Park Jimin has been dreaming of feeling that tug on his wrist ever since he was a little kid.
He heard the adults talking about how they felt when the Red String of Fate pulled them to their soulmates, about how magical and overwhelming that sensation was. Jimin used to ask his parents about the night when they met, when his father was at a bar with his friends and felt an invisible line dragging his arm. He had been twenty-four for seven months and nothing had happened, but, in that moment, he knew his soulmate had also turned twenty-four. Jimin is never going to forget the sparkle in his mother’s eyes when she talks about the moment she saw his father for the first time.
Jimin wants to feel that, deeply.
It’s been two months since he turned twenty-four; two months waiting, to be more precise. He’s not losing hope just yet, though. It’s only been two months, and his soulmate can be years younger. He’s aware that he needs to be patient and mature the whole waiting thing. Mainly because his best friend, Jeon Jungkook, has become strangely more anxious about meeting his own soulmate ever since Jimin’s birthday, but he’s still twenty-two, which means he needs even more patience.
“We should stop talking about this daily,” Jimin suggests while they’re out shopping for their New Year’s small get together. They invited their friend, Jung Hoseok, over at their shared apartment and decided to welcome the New Year together, “We’re days away from a whole new year. We should focus on that.”
“I know, but it feels like everyone around us is finding their soulmates first,” Jungkook argues, sighing and fidgeting on the earring Jimin gave him for Christmas, “Look at Hoseok. He’s the lucky one here. The moment he turned twenty-four, his soulmate was already twenty-six.”
“Yeah, but Seokjin had to wait two years for him,” Jimin argues, shrugging. Kim Seokjin is Hoseok’s soulmate, a funny and adorable guy who quickly became their friend too, “All I’m saying is, we need to believe that we’ll find our soulmates no matter what, right?”
Jungkook nods, running his fingers through his hair, a habit he got from Jimin himself, “Right. Let’s get wine.”
Jimin agrees happily. They walk through the supermarket together, reminding each other of the things they need and planning which bills to split after this, and Jimin decides he’s going to cool out about the soulmate topic. He’s anxious, and he’ll be until the day, but he’ll control himself.
He’s humming to a random song on their way to the line when an explosion coming from the TV on the wall draws his attention. He can tell a few more customers turn their eyes towards the screen too. He hears the cashier telling someone to turn the volume down, but another customer says it isn’t needed. Jimin squints at the scene they’re watching: there are a few men setting fire on a car in front of a huge golden mansion that anyone would recognize.
“It’s the Midas’ house,” Jungkook says, frowning, “Aren’t people tired of provoking the guy? I mean, he’s dangerous. He could kill them.”
“He hasn’t left the house in years,” Jimin argues, shrugging, “I guess they’re just not counting on the fact that he might decide to leave and turn everyone into gold. I mean, what if they’re destroying his car? It’s not like he needs it. He can make money enough to buy hundreds of those in a day.”
Jungkook shrinks at the thought, “It takes guts to provoke someone like him.”
“Yeah,” Jimin mumbles, tilting his head, “I don’t know. I mean, he’s never really hurt anyone, right? He’s been cursed, it’s not even his fault, it’s his great grandfather’s great grandfather’s fault. People should just let him be.”
“Unfortunately, people suck,” Jungkook points out and Jimin sighs vaguely in agreement, “Let’s get going. We still need to buy some groceries at that store I like.”
Jimin chuckles softly, nodding as he takes one last glance at the screen, strangely attracted to the scenario. He follows Jungkook outside right after, ignoring a few comments he hears about the situation behind him.
The story about the man who lives at that mansion has never been precisely accurate, for all Jimin knows. It all surrounds on rumors and assumptions. What he does know about it, though, is that a descendant of King Midas lives there, and that he carries Midas’ curse, where everything he touches turns into gold. Their ancestry have lived in that mansion for as long as people can remember, and it has always been preserved for the fact that Midas himself turned the walls into gold.
There are thousands of stories about how that man got the curse from his parents, if they were also carrying the curse or if it jumped from time to time. The most popular assumption is that the man who lives there is the first among their parentage ever since Midas to live with it. It would be explainable because Midas had his children before getting cursed.
