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Ouroboros

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Yoongi plays with the ring on his middle finger, twirling it, adjusting as he looks straight at the pair of fierce eyes staring back at him. So young, he notes. So fucking young. Eyes that are too young can’t possibly hold this much bloodlust and malice. He doesn’t even know if he was able to glare like that back when he was at that age. 

It’s off-putting. 

He leans back on his velvety chair for the third time that afternoon, clearing his throat, and in turn, trying to keep the rage down even for a few more seconds. His gaze flits over to Namjoon in the far back of the room, hovering over the bookshelves while whistling to some cheerful tune, accompanied by nonchalant swaying. Yoongi opts to stare at him, thinking that maybe, if he stared hard enough, his subordinate might sense the fury boiling inside of Yoongi.

Namjoon doesn’t notice anything. It’s fine. Yoongi didn’t expect him to be telepathic. Just a bit empathetic about the whole situation, and the gravity of it, maybe. Just a little bit. Hopefully.

He looks back at the kid in front of him, and it’s irking how fucking young Taehyung is. 

“Tell me again.” He says, returning to twisting the ring on his finger. 

He needs something to fidget on—anything to distract him from the weight of the gun on his holster, or the uncomfortable bulge of the knife strapped to the back of his waist. He’s known for his temper—basically made a name for himself because of it—but he can’t explode here. Jin always told him he’s too hot-headed for his own good, and for once, just once in this fucking lifetime, does he want to prove the bastard wrong.

An exasperated sigh resounds from Hwasa, the purse on her lips tightening even more.

“Yoongi, he already—”

“Yoongi?” He arcs his brow at her, keeping his tone low and steady. “Call me properly or I’ll cut your tongue.”

It’s Hwasa’s turn to arc a pointed brow at him, the look that paints her exquisite features is one that Yoongi only really sees when they’re in one of their warehouses, some unlucky piece of shit—or pieces of shit—tied up on a chair, just about ready to get their nails pulled out one by one by none other than the Family’s trusted “interrogator”—Ahn Hyejin herself.

Upon normal circumstances, Yoongi wouldn’t mind being called by his name. It’s not a big deal. He’s not like those other Dons that have a weird patronization over their own names, thinking that it should only be uttered in secretive whispers by people worthy enough to even speak of it. Yoongi doesn’t need that bullshit. He’s Min Yoongi. People know his name, and they’re free to let it slip out of their mouths because they know enough to understand the weight of it.  Everyone knows who he is, and just what he’s capable of. Just like they should.

Still, this is not, in any case, a normal circumstance, and he needs to assert dominance here. Especially in front of those eyes that hide a hundred or so ways of killing him right on the spot. That, and he needs to be comforted by the fact that he’s not the only one here who’s capable of going berserk if anything remotely inconvenient comes his way. 

But to say that this is a mere inconvenience is a grave understatement.

He regards Hwasa with a pointed look, hoping she’ll understand, and sure enough, her face relaxes to the usual stern expression, making sure Yoongi sees the way she rolls her eyes at him. That’s fair. He can let that pass. No eye-gouging threats needed there.

“Taehyung.” He turns back to the problem sitting in front of him, pushing his tongue on the inside of his cheek. “Tell me again.”

Taehyung holds his gaze, the intensity consistent despite this being the fifth time Yoongi is making him repeat himself.

“I killed some people.” The younger shrugs, and it’s the nonchalance in his tone that really grates Yoongi, tips him further to the edge, and he can tell that his scent is getting stronger by the way Wheein momentarily glances down on the floor, puffing air out of her nose.

“And those people are?” Yoongi is kind enough to guide the conversation, because it seems the brat is giving him less and less details with every iteration of the same story.

“Members of the Park Family.” Taehyung, at the very least, answers.

“And I’m sure you know who the Parks are.” 

It’s not a question. People who don’t know about the Parks are either normal citizens living a mundane, untainted life unlike everyone currently inside this room, or too damn stupid to not know one of the most basic, unspoken rules in this world they live in:

You do not mess with the Families. Much less kill a member. 

Taehyung’s not stupid. The kid is actually too fucking smart for his own good, so what Yoongi can’t really wrap his head around is—

Taehyung gives him a curt nod.

“Then why the fuck did you kill them?!” 

Ah...Maybe Seokjin’s right. Yoongi hates that he’s always right.

His voice booms all over the spacious room, some of the contents on top of his table falling off as his fist collides with the hard wood. His hand throbs with pain, a constant reminder of the even more impending pain that will hunt him on the coming days. A pain that he has already been burdened with for years.

Yoongi is seething, can feel the veins on his neck popping, eyes unsteady as they burn holes on that ridiculous shade of red that’s just reminding him of blood, and how he’s this close to spilling some if Taehyung doesn’t answer him within the time his remaining patience allows.

Which is only a mere few seconds.

Just like his previous attempts, Taeyhung doesn’t answer him—doesn’t even flinch . Yoongi thought he could get past the fifth one, but apparently, Seokjin’s right as usual. By now, even Namjoon’s attention has shifted to them, giving him a curious look, as if asking what’s he losing his shit for.

