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The night fell too fast.

The rain was pouring hard down the street outside my window. The air was thick with fog that sat atop the road and illuminated the entire street in a cloud of grey. My father was at it again, his screaming never ceasing to stop at his victim.

I cover my ears and watch the rain. I focus on the droplets as they gather on my window and stick to the stained glass. I'm not really startled anymore by the gunshots that sound from downstairs. The man I call my father laughs abruptly. His voice rumbles, echoing all throughout the apartment. I press my hands tighter on my ears, because there wasn't a sound I hated more than the silence of his victims. That silent sound of death.

My father deals drugs differently than other people. He's part of a gang in the underworld that did not hesitate to take any lives. And today was a big day. Today was the day that my father was going to be a millionaire.

By selling me off.

I bring my knees to my chest as the rain gets faster and more gunshots sound from downstairs with more laughter, despite his victim already being dead. He was just having fun now. Sick fun. I ditch covering my ears and opt to wrap my arms around my legs, as I hang my head low and feel my heart sink with dread.

The rough purr of motor engines suddenly edges out my father's laughter. Like the fog, the sound is heavy and overpowering. They're here. The clients.

I lift my head from my knees and scoot closer towards my window to see them. They're a gang too, but not like the one my father was in. My father told me they were a motorcycle gang. They don't hurt people. They don't take lives or sell drugs. They're less violent, he said. They would be better for you, he said. 

But there is nothing really keeping me from taking my life. I needed that final push, so I didn't protest being sold off like an object. This is the pinnacle of my father's horror. Finally, he would make my life meaningless enough for me to easily take it. 

At first I think it is the rain on the window that is obscuring them, but when I wipe my eyes I find many tears gather at my fingertips. I wipe my face dry with my sleeve, watching as one of them removes his helmet looks up at me. I can barely make out his face, as my stomach twists. A part of me is telling me to run away while I still can, but then what? There was no point.

Another person in the gang takes off his helmet as he makes bold strides towards my front door. I feel my body tense up, and my anxiety skyrockets when the doorbell rings. There is one final gunshot before I hear my father answer the door and greet them. I wait a few moments, hearing their business conversation and then suddenly my father calling my name with bitter, monetary excitement.

I slip my shoes on slowly, before taking one last glance back at my bedroom, wondering if I'll ever have the comforts of a bed again. I turn off the light and slowly make my way down the steps. I stop half-way, my hand gripping the metal rail as I take in the horror that had unfolded in the room. There was blood everywhere. My father's victim was mutilated on the floor while he sat on the sofa, a cigar hanging out of his mouth as he chatted idly with a younger man who held his motorcycle helmet under his arm. They both went silent when they saw me, the conversation coming to an abrupt halt. I had to resist the urge to vomit right then and there.

"Ah! There she is..." My father stands up as I walk down the steps towards him. He wraps an arm around my shoulder and the other man in the room stands up as well. His eyes are dominating, his skin bright and healthy, unlike what I was expecting.

"Hello." He nods towards me. He seemed to be the leader of this motorcycle gang.

I swallow dryly, the fact that they were probably not even a motorcycle gang to begin with finally hitting me. What would a motorcycle gang even want with a girl? This is bullshit. My father was bullshitting me the entire time. This was probably some trafficker that just wanted to make a quick dollar, or some horny group of guys that didn't have time to be in a relationship...

"She's a virgin." My father says before pushing me towards him, "Ten million."

My heart sinks.

The man's gaze on me does not falter, as a taller member of the motorcycle gang, still wearing his helmet, enters the room and presents my father with two stainless steel suitcases. My father opens both of the cases slowly and his eyes light up at the contents inside. He licks his lips feverishly, and nods towards both of the men. I feel my eyes water, as I turn to face my father. I grip his arm:

"Wait-"

My father shakes me off of him and closes both of the suitcases, before holding them snugly in his arms. My face pales as my eyes sting, the reality of the moment finally hitting me. Hard. 

"Come on." The taller man says to me, his voice surprisingly deep.

He takes my arm and yanks me outside. I feel my heart race upon the sight of the seven other men on their motorcycles, their faces obscured by their dark helmets. Their engine's start as a few of them begin to zoom off. A helmet is thrown into my arms, as the tall man from before tells me to put it on and sit behind him.

I do as I'm told.

My grip around the man's waist is light as we ride through the night. There was apart of me that just wanted to let go of him. To let go so I could fall into the road and get run over by something. So I could just end my life here, before it could get any worse.

But we arrive before I can do that.

The place appears to be a gigantic warehouse just outside of the city. The tall man yanks off my helmet, before taking his own helmet off. He takes my arm again with his death grip and pulls me inside as the rest of the eight follow suit. I am pushed inside through the steel doors of the warehouse before I can even begin to process what is happening.

Upon entering the warehouse, I am shocked to find the interior completely high end with stark resemblance to a mansion. The exterior was deceiving of the actual interior of the house, with its black marble walls and glittering red tiles that were carpeted in some areas. A line of crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling with diamonds that twinkled and winked at me in the dim light like a dream. The place was oozing with grandeur. And I only expected the worst to come next.

Motorcycle gang? There was no way in hell. These were probably some top smugglers or drug dealers. High rollers and gambling executives that made money off of negative externalities. I'm doomed.

My feet are planted on the floor where I stand as I freeze, hearing the multiple footsteps enter behind me. The tall man lets go of my arm and looks at me, and I see his face for the first time without his helmet. He is young, like the leader, his eyes bright and his features not intimidating in the slightest. I turn around to see that they are all like that; young. They were around my age. Maybe a few years older than me.

It was terrifying, but a part of me couldn't cry. Not anymore. Not after years of crying.

They all gather around me, as my heart rate slows down to an agonizingly slow rhythm. I feel, for the first time, the humanity leave me, as I look at all of them silently. I don't know what they're gonna do to me. I don't even know if I'll make it the night.

But that's okay. I had a shitty life anyway. There was really not much to lose.

I let my eyes fall to the glittering floor, as my body goes numb. They are still silent, watching my every movement. I want to say something, do something...

But I can't find my voice anymore. After such degradation from my father, after being sold off like an object...

I am lost.

There's a loud sigh that startles me. I jump up slightly and lift my head to see that it is from the one that leads this group of mysterious men.

"Everyone upstairs." The man orders them, but they oscillate, observing me with curiosity as they slowly shuffle away in curious silence.

I watch them all leave, before averting my attention to the man in front of me. His eyes meet mine, and he looks at me with stoic seriousness:

"We need to talk.

Chapter Text

I just look at him, dumbfounded and still unable to find any ounce of faith within myself.

"Come with me." The mysterious man says, turning around and walking towards a metallic door, engraved with decorative gold shapes and lined with romanesque embroidery along its pristine edges.

He twists the golden doorknob and pushes the door open, before stepping aside to let me in first.

The room is like an upgraded office, with large chaise lounging sofas made of blue velvet that have been lined with diamonds at the rim.

"Take a seat."

My hands are still shaking, even as I sit down. I smooth my palms over my lap and swallow dryly, my voice cracking the rhetorical statement:

"This isn't a motorcycle gang..."

Although I had suspected it all along, the primitive certainty of this lingering realization hit me just now as the words left my mouth. But the man does not say anything, as he saunters to the back room, staining crimson into two crystal glasses.

He walks back over slowly and takes a seat beside me, handing me a glass of what smelled like expensive wine. He stares as I take the glass quietly into my hands, confusion and intimidation flooding my mind. Anxiously, I bring the tip to my lips and sip at the bitter drink.

"Mafia." He says softly.

I almost spit out my drink.

That would explain the expensive grandeur and the large number of them. But what did they want with me? What did a group of young guys want with a girl? God, how could I be so stupid. I know exactly what they want.

What every man wants.

I feel my body tense up even more at his words, as I decide to just fucking drink the entire glass of wine in a desperate attempt to drink my conscious mind away. I don't want to think about what they are gonna do to me. I don't even want to think that I am a person because of how quickly they can take it away from me.

"Slow down..." He says, taking the glass away from me and setting it down on the table in front of us. I look at him, my eyes stinging.

His expression softens slightly, before he looks away from and sighs, shutting his eyes:

"I know what this looks like..." He begins, pinching his temple with slight frustration, "but that's not why I purchased you."

His words are promising. Almost refreshing. But I can't get my hopes up. Not now, not ever-

"We don't want to touch you or hurt you" He says, pausing momentarily to take a sip of his wine "I just need you to...cook and clean for us."

What.

He bites his lip and looks at me,

"The guys don't really like eating out, so I usually cook them meals- but I'm always in and out. I can't really cook for them all the time..."

What the fuck is happening.

"I was hoping we could get you to like...cook some stuff. I don't know if you're good at it, but D.O can teach you. He's pretty good...he's just kind of lazy sometimes..."

This can't be it. This can't be why.

Could it?

"Hey," The man snaps his finger in front of my eyes making me jump slightly and blink at him, "you listening?"

I nod quickly and try to process everything he's telling me. I even reach over and pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming or something.

"I set up a room and everything for you already. We'll take care of your insurance and I'll be opening up an account for you next week with monthly deposits so you can buy groceries..." He explains, and I cannot do anything but nod and just accept this situation as it is. Like a gift from God or something. 

"Great." He smiles, standing up and straightening his blazer, "I'll introduce you to the rest of the guys. They can be a bit intimidating at first, but I assure you: they are idiots."

I stand up with him and swallow dryly as he leads me out. We walk out of the office and back out into the foyer, but he halts abruptly, turning around with a look of realization:

"Oh, I almost forgot," He smiles faintly at me, "my name is Joonmyun. I'm the Boss. So talk to me respectfully, okay?" He points a finger at me in the cheesiest way possible. I am so confused...

We head up the large set of stairs in the center of the hall, and make our way down the east wing corridor. There are large windows along the side of the corridor and I notice for the first time that this mansion disguised as a warehouse is actually in the middle of a beautiful nowhere.

"Jongin, open the door." Joonmyun calls, knocking on the first door. But there is no answer.

He turns to glance at me with slight irritation before knocking again, "Jongin." He calls the name again, but there is still no response.

So much for the legitimacy of the leader.

Joonmyun stops knocking, and rolls his eyes, before leaning in closer to the door and yelling:

"I guess I'll go give this plate of chicken wings to Minseok then-"

And in an instant the door is pulled open with a wide-eyed, handsome man dressed in black silk pajamas. But his excited expression falls upon the sight of it just being me and his boss, Joonmyun.

The man named Jongin rolls his eyes and groans, moving to shut the door after finding out that there was no chicken after all, but Joonmyun stops the door, slipping his foot into the crack:

"Come on, let me in." Joonmyun says.

The man named Jongin sighs and gives up, letting us in. Joonmyun ushers me inside and I am surprised to find the room a giant game room, where two other guys, also in pajamas, are playing pool. They stop their game and stand up straighter, looking over with curiosity as Joonmyun places a hand at the small of my back:

"Baekhyun and Sehun." Joonmyun tells me, the nervousness building up inside me as they approach us. 

The one named Baekhyun smirks faintly, as the one named Sehun raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms inquisitively: 

"She can cook?"

I frown and look at the leader, who clears his throat and laughs a little nervously:

"She will be able to soon. And her name is Y/N.

"Why does she look so pale?" The one named Baekhyun asks, as he sneaks closer to me and grabs me away from Joonmyun. He looks down at me and whispers the same words with playful eyes, "Why are you so pale...hm?"

"She thought that we were going to hurt her," Joonmyun began, before pushing Baekhyun gently away from me, "But we are not even gonna touch her..." His voice was more serious now, as his eyes met Sehun's next, "Clear?"

Sehun and Baekhyun both rolled their eyes and nodded, before going back to playing pool. I thanked Joonmyun silently, a little surprised by how intimidating he could despite his gentle features. He smiled at me faintly, before glancing around:

"Where'd Jongin go...?" 

"He probably left." Baekhyun answered, leaning towards the pool table to position himself for his next strike. 

Joonmyun cursed the man named Jongin under his breath before turning around and walking out of the room. I followed close behind him silently. 

The next room we entered was like a library of sorts, with two young men seated on a sofa, laughing at the contents of a book. They were extremely intimidating, unlike the others from before. One of them snapped his head up, his cat-like gaze meeting my eyes. His eyebrow suddenly quirked up, as the one beside him smiled playfully. They closed the book and stood up, approaching Joonmyun and I. My shoulders tensed up and I quickly looked at the boss, who had already wrapped an arm around me casually:

"Minseok," He nodded towards the one with a cat-like gaze, "Jongdae." and the one with a cat-like smile.

"Who's this?" The one named Minseok asked gently, his voice deceiving his intimidating appearance.

"Her name is Y/N." Joonmyun smiled at me briefly, "She will take care of cooking when I'm too busy." 

"Hmm.." The one named Jongdae still let the same smile play his lips, as they both silently observed me with a gaze that could easily be mistaken for a number of things that made me uncomfortable. 

"Nice to meet you." The one named Minseok suddenly piped up, as he extended his hand for me to shake. I swallowed down my nerves and shook his hand slowly. His hands were freezing cold. 

"I have to leave pretty soon, would you guys mind showing her around?" Joonmyun asks, as he glances at his expensive wristwatch. I suddenly feel my heart race, as I turn to look at him in silent protest.

"Don't worry," Joonmyun chuckles, "They're my most trusted men," Joonmyun glances at Jongdae and Minseok, "No touching her, okay?" 

The three then exchange conversation about some shady casino business, before Joonmyun takes his leave, waving to me as he left. 

In a way, I felt kind of safe with Joonmyun, since he had proven decent in characteristic, but everyone else was a complete utter stranger. I was terrified and still scarred that my fucking dad sold me off to the mafia after twenty years of being a loyal daughter. 

"Hey," Minseok snaps me out of my daze, to which I look at him and his pretty features, "Are you hungry?

I am slightly taken aback by his question, but my stomach was kind of rumbling the entire time and Joonmyun may or may not have mistaken it for a fart earlier. I nod towards him and he smiles curiously:

"Alright, I'll show you the kitchen." Minseok says, as he steps out of the room. 

The quiet one named Jongdae walks close next to me as I follow Minseok. He looks over at me, and I notice so I turn my head to look at him. His eyes glitter, as his lips curl into a little smile again:

"What was your name again?" He asks very quietly.

I feel my heart rate get faster as I stare at the way he's looking at me. I feel a lump in my throat as the corridor suddenly feels colder. I don't know why I can't speak. It still feels like I'm living a dream. A nightmare. 

As if I have become inhuman. Incapable of choice. 

Incapable of voice. 

 

Chapter Text

"You're not going to tell me? Then I guess I'll call you..." He thinks for a moment, "baby."

My eyes widen as a recoil takes over my features. Jongdae laughs loudly at my reaction. I find it to be an intoxicating and lavender laugh that smooths over the surface of sound-waves, dancing atop the peaks of each wavelength to emit soft vibrato in my ears. 

"Leave her alone, Jongdae." Minseok sighed, as he entered the kitchen area with us following behind him. 

I watch Minseok open up the refrigerator and pull out some bread. He sets it on the counter and bites his lip, staring at it for a few moments, deep in thought. Jongdae and I watch him silently, wondering what he is doing before Jongdae finally asks:

"Are you gonna cook it or-"

"Hey, Y/N do you like Chinese?" Minseok asks quickly.

The doorbell rings, and Baekhyun runs to the door to get the Chinese food that Minseok had ordered. He brings it over to the large dining table as the rest of the members enter the room and take their seats at the large dining table with yet another crystal chandelier hanging above it. Minseok and Jongdae take seats beside each other in front of a shorter guy with dark hair that I haven't been introduced to yet. 

The man named Sehun brings a fluffy white dog to the table as I pull a chair and sit down nervously. Baekhyun's lips curl upon seeing me, and he takes a seat in front of me. I feel my heart race with the urge to just get up and leave, but I am taken by surprise when someone pulls the chair next to me and sits down with an exhausted sigh. 

I turn my head, surprised to find the really tall, deep-voiced guy that had dragged me out of my home. He turns his head to look at me, and his eyes widen suddenly upon recognizing me. He quickly turns his head away, a dark blush creeping up his cheeks.

I frown and watch as a very handsome Chinese guy distributes the food out for everyone. He gives me a box with chopsticks, and smiles very kindly at me, his eyes radiating sheepish warmth:

"Here you go.

I nod in thanks, as the room suddenly becomes filled with laughter and multiple types of conversation. It was like high school lunch all over again, with a bunch of people that I didn't know. I sat at the table and picked at the food, wishing Joonmyun would come back soon. For some reason, I felt kind of safer around him. 

"S-So..." The tall man next to me suddenly turns towards me, trying to appear nonchalant but failing miserably, "Why are you here?

I fall into a daze as I recall gripping my father's arm pathetically, only to be shrugged off of him like an animal and sold off. I feel my heart sink, my throat still too dry to say anything. I snap out of my daydream and meet the man's eyes, as he looks at me, awaiting my reply.

But it never comes.

"She doesn't really talk."

The man named Baekhyun suddenly says, causing me and the tall man to look at him.

"Hey, pretty eyes." He smirks at me when I meet his eyes, swirling noodles onto his chopsticks,  "What do you think of all the chandeliers? Wanna ride one later?" 

"Oh my god..." The tall man groans at his pick up line, and I just move my eyes back down to focus on my food. 

"Baekhyun." Minseok playfully scolds him with an amused smile, as Jongdae is heard laughing in the background. 

"What, Minseok? Some of these chandeliers have candles, I was just wondering if she wanted to blow mine out...

I suddenly lose my appetite as Baekhyun continues to make dirty jokes about me that leave Jongdae in a fit of laughter. I don't really know what comes over me, but I suddenly slam my chopsticks onto the table and the room goes silent. I stand up with the urge to curse him and really give him a piece of my mind, but...

My eyes sting. My chest tightens. My shoulders shake. 

The entire room is silent as everyone watches my sensitivity skyrocket. I leave quickly and quietly through the door, pretending like I finished my food but well aware that everyone knew that wasn't the case. 

I find the nearest bathroom and slam the door, before turning around and slumping down until my butt hits the floor. I bring my knees to my chest and hug them tightly, as my tears finally have the opportunity to fall. I sob quietly, hearing my weak and pathetic sounds. My chest was heavy with stress and anxiety that sunk my entire being like a weight. I just want to let it all out. I just want to cry. 

But suddenly, I hear the toilet flush.

"Uh..."

I sniff, my panic attack coming to a bit of a halt as I lift my head up to see the man named Jongin, looking at me with a bit of puzzlement. He frowns with confusion before speaking nervously:

"Umm...give me a sec..." He says, turning quickly to wash his hands with some soap. He then dries his hands carefully with a towel before crouching down to my eye level. He tilts his head slightly:

"What's wrong?" 

I process the fact that I had just walked in on him while he was peeing and I feel my cheeks burn with embarrassment. I cover my face with my hands and cry harder. 

He is silent, uncomfortable with the situation that I cannot blame him for. He extends his hand and hesitantly pats my back in an attempt to comfort me:

"Shhh...

I only cry louder.

"Hey, c'mon..." He groans quietly, "they're gonna think I'm doing something bad to you in here."

I sniff and look up from my hands. He hands me a roll of toilet paper and I unravel it, ripping a piece and using it to wipe my tears. I sniff and watch as he sits down from his crouching position. He leans his back against the wall beside me and sighs, staring at the ground.

My crying comes to a stop as I manage to wipe most of my face dry with the toilet paper. I sniff again and bite my lip, still embarrassed about the situation as I look down at my hands:

"I'm sorry..." I mumble, "I just...I don't know why I'm here..." I say, finally finding my voice. 

He keeps his eyes fixed on the tiles of the floor:

"Did the boss bring you?

I nod, sniffing: 

"Yea. My father sold me..." 

Jongin lifts his head suddenly to meet my eyes, and it is the first time I see him taken aback. He stares at me silently, waiting for me to continue.

"And these guys are...Look, I know my situation could have been a lot worse, but I just..." My voice cracks, as I realize I'm talking too much in broken sentences but I can't even stop, "I never asked for any of this. I never wanted to be alive, especially if this is all my life is gonna be worth in the end..." My eyes sting and burn again, as the tears threaten to fall once more.

I rip another piece of toilet paper off the roll violently and wipe my eyes, my hand shaking. Jongin is still silent, his mysterious eyes watching me carefully, before he finally speaks- quietly and carefully:

"What are you gonna do?

I laugh lightly at the question, but it is a bitter laugh. It is a laugh that twists my inside out and pounds my headache into a never-ending migraine:

"The only thing I can do..." 

I say quietly, bringing my knees close to my chest again to hug them as I let my eyes bore into the cream colored wall in the distance:

"exist."

 

Chapter Text

"Jongin! Are you in here?" Sehun's voice calls from the door as he knocks.

The man named Jongin and I exchange wide eyes as we both stand up quickly. He moves closer to the door as I back away. He leans in to the door-frame and makes a face of irritation:

"Y-Yea...what do you want?" He answers the man named Sehun.

"Have you seen the girl? She ran out of the dining hall when we were eating after Baekhyun said some stupid shit." He says.

Jongin glances at me briefly before answering, "I haven't seen her."

"Aish, Boss is gonna be so pissed that we lost her..." Sehun groans from the other side of the door, his voice fading as he walked away. 

I sigh in relief upon hearing him leave, but Jongin turns around and looks at me with a sigh:

"Don't let anything that comes out of Baekhyun's mouth get to you. That's just his personality." 

I nod slowly, "But how am I supposed to leave this bathroom without looking weird?" 

Jongin bites his lip and moves over to press his ear against the door frame. He listens for a little before licking his lips, "I don't hear anyone in this hall, I think we're safe." He says, before unlocking the door and pushing it slowly, holding it open for me to step out first.

I quietly tiptoe out before I hear him walk out behind me. But the second he closes the door behind him I see that short, dark-haired guy staring straight at us. He looks kind of confused.

My heart sinks and I turn quickly and hit Jongin's arm. He freezes upon seeing the other man who had spotted us at the end of the hall, his eyes widening:

"Kyungsoo..."

The man at the end of the hall named Kyungsoo simply turns around and walks away, pretending he didn't see us. Jongin sighs irritably, pinching the tip of his nose in frustration:

"Whatever, I'll explain it to him later..." He mumbles to himself, before turning towards me, "It's getting pretty late. You should just go to your room."

"Yea..." I scratch my arm, "Where?"

"Nobody showed you around yet?" Jongin asks with a bit of surprise.

I shake my head, and he gestures for me to follow him. I trudge behind him up the stairs and down the extensive dark corridor of the west wing, all the way to a door at the end of the hall.

"My room is right across from this empty one," He says, unlocking the door and holding it open for me to go in, "Night." He says too quickly, moving to leave and close the door behind him after I had entered.

"W-Wait!" I say quickly, causing him to open the door back up a little and peek his head through. 

He raises an eyebrow at me, waiting.

I avert my eyes to the ground quickly, finding it a bit difficult to look at him as the words left my mouth:

"Thank you."

He is kind of silent for the moment, his head still peeking through the crack of the door. A few long seconds pass, before he finally speaks:

"I'll bring you some pajamas." He closes the door.

I turn and walk towards the large king-sized bed, a bit overwhelmed at the huge size of the mattress, before hopping onto it and relaxing into the pillows with a heavy sigh of exhaustion. I shift slightly and turn to my side, staring at the mosaic tiled lamp on the bedside table. I pull a throw pillow close to me and hug it, my breathing finding its own slow pace for the first time since I got here. My eyelids grow heavier and heavier with each passing second, as I eventually close my eyes and will myself to just drift off to sleep.

But there are two firm knocks on the door that cause me to jolt out of my exhaustion and sit up quickly as the door is pushed open. I expect it to be Jongin with the pajamas, but I see someone less kind instead. My chest tightens, and I quickly avert my eyes elsewhere.

The jerk from earlier named Baekhyun closes the door behind him as he steps in cautiously, holding a pair of neatly folded pajamas, "Jongin asked me to bring these to you."

I stay silent. 

Baekhyun sets the pajamas on the corner of the bed, before walking closer. My body tenses up as my heart races with alarm. I swallow a lump in my throat, trying to appear unphased by the situation.

The edge of the bed dips down as I feel his gaze fixed on me, the hour growing increasingly uncomfortable for me as he sighs, sitting down beside me:

"Look, I'm sorry about earlier..."  He blurts out, the guilt evident in his voice, "I was a dick, and I shouldn't have said anything like that..." 

I shake my head, finding his apology heartfelt enough for me to accept:

"It's...okay. I overreacted." 

He narrows his eyes at me curiously:

"What?"

I look at him, finding it difficult to be angry at him anymore. Forgiving him was only easy because I could never be happy with myself.

"Would it even matter if you meant what you said?" I said, as if just realizing it myself, "I shouldn't even be surprised...I don't really have..." my voice cracked, "anything.

His brows furrowed slightly:

"You..." His voice grew intimidatingly silent, "why do you think so little of yourself?" 

"Because that's what those around me think of me."

I answered too fast, but I couldn't help it when the answer was so obvious. When the answer had been ringing in the same ear for years. 

He became silent at the weight of my words. But the concern immediately washed over his stoic features. I could see him searching for the right words but unable to find them. He clicked his tongue and looked down, a little puzzled laugh escaping his lips:

"Shit."

"Yea, you really hit hard with that shitty pick up line." I muttered, lying down on the bed. 

He burst out into laughter, making me realize that this was the first joke I made in...

years.

I felt my lips curl into a little smile upon his light laughter, and I turned my head, watching as he shifted his body to lie down beside me, his head rested on the pillow right next to the one by my head. He stared at the ceiling, recovering from his laughter:

"I feel like an asshole." He says softly.

"You are." I sigh. 

"I said I'm sorry..." He pouts playfully, turning his body to face me. 

I shifted my body to turn the other way so that he could see nothing but my back. He laughed again as I heard him scoot closer to me. I suddenly felt his arms wrap around me from behind. His voice was gentler as he nuzzled his nose snugly into the crook of my neck, his breath fanning over the exposed skin:

"Are you sleepy?"  He asks softly, as my body began to tense up at the extremely close proximity. 

"G-Get off..." I whined, earning a little laugh from him. 

"Shhh...I know you like this..." He said, burying his nose in my hair now, as he tightened his arms around my body, pulling me closer, "when was the last time someone hugged you, hm?"

He wasn't wrong.

And his arms felt so relaxing around my body. I felt secure and warm, although I hated to admit it even to myself as a blush had crept up my cheeks. My eyelids were far too heavy again for me to be embarrassed at the situation. My heart rate slowed down again, and my body began to shut down. 

I let myself drift off once more, uninterrupted this time. 

 

Chapter Text

The light from the window shone directly onto my face as I squinted and shifted on the bed uncomfortably, bringing a hand to my eyes to block out the sun's rays. I yawned realizing that I had basically just awoken from what was quite possibly the best sleep I had ever experienced in my life. I turned my head quickly to the side, remembering the events that took place last night when I saw the guy named Baekhyun snoring comfortably beside me. 

My stomach turned when I realized that I spent the night cuddling a mafia member. 

My head spun as I got up quickly and made my way to the bathroom that was in my room. I turned on the warm shower and stepped inside, rinsing myself quickly as I tried to process the reality of my situation. I sighed and turned off the water when I finished brooding under the shower, wrapping the towel securely around my body. I walked out of the bathroom to find Baekhyun, thankfully still knocked out asleep. 

I picked up the pajamas that Jongin had prepared for me and took them into the bathroom to change, out of Baekhyun's sight. Upon slipping on the pants and shirt, I realized quickly that these were some of Jongin's damn pajamas. I sighed at how over-sized and silly I looked, before making my way out of the room. 

I almost forgot that I was these guys' personal chef or something as I quickly made my way downstairs to the kitchen, hoping that none of them had woken up yet. But to my surprise, I saw the man named Kyungsoo frying some eggs on a pan by himself. He let it sizzle on the pan as he turned around and looked at me. He was wearing an apron and had a spatula in his hand:

"Morning." He said simply, as if he was choosing to ignore the fact that he saw Jongin and I coming out of the same bathroom together last night.

"H-Hi..." I flashed a nervous smile, as I found an apron and wrapped it around my body. 

Kyungsoo watched me inquisitively, his eyes squinting with curiosity:

"What are you doing?" He asked.

I froze as I was tying the apron around my back, and remembered that many of the mafia members didn't really know why I was actually here. I finished tying the apron and bit my lip:

"Your boss kinda...hired me to cook for you guys..." I explained, "this guy named D.O was supposed to teach me how to cook, but I never really got to meet him yesterday..."

Kyungsoo nodded understandingly, although his expression was still stoic and a bit void of emotion:

"I can teach you.

"Really?" I asked, and he nodded, handing me a spatula.

The hour flew by with the mysterious man named Kyungsoo, teaching me how to effectively prepare eggs and bacon for a lot of people. He was relatively quiet and kept to himself, but wise nonetheless. There was something about him that wasn't as alarming as the rest of the members. At some point while he was teaching me, I almost forgot that he was part of the mafia, associated with death and violence and illegal activity. It didn't really suit him, and I kept wondering how he got caught up in all of this. I almost asked, but I stopped myself, not wanting to pry or develop an idea of him that probably wasn't accurate. 

The rest of the members soon began to wake up and come downstairs, following the scent of breakfast like tired puppies as many of them sat at the dinner table with dark circles and hooded eyes. They were all still wearing their pajamas, aside from Kyungsoo who was dressed casually for the day. 

The Chinese man from yesterday walked up to me while I was cutting some bread in the kitchen. He smiled at me again, with those same warm eyes from yesterday. Kyungsoo handed him some plates which he then took over to the dining table and distributed to everyone. Was he part of the mafia too? I wondered so many thoughts at once that I accidentally scraped my finger. 

I winced at the little cut that the knife had drawn along the surface of my skin due to my carelessness. I saw a little droplet of blood gather at the tip of my finger, and I dropped the knife. The Chinese man was the first to see me, and he rushed over to me quickly, a look of concern taking over his features as he reached a high shelf and grabbed a box of band-aids. He moved closer to me and took my hand gently, wrapping the bandage over my wound carefully. He didn't say anything, instead pressing his lips gently on the surface of my index finger, kissing it briefly before walking away to hand out the rest of the plates. I frowned in confusion as my cheeks burned and he disappeared before I could even thank him. 

"That was Yixing." I suddenly heard Kyungsoo's voice from behind me. I looked at him with my curiosity increasing.

"Is he also mafia?" I asked.

Kyungsoo was wiping his hands dry with a cloth, "He's more of our medic. Like a doctor who can use a gun." 

"A doctor? In the mafia?" My eyes widened. 

"Ex-doctor." Kyungsoo corrected me.

"What happened? Why'd he leave the field?" I ask before I realize that I am probably prying. 

Kyungsoo shrugs, as we both stare off into the distance where the man named Yixing had run off:

"I don't know.

The table was full now with all the food Kyungsoo and I had prepared as everyone sat around and had already begun eating. There was light chatter since it was still morning and everyone was kind of tired. I set some napkins on the table for everyone, feeling a bit more comfortable with my situation. The only person who wasn't here was Joonmyun, but he was probably still busy with whatever shady business mafia bosses were busy with. 

My eyes immediately go to Jongin who starts a conversation with Sehun next to him. I watch them for a while before I realize that I probably look weird just staring at them. I pull a chair mindlessly and sit down with a bit of an exhausted sigh. Preparing everything was kind of tiring, even with the help of Kyungsoo, but I would have to get used to it. I scoot closer to the table and pick up my chopsticks. I taste the food and it's pretty good. I turn my head and notice that I am sitting next to the same guy I sat next to last time. That tall guy that dragged me out of my home. I feel a bit nervous as I look at him. 

He notices me looking at him and meets my gaze with an equal amount of surprise. His eyes are tired and his hair is slightly messy. We are both quiet, the conversation exchanged only between our eyes. When I see him I remember all of the pain I felt upon being sold off. But when he looks at me I don't know what he thinks of, or what he feels. I don't know what's going through his head but I know something is there when he looks at me. 

And I really hate not knowing. 

I avert my attention back to my food and finish up eating. 

"Waaah~ D.O. and Y/N can make a mean breakfast, huh?" Baekhyun grins, earning sounds of agreement from a few others. 

D.O?

Kyungsoo looks at him and nods as we pick up the plates and clean up the mess, "Thanks."

When Kyungsoo and I head into the kitchen, I squint at him with confusion:

"Wait...who's D.O?" I ask, placing the dishes into the sink.

Kyungsoo tries to contain himself from laughing at me, as he slowly points a finger to himself, his eyes amused:

"Do Kyungsoo." 

I felt like an idiot. 

 

Chapter Text

"No,"  Minseok smiles playfully as he takes it from my hands, "you slide it in the compartment like this..."  he demonstrates it for me again before taking it back out and handing it to me, "try again." 

I narrow my eyes at the gun in my hand as I try to reload it for the millionth time, only to fail again. I shut my eyes and sigh in frustration. It really didn't look that hard. Maybe I was overthinking it...

"Here..." Minseok's hands brush mine as he holds my hands and guides them into reloading the shotgun slowly. His hands are cold against mine and make my heart race, but he manages to help me get the ammo inside, "just like that. It's easy.

I nod, more determined now after doing it with his help. He takes the gun and removes the ammo once more before handing the two parts back to me. He looks at me with a little bit of excitement in his glittery, cat-like eyes. 

My hands mimic the pattern of movement that he had previously helped me with, and after a few attempts, I manage to slide it in on my own. I look at him with wide eyes, and he raises an eyebrow, a little smile playing his lips:

"Nice." 

I feel silly how proud I am with myself for accomplishing something that was probably quite simple to him, but he does not make me feel any less as he congratulates me and tell me other tips to reload quickly and even secretively. 

"Minseoook," Jongdae whines as he walks into the room with a towel around his shoulders and his hair wet from just showering, "have you seen my shotgun?"

Minseok looks away from Jongdae and smirks at me and the gun I was holding in my hand. I look down at my hands and my eyes widen, "A-Ah...I didn't..." I stand up quickly from the sofa Minseok and I were sitting on. 

Jongdae appears more amused as he approaches me and snatches the gun out of my hands. He glances at Minseok and smirks, before leaning in close to my neck, his lips brushing my ear:

"If you want to learn how to shoot you come talk to me, baby..." His voice is seductively low, "yea?"