Some people say they’ve gotten close enough to touch the mansion’s walls; others claims to have lost their friends who went inside and never returned. Jimin doubts it. The mansion belongs to someone too important not to be well-protected, and he doesn’t think anyone would get in so easily.
“Do you think I should get a tattoo for the New Year?”
Jimin frowns at Jungkook’s question while they’re entering the grocery store. He puts the plastic bags from the supermarket inside the store’s private session for those and crosses his arms at his friend.
“What do you mean ‘a tattoo for the New Year’?”
“I mean, like, I’ve only done tattoos with absolutely no meaning so far,” Jungkook justifies, and Jimin can’t help but nod in agreement. As the tattoo artist responsible for tattooing Jungkook, he had frowned and asked his friend repeatedly if he was sure of what he wanted the four times he came up with a brilliant tattoo idea. It’s a good thing that Jungkook’s only visible tattoo is the pastel flower that peeks out of his shirt all the way to his nape, “Maybe I should dedicate one of them to something more important.”
“How can you be so sure the New Year will be somehow important?”
“I’m just thinking about it,” Jungkook explains, grabbing one of the carts and pushing it through the first corridor, “Having a tattoo artist as a best friend should have at least one advantage, don’t you think?”
Jimin chuckles, shaking his head, “Having me buying you all of your groceries like you’re still seventeen doesn’t count? I treat you enough.”
“Don’t tell me you’ll start charging for my tattoos,” Jungkook asks, scrunching his nose, “It’ll make me really upset.”
“Perhaps I should wait for my soulmate,” Jungkook blurts out at some point while Jimin is collecting candies on the shelf, and he stops to look at the younger while frowning, “What? Isn’t it a good idea? Matching tattoos with the one person who will never leave you.”
Jimin rolls his eyes, “For all I know, that would mean matching tattoos with me too, or are you doubting my loyalty to this friendship?”
“I would never,” Jungkook assures him, placing his hands over his heart, “I just think it’s cute when soulmates get something meaningful together. Something that they will never forget, y’know?”
“I guess,” Jimin shrinks, sighing as he stares at his empty wrist and purses his lips, “I think it would be cute. Maybe tattoo a red string on your wrist with them.”
Jungkook’s eyes widen and he grabs Jimin’s shoulders, smiling widely, “That’s a great idea, hyung! It would be an amazing tattoo!”
Jimin blinks, surprised, “Really?”
“Definitely. I’ll do it once I find them. I hope they’ll be up to it.”
“They will. Hey, wanna order pizza tonight?”
Jungkook’s nose scrunches, “I thought you were going into a diet or something.”
“Look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want pizza.”
Jungkook raises his arms in surrender, “Pizza it is.”
Jimin smiles, nodding, “I always win.”
They do order pizza, and Jimin can’t help but sigh happily as he leans forward and breathes in the city’s air from the window of his apartment. Working two jobs makes him believe he’s not exactly able to stop and appreciate the little things on a daily basis, so, he uses the breaks he has to make sure the world knows Jimin appreciates it.
“What are you thinking about?” Jungkook asks him, supporting his elbows on the window’s parapet beside Jimin while holding his slice of pizza.
“I wish I could stop and see the world like this a little more,” Jimin admits, and Jungkook nods, biting off a piece of pizza as Jimin proceeds, “I mean, there are people like the descendant of Midas or even people with serious issues who can’t give themselves the opportunity to look around the world. We can, and, yet, sometimes, we ignore it.”
Jungkook nods, swallowing, “I guess you’re kind of right. It’s not our fault that you’re working two jobs and I’m studying and handling a part-time job, though. It’s just the way things are these days.”
“Yeah, I know,” Jimin shrugs, “I was just hoping I wouldn’t be the kind of adult who stops himself from living because of money struggles.”
“We all hope so, but we can’t all win all the time,” Jungkook points out, “Look at the descendant of Midas, like you’ve said yourself. He’s got all the money in the world, but what’s it worth?”
Jimin nods, comprehending, “People have to try different things for different reasons. Here we are, enjoying this beautiful view and struggling with capitalism while all he must want is to go out and take a closer look at the view.”
“That’s deeply poetic,” Jungkook says, scrunching his nose, and Jimin laughs, “Do you want to watch a movie? It’s still kind of early.”
