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Like mother, like son

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Ian’s memories of his youngest brother are few and vague, at that. A tiny bundle cradled against that woman’s chest. Weeping and annoying - demanding attention. Like mother, like son.

Miss Park.

He doesn’t think he could recall her first name by now. Too much time has passed - he was still a kid back when she was around - but what he remembers is that loud, garish presence of hers in their house.

Like most of her kind, she spawned out of nowhere, just appeared one day, stitched to his father’s side - could have been another arm candy, flitting and pretty, but out of all father’s flings, she lasted the longest, even bore him a child. And one day, she packed her things and disappeared, that tiny bundle, their baby brother - Jimin - snug as a bug in her arms.

Ian still remembers their father - a picture of perfect sadness that day, and many days after. And for the first time, out of many that would follow, Ian couldn't help the feeling of resentment slowly sipping into his veins - it felt like that woman erased their own mother, deceased now, from father’s heart to replace with her own image.

Oh how he hated them both for that.

Many years later, as a grown-up, an heir to their family legacy, Ian investigates more into the matter. With families like theirs, it’s dangerous to leave any loose ends, he'd tell himself. Miss Park, as inconsequential as her person was, had a child, a Jeon, albeit illegitimate, but well in his rights to demand his share of the inheritance - their father’s company assets.

Ian scoffs at the very idea. As far as he’s concerned, Miss Park and her filthy offspring deserve nothing from them, not a single won, and it’s to his greatest disgust that he finally discovers the truth - their father has been supporting her for years now, despite being estranged, generous funds treacling out to pay her expenses in Europe where she dwells now, throwing gala parties every thursday night no doubt.

Ian could only imagine the kind of environment her son was growing up in. The kind of person he’d matured into. Loud, garish and shameless. The kind of person who'd show up one day, banging on their door, demanding their money. Like mother, like son.

And Ian worries. He might have zero respect for that weakling of a man their father is, but he is the oldest son. He has duties and obligations to the family, to protect it from vultures, because father isn't willing to do it for reasons incomprehensible to Ian - no feelings last that long. Love, most of all. That much was certain, given how little time it took father to forget their mother. To betray her and her memory - to betray Ian, too.

Jimin. Not much is known about him. Spent his early youth drifting from one boarding school to another - the best education Europe has to offer. Photos are scarce - one from graduation, a dark grainy image of boys and girls and that lost asian kid, staring gloomily to the side. Taken some time after his sixthteen's birthday - a few months before he just vanishes. Runs off, perhaps. Like mother, like son.

It’s been five years since then. There is little possibility that he is even alive. And Ian is all too happy to settle at that. Maybe he worries in vain. He hopes that Korea is far enough to keep the likes of that filth away.

He truly does.

 

The day the news arrive, Ian is having lunch with a couple of father’s old trusted associates. Things have been put into motion for a few years now, for Mr. Jeon’s retirement and Ian’s taking over.

It’s a slow process and an annoying one. The geezers in the board still think him a welp - if only they knew - and Ian has to fight for the right to be heard, to be taken seriously. The nice way. Still, it’s a battle he plans to win, even if it won’t happen overnight. He needs people on his side, and those he can’t rally behind him - will have to go.

Quietly.

Ian is not one for much fracas anyway.

(He is not Kook.)

His secretary, Mr. Kim, rises by his side, a ghostly presence about him - silently arresting his attention.

Mr. Kim has been with him for many years now. They speak politely to each other, which have been known to raise many an eyebrow, but Ian knows it’s how it should be. He has utmost respect for the man’s capabilities. And loyalty.

“A moment, sir, if I may.”

Ian excuses himself without batting an eye. It must be something serious. Mr. Kim wouldn’t have disturbed him otherwise.

When Mr. Kim is finished talking in a reserved hushed tone of his, Ian feels thin tendrils of rage puncturing his chest - that filthy son of a whore.

“Get me my fucking car.”

He straightens his suit, scrabbling for a grip on his senses. He is better than that. He can deal. He is fine.

