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„I don’t wanna know about your new man
We’ll get there eventually
I know your missing all this kind of love
But I’m positive that he don’t wanna know about me”
Ed Sheeran, New Man

 

I

 

Jongin adores mornings. As the first rays of sun blind his eyes and the annoying sounds of the alarm clock strikes. As he fishes his hand outside the covers to turn it off. As a pair of strong arms pulls him back and an intoxicating scent of cinnamon and pears fills his nostrils. He lets them press their chest to his back and feels their heartbeat link with his own. He drowns in their hold, melts from hot kisses, which they press onto his neck and shoulders and he knows that’s the place he belongs. Together with them he feels secure, stress and anxiety cannot pass through their strong shield, so that he doesn’t fear anything. They fill him up with so much love he sometimes feels overwhelmed with its amount. However, most importantly they are his haven, which will always wait for him with open arms; which will scare away the sadness; which will help him get through yet another day.

Do Kyungsoo is everything Jongin could have ever wanted.

They’ve met in summer, two years prior, after Jongin finished high school. The beginning of their relation was nowhere near romantic or even special. Through holidays he worked as a bartender in a club to earn money. It was quiet a good job, at least much better than moving boxes in a warehouse or taking care of misbehaved children. Clients, who showered him with compliments and offered him meetings after finishing job, weren’t anything new to him. He always tried to stay professional though – he answered to their advances, but at the end of the night always declined and run away to the backroom.

It all lasted till the night he showed up at the bar. In his perfectly tailored suit and with golden Rolex adoring his wrist, he surely stood out from the drunk and dancing teens. He looked nervous, when he loosened the tie form around his neck and ran his fingers through his short black hair. He ordered martini.

That night there weren’t many clients, so Jongin didn’t feel guilty, when he busied himself with the newcomer, than with work. He had enough time to understand all the indecent suggestions hidden in his words and notice the way he looked at his lips, not fully buttoned shirt and his ass – with lust stronger, than anything he’s ever experienced. He was seven years older than Jongin, but it never bothered him, for this time he decided to not care at all.

Do Kyungsoo, as he introduced himself, knew all too well what he was doing, when he repeated, how fascinating and sexy Jongin was; when he gave him a 100,000 won tip; when he showed him to his car. It was supposed to be one, intoxicating, probably the best night of his life. While in bed, Kyungsoo filled him up with each and every emotion, the positive and the negative ones. He took Jongin on the kitchen table, up the huge window in the living room, finally in bed and in shower in the morning. He wasn’t gentle and the best signs were of many bruises the younger had and the fact that he couldn’t properly walk for the next three days.

Do Kyungsoo was to stay a beautiful memory – a one night stand. Although, when he showed up at the club the next week, Jongin knew he would become something more. Maybe he hasn’t imagined anything other than sex could link them, such as maybe he’s never thought he would find a loving and caring partner under the mask of a serious and ruthless in bed businessman, however after two years of dating, he surely cannot say a bad thing.

Jongin tries to set himself free from the hug, but miserably fails, as Kyungsoo presses harder onto him. It’s their morning routine each time they sleep together – Kyungsoo would unwillingly leave the bed and come back to reality, while Jongin can’t forget about it.

“We have to get up, Soo,” he says, but the latter only presses harder with his lips on his neck. “I’ll be late, because of you.”

“You always say so,” Kyungsoo whines but starts to reply, and it’s a good sign. “I’ll drive you to school.”

“What about you? You gotta be at the office.”

“Nini, stop speaking. You’re ruining the mood.” He shoves his nose in Jongin’s brown locks and his throat leaves a satisfied moan. “Few more minutes won’t kill anyone.”

“Easy to say when you’re Do Kyungsoo.”

Kyungsoo is a heir of a pharmaceutic industry of his father. Raised to lead the company one day, he has never had to worry about finding a job on today’s market. He finished marketing and management communication and later started working from the bottom in his family’s business. He got to know all of its aspects, it’s sure one day he’s going to make a great CEO, so now he only patiently waits as his father gives away his seat.

On the contrary, Jongin is still learning. He’s a student in the theatre academy, working as a waiter in the meantime to save money for the time, he has to pay off his student loan. He shares an apartment with his best friend, Sehun, and his white poodle. Jongin should be immersed in the future, in the adulthood and everything that it brings. However, he’s got Kyungsoo, who with just his presence, makes him not fear at all. There is no shame in him, as he admits that the older helps him financially and even though he works his ass off to save the money, it’s Kyungsoo, who pays for his flat and hands him money for living. Jongin knows, how much he owns the latter. It is because of him that he can develop himself. He tries super hard, though, to find a decent job one day and be able to give back every penny. (Even though, he knows Kyungsoo would never accept it.)

“You see, I’ve always been prepared to be able to spoil you.”

Truthfully, Kyungsoo is extremely rich, so he can provide the most comfortable life for both of them – to the extent that Jongin wouldn’t even have to study anymore. Despite of that, he prefers much better to take advantage of life just the way it is. He likes ordering jjajamyeon in the middle of the night, going for cinema dates and buying Jongin daisies, when they fight. The younger is his way of escaping from reality, in which he has to wear suits (which by the way make him look truly hot), get a hold of the company and do anything that his father requests.

As Jongin learns one day, it was the fault of the man itself Kyungsoo was pissed off the very first time they met. Mr. Do is not a bad person. He succeeded in earning a fortune by his hard work and always does what’s the best for the family. Kyungsoo is aware of that, that’s why he stays faithful to him. But still it doesn’t mean he is not frustrated. His father promised to pass down the company to him, when the time comes, however, on one condition: that Kyungsoo will always stay obedient to him. No matter how this situation annoys him, he doesn’t stop, because he knows one day he’s going to be the CEO and have enough money to not worry about the future – Jongin’s and his.

“Let’s shower,” Jongin says, knowing what it takes to finally get the other out of bed. “Together.”

In the shower he stands, leaning on the wall, as Kyungsoo washes away all the signs of what they did last night with his – oh, so thick – fingers. He reaches exactly where Jongin needs him most and the cleaning ends up being another round of hot kisses and lustful touches. Fortunately, this time the evidence of their climaxes, drifts with the water and down the pipes.

Standing in front of the mirror, when they brush teeth and shave, Jongin admires bloody bruises Kyungsoo has left on his neck, hips and wrists. If anyone have seen them, they would have accused the older of being abusive, molesting, aggressive behavior and all the other shit. He has never been gentle, but at the same time he has never hurt Jongin. There is a strong need inside of him to get rid of each and every emotion, to cause pain, but not hurt. Kyungsoo is not aggressive, just intense.

As they leave the bathroom, they don’t have the time for breakfast anymore. In hurry, Jongin packs his notebooks and a banana to his backpack, when Kyungsoo puts on his vest and take keys to the car. They’re at Jongin’s, which hopefully is situated much closer to his academy. However, when he ties his shoes, he almost forgets about his flatmate, who sits on the couch and kills him with his emotionless glare.

He would look intimidating, if not for the newly dyed ginger hair and the white poodle on his lap.

“You seriously don’t know what it means to be quiet at night, do you?” he says and Jongin can easily make out the tiredness in his friend’s voice.

“Sorry, Sehun-ah, next time– “

“We’re gonna be quieter,” Sehun interrupts, mimicking Jongin. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it a thousand times.” He brings a cup of coffee to his lips and pets Vivi, his dog, with the free hand.

Sehun and Jongin have been friend, since they both were ten and got to the same class in elementary school. Sehun has always been a little bit odd, he liked to isolate himself from others but Jongin couldn’t dream about a better and more devoted friend. He tends to be adamant and sometimes too serious for his own good. On the other hand, it makes him a rock, on which his friend can always relay on.

“You need some company.” Kyungsoo states, as he plays with the keys in his hand.

“You’re offending Vivi.” Sehun brings the dog closer and cuddles it to his chest.

Jongin and Kyungsoo leave the house, waving to Sehun and sporting wide smiles on their faces, because of the youngest pouting face. When they drive off in Kyungsoo’s jet black Maserati, a neighbor can’t help staring at the car. In this area no one’s able to afford such vehicle. Kyungsoo arrives few times a week, but the these people would never get used to that.

The same looks are being given to Jongin, whenever Kyungsoo gives him a lift to school. He doesn’t like showing off, especially with someone who helps him financially. He knows how it must look like. He doesn’t tell anybody about their relationship, because he is aware Kyungsoo does all of this due to his feelings. He’s not Jongin’s sponsor, but boyfriend, however, the gossip around the campus already says he has a sugar daddy. Jongin’s pretty sure Kim Joonmyeon, his friend form acting class, is spreading the rumor.

Before he can open the door, Kyungsoo reaches for his hand and junks him closer. Their lips meet in a subtle, but passionate kiss, which lasts much longer than it should. The windows are dimmed, so no one can see their act and Jongin is much thankful to that. In the way Kyungsoo moves his lips is some additional gentleness, which fills their kisses with nostalgia. The younger justifies it with all the stress that Kyungsoo gets through, because of work.

“Have a nice day, Nini,” he says and kisses him for the last time.

“I’ll call you later, Soo.”

With wide grin on his face, Jongin leaves the car and head for the first class. He licks his lips and replays the kiss, he just shared with his boyfriend. His face heats up and he’s aware it shouldn’t happen after being in relationship for two years. Although, he ought to be used to that, because they started the other way around their relation, each sign of love from Kyungsoo wakes up hundreds of butterflies in his stomach.

Jongin is in love.

In love with the way Kyungsoo kisses him, touches his body as if it was a shining diamond, leaves marks all over his skin to remind, who he belongs to. He’s in love with the nickname the older calls him with, the dinners Kyungsoo makes, when they’re at his and the way he drapes a scarf around his neck in winter to prevent him from catching a cold. Jongin doesn’t fight the feeling – he lets it fill him up with new experience. With Kyungsoo, he’s always secure, whether it is in bed or in every day’s life. He knows that he can put trust in him, like in no one else.

He is wrong, though.

*

With a briefcase in hand, Jongin strolls down the street. His eyes roam over people wearing suits, ears twitching from the constant clicking of their dress shoes on the sidewalk, but he tries to not pay attention to it and keep on track. He stands out, in his ripped jeans and Star Wars themed T-shirt, in the middle of a busy street surrounded by tall skyscrapers. Each one is owned by a different company, but Jongin only has eyes on one of them.

Do’s pharmaceutics.

It’s Thursday, so he doesn’t have to go to school till 12 am. Jongin likes to take his time on this particular day of the week, mostly sleeping longer and gaining strength for the next few days.

Today, he would very much too stay in bed longer – especially since he’s been staying the night in his boyfriend’s apartment. The cozy king – sized bed is the best when it comes to relaxing his tense muscles, but as a message on kakao talk lightened up the lock screen on his phone, he knew his precious sleeping time was over.

soo
i forgot some docs. they r on the table. can u bring them to me?
8:37 am

He walks up to the huge doors made of glass and waits, as it opens itself. It’s not his first visit at the company, but each time he comes here, he feels unwelcomed. The feeling is not different this time. A lady in her middle thirties sits by the reception and looks up at the newcomer with her bored eyes. She uses too much make up, but Jongin doesn’t comment on it. Instead he introduces himself.

“Hello, I’m Kim Jongin and Do Kyungsoo is expecting me.” he tries to give off the mature impression, despite the nerdy T-shirt.

“I’m sorry, but you are not on his meeting list.” she replies, after looking something up in the computer.

Jongin knows, she is not letting him in, because he looks like a frat boy – which he almost is. Still he needs to hand Kyungsoo the documents and it seems that the lady is not going to cooperate.

“Look, I’ve got these documents for him,” he tries once again and shows her the briefcase to emphasize his point. “Kyungsoo asked me to bring them to him.”

“Unfortunately, I cannot let you in.”

Jongin is unnerved. He doesn’t have tones of time to just stand here and argue with the reception lady. He has little bit over an hour, until the lectures start. Also he’d prefer to spend this time with Kyungsoo himself. As he sees that the woman is not going to surrender, he fishes his phone from the back pocket of his jeans and makes a call.

After three rings he hears the all too familiar, velvety voice on the other side of line.

“Soo, the reception lady is not letting me in.” he whines just to annoy the lady. He wants to add something like “she’s not nice” or “fire her” just for the fun of it.

The older asks him to hand the phone to the woman and soon enough, after few probably harsh words from the future CEO, she stands up and walks him up to the lift. She apologizes for her behavior and finally Jongin is going up, leaving the bitter lady in the lobby. He gets off on the 21st floor and remembering the way, he walks to the office at the end of the hall. Not looking at the cubicles filled with employees, who judge him just from his looks, he reaches the door with DO KYUNGSOO written on it and knocks. The replay comes not long after in the form of plain “come in”.

“I’ve got your documents, Mr. Do.” Jongin shuts the door behind himself and a smile full of teeth lightens up his face. He comes closer, putting the briefcase on the desk and leaning on in to take a look at Kyungsoo. The man sports a playful smirk, as his eyes shine with mysterious light. There is something unmistakably passionate in his look and Jongin shudders at the slight thought of what the other has in mind. He motions for Jongin to come closer.

Taking few steps ahead, results in standing in the hand reach of Kyungsoo. He grabs him by the hips and soon enough Jongin finds himself on his lap with legs dangling on both sides of the latter.

“You’d make a good secretary,” he states, wrapping his arms around the youngers waist. “Could work under me, grant all my wishes, be obedient.” Finding Jongin’s neck with his lips, he starts nibbling on the skin, getting drunk from the mild touch of the younger’s skin.

“I am obedient, though.” Jongin takes part in the play and giggles, as the older sucks harder. His fingers find comfort in Kyungsoo’s short hair and keeps him in place, close so that the intense scent of cinnamon and pears invades his nostrils, burns his lungs and halts breath in his throat.

“You are,” Kyungsoo dips his hands in the back pockets of his jeans and squeezes the two round globes. Jongin moans, louder than he should, and hopes no one comes inside uninvited. “But imagine how sexy you’d look, handing me useless documents every single day and drinking my coffee, while I make you a mess.”

Jongin slides his hands to get a hold of Kyungsoo jaw and pulls him up, so that he can look him in the eyes. He’s short of breath, already shivering, cause of the older’s dirty talk, and his heartbeat rapids in the matter of seconds. Kyungsoo holds him just the right way, presses their chests together, so that there is no space between them. Jongin feels secure, loved and cared about. He knows that it is the exact place, he wants to be in.

“I am a mess now.”

Their kisses are full of passion and want, touches burn their skin, hearts beat in the same rhythm. The feeling rising in their chest is so much stronger than a mere crush. It puts their fingers on fire and melts tongues. The little bubble, they are locked in, is slowly narrowing down, pressing them even closer to each other, chest to chest, lips to lips, heart to heart, and soon it crashes.

“Kyungsoo.”

A stern voice fills the room and they break apart, cheeks flushed and lips moist. Jongin feels a unpleasant, burning sensation from behind, so he want to slip out of Kyungsoo lap and run away the fastest he can. However, as he makes the first move, the older tightens his grip around his waist and brings one hand to bring younger’s blushing face to the crook of his neck. He hides him, shields from any danger and doesn’t let the intruder see him.

“Father,” Kyungsoo replies and Jongin momentarily shudders. Despite the fact that he’s heard a lot about the founder of the company, about his boyfriend’s parent, he has never met him in person. After the stress he’s always been putting Kyungsoo through, Jongin doubts he would ever like him.

