Chapter 1: On the Run
Despite how often she’s had to do it, Bora has never been good with flying. As much as she tried to close her eyes and sleep through the long 13 hour flight, she just couldn’t seem to make herself relax.
Just 20 more minutes. She said to herself as she stretched her exhausted body, eager to get off of the plane and onto solid land. It had been a whole year since she last saw her father and brother in Korea. Since she was 11 years old, she had been living in California with her aunt. The transition was hard at first, but she was soon able to adjust to her life in America, learning to speak fluent English and attending good schools. She saw her family about once a year, never spending more than a month with them since she moved to the states. Though she missed her family terribly, she understood that her father made the choice to send her away for her safety.
Her privileged life so far came at a cost, and being the daughter of the dangerous and powerful Kim Jong Soo definitely made it complicated . Her family had been a part of this business for generations and currently, they sat at the very top. They had acquired so much that at this point they were impossible to take down, though that didn’t stop their enemies from trying. Bora knew very little of her family’s affairs and she preferred it that way. She maintained a low profile and never asked too many questions.
The airplane had finally landed and Bora got up from her seat, anxious to get out. She grabbed her carry on from on top and hurried out towards baggage claim. She was excited to be home, as she always missed her family, especially her older brother. She recently finished up her last semester of college, and upon her father’s approval, was able to come back to Korea long term. She had no return ticket and the thought of it made her ecstatic. She was going to appreciate her home for as long as she was allowed to stay.
She grabbed her simple black suitcase from the revolving baggage and headed outside. She looked around and immediately saw a familiar face looking right at her.
“Heechul!” She screamed, as she ran into her brother's arms. He wrapped his arms around her tightly and lifted her up in a warm hug. “I've missed you kid.”He said to her, as he put her down.
“Missed you too...Wow your hair is so long now, when did you become so handsome!” She joked as she scruffed his hair with her fingers.
“I’ve always been handsome.” He scoffed as he playfully pushed her hand away. “Ready to go?”
“Yep...hey can we eat first? I’m starving.” She whined.
Heechul rolled his eyes jokingly at her. “Is food all you ever think about?” He teased. The two headed off towards the car waiting for them, excited to celebrate her arrival.
“Bora, time to wake up!” Said her brother's overly excited voice. Bora ignored him and rolled herself over to the opposite side, burying her face into the pillow. Heechul walked over to her blinds and forced them open, emitting the bright sunlight in the room.
“Leave me alone.” Bora hissed at him, throwing the pillow at his head. “Hey, you’ve been asleep for 15 hours!” He laughed as he caught the pillow in his hands.
“Well I wasn’t able to sleep on the plane, and I drank too much, so leave me alone.” She replied.
“And whose fault is that?” He teased.
“Yours.” She confirmed as she laid her head back down into the bed.
“Hey I didn’t force you to drink two entire bottles of soju...you know you can’t keep up with me.” He said as his mischievous grin emerged on his face.
“No, but you sure are persuasive.” She replied
“You’re right about that!” He laughed. “Anyway wake up, dad’s coming home in a few hours and I have a surprise for you.”
“A surprise!” She suddenly shot up.
“Well now you’re awake. Meet me downstairs when you’re ready.” He headed out of her room.
Bora stretched her arms out and got out of bed. She walked towards her bathroom, and started her morning routine, despite the fact that it was already 2 in the afternoon. She checked her face in the mirror for any new blemishes, as she massaged her favorite moisturizer into her skin. She took one last look at herself in the mirror, and headed downstairs after Heechul.
Oh thank god. She said to herself as she saw the multiple plates of her favorite dishes spread out neatly on the large dining table. Bora wasted no time at all, helping herself to large helpings and wolfing it all down.
“Man where does it all go?” Heechul stared at her in awe. Bora shrugged her shoulders.
“It’s probably because you can’t sit still...or because most of it ends up on you instead.” He snickered. “Ya!” She yelled out, attempting to hide her own laughter in between bites. Heechul passed a small black box across the table to her.
“What’s that?” She said to him as her eyes widened.
“Open it.” He motioned to her. Bora opened the box and a beautiful, dainty, diamond necklace stared back at her.
“It’s mom’s necklace.” She said softly. Holding the gold chain delicately between her fingers. “Why are you giving this to me? You always said I would end up losing it?”
“You knew you’d end up having it one day.” He answered back as he made his way over to her, taking the chain from her fingers and fastening it on her neck.
Bora was touched, it was one of the last items that remained of her mother. Heechul sat back down and looked at his sister’s suspicious face. “What?” He said to her.
“What’s the catch.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “What do you mean?” He broke out in a nervous laughter. “You know what I mean.” She said in a serious tone.
“It’s a graduation present.” He said to her.
“You already gave me a graduation present.” She questioned suspiciously. Heechul sighed out loud and fumbled back in his seat.
“Fine...I need your help.” He replied.
“I knew it!” She exclaimed. “If it’s family business I'm out. You said you’d never ask me to help again.”
“I know, I know, just hear me out okay.” He said in a serious and collected manner.
“Heechul, no.” She said as she darkened her tone.
“Just listen!” He exclaimed, losing his collected demeanor. “You know I’d never put you in real danger. Everytime I ask for help it’s because I’ve scoped out the situation and know that you’re not gonna be hurt.”
“Yeah but there’s always a risk, Heechul.” She said matter of factly, arms still tightly crossed across her chest. “I know. Look I think the Lee clan is up to something again.” He began.
“The Lee clan is always up to something, what else is new.” She interrupted, rolling her eyes. Heechul ignored her comment.
“So over the last couple of years, Min’s son has been a real pain in the ass. Not enough to be an actual threat to us, but he’s definitely been close...and he’s getting closer.” He began.
“So just like the usual Lee thug, you mean?” She answered back.
“Definitely not. He’s not as reckless and stupid violent like his old man, but he’s smarter, always a couple of steps ahead. I’d say he’s more dangerous than his father….and currently he’s in command.” Heechul continued.
“Hmm…so your plan is to throw me right in the lion’s den with our lifelong mortal enemy, except he’s smarter and more dangerous. I think I’ve heard enough.” She said in a sarcastic tone.
“Will you let me finish?!” Heechul was visibly irritated now. “Anyway, his son is currently serving in the army, so we’ve had a bit of a break for a while. Our sources say he’ll be out in a few months, but currently he’s not a threat. However, he’s got this brother, or maybe he’s a cousin, I’m not positive. He’s got the face of an angel but he’s definitely not one to fuck with.” Bora said nothing as she stared at her brother intently, waiting for him to finish his story.
“So angel face has been out of the army for two weeks now, he’s been frequenting our Old Faithful for a while, different girl each time. Rumor has it, he doesn’t handle his liquor well, he’s been venting...a lot, and so far has had some interesting things to say, but our girls aren’t very good at keeping him talking if you know what I mean. Not very persuasive. Plus you’ve been gone for so long that they’ll never suspect you.”
Bora scoffed loudly. “Ok so you’re throwing me right in the lion’s den with our mortal lifelong enemy, but it’s ok because he’s just a cousin?!” She shouted at her brother.
“Angel face is pretty harmless at the moment. Like I said, Lee is in the army so they’ve been stationary. They clearly have a plan, but they will take no action while he’s gone, that we know for sure. Besides, he’s got a soft spot for women, has a code against harming them. He’s been talking about wanting out for a while, so that might be our advantage. I'm thinking we could help him out for intel…I would never ask you if I didn’t have the situation under control.” He proceeded, but Bora was already walking away.
“Hey I have a plan ok, it’s foolproof!” He shouted out to her as he followed her.
“As far as I’ve known, all your plans have been half thought out, we’ve been lucky...that’s all.” She replied without stopping.
“Look you know we’ve got the power in numbers. No one will be able to touch you in there. Everyone who works there will be able to intervene immediately if there's trouble, plus Kyu will be there to personally escort you.” He answered.
“Cho Khyuhyn?! That’s your plan?” Bora stopped in her tracks and walked right up to her brother’s face.
“Hey he’s loyal, and his whole innocent rich boy vibe makes him appear as not a threat. Plus they don’t know who he is, he’ll blend right in.” He replied.
Bora sighed. “Ok so if they’re really inactive as you claim, then why are we doing this?”
“We need to be prepared, Bora. We need to do it for mom.” Heechul grabbed his sister's shoulders. Bora hated when he used this card. “Heechul, the man that killed mom is dead, dad saw to it himself.” She exclaimed.
“Yeah but the mastermind behind it, Lee Min Hyuk isn’t, and he’ll also stop at no end to get justice for his late brother.” He answered back in a dark tone.
Bora sighed loudly. “Okay so you want me to be one of your undercover hostesses. You want me to wear a nice dress and get this angel faced guy drunk so he could talk to me. Is that all?”
“Basically. He may not tell you anything and that’s okay, maybe if he really likes you he’ll request you and we can keep working on it.” Heechul answered back excitedly, his mind already working ahead as usual.
“I’ll do it this one time, Heechul. That is all.” She raised a finger at him. “Once.”
“Once is fine.” He said as he wrapped his arms around her. Bora rolled her eyes at him again, but gave in to the hug. It was hard for her to say no to him.
“Let me guess, not a word to dad right?” She said with a smirk on her face.
“Are you fucking kidding me? I’d like to stay alive.” He joked.
Chapter 2: Dress you up
Bora was getting ready in her room. She delicately applied her makeup, feeling extremely nervous but trying to hold it together. Dinner with her dad went very well, and she felt happy to finally be with her family, but sad that she had to lie to him about her plans for later.
Fucking Heechul. She thought as she applied her mascara. She couldn’t believe he had managed to convince her to work for him again. Upon finishing her makeup, she headed to her bed to look at the selection of dresses Heechul picked out for her.
Of course. She said in her head as she looked at the row of shiny, skimpy dresses. She decided upon the least revealing one, which was still pretty revealing with a deep v neck line, plus her long legs will definitely make the dress shorter than it was. She put it on hastily and looked at herself in the mirror. She felt uncomfortable showing off so much skin, but hell if she didn’t look convincing. Just like any other girl that Heechul picks out personally for Old Faithful. She exited out the room cautiously, making sure to not make any noise that would alert her father, specially dressed the way she was at the moment. Heechul was already waiting for her outside in the parking garage.
She silently walked her way over, the adrenaline had begun to kick in. She was born into this life, but by no means was she a natural. She tried her hardest to get out of her head, scared that she would fuck it all up and get herself or someone she cared about killed.
“Well look at you.” Said Heechul as she walked up to him, playfully whistling at her. “You don’t look like yourself at all kid.”
“Well thanks.” She said sarcastically. Heechul was leaning on the hood of the car. His friend and confidant Cho Kyuhyun stood next to him. Kyuhyun’s family had been a part of their claim for quite a while now. They were rather secretive about it, mostly providing money for safety, so needless to say Kyuhyun wasn’t too active. He usually followed through when needed, and Heechul considered him extremely valuable. Bora’s insides shuddered as she made eye contact with him. Unbeknownst to Heechul, Bora and Kyuhyun had some history. It was a short affair the year before, but it did not end well. The two simply avoided confronting each other ever since, which added to Bora’s already discomforted state.
“So Khuyun will drive you to Old Faithful, he’ll idly stand by in the shadows as you work your magic, and then he’ll take you back home. Are we all clear?” He said out loud as he looked right at Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun immediately nodded back to him.
“Hey…I trust you. Don’t let anything happen to her alright?” He said to him as he playfully teased his hair.
“Of course.” Kyuhyun smiled back at him.
“Alright I’m heading back inside, I would go with you but I've been laying low.” Heechul turned to look at his sister. “Hey if you feel like something is going wrong you call me right away okay?”
“Okay.” She said softly,
“I’m serious Bora. Call me for anything, I’ll come get you.” He insisted.
“I’ll be fine Heechul.” She forced a smile. “This isn’t my first rodeo you know, and probably not my last knowing you.”
Heechul laughed at her comment. “I love you kid.” He said as he hugged her one last time.
“Love you more.” She replied.
The ride to the bar was awkward to say the least. The two rode in silence, clearly waiting for the other to speak first.
“Wait do you have a picture of this guy.” Bora exclaimed suddenly.
“Uh...no. Wait you don’t know what he looks like?” Kyuhyun replied.
“Of course not! I’ve literally been here for one day.” She slapped her palm against her head. “Fuck.” She said under her breath.
“I’m pretty sure you’ll recognize him right away. He’s extremely handsome...well dressed, and you know the usual tattoos those thugs have. The small one under the eye?” He assured her.
“Hmm. I guess I’ll probably be able to tell.” She said as she sank back in her seat. Her nerves had not been settled.
“So...how’ve you been?” Kyuhyun muttered awkwardly.
“I’ve been good...I guess.” She answered back dryly.
“That’s good.” He said quietly. Bora took a deep breath as she pushed her thoughts behind her.
“How have you been?” She asked as she forced herself to continue the small talk, hoping it would help her get out of her head.
“Good. Just laying low, mom isn’t doing too good so I’m taking care of her a lot.” He said back to her.
“Oh I’m sorry to hear that.” She said sincerely. “I take it they don’t know who you are yet...and that's why Heechul chose you to escort me?”
“Yeah pretty much.” He continued. “I’ve been at Old Faithful a few times lately, but not on business, so they just think I’m a regular customer.”
“Oh I’m sure.” She impulsively answered back, immediately regretting her comment after it left her mouth. Kyuhyun said nothing at first, keeping his eyes on the road as he fidgeted his thumb nervously along the steering wheel.
“Look I’ve been wanting to call you, I just wasn’t sure on what to say...” He said to her.
“Kyu, stop. It’s fine, it wasn’t a big deal.” She answered back, desperate to end the conversation.
“It was a big deal for me. I feel like we need to talk about it-“
“Ok, can we not right now though?” She interrupted him. “Look, I feel like I may throw up any second now, this is a nice car and there’s a lot of pressure on me so can we please talk about this later?” She pleaded.
“Yeah I understand, sorry.” He said, and to her relief nothing else was mentioned.
The two arrived at their destination and Bora was internally going through a panic. She took a long deep breath.
“What if he doesn’t even want to talk to me?” She said as her emotions began to spiral.
“I don’t think there’s any chance of that. You’re definitely someone he’d go for...based on the girls he’s requested before…” He said matter of factly.
“Ok then.” Bora sighed, but she still wasn’t convinced.
“Ok, I’ll go in first, and then you come in a few minutes later so it’s not obvious we came together.” She said to him. Kyuhyun nodded his head, and Bora headed on towards the family owned salon.
Chapter 3: No Love
Old Faithful was a quaint little hostess bar, minimalist decorations but still very classy. It was Heechul’s pride and joy, and he spent most of his time trying to improve on it. From decor to the girls, he chose every single last detail.
It had been a while since Bora last entered this place. She made her way to the bar and began to scan the room, looking for her target. The bar wasn’t too busy at the moment, probably due to the fact that it was a Wednesday night. Bora felt a little better as she checked the place out, not really one to thrive in big crowds. A man sitting by himself across the room was already looking at her when her eyes found him.
She discreetly studied his face, noticing the familiar tattoo under his eye, the one she was told to look out for. She thought for a second upon the description of the man she was supposed to be meeting, This man’s features were far too intense to be considered angelic, with his single lidded eye-lids and sharp jawline. But maybe? She pondered in her head when she noticed Kyuhyun walking in. He took a seat she assumed was his usual and waited, playing his unassuming role well and immediately blending in. Bora made her way over to him, walking slowly to not gather attention.
She hovered over to where he was sitting and whispered to him. “Hey the guy sitting in the booth at 5 o-clock isn’t the guy I’m looking for right?”
Kyuhyun took a moment to look in the direction she specified. “Oh definitely not.” He scoffed. “He’s for sure a part of their gang but he’s not the guy. He’s too scrawny. Your guy is obviously handsome, and has a good build too. I’ll shoot you a look when he walks in.” Bora gave him a subtle nod and made her way back. Sitting at the last seat of the bar area as she waited impatiently.
“How would you like to join me for a while?” Said a quiet voice in her ear. His tone was soft but direct and caused her body to erupt in chills. She slowly turned her head to look at the man, though she already knew who the voice belonged to. His face was even more visually striking up close, his eyes stared back at her intently, making her a little uncomfortable.
He’s definitely one of their men. She thought in her head as she quickly examined his tattoos and clothing, along with the tattoo under his eye, a black and grey rose on his neck caught her eye.
“I’m sorry, I’m currently waiting for someone.” She said nervously, turning her face away and hoping it was enough to deter him.
“Oh? That’s too bad.” He replied, almost mocking her. Lucky for her, he didn’t insist, and walked his way back to his seat from earlier. Bora quietly exhaled, realizing she had been holding her breath almost the entire time. She looked back up and noticed another man walking through the doors of the bar.
Oh. She said under her breath as she watched him walk past.
This guy was definitely the one she was looking for. His face was breathtakingly beautiful, it didn’t match the tattoos that covered his body, and yet that fact made him even more appealing. Yet again she noticed the tattoo under his eyes. She shot a quick look at Kyuhyun who was already looking at her. He gave a subtle nod, confirming that her target was here. The man walked towards the back of the room, finding a lone booth and sitting right down.
Bora knew she had to act fast before someone else made their move, and based on his looks, she knew she didn’t have very much time. She sat up from her seat and casually began to walk. Forcing herself to look natural and confident, despite the fact that she was anything but. She knew how to use her body to get what she wanted, it was one of the few things she was actually good at, if you could call it a skill. Numerous men looked at her as she walked by, but she was careful not to make eye contact. The plan was to get his attention and lead him further back, she knew the bar rather well and knew she’d have better luck if she was able to get him in an area that was more private. As she made her way past him, she exaggerated her features, swaying her hips back and forth and moving her long legs gracefully. She subtly turned to face him, looking him right in the eye before turning her head back and continuing to walk, silently praying that it had worked. She made her way to the second bar area near the back. There were far less people around, and everyone there already had someone to talk to. She stood firmly over the bar top, her back facing the door, hoping he would take the bait so she wouldn’t have to go back and try again.
After only a few seconds passed by, she convinced herself that it had not worked. “What if he just isn’t interested? It’s not my problem, I tried my best.” She decided in her head as she turned around to walk back to Kyuhyun. As she turned, she noticed a body was already standing behind her. She gasped, surprised by the sudden encounter.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” Said the man with the angelic face. His face was even more beautiful up close, and Bora was having difficulties speaking.
“Are you here with someone?” He asked as his warm brown eyes bore into hers.
“No.” She said softly, trying hard to pull herself together.
“Will you sit with me?” He said to her. She nodded her head and grabbed his hand, pulling him gently towards a quiet booth in the corner of the room, ready to take the situation into her hands. Bora quickly underwent a personality change. She knew that in order to pull this off, she needed to be convincing, needed to believe her own lies.
“Would you like a drink?” He said to her upon arriving at the private booth and sitting himself down.
“I would love one.” She said as she sat next to him, careful not to sit too close, as she didn’t want to give him the impression that she was trying too hard. He motioned to a nearby waitress, who nodded to him and disappeared, seemingly already knowing his order.
He must come here a lot. Bora thought quickly in her head as she took the time to look him down properly. He wore a fine silk shirt with the top buttons undone, showing off his heavily tattooed chest. As she studied the way his veins and muscles moved with each small maneuver, she was starting to forget why she was here.
“Has anyone told you how beautiful your eyes are?” He said to her suddenly.
“No. You’re for sure the first.” Bora teased. He chuckled at her comment. “What’s your name?” He asked her.
“Candace.” She said without missing a beat, saying the first generic American name that came to her mind.
“Your Korean is awfully good for a foreigner. Where are you from?” He continued.
“I’m from California, but I’m staying here with family for the time being.” She replied. He took a sip of the drink that arrived and Bora did the same.
“You come here often?” He asked.
“This is my first time.” She lied subtly. “A friend recommended it to me, and I figured a little extra cash wouldn’t hurt.”
He raised an eyebrow at her comment as he finished off his first drink. Bora made eye contact with the waitress, giving her a discreet motion towards his empty glass. The waitress understood immediately and made her way to the bar quickly.
“What’s your name?” She asked as she moved inches closer to him.
“Lee Donghae.” He answered. “Hmm.” she said softly, wondering if he had given her his real name. His second drink had arrived, prompting him to take a look at her barely touched glass. She noticed immediately and quickly took a long drink, reaching halfway down. She tried to hide her face as the liquor went down, still feeling disgusted from the drinking she engaged in the night before.
“So what do you do for a living?” She proceeded.
“I think you already know the answer to that question:” He replied bluntly.
“What do you mean?” She feigned ignorance. “I see men that look like you all the time in my country.”
“Well there aren’t many men that look like me in this one.” He replied back, taking another swig of his drink. “Let’s just say I’m not a very good person.” He continued.
“Oh. Should I be afraid?” She teased. Widening her eyes as she shifted her weight around her, trying to entice him. Her dress spiked up a few inches, exposing more of her thigh, which his gaze quickly averted to. He chuckled lightly at her comment, extending his arm to reach her as he moved a strand of her hair away from her face. Bora exhaled as his fingertips lightly grazed her skin, forcing herself to stay grounded. His eyes followed along the path of his fingers as he traced them along her neck.
“That’s quite a jewel you got there.” He said as his eyes met with the diamond she was wearing.
He gently lifted it up and a tinge of fear ran through Bora’s body as she cursed herself for not leaving the necklace at home.
“Thank you, it was my mother’s.” She answered rapidly, pulling her chest down in an attempt to shake his fingers off. “My father gave it to her before she passed.”
Donghae let the diamond slip from his fingers. She noticed a quick change in his face, a sudden darkness in his expression. “I see.” He replied, as he moved his body back away from her. Bora felt extremely uncomfortable from the interaction. She quickly finished off her drink, using the alcohol to shake her nerves away.
“Do you like what you do?” She changed the subject.
“That’s a strange question to ask.” He replied as he finished off his own drink. “Is it?” She questioned. “Why do something that doesn’t make you happy?”
“I don’t have much of a choice.” He said as he took a sip from the fresh glass that was already waiting for him. “You wouldn’t understand.”
“I guess not.” She replied, though she understood his situation entirely. She had just started her second drink and was already feeling the effects from it, she had cut back on alcohol over the last year and her tolerance was much lower.
“It’s been pretty quiet lately. I just got out of the army and it’s the longest I’ve been able to rest in a while.” He started back up.
“Well that’s good. You should rest for as long as you need to.” She replied, gaining the confidence to pull her body up next to his.
“I’m not going to be able to for much longer.” He said as he extended his arm over her body, wrapping it along her waist and pulling her closer. “Our leader has been in the army too, that’s the only reason it’s been quiet.
“I see.” Bora ran her fingers along his exposed chest. “Well maybe, you should appreciate the time you have left before he’s discharged, and spend it with me.” She alluded.
“That sounds like a very good idea.” He replied, as he moved his face closer to hers. She could feel his breathing along her neck, she bit her lip as chills ran through her body. Surprised by how much she was enjoying herself. “There’s just one small problem.” He whispered softly into her ear. “He’s already out.”
Chapter 4: Offline
TW: This chapter can get pretty dark. Please keep that in mind before reading.
Bora’s heart immediately dropped. Scared that he would notice her body language, she reacted fast, shaking the sudden fear she was feeling away.
“Well then I guess we’ll just appreciate tonight then.” She whispered back. She felt him grasp her tighter, trailing down her waist and along the curve of her hip before resting his hand on her upper thigh. Bora took a deep breath, thinking on her words carefully to try to exit the situation.
“You know, as much as I’m enjoying talking to you, my hour is almost up. I’m gonna have to get going real soon.” She said in her sweetest tone.
“Come home with me.” He whispered into her ear. Bora inhaled sharply. Under any other circumstances, she might have considered it, but she knew that she needed to get out of there as fast as possible.
“I can’t tonight.” She lamented, pulling away from his grasp slowly.
“Can I see you again?” He said as he grabbed her arm before she could pull away.
“Of course.” She said hurriedly, eyes shifting as she scanned the room for an escape route.
“Tomorrow. Can you come tomorrow night, same time?” He asked her.
“Okay.” She said as she touched the side of his face with her fingertips. “I really enjoyed talking to you. Donghae.” She said sincerely.
“Let me walk you out-“
“No!” She interrupted, her body already breaking out in nervous heat. “Sorry, I have something to take care of here, with one of the managers, I have a ride waiting for me. Thank you though.”
She pulled herself away. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” She said softly. He gave her a quick nod and watched as she walked away. Bora kept her composure as she made her way through the doors, she noticed that Kyuhyun had discreetly followed her to the other room, he followed a couple of steps behind her as they headed outside.
Bora motioned to Kyuhyun to follow her to one of the outside smoking areas. It was hidden away and discreet so it was usually empty.
“Kyu. I think we might have some trouble, we have to call Heechul-“ She began, her voice already beginning to shake.
“Woah. Calm down.” Said Kyuhyun as he began to cup her face in his hand, attempting to calm her.
“No Kyu, listen, we need to get out of here.” She stammered
“Hey...everything is going to be okay, we’re safe here.” He replied to her as he moved his face closer to hers. Bora was frozen in shock from his sudden move, until the smell of whisky hit her senses hard.
“Have you been drinking?!” She lashed out at him, pushing him off of her.
“Just a little.” He said, catching himself. “What else was I supposed to be doing, I needed to blend in right?” He stammered.
“Kyu, you were supposed to drive us home!” She shouted, her voice breaking.
“I can drive.” He insisted, but she knew the look on his face, and it told her otherwise.
“Fuck.” She hissed under her breath. “I can’t drive!!l
“...you can’t?” He said with a quizzed look on his face.
“No, Kyu I don’t know how to because I’m incompetent, which is the reason why you were supposed to stay sober and drive!” She shouted at him. Kyuhyun took a moment to think about what she was saying, but the moment wasn’t clicking.
“Ok...” She placed her hands on his shoulder, making strong eye contact to make herself clear. “You’re going to go back inside, you’re going to grab water or coffee, and you’re going to try to sober up. I’m going to call Heechul for help. Got it?”
Kyuhyun nodded with a half lidded expression, and turned his body away, doing as he was told.
Bora couldn't believe how fast the night was spiraling out of control. She took a couple of deep breaths before making the initiative to call for help.
I’m going to calm down. I’m going to call Heechul. She repeated a few times as she fumbled through her small purse for her phone, her nervous hands making it difficult to grasp. She quickly unlocked her phone and was about to press on Heechul’s name when an uneasy feeling took over her body.
Before she even had time to react, a hand clamped over her mouth, pulling her back against a hard body. She could feel the cold metal of a pistol as it was placed next to her temple.
“Your next couple of actions are going to determine if you walk out of here alive, you understand?”
Though she hadn’t been able to look at him, she immediately recognized the voice. It was the same haunting, direct voice she heard earlier.
You’re going to call Heechul.” He whispered harshly into her ear. “You’re going to tell him that everything is fine and that your worthless bodyguard is about to drive you home.”
