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I love you everyday (don’t get away)

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。♡ 。

The majority of the time, he’s okay with it.

Fame is not a real problem, not when he’s always been surrounded by crowds and cameras, followed every time his parents dared to leave their house to go to any other place that wasn’t theirs. Companies and partners aside, everywhere is hell.

Not really hell, no. That’s the environment he grew on, after all. There’s a point in his life that, despite being a great student, getting A’s and being praised by his intelligence isn’t enough to satisfy what he craves. The praising is not enough. The spotlight is still too far up, and not as near as bright as he could get.

His parents indulge him, at first, because that’s what rich parents do. He’s just a kid, he’ll overgrown it. Let him play around while he can.

That’s how Kim Taehyung’s career as Korea’s greatest model starts; with a lot of help from his surname Kim, but not for too long, no. All it took was one blink, a single one he could handpick from the many blinks his parents gave him all the time, too busy to look his way twice, the perfect opportunity to be set free, to do as he wished without any fear.

Or, in light of recent events, almost without any fear.

Turns out, his personal bodyguard had two jobs. The first job, Taehyung was the one paying him. The second one, his parents were the ones paying. “It was for your own good, Taehyung”, “We were only thinking about your safety” and, the worst one so far, “We were right in worrying about you, after all.”

“You strayed away from the path, Taehyung.”

“What’s next, son? Drugs?”

Yes, because liking someone of the same sex as yourself had indeed a lot to do with doing drugs. In fact, if it had anything to do with drugs, it was simply because of the stupid fact that Korea and the whole fucking world refused to acknowledge the normality of something that has existed for ages. Centuries. Ever since man can tell.

Taehyung knows he has to be careful. He is, probably more than what’s necessary, but it’s in his nature. He shows affection, sure, and the media loves to talk about his bro mances, but his intimacy is something he cherishes, the one thing he doesn’t want in the spotlight.

The single thing he doesn’t need flashlights on.

So, it’s understandable how pissed he gets when he finds out his own bodyguard, the one that stays closest to him, the one that should protect him and his well-being, turns up to be working for his parents as well. To keep an eye on him. To fucking take pictures when he’s alone with people until he finally has something worth the money that the Kim’s paid him for. It’s understandable how he fires him without even looking into his face. It’s understandable how his lips twitch while he endures the monologue his parents make, silently plotting his revenge.

It’s not really a revenge, no, not when it’s his life and liberty on the line. That was just another fling, sure, but one day it won’t be a fling anymore. One day he’ll want to hold the hand of the person he loves in the light of day, while there are engagement rings perfectly fitting around their ring fingers, and no one will be able to call that a bromance. Taehyung doesn’t care if his career will end in Korea, he’s already the greatest and there’s the whole fucking world out there waiting for him.

There’s also much friendlier places to live peacefully, working with something quieter, maybe getting a few hobbies like painting and a musical instrument. They could live in Hawaii for all he cares, even though he knows the stupidity of men isn’t his nation’s fault, and he’ll dearly miss it. But, for one, they can always visit, and if he ever get to actually move out of Korea, it will mean that he found a home in someone else.

A home he’s probably never had.

 

。♡ 。

1.

 

Minjae comes to rescue him around the sixth hour of torture, because without a bodyguard he can’t leave his parents house, and like hell he’ll use one of his parents’ dogs. The anger burns too hot inside his veins, they paid their son’s personal bodyguard to watch him, for fucks sake, as if he’s still some 13 years old having to travel to the other side of the world alone for the first time. It’s ten years after that and he’d never once slipped, he’s never once given them reason to distrust him this much. And still, here they are.

It’s the advantage of having one friend inside the business, Minjae striding inside the manor without a single thing blocking his way, because he’s been there so many times – either when they were kids or now, as a Kim partner himself – no one looks at him twice. And he knows the place so well that he finds Taehyung even without receiving a text providing the information, and he gets them both out of the house before his parents even knew he was there in the first place.

His whole security personnel is different from Taehyung’s parents, which is so welcomed that Taehyung has to restrain himself from hugging them too, keeping his arms to Minjae.

The first words he says to Minjae are “I need a new personal bodyguard.”

Minjae’s answer is nothing short of the expected. “I know just the right guy. In fact, we’re going there right now.”

Taehyung hums, grateful.

“I need someone that can’t be bought. Someone that knows I will reward them thrice as much if they’re loyal to me. That’s it, I need someone loyal. Also, someone who’s not a homophobic. That could be problematic. But I can’t say these things when I’m hiring a company, can I?” He sighs desperately at Minjae’s chest, arms still locked around the other male’s waist.

“Do you trust me, Taehyung?” Minjae’s voice is serious, but without any sign of hurt.

“What? Of course I do. You just saved me from my parent’s prison like a damn prince charming.” He snorts, but the meaning behind his words echoes louder. You’re my best friend.

“Then believe me. I know just who to ask.”

 

。♡ 。

 

The first thing the man tells him is “Don’t break my heart, Jeonggukie.”

To which he promptly replies “I won’t, Taehyung-ssi.”

It’s an unusual way to seal the deal, he knows it, but he also knows the tired smile on the man’s perfectly full and symmetrical lips. Bogum had told him all about Kim Taehyung, and Jeongguk would be damned if he wasn’t the one chosen for the job. It screamed his name, and that was why the boss had come to him. A special client, orders coming directly from Park Bogum, it’s not something anyone would decline, but he knows his intentions would be the truest among the company.

Even though he doesn’t usually enjoys working for the rich kids, Kim Taehyung is different.

First of all, he's older than Jeongguk. He just wants to live his life, being the person he is and not the person he’s expected to be. It’s easy enough to relate, added to the fact that Taehyung does more than simply whine about it – suffice to say that Jeongguk is the man for the job.

Because he wants to be the man for the job.

He gets an address, and everything is set to start the next morning. Taehyung smiles at him a little more heartily before he leaves, as if whatever is burdening him just got a little smaller. Jeongguk already feels good about his performance as a bodyguard, even though he's done absolutely nothing.

He grabs Taehyung at Kim Minjae’s apartment as soon as the sun rises, and he has coffee from them both even though Taehyung probably had it already – or so he thinks, until a yawn comes from the passenger seat.

“Do you have cream, Jeonggukie? I didn't have time to drink coffee at this ungodly hour.”

And he snorts a little, nose crinkling before he can stop himself, moving to grab the cream in a weak attempt to hide his face from his client. But when he turns to deliver the cream to Taehyung, he finds the man watching him with curious eyes.

It's unprofessional to notice how gorgeous your client is, but in Jeongguk’s defense, Taehyung is literally a fucking model. How could he possibly not notice that? His face is blotted from sleep – or what might have been a sleepless night – and he has a hoodie and glasses on, but he somehow still manages to look like the most beautiful thing Jeongguk has probably ever laid eyes on.

“Where to, Mr. Kim?” Jeongguk asks, as professionally as he can.

“Taehyung is fine.” He answers, not moving nor changing his gaze. Jeongguk knew the man’s voice was deep, but right now, trapped inside the car’s interior, he feels it as it vibrates inside his bones. “I have a fitting that was supposed to happen yesterday and now the stylist is all up my ass because I wasn't there. So, yeah. That first.”

“Will they be up already?” Jeongguk questions, raising an eyebrow while he sips his coffee tentatively. It's good, so he gulps down a good amount of it as Taehyung's expression finally changes into mischief.

Their eyes remain locked, though.

“If they were so desperate, the sooner the better, right?”

He does his best not to laugh this time, because that would also mean choking, and he puts the cup down as he starts the engine. “The address, Taehyung-ssi?”

“It's here.” Taehyung fixes his phone on the car’s panel with the app ready to go. “I know a shortcut from here, though, so I’ll tell you when to stray from this route. And,” he adds, lips stretching into a boxy smile that rivals the sunlight. “Taehyung is fine. If I’m to give you my trust, we better drop formalities like these, Jeonggukie.”

He nods, agreeing without even thinking, and scratch what he said about a bloaty, sleepy Taehyung being the most beautiful thing Jeongguk ever saw. That's a smiley Taehyung, now for one hundred percent sure.

