Jongin looked up from the card game that was having place on the coffee table in the living room when the main door was opened. Several men whom Jongin knew worked for his father entered the house, practically dragging someone with a hood covering his head. Typical. Jongin had witnessed that kind of scene so many times that he was basically unbothered.
The usual victims were children of people in debt with his father’s boss, or like they called him, the Chief. They were taken hostages for days or even weeks. Some of them returned with their families, some of them started working for his father, in Exodus, trying to repay the debt their parents owed to the Chief. And some of them… Well, their only purpose was to teach their families a lesson, and ended up dead.
But the thing that intrigued Jongin was that the boy was being dragged upstairs, and not downstairs. Everyone that managed to stay alive was brought upstairs, yes, but not without staying for a while in the basement. Something about inflicting fear to the hostages. So… the situation was weird. Jongin turned around and raised his eyebrows, mirroring Taemin’s.
“Maybe you found someone new to play” said Jongin to Taemin, who smiled and laughed softly.
“Who knows. I haven’t had someone in ages. This starts to get boring… Maybe I should go back to Exodus”
“Don’t joke with that” Jongin reprimanded Taemin, hitting him in the arm, “if you go back they would never let you leave again. And then I would be the one getting bored”
“Maybe you should start doing what your father wants”
“Yes, yes… Following him to stupid missions and stupid meetings. Learning the business. He’s always saying “You’ll have to replace me someday, son, it’s time for you to learn”. Please…”
“Well, it could be worse” replied Taemin, smiling all the time, taking the card deck and starting to shuffle, getting ready to start another game.
Jongin didn’t say anything else, knowing perfectly what was Taemin talking about. It could be worse, much worse, and that was something Jongin learned because Taemin. He simply could not be his father, close his eyes, pretend nothing bad was happening, when Taemin was his best -only- friend.
Jongin was lucky, and he knew that. His father? Was on the top. And he was expected to be there some day. Yes, they had to answer to the Chief, but that didn’t almost count. His father owned the biggest prostitution empire of all the country- of several countries. Of course, that wasn’t exactly legal. Taemin was one of the poor unfortunates that found themselves trapped there, paying their family debts to the Chief, and to his father.
He started young, so young. Jongin met him by chance, when he didn’t exactly fully understand what his father did, what all the business was about. Taemin? He was forced to understand, when he was only a kid. Jongin was aware of his luck, but Taemin at least, had the luck to meet and befriend Jongin. Could be worse for him, too.
“Your turn” said Taemin, making Jongin go back to reality. Jongin looked at his carts and then to the ones on the table.
“We just started and I’m already losing” complained, and Taemin laughed at him.
They were both lucky, in their own way.
A few more hours went by, A few more hours went by, in which Jongin and Taemin merely played cards, before Jongin’s father showed up in the house. Jongin’s head went up, looking at his father, waiting to be noticed. When his father saw him, he immediately approached them.
“Do we have a new guest?” asked Jongin, still curious about the boy from before.
“You saw him?”
“Well, it was hard not to, given that your men dragged him upstairs just a few hours ago”. His father laughed, as if they were not talking about a person whom probably just had his life ruined by him. “Do you want us to pay him a visit?”
“Yes and no” answered his father, suddenly serious. “Come with me to my office and I’ll explain to you exactly with who are we working”
Jongin nodded and got up, gesturing Taemin to do the same and to follow him. His father didn’t say anything about that, ignoring Taemin’s presence as always, but allowing him to go with them. It was like Taemin didn’t even exist. It was something that they were used to, and actually it made life so much easier because it allowed Taemin to accompany Jongin to everything, as long as his father didn’t acknowledge his existence.
They followed Jongin’s father into his office and Jongin entered, leaving Taemin to close the door behind them. Jongin sat in one of the comfortable chairs next to the desk, meanwhile Taemin stood behind him.
“Jongin” started his father, and Jongin knew what was coming “I want you to start involving yourself in all of this. Taking charge of some situations”
“No buts. I’m going to trust you with this, and I expect responsibility and compromise from you in return”
“Okay” answered his father, relaxing his shoulders.
Jongin wasn’t precisely happy, but he knew it was about time his father started demanding that kind of things from him. He didn’t know how to make clear that… what? That he didn’t want to do that? The only option he had was running away, but that meant leaving Taemin behind. But if Taemin left with him… That was even worse. He was property of Exodus, he couldn’t leave, they would be chased. So Jongin had to live with it.
“The boy that was brought today… Well, he is a little more important than usual”
“Then, what is he doing here? Why bring him with us?”
“His name is Oh Sehun”
“Oh Sehun? Like in…”
“Yes, Jongin. He is the only son of the Oh family”
Of course Jongin knew who the Oh were. Everybody knew who they were. But the most important thing about them was that they were the Chief’s family rivals.
“They managed to capture de Oh’s son” muttered Jongin to himself. That meant…
“We are in the verge of a war between the two families, Jongin”
That was, to say the least, worrying. The two families were in relative peace for a long time. Territory disputes and similar things were the most dangerous things that happened between them. Nothing too bad.
Of course, the Kim family were only a link in the long chain that was the workers of the Chief, but this was going to reach them. Especially if they were in charge of the almighty Oh Sehun.
“Why did they bring him here?” asked Jongin, worried with the situation.
“Several reasons” answered his father “First, nobody would expect someone so valuable to be with us. They would expect to find him in the most secure property of the Chief. But, here? We’re not important enough”
“But this is risky. For us” complained Jongin.
“I couldn’t exactly say no” reminded him his father, but Jongin knew that they both agreed with that “Besides, is not only that” Jongin looked at his father, waiting for him to continue “There’s the demoralizing factor”
“Your job, Jongin, is to treat him exactly like you would do with a new acquisition to Exodus”
“But he is Oh fucking Sehun”
“Of course, I know that, and you are forbidden to cause him permanent physical pain, in case the two families come to a truce, or the Chief needs to use him as leverage. We are to keep him safe and sound. But… he doesn’t need to know that”
“They want to humiliate them” understood Jongin “not specifically the boy, but his family. If word that he was in Exodus or trained for it gets out…”
“Exactly. Is not necessary to treat him with the usual ruse and harshness you are used to, but I need you to inflict fear to him”
“Understood” muttered Jongin “When can we see him?”
“You’ll come with me now. I want you to be more present in this situations, Jongin”
Jongin pressed his lips together. He knew there was no way to say no to his father.
Jongin followed his father upstairs to one of the most secured rooms they had, the most secured if he dared. That didn’t surprise him, given the special guest they had this time.
Inside the room they found Oh Sehun, sitting in a chair, with his hands bounded tightly together at his back and to the chair, and the same for his legs. He had his eyes covered and was gagged. Jongin thought it was too much, but they never knew with important hostages, right?
The boy obviously had heard them enter the room, because he tensed in an almost imperceptible way. There were two men at each side, watching over him. And for what? The room had security cameras and it was impossible for Sehun to escape being like that. It was for the fear factor, but Jongin didn’t like it.
His father took another chair and sat in front of Sehun, sighing loudly so the other would listen to him. And the show began, as always.
“Oh Sehun” started his father, carefully watching every reaction of the other. The boy reacted to his name, tilting his head to the side, but wasn’t able to respond anyway, as he was gagged.
His father made a sign to one of the men and he ungagged Sehun, and Jongin watched as the boy wet his lips, which probably were dry.
“Do you know where are you?” asked his father.
“May I please have a glass of water?” replied Sehun, his voice a little bit hoarse. Jongin couldn’t believe the audacity of Sehun, and almost laughed at the situation, seeing how he was demanding things. His father seemed to be amused as well, because he ordered one of his men to comply with the demand.
Once he gulped all the water in one go, he wet his lips again. For how long was Sehun kept without water?
“Now, answer my question. Do you know where you are?”
“I don’t have a clue” answered Sehun “given that I couldn’t see shit during the travel, same as now, you know”
Jongin couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows and look at Taemin, who was doing the same. He knew that he was the son of the Oh family, and as such, he was pretentious and full of himself but… It seemed like he didn’t actually realize the situation he was in. He was practically suicidal with that attitude.
“Okay, I’ll ask you another thing. Do you know why they brought you here, instead of leaving you where you were before?”
“Probably because my father didn’t give in your dirty blackmail and now you have to proceed to his punishment, which translates in my punishment” answered Sehun, sounding almost bored. He seemed to have assumed that he was going to pay for his father’s actions. Jongin couldn’t help but wonder if he would be so calm in that situation. He wanted to believe that he would but it was not likely.
“Smart boy” said Jongin’s father, smiling “I’m the owner of Exodus. I’m guessing you know Exodus, right?”
And in that moment, it seemed like Sehun almost break down. He noticed how the tension in his body translated in tension of the ropes that held him, and he paled a little. But he regained control of himself in a heartbeat, snorting.