I gulp and freeze where I am. Minseok finally stands up next to me and Jongdae pulls himself away from me, grinning at Minseok before walking out of the room mysteriously. 

"Uhmmm, I think I should g-go..." I said quickly, turning to look at Minseok who was incredibly amused with my reaction to his friend.

He smiled, his gentle voice making me uncomfortable because he was beginning to appear more and more handsome:

"Alright,"  He said softly, "see you later~" 

I walked out of the room quickly, my heart racing like I just ran a damn marathon when all I really did was stand next to a few dudes. I needed to pull myself together. This was day two of my life in slavery and I feel like I'm taking my situation a bit too lightly, but I keep reminding myself that it could have been a lot worse. I could have been sold off into human trafficking. I could have been violated already and left for dead. But I wasn't. I was in a warm palace with a bunch of mysterious mafia boys who didn't really know much about personal space. 

"Minseok! Jongdae!" The youngest member named Sehun runs down the hall hurriedly and calls their names. His voice is full of alarm as he runs past me. I walk after him, curious.

But then I see Baekhyun and Kyungsoo dressed in suits with huge machine guns and rifles in their hands. Their expressions are stoic and cold, and they don't even notice me as they walk past me, down the stairs from the East wing. They look terrifying.

Sehun and Minseok both run out of the room and head down to the East Wing where Baekhyun and Kyungsoo had just walked out of. Everyone is suddenly in a rush to get somewhere, and the entire place is silent aside from the sound of footsteps running and shuffling about the house. The sudden tension in the air was drowning me as I began to worry when I saw everyone with expensive artillery, guns and cases. 

I want to ask what's going on but everyone is moving too fast, too occupied with whatever the hell was happening. It was as if everyone was preparing for warfare, the usually playful ambiance completely disappearing.

"What are you doing?"

I hear a voice huff from behind me, as I turn around to see the tall man named Chanyeol staring down at me. He was wearing a jumpsuit, and had a shotgun in his left hand as he suddenly gripped my arm and dragged me down the hall hurriedly before I could even reply. 

"H-Hey..." I try to shake him off of me, but his grip only tightens as he pulls me downstairs, "What's going on?!" I ask, the fear slowly building up inside of me. 

He is silent as he takes me to the group of them who are all standing by the door, dressed in suits and heavily equipped with guns I have only ever seen in movies. The cuddly Baekhyun glances over at me coldly, his expression uncharacteristic of him. He approaches us and averts his gaze to Chanyeol:

"Boss said to make sure they don't see her."

Chanyeol sighs, his grip still tight on my arm. I watch as they all stare at me with a mixture of concern and irritation. Chanyeol finally lets go of my arm and sighs, looking down at me:

"Our place is about to be under attack. You have to find somewhere to hide for the time being." 

I feel my heart sink. Under attack?

I am at a loss for words as I avert my eyes to the ground and swallow dryly, my heart racing as I nod quickly, realizing that the situation was too serious for me to prolong and mourn my misfortune. Suddenly, the bathroom door is kicked open dramatically and Jongin saunters out wearing a daring red suit and holding a large machine gun. He runs a hand through his hair and approaches Chanyeol, Baekhyun and I. My jaw would have dropped if this wasn't a life or death situation. 

"I'll take the front."  He tells Chanyeol and Baekhyun, who nod firmly. Jongin then looks at me, his eyes glazed over with a seriousness I haven't seen yet, "Go to my bedroom and lock the door." He orders me, and I look at Chanyeol who nods. I bite my lip and turn around to go hide, when Kyungsoo suddenly grabs my arm and puts a shotgun into my hands quietly. My eyes widen but I don't question it as I run up the long set of stairs and make my way to the West wing where the bedrooms were. I run down the long corridor, hearing the doors bust open and gunshots fire away loudly like a war zone as I find Jongin's bedroom and run inside, locking the door behind me. I hide in his closet and close it, panting as I held the gun tightly in my hands. 

The sound of gun shots and yelling never ceased to finish as the hour flew by and the intensity of the situation began to sink deeper and deeper into my mind. The sound's grow closer and closer, as I hear running in the corridor just outside Jongin's bedroom. My heart races fast in my chest as I hear someone kick the door open. My breath hitches and I hold the shotgun tighter in my hands as I try to quiet down my breathing and stay hidden in the closet.

From the crack in the closet, I see the figure step slowly into the room and my chest tightens upon not being able to recognize the face of the man. It was a person from the enemy team. And he was beginning to grow suspicious of the closed closet. 

I try not to move as he walks dangerously close to the closet, crouching down to look through the little crack I left open. He stares right into my eyes as his eyes widen and he swings the door wide open. I stare at him in horror as his brows furrow:

"The fuck..." He smirks, "Why do they have a girl...?" 

"Y/N!" I hear someone call my name from the corridor.

The man suddenly grins at me as he takes his time carefully loading his gun, "Pretty name..."  He mutters, as he aims his gun at the door, ready to shoot whoever was trying to come to my rescue.

The time seems to slow down suddenly as I see the man named Yixing at the door. There is only one gunshot sounded, ringing with the upmost clarity in my ears; a sound I would never be able to forget despite the millions I had heard before.

I had shot the man in front of me. One bullet at the back of his neck.

The moment is prolonged as he falls to his knees first, before collapsing completely on the ground. His final breaths are erratic as he sputters out blood and crimson pools beneath the top of his head. My hands are numb as the gun falls out of my grip and hits the floor. I stumble back, watching the look of disbelief on Yixing's face. He is frozen for a few moments, before running over to me quickly. He shakes me to get back up:

"Come on,"  He says hurriedly placing the gun back into my hands, "you have to hide somewhere else."

"I-I just...."  My eyes begin to sting as the tears roll quickly down my cheeks. My chest tightens and I panic, "I killed him."  I look at Yixing, who's expression softens into pity. 

"It's almost over,"  He says quickly, pulling me to stand up "we've got them, you just need to hide a bit longer, okay?"  He tries to reassure me, as he pulls me out into the corridor, shooting a man down while he pushes me into another bedroom. He closes the door behind us quickly and locks it, panting as he ran a hand through his hair. 

My entire body was trembling as I heard banging on the other side of the door right after he had closed it, not even giving us a chance to catch our breaths as the door was being shot down with bullets. Yixing stepped in front of me and reloaded his gun quickly, cursing under his breath in Chinese.

The door was kicked down but there were two men that entered this time. Yixing quickly pulled a table over and pushed me down to crouch behind it with him as the men shot at us. He calculated his shots, peeking out from the table to strike the two men, killing them within seconds before turning to look at me, breathless:

"I'm gonna go clear the hall for you. Go under the bed, okay?" 

It was more of a demand rather than a question as he ran off, shooting his way down the corridor as he left me to hide alone behind the damaged coffee table. I wasted no more time as I slid my body carefully under the bed, closing my eyes as the gunshots continued to sound through the halls. I covered my ears and waited, the chaos only seeming to worsen as I heard the yelling increase. The man named Chanyeol was suddenly calling my name, his voice holding alarm, when I felt something wrap around my ankle tightly. My eyes widened and I was too terrified to even scream as one of the men had somehow managed to pull me out from under the bed.  

The man who had pulled me from under the bed yanked me up on my feet, his grip deadly on my arm as his eyes bled into mine. He showed me his yellow teeth with his sick grin as I felt my entire body tremble in horror. He looked different from the enemies. He was fatter, his neck hugged with gold chains. There was even a cigar hanging out of his mouth. 

The same brand that my father would smoke. 

He pushes me roughly against the wall and I whimper, my head throbbing from the impact. He grabs my arms and handles me like an object, attempting to wrap my arms behind my back.

I don't know what comes over me, but I begin to recall all the moments that lead up to this point. I recall the pain and self-loathing I felt upon being worthless enough to be sold off. I recall the absence of my mother, the mysterious woman who showed me first how meaningless my existence was by leaving me alone with the shittiest man on earth to raise me. I think about all of these moments every day and feel the same way about them. 

But today I feel something different. Today I am exhausted in a peculiar way. Unlike the days where I lack a sense of humanity; today, I seem to lack a sense of sanity. There is anger instead of sadness now. There is a fuming flame that boils my blood, and clouds my mind with dust, as I grip the shotgun tightly in my hands. The man with yellow teeth simply stares at me as my expression pales. I bring my arm up and press the tip of the gun right in between his eyes as a look of horror washes over his face.

There is no voice inside me telling me its wrong. There is no emotion inside of me telling me I'll regret this, because by then I'll have already done it. 

I pull the trigger without hesitation and watch the warm blood splatter all over my face. His eyes roll back and he falls on the ground beneath my feet. I place my foot on his chest and aim the gun at him again, this time shooting his neck even though I know he is already dead. I watch how still he is, and the lack of movement invigorates me as I pull the trigger again. Once more. 

I stop myself when I realize that he is already dead and I am just playing with him now. But my head is strangely clear and my pulse has gone down back to normal. For some reason, killing two was more tolerable than killing one. I touch my face and examine the blood that gathers at my fingertips. My heart skips a beat. 

I turn my head and see Chanyeol standing by the doorway, his shirt stained crimson and his eyes wide upon seeing what I had just done. He is frozen where he stands, his eyes struggling between me and the hunk of a body I had just mutilated. I avert my gaze away from his eyes and focus on the weapon in my hands. I take the silver cartridge out of the casing and reload the shotgun carefully.

The sounds of screaming and violence had finally quieted down. 

 

Chapter Text

I followed Chanyeol out of the bedroom, trudging over the dead bodies that lined the corridor as we made our way slowly downstairs. He was quiet, seemingly still taken aback by what I had done. But I didn't really want to think about what he thought of me now.

I didn't really want to think about anything right now.

"Yo." Chanyeol greets the rest of the members who appeared to not have taken much damage from any of the enemies as they all stood by each other, in their expensive suits stained with blood, chatting idly and tossing their guns to the side. 

Everyone gathers around Chanyeol as I stand behind him and spectate their conversation about what just happened. Baekhyun and Jongin clarify that they alerted the boss of what happened, but the debate on what to do now seems to go on and on until Sehun finally asks something that makes everyone go silent:

"Wait, " He pipes up, causing everyone to avert their attention to him, "who killed Piggy?" 

Everyone exchanges curious glances, before Chanyeol sighs and rubs his neck as he hesitates slightly:

"Uhh..." He turns around and gestures over to where I was standing. Everyone's eyes widen. Kyungsoo frowns and Baekhyun chokes on the bottle of water he was drinking.

"She killed Piggy?" Sehun reiterates, his voice dripping disbelief, "How the fuck-"

"Who's Piggy?"  I finally ask, developing a headache upon all of the unnecessary attention. 

Baekhyun recovers from choking and clears his throat:

"He's one of the higher ranked enemies. A Unit Leader." 

My eyes widen and I begin to finally feel the impact of what I had done. 

"She shot him right through his fucking eyes." Chanyeol explained dramatically, earning a gasp from some of the members.

"Yo, what the fuck has Minseok been teaching her..." Baekhyun commented with a little smile.

"I just taught her how to reload! " Minseok held his hands up playfully in surrender, as a laugh escaped his lips. 

"We've been trying to get rid of Piggy for months..." Jongdae's voice suddenly came from behind my ear as I jumped and looked at him. He smiled a bit tiredly, as he wrapped an arm around my shoulders, "Good job, baby..."

Jongin finished up the conversation he was having on the phone before walking back over to us, slipping the phone into his pocket:

"Boss said he's on his way. We should get the truck ready."

Everyone nods at Jongin's words and disperses to do whatever they needed to do. I stand there and look down at my hands. I look at the gun and swallow dryly, trying to focus on my breath and steady its erratic pattern. I was waiting for the reality to hit me. I was waiting for the rush of adrenaline to finally come down and bite back at me. My mind cannot possibly be this calm. I can't be this relaxed. Not after killing two people-

"Hey." 

My head snaps up at the voice and I am surprised to see Jongin standing in front of me. His hair was slicked back with slight sweat, his toned muscles peeking out of the red suit that was stained with a darker scarlet. His eyes locked onto mine:

"You okay?" 

I nod quickly, composing myself. My heart races fast in my chest as I hand him the gun that I had been gripping for so long, not really knowing what to do with it anymore. He doesn't take it, instead chuckling:

"Keep it," He said playfully, "It's yours."

"I don't want it. " I said bitterly, not finding any of this at all amusing. 

"You're gonna need it." He said, his playfulness disappearing as the seriousness returned, "You should pack your things and load them into the truck. We're heading to new headquarters when the boss gets back." 

"I don't have anything." I reply sharply. 

" You have the gun. " He said gently, before turning to walk away. 

I gritted my teeth and looked down at the damn gun in my hands. I cursed under my breath and went upstairs to go grab my one bra at least. I think it was in my bedroom, but I couldn't even tell what room was what with all of the damage that had been done. 

My stomach twists as I step over the dozens of bodies while attempting to make my way upstairs, only to be met with a dozen more scattered around the corridor of the East wing. I groan as I hop over a dead guy and barely manage to stumble into what looked like the bedroom I slept in last night. 

I pull the duvets off of the bed and throw the pillows aside as I search tirelessly for my bra. When it is to no avail, I make my way to the bathroom and search there, opening cupboards and emptying baskets. The hour goes by as I search the entire room until the stench of the dead bodies finally starts to kick in. I scrunch up my nose and decide to just give up. A Victoria's Secret bralette really wasn't worth it.

"Hey, Piggy Killer! We're leaving, c'mon! " I hear Sehun's voice call from downstairs and I roll my eyes at the nickname as I hop over the bodies and make my way down the stairs. 

The first person I see is Joonmyun who waved at me as I walked over to him:

"Sorry, I wasn't expecting any of this to happen."  He apologized quickly as I just stood there and stared at him, not really knowing what to say or how to feel. 

Everything was happening so fast. My life changed so quickly. 

I took lives so quickly. 

"She took out Piggy, Boss."  Sehun said, wrapping an arm around his leader. 

Joonmyun raised an eyebrow at me, "What?" 

I let it all sink in. The fact that I killed not one, but two people was suddenly starting to get to me. And everyone was just making it worse by rubbing it in and acting all surprised. Everyone kept bringing it up, as if I was some badass girl who didn't give a shit about anything. As if I was cruel and ruthless, like my father. But I'm not like that.

I don't want to be like that.

I felt my shoulders tremble and I was about to just break, right there. My breath suddenly hitched and caught in my throat. I felt sweat gather at my palms and my forehead. The goosebumps went up arms and legs. There was a sharp pain in my chest, compressing my lungs. 

"Can we go now?" Minseok groaned in annoyance, as he gently took hold of my arm. He turned his head to glance at me, and I could instantly tell he noticed how fucking close I was to breaking down. I looked away from him quickly, my heart throbbing as if I was being stabbed over and over again. Jongdae suddenly walked up to us and also noticed whatever was happening to me. The two exchanged glances before Minseok gave me over to Jongdae. 

"We'll meet you guys at the lot." Minseok suddenly announced, as the rest of the mafia continued to converse in the foyer. I felt my eyes sting as Jongdae took me outside and pulled me into a dark vehicle with him. Minseok got in the drivers seat as Jongdae and I sat in the passenger seat. 

I leaned my head against the window and tried to hide my face from Jongdae as Minseok started the car quietly. Jongdae placed a hand on my arm, and I flinched, pushing him away as I felt my heart sink deeper and my eyes burn with the oncoming flood of tears. Everything decided to come at me all at once. All the emotions I had been holding inside the entire day. My mind was just waiting to crash and burn.

"Y/N..." Minseok said gently as he drove, definitely suspecting something now.

My hands began to shake at the oncoming panic attack as I felt my breathing become more erratic and uncontrollable. I began to choke on my sobs as I struggled to breathe, my vision blurred from all of the tears in my eyes. Jongdae quickly pulled me away from the window and placed his hands on my shoulders as he stared into my blood-shot eyes. 

"Y/N, please don't cry..." Minseok spoke again from the drivers seat.

"Dude, I think she's having a panic attack..."  Jongdae said quickly a wave of realization washing over his face as he held my shoulders tightly while all of my crying continued to twist and toy with the pain in my chest. 

"What?"  Minseok exclaimed with concern.

I can't stop crying, my entire body feeling completely detached from my mind as it just began to react on its own. My insides turned and my throat grew heavier and heavier until the passage of air felt too small to inhale and exhale regularly. My body began to resort to shorter, more quicker breaths as my throat rasped through all of the crying. 

"D-Do something, Jongdae!"  Minseok said frantically, his eyes continuously checking me through the rear view mirror.

"Hey, come on..."  Jongdae said shakily, pulling me close to his chest and smoothing his hand across the surface of my back, "Just breathe...breathe with me, come on..." 

Jongdae began to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly into my ear. Although my senses were scrambled, my hearing was still intact and I listened to the rhythm of his breaths, mimicking them with my own. I followed his pattern until I slowly began to find my own rhythm. He continued to smooth circles on my back as my crying subsided and I was focused more on controlling my breathing. 

I wrapped my arms around him and pulled myself closer to him, wanting to feel the beat of his heart against mine as my heart throbbed from all of the trauma. I began to slow down my breathing, the tears still falling from my eyes as he whispered sweet nothings into my ear:

"Keep breathing, baby..." He said softly, "I'm here...I'm here with you...

When my breathing was fairly steady, I pulled away slowly and rubbed my eyes. My hands were still shaking, but he grabbed them and pulled me closer to lean on him. I felt the lump in my throat subside as I panted, still trying to get my pulse back to normal pace:

"I'm sorry..."  I said, "I'm so sorry..."

"Shhhh...."  He whispered, as he pulled my head to rest on his chest while he wrapped an arm around me. 

I buried my face into his shirt and cried quietly, as he held me closer to him, 

"How far are we, Minseok?" 

"A few miles,"  Minseok breathed with slight relief, "how is she?"

Jongdae sighed and ran his fingers gently through my hair, 

"She'll be okay..."

Chapter Text

I open my eyes slowly to find Jongdae shaking my shoulders. His face is blurry but becomes more clear as I sit up and rub my eyes. He stares at me with a faint smile:

"You have to wake up now, princess." 

My head aches as I look over Jongdae's shoulder to see about six other sports cars parked around the one I was in. The mafia members were scattered around, some sitting on the hoods of the cars while others stood around. The area was empty aside from the group, but there were stadium lights that illuminated the darkening sky and a private jet right in the center of the lot. I felt myself stumble as I stepped out of the vehicle, feeling Jongdae's hand on my arm quickly steadying me, but I was way too dizzy and sleepy to even stand. 

"Here, I got her..."  Minseok mumbled to him, as I suddenly felt myself being scooped up into his arms and carried down the lot. He smelled like peppermints.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and rested my head on his shoulder, letting my eyes close as he took me up the flight of stairs which lead up to the private jet that was parked in the center of the large empty lot. 

"Just stay here, I'll be back in a few minutes..."  Minseok whispered to me as he placed a blanket over me and left quickly before I could say or do anything.

I sighed and gave in to the warmth of the blanket and the comfortable cushioned seat. I shut my eyes once more and let myself drift off.

However, I did not really get much time to sleep as the turbulence of the jet completely shook me out of my dreams. I gasped, sitting up as the plane vibrated gently, indicating takeoff. I looked around to see the nine of them sitting comfortably, some asleep and some playing on their phones. Nobody seemed to notice I had awoken yet, until my arm accidentally brushed the person beside me:

"Oh..."  He yawned, sitting up slightly and turning his head to look at me with tired eyes, "hey."

Jongdae. 

"Don't worry..." He whispered, rubbing his eyes tiredly "Minseok and I didn't tell anyone."

I felt a faint blush creep up my cheeks as I realized I had somehow almost forgotten what went down on the way here. I sigh heavily and cover my face with my hands, not really knowing what to say:

"Thank you." 

"Does it happen a lot?" He suddenly asks, making me move my hands away from my face to look at him, "Do you panic a lot?"

I bite my lip and think for a moment. Panic attacks were kind of a mystery to me. Sometimes they would occur so abruptly that I would mistake them for just crying.

"I don't know..." I mumble honestly, "but I've never lost my breath like that before. I think it's because..." I look into his eyes as he watches me carefully, "I killed people."

He is quiet for a moment, averting his eyes to his lap quickly as his brows furrowed, deep in thought. I watched him silently, my hands feeling cold with the shotgun still in my hands. 

"You want me to tell the others not to bring it up anymore?"  He asked suddenly, turning his head to look at me. 

I thought for a moment, before shaking my head:

"There's no point." I said emptily, not wanting to believe the words that were about to come out of my mouth, "If I'm with you guys I'll probably have to do it again. There's no point crying over something that might repeat." 

His lips parted slightly, his eyes widening with surprise. 

I was about to say something when I suddenly heard Chanyeol call Jongdae over to the back of the jet where the mini alcohol bar was. Jongdae got up from his seat, but glanced at me one last time before walking over to Chanyeol to laugh about some joke. 

My head still ached a bit from the panic attack so I lied back in my seat, turning my head to look out the window. I wonder where we're going. I wonder how far I am from home, 

Where my mother might be.

"Hi."  I hear someone say softly.

I turn my head to see that the kind man named Yixing had sat down in the empty seat beside me. He was looking at me with his eyes sparkling and a faint smile on his lips.

"Hi..." I look down and sigh, finding it hard to look at him, knowing he was the one to see me kill someone for the first time. 

He then takes my hand gently into his and holds it warmly, tilting his head down to meet my eyes again:

"You know, I never got to thank you"  He said gently, brushing his thumb over my knuckles "for saving my life." 

I felt my heart skip a beat at the sudden gesture, and I looked up into his eyes to notice his smile only grow into a shitty little grin. I snatched my hand away from his grip and glared at him,

"I don't want to talk about it." I said firmly, turning my head to look out the window as my heart continued to race. Just what was he playing at? Was he really trying to flirt right now? I would have never expected this from the man who seemed so kind and humble...

He brought his fingers to my chin and gently turned my face so that I could meet his eyes. He smirked faintly and licked his lips, leaning dangerously close to my mouth. 

I pressed the tip of the shotgun that was still in my hand against his waist and watched as his eyes widened.

"Go on..." I teased, "kiss me." 

Sure I was pissed off, but I wasn't really gonna do it. I would have like twenty thousand panic attacks if I actually shot him. I was just playing around...

Wait.

What is happening to me?

"Woah, woah, woah..." He said quickly, with a nervous laugh, "I-I was just kidding!

The man named Yixing quickly got up and ran away from me, making me suddenly reflect upon my sudden behavior and set the gun on my lap. My head was spinning and I was losing all sense of who I was. I literally just threatened someone's life for trying to kiss me. 

And I could hear Jongdae's snickering as he walked over and took his seat back beside me, a glass of liquor in his hand now as he looked over at me and smiled:

"Some guys are taking shots back there if you wanna join.

I lied my head back against the seat and turned to look at him again, taking in his surprisingly gentle features. My eyes liked to be glued on him when he was nearby, as I found him exceptionally pleasant to look at. My gaze traveled down from his eyes to his jaw, and even to the blunt Adam's apple that bobbed up and down when he took a sip of the poison in his crystal glass. 

My feet felt cold as I stared at him, the air suddenly feeling malicious between us as he spoke again:

"I have something I want to ask you..."

He set his glass down and met my gaze with a faint twinkle in his eyes, his lips pressed in a straight line until he finally let them part slightly to lick his bottom lip:

"Are you scared of me?" 

I could tell instantly from his words that he had some sort of superiority complex. That he liked being the one to see me vulnerable and knowing that I had crumbled beneath him, even if he had been there to help me with my panic attack. Even if he had pulled me close and whispered sweet things into my ear to help me control my breathing. I could feel the electric sparks radiating off of his body at how enthralled he was with having my eyes looking at him like this. At how much he loved how I was checking him out despite my mental stability and raging mind that was on the brink of insanity. 

But before I could reply, Minseok walked over with a faint smile playing his lips as he leaned against Jongdae's seat:

"How are you feeling?"

If Jongdae was confusing- ten Minseok was tenfold. There was something about his eyes that made me uneasy, whether it be the narrowed glance or little specks of glitter that were around his eyelashes, my stomach twisted to knots when he looked at me. I remember his expression being the most stoic after the bloodbath, his hands stained crimson as he drove fast through the highway. But his palms were clean now, almost white, as his glacial touch found its way into my mind. He was cold. Every glance inhabiting subzero temperatures that ensued chattering teeth and frozen feet. 

"I think she's afraid of me, hyung..."  Jongdae suddenly whined, making me break my gaze on Minseok to look at his teasing smile. 

"Oh?"  Minseok's lips formed a playful 'o' as he snapped his head to glance down at his friend. 

Jongdae nodded, softening his eyes in an attempt at pretentious sadness. He stood up from his seat and downed his drink completely, before walking away to get a refill. Minseok stood where he was, half of his body leaned against Jongdae's empty seat beside me while his eyes studied me carefully. I felt my temperature drop under his gaze. 

I stood up too quickly, stumbling slightly from the headache that still had my head spinning. But Minseok's hand had already found its way carefully around my arm, and I shivered steadying my feet flat onto the ground.

He suddenly locked his arm securely into mine, helping me walk out of the seat and onto the aisle of the plane. We walked carefully, each step irrationally slow and the grip intimate, as if I was walking down the aisle on my wedding day towards my father.

But I was just walking down the mafia's private jet, towards the bathroom. 

When we reached the door, Minseok removed his arm from mine and placed his hand at the small of my back as he looked over at me once,

"Do you need me to come in there with you?"  He asked, his tone so sarcastic that it could be mistaken for concern. 

Shaking my head quickly, I find myself pressing my lips into a horrible excuse for a smile before I push my way into the bathroom.

I close the door behind me and violently lunge myself at the toilet to vomit.

Chapter Text

"Hey guys..."  I hear Baekhyun's voice from outside the bathroom, "I think she's sick!" 

I groan, flushing the toilet as I stand up and coughing violently while making my way over to rinse my mouth in the sink. I splash some of the cold water onto my face and almost jump upon how pale and hideous I appear in the mirror. My stomach turns and I groan again, hearing the guys outside talk about how long I was taking the bathroom. 

My legs feel weak as I finally manage to somehow stumble out of the bathroom, desperately attempting to make my way back to my seat as quickly as possible, feeling everyone's eyes on me as I ignored them and just trudged down carefully, so as to not trip on my own feet. 

When I arrived at my seat I was horrified to find Minseok sleeping there with Jongdae's head rested on his shoulder. The scene could have been heart warming if I wasn't in so much pain. But my headache only pounded harder as I turned around quickly and searched for any other empty seat. The guys were all scattered around the plane, so finding a place to lie down would be kind of difficult without being awkward. 

After a few seconds of glancing around, I decide to just not give a shit as I lunge myself into the nearest empty seat around me, the pain in my stomach draining all the hesitance I had left as I plopped myself down next to the man named Sehun, who groaned as a reaction to my blunt move:

"Yah!" He complained, yanking one of his earphones out to protest at me.

"Be nice, Sehun..."  Joonmyun sighed, from the seat behind us as I turned my body to look back at him.

"B-Boss..." I groaned, the pain in my stomach tightening as I secured an arm around myself, "I don't feel so good..."

"Oh my god." Sehun exclaimed, not wanting to get thrown up on as he quickly stood up and moved away from me. 

Joonmyun stood up and switched seats with Sehun. He sat down next to me and brought a blanket over my shoulders. I groaned again when my stomach twisted suddenly. He handed me some water and what looked to be a painkiller that I took perhaps a little too quickly. My headache began to die down a little, as the water felt just as refreshing. 

He then tapped his shoulder, gesturing for me to rest my head against him. I hesitated slightly but I was in too much pain to object as I lied my head back against his chest. Joonmyun wrapped an arm around me and secured the blanket tighter around my shoulders:

"Just try to sleep. We're almost there. I'll buy you something good to eat later."  

The 'painkiller' had significantly decreased my pain miraculously within the next few minutes, as I also felt extra drowsy. My eyes traveled up to Joonmyun's soft features while he was playing some game on his phone. I mumbled something about what the fuck he had drugged me with but he just shushed me and I passed out. 

To call the palace that I had awoken in magnificent would be the understatement of the year. I had just barely opened my eyes and gotten a glimpse of the room- but I already knew I was in some chateau. I could tell from the windows lined with gold and the biblical oil panting of naked angels on the ceiling. 

I shift slightly on the bed they had placed me in. My hands burned at the touch of the silky lavender bed sheets below me as I sat up slowly. I rubbed my eyes and took in the entirety of the gigantic room, my mind swirling around with thoughts of how much bigger the rest of the house probably was if this was just the bedroom.

My headache had thankfully subsided as I quickly got off the bed and made my way to look out the window to see what time of day it was. However, upon standing I realized that I was still wearing Jongin's pajamas, still blood-stained from the ambush. I cringe and immediately take them off of my body, running into the bathroom of this bedroom and hopping quickly into the shower.

When I finished cleaning up, there were no clothes for me to wear except for a silver, over-sized men's robe that lay on the edge of the bed, folded neatly. I pick it up and slip myself inside of the thin cloth, adjusting the belt around my waist and tightening it enough to keep the fabric from slipping. I open the door to step out into a large corridor that was pitch black. My body tenses up as I walk down the dark hallway. There were no lights, and only windows but it was night and too dark to see anything. All I could do was keep walking and hope that nothing would jump out and swallow me whole. 

I continue in the darkness for about a minute until I finally see some light at the end of the hall. I walk a bit faster towards it and notice that there are a large set of stairs that lead down to a foyer of some sort, very similar to the old place we were at. I walk down the stairs and into the dimly lit foyer, lined with colossal columns and roman statues at every corner. 

To be honest, I don't know how they did it. How they got their hands on so much money and gold and expensive real estate. All I knew is that they were never satisfied. That's how all mafia were. Greedy even while bathing in blood and gold.

I can hear some of the members talking and I follow their voices, walking around until I stumble upon the lounge they were all sitting at. I tighten my robe around my body nervously as I walk towards them, taking slow careful steps into the room where they all sat as a collective group. Their heads turned upon hearing me enter, and I felt my stomach drop at how I was just wearing a men's robe.

"Umm..." I bite my lip and let my eyes rest on Joonmyun, their leader: "Can I have some clothes?"

He quickly pushed himself off of the lounge chair, his cheeks peppered pink as he pushed me out of the room and over to the side. His hands caught my elbows and he looked at me with a gentle expression:

"I told you to stay in your room."

"What? When?" I squint at him, feeling the cold air slither its way under the robe and onto the surface of my skin as my body tensed up, "Where am I? What country is this?"  I glanced around, suddenly curious as I wrapped my arms around myself. 

Joonmyun looked irritated as he glanced back at the members who were all staring at us. He took me by my arm and pulled me farther away, behind the set of stairs so that we were unseen. He looked down at me, the color still on his cheeks:

"Look, Y/N..." He sighed, "you can't just walk around like this-"

"Then get me some clothes."  I sounded more confident than I actually was.

Joonmyun bit his lip and looked at me like I was a disobedient child. I stared at him, waiting for a reply when suddenly we both heard footsteps. We turned our heads to see that it was just Jongin, walking around the stairs as he approached us. He came up to me, completely ignoring his boss:

"Hey, I have extra pajamas if you want them." He said casually, looking at me like he would look at any other guy, "You might get cold like that."

My lips curled into a relieved smile as I nodded, "Please." 

"Okay, gimme a sec" He said, before running off.

"Y/N."  Joonmyun said, making me avert my eyes back to him,

"Yes, boss?" 

He sighed and shook his head, face palming:

"N-Nevermind..."

Jongin came back a few minutes later with one of his pajama sets. He handed it to me and I thanked him as I quickly made my way back down the hall and to the bedroom I had awoken in. I shut the door and locked it before slipping out of the robe and into Jongin's pajamas. Satisfied with how I looked, I decided to head back down the stairs.

However, as I was running down the stairs I felt something strange touch the bottom of my foot. I stopped in my steps and curiously bent down to pick it up. My head spun when I found out what it was. My heart sunk and my cheeks burned. But more than anything, I was angry.

Red-faced, I grabbed my bra off of the floor and stormed back into my room. 

I lied down on my bed and pulled the blanket over myself as I wondered which one of those fuckers it was. I felt my stomach hurt again, but this time because of how damn humiliating it was. Who the fuck tried to steal it from me? Why? Was one of them a pervert or were they all like that? Did they leave it there purposefully to mess with me? I bury my face into my pillow and scream into it with frustration. 

"Y/N..." I hear someone's voice call from my door, interrupting my angry outburst.

I sit up to see that it is Baekhyun, now dressed in his pajamas and staring at me with tired eyes, his hair slightly disheveled:

"Y/N..."  He whines again like a child.

I hide the bra under my pillow quickly:

"W-What..." I reply, flustered.

"I want to sleep with you again." 

"What?" 

"I didn't get any sleep on the plane..." He says, as he slowly climbs into the bed with me, "pleeease, Y/N..." 

I sigh and give in, too exhausted with the day to argue with him. He climbs under the blanket with me and I sit up slightly to turn off the crystal bedside lamp with a sigh. I lie my head back down on the pillow and close my eyes, willing myself to sleep even though I had slept plenty on the plane. I just want to sleep off my anger. 

But before I can even begin to relax my body, I feel Baekhyun's arms slowly wrap around my waist. My eyes pop open and I turn my head slightly to look back at him. He keeps his eyes closed and starts snoring dramatically.

"Baekhyun..." I complain, placing my hands on his arms to move them away from me, but he only pulls me closer to his body with a little laugh.

"Come on..."  He breathed into my hair, "you were okay with it last time..."

"I don't even know you..."  I complained, tightening my grip on his hands.

"So...?"  He whispered, moving his hands under the nightshirt I was wearing.

"S-Stop!"  I stuttered, my heart racing when his cold palm pressed against my skin. 

"Why...?"  He mumbled tiredly.

"This is..." I swallowed dryly, "This is Jongin's shirt..." 

"The hell..." He laughed, "no wonder you smell like chicken."

I know it wasn't appropriate but I was suddenly laughing a little too hard into the pillow as Baekhyun giggled into my hair and just started talking crap about everyone. 

"You know Joonmyun liked this girl online once and then when he met her she was like twelve..."  Baekhyun said, tracing small circles onto my waist as I laughed again. 

"Minseok tried to kiss Chanyeol one time when he was drunk..."

"If you watch closely, Joonmyun eats like he has lipstick on..."

