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It's been two months and Mark feels weird because the last time he finally said yes, his father never said that they have to meet until the wedding. Frankly, Mark doesn't want to - no matter how  pretty chill he was with the news - he got his own life arranged before he was born, anyways, but he's never ready for something as soon as prewedding date.

“When?” the man blurts out in curiosity. If his father saw the exhaustion behind his dark brown orbs, the elder choose not to say anything - Mark basically don't take any rest at all ever since his father let him work as the company's clerk.

Leaders are made from the bottom, get used to it.

But he never knew that office clerk which eerily has the same jobs like a secretary will do simple duties such as make coffees, edit marketing's data, typing, preparing and collecting reports, maintaining diaries and appointments, meeting and greeting clients, smiling 25/8 hours, managing database, training and supervising the junior staff, and lastly, overwork himself to death.

Leader my ass.

His incoherent thoughts went flat as soon as he felt his father's hand gripping his shoulder tightly, “You'll have dinner with him today at the hotel. You'll know him when you see him.” the old man shows the serious expression that usually visible when it comes to business matter and Mark fakes a smile.

I don't even know how he looks like, Mark looking congested enough with the sudden responsibility and sadly, even a marriage has to be like marketing charts and presentation over a cup of bitter coffee. He genuinely feels sorry for his fiancée because they both probably can't have a normal life like any happy lots newlyweds will do.

“Anything I should give to him?” Mark mustered fairly serious expression he managed to show, just because. His parents love doing so after all and he just used to it as well - that maybe, it's nailed inside the genes as well which is, very much, despairing.

His father's lightened up at this and finally, fucking finally, a warm smile plastered on his craggy face after years of dealing things and life. “Now, that's amusing. I'm glad you think of this. I hope you have prepared something for him.”

Mark's felt his corner lips upturn and nodding obediently, “Yeah, I do.” im not, actually, but he just swallowed the words and his stiffened brain cogs abruptly coiling and Mark's shook because he precisely, has not a single thing on his rusty mind at the desperate time like this. He can't think clearly with his father grinning proudly at him and went to his office room unaware of Mark's troubling face.

***

 

For the first dinner date, Mark really wasn't trying. He just takes anything comfortable from the wardrobe and ended up with a white heavy knit sweater, blue black jeans that isn't skinny and totally won't hugged his booty butt meticulously, paired up with a pair of black cloudfoam lite racer sneaker which congenial and restful for his feet.

Mark never really planned to swoon anyone or accurately, Lee Jeno. He just wanted to get things done as quick as they both got involved and that's it. Carefully gelled his dark brown hair neatly with a hint of adolescent and turning around a few times more, Mark left the house after he wears his moderately Junghans wristwatch and immediately hopped into the driver side, commanding his driver to take a break cause Mark really don't need one momentarily.

“Young Master, I swear to God, let me-” Doyoung can't even finish his words cause just in seconds he got kicked out of Lexus RC 350. Also, Mark apologetic smile don't ceases his agitation and much worse, the young man just speed off after telling him that he probably will be home late. Don't wait. 

Doyoung can't not wait.

But it's Mark and this boy means what he said so the babysitter chuckles worriedly and strutted stiffly to the house.

***

 

Fast forward, Mark arrived exactly 32 minutes later - just because he ran through all red lights and not getting caught cause traffic officers normally slacking off most of the time - and managed to reach five minutes earlier at the hotel. He might looks calm but oh lord, Mark swears he could feel a whole damn zoo storm-tossed inside his stomach and he couldn't help but feeling edgy.

Mark Lee is nervous it's almost comical.

“Welcome, Sir. Would you like table for one or any reservation has been made?” A sudden busgirl startled Mark on the spot but he managed not to stutter out or wheezing because that would be embarrassing - who knows where Jeno’s sitting and he could be watching him right now and Mark totally doesn't want to screw his first impression because it's a first and an impression and a date.

“Appointment with Mr. Lee?” he legitly hoping there won't be any Lee around because it's too common and it's a meeting with two Lees - it's that priceless.

The busgirl smiles in acknowledgement, “Follow me, Sir.” Mark hopes he got it right - and he really does because the seconds they turned into a corner and passing hallways leading him to a private dinner room, Mark never knew he gonna get a shook out of his life because the person inside the room, dressed in black turtleneck embracing his, undeniably hot body (Mark tries not to droll) along with his black leather jacket and rich black hair making him stood out and irritatingly stunning that it hurts.