“Of course I know Exodus”
“Then you can probably guess what is going to be your punishment”
“Of course” answered Sehun, pressing his lips together until they turned white “what a better way to assert your dominance to your rival than to prostitute his son, right? I’m sure you already have buyers interested in this great opportunity”
And there, Jongin’s father actually cackled. Sehun had pressed his lips again, and Jongin actually started to feel pity for the boy. He wasn’t the first nor the last in that kind of situation, and Jongin had to deal with each of them, but normally it was for a reason, normally paying family debts. Never… like this. And yes, he was used to it but that didn’t mean he liked it.
“Again, smart boy” repeated Jongin’s father “Okay, now that this is clear, I can leave and stop wasting my time here” he turned to Jongin “He is all yours, son. You know how it goes. We’ll leave you alone for now. If you need something, my men will be just outside.
Jongin nodded and his father got up the chair, and he left the room, leaving Sehun with Jongin and Taemin, who exchanged looks, and Taemin shrugged. At the end, it didn’t matter if he was important or not, Sehun was only one more to their list, right?
Jongin took his father’s place. That was the easy part, the one that Taemin and he had managed for years. He could sense that Sehun was tense again. He probably didn’t know what to expect from Jongin.
“Uncover his eyes” muttered Jongin, but the room was in such an utter silence, that his voice was perfectly heard. Taemin approached Jongin and did was Jongin asked him to. Sehun blinked twice, getting used to the light. And then he fixed his gaze in Jongin.
“Who are you?” asked Sehun, suspicious. Jongin just stared for a few moments. Now that he had his face fully uncovered, Jongin could see that Sehun was easily the most handsome man he had ever laid his eyes on. Jongin was sure that he could be intimidating and scary in certain situations, but in that moment, he was frowning and clearly scared, and Jongin couldn’t help but thinking that he seemed like a child trapped in an adult body. Just like Jongin felt a lot of times.
“Does it matter?” answered Jongin, resting his head on his hand, with his elbow supporting his arm on his leg.
“I guess it doesn’t” said Sehun, scowling. Jongin noticed how his bratty attitude was losing strength. Sehun wasn’t in front of a big bad mafia boss, or some evil man. He was now in front of Jongin, who was probably the same age as him, and that changed the situation.
Jongin turned to Taemin to ask him “What do you think?” His father told him to treat Sehun as anybody else, so they would do just that.
“He has a pretty face” started Taemin, and Jongin could see Sehun struggling with the bounds in his chair “I think he actually could be of great use to us. Men, women… He seems everybody’s type”
The arrogant Sehun that had faced his father was almost fully gone. Yes, he still held himself straight in the chair, but the defiant look in his face had disappeared, and now he was looking at the floor while Taemin spoke.
“He could easily become one of our best assets” continued Taemin “For once, I’d be happy to take care of him personally”
Sehun looked up after hearing those words. Jongin and Taemin kept quiet, looking at him. The silence usually made people uncomfortable, causing them to say anything. And the more they said, the more they could use against them.
“Do you think I’m going to do anything by my own will?” spat Sehun, scowling again “Do you think you can train me like I’m a fucking dog?”
And here came the part where Jongin would just remind the poor boy that they had debts to pay. That was the reason people ended in that situation always, and he used it to convince them to cooperate. People used to understand that if they behaved and the more the clients enjoyed, more money they would earn and it would be faster to escape the situation. Why resist? But Sehun was different.
What the hell, if he was lucky, he wouldn’t set foot to Exodus in his life. But Sehun didn’t know that. And if things didn’t go well… Who knew. Maybe they would throw him in there and leave him to rot.
“So, Sehun” started Jongin, choosing his words very carefully “you actually have two options. Of course, I can’t make you do anything, but you can play my game, learn, obey us, and I’ll make sure you have plenty of women in your bed. Probably some men, given that you will be pretty sought-after. You can have a good time. Or not. The other option is that you refuse to cooperate and the only you’ll have will be men who won’t care about your well-being and that will make your life fucking miserable. Which do you prefer?”
“You aren’t precisely a nobody, Oh Sehun. Do you know exactly how many enemies your father has? The amount of people what would come only to make you suffer? Of course, they would see your pretty face and have a good time, and they would come back for more. Who knows, you could make several regular clients”
“Alright, shut up, alright” spit out Sehun.
“So, what do you say Sehun? Will you play by my rules, or will you resist?”
The internal struggle Sehun was having started showing in his face. He clearly had a big ego and the situation was affecting him. But he was smart and probably had a survival instinct somewhere.
Jongin was starting to feel bad. Which was stupid because it wasn’t the first time he did this. That was his fucking job in the house, the only way he got his father to stop bothering him about joining the family business. Why watching Sehun struggling, the clear panic in his eyes, was affecting him so much?
Maybe it was the fact that Sehun was who he was, and if someone of such importance could end up in that situation, why not Jongin? His father had enemies for sure, same as Sehun’s father had. Not as many, of course, but still.
“So, what is your choice” asked Jongin again, giving him a smile that in any other circumstance would have been sweet, but he was sure Sehun would name it sadist.
“What… this game, this… training. What is it about?” asked Sehun, looking at Jongin and then at Taemin.
“It’s simple, actually” answered Jongin, smiling again “We need to know what you’re good at, and what we need to teach you. What will we be able to offer our clients. You know, practice makes perfect”
Sehun wasn’t dumb, and even though Jongin was avoiding using specific words, there was no way to not understand what he was talking about. Jongin saw him struggle again.
“Usually, Taemin and Seulgi are the ones doing the training” added Jongin “They are good in what they do, and can teach you to feel more comfortable with the situation and with yourself”
“I want you to do it” said Sehun suddenly, surprising both Jongin and Taemin.
“I don’t have the experience that Taemin and Seulgi can offer you” started Jongin carefully, but Sehun was looking at him in the eye, and was so determined that Jongin knew he wouldn’t change his mind.
“I don’t care. Do you want to treat me like a fucking toy? Alright, but it has to be you. Consider it a favour to me.”
“I don’t think you are in condition to ask any favours, Sehun- “
“Please” scoffed Sehun “what do you think is going to happen if things go bad for you? If my father rescues me? If my father wins this stupid war? Do you think you’ll be able to walk away freely after this? You don’t want to be on my bad side. And I’m a man of my word.
“Jongin” started Taemin, suddenly a Little insecure about the whole situation, but Jongin signalled him to stop talking.
“Okay” accepted Jongin “We have a deal, Oh Sehun”
“Pleasure making business with you” answered Sehun “Jongin”
This being said, Jongin got up of the chair and left the room, followed by Taemin, leaving Sehun still bounded to his chair, but with a satisfied smile on his face.
After a brief exchange of words with his father, Jongin roamed to his room, followed by Taemin. By then Taemin already had his own room in the house, but he rarely used it, only when Jongin was out of town. They were used to sleep in the same bed and didn’t even think about being apart.
They changed clothes to something much cozier to sleep and went to bed, facing each other, and making themselves comfortable. Jongin knew that Taemin would want to talk about what just happened.
“Are you sure about all this?” asked Taemin.
“It wouldn’t be the first I do this” Jongin reminded him, even though it was true that for years that part of the job fell completely into Taemin and Seulgi’s hands “should I remind you that at the beginning it was you and me?”
“Because you were a horny teenager and that was easy sex, Jongin” snorted Taemin, amused.
“Okay, I won’t deny it” muttered Jongin “but it was fun. And I oversee you doing it a lot of times, don’t I? Don’t think I’ve completely forgotten how it was done”
“But… You know what I mean. Are you going to tell your father about the deal?”
“Clearly not. If I say something, he’ll punish Sehun, and you know it”
“And? Why do you care? Let him do it, he is just a random person, he doesn’t mean anything to you”
“But he is right”
“What do you mean?”
“This is convenient. For me” sighed Jongin “what if his family wins? If they rescue him and seek revenge? He can protect me. Protect us both.
“My father is always saying this, you know, that this is my world, that I have to take this seriously. So how about I start by making allies?”
“If the Chief finds out…”
“But he doesn’t have to. Sehun won’t tell a thing, and neither will you nor I. And there’s no one else who knows it”
“I’m sure this is fraternisation with the enemy”
“I’d call it cover my back. And yours. My father would be able to rescue me from anything, Taemin, but if something happens to you… I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself”
“It’s a bit late for that, don’t you think?” muttered Taemin, but Jongin knew his friend wasn’t blaming him personally. He got closer to Taemin, circling him with his arms, and resting his head on Taemin’s chest. He could feel him smiling.
“I’ll make sure that from here on ahead, things will be better” whispered Jongin.
They both fell in a comfortable silence, and Jongin felt his eyes turn heavy and embraced a heavy sleep. He had work to do the next day.
Jongin woke up alone in this bed, and judging by the sound of water falling, Taemin probably was in the shower. So, Jongin did the normal thing to do, and spread all over his bed. He closed his eyes again, trying to sleep, but suddenly Taemin was at his side, waking him up. Did he fell asleep again? Jongin didn’t remember.
“Let me sleep” grunted Jongin, but Taemin was impassive.