"Sehun tried his dog's food last Christmas..."

Baekhyun was full of tea and secrets, and he was not hesitating to spill anything as he told me all about the members. By the end of the hour, I was too tired from laughing and my body had shifted at some point so he could show me the funny pictures on his phone.

"Look, this is when we were out shopping for shoes..." He said, showing me his phone screen, "fucking Jongdae would not stop flirting with this drag queen that he genuinely thought was a girl, it was driving us crazy"  Baekhyun laughed, making me turn back around and laugh into the pillow hysterically.

"Baekhyun stopppp..." I giggled into the pillow, as he shut his phone off and wrapped his arms around my waist again, pulling me into his chest playfully.

"I can't, you have such a pretty laugh~"  He smirked.

"Now I can't sleep with those images of everyone in my head..."  I whined.

"Shhh..."  He chuckled, "I'll make you sleep..."  His lips brushed against the back of my neck, making my heart race. 

He began to place little kisses along my jaw, as I groaned and sunk my face deeper into the pillow with embarrassment. He sat up a little and leaned closer, kissing the side of my face in an attempt to ultimately reach my lips- but I kept dodging him. 

"Come on, Y/N..."  He said slowly, moving his hands under my shirt again, "let's have sex." 

"WHAT?!"  I suddenly lifted my head from the pillow.

He fell backwards laughing, letting go of me completely as he was breathless from my reaction. 

"Why don't you go ask Jongin, huh? Since his pajamas are such a turn on for you..." I grumble, pulling the blanket over my body as I turn around and shut my eyes, trying to sleep for the millionth time.

"Noooo..."  Baekhyun whines playfully, snaking his hands under the blanket to tickle me.

I gasp and push him off of the bed. He rolls off and hits the floor, still laughing.

It's gonna be a long night. 

 

Chapter Text

"Hey..." 

".........."

"Baekhyun...! Baekhyun wake up!"

I shift uncomfortably as I hear someone whisper for Baekhyun to wake up. At some point during the night we had both fallen asleep with each other, his arms tightly wound around my waist. I rub my eyes and turn when I feel him let go of me, to sit up slowly and respond to the voice that was calling for him in the ungodly hours of the night:

"What do you want, Chanyeol? It's like two in the fucking morning..."

"Dude I swear to god I heard screaming in the fucking halls."  Chanyeol whispered to him.

"Screaming? Like a ghost?"  Baekhyun sighed, wrapping his arms around me as he mumbled to Chanyeol "Fuck off man, I'm trying to sleep..."

"Listen! You can hear it again- listen..."  Chanyeol whispered, as Baekhyun went quiet.

I was half-asleep but I could hear their conversation and when I paused to listen to the noise Chanyeol was talking about- I could hear it too. Faintly, in the distance, there was a screeching that sounded vaguely human. I felt shivers go up my spine.

"What the hell..."  Baekhyun sounded more awake now as he heard it. My head spun slightly as I sat up slowly and looked at them both.

"Did you hear it too?"  Chanyeol whispered to me.

I nodded, still drowsy.

Baekhyun grabbed his gun from the bedside table and loaded it as he tiredly got off of the bed and approached the door with Chanyeol close behind him. I watched them, bringing the blanket closer to my body as goosebumps ran up and down my arms.

"The fuck is that sound?"  Baekhyun commented, as he slowly opened the door and glanced out into the hall.

"Do you see anything?" Chanyeol asked, leaning to look over Baekyun's shoulder. 

Baekhyun's eyes narrowed as the screaming resonated down the entire hall. He tensed up, his shoulders stiffening as he turned his head to look at Chanyeol who had paled:

"You hear it right?"  He asked his taller friend, who nodded slowly.

"Yea, but where is it coming from?" Chanyeol mumbled with the irritation in his voice rising.

I pushed the blanket off of myself and got up from the mattress. I walked over to them slowly, hearing the screaming sound clearer now as I stood next to them. The noise was loud and sounded as if it was right in front of us, but there was nothing really there. I brushed past Baekhyun to step out into the corridor, but he grabbed my arm and stopped me:

"Don't. You might get hurt."  He said, looking into my eyes as I nodded and just stood by him and Chanyeol as we listened to the sound for a few more minutes.

Suddenly the sound grew louder and Chanyeol panicked, pushing us back in the room and closing the door behind him:

"I think we should just stay in here."  He said, his eyes blown out wide as Baekhyun and I were at a complete loss for words to explain what that could possibly be.

Baekhyun swallowed and ran a hand through his hair, looking back and forth between me and Chanyeol worriedly:

"Do you guys think it's a ghost?"

Chanyeol hit his arm:

"Now's not the time for fucking jokes, man." 

"Explain what just happened then!" 

There were loud footsteps suddenly approaching us from the other side of the door. Chanyeol and Baekhyun's bickering ended faster than it began as their eyes widened and they aimed their guns at the door. I felt my heart race as I hid behind Chanyeol, gripping the back of his shirt and closing my eyes tightly at the sound of heavy running in the corridor.

The footsteps were painfully loud and heavy, but they stopped right at the door we were behind. Chanyeol and Baekhyun were frozen in shock as they gulped and kept their guns pointed at the only entrance.

But alas, the door was swung open to reveal a breathless Jongdae, still in his pajamas with a revolver in his hands as he stumbled inside the room:

"Close..."  He breathed, gesturing to the door with his gun "close the door..."

Chanyeol quickly ran over and shut the door again, this time locking it as Baekhyun and I went over to see if Jongdae was okay.

"There's something in that hallway..."  He told us, clearing his throat. 

"What?!"  Chanyeol exclaimed.

"What did it look like?"  Baekhyun asked.

Jongdae tried to compose himself as he shook his head quickly:

"It's invisible." 

Baekhyun and Chanyeol exchanged nervous glances with me as my throat suddenly went dry. We all got quiet as we tried to process Jongdae's words and how terrified he looked. His face was pale and his breathing erratic.

"Are you sure you didn't see anything?"  I asked softly, averting my gaze to him.

Jongdae looked and me and started whining:

"Yahh~ why would I lie, huh? I ran down the entire hallway to get here and I didn't see anything!" 

"But you heard it?"  Baekhyun asked nervously.

Jongdae nodded and Chanyeol suddenly started to freak out and pace around the room:

"What are we gonna do?"  He asked worriedly, as he ran a hand through his hair, "What if it gets us?" 

"Come on, ghosts aren't real..."  I nudged Baekhyun and laughed nervously,  "Y-You're mafia! You can take down anything..."  but he just looked at me with a look of horror as the screaming sounded throughout the halls again

"How are we supposed to take down something invisible!"  Jongdae whined, as Chanyeol and Baekhyun agreed with him. 

My heart sunk as I too was beginning to grow more anxious at the unknown sound that was resonating the halls. Jongdae suddenly climbed into the bed and Baekhyun grabbed my arm, taking me there with him. We climbed onto the bed and pulled the blanket over our heads, Baekhyun wrapping his arms around me as his body trembled behind me from the eerie noises outside. Chanyeol grabbed a fluffy throw blanket and wrapped it around himself as he joined Jongdae at the end of the bed. 

It was quite a pathetic sight for full-grown adults. 

"It's getting quieter and then louder again..."  Chanyeol whispered to us. 

Baekhyun pulled me closer to him and rested his chin on my shoulder as he spooned me from behind. Chanyeol and Jongdae began to notice, Chanyeol's eyes widening. 

"What are you guys doing?"  Jongdae quirked an eyebrow at me.

I shook my head as a blush crept up my cheeks.

"What? I'm just keeping her safe..."  Baekhyun said smoothly, as he stared at both Jongdae and Chanyeol.

"Baekhyun..."  Chanyeol's voice held a quiet kind of warning, "she belongs to boss." 

"She doesn't belong to anyone."  Baekhyun snapped back, lifting his chin from my shoulder to shoot a glare towards Chanyeol who held his hands up in surrender:

"Alright, alright... jeez..." 

"Wait- guys, shut up..."  Jongdae shushed them, as he listened closely "it just stopped all of a sudden." 

We all listened in to the sudden silence with Jongdae as our hearts began to race. Chanyeol was the first to speak, whispering timidly:

"Is it gone?"

Baekhyun and Chanyeol both looked at Jongdae:

"Hyung- go check, you're the eldest."  Baekhyun suddenly said.

"What? Hell no!"  Jongdae exclaimed, shaking his head quickly.

"Go, hyung..."  Chanyeol nagged at Jongdae until he finally gave in and stood from the bed nervously, tiptoeing towards the closed door with his gun held tightly in his hands. 

The air in the room suddenly felt cold as we all sat in silence, watching Jongdae inch closer and closer to the door, the anticipation eating us alive. 

Jongdae slowly placed his hands on the doorknob and twisted it gently, pushing it open. The door creaked with a high pitch as I felt Baekhyun pull me closer to him, tightening his arms around me. Chanyeol scooted closer and built a pillow fort in front of us, not that it helped the situation. 

Suddenly, gunshots were heard loud and clear, sounding all throughout the halls before Jongdae could step out. 

"Jongdae close the door!"  Chanyeol called out to him, but he shook his head as he waited for the gunshots to die down before turning to us.

"What if it's one of the guys?"  He bit his lip, "I have to go check. You guys wait here, I'll be back in five minutes."  He ran out into the hall, closing the door behind him. 

My heart sank. 

"We can't just let him go..."  I protested, turning slightly to look at Baekhyun who was still hugging me from behind.

His eyes met mine as he shook his head:

"He'll be fine..."  Baekhyun sighed, "If he's not back in ten minutes I'm going after him."  He looked at Chanyeol, who nodded quietly.

The elusive screaming sound didn't start up again as the tense silence encompassed the entire house with its weight. Thirty minutes went by of us just sitting there, unable to sleep at all. Baekhyun's arms were probably sore from holding me, but he didn't move a muscle. None of us did until the ten minutes went by and Baekhyun just couldn't take it any longer:

"I have to go look for him." 

"Baekhyun-"  I tried to stop him, as he unwrapped his arms from around me and got off the bed.

"He could be hurt..."  Baekhyun said sincerely, as he grabbed his gun and began loading it. His eyes then rested on Chanyeol "stay with her." 

Chanyeol just watched him as he left quickly through the door to disappear into the hall. The air suddenly felt tense and heavy. The confusing situation made it harder and harder to breathe. I swallowed down a dry lump in my throat and averted my gaze to Chanyeol.

He turned his head to look at me. I could tell from his expression he was just as worried for his friend as I was. 

"He'll be okay."  I said not very confidently.

I wasn't sure if I was trying to reassure him or myself.

But the minutes flew by too fast. The clock ticked at an agonizingly quick pace, as an hour went by and Baekhyun still wasn't back. The silence was heavier now, radiating mysterious quietness as the air became too thick. Chanyeol couldn't take it anymore, and I neither could I. He shot me a glance before getting off the bed and crouching down. He reached under the bed frame and pulled out two jet-black machine guns. My eyes widened as he stood back up and approached me, handing me one of the guns.

I looked at him but he cast his glance to his gun. I wanted mixed emotions. I wanted indecisiveness to help me protest what we were about to do. But I couldn't find it in me. My legs moved off the bed as I stood next to him and slowly held the gun in shooting position, aiming for the wall. I wanted to get a feel for the weapon. I wanted to be comfortable with it.

In case I had to use it. 

He froze briefly, before reaching over my shoulder from behind me to perfect my position. I adjusted my arm and tilted my head slightly as he helped me fix my posture. 

"It's light."  He finally spoke, to which I turned my head and met his fiery gaze "It's light, but when you start shooting it becomes harder to grip, so you have to hold the bottom."  He explains, gently taking my hand and moving it to grip the bottom part of the gun. 

I nod slowly and he lets go of me, grabbing his own gun and making his way towards the door. I followed close behind him, as he waited a few moments before slowly opening the door so we could step out into the corridor.

The temperature dropped significantly as we walked out of the room. Chanyeol turned to look at me, his glance speaking volumes. It was freezing.

He took slow and quiet steps, as the wind howled violently outside and owls hummed eerily in the distance. My shoulders tensed as a shiver ran up my spine, my arm numb with goosebumps as we continued down the glacial, dark and narrow path. 

I begin to think of how I ended up in this situation. How I ended up with this guy, and a machine gun in my hands, walking down a spooky corridor with nothing else on my mind, no other care in the world. I feel like I'm living a dream but I cannot make sense of it, and whether or not it is a nightmare. 

Suddenly, Chanyeol extended an arm out to stop me from walking. My mind was elsewhere, so I jumped a bit when he stopped me. I looked at his face first, only to see him pale, eyes blown out wide and gazing ominously in front of him. I gulped and averted my gaze to see what he was staring at with such trepidation.

Low and behold, at the end of the corridor lied a dark figure. Contorted in shape in form, like a dark shadow. But it was beaming with intensity, a vibrant sort of black  that left the eyes a gaping void upon one glance. My chest tightened and I looked back at Chanyeol, who's hand had by then already moved over to grab my arm with that same death grip from when we first met. 

His breath hitched. He turned around with one swift move and ran the other way, pulling me with him as I stumbled on my own steps. 

Chapter Text

My mind was rushing faster than my feet.

I could not land my focus on a single thought, as a wave of endless questions plagued my head.  What was that thing? Why was it here? Where are the others?

"Y/N!"  Chanyeol's alarmed voice rings through my ears and snaps me out of my own thoughts, as I feel something cold press against my palms. I blink rapidly and look down, realizing only now that I had stumbled over my steps and fallen hard onto the freezing floor.

My knees ache painfully as I try to stand back up, failing miserably. Chanyeol hurries over to me and grabs my elbows to help me up but I am too much pain to continue the same pace of running I had before. I limp behind him as he holds my hand, pulling me down the corridor with him, his grip deadly and desperate just like the first time we met. We run down the hall for a few seconds, my legs threatening to betray me any second now as I turn my head and watch the dark mist follow us like a looming shadow.

Chanyeol tries to run faster but is slowed down by my injury and the painful dragging of my feet. The bruises were probably forming at my knees by now, my head spinning with confusion as Chanyeol suddenly stops, breathless. He looks at my limping form and bites his lip with frustration, the sweat gathering at his temples as the shadow approaches us, closer and closer with each passing, feverish second.

With a quick move, I felt my legs being lifted off of the floor as Chanyeol had scooped me up in his arms before I could even comprehend his intentions. I look behind his shoulders to watch the shadow that continues to pursue us, only- it's not really just a shadow.

The figure of a man suddenly becomes clear.

My eyes widen and my heart races. Chanyeol is still running for his life as I grip his shoulder with one hand and my machine gun with the other. I let my weapon hover just over his shoulder as I aim carefully for the figure that was chasing us.

"W-What are you doing?"  He asks, panting as he continues to run.

"It's a person..."  Is all I can manage to say, as I swallow dryly and pull the trigger that releases dozens of bullets at the figure behind us. The gun vibrates in my hand violently, and I have to tighten my grip to keep control.

The machine gun is loud, rumbling my eardrums uncomfortably as I wince and continue to pull the trigger, letting each and every bullet swim out and strike whatever was chasing us. The figure of a man stumbles slightly when I start shooting at him, but he does not let up as he continues to follow us.

It is the sharp pain in my arm that makes me realize the bastard also has a gun.

My machine gun completely slips from my hand as my upper arm is suddenly hit with a crumbling stab, a perpetual pain that digs into my flesh and pierces my entire being. I scream, my eyes burning as if a flame had been struck right through me.

"Shit!" Chanyeol curses, as he continues to run, "We're almost there, you can make it..."  he tries to reassure me, but it does nothing to ease the pain of the bullet sinking into my flesh.

The figure disperses back into the thick fog that suddenly slows down and stops following us. Chanyeol runs into the last bedroom at the end of the large corridor and pushes the door open. My breathing is erratic as he hurries me over and sets me down the bed. I shake violently, my breath catching in my throat as the bullet in my arm throbs inside the thick walls of my flesh.

I stare at the ceiling as my eyes blur from all of the tears that rolled shamelessly down my cheeks. Chanyeol shuts the door and moves over to search the closet. He rips a piece of cloth and hurriedly brings it over, lifting my arm onto a pillow and wrapping the thick piece of cloth tightly around my wound to stop the bleeding. But the bullet was still in my arm, which meant the pain was still there.

"You're gonna be okay..."  He says shakily, the sweat gathered along his temples as he stared down at me with his pupils blown out wide "j-just hold on..."

I make a noise of pain as I struggle to stay still and control my breathing. He tries to comfort me with gentle words, his trembling hand stroking my hair for a few moments before the door was forced open:

"What the fuck happened?"

Minseok suddenly runs inside the room with Jongdae and Baekhyun behind him. I am relieved to see all of them unhurt but the overwhelming pain keeps me from doing anything but crying and breathing erratically.

"Oh my fucking god..."  Baekhyun's gun falls out of his hand as he runs over to me.

His eyes twitch slightly with anger and disbelief, as his hand finds my face. He brushes his thumb along my cheek, wiping my tears away slowly, "what happened, baby girl?" He asks gently, his expression softening.

But Baekhyun turned away suddenly, his jaw tightening as he faced Chanyeol with fuming anger. His voice became deep and malicious:

"Who the fuck did this?"  He asked through gritted teeth, "I told you to keep her safe- how the fuck did this even happen?!"

Chanyeol's face twisted with irritation and frustration, "We were being chased, man. He started shooting at us and he managed to get her."

"He? Who the fuck is He?" Baekhyun's raised his voice.

"How the fuck am I supposed to know?!" Chanyeol snapped back.

"Guys stop."  Jongdae finally interjected, as he walked over to me and glanced over at my current state with concern, "We have to find Yixing, the bullet can't be in her arm for too long." 

"Jongdae's right."  Minseok piped up, as he reloaded his gun quickly, "Someone come with me to go find him."

"I'll go."  Chanyeol said, deciding he had taken enough of Baekhyun's yelling as he quickly followed Minseok out of the room.

Baekhyun made a noise of frustration as he averted his attention back to me. His eyes instantly became gentler upon meeting mine.

"It hurts so much..." I say breathlessly, as my eyes grow wet again.

"I know, I know..."  Baekhyun replied quietly, gripping my hands comfortingly, "We're gonna fix you up soon though, okay? You'll be all better by tomorrow morning, and then we can cuddle again, yea?" He smiles reassuringly, his thumb caressing my knuckles.

Jongdae is quiet as he watches me, even though he's standing right beside Baekhyun. He looks at my wound with concern, his eyes glittering under the dim light:

"Did you see who it could have been?"

I tried to speak but my breath got caught in my throat for a second. The pain in my arm still hurt but slowly was becoming more bearable. I panted as I cleared my throat and sat up slowly:

"It was a man..."  I told him, as Baekhyun helped me sit up straighter without hurting my arm."The shadow behind him was a smoke grenade."

Baekhyun and Jongdae both exchanged glances of surprise, before Jongdae finally spoke up:

"Then what was that noise we all heard?"

I whined slightly as the bullet moved in my flesh, my body jolting slightly. I shook my head in reply, my breathing unsteady again, "I-I don't know..."

"We can question her later when there's not  a bullet stuck in her arm." Baekhyun told Jongdae with sarcasm.

Jongdae rolled his eyes and walked over to peek out of the door.

"Are they back yet?"  Baekhyun asked Jongdae, who was still peeking out into the corridor through the crack of the door.

"I don't think so. The hall is empty." Jongdae replied, as he shut the door and locked it.

"What about Jongin and Kyungsoo?" Baekhyun sighed, "I haven't seen them at all."

"I'm pretty sure I saw them shooting at something downstairs. I feel like we're being ambushed." 

"Again?"  I groaned.

Baekhyun and Jongdae laughed lightly, Baekhyun giving my hand a little squeeze as he smiled playfully:

"We're popular. We can't help it."

"But we just got here. What country is this anyway?"  I complain, Baekhyun's grip on my hand easing the pain of the bullet in my arm.

"Italy."  Jongdae said, as he walked over to my side to stand next to Baekhyun, "We have a lot of enemies everywhere. But none like this. They usually go all out. Not incognito..."

"They're nothing like what we've seen before."  Jongin suddenly pipes up as he stands by the door that nobody realized had been opened.

"Jongin," Jongdae leaves my side to approach him, as he walks into the room with Kyungsoo behind him. "Where have you two been?"

"Doing all the work while you guys hide up here."  Kyungsoo said, pissed off as his eyes lingered over Jongdae before finding me.

His expression suddenly softened upon the sight of me. Baekhyun's grip on my hand tightened, as he replied back with gritted teeth:

"She should have been your first priority."

Jongin set his gun down and walked over to my side quickly, Kyungsoo following him.

Baekhyun sighed and moved aside to let Jongin and Kyungsoo get a closer look at my condition. Jongin's eyes fixed on my arm as he stared quietly. Kyungsoo 's eyes held guilt and regret as he looked at me.

"What happened?"  Jongin finally asked.

"There weren't enough people protecting her."  Baekhyun said, clearly pissed off "That's what happened. Everyone went off on their own."

Kyungsoo sighed and turned to look at Jongdae :

"Get Yixing here, fast. He should be downstairs somewhere with Minseok and Chanyeol."

"But I sent Chanyeol and Minseok to get Yixing waaay before you two got here." Baekhyun said.

Kyungsoo and Baekhyun exchanged glances that were pale, as they both seemed suddenly uneasy. Jongin noticed the unsettling silence and met Kyungsoo's gaze.

"We have to go Baekhyun. Come with us, Jongdae." Kyungsoo said quickly, grabbing his gun.

"Jongin you stay with Y/N then."  Jongdae said, as he reloaded his gun.

 Baekhyun suddenly protested:

"But we're making the same mistake again, leaving her with only one person." 

"It doesn't matter, half of our group could be dead for all we know. We have to go." Kyungsoo said firmly to Baekhyun, as he threw a machine gun into his hands and began walking towards the door, "come on."

"I won't let anything happen to her."  Jongin reassured Baekhyun.

Baekhyun hesitated but finally gave in, cursing under his breath before he ran out of the room behind Kyungsoo and Jongdae.

The hours were going by too slow, the sound of gunshots lulling me as Jongin stayed by my side and tried to tell me something while my eyes grew heavy and I eventually gave in to sleep.

- - - 

When I open my eyes again, I am in a different bed again. A gold, linen robe secured tightly around my body as I lie on cerulean blue bedsheets with a crystal chandelier hanging over my head. The pillows beneath my head were white as snow, lined with decorative gold patterns and smelling like lavender. I prop myself up on my elbows, a headache encompassing my mind as I turn my head to inspect my arm which was, thankfully, not really in anymore pain- instead wrapped carefully with gauze. I wonder if they took the bullet out.

I curse under my breath as I get off the bed and tighten the robe around my body. My head spins as I try to adjust my footing. I push my way out through the gold door to reveal a large foyer, a lounge in the distance, where I see most of the guys sitting around and talking. 

My throat grows dry as sweat gathers at my temples. I need to get out of here. 

They all seem occupied with each other, as I attempt to slip by without being noticed. I take a route around the lounge, walking slowly down a little hall that leads to a door I hope is some sort of exit. I tiptoe my way over and grip the handle of the door, twisting it slightly before pushing it open slowly, so as not to make any noise. 

My headache still pulses loudly in my mind as I take a step inside the place I assumed to be an exit, instead finding Jongin shirtless as he was in the middle of changing into a black shirt. He paused when he turned his head and saw me try to enter the room. His shirt was already through his arms but not completely on yet. His eyes were more curious than surprised, as I froze and turned pale. I turned on my heel quickly and made a run for it. 

"Wait!" Jongin chased after me.

I didn't really know where my feet were taking me but I didn't get far before I bumped into the gentle giant, Chanyeol. He blinked rapidly as I ran into his chest. He froze and looked down at me, his eyes widened slightly:

"Y/N? How are you feel-" 

I pushed the giant out of my way violently and ran in a different direction. My head spun as my mind searched for alternative exits. I ran up a set of roman carpeted stairs as I heard footsteps running after me. My heart raced, I barged through the nearest bedroom. 

"Mm.."  Minseok grunted in his sleep, as he sat up and rubbed his eyes, "What are you doing here Y/N?"

I ignored him as I ran over to his bedside table and stole his gun, loading it hastily as I then moved over to open his windowsill. I peeked through it to see if I could make the jump down, when suddenly I heard Jongin and Chanyeol run into the room.

"Minseok, get her!"  Chanyeol yelled.

Minseok's eyes widened as he got up quickly from the bed, but by then I had already jumped out and landed on a pile of uncomfortable shrubs. I groaned as I composed myself and dug through the shrubs to grab the gun that had fallen out of my hand when I jumped. I gripped the gun and made a run for it through the backwoods behind the gigantic estate. 

"Not so fast."  My shoulders were suddenly grabbed to stop me from running as I panted breathlessly, "Where do you think you're going?"  Kyungsoo asked me, as he seemed to have been taking a walk in the woods.

"I have to get out of here..."  I panted, struggling under his grip as I attempted to get away from him "Let go of me!"

"Hold on, hold on..."  Kyungsoo said gently, although tightening his grip on my arms, "where are you gonna go? There's not a city in sight for another dozen miles." He said gently his eyes empathetic.

I groaned at the pain in my arm as he quickly let go of me:

"Sorry..."  He mumbled.

My mind raced at his words, my heart beating fast in my chest as I tried to figure out what I was gonna do next. He was right. I could run all I want but I wouldn't get anywhere. And just like that, my revolutionary resolve came to an abrupt end. I let the gun fall from my hands as I sighed and started to tear up. Kyungsoo sighed and took my hand carefully into his. He quietly led me out of the woods with him and took me back into the estate. 

"Kyungsoo! Have you seen-"  Junmyeon spoke hastily but froze when he noticed I was right there. 

"We need to talk. Gather everyone in the lounge for a meeting." Kyungsoo told Junmyeon, as he took me to the lounge and sat me down next to him on a sofa. 

I sat with my head held down in shame while the members slowly entered the room. Sehun and Jongdae took a seat on the sofas adjacent to mine while Chanyeol, and Minseok entered with slight irritation and stood with their arms crossed. Jongin took a seat next to Yixing, his expression still a little confused. Baekhyun walked in and sat himself down right next to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. Kyungsoo slapped his hand away and he pulled his arm off of me. The boss, Junmyeon, finally entered, clearing his throat:

"Kyungsoo wanted to say something to you all." 

There was an unsettling silence as everyone waited for Kyungsoo to speak. He stood up and faced everyone. I kept my head low, not wanting to look at anyone after what I had done. For some reason I felt pathetic. I felt guilt and regret. But most of all, I felt lost. I didn't know what to do...

"As most of you might know, Y/N tried to escape today." Kyungsoo said.

"What?"  Baekhyun's eyes widened as he looked at me, but I still kept my head down. 

"She pushed Chanyeol into a wall, stole Minseok's gun and jumped out of a window."  Junmyeon added, with a sigh. 

"Because she hates it here."  Chanyeol said bitterly, his arms still crossed. 

"And she hates us."  Minseok added. 

There was another pause of silence as the air in the room grew thicker and more uncomfortable. I couldn't really say anything in my defense as my heart sunk in my chest. For some reason I felt misunderstood. I was confused and began to regret what I had done. Such juvenile emotions overcame me. My decisions childish; my impulses youthful. 

"Do you know why?"  Kyungsoo finally asked the group, earning slight surprise from everyone. 

Because nobody really knew the answer. Not even me. 

Only Kyungsoo knew exactly how I was feeling. Better than I knew myself. And I had only known him for a few days. 

"Her father sold her off to us..."  Kyungsoo began, his tone stern and serious, grabbing the attention of everyone in the room "the one person she had in her life gave her away. To a bunch of strangers." 

Kyungsoo paused to run a hand through his hair before he continued:

"She comes to us and realizes it's nothing she was expecting. She finds out that we don't really want to hurt her or do anything stupid. But what is she supposed to feel now? Happy? Happy that her dad sold her off and she's not gonna get raped after all? " 

"We may be used to it, but how the hell is she supposed to sleep if she constantly thinks we're gonna be under attack? Constantly fearing for the life that she's not so sure she even wants anymore? Sure, we're nice to her- but does that make up for the fact that we put a gun in her hands? Does it make up for the fact that she was forced to kill someone?" 

"I'm sure you all remember the first person you killed. I sure as hell do. You know how it feels. You know how the image is in your mind for years after you did it, every time you close your eyes you see that person, that blood on your hands." 

"You think she doesn't see that?" 

"You think she knows what to feel? Because she doesn't. She's a fucking mess right now and half of it is our fault. So can we really blame her for trying to run away?  Can we really be so fucking selfish to be mad at her right now?"

Kyungsoo sighs, biting his lip as he moved his gaze to look at me:

"She's our chef. The least we can do is try to understand her situation." 

Chapter Text

"Thank you, Kyungsoo." I stand up from my seat, to face him.

The tears had already welled up in my eyes, as he had taken the thoughts straight out of my mind and put them perfectly into words. He had understood me and my situation from the beginning and was so careful and kind with me.

He looks at me quietly, his expression gentle. I wipe my eyes and avert my gaze to everyone else who was watching us intently. I swallow, taking a deep breath before I speak:

"I want to apologize."  I began softly, not sure who to look at first, "I wanted to run away because I was scared. But I realize now that this is the only place where I have a chance at living..."

Everyone listened to me closely.

"You guys have been nothing but nice to me..."  I said quietly, "I'm sorry...I will be better from now on- I'm just..." My voice cracks, as my heart races and my eyes begin to sting with tears "I'm just confused."

Baekhyun suddenly stands up and steps in front of me. He brings his hand gently to wipe my tears before they can fall:

"Hey, Princess who are you apologizing to huh?"

I feel my heart race as I blink quickly and look at his gentle expression.

"She's apologizing to me. For pushing me!" Chanyeol yelled from behind him.

Baekhyun rolls his eyes and turns around to look at Chanyeol:

"Yah! You're huge and scary, I would push you too!"

Chanyeol gasps and makes an expression of hurt.

"It's okay, Y/N...you don't have to apologize." Jongin suddenly stands up and walks over to me, "We understand your situation."

"She stole my favorite gun..." Minseok complained, crossing his arms.

"I'll buy you a new one."  Jongdae nudged Minseok, who still pouted.

"She was kind of impressive though." Sehun commented, surprising everyone "I mean, she managed to get through three of us."

"That is true..."  Junmyeon's eyes widened as he began to think, "She is also growing more comfortable with guns..."

"Maybe she should come on our mission with us tonight."  Sehun smirked, making everyone's eyes widen.

The entire room went silent for a few moments, before Kyungsoo irritably spoke:

"Hold on, what are you even saying right now? Did you guys hear anything I just said?"

"I don't think she's ready for something like that." Jongin agreed with Kyungsoo.

"It was just a thought."  Junmyeon told them, before checking his diamond wristwatch "I have to attend something. I'll be back tomorrow morning."  He slipped on his blazer and quickly dashed out, "Be nice to Y/N!"

"He's always leaving." Jongdae crossed his arms, as we all watched Junmyeon leave through the front door.

"We're leaving too."  Minseok said, tugging Jongdae's arm.

"Whaaaa~"  Jongdae whined, "Where to?"

"Shopping." Minseok smirked, "I need a new silencer."

"Shit, count me in."  Sehun walked over to them, "my shotgun is pretty crappy."

"Well if you guys are going, we should all go." Jongin suggested, "Boss said to take Y/N out shopping because she has no clothes. And she only wears my pajamas."

Baekhyun snickered, "that's why she always smells like chicken."

Jongin smacked Baekhyun's arm.

- - -

To call the place a mall would be an understatement. It was a tower, an elaborate building that was, in some strange way, privatized or at least closed off to the public.

"Alright, we're gonna go to the artillery store."  Jongdae said, as Minseok, Sehun and Lay followed after him.

"So what kind of clothes are you into?"  Baekhyun asked from beside me as he, Chanyeol, Jongin, Kyungsoo and I approached some French designer store I could not pronounce.

"I don't know I just sort of wear..."  I think for a moment, "whatever's comfortable."

"Well...What's your favorite brand?"  Jongin asked from my other side, his eyes holding gentle curiosity.

"Brand?"  My eyes widen. I knew a few but I didn't really have a favorite. I couldn't really afford much, growing up "I don't have a favorite brand."

"Oh. I think you would like Gucci. That's what my pajamas are anyway. And you seem to wear them a lot..."  Jongin explained as I nodded.

"We're here."  Kyungsoo announced, pushing the glass door open.

Upon entering we were immediately greeted by a group of middle aged women who offered their services in selecting articles of clothing per Kyungsoo's request after taking my waist and bust measurements. Chanyeol had gone off with Baekhyun to make their own discoveries in the lingerie section as Jongin and Kyungsoo stood beside me and carefully helped me pick out clothing that I was comfortable with.

"What about this?"  Jongin asked, pulling out a white sweater and holding it to his chest.

"Ah, that's good because it's gonna get cold..."  Kyungsoo commented as a store clerk handed him a bunch of selections.

"Here, try these on."  Kyungsoo came over and handed me a few shirts and pants. I nodded and made my way over to the fitting room.

I slipped off the robe I was wearing and slipped on the jeans and white shirt. I turned to look at myself in the mirror but almost screamed at what I saw.

My nipples were visible through the shirt. I really needed a bra more than anything.

"How does it look?"  Kyungsoo asked from the other side, "Can we see?"

"Ah...just a m-minute!"  I call out, flustered.

"Hey, I don't think she went in there with a bra."  Jongin suddenly said, making my face feel hot.

I went quiet and waited for the store clerk ladies, but they were all too occupied with finding me clothes.

"Y/N!"  Jongin called from the other side, making me jump slightly.

"Yes?"  I replied.

"What is your bra size!"

I covered my face with my hands as I heard Kyungsoo scold Jongin for asking such a scandalous question so loudly like that.

"Sorry about that miss!" A store clerk lady quickly came in and gave me a bra. 

But there was something funny about the whole situation that just lightened my heart and made me smile. I took the shirt off and slipped the bra on quickly before pulling the sweater back over my head. I checked myself in the mirror and found the white colored sweater to be really comfortable and pretty. 

I walk out of the dressing room to see Kyungsoo and Jongin's expression's instantly light up. Kyungsoo's heart-shaped lips curled upwards as he held a thumbs up next to Jongin who nodded in approval with a gentle smile. 

"Woah..."  Chanyeol suddenly exclaimed from the far side of the store, Baekhyun's eyes lighting up next to him. 

