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the line between night and day

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I hate people.

She couldn't care less who they were, what they did, or where they came from. She simply loathed people.

And tonight of all nights, is a testimony to that fact.

She lived alone. She could do as she pleased and carry it out how she saw fit. Just the way she liked it.

The street she lived on was quiet. Most of her neighbors were college students. Too tired and overworked from exams and part-time jobs to even think about making any sort of a ruckus.

The area may not have been the best in terms of quality, either - as no college student could possibly afford decent housing, but it was secluded and the neighbors were private.

This was the way she liked it.

Quiet.

Isolated.

And most definitely out of her business.

Until yesterday morning.

She trudged out of bed and while brewing her morning over-caffeinated coffee, she noticed a bright white U-Haul truck pulling into the driveway of the house to her right. Now that house has been desolate for awhile and that was fine with her. She wasn't big on the idea of someone new moving into the neighborhood and into her territory. She tagged that place enough times to claim it as her own.

But there she was, hair wild and askew, barely keeping her eyes open and all she wanted was to go back to bed. She watched helplessly as the U-Haul truck parked in front of the house that was like her child. And a silver car pulled up behind it.

She didn't have to see this person to know that she hated them already.

And when the man stepped out of the vehicle with the breeze carding through his light brown hair and the sun illuminating his skin and sparkling off his pearly white teeth, she realized that she didn't hate him.

No.

She loathed him.

Because right then and there, she knew he'd be the brunt of all her problems.

She was living a peaceful life here without an obnoxious 20-some-year-old getting all up in her business.

Part of her wanted to believe that this boy was simply going to help his crippled grandparent move in, but she knew, she knew with all her being that wasn't the case.

This boy was moving in. And he was going to be her damn neighbor.

As if he could tell she was cursing him out mentally, the boy's eyes tore away from the decrepit house he had bought and his gaze found her's.

She didn't give one crap about how she looked. If she looked good in that moment, then maybe he would try to get to know her. Boys and their hormones and all that garbage. She didn't want him to get to know her.

So as he smiled a smile that would make any sane person swoon, she stared right back at him with all the hatred she could muster into one expression and snarled at him.

He simply waved in return with a smile still adorning his features.

Oh, she wasn't going to have any of that. So she did what any normal person would do and flipped him off.

She sauntered off with a cup of black coffee in her hand.

She didn't give that kid much more thought throughout the day. The only thing she was worried about was him messing up her art that decorated the wall of that house.

She'd spent good, long hours working on her masterpieces. She sure as hell didn't want that punk messing it all up.

But it seems her lovely new neighbor wanted to mess up other things first.

It was late. Very late. Normally, she'd be up during the measly hours of the night doing God knows what. But tonight, she needed her sleep. Needed it. She had been pulling some all-nighters recently. But now that the college semester was rearing it's big ugly head again, she finally decided that she needed to kick her butt into gear and actually sleep for once.

She was off in dreamland, sleeping through her anxiety of the next day, when she was rudely awakened by uncharacteristic music blaring from, you guessed it, the house next door.

So there she was, trudging through the damp grass in her pajamas, cursing this boy's existence under her breath. She would've tried waiting it out and pray that someone else come and knock on the door to turn the music down. But she needed her damn sleep for the next day and her house was right on top of his (as they didn't have much of a lawn in this neighborhood), so she took it upon herself to chew his head off personally.

After stomping up the front steps of the house, she pounded on the front door. She doubted anyone would hear it though, considering the building was trembling from the bass rocking from the inside of the house.

There was a conglomerate mess of vehicles on the front yard. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, hell, even bikes were littered across the grass.

How many people were at this godforsaken party?

The door finally swung open. She crossed her arms against her chest, staring down the boy who stood in the doorway. This one wasn't the one she saw this morning, though he looked to be about the same age. He had blonde hair, cropped close to the sides of his head around his ears. A fluffy, congealed mess of hair sat atop his head. He cocked his head at her, pointing at her as he held his cup limply in his hand. Heavy-lidded eyes looked back at her as he blink slowly.

Great. Drunk.

"Cute jammies."

"Stuff it." She rolled her eyes. "Take me to the owner of this house."

"So demanding," he hiccuped and took a swig of his drink. "I'm Joonie."

Did I ask? "And I'm tired. Now show me the reason for my lack of sleep."

Without a word, he grabbed the sleeve of her shirt and dragged her through the door, closing it behind them.

