According to the secret Victorian language of flowers, the freesia is the ultimate symbol of trust.
Taehyung always knew that one day he would die this way.
It really didn’t come as a surprise to him when there were suddenly three of those bloodsuckers swarming him, herding him like cattle, stalking him like they’re the predators and he’s the prey.
And that's exactly what it was.
He was nothing more, nothing less than prey. A snack, it seems, as they didn’t suck him dry fully, just took enough so that his heart still keeps beating, but certainly not for much longer.
He feels the life slowly drain from him as he’s lying in the gutter, hair, clothes, everything wet from the incessant rain that pours down on his almost lifeless body. Even if he tries to move, his limbs just won’t cooperate, just feel like lead, too heavy to lift.
He wonders what will happen after he dies. Will there be an outcry? Headlines like ‘Vampires kill human – again’. Probably not. There’s never much clamour when it happens, why should he be any different? The only one who might care will be his roommate and best friend, and he feels genuinely sorry that he has to leave him behind like this.
Breathing becomes hard now, and when he tries to open his eyes, they just remain closed.
It hurts, everything hurts.
It certainly doesn't get any better when a voice suddenly pipes up next to him.
“Hey, what happened to you?” it sounds worried and a little anxious, and Taehyung puts all the effort he can muster into fluttering his eyelids open again. His vision is blurry but he recognises the silhouette of a young man before he feels it and then it clicks.
It’s another vampire.
“Well, guess,” Taehyung rasps, not keen on having to talk to one of them on his cold and damp death bed. “Just go away, you’re too late. Someone else already snacked on me,” he mutters sarcastically, and he’s so ready to die now he wishes it would just finally be over.
Suddenly he feels cold hands on his neck, and he winces despite himself, his body feeling like one single source of pain, but then the vampire speaks up again, making his head hurt even more.
“You’re going to die if I don't do anything,” the voice does indeed sound a little panicky, and Taehyung is really confused about that because vampires are not generally known for their care for humans or their kindness.
“So what? Let me die,” Taehyung retorts, “I'm just going… to sleep now,” his eyes fall close again and he can feel his heartbeat slowing down until suddenly a warmth engulfs him that makes his whole body perk up immediately, the headache blown away. He can smell and taste something heavenly on all of his senses, his head spinning from what is currently on his lips and tongue.
It’s warm and liquid, and it tastes so sweet and unbelievingly good. Taehyung cannot really tell what it is, for he has never smelled or tasted anything like that before, only knows that he could drink from it for the rest of his life.
It’s irresistible and rejuvenating, and when it’s suddenly pulled away from him again, a pang of emptiness surges through his body and makes him gasp out loud, his whole body screaming for just another drop of that mellifluous substance. At the same time he feels like he’s floating, like an energy is buzzing beneath his skin that makes him feel content and so alive.
But then he opens his eyes, wide and shocked, and realises what just happened. Sees the stranger lick over his own wrist as if it was the most normal fucking thing in the world and all the air gets knocked out of Taehyung’s lungs once again.
“You—, what have you done?” he shrieks, instantly stumbling onto his feet. He can’t even be surprised about the strength he feels in his legs, about how awake he feels, about how he feels like he could move mountains if must be, about how there are no open bite wounds on his body anymore that hurt like hell just a minute ago.
He is much more shocked about the pull he suddenly feels for the other man, an incessant tugging that dominantly demands to get closer to him despite everything in Taehyung trying to resist. He lifts his hand and stares at his wrist, the veins in it now dyed black, looking like a dark tattoo on his skin that is at least three inches long, marking the exact same spot where the stranger had bitten himself earlier to make his blood pour out.
Marking Taehyung as his soulmate.
“What have you done, you fucking asshole?” he stares at the stranger, really looks at him for the first time ever, and isn’t surprised to find a very handsome face, chocolate brown hair, dark round eyes and a body that shows his strength despite his slender build.
A vampire as eerily perfect as any other.
His expression looks taken aback, a little insecure maybe even, and his eyes are shining in a faint red hue. His lips are pursed and his chest heaves quickly with shallow breaths, his all black clothes making him almost invisible if not for the faint light of a street lamp that is flickering a little in the distance.
“I’m—, I’m sorry, I just had to—,”
“You had to do nothing,” Taehyung spits, rage even more prominent in his body than his usual fear of the superhuman beings, “you just had to let me die. Instead, you go and make me your soulmate? Are you kidding me? Have you—, have you not thought about what that fucking means?”
“There was no time for much thinking!” the other retorts, his voice sounding a little strained and desperate and Taehyung wonders for a brief moment if he really is a vampire because none of them would ever throw their lives away for a stupid human being.
Taehyung stares at his mark again and furiously rubs on it, but his veins remain black and his skin just gets irritated by it, so he stops. He lets out a strangled sob and can’t believe this is happening to him. He throws his hands up exasperatedly and covers his face with them.
“You should have just let me die!” he yells again and starts walking away, tears flowing down his face. He can’t believe that he of all people got soulmated by a vampire.
Why him of all people?
“Wait,” the vampire shouts, “I don’t even know your name!”
“You should have thought about that before you gave me your blood to drink!” Taehyung yells back and keeps walking through the rain.
Taehyung has been harassed by vampires in the past. In fact, it’s normal for humans to get bullied, shoved around and attacked by them and there is nothing in the world he or any other human could do about it. It’s just the way things are and no matter how much Taehyung wishes something would change, that will probably never happen.
Vampires and humans are usually strictly separated and even though there are also prestigious humans like lawyers and doctors, most humans work in lowly jobs while vampires take up the important positions. Needless to say, they're also all rich and spoiled and don’t give a damn about the misery most humans have to go through in their lives.
There is nothing, nothing, that would explain why this vampire would have reason to make him his soulmate.
Suddenly the vampire appears in front of Taehyung with a gush of wind accompanying him, and Taehyung freezes on the spot, fear coming back to him when he remembers that he’s dealing with an actual killing machine. The fact that it is currently night and dark and scary doesn’t make it any better, and Taehyung thinks that he can see his breath in airy white puffs escape his lips despite it being early summer.
He stares into the other’s eyes and sees himself mirrored in them, a reflection of despair and fear and hopelessness.
He gulps heavily before he tries to step around him, but the other holds him back by his upper arm, the touch almost searing through the thick and drenched sweater he's wearing. He feels a sudden longing surge through his body that he really doesn’t want to feel, the soulbond pulling their souls together, and he wants him to let go but the other’s grip is relentless.
“Please, tell me your name,” the other practically begs and it’s so hard for Taehyung to understand. His throat feels parched now and he still feels the other’s blood stick to his lips and chin, can smell it as if he was bathing in it and it completely clogs his mind.
“T-taehyung. My name is Taehyung,” he stutters before he suddenly snaps out of it again.
Did he really just tell the vampire his name?
He rips his arm out of the other’s grip and starts running away, wishing this night would have never ever happened.
“My name is Jeongguk!” the vampire shouts after him, but he doesn’t really listen, just keeps running until he’s home, until he’s safe again.
It’s been several days since Taehyung’s life has been plunged into misery.
He tries to hide it, but it’s hard.
It’s hard to conceal the mark on his wrist, wishes he could just rub it off, could break the bond that has been forced upon him. But he knows it’s impossible, unless one of them dies. He can hardly hope for the vampire to die, however; that’s something that will probably never happen.
He also realises soon that the pull he constantly feels is a sign that the soulbond demands them to be close to each other again, and it gets more and more irritating, each day a little stronger until one week has passed and images of the vampire are constantly flooding his mind.
He’s walking home during sunset when suddenly the pull almost completely disappears and he has the vampire – Jeongguk – standing in front of him.
He jumps back a step and takes a deep breath, his heart almost shutting down from shock.
“Taehyung,” his name sounds unbelievable on the other’s tongue, but he hardens all his senses and tries to not show his fear, “finally, I found you.” He doesn’t know how the other has found him, or why he’s been looking for him at all, but Jeongguk is currently half-smiling at him, half looking a little uncomfortable, confusing Taehyung to no end.
“How did you find me?” he wants to know and swallows hard, because if this means that the guy is stalking him, he will dig himself a hole and bury himself to never come out again. If Jeongguk has some kind of creepy vampiristic ability to track him down he really wants to know.
“I just followed my gut feeling,” Jeongguk answers immediately and tilts his head a little when Taehyung just continues to gape at him dumbly, “don’t you feel it, too? I can feel your presence and follow it. I think it’s the soulbond, but I’m not sure. But what else could it be? I mean, when I get closer to you I can also smell you but—,” Taehyung is amazed by how much Jeongguk rambles, and also by how nicely he behaves towards him. There aren’t many people on the street, it wouldn’t be necessary for him to pretend to actually respect him.
“Wow, Jeongguk,” Taehyung interrupts him and at the mention of his name Jeongguk visibly perks up, his posture becoming more straight and his face hopeful, “look, I don’t want this. I never wanted to be soulmated to a vampire, I never even wanted anything to do with one,” at that Jeongguk’s shoulders slump a little again but Taehyung remains steadfast.
“I’m sorry, Taehyung, I—,”
“I don’t want to see you again. I want you to—, to leave me alone. Don’t look for me anymore. If you feel me somewhere, ignore it, don’t come near me,” he’s just a human, but he won’t let anyone walk all over him like that, not even a vampire, not when he can prevent it.
He briefly glances at Jeongguk’s crestfallen face, even though he knows he shouldn’t look a predator in the eyes, but he just can’t help himself before he pushes past him and quickly walks away again.
“I saw him again!” Jimin announces after he’s barged into their flat, making Taehyung almost jump out of his skin. He twists his body so that he can look up from the noodles he’s cooking in order to throw a glare at his best friend and roommate. Jimin plops down at the kitchen table after he’s kicked off his shoes and starts massaging his foot. “I swear, he’s so beautiful, and he looks so soft and gentle and he has the most beautiful eyes,” Jimin gushes, dreamily looking at the ceiling while doing so and Taehyung knows exactly who he’s talking about. Again.
“He’s probably an asshole like everyone else,” Taehyung just mutters back, stirring the noodles in the pot. He then fishes one of the noodles out and throws it at a tile on the wall. He hums contentedly when it sticks to it and begins draining the water from the pot.
“You don’t even know him! He could be the greatest guy ever,” Taehyung can hear the pout in Jimin’s voice, but he sticks to his opinion.
“But you don’t know him either. He’s a vampire, he just sees you as food,” he replies a little absentmindedly, wondering if he should pour pesto or bolognese sauce over his meal.
“I’m sure he’s different. Just imagine how it would be to get your blood sucked by him! Or, oh god, imagine how it would be to be soulmated to him!” Jimin says even more dopily and Taehyung freezes in the middle of trying to empty half a jar of bolognese sauce into the pot, dumping all of its contents into it instead. He sucks in a deep breath and stutters it out again before he scoffs.
“Being soulmated to a vampire is not as great as everyone thinks. In fact, it’s just a hassle,” he rambles and he only realises what he’s actually talking about when it’s already way too late. Jimin is eerily quiet suddenly and Taehyung doesn’t even dare to look at him.
“What the fuck do you mean, Tae?” Jimin asks sceptically, an interrogating undertone swinging in his voice, “how would you know that?”
“Well,” Taehyung starts cautiously, intending on telling him, but chickens out again. “I’m just assuming stuff,” he says instead with a shrug of his shoulders.
“You don’t, you know something,” Jimin gets up from his chair and comes to stand next to him, Taehyung furiously starting to mix his noodles with the sauce as if his life depended on it. But then he stops again abruptly and takes a deep breath.
“I was attacked two weeks ago,” he finally confesses and chances a glance at Jimin’s face who, as expected, looks at him with shocked, bewildered eyes. Taehyung feels dread taking hold of his body again when he remembers that night; how he’s been stalked, how the vampires fell over his neck and arms, and the blood freezes in his veins all over again. “They were three, and they almost sucked me dry.”
“Tae,” Jimin furrows his brows worriedly and pulls him into a hug, one that Taehyung greatly appreciates. Jimin’s hugs always are his greatest source of comfort. “Why didn’t you say anything? They—, they could have killed you!”
“Yes. Yes, I know and they almost did. But if I told you then—,” he laughs briefly and pulls away from Jimin’s embrace again, “then I would have had to tell you about this, too,” he pulls back the sleeve of his sweater and reveals his wrist, the one where his veins are still colored black. Jimin’s eyes grow as big as two moons as he sees it and he stares back at his eyes.
“What? Kim Taehyung, what?” he almost shrieks, grabs his wrist and inspects it more closely again, “how did you do that? Who did that? Was it one of your attackers? Please don’t tell me it was one of them,” Taehyung scoffs, shaking his head.
“I didn’t do anything, and no, thank fuck, it wasn’t one of them, but that doesn’t really make anything better. I was lying there, dying, and that other vampire dude comes along and just gives me his blood. He didn’t even ask me! I was half unconscious already but suddenly—, there was this—, this sweet smell and his blood was on my tongue and it—, it felt so good,” he’s ashamed to admit this, he feels so bad about having enjoyed drinking Jeongguk’s blood so much, but he cannot take it back.
“He just gave you his blood? Just like that? Did you know him from before?”
“No! No, he’s a stranger, I don’t know him.”
“Wow, you’re one lucky bastard. Did he also drink your blood?” Jimin asks curiously, and Taehyung can’t believe that he actually sounds a little envious.
“No? I walked away and now I really hope I won’t ever see him again,” Taehyung deadpans and petulantly starts filling two bowls with his noodles.
Taehyung doesn’t expect anything grand to happen when he goes to work the next day, it will just be a day like any other, hopefully vampire free.
He didn’t talk about his soulmated status to Jimin much more, even though he could feel that his best friend was about to die from curiosity. He just wants to forget about it and pretend that there isn’t a vampire somewhere out there whose soul is basically locked to his own. It’s a strange and unnerving feeling, one that doesn’t lessen in the slightest when the bell at the shop door rings and the whole room falls quiet all at once.
And simultaneously, the incessant pull he constantly feels lately disappears briefly before coming back in full force.
Taehyung looks up from what he’s been doing and feels paralysed when he suddenly stares into those sharp eyes again, eyes that are exclusively fixed on him right now, an intensity in them that makes him sway a little on his feet.
He quickly realises that everyone who’s currently present is taken in by the presence of the vampire, the sight not all that common usually, especially not during the day when vampires are supposedly weaker and more prone to fatigue than during the night.
All the stares are on Jeongguk and Taehyung seems to be the only one who isn’t excited at all to see him here. On the contrary, he even rolls his eyes a little, but it’s more out of reflex than some act of random boldness. He’s glad that when he looks at his coworker, Hoseok, he sees that the other seems to be equally unimpressed by the other’s entrance. In fact, he seems to be scowling at Jeongguk, and this alone is a little comforting for Taehyung as he doesn’t seem to be the only one who doesn’t want him here.
“Hey, Taehyung,” Jeongguk greets him and Taehyung can’t believe he really had to steer his steps directly to the counter in front of him despite having been clear about not ever wanting to see him again.
“Hi,” he mutters begrudgingly and hides his wrist where he's wearing a wristband now to cover up his mark, his skin tingling annoyingly in that spot as Jeongguk comes closer. He sees Jeongguk glance at it briefly, but then he looks up at his eyes again.
