The man was grateful when his cellphone rang in the middle of the night. His shirt was soaking from his sweat. However, he just couldn't shake off the terrifying feeling he had from his nightmare. Wiping the sweat from his face, he picked the phone and answered rather softly.
"Sorry to wake you up so late but it's kind of urgent. A woman has been kidnapped. Can you come to the address I'm sending you?"
He didn't mind as he couldn't sleep anyway. Nodding to himself, he agreed. "Send me the address. I'll be there."
"Thank you, Jaejoong. I'll see you soon. Bye."
Jaejoong hung up without responding and looked down at his phone. The nightmares were getting worse every night. It was pushing him to insanity and the sleeping pills weren't helping. As soon as the text arrived, he pushed himself off the bed and dragged himself to the bathroom. He took a quick shower and put on a clean shirt, before heading out.
The location wasn't that far but it was quite secluded from the town. Jaejoong soon saw the police cars near the designated house and parked there. Kyuhyun was waiting for him.
"Thank you for coming, Jaejoong." Kyuhyun shook hands with him and led him inside the house.
The interior was wrecked and the staffs were already working on gathering evidence. Jaejoong looked around and noticed the broken items and signs of obvious struggle. He also noticed the woman's picture on the tables, some of which were toppled over. The woman couldn't be more than early 20s.
"Park Gyuri, age 24 and working at the Logan corporation as an assistant HR. She was declared missing by her friend, who couldn't get her on the phone for few hours after they both left the office party tonight. She..."
"Tonight?" Jaejoong repeated. "You started an investigation without waiting the required period?" It struck Jaejoong a little odd that Kyuhyun didn't follow the regular procedure.
"The friend insisted. She requested someone to check on her friend. I sent my juniors to investigate and they found this mess." Kyuhyun softly explained. "I filed an official missing case and contacted her parents. They are on their way from Incheon."
Jaejoong understood and waited for Kyuhyun to remove his officers from the scene for Jaejoong to investigate. When they did, Jaejoong took the liberty to check the living room, occasionally touching few things, like Gyuri's picture frames and tables. But every time he touched something, memories appeared in the form of visions.
She was followed for some time now. She guessed it however, didn't think much of it. But when he got the chance, he attacked her in her own home. She was easy to subdue because she was scared of getting hurt. That didn't stop him from hurting her, though. He ensured that she didn't fight back and knocked her out.
She didn't die but she was possibly unconscious. Now that he found her trace, it was time to find his-the attacker's trace. He must have left something for him to trace with. It could be anything-hair, blood drop, pieces of his clothes...anything. It wasn't long till he found something-traces of blood on the broken glasses.
And it wasn't long till he found the location of the attacker.
Finding Park Gyuri wasn't the difficult part, neither was finding the attacker. It was explaining to Kyuhyun where they should go to find her, without revealing how he figured the location. Kyuhyun was an average human-with no knowledge of the existence of their kind, the Non-Naturals. The beings who were gifted with extraordinary abilities.
Fortunately, he noticed CCTV cameras on the telephone poles and asked Kyuhyun to get access to it and told him few locations, including the true one, basing it on his profiling experience. Kyuhyun quickly dispatched few officers to those places and took off to the real location on Jaejoong's insistence. As for Jaejoong, his service ended for the police but not for the night. He hadn't told Kyuhyun that the attacker was not with Gyuri. He was at the nearest port and Jaejoong decided to take him on his own.
The reason? Jaejoong had a glimpse of the attacker's mind and he saw something troubling. He saw that the attacker's involvement with Non-Naturals. It was odd that Non-Naturals would stoop to kidnapping normal humans. He didn't like it when Non-Naturals abused their power.
He drove to the port alone.
Kyuhyun was a little surprised to find that Jaejoong was correct. Even though this yacht port was the farthest from Gyuri's location, the attacker chose to keep her here. He could see the lights from the little warehouse near the port and two men guarding it with ammunition. Fortunately, on Jaejoong's insistence, he brought a dozen men with him but he feared that this could result to a bloodshed. He quietly called for backup.
However, they couldn't remain hidden for long. Their large presence were bound to be noticed. The men didn't care and started shooting openly at them, causing mayhem. Kyuhyun asked his men/women to stay down until backup arrived, but sooner or later they had to start shooting back. Few were inevitably injured but none died so far. Luck was on their side because the backup arrived sooner than expected and went all out at them. The attackers were soon subdued and they barged in.