Jeongguk gets a little breather to set his thoughts straight – not figuratively straight, considering he's watching Taehyung change countless times as if there's nothing extraordinary about it; and there certainly is, even if Jeongguk seems to be the only one noticing it inside the room full of sleepy designers and seamstresses, because Taehyung fucking glows no matter what he's wearing – and he can't help but to marvel at the professionalism in Taehyung's demeanor despite the glint of mischief in his eyes earlier. He's probably there this early because he's got commitment to what he does, just as Jeongguk himself.

And it's in the gentle touches he gifts the people surrounding him that Jeongguk sees he’s thankful for their work, and their availability so early in the morning to make up for his slip up yesterday. They probably don't know – they can't know – what happened, and Taehyung doesn't put himself as a victim. He's sorry for not keeping up with his compromises.

He's taking all the guilt for himself.

“Who's the new bodyguard?” The eagle-eyed designer motions her head on Jeongguk’s way, and she knows.

She may not know what or why, but she knows the model missing a fitting session and appearing the next day with a new bodyguard can't be for naught. And for some reason, Jeongguk is glad that she does.

Taehyung shrugs, earning a scold as the movement makes the fabric of the shirt slides down his shoulder and expose his – glorious – collarbones. “I got bored of him. I decided I could have at least someone cute to look at.”

He winks at Jeongguk and the bodyguard prays to God that the heat on his face isn't showing, but his gaze doesn't move away from the golden exposed skin of Taehyung's bust.

“That explains it.” The designer shoots back wittingly, not even in the slightest fooled by Taehyung’s façade.

It’s past lunchtime when they’re free, and he’s seen more of Taehyung than he thought he’d get to see on the first day – literally –, but it’s only natural considering Taehyung’s profession. He had lots to eat in the meantime, the crew never once forgetting to offer him food or drinks, Taehyung asking for bits here and there – to which he supplies feeding him straight on the mouth, and there goes his resolve to stop staring at beautiful puffy lips –, avoiding to actually eat before finishing the fitting session. They have lunch after that, and as soon as they leave the studio Taehyung’s mask falls.

He is tired, Jeongguk is reminded. He’s had a turbulent few hours; too few hours of sleep, work right in the morning, and seven hours putting himself on and off clothes, standing up and still, not even once complaining. His full lips part as a slow sigh leaves his mouth. “Home, now, Jeonggukie.”

“Of course, Taehyung.” He consciously suppresses the formalities, easier each time he does it.

Jeongguk steps on the stairway first, blocking the whole way.  Taehyung follows hesitantly, forcing him to look back with questioning eyes. “We can walk side by side, Jeonggukie.” He says, giggles coloring his tired voice.

“I’m your bodyguard, Taehyung.” He states, because it's the truth.

The words seem to hurt Taehyung somehow, and it must be his sleep deprived state.

“I know, but I already told you, if I’m to trust you…”

“It's not that, hyung.” He tries out, unsure if the word will displease or appease Taehyung. “I’m going first because we're climbing down the stairs. I’m protecting you, preventing you from falling down.”

The pout of Taehyung's lips stretch into a sweet smile that reaches his tired eyes.

“So… You walk down the stairs in front of me to protect me if I stumble and fall?” Jeongguk nods, doe eyes shining slightly amused by Taehyung’s question. “Hmm. Then, would you carry me down the stairs, Jeonggukie? I’m so tired I might actually hurt myself even though you’re right in front of me. I might sprain an ankle.”

And he might, really, or worse, that’s what Jeongguk tells himself as he lets Taehyung climb onto his back, arms and legs locking around the bodyguard’s neck and waist, and his hands slide to the model’s thighs to hold him in place.

He pretends not to notice when Taehyung's fingers brushes his chest slightly, or the way it makes his skin prickle under the fabric of his black t-shirt.

“I like you, Jeonggukie.” The confession is whispered sleepily against the shell of his ear, Taehyung's head resting on his neck and hair.

“You know me for less than a day, hyung.”

“I don't really know you, Jeongguk. If we're to be practical, I don't know anything about you. But what I see, it speak louder than words. I like you.” He repeats, the words warming their way from the shell of Jeongguk’s ear to the center of his chest. “But we can change that first part, Jeonggukie. If you want.”

The stairs end but neither of them move to change the arrangement as he carries Taehyung to the car, and Jeongguk can swear he listens a soft “I’d like to” whispered into his hair.

 

。♡ 。

 

Taehyung hires a new driver soon after that, changing his entire personnel because he can't trust anyone anymore. Maybe it's too much, but Jeongguk and Minjae agree and honestly these are the people who he values the opinion right now. One he just met, but the other knows him for ever now and it’s the closest thing he has to a brother.

Park Bogum takes care of everything, the car and the driver arriving right on time for them to leave for the photoshoot, Jeongguk knocking on his door to let him know the driver is waiting for them.

“Jeonggukie, help me with the tie, please?” And maybe it’s emotional exhaustion from the past days, but he’s doting on the bodyguard a little too much. It doesn’t help at all that Jeongguk it’s the perfect real size teddy bear, making it hard for Taehyung not to simply hire him as his actual teddy bear.

They are the same height, but their build are different. Especially to the touch. Not that Taehyung has touched him that much, but he's sure there are some muscles under the bodyguard’s black t-shirts and leather jackets.

He comes through the door shyly, eyes taking in Taehyung and his bedroom, but at the same time avoiding to take in too much. It’s ridiculously cute, and Taehyung doesn’t fight back the smile that spreads through his face.

“Tie?” Jeongguk asks as his hands reach for the tie around Taehyung’s neck, watching the design of the tie as his fingers work on it.

“I felt like it.” Taehyung shrugs, watching the light blush on the bodyguard’s cheek. “Do you not like it?”

“It’s actually very pretty, hyung. I like it.” His eyes shoot up and he finishes tying, honest and bright. “I don’t like wearing them much, though. Not on the job.”

“T-shirts, tight jeans and leather jackets suit the profession better, Jeonggukie?” Taehyung teases, smile turning boxy and the sides of his eyes wrinkling.

“Yes.” He darts, startling Taehyung. Jeongguk is fast in correcting himself. “Sorry, I didn’t mean as… If you wish, I will wear something else…”

“Shh, Guk-ah!” Taehyung laugh fills the room, and he grabs onto Jeongguk’s arm for support and his body bends in laughter. “You can wear whatever you feel most comfortable with, I really don’t mind.”

And Jeongguk smiles, laughing a little, Taehyung’s hand lingering on covered up muscles he can fell under the leather of the black jacket. He straightens up as the laughter dies down, breathing the same air as the bodyguard while them both exchange something through their eyes, still smiling.

“We should go.” Jeongguk says, breath smelling of coffee and mint.

“Yes. Thank you, Jeonggukie.”

The smile he gets it’s the purest thing, and his chest swallows. Who did he hire to be his personal bodyguard? “Anytime, hyung.”

An angel.

 

The photoshop goes smoothingly, way faster than the fitting did the day before. That’s one of the reasons why Taehyung is recognized as the greatest male model around. He doesn’t miss how his bodyguard keeps his trained eyes on him the whole time, not getting distracted even by the tastier of foods.

Taehyung notices an innocent habit of biting down his lower lip, nipping at it sometimes.

“I’ve got to meet my agent and then we can go home, Jeonggukie. You hungry?” He asks nonchalantly, as if he didn’t see the staff feeding the man from time to time.

“No hyung, I’m good.”

“They kept you well fed?” Jeongguk waves his head positively. “Good.”

Jung Hoseok’s agency isn’t too far away, and Taehyung is distracted by the window view the whole drive. It happens sometimes, his mind wanders away and he takes minutes to remember where he is. The car enters Jung’s building complex and Taehyung snaps, blinking a few times. What was he even thinking about? He can't quite put a finger on it. “It’ll just take a few minutes, you can wait outside his office.”

He feels as Jeongguk tenses up at the opposite end of the car seat. “Hm, sure…”

“Don’t worry, Jeonggukie, you’ll wait right outside. I’ll scream if something happens. Jung Hoseok is an old friend of mine, and his office is a safe place.”