Mark knows that he's shaking internally because holy shi-

“We're here. I'll come again in a few minutes when you're done checking the menu.” she nodded curtsy in formal greeting totally oblivious to Mark's conscious desire that he also isn't prepared for. And she left. She fucking left him just like that Mark actually triggered because he's ridiculously panic but he gotta chill but who can-

“Aren't you going to sit down?”

Oh

Oh. 

His voice.

Snap out of it, Mark Lee!

Mark doesn't say anything, he's actually muted for once because - Lord, who knows what shitty things gonna come out of his mouth if Mark Lee speaks. He actually very much surprised of himself cause, frankly, he expecting none of these. He didn't know Jeno could be so charming as if he came out from Picasso’s drawing and Vincent Van Gogh’s alluring night sky can't even beat him to it - this seagull is crying.

Not sure how long he'd been quiet but the next Jeno purposely clearing his throat while gazing at him, Mark knows that's a cue for him to speak - if only he could just preach like Khalid but Mark failed once and Haechan haunts him till this day about it. “You're early.” Mark managed not to stutter. He tries.

Jeno snorted and if - if Mark could read body language and interpret it in his own words, he would say that this man actually haughty because he was that obvious throwing vibes at Mark that he clearly not interested.

Because, ouch. We're not even dating yet.

“Mark Lee.” he acted like he doesn't care and really, Jeno’s attractive looks does attract him but its all not going to stay too long and probably out of the window soon. He actually aware that Jeno inspecting him from head to toe and Mark couldn't stop fidgeting because that was very much unwelcoming but also the first time so Mark lets it slide.

“Lee Jeno.” Mark thinks he actually love that voice. “Let's just check the menu.” His fiancée really takes the business seriously, very good but also pretty mean but, alright . Mark lets it slide again and they both choose the same thing, black pepper steak cause they just wanted to get things done. The busgirl came and take the order and left again after she smiles sweetly at Jeno - Mark struggles not to roll his eyes but thank God, he flashes a weak smile at Jeno when their eyes meeting gazes.

“It won't take too long. We'll make it short.” Jeno flashes a small smile and Mark felt his heart melting to the ground ridiculously faster than the iceberg breaking the Titanic in two. “Tell me about yourself.”

We'll make it short, huh.

Mark sighs because he doesn't expect to be interrogated, either. It's a date, not an interview. “Um, look, I'm sorry that I failed to impress you but your eyes weren't genuine and I get that.” He isn't trying to regain credits but there's a surprise flashes in those pretty eyes as fast as it came and gone. “I assure you it won't long at all, let's just eat and go home.” he smiles bitterly.

Jeno leaned forward, hands on the table and fingers interlaced, Mark felt breathless as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I can't go home until I get to know you.” and they both felt it instantly as the air grew heavy and thick with tension.

Mark fakes a smile, “Is this another parent and son bonding promise that we don't follow?” he wanted to burst out laughing - because um, what ? Jeno looking so vain and superior tickles Mark's deeply, it's a rejoice. “How old are you again cause they still setting curfew up till now?” he practically wheezing.

“I didn't know we’re best friend now since it's not yet 10 minutes and you're all over me.” the handsome man interject Mark abruptly that the older was shooketh but quickly recovered from it. Jeno actually dares to smiles amusingly at him and that's nice.

“Wait, what, all over you?” that's an insult. Though he could feel the tip of his ears gone red because fuck , he was right. “I'm sure you meant the busser because I'm not the one smiling sweetly at you just now.” he mutters clumsily, high prominent cheekbones showing in defence.

Jeno chuckles over the reply, unconsciously revealing his infamous eye smiles and Mark feels so weak because oh my God , his Jeno is illegally beautiful. And that smile was too satisfying that Mark feeling butterflies pooling in the pit of his stomach. He's back to reality again as Jeno done chuckling over whatever Mark was saying before because it's not supposed to be a joke.

Jeno coughs wittingly, those bright eyes never rest from looking mischievously at Mark, “You're jealous.” and the tip of his ears went redder, bless the hair for hiding them well. “You're not supposed to be jealous on the first date. It ruins the fun.” Jeno smirks teasingly making the older felt hotter in seconds.

