warmed up remembering what Jeno had done for him, before he closed his eyes and drove off to sleep.
Jaemin didn’t come to the university for straight 4 days-, and in that meantime Jeno couldn’t seem to live well too. Every time he dazed a bit, he was then reminded with Jaemin. It seems like the pale boy had left such an impression to Jeno that he felt so weird if the other didn’t contact him even just for a day.
That morning, Jeno woke up from his sleep and reached out for his phone. Turning the mobile data on, he tried to ignore the ticklish feeling in his chest when he received no good morning message again from Jaemin.
Somehow… it got a bit… lonely.
Jeno blinked, then hurriedly shook his head at the thoughts.
What’s wrong, Lee Jeno? Hasn’t life always been like this before Jaemin entered your life too? It wasn’t a big deal!
The SM heir cleared his throat awkwardly before raising from his bed. He headed out to take a shower, tried to focus himself to memorize the Japanese poem given by Takizawa sensei before to distract the thoughts of Jaemin away.
Jeno arrived in the university an hour later. He walked to the classroom and set his bag down. He glanced upward to see Jaemin’s gang, slightly wondering if they knew what was going on with Jaemin. At that time, something caught his attention.
Nancy, the beautiful supermodel was indeed super well known with her icy cold expression-, but that day she looked so much scarier than usual. She was staring-, practically glaring at a certain spot that made Jeno had to turn around as well to know who she was looking at. He blinked his eyes when he saw that girl was looking at Renjun’s direction.
Renjun was sitting by himself, with books on his hands. When Jeno looked back at Nancy-, the girl had rolled her eyes away and then turning to reply something Jisung said. Jeno shrugged, then approached Renjun. He took in the other’s view. It had been four days and he still couldn’t stop melting whenever he saw Renjun’s new appearance. Not just him, Renjun literally had become center of attention and gossips nowadays for his drastic change. He looked good. Real good.
The other sat down beside Renjun, before smiling. “Hei.”
Renjun rose his eyes from his book and turned to look at Jeno. His lips curved into a sweet smile and his eyes disappeared when he smiled. “M-morning.”
“How had your lists been going so far?” Jeno asked in curiosity.
“Urm…” Renjun touched his apple cheek, a habit he couldn’t stop doing even after he took the glasses off. “-still four crossed-… I think I can cross one more-,”
“Oh yeah?” Jeno smiled wider. “Which one?”
“Creating something memorable-,” Renjun replied with a cute heavy blush on his face. “-I… I t-think I am ready-, a-and… I am… I am trying to be more like p-positive now.”
Jeno finally broke into a small chuckle and unconsciously rose his hand to pat the other his head. Adorable. So much like a puppy. So adorable.
Just at that time, the door of the classroom swung open and Jeno turned his head to the left only to find Jaemin was standing on the door frame. He was really surprised to see the blonde and immediately pulling his hand back. Was too late though-, because Jaemin had seen what he did. The other didn’t react, even though Jeno could see the hurt obvious on his face.
Nancy’s voice was heard from the back of the room. Jaemin looked away from Jeno and Renjun, then walking toward the back of the classroom in silence.
Jeno looked down and basically cursed himself with what had happened before sighed. Mark was walking in right after Jaemin, and Jeno dragged his steps back to the other.
“What’s with your look?” Mark asked while raising his eyebrows and Jeno just snorted before plopping himself down on the chair first. Mark furrowed his eyebrows even more in confusion before taking a seat beside his now gloomy cousin.
“Nothing-,” Jeno replied weakly as he pulled out his book. His head was clouded, and he dared himself to steal glances at Jaemin through the reflection on his black screen phone.
On the other hand, Jaemin kept his facial expression stoic even when his friends pestered him.
“Why you keep on missing classes and not responding to our calls?” Jaehyun was the first one asking with eyebrows furrowed.
“I was too lazy for classes,” Jaemin faked a sigh as he placed his hand on his own forehead. “Sleeping is a lot better.”
“But still man-, don’t you miss us? It is weird to go play without you!” this time it’s Lucas’ turn to talk, making Jaemin smiled a bit.
Nancy kept locking her eyes on Jaemin in worry, feeling Jaemin’s temperature. “You are not sick, aren’t you?”
“No-, Nancy. I am good.” Jaemin gently pushed the other’s hand back. His eyes landed on Renjun on the front line, sitting straight looking innocent. Ugh! Did he change his appearance for Jeno? Shit-, does he like Jeno too?
The JYP heir angrily bit his inner cheek and looked away from Renjun. He sighed in annoyance as he pulled out his phone and tried to distract himself with his game.
Nancy who realized in what direction Jaemin was looking at before raising her eyebrows and throwing another icy cold glare at Renjun.
So that guy is one of the cause why Jaemin was in a bad mood? Does Jaemin like him?
Her hold around her mechanic pencil tightened.
Renjun walked on the garden while slightly humming to the song he was creating. His hold around the music book tightened and a smile played on his lips. He was almost done with the song he made for his special one. When he was about to turn into corner, he stopped on his track because Kang Daniel was standing there. He took some steps back and hurriedly went into other directions with fastened footsteps and widened his eyes when he was greeted by Nancy’s figure.
That girl looked surprise at first, but soon had pulled her expression to flat. “Oh, you.”
Renjun blinked and hurriedly bowed his head before preparing to walk away until Nancy spoke again.
“You looked so different with the previous you,”
Renjun stopped on his track and turned around to see Nancy again.
The girl also turned around, with an unreadable look on her face. She tilted her head to the right. “Why all of sudden?” she asked, faking the look on her eyes. “Are you falling in love?”
“I-,” Renjun widened his eyes when he heard the question, before nervously shook his head. “I am not-,”
“Ah really?” Nancy still smiled, but her left eyebrow lifted a bit to give a sweet yet scary look on her face. “Love could make a drastic change in people, I bet you like someone~”
Renjun felt his cheeks grew really hot. The image of a certain boy running on his head before he shyly bit his lower lip.
That look on Renjun confirmed Nancy’s playful words before and she didn’t like it. She rose her eyebrow again.
“Well that is good for you to fall in love,” she declared before folding her arms. “But you know, you still have to know your limit.”
Renjun blinked and looked at Nancy in confusion.
“Limit yourself to you and your own world, Huang Renjun.” Nancy said with a very flat icy cold voice. “Don’t venture beyond that wall. You should know that after all, no matter how far you have changed, there are still people you would not get.”
Renjun felt a lump formed on his throat when he listened to the other’s words, and he took some steps back.
Nancy didn’t change her facial expression as she left Renjun with arms folded in front of his chest, eyebrows twitching in annoyance at the thoughts of Renjun liking her Jaemin and vice versa.
She wouldn’t let that happen.
Oh, she would never let that happen.
Jeno watched Jaemin from far. That blonde kid was walking with his gang, talking as they crossed the garden. The SM heir frowned, sharp eyes judging Jaemin.
He acted like nothing happened. Even worse, he acted like nothing had ever happened between him and Jeno. He didn’t even glance at Jeno before, acted like they never talked before! It made Jeno growled by himself. Was the confession just a joke? Was Jaemin just played with him?
Jaemin separated his way with his friends and headed to his direction. Jeno panicked, and immediately turned to enter the restroom behind him. He pressed himself on the wall as he watched Jaemin from the mirror reflection, hoping the other would go into other direction.
Bad luck for him, Jaemin was actually heading to the toilet.
Jeno turned his body once Jaemin almost reached the doorframe, pushing the door of one cubicle loud enough to make it open and hide inside. Bad luck was still on his side, turned out that cubicle was occupied.
“I am not done yet!”
A voice protested from inside the toilet, and at that time Jaemin had stepped his feet into the restroom. He was beyond surprised when he saw Jeno was inside. Jeno also froze, looking back at Jaemin with hand still pressing into the cubicle door. There was a few moments of awkwardness among them until the door of the cubicle Jeno almost ran into swung open to reveal another student came out. He glanced at the cubicles around him and finding it empty.
“The fuck man, why bother waiting for me.” He hissed in both confusion and annoyance as he passed Jeno, and only lower his face when he realized Jaemin was there.
Jaemin blinked a few times, hand automatically rubbing his left arm. They both fell into another silence. Both waiting for each other to speak first, both waiting for the tension to melt down. The seconds between them went slow and painful, until Jaemin forced himself to be the one smiling first.
Jeno felt his legs shaking a bit, as he nodded nervously. “Uhm-, hi.”
“I-,” Jaeminpaused, before heading to the washing sink to turn on the water. “-I came for this hahaha.”
“Ah-,” Jeno scratched his head. “Uhm-, yeah.”
They both fell into silence again. Jeno looked around as if he wanted to find things he didn’t even know what, and Jaemin just tried to wash his hands as fast but at the same time as slow as he could.
Jeno hates how all the questions he had gathered from the past days disappeared just like that from his head. He paused for a bit as he watched Jaemin finished washing his hands, before opened his mouth.
“I-,” Jaemin immediately cut Jeno’s words once the other called his name out. “-I am sorry.”
Jeno stunned when he heard the other apologized to him. “-eh?”
“I am sorry for confessing-, and make things awkward for us.” Jaemin said, as he turned around and meet Jeno’s eyes. “I shouldn’t have done it. I’m ruining this friendship we had started building.”
Jeno didn’t reply at all. His heart and brain gave each other contrasting opinions, and he was confused.
“Let’s pretend that nothing happened-,” Jaemin gave the other a weak smile. “I am sorry I place you in difficult position.”
I am sorry I fall for you in a wrong situation.
“And besides…” Jaemin paused a bit. His tongue was so heavy to move and roll those words out from his mouth. “…it’s a no, isn’t it?”
Jeno bit his inner cheek. He actually wanted to say that things wouldn’t be able to change back even if they pretended that nothing had happened-, but his brain forced him not to get fooled by temporary feelings. He shouldn’t say anything. There supposed to be nothing between him and Jaemin.
Jaemin watched how Jeno’s expression twisted in different kind of emotions and he’d die to know what was actually the answer to his confession. But he also didn’t want to get hurt, because he knew 99.99% Jeno would say no. He had to kick away the remaining small percentage of Jeno saying the opposite. He shouldn’t feed himself with more false hopes.
When Jeno nodded his head, Jaemin could hear the inaudible loud crack of his heart. It is invisible, but it hurt so damn much. Jaemin felt dizzy all of sudden so he immediately looked down to give his self a break. Staring at Jeno for one second longer would break him into pieces.