“Uhm, I just—, wanted to see you?” Jeongguk says quietly and Taehyung almost cannot believe his ears. Maybe it’s a vampire thing, but the other just doesn’t seem to get the memo.
“Tough luck, I’m working, as you might see,” everything about Jeongguk annoys Taehyung, such as the glance he shoots at Hoseok as if he's about to pounce him. Thus Taehyung positions himself so that he's obstructing the view to his coworker, resolutely staring at Jeongguk as if to say ‘don’t you dare touching him’. The vampire can probably smell his fear, but Taehyung won’t let anything happen to his coworker just because one of those bloodsuckers is stalking him.
“Maybe we could meet up later?”
“No way,” Taehyung blurts out immediately and Jeongguk looks conflicted before he seems to inhale in order to steady himself. He nods briefly, more to himself, before he actually places an order.
“Can I have an americano?” black like his soul, Taehyung thinks, a coffee befitting of such a creature. Taehyung prepares the coffee for the vampire, ignores Jeongguk’s burning gaze as he has his back turned to him. When he gives the coffee to him as Jeongguk hands him some change, their fingers brush against each other briefly and everything in Taehyung’s mind turns to black for a second before he regains his composure again, world spinning a little before his eyes. He could swear Jeongguk let his fingers linger a little longer than absolutely necessary, he's actually certain of that. Jeongguk just throws him one last glance and leaves without another word.
As soon as the vampire has left again, he is finally able to breathe properly once more. It felt really tense and exhausting having Jeongguk here, at a place where he usually feels safe because not many vampires come here.
“That was a vampire, right?” his co-worker Sooyoung asks excitedly and Taehyung almost drops Jeongguk’s change that he’s still holding in his hand, “but he didn’t harass you or anything?” Taehyung just purses his lips and shakes his head while he puts the change away.
“No, uhm, I know him,” he admits, because he hopes that the others won’t make such a big fuss about it then. He really doesn’t want to talk about it, but all he achieves is the contrary.
“You know a vampire?” the amazed voices of his co-workers mingle as they all talk over themselves, asking him where he knows him from, how they met, what kind of relationship they have. Intimate questions of whether Jeongguk has sucked his blood are thrown around as if it was nothing and Taehyung blushes furiously, wants to sink into the ground.
“T-that all doesn’t matter,” he just says, not wanting to talk about it at all.
“But you do know him, that’s so cool! Oh god, I’m so jealous!” and he really doesn’t understand why everyone loves vampires so much when they’re actually oppressing all of humankind.
“Hey, you’re a handsome one,” the vampire in front of Taehyung drawls, but he tries to ignore him expertly while preparing his order, his face feeling hot and flushed, body crippled with fear. “You don’t stink as much as the most of your species do. You up for going to a club with me tonight?” and Taehyung knows what he means. He means going to one of those exclusive vampire clubs where vampires and humans mingle in order to get their blood sucked.
Of course, it’s only the humans who give their blood. If a vampire gave their blood – willingly – to a human, they would be soulmated and of course, no vampire in their right mind would ever do this.
No vampire but Jeongguk, apparently.
“I’m sorry, but I c-can’t,” Taehyung just says, playing with the thought of showing the vampire his soulmate mark, because soulmated humans are taboo to touch and therefore uninteresting to every vampire except for their soulmates. Usually, at least. Of course, there are exceptions who blatantly ignore that unwritten rule.
“You’re a filthy little human, huh? Do you think you can do whatever you want?” the vampire shows his true face now, his overly sweet smile replaced by an ugly scowl, and cold dread fills Taehyung’s veins once more. He wonders why it always has to be him.
“He told you he can’t,” a familiar voice suddenly speaks up, and Taehyung whips his head into the direction of the newcomer.
Jeongguk is standing there, looking beyond pissed, a death glare directed at the unfamiliar guy.
“I was here first, fuck off,” the stranger retorts and Taehyung starts gnawing on his lips, throwing a careful glance at his co-worker, Sooyoung, who also looks pale and scared, her body seemingly frozen to the spot. He wishes both vampires would just take their business somewhere else.
“No, you fuck off, you’re currently hitting on my mate, fuckface.”
The stranger’s haughty expression drops at that, and he swiftly looks at Taehyung before he glares back at Jeongguk again. He seems to fight an internal battle for a moment before he huffs and clicks his tongue and disappears, the only signal that he’s left the shop through the door is the bell that rings briefly. He didn’t even take his order with him.
Jeongguk comes to stand in front of him and before Taehyung is able to react, he’s cupping his cheek and all the air gets knocked out of his lungs, Jeongguk's fingers feeling like fire on his skin, his body reacting by shuddering vehemently.
“Are you okay?” Jeongguk asks, worry apparent in his voice.
“Yes, yes I’m fine,” Taehyung mutters, swatting his hand away, putting the coffee he’s made for the impudent vampire aside, not wanting to empty it into the drain, instead intending on drinking it himself later. He briefly glances at Sooyoung who’s looking at him with big gaping eyes, and he only realises now that Jeongguk has just announced their soulmateship when he spat it at the other vampire. “Why are you here again, Jeongguk? I told you I don’t want to see you anymore.”
“Well, uhm—,” the vampire begins as he lifts a hand to the back of his head, scratching it bashfully, “the soulbond. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen you and I just—, felt like I had to be close to you again,” he admits and Taehyung can’t relate. He feels the pull, yes, but he never had the urge to meet up with Jeongguk again. “Taehyung, you really shouldn’t hide your mark, it protects you.”
Taehyung’s eyes go a little wider at the sudden change of topic, and his one hand automatically flies to the wrist that carries the soulmate mark. He briefly glances at Jeongguk’s wrist, and he can see that the other is displaying his black veins openly, no bracelets or anything covering it up.
“I can take care of myself,” Taehyung just grumbles and wants to continue doing his work, before something in him just snaps and he feels like giving Jeongguk a piece of his mind, “In fact, I really don’t need you, Jeongguk. My life has become a mess because of you. I really wish you would have just let me die,” the words just tumble out of his mouth, and before he knows it, his heart drops when he sees the hurt expression on Jeongguk’s face.
The vampire frowns and takes a deep, shaky breath.
“It’s not my fault for being a vampire,” Jeongguk snaps in a pained voice, making Taehyung’s heart feel as if it’s being crumpled up, “if I could choose, I wouldn’t be one, either.”
And then he leaves Taehyung standing there to mull about what he’s just said.
Taehyung would probably lie if he claimed to never think about the vampire anymore. In fact, he thinks about him a lot, but he can never bring himself to be worried about him, or to care about what he might currently be doing.
Nothing has changed for him except for an annoying faint itch in his whole body that he cannot seem to get rid off. He knows it’s been the pull he’s been feeling before it has morphed into the irritating sensation, for every itch is accompanied by a tight feeling in his chest that makes him feel like he wants to jump out of his skin.
He’s all the more surprised, therefore, when Jeongguk enters the coffee shop – again – looking absolutely terrible, tired and exhausted, face contorted in pain.
He’s never seen a vampire looking this shitty before.
“What do you want again,” he says by way of greeting, and Jeongguk bites his lips.
“I’m sorry, I just—, I have to stay here for a few minutes, I’ll be gone again soon. Promise,” he winces and it dawns on Taehyung. It’s the soulbond that makes Jeongguk feel like that all the time. Taehyung is surprised to find Jeongguk aching so terribly because except for his own slight itch he doesn’t feel much at all. Not yet, though, and Taehyung is genuinely scared that soon he will have to go through pain like this as well. He feels a lot like throwing up at the thought of being forced to spend time with the vampire just because of that stupid bond.
“You’re scaring away the customers,” Taehyung just mutters, wanting him gone, even though there is almost no one present and all the people who are here gape at Jeongguk in amazement. He also has to admit that his itch has vanished, the feeling replaced by the familiar pull he knows so well by now.
“Why do you hate vampires so much?” Jeongguk croaks, propping his elbows up on the counter, head resting on his forearms. He looks really terrible, skin ashen and hair dull.
“Well, why could that be? What do you think could be a possible reason for a human to hate vampires?” Taehyung feels like Jeongguk’s question is too personal, too intimate, and he really doesn’t want him to know, it’s none of his business. But maybe then he will finally take the hint and leave him alone.
Jeongguk is silent for a moment and Taehyung holds his gaze. He can see on his face that Jeongguk is already thinking of the right answer but doesn’t really dare speaking it out loud.
“Someone... close to you has been killed by a vampire,” he whispers hesitantly and Taehyung scoffs.
“My parents and my little sister. It wasn’t just one vampire, they were five. I only survived because I wasn’t with them when it happened,” he speaks the words out loud, and even though it happened years ago, talking about it makes it so real, makes it so hard to bear, and he wishes the pain he feels when he thinks about his murdered family would finally lessen a bit.
But it never does.
“But it’s illegal for vampires to kill—,” Jeongguk starts, and Taehyung feels fury well up in his chest, a bitter laugh bursting from his lips.
“Do you think they fucking cared? Do you think those monsters that almost killed me the other day cared? Wake up, Jeongguk, you vampires don’t give a shit about us humans except for wondering who could be your next snack,” he hisses, staring Jeongguk down because he’s beyond caring for his own safety.
At Taehyung's harsh words Jeongguk looks even more pained than before, but Taehyung also sees realisation flicker over his face as his words sink in.
Maybe the vampire will finally leave him alone from now on.
Taehyung almost jumps out of his skin when someone knocks on his door in the evening with a loud bang, the sound ripping him out of his reverie. He never has any visitors and Jimin obviously has a key. So unless Jimin lost his key somewhere and somehow magically got into the apartment building down below, there must be a complete stranger standing in front of his door at the moment.
He gets up and walks over to it, and when he feels his itch gradually disappear, he already knows who it is.
“Taehyung?” he hears Jeongguk say through the door, the vampire apparently able to smell him or whatever, “Taehyung, please let me touch you, please.”
Taehyung is taken aback by the request, and he looks through the peephole of his door, seeing a hunched over Jeongguk standing right there, hair sticking to his forehead all sweaty and messed up. He takes a deep breath.
“No. Go away,” he shouts back and intends on leaving the door again.
“Tae, please, just—,”
“Don’t fucking call me that!” he snaps and bangs his flat palm against the door, genuinely exasperated by how the vampire just won’t leave him alone.
Suddenly he can hear a faint, muffled thump against the door, Jeongguk not saying anything anymore. Taehyung's breathing is ragged and shallow, and he can't help but wonder if the other has left. But the itch hasn’t returned yet, a convincing indicator that Jeongguk must still be here. He takes a step towards the door again and presses his eye cautiously against the peephole.
He can’t see Jeongguk standing there anymore.
Instead, he can see half of his body lying on the floor.
His heart drops.
“What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck,” he repeats a few times, grasping his hair in panic because he never knew that vampires could actually collapse.
He paces up and down for a minute or two before he gathers all his courage and yanks the door open, the little heap on the floor that is Jeongguk dropping against his feet as soon as the door doesn’t hold up his body anymore.
Taehyung inhales deeply and closes his eyes for a moment, tries to not enjoy Jeongguk's body touching him so much, tries to ignore the warmth he feels as their bodies are so close to each other.
He hates vampires, yes, but he’s not a complete asshole. He cannot just leave Jeongguk lying here on the floor. Thus he starts dragging him to his room, hauls him onto his bed and drapes him on the mattress so that he's lying on his back.
And then he sits down on the floor next to the bed and takes Jeongguk’s hand into his, allowing him to touch him like that.
Of course, he doesn’t do it because it feels so good, he just does it so that the intervals of the other’s visits will hopefully become longer instead of shorter. His lips quirk up into a sarcastic lopsided grin when he thinks about Jeongguk being a battery that is currently being recharged by Taehyung’s presence, before he shakes his head and puts his chin on the mattress, closing his eyes.
Little does he know that he eventually falls asleep with Jeongguk’s hand still clasped tightly with his own.
Little does he know that sometime during the night Jeongguk wakes up and studies Taehyung’s face for a while; studies his long eyelashes that caress his cheeks, his slightly parted lips as he breathes evenly, his steady, calm heartbeat that Jeongguk hears for the first time ever instead of one that is racing with fear. He also takes in the faint scars on Taehyung's arms from bites and scratches that are not Jeongguk’s, making him livid with anger because he couldn’t protect him.
But most of all Jeongguk can feel and smell the pureness in Taehyung's blood that makes it hard for Jeongguk to keep a cool head.
Little does Taehyung know that Jeongguk realises that he has already fallen head over heels in love with him.
For when Taehyung wakes up the next morning, Jeongguk has gone, a slight breeze coming in through the open window.
Taehyung is at work again when a woman comes in that Taehyung knows well already, for she is a regular at the shop. Only today there are dark sunglasses on her nose and a scarf wrapped around her head and he almost doesn't recognise her at first. She’s wearing a turtleneck that covers all of her arms and neck, fingers constantly pulling on the edges of the scarf, trying to cover her face. She seems to be nervous and Taehyung instantly feels a little worried about her.
There are a few other people in line before it’s her turn, and Taehyung takes the opportunity to study her a little more intently. At one point the scarf slips between her fingers and he sees a faint bruise and an especially nasty bite wound peeking out from under her turtleneck sweater. He instantly feels a pang of pain in his heart, can’t believe that yet another human being has to suffer like that.
“Hey,” he greets her when it’s her turn, “the usual?” he asks, expecting to make another caramel macchiato for her.
“N-no, just some black coffee for me today,” she says, voice barely a whisper, and Taehyung smiles sympathetically. He marks her order on the paper cup and gives it to Hoseok so that he can make the coffee. There’s no one in line behind her, so he decides to chat with her like usually until her order is done.
“Has—, has someone harassed you? I’m sorry for being so forward but that shit just shouldn’t happen to us all the time,” he says and he can see her visibly getting smaller after he's asked the question. He feels anger boiling beneath his skin already. It’s just so unfair, all the things that happen to them.
“Oh, no no. It’s nothing to worry about, really,” she says, smiling abashedly, but Taehyung can see how she winces at the action, her fingers flying up to her cheek where a good amount of foundation has been plastered on. Taehyung frowns even more. “My soulmate just didn’t have such a good day yesterday and—, I wasn’t paying attention… it’s nothing really,” she continues and Taehyung feels like he’s missed taking the last step on the stairs.
She has a soulmate and they did this to her?
The information sinks in slowly, and it wraps itself around his heart in a cold, hard, relentless grip. He can’t help but having images of Jeongguk flash on his inner eye; his face lighting up as Taehyung called his name, his whole body perking up when Taehyung looked at him, his dangerous voice when he told that other vampire to fuck off and leave his soulmate – him – alone.
He feels like a rug has been pulled out of under his feet and he stumbles to keep his balance. He had never been aware of the fact that even soulmated vampires would treat their humans like shit. Jeongguk is the only soulmated vampire he knows and he has never laid a finger on him, he has never had any reason to assume that he could just abuse him in whatever way he wanted despite them being soulmated.
He just can’t wrap his head around it, suddenly doesn’t know why Jeongguk has always been so nice to him.
Taehyung realises that it has always been him who’s been acting like an asshole towards Jeongguk. That it was always him who told the vampire to go away, who didn’t care about the other’s pain, who pretended that there is no soulbond at all and that they wouldn’t have to see each other ever again.
