Matthew Suh was the biggest asshole Taeyong had ever met.
He was so fucking full of himself. From the moment the two of them had bumped into each other, he had never once stopped talking about himself. How he liked to volunteer for people who had less than him—which was, like, more than half of the fucking population of Korea and probably the entire world considering that most weren’t billionaires. How he gave to charity whenever he could. How despite all of the rumors surrounding his company, it was really about helping out the common man.
Taeyong didn’t give a single fuck. He couldn’t have cared even if he wanted to. Matthew was an attractive dude but that was about all he had going for him despite the fact that he was loaded. Taeyong had been around a lot of less than desirable men during his career but Mathew? Well, he was a whole new breed. Taeyong had no idea that someone could be so utterly obsessed with themselves. It was crazy.
They had met at some fundraiser in Seoul. Taeyong didn’t know what it was for. Yuta had gotten him in through a friend of a friend and told him to stay safe, that this party was hosting more than a couple of people that were much darker than they seemed on the outside. Taeyong had shrugged and didn’t bother to respond to his message, leaning in his bathroom mirror to finish dabbing the chalky red eyeliner under his eye. People didn’t really appreciate when men wore makeup at events like these but Taeyong didn’t care. There would be some man that would catch sight of him and be interested by his glossy lips and charcoal–lined eyes and that was all that mattered in the end.
As it turned out, the man who was running the fundraiser happened to be that person. He approached Taeyong at the bar and asked him what he would like to drink. Taeyong didn’t immediately recognize him and thought he looked too young to be anyone of any importance but still smiled back at him and ordered a shot of gin. It wasn’t too far into their conversation that Taeyong realized this was the dude. This was the guy that Seongwoo had tried to base his entire career off of. This was one of the richest men in Korea at the moment. He grinned around the rim of the glass in his small hand, sitting up a bit straighter in his chair and cocking his head to the side as Matthew started to ramble on and on about what the fundraiser was about and what it all stood for. Suddenly, Taeyong was a lot more interested in what this man had to say.
Matthew incited Taeyong back to his place pretty quickly which Taeyong was grateful for. Only his place wasn’t actually his place and was actually his building a few blocks down from where the party was being held. Taeyong had to hold back a snort at this. What a fucking asshole. Who brought back some fling to their company building? The same asshole who didn’t think twice and courting the very obviously young boy who had absolutely no place at his ridiculously upscale fundraiser, Taeyong supposed.
“Don’t tell anyone about this, by the way,” Matthew had said as Taeyong stepped out of the car, blinking up at the massive building. A small part of him suddenly understood what Matthew had brought him there. The building was beautiful and impressive. If Taeyong cared more, he definitely would have been swooning at the sight of it.
“Why?” Taeyong asked, looking back at Matthew. “You don’t want to be Korea’s first openly gay entrepreneur?”
It had obviously been a joke but Matthew’s face immediately went sour. “I’m not gay,” he said defensively, shutting his door and locking it with the small remote in his hands. “Just curious.”
Jesus, Taeyong thought. Not only was this guy a prick but he was one that thought fucking men was some kind of a social experiment? He definitely wasn’t going to feel any remorse about sucking this man dry. Someone needed to bring him down from that disgustingly high horse he was on.
“Curious, huh?” Taeyong muttered, nodding his head. “Got it.
Matthew didn’t say anything in response to that. Taeyong didn’t need or want him to. They go inside the building where Matthew does a series of things to go about unlocking the impressively–secured palace. Taeyong looked around as he did so. The inside of the building really was pretty. There were glass paneling and sleek marble floors that clicked lightly with each step of Matthew’s expensive dress shoes. Taeyong looked down at his own worn Doc Martens. He really needed to invest in some better, more appropriate shoes. Maybe he would right after this whole ordeal with Matthew.
Once on the final floor of the building, Taeyong walked over to the empty receptionist’s desk and picked out a small cherry lollipop from the glass mug on the top of the sleek counter. He unwrapped it and walked back over to Matthew at the window where he stood, sticking the sugar stick into his mouth as he wrapped both of his thin arms around Matthew’s waist, propping his chin on Matthew’s broad shoulder. He smelled like the type of cologne that was only sold in fancy department stores in America.