“-yeah.” Jaemin chuckled and run his fingers on his hair. “Ah, I just drank a coke and I got so drunk. I must be not myself back then!”
Jeno watched as Jaemin hurriedly stumbled his way out of the restroom.
“I think I shall get back before my friends die out of starvation.” Jaemin said with a smile. “See you around.”
Jeno nodded awkwardly and Jaemin walked out of the restroom, pace twice the normal. Jeno stared at the blonde back, frowning.
The suffocating feel suddenly clenched his heart. As if he didn’t want Jaemin to go. As if he didn’t want what happened yesterday to disappear like that.
He knew he shouldn’t exceed the limit. He also doesn’t like Jaemin in that way.
But why does his heart hurt so much now that he sees Jaemin walking away?
Chapter 26: Missing
What’s missing? He’s eating, sitting in front of Huang Renjun, free from possibility of complicated future.
So what’s missing?
Jeno’s brain chanted one thing that Jeno didn’t want to believe, yet also couldn’t deny.
Apparently, Na Jaemin is missing.
“You drank too much, man.”
Lucas stared at Jaemin who had downed his third shot of tequila. His eyebrows furrowed, because Jaemin isn’t really a type of person who drink alcohol. Him drinking all three shots of tequila was really new-, and of course. Disaster.
“I am not gonna get down with these fucking small shots!” Jaemin bounced his head, raising the empty glass of his tequila while laughing. “They are just small shots! Ha!”
“Dude, you are saying that but you are super drunk already,” Jisung shook his head as he held the other’s hand delicately. “Stop it-, hey.”
“No, let me drink!” Jaemin chuckled as he poured himself another shot of tequila with shaky hand. “I feel like shit and I wanna drink it out all tonight.”
“You won’t tell us what happened-,” Jaehyun crossed his arms as he watched how his friend had gotten out of control. Nancy who was sitting beside him stared in silence. Her expression was also confused, watching everything that Jaemin did with her sharp eyes.
Jaemin chuckled before shaking his head. “You guys won’t believe it. Him-, that kid.”
“That kid who?” Jaehyun furrowed his eyebrows, the other friends inched closer to hear what Jaemin was saying.
“That stupid nerdy kid-,” Jaemin slurred his words out, raising his finger on the air. “That stupid Huang kid!”
All of the eyes in the sofa widened in surprise. Nancy even straightened her sitting position, eyebrows furrowing deeper than before.
“Huang-, that Huang Renjun?” Jaehyun asked, eyes wide. “What happened?”
Jaemin just snickered, tightening his hold around the empty tequila glass in front of him. “-he likes him.”
“What?” Jaehyun asked again, and everyone in the table inched closer to hear more.
Jaemin suddenly slammed down the glass on the table before raising his hand. “I am--- jealous!”
The other just rose their eyebrows in surprise. Questions filling their mind. What? Huang Renjun? Since when Jaemin had ever talked and even communicating with that nerd?
“Why he changes his look?” Jaemin fisted his hand and once again slammed it down on the desk. “I am mad!”
The other still stared at Jaemin with lost expression, before looking back at each other.
“Why are you mad?” Lucas asked, curious.
“Because it makes him looked good!!!” Jaemin groaned. Yes, he had to admit that Renjun indeed looked great with his new style. Jeno even fucking played with his hair! Shit, that attention seeker… he must had done it to steal Jeno’s heart. “That little fucker!”
A thick tense heated up in the air as the rest of the table slowly-, but surely-, turned their head to the girl sitting not too far from them. Nancy. The girl’s expression was murderous, her eyes shot up the scariest look they had ever seen. She unfolded her legs and grabbed her bag, before got up and left them all with wide steps.
“Nancy-,” Jisung called out for the other. “Should we go after her?”
“You wanna feel the wrath of the princess?” this time Lucas shivered and shook his head. “You are on your own.”
Jaehyun also shook his head, and Jisung finally decided to just shut his mouth down completely. Well-, he better stays quiet then. They all looked at Jaemin who had suddenly passed out on the table.
“Man, you putting that Huang kid in trouble.” Lucas shook his head in pity. “His already pitiful life would get even worse now with Nancy.”
Nancy’s crush on Jaemin had been a public secret since like long time ago. Everyone could know that Nancy likes the JYP son, for reasons. They had been together since they were little, through up and down, so of course Nancy grew so attached to him. Nancy is a typical young lady who knew no mercy. She always gets what she wants… except Jaemin’s heart.
Now that she doesn’t get what she wants… of course the lion inside her wakes up.
Renjun on the other hand, couldn’t stop thinking of what Nancy said this afternoon. He was sitting on his bed, looking at one piece pf paper on his hand. In that paper, there was written one complete melody.
Not on his level…
He placed the paper on the table beside him as he curled into the ball.
True, a guy like him… it is wrong to have a crush on others. He shouldn’t have felt that way. It would never return. The feeling.
Renjun was just about to close his eyes and let his never-ending thoughts swallowed him alive as whole when he suddenly heard his phone ringing. Startled, he picked it up to see Jeno’s name there. He groggily answered it, sitting straight on the bed with heart thumping. “H-hello?”
“Renjun? What are you doing now?”
“I am… n-nothing.” Renjun replied as he started to play with his pillow.
“Fancy a cup of tea with me?”
Renjun fell into a quick silence before straightening his body. Jeno’s voice sounded troubled. It made the top student thought for a bit before replied. “…sure. Where?”
Once Jeno sent out the address, Renjun hurriedly dragged himself out. He stared at his reflection in the mirror for split seconds when he was about to take his coat.
He looked different.
So different from his usual look.
His hand slowly reached to touch his cheek, before he slowly headed to the mirror and took off his soft lens.
He would never change. This kind of look just wasn’t made for him.
With trembling hands the boy put on his glasses back and made his way out.
Forever, he just gonna be a Huang Renjun.
This kind of Huang Renjun.
Jeno waited in the café with a gloomy look. He just couldn’t erase those dark clouds hung around him since he saw Jaemin’s back walking away to leave him this afternoon. It hurts, and it still hurts for no reason.
Renjun arrived at the café a few times later. He looked down, avoiding the waiters who greeted him with a sweet welcome. He immediately took a seat in front of Jeno, pulling the SM heir soul back to his body.
“Ah-, hey…” Jeno greeted. “Wow, you got your glasses back.”
“Y-yeah,” Renjun shrugged awkwardly. “I haven’t gotten used to-… not wearing it just yet.”
“Ah--,” Jeno nodded his head in acknowledgement. It was a pretty drastic change for Renjun indeed-, and he also didn’t expect the other to immediately fit in anyway.
“What’s wrong, Jeno…ssi?” Renjun asked, voice dropped one octave lower when he called out the other’s name at the end.
“…just Jeno-,” Jeno shook his head. “Just Jeno is fine.”
Renjun looked troubled for a moment, clearing his throat. “…yes, Jeno.”
“Nothing-, I just am feeling off so I don’t wanna be alone at the home.” Jeno sighed as he rubbed his face with his hand. “I am sorry-, did I disturb you?”
“No!” Renjun shook his head. Instead, he felt relieved. Staying at his home by himself too, would just make his thoughts scrambled into one, unfinished string of confusion and hesitation. Sitting with Jeno in one nice café with a high tea presentation in front of him felt so much better. “It’s okay-, I am really okay.”
Jeno smiled and let his hand moved to pour Renjun a cup of tea. Nymph of the Nile, organic white peony tea with Persian Rose and Egyptian Basil. A perfect collaboration of delicate white peony tea, pink rose and sweet basil brewed for four minutes. Had always been Jeno’s favorite since like he was in high school.
Both of them sat down in silence, letting the faint sound of classical slow music along with the soft clatters of ceramic cutleries from other tables filled the empty air. Jeno didn’t expect any conversations to happen, anyway. He just wanted to confirm what he felt toward Jaemin was just a guilt. That he didn’t genuinely feeling empty just because the other suddenly pulled away from him.
Yes. Tell him that it’s not true.
His eyes stared at every inch of Renjun’s face. There’s a special vibe around this kid that made Jeno always wanted to stare at. That made Jeno wanted to protect him. Jeno tried to ensure his heart that if he were to falling in love, it’s Renjun he would choose. A regular kid with humble life and sweet personality. Not the mafia heir like Jaemin. Not the bratty Jaemin.
Jeno still felt empty in a certain location on the top of his stomach. He thought he’s hungry, but he’s not. He had stuffed himself with two scones and one cupcake, but still it didn’t feel right.
What’s missing? He’s eating, sitting in front of Huang Renjun, free from possibility of complicated future.
So what’s missing?
Jeno’s brain chanted one thing that Jeno didn’t want to believe, yet also couldn’t deny.
Apparently, Na Jaemin is missing.
Jaemin woke up with a huge headache on his head. His restless sleep was interrupted by a loud ringtone from his phone. He dragged that phone up, glancing at its name.
The heir looked at his surrounding to realize he was already in his bedroom. He abruptly answered the call.
“Fuck off, hyung. Got a great hangover here.” He cursed the older while still keeping his eyes closed, his world still spun around him.
“Song Mino just left Mr. Haejin’s office.”
That one voice pulled Jaemin back to reality. He opened his eyes again, the pound on his head lessened by magic. “What?”
“He didn’t look too happy-… perhaps whatever he requested for is denied.”
Jaemin couldn’t help but curl his lips upward a bit. Suit himself. That boy thought he could buy anything in this world with his money. Go ahead. Embarrass yourself. “That is nice. How’s dad?”
“Still inside-, but actually what is this thing Song Mino asked Mr. Jinyoung about?”
Jaemin’s smile fell off a bit. He didn’t want to tell Johnny and worried the hell out of that kid, so he just closed his eyes again. Relief and headache started to fill his mind. “Just a stupid business matter.”
“It is not what we are worrying about you, like the one he told reporters back then, isn’t it?”
Jaemin’s jaw hardened with Johnny’s question. “No. It is not.”
“Okay then-, aspirin is on your nightstand.”
Jaemin weakly turned his head around to see a pill of aspirin on the table along with one glass of water before he grinned. “You are so thoughtful hyung, you would be a nice housewife.”
“I am, nowhere gonna be a housewife, Mr. Jaemin.”
“Oh-, but I heard you have gotten even closer to Oh Sehun recently.” Jaemin teased, pulling himself up a bit together before extending his hand to reach over the aspirin. “Ain’t it?”
