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“I-I’m sorry sir,” the disembodied voice crackles from the emergency intercom. “We aren’t sure what happened, but we are doing our best to get you out of there,” the man pauses and Rachel can see Young Do clench his fist against the console. “I’m sorry sir,” he says again, quieter, like he was expecting some sort of divine retribution through the steel prison they were helplessly trapped within. 

Typical, Rachel thinks, clenching her jaw so as not to scream. Elevators, Mothers, men--who could she ever depend on? 

She maintains her cool exterior, not even looking at Young Do when he glances over at her from under those thick brows like he was expecting some sort of outburst. His cheek is still red where her Tiffany ring had made contact when she’d slapped him. She’d never seen a colour more satisfying that the faint red on Young Do’s flawless cheekbone. 

“How long,” is all Young Do says, laconic and threatening with the cool drawl of measured words. “Don't bother answering if you can't even give me the seconds."

There’s a long, infuriating pause before--”Y-yes sir. As quickly as possible.” 

“Aish,” Young Do exhales after the call disconnected. “If we die in here, the stocks will plummet.”

She can’t stop the amused scoff from escaping. Her mistake earns her a slow grin from a now attentive Young Do.

She watches that mouth and scowls in return. 

“Ah, ah,” he chides, left hand going right to his pocket as he steps closer to her. “You keep that up and your face will freeze like that,” he licks his thumb and smirks. “What an ugly corpse you’ll make.”

“With this lipstick?”  She crosses her arms under her chest and rolls her eyes. “Not likely.”

He huffs in amusement but doesn’t take another step towards her. Smart boy. He’s watching her though, she can feel his gaze on her lips and she nearly bites down on her tongue to prevent herself from licking them.

“Rachel,” he starts, and she already knows what he’s going to say.  He’s going to tell her that she’s being stupid, that he’s capable of speaking to Cha Eun Sang without it meaning a thing, that the smiles she’d witnessed, the way he’d touched that peasant’s lower back, was nothing but courtesy between old friends. 

She didn’t want to hear, again, how she was being a jealous fool. 

They’d covered that well enough with their shouting match in the hallway.

“Stop talking,” she snaps finally, no longer willing to entertain him. “You’re wasting all of my oxygen.”

Her legs are aching is what she thinks, and she admits that she probably shouldn’t have run the last few yards to the elevator.

How else was she to get away from him, though? He was mostly leg, shoulder and sardonic smiles; he only needed to lengthen his strides to ever catch her. And so he had, a hard set to his jaw and fury in his eyes when he’d finally caught her arm.  She’d slapped him right then, in front of a scattering of bewildered caterers coming off of the elevator.

Her gaze darts up to the fading red mark again, and thinks that while it had felt good, it hadn’t been entirely satisfying as she’d like to admit. 

That in of itself made her angry. And now her feet hurt. 

She can tell, when she catches him watching her, that he wants to make a comment about her shoes. Knows with every fiber in her that he’ll sarcastically offer to carry her, maybe even soften the words into teasing as he bends down and offers her his back.

Not that she’d ever take it. Or well, not in public, and especially not before the eager eyes of their small little world of sycophants and vampires. No one knew better than Rachel of the kind of bloodsport these people enjoyed. No one played the game better than Rachel either. 

Dignity, she thinks, studiously ignoring his knowing look and clenching down hard on her teeth. She can stand. She can wait for the morons employed by Young Do and walk out of that elevator as regally as she entered it. 

Her calves quake and she curses in her head.

Fine.

She places one hand on the gold support bar and lets her back slide down the mirrored wall slowly. She folds her legs primly beneath her so that her white chiffon Chanel dress doesn’t slide up her toned thighs, giving Young Do a free show that he certainly doesn’t deserve.  Stilettoed heels establish a precarious foundation for her to balance upon, and it’s only seconds, but she can feel her calves cramp up just as uncomfortably as they had when she stood. Beauty was pain, hadn’t she learned? And there was absolutely no possible way that she would let anything but the soles of her prada heels touch the dirty tile of this elevator.