Bora heard the sound of the pistol cocking back, he pressed it down further as he released her mouth, moving his hand down to her neck as he held her in place. Bora began to hyperventilate as she clumsily maneuvered through her phone, finding Heechul’s contact name and pressing on it. She knew she had no choice but to comply and sound convincing. She didn’t know the man’s intentions and wasn’t going to take any chances. She attempted to calm her breathing as she waited for him to pick up.
“Bora. What’s wrong!” Heechul exclaimed over the phone.
“Nothing, I’m just checking in.” She said to him. “Everything went good, we're about to head back home.”
“Ok good. Were you able to talk to Angel face?” He asked her.
“Yeah, I’ll talk to you about it when I get home, I have to go.” She was beginning to panic.
“Is Kyu with you?” He questioned before she could go.
“Yeah...I mean kind of...He’s inside grabbing something real quick, he’ll be right out.” She insisted.
“Are you a fucking idiot?! You can’t be outside alone. You need to go back in immediately and find him. You understand?” He yelled at her.
Bora closed her eyes tightly, fighting back tears as she spoke her last words to him. “I’m sorry, I’ll see you soon okay?” She could hear Heechul begin to protest as her phone was jerked away from her, hanging up the call immediately.
He turned her phone off, placing it in his back pocket as he grabbed her right arm and forced it behind her back. He moved the gun from her temple and hid it behind her, pressing it on her back. “Walk forward.” He commanded, pushing her harshly as he led her into the street. She noticed she was being walked towards a black van. He hurried her over, opening the door aggressively as he lifted her in. “Looks like she’ll be coming home with you after all.” He said cruelly to the person that was already seated in the van.
Donghae had his face turned away, trying not to make eye contact with the girl he had just spent the last hour with.
“Get on your knees and put your hands behind your back.” He commanded. Bora immediately did as she was told. She could hear the sound of tape being pulled behind her. He quickly wrapped the tape over her wrists multiple times, making sure to tie them extra tight. Bora’s breathing began to quicken as she processed her predicament.
“I...didn’t know what I was doing…” She began. “I was hired to do this...I don’t know the person behind this or anything about this situation.” She pleaded, knowing that her attempt was futile. The hot tears began to form behind her eyelids. He aggressively cupped her chin and pulled her head back, bringing his face down to hers. “You’re going to learn real soon that I really hate liars.” He said to her. Bora began to whimper softly as he forced a thick wad of cloth between her lips. “And you’ve been lying to us all night.” He said as he placed a long piece of tape over her mouth, smoothing it over her face. He grasped her chin firmly and forced her to face him, looking directly into her eyes. “You should have just accepted my offer to begin with.”
He pushed her head back down on the seat, while she was still on her knees. “Since you spent all night feeling her up, do you want to pat her down?” He sneered at his quiet accomplice. Donghae had still been looking out the window, clearly avoiding the situation enfolding behind him. He quickly shook his head no.
“Fine, I’ll do it.” He replied, as he began to work his hands up her body. Bora closed her eyes tightly, preparing for the worse. He began to lightly pat the outsides of her thighs, moving up slowly as he checked for any hidden objects. As he moved up her high hip, he felt a hardened surface under her dress. With a swift movement, he reached in her dress and quickly pulled the small dagger she kept strapped to her.
“This is why you always check them.” He said to Donghae as he threw the small dagger to him. Donghae caught it and stuffed it into a bag in front of him, along with her purse.
Bora could feel his hands continue to slide up her body, moving past her belly and up to her chest. To her surprise, he continued his gentle patting. He neither grabbed nor lingered on any specific part of her body.
Once he was satisfied, he pulled Bora off her knees and placed her on the seat, holding her close to him as he spoke. “Now, you and I are going to talk.”
Bora took a moment to scan her surroundings. There was a closed window separating the driver from the backseat. She noticed that the car was moving rather rapidly, but she couldn’t make out the scenery outside to figure out where they were heading.
“Do you know who I am?” He asked her. At this point there was no denying he was the man Heechul had spoken about earlier, the dangerous son of Lee Min Hyuk who Heechul insisted was in the army. Bora avoided his gaze, refusing to make any motion indicating that she did indeed know who he was.
“I’m going to be honest. I had a feeling you were his sister, when you walked in, but I wasn’t positive. I didn’t think he’d actually place you in such a dangerous situation, he practically handed you to us...guess I gave him too much credit.” He mocked.
“But then we noticed this…” he moved his hand down her neck and lifted the small diamond hanging from her neck. “This confirmed your identity to me...it wasn’t very smart of you to wear this tonight was it?” His fingers met with the back of her neck as he gently unclasped the necklace. Bora watched as he lifted the chain away from her, angry tears officially falling down her face.
“This belongs to us.” He said firmly as he placed the necklace in his front pocket. Bora had no idea what he was talking about, as far as she knew, the necklace belonged to her mother, and had been in her family ever since she passed.
“We knew your brother would end up fucking up eventually...” He continued. He placed his arm over her shoulder and pulled her into him. “But we definitely didn’t think he’d send his own sister… but I’ll give credit where it’s due, you’re a very good actress...like I said I wasn’t positive on your identity at first.” He moved his mouth to her ear. “You passed for a generic whore so easily.” He whispered cruelly.
Bora struggled against him, attempting to create any inch of space between her and her captor. He tightened his grip on her shoulder, his fingers digging into her skin painfully.
“Look at how guilty you’re making Donghae feel, despite all the lies you told him.” He mocked.
“Hyukjae.” Said Donghae in a cold voice, visibly uncomfortable with being mentioned. Bora was startled
to hear his voice, but she now knew the name of the man holding her.
“It’s a good thing he’s so handsome right?” He said to Bora, ignoring Donghae entirely. “He’s very convenient to have.” He moved his other hand up to her face. “But it’s okay…” he said softly as he began to trace the outline of her lips lightly with his fingertips. “Because now you won’t be able to lie anymore.” He taunted. Bora struggled harder this time, her chest heaving hard
as she tried to pull away from his touch. He reached for an item on the floor, and placed a large black hood over her head. He pushed her away in one sudden motion and she fell on her side into the seat.
She kicked her feet to help move her body as far away from him as possible. The energy she was using up and the hood over head limited the air she was taking in. She inhaled strongly through her nose, struggling to breathe. She could hear the sound of the tape again, and felt it wrap around her ankles, limiting her range of motion even more. Her panicked mind was going into a haze, and she fought herself to stay lucid, she was losing track of time, not knowing how long they had been driving, she knew she was being taken far away, hidden in a location that would be impossible to find.
She felt the car halt, and soon after the engine was turned off, making the space around her eerily quiet.
After a few seconds of silence she heard the sound of a door opening, and then she was grabbed. Her chest began to heave again as she struggled against the aggressive pulling. She was pulled to her feet for a moment, only to be lifted up and placed on a shoulder.
Her mind went into a sensory overload. Her inability to see and all the noises around her as she was being carried off made her panic even harder. Her struggling continued all the way through until finally, she was dropped into a hard, cold surface.
Chapter 5: Hotel
The hood was removed and Bora was finally able to see her surroundings. She was in a dimly lit basement of some sort. Other than a couple of boxes around, the room was practically empty. Her two captors stood around her.
“Take a photo.” Hyukjae commanded his accomplice. Donghae reluctantly complied, taking his phone out of his pocket and pointing it at her. Bora’s insides churned. She knew they would be sending these photos to her brother, and the thought of him seeing her so helpless and defeated made her sick. She tried her hardest to move her head into the floor, hiding her face away as best as she could. “Get closer.” Said Hyukjae again.
Donghae did as he was told, taking constant photos and showing no emotion. Hyukjae let out an exasperated sigh. “Give it to me.” He ordered. Donghae scrunched his face in irritation as he handed the phone over, moving out of the way. Hyukjae stormed towards her and grabbed her face forcefully, making her look straight into the phone. Bora fought hard, causing him to grip her tighter. She whimpered from the pain. Shutting her eyes closed as she waited for the moment to be over.
“That’s a good one.” Hyukjae muttered, immediately releasing her. Donghae hurriedly walked out of the room, eager to leave. Hyukjae took one final look at her and followed right after, turning the light off in the room before exiting.
Bora began to exhale slowly. Though she knew her life was in danger, she was relieved to finally be alone. She gathered all her scrambled thoughts together. At this moment, there was nothing she could do. She couldn’t move or scream and had no choice but to wait the situation out. Maybe if they didn’t kill her right away she would be able to think of a way out. She’s managed to escape trouble before, though this was a whole different ballpark of trouble.
She pondered if she would be better off trying to sleep, have a fresh mind in the morning since she was currently overwhelmed with fear, not to mention dizziness from the alcohol she consumed earlier. If she couldn’t fall asleep on a 13 hour plane ride she definitely wouldn’t be able to do so now, she thought in her head. A plane ride was definitely paradise compared to this.
She realized that her body had begun to shake. She could barely see anything in the darkness but a small window emitted enough moonlight for her to make out herself. She was of course, still wearing her evening dress, and she noticed that it now barely covered her legs. The cold floor and her revealing outfit was causing her to freeze.
I’m going to die from hypothermia before tomorrow even comes. She thought to herself, but decided she would prefer that as opposed to her head getting chopped off and delivered to her brother. Her gruesome thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door opening again. She could hear footsteps lightly walking towards her, though the light had not been turned on this time.
“Do you promise not to scream?” Said the much warmer voice that she assumed to be Donghae. She could barely see his face, but was able to make out key features from the soft glow of the moonlight. Bora nodded her head softly, relieved to see that it was him and not his aggressive partner. Donghae gently removed the strip from her mouth and pulled out the cloth. She sighed in relief as she was finally able to close her lips again, her jaw had become numb from being extended for so long.
“I’m not allowed to talk to you.” He whispered. “But I convinced him to at least let me bring you this.” He said as he draped a warm blanket over her cold body. She thought about saying thank you, but immediately decided against it. He was still an enemy at the end of the day, and she wouldn’t be in this situation if it weren’t for him.
“Look, I know this seems pretty bad, but it’s not really going to be…he’s not as heartless as he seems. He can be harsh, but he knows you’re not really a threat.” He began. “Unfortunately, your brother is, and he knows that using you against him is the only way for us to be able to get to him.” He rubbed his hand along his neck nervously. “You’re worth more alive than dead, and he knows that, so you won’t be hurt, I promise.”
Bora said nothing. If his words were supposed to make her feel better, then it wasn’t working. If anything, she felt a little worse now.
“This situation isn’t ideal, but I’ll talk to him about at least moving you to a more comfortable spot...it would be impossible to reason with him tonight, so you might have to wait until tomorrow.” He added with a half smile.
The two sat in silence for a couple of seconds. Though she didn’t reply, she studied his body language closely, confused about his intentions. Donghae suddenly moved his body forward closer to her. “I have to get back before he gets suspicious.” He said, grabbing the cloth he placed to the side. “I’m sorry...I have to put this back on.” He lamented with a sincere look in his eyes. Bora gave a quick motion with her head, acknowledging that she understood. He put the cloth back in between her lips, and gently placed the tape to keep it in place. She noticed it was less tight than it had been previously. He got up and she could hear his footsteps walking away again, leaving her alone once again.
She closed her eyes and emptied her mind, wishing she could just sleep so that she wouldn’t have to deal with this reality. She tried numerous techniques but none of them worked. Each attempt resulted in her thinking about being back in her house, back with Heechul and safe in her bed. She could feel herself tear up again. Eventually her exhausted mind and body could do no more thinking, and without even realizing it she had drifted off.
The loud sound of a door pushed open, startled Bora awake. Her eyes immediately shot open as she instinctively moved her body, only to realize she couldn’t move. She looked down at her bound body as she remembered the events that led her to his predicament. Before she was done processing, she heard the sound of a person walking towards her.
Hyukjae crouched down beside her, taking a knife out from his pocket and cutting the tape holding her ankles together. He removed the tape and grabbed her arms in a vigorous manner. “Get up.” He told her as he forced her on her knees.
Bora groaned as his hold on her caused her body to radiate in pain. He easily lifted her to her feet. “Walk.” He demanded as he pushed her forward. He led her up some stairs that she clumsily walked up, and into the main hallway of the house she was taken to. He moved so fast that she could barely make out any details. Eventually they reached a room where the door had already been opened. He pushed her all the way in, forcing her to sit on the large bed in the room. Bora noticed that Donghae had already been standing in the room.
Hyukjae stared at her intently, the scowl on his face making her extremely uncomfortable. He reached his hand up to her mouth. “If you make any noise whatsoever then this will be back on and you’re going back downstairs, do you understand?” He said to her in his direct voice. Bora nodded subtly, not wanting to look him in the eye. He began to peel the tape off her lips, and freed her mouth. He grabbed a water bottle that was waiting on the nightstand and brought it to her lips. Without warning, he poured it into her mouth, though he was careful not to go too fast and make her choke. Bora felt instant relief as the water ran down her throat, finishing the whole bottle instantly.
He placed his hand on her jaw and held her tightly again, forcing her to look at him. “I’m going to untie your hands and you’ve got exactly 30 minutes to clean yourself up.” He motioned to a door inside of the room. “If you’re not out in time then I will drag you out myself, you got it?” Bora quickly moved her head up and down, eager for him to let her go. He moved behind her and worked on releasing her hands, cutting the tape off and peeling it off of her. Bora groaned softly as she moved her arms forward after having them forced behind her for numerous hours. Her wrists were raw and red, and she rubbed them gently for a moment before moving her hand up her sore jaw.
Hyukjae exited the room hurriedly, saying nothing else to her as he slammed the door behind him. Donghae slowly walked over to her. “I couldn’t really find much around, but I figured you’d want to get out of that dress.” He said as he handed her a plain black shirt that was clearly far too big on her, and a pair of men’s briefs. “We weren’t really prepared for this, but I’ll try to get you something more appropriate.” He said to her.
“Thank you.” She said quietly, her face expressionless. Donghae gave her a quick smile before exiting the room.
Bora casually took in the surroundings of the room she was placed in. It was a decently sized room, minimal furnishings, but it had its own bathroom. She looked through all the cabinets and drawers of the vanity in the bathroom, to her surprise it was furnished with most essentials. She knew she had very little time to spare so she quickly undressed as she turned on the hot water of the shower. It felt good to finally get out of the grimy dress, and as she stepped into the shower, she felt the immediate relief of the steaming water, water washing away the night before. Bora did not allow herself to dwell, she quickly washed her hair and body with the provided toiletries, rubbing away and making sure to get every last inch since she was not sure when she would be allowed to shower again.
After exiting, she dried herself off and began to brush her teeth. She looked at her face in the mirror, her mouth was slightly red and bruised, and dark circles had formed under her eyes. She grabbed a small hairbrush, and began to dry her hair out with a towel realizing there would be no hairdryer available to her. They wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave an electronic with her alone. She stepped back into the large room and put on the clothes Donghae gave her. The shirt was large but it was comfortable enough, she slowly began to brush her long hair out, dreading the moment she would no longer be alone.
With no real way of keeping track of time, she anxiously watched the door, brushing out each individual strand of hair over and over until she saw the door swing open. Hyukjae wasted no time walking over to her. Though she already sat on the edge, he pushed her body down into the bed and further back. That’s when she noticed the handcuffs in each corner, coming up from under the mattress. As he began to tighten the cuff on her wrist she heard Donghae’s voice interrupt him.
“Hyuk, just leave her. It’s not like she’ll be able to leave the room, it should be enough.” He said to him.
“She’s a hostage, not a visitor of a 5 star hotel.” He scolded as he continued to tighten her wrists to either side of the bed.
Donghae, visibly annoyed, exited the room. Hyukjae finished up and walked away from her, saying nothing else before shutting the door. Bora stared up at the ceiling after once again being left alone. This situation was at least more comfortable than the cold basement, and she found herself able to think clearer. She reflected back on how she ended up here due to Heechul’s half thought out plan, her emotions now turning to anger as she thought about getting back at him once she was free. Hurting Heechul, and then hurting Kyuhyun for letting her down once again.
She was going to have to find a way to escape, and currently she had no ideas whatsoever on how she would accomplish that. Donghae had so far been nice to her, maybe she could get away with convincing him to betray his accomplice. Though unlikely, so far it seemed to be her best option, since reasoning with Hyukjae was out of the question. As she continued to ponder her options for a couple of minutes, she decided to close her eyes, taking advantage of the soft bed under her and knowing that it would at least make time go by faster.
Chapter 6: Mediocre
When she next opened her eyes, two knocks were heard from the door. This time it was only Donghae who entered the room. He walked over to the bed and began to undo the cuffs on her wrist.
“Sorry, we realized you haven't eaten in a while so we’re looking through what we have.” He said quietly.
“I don’t think I’d be able to eat if I tried.” Bora replied, feeling rather nauseous. Before anything else was said, Hyukjae rushed in, quickly throwing a handful of items on the bed before storming off without looking at anyone.
“He seems to be in a worse mood than earlier, if that’s even possible.” She remarked.
“Yeah he just got done talking to his father, I guess he thought he’d be able to leave you here alone with me and could go back to handling his business, but his father feels otherwise, wants you to be his main priority at the moment.” Donghae began as he sat cross legged on the floor. “Needless to say, he didn’t take it well.”
“Well that really sucks for him, doesn’t it.” She said bitterly, grabbing another bottle of water and chugging it down rapidly. “He should have thought about that before taking me.” She continued, not feeling sorry in the slightest.
“It was kind of a last minute plan...we didn’t know we would be doing it until we realized who you were.” He muttered. Bora placed her hand on her neck, suddenly remembering an important detail.
“Why did he take my necklace?” She asked him. Donghae said nothing. “He said it belongs to him, what did he mean by that?”
“I wouldn’t say it belongs to him…” he alluded. “But there’s some history behind it, involving both of our families...It’s kind of a long story, I’m not sure if today is the day to get into it.”
“Right. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to get into that.” She replied sarcastically, finishing off her water, as Hyukjae walked back into the room.
“Looks like her brother got the message. He’s going on a rampage...not him personally, of course, but he’s sent a lot of people out to look for her.” He said to Donghae, though clearly intending for Bora to hear, as he watched her face for a reaction. “I made it perfectly clear that he can’t touch any of my men while she’s in here.” He continued.
“Hey does the name Leeteuk sound familiar to you?” He asked Donghae.
“I’m not sure.” He replied, but they were both interrupted from a soft chuckle coming from the bed.
“May you both Rest In Peace.” Bora said to them quietly, half smirking.
Hyukjae stalked his way over to her. Coming up to her face in a threatening manner. “Who is he.” He commanded.
Bora refused to look at him, ignoring his question. He grabbed her face menacingly. “I’ve got all damn day, I can sit right here until you’re ready to talk.” He said to her.
“I’m not talking to you.” She demanded, looking him right in the eye to prove she had no fear. Hyukjae reciprocated her intensity, clearly up for the challenge.
“Will you talk to me?” Donghae interrupted.
“Maybe. If he leaves.” She said as she continued to stare him down. Hyukjae let her face go and began to pull back, his anger radiating through his body. She could tell he was holding himself back, outweighing his options in his head. He scoffed loudly before storming off. slamming the door behind him. As Bora watched him exit, Donghae watched her, waiting to see if she had meant what she said.
“I don’t see how it would benefit me in any way to give you information.” She said to him, matter of factly.
“You’re not wrong, but I figure if we could come up with a sort of compromise, then maybe we can work all this out and you can go home.” He offered.
“Well what exactly is the end game for all this? It can’t just be about money.” Bora retorted.
“It’s not…I mean, I’m not going to say money isn’t a part of it, but it’s more of a personal affair...he’s had an encounter with your brother that didn’t go well...I think he wishes to put him in his place.” He continued.
“A lot of people have had negative encounters with my brother...it’ll never faze him. Even now, I’m sure he’s confident he’ll be able to get me back without having to spend a dime.” She answered him. Donghae did not reply, waiting to see if she had more to say.
“Leeteuk is a nickname. His real name is Park Jungsoo and I’m sure you know who that is. It doesn’t matter what I tell you, if he got Teuk’s men involved then you’re all done for.” She began. “We’re not always on good terms, but they currently have a truce. They’re aggressive…even too much for my brother at times ...they’re only called upon when he gets desperate.”
“Understood.” Donghae nodded to her, waiting a couple of seconds after she was done talking. “Well I’ll let you be, thank you for talking to me.” He said as he got on his feet and began to walk away. Bora looked through the random items thrown on the bed. She still was not hungry but she figured she’d save them for later. She took advantage of the fact that she was free to move and headed back into the bathroom, taking care of as much as she could before Hyukjae’s inevitable return. She brushed her teeth again and checked the bruises on her wrists, which were even more raw now from being cuffed.
As she suspected, Hyukjae did indeed return. She had already washed up as fast as she could and had returned to sitting on the bed, preparing herself to be pushed around again. Hyukjae instead grabbed ahold of both her arms, placing them in front of her and examining her wrists. Bora felt uncomfortable, preferring his aggressive demeanor as opposed to this.
“Hold still.” He scolded, as she attempted to pull her wrists away. He began to place gauze that was soaked in some clear liquid on the bruises of her wrist. Bora hissed as the sensation stung her. He wrapped her wrists with more gauze to keep the medicine in place and left the room, leaving her unbound. Bora was puzzled by this interaction but was glad that she would be able to continue moving around freely, even if she was confined to one room.
She began to pace back and forth from one end of the room to the other, pondering deeply and thinking of her next move. She noticed a window and slowly walked up to it, gingerly moving the closed curtain to the side. The window had been completely barred, as expected. She could barely make anything out in between the bars but it was evident she was in the middle of nowhere, no other houses or streets in sight. She let go of the curtain and went back into her pacing, feeling her nervous energy beginning to pick up. She thought about the compromise Donghae had mentioned.
Heechul was not easily intimidated. Though they had money, he would not easily let go of it just for her sake. She rolled her eyes. Not that the money even mattered to him, it was just the principle behind it.
She needed to know the story behind the necklace, she knew getting more information would help the negotiating process. On that subject she also needed to get her necklace back, as far as she was concerned, it belonged to her, and no one was going to tell her otherwise. Not able to calm herself down enough to sit, she continued to pace. Hours had passed but she had completely lost track of time.
“Hey.” Said a voice in front of her. Bora’s eyelids slowly opened. She was at the foot of the bed, her body was half off and only her head was actually on the bed.
“Why didn’t you just lay on the bed?” Said the voice again.
“I don’t know…” She was confused. “I don’t even remember falling asleep.” Bora opened her eyes fully and took in the situation. It was now daylight, she had spent most of the night awake apparently, based on how she was found and the way she was feeling.
“Did you sleep at all?” Asked the voice again.
“Not really.” She replied. Bora looked at the voice that was speaking to her. She wasn’t sure who she was expecting, but she definitely wasn’t expecting to be having a rather normal conversation with Hyukjae at this moment. He seemed a lot less angry, but she still felt unsettled around him.
“So Donghae is going to be out for a while today...so it’ll just be me today.” Said Hyukjae.
“Oh that’s good. That’s exactly how I wanted to spend my day today.” She said sarcastically. A small smile formed on the corner of his mouth, raising his eyebrow slightly at her bluntness. Bora had nothing else to say to him, so she made her way into the bathroom. She groaned as she took a look at herself in the mirror. She looked awful. The bags under her eyes stuck out intensely, and she looked like she hadn’t slept in years. She brushed her teeth and combed her hair out as best as she could. After returning to the room, she realized that Hyukjae was still in there. Her insides began to boil in irritation.
“Is there something you want from me?” She questioned accusingly.
“Nothing in particular.” He replied nonchalantly, casually leaning on the wall with his arms folded in front of him. Bora said nothing, as she was unable to muster the energy to fight with him. “So why couldn’t you sleep?” He asked her.
“Why does it matter?” She retorted, her tone rising. “Let me guess, someone gave you advice that you should try to be nicer to me.” She blurted out.
He chuckled softly, making her even more irritated, but his reaction told her that her speculation was probably correct. She sighed loudly, realizing that her anger would just keep amusing him. She took a deep breath. “I was feeling really anxious...” She began. “-and ended up pacing back and forth in the room for hours...I guess…it’s kind of hard to track time...hey you don’t happen to have coffee here do you?” She asked him suddenly.
Hyukjae was rather taken aback by her comment. “No, I don’t think we do...wouldn’t that be the opposite of what you need?” He questioned.
Bora shook her head. “I don’t know...I just need it right now.” She said sincerely. Hyukjae gave her a slight nod. “I’ll call Donghae.” He said to her.
She was surprised he was giving in so easily. “Hey can you also ask him for some Bb cream?” She asked him, trying her luck. He gave her an annoyed look.
“So your boyfriend was spotted last night.” He began, not even attempting to answer her request.
“I don’t have one of those.” Her eyebrow furrowed. “So I have no idea who you’re talking about.”
“No? Your useless bodyguard from the club. You two seemed close so I assumed.” He teased.
“You mean from the 10 second interaction before you ambushed me?” She jabbed, not able to hold back her emotions. “That’s not very long for assumptions...He’s not my boyfriend, I wouldn’t even call him a ‘friend.” She muttered, feeling guilty as soon as she said the words out loud.
“Well then that boy was spotted last night...and it looks like your brother really messed him up. Face completely swollen and bruised up.” He continued.
“Well he deserved it.” She spat out. Still feeling bitter about the whole ordeal. She reflected on the information for a minute. Her father no doubt had already been aware of the situation, and based on the similarities between her father and brother, she was sure Heechul probably looked even worse.
Hyukjae’s laughter interrupted her thoughts. “Well you’re not wrong...poor idiot feels so guilty...recklessly attacking anyone in his path, desperate to find you.”
“Why are you telling me this.” Bora said coldly, she could feel the emotions stirring back up inside her already exhausted mind.
“I just find it funny, the thought of them feeling so helpless, and it’s all due to their selfish actions.” Hyukjae was no longer laughing. “You’re all stupid and useless.”
“Well you’re one to talk.” Bora retorted. Hyukjae turned to look at her, intrigued by her response. “You talk about how idiotic my family is as if this could never happen to you. We are all the same…selfish, driven by money and power, but just wait till you make a mistake... you’ll crumble down too.”
Hyukjae was now walking towards her and she could see that she had struck a nerve. “I am nothing like your disgusting family. I would never put my sister in danger the way that he did...and even if I did, I would never leave her side. No one would be able to touch a single hair on her body.” He muttered. Crouching down to her eye level. “Your brother’s arrogance will be his downfall...the same arrogance that all of you share. Your father, your brother, and you.” He emphasized. Bora gave him the side eye, but Hyukjae wasn’t done.
“You strip away all the money, all the makeup, and the dress and now look at what we are left with.” He sneered at her. Bora was fuming. “You walk in the room thinking you’re the most beautiful thing to walk the earth and that any man will cater to your will, but I can see right through you. You have no talents and nothing to contribute, you just have your body, which you clearly use often.” He insulted her. “...and your looks are mediocre at best.” He spat out, immediately storming off.