“If any of that case happened, he’d be the one being the housewife. It is nowhere near me.”
“Your pride is too much-, heard from Taeil hyung you moaned so loud a few days ago inside your room, hyung.”
“HUH WHAT THE F-,”
Before he knew just whatever would happen with Taeil on the next few seconds, Jaemin disconnected his call before groaned and popped the aspirin into his mouth, then downed it with water. Afterward, he laid his head back to the pillow. A triumphant smile curled on his lips.
“Well I know dad at least is never gonna sell me off.”
He talked to himself before closing his eyes. This time slowly drifting to slumber land with a lot lighter mind than the previous one.
Chapter 27: Confession - Renjun
List number 8.
Be honest with your feeling.
Jaemin skipped classes for the full day, spending time resting at home to either playing games or reading manga, putting his phone connection completely off. As long as his phone’s still on, his silent hope for Jeno to suddenly contact him would also linger.
Ah. He hated how his heart still desperately yearned for Jeno when the other had completely turned him down like that. He wanted to hate the other and move on-, but he couldn’t do it. No matter how many rounds of game he had played and manga he read to distract himself, all the time he closed his eyes there’s only one face that crosses his mind.
Jeno. Jeno, and all his charms that Jaemin would never get to have to his own. A beauty that glows to attract endless attentions, yet managed to remain dangerous and untouchable.
For Lee Jeno is like a veratrum flower-, and the best way for Na Jaemin to love him is by leaving him on his own.
After a day filled with anxieties and resting, Jaemin decided to go to the campus on the next day. He turned on his phone in the car, his heart hammered with slight anticipations and also pain. Once the data was connected, he received a lot of messages from his gang. Mostly asking if he was okay. Jaemin just pulled the corner of his lips into smug smile as he read through every word, until he stopped in one chat from Lucas.
Huang Renjun’s basically gonna get roasted, man. You know Nancy. She’s really pissed off with that night.
Jaemin’s eyebrows knitted together as he scrolled Lucas’s chat again. Huang Renjun? Roasted? Moreover-, by Nancy? That night? What-? What happened? Did the other reject to work on Nancy’s works like usual? Nancy would? She wasn’t really the type who does that to others though…?
Jaemin immeditely dialed Lucas’s number. It didn’t even reach the second ring, before he picked up his phone and was greeted by the other’s usual super energetic voice.
“You alive man-,”
“Pretty much-,” Jaemin cut the other before he could even say more. “What do you mean Huang Renjun will get roasted by Nancy?”
“You said you liked that Huang kid-, of course Nancy is not pleased.”
“I what-,” Jaemin straightened his body, heart pumping faster than usual. “-no! When did I say that-,”
“In the club, man! You were so wasted and you spilled the bean!”
“I-,” Jaemin breathed in-, panic started to attack him. “-no way!”
“Yes you did,”
Jaemin’s mind immediately screamed for Jeno’s name. “Did I say other things?”
“No-, basically just Huang Renjun. Then you passed out. Suho was the one bringing you back. You were so wasted man, couldn’t recall anything at all?”
Jaemin groaned and massaged his temples. “Why did you guys not stopping me from getting drunk?”
“…’cause you looked like you needed it man.”
“Still-,” Jaemin groaned again. “-forget it. What do you mean Huang Renjun is getting roasted?”
“You see it yourself. Didn’t know Nancy was such a bully.”
Jaemin frowned before quickly signaling the driver to start the car engine, then cutting the telephone connection. No way. The Nancy he knew wasn’t a bully.
Once he arrived in the school, Jaemin rushed his footsteps toward his class. He opened the door, his gaze landed first at Renjun’s empty seat. Then, he dragged his vision to his group’s usual seat. He first met Jisung’s eyes who immediately waved at him. Jaemin glanced a bit at the seat where Jeno usually sat. When he found no one there, he immediately rose his hands in the air, sending wordless question to his gang.
Lucas hopped off and ran down to approach Jaemin.
“Nancy literally just humiliated Huang Renjun in front of these kids.” Lucas said, half groaning. “That was hell, man.”
“Did she?” Jaemin frowned, his eyebrows twisted in worry. “Did I really say I am jealous with Huang Renjun last night?”
“Yea, man! So you seriously like him?”
“No-, I don’t!” Jaemin groaned as he ran his fingers on his caramel brown hair. “Where are they now?”
“Just before, Renjun went out. Then Nancy went after him. I guess it must not be pretty view.” Lucas put both of his hands into the pocket.
Jaemin frowned as he bit his lower lip. As much as he didn’t care about Huang Renjun, he had purposely put that guy into this mess. He turned on his heels and walked around to find the nerd boy and his clingy gang mate, leaving Lucas in the classroom.
Jaemin knew Nancy was not a bad girl to begin with.
But he knew she’s not that much of a good girl as well.
Huang Renjun had learnt to stay quiet all the time whenever someone pick on him. It wouldn’t anger them; it would make them go away faster. So, when his hair was yanked ahead by a kind of strength he should have expected from a model with curvy sexy body, he could only keep quiet.
“I asked you Dumbo, since when had you been close to Jaeminnie?”
The cold voice of Nancy pierced through Renjun’s skin like a glazed cut. The Chinese bit his lower lip, rejecting to answer as he kept his head hung low.
“I didn’t know you were mute, Huang Renjun. Why aren’t you answering?” Nancy asked sharply.
Renjun really didn’t understand what was happening. He wasn’t even close with Jaemin, he rarely talked to the SM heir. Why Nancy keep repeating the same question? What was going on?
His lower lip quivered as he slowly shook his head.
“How the fuck shall I-, translate that bloody headshake of yours?” Nancy hissed as irritation running all over her blood. She’s jealous. She’s overheated and she knew she shouldn’t have done it. Yet, what could she do? She had too many things running inside her mind and she wanted to hear it right away.
Renjun trembled like there’s no tomorrow.
“Did you seduce him? Did you sleep with him?” Nancy asked with frustration in her voice. “Just how the fuck did you get into his mind??”
Renjun still kept quiet, but his body froze when he heard Nancy’s last words.
Nancy’s hand swung to slap him hard across the face. “Answer me, fucking retard!”
Fresh tears spilled from Renjun’s eyes with the stinging sensation on his right cheek. It hurt so much. No one had ever slapped Renjun before. Even Daniel, all he did was just threatening him, he had never really punched him.
Remembering it, Daniel… had almost never hurt him like what Nancy just done.
Renjun bit his lower lip as something inside him snapped.
Who the hell does Nancy think she is? How dare she lays her fingers on Renjun?
In his home, he is also a precious person.
"Why does he get interested in a piece of shit like you?” Nancy glared at Renjun.
And in his home, he is also a treasure.
Renjun bit his lower lip harshly.
List number 7. Back away from all the negativities in life.
Renjun is not a piece of shit.
Renjun is not a Dumbo.
Who is this fucking girl standing in front of him calling him words?
None of them realized that Jeno accidentally passed and overheard their conversation. He furrowed his eyebrows when he sensed the unpleasant atmosphere and moving closer, seeing what had happened.
“Hey, bitch! Answer me!” Nancy grew furious and rose her voice again.
Renjun still stay quiet. Something slowly bubbling inside him, forcing its way to come out. His long-forgotten dignity. His courage.
That voice slipped out from Renjun’s lips. It was weak. Fragile-, but it was there.
“What?” Nancy furrowed her eyebrows.
“-am not…” Renjun gathered all his power to raise his head. “…a bitch.”
Jeno widened his eyes when he heard Renjun’s words. He never saw Renjun talked back before. He usually was one who always accept any insult thrown at him.
But that time-, he didn’t.
He talked back.
Nancy was also just as stunned as Jeno. Her eyes widened and her eyebrows curled into dramatical waves. It took her a few moments before she rose her hand. “How dare you talk back to me!”
Jeno widened his eyes, his legs were ready to move over to stop Nancy but someone was faster enough to call out the girl’s name.
All three pair of eyes turned their direction to the owner of the voice.
The caramel haired boy sighed as he walked toward Nancy, shaking his head. “This is all misunderstanding. I heard what I said yesterday from the kids. I didn’t mean it that way.”
“You seriously said that.” Nancy suddenly became weak in front of Jaemin. Her previous hard, scary face had been replaced with broken expression. “You seriously mentioned that you like Huang Renjun.”
Jeno felt his blood froze when he heard what Nancy said.
Na Jaemin? He likes Renjun?
“It is not what happened.” Jaemin sighed. “Like I told you, it is misunderstanding.”
“You are lying!” Nancy sobbed, shaking her head. “If it wasn’t the truth, then why did you mention his name?”
Jaemin turned to glance at Renjun who was looking at him in shock. His small eyes became so big, and his lips also parted open.
No, no. Not one more person got into this misunderstanding.
“Nancy-,” Jaemin sighed as he held both of Nancy’s shoulders. Explaining the truth about him liking Jeno and got jealous over Renjun wouldn’t do any good either. “-whoever it is that I like, you shall not do this. That matter goes between me and that person. You can’t terrorize people like this.”
That words seemed to slap Nancy a bit because she grew a bit quiet. Her eyes widened. “-oppa…”
“Huang doesn’t do anything wrong-,” Jaemin explained again. “So please, don’t disturb him again.”
Nancy turned to look at Renjun. Her expression was no longer murderous, but more like broken. Her lower lip quivered, and she shook her head. “…but oppa-…”
Jaemin glanced at Renjun again, inspecting the wound that Nancy caused. At that time, Nancy pushed Jaemin off a bit and she ran ahead to leave them. Ah… Jaemin felt his head pounded. Now he had one more shit to deal with… but first he needs to finish the one with Huang Renjun first.
“Listen Huang-,” he started off hesitantly, didn’t know how he shall explain all of this mess. “What had just happened, that was all--,”
Jaemin paused when he heard that reply. His eyebrows lifted before he furrowed it again. “-ah?”
Renjun kept his face down on the floor. His hands formed into fists as he tried to stabilize his breathing.
List number 8.
Be honest with your feeling.
Renjun inhaled deeply. He had been holding this feeling since like years ago.
Images of Jaemin from the first time Renjun saw him, all the mini clips of what the other was doing filling his mind.
Papers of love songs Renjun arranged only to portray Jaemin in a form of lyrics danced all over his mind.
List number 8.
He repeated it once again in his head.
Be honest with your feeling.