Young Do doesn’t seem to have the same problem.

He stands there for a few moments, watching her crowd herself against the wall, an annoyed expression on his face. She watches the way his jaw sets, clearly trying to keep himself from saying anything that might set her off again. 

She didn’t appreciate that thought, like she was some hysterical teenage girl. She was older now. And much, much wiser.

Still insecure though, aren’t you sweetheart?

She inhales deeply and keeps her gaze forward when he also seats himself on the ground. She can still see him from the corner of her eye, though.

What she sees is enough to send her eyes rolling heavenward. 

Of course he had sprawled.  His long legs touched the elevator door, knees slightly bent because even the metal box was insufficient in containing the dimensions of his body. Everything about him was boneless, careless, unaffected. His bowtie was untied, one of the ends disappearing beneath the gaping material of his unfastened white oxford. Even his chest rose and fell with a sort of predatory laziness.

God damn him.

She glares, holding the scoff back deep in her throat before she turns away. Her thumbnail scrapes the gold lining of the mirror she’s resting against and she emphatically, petulantly, thinks bastard as she leaves her thumbprint on the glass.

“Ya,” his voice is deep, languid, and slightly mocking. “Are you a bird? You’ll ruin those pretty legs if you sit like that.”

She scoffs audibly this time. “Keep your eyes and your concern off of my legs, Young Do.”

His lips slide into a smirk. “Where would you like my eyes and concern then?”

“Off of Cha Eun Sang.”


His face loses all trace of humour rather quickly, and he stares at her from under those dangerous brows. “Ya,” he warns her and if possible, his expression grows darker. “Watch it.”

They glare at one another, or well, she does, eyes snapping angrily. Lingering resentment and too much champagne has left her throat dry and she’s made all the more aware of it as she stares him down. He stares right back.

Stalemate.

Just how long were they expected to wait here? 

“The incompetence of your staff is astounding,” she changes topics, pulling a few strands of hair away from her collarbone before shooting him an arch look. “Or do they just hate you enough to leave you to suffocate in your own elevator?”

Young Do exhales long and slow, lips twisting a bit as he leans his head back against the mirrored wall. “Would you like that?” he asks, clearly humoured. She watches as his fingers flex when he adjusts his slouch against the wall, and imagines that they are reaching for her.

“And die along here with you?” she smirks, unamused and needlessly biting. “You imagine us as part of some tragic love story. How delusional you’ve become.”

He chuckles then, low and pleasant, forcing her to press her hand against her sternum to keep the telltale flush from climbing up her neck. Oh wouldn’t he love that. She swallows and feels angry tears press against the backs of her eyes when he merely sighs, eyes sliding shut and throat bared. Stupid. This was so stupid. 

She was beginning to feel claustrophobic in this small space. Young Do was everywhere, mere centimeters away from her aching knee joints, slung against the wall and floor of the elevator like a satisfied jungle cat, predatory and sensual. 

Well just because he seemed unbothered by their predicament, didn’t mean she had to sit here another second with this--

“Ah,” she hisses softly, hand flying immediately to the ankle she had just foolishly rolled underneath her.  Defeat is what she feels when she finally lets her weight drop onto her backside, bringing her knee up close to her face to better put pressure against her delicate ankle joint. 

“What did I tell you,” Young Do tisks, throwing her an irritated look that just sends her hackles flying higher. She glares at him again, almost pressing too harshly into her own skin just to spite him.

“You’re so stubborn.”

Stubborn? “This is Chanel,” she seethes through clenched teeth, “white Chanel--don’t you dare, ya!” She swats at his hand as he completely crowds her personal space, his own hand reaching for the injured ankle that she now has in a protective death grip. 

“Stop being such a child, let me--”

“One finger and I’ll cut that smug smile off of your face.”