It wasn't hard to find that despicable piece of shit. He was just smoking cannabis all alone in the middle of the night and the smell was too strong for him to avoid. Without delay, he stood in front of the man startling the man.
"What the fuck you want?" The man snapped, not liking the glare Jaejoong was giving him.
"Who paid you to kidnap the woman?"
The man was taken aback for a while, but quickly overcame it. "Fuck the police!"
Jaejoong anticipated a rash response and just waited while the man tried to attack him. As soon as the attacker took out his gun, he felt the entire ground under him slip into darkness. His body lost all the senses. He couldn't even speak.
Jaejoong waited till the man fell on his face. Once he did, Jaejoong took the gun away from him and touched his head. He closed his eyes and slipped into the memory pool.
Two men. One in grey suit and another is plain jacket. The jacketed one was a normal human being, but he looked slightly ragged. The other, however, looked well-off. He was the Non-Natural. The normal human paid this man to kidnap Gyuri while the Non-Natural stood aside, merely observing them. None of them gave any reason and he didn't care anyway. The man took the money and thanked both.
Now Jaejoong tried to read the Non-Natural's mind, to see what his motives were to harm a normal human being. But as soon as he tried, it was instantly blocked and he was pushed out of the mind.
"What the hell?" Jaejoong could feel his body shaking. He looked at the man and wondered what he was dealing with.
He shook the feeling for the time being and focused on him, but a powerful presence triggered the feeling again. He sharply looked back but found no one. Was he hallucinating? No, it was real. Someone was here and with a very strong aura...almost similar to his. It vanished as soon as it appeared. Jaejoong didn't understand what was going on. But he figured one thing.
This wasn't a normal case.
Kyuhyun expected something dangerous but he surely didn't expect a full on shootout in a location not far from the residence. The police ensured that they surrounded the area to prevent any civilians or the press from coming in. The gunmen were subdued with minimal casualties and all were promptly arrested. Kyuhyun was quickly called inside the warehouse where the found the young woman on the verge of collapsing. She was traumatized and far beyond consolation. Fortunately, she didn't have more than few scratches on her face. Yet, that pained Kyuhyun to see that such a gentle face had to endure this. He didn't wait and rushed to her aid.
He held her protectively and comforted her. "It's okay. You're okay. You'll be fine. We'll take you to the hospital, don't worry."
Although she didn't know him and was in no state to listen to him, she did. She stopped crying and just stared at him with awe as if he was her knight in shining armour. She held onto him and allowed him to lead her out of the warehouse.
As soon as he got her into the ambulance, her received a call from Jaejoong. "Yes?"
"Where are you now?" Jaejoong asked, assuming that Kyuhyun managed to rescue her.
"I'm taking her to the City hospital. Why?"
"I'm on my way over there."
"But..." Kyuhyun was cut off even before he could finish his sentence. But he didn't think much of it as it was usual of Jaejoong--being impatient over the phone.
Jaejoong put his phone back and looked down at the unconscious man. This man needed to be in jail for further inspection but he obviously couldn't tell Kyuhyun how he found him. Even the simplest possible excuse would be too guessable. Kyuhyun was a police officer, he had that much skill to detect bullshit. He had no choice but to command--a skill he hated. He grabbed the man's head and looked him dead in the eye. The man was knocked out but Jaejoong knew that he could hear everything.
"This is what you'll do, you son of a bitch. You will get up, hand yourself to the police, confess your crimes and not mention me at all. If you do, I will make sure you lose your sense in places you don't want."
A ragged hum was all Jaejoong heard. He freed his head and walked away.
When he got the hospital, he found Kyuhyun with few policemen guarding her. She was conscious and was being treated for minor injuries.
"Jaejoong." Kyuhyun acknowledged his presence.
"How is she?" Jaejoong briefly glanced at the woman inside the room. She didn't notice either of them looking at her direction because they were outside the room.
"She looks fine but the doctors want her to have counseling before discharging her. They want her to stay the night. And I've informed her parents, they should be here by tomorrow."
"And the men who kidnapped her?" Jaejoong wanted to know what the men had to say.
"They've been taken in for questioning. My chief will see to it tomorrow. We will start a full on investigation."
Jaejoong didn't comment on that decision. He felt it was best not to share his opinion. Since it concerned Non-naturals, he believed to investigate it alone.