The city below was beautiful. It was a little past midnight but the streets were still alive and booming. People walked to and fro, either by themselves or in crowds, on their way home or to some club where they would drink cheap soju sold to them for twice the price it was actually worth and post about it on their Instagram accounts. Taeyong took a moment to appreciate all of the lights and the life of downtown Seoul, clicking the lollipop around against his teeth.
“You’re pretty impressive, huh, hyung?” Taeyong asked, looking up at Matthew with a small smile.
Matthew hesitated a moment before pushing him away. He looked back at Taeyong, frowning a little. Taeyong only raised an eyebrow at him. “Where’d you get that from?” Matthew questioned. Taeyong took the lollipop out of his mouth and pointed over to the desk with the spit–soaked thing.
“Why?” Taeyong responded, popping the candy back into his mouth. “You don’t like cherry?”
Matthew blinked at Taeyong for a long moment. Then he shook his head. He pulled a slim remote from out of his pocket and pointed it at the door behind Taeyong, causing it to start sliding open slowly.
“Go,” Matthew said shortly and Taeyong pulled at the stick, dragging the lollipop against his teeth.
“Ominous,” Taeyong finally singsonged, turning around on the heel of his boot. He wasn’t being as stupid and friendly as he usually would because he knew that facade simply wouldn’t work on Matthew. While incredibly full of himself and vapid, Taeyong knew that Matthew was way too smart for that.
Taeyong stepped inside what he quickly realized was Matthew’s office, slipping off his blazer and setting it down on one of the velvet chairs across from his desk. He walked around and took in everything, silently searching for something he could use for later. A hint for a password. Some file left out in the open. Men with power were dumb like that. They were too obsessed with themselves to actually take any real precautions against potential danger—like an 18–year–old Omega strolling around their office with the eyesight of an eagle—apart from all of the expensive security features they had throughout their buildings and homes. Unfortunately for Taeyong, he couldn’t find anything.
He sat down in one of the chairs and picked up a frame sitting on the leftmost corner of Matthew’s desk. It was a picture of Matthew and an older man and woman who looked almost identical to him along with an extremely tall man with dark hair and a small frown on his face, a scar cutting down his lip. Taeyong’s gaze lingered on him a moment longer than anyone else before he was turning around, holding the frame up to Matthew who was still strolling around outside of his office.
“This your family?” Taeyong asked and Matthew looked over at him. For a moment, Taeyong thought Matthew might scold him for going through his things. He wasn’t particularly scared of being chastised, figuring that he would be able to move the both of them past it pretty easily. Fortunately, Matthew only looked at the picture for a moment longer before nodding slowly.
“Mom and Dad,” he answered from afar. “And my little brother.”
“Not very little, is he?” Taeyong commented offhandedly, looking at the picture for a little while longer before placing it back down on Matthew’s desk. “He an Alpha?”
“No,” Matthew said, shaking his head. “Nobody in my family is genetically.”
Taeyong clicked his tongue at that. He almost always preferred an Alpha over a regular human but knew humans were a lot safer, what with the threat of not being accidentally mated not there with them. He bit down on the lollipop and it crunched between his teeth, filling his mouth with the overwhelming taste of sugar.
“What’s his name?” Taeyong asked as Matthew started to make his way into the office. He didn’t flinch as Matthew approached him, bracing both of his hands on either side of the chair, caging Taeyong in. Taeyong smirked up at him, waiting patiently for an answer.
“I don’t talk about my family with people I barely know,” Matthew finally said and Taeyong is unable to stop himself from snorting as Matthew went to pull away. He watched Matthew shrug off his blazer and fold it neatly, placing it on top of Taeyong’s own in the chair across from him.
“Yeah?” Taeyong challenged and Matthew nodded in response. “So what do you talk about with people you barely know?”
“What kind of wine they prefer,” Matthew said and Taeyong laughed, biting down on the slowly dissolving paper stock in his mouth.
“I’m not picky,” Taeyong shrugged and Matthew smiled at him before leaving the room completely, leaving Taeyong by himself in the massive space.
As soon as Matthew’s footsteps had died down enough to where Taeyong knew he wasn’t anywhere close, he hopped up from his chair and immediately started to rummage around the room. He opened drawers and looked through files, cursing quietly underneath his breath when he found nothing that would benefit him. He glanced back at the entryway Matthew had disappeared through before walking back over to the chair Matthew had dropped his blazer in, starting to go through each and every intricate little pocket. Taeyong found a lighter and a pack of cigarettes. He also found a condom. He was about to give up and figure it out later when the remote Matthew had been holding caught his attention. He pulled it out and rolled it around in his hands a couple of times before hearing a small clicking noise with each pivot.