Jeongguk sighs, trying to relax a little. He fails. “I know, hyung, it’s just reflex. Perks of the job.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, don’t be stressed on my account.” Taehyung smiles reassuringly, but Jeongguk’s smile is small and weak. His shoulders are still all tensed up. “Come here, turn your back to me.”

The bodyguard questions him with his eyebrows, but he obeys nonetheless. Taehyung then proceeds to undo the knots on his back, dragging the leather jacked down a little to work better. It takes him almost a minute to actually feel some difference, and then Jeongguk is finally relaxing.

“Thanks, Taehyung.” He whispers, sounding ashamed but grateful.

“There we go, that’s better. Don’t worry, it was my fault after all. Don’t wanna get you all tensed up for nothing. I need my bodyguard in perfect condition.” He smiles warmly, and Jeongguk mirrors him.

“I’m sorry, hyung.”

“What for? Forget it, I don’t care. You don’t have to be sorry for anything.” He turns to the driver, body reaching for the front seats. “You can stop here, Woo. Thank you!”

Jeongguk opens the door and gets out first, offering his hand to Taehyung after. He likes how the bodyguard handles him, taking to heart the job description. Taehyung isn’t frail, and he’d love to be handled more fiercely in different occasions, but when he’s being protected, it feels nice to actually be taken care of. They walk close by, Jeongguk’s arms always ready to reach for him, to envelope his frame and protect him from anyone who dares to appear out of thin air.

There’s no one around, however, but his hand comes to Taehyung’s shoulder when the model slightly trips, and he can’t help the small laugh that bubbles inside his mouth. Jeongguk smiles and looks away, taking a second too long to retreat.

Hoseok makes him wait five minutes, and Taehyung knows it would be an hour or more for anyone else. He takes the opportunity to show his bodyguard around, thinking it’s wise to make the man feel comfortable at the agency he works with. Jeongguk doesn’t tense up again, not even when the agent appears all bright, throwing himself on Taehyung.

“Taehyungie, I missed you! Where have you been, baby?”

“I’ve been away for three days, Hoseok, please…” He pretends annoyance, but hugs back. “This is Jeongguk, my new bodyguard.”

Hoseok draws away to look at the bodyguard with curious eyes. “Oh. I thought maybe… Ahem, well, what happened to the old one?”

“Can we go inside?” He asks feeling himself as exhausted as two days ago.

“Of course. Let's go in.”

They have a long heart to heart where Hoseok doesn't forget to be his agent, telling him uncountable times he should go on a date again, soon. Another date. Another female model he doesn't care for, too desperate for attention to notice how uninterested he is, too focused on themselves to tell the truth the next day – Oh, I had a wonderful, memorable, stunning night!, they’d say, avoiding to give details as to who and where, but knowing people would make the assumptions –, doing exactly what Taehyung wanted from these dates.

Keeping up his appearance to the media as a womanizer.

“Just tell me the word, and I’ll get you a girl for tonight.” Hoseok offers, smiling as if that's all Taehyung could ever want.

“I need a break, Hoseokie.” He whines a little, because he's tired. “Just one day. I’ll go tomorrow.”

And because his agent knows it's a miracle to get him to go on a date tomorrow, Hoseok immediately accepts it.

“What kind of girl, Taehyungie? I’ll get whatever you ask.” Hoseok pets him, stroking his hair.

Taehyung closes his eyes, sighing.

“I don't care.” He waves his hand, uninterested.

“Maybe one resembling your new bodyguard?”

Taehyung startles, eyes opening wide, and Hoseok raises an eyebrow at him. Questioningly.

“Why would you say that? No. Just get me one that won't try to impress me. One I can have an interesting conversation with.”

Hoseok sighs.

“Always asking for the impossible.”

 

。♡ 。

 

Taehyung looks tired, but he cheers up as soon as he sees Jeongguk, throwing his arm around his neck and softly dragging him out of the building. “Finally, Jeonggukie, now we're going home! I have a free week, so we’ll be able to get to know each other!”

“That's good, hyung.” Jeongguk answers promptly, ignoring the burning inside his veins. “You need to rest.”

“Rest?” He laughs, left arm still around Jeongguk’s neck. “Well, I should, shouldn't I? Hm. Are you hungry now?”

This is different. His voice tells him inside his head. That's unlike any other client you've ever had. Did Taehyung's last bodyguard get the same treatment you’re getting now?

No. He doubts it, with certainty. (He lowkey wishes the answer is “No”, too, although he won't be assuming that anytime soon.) Then, why?

Why is Taehyung treating him this way?

“Don't worry about me, hyung. What about you?”

“I’m starving! Let's get dinner, Jeonggukie!”

Turns out the less reckless thing to do it's to choose a Drive-Thru, since Taehyung refuses to get home first before ordering something. “I’m hungry! My belly hurts! Food first, home second!”

It's hard not to laugh when Taehyung behaves like a little kid.

He insists on waiting until they're safe inside his residence to eat, however, calling Jeongguk to the living room and sprawling himself and their food on the floor, turning the audio system on and leaving a cool pop song in the background.

“Tell me about yourself, Guk-ah!” Taehyung demands, playfully, a gentle smile on his lips.

He thinks profusely as he takes the longest time ever to sit down by Taehyung's side.

“I’m… not very interesting, hyung. There's not much to say.”

“Try it first, Jeonggukie.” Taehyung mildly scolds, the corner of his lips turning down and his eyes opening more, curiously.

And so, he tells. Where he was born, how he grew up, who are his parents, when he came to Seoul, what made him work with security and become a bodyguard. And Taehyung listens, actually listens, as if his story is worth a movie – it really isn’t – and there’s nothing else the model would rather do than quietly listen to it.

Only, he’s not really quiet about it, shooting questions and talking about his curiosities to give Jeongguk time to eat, too, without straying away from the subject. Not even once making the conversation about himself. “Busan’s so beautiful, I wonder how was it to grow up there.”

“I didn’t, hyung. I came to Seoul really young.” He shoots back, shrugging a little.

“But your childhood was there. Do you think you’d have had the same here, Jeonggukie?”

He’s never once thought about it. “No. It’d be completely different.” It’s his conclusion, and Taehyung agrees, as if he knows. He probably does, Jeongguk tells himself, but the model doesn’t say anything further, instead choosing the moment to take the biggest bite of his sanduiche so far. “How was your childhood, hyung?”

Taehyung grimaces, answering with his mouth full. “Not very childhood-like.” And because Jeongguk waits, the model sighs and finishes chewing with the help of his drink. “You know the drill, Jeonggukie. Sad rich kid, never has his parents around, carrying half the responsibilities of the world on his shoulders… I don’t like to be pitied.”

Jeongguk laughs, attracting Taehyung’s sharp chocolate eyes. “I won’t pity you, hyung. I heard you’re quite the intelligent one. I’m sure you found your ways to have fun and be a kid even though your surroundings weren't appropriate, if you could find ways to study and understand all that advanced math.”

How Taehyung’s puffy and greased lips turn into an “O” it’s definitely a first, and Jeongguk decides he likes it. Maybe he’ll try to drawn this reaction from the model more frequently. “Ho… Did you…?”

“My boss told me?” He answers fastly, sounding like he's questioning it because he's afraid of what Taehyung is thinking.  Jeongguk tries to elaborate.“Like, before I accepted the job. I usually don’t go too well with clients near my age. Although you’re older, hyung, but you know. Spoiled rich kids, not my forté.”

“Ah.” And Taehyung’s laugh fills the room once again, forcing Jeongguk’s lips to stretch in a smile. “So your boss told you I wasn’t a spoiled rich kid. At least, well, as much as I can avoid being one.”

Jeongguk smiles shyly, eyeing his hamburger. “Yeah. Just a rich kid, but an intelligent one.”

“And you believed him.” It isn't a question, but Taehyung is clearly questioning something.

“I’m not much of a smart kid myself, I trust my instinct.” Jeongguk explains, eyes shooting up to Taehyung's.

“And your instinct told you I wasn’t a spoiled brat?” The model raises his eyebrows in surprise.

“Something like that, yeah.”

They exchange tender glances.

“So you decided to help me, even though I…” Taehyung’s voice drops lower and lower until he’s watching Jeongguk expectantly, but the bodyguard doesn’t know what he’s expecting. “Even though you know what the reason behind all this mess is?”