"It's a pity that she had to endure whatever they put her through." Kyuhyun silently added, catching Jaejoong's attention. It was odd of him to speak of victims so...intimately. Jaejoong looked at Gyuri again and this time she noticed them. Jaejoong turned back to Kyuhyun and said.
"I'll see you whenever you need me."
"Hmm." Kyuhyun nodded. "Thank you for your help."
Jaejoong left the hospital and drove home. By the time he reached the door, the sun had already risen and illuminated his dining room. The fatigue was finally setting in, as his eyes were drooping. He went to the window to close the curtains so he'll be able to sleep but stopped and harshly pulled it wide. He glared out of the window, trying to find the person who owned the aura. The strong feeling was back again. This time, he didn't let it go. Instead, he left the apartment again and ran out in the front yard of the building, scouring for the Non-natural who was trying to hide. Tired of hide and seek, he shouted.
No answer, angering Jaejoong even more. He gritted and threatened dangerously. "If you don't, I'll make you and you will regret ever pissing me off! You saw what I can do!"
He knew that the stalker saw him and he wasn't lying about making him. He had the power and he wasn't afraid to use it. But he was losing his patience. "One!" He counted.
"Alright!" And a panicked voice responded. Jaejoong noticed a figure behind the side wall. The stalker finally came out, with his hands raised, revealing himself to be a young boy--not more than 20.
Chapter 4: Four
Jaejoong expected many things from his stalker, but never a young and decent looking boy. It almost threw him off-guard, more so because the boy emanated a familiar aura. He didn't seem threatening. Jaejoong interrogated.
"Who are you? Why are you following me?"
"Can I put my hands down, first? It kinda hurts."
Jaejoong was a little surprised that the boy was asking for such a favour without fear. He scowled at the younger one, obviously thinking him retarded. Yet, he agreed with a nod.
"Phew! Thank you." The boy put his hands down and beamed. "My name is Dongho."
"I didn't ask for pleasantries. Why are you stalking me?" Jaejoong was losing his patience over the boy's optimism.
Dongho sighed over Jaejoong's grumpiness and suggested. "Look, I mean no harm. Maybe it's better if you just trace my memories. It'll save a lot of time."
Again, another surprise for Jaejoong for Dongho's thoughtfulness. Dongho held out his hand for Jaejoong and pressed a nervous smile. "Well?"
Apprehensively, Jaejoong approached Dongho and touched Dongho's palm with his index finger. Instantly, a wave of memories rushed into Jaejoong's brain.
The boy wasn't lying about meaning no harm. In fact, he followed him to seek his help regarding his parentage...his real parentage. His current parents adopted him and are currently in England. Last night was the first time Dongho ever saw Jaejoong near the port, where he was momentarily staying and decided to approach him. He was here to ask for help. His real parents? Dead...murdered and...
Jaejoong couldn't take such a vast amount of information in one session and he quickly moved away from Dongho. He knew that he missed some information which Dongho will have to explain. But Jaejoong understood the real reason for Dongho to come to him. He hadn't meant to stalk him, he just felt that Jaejoong could help him.
"You need my help to find out your real parents' killer?" Jaejoong rubbed his head due to lack of sleep.
Jaejoong felt a little bad for the boy, now that he had known his real reasons. But he has no choice except to turn him away. "Listen kid. I'd like to help but finding murderers is not what I do. I specialise in missing persons case. Although I'm sure, with your ability, you can track the killers down and bring justice to your parents. But, I'd suggest you return to your current family. They must be worried about you."
"No buts." Jaejoong cut him off. "Please, go back. I can't help you."
Jaejoong turned to leave, but that was when Dongho exclaimed. "Your wife was murdered by the same people!"
Dongho didn't know what to expect, but he certainly didn't hope for Jaejoong to grab his collar. Dongho almost regretted his actions because it provoked Jaejoong beyond imagination. There was fire in Jaejoong's eyes.
"How do you know about this?!" Jaejoong gritted dangerously.
Dongho gulped his fear down and revealed. "I...looked you up over the online news..."
Dejected, Jaejoong released him and stepped back. Jaejoong was aware that his story was published in the media as one of those simple murder cases which was closed after months. However, he didn't expect Dongho to find it so easily. After all, it was published 2 years ago.
"I'm sorry for bringing this up..." Dongho genuinely apologised. "But your wife wasn't the only person targeted by these people. They murdered my real parents too and they almost killed my adoptive family before they left the country, taking me with them. But they aren't the only ones. They've been targeting Non-Naturals and anyone associated with them. You have to believe me."