“What the fuck?” Taeyong mumbled, pushing some of his hair behind his ear before shaking the remote in his hand. The noise became louder. He heard something shut from wherever Matthew was and decided to move a bit quicker, snatching open the remote.
There was a small card inside. It wasn’t exactly small but didn’t particularly resemble a regular bank card. Taeyong quickly realized that this was one of Matthew’s company’s card. There probably wasn’t any sort of a limit on this, especially if it personally belonged to Matthew. Taeyong smirked before snatching out his phone, unlocking it and quickly pulling up the messaging app. He started a new thread and punched in every number of the card before sending it to himself. He then took a picture of both the front and back of the car and sent that to himself too.
He heard Matthew on his way back right as the message went through with a small chime. Taeyong cursed again and swiftly pushed the remote back together, shuffling back over to the chair and slipping it back into the pocket of Matthew’s grossly expensive blazer. He turned around with a smile right as Matthew came back in holding two glasses of white wine in either hand.
“What you got your phone out for?” Matthew asked, gesturing to the device in Taeyong’s hand with a nudge of his chin. Taeyong looked down at it and shrugged as casually as he possibly could, holding it up for Matthew to see.
“Just scrolling through Instagram,” Taeyong lied easily. “Got bored.”
“Yeah?” Matthew said, walking over to hand Taeyong the glass of wine. Taeyong accepted it and immediately took a small sip.
“Yeah,” Taeyong confirmed, smiling a bit. “Don’t believe me?”
“I do,” Matthew responded, smiling back. He placed a finger on the bottom of Taeyong’s glass and tipped it up against Taeyong’s lips. “Drink up.”
And Taeyong did.
Taeyong woke up with a massive headache. He opened his eyes and immediately groaned at the bright light that only worsened his migraine. A deep, dull pain had settled in his side as well. He looked around to see that he was in some old diner. There was a menu in front of him titled BUSAN WEEKLY DINER. What the fuck? How had they gotten to Busan?
Then it hit him. Him getting shot back in Gimhae. His and Johnny’s argument inside the pharmacy. Johnny grabbing hold of his wrist and urging him to run because of the obvious danger they were in. Johnny suddenly collapsing to the ground followed by that sharp collision to the back of his head. He reached a hand up to feel at the spot that had been struck and immediately winced, drawing his fingers back quickly with the pain that had blossomed with the simple graze of his fingers. He looked down at his hand. His fingers were stained with blood.
Johnny was nowhere in sight. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t anyone nearby. Taeyong was completely by himself. He looked out the window beside him at the nature being blown carefully by the outside wind. They were clearly in the middle of nowhere. This was definitely bad.
“Hey!” Taeyong called out, moving to stand up from the booth he was in. He immediately stopped at the sound of a gun clicking back in warning and turned around to see none other than Matthew standing there, an eyebrow raised as he pointed the pistol straight at Taeyong. Taeyong slowly sat back down, listening to Matthew’s shoes click against the linoleum floors of the restaurant.
It went quiet for a moment. Taeyong glared up at Matthew as he stepped in front of him, the gun still aimed directly at his forehead. Nice. He was really gonna die at the hands of this asshole.
“No way you looked all over fucking Korea just to shoot me,” Taeyong mumbled. “That seems a little boring.”
“You really think it’s the best idea for you to have a smart mouth with a gun pointed at your head?” Matthew questioned in response.
Taeyong knew he probably shouldn’t be saying anything. He definitely shouldn’t be saying anything. He just didn’t care. Him being submissive and doing all that Matthew wanted him to do wasn’t going to change anything for him. Matthew wasn’t suddenly going to be inclined to let him go if he stopped being smart with him. What would be the point?
“I’m not gonna beg if that’s what you want,” Taeyong muttered quietly. “You might as well shoot me right now.”
Maybe part of Taeyong wanted to die. That sounded morbid. But sitting here in front of Matthew who had a gun pointed at him, Taeyong really didn’t care anymore. Johnny wasn’t with him. The police were after him meaning that even if he survived this, he would probably only end up arrested where the police would undoubtedly link what happened to Yukhei to him and put him away for life. Everyone left. It didn’t matter. It might have been these past couple of days getting to him. All the stress and panic and anxiety. Taeyong didn’t know. He was exhausted though. He just wanted it all to end and whether it ended with him alive and in prison or dead by the hands of Matthew, Taeyong just didn’t care. He didn’t fucking care anymore.
