"Remember that Dongcheon will always have your back and know that I will never betray you if you do the same for me."
Choi Mujin exudes danger just like how he breathes out the hazy smoke from his expensive cigarettes, but many don't think that the boss of Dongcheonpa could actually fight.
They are wrong.
And it costs many of them their lives in the learning process. Hand-to-hand combat was a necessity in the underworld, and for guns and knives, every split second counted, and Choi Mujin was always good at calculations.
Taeju often protected Mujin from the front, his martial arts coming into play as the ease of kicks gave Mujin time to survey the scene of the crime before shoving the perpetrator- a dumber than rocks CEO who had dared to oppose him- and Mujin's cuffs come away stained with blood as he shoves the guy away as his men grab him and push the traitor into the gas-filled luxury sedan.
Mujin finds Jiwoo tied up in a car trunk a few hours after she stormed his office, it is the second time he has laid eyes on her apart from the funeral hall, and she's bruised, bloodied and battered within every inch of her pale skin.
Holding her frail wrists as he slit the cord holding them together, he finds himself holding back a curse. Was it his fondness for his dead best friend that made him feel so emotional?
He lifts her up from the car trunk, and all he could see was her eyes, terrified, yet filled with a stronger fire than anything he'd seen from his subordinates.
Choi Mujin had a gold ring on his pinky, and it glinted under the moonlight, just like the small blade he had extended to her that night when she barged into his office and demanded he hunt down the person responsible for murdering her father.
The thick scent of cigarette smoke wafted around the area, and she shifts uneasily until she sees Mujin walk through the doors, Taeju following close behind him,
Her fingers flinch into the soft cushion of the couch as Mujin gives her a side glance before stepping towards the glass decanter on the table, pouring an amber hued whiskey onto the neatly carved ice already resting in its crystal shell.
"Have you looked around yet?" she startles at his words, whipping her head around at his voice as she doesn't think he would have sparked conversation first.
She stumbles over her words, "N..no, I haven't." her initial bravery a bit lower than before, her wrists still sore from the restraints, dark purple bruises circling them.
He raises an eyebrow, and she wonders if it's as if he thought she would take the time while he was away to dig through all his things, explore all the rooms, move up and down between the many floors to see what they held.
She wasn't that rude. The owner of the house hadn't allowed nor spoken of it, so she shouldn't be ignorant or obnoxiously nosy.
She didn't want to bother him, especially since she knew what his line of work was, and the amount of stress that came along with being the head of the largest and most powerful drug gang in all of Seoul.
She shifted around, avoiding his direct gaze as he downs the drink before setting it down with a clink onto a ceramic coaster, she looks up at the sound of movement, and freezes when she sees him standing in front of the chaise, extending his hand towards her.
"Let's go then."
She bites her lip, uncomfortable at how kind he was being compared to his fierce retaliation during their second meeting in the dimly lit office, spittle in her face and a harsh slap across her cheek.
Anger burns in her stomach remembering that moment.
After some time passed, she promised herself, she would get an apology for that smack. She had been rude, but nothing to warrant such behavior from someone who shouldn't have done that towards his best friend's daughter.
For now though, she takes that hand.
It was a while yet before the both of them figures out that Jiwoo hadn't just taken Mujin's hand that day.
She had taken his whole heart too.
It was frightening, scary- she was scared, maybe even more than when she had watched her father die in front of her, unable to open the door to go out to stop his bleeding.
She struggled, the drugs making her weaker, her knees not hitting the place she wanted to hit, her hands and arms limp at her sides, her eyes rolling over, her vision too blurry for anything to match up straight.
She was going to be rap-
The sound of the doors slamming open and shouts in the distance are what keeps her awake long enough for someone's hand to touch her forehead, stroking over her cut lip before she's lifted into the air, nestled into someone's sturdy chest as indignant yells are spat after her.
She's still groggy as she wakes from her unforseen sleep, and the last thing she remembered was drinking the water that Gang-jae had given her.
Her head hurt, like getting a headache after walking through a drug alley where the smell of illegal weed escaped from roughly rolled blunts in the darkness.