Mediocre? Bora tried to not let his words affect her. Why should she care about his opinion, he meant nothing to her. But she could feel her hot, angry tears forming and she fought them back hard, not wanting to give him the satisfaction. He was right. She had no talents, she just had money, and now that it was taken away, she struggled knowing who she really was anymore. She had no real friends outside to miss her, and even Heechul barely knew her, she was beginning to realize how little she truly mattered to the outside world, and that was probably the reason no one was in a hurry to find her.
Chapter 7: Material Girl
Bora tossed and turned repeatedly, still not able to empty her thoughts enough to fall asleep. The door opened again and she buried her face in the pillow, completely dreading another interaction with Hyukjae.
“Hey. I’m back.” said the voice from the door. Bora sighed in relief when she realized it was Donghae that had entered. He was holding multiple bags in his hands, and to her surprise,
a small travel cup. “Here, this is for you.” He said, extending the coffee to her.
“Oh thank God.” She said as she grabbed the hot beverage, feeling immediate satisfaction as she carefully took a sip.
“So I told you we didn’t have any clothes, so I went around and grabbed what I could find. I hope some of it works for you.” He passed the bags over to her. Bora began to look through, the clothes were clearly cheap and unassuming, and not anything she would choose to put on her body, but they looked comfortable, and she was glad to be able to wear underwear again. “I wasn’t sure on sizing, so I chose a couple of different ones.” Donghae explained as she looked through the bags.
“Thank you...I think most of these will fit.” She said to him as she noticed a little bottle of Bb cream towards the bottom of the bag. She was surprised that Hyukjae actually followed through with this request. His thin frame slowly made an appearance in the room and her energy immediately changed, both clearly still feeling bothered from the argument they had earlier.
“Here.” He said nonchalantly, placing an instant ramen cup in the nightstand in front of her. Bora, who was starving, grabbed it quickly and began to wolf it down, unbothered by the two men looking at her.
“Hope it’s to your liking.” Hyukjae said sarcastically, gritting his teeth.
“I’d say it’s mediocre at best.” She replied without missing a beat.
Donghae stared at the two closely, confused by the comments that were thrown around. “What, is the water ratio off or something?” He began to say, but Hyukjae shook his head at him, indicating him not to ask.
“Well anyway…” He began changing the subject. “Since we’re not sure how long you’ll be staying with us, we’re willing to be accommodating…” He said rather awkwardly. “Are there any items you think you’ll be needing soon?”
Bora thought in her head that if no one was in a hurry to get her, then she might as well try to make herself as comfortable as she could possibly get. “Okay, you should probably make a list.” She said boldly.
“Oh...okay.” Donghae said, slightly taken aback. He reached for his phone in his pocket. “Just tell me everything you need.”
“Tampons.” She began, as Donghae began to type.
“Moisturizer, but make sure it’s one with natural ingredients, I don’t want my face to break out.” She continued. A scowl appeared on Hyukjae’s face, he was irritated but said nothing.
“Coffee. A lot of it. A warm sweater. A humidifier-“
“A what?” Hyukjae could no longer hold back. “That hardly sounds essential.”
“I have bad allergies, so I need it to help me breathe.” She said to him, an amused smile forming on her face.
“Where was I? A rounded hair brush, lip balm, lavender bath bombs-“
“This isn’t a spa!” He shouted out to her.
“Well since you were so concerned about my sleeping this morning, I figured I’d try to find a way to relax a little...especially after having to deal with you.” She answered back, clearly enjoying herself.
Hyukjae scoffed under his breath, throwings his arms in irritation but saying nothing more. “I need a clock of some sort to be able to know what time it is, a scale to weigh myself daily...mascara, hair straightener and blow dryer...and that’s all.” She smirked.
“Ok...I’ll do my best.” Donghae replied, looking over the list and feeling overwhelmed.
“Also I want to be able to work out.” She started again. “Any chance you have a treadmill in this house or something?”
“Oh, we have a room with a treadmill and some weights that we use-“ Donghae started but was quickly interrupted by Hyukjae’s menacing glare.
“Can I use it?” She asked, looking directly at Hyukjae as she knew he was the one that had to be convinced.
“No.” He answered back boldly.
“Why not? It’s not like I have anything else to do, are you scared that I’ll be able to overpower you and break free?” She argued.
“The rest of the house is off limits to you.” He said to her.
“Why?! We’re in the middle of fucking nowhere what do you think is gonna happen? Even if I manage to escape, where would I even go? I don’t even know how to drive!” She continued to argue. Hyukjae took a moment to reply as he debated in his head before making a final decision.
“Fine. I’ll give you 30 minutes, three times a week.” He finally gave in.
“Fine. Donghae, add workout clothes to the list.” She replied. “Yeah ok.” Donghae answered back, fumbling with his phone.
Bora looked at the clock that was placed on her nightstand. It was the first item she received after listing her demands.
8:00am read the clock brightly. Bora groaned. It was 6:00am when she last read the clock after tossing and turning all night. It had been a few days that she had been captive now, her body was adjusting to her new routine but her sleep had still not caught up. Having nothing to do all day was really getting to her, making her feel extreme restlessness. Her conversations with Donghae helped. He was kind and sincere, and although she still did not trust him all the way, it was still better than talking to no one. However, talking to no one would still be preferable to her than talking to Hyukjae.
Their hatred for each other was still very apparent, and neither wanted to be in the presence of each other. Donghae was the main communicator between the two and helped keep the peace. They still had not been able to have a conversation alone without it breaking into an argument.
She rolled back on to the opposite side, fighting herself to at least sleep for two more hours so she wouldn’t hate herself all day. As she closed her eyes, she was loudly interrupted by the door swaying open.
“Get up.” Said Hyukjae in his usual direct tone.
“No. Get out of my room.” She answered back.
“You said you wanted to work out so I’m giving you the option to do it now.” He replied.
“Now? It’s so early…” She groaned. Hyukjae rolled his eyes and began to walk away. “No wait.” She pleaded tiredly, knowing she wouldn’t get a chance to leave the room for a while if she didn’t comply with his timing. “Just let me get ready.”
“Fine.” He said as he closed the door behind him. Bora let out another groan, this guy was really testing her. She quickly gathered her hair in a high ponytail and brushed her teeth, then put on the new workout clothes they had given to her. “Ok I’m ready!” She yelled out. Hyukjae opened the door and motioned for her to follow him. Bora went along, struggling to keep up
with his fast pace. They headed downstairs to the basement she was held in when she first arrived.
“Were these always here?” She said to him, as she examined all the workout equipment.
“No. We moved them a few days after.” He replied.
“Ah.” She said, realizing she had no idea how many days had passed so far. She climbed on top of the lone treadmill, and to her dismay Hyukjae stayed in the room, idly watching her.
“So you’re just gonna stand there and watch me then?” She questioned annoyingly. “Do you expect me to trust you here alone?” He quickly replied.
“Can’t Donghae watch me instead?” She whined.
“No. Unfortunately he’s out getting your humidifier and lavender bath bombs.” He said sarcastically.
“Oh good I need those.” She answered back as she messed with the settings of the treadmill. Bora groaned internally, she had no intention of actually working out, she just wanted an excuse to leave the room and scan her surroundings for a way out. Bora turned the treadmill to a moderate setting, figuring she had no other choice as he wasn’t leaving. She began her workout, deciding to stick with the moderate pace as she enjoyed the serene movement. The environment could be better, she thought, as she currently looked at the blank wall in front of her. She closed her eyes and imagined she was in a nice big field, walking along a giant hill with an old willow tree in the middle-
“Is that really all you’re gonna do?” Hyukjae interrupted. Bora’s face turned to a scowl, his voice bringing her out of her fantasy. “Yes. It’s been a while since I’ve exercised, so I need to warm up to it.” She said coldly.
“What a waste of time.” He muttered. She ignored his reply and tried to go back to her willow tree, but the moment was lost. She rolled her eyes far back in her head, she needed to get away from him. Thirty minutes went by like nothing, though honestly she was beginning to feel tired. She turned the treadmill off and headed back up to the room. Hyukjae followed closely behind.
“I’m going to shower.” She said as she entered the room.
“Why, you barely broke a sweat?” He questioned. Bora couldn’t be more done with him if she tried. She ignored him and proceeded to take off her shirt, revealing her sports bra, she hoped he’d get the hint and leave her. She heard him scoff as he quickly turned around, closing the door as he exited.
Good. She thought in her head as she removed the rest of her clothes.
Bora washed up and changed into a comfortable pair of leggings with a cream colored oversized sweater. The door opened again and Hyukjae was back, instant ramen in hand. Bora sighed loudly.
“Do you guys ever eat anything else?” She proclaimed.
“If you’re unhappy I can take this back.” He argued back. “Clearly, your spoiled ass can’t handle things not going your way.”
“Spoiled?” She exclaimed. “I’m literally asking for the bare minimum here. I’ve done nothing but comply to your idiotic demands and arbitrary timing when it clearly does not matter. You and I are stuck here everyday regardless, but you always have to put me on a useless schedule just to feel like you’re in control.”
“The bare minimum?” He shouted back. “Do you want me to go over your list of useless items that you’ve demanded? You are literally the most irritating person I’ve ever had to deal with.”
“Fuck you.” She emphasized. “You think I would willingly choose to spend time with you? You’re the one that placed me here, so now you have to deal with me. I’m not fucking scared of you...you’re pathetic.” She tested him. He raised his eyebrow menacingly at her, but she wasn’t done. “You have no idea what you’re doing and all you’ve done so far is stolen my necklace like any other common thug-“
“Your necklace? My uncle may have given it to your stupid mother, but it never belonged to her, just like it will never belong to you.” He gritted. Bora’s face fell in a confused state, trying to make sense of what he was saying.
“Oh but you don’t know that story do you?” He began, walking towards her menacingly. “I’m sure all you know are lies fed to you by your family. You know nothing about how your mother abandoned you and your brother, ran away with my uncle and got them both killed...leaving his only son an orphan and destroying two families like the worthless whore she was-“
Bora slapped him across the face so hard that the sound echoed through the hallway. She had completely lost control, but now stared in shock as he stood still, face still turned away from her. He slowly lifted his head up, and the look on his face made her stomach turn. He was going to kill her right then and there.
Before she could even think about getting out of the way, he pounced on her. He was so quick that she didn’t even realize it was happening. Bora kicked ferociously as he pinned her on the bed, grabbing her wrists and aggressively tying them with the cuffs that were still attached to the mattress. A stream of tears began to run down her face as she squirmed under him, desperate to get free. He moved his body down to her lower body and grabbed her ankles, also tying them to the corners of the bed. She laid there, spread eagle and helpless as he stood up.
“Fuck you too.” He remarked as he walked out the door.
Bora struggled to get free for so long that her body had completely worn out. She wasn’t even sure how much time had passed when she had finally given up, staring up at the ceiling motionless, and feeling absolutely no emotion. She could hear the door opening and she closed her eyes tightly, dreading what was to come.
“Woah, what happened?” Said a concerned Donghae, as he quickly made his way toward her, releasing her from the ties. “Why don’t you ask your friend.” She said bitterly.
“I’m sorry. I should have come back sooner. Are you okay?” He apologized to her.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just don’t leave me alone with him...please.” She said under her breath.
“I don’t have a choice most of the time...look I’ll talk to him okay?” He said in his sincere tone.
Bora nodded, but she could feel her eyes beginning to well up again. The emotions she was feeling from being freed were so overwhelming that she found herself reaching for him, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck as her tears began to fall. Donghae initially stiffened, but soon reciprocated, placing his hands on her waist and trying his hardest to comfort her. He held her in silence, committing to hold her for as long as she needed. They held their embrace for a while, until she finally settled.
“I’m sorry.” She said as she pulled back, wiping her face with her sleeve. “I don’t know why he hates me so much.”
“He doesn’t hate you...he’s just difficult.” He said to her as he placed his hand on her knee. “He’s holding on to a lot of remorse and feels overwhelmed. I know he takes it out on you a lot, but he doesn’t mean to... I promise he’s not a bad person, it just takes him a while to warm up to someone.”
“Hmm.” She said quietly, not knowing what to say in return. She wanted to believe him, but couldn’t find it in her to see past her hatred.
“You know...you also don’t help.” Donghae alluded. “You’re also constantly antagonizing him, and trying to get a rise out of him.”
“He’s just…such an asshole. I can’t help it.” She replied. They both laughed quietly and Bora was beginning to feel a little better.
“It’s late. I’m not looking forward to dealing with Hyukjae right now, but someone is gonna need to cool
him down.” He said as he stood up. “Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah.” She assured him with a half smile on her face. She did not want to be left alone but she also didn’t want to be a bother to him.
“Ok I’ll see you in the morning.” He called out as he left the room.
“Goodnight.” She said softly, as she laid on her side. Her conversation with Donghae certainly helped her feel better, but she knew she would have to deal with Hyukjae again real soon. She found her mind reflecting back on his words from earlier. Somehow, despite his abrasive tone, she got the feeling that he wasn’t lying, or at least that it was the version of the story that he believed. She thought about the conversation for a while longer and before she knew it she had drifted off.
When Bora opened her eyes the next morning, she instinctively looked at the clock to see how long she had slept. It was 10:00am, and she was shocked that she was able to sleep for so long. No tossing and turning, and no interruptions. She made her way to the bathroom and washed up, deciding to have a better day today at all costs. That would mean her avoiding talking to Hyukaje as much as possible. She promised herself she would limit all interactions with him, no more antagonizing and no more requests, she would wait patiently for either Heechul to pull through or for an opportunity to get herself out. She changed into a pair of jeans and a comfy t-shirt and began to brush her hair out. She was beginning to feel surprised that no one had entered her room yet when she heard a knock on the door. Bora’s nerves began to rise as she anxiously waited to see who would enter.
“Oh good, it’s just you.” She said as Donghae made his way to her. “Hey.” He said as he placed himself next to her. “How are you feeling?”
“Better.” She replied.
“Good.” He affirmed. “So listen...how would you feel about leaving the room and eating with us this morning?” He asked her nervously.
“Right now?” She questioned, her nerves already picking back up.
“Yes.” He answered back. Bora thought about it in her head. Though she was anxious to get out of the room, she still did not feel ready to deal with Hyukjae. She knew she would have to eventually, and after thinking some more she convinced herself that it would be better to just get it over with. She wanted to prove to him that she wasn’t afraid of him.
“Okay.” She responded reluctantly.
“Okay great!” Donghae replied to her, picking himself up and motioning her to follow him. Bora trailed behind him slowly, her nerves almost getting the best of her as they got closer. She was able to hold it together as they approached the dining area. Hyukjae was already there, sitting in his usual disinterested state. He looked a little different this time, and she noticed that his usual styled hair was left alone, falling gracefully over his forehead and making him appear younger, much less intimidating. On the dining table were three instant ramen cups.
“I don’t know why I’m surprised.” She muttered under her breath.
“Yeah, I know.” Donghae replied to her. “I’m tired of it too, but neither of us can cook.”
“I can cook.” She quickly responded, knowing that she was stretching the truth as she said it. “If you could just get me proper ingredients.”
“Okay, that sounds like something I could do.” He said to her as the two sat across from Hyukjae. “If you could just give me a list I can go and get them.” He continued. Bora nodded her head in response to him but she wasn’t really listening. Her eyes were nervously fixated on Hyukjae, who hadn’t even bothered to look at her since she entered the room, clearly still not over their argument. Donghae attempted a casual comment here and there as they ate, but for the most part they sat in silence, the tension in the room still high.
“I’ll be right back.” Donghae said out of nowhere, getting to his feet and exiting the room. “I need to grab something from the car.” Bora watched him leave with wide eyes, terrified of the prospect of being left alone with Hyukjae. He continued to ignore her as Donghae left the room, making Bora’s discomfort rise. She thought of something casual to say, but realized she had never said anything to him without the intention of bothering him. She knew anything she had to say would probably make the situation worse, so she stayed silent.
“I’m sorry.” He said to her suddenly.
Bora’s entire body froze. She almost couldn’t believe what she had heard. He hadn’t looked directly at her yet, and though his apology seemed unnatural, it didn’t sound insincere. She stumbled on what to say back, should she also apologize? Should she thank him for his apology?
“Was it true.” She began. “What you said yesterday...was it the truth?”
“Yes.” He replied to her, looking down at the floor as he spoke. “I didn’t mean to lose my temper like I did...but I meant every word I said.” Bora took a moment to think before speaking, she wanted him to continue talking to her, so she was careful with her words, not wanting to provoke him.
“My father always told me that your uncle kidnapped my mother and forced himself on her…” She began. “and that after months of searching, he finally tracked them down. He told me he was too late, and that all he was able to recover from her was the necklace he had given her...He always emphasized how he killed him mercilessly, making sure he paid for what he had done.” Bora turned to face him as she finished her story.
“Look, I’m not going to say that I don’t believe you...” She said to him, and at this he lifted his head up and looked at her, interested in what she would say next. “But how do you know which side is really telling the truth...only those that were there can truly know.” Hyukjae said nothing at first, really taking in her words and her understanding of the situation.
“There were letters found from your mother to him, that’s how we found out her intentions...but I guess you’re right...no one really knows the full story.” He said to her, continuing to make eye contact.
“I can confirm one thing…” He added. “Your father did not give her the necklace. The necklace belonged to my grandmother.” Bora stayed silent, looking at him intently as she waited for him to continue. “She passed it down to her younger son, and he held on to it for years. He kept it locked up for so long that everyone forgot about it. Never gave it to his late wife before her passing or anyone, but then your mother came around...no one understood why he would do that, why he would give it to her of all people.”
“...And I guess no one ever will.” She replied. The two stayed silent for a moment, reflecting on the complicated history that bound the two families together.
“What happened to his kid?” She asked him, breaking the silence.
“My father took him in. Raised him like his own. He was only 5 when it happened...both of us were.” He replied.
“Donghae?” She asked softly. Hyukjae was a bit taken back from her comment, but gave her a small gesture with his head, confirming that she was right.
“His loyalty to you seemed too strong. He’s not afraid of you, but he still does what you ask regardless. He’s also really quick to defend you, like a brother would.” She added.
Hyukjae said nothing back. Though subtle, the expression on his face held a slight tint of sorrow, very unlike him. Bora couldn’t help but stare at him, it was as if she were seeing him for the first time.
“I’m sorry I slapped you-” She began to say.
“You don’t have to apologize.” He interrupted. “I probably deserved it.”
“You did.” She blurted out impulsively, cursing herself in her head after she said it and scared that she had ruined the moment. To her surprise, a small smile formed on Hyukjae’s face. It was subtle, but it was there, and she found it adorable. She began to feel an unexplainable nervousness from it.
“Did you also mean the bit when you said I was the most irritating person you’ve ever had to deal with?” She teased.
“Most definitely.” He answered back, and the two broke out in a small laughter. The conversation was nice, and she was surprised at how much she was enjoying herself.
“Look...I still don’t trust you.” He began. “But you can eat out here...and use the workout room when you want...I just need to know where you are at all times so you need to ask first. Is that fair?”
“Sounds fair to me.” She replied. She gave him a small smile. Though she didn’t trust him either, she knew it didn’t benefit her to be on her captors bad side. The closer she was able to get to him, the easier it would be for her to get out.
Ugh this chapter is too soft, too many feels!
Chapter 9: Maniac
The next few days were better than they had been. She was allowed to leave the room more often, so it helped with her restlessness. She also found herself rather comfortable with Donghae and to her surprise her relationship with Hyukjae was improving as well. She still didn’t prefer to be around him, as his rudeness and mood swings still irritated her to no avail, but they could at least tolerate each other now. As she spent more time with them, more layers began to unfold, giving her a new understanding of her captors.
This is what Stockholm syndrome looks like. She groaned in her head. The morning had come and she was ready and waiting to be let out of the room for breakfast.
“Hey.” Donghae said as he opened her door. Bora hurriedly got on her feet and the two headed out to the dining area. Since Donghae followed through with getting the ingredients, Bora had begun to cook for the three of them. She was no chef, but it beat having to eat instant ramen everyday. She looked through the fridge and set the ingredients out to prep with while Donghae stood idly by for directions. He was usually able and willing to help her with the cooking. Hyukjae on the other hand, was basically banned from the kitchen. His cooking skills were by far the weakest of the three.
Bora began to turn the stove on when she noticed an object from the corner of her eye. The counter was filled with random objects lying about, but one of those objects happened to be a cell phone. It was clearly an older phone, and she assumed it probably didn’t work due to how it was left out in the open. Still, it was there, but she knew it would be way too big of a risk to even think about taking it, especially with how much easier the situation had gotten. She brushed the thought off her mind and continued as she was doing.
As they began to set the table with the dishes they prepared, Hyukjae slowly made his way over. Bora always took the time to read his face first thing in the morning, it was always the determining factor on how the day was going to go. Based on his look today, it could go either way.
“Can I work out later today?” Bora asked him as the three of them sat down and began to eat.
“You mean your leisurely walk? Sure.” He replied back. Bora ignored his comment, and he turned to Donghae. “You’re gonna need to make an appearance for me tonight at Chapter One. Kwan’s guys will be there and they’ll be expecting payment.” He said to him.
Donghae frowned. “I thought you weren’t sending me to deal with them anymore after the events from last time.”
“Well I don’t really have a choice now do I?” Hyukjae replied back in an irritated tone.
Donghae said nothing in return and the three continued to eat in silence. “What’s Chapter One?” Bora interrupted.
“It’s the bar that we run.” Donghae answered.
“Oh…I haven’t heard of that one.” She questioned. Donghae snorted at her comment. “It’s a piece of shit.” He answered honestly. “It’s a surprise we’re still open.”
“Oh, I’m sorry about that…” She nervously laughed.
“So who’s Kwan?” She continued to ask.
“None of your business.” Hyukjae quickly interjected. Bora frowned at him but said nothing, as she was used to conversations going this way. “Be happy you haven’t had the privilege of having to deal with him.” He said again.
“Whatever.” She replied, deciding not to insist. “So if you guys have a bar of your own, why are you always at ours?”
“It’s mutual territory.” Hyukjae answered back.
“I know that.” She began. “My brother did that on purpose to get more money coming in...but why would you choose to go to your enemy’s over your own?”
“Helped us keep an eye on them.” He said matter of factly. “Even if your brother stopped showing his face.”
“Plus our bar really is a piece of shit.” Donghae said again.
After finishing breakfast, Bora went back to her room. She lazily laid about, procrastinating the workout she promised herself she would do today. She groaned as she forced herself to get up and change into her workout clothes. Once she was done, she headed towards her door, feeling delighted that it was left open. Her room was still locked during the night, but it seemed she had gained their trust enough to at least let her move about during the day. She headed downstairs to the workout room.
Bora had not attempted to workout since her big blowout with Hyukjae, so she hoped that today would go a lot smoother, and that she would be able to avoid him altogether. Unfortunately, that hope was immediately thrown out the window when she arrived at the workout room and saw that Hyukjae was already there.
He was sitting on the bench, shirtless as he casually lifted barbells. Bora slowly walked her way over to the treadmill. He looked over at her for a second before turning away, seemingly uninterested in her arrival.
God he’s ripped. She thought in her head as she passed by, trying not to gawk. She shook her head quickly, reminding herself the reason she was there and also that she hated him. She turned the treadmill and messed with the settings, deciding to go on a higher level this time due to Hyukjae’s criticism.
She began her workout and pretended that she was alone in the room, focusing only on her thoughts and her body.
Minutes went by and she was surprised that she was still keeping up with the increased pace. She felt great, and was almost beginning to understand those people that claim that running relaxes them. Almost. She closed her eyes and emptied her brain, feeling the almost euphoric sensation from her workout.
“I’m legitimately surprised you haven’t stopped yet.” Said Hyukjae, immediately bringing her out of her euphoric state. Bora’s eyes rolled.
“Can you not talk to me while I’m on this, you’re distracting me.” She puffed. Hyukjae chuckled under his breath. Just ignore him. She repeated in her head, as she felt her body heat up in irritation.
“Doesn’t look like you’re doing much.” She taunted, her impulsiveness winning over as it always did.
Hyukjae scoffed loudly. “Do you want to try lifting these?” He said with a raised eyebrow.
“I would love to.” She answered back as she quickly turned the treadmill off and pranced right to him. He placed the weights on the floor, and Bora went right for it, feeling all the determination inside her as she put in all the strength she could muster. The weight didn’t budge at all. Hyukjae laughed behind her, clearly amused by her struggling, and refusal to give up.
“You’ve never had to work very hard in life have you?” He teased.
“I’ve worked plenty…” She huffed. “I made my way through college with average grades, attempted various activities that I never exelled at...and occasionally worked as a nighttime hostess for my stupid brother, where I had to manipulate men into giving him whatever he wanted, while they did whatever they wanted with me.” She gritted out, feeling the full effect of her emotions as she fought against the weight pulling her down. Hyukjae continued to laugh as he got on his feet and walked towards the corner of the room.
“Here.” He said, as he placed two smaller weights in front of her. “Start with these and work your way up.”
Bora blinked repeatedly, confused at the notion of him helping her. She reluctantly went for the smaller weights. Though they were still heavy, she could at least lift them off the ground.
“Why put yourself through that?” He asked her suddenly.
“What?” She replied, almost losing her grip on the weight.
“Why did you let your brother talk you into working for him like that....” he said again.
“I don’t know...I always told him no first...but somehow he always got his way...I guess I’m easy to manipulate.” She lamented. “It’s not like I was getting anything out of it anyway.”
“I wouldn’t say that.” He replied.
“What do you mean?” She questioned.
“From what I saw, you seemed to be getting plenty of satisfaction from it. I don’t think he would have asked you in the first place if you weren’t convincing...and the only reason you’re convincing is because deep down you like the attention...and the excuse to pretend to be someone else.” He stated. Bora’s eyes became slits as she processed his words. Though normally she would be offended by a statement like that, she couldn’t help but feel that he was kinda right.
“I came here to workout, not to get psychoanalyzed.” She muttered as she rolled her eyes.
Hyukjae shrugged nonchalantly. “Well regardless, it sounds like you need to establish boundaries.” He said to her.
“I guess so.” She replied, feeling rather annoyed that she had said so much to him. She had never been the type to easily open up, which was one of the main reasons she found it so hard to make close friends.
“Your form is terrible by the way.” He said as he walked over to her. “Why are you holding your arms like that?”
“I don’t know, my arms and legs are too lanky and I don’t know what to do with them.” She answered honestly. He stood closely behind her, grabbing her waist gently and helping her into a more relaxed position. Bora held her breath. His touch made her incredibly nervous.
“That’s better.” He said as he slowly let her go. Bora let the air she was holding out.