Fuck them. All of them.

“Fine. Don’t answer me.” Yoongi gruffs out, retrieving his hand to play with his ring once more. It helps. “I’ll just let you explain to the Parks themselves as they cut your fingers and squeeze your balls so hard you start bleeding from your cock.”

“You think I’m scared of them?” Taehyung has the nerve to talk back to him, and those young eyes—god, those fucking eyes are so young—are challenging him. Challenging the whole underground world for fuck’s sake.

“Why did you do it?” Yoongi tries again, calmer this time. He can be calm.

Still no answer.

“I’m asking you a question. Answer me.” Yoongi grits through his teeth, the ring-playing gradually losing its effect. He can be calm.

“It’s none of your business.” 

He can be calm.

“Stick out your tongue.” 

Taehyung’s brows crease. “What?”

Yoongi jerks his head in a nod, leaning back on his chair as Hwasa and Wheein swiftly moves to pin Taehyung on the table—Hwasa holding his arms over his back while Wheein keeps his head planted on the table with a firm hand, forcing his mouth open, and pulling out his tongue just as Yoongi requested.

From the corner of his eye, he can see Namjoon walking closer to them, a worried look on his face.

Yoongi pulls out the knife from his waist. It’s a wonderful knife. Hoseok’s gift to him on his 27th birthday. Simple enough, yet Yoongi finds it really handy more often than not. Especially for situations like these.

Obviously, Taehyung struggles as much as he can, trying to outpower the two women holding him down, but of course he won’t be able to break free. Because Yoongi doesn’t have any plans of letting him walk out of here without getting a concrete answer. Or a concrete tongue.

“Looks like your tongue’s just as useless as your brain.” Yoongi scrapes the tip of the knife over the table, not caring if it left any marks.

“Let’s just cut it.”

Taehyung, for the life of him, finally induces a different reaction other than those murderous looks he’s been giving Yoongi for the past hour. Still murderous, but now with fear mixed up in those dark irises. No matter how much he tries to hide them, Yoongi can see it.

Just as he was taking Taehyung’s tongue between his fingers, sliding the back of the knife on the coarse muscle while the younger tries to yell something incoherent, Namjoon chooses the time to intervene.

“Yoongi, what the fuck are you doing?” Namjoon asks, simple and calm, hands crossed over his chest

Yoongi sighs, brow twitching in irritation. “Call me properly or I’ll also—”

“Shut up.” The other deadpans, shaking his head at Yoongi. “Let go of the kid.” 

The nerve.

The look on Yoongi’s face must be pretty funny as Hwasa and Wheein both suppress a snicker. Right in front of him. Him . Their boss. 

The fucking nerve.

As usual, they both listen to Namjoon instead of him, letting go of Taehyung who now looks like a cornered animal, glaring even more daggers at Yoongi.

“You were going to cut my tongue! Are you fucking insane?!” The kid exclaims, and Yoongi wants to scoff at his face, so he does.

“It’s just a tongue.” It’s his turn to shrug, letting the knife drop on the table carelessly. The satisfaction that washes over him is inexplicable when he sees the disbelief that draws itself all over Taehyung’s face. 

“You’re insane.” Taehyung decides for himself. Yoongi doesn’t bother correcting him.

He gestures to Namjoon with a hand, and he chuckles as Taehyung flinches. Namjoon pulls out a pack of cigarettes from his coat’s pocket—black menthol, his favorite—handing a stick to Yoongi, and lighting it as soon as Yoongi has it in between his lips.

“Look,” Yoongi takes a long drag of his own brand of tranquilizer, expelling it in the air. “I’m easy to talk to.” Taehyung stares at him as if he grew another head. “So just talk, kid. That’s all I’m asking for.”

He glances at Namjoon, wondering if that’s good enough, and the other reaffirms him with a grin.

“You were going to cut my tongue…” Taehyung repeats, a frown framing his annoyingly youthful face.

“I’m not cutting it anymore. Just tell me why.” 

He can be calm. Seokjin’s wrong.

Taehyung regards him with wary eyes for a few more moments, probably surprised by the sudden change of demeanor. Yoongi’s not lying, though. He really is a simple man. Easy to talk to. You don’t want him to cut your tongue? Then talk. You don’t want to talk? Then your tongue is basically useless, so he’ll do the honors of cutting it for you.

Simple.

Namjoon nudges his chair with his feet, and it takes all of Yoongi not to roll his eyes then and there. 

“I’m not mad, Taehyung-ssi.” But he is mad. Incredibly so. “I just need to know why you went ahead and killed 10 members of the Park Family out of nowhere.” 

“Why are you so insistent in knowing why?” The kid bites back, looking more relaxed now, but still too untamed for Yoongi’s liking. “Can’t I just kill people if they piss me off?”

Yoongi’s skin crawls. He doesn’t know much about this kid, just that it was Namjoon who took him in, and that he’s smart, and good with sneaking around, but somehow—

There’s something unsettling about him. Yoongi doesn’t like it.

“So they pissed you off.” He decides to focus on that bit of information. “What did they do to piss you off?”

