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tie the knot

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Not only is curdled milk revolting, the latest issue of Cosmopolitan—or whatever magazine Jimin had curiously picked up from his neighbor’s recycling bin last week—called it a bad omen. And then further added that in some dreams is interpreted as a sign of dirty money.

While that does give him a sense of apprehension to look forward to for the rest of his day, he assures himself that he’s unfortunately not living a dream, but reality. Plus, the only reason why his milk expired was because he hadn’t found the time to clean out his fridge nor the money for groceries yet.

So here Jimin is, finally throwing the milk out and mixes a concoction of leftover peanut butter crackers and cookie crumbs from the pits of his dwindling cookie jar as breakfast. He downs half a bowl and washes it away with a cup of black coffee before grabbing his keys and starting his walk to the Busan bus station for his seven a.m shift at Vene.

Vene is a three star diner at the corner of Gwaeja-ro, Busan’s bustling street. It’s home to both old and new players of the money industry who surprisingly respect and endorse the place. Surprisingly. Its tiny kitchen serves greasy breakfast goodness from seven to twelve, and just as fattening lunch from twelve to four. After all the other shops in the plaza close, Vene’s private lounge opens to a night of politics, soju, and an all-you-can-eat buffet, meat edition.

Jimin started working at Vene when he was fifteen. Back then he could only take the breakfast and lunch shifts since he wasn’t old enough to serve the evening alcohol. As a sophomore, he’d take afternoon shifts and the seven a.m ones on weekends. It made good money—and majority of the customers were white-collared workers who paid generous tips and cleaned up after themselves. Occasionally they’ll receive the less-dressed, perverted, seedier diners.

It was during senior year when he took the opportunity to study dance at an academy in America that he missed the diner for seven months. He missed working there so much that he showed up at Jinwoo’s office straight from the airport, asking for his old job back, which his manager was happily obliged to give. That was also when Jimin realized his job wasn’t just a nice pastime. It was the only thing that pulled him the past year. Times have been tough lately.

Which is why Jimin needs this job. He’d do anything to keep it. And by anything that means preventing himself from physically assaulting annoying customers, no matter how gross or complicated they were being. That meant he had to try his damndest  from hurling a glass pitcher onto this beautiful man’s face.

Jeon Jeongguk, qualified asshole.

Seokmin poked his head in the break room earlier where Jimin was catching up with his psychology notes and informed him that Mr. Jeon had specifically requested for him. That puzzled Jimin because none of the staff addressed Sangguk by his surname. The formalities have been dropped long ago. Plus, he never visited on weekends, let alone a Sunday morning. Jimin knows his schedule by heart so he can clear tables beforehand whenever he expects Sangguk to come by. So why would he want to summon him now?

He tosses his binder aside anyway and heads out to the booth area. Jimin scans the room and upon finding Sangguk’s usual seat by the window empty, figures Seokmin had made a mistake. It was still weird, because it wasn’t like his coworker was able to miss Sangguk’s signature gray hair and booming voice.

“Chim, over there,” Seokmin hollers behind the counter. He tilts his head in the direction of the farthest booth in the back, completely parallel from where Sangguk would’ve normally sat. Apparently Seokmin doesn’t know the deal either because he just nervously shrugs when Jimin raises a brow at him.

As if this couldn’t get any shadier.

Sangguk was a ball of energy that never seemed to lose his youth at the ripe age of sixty seven. Everyone—including the guys—adore him. Even long-legged Seokmin would trip over air whenever he was within a two feet distance with the old man. He was a kid at heart, and Jimin enjoyed spending his shifts talking to him.

Jimin makes his way to the back booth, only to be stopped by Jiho’s smack on the ass as he walks past. He stops, takes a step back, and punches Jiho’s bicep to which the punk only snickers at.

“Damn Minnie, you’ve got an arm,” he grins wolfishly. “Better use it on a whip and teach me how to be a good boy, yeah, babe?”

Jimin wrinkles his nose. “And why would I be doing that when I could easily become an officer and use my arm to whack your face with a baton and then throw you into a dingy cell, where you belong?”

But Jiho just smirks. “Only you’d aspire to live above us pigs, Minnie.”

Jimin sweetly smiles.

Woo Jiho, a regular that the staff address him as Zico, was next in line to inherit Kia Motors. There isn’t much above him besides the everyday billionaires and the Prime Minister.