Matthew smirked a little before lowering the gun. Then, surprisingly enough, he bent down and placed it in Taeyong’s lap. Taeyong blinked at the pistol and frowned but didn’t dare pick it up. This had to be some kind of a trap. He wasn’t going to touch it.
Something caught his attention on his left. When Taeyong turned, he noticed the door to the kitchen moving gently, like someone had touched it. He didn’t look at it for too long, ultimately turning his attention back to Matthew who had sat down on the countertop across from him.
“Where’s Johnny?” Taeyong decided to ask.
“You know,” Matthew started in a way that let Taeyong know almost immediately that he wasn’t going to get the answer to his question, “I did think it was really weird how interested you seemed in my brother that night we were together.”
And for the first time since it had happened, Taeyong thought back to that night. It was blurry. He didn’t keep hold of the memories of the men he spent time with for the sole reason that he didn’t care about them when it had nothing to do with their money. Still, a small part of him could remember the framed picture on Matthew’s desk. It was weird to think about. Had him picking up that frame been some strange foreshadowing to how his life would end up only some months later?
“I definitely wasn’t interested in you,” Taeyong said in response, growing a bit anxious because where was Johnny? What had Matthew brought him here, to Busan? What was this about? “Where’s Johnny?”
“It’s kind of cute how worried you seem to be about him,” Matthew said, cocking his head to the side. He looked so childish sitting up there on that counter, swinging his legs back and forth like he hadn’t just kidnapped someone. “You two actually suit each other.”
“ Where is Johnny?” Taeyong repeated for the third time because he literally didn’t give a single shit about Matthew or what he had to say about him.
“Gone,” Matthew finally answered. “He’s gone, Taeyong.”
Taeyong’s stomach dropped. Gone? What the fuck did that mean? Gone like Johnny had left him by himself? Gone like Matthew had done something to Johnny? Gone like Matthew had turned Johnny into the police and he was currently being detained in some filthy cell? Either way, it didn’t sound good. Taeyong didn’t want Johnny to be somewhere nearby suffering but for him to be gone? That was bad. What had happened to him? What had Matthew done to him? Or maybe Taeyong should have been asking: what had Johnny done to him?
“Jesus, look at your face!” Matthew laughed, causing Taeyong to flinch with the sheer volume of his voice.
“Fuck you,” Taeyong immediately spat. “What the fuck did you do to Johnny?”
“Nothing that he didn’t ask for,” Matthew said, still smiling.
Taeyong felt like he could vomit. He still didn’t know what that meant. Had Johnny really left him on his own in the hands of his brother? He couldn’t have. Then again, why wouldn’t he have? What had Taeyong ever done for him other than get him into trouble that he ultimately would never be able to get himself out of and be mean? Taeyong would have left if he was Johnny. What if Matthew had let him go as long as he gave him up? That would be a good deal. Johnny could escape and get rid of him all in one go.
Jesus. Jesus. Taeyong could fucking cry. What was wrong with him? He deserved this. He fucking deserved this.
“Well,” Taeyong said, doing his best to regain his composure. He wasn’t going to let Matthew see him be visibly bothered by Johnny’s sudden disappearance. That would only give him control over him. That was the last thing Taeyong wanted. “You got me. What’s next?”
“I think that the one thing I wanna know,” Matthew started, pushing himself off of the counter and walking over to Taeyong. He stopped right in front of him and pushed his hands into the pocket of his slacks, giving Taeyong a quick once–over, “is what you did with my money.”
Taeyong paused. What he had done with Matthew’s money? What else would he have done with it. He had fucking spent it. On clothes, on his grossly expensive apartment in Seoul, on his previous lifestyle as a whole. He still had some of it tucked away somewhere but the amount left over wasn’t even close to the amount he had stolen from Matthew. Matthew’s money was gone. Of course it was gone. After all, it had been stolen by a money–hungry 18–year–old.
“It’s fine,” Matthew said, interrupting Taeyong before he could even think of what to say in response. “I know you probably spent it on something stupid that won’t matter come a year from now.”