“Actually,” Jimin starts, biting off the last piece of his pizza, “I was thinking.”
“That’s never a good sign.”
“Shut up,” Jimin chuckles, rolling his eyes, “I’m just wondering… Do you think there’s a chance our soulmates aren’t waiting for us the way we’re waiting for them?”
Jungkook stops, frowning at Jimin in confusion, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, like, maybe they don’t want soulmates,” Jimin says, shrugging, “We’ve grown thinking about it, but, it’s like when parents want their child to be a doctor and they decide to become an artist, right? If the parents push them into studying medicine, they’re being forced into something they don’t want, but that’s, according to their parents, their ‘destiny’.”
“And who are the parents in this situation?”
“The universe,” Jimin replies, pursing his lips, “And we’re the medical school.”
Jungkook tilts his head, supporting his shoulder against the wall as he ponders about it. Jimin can tell he’s thinking hard, because his nose is wrinkling and he’s looking away vaguely, which is why Jungkook usually does while considering something. Then, he nods, running his tongue nervously along his bottom lip.
“I mean,” Jungkook drawls, “You could be right. But what if it’s quite the opposite?”
“We could be someone’s medical school,” Jungkook says, shrugging, “But we could also be their art school in an alternate world where their parents want them to be artists. You know? Like, the universe wants them to meet us, and we want them to meet us, and they want to meet us. It could be perfect.”
Jimin hums in agreement, sighing, “I guess you’re right. I hope I’ll be the art school.”
“Me too,” Jungkook affirms, drumming with his fingers over his knee for a few seconds before looking back at Jimin, “So, movie?”
Jimin laughs, rolling his eyes playfully, “Right, movie. I get to choose this time.”
“I won’t watch La La Land again.”
“Your loss. Ryan Gosling looks better every time we watch that.”
Thanks to the holiday’s season, Jimin is free from his work at the supermarket — which, as he must admit, makes him utterly pleased. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate being able to work and everything, because he knows some people would die for the smallest salary, but he just can’t bring himself to like it when his second job is so much more enjoyable.
He loves being a tattoo artist.
It’s mostly about the satisfied and cheerful look on people’s faces when they realize something they wanted to be forever is now permanently part of their skin, and he’s the one to thank. He’s tattooed rough and delicate things over the course of his life, and he’s proud of how far he’s come.
“I think it looks cute,” Jimin gently tells a man after finishing his tattoo — a butterfly on his forearm, which, according to him, earned him multiple mocking comments from his friends when he made the decision, “You shouldn’t worry about mockery. It fits you.”
The man smiles, “Yeah?”
“Sure,” Jimin says, giving him a thumbs up, “If I were you, I’d get some matching ones.”
“Now you’re just trying to make me spend more money.”
He’s still smiling, satisfied, when the man leaves the room with a thankful nod. Jimin walks towards the reception desk, leaning towards the desk and waiting for his colleague, Jiwoo, to give him some attention. She’s been working there for years, and, unlike Jimin himself, has managed to cover up one of her arms and half a leg with stunning tattoos.
“Something else today?”
“Yeah,” She replies, handing him the paper sheet with appointments written all over it, “That guy who came in looking drunk a few days ago is supposed to be here in twenty minutes.”
“Did you leave anyone on hold because of him?”
Jiwoo shrugs, “Didn’t have much of a choice. Maybe he wasn’t drunk after all, maybe we’re just spoiled kids who think they know people.”
Jimin chuckles, nodding, “Right, I forget how poetical things get when we’re bored. I think Jungkookie is going to get a new tattoo next week, do I have time?”
“I mean, it’s your best friend,” She says, wrinkling her nose, “I bet you’d want me to fit him somewhere even if we were the busiest parlor in town.”
Just when Jimin’s about to answer, a tall, good-looking man enters, his arrival announced by the doorbell tingling. Jimin exchanges an immediate look with Jiwoo. That’s the drunk guy who walked in there a few days ago, and, perhaps they were indeed mistaken, because ‘drunk’ might be the style he’s going for if he’s showing up there like that for the second time. Not pleased enough with showing up looking disturbed or something, the man seems to be trying to look buff and tough because of the girl who walks in right next to him.
Jimin impossibly resists the urge to burst out in laughter.