“Well thank you for that, but I think I’ve done enough...I’m going to take a bath.” She said as she walked the weights over to the area he had gotten them from. Hyukjae said nothing to her, but gave her a quick nod as he sat back down on the bench. Bora eagerly walked her way back to her room.
What the fuck was that? She thought to herself as she closed the door behind her. She walked to the bathroom and turned the water on, making sure it was steamy like she preferred. She began to undress, finding herself getting distracted by her thoughts. She found herself thinking of how firm his hold on her was, and the way his fingertips gently grazed her as he let her go.
She grabbed one of the bath bars Donghae had gotten her. She truly only included them on the list to annoy Hyukjae, but she figured that since they were there, then she might as well use them. She picked one that made nice smelling bubbles and dropped it in, placing her body inside at the same time. Her sore body felt the relieving sensation from the hot water and the lavender scent immediately relaxed her. She laid her head back on the rest, closing her eyes and emptying her thoughts each time Hyukjae tried to make his way back in.
“Hey are you in here?” Said a voice from the room.
Bora opened her eyes, she had drifted off. The bubbles around her had almost disappeared so it looked like she had been in there for a while.
“Yeah I’m over here, you can come in.” She answered back. Hyukjae walked in the bathroom, took one look at her and nervously turned his head away.
“Why did you tell me to come in?!” He said angrily.
“What’s the big deal, it’s not like you can see anything under this purple water.” She retorted.
“You know you take a lot of baths, and you stay in there for an awfully long time.” He said to her.
“I like being in water.” She began. “I have this recurring dream where I’m drowning, and all I see is the water around me...but for some reason it doesn’t scare me, it’s relaxing almost…I think I may have drowned in a past life or something.” Hyukjae looked at her with a serious face.
“Normally I would find that conversation strange, but coming from you, I’d say it makes a lot of sense.” He said dryly.
“Did you just come in here to tell me I bathe too much or do you have a purpose?” She said in a pointed tone.
“Donghae has been gone for a few hours.” He said to her.
“Ok...is he okay?” She said rather concerned.
“Yeah he’s fine.” He replied. “He’s been gone and you’ve been lounging in here for almost the whole day...and I was going to make instant ramen again but I don’t really feel like dealing with your backlash.” He alluded.
Bora sighed in irritation. “Can you just say that you’re hungry? It’s not that hard.” She scolded him. “Get out so I can change.” Hyukjae immediately complied to her demands. Bora emptied the tub and dried herself off, putting on the clothes she set aside earlier on the counter. She brushed her hair out, and put on some moisturizer, taking her sweet time. Hyukjae was sitting on the bed, waiting for her. He bounced his leg impatiently, but he knew better than to rush her at this point. She walked her way towards the kitchen, and he trailed closely behind her like a lost puppy dog. Bora couldn’t help but find it amusing, he became such a different person when he was hungry.
She walked up to the fridge and looked around, realizing that they were running low on their food supply.
“...so it doesn’t seem like we have much to work with right now.” She said to Hyukjae.
“I’ll go boil the water then.” He said, already walking away.
“Ugh no, wait!” She cried out. “Let’s just think for a second…” Bora knew what she wanted to ask but she was afraid to muster the words out, already knowing what his answer would be. She took a deep breath.
“What if we...go out and find something?”
Hyukjae rolled his eyes, continuing to walk away.
“Look just hear me out!” She said as she grabbed him by the wrist to stop him. “I know what you’re thinking, but really we’re in the middle of nowhere probably, so no one will be able to recognize us around here. We can keep a low profile and I’ll stay in your proximity at all times.”
“It’s not happening.” He said firmly.
“Did my workout earlier really intimidate you this much that you think I’ll be able to outrun you?” She mocked.
“I know what you’re doing...stop.” He replied. Bora sighed loudly. “I know you’re sick of being cooped up in here too, it’s not just me! I know that you don’t trust me, but just try me…you can fucking handcuff me to you for all I care...I don’t have anywhere to go anyway, I don’t know where I am.” She insisted
Hyukjae let out an exasperated sigh, clearly meddling with himself in his head. Bora was so close to getting her way, she could feel it.
“We could get meat. Fresh, juicy meat grilled right in front of us.” She continued.
“Fine.” He said. Bora immediately became ecstatic.
“But just know that I’ll be on high alert at all times, and you definitely cannot outrun me.” He warned.
“Yeah, whatever, be right back!” She yelled out as she hurried back into her room.
Bora hadn’t been this excited in weeks. Mainly because her expectations were so low lately, but still, she was finally going to get to go outside.
“You ready to go?” Hyukjae said as he approached her room. He had changed into a simple black hoodie.
“Almost.” She replied as she finished touching up her face. “Ok ready!” She said as she walked up to him.
“What are you wearing?” He questioned as he examined her from head to toe.
“What? I thought we were going to be incognito.” She said, whispering the last word. Bora had put on black jeans and an oversized black coat, she found a burgundy scarf in the bag of random clothing that Donghae gave her, and she wrapped it around her neck, lifting it over her head to further hide her face.
“You’re probably going to end up gathering more attention to be honest, but whatever, let’s go before I come to my senses.” He said hurriedly, walking towards the door.
Bora followed him to the garage where a single car was parked. To her surprise he went straight to the passenger side and opened the door for her.
“I’ve never taken you for the gentleman type.” She suggested.
“I just need to put the child lock on.” He said as he bent down in front of the door and did exactly that.
Chapter 10: First Date
The car ride there was pretty quiet, Bora kept her eyes planted on the window, looking through all the scenery around her. She of course had no idea where she was, but it was still a nice view.
“How did Donghae leave tonight if you’re taking the car?” She asked suddenly.
“He got picked up, we usually have a driver when it comes to bar business. Like the night we met you.” He replied.
“Ah yes. What an eventful night that was.” She joked. “Between the gun, the tape, or being felt up, I’m not sure which part sticks out the most.”
“Maybe the part where you sent your only chance of defense away.” He answered back.
“Would that have stopped you?” She said more seriously this time.
“Probably not. But I appreciated the fact that you made the situation less messy for me.” He replied. Bora rolled her eyes at his comment.
“Well you’re welcome for that.” She said sarcastically. “Glad I made it so convenient for you.”
“It would have been really convenient if you fell for the Donghae part...that one usually works.” He clicked his tongue.
“Believe me, I thought about it.” She said bluntly. “But that was around the time I was starting to get the hint that something was up...wish I would have figured it out sooner.” She said, saying the last part under her breath.
“There wasn’t much to figure out.” He admitted. “It’s not like we had an elaborate plan. Everything just fell into place.” Bora said nothing, but watched him intently to see if he would keep going.
“I really wasn’t supposed to be discharged that early.” He began. “My dad pulled some strings to get me out...and I just happened to be there that night. I suspected your identity immediately but I wasn’t positive...but once I was sure, I acted accordingly.”
“Hmm.” She said softly as she reflected on his words. “Well I guess you just got incredibly lucky.”
“Luck is a bit of a stretch...cause now I have you to deal with.” He teased.
Bora scoffed. “Look I may be a girl with mediocre at best looks that has no real skills or talents...but overall, I’m a pretty easy going person.”
He snorted at her comment. “Yeah...okay.” He said sarcastically. She began to open her mouth in protest when she realized he was parking the car.
“So we're going to eat, hopefully in silence, and then we’re going back to the base. That’s all...you got it?” He asked her.
“Yep.” She confirmed, but she wasn’t really listening as she was far too eager to finally be outside.
He walked out of the car first, going around and opening the door for her, since she couldn’t do it herself. She got out and two began to walk. She caught up to his fast pace and gently interlocked her arm with his. She could feel his body stiffen.
“What are you doing?” He questioned immediately.
“I just thought it would help us blend in better...plus I thought you said you wanted me to stay close.” She shrugged. Hyukjae said nothing, but did not remove his arm.
They arrived at a small outdoor food stand. Hyukjae discreetly slid into a tiny table at the farthest corner, Bora sat down next to him. They ordered their food and began to eat. Bora was in heaven, she hadn’t eaten like this in weeks and had absolutely no shame in finishing everything in front of her, Hyukjae did the same, as he was absolutely starving at this point. The two finished their meal and continued to sit at the table, waiting for the food to settle.
“You can sure eat a lot for how small you are.” He said to her randomly.
“So can you.” She shot back.
“...it’s time to go.” He said, getting up and waiting for her. She noticed him subtly extending his arm out, and a small smile formed on her face as she stood up and interlocked her arm with his. They walked back to the car, she could feel his anxiety as they headed back.
“What if we take the long way back?” She asked him suddenly.
“The long way to the car, what do you mean it’s right in front of us?” He complained.
“Yeah but we can go around… make a circle around and then come back…” She alluded
“So you want to take a walk then….” He said rolling his eyes.
“Yes. I want to walk this food off...plus it’s late and there’s no one here.” She insisted. Hyukjae brought his free hand up to his temple, he was clearly being tested.
“Fine...5 minutes...that’s all you get ok? That better be the last request for the night.” He looked right at her as he stated his demand.
“For the night? Ok.” She smiled sweetly. She held onto his arm tighter and pulled him forward, ignoring the reluctance of his walk.
They walked along a long river, which Bora stared at as they walked alongside it. She subtly turned her head towards Hyukjae. He stared at his feet as he walked, clearly lost in thought. Bora took her time to study his face while he was distracted. His face seemed a lot softer to her now that she actually got to know him, only the tattoos under his eyes and neck gave away who he truly was and why she was there.
“Can I ask a valid question?” She asked suddenly. Hyukjae sighed softly, annoyed that the silence had been broken again. “Sure.” He said firmly.
“What’s the end goal for this...what exactly are you trying to achieve against my brother?” She asked. Hyukjae took a moment to answer.
“I have a large loan that I need to resolve, and I’m getting rather desperate so that’s the main priority...” He began, his expression darkening. “Your brother, on the other hand, is a rather personal matter to me. The first time I met him I was real young, still a kid basically. I wasn’t involved in any of this yet, hardly had an understanding of it...but your brother made me understand it real clear that day. He humiliated me and beat me senseless just because of who my family was.”
“That sounds like Heechul.” She muttered, feeling guilty despite the fact that clearly, she was paying for the mistakes of her brother.
“So I guess my end goal is to go after that which he holds deepest to his heart.” He added.
“He really does love me, but I’d hardly consider myself that which he holds closest to his heart.” She beamed.
“I wasn’t talking about you.” He said bluntly. “I was talking about Old Faithful.”
“Oh.” She said, slightly embarrassed. “Actually that’s pretty accurate…wait is that why you two were frequenting it so much?”
“Yes.” He confirmed.
“Well good luck with that.” She snickered. “You may have been able to take me from him, but you’ll never be able to take Old Faithful.”
“Well...we’ll see about that. He’s been a lot more willing to reason lately.” He smirked.
“Hmm.” Bora answered back, but her eyes looked past him, noticing two men in suits, one that looked awfully familiar to her. She reacted fast, grabbing a hold of either side of his hoodie and pulling his face close to hers. Hyukjae was clearly startled and instinctively began to pull away.
“Play along.” She whispered to him. Moving her forehead to his and hiding her face. Though suspicious, Hyukjae surprisingly did as he was told. Their bodies had never been in this close of a proximity to each other, and the realization of it caused a nervous tension around them. Bora impatiently waited for the men to pass by.
They sure are taking their sweet time. She thought in her head. They were walking at a moderate pace, but her compromised position with Hyukjae made it feel like they were taking an eternity. Finally, the men passed. Bora watched them from the corner of her eye until they were far away from them. She let go of him and stepped a few feet away, Hyukjae stayed as he was, looking at her and clearly waiting for an explanation.
“I’m almost positive one of those guys work for Leeteuk.” She said to him. He looked at her with a confused look as he processed the information.
“Right. Time to go.” He said suddenly, as he grabbed her arm tightly and pulled her towards the car. Bora could see that his demeanor had changed. He opened the passenger side and she slid in, closing the door behind her. He ran to the other side, turned on the car and began to drive away.
The car ride was silent. Bora took a few opportunities to discreetly look at his face when she felt it was safe to do so, she wanted to know so badly what he was thinking. He hadn’t turned to look at her once, and his expression was his usual scowl. She felt an unexpected sadness that the night had ended so abruptly. She had a good time with him, and she was surprised that he opened up to her for once.
“Why did you do it?” She heard him question, interrupting her thoughts. Bora turned to look at him with a confused expression.
“Do what?” She questioned.
“Why did you hide from his men...if they managed to see you...you could have been free...why would you warn me like that?” He responded, seeming almost upset with her, which confused her even more.
“If they would have found us they would have skinned you alive on the spot...I’m not ready to deal with the amount of therapy I’ll need after witnessing that, so I decided to hide.” She explained, though she herself wasn’t too sure why she did what she did.
He said nothing back to her, and they arrived back at the base. Donghae entered through the front door at the same time that they did. Hyukjae let out a sigh under his breath, clearly hoping they would beat him back home so he wouldn’t have to explain himself.
“Hello…” He said with a puzzled look in his face. “Did you two go out?” He questioned.
“We didn’t have any food, so we went to find some and I took her with me to keep an eye on her...that’s all.” He said, immediately storming off to his room, eager to get away from everyone. Bora trailed behind, ignoring Donghae’s questioning glances at them as she made her way to her own room. She was also not in the mood to explain the situation.
“I’m going to bed.” She called out as she closed the door behind her. She didn’t even bother to turn on the light as she threw herself on the bed, feeling the intensity of her conflicting emotions.
“I don’t want to hear it Hae.” Hyukjae said firmly to his partner as he walked into the room. He was sitting at his desk, fumbling with a pen as he fought through his frustrations.
“I didn’t say anything.” Donghae replied nonchalantly, making his way to the center of the room and sitting on the floor.
“How did it go.” Hyukjae asked him.
“It went fine...you’re all caught up for the next three
months, but after that they’ll be expecting payment again…they’ll be expecting the rest.” He replied.
“Of course.” He said with a cold voice. The two sat in silence for a moment, Donghae continued to sit in his room and patiently waited him out.
“I know you think I’ve gone soft for her but believe me, it’s not that.” Hyukjae began.
“I didn’t say anything.” Donghae smirked.
“I just don’t get her...she’s so manipulative...and she gets a chance to escape today, and she didn’t take it. She never does anything that’s in her best interest...that’s how she ended up here in the first place. She’s irritating and it makes no sense.” He continued.
“Does it really not make any sense to you?” Donghae replied.
“I don’t know what you’re trying to imply.” He gritted out.
“Right. Well, it seems like you have things to work out with yourself, so I’m going to let you be.” Donghae answered as he made his way out the door. He placed his arm on the doorframe and looked back once more to him. “I will say one thing Hyuk. Like you said in your own words….if you touch her in any way...even if it’s consensual, and he finds out, then all negotiations are off, and all of this would be for nothing...you’ve got three months to work this out...otherwise you’ll be in debt with Kwan for life.”
Hyukjae said nothing back, he balled his hands into fists as he began to feel even more rage. Donghae walked out the door, leaving him alone with his thoughts. He wasn't even sure who he was really upset with, mostly himself for giving in to her in the first place. The more he thought about it the angrier he got. He was doing so much better the last few days, but now he knew that he could no longer risk letting his guard down...she was too unpredictable. He let out a hard punch towards his desk, which was already dented from the numerous times he had done so in the past. The more he tried to not think about her, the more she lingered in his mind.
Chapter 11: Bound
Excited for this comeback so posting the next chapter. TW: manhandling, aggressive, kidnapping, bdsm, please be advised before proceeding!
“...you okay?” Donghae said to Bora, bringing her back to reality.
“Hmmm? Oh yeah I’m fine.” She insisted as they finished up their meal. It was the next morning, and Hyukjae had still not joined them for breakfast. Bora
barely grazed at her plate as she anxiously waited for him, holding on to her mug of black coffee tightly as she listened for any movement coming from the direction of his room. She didn’t know why she was so nervous. She practically saved his life as far as she was concerned, so he had absolutely no reason to be upset with her.
She heard his door open, and she immediately shot up, almost spilling her coffee on herself. He slowly made his way over to them, and Bora instinctually read his face.
Fuck. She thought in her head. The look on his face reflected that he was once again in a terrible mood. He looked like he had not been able to sleep all night. The bags under his eyes were extremely apparent, making him look sick, and his hair was once again left alone in an unkempt manner.
Don’t even try to talk to him. Just leave him alone and go about your day. She thought in her head, but her nervous energy was picking up and she knew that her impulsive nature would kick in soon.
“You look awful. Did you sleep at all?” She asked him, realizing she probably could have used better words as soon as they came out.
“Not really.” He answered back, placing his hands on his head as he leaned into them.
“Here I’ll get you some food so you can eat and then go back to bed.” She said as she hurriedly got up from her seat.
“Stop. It’s fine, I don’t need your help.” He said under his breath.
“It’s not a big deal.” She insisted. “I’ll be back-“
“Stop.” He said again, a little more defensive this time. She sat back down defeated, feeling the urge to help despite the fact that he didn’t want it.
“Why couldn’t you sleep?” She asked him.
“Look, I really don’t feel like talking about it.” He sighed out. Bora could tell he was trying hard to keep his cool. She continued to stare at his tired state, feeling almost guilty, as if she had caused this somehow. She moved her eyes down his body until she noticed the intense bruising of his knuckles.
“When did that happen?” She questioned suddenly. Hyukjae looked up and noticed what she was referring to.
“Don’t worry about it, i’m fine.” He gritted out, hiding his bruised hands away and urging her to drop it.
“Did you do that to yourself?” She continued to persist, ignoring his irritated body language entirely. Hyukjae said nothing to her in response.
“We need to wrap it up.” She said as she rushed over to him and reached for his hand. Hyukjae winced as he pulled away from her touch.
“Don’t touch me!” He shouted at her, causing her to stumble backwards. “You think that you can help me? You can’t even help yourself. Worry about your own pathetic life and leave me the fuck alone.” He added as he stormed off into his room, slamming the door behind him.
Bora stood stunned. She knew she was being annoying but she wasn’t expecting him to yell at her so harshly. As the initial shock settled, she found herself becoming upset. She had such a breakthrough with him yesterday, and now he was back to his old self.
“Are you okay?” Donghae said once again, completely unphased by Hyukjae’s outburst. Bora jumped as she heard his voice, having forgotten that he was still in the room.
“I’m fine.” She claimed, as she headed back into the kitchen. Her emotions were getting the best of her, but she was done acting the helpless part. The old phone she noticed the day before was still there, and she quickly grasped it and stuffed it down her underwear. It was the only place she thought she could hide it effectively, and she discreetly walked back to her room, waking slowly and hoping to go unnoticed.
She reached her room and closed the door behind her, relieved that no one had questioned her along the way. She went straight to the bathroom and locked the door, turning on the bathtub at its highest setting to drown out any noise. She yanked the phone out and examined it. It was for sure an old brick, and she knew the chances of it working were slim to none. She pressed on the power button and waited. The phone didn’t even budge remotely. She sighed and hid it on the floor, taking off all her clothes and wrapping them around it.
She placed her body into the bathtub and contemplated her next move. Maybe there was something around the house that used the same charger? But even if she managed to turn it on what could she really do? It’s not like she could turn the location on and share it somehow, she was not techy in the slightest and had no idea how she would do that with such an old model. She also realized she didn’t even know Heechul’s number by heart.
She sighed loudly in frustration, having no idea what she was doing. She found herself thinking about Hyukjae again, now that her initial anger had passed. He seemed so different today, she had obviously seen him in a bad mood before, plenty of times, but this was different. He didn’t immediately lash out at her, and in fact, he seemed to be trying hard not to, warning her even. She closed her eyes as she became more frustrated with herself. Why am I like this? She thought in her head, why couldn’t she just leave him alone like she told herself in the first place?
She decided that she would not leave the room today, she would stay away and avoid him for the rest of the day, hoping he’d get over his mood tomorrow. She exited the bathtub and dried herself off, putting on new clothes she had placed on the counter. She looked through the pile on the floor and grabbed the phone, looking around for a place to hide it. There were plenty of cabinets she could store it in, but her nerves were getting the best of her. She stuffed it back into her underwear, decided to hold on to it until she found a better hiding spot. She opened the door and headed back into the room. She gasped in surprise when she noticed that Hyukjae was in her room, sitting on her bed and waiting for her.
“What are you doing here?” She said to him, hoping he was there to apologize for yelling at her earlier.
“Where is it.” He said in a cold voice. Bora’s heart sank. He knew.
“What are you talking about?” She replied, choosing to play dumb. Hyukjae stood up from the bed and pushed past her, looking through all the cabinets in a brash manner as he pulled everything out. Bora slowly walked out. She looked around in a panic, trying to find a spot to hide it without him noticing. No matter where she decided, she knew he would eventually find it. She looked at the open door and contemplated making a run for it. Maybe she could get to the kitchen, and place it where she found it without him noticing? She cursed herself at how stupid her plan was, but she had no other options. If he found it on her, she was dead.
She slowly tiptoed out of the room, but she could hear his fumbling stop. That’s when she picked up her pace and hurried out towards the kitchen. He was too fast for her, bolting towards her the second he realized she was trying to leave. He grabbed her by the waist and pulled her back. Bora fought against his grasp, if she was gonna get caught, she definitely wouldn’t let it happen without a fight. Hyukjae aggressively threw her on the bed and pinned her body down with his legs: She flailed intensely under him, fighting to get him off of her. She saw his eyes dart down to her lower body, noticing the slight indent through her clothing. With one fluid movement he reached his hand down, immediately finding the hidden object and pulling it out. Bora stopped moving. She turned her face away from him, scared to look him in the eye now that she was caught red handed.
He slowly climbed off of her. Walking out the door unceremoniously, as he closed it behind him. Bora continued to lay about, confused by his lack of a reaction. She knew better than to trust it though, and knew it was only a matter of time before he came back to ruin her.
“Can I come in?” Said the voice behind the door, gently knocking.
“Ya.” She said calmly. She still hadn’t moved from the spot Hyukjae had left her in earlier. Donghae entered her room and sat at the corner of her bed. Waiting for her to speak first as he usually did.
“On a scale from 1-10, how pissed is he right now?” She asked him.
“I’m not really sure...He locked himself in his room and won’t talk to me...so I think it’s safe to give it a good 8-9.” He answered her.
Bora sighed. “I really fucked up this time Hae.”
“What exactly was your plan with that broken phone?” He asked
“I didn’t have one...I’m sure you haven’t noticed but I usually don’t think things all the way through…” She replied in a dry tone.
“No, I don’t think I’ve noticed.” He said sarcastically.
“...Do you think he’ll ever talk to me again?” She asked after a couple of seconds of silence. Donghae couldn’t help but laugh.
“Is that what you’re worried about?” He answered. “I don’t think he’ll have a choice.” Bora said nothing, and as she continued to talk about it, she found herself becoming emotional.
“I’m gonna go try to talk to him again, convince him that you had no real ulterior motive or something.” Donghae said as he stood up. “Don’t worry about it, he’ll get over it, it wasn’t a big deal.”
“Okay.” She said softly, wanting to believe him but knowing how unpredictable Hyukjae’s temper was. She had no idea what to do next. A part of her wanted to apologize, but for what? It wouldn’t change anything, she messed everything up and now he won’t be able trust her anymore. A sadness filled her insides as she said those words in her head, not knowing why they made her so sad. For the first time ever, she wished for him to barge back into her room, and give her a chance to be able to explain herself.
She ended up drifting off as she thought about him, ending up sleeping the whole night and not waking up until the next morning. She opened her eyes after waking and for a split second she had forgotten the events of the day before. The memories soon began to drift back in fast, causing a sinking feeling in her stomach. She got up and decided to shower, hoping it would make her feel better. She turned the dial as hot as she could bear it and entered in, taking the longest shower of her life.
When she was done, she wrapped a towel around herself and began to dry her hair. She once again decided she wouldn’t leave the room today, they could have instant ramen today for all she cared. She would wait the situation out for as long as possible, knowing that it would take him some time to get over it.
She exited the bathroom and gasped loudly once more. Hyukjae was once again sitting on her bed, looking just as sleep deprived and upset as he was the day before.
“You know it wouldn’t hurt to knock sometime?” She yelled at him, feeling irritated and not caring that he was already upset with her.
“Put this on.” He said to her as he tossed her a light article of clothing. Bora grabbed the item and looked at what it was, confused when she unraveled a black slip. It wasn’t overly revealing, but it was sheer with black lace to hide her intimate parts.
“What the hell is this?” She questioned in an outrage.
“I’m not gonna ask again.” He warned, before turning around and exiting.
Bora’s mind went into a panic, what could he possibly be thinking about doing that would require her to wear such a thing? She reluctantly dropped the towel and began to put it on, fearing that his warning was serious and that he would place it on her himself if she didn’t. He hadn’t done anything to make her feel uncomfortable in the past, at least not in that way. If anything he went a bit too far the other direction, giving her the impression that he didn’t even see her as a woman. She looked at herself in the mirror after placing it on, immediately feeling self conscious. She could hear the door open again and Hyukjae walked straight to her. He took one look at her and turned his face away. Bora could see that his face no longer showed the anger from earlier, now he was completely expressionless.
“Follow me.” He said firmly as he turned around and began to walk out. Bora did as she was told, her nervousness picking up with each step they took. He led her out in the main living room. She noticed a couple of empty bottles of alcohol laying about as she passed by.
“Sit.” He said to her as they reached the corner of the room. She hesitated as she sat on her knees, and that’s when she noticed the rope he brought out from the side. She made a futile attempt to get away from him, but he grabbed her before she could, pinning her arms behind her back. Bora thrashed hard to fight him off.
“Stop.” He warned, as he tightened the knot around her wrists.
“Why are you doing this?” She exclaimed angrily.
“Someone is coming over and I need to actually make it look like you’re a hostage.” He replied to her.
“I am a hostage.” She gritted between her teeth, but she stopped fighting him. He moved the rope up around her forearms behind her, and made another knot. She saw no point in asking him who would be coming over, so she stayed silent. Hyukjae began to wrap the rope right below her breasts, tying it tightly and causing her to jerk up. He moved down to her legs and tied her upper thighs together, following with her ankles.
As he tightened the last knot, he picked himself off and walked away from her, moving to the middle of the room as he began to pace nervously. Bora watched him suspiciously, something was very wrong, she could feel it at the pit of her stomach.
She could hear Donghae exiting his room. He made his way straight to Hyukjae and fearlessly went up to his face. He was furious...and it was not something she was used to seeing from him, if ever.
“Just to let you know. I won’t be sitting around here and watch you use her as bait. You’re being a fucking idiot.” He shouted at him.
“Then leave.” He countered in a cold voice, looking directly at him and straightening himself out in the same threatening stance.
“If you go through with this, I’m done helping you...I’ll do everything in my power to get her out and I will consider you an enemy. You decide if that’s something you’re willing to deal with.” He warned as he stormed out of the house. Bora’s fear went through the roof. What exactly was he planning on doing to her?
“What is he talking about.” She commanded, her voice shaking as she spoke.