“I like you Na Jaemin-ssi!”
Wow guys, I am kind amazed as you guys predicted who renjun likes. hahahaa.
I have one more version of this in asianfanfcs with taobaekhun as the casts but the readers didnt expect it at all hahahaaha
Sharp babes, love you ;)
Chapter 28: Renjun's Side of Story
One more list has been crossed.
Huang Renjun had just spilled the truth.
It was back around two years ago, the first time Renjun saw Jaemin-, the first time they entered the university. Renjun was sitting with other students in their special rows, listening to the principal’s speech about how they had made a right choice by joining the university, the missions, the visions, and list went on. Faintly, he accidentally overheard the students beside him talking, mentioning something about a certain name.
Rumor said it, they better avoid Na Jaemin of all cost. To hear that the son of JYP-, top three most dangerous mafia group in Seoul-, was in the same university with them was already enough to make the kids trembled in fear. Renjun never wanted to get in trouble with anyone. He just wanted to get through the college life he didn’t even really want peacefully.
Yet, fate brought them together for the first time after a while.
Their first meeting was in the toilet. Renjun was washing his hands on the sink when Jaemin suddenly came out from one of the cubicle in the restroom. The Na boy washed his hand beside the smaller, and Renjun was nervous. The Chinese kept fixing his eyes on his hands, and hurriedly tried to finish his business. Once he had done, he hurriedly dried his hand and was about to run away. He had already started to shuffle his leg hurriedly by the time then Jaemin’s voice suddenly stopped him dead on his track.
“You forgot your phone.”
Renjun stopped moving, before slowly turning to look at his phone-, left accidentally beside the sink. He glanced at Jaemin for a bit before hurriedly extended his hand and took the phone away. “T-t-thank you-…”
Jaemin didn’t reply, but when Renjun looked up he found the other returning his gaze and lifted his lips a bit upward to form a smile. It was a lazy, effortless smile-, but he looked so charming with that smile. That time, Renjun was sure that his heart had stopped beating for a while.
The second time they met, it took place in the back of the university.
Ever since their first encounter that time, Renjun would keep stealing glances at Jaemin from afar. The JYP heir looked so handsome-, and Renjun was pretty sure that Jaemin got even more handsome as the days passed by.
That day though.
That day-, Renjun decided that there’s something about Na Jaemin that made him crazy.
It was a lovely early evening, the clock shown the time at exactly 4.43 PM. The JYP heir was crouching down in front of a box. At first Renjun couldn’t see what was inside, but when he heard a small whine-, and when Jaemin moved a bit to show a small, trembling head popped out from inside a box… It was a little puppy.
“Ah… I want to take you home but I won’t be able to take care of you…”
Jaemin groaned a bit when the puppy tilted his head, looking at Jaemin with his round eyes.
“…don’t give me that look…”
Renjun was hiding behind the tree, watched what was happening.
Jaemin patted the puppy’s head. “You wouldn’t last long if I was the one taking care of you, you know?”
There was a pause.
“…you know, I can’t even take care of myself well.”
Jaemin pulled his hand away from the top of the puppy’s head, but the puppy rose his paws and desperately pawed the empty air, as if wanting the blonde to keep petting him.
“Ah… you…” Jaemin groaned again, this time palming his face with his left hand. “…okay. Okay, I won’t leave you.”
Renjun couldn’t help but smile when he heard the other’s words. Na Jaemin lost against the puppy. The troublemaker who living life just whatever the way he wants to-, losing to a thrown, approximately 2 weeks old puppy in a box.
Jaemin spent a few minutes ahead playing with the puppy, twirled his hand around, before reached out to carry the puppy inside his arms. Renjun almost held his breath, afraid that Jaemin would realize his existence there and that he would ruin the pretty picture in front of him.
“I will just take you to Jihoon hyung’s, okay?” Jaemin asked the pup on his arms. “Jinyoung hyung and Jihoon hyung likes dog. They definitely will love you.”
The puppy barked happily, swishing his tail. Jaemin put him down, and the puppy running toward a plastic bag full of mangoes that Jaemin brought along with him before. Jaemin put the plastic bag not too far from him, and the puppy took immediate liking to it. He ran forward and curiously sniffed it. Then, he rose his tiny paw and placed it on top of the mango as he examined it, then nudged it around.
“No, no. Not my mango!” Jaemin said, but did nothing to stop the puppy. He laughed instead, watching as the puppy stopped for a while to look at him.
“Not. The mango.” He repeated, raised up his index finger as a sign to teach the puppy.
The puppy barked happily, swishing his tail as he ran around the mango.
“No. No mango.” Jaemin said again, his voice went a bit cuter as he was having fun with the baby dog in front of him.
The puppy barked again, jumping up and down before snuggling the mango he nudged around before. Jaemin chuckled then sat on the ground, ruffling the puppy’s fur.
“You like mango, don’t you?”
The puppy barked happily.
“Mango.” He repeated, watching as the puppy once again barked happily.
Chuckling, Jaemin finally reached out to pat the puppy on the head. “Shall I call you mango?”
Another happy bark.
“Okay… mango then.” Jaemin nodded his head. “Mango likes mango.”
Jaemin paused a bit, before suddenly laughed out loud with the pun. His eyes crinkled into crescent moon shaped before he shook his head. “No, no. We can’t name you Mango ‘cause I don’t really like mango. It is Jinyoung who likes it.”
The puppy tilted his head again, tail still swaying left to right.
“…Monggu.” Jaemin nodded before he looked at the puppy. “I will call you Monggu.”
The puppy, now is named Monggu, barked again and twirled around on his spot. He likes the name.
Jaemin chuckled before extended his two hands. “Come on, Monggu. I will take you to the café.”
Renjun gasped a bit and ran away, hiding further behind the wall to avoid Jaemin who was slowly walking on his side.
When Jaemin passed the wall Renjun was hiding, he didn’t seem to notice because his eyes were continuously on the puppies. Jaemin lifted the puppy-, which he already called Monggu by that moment-, on the air, laughing. The soft locks of his caramel brown hair blown by the wind-, and Jaemin looked so beautiful. So ethereal.
Thump thump thump.
Renjun felt his cheek reddened as he looked away from the guy. Why Na Jaemin had to be that handsome? He wondered too. The small guy glanced back only when Jaemin had walked quite far away. He bit his lower lip, staring at the figure until Jaemin really got out of view.
That time, he realized he had grown even more in love.
Their third encounter was the day when Renjun gave Jeno brownies.
He ran flat to the other’s chest, falling onto the floor with a loud thud. Renjun remembered the heavy fresh scent of mint invading his sense, driving him almost crazy and half melted into the arms of that JYP heir.
When Jaemin extended his hand to pick him up back then, Renjun almost felt like dreaming. No one like Jaemin had ever offered a helping hand like that for Renjun, and it made him lightheaded. He felt like a puppy when Jaemin helped him up. That was literally the first time Jaemin talked to him after the phone accident. He looked so much more handsome up close-, and he had a unique voice too.
Renjun was so nervous. He literally could feel every bone inside his body melted once he locked his eyes with the JYP heir. The moment their skin touched, he felt high blitz of electricity ran all over him. Suddenly, all the Korean language he had mastered for years evaporated into the thin air just like that.
“You okay?” Jaemin only asked that simply, but Renjun could feel his blood stopped flowing by that time. He gaped at the other, before hurriedly made his way to escape the scene. Standing that close to Jaemin could kill him-, no matter how much he liked it.
When Renjun read the article about Song Mino takes interest in Na Jaemin, he could immediately feel his heart cracked. He knew, he stood no chance against Nancy, moreover against Song Mino. The day he was saved by Jeno-, that day made him feel even worse.
How could I protect you from any danger if I myself keep on involved into one?
That’s what he wrote on his song, humming along with a sad tune.
The mafia world is cruel, and Renjun wished he could protect the other too. Just like when Jaemin protected him last time.
That day, when Jaemin and Jeno stopped Daniel from bullying Renjun in the classroom-, Renjun was so happy to the point it felt so tight there inside of his chest. One of the reason why he wanted to follow Jeno’s 10 lists challenge, was also because of Jaemin. That time when he had gotten dressed up and met Jaemin in the front of the pet store, he was beyond surprised. He wanted to run and hide, but Jaemin caught him first. Renjun had always wanted to shown this side of him to Jaemin, but he got so self conscious. It was like, no matter how dressed up was him, he would never beat Jaemin’s beauty.
He’s afraid that he wouldn’t be able to capture Jaemin’s heart too.
Jaemin is always the one who acts tough in front of people. The way he would harden his facial expression, the way he twitches his lips, and the way his eyebrows furrowed to look intimidating. Renjun might be afraid of him back then, but he would never gonna forget the melodious laugh the other shared that evening.
Even until now, Renjun still remembered the name well.
“Stop looking so terrified and keep on saying sorry! If you kept doing that then no one would ever respect you!”
That’s what Jaemin said back then.
Jaemin’s right. The reason why Renjun is such a pushover is because he’s too scared to even stand for himself. Being pathetic, just keeping everything for himself and putting the blame on him.
“You know it’s annoying that you keep saying sorry for something you don’t even do wrong, do you?”
And that’s what ran inside his mind when Nancy tried to break him down earlier.
He’s not doing anything wrong. A mighty beautiful lady like Nancy got jealous of him-, was already something beyond his expectation. He didn’t even know what had happened, but he couldn’t deny the fluttering butterflies all over his chest once he imagined Jaemin secretly really liked him in return.
He knew it is something impossible. This must be a rumor. This must be a mistake.
There’s no way Na Jaemin would take a liking at him
He felt this very big push to say this out loud. It was suffocating, the feeling inside of him. He had to say this out loud. Be it true or what, no matter what would happen, he needed to do this. He’s been too quiet about this for so long, he needed this out from his chest.
“I like you.”
There was a freezing moment in the air for a few moments after he said that. The time ticked painfully slow, and the next moment he realized what he had just said…
…he widened his eyes and covered his mouth.
What did he just say.
All blood rushing into his face as he watched Jaemin’s face twisted in shock.
No… it was a mistake. What did Renjun just said-? It must be a misunderstanding… it was what Jaemin thought about.
Renjun felt his legs shook as he took some steps back. He blinked repeatedly and lowered his gaze to the grass underneath him. Ah… he did it.
“-ah… ah-, sorry!”