“The meeting is in fifteen minutes.”

The younger lets out a heavy breath and twists his fingers in the material of Kyungsoo’s shirt. He’s going to crease it, but he seriously doesn’t care. Kyungsoo massages his neck, trying to bring comfort to his easily tensing muscles.

“I am aware.” he answers and his father must be somewhat satisfied, because there is a little bit of shuffling and a creak that indicates the opening of doors. Jongin is almost sure the man is out of the office, when he once again hears the voice, now even harsher than before.

“I thought I told you to stop playing around.”

After that he finally exits for real. Kyungsoo loosens his hold a little, as Jongin melts in his arms. They are picking up the pieces of their broken bubble with kisses the older presses on the latter’s forehead and caresses of Jongin’s shaking hands. Jongin doesn’t understand, why he’s scared, but the unnerving feeling stays in the pit of his stomach for days.

“I’m gonna go. School and stuff.” he says, as he lifts himself from Kyungsoo’s lap. His cheeks are still flushed. but after a while he only laughs about them being caught.

“Take care,” Kyungsoo gives him the last kiss on the lips and smiles, the characteristic heart – shaped smile, and Jongin once again is reminded of why he’s fallen for the man. “And thank you for the documents. You’re great.”

“The best.”

*

Fridays are divided into two categories.

The ones, which Jongin spends with Kyungsoo. They make dinner, listening to Elvis or go out for deep fried chicken. They cuddle on the couch covered with blankets or hit the club, where Jongin immediately pulls Kyungsoo to the dance floor. They stay in bed, making love slow and deep or fuck in the backseat of the Maserati.

Or the ones he’s reminded of his everyday life, of brother – like bonding time, of Sehun. Of course. When Kyungsoo and him started dating, his best friend set only one rule. “Don’t ditch me for him.” Not taking his promise for granted, Jongin tries to spend Fridays once with Kyungsoo, once with Sehun, and mostly he succeeds in dividing the time between these two. Because no matter how much he loves Kyungsoo and would never get bored of his strong but cozy hold, he also love Sehun, like a brother, though.

That’s exactly why this Friday Jongin’s spending with his best friend. They prepare tones of caramel popcorn, chips, fizzy drinks and set up the PlayStation 3. Once they decide on Call Of Duty and the game is loading, they settle on the couch, legs tangled in the one blanket they share.

Vivi just stares at them, already used to their antics. It seeks comfort next to its owner’s hip, patiently waiting for any bits of thrown popcorn that might not make it to his lips.

Killing zombies is somehow relaxing, but Jongin would never admit how much he likes shooting these monstrous creatures. Or maybe he just likes the comfort, evenings like this one brings. The warmth of Sehun’s feet on his shins and his hilarious lisp, which still shows up, when he’s too excited. Sehun truly is his best friend, a brother he never had, someone who gives Jongin the ‘family’ feeling, whenever he misses home.

Jongin’s parents has always been the definition of cool parents. They let him throw parties in their garden, go out to clubs, when he wasn’t even legal, and didn’t pressure him, as he decided to go to the theatre academy. However, the only thing they did not take casually was the whole gay thing. They weren’t mad, nor disgusted, but the disappointment was evident in their eyes once they found out. It wasn’t a big deal as in high school all of Jongin’s boyfriends were merely a fling. But as Kyungsoo came into view staying longer than anyone could have thought, his parents decided to give him some ‘personal space’. Although, they still care, still love him, they need time to get used to the situation. Jongin knows that one day, his parents would welcome his partner and him with open arms. He just needs to wait.

As they run out of popcorn and the clock strikes 11 pm, Jongin is yawing and Sehun pushes his toes between his best friend’s legs, seeking warmth. They start yet another game, pushing tiredness after the whole week to the back of their heads.

Jongin is drown into killing another portion of enemies, when his phone rings. He probably wouldn’t even notice, except Vivi pokes it’s head at the sound and barks. He reaches for the device, rubbing exhaustion from his eyes and reads the message.

soo
come over
11:08 pm

It’s strange. Kyungsoo is well aware of his night with Sehun and he never interrupts their time together. Something’s off and he’s worried. He takes few deep breaths, thinking about what could have happened. Sehun sees his discomfort and Jongin shows him the message.

“As a friends I should not let you out. But I too know Kyungsoo and I think it’s better, if you go.” Sehun says and pats his friend on the back.

Jongin puts on his shoes, a hoodie and soon he’s out the door, catching a taxi. For the whole ride, the two words won’t stop bugging him.

Come over.

He doesn’t want to waste time, so he uses the spare key to Kyungsoo’s apartment and unlocks the door. It’s quiet inside, so quiet a dreadful feeling takes a hold of him. He tells himself that there is nothing to be scared of, but the strange sensation does not fade away. He takes few steps inside and spots Kyungsoo on the couch. A heavy breath leaves his throat. Jongin notices two bottles of red wine on the coffee table before the latter. One of them is empty and the other already drained from half of the liquor.

The younger comes up to him sitting beside, but not saying a word. He patiently waits for Kyungsoo. Not making eye contact, the older brings a glass to his lips – those plump lips Jongin not so secretly admires – and empties it. Kyungsoo is getting drunk and Jongin worries.

“Soo.” he murmurs. The older sets the glass back on the table, finally looking into Jongin’s hopeful eyes.

However, the darkness, resentment and hurt in them is something Jongin wishes to never experience again.

“Jongin,” Kyungsoo speaks up and the latter moves closer to put his hands on the other’s lap. It looks as if what he’s about to say, is torturing him from the inside. “We can’t do this anymore.”

Jongin is puzzled. He wants to ask “Can’t do what?” but the question dies on his tongue. There is a thought at the back of his head that brings back the dreadful feeling from before. He doesn’t understand what the older means, however, he fears and maybe, maybe deep inside he already knows. And that’s why he’s so scared.

“What are you trying to say?” His hold on Kyungsoo’s thigh tightens and subconsciously he starts shivering.

“I need to grow up,” he starts. “Life isn’t just a game, especially my life. I have to take it seriously.”

The younger knows, where it’s coming. He stays silent, listening to each and every word Kyungsoo has for him, although, he feels like crashing into million little pieces. He reaches for Kyungsoo’s hand, with gentle and careful fingers, just to have it pushed away.

“My father is passing me the company in half a year. I’ve never realized it before, but it’s time I finally start family, raise a heir, make my life steady.”

His voice is monotonous, words void of any emotion and Jongin notices that Kyungsoo must have learnt the speech by heart. The choice he’s making is not the one he wants to make, but the one he’s supposed to. It pains Jongin to realize that, to see his lover tormented. A desire to stay strong for his boyfriend raises up in his chest, shushing down the echoes of truth – the one where he’s going to hurt the most.

“Is this what you want?” Jongin asks. His words make Kyungsoo tighten his jaw and look away from the younger.

“It’s what I have to do.”

A tiny bit of courage fills Jongin, as he circles his arms around the older’s neck. He senses that Kyungsoo wants to set himself free, so he hooks his leg on the other side of his hip and makes himself comfortable on the latter’s lap. Kyungsoo’s still not looking him in the eyes, but the closeness and Jongin’s familiar scent, weakens him. As he lays his hands on the other’s waist, Jongin caresses his cheek with his nose.

“You’re just lost, Kyungsoo” The full name rarely escapes his lips and it feels good to have it once again roll off his tongue. “We’re gonna get through this.” he assures.

Jongin takes too lightly Kyungsoo’s words, though.

“We have to part, Jongin,” he says, pulling him flush against his chest. “There is no place for you in my life.” He digs his fingers in Jongin’s hips and onto the old, but still not healed bruises. he’s left few nights ago. “I don’t need you.”

Lies.

The truth is, Jongin knows that Kyungsoo is telling him a bunch of lies. He doesn’t doubt his love, however, the words wound him deeply. It’s something new, something he’s never experienced. Because Kyungsoo has brought him pain multiple times, but he’s never hurt him. His heart aches, fists tighten and soon he can’t breathe.

Kyungsoo presses his lips to Jongin’s cheek, contradiction to his words, trying to sooth the pain, while he just makes it worse.

“Why?” Jongin chokes out. He isn’t crying, yet.

“I’m expected to do this.” is his only reply.

Suddenly, Jongin is reminded of all the differences between them. Kyungsoo is 28 years old, becoming the CEO of huge industry. He has a lot of responsibilities. People watch his every move, judge what he does. He can’t freely choose, what he wants to do. While Jongin is just a 21 year old student with worries not bigger than what he wants to eat in the evening. No one expects anything from him, there are no demands. No one cares.  

“What about my feelings?” Jongin asks. He’s shaking, nervously biting his bottom lip to prevent from tearing up. He understands Kyungsoo, but at the same time his heart doesn’t. Why is he not enough? Why is Kyungsoo trying to break up with him? Why now, after two years of being together?

The questions are piling up in his head, suffocating him. He’s torn between running away and melting in Kyungsoo’s hold, throwing a tantrum and kissing all his worries away. It hurts, so much that his heart feels numb. He doesn’t want to believe it, despises the thought.

And soon he’s carefully pressing his lips to Kyungsoo’s. He supposes the older is going to push him away, tell him off, do anything to keep Jongin away, but all he does is respond to the kiss. They hold each other, as if the world is crashing upon them.

And somehow it is.

The touch of Kyungsoo’s lips feels more intense this time. There’s more biting to that, than the actual kissing and soon enough the older drowns blood from Jongin’s bottom lip and sucks on the wound. It’s the very first he’s going to put on Jongin tonight.

Kyungsoo caries him to the bedroom, leaving his sanity behind. He wants to spend the last night with Jongin, devour his body and be able to finally let him go. It’s nowhere near easy, but he’s willing to try. The expectations of his family are overwhelming his common sense.

Jongin, on the other hand, thinks that in this moment of Kyungsoo’s weakness, he can win his heart back. He’s sure that, however, the older has just shown him his insecurities, he won’t leave. It doesn’t make sense. They love each other.

And Kyungsoo assures him of the feelings he has for him, as he strips Jongin from his clothes, his fears. His hands aren’t gentle, they hold his wrists, hips, thighs, with so much force that leaves bruises, wounds. The plump lips that has once showered Jongin with butterfly kisses, now suck and bite harshly, causing more pain, sufferance, then ever.

But it’s pleasant, as Kyungsoo orders him to coat his fingers with saliva, prepares him and finally enters. Jongin’s been in this situation so many times and even though his heart is bleeding, tears streaming down his face, he loves Kyungsoo – the way he always did.

Jongin has hope – quite lots of it – and as he climaxes, feeling Kyungsoo fill him up at the same time, he’s sure the crisis is over. Kyungsoo never stops kissing him, his lips not leaving Jongin’s skin and soon the younger finds himself drifting to a peaceful sleep. It’s nice being in Kyungsoo’s arms, to feel secure, to be loved. It’s just a mild misunderstanding, the latter is just stressed out by his father – yet again.

However, as the morning comes, the sheets on the other side of bed are cold and there is no sound of breakfast being made, Jongin realizes his journey through Hell is about to begin.

 

II

 

Jongin hates mornings. As the first rays of sun burn his tired eyes and the loud noise of the alarm clock harshly wakes him up. Though, he doesn’t push his hand out of the comfortable warmth of the sheets and lets the suffocating sound wrap around him. There is no point in getting up, facing the reality, which left him with nothing. He doesn’t feel secure, stable, nor cared about, wanted.

To say the truth, Kim Jongin doesn’t feel anything.

It’s just a shell, left out after a cheerful and easily excitable boy. The dark bags under his eyes are the evidence of many sleepless nights. Even his tan, golden skin is now paler, less healthy. The image of Jongin’s once beautiful appearance, in his opinion, became a faded memory.

Although, the evident change in his look, the heartache is much worse to stand. It’s as if his insides are bleeding, drowning and tormenting his whole existence. He no longer has the need to breathe, knowing that nothing will ever make him feel alive.

On the other hand, Sehun thinks his best friend is just overreacting.

“It’s been a week, Jongin.” The tall boy says, as he sits on the latter’s bed.

“Feels like a lifetime.” There is a long whine muffled by the pillow.

The last time Jongin has seen Kyungsoo was indeed a week ago and for seven days the younger refused to leave the bed, if it weren’t for school or work. It’s no surprise, he’s down after the break up. It’s reasonable, quite normal. Jongin has tried to contact Kyungsoo, just to ask if he’s alright, remind of his shuttered heart and the amount of love, he still has for him. But the older pretends to miss Jongin’s calls and doesn’t respond to his texts. (Although, he reads all of them, and Jongin can see it. Kakao talk never lies.)

Kyungsoo’s stronger with his resolutions, than Jongin could have ever imagined. That’s what pains him even more, the fact that Kyungsoo is working things out, without him.

“Take Vivi for a walk.” He hears, but opts to not acknowledge his friend’s request. He doesn’t want to do anything today – a truly lazy Sunday.

“It’s your dog.” Jongin whines once again. Trying to wrap himself even more into the sheets, Sehun yanks the material and pulls.

“Yes, but the both of you need some fresh air.”

Before Jongin can react, Sehun lift his covers and pushes them to the floor. He shivers from the cold, glaring at his best friend. He feels like shouting at him, making him suffer, but at the same time, he’s just too exhausted to do anything. He curls into a ball.

“I d-don’t need air,” he’s fighting the tears that threaten to fall from his eyes and miserably fails. “I ju-just need K-Kyungsoo.”

If the reason for their break up was at least stated clearly, he probably would feel much better. The problem is, Jongin’s still in love with the same Do Kyungsoo, he met at the bar on a hot summer night. And he knows, the businessman, dressed up in a nice suit and with a Rolex on his wrist, still has feelings for the adorable bartender. But Kyungsoo decided to follow a path of self – development, not love.

A soft touch of a hand in his hair, make Jongin slowly open his eyes. He looks up at his friend, who smiles reassuringly, calming him with his presence, not words. Sehun’s thumbs brush away his tears, lifting up the mood.

“Actually, no,” he says gently. “You need air more, than this jerk.”

“Don’t call him a jerk.” Jongin says, as he sits up and the corners of his lips are going up just a tiny bit.

“He is one,” Sehun stands up, stretching his long arms. He gives Jongin a look. “Take Vivi and buy me bubble tea. Now!”

*

Working his ass off brings little to no comfort.

Realizing Kyungsoo is not in the picture anymore, Jongin is hit with the fact that he has to earn enough money to pay for the rent, student’s loan and have anything for a living. It’s a little bit unnerving as he’s sure his job as waiter will never cover up the amount of money he needs. At the same time, taking more shifts occupies his mind, so that the thoughts about Kyungsoo waits until he’s alone in his bedroom.

The restaurant, he’s working at, is nowhere near fancy or elegant. It’s clean and cozy, the wooden tables decorated with colorful flowers (Jongin makes sure there are no daisies). A nice jazz piece is always playing in the background. Jongin likes the place for its client friendly nature and freshly made food.

The owner, Kim Minseok, is always taking good care of his employees, raises up Jongin’s salary, when he sees his devotion to the work. He may also see that the student has some issues, he’s not going to talk about, but Minseok doesn’t ask.

It’s a late Wednesday evening. Most of the customers are seemingly tired from the day at work and seeking comfort in the form of tasty and cheap meal. However, in the left corner of the restaurant sits a young lady – probably two or three years older than Jongin – in an elegant red dress. She must have been to some meeting, thinks Jongin as he strides to her table to take the order. She doesn’t belong in this place, stands out with her wavy light brown hair and red lipstick.