“Now hyung, don’t tempt me,” he teases. “Karma might be a bitch and have me marry one of you pigs and then I’ll end up being one of those celebrity housewives on TV.”

Even Jiho looks a little queasy at that idea. “God, no. You wouldn’t.”

“It’ll be your fault if I do.” Jimin winks before continuing his way to the back where he expects Sangguk to greet him. The thought of the old sport visiting him on a weekend makes him feel giddy and excited. He even skips in his step. Dancer antics.

Jimin hasn’t seen Sangguk for a few weeks now, not that it’s surprising. While Sangguk is a regular, he’s also a pretty busy and important man who frequents business trips. Hence why they haven’t been seeing him lately. He looks forward to catching up with him this morning and letting him taste their newest addition to the menu—red velvet brownies.

“Hello, Sang—”

Jimin stills, eyes narrowing at the man tapping his fingers impatiently against the wooden laminate in the booth.

A face he once stored away in his memories lashed urgently before him. He hardly stops himself from concealing his gasp.

Well, look who we have here.

Heart beating wildly against his ribcage, Jimin blurts, “You are not Mr. Jeon.”

The man’s perfectly shaped brow arches at his accusation and Jimin feels the full blown effect of his hauteur before he can even open his mouth.

Jimin doesn’t really expect it, but out comes a crisp, collected voice saying, “Pardon me?” while sounding demanding all the while.

He has thick chestnut hair that curves at his nape and sweeps across his forehead in delicate waves, a prominent, straight and narrow nose, a jaw that could cut, and a pair of full pink lips, the top being thinner than the bottom. He’s awfully young by appearance, but his expression and actions give the impression that he’s older than he looks. What intrigues Jimin the most are his dark hazel eyes, equipped with the longest lashes he’s ever seen on a man, that are currently inspecting him in disdain.

He’s definitely attractive—Jimin can’t help but admit the dark features of his eyes and hair are those of a walking wet dream. Even the quirk of his lips is sexy.

Whatever Jimin had built up of him from the sources he acquired before doesn’t give the man justice, nor does it prepare him to actually face him at this moment. A moment he has been sort of dreaming, moreover dreading, for a while now.

Breathe, Jimin. You barely know the guy despite what you think.

He especially didn’t expect arrogance oozing out of him like an aura, with that stupid look he has on as if he could be doing anything else and anything better than sitting here in a rundown diner being scrutinized by a midget of a waiter.

“My coworker said Mr. Jeon came looking for me,” Jimin explains impatiently. “Well, I’m looking at you and you’re definitely not him.”

A scowl replaces his smug expression. “I am definitely Mr. Jeon—Jeon Jeongguk the first, to be exact.”

Judging from his bomber jacket that happens to be Saint Laurent, Balmain skinnies, and black suede Timberlands, he’s certainly loaded and dresses accordingly to that—nothing which Jimin didn’t expect. On the other hand, there isn't a single trace of Sangguk’s qualities, like his cheeriness and bright black eyes he could associate him with. Except for that sculpted chin rudely pointing his way.

I have a feeling this is the part where I stop scribbling his name in my textbooks. Nothing like your dream man turning out to be your worst nightmare.

Jimin snaps out of his reverie and focuses on those hazel eyes that still gleam in obvious disgust. He rolls his own eyes in response. “Ah yes, the younger, more hot-headed, and less charming of the two. How could I forget. The pleasure’s all mine.”

He’s heard of Jeon Jeongguk, alright. His face is splattered all over Naver and Korean tabloids as one of the hottest topics of the media. Being the apparent heir to Jeon Industries and its current marketing director, he’s ruthless in his business, the eyecandy of social functions, and a tough case to top it all off.

And as Sangguk’s friend, he knows plenty about him. Sangguk’s told him a lot—both the good and the bad—but Jimin’s always viewed him as a character in a great novel he’d continuously reread until now.

Okay, so maybe he wasn’t just any character—he was the prince, the hero that loves the princess (which Jimin totally didn’t imagine being) but these were the fantasies he’d dream of starting from age seventeen when Sangguk first mentioned him. Since then, Jimin started paying more and more attention to all the details about Sangguk’s son that the media couldn’t catch.

In the past year though, he hasn’t found the time nor heart to revive his inner romantic. And Jimin knows, huffing out a breath and extending a polite hand to Jeongguk, that he’s worn out and probably never will.