"She looks even better in normal clothes..."  Baekhyun smiled, as he suddenly ran up to me and grabbed my hands.

His warm and slender fingers entwined with mine, as he looked into my eyes with his that lit up so brightly under the bright lights of the store:

"May I have this dance?"  He asked playfully.

I froze for a moment, getting lost into the tenderness of his eyes when Kyungsoo suddenly interjected:

"We don't really have time. She has a bunch more to try on."

Baekhyun rolled his eyes and pulled away from me. He stood next to Kyungsoo and crossed his arms, "Fine." 

I went back into the fitting room and tried on the next articles of clothing. About an hour had passed when I was on my last outfit, and after trying on the dozens I wondered which one's they were going to buy. 

The last outfit was something skimpy Baekhyun had picked out. A daring red lingerie set with lace along the hems. But right when Baekhyun had given me this, Jongin had slipped in a pair of baggy pajamas to wear over it. 

"The best for last!"  Baekhyun exclaimed, right before I stepped out wearing the pair of baggy silk pajamas. 

Baekhyun's face fell as Kyungsoo, Jongin and Chanyeol started laughing. I felt a little flutter in my heart and suddenly I was laughing too.

"What, Baekhyun? Don't you like it?"  I asked innocently, posing playfully in the over-sized clothing.

Baekhyun wanted to be mad but his lips could not help their little smile as he began to join the others in laughing while he whined about not getting to see me in the lingerie. We walked out of the store empty handed- as Kyungsoo said they would transport all of the clothing over to the estate by this evening. I wanted to protest, but I found it pointless- especially as Chanyeol was dragging us all over to get bubble tea. 

Chanyeol and Kyungsoo ordered drinks for us, as Baekhyun, Jongin and I sat at a booth. I was reading through the little menu paper on the table, when I suddenly felt Baekhyun's arm slip around my waist from next to me. He pulled me closer to him as I set down the paper and my eyes instantly met Jongin, who was sat in front of us. Jongin looked a little confused, especially as Baekhyun nuzzled his nose into my neck. 

"What are you doing?"  Jongin asked.

"Hm?" Baekhyun lifted his head from neck but kept his arm securely around my waist as he met Jongin's eyes.

"Nothing." 

- - - 

"The mission is tonight. It's up to you though..." Minseok explained, as I sat on the sofa with him and Jongdae "do you want to?"

It was a strange question, and one I was not really sure how to answer. Did I want to go with them tonight? Was I prepared, mentally and physically? Was I willing to give up the comforts of just being their cook?

"It'll be fun."  Jongdae smirked, as he took a sip from the Merlot in his crystal glass.

"Where are you guys gonna be going?"  I ask tentatively, biting my lip.

Minseok smiled at my curiosity:

"We're going to be assassinating some big-shot at a casino in Naples." 

A shiver ran down my spine as my heart skipped a beat. I felt my excitement fall suddenly as I realized how scary the mission actually sounded. Maybe its the bad jokes or the cute smiles, but something about the guys always makes me forget the fact that they're mafia. 

"Oh..."  I shake my head nervously, "I don't think I would be able to do something like that."

"You could help out..."  Jongdae suggested with a shrug.

And just like that, I found myself sitting in a black sports car, a dark dress hugging my body and stopping just over my knees. My ears were weighed down by the diamond earrings that glittered where they hung, a chain of crystals resting snugly on my collarbone; the million dollar necklace that Junmyeon had gifted me for my first mission. My feet were cold, as if this was my wedding day. Jongin sat beside me, his hand firmly gripping the wheel as he drove dangerously fast on the highway. His expression was stern, his eyes cold and fixed on the dark road in front of him as sweat gathered at his temples from the stress of the situation. 

Minseok had just completed the assassination and had fled the scene with Jongdae. They signaled to Chanyeol and Baekhyun, who then ushered the rest of the group out. Jongin and I ended up never receiving a signal, where we became the last ones to escape. We were caught trying to leave and the vice chairman of the casino sent a bunch of guys after us. Now we were being chased. 

I turn around to see the red vehicle is still closely behind us, except this time the sound of gunshots is heard. My heart races in my chest as I look at Jongin again:

"They're shooting now!" 

Jongin curses under his breath and switches the stick-shift. The sports car starts rumbling and the speed limit rises to 129.47km. My eyes widen as I grab onto something to keep from flying out of my seat. 

The red car still manages to keep up with us despite our distance, and I feel useless as I keep looking back to check how close they are. Their shooting has gotten more vigorous now, but before I can say anything about it, Jongin presses a button and opens up the car's sunroof panel. 

Jongin then reaches back quickly while still keeping one hand on the wheel, to lift up a machine gun that had been in the backseat. He hands me the gun before proceeding to keep both of his hands at the wheel and focus on driving at the inhumane speed we were already at. I freeze with the machine gun in my hands. Jongin notices my unease and glances over at me quickly, biting his lip with stress:

"Can you do it?" 

It's not like I really had a choice, but I still appreciated the question. I sighed deeply and internally prayed for my life as I stood on top of the passenger seat and peeked my head out through the sunroof. My hair blew back at the crazy speed of the wind while Jongin was driving, but I managed to keep myself from wobbling as I set the machine gun in place and took my aim for the red car behind us. From my height, I managed to shatter their front window, leaving the passengers in the car vulnerable. I froze, the time stopping as I took my aim and immediately realized that I could take their lives right here. Right now. They had no means of defense- no window in front of them. 

But is that what I want? 

Jongin begins cursing and I find my fingers immediately pulling the trigger. I shot the driver straight through the head, and just like that the red car stopped following us. I brought myself down from the sunroof and sat back down in the passenger seat, panting heavily with the machine gun still in my hands. I paled as I felt Jongin continuously glance over at me to see if I was okay. To see if I hadn't been shot anywhere- because I was being a little too quiet.

Within twenty minutes we had officially lost the guys that were chasing us, as Jongin was driving normally now down the highway until he took an exit and pulled the car into an abandoned lot. He took his hands slowly off the wheel as he panted breathlessly, turning his head to look at me. 

I blinked a few times, attempting to process what just happened when finally I turned my head to meet his troubled gaze. His hair was messy, pupils blown out wide, suit tearing at the seams.  But I didn't look any better.  I took a shaky breath, hands trembling and my heart still racing as I tried to be the first one to speak:

"I killed-" 

But he leaned over and quickly captured my lips for a strange and hungry kiss that I somehow just let my entire body melt into. Jongin's plump lips were warm and sweet, enough to make my heart pound hard in my chest as I let the machine gun fall out of my hands. His hands had left the wheel to gently grab my hair as he pressed his lips closer onto mine and deepened the already passionate kiss. I froze for a few seconds, but I couldn't help it as I soon started kissing him back. 

However, the bliss ended as fast as it came, where he pulled away slightly to catch his breath, his eyes glazed over with the glistening lights of the city behind us. I felt my eyelids grow heavy as he stared at me with such an intimate expression. 

"Jongin..."  I panted, my body suddenly feeling hot.

"Y/N..."  His cheeks burned the longer he stared at me, his eyes apologetic.

I bit my lip and leaned back in the seat, squeezing my legs together:

"Do it again."

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jongin had taken me to the backseat of the car, pressed me against the seat and lifted my legs as his hands pushed up the hem of my dress. He connected our lips for another deep and fortifying kiss with my hands wrapped around his neck. I don't know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I just wanted him closer. I wanted to feel the warmth of his body pressed against mine, and right now our clothes were doing none of us any good.

"Take it off..."  I tugged desperately at his shirt, crumpling the linen in my hands eagerly, as he quickly connected his lips with my neck, biting it tenderly to elicit a moan from me. 

Jongin wasted no time to cater to my demands as he hastily began to unbutton his shirt, lost in the heat of the moment- his fingers skipping past some of the buttons. I sat up on my elbows and watched him pull the shirt over his head, revealing his incredibly toned and structured abs. My eyes widened, and I found myself bringing a hand over to touch them. 

But he stopped me before I could, taking my wrist roughly into his grip and pulling me close enough to crash my lips back into his. I kissed him desperately, closing the distance between our bodies as his free hand snaked around my back and unzipped the dress swiftly. I gasped on his lips and he bit his bottom lip, his eyes not leaving mine for a second as he took me right then and there, in the back of a stolen car in the middle of the night after I killed a man and he broke about a dozen driving laws. 

The drive back to the Italian estate was nothing short of awkward. Jongin was usually quiet and concise with everything he did- but he was an absolute monster during sex. And I found that out tonight. I don't know if it was the thrill of the situation, but we couldn't keep our hands off each other. And we realized our mistake far too late. 

Guilt pools at the pit of my stomach as I bite my lip and try to compose my hair and outfit before we reached the estate. I checked my neck in the mirror to see that he was smart enough to leave his bite marks in places that would not be visible with the dress on. A dark blush crept up my cheeks as I closed the mirror and looked over at Jongin. He was driving silently, his eyes focused on the road in front of him. I nervously swallowed down a lump in my throat as he pulled into the driveway of the estate. He parked the car into a lot and sighed deeply, looking over at me with his cheeks peppered pink. 

I notice for the first time that his hair is a mess and his shirt barely buttoned up. If he walked in looking like that it would be obvious what we had done. My eyes widen and I quickly look through my purse to find some makeup wipes. I wipe the lipstick off of his cheeks and smooth my hand through his hair to fix it a bit. He stays still, watching me quietly. 

"You look like hell..." I mumble nervously, as I button up his shirt carefully and tuck in some stray strands of hair behind his hair. 

He laughs lightly, and it's enough to make me laugh too. 

"You don't look any better..." He hands me his blazer with a shy smile, "Put this on. It's cold outside."

I take his jacket with a little blush creeping up my cheeks. I slip my arms through it and cherish the warmth as I step out of the car. I take off my high heels and hold them in my hands as I walk next to Jongin who approaches the front door. 

He rings the doorbell and we both glance at each other one last time to make sure the things we did before getting here weren't noticeable. 

"It's about time you guys got here."  Sehun exclaims, holding the door open for us.

Jongin and I step inside to see the rest of the members sitting the lounge. They all stand up and walk over to hug and greet Jongin. I stand in the back, smiling faintly as I suddenly began to recall the places Jongin had kissed and touched me. I don't know why I was thinking about it now but it was not helping me at all.

"Hey princess." 

Baekhyun suddenly wrapped his arms around me from behind and nuzzled his nose into the crook of my neck "Are you okay? I was worried sick..."  He whispered playfully, making my heart race as I turned around quickly and was met with his flirtatious smile.

"I-I'm okay..."  I flashed a quick smile, feeling Jongin's eyes on me as I quickly tried to run to my bedroom upstairs, "I need to shower."

"Damn, someone's in a hurry." Sehun pointed out, making me mentally face-palm. 

I quickly close the door when I arrive at the bedroom that was probably mine. I didn't really want to think any more about what I did with Jongin because, although I liked it, I'm not sure it would really lead anywhere. 

With a sigh, I slipped my clothes off and stepped into the warm shower. After freshening myself up, I wrapped a towel around my body and stepped in front of the mirror, finding multiple love-bites to my horror. I groaned and searched through the closet of new clothes, finding a sweater and sweatpants that were enough to cover the marks on my body. Exhausted, I went back downstairs to find Minseok drinking a glass of champagne with Jongdae. I sat on the sofa that was adjacent to the one they were sitting on and looked at them with a nervous smile.

Jongdae smirked and set his glass down on the table before turning his attention to his phone. Minseok smiled back at me, his cat-like gaze fixing on my eyes:

"How are you, Y/N?"

The question was kind of strange, maybe even too playful and nonchalant.

"I'm fine." I replied with a shrug, "How are you? 

"I just killed the ambassador of the Norwegian gambling industry."  Minseok smiled. 

"Shot him right through the eyes."  Jongdae added, while texting someone on his phone.

I felt a chill run down my spine as I began to recall the man I shot a few hours ago. Sometimes I wonder how he does it without an ounce of remorse. Maybe after killing so many for so long, it just becomes routine? Easy? 

Does Minseok have nightmares about those he kills? Does he have demons and ghosts?

Or do they just disappear, like the wind?

"I can tell you're interested in something..."  Minseok suddenly said, grabbing my attention.

"Oh..." I shake my head quickly, "It's nothing, really..."

Minseok quirks an eyebrow at me before shrugging an taking a sip from his glass.

Jongdae set his phone down and smiled gently:

"She's wondering if you have a girlfriend."

"What?"  My eyes widen.

"Ah..." Minseok laughed, "I have a wife."  

"N-No, I wasn't..." I try to defend my thoughts but my curiosity got the best of me, "You have a wife?" 

Minseok laughs again, "Yes." He then gestures over to Jongdae, "Right here."

"Yah!"  Jongdae whines. 

I cannot help but to laugh at the exchange as they argue playfully. My heart feels light and I let loose, if only for a second. 

But a second was too long, because everyone in the room had started staring at me. Everyone had went quiet, whether it be to observe my face or listen to the sound of my laugh. But all of these eyes on me ruined my bliss and my heart felt heavy again.

Jongdae smiled when I stopped laughing:

"You're so pretty when you smile, Y/N."

My face suddenly felt hot, as I got up quickly and excused myself. Jongdae and Minseok started laughing again and I was just too exhausted to defend myself any longer with these two. I walked back upstairs and crawled straight into bed. I wanted this day to be over already, so much shit had happened. 

My legs were sore from having sex for the first time and my head hurt from thinking about the man I killed during the car chase. I just felt like a mess, my mind was everywhere and I was feeling an irrational amount of stress and anxiety.  I shut my eyes and willed myself to sleep, falling quickly into my own twisted dreams.

- - - 

I awoke in his arms the next morning, to his sweet scent of intermingled mints and evergreens. I felt so peaceful next to him, his body warm and radiating a light so much brighter than the sun. My arms stretched out and wrapped around his waist, as I buried my face into his broad chest. 

He chuckled tiredly, pulling me closer, his head tilting down to press a sweet kiss on the top of my head:

"Good morning princess."

My heart skipped a beat. 

"Baekhyun...when did you-"

"Last night. When you were asleep."  He cut in, trailing his fingers up and down my arm soothingly "I couldn't help myself. I can't sleep without you." 

I swallowed nervously.

He was really getting to me.   

After a while of just lazily lying around, I eventually managed to pull myself away from Baekhyun's comfortable embrace and make my way downstairs to start cooking for the guys. Kyungsoo was already there, and had already had some eggs in the pan. I greeted him with a hug before wrapping an apron around my waist and proceeding to slice up some fruits. 

"How was your first mission yesterday? Did you get hurt?" He asked, as I sliced up an apple.

I shook my head, "It was kind of scary, but Jongin was there to help." I swallowed dryly, again remembering what exactly Jongin and I had done afterwards. 

Kyungsoo nodded understandingly as he flipped the omelet on the pan:

"Jongin's a good guy." 

My stomach turned.

I excused myself to go start serving the food. I took the bowl of fruits and walked over to the dining table, setting it down on the center and almost dropping it when I saw that most of the guys had already awoken. 

"Morning, Y/N..."  Sehun yawned, ruffling my hair.

"Oh, hey Y/N..."  Jongdae and Minseok winked at me flirtatiously as they walked over to take a seat at the table with the others.

"Morning." I nodded towards them.

"Aw, you cut up the fruits so cute..."  Yixing smiled, "How is your arm?"

I smiled faintly, "It's better, thanks to you."

"Glad I could help such a pretty lady."  I felt my cheeks burn as I laughed lightly and escaped back into the kitchen with Kyungsoo.

"Here, these are the last ones. Can you put them on the table for me? I'll be out in a minute."  Kyungsoo said sweetly, handing me some plates of food. I nodded and took them out to place at the dining table. 

After successfully serving breakfast on the table, I smoothed my hands over my apron and took it off, setting it aside. I bit my lip and made my way over to sit next to Chanyeol. He glanced at me and smiled tiredly:

"The food looks good."

"Thanks."  I smile a little nervously, as I carefully put some fruit on my plate.

But right when I begin to think the morning is going by swimmingly, I see Baekhyun chatting and eating with Jongin. My eyes widen and I feel a dark blush creep up my cheeks, my heart racing all of a sudden.

Jongin meets my eyes as Baekhyun is telling him something, and I quickly look away, making an attempt to focus on finishing my food- but I never do. 

Breakfast ends and I try to keep my mind off of everything by cleaning. I clean the dining room and kitchen with Kyungsoo, but I finish too fast. My mind keeps racing to Jongin and Baekhyun and I don't even know why. Nothing I did with either of them really meant anything...

Right?

As I ponder my dilemma in the hallway, I suddenly run into Junmyeon. He smiles down at me kindly:

"Hello." 

"Oh, you're back."  I stare at his gentle features. 

"Yea, I got back this morning."  He yawned, "How was the mission? Did you have fun?" 

I rolled my eyes, and he started laughing. 

The rest of the day went by a little slowly. It was still daytime when I was hanging out in Minseok's room, looking at his new gun that had his name engraved into it. I wasn't really a fan of guns but this one was kind of pretty. I could even see my reflection in it.

"That's a silencer."  Minseok said, walking close behind me as I held the gun in my hands carefully.

"It's so cold..."

Minseok chuckled and wrapped his arms around me from behind. He rested his chin on my shoulder and mumbled:

"It's a new type of Brazilian steel..."  His icy breath hit my collarbone and ran a shiver down my spine "....I like cold guns."

His hands suddenly start to draw little circles on my waist. My breath gets caught in my throat as he then presses his lips onto my ear:

"You really don't know what you're getting yourself into, Y/N..." 

 

Chapter Text

Maybe Minseok is right.

Maybe I don't know what I'm getting myself into.

My eyes pop open and I sit up quickly, blinking rapidly to accustom to my surroundings. I had awoken from a nightmare, in a cold sweat with nothing but darkness clouding my thoughts. My breathing was erratic, the rise and fall of my chest rapid as I turned my head quickly to see Baekhyun lying next to me. He shifted slightly, rubbing his eyes:

"What's wrong, baby..."

I clear my throat and try to control my breathing:

"I just need..." My breath hitches as I get off of the bed, the cold air biting my skin "...water."

Baekhyun yawns and snuggles into the pillow as I make my way out the door "mmkay..."

My head spins as I use the wall for support while I trudge down the hallway. The dreams weren't really consistent, but they weren't rare either. It was an occasional horror that would plague my mind only a few times a week, whether it be the distant crack of a gunshot or the last dying breath of one of my victims.

I manage to make my way into the kitchen, not even bothering to switch on the lights as I pulled the refrigerator door open and let the white light blind me for a few seconds. The cool air from the refrigerator feeling somewhat soothing on my skin as it burned away all of the cold sweat from my bad dream. I grab a bottle of water and close the door. I twist the cap off and drink from the bottle quickly, downing about half of the water until I stop to catch my breath. 

"You're awake?" 

Jongin's voice startles me and I jump. The water bottle slips from my hands and hits the floor, the water spilling out. Jongin quickly grabs paper towels and begins helping me clean the water off of the floor:

"Sorry."  He apologizes, as he hands me a towel and helps me wipe the floor dry. 

I shake my head quickly:

"It's okay." 

He takes the towels we used to clean the floor and drops them into the trash can. I walk over to the sink to wash my hands, my heart racing fast in my chest. He opens the refrigerator and takes out a white paper box. He sets the box on the counter and glances at me. I look away quickly, not wanting to appear nosy. 

I finish washing my hands and dry them up, waiting for the sleep to hit me any second. I run a hand through my hair as I stare out the window, admiring the full moon in the sky for a while, when I suddenly heard a crunching sound. I turn around out of curiosity, but freeze when I see what he's doing. 

Because he's eating fried chicken at 3 in the morning. 

The sight is alarming but strangely adorable too, as he hadn't really noticed me staring yet. His eyes are tired as he bites into the chicken and chews on it slowly. I stand there and watch, a little smile playing my lips at how innocent someone could be. 

Especially if they were a part of the mafia. 

It was kind of surreal to even be here. Right now. Even more so that I was alive right now, living and breathing in this little world that is a part of something so big and unknown. That the universe had somehow left me to spend my 3 am watching a mafia member eat chicken. Then again, I suppose the universe works in weird ways...

"Do you..."  Jongin started speaking, jumping me out of my gaze "want some?" 

I blinked rapidly as I felt a blush creep up my cheeks. I probably looked weird, standing there and smiling at him like that. 

"No thanks."  I shake my head. 

He nods before quickly finishing up the chicken. He throws the little white box away and drinks a glass of water too. I just stand there and twiddle my thumbs, not really ready to go back to sleep just yet. 

"I get so hungry sometimes..."  He sighs, a little innocent smile on his face as he walked over to me, "Are you alright?" 

"Huh? Yea."  I nod, smiling back, "I just can't sleep."

I just can't go back to sleep. 

I don't want to go back to sleep. 

Jongin stares at me and his cheeks slowly start to turn pink. The longer we stare at each other, the more awkward the moment grows, especially since we had not really talked after what we did. His face is almost red now, as his eyes search mine nervously. He clears his throat and gets ready to say something, but he bites his lip and looks off into the distance.

Nobody has ever acted like this around me. 

"What's wrong, Jongin?"  I ask, concerned. 

But maybe I know exactly what's wrong. 

"Nothing."  He says firmly, although his eyes waver when they flicker to meet mine "I'm gonna head upstairs. Good luck falling asleep." 

He doesn't really give me the opportunity to say much else as he turns around and makes his way quickly out of the kitchen. I watch him leave until he is completely out of my line of sight. My chest feels tight, and I find myself sighing to relieve some of the weight pressed upon my heart. 

Soon enough, I make my way upstairs and back into bed as well. Baekhyun was still sleeping peacefully on one side of the bed and I crawled in next to him, pulling the blanket over my shoulders as I suddenly felt colder. My head spun and I was so confused. Why did it hurt so much to have Jongin walk away from me like that? There was nothing unusual about it, he was just going back to sleep...

But why did it hurt so much?

"Mmm...are you back?"  Baekhyun rolls over and faces me, his eyes drowsily opening up to gaze into mine. 

"Did I wake you?" I ask, feeling bad because he seemed to be in such a deep sleep before I came back in. 

Baekhyun chuckles and brings a hand over to stroke my cheek:

"You always wake me."

- - - 

"When Jongdae rips the chords off of the electric panel at exactly 4 o' clock, Minseok and Sehun will move to cover the back exits while Baekhyun and Chanyeol monitor the east and west wings. Jongin and Kyungsoo will take center while Y/N and I secure the route to the safe."  Junmyeon says firmly, taking a little sip from his glass of whiskey "any questions?" 

Kyungsoo raises his hand, and Junmyeon nods at him to speak:

"I don't think Y/N should go." 

"That's not a question, Kyungsoo..." Junmyeon sighs, as he takes another sip from his glass "The choice is hers, and if she wants to come with us- well then I will gladly take all the help I can get." 

Sehun peeked his head through the front door:

"The truck's ready. We should head out before noon, so hurry up." 

Junmyeon nodded and walked with Sehun back out the door. I watched them leave as I took a deep breath and grabbed the assault rifle that Minseok had prepared for me. I grasped it tightly in my hands and waited for Baekhyun to finish loading his gun. He smiled at me while loading up his artillery and securing it with a click. He walked over next to me and eyed me up and down:

"You look cute." 

I sighed and averted my eyes to the ground, my nerves starting to kick in:

"Thanks." 

"Come on guys, they're getting ready to leave." Jongdae said, holding the door open for us as we walked out. 

Yixing was going to be the driver of our endeavor as we all loaded on to the back of the truck with our guns and pockets full of little explosives. Baekhyun sat beside me and went over Junmyeon's plan with me a few more times so that I felt more comfortable. We were going to be robbing an Italian billionaire's chateau in Pompeii while he was on a luxurious Hawaiian vacation. The man is an acquaintance of Junmyeon's, but it turns out the Russian crystal he's hiding is worth more to Junmyeon than any friendship. 

"They might have a few guys still hanging around to guard the chateau, but leave them to Jongin and Kyungsoo. I'm gonna be covering the east wing, so I won't be too far away from you guys. The safe is supposedly in his bedroom."  Baekhyun tells me. 

I nod slowly, still feeling nervous.

"This mission is gonna be too easy..."  Sehun says flatly, although for some reason it kind of reassures me.

Junmyeon sighs:

"It should be. If everyone follows orders." 

His eyes immediately meet Minseok's and they both exchange a strange glance that I have never really seen before. Minseok rolls his eyes playfully and relaxes back into his seat, ending the silent conversation between eyes. 

Yixing parks the truck a few kilometers away from the chateau and we have to sneak our way through in different directions. Chanyeol and Baekhyun run off for the east and west wings with Jongin and Kyungsoo who manage to easily take out the first two men guarding the front gates. Yixing helps Jongdae and Minseok slip in from the back while Junmyeon and I wait in the bushes for a sign of clearing. 

I feel my heart racing fast in my chest as I grip my assault rifle tightly. After a few moments, Junmyeon listens in to the earpiece attached to his ear and nods his head towards me. We make our way carefully past the gates and through the cleared entrance. My body freezes when I see about three dead bodies already on the floor. Kyungsoo and Jongin stand in the center foyer by an elegant water fountain, some blood already splattered on their pristine suits as they turn around to face me and Junmyeon:

"It's all clear."  Kyungsoo says.

Jongin stands silently behind him, staring at me with an unreadable expression as I turn pale. I still wasn't really used to the scent or sight of dead bodies. 

"Lets go, Y/N."  Junmyeon says.

I blink away from staring at Jongin to run after Junmyeon who had already made his way halfway up the spiral staircase. Junmyeon and I make our way to the east wing, where Baekhyun paces up and down the corridor, monitoring out the windows to make sure there aren't any uninvited guests. I look at Baekhyun and he flashes a quick smile at me, as Junmyeon and I enter the billionaire's bedroom. It is fair to say that the room was abundant in both expanse and expense, as Junmyeon walks over and rummages through the walk in closet until he finds a hidden compartment that reveals a keypad. I watch carefully as Junmyeon sets his gun down and begins to try and hack the pass-code.

After a few moments of standing there and watching Junmyeon carefully apply all of his focus into deciphering the keypad, I begin to hear a faint scratching at the windowsill. I frown and approach the window slowly, but freeze when I see two unfamiliar green eyes pop out from below. My own eyes widen and I stumble backwards, quickly taking aim.

The man watches me carefully with his intricate eyes as he lifts the window and opens it slowly. His eyes are almost bewitching as he somehow makes me freeze while he crawls in through the now open window. My hands are shaking, especially from how he's looking at me, the color of his irises reminding me of how living he really is. There was something so intimidating about him that had my feet planted firmly on the ground, my head spinning and my heart racing. 

"B-Boss..."  I stutter, panicking. 

Junmyeon turns around slowly to look at me. Although he cannot see who it is, he instantly knows what's going on from the look in my eyes and the tone of my voice. Junmyeon's face pales as he presses his index finger to his lips in a gesture for me to shut up. He mouths for me to calm down, but I only feel my breathing grow more and more uncontrollable with each passing second as the green-eyed Italian man approaches me closer and closer with each passing agonizing second. 

Junmyeon reaches his hand out to try and grab his own gun unnoticed, but the green-eyed man instantly takes notice and quickly steps on his hand. Junmyeon grunts, instead opting to grab onto the man's leg, making him stumble and fall on the floor so I could get a clear shot:

"Shoot him, Y/N! Shoot him now!" 

"I-I can't!" 

"Y/N, you have to!" 

"But-"

"DO IT, Y/N DO IT NOW!" 

And a bullet is fired amidst the chaos, 

The green eyed man had taken a random shot at me.

But it had just barely grazed past my shoulder, hitting Baekhyun instead who had just entered the room to see what all the screaming was about. 

Minseok was right. 

didn't know what I was getting myself into. 

Chapter Text

I drop everything and run over to Baekhyun, my head spinning as I crouched down to where he had fallen, my eyes watering and my heart racing too fast for my own well-being. The bullet had hit his left shoulder, and he lied there, panting and groaning. My hands trembled as I tried to do something, only to come to the realization that I couldn't. However, he somehow pushed through the pain and sat up slowly with a groan. He grabbed his gun with haste, quickly shooting the man that Junmyeon was trying to wrestle in the back. 

I turned my head and watched as the Italian man fell to his knees, a red hole in his forehead where Baekhyun had shot him with his impeccable aim. He fell face first on the floor, and Junmyeon got up quickly, wiping the blood off of his shirt as he let the Italian man just bleed out on the floor. I helped Baekhyun stand up, wiping the tears from my eyes as I tried to compose myself and grab my gun:

"B-Baekhyun..."

"Ah.."  He winces, but looks over at me and laughs with slight strain, "don't worry about me, princess."

"Y/N." Junmyeon's voice was stern, as I quickly turned around to be met with his cold eyes.

I bite my lip, the regret pooling at the very pit of my stomach as I cursed myself internally for not pulling the damn trigger. Why couldn't I do it? It was as if there was something holding me back when that Italian man looked at me the way he did. When his green eyes met mine with such gentle focus and yet malicious intent. It was familiar. It was horrific. 

It reminded me of my father.

Junmyeon took a step closer to me, and for the first time I saw the true leader he was in his eyes. I saw his determination and surprisingly stoic rationale:

"We need to have a serious conversation when we get back."

I nodded, my throat feeling dry and my chest still heavy from the events that unfolded in such a short amount of time. Junmyeon went back to the safe with a sigh, and after a few more moments he managed to crack the code and open the case to steal the jewel. When Junmyeon has the jewel, we all report back into the truck and get out of there in less than an hour. 

Baekhyun's bleeding wouldn't stop, even as we were on our way back to the estate, so Yixing had to switch from driving to tend to his wounds. Kyungsoo was the one driving now, his expression nothing but cold and emotionless as he took the wheel. The entire ride back was silent and filled with tension, where I couldn't help but to think that everything was my fault. 

When we arrive back at the estate, everyone goes off to their rooms, Yixing helping Baekhyun up to his room. I set my gun down on the coffee table of the lounge and walk over quickly to follow them. I wanted to be next to Baekhyun, and I wanted to care for him as much as I could. Because as much as I wanted to make things better, I knew I couldn't, and the least I could do was be there for him. 

But just as I was about to catch up with them, I felt a firm grip on my arm, pulling me back. I turned around and saw that it was Junmyeon, looking at me with that same seriousness in his eyes. As I stared at him, I remembered how he said he wanted to talk to me. I bit my lip nervously and stood in front of him. He let go of my arm and sighed, his eyes never leaving mine. He wasted no time to ask the question that I know was bugging him the entire ride back:

"Why couldn't you pull the trigger?" 

I felt my heart almost stop when I begun to answer my own question in my head. And the more I went over the real reason why I couldn't, the more pathetic I realized my answer actually was. What was I supposed to say to him? That I couldn't pull the trigger because the man reminded me of my dad? My dad who sold me off to a bunch of strangers? My dad who never gave a shit about me all this time?

I freeze, my mouth open but the words failing to come out. All at once, I felt a rush of emotions take over me. My heart suddenly began to race insanely, my eyes burning and my body feeling incredibly cold, all while Junmyeon crossed his arms and stared at me, expecting an answer.

Kyungsoo suddenly walked up from behind and stood next to me:

"This isn't anyone else's fault but yours."  His eyes rested carefully on Junmyeon, "I told you she wasn't ready." 

Junmyeon sighs and nods, in a silent but stressful agreement.

My head turns slightly, and I look at Kyungsoo as my face pales and the emotions suddenly build up into anger and annoyance at nobody else but myself. And all Kyungsoo was doing was defending that self. Defending the part of me that I hated. I look at him as my chest suddenly feels heavy:

"Stay out of this."

My tone is a bit more harsh than I intended, but it does not really affect Kyungsoo who stares at me with his now cold eyes, his lips purse into an unamused line:

"I'm just letting him know so he doesn't make the same mistake again." 

"It wasn't his mistake, it was mine." I raise my voice, "You can't keep thinking of me as this innocent and damaged human, because that's not what I am Kyungsoo. If you think my fucked up life is a free pass to making stupid mistakes, well then you're wrong." I tell him, his eyes widening suddenly.

I can't look at him any longer as I feel the urge to cry, I bite my lip and turn to leave, quickly running upstairs as fast as I can before either of them can catch me crying. I make my way over to my bedroom and close the door. I take off my blood stained clothes and hop into the shower, my heart still racing from what happened downstairs. I instantly regretted the words I said to Kyungsoo, as I felt my heart shatter where I broke apart in the shower and began crying under the warm water. 

After taking all my emotions out in the shower, I wrapped a towel around myself and quickly got changed into some comfortable clothes. It was still daytime, but I really had the urge to just end the day and sleep. Yixing was still working on getting the bullet out of Baekhyun's arm, so I wouldn't be able to see Baekhyun for a few hours. I sighed and made my way over to the bed. I lied down and stared at the ceiling, the urge to cry almost coming back before I heard a sudden knock at my door. 

I get up and make my over to the door, opening it slowly to see that it was just Chanyeol. His eyes widened upon seeing me, a little frown taking over his lips:

"Woah, have you been crying?" 

"No..." I lie, averting my eyes elsewhere.

Chanyeol is quiet for a while, before he finally sighs:

"I'm going out to get a few things for Baekhyun, like his favorite snacks and stuff for when he wakes up." 

I look at Chanyeol with a sad smile:

"That's nice of you." 

"I thought you might wanna come too." 

Thinking of Baekhyun just made my heart hurt even more, but I really wanted to do as much as I could for him, and I thought maybe shopping with Chanyeol would make me feel a bit better. I nodded:

"Sure, just give me a few minutes." 

I slip on a jacket and some jeans as I head out the door to meet up with Chanyeol who was waiting for me outside my room. He eyed my entire body before his gaze finally rested on my eyes:

"Ready?" 

I nod and he leads the way down the stairs and onto the foyer where we are met with Jongin who was sitting in the lounge by himself. He squints at us as Chanyeol tells me to wait for him while he gets his keys. I wait by the door, crossing my arms as I see Jongin approach me from the corner of my eye.

Jongin walks up to me, a little fashion magazine in his hands as he curiously looks at me. I stay silent, staring at him with a lump in my throat.

Chanyeol soon comes back with his keys before Jongin and I can speak. He notices Jongin and smiles:

"Hey man, what's up?" 

"Where are you guys going?"  Jongin asks innocently.