He almost choked on his own words as he stumbled backward. He knew how much Jaemin dislikes it when he apologizes, but he had to do it this time.
This time, let him just be a bit selfish to voice out his words and opinions. Renjun felt his legs going like jelly, and he bit his lower lip. Abruptly he took a step backward, fastening it little by little before he ended up running for his life away.
One more list has been crossed.
Huang Renjun had just spilled the truth.
Chapter 29: Into Enemy's Den
Jaemin turned around and left Jeno, but only a few steps before he turned around. His expression dead, the coldest stare he had ever given locked with Jeno's.
"...you should've told him that you like him." He said, his voice flat. "Therefore, you wouldn't have been beaten by people like me. Right?"
Jaemin likes Renjun, and Renjun likes Jaemin.
Those words repeated again and again inside of Jeno's head like a broken tape, and still stabbing him on the heart hard each time.
What is this? Some kind of dream? Were those two playing a game against him? He kept on asking himself as he stood on his spot, unable to process what had happened. Part of him trying desperately to calm his head-, which went blank and dizzy in split seconds. Other part pumped another emotion that Jeno himself couldn't fully describe to clench his heart, driving his irrational side to roar louder than his brain.
Jaemin said he likes Jeno. The JYP heir definitely said that, but now he heard it from Nancy's mouth. Jaemin likes Renjun. And what did he hear again-? Renjun also likes Jaemin back. Since when? What? Why? Jeno almost gone crazy with the endless possibilities roaring on his head.
Jeno was just so close to lose his mind when his eyes met suddenly met Jaemin-, who happened to turn around just in time. They locked their gazes together, and Jaemin's eyes rounded as round as possible.
"J-Jeno?" He gasped, couldn't believe his own eyes. "W-what are you doing t-there-, I mean... Since when have you been-,"
Jaemin was too shocked to even get his mind right. Words that flew out from his lips weren't even clear anymore. His knees immediately went weak, both his brain and mouth couldn't work in harmony.
Jeno took a step back, tried to get a grip of himself. "I just overheard a very... Confusing conversation."
Jaemin got even more panic with what Jeno said. He immediately shook his head and approached the other male. "This is wrong-, you misunderstand it."
"Oh-, misunderstand?" Jeno almost scoffed as he shook his head. "I don't think so. What the heck is happening, Na Jaemin? Just a few days ago you confessed that you like me, and now suddenly you have developed liking for Renjun?"
"It is not like that. I don't like Huang Renjun." Jaemin explained, stressing every sentence rolling out of his tongue like he really meant it-, because yes he was.
"Well-, apparently he likes you too so it is not a one-sided love." Jeno bit back sarcastically. He had always been one that is always calm enough to control his emotion, but this time he couldn’t help but release venom with each of his words. His inside churned and turned, twisted in pain and betrayal. His brain wasn’t able to stop himself from spitting out things that he would regret after.
Why? A betrayal for what? Even Jeno couldn't bring himself to understand. He just felt hurt for no specific reason. Is it about Jaemin lied to him, or the fact that Jaemin likes Renjun, or that Renjun also likes Jaemin?
Jaemin frowned even more when he heard Jeno's words. His blood rushed toward different places, and he was sure he could feel uneasiness started to eat him alive as he saw pure jealousy flickered on Jeno's eyes. "...Listen..." he sighed, didn't know how to explain things to Jeno.
"Just don't hurt him." Jeno also didn't know why those words slipped out of his lips just like that. "Don't play him up. If you weren't serious about him, don't do it."
Jeno couldn't think straight, and he didn't want to see Jaemin at that moment. Seeing the other’s face just made him feel even worse. Why? Was that jealousy? To whom?
Jaemin's heart sank. It hit the rock bottom. He felt his breathe hitched and, fuck... It hurt so bad. He felt his chest tightened, so much that it pushed out something toward his head-, along with the hot feeling on his eyes. He tried so hard to bite his lower lip, holding his own mouth to curse.
Yes of course.
It’s Renjun that matter the most in this case.
It’s Renjun that couldn't get hurt.
It’s Renjun that Jeno likes.
Jaemin looked down for a bit, losing all of his energy to talk before he let out a scoff. "-you... You really like him."
Jeno's hands balled into tight fists, and his eyes followed Jaemin’s movement as the JYP heir looked up to find his eyes. Those enticing, deep gaze penetrated deep into his soul, stripping him naked. It's as if Jaemin had thousands of things to say, but not even one of those words left his lips.
"...don't worry about it. It was just misunderstanding." He said, raising both of his hands up in the air. "I'll talk to him later."
Jaemin turned around and left Jeno, but only a few steps before he turned around. His expression dead, the coldest stare he had ever given locked with Jeno's.
"...you should've told him that you like him." He said, his voice flat. "Therefore, you won't be beaten by people like me. Right?"
Jeno blinked, and his lips opened to say something but his words never came out. Why? Why it felt so wrong to hear Jaemin spoke like that?
Jaemin turned around again before Jeno managed to say anything, closing his eyes tightly. It was suffocating, the tight feeling he got inside his chest. He desperately tried to hold back his tears, as he fastened his pace toward the nearest restroom. Thankful that no one was there, he locked the door and pressed his forehead on the wall.
"Fuck you." He cursed, choked sobs escaped his lips. "I hate you Lee Jeno."
He turned on the water tap to disguise his voice among the splashing sound of the water. He turned them on to the max, desperately wishing that it would disguise along the sound of his shattered heart-, that just fell and hit the cold hard ground loud.
Jeno couldn't concentrate at all.
Both Renjun and Jaemin weren't around for the next class. Jeno sat on his usual spot with eyes-, which kept on losing their focuses, along with Mark who had known what had happened. The Canadian didn't even need to be a fortune teller to know what was running inside Jeno's head by that time.
To Na Jaemin.
At times, Mark wondered why his little brother is so oblivious to his own feeling. He fucked up on his love life, a lot worse than those actresses and actors Mark watched on televisions. Mark shook his head, not wanting to comment anything. Jeno needed to be the one who figured out his own things. It would be no use if Mark lectured him about that. What's the strongest metal again? Oh-, Vibranium from the fantasy world Wakanda? Yeah, Jeno might be that stubborn.
In Jeno's head, scenes after scenes kept on repeating. Jaemin's. Renjun's. Two people who managed to turn the usual casual and uptight Lee Jeno into a mess. In just 5 minutes. In just less than 10 sentences conversation.
The Japanese boy ruffled his hair out of frustration, and Professor Lee seemed to catch him.
"Any question, Mr. Lee?"
Jeno and Mark both startled when they suddenly got stared on by the whole classroom. The younger in panic shook his head. "N-nothing, professor."
Mark rolled his eyes when he saw how messed up his cousin was.
And it happened until the rest of the day as well.
At first glance, people might envy whatever Jaemin had.
Money? He's the top 5 richest family in South Korea. He owns limitless sport cars, latest electronic devices, bedroom almost as big as local library with high class furniture and everything nice people could imagine.
Looks? Come on, Na Jaemin had ever got featured in a magazine and some online articles as the hottest chaebol son. Everyone would get on their knees to get a piece of him. He has a tall and proportional body, soft locks inviting people over to touch. He has sharp eyes that could make girls' knees turn to jellies and a sweet smile that could melt the boys' hearts.
Circle of friends? You don't even need to ask. Jung Jaehyun. Wong Lucas. Jisung. Nancy. You attract what you are. Diamonds attract diamonds. Plus, they all the baddest-, but nicest kids to hang around with. Just different lifestyle, upper ability to afford luxury.
Na Jaemin looked like he has it all.
Yet, that night there he was, getting wasted in a bar stool with a bottle of vodka in front of him, broken hearted from a certain Lee Jeno. He had always been a light drinker, but that night he wanted to drown all his thoughts in numerous drinks. He wanted to forget his aching heart, his head that was filled with images of Jeno, Jeno and Jeno...
...and how Jeno reacted to him earlier that afternoon.
Jaemin shut his eyes tight and finished his third glass of vodka. His head spun around already, he felt so dizzy. Yet, he wouldn't stop. He would not stop until he got to get the jerk out of his head.
"Fuck you Huang." Jaemin cursed to the glass he was holding. "I shouldn't have known you... I shouldn't have talked to you on the first time!"
The images of him and Jeno ran through his head just like a movie roll. It pained him, every single scene. His tears ran down his face like river. He choked on his own sobs and he slammed his fist on the innocent table.
"You shouldn't have been the SM heir... You shouldn't have appeared in my childhood day..."
Jaemin gasped out in the middle of his cry.
"Shouldn't have..." he slammed his forehead on his forearm. It hurts. Fucking hurts, he couldn't even finish his words because his throat choked him. He started to cry in the middle of the heavy sound of the music, clutching on his own chest. His head hurt. His eyes hurt. His body's hurt. Yet, his heart still hurt the most.
His heart shattered into pieces, and when he tried to put them altogether, he hurt his fingers. Bled them out. Merciless drip of invisible red liquid flowing down the fingertips.
"Mom..." he called out pathetically. He really wanted to curl inside his mother's arms now. Everything felt so fucking wrong. It's like happiness weren't meant for Jaemin at all. He was given all things he never asked, but he was far from what he truly wanted.
It's as if-, he was suffering from headache, but instead of giving him the medicine he needed-, the world gave them the cold medicine, fever medicine, and everything that didn't help him to heal.
He wasn’t being ungrateful. He just wanted simpler things in life. He didn’t need any of his fancy life. He just needed his family, friends, and lover close to him.
Ah…family. By that time, Jaemin truly missed his mom. He wanted to meet the beautiful woman again-, the one with delicate eyes-, the one who’d give to be wrapped inside her motherly arms.
Jaemin's broken. He would shatter if he kept trying to hold on.
Jaemin glanced at the crowds down on the dance floor. People danced their heads out, and he chuckled bitterly. He had never been a fan of dancing. He used to think, he’d looked pretty stupid dancing around with the loud blasting song. He’s more like that one who sit and drink comfortably with his friends, ignoring people who’d give him seductive stares. Yet, that night, he felt like he wanted to dance.
He’s already broken, why not ruin himself a bit more?
Jaemin chuckled and nodded at his thoughts. He left his phone, wallet, and everything on the bar table as he limped his way to the middle of the crowds. He threw his head back and followed the rhythm on the music.
Let's take it all out.
