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Love Thy Neighbor

Chapter Text

So far, it seemed that even though the job paid well, being a maid wasn't very agreeable. At least not in Yujin's opinion.

Because of the family.

They were so demanding. Mistress was always calling for her to do the most menial tasks. If she wasn't having Yujin fix her a drink, she was sending her on excursions to the store to pick up one of those gossip magazines, often berating her for getting the wrong one. Master was similarly demanding but also sleazy. Once or twice, his hand slipped to places it shouldn't. Yujin was a little surprised he hadn't made some sort of proposition from the way he looked at her, somewhere between thoughtful and salacious. She expected he might corner her one day and try something without asking. Luckily, he was a little overweight and Yujin was as skinny as they came. She only hoped if he did corner her, she would easily be able to get away, leaving him out of breath behind her.

The entitled brat of a son was the worst of all. Something about the sight of Yujin quietly performing a task seemed to irritate the little Master, and he would find something more urgent for her to do, something that involved Yujin going up or down the stairs, usually. His mother doted on him so Yujin had to do whatever the boy desired. That new toy he had been wanting? Yujin was to go and get it for him. And if she didn't hurry back, the money for it would come out of her salary. The brat wanted a certain type of dish? Yujin was to try and make it for him, even if she had limited cooking experience. If the young Master was bored, Yujin was to entertain him, the most difficult task of all since he seemed to find little humor in anything.

Many of the things the family asked of Yujin didn't fall under the title of maid. For god's sake, she was meant to make their beds and sweep the floors. They seemed to have mistaken 'maid' for 'slave' having Yujin perform such tasks for them.

The pay was greater than any other job she had ever had. So that made up for it a little. A little, but not a lot. Yujin was pretty sure she was going to quit soon.

She had even approached the couple recently, hoping to at least discuss some potential changes. That was when they excitedly revealed they would be going to their country house for a holiday. Yujin expected them to say she would not be needed during this time but apparently the country house was huge.

“There are a lot of heirlooms that will need dusting!” Mistress had said, as if they even let her do things like that. Running after them with other menial tasks took up most of her time. She couldn't remember the last time she'd even held a duster.

Yujin came up with a lie on the spot.

“I'm very sorry but I have something else I will need to attend to soon. I won't be able to go with you to the country.”

And Master had said, “We'll pay you double.”

How could she refuse?

And so Yujin went to the country with the family, watching as they got lazier and lazier with each passing day. Mistress sat around drinking until her cheeks were tickled pink and her laugh echoed throughout the house. Master pottered around the backyard, bringing out planks of wood from the tool shed with apparent plans to make something. At some point, he hung a hammock out there and his work never went any further.

Yujin went between the two, fetching each of them drinks, reading material or whatever else they asked for. At least twice when Yujin walked away from Master, he smacked her ass. On the third attempt, she purposefully moved out of reach before his hand could make contact.

She wasn't going to be able to handle this much longer. But the couple had a habit of making things up as they went along, and Yujin was scared they might refuse to pay her if she left before the end of their holiday.

And so she tolerated their behavior.

For a time, it seemed the young Master was actually the least terrible of the three. He bothered Yujin less than his parents, disappearing off into the woodland surrounding the house to explore. His mother had hinted to Yujin he wasn't to wander off too far, and at first Yujin had been reluctant to allow it. But it bought her so much peace having the boy out of her hair, and from what she could knew, there were no dangers in the woods. It wasn't like the kid's mom noticed how much he frequented the woods; she was too busy lounging around inside, drunk most of the time.

But then came the day when Yujin couldn't find the kid anywhere. She'd checked the woods herself to no avail, not that that necessarily meant anything; no doubt he'd go in further than her, to hidden areas Yujin's limited exploration had never led her to.

He was usually back by now. It was nearing dinner time, which in itself was often incentive for him to return.

Yujin put it out of her head and went about preparing the meal, some complex thing Mistress expected her to make. She had lost track of where Master was. As long as he didn't grope her while she moved around the kitchen, she didn't care.

Pretty soon, a nice aroma filled the kitchen, and Yujin realized when she left the room, the entire house. Maybe it would waft outside and entice the young Master back. She only hoped nothing had happened to him. Not only would she probably be paid less if it had, she genuinely didn't want the boy to get hurt- even if he was an obnoxious brat.

Footsteps above her head suggested someone was on the second floor. It was always possible it was Master, but Yujin hoped it might be the kid.

“Dinner is almost ready!” she called from the bottom of the stairs.

Yujin waited for a response but none came. With a sigh, she went back into the kitchen to finish up. She was there for only a few minutes when she could make out the unmistakable sound of someone falling down the stairs.

Yujin immediately ran out of the room, fearing the worst. It was most likely that one of the adults had fallen after having a little too much to drink. Maybe after this, Yujin would have to cut them off by a certain number of beverages, although she couldn't imagine either being agreeable to that- especially Mistress.

She was greeted by a very different sight at the bottom of the stairs. Not only was Master lying there in an unnatural position from where he had clearly fallen, his body had been impaled on what appeared to be some sort of animal trap. The sharp, razor edges were deep enough to penetrate him a good few inches in his side.

He groaned, hazily looking up at Yujin, who screamed.

Her mind couldn't make sense of the scene. Where had the trap some from? Who put it at the bottom of the stairs?

“Wow, that was funny.”

Yujin stopped screaming, only from the shock of hearing a familiar voice.

The brat stood at the top of the stairs, eyes alight with mischief. While Yujin's attempts to entertain him always failed, he smiled widely now, utterly thrilled by what he had done to his father.

Before she could help herself, Yujin started screaming again. Terrified, she ran from the boy, heading towards the landline in the kitchen to call for help.

Deep down, she had always known there was something wrong with the young Master but given him excuses in her head. He was just in that phase kids went through- when they decided to be terrible, just because they could. Or even that he was just lashing out, feeling some sort of neglect from his self-absorbed parents.

Even if that was the case, there was no excuse for this. He was a monster.

As if to further prove her point, the young Master shouted with delight from the other room.

“I found it outside! Isn't it great?”

Yujin's fingers trembled over the phone as she made the call for help. She distantly wondered where Mistress was but didn't dwell on it, not while this was more demanding of her attention. She was halfway through explaining what had happened to the woman on the other end when the young Master stepped into the room.

There was blood on his hands. Had he touched his father? Had he... hurt him even more?

But that wasn't all. Inexplicably, the boy was suddenly clutching a pair a gardening shears, poised and ready to attack.

“Please hurry!” Yujin cried into the phone before dropping it. It hung by the cord, swinging from side to side over the counter as the operator worriedly asked if everything was all right.

The young Master crossed the distance that separated them, cocking his head to one side.

“You're no fun.”

While he had adopted one of his more dead-eyed expressions, at Yujin's panic, a smile spread across his lips.

“Should we play, Yujin?”

Seized with terror, Yujin sank to the floor. From the look on the young Master's face, he had never felt more alive.

Whatever this game was, it seemed he liked it a lot.

*

“Where the fuck are you?” Sangwoo demanded, scouring the room.

Not being in control of a situation was bad enough. It pissed him off even more knowing in this case, it was his own fault.

Finally, he found his keys by the front door, on the floor of all places. He figured they must have fallen out of his pocket at some point.

Sangwoo had just barely snatched them up when someone knocked. It was annoying. He had a shift at the cafe, one he was already late to. It was also weird. Very rarely did anyone knock on the door. People hardly even walked through this neighborhood. Sangwoo was only one of a few inhabitants. A serious of violent break-ins had sent pretty much everyone packing a few years ago.

Sangwoo shoved his keys in his jean's pocket and yanked the door open. He was less than impressed to find his weirdo neighbor staring back at him.

Upon seeing Sangwoo, the little freak's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

Sangwoo couldn't imagine what this was about. He'd long since been aware of the guy's presence, mainly because every time Sangwoo noticed him, his neighbor was staring at him. If Sangwoo cleaned his car, he would look up and see him across the street, staring. If he came back from work, there was this creep, staring. Collect his mail? There was this freak show. Staring.

Still, he'd never actually approached Sangwoo before. And naturally, Sangwoo had never approached him- though he'd thought about walking over once or twice when the staring got a bit much and demanding to know what the fuck the weirdo was gawking at.

Except he knew. Sangwoo was a good looking guy. He was always working out, always wearing outfits that flattered him best. He kept up with his grooming and all that shit. The only downside was, it didn't always attract the right kind of attention.

“Yes?” He thought maybe if he didn't say anything, the guy never would. He'd been staring at him for at least half a minute in complete silence, eyes bugging out like he couldn't believe Sangwoo was real- or perhaps that he was so close to him.

Sangwoo's voice snapped the guy out of whatever daze he'd fallen into.

“Hello, I'm your neighbor.”

“Yeah, no shit. And what do you want, neighbor? I'm kind of in a hurry.”

Honestly, Sangwoo didn't feel like going to work today but it wasn't like he wanted to hang around and have this encounter instead. He was tired from going out last night but at least at the cafe, he didn't have to deal with this shit.

The guy had never followed him to work. So there was that, at least. Sangwoo was only confident of that since he always noticed the guy from the force of his stare. No way he wouldn't notice that at work. Right?

The guy smiled, looking so very pleased just to be talking to Sangwoo.

“That's too bad, I was hoping to talk with you about something.”

It was so ridiculous, Sangwoo laughed silently, shoulders shaking with the action.

“Yeah, thanks but no thanks. I'm busy, so if you could just-”

“Sangwoo.” The creep's smile stretched wider. “It's really important.”

What the fuck could be so important? Sangwoo could only stare as he wondered. They had nothing to do with each other, outside of being neighbors. But that didn't mean anything. He was under no obligation to speak with this guy.

“I'm Bum, by the way. Yoon Bum.”

“Great. And I'm late, so if you'd kindly get the fuck out of my wa-”

“I know something,” Bum blurted out. He looked excited, downright giddy even. Sangwoo eyed him warily, unsure how much weight to give his words.

“Okay? Guess what I know? That I'm about to walk away. From you.” Sangwoo brushed past him, purposefully knocking against the guy's shoulder. Bum was pretty much as short as they came and from what he could tell, a bit on the skinny side. He was completely undeterred by Sangwoo knocking into him. Annoyingly, he followed Sangwoo down the steps.

“Before you go, I have something you might want to see.”

Sangwoo sighed, dramatically. When he turned around, Bum looked as delighted as ever.

What the hell was this?

He noticed the phone in Bum's hand, though he kept it downcast. Was that what he had to show Sangwoo, something on his phone?

He almost laughed at the thought of his weird neighbor coming over with some funny animal video, demanding he watch it. It could be the truth- Bum didn't exactly radiate sane.

Seeing Sangwoo eyeing his phone, Bum held it up. He walked closer, so Sangwoo could see it better.

At what he saw on the screen, Sangwoo could feel his own expression change. Instinctively, he grabbed Bum's arm. While Bum let out a cry of surprise, curiously, his lips pulled into a deeply pleased smile as Sangwoo's grip tightened around his bony arm.

“What the fuck?” Sangwoo all but hissed.

He leaned down so his face hung over Bum's, hoping to intimidate him. But the little freak just smiled like this was exactly what he wanted.

Sangwoo came to his senses. It was a quiet street but people still passed by, on occasion. He didn't have neighbors on either side of him but there were more people across the street, alongside Bum. This wasn't a conversation Sangwoo wanted any of them to hear.

Holding fast to Bum's arm, he headed inside, dragging the little snake behind him. Only when they were in did he let Bum go, and only to shove him against the door. Sangwoo pressed in close, glowering.

“What are you playing at?” Sangwoo was surprised by how level his voice sounded but knew if Bum ticked him off any further, he'd lose it.

He had completely forgotten about being late to work. With this kind of threat, something as insignificant as his job at the cafe didn't matter at all.

Bum beamed, apparently unconcerned for Sangwoo pinning him against the door.

Could he not see how outmatched he was? Was he an idiot?

He has that video. He has the upper hand.

The thought made Sangwoo grit his teeth. He'd be damned if someone just swooped in and did this to him. He would have the upper hand again.

“You don't have to be scared,” Bum practically cooed at him, like Sangwoo was a god damn baby and not twice his fucking size. Like he couldn't destroy Bum, if he wanted to. And god, he wanted to. He would, if Bum forced his hand.

“I haven't shared it with anyone and I won't. At least, not if you do what I say.”

“Let me see it again,” Sangwoo demanded. “Give me your phone!”

Unfazed, Bum handed it to him. Sangwoo hit play and felt a myriad of emotions watching the video.

Somehow, it appeared to be captured from within the basement, from some raised surface, angled downward. There was last night's hunt on the floor, screaming- the video had also captured the audio. Sangwoo stepped into frame, standing behind her. He grabbed her by the hair, lifted up her head and slit her throat. The video was a green-ish night-vision color so the blood wasn't red, although there was no denying what it was. It was a high quality video. At one point, when the woman struggled against Sangwoo, attempting to cover her throat to stop the blood flow, Sangwoo turned his head just the right way for the camera to capture his face. Even high quality, it wasn't the clearest image of him but still identifiable.

Sangwoo realized the video went on for a lot longer and dragged his finger along the timeline to see just how much it had captured.

It was all there. Not only the murder but Sangwoo dismembering the body and cleaning the basement afterwards.

He knew nothing about Bum besides the fact that there was clearly something wrong with him. Despite whatever smarts it took to get this video, Sangwoo was hoping he was dumb enough to only have one copy. He hit the trashcan button and was about to confirm he would like to delete it when a strange sound came out of Bum. Off Sangwoo's questioning look, he explained, “That's not the only one. I'm not an idiot, you know.”

“No,” Sangwoo agreed quietly, looking down. He deleted the video anyway because it made him feel better. He could feel Bum watching him, waiting for his next move. Sangwoo waited long enough so that it seemed like he might not have one- then, he wrapped his hands around Bum's throat.

“But you are dead,” he said, body vibrating with the same sort of pleasure it did whenever he threw someone down the basement stairs. It felt even better in this instance, knowing he was punishing this person had personally wronged him.

It was satisfying to finally wipe the smile off the little creep's face. Sangwoo tightened his hold around him, easily fitting both hands around his scrawny neck and squeezing. He lifted him off the floor and Bum's feet scrambled for purchase. He lost one of his shoes in the struggle, and Sangwoo wondered what the hell he'd thought would happen when he came over here, knowing what he knew.

It was going to be so easy to end the life of a weak little thing like him. Sangwoo drank in the fearful look in Bum's eyes and tightened his hold, to the point where horrid wheezing sounds escaped Bum while he struggled to get in some air.

Sangwoo didn't expect to have this sudden chance to kill, and he supposed in a way he could thank Bum for that. He was more than sated with last night but this was a nice dessert Bum had added to his already delectable dinner.

But he had questions, questions no one could answer if Bum was dead. Like how the hell had he gotten inside Sangwoo's basement without him noticing? And what exactly did he want in exchange for silence?

With an irritated sigh, Sangwoo let him go, allowing Bum to drop to the floor.

For the longest time, he just made ugly, wheezing sounds. When he finally managed to catch his breath, he said pretty much the last thing Sangwoo would have expected him to say.

“Wow.”

Wow. Fucking... wow?

Bum laughed at whatever expression Sangwoo held- deep confusion, if he had to guess.

Sangwoo nudged him with his shoe. “Explain. Or that video's getting a sequel.”

Delighted, Bum jumped to his feet. He had sprung back a little too fast for someone who'd just about had their windpipe crushed. There was some very visible bruising around his neck, yet he looked unconcerned.

Fucking weirdo...

Bum's eyes skittered over Sangwoo's face like he couldn't decide which feature he wanted to look at most. It was the same excited energy he'd had since he'd first come over, even now Sangwoo had attempted to kill him.

“What would you like to know?”

“Why don't you start with why the fuck there's a camera in my basement?”

Bum looked very pleased with himself hearing that. Yet when he answered, he acted coy, like it was no big deal at all.

“I sort of tried a bunch of combinations before I got your number right.”

“You what?”

Bum gestured to the door, delighted. “The code.”

He had just worked his way through a bunch of different combinations until he'd been able to open the door? That shit must have taken forever. What kind of loser spent all his time doing that kind of thing?

“It took awhile,” Bum said, a weird, high-pitched giggle coming out of him. Like it was some kind of joke only he understood.

Sangwoo rolled his eyes, hoping to accurately convey the disgust he felt in that moment.

“I was just going to look around but when I found the basement... I noticed some blood on the floor. Not a lot but it got me thinking...”

Sangwoo folded his arms over his chest, annoyed. It was taking everything in him to hold back and listen to Bum. What he really wanted was to snap his neck like a twig. Feeling how delicate he was, with just a little more pressure, he bet he could do it. It'd make such a satisfying snap...

Bum went on to say, “It made me think of all the times I've seen things that don't... add up. I'm not even sure how many girls I've seen go with you into your house only to never see them again. It made me think that maybe... just maybe, this was where it ended for them.”

Sangwoo narrowed his eyes slightly. Bum's reaction to learning his neighbor killed people was awfully casual. Most people would have something to say about such a thing.

Bum was not only not scared, he seemed entertained by the idea of Sangwoo murdering women.

Beaming, Bum said, “It's a live feed. Only I get the output, if you're wondering. I would never share it with anyone else. Well, I will, actually, that's what I came to talk to you about. But all you have to do is one small thing for me and I won't tell anyone, I swear.”

Two could play this game Bum was playing.

Grinning, Sangwoo leaned casually on the wall, less concerned the more he considered the facts.

“That's where you're wrong, Bum. See, the thing is, you might have some little videos of me, but at the end of the day, when I dispose of you, all that goes away. Since you let yourself into my house- which, is really rude, by the way- I don't think I'll have any trouble doing the same to you. I'm guessing the videos are on your computer or phone? I'll smash all of it. There, no more videos, problem solved.”

Bum was still smiling, which was annoying. Didn't he get it? He had lost.

“Oh, and I forgot to mention; I won't only smash your devices, I'll smash your face in too.” Sangwoo laughed. “Maybe I'll make my own video with your camera when I cut up your body. That'd be kind of ironic, right?”

Bum tilted his head to the side. His smile had lessened but it was still there. He was a real idiot if Sangwoo's threat hadn't rattled him in the slightest.

“You don't understand, Sangwoo, that won't help. I have a system in place.”

“You what?”

“Pretty much what will happen is that this video- and all the other footage I have of you I haven't shown you- will be sent to the police.”

Sangwoo blinked. “Other footage?” He grinned. “Hah, as if. You don't have shit.”

“Well, none of it is as incriminating as this video here,” Bum said, touching the phone still in Sangwoo's grasp, despite the fact that the video had been deleted. Although Sangwoo supposed if Bum was being truthful, it wasn't really gone.

“But it paints quite the picture. I have videos of you with women who later disappeared. That's a bit suspicious, isn't it?” Bum made an expression of mock confusion, pouting his lips. “Strange all those women disappeared right after they went into Oh Sangwoo's house.” He cocked his head to the side, smirking. “I wonder if this Sangwoo character knows anything about it.”

Sangwoo could scarcely remember a time he was rendered speechless.

Bum was absolutely insane. What kind of person did something like this?

“You broke into my house,” he pointed out.

Bum threw his head back and laughed. Sangwoo had to admit, it was a pretty dumb thing to say. But that just pissed him off. Bum in general pissed him off.

“A small crime compared to yours.”

“If you're dead, that footage isn't going anywhere.”

“I'm good with computers, Sangwoo.” Bum beamed with pride. “It's my job, actually.”

“So what, even if you're dead in the ground, that video will go out?”

“That and all the others, yes.” Bum pursed his lips. “I'm sorry if that upsets you.”

Sangwoo snapped. He could only take so much.

He slammed Bum into the wall, holding his forearm over his throat. He didn't press firmly enough to cut off all the creep's air, but enough to serve as a warning.

“You have no idea who you're dealing with, you sick fuck.”

Bum's smile was somehow fond at that.

“You're wrong. I know everything about you.”

Sangwoo eased off a little but kept his arm in place. He glowered while Bum went on to share everything he knew about him. What shifts Sangwoo usually worked and for how long- and, to Sangwoo's surprise, where he worked. The university where Sangwoo had studied and the names of some of his friends. Which of those friends he still kept in contact with and even when he had last met up with one in particular- down to the hour it transpired. Where he was conscripted. Where he liked to go to eat. The places he went to find victims. Hell, even the type of crackers he liked.

By the end of it, Sangwoo could only stare in shock. He'd heard of crazed stalkers but Bum was on an all other level. Who the hell knew this stuff about a total stranger?

Because it seemed to be the only way out of this, Sangwoo asked what the little freak was dying to hear.

“What do you want?”

Bum leaned into the words like a flower leaning towards the sun.

“I want... you to have sex with me.”

Sangwoo stepped away from him, disgusted.

What?”

Bum's smile was almost shy then. Almost but not quite; the type of person who demanded such a thing was in no way shy. They couldn't be.

He really is sick.

“I'm not going to have sex with you! I'm not into guys, you little freak. You're disgusting.”

He expected more of a reaction from Bum but his smile remained in place, only lessening a fraction.

“I know your preference is girls, Sangwoo. But maybe you'll like it! I-I could wear a nice dress, maybe even a wig! It won't be so bad.”

Sangwoo couldn't believe it. What kind of fucked up person was Bum?

“I've got a better idea,” he growled, covering Bum like a shadow. “What if I throw you in the basement, hm? And while I'm at it, what if I slit your throat?”

Bum considered it like it was an actual option, curling out his bottom lip and rolling his eyes up. After deliberating, he shook his head.

“That won't do it. The footage will still be sent to the police. By the way, don't take the camera down. If you do, I'll send the footage. And we don't want that happening, do we, Sangwoo?”

Sangwoo huffed in frustrated. It was pissing him off so much. He just wanted to smash Bum's skull in but supposedly if that happened, he would be found out.

He had been so careful with everything only for Bum to come and ruin it. It was so unfair.

Bum pet his arm, offering a sympathetic expression. It seemed genuine but that was a laugh. He was the one doing this, after all.

Sangwoo couldn't even bring himself to push Bum away. He was just so damn angry. His mind raced trying to find a solution while Bum gave him a doe-eyed look, hand gently brushing against Sangwoo's arm.

What he'd said rattled around in Sangwoo's brain- putting a dress and wig on him. The little freak was somewhat on the feminine side already, at least in that he had delicate features. Looking at him, he was clearly a man, but a small, delicate one.

Except, Sangwoo had no interest in fucking guys. Hell, he didn't even kill them. Women were the object of his desires when it came to most things.

Of course, he'd gladly make an exception for Bum, but only to murder him.

“So what do you say?”

Sangwoo considered the little pervert, touching him like he had any right to. He wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing was getting him off. Clearly, he was into some messed up shit.

While dealing this was definitely more important, Sangwoo couldn't help but think of the cafe. If he didn't make it in, he at least needed to call soon.

“Well?” Bum prompted.

God, he was way too pushy. Sangwoo shoved him off.

“No. I'm not doing that, jesus. What's the matter with you?”

Bum sighed as though it pained him. “Then I guess you'll be going to prison. It's a shame.. I'm sure you'll be able to hold your own there.” He looked appreciatively to Sangwoo's body. It made him sick.

“But there are men even stronger than you, and they come in numbers. A whole gang of them against you.. I wonder how long you'll be able to hold out.”

Sangwoo glowered at him, annoyed for the visuals. But he imagined along as Bum said it, going so far as picturing himself in a jumpsuit.

“I've heard of those sort of things happening,” Bum continued. “It's terrible, but people don't sympathize with criminals. The guards will probably even allow it, and why not? They're not going to feel bad for someone who's killed women. How many women is it, exactly? I've been curious about that. Well in any case, if you're not eager to be the one to put it in me, I reeeally don't think you'll enjoy multiple men putting it in you, over and over again.” Bum grinned then, eyes alight. “Or maybe you will like it. Maybe that's what you want. What you need...” He cackled. “I guess I should release the footage then, huh?”

No,” Sangwoo grit out.