“Please,” he adds chilly, sending Mr. Kim away with a curt nod.

 

So Jimin is back in Korea. For the first time in forever. He really is back. Not dead, not a ghost, safe and sound. In his head, Ian’s already digging through all the collected data on that whore and her son. Where did he let himself slip up?

When Ian thinks about Jimin, if he ever does, he imagines this little ugly creature, despicable and greedy, with long crooked fingers making perpetuate grabbing motions. He is more of a goblin than a human, in his mind, digging his way from the dead to rob them of their money.

(And their father’s love, too.)

What he discovers upon arrival - he stops himself just short of bursting into the living room, but he is better than that.

He. Is. Fine.

(Barely.)

What he discovers is -

That nothing in Jimin resembles a goblin, and it gives Ian a pause - a freeze to his system.

No human should ever be allowed to be this beautiful.

There is something of her in him. That stubborn turn of his chin. Or the tilt - a curious tilt of his head when he turns to peer at Ian, eyes wide and lips -

Fuck these lips.

(He is not fine.)

“So you’ve heard,” his father says, eyes flitting knowingly to Mr. Kim behind his back.

“So I have,” Ian repeats through gritted teeth, eyes trained on Jimin the entire time.

(An impostor? No, the resemblance is there, however small.)

His baby brother appraises him silently in return, his expression a perfect mystery. Ian would pay big money to know what is going on inside that little pretty head of his. Alas.

“Papa, is this Gukkie?” Jimin turns, bodily, to their father, chittering away. His “papa” intoned in perfect french. His Korean is -

Nothing short of perfect Seoul dialect. Not a trace of that heavy rustic satoori Miss Park would brandish unflatteringly every once in awhile, betraying her more than humble roots. He couldn't have learned it from her.

“Mama used to tell me about Gukkie all the time, what a sweet little boy he was - a man, of course, he must be a man now,” Jimin giggles, flushed cheeks and fingers covering his pretty mouth. “I’m so delighted to meet all of you.”

His body language, back turned to Ian, successfully excluding him from conversation, says otherwise. He doesn't want to meet Ian, but the feeling is perfectly mutual - Ian, his hackles raised, is hardly a picture of hospitality right now, but it's not what makes bile rise to the back of his throat. It's his father - the fondness in his eyes, the care - the way he'd used to look at her. After all these fucking years, he is still -

His hands are balling into fists before he knows it, against his better judgement - he thought he knew better but he is not, still bitter, still -

He doesn't know what he'd do if not for Mr. Kim’s hand resting assuredly on his elbow. And it's all that he needs to come back to his senses. This trigger happy reaction just can't go. Not at work, not at home. He can't win a war by lashing out upon every single provocation. And if his prediction is right, he’s yet to see anything.

There seems to be so much more to Jimin than his stupid giggles.

Ian excuses himself, but his words ring hollow - no one is paying attention to him anyway, father too engrossed in Jimin's presence. Like mother, like son.

“Dig out everything you can on him. Where the hell he spawned from. I want to know everything about that bitch,” Ian spits out as soon as the door is closed behind them.

 

Ian waits. He observes.

He attends all the family dinners, an old tradition resurrected from the past now that Jimin is here.

Even Kook shows up from his existential limbo of being the second brother. Ian and Kook don't see eye to eye on many things. It used to be brutal before Kook moved out a couple of years back. It sizzled out eventually, quieting down into mutual, albeit disgruntled, tolerance.

They sit the furthest from each other at the table, and Ian wonders if Jimin picks up on that, his gaze always prodding, looking for tender spots, and the truth is - he doesn't have to look too closely, his relationship with Kook might as well be an open festering wound for the whole world to gawk at. Too many differences, words and punches thrown with abandon.