She is pretty and if Jongin were into girls, he would very much like to get to know her better.

He greets her with his well learnt smile and asks for the order. From up close, he notices that the girl must have been biting her bottom lip nervously. She gives off the ‘stressed out’ feeling and Jongin thinks he can easily relate to it.

“I still haven’t made my mind,” she says. The smile on her face doesn’t reach her eyes. “Can you maybe suggest something for a restless soul?”

Jongin doesn’t know her, is oblivious to all of her worries, but somehow he feels a connection between them. Something akin to sympathy and sorrow, the same he feels for himself.

“I think we’ve got exactly what you need.”

And that’s how Jongin meets Park Chaeyoung.

*

nini
its been 3 weeks
07:21 am

the time flies so fast
07:21 am

im going to school, hope u have a nice day
08:57 am

joonmyeon keeps laughing at bags under my eyes. u should buy my a concealer, its ur fault anyways
02:14 pm

going to work
04:01 pm

see how independent i am
04:02 pm

back at home. sehun made me go out w/ vivi again. i hate the dog.
10:46 pm

i know u read all the messages. im not angry, just lonely. the sheets feel so cold w/out u.
11:23 pm

goodnite, love u
11:29 pm

when r u gonna show up w/ daisies at my door?
11:52 pm

*

After a month, it tends to be easier for Jongin. He got used to the numbness in his chest and the burning behind his eyes, which strikes him each time a thought about Kyungsoo crosses his mind. He’s not moving on, not yet at least, as hope still fills his heart. He has thought about it endless times and haven’t seen one reason for them to part, to not be together.

Sehun tells him that it’s high time, he finally focuses on himself and not the businessman, even though, he too is aware that their break up was somehow unreasonable. He understands, why Jongin is clinging to the older man. However, he tries to distract him from the thoughts for Jongin is his best friend and he cares about him dearly.

It’s a Saturday evening and Jongin finds himself sprawled on the couch with his phone in hand. He had a morning shift at the restaurant and although, he was ready to stay there the whole day, Minseok told him off. His employer knew about his unstable emotional state, even without asking a single question. So Jongin went home to find a note saying that Sehun went out with Vivi for a long walk and that they will be back late. Fucking lovebirds.

Jongin doesn’t feel like doing anything, as much as he should. When he has anything to occupy his mind, he’s safer, more relaxed and the never stopping urge to go find Kyungsoo the fastest you can is less prominent. But today, as Sehun is away, so there is no one to reprimand Jongin of his behavior, he wants to drown himself in memories, in Kyungsoo.

He put on one of Kyungsoo’s sweaters, he keeps in the wardrobe. It fits him just right and even though the sleeves are not long enough to effortlessly hide the tips of his fingers in them, it smells like Kyungsoo, the intense scent of cinnamon and pears not fading away and invading Jongin’s nostrils to make him dizzy. He wants to choke on the smell, suffocate, but the sweater is not enough to drown him.

So Jongin takes out his phone and reads through their old messages, the ones to which Kyungsoo still replied. It’s nostalgic and makes his heart bleed even more, while a warm smile spreads on his face and he’s happy. He remembers the love and affection Kyungsoo showered him with and Jongin can’t bring himself to hate the memory.

He’s curious, if Kyungsoo has changed his ringtone, or does he still have Obama saying kakao talk set up for their conversation. Jongin has chosen the sound, while Kyungsoo took him on a trip to Japan – one of the fancier things he did for the younger.

About the same time, Jongin has made an account on Instagram for Kyungsoo. The older found no purpose in having the app, but as the time showed, he mostly used it to upload pictures with snarky comments addressed directly to his boyfriend. When he now opens Kyungsoo’s profile, he’s not surprised to see that for the past four weeks he haven’t shared anything new.

The nostalgic feeling comes back wrapping itself around Jongin, as he looks through the photos – most of them together. That time Kyungsoo was never worried about, how people would judge him for being in a relationship with a man. He was carefree to upload pictures of them or just Jongin with indecent captions. And he never gave a shit about it. Until now, it is.

Loud knocking at the door drags him off his trail of thinking. Standing up, he leaves the phone on the couch and walks up to the entrance. It’s probably Sehun, who once again forgot his keys.

Or not, as Jongin yanks the door open and suddenly halts his movements. He’s taken by surprise by the intruders presence and doesn’t know, what to do. He should be angry, furious, hurt and unforgiving but just a look at the round face, dark doe eyes and plump lips has his heart melting. He stands strong, though, being reasonable. They need to talk things out.

“Soo.” he barely whispers and all of a sudden there are tears in his eyes. He wants to ask million questions, get the answers he needs, but at the same time, he’s so relieved to see the older.

Soon there are arms, wrapping around Jongin and he’s safe. The tears trail down his cheeks and a whimper escapes his throat. He’s so happy to have Kyungsoo back, he thinks he’s going to faint. His knees weaken, as he presses his face onto Kyungsoo’s shoulder. He cries, long and loud, while the older caresses the small of his back and brings their bodies closer.

Jongin feels warm, secure, fulfilled. He was right to stick to the hope, he had for it brought his love back.

He doesn’t know, how wrong he actually is.

Kyungsoo pulls away to look him in the eyes and before Jongin has the chance to ask any of the questions he has in mind, Kyungsoo is kissing him. It’s passionate, rough and slow and the feeling of their lips pressed together once again makes both of them gasp.

“I missed you,” Kyungsoo finally speaks up between the kisses. “So fucking much– oh, Jongin– you can’t even imagine.”

He’s short of breath, as he presses Jongin onto the wall and brings his lips the other’s neck. He’s going to leave marks, a lot of them. Jongin’s body is his territory, only his to take and mark. Kyungsoo knows just how much wrong he does, that it’s not right to show up out of nowhere and take Jongin as he stands. But the younger is his only way of escaping from  everything that torments his soul. He had to come back, to see him.

They stumble upon walls, coffee table and couch, just to finally make it to the bedroom, where they fall on the sheets. Kyungsoo hovers above him and not wasting time, gets back to planting kisses on Jongin’s neck. He’s so immersed in the warm touch of the tan body that he completely loses himself. He yanks Jongin’s (actually his) sweater of him, to later on press his lips to the center of the younger’s chest. He feels his heartbeat beneath his skin, as it quickens, when he touches him, as it gets excited and radiates with happiness.

It pains Kyungsoo to realize, what he’s doing, but the constant jonginjonginjongin in his head shushes all the rationality. He’s here just for his body.

As Jongin runs his fingers through Kyungsoo’s hair to keep his head near his chest, an overwhelming warmness splashes over his whole being. He feels freed from all the worries that tortured him for the last few weeks. Kyungsoo is back, holds him close and it’s the best sign for him that the older is still in love with him.

“You’re back,” Jongin murmurs with half lidded eyes. “I knew you’d come back.”

He’s about to add something more, but Kyungsoo is quick to once again press their lips together. His hands travel downwards, gently tracing the younger’s body. Neck, shoulders, nipples, waist, abdomen. Jongin is reacting to the touch, moaning and getting hard. He wonders how did he survive without the other’s presence.

As Kyungsoo unzips Jongin’s jeans and pulls them off his long legs, the younger finds himself completely naked, while Kyungsoo is still fully clothed.

“Soo, your– “

“No,” he interrupts. “I need you,” he says, hooking Jongin’s right leg over his shoulder and planting thousands of kisses on the inside of his thigh. “Will you be good for me, sugar?”

Their eyes meet. If it weren’t for Jongin’s excitement and lust, he would have noticed the undeniable resentment in Kyungsoo’s eyes.

“Yes, yes, yes– Oh, Kyungsoo– “

Jongin’s hips are hoisted higher and soon enough a hot tongue laps at his rim. He moans, much louder than he should, but he doesn’t find it in himself to care. He holds onto the sheets, raising his back from the mattress, as Kyungsoo is pushing past the rim and inside of him.

There is no other feeling like having the older’s mouth on him. It makes Jongin full on such a different level. He’s hot, sweat running down his temples and soft sighs escaping his lips. Working his hips on Kyungsoo’s mouth, he earns few grunts from the older and his ass cheeks being clutched tight. He’s satisfied with himself.

Before Jongin can realize, there are fingers wrapping around the base of his cock and his moans get louder. He’s torn between pushing himself on Kyungsoo’s mouth and his hand, as the latter starts moving his fingers. It’s so good, overcoming his common sense and making him lose in the feeling.

For Jongin all that matters is Kyungsoo – his hands, eyes, lips, voice, generally his whole existence. He is close, much faster than he normally would be and he feels like an immature teenager once again. However, Kyungsoo does not make him seem shameful, but cherished and admired. He brings Jongin to his climax, watches as the younger’s face contorts with pleasure and drinks the sight with the evidence of Jongin’s release.

The latter is oversensitive, still trying to catch his breath, but Kyungsoo is not finished with him. The night before them is long. It awaits all types of touch and pleasure and Jongin cannot wait for that. He’s drunk on Kyungsoo, maybe even high. The warm arms and thick brows are his home and Jongin feels like crying – from being overjoyed, of course.

The feeling does not die, when he wakes up in the morning. A delightful smile adores Jongin’s features, not minding the stickiness between his legs. The prominent bruises on his body are yet to be seen, but he can already feel the sting and pain they cause him with his every move.

Jongin is lost in his own bubble. Only when he hears Sehun calling him and feels that the sheets beside him are cold, does he realize the happiness and security were a little bit farfetched in this circumstances.

“Jongin, can you explain, what happened in the bathroom?” He can hear his best friend coming up to him with quick steps. He doesn’t remember doing anything with Kyungsoo in there, though. “Explain or I’m gonna– wait, first tell me, what happened to you.”

There is a short awkward silence in the room, as Jongin just stares at the sealing, his naked torso not covered by the blanket. Sehun’s eyes get twice bigger from seeing his best friend’s state. He is about to investigate for any more severe damage, however, Jongin beats him to that and gets up from the mattress, wrapped in the blanket.

“Who was there last night?”

The question is inevitable. It’s understandable that Sehun worries, that he wants all the best for his best friend, that he doesn’t want to see him hurt. But Jongin is not in pain, at least in the physical meaning. His heart is a totally different story, though.

He reaches the bathroom and abruptly stops in his tracks, Sehun almost bumping into him. Jongin gawks at the sink filled with impossibly huge amount of money. His mouth hangs wide open, as he takes few banknotes in his hands. They are real. As his brain proceeds, what has happened, something deep inside his chest breaks and a whisper subconsciously escapes his lips.

“Kyungsoo.”

*

The evenings are still quite warm, even though the coldness in Jongin’s heart. He slowly strides through the streets, a leash in his hand and an excited Vivi pulling him forward. Sehun makes Jongin walk the dog every two days, just to make him leave bed and do something productive. And somehow it actually works.

Today, before heading to the park, Jongin went to the bank to put on his bank account all the money Kyungsoo has left in the sink. He should have gave it back to the older, but truth to be told, Jongin does need money. His job as waiter is not enough to pay all the bills. It’s sickening to think that he was payed after sex just like a cheap whore. He feels used and shallow, however, as he recalls the events of that night, Jongin finds himself secretly smiling. There is no denying, he didn’t love it.

His mind is absent, as he’s walking with Vivi in the direction of the park. He doesn’t notice passersby, nor the showcases. He feels cold without Kyungsoo, as if the older took away all his warmth the last time they saw each other – three days ago. Instead, he left Jongin heartbroken and with hardly healing bruises. Jongin’s already used different kinds of ointment, but it will still take at least two weeks for the crimson signs to disappear.

He’s about to cross the road ahead, but he suddenly stops. He’s almost sure, he is mistaken, however, in just a moment his eyes find the one he’s been looking for. It is a big and luxury restaurant. The tables are covered with white cloths and the waiters are gracefully maneuvering between them, dressed in elegant suits. It’s a kind of place, Jongin would never go to. Not because he doesn’t have the money (he actually does have now), but because he would feel awkward there.

Jongin spots Kyungsoo sitting there in a tuxedo and his black hair perfectly combed. He is not alone, though. There is a women in front of him. She’s wearing a knee – length skirt and a white blouse. Her long light brown hair is falling in waves on her back and Jongin is sure that she must be beautiful, but he doesn’t see her face, as she sits with her back to him.

There is a strange feeling forming in the pit of Jongin’s stomach – jealousy probably. Kyungsoo has taken him on dates multiple times, they were always romantic and special. But the older never needed to show off to impress Jongin. They went to cheap bars to eat jjajamyeon in the middle of the night and it was always fine.

Kyungsoo looks happy, but Jongin is not to be fooled. Although, he smiles, the younger notices, as it doesn’t reach Kyungsoo’s doe eyes. It is not hard for Jongin to tell that Kyungsoo is nowhere near joyful, that his laugh is fake and each word leaving his mouth is a lie. He should have done something, barge inside and fight for what belongs to him.

But it’s so much easier to believe that Kyungsoo doesn’t love him anymore.

*

The acceptance of the new reality, however, is a much harder task then Jongin has thought. He tries to remind himself that it’s over, that the relation he has built with Kyungsoo is no longer there, but then the memories of morning, they’ve spend together, creep into his mind and he’s lost again. He wants to stay strong, act indifferent and finally move on.

But at the same time Jongin finds himself at Do’s pharmaceutics and all his resolutions come crashing down. He justifies himself that he needs closure, the last talk, even though, his real motive is far from that.

Jongin is lonely.

The secretary, who let him in the last time, is also working today and Jongin is once thankful to see her. Maybe she still remembers him and would not stop him from entering the building. Jongin comes up to her, trying to act nonchalant and not looking like a heartbroken teen with puffy eyes.

“I’m here to see Do Kyungsoo.” he says, leaning on the counter. Deep inside he’s nervous, because only if the lady doesn’t oppose to him going into the building, will he be able to meet Kyungsoo. If Jongin calls him or visits his apartment, the possibility of being rejected is much higher.

“Of course, Mr. Kim.” As the lady spot Jongin, she leaves everything she was occupied with, and rushes off to lead him to the elevator. She doesn’t ask questions, is almost nice and Jongin is sure after the last time, Kyungsoo must have had a serious talk with her.

When he reaches the floor, he tells the lady that he will find his way and heads to the future CEO’s office. His hands are sweating and a slight blush appears on his cheeks, but Jongin tries to ignore the signs of nervousness. He’s never felt like this before – scared to see Kyungsoo.

He knocks and after a “come in”, he steps into the office. The place is familiar, except for the sickening feeling in his guts. Jongin doesn’t want to feel like this. He locks the door and opts to stay there, glued to the floor, instead of coming closer.

Seeing Kyungsoo makes his heart beat faster and blood boil in his veins. It is so hard to believe that these arms are no longer there to embrace him, to shield him from all the awaiting dangers. He longs to run up to Kyungsoo, to drown in his chocolate – like voice, to kiss his chapped lips.

But first he needs answers.

“I’ve got enough,” Jongin says sternly. As his voice reaches the older’s ears, he perks up his head and looks at Jongin like a deer caught in the headlights. “What is it all about, Kyungsoo?”

“Jongin.” Kyungsoo breathes out his name, before he pushes himself from the desk and in few quick steps comes up to the younger. They’re face to face, almost nose to nose, and the courage Jongin has gathered is once again being replaced with nervousness.