He'd been around a lot of annoying people before and had to reign himself in then. Idiots in class, loud, obnoxious customers. He had imagined all the things he would do to them and it had helped, a little. But sometimes, his hands just itched to inflict pain.

Right now, it was taking everything in him not to completely destroy Bum.

The difference with Bum was that he knew Sangwoo was a killer. He had the proof and here he was, taunting him, knowing full well what Sangwoo could do to him.

He's completely insane.

“No?” Bum grinned, delighted. “Well how about this. I'll leave now and you can think about it. You're late to work, which isn't good.”

Was he kidding? Whose fault was that?

“I'll come back tomorrow and you can tell me what you've decided.” Bum's smile softened. “I hope you make the right decision.”

Sangwoo scoffed. He was moving to open the door without another thought. Annoyingly, Bum laughed as he pushed him through it.

“See you tomor-”

Sangwoo slammed the door in his face.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Sangwoo took a long time to cool off after Bum left. He decided he was too angry for his shift and called the manager, pretending there was some emergency. He probably should have wanted to go to the cafe, to get away from Bum; knowing he was just across the street pissed him off. But he was the sort of angry that went beyond what he could hide. Going to work would be too much of a risk.

Only later that night did Sangwoo realize Bum was probably full of shit. He was just expecting Sangwoo to take his word for it, hoping to live out his perverted fantasies. Who knew if he even worked with computers.

He'd made it sound like it would be a one time thing but Bum hadn't offered to destroy the footage after they did it. So what exactly was stopping him from making Sangwoo fuck him again in the future? He had him exactly where he wanted him. It was sick.

It really made Sangwoo think about the people he met with on a daily basis. Any one of them could be sickos.

But it wasn't like Bum was good at hiding it. Sangwoo had him pegged for a certain kind of freak from the beginning, just not one who would manipulate him in such a way.

And breaking into his house? That was really messed up.

Bum didn't say what time he was going to come the following day. It was annoying, having to wait around for him. Sangwoo hated that Bum had made him feel the slightest bit of anxiety. This wasn't how it was meant to be for him.

The knock came around the same time it did yesterday and Sangwoo rose from where he was sitting in the kitchen to answer it. Even though he really didn't want to.

Just like yesterday, Bum beamed at him, except he was possibly even more excited today.

“I brought dress ups!” he exclaimed, holding up a bag.

Sangwoo just stared at it. Was he serious? He really thought wearing female clothing was going to make this any easier? Not that this was even going to happen. Not on Sangwoo's watch.

He let Bum in, only because this wasn't a conversation he wanted to have outside, on the very off chance someone heard them.

Bum took that to mean this was definitely happening and plopped the bag on the floor. Sangwoo watched as he pulled a dress out of it and held it in front of himself. He moved his body, making the bottom of the dress swish from side to side. It was honestly so disgusting. If Sangwoo put lipstick on a pig, did that make the pig a woman? No, it was still a fucking pig. And Bum was still a man.

“I'm not fucking you.” It was blunt but he felt like he needed to regain control of the situation.

Bum looked like a child whose field trip had been canceled. He dropped the dress back into the bag and closed the distance between them.

Sangwoo automatically took a step back. Annoyingly, Bum took another step forward.

Bum smiled like Sangwoo was somehow teasing him and not trying to get the fuck away.

“Come on, Sangwoo. You know what will happen if you don't.”

“Yeah, except I don't know shit. I doubt your whole system is even real.”

Bum raised an eyebrow. “You don't believe me?”

“Give me one good reason why I should.”

“I'm good with computers, Sangwoo. I know what I'm doing.”

Sangwoo scoffed. It wasn't enough.

“Or, you could always risk it...”

God, he was annoying. And if he was telling the truth, he could just keep using Sangwoo like this. It was fucking sexual slavery.

“Okay, well tell me one thing. If I do this, how do I know that's it?”

Bum's eyebrows knitted together. “What do you mean?”

“I mean how do I know you're not going to come back wanting more?”

Bum smirked at that. “I'm sure I'll definitely want more.”

The little creep looked up and down Sangwoo's body, very much liking what he saw.

Fucking shameless.

Sangwoo pointed in his face, angrily. “You said we had to do it once. So if we do this, it's a one time thing and that's that.”

Bum's eyes lit up. Sangwoo realized it was a mistake to make it sound like it was happening. He couldn't do it. No way. But while he had Bum's attention, he had something else to say.

“And you hand over all the footage afterwards.”

He expected Bum to refuse but he seemed to consider it.

“I guess it's only fair. Otherwise I always have it over your head.”

Sangwoo nodded. He paused, hating that he felt desperate waiting for Bum to agree.

From the smirk on his lips, he knew he wasn't going to like what the freak said next.

“Except, if I hand over the footage, I'm no longer safe.”

Sangwoo shrugged. “I guess that's a risk you'll have to take.”

“Hmm. Maybe...”

Bum didn't seem particularly bothered by the fact that soon, he might be living in uncertainty, the threat of Sangwoo striking at any moment a very real one.

After a few minutes of consideration, Bum nodded.

“All right, deal.”

He held out his hand and Sangwoo took it, hating that Bum squeezed while they shook on it. He hated Bum touching him at all but given what he had just agreed to... they would be touching each other much more intimately very soon.

Everything about him repulsed Sangwoo. He thought about tightening his hold on Bum's hand and dragging him to the basement, of shoving him down the stairs then finding something sharp to spill his guts with. No, he would torture him first, would draw it out as long as he could, for days, weeks even. Bum wouldn't be smiling then. He wouldn't be such a smug little shit.

Sangwoo's body reacted accordingly while he thought about torturing Bum. He wasn't quite hard but his cock twitched with interest as it often did when he considered butchering people- or, as he did it.

He hated to think Bum saw whatever was in his eyes and mistook it for some sort of desire for him but he supposed they had to get this over with anyway.

Without preamble, Bum's hand moved to Sangwoo's crotch, cupping him over his jeans. Sangwoo growled lowly but allowed it, imagining the fountain of Bum's blood after he slit his throat. That made it easier.

Bum rubbed him through his pants, staring up at him as he did it. What was he expecting, some kind of happy reaction? Sangwoo glowered, itching with the need to yank Bum's hand off him. He wasn't into guys. Just having one touch like this was making him feel sick.

He returned to the basement in his mind, imagining Bum hanging from a pulley attached to the ceiling. Bum's hands would be bound, meaning he couldn't do a thing about any damage Sangwoo inflicted on him. Sangwoo could give him a little nick or he could gut him like a fish. Bum would never know what was coming. The idea of him anxiously anticipating Sangwoo's next move was exciting. More importantly, Sangwoo would be in control.

Sangwoo felt his cock get thicker. He wanted to remain in fantasy but was still aware on some level Bum was stroking him. Not only that, it was helping.

Anyone reacted a hand on their cock, didn't they? It wasn't like Sangwoo's brain knew it was a male hand.

“You're starting to like it,” Bum observed. It was almost like he was talking to himself.

“Don't say anything. I don't want to hear your voice.”

Bum merely shrugged. He reached for Sangwoo's zipper but Sangwoo slapped his hand away.

“You can't fuck me with your pants on,” Bum said with a laugh. God, he was so annoying.

Sangwoo didn't want to take his pants off but he would rather if he was the one to do it. While he pulled down the zipper, Bum stared, captivated. His breath hitched when Sangwoo pulled it out and Sangwoo hated the pleasant sensation he felt in return for Bum's reaction.

“It's so big,” Bum remarked.

“Yeah,” Sangwoo said, smug. “It makes sense if you wanna back out. It'll probably break you in half.”

Bum grinned, wetting his lips with his tongue.

“I want to taste it.”

Sangwoo felt another annoying body reaction hearing that. But who didn't like having their dick sucked? It was hard not to react, even if it was a guy making the offer. It was just the thought of a blowjob that was appealing.

Bum looked up at him through his lashes, imploringly. Sangwoo just nodded. He tried to ignore the victorious expression on Bum's face.

He expected Bum to start slow. Instead, he pretty much shoved in as much as of Sangwoo's cock as he could right away. The idiot realized that wouldn't work and gagged on it. He pulled back to suck on the head.

It felt fucking amazing. The only thing that ruined it was Bum staring up with him with a wide-eyed, eager to please expression on his face. Sangwoo tried to tell him to knock it off but the only thing that came out of his lips was a broken moan.

How many dicks had this little freak sucked? It didn't even matter that he could barely fit it in his mouth, his technique was perfect. Just the right amount of pressure, his tongue swirling over the head, occasionally pressing into the tip. One of Bum's hands began to very lightly massage his balls.

Sangwoo had to pull him off when it started to feel like he was going to come.

“All right, let's get this over with.”

Bum got up off the floor, staggering a bit.

“Where should we-”

“In there,” Sangwoo gestured to the bedroom. When Bum just stared at the door, Sangwoo pulled on his arm.

“Hurry up. Jesus.”

Bum grinned at that and Sangwoo hated it. It wasn't like he wanted to fuck a guy but he was achingly hard and apparently fucking one was the only way out of the problem.

Bum began to undress but Sangwoo didn't want to see his body.

“Just pull your pants down. Ass up.”

“Let me get ready,” Bum said, leaving the room.

What was he doing, putting on clothes? Sangwoo looked out the door and saw something else instead. Bum was reaching behind his body, between his legs.

“What are you doing?” he asked blandly from the doorway.

Bum flashed him a smile, not at all embarrassed.

“Making it wet for you.”

“Ugh.”

Bum laughed. Sangwoo started to turn away but Bum looked so stupid, he had to watch.

What was so great about having sex with a guy when they couldn't even get wet? Why not just find a girl?

A guy like Bum probably couldn't find one. Objectively, he wasn't bad to look at. Not ugly but not all that masculine either. Since he'd brought a dress, did he like pretending he was a girl?

From what Sangwoo understood, that was for his benefit rather than Bum's. Not that they were even using it.

He thought about telling Bum to put it on but didn't want to give the creep the wrong idea. If Bum took that to mean he was interested in any way, he could go back on their deal and expect more of this. Of course, there was always the risk he would already do that but Sangwoo hoped if that was the case, he could bully him into submission.

“Okay, done.” Bum giggled and scurried back over to him.

“Good,” Sangwoo said through gritted teeth. “I'm ready for this to be over.”

“Oh yeah, I bet you wanna come,” Bum said with a pouty expression, as if he sympathized. “You're so hard. Do you wanna put that big thing inside of me?” He dropped onto the bed. Sangwoo's vision unfocused at the sight of Bum pulling his pants down, not all the way but enough for him to see his ass.

It was surprisingly plump considering how skinny he was.

Sangwoo stepped over. It was starting to feel like if he showed any sort of weakness, he would lose.

You've already lost, he thought, kneeling down and considering the ass in front of him.

He could see the wetness between his cheeks from whatever Bum had put there. When he noticed Bum grinning back at him, he glowered.

Fuck him. For all of this.

“I'm gonna make you regret fucking with me...”

Bum laughed, a sudden loud burst. “I would never regret fucking with you, Sangwoo.”

Sangwoo clenched his jaw. In hindsight that had been the wrong choice of words.

His cock throbbed. The sight of a wet hole in front of him was more tempting than he cared to admit. He'd never done anal with a girl but he could at least pretend, right? Except, there was a hint of Bum's balls peeking out reminding him the truth.

Sangwoo thought again of the ways he might hurt Bum in the basement. And then, he realized, he could hurt him doing this. The little freak would never think to ask for more then. Sangwoo would be free.

Bum sucked in a breath when Sangwoo grasped his hip with one hand. In the other, he held his cock out, pressing it up to that wet hole.

He didn't expect it to be such an easy slide. It was still tight though- almost painfully so, but the wetness offered less resistance.

Sangwoo grit his teeth as he pushed in, feeling Bum's walls pulsate around him. He didn't hear Bum breathe again until he was all the way inside.

“You're sooo big,” Bum cried out in wonder, and possibly pain. Sangwoo hoped it was pain.

Bum dropped his head on the mattress. “Fuck.”

Sangwoo couldn't even move, he was squeezing him so tight. He moved both hands to Bum's bony hips, grasping on tightly, which, annoyingly, only made Bum moan.

He was so dramatic. Sangwoo hadn't even moved yet.

Just wait til I do, he grinned. You'll never come here again.

“N-Nuh don't,” Bum stuttered, lifting his head and looking back with wide eyes. “Not yet. It's too... it's so...”

Gripping him tightly, Sangwoo pulled out all the way only to slam back inside. Bum shrieked and fell forward, landing on his chest.

“Get up,” Sangwoo grunted. “You asked for this.”

Bum breathed in and out rapidly, little shallow, gasping breaths.

Smug satisfaction seeped into Sangwoo's stomach- along with warm, liquid pleasure.

God, this felt so much better than he'd expected it to. Looking down at Bum's hole wrapped around him made him groan. This was a guy- he was balls-deep in a guy, yet he was still so fucking hard.

The only pity really was that he felt like he was going to blow his load pretty soon. It was mercy Bum didn't deserve.

Holding tightly onto Bum's hips, he thrust in and out, long, rough thrusts that must have hurt, going by the pained little squeaks Bum was making. It was deeply satisfying to hear him make that sound every time Sangwoo slammed inside. Bum's body opened around him, welcoming him in deeper, clenching so painfully tight around him, Sangwoo's eyes rolled back in his head.

Jesus. This was something.

And if it was hurting Bum, even better. The little creep deserved it, and in the long run, this was nothing compared to the pain Sangwoo could give him.

He decided to make it even less pleasant for Bum by voicing some of these thoughts.

“You know another way I would have satisfied this agreement? If I got a knife and stabbed a hole in your body then put my cock in it.” Sangwoo laughed and he felt anything but stable but that was just fine. His comment inspired a full body shiver from Bum, who clenched tight around him, tight enough that Sangwoo could barely even move for a good few seconds.

“You think you're so smart,” Sangwoo muttered, all the while briskly slamming into Bum's body, the lewd squelching sounds their bodies created strangely appealing.

Bum had moved on from squeaks to outright shrieking now and it was music to Sangwoo's ears. He thought about wrapping his hands around his neck while he fucked him but the likelihood of getting overexcited and killing him was too much.

What would that be like- to feel someone die while he was inside of them? The idea was less pleasing than Sangwoo would have liked. If Bum was dead, his body wouldn't react. He wouldn't squeeze around him as deliciously as he was right now. And he wouldn't moan like a little bitch.

Sangwoo frowned. Was he enjoying it?

He pressed Bum's thighs together, creating an even tighter space for Sangwoo's cock to push into. He thrust deep inside and Bum made a strangled sound. Sangwoo felt his body jolt like he might come, yet somehow he held back.

What an odd thought to want more of this. In the height of pleasure, it was difficult for Sangwoo to remember this was meant to disgust him. Seeing how small Bum was around him... he almost wished he could see more of his body. His bare back, maybe his chest.

He grimaced. Just what was he thinking?

Sangwoo grabbed the back of Bum's neck with one hand, forcing Bum up a little straighter. The slight difference of angle changed the sensation and Sangwoo groaned lowly. He took a moment to notice Bum was thrusting his back butt to meet his thrusts but Sangwoo was too close to coming to think too much of it.

“S-Sang-w-woo,” Bum stuttered, shaky for how hard Sangwoo was fucking him.

Jesus, he was really going to come inside a guy.

He looked down, at the way Bum's cheeks were parted slightly to allow his engorged cock inside. It didn't look like it should fit. The sight of that alone was really messing him up, getting him closer and closer.

He'd always liked doing doggy style with girls, partly for the feeling but mostly to watch himself penetrate them. He'd never really thought about putting it in their other hole, not even when it was so prominently in his face. He was pretty sure from here on out, he would at least consider it when he saw it, thinking about how good he knew it to be.

Or was it just Bum? Something about this hole in particular?

This was getting way too fucking gay. Sangwoo scowled, dropping his hands back to Bum's hips and pounding into him like a man possessed.

“You like that in your cunt, you little bitch?”

He wasn't even sure what Bum's reaction would be, because he'd said it for himself. He hadn't really thought he would answer.

“Yes!” Bum cried out brokenly, looking back at him. He was wide eyed and desperate and gleaming with sweat. His cheeks were so red, he might as well be wearing blush. His eyes were wet with unshed tears but he didn't look upset.

Sangwoo growled in response. He lifted one hand and firmly smacked Bum on the ass.

“Ah! S-S-Sangwoo.” Bum broke into a delirious moan and from the smile on his face, any illusions he didn't like it were immediately shattered

Damn it.

Sangwoo didn't care about that right now, at least, not as much as he would have. Feeling on the verge of coming, he drove into Bum faster, brisk, deep strokes that had Bum wailing. Annoyingly, he reached back to cling onto Sangwoo's arm, shrieking all the while like he was being murdered.

Sangwoo didn't even need to envision Bum covered in blood. This was enough.

He thrust deep inside and stilled, groaning as he came hard enough for his vision to whiten around the edges. He pulled out enough to thrust in once more to finish. Bum had gone still, allowing Sangwoo to hold him steady and finish inside. It was satisfying having him be submissive. At least if he had to fuck a guy, he was still the stronger of the two.

Sangwoo pulled out with some reluctance. He had the fear then that Bum hadn't come and he'd make him do shit to him until he did, or maybe just make Sangwoo watch while he jacked off. When he stepped back, he noticed the wetness near Bum, enough that for half a second, he thought he'd pissed himself.

Apparently he'd come a lot. Without needing to touch himself.

Sangwoo didn't want to feel smug about that. He didn't want to feel any sort of positive feeling about fucking a guy.

“Okay, well get out.”

Bum laughed from the bed. He lounged on his side, lazily looking up at Sangwoo. The fondness in his eyes was terrifying.

“That was... wow,” he remarked, a gentle smoothness to his voice.

“Uh-huh. Get out.” Sangwoo paused, thinking to add, “And send me the footage.”

Bum shook his head, an odd coy smile attaching itself to his lips.

Sangwoo felt his stomach drop. Was he fucking serious?

Bum's eyes dipped down, to where Sangwoo realized he still had his cock out. He left to grab his jeans from the next room, zipping them as he stepped back into the bedroom. He didn't need the little perv oogling him any more than he already had. It made Sangwoo feel dirty. And fuck, he already felt disgusting after what they had done.

“You have no idea how serious I am. Give me that footage or you're going in the basement.”

Bum grinned. “Except, you can't put me down there because the footage will be sent.”

Sangwoo shook his head. “How does that even work?”

“I put a timer on it,” Bum explained. “If I don't enter the code at a certain time every day, it will be sent. It's as simple as that.”

Sangwoo swooped down and grabbed Bum's arm. Bum didn't appear at all intimidated. In fact, he looked delighted, which was infuriating.

“How's this for simple? You made a deal with me and now you broke it. You think that's fair, Bum?”

Bum sniggered. “You want to talk about fair? You murder people, Sangwoo. I bet they don't think that's very fair.”

Sangwoo let him go, only because it seemed that brand of intimidation didn't seem to work.

Bum got up and casually readjusted his clothes. He had that freshly fucked look about him- hair mussed, cheeks pink. Sangwoo hate that he noticed. He hated that the thought of pushing Bum back down on the bed and going for round two appealed to him in some way.

I'll make it hurt this time. I'll make him beg for mercy.

The idea was, essentially to fuck Bum into submission. But considering Bum had liked that... he would probably like it if Sangwoo was rough with him again.

“Listen, I'll tell you what.”

Sangwoo wasn't hopeful about what Bum had to say but decided to hear him out. God, he hated that self-satisfied smirk on the little creep's face.

“I'll hand over aaall the footage if you do just one more thing for me.”

Sangwoo sighed. “What?”

He hated that some part of him hoped Bum would suggest they do this again. Maybe something else but dirtier. He just hoped Bum didn't want him to go down on him or anything. Because fuck that shit.

Bum smiled with a strange glint in his eye. Somehow, Sangwoo knew he was going to say something else but exactly what was beyond him.

“I want to see what you do- up close.”

What I do?

Killing people. What else?

“Forget it.”

Sangwoo left the room. Because fuck this.

Bum followed him because he was pretty much the most annoying person alive.

“Pleeeease, Sangwoo?”

Sangwoo whirled around, beyond irritated.

“You can't keep going back on what you say! Why should I even trust you this time, huh? You're just going to keep acting like you own me!”

“I won't, I swear!” Bum insisted, for his part looking extremely solemn. But Sangwoo didn't trust him. He couldn't.

“Fuck off. Get out of my house right now.

“What's the big deal?” Bum pouted. “I just want to see one. Just one murder. Pleeease?”

Sangwoo grabbed him by the hair. The startled sound that left Bum was everything. Even if he had shit on Sangwoo, Bum had to remember Sangwoo still had physical strength over him. So he should be afraid.

Bum carried on begging while Sangwoo dragged him towards the door. He was like an annoying child. Sangwoo opened the door and pushed him through it.

Bum stood on the doorstep giving him a sad look. It really was too fucking much.

“You wanna see it?” Sangwoo snapped. “Watch all the footage you have of me, you freak.”

“I want to see it in the flesh,” Bum protested. Flesh was certainly the right word. There would be a lot of that. Sliced, bloody flesh.

Yours, if you're not careful, Sangwoo thought, narrowing his eyes.

“Forget it, this ends now. Send the footage to the police, I don't give a shit. I'd rather be gang raped in prison than look at your face a second longer.”

Bum's mouth dropped open like he was truly shocked. Sangwoo slammed the door in his face before he could say anything.

Good fucking riddance.

Chapter Text

The idea that someone out there had the means to destroy him made Sangwoo shake with anger. From that day with Bum- that fucking weird, confusing day- he thought of little else but what he would do to him. String him up in the basement, slice into his flesh. Beat him, bite him. Maybe even shove his cock in him one more time, taunt him that he'd wanted it, hadn't he? Sangwoo would slit his throat while he fucked him and he would laugh.

Except then, if what Bum said was true, the footage would be sent to the police.

He had no way of knowing if what Bum said was true. It was entirely possible- and all too likely- that Bum was messing with him. But it was too risky to play it like he was.

Except, that was the play Sangwoo had gone for by ignoring Bum's demand and throwing him out of the house.

That had been four days ago. So far, no one had come banging on Sangwoo's door. He hated that he expected them to though, at least in part. Here he was in his own damn house, unable to relax.

Fucking Bum.

He tried to carry on as per usual. He took his shifts at the cafe, he hung out with people he called his friends. But it ate at him, the idea that Bum was out there, holding this over his head.

No, he couldn't possibly allow this to continue.

It wasn't the best plan but after considering his options, Sangwoo left the house one night in his darkest clothing- like he was off to commit a robbery or something. He stealthily jogged across the road, hoping to keep out of sight, which should be easy enough on such an isolated street. He had waited until late but it didn't matter if Bum was up or not. Sangwoo would get him up, and he'd force what he wanted out of him.

A long time ago, Sangwoo had taught himself to pick a lock. Not out of any kind of necessity, though he'd considered it might prove useful one day. It was just one of those things he wanted to try and master for fun, aided by boredom and curiosity. And so he brought his lock-picking kit over to work open Bum's door. He tried turning the knob first, on instinct more than anything.

It was unlocked. The absolute moron had left his door unlocked.

Sangwoo's first assumption was simply that Bum was an idiot. Then it dawned on him: Bum was expecting him. He wanted Sangwoo to come in.

Something about that was deeply infuriating. Sangwoo couldn't even regain control in this way. Even here, Bum seemed to have the upper hand.

Irritated, Sangwoo let himself inside but kept quiet, going so far as slipping off his shoes at the door. Bum could have the upper hand inviting him in but Sangwoo could get some satisfaction scaring the shit out of him.

Considering the brutality of the break ins from a few years ago, Bum really was an idiot for leaving his door unlocked. Someone much less pleasant than Sangwoo could have wandered in and left nothing but a concave of Bum's skull. That was what at least one of the men had done to a woman, or so the rather colorful news story at the time claimed. He was pretty sure they'd raped her first but Bum might be safe there. Depending on what type of person broke in; Sangwoo supposed homos robbed people too.