Jeongguk looks at his hand as if it’ll lunge at his throat in no time. He shakes it briefly.

“Sarcasm isn’t the best of greeting and it’ll get you nowhere, Park,” he answer snootily, drawing back as quick as he touched. “And you’re not that cute yourself.”

Jimin ignores the lingering warmth in his palm and proceeds to wipe his hand across the back of his jeans. He shrugs. “And you’re a hypocrite for that sarcastic comment, so now we’re even.”

Irritance transitioning to anger flares in his gold-flecked eyes as his lips curl to a sneer. “Not even close. Why don’t you take a seat and we’ll talk business.”

But Jimin shakes his head. “I doubt we have any business together, Mr. Jeon. I have work to do and places to be. I’ll call Seokmin and he can take your order when you’re ready. Have a good—”

He’d just turned away when Jeongguk’s arm shoots up and yanks his elbow in an iron grip. Jimin glances at it, eyes curving into slits. “I’d let go if I were you. I can break your nose and not a single person here would blink.”

His gaze darkens, grip refusing to loosen. “And wouldn’t go threatening guys double your size, Park. Others might be okay with your tiny feet trampling all over them, but some of us have a little more self-respect than that. I, for one, care about where I get my kicks from. And I'm not afraid to kick back.

Red floods Jimin’s vision and before he knows it, he throws a punch.

His fist grazes a fraction of Jeongguk’s jaw before feeling thin air and just as he reacts, Jeongguk’s on his feet, grabbing him by the shoulders and slamming him into the booth where he settles himself in front of him, trapping Jimin with no way to escape.

He’s much stronger and larger than Jimin had thought, and now he looks lethal.

“Let go of me, asshole,” Jimin snaps, struggling to push him off the edge of the seat, but Jeongguk’s pure muscle under that sheer V-neck and doesn’t budge an inch. “You’re an arrogant dickhead and I’m not gonna waste my time on you.”

“Shut the fuck up,” Jeongguk hisses and he would’ve clamped a hand on Jimin’s mouth if he hadn’t already obeyed. People’s heads are beginning to shoot up in concern at the sound of Jimin’s yell. He continues in a lower tone, “I don’t want to talk to you more than you do, so let’s make this quick. You need to fix the mess you created, and you need to fix it fast.”

That caught Jimin’s undivided attention. He freezes and stares at him as if he grew a horn—make that two since he’s the devil. “What the hell are you talking about?”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes and finally, finally releases Jimin from his grasp. He sits back on his heels. “Oh, you know very well what I’m talking about, Park. Didn’t you plan this out the moment you’ve gotten all chummy chummy with my father? Play him right into your hands so that he’ll never refuse you, including blackmailing his own goddamn son into getting what you want?”

Jimin blinks, schools his expression into a frown, and very carefully says, “I’m giving you ten seconds to explain yourself before I call the cops.”

Watching his jaw clench and a vein popping out of his neck, Jimin comes to the conclusion that Jeon Jeongguk is more than angry. He’s fucking furious. This is no comedy, and the guy looks like he’s barely restraining himself from choking Jimin right there. The cause of his anger is something Jimin doesn’t know.

Okay, Jimin. You’re an adult. So act like an adult. Be civil towards the asshole.

“Let’s try again, from the top,” he manages to say calmly. “Why are you here? Tell me as if I’m unaware of everything, because you’re damn right I am. Please. Thank you.”

And while Jimin could be proud of his pleasant negotiation all he wanted, it doesn’t help because it only seems to piss Jeongguk off more. He draws in a long, jagged breath.

“I’m here to propose marriage, Park,” he says in a grave voice, as if he just announced someone’s death—but who’s death exactly, he wasn’t sure.

Jimin blinks once, twice, thrice, before he stretch into a wide grin and fucking loses it. His head is thrown back in laughter, fist slamming the nearest thing—in this case, the table. Someone from the other side curiously glances at them.

Jeongguk’s nostrils flare. “And what exactly is so hilarious about this, Park?”

Clutching his stomach, Jimin gives one last chortle and shakes his head, wiping a few tears with his wrist and looks at his excellent poker face.

“Sorry,” Jimin says. “I thought I heard you say you’re here to propose marriage to me. Who paid you to do this? Sangguk? Where is that prick?”