Jaejoong, now more exhausted than ever, looked at Dongho. "What do you want?"
"Please, Mr. Jaejoong. All I am asking, is for you to take me under your wing and investigate this together so we can bring these criminals down."
Fatigued, Jaejoong had no choice but to invite the boy to his apartment.
Chapter 5: Five
Jaejoong allowed Dongho into his apartment and as soon as Dongho saw a comfortable couch, he jumped on it and snuggled with the cushion.
"Man, I can't recall the last time I was so comfortable. The bed in the yacht was hard as rocks."
Jaejoong didn't know how to respond. The man was already tired from lack of sleep and he was already hungry. But he wasn't the only one. Dongho's stomach grumbled too and the boy nervously smiled.
"When was the last time you ate?" Jaejoong asked.
"Uh...I don't really remember. I was trying to save money for the rent, so I had no choice but to skip meals and..."
"What?" Jaejoong was a little surprised that the boy had no money on him. What kind of parents would allow that? Then he realised the truth and shot a glare at Dongho.
"Your parents don't know that you're here, do they?"
Dongho gulped and clutched the cushion to his chest. Another nervous grin and a brief nod answered his question. Jaejoong resisted smacking his face and the boy's. It was just one work after another. What if the parents start looking for Dongho and get him in the process? Jaejoong rolled his eyes and sighed. Dongho quickly assured him.
"Don't worry Mr. Jaejoong. My parents think I'm in China for a trip and I made sure that they don't find otherwise. They won't even find you. And I promise not to be a burden on you...other than for a place to stay, food and clothes..."
"Clothes?" Jaejoong asked again. "You don't have your clothes with you?"
Jaejoong tried really hard to calm himself. If he wasn't exhausted, he would have beat the shit out of this kid. For the moment, he turned to the cupboard and took out an instant noodle cup and threw it at Dongho. Being a quick-re flexed boy, he caught it before it hit his face.
"Eat it and get some rest. I'll retire to my bedroom now. I have classes to attend in the afternoon. And try not to touch anything while I'm gone. I'll deal with you after I return."
"Yes boss." Dongho beamed as Jaejoong went to his room and shut the door. Dongho eagerly turned the e-kettle on for hot water. He observed the apartment and smiled to himself.
"This is going to be fun."
Jaejoong threw himself on the bed, feeling sleepier than last night. He set the alarm at 3 pm and brought the pillow to his chest. He looked at the picture on the side table and sighed. At these times, when things changed, he missed her the most. She was the one who helped him adjust to the changes.
He heard Dongho turning the kettle on in the kitchen and wondered whether the boy felt the same about his current situation. He was here without his parent's permission and alone without any help. That's supposed to make anyone anxious, but this boy was taking it too lightly. He simply didn't understand people like Dongho.
But if this boy can help him find the culprit who caused his wife's and son's death and in turn he could help him find Dongho's real family's death, it would resolve his inner anguish. He would finally be able to move on.
For now, he drifted off to sleep.
Chapter 6: Six
Kyuhyun tried not to show his fatigue to his subordinates and juniors who were also awake with him all night, protecting the victim. Her parents arrived not too long ago and were with her in the room, asking the doctor all sorts of question. Not too later, the father approached Kyuhyun, making the man slightly nervous. Kyuhyun silently asked his juniors to get some coffee for themselves so he could talk to the father alone.
The father looked distraught and scared. He took Kyuhyun's shoulders, taking him by surprise, and pulled him to a hug.
"Thank you so much for acting quickly. I don't know what would have happened to her if you hadn't."
Kyuhyun felt his heart skip a beat. He weakly patted the older one on the back and pulled away with a smile.
"I had sufficient help from other people. If your daughter's friend hadn't persisted on checking on your daughter, we never would have known. If we didn't have our profiler, we couldn't have located her and we couldn't have rescued her without my subordinates' help who risked their lives in the shootout."
The father smiled and nodded understandingly. "I don't disagree but still, you worked hard for Gyuri. I will be in your debt."
"Please don't be." Kyuhyun smiled back and then remembered. "But can you guess why someone wanted to harm her?"
The father shook his head. "Gyuri never mentioned anything like that since she started working here. I don't know why anyone would do that to her. She has no enemies. I'm lost as you are."
Both men turned to Gyuri's room, noticing the frustrated expression on her face. She was arguing with her mother about something. Her father turned to Kyuhyun and sighed. "She refuses to move back in with us--says, she wants to continue working. I don't know how to persuade her otherwise."