He realises that with Jeongguk, he’s actually pretty lucky.
“Take care of yourself, okay?” he tells the young lady sympathetically and hands her the coffee because there is nothing else he can do. She bows and leaves, throwing him one last glance through her dark sunglasses before Taehyung finally lets out the breath he was holding.
“Hey, are you okay?” Hoseok suddenly stands next to him and Taehyung startles a little before he catches himself again.
“Yeah. Yeah, sure,” he fakes a smile, trying to push all those thoughts of Jeongguk out of his mind. But it’s of no use. Jeongguk is glued to his mind, just like he has been for the past weeks. He needs to find some consolation. “Hey, Hobi,” he starts cautiously, tugging on his apron distractedly.
“Hm? What is it?”
“What would you do if you were involuntarily mated to a vampire?” he murmurs, intending for it to sound nonchalant but failing miserably by sounding so strained. Hoseok just furrows his eyebrows at that and frowns.
“What do you mean? How would this even happen?” Hoseok laughs, a little unnerved-sounding before he starts cleaning the coffee machine.
“I mean, just imagine you’re suddenly mated to a vampire, but you actually hate them because you don’t like vampires all that much. But you constantly feel this dull pain in your chest when you’re not with them and you’d really want it to go away, but it only ever lessens when you’re close to them. And that sucks because you don’t want to spend your time with them, and—,” he sighs, he can’t really describe the feeling he has when he’s separated from Jeongguk, only knows that he hates it.
“He doesn't treat you badly, does he?” Hoseok asks in a worried but low voice so that no one else can hear it. Taehyung’s eyebrows shoot up and his eyes widen in horror.
“Uhm, this is—, this is not about me, it’s just hypothetically speaking—,”
“No, it’s not. It’s the vampire who always comes to visit you, right? I saw the way he looks at you.”
“How does he look at me?” Taehyung scoffs, rolling his eyes a little, remembering Jeongguk’s intense gaze on him.
“Like you’re the most precious thing in the world that he would protect with his life if it was necessary,” at that Taehyung just looks at him disbelievingly before he quickly shrugs it off.
“You’re funny, Hoseokkie,” he laughs bitterly before he walks away from the counter and goes to clean the tables, his lingering question not having been answered one bit and his confusion increased by a hundredfold.
“The most precious thing in the world,” he mutters to himself and huffs a little, not being able to believe that one second.
And yet he decides to maybe be a little nicer to Jeongguk in the future.
Taehyung was hoping that Jeongguk’s recharged soulmate batteries would actually allow him to stay away for longer than just a few days, but instead of that he is showing up at the coffee shop even more frequently than before. Taehyung really wonders why his touches don’t seem to work as well as he thought, and it makes him feel a little irritated that he had actually allowed Jeongguk to touch his shoulder or his shoulder blades when he asked him for a little physical contact. He feels betrayed, for the pain was supposed to go away for several days instead of just a few hours.
But recently Jeongguk is there when Taehyung goes to work, when he’s at work, when he goes grocery shopping, and to put a cherry on top of everything, he is even there when Taehyung goes to the cinema with Jimin.
“I told you to go home, Jeongguk. I’m going to the cinema together with Jimin tonight, annoying vampire soulmates not included,” he mutters, feeling a little braver again tonight. In all these weeks that he’s known Jeongguk the vampire has never lashed out at him, has never threatened him, and he has never given him any reason to be scared.
But there’s still that nagging thought at the back of Taehyung’s mind that reminds him of the fact that Jeongguk is a predator.
Jeongguk scoffs. “Coincidentally I’m also going to the cinema tonight. You can’t tell me not to go to the cinema on my own,” Jeongguk crosses his arms behind the back of his head and smugly walks beside Taehyung.
“And which movie are you going to watch?” Taehyung asks flatly and raises an eyebrow, throwing him a sideways glance. Jeongguk just shrugs and purses his lips.
“Don’t know yet, I guess I’ll decide spontaneously,” Taehyung huffs and concentrates on his steps instead, tries to come clear with the fact that someone like Jeongguk is really supposed to be his other half.
They’re still arguing when they arrive at the cinema and Taehyung realises that he cannot do anything about his presence. Jimin is already waiting, his eyes growing big when he spots Jeongguk, and Taehyung already knows what’s coming now, his vampire loving friend probably freaking out on the inside.
“Wow, uhm, hey?” Jimin stutters, eyes glued to Jeongguk, not even acknowledging Taehyung’s presence. Jeongguk just smiles a little at Jimin before he looks back at Taehyung.
“Hello to you, too, my dear best friend,” Taehyung grits out between his teeth and tangles his arm with Jimin’s, pulling him away from Jeongguk.
“I didn’t know you’d bring your—, uhm—,” Jimin stumbles and Taehyung rolls his eyes.
“I didn’t bring him, he found me and just followed me to piss me off, apparently,” Taehyung mutters while they’re walking towards the ticket booth, tries his best to ignore Jeongguk who’s still tagging along completely undeterred.
When they're standing in line, Jimin constantly looks behind him and stares at Jeongguk, as does basically everyone else in the vicinity – except for Taehyung. He just scoffs when Jimin whispers into his ear that his mate is ‘hot as fuck’.
When the unnerving feeling of someone’s eyes burning into the back of his head becomes too unbearable, however, he slowly turns his head and directly meets Jeongguk’s intense stare – again.
He can’t believe that everyone is looking at Jeongguk but all Jeongguk is looking at is him. It just doesn’t make any sense. He can’t understand how Jeongguk is so attached to him when Taehyung is always being so mean and rejecting in return.
Jeongguk’s gaze makes his heart involuntarily skip a beat and his breath hitch just for the briefest of seconds, but it’s enough already to make a hint of a smirk appear on Jeongguk's lips. Taehyung's heart goes into overdrive and he blushes a deep crimson red despite himself, his bodily reactions so embarrassing that he wants to sink into the ground.
He quickly feigns a cough before luckily, thank god, it’s finally their turn to buy the tickets.
He and Jimin buy two tickets for the movie they wanted to see and it doesn’t surprise him when Jeongguk follows them soon after they bought one bucket of popcorn that they are going to share. It doesn’t even shock him when Jeongguk sits down next to him as if he wasn’t intruding on his and Jimin’s night out.
Going to the cinema is something he doesn’t do often because it’s actually a luxury he cannot just simply afford. Thus it makes him really angry and upset that even something special such as this is ruined by the presence of his involuntary vampire mate.
He arrives at a point where he feels the inherent, nagging need to say something.
“Okay, Jeongguk. Why are you here?” he turns to him and asks him outright because Jeongguk is sitting in the seat next to him as if it was the most normal thing in the world and Taehyung just cannot have it any longer.
Jeongguk blinks a few times and frowns. “Because of the pain,” he deadpans, but ever since Jeongguk has started following him around today he hasn’t looked to be in pain for even one second.
“That’s bullshit, you came to the café this morning and I even touched you,” Taehyung retorts and he senses Jimin’s curious gaze on them when his friend leans forward a little to get a better glimpse of them both.
“It still hurts,” Jeongguk tries again, and it’s hard for Taehyung to believe him.
“Well, it hurts you maybe, but I don’t feel anything,” Taehyung scoffs and crosses his arms in front of his chest.
“That’s not true, Tae. You said your ‘itch’ has become more severe lately. How did you explain it? It feels more like a ‘full-blown rash’ now?” Taehyung whips his head towards Jimin and gapes at him with an open mouth.
“Jimin! Which side are you on?” he hisses at him in disbelief, voice cracking a little, embarrassment filling his chest thanks to this act of blatant treachery.
“Your—, your itch got worse?” Jeongguk asks further, something like hope swinging in his voice, and when Taehyung looks back at him, he sees that his eyes are big and full of something Taehyung cannot possibly decipher.
“It doesn’t mean anything, just that it got even more annoying,” Taehyung grumbles as the lights go out all of a sudden, plunging the cinema hall into darkness. Taehyung takes a deep breath and scoots closer to Jimin, Jeongguk’s presence in the dark room making him feel more than uncomfortable.
But soon enough Jeongguk puts his fucking arm around his shoulder and Taehyung almost jumps out of his body, almost has enough, almost wants to leave the cinema just to get away from him. But instead of making the distance between them grow Jeongguk pulls him closer before Taehyung feels the other’s nose nuzzling his hair and his heart stops for a second. The advertisements that currently flash on the big screen long forgotten.
“You smell so good,” he hears Jeongguk whisper, and Taehyung winces a little because he’s suddenly filled with dread and honest fear that the vampire might hurt him, flashbacks of when he had been attacked swimming in his mind. “I don’t like it when you meet other guys,” Jeongguk continues, and Taehyung can’t believe his stupid mate just said that.
“Jimin isn’t just another guy. He’s my best friend and my roommate, I see him all the time,” he hiss-whispers, incredulous, “are you jealous?”
“Yes,” Jeongguk simply says and it makes Taehyung’s heart skip a beat again regardless of how ridiculous this all is. He can practically feel Jeongguk grin against his hair at that. “Your heart rate picks up a lot today,” and Taehyung really wishes he would just let it be and go away.
“Please stop it, Jeongguk. I don’t want this,” he really doesn’t want to get closer to the vampire, doesn't want him to have his way with him, even though it feels so good. It feels so goddamn good to be this close to him and he almost wishes he could kiss him to be even closer. Such an absurd and embarrassing thought.
“I’m sorry, Taehyung,” Jeongguk whispers against his ear, and his whole body erupts in goosebumps, “we have all eternity and one day I will prove my worth to you. One day I will really make you mine. I’ll wait until you’re ready,” and suddenly Jeongguk’s presence is just gone, his seat is empty, and Taehyung didn’t even do as much as blink.
The itch comes back in full force and he has to clutch at his chest to not gasp out loud from pain.
He looks around, a little befuddled, but Jeongguk has really vanished.
“Everything alright, Tae? Wait, where’s Jeongguk?” Jimin whispers in the dark, tone worried.
“Gone. I guess he had other stuff to do after all,” Taehyung mumbles as a reply, still taking deep and quiet breaths through his nose in order to calm down before he finally tries to concentrate on the movie that is starting now.
But even though he’s looking at the screen, he doesn’t register a single bit of it.
It’s just a few days later one evening after an especially tiring day when suddenly the doorbell rings. Jimin is still out, so Taehyung is alone at home, and he’s a little reluctant to open the door.
But when he looks through the peephole, he sees Jeongguk standing there, evoking a major déjà-vu in him.
He pulls his head back and stares at the hole blankly for a few moments, in disbelief, but he would lie if he claimed he isn’t glad that the other is here. Because the itch has not only grown to a rash, but a huge ass burn that seems to sting on every inch of his skin and it almost kills him.
It seems to manifest differently from Jeongguk’s pain, for the other appears to rather feel it internally, judging from the way he’s currently hunched over a little, clutching his stomach, skin paler than usual.
“Why are you here?” Taehyung shouts, getting Jeongguk’s attention, “let me guess, it’s the pain?”
“Yes, it hurts like fucking hell, Taehyung. Please let me touch you,” there’s that request again and Taehyung is so tired of it.
“That—, that sounds so wrong, Jeongguk,” Taehyung tries to distract himself because Jeongguk sounds harsher than usual and Taehyung doesn’t know what to make of this change in his usually calm and nonchalant demeanour.
“Just open the goddamn door before I do it myself,” Taehyung flinches violently at Jeongguk’s snapping tone. He doesn’t doubt one second that Jeongguk could break the door with his superhuman powers, however, he isn’t keen on having to pay for door repairs and so he opens it despite almost shitting his pants.
As soon as he’s opened it, he just feels a gush of air before he has Jeongguk’s strong arms wrap around him and pull him close to the other’s body.
He momentarily forgets how to breathe.
He lifts his arms up defensively, but there’s no use; the vampire seems to cling to him for dear life, face buried in the crook of his neck. The fact that his mouth is so close to the veins there makes his heart race again. He hates it so much because he knows the other can hear it or feel it, or whatever vampire shit he does.
But then a warmth floods his body that is almost indescribable, a sense of security and safety that has him almost melt into Jeongguk’s embrace, and before he knows it, he gingerly puts his hands on Jeongguk’s hips.
Jeongguk stutters out a sigh.
“I’m so glad you’re here now,” Jeongguk whispers against Taehyung’s neck, and Taehyung would really like him to stop because it tingles so much he almost wants to die.
He hates vampires, so he hates Jeongguk. The equation is simple.
He hates him, he hates him, he hates him—
“Do you want to stay for a while?” Taehyung asks, throat dry and tight, and where did that even come from?
Jeongguk is silent for a moment before he nods against his shoulder.
“Yes, please,” he whispers and somehow Taehyung doesn’t regret this as much as he’s supposed to do.
A little while later they both sit comfortably on Taehyung’s bed and play on an old gaming console that Taehyung hasn’t used in an eternity. Taehyung doesn’t know how they ended up like that, but right now he doesn’t really mind. Why would he if he gets to be free from the itch for some time, the opportunity that presented itself to him too good not to take.
Jeongguk has apparently never played the game Taehyung chose before, thus Taehyung is at a little advantage despite the other’s heightened senses. When Taehyung wins again, he throws his fist into the air and cheers.
“Yes! I’m the best! You have no chance against me, Guk. Not even if you really tried,” he taunts, and Jeongguk actually pouts at that, poking Taehyung in the side who tries to squirm away from him.
“Are you suggesting that I let you win?”
“Nope, of course not. No one can beat me,” Taehyung replies matter of factly, a smug smile playing on his face as he swats Jeongguk's hand away.
“Tae, did you know that your blood smells really pure?” Jeongguk suddenly mutters, and Taehyung almost lets his controller drop, completely taken aback by the sudden change of topic. He had almost forgotten with whom he sits here, but it all comes back to him in full force at Jeongguk's question. He swallows hard and makes himself a little smaller before he musters all his courage to appear nonchalant. However, what use is there if the vampire has probably long since looked right through him, Taehyung’s heartbeat not exactly being subtle.
“Ts, why’s that?” he tries to sound calm, and yet his voice still cracks a little.
“You’re not drinking any alcohol, you don’t smoke or take any drugs, you’re not sick—,” Jeongguk lists while counting his reasons on his fingers.
“You can smell that?” Taehyung interrupts him, however, and looks at him with big, amazed eyes. He thought that, yes, maybe they can smell or taste alcohol in a human’s blood, but sickness, too?
“Yes, sure we can,” Jeongguk answers nonchalantly, and moves the cursor on the screen to start a new game.
“Oh,” Taehyung mutters dumbly and rubs his thumbs over his controller to calm himself down, “well, that’s cool I guess,” and then there’s a tense pause and more sounds coming from the TV.
“Tae, can I drink your blood?”
“No way,” Taehyung scoffs, reply shooting out of his mouth without hesitation, “I’m sure there are enough people lining up to bare their necks for you, you don’t need my blood.”
“No,” he reiterates firmly and sets his lips into a hard frown. His thoughts are running a mile a minute.
Jeongguk looks really upset and a little uncomfortable at that, shifts a little on his behind before he clears his throat and looks at him again.
“You don’t know what the soulbond really means, right?” and no, Taehyung honestly doesn’t, but he’s starting to get intrigued. A little at least. So far it only meant for him to be followed around by someone he doesn’t particularly like and to feel this annoying itch that seems to become more irritating by the second. So he only shakes his head a little as a response.