“I can’t do this anymore.” His voice sounds weak, fearful and maybe facing Kyungsoo wasn’t such a good idea in the end. But still he tries. “I need answers.”

Kyungsoo sighs and runs his fingers through his hair. Jongin looks for his eyes, searches for their depth and as he succeeds, he realizes how unnerved the older is. He looks lost, munching on his bottom lip and with shaking hands. Jongin wants to comfort him.

“You can’t be here,” Kyungsoo says, after taking a breath. “Please, go, Jongin.”

He steps forward, Jongin takes a step back and soon the younger finds himself pressed to the surface of the door. He shakes his head, as Kyungsoo’s eyes tell him to leave.

Don’t make me.

“Go, Jongin.” His words become harsher, colder and feel like daggers to his heart.

Their breaths interwind, lock them in a too intimate bubble and separate from the world around. As their lips brush, a spark of fire erupts in Jongin’s chest and the courage comes back. It’s his only chance. He places his hands on Kyungsoo’s jaw and keeps him close, as words once again leave his mouth.

“I saw you with her.”

He’s threading on thin ice, but being cautious won’t lead him anywhere. He needs strong arguments not to break under Kyungsoo’s gaze. Just as he’s expected, the older is taken aback. He tries to break free from Jongin’s hold, but the younger doesn’t let him.

“Tell me, Soo,” Jongin caresses his cheeks with his thumbs, asking for him to speak, to share secrets and get it off his chest.

“I can’t.” Barely a whisper reaches Jongin’s ears and he suddenly realizes just as much Kyungsoo’s soul is tormented, how he suffers. It pains Jongin to see the older hurting. Putting his arms around Kyungsoo’s neck, he pulls them closer, so that their foreheads touch. To Kyungsoo, Jongin’s presence is like rays of warm sunlight in the middle of winter – it relaxes him and makes him melt into the younger.

“Tell me. I’ll understand, you know it.” Jongin tries once more, only to have his mouth shut by Kyungsoo’s hand. He sends the older an offensive look and is about to prey the arm away, when Kyungsoo steps back. He signs for him to be quiet. Jongin is confused, but he’s soon to know, what is going on. The door to the office abruptly opens and someone comes in, breaking any trace of calm on the older’s features. Jongin stays hidden behind the door.

“I heard you have a visitor.” The voice is familiar to the younger and Jongin recognizes it as Kyungsoo’s father’s.

“Just mail, father. No need to worry about.” He appears more relaxed than he actually is. Jongin can see it in the way he clenches his fists and avoids his parent’s eyes.

“If it is that boy­– “

“It’s not,” Kyungsoo interrupts. At the mention of Jongin, he suddenly looks a little bit more confident, as if talking bad about him unnerves the older. “I told you that it’s over.”

A soft whimper that sounds form behind the door, goes unnoticed. He holds the material of his shirt just where his heart is and closes his eyes for a moment to compose himself. They’re not over, he knows it, but Kyungsoo’s words and their seriousness hurt him nonetheless.

“Good.”

After that the door soon closes and Jongin is once again on full display – hand still above heart and eyes closed. His breath is shortened, knees weak, but as he opens his eyelids, he knows that he’ll get what he came for. Kyungsoo locks the door and takes Jongin’s hand in his, just as he always did when the younger needed to be comforted and lead them to a couch in the corner.

“I will tell you,” Kyungsoo starts, still not letting Jongin’s hand go. “But be aware that no decisions are to be changed.”

Jongin nods his head, even though, he does not agree with the older. He’s sure, he can make everything right once again.

“Everything actually starts and ends with my father. Since I was born, he’s seen a heir in me and it has never occurred to me that his love could make any harm. But as you’ve noticed he wasn’t found of the idea of his son, his successor, the new face of the company having a male partner.”

There is evident longing in Kyungsoo’s eyes, as he looks at their interwind hands. It’s pure and intense, but he doesn’t let himself be wrapped in the feeling.

“Up till now he didn’t make a problem out of it. However, as he decided to pass on the company, he clearly stated that I can no longer be with you. It pained, crashed and broken me each time I held you, knowing that it can be our last time– “

“Then why?” Jongin interrupts. He worries his bottom lip between his teeth and his eyes are bigger than normally. It is so hard for him to accept, what Kyungsoo says. “Is the company more important than me?”

“That’s the point,” Kyungsoo brings his other hand to Jongin’s face and lets his fingers brush on the younger’s cheeks, nose, lips. “Nothing is more important than you, Nini.” Kyungsoo’s gaze have never been so fierce, so strong and holding so many feeling. Jongin almost feels overwhelmed, almost feels like crying, and all he can do is to listen to the older’s warm voice. “But he threatened to hurt you and I couldn’t let that happen.”

The realization makes Jongin dizzy. Kyungsoo never wanted to leave him, but was made to and if he tries to fight his father, it can only backfire with doubled force. Jongin lets himself drown in Kyungsoo’s touch, as he knows that it is just temporary.

“What about the woman?” he asks worriedly.

“Go home,” is Kyungsoo’s answer, but Jongin only holds the latter’s hand tighter. He reminds Kyungsoo that he promised to tell Jongin the truth. “I’m going to marry her.”

It hurts much more than Jongin has expected. Somehow he knew it from the day he’s seen them in the restaurant, but kept the thought away from his mind. Now, as it reaches his heart, he feels like dying – right here, right now. A tear runs down his cheek, wetting his golden skin and making his anguish visible. Kyungsoo’s fingers can’t take the pain away, as he brushes the tear away but the gesture does comfort him.

“Go home. I’m weaker than you think and if you stay, I might crash.” Kyungsoo presses his lips to Jongin’s cheek, leaving a gentle kiss there, and as he hold the younger’s face, brings their foreheads together. “Go home, love, and stay away from me.”

*

Sehun threads his fingers through Vivi’s fur and pets it behind its ear. His hands are occupied with the dog, but his eyes follow after a figure roaming between shelves in the kitchen. He can’t help looking at the light brown mop of hair, ripped sweater hanging off their shoulder and a small smile adoring their face.

Sehun feels betrayed, for his flatmate, best friend – Jongin – acts as if nothing has happened. He knows Jongin is not fine, he’s far from that, and Sehun would expect of him to tell him, to relay on him, to confess. However, Jongin doesn’t, closing himself in, faking a smile and pretending he doesn’t need Sehun’s help. It hurts to know, that for the first time, Jongin doesn’t want to share his worries.

Two weeks ago, Jongin’s whole attitude to Kyungsoo’s and his break up changed. Suddenly, he started getting up on time, obediently going to school and work, all the time sporting a cheerful smile. It looks as if he’s doing fine, finally moving on, but Sehun knows better. Jongin’s actions are mechanic, well learnt, lacking his natural fluency in movement.

“How long are you going to keep on doing this?” asks Sehun.

His question makes Jongin abruptly turn around. His smile falters, easily noticed by Sehun, but Jongin still hopes his friend is unaware of the misery, he goes through.

“Keep on doing what?” There is childish innocence in his voice, so characteristic for Jongin, and the way he purse his lips.

“You can lie to yourself,” as Sehun starts, his eyes become fiercer and Jongin shivers. Fooling Sehun was never a good idea. “But lying to me is your worst mistake.”

A deep blush appears on Jongins golden cheeks, before he averts his gaze. He’s caught, ashamed that Sehun saw right through him. It was never in his intentions to hurt his friends trust, Jongin just knew telling Sehun meant facing the truth himself.

“Sehun, I– “

“Don’t say, you’re sorry,” Sehun says calmly, his eyes still not leaving Jongin’s figure. “I get it. It’s tough and you’re hurting, but I waited and waited for you to open up. Patiently. Though, you never did.”

Jongin worries his bottom lip between his teeth, not knowing what to say, how to explain himself. He’s stuck in one place, fists clenched and cheeks red.

“I didn’t mean to keep it from you,” Jongin finally states, but the weight is not taken off his chest. Standing, breathing, living – suddenly nothing is easy anymore. Kyungsoo’s face shows up before his eyes and the air is harshly pushed out off his lungs, the memories creeping into his mind.

“I’m not mad. Maybe just a little, but most importantly I’m worried,” Sehun assures. He takes one hand from petting Vivi’s fur and motions for Jongin to come sit beside him on the couch. “Tell me, Jongin.”

Tell me, Soo.

By the time Jongin sits, he’s shivering. The memories flood upon him, drown him in their depth and prevent from going to the surface. It’s so hard to think about what has happened, talking would strip him from any shields he’s put on. But nonetheless, he tells Sehun everything. About his trip to Kyungsoo’s office, about his father, the marriage. By the end of his speech, there are tears that threaten to fall from his eyes, but Sehun, as strange as it may seem, gives him a comforting hug.

The pain becomes numb, then slowly subsides, but does not vanish.

“See, it wasn’t that hard.” Sehun lets Jongin cling to him, even though, Vivi’s giving him its most fearful glare.

“What am I supposed to do now?” Jongin asks.

“Live with it.”

Jongin imagines his life in few months, his dull and empty life, where he lost the fight for the love of his life. He also imagines a huge wedding, long white dress, black tuxedo and red carnations.

Silently Jongin cries.

*

Kyungsoo told him to stay away, to not interfere with his life and leave their relationship in the past. Sehun kept on reminding him that life goes on, that no good will come from crying himself to sleep, as much as faking that everything is okay. Jongin tried to convince himself that moving on was the best he could do, that basking in the sunlight of his broken relation won’t lead him anywhere.

He knows what is best for him, what will free his restless soul, but all the possible solutions does not include unchaining Kyungsoo from his dreadful fate.

What Jongin is about to do will not bring him closer to any solution, won’t make anything easier, but for now he has to remind himself of the love Kyungsoo and him share. He needs to be assured that he’s not willing to fight for nothing.

Jongin arrives at the all too well known doorstep of the older’s penthouse. He nervously shifts from one leg to another, as he stands before the wooden door. While he questions his decision to come here, his heartbeat rises drastically but he doesn’t back away. There is a purpose in what he’s about to do.

Ringing the bell is not necessary as he’s got the key to the apartment, but he still opts for it. He’s not afraid of seeing Kyungsoo, however, he can’t say the same for the rest of Kyungsoo’s family that might be visiting.

There is a loud shifting on the other side, some grumbling, cursing, and soon the door opens. Kyungsoo’s strong figure come into view with a little sway and an overwhelming smell of alcohol. He’s still dressed in slacks and a white shirt, even though they’re creased and seem to bring discomfort to the older. Kyungsoo’s and Jongin’s eyes meet, as the latter takes few steps forward and soon his nose bumps into Jongin’s.

“I told you,” he starts but is interrupted as his body sways from left to right. He must have drunk a lot. “to stay away from me.”

Jongin takes a deep breath, not averting his eyes from Kyungsoo’s ones and soon brings his hand to the elder’s cheek. His plan isn’t sophisticated, nor will it solve any of their problems, but if Kyungsoo has any weaknesses, it’s the fact that he can’t resist Jongin. And by using this knowledge, the younger wants to show Kyungsoo what he’s missing, what he needs, what will keep him sated. It is not a plan he’s spend hours on thinking about and counting pros and cons. He just hopes that his actions will help Kyungsoo realize, how much they need each other.

Not closing his eyes, Jongin gives a little peck to Kyungsoo’s lips, before wrapping his arms around the older’s neck.

“Let me remind you of the days, when you used to hold my hand,” Jongin threads his fingers through Kyungsoo short hair at the back of his head. “And when we sipped champagne out of cider cans.”

His own words bring a smile to his face and a small laugh escapes his lips. Memories flash before his eyes, radiating with happiness and calm. Back then everything seemed easier, less complicated and Jongin just wants the enjoyment back in his life.

“Why you got to be so stubborn?” asks Kyungsoo, though sans any harshness in his voice. In fact, his words carry a lot of affection for the younger. Jongin feels himself falling once again. “Why don’t you ever listen to me?”

“Maybe,” Jongin starts, pushing their chests together and breathing heavily on Kyungsoo’s neck. “You should show me my place.”

He knows just where to push, how to make Kyungsoo lose control and roughly take what he wants, what he needs. There is little resistance in his eyes, as the alcohol in his bloodstream takes away his rational part of mind. They’re both going to regret this in the morning, but for now the warmth of their bodies is much more important.

“Yeah, I think I should.” Kyungsoo grabs him by the hand and pulls him inside.

Before the door even closes, their lips meet and hands start to roam upon their slowly heating up bodies. It’s so easy to kiss Kyungsoo, to let his tongue inside his mouth, to let him dominate Jongin. There is nothing new about it, not a piece of them is a mystery, however, Jongin feels a heavy lump forming in his throat. He doesn’t let it escalate for now, though, he knows it will grow sooner or later.

They stumble onto the couch, Jongin landing on Kyungsoo’s lap with a soft gasp. The younger feels anxiety creeping under his skin, so the fastest he can he seals their lips again. That way he keeps the fears on a little bit longer leash, frees himself for a moment and takes time to recharge batteries.

Even though he wants to savor every part of Kyungsoo’s body and taste each centimeter of his skin, Jongin finds himself ripping Kyungsoo’s shirt open and teasing his abs with his own gentle fingers. It’s a well – known territory and Jongin hurries. Tonight he doesn’t waste time on the unimportant signs of affection and love. They are already aware of their feeling – now it’s just about reminding Kyungsoo of what mistake he’s making.

“She,” Jongin breaks the kiss, sliding off the couch and onto the floor. He settles on his knees between Kyungsoo’s legs. Reaching to the older’s zipper, he licks his lips. “will never make you feel as good as I do.” Jongin opens his pants, but doesn’t slide them down. “In the end, you will always come crawling back to me.”

It feels strange to say the truth out loud. The shock strikes them of both, as they are well aware that it is the harsh reality they are settled in. Kyungsoo is the future CEO to be, he’s going to get married, but there is no thing that will keep him away from the boy, who owns his heart. Meanwhile, Jongin will forever welcome him with open arms. They are destined to love, but also to hurt.

“You remind me of a drug, Jongin,” Kyungsoo states. “I can never get enough of you. Neither can I ever let you go.”

“Don’t,” says Jongin. He pushes himself up and latches his lips to the center of Kyungsoo’s chest just were the heart is. “Don’t ever let me go.” he whispers. His throat once again threatens to clamp and make him burst into tears, but Jongin tries to stay composed. Tries. “I’ll be a good boy, you know that. There is no other person that will meet your standards, only me. Damn it, Soo, no one would let you use them like I do.”

There is so much truth in Jongin’s words that Kyungsoo doubts he’s going to stand it. He harshly grabs the younger’s jaw and pulls him away from his chest. Soon he is once again kissing the life out of Jongin, tightly gripping his jaw and neck. It’s been some time since they were intimate and Kyungsoo is on his way to cover the younger with new dose of marks and bruises.

“Why are you like this?” Kyungsoo suddenly asks frowning, but not letting the younger go. “Why are you such a slut for me? I set you free, Nini, but you still come back. What is it about?”

“You’re blind.” Jongin states simply. There is a tear threating to escape from under his left eyelid. “You are so set on shooing me away from your life, while it only takes for me to come here and all your defense breaks down. I want to show you, how weak you truly are.”

“How am I supposed to fight you, when I love you?” Kyungsoo asks, his voice much softer, grip on Jongin loosening and hands threatening to pull away. The younger makes sure to keep them close.

“Then stop fighting and come back to me.”

And the tear rolls down Jongin’s cheek.