She can hear something quiet underneath her ear, and with a confused blink, she wriggled around to find that she was listening to Mujin's heartbeat.
She looked down at herself, still dressed in her sweaty exercise clothes from boxing, and throbbing pain in her hand.
Her father's urn...in pieces on the floor, she remembered- grabbing that single large ceramic shard with her hand and cutting herself to stay awake, to dig its end into the crotch of the man trying to tear off her clothes.
She gritted her teeth, trying to flex her fingers into her palm, and Mujin carefully maneuvered her into his leather seat, but she wanted nothing more than to get out of it, in fear of her clothes ruining the expensive material.
"Stay." His hand descended upon her head, just resting on her messed up hair, and he eyed the tightly wrapped bandages on her hand before he moved away from his desk.
"But-" the words crawled into her throat but he doesn't even look back as he said quietly, "It's fine. Just stay still and don't let your wounds open up."
The sound of his shoes meeting the floor tiles as he nodded to Taeju to release his grip on Gang-jae's collar.
With a blank expression, Taeju doesn't look at Gang-jae who looks towards him with a pleading sound for help, and Gang-jae skitters backward, almost sliding on the floor as he tries to evade Mujin, to utter failure.
"You shouldn't have done that, Gang-jae." He doesn't look livid, but anyone who followed under him knew that his face right then and there was something they should inherently fear.
Mujin's next words strike at the same time the lightning flashes outside the windows.
"I personally brought her here, and everyone should know that she is under my protection. So why couldn't you keep your filthy hands to yourself?"
Mujin's voice is lower than it is on usual, the scratchy hoarseness from his smoking almost a signature trait at this point and Jiwoo feels a little flutter of something in herself that she can't quite place.
Gang-jae sputters, "Aren't I useful to you, boss? More than that little bitc-!" his sentence is cut off as Mujin grabs him by the hair and yanks his head backward, Gang-jae swallowing roughly as his nervous habit betrays his inner thoughts.
"Enough, choose. Your arm, leg, or your face?" Mujin's deal is something that none of the other leaders would have offered, but Gang-jae doesn't care, he doesn't want to choose, and so Mujin chooses for him.
The graceful ruthlessness in his movements struck her as she watched the way Mujin held up Gang-jae's face in a terribly strong grip, and then his knife carved through his skin like a boat racing through the choppy waves of the sea, and blood spurted into the air, splattering onto the marble floor.
Jiwoo didn't follow the blood trail but instead monitored the situation, sick satisfaction fluttering in her stomach as she shifted on the seat, Mujin noticing her uncomfortableness and striding towards her.
With a single breath, he's picked her up and revelation hits Jiwoo that his arms felt like the safest place for her.
He makes sure that she's patched up before they slowly make their way into a Mercedes, the windows rolling up as it stops in front of a dingy little store with a wooden signboard attached to the front, and he turns, again, his hand outstretched for her to take.
They go in and sit down, the smell of cheap soju and fried appetizers lingering in the air as he orders for them, pulling out some documents as they wait for their orders to arrive.
Jiwoo flips through the papers, blinking every so often because one of her eyes was too swollen to see through, but Mujin tells her the most important bit.
"Yoon Jiwoo is now dead. She died today in an accident at the gym, and someone was excommunicated from the Dongcheon because of it- is what the reports will say if anyone tries to find traces of you."
Jiwoo's fingers crumple the pages in her hand as she listens to his voice, her vision like the glistening of oil in water as she bites her cheek before hissing at the sudden pain.
"From now on your name will be Oh Hyejin. You'll take on that dead woman's identity as your own, and live and breathe as her."
The serious tone drops a little as the old woman lays out the little shot glasses and soju bottles in front of them, and he hands her fifty thousand won, "I forgot my cigarettes, would you go and buy me some more?"
The old lady holds the bill close to her chest as she ambles to the shop's entrance until the bells hanging at the top jingle, signaling her absence, and Mujin gives Jiwoo a little look.
"Has anyone taught you how to drink yet?" She shakes her head no, she never broke the rules. Not until that day when she snapped-
He seems to fight down a cheeky grin, and cracks open the bottle nearest to him, pouring her a glass before he gestures to her.