Jeongguk in turn just nods faintly in understanding before he wordlessly starts another round in the game.
They’re silent after that and when Taehyung leaves the room briefly in order to go to the toilet a while later, Jeongguk is gone when he comes back.
“He was there again!” Jimin announces as soon as he walks into Taehyung’s room – without knocking, of course. As usual.
“Who was there?” Taehyung huffs and rolls his eyes.
“The cute vampire!” Jimin says, matter-of-factly, as he plops down next to Taehyung on the bed, “the one with the blond hair,” and oh yeah, Taehyung has kind of forgotten about him.
“So, you’re telling me he was at the museum – again? Isn’t that kind of creepy?” Jimin pouts and looks at him haughtily.
“Why would that be creepy? He just likes history, I guess,” and Taehyung snorts at that. His friend can’t really be serious.
“He probably likes your pretty little neck, that’s what he likes. I swear, that guy is stalking you.”
“He’s not, he’s just—,”
“Jimin, that vampire has come to your workplace like a hundred times over the span of what? Four weeks? He listens to the same shit – no offence – you talk about over and over again, and you told me he’s basically just staring at you instead of at any of the exhibition pieces. I swear he’s just waiting for an opportunity to get you alone and then—,”
“No! Taehyung, he’s the sweetest guy, I swear, he—,”
“Have you ever even talked?” Taehyung asks, incredulous.
“N-no. Well, not really. He—, when I forgot my text suddenly he—, just kind of jumped in and helped me. He knew exactly what I was about to say and—,” Taehyung snorts at that. This is just so ridiculous.
“Well, no shit. He’s listened to you reciting those facts about a million times, of course, he’d know them by heart. He’s a stalker,” Jimin lets out a frustrated sound at that and pulls at his hair.
“Kim Taehyung, you’re judging people again just because you’re prejudiced, I can’t believe it,” his friend exclaims, but Taehyung isn’t really impressed by his outburst. He’s just being careful and with vampires, you can never be careful enough.
“I’m just really worried, Jimin, I don’t want anything to happen to you. It makes me feel scared and helpless to hear that you could potentially be alone with a vampire,” he says and runs his fingers through Jimin’s hair to smooth it out again, absentmindedly playing with a strand.
“And what about Jeongguk?” the other asks suddenly and Taehyung tenses.
“What about Jeongguk?”
“He’s a vampire, too, and he follows you everywhere and more often than not you’re alone with him.”
“He’s my mate!”
“Oh! Is he now? I thought he would never be your mate just because he gave you his blood to drink?”
“He’s—, god dammit, Jimin,” Taehyung lets himself fall back onto the mattress, slapping his palms exasperatedly in his face, burying his fingers in his hair as he runs his hands upwards.
“Hah, see? It’s nothing different. I think I will try to talk to him the next time he comes to the museum.”
“Ssh. I’m gonna do it,” and all those horrible images of Jimin lying in the gutter suddenly come to his mind, Jimin lying there covered in blood, lifeless and cold, and he knows he cannot prevent him from talking to that vampire, but he certainly wishes he could. Wishes it more than anything else.
“Just take care, okay?” he’s only able to say before Jimin lies down next to him and puts his arm around him.
“I will, don't worry about me. I can take care of myself,” Jimin shuffles closer and hugs him reassuringly, and Taehyung knows he shouldn’t be so fucking worried, but he is. He would never forgive himself if anything happened to Jimin. He's still painting Jimin’s black future in his mind when his friend changes the topic again. “Hey, how’s it going with Jeongguk? Is he still coming to the coffee shop occasionally?”
“Yeah, but he also came here yesterday.”
“Oh, here, as in, the flat? W-wow—, tell me all about it!” Taehyung snorts, and takes a deep breath, trying to recall what happened yesterday.
“He asked me if he could drink my blood,” he just says, not seeing the point in hiding it from Jimin even though it feels a little too intimate as soon as he’s spoken the words out loud, “why would he even want to do that if there are literally a thousand other people he could get blood from?” it’s Jimin’s turn to snort now and he actually also snickers a little, smacking Taehyung’s upper arm.
“Because you’re his soulmate, Tae? Why would he want anyone else's blood when he could have yours? No proximity will ever be greater than when soulmates drink each other's blood. There's nothing that eases the pain so well than exchanging it among mates. Do you know nothing at all, Kim Taehyung?” Jimin asks with a cocky smile.
“But,” Taehyung sits up again and crosses his legs, brows furrowed deeply, “seriously, what advantage could there ever be for a vampire to exchange blood with a human in a soulbond? Isn’t that pretty limiting? No vampire in their right mind would bind himself to a human if that means that they would always feel that—, that pain when they're separated,” he recalls Jeongguk’s pale face, his body contorted in anguish, and he really understands less and less why Jeongguk ever gave him his blood to save his life.
“Well, I don’t really know either, to be honest, but you know the human will stay alive as long as they regularly drink the vampire’s blood, that they won’t ever get sick and that their life will be elongated for as long as they are together,” and yes, of course Taehyung knows. That’s the whole reason why vampires are so revered among humans and everyone wants to be a vampire’s soulmate – next to all that dumb romanticism about having a ‘mysterious’ vampire mate.
“Okay, but—, what’s in for the vampire? I mean—, it doesn’t make any sense,” Jimin just shrugs and juts out his lower lip in contemplation.
“Maybe because in turn, the vampire has a practically infinite source of human blood?” Jimin says cheekily and Taehyung laughs dryly.
“They can just get human blood wherever and whenever they want. There’s a whole buffet waiting for them out there and—,”
“Love, Taehyung. Love could be a reason,” Jimin interrupts him softly as if he’s had enough of Taehyung's excuses, “I don’t know Jeongguk’s reasons, but whatever they are, he must really like you.”
Thoughts of Jeongguk and why he seems to like him so much won’t leave Taehyung’s mind lately. It still doesn’t make any sense to him why the vampire wants to be with him, why he doesn’t just go out there and finds someone else to bother.
But when he thinks about it, really thinks about it, the thought of Jeongguk hanging on some other guy’s or girl’s neck kind of makes his blood boil and he quickly banishes all thoughts concerning Jeongguk from his brain, concentrating instead on the task at hand.
Taehyung is currently at the back of the coffee shop, having accepted a new delivery of supplies, carrying the boxes inside when suddenly Jeongguk appears out of thin air. Taehyung practically reels backwards when the other materialises in front of him, a yelp escaping his lips.
“Woah, Jeongguk, don't fucking do this!” he gasps, clutching at his chest.
“What?” Jeongguk has the nerve to ask while he has a smirk plastered on his face. Taehyung gasps again, scandalised.
“Appearing out of nowhere, giving me a heart attack, maybe?” he retorts, and steps closer to the boxes that are waiting to be carried inside.
“Sorry,” Jeongguk grins sheepishly, “I just missed you so much.”
“Somehow you always do,” Taehyung mutters, “do you never have anything to do except for bothering me?” he asks but it sounds almost playful, no malice in his voice. Jeongguk perks up cutely at that and smiles.
“I do have other stuff to do, but I like to spend my time with you the most,” he states matter of factly and starts helping Taehyung with the boxes he's carrying.
“Why ever that is,” Taehyung mutters under his breath, heaving one of the boxes up with his hands, and he’s surprised to find it much heavier than he’d expected.
“Because I—,” Jeongguk starts but in that moment the box that Taehyung carries slips from his fingers and the cardboard cuts into his index finger, a sharp pain shooting through it.
“Ow,” he yelps and half puts, half drops the box to the floor, shaking his hand in agony. He's about to put his finger into his mouth to suck on it to lessen the pain when he suddenly gets pushed forcefully against the nearest wall, his breath getting punched out of his lungs. Before he knows it he's staring into Jeongguk’s fiery red wild eyes.
He forgets how to breathe entirely, fear rushing through his entire system making him paralysed when he sees Jeongguk's long, extended fangs.
He's sure that this is it. The vampire is going to kill him here and now and there is nothing he can do.
His eyes are open wide, and his breath comes out in quick, shallow puffs as his arms get pinned to the wall behind him, more pain shooting through them as Jeongguk’s fingers dig into his skin.
Tears start stinging in his eyes and he screws them shut so that he doesn’t have to endure the usually gentle vampire’s feral, piercing stare, just hopes that it will be over quickly.
When Taehyung suddenly feels Jeongguk's breath on his neck, a choked sob provoked by pure panic escapes his lips and all his instincts scream for him to run away, but he can't, there's no escape. Tears spill out of his tightly shut eyes and it's when his system starts shutting down that all the pressure is gone as quickly as it came, Jeongguk's presence once more vanished completely. He drops to the ground, utterly shaken, before Hoseok emerges from the café, finding him like this, trembling and crying in the dirt.
“Tae!” the other man shouts and takes big steps over to him before he kneels down beside him, urgent worry in his voice, “Tae, what happened?”
Taehyung doesn’t want to recount it, doesn't want to admit that his soulmate just did something like that, feels ashamed for having let it come that far. However, he's got no other choice but to be honest.
“J-jeongguk wanted to—, to bite me. I thought he would—, would ki-kill me,” he hiccups and he cannot believe he ever thought that maybe Jeongguk would be different.
“Shh, it's okay. He's gone, he won't hurt you,” Hoseok tries to calm him down before he inhales shakily and looks down at his hand, “you—, you cut yourself.”
“Y-yes, I did,” he's a little confused as to why Hoseok immediately knew, just holds his finger up and sees that it's smeared with his blood even though the cut wasn’t particularly severe.
The pain in his finger is nothing though compared to the fear that's still etched deep into his bones.
Hoseok takes another deep breath and pulls him up. “Let's get that cleaned up and dressed, okay? And then you tell me exactly what happened.”
After that incident Jeongguk doesn't show up at Taehyung's flat or Taehyung's work place for an entire week and Taehyung almost goes crazy. He actually misses the other’s presence and his itch that had morphed into a rash is now a dull, stinging pain that constantly pulsates deep within his chest and he wishes nothing more than to finally ease it by going back to Jeongguk’s arms and—
No, he can’t do that, he can’t think like that. He’s supposed to hate Jeongguk and stay far away from him. He’s seen what the vampire is capable of doing. He’s seen that Jeongguk can lose his mind and his self-control just like every other vampire, too, and he really shouldn’t trust him.
“I miss him so fucking much, can you believe that?” he blurts out when he’s on his way home from work together with Jimin. It’s almost dark already, and they should hurry home before it becomes too dangerous.
“Well, he's been really nice to you, hasn't he?” Jimin says optimistically, making Taehyung snort.
“He brought me lunch once, that's not that big of an achievement,” Taehyung says, but he doesn’t mention the attack. He did tell Jimin about it, but he’s still so very embarrassed about the incident, about having assumed gullibly that Jeongguk wouldn't try to hurt him, he really doesn’t want to talk about it again.
“He also bought you an umbrella the other day when it rained and you wanted to walk back home through the downpour.”
“Yeah, but—,” Taehyung blushes and he wishes he wouldn’t have to find an excuse for every reason that Jimin lists.
“Or that time he protected you from those vampires. Or you know, saved your life by giving you his blood—,”
“I didn't ask for that! And now I'm constantly in pain when he's not here. There's nothing chivalrous about that.”
“You miss him.”
“I certainly don't!”
“You just said so a minute ago! Are you shitting me?”
“He almost bit me! You should have seen him, Jimin,” he glances at the fresh, thin scar on his finger, a frown appearing on his lips, “he looked like he was about to murder me, I was scared. That—, that wild look in his eyes—,” he swallows hard but at the same time he feels that warm and secure feeling again that floods his chest, the one he hasn't got to feel in a while. He tilts his head a little, confused, because he shouldn’t feel like that when he thinks about Jeongguk attacking him like he did.
“But in the end, he didn't lay a finger on you. This alone should show you that he respects you, Tae.”
“I don't know. He probably hates this whole soulbond business as much as I do,” he mutters and feels another surge of pain spreading from his chest to his limbs at the thought of Jeongguk actually hating him.
“Taehyung,” at the mention of his name and the sound of that voice he snaps his head towards its source and his eyes widen when he sees Jeongguk standing there, the rays of the setting sun playing on his dark brown hair, skin pale, face pained and insecure. To be honest, he almost looks as if he's on the brink of death.
But still so very beautiful.
Taehyung just stares at him as if he’s forgotten about all of his motoric abilities and holds his breath.
“Oh, it’s so late already,” Jimin exclaims suddenly and Taehyung gapes at him in horror, mouthing at him ‘no no no’ because he knows exactly what his best friend is about to do, “sorry, I gotta go, Tae. Bye, come home soon, take care,” Jimin just says and ruffles Taehyung's hair, earning a weak death glare from Jeongguk before he saunters away with quick steps. “Bye, Jeongguk.”
And then Taehyung is alone with him.
He tries to calm his breathing and to not let his fear get the best of him. He pushes the memories of all the vampire attacks he's had to deal with in the past far, far away and inhales deeply before he speaks.
“Why are you always in so much pain and I'm not?” Taehyung starts for lack of any other coherent sentence, voice hushed and low, “I thought you vampires were strong and—,”
“It's because I like you and you don't like me, you dense human,” Jeongguk grits out between clenched teeth and Taehyung can’t believe he’s actually smiling while he does so, albeit a little forced and anguished.
Taehyung stares at him as if he's been hit by a freight train.
“Look,” Jeongguk quickly continues when Taehyung doesn't say anything, “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for the other day. I know it's no excuse, but your—, your blood smells really, really irresistible and when the scent hit my nose everything just kind of went blank and—,”
“It's okay, Jeongguk,” Taehyung interrupts him before his brain can catch up with his heart, “I mean—, you don't have to beat yourself up about it so much.”
“Really?” Jeongguk perks up and his big eyes are so fucking adorable that Taehyung would like to stab his own out. His voice sounds so hopeful and full of relief that he can’t really be mad at him anymore even though he’s supposed to be scared shitless right now.
Suddenly he has a faceful of vampire clinging to his body, strong arms wrapping around his frame, a flood of soothing calmness coursing through his system.
Needless to say, he has a vampire on his heels for the rest of the day.
“Hobi, you told me I can talk to you about… the soulbond stuff?” Taehyung starts cautiously, trying to not force himself on his co-worker but still needing some sort of neutral advice about the whole affair.
And Jimin is definitely not neutral about it.
“Yeah, sure. Is everything going alright?” Hoseok wipes his hands on a towel before coming a little closer. Business is going somewhat slow at the moment, so they have some time to talk.
“Yes. I mean, as alright as can be?” Hoseok knows about Jeongguk attacking him, he doesn’t have to tell him about that again. But there’s something else he wants to know. “Jeongguk—, I mean, the vampire… he told me he constantly hurts so much because he likes me and I don't hurt as much because I don't like him. Do you think that's true?” he asks and he really doesn’t know what kind of answer he wants to hear.
On the one hand he hopes Jeongguk is right because that would mean that Taehyung still has kept some of his sanity, but on the other hand Taehyung’s bad conscience eats him up alive for not feeling as much for Jeongguk as he’s apparently supposed to feel.