Oh, Jeongguk realizes, a blush climbing up from his neck to the tip of his ears.

“Oh no, hyung, I wouldn’t… I, uh, I’m… I wouldn’t judge you, never, especially not on that topic because I’m… I’m like you.” He struggles to get it out, not used to talking so freely about it, but Taehyung gives him time and space, always listening.

“Oh.” It’s his reply, a few seconds later.

“Yeah.” It spreads to his cheeks, damn it.

“So, Jeonggukie, do you have a boyfriend?” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows at him and the bodyguard can’t help but let the laugh bubble out of his lips.

“I don’t. Do you, hyung?” He shoots back, without a second thought.

“Does it look like it?” Taehyung barks out a laugh, looking up to the right and making what it seems like a perverted face.

Jeongguk is caught by the act for a second, but he soon manages to stop laughing – ok, maybe in a little bit more than a minute –, shooting the question he’s really curious about.

“So…” He clears his throat. “You and him?”

“Him?” Taehyung asks, eyebrows furrowing.

“Jung Hoseok.”

Jeongguk did hear a loud and clear baby.

“My agent?!” Taehyung screams immediately, scandalized. “Jeonggukie, my dear angel. That’d be a mess.” And he isn’t listening anymore, his heartbeat too loud on his ears to register anything else, but he’s sure it’s something on the lines of “I mean, okay, Hoseok is something, I admit it. But I’d never date my agent. What a mess, it gives me a headache just to say it.”

The model laughs, hair falling on his eyes as he shakes his head negatively. Jeongguk takes a few seconds to remember how to breathe, unable to understand his reaction and trying to appease himself. Just breathe.

But the words keep playing inside his head like a tune. My dear angel. “Jeonggukie, my dear angel.”

“Isn't it too hard, being like this? Harder than it already is, because you're a model and all?” He asks, starting a little too weak but gaining confidence as the words roll out of his tongue.

Taehyung almost closes his eyes while he studies Jeongguk, deciding what he’ll answer if he’ll answer.

“I don’t care, actually, if I found the right person I’d find a way to make it possible.”

And his answer is sincere enough, even though it doesn’t answers Jeongguk’s question not even on the slightest.

He finds himself answering “Hyung. I would do everything to help you”, anyway.

They end up watching a Studio Ghibli movie on tv, and Taehyung falls sleep uncomfortably. He scooted closer after Jeongguk’s answer, warm smile and warm body pressing against his side, head resting on his shoulder. The bodyguard does his best to accommodate him, eventually realizing he's falling asleep himself. He finds the courage to end the evening, carefully standing up and carrying Taehyung to his bed upstairs.

 

。♡ 。

 

If Taehyung had been telling himself that his feelings for the bodyguard were just fondness, that's the night he decides not to lie anymore, especially not to himself.

 

。♡ 。

 

Before laying down himself, Jeongguk  takes a shower and checks his phone. There are two messages from his boss.

 

 

P. Bogum

Yesterday, 10:05 PM
hey jeongguk, how are things going? any issues? you're comfortable?

kim minjae told me taehyung likes to take random detours in the middle of the night sometimes, that can be a pain to you but that's the most work he's known to gave his bodyguards

He thinks about answering that, no, so far everything's been smooth, but there's a knock on his door. Jeongguk drops the phone on his bed and wears his t-shirt again.

Another small knock comes, as if the person behind is afraid. He speaks a loud enough “Just a minute”, careful not to be too loud to be heard from the bedroom beside his, where Taehyung sleeps. Maybe it's one of the security guards, updating him on something or warning him about the model leaving – even though he just tucked the man to bed.

When he opens the door, he's greeted by messy caramel hair and sleepy chocolate eyes.

“Jeonggukie.” Taehyung smiles, looking up at him almost sheepishly. “You won't betray me, right?”

The question shakes him. Bogum told him about the last bodyguard, but Taehyung himself never brought up the issue. The man not only accepted money from his parents to keep them updated on Taehyung's whereabouts, but he also snitched to them about the model’s romantic life.

“I wouldn't, Tae.” He whispers softly, resisting the urge to reach for his hair and fix it.

“Whatever they offer you, I’ll cover it. If they offer you a job on the company, anything. I’ll sustain you for the rest of your life if I m…”

It's too much to hear without doing anything. Jeongguk steps ahead and envelopes the man’s frame, pressing Taehyung's head against his chest. “Shh. Tae. Hyung. You don't have to cover anything. You won't have to, ever. There's a reason why Bogum recommended me.”

Taehyung sighs, shaking slightly.

They remain in silence for what can be an eternity, arms still around the model’s shoulders, reassuringly.

When Taehyung finally speaks, he removes his head from Jeongguk's chest and looks up with a glint in his eyes.

“Grab the car keys, Jeonggukie, I wanna show you something.”

 

Taehyung drives.

It's quiet, with the sound of humming and the radio’s low music. He's got no idea where they're going, and that's what fully awakes Jeongguk. Otherwise, Taehyung's humming would have lulled him to sleep already. They arrive at Sejong Village around 1am, and it's a quiet night there. The places comes as a surprise to Jeongguk, he himself never having stepped foot in there until now.

It's a great place to take pictures. He regrets not bringing his camera.

“You look sad, Jeonggukie.” Taehyung cocks his head at him.

“Oh. Sorry, hyung, it's… I was thinking about my camera. It's a nice place to take pictures.”

Taehyung smiles now. “Professional?”

“Yes. I mean, nothing too fancy, but…”

They walk until they are near the border, taking the view of the city under them. He knows now it's Taehyung's time to say more about himself, like Jeongguk did earlier on.

So he waits.

“My family's originally from Daegu.” He says, so softly is almost like a lullaby. “I’ve never been there.”

Silence ensues once again, and they watch Seoul’s nightlife from the top of the hill. Their breathing is the loudest sound they can hear, until Taehyung steps in front of him and turn to face the bodyguard, face barely illuminated by the moonlight.

“I like to come here and watch Seoul. Maybe pretend I can see Daegu on the horizon. When I feel homesick for a home I’ve never had.”

Jeongguk watches the man in front of him as he pours himself in front of his bodyguard, heart slamming against ribcage, teeth nipping at his lip. Taehyung looks to the horizon with longing, and it isn't fair. It isn't fair he's opening himself like this, forcing his way into Jeongguk's heart, letting him in as something more, much more than a simple bodyguard.

It isn't fair how much he wants to pull Taehyung in and press their mouths together, lick his puffy red lips, pressing his hands on Taehyung's back to draw him closer and closer.

He stays still, letting the feeling sink in, until it's hidden again, right back where it came from. Taehyung's not someone available for him. His duty is to protect this man, and not love him.That’s what Taehyung expects of him.

Jeongguk grits his teeth, forcing his eyes to move away from Taehyung's frame. The man’s profile being too breathtaking for him to handle at the moment.

They watch the city for a few more minutes, no words nor glances exchanged.

“So, there is this thing I have to do…” Taehyung whispers when they're back inside the car, head down and shoulders shrunken. “It's really boring, and I’m sorry. I’ll try to make it the most enjoyable for you, I promise.”

“What is it, Taehyung?” He asks, once again watching the model’s profile.

Jeongguk is weak, and only human.

The answer comes when they're back at the street, Taehyung’s left arm at the open car-window, eyes focused on the street.

“I have to go on dates. With women, I mean. From time to time, to maintain my image. And kill any rumor.” He sighs, tiredly. “I mean, for me it's okay, I guess, I eat and drink, but you… I’m sorry.”

“Oh.” It slips, and he fastly covers it with a smile. “It's okay, hyung. It's part of the job description.”

He laughs and Taehyung follows, not as heartily as he usually do.

“I’ll make it worth your while, Jeonggukie. I promise.”

 

The promise doesn't make sense until it's 7pm and they're inside the restaurant, upper floor cleared for Taehyung and his date. It's a small space, cozy, even, and Jeongguk stays close to the doorway, facing their table.

The date for the night is a young model, barely turned legal, and she moves either too much or not at all. The dress she's wearing is yellow and beautiful, contrasting against her light skin, but maybe she's over exaggerating, using too many jewelry, exposing too much skin, too eager to please.