Rachel,” he nearly growls, reaching again for her leg. This time she places one hand on his face and shoves.

Ya! Do you want to die?” he shouts, expression thunderous beneath those brows and she’s ruined his perfectly coiffed bangs. The sight of them low on his forehead only sets her teeth further on edge. 

His entire left side is now pressed up against her right leg which she uses as a type of barrier against him. Her hair is in her mouth and her chin is up, daring him to try it again. She doesn’t want him anywhere near her. Not touching her, not against her, and certainly not sharing the same oxygen as her in this godforsaken elevator, not after what she’d seen. Not after the scene she’d made outside of the hallway of Kim Tan’s birthday celebration.

Fuck Choi Young Do. Fuck Kim Tan. Fuck Cha Eun Sang. 

“Me?” she thinks about slapping him again. “Don’t ever speak to--” her words are cut off with a sharp intake of air as Young Do loses all patience with her.  Wrapping his large hand around her shin bone, he pulls, hard enough that both of her legs are thrown over his thighs, her butt sliding across the floor until it settles against his hip.

She gasps, suddenly at a loss for words as Young Do takes her chin with his other hand, forcing her to look at him with those stunned brown eyes. 

“If you aren’t entirely clear on that fact I love you, then I’m not doing my job properly,” he’s deadly serious, almost furious as he watches her. “You,” he punctuates, grip softening only a touch, “my wife. Just you.”

She gapes at him for a few moments, the harsh words dying on her tongue. He takes in her hesitation, eyes running over the soft lines of her face. When another beat goes by without a sound from her, he shakes his head, exhaling long and low through his nose.

His head drops so that their foreheads are pressed together, his lips brushing hers with every breath they take. “Pabo,” he says and removes his grip from her chin. 

She can only watch, blinking stupidly as he turns away from her, adjusting her skirt so that the soft white material covers all visible skin on her upper thigh. She stays quiet when he sets a warm hand over top of the material, and squeezes.

Without looking at her once, he uses his other hand to gently cradle her injure ankle, pressing softly on the tender muscle there. It hurts a little, but she’s a little overwhelmed by his attention, enough that she swallows down the rest of her cruel words.


“You’ve stained my skirt,” is what she finally says, clearing her throat when the words come out raspy. Her hand falls on his shoulder, fingers curling in the material of his suit jacket.

“I’ll buy you another,” he answers dismissively, swinging his attention back to her with a perfectly raised brow. He’s looking at her so seriously, patiently, that she feels the tell-tale burn of tears in the back of her throat. 

“Young Do,” she starts, stops, and swallows hard. “Young Do,” she sighs again, so frustrated that her voice breaks a little. 

He turns away again, the grip on her ankle suddenly tight as he lifts it slightly.  She can only watch as he leans forward and presses his lips to the skin of her ankle bone.

Tears threaten to spill over, and Rachel has to clench her eyes tight to maintain some control over her suddenly erratic emotions. He places another kiss just beside the first, and she can’t help but press herself closer to him, letting her head drop to his shoulder. 

They don’t apologize. Not to anyone, not even to each other. But as she sits there, head tucked in the space between his shoulder and head, watching as he soothes away the burn of her twisted ankle with soft hands and gentler kisses, she hears both of their apologies. She only hopes that hers are loudest of all.

The quiet doesn't last very long.

“I remember you being more flexible,” he says after a few moments, and when Rachel turns, brow puckered in askance, he's frowning as he kneads the muscle of her calf. 

“Just last night,” he continues, lazily rolling his head to the side to meet her eyes. “You were quite acrobatic.”

When her mouth parts in shock, he grins deviously. “What’s this,” he lifts her leg up, but only manages a foot before she hisses at him to stop. “Barely an inch. I’m disappointed.”

“Y-ya,” she splutters, flushing red as he laughs and tightens his grip on her ankle. She tries to yank her foot out of his grip but he merely smirks at her and tugs it up again, closer to his chest. “Young Do,” she growls, words coming out between involuntary exhales of laughter as she tries to wrestle her leg from his grasp. “You think I’ll ever let you in my bed again if you--”she pants, helpless now as he lifts her leg up again sharply, tipping her back and off balance.