Kyungsoo quickly wipes is away. He’s shaking his head, a clear ‘no’ to what Jongin has just said. Though, at the same time, he takes Jongin into his arms and lays him on the couch. Hovering above the younger, he notices all the details he adores about Jongin – his plump lips, dark eyes and cheeks lightly dusted with pink. He’s so beautiful, it pains him to realize, he is the one destroying the image.

As he leans down to finally strip Jongin of his clothes and fears; as he sucks and bruises his nipples; as he settles between his inviting legs, Kyungsoo doesn’t have any other haven than this.

*

Waking up to a radiating warm body next to his is something Jongin has almost forgotten what feels like. It’s strange but at the same time so familiar, he hopes he’s dreaming about coming back to the time before everything has complicated so much. His is comfortably resting on Kyungsoo’s chest, the older’s heartbeat playing the most peaceful lullaby. The air around them stills, breaths combine and in the very moment before coming back to reality, the world is not against them, no one wants to separate them, they simply are in love.

Two lost castaways searching for a safe haven.

Then Kyungsoo stirs, flatters his eyelids open and Jongin regrets falling in love with those eyes, cheeks, lips. There is no other person that can be compared to Kyungsoo and Jongin is in too deep for him. He knows the older soon will break free from his hold, so Jongin clings tighter to his chest.

“Can we stay like that for a moment?” he asks shily.

The number of last night’s orgasms and bruises on Jongin’s body does not matter in the morning. They are not together anymore and Kyungsoo is getting married. Their feeling are meaningless.

“Even if I tell you to leave, will you?” Kyungsoo’s voice is raspy from sleep. It’s strange that he doesn’t object and as Jongin rises his head, he sees the older frowning. Hangover. Though, the reason for that state is doubtable. Too much alcohol or feelings?

Kyungsoo closes his eyes and rests his hands on Jongin’s hips, gently caressing the bruises there. The gesture is sweet, but doesn’t mean anything. However, Jongin is not the one to back away once he still has a chance. He brings his lips to Kyungsoo’s forehead and places a kiss there. It has always soothed the pain away.

“Do you miss me?” Jongin suddenly asks, voice calm but mind fearful of the answer.

“What I have to tell you differs from what I feel.” says Kyungsoo and a small smile appears on the younger’s face.

“What is it then?”

“How can I miss someone I’ve never loved. You were there just for my entertainment.”

Jongin snuggles on the crook of Kyungsoo’s neck and inhales his intoxicating scent.

“But the truth is that… ?”

There is silence following Jongin’s words that’s louder than any statement. Kyungsoo winds his arms around the younger and presses their naked bodies together. There is nothing sexual about the gesture, just raw emotions that flood from their pores.

“I don’t miss you, Nini. It’s just so fucking hard to breath without you.”

Fake hope surges in Jongin’s chest and he’s so sure, they are on their way to finally settle down once again.

“But it seems like a CEO doesn’t need oxygen. He just needs to do, what he’s expected of.”

His hands one last time caress Jongin’s skin before they retreat and soon Kyungsoo follows suit. He rolls onto the other side of bed and sits up. Jongin was extremely stupid to think that anything was about to change. He takes a deep breath and gathers strength to stand up. It hurts, with all the bruises Kyungsoo has left the night before, but is nothing compared to his aching heart. He finds his clothes on the floor and doesn’t bother going to the bathroom to clean all the remnants of sweat and cum from his body.

The time to leave has come.

It’s sticky and gross but Jongin doesn’t mind. As much as he wants to stay with Kyungsoo, he actually needs to breathe fresh air.

“Then choke without me.”

Jongin is about to make his way to the door and out but Kyungsoo’s words forbid him from doing so.

“He found everything there is about you. If he realizes we still meet, he will destroy you.” Kyungsoo is referring to his father and it pains Jongin to know that it is the ultimate truth. Kyungsoo’s father is the reason they broke up. But still it doesn’t change the bitterness in Jongin’s heart. He’s had enough.

“Don’t worry. You have already.”

Clutching his messy clothes and fighting a hot stream of tears, he storms out of Kyungsoo’s apartment. The walk of shame has never been more shameful.

*

Staying late at the restaurant seems like a much better plan then sulking in the confides of his bedroom. Jongin’s already realized that overthinking the situation, he’s found himself in, won’t get him anywhere. He tried but failed and, even though, his heart still aches for Kyungsoo’s touch, he knows he’s destined to lose.

When Jongin doesn’t attend classes he comes here, to Minseok’s restaurant, and works till the owner makes him stop. Minseok has shown his concern, tried to talk some sense into Jongin’s head but to no avail. The student stays devoted to his initial feelings, even though, he’s been hurt so much. Jongin would like to be furious; would like to hate Kyungsoo and move on, but he finds himself unable to forget the older’s touch, smell and words he’s said so clearly.

Do Kyungsoo is still in love with Kim Jongin.

It is a late evening and the restaurant is mostly deserted at this hour. There is a young girl by a single table, slowly sipping on her coffee and taking notes with a yellow pen in a small notebook, and a group of friends, loudly talking to each other by a big round table. Jongin doesn’t have much to do, he has already served the tables and is now leaning on the entrance to the kitchen, waiting for anything he can do. Minseok keeps his place by the register but is sporting such a face, Jongin is sure he’s going to get scolded by the owner once again. Jongin’s shift has finished over an hour ago.

Maybe he would have been doomed by Minseok’s wrath, if it weren’t for a young lady, who happened to just enter the restaurant. Jongin sprinted to show her to a free table, when he realized, he has already met her. It is the girl, who he served a few weeks ago. She hasn’t changed much. She still stands out like a sore thumb in a place, where people search for a cheap but enjoyable meal. Today she’s wearing a light grey dress and her lipstick is pink, not red. Somehow, it feels nice to see her again.

“What would you like to eat today?” Jongin asks as they reach the table. “Once again something to lift up the mood?”

Before she says a single thing, she awards Jongin with a simple smile that doesn’t reach her eyes. She seems worried and tired, but Jongin halts himself from asking. It is none of his business.

“The noodles from last time were great. Can you make that two and pack to go?” She gives off a stoic feeling but the quiver of her lips shows, she is nowhere near fine.

Jongin goes to the kitchen to give the cook the order and make a cup of green tea for the lady. Minseok has always said to make the customers feel at home and she looks like she needs it. When Jongin comes back to her with the beverage, she thanks him with a small smile.

“I must really look miserable.” she says, looking into the cup.

“Oh no, you don’t,” states Jongin quickly. “It’s just something in your eyes.”

They stay silent for a moment and when Jongin decides to go back to the kitchen, the girl speak up again.

“Would it be creepy, if I asked you to listen to me rant about some stupid things? I just need to get it off my chest. I know it’s stupid but– “

“It’s ok,” Jongin says and takes the seat across her.

“Thanks. I’m Chaeyoung, by the way.”

“Jongin.”

And so she starts.

Park Chaeyoung is the only child of Park Kyung, the owner of Park Industries. She’s been brought up to be a strong and independent woman, who would know how to take care of herself. It was a common knowledge that a female would have to get through much tougher way to reach her aims, but it never discouraged her. She was sure of her power and will to success. But it never occurred to her, not even once, that her father could pass down the company to someone else.

At the age of 24, when she finally finished university, she was ready to take care of Park Industries and become one of the most influential women on the stock. Oh, how wrong she was. Park Chanyeol is her two years older cousin; the ever brilliant and intelligent boy; the golden child. Her parents always compared Chaeyoung to Chanyeol, which never misses to make her blood boil. Maybe she wasn’t as smart as Chanyeol; maybe she wasn’t as outgoing as he was; maybe she didn’t have a strong posture and wasn’t over 6 feet tall, but certainly she was hardworking and kept in mind to always act in a fair way.

However, as time has shown, all the good values doesn’t matter in the end, as all she has ever done has gone to nothing.

Her father decided to make Chanyeol the new CEO of the company and Chaeyoung was sure, she couldn’t work under her older cousin. Chanyeol would make her life miserable just for fun. In just few moments she lost her work and rightful place in the family. She had to search for a different way to keep her power.

“And you found it,” says Jongin with sympathy. “But it’s not what you’ve been looking for.”

Chaeyoung pushes her hair behind her ear and bites her lower lip. She takes a short breath and blinks few times, as if to push some thoughts away.

“I decided to get married,” she states quietly. “I’ll be the co – owner of his company and have the place, I always wanted to be in.” Her words are unsure of their meaning and lack the power, she wants to have. Chaeyoung is desperate to gain the place, she was working hard to get, as her own cousin took it away from her.

“Don’t you believe in love?” Jongin suddenly asks her and is surprised the question left his mouth. It’s a little bit too straight forward.

But Chaeyoung only laughs and sips on her tea. “I do,” she looks into Jongin’s eyes and shakes her head gently. “But love doesn’t believe in people of business. I’ve never seen a CEO, who would love someone more, then they love their work.”

As much as it pains Jongin, the statement is somehow true. If Kyungsoo truly loved him, wouldn’t he had chosen their happiness instead of the company? On the other hand, there is Kyungsoo’s father, who happens to be a much bigger problem than their feelings.

Jongin finds himself willing to tell Chaeyoung the story about Kyungsoo. He thinks they are quite similar and the lady would feel a little more courageous after hearing it. But as he makes his mind to start the story, Chaeyoung’s phone rings. Jongin takes her uncomfortable look as a sign to step back. He stands up and starts making his way to the kitchen to see, if the food is already done. He doesn’t make even four steps, when he hears her pick up the phone, and halts his movements abruptly.

“I’m on my way. I just stopped to grab some food. Are you ok with noodles, Kyungsoo?”

When Jongin turns, he sees Chaeyoung’s back. Her light brown hair is falling in waves over her shoulders and if Jongin didn’t know her, he would still would have thought that she must be beautiful. The sight is familiar, it just lacks a certain man dressed in a black tuxedo and a barking Vivi by Jongin’s leg. This is the woman he saw with Kyungsoo in a posh restaurant that one evening, when he took Sehun’s dog for a walk.

Park Chaeyoung is Kyungsoo’s fiancé.

*

It is unimaginable, how all the remains of hope can vanish in just few moments. Faith, in what was about to come, filled the air and made breathing much easier, but then all it took was to overhear a part of a phone call and it came crashing down.

Jongin is a mess.

Since the day of their official break up, he hasn’t felt like he was about to collapse. He cried himself to sleep. He overworked himself just to forget. But it has never affected him in a more dangerous way. Till now.

After Chaeyoung left, Jongin packed his belongings in the speed of light and stormed out of the restaurant, not bothering to even take off his working clothes. To say that Minseok was shocked was an understatement. Jongin headed straight to the bus and didn’t spear even a glance at people, who he bumped into. He needed to get home the fastest he could.

Jongin is drowning.

It is so obvious, there is no such thing as hope for him anymore. Chaeyoung needs this marriage to maintain her influence in the business world and not let her pride be stomped on. She doesn’t mean harm to anyone (maybe only to Chanyeol or her own father), but her main goal is to stay in the place, she has always fought for. Kyungsoo, on the other hand, does not have a choice. If everything he says is true, then he isn’t going to let his father down. Keeping Jongin safe is so much more important than his own happiness.

After running up the stairs and nearly falling three times, Jongin is desperate to get inside his apartment; to hide under the blankets; to cut off from the reality that no longer belongs to him. But fitting the key is a much tougher challenge, when his hands won’t stop shaking. He feels his eyes slowly watering, cheeks becoming red and throat clasp down as a shuddering wave of self – consciousness hits him. Hard.

There is no place for a young student like him in the world of companies and money. It is a reality of an upper class, he is not a part of. No one would care about him, no one would sympathy him, no one would even let him get there. Maybe except for Kyungsoo, but the older no longer has a choice in this department.

Jongin can’t breathe. His lungs clasp down and suffocate him from the inside, rejecting oxygen, any will to live leaving them. He leans on the door, clutching his shirt, where his heart is, desperately trying to fight for himself. But he is failing, as the doorknob doesn’t move and his knees buckle beneath him.

The realization that he is not going to save his relationship with Kyungsoo is the tipping point. And then Jongin finds himself falling.

There is a loud barking from the inside of the apartment and soon the door opens. Jongin is sure, he would have face planted on the floor, if it weren’t for a pair of strong arms catching him midway. Sehun.

“I got you.” the younger says, somewhere from above Jongin’s head that’s tucked under Sehun’s chin.

The problem is that there is nothing to catch. Without Kyungsoo, Jongin’s body no longer has an owner, no longer feels right and beautiful, no longer brings pride to him. It is just another element in his life that’s void of meaning. In addition, his mind is also empty, for he lost everything he’s ever had.

Kyungsoo.

“I’m not gonna make it,” Jongin says quietly as the first tears run down his cheeks. “I’m not going to save him, Sehun.”

The taller sighs loudly but threads his slender fingers through Jongin’s hair, nonetheless. The latter now understands why Vivi is always on Sehun’s lap, waiting to be petted. Somehow, even in this state, it brings a little bit of comfort. Though, is nowhere near to what Jongin truly needs.

“It’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself.” Sehun’s voice carries calmness and a sense of security.

However, there is no such power that would save him from this fall.

Tears stream down his face, a loud sob escapes his throat and his arms shake. Jongin’s body falls victim to too many feelings that crash into him. There is no blockade to keep away memories from his mind, to maintain a distance, to make sure they are not going to hurt him. It’s just too much and Jongin cries harder as he lets his mind drown in pictures, in what has forever slipped out of his reach.

No more crazy phone calls in the middle of the night and walking into the cold night, just to meet in Kyungsoo’s car and ride aimlessly around town, until the sun rises. No more painfully satisfying bruises on lips, neck, hips that created perfect reminders of their long and passionate love makings. No more featherlike kisses of Kyungsoo’s heart – shaped lips that always brought a short and simple message with them.

I love you, Nini.

“I love him,” he chokes out. “And now I lost him.”

Even though, Jongin is in his apartment, where he is safe and sound; where he can hide from any harm; where he can cry as much as he wants, he is not home. Because home is where his heart is. And it’s far away.

*

This time Jongin doesn’t fight himself and takes a day off. He’s too tired to take part in yet another battle. Today he chooses to stay in bed, instead of attending class or going to Minseok’s restaurant. After the whole night of crying and shivering from the coldness in his heart, he is just too numb to pretend like everything is okay.

Because it’s not.

Without checking the time, his phone or turning on the computer he lays covered with thin sheets and let’s his mind fill with nothing but void. Emptiness is what he needs right now. From the few but bright rays of sun, which made their way into the dark bedroom, Jongin assumes the noon must have already passed. Sehun is probably out, Vivi peacefully plays in the living room and Jongin doesn’t feel like eating anything, which means there is no need to leave the bed.

Except the loud shriek of the doorbell forcing Jongin to push his heavy limbs off the mattress. He wonders, who could it be – did Sehun forget his keys again, maybe the old lady next door needs his help or someone mistook his apartment for another one. Jongin hopes it’s the latter. Truthfully, he’s in no mood for a one – on – one meeting. His eyes are puffy, throat sore, heart shattered and Jongin is making his way to the door o n l y so that the annoying sound would vanish. There is nothing more in that.

As he turns the key and lays his hand on the doorknob, the bell stops ringing and Jongin contemplates whether he still wants to see, what is waiting for him on the other side.