He crept through the house. It was a similar style to his own although the layout was a little different. Since there appeared to be no bedrooms downstairs, he headed for the upper level, careful to tread lightly.

A gentle snore alerted him to where Bum was upstairs. The bedroom door was wide open and Sangwoo had to stop from laughing. He really wanted Sangwoo to sneak in, didn't he?

Sangwoo tried not to consider why that might be and thought of switching on the light. Ultimately, he decided not to. Finally allowing heavy footfall, he stomped over to Bum, who jolted upright, confused. Sangwoo charged him, pushing him back on the bed and getting on top. He pressed the blade to his neck, pushing in enough so Bum knew he was serious.

An only slightly strained laugh came out of Bum. “What's this?”

He was annoyingly casual over someone not only walking into his house in the middle of the night but threatening him with a knife.

“What do you think it is?” Sangwoo snarled. “You're going to delete that footage and I'm going to watch.” His lips curled into a smile. “Oh, we're going to have a great time. Should I make some popcorn?”

“I don't have any, sorry,” Bum said with humor in his voice.

It took all Sangwoo's restraint not to slit the little creep's throat. With his face up close to Bum, he growled in displeasure, unable to even get the words out. From the light that stole into the room, Bum looked delighted.

There was definitely something wrong with him.

Sangwoo pulled on his arm. “Where's your computer?”

Bum shook his head, lips pursed together in a weird little smile.

“WHERE IS IT!?” Sangwoo lifted the knife up then drove it into the mattress, inches from Bum's head. Finally, the smile faded from his lips. Then, Bum made a noise not unlike a moan.

God, was he getting off on this?

Sangwoo couldn't remember ever been more angry in his entire life.

Leaving the knife where it was, he pulled on Bum's arm, rolling him onto his stomach. Sangwoo moved off him only to yank the covers down, and then, the loose fitting pants Bum had worn to bed. He expected some sort of protest but didn't get one. He pulled Bum's butt up at a better angle for him to reach. Sangwoo fumbled a bit with his zipper then pulled out his cock. Somewhere in the back of his mind, it amazed him he was already so hard but his body had been interested in some way the moment he'd gotten on top of Bum.

He didn't want it to be completely dry but he didn't have the kind of shit Bum had used and he wasn't going to tell him to get it. The urgency of this was too much and he didn't want it to be comfortable anyway, not for either of them. Still, he spat on his hand, taking a moment just to prob at Bum's entrance to make it a little wet. His fingers went no more than an inch but Bum moaned like a little whore, clenching around him. It pissed Sangwoo off. God, everything about Bum did.

He aligned them and thrust in- only this time, it wasn't quite such an easy slide.

It still felt good though, better than it had any right to. Sangwoo had only managed to get the head in. Bum squeezed around that so painfully tight, a small, wounded sound escaped Sangwoo.

“Fucking disgusting,” he grunted, attempting to push in further. It was slow and painful and he definitely got the need for Bum wetting it first, but he needed this to hurt at least a little.

It wasn't only Bum he was punishing but himself. He was disgusting for enjoying this so much.

With Bum clenching so tightly all around him, he could only manage shallow thrusts that didn't require him to pull out all the way. Bum buried his face near the knife, moans muffled by the pillow. Maybe what Sangwoo hated the most was how his body reacted to the sound.

He wanted nothing more but to drive in hard and fast but that clearly wasn't happening right now. It seemed to be enough for Bum, who shuffled back to meet his thrusts.

Sangwoo dipped his head back and closed his eyes, rocking his hips. He was surprised the slower pace felt so good. When Bum lifted his head off the pillow, Sangwoo could hear the breathy little gasps he made with every movement. Every so often it was a “yes” and even a “so nice.”

Sangwoo hated that Bum being so into this was what was really doing it for him. It was just unexpectedly appealing, the idea of someone being such a whore, they left their door open for somebody to come in and fuck them. Someone they knew to be dangerous.

“You don't deserve this,” Sangwoo grunted, lifting Bum's ass higher and angling in deeper.

“I don't,” Bum agreed eagerly, breaking off into a high-pitched moan.

He was opening up more and letting Sangwoo in deeper. Bum was moaning like the little whore he was, and from what Sangwoo could make out in the dim of the room, staring up at him.

Sangwoo's head felt heavy. What the hell had he even come over here for? It seemed like this was the main objective all along.

“Ah. S-Sangwoo.. yes, faster.”

Sangwoo rocked against him faster, ignoring the burn the lack of wetness was producing. It seemed somehow fitting that it hurt even while it felt good. From the sounds Bum made, he wasn't sure if he was in total bliss or openly sobbing from the pain. It made no difference; he didn't care about Bum's feelings. He didn't care if he enjoyed this or not.

I don't want to care.

He thought suddenly of his dad making some passing comment about homosexuals. It had been a biting comment, his face scrunched up in obvious disapproval. Sangwoo couldn't even remember the remark in question, just his disgust. He never said much about things like that. But Sangwoo had known from a young age; being gay was bad.

It wasn't like it was just his dad. Some of the people he spent his time with openly said things, things that were often passed off as jokes. Because it was easier to say disdainful things under the guise of humor.

Sangwoo began to wonder what they might think if they knew he was doing something like this and laughed when he realized they would probably disapprove more of all the blood he'd spilled. Then again, it was difficult to know for sure; some people really didn't like homosexuals.

Bum lifted his head like he wanted to be let it on the joke. Sangwoo shoved it down, pressing his cheek into the mattress. Bum moaned as if he liked it and he probably did. He seemed to like being pushed around, being roughly used.

Sangwoo could feel from the way his stomach tightened he was close. He wondered if Bum felt the same.

He didn't want it to matter. Bum was just meant to be a dumpster for his cum, not a sentiment being.

Groaning roughly, Sangwoo drove himself deep inside and came with a shudder. Bum dropped flat on his stomach under Sangwoo's weight and Sangwoo laid on top of him, breathing shallowly into Bum's neck as he came down, all too aware of the pleasant warmth of Bum's body beneath him.

He'd hoped maybe the first time being so good was some weird fluke. Even dry and mildly uncomfortable, it was still good the second time.

Fuck.

After he caught his breath, Sangwoo pulled away. Without a word, he went for the door. He was vaguely aware he'd left his knife- not to mention the other business he meant to deal with. But he didn't care. He just needed to get away.

Bum sat up, looking so very small. “Sangwoo.”

Don't,” Sangwoo said sharply, stumbling out of the room, feeling drunk on his feet.

From the way he ran blindly down the stairs, it was a surprise he didn't fall.

*

The only good thing about Sangwoo's visit was it further convinced Bum not to rat him out- at least, he guessed it had, since no policemen had busted down his door yet. He didn't exactly live in peace after that but some of the panic eased. If Bum was going to share that footage, he would have done it by now, right?

Sangwoo still had that bag from their first time. He'd looked inside, feeling a sick thrill seeing the various dresses Bum had brought, along with a few different colored wigs.

He wished he'd made Bum wear them now but it was a little late for that. They weren't going to be doing that again and that was that.

It was a little over a week ago since Sangwoo let himself in Bum's house and he thought about it more than he would like. Just last night he'd gone to a club and picked up some girl. Everything about her screamed easy; her attitude and the dress that showed half her backside.

Yet she'd been a disappointment. Sangwoo probed at that hole- not roughly but enough to signal his intentions. From the way she'd looked back at him, he might as well have doused her in cold water.

“Not that one,” she said, slurring the words a bit.

Sangwoo was every bit as drunk as her and for a moment, he'd considered ignoring her and pushing inside. He figured the wetness of her cunt would be better anyway so he'd shoved it in and she'd immediately moaned and started rutted against him like a whore. He started up a steady rhythm, letting out his frustrations on her body. She kept looking back at him, mouth agape slightly and it pissed him off. He didn't want her to look at him. He didn't want to be aware of who he was fucking.

She wasn't as tight as Bum. Even though it was still good, he allowed his finger to slip over that other hole again, considering. This time, she slapped him off.

He thought of throwing her in the basement. From the range of annoying sounds she made while he slammed into her, he figured any amount of time with her down there would be nothing but unpleasant. He supposed he could always kill her quickly, before she had a chance to beg and cry too much. Weirdly, it didn't excite him much.

Afterwards, since she seemed to think she was sleeping over, Sangwoo was forced to go upstairs to sleep on his own. Some people were so presumptuous. As if he wanted a stranger in his bed. He didn't want to have to deal with her in the morning.

Luckily by that time, it seemed she'd had the sense to slip out.

Sangwoo winced, holding his head. He'd had way too much to drink. It was probably just as well he hadn't killed the girl; he preferred to kill with a clear head.

He really had overdone it with the drinks. And now he was starving. Food would starve off the hangover at least.

The fridge was bare.

Sangwoo sighed. He really didn't want to go to the supermarket but it seemed he had no choice.

Throwing on some sweats, he headed out. He wore a mask in the hope that it made him look a little less approachable. He wasn't in the mood for women to throw themselves at him.

He reached the supermarket, reflecting on what he remembered of the previous night. His orgasm hadn't even been that good. It was one of those quiet ones your body gave you only because its needs had been met physically and it was a necessity. But it was an utter disappointment. It didn't reverberate through his whole being like his more recent experiences had. It didn't leave him feeling weak in the knees or pleasantly dizzy.

Sangwoo was working his way down the produce aisle when he noticed Bum, pushing along a cart.

He hated the immediate bodily reaction he felt, a familiar, prickling pleasure in his stomach.

It was different seeing Bum out in the world. He wore a green jacket and jeans and looked so very normal.

Sangwoo eyed his cart skeptically. Did someone so small even need a cart? There didn't appear to be much in there yet, suggesting he was either indecisive or hadn't been here long.

It was always possible he'd followed Sangwoo. He was a little stalker freak after all. It was maybe a little easy to forget since Sangwoo hadn't noticed him staring recently. But how often had he noticed him before? It wasn't likely to be more than once or twice a week. This was probably the normal amount of time to pass before Sangwoo saw him again.

But it felt like it had been ages. Like he was keeping himself hidden or something. Maybe even just keeping away completely.

Why would he do that? Wasn't he obsessed with Sangwoo?

Maybe he was satisfied in light of what they'd done. For now, at least. Sangwoo considered he might approach him again soon, sometime. It helped he had his clothes; didn't he want them back?

The thought made Sangwoo smirk. Having that excuse, he decided to walk up to him, even though it felt wrong.

Bum looked over, surprised then delighted. Sangwoo had been so busy staring at him, he hadn't even noticed Bum was talking to some girl.

“Sangwoo, hi! This is Heeyoung.”

Heeyoung gave a little wave. Sangwoo recognized the look she gave him immediately. The typical horny look a lot of girls gave him.

He wasn't in the mood for it right now. In fact, he wished she'd fuck off.

“Hello,” he said anyway, offering her a little smile. While she creamed her pants over that, he redirected his attention to Bum.

“I have something of yours.”

Bum cocked his head to the side. “Oh?”

He had to know what Sangwoo was talking about. What else could it be?

Bum was just fucking with him, delighting in the fact that Sangwoo couldn't be more outright with this girl here.

Who the fuck was she anyway? Since when did Bum have any interest in girls? And why would they have any interest in him? He was a pitiful little girlish thing himself. They were probably friends in the way girls were with each other.

“Actually, I have something of yours too.” Bum's smile stretched out wide, eyes glittering in unhidden delight, and Sangwoo was stumped before he remembered- the knife.

He wondered what Bum had done with it. Did he yank it right out of the mattress after he left or did he leave it there for awhile? Sangwoo wouldn't put it past the little freak keeping it right by his head while he went to sleep.

The thought had him straining in his jeans, the idea that Bum had fallen back to sleep after Sangwoo left him, cum spilling out of his used hole.

He noticed both Bum and Heeyoung were staring at him like they waited for him to say something. Heeyoung just looked curious but Bum was amused, like this was all somehow very funny.

Sangwoo would very much like to wipe that smile off his face. Maybe he ought to try shoving his cock in his mouth again.

“We should exchange... items,” Bum said, barely stifling a giggle. His teeth bit into his bottom lip and Sangwoo tracked the movement. When Bum released it a moment later, his teeth left indents. Sangwoo thought about biting that same spot and drawing blood. He thought about pulling back and ripping Bum's skin off his face.

Ripping Bum apart until there was nothing left... that would stop these thoughts. He was beginning to think it was the only way.

“Yeah,” he agreed, frowning slightly.

Why was the girl still there? Wasn't the polite thing to excuse yourself and leave?

“Well, maybe later,” Bum said, pushing his cart along. “Heeyoung and I have plans, and I'm busy later. I need to visit my uncle... But maybe tomorrow?”

Sangwoo grit his teeth. He had to be kidding, right? Who did he think he was playing with Sangwoo like this?

On some bizarre level, it hurt. Didn't he want Sangwoo to give him a good dicking?

Who cares about what he wants.

“Sure, whatever.”

Bum's smile was dazzling. “Great, see you then!”

“Yeah.”

Sangwoo walked off. Tempted as he was, he didn't look back. Although he heard the conversation while he was still within earshot.

“Who was that?” Heeyoung asked.

“Just my neighbor,” Bum answered, amused. “I have some of his mail.”

Just his neighbor? That's all he was?

Sangwoo wasn't sure why that pissed him off so much but it did.

When he got home, he thought about shredding the dresses and destroying the wigs. He wasn't sure if Bum even wanted them but any way of getting at him would feel good, and he was so hard to reach. God knew physical pain didn't affect him and any threats had fallen on deaf ears.

He held off, only because he knew he wanted to see Bum wear them at least once- preferably when he slit his throat but as long as Bum had what he had on him, Sangwoo couldn't risk killing him.

And some part of him didn't want to. He wanted to keep using Bum's body, even if it sickened him.

He knew he should go out and do something rather than stay at home thinking, yet, he couldn't bring himself to leave the house. He might feel like a pathetic shut in if he hadn't gone out last night.

He couldn't get it out of his mind- he was just Bum's neighbor? Who the fuck did he think he was?

It wasn't like Bum could say anything else. He knew that rationally. Yet, the very casual way Bum had said it- like he himself believed that was all it was, was extremely irritating.

Bum came earlier than Sangwoo expected the next day but he couldn't even bring himself to get annoyed. He'd rolled out of bed hard and it was so very convenient Bum was here now.

Sangwoo pulled him into the house and threw him over the stairs. Bum went with a yelp but allowed it when Sangwoo yanked his pants down. Like last time, he spat on his hand and probed at Bum a bit- a little deeper than last time to try and get him a little wetter. At the way Bum tightened around his fingers and hitched in a breath, Sangwoo grunted.

“You're in love with what I do to you, aren't you, you little slut?”

Bum nodded eagerly, looking back at him with an expression that was in part vulnerable yet somehow deeply wanting.

Ignoring the awkward position on the stairs, Sangwoo pushed in while he looked at him. The way Bum's mouth fell open was deeply pleasing to see. Sangwoo focused on it almost as much as the sensation of Bum squeezing tightly around him. His body seemed unsure whether to deny or allow him passage. Sangwoo attempted to push in deeper but it was so tight. He moaned, closing his eyes. He was a little disappointed finding after he opened them that Bum had turned away, although considering he was strewn over the stairs and Sangwoo was pressed into his back, it was a little difficult to keep looking back.

Sangwoo thought about mentioning what had happened yesterday but he was pretty sure it would be pathetic to bring it up, or even hint he had been thinking about it.

When he thought of another angle, he grinned.

“So who was your friend yesterday, hm?”

Bum immediately twisted back to look at him again, frown forming on his face.

Sangwoo thought it might be transparent, what he was doing. But Bum seemed genuinely confused, if not hurt.

Sangwoo tilted his head back for a moment, moaning while he struggled to pull out while Bum's hole pulled on him so tightly, like it couldn't bear him to leave. This time when he opened his eyes, Bum was still looking at him, deeply troubled.

From the way he was half-turned on the stairs, Sangwoo could see his cock. It was the first time he'd seen it and he was fairly unmoved looking at it. It wasn't like he was a guy lover all of a sudden. It was what it was; he wasn't excited by it or anything.

He couldn't help but notice Bum wasn't hard though. Wasn't it doing it for him today? Not that Sangwoo cared. It was always possible Sangwoo talking about his friend had ruined it for him. He grinned, pleased he'd finally been able to get at him.

“She was pretty. Gave me that look like she wanted to get to know me, if you know what I mean.” Sangwoo allowed for a laugh to escape him. He was rocking into Bum at a leisurely pace and like the last time he moved slow, it felt really good. Although, it was difficult for Bum to keep looking at him, and he wanted him to.

Bum appeared even more confused than he already was when Sangwoo withdrew.

“Turn around.” He made a vague gesture. “On your back.”

Bum did as he was told, lying back on the stairs with his legs spread. Even though Sangwoo was met with the sight of his cock, so very confronting right in his face, he wasn't any less eager to slide back inside. The change of angle- or maybe just pressing back in- had Bum moaning loudly, eyes falling shut. Sangwoo took a moment just to savor it, surprised by how much his body seemed to react to the sound.

It was curious he hadn't dignified anything Sangwoo said with a response yet. Sangwoo rocked at a steady but slow pace into him, the angle still somewhat awkward on the stairs, but he was stubborn enough to keep them there.

It was different like this, being able to lean in close to Bum's face. He smirked at the confusion he saw there, at the hurt. God, he was easier to get at than Sangwoo thought. All he had to do was make him jealous.

Is that what this is?

“So what's her number?” Sangwoo asked, his voice coming out slightly strained. He grinned, glancing from a shocked looking Bum to where he was penetrating him. There was some resistance like last time from the lack of wetness but he swallowed him up all the same.

“Are you joking?” Bum asked flatly. It seemed he really wanted to know.

Sangwoo shrugged, grinning madly. “Why not? You saw the way she... ah... looked at me.” He looked down to where they were joined, pointedly this time. “I bet she wants some of this.”

Bum looked to the side, irritated. It really was amazing how that was all it took. Apparently he was an idiot after all, believing Sangwoo really wanted his friend's number.

“Why does it even matter?” Sangwoo asked, thrusting in sharply. Bum jolted and looked at him, surprised. His mouth opened but no words escaped- for once.

Another sharp thrust and Bum cried out. From the frown on his face, it was difficult to tell if he was enjoying it or not. But he was allowing it. Why, exactly?

Because he's obsessed with you, Sangwoo thought, strangely excited by the thought.

The possibilities were opening up to him. Bum would let him do anything he wanted to him.

He also wouldn't rat him out to the police.

“Are you worried I might like her cunt better than yours?” Sangwoo emphasized the word with a thrust. A beautiful little cry broke free from Bum's lips then and Sangwoo chuckled. A look down and he realized Bum was getting hard.

“N-No...”

Sangwoo smirked. “Are you sure?” Another hard thrust.

“Ah. N-No, Sangwoo... Stop it.”

“Stop what? Fucking you? Isn't that what you wanted?”

Bum shook his head briskly, eyes squeezed shut. It was impossible to know what he was trying to say without him actually saying it.

Sangwoo laughed, carrying on moving his hips. Bum had eased into it and swallowed him up all the way now. He cried while Sangwoo pushed in and out, the full length, punishingly fast.

“I wonder what face your friend will have when I make her come.”

Bum cried. As in actual tears. Apparently it had upset him that much. It was always possible he was crying over what Sangwoo was doing. But he couldn't dream of stopping.

He looked down, considering while he slammed into Bum. He couldn't believe he was even considering it, but...

Bum gasped, eyes wide. He looked to Sangwoo with a different kind of confusion. Oh, he hadn't expected that.

Sangwoo wondered what the hell had happened to him, what had led to him doing this as he fondled Bum's cock.

It was Bum. Annoyingly, he still had some weird power over him.

Sangwoo frowned, even as he carried on stroking Bum, tightening his hand over him how he did with himself.

The sounds Bum made were ridiculous. Desperate little yelps and moans. His face was still wet with tears.

It felt weird, touching someone else's cock. Yet Sangwoo barely noticed. He was hyperfocused to Bum's every little reaction- the slightest change of breathing by the way he flicked his wrist.

Bum had his legs open very wide now while he leaned back on the stairs. It looked so obscene, Sangwoo thought to call him a whore but he felt too out of breath. It was exhausting, both fucking and stroking Bum at once. He hoped the little fucker appreciated it. No way was he going to do this every time.

Every time? He couldn't even allow himself to question that line of thinking. Buried deep inside that tight heat, the pleasure was so intense, he didn't even consider questioning it. It made more sense to want this as much as he could get it.

Half delirious, he thought maybe this was some well kept secret people like his dad didn't want to allow people to have- the kind of pleasure that was so good, it had to be bad, somehow. But he didn't think it was bad now. Maybe he would later but now, in this moment, it was all he needed. He didn't ever want to go back.

Bum made some pitiful sound and he realized he'd stopped stroking him. He thought about taunting him but he missed those needy little bitch sounds he'd been making so he resumed stroking him, hard enough to hurt his wrist.

Bum grabbed at him, a look of wide-eyed desperation on his face.

Sangwoo wondered if he'd gone completely mad when he thought about leaning in and kissing him. That would be too far, right? Even if he'd made peace with fucking a guy- for the time being, at least- kissing him? The fact remained that Bum had made his life shitty, even only for a brief period.

“It's t-too much,” Bum wailed.

He was a total mess, cheeks red, drool escaping the corner of his mouth- like Sangwoo fucked him so good, he'd given him brain damage.

The thought brought a stab of pleasure and Sangwoo groaned, throwing his head back. He wouldn't last much longer.

“S-Sangwoo, please.”

“Please what?” Sangwoo grunted, meeting his eyes.

“Come!” Bum cried out, frowning slightly, as if the pain was finally too much. “Come soon... please.”

Sangwoo laughed roughly. “Why would I do a thing like that? This little hole feels so good.”

Bum moaned, head falling against the stairs. Sangwoo hadn't jerked off yesterday, knowing this was likely going to happen. Like it normally did, it made it that much more intense. He was definitely creeping closer to coming though.

Bum closed his eyes, more or less clinging onto Sangwoo, who slammed into his body. Despite whatever discomfort he felt, a smile pulled on his lips and Sangwoo found himself thrusting harder in an attempt to wipe it off.

There was something very wrong with Bum.

Sangwoo was pounding into him unforgivingly hard and fast, only lazily stroking Bum now, who cried out and abruptly came, shooting it up on Sangwoo's chest and stomach.

It was surprisingly erotic and Sangwoo groaned at the feeling of wetness, along with the way it dripped off him onto Bum, who looked completely wrecked. When Bum reached out to grab his ass, pulling him in deeper, Sangwoo saw it for what it was. It had come to be too much and he wanted Sangwoo to finish.

He had been holding off as long as possible to punish Bum but feeling Bum's oversensitive walls pulsating all around him as he was pushed in as deep as he could go, he let go, allowing himself to come with a grunt.

He collapsed on top of Bum on the stairs, surprised by the way Bum opened his legs wide to accommodate him in between. He wrapped them around him then and it struck Sangwoo as somewhat intimidate. He was still inside of Bum but could feel himself growing softer. He doubted it would be long until he wanted to fuck him again. He thought of dragging Bum to the basement and chaining him up. Of just using him, whenever he liked.

Except, if he did that, no one would be there to stop the footage from being sent.

“I'll let you come once,” Sangwoo said, annoyed he was giving in.

He pulled off Bum, who looked confused.

“But I already came.”

God, what an idiot.

“I mean I'll let you watch me work.”

“Ohhhh.” Bum smiled wildly. “Great!”

“But only on the condition you send me the footage.”

Bum paused at that, considering. Sangwoo liked to think he was safe and had been for awhile. It still felt good when Bum nodded in agreement.

“Good.”

He pulled up his pants, trying to ignore how crude it looked having Bum without any bottoms just sprawled out on the stairs, cock in clear view. It was a little weird to think he'd stroked him with such ease but remembering how good it felt to be inside Bum, he was willing to give himself some leeway for anything he felt driven to do.