Kyuhyun looked at Gyuri again and understood why she was adamant staying back. She looked like she'd been sheltered all her life and now that she had a chance to be independent, she didn't want to give that up. She refused to be in a golden cage all her life. That fierceness kind of touched Kyuhyun's heart.
"I understand how she feels. Give her some time to think about it." Kyuhyun turned to the father. "I will take her report after the discharge."
The father nodded and Kyuhyun had to excuse himself to return to the police station. He left his subordinates to guard Gyuri.
The police station was already surrounded by few press members, when he arrived, eager to write on the last night shootout. His car got past the press swiftly and he entered the building without commenting. Inside, a junior approached him with a salute and a report. The junior looked very confused.
"Sir, there is a man who wants to surrender himself for kidnapping and detaining a girl. He is refusing to say anything or ask for a lawyer, so I put him in the interrogation room. You might want to take a look."
That was odd. No man would voluntarily surrender himself to the police, maybe the court but never the police. Plus, kidnapping and detaining a girl? It was quite odd. He followed the junior to the interrogation room and found the man sitting alone. He looked very disheveled, as if someone scared the life out of him.
Trying not to let the fatigue get to him, he entered the room.
Jaejoong gasped awake feeling his cellphone vibrating under his pillow. He groggily took the phone out and saw the time. It was 1 at noon and it was the best sleep he had since...
He left the bed abruptly and went to freshen himself. Afterwards, he came out to the dining room and saw Dongho sleeping on the couch with his mouth slightly open. The boy didn't even bother sleeping in the guest room. However, instead of it being annoying, it amused him. He smiled to himself without realising. He quietly returned to his room and brought out a blanket. Without waking Dongho, he put the blanket on him, hoping that the boy would have a decent sleep. He also realised that he needs to buy clothes for him.
Looking at the clock again, he quickly took out a ramen cup and turned the kettle on. It was the boiling kettle that woke Dongho.
"You have a lot of ramen cups in your cupboard." Said Dongho, rubbing his eyes. He noticed the blanket on him and smiled lightly, thinking kindly of Jaejoong. Jaejoong, however, looked flustered because it was true that he had a lot of ramen cups in his kitchen. Not because he liked them, but because proper meals didn't excite him anymore.
Not responding to the younger one, he poured the water in the cup and waited. He looked at Dongho and muttered. "I'll be going to work and I don't want my things touched while I'm gone. Understand?"
Dongho nodded. "What if someone comes?"
"No one will." Jaejoong answered sharply. "There's TV, internet and food..."
"Ramen." Dongho corrected with a smirk.
"Food." Jaejoong emphasized with a sharp look. "Just don't do anything ominous."
Dongho nodded with a smile. "Thank you Mr. Jaejoong."
Jaejoong sighed again and clarified. "You still have a lot to answer when I return. You better prepare for those."
He only took a spoonful of the noodles and left the rest of it, which Dongho noticed. The older one, then, took his keys, bag and coat, leaving the younger one locked inside the apartment. Dongho didn't mind that Jaejoong distrusted him with his apartment because it was only natural that he would. But what bothered him was that he wasn't taking care of himself. If it continued, he would fall sick soon and Dongho didn't want that.
He left the couch and opened the fridge. However, he found nothing but some drinks, ketchup and eggs. He looked around in the kitchen and found only unused flower and rice. Other than ramen cups, Jaejoong had coffee, sugar and tea. He didn't even bother keeping milk!
"This is going to be more difficult than I thought."
For now, Dongho decided to take a bath. He would think about recipes later.
The moment Jaejoong entered the classroom, the chatter died down. All the students took out their laptops and notebooks while Jaejoong wrote something on the whiteboard. This is what he did full-time--working as a lecturer of Criminology and Criminal Justice--while working as a profiler part time or on call. It was all he lived for, even after her passing. Not only was this job his bread and butter but also his sanity. He enjoyed this work more than profiling.
After a three hours session, he finally dismissed the class and returned home.
Jaejoong was expecting TV noises from his apartment, not the smell of food. That boy touched his kitchen without permission! Jaejoong abruptly opened the door, startling the younger one who was setting food on the table.
"Welcome home." Dongho smiled.
Jaejoong shut the door and threw his stuff on the couch, snapping at the boy. "Who the hell asked you to touch my kitchen?"
"I thought of making you some meal..." Dongho calmly answered.