Taeyong eyed the gun in his lap. There had to be a reason why Matthew had given it to him. Then again, what if there wasn’t? What if Matthew was trying to test his strength? Should he pick it up? No, Taeyong ended up deciding. Even if there was anything inside the gun and Matthew was foolish enough to give him a loaded weapon, there was no way Taeyong would be able to get out that simple. There had to be something to it that he hadn’t realized yet.
“You know, Taeyong, I’m not mad about the money,” Matthew continued, slipping into the seat across from him. The movement was so quick and sudden that Taeyong’s fingers wrapped around the gun in his lap out of pure instinct. Matthew peered over at him and laughed a little. There couldn’t have been anything in the gun. There wasn’t anything in there that could harm him and Matthew knew it. “Money is easily replaceable.”
“Well, you have to be mad about something, don’t you?” Taeyong said dryly, still holding onto the gun under the table. “Wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.”
“You got me there,” Matthew nodded, laughing quietly. He really looked a lot like Johnny. Taeyong didn’t know how he hadn’t noticed it before. Matthew was clearly older and a bit more distinguished than Johnny with shorter hair and darker skin but they were almost exact copies of each other. “I’ll admit that I was pretty upset once I found out what you had done,” Matthew said, shrugging. “I mean, I’m a pretty smart guy and you’re clearly nothing beyond your look but I had a stressful week and you caught me at a bad time and that was on me. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
“Fuck you,” Taeyong hissed. Who the fuck did Matthew think he was trying to imply that he was anything less than?
“I wasn’t even gonna go to the police,” Matthew said, completely ignoring Taeyong. “You had taken a lot but I’m a fucking billionaire. It’s not like you had put any kind of a dent in my legacy, Taeyong. But then that guy—ah, what’s his name? Kim Byungsoo or something like that. Well, he came forward and the police in Seoul are so fucking nosy. They had recently gotten a lot of backlash from the public after some journalist exposed them for closing a murder case without having any real evidence on the man they had fingered for it. They needed to prove themselves.” Matthew paused and looked at Taeyong a bit closer, raising an eyebrow. “Bet you didn’t know that, did you?”
No, Taeyong didn’t know that. Why would he have? He was fresh out of high school with a boyfriend who loved him living a life that most people his age and even beyond could only dream of. He simply didn’t care enough to pay attention to anything like that. Nonetheless, he kept his mouth shut. There was no point in him responding to anything Matthew had to say to him.
“Of course you didn’t,” Matthew snorted lowly, shaking his head. “Well, the police in Seoul had something to prove. I don’t know how the fuck they found out but they did and suddenly I was being named as one of the people who had gotten played by some fucking Omega. You made me into a victim, Taeyong. Except people didn’t feel sorry for me. They were disgusted. Doing business with a gay man? Most people wouldn’t be caught fucking dead.”
Matthew threw a pack of sugar at that, causing Taeyong to flinch a little. He smirked a bit but didn’t mention Taeyong’s obvious nervousness of him, nor how he had visibly tensed up.
“People started to pull out of deals with me and my company,” Matthew proceeded, picking up another small packet of Stevia and opening it. He poured it out onto the table and started to play with it, spreading the white crystals to and fro. Taeyong glanced over at the kitchen door again. “My stocks went down. People all over the country—most of which I had never even met— started to come forward and say that I had messed around with them too. A month after everything had leaked and I was dragged down from one of the most respected men in all of South Korea and the fucking world to some pervert. Whether you meant to or not, Taeyong, your little stunt really fucking ruined the career that I spent years building.”
“Sucks,” Taeyong muttered quietly. “Maybe if you didn’t fuck underaged boys you wouldn’t be here.”
Matthew snorted a little and pushed himself up from his seat. He ran a hand through his hair and walked behind Taeyong, slipping the same hand under Taeyong’s chin. He forced Taeyong to look up and smiled down at him. Taeyong knew that he should have been scared but he wasn’t. Fuck Matthew. He wasn’t going to get any sort of reaction out of him. Not one that he wanted.
Taeyong gasped a little when Matthew’s grip suddenly went impossibly tight on his face, metal rings digging hard into his skin. He tried to pull away but Matthew was stronger, fingers pressing even further into each of Taeyong’s full cheeks.
“You’ve got a real smart mouth, Taeyong,” Matthew hissed, showing real anger for the first time Taeyong had seen him. “I’m getting fucking sick of it.”
“I’m not scared of you,” Taeyong muttered, his voice muffled due to Matthew’s fingers on either side of his face.