Jeong, the youngest triplet, is -

Smitten with Jimin. Of course, he is. That boy sees no evil. He is truly the best of them, in that sense. The family member Ian feels most protective of. And Jimin might have sensed that - there is something smug about him whenever he gets all touchy with the boy. Jimin knows Ian is watching. And he cradles Jeong's face and plays with his hair and feeds him morsels off his plate, cooing at how cute the youngest triplet is - to Jeong's unadulterated delight. Who sees no evil and takes everything at face value, as genuine care.

Ian tightens his grip around his wine glass, knuckles turning white - he takes a few calming breaths.

He is waiting for reports from Mr. Kim.

It’s taking far longer than both of them had anticipated. The boy is an absolute mystery. A compelling and maddening one, at that.

In a few weeks, his presence spreads like wildfire. Ian is barely home anyway, he has his loft studio in Gangnam to sleep over. But every time he drops by their estate, there is him - always on the periphery of Ian’s vision. His laugh ringing in hallways or brand bags strewn around - daddy buys him anything, spoils him rotten, his little boy princess.

Jimin wants a vintage convertible Mustang to parade around in and there it is one day, parked by the entrance, red metallic polish sparkling in the sun. Screaming big money - wasted on a whim. Never touched.

Jimin is mocking them and it’s as if Ian is the only one who can see it for what it is.

“Tell me you have something for me.”

Mr. Kim bows, somewhat apologetic.

“I am afraid not much, sir. Mere rumors instead of facts. I can tell for certain, however, that he and Miss Park don't keep in touch anymore.”

“Why?”

“It could be only a speculation on my part, but it might be somewhat related to Miss Park’s former lover, a russian oligarch, and his fondness for the boy. Apparently it was quite mutual. As you might imagine, Miss Park is not the one to tolerate any competition, least of all from her own blood. Must have been quite a blow to her self-esteem when her son, barely seventeen, elopes with said lover into the wilderness of Siberia. The trail runs cold there.”

In the jarring silence that follows, Ian thinks of many things. For one, Jimin is obviously a slut - it's in his genes. Yet, Ian can also imagine him growing up in an ivory tower, bored out of his wits, too bright and cunning for his own good - he is a Jeon, after all. Until one day he starts noticing lingering looks from some of those man, flocking in droves around his pretty mother, rich and powerful and with so much more to offer than his own peers could. He realizes with a start that he is desirable. Maybe he falls in love, aching for freedom and attention - aching for the feeling of being wanted his glorified harlot of a mother could never provide.

All of that could also be a load of bogus, however. A speculation, a rumor of a rumor. One thing is for certain, though -

“Our baby brother sure is something, isn’t he?” Ian lets out a dry laugh. “Someone must have helped him to cover his tracks, though.”

“Well, you could always ask him yourself?”

Ian curves an eyebrow, incredulous.

“Ask him?”

“Apologies. It was rather unwise of me to suggest.”

Ian knows sarcasm when he hears it. He lets it slide. Mr. Kim is not exactly wrong. He could ask. He probably should. It's inevitable that they face each other eventually. And Ian, if he is being completely honest with himself, is dreading the moment. The boy is too dangerous. And lascivious. And his lips are -

He makes Ian go unhinged.

 

It's a week later that Ian comes over his loft - another long busy day - greeted by the sight of food and Jimin.

Both are looking quite delicious.

“I hear you like Japanese cuisine,” Jimin starts, a coy look from under his perfect lashes. He's dressed impeccably but simply - the kind of beauty that flourishes on minimal - a loose black shirt draping down his frame, with a cleavage bordering on scandalous.

Ian finds his gaze lingering and Jimin smiles knowingly.

“And who did you hear it from?”

Ian hovers over for a moment, using his height advantage to intimidate, but deems it too crude and unnecessary. He settles for the sofa, facing Jimin on its opposite end.

“Father.” Jimin says. No silly ‘papa’ this time. Jimin’s usual chitter simmering down to a half-lazy drawl. Ian likes it much better, he finds. “He’s proud of you, you know. Talks about you all the time. And I can see why.”

“You didn’t come here to pay me lip service, did you now?”