It’s only a split second, but Yoongi catches a glimpse. A flare of anger in those big, round eyes.

“If I tell you, then what will you do about it?”

Sacrifice you as a peace offering .

“I’ll explain it to them.” Easier said than done. “And we’ll prevent any more...casualties.” Prevent a fucking war from breaking out. “Also, I just want to understand the situation better.” Yoongi exhales the smoke in Taehyung’s face. “It wasn’t very pleasant news to wake up to.”

Now that Yoongi is more civil, it still irks him how Taehyung isn’t showing one bit of remorse for what he’s done. Not for killing all those people nor for practically putting the whole Family in danger.

Unsettling.

“I know all about it.” Taehyung speaks up, looking Yoongi straight in the eye. “I know about the merger.”

Well.

Namjoon kicks his chair once again, as if sensing another outburst about to come out of his mouth. He flashes him a smile when Yoongi turns to glare at him. This is getting annoying.

“So you know.” He plays it cool, because Namjoon just won’t get off his fucking back on this one. Damn daddy issues, and his favoritism on this particular brat. “But you still did it.”

Taehyung shrugs. Yoongi wants to strangle him. “I thought I could get away with it.”

Yoongi will strangle this kid someday.

“But you didn’t.” He nods, more to himself, just letting that fact sink in. “Someone saw you.”

Taehyung’s jaw is tense, and maybe only now is he comprehending just how much he screwed up. 

“We weren’t able to track that person down.”

He crushes the cigarette on the turquoise ashtray that was another one of Hoseok’s gifts, gesturing for Namjoon to give him another stick. He lights it up before speaking again.

“And now, everyone knows about it.” He blows circles of smoke in the air. “That the Min Family killed members from the Park Family.” Yoongi snorts. “You did it last night, yeah?”

Taehyung nods, and he’s at least starting to look solemn about it. Good.

“News travels fast.” Yoongi tells him. “And news changes drastically as it gets passed on.”

Just thinking about what kind of debauchery has reached that rotten snake’s huge ears makes Yoongi’s migraine worse. He hates snakes the most.

“Actually, I’m quite impressed you managed to deal with them 1 on 10.” It’s quite a feat, Yoongi will give him that.

“They’re weak shits.” Taehyung scoffs.

So fucking unsettling.

“And what did these ‘weak shits’ do, huh?”

What could they have possibly done? Busan is quite far from Seoul. Taehyung just joined them a little over three months ago. How could he possibly have any connection with the Parks?

Taehyung still seems like he doesn’t have any plan to answer, but at least now the murderous intent exuding out of him has lessened.

“Taehyung-ah.” Namjoon speaks up this time, a kind smile on his face. “It’s okay, you can trust us. We’re a Family. You know that, right?”

Bullshit, but Yoongi doesn’t comment any further. Just allows Namjoon to do his magic.

As expected, the kid obeys Namjoon. Everybody obeys Namjoon.

“They fucked with me.” Taehyung starts, and that same anger burns in his eyes. “With someone important to me.”

Yoongi hums, urging him to continue.

“They hurt him, they—” Taehyung takes a deep breath, and Yoongi can see that he’s also trying to keep the rage from spilling out. “They deserved it.”

How unsettling.

He exchanges glances with Namjoon, but Yoongi’s not really sure what he got out of it.

“Who did they hurt?” Yoongi doesn’t really need to go into this much detail. He can already make up a half-assed story with what Taehyung told him, but his gut just tells him to go and ask anyway. “You know why they hurt him?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

Fair enough. Yoongi won’t push. His head is hurting enough as it is.

“Alright.” He huffs out, putting out the cigarette. “That’s all I need.”

“That’s it?” Taehyung blinks at him with those doe eyes of his, and ah, now he finally looks his age.

“Yes.” Yoongi smirks, feeling considerably calmer than he did an hour ago when Taehyung stepped into his office. “Told you. Easy.”

Taehyung gives him a weird look, but Yoongi will take that any time of the day rather than those eyes killing him off. “I can go?”

“Yes, Taehyung-ssi. You can go. Thank you.” 

At the end of the day, Yoongi still has his manners. Seokjin’s wrong once again.

“But no more massacres or ambushes. Or else, I’ll take the complete set. Tongue, teeth, and nails. Are we clear?”

The kid tilts his head at him. “I’m not scared of you, you know.”

Goddamn Namjoon and his strays.

“Just get the fuck out of my face, kid.” He almost growls, itching for another cigarette.

Wheein and Hwasa accompany Taehyung out of the room, but not before the damn brat has the gull to chuckle and sneer at Yoongi like he's just some helpless child, and not the Don of the largest empire in Korea.

Seriously , the nerve.

He gestures for another cigarette, which Namjoon wordlessly hands to him. The door closes as he lights up his third one, his shoulders slumping, and the tension in his body slowly dissipating now that there are less eyes to worry about in the room.

He still feels angry, that's for sure. Pissed off and irritated, but that's just the usual for him. 

Namjoon walks over to the front of his desk, still with a humorous smile, as if any of this is actually funny. Yoongi just stares at him glumly, clearly unamused.