Sangwoo left to get Bum's bag of shit and Bum was only just pulling himself off the stairs when he got back. He was being uncharacteristically quiet but Sangwoo wasn't going to point that out. It wasn't like he wanted him chatting his ear off again.

He walked Bum to the door, hoping it didn't come across as in any way polite or even chivalrous. He just wanted him to leave and Bum was loitering, not seeming to catch the hint.

He looked like he was about to step out when he stopped, considering Sangwoo with a strange, sad look.

“You didn't mean it, right? What you said... about Heeyoung?”

“Who?”

Bum frowned. Then, he looked delighted.

“You don't care about her. You don't even remember her name!”

Sangwoo scoffed. “I don't need to know her name. It's not her name that I'm interested in.”

Bum's face fell. Sangwoo wasn't really sure why he felt the need to say it.

Because he's never made it easy for you. Why do the same for him?

“Do you want your knife back?” Bum asked with an edge.

“Sure.” He didn't really care either way. He had plenty of identical knives.

Bum pulled it out of the bag slung over his shoulder. Instead of handing it to Sangwoo, he held the blade to his throat. With the height difference, he needed to reach up to do it, which made it intensely less threatening.

Sangwoo laughed. “What are you doing, Bum?”

“She sleeps around,” Bum said, more or less spitting the words. “You'll catch something if you go to bed with her.”

Wow, was he for real?

Sangwoo couldn't stop from laughing. Bum looking utterly betrayed the whole time only made him laugh harder.

“S-She... she won't let you do it rough like I do.”

Sangwoo leaned casually against the wall, folding his arms over his chest. “Is that right?” He acted like there wasn't a knife pressed up to his throat. Honestly, at some point he had forgotten there was.

Bum acting desperate really was a delight. Sangwoo thought of pulling him back and taking him to the bedroom this time.

And Bum would let him. Like he said, he would let him do it rough. Maybe he'd even bleed if Sangwoo wanted him to.

“Y-Yeah.”

“Hmm...” Sangwoo's eyes swept over Bum's body. He noticed he was wearing his work uniform and after silently noting he really did work in electronics, almost laughed again thinking of him going to the office reeking of sex. He could always go across the road and shower. Sangwoo hoped he didn't. He hoped he would go into the world exactly like this, the scent of Sangwoo burnt into his skin.

“What?” Bum squeaked out. He wasn't fearful of Sangwoo looking at him, he just couldn't take the suspense a moment longer, it seemed.

“I'm just thinking, how do I know you're not the same? Especially if you're friends with someone like that.”

Bum's mouth dropped open. It opened and closed rapidly as he struggled to think of something to say.

Seeing him caught off guard like this was possibly one of Sangwoo's favorite things. It was almost as good as fucking him.

“I could catch all kinds of dirty diseases from you.”

Bum quickly shook his head. “No! S-Sangwoo, I'm not like that, I swear!”

“Hmm...”

“I-I wear a condom with the others. You're the only one I let come inside!”

Sangwoo frowned. Hearing that put him off teasing Bum.

He supposed it was no great surprise hearing there were others. But it was strangely displeasing, the thought of them on top of Bum, grunting and groaning. Even if they used a condom, what the fuck did that matter to Sangwoo? They still put their cocks in him.

He grabbed the knife out of Bum's unsuspecting hand. Bum flinched but made no attempt to get it back. Before he could give into the temptation and tear him apart, Sangwoo tucked it into the waistband of his pants, behind his back. Bum watched him carefully the whole time, slightly worried, which was a rare sight.

He seemed to catch on. Before Sangwoo could tell him to leave, Bum said, “There are no others now though.” He smiled sweetly. “Only you, Sangwoo.”

Sangwoo rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” He opened the door, gesturing for Bum to go out.

Bum stepped forward then looked back at him. “They were all practice. I was a virgin until I saw you, t-then I knew, you were the one I wanted, but I wanted to know how to please you. I practiced on them, with my mouth and then... everything.”

Sangwoo looked off to the side, acting uninterested, although what he was hearing was very interesting indeed. He knew Bum was obsessed with him but this was on an all other level.

Bum grabbed his arm, desperate for Sangwoo to hear him out.

“I thought of you through all of it. You're the only one I want like that.”

Sangwoo didn't look at him but out of his peripheral, noticed Bum smile.

“You give it to me so good. You can do whatever you want to me, Sangwoo.”

Sangwoo lifted his head. He wasn't sure if it was annoyance over what he'd heard or a need to get rid of Bum that had him reach out a hand to hold Bum's neck. Bum made a surprised sound then smiled, even while he applied more pressure.

“How about kill you? Can I do that?”

Something flashed in Bum's eyes, something that suggested he was somehow pleased.

Christ, he was a freak. He got off thinking about Sangwoo killing him?

Why am I even surprised?

“If you want,” he said, voice slightly strained from Sangwoo's hand on his throat.

Sangwoo tilted his head to the side, assessing him. He couldn't quite decide how serious Bum was.

He let go. Something about knowing Bum wanted Sangwoo to kill him completely ruined the appeal.

And then there was the fact that if Bum was dead, Sangwoo wouldn't be able to fuck him anymore. That was another very vital point.

Not to mention all the footage would be sent to the police.

Bum smiled serenely at him, standing next to the open door.

Sangwoo gestured to the logo on his shirt. “Aren't you late for work?”

“I don't mind. I would rather be with you anyway.”

Sangwoo snorted. “Would you rather get fired?”

Bum shrugged like it wasn't really a risk. Sangwoo supposed he knew nothing about his place of work yet he didn't want to show any interest and ask him.

The power Bum gave him was another reason to keep him around. Having him think so highly of him... it was intoxicating.

Bum seemed content to stand in silence. Sangwoo wondered how long he would stay there making moon eyes at him if he let him.

Finally, he let out a sigh, rolling his shoulders with the action.

“What are you doing tomorrow night?”

Bum straightened up a bit. His smile stretched wider.

“Nothing.”

“Come over around eight.”

Bum nodded eagerly.

Sangwoo held the door open a little wider and smiling, Bum finally took the hint and stepped outside. This time when he turned back around, Sangwoo didn't slam the door in his face. He waited to see what Bum might say, even though he himself needed to be getting ready for work.

“Thank you so much.”

It wasn't what Sangwoo expected him to say and he wasn't sure how to respond.

It wasn't even clear what he meant. Thank you for fucking me? Thank you for agreeing to tomorrow?

Bum didn't seem to expect a response. Smiling serenely, he turned and walked away.

Sangwoo watched him go. When he realized he had been watching for so long that Bum reached the road, he closed the door.

Chapter Text

The club pulsated like a living being. Sangwoo wasn't quite sure why he had chosen a gay bar. He thought a psychologist might have something to say about what that meant for him, Sangwoo liked to think he was just trying something new. Bum looked delighted when he led them in there but didn't comment on it.

He did comment on Sangwoo's earring.

“It's a clip on.” He didn't have pierced ears. He didn't mind the look, it just wasn't what he tried to project on a daily basis.

Here, on the other hand, it seemed to work. With the tank top and tight jeans, he looked like a lot of other people moving around them. He hadn't told Bum to dress a particular way but he seemed to fit in well enough.

He wondered if this was the type of place he had come looking for men to practice on. It was strange to feel irritated thinking of other men fucking Bum but to also feel flattered in some way, knowing it was all for him.

At least, that was what Bum had told him. It was always possible he was just a little slut who liked having his hole filled.

Whatever. As long as Sangwoo got to fuck him, it shouldn't matter.

But after tonight, exactly what would happen next? Assuming Bum went ahead and handed over the footage, he no longer had anything on Sangwoo. That was meant to be the reason the whole sexual thing had started. So would it keep going afterwards?

It surprised Sangwoo a little to realize he wanted it to. Then again, it was no surprise at all. The feeling he got when he was inside of Bum... he had never felt like that before. It was a physical feeling, of course, but he thought it might be something else as well. A sense of calmness he couldn't remember experiencing during any of his other sexual encounters. Or even his murders.

He glanced at Bum as they passed the dance floor to get to the bar. Bum danced along the way, holding his arms up in an appealing manner. At some point he'd tied his jacket around his waist. Sangwoo stared at his bare arms, only just realizing he hadn't really seen them before.

He wanted to see Bum laid out in front of him, naked. It was still a little scary to think about but he couldn't deny it was what he wanted.

Bum caught his eye, smiling brightly. It gave Sangwoo a weird feeling so he looked away.

Bum leaned in to speak closer to his ear, raising his voice to be heard over the thumping music.

“What are we looking for?”

Sangwoo shrugged. He didn't have an answer planned but when Bum put his ear near Sangwoo's mouth, expecting one, he simply said, “A sucker.”

Bum pulled back looking thoroughly amused.

Sangwoo wondered if he would keep smiling throughout the night. Maybe when they got back to the basement, when he finally got to see Sangwoo work up close, it would be too much. Too real.

Watching on a screen was one thing- Sangwoo likened it to television. But seeing it in person? Whole other ballpark.

It was a bit surreal seeing Bum look around the club, scoping out potential victims. Sangwoo had never done this with a partner before. He couldn't decide if he liked it or not just yet. It was like trying a foreign food and having the unfamiliar flavor settle over his tongue. He would have to wait and see.

He had no expectations for tonight beyond getting to kill someone and satisfying his end of the bargain. Although doubts persisted Bum would leave him alone after this. Not that Sangwoo was entirely sure that was what he wanted.

After getting some drinks, they loitered on the side lines, watching. All the tables were taken, which was annoying. Apparently this place was popular.

And apparently, so was Sangwoo.

It disgusted him, having men pass by oogling him like he was nothing more than a piece of meat. Surprisingly, none had approached yet but he figured the force of his glare warded them off. The only problem with that was, it sort of went against what they were here for.

Bum pulled on Sangwoo's shirt like a clingy child.

“What?”

“I wanna dance!” Bum shouted over the music.

Sangwoo considered he had misheard him. They were here to hunt, not fucking dance.

He was about to tell Bum how stupid that was when he noticed something. Several men were eyeing Bum. Not just one, or even two. Looking around, a whole bunch of guys were staring at him- burly, hairy, gross guys. Old men, mostly. Some were subtle, shooting quick glances over their drinks. Some openly gawked, eyes trailing up and down over his body.

Was this part of Bum's ritual? To go out and dance and wait for some guy to approach him?

It was sort of surprising, just how popular he seemed to be. Sangwoo was aware he was also being stared at though not nearly as much.

“Yeah, fine,” he muttered right before downing the remainder of his drink. He felt like another, even though he usually only kept to one drink on nights like this. But at his size, two drinks wouldn't even get him tipsy. And seeing the wolves around them just barely stop from lunging at Bum, he needed another drink.

Bum leaned in and Sangwoo immediately felt a prickling of something pleasant. It was really fucking annoying but he supposed it was just muscle memory; his body felt good having Bum lean in close because of the associated good feeling of fucking him.

He wondered vaguely if they would fuck later. Realistically, there probably wasn't time. Bum knew how Sangwoo tortured his kills and assuming his stomach could take it, would expect that of him. After the kill and clean up, there was little time for sex. Although considering it gave Sangwoo a pleasurable feeling in the pit of his stomach.

When Bum lingered close to his side, Sangwoo realized Bum hadn't heard him. Since he hadn't yet repeated himself, Bum looked up questioningly through his lashes, like some big-eyed cartoon character.

Sangwoo merely nodded. Bum smiled brightly, gave Sangwoo's arm a squeeze then scurried towards the dance floor.

He acted like he wasn't aware of everyone in the club looking at him but the fucking slut probably loved it. Rolling his eyes, Sangwoo headed back to the bar. Fuck it, maybe he'd get two drinks.

Annoyingly, there were no women in sight. Obviously with this being a gay bar, there'd be plenty of homos but from what Sangwoo had heard, women sometimes came to places like this. Women who liked men but felt the need to escape them. Normally Sangwoo would think such a notion was bullshit. Who wouldn't want attention? From his own daily experiences, he loved it. But the creeps around him staring was getting to be a bit much. So he was starting to understand that particular point of view.

He supposed he had experienced some of it being on the receiving end of Bum's attention. Even then, it didn't quite feel like the same thing.

He wondered if leaving Bum had been a mistake when he returned to their previous spot and couldn't see him. Standing by the wall, Sangwoo worked his way through his next drink and eventually noticed Bum dancing. He could only make out part of him through the crowd but he was pretty sure he wasn't dancing alone.

Of course he isn't.

Maybe he'd changed his mind about tonight and wanted to go home with some disgusting old guy instead. This place was crawling with them and Bum had apparently fucked enough of them. Probably fucked them still, despite what he said.

A man finally found the courage to approach Sangwoo. He not only approached him, he fucking touched his arm, like he had any right.

Sangwoo had half a mind to rip his fucking arm out of his socket. He smiled venomously instead and told him he needed to find his friend. Walking past forced the man's greasy hand off him. He could see in his body language he was probably uncomfortable enough to be considering leaving Sangwoo anyway. Better to find a more compliant guy to take home.

Sangwoo was beginning to regret dressing like this. At the end of the day, it'd been pointless. Bum was clearly the better lure. Whether or not that was what he was actually doing didn't matter. If he was so obsessed with Sangwoo, with any luck, he'd abandon whatever other slutty plans he'd formed in the last few minutes and follow Sangwoo.

Sangwoo downed his third drink as he walked through the pulsating bodies on the dance floor. It smelt like sweat and booze and for the first time in a long time, Sangwoo wished he'd stayed at home. Not because he didn't want to hunt but because he didn't feel like dealing with any of this.

Of course, a big part of his disgust stemmed from the fact that men surrounded him. He supposed it would be interesting killing one. He had only killed one to date. This would surely be less significant, less... personal. But doing it with Bum made it a little more notable.

He tossed his drink aside, not giving the slightest shit the glass smashed on the ground. No one seemed to notice, caught up in their own world dancing. So many people were pressed into one another. The place smelt of sex even though everyone had their clothes on. It was too masculine to be enjoyable. It disgusted Sangwoo, which propelled him closer to Bum, in the hopes they could get the hell out of here as soon as possible.

He paused when he reached Bum, a little caught off guard seeing the old guy attached into his back, chin pressed into Bum's shoulder.

Fucking disgusting.

Bum had his eyes closed while they swayed to the trance music. The guy wasn't exactly grinding on him but from the way he was pressed flush to Bum's body, Bum would have to feel the guy's cock pressing into him. The guy was probably hard as a rock having a seductive little slut like Bum leaning back on him.

Sangwoo stumbled towards them, irritated not only over what he was seeing but the fact that the drinks he'd downed had clearly been stronger than expected.

Maybe the guy behind the bar put something in it, he considered. Or some other pervert who had passed him. Maybe the guy who had approached him a moment ago. The place was full of disgusting, horny men. It wouldn't surprise him if they wanted to pull him around some dark corner and have their way. Not that that'd ever fucking happen.

Sangwoo thought of grabbing Bum, not necessarily to drag him away but show his annoyance for the slutty display he was putting on. Instead, he just stood in front of the little vixen, glowering at him. Bum took a moment to open his eyes and smiled up at him. From the genuine delight written on his face, he hadn't heard Sangwoo approach.

Sangwoo felt something twist in his stomach from the look Bum gave him and he fucking hated it. It wasn't just that Bum was a guy, he decided. Anyone having this kind of power over him was despicable. Bum made him feel good but he made him feel like he owned him too. And that was just unacceptable.

He shook his head slightly, trying to brush the thought aside before he totally lost it. He couldn't release the beast inside of him in public. He tried to focus, looking past Bum to the old guy behind him, who, unexpectedly looked up and smiled at him.

His hands were on Bum's hips, securing him in place against his groin. Old fuck had probably come in his pants with Bum's ass so close to his cock. It was unbelievably disgusting yet Sangwoo struggled to look away, just like when a car crash was imminent.

A moment later, he froze when Bum leaned forward, for a bizarre moment expecting them to lock lips. He caught a glimpse of Bum smiling then felt his breath against his ear as he whispered, “This is the one.”

It sent a shiver up Sangwoo's spine and when Bum pulled back, he could only nod.

Fuck, why was he drunk? Since when was he such a lightweight?

Bum was a little drunk too, he realized. He was so tiny just it made sense one drink would get him at least tipsy. Maybe that made it easier to rub against some old sleaze but Bum probably had no problems doing that anyway.

Bum leaned back and said something to the creep, which boiled Sangwoo's blood. The guy leaned in then and attached his lips to Bum's neck, kissing him while Bum leaned back, smiling rather blissfully. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, leaning into the guy while Sangwoo felt his left eye twitch.

His hands curled into fists at his sides, one angry tight squeeze before he released them.

He was going to kill this man. Bum had said so, yet he seemed to be enjoying leaning into his touch. He was a sick bitch so that was no surprise, Sangwoo supposed. Or was he doing it trying to get at Sangwoo? Maybe it was to encourage his excitement over killing the man.

He considered it, this ugly fuck thinking they were all going to leave and have sex- which is what he assumed Bum had told him, or at the very least alluded to. Instead, they would be going back to Sangwoo's house where Sangwoo planned to put a fucking axe through his skull.

Bum pulled on him then, and Sangwoo realized he was looking at him, that strangely vulnerable, doe-eyed look. Yet a wicked smile pulled on his lips a second later, betraying any sense of innocence.

He was a twisted little bitch and Sangwoo was into it. Then and there he decided; Bum had fucked up needs he probably hadn't been able to fill until he discovered Sangwoo was into equally fucked up shit.

Bum's back was still pressed against the guy when he reached out to pull Sangwoo closer to the front of him. Sangwoo went, effectively sandwiching Bum between the two of them and producing a little gasp out of him. In reality, there was no way Sangwoo could hear it over the music but he imagined it from the way Bum parted his lips. He'd produced that sound enough times to know what it looked like, Sangwoo the cause of it each and every time.

From the way Bum was pressed between two bodies, Sangwoo considered what it might be like to share him. Not that he would ever allow that. Maybe with a toy, at least. Could Bum take both him and a dildo?

He'll do whatever you tell him to, he thought, regarding Bum, who stared up at him with wide eyes- not in shock but wonder. Like Sangwoo was not only the stars and sky but the whole damn universe.

He went with it and swayed with Bum- with this other guy, but he hardly mattered right now. Bum lowered his head, leaning against Sangwoo's shoulder and appearing serene. Sangwoo wasn't sure what possessed him to do it but he reached down, cupping the front of Bum's pants. It didn't really please him to find Bum was hard. Who was to say it that was from Sangwoo when it might've been from creep behind him? Or maybe he was hard knowing practically everyone here wanted to fuck him.

While he lazily groped him, Sangwoo leaned down, mouth covering the shell of Bum's ear.

“Such a needy slut.”

He thought he heard Bum moan in pleasure but it was impossible to know for sure over the throbbing music now playing in place of whatever slower song had been on before. It was so god damn annoying, Sangwoo felt like an old man wanting to get out of there.

Because he couldn't take it any longer- and because it was about time he take the lead, Sangwoo pulled on Bum's arm, dragging him away without warning. Bum looked back and gestured for the guy to follow, which made Sangwoo roll his eyes a little, even though he supposed it was part of the plan.

Was there a plan, really? The barest bones of one maybe but nothing beyond that. Sangwoo figured he didn't normally have much of a plan. Pick up a woman, take her home, throw her in the basement, maybe fuck her, torture her a bit then kill her. That was it with little to no alterations each time.

As they headed for the exit, a troubling thought entered his mind. What if Bum assumed they would be having sex with this guy? Like that was somehow part of this process? Surely not after he had promised Sangwoo he was the only one he wanted that with. But he'd sure put on quite the display on the dance floor.

Whatever. That was over now. Sangwoo was the one in control and he was going to kill this guy, plain and simple.

He could hear his ears ringing when they burst out of the exit, passing a line of people waiting to get into the club. The guy said something he didn't hear and Bum laughed, a bright, vibrant sound.

It felt still in comparison to the chaos inside and Sangwoo gratefully breathed in the crisp night air. Yet he could still distantly smell the sweat of the men inside, like it was caught in his nostrils.

Tonight really had been a chore so far.

“I guess it's my lucky night,” the guy said as they made their way down the street, to a line of waiting taxis.

Sangwoo turned his head to the side and rolled his eyes. It was someone's lucky night tonight, just not his.

“Are you two...?”

Sangwoo was feeling slow on the uptake and just stared at him. He wondered if his expression was somehow unnerving when the guy swallowed awkwardly then looked to Bum instead.

“A couple? Oh, no!” Bum laughed again, louder than what Sangwoo felt was necessary.

“But you have fun together, right?” the creep asked, like it was any of his business.

“Here's a taxi,” Sangwoo said blandly, gesturing towards it.

He hated how unsteady on his feet he felt, like some wasted waif of a girl. When Bum looked back at him with red cheeks and a big smile, he wondered how it was both of them had wound up drunk. That hadn't been part of the plan.

“We have fun,” Bum said, unable to tear his delighted gaze off Sangwoo for a good few seconds.

They piled into the back of the taxi. Annoyingly, Sangwoo wound up in the middle, which was unexpected. At some point in the journey, while Bum rambled stupidly, the guy's hand trailed up Sangwoo's thigh.

Sangwoo saw red, yet oddly enough, he froze. He supposed if he grabbed the creep's arm, he might end up breaking it and that would sort of ruin everything. He allowed the touch, letting his anger manifest. An axe to the head was too quick, he decided. He would draw out the fucker's torture.

Nothing in Bum's speech suggested he had noticed what was going on and he continued rambling about random topics. Sangwoo didn't really listen at first but tuned in to distract himself when the guy's touch became a little too uncomfortable.

Curiously enough, Bum was spouting lies. About where he worked, what he did in his leisure time (as far as Sangwoo knew, Bum didn't keep an aquarium with over ten varieties of fish). It was... interesting, to see this side of him. Yet also disturbing, the more Sangwoo thought of it. He couldn't rule out that Bum was a compulsive liar and had been lying to him about god only knew this whole time.

When Bum said the guy's name, Beomsoo, Sangwoo realized he hadn't even known it before. Not that he cared to now.

The drive probably took the same amount of time it normally would but it felt about three times as long with the Beomsoo's hand over his thigh. Luckily, he didn't try to touch Sangwoo's cock. That, he would not allow.

Outside the car, Bum practically fell against Beomsoo, either intentionally or because he was- apparently- drunk off his ass. Sangwoo glowered at the two of them as they headed through the gate and up the path, leaving him to pay the driver, like some fucking afterthought. By the time he was finished, they had disappeared into the house.

Something in Sangwoo gave. He ripped off the fake earring and threw it in the grass.

He stalked towards the house and slammed the door shut, hard enough to shake the house. It didn't seem to bother Bum or Beomsoo, who Sangwoo heard laughing in the downstairs bedroom.

Sangwoo clenched his jaw hearing Beomsoo murmur something and Bum giggle in response. It sounded like they were all over each other, eager for a repeat of the club scene but this time without clothes separating them. It scared Sangwoo a little to go and see exactly what they were doing. Except, losing control mattered less now he was in his own house.

He stomped into the bedroom, expecting them to stop when he approached, but they didn't. Bum was lying on the bed, legs sprawled out like the little whore he was. The guy was on top, nestled between Bum's skinny legs, kissing his neck. One knee was very purposefully between Bum's legs, which Sangwoo was surprised he wasn't humping.

His vision unfocused from the force of how hard he stared at the scene. In his own fucking bed, as if this whole thing wasn't insulting enough.

At the end of the day, the guy just wanted to put his cock in something and he didn't have any idea beyond that, besides the fact that Bum was offering himself up to him and he and Sangwoo sometimes 'had fun'. But Bum... Bum knew exactly what he was doing.

Bum looked up over Beomsoo's shoulder and grinned at Sangwoo.

And he finally snapped.

“Hey, what-”

Sangwoo yanked him off Bum by his arm. Beomsoo wasn't tiny but he wasn't quite as imposing as Sangwoo. Still, he was closer to sober than Sangwoo, yet Sangwoo's rage completely outweighed everything else. He dragged Beomsoo and threw him down the basement stairs like he weighed nothing at all. The crash of his useless body landing on the floor was everything in that moment.