“What is he talking about!” She shouted louder this time. He continued to ignore her.
“Hyukjae!” She said once more, as her tone became more desperate. An uncomfortable silence lingered in the air after she said his name, both realizing it was the first time she had said it out loud. He walked his way over to her and crouched down to her level, reaching for his back pocket. He revealed a white bandana and Bora immediately pulled herself back, realizing his intention. After a short struggle, he managed to force it between her lips, tying it tightly and ending her questioning. He lowered his body and sat on the floor close to her, placing his head in his hands as he ignored her glares, clearly troubled by his actions.
A knock from the outside interrupted both of their thoughts. Bora could feel herself start to hyperventilate. Hyukjae’s composure changed immediately, he straightened himself out and began to walk to the door.
She found it almost amazing how quickly he had changed back into his confident, intimidating demeanor. She knew better, and now she knew that it was always an act.
Hyukjae came back after a few seconds with a man she had never seen before. He was much larger than him, and looked like he could easily snap someone in half, but his face appeared kind, and she found herself not nearly as afraid as she felt she should be.
“Well I must say, I really like what you’ve done with the place.” The man said out loud as he walked towards her, examining her closely.
“Shindong, this is Kim Bora, the youngest daughter of Kim Jongsoo.” Hyukjae said to him.
“Very pretty.” He said with a smile as he attempted to get closer to her. Hyukjae immediately jumped in front of her and made a motion for him to stay back. Shindong snickered as he backed away, nodding to him in understanding. “You seem rather protective, for someone so eager to get rid of her.”
“I’m not protecting her, I just know her worth.” He said coldly.
“I’d say you’re pretty right about that.” Shindong began. “With who her father is...Kwan would definitely be interested in taking her off your hands.” He said to Hyukjae. He stayed silent, but she could see him tensing up after the mention of Kwan.
“That is why you brought me over...correct?” Shindong questioned him. “From what I can see, if you offer her to him, he’d take over all the negotiations with her family... and possible clear you from your debt, or at least most of it...which is the purpose behind all this to begin with.”
“What would he do with her?” Hyukjae asked him.
“He’d keep her in one piece...but other than that I can’t really make any promises.” He answered sincerely.
Bora processed the situation. She couldn’t believe she had almost convinced herself that he was actually a good person. Here he was trying to sell her off to a dangerous man all because she stole a broken phone? She could feel the angry tears forming, and she fought hard to fight them back. Hyukjae remained in his silent pondering, clearly fighting internally with himself. Minutes had gone by and he still said nothing.
“So what will it be, would you like me to get Kwan involved?” Shindong asked again.
“No.” Hyukjae answered back boldly, making his stance clear.
An eerie silence filled the room after his reply. A smile formed on Shindong’s face as he began to walk out. He walked right up to Hyukjae, and began to say his final words. “You’re a good kid...I knew you would never go through with this...but you don’t want to end like me, a slave to Kwan for life...Get yourself out of this.” He said as he placed his hand on his shoulder.
“You know where I stand, your location is safe with me, and I’ll never say anything without your approval…you know where to find me if you need me.” He said as he began to walk towards the door.
Hyukjae locked the door and disappeared into the other room, leaving Bora alone to contemplate what had just happened. She was relieved he didn’t go through with his plan, but all the fear she was feeling had now turned into anger, and now she was livid. He really threw this whole spectacle just to prove how easily he could dispose himself of her.
He walked back into the room with another bottle in his hand, drinking straight from it as he sat on the floor across from her, avoiding her glare. Bora was fuming. She began to struggle against the ropes, moving her body back and forth and causing her slip to rise up.
“Stop doing that.” He demanded, but she could tell he was trying real hard not to look at her. She struggled even harder, heaving her chest out and moving her body in an exaggerated manner, knowing exactly what she was doing. He placed the bottle on the floor and reached for her, pinning her down on her back as he hovered over her.
“You just get off on fucking me with me every day don’t you?” He shouted as he pulled her gag down.
“Yes, that’s exactly what I do everyday. I wake up every morning and think about the best way to ruin your day.” She spat back at him as he removed himself from her.
“Why are you taking this so personal?!” You think I’m enjoying being held against my will and eating ramen with you every day? Of course I would try to get out!” She added.
“Then why didn’t you escape when you had a chance!” He yelled at her.
“Because I’m an idiot!” She replied. “At the moment, I felt that you weren’t as terrible of a human being as I originally thought you to be...so I decided that you didn’t deserve to be handled by Leeteuk’s men...clearly I was wrong.”
Hyukjae scoffed as he sat back down, taking a long swig from the bottle. Bora watched him as he drank, waiting for the inevitable insult coming her way.
“I have no idea what I’m doing.” He said in a sincere tone, laying his head back against the wall behind him. Bora stared in confusion, not expecting this from him. “You think I wanted to do this? I don’t have a choice...this is the life I was born into.” He added as he took another drink.
“You have a choice...just let me go.” She responded. “You’ll never be able to win against my brother...he has managed to get his way every single time, his whole life. You...are not like him.” Hyukjae looked up at her, intrigued by the last thing she said.
“I can tell that you’re not really cut out for this...my brother would never hesitate to sell your sister off if it benefited him to do so in any way...I love him, but he puts himself first all the time...that’s why he has what he has...and why you don’t.” She added. Hyukjae stayed silent, but she could see a subtle hint of sadness had hit him.
“I’m sorry…” He began. “I want to let you go, but you’re my only way out.”
“Only way out of what?” She replied, taking advantage of the fact that he was drinking and willing to talk to her.
Hyukjae sighed. “I tried to stay away from this life as long as I could. I knew I didn’t have much of an option...my father made It clear that I would eventually need to take over, despite the fact that I wanted nothing to do with it.” He began, taking another drink as he prepared himself to continue. “I tried to stay low, but trouble always found me...your brother, others, and then my sister met a man that was no good. I needed to get her out, and I needed to keep her safe. Out of desperation I made a deal with a man called Kwan. I was young and I didn’t know better. He got rid of the problem for me but now I owe him and my time is running out. If I don’t pay him soon then he’ll own me for life.”
“So he’s a loan shark then?” Bora asked.
“He’s one of the most powerful men around...lots of business, multiple banks paying to him...those that know better stay as far from his path as possible.” He said bitterly.
“Your father won’t help you?” She asked him.
Hyukjae let out an amused chuckle. “You don’t know my father.” He replied as he took another drink.
“I guess I don’t…” She pondered silently. “Will he kill you...if you don’t pay him in time?”
“I wish that was the case…” He began. “But he won’t...I’m worth more alive than dead to him. He’ll use me for the rest of my life to make sure he doesn’t get his hands dirty, using my family’s connections for his benefit.” He sighed loudly. “That’s the situation for everyone that works under him.”
Bora nodded in understanding, not sure of what to say next. The two sat in a rather comfortable silence. Hyukjae extended the bottle out and offered it to her. She nodded again and he moved closer to her, placing the bottle in her mouth and helping her drink in her compromised state.
“I guess you’re just gonna have to kill him then.” She said after swallowing. He smiled softly at her comment, both knowing it said more of a joke than anything serious.
“I’ve definitely thought about it...but killing him would bring far more problems than it’s worth. I’d be doing a lot of people a huge favor...but if I managed to get rid of him, then I’d have to spend my whole life paying for it anyway...then I’ll never be free.” He answered. Bora had nothing else to say, she knew there was nothing she could offer that he hadn’t already thought about.
“Are you planning on untying me today, or is this how you’re gonna leave it.” She said to him, changing the subject.
“I haven’t decided yet.” He replied with a subtle smirk. He took another drink and moved closer to her, grabbing a hold of the knot holding her ankles together.
“Don’t you always carry a knife on you?” She said to him.
“I do.” He replied in a short manner.
“You should use it…it would be a lot faster.” She said condescendingly.
“I’m pretty fast at undoing them.” He replied with an annoyed look on his face.
“...Not as fast as a knife.” She insisted. Hyukjae rolled his eyes and reached for the gag again, placing it between her lips before going back to what he was doing.
“You are extremely irritating.” He said as he moved on to the next knot. Bora gave him an unapologetic shrug.
“I can undo them pretty fast...I used to do it all the time as a kid...tying and untying knots over and over again until I calmed down.” He explained.
Though she found his story a little strange, she was intrigued by him talking about his life. She figured it was something he didn’t do often. He said nothing else as he worked, and remained focused on the movement of his fingers. He was indeed quick, undoing each knot effortlessly before moving onto the next. As he moved further up her body, an unexplainable tension filled her. She could feel each swift graze of his fingertips on her body. He moved to the knot below her chest, and she held her breath, feeling the tension between the two even stronger. He undid this knot the fastest, quickly moving behind her back as he untied her hands and the gag in her mouth. He released her and went back to where he was sitting earlier, taking the bottle again and continuing his drinking.
She shook herself from all the ropes and sat firmly next to him as he extended the bottle to her again. She gladly accepted, taking a long, hard drink. She shuddered as she swallowed, realizing she took too big of a drink.
“You should have mentioned that I was a virgin...then you would really be out of debt.” She said to him after handing the bottle back. Hyukjae choked on his drink.
“Are you serious?” He asked.
“No...but it’s sure been long enough.” She replied dryly. He chuckled lightly at her comment.
“Reminiscing about your body guard again?” He asked in a dry tone. Bora stared at him with a blank expression on her face.
“How did you know...I mean, how did you know he was my last?” She asked in disbelief.
“I could tell...I had to observe you all pretty closely that night you know...I knew you were lying to me when you denied him being your boyfriend.” He teased.
“I didn’t lie!” She defended herself. “It was only a short fling a while back...nothing came out of it, he got over me immediately.” She said bitterly.
“That’s also not true.” He said bluntly.
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“I could see the way he looked at you while you were with Donghae...he was clearly bothered, and probably the reason he continued to drink himself stupid...he’s definitely not over you.” He explained to her.
“Oh...That’s actually kinda sweet…” She replied as she took another drink. “I should call him.” She said again and the two broke out into a comfortable laughter.
Though she had a lot less than he did, Bora was already feeling the effects from the alcohol. Hyukjae was feeling them too, though not nearly as much as she did. They talked about nothing at all, spewing random nonsense to each other as if they were just any old pair of friends. Eventually, they finished the entire bottle, and Hyukjae quickly replaced it with another, deciding that he would forget his problems for this night, and drag Bora along with him.
“Let me see your hand.” Bora said out of nowhere as he began to drink from the second bottle. She reached for his arm and caught him by surprise.
“No.” He said, as he pulled himself away from her.
“I’m not going to try to wrap it, just let me see it.” She insisted.
Hyukjae let out an exasperated sigh and gave in, reluctantly extending his hand out to her. Bora grabbed a hold of it and examined it closely. His bruising was bad, as if he had continuously hurt it all night. She found herself remembering the gentleness of his fingertips as he untied her earlier, contrasting the roughness of his hands. She took note of every single bruise, every tattoo he had, and as she began to scan his long slender fingers...she felt a sudden urge to feel them on her again.
She swallowed hard as she attempted to push the thought away, knowing that it was the alcohol making her feel this way, and not letting her think clearly. She lifted her eyes to look at him, and noticed that he was already looking at her. A spark ran through her body, and she found her impulsiveness kicking in again. She figured that neither had anything to lose at this point, and without thinking, she slowly pulled his hand towards her, leading it up to her neck until his fingers met with her skin. She could see his eyes following the trail of his fingers, but he did not attempt to pull back. She closed her eyes as he began to trace his fingertips lightly along her collarbone.
He moved his hand lower, reaching the top of her chest and tracing the outline of them as their breathing intensified. She braced herself as he moved lower, but she could feel his hand stiffening. She knew he was holding himself back from going any further. She opened her eyes and watched as he turned his face away from her, pulling away gently as he regained his control.
“You’re drunk…you should go to bed.” He said to her in a quiet, direct tone. Bora felt hurt from the rejection, which in turn made her react in a defensive manner.
“So are you…I don’t see what the big deal is.” She replied to him.
“I’m not that drunk.” He answered back.
His words stung her, and although she tried hard to hide it, it was apparent in her face and her lack of a response.
“I didn’t mean it that way.” He began.
“Then how did you mean it?” She scolded, needing an explanation for her hurt ego.
“I have my reasons..but it has nothing to do with you personally. Under different circumstances...I probably wouldn’t hesitate, but I just can’t...” He continued.
“Whatever.” She replied, but her irritation was soon replaced by a churning feeling in her stomach...she felt sick. Without saying anything, she sprung to her feet, walking back to her room as fast as she could in her current state. She stumbled all the way over, walking into the bathroom and getting on her knees, waiting for the inevitable to come out.
She felt like she had been throwing up for hours. It had been a couple of weeks since she had been able to touch alcohol, and she wasn’t even sure how much she had drank at that point. She hastily reached for the sink, grabbing her toothbrush and aggressively brushing the taste away. Once she was done, she stumbled back into her room. She had every intention to get into bed and forget the night, but only half her body made it, as she laid her head down on the corner of the bed, finding herself in a familiar position from when she first arrived at this place.
“You’re aware that you could just sleep on the bed like a normal person right…” Said a voice that had entered in.
“Leave me alone.” She replied to the voice, not able to muster the strength to open her eyes. Without warning, she felt herself being picked up. She groaned from the movement, but she was quickly placed down on the bed. She thought about how much more comfortable she felt as a blanket was placed over her body. A couple of seconds was all it took before her mind blacked out completely.
A little tease, but we’re getting there. ;)
Bora had no idea how long she had slept for, but when she opened her eyes the next morning she was immediately hit by a raging headache. She groaned as she laid her head back down, feeling absolutely miserable. She turned her body to her other side when a figure caught her eye.
Hyukjae was in the room with her. He sat on the floor, head leaning up against the bed, eyes closed as he slept rather peacefully. Bora was confused as to why he had stayed, but watched him intriguingly for a short moment before remembering how awful she was feeling. She thought about tiptoeing out to the bathroom, hoping he wasn’t a light sleeper. But as she carefully grabbed the sheet off of her, he already began to stir. His eyes shot open and immediately turned towards her direction.
“Well good morning.” She said in an overly exaggerated cheery tone. Hyukjae ignored her and began to stretch his body out from the less than comfortable position he had slept in.
“Why are you still here?” She asked him.
“I don’t know, I sat down and fell asleep without realizing.” He replied, rubbing his temple with his hands. “I’m going back to bed.” He said as he attempted to lift himself up, visibly struggling.
“You could just sleep here…” She alluded, eyes darting to the side to avoid eye contact. “I don’t mind.”
Without even thinking about it, Hyukjae slowly hunched his way over to the opposite side of her bed, laying down and facing the opposite direction of her. She could see his body unclench as he quickly drifted back to sleep.
Bora giggled under her breath, feeling incredibly amused. She laid herself back down as well, and figured that an extra hour of sleep wouldn’t hurt her.
“Ahem.” Said a loud voice coming from the direction of the door.
Bora’s head shot up a little too fast, as she immediately felt the repercussions from the movement. Her eyes met with Donghae’s confused state, as he examined the situation they were in.
“I tried knocking but no one was answering...so I let myself in just to make sure no one was dead.” He said in a matter of fact tone.
“I’m sorry, I had quite a night last night.” She answered back.
“Apparently.” He replied. At this, Hyukjae dragged himself out of her bed, making his way out the door without saying anything to anyone. He pushed past Donghae, the two shooting a quick glare at each other before he passed. He walked back straight to his room and slammed the door behind him.
“Well I’ll let you get yourself cleaned up.” He said as he exited her room.
Bora sighed loudly and covered her head with the pillow. She thought about how weird the look they gave each other was as she wasn’t used to them fighting. The memories of the night before slowly began to flood back into her mind. She remembered Hyukjae trying to sell her off, pissing off Donghae and causing him to storm off. Then she remembered them drinking together, and most importantly, she remembered making a pass at him, which he quickly rejected.
Bora groaned loudly into the pillow, feeling incredibly embarrassed by her actions. She hoped that he didn’t remember the situation, but she knew it wasn’t likely.
She reflected back on her actions, feeling confusion as to why she had come on to him in the first place. She remembered how attracted she was to Donghae the first night she had met him, even debating leaving with him and forgetting Heechul’s plan. Of course that was all thrown out the window the minute she realized his intentions. But now they were...friends? Maybe...and she hadn’t even thought about the idea of her and Donghae being intimate ever since that night. She still found him attractive, but she had grown to appreciate his kind, sweet personality in a platonic way, and she knew that he felt the same.
But then there was Hyukjae, who was the complete opposite of sweet and kind. She still didn’t consider him a bad person, and as she got to know him better his hard exterior began to break down, showing moments of vulnerability. She found his stoic, quiet personality intriguing, and she yearned to break it down even more. Then there was the attractive factor. In no way did she find him unattractive, she knew this from the start, even despite the way he had treated her initially. She thought about his strong jaw, and his firm slender build. Then she thought about the way she had managed to make him crack a smile every now and then, though he tried so hard to fight it. Her mind shot back the image of his hand on her chest, and she began to flail wildly as she fought with herself to stop thinking about him in that way.
She repeated over and over again in her head that the only reason she acted in that way was because of how long it had been since she’s last been touched. She forced herself to get up and headed straight to the shower. She looked at herself in the mirror and realized that she was still wearing the slip from the night before, forgetting entirely how little clothing she had on. She aggressively threw the slip off of her and hurried into the shower, choosing a colder setting this time around.
“Hey.” Bora said casually to the two guys already at the dining table. Hyukjae barely nodded towards her direction.
“I’ve already eaten, but you look like you need something fast. What can I get started for you?” He asked her.
“Instant ramen.” She answered quickly. The two of them stared back at her in confusion.
“What?” She answered defensively. “I’m hung over.”
“Okay, I’ll be right back.” He replied, disappearing into the kitchen. Hyukjae and Bora were left alone, and she tried hard to not think about her thoughts from earlier, but being around him was making her feel nervous.
“...Do you remember last night?” He asked her, hesitating for a second.
“I remember you trying to sell me off to a dangerous man...I remember drinking, and that’s all.” She confidently lied. Hyukjae nodded towards her comment, but his facial expressions confirmed to Bora that he most likely remembered what followed after.
Donghae came back to the table holding one instant ramen that he slid over to Bora’s direction. Hyukjae gave him a look before walking over to the kitchen himself. He came back and the two ate their ramen in silence, with Donghae just sitting there. She was no longer thinking about her sexual frustrations as she was focused solely on their fight and how uncomfortable it made her.
“...So I don’t mean to get involved-“ She began.
“Then don’t.” Hyukjae cut her off, immediately catching her drift.
“But I’m going to anyway.” She continued, giving him a look. “Hae, I know Hyukjae has been acting completely unreasonable the last couple of days, but we talked it out and I completely forgive him for his actions.”
“You forgive me? You started this!” He retorted.
“No YOU started this. If you learned how to control your temper, none of this would have happened.” She replied. Hyukjae didn’t reply immediately but she could see that he was losing patience.
“I warned you repeatedly to leave me alone.” He said to her. Donghae stared at them quietly, amused by their banter.
“Fine.” She answered back. “I’ll work on it...I apologize for annoying you.” She stated. Hyukjae stared at her in irritation for a moment before slinking back into his seat and letting out a long sigh.
“I’m sorry too.” He said quietly after a few seconds. Bora gave him a small nod, taking what she could get from him.
“...are we good?” Hyukjae began to say, but Bora could tell he was no longer talking to her, his face had turned to look at Donghae.
“I don’t know Hyuk. I’m getting pretty tired of the way you are acting… why have me around if you don’t intend to actually listen to me…” He replied. Bora’s eyes darted back and forth between the two, completely glued to their drama.
“Well I obviously did listen...she’s still here right?” He said in an unapologetic manner. “I think she has more of a reason to be upset with me than you do, and yet she’s over it.”
“Well you’re still the third person on my hit list, so I wouldn’t celebrate too early.” She interrupted them. Hyukjae ignored her comment and waited for Donghae’s reply.
“Fine. But I’m not dealing with this again. She stays here until we give her back to her family, no more impulsive, emotional outbursts or I’m out. Are we clear?” He said firmly to Hyukjae. He nodded in agreement as he looked at the floor, looking almost ashamed of himself. Bora was amazed at how easily Donghae kept him in check. Their chemistry was apparent, and she could tell they needed each other equally.
“...Number three?” Hyukjae turned to look at Bora, changing the subject. “Who’s number one?” He said to her in an offended manner.
“Heechul.” She said matter of factly.
“Who’s number two?” He asked again.
“Kyuhyun.” She answered again.
“Alright, that’s fair...where does Donghae place?” He replied.
“Donghae isn’t on my list.” She said cheerfully, extending her hand out for a high five, which Donghae gladly took before heading back into his room, leaving Hyukjae as he rolled his eyes at them.
The next few days followed the same pattern from before the big blowout. Bora’s relationship with Hyukjae was still improving. Their strong personalities still had them butting heads every now and then but their energy had been different ever since that night.
Bora was sure he did not see her in that way, she had to convince herself of that often to stop from overthinking the situation. When she found herself thinking of him, she’d focus her energy on working out or bathing, which were some of the very few things she was able to do anyway. She knew there was always an option of releasing her sexual frustrations, but she refused to do so, feeling that If she were to give in to the urges, she would in turn have to accept that she wanted him.
This was the thought she had going in her mind when she heard loud debating coming from the other room. Curious as ever, Bora headed to the direction of the conversation. The two boys were animated, and deeply contemplating a situation, Hyukjae was pacing back and forth as he usually did when he was overwhelmed.
“Are you really not confident in your English?” He said to Donghae.
“It’s better than yours but it’s still not good enough to translate...you need to get someone else involved. What about that politician that your family is involved with?” He replied.
“Choi Siwon? He won’t have the time for this, we need to find someone with a less busy schedule...” He answered back.
“What’s going on?” Bora finally intruded, intrigued by the dilemma.
“We have a potential investor for our bar…he’d be able to help us out quite a bit if we manage to talk him into it...but he’s American. He asked if we spoke English and Hyukjae told him yes, hoping that he’d be able to figure it out by the time he came down…and now he’s here...and we still don’t have that part figure out.” He said towards Hyukjae, emphasizing the last sentence.
“If only you knew someone that spoke English.” She teased in a condescending manner, knowing there was an opportunity for her to take into her hands.
Donghae and Hyukjae both stopped their movement, as if they both suddenly remembered that they indeed had an English speaker under their roof. Donghae turned to look at Hyukjae with an eager look in his eyes.
“Absolutely not, are you fucking kidding me?” He shouted to him.
“We don’t have another option Hyuk, plus she has experience...and she can be pretty persuasive about it...I don’t think it’s that terrible of an idea.” He attempted to convince him.
“Excuse me, I haven’t agreed to anything. The last time I played the honey pot role I ended up getting kidnapped...so I’m not necessarily jumping at this opportunity.” She commanded.
“Well good, because I don’t need you.” Hyukjae retorted.
“Are you sure?” She said in the same condescending manner. “Cause it kind of sounds like you do...but just to let you know I don’t intend on doing it for free.”
Hyukjae scoffed loudly. “Great, can you leave us alone now?”
“What are your terms?” Donghae interjected suddenly.
“Don’t be an idiot, she’s going to ask us to let her go, or something else she knows is not gonna happen.” He replied.
Bora took a moment to speak. A smug smile formed on her face as she said the words out loud.
“I want my necklace back.”
Hyukjae began to laugh loudly at her reply. “Are you serious...YOUR necklace?” He shouted at her. “It’s not yours to give back, I made that perfectly clear, so stop wasting my time.”
“It’s not yours either.” Donghae chimed in. “If anything it belongs to me...he was my father.”
“Do you want it back then?” He sneered at him.
“I don’t...but if she wants it and she’s willing to potentially get us out of this outrageous amount of debt we have because of you...then she can have it.” He said in a cold manner, keeping his cool.
Hyukjae began to pace again rapidly, knowing he was losing this argument and uncomfortable with that fact. Bora remained quietly watching them, ecstatic that she had the upper hand in this situation.
“Let me know if you need me.” She said in a casual tone, making her way out of the room to give them the opportunity to debate without her. She casually walked to the kitchen and began to brew herself a cup of coffee, keeping an ear out in an attempt to hear their conversation. She could hear their muttering here and there, Hyukjae’s a little louder since he was already on edge.
She could hear their footsteps heading towards her direction as she proceeded to make her coffee.
“All you are doing tonight is translating, is that clear? You will let me handle all the business and talking, and if he manages to accept then you get the necklace back. Do we have a deal? ” He said to her with an intense glare.
“That hardly seems fair…” She began. “I’ll translate for you...but if I see an opportunity to convince him further, then I will take it. So you have to accept letting me take the control if need be.” She said.
“Fine.” He replied, no longer wanting to hear it.
“...and no complaints.” She added.
“Fine.” He said again. Bora was beaming. The idea of having something to do, and going to a bar no less, was exciting her, plus she would be getting her necklace back and accomplishing the first goal she set in her mind when becoming captive.
“I will be needing a new dress.” She said as she casually sipped her coffee.
“You don’t need a new dress, we still have the one you wore that one night.” He replied.
“Ew, throw that away!” She exclaimed. “I’m not touching that.”
Hyukjae threw his head back in irritation. “That wasn’t part of the terms, you will wear what you have and that’s that.” He reiterated.
“It’s up to you.” She shrugged, making her stance clear. “If you want me to go through with this, then I’ll need a new dress, shoes and makeup...also do not bring me a dirty, used dress leftover from the fitting room of your gross bar. It has to be new.”
Hyukjae looked like he was trying very hard not to blow up on the spot. He stormed off into the other room. Leaving Bora and Donghae behind, amused by his response. Bora gave him a quick nod as she walked towards her room, deciding to wait it out.
It had been a couple of hours since the last conversation, but Bora knew they were going through with it. He had no other options. As if on cue, she heard a knock coming from the door.
“Come in!” She called out. Donghae stepped in, holding three dresses in his arms. He laid them neatly on her bed.
“Yes...this will definitely do.” She said excitedly as she gently looked through the dresses. “You’ve really outdone yourself this time Hae.”
“I have some experience when it comes to dresses...I know what looks good on women at least.” He answered back, rubbing the back of his neck in a shy manner. “Well go ahead and try them on, choose the one you like the most.” He said as he walked out.
“Will do.” She shouted out to him. Bora continued to look at the dresses, all three were beautiful in their own distinct style. The first was a black form fitting dress, it was sheer and lacy, with an open back. The second was a white spaghetti strap dress, short but still classy. The third was a gold, long sleeved dress that she was currently gravitating towards. The longer she looked at them the less sure she was on which she would choose.
Hyukjae walked into her room, holding shopping bags that she could only assume were her shoes and makeup in his hands.
“What, are those not good enough for you?” He said to her with a pointed tone.