“You should be,” Matthew said darkly, staring down at Taeyong for only a moment longer before letting go of him completely. Taeyong jerked away from him as soon as his hands were gone, disgusted by the feeling of Matthew touching him.
Then, without warning, Matthew was reaching down into his lap and snatching the gun. He didn’t hesitate before aiming it at the window behind Taeyong and pulling the trigger, causing the glass to immediately shatter with the searing hot bullet that went crashing through it. Taeyong put his hands over his head and ducked down as he heard the gun click back again. Not too long after, the burning pistol was being pressed against his scalp. He could feel it pushing hard into his skin, the heat emitting from the weapon scalding him. He didn’t dare look up.
“Knew you wouldn’t do it,” came Matthew’s voice from above him.
Taeyong didn’t respond. He couldn’t bring himself to. After only a couple more beats of silence, Matthew was pulling the pistol away from his head and pushing it into the pocket of his pants. Taeyong looked up once sure that the weapon was away, his entire body shaky with how badly hearing that gunshot tear through the glass behind him had gotten to him.
“You want some food?” Matthew asked, clearing his throat a little. “There’s some pie in the back.” Taeyong still didn’t say anything. He only blinked back at Matthew, his breathing coming out all shudders and uneven. “Cherry, right? I remember you said you liked that.” More silence. “Alright. Don’t move.”
Then, Matthew was gone. Taeyong was alone in the room. He turned and looked out what was left of the window behind him, inhaling the fresh air streaming in from outside. He really was in the middle of nowhere and by himself. Completely alone with Johnny absolutely nowhere in sight.
What the fuck was he going to do now?
Matthew had forced him to go to this stupid fucking fundraiser. He said that it was a requirement for all employees to be in attendance and borderline threatened him about what would happen if he didn’t go. Johnny had only glared at him in response but knew that him not going wasn’t an option. He wasn’t going to risk going to prison over a fundraiser.
He was standing there pushed off to the side of the room, slowly sipping a glass of wine that was definitely ridiculously expensive if the taste was anything to go by. The way the fundraiser worked was that people auctioned off things that absolutely weren’t worth the price advertised and the money spent would be sent to a charity based in Seoul to help leukemia. Johnny’s monthly income wasn’t even close to being able to afford anything they had available which led to him wondering why Matthew had brought him there in the first place, this thought only deepening once he realized he hadn’t seen a single coworker.
He sighed and took another sip of the wine, downing the rest of it in one last go. He hated this, hated this stupid fucking suit he was in and how his hair had been slicked back and how uptight and privileged everyone in the room was. Back in the day, him and Matthew would have laughed at people like this. Now Matthew was forcing him to fraternize with them. What bullshit.
“Oh, hyung,” Johnny heard from the other side of him, causing him to turn around to see one of his coworkers, Sicheng, standing there. Johnny forced a small smile. “What are you doing here?”
I was fucking forced by my psychopath brother, Johnny thought to himself. “I guess I just love to rich people have bidding wars over insignificant shit,” Johnny answered and Sicheng laughed a little. He liked Sicheng ever since he had gotten rehired at a top position in Matthew’s company, people weren’t exactly subtle about their loathing for Johnny, feeling as though he didn’t deserve his spot after what he had done. Sicheng never seemed to care about that though. For awhile, Johnny wondered if Sicheng just didn’t know. After all, he was some transfer from China. It didn’t take him long, however, to realize that Sicheng simply didn’t care.
“Matthew isn’t even paying attention anymore,” Sicheng sighed, leaning up against the wall Johnny was on. He had a bottle of water in his grasp, leading Johnny to wonder why he wasn’t drinking. Hell, the only reason why he hadn’t perished of boredom himself was due to the endless alcohol the bar was pumping out.
“I haven’t seen him all night,” Johnny confessed with a shrug.
“He’s over there,” Sicheng pointed and Johnny leaned up to see over Sicheng to the bar. As it turned out, Matthew was standing with his hand braced on the marble countertop, talking to someone on the other side of him.
Johnny snorted quietly at the sight of him. Matthew had forced him to come to this stupid event and wasn’t even paying attention himself. He watched him for a moment, watched as he laughed at something the boy in front of him said and moved a bit closer. Johnny knew more than anyone Matthew’s struggle with his sexuality but had always kept quiet in respect for his older brother and hope that he would one day come to terms with it himself. This being said, it was weird seeing him talk so openly with a man in a very public event.