She hissed at him.

As soon as she entered the house, her head began throbbing the same beat as the pounding music. The house was just as she left it, save for a few pieces of a furniture and some heavy duty speakers. Through the bodies aggressively bumping and grinding into each other to the beat of the music, she could see one of her paintings. A couch was pressed up against the wall where she had brought her paint and brushes to adorn the features of the building. Other than that, it looked pretty much untouched.

She sighed, realizing that this Joonie guy had abandoned her at the front door.

She wasn't about to mill about and wait for him to return so she started making her way through the crowd, pushing people out of her way as she went.

She found herself in a densely packed kitchen. Teens gathered around an island, pushing each other to get another shot of alcohol for themselves. Soon, she was barricaded in as more tipsy teens converged around her, not giving a single lick about who they were touching and where they were touching them.

Somehow, through the grace of the God above, she broke through the ravenous crowd, stumbling into a rare opening free of partygoers. She could finally breathe a little.

"Looking for something particular?"

She looked up at the sound of a voce directed towards her. Her eyes caught the gaze of an attractive young man, maybe a little bit older than herself. Ruffling his black hair, he slung a hand towel over his shoulder.

"You thirsty?" He held a red plastic cup out to her.

As tempting as it was to chug a few and forget about her worries, that isn't what she came here for. "I have to decline. I'm here on business."

His eyes widened at that. "I swear, if Suga hired another stripper -"

"Hold up. I ain't no stripper. I'm a overworked college student who wants her dang sleep."

"My apologies, miss." He bowed deeply, repeating the action a few times. "I shouldn't have made such an assumption."

She scowled. Did she look like a stripper? In her pajamas? Well, at least he had some manners and apologized. She crossed her arms. "Whatever. You can make it up to me by taking me to the owner of this house."

He nodded immediately. "It's the least I could do." He then lead her back into the bustily crowd, his hand resting on the middle of her back to guide her in the correct direction. The touch was so delicate, so soft, she hardly noticed it was there at all.

"You live next door, right?" The man asked from behind her. He was leaning up closer, raising his voice some so she could hear him over the music.

What about it? "Yes."

"I take it you're here to shut the party down?"

"How observant."

He chuckled and his breath fanned her ear. She cringed away from the feeling.

Suddenly, he was pulling her to a stop. He thumped one of his knuckles on the door to the right of them. "Well, here you are."

She raised an eyebrow skeptically. "What's in there?"

"The basement."

"Uh, yeah. Why would I go down into the basement?"

"You wanted to speak to the man of the house." He opened the door wide before gesturing towards the stairs that led into a dark abyss. "He's down there."

"Sounds sketchy. No thanks," she huffed. "Why don't you go down there and get him for me, hm?"

Crossing his arms, he leaned against the doorframe. "You were the one who wanted to talk to him. I'm not doing it for you."

Her eyes flickered between the man next to her and the stairs in front of her. "I swear to everything that is pure and holy in this world, if something happens to me down there -"

"Nothing's going to happen. Trust me."

"I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I've only just met you. You're a stranger and I don't take kindly to strangers."

The man stuck a hand out to her. "I'm Seokjin." He smiled warmly. "Call me Jin."

Only out of politeness, she took his hand and shook it firmly.

"See? Not strangers now, are we?"

She huffed. "I will murder you and your family."

"Well, hate to burst your bubble, but someone beat you to that already," he laughed dryly. "Now, get your butt down there. You're not gonna get any sleep talking to me."

Jin patted her on the back as she forced her legs to take the first step down the stairs. She glanced back at him and he flashed her another warm smile. As she descended the stairs, she heard him call out, "Hey! I don't think I caught your name!"

"I didn't give it."

✧✧✧✧✧✧✧✧

She found herself in a place she would rather not be.

The small confines of the basement was overrun with the powerful stench of smoke. She could practically see the grey entrails hanging in the air.

Gagging, she powered through a thick cloud of smoke, ignoring the man leaned against the wall at the bottom of the stairs, who was busy grazing his eyes down her body as he took a long draw from the cigarette in his hand.

He pushed himself off the wall lazily, following her after she passed him.

She paused in the middle of the room with the man halting a few paces behind her - his eyes still trained on her form.