“Hey,” Jimin says, squinting a little, “Jiwoo told me you were supposed to get here in twenty minutes only.”
“Well,” The man shrugs, “You don’t seem busy to me.”
Jimin’s eyebrow quirks up at the attitude and he feels the urge to laugh getting replaced by the urge to throw some punches real fast.
“That’s not nice of you to say,” Jiwoo snaps, drumming her fingers over the desk, “If you don’t want me to get security to remove you, I suggest you act nicely. This isn’t a party.”
Jimin smiles a little. Jiwoo has always been such a genuine and nice person that the first time she stood up for him against one of their clients, he felt like other person had gotten into her. With time, though, Jimin learned that Jiwoo is always friendly to those who deserve it, and extremely unpleasant to those who don’t.
The woman who walked in with the attitude brat pinches his arm, gesturing towards Jimin, “Don’t be like that, Minjun. You came here for our tattoo. Go get it done.”
“Oh,” Jimin blinks, “Matching tattoos?”
“No,” Minjun answers, “I’m getting it as a tribute for her.”
“Why? She seems pretty alive to me.”
Jiwoo chuckles, shaking her head, “Jimin, enough. You should do it already. I can call the one I left on hold if you hurry up.”
When Jimin is already inside the room with Minjun, he feels quite the opposite as he felt a few minutes ago, with the other client. The man before was nice, and kind, and this person just reminds him of the plastic bad boys whose appearance has always made him roll his eyes.
The tattoo is quite unusual, but Jimin isn’t there to judge. It’s a dragon that weirdly reminds Jimin of a couple of animes he used to catch Jungkook watching, and, although he’s not going to dare and tell Minjun that it doesn’t make any sense, he still feels the need to make a smart remark.
“That’s… unconventional for a tattoo for your girlfriend.”
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Minjun says, frowning as Jimin prepares his shoulder, “And it isn’t really for her. I just told her that because she kept on bugging me to give her a gift or something.”
Jimin’s brows furrow, “Why?”
“Because I asked her not to tell my soulmate that she’s my fling,” He completes, “Obviously.”
That, out of the things, is the one that makes Jimin the most annoyed.
He stops what he’s doing and squints at Minjun, “You’re cheating on your soulmate?”
“Some people aren’t made to be trapped to only one person their entire life. So?” Minjun arches his eyebrows, apparently unpleased by Jimin’s response, “Is it any of your business?”
Jimin laughs. Not out of cruelty or irony, but a genuinely nervous laugh, the one that points out that the situation has turned unbelievable to him. When he remembers how much he’s been thinking about his own soulmate, and considers how shitty it must be to find out that the one person whose connection to you cannot be detached is acting behind your back so shamelessly, his next decision becomes much, much easier.
He stands up, ignoring Minjun’s small ‘hey’ and walks out of the room, just to find the woman waiting for Minjun sitting outside, waiting. Jimin walks towards her and takes a deep breath as she raises him a confused look.
“He’s not tattooing anything for you,” He says, “It’s something he wants for himself, and he only did it because he’s ‘tired’ of having you asking for gifts. Honestly, darling, if I were you, I’d walk out of here and call his soulmate. Let her know he’s an asshole.”
He turns towards Jiwoo, who’s staring at him with wide eyes.
“Did you get in touch with the guy on hold?”
She blinks, “Um, yeah. He said he can’t make it today.”
“That’s fantastic. I’ll get going. Everyone, happy new year!”
“Why are we out for drinks again?”
Jung Hoseok laughs, leaning his head backwards. He was the one to call Jimin just a few hours ago and ask him out, telling him that he should bring Jungkook and Seokjin would also be there. Now, they’re in Seokjin’s car and he sends his boyfriend affectionate glances and Jimin and Jungkook share a bag of snacks on the back seat.
“Because it’s almost the New Year,” Hoseok explains, shrugging, “We should be able to tell we’ve enjoyed the year until its last minute.”
Jimin chuckles, “Didn’t we enjoy enough for the rest of the year?”
“I am offended that you believe that was enough.”
“Hoseok watched this article about making the most of your last days during a year with your friends,” Seokjin interrupts, making Hoseok let out a strangled noise and mumble ‘the betrayal’, “Some emotional shit, and, basically, he thinks he needs to go out with us every day and tell us how much he appreciates us.”