He stepped a bit out to get a closer look at the boy Matthew was talking to and honestly? Johnny was impressed. Even from as far away as he was, he could see how pretty the kid was. He was very obviously younger than Matthew and probably everyone at the fundraiser with the softest brown bangs that fell into his large eyes and a small mouth that would smile gently at what Matthew was saying every so often and would suck the straw of his drink inside to take a sip. He had on this red suit that looked a lot more chic than formal and a pair of combat boots that had definitely seen better days.
“Who’s that?” Johnny asked Sicheng and Sicheng only shrugged, taking a sip of his water.
“No clue,” Sicheng muttered. “He’s an Omega though.”
“Right,” Johnny nodded. “Forgot you were an Omega.”
“It’s both a blessing and a curse,” Sicheng sighed, shaking his head. “Mostly a curse.”
Johnny didn’t say anything after that. He watched as Matthew and the boy got up and walked away from the bar, disappearing around a nearby corner. He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed but it seemed that only him and Sicheng had saw everything that had happened. Of fucking course. Johnny swore that Matthew had to be the luckiest bastard in the entire world.
“I’m getting another drink,” Johnny mumbled, pushing himself from the wall. He didn’t wait for Sicheng’s response before making his way towards the bar, a gin and Coke already in mind.
Johnny woke up on concrete. The air was thick and warm and there was a dull throbbing sensation in the back of his skull, harsh and relentless. He pushed himself up and looked around. There were trees as far as the eye could see and a small building a couple of feet to his left and Yukhei’s truck and—.
Johnny’s heart immediately sped up at the thought of what had happened. Him and Taeyong arguing. Yukhei’s truck being gone. What he had seen around that corner and that harsh smack to the back of his head. Looking around, he definitely wasn’t still in the lot of the pharmacy. It was now nighttime, leading him to believe that he had been out for more than a few hours.
Where was Taeyong? Where was he? Why had Matthew just left him there instead of finishing him off like he had promised to? It didn’t make sense. There was no one with him outside, no one there to guard him and make sure he didn’t do anything he wasn’t supposed to. Johnny was just there, outside in that thick air that felt like it could choke him if he inhaled too much at once.
Something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t fucking right and he couldn’t put his finger on it but it simply didn’t make any sense as to why he would just be here like this, unharmed and unguarded.
He pushed himself up from the ground and looked around again, cautious that there might be someone nearby, someone ready to strike at any moment. He’s scared, unbelievably so, and doesn’t know what direction to move in because he had no fucking clue where he was at, nor where Taeyong was at and Christ, why didn’t he just run? And why did his head hurt so much? What the fuck was going on?
Suddenly, a piercing shot was echoing throughout the otherwise silent air. He immediately dropped down to the ground, afraid that more would follow, but only heard the sound of glass shattering. He looked up at the building not too far away from him and within seconds, his heart was sinking. There was no fucking way.
Silence came afterward. That singular shot was the only one. Johnny felt like he could vomit. Something wasn’t right. His head throbbed again. He knew what was lingering in the back of his mind, knew that the throbbing of his skull had to mean something but Johnny didn’t want to come to terms with it because doing that meant that he had to take responsibility for the fact that he had just sat around while Taeyong had been killed and fuck, what was he gonna do?
Maybe he could still help him. Maybe it wasn’t even Taeyong. Johnny smelled the air. Shit. No, that wasn’t a possibility. It had to be Taeyong. He could sense him somewhere nearby, could smell that fruity scent that he had gotten accustomed to over what had to be the last month. This was bad. Johnny had thought that exact thing so many times—when he had first mated Taeyong, when Yuta said that they couldn’t be unbonded, when he found out he was wanted, when he had walked up to that rusty truck to see taeyong inside, covered in blood—but this was an all new sense of dread.
Still, Johnny pushed onward, moving around the back of the restaurant because what kind of an Alpha would he be if he didn’t at least try? The door to the kitchen was open and Johnny fucking knew that it had to be some kind of a trap but he still had to go through and at least see, see if Taeyong was okay, see if Taeyong needed his help.
He had barely made it into the kitchen when Johnny heard a small cough, causing him to look over and see Matthew standing there, one eyebrow raised.
“Nice of you to finally join us,” Matthew said and Johnny knew that he was so, so fucked.