He moved his limbs, his hands, twirling around, bumping to people, snuggling to their embraces needy-ly. The crowds got heated more along with the skillfull DJ who dropped the beats-, driving them to dance wildly on the floor, and Jaemin felt high. He felt nice, and even though Jeno was still there somewhere in his mind, he didn't care.
He danced and kept on dancing, laughing each time he felt someone touch him on some private places.
Yes. Treat him like a lowly slut. That's what he is. No one wants him in a special way-, anyway.
He knocked onto the last person when the music came to an end, his arms wrapped around the said man with lazy smirk as he opened his eyes. Whoever this person is, Jaemin would spend his night with them.
Yet-, just as he opened his eyes, did he recognize the dark orbs-, with strong scent of expensive perfume filling his lungs. Those dark orbs penetrated into Jaemin's, and he could feel the fingers touched the back of his head and pulled him closer.
"Never knew a JYP heir would be this wild and naughty."
Jaemin, in the middle of his drunken state, still could hear the low voice running through his spine. It is a voice of someone he knows so well.
Jaemin’s breath hitched. No-, why should he bump to this person by this moment?
The YG heir's smirk was the last thing Jaemin saw before he fainted into the strong arms, passed out due to his low alcohol intolerance right into the enemy's den.
Then, everything turned black.
Hello guys !
I read your comments, but I couldn't spill anything for now :3
These chapter ahead would start to trigger you guys, I hope you guys won't kill me because of it hahahaha.
I'll see you guys in the near future!
Chapter 30: Jeno's Wrath
"Gather your trusted people as team. You are going to Jeju for the rescue mission of Na Jaemin while Mino left to Busan."
Jeno ignored Johnny's confused and hopeless expression before added.
"And I am coming with you guys."
For the full two weeks, Na Jaemin disappeared from the school. Lucas told everyone that Jaemin went on a sudden trip overseas for vacation and wouldn't be coming back for a short while.
Jeno believed it. Jeno thought, Jaemin just needed a time for himself. After what had happened that day, it was pretty normal for Jaemin to avoid Jeno. It was normal to hate seeing Jeno's face.
Jeno was lost and messed up by that time. He hadn't heard from Jaemin for such a long time. Jaemin wouldn't message him, Jaemin wouldn't talk to him anymore. Jeno hated how he had hurt Jaemin so bad that day. He regretted every single moment, he despised his own jealousy that made him couldn't think straight.
Jaemin hated him. That's what he wanted, but why it hurt so bad? Why the thoughts of losing the kid's smile suffocated him? Why the thoughts of Jaemin would never go back killed him inside?
Jeno dealt with aching heart and all possibilities that fell apart each and everyday, until one night. Boa came to meet both him and Mark in a bar.
"Na Jaemin is kidnapped."
Jeno felt all his soul left his body. His eyebrows furrowed as he whispered at the woman in front of him. "What-?"
"He couldn't be found, nowhere in all over Seoul. He was last seen in Burning Moon bar, down in the hustle life of Hongdae. He was caught on a camera coming in, but never coming out." Boa explained with a slow voice. "Then, soon enough, it was discovered that there's someone else in the same bar around that time."
"Song Mino." Boa continued calmly. Meanwhile, Jeno had almost crushed the glass on his hand.
"We then tried to contact our hacker. He managed to break the systems and trespassed YG cctvs, getting access to the communications and all." Boa said, clicking on her laptop to reveal a facetime that showed a face of a handsome young man dressed in all white.
"Valkyrie." Boa called out. "Is Na Jaemin really there?"
"Yes." the man with a long hair, Valkyrie, nodded. "He's been kidnapped, and JYP has known it. Song Mino asked Park Haejin to arrange a meeting so they could make a deal."
"Can you know what kind of deal they discussed about?" Boa asked.
"Probably about handing JYP over. YG has been planning to merge both JYP and yg together to take down SM since so long." Valkyrie said, typing a few things on his laptop. "But I can't figure out how and who. Unless we send the spies in, I couldn't track on their plans."
Jeno paled completely, and Mark kept on glancing at his cousin repeatedly.
"That is bad." Boa murmured. "We also need to get a change of plan. We probably should send Jeno-ssi to Canada, to prevent things from happening. After all, having Na Jaemin as college mate had already been dangerous enough."
Jeno couldn't even process whatever was going on. It came and went away like a wind, leaving him with nothing but silence.
"I will process the places and all. Jeno-ssi can move there, probably until things have quieted down." Boa explained again. "Probably you can take some time for vacation there. Maybe a few months will d-,"
"I will go home first now." Jeno suddenly said, his head hanging low.
"..." Boa and Mark stared at the lost looking kid when they heard how Jeno's voice almost cracked.
"Do you want me to accompany you?" Mark offered, looking concerned.
"No." Jeno shook his head. "I want to be alone."
Mark and Boa exchanged some more look as they watched Jeno limped his way outside. That kid's definitely distracted, it could be seen from the way his head hung down low. He was a wreck, and Mark didn't even have to wonder. Of course. Even Boa was just quiet the whole time. The beautiful lady put on her usual straight face, with eyes so deep everybody couldn't help but wonder what was running there in the back of her mind.
"What could possibly happened if Song Mino got to achieve what he wanted?" Mark asked, questioning with fingers wrapped around his cup.
"Pretty dangerous, but not much we couldn't handle."
Boa replied, her tone calmed as the ocean. There was confident on her penetrating gaze.
"As long as they can't reach for Jeno-ssi, there's nothing much they could do to harm even an inch of SM."
Mark closed his eyes, sighing as he crossed his legs. Supporting his head with one hand, his lips were sealed. "Well then, that's a problem."
Boa rose her eyebrows, questioning in silence.
Mark opened his eyes again to meet Boa's eyes.
"Because messing up with Na Jaemin means confronting Lee Jeno himself."
Lee Jeno wouldn't stay quiet.
There was not much to explain about Jeno's current state. He was upset, he didn't know what to do. Na Jaemin's kidnapped, and moreover by no other than Song Mino. What would happen to Jaemin? To imagine someone like Mino holding all authorities over Jaemin made Jeno's stomach churned in stress.
Did the bastard hurt Jaemin? Did he touch Jaemin? What did he say to Jaemin?
What if he abused Jaemin? What if he did things out of Jaemin's consent-, because even Jeno knew no one would be able to stand Jaemin's beauty without holding the desire to ravish him right there right now.
Jeno felt his lungs tightened as he held on to the wall on the street, his jelly knees couldn't shuffle anymore. People around him started to look at him weirdly, but he didn't care anymore.
Everything's his fault. He shouldn't have hurt Jaemin like that. If only he could turn back the time, he would shut up and said nothing. He wouldn't jump in and talk to Jaemin. Besides, what had he done? Why did he do it? Why did he have this need to hurt Jaemin? If he was jealous about Renjun, why did he hope Jaemin would tell him everything was a misunderstanding, and Jaemin still liked him?
That's very low of you, Lee Jeno. For whatever you had done, you'd sent the innocent kid to the gate of his death.
Jeno felt like throwing up. Mafias, and their lives. He was shaking so bad, imagining every possible things that could happened to Jaemin. His brain kept on repeating different scenarios that freaked him out to no end, and he had to punch the wall to stop his brain from overthinking.
No... No... He had to do something.
Jeno shakily took out his phone, shaky fingers opened the contact book. He typed the name of someone he really needed to talk to. He saved this person's number ever since Jaemin started to hangout with him more, only to prevent such a tragedy like the drunken Na Jaemin back then happened again. He had never gotten a chance to use it, him being the clever man he was successfully putting Jaemin so far away from him for weeks already.
Jeno waited for the person to pick up the phone, and after what seemed like eternity the person on the other line picked the phone up.
Jeno looked around, making sure nobody was watching or listening to him.
"We need to talk."
They met up in a really simple cafe. It was just a weekday, and the barely anyone was there. There was just one lady who seemed to be working on something with eyes glued on the laptop sitting not too far from the window with half emptied glass of iced coffee on the right, and a nerd looking boy on the corner watching something questionable occupied the spot.
Jeno waited for Johnny in the table nearest to the pantry. He was using his cap, overshadowing his face. The boy's eyes repeatedly glanced at the entrance door, waiting for a certain man to appear. He was impatient, his feet tapping the floor with rapid movement.
Not long time after, a tall man appeared by the door. He was wearing a mask, with messy hair pushed backward. Johnny entered the door and counted the table before landing his eyes at Jeno. He sighed as he approached the younger, pulling himself a chair and sat on it.
"If you were looking for boss Jaemin, you heard Lucas-ssi." Johnny started, part of his face was hidden but he sounded clearly exhausted.
"I knew what had happened." Jeno replied seriously, his eyed didn't miss Johnny's surprise before those dark eyes turned intimidating.
"For SM, even the walls and the doors of opponents speak." Jeno just smiled weakly, showing his apologetic look befofe turned dead serious again. "So, what would you guys do about this YG bastard?"
Johnny wanted to be protective and pushed Jeno more to speak about how did he know what was happening behind JYP's door, yet he ended up sighing out loud and supported his head with one hand.
"Mino offers to meet Haejin-ssi personally to discuss about something." Johnny said as he supported his head with one hand. "I think he'd ask something weird. Anything it is, I bet it would put us in disadvantage."
Jeno nodded his head. "...when?"
"Tomorrow. In Busan."
"Busan? That's unlike Mino..." Jeno rose his left eyebrow before looking at Johnny. "You are coming along?"
"No. Haejin-ssi will leave with his private bodyguard."
"I am Jaemin-ssi's private bodyguard."
"Then aren't you supposed to come for Jaemin?"
Johnny furrowed his eyebrows. "You know I can't. It would put Jaemin-ssi on risk, plus we don't know where they keep him at the moment."
"Jeju Island, that bastard Song's private villa." Jeno replied shortly.
"I told you... The doors and walls of opponents speak to SM." Jeno replied again, but this time he didn't look apologetic at all. "Mino wouldn't hand Jaemin easily. And neither would I let him have his way easy."
Johnny rose his eyebrows, confused.
"Gather your trusted people as team. You are going to Jeju for the rescue mission of Na Jaemin while Mino left to Busan."
Jeno ignored Johnny's confused and hopeless expression before added.
"And I am coming with you guys."
PLEASE TAKE IT EASY WITH ME
I'm so sorry that I have been missing : (
But I am back again with the new chapter, and it is super short because fhe next chapter might get a bit lengthy.
I am kinda surprised that you guys seek the new chapters tbh! I thought nobody really cared about this story :").