“My father is in Yokohama as we speak,” he answers, void of any humor. “He left two days ago and warned me that if you and I aren’t engaged by next week, it’s done for me. He’ll make my fucking cousin Min Yoongi the CEO by the end of this year.”

The little grin on Jimin’s mouth vanishes as he relays what Jeongguk has just told him. It takes a moment before realisation dawns on him.

His brows shoot up. “Wait, why the hell would Sangguk do that?”

Jeongguk mirrors his look with one brow. “You’re acting like he’s your best friend and yet still wonder why. It’s obviously because he’s so smitten with gold-diggers like you. He throws me at you because you probably prefer younger dick.”

“If by younger dick you mean yourself, then no fucking thank you,” Jimin retorts, seething at his insults. “You’re made of nasty, unpleasant shit that would be, without a doubt, hard to blow. Considering how much of an ass you are. I’d marry Sangguk over you anytime, except that he’s like my dad and that’s just plain wrong. Also, if you actually knew your dad, you’d know he’d never give his heart again after his second love.”

Sangguk had two marriages, both resulting him as a widow. His second wife, Jaeun, died young of a coronary disease five years ago. Jeongguk’s two older siblings were conceived from his first marriage arranged by his parents, while Jeongguk was Jaeun’s first born. The first wife died from an accident when they were still toddlers.

Jaeun was a bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked woman who was just as young and lively as Sangguk had been. Jimin only calls Sangguk an old man to tease, but deep inside he acknowledges Sangguk’s greatness and overwhelming love for his wife and all his children. Jaeun’s death not only jaded him but the effect took a toll on his health. His grief is still evident even after all these years and many smiles he’s put on.

“Oh yeah? Then explain why he wants me to marry you, and only you.” Jeongguk spits out. “Explain why he’s threatening me out of a place which I’ve worked so fucking hard for as long as I can remember, just because I need to marry some dirty-mouthed, violent, twenty-something diner waiter who’s apparently worth more than my entire future.

Jimin snorts. “I bet you don’t even deserve half of the entire future you’re entitled to. And as for your dad, I suggest you ask him because I have no goddamn idea what you’re talking about. I definitely did not do anything to cause this. In fact, I want to give him a piece of mind—what’s he thinking, trying to marry me off to a dictating, cocky ass like you?"

“You’re not gonna tell my father anything,” Jeongguk says menacingly. “All you’re going to tell him is that you accepted my proposal and that’s it. You’re not going to tell him anything else, because he strictly instructed I come to you in hopes of convincing you to marry me without any bribery or negotiation. You’re not even supposed to know about this.”

“Well, now I know you’d make a shit CEO,” Jimin mutters. “Not only can’t you follow simple directions, but you also cheat your way out of things. Not to mention your offensive attitude.”

He scowls. “I’m only offensive to the people that lure old, gullible men into their foul traps. They have a word for people like you. Opportunists.”

“Gullible?” Jimin repeats with a guffaw. “You think Jeon Sangguk is gullible? God, you’re an idiot. And anyways, bribery would do nothing on me. You can’t leave anything on me.”

“A lot of stuff can turn around with the help of a lot of money, Park,” Jeongguk sneers. “And guess what? I happen to know I’m the talk of the town around here. I’m also not an old, bald fatass with a string of trophy wives who demand alimonies.”

Suddenly, Jimin can’t remember why he ever thought of Jeon Jeongguk as his own Prince Charming. None of the articles he read or things said about him match his pretentious, crude being. They never warned him on just how unfair he could be.

He raises a brow at him. “You have an ego to match your bank account, Jeon. You must absolutely despise having to beg at your dad’s feet for the position of CEO, and listening to his every whim, huh?”

Jeongguk’s fist clenches and unclenches. “What I despise is giving you opportunists the upper hand. The chance to take advantage of someone who’s actually working for his position. And now everything’s up to you, and I don't get a goddamn say in my life. Oh, but I’m the total utilitarian, Park. I’ll negotiate, no problem. I’m willing to come to a friendly agreement instead of arguing with you over nothing. It’ll at least get us something we both want.”

Rubbing his temples, Jimin peeks a glance at him. “Listening is easier than breaking this table with your pretty face.”

His lips twitch and for a millisecond Jimin expected him to smile, but it disappears faster than he even saw it come.