“I’ve been here for awhile, but we’ve barely talked. I thought we should rectify that, don’t you agree?”

Ian stays pointedly silent which doesn't faze the other, not at all. He carries on.

“Now, I have a feeling you are not exactly fond of me, and that’s fine, I’m not asking for declarations of undying love, but at least we could keep things civil between us, being brothers and all. I’d like that. Father, too.”

“Brothers? Is that why the skimpy getup? Because you have only brotherly thoughts on your mind?”

“I don’t let others define for me what’s proper. Despite all the differences that exist between us, I feel like we might share common ground here.”

“That’s a bold statement. We’ve barely talked and yet here you claim to know me so well.”

“I didn’t come here to fight. Or even talk, if you don’t want to. At the very least, we could share a meal together. That’s all I ask.”

“Tell me your price first. And then, we’ll share a meal.”

“Excuse me?”

“Do I need to make myself clear? How much do you need to pack your gucci ribbons and roll the fuck out of our lives forever? Just name your price, brother dearest.”

“Is that what you think of me? A gold digger?”

“Aren’t you?”

“Having money is nice, yet there is so much more to life than that.”

“Enlighten me, then.”

“How about family. I’ve never really had one when I was growing up. But I could have it here. Father’s accepted me, our brothers adore me, why can’t you be civil, at least?”

“You can sweet talk them and tell them all about your little unloved self, but I can see who you really are - a lying greedy slut. You’d not even be here if not for the lavish life daddy’s money can give you. But think about this - daddy won’t always be around to spoil you, princess. Or have the means to do so. And it may happen sooner than you think. So, I suggest you be a good boy and take my offer while it stands. I might not be as generous later on.”

“Is this how it's going to be, then? Fine by me.”

Jimin reaches out for his coat, wrapping it around his shoulders. Taking his sweet time while doing so, too.

“Enjoy your food. Would be waste of a perfectly good meal otherwise.”

Ian watches him go before throwing the sushi away untouched. A shame really, he does love Japanese cuisine, but he hates being played and that's that.

 

So, it’s on. Ian’d spoken his mind and Jimin -

He kind of disappears from view after that. He and his stupid giggles in french. The calm before the storm, no doubt, because he and Jimin are now apparently at war.

Ian had honestly expected him to run off to daddy and get onto his knees and wiggle his pretty tail and nag at him to disown Ian for being an asshole. Miss Park would have certainly done that by now. But Jimin -

He doesn’t run for daddy. Oh no, he’s the sliest, nastiest piece of work Ian has ever seen in his life - and he’s seen plenty. He doesn’t run for daddy’s lap, he runs for -

 

“I wasn’t aware you’d moved back.”

To say that Ian is surprised to stumble across no other than Kook, roaming their kitchen so late at night, is an understatement.

Kook, his shoulders immediately squared, ready to defend himself if need be. Of course. He’d expect nothing but another fight from Ian. They’ve been like that for years now, how could he have ever forgotten.

“I didn’t. Just...” Kook shifts from one foot to another, self-conscious. “Staying over, I guess.”

Everything about him screams awkward. Ian narrows his eyes.

“What for?” He prods.

“I don’t need to explain myself to you. Or do I need your permission now too?”

Ian frowns, not liking the implications of this statement.

“What are you talking about?”

Kook clenches his jaw muscles, hands gripping the kitchen counter as if he is itching to lash out. And Ian for the life of him can’t imagine why. They’ve been fine, not near the picture perfect example of brotherhood, but - fine.

Something has changed. Someone.

“Baby, I was just-”

Jimin pops into the kitchen in his slutty dressing robe. His perfume, subtle but potent, wafts into the room, teasing at Ian’s nostrils, who can’t help but take it all in - the scent, the bedroom look, the easiness with which Jimin slinks into Kook’s personal space, into his arms - the bitch has no shame at all.

He ignores Ian as he cranks his neck up to look at Kook, hands wrapping around his middle.

“I was just joking about the pancakes, silly, you know that, right?” Jimin says demurely.