"Well, that was quite pleasant to watch." The other chuckles, taking a seat on the chair Taehyung previously occupied. "Min Yoongi, getting sassed by a nameless brat."

Yoongi scoffs, and he kind of wants to strangle Namjoon with that annoyingly crooked tie hanging on his neck.

"He won't be a nameless brat soon, that's for sure."

Namjoon's lips twitch.

"We're gonna protect him, right?" 

Sounds worried.

"Yeah, and risk the whole Family getting devoured by those fucking snakes." Yoongi scoffs, blood boiling in his veins just at the thought of those slimy bastards tainting his Family. "Ten people Namjoon. Ten fucking full-grown adults. And two of them are from the Upper Family, jesus."

"Parks and their hierarchies." Namjoon shakes his head, completely missing the point from what Yoongi just said.

"He's just a kid. How the fuck did he manage to do that?"  

"You were just a kid when you took over this whole Family." Namjoon shrugs. "How the hell did you do that?"

Yoongi knows. Age actually doesn’t matter if you’ve seen, and experienced enough.

“Well,” That carefree smile is really starting to annoy Yoongi. “At least we know he can kill.”

Yoongi can only groan in frustration. Talking about this with a cold-blooded machine is just counterproductive.

“Where did you get him again?” He asks, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“You’re making it sound like I picked up a stray puppy from the street or something.”

Yoongi gives him a pointed look.

“In Daegu, remember?” Namjoon chuckles, a fond look in his eyes. “We were out for a shipping, and I came back with a knife stuck on my thigh?”

Right. That was an unforgettable night.

“Why do you sound so happy remembering how you almost died due to blood loss, and screwed up our shipping in the process?”

Namjoon laughs, and it’s always infectious, because he rarely does. It’s not as contagious as Jin’s, but Yoongi is still prompted to a small chuckle, his worries easing up even for a bit.

“Damn, he was such a grubby kid. So scrawny and thin. With big eyes.” Namjoon reminisces, still with that fond smile on his face. “He’s just a kid, Yoongi.”

Yeah, he’s just a kid. A kid who somehow managed to kill a bunch of snakes. And now Yoongi needs to throw himself in the den of serpents. Thanks to this kid.

“You shouldn’t have taken him in.” Yoongi says, and how many times has he said this already?

“I was being kind.”

“If you want to be kind, then don’t drag them to this hellhole.” 

Namjoon doesn’t respond to that, offering up a strained smile instead. Yoongi hopes that this time, he’ll get the message across.

“Did you know about his plan?” He takes a drag, dumping the ashes on the tray. 

Namjoon shakes his head. “If I did, you’ll be the first one to know.”

Yoongi doesn’t question it. He likes loyalty the most, and Namjoon is probably the only one he deems loyal enough to him.

“I thought you’re looking after him.” 

“I can’t babysit two infants at once, Yoongi.” Namjoon reasons, giving him a knowing look, and Yoongi decides to ignore the underlying insult in there. “Besides, it seems like he can handle himself well.”

Yoongi hums. He does seem capable. Just really fucking stupid.

“He reminds me of you when we were kids, you know?”

Yoongi quirks a brow.

“Reckless. Hot-blooded.” Namjoon peers up at him, as if asking for confirmation that he’s right. Yoongi just rolls his eyes at him.

“Fine. I won’t lay a finger on him.” He relents.

“You never planned to in the first place.”

The thing with Namjoon is that he knows Yoongi all too well. Sometimes, Yoongi gets paranoid by it. For someone to know him in such a way, it takes a considerable amount of trust. And he knows damn well than to hold on to inconceivable things like trust.

Not when his most trusted turned his back on him already.

“That stunt about the tongue? Hilarious.” Namjoon muses, resting his chin on the back of his hand as he snickers at Yoongi. “You’ll never stain these carpets with blood.”

“He needs to be afraid of me at some point.” Yoongi crushes the cigarette. He wants another one.

“He won’t. He’s not afraid of power or shit like that.” 

A peculiar one, indeed.

“You seem to know him well.” Yoongi observes, resting his intertwined hands on his stomach. 

“We live on the same roof.”

Yoongi nods with a hum. “Finally living your paternal fantasies. I’m so proud of you.” He says in amusement. “Ah, he’s also a Kim, isn’t he? What a coincidence.”

“Fuck off.” Namjoon curses, but still, there’s a smile. Underneath it, a thousands of secrets. Some, Yoongi knows. But most? Only a ghost of a memory knows.

“But that reason he mentioned…” He says in thought. “About those snakes hurting someone important to him.”

“Hmm…” Namjoon’s gaze turns downcast for a second. “Well, there’s this weird kid he hangs around with.”

“Weird kid?”

“Yeah. Same age, I think. Always wearing a damn hoodie.” 

Yoongi leans in tapping the wood with his nails. “Should I care about this weird kid?”

Namjoon ponders for a moment. “I’m not sure, Yoongi.”

“Then be sure.” Is all he says before leaning back on his seat. Namjoon nods, and that’s what Yoongi likes about him. No questions asked. Just a nod.