"Yah!" There was a man, lounging on the couch to her left. A woman was resting against him, her hand running up his clothed chest. The man flicked his mint hair out of his eyes with the flick of his hand before sucking gently on the cigarette in his hand. As he spoke, trails of smoke fell from his pink lips. "Taehyung, get your horny ass over here and leave the girl alone."

The man behind her, Taehyung, she supposed, let out a soft grumble before plopping on the floor in front of the couch. He leaned his head back against the cushions. When his eyes found the woman's, he pointed at his lips with his index finger, puckering up even before she leaned down to give him a lewd, rough kiss.

The unnamed man let out an exasperated huff at the action. "Yeah, go ahead and enjoy. It's not like it's my money paying for 'em or anything."

Her upper lip curled up into a sinister smile. "You must be Suga." She recalled how as Jin mistook her for a stripper, he mentioned a 'Suga' being the one doing the hiring.

Suga drew a large puff from his cigarette, his words falling from his mouth as smoothly as the smoke, "Yeah. What's it to ya?"

Ohoho. I'm not taking that attitude, mister. In a split second, she snatched the cigarette from his calloused fingertips right before it rested against his pouty lips again.

"Yah!" He shot up, reaching out to grab it back, but it was already too late. The cigarette bud was already on the bare ground of the basement and under her boot. "That was my last one!"

She shrugged. "Should've brought more."

His cheeks flushed red - a stark contrast to his milky white skin and his nose scrunched up as he snarled.

Then he lunged.

Her life pretty much flashed before her eyes, reminding herself that it was pretty crap and that maybe, this would be the perfect time to die. Strangled by the hands of some petite mint-haired smoker.

Much to her dismay, his hands hardly even grazed the skin on her neck before he was violently pulled away.

A taller male had his hands gripped firmly on Suga's shoulders, holding him in place. He patted a pack of cigarettes against Suga's chest. "I always have your backups, remember?" He said. "Now, take your own advice and leave the girl alone."

Rolling his eyes, Suga took the packet and took out a fresh cigarette, not before he shot another warning look at her.

The new arrival patted his bum and Suga scurried away back to the couch.

She recognized his face before he even fully looked at her. Suga faded away, pouting, but his eyes gleamed as he slipped the cigarette between his lips.

The man's eyes met hers - attention focused solely on her. She quickly found the air being forced from her lungs, her chest constricting, heart throbbing as he flashed an award-winning smile. His teeth practically glimmered in the low light.

Ew.

Even the shape of his lips made a heart.

"I don't think I invited you," he poked, a loud laugh falling from his lips.

His smile engulfed his entire face. Soft cheeks rose with the corners of his mouth to squeeze his eyes shut into little crescents. Jolly and full of merit, his laugh boomed throughout the small room and bounced off the concrete walls.

She cringed internally at the overbeating sound. She tried masking her discomfort, making it seem as if the noise had no effect on her whatsoever, as if his breath wasn't fanning across the span on her cheeks with a thick blanket of alcohol encasing the air around him.

But as the sound carried on, she shrunk, hunching her shoulders into herself as the sound filled her ears. Her mouth did quite the opposite of his - the corners turning down as far as they could go. A low growl left her slightly parted lips.

"I don't need an invitation," she retorted. It's not like I'm sticking around to party anyway.

His face practically brightened even more at the shape tone of her voice. Eyes sparkling, he asked, "What's your name?"

She thought for a moment. "Roxanne."

"Sounds fake, but okay." He bowed. "Jung Hoseok."

Don't remember asking. Roxanne didn't bow in return.

A light bulb dinged brightly above his head. "You were the one who flipped me off this morning."

"Guilty as charged." She shrugged smugly. "You're the one who moved into my territory this morning."

"Your territory?"

She stared him down.

"I guess that means I have you to thank for decorating this house for me?"

Roxanne threw him a peace sign, showcasing the paint dried to her fingertips. "If you think even for a second-"

"Don't worry your pretty little mind, I think the artworks' beautiful."

Artwork? Beautiful?

Those are two words that have never been used to describe her word. Ugly, sure. Disrespectful, yeah. Illegal, definitely. But beautiful? Yeah, never beautiful.

"You're blushing."

She gasped, her hands shooting up to cover her cheeks and sure enough, they were burning hot - probably as red as his hair. She tsked. She scoffed. She cleared her throat....anything for the redness to subside.

"Cute."

Aish! "Whatever. Just turn the damn music down." Then she stalked right out of the building.