“I have no reason to be jealous.” Jeno raises his eyebrow, expression masking his curiosity well. Mark staring back, feeling so challenged. He's getting too emotional and that means there's a high chance that Mark will either blurts out something undoubtedly stupid or plain rude - it could get worse from here. “You're just too handsome it's annoying.”

There we go.

The corners of Jeno’s lips curled, involuntarily - and he fought back hard as his cheeks swelled momentarily with the pressure -- but it was no use. His laughter erupted, breaking the stillness of the room and echoing down the corridor and Mark hides his face between his arms, looking defeated. His dignity.

The younger regains his sense again but the smile was still there, Mark just wanted to wipe it off because its too fluttering. “I swear I hate you.” he mumbles under his breath and look away, feeling naked under the heavy stares locked on him.

“That's.. better than falling for me.” Jeno said wistfully, “I'm afraid I can't reciprocate your feeling.”

It stings.

Mark felt a heavy grieve crushing over him but he smiles anyway, “It's an arranged marriage, Jeno. I'll be stupid to fall for you.” Mark wonders why he wasn't so brave anymore to eye him boldly  like before. He felt rejected, somehow. But Jeno was right.

Mark can't.

“We can be friends, ya know? Mind our own business and doing an open relationship. It could be healthy as long as there are no feelings involved. “ Mark actually blabber by now because they're stupid suggestions anyway, he can't functioned well at the moment because it hurts and there's something in Jeno’s soft stare, Mark can't read it.

“You sure?” Jeno asks softly.

“Don't play pity card on me, Lee. It's you who should be extra alert.” Mark jokingly taunting him and Jeno flashes his beautiful eye smiles for the second time today, Mark gazes fondly. He's concerned with his feelings because maybe , could be, that he feels something too soon.

Jeno said no, so it's a no.

Mark vows to himself without hesitation that he won't. Cliché empty promises, really. Mark knows he will fall later on anyway but it will be hidden, he was guaranteed of that. Dinner came and conversation went well with Mark less talking and Jeno making jokes that fall on Mark's deaf ears but laughs anyway. It's nice. He's getting hang of it, feeling comfortable knowing about the person he's going to marry and they're very much alike - it's terrifying.

And bills. Mark scowls seeing Jeno’s smug face as the younger insist on treating him. “I'm not a girl, Jeno. Just let me pay.” the same busgirl came and Mark's trying very hard not to claw on her pretty face.

“Then, you can treat me after we get married.” Jeno receives his platinum card, unknowingly that his words making Mark at loss of words. He got up from his seat and held out his hand. Mark innocently staring back clueless.

Jeno sighs, “Let's go?”

“You're expecting me to accept your hand like a girl? I'm fluttered, Lee Jeno.” Mark shakes his head in exhaustion and stand up on his own, feigned innocence seeing the glares coming from the grumpy face in front of him.

“You're already a Lee, so why not make it official as soon as possible?” Jeno mutters quietly under his breath but it doesn't goes unnoticed for Mark as his body went rigid. That's a pretty intimate statement and he doesn't want to read it wrong.

Mark stiffened a little at the question. “We will never be official even after we're married, Jeno. Open relationship, remember?” he could be glaring or giving off menacing look at Jeno, who knows, Mark was too tired to care.

“It was a joke, hyung.” Jeno sighs.

“Funny.” Mark replies flatly and walked out passes him. The strong gaze burns his back once again and familiar tension filled the air instantly, “They got nice paintings - maybe you should appreciate those than staring blindly at my back.”

“I just realised that you're shorter than me.” Jeno muses from behind and it feels eerily close too, Mark was too afraid to turn around.

“Only by 3 cm. No difference.”

“3 cm is a big difference.” the younger man bites back. Mark rolls his eyes, body fatigue from the lack of rest.

“Your point is?” Mark turns around slowly but he regretting it as soon as his tired dark brown orbs landed on Jeno’s and went down to his lips, wondering how it taste like but soon he looks up again and face flushes realising they were too close - too personal.








 

 

“You're a bottom.” Jeno whispers in low voice and Mark felt blood drained from his face and the heat went straight to his groin. 

 

Fuck you, Lee Jeno.