"Go on then." She gives it a cautious look before tossing her head back and gulping it down, only to gag at the bitterness that followed.
He chuckles aloud this time, and she frowns at him making fun of her. He snorts, downing his own glass before pouring her another.
"Next time, turn your head away before you drink in front of someone older than you. Don't worry about the taste," he picks up his chopsticks and bites down on a piece of fish before pointing them at her.
"You'll get used to it soon enough." He doesn't say why he chose that dead girl's identity out of all the others Taeju had collected for him.
Their ages were close enough, two years apart was nothing, and the sad backstory would be good enough for the cops to take her in as one of their own- but...
The name Hyejin...?
It meant bright, intelligent...but also? Rare...and, and precious.
Three years pass, and with every week that went by, Jiwoo only got closer to Mujin, at first, thinking it was because he was her father's closest friend and ally- as if she could still feel her father in some way from his speech, his mannerisms, but nothing was similar at all.
Nothing, except for the smell of tobacco.
She had never gotten into the habit of smoking, never choosing to use the pocket money her father sent her every month for the foul smelling things.
But as she spent years in Mujin's house, rode alongside him in cars with black tinted windows, and spent most of her time around the associates who trained in the gym, cigarettes became a part of her daily life. She didn't dislike it.
It reminded her of power.
She is twenty, an adult when Mujin announces that they were going to the tattoo parlor, but when they get there, it's as if he realizes, yet again, that she was a young woman, and that the tattoo would go on her chest.
That the tattoo artist would...see.
Thunderclouds on the horizon as his eyebrows furrow together, faint wrinkles on his forehead as he lets out a deep sigh, but in the end, he allows it, for he couldn't do it himself.
He chooses to watch over the process like the time he went to check on the drug lab on the boat, where she had kept her mask on, sidling just behind him as she watched the process.
When it's finished and wrapped, she stands in front of the mirror and tentatively pokes the ink, wincing at the faint pain that follows and meets Mujin's eyes in the mirror.
He's silent for a time, choosing to look her up and down before he stares at the tattoo that now decorates her, then nods.
"It looks good on you." He puts on his coat, his tie slightly out of place and she's stepping forward before she can think about her actions before executing them.
She reaches for his tie and he imperceptibly flinches back, but she doesn't notice the slight shaking of his pupils, instead, straightening the knot of his tie and spreading her hands over his chest to smooth out the wrinkles of the vest.
"All done-" her words stop in their tracks as she falters, feeling his chest rise with every breath he took, and the way he looked down at her given their height difference.
Her hands were still on his chest, and if they could get any closer, it might have looked a little too suggestive- as if she were proclaiming to the world that Choi Mujin was hers.
His voice is hoarse as he clears his throat, and she jumps back, her face flushing under his gaze.
"Now that you're fully initiated, your life is held in the grasp of Dongcheonpa. But know this: whatever you do, and whatever happens, Dongcheonpa will protect you."
And another two years later, she recites the police pledge in a freshly ironed uniform of black and gold, her hat's brim slightly hiding her line of sight as she doesn't smile for the camera.
Then a year later, after fighting for a promotion that was long past due, she's grown used to being around the police all the time.
For when the day was high and all were awake, she was a police officer, keeper of the law, but when the night fell and rigged coin machines rang across the cities, Oh Hyejin becomes Yoon Jiwoo again.
Toeing off her sneakers, she tosses her badge into her bag just as her phone rang with a number that only belonged to the letter, "A".
She doesn't need to answer to know who it was, but her hand picks up her phone anyways, and her heart trembles a bit as she answers with a quiet, "Hello?"
And a small smile grows on her face as she listens to the answering, "The car is out front."
Motorcycle helmet on her head, she doesn't take it off until she's safe inside the sleek black Maybach, greeting Taeju with the customary nod as his eyes slide over her before the car goes down the familiar road; taking a few alley turns and shortcuts in case of a tail, and back to the place she had gotten used to calling home.