“Come on, I’m hungry and then you have to pay Sehun a visit. I’m not sure how long has been since he was last feed”
“Shit, you’re right. Coming, coming”
To be honest, Jongin was hungry as well, given that he didn’t have dinner the night before. He got up, barely dressed himself and follower Taemin to the kitchen of the house. His father had probably had breakfast already, but he didn’t like Taemin presence, so usually the two friends ate on their own.
After devouring breakfast and Taemin drank his coffee cup, Jongin grabbed something for Sehun and a couple of water bottles from the fridge and they head up to Sehun’s room. His father gave him the day before the code of the door, and the men from then weren’t there anymore.
Jongin inserted the code and the door opened. Taemin and he entered and the view in front of him didn’t disappoint them. Sehun arms were clearly unbounded and the man was sat in the bed, with his legs and arms crossed, and looking very angry. Of course, he was wearing only a pair of boxers, and didn’t seem happy with the situation.
“Breakfast?” asked Jongin, showing the food and leaving the water bottles on one of the night stands.
“I would prefer some clothes” answered Sehun, irritated, but by the look he gave to the food it was clear he wasn’t going to reject it.
“That isn’t going to be possible at the moment. That kind of privilege? You have to earn it”
It seemed like Sehun was going to answer but, instead of that, he extended his hand waiting for the food that Jongin had kindly offered. Jongin couldn’t help it and started laughing, giving the food to him. Sehun practically attacked the food, so Taemin was right, the poor boy was very hungry.
Jongin took one of the chairs from the day before, and sat in it, while Sehun ate. Jongin looked at the water bottles and Sehun, following his gaze, took one of them and ended it in one gulp. So he was hungry and thirsty.
“I guess someone has explained the rules to you, right?”
“Which rules? The ones that dictate that I can’t even leave this room? That if a misbehave I won’t have food or water? Yes, they made themselves very clear with those rules” answered Sehun, angrily.
“I’ll try to make your stay here as comfortable as I’m able to” replied Jongin, unbothered “but only If you behave”
“I’m not stupid, you know. I’ve been where you are now, in this kind of situation. I’m not going to do anything that compromise my life” Sehun was clearly resigned, but there was still irritation in his words.
“Smart boy” muttered Jongin, smiling “Get up”
It seemed like Sehun was going to retort but he did what he was told instead, standing beside the bed with his arms crossed against his chest, and clearly uncomfortable with the whole situation.
“Uncross your arms, Sehun” asked Jongin, patiently, and watched Sehun obey reluctantly, and Jongin could swore that he was going to hiss. Jongin turned to Taemin “What do you say?”
“He has a good body” answered Taemin, and Jongin noticed how Sehun blushed a little “broad shoulders, narrow waist, he has like, abs, but no too much. Are you sure I can’t take care of him myself?”
“No” answerer Sehun, before Jongin could say anything “We have a deal”
“I know, and I accepted. Don’t rile him up, Taemin”
“What a pity” complained Taemin, clicking his tongue.
Jongin watched Sehun for a few seconds before turning to Taemin again. God, he had done this before, hundreds of times. Why was he having a hard time doing it now?
“Alright, Sehun. Tell me, please, that you have some experience”
“Experience in what” mumbled Sehun, confused. Jongin looked at him as if Sehun was dumb.
“In what? In cooking bread? In having sex, Sehun, please”
“Oh, yes, right, yes, of course I… have. Experience”
“Women? Men? Both?”
“Both” admitted Sehun, after a few seconds of silence and a guilty look on his face. So, he probably wasn’t out of the closet. At least he wasn’t working with someone completely unexperienced. Those were the worst cases and Seulgi was the best when it came to them.
“Great” answered Jongin “Show me”
“Are you deaf? Or maybe just dumb”
“No, I- I Heard you, but I’m not-“
“Sehun, I don’t think you realize the situation you’re in. I told you already what were your options. You agreed to do this. Are you having cold feet?”
“I’m not having cold feet” Sehun was definitely angry, but Jongin didn’t understand why “But I’m not going to do anything in front of him” he said, at the end, pointing at Taemin.
“So, you don’t want an audience? You know, you will not be able to choose once you’re working on Exodus. You’re aware of that, right?
The reminder that all of this was happening so Sehun could work on Exodus seemed to hit Sehun with full force. That wasn’t so Jongin could have fun humiliating him. It was actual, real training.
Actually, it wasn’t, unless things well very bad, but Sehun didn´t know that. Sehun keep quiet a few seconds and the, he sighed.
“Please” pleaded Sehun, looking at Jongin. He had a defeated look in his face and Jongin… Something broke inside him.
He didn’t know what, didn’t understand what the hell had Oh Sehun done to him, but suddenly Jongin felt the urge to puke. Could he go on with this? He could simply tell Taemin to take his place. Fuck the deal he had with Sehun, who cared? But Jongin realized that thinking about that was making it worse. Leaving Sehun to someone else’s mercy, even if they were Taemin and Seulgi, whom he would trust his life.
What has happening to him? Taemin sensed that something was wrong and put his hand on Jongin’s shoulder. Sehun looked down, crossing his arms again, trying to cover himself and make himself smaller.
“Let’s get out of here” muttered Jongin, getting up. Taemin threw a concerned gaze in his direction and Sehun looked up, alarmed.
“Wait, no” exclaimed Sehun “don’t go, I’ll- I’ll do whatever you want, okay?”
But Jongin and Taemin were already leaving the room, closing the door after them and blocking it with the code.
They both kept quiet until they arrived to Jongin’s room. Jongin sat on his bed, without looking up, his gaze fixed on the floor.
“Jongin… are you ok?”
“I don’t… I don’t know what happened inside there”
“Same here” joked Taemin. Jongin just sighed.
“Did you see how miserable he looked?” asked Jongin “We’re talking about someone that even though he was fucking scared, didn’t lose his pride or his temper once. And now look at him. He was begging”
“Do you want me to deal with this, Jongin?” asked Taemin, with worry in his voice.
“I thought about that but… No, that would be even worse. It has to be”
“But will you be able to?”
“I don’t know. Let me think. I’ll go back later, maybe things will have changed. Now I need to sleep”
“It’s okay, Jongin” said Taemin, giving his head a soft kiss “I’ll be here if you need me”
“Thank you Taemin” answered Jongin, taking off his shoes and getting into his bed “I don’t know what I would you without you”
When Jongin woke up from his nap, lunch time had passed a long time ago. Sighing loudly, de got up from the bed, putting his shoes on. Taemin was sitting in his chair, reading.
“I’m going back” said Jongin “But only me”
“Are you sure?” asked his friend, clearly disagreeing with the choice.
“I think it will be for the best. Don’t worry, nothing will happen to me” reassured Jongin, smiling.
He left the room, leaving a concerned Taemin alone, and went to Sehun’s room again. He took a deep breath, entered the code, and went inside the room, just like in the morning.
Sehun must’ve heard him because when he closed the door behind him, the boy was already in front of him.
“I’ll do whatever you want” promised Sehun. Jongin could see the panic in his gaze “do you want me to… to demonstrate what I know? I’ll do it. Really. Whatever you want”
Sehun grabbed his arm, pushing him towards the bed. He was nervous and judging by his red eyes, he had been crying. That broke Jongin’s heart. It was his fault, wasn’t it? Sehun probably thought he fucked up, and was waiting to be punished.
“Sehun” started Jongin, while Sehun putting his shaky hands on Jongin’s fly, trying to undo it “Stop, stop”
“I promise; I’ll do whatever you ask me to” continued Sehun. His voice was as shaky as his hands.
“I know” said Jongin, grabbing his hands and stopping him “but listen to me first”
Sehun stopped immediately and Jongin pushed him softly onto the bed, telling him to sit. The poor man was still only in his underwear and that fact was probably only making the situation worse. He would have to bring him some clothes after that.
“You’ve been with women and men” started Jongin “you are not a virgin. You know how to do the basic things. Honestly? It doesn’t take much to please an Exodus client in bed. Probably some women will want you to take control but that’s it. The rest will want to have control over you, and if you let them be it won’t be hard to actually enjoy it, and not only pretend.”
Jongin looked at Sehun, who seemed to be listening to his words, but looked more miserable every second than the last. Knowing what he was supposed to do wasn’t easy, and now that Sehun’s façade had broken down, it was crystal clear how much that scared him.
“I’m not going to teach you that” clarified Jongin, and that definitely wasn’t what he was supposed to be doing. The first thing Taemin and Seulgi taught the new kids, was to please in bed, to pretend your client is good enough to make you scream. That was what he was supposed to do, but…
“So…?” asked Sehun, his voice practically inaudible.
“There’s something more important in Exodus than sex” continued Jongin, entering directly to the second part of the training “once you know the basics, you have to learn to make your clients trust you. A satisfied client? They come back. And if they comeback, they start to trust you, to see you as a confident. And if they see you as a confident, then they talk. “
“Do you mean…”
“If they talk, you’ll have information. And that information is much more valuable than anything else. You can gain favors, it can protect you. That’s the bargaining chip in Exodus.”
Jongin looked at Sehun, and this time, Sehun looked at him too, calmer than before.