And then noticing Bum staring at him, that blinding white rage took over again.

Bum giggling broke whatever resolve Sangwoo had left and he launched himself at him, strangling Bum, though a big part of him still didn't want Bum dead. He got on top of him to make it easier to reach down and cut off his air with both hands and Bum tilted his head up to look at him, right before his eyes rolled back in his head. Sangwoo eased off a bit and Bum moaned, a smile pulling on his lips.

“Yeah, you like that don't you, you fucking bitch?”

Bum nodded eagerly, not even coughing, like being strangled was suddenly just nothing.

Maybe the more Sangwoo gave him over time, the more he could take. In a month, he could probably cut him open, show Bum his organs and he'd barely even feel it.

He isn't human, Sangwoo thought, half out of his mind while he considered Bum, pulling back to look at his body. But it wasn't enough- it was never fucking enough.

“Get this off,” he said, pulling on Bum's shirt. He had already tossed his jacket aside at one point. Probably when he was rolling around with that fat pig.

Sangwoo barely paid him any thought now, despite the fact that he was in the basement. Although, he was looking forward to seeing what level of broken and bloody he was. He only hoped he wasn't dead. He needed to be the one to kill him. At this point, it was the only way he could hope to erase his touch on Bum's skin. Besides replacing it with his own.

Bum eagerly pulled his shirt off over his head. He sat there, looking to Sangwoo for his next instruction, which was a head rush. Knowing he was probably eager for Sangwoo's cock made him inclined to resist giving it to him, even though when it came down to it, fucking Bum was all he ever wanted anymore. Hell, he had someone down in the basement, fresh meat ready to be played with, yet he was thinking about this.

He pushed Bum backwards, so he laid back on the bed. Sangwoo allowed himself to stare, eyes scouring his bare chest and stomach like he'd wanted to do for so long now. He reached out to run a hand over his skin and Bum leaned greedily into the touch.

So predictable.

His skin was soft like a girl. Sangwoo wondered why exactly he'd given Bum back the dresses and wigs. That stuff would be better off at the house where they could actually use it.

Sangwoo found the more he thought of it, he didn't care that Bum was a guy. But he'd look fucking pretty dressed up like a girl.

When Bum started pulling his pants down, Sangwoo thought he might be a mindreader. But while he wanted to look at all of Bum's body, he also didn't want to give Bum what he wanted. Not after he'd been such a little shit tonight- even more than usual.

Sangwoo abruptly pulled away from the bed, ignoring the pitiful sound Bum made. Without so much as a look back, he headed downstairs, walking slowly in the hopes it would build anticipation for his friend bellow.

When he reached the bottom, he found Beomsoo not only conscious but alert. Some of them hit their heads, knocked themselves out or gave themselves concussions. This guy had seemed to have broken either his leg or ankle but was alert, if not oddly calm.

“Please, you have to call an ambulance.”

Sangwoo laughed. “Why would I do that? You get that I'm the one who pushed you, right?” He made a gesture to the plastic covering the floor. “What do you think that's for, Mister?”

Beomsoo looked shocked, like he had only just noticed it.

It was satisfying to take back his power. It had been stripped tonight, entering that disgusting place. It was almost worth it though, to see the betrayed look on Beomsoo's face.

“Bum!” Sangwoo yelled up the stairs. “Come down if you wanna see this! I'm about to start.”

Beomsoo opened and closed his mouth, shocked beyond words for a good few seconds.

“W-What... what a-are you... starting?”

Sangwoo shook his head. “Disgusting old pervert. Did you really think I was going to let you fuck him?”

Beomsoo's mouth hung open uselessly, no answer in mind. Sangwoo rolled his eyes. The guy really was an idiot.

Bum came scurrying down the stairs, pausing right before he reached the bottom, like he was worried what he might find. Sangwoo doubted that, at this point. Nothing could really shock Bum. He seemed to be into everything, at least where Sangwoo was concerned.

After walking leisurely over to his workbench, Sangwoo casually picked up an axe. He wouldn't end things right away but he felt like using it. Aside from Bum, it'd been filling his thoughts all night.

Beomsoo begged and pleaded, just like the girls always did. People liked to think they were brave, and in all fairness, Beomsoo had started out calm. But people always wound up in the same place; down on their knees, begging for their useless lives.

Sangwoo decided to have a little fun and felt around in Beomsoo's pocket until he found his wallet. To his amusement, he appeared to have a wife and children.

“And you were out meeting men? Despicable.”

“We're divorced,” he said quietly.

Sangwoo considered him for a moment, weighing the truth of his words. In the end, he didn't really care. He looked over his shoulder, curious for Bum's reaction, since he'd been quiet this whole time.

Bum sat on the bottom step, elbows to his knees, cheeks rested in his hands, enraptured. God, he was loving this.

Of course he is. Sick little bitch.

But the idea of Bum enjoying something most would consider deplorable gave Sangwoo an undeniable rush. His drunkenness was wearing off but Bum seemed to offer him a similar dizzy feeling.

He toyed with his new basement guest a little more and at some point during their conversation, Sangwoo surprised Beomsoo by suddenly swinging the axe over his head. He had feigned swings so many times, Beomsoo barely even made a move to get away, and by the time he did, it was too late. The blade went through his shin, not enough to cut through entirely but from the force of the swing, going through at least half way.

He made such ugly screaming sounds. And then, the begging turned to threats.

“I'll kill you, you fucking bastard! I'll fucking kill you!”

Sangwoo laughed. “This is gonna hurt.” He rested his foot on Beomsoo's leg and yanked out the axe blade. Beomsoo screamed and wailed and Sangwoo remembered to look back once more, seeing undeniable pleasure on Bum's face. There was more than that. He wasn't only turned on- although from his flushed expression, he clearly was. It was like he was having was some kind of religious experience. Like he had seen god. When his eyes skimmed over Sangwoo, Sangwoo thought- still, maybe a little drunk- I'm his god. Then he swung the axe again.

The screaming was much more intense this time and Sangwoo realized he'd hit an artery. Blood poured out like a fountain and the screaming stopped because Beomsoo had passed out. Served him right for blindly swinging, Sangwoo supposed. Although he'd started to get a bit sick of the screams anyway.

He tilted his head back and sighed, the warmth of fresh blood washing over him feeling oddly comforting- like being back in his mother's womb. He flinched when something touched him, surprised Beomsoo would have the strength to not only drag himself back into consciousness but get up and grab Sangwoo. But instead of Beomsoo, he found Bum standing in front of him, smiling wildly.

“Is he dead?”

Blood poured over Bum, coating him like a second skin. Sangwoo's jeans were starting to feel uncomfortably tight at the front. He didn't trust his voice so he shook his head.

Bum laughed, holding out his palms in wonder. “It's like rain.”

Sangwoo pushed him. He didn't plan on it and Bum went with a yelp but that only got Sangwoo even more worked up. Predictably, Bum didn't try to get away but why would he? He'd let Sangwoo fucking murder him if he wanted to.

Sangwoo lowered him to the plastic-covered floor. Since Bum was still shirtless, blood painted his torso. He looked so good in it. Sangwoo's body seemed to agree from how his cock swelled.

“W-Wait, Sangwoo.”

Sangwoo growled. “Are you saying no?”

“What? No. I want... could I maybe... give it a try?”

Sangwoo's mind was too hazy to even imagine what Bum might mean until he gestured to the axe.

He wanted to... oh.

Sangwoo handed it to him. He would help Bum to his feet if he could even bring himself to stand. He felt oddly weakened watching Bum walk with the axe to Beomsoo, who was either dead or clinging to life by that point. Sangwoo noticed his wallet on the floor, the blood soaked into the photo with his kids and supposed ex-wife. At least if they'd split, she wouldn't miss him. Maybe she wouldn't even go looking for him.

He returned his focus to Bum, who unsteadily lifted the axe. God, he had no upper strength at all. Sangwoo bit back on a laugh when he swung, missing the body all together.

He managed to stand, energized by the thought of assisting Bum.

He'd never imagined being able to do something like this with someone. Bum didn't even flinch when he came up behind him, encasing him with his body.

“You're so weak,” he said but it came out almost gentle, teasing. He'd be disgusted with himself if they weren't about to mutilate a corpse.

“So help me then.” Bum pouted at him over his shoulder, then broke into a mischievous smile.

Sangwoo was going to need to fuck him soon or he'd go completely insane. Screw clean up and all the rest of it. Being inside Bum was the priority.

Sangwoo put his hands over Bum's atop the axe handle and made one little practice swing.

“One.” He repeated the action, pressing his face into Bum's neck and smiling. “Two...”

He couldn't tell if Bum was even trying on the third swing but it didn't matter. Sangwoo put all his strength into it and brought the blade down over Beomsoo's neck, strong enough to remove his head completely.

If he wasn't dead before, he definitely was now.

Bum's hands dropped off the axe and he fell back against Sangwoo.

“Oh my god,” he said, like he was in complete shock.

Anyone else might have thought he'd realized what he had done and was disgusted. Based on everything else Bum had enjoyed up until this point, Sangwoo very much doubted it.

Sangwoo tossed the axe aside, wrapping his arms around Bum's waist, squeezing him tightly and kissing his neck. He didn't even care how intimate it was. The need to claim Bum overtook all else.

They were back on the floor in the blink of an eye and when Sangwoo saw Bum's face, he understood just how excited what they had done made him. He no longer smiled- he seemed intent on one thing and one thing only, a clear, sharp focus in his eyes.

Surprisingly, he pushed Sangwoo back onto the floor. Even more surprisingly, Sangwoo allowed it. He watched as Bum kicked off his blood-drenched pants then climbed on top of Sangwoo, unzipping him and freeing his erection. Bum reached for the floor, wetting his fingers with blood then reaching behind his body.

Sangwoo felt a deep seated pleasure from his head to his toes. He was using blood for that?

Jesus christ.

With that same stern focus, Bum stared at Sangwoo with a serious look as he slid down on his cock.

They'd never done it like this before, with Bum on top. Sangwoo liked to be lazy with girls sometimes, liked watching them ride him. But usually, he preferred to be the one to fuck them into the mattress. To be the one doing it to them instead of the other way around. Even now, his brain screamed at him to regain control and put Bum underneath him, where he belonged. But then... Bum started riding him- clumsy enough for Sangwoo to wonder if he'd somehow never gotten to that with any of the men he'd fucked, although it only added to the charm.

It was probably the most erotic thing he'd ever seen, Bum covered in blood more or less impaling himself over Sangwoo's cock, head tilted back while his eyes rolled up in his head. Like he was fucking possessed or something. And from the way he threw himself over Sangwoo again and again, he might as well have been.

His usual whines were replaced by a feral groan tonight and Sangwoo almost wished he'd stop or slow down if only so he could last a little longer. Everything about it was getting to him. The position, the way Bum looked and the sounds he made. He felt like he was going to come way too fast.

In the end, it didn't matter. Reaching up to pinch one of Bum's nipples had Bum's body seize and shudder and he immediately came all over Sangwoo's chest, mixing cum with the blood that laid there. The way his body tightened when he came ripped Sangwoo's own orgasm out of him and he grit his teeth, looking up at Bum as he released into him.

Bum didn't immediately get off like he expected. Sangwoo was still half-hard inside him and oversensitive but he allowed it when Bum started slowly grinding over him, still staring down at him with that oddly serious expression.

Sangwoo wondered exactly what tonight was for Bum. A long time fantasy? Not only helping kill someone but getting to do it with Sangwoo?

It was getting to be too much so he nudged Bum's thigh and said, “Get off” which he did, of course, because even when he clearly needed more dick, he'd do whatever Sangwoo said.

He curled up next to Sangwoo, pulling open Sangwoo's arm and nestling into him, which he probably shouldn't have allowed but he was exerted and needed to lie down for a second anyway, before he got going on the cleanup.

Sangwoo regarded the camera on the wall and snorted. He wondered if the footage of Bum automatically would be sent to the police or if Bum could take it out. Even though he now potentially had something over Bum, oddly, he didn't feel like boasting about it right now. He felt like doing nothing but just lying there, even though the blood no longer felt warm and pleasant but annoyingly sticky- along with the cum.

Bum sighed happily, resting his head on Sangwoo's chest. “I've never come so hard in my life.” He said it so casually, more to himself than anything. Sangwoo's body thrummed pleasantly at what Bum said, along with the visual of Bum riding him coated in blood, that stern focus on his face.

It astonished Sangwoo any part of him liked Bum taking control. Maybe that would wear off when the afterglow did.

He needed to get up and clean this shit up. But something about Bum's warm body alongside his made him want to stay, even if everything else felt uncomfortable.

Just a little longer...

*

Sangwoo didn't normally wake angry. He was usually just hazy for awhile, maybe a bit horny. Something about waking to the bloodied basement with Bum lying alongside him filled him with immediate, blinding rage.

It wasn't meant to be like this. He wasn't meant to just fall asleep after a kill, much less in someone's arms. He had a whole routine. He tortured, killed then cleaned. And now it was all thrown off and it was all Bum's fault. Everything was Bum's fault. He didn't want things to change like they had. To become completely obsessed with him like some freak. Just like Bum.

What had Bum turned him into?

Bum was confused upon waking to Sangwoo dragging him, but of course he didn't question it. Why would he when he never fucking questioned anything Sangwoo did? He was just a blind follower. A perverted little idiot, led by his dick.

From his laughter, he seemed to decide Sangwoo was playing some sort of game. But he wasn't. This was going to end now.

Even when Sangwoo secured a chain around Bum's ankle, he didn't seem concerned. Because he'd wasted enough time already, Sangwoo walked off without explanation, grabbing his sharpest saw and getting to work on dismembering Beomsoo. Because he had allowed his body to completely drain, there was a lot more blood than there needed to be and it pissed him off. All of this pissed him off.

“I could help, if you like,” Bum suggested, a playfulness to his voice.

From where he was chained to the wall, he couldn't quite reach Sangwoo. And that was how Sangwoo wanted it.

He ignored Bum, which was probably a mistake. It only seemed to encourage him to talk more.

“Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the basement. Come a little closer and I'll make you feel better...”

Sangwoo was resolute to ignore him and turned on the hose, washing down all the blood. When Bum started talking again, he aimed it right at his face, only mildly satisfied when Bum started choking from the spray. But when he turned it off, Bum was laughing.

“What's the matter with you?” Bum asked, deeply amused.

“What's the matter with you?” Sangwoo snarled. “Can't you see this isn't a game?”

Bum stared for several passing moments, the only sound the dripping of the hose.

“Oookay... So why the sudden change? You decided you like working alone?”

“Of course I like working alone!” Sangwoo was shaking with anger. “I don't need some kind of partner for this shit. Why would I, I've done it alone this whole time!”

“Hmm.” Bum stretched out his legs in front of him, casually observing Sangwoo. Like some quack doctor about to make an annoying suggestion.

“Well you seemed into it last night, that's all I know.”

Sangwoo opened then closed his mouth. He was too angry to even get the words out, meanwhile Bum casually inspected his nails, a delicate frown pulling on his features.

“The only problem with blood is that it stains everything,” he remarked with a little sigh. Like that was his biggest problem right now.

Sangwoo stalked over to him. Bum only looked up at the last minute, unfazed as ever but clearly curious. Sangwoo expected him to say something but for a long time, he just stared at him, perhaps waiting for Sangwoo to speak. But Sangwoo was panting like he'd run a marathon and couldn't dream of getting the words out. It took him a good minute or two to calm down. And when he did, he finally came to his senses.

“Where are you going?” Bum questioned. Sangwoo doubted it was worry he heard in his voice but it was something, some vaguely concerned feeling. Considering Sangwoo was walking away, he was probably just worried he was going to leave him in here.

Sangwoo snatched the rope off his workbench and stomped back over to Bum. Bum's eyes widened at the sight of it for a flash before he smiled.

He got that this wasn't a game, right? That Sangwoo wasn't playing around?

Sangwoo didn't bother saying as much and without bothering to make any kind of fancy noose, looped the rope around Bum's neck and starting pulling both ends.

Bum's eyes widened, probably more on instinct than actual fear. He looked at Sangwoo damn near deliriously, like he was enjoying himself even while Sangwoo was pulling almost as hard as he could. Right as he began turning a shade of purple, Bum finally reached for the rope, digging at it with his fingertips and trying to loosen it, which was a useless feat.

Sangwoo glowered at him and pulled tighter. He felt so alive right now. This right here was a million times better than killing that pig last night. Because this was personal. Bum had become his own personal demon and he needed to slay him. It felt good to slay him.

Bum's eyes rolled back in his head although it didn't appear to be in pleasure this time. He was beyond the point of enjoying it- naturally, since this time he'd realized Sangwoo was serious and he was about to die.

And when Bum was gone, things would finally go back to normal. Sangwoo wouldn't be plagued by thoughts he'd never asked for- thoughts of Bum's body, of Bum himself; how sick he was and how much of a delight it was. How innocent he looked from afar but what a heinous creature he was up close.

Bum was no longer struggling. In fact, he had gone completely still.

Sangwoo dropped the rope. From what he could tell, Bum wasn't breathing.

He was gone.

Chapter Text

Reality returned to Sangwoo slowly- like it was being fed to him through a funnel.

First, he realized in killing Bum, he had potentially doomed himself. With Bum gone, no one could enter the code and prevent the footage from being sent out.

Second, he realized with what Bum told him on the way to the club last night, the time to enter the code had already passed. The police would be there any moment.

Lastly, he realized something very surprising. He regretted killing Bum. Seeing him lying there motionlessly... he was useless. Every purpose he'd ever filled was gone.

And then Sangwoo realized something else. Bum was breathing, very softly.

Was that a siren outside or was Sangwoo imagining things? Maybe he was imagining Bum was breathing as well. Maybe he had fallen out of reality and into a fantasy world.

While he stared at Bum, considering he might break free from death's claws and sit up like the last few minutes hadn't happened, Sangwoo's thoughts drifted inexplicably to his father.

He had been the first one Sangwoo ever killed, and while he murdered him as a teenager, he had tried to end the man's life multiple times as a child.

Sangwoo's whole family had been better off then, living the life of luxury. He could admit he'd never appreciated it then, and in some ways still didn't. What good was wealth when his dad treated him like shit? And he did, ever since Sangwoo could remember. He would only hit him every so often as a young child but when Sangwoo was a teenager, he would beat him, often to the point of unconsciousness.

His mom was too weak to do anything about it. Sangwoo supposed he couldn't fault her for that, though he wanted to. But he loved her so much, his dad received all his hatred.

He'd never wanted to be like him, and now here he was, unable to control his temper. But it was true that Bum had consumed him in ways he didn't want and that ending his life was the only way to stop it.

It was the right thing, he thought, staring at Bum's painfully still body.

Right as Sangwoo began to doubt he had actually heard him breathing, Bum groaned.

The relief was immediate and Sangwoo hated himself for it. He felt a little better when a new solution presented itself to him, like a clear blue sky after a storm. With only some reluctance, he decided then and there it was the only way to end this.

Bum wearily opened his eyes and blinked at Sangwoo. It hurt a little when he didn't smile or look in any way thrilled although Sangwoo considered it made sense. Everyone had their limits- even Bum, apparently. That or Sangwoo had deprived him of so much oxygen, he had given him brain damage. Maybe he no longer had any idea who Sangwoo even was.

Sangwoo didn't think he'd be able to take that. He had grown some accustomed to being the center of Bum's world. He didn't want to give that up. Not yet, anyway.

Bum remained where he was on the floor, staring up at Sangwoo with a tired expression, ugly rope marks around his neck. Sangwoo didn't apologize, because it wasn't in his nature. But... he felt bad. On some level.

Fucking hell.

He sighed, casually looking around the basement. The siren was definitely getting closer.

“I killed my dad, you know.” Sangwoo grinned, checking for Bum's reaction. It pleased him to see Bum's eyes widen slightly, not in shock or fear but wonder.

Apparently he hadn't known that. Sangwoo supposed there was no way he could be privy to that information- although Bum had found a way with everything else he knew. On the other hand, there was nothing for Bum to find around the house to give him that insight.

“It wasn't anything interesting. My mom made him a meal and I put one too many crushed up pills in there.” Sangwoo chuckled, running a hand through his hair. “Kind of funny since it was medication for his heart. But too many had a bad effect and killed him. I would've preferred to kill him another way, with my hands, maybe... In any case, they blamed my mom. Anyone the cops asked- neighbors, friends, whoever agreed; they'd had a rocky marriage. So apparently she poisoned him.”

Sangwoo glanced at Bum, who looked a little less weary but remained on the floor. It was encouraging to see him look up at Sangwoo with a more familiar expression though, one that suggested a great fondness.

“I tried telling them it was me but no matter what I said, Mom insisted it was her. That I was just trying to cover for her, like a good son. So she went to prison.”

Bum raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth. A croaky sound escape when he tried to speak but Sangwoo could guess what he was trying to ask.

“She's still there. Didn't know that, huh?”

Bum shook his head.

“Well I guess I'll be going there soon enough,” Sangwoo added with a laugh. At the siren getting closer, he made a pointed gesture and added, “Within the next few minutes, probably.”

Bum's eyes widened. Sangwoo was about to ask how the hell he could have forgotten the code until now since that was what his shocked expression suggested, but the anger dissipated when he remembered what he'd done to him. With everything that happened, it made sense for Bum to forget. Hell, Sangwoo had forgotten until a few minutes ago.

“Suppose I could make a run for it...”

It seemed like something from a movie. Running from the cops? They already sounded so close, was it even possible at that point? Maybe if they went with only the clothes on their backs...

They.

Sangwoo paused when he realized he was envisioning the two of them going. Whether or not Bum was even incriminated he didn't know, and it wasn't like Bum had the voice to explain right now if all the footage went out- including that of last night- or if it was only footage prior to that. Who knew how it worked. But the idea of running off without Bum just wasn't feasible. Not if Sangwoo embraced his strange attachment to him.

Besides, his new plan could only be carried out if Bum came with him. So there were really no two ways about it.

“Ah,” Bum let out in soft surprise when Sangwoo slipped an arm under his legs.

“Guess your voice isn't broken,” Sangwoo grinned up close to his face as he lifted him up.

Bum looked to him in confusion. Sangwoo imagined it wasn't what he'd said but what he was doing that perplexed him.

“We're going on a little trip, Bum. How do you feel about the countryside? I spent a lot of time there as a kid, you know.”

Did Bum know? He was pretty sure he had photos of some of his trips around the house somewhere, and god knew Bum had done his share of snooping.

Bum tried to say something then pressed a palm to his throat, frowning.

Sangwoo headed for the stairs, carrying Bum out in front of him like a child- or new bride.

“You don't have to answer. Let's just go.”

Sangwoo considered the cops were still further away than it seemed. Sound carried like that, right? Even if they were getting closer, with any hope they still had time to get away.

One thing they did need before they left the house was some clothes. It was just as well Sangwoo had put the hose on Bum. He hadn't gotten all of it but a good amount of blood had been washed off his body. Enough to at least look halfway presentable to the outside world.

After setting Bum down by the front door, Sangwoo ducked into the downstairs bedroom, briskly throwing on a hoodie and sweats and grabbing the same for Bum. It was way too big for him but better than nothing.

He left the bedroom a little surprised Bum remained standing there. Did that mean he was still loyal to Sangwoo, despite what he'd done? If he tried to run to his own house, it wasn't like Sangwoo couldn't just follow him across the road. Maybe that was why he hadn't bothered, knowing Sangwoo could easily catch up with him.

Sangwoo put the hoodie over his head, dressing him like a child but it was sort of necessary. The cops would get here eventually and Bum was moving much too slow. Maybe that was the only reason he hadn't run. Because he couldn't.

Sangwoo scooped Bum into his arms a second time, satisfied Bum not only allowed it but held onto him.

As Sangwoo walked him to the car, he grinned seeing Bum stare at him, although he couldn't quite decipher his expression. Was it curiosity? Confusion?