“Young Do-ya,” she hisses.  Her skirt keeps sliding back down her thighs, and she’s struggling to maintain some sort of dignity in her position as her legs tangle with his own. “S-stop,” she can barely get out between her breathless laughter, grabbing onto the scruff of his neck to even keep herself upright. 

“Ow,” he hisses when her nails dig into the skin there, and he swiftly abandons his playful actions to nurse his own injury. “Ya, it’s not enough that I love you, now you want blood?” He scoffs, sending her a sharp and dramatically pitiful look that is entirely ill suited to his normal demeanor. 

“Idiot,” she reprimands him softly, breath still heaving and she can’t find an ounce of sympathy for his wounded expression. She leans forward though, carding her fingers through his hair for a few moments before she presses her lips against the slight scratch she made just below his ear. 

He hums in appreciation, turning his face slightly towards hers so that her nose is pressed against the side of his jaw. 

They’re quiet for a moment, and Rachel moves her legs so that they are folded slightly inward towards his chest, allowing her to better reach her left arm across his expansive shoulders. She slips her hand under his open shirt, letting her fingers run across the bare skin of his collarbone and shoulder muscles. 

“You do that again and I’ll castrate you,” she huffs against his throat, making sure to scrape her nails against his trapezius as she does. She’s content there, somehow, sitting on the floor of their elevator, dirty, breathless, and undignified. It isn’t like anyone but security can see them right now anyways, she thinks, and they are far more frightened of her than they are of him. 

She smirks against his skin, just thinking of the nice conversation she’ll have the second they get out of here. Rachel had no patience for incompetence, and even less for peeping toms. 

“Tch,” Young Do snorts, running wicked fingers further up her thigh, “you’d miss it more than I would.”

She really digs her nails in this time, eyes narrowed. “You’re disgusting.”


“Disgusting?” he scoffs, brow raised skeptically. She bites her lip as he slides his hand up higher underneath her skirt and tightens his grip on her thigh. “Should Oppa test that theory?”

She stares him down, her fingers clutching his suit jacket with a punishing grip. “You let one more inch of Chanel touch this floor and there won’t be anything for you to test ever again.”

He watches her for a moment, measuring the sincerity of her words with a penetrating stare. They both know that she is the much more skillful of this little game, and sure enough, with hands lifted in mock surrender, Young Do concedes.

She smirks when he drops his head back against the mirror and sighs. 

“You’ll be the death of me,” he scrubs a hand down his face, pressing the heel against his eye and exhaling long and slow. “Marry you? What a fool bastar--ya,” he stops suddenly, bewildered as he watches her move, legs twisting to come around and bracket his hips. “Rachel--” he sucks in a sharp breath then as she sits down, settling her weight comfortably against his thighs. 

Blown pupils and dark eyebrows make her husband into a predatory figure again, and Rachel can only smirk as she takes this in, pleased by his expression. 

“I thought I told you to stop wasting my oxygen,” she orders, leaning in so that her lips just brush the line of his jaw. If he’s surprised, (and she knows he is, he has rarely if ever been so silent around her), he very quickly gets over it, long fingers sweeping up the length of her back and into the nape of her hair. 

She pushes her hips forward, catching his grunt with her red mouth when her pelvis meets his own.  She’s not sure how long they have in this elevator before the doors are pried open and more than the guy manning the security camera receives a free show. But, as Young Do follows her lead, lips and teeth trailing a wet path up the swell of her neck, she finds that she doesn’t particularly care. 

“Not a single button, stitch or cloth of this dress touches the floor,” she reminds him, panting when his hands come around and press bruises into the underside of her breast. 

“Your majesty,” he chuckles throatily against the corner of her lips and then captures her grinning mouth with his.