The fuck.

Kook brings his hand to loop around Jimin's shoulders, eyes still trained on Ian, daring him to something - anything.

Kook’s fingers are rubbing small circles into Jimin’s skin, tender and light, fondling the spot flushed red - Ian can see it even from a distance. A hickey. Blooming. Tantalizing. Vulgar. It all falls into place now, in his head.

In his head, he pictures it all - their bodies wound tightly around each other. Jimin's lurid moans. Jimin's lips around a cock. His brother’s cock. It's all too real in his head and it makes his blood boil.

(He is not fine.)

 

“Did you know that Kook’s banging that slut?”

Mr. Kim looks up from his tablet, a business letter interrupted mid-sentence. They are in the car, driving to a corporate dinner. It’s Christmas soon, but his mood as of late couldn't have been more down in the dumps.

It feels like all is falling apart in his arms.

Mr. Kim, as composed as ever, adjusts his glasses before answering.

“Not to such extent, no. Are you certain, sir?”

“Yeah,” Ian voices quietly.

“If it's indeed true, I’m sure Mr. Jeon would like to know about this...development.”

“Of course it’s true. I’ve-”

“Have you personally witnessed them, then?”

Ian sighs. If he did, they'd be discussing murder now, not incest.

“No. But even if they don't, they are going to. Have you seen them together? That bitch is up to something. He knows how bad the relationship between me and Kook are. He’s an easy target.”

“Even so, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to accomplish. Master Kook has little to no ability to harm your position in any way.”

There are things even Mr. Kim is not privy of. It's not about his position or money or status.

“That’s...true,” Ian says darkly, leaving it at that.

He wants to think that it’s about family, but it's not that either. Underneath it all, it's about him and his unbecoming feelings towards their baby brother. His lust and his jealousy. If he can't have Jimin, Kook won't have him either.

And he is going to make sure of it.

 

The dinner is underway and Ian is going through motions. Greeting, smiling, making small talk. The usual drill. Staying close to his father. Keeping tabs on Jimin, who is also present. Dressed to kill. Laughing and wrist touching and being the center of attention. The usual.

Guests love him.

Ian can't even blame them. Jimin is divine. A whole separate class of his own. Today's event is a distant echo of the grandeur that he must be used to back home anyway. Smile and be pretty. Smile at Ian surreptitiously from behind his champagne glass.

“Join me outside, brother,” Ian whispers into his ear on his way to a quieter place. He does that more out of a whim than anything, doesn't even expect Jimin to follow, but here they are - alone, a moment later.

Ian turns the key - the snap of the lock deafening in the silence that settles. If Jimin finds it unsettling, he does his best not to show it. Neither does he get too close, opting for some distance and a massive armchair wedged between them - it's some sort of study room they find themselves in.

“I wish to talk,” Ian says simply before the silence gets too awkward.

Jimin nods briefly, waiting for him to continue. Ian takes a step forward - a step closer.

“You and Kook. It has to end,” Ian cuts to the chase.

“Would you care to elaborate?”

“Don’t play dumb now. Stop leading him on. Me and him might not be on good terms, but he doesn't deserve being used like that. Leave him alone.”

Jimin huffs, tempted to roll his eyes, no doubt. He does no such thing, however, gaze never leaving Ian.

Ian who takes another step closer.

“I see your madness knows no bounds. I don't need your permission to spend time with my family. Or anyone, for that matter.”

“I’m not going to repeat myself. Leave him alone. This is my last warning.”

“Or what?” Jimin sniggers, refusing to back down under Ian's advances, even when they are standing a few inches away from each other.

“Admit it,” he croons. “You’re jealous.”

Ian bites back a retort. He is, isn’t he. Ian is jealous and petty and bitter. It could have been him, his hands leaving bruises on Jimin's hips, his lips worshipping Jimin's body, whispering praises into his skin.