“I don't know that many soulbonded vampires, to be honest, but I’m close to one couple that went through something similar. Only that it was the human who was in love and the vampire had to warm up to him a little. He told me he felt those intense piercing pains, but his vampire didn't because he didn't love him – yet.”
“Why did they even soulbond then?” Taehyung asks incredulously, not sure why a vampire would voluntarily give his blood to a human despite not even liking him. Hoseok just shrugs.
“They’ve been best friends for a long time, and one day they were both drunk and things happened. It was an accident,” Taehyung gapes at Hoseok as if he’s just announced the end of the world to him. He lets out a groan.
“Are accidents the only reason ever?” he sounds exasperated and wonders if there’s actually any vampire in this world who would give his soul to a human being out of his own love and volition.
“No, it’s not. I know another vampire who is waiting to get together with the love of his life. He's too shy to make a move on him, though, even though I told him he should just ask him out. I mean, the heart-eyes are obviously mutual, but he constantly just tells me how he's going to court him and prove his love to the human, and so on,” Hoseok explains and Taehyung is really taken aback about hearing such a story. A vampire who wants to court a human? A vampire who is too shy to even talk to them?
He really has a hard time imagining this.
“That vampire sounds like a softie… why does he want to soulbond someone he doesn't even date yet? Isn't that like—, a super huge commitment?” Hoseok sighs and shrugs again, leaning against the counter.
“That's what love does to you. Vampires kind of feel when they've found the best possible partner, and my friend has found his. He doesn’t talk about anything else anymore,” Hoseok says, almost fondly, and takes up a mug that Taehyung has washed a while ago and is still dripping wet.
“You mean he’s found the best possible source of blood,” Taehyung retorts, and he knows it sounds as judgemental as always, and he suddenly feels a little ashamed of it, especially when he sees Hoseok’s almost pained expression on his face.
“Tae, that's not it at all—,”
“How do you even know so many of them?” he tries to divert the subject. He’s really curious now because Hoseok seems to know a lot about them and also seems to have many vampiristic acquaintances, “I never even really saw one except for those who almost killed me and then Jeongguk right afterwards. And the dickfaces that sometimes come here, of course.”
“Taehyung. I am a vampire,” Hoseok says while pointing at his chest with the hand that holds the towel and Taehyung drops the cutlery he's been sorting into the cupboard, the metal hitting the tiled floor with a deafening clatter.
He whips his head towards Hoseok and stares at him in disbelief.
Hoseok cannot be a vampire, he's mindfucking with him right now. Hoseok doesn't have that typical aura you can usually feel when you're dealing with a vampire, it's simply not possible.
“N-no way, Hobi, not you. I never—, you never—,” he stutters but Hoseok just sighs and continues towelling the mug in his hand.
“I can hide it really well, that's why humans usually don't notice,” he explains as if that would take the shock away, “I have to admit that sometimes I do use my vampire-ness to charm customers, but I swear I’m keeping it to a minimum,” he says with a joking undertone and a smile but when he seems to notice that Taehyung is still staring at him like he wants to die he sighs again and puts down the mug and the towel on the counter.
“Tae, we’ve known each other for over a year, it doesn't change anything about who I am, okay?” he puts his hands on Taehyung's shoulders instead and Taehyung tries hard not to wince.
He really, really likes Hoseok and they've talked about so many things, sometimes even about stuff he didn't tell Jimin. And yet he never even noticed, said so many mean things about vampires and now he realises that with that he also talked a lot of shit about his friend. But the other never got mad, not even once. Just always patiently explained to him that a vampire might see it differently, that a vampire might have their reasons, too.
“Why—, why are you even working here then? I thought—, I thought all vampires are rich and well off and—,”
“Yeah, well, that's exactly why,” Hoseok interrupts him with another sheepish smile, “I was bored and wanted something to do. So I started working here on a whim, but then I liked being here so much that I stayed,” Hoseok chuckles and Taehyung can't believe what he hears. Can’t believe that for a year he never realised.
“Wow, Hobi. I'm—, I’m speechless and also—, I’m sorry. I said a lot of shit about vampires and—,”
“No, that's fine. I know what happened to your family and to yourself. It's understandable,” Hoseok smiles reassuringly and somehow Taehyung knows that he doesn’t have any reason to suddenly be scared of him just because he knows what he is now.
“Can I—, can I see your fangs?” he blurts out, somehow needing proof that what Hoseok just revealed to him is really true.
“You're scared of your soulmate’s fangs but not of mine?” Hoseok arches an eyebrow and purses his lips.
“Ts, why would I be scared of you? You're a literal sunshine,” Taehyung grins and he’s suddenly filled with a feeling that maybe Hoseok and Jimin have been right all along; that not all vampires are bad. The feeling gets especially strong when Hoseok laughs before he extends his fangs with a smug smile on his lips as if it was no big deal at all.
But it kind of is.
“Wow,” Taehyung says with amazement as he stares openly at the two long and sharp teeth, “they're shorter than Jeongguk's. Is this normal?”
“Hey, are you trying to offend me?” Hoseok mock gasps and Taehyung raises his eyebrows questioningly.
“Sorry. Is tooth-length kind of a sensitive topic for you guys?”
“Well, not really,” Hoseok laughs and puts the mug away properly, “but a lot of us make it one. The longer your fangs, the more potent you are. Jeongguk's fangs really are to die for, to be honest. His are already pretty long, but also nothing compared to Yoongi hyung’s,” Taehyung blinks. That name sounds vaguely familiar, but he cannot really pinpoint it. “That's my best friend, in case you're wondering. The softie vampire who's courting that human.”
“Wow, o-okay,” Taehyung can't stop staring at Hoseok’s fangs and he can't help but think that those things can indeed easily kill someone. He really can’t imagine someone like Hoseok or Jeongguk burying his fangs into the neck of some human, blood smearing around their mouths and chin. It’s way too gory an image to be associated with the gentle men.
“Do you want to touch them?”
“Maybe you’d lose your fear a little if you touched them,” Hoseok suggests, smiling enthusiastically, and Taehyung pouts, getting a little insecure.
“I-I don't know, maybe you should retract them before anyone sees them,” he says uncertainly, looking around the mostly empty coffee shop a little antsy all of a sudden, acutely aware of the fact that someone might see Hoseok’s treacherous teeth, making him blow his cover.
“No, come on, it's okay,” Hoseok grabs his wrist and leads his hand to his mouth, but before Taehyung can even react to that, Hoseok is suddenly gone and instead being pinned against the nearest wall by a furious looking Jeongguk, everything happening in a blur.
“How dare you touching something that is not yours, Hoseok,” Jeongguk spits at him with fangs extended and Hoseok hisses, equally ferocious looking, “I should fucking kill you for that,” Taehyung stumbles a few steps backwards until his back comes in contact with another counter, and his whole body begins to tremble again.
“You would never do that, Jeongguk,” Hoseok snaps back and Taehyung is scared shitless that the vampires might hurt each other, only faintly registers that they know each other's names, but then he hurriedly tumbles forward again and grabs Jeongguk's rock hard and unmoving arm, trying to pull him away from Hoseok.
“Jeongguk, please, he's done nothing wrong, he just wanted to—,” but in that moment Jeongguk moves his arm to shake Taehyung off and the sheer force of the movement makes Taehyung crash into the nearest counter.
An immense pain shoots through his back and then his head when he hits the floor, tears filling his eyes, the air knocked out of his lungs.
“Taehyung,” he hears Hoseok scream before he feels hands on his shoulders, but when he opens his eyes to the blurry vision in front of him he sees that it's not Jeongguk who's holding him, but Hoseok.
Of course it's not Jeongguk. He doesn't feel anything when Hoseok touches him.
Jeongguk is still standing rooted to the same spot, eyes wide and trembling and simply staring at him, mouth slack and shoulders slumping.
“J-jeongguk, that—, that hurt,” Taehyung tries to smile to not make him worry, but as soon as Taehyung blinks, Jeongguk is gone again.
More days pass in which Taehyung doesn’t see Jeongguk again.
It’s like they’re back to square one, only that this time Taehyung misses Jeongguk like crazy and the soulbond hurts like mad. To make matters worse Taehyung realises that he can’t even go visit him. Jeongguk has always been the one to visit him in the past and as a consequence, Taehyung doesn’t even know where he lives.
But life has become a living hell for him. His bones hurt, his insides hurt, his head hurts like a bitch and if he could, he would rip his heart out. The pain he feels is not comparable to anything he has ever felt before, and it almost paralyses him, almost hinders him from standing on his own two feet.
He’s been lying on his bed ever since he came home from work, tossing and turning, and no amount of comfort tea or hot packs has made the aching pain in his muscles go away.
And then he arrives at a decision.
He has to go out and look for Jeongguk.
He doesn't even put on a jacket, only slips into his sneakers, and steps out into the night. He really shouldn’t be here, should stay inside the secure walls of his home, for in the dark he is easy prey for whatever asshole vampire there is, but he doesn’t care.
He tries to remember what Jeongguk told him, that he just has to follow his gut feeling, that he should be able to track him down solely by the help of their bonded souls. And so he just stumbles along the sidewalk, constantly trying to feel in which direction the pull leads him.
After what feels like an eternity he arrives in front of a property that looks like right out of a victorian costume drama. A huge courtyard that is fenced with greenery, a long driveway that leads to a super huge mansion that looks entirely to be made out of marble, an elaborate fountain splashing in front of it. There are some lights on inside the house, indicating that it's currently in use and Taehyung's heart sinks.
Judging from what Taehyung knows, he realises what this must be.
It's one of those exclusive vampire clubs where vampires go in order to drink the blood of willing humans. It’s where vampires go to spend some good time, to have fun in their own ways, and Taehyung can feel no doubt in his chest that Jeongguk must be somewhere inside this building, for the soulbond tugs him along, practically demands that he enters the luxurious property. Yet he doesn’t even know if he still wants to do that.
Taehyung feels lost and miserable, because if Jeongguk is really in there it can only mean one thing: that he is there to drink the blood of someone else.
And he cannot believe this hurts as fucking much as it does.
He doesn't go in, too scared to find out what Jeongguk is doing. Instead he dejectedly hobbles along the lush hedges, away from the courtyard’s entrance gate, and sits down somewhere near the mansion in the cold that he hardly even feels anymore because being apart from Jeongguk hurts too much to care.
The thought of Jeongguk being high on someone else’s blood, or even just kissing someone else, makes his chest feel so tight and heavy. All the physical pain he’s felt until now pales in comparison to the pain he feels when he thinks about his soulmate having someone else in his arms.
He thinks that maybe he should just kill himself to free Jeongguk from him.
Taehyung has probably already fucked up enough times, can’t remember the most recent time when he’s seen Jeongguk smile because of him, can’t imagine that the other still likes him. Maybe Jeongguk’s pain will lessen over time when he eventually falls out of love with Taehyung, but if the pain remains the vampire would just constantly suffer because of him and Taehyung almost can’t bear that thought any longer.
“Jeonggukkie,” he whimpers, silent tears flowing over his face, all these conflicting feelings confusing him so much, before he just folds his arms over his knees and put his head on them, silent sniffling mingling with the cold night breeze. The pain has lessened considerably since he’s arrived here, probably because Jeongguk really isn’t that far away, but he still can’t help thinking that if another vampire came to suck him dry right now, he probably wouldn’t even resist.
All of a sudden though the throbbing pain is replaced by a steadily beating, dull pull in his chest, his cold core warming up and the weight that is pressing down on his shoulders lifted as if it had never been there in the first place.
He slowly lifts his head, vision blurry from his tears, but then he sees him standing there, right in front of him, and he looks up at the beautiful creature before his eyes, sees that Jeongguk doesn’t look fine at all either.
Taehyungs lips tremble from relief because the other is so close again, wonders why he came here when he's supposed to be in there and have a good time instead of taking care of his stupid human mate.
But Jeongguk hunkers down, wordlessly takes Taehyung into his arms, presses him close to his body and Taehyung hiccups out a sob from the warm, soothing feeling that floods his body before he starts crying deplorably. Is crying all his pain and confusion and hurt into Jeongguk’s shoulder and he’s never felt so relieved before.
“It's okay, Tae, I’m here now, I’m here,” Jeongguk's soothing voice fills his ears and he lets out another sob as he clings desperately to his mate.
Suddenly he's being lifted up from the cold ground, bridal style, and Jeongguk starts walking with him through the gate and towards the big main door of the huge house. Taehyung clings to Jeongguk’s neck, almost doesn’t dare to look up when they’re inside the mansion. Taehyung finds it strange that it's so quiet in here, they don’t even encounter anyone else on their way to what must be Jeongguk’s room: a lavish chamber with high ceilings, big glass doors that seem to lead to a balcony, a huge modern bed and an equally huge plasma TV. There are also a lot of comic books and some action figurines, and there’s a drumset sitting in one corner of the room.
Taehyung is gingerly being put down on the bed, and he almost winces when Jeongguk’s touch leaves his body completely for a second, before the other sits down next to him, thighs touching and hands grasping each other again.
“I live here with my hyungs,” Jeongguk explains softly when he must see Taehyung's confused and curious glances around the spacious room.
“Isn't this like one of those bloodsucker clubs?” Taehyung asks, a little uncertain sounding, furiously wiping his tears away, and Jeongguk laughs.
“It was, but then Namjoon hyung found his mate, and me too, and Yoongi hyung is apparently on his way to woo a human as well, so we stopped hosting a while ago,” Taehyung raises his eyebrows and he realises that ‘Yoongi hyung’ must be the same ‘Yoongi hyung’ that Hoseok had talked about. Hoseok’s best friend. His friend is living here as well. That’s why Jeongguk and Hoseok knew each other’s names.
“Wow, didn't know vampires were so… monogamous,” Taehyung comments and Jeongguk laughs again before he fully wraps his arms around him. Taehyung just lets him and closes his eyes, a relieved sound forming at the back of his throat.
“There's a lot of things you don't know about us yet, Tae,” Jeongguk whispers, nuzzling his nose into Taehyung’s hair and Taehyung almost melts, feeling the urge to get even closer to him.
“Like what?” he whispers back, curiousity getting the best of him.
“Like—, that they’re really sorry for—, for hurting you. Again. And for scaring you. Again,” Jeongguk mumbles and Taehyung can't help but twist his body so that he's looking at him properly.
“I wasn’t scared. Not anymore, not by you. I was more scared you’d hurt Hobi,” he confesses, and it’s true. He never thought he would claim that one day, but the two vampires are kind of important to him, and he doesn’t want them to get hurt.
“Yeah, I—, I kind of saw red when I saw your wrist so close to his mouth. I don't even know why. He's a good friend of mine and I know he would never touch someone else's mate but—,” he shrugs a little, “I just wanted to protect you I guess.”
Taehyung guffaws despite himself, shakes his head a little before he leans it against Jeongguk’s shoulder, the sensation of his cheek resting against it the most wonderful thing he’s ever felt. “It's strange to be protected by a vampire and not, you know, being attacked and almost murdered.”
“You better get used to it. I’ll protect you from everything from now on,” Jeongguk proclaims and juts out his chest a little as if to underline that he’s serious about this.
“Hm, if you absolutely want to,” Taehyung replies lazily, drawing slow random patterns into the fabric of the pants on Jeongguk’s knee with his index finger, a smile playing on his lips.