“I’m going to teach you that. How to act. What to say. People are cut in the same patterns. How to study a client, how to win their trust. That, Oh Sehun, will be useful in Exodus and fucking everywhere.
Sehun, who looked more relaxed now, listened to his words. It seemed like he wanted to say something, caressing his arm with his hand, up and down.
“We’re not… You’re not going to…”
“I’m not going to force you to do anything, no” said Jongin. He had never had problems with that. It was his job, it was what he did. Why couldn’t he do it with Sehun? “Not if you don’t want to. You could use some practice, of course but… You can think about it. For the moment, we’ll focus in the other part.”
“Alright” said Sehun, his voice a little bit weak “Jongin… Thank you”
“Don’t thank me yet” replied Jongin, getting up “I’m going to bring you some clothes. Be right back”
Once outside the room, Jongin asked himself what had he done. What was he doing? Taemin was going to kill him. If his father found out, he would kill him. He wasn’t exactly disobeying him, right? In the end, he was making Sehun believe he was going to end up working in Exodus, without choice. That was the plan. That was what his father asked of him.
And yet… Jongin went into his room, surprising Taemin, and grabbed some sweatpants and a shirt that could fit Sehun. They weren’t exactly the same size, but the bigger clothes of Jongin should fit him. He looked at Taemin before leaving, smiling and making a thumbs up. Things were going to be alright.
Sehun didn’t trust him at first, and Jongin couldn’t blame him. He wouldn’t trust him either. But now that he was dressed and with his stomach full, he was relaxed. He still tensed up when Jongin got too close, probably thinking that he was going to change his mind, and Jongin tried to not move too sudden, and approach him carefully. It was like working with a wounded animal.
At first, Jongin thought that dealing with Sehun would be hard, and yes, sometimes it was. Sehun could make things very difficult, but also very easy. It took four days for them to be fully accustomed to each other, despite the situation they were in.
And something Jongin realized was that, the more comfortable Sehun was around him, the touchier he became. Jongin was used to touching, his relationship with Taemin was touchy as hell (sometimes it was purely platonic, sometimes it ended up in something more sexual) but he didn’t expect Sehun to be like that, considering the situation he was in.
When two weeks had gone by, and it was very evident what was happening, Jongin felt guilty. Probably Sehun was used to be touchy with his friends, and he had no one but Jongin inside that house. He couldn’t leave his room, he couldn’t even eat if Jongin didn’t bring him food, those were the house rules.
And yes, Jongin wished that Sehun could roam free around the house, but his father wouldn’t allow it. It was impossible.
Was Sehun developing Stockholm Syndrome? Of course he was. Jongin had conditioned Sehun to be happy with his presence. Jongin meant food, meant water, meant clothes, meant not having to do something degrading or humiliating. It was natural Sehun looked so happy when Jongin entered the room, considering Jongin something good. What was the alternative? He didn’t like Jongin, he liked the privileges that came with Jongin’s presence. And how could he blame him?
Jongin was thinking all this when he opened the door to Sehun’s room. He was carrying, as always, food and water bottles. He watched how Sehun eyes sparkled immediately. The last book Jongin had given him was abandoned in a corner of the room.
“I need a new book” demanded Sehun “And please, no more detective novels. They are awful”
“Alright” agreed Jongin, amused, putting the food and water in the night stand. Sehun patted the bed, beside him, for Jongin to sit “do you want something specific this time?”
“I want romance” answered Sehun immediately.
“I didn’t think you would be the kind of person that reads romance novels” said Jongin, a little bit curious.
“Well, there’s a lot of things you don’t know about me” replied Sehun, smiling. They both kept silent for a few moments and the Sehun sighed and rested his head con Jongin. The same way you would do with your best friend, with your…
Jongin turned his head so he could look at Sehun, but the other, making himself comfortable, was looking at anywhere but Jongin. Jongin felt how Sehun circled his back with his arm, almost like he was trying to hug him. His suspicions were confirmed moments later when Sehun actually hugged him, and they both sighed this time.
“What’s on your mind” asked Jongin, noticing something was wrong, or at least, weird.
“I’m stupid” was Sehun’s answer “I don’t know… I don’t understand why are you treating me like I’m a- a guest, instead of someone who is going to end up, you know, selling his body in a brothel”
But that wasn’t exactly true, wanted to say Jongin. Sehun couldn’t even exit his room. If Jongin decided that he wouldn’t have food, no more food for Sehun. Anything that Jongin said, Sehun had to obey if he didn’t want to be punished. Sehun was a prisoner, a hostage, not a guest. But Jongin didn’t dare to say that.
“And I know this is just… I’m fucking stupid. Once your father gets tired of this… It all will end. I’ll be thrown into another room, into… Exodus. And you were right. What you said the first day. I’m aware of how many enemies my father has, how many I have. Who wouldn’t want to humiliate me in the worst way possible? I’m sure your father will get filthy rich.
His words were bitter, but Sehun pressed himself against Jongin while talking. Like if Jongin was actually offering some kind of peace to his mind. It shouldn’t be like that. Jongin was the real enemy. But Sehun… Sehun didn’t see it like that since long ago, right?
“Thank you” said Sehun after a long silence “For making this last weeks of freedom bearable. I’ll miss you after all this ends”
And those words weren’t the only thing Jongin understood in that moment. The meaning behind them… If Sehun was telling him that, it meant that he had lost all hope. Hopes of being rescued, of this situation being fixed, of going back to his father. Sehun didn’t seem to believe that was a possibility anymore. At least not at the moment. That was what really broke Jongin’s heart.
Carefully, he joined Sehun in the hug, putting his hand on his back, trying to massage it, trying to offer some comfort to Sehun. It worked, and Sehun relaxed, letting his body fall on Jongin’s. But Jongin’s was having problems keeping himself composed. He wanted to run, to get out of there, just like the first day. But he couldn’t leave Sehun alone.
“Don’t treat me like I’m a good person” said Jongin after a while, his voice soft and practically inaudible “Because I’m not”
“And neither I am” replied Sehun “and yet, I can’t assure you that if things were reversed, you would have the tranquillity I have. I can’t say I would’ve been so merciful”
He didn’t say anything else, and Jongin didn’t answer, and the meaning of those words were clear. Sehun really thought Jongin was a good person. Or a better person than him, at least. Jongin rested his head above Sehun’s. He could pretend a little while.
It was a typical day in the house, with men entering the house at all hours, as usual, but it had been several days since Jongin saw his father. He knew that things were tense. The two families were fighting indirectly, a cold war all over the city, and the country, and he was afraid of what could that mean for Sehun’s future. Obviously, his father didn’t know anything about Sehun real situation in the house, and how Jongin was absolutely not following his orders. In any case, he probably thought that Taemin and Seulgi were dealing with Sehun, as they usually did.
He wasn’t surprised when his father approached him after days, or even weeks, of not talking with him. He never paid attention to any of his “guests”, but Sehun was special, obviously. He was someone important.
“Jongin” his father called him, signalling him to come closer.
“Is something the matter?”
“Let’s go pay a visit to the princeling” his father answered, making Jongin gulp.
“You mean Sehun?”
“I’m curious, I admit it. The times I encountered him he was always arrogant and condescending with the rest of us. I want to see what did you do to him”
Arrogant, condescending… Yes. That was Sehun the first day, but not the Sehun he knew now. Jongin was utterly fucked. When his father realizes that instead of breaking and humiliating him, he… befriended him? They were both so fucked.
Jongin had started sweating, but he couldn’t do anything now, so he lead the way to Sehun’s room. His father looked at him as he entered the code and shit. This was bad. They were going to be discovered and he wasn’t sure what he was going to do when his father found out everything.
Jongin opened the door and they booth made their way into the room. Sehun was, as usual, laying in his bed reading, wearing Jongin’s clothes. Jongin’s clothes, fuck, Jongin really hoped his father wouldn’t recognize them. Jongin didn’t think he would, because they were old clothes, but… Please…
Sehun looked up and Jongin waited for… something. A comment, a confused look, a reaction of some kind. But instead of that, he got up very calmly, putting his book on the nightstand, and as if it was something he did every day, he started undressing himself, removing first his shirt and then his pants, and dropped to his knees, only in his underwear and looking at the floor. Which was the exact protocol that he was expected to follow when he received a client in Exodus.
What the fuck.
“Good boy” Jongin’s father said, appreciating the view with a smile. Sehun didn’t even flinch “Show me, what did you learn?”
Sehun looked up, with a fucking submissive look in his face and Jongin had to be dreaming.
“Would you want me to show you personally?” Sehun asked, softly, making Jongin bite his tongue “Or would you prefer to watch?” he added, turning to look at Jongin directly.
“T-that’s not necessary” Jongin started, noticing that he had went completely red. His father cackled at his reaction.
“Nobody would take you for my son, Jongin” his father said, but he didn’t seem angry, just amused. He turned to look at Sehun “I definitely would love to stay so you could show me all the things you’ve learned, but unfortunately I have to go. Your father isn’t behaving, Oh Sehun” he added, and this time his voice was colder than before “But you should stay, Jongin. Enjoy him before we send him to Exodus. It’s a once in a lifetime chance”
Sehun had dropped his head again, looking at the floor, but Jongin’s father was ignoring him now, talking to Jongin.