But don't worry! I will finish this story no matter what it takes !
New chapter coming up soon before this gal of yours need to leave for another super packed business trip!
So, see you on the next chapter!
Light steps of shoes echoed in the air. Five men with black suits walked into the entrance door of Gimpo Airport. The one in the front, Seo Johnny, was leading the men into the check in counter. He stopped walking when he noticed a figure had leaned against one pillar in the building. His hair dark, with the hat covering his face. All dressed in black, just like how Johnny's men dressed. The top agent of JYP snickered a bit.
The man looked up once Johnny and his men stopped in front of him. His glasses shone once the lamps of the airport building hit the frame. A smile curved a faint bit in the corner of his lips. "Knew you'd come after all."
"I hope you didn't get that uniform by knocking over some of my men..." Johnny nudged his chin toward the direction of the man's clothing.
"Claude." The man said with a smile, casually glancing at the other four men who had their smug smiles on.
"Finally this time we are gathered for something useful." The shortest out of the group groaned, rolling his shoulders.
"Finally Wooyoung hyung wouldn't complain in every 5 minutes." The second tallest who always had the widest smile looked down on the person beside him.
Wooyoung, the short man scoffed with his arms crossed. "I mean it is indeed a lot better than the last team boss Jaemin gathered us to."
Jeno-, or he preferred more to be called Claude-, rose his eyebrows. "What's the previous team called even?"
"Ah-, it is..." Johnny was about to wave the question off but the second tallest had spoken out first. "It's a Discover SM Heir Identity Team."
"Yugyeom-," Johnny closed his eyes and thw rest rolled their eyes when the name of the group came in again.
Jeno rose his eyebrows higher by now, before scoffing. He's now gonna work with a group of men who were formed to uncover his identity. Very great.
"For now on, you will call me Phantom." Johnny said as he pointed at himself. His hand then moved to point his other members.
"This guy, his codename is Jack." He motioned at Wooyoung before turning toward Yugyeom. "This one is Kappa."
"Kap-," Jeno frowned when he heard that funny codename, reminding him of the Japan legendary monster who appear in a lot of storybooks.
"My own choice. The only one crossing my mind when the sergeant asked for my codename." Yugyeom shrugged, looked anything but bothered.
"Fair enough." Jeno rose his eyebrows. He turned his head to the right and laid his head on the last kid there. "-and this is..."
"Falcon." The young man with soft caramel brown eyes smiled. His beautiful face almost fooled Jeno, and the way his lips curled upward hit Jeno like cotton candies.
"Real name, Son Dongpyo." Johnny continued, sounded more like a proud father. "The youngest of JYP group, but the most useful ones."
Jeno rose his eyebrows and nodded. "...so this is all "Discover-SM-heir-identity team?"
"Yes." Johnny sounded a bit embarrassed. "I am the head operator, Wooyoung tasked as the spy. Yugyeom here is a hacker and Dongpyo..."
Dongpyo looked at Johnny who sounded a bit hesitant.
"I am a manipulator." Dongpyo replied calmly.
Jeno rose his left eyebrow before looking at Johnny with judging look. "He's underage."
"Old enough to know how to survive in this world." Dongpyo smiled again.
Jeno noticed how Johnny stared longingly at the smallest kid in the group before sighed. "Okay. Are we gonna book airplane ticket now?"
"We are leaving with helicopter." Johnny replied as he headed the way.
"We gonna attract attention." Jeno reminded, frowning.
"We would definitely attract one when we get boss Jaemin back anyway." Yugyeom said as he put his hands on his pocket. He's way too cheery for one excellent hacker.
Jeno groaned. He put his sunglasses back to cover his bare face. Jeno didn't use any makeup to cover his face because he had been seen with his Claude look too much in the parties.
JYP members are a bit more daring in taking choices.
Jeno didn't know anymore if they should learn more or it was Jeno who needed to learn from them.
Johnny stared at his reflection in the mirror as he put on his wristwatch. The expensive Rollex watch wrapped around his wrist perfectly, and he smoothed down his black suit. He tilted his head to the side, taking on the view of his look. Perfect, so professional like how the bodyguards of JYP should be.
Until he immediately crouched down and groaned in frustration.
Call him insane, mental, and anything that could cross anyone's mind now. He must have been possessed. For real. He must have been striked by lightning to the point that he lost the screws on his head. If not, this thing wouldn't happen.
Lee Jeno wouldn't have stood among the secret agent team by now, with the coldest expression ever out there wiping his gun.
Mino stated out the meeting place and he asked Jinyoung to meet in Busan. Knowing that Jaemin was left in Jeju on his own, Jeno could already see where this gotta go. The Japanese almost truly left Johnny, if only the bodyguard didn't manage to catch him on the airport earlier.
"Okay..." Johnny sighed as he stood up. He ran his palms- which were cold and sweaty at the same time. "Boss Haejin didn't know what I am about to do, and I don't even know what his decision would be."
The tall man closed his eyes. It is an impulsive decision, with thousands of endless risks. Still, as Jaemin's image crossed his mind, he found encouragement. For Johnny Seo, Na Jaemin is like his own brother. The one to protect, the one he could speak heart to heart with, and also the one that could push him beyond the limit. Losing Jaemin would create imbalance in Johnny's life, and of course everybody else'. Jaemin might not realize it, but his existence is so important.
Especially to his dad, Haejin.
Even when the JYP owner had never really showed it to him.
Johnny sighed once again, before nodded his head. It is a ride or die. He would either take this down, or he'd not going to make it back alive.
With that, he walked out from the toilet of this one black pork restaurant in Jeju. He closed his eyes and sat on the table, looking at everyone there with his hawk eyes. "So, here's the plan."
Yugyeom would hack into the security cameras in the mansion to mess up with it. Dongpyo would climb into the room where Jaemin is. Wooyoung, Johnny and Jeno would attract the attention of the guards out, and once they were all out already, Yugyeom would show them the fastest route out of the mansion and they would run away with Jaemin back to the meeting point.
It was one crazy dangerous mission. The life was in stake, and even until the end of the discussion Johnny still found himself massaging the bridge of his nose.
Were they doing the right thing?
Everyone looked worried, but Jeno was actually the most worried one despite looking as the calmest. He was never one going down straight on the mission, this woud be his very first time doing so. He trained on it a lot, he went into practices and things, but what he was about to do was real.
Fuck. He's confident but he's also not.
Wasn’t it crazy-? Well everything was.
But it is for Na Jaemin. It would all worth it.
"Are you guys ready?" Johnny inhaled.
The other nodded.
"This must be crazy."
Yugyeom muttered as he was sitting on the back of the black van parked far away from the mansion. He input his hacking system, averting the functions of the cameras into different settings. He let the cameras on the front yard played backward, repeating the view from 3 hours ago.
"What? The system?" Jeno asked with eyebrow left.
"Nope. Us." Yugyeom laughed. His long fingers shuffled between the keyboards, changing the camera of the backyard to the front yard's. "I feel like we stand just in front of death itself."
"I always stand in front of death on every mission." Wooyoung replied, but there was something a bit off too with his voice. "This mean nothing."
Johnny was quiet. All he worried about wasn't his life. He was born to serve the JYP family, he didn't care whether he'd die or not. All he worried about was Jaemin. Even though Mino wouldn't be that stupid to hurt Jaemin even if this mission failed, they'd still put Jaemin in danger.
"Shit. The mansion's safety wasn't that high. The total guards were just around 40 people." Yugyeom frowned. "That is crazy. It is YG."
"That's because that mansion didn't even truly belong to Mino." Jeno replied flatly. "It was a getaway of his dad's ex lover Kim Jennie. He just moved Jaemin there because that's the only property hadn't been known by public." A dark grin spread on the Japanese boy's lips. "Never learned not to publish things as usual, Song Mino."
"Wait-, how do you even know?" Wooyoung looked around in confusion. "That's a very private information."
Jeno shrugged. "I could even know your bank account's password."
Wooyoung rounded his eyes and looked away. "Please don't."
A loud tap on one of keyboard button startled everyone, as Yugyeom's face fell flat.
"It is all done."
The other four looked at each other. It was time to move.
Wooyoung and Johnny ran toward the mansion, the guns were up in the air. The view was captured on the front yard camera, which was moved and renamed by Yugyeom so it appeared on the back front.
"Suspicious people, alert. Backyard." The alarm from the announcement room echoed on the walkie-talkie of the guards.
"They're on. Run backward." Yugyeom instructed.
Wooyoung and Johnny ran back again into the mini forest surrounding the mansion. Jeno who was already on the backyard could hear the sound of footsteps. He immediately used the rented motobike to turn around and headed straight into the other directions. 7 guards chased behind him, and he guided them far into the forest before made a sharp u-turn, turning back to the mansion and blocked the 7 guards in the forest with five tear gas bomb.
Wooyoung and Johnny made a sharp turn to rotate the mansion, turning on high volumed speakers where the sound of motorbikes and cars were heard all over with different octaves to create echoes all over. They covered the places with smoke as if it was released from the cars and motorbikes. The guards were all in chaos, and Yugyeom immediately turned off all the electricity in the mansion including messing up with the frequency of the communication devices the guards used.
Dongpyo who was hiding in the front yard got a cue that most of the guards had left the mansion. He swiftly climbed over the mansion, up toward Jaemin's room on the third floor. Being an ex gymnastyc, it was so easy for Dongpyo to twirl and salto-ed his way into the balcony. He turned around, and finally found a glimpse of Jaemin on the bed through the glass.
Dongpyo tried to hit the glass, but it wasn't affail. This time he tried to use the glass breaker he brought with him. The glass shook, but it didn't shatter in one hit. Jaemin woke up with a jolt when he heard the sound, and his eyes widened when he saw the pink haired boy standing outside.
Dongpyo could see Jaemin's face and he smiled a bit, before hitting the glass again. No use. Again. Again. Until the sixth attempt, the glass just managed to break a bit.
"Gosh I hate this." Dongpyo groaned as he pulled out his bag and took out a rope. He tightened the rope on the attic on top of him, making sure it was secure before he ran from afar and jumped to use his two legs breaking the thick window. The crack he created using the glass breaker before had helped much and after three more jumps, it shattered completely.
Dongpyo groaned as he stepped into the room. He glanced at his wristwatch. They only had total of 8 minutes mission. They should make it out here now!
"Kappa, the way!" Dongpyo shouted to his communication earring.