The elevator dings at the top floor, the doors sliding open to the guards next to them and as they see Taeju and Jiwoo, they greet them with low bows, and Taeju waves them off, patting them on the shoulders before they turn the corner to see Mujin's office.
Taeju knocks, and in they go, into the inner sanctuary of Choi Mujin.
Mujin stands with his back facing them, but she can smell the familiar scent of his favorite brand of cigarettes, choosing only to bring out the cigars when he has to entertain the crowds that won't break that easily.
Jiwoo meanders in, stroking a new addition to the office, this time a beautifully patterned vase from the nineteenth century, all blue porcelain and glazed peony flowers.
It reminded her of something, but she doesn't ponder for long, choosing to walk closer to Mujin and moving behind his desk, playfully stroking the leather before she smiles and goes to sit with Taeju.
It was time to get to work.
Jiwoo is sitting on the couch, restless as she waited for Mujin's call, but to no avail. Right after the siege had finished, she had slipped away with an excuse that she would file paperwork, but that was still waiting on her laptop as she twisted her fingers until they were white.
She heard the elevator doors open and she nearly trips on thin air as she rushes to meet him, apologies on her lips as she lays eyes on him- and all the words dry up in her mouth as she watches him angrily toss his jacket onto the floor while passing by the few guards left behind.
Taeju follows close by, his eyes gesturing to Mujin as he mouths out, 'What the hell happened?!' and she finds herself getting furious at him, as if he was insinuating that she had something to do with the loss of income from that side of the deal.
She gestures wildly, 'They took my phone before the raid, I helped as much as I could on scene!', and Taeju shakes his head before he follows Mujin in getting rid of his tie, both still dripping water from where they probably jumped into the sea to escape the throng of police that were there to arrest them.
Taeju gives her one last hand motion, 'I'll believe you, but I can't say he will. Do as you please." before he shuts the doors behind him, and Mujin throws his tie to the ground as he rips open his shirt, stalking over to the bottle of whiskey he had on hand, downing half a glass before flinging it away from him in fury.
"Fuck all!" his fist bangs down onto the countertop, and she wavers, unsure if she should approach him while he was in this hyper agitated state, but he locks eyes with her and he growls out, "Did you have anything to do with what went down?"
Had she been a traitor, she would have felt ice down her spine, but all she felt right now was strong indignation at him even thinking to suspect her.
"No, and it was me that fired the gun to save you and Taeju from getting caught, giving you enough time to get away."
He swings his head around, fingers running across the marble as she continues.
"They took our phones away from us before the raid details and plan were laid out, I had no way to contact you." She finds her voice is getting higher, almost pleading.
"...I know it wasn't you. I'm on edge, try not to take it personally tonight."
Sparks flew between them, the air thickening with the scent of cigarette smoke and bourbon still left in the glass, and Mujin doesn't see- feel the heat until it's too late- both ways.
The cigarette butt burns his fingertips and he lets out a vulgar curse, tossing it away into the crystal ashtray on his desk.
He's muttering under his breath when Jiwoo rushes forward and grasps his hand with both of hers, and looks up at him with doe-like eyes before she wraps her lips around his reddened finger.
He always looked presentable, from the first moment she laid eyes on him in the funeral hall, but now, with his collar opened a few buttons, loosened enough to reveal his chest and the tattoo on his heart, he looked disheveled.
Time seems to stop as his breath catches at the sight of her like that, her in casual clothes that looked a little too big for her frame as it slipped further off her shoulders, revealing the slope of her neck, her delicate collarbone.
He can feel the flick of her tongue against his finger and can hear the slight sound she makes as she swallows around him.
The office seems so quiet before he snaps, surging forward and pulling his finger out of her mouth before he presses his mouth flush against hers.
His arm tucking around her hips and pulling her flush against him, her hands desperately clutching at the front of his now.
Rumpled jacket as she shuts her eyes, dark eyelashes fanning across her cheeks as she feels the heat in her core race about triumphantly along with the taste of cigarettes and a hint of alcohol on her tongue.
It was good to be bold once in a while.
Soon her thoughts stopped flowing altogether as they continued to fervently kiss, and he slowly walks her backward towards his desk, letting out a surprised murmur when her back hits the rosewood and breaks the kiss apart.