“Quite the opposite actually...they’re too good. I don’t know which one I like more.” She answered sincerely. Hyukjae looked at the direction of the dresses, losing interest quickly and heading back out towards where he came from.
“Wear the black one.” He said to her, walking away before she could reply. Bora was stunned by his answer, and looked at the dress in question.
He sure has a type. She thought as she picked up the sheer black dress.
Bora woke up bright and early the next day, had a quick bite to eat, and came straight back to her room to get ready, eager for the night to come. She headed straight for the bath and scrubbed every area of her body, aiming for every pore and shaving off every bit of unwanted hair she had been neglecting the last couple of weeks. She washed her hair out vigorously and took her time blowing it out until it came out bouncy and shiny.
She was ecstatic. It had been so long since she had the opportunity to dress up, and this time she went even further than she usually did. She carefully applied her makeup, making sure than she put just enough to still look like herself, but in a more glamorous way. She knew she would be taking a while, which is the reason she started so early.
She heard a knock coming from outside her bathroom door.
“What is it?” She yelled out.
“I’m just letting you know that you have one hour to finish up, so you better be working fast.” Said Hyukjae.
Bora rolled her eyes. “Ok!” She yelled out.
“I’ll be getting ready now as well...I’ll be back to fetch you in one hour.” He replied.
“Wait, you're escorting me? Why can’t Donghae do it?” She answered back, annoyed.
“He’s expecting me...so get over it.” He yelled back as he left her room.
Bora sighed, but continued as she was doing. She wasn’t in the mood to deal with his attitude today, but she wasn’t going to let him ruin this night for her. She picked up the pace in which she was getting ready, irritated that he was once again setting a time limit on her. She plucked her eyebrows into shape, set a layer of foundation on her face and began to work away, using her fingers delicately as she applied the rest of her makeup. She left her lipstick last, as she usually did, grabbing a dark, red lipstick that she knew would make her stand out. She had no intention to be subtle tonight.
As she pressed her lips together, she looked at herself in the mirror, satisfied with her face before heading out to the room to put on her dress. She looked over the black dress once over before putting it on her body, figuring that she would let him have this one, since she couldn’t make the decision herself.
She heard another knock from the door.
“Come in.” She said.
Hyukjae opened the door and walked right in. Stopping for a second as his eyes made contact with her.
“...you look-“ He began to say
“Mediocre at best?” She interrupted, the slyest smile erupting in her face.
“Exactly.” He said sarcastically, though he himself was also looking real good with his fitted slacks and silk button up dress shirt. His hair was perfectly styled as usual. Bora hadn’t seen him look this good since the night she had first encountered him. She tried not to gawk at him, but she found it increasingly hard not to do so as he walked closer to her.
“Do you need help with the zipper?” He asked her, his eyes darting towards her exposed back.
“Nope.” She said quickly, using her long lanky arms to easily zip up the dress.
“Good. So look, I feel the need to go over a couple of things before we go on our way...I need you to remember that this is in no way a fun night out, this is business. I’m aware that you’re doing me a favor tonight...but you’re still a hostage. You are not to leave my side at any point tonight. Am I clear?” He commanded.
“Ya.” She said, not taking him seriously in the slightest. “Are we ready to go?” She asked him.
“Yes.” He said as he led the way out. Donghae was waiting for them at the door.
“Well look at you.” He jokingly motioned to her.
“Bringing back fond memories of our first meeting?” She alluded seductively.
“Actually..yes.” He confessed.
“Are you two done? We have somewhere to be.” Hyukjae nagged, not finding their harmless flirting amusing in the slightest. Bora sniggered silently and followed him outside, where the familiar black van was waiting for them.
“Oh we get a ride today?!” She said excitedly.
“There’s no way I’ll be able to handle you sober tonight.” He answered as he rolled his eyes. The two of them walked into the car, and the driver drove off almost instantly. Bora could feel Hyukjae’s nervous energy as he sat next to her, fidgeting with his hands.
“Okay...so all I have to do is translate and do what I have to do to convince this man to invest, correct?” She clarified.
“All you have to do is translate.” He answered.
“What if he needs more convincing?” She smirked. Hyukjae sighed.
“Then it’s not your problem, just let me handle it...all you have to do is translate.” He clarified, already dreading what was to come.
The two arrived at their destination and exited the vehicle. Bora began to reminisce as she walked through the doors, remembering how just a few weeks ago, she stepped foot in her brother's pride and joy, admiring the beautiful decor and the attention to detail she always admired.
The image was quickly burned out of her mind when she realized what she was getting herself into. The bar was as seedy as it could get. Dark, moldy, and the girls around looked like they would rather be anywhere else. Bora could practically see the tumbleweeds rolling right through.
“...Yeah, I’m out.” She said to him, turning around and walking right back out. Hyukjae stopped her from exiting. “Hey we had a deal!” He said to her.
“I know, but I can’t help you.” She replied.
“Stop playing around...all you have to do is translate. You let me handle everything else.” He insisted, but she could tell he was far less confident, even though he wasn’t all that confident to begin with.
“I need a drink...” She groaned out, walking towards the lone, tiny bar area. She was also feeling less confident, not aware of just how hard she’d have to work tonight. Hyukjae motioned for the bartender to make two drinks.
“This is a terrible idea...did you not think about making this place a little more presentable first?!” She gritted out.
“Of course I did! It’s not like I had any time to spare after babysitting you every day…” He snapped back.
“Oh I’m sorry, but whose fault is that!” She replied, getting a little louder this time. Bora made herself take a deep breath.
“You seemed so sure that you’d be able to handle this...where is all that talk now?” He asked her.
“I’m good at what I do...but I can’t perform miracles.” She replied as she drank the glass handed to her, finishing most of it in one go. “Can we please just get this over with?”
“In a minute, he’ll be waiting for me in one of our private rooms near the back.” He replied.
“Is there a fitting room or something here that I could use? I feel like I need to take a minute.” She asked him. Hyukjae gave her a quick nod and motioned for her to follow him. She grabbed her second drink and walked behind him. She groaned as they entered the fitting room.
“This is awful!” She complained to him. “How do you even have girls still working here, I can see the spiderwebs!” He ignored her complaints, as they definitely weren’t helping his already worried state. Bora took out her clutch and began to fix her makeup, figuring that she would really need to step up her game tonight if they had any chance at all. Hyukjae checked his wrist watch. “You ready to go?” He asked her.
“No.” Was her simple reply, as she grabbed the glass she set down next to her and finished it off.
“Maybe you should slow down there.” He scolded her.
“Believe me, me being sober is to no one’s benefit right now.” She replied.
As they walked towards the private room, Bora could feel the familiar nerves picking up. Somehow, being there with Hyukjae made her feel a little better, less pressure on herself. She also had faith that he wouldn’t let anything happen to her, or anyone touch her for that matter.
They entered the room and a well dressed American man was already waiting for them. He looked to be in his late 40s to early 50s. The adrenaline ran high through her body, and the alcohol she had just consumed was beginning to take effect.
“Hi.” She said with a sweet smile on her face.
“Hello…” the man answered back as his eyes trailed down her figure.
“My name is Mia, and I’ll be your translator for the evening.” She said to him.
“Nice to meet you Mia, my name is Gary...do you actually work here?” He questioned immediately.
“Of course I do!” She said eagerly.
“I didn’t mean to offend...I just haven’t seen you around these parts before.” He trailed off.
“I just started working here..I used to work at a different bar but Mr. Lee over here found me...and just stole me away.” She said seductively, turning her head and motioning towards Hyukjae.
“Where did you work before? Maybe I’ve heard of it?.” He asked, far more intrigued now.
“Old Faithful.” She said confidently. She could feel Hyukjae tense up behind her.
“Old Faithful? That’s a very nice bar, I’m surprised you would leave that place to come here?” He questioned her. Bora could tell the man assumed Hyukjae didn’t understand English, but the vibe he gave off told her he understood plenty of what he was saying.
“I did...Old Faithful is very established and successful but the owner over there is a clown.” She said as her demeanor changed. “You really are better off putting your money towards smaller bars, such as this one...you’ll get a more personal experience here.”
“You know I actually haven’t met with the owner...he doesn’t show himself much does he?” He asked her.
“Of course not. He just stands to the side and lets everyone else do the work for him.” She said in a bitter tone. “Unlike Mr. Lee.” She began, feeling a lot bolder now that the alcohol had kicked in. She slowly lifted her body up and placed herself firmly on Hyukjae’s lap. “He may not have much going on in here yet...but he’s here and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty...I saw the potential in him...and in this bar, and I think you’ll see it too.” She stated as she affectionately began to stroke the side of his face. “He always makes sure we’re well taken care of.”
Bora had completely molded into the character she was playing, she moved her lower body farther up his lap, feeling his body tense up as she did so. He reached his hand up to the thigh that was hidden from the man’s sight and gripped it tightly, stopping her from moving higher.
“Tone it down.” He whispered subtley to her, trying to hide the discontent from his face.
“No complaints.” She whispered softly into his ear.
“I must admit, I’m a little surprised by what I’m hearing.” Gary interrupted, amused by the show she was putting on. “I was pretty sure of my stance before, but I may be able to be persuaded...so if I were to invest, what would I be getting out of it?”
Before Hyukjae could even say anything Bora continued to speak for him. “Mr Lee comes from a family with a lot of connections...when you come down to visit he can assure you with the best accommodations we have to offer, along with transportation and guide included…when you arrive here you will immediately be served and treated as a patron, and will have access to all amenities, including choosing from our best and most beautiful hostesses, every night.”
“Will you be available from the pool of hostesses?” He asked her.
“Of course I will.” She quickly established. She felt Hyukjae’s grip on her thigh tighten and he opened his mouth to protest but she interrupted before he could.
“I am his favorite, as you can probably tell...and he doesn’t like to share me often...but I’m sure we can reach some sort of compromise if you’re willing to graciously offer us your patronage...right?” She asked the question directly to Hyukjae, fearlessly staring at him as she put him on the spot.
He looked at her right back, directly in the eye, questioning her intentions but nonetheless, he slowly nodded his head in acceptance.
“Great. Now let’s talk business.” She said as she climbed off of Hyukjae’s lap.
The meeting went well, too well, and Hyukjae was in complete disbelief that she managed to handle it all by herself. He hadn’t been able to get a single word in, leaving him feeling both impressed and frustrated at the same time. He followed Bora back into the fitting room, where she began to reapply her lipstick.
Bora was feeling extremely satisfied with herself, she had a nice buzz going and her confidence was absolutely blooming, which was quickly going to her head.
“Could you get me another drink?” She said to Hyukjae as she smacked her lips together, double checking herself in the mirror.
“I think you’ve had enough.” He replied.
Bora scoffed loudly. “I think I’ll decide when I’ve had enough...plus I think I deserve it after all that I’ve done for you.” She said in an assertive manner.
“Don’t flatter yourself.” He said under his breath, but he had nothing else to say, as he had nothing on her in this situation. Bora knew she had won, but she wanted him to admit it, her cockiness getting the best of her.
“Did I not just single handedly make this deal for you? Because from what I remember...you didn’t do a single thing the entire time we talked.” She reprimanded him.
“You’re a good actress, I’ve already established that...but don’t act like you accomplished such a great feat, I’ve made deals before, plenty of them...and I did it without needing to resort to using my body.” He muttered back. Bora laughed in a mocking manner at his reply.
“I’m sorry, but please explain how you would have settled this without me today, I mean look at this place...it’s a dump.” She challenged him. “...and yeah, I might have used my body to my advantage, but trust me, it was the only way you’d get a dime for this place.” She could see his expression darkening, but she didn’t care.
“Watch it.” He warned. His eyes bore into her intensely, waiting to see if she would heed to his warning or continue to anger him.
“Or what?” She said as she walked right up to his face. “What will you do? I gave you what you wanted, and don’t pretend you didn’t enjoy my body just as much as he did.”
“You’re delusional.” He laughed at her.
“You can say whatever you want...but I felt otherwise.” She replied as she ran a finger down his chest, reaching his waistline as a smug smile formed on her face. She lightly traced the outline of his zipper before turning around and walking away from him. Hyukjae grabbed her wrist aggressively, stopping her from leaving.
“I asked you to tone it down.” He commanded. She looked right at him and began to laugh in his face. She was so amused by his temper that she couldn’t help herself. Hyukaje was irritated to his breaking point.
Before she could even realize what was happening, he jerked her body towards his, pulling her back onto his chest as he leaned against the wall behind him. Bora began to breathe raggedly. She knew she was pushing it, but she wasn’t expecting this reaction from him. She could feel his breath on her neck as he pressed her body against his.
Sorry for the cliffhanger, but it felt appropriate. This was lowkey my favorite chapter so far. The next one is gonna be spicy...just a warning lol.
Chapter 14: Euphoria
To put it bluntly, this chapter is 100% sex. Just as a warning for those that would like to skip over that.
The seconds passed by them like nothing as they stood in this position. Bora’s heart began to palpitate rapidly. All this time that she had fought herself to stop thinking about him in that way was completely thrown out the window as she stood still and anticipated his next move.
With one hand holding her face, he lifted his other hand up to the top of her chest and lightly grazed his fingers down her midsection, reaching her belly button. She closed her eyes as her body shuddered from his touch, her mind still expecting him to back out like he did the last time.
She could hear his breathing intensifying on her neck, causing chills and a strong heat to creep up her body. His hand continued to wander down her figure, moving past her stomach and down her upper thigh. She could feel his hand reaching for the sensitive part between her legs and she was so surprised that her body jerked up. He grasped her tighter, the breathing down her neck becoming louder as her body rubbed against his.
He continued the movement of his hand up her thigh and reached for it again. Bora braced herself as his fingers began to tease her sensitive bud lightly. She threw her head back, suppressing a moan from how good his fingers felt on her. Her reaction encouraged him further and without warning, he grabbed her entire mound fiercely, forcing her to gasp out loud. As she continued to squirm under his touch, his finger began to move again, rubbing her clit gently in a repetitive motion. Her mind was going into a haze, and she was finding it increasingly difficult to stay still. He lifted the hand holding her face up to her mouth and slowly traced her lips, feeling the moisture emitting from the whimpers she was making. He pressed his lower body firmly on her back. He was certainly hard this time, and the feeling of it pressed against her body was making her even more eager for it. She rubbed her bottom firmly against it, prompting him to accelerate the motion of his finger on her clit. She could no longer suppress her moans, and as her noises got increasingly louder, he clamped his hand firmly over her mouth.
“Keep quiet or someone will come in.” He whispered in her ear. Hearing his voice sent her to a new level,
and she could feel her body tensing, feeling the urge to release. Hyukjae kept the same consistent motion of his finger, causing her muffled moans to intensify as she came closer to her peak. The pressure was budding within her, and right when she felt she was nearly there, she suddenly felt his hand stop all movement. He released his hold on her, letting her stumble forward as he began to walk away.
“Clean yourself up, it’s time to head back.” He said to her nonchalantly as he walked out the door.
Bora stood flabbergasted, her mind still in a haze. She slowly walked towards the mirror and checked her reflection, processing the entire experience. Her lipstick was completely smeared, and her hair was a mess. She hunched herself down and began to wipe her lips. She could still feel the pressure in her lower body, and her frustration was now completely out of hand. She was livid, how could he do this to her?
Bora avoided his gaze as they drove back to the house. She was so frustrated and upset with him that she couldn't even stand to look at him. She could feel his eyes on her, and she could imagine the smug expression on his face, irritating her even further. She could feel his body nearing, feeling his breath on her neck once more.
“You deserved it.” He whispered to her, sending a strong wave of chills through her body once more.
“Deserved what?” She said defensively. “I didn’t do anything to you.” Hyukjae shrugged as he moved back to his seat, a smug expression still on his face. Bora could feel her irritation rising.
“I can make it better...but you have to ask for it.” He said to her. Bora scoffed loudly, avoiding his eye contact at all costs. His arrogance was getting to her, but her sexual frustration affected her more. She pursed her lips tightly, refusing to engage him.
She noticed the car parking and realized that they had arrived. She immediately rushed out of the car and away from him. She could hear him catching up to her, stopping her from getting too far away. Donghae was waiting for them in the living room as they entered.
“How’d it go?” He asked them.
“It went really well actually!” Bora began.
“We can talk about it tomorrow.” Hyukjae chimed in.
“We can talk about it now.” She clapped back with a smile on her face. “Your seedy little bar has a new investor!” She said excitedly to him, ignoring Hyukjae’s glare.
“Are you serious?” Donghae replied, his eyes lighting up as he spoke. “How were you able to convince him.”
“Well that’s a good story, we approached him in the private room and I went straight for it...it was a piece of cake, and Hyukjae didn’t have to do a single thing-“ She began to explain, but was cut off by Hyukjae grabbing ahold of her arm and pulling her away from the conversation.
“Are you guys okay?” Donghae asked suspiciously.
“We’re fine.” Hyukjae replied as he pulled her towards the room. Bora struggled against his hold, her nerves getting the best of her. He pushed her inside the room and shut the door behind him. Bora headed straight towards the bathroom, hoping to be able to take a minute to mentally prepare. He bolted towards her and grabbed her by the waist, rapidly throwing her onto the bed as he began to fumble with her dress. Bora lifted her body up in an attempt to shake him off the best she could, deciding not to make it easy on him after the stunt he pulled earlier. He undid the zipper on her back easily, pulling it off her shoulders eagerly as he placed his mouth on her exposed skin. She bit her lip as he sucked the back of her shoulders, moving lower and lower as he continued to remove her dress.
Once entirely off, he forcefully turned her on her back and climbed on top, quickly undoing the buttons of his shirt before throwing it off to the side. Bora allowed herself to stare this time, studying every inch of his chest and stomach and wanting so badly to feel his bare skin on top of hers. He placed his hands on her waist and began to trail them up her figure. She shuddered as she felt them go towards her back, finding the clasp of her bra and unhooking it. He pulled her bra away from her body and placed both his palms on her exposed breasts, grabbing them fiercely as she threw her head back. She was done fighting him and reached for him vigorously, wanting him closer to her. As her hands met with his shoulders, he aggressively grabbed them and pinned them above her head, moving his face to her neck and nipping on her flesh hard. The feeling of his tongue on her sensitive skin was overwhelming her. Her lower body ached fiercely and she could no longer resist her need.
“Fuck me.” She breathed out to him. She could feel the silence after she said it, but he continued to nip at her neck ferociously, not bothering to stop what he was doing.
“Ask me nicely.” He said to her, after a couple of seconds. Bora scoffed in irritation, he knew exactly what he was doing to her. She bit down on her lip and refused to engage him once more, deciding she would tough it out.
“You’re not gonna ask?” He clicked his tongue, raising an eyebrow at her stubbornness. At this, he moved his head down to her breast and rolled his tongue along her nipple. She heaved her chest forward, suppressing a heavy moan as she fought against his grasp. His hold on her tightened as he limited her movement. He moved on to her other breast and did the same, her body jerking back and forth ferociously as he devoured her. He was winning the battle and she could no longer hold back.
“Hyukjae...please.” She breathed out, the desperation apparent in her tone. He let go of one of her arms and grasped her jaw, forcing her to look directly at him. “Please what.” He demanded, his eyes boring into hers intently as he waited for her response.
“Please...fuck me.” She moaned out between taking hard breaths. He watched her face closely as she spoke, letting her plea linger in the air for a second before releasing his hold on her entirely. He raised his upper body and placed his hand on his belt, slowly undoing it. She stared impatiently as he lowered his pants and briefs, grabbing a hold of his hard member as he undressed. Bora could practically feel her mouth water as he revealed himself. He placed his hands on her again, gripping her panties and sliding them off. He spread her legs apart and placed himself right in between them.
She sighed loudly as she felt his body on top of hers. She could feel him at her opening, slowly rubbing his hardness on her and gathering all the moisture. Bora braced herself as she felt him push in, gripping the sheets below her as she felt his pressure fill her. She bit her lip as he made his way in, wincing slightly as she stretched to him. He grabbed her arms forcibly again and suppressed a groan as he made a final thrust to break through. Bora gasped loudly, his motion leaving her breathless.
He held his position for a while, taking in the sensation as he hovered his face over hers. He placed his mouth on hers gently and began to pull her lips apart. Bora moaned into him as she felt his tongue push past, finding hers and rolling alongside it. Her body shuddered in excitement as he kissed her. He began to slide inside her, starting off gently at first, and then raising the pace as they established a rhythm. Bora knew she would not be able to last long, all the teasing he had done to her so far had pushed her body to a breaking point, and now that he was finally following through, she felt a pleasure she had never experienced before.
He pulled away from her mouth and watched her reactions, playing close attention to her movements and noises. He could tell she was close, so he proceeded to lift his upper body up, placing her leg over his shoulder as he bucked his hips into hers forcefully. Bora cried out, her body flailing from the increased intensity. He reached his hand out to her sensitive bud again and began to rub it in a circular motion, finishing off what he started earlier. Her body was overwhelmed, and he ignored her pleas to slow down.
The loss of control sent an electrifying sensation through her body. She couldn’t fight it any longer, and she soon felt her body tense up, causing her to arch her back intensely as she came. He watched as she rode it out, her body shaking violently under him. Her reaction enhanced his excitement, and he could feel his vision blurring. He fought hard to keep his focus, refusing to slow down until her body had calmed.
Bora panted loudly, struggling to catch her breath as she straightened herself out. Hyukjae moved both his hands to her thighs and held them in place, waiting her out for only a second before continuing his hard thrusting. The sensitivity from her orgasm made his movements even more overbearing, causing her to squirm uncomfortably. He moved his body back to hovering over her, taking in her small whimpers as he got closer to his peak.
She could see the change in his demeanor. He was no longer as controlled, his mind and body were focused on his own need. Despite her sensitivity, she tightened her lower grip and began to work with him, eager to see him finish as well. He bit his lip hard as he fought against her suction. Seeing him in this state was incredibly arousing, and she felt she could come again just from his reaction. She took advantage of his distracted mind and grabbed his face, pulling him back down to her and engaging him in another kiss. She could hear his breathing intensifying as their tongues whipped against each other ferociously. He grabbed her hands on his face and pinned them to the bed, entwining his fingers between hers. He could feel it coming, and he broke away from her kiss and buried his face on her neck, squeezing her hands tightly as he continued his fast thrusting. He groaned into her neck and collapsed on top of her, exerting a final thrust deep as his seed exited his body. Her body began to shake again as he finished. He continued to lay on her until the sensation passed, the two of them struggling to come back from their euphoric state of mind.
Chapter 15: Too Late
After a few moments of trying to catch his breath, he slowly rolled himself off, laying on his back as his breathing calmed. The two of them began to look up at the ceiling, laying in silence as the two processed the situation.
“So that happened.” She said to him in a dry tone.
“It did.”’ He replied to her.
“What happened to your ‘reasons’?” She asked suspiciously. Hyukjae sighed loudly after she asked the question, as if he had just remembered something.
“Guess they weren't that important.” He said after a couple of seconds of thinking it over.
“Guess not.” She replied. “But I will say, I am surprised that you would lower your standards for someone so mediocre in looks.”
“You’re really never gonna drop that are you?” He answered back.
“Probably not.” She replied rapidly. Hyukjae arranged himself to lay on his side, facing her direction.
“I only said it to make you upset...and to try to convince myself that that’s what I thought about you.” He explained himself.
“Did it work?” She asked him
“Not exactly.” He began, arranging himself in a more comfortable position. “But realizing how irritating you were certainly helped.”
“So what you’re saying is that initially...you were interested in me?” She asked with a raised eyebrow, fishing for a compliment. Hyukjae sighed at her comment, but nonetheless engaged her.
“You immediately caught my eye that night...but the longer I looked, the more I was sure of your identity. I had to push all thoughts aside once I was positive, but I really wanted to be wrong….” He started up, catching Bora’s interest further. “When I approached you, I really did just want to talk to you, buy you a drink...but I wasn’t wrong...and you know the rest from there.” He added, closing his eyes in an attempt to stop her questioning.
“What would you have said to me if you were wrong?” She insisted, refusing to let it go.
“I would have asked if you’d consider working at my bar.” He replied. Bora scoffed loudly, scrambling out of the sheets as she immediately lost interest in the conversation. Hyukjae grabbed her gently by the arm and stopped her movement.
“What were you expecting me to say? That you were the most beautiful girl my eyes have ever laid on, and that I wanted to take you home?” He said in an amused tone.
“Yes exactly.” She replied, rolling her eyes and pulling away from his hand.
“I don’t like to lie.” He said sincerely. Bora turned to face him as she caught the change in his tone.
“It’s not easy for me to be swayed by a pretty face. I’ve been distracted before...and I don’t need to go through it again.” He began. “ I saw the way you looked, the way you acted, and felt that if anyone could help me out, it would have been someone like you. I planned on making you a good offer, have you work for me...and knowing what I know now, you probably would have distracted me anyway.” He said as he slurred the last part, no longer able to keep himself awake. Bora smiled softly at his confession, it wasn’t exactly what she was fishing for, but she felt satisfied nonetheless.
She continued to watch him as he drifted off, intrigued by how serene his face looked as he slept. She watched until she fell asleep as well.
When Bora opened her eyes the next morning, she was initially confused to see another body in bed with her, but the memories of the night before began to flood in rapidly. She could see Hyukjae’s eyes beginning to stir, and before he could open them she turned to her side away from his direction, pretending to still be asleep to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. She could hear his movement as she held still, knowing that he was probably just as confused as she was upon waking. She could feel his eyes on her despite the fact that she was turned away, examining her closely. He reached his hand out to touch her, and began to run his fingertips along her back. Bora wasn’t sure if he was convinced she was asleep, but he didn't seem to care either way. After a couple of minutes of his tender touching, she felt him pulling back. He slowly got out of the bed and fumbled with his clothes on the floor. She heard the door open and then close and she quickly looked around to confirm that she was alone.
Once she was sure, she got on to her feet and headed towards the bathroom. She could still feel his touch lingering on her back as she got ready for the day. She found her mind replaying the entire night together, making her yearn for more. She began to feel anxious as she thought about how unclear his intentions were. She took her time getting ready, dreading her next interaction with not only Hyukjae, but Donghae as well, as she was sure he knew exactly what went on between the two of them. She tried to stall for as long as she could, but the dryness in her mouth began to bother her, and she desperately needed to get something to drink.
She tiptoed out of the room, praying that no one was in the kitchen as she quietly headed over. She was relieved to see that the coast was clear, and quickly grabbed a glass from the counter and poured in water, gulping it down eagerly.
“How was last night?” Said a voice behind her that caused her to choke on her drink.
“What?” She said in between her coughing, turning to look towards Donghae’s amused face.
“The meeting.” He explained. “You didn’t finish telling me how it went.”
“Oh.” She said, feeling slightly relieved by his explanation. “It went good...Uh...he invested.” She said to him, visibly uncomfortable.
“Yeah it seemed like you two really sealed the deal.” He said with a smirk. Bora could feel the redness in her face, as she tried to hide it away.