It didn't matter. None of it mattered anymore. At least, it wouldn't for much longer.

Sangwoo left him to get Beomsoo's remains from the basement, nearly tripping over his own feet in the rush to get downstairs. Once again, he was pleased to find Bum still in place, waiting for him in the car. He dumped the plastic bag in the trunk of the car, brushing his hands together with an air of finality, even though they still had a long road ahead of them yet. But Sangwoo knew just where to go. It felt good to have a semblance of a plan. It was something. Better than the utter hopelessness he'd felt no more than five minutes earlier.

“Where are we going?” Bum whispered hoarsely when Sangwoo started backing out of the driveway.

Sangwoo grinned wildly. “To the countryside, like I told you. Were you even listening, Bum? Honestly.”

The confusion on Bum's face became a little more apparent. He was probably wondering why Sangwoo seemed so unfazed by all this. Maybe he was also wondering about Sangwoo's plans for him.

“Just sit back and relax,” Sangwoo said as they backed out onto the road.

He hit the gas and propelled them down the street, away from the house and everything else that incriminated him.

Bum looked at him a little like he was crazy and Sangwoo laughed, throwing his cares to the wind. Bum would see things clearly soon enough. And he would accept it, because he had no other choice.

It was his own fault anyway, for approaching Sangwoo, for carving a place in Sangwoo's mind that only seemed to grow bigger by the day until it consumed every part of him. Like some kind of disease.

They would go to the countryside and everything would be okay. Because Sangwoo was going to kill both of them.

*

There was something about going back to nature that just felt right- especially after being around people and buildings for so long. A lot of the time, Sangwoo didn't even think about it. His narrow street, the houses all piled on top of each other. It was only when he drove away from it and things opened up that he remembered how good it felt to be in wide open spaces.

Bum leaned against a tree looking oddly dead-eyed, which troubled Sangwoo more than he might have expected. What if he had given Bum brain damage after all? He hadn't said much the whole drive, and that was out of character for him. There was the matter of his throat, of course. But that had been hours ago. Was it really so bad, even now?

Some focus returned to Bum's eyes when Sangwoo stripped off and stepped into the stream, washing the blood off his body. The water was a little cold- especially around his nether regions but he needed to wipe the blood off.

It seemed doubtful they would come across anyone but it was still better to be safe than sorry. Because if for any reason they looked suspicious and someone called the police, who were already after him, that was it. And Sangwoo couldn't allow that. Not while he had a plan that needed to be carried out.

It felt good to have a plan. So often lately it felt like the control was just out of his reach. Sangwoo wasn't used to that and he hated it. It reminded him of when he was a kid, at his dad's mercy. He didn't want to feel like that again. So small and helpless. So made up of nothing.

He could admit being under Bum's control was different but it was still no less pleasant. Sure, a lot of pleasure came with it but once that passed, Sangwoo just felt shitty about himself. Because how could somebody like Bum have that kind of power over him? Fucking him was one thing. If Sangwoo could just allow himself to use Bum to get off every so often, it was really no big deal. Instead, he was addicted to fucking Bum, to the point where it made him feel weak. And he was damn sick of it.

Bum crawled over to the bank, like there was something wrong with his legs. He'd really been acting like a huge weakling ever since this morning, and Sangwoo was beginning to wonder if he was exaggerating. Maybe he thought it would make Sangwoo feel better about himself.

Or, he thinks you'll have mercy on him.

But that implied Bum knew what Sangwoo planned to do. Was it possible he had guessed? He certainly knew Sangwoo well enough to consider what he might do next. The thought was all kinds of disconcerting. Sangwoo wasn't even free to have his own thoughts.

“You're dirty,” he said, and to his delight, Bum flinched.

He opened his mouth but didn't speak. Either he still couldn't- at least, not well- or he was putting it on.

Sangwoo snorted. “You're better like this.”

Bum cocked his head to the side, puzzled.

“Quiet. On any other day, you'd be yapping non-stop.”

Bum shook his head but didn't say anything. It was a weak gesture and Sangwoo didn't get the feeling he was necessarily disagreeing. It felt more like he was dismissing the conversation on the whole. He turned as if to crawl back to the tree. Sangwoo reached out and grabbed his leg.

“Take your clothes off.”

“Why?” Bum all but mimed, although a small sound came out. Sangwoo knew it was because of his throat- at least, allegedly. Although pleasure settled in his gut thinking of Bum as small and afraid.

Was that how he wanted Bum? Even if he was afraid of him, he still wielded power over Sangwoo. No matter how he acted, as long as Sangwoo couldn't stop thinking of him, Bum had the power.

And that pissed him off. Enough that he squeezed tightly around Bum's ankle.

“Ah. S-Sangwoo,” Bum whispered, voice breaking on his name.

“What? Are you scared? That'd be a first.”

“I'm just... tired.”

Sangwoo rolled his eyes. He didn't feel like fighting. Maybe he just didn't want things to escalate again; strangulation wasn't how he planned to end Bum, and he wasn't ready for it to be over yet. Not here, not like this.

“Just take off your clothes.”

Bum sighed but did as he was told. It was good to see that apparently some things didn't change.

For a moment, he just stood there, butt naked. Sangwoo thought maybe he would be desensitized to the sight now but seeing it immediately made him hard.

Fuck, there really was no way to stop this but to kill both of them.

Knowing there was a way out made it easier to embrace this for now. And now, there was only one thing Sangwoo wanted...

Interestingly, Bum struggled a bit when Sangwoo grabbed him. Either he was at least a little scared of Sangwoo, or he meant what he said. That he was tired and didn't want to do this- not that he'd said the last part but he didn't have to. Not if he was trying to get away.

He gave up and allowed Sangwoo to lay him down by the stream, flat on his back. Bum held his arms up near either side of his head and stared at the sky, not exactly despondent but somehow faraway. It bothered Sangwoo more than he thought it would. Since when didn't the little slut want this? Want him?

“What's wrong with you?”

Bum merely shook his head. Sangwoo blew out a sigh and wet his fingers with saliva. Bum didn't really react when he probed at him which was equally as disappointing.

Bum still had some blood stains on his skin but Sangwoo figured it made more sense to wash up after this. He would also need to wash off again but that wasn't a problem. It would be erotic to bathe together.

He only really planned to wet Bum down there, maybe loosen him up a bit. For whatever reason, he allowed his fingers to sink in deeper. Maybe it was the way Bum's breathing fastened the deeper he traveled, or how he finally- finally- looked at him with some emotion.

Sangwoo maintained eye contact while he fingered him. In his old life, he never would have imagined doing something like this. Shoving it in a guy's ass was going all the way, there was no doubt about that. But there was a dominance to it that made the whole thing a lot easier. Sangwoo wasn't being rough right now, and the fact that he was directly touching that part of Bum with his hand... it felt strikingly intimate.

There was something else. This benefited Sangwoo in no way, besides exciting him for the thought of what it would feel like to put his cock in next. But the longer he fingered Bum, the more it started to feel like the main event. Like this was all he needed to do to satisfy both of them.

Bum breathed quickly, eyes searching Sangwoo's face as he drove slipped a third finger inside. Sangwoo drove three digits in and out of him, savoring Bum's brisk breathing, at the way he clenched enticingly around him. Sangwoo was achingly hard and Bum would be able to see it, given his nakedness. Not that he seemed able to look anywhere but Sangwoo's face.

“You're right,” he said, because he figured there was no point in lying now. He didn't falter in his ministrations below and continued fucking Bum with his fingers, curling them deep inside of him before pulling them out again.

Bum looked at him with a sort of desperation and Sangwoo wondered what he expected him to say. Maybe the desperation came purely from the need to come; his cock was pressed to his stomach, red and hard, gleaming with precum.

“I liked it, last night,” Sangwoo said. “Killing with you.”

Bum's eyes widened. Sangwoo thrust his fingers inside again and Bum moaned. It was the loudest sound he'd made in hours. Sangwoo paused only because he hadn't expected it.

“Don't stop,” Bum whispered, blinking up at him, fluttering his wet, girlish eyelashes. “Please.”

Sangwoo's cock throbbed. Bum was going to be the death of him. Literally. But that was okay. He had accepted it.

That was the final step, wasn't it? Acceptance?

Sangwoo grinned and started moving his hand again, though this time at a faster pace.

“My favorite part was afterwards, though. When you were covered in blood, riding me like a cock-starved whore. You should've seen yourself.” Sangwoo's eyes trailed over Bum's body, at the way his ribs showed as he breathed in shallowly. He had such a skinny waist, Sangwoo wondered if he could fit both his hands around it. He could try if he didn't have better use for them now. Fingers still curled inside of Bum, he reached with his free hand to stroke Bum's cock, surprised by his desire not only to get Bum off but touch him there. The broken wail Bum let out made it all worth it.

“This is all you want, isn't it?” Sangwoo asked, not exactly expecting a response but Bum nodded his head eagerly, looking damn near as crazed as he had last night.

“Yes!” he cried, and Sangwoo no longer doubted his voice still hurt when he croaked the word, along with what he said next.

“Put it in! Please, put it in!”

Sangwoo withdrew his hand and what seemed faster than possible, positioned himself on top of Bum and drove his cock inside.

“Ah!” Bum cried, immediately throwing his arms around Sangwoo's body. “Yes! Yes!”

Sangwoo slammed into him without care for the dryness and felt his face twisting from the intensity of what he was feeling. Not just pleasure from being inside Bum but knowing that in some way, he owned him. That Sangwoo could literally try and kill him and he'd still want this.

There was something else too. The knowledge that Bum was like him. Not in every way but in the way that counted most.

Bum came almost right away, coating Sangwoo's stomach and moaning like a whore. He looked up at Sangwoo with a tired yet delirious expression while Sangwoo continued to drive into his body, chasing his own release.

He could have made it last longer but he decided to have mercy on Bum and allowed himself to come. It was easy enough; he wasn't sure he'd ever felt so turned on in his life having Bum surrender himself like this to him. In the height of pleasure, he wondered if maybe, he didn't have to carry out his plan. After all, once he did, this would have to end, and he wanted to feel this way as much as he could, whenever he got the chance. And with how willing Bum was, that was whenever he wanted.

But even if he had some ounce of control over Bum, Bum still owned his every thought. And he felt like he would go more and more mad the longer it went on.

And so it had to end.

But didn't they say that? All good things had to end.

Bum looked at Sangwoo with worship in his eyes when Sangwoo emptied himself inside him. Sangwoo gripped Bum's thighs, holding his legs wide apart, as wide as he possibly could, relishing in the feeling of his silky smooth skin. Of course Bum allowed him to manipulate his body however he wanted, like some kind of human doll.

Afterwards, Sangwoo carried Bum to the stream and they washed off. Bum looked like he might fall asleep and so Sangwoo assisted him, though he found he liked doing it. Bum was a sick bitch and capable of things Sangwoo wouldn't have expected prior to knowing him, but he liked that Bum could also be vulnerable. Funny since he didn't admire weak people in the slightest, yet it brought him a strange sort of satisfaction caring for Bum.

They had driven for hours, walked through the woods for another couple of hours and hung by the stream for about the same about of time. Somehow, the sun was setting. They hadn't eaten all day but Sangwoo felt nourished from Bum alone. Although in reality, they would need to eat soon. And find somewhere to sleep.

Sleeping under the stars was certainly a possibility but as comforting as nature might have been, it still felt exposed out here. They'd find a motel for the night and rest up.

And tomorrow, it would all end.

*

Sangwoo expected after checking in, he would want to fuck Bum again. But he fell asleep almost immediately instead. It seemed entirely possible he would have rather effortlessly slept through the night had hunger not woken him. The clock by the bed said it was three in the morning. Sangwoo's next instinct was to look for Bum. Immediate relief flooded his senses seeing the smaller form sleeping next to him.

Sangwoo felt a little regret knowing that soon, there would be no more of this. But he knew what he needed to do. And there was some relief in knowing it, a sense of overwhelming calm that encouraged him to go ahead with his plans.

He touched Bum's hair, sweeping it off his forehead. It felt like an intimate thing to do. The sort of thing people who loved each other did.

Sangwoo wasn't sure he knew what love was. He thought he loved his mom but what if he just needed her? He didn't need her now, hadn't so much as visited her in more than a year. She didn't seem to mind either, most likely as she had been the one to encourage it, telling him to focus on building his own life instead rather than looking back.

She didn't hate him, from what Sangwoo could tell. Maybe she was even grateful; his dad hit her too. Not as often as Sangwoo but back handed slaps here and there when she said or did the wrong thing. That was, what his hard to please father had deemed 'wrong.'

Bum sighed in his sleep and scooted closer to Sangwoo. Either he was drawn to his warmth or he somehow knew, even in sleep, that Sangwoo was close, acting on pure instinct. Sangwoo considered waking him and asking if he wanted anything to eat. In the end he decided to leave him be.

There wasn't much around outside, at least not in walking distance. Luckily right under the motel there was a twenty-four hour convenience store. Sangwoo hadn't grabbed his wallet prior to leaving the house and only had a few notes in his pocket. He got some stuff for Bum to eat when he woke up. They would need their energy for the trek back into the woods tomorrow.

Beomsoo was still in pieces in the trunk of the car. Sangwoo ought to thank the old creep. If not for him, there wouldn't be a way to convince Bum to go with him into the woods with shovels. At least, no way that didn't raise questions. While part of him itched to take Bum's life violently, he had decided to do it peacefully instead. It was only fair since he intended to do the same for himself.

There was something else very important Sangwoo was happy to find in the store. Something Sangwoo made a mental note to hide upon reentering the motel room.

He was pretty sure with his limited cash he came up short, but the half asleep clerk let him go without comment. Sangwoo might've thanked him if he hadn't wanted to bring attention to it on the off chance it wasn't intentional. Maybe he was worried Sangwoo would take what he wanted by force regardless; the clerk was only a little weed Sangwoo could easily take on.

After eating, Sangwoo climbed back into bed, pleased when Bum nestled in close. He realized he was awake when Bum wrapped an arm around him. Sangwoo was in no place to pretend he didn't like it. They were going to die tomorrow so why deny himself the pleasure of being close to Bum? While intensely puzzling in many ways, it was easy to be honest with himself knowing the end was so close.

“Where did you go?” Bum's voice came out muffled against Sangwoo's chest. It wasn't all that croaky, from what Sangwoo could tell. Resting it must have helped.

“Convenience store downstairs. I was starving.”

Bum murmured in understanding. Sangwoo expected him to ask if he brought him anything but he didn't. Either he was too sleepy or he didn't need to eat.

Looking at him, he couldn't eat much. Sangwoo tried to remember if he'd ever seen Bum eat. He supposed it made sense he hadn't. Normally, when they were in each other's company, they were either fighting or fucking... sometimes both. Bum spied on Sangwoo from afar but Sangwoo hadn't really seen Bum in his own landscape, doing simple things like eating or watching television, or... whatever else he did.

Sangwoo frowned. What did he really know about Bum, besides the fact that Bum was obsessed with him and extremely weird? He knew Bum shared similar unique interests to Sangwoo. But that was about it.

He thought of asking Bum questions but decided to let him sleep. There would be some time to talk tomorrow.

*

They woke early, but considering how early they had fallen asleep, that wasn't at all unexpected. Bum got up first and apparently demolished the last of the food. Sangwoo pretended to be annoyed, even though he wasn't at all hungry.

The reality was slowly sinking in. He was going to die. Not only that, he would need to murder Bum first. For real, this time.

It made him feel a little light-headed. But once he got going, he started to feel better. Calm. After a cleansing shower, he was ready to go.

Bum accepted that they were going to bury Beomsoo up the mountain. Only at some point on the drive, when he commented that Sangwoo was being quiet did Sangwoo wonder if he was acting suspicious. He threw Bum a smile, hoping to lay his worries to rest. He couldn't have Bum suspect anything. He needed him to go peacefully with him. That was how he wanted it. The more he'd thought of it last night... it just seemed right. So much violence in his life, he wanted this to be quiet. Beautiful, even.

He wondered if the police had turned his house upside down. Were they out looking for him today? How long until they tracked him to the motel?

It didn't matter. Sangwoo would end things before they caught up.

“Tell me something, Bum.”

He didn't need to turn his head to know Bum was eyeing him, puzzled.

“Like what?”

“I don't know, some random fact.”

Sangwoo turned to drive up the mountain. It was a steep drop over the edge of the road and heavy with woodland. Sangwoo wondered how many bodies had been dumped here. It was a regular dumping ground for him. He wasn't eager to dig another grave for him and Bum but he didn't exactly want to share it with Beomsoo. Although he supposed it didn't really mattered. They would be dead so it wasn't like they would care.

People attached a lot of meaning to death. Sangwoo didn't really believe in any kind of after life but it wasn't a bleak thought. The thought of going on and on forever? That was depressing.

All good things come to an end. He stole a look at Bum, even though it was dangerous to look away from the road in such an area. Since he seemed to be struggling coming up with a single thing to share about himself, Sangwoo decided to help him out.

“How long have you been interested in computers?”

Bum's eyes widened. At least Sangwoo thought they did, he looked away a second later, forcing himself to concentrate on the very narrow road, which slowly spiraled up the mountain.

“Since I was a teenager, I guess.”

“Not as a kid?” Sangwoo considered. “What kind of kid were you?”

The indoorsy type, if he had to guess. He couldn't imagine Bum was into sports- or, at least, very good at any. He pictured him as the weird, quiet kid. Maybe a bit of a loner, the sort to cop a lot of shit from other kids.

“I was... trouble.”

Sangwoo let out a laugh at that. It was an unexpected answer.

Bum seemed amused. “Oh yeah, I was really naughty.”

“Yeah right.”

“I was! You have no idea...”

While still amused, there was something else in Bum's voice. Sangwoo shrugged it off.

“So how far up the mountain are we going?”

“Not all the way. The road breaks off soon and we can go that way, bury him somewhere in the woods.”

“Is this where you bury all your victims?”

“Not all of them but yeah, a lot of them rest here.” Sangwoo's tone wasn't totally serious, only because the idea of them 'resting' was laughable to him. They were dead. Not taking a quick nap.

“Is this where you would have buried me? If you'd killed me?”

From the matter of fact way he asked, a hint of amusement seeping into his voice once more, Sangwoo figured Bum had recovered from yesterday.

He was in for a rude awakening.

“I guess. Maybe, I don't know.”

He could feel Bum's eyes burning into him, right through his skin.

“Does it make you uncomfortable thinking about it? Do you regret what you did?”

“What is this, twenty fucking questions?”

“I asked two questions.”

“Well I don't know, Bum, okay?” Sangwoo looked at Bum a moment too long, to the point where one of the wheels went over the edge.

“Wow, eyes on the road,” Bum commented, a hand slipping into one of his pockets. “I know I'm nice to look at but try and control yourself.”

Sangwoo rolled his eyes but couldn't help but smile. They had a good thing going on today, just nice easy, banter. He felt a twinge of regret for what was to come but pushed it aside. What was so bad about enjoying his time with Bum so close to the end? It would be good to go out positively. It'd been tumultuous between them, he knew that. They could go out on a high note.

He did wish he'd fucked Bum before they'd left the motel though. Seemed almost like a waste of the room. And now Bum was sitting with his feet on the dash, legs spread like they so often were, Sangwoo's sweatpants hanging off his skinny frame. Bum had ripped the chord off the blinds at the motel and made a makeshift belt just to keep them on. The hoodie also swallowed his small frame but it appealed to Sangwoo more than he expected, not only seeing how small Bum looked but the sight of him wearing his clothes.

Maybe they could fuck in the woods. Bum would allow it, like always. Sangwoo didn't think he could leave this earth without doing it one last time- especially with Bum teasing him sitting spread eagle like that.

The dirty little slut. He had to know what he was doing. Yet he acted like it was Sangwoo's fault for nearly running them off the road.

“How much longer?” Bum asked like an impatient child.

“Just up here, fuck.” But Sangwoo wasn't really annoyed. Maybe it was a sense of calm knowing the end was so close, or maybe a switch had flipped and he was just willing to put up with anything from Bum.

Just for today, he considered, taking a left where the road split.

No longer hanging over the edge, it was safe to regard Bum while he drove. Looking at him, Sangwoo wondered if he had the slightest idea what was about to happen, or if he really was oblivious.

He said he would let Sangwoo do anything- even kill him, yet he'd fought against him. Would he allow it this time?

“We're here,” Sangwoo murmured, parking under a tree. They were low on gas and Sangwoo was out of money but it didn't matter. This was the end. Their final resting place, as it were.

“Great!” Bum said, flinging open his door.

He seemed to be in a good mood. For a moment, Sangwoo just sat, watching him take in the area. He knew from the second he left the car, there was no turning back.

Sangwoo might have liked to sit with his thoughts a little while longer but Bum made a questioning gesture with his hands.

“Are you coming or what?”

Sangwoo took a steady breath in then slowly exhaled. He opened his car door and felt an eerie sense of calm fall over him. The moment his feet hit the ground, he thought no turning back once more and threw a carefree smile at Bum.

“Time to get to work.”

Chapter Text

Ordinarily, Sangwoo might find it comical to have someone dig their grave without knowing it- and not only dig it but be rather enthusiastic about it. Bum seemed proud of his efforts, even though Sangwoo had done most of the work. He didn't bother pointing it out.

They were almost finished when Sangwoo presented Bum the thermos. Bum looked confused until Sangwoo explained.

“I bought it last night. Figured we would need it.”

“Ah.” Bum took it from him, taking a long swig.

Sangwoo tried to act natural but couldn't help but stare. The eerie calm he felt remained, though some distant part of his mind begged him to stop, as pitifully as his victims always begged on the basement floor.

Naturally, given Bum was the object of his obsession, it felt wrong on some level to poison him. But knowing he would do the same helped drown out the annoying pleading voice.

Bum made a face. “What is this anyway?”

“Coffee. Are you retarded?”

“It tastes terrible.”

Sangwoo shrugged. “Shitty thermos, maybe? Is it still warm?”

“Lukewarm.”

“It was cheap so what can you expect.”

“I guess,” Bum said, though something in his expression suggested he was considering other options.

Sangwoo held his hand out for it and Bum passed it over. Sangwoo dipped his head back and took a sip. It was nowhere near as much as Bum had but hopefully enough to alleviate any thoughts Bum might have had about him harming him.

“Let's keep going,” Sangwoo said, though he doubted Bum would be in a place to help soon.

The grave was nearly finished anyway. A few minutes later, Sangwoo tossed Beomsoo's remains into it and brushed his hands together with an air of finality. He noticed Bum looked a little queasy. He was holding the thermos between his hands and frowning slightly, staring at nothing in particular with glazed eyes. Sangwoo approached him, smiling like nothing was astray.

“I can't even look at you without thinking about it,” he said, taking the thermos out of Bum's hands. He considered for a moment then took a heady swig. It felt wrong, knowing what he knew, but it had to end some time. Better to act casual about it, like it was no big deal. More and more, it was feeling like it wasn't. Death was just another part of life. He'd heard that somewhere once.

Bum looked puzzled as Sangwoo lowered him to the dirt. Sangwoo had thrown some of it over Beomsoo, and they were lying on top of that in a slightly shallower grave. Because fuck lying down with that creep. At least this way they had their own space. Fittingly, they were above him.

Bum was above other people, Sangwoo decided. Because he was like him. They were the same.

This made sense the more he thought about it. Primarily, he was doing this because he couldn't take what Bum was doing to his mind but beyond that, the world wouldn't welcome them, not if it knew their true shape. So in a way, he was protecting Bum.

“I... don't feel very well,” Bum murmured, either allowing Sangwoo to climb on top of him because it was Sangwoo or because he felt weakened. He'd had more of the coffee than Sangwoo but they both had enough to be sufficiently poisoned. They were far from any walking trails- Sangwoo knew that very well from all the time he'd spent here. The car was nearly out of gas and soon they would both be too weak to even be able to walk to it. Bum could probably try and shout for help but soon he'd be too weak for that too. Sangwoo doubted anyone would hear anyway. Even if it carried to the walking trails, they were too far away to try and reach them.