“Of course, father” muttered Jongin, earning him a pat in his back. His father left after that, leaving them alone.
Once the door was closed, Sehun sighed, getting up and dropping the act. He quickly dressed himself and sat on the floor, hugging his knees against his chest.
“How…” Jongin started, not even knowing what to ask.
“You’re not the only person that has been paying me visits” Sehun admitted, after a few moments of silence.
“What do you mean, Sehun? Who else…”
“Your friend, Taemin” Sehun said, and Jongin looked at him, confusion showing on his face. Had Taemin been coming to Sehun’s room? For what? Maybe… Maybe he was doing all that Jongin was supposed to be doing instead? Sehun must had noticed that Jongin wasn’t happy with his answer, because he kept talking “He wasn’t… He didn’t do anything. He came for the first time a few weeks ago. You know, that day you went out with your father and needed someone to bring me food”
“He was worried about you. He knew you weren’t doing your job, Jongin. He was scared that if someone found out, you were going to pay for it, not me.”
They both kept quiet after that because, well, Taemin was right. If his father had entered the room and found the Sehun that Jongin had spent hours and days and fucking weeks with, things wouldn’t have gone well for neither of them.
“I asked him to teach me. How to act, how to behave” explained Sehun “I’ve never been to Exodus, given that is property of our enemies and all that. I had no fucking clue what protocol I would have to follow there. So, Taemin has been coming since then, teaching me all the things I need to know”
“How to behave” Jongin repeated. Things that he should have been teaching Sehun. God, he was fucking stupid “Nothing else?”
“Nothing else” Sehun reassured him, with a Little smile on his face “Would have bothered you if that weren’t the case?”
“No!” Jongin answered almost too quickly “No, I mean, well I don’t-“
Sehun started laughing and Jongin, well, Jongin could have sworn that that was the most beautiful sound he had ever listened in his whole life. It was like listening to an angel, like all the problems in the world could be solved with his laugh.
“Nothing happened” Sehun said again, still smiling. Jongin couldn’t help but pout.
Sehun got up, grabbing his arm, and dragging him to his bed, with him.
“Now, after this traumatizing situation I’ve been put in, rest a little while with me”
And Jongin of course, couldn’t say no to that. He couldn’t say no to anything that Sehun asked him. He really was fucked, after all.
When Jongin woke up the next day, he realized that they were still in Sehun’s bed. They had moved away from each other during the night, but one of Sehun’s leg was on his own y he had his hand touching his arm. Jongin knew that he moment he got up, Sehun would wake up, so he decided to stay still, looking at the other boy.
Jongin didn’t know how much time he stayed just like that, thinking about the day before, overthinking the whole situation. He needed to talk with Taemin about all this but… Maybe later.
When Sehun finally woke up and saw Jongin at his side, watching him, he frowned, clearly confused. He seemed to remember the night before and his gaze softened.
“Good morning” Sehun mumbled “what time is it? How long have we been asleep?”
Jongin shrugged. The room didn’t have windows, as any of the rooms in this floor. Sehun probably kept track of the days thanks to Jongin’s visits, because he hadn’t a clock either.
“I have no idea” Jongin yawned “but it must be late”
“Yeah, I thought so” Sehun complained “This is going to mess my sleep schedule”
“Don’t be a pussy” Jongin reprimanded him, hitting Sehun in the arm, making him laugh.
They fell into a comfortable silence and Jongin decided that he had to get up. He had to leave, talk with Taemin, gather his thoughts and try to put order in his life. But before he could do any of that, Sehun spoke again.
“Have you ever… wanted, to do what your father said?”
“What do you mean” Jongin asked warily.
“You know. Your once in a lifetime chance. This is not an opportunity you’ll have ever again. To say that you screwed Oh Sehun”
Jongin opened his mouth, but no sound came out. He had never thought about the whole situation like that. Okay, Jongin would be lying if he said that he had never had that kind of thoughts about Sehun, but not because he was Oh Sehun, not because he was his hostage, prisoner, whatever it was called, but because of the person Jongin had known, whom he had befriended.
Of course, he shook his head.
“I wouldn’t do that” Jongin firmly answered.
“You doubted” Sehun accused him, but there was no anger in his voice. It was more like… curiosity?
“I was processing my thoughts” complained Jongin “You’ve brought plenty of changes in my life, you know”
“What if…” Sehun started, grabbing his arm, making him sit on the bed “what if I wanted… if I gave you permission?”
Jongin froze because what the hell was Sehun saying. He couldn’t be meaning what Jongin was understanding, right? Sehun sighed, changing his position on the bed, so he would be sat next to Jongin, still grabbing his arm, as if to prevent him to run.
“You don’t know what are you saying” Jongin answered at last, a little irritated with himself for even thinking about it.
“Of course I do. Don’t treat me like a fucking virgin kid” Sehun spat, clearly angry.
A heavy silence fell in the room. Sehun was glaring at him while Jongin’s mind was completely chaotic. Before he could answer, Sehun closed the distance between them, and kissed him. It wasn’t the best kiss he had had, but Jongin was sure it was the kiss with more meaning of all. Before Sehun could become even closer and deepen the kiss, Jongin moved away.
“Don’t” Jongin immediately regretted his words, but didn’t take them back. There was nothing in the world he wanted more than kissing Sehun again, but it wasn’t right.
“Why not?” Sehun asked, frustrated and tired “I’ve been here for weeks, Jongin. Months even, I don’t even know. I know you’re attracted to me, and I’m definitely attracted to you”
“This isn’t what you want. You think you want this, but it’s not true. Except my father and Taemin, I’m the only person you’ve seen all these weeks. You… you have developed some kind of dependence and this, this is bad. My presence brings you comfort and easiness because I mean safety. You’re… you’re confusing this with actual feelings”
“Don’t treat me like I’m a little kid who doesn’t understand anything” Sehun said again, fuming “I don’t care about all that shit. What I fucking care about is that I want to kiss you, and you want to kiss me, and you’re really a big idiot if you try to deny it. Let me… Let me have at least this”
“No, Sehun, absolutely nothing good will came out of this. You, you’ll only worsen this dependency. What you are feeling, is not real, and when you get out of here you’ll realize it. It will be better for both of us to not get messed in this kind of thing”
“You mean when I leave so your father can sell my body to the best bidder?” Sehun answered, hurt by Jongin’s words, and laughed wryly “Right, who would want anything to do with someone that is going to suffer that humiliation. You would be so ashamed of it. Of course”
That was absolutely not what Jongin meant. He forgot that Sehun actually thought that his only way out of the house was going to finally work at Exodus. Jongin wanted to assure him that it wasn’t like that. That if his father wanted him in Exodus, he would be there already. Sehun had no way to know that it was all a charade.
“Sehun, that’s not-“
“You’re right” Sehun interrupted him, getting up “It’s better if I cut short this “dependency”, as you say. I’m going to shower”
Jongin watched him disappear behind the bathroom’s door, and sighed. What was he doing. He wanted to stay, wanted to explain the whole thing to Sehun. And he wanted to kiss him again, and again and more than that. But Jongin meant what he said. Sehun was only doing that because he had been conditioned to feel happy with Jongin’s presence. Nothing more.
Without another word, Jongin left. He couldn’t think how to fix the mess he had been thrown into.
Taemin didn’t need words to know there was something wrong. They had known each other for years and they shared everything, so it was natural that Jongin had been telling him everything about the Sehun issue. His friend knew immediately that something had happened with Sehun.
“What’s wrong?” his friend asked once they were in the safety of Jongin’s room, with his hand on Jongin’s.
“My father” Jongin stopped talking. He didn’t need to explain more “Sehun told me you have been visiting him”
“Yes” Taemin wasn’t ashamed to admit it “I figured that you were too busy making heart eyes to him and had forgotten what actually was at stake”
“Jongin, I’m your best friend. When you talk about Sehun… Hell, your whole demeanour changes. It’s scary. You’ve completely fallen for him”
“He kissed me” Jongin confessed, lowering his voice to a mere whisper.
“Well, that’s not surprising” Taemin laughed “He has been wanting to do it for a long time”
Jongin looked up, irritated with Taemin’s words.
“What? Are you bestfriends now?”
“No, we’re not, Jongin” Taemin stated, frowning “It turns out that the only thing we have in common is you, so you can guess what most of our conversations are about”
Jongin snorted, and looked down again. Taemin started stroking his hair, knowing how much that helped Jongin to calm down. Damn best friends and their knowledge.
“I turned him down” Jongin said at last, after a few minutes of silence.