Jeongguk can relate, as he himself was at a loss for words when Taehyung asked for help with his tie earlier on.

His attire is breathtaking, accentuating every detail of his long and slim body. It fits perfectly, comfortably, but the effect it's the opposite for who’s seeing Taehyung. The air gets knocked out of Jeongguk's lungs every time he looks the detailed blazer, tracing the golden pattern that spreads through the navy fabric with his eyes.

Taehyung glows.

She talks too much, too desperate to keep the man entertained, and Jeongguk watches as he tastes the food that Taehyung has sent to his table.

The juice comes with a note that reads “sorry it can't have alcohol :( but this is my favorite drink!! we’ll taste it together properly some other day”, and he can't stop the smile that rips his face apart.

Taehyung smiles too, pleased at the other side of the restaurant, face propped on his hand as he plays with the food on his plate. The woman chatters on, excited with the reaction she thinks she drawed from the man with the topic she's currently on.

Chocolate eyes flash on his direction as if to make clear who's the owner of that smile, and Jeongguk's chest expands.

He smirks, eyes going back to his juice, now at his hand, and he chases the straw with his tongue, closing his eyes as he tastes the blissful flavor of the drink.

If he's ever tasted anything better, it won't happen again.

“Was it too boring, Jeonggukie?” Taehyung asks after dropping his date back at her house. Jeongguk's got to admit, Taehyung is a gentleman.

“No, hyung. The food was good, and the drinks were amazing.” He licks his lips at the memory, without realizing. “Thank you.”

Taehyung's eyes glint. “My pleasure, Jeonggukie.”

 

He gets a camera the very next day – not sure if he's actually been gifted a professional camera that's probably worth ten of the model that Jeongguk actually owns, or if Taehyung is only lending it to him, too impressed with the object to process the words he's hearing right; Taehyung's voice is just a soundtrack to this unreal moment of his life –, and they go sightseeing again, this time during daylight.

Taehyung takes him everywhere he thinks Jeongguk will like to photograph, and he's too shy to ask for Taehyung to pose for him – it's his job, after all, and the bodyguard doesn't want to make Taehyung feel like he's working on his off-days –, but Taehyung is a natural.

And, maybe, Taehyung catches Jeongguk when the bodyguard is trying to take a photo of him when he’s not looking.

The model barks out a laugh, and the resulting picture is simply stunning.

“Jeonggukie, are you trying to ruin my image?”

He's taken aback by the question. “What? No, hyung. How could I?”

Taehyung nods negatively, sighing.

“Taking hidden pictures of me, looks like you're trying to capture me off-guard, doing some ridiculous face.”

“You’d look stunning anyway.”

His sincerity takes them both by surprise, and Jeongguk sputters as Taehyung open and closes his mouth, a beautiful blush tinging his pointed cheeks.

“Gukkie…” Taehyung whines, hiding his face on the palm of both his hands.

“I'm s-sorry, hyung, I… Y-you’re… Look.” Jeongguk weakly offers the camera, trying to prove his point.

“Please, don't say anything else.” Taehyung steps inside his space, hand suddenly resting on Jeongguk’s waist and face burying on his shoulder. “That was so honest, I need a moment.”

He's sure his face must be the darkest shade of red known to humankind, and the bodyguard is glad they're mostly alone.

 

On the third day of Taehyung's mini vacation, he learns his client can be the epitome of impulsive.

The words leave his mouth unthought, no pretentious intention to it.

“Busan’s sunset would be a nice thing to photograph with this, hyung,”

And it's perfect, really, because Taehyung was attracting too much attention already, walking around Seoul in plain daylight, and Jeongguk can't really focus on taking pictures if he's worried his client might be recognized and attacked – for autographs and photo purposes – at any minute. Even if they aren't really alone, the car with the driver and two security guards from Taehyung's new personnel following them around everywhere, making sure no one’s taking pictures without permission.

“My parents were always so exaggerated. What really draws attention is walking everywhere surrounded by bodyguards and security. When people see us like we are now,” Taehyung waves his hand in circles between him and Jeongguk as he explains, and the bodyguard can't help but marvel at beautiful slender fingers and golden skin. “They might recognize me, but they ask themselves if it's really me. The model, carefreely taking a walk with a friend on Seoul’s streets. It seems unlikely, and even if it's true, how rude would it be to intrude?”

Taehyung is right. Jeongguk notices he almost always is, boxy smile and wrinkled eyes staring at the bodyguard proudly.

“That's why you like my clothes, then.” He asks, kind of already sure that he's right.

“Yes. Casual. But also because you look hella good in them.” Taehyung winks and Jeongguk laughs, now a lot more used to Taehyung's flirting.

“Thanks, hyung. You're the international model, though.” Jeongguk reminds him, a good way of reacting without sputtering a shy answer back.

“Right.” Taehyung agrees, eyes never once leaving him. “I know what I'm talking about.”

Still, they avoid places that are too crowded and tourist attractions.

The ride to Busan is Taehyung's head on his shoulder, Taehyung's hand on his thigh, Taehyung's other hand pointing to things out of the window, bringing their faces closer as Jeongguk forces himself to look away to where he's pointing. It's Taehyung's sweet perfume, Taehyung's warmth, everything is Taehyung.

One may think he's not trying, but Jeongguk is. He just can't do much about his heartbeat, or the feeling that spreads through his body like venom on his bloodstream.

The model insists they can go wherever Jeonggukie wants, and he gives the driver instructions to his favorite childhood places.

They end the tour on the beach, waiting for the sun to set. Their feet are bare, sinking in the sand, and their trousers are rolled up to their knees. The professional camera is hanging around the bodyguard’s neck, and they run to the water and back, like two little kids.

Maybe it's the beach, or maybe is the feeling of being back home, but Jeongguk hasn't felt this good in ages.

“It's cute when you smile like this, Jeonggukie.” Taehyung observes, pinching his cheek.

“Like this, hyung? How?” He smirks, resisting the urge to roll his eyes at his client.

“Like you're home.”

He thinks about it for a second, and then slowly shakes his head in agreement.

“I am home.”

Taehyung smiles, too.

After the photos of the sunset are taken, Taehyung asks if he wants to visit his family, maybe spend the night. He says something about finding a hotel, he's too tired to travel again, anyway, but Jeongguk is fastly typing something on his phone and smiling.

When he looks up, Taehyung is pouting.

“What?” He asks, and the model’s pout gets bigger.

“You were ignoring me.”

Adorable.

Jeongguk smiles. “I have one more place to go, hyung. Let's go.”

There's no one home, but Jeongguk knows where the spare keys are. They let themselves in, preparing tea for everyone and making sure they're comfortable. Taehyung is distracted enough not to make questions, but when the main door opens and they hear a low “Son?”, his eyes almost pop from his head.

“This is your parents house?”

Jeongguk smiles, and goes to the hallway to greet his parents. Taehyung is still having a breakdown when he comes back to the kitchen – “... course it's his parents house, he knew where the keys were…” – but he stops and opens a boxy smile the minute Jeongguk laughs.

“Mom, dad, this is Kim Taehyung.”

“Oh, Gukkie, you never told me how handsome he was!”

And it's ridiculous how embarrassed Taehyung gets with his mother’s compliments, but it only makes him feel more fondness for the model.

The arrangements aren’t the best, and they’d probably be more comfortable at a hotel; but the Jeon’s are receiving them on their home with their hearts open, completely unplanned. Home cooked dinner and freshly washed bed sheets aren’t things you will get anywhere. And Jeongguk can see how happy and surprised they are by his parents treatment.

“You can go to a hotel if you prefer, but know you won’t be a bother here. It’s just one night, and my parents will love it.” He whispers the last bit, getting closer to the other security guards. “They love to cook for a big number of people, and ever since me and my brother left…”

“Gukkie!” His mother calls from the kitchen, and he winks at the guests before leaving the living room. He meets his father going on the opposite direction, with something in hand Jeongguk is almost sure is music-related. The minute he steps in the kitchen, his mom is shoving a phone screen to his face. “We told Eunnie you were here! She’s bringing Jeongho to see you, he’s so big, look…”

 

。♡ 。

 

If he could pinpoint the moment that he actually fell, it would probably be the very second he set his eyes on the bodyguard.