“I do,” Jeongguk confirms, voice still sounding serious and convinced. But then there’s silence. They just hold each other and Taehyung feels so secure and protected that he could actually fall asleep; the soulbond finally being satisfied. It’s after a few long but comfortable moments that Jeongguk speaks up again.
“Tae, can I kiss you?” he whispers and Taehyung’s heart skips a beat or two.
He inhales shakily before he shakes his head.
“It's already too much to just be held by you like this. I need—, just some more time,” he whispers back, and he can almost feel how disappointed Jeongguk is by his reply. He feels genuinely sorry, but he’s just not ready yet for this kind of deeper relationship with the vampire. Doesn't know if he'll ever be ready at all. Jeongguk just nods against his head and squeezes him a little tighter, but still so very gently.
“Okay. I will wait. And Tae,” he quickly adds and it sounds like there's another question coming up.
“Don't go out alone at night anymore like that. It's too dangerous and I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Falling in love with Jeongguk comes easily after that.
In fact, Taehyung has to admit that he's probably been in love for far longer than he’s wanted to admit to himself.
He feels happy when Jeongguk visits him at work, he feels a sense of pride when other people stare at his mate with desire in their eyes and knows exactly that he's solely his and they can never have him. However, he's also mighty jealous when they stare a little too long and a little too suggestively, making Taehyung want to declare to every human possible that he is, in fact, Jeongguk’s soulmate and that they better not touch him.
He’s not wearing his wristbands anymore, doesn’t even wear any kind of bracelet, just wears his soulmate mark with pride and shows it off at every possible moment. Like when he cleans the tables at the shop, or especially when he hands out change to customers, thoroughly enjoying the envious stares he gets when other people detect it.
It’s even better when Jeongguk is present and everyone can see how utterly smitten the vampire is with him, because he totally is, even though Taehyung still cannot really understand why he would be.
His feelings even go so far that one night, when Taehyung is alone at home, he suddenly feels an onslaught of pain and agony, suddenly misses Jeongguk so much despite having seen him only just that afternoon. Taehyung is confused as to why it suddenly feels so terrible. It almost can’t be that the pain has accumulated in such a short amount of time, but he's currently barely able to breathe.
He just sits next to his bed on the floor, wincing with every twinge of agony, knees pulled up to his body, head resting between his folded arms. He tries to be strong and suppress his tears, but it’s hard, so hard.
Suddenly he hears a bang coming from his window, and when he looks up, startled, he sees Jeongguk tumbling through it, almost landing face first on the carpet.
“Ouch, fuck, fucking window,” his mate mutters and Taehyung can’t help but let his lips curl up into a weak smile.
“One could assume that you’ve become a pro in getting in and out of that window by now, but apparently not,” Taehyung whispers, the pain still too much to bear. But then Jeongguk is there, crawls over to him on all fours before he takes him into his arms and Taehyung starts crying at the comforting touch, his fingers digging into the fabric of Jeongguk’s shirt.
“Why does it hurt so much now, Guk?” and why did it only start to hurt so much during the past few days? It has never been so horrible before.
“Because you like me?” Jeongguk says softly and hopefully and Taehyung lets out a short, breathy laugh among his tears.
“Will it always hurt so much from now on?”
“No. No it won’t. It will stop when I drink your blood for the first time. After that it will become better. Namjoon hyung and Seokjin hyung said that from then on it will just feel like a slight pull in your stomach again, but it won't hurt anymore,” Jeongguk explains patiently and Taehyung can feel the nervousness rising inside of him.
“O-oh,” he just stutters as a reply, the thought of Jeongguk biting him still a little intimidating, but not as terrifying as it used to be. Actually no, it’s just the thought of two actual sharp, piercing fangs going through his skin and into his veins like a knife runs through butter that still makes him apprehensive of the act.
“Are you still scared of me biting you?” Jeongguk asks as if he could read his mind, and Taehyung is momentarily afraid that he, in fact, can.
“No. No, Jeongguk,” he answers softly, arms wrapping a little tighter around Jeongguk’s body, “when I’m with you, I’m not afraid of anything.”
“I just—, just need a little more time,” he pleads but when he looks up he sees that Jeongguk is smiling brightly at him as he pulls Taehyung even closer, caressing his hair.
“All the time you need. I’m just so glad you like me, too, Tae,” Jeongguk says giddily, and it’s so endearing that Taehyung has to suppress a cooing sound escaping from his lips.
“Don't get too cocky now, though” he pinches the other's arm and Jeongguk snickers, nuzzling his nose into his hair again. Taehyung really isn’t afraid anymore, not even when Jeongguk inhales deeply, scenting him like he often does.
“You’re really beautiful, Tae, inside and out. I’m—, I'm glad it was you who became my mate. I knew instantly it would be you when I found you,” Jeongguk whispers and Taehyung’s heart goes into overdrive, his cheeks becoming hot and his stomach fluttering with butterflies.
“You could have asked me before you gave me your blood, though. I really didn't want to become any vampire’s mate and—, and what if I still hated you, even now?”
“I know, and I'm sorry for forcing you to be my mate. I did a lot of stuff that I'm sorry for, but the one thing I would never ever regret is saving your life,” Jeongguk says firmly, and suddenly they’re face to face, foreheads pressed together, half lidded eyes looking at each other, and Taehyung could get lost in those eyes, could drown in them and still feel so alive.
“Jeonggukkie—,” he breathes out, Jeongguk’s nose brushing against his, and he can feel his mate’s breath on his lips, little puffs of air that come out a little ragged and shallow.
“I’m so glad you're still alive,” Jeongguk whispers again, before he finally slots their lips together, another piece of their shared soul finally locking into place.
The coffee machine at work broke during his shift and Taehyung had to stay longer than expected. Way longer, for it’s pitch black outside already and it’s also raining buckets, and of course he doesn’t have an umbrella with him.
He’s hurrying home through the torrents and to make matters worse, he soon realises that he's being followed. At first it’s just a faint suspicion, but then he sees their shadow when he passes a street lamp and he almost dies on the spot.
He fumbles for his mobile phone and quickly speed dials Jeongguk’s number.
“J-jeonggukkie?” he just says, but his mate is immediately alarmed.
“Tae? Is everything alright?” Jeongguk instantly notices that something is off with him and despite being scared out of his wits Taehyung’s heart involuntarily flutters at the realisation that Jeongguk cares so much for him.
“I’m, uh—, well, the coffee machine broke at work, and I had to fix it before going home,” he trails off, knowing that he shouldn’t be outside after nightfall.
“Taehyung, are you outside right now?” Jeongguk sounds stern, but not accusing.
“Y-yes, I am, and I think—, I think there’s someone following me?”
“Where are you? I’m gonna get you,” Jeongguk says without hesitating a bit and Taehyung can already hear the muffled sound of a door falling closed through the phone.
“I-I left work about five minutes ago. I’m on my way home,” he’s pulling his jacket closer, but it’s not of much help; he’s already drenched and freezing at this point anyway.
“Okay, don’t stop walking. Stay on the phone with me,” Jeongguk says urgently and Taehyung tries hard to keep his calm, tries to pretend that there is no one behind him, but his raging heartbeat is probably giving him away anyway.
“O-okay. Can you—, can you guys move without making a sound, because I know there’s someone behind me but there's no sound—,”
“Ssh, stop talking about that, they can hear you,” Jeongguk hushes him and Taehyung inhales sharply at that, panic slowly taking over his body because at the next streetlight the shadow is already impossibly close to him.
“P-please just come quickly, Jeongguk,” he can feel hot tears burning at the corners of his eyes, and he’s so scared now he can barely move. Why him? Why always him? Is there something about him that makes vampires swarm to him like the moths to the light?
Suddenly his hand that holds the phone is grabbed by another one and he’s shoved against a wall, a severe pain shooting through his shoulder and he cries out in anguish.
And then he stares into the eyes of a stranger and his blood runs cold before he begins to scream.
“N-no, don’t touch me, you piece of shit. I’m mated! Don’t you dare touching me, I’m mated! My mate is going to rip you a second asshole, my mate is—,” in that moment, the cold grip on his arms is suddenly replaced by nothing and he’s sliding down the wall. He quickly grabs his phone that he's dropped from the impact earlier and cradles it to his chest.
When he turns again to see what's going on his gaze falls on Jeongguk hunched over the other vampire on the ground, practically clawing his face off, before the other punches him in the jaw, Jeongguk reeling with the force of the impact before the tables turn again. It only takes a few seconds before Jeongguk clearly wins the upper hand, beating the shit out of the guy before he slams him into a nearby wall, the surface cracking and crumbling around the vampire’s body as if it was made of cardboard.
Taehyung stares at the stranger with wide open eyes before he looks back at Jeongguk, can see that his mate is wounded, blood dripping from his head and his shoulder, his shirt torn in one place, but there's no sign that he's about to collapse; in contrast to the intruder he still looks pretty steadfast and ready for bloody murder.
Jeongguk's dominant poise seems to be effective enough, for the other vampire hisses at him one more time before he suddenly disappears, leaving Jeongguk and Taehyung behind. When the tension leaves him, Jeongguk’s body softens and he drops to his knees on the ground, panting heavily.
As soon as they seem to be out of danger Taehyung runs over to Jeongguk and drops down on his knees next to him, lifting his hands to his arms, checking briefly for injuries.
“Jeonggukkie—,” he whimpers, scared that his mate might be seriously hurt.
The rain is relentless and they’re both soaked to their bones, but Taehyung doesn’t care when he hugs Jeongguk close to him, pulling him against his body, pressing his nose into his mate’s wet hair. He only lets go of him again when Jeongguk winces a little.
“Jeongguk—,” he starts again with worry in his voice but is instantly interrupted by the other.
“I’m fine, don’t worry. Let’s just go home, okay? I’ll get you home,” Jeongguk says softly and Taehyung snorts.
“Right now it’s more like the other way round,” he teases in order to lighten up the mood a little, “come on,” Taehyung helps Jeongguk as best as possible, and it’s strange to see the usually strong vampire so weak and dependant on his help. But he doesn't mind in the slightest, just wants his mate to heal as fast as possible.
“Don’t tell anyone about this, that’s pretty embarrassing,” Jeongguk mutters, and there’s a faint blush on his cheeks, making him look so adorable that Taehyung almost can't believe he was about to tear another living being to shreds just moments ago. He chuckles.
“Don’t worry. To me you’re still the mysterious, strong vampire Jeon Jeongguk,” Taehyung tries to comfort the other, stroking his back a little where he can reach it.
“Oh, I’m glad then, that's very reassuring,” Jeongguk's lips curl up into a smile before he frowns again. “Tae, are you hurt?” he asks, worried eyes never leaving his. Taehyung quickly shakes his head.
“Just bruised my shoulder a little, it's nothing,” he tries to reassure Jeongguk but the other immediately straightens up and starts to fret over him as if he was about to die. They bicker back and forth, Jeongguk even trying to carry him, but Taehyung would have none of it.
Just accidentally bumps into Jeongguk whenever he can, lets his hands linger a little longer than necessary on his body when he playfully tries to fend him off, enjoys it a little too much when Jeongguk lifts him up easily without a warning and throws him over his shoulder.
He yelps and clings onto Jeongguk’s back for dear life, threatening to kill him, but there's actually a huge smile plastered on his face, a suppressed laugh bubbling at the back of his throat. After a minute he gives up, just lets his head drop against Jeongguk's wet shirt and sighs, soaking up his mate’s proximity, glad that Jeongguk managed to take his thoughts off yet another attack he had to go through.
They reach Taehyung’s flat and enter, dripping wet, puddles forming on the floor immediately. Taehyung shouts an ‘I’m back’ into the flat but apparently Jimin is out. He finds a sheet of paper where Jimin has scribbled down on that he won't come back today and that there’s some food in the fridge. Taehyung frowns a little, not knowing where he went (as is often the case lately), but hopes that his best friend is safe.
“Are you still hurt a lot, Jeongguk?” Taehyung asks while shaking his wet limbs and peeling his shoes off, the fabric of his shirt cold and sticking disgustingly to his skin.
“No, it’s no big deal. Just scratches. They’ll vanish soon enough,” and Taehyung can see that most of them have indeed already healed. It's fascinating and he's also a little envious of Jeongguk's super fast healing abilities.
“Okay,” he still says with a smile and proceeds to his room on tiptoes, not wanting to leave too many wet spots on the floor, “you can go take a shower if you want. I’ll give you something dry and clean to wear.”
“You go first,” Jeongguk shoots back and Taehyung juts out his lower lip.
“Taehyung, this is not subject for negotiation. Go,” Jeongguk insists and Taehyung grumbles, but he goes showering without any further protest, the warm water washing the cold and pain away. After he's done he's so glad when he’s finally wearing warm and comfy clothes again.
He hurries a little, for he doesn't want his mate to remain in his drenched clothes any longer. He sends Jeongguk showering, prepares a big t-shirt and some sweatpants for him before he goes to make some tea. He's lost in thoughts for a while and when he’s done Jeongguk emerges from the bathroom, only wearing the sweatpants, t-shirt still in his hands. He's in the the middle of wanting to put it on and Taehyung doesn’t really register at first that his mate is topless, looks back at his mug where he’s just dropping some sugar in, but then he whips his head back at Jeongguk in realisation and forgets how to breathe when he sees his mate’s sudden intense stare.
“Uhm, I-I made us some tea,” he says lamely, but he knows exactly that he cannot hide his raging heart that has started to hammer furiously against his ribcage.
His stomach flops when Jeongguk is suddenly standing before him in not even the blink of an eye, and he lets the spoon he’s been holding drop to the table, breath catching in his throat.
He chances a glance at Jeongguk’s collarbones, his throat, his lips and finally his eyes, and he really doesn’t know if he should be scared or excited right now, the conflicting feelings making his head spin.
“Taehyung,” Jeongguk mutters darkly, and Taehyung almost withers under his burning gaze, but also feels a rush surge through his body that makes him feel faint and hungry for more.
“Y-yes?” he breathes before Jeongguk starts crowding him, stepping closer and closer, and he feels his heart beating in his throat; he has to grip Jeongguk’s arms in order to keep standing on his wobbly legs.
He feels the other’s warmth radiating off his body, a heat really that makes Taehyung feel even more dizzy before Jeongguk puts his hands on Taehyung’s waist, squeezing softly.
“Do you still hate being my mate?” Jeongguk asks, voice barely a whisper, and Taehyung can hear how much Jeongguk wishes that he says no.
And then he shakes his head.
Taehyung puts his hands on Jeongguk’s shoulders, slowly letting them glide over his hard muscles, looking into his eyes, while Jeongguk stands there, frozen, just staring at him with his beautiful red eyes, lips slightly parted, chest rising and falling with every shallow intake of breath.
Taehyung’s trembling fingers run over Jeongguk’s collarbones, over his firm chest, feeling his smooth skin while Jeongguk’s breathing gets more erratic with every touch.
“Is it the soulbond that makes me love you so much?” Taehyung whispers with tears prickling behind his eyelids and he really doesn't want to cry, but he's an emotional mess, “shit, I’m so confused, because I really hated to be your mate—, but when I look at you now I realise that you’re everything I’ve ever wanted.”
“Bite me, Jeonggukkie, please bite me, please make us complete,” he doesn't know where his desire is coming from, but he does know that he wants it, and he wants it now. He wants the pain to go away, he wants to make their bond complete. He wants Jeongguk to taste his blood.