"I specifically asked you not to touch my things when I'm gone." He was getting redder.
"But you will get sick if you don't have a proper meal." Dongho tried to explain but Jaejoong wasn't having any of it. He continued berating Dongho.
"Are you my mother now? Whose house is this? Who, the hell, are you do make decisions for me? Who, the hell, asked you? Didn't you understand anything I said before I left? Or you dumb enough not to get a hint?"
Before Jaejoong could explode, he noticed the calm expression on Dongho's face, which took him off guard. He was expecting many things--Dongho being upset, sad or even angry, but not calm and understanding. It was as if Dongho knew that Jaejoong would get angry but made him dinner anyway. Dongho inhaled and calmly said.
"I'm sorry for touching your things. I only meant to cook in good faith, for letting me stay here without any charge. I thought it was the least I could do for you."
Jaejoong, literally, felt his heart skip a beat. He didn't know why it reminded him of her, who had the same approach towards him--trying to break the shield with smaller actions. He looked away and went to his room. He shut the door and took a deep breath.
"It's okay...this is okay."
He looked at the picture on the table, to calm himself and it did. He sighed this time and opened the door, finding Dongho waiting for him at the table. Jaejoong was ready to apologize but Dongho looked at him and said.
"I made egg rice and egg rolls."
He didn't know why that stopped him from saying sorry. Probably because Dongho ruined the mood. Jaejoong dragged himself to the table and joined him.
Jaejoong had to admit internally that Dongho was a good cook. Each bite reminded him of his own cooking, back when he used to cook. It's been a long time since he cooked something. Dongho didn't hesitate with second servings and Jaejoong decided that this was the best time to ask him for further clarifications.
"So Dongho." He caught the younger one's attention. "Care to fill me on the details?"
"Hmm?" Dongho chewed and asked. "What kind of details do you want to know?"
Honestly, his question with his mouth full annoyed Jaejoong. "Finish your food first and then tell me everything." It was obvious that Jaejoong couldn't get critical information from his head.
Dongho took a sip of the water and started. "Well, I can tell you what my parents told me. It was after I turned 13 when I started realizing my powers. My parents, instead of isolating me, taught me control it and while they did, I started noticing that we weren't alike at all. Like, I didn't inherit my mother's tanned complexion and other things. When I finally dropped the question, they answered without hesitation."
Normally Jaejoong wouldn't care about the details, but for some reason, he was quite interested in his story. He listened patiently.
"They told me that they adopted me. My real parents were their friends and both of them were in some powerful position, they couldn't tell me exactly. But my adoptive parents knew that my real parents weren't like normal people. They had powers like me and they trusted my adoptive parents enough to tell them. My real mother was pregnant with me when things went wrong."
A sudden memory flashed in Jaejoong's mind, a bad one. He silently asked. "What happened?"
"It was the day when my adoptive parents got the results of their infertility in the hospital. They were trying to conceive but were unsuccessful, so they went to the hospital for regular checkup and my real parents knew about it. When they exited the hospital with the report, they saw my real mother. She was crying and looked horrible. She looked like she ran all the way despite being heavily pregnant. My parents took her in the hospital and she soon went into labor. Both of them were into the room. My adoptive tried calling my real father but couldn't get to him. It was when my real mother revealed that 'they' killed him and were after her. My adoptive parents were confused but remained by her side till the end."
A story all too familiar. He knew the ending already.
"Of course, she didn't survive giving birth to me but she managed to tell them to leave with me because they will come after them. They didn't believe it at first but when they were trying to register my adoption, they found suspicious looking people trying to find me. Further reports revealed how my real father died. My adoptive parents were horrified and seeking no option, they quickly escaped to England. They both managed to find jobs and stay there. It took them three months for the whole process, but those were dangerous times. They could feel the dangers around them."
Jaejoong felt like a jerk for being so rude to the boy. He didn't realise that he had such tragedy behind that happy face.
"Of course, they knew that I would soon question my real parentage and seek them out so they weren't expecting me to stay. They only expected me to stay safe and alive, help them keep their promises to their friends."
"But you're here." Jaejoong mentioned the truth, to which Dongho smiled bitterly.
"Indeed, I lied to them. I told them that I wouldn't betray them like that. But I just couldn't sit back and let this slide. Not only they murdered my real parents, they put my adoptive ones' in danger. When I turned 18, I decided to seek out others like me in England and I found that they did not have problems like mine. No one was after them. Nothing was chasing them. That was when I decided that it was just me they were after, but..."