“It could have been you, all along, you and me, baby,” Jimin leans in seductively, his warm breath caressing Ian's neck. “The two of us, unstoppable, on top of the world, making love to each other. Being a family, but you are too proud of a fuck to admit that you want me. Too late now. Get the fuck away from me. You and your stupid threats don't scare me anyway.”

Jimin pushes him and Ian pushes back, hands clamping around Jimin's neck - he growls, his grip tightening as Jimin starts gasping for air. His eyes are wide open, but never, never afraid.

“Well, maybe you should be scared, brother dearest,” Ian whispers, hot and dark. Jimin is tiny. One twist of his hand and it could all be over. His desires put to rest, at last.

He thinks about it. He really does. He could end it right here, right now. Jimin's breaths are getting shallower, pupils blown wide - whether from fear or excitement - he is pretty like this. He doesn't fight though, going lax in Ian’s hold. Surrendering.

“Fuck you,” Ian spits before crashing their lips together. Jimin's mouth is pliant under his, letting Ian take what he wants from him - take his lips and his breath and his moans. Ians hands fall from Jimin's neck to roam his body instead. He touches and gropes as much as he wants - it's all his now. Not Kook’s, not their father’s.

His.

Ian loses himself in the feeling and when his sanity bleeds back onto surface, primal hunger sated for now, Jimin has his legs wrapped around his waist, shamelessly grinding their groins together. He doesn't bother keeping quiet. He whines ever so prettily.

Ian takes a step back, untangling himself. Jimin whines some more and Ian takes pleasure in that, but this is not how they are going to do it.

“We’re leaving,” he says, fixing his tie. Fixing Jimin’s collar, too. “My place.”

 

Ian drives. If he wanted to, he could rev the engine and make it in ten minutes to his loft. But then, if he was really desperate, he could bend Jimin over back at the study, but this is not who he is. Some things require a proper procedure and sex is one of them.

They'll do it his way and Jimin, surprisingly, is not complaining. He is silent. Fingers drumming on his knee is the only thing that allows a glimpse at his inner state.

Once there, they get out of the car, Jimin following suit. From the underground parking lot to the elevator and, finally, his loft - a view of the night city greeting them welcome. Ian turns on the side lighting.

He says,

“Go take a shower.”

Jimin looks like he wants to say something, but a moment passes and he heads for the bathroom, unbuttoning his shirt on the way and tossing it carelessly onto the floor. Ian sees a glimpse of bare skin before the door shuts with a bang.

He sighs, picking up the garments and folding them neatly on a chair. His own jacket follows next. The rest he leaves as is.

And then, he waits.

 

When Jimin emerges from the bathroom, he doesn't bother with clothes or even a towel. Modesty must be a strange concept to the man, but with a body like his - it's understandable. Ian lets himself just look, eyes roaming over the toned planes and naked skin, flushed pink from the shower.

“Enjoying the view?”

Ian stands up as Jimin approaches him, tipping Jimin's chin up and leaving a soft kiss.

“I am,” he says, enjoying the sight of Jimin licking his lips, plump and wet, just for him. He'll fuck these lips eventually, but right now -

“Undress me.”

Jimin doesn't have to be told twice. He is perfectly obedient as long as he gets what he wants, Ian thinks. Hands working - teasing, fondling, petting - on unbuttoning his shirt and his pants - until Ian is as naked as he is.

Jimin's gaze is appreciative if a little greedy. He likes what he sees too, leaning in to press quick kisses over Ian's chest, teasing a nipple into his mouth. Ian allows him this moment of indulgence before he pushes Jimin onto the bed, wedging his own body between his spread knees.

Here, under him, Jimin is a different sight. Ian finds that he likes him best like this - no makeup or rich perfume or brand clothes. Nowhere to hide from him. Vulnerable and breathtaking, his Jimin. His to worship, to make love to.

“Have they ever loved you the way you were made to be loved?” Ian muses, half-aloud, palms running over his body, his touch barely there. Jimin sighs into a pillow. Ian can see a hint of rosiness on his cheeks, his intense penetrating stare taking its toll on Jimin’s composure.