“I’ll agree with my father’s terms and marry you,” he starts and it takes Jimin all his willpower to not scream right there. “But I need you to sign a prenup, even though he didn’t want us having that. And I only want us to stay married for a limited time. The minimum he accepts is one year—don’t ask me why he thinks we’ll get something out of this whole scheme, much less in a year.”

Jimin silences him with a lift of his finger. He can no longer contain his annoyance. “If I’m such an opportunist, why would I agree to a prenup that’ll ultimately take your side and leave me with nothing?”

“Because I’ll pay for your cooperation, Park,” he says curtly. “I’ll pay you a million dollars to stay in a marriage with me for one year.”

Jimin’s jaw drops so fast he wonders why it isn’t hitting the floor yet.  He clamps his mouth shut and swallows hard.

A million dollars. What the fuck. That’s six zeroes—more zeroes than my bank account after the negative sign.

His heart sinks at the memory of Sangguk’s warm smile.

God, Sangguk was the father he never had. After years of sitting with him during breakfast and lunch and eventually those soju-filled evenings to listen to him talk about anything and everything, whether it be about his late wife or busy schedules or his children’s perks—they hit it off and their friendship will forever be long-lasting.

Maybe that’s why guilt twists in Jimin’s stomach.

“No. I can’t.” he shakes his head. And although he’d do anything to oblige his good friend’s wishes, a million dollars is a luxury that a poor person like him couldn't afford to even think about.

“No?” Jeongguk repeats faintly. He narrows his eyes. “I wouldn’t refuse it just like that, Park. A million dollars is a shit ton of money that I know you’re in desperate need of.”

Now it’s Jimin’s turn to clench and unclench both fists. “You know nothing about me, Jeon.”

The bastard shrugs nonchalantly. “Oh, but I do know enough. For example, I know that your dad died and left you under the water. You’re drowning in debt that you couldn’t even pay back with all your life. Your house is this close to being auctioned off. It’s six months behind mortgage and even though you saved it from foreclosure once last year, you won’t be able to save it again.

“Not to mention your own debt you’ve accumulated within the years,” he has the nerve to continue. “After your little getaway to that dance academy in the States, you were forced to sell everything you had to make a difference—not that there’s been any difference. It’s all still the same. And now here you are, surviving on your puny salary from this pigsty and depending on wealthy men who actually come here and give you better tips than the others. Nasty perverted fuckers, such as Woo Jiho, to get you by. But I bet they don’t pay enough for you to even last a day.

Jimin’s cheeks flame furiously at the humiliating degradation. He hates the feeling of his eyes wettening and he promises to kill himself if a single tear is to drop.

“I didn’t realize it was necessary for you to research every aspect of some—what did you call me again? Oh yeah, dirty-mouthed, violent, twenty-something diner waiter like me,” he mutters through clenched teeth. “I’d say I’m honored but I’m plain disgusted at how low you stoop to get what you want. How you don’t know what the fuck you’re saying, jabbing someone’s hardships right in their face as if they weren’t already aware.”

Something near remorse flickers in his doe eyes before he scowls again. “I wouldn’t have to if you didn’t hypnotize my father into thinking you’re the perfect spouse or whatever. All I’m doing is pointing out the pros of this deal, Park. That’s how business works. You keep the cons to yourself, but it’s your choice whether you want to be blinded by the downsides rather than the benefits. If you agree, you’ll get what you need, and I can shut my dad up, and we all go home happy by next year.”

“No, you’re the only one who gets to go home happy,” Jimin says. “Don’t think you’re doing everyone a favor, asshole. For one, you’re cheating behind your dad’s back and for another, staying married to you will only drive me insane and get me nowhere. Thirdly, take a look at yourself and how you keep downgrading your honor right now. Fooling around with your dad and playing dirty just to get a stupid title. That’s what it is at the end of the day,” he repeats when Jeongguk’s mouth curves unhappily. “Just a fucking materialistic title. I don’t know about you, but I respect Sangguk with all my life. And I’m not going to plot against him, if not listen to him.”

There. His soliloquy is done. Although Jeongguk has been looking utterly bored by the end of his speech, his eyes sparkle in surprise. And confusion.

“I wouldn’t worry about other people’s conscience,” he says lazily. “Especially not my dad’s. He’s the one who made me do this shit, and we both know you’re the muse that inspired him.” Now he leans closer, gaze darkening into something dangerously cunning. “As for my offensive behavior, it’s up to you whether you want to take it as constructive criticism or not. That helps build character. I think a million dollars isn’t something you can deny, no matter your pride. At the end of the day, your pride isn’t gonna feed you nor keep a roof over your head when you’re out on the streets.”