“Shhh,” Sangwoo hushed, trying to pull Bum's pants down- or technically his own pants- then laughing when he remembered the silly makeshift belt Bum had made from the motel chord. He struggled to undo it, marveling at Bum's knot making ability.

“This is really hard to undo. What the hell?”

“It's a surgeon's knot,” Bum commented, sounding weaker but the minute.

“A what?”

“Surgeon's knot.”

“What were you, a boy scout or something?” Sangwoo laughed.

“No but I was into that kind of stuff.” Bum winced while he explained. “My dad wouldn't let me join but I liked to read.”

“Hah, such a surprise,” Sangwoo teased. “You were that kind of kid, huh? Shy nerdy type. Allergic to the outdoors.”

Unable to get the knot undone and starting to feel a bit off himself, Sangwoo settled for reaching beneath the waistband instead, lazily fondling Bum's cock.

“Actually, I loved it,” Bum said, sounding a bit strained. Sangwoo vaguely hoped he wouldn't throw up all over him- not only because it was gross but because then the poison might not be so effective with some of it out of his system.

“You don't say,” Sangwoo murmured, nuzzling Bum's neck as he groped him, too weakened to do much else.

It had been a lot faster acting than he expected. He regretted not fucking Bum first; he doubted he had the energy now.

He rolled off Bum, dropping onto the dirt beside him. Above them, they could see the birds in the trees and beyond that, the clear blue sky. There were so few clouds. It was a beautiful day.

Sangwoo breathed in and out, feeling at peace, though his breathing came out increasingly labored.

“Sangwoo, what... what was in the thermos?” Bum asked, sounding faraway, even though they were right next to each other.

“Shhh, Bum. Here, come closer.” Sangwoo held out an arm for Bum to curl into, like they had the night of their kill. He expected Bum to be into it since he was then, and having Sangwoo make the offer had to be very appealing to him. But Bum just stared at him instead, baffled.

“What... what are you... what did you do?”

Sangwoo sighed heavily, both to be dramatic and because breathing was becoming an issue.

Jesus, how was Bum still conscious? At his size and for how much he'd drank from the thermos... Sangwoo was surprised he was still breathing.

What Bum did next shocked him even more. He sat up, faster than Sangwoo could envision moving himself right now and shoved his fingers down his throat.

“What? No!” Sangwoo sat up uneasily and tried to yank Bum's hand from his mouth. “Stop it! Stop ruining it!”

Bum looked at him incredulously but didn't for a second pull his hand away.

Sangwoo felt utterly betrayed. He understood the instinct of trying to stop Sangwoo strangling him- that was just human nature. But here he was giving them a beautiful, peaceful death together and Bum was rejecting it. He was opening his arms for Bum to die with him and he was pushing him away.

Bum wasn't dead yet but he was dead to Sangwoo in that moment.

“You ungrateful little bitch! Stop-”

He froze when Bum gagged then threw up all over Sangwoo's borrowed sweatpants. Sangwoo just stared, astounded when Bum went back for more, shoving his fingers back in and trying to vomit a second time, like the first wasn't enough.

Sangwoo backhanded him in a moment of panic, aware of the poison spreading within him and that they were no longer in the same place- in more ways than one.

Bum pressed a hand to his cheek and looked at Sangwoo, wide-eyed. Sangwoo couldn't place just what that look on his face was. Shock? Regret?

“You said you would die for me!” Sangwoo hated that he screeched the words like some needy little girl.

He realized that expression on Bum's face really was regret.

“Sangwoo, I...” He reached out but Sangwoo slapped his hands away.

Listen!” Bum's voice demanded his attention and Sangwoo reluctantly gave it to him.

“I love you, Sangwoo. I love you so much.”

“Pffft.”

“I do! I thought I could die for you before, but don't you see? If I die- if we both die, I won't get to see you anymore!”

“Bullshit. You're just selfish.”

Bum vigorously shook his head. Sangwoo could see him now though. He just didn't want to die, like the weak little bitch he was. He was no better than the girls who cried and pleaded in the basement. He wasn't like Sangwoo. Not really.

Well Sangwoo wasn't going down alone. Fuck that.

He could feel Bum staring at him as he forced himself to vomit in the same way Bum had. He guessed he would bounce back faster than Bum since he'd had less and considering he only just consumed it. Despite throwing it up, Bum still looked pretty weak. Maybe it would still be too late for him.

Bum made to stand but stumbled. Sangwoo laughed.

“Sangwoo, please.”

“Oh, just stop it. I'm not going to help you now. Not after what you've done to me, you whore.”

Sangwoo stood over Bum, in the makeshift grave. Maybe he could throw the remaining dirt over him, bury him alive. Bum just laid there, staring up at him with widened eyes, like he was trying to understand.

“Let's just go home! There's no need to-”

“Um, what?” An unhinged laugh broke free from Sangwoo. “There's every need, for all of this. You did this to me, Bum, don't for a second forget that. You're the reason I can't go home, why my whole life is fucked and the cops are probably looking everywhere. Fuck, maybe they've even made it to the motel by now, who knows?”

Bum's expression was difficult to read. For the longest time, he just stared at Sangwoo, breathing shallowly. Sangwoo wished he would die but also wanted to rip his hair out and scream at the thought of it actually happening.

Sangwoo got the sense he had something to say. He crouched in the dirt, closer to Bum, so he wouldn't need to speak as loudly.

“Sangwoo, I... don't have any sort of system in place.”

The whole world tilted. Had he really just said that? Had he actually fucking said that?

“What?” Sangwoo asked, seemingly devoid of emotion on the outside. Inside he was feeling a whole range of emotions, many which he had never encountered before. The urge to throw up washed over him and wasn't sure if it was from Bum's revelation or the poison.

He gagged but nothing came to the surface. Bum looked so guilty, he knew this right here was the truth.

“It's true I have a live feed,” he explained quietly, averting Sangwoo's gaze but ultimately being drawn to it once more. Like he couldn't help himself.

“But... there was never any kind of set-up where the footage would be sent to the police... or anyone. I only... said that to-”

“To lie to me,” Sangwoo said blandly. “To get what you wanted.”

Bum managed to sit up, a desperate look in his eyes.

“You never would have listened to me! I just needed-”

“You're fucking disgusting.”

Bum looked like he had been slapped in the face- again. A whole host of emotions flashed across his face. Sangwoo didn't expect it to land on something sour. He definitely didn't expect Bum to smile.

“And you're pathetic. A murder-suicide? Fuck, Sangwoo! Really?”

Sangwoo could only stare. Bum was challenging him? Didn't he realize by now what Sangwoo could do to him? How many times did he need to try and kill him before he realized how dangerous he was?

Try was the operative word. No wonder Bum felt confident more or less laughing in his face.

Sangwoo pushed him into the dirt. Bum went, and this time he did laugh.

“I can't believe you bought it as long as you did,” Bum cackled.

Sangwoo was about ready to snap his neck and might have, had Bum not offered him a softer expression a moment later and reached out to squeeze Sangwoo's arms with something close to affection.

“I'm glad you didn't, though. I really do love you. So much.”

“Ugh.”

“I do!”

“A twisted little bitch like you doesn't know anything about love, so don't even pretend.”

“And you do!?” Bum challenged, to which Sangwoo laughed madly.

“Nope! I guess we're the same that way.”

He paused, letting his own words sink in. He had been right before; they were the same. Nonetheless, what Bum had done was unforgivable.

He climbed on top of Bum, pressing his forearm over his throat, to which Bum laughed.

“Haven't we been down this road? You're going to choke me, really?”

“Maybe not,” Sangwoo grit out, leaning in so they were nose to nose. “Since you seem to get off on that shit.”

“I'd let you kill me,” Bum said. His sudden sweet, genuine sounding voice was enough to give Sangwoo whiplash.

“But I love you too much. I would miss you.”

“That's assuming we go anywhere when we die but I'm willing to bet there's nothing.”

“Really?” Bum cocked his head, curious. Even now, he seemed eager to learn new things about Sangwoo.

It was confusing. He apparently loved Sangwoo yet he manipulated and laughed at him behind his back.

Bum coughed, which Sangwoo found curious since he wasn't even pressing down on his windpipe. But seeing how clammy he looked, it was clearly from the poison. He wasn't out of the woods yet, so to speak.

Sangwoo didn't feel the best either but rage had invigorated him. Bum's supposed love had done nothing to revitalize Bum.

Sangwoo got up and moved away from Bum. It surprised him a little, seeing how utterly betrayed Bum looked. But he was good at pretending. That was all he was good for.

Sangwoo couldn't trust himself to kill Bum with his own hands so he would try a different approach. Bum said nothing all the while Sangwoo stuck the shovel in the upturned dirt. Even when he tossed some over Bum's legs, he said nothing, and Sangwoo considered maybe he was going to allow him to do it. That or he thought Sangwoo was bluffing but he wasn't. This had to end and it would end.

Bum started screaming at him to stop like some deranged banshee.

“I love you, Sangwoo! I'll miss you too much, don't do this! Sangwoo! Sangwoo!”

By that point, Sangwoo had most of Bum's legs covered. He hated that on some level, he was still struggling with this. If he really wanted to do it, he would just shovel dirt over Bum's treacherous face, right? Suffocate the little freak here and now and end this shit once and for all.

Maybe I just like him begging.

Except he didn't. It was annoying.

Something happened that Sangwoo didn't expect. Bum started having some sort of seizure, twitching and spasming in the dirt, an effect of the poison if he had to guess. He hadn't exactly read the bottle- the skull and cross bones was all he'd needed to know.

Sangwoo sighed. This was meant to be straight forward. They were both meant to die together. He didn't want to watch Bum die and go on living without him. He fucking hated him for it, hated him in general for everything he'd done. But this was eating away at him.

“Bum?”

He tossed the shovel aside and approached him where he was seizing. He partly expected him to start frothing from the mouth but he didn't.

Sangwoo crouched down next to Bum, considering him. He waited for him to go still and considered if he did, he'd go buy more poison, come back here and swallow a good amount of it before climbing in the grave with him. He was in too deep with his obsession to carry on living knowing Bum was dead. It fucking sucked but he knew he wouldn't last.

How was it Bum had this much power? It was the only reason killing them both was the best answer. Because only killing Bum, he now remembered, didn't solve his addiction to him.

He fucking hoped there was no after life, or there really was no escape.

Bum abruptly went still and Sangwoo's heart dropped.

Was he really dead?

He leaned over him, not exactly sure what he was doing. With the birds chirping and creak of tree branches in the wind above them, it was difficult to hear. He leaned in so close, his cheek brushed against Bum's lips. Right when he realized he could just check his pulse instead, Sangwoo felt something sharp plunge into the side of his neck.

He stumbled back on his heels, gasping. Bum sat up, like Frankenstein's monster brought to life, still clearly weakened but very much alive. He gave Sangwoo a wide eyed look, mouth dropping open. Like he wasn't the one to just shove a fucking knife in Sangwoo's neck.

I'm sorry!” Bum shrieked, hysterical. He managed to climb onto his knees and reached for Sangwoo, who instinctively shoved him away. “You made me do it! You MADE me, Sangwoo!”

Sangwoo would never in a million years admit it but he was scared of Bum. For a split second, he was truly scared of him.

He was fucking insane. Stabbing someone he supposedly loved in the neck? Sangwoo grabbed for the knife instinctively and Bum started screaming words in such a state of panic, Sangwoo couldn't make them out.

Don't pull it out! Leave it in! You're meant to- no, Sangwoo, wait! I love you!”

Sangwoo didn't even notice he was attempting to crawl away until Bum said that. His mind wasn't working properly. It was all just too much.

It had been such a nice fucking day. Now it was just... this.

He wasn't even sure who to blame. Sangwoo was the one who had done this to him, in some sense, but Bum's lies had led them here.

While Sangwoo crawled away with a knife sticking out of the side of his neck, Bum stumbled after him, unable to remain on his feet for too long at a time.

On the verge of blacking out, Sangwoo choked out a laugh. The siren he heard... it had been a coincidence. They weren't coming for him. They never had been. This whole time, he was free to go home. While he was speeding away in a panic, while they were bathing in a fucking stream... none of it was necessary. All because of Bum.

Sangwoo knew he should take his part of the blame. He'd let himself believe Bum. He knew early on that he shouldn't yet Bum was so earnest, he'd bought into it.

He somehow managed to crawl to the car but it wasn't going to do him any good. There was hardly any gas, no one would likely be around this area and he didn't have his phone. He was fucked.

He realized it was quiet behind him and looked over his shoulder. Bum was lying in a pile of leaves, arm reached out in front of him. He appeared to be unconscious. Or maybe worse, but it still hurt to think of that. Somehow, it still hurt.

A frustrated cry broke free from Sangwoo, a deeply primal sound.

This is all your fault! He screamed to Bum in his mind, right before he collapsed.

*

Minchul didn't think a drink was asking much, but Yujin liked to act like it was such a difficult task to go and collect one for him. Did she not understand she worked for him? Even if they were on a vacation of sorts, she still worked for him. And hell, he was paying her double! She acted so dramatic sometimes, as if he had no right to ask her anything.

After she finally brought him his drink, he dozed outside in the hammock for a couple of hours. He felt even more parched after that, waking up under the blistering sun. He made a note to get a glass of water but headed upstairs to change first. Something delicious was coming from the kitchen so Yujin wasn't completely useless. She was also nice to look at, of course. Probably the only reason he'd kept her on for so long, if he was being honest.

He doubted his wife would even care if he fucked her. Things had been unstable between them for some time. Maybe they had always been that way. The older he got, the more and more time blended together. There were less milestones and just more time passing by, all of it meaningless.

He was forty-two years old and he already felt like he was developing Alzheimer's sometimes. Why exactly had he gone upstairs again? He paused, considering. A little voice called out, “Hey Dad, look at this!” and he sighed. What did the kid want? He was still trying to remember what he had come up for.

“What is it?” he asked gruffly, heading down the hallway. “Where are you?”

“Over here!”

He sounded like he was right up ahead, where the hallway opened up to the staircase.

Sure enough, there the brat was.

“What is it?”

“Look.”

He gleefully pointed out over the edge. Minchul looked down to the lower level, where a trap sat open at the base of the stairs. Bewildered and mildly horrified, he turned to look over his shoulder, seeking some kind of answer. He was met with a delighted smile instead.

“Weeee, down you go.”

“Wait-”

A light shove was all it took. Minchul hardly fell so much as he flew down the stairs. He was oddly numb to it, even though he hit at least every second step on the way down. It seemed to happen in slow motion, yet he had no time at all to even consider what was at the bottom before he reached it.

And then he landed in the trap.

It felt like how he imagined a shark's teeth might feel biting into his side. He cried out in pain, vision blurring as he looked up the stairs.

And there was Bum at the top, smiling down at him.

*

Sangwoo was confused when he woke up. His first thought was so an afterlife exists after all. Because how was it possible for him to survive everything else? Poison, a knife in the neck. Yet he was somehow, inexplicably in the hospital.

He pressed the call button and grabbed desperately for the nurse who walked into the room. She flinched but didn't seem as startled as she should, suggesting she was often on the receiving end of hysterical patients.

“Was there someone else?” Sangwoo demanded, clutching the fabric of her shirt in his hands. “With me, where I was found?”

The nurse stared, seeming genuinely confused.

“No, it was just you. Was someone else out there?”

“Who the fuck do you think stabbed me?” Sangwoo demanded, to which she bowed her head.

“Of course. I meant were there any other victims.”

Victims. Sangwoo snarled. He didn't like what she was implying about him.

“Uhh, let me just... get the doctor, Sir.”

Sangwoo didn't realize he was still holding onto her shirt until she tried to pull away. He released her and she scurried out of the room like a field mouse.

He felt strong. Stronger than he could have expected.

But where the hell was Bum? Had he somehow gotten away? How the hell was that even possible considering what shape he was in the last Sangwoo saw of him?

The doctor only offered some mildly useful information when he came in. Sangwoo had, apparently, been found on the road going up the mountain. Sangwoo had no memory of walking past his car but supposed he must have regained consciousness and managed to get a little further. Since the nurse was clueless, he decided to ask the doctor if anyone else had been found. Any other victims.

“No, it was just you.” He looked like he wanted to ask more questions but said something else instead.

“The police are here for you, actually.”

Sangwoo's eye twitched. The doctor eyed the clipboard in his hands, not noticing Sangwoo's reaction.

They don't know anything. They just think you're a victim.

Technically he was a victim. Not in the traditional sense but still.

“Okay, fine.”

The doctor gave a slight bow of his head then walked out. Sangwoo sighed, sitting up a little straighter. He expected more than one man but only one walked in, a shifty looking guy with glasses.

“Oh Sangwoo? I'm officer Yang.”

“What would you like to know, officer?” Sangwoo asked, cutting right to the chase.

With his fingers strewn together, he stretched his arms out in front of him and yawned. Just how long had he slept? Oddly enough, he felt like he could rest a little more.

He also felt a little nervous. Annoyingly, but he was talking to a cop so that was only natural, wasn't it? Considering everything he was responsible for...

He doesn't know anything.

Officer Yang took the seat by the hospital bed. He adjusted his glasses then poised his pen to a notepad, like the over eager kid in school ready to take notes.

It eased Sangwoo's worries seeing what type of person they'd sent. He would be easy to manipulate.

The thought made him think of Bum. Just what had happened to him? Assuming he was dead, had they just not found his body yet? But if he was alive... where was he?

Sangwoo supposed if he was alive, Bum could have just as likely survived. They had both been poisoned but only Sangwoo had been stabbed.

But Bum had more poison. It really was impossible to decide the likelihood of whether he'd lived or died.

And besides that, what about Beomsoo? Had anyone stumbled across his grave? The upturned soil and shovel certainly looked suspicious. Not to mention it was Sangwoo's car out there...

Sangwoo had to think on his feet, which wasn't as easy as it would normally be. He hadn't had enough time to put together a believable lie. For him, it was like he had passed out and immediately woken up in the hospital.

His mind felt clear, at least. Clearer than it had been in a long time.

“So let me just make sure I understand,” Yang said, frowning at his own notes. “This man you described accosted you, forced you to drive him up the mountain, at which point he had you dig a grave for...” His eyes trailed up from the notepad to Sangwoo's face. “An unidentified man he had murdered.”

“That's right,” Sangwoo said, hanging his head and looking as distressed as he could. “He just had the body parts in a bag, like some kind of animal.”

“I see. And after partially burying Mr. Kim, there was a struggle?”

Sangwoo nodded, touching the side of his neck. Only then did he notice the bandage there.

“That's when he stabbed me.”

“Mr. Oh,” the officer said, giving him a quizzical look.

“You don't believe me?” Sangwoo pouted.

“Of course I believe you,” he said, uttering a small laugh. “I hardly think you did that to yourself. I was only going to inquire about the poison the doctors found in your system.”

“Ah.” Jesus christ, this story was already outlandish enough as it was.

“Well, that was also odd. He had a thermos- which I'm sure you can find at the scene. While I was digging the... grave for him, he offered me a drink. I was working hard while he did nothing at all. I figured it was a small kindness.” Sangwoo smiled bitterly. It helped to think of Bum while he made the expression. “What an idiot I was.”

He expected the officer to make a sympathetic comment- if he had any heart he would, but he didn't. Asshole.

“Hmm, I see. And so he poisoned you?”

“To weaken me, I suppose. I'm bigger than him so I guess he needed to take me down.”

“Strange he would force you to drive him up the mountain to begin with.”

Sangwoo shrugged. “I guess he figured I'd be able to dig a grave. What do you want me to tell you?”

“The truth,” Yang said bluntly, locking eyes with him.

Sangwoo scowled. “I am. Wow, you don't believe me, do you?”

“I'm just trying to gather the facts, Mr. Oh.”

“And I'm just giving them to you.”

Yang looked like he was going to say something else but stopped when he had another thought.

“I couldn't help but hear a moment ago, with the doctor... Did you say there was another victim?”

“Oh... yeah.”

The eavesdropping dick.

“And their name?” he asked, pen poised to paper.

There was no point in lying. The best lies were half truths and if they worked out it had been Bum, and that they knew each other, this whole thing could be blown wide open.

“Yoon Bum.”

Yang scribbled his name, nodding. “And your relationship?”

Sangwoo tried to stop from making a sour expression.

Our relationship...

I love you, Sangwoo. I love you so much.”

“Mr. Oh?”

Could Bum really feel love? Sangwoo didn't think he ever could but could he really say if someone else was capable of feeling it or not? He was hardly the expert- or the gatekeeper.

“Mr. Oh? Are you all right? Should I come back?”

“Ah, no I'm okay, thank you.”

Useless piece of shit pig.

“He was my neighbor.”

From the officer's confused expression, Sangwoo added, “My friend.” Not because it was true but because it seemed better than his other answer.

“And so, you and your... neighbor were accosted by this man- where, exactly? And can you give me another description of him?”

Sangwoo resisted the urge to sigh and launched into a detailed description of the man, along with everything else Yang asked of him. By the end of it, he was taking great pleasure imagining the officer down in his basement with his limbs chopped off.

“Well, let me know if you remember anything else.”

He gave Sangwoo his card, like he would ever use it. Sangwoo smiled a charming smile and agreed.

“Sorry I couldn't be more help. The whole thing was just so stressful. Why would anyone do such a thing?”

“I'll let you know when I find out,” the officer said before leaving.

Sangwoo scoffed. When. Apparently he was feeling confident.

His mind swam. He tried thinking of every little incriminating thing he might have left behind but all he could really think about was Bum. Where was he? Was he okay?

Sangwoo had been right before. Not about what a manipulative whore Bum was- although he was undeniably that, but he was so much more. He was like Sangwoo. They needed each other- he saw that now.

He had known people resistant to change. Members of the older generation who didn't want to embrace technology, who didn't trust it. Pathetic women who didn't want to let their old relationships go, who wanted to hold on even after what they had shriveled and died. Sangwoo never considered himself anything like these people. He always looked forward, always kept moving. But maybe he was resistant to change given the way he had resisted Bum and how he fit into his life. Maybe there was a place for him after all. Maybe Sangwoo could keep him there without losing himself in the process.

He raised a hand to gingerly touch his bandaged neck. In the end, it wasn't enough. It ripped it off and ran his fingers over the groove the blade had created. The flesh was still tender to touch and stung when he pressed into it, although it appealed to Sangwoo in some way.

Bum said he didn't want to die because he would miss seeing Sangwoo, and maybe that was true but on some level, Bum just wanted to survive. Not only because it was hardwired into humans to protect themselves, but because he was strong. A survivor.

A killer, if he needed to be.

And he wanted to be. He wanted to kill with Sangwoo and Sangwoo had acted like it was something ugly. Something to shy away from.

He'd been such a fucking idiot. Bum was perfect for him. They were perfect for each other.

Sangwoo pressed down a little harder on the knife wound and groaned. His free hand slipped beneath his hospital gown, lazily fondling himself.

Bum was out there. He had to be. He was a survivor; how many times had Sangwoo tried to kill him only for him to walk away completely unscathed? He wasn't normal, but Sangwoo saw now that wasn't a bad thing. He was a freak of nature but he was also perfect. And... his. At least, that was how Sangwoo wanted it. How he needed it to be.

He tightened his hand around his cock, stroking briskly now while he fingered his wound, enough for it to bleed. He didn't give a fuck if it got infected. He wasn't normally like this but it appealed to him greatly in the moment. It was some sort of relief; a good kind of hurt.

He thought of lying Bum down in the dirt and sliding inside of him, like he had wanted. Fuck, it killed him he hadn't even gotten that. Now Bum was god only knew where.

Would he have gone home? If he was afraid of Sangwoo coming after him, probably not.

Sangwoo's thoughts shifted to Bum in the basement, covered in blood, riding him. He was willing to now admit that had been the best night of his life. Why did he have to be so fucking stubborn? Things had been fine with them after that. They had been perfect.