Hoseok sighs, “They were talking about the descendant of Midas. It was kind of a test that made us imagine what it’d be like to live like him, and how much our friends mean to us according to how much we’d miss them. I declare I’d miss you guys a lot.”
While Seokjin lets out an appreciative whistle and Jungkook blows Hoseok an exaggerated kiss, Jimin can only frown, “Why are people talking about the descendant of Midas so often lately?”
“Oh? I don’t know,” Hoseok says, seeming to ponder, “Oh, right! Someone who worked for him at the mansion quit last week and now they’re saying he ‘sent them away’ to keep his secrets safe.”
“I mean it.”
Jimin squints, crossing his arms, “He can turn people into gold by touching them and he’d bother to just send someone away like that?”
“Maybe he didn’t think murder was the solution,” Jungkook suggests.
“Nah,” Jimin shakes his head, sighing, “It still sounds like bullshit to me.”
“Hey, do you guys want to go and take a look at his mansion?”
Jimin pauses at Seokjin’s idea. Usually, he’d keep himself away from trouble, and he can tell Hoseok and Jungkook must be thinking the same by the way their forehead wrinkles at the suggestion. It’s not that people are all thinking that the descendant of Midas is the most terrifying creature in the world — except that, sometimes, that’s exactly it. This time, however, something inside Jimin shifts, almost like the instinct that taking a look at the Midas’ house might not be their worst idea yet.
“I mean,” Jimin starts, tilting his head as Jungkook frowns at him, “It couldn’t hurt.”
“He’s not going to walk out of the house after years just to kill some guys who are staring,” Jimin argues, “I mean, people vandalize his house every day. Why would we bother him?”
Jungkook sighs, “I don’t know, hyung. Doesn’t sound so good.”
“Where’s your sense of adventure, Jungkookie?” Seokjin asks, smirking, “Last time I checked, you were the brave guy who endured tattoos as if they were small scratches. Is he gone?”
“No, that’s not fair,” Hoseok argues, brows furrowing as he squints at his boyfriend, “We all know Jungkookie’s pride won’t let him say no now.”
Jungkook sighs, “I’m sorry, hyung.”
“Jungkookie, don’t betray me.”
“Let’s just go.”
Seokjin whistles appreciatively, Hoseok lets out a deep, exaggerated sigh, and Jimin himself smiles as he exchanges a quick look with Jungkook. Somehow, it feels like they’re doing more than just driving to see the outside of the Midas’ house. Jimin decides to dismiss those thoughts unless he wants to back off a second after talking Jungkook into it.
The streets aren’t exactly crowded, and Jimin would even dare to say it’s one of the kinds of nights he enjoys the most. People seem to be in a good mood everywhere and there are smiles overflowing around them.
Tonight, though, things are a bit… hotter when they arrive near the Midas’ house.
“What is that?”
“Are they trying to start a fire?”
Jimin’s eyes widen at the sight of a fancy car catching fire in front of the Midas’ house, with some people yelling at the entrance with lighters on. Under the night sky, it seems even more terrifying.
“Why?” Jimin asks, frowning, “Why are they doing that?”
Hoseok lets out a surprised exclamation of realization, “Shit, isn’t tomorrow his birthday?”
“The descendant of Midas,” Hoseok replies, “Someone spread around the internet that December 30th was his birthday and claimed that a woman who worked with him told people about it. I think they’re trying to send a message for it.”
Jimin blinks, shocked, “They’re threatening him on his birthday?”
“Technically,” Jungkook starts, pursing his lips as he looks at his watch, “For the next three minutes, it isn’t his birthday yet.”
“This is ridiculous,” Seokjin says, shaking his head, “Hobi was right. We shouldn’t have come.”
“No,” Jimin says, feeling a sudden rush of bravery as he opens the car’s door and jumps out under Jungkook’s protests, “We should have come.”
There’s one thing Jimin’s friends know about him; just like with the asshole from earlier, he isn’t one to take bullshit from people and ignore injustices around him. If he feels like someone is being unfairly pointed out, for example, he’ll make sure that the right judgement gets done.
This time, he feels like no one deserves to see their car turning to ashes as a birthday gift.