"I started researching more about my real parents. Turns out, a lot of Non-Naturals around their time were facing a similar situation--a persecution of some sort. That's when I decided to come here and investigate this on my own."
Jaejoong exhaled. "It was a reckless decision. How will you take on them alone?"
"I am not alone." Dongho smiled at him.
Feeling uncomfortable with his confidence, he left the table to get a beer. He knew that Dongho missed some parts, but he was too tired to investigate. For now, he decided to focus on the more important matters. He offered Dongho none, not preferring the young one drinking alcohol. But he mentioned.
"I have some old clothes that might fit you. As soon as your parents send you money, get some new ones. Leave the dishes in the sink, I'll put them in the washer later."
"Ah yes. Thank you." Dongho stood up. "I can put the dishes."
Jaejoong opened his mouth to retort, but then realised that it was best not to. Nodding silently, he went to his room to take a shower and an evening nap. Kyuhyun might call him for duty any time soon.
Jaejoong woke up, annoyed by the knock on the door. He looked at his phone to see whether anyone called. It was 8pm and Kyuhyun hasn't called yet. Another knock on the door and Jaejoong pushed himself off the bed. He opened the door and almost snapped at the boy when he noticed Kyuhyun behind him. Dongho nervously smiled at Jaejoong and left them alone.
"Kyuhyun? What are you doing here?" He looked closer and noticed the fatigue on his face. "Haven't you slept at all?"
"No time. We got a lead on Gyuri's case. The attacker showed up at the station and is surrendered himself."
Jaejoong knew about that already but he didn't understand why Kyuhyun would drop by just for that. He could have just called, like he usually did. Squinting his eyes, Jaejoong asked. "And?"
"He had a stroke during the interrogation and...we lost him."
That struck him. The guy didn't look ill to him when Jaejoong met him. This was indeed odd. He asked. "Did you manage to get anything before the stroke?"
"Just a name, Donghae." He answered. "We need you at the station."
Again, it was odd that Kyuhyun would need a private detective for this. He asked. "Why?"
"The chief believes that you can give some insight."
His eyes inflamed upon hearing that for reasons Kyuhyun couldn't fathom, however, he guessed that there was bad blood between the two. Kyuhyun rubbed his eyes, feeling the sleep grasping him. Jaejoong felt slightly bad for the man and let out a sigh. "Fine. I'm driving."
Kyuhyun raised his hands, agreeing with him. The man needed to sleep anyway. Jaejoong merely took his jacket and wallet, when Kyuhyun asked. "Who's the kid?"
Jaejoong knew this day would come sooner or later, so he already had a story in mind. "My apprentice."
"I never knew you would take one."
"Well, someone has to do the papers." Jaejoong lied.
"Is he going to stay with you?"
"Yeah." Jaejoong locked the door and they both went to the car. Kyuhyun fell asleep as soon as he got into the car and Jaejoong started driving.
Kyuhyun was so sleep deprived that even the power nap didn't work. Jaejoong and Kyuhyun walked into the interrogation room where the body lay covered with doctors around. The doctors moved away and Kyuhyun removed the cover off the body's face. It was ghastly.
"The doctors will take the body for autopsy but the chief wants you to look at it first." Kyuhyun put weakly.
What could he look at? He was already dead and Jaejoong's abilities didn't allow him to look through the dead. But he understood what that "good-for-nothing" chief meant. He merely touched the jacket he was wearing and was pulled into another memory.
Two men...same men that he saw before. This time, he got to know the name of the ordinary man who was standing beside the Non-Natural one. Lee Donghae.
Jaejoong quickly came back to reality and murmured. "Donghae..."
"Yeah, what about him?" Kyuhyun asked.
"Have you managed to find anything on him?" Jaejoong asked but Kyuhyun shook his head. Jaejoong added. "Tell your chief to get this body out of here. If you can, show this man's picture to Park Gyuri. Perhaps, she can tell something."
Being smart he was, Kyuhyun added. "Already on it. In fact, the chief was asking if you could go to her."
Jaejoong frowned. "Why?"
"You know why, Jaejoong. I have no say in these matters." Kyuhyun tiredly added, which made Jaejoong feel guiltier. But he put a condition.
"You go home. Get some sleep. I'll take one of your officers."
Surprisingly, Kyuhyun didn't argue. He merely patted Jaejoong on the back and said goodbye. One of the men rushed to inform the chief for further orders and another joined him with an envelope full of photographs.