It’s quiet for a while, and Yoongi appreciates these quiet moments in his days the most. Don’t know when the next one will be, so he savors it as much as he can. In his life, quiet moments are hard to come by, and too precious to ignore.

“What’s the plan, boss?” Namjoon breaks the silence, forcing Yoongi back into the chaos.

It’s fine. He was born in this chaos, and he’s bound to die in it.

He stretches out his hand, palm open up at Namjoon. “Give me another one.”

Namjoon stares at his hand then at his face. “No.”

“Why?”

“Only three a day, right?”

Right.

“This is a special day. Give me the whole pack.”

“The entire point of me holding your cigarettes and lighter for you is so that you can prevent chain smoking.”

“Just give me my fucking cigarettes.” Yoongi demands, and as usual, Namjoon gives in, albeit with a disapproving look.

Yoongi lights up another one in almost a hurry, eager to taste smoke in his mouth. Once he does, he visibly deflates. 

“So,” He takes a long drag. “Here’s the plan.”


Busan, for Yoongi, means beaches. Always so tropical despite whatever season of the year he goes. He doesn't think much of beaches, but he appreciates the lack of skyscrapers towering over him, like prison walls reminding him of the responsibilities he can never escape from. At least it's more breathable here.

And the resort they'll be staying in is owned by the Parks, so it's a given that it's of high quality.

"Min Yoongi-ssi, Kim Namjoon-ssi. The Park family relays its warmest welcome to the both of you." The staff greets as they enter the prestigious resort. "We'll be loading your luggages in your respective rooms, which have been prepared beforehand. Please enjoy your stay, and have a pleasant morning."

Yoongi bows back, feeling utterly overdressed in his usual suit. 

"Hyung, did you bring your swimming trunks?" Namjoon pipes up beside him, too cheerful and festive for the actual reason as to why they're even here.

In this snake pit.

Yoongi ignores him, grumbling that he'll be going to his room first to take a nap, and to wake him up for the designated lunch.

He's a bit irked that Jiwoo didn't greet them in person. Who does he think Yoongi is? An old friend just passing by? 

Fucking cobra.

Yoongi lets it go, because he's not hot-headed, unlike how Seokjin branded him. Seokjin's wrong.

As expected, the room is the best suite—as it should be—and Yoongi was able to squeeze a much-needed nap before they face off with the carnivorous snakes for lunch. Namjoon picks him up from his room, the two of them still sporting smoothed down suits, even though everyone they pass by are either in a bikini or revealing clothes, seeing that, well, it's currently summer. Yoongi's undershirt sticks uncomfortably to his skin, the heat actually getting unbearable, and— fuck . There are too many scents mingling.

Namjoon won’t stop talking about how he wants to change into board shorts, and Yoongi just ignores his pleas.

"You seem excited." Yoongi observes, noting the stupid smile on the other's face. 

"Well, it's been a while since I've last seen that son of a bitch." 

Yoongi watches as Namjoon pops two of those pills in his mouth.

"Which son of a bitch are you referring to?" He asks with a knowing smirk.

Namjoon gulps it all down dryly, obviously used to swallowing them without any need for water. "Both." 

Yoongi chuckles. "Behave, Joon-ah." He says, looking straight ahead as they near the venue. "Remember, we're in the pit, and I have no plans of getting eaten alive here."

"Yes, boss." 

They finally reach their destination—an outdoor restaurant situated near the infinity pool overlooking the shore—and Yoongi braces himself, giving Namjoon a stern look to tell him to get his shit together in two seconds or else. Yoongi smooths down his coat, clearing his throat, before walking over to the table at the far end, expecting Namjoon to follow closely behind him.

He can already make out Park Jiwoo's huge frame, the scents mixing in Yoongi's nose, but there's one particular stench that trumps them all. 

"Ah, Min Yoongi-ssi." Jiwoo stands up from where he's sitting, flashing Yoongi a big smile, those full cheeks rising at the sight of him. "It's nice to see you after so long, Huin Yong." 

Yoongi keeps up a tight smile as he shakes hands with the elder, not even wincing at the vice grip he's subjected to. Unlike them, the older man is wearing a simple hawaiian shirt, and some shorts, allowing Yoongi to see the snake on the expanse of his sleeve, curling over his arm in thick ink, and staring back at him with its slitted eyes. 

"Nice to see you, Park Jiwoo." He greets, making an emphasis of not adding an honorific, because they both know he doesn't need one. It's a pleasure to see Jiwoo's jaw tense up, that smile of his straining just a bit. Yoongi takes his seat along with Namjoon, already feeling satisfied with himself. 

"Jiwoo-ssi." Namjoon has half the mind to bow, and Yoongi wants to gag at the sight of those dimples. 

"Mad Dog." Jiwoo greets back, amusement dancing in those narrow eyes of his. The two stare hard at each other while Yoongi is smack right in the middle of them, forced to watch this ridiculous showdown of sorts.

Right then, Jiwoo snaps his fingers, and a waitress comes to their table. She leans in as Jiwoo whispers something, nodding before she walks away again.

"Apologies. Let's wait a few more minutes for the others, yes?" 