I stay quiet and let Chanyeol do the talking as my heart races fast in my chest. There was something about Jongin that made me feel nervous and confused. Something about him that just oozed sex and charisma- and the fact that he practically took my innocence a few days ago in a stolen care does not help. 

"We're going to get some stuff for Baekhyun." Chanyeol explains neutrally, "Wanna come?" 

Jongin shakes his head:

"I have stuff to do." 

"Alright, tell boss we're heading out. We'll be back in like an hour." 

Jongin nods quietly.

"See you later, dude."  Chanyeol walks out the door and I walk out behind him. 

He walks over to the lot and opens the garage room with a button on his keys. I watch carefully as he pulls out two jet-black helmets and hands one of them. I take it with slight surprise:

"We're riding the motorcycle?" 

"Yea," Chanyeol puts the helmet on and faces me, "is that cool with you?" 

I nod fumbling with my helmet until Chanyeol finally sighed and took it from me. He smoothed my hair down awkwardly, before carefully helping me slide my helmet on. He adjusted it and smiled faintly:

"Good?"

I nod, feeling a blush creep up my cheeks. 

Chanyeol sticks the key into the motorcycle and starts it up. The engine of the vehicle purrs deeply, and he takes a seat, adjusting his gloved-grip on the handles. I carefully come over and sit behind him. I place my hands on his back and nervously grip the back of his shirt.

"Wrap your arms around me."  He tells me.

Hesitantly, I move my arms to lock around his waist. I lean inwards and rest my head on his back as he pulls out of the driveway and zooms off into the highway. I tighten my grip around him and hug him from behind as he goes fast on the highway, breaking the speed limit without a care in the world. 

The night had just fallen by the time we were on the highway, and the lights of the city had just come to life. The air was chilly but not too cold, the perfect temperature to chill my bones and yet elicit a tender warmth in my heart. But was that warmth really from the city? Was it from Rome, or was it actually from Chanyeol?

When we arrive, Chanyeol parks his motor bike and takes off his helmet before turning to me and taking off my helmet for me. He takes my hand and helps me get off the bike. I smooth down the wrinkles on my shirt and he runs a hand through his hair as he stares at the giant store:

"Can you speak Italian?" 

I shake my head.

"Me either. I guess we're screwed."  He says with a sigh, as we walk towards the entrance of the grocery store. 

I grab a shopping cart and start pushing it as Chanyeol walks around explores the aisles. I bite my lip and watch the many people who stare at us like we're from a different planet:

"So, what exactly does Baekhyun like?" I ask, in an attempt to try and ignore all the eyes on me.

"He likes onion-ring chips and watermelon."  Chanyeol says casually.

"That's the weirdest combination I've ever heard."

Chanyeol laughs as he puts a little box of cubed watermelon into the cart. He then walks over to the snacks section and grabs a few bags of the onion ring chips he likes. I push the cart slowly behind Chanyeol while he walks down the aisles. It is almost relaxing to shop for a friend with another friend. My body feels light and my mind is not so focused on the negatives anymore. We are walking down the candy aisle when Chanyeol suddenly stops and picks up a box of gummies that are shaped like a cartoon character. He shows me the box and starts snickering:

"This character kind of looks like him." 

I laugh lightly:

"We should get it." 

Chanyeol suddenly smiles, his cheeks tinted pink:

"You're laugh is cute." 

I frown and hit him for making things awkward. He apologizes with another laugh and we soon switch, as he is the one pushing the cart while I lead the way now in search for things Baekhyun might like. I walk to the home/living section and find a little neck pillow. Chanyeol's eyes widen excitedly:

"Baekhyun loves those!" 

"Really? I thought it would be good for his neck so he can relax..." 

Chanyeol nods and I put the little neck pillow into the cart as well. 

When we finish shopping and manage to pay for everything despite not knowing an ounce of Italian, we make our way back towards the motorcycle with the shopping bags. We put the two bags in the little storage compartment of the bike, before Chanyeol slips the helmet back on my head. He takes a seat on the motorcycle and puts his helmet on as I slip in behind him and wrap my arms around his waist carefully.

"You ready?"  He asks, before he starts pulling out of the parking lot.

"Yea."  I tighten my grip around him.

He starts the engine and takes us back to the estate in no time. With air only getting colder and the night only getting darker, Chanyeol and I grab the bags and make our way quickly inside the estate. There was nobody really in the foyer or lounge, as they were all probably upstairs or in their rooms. I take off the helmet I was wearing and set it on the table, as Chanyeol does the same. I slip off my jacket next and set it aside as I then proceed to walk upstairs with Chanyeol who was holding the bags.

"What if he's asleep?"  I ask, whispering as we walked up the stairs.

"We'll wake him up."  Chanyeol shrugs, "We didn't go to some Italian grocery store for nothing."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chanyeol and I make our way into Baekhyun's bedroom, expecting him to be resting- but only mildly surprised to find him actually playing a video game in bed. He looked up from the console when he saw us entering and his eyes instantly lit up. He smiled and set the console down beside him:

"What's up, guys?"

"How are you feeling?" Chanyeol asks, bringing over the bags to him, "Y/N and I bought some snacks for you."

"Whaaat..."  Baekhyun's eyes widen as he looks through the bags with surprise, "You didn't have to do that."  He smiled sheepishly, his playful eyes resting on me.

But for some reason it was as if I went mute. 

"We wanted to."  Chanyeol shrugged, "There's even a neck pillow in there. Anyway, I gotta go help Jongdae beat the new Mario Kart level, so I'll catch up with you later."

"Alright, thanks man."  Baekhyun nodded at him, as Chanyeol left quickly.

But I did not leave. 

Instead, I stood there, my shoulders stiff and my face pale. The air around me felt so cold, and there was so much I wanted to say, but it all just felt pointless. The moment was prolonged, lasting much longer than was necessary. My eyes were simply fixed on Baekhyun while I stood in the middle of his room, as if I had no pleasure in looking at anything else. It was probably awkward. I probably looked weird. 

But I just didn't know what else to do.

"Come here, princess."

I walk over to his bedside and stand beside him. My focus moves down to where my gaze can rest on his injured shoulder, which seems to have been patched up carefully with gauze and bandages. Baekhyun's hand slowly moves over to take mine gently into his grip, and I feel my body jump slightly. I avert my gaze to his eyes and he smiles faintly at me:

"You look sad." 

My lips curl into a little smile as I entwine my fingers into his and shake my head:

"I'm okay." 

Baekhyun sits up a little straighter and scoots over to the other end of his bed. He lets go of my hand and pats the space next to him with a playful smile. I hesitate, but give in to his gentle request as I take a seat next to him on the bed. We sit so close that our arms are touching, and he soon has his head resting on my shoulder as he looks through the bag of stuff Chanyeol and I got for him. 

"Woah, how'd you know these were my favorite chips?"  Baekhyun asks with surprise, as he pulls out the bag of onion-ring chips.

"Chanyeol said you'd like them." I say with a smile, as I look through the other bag and pull out the little neck pillow, "I got you this..." 

Baekhyun takes the pillow with little sparkles in his eyes. He stares at the cute design on it and starts laughing lightly. I feel my cheeks burn. Was it really that childish?

"You're so cute, Y/N."  Baekhyun chuckled, turning his head so that his eyes could meet mine.

The tips of his slender and cold fingertips suddenly found my chin, where he perfected the angle at which our gazes melted into each other. He leaned his face closer to mine slowly, making me feel as if my heart would leap out of my chest at any moment. Finally, he pressed his lips against mine and the sensation came to me all too quickly, where the time seemed to stop and I wanted to pull away but did the complete opposite instead. I leaned into his touch, embracing and giving back the affection he was giving me.

Because his lips were so sweet against mine, so tender and warm. Because his body felt so warm in this cold room; in my cold mind. For the moment, it was as if a heartbeat was nonexistent. As if my pulse was silent and my anatomy invisible. I didn't feel mortal in this kiss. He had somehow completely sealed away my humanity, instead guiding me to a place so divine. A place where the kiss was so perfect it made me feel unnatural. Ethereal.

And it finished too fast, where Baekhyun would disconnect our lips to press the tip of his nose gently against mine and gaze deeply into my eyes. We stay like this for a few moments, him taking in the sound of me trying to catch my breath like it was music to his ears. 

But I try to get my grip back on reality, even when he had just taken me a thousand miles away from it. 

"Stay with me tonight..."  Baekhyun whispered, his lips brushing faintly against my ear.

I nodded quickly, my cheeks burning:

"I-I will...I just need to change into my pajamas first..." 

Baekhyun exhaled softly and let go of me. He didn't smile as he watched me get off his bed to make my way out of the door. His lips were pressed in a thin line, his eyes steadily following me as I left the room. I closed the door behind me when I was out into the hall and breathed deeply, as if I had been holding in my breath the entire time I was with him. I still hadn't managed to control my breathing fully, and my heart was racing way too fast. I was a mess.

"You don't look too good."  Jongdae suddenly said, making me gasp in surprise.

He started laughing at my reaction, and I almost forgot about what happened with Baekhyun when I heard the sweet sound of Jongdae's laughter fill the entire hall. It was contagious, and I found myself smiling slightly.

"You scared me..."  I sigh.

"My bad," He smiled, his expression softening "but why is your face so red?" 

My eyes widen and I bring a hand to feel my cheek:

"Is it?" 

Jongdae starts laughing wildly again and I roll my eyes, walking away towards my bedroom. I make my way over to the closet and change into a pair of comfortable pajamas. I switch the lights off and step back into the hall, making my way back over to Baekhyun's room. I open the door and peek my head in, and he smiles, waving me over. I walk over to him and crawl into the bed with him, resting my head on one of his pillows. The pillows and blankets smelled like him- like an evergreen tree took a fresh shower and then started chewing mint gum. He carefully pulls the blanket over us and I turn my body to face him. He smirks playfully:

"So, how was your day today?" 

I shrug slightly and sigh:

"It was ok." 

He sighs, bringing a hand over to gently brush his thumb across my cheek:

"There was a lot of pressure on my princess today, huh?" 

I keep quiet and let myself melt into his magical gaze.

"Did anyone bother you about what happened?" 

"No."

"Liar~"

I roll my eyes and turn my body the other way, 

"I'm really  tired, Baekhyun..."

"Fine..."  Baekhyun sighed, wrapping his arms around me from behind.

I felt myself smile faintly, as I was getting more and more used to his arms around me. I liked that about Baekhyun. It was like he knew what I wanted and never went too far with it. Simple cuddling was something still new to me, but it helped calm me down a lot. 

"What are you smiling about, Princess?" 

I bury my face into the pillow so that he can't see my face, but he only grows more persistent. He hugs me closer from behind and buries his face into the crook of my neck:

"Hm..."  He kisses the back of my ear gently,"why is my princess hiding her pretty smile...?" 

"Stop calling me that..."  I start laughing into the pillow at how corny he sounds, and he laughs too, his hands slowly moving down to my waist.  

"Why..."  He chuckles, his tone playful "Are you making fun of me right now?" 

I continue to giggle until he starts tickling me. Horrified, I place my hands on his to move them away from my waist but he only increases the tickling and it works to make me laugh painfully:

"Baekhyun, stop!" I scream, giggling as I tried to move away from him, "Please!" 

He laughs and climbs on top of me to get a better angle at tickling me. He lifts my shirt up slightly and tickles me more. I start hitting his chest while laughing uncontrollably, and after a few moments of pure torture, I manage to push him off of me gently, switching our positions so that I was on top. I straddle him and hold his arms down, still breathless from all of the tickling I've had to endure. I meet his gaze, which is nothing short of amusement:

"I could get used to seeing you like this." 

I sigh and shake my head with disappointment:

"I thought I could trust you, Baekhyun..."

"Oh, you can do more than just that with me, princess..." Baekhyun says darkly, his eyes glittering as he sneakily lifted his head up to press his lips onto mine. My eyes widened and I almost collapsed on top of him before he swiftly moved me over to lie down beside him. He pulled his lips away from mine and stared down at me, as my head now rested on the pillow. I blushed, staring at him with my pupils blown out wide and my heart racing fast in my chest. Baekhyun chuckles at my expression and sighs wistfully while staring into my eyes:

 "I can barely trust myself, baby."

- - - 

When I wake up, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that I would have to cook breakfast with Kyungsoo. I fear what he would think of me after our argument yesterday, if he would even bother to talk to me at all after the the way I spoke to him. My heart sunk as I sat up from Baekhyun's comfortable embrace. I turned my head and watched him sleep peacefully, my lips curling into a little smile. Despite all of the playfulness and sexual jokes of last night, nothing more than a few kisses happened between us and we still ended up falling asleep in each other's arms. 

I push myself off of the bed and trudge tiredly down the hall and into my own bedroom. I freshen myself up and get dressed quickly, before making my way down to the kitchen. Unfortunately, Kyungsoo is there and had already begun cooking. I try not to make the situation more awkward, so I greet him:

"G-Good morning..." 

Kyungsoo turns around quickly and watches me as I put my apron on. He sighs:

"Good morning. I'm sorry about yesterday. You were right, it was none of my business."  He tells me, before going back to slicing up a few vegetables.

My eyes widen, as I am taken aback by how blunt he was about everything. But to be honest, a part of me was relieved he was like that, because it meant we could get the tension out of the way faster than anticipated.

"It's fine! I'm the one who should be apologizing. I know you're just looking out for me..." I explain.

He nods, but his back is still turned to me while he slices the vegetables. I sigh and walk over to him slowly. I wrap my arms carefully from behind him and hug him:

"Thank you for everything, Kyungsoo. I hope we can still be friends."  I say, feeling really bad about everything I said to him yesterday.

He freezes, his body tensing up as he stops slicing the vegetables:

"O-Of course..." 

Satisfied, I let go of him and move over next to him to see if there's anything I can help with. He hands me some eggs to fry up on a pan and we finish preparing breakfast within an hour. We serve the guys the food and cleanup fast too, but I decide to skip breakfast to go shower. The morning flies by quick, and before I know it, I find myself lying down on a chaise lounge chair and staring at the ceiling while the other guys all sit around me and talk about mafia related topics.

"Hey, Y/N."  Chanyeol greets me, as he walks into the lounge with Baekhyun next to him. 

"Hi." I sit up and wave at them as Chanyeol sits next to Minseok who was obsessively playing an indie horror game on his phone. 

Baekhyun walks over and takes a seat next to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders:

"I didn't see you at breakfast." 

"I wasn't really that hungry...and I had to shower." I told him, pointing to my damp hair.

Baekhyun smiles and leans in, pressing his lips onto my own all of a sudden, in front of everyone. I bite his bottom lip and place my hand carefully on his chest, pushing him away very gently. His breath hitches and I pull our lips apart carefully. I narrow my eyes at him:

"Y-You have to ask permission..." 

"I'm sorry, Princess..."  He smirked, his eyes sparkling with intimacy. 

I avert my attention to the rest of the room, and watch as everyone's eyes are wide with disbelief. I freeze, not really sure how to explain what just happened to everyone who seemed to be expecting some sort of answer. But before I could even begin to explain myself, the front door was busted open, and Junmyeon sauntered through the foyer with haste. He walked into the lounge with his shirt stained with blood and a shotgun gripped firmly in his left hand. He stared at everyone with cold eyes and spoke with an intimidatingly dark tone that was so different from his usual one:

"We need to leave. Now."

Chapter Text

"What? What's going, on?"  Sehun asked, as everyone stood up from their seats quickly after Junmyeon's alarming interruption.

"It's Taemin. He knows our location."

And with that, we are on another private jet, this time headed to Japan. 

I lie back in my seat and brace myself for the horrific turbulence that starts up faster than I can blink. Since this is now my second time on a plane, I am able to handle the situation a little better. Jongdae sat next to me, telling me about the time he had to go to Japan with Minseok to kill a drug trafficker. It was an interesting story that just so happened to help me focus on keeping myself calm through the turbulence of the plane:

"Minseok fell hard for this girl, her name was Sakura and she had really pretty black hair. But it turns out she was just trying to kill us. I felt kind of bad for him to be honest."

"Minseok is capable of love?" My eyes widen, and Jongdae starts laughing. 

Within an hour, the turbulence had calmed down and Junmyeon had just called everyone for a quick meeting by the minibar at the back of the private jet. Jongdae and I get up and begin making our way over to the minibar with Chanyeol and Baekhyun. Once everyone is in a circle, Junmyeon begins speaking to us, still with that cold tone that ran shivers down my spine:

"I know a lot of you are confused as to why we're headed to Japan- especially since that is where Taemin's artillery base is..."  Junmyeon begins, "But I've decided that since the bastard wants to keep coming after my men, we're going to put an end to his bullshit." 

Everyone is silent. It seemed like whoever this guy was, the boss hated him. And it was scary to think Junmyeon hated anyone, because of how much power he had and how much destruction he could actually cause if he really wanted to. 

"There's going to be an anonymous auction two weeks from now in Yokohama, and he'll be there. But if we want to kill him we're gonna have to make this an inside operation..." Junmyeon trails off, and everyone waits for him to continue, but he doesn't. Instead, his dark eyes rest on me. I frown, confused as I look around at everyone else, who turn their heads and stare at me with pale expressions.

"Ummm...why are you all looking at me?" 

"We're going to need you to get inside."  Junmyeon says.

I am still confused for a few moments until something inside my head clicks and the horrific realization hits me. I pale, my shoulders stiffening as I suddenly become at a complete and utter loss for words.

"Hell no!"  Baekhyun objects, stepping in front of me. 

"I'm with him on this one."  Jongin raises his hand. 

Junmyeon sighs and rubs the back of his neck:

"Listen-"

"With all due respect-" Kyungsoo interrupts him, "you're making the same mistake. Did you forget what happened last time she went on a mission? Why can't we send someone else? "

"Because he knows all of us, except her."  Junmyeon raises his voice, making the entire plane go silent.

There is a brief pause of silence before Junmyeon sighs. He shuts his eyes and runs a hand through his hair, speaking softer now:

 "He's seen every one of our faces, but he hasn't seen Y/N. He won't recognize her"  Junmyeon says, "If we can somehow get her through the elaborate security system of his chateau, killing him will be easy."

I feel Baekhyun take my hand into his and I look at him, only to see his eyes fixed angrily at Junmyeon.

"How exactly is she supposed to get inside?" Sehun asks, crossing his arms.

Junmyeon pours himself a glass of whiskey and brings it to his lips carefully. He takes a faint sip, before sighing and fixing his eyes on me:

"We're going to auction her off." 

My eyes widen, and I feel Baekhyun's grip on my hand tighten.

Auctioned off? To a bunch of dangerous strangers?

"I-I don't know if I can do something like that, boss..."  I stutter, a bit taken aback by it all. 

"You'll be training with us for the next two weeks. Up until the auction."  Junmyeon said, walking up to me slowly "don't worry, Y/N. I wouldn't be sending you in if I didn't think you could do it." 

"So you think she can do this? Or do you just think she's dumb enough to risk her life?"  Baekhyun retorted, making Junmyeon look at him. 

The boss just stood there, staring at Baekhyun until his eyes moved down and caught where Baekhyun was holding my hand. Junmyeon raised his eyebrows slightly at the gesture, his expression holding slight confusion and even surprise:

"Baekhyun." 

"What." 

"Y/N can do this if she has nothing to lose. Like the rest of us."  Junmyeon said, his eyes meeting Baekhyun's once more, "But right now, you are giving her a very false sense of security. Think of why you're here. Think of why we're all here.

Junmyeon's words are heavy, and I can see the weight they have on everyone, including Baekhyun as the silence comes back. I look at Baekhyun, who turns his head slightly to meet my gaze. His eyes are sad, his voice soft:

"I just don't want her to get hurt." 

Junmyeon sighs and places a hand on Baekhyun's shoulder:

"Then let's teach her how to protect herself." 

There is an unsettling silence as the members are all indecisive. I wasn't really there yet. My mind was still captivated by Baekhyun's concern for me. I didn't think I meant that much to him, but clearly I meant something to him. It was strange.

"As much as I'd like her to just be our cute chef..."  Sehun begins, "I think the boss has a point. This is the perfect opportunity to train her. She could be more useful with an AK47 in her hands instead of a frying pan.

There are mixed opinions on the matter. But the members are all relatively neutral about my "training" as they all came to the consensus that, from here on out, it would be better for me to have at least some knowledge of self-defense and even offense. 

"What do you think, Y/N?"  Junmyeon asked me suddenly, making me snap out of my own thoughts as I looked at him with surprise.

They're giving me a choice?

I think for moment, my hand still gripping Baekhyun's tightly. I knew he wouldn't want me to even get involved, but the majority of the mafia members were right. I both need and want to learn as much as I can, so that I can be prepared from here on out- so that I don't get myself or others hurt ever again. 

"I'm sorry, Baekhyun...but I can't keep making stupid mistakes."  I tell him, "I want to try this. You guys have helped me so much already, it's time for me to return the favor."

Baekhyun sighs, but keeps his eyes fixed on me seriously:

"Fine, but the training is gonna be hard. We're not gonna go easy on you, princess. If you're going to be out there, I want to make sure you're fully prepared for any fucker who tries something.

Baekhyun brings my hand to his lips and presses a gentle kiss onto my knuckles. He sighs wistfully and gazes into my eyes:

"I'm breaking up with you." 

My eyes widen and I pull my hand away quickly:

"W-What?! We were never even dating in the first place!"

"Ahh~ my heart...."  Baekhyun clenches his chest dramatically and leans against Chanyeol, who catches him before he can fall.

Chanyeol looks at me with a sheepish smile:

"Wahh...Y/N, I didn't know you could be so cold..."

I frown and cross my arms, a dark blush creeping up my cheeks as I ignore them. Junmyeon laughs lightly at the playful exchange before turning around with Minseok to get refills on their alcoholic drinks. Chanyeol and Baekhyun walk back over to their seats. Kyungsoo quietly goes back to his seat and lies his head back to catch up on some sleep. Sehun and Yixing are chatting fondly with Jongdae who whines at their comments. The atmosphere was light again, the tension from a few moments ago completely disappearing. Everyone went back to their usual spots, while I stayed standing, my feet planted firmly on the ground and my eyes fixed on only one thing- despite all the things that were happening around me. 

Jongin and I had been staring at each other for little longer than normal. 

At first, his gaze is cold, scanning my face with robotic eyes and colorless cheeks. But within a few moments, my neck felt itchy and my palms felt sweaty. Jongin's cheeks had begun to flush a light pink, and if anyone had caught us it would have just seemed like a weird staring contest. But it wasn't a contest at all. It was a tension that was confusing. An indelicate tension. Perhaps even an exchange of memories. Of intimate thoughts from previous actions...

And then Jongin walks away. Fast. Like it never happened. 

I take a seat beside Kyungsoo, who was already fast asleep. For the remainder of the trip, I try not to think about the rigorous training that awaits me in Japan and instead question why Jongin was looking at me like he wanted to eat me alive. Strangely, I fall asleep to these thoughts. 

When I awake, I am in Yokohama airport. I'm floating, greeted by potted hydrangea flowers along the walkway and it's a strange sight- until I realize that I am just being carried by the gentle giant Chanyeol to the arrival area of the airport. My arms were draped loosely around his neck, where he was holding me bridal-style in his arms. I wrap my arms tighter around his neck, and he notices, moving his gaze down to look at me:

"Hey."  He smiles, "Boss said not to wake you." 

"Oh..."  I bring a hand over to rub my eyes, as I yawn. 

"Do you want me to put you down?"  Chanyeol asks softly, the other guys walking in front of him and leading the way out of the airport.

I shake my head and rest my head on his warm shoulder:

"No..."

"No?" Chanyeol raises an eyebrow. 

"No." 

He grins:

"I can't hear you..."  Chanyeol whispers playfully "You don't want oppa to put you down?" 

I make a face of utter recoil and horror when I realize what he said, before I start hitting him:

"AH! I'm being attacked! Omo~ ah!"  He exclaims dramatically.

- - - 

Since Yokohama is Yakuza territory, the mafia are not really welcome and any interaction between the two groups would result in only blood and destruction. With this in mind, the boss had already booked us rooms in an upscale hotel among Japan's business class, so that our temporary residence would be as secretive as possible.

"Here's the key to your room, Y/N."  Junmyeon hands me the card with a little sigh of exhaustion, "You need to stay inside your room at all times unless we say otherwise. Do you understand?"

"Yes. Thank you, sir..." I mumble, taking the card from him quietly before making my way into the elevator with Baekhyun next to me. 

The elevator doors closed after we had stepped inside. I leaned against the wall and sighed deeply, before looking over at Baekhyun, who's eyes were glued to his phone. I watched how the little strands of his hair fell over his face, before my gaze traveled down to the thick veins on his neck and his injured arm that he had covered up with a dark blazer.

"Enjoying the view?"

I snapped out of my gaze when I heard his gentle teasing voice. My cheeks burned and I looked away quickly, averting my eyes to the ground.

Baekhyun suddenly started laughing, before coming closer behind me. He tilted his head and pressed his lips gently onto the side of my cheek. Chanyeol and Jongdae were in the elevator with us, and I could practically feel the awkwardness building as Baekhyun's lips lingered on my cheek even after the kiss. The elevator finally chimed, and I wasted no time to walk away as soon as the doors opened. My face burned with embarrassment as I searched for my room. But by the time I could find what room I was in, he had already walked up to me with that same playful glitter still in his eyes:

"Is this you're room?" 

I nod and watch as his lips curl into a little smile:

"Then it's my room too."

My eyes widen as I scan the keycard:

"But Junmyeon said-"

"I don't care what Junmyeon says."  His tone suddenly become more assertive, "Especially now that you're gonna start training with the other guys soon. I want to be here to take care of you." 

The door clicks after it has been unlocked with the keycard, and I push it open with a defeated sigh. I had no energy to argue with Baekhyun, nor did I want to. He was nothing but sweet to me, and so I should just be the same to him.

Right?

"Ah~"  Baekhyun hopped onto the king-sized bed and rested his head on the pillows comfortably as he folded his arms under his head and stared at the ceilings lined with gold trimmings, "this could be nice."

One thing's for sure: Baekhyun has horrible taste in women. I walk into the bathroom and stare at my reflection in the mirror to find that I look really gross, with dark bags skirting my eyes and knots in my hair. I waste no time to splash some water onto my face. I don't know why he was so flirty with me all the time. There was clearly nothing attractive about my appearance. 

When I finish washing my face, I move over to grab the towel with my eyes shut tight. I pat the towel gently on my face to dry my skin, but as I am doing this I feel two arms grab me and pull me into a loose hug from behind. I pull the towel away from my face and look into the mirror to see Baekhyun behind me, his arms locked securely around my waist. I sigh:

"Baekhyun..." 

"Mm?" 

I bite my lip and turn my body so that I'm facing him. I feel the nervousness build up more and more inside of me, but I let the words slip from my lips before I become to shy to say what has been bothering me for quite some time now:

"Why do you act like..."  My heart races, "we're dating...or something..."

Baekhyun's eyes are slightly wide, his pupils dilated as he looks a bit taken aback by the sudden question. However, his expression lightens almost instantly after the look of shock. His eyes soften and his smile is back. He chuckles, his cheeks peppered pink only slightly as he averts his eyes to the floor with playful fluster.

He brings a hand and smoothly runs it through his hair as he scoffs and doesn't even bother to meet my eyes. Seeing him so sheepishly shy was truly a sight. 

"Because..."  He starts nervously, "I like you." 

His face is burning as he let the words leave his lips, and it is strange considering the fact that he has said far more explicit things before with ease, but right now it was just a simple confession that was making him go so red like this. 

"Th-Thanks..." 

He covers his face with his hands and starts laughing:

"You're so cute..." 

Chapter Text

 

It is kind of difficult to fall asleep due to the time difference, so I am sitting in bed and scrolling through the late night Japanese variety shows on the TV in front of the king-sized bed. Baekhyun had already fallen fast asleep, his head rested comfortably on the pillow beside me. I check the time on the little clock by the lamp, and find that it is well past midnight here. However, I come to the realization that I am not tired in the slightest.

My stomach growls hideously and I sigh, pushing myself off of the bed carefully. I make my way over to the little kitchen area of the hotel room and open the refrigerator. It is empty. 

With disappointment, I walk back over near the bed and crouch down to look through my bag. I find some Japanese yen Junmyeon had given me for emergencies and slip it into my pocket. I know I'm not supposed to leave my room, but I saw a vending machine just at the end of the hall on my way here, so going to get a snack shouldn't really be a problem, right?

I slip my feet into Baekhyun's slippers and grab the keycard from the table. I push the door open quietly and step out into the hall. The cream colored walls of the corridor appear taupe in the night as the lights have been dimmed down slightly. Although it is still bright enough for me to find my way down the hall, I feel a bit uneasy so I walk slowly, glancing around cautiously. It is awfully quiet, but I suppose that's normal after midnight. Everyone was probably asleep, but something just felt off...

And that's when I could hear it. Faintly.

The soft sound of footsteps on the cream carpet, echoing mine. Someone was following me. 

I feel my heart rate race rapidly in my chest. My face pales and I freeze for a moment, feeling nothing but cold. In an instant, my feet pick up in pace and I soon find myself speed-walking over to the little vending machine area. I step in front of the large, lit-up machine full of chips, cookies and crackers, and reach into my pocket for the money as fast as I can. My hands are trembling as I insert some of the cash into the machine hurriedly. My eyes are glued to the chips bag as it is slowly let out of it's compartment, and the sound of footsteps draws closer and closer with each agonizing second. 

I bite my lip and internally beg for the chips bag to fall faster, but it suddenly becomes stuck in the middle of being let out and I practically feel my heart sink in my chest. My eyes widen and my face pales. I bring my hands to either side of the machine before starting to shake it vigorously with desperation, in hopes that the bag of chips would fall so I could grab it and run. The footsteps are right behind me now and I know this is the end. I knew this was a bad idea. I should've listened to Junmyeon. I should have-

I turn around quickly. 

There is the silhouette of a man I have never seen before. He is tall and slender, skin as white as milk and yet glistening under the dim light like a pale moon. He draws closer to me carefully, hands in his pockets as he quickly picks up on my unease. He is taller than me, wearing a dark pantsuit and silk shirt that shines so brightly it reflects the light that hits it. The top buttons of his shirt are undone, revealing a toned chest, as pale and milk-white as his face. 

He stops when he is a few feet from me. His eyes rest on me, and I see for the first time that he almost looks amused, his lips twitching slightly. I am frozen, staring at him like an idiot. He smirks, although I can tell he had been trying to hold it back:

"Excuse me." 

"S-Sorry." I answer quickly, stepping away from the disappointment of a vending machine. 

He takes my place in front of the machine and casually slips a yen from his pocket. His fingers are slender, and everything about him is elegant. I watch carefully as he is about to insert the money into the machine, but my good nature get the best of me and I stop him:

"Wait." 

He turns his head to look at me and quirks an eyebrow expectantly. I bite my lip when his chocolate eyes meet mine again. I found myself feeling uncomfortable under his gaze, like I was little. I avert my eyes elsewhere and clear my throat quietly:

"It's jammed..."  I tell him, "I put money in a few seconds ago and the chips bag got stuck."  I point to the bag of chips that was supposed to fall out earlier. 

The mysterious man blinks at me, his expression growing more and more curious as he eyes me up and down, strands of ash-blonde hair falling delicately over his eyes. I felt a blush creep up my cheeks, but by then he had already averted his attention back to the machine, pulling a sharp stiletto-like blade from his pocket and letting it slip in between his fingers.

My eyes widened and I took a step back, but I soon realized that it was not for me.

He traced the blade along the perimeter of the glass slowly, and in an instant, the panel of glass popped out from the machine. He held the large panel and moved it carefully over to the side, setting it against the wall. He leaned over and took the bag of chips that was stuck, along with a candy bar. He turned around and stared down at me with a little smile playing his plump lips. He held the bag of chips out for me to take and I just stared at him again, like an idiot.

"Take it..."  He said softly, "you know you want it." 

The longer I stare at him the more I realize how strange he is. His presence is so ethereal, the way he moves and speaks; like a dream, and I can see now that he's definitely not Japanese. 

His chocolate eyes bore into mine with an enigmatic intensity as he slowly lets go of the bag for me to take it. He presses his lips into a brief smile, as his face inches closer and closer to my own. The bag of chips is at my fingertips now, but he hasn't let go of it yet. I feel my breathing grow unsteady, and everything within me is telling me to just forget about it and run. But I can't move.

His lips are dangerously close to mine as he observes me like an object. His gaze melts off onto my own, his head tilting at an inquisitive angle until I can't see his face anymore, only the line of his jaw until all I feel is his cold breath hitting the side of my neck. My heart races madly at the close proximity that somehow emits a shiver that tickles up and down my glacial spine.

"Who are you..."  He whispers, his lips brushing against my ear in a way that seems to violate every other part of my body "why are you following me..."  It was a demand rather than a question. A frightening, yet gentle demand. 

I swallow dryly and tense up, the words leaving my lips without a second thought:

"I wasn't following you. I thought you were following me." 

He pulls away from my ear slowly, tilting his head back to meet my eyes once again. He stays like that for a few moments, the indecisiveness evident in his eyes, where he searches my face for the sign of a lie. But when he can't find anything, he straightens his posture and stands upright again, leaving a little bit of distance between us again.

I stare at him with more curiosity than fear now. My gaze travels down his toned body to his left hand, where he holds a little candy bar. When he notices me staring, he rips the wrapper off slowly and brings the chocolate to his lips. He takes a bite and blinks, his eyes flickering over to me for one last glance before he walks past me. 

I don't know why but I'm stuck where I am, a part of me wondering what happened but another part of me thoroughly intrigued and curious as to who he was. What was his name? What was he doing in Japan?

As if finally snapping out of the transcendent state he had left me in, I turn around quickly to see where the mystery man had walked off. 

But like the wind he was gone. And like the air: without a trace, disappearing off into the darkness at the ends of the dimly lit corridor. A shadow. 

A dream. 

"Y/N?"  I hear a voice call out to me.

I turn my head back to stare in front of me, and realize that it is from Chanyeol. He squints at me from the distance, and I wave lightly. He starts jogging over to me. 

When he's in front of me, I notice that he's wearing his leather jacket, and his helmet is tucked under his arm. I become more curious, but he speaks before I can:

"What are you doing out here all alone?"  He asks, ruffling my hair. 