Eventually, he does open the door, but the sight is nowhere near, what he has imagined. There is no one in front of the door, however, the hall does not feel empty. Someone was here – probably still is. Jongin would have retreated to his apartment, thinking who could it had been, if it weren’t for a lonely envelope and a bouquet on his doormat.

Daisies were given to him on special occasions and always meant “I’m sorry, Nini”.

Jongin picks up the flowers and cautiously looks into the envelope. Money, lots of it actually. He leans on the doorway with a strong pressure building in his chest but no tears, nor sobs escape him. Fear doesn’t embrace his figure, pushing the air out of his lungs and clenching his guts. Strangely, Jongin is fine. He does feel cheap for taking the money, he does feel hopeless with yesterday’s knowledge, but at the same time he feels secure. Because Kyungsoo is watching over him.

*

Kyungsoo doesn’t barge into Jongin’s life for another three weeks. The younger slowly but surely pulls himself together, coming back to life somehow stronger than he used to be. He realized that the Kyungsoo he knew was still there, just shadowed with new reality, they’ve found themselves in. Despite the growing urge to meet with Kyungsoo, Jongin refrained from doing so and focused on healing his wounded heart. Eventually, the older will come back to him – to finally free them from this misery or just to have him in bed – and Jongin needs to stay strong for that. He needs to be able to keep on fighting.

His new resolutions does not make his sleep better, though. Most nights he spends peacefully with tiredness creeping behind his eye. However, sometimes he can’t let go of the tormenting thoughts. And just like tonight, he cannot fall asleep. His eyelids are heavy, limbs lifeless and unmoving but Jongin will not rest. His body keeps him awake on its own.

In the dark of the night, a sudden melody starts and once and for all washes Jongin’s chances to fall asleep away.

Tchaikovsky’s Nocturne C sharp minor is one of the rare classical pieces Jongin truly admires. Although, never before had he had his heart broken, the nostalgic melody rewarded him with tranquility. Seeing the way Jongin discovered a liking to it, Kyungsoo set it as a ringtone specially for his own calls on the younger’s phone.

The song keeps on playing and Jongin wonders whether he is imagining things or Kyungsoo truly is calling him. It seems so surreal, unbelievable, it takes another few seconds for him to finally wake from the trance and reach for the device.

Turns out Kyungsoo is calling.

He pushes the green button and brings the mobile to his ear. He doesn’t know, what to expect. It’s past 3 in the morning. Kyungsoo used to call at ungodly hours just to say that he needed to hear Jongin’s voice. Sometimes he asked Jongin what would their future be like, how was his day, to tell how much he loved Jongin. On other occasions, they touched themselves to each other’s voices and drowned in images of their bodies melted together.

Tonight, Jongin doesn’t expect any of this.

Kyungsoo is breathing heavily on the other side of line, but doesn’t speak up and neither does Jongin. They enter their little bubble, something they haven’t done in weeks, and stay there in silence and tranquility. The bubble is much smaller than the last time they entered it and its walls are so thin they are at risk of breaking. But the danger doesn’t keep them away. Their hearts break stiches, bleed onto their souls to finally interwind.

“Jongin,” the whisper is barely heard. “Oh, Jongin.”

His name escaping Kyungsoo’s lips is everything it takes for Jongin to acknowledge that the older has been pushed to his limits.

“I’m here.” he also whispers, feeling like a teenage couple, hiding from their parents. Somehow, they are. In the end, they can’t be caught by Kyungsoo’s father.

“You’re not and that’s the problem,” There is a tremble in his voice, which makes Jongin debate whether Kyungsoo is sober. He probably isn’t. “I’m sorry to call in the middle of the night, but I was too weak to fight the urge.”

Jongin wants to say that he feels the same – he wants to let Kyungsoo know, what he has gone through in the past weeks, how he cried, how he missed the older. Sentiments and remorse won’t help him clear the situation, though.

“What do you want me to do?” Jongin asks. “What can I do to help you? You need to voice your needs. I’m sure Chaeyoung wouldn’t be content, if she knew you were calling me.”

Kyungsoo’s fiancé’s name hangs in the air – heavy and almost tangible.

“How– “ Kyungsoo starts his question, but it quickly dies in his throat.

The silence between them thickens, gets dense and mushy, so that even their breathing is lost in the expanse. Their bubble vanishes in the air, its wall instantly breaking and the ground beneath them shakes.

“I’ve met her, but she doesn’t know, who I am,” Jongin clears his statement. “However, I do know her motives for the marriage, as well as yours, and believe me, Soo, there is no place for me in this. Tell me, why are you calling?”

Keeping contact with Jongin is dangerous on so many levels. If Kyungsoo’s father were to find out about it, he would do anything to make his son regret not behaving. It is sure, Jongin would suffer the most, though. Mr. Do has many strange relations he is just waiting to use.

“Because I don’t know, how to let you go.” At 3 a.m. Kyungsoo’s words are filled with the aftermath of strong alcohol and honest feelings. “I’m frustrated. Father is pushing the wedding’s date closer and closer. Everyone keeps asking about what do I want for the main course, should we opt for white or red carnations, whether I already tried my tuxedo.” His breathing gets heavy, so much that it gets louder than the silence, they were engulfed in. “While I only want you.”

The confession works as a trigger for Jongin. He tries to stay calm, to overcome his unnerved heart but he also is frustrated.

“That’s why I am offering you help! Just tell me, what to do and I’ll do it. I’ll do anything, Kyungsoo.”

The younger hopes Kyungsoo is finally going to give in. He sounds so desperate, so broken, Jongin is sure he is close to admitting his defeat. His words are contradiction to what Jongin has thought, though.

“Find strength in yourself and keep away from me.”

And the line goes silent.

*

A cup of green tea and a blanket make good company for writing an assignment. History of theatre is indulging enough to make Jongin forget about all the troubles that surround him on daily basis. Rhythmic clicking on the keyboard calms him, as well as the soft hum of the TV that’s turned on, even though, nobody watches it.

Jongin is sitting on the couch with legs on the coffee table, while Sehun occupies the other corner of the furniture. The ginger – haired boy messages with someone furiously on his phone, but Jongin doesn’t ask with who. He tries to focus on his work the best he can. Even with a little poodle snoring loudly on a cushion tucked between the two best friends.

Jongin tries not to dwell on the call Kyungsoo made to him two nights back. He would like to finally get some answers, to know where he is heading and how his life should look like from now on. Because he still doesn’t know. It feels as if he could move on, ditch everything he had and go ahead, but the truth is that if Kyungsoo were to make one more call, Jongin would answer without any hesitation.

His hand moves on its own and reaches for the phone. Out of habit, he opens his messages with Kyungsoo on Kakao Talk and reads through them. He can’t help a small smile forming on his lips as he is reminded of the time, they spent together. It is hard to believe, it is never going to come back.

After the break up, Jongin got a new habit. He started writing texts to Kyungsoo, but rarely sent them. It just made his heart feel a little less heavy, when the thoughts were off his chest. Shifting his focus from the assignment, Jongin licks his lips and writes.

nini
u always said I was strong enough to endure any of ur strange ideas. and I did. y cant u rely on me the last time?
6:54 pm

Jongin puts the mobile back on the coffee table, already feeling a little bit better. He didn’t even send the message, but the relief already there.

“Stop texting him.” Comes Sehun’s stern voice and Jongin immediately perks his head up.

“How do you know I did?” Jongin asks.

He expects to see a smug smile on his best friend’s face and he is surprised, when he doesn’t. In fact, Sehun looks like a deer caught in the headlight. His eyes are wide – opened and his mouth slightly ajar. However, he quickly composes himself, putting the everlasting bitch face on. Jongin doesn’t know, what to think about it.

“I have a best friend’s radar. I know, when you’re doing stupid things.” Sehun combs his fingers through his ginger hair and would probably say more, if the news on the TV didn’t came on.

He is about to switch to another channel, knowing well to avoid a certain topic, while Jongin holds Sehun’s wrist and tells him to not change it. Jongin’s eyes are focused on the screen, the computer on his lap long forgotten, as a familiar face makes its presence.

Turns out Kyungsoo wasn’t lying, when he said that his father pushed the marriage forward in minimum time. After giving a short brief about the new “couple” in the business world, it is said that the wedding would take place in exact four weeks from today.

Jongin suddenly feels sick.

He patiently listens till the end of the extract, looking carefully on each and every part were Kyungsoo is being shown. To any random person, he would look like just another CEO, clad in a black suit. But to Jongin, Kyungsoo looks terribly unlike himself. There are dark circles under his eyes, he sports a much harsher face then normally and his hair is not styled, which means he really must be tired.

Jongin’s heart beats once, twice and soon he feels the great need to find Kyungsoo and comfort him. It’s his duty as his lover. His hands shake a little, knees start twitching and he’s furiously biting on his lower lips.

Soo needs me. I have to go see him, to hold him, comfort him, remind him that he’s not alone. I must–

“Don’t even think about it.” Sehun says and Jongin truly starts to consider, whether his friend is psychic.

“I– I wasn’t.” Jongin tries to sound serious, but after the snicker from Sehun he knows he’s failing terribly.

“Like hell, dickhead,” the taller’s hand travels towards Jongin, but stops midway and settles on Vivi’s fluffy fur. “Truth to be told, you need to let him go. You are hurting too much, Jongin.”

It’s never good when Sehun is right.

*

It takes walking into the building of Park Industries, half an hour of persuading a lady at the register and three phone calls for Jongin to succeed in his plan.

To set up a meeting with Chaeyoung.

Doubt and uncertainty don’t leave him even for a mere second, but Jongin is sure, he has to do it. He yearns to find a solution, however, he is not delusional. Jongin just wants to tell Chaeyoung the truth, he’s not expecting anything in return.

They meet in quite a posh café nearby Park Industries. Jongin would never step his foot in there on his own, being aware of the overprized meals and beverages. But with Kyungsoo’s money safely put into his account, he surely can afford it. Trying to make a reasonable impression, he opted to wear a pair of well – fitted jeans and a white button up. His attire doesn’t help him with not sticking out like a sore thumb, though. He is nervous as hell.

Bach’s second part of Italian Concerto plays in the backdrop as the accompaniment to his quickly beating heart. He’s surrounded with people from the upper class, the ones who make great decisions and behold power. In their perfectly tailored suits, the businessmen remind Jongin of a certain brunette with heart – shaped lips. It pains him to acknowledge, how their worlds differ from each other.

Jongin doesn’t belong with Kyungsoo.

When Chaeyoung makes her appearance, Jongin’s palms sweat and a lump forms in his throat. Chaeyoung, in her pastel pink dress and wavy hair, looks just like a fiancé of a powerful CEO – to – be and Jongin is nowhere near as gorgeous as she is.

“Hi, Jongin,” she greets nicely, taking a sit in front of him. “I’m still amazed with your determination to find me.” She chuckle slightly, but there is a unmistakable nervousness in her voice.

“I was quite… desperate.” Jongin confesses.

Chaeyoung sighs and the smile on her lips falters a little. She looks uneasy as she plays with her fingers on the table.

“Jongin,” she says his name sternly. “The last time we saw each other, we talked a lot, but realize that I’m getting married and– “

“That’s not what I was trying to say!” he interrupts, waving his hands before himself. Now he understands, why Chaeyoung acted so strange. She thought Jongin was into her. “However, I wanted to meet you to talk about your marriage.”

Taking a deep breath, he unlocks his phone and opens the gallery. There is no turning back from what he’s about to do, but he can’t simply let Chaeyoung marry Kyungsoo, while not being aware of Jongin’s relationship. He chooses a photo and slides the device to her. A slight blush spreads on his cheeks.

In the picture, there are Kyungsoo and Jongin on the Christmas Eve. It’s a selca Kyungsoo took with the younger’s phone last year. Jongin is sitting on his lap in his new baby blue sweater he got from Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo’s lips are stretched into a soft smile as his hand sneaks under the youngers clothes. The detail can’t be seen on the photo, though.

“Kyungsoo... “ he starts uncertainly. “was my boyfriend.”

Chaeyoung looks at him with wide eyes, shock evident on her face. As she digests the information laid before her, she blinks slowly, looking from the phone to Jongin. It seems she is in great need of answers to many unspoken questions. She opens her mouth to ask one of them, but quickly refrains from doing so. With a nod she lets Jongin tell her the truth.

And so he does.

Jongin briefs her the last two years, which he spent beside Kyungsoo. Trying not to be too emotional, he doesn’t get into detail and depicts his relationship with Kyungsoo. He then tells her about their breakup, Kyungsoo’s father as the reason to it and the aftermath, in which they haven’t exactly taken separate ways.

He doesn’t expect much from Chaeyoung. Her consolation or sympathy won’t bring the past back. Although, Jongin would love to be with Kyungsoo once again, it is not in his intentions to get him back through the talk with Chaeyoung. He simply wants her to be aware of what is happening.

“I’m sorry,” her first words are what Jongin has expected, but the sincerity in her voice is something truly unforeseen. “I’m so sorry for you, Jongin.”

“You don’t have to be.” he says quickly.

“But you must be hurting. You got stuck in a world that’s unpredictable and harsh.” Chaeyoung pauses and takes a few breaths before continuing. “Your story explains Kyungsoo’s obstinacy to make this marriage work, even though, from the start he surly wasn’t joyful about it.”

Jongin waits for a miraculous change, but nothing happens. A weight is not being lifted off his chest. Telling Chaeyoung the truth doesn’t change anything and it pains him to finally realize that.

“Thank you. Can I ask you a question?” she says simply. Jongin nods. “Do you still love Kyungsoo?”

The question takes him off guard and is totally unpredicted, but there is no hesitation in Jongin’s statement.

“Of course, I do.”

“And do you think,” Chaeyoung laces her fingers on the table and look him directly in the eyes. She looks like an owner of a company with the strict façade. “that he loves you?”

Air stills for a moment and silence engulfs them. The music in the background dies, the light shines a little less brightly, but Jongin’s thoughts don’t slow down. He struggles with everything he tried to make himself believe in for the last months not succeeding at all, because Jongin has told himself a lot of lies. That there is no hope, no bond, no affection.

“Would he be sacrificing his all, if he didn’t?”

*

The downfall of sanity starts with a message.

Jongin sits peacefully on a lecture, trying not to fall asleep as the monotonous voice of the professor echoes through the room. His eyelids are heavy and keeping his mind focused happens to not be an easy task. Kim Joonmyeon is meticulously taking notes beside him and answering questions that are being asked. It annoys Jongin that he can’t find it in himself to act attentively. A sudden buzzing in the pocket of his jeans surprises him, but as he takes the device out and reads the message, his mind instantly clears.

soo
u told her.
11:21 am

Cold shiver runs down Jongin’s spine, his muscles tense and breath hitches in his throat. He knew Chaeyoung would tell Kyungsoo sooner or later, but he didn’t expect it to be so soon. Jongin guesses Kyungsoo must be furious.

soo
i get u r frustrated and hurt but have u thought what would happen if she went to my father? it wouldnt be only me, he would get a punishment. u could take the punch too. how could u be so reckless?!
11:22 am

Next text also comes unexpected and Jongin’s hands tremble. Not from fear, though. Just the fact that he is talking with Kyungsoo, makes his heart beat faster. It’s stupid, to still be infatuated with the man, he surely cannot be with. But it became a habit by now – to feel a thousand of fluttering tingles spread through his core.

nini
i just thought she had the right to know
11:25 am

soo
u could ask me first
11:26 am

nini
u r the one who told me not to contact u. make up ur mind.
11:29 am

After the short exchange the messages stop coming. Jongin takes it as a sign of Kyungsoo’s retreatment and doesn’t push more. It pains him to see how easily the older can give up. He is sure, he angered him enough to make him react.