“Hey, the point is you have an investor...the details...are not important.” She replied. “Are you hungry?” She asked him, changing the subject entirely. He nodded to her and the two began their cooking process as they usually did, not mentioning Hyukjae’s name once as she tried her hardest to stray away from conversations that could potentially lead to having to talk about him.
They began eating their breakfast and continued to talk about the bar and its future. Bora was on high alert for any movement coming from Hyukjae’s direction. They had almost finished their meal when the sound of a door opening caused her ears to perk up. Her head immediately turned towards the direction of his room, but all she could see was him heading out of the house, leaving without saying anything to them. Bora felt a combination of irritation and disappointment as she watched him leave.
“I thought he wasn’t supposed to leave me alone.” She said to Donghae, trying to hide the bitterness in her tone but failing miserably.
“He’s not.” He said bluntly. “But he always ends up doing whatever he wants in the end...there’s no point in trying to fight him on it. Trust me, I’ve known him long enough.” He added as he rolled his eyes.
Bora’s mouth formed into a small pout as she tried to not let her feelings get the best of her. He had to come back eventually, but the anticipation of not knowing where he was going or what he thought about their night together made her incredibly anxious.
She spent the rest of the day trying to keep herself busy. Her and Donghae worked together to clean the house, her eyes still darting towards the direction of the door every couple of minutes. She knew she was distracted, and she nearly dropped multiple items that she was dusting off because of it.
“I can handle this you know...If you want to go back to the room and relax a little.” Donghae said to her, trying to hide the slight annoyance he was feeling towards her.
“I’m ok.” She insisted, refusing to leave the area until Hyukjae came back. “Oh it’s late!” She exclaimed looking at the clock on the wall. “You can continue here, I’m going to get dinner started.” She said as she walked back into the kitchen.
“Okay.” He tried to reply, but realized she was already gone.
Bora scrambled through the ingredients in the fridge. She took out carrots and potatoes and began chopping away viciously, her anxiety still taking up the forefront of her mind. The more time that passed, the more upset she began to feel.
She was aware that it may not have been the smartest move to make on their part, they’ve been enemies from the start, and currently she was his captive. What was supposed to come out of this? She struggled with the emotions she was feeling as she continued to cook,
haphazardly adding ingredients to a pot and not caring enough to double check. What would she even say to him when he did return? She knew that they would need to talk about it eventually, even if it was to establish boundaries.
She had managed to finish cooking dinner and Hyukjae had still not shown his face. She served two plates angrily, making sure to leave the third in its place, as she refused to serve him when he decided to come back. She set the two plates on the table and began to pick at her food, not feeling hungry in the slightest.
“This is an interesting combination.” Donghae questioned.
“What do I look like to you, a Michelin star chef? Just eat it.” She snapped at him.
“Getting upset with me isn’t going to make him come back any faster you know.” He said in a direct tone.
“I’m sorry...I don’t know what’s gotten into me...I just really need to talk to him.” She admitted.
“Look...he may not want to.” He said to her, looking her right in the eye to establish how serious he was. “I don’t want to worry you but he probably left with the purpose of avoiding you...if you want my advice you should give him some space…if you come at him too strongly you’ll just end up pushing him away.” Bora let the words sink in, she knew he was right.
“Right...I think I’m just gonna go to the room and lay down for a bit.” She said as she cleaned up her plate.
“Yeah, that’s a good idea. Get some rest okay?” He replied, gently coaxing her into leaving.
Bora washed her plate and was beginning to walk towards her room when she heard the door open. She could hear Donghae sigh loudly as her head immediately perked up. Hyukjae casually walked in, making eye contact with her for a quick second before immediately turning away without saying anything. She could feel the blood boiling in her veins.
“Where have you been?” She scolded him, ignoring the voice in her head telling her to just go to her room and
leave him alone. She could already see his face scrunching in irritation at her.
“That’s none of your business.” He replied.
“Of course you would say that.” She continued. “You never have much to say about anything do you?”
“What are you trying to imply?” He commanded as he walked menacingly towards her. Bora rolled her eyes and walked away, deciding she was done with the conversation. Hyukjae grabbed her wrist before she could get away.
“I’m waiting.” He insisted, his grip tightening.
“Let me go.” She said as she attempted to loosen her grip.
“Hyukjae.” Said Donghae, who had slowly made his way over to break them up. “Just let her go.” He said again. He took a second to calm down before releasing his hold on her. Bora stumbled forward as he let her go, she gave him one final glare before storming off into her room, slamming the door behind her.
That interaction was all it took for all the emotions she felt today to come crashing down on her all at once. She could feel the angry tears streaming down her face as she plopped onto her bed. She wasn’t even fully sure what she was so upset about. She wanted to go home, wanted to go back to the time before her path ever crossed with his. A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.
“Go away Donghae.” She called out, needing to be left alone. She heard the door open and she sighed in irritation. She had no desire to be comforted right now. As she prepared to kick him out of the room, she raised her head up and was surprised to see that it wasn’t Donghae at all that entered.
Chapter 16: Stay With Me
Hyukjae held himself back as he watched her storm off, knowing that if he didn’t let her go now, it would just further escalate the situation. The two heard her door slam shut, and Hyukjae ran his hands through his hair aggressively as he attempted to pull himself together, ignoring Donghae’s glare.
“I don’t want to hear it Hae.” He said to his partner before he could even muster a word.
“So you’re aware of how badly you’re fucking this up then?” Donghae said to him in an irate tone.
“Of course I am!” He yelled back.
“Then get it together Hyuk.” He threatened. “You know this can’t end well, settle it now, before you end up hurting her more than you already have.” He added before walking away from him.
Hyukjae let himself sink down to the floor as he was finally left alone to think. This situation was not one he ever thought he’d find himself in. He’s always had so much self control, never letting anyone get close enough to distract him from what he needed to do. He wished he could go back to the time before his path crossed with hers.
He couldn’t understand why he let her affect him so much. She was everything he always thought he hated; materialistic, obnoxious, impulsive, and she was so comfortable lying that it was basically her third language. But lately all he could think about was her, and now he had completely fallen overboard.
He got to his feet, knowing that he needed to end, whatever it was they had going on as soon as possible. He knew he was acting impulsively as he knocked on her door, but he no longer cared about the escalation.
“Go away Donghae.” He heard her call out. He could tell she was crying from the break in her voice. Hyukjae shut his eyes and sighed under his breath, he had never been comfortable with tears. Regardless, he opened the door and let himself in.
“I don’t want to talk to you.” She said as she realized it was him approaching. She turned her head away immediately, in an attempt to hide her tears.
“You don’t have to talk, you just need to listen.” He began, a little colder than he initially intended. “Last night was a mistake. I let my guard down and let you get to me, but it can’t happen again.”
“You let me get to you?!” She questioned, raising herself off the bed and preparing for a fight. “You started it! Do I need to remind you about the sequence of events? You grabbed me first!”
“Fine, that’s not the point-“ He began.
“No it is the point.” She interrupted. “Don’t make it seem like I’m some temptress that made you lose your rationality. I did what you asked me to do, that’s all. Everything else after that can be blamed on you thinking with your dick instead of your head!” She persisted.
“Fine!” He shouted, struggling to keep his cool. “I take responsibility for last night, but it can’t happen again. You’re going back home soon, and your brother is expecting you safe and untouched...we can’t forget that we are enemies, always have been and probably always will be. It’s unrealistic to think we can get away with this without any repercussions-“
“Oh give me a break.” She blurted. “I don’t give a shit about our family issues, they have absolutely nothing to do with me. Your obsession with getting even with my family is idiotic. You may get yourself out of your debt, hell you may even be able to accomplish getting one over Heechul, but trust me you will still be just as miserable as you are now.” She shouted at him.
“You can say it has nothing to do with you, but you’re wrong. You wouldn't even be held captive like this if it weren’t for your family.” He snapped back.
“No, you’re wrong.” She emphasized. “I’m held captive like this because of you.” She said as she pointed her finger menacingly at him. “This has nothing to do with my past, it has to do with your hurt pride, and your need for validation. Grow the fuck up.”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about.” He warned, and his tone sent a chill down her spine, she swallowed hard as she showed no fear.
“I think I do.” She answered back, refusing to back down. “I can smell your desperation a mile away, trying so hard to prove yourself to those around you, and yourself for that matter. Trying to make up for all the disappointment you’ve caused.” She knew she was going too far as she spoke, but it was too late, she couldn’t stop herself.
“Shut your fucking mouth.” He roared at her. Bora couldn’t help but flinch, trying to pull back as he brought his face to hers in a threatening manner. “What about your desperation?! Opening your legs for any male that shows any sliver of interest to compensate for the lack of attention in your life?” Bora laughed at his comment, no longer concerned about how far she was taking it.
“Was that actually supposed to hurt me?” She mocked him. “You’re right of course, I've done many things to make myself feel like I was worth anything, but you know what, at least I can admit it, and I’m stronger now because of it. Can you say the same?” Her words left him silent, realizing that nothing he had to say would be enough to affect her at this point.
“While we're at it, answer me this. Since you love to claim you don’t lie.” She started up again. “This whole speech you had planned out...why can’t it happen again?” She questioned him, in a slightly mocking manner.
“Is it because we're supposed to stay ‘enemies’...or is it because you don’t want me?” She said again, feeling much bolder now that she had put him in his place. Hyukjae glared at her fiercely.
“Tell me you’re not interested in me.” She demanded this time. “If you can admit it, then I’ll pretend this never happened and we’ll never speak on it again.” She elaborated. He still said nothing. Hyukjae scoffed and walked away from her, moving in front of the bed and letting himself sink to the floor again. He felt defeated, not being able to accomplish the one thing he sought out to do when entering her room. Instead she mocked him, belittled him, and even then he still could not convince himself that he didn’t want her.
Bora could see the frustration in him as she bravely walked towards him. After all they’ve been through together, she no longer found herself intimidated by him. She felt she had him figured out enough, and nothing he could say to her could push her away at this point. She reached for the side of his face as she lowered her body in front of his. His first instinct was to flinch, and pull himself away. She could tell that he wasn’t used to touch. She waited him out for a moment before trying again, letting her fingers graze the side of his face as his eyes met with hers. Upon his acceptance, she carefully placed her lips on his. He did not pull away from it, and his stiff body relaxed as she pulled him into a deeper kiss. His hands eagerly reached for her waist, accepting defeat. He had lost this battle, and once again he couldn’t stop himself.
As their momentum progressed, he proceeded to lift her up. She wrapped her legs around his body as he laid her on the bed. He felt intoxicated by her, and needed to feel himself inside her again. He fumbled messily with her clothes, desperate to get them out of the way. Once his clothes were off as well, he let himself fall on top of her, running his tongue down every inch of her body as she ran her hands through his hair. When he felt like he could take no more, he grasped her hips firmly and pressed himself into her, feeling her hands tighten on him as she felt the pressure hit her. He felt her hands beginning to run down his back, pulling on his skin with each thrust he made. The sensation was overwhelming, and he fought against his instincts to slow himself down.
This time felt different, like their bodies knew what to do with each other. He could feel her body twitch intensely under him as his hips began to move erratically. Her nails dug into the skin of his back as she shuddered violently under him. A quiet growl exited his lips from her scratching, and he could feel the world around him blur, no longer able to hold himself back.
He struggled to roll off of her as his body gave out entirely. She had completely worn him out, both mentally and physically. He could feel his consciousness slipping as he turned to his side.
“Hey.” She interrupted him.
“Hmm.” Was all he could muster out in his half asleep state.
“Don’t leave this time.” She commanded. He attempted a half nod as he drifted off to sleep.
When he opened his eyes the next morning, she was already fully awake, cleaned up and waiting for him. He groaned internally, not ready to deal with her animated
self so early in the morning.
“Good Morning.” She said to him when realizing he was awake.
“Good morning.” He managed to get out, still waking up.
“You slept for a while...and you were in such a deep sleep that I don’t think I could have woken you if I tried.” She elaborated.
“Hmm.” Was all he muttered out. She was right, he hadn’t been able to sleep this good in a very long time.
“Is there anything else you needed to tell me from last night...since we didn’t get around to actually finishing that conversation?” She asked him. Hyukjae took a moment to answer, forcing himself to wake up a little bit more before speaking.
“I only came in to tell you that having sex again would probably complicate things further and that we should try to stay away from it.” He answered,
“Ahh…well you’re probably right.” She admitted, getting up from the bed and stretching.
“I’m going to get breakfast started. Do not sneak out of the house while I’m there, I’ll be waiting for you.” She said to him in a serious tone.
Hyukjae sighed and fell back into bed, already regretting what he had gotten himself into.
He knew Donghae was going to be upset with him, and he couldn’t blame him. He was the one that dragged him into this situation that he clearly, did not want any part of and now he was messing it all up. To say that he didn’t know what to do next was an understatement. He lazily got out of bed and headed to his room, deciding to take a long shower before coming out and dealing with either of them.
As he stepped into the hot shower, the thoughts that constantly haunted him began to flood back in. Months had passed by like nothing, and he knew he was running out of time. Somehow, he felt even farther away from the goal than he was before Bora came into his life. Though her brother was indeed desperate to get her back, he was not willing to work under his terms, and still refused to give in. Hyukjae knew he’d have to settle for less but now a new feeling of guilt overtook him. He never imagined he’d be keeping her for this long, and now the thought of trading her in for his benefit made him sick to his stomach. He was beginning to see what she meant when she said that he wasn’t meant for this world. He took his time getting dressed, dreading the inevitable conversation he’d be having with Donghae, and knowing he would be disappointing him once again. She was right about that too.
He exited his room and headed towards the kitchen, the other two were already there. Bora was in a good mood, which in turn made him nervous, like it was only a matter of time before he would ruin it and upset her. These thoughts flooded his mind on a daily basis.
“Hey.” He said to Donghae nonchalantly as he sat down across from him.
“Did you talk to her?” He asked him, already knowing the answer.
“Yes.” He replied.
“I’m glad you were able to clear that up.” He said in a sarcastic manner. Hyukjae ignored his comment, not wanting to start a fight. He was entitled to think whatever he wanted, and he could say nothing to make him think otherwise. Bora joined them at the table with her cheery self.
“I need you to work at Chapter One for me tomorrow night.” He said to Donghae.
“What do you need me to do?” He asked suspiciously,
“Interviews...we need to hire more girls now that we have this investor, he’ll be expecting it and I want us to be ready.” He replied.
“Actually, he’s expecting me.” Bora interrupted, matter of factly.
“Well you won’t be around with us much longer so what would be the point of getting his hopes up now?” He said to her in a direct manner, trying hard to not let his tone sound harsh.
“Well that’s easy...maybe I just won’t leave.” She proclaimed. An eerie silence filled the room. Hyukjae closed his eyes tightly, knowing that he had caused this.
“You don’t know what you’re saying.” He replied, making sure to speak clearly and directly. “You don’t belong here, you belong back with your family and back to your privileged life.”
“No I don’t. I don’t belong anywhere.” She replied. “So why can’t I stay here?” Hyukjae and Donghae said nothing, their guilt overwhelming them.
“I can help you.” She began again, this time in a more sincere tone. “I’ll work for you like you mentioned...get your bar up and running again...you said it yourself that if anyone could help it would be me-“
“No.” He said, a lot more firmer this time. “You’re going back home.”
“Well maybe I don’t want to.” She insisted.
“You don’t have a choice!” He finally snapped. “You didn’t come here willingly, so if I have to take you back against your wishes then so be it.” He elaborated.
Bora stormed off, slamming the door behind her as she reached her room.
There it is. He thought in his head. He could feel Donghae’s eyes on him. He sighed out loud, ready to take whatever he had coming for him.
“You’re an asshole, you know that?” He scolded him.
“I’m fully aware.” Hyukjae replied.
“So now what? She’s convinced herself she wants to stay here...with you. Now what Hyukjae?” He said to him.
“Now she goes back home. That’s it.” He replied.
“No that’s not it.” He began, no longer able to hold back all discontent he felt towards him. “Remember that night? How I told you not to go through with this and that I had it under control? Had you just let me handle it, we wouldn’t be in this mess…we’re done for, you won’t be able to get out of this debt, so we need to accept that we will be a couple of Kwan thugs from here on out.”
“No Donghae. Not you. This is my problem not yours.” He said to him, refusing to look him in the eye.
“Don’t start. I’ve already made it clear that I’m sticking by you no matter what. I made you a promise that I would help get you out of this, and I failed too, so this is my problem as well.” He replied.
“Don’t be a fucking idiot!” He yelled at him, turning to meet his eye as he shouted. “Do you know what it’s going to be like? Having to work like a slave to make that asshole richer, killing the innocent to get him what he wants. That’s not a life for you. I won’t let you follow me.”
“It’s not a life for you either, and you don’t get to make that choice for me.” He said again, getting to his feet in an attempt to exit the room.
“Hyuk…” He began again as his demeanor changed. “Take her home.” He said to him, looking right at him for a moment before heading to his room. Hyukjae stared at nothing, no longer able to feel anything as he processed how badly the situation had spiraled out of his control.
Chapter 17: Happy Together
Bora refused to cry this time around. Being around him sent her on a constant rollercoaster of emotions, and she was done with it. She sank her body lower into the hot water as she attempted to relax her mind. She was once again in the bathtub, feeling like it was the only thing that would make her feel better. It wasn’t working, and her frustration just grew deeper as she laid in the steaming water. Once again, a knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.
“Come in.” She yelled out, having no doubt in her mind who it was. Hyukjae nonchalantly entered the room, and she prepared herself for the next fight.
“Are you still mad?” He asked her. Bora closed her mouth immediately, surprised that he started the conversation in this way.
“I am.” She said in a cold voice after a couple of seconds. Hyukjae took a moment to scan the surroundings before replying.
“I really don’t get your fascination with baths, they’re such a waste of time.” He said in his usual blunt way.
“Why don’t you get in and find out for yourself.” She replied. Hyukjae looked at her for a moment before proceeding to take off his shirt, accepting her offer. With each article of clothing he removed she found herself becoming less and less upset. He entered the bathtub and sat down on the opposite side of her.
“Well?” She asked him.
“It’s really hot.” He complained.
“That’s what makes it better.” She said as she waded towards him slowly, forgetting entirely that she was upset. Upon reaching him, she sat firmly on his lap and pressed her body against his, feeling his excitement growing under her.
“What do you think now?” She asked seductively as she began to trail her lips down his neck.
“I still think it’s a waste of time.” He replied. Bora scoffed and tried to pull away, but his hands wrapped around her waist before she could do so, pulling her down onto him as he thrusted into her.
“That’s much better.” He breathed out as she gasped for air from the surprise. They held their position for a while as he ran his fingers up her body, tracing the outline of her breasts in their stillness. Bora began to gyrate her hips slowly as he touched her, hearing his breathing quickening as she began to move. He pressed his face into her chest as he braced himself, not used to someone else taking the control.
He grabbed her breasts firmly with the palm of his hands, letting his fingertips run along her nipples as he felt them hardening under his touch. Bora threw her head back as she moaned under her breath. She increased the movement of her hips as she felt his body beginning to tense.
“Hey...slow down.” He breathed out, as he grasped her hips tightly in an attempt to slow her pace. She ignored his request and squeezed her lower body tighter on him, continuing the speed she was going at.
She could hear him panting softly as his hands slowly released his tight grasp, his body no longer able to fight against her as he felt the tension within him rising.
She could feel how close he was, and she forcefully slid her body all the way down on him, enveloping him fully as she established the rythm, fighting against the pressure of the water around them. His hands grasped her waist erratically as he groaned
loudly into her chest. A couple of thrusts more was all it took before she felt his body thrust upward instinctively,
holding her in place as he felt the full weight of his orgasm.
His body sank back down as he released her, still panting loudly as he recovered. Bora felt extremely satisfied with herself, and casually got up from the bath and grabbed a towel, drying herself off as he continued to catch his breath.
She wrapped the towel around her and exited the bathroom, making her way to her bed as she began to brush out her hair. Hyukjae followed her out after a couple of minutes, managing to put on only his pair of briefs, as he made his way to her bed in a defeated manner. Bora smiled as she crept up next to him, placing her head on his shoulder as she trailed her fingers tenderly along his chest and stomach. Though initially hesitating, he gave in and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer to him as he traced the outline of her figure.
“Are you sure you want me to go back...after all this?” She asked him in a joking manner. The sadness in her tone was apparent. Hyukjae stayed silent as he thought about how to answer her question. He didn’t want to lie to her, but he knew he had to be careful with his words as he also didn’t want to hurt her.
“It doesn’t matter what I want.” He began. “You belong with your family...or better yet you belong back in America, far away from this life entirely.” Bora stared at him blankly as an idea ran through her head.
“Why don’t you come with me?” She said suddenly as she perked up, not knowing why she hadn’t thought about it before.
“What?” He questioned.
“Come with me to America. I mean you have to have a passport right? Come with me and then you can really run away from all this.” She said excitedly.
“He’ll be able to find me eventually, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before.” He replied, shooting her idea down immediately.
“Eventually...but then we just keep running...what do we have to lose at that point?” She stated, looking at him directly to establish her seriousness. Hyukjae did not answer her, and Bora could tell he was really thinking it over.
“What about Donghae?” He asked her.
“He’s coming with us of course! We can’t just leave him here.” She proclaimed, and a small smile formed on his face.
“It’s not a terrible idea...but I’m not sure it’ll work, if I try to run I’ll just further escalate the situation, make it worse than it already is.” He said as his eyebrows furrowed.
“Hey...” She said sincerely. “It’ll work out. I promise.” Hyukjae looked into her eyes as she said it, reaching his other hand over to her face as he brushed a strand of hair away from it.
“You’re really strange you know?” He began. “Why would you do that...after everything I’ve done to you?” He said, with a slight hint of remorse in his voice.
“I don’t know…” she said self consciously. “I think everyone deserves a chance to start over...and I guess
I can’t really imagine my life without you two anymore.” She confessed to him. Her comment took him by surprise, making him slightly uncomfortable as his guilt crept up again. His reaction made her nervous and she quickly changed the subject before he could comment.
“You’re strange too...why even consider running away with me if you find me so irritating?” She asked him, in an attempt to divert the conversation.
“I find you intriguing and difficult to predict.” He said sincerely. Bora wasn’t sure how to take his comment as it was neither an insult nor a compliment.
“I admire how unaffected you are over matters out of your control...I can’t do that...Like when I told you about your mother and how she left, you were so accepting of it, like it didn’t change the way you saw her at all...I wish I could think that way.” He added.
“It’s not like I’ll ever be able to know why she did it...unless I hold a seance…besides, if I knew I had to deal with Heechul and myself my whole life...I probably would have left too.” She said bluntly. Hyukjae couldn’t help but laugh at her response.
“My mom left me too.” He said suddenly as he stopped laughing. “I mean she’s still alive at least...but I haven’t seen her in a very long time.”
“How long?” She asked him, surprised that he was sharing this information with her.
“She left when I was 5, around the same time Donghae came to us...she just couldn’t handle it anymore and left my dad and us without warning.” He continued, and she could see the seriousness in his demeanor. “She would call me every now and then, promise me that she would take me with her...they were all lies...she always lied.” He emphasized. “Eventually, I stopped hoping for it. I talked to her less and less as the years went by, and now it’s been over a year since we last spoke.”
“I’m sorry.” She said to him, as his confession helped her realize so many things about him and the way he was.
“Don’t be.” He said to her. Bora could tell he no longer wanted to talk about it, and dropped the conversation immediately, grateful that he had shared so much with her..
“How long have I been here?” She asked, changing the subject. “I’ve completely lost track of the dates.” Hyukjae thought about it for a moment before pulling his phone that he had placed next to him up. He hid the view of his phone as he began to unlock it.
“You’re so ridiculous.” She joked. “Why does it matter if I see your code, you don’t trust me?”
“Of course I don’t…you’ll take it from me while I’m sleeping and call someone to come rescue you.” He answered.
“But isn’t that exactly what you want right now?” She said with a raised eyebrow.
“Good point.” He answered as he unlocked his phone in front of her. He looked through the calendar app on his phone. “It looks like you’ve been here for almost two months.” He answered.
“Two months...wow.” She said as she processed the information. It hadn't even felt like that long. The two continued to embrace each other as they laid in silence.
“Well if you do take my offer, we can completely start over...no family, no debt.” She reminded him.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” He replied, as he gently placed his lips on hers.
Bora woke up the next morning to find herself alone in the bed, before knowing any details, she was already annoyed, assuming that he once again ran away from her. She quickly washed up and threw on some clothes before heading to the main room. To her surprise, Hyukjae was sitting at the dining table, having a long talk with Donghae.
“Good morning.” She said to them casually, feeling relieved that he had not actually left. They both turned to look at her and gave her a quick nod of acknowledgment before returning to the conversation.
“What’s going on?” Bora interrupted, her nosy nature kicking in.
“We’re just discussing the interview process for tonight, and going over the budget, nothing exciting.” Donghae replied to her. Bora’s eyes widened.
“You’re going through with the interviews?” She questioned, trying to hide the disappointment in her voice.
“Yes.” Hyukjae began. “Just a few new girls, we’re mostly looking to hire new bartenders and cleaning staff. Donghae will be taking care of it for me.”
“Well you definitely need all that.” She said as she shuddered remembering the current state of their bar. She was still feeling a bit insecure but she realized that this meant they would have the house to themselves tonight. She headed to the kitchen and began to prepare a quick breakfast for the three of them. Once she finished cooking, the three ate together as they usually did, making casual conversations and lighthearted dabs at each other. She was surprised to see that Hyukjae was in an uncharacteristically good mood, giving her the impression that he really was thinking about taking her up on her offer.
Once she had finished her plate, she ran back to her room and prepared herself for the night. As she applied light makeup, she was starting to realize just how attached she was becoming to Hyukjae. She was no longer able to deny her feelings for him, she was falling for him, hard. She was comforted in the fact that for the most part, he seemed to feel the same. Once satisfied with the way she looked, she headed back downstairs.
After spending the entire day around each other, the night finally came and it was time for Donghae to head out. They said their goodbyes and Bora waited impatiently in the next room, eager for Hyukjae to join her and initiate what they would be doing next.
She could hear him coming towards her and she closed her eyes as she felt him creep up behind her, pressing up against her back. His hands reached up to her neck and she felt him place a cold material on her.
“My necklace!” She exclaimed as she opened her eyes and noticed the diamond on her chest.
“A deal is a deal.” He said to her, clasping the necklace in place and turning her around to face him. Through the initial excitement, a feeling of uneasiness began to consume her. The necklace now had a different meaning to her, not to mention that it was the cause of all the trouble to begin with.
“Hey.” He said, changing the subject. “Let’s go out tonight.”
“What?” She questioned. “Like to dinner?”
“Yeah...like we did last time.” He replied.
“Why?” She said suspiciously. “You gave me such a hard time the last time...why do you all of a sudden want to do it now?”