Yoongi doesn't like waiting, and if he has the upper hand, he'll voice that out. Just so he can wipe that annoying smile off that cobra's smug face. But the problem is, he doesn't have an edge. In fact, right now, he's far from the position he would like to be in. Right now, he's prey to those slit eyes peering over at him. Just free meat ready to be feasted on.

"Anything you'd like to drink, gentlemen?"

"Whiskey." Yoongi answers easily. He knows he'll need it.

"Water." Namjoon requests, and Jiwoo snaps his fingers yet again. 

Platters of food are gradually served on their table, and Yoongi's mood is also gradually worsening the longer he bears witness to Jiwoo's sly smirk. He sips on his whiskey to maybe help alleviate the itch on his skin, when he hears the sound of crisp footsteps drawing near. He makes the mistake of turning his head, and he really thought his mood couldn't get any worse than this.

"Greetings." A smooth voice announces, flashing them that perfect smile formed by those perfect lips. The smell of fresh mint suddenly hits him, and Yoongi steadily exhales, trying to keep himself calm in the process.

Sneaky, as always.

Seokjin stands at the end of the table, tall and perfect, bowing politely. His expression is pristine, void of any emotions save for the permanent smile plastered on that handsome face of his. 

Fake, as always.

Him and Namjoon doesn't say anything, just watches as the other walks closer to Jiwoo, leaning down to kiss him on the cheek before sitting down beside him.

Oh, Yoongi could just vomit all over the table. 

"It's good to see you, Yoongi." The damn snake had the gull to address him so casually, as if they're friends . "It's been a while."

Yoongi just stares back at him with a scowl. What did he expect? That he'll greet back? 

Jin only chuckles at him, and god, Yoongi hates it.

"Namjoon-ssi." Jin turns to Namjoon instead, his smile growing softer. "Pleasure to see you."

Namjoon's eyes shine. They always shine for Seokjin. Yoongi doesn't understand how it can shine like that until now.

"Jin-ssi."

The atmosphere is heavy, most of the tension probably coming from Yoongi's glare, while Jiwoo seems unfazed by it. In fact, the bastard looks amused by the small reunion. 

"Are we waiting for someone else?" Yoongi can't take it anymore, his patience running thin. 

"Yes." Jiwoo turns his head to the direction of the pool, and Yoongi follows his gaze. "He'll be joining us in a moment." 

The sound of water splashing resounds as a figure pulls up from the ledge, bare back glistening under the glaring sun. Yoongi’s attention is drawn to the swirl of ink on the individual’s nape—a circular tattoo of a snake eating its own tail. 

Ouroboros.

Just then, the faint trace of a sweet scent—sickeningly sweet—lingers in the air, and Yoongi fights the urge to cover his nose.

He recognizes this scent. Has encountered it in the past—during the Circle's year-end grand ball, and the parties hosted by the Jungs or the Parks.  

A familiar, sweet scent.

The figure turns to face their direction, and Yoongi is greeted by those piercing eyes. The scent grows stronger, spiking up as their eyes lock on to each other. His gaze lowers down, mapping the exposed skin of the other's chest. It just makes his stiff clothes feel even more uncomfortable on his skin. 

The man brushes the dark strands over his forehead, narrowing his eyes as he looks over to them. Yoongi fiddles with the ring on his finger, playing with it as he watches the man walk closer to them, his toned body becoming even more apparent, and fuck , what the hell is that scent?

Yoongi knows who he is. They've crossed paths once, twice, a few times maybe, and everybody knows the infamous first son of Park Jiwoo.

The omega, Park Jimin. 

Jimin dries himself with a towel, seemingly taking his sweet time, before slipping into a plain white polo, not even bothering buttoning it up as he saunters over to their table. His lips stretch in a smile as he takes a seat next to Seokjin, glancing at Namjoon then to Yoongi. 

"So our precious guests are here." He muses, voice equally sweet, almost like velvet in Yoongi's ears.

By this time, the scent has grown so strong that Yoongi can practically taste it on his tongue. Thick and pungent, like honey. His encounters with Park Jimin, as few and rare as they were, have always left an impression due to that goddamn scent.

Everyone else on the table doesn't seem the least bit bothered by it. Well, seeing that Yoongi is technically the only one unmated here along with Jimin, he assumes, then he's really the only one who's going to take the brunt of it. That, and his nose is too sensitive.

Always has been.

"Manners." Jiwoo says sternly, giving his son a look.

Jimin just scoffs. "Oh, come on. We know each other." The younger leans back on his seat, peering up at them with a smirk. "Isn't that right, Mad Dog-ssi?"

Yoongi raises a brow at his right-hand man's direction. He didn't know Namjoon is chummy with this snake brat. 

"Besides, Park and Min will eventually become one."

Jimin now turns to him, and Yoongi doesn't like how this kid is looking at him. He never liked him ever since the first time they were introduced to each other. Something about those eyes that brings an unsettling feeling in his gut. Sharp and burning, as if trying to unravel you by sheer gaze alone. He also has a way with words, and Yoongi doesn't like it when people talk to him as if they know something he doesn't. Added with that off-putting smile of his, and his whole peculiar demeanor. And that fucking scent

Yoongi hates snakes. 