Jeongguk lifts Taehyung up easily as if he’s made of thin tissue paper, and in Jeongguk’s hands he maybe is, but Taehyung’s not scared, not at all, because he loves Jeongguk and Jeongguk loves him and he’d trust Jeongguk with his life.
Taehyung wraps his legs around Jeongguk’s waist and Jeongguk presses him against the wall before he kisses him, ravishes the cavern of his mouth, lips pressing against each other desperately, tongues dancing passionately, and when Taehyung runs his tongue over his teeth once more he lets out a moan as he feels Jeongguk’s extended fangs, their sharp points grazing over his lips.
Jeongguk rips himself away from Taehyung’s mouth, pupils blown and completely red, and stares into Taehyung’s half-lidded ones, a shudder running through his whole being at the sight of his soulmate.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, one hundred percent sure, please, Gukkie, please—,”
“I love you, Tae,” Jeongguk breathes against his lips before he starts kissing over his cheeks and jaw, making Taehyung whimper. He buries his hands in Jeongguk’s hair and presses their foreheads together.
“I love you, too, Gukkie, so much, but please—,”
“I have to tell you now, because I might not be able to do it—. Do it later,” Jeongguk mouths against his throat, Taehyung's breathing ragged and shallow, but he is not scared.
“W-why?” Taehyung lets his head fall back to the wall, heart racing in his chest, blood rushing in his ears and he can only imagine what kind of impact his bodily reactions must have on Jeongguk. He's sweating, his heart is racing and he doesn't even try to hold back the small gasps that escape his lips over and over again.
He never thought feeling like prey could feel so good when it’s Jeongguk who is the predator.
But he loves it.
Loves how Jeongguk’s fangs graze over the pulsating vein in his neck, and he almost dies on the spot from the feeling of his stomach dropping at the touch.
“Because I might not be able to control myself anymore after I’ve tasted you,” Taehyung’s breath hitches in his throat and he lets out another whimper, fingers grasping Jeongguk's skin on his back.
“It’s okay, Jeonggukkie, it’s okay, I—,” but before he can say anything further, Jeongguk’s fangs pierce through his skin and everything he's wanted to say is wiped right off his mind.
“Ow, fuck,” he keens and it hurts like hell, like someone has dripped poison into his veins that scorches his insides. He can feel the blood being sucked out of him by Jeongguk’s hungry mouth, a feeling of faint lightheadedness taking hold of his body. But even more than the foreign sensation and the slurping sounds Jeongguk makes while ravishing his neck, the feeling of their souls locking together sends a pang of arousal straight to his groin.
This is no comparison to when he was attacked on the street and had almost been sucked dry by random strangers.
This is pure, unadulterated want and need and desire.
He whines into Jeongguk’s shoulder, holds onto his skin for dear life with the intention of letting him drink as much as he wants, even though it hurts so much, but it also feels so good because he finally knows that they belong together forever.
Jeongguk pulls away then, forcefully, pinning Taehyung against the wall again.
“I can smell it. I can smell your arousal, Taehyung—,”
“I-I thought you wouldn’t be able to control yourself—,”
“Ssh. I’m gonna take you now. I’m gonna make you mine now.”
“I am already yours—,”
Jeongguk growls and walks with him to his bedroom, still holding him as if he weighs nothing, then throws him onto the bed.
Taehyung's body bounces a little off the mattress when he lands on it but he can’t even take a breath before he has Jeongguk all over him again; Jeongguk who’s grabbing his waist, holding him down firmly as he settles between his legs and lowers his whole body, weight pressing down on Taehyung when he rolls his hips against Taehyung’s crotch.
Taehyung lets out a garbled moan, mind hazy and flooded by incoherent thoughts when Jeongguk is mouthing at his throat and neck again, lapping up the droplets of blood that are still dripping out of the bite wounds he has left there.
Taehyung feels Jeongguk’s tongue dipping into the wound and Taehyung nearly faints from pain and pleasure, his eyes rolling to the back of his head, mouth fallen open in a silent moan.
Jeongguk pushes Taehyung's t-shirt up and up until his chest and stomach are bared, detaches his mouth from his neck and kisses openmouthedly all over his skin, leaving a trail of Taehyung's own blood down his chest, making him almost die from all the violent tingles that shoot through his body. He grips Jeongguk's shoulders, tries to keep a clear head, but then Jeongguk sinks his fangs into his skin right above his hipbone and his mind goes completely blank.
He's writhing underneath Jeongguk, one whimper after the other leaving his lips, fingernails digging into Jeongguk's shoulders. He thinks he's dying, Jeongguk's fangs in his skin and flesh hurting more than anything he's ever felt, and he can't believe he's getting hard by the thought of Jeongguk never stopping again.
But he does stop, teeth almost forcefully ripped away from him and then Jeongguk is kissing him again, the metallic taste of his own blood heavy on his tongue.
“Lube?” Jeongguk rasps out and Taehyung's stomach drops for the umpteenth time since this has started. He's so glad now that he sometimes pleasures himself in that way, too, for he wouldn't have any lube handy otherwise.
“D-drawer,” he just manages to stutter, and he's a little scared but the fact that it is with Jeongguk, his soulmate, makes everything okay, makes him feel safe and secure, his trust nearly infinite.
It doesn't even take a second in which Jeongguk disappears and comes back over him, the bottle of lube in his hand. His mate starts undressing him, an urgency to his actions that Taehyung can barely keep up with. He just lets him do it, feels a little shy when he's naked in front of him while the other is still wearing his sweats, gets even hotter when Jeongguk pins him down again.
“I love you, baby,” Jeongguk whispers against Taehyung's lips, hands roaming over Taehyung's bare thighs, his ass and then his stomach, making Taehyung gasp out another muffled moan.
“J-jeongguk—,” and suddenly he's flipped to his stomach, back now turned to the vampire, open and vulnerable. He grips the fabric of the pillow and buries his face in it when he feels Jeongguk's hand on his behind and instinctively spreads his legs a little. He doesn't even know when Jeongguk opened the lube bottle but suddenly he smears the slippery material against his entrance with one finger before he pushes it inside, Taehyung gasping out a whimper.
“Relax,” Jeongguk mutters, leaning towards his ear and how could Taehyung possibly relax right now? How, when Jeongguk suddenly starts to bite his nape, without fangs this time, and over his shoulder and shoulder blades, down over his spine, leaving a trail of goosebumps all over Taehyung's back.
“Jeongguk, oh fuck, oh god—,” Taehyung sobs, body tense and almost bursting from the little explosions of pleasure that ripple through him with every bite, the air around him heavy and hard to breathe in.
“You smell so good, Tae,” Jeongguk murmurs against his spine, nose pressed into his skin, and Taehyung can do nothing more but whimper and suppress his overly emotional tears.
He doesn't even know when Jeongguk stopped preparing him, but suddenly there's something pressing against Taehyung's entrance that is definitely not his finger anymore and Taehyung doesn't even know when the other undressed himself. Taehyung's thoughts are racing a mile a minute as he desperately tries to relax but it's just so impossible with thoughts of how he wants this to be perfect befuddling his mind.
When Jeongguk enters him he's taking his sweet time at first, cock filling him up so well that he thinks he's going to burst. It feels incredible, the closeness to Jeongguk the best thing he's ever felt, their naked bodies moulding together so perfectly.
But his mate doesn't keep it that way for long. He starts pushing and pulling in and out of him, slowly at first, but quickly picks up his pace before he's pounding into Taehyung, making it so hard for him to keep up with his mate, body pressed flush against the mattress, moans tumbling incessantly from his lips.
“S-slow, Jeongguk,” he begs but all he gets is another deep thrust that jostles his whole body more into the pillow, that rubs right against his prostate, making him cry out a strangled sob.
“Can't,” Jeongguk just grunts, “you’re—, you're too irresistible,” Taehyung's body erupts in fresh goosebumps when Jeongguk's nose is on his nape again before he sinks his fangs into his neck again, on the side that hasn't been bitten before, and it's so sloppy this time that Taehyung can feel his blood smeared all over the place, staining his bedsheets.
His vision goes black and his grip on the pillow becomes weak for a second, back arching away from Jeongguk's hot body over him, back of his head falling onto the other's shoulder, toes curling almost painfully.
“B-but—, I-I’ve never, ah, I’ve never d-done it before,” Taehyung manages to blubber and suddenly Jeongguk freezes, balls deep inside of him. He immediately detaches his mouth from his neck again, panting heavily, and Taehyung slumps back down on the mattress.
“You what?” he asks incredulously, and suddenly Taehyung feels his mate’s weight leaving his body as he rises into a proper kneeling position. Taehyung whimpers at the deprivation of physical contact, practically mourns the loss of Jeongguk's warmth against his back.
“It's uhm, it's my f-first time,” he admits against his bloodstained pillow, a little embarrassed and with a slight tremble in his voice, and Jeongguk pulls out of him completely, making him feel empty and lost. He tries to hold the panic down that rises in his chest, tries to not be terrified of Jeongguk leaving him now.
“Tae, baby, I-I didn't know—,” Jeongguk, seemingly having sobered up instantly, lifts him up from his lying position and turns him around again before he gathers him in his arms, a wave of relief surging through Taehyung's body.
“I didn't tell you! I-I mean, this wasn't exactly planned and—,” Jeongguk kisses him again, cutting him off, burying his hands in Taehyung’s hair.
“I’m so sorry, Tae. I'm sorry for not making sure—. I’ll make up for it, promise,” Jeongguk whispers apologetically, lovingly, his beautiful eyes locking with Taehyung's. “Is it really okay?”
“I swear, if you stop now, I’m going to kill you,” Taehyung rasps, clinging to Jeongguk's body tightly with the intention to urge him on, tugging him closer. He doesn't want his first time to end in the middle like this. He's also way too aroused to stop now.
“Okay, alright. I’ll make it up to you,” Jeongguk reiterates, and his movements are so gentle that he wonders where his fiery, uncontrollable vigour has gone so quickly.
He lays Taehyung down on the mattress again, both of them facing each other this time. He settles between Taehyung's legs that instinctively wrap around his hips and leans down to kiss him, long and deep and hungry. Jeongguk lowers himself again, his hard cock rubbing against Taehyung's abdomen before their lengths slide against each other, the friction so delicious that Taehyung's whole body tenses from arousal, soulbond thrumming in his very core, exhilarated and delighted.
“F-fuck, Gukkie—,” Taehyung gasps when Jeongguk guides his length back to Taehyung's entrance, arms encircled desperately around his mate’s strong back. He feels the head of the other’s cock push past his rim easily now, the glide nice and slow, the thrusts that start again measured and gentle, making his insides burn up. It’s only when Taehyung realises that Jeongguk is straining to hold himself back that he tries to form a coherent sentence again.
“Don't—, don’t hold back, Gukkie. Do it—, do it properly,” Taehyung pleads, not wanting Jeongguk to act like someone he is not. Just wants to feel his whole passion, his unrestrained want. Taehyung won't break, he isn't made of paper after all.
Jeongguk's red eyes stare deeply into his, a silent agreement passing between them to not censor themselves anymore before Jeongguk's thrusts become more frantic again, harder and faster, hips rocking so fervently against Taehyung's that each time Taehyung is brought a little closer to the edge, pressure building quickly in the pit of his stomach.
They kiss again, sloppily and all over the place, but Taehyung couldn't care less, doesn't even really register the bitter taste of blood anymore, just feels hot and flush and full of bursts of pleasure. Jeongguk's lips feel amazing, soft yet firm against his, and his tongue so warm and sweet and addictive Taehyung thinks he never wants to taste anything else again.
They lock hands when the ache for each other becomes too much to bear, fingers lacing together, fitting into each other perfectly. So perfectly that Taehyung can feel their souls being closer than ever before, his fateful connection to Jeongguk stronger than he could have ever imagined. Their noses and foreheads just press against each other now, and when Jeongguk pushes into him one more time, Taehyung doesn't hold back anymore, lets the pressure build up deep inside his groin as it overflows.
“Come for me, baby,” Jeongguk whispers and Taehyung whines against his mouth before he lets go and comes between their bodies, cum painting their stomachs white, moans falling from his lips like incoherent prayers as he feels like he can't stop coming. It's like he's floating, an indescribable feeling of happiness engulfing his whole being, throwing him into a blissful high he never wants to come down from ever again.
He starts to feel overly sensitive, but Jeongguk keeps pushing into his pulsating heat, his rim clenching around his thick length until he's coming, too, his hot sperm filling Taehyung up to the brim.
Taehyung collapses onto the mattress panting heavily while Jeongguk stays on his knees in a state of bliss, head tilted back, hair mussed and skin glowing. Taehyung moves his body gingerly to lie on his side in foetus position looking up at Jeongguk, letting his gaze wander over his sweaty body, thinking what a beautiful, wonderful creature his mate is.
After a moment of seeming unconsciousness Jeongguk slowly comes to his senses again, his red pupils still dilated and his breathing still a little heavy before he starts smiling and crawls back over Taehyung's body, taking him into his arms, shifting his whole weight on him.
“You’re amazing, Tae,” he murmurs lazily and gently caresses Taehyung's back, his weight feeling so good on Taehyung's body, making him feel secure and loved.
“No, you are,” he retorts cheesily, smiling brightly, a giddy giggle forming at the back of his throat, stroking over the smooth skin of Jeongguk's back, just lying there with him lazily.
“Did I make up for it?” Jeongguk asks after a while with a little grin on his lips and nuzzles his nose into Taehyung's damp hair. Taehyung can't help but snicker happily.
“Yes. It was wonderful, Jeonggukkie,” he whispers back and snuggles closer to his mate. Jeongguk caresses his thighs, the side of his ass before his touches get a little more intentional again, a little more demanding, kneading his cheeks firmly while his lips start kissing Taehyung's throat again. It doesn't take long until Taehyung feels the other's erection pressing against his thigh.
“N-no way, Jeongguk, no way,” Taehyung stutters but Jeongguk just grins broadly, “you—, aah,” Jeongguk gently bites his earlobe and lets his hands glide over his sides, making Taehyung’s body tremble from oversensitivity, “—can’t be serious,” Taehyung moans when Jeongguk starts ravishing him again.
Jeongguk is serious and he takes Taehyung once again, makes him his, marks him in every way possible, doesn't leave any doubt that he would ever share him with anyone. Eventually oversensitivity is killing Taehyung, his body trembling and his nerves on end, blood pounding in his ears, the rush in his system filling him with heavy satisfaction.
Jeongguk laps at his wounds again then, but this time it's not to deprive him of even more blood. Taehyung trembles when he feels the gashes close at the touch of his tongue, pain gone as quickly as it came.
After Jeongguk has made sure that Taehyung is okay they go and clean up before they fall asleep in a tight tangle of limbs, listening to each other’s heartbeat, soulbond buzzing contentedly underneath their skin.
Taehyung has never gone on a date before, not with anyone, certainly not with his crush that he had during middle school (his first and last one, due to reasons he never talks about).
Therefore when he opened his eyes in the morning lying in his bed, staring at the ceiling, he felt his stomach drop by the mere thought of meeting Jeongguk today to do exactly just that: going on a date.