“Yeah, I guessed that as well” Taemin knew him too damn well “So now it’s my turn to tell you that you are stupid, Jongin. You spoke about making allies and all that shit, and here you had the perfect chance to make more than an ally, and you fucked up”
“It’s not… Taemin, he doesn’t even like me. He relies in this false happiness my presence gives him”
“Oh my god, you are the dumbest shit ever, Jongin. Please tell me you didn’t say that to him. Sehun isn’t stupid, you know. Yes, obviously this weird relationship that you have going on isn’t precisely healthy given that he is your father’s prisoner. But… Jongin, I already told you that you change when you talk about him, and it’s the same with Sehun. The way he behaves around you, it’s like he is a completely different person”
“Are you for real?” Jongin asked, a little ashamed, and curious.
“Boy, he is as whipped for you as you are for him. And you, like the idiot you are, rejected him”
“No buts. You are going to let yourself and him cool down, and tomorrow you are going to apologize and fix things.”
Jongin remained silent and then pulled away from Taemin’s touch, looking at him in the eyes, and frowning.
“There’s something else, right?
“Ah, you know me well” Taemin was smiling, but the smile didn’t reach his eyes “There’s rumours going around. I can’t say anything one hundred percent true, but… This stupid war? It’s not going to last. And the Ohs have everything to gain.
Jongin gulped. That could mean bad news for Sehun. If they decided to use him as leverage against his father… It could be gruesome.
“Make the most of the time you both have left” Taemin continued “because it won’t be much”
Taemin didn’t say anything else, and soon they were both in bed, resting. But Jongin couldn’t sleep. He knew Taemin was right, as usual. He wanted to see Sehun, even if he knew it was better to wait. At least until morning. If Jongin went to Sehun’s room in that moment, he knew the other could get aggressive or worse.
The night went slowly, and Jongin didn’t get a grasp of sleep. He was tired, but he was more nervous. Yes, he did fuck up, and now that he wanted to fix it, Jongin didn’t know if he was going to be able to do it. He found himself in front of Sehun’s door, trying to breath before entering.
When Jongin at last mustered enough courage to face Sehun, and opened the door, he found the other sitting on the floor, hugging his knees against his chest. Sehun looked up, but seeing that it was only Jongin, he snorted and looked down again.
“I’m sorry” Sehun interrupted him “I assumed things, yesterday. I thought that my feelings were mutual, but you made clear it wasn’t like that. I shouldn’t have kissed you. I’m sorry”
“They were- They are mutual” Jongin corrected Sehun, slowly approaching him. Sehun looked up again “Sehun, I didn’t want you to think that you were… weren’t…”
“Jongin, get straight to the point”
Jongin kneeled next to Sehun, resting his hand on Sehun’s knee, and sighing deeply. Sehun was looking at him, waiting for Jongin to go on.
“May I kiss you?” Jongin asked, after a moment of thinking.
Instead of answering, Sehun grabbed the collar of his shirt and closed the distance between them, kissing Jongin. If the first kiss had been an unforgettable experience, the second was even better. Jongin closed his eyes, and unlike the day before, he let himself be carried away, holding Sehun’s face between his hands, deepening the kiss. He felt like he was fourteen again, sharing his first kiss with Taemin, but better. More intense.
When Sehun broke away to catch his breath, Jongin could see his lips were slightly red and swollen, and he could guess that his were the same.
“You know, this would be a lot more comfortable if we were on the bed” Sehun said in a low voice
Nodding, Jongin got up, followed by Sehun, and soon they were both on the bed, with Sehun sitting on Jongin, who had his back on the mattress, and they were kissing again. Jongin felt Sehun hands roaming under his shirt and shuddered.
Sehun seemed impatient, because soon he started lifting Jongin’s shirt, and Jongin found himself without his shirt. Sehun admired his bare torso and Jongin laughed, pulling Sehun’s shirt and pouting. He took off his shirt too, and this time it was Jongin’s turn to admire his body.
Jongin lifted himself up and turned their positions, so it was Sehun under him. He saw the other smiling and he smiled as well before kissing him. He broke the kiss and started peppering Sehun with small kisses all over his face making the other laugh a little.
“Are you sure?” Jongin asked. He knew the answer but he needed to hear it.
“Yes, Jongin, stop worrying” Sehun assured him.
They kissed again. This wasn’t wrong. Sehun wanted to kiss him, it was not only Jongin. He wasn’t making Sehun do anything he didn’t want. They were both consenting, as much as the circumstances were allowing them to.
Hours later, they were both still on Sehun’s bed, with Jongin slowly caressing Sehun’s hair, humming. There were thinks still in his mind. What Taemin said to him…
“Sehun” his voice was raspy, and it echoed in the silent room.
“Mmmhm?” Sehun was practically purring against Jongin’s hand on his hair.
“You have to leave this place”
That made Sehun open his eyes, turning to Jongin, frowning. Jongin’s hand fell from his head.
“What are you saying, Jongin?”
“I don’t know what’s exactly happening out there but Taemin told me that your father-“
“Is he dead?” Sehun paled, and Jongin took his hand.
“No, no, he isn’t dead. Quite the contrary. Taemin said that he seems to be winning”
“We’re afraid. Of what they could do to you. How they could use you against your father”
Sehun bite his lip, thinking, and looking at Jongin.
“I’ll just leave the door open” Jongin said “I’ll make sure there’s nobody around. I’ll give you clothes, money. A disposable phone. You have to leave, please”
“If I go, all suspicions will be on you” Sehun was raising one eyebrow, not convinced by Jongin’s plan.
“Maybe” Jongin admitted “But I prefer that one thousand times to whatever they have planned for you”
“I won’t leave” Sehun decided “Your father wouldn’t be too harsh on you, but you wouldn’t be answering to him, but to his higher up”
“I said no. Let’s sleep Jongin” Sehun asked him, and Jongin could see insecurity in his gaze “If what you’re saying it’s true, we don’t know what’s going to happen. I would rather have a good memory to carry with me”
Jongin nodded and closed the distance between him and Sehun. They didn’t talk, but Jongin could say that Sehun didn’t sleep all night, same as him.
The next day came and went, and Jongin didn’t even realize it. But he had to at least find out what was going on. The entire household was tense, and Jongin couldn’t believe he didn’t notice before. Taemin was right, he was too preoccupied with Sehun.
Jongin tried to talk with his father, but not even him knew exactly what was going to happen. Taemin told him what his friends from Exodus knew, but their clients weren’t always involved in all that shit.
Jongin found in the companionship of Sehun a tranquillity that didn’t know even existed. He was inside Sehun’s room almost all the day and they just kept the other company.
It didn’t took him exactly by surprise when one day, just as he had left Sehun’s room, his father grabbed his arm, while speaking furiously with someone in the phone.
“Jongin! Grab Sehun, we’re going”
“Do as you’re told” his father answered, and then returned to his phone, leaving Jongin alone.
So, he run to Sehun’s room, and he realized that his hands were shaking, all of him was shaking. It was happening. They were going to take Sehun and do awful things to him, and maybe he wouldn’t survive. But they could leave. The two of them, along with Taemin. The three of them. They could run away. But fuck, they would be found for sure.
When Jongin opened the door, Sehun looked at him with confusion, and opened his mouth but Jongin didn’t give him time to talk.
“Where?” Sehun cocked his head.
“I don’t know, but we have to run”
“You don’t understand. We can leave, take Taemin with us and get the fuck out of here”
But before they could do any of that, someone hit his head from behind, and Jongin fell to the floor. Before he went completely unconscious, trying to keep his eyes opened, he could see two men entering the room and taking Sehun with them. Did his father finally realize where Jongin loyalties lied? Had he realized that he had to take Jongin out if he wanted to hurt Sehun?
The last thing that crossed his mind was that if they were going to kill Sehun, he hoped they would kill him too, because he would prefer that to living with the guilt of not saving him. And then everything went black.
When Jongin regained consciousness, the first thing he noticed was the head pain. The intense head pain. What happened? The second thing was that he was laying on some kind of soft surface, and not on the floor.
Carefully, Jongin opened his eyes, and noticed someone standing at his side. The relief in Taemin’s eyes made him smile. He looked around him and realized that they were in the nursing room of his own house.
“Jongin” his father said, standing at the door. Good timing. Jongin gulped, remembering the Sehun incident. Sehun… “I’m so glad you’re awake. I was afraid that… Well.” His father seemed worried about him.
“What happened? Where’s Sehun?” Jongin was afraid of the answer to his question, but he had to know. What had they done to Sehun?
“Back to his father” Jongin’s father answered, irritated, but worried “They sneaked into our house to rescue him and you were in the way. I’m sorry for putting you in danger, son”
Jongin gulped. That was good. It was good for Sehun, right? Being rescued. But those were bad news for his family. Before he could ask more, his father’s phone started ringing.
“Let’s talk later, Jongin” His father patted his shoulder and left the room, already talking to the phone.
Once they were alone, Jongin grabbed Taemin’s arm. His friend had to know something. He always found out everything before anyone else.
“Taemin, tell me what’s happening” Jongin needed to know the situation with Sehun’s family, and that stupid war.
“Things don’t look good” Taemin answered, lowering his voice “From what I gathered, the plan was asking for a truce in exchange of Sehun but… Well, obviously that isn’t possible anymore. They just took their trump card”
“Have you heard about Sehun?” Jongin asked, but Taemin shook his head.