Meanwhile, Johnny was soon crowded with three men. He fought with them, using his kicks and hands before they could get to use their weapons. It would be a total dead if he had to fight men with guns, so he wouldn't let them reach it at all.
Wooyoung still ran away from the men, hiding between the bushes as he let the sound of motorbikes and thick smoke confused them. He winced when he heard sound of a motorbike crashing. He turned around and heard loud gunshots from a far.
Oh shit. Jeno.
Dongpyo and Jaemin were running away. The JYP heir's legs were woobly as he kept on stumbling a bit. Fuck, the drug was still pretty thick on his blood. Jaemin's face was all pale due to fear.
"To the left, Falcon! Use the stair and go down until basement level! There would be a door there heading to the underground route!"
Dongpyo nodded once he heard Yugyeom's words, fastening his pace but stopped abruptly when Jaemin fell on the floor.
"Ah-, I can't." Jaemin shook his head, dizziness attacked his head like a broken melody. -can't... Run anymore!"
"You have to, boss!" Dongpyo pleaded as he ran back to approach Jaemin, wrapping his arm around Jaemin's waist. "Come on! Keep on walking!"
Jaemin's legs kept falling on himself as he tried, and Dongpyo still half dragging the taller with all his might.
"Come on!" Yugyeom pleaded from the car, tapping his leg. He bit his lower lip as he looked back to check on the others' conditions.
Johnny and Wooyoung had gotten cornered. Jeno was shot down on his arm and fell from the motorbike, dragging himself to hide beneath the thick smoke that all his camera tracker was blank.
"Fuck!" Yugyeom cursed. If Dongpyo and Jaemin couldn't make it up until the door as fast as they could, Yugyeom couldn't drive the van and picked the other three at the right time.
The hacker ran his fingers on his hair, before turned to check the other routes. He pressed his headphones to tighter around his head. "Come on, Falcon! We don't have time!"
"They drugged boss!" Dongpyo shouted back, as he started to carry Jaemin who was all weak like a sheet of paper. Jaemin kept on falling and Dongpyo couldn't carry him all the way there. "Boss! Even you have to crawl, don't stop!"
Yugyeom checked the other conditions and winced when he saw Johnny was all blood by now. Wooyoung was still getting beaten and people managed to drag Jeno away.
Fuck! They were out of timing!
Yugyeom stood up and turned around. He'd need to do at least something to--
His words were stopped when he felt barrel of the gun pressed right into his forehead. A smug looking man in all his mighty suit stood with the gun against Yugyeom's head, and countless suited men also stood behind of him.
Dongpyo and Jaemin were still struggling to reach the door on the basement. Once they reached it, Dongpyo gasped in surprise when someone choked him with their merciless tight grip.
"No!" Jaemin shrieked when one of the tall guard choked Dongpyo and rose the smaller off the ground. "No no, please!"
Dongpyo shut his eyes as his supply of oxygen was cut off, his legs weakly kicked the empty air.
"Please! Put him down!" Jaemin pleaded.
The heavy sound of footsteps echoed took their attention, as one man in his expensive white suit stared at him with a bored, annoyed expression on his face.
"How lovely is the view I got when I just come back to my mansion to."
He sarcastically scoffed as he rose his chin, looking at the squirming Dongpyo through his eyes. The pink haired boy cursed out loud when he realized who was it standing not too far from him.
"Someone wants to kidnap my treasure away."
It is Song Mino.
I am so thankful for all of the supports you give this story <3. I am kinda suck in writing action plots, I still got tons to learn. Kkkk.
So, i hope you enjoy this latest chapter of "Autumn Crocus"!
I might post a new chapter on weekend next week too ^^-
For you, please stay healthy and rest well! See you next week!
Chapter 32: Torment
"NO, OKAY FINE! FINE! I'LL MARRY YOU!"
Jeno's body went all numb as he was slammed into the floor. He accidentally bit his wounded lip, and he hissed in pain. Fuck.
Mino sat on the chair with a bored expression on his face. "I knew there would be things like this happened." He said before ruffling his hair a bit. "A mission operated by one of JYP's best team... Not too bad-, but all messed up."
Jaemin was standing not too far from Mino, checking each and every one there with dead worried look. They all looked severely wounded, and Jaemin's heart ached with the view.
"Phantom... Then there's Jack..." Mino spelt the names of the members one by one. "...and some unrecognizable faces..." He continued as he swiped his vision over Yugyeom and stopped abruptly at Dongpyo. "Who is this one? A pretty face."
The guards who were standing beside them grinned a bit. Their eyes swiped over the smallest kid in a devilish way.
"I shall let my kids have a bit of fun with you later." He said as he rose his left eyebrow at Dongpyo before moving to the last person whose face was still planted down on the floor. "-the kid over there. Show me his face."
Jaemin's eyebrows furrowed as he couldn't recognize who was the person on the corner right, and he winced when the men yanked his hair up to reveal his face.
He couldn't even be more surprised than anything when he saw the face of the last man.
Lee Jeno !
Jeno's onyx eyes met Jaemin's brown orbs, and he could see all the terror and pure fright mixed into one in the JYP heir's eyes.
Mino didn't seem to put any interest with Jeno's face as he lazily waved over for the men to bring Jaemin toward him. He pulled the pale boy's wrist and made him sit on Mino's laps, which Jaemin responded with no other choice.
"Park Haejin really took a lot of my time today." Mino started, ignoring the raging look of the JYP members as they watched Jaemin on the joker man's laps. "We rotate in the same discussions, and it was filled with countless begging and pleads."
Jaemin's eyes widened at the image of his dad. He clenched his fingers on his shirt tightly.
"I've never seen Park Haejin that low." Mino turned his head to look at Jaemin, leaned down to inhale the scent of the JYP heir from the crook of his flawless neck. "All for his pretty little son."
Jaemin bit his lower lip tightly, tears threatened to fall from his eyes.
"At the end, he gave it to me." Mino laughed. "The company he had built for even more than half century, he gave it to me! Hahahahahaha!"
Jaemin shut his eyes and he started to cry. Flashes of images, the way his dad looked in mighty expensive suits, when he talked with his men... Everything faded into one fast paced movie inside of his head.
All because of him.
A stupid, useless son.
Jeno trembled in rage as he saw Mino messing up with Jaemin's mind. He felt sick. He wanted to throw punches to Mino and ripped Jaemin away from his touch. He couldn't bear seeing those dirty fingers laid themselves on Jaemin again. He hated how all of his muscles ached when he moved them, and how one of the men pressed their boot on his back.
Mino took Jaemin's chin and moved them to face him. "Now all you need to do, is to say yes to my offer."
Jaemin exhaled and closed his eyes, choked into broken sobs.
"...or you shall see these beloved team of yours get killed."
Jaemin's eyes snapped open in surprise, he shook his head again and again. "N-no! Please don't do it!"
Mino nudged his chin. "Start."
A loud kick was swung toward Johnny's head, drawing more blood from his already bloody face.
Yugyeom's scream filled the air as his fingers were roughly stomped by the boot of the men.
Yugyeom's a hacker, if his fingers were damaged-,
A loud smack hit Jeno's back and the sound of broken bone filled the air.
"NO, OKAY FINE! FINE! I'LL MARRY YOU!"
Jaemin's last word echoed all over the room and it stopped all of the guards' actions. Mino looked more than delighted as he brought his face closer to Jaemin.
Jaemin cried, his body shook in anger as he glared at Mino. "I'll marry you. I'll marry you SO LET THEM FUCKING GO!"
Jeno felt as if he was just shot with multiple arrows. Jaemin's voice sounded so broken when he shouted it out, and the realization hit the JYP heir harder than any wrecking ball could.
It went all wrong.
This mission went all wrong.
This shouldn't be like this.
Mino couldn't hide the grin as he sighed. "Took you long enough, darling."
Jaemin lowered his head and hid his face from his members who looked at him with puzzled look.
"Go take these useless people away." Mino nudged his head toward Jeno and the other. "...but keep Phantom here. We need him for some guarantee."
Jaemin snapped his eyes up in disbelief. "You shall let him go! He is dying!"
"We'll take care of him." Mino made annoying coo-ing sound and caressed Jaemin's tear streaked face. "Darling, you don't believe in YG doctors?"
Jeno had never felt any angrier than this all his life. He had never felt his blood boiled this much; he never felt his body shook from this kind of rage before. A monster exploded inside his body, as his one and only goal was to cut Mino's head off.
The men grabbed his body and dragged him away along with Wooyoung, Yugyeom and Dongpyo. He forced turned his head to look at Jaemin for one last time and found that sad dark brown orbs were staring at him in what seemed like worry and sympathy.
He didn't deserve this.
Na Jaemin never deserve everything that had happened.
The men brought Jeno and his friends with a car, before released them on the corner of the street and returned back. They all rolled on the ground with groans of pain, and cried out in misery.
They supposed to save Jaemin today, not sending him to the tiger's den like this.
This was all so wrong.
Dongpyo repeatedly cursed himself for not being fast enough to bring Jaemin out. If he got to be a bit faster, it would all be alright... Wouldn't it?
Wooyoung kept on blaming himself from not being fast enough to manipulate the people. He blamed himself for not convincing more people to go with him.
Yugyeom regretted how he didn't get too cautious with his surrounding. If only he got more alert, he could have ran away and picked his friends up with his car and might be returning back on time to pick Dongpyo and Jaemin up.
And Jeno. He had never felt more angrier, ashamed, regretful and anything bad than what he had today. The pain he felt all over his body couldn't even get compared with how aching his heart was to see Jaemin and Mino before.
It's all him.
If there was anyone to blame, it would be all him.
Jeno punched the ground with his bloodied fist. This was all his fault, he needed to fix this.
The loud honk of car suddenly startled them, and they looked up to see five expensive looking cars approached them. Just as Jeno thought they would get into even bigger problem-, or what Mino promised Jaemin before was just empty words because he'd still kill them anyway-, the door of the upfront car was pushed open and someone jumped from inside it. His boot clanked on the ground as the tall guy ruffled his hair in what seemed like frustration
"It is all failed over there, wasn't it?"
Jeno widened his eyes when he saw the person standing in front of him. "M-Mark hyung?"
"My heart is aching, Jeno."
Mark sighed as he nudged his chin and bodyguards all dressed in black hopped down with an emergency bed, approaching all four of them.
"We could've planned about this more carefully together before, couldn't we?"