Strands of saliva follow their parting as she lets go of his jacket to smooth her hands down his arms, over his large hands that hold her in a tight grip.
She tries to catch her breath but Mujin moves before she can and he's slipping his hands up her shirt, and it's tossed somewhere behind him as he gazes upon her bare skin.
She's tempted to cover up, the burning gaze he levels at her makes her breathless, but it's with want, not fright, and she welcomes it.
He bumps her forehead with his as he kisses her again, the slight stubble at his chin brushing against her skin, but that too was something she didn't dislike.
She feels the hooks of her bra being released and she's laid down onto the cleared desk, everything breakable off to one side as she looks off to the side before he cups her face with both hands and says, "Jiwoo-yah."
She can't see it, but Mujin could, and he's discreetly delighted by the way her blush spreads from her face down to her shoulders, her ears are a bright shade of red as she tries to hide her face from him.
He snatches her hands away from her face, holding them above her head as he kisses over her eyelids and her cheeks, brushing his nose against hers as he whispers into her ear, "Do you like me saying your name that much?"
Their close proximity brought with it, the scent of Mujin's high end cologne, but underlying it was the smell of the same soap they shared, and it made her want to scream at how much she liked that they had something so intimate as sharing a fragrance.
It makes her lips curl up into a bright yet teasing smile and Mujin holds her cheek with his free hand, his eyes softening as she leans into his soft touch.
"What is it that you're smiling about, hmm?" and she shakes her head before she wraps her legs around his waist, pulling him closer because she wanted.
He's between her legs now, and he's a bit astonished at how forward she was being, but like her, he didn't hate that aspect about her- for all their encounters were bound to be surprising, thrilling even.
His slacks felt tight and he leaned forward, unbuttoning and noticing the way she struggled to move against him. He gives a little chuckle, helping her shimmy off her shorts, and he feels how wet her panties are.
His fingers sliding a little past the material and moving upwards just enough to her clit in small circular motions, and she jolts in place, eyes wide, her breasts heaving as she pushed down on them.
His fingers still before he dips a finger into her wetness, his thumb still moving on her swollen clit as he feels for the little spot inside her with the pads of his fingers.
Knuckles deep, and Jiwoo is given no warning before her body moves, her legs almost closing shut on his hand as she feels something she's never felt before.
He kisses down her chest, his mouth on a perked nipple, sucking and biting at the raised flesh as she lets out pretty moans.
Jiwoo blinks, lights flickering in her vision as her shuddering breaths raise her heart rate, and she can feel her pulse in her thighs as Mujin's fingers pistoned in and out of her pussy, working her open.
He had always looked handsome to her, with his slicked back hair and crisp suit, sometimes with a long black trench coat over it, and very rarely did he dress casually.
A dark leather jacket that fit his figure just right, and when he slung his legs over the motorcycle as it roared to life in the early hours of the dawn?
Jiwoo wanted nothing more than to steal a kiss from the man people turned their heads for a second look.
He kisses somewhere else entirely as she gasps aloud, breath hitching as Mujin licks into her, fingers holding them apart before sucking on her clit hard. "Ah- ah! Wh-at are you, hnn!?"
Her hands flounder about, needing someplace to anchor herself, but Mujin lifts her up by her thighs, her legs flung over his shoulders and she spots his arms just in time.
Grasping at them desperately, she digs her heels into his shoulder blades, her back arching up from the desk as she sniffles. Her tears trickle down to her ears as she rakes her nails across his arms leaving behind raised red lines.
He pulls away from her when her body shakes in place, his hands grabbing hold of her waist as he rips open a condom with his teeth. Gaze dark and hooded as he rubs his cock against her slick folds before he caresses her face and she reaches up.
He dips his head gracefully, allowing her arms to go around his neck as he slowly pushed into her, and she feels him move. Everything felt odd, but oddly right- and she presses her breasts against his chest as he spreads open her legs.
Hooking his arms behind her knees, he feels her pulsating wet heat engulf his length, and he wants to soak in the feeling of their first.