“I only know what I told you, and the Ohs haven’t said anything. But I guess he is safe and sound now, or this house would be already on fire”
Jongin nodded, because Taemin was right. But there was another thing that concerned him. If the Ohs knew were Sehun was being held, there was nothing and no one that could save him. They were going to be destroyed.
They had to leave, now.
“When are we leaving?”
“They were waiting for you to wake up, so I guess that in any moment”
“Alright, help me get up” Jongin asked him, knowing that his body was still weak “I have to grab my things”
Once they left the house, their travel didn’t stop. From house to house, again and again. They didn’t stay two days in the same place. His father, his aunt and uncle, his cousins and Taemin, whom Jongin had insisted in bringing. No guards, no more people. Only them, with all their belongings left behind.
Things weren’t going to get better, that was clear. The Ohs were hunting personally all the people with connexions with the Chief. They were bound to find Jongin’s family in any moment. Jongin had hoped to see Sehun again before dying, but it seemed unlikely.
They were already packing the few things they had when their door was kicked and suddenly, they were surrounded, with pistols pointing to their heads.
So, that was the end? It seemed like it, as he watched how they shot his aunt and his cousins. Yes, Jongin never really liked them, but it still saddened him to watch them die. His uncle was shouting when he was shout, and him? Jongin was glad he was finally dead. He had abused Taemin more than once, even when his friend was already out of Exodus.
Jongin closed his eyes, waiting for his turn. Who would be first? Jongin wished he could save Taemin. He didn’t have anything to do with all of that. Taemin didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe it would have been for the best if they had left him behind, but Jongin knew that Taemin had wanted to go with him.
He waited and waited, but the next shoot never came. Jongin felt how his head was covered with some kind of hood. Even when Jongin opened his eyes, all he saw was black. Someone forced him to stand up, and put something hard and cold on his neck. Probably a pistol, great.
“If any of you tries anything” one of the men said “the three of you will die. One mistake, and it’s over for all of you”
They pushed Jongin and the rest into what he supposed was a van, hand tied and with the hood still on his head. Jongin wanted to say something, to make sure Taemin was with him and alive, but the warning of the other man resonated in his ears. He couldn’t risk his friend’s life like that.
When the vehicle finally stopped and the doors were opened, someone grabbed Jongin by his arm and pushed him to walk. Where were they taking him? Jongin tried to stop his body from trembling but it was hard when he was honestly scared.
After what seemed like hours to Jongin, they finally reached their destination, and Jongin was forced on his knees. Were his father and Taemin still with him? He had no fucking clue, but when the hood was finally removed from his head and Jongin cautiously looked around, he only could find his father. Taemin was nowhere to be seen. God.
“Kim” An imposing man was standing in front of them, looking directly at his father “You know who I am, right? And the reason why you are here”
“Oh” his voice was full of venom. Of course. That man was Sehun’s father.
“I’ve had a long talk with my son, about everything that happened. You are so fucking lucky that he has no scars on his body or that your stupid plan came to an end before anything worse, because if it weren’t for that, your death would be much slower and painful that is going to be”
Jongin paled hearing those words. He knew that they had been brought to be killed, of course. But hearing it directly from the man himself was much worse than simply knowing it.
“Is this one?” the man asked, and Jongin realized that he was looking at him. Someone from the back of the room moved, walking to the front, where Jongin was. Sehun was standing front of him, next to his father, with a straight face, completely serious and colder than ever. Sehun nodded “I see”
The man approached Jongin, kneeling next to him and grabbing his cheeks, pressing them with his hand to the point it hurt. He turned to Jongin’s father again, and Jongin could see the panic in his eyes.
“You’ve lost” Sehun’s father said, with no amount of emotion in his voice “We’ve been getting rid of each of you, because you were stupid enough to start a war against me. Of course, all of your business will belong to me since now, and that includes Exodus”
No one spoke a word, and Jongin could hear the beating of his own heart. He wanted to look up, look at Sehun and say anything to him. He wanted Sehun to hear his “I love you” before Jongin was dead.
“What was that you wanted to do with Sehun? Sell his body like he is a filthy whore?” Sehun’s father reminded him, and his voice wasn’t cold anymore, it was filled with anger “Well, I know that your son isn’t as important as mine, but I think he could make a great replacement, don’t you?”
“Please, no-“ Jongin’s father tried to beg but the other just laughed.
“You aren’t in any position to demand things, Kim. You are going to die today, knowing that it will be your fault that your son will live a fucking miserable life. The same life that you wanted to impose to mine.”
He released Jongin’s cheeks, and Sehun occupied his place next to Jongin, smiling. But it wasn’t a nice smile. It was a cold smile, that didn’t reach his eyes. Jongin gulped.
“We’re going to have a great time together, right? You know, you should have done as your father said. Now, things have changed” Sehun clicked his tongue and patted him on the check “I’ll make sure to visit you myself”
After that he got up, giving a meaningful look to Jongin’s father, who clearly wanted to protest, but couldn’t do anything to save his son.
Then, without any warning, Sehun pulled out a gun, and shot Jongin’s father in the head. Jongin saw his father’s body fall to the floor, lifeless, and tried not to cry. If they had really killed him, what was going to stop them from fulfilling the rest of the threat?
Someone, probably one of the men in the room, took care of his father’s body, but Jongin couldn’t stop looking at the spot on the floor where it had been. He didn’t have to look at his lifeless eyes anymore, but couldn’t erase the image of his memory. The stain of blood was still there, and Jongin was too occupied looking at it to notice that almost everyone had left the room.
When he at last looked up, there was only Sehun, with the same cold expression than before. Sehun approached him and Jongin tried to make himself smaller. Yes, he was afraid. Jongin wasn’t even surprised by this Sehun. He perfectly knew that the Sehun that had become his friend wasn’t the real Sehun. He knew. But still…
Sehun circled him and when he disappeared from his camp of vision, Jongin’s breath hitched, but all that Sehun did was free his hands, and Jongin breathed a sigh of relief.
With his hands at last freed, he moved his arms, trying to regain feeling in them, after all the time they had spent constricted. His wrists were slightly red, and he rubbed softly his fingers on them, trying to soothe the pain.
Jongin wanted to speak. He wanted to ask Sehun so many things. Was he really going to send him to Exodus? What happened to Taemin? Did Jongin even mean something to Sehun? But he didn’t want to give Sehun the chance to mock him, to confirm his suspicions that at the end, it was Jongin who had been used. That their weir relationship didn’t mean anything to Sehun. He felt dumb. All that time trying to make sure he wasn’t taking advantage of Sehun, and now…
“I’m sorry” Sehun said, looking at the stain of blood where Jongin’s father had been.
“Are you?” Jongin replied, bitterness filling his voice. Sehun turned to look at him.
“I’m sorry you had to watch. I’m not sorry for killing him, if that’s what you’re asking”
“Of course” Jongin wanted to get up, but Sehun still had a gun (or more), and he was practically defenceless. Still, maybe it would be better to be killed in that moment, than to suffer his punishment. Sehun didn’t give him the chance to choose.
“Get up” Sehun said, with a voice that didn’t admit complains. Jongin reluctantly did what he was told. Sehun started walking to the door, expecting him to follow.
“Wait” Jongin called, biting his lip. Sehun turned to look at him, expectantly “Were you serious? What you told your father?”
“Follow me” was Sehun’s answer. Jongin buffed, frustrated, but obeyed. He wouldn’t risk angering him, when he didn’t know if Taemin was safe.
So, Jongin followed Sehun without saying a word, leaving the room and walking until they reached another one. It was some kind of office, with his desk and everything, and to Jongin surprise, there was someone already inside.
When Taemin saw them, he got up in less than a second, running to hug Jongin and this time Jongin couldn’t help, and started crying while returning the hug. Taemin was safe, and that was all that mattered. When they pulled away, he breathed deeply and took his hands
“You’re okay” Jongin muttered, not really asking. Taemin nodded, smiling.
“We are okay” he corrected him. Jongin wanted to laugh but suddenly he wondered if Taemin was there because they were going to send him to Exodus again. He really hoped it wasn’t the case.
Sehun coughed, trying to regain their attention, sitting on the chair behind the desk. In that moment, more than ever, he actually looked as the son of one of the most dangerous men of city, and even the country. The heir to all his empire. Jongin and Taemin shared a look and then sat down, waiting for Sehun to talk.
There was a moment of silence that had Jongin squirming on his seat, while Sehun observed them, contemplative. Taemin seemed nervous as well, he probably didn’t know what was happening neither.
At last, Sehun looked at Taemin, and Jongin felt his heart stopping, waiting to hear what the heir had to say.
“I have your papers” Sehun said after a while, and Jongin could see Taemin frowning in confusion “Of course, I’ll understand if you’d prefer to leave the country, so… If you wish to go somewhere else just tell me so I can fix your papers for you”
“I don’t understand” Taemin started “I don’t know what you’re talking about”
“I opened a bank account under your name. I think there’s enough money for you to live comfortably several years and you’ll have time to accommodate to your new life, find a decent job… Of course, I could offer you a job with us, but I’m under the impression that you would rather leave this world completely.”