Jimin is about to ignore them and confront the men before the gates, but, then, something happens. He feels an unknown, invisible thing wrapping itself around his wrist and pulling. With how mad he is, it takes him about twenty seconds to realize what it means.
His eyes widen so visibly that even Jungkook stops in front of him with a confused expression. He can hear the blood rushing through his veins and his breath becomes so uneven he’s scared that it’s going to just stop working. This is the moment he’s been waiting for his entire life, it’s happening.
“What is it, hyung?”
“Jungkookie,” He starts, blinking and feeling the invisible string tugging at his wrist, “What time is it?”
“It’s midnight,” Hoseok is the one who replies, walking towards them and crossing his arms, “Why?”
Jimin feels somewhere between undeniable happiness and extreme despair, because, right now, the Red String of Fate isn’t just pulling him anywhere; it’s pulling him towards the huge, elegant mansion contemplated before them.
“I need to go inside.”
“What?” Seokjin asks, eyes widening as he stops beside him, “Jimin, no. We came here and it was a mistake by itself. You can’t possibly be thinking—“
“They’re inside, hyung,” He states, looking into his friends’ eyes and startling him for a second, “My soulmate is inside that house.”
Jungkook stops, placing a hand on Jimin’s shoulder to make him look at him, “Hyung, this is insane. Are you sure—“
“I can feel it, okay?” Jimin exclaims, raising his wrist and unwillingly moving it forward as he’s pulled closer to the gates, “See? They’re inside, guys. My soulmate is inside that house, I need to go.”
“Jimin, stop,” Hoseok asks, shaking his head and blinking, “If this is true, if your soulmate is inside—“
“What are the odds that anyone else working there would be having their birthday on the same day as the Midas’s descendant?”
Jimin blinks, confused, until it sinks in and his eyes widen with realization. If Hoseok’s suggestion is correct, not only Jimin is about to try and enter the safest house in Korea — or, perhaps, in more than just Korea, because there are countries whose presidents invest less money in safety than the descendant of Midas —,he’s also about to face the fact that the most dangerous man in the world might be his soulmate.
It’s a lot. That’s for sure.
“Hold up,” Jungkook asks, looking at Jimin with his brows furrowed in concern, “If that’s true, even if there’s only a tiny chance that it’s true, you can’t go in.”
Jimin frowns, “I have to.”
“Hyung, no,” Jungkook requests, reaching for Jimin’s arm and pursing his lips as the invisible string tries pulling him along towards the house. They know that, once they’re away enough, the pulling will lessen and Jimin might pretend he’s not even feeling it, but the only way it’ll truly stop is if he enters that house, “It’s too dangerous. We’ve seen what he can do.”
“The world has,” Jungkook says, “Look inside those gates! No one’s stopping what’s happening here, but can’t you see the cameras? There must be guards all over the place. How do you even intend to get inside?”
“Jungkookie’s right, Jimin,” Seokjin says, dragging his bottom lip between his teeth, “That’s way too risky. You’re going to risk your life.”
“Wouldn’t you?” Jimin asks him, clearly taking the elder aback, “If that was Hoseok inside, wouldn’t you risk your life to find him?”
Seokjin stops, exchanging a look with Hoseok, who sighs deeply and stares at Jimin, deeply into his eyes, “We came all the way here for absolutely no reason. At least, if you get inside that house, we’d have one.”
Jimin feels a trembling smile making its way to his lips and he forces himself to ignore Jungkook and Seokjin’s protests. Hoseok is gazing firmly at him, nodding in a way that has always made things understandable, and, right now, through the whirl of thoughts going inside Jimin’s mind, he can only think of a way to get inside the mansion.
“I know you don’t support this,” He starts talking, and Jungkook rubs his face in frustration as a response while Seokjin simply squints, “But I’m going to find them. With or without your help.”
Seokjin crosses his arms, Jungkook drops his hands to his sides and lets out a heavy breath, and Hoseok whistles lowly.
“He got you there, didn’t he?”
“I can’t believe we’re doing this.”
“Shut up, oh my, you’re going to get us caught.”
Jimin rolled his eyes, ignoring Hoseok and Jungkook’s hisses behind him as he looks through the gates’ bars. They’re at the back of the huge mansion, the less protected part, or, at least, that’s what it looks like. There are trees all over the area and he can see a garden inside.