She twists her head, almost whining as she shoves down, grinding onto his cock and he wraps his arms around her as he felt the ache pressure him until the buzzing in his ears melted away.
He bites her bottom lip, waiting for her to open her mouth and when she does, he sucks on tongue, the bob of her head as she makes to pull away but he chases after her.
Mujin rolled his hips, making sure she's adjusted to his girth and when she looks up at him through her eyelashes, he stops his cautious movement and throws it into the wind.
Pounding into her, and where his hands landed on her skin, she was sure to admire the purpling handprints in his mirror tomorrow.
His thrusts become rougher, more animalistic as less of that composed company president facade slips away into the darkness.
The sound of their skin connecting loud in her ears, her moans and his almost in sync as they both chase that high that was just out of reach. Jiwoo peeked down below as she gasped, and marveled at how he disappeared into her body.
A slight bulge in her toned stomach and she startled at the sudden pleasure when he pressed down on where it bulged and she just felt so full- stretched beyond what she believed possible.
Her thighs quivered where he held onto her, tight, and he savored how she responded to his every passing touch. She was just so sensitive- like she was made for him.
Heat continued to spread over her skin, and she beheld Mujin's face with half closed eyes as she pushed against his unrelenting thrusts, heat beginning to pool in her core as she whimpered.
"Please, please, please-"
He sets a brutal pace, deep yet erratic as he fucked into her, the sound of her fluids loud in her ears as her walls fluttered around his cock, and he sucked in a sharp breath at her face, right before her orgasm.
"Jiwoo-yah," he breathes into her ear, "- cum for me."
She bites down on his shoulder as she cums on his cock, choking back a loud cry that turned into gasping sobs and his hips stutter to a halt as he holds her body close to his, breathing heavily into her hair.
Softly carding through her short tresses, murmuring praises and pressing an open mouthed kiss onto the skin behind her ear.
Stars in her eyes as she goes limp from the pleasure that runs through her body, she feels the rhythmic heartbeat of Mujin against her own.
The comforting thrum of his heart a familiar and affectionate sound as he rasped out, "You were so good for me."
And she shudders when she feels him pull out.
Oh Hyejin stands at the place of the crime, that gun from so long ago clenched in her hand, Pildo somewhere far behind her as she drops the gun and kicks it down a sewer drain before she crouches down next to Cha Giho's barely breathing body.
She presses down on his wounds and he groans, delighting her in a sickening sort of way as she belatedly realized she had finally done what she had long waited for. To revenge her father's killer.
She'd finally done it. Done what she had thought might not come true, but had.
She leans down, watching as his blood rushes over her fingers, the sticky heat on her palms as she breathes in before yelling, "Help! Officer down! Pildo, I need help over here! Call an ambulance, I'm losing him!"
Her voice echoes in the tunnel and she could just barely catch Pildo's answering shout before she turns back to Giho on the ground, his eyes shut at last.
She whispers into his ear, knowing hearing is the last to go when someone dies. How useful it was to sit in on all those interrogations Mujin arranged for the people who dared to go against Dongcheonpa.
"My real name is Yoon Jiwoo, and I have avenged my father whom you killed because he turned his back on the corrupt police for a life that would treat him better than any of you, and the world- treated him."
She cradles him, looking for all the world as if she had lost a father, for she had- just not Cha Giho- and when Pildo finally rushes up, sliding on his knees before the two of them as he wails, the ambulance stops beside them, she cries.
No one sees her dark smile as she wipes the blood off on her pants, a burgeoning murderer in the making, now one who had achieved the mission.
And on Choi Mujin's desk was a new framed picture, the original picture of him and her father, but with Taeju alongside the two.
And on Mujin's phone was wallpaper of him and Jiwoo, his arm around her waist with her head leaning back, one of her hands on his chest as she faces the camera in her new black dress.
Reminiscence of the time when she had done almost the exact same pose a few years before, but this time, she looked confident.
Why wouldn't she be, when she was a sergeant in the police force and part of the narcotics task team, able to extract vital information that would yield good results for the person where her real loyalties lay?
Everything was for...Choi Mujin.
Everything was for Dongcheonpa.