Although, at that moment, it was something strictly platonic, and Taehyung was used to staying platonic. He had platonic loves everywhere. He had friends he stayed platonic in love with, knowing they’d never be more than that but lowkey being in love with them anyway. Because his friends are amazing, okay? His number of real friends isn't such great, but it's certainly quality.

Therefore, the moment it stopped being platonic was right now. Sure, he had noticed Jeongguk had a certain gift to mess with him easily, catching Taehyung off-guard and looking completely unaware of it. But this, yes, this was too much. This was going too far.

This was definitely straying away from the platonic line.

So if he had to pinpoint the moment he threw his hands high up in the air, this was it. Now.

Jeongguk kneeling on the floor and opening his arms wide, with a huge smile on his lips. An adorable smile, accentuated by his front teeth, a little bigger than the rest, making Taehyung think of bunnies, and spring, and flowers, and love.

Dammit. Love. Not platonic. Love. And it’s too damn soon for this shit, but a small boy throws himself at Jeongguk’s open arms and Taehyung’s body trembles, losing balance as he completely swoons.

“Hyung!” The small boy shouts, and Jeongguk’s laugh fills the house.

“Hey Jeongho, careful not knock me down.” Jeongguk speaks softly, ruffling the small boy’s hair without pulling away. “You’re bigger, you need to learn your strength. Soon you'll be stronger than me.”

And that’s it. He’s done.

 

The dinner is the best food he's ever put inside his mouth, and it's absurd how the Jeon’s keep saying that it's no big deal, nothing much, because Taehyung can't remember the last time someone has prepared him food like that.

It’s not like going to a restaurant and have the chef prepare you something special because you’re rich and famous. It’s nothing like people making food for you because they’re paid to do so, or they might win some good publicity with it. This is totally different, this is something he’s never known; this is a meal made by parents, especially for their son. And even if he isn’t the son in question, Taehyung can’t help but feel like he is.

“Did you came to Busan at work, Taehyung-ssi?” Jeongguk’s mom asks, sweet and kind.

“Please, just Taehyung is fine. And, no, I’m having a mini-vacation now, and I’ve been sight-seeing. It's something I've never done in Korea, I think. Not on broad daylight, anyway. Then Jeongguk-ah said Busan had some nice places to photograph, and it seemed like a good idea to come immediately. Sorry for not warning you first.” He bows slightly, but fast hands approach him, caringly setting him straight again.

“No need to apologize, dear. We're happy  that you're here. Then, what did our boy show you today?”

“We went to Gamcheon Cultural Village, I think that was my favorite place! Besides the beach, of course, and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Everything is so beautiful here!”

“I’m glad you’re enjoying our city, Taehyung.” Jeongguk’s father smile, eyes crinkling at the corners just like his son.

It's a nice family dinner, even though there are four strangers on the table.

He doesn’t need too much time before he’s falling on Jeongho’s graces, and at the beginning he’s plainly being vindictive – he wants the bodyguard to go through what he had to go through, being cute and fun with a kid while the other just watches –, but soon enough he almost forgets the man because Jeongho is a small and even cuter version of him.

“Don't leave me out, you two.” Jeongguk pouts, and Taehyung wants to punch his stupid pout. With his own mouth. While holding his face with both hands, caressing his jaw and neck tenderly.

They play together until it's too late, fake-fighting and throwing the little boy around, running all over the house – certainly keeping his security guards entertained with a side they never got to see of any client they’ve ever worked with – and Eun needs to go back home to put Jeongho to sleep.

“They fixed my brother’s bedroom to accommodate three people, then there's my bedroom and the living room. You can follow down the corridor, it's the last room in the house.” Jeongguk tells him, still waving Jeongho off. There’s a slight pink tinge on his cheeks. “My mom left some clothes on the bed, I think. Feel free to choose whatever you want. The bathroom is the door on the opposite wall, just before reaching my bedroom.”

Taehyung is snatched back to reality. “Hm? Oh, your bedroom? Wait. You're going to sleep on the living room?”

“Yes.”

He opens his mouth to protest, but, remember, Taehyung is and always was a smart human being. He closes his mouth again, slightly bowing his head down.

“Thanks, Jeongguk. That wasn't necessary, but I appreciate your hospitality.”

“Then appreciate it. Go.” He smiles warmly, and sweetly, and it tastes like a Caramel Macchiato, or a marshmallow freshly out of the bonfire. “Good night.”

“Good night, Gukkie.” The nickname falls off his lips without him noticing, but Jeongguk smile widens and Taehyung copies him.

The room at the end of the corridor is a kids bedroom, and everything about it remembers Taehyung how Jeongguk left his home so early in life. Truth be told, it’s surprisingly clean, as if the Jeon’s wanted to preserve their small boy’s bedroom, but not irrationally so. There’s only a few toys, lined up on shelves, and polaroids hanging on the bed’s wall. The walls are all white, but there are a few blue clouds adorning it, along with yellow stars on the ceiling. The bed itself is small, and it’s covers are an Iron Man’s matching set.

Taehyung chooses a white t-shirt that’s too big for him – in other words, just perfect – and a shorts, along with the towel that’s also lying in the bed. He takes a short bath, smiling ridiculously all the way through without even realizing it. He falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow, a dreamless and refreshing night of sleep.

 

Taehyung wakes up to Jeongguk's humming, which is a first. He's never heard the bodyguard singing before, not even when he blasted his stereo and screamed to the lyrics of the song that was playing. Taehyung tries to remain as still as he can, to listen it for a while longer, but Jeongguk stops humming anyway.

“Please continue, Jeonggukie.” He pleads with his voice scratched, his throat still dry from sleep.

Jeongguk jumps like a scared cat, turning around with gigantic doe eyes. “Taehyung. Sorry, I… Well, I came to wake you up. Uh. Wasn't planning on doing it like that, though. Sorry.”

“How were you planning to do it, then?” He raises an eyebrow at him, smirking.

“With a good morning?” Jeongguk tries, smile faltering.

“Why are you so jumpy?” Taehyung laughs, sitting up.

“Your voice startled me. It’s deeper than the usual.” He gets away from the toy shelves, coming in Taehyung's direction. “Did you sleep well, hyung?”

“Yes, thank you. And you?”

“Perfectly.” He stops by Taehyung's side and sits by the side of the bed. When he looks Taehyung again, he clearly checks him out and then proceeds to laugh.

“What?” Taehyung asks, confused. He looks at his own clothes, searching for anything funny.

“My clothes look huge on you, hyung.”

Taehyung stutters and blushes, eyes shooting back up to Jeongguk. “Y-Your clothes?”

He wasn't expecting that, not in the slightest.

“Yes, hyung. Who did you think they were from?” Jeongguk cocks his head, an endeared look on his handsome face. He briefly wets his lower lip, knocking the air out of Taehyung's lungs.

“Uh… You… I…” The bodyguard raises an eyebrow at him and Taehyung laughs nervously, closing his eyes and shaking his head. “I didn't stop to think about it.”

“Clearly.” Jeongguk drags the palm of his hands on the jeans he's wearing, looking at the wall behind Taehyung.

The polaroids.

“Your bedroom is adorable, Jeonggukie.” He’s fast to take the attention off of himself.

“Those are embarrassing, alright.”

They laugh heartily together, and Jeongguk tells him a bit about some polaroids, later giving him a new toothbrush and leaving for the kitchen to finish the breakfast.

And Taehyung doesn't want to tease the bodyguard anymore. He wants to properly date him.

Ok, maybe he still wants to tease him a little, too, but one can do both, right?

 

They drive back to Seoul after lunch, of which Jeongguk is also the one responsible for. Taehyung wears an apron, available to help him, but the best he does is searching for things around the kitchen and feeding Jeongguk bread and juice while the younger does the actual cooking.

It's for the best, he's not really great on the kitchen front. Still, he helps with stirring, even though it stays on Jeongguk's eyes to tell when to turn off the stove.

The minute they get home, Taehyung jumps Jeongguk on a hug. “Thank you, Gukkie!”

It's the bodyguard’s time to blush and stutter.

“What for?”

“The whole visit to Busan. It was amazing!”