“Things are different now.” He replied. “Do you not want to?” He asked her.
“No I do, it’s just-“
“Then let’s go.” He interrupted her. Bora closed her mouth and decided not to persist any further. She felt uneasy. but she tried to push past it, telling herself that she was overreacting.
“Okay.” She said in a half reassuring way. Hyukjae gave her a quick nod. “Let’s go.” He said as he rushed her out.
Bora didn’t stop herself from looking at him as they drove. He hadn’t said a single word to her since he started driving. He was lost in his thoughts as he usually was, but he seemed different to her, almost off.
“Where are we going?” She asked him, filling the silence in the air.
“I figured the same place as last time.” He replied.
“Ok...that sounds good.” She answered as her nervous energy increased, making her want to question him more.
“So what’s going to happen if the bar becomes more successful, after this patron and the new hires...will it be enough to get you out of your debt?” She asked him.
“Maybe eventually, but not by the time I need it.” He answered.
“Is my brother complying with your demands?” She asked, though she already knew the answer.
“Not really.” He established.
“I’m not surprised.” She began, fiddling her fingers nervously.
“Hey.” He said to her suddenly. Bora’s face shot up at the sound of his voice. “You know what we talked about last night...the offer you made me?” He asked her. Her eyes widened in surprise.
“Did you really mean it?” He asked her.
“Of course I did.” She said with a soft smile.
“What if something were to happen to me...would you still take Donghae with you?” He asked her again. Bora’s face immediately fell, and the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach began to worsen.
“What?” She replied, completely taken aback by his question.
“Answer the question.” He demanded
“I mean yeah...but why are you asking me that?” She replied.
“Promise me.” He said to her.
“Hyukjae you’re scaring me.” She said to him, no longer able to hide the emotion in her voice.
“Promise me.” He said again, his voice getting louder this time.
“I promise.” She said softly. Hyukjae said nothing in return. The conversation was all it took for Bora to realize that she wasn’t overreacting at all. Something was definitely wrong.
“Hyukjae…” she began, her voice beginning to break. “What’s going on?” She asked him. He continued to say silent. They arrived at their destination and Hyukjae parked the car and removed his seatbelt, staring silently at the floor.
“Please...talk to me.” She pleaded, now feeling terrified. Before she could say anything else, she felt herself getting dragged out of the car. She screamed loudly as her body went into a full blown panic.
Chapter 18: Time
TW: This chapter is extremely violent and dark with themes that may be triggering. Please proceed with caution.
Bora kicked and screamed aggressively as she felt herself get lifted out of the car.
“Bora...Bora, it’s me!” Said a familiar voice. She stopped her movement and turned to look at his face.
“Kyu?” She stammered, still hyperventilating. Kyuhyun placed his hand on her head and pulled her to him in a strong embrace, his months of searching were finally at an end. “It’s me, Bora...you’re okay now.” She stood stunned, taking a second to process the situation before suddenly turning to look at Hyukjae’s direction. Her heart sank as she saw him getting brought to his knees, four men crowded around him. Through her confusion and panicking, she knew she needed to act fast.
“Kyu I need his phone!” She shouted out impulsively, knowing she had no time to think. “He has photos of me that I need to get rid of...please!” She pleaded, hoping he’d fall for her lie. Kyuhyun quickly nodded and motioned to the men around Hyukjae.
“Disgusting pervert.” Said the man in front of him as he kicked him right in the stomach, causing him to hunch over. Bora couldn’t stop herself from reacting.
“Careful!” Kyuhyun shouted. “He’s going straight to Heechul untouched, he’s made that perfectly clear.” He reminded them. The man reached into Hyukjae’s pocket and grabbed his phone, as well as all other items and weapons he had on him, throwing the phone to Kyuhyun who then handed it over to her.
“We have to go.” He said as he rushed her into the car. Bora could feel herself panicking again as she saw Hyukjae getting dragged into a separate car. She watched as the car sped off, trying hard to stabilize her mind so she could take action before it was too late. Kyuhyun started the car and began to drive off. She held herself together, knowing that she needed to stay calm if she had any chance whatsoever to help him.
“Kyu...where are they taking him?” She asked him, trying hard to keep her tone settled.
“He’s going to Heechul...going somewhere he may not come out of.” He said somberly. Bora shut her eyes tightly.
“Can you take me to him...can you take me to my brother right now?” She asked him.
“No Bora, I’m sorry but you have to go straight home-“
“I know, but I really need to talk to him. It’s important please.” She interrupted.
“I can’t. He specifically said to keep you away, I can’t fuck this up again.” He replied. Bora nodded her head as she tried not to panic. She reached for Hyukjae’s phone and easily put in the passcode. She looked for Donghae’s name and discreetly began to type.
“He’s in danger. Please hurry. I’ll find out where they’re taking him.” She typed as she sent the text. She couldn’t help but perseverate on the clock in front of her, knowing that each minute that passed by put him in more danger.
“Kyu please.” She pleaded as they got closer to reaching her house. “I have information for my brother that he needs to hear...I have to tell him now before it’s too late.” She said to him. Kyuhyun sighed under his breath and she could tell that he didn’t believe her.
“It’s not going to change anything...you know how he gets when makes up his mind...there’s no point.” He tried to convince her. Bora exasperated loudly.
“I’ve never asked anything of you...but I’m begging this time. I have to talk to my brother…please Kyu..I’ll take full blame, I promise.” She reasoned with him. Kyuhyun took a moment to think about what she was saying, fighting with himself internally as he debated whether to give in to her or not. Her desperation made him nervous, and he threw his head back as he made the decision he felt he would end up regretting.
“I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into.” He said as he changed the direction the car was going.
“Thank you!” She shouted as she fought back her tears. “Please hurry.” She added as she began to fumble with Hyuk’s phone.
“Follow me.” She typed out as she proceeded to share her location. She closed her eyes and prayed that he would get there in time, knowing that it was up to her to stall in the meantime.
They approached an abandoned warehouse that she had never seen before. Bora bolted out of the car and ran straight towards it, with Kyuhyun following closely behind. She walked straight through the doors and immediately saw her brother, standing with his back
to the door.
“Heechul!” She cried out, no longer able to hold back her tears. She ran straight into his arms as he looked at her in surprise.
“Bora...what are you doing here.” He said as he pulled her into an embrace, casually shooting a glare at Kyuhyun as he did so.
“I’m sorry, I forced him to bring me here...Heechul I need to speak to you, please listen to me.” She stammered, beginning to hyperventilate.
“Hey it’s okay. Just calm down...look I have everything under control.” He said as he motioned to a still body on the floor. Bora’s heart sank as she noticed him. He laid on his side, hands zip tied behind him. Enough time had passed by and Heechul wasted none of it.
His face was completely bruised, with blood trickling out of his nose and mouth. Though slowly, she could see that he was still breathing.
“Nothing happened to me, I’m safe...please can we just talk first?! There’s no need to be impulsive right now...we can decide what to do with him later okay?” She pleaded. “Let’s go home.”
“Okay. We’ll go home.” He began, giving Bora a soft smile. “ I have no intention of finishing him off today...I’m going to take my time with him...make him suffer for as long as he kept you away from me.” He stated, his tone darkening as he walked over to him.
“Heechul, you've done enough.” She insisted, her anxiety rising. “Please, let’s go home.”
“In a minute.” He said as he reached into his back pocket. I just need to take care of something real quick.” He pulled out a small sharp knife and kneeled down in front of Hyukjae. Bora carefully made her way forward, breathing hard as she anticipated his next move.
“You know I’ve always hated this tattoo...I think he’d look better without it don’t you think?” He sneered.
“Heechul-“ She called out, attempting to stop him from doing what he was about to do. Heechul ignored her and brought the knife below his eye, sinking it into his skin as he began to carve down.
“No, stop!” She cried out, throwing herself at him in an attempt to move his hand away. Heechul was startled by her reaction, causing him to accidentally push her away. Bora flew a few feet backwards, hitting the floor hard from the impact. He instantly reached for her in regret, but something caught his eye that distracted him. Kyuhyun rushed over to her, but Heechul raised his hand up to him, stopping him in his tracks. He slowly made his way to her, and the look on his face sent a shiver down her spine.
“You know...I’ve been really letting this guy have it for minutes straight now, but he wasn’t as fun as he used to be. No reaction whatsoever, clearly already giving up before I even started.” He said in a cold voice, sparking the fear in her even more. “But now I finally got a reaction..It was subtle, you probably didn’t even notice...but I did.” He continued
“So tell me Bora...what could you have possibly done to have him react this way to you?” He asked her, the anger in him radiating as he got closer. Bora did not answer, she closed her eyes tightly as she prepared herself to take the full blow.
“I’m only going to ask you once...and I’ll know if you’re lying….” He said menacingly as he brought his face down to hers.
“Did you fuck him?” He asked her. His question filled the room with a stale silence. Bora swallowed hard, not sure how she could bring herself to admit the truth to him.
Answer me!” He shouted at her, grabbing her aggressively by the arm. A breathy croak interrupted them before she could speak. They all turned to look at Hyukjae, who was struggling to say something.
“I.. forced...myself on her.” He breathed out painfully, prompting Heechul to approach him suspiciously. He fought through the pain to continue, looking right at him for the first time, as a mocking smile formed on his face.
“I fucked her repeatedly…and everytime she would cry out for you…” He spat out, taking a second between his breaths. “I’d fuck her in the mouth.” He said crudely. Heechul saw red immediately, kicking him hard in the stomach. Hyukjae groaned out loud, spitting out blood as he braced himself for another blow.
“He’s lying!” Bora cried out hysterically, stopping the whole room from their movement. “I fucked him…I willingly fucked him...multiple times.” She said again, putting an emphasis on each word. Her outburst had worked, and Heechul once again headed towards her as his rage pulsated. He said nothing back as he kneeled in front of her, looking her right in the eye before raising his hand and slapping her right across the face. She fought through the pain and lifted herself up quickly, showing no fear to her brother as she prepared herself for more. If this was what she had to do to stall, then so be it. Hyukjae’s reaction was no longer subtle, as he struggled against the ties that bound him with the little strength he had left.
“I’ve changed my mind, we’re staying here, and you’re going to watch.” He sneered, grabbing her aggressively by the arm and pulling her to her feet. He reached for the gun he hid under his clothes, revealing it and pointing it towards Hyukjae. “You broke the deal...so I’m ending this now.”
Bora broke free from her brother's hold and threw herself in front of Hyukjae, glaring directly at her brother as he pointed the gun to her.
“Bora…” Hyukjae whispered to her, grimacing as he spoke. “Get out of the way...please.” He begged. Bora shook her head ferociously, the adrenaline hitting her body hard.
“That’s cute Bora.” Heechul mocked her as he gave a quick nod to Kyuhyun. He immediately complied, rushing over to her and grabbing her by the waist. Bora struggled against him, refusing to be taken easily. She kicked and flailed at him, but Kyuhyun continued to drag her out of the way. A cold realization hit Bora that her stalling had not been enough, and he was officially out of time. Heechul continued to point the gun at him, staring him down like a maniac as his finger lingered over the trigger. She felt her world stop as she shut her eyes, accepting that it was too late.
“Drop the gun.” She heard a voice say. Her eyes opened immediately and she saw Donghae walking over to him, his gun pointed directly at Heechul.
“You’re surrounded. We either all die here, or you drop it.” He threatened, showing a side she had never seen before. A crowd of men began to fill the room, all with their weapons drawn.
Heechul let out a psychotic laugh as he watched the room fill up. Multiple weapons were now pointed towards him and Kyuhyun, who had not been able to draw in time.
After taking a couple of seconds to weigh out his options, he slowly lowered the gun, letting it fall to the floor. Donghae continued to point his weapon at him cautiously as he approached and reached it, giving him a motíon to step to the back of the room. Heechul walked away slowly with his hands raised, an amused expression still on his face. Kyuhyun, who was also being led to the back, released his hold on Bora, who fell back to the floor. As he walked past her, Heechul stopped right in front of her, his expression changing immediately as their eyes met.
“This was you...wasn’t it?” He said in a cold voice. The room was once again filled with silence as she looked at the floor, no longer able to face him.
He kneeled down to her once more. Donghae rushed over to them but stopped as Heechul raised a hand to him, making it clear that he was going to make his final point to her.
“You’ve made your choice...you are no longer a sister to me.” He snarled, as he ripped off the necklace around her neck.
“Heechul.” She began to cry hysterically, reaching for him as his words echoed in her mind. Hyukjae was already being lifted up and rushed outside, while Heechul and Kyuhyun continued to be led to the back, weapons still drawn at them. Now that she knew Hyukjae was safe, she lunged towards her brother, desperate to explain herself. Donghae caught her and pulled her back.
“We have to go.” He said to her, accepting that he would have to take her with them.
“No.” She panicked, struggling against his hold. Donghae lifted her over his shoulder and rushed her out, ignoring her cries of protest. He brought her to the familiar van, and they began to drive off almost immediately. Hyukjae was in the van with them, being worked on by two of his men. She looked around as she struggled to keep her focus, her body and mind were completely overwhelmed, and within seconds, she felt her eyes close as she slowly lost consciousness.
Chapter 19: Runaway
Hello! Thank you all for waiting! I had a hard couple of weeks with school ending and just life getting in the way, but I plan to update on a more consistent basis. Thank you for the support so far!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When she opened her eyes, she was in a room she did not recognize. She immediately gasped for air, feeling scared and confused as she scanned the surroundings of this new location.
“Hey you’re up.” Said a familiar voice that approached her. Bora looked up and saw Donghae, looking extremely exhausted.
“Where are we?” She asked him.
“This is our home...it’s the only place we can be safe at the moment-“ He replied.
“Where’s Hyukjae?” She interrupted in a panic, remembering everything all at once.
“He’ll be fine. He’s recovering. We need to let him rest.” He assured her. Bora nodded her head subtly.
“What about my brother?” She asked him.
“Also fine, we rushed out as soon as you two were safe...leaving them there unharmed.” He replied. The two stayed in silence for a while, their somber mood apparent as they reflected on all the events that led them there.
“Thank you.” He said to her, interrupting her thoughts. “For everything you did...I know it wasn’t easy, and I’m sorry you had to go through all that to save his life. I’ll make sure you’re well taken care of here.” He said as he gave her a soft smile. Bora couldn’t find it in her to respond. Though she felt relieved that she managed to save Hyukjae’s life, she now felt the full effect of her brother disowning her and knowing that he may never want to talk to her again.
“I’ll let you get settled. When you’re ready, come downstairs and find me.” He said as he got up to leave the room. Bora took a long deep breath, she was officially out of a home, and had nowhere to go. The uncertainty over her life and future overwhelmed her, and she was desperate to speak to Hyukjae again.
She got up and began to prime herself, she knew she had to be patient and that she might as well try to familiarize herself with her current situation. She stepped out of the room and went to look for Donghae. The house itself seemed to be of a higher class standing, decently sized with beautiful furnishings. She took her time admiring the place as she reached the dining area.
“Hey.” She called out to Donghae as she approached. He passed her a plastic bag he had in front of him. She looked through the bag and found her purse and phone that they took from her the first night. She looked up at Donghae with a confused expression.
“You’re no longer captive. You’re free to go wherever you want, though I don’t necessarily recommend that at the moment.” She nodded in understanding as she attempted to turn her phone on.
“You might want to charge it.” He said as he passed her a portable charger. Bora connected her phone and tried again, this time with success as the screen lit up. She immediately went to her recently called list, noticing Heechul’s name as another wave of sadness hit her.
“When can I talk to him?” She said suddenly.
“Hyukjae?” Donghae answered. She nodded her head. “Soon...but not today.” Was his reply, causing Bora to scowl in disappointment.
“We may have to stay low for a while so let me show you around the place-“ He began, but he was soon interrupted by another presence entering the room. A group of men walked in, some she vaguely recognized from the night before. A well dressed older man came right into the room, staring directly at her as he approached. A chill ran through Bora’s spine as she realized this was Lee Minhyuk, the man she was conditioned to fear from a young age. She looked at him closely, studying his features and noticing the resemblance immediately. Donghae stood up and bowed his head, clearly not expecting him.
“Leave us.” He commanded Donghae, who hesitated for a moment before giving in and walking away. Bora began to feel uneasy as the man came closer, examining her fiercely.
“After hearing about you for months, I just had to come and meet the girl who’s caused so much trouble.” He said as he sat across from her. “Your father has kept you away for so long that I never thought I’d get the pleasure.” He mocked. Her fear stopped her from replying, scared that anything she would say would be used against her.
“Has anyone told you you’re the spitting image of your mother?” He told her as his tone darkened. “I could never comprehend the fascination the men in my family have over you snakes…” He sneered under his breath as he turned away from her.
“So why did you do it?” He asked her directly. Bora looked up at him upon hearing his question.
“Why save him, when you could have been free?” He asked again. Bora continued to stay silent as he looked at her. He began laughing cruelly.
“Based on your actions and the little scheme you pulled yesterday, I know you’re not stupid enough to think his feelings towards you are real.” He explained. “He’s been around you far too long that he’s no longer thinking straight.” He said to her. His words stung her,
knowing full well that it was exactly what she thought to begin with.
“I’ll let him continue to have his way with you, let him have a little toy here until he gets tired of it…besides, the way I see it, your father took one of mine, so now I take one of his.” He said to her.
“You’ve taken two.” She interrupted, no longer able to hold her tongue back. “You took my mother as well.” She reminded him. He chuckled at her comment.
“You’re wrong about that...I took no part in taking your mothers life...your father got to it before I could.” He stated, before leaving the room as she stared at him with a blank expression. A sinking feeling emerged from the pit of her stomach as she processed what she was just told, not sure what to believe anymore.
“Are you okay?” Donghae asked as he rushed back into the room with a worried look on his face.
“Yeah.” She said as she shrugged her emotions off. “Do you want to show me the rest of the house now?” She asked him, changing the subject.
“Sure.” He said as he got up and led the way. They walked together along the house, Donghae explaining the rooms to her while she half paid attention, her mind was somewhere else, and she was even more desperate to talk to Hyukjae after her talk with his father. She noticed a door at the end of the hallway with a man standing in front of it.
“What room is this?” She asked suspiciously.
“That’s Hyukjae’s room.” He said quickly before changing the subject and moving on to the next room. Bora had a feeling, but she wondered why it was being guarded. They continued to walk around the house, Donghae explaining each room as Bora pondered in her head.
“What happens now?” She interrupted him.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“This whole situation, Hyukjae, the debt, Heechul?” She elaborated in frustration.
“I know as much as you do...We either figure something out in the next month, or we belong to Kwan. It’s as simple as that, as for Heechul, he won’t stay quiet, that’s for sure…so we need to be ready for that.” He answered
“Hmm.” She replied. “I think I’m going to take a bath…I’ll talk to Hyukjae tomorrow hopefully...right?”
“Maybe...but yes that’s a good idea, go rest and we can talk more tomorrow.” He said as he led her back to her room. She noticed how quickly he glanced over the Hyukjae question, but she decided not to press on it.
After laying in the bathtub for two hours, pacing around the room for even longer, and then finally forcing herself to rest, she woke up the next morning feeling more at ease than she had been. She woke up extremely determined, and told herself she would talk to Hyukjae no matter what. She headed downstairs to meet with Donghae.
“Good morning.” She said to him as she walked up to him.
“Good morning.” He replied back. “I have breakfast set up outside. I figured we can sit there since it’s such a nice day.”
“Okay.” She agreed as they headed out to an outdoor patio. The table was already set with a variety of dishes, Bora felt relieved that she didn’t have to cook anymore. She figured she might as well eat since there was nothing else she could do and it sat appetizingly in front of her.
“So now that you’ll be living with us, we can get you situated with better clothes and items of your choosing. I have a couple of people coming over later today to help with that...I would take you in person, but we’re still staying low.” He told her.
“That’s fine.” She replied. “Hey I really need to speak to Hyukjae, do you have an update on how he’s feeling now?” She questioned.
“He’s perfectly fine, you’ll be able to talk to him soon.” He answered, before quickly changing the subject. “We also have a better gym at this place if you’re interested, I can show you around later if you’d like-”
“That sounds great Donghae, but maybe after I talk to him.” She interrupted.
“Hmm.” He replied. “How are you feeling now...would you like more food, we have plenty?” He asked her.
“Donghae.” She stated, getting suspicious. “Will I be able to talk to him today?” She asked assertively. Donghae fidgeted in his seat, thinking his response over before answering.
“Probably not Bora...just give it some time, you two have been through a lot.” He told her.
“Why?” She questioned immediately, already feeling the blood boiling inside of her. Donghae let out an exasperated sigh.
“He specifically asked us to keep you away from him.” He admitted. Bora blinked at him repeatedly as he finished talking.
“He doesn’t want to talk to me?!” She questioned.
“He's not in the right mindset right now…I think it would be best if you just let him be for a while, I promise everything is going to be alright okay?” He pleaded, but Bora was no longer listening.
She impulsively stood up and marched towards the room Donghae pointed out earlier, ignoring him as he called out to her. Luckily the man in front of the door was distracted, and didn’t see her coming as she quickly slid right by him, storming right into the room with a purpose.
Hyukjae was sitting up in his bed. Wearing nothing but briefs, his upper body was covered in numerous bandages, and his face was still heavily bruised, the cut under his eye was now adorned with fresh stitches. He was neither surprised nor amused by her arrival. The guard outside immediately ran in and attempted to grab her by the arm.
“Sorry sir, she ran right past me.” He apologized
“It’s fine, she’s already in. Leave us.” He commanded, and the guard immediately complied.
Bora continued to examine the condition of his body, feeling sick once more from all the bruising Heechul had caused. Now that she was in front of him, she was finding it difficult to remember what she wanted to say to him.
“Do you have something to say or are you just gonna stand there..” He asked her in an irate tone, refusing to look at her. Bora found herself feeling intimidated by him once more, finding it hard to find the right words to say.
“...How are you feeling?” She said as she fidgeted nervously.
“I’m doing just fine if you couldn’t tell.” He snapped at her. “Is that all you wanted to know?” Bora stood silent, confused and hurt by his anger and not knowing what to say in return.
“So not only are you the most irritating person I’ve ever met, but you’re also the stupidest.” He stated, turning to look right at her as he spoke his cruel words. “Why would you jump in front of me like that? Do you know how insane your brother is...He could have easily killed you too.” Bora could see that his anger was increasing.
“You were free, back in your brothers arms...and you had to go and fuck it all up. Now you can never go home, is that what you wanted?” He spat out. Bora was caught off guard but felt the urge to defend herself.
“Of course not… but what was I supposed to do, let you die-“
“That’s exactly what you were supposed to do!” He interrupted. “I was prepared to die the moment I made the decision to take you...why couldn’t you just let it be!”
“I just couldn’t.” She answered under her breath.
“Why not?” He demanded. “Did you suddenly forget everything I put you through? That I kept you hostage from your family, had you locked up for months?”
“No.” She defended, feeling her emotions getting the best of her.
Hyukjae scoffed in irritation and turned his face away, no longer interested in what she had to say. The room was filled with an uncomfortable silence as Bora continued to look at him. He looked so broken in this state, nothing like the man she initially assumed him to be. Her feelings for him were undeniable now.
“I love you.” She said to him, breaking the silence with her soft voice. He did not turn to look at her after she said it, but fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat as he came to terms with her confession. Bora had never seen him look so upset.
“Then you’re even stupider than I thought.” He replied. Bora closed her eyes tightly. Though she expected this reply, it still didn’t hurt any less.
“You can’t stay here.” He began. “We have other places you can stay at...Donghae can go with you to make sure you’re safe, and we can help get you back to America if need be, but you need to leave.” Bora could feel the anger returning as she straightened out her posture, making sure that her next words were clear.
“You don’t get to tell me what to do or where to go, ever again.” She stated, her confidence returning to her. “The way that I see it, you owe your life to me...and I’m not leaving.” She added as she turned to walk out of his room.
She stormed off, feeling incredibly defeated after confronting him. She headed back to the room she was placed in earlier, holding back her tears as she fought with the feelings of abandonment. No one wanted her around. She entered the room but stopped in her tracks as she realized that someone was already there.
“Hello.” Said the voice of a female she did not recognize. Bora stared at her blankly as she made out key features to try to guess her identity.
“Sorry to barge in like this...but this was my old room.” She said bluntly. She had a feeling that this was the sister she had heard so much about. She could see the resemblance now, especially with the way she entered unannounced. Bora groaned internally. So far she had been insulted by both his father, and Hyukjae himself. She wasn't sure if her ego could handle another blow from this family.
“I’m Mina...his older sister.” She said as she casually stood up from her seat and studied her. Bora opened her mouth to reply but was cut off before she could make a sound.
“So why did you do it?” She asked her suddenly. “Why did you save him?” Bora groaned internally, as she grew tired of hearing this question.
“Did he tell you...everything? The reason why he did what he did and got himself into this mess?” She asked accusingly. Bora slowly nodded her head.
“How were you able to make him talk to you...he hasn’t opened up to me in years.” She spoke in an irritated tone, she could see the hurt in her eyes.
“I don’t trust you.” She established as she approached her. Bora looked at the floor as her nerves picked up. “I don’t understand why my brother and cousin are so enamored by you and I can only imagine the things you did to make them feel that way.” Bora opened her mouth to defend herself but she was quickly interrupted.
“Thank you...for saving him.” Her tone softened as her expression changed. Bora was incredibly confused by all the different emotions she was being dealt with.
“My father appreciates it too...though he’ll never admit it.” She said with a soft smile. “I bet you think this is all my fault right?” She asked her.
“No, I don’t-“ Bora began
“It’s fine, you don’t have to explain yourself...have you been able to talk to him yet?” She asked her. Bora nodded slowly.
“Well by the look on your face I take it didn’t go well...don’t let him get to you he always pushes away those he cares about.” She assured her. Bora looked up at her with a hopeful expression, careful not to take her words too seriously to avoid future disappointment.
“Well I’ll let you be...I’m heading off to talk to my brother now.” She said to her as she exited the room. “Nice to meet you.” She said as she closed the door behind her.
Bora let herself sink into the bed as she plopped down. Though the interaction with his sister went better than she expected, she was not in the mood to deal with any other human being. As she thought this, a knock on the door interrupted her. She groaned loudly.
“Hey Bora...are you in here?” Said Donghae through the door.
“Yeah.” She answered back.
“Are you feeling okay?” He asked again.
“I’m great...I just want to be alone right now if that’s okay.” She replied.
“I understand, but I just wanted to let you know that we’ve got clothes for you to try on downstairs.” He said to her.
“Thank’s Donghae, but I’m not really in the mood right now.” She sulked.
“Are you sure? They’re all designer brands.” He replied. Bora took a moment to think it over.
“Okay.” She answered, as she gave in and walked towards the door.
Yes I made the conscious decision to change his sisters name. I just wanted to make it clear that it is an AU and not related to the actual people in any way!