I become quiet as I don't even know if I should tell him or anyone about the mysterious man. I look down at the chips bag in my hands before averting my eyes back to Chanyeol:

"I got hungry."  I tell him. 

Chanyeol nods understandingly before glancing over at the vending machine behind me. His eyes widen slightly, and he points towards it:

"You did that?" 

I look behind me quickly and notice that the glass panel of the machine was still out from when the man earlier had removed it. My eyes widen and I panic. I look back at Chanyeol and shake my head quickly:

"N-No! It was actually like that when I got here..."  I lie.

Chanyeol makes a face of intrigue before clicking his tongue:

"Weird."  He rests his gaze back on me, "I'm going out for a ride because I can't sleep. Wanna come?" 

I hesitate:

"I don't know...Junmyeon told me I'm not allowed to even be outside my room."

"Come on, you've already broken one rule..."  Chanyeol steps closer and smiles down at me mischievously with his charming features, "what's one more?" 

I can't help but to smile slightly and follow him out. 

- - - 

We make our way down the hotel's parking garage until we reach his motorcycle. And just as we are about to sit, I remember something:

"Chanyeol, before we go, can I quickly eat this?"  I ask, pointing to the bag of chips still in my hand.

Chanyeol starts laughing and nods:

"Sure." 

I felt like a fatty for the way I asked him, but honestly I could care less at this point. I was starving for something salty and these potato chips were in my mind the entire night. I lean against the wall of the parking garage and pop open the bag before reaching in and pulling a chip out. One becomes two; two becomes three; and I end up finishing the entirety of the little bag within a few minutes. 

"Done?" Chanyeol asks, after watching me eat the entire bag with amusement. 

I nod, my mouth full. He smiles and walks over to me, waiting for me to finish chewing before he pops the motorcycle helmet onto my head: 

"I only brought one helmet with me, but you can wear it."  

He then helps me get on the bike with him before he pushes the key into the compartment to start up the bike. It rumbles deeply and I almost slip off my seat until I wrap my arms around his waist to keep myself in place. He opens a little side compartment and takes out a pair of leather gloves, slipping them into his hands before grabbing the handles of the bike firmly:

"Ready?"

I nod:

"Yea."

"Hug oppa tighter."  He says playfully.

I pinch his arm for him to shut up and he laughs, speeding off into the night. 

Chapter Text

Chanyeol drives down the highway until we are in the heart of Yokohama, one of Japan's central business districts. The streets are clear because of how late it is, but the city was just as bright at night as it was in the day. The skyscrapers glittered, vibrant colors peppered across the entire district. I felt warm and fuzzy inside. 

I tightened my arms around Chanyeol and leaned in, resting my head on his back as he continued to zoom through, breaking about a dozen speed limit laws. But I didn't complain. It felt good. The city was refreshing, this night unlike anything I'd ever really seen before. 

Chanyeol drives a little further out of the city, before pulling over and stopping at the side of a little backstreets road near a neighborhood. He hops off of the bike first,  before carefully taking the helmet off of my head. Confused, I hop off the bike with him and he smiles at me:

"Do you feel it?"

I am about to question what he's talking about, until suddenly, as if on cue, a gentle breeze brushes past me. I close my eyes and take it in, the scent of saltwater hitting my nose. I open my eyes again and look at Chanyeol with slight surprise:

"The ocean?" 

All of these years, living with my father, I had never really been to the ocean before. I had never been anywhere remotely magical. He was always out traveling, striking illegal deals and smuggling from place to place. But I was always stuck in my room. Wondering where my mother went and what the ocean smelled like. I guess now I know. 

Now I know what it smells like. 

"Come on."  Chanyeol smiles, pulling me by my arm gently. 

"Are we allowed to?"  I ask, suddenly cautious, although my heart was racing insanely in my chest as years of curiosity were finally coming to an end.

"There's no one around..."  Chanyeol says.

And I cant hold it back anymore. I can't pretend like I'm not excited. 

"Where is it?"  I ask, biting back a smile "Where's the ocean?" 

Chanyeol stares at me, taken aback by my sudden eagerness, but his lips curl into a smile and he drags me over to a boardwalk area. He slips down the edge of the boards, and I jump down with him. There's sand beneath our feet now, and my eyes widen as the salty scent of the ocean grows closer. I panic at the sand below me, having never experienced anything like this before. Chanyeol looks at me with curiosity as I suddenly stay where I am. He doesn't know this is my first time at the beach, and I really don't want to ruin it for him. 

"You good?"  He asks, raising an eyebrow at me.

"Y-Yea...it's just" I look down at the sand I was stepping on "a little hard to walk." 

"You gotta take off your shoes!"  He laughs, pointing to Baekhyun's slippers that were still on my feet, "Aren't those Baekhyun's?" 

"Yea..." I laugh nervously, as I take the slippers off and hold them with my free hand while my right hand grips Chanyeol's hand. 

The sand is cool against my feet, and it kind of tickles. I start jumping around and giggling like an idiot. I was having way too much fun for my own good, and Chanyeol was growing more and more suspicious by the minute. He stopped walking again to look at me, this time raising an eyebrow.

I try to look at him with a straight face but the sand keeps tickling my feet and I end up giggling. I am about to make up an excuse, when I suddenly spot the ocean behind him. It was in front of us this whole time and I seemed to have only noticed it just now. I stop giggling and stare off into the sea, my heart slowing down upon witnessing the crashing of the water into the sand. I freeze where I am and take in the scene, something I have always dreamed of doing since I was very young. Chanyeol quickly notices my sudden behavior, but his own actions become far more questionable than mine. 

He scoops me off of my feet into his arms and starts running into the water. I shriek and hold onto him. 

"CHANYEOL!" 

He laughs and walks deeper into the water. I shriek again and tighten my arms around his neck.

"Want me to put you down?"  He asks, as the little waves crash and splash a bit of water on us.

"No!" 

He laughs again and I groan, burying my face into his shoulder so as not to look down.

"Omo..."  He hums, "Are you scared?" 

I am silent, clinging onto him as my hands tremble slightly. I didn't want to admit anything. I didn't want to ruin the fun either.

But he was always too good to me:

"Here, I'm taking you back to the dry land now, okay?"

"O-Okay..."

He walks over quietly and sets me down on the sand, in front of the water, just a few feet away from the crashing of the waves. He sits beside me and I bring my knees up to hug them close to my chest. I watch the waves crash, the breeze blowing my hair back refreshingly. He is still quiet, and the way he stares at the water tells me he has a lot on his mind. He almost looked sad. Did I upset him?

"Chanyeol?" I suddenly ask. 

"Mm?"  He does not move his eyes away from the water.

"This is my first time at the beach." I finally admit.

As if snapping out of whatever was keeping him in his mind, he turns his head to look at me. His eyes are slightly wide, and his playful expression is back:

"Really?"

I nod. 

"No wonder you were terrified."  He chuckles faintly, before averting his attention back to ocean "I'm sorry."

The way the moon shined down while the dark water crashed onto the cool sand was ethereal. And it did something to him. Maybe he had a distant memory he was trying to hold on to. Something beautiful. Or maybe he had something he wanted to forget. Something horrible. 

I wouldn't know. 

My arms somehow find themselves around Chanyeol, except this time it's not because we're on his motorcycle. This time, I feel like he was going too fast without his bike, his mind  being the one speeding down a place he wasn't supposed to, and I could feel it. 

"Slow down."  I tell him, when I feel him shaking.

He pulls me closer and wraps his arms around me tightly. I rest my chin on his shoulder and rub his back as he sniffs quietly. I don't know what's wrong. I don't know why he's acting like this. But it doesn't matter. 

I just want to be here for him. 

- - - 

Chanyeol had taken me back to Baekhyun before the end of the night, and I was in bed at around three in the morning. Baekhyun woke me up with his singing in the shower at six. So, a few hours of sleep was all I would be running on today. 

Today was my first day of training before the auction next week, and I honestly didn't really know what to expect. Baekhyun was out running errands for Junmyeon with Sehun, and had instructed me to stay in the room until the person who was training me shows up. I didn't know who would be training me first, but I'm hoping for someone kind and easygoing. Like Yixing, or Chanyeol. 

After slipping into jeans and a t-shirt, I am running a quick comb through my hair in an attempt to look somewhat presentable, when suddenly there is a firm knock on the door. I set the hairbrush down and make my way over quickly to the door. I twist the doorknob, but I am not really ready to confront the person that stands in front of me.

Because it's freaking Jongin. 

"Hey." He says awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck, "I'm gonna be training you today." 

"O-Oh..." I stutter, stepping away from the door so that he could come in.

This is going to be really awkward.

I close the door as Jongin steps into the hotel room, and watch as he glances at the slightly untidy room. He squints at the bed before averting his gaze over to me:

"Did someone else sleep here with you?" 

Baekhyun.

My cheeks suddenly burn as I look over at the mess of clothes Baekhyun had left. I sigh and walk over to pick it up silently, not really having it in me to answer him.

Jongin is silent and it does very little to relieve the tension that is already happening between us. I throw Baekhyun's clothes off into a pile, before smoothing my hands down the wrinkled shirt I was wearing. I step in front of Jongin and look at him nervously:

"S-So..."

As if finally snapping out of a deep thought, Jongin blinks rapidly at me until his demeanor changes entirely:

"Right. I'm going to be your physical trainer for the next few days; in combat, defense, and a little bit of mixed martial arts."

My eyes widen. 

Jongin shows me a mapped location on his phone:

"This is the warehouse Junmyeon set up for us. We should head out now, while it's still early."  He says, walking right out of the door before I could even say anything.

"W-Wait!"  I run after him.

There was a jet-black sports car waiting for us by the time we stepped out of the hotel, and the valet came over to the side of the car and held the door open for me to get inside. I hesitated, but complied after Jongin nodded for me to do so. I got into the backseat of the car and watched as Jongin slipped in beside me. The valet made his way over behind the wheel. He began driving, already having been informed of our destination. 

With a sigh, I lie back in the seat and turn my head to look out the tinted window. Japan was beautiful. The skies were bright blue, and when we went on a bridge over the ocean, it sparkled under the hot rays of the sun. My eyes instantly lit up, as I sat up straighter to admire it. The white birds flying over the shimmering water. The breeze that blew the exotic plants near the ocean. I remembered last night. With Chanyeol. The scent of the ocean.

"Can I roll down the window for a little bit?" 

"Why?"  Jongin asked, clearly not wanting to risk us being seen.

I want to feel the breeze. 

"I need some air."

Jongin nodded towards the valet who eyed us from the mirror before rolling down the window on my side automatically. I bit back my smile as the fresh oceanic breeze blew my hair back and kissed my face, just like it did last night. Except it was warmer this time. I close my eyes and savor the feeling. 

After a while, I open my eyes and turn my head to check on Jongin. He was quieter than the others, like Kyungsoo, but even more mysterious. It's like he had two different personalities. Where one moment he would be cold and quiet, before instantly turning into someone charismatic and charmingly daring. These elements about him were what piqued my interest the most, and the more I stared at Jongin the more I realized how much I wanted to learn more about why he was like this. 

Why he made me feel amazing one night, before making me feel like a ghost the next. 

When we arrive at the warehouse,I first notice how the interior has been modified to make it a full training facility, complete with gym equipment, punching bags, shower rooms and weights. It was spacious, cold and empty of anyone else. Meaning that Jongin and I would be the only ones here.

"I'm gonna go get changed,"  He handed me a pair of basketball shorts, "put these on while I'm gone. You can't work out in those."  He pointed to my jeans.

I rolled my eyes and waited for him to walk away to the shower rooms before I quickly got changed in the bathroom. By the time I was finished, he was already back by the equipment. My eyes widened when I saw his muscles exposed from the dark t-shirt he was wearing. I felt my cheeks burn when his gaze met mine, the memory of my teeth sinking into his bicep while his body pressed against mine a few weeks ago flashed before my eyes. I started coughing. He walked over to me and stared at me with his innocent gaze:

"You okay?" 

When I am still silent and red-faced, Jongin begins blushing too. He bites his lip and a his eyes flicker in a way that tells me he knows exactly what I've been thinking about. He takes me by my elbow and pulls me over to the side:

"Listen, what happened a few weeks ago was..." 

A mistake? Did he regret it?

"Fun."

...oh.

"But we have to focus one what's important now, okay?"  He said in a surprisingly polite tone. I nodded and swallowed dryly. 

Jongin sighed and smoothed a hand through his hair once before eyeing me up and down:

"I think we should start with some simple defense first."  He walked off to the back of the room before coming back with a pair of boxing gloves. He took my hands and gently slipped the gloves on, before fastening the adjustable straps. 

When the gloves were on, he showed me how to angle my arms into a position that could guard my face, head and neck:

"You have to keep your hands in front of you at all times." 

Thirty minutes of defense practice passes by in a flash, and before I know it, Jongin has two hands on my shoulders, telling me to punch the air in front of me. Jabs. That's what he calls the little offensive punches he taught me. 

"Tighten your knuckles and angle your fist. If someone comes at you from the front you can crack their jaw with this." 

I nod silently, complying to his every direction. Jongin was a decent instructor, but sometimes he got lost in his own thoughts, and I would catch him. Luckily, I was a fast learner and could pick up things fairly quickly.

About an hour had passed when Jongin instructed me to start practicing on the punching bag. I was intimidated at first, but managed to grow more and more comfortable punching the large bag in front of me as it swayed from side to side. I would strike it at the angles he taught me to, all while trying to maintain tight knuckles without putting any strain on my fists. It was a little painful at first, but I could feel myself growing more accustomed to the motion, and Jongin didn't take no for an answer.

He was leaned against the mirrored wall, arms crossed and eyes narrowed as he watched me land every hit at the punching bag. I wanted to do my best, not only to learn how to defend myself, but there was also a part of me that just wanted to impress him. Maybe it was because I knew he was watching me. 

Exhausted, I suddenly stop hitting the punching bag to catch my breath. I bring my arm up to wipe the sweat that had gathered at my forehead, and turn my head to see Jongin approaching me with a towel and cold water bottle.

"You're doing great."  He says, placing the towel around my neck and handing me the water bottle, "Let's take a break."

"Thanks..." I pant, taking the bottle from him. I twist the cap open and bring it to my lips to drink. The cold water tasted sweet, and felt nice going down my dry throat. 

I take a seat on the floor, leaning back against the mirrored wall. My chest was tight, my heart racing fast from all of the exhaustive punching. I watched dizzily as Jongin came over and sat next to me. He watched me as I took another sip of the refreshing water bottle:

"Hey, Y/N...?" 

 "Yea?" I turned my head meet his gaze.

"Are you and Baekhyun..."

My cheeks burned as Jongin stuttered to find the right words. I kept quiet and waited for him to finish, biting my lip in anticipation.

"Do you like Baekhyun?"  He restated.

I froze, not really sure how to answer. I didn't know what he meant, if he was implying it intimately or not. I didn't know why I felt the way I did when Baekhyun wrapped his arms around me at night. But even worse, I didn't know why I felt the way I did after having sex with Jongin. This was bad. 

When I'm unresponsive, Jongin sighs and closes his eyes, shaking his head:

"Nevermind. I shouldn't have asked that." 

He stands up and holds out his hand for me. I take his hand and he helps me get back up on my feet. He forces a little smile onto his lips:

"Let's get back to training." 

Chapter Text

Another day goes by of training with Jongin. I return back to the hotel with my limbs tight and my muscles sore. He was intense today, paying no attention to my comfort, as the main goal was to get me out of my comfort zone. I had to lift weights and memorize a range of different offensive patterns, for when I had to defend myself. It was extremely exhausting. 

"I'll see you later."  Jongin says, patting my back before walking off. He had walked me up to my room before returning to his own. He was quiet and much more reserved today. Almost as if something was bothering him. But I'm way too tired to try and figure out what it may be... 

I step inside the cool, air-conditioned room, to find that Baekhyun wasn't around. I had showered back at the warehouse before coming here, so my hair was still damp, the cotton towel wrapped around my shoulders. I make my way tiredly over to the large bed. The soft white sheets had just been re-made per the room service, and I happily drop myself onto the plush mattress. I close my eyes and breathe. I wonder where Baekhyun is...

But I can't will myself to stay awake any longer, as my exhausted limbs finally relax and my eyelids becomes heavier and heavier. I drift off to a numbing sleep that takes me away seamlessly, like the wind.

- - -

When I awake, the sky is darker, and the room dimly lit by a lamp. I hear faint conversation as I stir in my sleep, my eyelids refusing to open fully until I rub them. I push myself to sit up with my elbows, and first notice Baekhyun and Jongdae talking by the table adjacent to the bed, near the lamp that seemed to be the only light in the dreary hotel room.

Jongdae is the first to notice me as he averts his gaze from Baekhyun to stare at me. Baekhyun soon takes notice of his friend and turns around to see me. I move my eyes over from Jongdae to see Baekhyun's lips curl into a smile:

"Hey, princess."

He pushes himself off of the chair to walk over to my side as I sit up straighter and rub the blurriness from my eyes more:

"Why are most of the lights off?"

"We didn't wanna wake you."  Jongdae answers, as he too walks over to me and stands next to Baekhyun. 

I blink tiredly at them, as Baekhyun gently runs his fingers through my messy hair:

"Are you hungry?" 

I hesitate at first, but the growling in my stomach answers him for me. Jongdae laughs lightly and Baekhyun smirks playfully:

"It's okay baby, I'm hungry too. I'll go get us some sushi. How does that sound?"

"Okay..."  I nod slowly, as a dark blush creeps up my cheeks. 

"Jongdae, you want anything?"  Baekhyun asks his friend as he walks across the room to slip his shoes on. 

"Nah, I'm good." 

Baekhyun shrugs on his jacket and grabs his phone:

"I'll be back in a bit. Stay with her for me?"

"Sure."  Jongdae answers, while his eyes stay locked onto mine.

I felt a chill run down my spine by the way he was staring at me, and when Baekhyun closed the door on his way out, I looked away from Jongdae and pushed myself off of the bed. I felt his eyes on me as I staggered over to the bathroom. I splashed some water onto my face, before walking back over to find him sitting back by the table. I paused for a moment, before making my way over to sit behind him by the dim lamp light.

He turns his head to look at me, and I just sit there quietly. I had almost forgotten the other side of Jongdae. This whole other persona that he had always held back, but I had somehow managed to catch when I was at my worst. When I had a panic attack in the car while Minseok was driving us to the airport, and he was there, holding my shoulders and grounding me back to reality with his chocolate eyes and lavender voice. I had forgotten that he and Minseok had seen a part of me that I had never dared to show anyone else in the entire universe.

"How are you?"

And of course it was still on his mind. When he looks at me, he probably remembers that pathetic scene. He probably remembers my trembling body, my shaky voice and blood-shot eyes. He probably feels bad for me. Pities me. But he doesn't act like it. He hasn't talked to me about it all, instead choosing to pretend it never happened. 

I want to thank him. 

"I'm okay."  I reply flatly, and it's not really a lie.

"That's good."  He says with an easy smile, in an attempt to lighten the ambiance of the dreary room combined with the strange tension that exists between us.

I avert my eyes to my hands, as I fiddle with my thumbs nervously. I wanted to thank him for helping me, but I didn't know how to get around it without bringing up the event in the first place. I didn't want to remind him of what happened, or what he saw. 

"If you ever feel like you need to talk to anyone..." 

He pauses to find his words, sighing softly:

"You can talk to me."  He shifts his body to face more in my own direction "It's not really healthy to keep things in." 

My eyes widened slightly as I rested my gaze back on him. It was like he read my mind. Like he had somehow guessed that what happened that day was all I was thinking about. I feel a lump in my throat grow as I begin to doubt myself.

Was I that easy to read?

I somehow lose my voice as I can't form words. I want to say something. Retort back with something witty, or maybe even thank him for his concern like a normal person would, but I just grow more and more anxious. 

He rests his hand atop mine, and I jump at the sudden contact. His skin is cold against mine, the palm of his hand burning into my knuckles. I meet his eyes but his expression doesn't soften in the slightest. He shifts his grip on my palm and moves closer to me, the air between us too intense for my own liking. But why do I want to be closer?

"You have an eyelash on your cheek..."  He says slowly, brushing my cheek with his thumb.

But just as I am about to thank him, there is a little electric buzz that makes the room suddenly dark. I jump a little, and turn around to see that the bulb of the lamp had burned out. I turn my head back to look at Jongdae, who gets up with a little laugh:

"Relax. The lamp just burned out."

He walks over to the corner of the room to switch the mini chandelier lights on, and the room instantly becomes brighter than before with soft, white light. I stare at him as he walks back over and takes a seat where he was before. He crosses one leg over the other and stares at me with a little smile:

"Where were we?"

I can't help but to smile faintly:

"There was an eyelash on my cheek."

"Oh, right."  He muses, inching closer to me as he takes my by surprise by cupping my cheek with his hand, "It's still there."  He mumbles, and I know he's lying but it only works to amuse me more. 

"I think you got it." I laugh.

"No, it's still there..."  He objects, a faint smile playing his lips as he slowly begins stroking my cheek with his thumb, "I swear it's still there."

Although the moment is light and playful, my heart is heavy and sore, hammering hard in my chest as I struggle to breathe normally. His lips draw dangerously close to my own and I can feel his electric breath hitting my skin like a short-circuit, cutting through my mind like little sparks. 

"Wait..."  His hand slowly slides down to grip my chin, his thumb now smoothing over my bottom lip, "what's this...?"

I gulp:

"W-What?"

His eyes flick over to meet mine briefly, before his gaze runs back down to lock onto my lips. He tilts his head at an angle and smiles:

"There's something here too..."  He whispers, smoothing his thumb over my bottom lip again "Don't move."  He says, before leaning in.

I freeze, and my eyes widen at what is about to happen.

Then the entire room goes black.

I gasp and feel Jongdae pull away from me slightly. I blink rapidly to try and adjust my vision in the dark, but I am only able to make out his figure in front of me:

"Jongdae?" I call out, suddenly feeling a hand take my own.

"I'm right here."  He says, running his thumb over my knuckles "There's probably something wrong with the power."

"Oh." I nod, watching as he switched the flashlight of his phone on. 

"And just when things were getting interesting..."  He said playfully, letting go of my hand to stand up.

My cheeks burn as I stand up with him:

"I don't know what you're talking about."

He laughs his lavender laugh and checks his phone:

"I have no service in here. Can you try calling the housekeeping service from the room's phone? I'm gonna see if I can find someone outside." 

I nod quickly.

"I'll be right back."  He says, handing me his cell phone so that I can use it to see in the dark.

I make my way over to the bedside table and sit at the edge of the bed. I pick up the old wire phone, shining the phone's flashlight over it so that I can call the room service number. I dial the number carefully and hold the phone to my ear. Jongdae starts fumbling with the door but I pay no attention to it, until I realize that there's just silence at the other line of the phone. 

I frown and try redialing the number, but there's not even the sound of static. It's just silence on the other end. Like the cord has somehow been disconnected. 

"That's weird."  I hear Jongdae say, as he continues struggling with the knob "The door's not opening."

I give up with the phone, about to set it back down on the bedside table when I freeze, my eye catching something that sends a million chills down my spine. 

The phone line has been cut. 

My face pales and I drop the phone out of my hand:

"J-Jongdae..."

"Yea?"  He asks, as he tries to push the door open again.

"The phone is..." I stutter, standing up and speaking in broken sentences "s-someone...the line..."

He notices my nervousness and leaves the door to walk over to me. He stands in front of me and looks at me with concern:

"Are you okay?"  He comes closer and takes my arm gently, "What's wrong?" 

I can't really talk, so I instead shine his cell phone's flashlight toward the phone line behind the bedside table, where the cord had seemed to have been mysteriously cut with scissors. 

Jongdae's eyes visibly darken:

"Fuck."

- - -

I stand in the corner of the room, scared out of my fucking mind as Jongdae locks the balcony and pulls all of the curtains. He walks back over to me and quietly loads a Matilda gun. I have never seen him so dangerously silent and focused, and his entire demeanor makes me even more anxious.

My shoulders are shaking, but he instantly relaxes me by placing his hands on my arms and letting my gaze melt off of his. I stare at him, watching as he silently reassures me with his eyes. Then, he moves one of hands slowly and tucks a stray strand of my hair behind my ear. He leans into my ear and whispers, almost inaudibly:

"He's under the bed." 

My heart almost stops. Jongdae hands me the gun and I stare at him, silent and terrified. Was he there the whole time? Even while I was sleeping? I feel sick to my stomach, my body beginning to ache. Jongdae brings his index finger to his lips, in a silent signal for me to be quiet. His eyes are calm, but calculative. He tells me to sit on the bed, and I almost refuse until I realize that he probably has a plan. I grip the gun tightly in my hands, as hot tears begin to sting my eyes. I was so scared. More than my own safety, I didn't want him to get hurt. So I listened and decided to do whatever he told me to.

I get into the bed slowly, and watch as Jongdae grabs his pistol before walking in front of the bed. His eyes flicker between me and the spot under the bed, and I instantly know what he wants me to do. I try to compose myself, wiping my eyes dry before the tears could roll down my cheeks. I then take the tip of the gun and let it sink downward into the mattress, watching as he points his gun to aim for under the bed. I wait for his signal.

The second he nods at me is the second we both start shooting. I fire about a dozen bullets mindlessly into the mattress while Jongdae shoots many more under the bed. There's a short gasp cut short before gruesome sputtering sounds are heard. When I am certain whoever was under the bed is dead, I drop the gun and get back on my feet, quickly making my way over to Jongdae. He wraps his arms around me and I bury my face into his chest, not wanting to see what I had just done. 

There are some moments where I am okay with taking a life. 

Some moments where I like it. 

Some moments where I despise it. 

It's completely random. 

And it drives me insane. 

"Shhh, don't cry..."  Jongdae says, rubbing my back "It's over now, darling. He's gone." 

There is suddenly a click, and the front door is opened slowly. Jongdae and I quickly turn our heads to see who it is, only to find Baekhyun standing there with a bag of food in his hands. He freezes and stares at us, before taking in the state of the hotel room: the fucked up bed and the blood pooling out from beneath it. His eyes widen, and the bag of food slips from his hands.

"What the fuck happened."

Chapter Text

Baekhyun runs over to us.

"Are you alright, baby?"  He asks hastily.

I nod slowly, turning my head to look at Baekhyun. The foul stench of fresh blood smelled like black coffee, burning my nostrils and running a shiver down my spine. Baekhyun turns his head to look at the blood that pools out from under the bed, and he sighs:

"Was he there the whole time?"

"Probably."  Jongdae answers him, "Yea."

"Fuck." 

"We have to alert the boss and get her out of here."  Jongdae says.

Baekhyun nods:

"I'll take her somewhere safe. Can you let the boss and the others know?" 

"Yea."  Jongdae sighs, pulling away from me gently. He rests his hands on my shoulders and tilts his head slightly to meet my gaze "Everything's going to be fine, okay?" 

I nod quickly, feeling my anxiety levels go down a little from the sound of Jongdae's sweet lavender voice. Jongdae then presses a kiss onto my forehead, and wastes no time to run out of the room to alert the others. I turn my head to see Baekhyun staring at me with an unreadable expression. His eye twitches slightly, but he composes himself, and takes my hand into his:

"Let's go."

- - - 

I had gotten into a black Ferrari with Baekhyun, my head spinning from how fast everything was happening. That was one way to describe my new life with the mafia. Fast-paced. Dangerous and life-threatening. Every day was a damn surprise, whether it be for better or for worse. 

Baekhyun pulls into highway and finally slows down. There's some traffic and congestion, so he's forced to cut down on the dangerous speed he likes going. I bite my lip and turn my head to look at him. He's intimidatingly quiet, his eyes narrowed and focused on the road with an ice-cold gaze that is so stark in contrast to his natural playful one. He has one hand on the wheel, his other hand dialing a phone number quickly. 

I watch as he brings his cell phone to his ear. He starts talking to the Boss, telling him that I'm safe and out of the city. There's some brief conversation about the enemy, and how they didn't know if he was after me or after something else. I try to listen in on what they are saying, but I am too distracted with my own thoughts to focus on anything. 

When he's finished with talking to the Boss, he hangs up and slips the phone into his pocket. He then turns his head to take a glance at me, instantly catching me staring at him. He averts his gaze back to the road and sighs heavily:

"How are you doing, baby? Do you need anything?"  He asks gently, although I can tell he is angry at the whole situation. He probably blames himself. 

"No, I'm okay." I say quietly, "I just...I overreacted."

He turns his head slightly to check behind him for any vehicles before he pulls the car into to the left lane. He focuses most of his attention on the road, but his free hand travels over the stick shift and takes mine reassuringly. He entwines our fingers together and runs his thumb over my knuckles tenderly:

"It's alright. Taking a life is tricky. Sometimes you feel it, other times you don't." 

I keep quiet, and Baekhyun exhales gently:

"You did what you had to do. That's all that matters."

- - - 

The closest crowded city was Tokyo, being a 37 minute drive from Yokohama. Baekhyun had driven me to an upscale hotel there, using his false identity to get a room for us just for the time being. Tokyo was dangerous. The enemy had eyes everywhere, searching for Junmyeon and his mafia. If Baekhyun and I were seen together, I would instantly become a liability, so it was important to keep an extra low profile.

I didn't really say anything until we arrived at the suite. Baekhyun pulled all of the curtains shut and locked the balcony, slipping the 'Do Not Disturb'  sign onto the doorknob outside before locking it securely. He then turned around to look at me with a sigh of relief, his hands rested on his hips:

"I think that's everything." 

I stood in the corner of the room and eyed the bed cautiously. Baekhyun noticed my unease and his expression instantly softened, his lips curling into a little smile. He then walked over and crouched down, checking under the bed carefully, to reassure me before standing back up and walking over:

"It's all clear, baby." 

I sighed with relief, my shoulder sloping slightly. Baekhyun wraps his arms around my body and hugs me gently. I relax into his arms, finding the hug surprising, but much needed. My eyes begin to close, and he breathes in:

"Let's go to bed."

Despite being the most annoying, he is one of the most affectionate individuals I know. And I don't like how easily he pulls me in, because I can't ever find it in me to object. He always smells angelic, like air-dried sheets, lilac and sometimes maybe even soft acetone. 

He has an arm draped around my waist as he hugs me loosely from behind. My cheek is pressed against a cold pillow, a soft blanket over my body. It was too early to sleep, but Baekhyun never missed a chance to be in this position with me. To have his arms around me from behind. To nuzzle his nose into the back of my neck and smell my hair. To play with the hem of my shirt teasingly.

"Y/N..."  He mumbles quietly into my hair, as I feel my heart skip a beat "are you asleep?"

"No..." I reply, with a sigh, turning so that my body faces his. I snuggle into his chest and he chuckles. 

"What's wrong, princess...."  He whispers, running his fingers through my hair "Hm?"

I hesitate, but decide to be honest:

"I can't stop thinking about the auction..."  I tell him, "after what happened today I...think I'm scared."

 

"I know baby..."  Baekhyun sighs, pulling me close to his chest "I know."

And the playfulness is gone. Because of all the people believing in me to be capable of deception and death, Baekhyun was someone who wanted to keep me away from violence. He wants to preserve an innocence I don't have. He wants to secure my safety, and the steady state of my mind. But he fails to realize the most obvious component to all of these things. 

Because no matter what he does. 

I can't lose what I never had. 

There are suddenly butterflies in my stomach. I find myself feeling stressed at a level beyond repair, in a mode that I have not experienced before, burning me from the inside out with craving for some sort of distraction. And there it was, next to me. Always lying beside me. Always holding me so that I don't slip away. A distraction. Maybe more. Maybe less. 

I don't know what comes over me, but I sit up slightly in his arms. My cheeks burn and my head spins, I tilt my head and press my lips onto his without second thought. His body tenses up beneath mine, his entire anatomy confused. But eventually, Baekhyun gives in to temptation, and relaxes under my kiss, instead grabbing my arms to hold me in place. He rubs them up and down, slowly, sitting up to pull me closer, his mouth refusing to leave mine. 

There's heat in my head and in between my legs. I feel him, hard, stiffening through his dark jeans. My head aches but my heart aches more. I pull away from his hungry lips and adjust myself so that I'm on top of him. He grabs my hips, squeezing them as he desperately grinds himself against me from below. The desire only builds up more and more within me. 

"Fuck..."  He breathes, caught up in the heat of the moment just as bad as I am.

"Take me..." I pant breathlessly, "please...Baekhyun, please..."

"Shhhhhh, baby..." He whispers, his breathing erratic as he flips us over slowly so that he is on top now. I stare up at him as my vision becomes blurry. He slips off his shirt with one quick move and attaches his lips back onto mine "I've got you."

His lips move over to place kisses on my jaw and neck. He touches every part of my body, with his lips and hands. His fingers slip my clothes off so gently that I don't even notice until his hands are at the hem of my panties. His thumbs trace small circles on my hips that tickle me in a way that makes me moan rather than laugh. And the way his lips pout against my collarbone drives me insane. He nibbles at that spot, refusing to leave it alone, even when I tell him that it's too sensitive. 

My hands instinctively grab his belt, working it open to unzip his pants while he obsesses over my lips and forces his tongue into my mouth. I manage to get his pants halfway down when he stops kissing me to slip everything off himself. My heart throbs at the sight of him, my knees feeling weak as I bring my legs together nervously. He wastes no time to pin one of my arms onto the pillow and roughly capture my lips with his own. I kiss him back feverishly, my heart feeling like it could leap out of my chest at any moment. 

He uses his free hand to finally discard my panties, before drawing my legs apart. A sigh escapes my lips when he slips his fingers through. He moves away from my lips to kiss my ear with wet kisses, while his cold, slender fingers spark magic from below:

"I can't be gentle anymore, baby..."  He whispers, "I want to fuck you up so badly..."

"I don't want you to be gentle..."  I whisper, wrapping my hand around the back of his neck to pull him closer. Images of the people I killed suddenly flash before my eyes, and I begin to tear up, the pain of my mind intermingling with the pleasure from his fingers, "just make me forget everything..." 

He pulls back slightly, surprised at my tone. His eyes meet mine, and he stares at me with a mixture of concern and realization washed over his features. He can see the tears stinging my eyes. He can see exactly what this is, what this would become. 

A shot at brief sanity. A shot at temporary bliss. 