“I should be the one thanking,Taehyung…”

“Oh, no.” He puts some distance to their bodies in order to look Jeongguk on his eyes, hands holding his shoulders firmly. “You should not. You even received us on your parents’ house. I have to thank you.”

“O-okay.”

“Go out to dinner with me.”

“W-what?!”

“Dinner.” Taehyung repeats, satisfaction spreading throughout his whole body. “Let's get dinner together. I miss my favorite restaurant, and we can get that drink I promised you.” He winks, his hands still sprawled on Jeongguk's chest.

His mouth is still hanging open, and he stutter an adorable “Okay”.

It physically pains Taehyung.

 

Since the dinner was planned on a short notice, the restaurant is functioning normally. Still, Taehyung manages to get them a separate room, small but enough for two people. He makes sure they're treated just like any of his dates – if not better, since they put on candles and flowers on the small booth, making it cozy and romantic.

Doe eyes look at everything with blatant surprise, and Taehyung smiles brightly, watching the younger without being caught, because Jeongguk is too busy processing everything.

He's wearing a black suit and tie, hair parted and combed to the sides, exposing a little of his forehead. No one has ever looked so good in a simple white shirt, all buttoned and fitting maybe a little too well. Taehyung can see his chest moving as Jeongguk breathes, and he unintentionally licks and bites his lower lip.

The movement seems to finally get Jeongguk's attention.

“Hyung.” There's a whiny fragment to his voice, and Taehyung bites back a laugh. “This is…”

“You don't like it?” He asks, before Jeongguk can say anything that will probably break his heart even though he knows that's probably not the bodyguard’s intention.

Taehyung has eyes, and he's been seeing how the younger looks at him. He’s not doing any of this because he wants to be noticed, that part is already done and dealt with. What he wants it's for it to be more than physical, which can be a little hard because he is a model, after all.

Some people can't ever see through that.

“... No, I do, I mean… I don't…”

“I'm confused. You do like it or you don't? Because you can't be possibly thinking you don't deserve this.” Taehyung laughs. “It makes me wonder who you've been dating, Jeonggukie.”

The bodyguard blushes so much his neck is also red, and Taehyung has to refrain himself from crossing the table and kissing his whole red and handsome face.

The menu comes and Taehyung asks the waiter to prepare them their best dishes, and also his favorite drink, and Jeongguk just asks for “water, please, cold”, too.

It almost makes Taehyung turn into his tease mode, but no, he's doing this right.

“I don't… I haven't dated, much.” Jeongguk manages when the waiter is gone, apparently recollected.

“Huh? Oh. A one night stand kind of guy?” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows at him, playfully.

Jeongguk shrugs, finally looking up, clearly embarrassed.

“It's not like you can easily date around here.”

They exchange silent knowing looks.

“I know, Jeonggukie. I know.” And the ghost of homophobia is around them, kind of destroying the mood. But since it's already around, Taehyung decides it's an important talk, and they might as well have it. “I have a question, and you don't have to answer me if you don't want to.”

“Go ahead, hyung.”

“Do your parents know?”

There's a moment of silence, where they only stare into each other's eyes.

“We’ve never talked about it, it was never… necessary. But, uh, I think… Maybe my mom knows already.”

“Moms.” Taehyung agrees. “She probably does.”

“Yeah.” Jeongguk agrees, eyes falling down to his hands on the table, a loving smile on his pink lips. “Did your mom know?”

“Oh.” Taehyung falls into a fit of laughter. “My parents wouldn't see it even if I was carrying a poster saying it with all the letters in three different languages. And a drawing.”

“I'm sorry.” Jeongguk bows, apologetically.

“What for?” He waves it off, smiling. “It's okay. I don't care, really. I only keep it a secret because of my job. And one day I won't anymore.”

They exchange another knowing look, this one way warmer than any other they've shared so far.

“I hope this day arrive for you soon, hyung.”

Taehyung's laugh fills their booth. “Do you hate me, Jeonggukie?”

Because the truth is, the moment it does, he's most likely done for, and Taehyung is probably still too young for this anyway.

Jeongguk’s smile is small, but full of feelings. “No, hyung. But you deserve to know love.”

Keep smiling like that and looking at me like this and maybe I will, Jeonggukie.

 

。♡ 。

 

The dinner went amazingly well, their relationship already easygoing, effortlessly so. If Jeongguk allowed himself, he'd think how much he prefered their dinner instead of the entire empty floor date from the other day. Taehyung had looked stunning, too, with a white t-shirt fitting his chest perfectly, v-neck exposing the beginning of his collarbones, and a choker – a beautiful accessory made of intertwined strands of silver – that matched Taehyung's piercings. His blazer is a soft pastel color, reminding Jeongguk of peaches and summer and stealing kisses over the dinner table of the expensive restaurant Taehyung's paying their dinner on.

And that's what he thinks about the next time Taehyung is back at his fake-dates, on the last day of his mini-vacation. The date this time is more age-appropriate, but Taehyung's demeanor is the same of the last one. His clothes are stunning, but they're somehow different. As if Taehyung is dressing himself well, yes, but not as himself. He's dressing things his stylists would give him. And then, it hits Jeongguk. He's not trying to impress.

Was he trying to impress the bodyguard on their date? No, not date, dinner, their dinner. Was he, though?

Jeongguk’s life is hard.

And it gets harder when Taehyung's eyes find his, and Taehyung slowly licks the tip of his fingers. The woman is distracted with her cellphone, and Taehyung slowly licks his lips, too, eyes flashing something that makes Jeongguk gulp, his mouth suddenly dry.

He copies the motion, absentmindedly licking his lower lip, and the moment is gone. Taehyung is back to his real date, smiling politely and saying something Jeongguk can't hear. He finishes his drink in one gulp, eyes never once leaving Taehyung's red lips.

 

During work, Taehyung acts professionally. He's never late, or playing around, unless he's got the time to do so. If he does, however, he finds his way to Jeongguk, be it for annoying the bodyguard, or simply doting on him.

At some point, a staff member approaches him in the middle of the shooting, asking if he’s really Taehyung’s bodyguard.

“Yes.” Jeongguk answers pointedly.

“Oh.” He looks younger, maybe a makeup assistant at the beginning of his career. “I’ve seen some of his past bodyguards and he never acted this way. I’m sorry for disturbing you.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” He excuses the staff, shrugging and trying to act cool while he’s measuring his next words. “Taehyung has had some problems with his past bodyguards, which is why I’m different. I guess you could say we’re friends, too, as part of the job description.”

“Well,” the younger pauses, giving him a small smile. He looks grateful for the lack of awkwardness despite his blunt approach. “It look more than a job description. He seems really fond of you, Jeongguk-ssi.”

There’s a “thank you” hiding somewhere on his tongue, but the bodyguard stops with a single smile.

Those days are the ones when Jeongguk’s work is the hardest. There's always an abusive amount of people outside the places Taehyung is doing the photoshoots, and sometimes one or two find their way inside the crew, disguised as a photographer or an assistant.

So Jeongguk memorizes all the faces of the crew the day before, Taehyung right behind him, keeping him entertained and massaging his neck and shoulders.

“You really don't have to do that, Gukkie.” Taehyung tells him, for the tenth time, the nickname forcing a smile to Jeongguk's lips.

Ever since Taehyung heard his mom calling him like that, he's been dropping the nickname affectionately here and there, intentionally. Jeongguk knows, he can feel the intention every time Taehyung does so, and it makes him smile.

{“I'm happy you're working with him. I hope you get to work with him for a long time.”

“I work for him, mom, not with him. He’s paying me.” He had corrected her, a childish tone hidden in his reproachful statement.

His mom, however, remained unfazed. “From where I see it, you work for that company, Gukkie, and they pay you to work with him. Unless he's paying you directly?”

She asks almost teasingly, knowing beforehand that Jeongguk never takes jobs this way.

“... No, he's not. But those are just formalities, mom.”

“Are they, now? Huh.”}

The dates are sometimes problematic, too, especially when someone somehow finds out the restaurant they're going to before Taehyung even gets there, or right before they leave. Taehyung doesn't complain much about those, because it's good they're seeing him going out on dates – “That's why I am wasting my night with that, anyway!” –, but it still is kind of unnerving, Jeongguk having to protect not only Taehyung but also his date.