He showered longer than necessary, tried everything to make his skin presentable, took painstaking care to not put any scents on himself that Jeongguk might dislike and tried to find something to wear that is not overdressed but still fitting for the occasion. He just blow dried his silky hair to just flop down his forehead in smooth hazel strands and left it at that, hopes that Jeongguk will like it.
He's whining into Jimin's ears a lot all day long but he doesn't particularly care, also ignores how Jimin is teasing him for being so love drunk all the time.
When Taehyung leaves the flat he's on pins and needles and yet the world has never looked so bright and rich before. He left the house early enough to walk all the way to Jeongguk's house so that he doesn't have to pay for the bus fare. He’s also glad that the cool late summer’s air wipes his jitters away a little.
It's evening now, but the sun has not set yet so he isn't really scared of being attacked. He's also displaying his soulmate mark proudly and doesn't hide the bite scars on his neck either. Every vampire in their right mind would stay far away from him.
When he arrives he rings the doorbell and hopes that it'll be Jeongguk who opens him, but of course he has no such luck. Instead he is greeted by a short, blond, gruff looking guy who seems to not have had enough sleep and who doesn't really greet him per se, just gives him a once over and stares at him suspiciously.
Taehyung knows immediately that he's dealing with a vampire and so he braces himself, straightens his back, senses alert. However, since the vampire seems to be living here, he must be one of Jeongguk's hyungs and therefore be alright.
“Uhm, is Jeongguk here?” he asks dumbly, hoping to not appear out of place in case his mate has forgotten about him. Jeongguk does sometimes have his head in the clouds and forgets about the time.
The vampire doesn't say anything for a moment before Taehyung realises that his nose is flaring a little, the same way Jeongguk’s sometimes does when he tries to be inconspicuous about scenting him and that's when it dawns on him: the vampire is currently inhaling his scent.
A cold shudder runs down his spine and he's about to lose his nerves when the other finally speaks up.
“You smell like someone I know, and it is not Jeongguk,” he states, eyes shining with a hint of red. Taehyung can't help but think he looks a little pissed.
He is taken aback by the unexpected observation, just stares at the other and wonders if he means Jimin because he's been around him all day and of course also in the flat that equally smells like him and his best friend anyway.
Fuck, if this vampire smells Jimin, Jeongguk can too and he probably won't like that.
“Yoongi hyung, is he here?” Jeongguk's voice pipes up from behind before Taehyung can ask the vampire where he knows Jimin from. His eyes go bigger when he registers the name. It must be Hoseok’s best friend, the softie vampire he had talked about before. Taehyung thinks that he doesn't look so soft at all, but he has also learned to not judge a book by its cover.
Yoongi steps aside without another word and makes room for Jeongguk who steps out of the house eagerly. Taehyung's face instantly lights up, the soulbond singing when they finally hug again, the pull fading into the background, morphing into a gentle, comfortable hum inside his core.
“I’ll be back later, hyung, don't wait for me,” Jeongguk says cheerfully and takes Taehyung's hand into his, Taehyung just barely catching a muttered ‘why would I wait for you, brat’ with his ears before Yoongi closes the door.
“Jeongguk, can you smell Jimin on me?” Taehyung asks quickly in a hushed voice, a little self-conscious about not entirely smelling like himself. Jeongguk just arches his eyebrows and leans in a little before he sniffs at him and purses his lips.
“Yeah, a little, but not much. Why d’you ask?” and shit, he knew it. He licks his lips nervously and twists the hem of his shirt between his fingers.
“Yoongi said he was smelling someone on me that he knows, and I can’t imagine it to be anyone but Jimin,” Taehyung muses and Jeongguk confirms that there is in fact no other scent on him. And that’s really weird, but Taehyung also doesn’t really question it because instead of about Jimin he wants to focus on his mate now. “Does it bother you? The scent I mean,” he asks cautiously and throws Jeongguk a curious sideways glance. Luckily though the vampire just shakes his head.
“No, I hardly smell it. Your scent is much better anyway,” he says and pulls Taehyung close to him before he buries his nose at the crook of Taehyung’s neck. A shiver runs through Taehyung’s body at the touch of Jeongguk’s nose and lips on this spot, and his eyes flutter closed for a second before he stutters out a sigh.
“I’m glad then,” Taehyung murmurs back and tries to walk straight on his wobbly legs, “where are we going, Jeonggukkie?”
“Have you eaten yet?” Jeongguk asks and Taehyung shakes his head. He was so nervous about their date that he wasn’t really hungry before, but now that he is with Jeongguk and his nervousness about the whole thing has faded a little, he thinks that he could do with some food. “Alright, let us go eat something first.”
Jeongguk takes him to a fancy diner, all complete with checkerboard floor, colorful interior design, red cushioned seats and the smell of fries and other delicacies in the air that Taehyung only gets to eat very rarely. He eyes the diner with big, stunned, eyes and lets Jeongguk lead them to one of the empty tables.
A waitress welcomes them and hands them a menu card before she disappears again. Taehyung catches her glance that she throws at Jeongguk and he instantly doesn’t like how she’s looking at his mate, at all.
When she comes back to take their order, he purposefully lies his arm on the table, inside of his wrist looking up, and shows off his soulmate mark. He can see the exact moment when she puts the puzzle pieces together when she sees his black veins and then shoots another glance at Jeongguk’s wrist that sports his mark’s counterpart. Jeongguk remains oblivious to this silent exchange as he’s still looking at the menu card, reciting their orders.
She's very flustered when she has to ask him to repeat the order again.
“What are you smiling about?” he asks when she’s finally gone and they’re alone again, an indeed very big smile plastered on Taehyung’s face. His cheeks almost hurt.
“Nothing. I’m just happy to be here with you,” Taehyung chirps, catching Jeongguk’s leg with his feet under the table, always craving physical contact with his mate. Jeongguk replies with a bright smile of his own, making Taehyung’s heart picking up its pace, as it often does. He takes Jeongguk’s hand into his and starts playing with his fingers.
“I wasn’t even aware of the fact that you guys can eat normal food until recently when Hobi ate one of those leftover cakes almost all by himself and I realised he actually does that all the time,” Taehyung comments, still finding it a little odd that vampires eat when he always thought they just needed blood.
“Oh, yeah, we can, but we don’t necessarily have to. Blood is just our main source of sustenance. And even of that we don’t need much, it just makes us stronger and helps us function,” Jeongguk explains and Taehyung is, once more, a little envious of how easy vampires seem to have it.
“You munch quite a lot on me then for saying that you don’t need much,” Taehyung teases, and he can feel all the bite marks on his body when he remembers Jeongguk’s appetite. He’s gotten used to it though. It still hurts like a bitch when the fangs pierce his skin, but more often than not it’s also very pleasurable, the thought alone of giving Jeongguk what he wants making butterflies erupt in his belly. Jeongguk snickers and tries to suppress a huge grin that threatens to split his face.
“I don’t need much, but you’re making it quite impossible to resist,” he admits, gaze turning a little darker, Taehyung’s heart fluttering again in his chest.
Their food arrives in that moment and they both start to eat heartily, sharing their different dishes with each other, shoving fries into each other’s mouths, talking about whatever they can imagine, and Taehyung can’t believe that it’s getting dark and he doesn’t have to get home as quickly as possible, that he doesn’t have to be afraid.
When they’re done, Jeongguk pays for everything, announces that he will also pay for the next thing they’re going to do, and Taehyung feels a little bad for not being able to invite his mate instead. Jeongguk won’t hear any of it though when Taehyung brings it up, just tells him that he deserves to be spoiled and that that’s how it’s going to be from now on. Taehyung will just have to deal with it (Jeongguk’s words).
“Okay, okay,” Taehyung gives up, “but are you at least telling me where we’re going?” he asks excitedly and hooks his arm through Jeongguk’s.
“Nope, it’s a surprise. You’ll see it soon enough,” Jeongguk retorts mysteriously, making Taehyung almost burst from curiosity.
When they arrive his eyes grow to the size of golf balls.
They’re standing in front of the city's biggest aquarium, the exterior illuminated in a beautiful, blue light, a huge neon sign with a shark as the logo hanging over the entrance. There’s quite a hustle and bustle despite the relatively late hour (but it’s really nothing too out of the ordinary in a world where part of the populace is more active during the night) and Taehyung can see that there’s a long line already queuing in front of the ticket booth.
But he isn’t worried about that, in fact, he’s way too excited to be worried about anything. Because Jeongguk will take him to the aquarium. They will go on an aquarium date.
He turns to his mate and clings to his arm.
“You’re really going to go in there with me?” he asks, incredulous, nervously shifts his weight from one foot to the other. Jeongguk just laughs briefly and presses a quick kiss on his temple, making Taehyung’s cheeks and nose blush a deep pink.
“I didn’t intend to only show you the exterior, Tae,” he chuckles and pulls two tickets out of the pocket of his jacket, “I also already bought the tickets, so we can just go right in.”
Taehyung squeals and hugs his mate before he enthusiastically pulls him to the entrance by his wrist.
Taehyung has never been here before, and how could he? He was too young when his family died to have come here before; his parents never really had money to spend for trivial things such as this, and when he got older his priorities also lay elsewhere. Nevertheless, he always thought that one day he would come here, just to forget the world outside a little bit, just to pretend that for once everything would be okay.
But now he’s here with his mate, with his other half, and the world has never been better ever since their souls have melted together.
It’s mostly dark inside, but Taehyung has Jeongguk by his side and his apprehension of the darkness almost evaporates even though there seem to be a lot of other vampires present.
The tour starts simple enough, big glass windows that let you look into another world full of colorful fish and water plants, sea anemones and snails, a lot of artfully positioned little shipwrecks and antique looking pillars decorating the artificially made ocean ground.
Taehyung looks at every little fish in wonder while Jeongguk stands behind him and has his chin perched on his shoulder and his arms wrapped around his middle, and sometimes Taehyung can’t help but stare at Jeongguk’s reflection in the glass instead of at the water world behind it.
They go on and come across a huge tank full of tiny jellyfish glowing in the gloomy darkness and another one that is alive with big swarms of fish that dance in seemingly unpredictable patterns, one or two rays disrupting their otherwise perfect formation.
And after many many other beautiful scenes that are inhabited by the most wondrous creatures, a basin full of seals and another one that houses tiny, funny penguins, they come upon the highlight of the whole tour.
A seemingly endless tunnel that is completely made out of glass, completely covered with water. Taehyung's eyes grow bigger when he realises they’re walking underneath it. He just looks up and watches a sea turtle and thena shark swim directly over his head while seemingly thousands of lights sparkle through the surface of the water and illuminate all the creatures swimming in the tank in a shimmering light.
“Wah, it’s so beautiful,” Taehyung gasps, jaw slack, eyes shining, and he stares up at all the fish that pass the tunnel’s surface until he feels a little dizzy and has to focus on the sandy ground instead. Soon enough he presses his nose against the glass and laughs when he detects some strange, worm-like creatures that seem to stick out their heads from the sand before they retreat it again, over and over again. “Jeonggukkie, look at these guys. They’re so funny,” he pulls Jeongguk closer to him and points at them with his index finger.
Jeongguk smiles and chuckles while he points at somewhere behind them. “Have you seen those?” he asks and when Taehyung follows his finger he detects two evil looking moray eels.
“Wow, they look... demonic,” Jeongguk snickers and looks around suspiciously before he leans in and steals a proper kiss on the lips from Taehyung. Taehyung almost yelps at the sudden contact of lips on lips before he melts into it and grabs the front of Jeongguk’s jacket, his knees almost giving out.
Kissing Jeongguk is one of the best things in the whole wide world.
After that they don’t concentrate on the fish so much anymore, rather they look for all the dark corners they can find where they can exchange secret kisses, gentle caresses and much needed cuddles. But when one of their kisses become a little too heated, a little too out of control, Taehyung has to remind Jeongguk of where they are.
“J-jeonggukkie,” he gasps as his mate detaches his lips from his mouth and bites into his jaw instead, working his way all over his throat with his teeth, “Jeonggukkie, we—, we really shouldn’t—,” he’s leaning against the wall behind him, both of them obscured standing there in a little alcove behind a pillar and another fish tank, and Jeongguk has him effectively trapped between his body and the surface behind him, him not having the ghost of a chance to push his mate away. He doesn’t even want to, but the thrill of possibly getting caught makes him hesitate. Also makes him excited.
“Will you drink my blood tonight, Tae?” Jeongguk murmurs against his ear and Taehyung whimpers from the ticklish vibration of Jeongguk’s voice against his skin. He barely has the capability right now to think straight about what Jeongguk’s question actually means.
“Would that—, would that be okay?” he asks hesitantly, not knowing why he should get to drink Jeongguk’s blood when he himself is perfectly healthy and okay. It would not be like that first time when he almost died.
“Of course it would. In fact, I beg you, Taehyung. Please don’t say no,” Jeongguk pleads and Taehyung can’t believe that he would share something so precious with him, just because. He wraps his arms around Jeongguk’s neck and nuzzles his nose against his before he kisses him again, that alone answer enough.
They decide to leave the aquarium then, but it’s not without a big shark plushie that Jeongguk buys for Taehyung who happily carries it jammed under his arm.
When they get back to Jeongguk’s home, their touches and kisses don’t remain tame for very long.
The shark plushie is quickly dropped to the floor of Jeongguk's room and Jeongguk picks up Taehyung instead before they both end up on his huge bed.
And being loved by Jeongguk is wonderful.
And being soulbonded to Jeongguk is wonderful.
And also being held down by him while he fucks Taehyung into the mattress is wonderful.
And when they exchange their blood, both sucking at each other eagerly at the very same time, the whole world could end and they wouldn’t even care.
Taehyung has never before felt such an energy, such a blissful feeling of being high, senses alert and sensitivity almost too much, but when they kiss again afterwards, he comes to the realisation that he will have this for the rest of his life, however long that might be.
And when they exchange more ‘I love you’s instead of their blood, when they whisper into each other’s ears that this is all that they have ever wanted, they both don’t question anything anymore, just snuggle up close to each other and happily fall asleep.
They sleep until well into the afternoon, and even when they’re finally half awake, they don’t make a move to ever get out of bed any time soon. Cuddling and lazy kisses just too alluring to resist.
When they do get out of bed eventually, it’s only because Taehyung voices that he is really hungry (actually it’s his rumbling belly that betrays him) and Jeongguk would never let Taehyung go hungry under his roof. Or anywhere else for that matter.
They dress in some comfortable clothes – Taehyung blissfully drowning in one of Jeongguk's t-shirts – and leave Jeongguk’s room before they go downstairs in order to go and invade the kitchen.
Jeongguk only wants to show him the living room in passing, but when they do peek inside, they both get the shock of their lives.
“What are you doing here?” Taehyung almost shrieks, eyes big and mouth dropped open. And then he has two faces staring at him, one grumpy and a little pissed, one with rosy cheeks and bashful eyes.
“T-tae? Uhm, hi,” Jimin stutters and he has the nerve to smile a little while there’s still drops of blood dripping down his neck and onto his shirt.
“Yoongi hyung, is that—, is that the human you were courting all that time?” Jeongguk asks, tone equally incredulous, and he just gets a scoff in response as Yoongi wipes over his blood stained lips with the back of his hand.
“Yep,” the blond vampire responds and it’s when he lowers his arm again that Taehyung sees the soulmate mark blooming on his and Jimin’s necks.