Jaejoong didn't wait to hear the Chief's orders and followed the officer out.
Gyuri already had few visitors other than her parents. A man in his forties with flowers and a young woman. Jaejoong could overhear some things from which he could guess that they were talking about resuming work. The old man left first and the young woman continued talking to Gyuri's parents and her. While they waited, Jaejoong noticed a familiar figure around the corner. Realising who it was, he turned to the officer and suggested that he get something to drink for himself. The officer gladly complied and Jaejoong sprint to the familiar figure.
Dongho was taken by surprise when Jaejoong pushed him on the wall. He hissed. "What are you doing here?"
While taken by surprise, he wasn't shocked at all, as if he knew that Jaejoong would be here. "This is the place where I was born...I wanted to see it."
"Tonight of all times?" Jaejoong didn't buy that story. "Tell me the real reason."
"It's the truth." Dongho looked at him sadly, causing Jaejoong to move away. Still not believing him completely, he decided to let it go for now. Before he could ask how he left the apartment, Dongho answered. "I'm good at parkour."
That was believable because physical abilities were common among Non-Naturals. Jaejoong turned to Gyuri's room and saw the young woman finally leaving. Jaejoong looked at Dongho, wanting to warn him but stopped when he noticed Dongho's eyes following the young woman, almost intensely. Jaejoong snapped his fingers at his face and asked.
Dongho's gaze broke and shook his head. "Nothing."
Jaejoong frowned, finding his reaction suspicious. Nevertheless, he warned. "Stay here and don't get in my way."
Dongho nodded and Jaejoong walked to the officer who was enjoying his coffee and they both entered Gyuri's room. Meanwhile, Dongho silently followed the other woman.
Of course, Dongho disobeyed Jaejoong's orders. After Jaejoong entered Gyuri's room, he quietly left his place and followed the woman. He was very careful because he didn't want her to know that she was being followed. She went to the car but before she opened the door, she quickly turned around, feeling a presence. Dongho quickly hid behind the wall and peeked out. She was scanning her surroundings. Her brows furrowed and her face grim, which he observed intently. Not finding anyone, the woman entered her car and drove off.
Dongho huffed in relief and returned to his previous position. Jaejoong was still inquiring Gyuri for answers while she ogled with awe. Dongho silently snickered as he found it very obvious that very few women could avert his looks. He closed in and listened to their conversation. Jaejoong was showing her a picture.
"Do you know this man?" He asked even though he knew that she did. Her eyes widened and she exclaimed.
"Yes! This is the man who kidnapped me! But..." She noticed the dead expression on the picture.
"The man surrendered himself but died this morning of stroke. He left a name before his death--Donghae. Have you heard of him?"
Gyuri shook her head. "Never heard of him."
Of course, she didn't. Even if she had seen him, she wouldn't have known his name. But he needed to look into her memory to capture anything. Putting the picture away, he turned to her parents and held out his hand to shake.
"Thank you for your cooperation. We will do our best to find out the rest of the criminals."
The father shook his hand and next he turned to Gyuri to shake hers. Flushing a little, she took his hand and Jaejoong soon dived in her mind.
The two men, Donghae and another one, were standing away from her cell. Donghae looked unsettled while the non-natural was calm. Donghae looked like he was about to scream but he feared any hostile reaction from the other one. Donghae feared him.
Jaejoong quickly pulled his hand away from Gyuri and forcefully smiled. He thanked them again and left the room with the other officer. Jaejoong asked him. "What happened to the sketching of the perpetrators?"
"About that." The officer sighed. "Our sketchers tried their best to form to draw out a picture of the other criminals, but Miss Gyuri couldn't really explain to them, so we have no facial profiles of them."
"Hmm." Not that Jaejoong needed them, he still needed something to base his "assumptions" on, otherwise, people would think he is associated with the criminals. This was one of the most frustrating part of his job--waiting for the humans to scoop up the physical evidence so that he would not look suspicious. Jaejoong bid the other officer farewell and approached Dongho who was waiting for him.
"You found what you needed?" Dongho asked him.
"Why do you ask? Is it related to your mission?" Jaejoong asked with bitter sarcasm.
"No." Dongho shrugged. "Just thought I could help."
Jaejoong couldn't deny that. He did tell Kyuhyun that he was his apprentice. His skills might come in handy, but that was a thought for another day. He went ahead with Dongho following him.