In those cases, the other guards help him with the date part, scouting the woman to their car, while Jeongguk has to deal with a clingy model glued to his back.

The worst part is that Jeongguk is really awful at hiding his smile.

Sometimes, the stalkers “They’re not stalkers, Gukkie, it’s their job! They make money with it.” Taehyung pokes his ribs playfully, a happy smile on his lips. “That’s even worse, Tae.” – find out where the woman Taehyung is having dinner with lives, and they have to make an extra hour before taking her home. Those are slightly entertaining when Taehyung decides to take her back to his home, and Jeongguk isn’t normally a bad person, but he permits himself to relish a little on the disappointment they get when they arrive at Taehyung’s home and the model proceeds to turn on his television for him and Jeongguk to play some video game.

“Do you want to play too, dear? We have extra remotes and multiplayer games.” Taehyung offers with a smile, and is met with a weak negative response.

We. Jeongguk is too focused on that single word to care for anything else. He knows Taehyung is speaking generally, but he can’t help but feel included in that.

Those women end up drinking water and taking a cab home as soon as they can.

They’re quite good on the 2-player games by now, the rest of Taehyung’s mini-vacation spent with both men sprawled on the living room floor and sometimes couch, endlessly playing video games and competing against each other. If there is one thing that can make Taehyung forget his responsibilities, staying up too late and giving an extra-work to the make up artists on the next day, it’s this.

 

Eventually, on a date night, Jeongguk gets a text message.

 

 

taetae

Today, 09:47 PM
Jeongukkie… m boooored

help me

Sure, lol. How?

He has a pretty good idea of how, the idea playing around his head freely now, Jeongguk's resolve to ignore the model's beauty long gone and buried, since he never once managed to succeed at that anyway. However, for now, he’ll keep it in his imagination.

 

 

taetae

Ur drink looks really good. How about all that sprinkled sugar all over its border? It's my favorite part of those drinks.

Jeongguk chokes a little, thanking himself for wearing a simple white t-shirt instead of a formal shirt with a tie. Then, he would have choked for real.

He discards the straw, not sure about what he's doing exactly, it's probably his imagination making him see intentions where they don't even exist, but slowly taking the cup to his lips anyway. He meets Taehyung's eyes, scared of what he’ll find, but expectation greets him eagerly.

Taehyung looks like he's not even breathing, and that's all the fuel Jeongguk needs to actually drag his tongue against the sweet border, licking a stripe of the sugar completely off.

He keeps watching as he puts down the drink, burning into his memory how Taehyung bites his own lip so strongly Jeongguk can almost taste blood. Instead, he tastes honey lips, wishing it could be more than his imagination work. He gets his phone back, fastly typing an answer as if his body is not combusting entirely.

 

 

taetae

You were right. It's really good.

His heartbeat is strong on his ears, and he's sure this is just the model and his incessant teasing, rising out of boredom from the date he has to endure, but he looks back at Taehyung and he's typing something furiously under the table. Jeongguk's phone vibrates a second later.

 

 

taetae

Meet me in the bathroom, Gukkie.

He loses all his body movements, still looking at his phone’s screen, which by now is completely black, screen locked automatically after the lack of activity. He feels when Taehyung passes through him, and that’s what gets him out of the trance. Jeongguk drinks the rest of his juice, heart still slamming against his ribcage, and he watches as the woman checks her phone, completely distracted and unaware.

He knows it’s a fake date, but the woman doesn’t, probably, and she has feelings too. It’s not her fault Taehyung has to go around dating women to keep his sexuality safely hidden. It's not her fault he has to hide himself that way, too.

And maybe Taehyung only wants to talk to him. Who knows?

Jeongguk is at the bathroom door before he even knows it, taking a deep breath before opening the door and being met by a waiting room and a fidgety Taehyung, whose eyes shoot immediately up and greet him eagerly.

“Thank God, I thought you were going to ignore me.”

Jeongguk laughs weakly, walking in and leaving the door to close by itself. He takes two steps towards Taehyung, who copies him. They waver, eyes studying one another.

“How could I?” Jeongguk asks, taking another step.

Taehyung closes the distance, leaving half a step in between them. His hand shoots up, cupping Jeongguk’s cheek.

“You’re so good to me, Gukkie.” He breathes out, his deep voice being so breathy doesn’t make the bodyguard any less anxious. Something coils under his stomach, his whole body trembling in something he’s tempted to label as anticipation.

“Am I?” He asks, voice breaking.

“Yes.” Taehyung answers without a second thought, honesty coloring his dark chocolate irises. “I don’t wanna abuse your willingness to please me.”

“I’m not. Doing anything just to please you.” Jeongguk answers as fast as he can, pressing his cheek against Taehyung’s palm.

“You’re not?” Taehyung questions, raising an eyebrow.

“I mean. I want to, but that’s not… It’s not just that, I…” He stammers and stutters, but Taehyung’s hand slides and his thumb caresses Jeongguk’s lips, the bodyguard’s voice immediately dying on his throat.

Taehyung watches his lips intently, licking his own plump ones, the distance between them getting smaller and smaller.

The air is thick, and the moment Taehyung’s thumb slips to his chin, Jeongguk closes the final distance, pressing their lips together and closing his eyes as he feels the softness of Taehyung’s lips, raising his hand to the model’s neck and drawing him in. Taehyung does the same with the hand that was on his face, sinking his fingers on the bodyguard’s hair, nails digging his scalp.

His other hand goes to Taehyung’s waist, sliding to his back and pulling him in, pressing their bodies together as Taehyung opens his mouth and Jeongguk follows, desperate to taste more of Taehyung. He’s an addict, blinded by the feeling he’s been dreaming so much about, finally tasting and savoring the texture of those lips on his.

Their tongues meet and there’s a low rumble that Jeongguk gladly drinks, deepening the kiss and slightly pulling Taehyung’s hair. They battle for dominance, but it’s more of a division than a proper fight, exchanging the roles as they go, bruising each other’s lips, biting and licking, guiding, giving and taking. The kiss tastes of the drink Jeongguk had, and Taehyung’s drink, that he finds out not to be alcoholic, too. It tastes of desperation, as they sink further into it, becoming breathless and still not parting.

“Tae…” It comes out as a plea, a whisper, and Jeongguk’s eyes are open to see Taehyung opening his clouded ones.

“Hmm.” He hums in response, biting and sucking the bodyguard’s lower lip.

Jeongguk groans and slides his hand back to the model’s slim waist, grabbing it with strength as he kisses back, biting and sucking too, a little angry at the clear provocation. Taehyung smiles into the kiss, laughing weakly at Jeongguk’s reaction. Instead of making him angry, it gets him weak on the knees.

They stop pressing their foreheads together, gently, breathing deeply to regain their breaths. He's not ready to let go, despite being the first one to try to break the kiss, and he presses their bodies in a gentle way, now using both his arms locked around the model’s shoulders, pulling slightly away to peck Taehyung's lips. The model chuckles inside his embrace, hands sliding down from his neck to his chest, sprawling themselves there like they're used to it.

Like it's their place to be.

“Ok. I’m okay now.”

Jeongguk gives his lips another peck.

“You sure?”

Taehyung makes a strangled noise, indignant with Jeongguk's revenge for his little teasing earlier on.

Gukkie …” He whines, and the bodyguard's laugh makes his body shake, too.

“Okay, okay…” Jeongguk lets him go, drawing his hands to himself and fixing his hair.

Taehyung does the same, eyes going back and forth as he does his best to recompose himself.

“How do I look?” He asks, looking at the nearest mirror and back to Jeongguk.

“Like someone I could definitely kiss again.”

The bodyguard laughs heartily as Taehyung sighs heavily. “You are a menace, Jeon Jeongguk.”

Taehyung bites his lip as Jeongguk licks his, and they stare deeply into each other’s eyes.

“I think you're good to go, Tae.”

“Thanks.”

“What for?”

Taehyung simply smiles, winking at him before exiting the small room. Jeongguk proceeds to go to the actual bathroom, washing his face and calming his heart and holy shit that just happened before going back to his table.

The model greets him back with a smile, and somehow the rest of the dinner goes much easier.