And Park Jimin is said to be the deadliest viper out there.

Jiwoo huffs out a breath, chair creaking under him as he straightens up.

"Well then," He clears his throat, lips lifting up into that deceiving smile as he regards Yoongi. "Please do help yourselves. I'm sure you're both tired from traveling all the way here from Seoul." 

What Yoongi's tired of is all this bullshit.

"Jiwoo. Let's get straight to the point."  

Nobody dares touch any of the silverware placed in front of them, save for Jimin who starts digging in without a care of the tension that falls over the table.

Jiwoo's face gradually falls, gaze unwavering as he stares back at Yoongi. Of course, Yoongi won't falter. If there's anything he's good at, it's staring down on his enemies like they're mere dust on the soles of his shoes.

That's right—enemies .

"I already heard about it." Jiwoo states, and Yoongi prefers this unamused expression rather than the facade he always likes to put up.

"What did you hear, exactly?"

Jiwoo chuckles. "Don't worry, Huin Yong. I only listen to my trusted sources." He nods to Jin. "If you please, darling."

Darling?

"On the night of July 31st, ten members of the Park Family were killed in the southern warehouse situated in Itaewon." Jin dictates in a steady voice. "Among them are Han Daeho and Rim Chungae, two members of the main Park Family branch."

Damn Parks and their hierarchies.

"It was reported that a single individual was seen setting fire to the warehouse, fleeing the scene with a motorcycle afterwards." 

Even without looking, he can already sense Namjoon's distress.

"Said individual is said to have a striking red hair color, but is yet to be identified."

Damn Taehyung and his ridiculous red hair.

Jin purses his lips as he looks at Yoongi, disappointment apparent in his eyes. Fucking hell.

"That is all."

Yoongi really hates how smug the fat cobra looks right now. Hates that he has to be in this situation, of all people. He, the head of the largest drug cartel in Asia, just had to be indebted to this sneering snake that shouldn't be anything more than a worm under his feet. 

They say being in Park Jiwoo's pocket is the same as selling your soul to the devil.

Yoongi couldn't agree more.

"It was one of my men." Yoongi confesses. No use in lying now. The bastard probably already knows about Taehyung. 

Jiwoo hums, finally picking up his utensils, and taking a considerable amount of prawn, along with shells of oysters.

"We'll pay for all the damages." He announces, nodding at Namjoon who brings out two briefcases and sets them on the table. "Along with your proposal of getting 15% of our dealings and shippings once the merger is finished."

It's a big blow. Especially now that his Family is in a certain bind. 15% is too much, and Yoongi initially scoffed at Jiwoo's negotiator when he was told about it, but he had to make a decision. That, and what's in those two briefcases are no pocket money.

The table goes silent. Even Jimin has stopped eating to stare at Yoongi, expression indiscernible. 

Then Jiwoo's laugh pierces through. A high-pitched shrill that never fails to grate Yoongi's ears, and bring goosebumps under his skin. Like two rusted metals being scraped together to form a haunting sound.

"Pay?" The older reiterates, giving Yoongi an incredulous look. "You say you'll pay for the damage?"

Yoongi's finger encircles his ring under the table, digging it deep in his skin. He keeps an impassive expression.

"We're talking about human lives here, Min-ssi." Jiwoo chuckles, slicing over the steak on his plate forcefully, as if trying to cut the ceramic underneath it as well. "Not one. But ten."

Yoongi focuses on keeping his breath steady.

"You think you can just give me billions of won and put the whole thing under the table?" Jiwoo laughs harder. Yoongi's ears are ringing. "And what of the families they left behind? Do you know how they're all coming to my doorstep, grieving over their lost sons and daughters? How they want me to find the perpetrator, and serve his head on a silver platter for them?"

Jiwoo shakes his head with a scoff, looking straight at him with those slitted eyes of his, the stench in the air getting even thicker.

"And they say you're the smarter one between you and your father."

Yoongi sees red. 

His hand moves to reach for the gun growing heavier and heavier on the side of his waist. Yoongi doesn't care. He may be in the middle of the serpent's den with a cobra wrapping itself around his neck, suffocating him, but at this point, he's just seeing red, and he doesn't care. 

He's going to kill this motherfucker.

A firm hand settles on his knee, gripping tight—tight enough to hurt—and Yoongi is brought back to his senses. He blinks once, twice, the red in his vision fading. Namjoon gives his knee another painful squeeze, completely snapping him out of his rage.

Yoongi swallows the lump in his throat, and takes a deep breath. He's sure everybody smelled the anger on him, and he can see Jimin outright gawking at him with those sharp eyes of his. Yoongi dismisses it. He's known for his temper, so they shouldn't be surprised. They know who he is.

He leans back on his chair, adjusting his coat as he gives Jiwoo a questioning look. 

"What do you want, then?" 

He figures there's not much he can do at this point. The initial plan failed, although he expected as much. He knew it wouldn't be easy. He knew Jiwoo would make this difficult because he hates Yoongi's guts. Always have ever since Yoongi could remember.

At least the feeling's mutual.