The day goes on – Jongin sits through all his lectures, texts with Sehun (not mentioning Kyungsoo’s ones, yet) and listens to Joonmyeon’s instant rambling. He tries to act like he didn’t hear the phrase “where’s your sugardaddy?” a thousand times. No matter the annoying company, it actually helps him take his mind off Kyungsoo’s persona and finally make it till the end of the day.

Heading towards the bus stop, Jongin passes by Joonmyeon the last time and is about to say his goodbyes, when his classmate says the most horrific of things.

“You hid well, Jongin – ah, but he’s here again.” he says with a smile on his face and waves to Jongin, as he strolls towards the bus stop.

Jongin, on the other hand, stops in his tracks and brings his gaze to the parking lot. It is impossible to miss the black Maserati with its owner standing beside it, when rare cars of the students are much less expensive. Jongin slowly makes his way towards Kyungsoo – taking his time and calming himself.

“Get in the car.” He hears before even opening his mouth to say hello. The bitterness in Kyungsoo’s voice is something Jongin is not very fond of hearing.

“Well, hello to you, too.” Jongin says under his breath, halting before the vehicle.

“I said get in the car,” Kyungsoo hisses and it’s all it takes for Jongin to obediently get inside.

“Where are we going?” the younger askes.

“To my place,” Kyungsoo’s knuckles evidently whiten on the steering wheel and his brows furrow. “We need to talk.”

Talk. Jongin scoffs loudly and it doesn’t go unnoticed by the other. Kyungsoo doesn’t comment on it out loud, though. The ride is silent as even the radio has been turned off. Jongin is suffocating in the mushiness of the atmosphere between them, which successfully drowns him. The feeling that something bad is about to happen settles in his heart.

They make it to Kyungsoo’s apartment in record time, considering that the older drove madly fast with all the rage that boils inside him. As they exit the car, the heaviness around them doesn’t fade away, though, Jongin has previously thought it would. Kyungsoo is the first to make his way to the front door, but with just one look makes Jongin follow him quickly.

The apartment itself hasn’t changed much from the last time Jongin saw it few weeks ago. There are still fluffy cushions on the sofa and grey curtains hanging over the tall windows but unmistakably the whole flat looks much dirtier and untidier than it used to be. The dishes are left in the sink, empty wine bottles lay on the kitchen floor and an ash tray is filled up with what was left of the cigarettes Kyungsoo smoked.

Jongin stays with his back flat on the door, as it closes after him. An uneasy feeling settles in the pit of his stomach. Kyungsoo leans on the kitchen counter and searches for a cigarette and a lighter. He doesn’t face Jongin.

“I thought we were to talk.” Jongin finally says, breaking the silence around them. His gaze doesn’t leave Kyungsoo’s covered with smoke figure, which is slowly calling him to come closer. However this time, Jongin has to stay strong and fight his inner urges.

“I asked you to not act weak like I do,” Kyungsoo answers with a long drag from the cigarette. “To be better than me. But you never listen.”

“Because, maybe, you’re not always right.”

Kyungsoo takes one more drag and leaves the remaining bit in the ashtray, only then turning around to look Jongin in the eyes. The younger sees extreme exhaustion filling them and ripping Kyungsoo’s soul right before him. It’s one of the things, Jongin wishes to never see again.

“Why you gotta be so stubborn?” Kyungsoo stays by the counter, but his tightly clenched fists and furrowed brows show how unnerved he is. “What makes you follow me so desperately, when all I do is hurt you?”

The distance, they keep from each other, begins to be unbearable, because all they want is to take one another into their arms. But the problem is in the fact that what they wish for is not always what they need. The walls may push, floor tremble and windows shake, for they will not give in to the love they share. It all started as an accidental one – night – stand and, as it seems, should have ended there.

“You’re doing it push me away,” Jongin starts slowly, taking a step from the door. “And I want to let you go, but find myself incapable of doing so.” A short bitter laugh rips from his throat and shakes his whole figure. “Because you’re ruining your whole life just to please your father. I see how broken you are and it kills me to not be able to free you from this misery.”

“I treat you like shit.” is Kyungsoo’s short answer. The older takes a deep breath and runs his hand through his hair, making a mess out of the dark strands.

“Only because you have purpose in it.” Jongin comes closer, halting only a meter away from Kyungsoo. “We went through so many things together and you never hurt me. At least not in a conscious way, in which it would break me. That’s why I trust you.”

Now it’s Kyungsoo’s turn to laugh. He acts a little bit off, a little bit not like himself and Jongin finds himself uneasy as the older closes the distance between them. Their noses brush, breaths combine and eyes meet, but Jongin misses the usual familiarity in Kyungsoo’s eyes. Something is wrong.

“Trust me?” Kyungsoo spits out, as if he has just heard a ridiculous joke. “I used you physically, I got advantage of your feeling, couldn’t let you go and hurt you again and again and you tell me that you trust me?”

“Yes,” It’s obvious that Kyungsoo is still playing his game and Jongin isn’t going to let him win. He cups the older’s face with his hands and gently strokes his cheeks. “You always know when to stop. You are rough on the edges and it’s easy to get few cuts, but you are also the warmest person on the inside that I’ve ever met. I fell in love with you, because of the trust you gave me.”

As their lips brush and Kyungsoo’s hands settle on Jongin’s hips, the time slows down and lets them drown in each other. Kyungsoo presses a kiss under Jongin’s ear, to which the younger lets out a breathless sigh. They ache for a safe haven, which is anywhere where they can be together.

However, before they find it, Kyungsoo is about to shatter all they ever built together.

“I am selfish, reckless and listen to no one. Do you still trust me?” His voice gets deeper, as his hands travel from Jongin’s hips to his ass cheeks, which Kyungsoo squeezes hard.

“I just said, I do.”

It’s so foolish of him to trust a broken men.

One second Jongin feels Kyungsoo’s hands roaming around his body, the next he’s being pushed on the nearby wall. There is a soft thud as his head collides with the surface, but the older doesn’t even spear a glance and soon their lips meet in a feverish kiss. It burns their skin and boils their insides, as Kyungsoo’s tongue makes his way through Jongin’s lips.

It all takes Jongin by a surprise. He’s confused and as he tries to match the older’s fast pace, he find himself unable to. He reminds himself to breathe, to stay calm, and it works, until Kyungsoo bites into his lip, drowning blood, and a muffled cry escapes the younger.

“Soo, this will not solve anything.” He says, breathless and dizzy.

“Of course, it won’t, but it will be so much fun.”

Fun is a relative term, though.

Jongin doesn’t even notice, when Kyungsoo pulls him towards the bedroom. It happens just too fast. He still contemplates the latter’s words, thinks about their meaning and tries to understand what Kyungsoo wants to achieve, when he’s being pushes onto the bedsheets. Without any warning or gentleness, he’s being undresses, torn from the last strings of hope, he still had. Kyungsoo exposes him, but doesn’t take time to admire Jongin’s body, to worship it and make the younger feel glorious. Just like he said, he uses him.

The rough and ferocious Kyungsoo is back, however, this time there are no restrictions, nor boundaries that control him. He’s savage, as he latches his teeth onto Jongin’s skin leaving red marks, which will eventually fade from his skin, but not from his heart.

When Kyungsoo started devouring Jongin’s body, the younger thought it was just an act. He was sure, Kyungsoo just wanted to prove he’s right and show Jongin how they couldn’t be together. He was calm, because he truly trusted Kyungsoo. Now, he doesn’t know whether it was a good idea. Kyungsoo bites, squeezes, scratches and it actually hurts much more than it should. Despite of that Jongin doesn’t cry, plead, nor beg for Kyungsoo to stop, as long as the older just ravishes his skin.

He stays strong, until Kyungsoo pushes forcibly his legs apart and tries to enter him with just a little bit of preparation and no lube. Kyungsoo always took him hard and rough, but only to an extent to which the younger took pleasure from it. They were wild, crazy for each other’s bodies and unforgettable experiences, they could gain. Though, the desire was mutual and it’s nowhere near that now.

“Soo,” Jongin gasps and clenches his muscles, as Kyungsoo tries to push his cock inside him once again. “S-Stop.” His plea goes unnoticed and a loud cry escapes his throat, as the older finally settles in. “Please. It’s b-been a while, I can’t t-take it.”

“You are a naïve bitch,” A whisper reaches Jongin’s ears from somewhere, where Kyungsoo’s face is pushed into the crook of the younger’s neck. “but you will endure it.”

Kyungsoo’s pace is too fast, too rough, too painful and Jongin can only let the tears stream down his face as he takes all the older has. The constant please, Soo, please, it hurts does nothing to Kyungsoo. He ignores it all and reaches for his aim.

Which he eventually gains.

In the morning, after few rounds of brutal and unwanted sex, Jongin knows that he lost the fight. Kyungsoo just proved, how devoted he is to keep him away. The younger cannot divide the physical pain from the one that boils in his heart. The bruises are no longer a mark of territory, they simply are a proof of depriving someone from their humanity.

Jongin learns his lesson the hard way.

*

Everything aches.

Going up the stairs, opening the front door, taking off the shoes. Last night’s bruises are much more painful in the morning, especially when accompanied with broken hopes and unfulfilled desires. It is so difficult to establish, what hurts more – body or soul – but at the same time so easy to say that it hurts a lot.

Jongin is shattered into pieces and nothing will piece him up – no rough hands, no amount of money – but the tears are no longer streaming down his face. Within Kyungsoo’s violent act, Jongin found strength he has never known he possessed.

He enters the apartment quietly, having a strong feeling his best friend knows something bad has happened. The lack of sound of Vivi’s steps proves him right. Sehun is sitting by the kitchen counter, slowly sipping coffee – at least that’s what Jongin assumes, he cannot tell anymore. He’s so numb.

The ginger – haired boy stays quiet, his eyes not meeting the figure, which takes a seat next to him. Sehun is angry – probably even furious – and, even though, all Jongin wants to do is to fall into his best friend’s embrace, he knows it’s not the right time.

“I stayed all night, waiting for you,” Sehun says. Vivi scratches his shin, but he doesn’t even spare a glance. “I was worried. You didn’t pick up your phone.”

The guilt spikes Jongin right to the core. He fucked up. This is not what he ever wanted. His head hangs low and shoulders sag, as the pain once again surges in his heart.

Suddenly Vivi barks – once, twice, thrice – and Sehun is standing up from the stool. His footsteps die out in Jongin’s ears and he knows he’s left alone. Without Sehun, without Kyungsoo. The regret consumes him from the inside, making him curl into himself even more.

Instead of being scolded or shouted at, Jongin finds a cup of coffee placed right before him. He is dumbstruck and looks from the cup to his best friend, who’s face adores a small smile. They make eye contact and suddenly the weight is being lifted off Jongin’s chest.

“You were right,” Jongin starts, not looking away from Sehun. “I need to let him go.”

He brings the cup to his lips and takes a sip. The bitter taste plays with his taste buds, but works just right with the numbness in his heart.

Sehun nods.

*

Feelings don’t change.

After three days, the bitterness and sorrow are still there – prominent in the paleness of Jongin’s skin and lack of light in his eyes. Insomnia haunts him at night, accompanied by thousands of memories. Each of them makes Jongin’s heart beat faster and bleed even more. He is still hurt – hips aching and hands trembling – so a promise of relief seems naïve. However, he accepts the reality and doesn’t fight it.

Because no battle will bring Kyungsoo back.

This is where we end, Jongin tells himself, as he fixes a bag on his shoulder. We both lost.

When he met Kyungsoo, his life instantly filled with a lot of “firsts”. First time sleeping with a customer, first oversea trip, first true love. Together, they did every trivial thing Kyungsoo missed as a child of a wealthy CEO – from eating cheap bibimbap in a booth on a street in the middle of the night, to sleeping on a beach in Busan under just a thin blanket.

However, today will be filled with “lasts”.

With the spare key, he possesses, Jongin opens the door to Kyungsoo’s apartment, not caring whether he startles the older or bumps into someone from his family. Jongin truly doesn’t give a fuck anymore. He came to retrieve his belongings – t-shirts, hair conditioner, broken heart – which he unintentionally left there. It’s time to finally take, what belongs to him, back.

Secretly, Jongin wishes for Kyungsoo to be alone. It is not in his intentions to make a scene and he knows one will erupt, if they won’t be on their own. Although, as he toes his shoes off and enters the living room, he’s met with a disturbing sight. Kyungsoo and Chaeyoung are sitting casually on a couch – not close enough for it to be intimate, but at the same time too close for Jongin’s liking. Their eyes are fixed on the unexpected guest – Chaeyoung’s confused and Kyungsoo’s unbelieving. He probably thought that Jongin could never step a foot inside the apartment, after what happened there the last time.

“Jongin?” he asks, as if he couldn’t comprehend that the younger was there.

Inhale. Exhale.

“I just came to get my things,” His hold on the bag tightens, but Jongin tries to keep his emotions on leash. “Don’t mind me.”

The look Kyungsoo gives him is one of guilt and regret. There is no denying the pain he too must be going through, but Jongin tried to free him, to help, to get him out of the misery. And Kyungsoo decided on following the path, his father chose for him.

As Jongin enters the bedroom, Kyungsoo stands up from the couch and follows closely after him.

“What are you doing here?” Kyungsoo asks with a rather gentle voice. The familiar smoothness of it makes Jongin shiver internally.

“I’m packing my clothes, cosmetics, anything that belongs to me,” he answers, opening the first drawer. “You’re getting married, you shouldn’t keep them.”

Kyungsoo frowns at him and all Jongin wants to do, is to press his lips to the older’s forehead and sooth the pain he’s going through. Instead, he starts dividing his sweaters from the ones, which Kyungsoo owns, and packing them into the bag.

“Jongin, I– “ Kyungsoo tries but quickly shuts his mouth. In distress, he bits into his lower lip with such force, Jongin waits for it to break and start bleeding. He tries to not ogle, though. “I don’t know, what to say anymore.”

Kyungsoo’s confession is not unexpected, however, it still makes Jongin halt his actions for a second. Another deep breath is needed for him to calm his nerves.

“You don’t have to say anything, actually,” he murmurs, because there is no certainty his voice wouldn’t suddenly break. “Don’t make me leave, don’t ask me to stay. Don’t say you love me, don’t make excuses for your marriage. I might not be able to take more. You know, I too am breakable.”

Two years priori none of them ever thought, they would find themselves in such a situation. Where they don’t know anymore, how to communicate, where they broke their love, where they are both hurting. It kills to long for an embrace, they will never again fall into.

“So you’re leaving.” It’s more of a statement than a question. Kyungsoo sights heavily and props his head on the wall.

Jongin pushes the pain, which surges in his heart every time Kyungsoo speaks up, away and tries to stay calm. At which he miserably fails. His hands start trembling, breath shortens and he worries his bottom lip between his teeth to prevent himself from crying. This is not the time to break down.

“I’m just doing, what I should have done months ago.”

He pushes past Kyungsoo with bag already filled with clothes. He forgot, how many things he stored in the older’s apartment. While making his way to the bathroom, he spots Chaeyoung on the couch and his heart unpleasantly aches. He used to sit on that side of the couch.

“Don’t worry,” he says, coming closer to her. “I won’t bother you anymore.”