“Alright, let’s do this,” Jimin announces, inhaling, “Here, Jungkook, Seokjin, give me your hands.”
Despite their hesitation, Jungkook and Seokjin cup their hands together as Jimin supports his own hands on their shoulders and places one of his feet over their intertwined fingers. He takes a deep breath, squinting at the extension of the gates, calculating that he’ll be capable of grabbing the top and supporting himself for time enough to jump inside the place.
He hopes it’ll work.
“Three,” Hoseok counts, crossing his arms and apprehensively analyzing them, “Two,” Jimin takes an even deeper breath and nods, “One.”
Jungkook and Seokjin impulse Jimin up at the same time, and he feels his mouth running cold as his hands grasp at the top of the gates. His fingers tighten impossibly and he breathes out, pulling himself up and not relaxing until his thigh is firmly supported on the top. Jungkook, Seokjin and Hoseok watch him closely, and Jimin gives them a thumbs up.
That is, until he looks inside. Then, his stomach drops.
There are about five men pointing guns up at him, and they are all buffy and cold-looking. There’s a silent threat in their eyes: if he doesn’t leave in a second, they’ll shoot.
Jimin is about to jump back outside when the string on his wrist pulls him inside and he falls on his butt.
Inside the garden. Right before the men with the guns.
He’s so beyond screwed.
“Are you okay?”
“Shit, I told you guys we shouldn’t have agreed to this!”
Jimin swallows thickly, ignoring his friends’ voices outside as he slowly raises his arms in surrender and tries his best not to get shot, “I’m not here to fight. I swear.”
They don’t seem convinced at all. Then, Jimin tries standing up, but his wrist pulls him forward again and he falls on his stomach this time.
That, on the other hand, seems to catch their attention.
“It’s you,” One of them says, and Jimin frowns, looking up at him, “Take him inside. It’s the man the boss is waiting for.”
Jimin’s eyes widen, and he can barely recover from the shock before one of the men drops the gun and takes him by the arm. Instead of fighting, he decides to just not show any struggle, shouting to his friends, “I’m okay! I’ll be right back!”
They take him without any gentleness. Apparently, whatever their boss’ orders are, they didn’t include being nice. Jimin thinks of running away, but, then again, if they’re working for someone inside that huge place, that must be the descendant of Midas. That only makes the theory about Jimin’s soulmate being the legend even stronger, and he feels somewhere between excited and terrified for it.
Once they open the door and basically throw him inside, Jimin feels like he’s about to combust. The tugging on his wrist feels stronger than ever, and he can barely pay any mind to the huge, beautiful mansion around him, whose walls are all painted white and gold.
“Hello,” Someone says, showing up in front of him, and Jimin almost thinks it’s his soulmate when he realizes it’s probably the house’s butler. He’s got dark brown hair, swift features and a few extra inches in his height, “You must be the person we’re expecting.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m Namjoon. Who are you?”
The tugging stops.
Jimin freezes, because, moving downstairs, standing before him, there is the most ethereal man he has ever seen.
He had thought the descendant of Midas would be the kind of person to make everyone around him mesmerized by fright and intimidation, but he’s caught Jimin in awe rather than scared. Everything about him screams who he is, though. His hair is a gold-like blonde, his eyes are pure gold and even his clothes are all golden. Jimin observes with his mouth dry that even his tanned skin looks like it’s been gold plated.
That man is his soulmate.
“Hello,” The man says, and Jimin’s knees nearly go weak at the deep tone of his voice, “You must be my soulmate.”
Jimin runs his tongue across his bottom lip and nods, “That’s me. I’m Park Jimin.”
“Kim Taehyung,” he introduces himself, and Jimin can’t help but wonder if he’s the only person besides those responsible for the Midas’ mansion who gets to know that name, “Now, I am sorry, but I think it’d be better for you to leave.”
Jimin frowns, confused. He has to admit, out of all the things he could’ve prepared himself to hear, that wasn’t one of them, “What?”
“As you must’ve heard, I can’t touch anyone,” Taehyung starts, drawling his words slightly as he runs a finger through the handrail long turned into gold, “Or anything. I can’t be a normal soulmate to you. It’d be appropriate if we had that cleared up from now.”