“You are free now” Sehun added “Free to go wherever you want. Also, you have an appointment with one of the best psychologists of the country. Please, go see her. After that, you can decide if you want to keep your visits or not. Don’t worry about the money, it will be on me”
“Sehun, I’m sure you are aware that I can’t possibly accept this” Taemin interrupted him, but Sehun smile. A big, sincere smile. Jongin almost melted.
“Please Taemin. I insist” Sehun begged him “You have an opportunity to start from zero. You would owe me nothing. Please”
“Can I think about it?” Taemin asked him, looking at his feet.
“Of course” the other answered “Irene will be outside waiting for you. She will show you your room. You have all the time you need, and I will be around here if you need to ask me anything”
Taemin nodded, and understanding that Sehun was asking him to leave, he did exactly that, giving Jongin a squeeze on his arm. And that left Jongin alone with Sehun again.
“What exactly are you doing” Jongin was confused, he didn’t understand what Sehun was trying to accomplish.
“Jongin, do you remember one of our conversations back in your house? You said yourself, you aren’t a good person and neither I am. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to do good things. Taemin acted like a friend back there. He helped me when he had no obligation. I’m trying to return that”
Jongin kept quiet because he couldn’t think what else to say. Sehun seemed sincere, yes, but what was going to happen with Jongin then?
“Your father is dead” Sehun continued.
“Yes, the sky is blue, water is wet” replied Jongin, a little irritated. Sehun rolled his eyes.
“Your father is dead, and everyone that worked for your, how did you call him? Your Chief. They’re dead, gone. All your business are ours, and that includes Exodus.
“Sehun, please, get straight to the point”
“Exodus is ours, but I’ll be honest with you, we are happy with how it was handled. It worked well, didn’t draw unnecessary attention. Unfortunately, all the people who managed the establishment, and the business, are… well, gone” Sehun stopped talking a moment, letting his words sink “Except you. I want to give you options, Jongin. You can leave with Taemin. I’m willing to offer you exactly the same I offered to him. You can leave together. Run from this forever”
“There’s something else, right?”
“Yes. I’m giving you other option. Stay here, with me. My father is going to retire in a few years, I’m basically ruling over his empire already. I want you to take over your father’s business. Exodus and all that it entails. But you would be working for me”
“Sehun, I-“ Jongin tried to say but the expression in Sehun’s face made him shut up. It was like they were back at Jongin’s house.
“I don’t want you to leave me, Jongin. I am selfish, yes. I want you to stay with me, work for me. I’ll make sure nobody hurts you. Oh, believe, I would like you to stay but here. If it were for me, you wouldn’t be able to leave the safety of this house. You wouldn’t have any responsibility; you wouldn’t have to anything. But, that would kill you, I know so… This is the next best. Work for me and you would be under my protection anyway, at the same time that having the freedom you want”
“And…” Jongin was trying to think something else “Why can’t I accept the same offer you did to Taemin, and still be with you?” He didn’t want to work for Sehun, he didn’t want to continue his father’s legacy. He wanted to forget about that. But Jongin didn’t want to leave Sehun, as much as Sehun didn’t want Jongin to leave him.
Sehun sighed. He wasn’t surprised by Jongin words, and probably had thought about that possibility already. To Jongin’s dismay, he shook his head.
“You know how this world works, Jongin. You know the danger that follows me and things will only get worse. If you are with me, at my side, you’ll be in danger too. My family’s name could protect you, a work with us will grant you not only my direct protection but you would be protected by my entire family. Of course, staying here doing as I tell you could work as well. But not… Not having a quiet civilian life. My enemies would find you and… No, that can’t be”
“I-“ Jongin wanted to add something, but he already knew his answer. Sehun smiled, but this time, was a sad smile.
“I’ll give you time, too. The choice is yours”
Jongin nodded and Sehun got up of his chair. But he had something else to say.
“I’m sorry for before. My father wasn’t very happy with yours, and wanted him to die miserably. It was the easiest way” Sehun seemed honestly regretful for putting Jongin in that situation, but Jongin understood. Sehun walked him to his room, both silent. “I’ll go inform Taemin that you are free already. You’ll want to talk”
With that said, Sehun disappeared, and Jongin fell to his new bed. Minutes later, Taemin joined him as Jongin explained all that Sehun had told him.
“We can be free at last. It’s what we always dreamt of” were Jongin’s last words.
“Jongin, don’t do this for me. If you want to stay, with Sehun, I’ll understand it”
“No. I really want to be free” Jongin said again “Forget about everything. About Exodus, about my father, the Chief… Forget about Sehun”
“So you already made your choice”
Taemin took Jongin’s hand with his own, squeezing it. Jongin knew that he should be happy. He was going to be free, and that was he always wanted. And he was happy, euphoric even. He could escape this world with his best friend. A dream came true.
Even it was going to break Jongin’s heart, the choice was already made.
Only the epilogue left
After a long day at work, Sehun finally was home. He opened the door to his house, which was in the last floor of the building where the majority of his personal business were managed. Commodity.
It had been a pretty stressful week, to the point that his secretary had physically threatened him to go home and rest all the weekend. Sehun, who was used to work on Saturdays, wasn’t happy with the decision.
He took off his shoes and his jacket, loosened his tie and just lied down on the couch. He always had known that once his father retired things were going to get hard but… God, there was days when he wished his father was still there, in charge of everything.
He had probably been 10 minutes lying down the couch without moving, too tired to even think about it, when he heard the door open. There was only one person besides himself that had the code, and his building was pretty secure, thank you very much, so Sehun knew who it was immediately. He smiled and soon felt a kiss on his check. Too wet, but sweet.
“I hate everything. Work was awful, and I’m guessing yours was as well. I brought dinner” Sehun couldn’t see his face but knew the other was probably smiling, holding the bag with takeout in his hand.
“Have I ever said that I love you?” Sehun answered before turning to look at his boyfriend, who was indeed smiling. He had the sweetest smile, it was one of the many things that Sehun loved about him.
Jongin almost dropped the dinner bag when Sehun grabbed his collar, forcing him to come closer and kiss him, but this time on his lips.
“Ah, yes, multiple times. You like to say it when you need something, or when I already did the thing you need”
Sehun laughed softly, punching him. They both knew that Sehun was actually sane thanks to having Jongin at his side. Without him he would have probably gone crazy or become cold, heartless boss, just like his father.
Sehun remembered perfectly the day, two years after Jongin and Taemin’s departure, when security had called to his office, saying that a very insistent man demanded to see him. Jongin had been the last person he had expected and it had been a nice surprise. When Sehun had asked him what was he doing there, Jongin had answered “We redid our lives. Taemin is happy, has a boyfriend and everything. But I’m not. I can’t stop thinking about you. You probably already have someone to take care of Exodus, but please take me back”
Sehun had been wordless, just nodding, saying “of course” again and again. How could he say no? It had been the best decision of his life, and he couldn’t imagine living without Jongin.
Jongin, who was already setting the table, saw him smile at the memories while he walked next to him and looked curious.
“What are you thinking about?”
“Have you regretted coming back, Jongin? Don’t you miss Taemin?” It had to be hard living without your best friend
“I have never regretted it. Not even once. And do you really think that I haven’t talked with Taemin? We resumed contact barely six months after I came back”
“What. You sneaky bastard, I thought that you-“
“I have my ways, Oh Sehun” Jongin grinned and Sehun rolled his eyes. Of course his boyfriend had gotten away with breaking the rules. “But I hope you know, I’m very happy to be here. It’s hard not seeing my best friend but we are both happy”
“I’m happy you are here” Sehun said, and hesitated before adding “I don’t know where he is, hell he is probably in another country. He probably doesn’t want anyone to know. But please, invite him one day to have dinner. It’s on me. We’ll go to somewhere far from here. No one will be in danger, I promise”
“I-“ Jongin gaze softened and he smiled, amused “I’ll tell him. Thank you”
Sehun laughed again, and kissed him again. Okay, so maybe they weren’t good people. They knew that. But they were good for each other, and that was all they needed.
First, actually the epilogue wasn't part of the original story. It was going to end with Jongin leaving with Taemin, and never coming back. So, if you like better that ending, this is completely optional. My heart just couldn't handle the angst so I wrote the epilogue. I'm so sorry, I'm weak.
Second, thank you so much for reading!! Thanks for the kudos, the comments, the bookmarks... This isn't my first fanfic, or my first EXO fanfic, but it is the first fanfic i write in english. So, thank you for bearing with the multiple mistakes, and thank to Uxia for correcting all the silly (and not so silly) mistakes in my broken english!
Third, this story actually wasn't going to be about Sehun and Jongin... I was inspired by the live performance of Taemin and Jongin in pretty boy, but as the sekai sucker that I am, this came to life... And I think I'm happy with the result, so I can't complain
Last! If you want to come and talk, my twitter is sehunmihijo
Thank you again so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it