Before Jimin can open his mouth to answer, he’s yet again interrupted by a languid flick of Jeongguk’s finger.

“Don’t think I’m desperate enough to marry you or even agree to all of this. I can easily cut your face out of this deal and find an alternative to please the old man, but you know, this is easier and it’ll work for everyone in the end, including you.  It doesn’t have to be messy, yeah? Just think with your brain and not your romantic heart or whatever crap for once. It’ll help you make better choices.”

“As if you do,” he rolls his eyes. “I bet you don’t have a romantic bone in your body, Jeon. Only the ugly desire to keep making more money.”

Jeongguk laughs out loud. His voice would’ve been melodic and lovely and free, if it isn’t for the harsh irony painting over the sound. “Oh, yeah. You’re right about that. I love making money, but I’m doing this to avoid conflict with my dad. I don’t like fighting over shit. And if you actually knew my dad like you say you do, you must know he’s seen better days.”

Jimin purses his lips. He isn’t wrong. Even his coworkers notice Sangguk’s deteriorating health, and it isn’t a pretty sight. It wasn’t drastic progress, per se, but day by day his smile grows fainter, laughs sound tired, and eventually his body follows after.

“Okay, but wouldn’t it hurt him to know we’re scamming him like this? He’d be so disappointed in me. He’ll never forgive that.”

Jeongguk looks affronted. “You know, I think I finally found out the reason why you’re so poor. You’re such a doormat. You could be doing great things but you keep acting based on what others think and not yourself. Is my father’s disappointment more important than a million dollars? God, Park, is that how you let your own dad treat you? Let him stomp on you and throw you into a debt you’re expected to pay despite having nothing to do with it, just so that he wouldn’t be disappointed in you?”

“That’s a low blow. You are not going there,” Jimin warns, acid dripping from his tone. “Don’t you dare speak about my father that way.”

He scoffs. “I don’t see why. He wasted his life away with liquor until he died out of alcoholism, and yet you’re still filial to his dead ass. Really? Aren’t you currently choking on IOUs?"

“No one asked for your opinion on my dad’s lifestyle. Last time I checked, it’s none of your concern, so shut the fuck up. And Sangguk doesn’t deserve this. He’s a good man.”

“And I don’t deserve none of this—this manipulation!” Jeongguk barks. “Everything was going fucking fantastic until he suddenly drops this bomb on me and expects me to reorganize my entire existence to make room for a stupid spouse that I don’t want, let alone need. And it’s not even like I get to choose my suitor. I’m stuck with one person, you of all people. There’s so many socialites out there and yet he chose you, so I was bound to think there’s some good in you—but all I see is that you’re too immature, too rough house, too violent, too ignorant with your head high up in the clouds.  You’re too raunchy in your tiny uniform and too much of a pain in the ass.”

“I’m glad we can agree on one thing,” Jimin mutters. “That I’m not the perfect spouse. The perfect spouse for you, that is. I’m too hot, too kind, too generous and too righteous to be matched with some douche. I’m too pissed off at you to even consider spending a whole year of my life with you, much less breathe the same air as you.”

Jeongguk’s eyes glint ferociously. “Park Jim—”

“That’s it, your ten seconds finished ten minutes ago, Jeon. I’m done. I’m out of here. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got shifts to cover,” he announces, and leaps over the counter and lands on the other seat, where he escapes, the flimsy white shirt clinging onto his sweaty body as he crawls out of the booth. Jeongguk makes no move to stop him.

As he walks with his back turned to the counter, he forces himself to forget this whole conversation. Forget the face of the man he fantasized for years, and forget the million dollars he offered him in becoming the one thing he’d rather die hungry than be—his lawfully wedded husband.

Jimin walks away, only because he doesn’t want to do something that’ll cause him regret for the rest of his life.

He was furious at him minutes ago, but now that there’s a good distance between them, his shoulders slump at the thought of Jeongguk taking one of the few things that gave him hope—the hope of him being the type of man he wanted to love and admire from afar.

Jeon Jeongguk turned out to be far from Jimin’s ideal type. In fact, he’s the exact opposite—someone who let him down. And that stings him the most.