“Do you… Are you suggesting that I pretend we’re not soulmates?” Jimin asks, frowning harder. This isn’t happening. It can’t be happening after so long waiting. “I’ve been waiting for meet my soulmate through my whole life and you’re telling me to pretend you don’t exist just because I can’t touch you?”
Taehyung quirks up an eyebrow, “I don’t think you understand who I am.”
“Descendant of Midas, owner of the golden touch, whatever, honestly,” Jimin blurts out spontaneously, and it seems to make Taehyung’s eyes go a bit wide, “The only thing that matters to me right now is that the Red String of Fate brought me to you, and I’m not leaving that easily.”
They fall into silence for a few seconds, Jimin’s mind quickly catching up with his emotions and making him realize he just had an outburst towards the most dangerous man on Earth. He feels himself going still in sudden tension as Taehyung’s firm gaze refuses to abandon his own, and he thinks years have gone through when someone finally says something.
“Namjoon,” Taehyung speaks, and the butler approaches calmly, “Would you accompany Jimin to the exit, please?”
“You’ll have to remove me,” Jimin says, jaw clenching, and Taehyung frowns at him, tilting his head.
Namjoon clears his throat beside Jimin, “Please, accompany me.”
“Oh?” Taehyung mumbles, taking one step forward, then another one, moving down the stairs graciously, and Jimin resists the urge to move away from him when the man’s face reaches the level of his eyes, “Are you saying you’re not going to leave?”
Jimin inhales as deeply as he can, “Please. Don’t make me leave. I just met you.”
“I’m sorry about that,” Taehyung says, slowly raising one of his arms and making Jimin freeze in place as his hand hovers above his cheek, “But you should be aware, Jimin. One touch and your existence will no longer mean life. I’m asking you nicely again. Leave. Namjoon will make sure no one sees you outside.”
“At least listen to me.”
Taehyung sighs, seemingly frustrated, as he puts his arm down, “Why? Is there a magical word you’re thinking of telling me that’ll change my mind?”
“I just—“ Jimin starts, rubbing his face, “I waited so long. Didn’t you?”
“No,” Taehyung responds simply, brows furrowing, “Why would I? Haven’t you heard about me around? You know, don’t answer that. Of course you have. Everyone has.”
“So?” Jimin asks, shaking his head.
Taehyung squints, “So, why would I expect for a soulmate? Because they’d complete me, make me feel better about myself? How? You can’t even touch me. How can you change anything in my life?”
“You don’t know what changes when you meet your soulmate.”
“I’m not a naïve kid,” Taehyung says, “I don’t know what the rumors are, but, despite not leaving this place ever in my life, I know exactly what it is like to meet a soulmate. Don’t you think my employees are normal people too? Don’t you think they’ve met someone important before?”
“So?” Jimin asks again, more impatiently this time, “How can you not want that?”
Taehyung clicks his tongue, tilting his head and leaning forward towards Jimin. He rolls his eyes at the way Jimin’s body instinctively pulls back and chuckles humorlessly, “See? You can’t even stand close to me. How can you convince me that we’ll be a happy couple of soulmates when you’re too scared to look into my eyes?”
Jimin realizes that, it doesn’t matter how much he tries, Taehyung must have plenty of employees strong enough to drag him outside, and he’d rather not get physically hurt during his first meeting with his soulmate, at least. Therefore, he lets out a defeated sigh and tries pushing his fright away to look into Taehyung’s eyes.
“I’ll come here again tomorrow. You’ll open that door for me.”
He doesn’t wait for Taehyung’s reaction, too absorbed into his own disappointment as he walks away towards the front door. He hears someone calling his name severely, probably the butler, but he also thinks he hears a faint “drop it” coming from Taehyung himself. He’s not sure nonetheless.
When he closes the door beside himself and hears it being locked from the inside, he lets out a deep, heavy sigh. Gladly, no one’s around to see him, but he walks away as fast as he can towards the back gate either way, wanting nothing more than to bury himself under his blankets and ignore the Red String of Fate on his wrist pulling him to the most dangerous and, apparently, stubborn person on Earth.
He goes back feeling like his victory night just became a huge defeat.