Now he's in an even more dangerous situation. Letting Jiwoo decide is the worst case scenario in the plan he came up with, and now here he is. Completely at the mercy of the King Cobra baring his fangs at him.

"I understand how important this merger is for you." Jiwoo gives him a sympathetic smile, but it just feels like he's spitting on Yoongi's face. "How important it is for both of our Families." 

Yoongi watches as the older man chews, slow and deliberate, gulping it all down. 

"I wouldn't want to delay it any longer as well." Jiwoo says, tone empathetic, but it just sounds wrong in Yoongi's ears. "But you do understand that this is a grave crime your subordinate committed, don't you?" 

Of course, Yoongi understands. He, of all people, understands that. Reason why he's even here in this godforsaken resort teeming with snakes in the first place. 

"Look, Min, I like you." Bullshit. And he dare talk to him so casually? "I won't go over the details as to why this particular subordinate of yours murdered ten of my men. What's done is done." Jiwoo shrugs, and Yoongi thinks he deserves an award for such a performance. Knowing him, he's probably got people sniffing around just so he can get his answers.

"But a human life is invaluable."

The nerve of this damn carnivore to tell him that.

"You know our Family's motto." 

An eye for an eye.

Jiwoo narrows his eyes on him, the same smile creeping up on his dark lips. Namjoon is back to giving signals by impeding blood flow on his knee, and Yoongi takes another deep breath.

He gets it. He knew it would boil down to this, and he really wishes he saved himself from all that embarrassment, and just outright told this fat piece of shit of a cobra that—

"I'm not giving you the kid." He states. Calmly. Confidently. As if he actually had a say in all this. As if he's the one in control.

"Ah, a kid." Jiwoo chuckles, taking his glass of wine and bringing it to his lips. "Foolish little kids."

"A kid?" Jimin suddenly speaks up, eyes wide in slight surprise. Maybe even a bit impressed.

"He's new. Barely three months in." Yoongi tries, not really sure if that's a good enough reason for Taehyung to be spared. He knows it isn't.

"Now you got me intrigued." Jiwoo huffs, setting down his glass on the table. "You're telling me, a fresh blood, barely able to hold a gun, did that to my men?”

“He’s more versed with a knife, actually.” Namjoon decides to interject with his very pleasant trivia, and Yoongi shoots him a glare.

This earns them a chilling chuckle from Jiwoo. “What fine members you have, Min.” The head raises his hand up in the air, doing a gesture with his finger. Soon enough, one of the waitresses walks over and hands him a tray of cigars. Jiwoo takes his time putting one in between his lips, letting the waitress light it up for him. “Want one?” He offers to Yoongi.

“I don’t smoke.” Yoongi deadpans. Jiwoo shrugs.

“I don’t think you have much of a choice here.” 

The tone changes. The atmosphere shifts. No more of that pretend politeness they’ve been playing at. Slowly, the snake sheds its skin, showing its true colors, and tightening its grip on Yoongi’s neck.

The grip on his knee tightens as well.

“Unless...” 

Ah, here it goes. An all-too-familiar situation, and Yoongi can’t believe he’s experiencing this for the second time already. Only this time, he’s the one who gets to decide.

“Ten men.” Jiwoo starts, blowing out the smoke up in the air. “It’s a lot.”

From across him, Jimin snorts, shaking his head as if his father just told a subpar joke. 

“We’ll push through with the merger.” Jiwoo states in finality, trapping the cigar in his mouth as he smirks at Yoongi.

“What’s the catch?” Yoongi furrows his brows, his clothes sticking to the cold sweat under his skin. He just braces himself. Already knows that whatever will come out of that snake’s tongue, he’s not going to like it.

“Ten men, Min. Two of them from the Upper Family.” Jiwoo repeats, exhaling another puff of smoke, filling the air with a thick fog, and the smell of burnt wood.

The Min’s crest is a dragon. Great, mythical beings that symbolizes honor and power. Among all things, Yoongi likes it. He likes the dragon branded on his back. Prides himself of his title— Huin Yong .

The White Dragon.

But right now, he just feels like a rat in the eyes of all these snakes. Just a mere, powerless, cornered rat ready to be swallowed whole. And he can’t even do anything about it. Him, the Don of the Min Family, powerless against a bunch of lowly snakes.

His father must be laughing in his grave.

“Worth about as much as the life of a Don, don’t you think?”

Cackling and sneering at him with all the insanity he can muster. 

“What are you getting at?” Yoongi tilts his head, letting go of his stoic and calm demeanor, and gradually giving in to the rage lying dormant inside him. 

Jiwoo’s gaze flits to the end of the table, then back at him, smile growing wider and bigger. Ready to devour Yoongi on the spot.

"You're an unmated alpha, aren't you?" 

Confusion creeps inside Yoongi, along with the dread.

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Everything." 

Yoongi can hear it—can hear him laughing.

"Let's put a seal to this merger." Jiwoo starts, putting out his cigar in his half-empty glass of wine. "Marry my son, Min." 

The snake bares its fangs, venom dripping all over Yoongi.

"And surrender the rest of your life to the Park Family name."