Her hair falls lightly onto her face, as her features smooth out. She’s so beautiful, Jongin can’t find it in himself to not be able to picture her beside Kyungsoo. It just hurts. A lot.

“I’m much more worried about you.” she confesses.

Chaeyoung never was and never will be a bad person. She just happened to be in a wrong place, in a wrong time. This is not her fault. And even though, Jongin is hurting, he cannot blame her for that. It would be so unfair.

As he spots Kyungsoo looking at him, he feels his walls slowly falling apart. The rest of his belongings are not important. It’s time to leave. Without any other word, he makes his way towards the exit, but as he puts his shoes back on, Kyungsoo stands before the door, blocking the way out.

In the doe eyes Jongin sees everything – from the indescribable love to extreme pain – but he cannot fall for that. No matter how much he longs for Kyungsoo.

“You hurt me to keep me safe and I appreciate that, even though, it may sound crazy. Because the pain will go away, it’s just temporary, and our feeling are forever.” His voice starts to crack and he needs a breath to calm. “But I’m tired. After what happened the last time, I know we will stay in this misery till the end of our days.”

Jongin takes a step closer to Kyungsoo, so that their chests almost touch. However, it is not in his intentions to get intimate with the older right now. He reaches for the handle and twists it, opening the door.

“I think I’ve never truly understood your feelings until now. You’re in much more pain than I am,” Jongin continues, pushing past Kyungsoo, who suddenly grabs his wrist. “This is why you cannot just leave. You love me too much.”

It is a simple truth, which breaks both their hearts once again.

“That’s why I’m– “

“Nini– “

“ –letting you go.”

Kyungsoo opens his mouth, but no words leave his throat. The hold, he had on Jongin’s wrist, loosens and soon his hand leaves the younger’s skin. Only their eyes keep contact. Jongin takes a step back, blinks and looks behind Kyungsoo’s head. Nothing bonds them together anymore.

His gaze catches a frowning Chaeyoung, sitting in the leaving room and silently watching the both of them. There once again is guilt in his heart. He mouths a sorry to her.

Jongin is about to turn around and make his way out of the apartment, out of Kyungsoo’s life, when he hears the older’s deep voice. He curses under his breath, knowing he cannot resist it.

“How can I carry on without you?”

It is a mere whisper, but Jongin hears it perfectly. All that happens later is just a spur of the moment. He takes the few steps, distancing them from each other, and without much thinking presses his lips to Kyungsoo’s. The latter’s hands instantly find Jongin’s hips, a place where they belong, and bring him closer. The kiss is passionate, filled with too much hurt and surely too quick. Because the next second Jongin pushes himself off of Kyungsoo and runs down the stairs, leaving the older behind.

Only when the wind blows onto his face and messes his hair, does Jongin realize, he’s crying.

III

Dirty laundry is piling in the corner of the bedroom, sheets on the bed are not made, books cover the floor in various patterns. The room is a mess, but contrary to that, its owner surprisingly is not. He just lets himself have one, last day to drown in sorrow.

It has been over a month since Jongin last saw Kyungsoo. Throughout these weeks, he didn’t cry, nor did he shut himself in his bedroom to mourn. He felt fine. It was nowhere near great, however, at the same time it was far from being awful. Jongin focused on his studies, going on every lecture and writing all his assignments. He still worked at Minseok’s, but didn’t do as much overtime, as he used to.

Since their last encounter, Kyungsoo hasn’t tried calling, texting or even paying a visit. It was as if he miraculously disappeared from Jongin’s life. However, it didn’t exactly please the younger. Jongin still hoped Kyungsoo would change his mind. The only proof of their broken relationship was that Jongin never found his bank account empty. Some amount of money was constantly being send to him. As much as Jongin wanted to give the money back, found himself unable to. He needed the money, as pathetic as it sounds, and couldn’t imagine a different way to pay off the loan. It was his last connection to the older.

After a month of “being fine”, he lets loose all the ropes and sits in his bedroom, butthurt with the whole world. There is a blanket covering his body, as he lays on the mattress unmoving. His eyes are set on the celling, but his gaze stays empty. Just this afternoon, he will cry, mourn, yell and scream. And tomorrow he will be better.

Kyungsoo is getting married today. In 17 minutes, to be exact. The mere thought makes Jongin unnerved and wakes up a tangling feeling in his stomach. He wants to leave the house, as fast as he can, and reach the altar before Kyungsoo does. The need to stop him, to tell him of how much he means to Jongin, how much he loves him, bothers him and rids of common sense.

It hurts so much to know that soon Kyungsoo will be forever out of reach.

Jongin switched off his phone and made sure Sehun won’t turn on the TV in the living room. All this to prevent himself from hearing about the ceremony. There is no way he will imperturbably look at the scene. His heart is already torn apart, no need to make it even worse.

He asked Sehun to not interrupt him, to let him be. He needs to suffer, to die, in order to reborn stronger. At first, Sehun opposed to the idea, stating that Jongin needs comfort and company. And he was right. However, Jongin wants to truly let go of all the strings attached and that’s why he needs solitude.

When a soft knock echoes in the room, Jongin is sure he is mistaken. Maybe Vivi knocked something off in the living room. Then the sound repeats and Jongin knows something is wrong. Just before the door opens with a characteristic click, the boy covers his whole body, including head, with the blanket and curls into himself. He thought, he stated that he had no intentions of seeing anyone. Clearly, his plea will not be respected.

“Get out, Sehun,” he says, voice muffled by a pillow. “I said I want to be alone.”

The door shuts and Jongin hears cautious steps that near his bed. He shivers, because there is no way, he’s going to casually talk to his friend at the moment. He’s so not in the mood. And in the morning, it seemed like Sehun truly understood his feelings.

Jongin feels the mattress dip. Anger and frustration surge inside him, but until he stays covered, he hopes, he’s not going to break.

“Please, Sehun, jus for today.” he tries again.

A hand lands on his shoulder and before Jongin has time to consider its warmth, the blanket is being ripped from him. Now, all he wants to do is to throw a tantrum and curse the whole world. This is so unfair. He just asked for few fucking hours of peace.

He keeps his eyes shut, preventing Sehun from seeing the anger and hurt inside them. The warm hand makes an appearance once again, this time slowly caressing Jongin’s cheek. The feeling is familiar – calming and soothing – however, there is something extremely wrong with it as the same time. Sehun has long fingers, while his skin is cold and a little bit rough. Whereas this hand is warm and the fingers are thick just like…

It isn’t Sehun’s hand.

It’s…

Jongin abruptly sits up, widely opening his eyes and looking at the person before him. To say that he is shocked, would be an understatement. Jongin truly doesn’t believe his eyes. Several times he tries to speak up, but to no avail. He’s speechless.

Kyungsoo is sitting in front of him with a gentle smile on his heart – shaped lips and eyes full of regret. He’s dressed in a white tuxedo, perfectly tailored to highlight his broad shoulders. There is a red carnation in the pocket on his chest, however, this flower does not catch Jongin’s attention. The younger has his eyes on the little bouquet in Kyungsoo’s hand.

Daisies.

“What are you doing here?” Jongin voices his very first question. “You’re getting married in like,” He takes a look at the clock. “Eleven minutes!”

He supposes Kyungsoo is going to laugh it off, tell a joke and make up some strange excuse about the wedding. Like “we exchanged our vows over the morning coffee”. He doesn’t, though.

His look is full of guilt and longing – Jongin’s is probably the same. The silence between them stretches and the younger starts doubting Kyungsoo will ever speak up. His eyes are filled with emotions, Jongin can clearly see them, but this is not the truth he needs, he expects.

“What’s going on?” he tries once again.

Kyungsoo fiddles with his fingers on his lap and takes a deep breath. Jongin anticipates his words. “Can I explain myself, before you kill me for being an asshole?”

The statement seems playful, but Kyungsoo’s voice is dead serious. His expression shows his nervousness, which is something totally new to experience. Jongin nods.

“I– “ he starts, but quickly shuts his mouth. He need one more breath in order to keep talking. “At first, I’d like to apologize for that night. I was out of my mind and acted like a dick.”

“I can’t argue with that.” Jongin comments sans any venom.

“I was lost and couldn’t find a way to overcome the marriage, which annoyed me to no end. Plus, my father truly knew, where to press to make me obey.”

In the way, Kyungsoo doesn’t meet Jongin’s eyes and nervously taps his foot, is something the younger hasn’t seen before. Only now Do Kyungsoo look truly human.

“I’ve done so much wrong, hurt you in every possible way and I’ll never forgive myself. Never.” He shakes his head lightly, as if he tried to wash away the memories. “But only after our last talk, did I understand all the mistakes I made. And from that moment I knew, I had to start acting.”

Jongin expects his next words even more nervously. His heart is rapidly beating, hands trembling slightly and breathing uneven. The anticipation crawls under his skin and towards the bloodstream.

“I didn’t hid from Chaeyoung, how I felt. I think, it was quite obvious I hated the idea of us marring each other. But she’s a nice girl, I came to even call her a friend, and she also were to gain profits from the marriage.”

Jongin’s muscles tense as Kyungsoo mentions his fiancée, but tries to hide his inner terror. “So I told her about my doubts, because some pretty boy once told me it takes two to easily solve a problem.”

It’s only now that Kyungsoo looks up to meet Jongin’s awaiting eyes. Everything is familiar to them and at the same time so much different. Jongin wonders, if the Kyungsoo he knew, is still truly there. Because he sees him now and doesn’t want to let him go again.

There should be anguish and terror inside Jongin, fear and hurt, while he only has a strong feeling of security, which strengthens with each of Kyungsoo’s words.

“And so we did. We solved it.”

It takes a moment for Jongin to truly understand the meaning of Kyungsoo’s words. He’s still confused, doesn’t know exactly, what the older has in mind, but from the small smile adoring Kyungsoo’s lips and glistening of his eyes, he knows things will be better now.

“I don’t think I follow. You solved it. Like– how?” It’s strange, odd, to have the hope back. But Kyungsoo is here and it must mean something.

“Chaeyoung convinced my father that we should sign the succession of company the day before the wedding. And so we did yesterday.” He smiles a little wider, but Jongin doesn’t know from where his joy comes. “Then we pretended to leave for the wedding, which we will not attend.”

Jongin still cannot fully understand. The wedding should be held in few minutes. Isn’t Kyungsoo going to show up?

“What happens with the company?” he asks with worry.

“Half is Chaeyoung’s, half is mine. My father doesn’t own it anymore.”

“What are you doing, if you’re not attending the wedding?”

“I came here to tell you the truth.”

It’s a lot of information to take in. It sinks into Jongin’s mind gradually, as Kyungsoo watches for his reaction. And when it finally settles in, Jongin’s breath is nearly knocked out of his lungs.

“So you’re not getting married?!”

His eyes are wide with astonishment and mouth hanging open in disbelieve. This is impossible. Kyungsoo laughs at the face he makes, actually laughs, and nods his head.

“Yes, I’m not getting married,” he says softly. “At least not to Chaeyoung.”

It’s a suggestion, an indication, he means someone else, someone who’s dear and precious to him, someone he loves. However, Kyungsoo doesn’t expect Jongin to fall into his arms and leave the past behind. He broke everything they ever build.

It is a question to both of them, where they stand right now. The feelings might still be there, but Kyungsoo’s acts cannot go forgiven. He doesn’t deserve someone as devoted, as caring, as loving, as Jongin. He doesn’t deserve him.

But Do Kyungsoo has always been known for his selfishness.

And so, he reaches forward and gently strokes Jongin’s cheek. The warmth radiating from the younger’s skin tingles his fingers and makes his heart beat faster. Jongin is beautiful – even with the dark bags under his eyes and ruffled hair. This is the boy, he fell in love with, this is the boy he broke.

“I’m so sorry, sugar.” he says, stroking Jongin’s face with his thumb.

Upon hearing the nickname, the younger blushes, remembering the first time Kyungsoo used it. It was the morning after they’ve met. They laid in Kyungsoo’s bed, covered in sweat and their own releases and when Jongin made an attempt to leave the bed, the apartment, the older, Kyungsoo reached out for him. He tightly held his hand, as their eyes met.

Don’t leave, sugar.

Munching on his bottom lip, Jongin wonders what decision, he should make. After what has happened, it seems impossible to forgive Kyungsoo. The memories of the nights, he spent crying are still very much vivid. His heart was shattered into million little pieces and thrown onto the harsh wind. Forgiving is not an option, at least not now.

However, getting back to Kyungsoo is everything he has ever wanted. He waited, secretly hoped for it and it would be another mistake to let such opportunity go. There is no good or bad choice, because both of them will bring peace and pain to Jongin.

“I won’t forgive you,” Jongin starts, looking at Kyungsoo. The older still keeps his hand on the younger’s cheek. “You made me go through a lot and it hurt like hell. Also that night you– um– I may need to take things slow, but… “

“But?”

Their chocolate eyes don’t look away, gazes full of regret, but also affection and love. They match – pale and tan skin, short and tall, disdain and hurt. Couples are meant to go through crisis, not fall because of them.

So Jongin places a hand over Kyungsoo’s, feeling its warmth and the comfort it gives. Words are useless and meaningless as their breaths mingle, the anticipation somehow new and surprising.

After a long journey, Kyungsoo finds a way back to his haven.

*

Jongin adores mornings. As the first rays of sun blind his eyes and the annoying sounds of the alarm clock strikes. As he fishes his hand outside the covers to turn it off. As a strong arm drapes over his waist and brings him towards the source of warmth. Chest to chest, toe to toe, heart to heart. There is nothing binding his body, restricting him from moving and being free. Just the radiance and heat of a figure next to his.

He hooks his leg over Kyungsoo’s hip, pressing even closer and pushing his head under the older’s chin. He’s secure like that, safe and sound in Kyungsoo’s hold.

Last night, with gentle touches and passionate kisses, Kyungsoo took off the stiches from Jongin’s heart – the ones that held him for the past half a year. It was a delicate operation, washing away the memories with strokes and careful thrusts. But Jongin let him, because he wanted to be healed. It was time he fully let Kyungsoo into his personal space again.

And so he regains faith and trust, the feeling of security and knowledge that he’s shielded from anxiety. It fills him with mirth to realize all his wounds are bruising. Even though, the scars will never fade, he won’t bleed anymore. There are lips pressed to the crown of his head and hands caressing the small of his back. In time, they travel more southward, but Jongin lets it be. 

“Rise and shine, Nini.” Kyungsoo’s voice is hoarse in the morning and even deeper than it normally is. It sends shivers down Jongin’s spine.

“Don’t wanna,” he answers, lips touching Kyungsoo’s chest in the meantime. “Gonna stay in bed all day.”

“Truly?”

With a quick move that surely is too fast for Jongin’s fogged mind, Kyungsoo pushes the sheets away and crawls over the younger – naked figures pressed together. In the passed months, Jongin used to trash around and become nervous each time they tried to get intimate. Now, he lays comfortably, anticipating what is about to come.

Their lips meet, bodies heat up and soon they forget about everything surrounding them, drowning in each other. They don’t even realize, when there is a knock on the door, a bark following it and someone coming in.

“Hey Jongin, can you– fuck, Kyungsoo cover your ass! Oh no, oh fuck, my poor eyes. I’m going out. Bye.” There is a lot of scrambling by the door, few sighs, but before the room is once again closed, Jongin and Kyungsoo clearly hear few muttered words.

“I suppose the celibacy is over.”