No one has taken their time to look at him like that, to really look at him, though all his games and tricks and ploys - the masks he wears. Not even Kook. They all fall under his charm and they take what they want, thinking this is what he wants, but it’s all a charade, a mirage.

“I’ll treat you as my king, if you let me. As my personal god. I’ll bring the world to your feet, if only you let me love you, darling. What do you say?”

“Yes,” Jimin utters, meeting his lips half-way. “Yes, yes, yes.”

“Only me.”

“Only you. You. You.” He chants, seeking skin on skin, taking hold of Ian’s fingers and pressing against his hole. It’s slickened and stretched for him, Ian discovers. Growls from arousal, their scents mixing together. Jimin smells divine, even without the perfume - he’s an aroma in himself, exquisite and lavish - Ian can’t help breathing him in, drowning in the sounds Jimin makes as he thrusts, working his fingers in and out - just to tease him, to bring him to the edge.

And pull back, reading himself, his cock, to slip inside Jimin's wet eager heat.

“You feel so good, darling,” Ian lets out, his vision going hazy for a second. Jimin fits him like a glove, and he has to pace himself from going too hard and too fast - he wants to savour it, to let Jimin savour it with him.

“Oh god,” Jimin whimpers. “Fuck me, baby, like only you can. I’m yours, yours, yours. Make me feel it.”

His voice is hot against Ian’s ear, driving him mad.

“Make me feel it for days.”

The way he is clenching around Ian’s cock.

“Wanna feel only you, have only you in me and my thoughts. Please.”

They kiss for ages, bodies pressed, merging into one. Slow and deep, Ian rams into him.

“Ruin me, baby, for everyone else. I want you. Always wanted you. Only you.”

Only you, echos in Ian’s mind as they find release, Jimin following right after him, fucked out and blissful as Ian crumbles on top of him. After tonight there could never be anyone else.

 

They make love and rest and talk and make love again, well into the night and an early morning.

Jimin tells him about his past, unprompted. About Europe and Russia and China and Jeju Island, where he’d spent the last year before presenting himself to the family. About his mother and her many lovers - he doesn’t talk about his own and Ian’s glad for it.

For the way Jimin shrugs them off as if they were nothing.

“Did you and Kook really...” His heartbeat is pumping loud and heavy against his chest. “I mean what I said. He doesn’t deserve to be played.”

His hand finds Jimin’s, so much smaller than his own, a tiny hand, but it feels now like it’s holding Ian’s entire world.

“I mean,” he swallows around a lump in his throat. “I’d rather you break my heart instead.”

The kiss Jimin leaves on his lips is tender, almost loving.

“Only you,” Jimin promises and Ian wonders if tonight is just another illusion after all.

 

“So where is he?”

Jimin's disappearance occurs a few days after they’d spent the night together. A quiet, ghostly act. He barely takes anything with him, all the brand clothes, the car, his trophies - everything left behind.

Ian reckons Mr. Kim has something to do with it. Jimin would never have slipped under his nose otherwise. He wonders whether anyone in this house can resist Jimin's charms.

“I am afraid I can’t say, sir.”

“Can’t or won’t?” Ian says with a wry smile. “No matter. I’ll find him.”

He feels Mr. Kim’s eyes on him, studying him furtively in search of god knows what answers.

“I imagined you'd be most relieved to see him go,” he remarks with barely hidden amusement. What an old coot. Playing uninformed innocence here.

“I’ve changed my mind,” Ian shrugs, reaching for his cup of coffee. It's an early morning and his flight for Barcelona is scheduled for tonight. He might as well get some rest prior. Who knows the next time he'd be able to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet.

Still, Ian is relieved, relieved beyond belief. Jimin's vanishing act means something, just like their night together meant something to him. And this is one last game, one last chase to indulge in before he settles - he is Ian's now.

Besides, spending Christmas in Europe doesn't sound half bad now that he thinks about it.