His eyes darken and he suddenly pushes into me with a soft grunt. My breath hitches as I try to adjust to his size. He moves inside me at a painfully pleasurable pace as I wrap my arms around his neck. His breathing gets louder and louder, up to the point that he begins moaning with me. And his sounds are as ecstatic as the feeling he gives me, our moans intermingling gingerly. His voice rings through my ears like song. And nothing felt out of place. Nothing felt wrong.

"I'll make you forget everything..."  He whispers, as he rolls his hips into me and drives me closer and closer to physical insanity. 

"Oh my god..."  I whine, digging my nails into his back.

He moans and thrusts faster into me. His breaths are cut shorter, his body giving me a universally anatomical pleasure, all while the cosmic sparks dance before my eyes.

"That's not my name, baby..."  Baekhyun pants into my ear, "say my name."

I whimper and squeeze my eyes shut as my mind and body try to comprehend all the pleasure he's giving me right now. I pull him closer as he continues to move in and out of me. My breath hitches, and my voice wavers, unsteady, like my pulse:

"B-Baekhyun...f-faster..."

Baekhyun stares down at me hungrily, his pupils dilating with ecstasy as he quickens in pace almost instantly:

"You want it faster, baby?"  He asks breathlessly, his eyes searching for mine, "Hm?" 

My mind goes blank:

"Yes...yes, daddy..." 

I don't know why I said it. I don't even know how it slipped. I was almost about to apologize, my cheeks burning from embarrassment, when his eyes suddenly rolled back ecstatically as he let out a final moan and came undone. 

I guess he liked it.

- - - 

Somehow, we had both just drifted off, not even bothering to acknowledge what just happened.

I like Baekhyun. I like the way his eyes glitter before he's about to tease me, or that grin that plays his lips when he makes me upset.

But this time, I guess I like how his body feels pressed against mine. 

There are two heavy knocks on the door that cause us both to stir in our sleep. Baekhyun sits up tiredly and rubs his eyes. I prop myself up with my elbows and look at him with hooded eyes. He yawns and gets off of the bed:

"Don't worry, babe...I got it..."

I sigh and snuggle back into the pillow, pulling the blanket over my naked body. I close my eyes and will myself to just drift back off to sleep. Baekhyun slips his pants on and walks over to answer the door. 

"Where'd your shirt go?"  Chanyeol's voice is heard, and every ounce of drowsiness within me suddenly just disappears. I panic, my cheeks burning. 

"Ummm..."  Baekhyun scratches the back of his neck awkwardly, knowing very well that I did not want any of the guys knowing I had sex with him, "It's hot in here."

"Ah..."  Chanyeol hums understandingly, before pausing for a second, "Is Y/N in there?" 

"She's..."  Baekhyun struggles, as I get up quickly and slip my clothes on"Uh..."

I run over to Baekhyun and wave at Chanyeol who stands by the door:

"I'm right here." 

"Hey!"  Chanyeol's expression softens, "Are you alright?"

"Yea, why wouldn't I be?" I press my lips into a smile, as Baekhyun smirks and glances at me knowingly. That little shit.

"Well, it's just..." Chanyeol frowns and scratches the back of his neck, "I heard what happened back at the other hotel. I thought you'd be more shaken up." 

Realization washes over me. 

I guess having sex with Baekhyun really did help me forget everything.

"She is." 

Baekhyun suddenly interjects, stepping in front of me:

"She wants to be alone right now."

I am silent as I observe the glance exchanged by them. They weren't visibly glaring, but the tension between them was definitely there, and whatever it was, it was definitely close to hostile. After a few moments of awkward silence, Chanyeol breaks his intense gaze with Baekhyun to look at me.

"Alright. I'll see you guys later."

"Bye dude."  Baekhyun says, as he closes the door after Chanyeol walks away. 

I exhale, my chest heavy. That was too close.

"Could you be any more suspicious?"  Baekhyun asks teasingly, making me look at him with a frown. 

"At least I'm wearing a shirt." I retort, crossing my arms condescendingly. 

Baekhyun smirks, before stepping closer to me. I stagger backwards, my back hitting the wall. He leans into the crook of my neck and tilts his head down until his lips brush against my ear:

"Backwards."

"Excuse me?" I raise my eyebrow.

"Your shirt's on backwards, princess."  

I move away from him and look down to find that my shirt actually was on backwards. I must have not noticed when I was getting dressed so fast.

Baekhyun laughs at my expression as I storm off into the bathroom.

Chapter Text

"When you fall, you can't really do anything but get back up again..." 

It's as if his voice is it's own state of matter, the waves of sound like liquid silver when he explains things to me. Each syllable vibrates beneath the body, a pale vessel, void of organs and tissues, sound waves, ricocheting off of the emptiness. The twinkle in his eyes would then be the only visible sign of life:

"Everything changes if you have a gun, though. Suddenly, you're on top of the world. You're God. With the divine tool of judgement in your hands..." He pauses, slipping a casing into a gun before handing it to me:

"But that shit's useless if there's no bullets in it. Always make sure your gun is loaded. "

Minseok was strange, but quite possibly the most dangerous out of all of the men in the mafia. He was the eldest, the most experienced and one of the most mysterious. There was even a rumor among the guys that he had never once missed a shot in his life. I was at a gun range with him today, practicing my own aim with a variety of different guns and artillery. There was only a few days left until the auction, and Junmyeon made sure I was getting all the practice I could get before then. 

There were some things I immediately picked up about my new trainer, Minseok. He was intimidating, to the point that it became intriguing.  The way his gaze could rest comfortably on someone like he had known them for years. The way his lips pursed before he took a shot. Pupils fixated on the billion targets that he could see. I imagined him spotting targets like little dots, indicative of limbs and heads. Like constellations, he could interconnect these parts of the human body with the components of pain. A single bullet, pierced through in the right spot, could emit a radiance worth centuries of torture in only matter of seconds. 

He walks behind me and brings his hands around my arms. He helps me elevate my aim to suit the mock target in front of me. I grip the Colt M1911 tightly in my hands as I try to focus. He tells me to pay attention to detail, to take in the moment: The feeling of the gun pressed against my sweaty palms, the placement of my thumb, even the dryness in my throat.

"Now."

His voice cuts off when I fire the first bullet and miss the bullseye by only a few centimeters. It wasn't perfect, but I was definitely getting better. He moves his hands from my arms and lets them rest on my shoulders as I relax. He pauses for a moment, carefully looking at where I scored on the bullseye. 

"Good."  He hums, as I step back from the shooting range to hand him the gun while he gives me another one. It looked like a pistol, but it was quite longer at the tip. I raise an eyebrow and take the gun awkwardly into my hands. 

Minseok watches how I react to the new gun, until his lips curl into a little smile:

"That's a silencer." 

- - - 

I dust off some of the gunpowder residue that had accumulated on the surface of my cotton t-shirt while Minseok carefully slips the soundproofing headphones off of my head. He sets everything back in place, silently packing up the artillery into cases before loading them all back into the sports car. I shrug my cardigan on and step out after him, taking a seat in the vehicle before he does, while he loads the last case of artillery we had practiced with into the trunk. He closes the back of the car before making his way over to the drivers seat. He opens the door and takes a seat inside, his dark and tight leather pants hugging the shape of his legs too well. I avert my gaze elsewhere. 

He exhales gently, before starting the vehicle. It growls when the engine starts, like any freakishly expensive car would. He pulls out of the driveway and starts for the road, keeping the speed limit, unlike most of the other guys. Minseok has one hand on the top of the wheel, the other rested comfortably on his leg. I soon ditch the window and opt to watch the little earring that dangles from his ear while he drives, taking in his incredibly porcelain skin tone, his auburn hair with scarlet undertones, and long lashes that batted at the road. I had never seen a man that looked like he did. There was almost something almost feminine, or feline in the way he held himself.  

It was around 2pm now, the sky was grey and the sounds of storms in the distance could be heard. Little droplets of rain had already begun accumulating on the windows. It was a little rainstorm in the afternoon. But it's not like it was bothering anyone. 

"Do you need anything before we head back?"  He asked suddenly, snapping me out of my own thoughts. 

"Mmm..." I thought for a second, "I don't think s-"

Suddenly, as if I was hit with a brick, I realized that maybe, just maybe I actually did need something. With haste, I brought my bag onto my lap and rummaged through its contents hurriedly. I felt a dark blush crawl up my cheeks as I remembered that I had run out of it last night. I set my bag down with my cheeks cold and pale. I bit my lip:

"Umm...could you stop by a drug store real quick?" I asked nervously.

Minseok turned his head to take a quick glance away from the road and look at me with slight surprise:

"What is it?" 

I puzzled and searched my mind for the right words, without embarrassing myself:

"It's urgent."

Minseok frowned at me in confusion as he eyed my body up and down, his eyes full of curiosity and indecisive alarm:

"What happened? Are you hurt?" 

"What? No!"

I feel my face grow redder. Why couldn't he just take a hint already?

He stops questioning me and instead focuses on finding an exit in the highway to the nearest drugstore. We end up driving about another mile until a drugstore pops up in the middle of nowhere with a gas station next to it. I can tell Minseok is still confused, having not realized that I was just in need of female hygiene products.

I grab some yen from my bag and stuff it into the pocket of my cardigan as Minseok parks the sports car in the parking lot. I open the door and glance back at him before I exit the vehicle quickly:

"I'll be right back." 

"I'm coming with you."  He objects, opening his door to step outside with me.

"W-What?" I close the door and walk around the vehicle, "You don't have to!" I say quickly.

He looks at me with slight concern in his eyes:

"I have to Y/N. Junmyeon's orders. Not mine."

"But-"

Suddenly, a voice calls out to me from the distance. I jump slightly in surprise and turn around quickly as Minseok is about to draw out his gun from his back pocket.

"Y/N!"  Baekhyun calls out, approaching to us with a grin, as Minseok sighs in relief and puts his gun away.

Baekhyun walked up to us with a small smile as his eyes instantly fell on me. There was something about the way he looked at me that made me feel something strange. Like I was actually missed? Maybe it's just my imagination. I wouldn't really know what it feels like to be appreciated...

I suddenly snap out of my pointless thinking when I realize that standing right next to Baekhyun was Jongin. I feel my heart sink down all the way to my stomach. Something felt wrong. Did they know I did it with both of them? Do they talk about me? What if they were both just playing me? What if they tell everyone and I suddenly become a slut?  Oh god.

"Hey, you alright?"  Jongin asks casually, snapping his fingers in front of my face to snap me out of my horrific thoughts.

I blink rapidly and meet his gaze, laughing nervously and nodding before freezing upon Baekhyun's arms wrapping around me from behind. My eyes don't leave Jongin's.

The way he looks at me when Baekhyun touches me is confusing. He's not alarmed by it, or even affected for that matter. It's like he doesn't care. It's like what we did was something he had already forgotten. But then...

why do I still feel...

weird?

"What's wrong, baby? You look like you just saw a ghost..."  Baekhyun hums, his hands rested comfortably on my waist while he placed his chin on my shoulder.

"I w-was..." I stutter, looking away from Jongin's piercing gaze "I was just about to sneeze, that's all." 

"Hm."  Baekhyun chuckles, clearly unconvinced "What are you guys doing parked here?" 

"Y/N said she needed something urgent."  Minseok answered honestly, crossing his arms.

"Jongin and I were just about to get some drinks before heading back. We can all go together."  Baekhyun says hugging me tighter from behind, "How does that sound, baby?" 

FUCK. 

"G-Guys, I'm gonna be quick. You really don't need to tag along, really-" 

"Why not?"  Jongin asks curiously.

Because I need to buy tampons.

I frown, already having run out of excuses. I know I'm not supposed to be alone, especially in public. It was no use trying to convince any of them. 

"Let's go."  Minseok says happily, as he grabs Baekhyun off of me and drags him in through the entrance with him first.

I start trudging behind as Jongin walks next to me. I bite my lip as I enter the store, wondering how I am going to sneakily buy my female hygiene products without having the interference of the mafia members.

"You look a little pale."  Jongin tells me, as he holds the door for me to walk in before him. 

"I just got back from the gun range." I say, pulling a shopping cart slowly.

Jongin walks behind me closely, as I just pray for something to catch his eyes so he can leave me alone for two minutes to go get my damn tampons without embarrassing myself. 

"I didn't know the gun range makes people's skin pale."  He says. 

"Oh, well..." I push the cart slowly and spot the female hygiene products aisle in the near distance, "you learn something new everyday..." 

I can tell from his silence that he is confused and probably curious as to what is stressing me out, so I try to get him to leave me alone for a few minutes. I just need enough time to get my tampons and have it rung up by a cashier. After that, I won't be stressed.  I won't be secretive. I'll be normal me again. 

"Jongin can you help me?" 

"What are you looking for?" 

"A bag of chips. I think it's over there. Can you grab some for me while I grab some fruit in this other section?" 

He looks at me with indecisiveness. I pout and bring my eyes out:

"Please~ it'll be quick." 

Jongin stands where he is and narrows his eyes at me. For a moment, it appears as if he has seen right through my idea. As if he had read my mind and was now about to expose my diabolical plan all along...

But he drops the narrowed eyes and shrugs indifferently:

"Sure."

He walks away over to the chips section and for a second I freeze, completely shocked that my spur-of-the-moment plan had actually worked. Without wasting any more time, I ditch the shopping cart and book it over to the female hygiene section of the store. I ran like my life depended on it. 

Breathless, I make it to the tampons section and grab a box as fast as I can. In the distance, I hear Jongin calling my name, and my heart races as I rush over to the register like a maniac. I give the box of tampons to the teenage Japanese girl who was the cashier, and she looks at me like I've gone insane.

"Make it fast." I pant, "Please."

She gives me a look, before scanning the box:

"400 yen." 

I hurriedly check the pocket of my cardigan to look for my yen, and feel my stomach turn to knots as I realize my pockets are empty. I freeze and look at her with panic. I must have dropped the money while I was running around the damn store like an idiot.

She looks at me expectantly, silently refusing to place the box of tampons into a bag as she holds it in her hand for the whole world to see. Jongin's voice gets closer and by the time I can even process why this is even happening to me, he is standing beside me. His eyes rest on me for a few moments, and I can tell he's about to yell at me, before he catches what's in the cashier's hand. 

Jongin sighs and reaches into his pocket and pulls out his card:

"I'll pay for it instead."  He tells the cashier in Japanese.

The cashier girl swoons and places the tampons into a plastic bag. I hold out my hand to take the bag but she hands it to freaking Jongin instead with a little smirk, before looking at me:

"That's so cool you let your boyfriend pay for stuff like that! I would be, like, totally embarassed!" She giggles. 

I stare at her with wide eyes and my mouth slightly agape. Jongin simply laughs and thanks her before grabbing my arm and yanking me out towards the exit. He starts scolding me in his soft voice that was now more pitiful and disappointed:

"You could have just told me, Y/N..."

I am embarrassed and confused and the day just could not get any worse than this...

Could it?

Just as Jongin and I are about to exit through the door, Minseok and Baekhyun run to catch up with us:

"You guys done? Baekhyun and I got snacks."  Minseok says happily, showing us his plastic bag full of snacks. 

Baekhyun snickers and leans over to gossip something to Jongin:

"Yo, hyung is just excited because he found 400 yen in the female hygiene section. LMAO." 

"Shut up! It must be lucky money."  Minseok says, happily stuffing my yen into his pocket as we walk outside. 

Instead of pretending to laugh at the joke, Jongin looks at me with pity.

 

Chapter Text

A few days of intensive training go by faster than I had initially imagined them to. And now there were only two days before the auction. 

It's strange to talk about my improvement over the course of the last few days. The guys were incredibly dedicated to treating me as if I was one of their own. They didn't go easy on me, and I guess I can say now that it definitely payed off. 

Because as much as I was nervous, I wasn't afraid. Not anymore. 

Each person had given me a part of themselves, as a strange sort of support to take with me on my mission. And my confidence had just ended up building with my abilities. I am able to shoot a gun without freaking out, I am able to defend myself with my two small hands, and I am even able to speak- with more clarity and conscious than the timid mumbles constructed by the confines of my past.

But it was all thanks to them. For giving me a purpose, and helping me fulfill it.

And I can pay them back by making a victory of this mission. 

"Taemin is one of the most dangerous men in the entire underworld,"  Kyungsoo explains, "you need to be more than just careful. You have to become an entirely different person."

I become more curious as the hour goes by while Kyungsoo and Chanyeol help me with the psychological aspects of the mission, and what exactly I was supposed to do once I was near this super-dangerous Taemin guy. A Korean man who had somehow made himself king of the Japanese yakuza.

"We set up an entirely different identity for you."  Chanyeol says gently, his eyes meeting mine as he slides a manila folder over to me, "Open it."

I hesitate, glancing at both of them before opening the manila folder carefully. Inside was a birth certificate, ID, driver's license, passport and social security number. My eyes widen and I grow confused as I see my photo on the license with a name that was not mine. 

"Scarlette Butera."  Kyungsoo says, "An Italian mobster's daughter." 

I take a deep breath and stare at the new identification information: the new identity I would have to claim as mine, while I lied to one of the most dangerous men of the underworld. It was a risk, but one I was willing to take. 

But something about the auction still nagged at the back of mind:

"What makes you guys think that he'll bet on me in the first place? Why would Taemin pay so much for a girl?"

Chanyeol and Kyungsoo both exchange glances before their eyes rest on me. They are quiet, and I know they're hiding something, but I don't press for it any further. Whatever it was, it was probably best I didn't know it. 

It bothers me, but I realize I have to think rationally here. This is a life or death situation...

And although it's a lot to take in, I work diligently with Chanyeol and Kyungsoo to memorize my new identity. After all, I only have a day to memorize all this new information.

Sulking and prying on uncharted territories is not an option. 

- - - 

"It suits you."  Jongin says, as he looks through the contents of the manila folder with my new identity inside of it "Scarlette." 

I snatch the folder from him and shoot him a death glare as he looks at me blankly and innocently. Baekhyun was on the bed, trying to make a drug deal over the phone while Jongin and I searched the refrigerator for food. 

"There's nothing..." I sigh, my stomach groaning "Jongin can you order room service?"

"You do it."  He says rudely, closing the refrigerator door as I frown and cross my arms. 

Baekhyun gets off of the bed, turning off his phone and slipping it into his pocket. He shrugs on his leather jacket and walks over to us, snaking his arm around my waist before I can even process what just happened:

"What's up, baby?" 

Jongin looks at us both, as I feel my chest tighten slightly. However, I manage to suppress the heat in my cheeks instantly. I can hide my emotions better now, thanks to Kyungsoo.

"Nothing..." I sigh, "Where are you going?"

"I have to go secure a last-minute deal."  Baekhyun says, slipping his dark sunglasses on. 

"This late?"  Jongin raises an eyebrow from his corner of the room.

"Drugs are drugs. Gotta make money somehow."  Baekhyun shrugs.

"I was talking about the sunglasses."  Jongin replies. 

Baekhyun smirks silently, ignoring Jongin as he tilts his head over to press a tender kiss on the side of my cheek:

"Bye, baby..."  He whispers in my ear sweetly, before walking through the door without a second glance back. 

There is an awkward silence as Jongin and I both have our heads turned towards the door after he had shut it. My heart was racing, something I haven't really been able to work on during my time training. Although I had grown stronger and tolerable in tactical areas, any physical contact involving Baekhyun still made me a flustered mess. 

Jongin soon breaks his gaze from the door and walks away, dropping himself on one of the hotel beds as he whips out his phone and starts scrolling through it. Something about Jongin was off the past few days. He was being incredibly distant and moody towards me. I don't know if it's something I did, but it was starting to get annoying. 

I am about to get up and go confront him about it, when I suddenly hear a ruckus and glass breaking out in the corridor. Jongin and I both glance at each other once, before Jongin quickly gets off the bed and grabs his guns from under the pillow. He throws me a pistol and I catch it, before I turn off all the lights as a precaution. 

Pressing my back against a wall that was adjacent to the door, Jongin stands behind a different wall with his gun loaded and ready. I pull my gun back and bite my lip. He nods at me once, as a silent indication for me to open the door. 

I pull open the door with one quick move before stepping in front of it to aim at whoever it was. Jongin follows suit, stepping next to me to aim his gun towards the front too.

"Woah! Woah!"  Minseok exclaims, his arm around a pink-faced Jongdae who could not stop laughing, "Why so serious, hm?"

Jongin and I both sigh in relief, after initially thinking it was an enemy. I hand my gun to Jongin and he takes it, walking back towards the bed to go lie down. I switch the lights back on and look at Minseok and Jongdae, noticing their glasses of vodka shattered on the ground. Minseok still had the bottle in his hands. I frown:

"Are you two drunk?"

Jongdae starts laughing vigorously again, while Minseok makes a flirty face:

"No..."  He licks his lips and looks at me up and down, "but you look fucking fine so I must be, right?"

I roll my eyes and move over behind them to push them into the room:

"Get inside before you get us all in trouble." 

I lock the door behind me once they're inside, and watch as they stumble around dizzily. Minseok was the flirty kind of drunk, but Jongdae was an entirely different species. He found everything funny. 

"We're have to celebrate, Y/N!"  Minseok says, holding his new glass up. Jongdae laughs and holds his own glass up in the air, spilling some.

"No, we really don't..." I sigh, rubbing my forehead to suppress the accumulation of a headache.

"Of course we do! Tomorrows the last day before the auction! We can't celebrate before the mission so we have to do it now!"  Minseok says, grabbing my hand and dragging me over to sit on the floor with him and Jongdae. 

He downs the entire remainder of vodka in the bottle before setting it down on the floor:

"We're gonna play spin the bottle."  Minseok says, a pretty smile playing his lips. 

"Jongin you too!"  Jongdae calls out to Jongin, who was still on the bed with his eyes glued to his phone. 

"No."  Jongin says. 

"Come on..."  Jongdae whines, "Pleeeaseee."

"I'm your hyung, you have to!"  Minseok says, to which Jongin rolls his eyes.

"I don't care."  Jongin replies, his eyes still on his phone screen. 

Minseok thinks for a moment as Jongdae continues whining. Suddenly, Minseok's eyes light up and he turns to look at Jongin again:

"I'll talk boss into letting you eat chicken for breakfast!"

Jongin finally steals a glance away from his phone to look at Minseok with narrowed eyes. He pauses for a moment, thinking about Minseok's proposal before giving in to temptation:

"Fine."

Jongin gets off of the bed and walks over to sit on the floor with the rest of us. He sits next to me, and I look at him, but he avoids my gaze. I frown and try not to think much of it. He was acting like an annoying little kid. And I was done with the bullshit. 

Jongdae spins the bottle first, barely managing to keep himself sitting upright as he does do. The tip of the bottle points towards Minseok when it finally stops spinning. He rolls his eyes playfully.

"Truth or dare?"  Jongdae asks his best friend with a little smirk.

"Mmm..."  Minseok thinks for a moment, "Dare."  His eyes glitter.

Jongdae laughs, before fixing his eyes on me:

"Kiss Y/N." 

"What?" Minseok, Jongin and I all exclaim in unison. 

Jongdae rolls his drunk eyes and crosses his arms:

"You said dare."  His lips curl into a smile, "Are you gonna wuss out?" 

"Dude, Y/N's with Baekhyun. I can't do that."  Minseok says, sounding a little more sober than he was before. 

"Dare's a dare."  Jongdae says.

"She wouldn't do it anyway."  Jongin suddenly says, making my eyes widen. 

The audacity of him...

"Come here, Minseok." I suddenly say, relaxing my features so that I appear playful "I'm sure Baekhyun won't mind one kiss." 

Minseok's eyes widen:

"A-Are you sure?" 

"Mhm..." I hum, taking his chin in my fingertips and pulling his face closer to mine.

I sneak a glance over to peek at Jongin, who's eyes are glued onto my every move like a hawk.

I press my lips onto Minseok's and he instantly starts kissing me back. My body tenses up, my nerves kicking in and making my hand tremble. But I ball it into a tight fist and hold my ground. Minseok's lips are soft and minty. I kiss him longer than I should, letting my lips linger onto his, if only to get back at Jongin for being so childish. It takes Jongdae's obnoxiously fake coughing to finally break us apart. 

"Woah..."  Minseok smirks, "Baekhyun's lucky."  He says to Jongin. 

I smile faintly and glance over at Jongin, who's cheeks are flushed a light crimson color. 

Minseok spins the bottle next and it lands on me, I roll my eyes and sigh.

"Truth or dare?"  Jongin suddenly says, taking me by surprise.

And when I look at him again, I see that he has already gotten over his fit, and is not blushing at all anymore. His recovery was fast. 

"Truth." I say.

Jongin's eyes narrow slightly:

"Did you agree to kiss Minseok just to make me jealous?" 

I arch a brow at him:

"Why?" My lips curl into a little smirk, "Did it work?" 

Minseok and Jongdae are watching us silently, probably too drunk to realize what is even happening. 

Jongin laughs pretentiously, his tone nothing short of unamused:

"Not really."  He said plainly, his eyes resting on mine "I just didn't think you'd be so desperate." 

"Ooooooooo"  Minseok and Jongdae whistled.

I roll my eyes:

"Give me that." 

I take the bottle and spin it. Luckily, it lands on Jongin. I press my lips into a sickeningly sweet smile:

"Truth or dare?"

I want him to say dare so I can make him embarrass himself after what he said to me. 

"Hmm..."  He thinks for a moment, "Truth."  He shrugs, knowing well how much he had already pissed me off.

"Stop being a wuss and pick dare." 

"Let me think for a second..."  He teased, "No." 

"Fine." 

"Truth."  He clarifies. 

"Why have you been acting like a total dick the past few days?" I ask bitterly.

Jongdae falls on his back laughing, as Minseok's eyes widen. 

"Oh, sorry. I didn't realize."  Jongin says plainly.

I feel the anger build up inside of me. He was literally my first and now he's acting like a total jerk about it. I begin to regret everything that I had done with him, because at the end of the day he was just another selfish bastard:

"Fuck you." 

"What did you just say?"  His eyes suddenly widen, and he looks at me with surprise.

"You keep avoiding me like I'm some sort of parasite." I get up to leave, "If you have a problem with me just say it and stop acting like a fucking kid."

I storm out of the room. My blood boiling. I have never felt like this, and something tells me I'm overreacting but at this point I really don't give a shit. I walk down the hallway until I reach the elevator, I press the button quickly. I know I'm not supposed to be wandering around anywhere but I needed to get away from him before I lost it. 

"What the fuck are you doing?"  Jongin says, as I step into the elevator. 

"Getting away from you. What does it look like?" I push the button for the elevator doors to close but Jongin stops it with his foot. 

He steps in and grabs my arm roughly:

"Come on, stop acting stupid."

"Let go of me." I threaten him, and he looks down at me with a brow raised.

"Y/N-" 

I twist his arm while I yank mine out and he groans, but it doesn't work on him for long. My back is suddenly slammed against the elevator wall, as Jongin starts to twist my arm while the doors close us in. I wince as he looks down at me with his pupils blown out wide. I feel something hard poke my thighs, and then before I know it I lean in and press my lips onto his for a hungry kiss. 

Jongin pushes up my shirt and starts kissing down my neck. I moan and pant, my eyes fixed on the elevator doors as I wait for them to open. I sneak my knee in between Jongin's legs and he moans. My fingers entangle in his soft hair, while I pant and bite his ear.

The elevator doors finally open but Jongin does not stop. There are a few people who stand and watch us in horror. 

I tug on Jongin's hair:

"Jongin, close it!" 

Jongin disconnects his lips from my skin and turns around to look at the people standing there. 

"Fuck."  His eyes widen and he quickly moves over to hit the close button of the elevator.

The doors close and I cover my face with embarrassment.

"Why are you trying to ruin my life?!" I yell at him. 

"What the fuck? You're the one who started it!"  He yells back.

I look at him and realize that he is just a few inches away from me. His lips were full with a pout, just asking to be pressed against mine. My heart skips as we look at each other, and his eyes start to close slowly. His hand slips just behind the side of my neck, pushing my hair away from my face gently as he angles his head to align his lips with mine. My body naturally begins to incline closer to his, my lips tingling with the sensation to have something against them. I want to taste him again, and feel his breath slip into my mouth. I want to feel the tip of his nose accidentally brush against mine. I want to kiss him.

But before we can even feel that sweet sensation, he stops and swallows nervously. His eyes blink quickly and look into mine. Crimson colors tint his cheeks, and his hand slides down to take mine:

"We can't."  He says, almost inaudibly.

I feel goosebumps travel up my arms as his fingers entwine with my own. My chest feels clogged up as I avert my gaze elsewhere and take in the weight of his gentle words. He was right. We can't do this. We can't be intimate. We can't kiss.

"As much as I want to take you right here..."  He whispers, brushing his thumb against my knuckles "We'd both regret it." 

I sigh deeply and nod:

"Y-You're right..." 

He pulls away from me slowly, and the distance between us is plain painful. His face twists slightly, the built up tension inside him probably fuming just as much as I was. My heart rate can't calm down, even as he stands beside me now, while we wait for the elevator to reach the top floor he had accidentally pushed the button for. I swallow dryly and try to smooth out the wrinkles on my clothes that he had caused. He glances at me and I look at him. He looks like a sad puppy, and it takes everything within me not to just let him have me right now. 

The elevator dings and the doors open slowly. I move my gaze away from Jongin and stare at the doors that are now open to a wall. A few seconds go by until someone strolls in quickly to join us in the elevator, just before the doors can close. I blink once to make sure my eyes are not deceiving me. 

Because the person who enters with us is none other than the mysterious man that I saw in the hallway of the other hotel a few days ago. The man I met at the vending machine that one night. The one who paralyzed me with his captivating elusiveness.

But what was he doing here?

- - - 

Jongin's eyes widen, and his face pales dramatically. He quickly grabs my arm and pulls me behind him. The mystery man is wearing a red suit today, his ash-blonde hair falling over his eyes that are cast down on his cellphone. He texts elegantly, his slender figure leaning against the elevator wall adjacent to the one Jongin has trapped me against. He hasn't noticed us yet, but I knew he would soon. Jongin's entire body is tense and I'm so confused.

"Jongi-" I try to say, but he shuts me up by turning his head to glare at me.

The mystery man then finally averts his eyes from his phone screen to look up at us. His eyes rest on Jongin first, a small smile creeping up his lips. As if he had just recognized an old friend. Of course, Jongin held an opposite sort of reaction.

"Oh, Jongin."  His silver voice hummed, "Fancy seeing you here."

Jongin is silent as he straightens his posture to hide me more, but I know that the mystery man can still see me. My arm begins to ache, and I know it's gonna start to bruise if Jongin continues to squeeze it the way he is. I yank myself off of him and he quickly turns around and stares at me like I'm insane.

"You were hurting me!"  I complain in my defense, rubbing my arm to soothe the pain. 

The mystery man raises an eyebrow and stares at me silently. I blink at him and stand where I am, getting lost in looking into his shimmering eyes.

Jongin suddenly grabs my wrist and pulls me back to him:

"Get behind me right now."

Jongin's tone of voice is the most alarmingly serious I have ever heard it to be. He clenches his jaw and glares at me until I quietly obey and step back behind him. His behavior was telling me that this mystery man was actually some sort of enemy. Or at least, someone who was not supposed to know of my existence. But it might be a little too late for that...

"No need to hide her, Jongin. We've already been acquainted. "  The man says, taking a step closer.

"What?"  Jongin blurts out, his eyes narrowing.

 "In the other hotel. At the vending machine."  He tilts his head to look over at me, "Isn't that right?"

"Are you fucking serious?"  Jongin curses, looking at me with disbelief.

I feel my heart race as I recall that one night at the vending machines. I know I wasn't supposed to talk to strangers or go out alone. I know I was supposed to keep my entire existence a secret, but I disobeyed orders and now look where it's led me. An enemy recognizes me. An enemy knows me. The entire mission could be compromised by now. Everything I have worked so hard to perfect could go to waste.

The one purpose of my life could vanish just as fast as it appeared. 

I am silent for a few moments, before I move away from Jongin again, and with a quick move, bring the tip of my index finger to press the button on the wall that would lock the elevator in place. The mysterious man shifts his gaze so that his eyes meet mine. I blink at him once, my expression stoic before I clench my fist and turn to Jongin without wasting anymore time:

"Let's just kill him, Jongin. Right here, right now." 

Chapter Text

"Grab his legs." I say quickly to Jongin, after stopping the elevator from going up or down any more floors. 

The man stares at us curiously, and perhaps even with a hint of amusement glinting in his eyes. He was surprisingly calm as I tried to get Jongin to move.

"Jongin." I say again, turning my whole body to face him.

Jongin blinks quickly and turns his head to look at me. There's a look in his eyes that I've never seen before. An emotion I can't quite put my finger on, but I brush that off and focus on what needs to be done right now. There's an enemy in front of us, and if we let him live the entire mission could be compromised.

"Jongin, " I say louder this time, "come on, we gotta take him out."

But he just looks at me. 

I narrow my eyes at him, confused as to why he was acting like this. It was as if he was out of focus, thinking too much about something else to be focused in the present. This was weird, because Jongin was never like that. He was the most focused out of all of the guys in the mafia. His head was always in the game.

I start to worry, as his sudden unresponsiveness makes panic stir within me. I take a glance at the mysterious man, only to find him comfortably leaned against the wall, watching the both of us carefully. There's a little smile plastered on his lips, but its faint and almost invisible. Like him.

"Jongin." I say again, this time grabbing his arm and shaking it, "Come on, Jongin..."

"We can't, Scarlette." 

And that's when it hits me. 

When Jongin uses that name, it can only mean one thing.

This is not some regular runt in the Yakuza.

Everything that Kyungsoo and Chanyeol had sat down and personally discussed about him reflected the man that was standing in front of me right now. His slender frame, lean and mysterious figure. His dark eyes and ash-blonde hair. His pale skin and and sickeningly white teeth. 

This is fucking Taemin. It had to be.

"Since when did Suho start hiring girls?"  The man named Taemin asks, arching an inquisitive brow towards Jongin.

"She's not one of us. She's just some girl we keep around for fun."  Jongin replies smartly.

"Then why did she just try to convince you to kill me?"

There's silence that gives me enough time to mentally face palm at my fuck up. I had a role to play for this villain in front of me, and that was to be the ultimate damsel in damn distress. Not five minutes has passed in my encountering him, and I have already managed to fuck it up.

"She can be a little exotic sometimes."  Jongin says, crossing his arms and averting his gaze towards me. He cusses me out with his eyes, as a silent indication for me to get the fuck in character already. 

I try to communicate something to him with my eyes, but when I notice Taemin's gaze rest on me again, I cast my eyes down to stare at the floor. I try to fall into the persona that I had been training for the past few days. I go silent and step behind Jongin. 

Because the character of Scarlette was not outspoken. She was shy and broken by her father. She was scarred by the events of her past, and traumatized by events that hold her back from living her life. She's imprisoned within herself.

Scarlette is what I would be if I hadn't met the mafia. 

Scarlette is what I would be if I hadn't met my friends.

"Mmm..."  Taemin hums, his eyes still resting on me "so what brings you to Japan?" 

"The auction. I'm planning on selling her."  Jongin replies, making my heart skip a beat. 

The mission was already compromised, but now it was Jongin's turn to save it. 

"Just you?" 

"The other guys don't know about her. They're still in Korea."  Jongin lies.

There is a brief pause of silence, and I struggle to keep my eyes glued to the cold elevator floor, especially when I begin to feel Taemin's eyes on me once again. My shoulders tense, and then Taemin finally breaks the silence:

"How much?"

I freeze and lift my head up quickly to meet Jongin's eyes. Jongin turns his head quickly and glances at me quickly. There's panic evident in his eyes, but he tries to act nonchalant about it all. Meanwhile, my heart races insanely in my chest as I silently pray that this conversation was not going in the direction that it sounded like it was going in. 

"Uh..."  Jongin stutters, "I-I don't know yet, I-"

"One billion."  Taemin interrupts him, making my eyes widen. 

Jongin freezes. 

"No? How about three billion, then?" 

"Taemin, I-" 

"Come on. Your boss won't find out about it."  Taemin said smoothly, walking over to me before wrapping an arm around my waist, "Besides, even if he does I don't think he'll care."

Jongin's eyes meet mine and I bite my lip. I tighten my jaw and look at him reassuringly. The thought of being sold right now was terrifying, but as much as I just wanted to crack open his skull, I hadn't trained the past few weeks just to fuck up my mission. I try not to show him I'm scared, but he always somehow managed to see through me, anyway. Jongin turns pale, regret pooling his irises as he bites his lip and sighs deeply:

"Three billion."  He says.

Taemin lets go of my waist to slip his hand into his the chest pocket of his jacket. He takes out a silver pen and a slick black checkbook. I watch as he clicks the top of the pen and begins writing the check for three billion dollars. When he is finishes, he licks the tip of his index finger briefly before ripping the paper out of the book and handing it to Jongin. 

Jongin takes the check and stares at it blankly, as Taemin presses his index finger on the button that would allow the elevator to move again. The elevator starts going down and Taemin pulls me behind him and Jongin tries to look anywhere in the elevator but at me. I want to be angry at him for selling me like this, but I knew it was all for the sake of the mission. I would be even more angry at myself if I wasn't doing this. 

Because I owed it to the mafia. Not only for helping me, but for giving me a home.

For giving me a purpose in life. 

- - - 

I don't look back as I step out of the elevator with Taemin. Jongin stayed back in the elevator, and I only wondered how he would break the news that I had already begun the mission so soon without any means of communication or spy gadgets like we had planned I would go in with. 

Taemin leads me to a midnight blue sports car that is parked just outside the hotel. He walks around to get to the drivers seat, while I hop in through the butterfly doors. My heart races fast in my chest, as I felt like I was entering somewhere completely unknown. I didn't really know what to expect, and the fact that I was in a foreign country and now had no means of communication with the mafia was not helping my situation in the slightest. 

But I hold my ground and bottle up all of my emotions. 

Taemin sits back in his seat and sighs. He doesn't start the car, instead focusing his gaze on the glass window in front of him. His gaze looked strange, perhaps even sad. I noticed his lips part slightly, and I think he wanted to say something, but he stopped himself before he could and instead started the vehicle. He placed a hand on the wheel and drove off into the night, leaving me curious and confused.

- - - 

The entire ride was silent, neither of us speaking. I gazed out the window and tried not to think too much about Baekhyun and the others. I tried to think of how I would complete my mission, and how I would eventually kill Taemin. 

Hell, if there was a chance to do it tonight I would not hesitate. 

We arrive at the large estate in a little less than an hour of easy Japanese commute. The structure is extremely Victorian with touches of contemporary architecture, but it's huge and it all belongs to Lee Taemin. It's like a dark European palace, and if it weren't for the gentle breeze of the ocean, one would not even be able to tell that we were in Japan. 

Surprisingly, there is not a single guard outside the estate. It's completely empty, and once we're through the pass-code protected gate, he parks the car off the side of the driveway and gets out, opening the butterfly doors so that I could step out too. 

The building is intimidatingly large, taller than any estate or mansion I've been into with the mafia. Taemin doesn't look at me as he walks towards the front door and rings the doorbell. There's an elderly man that greets us kindly by the door and lets us in. He looked to be a butler of some sort. 

As I stepped inside after Taemin, I was surprised to find the interior Victorian with a modern twist. The floors were black marble tiles and the walls were black with a sort of gothic wallpaper. There was a double staircase at the back of the foyer, carpeted with blue velvet and the room smelled like dead roses and lavender. Although the furniture was rather slick, and contemporary, it appeared as if nobody had lived in this house for years. The lights were on, but they were very dim, making me feel as if I almost dreaming. I didn't really imagine Taemin to live somewhere like this, but I guess now I realize it may kind of suit his dark and demented demeanor. 

"It's always cold in here."  Is the first thing he says once we're both inside of the house.

I look at him and see his gaze resting on my face. His expression is unreadable and I just become lost for words. The entire atmosphere was just as terrifying as my situation. 

"You might want to change into something warmer." 

"Okay." I reply blankly.

And he walks into a different room, leaving me to stand in the foyer by myself. I look down to find that I was still wearing my grey shorts with a white t-shirt. I sigh at my outfit choice for the night, cursing myself for being oblivious to the fact that my evening would result in my ending up at the main enemy's gothic mansion. 

"Excuse me, miss..." I hear a voice behind me say, making me turn around.

I am met with the kind eyes of the butler once again. He hands me an over-sized hoodie which I assume was probably Taemin's. I mean, it's not like he had girl clothes lying around for me. I was kind of an impulsive buy. An unplanned purchase. He had no time to prepare.

"Thank you." I mutter, and the butler walks away silently.

I slip the hoodie over my head and immediately become encompassed by the warmth and comfort it had to offer. It smelled clean, like fresh linen and perhaps even hints of sandalwood. Like dude. Clean dude.

When I realize that I have been left alone for the time being, I begin to walk around and explore like it's Dracula's castle. I'm not sure where Taemin went, but I take it upon myself to try and get to know the house I would be murdering him in. Based off of the Victorian sort of vibes I'm getting of this place, it's safe to say that I wouldn't be surprised to find a few trap doors or secret passageways around here that could make my life easier. Or maybe more difficult, depending on the situation. 

But that's not really what I'm looking for right now. I'm more interested in other things. Like why on earth Taemin had agreed to spend three billion dollars on a girl he barely even knew. Was he a compulsive killer? Or did he have some sort of alpha male superiority complex and liked abusing women? Oh, the possibilities.

I push open a large double door with a clasp, and immediately feel a rush of cold air hit my face. My shoulders tense up and the room is pitch black, but I try to look ahead. I try not to think of anything other than the mission. Because in the end, that's all that matters. That's all I'm here for, that's all I have to do.

All I have to do is kill Taemin. 

"Don't go in there." A voice says smoothly from beside me.

I turn my head and watch as Taemin walks over and closes the doors I had just opened. He reseals the clasp, this time sticking a key through the clasp to lock the doors back in place. I am silent for a while, until he turns around and stares at me.

"Why was it so dark?" I ask, forgetting for a split second that I am supposed to be the quiet and naive Scarlette. 

The shy and meek Scarlette. The cowardly and fragile Scarlette.

Not the courageous and inquisitive Y/N.

"Don't worry about it." He replies, and I decide it's best not to press further. 

He walks back over to me and takes my hand in a cold and unaffectionate grip. His slender fingers clasp around my own, and I meet his eyes. I want to ask him so many things but I can't. I can't ask him anything because by doing so I might give away who I actually am. 

"I want to show you something." He says, before taking me down the corridor until we reach a long set of stairs that spiral towards the ceiling. I tilt my head and look up. My lips quiver slightly at the sudden cold temperature. 

We walk up the stairs together, him first, his hand still tightly holding onto my own as I follow behind carefully. My mind races with a billion different scenarios, as I try to picture what it is that he wants to show me. A torture chamber? A sex dungeon? Yes, I am terrified, but I am even more curious. 

When we are finally at the top of the stairs, I realize that he has led me to a sort of balcony. It is high up, the view of the ocean clear from the top. It is beautiful, even though I have trouble admitting that internally. He lets go of my hand and stares off onto the sea, his hands gripping the cold concrete rim of the balcony:

"This is where I come to clear my head."  He says. 

I hesitate, but move next to him. I want to say something again, but stop myself before I can. Instead, I opt to quietly watch the sea, and listen to the gentle crashing of the waves that roar from below. The sound of soft thunder from miles away sounds gently, as droplets of rain begin to fall. But the balcony is like a canopy, shielding us from mother nature. It's therapeutic, almost peaceful...

But the storm is only just beginning to stir. 

"Listen, Scarlette..."  Taemin begins, "the reason I bought you and brought you here is..." 

I turn my head to look at him, watching as his eyes practically bleed into mine with slight apprehension:

"I know your real father. He's looking for you."

Chapter Text

I feel a lump build up in my throat at the mention of father, or even anything having to do with paternal situations. I couldn't tell if he was referring to my real father, or the father of my alias: Scarlette's father.

"My father?"  I ask, "The Italian mobster?"  I lie.

His jaw tightens as the wind blows the strands of blonde hair from his eyes, letting his pupils glimmer under the soft light of the sun obscured by storm clouds that roar victoriously from above. He clicks his tongue and glances out the balcony one last time, his presence breathing in the waves as an intense breeze blows by and stings my nostrils with the salty scent of seawater. He then makes a sharp turn on his heel, before stepping back into the tower to leave me dumbfounded, my question: unanswered. 

"Hey!" I call out, breaking character a little bit, as I walk after him into the tower. 

He doesn't stop walking, each step fast-paced as he walks out into the narrow corridor that would lead down to the gothic spiral staircase. I start to run after him, my feet moving faster than my mind as my vision suddenly begins to blur. I blink once, only to find re-opening my eyelid much heavier than it was before. My head spins as my footsteps begin to slow. I sway as I struggle to follow his slender frame down the hall that seems to slowly begin to contort in my line of vision. The walls twist and turn, the pattern on the floor dancing beneath my feet. And as if that wasn't enough already, the room starts spinning.

I finally lose my balance and fall to the ground, too fast to process. There is a sharp pain in my head but I don't know where it's from. I lie on the carpeted floor, silently surrendering to the sudden exhaustion, watching Taemin's ominous figure fade as the butler runs to my side. He says something, but by then I'll have already blacked out. 

- - - 

When I awake again, I am on a beige chaise lounge sofa, between cream colored walls in a room under soft white light that has been dimmed down so as not to pit pressure on my vision. I blink and turn my head to see a large window to my left. The storm had apparently already hit, the window sprinkled with droplets of rain that stuck to the glass like tiny crystals. I sit up, lifting my head from the plush pillow and the blush blanket. The curiosity has become a toxic weight on my head and heart.

I need to find out who he was talking about. 

As I use my elbows to prop my sore body off of the bed, I suddenly watch as the door creaks open slowly. I freeze, remembering where I am and who I am. 

Who am I?

Y/N.

Scarlette. 

I blink quickly.

The door opens more and more, and as it does I slowly crawl back into the Victorian bed, pulling the blush blanket back over my shoulders as I lie my strained head back onto the pillow. My eyes are wide, and blood-shot with stress and slight lingering fear. I fix my gaze onto the ceiling as Taemin enters the room like a ghost, and my heart races insanely in my chest. 

He saunters elegantly, carefully making his way over to my bedside. He stops and looks down at me, and I refuse to make eye-contact. All I want is to ask him about my father, but I contain myself and wait patiently for him to finish observing my facial features. He sighs and brings a pale hand to his own face, obscuring his eyes as if he doesn't want to see what's in front of him. He keeps it there, mysteriously wallowing in what I can imagine is his own dilemma. 

I bite my bottom lip and sit up slowly. He doesn't move, his hand still covering his eyes. Does he have a headache? Is he in pain? The position was strange, but general and could be for a number of different reasons. 

What should I do...

What would Scarlette do?

I place a hand on his arm and he instantly flinches, his head shooting up from his hand until his bright eyes finally meet mine. I take in his pale features, before I slide my hand down slowly until I feet the veins texturing his wrist. I wrap my cold fingers around it carefully, and pull him closer. His face inches towards mine, his lips parting slightly.

"My father is looking for me?" I ask softly, lacing Scarlette's innocent concern under the hollow tone of my own strained and weak voice. 

He freezes at the question, his eyes blanking out. I search his face for any sign of an answer but there is nothing there. He is like a skeleton, white and porcelain. His frame is ominous, his hair almost doll-like.

And just as I begin to unlace his features, he yanks his arm back and tightens his jaw. His gaze suddenly grows aggressive, and serious. His pupils dilating in the fury that I can only imagine he has been holding back all this time. He fixes his posture, his head tilting slightly to stare at me beneath him, instead of beside him with a dominating glare:

"You are not getting any answers to your question until you answer mine."  He says. 

I squint:

"What do you m-" 

And it is at this moment that I realize there is a needle stabbed into my arm, hooked up to an IV bag that is placed carefully right beside the bed. My eyes widen and my heart rate suddenly escalates. I stare at the needle, my instincts screaming at me to pull it out and kill him right here. Right now. 

But it is my alias that stops me, once again. Scarle-

"You are not Scarlette." 

His voice is cold, but not as threatening as his eyes. He walks over to the other side of the bed and takes my arm in his cold hands. He brushes his thumb against where the needle is, before taking it out of my skin carefully. I flinch, my eyes twitching slightly. 

I don't know what to say without blowing my cover. 

"I don't want to hurt you."  He says quietly, setting the needle down on the bedside table, "I just want to know what you're doing in Japan. You're here for the auction, aren't you?"

My mind blanks out.

"Your name is Y/N, right?" He asks again, stepping closer at my unresponsiveness "I know your father, and he knows you're here."

Taemin continues to speak of things I don't want to know about, and all I can do is stare at the space of the wall behind his shoulder. He says my father's name, and the sound of it slipping off the tip of his tongue bites the back of my neck and mocks every ounce of security I had worked so hard to develop during my training. My body goes numb and an entirely archaic feeling swirls within me. 

Fear. 

It is fear that jolts me out of my state of mental and physical inertia. It is fear that makes me rip myself off of the bed and grab Taemin by his neck, pressing him into the wall and watching as his pale face struggles beneath my grip.

I feel my eyes water as I become nothing but primal in these moments. I want to kill him to get the mission over with, as a desperate means of some sort of closure before my world can even begin to spiral and crush me completely.

But before Taemin's eyes can roll to the back of his head- before his face can turn blue- I realize that my life has already been over, if not confined by the invisible chains my father has so intricately attached to my ankles ever since birth. 

I let go of Taemin's neck as he starts to gasp for air. I stumble, step back, and stare at his face that grows blurrier and blurrier with each flying second. The tears flood down my cheeks endlessly, my heart trembling in my chest with anxiety and terror. Taemin catches his breath, his chest heaving as his eyes stay locked onto mine. His stoic expression immediately becomes washed over with that of concern. I take a few more steps away from him as my head begins to pound hard with a piercing migraine. I rip my gaze off of his and run out into the corridor. 

"Wait!"  He calls out, running after me. 

- - - 

I make it halfway down the extensive hall, before I feel a tough grip enclose around my arm. I stop and turn around to see that Taemin had grabbed me, his breathing slightly unsteady from all of the running. His eyes meet mine and he exhales gently, before loosening his grip on my arm:

"Just let me explai-"

"I'm not going back to him!" I say, the tears seeming to never stop as they roll excessively down my cheeks. 

He sighs and shakes his head, placing his hands on my shoulders and applying the minimum amount of pressure to ground me back to reality:

"Listen to me."  He says firmly, "Your father is going to be here soon. If you don't want him to take you back, you're going to need to listen carefully and do what I tell you."

I freeze, the tears seeming to have stopped as I sniff and stare into Taemin's eyes in utter silence.

"Can you do that for me?"  He asks again, tilting his head. 

I sniff again and, although my mind is still fuzzy, I hang on to rationality and nod. He lets go of my shoulders with a relaxed sigh, before reaching into the chest pocket of his blazer to retrieve a handkerchief. He hands the small piece of cloth to me and I hesitate a bit before I finally take it and use it to wipe my eyes dry of any lingering tears.

"Why are you helping me?" I ask quietly, casting my gaze to the ground timidly. 

"I-"

Taemin tries to reply to me, but his answer is cut short by the horrific sound of the doorbell ringing from downstairs. His eyes widen and he quickly ushers me over to a room down the hall. The butler appears again, and takes my arm and pulls me into the room.

"H-Hey!"  I struggle.

"He's here, Y/N."  Is all Taemin has to say to keep me quiet and obedient, "Go get dressed and do not say a word until I tell you to do so." 

I swallow the lump in my throat and go into the room to get dressed.

The room is large and tiled. There are no windows, and parts of the wall are mirrored. It's a walk-in women's closet. And it only worked to confuse me more than I already am. The butler walks into the room with me and quietly closes the door behind him. He pulls a dress out from a wardrobe and hands it to me with a pair of black pumps. I blink quickly before taking the articles of clothing that were somehow both my exact size.

"Please get dressed quickly and meet the master downstairs."  Is all the butler tells me before quickly exiting the room. 

I stare at the pieces of clothing as my heart races fast in my chest. I was going to be seeing my father soon, and the rush of emotions that was hitting me made me feel increasingly nauseous with each passing minute. 

My footsteps feel heavy in the black pumps, my body incredibly cold in the form-fitting black dress that hugged my body in places I did not want it to. The door became a burden to push open, as I knew that on the other side- along the narrow corridor and down the set of carpeted stairs- my father was waiting to claim me as his own once again. To spin me into the spiral of madness I had somehow managed to escape in the short time that I was with the surprisingly compassionate and loving members of the South Korean Mafia. 

I don't even realize when I am halfway down the stairs already, staring mindlessly at the face of my father who looks up at me like a lost relic. His eyes widen, but his lips do not dare to crack into a smile, that signature cigar hanging loosely from the edge of his dark mouth.

Taemin is beside him, eyeing me in a similar, if not more meaningful manner. I feel my body tense up as the urge to just run back upstairs overwhelms me. But I pull myself together and suck it up, taking the last few steps down until I am standing in front of my father. 

He looks at me like I am object. As if trying to determine my monetary worth once again. And it breaks my heart. I've shattered before his cruelty millions of times before, but as I said before, the torment he puts me and my mind through is cyclical. It repeats. And it's all my fault for letting it hurt me. 

"I don't know how you got her..."  He grumbles, "But I'm taking her back."  My father says. 

I feel the blood drain from my face, as my shoulders tense up and my eyes begin to sting. I want to cry and cower in fear. I want to scream at him in defiance until he can hear everything I once heard in my bedroom when I was younger, playing with dolls amidst a bloody chaos. 

But there is suddenly a cold laugh that emits from Taemin, as he tilts his head back and lets the sound of his voice echo through the crystal chandeliers. My father's eyes are narrowed watching carefully as a cold hand snakes around my waist and snaps me out of my dark thoughts. I turn my head and blink at Taemin who suddenly pulls me close to his side gently:

"We are thrilled you have visited..."  He says gently, "my fiance and I." 

What.

My eyes widen as I look at him, and he turns his head, meeting my eyes with a gentle indifferent gaze that was somehow urging me to play along. I blink quickly, turning my face to look at my father who had discarded his fat cigar for a sour expression.

"Your fiance?"  My father scoffed and shook his head, "Very funny."

Taemin squeezed my waist more as he smiled at my father with a sickeningly sweet grin. A bitter and tasteless expression that bit at the eyes with venom.

But I could tell from my father's eyes that his suspicion of such an engagement lingered.

My father's eyes...

All the memories come flooding back. My heart feels as if it has stopped, my anger slowly subsiding into a sick sort of desperation.

And desperation will make us do strange things. 

"No, father it's true."  I say blankly, "We are in love and we're getting married." 

There is a brief pause of silence, like a space left for the tension that ensued from my words, as an uncomfortable exchange of glances between my father and Taemin happens  before my father scoffs. He then sneers at us, smugly, before spitting his cigar onto the floor. His gaze meets mine, where he starts to stare at me with utter disgust, silent until his attention is averted back Taemin:

"This is a fucking joke."  He spits, "I didn't even sell her to you. Where the fuck is mafia?"

"They sold her to me."  Taemin replies calmly, moving his hand up from the small of my back to carefully start stroking my hair, his fingers running through the strands gently. I cringe, wanting to step away, but I endure it for the sake of a lie that could save me the years of torture from going back to living with my father.

"How much?"  My father suddenly asks, and it takes Taemin off guard, as his hand freezes and drops down from stroking my hair. 

He doesn't reply to my father, instead creating another tension between us all through silence. My father's expression grows angrier and angrier with each passing minute. He grits his teeth and repeats his question in a more demanding and eager tone:

"How. Much."

I panic as I turn my head to look at Taemin whose eyes are fixed onto my father's face. 

He exhales gently, before relaxing his arm around my waist again:

"3,000,000,000 yen."  He said, "32,551,500,000 won." 

All the color that my father's face held soon drains, his skin turning a porcelain pale as his pupils dilated with anger. His expression suddenly twists, his eyes wrinkling, the corners of his mouth turning. And it's terrifying, because in all the years living with my father, I know very well that this expression is not just one of anger...

It is an anger that calls upon the reigns of death. 

He takes a step back and turns to leave, without saying a single word. I try to walk after him but Taemin squeezes my waist to keep me in place. We stand there next to each other, as the seconds seem to slow down by the millions.

The butler opens the door for him, and like the wind, he disappears into the darkness of the night. The door closes and the butler exits out of the foyer as well, while Taemin stands beside me with his hand still squeezing my waist. I feel my entire body numb as I let the entire situation finally click inside my head.

My father sold me to the mafia for a few million.

But the mafia sold me for three billion.

My father feels betrayed. He feels his intelligence  is being challenged. 

He doesn't care where I am.

He just wants the money. 

And if the mafia refuses to give him what he believes is his....

"Hey." 

I blink, realizing that Taemin had already let go of my waist and was now standing in front of me:

"He's not gonna bother you anymor-"

"Why are you helping me?" I interject, feeling my jaw tighten with impatience.

He pauses and stares at me with his lackluster eyes that bleed with placidity and yet a certain form of fantastical elegance that captivates my gaze. He is dangerously quiet as his stare speaks volumes. But I suddenly jump when a flash of electric light sparks out the window, the accompanying sound of lightening bringing a nearby tree crashing down. My confidence quickly subsides, the thunder and sound of rain hitting the roof becoming more prevalent than my entire presence.

But Taemin does not flinch for a second.

- - - 

K A I ' S   P O V 

I felt like a fucking idiot. 

What was I gonna tell the other guys? That we ran into Taemin in the elevator and I just let him buy Y/N? 

I step out of the elevator once I'm on the right floor and walk dejectedly towards the room. My head spins with a million thoughts, solutions and indecisive decisions. But I can't really focus on anything after giving Y/N away to start her mission before the proper preparations could have been made.

There wasn't a choice. If I had refused to give her away, Taemin would have grown suspicious and the entire mission would have gone to shi-

"Hey, man!" Baekhyun runs up to me, "I'm back from the deal." 

Fuck. 

I stay silent, my face numb as I stop walking to look at Baekhyun with regret pooling at the pit of my stomach. 

He's gonna kill me. 

Chapter Text

K A I ' S  P O V 

"I sold her,"  I held my breath "for three billion." 

"TO WHO?!"  Baekhyun growls, his hands holding a death grip on the collar of my shirt.

I tighten my jaw and go silent, my gaze unable to rest on his facial features any longer as my chest begins to ache with the same regret that had pooled its way to the pit of my stomach in the hours prior to this one. 

"Tell me, you piece of shit!"  He screams, his hands beginning to tremble and his voice beginning to crack, "Tell me..."

I feel my eyes begin to sting as he starts losing control of himself. I struggle to find the right words, but I'm quick to realize that there is only one name to be said and only one reality that I had ultimately fucked up for Byun Baekhyun. 

Because Y/N was never mine. She wasn't mine to kiss. To touch. She wasn't mine to love.

She wasn't mine to sell.

"Taemin."  I say blankly, my throat going dry at the sound of each syllable of his name. 

Baekhyun lets go of me and staggers backwards slightly, his eyes glossed over with a pain I haven't really ever seen before. He looks at me with anguish. With betrayal. And it fucking sucks because I was expecting anger. I was expecting to get fucked up with fists, not feelings:

"Why?"  He asked weakly.

And for once in my life, I had no answer. 

"Why, Jongin?"

- - - 

"He was in the elevator with us and I tried to hide her but she didn't-"  I pause, my throat feeling heavy, "she didn't know it was him." 

I don't know why the fuck I'm still here. I don't know why I'm explaining myself. 

Junmyeon sighs and distastefully takes a sip from the wine in his glass. We were both sat in the lounge chairs behind the foyer, and the drinks were abundant but the stomach for them: not so much. 

"And then what happened."  He demanded, rather than asked, as he tried to remain as calm as he could possibly be given the situation. 

"He said he wanted to buy her." I told him, "I don't know why, but I thought it would look suspicious if I refused, so I..." 

My breath hitches and I bring a hand to my face:

"I fucked up boss, I really fucked u-"

"No."  Junmyeon says, leaning over to place a tense hand on my shoulder, "You did what you thought was right. You pursued the mission." 

"Fuck the mission."  Chanyeol says, making Junmyeon and I turn our heads to look at him. 

He was leaned against the door-frame, his arms folded across his chest and his face pale. He stared at me with dark eyes, his lips pressed into an extremely thin and pissed-off line:

"I guess I should have guessed you would be the one to do it."  Chanyeol said bitterly.

"Do what?"  Junmyeon questioned. 

"Fuck up. Betray us."  Chanyeol's eyes darted towards Junmyeon, his breathing suddenly losing control. 

He then leaned off of the door-frame to take a few steps closer to the both of us:

"I don't even know why we still trust him,"  Chanyeol remarked condescendingly.

"That's enough, Chanyeo-"

 "He did work with Taemin, after al-."

"Chanyeol."  Junmyeon raised his voice as he stood up, "I said that's enough." 

The entire room went silent as Chanyeol lowered his head and bit down on his bottom lip. He stayed there for a moment, containing his words until he found some sort of resolve to his anger. He lifted his head, a silent rage inflaming his eyes as they met my own. I watched carefully as he clenched his fists at his side, his forearms and muscles tensing due to the applied stress:

"She was one of us."  He said to me, before walking off. 

Junmyeon tightened his jaw, as he began to pace around the room. When he couldn't take it anymore, he threw his half-finished glass of wine at the wall and let the glass shatter into a million crystal pieces. My eye twitched at the sound, the pain in my head increasing. 

"Who knows where the fuck he took her..."  Junmyeon said bitterly, "All we can do is hope that she values her life more than the fucking mission."

But does she?

Do you, Y/N?

- - - 

Y / N ' S  P O V 

The rain only got faster outside, the pattering becoming more and more coherent with each passing second that I was stood in front of Taemin, confusion swirling around in my mind in the most painful way possible: through an impeccably sharp migraine. 

"I'm not really helping you, I..."  He trails off and sighs, the brief silence becoming filled with the rumbling sound of the storm outside, "I'm helping myself." 

I narrow my eyes questionably. 

"I'm not telling you anything tonight."  He says resolutely, lifting his head so that his eyes could meet mine. He then walks past me without touching me, his slender legs taking him up the staircase behind me. Another bolt of lightening strikes outside, sending another prominent tree crashing down. I stare at him as his figure begins to slowly obscure further and further away. 

I wanted to run after him, chase him down, hold a gun to his head and demand answers, but I couldn't do that. I can't do that. 

Because he just saved me from my nightmare of a father. 

And if anything, he is more deserving of sleep than I. His colorless complexion, tasteless conversation, and placid, melancholic voice were all signs of his mental agony. The way he hid himself under light, and flourished in the darkness spoke volumes of his persona. He is enigmatically both capable and incapable. 

Maybe deserving of death,

but also peace of mind. 

So, I wordlessly wait for the subtle sound of his footsteps to fade out before I make my own way upstairs, letting my legs take me to the room I had originally awoken in. I recognize it from the jumbled sheets, and the IV bag hooked up where a bedside table should be. 

My body is numb, my psyche too exhausted to even consider taking the dress off as an option, but I do slip off the painstaking heels. I then crawl into the bed carefully, but the hem of the tight dress rides up a little. I choose to ignore it, pulling the cold blanket over my body. 

I lie my head on the pillow and stare at the ceiling, my chest tightening painfully with each inhale and exhale. I realize now that although being that close to my father again was traumatizing, knowing that I had failed the one task I was assigned somehow hurt me more, and was the final straw. 

They had worked so hard to train me, and I had just gone and blown it in mere hours. But more than anything, I just wanted to do something for them. For the mafia, who took me in and showed me what it was really like to have a family. That was the goal. That was the mission. 

And yet all I can think of now are the questions that are unanswered as the new ones begin to bloom. Who was Taemin, and why did the mafia want him dead? Why did he purchase me, and why were they sure he was going to? Is he dangerous? Why did he help me?

How am I helping him?

My eyes burn as I wonder how many miles away I am from them, wanting nothing more than to be engulfed in the smell of Sehun's stupidly expensive bad boy cologne, while Baekhyun's warm arms wrap around me, his snarky remarks lulling me to sleep. 

I missed all of them. 

"Um..."  Taemin's uncertain voice came from the door that I had left ajar. 

My body shot up quickly as I sat up as fast as I could without taking into account how silly I probably looked. I eyed his figure, finding it standing near the door-frame. He was breathing heavily, as if he had just run a marathon to get here. His forehead was shining with little beads of sweat. His eyes were blown out wide and irritated. He tilted his head slightly before entering, taking quick strides until he was next to the bed I was sat at. 

I watched him carefully, ready to strike first if he dared to make an attempt at something. But his next words were something I had not really prepared for at all:

"Are you hungry?" 

I blink a bit before fully processing his words. Then, I look down at my stomach stupidly, as if there was a big sign that would tell me how it felt. It was empty and that was that:

"Yea."  I answer honestly.

"Let's go out and eat."  He says hurriedly, placing a hand on my arm.

His gesture of eating outside is strange, I mean: it's literally storming outside, but it is the contact of his skin on my own that is enough to completely mush all of my curiosity and confusion away.

My gaze darts over to where he places his hand, my skin suddenly burning under his touch. I wiggle myself away from him and move to stand up from the bed quickly. I awkwardly smooth my hands over the short dress, pulling at the tight hem to bring it down from where it had previously rode up. He watches me carefully, his gentle eyes on my body not really bothering me as much as I would have preferred them to. My face just becomes increasingly warm. 

I grab the heels from the ground and start to slip them on. He stands there and waits for me, his eyes lock onto my legs and I look up at him while I slip the first heel onto my left foot. His eyes then suddenly shift, locking onto mine, and I become lost for some reason. All sense of reality slips from my mind momentarily...

And before I know it, my clumsiness starts to kick in and get the best of me. I lose my footing out of nowhere, my ankle contracting with the heel bending downwards and pressing onto the carpeted floor painfully until my entire body cannot stay upright anymore. I am in the process of collapse.

But as silent as the wind, my arms are scooped up before my entire body can hit the floor. I wince at the shot of pain in my foot, even as I feel myself being lifted and placed onto the bed. I blink and notice my arms instinctively wrapped around his neck for heightened support. 

And yet Taemin simply stayed stood in front of me, his eyes fixed on my ankle even as my arms remained wrapped around his neck. He extends a hand out to touch my ankle, but my body jumps slightly at the pain, making his eyes finally meet mine. He silently observes my expression, his lips parting slightly to speak, but the words refusing to come out at all. 

I unravel my arms from his neck, my gaze still fixed on his elaborate eyes that let the lights dance within them. My breath suddenly hitches when he inches closer to my face, his icy breath hitting my lips sharply, like a knife cutting through soft flesh. 

Taemin was dark and twisted, but most terrifying of all: an enigma. He was an absolute mystery, his true motives and desires were unclear. His sentiments were masked, emotions: obscured. But his eyes glittered in a way that screamed numbing nostalgia, the angelic strands of blonde hair falling delicately over his gaze. I don't know why I leaned closer. I don't know why I angled my head so that our lips could meet in perfect harmony...

He kissed me first, his lips hungrily snatching mine into his own. He pulled me in with his taste, urging me to become a willing participant of such scandalous behavior with his peppermint kiss. And I obliged, grabbing the collar of his shirt tightly, as I let myself fall backwards onto the plush mattress while my hands pulled his body on top of mine. 

His hair kisses my cheeks, while his lips play tenderly with my own. His cold hands remain on either side of my body, refusing to touch me while one of his knees begins to draw closer and closer to my inner thighs. I move my hands from his collar and let my hot palms slide up his veiny and breathless neck, slowly, until they press against his face. I feel the pale, cold skin under my hot palms and it shoots a jolt of electricity through my spine, giving me the confidence and energy to flip us over so that I could get on top of him. 

He blinks and stares up at me with an ecstatic gaze glossed over his eyes while I press my hand against his shoulders. I push him deeper into the mattress slowly, enjoying the touch and sight of his muscles flexing beneath my palms. He then brings his arms up and lets his hands rest on my clothed waist. I am about to start my infamous grinding, when I suddenly freeze. 

What am I doing?

He's a stranger. 

He's the enemy. 

I don't know what I'm doing. And I say it out loud too:

"What am I doing?"

He is silent for a moment, before he sits up slowly, his hands taking on movements more sensual than I had first anticipated them to be capable of. His palms slide up and down my sides, until he pulls me fully onto his lap. His lips remain pressed into a thin line, as he shoots me a cold glare:

"Me."