I'll make it right, he thought, dropping his head back to the pillows as he inched closer. Thinking of Bum's face twisting in pleasure as he came helped Sangwoo find his release. He laid there in the afterglow for all of ten seconds before scrambling out of bed. His clothes were nowhere to be found and he couldn't exactly leave the hospital without them. A nurse- a different one from before- came in, surprised to find him out of bed.

She would have been really surprised if she had walked in a minute earlier.

“Sir, you really shouldn't be out of bed.”

“Where are my clothes? I need to go home.”

“That's really not a good idea... Oh, did your bandage fall off?”

“Yeah, but it's fine. It's just a little cut.”

It wasn't and Sangwoo was perfectly willing to admit that- to himself, at least. It was impressive. He was proud of Bum. He had done everything he'd needed to do to survive. No one ever got away from Sangwoo. Bum was definitely special.

“Sir, please, let me tend to your wound.”

Sangwoo looked at her properly for the first time. Dyed red hair, big tits. A bit slutty to be a nurse. Maybe she wanted to give him a sponge bath. He wondered what she'd do if he grabbed her ass.

“I'm fine.” He softened his voice and made meaningfully eye contact. “Listen, sweetheart, can you please go and get my clothes for me or, I don't know, something I can put on so I can leave? I need to go and visit a friend, see I'm... concerned about his welfare and need to check on him.”

She shook her head, frowning slightly. “Isn't there anyone else who can check in on him?”

“He doesn't really have anyone else.” Sangwoo tried to look sad and hoped she would buy it. She seemed to be although she also seemed reluctant to let him leave.

“Sir... you've been through an awful ordeal. You really should get back in bed.”

Fucking bitch. She wasn't going to help him.

Sighing dramatically, Sangwoo did as she suggested.

The nurse walked to the door, pausing to look back at him. “But don't worry, the doctor thinks you'll be able to leave tomorrow.”

Sangwoo rolled his eyes. “What's the difference?”

She seemed to be considering her answer but then said something else instead. “What's your friend's address? I can look in on him, if you like.”

Sangwoo sat up a little straighter. “Yeah?”

“Of course.” She flushed a little and Sangwoo smirked. It really paid to have his face sometimes. He was grateful Bum hadn't cut him there.

“I would be so grateful if you did, thank you.”

She bowed, in part to hide her smile, Sangwoo figured, and he gave her the address. She scurried out of the room a moment later and Sangwoo sank against the pillows, trying to relax, though in truth, he was more than a little worried what news she would return with.

Chapter Text

Another white lily.

There was no rhyme or reason to it. They showed up whenever, an indiscriminate amount of time in between. The first time on a Saturday, the next, Thursday.

Today was Friday. Sangwoo hadn't received one for a little over a month until finding today's offering out on the porch. What the hell it was meant to mean was a mystery, as always. An internet search told him white lilies represented death. Either someone out there knew what he was and what he did and this was some kind of thinly veiled threat...

...Or for whatever reason, Bum was trying to tell him something.

Sangwoo sat on the porch and smoked. It was a good excuse to stare at Bum's house. Although no good ever came from doing that. Knowing Bum wasn't inside it and hadn't been for three months now was just depressing. Sangwoo's only comfort came from knowing he was out there- not necessarily because of the lilies, although their timing was definitely suspect, given they had only started showing up after Bum disappeared. But because a search of Bum's unlocked house the day Sangwoo left the hospital clearly showed he had been there. That or someone had ransacked his closet but it was highly doubtful.

Bum had never given him his phone number. To be fair, Sangwoo never asked. Although it seemed so very impersonal, the idea of sending him a text message and telling him everything was all right, that he wasn't mad for what Bum did and he could come back.

It was difficult to convey tone in writing. Bum would probably think it was a trap. And Sangwoo got that. He could see from Bum's point of view how angry he must have been on the mountain, how completely out of control. But if it was Bum leaving the lilies, it was curious. Why give away the fact that he was still out there if he didn't want Sangwoo coming after him? Was he testing the waters?

I should leave him a message. If it was Bum coming here personally and leaving the flowers... then he would see it, right? But what could he even say?

When Sangwoo couldn't take staring at Bum's empty house a moment longer, he stubbed out his cigarette and headed inside.

The street had been quiet for years but lately it was driving him mad. He put on the TV, not seeking anything of substance but needing the background noise.

While the news played, Sangwoo rubbed his chin. What had started out as five o'clock shadow had become the beginnings of a beard. He wasn't sure if he planned to shave it off just yet. He'd heard every man had the desire to grow a beard at some point in their life but he never had. He was been pretty sure he was looking like shit these days until he caught some of the girls at the cafe talking about him, giggling behind their hands about how good he looked with a bit of hair on his face- rugged, manly. Honestly, that made him want to shave immediately yet he still hadn't. Through no love of what his coworkers or any other girls thought but from for another reason entirely; he couldn't be bothered.

The lack of energy was troubling. Is this what it felt like to be depressed? Sangwoo always thought that only happened to weak people. That in some way they let it happen. But he was starting to get it. Every day, he longed to sleep in. He called in sick more than what seemed acceptable, but because the manager was an older woman who probably wanted to fuck him, she allowed it, telling him to 'rest up and feel better.'

What a joke. The only thing that would make him feel better had disappeared into the air.

Sangwoo was no technology expert like Bum allegedly was, but he'd done his best trying to track him down. Searches for his name turned up nothing. Like he'd never even existed. Sangwoo began to question he had been a figment of his imagination this whole time and through the course of a three days, fully believed it until he realized he hadn't sleep in seventy-two hours and that was probably playing a part in his delusions.

And so the following day, he forced himself to take a shower and went to the electronic store where Bum had worked. Previously, he had walked past it, considering going in and inquiring after Bum, but something always stopped him. Some sense of pride or just plain embarrassment. Bum had been gone for two weeks by the time Sangwoo finally set foot in the store. He almost expected the chubby worker he asked to express confusion over a Yoon Bum who had supposedly worked there once but thankfully his face showed recognition hearing the name. Any lingering doubt Sangwoo had made Bum up disappeared into the air along with Bum.

“Yeah, weird story, that one,” the worker explained. Sangwoo stood on the other side of the counter, fidgeting with his sleeves.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he missed about two shifts before finally calling and saying he wouldn't be coming back to work. As in, ever.”

“Why would he do that?” Sangwoo asked, eyes skimming around the store. It was busy and for some reason the sight of a lot of customers was making him nervous. Weird when he never had any problems around crowds before. Sangwoo put it down to a lack of sleep.

The worker shrugged. “Not sure.” His eyes drifted past Sangwoo, who only slowly realized a woman was waiting for assistance.

“Ah, excuse me sir,” the man said, offering him a sympathetic smile. “That's all I know.”

Despite that, Sangwoo lingered by the counter, waiting while the woman asked what the best antivirus software was. Sangwoo zoned out while they talked for what felt like hours but was in reality likely no more than ten minutes. The man seemed confused when he noticed Sangwoo was still standing there, but pulled on his best customer service smile.

“Is there anything else I can help you with, sir? Maybe something technology related?”

Sangwoo scoffed. “No. I was going to ask if you could give me Bum's number.”

“...Ah. I'm not sure I give out that informa-”

“I'm his relative,” Sangwoo cut in, hating the desperation in his voice.

The man regarded him for a long moment, something close to pity reflecting in his eyes.

Sangwoo fucking hated that. But if pity did the trick, he'd allow it.

Relief the likes of which he hadn't felt in weeks sank into him when the worker returned with a torn piece of paper. Finally, a way of contacting Bum. And since he didn't have Sangwoo's phone number, he wouldn't know it was Sangwoo calling. With any luck, he would answer.

Sangwoo thought it would be better to wait until he got home where it was quiet, where he could put his full focus on calling Bum. He was too eager and dialled out on the busy street instead, trying to ignore how many people swarmed around him like ants and listening carefully as the phone rang.

He stopped walking when he heard a voice but it wasn't the voice he wanted to hear.

The number you are attempting to reach has been disconnected. Please hang up and try again.

Sangwoo tried again. He tried three more times, all with the same result, all the while standing on a busy footpath with ants swarming all around him.

The number you are attempting to reach has been disconnected. Please hang up and try again.

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe in a moment, Bum would answer.

The number you are attempting to reach has been disconnected. Please hang up and try again.

The number you are attempting to reach has been disconnected. Please hang up and try again.

That couldn't be right. It just couldn't.

“No... no!”

Sangwoo let out an angered cry and smashed his phone on the pavement. Several people passing stopped to stare, but the force of Sangwoo's glare sent them briskly on their way.

Bum was a ghost. And he was haunting Sangwoo's existence.

While a report played on the TV about some attack that had taken place, Sangwoo tried to recount when he had last killed someone.

Months. He hadn't killed anyone since the whole thing with Bum. He hadn't so much as set foot in the basement since he had been discharged from the hospital.

The fact that the last time he had been down there, he had such a positive experience with Bum... it was painful to even consider going down there again.

...says the manner in which the offender removed the leg above the knee hints to someone with a medical background. Rather than leaving the victim to bleed to death, the appendages were appropriately sutchered.”

Sangwoo glanced at the TV with only vague interest. Someone was cutting off people's legs?

The victim was discovered unconscious in an alleyway on Thursday morning. Medical examination suggests the attack took place Wednesday night, at which time the victim is believed to have been at his residence, alone, based on-”

Sangwoo hit mute and dropped against the couch with a sigh. For a moment, he thought of that annoying police officer, Yang Seungbae. The guy had not only questioned him after the mountain incident but dropped by to have another talk. At the time, Sangwoo thought about ending him. He had made it nice and easy coming into Sangwoo's home all on his own. But even then, so early after Bum disappearing, Sangwoo had so little energy. The officer didn't seem to be able to prove anything anyway, or else he'd have Sangwoo in handcuffs. Based off his questions and overall demeanor, he clearly believed Sangwoo had not only killed Beomsoo but gotten rid of Bum as well. Since then, he had driven by numerous times, like he expected to see something suspicious simply from looking at Sangwoo's house. If he thought he was being stealthy, he wasn't.

Hopefully, he wasn't going to be a problem...

The news story appeared to wrap up and a moment later, a woman wearing a two piece dress stood in front of a map announcing the weather.

Bum must have wanted to be found, if he was leaving the lilies. Why else put himself at risk?

Can't he leave a damn note?

If Bum really knew everything about him, he'd know Sangwoo didn't care for riddles. If that was what this was supposed to be.

Sangwoo pulled out his cheap replacement phone and looked up white lilies again.

The white lily is a symbol of purity, with links to Christianity, as it symbolizes the Virgin Mary's purity. Of all flowers, it is white lily that is most commonly associated with death. The white lily symbolizes the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed.

What was Bum trying to say, that he was pure and innocent? That was a laugh. Besides the fact there was no one else Sangwoo could imagine sending them to him, their link to death seemed too great of a coincidence. From the first day Bum had approached him, Sangwoo threatened to kill him. On that final day, he'd almost managed to kill them both.

He couldn't shake the thought this was not only Bum's way of letting him know he was still out there, but an apology of sorts.

“I accept,” Sangwoo said out loud, knowing full well no one was there to hear it. At least he knew it; with each passing day, it felt like his mental stability came apart a little more; like a cliff edge slowly crumbling into nothing.

He didn't want to be mad at Bum. He just wanted to be with him. But it pissed him off the more he thought about it. That Bum had not only left but was taunting him. Maybe that wasn't what he was intending with the damn flowers but it came across the way. Like he was always just out of reach.

With a yawn, Sangwoo decided to take a nap. He laid down on the couch, too tired to get up and go to bed. He was so fucking sick of being tired all the time. Like there was just something constantly draining his battery.

Maybe he needed to go hunting. That might re-energize him. It always had before, but then, he'd never been tired quite like this before. It'd be worth a shot if he had it in him to go out but he didn't. The idea of a crowded club was literally hell right now.

Sangwoo's thoughts drifted to Bum. He thought about that day in the woods when Bum had raced after him, trying to help even after he had driven a knife in Sangwoo's neck. Sangwoo fell into a dream where the roles were reversed and he was chasing Bum- except Bum was delighting in the chase, throwing looks over his shoulder and giggling as he slipped between the trees. At some point during the chase, Sangwoo looked down to the white shirt he was wearing and discovered it was stained with blood. Bum had stabbed him right through the heart.

*

When Sangwoo woke up, it was somehow nighttime. He couldn't remember what time it had been when he went to sleep but knew for sure it had at least been light. The more he was on his own, wallowing, it seemed time moved without its own rules. It really had become an odd concept, the more Sangwoo thought about it. He took a minute to even remember the day- Friday. Even then he couldn't be sure. What if he'd slept so long it was Saturday? Sunday, even.

He checked his phone in a moment of confusion. Nope, still Friday. Although it was about to be Saturday morning.

Sangwoo remained lying down on the couch for a few minutes more. The TV was still on but he paid it no mind.

Had he dreamt anything? He couldn't remember, but he always had trouble remembering his dreams. He felt like at least one had been about Bum.

Fucking Bum. How had he managed to consume Sangwoo's every thought like this? How did he have that power?

Sangwoo knew without a doubt if he had managed to kill him, he would still think about him all the time. Rather than making things better, it only would have made it worse.

That's why we were both meant to die.

But thinking about it now, he didn't want that. Not anymore.

Bum was right to laugh at his plan. It had been weak. It was true the world looked down its nose at people like them, that it didn't want to offer them a place. But that didn't matter. They wielded a unique power. They would take their place. And there was nothing anyone could do about it.

When Sangwoo finally managed to stand, he knew where he was going without even really thinking about it. Out the front door and down the porch steps, like he was possessed.

And in a way he was. He had been possessed for months now.

It felt a bit like his brain had a layer of fog around it lately, and while he often noticed things, he didn't think anything of them, even if he should have. And so while he walked through the door to Bum's house, he didn't think much of the fact that the door was left wide open.

When Sangwoo had first looked for him here, he'd found a room with a PC in it. Turning it on had been a fruitless endeavour; of course it required a password. It didn't seem presumptuous to enter variations of his name or birth date but none of it worked. And so he'd unplugged everything and carried it over to his house, where it sat gathering dust the last few months.

That hadn't been his only visit. With what was essentially a shrine to Bum so close to him, Sangwoo sporadically swung by. He'd laughed at himself during the second visit, when he had ended up on Bum's bed with one of his shirts pressed over his face, jerking off. When exactly had he turned into a freak like Bum, obsessing over someone out of his reach?

But this was different. He knew Bum. It wasn't like he was getting off thinking about someone he had never even met.

The power had been shut off but beyond that, nothing changed. Bum's house just sat there, untouched, aside from Sangwoo's visits. Although he tried to keep it exactly as it was. Minus the computer, he had taken that shirt from his second visit. The smell of Bum was fading on it and he considered taking another item of clothing now that he was here.

He paused in the bedroom door, regarding the bed for a moment before going and sitting on it. He fingered the hole in the mattress where he'd put the knife, right near Bum's head. He thought about how Bum had moaned, how he allowed Sangwoo to roll him over and penetrate him, without question.

Sangwoo's hand slipped beneath the waistband. He roughly touched himself, not bothering to wet his hand. He wanted it to hurt. In that moment, thinking of everything that had gone wrong, he deserved it.

He was close to coming when he heard footsteps downstairs.

Naturally, his first thought was that Bum had come back. It was late- likely past twelve now. He had only just left a flower, but maybe he was still hanging around the area. Maybe he had yet to return to wherever it was he stayed now.

Sangwoo adjusted his pants and crept to the door, not wanting to scare Bum away. He could hear his own heart pounding in excitement. Most of the anger had dissipated; he was just eager to see Bum. He planned to push him onto his old mattress and show him just how much he'd missed him. Fuck, he would gladly show him that.

Sangwoo considered waiting where he was when the footsteps started to climb the stairs. In the end, he couldn't hold out any longer, and it seemed only fitting they meet half way.

So few times his heart had beat so fast he could feel it. Even on hunts, he was a picture of calm, despite how enjoyable it was. He couldn't remember ever being so excited in his life.

He had to say the right thing. To let Bum know he had been wrong. It would be difficult, but he would say the word... Sorry. The only other person he'd ever said that to was his mother, and he had really meant it. It seemed unfair for her to live out her life behind bars because of him, but she had touched his cheek and told him not to apologize.

Would Bum do the same? Or would he agree Sangwoo was the one to blame? It didn't matter as long as he accepted the apology.

Sangwoo's smile faded when he reached the stairs. The man who appeared in front of him wasn't Bum. For starters, he looked like he was about forty years old, grey at his temples, disgustingly fat. He was also clearly startled.

“Who the fuck are you?” Sangwoo blurt out.

The guy recovered in his shock and squared up. “What's it to you? I'm just looking for a place to sleep.”

Sangwoo looked him up and down. He certainly looked homeless, based off his grubby attire. Not to mention he smelt like piss.

“No way.”

“What?” The man made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a scoff. “This isn't your house. No one lives here.”

No one lives here. The words produced a similar feeling to a knife in the neck.

“What would you know about it?” Sangwoo demanded. He could hear the venom in his voice. Any sane man would run far, far away but not this idiot.

To his credit, the guy was almost as tall as Sangwoo. He was big but it it was more fat than muscle. He could probably try to crush Sangwoo with his mass. Sangwoo wondered how hard it would be to snap his fat neck.

In that moment he was so angry, he thought about pushing him down the stairs. But that was too easy. He wanted him to hurt.

The guy laughed, oblivious to Sangwoo's increasingly murderous thoughts.

“This place is perfect.” Only when he smiled open-mouthed did Sangwoo notice he was missing teeth. Those that remained were stained brown. Disgusting.

“Why would I leave? You know when I first came by here, there was still food in the fridge? Couldn't believe it. I kept expecting someone to come in but it's deserted. Power's off now so I can't use the fridge but it's still pretty great.”

Sangwoo's hands curled into fists at his sides, itching to do violence.

This man was touching Bum's things with his disgusting hands. Little by little, he was stinking this place up with his foul stench- something Sangwoo was now very aware of.

“You smell like piss.”

The guy raised his eyebrows. Then he laughed damn near jollily.

“That's the least of my problems.” He turned to look around the house, grinning. “But hey, seems like things are looking up.”

“Get out,” Sangwoo grit out, just barely hanging on to control.

The guy snorted, deeply amused. “Are you kidding? Why would I do that when I've found a slice of paradise?” He gestured down the hall, to Bum's room. “Shame the owner was so small. I could use a new shirt.” He looked down at his own disgusting clothes, pinching the fabric.

Sangwoo breathed in and out shallowly, like an angry bull ready to charge. The thought of this disgusting, homeless creep touching Bum's clothes with his piss-covered hands...

Even in rage filled moments, Sangwoo was usually present. But it was like he lost a minute or two to total blackness and suddenly came to with his hands around the hobo's neck. Sangwoo had him pressed against the wall a good few inches off the ground, an impressive feat considering what a lard ass he was.

The sorry fuck wasn't laughing now.

Sangwoo relished in squeezing tightly. He thought of Bum sitting on the stairs watching, encouraging him to finish the guy off.

And it wasn't just a fantasy. Killing this freak was what Bum would have wanted.

Maybe it was because he hadn't been able to come before, or maybe it was from thinking of Bum. It could very well be that he hadn't killed anyone in months, either way, Sangwoo was suddenly achingly hard.

The guy looked down, eyes widening all the more seeing this was exciting his attacker. Sangwoo wasn't embarrassed but it pissed him off thinking the guy thought he was interested in fucking him when that was pretty much the last thing he wanted to do.

He squeezed harder. It was too dark to tell but he imagined the guy must have been bright red by now, maybe even purple. Who knew how long he had been strangling him before he came to?

“This isn't your fucking house,” Sangwoo hissed.

The guy made a different sort of choking sound like he was trying to agree. It was pathetic.

Sangwoo tossed him onto the floor. A few inches more and he would have fallen down the stairs.

Doubled over, the guy coughed and spluttered. Sangwoo stood over him scowling, contemplating his next move. He didn't care that this whole thing might have incriminated him. He very much doubted some filthy hobo would go to the police, especially considering he had broken into someone's house to start with. But regardless of that, Sangwoo knew he couldn't let him get away. He had insulted Sangwoo and it wouldn't stand.

Or maybe, he just really needed to kill someone.

“Okay, I'll go,” the human shit stain said when he found his voice but it didn't matter. It was too fucking late.

Sangwoo kicked him in the ribs. The pained sound that came out of him almost made him come immediately. Fuck, it felt good to do this. Not only because he had wronged Bum- and Sangwoo, by extension- but because this was who he was. He needed to inflict pain. He needed to kill.

The guy begged and pleaded and Sangwoo allowed a moan to escape him before landing a few more kicks. When he kicked him in the face, the noises that came out of the guy were high-pitched and desperate. Sangwoo wondered if he'd realized he was going to die.

Remembering Bum had neighbors on either side, he decided to ease off a bit. While the guy whined like a fucking baby, Sangwoo looked around for something he might use.

On a table pressed against the wall was some antique clock with frogs on either side of the face. Did Bum like frogs? The thought struck him as somehow endearing and he smiled, walking towards it. Hopefully Bum wouldn't mind.

“P-P-Please...” the hobo pleaded, weakly grasping Sangwoo's ankle.

Sangwoo frowned at him. Why the hell was he reaching out for Sangwoo? Didn't he understand he was the one who had done this to him? What, did he think he was going to have mercy?

People were so pathetic, acting like pieces of shit and then expecting sympathy when things turned south.

Sangwoo shook the man off his ankle disgustedly and retrieved the clock. He held it out in front of him, smiling while he studied it. It was perhaps even heavier than it looked. Such a whimsical looking clock for a twisted freak like Bum, but it was interesting to know he had layers.

“Guess what time it is?” Sangwoo asked, strangely relieved to hear the giddiness back in his own voice.

He felt like he had woken up from a long sleep. Like the fog had started to clear.

“W-Wha...”

Sangwoo lifted up the clock, relishing in the hobo's horrified expression before he smashed it over his face. It was heavy enough that his skull completely caved in with just one hit but Sangwoo repeated the action, just for the hell of it. There was already a big splatter of blood but the second bashing made even more of a mess, splattering blood on the wall and on the stairs.

Sangwoo's body spasmed and he came. He sat there on his knees, panting. The clock was still in one piece but it had blood all over it. Sangwoo wiped a section clean with his sleeve but it didn't do much. He would need to wash it properly. He would need to wash this whole area.

But it was worth it.

It was probably going to take awhile cleaning up but Sangwoo sat on the floor, relishing in the endorphins that flooded his brain after the kill. He looked to the stairs, hoping to see a clear vision of Bum sitting there smiling. There was just emptiness instead.

With a sigh, he got to his feet. The only thing that would have made that whole thing better was Bum here to enjoy it with him.

They would kill together again. And Sangwoo wouldn't allow whatever stupid insecurities he had ruin it this time.

Rather than risk being seen outside, covered in blood, he decided to use Bum's cleaning supplies. From all his times over here, he knew where they were. He wasn't quite as well stocked as Sangwoo, but then, he supposed Bum wasn't going off committing murders like he was.

Why was that, exactly? He clearly wanted to. Although given his small stature, Sangwoo supposed he needed help. He was a sneaky little thing though. He could probably find a way. Had he known prior to knowing Sangwoo that was what he wanted?

Sangwoo had so many questions. He felt like he'd wasted a lot of time not asking them. And why? Because he didn't want Bum to think he was interested? The idea seemed idiotic now. To know Bum was all he wanted.

After carrying bleach to the scene of the crime, Sangwoo allowed his fingers to absent-mindedly graze over the wound on his neck. The skin was had become slightly tougher there than the rest. He didn't mind it. He valued his appearance and previously would have detested having any scars. Not only because they were physical imperfections but because that meant someone had gotten close enough to inflict real damage. But considering Bum had been the one to do it... that was just fine.

Bum was special. He was like Sangwoo- maybe even better, because he had bested him.

Sangwoo sighed as he got to work scrubbing the floor. He hoped the smell wouldn't eradicate any more of Bum from what had once been his home.

*

Walking into the supermarket, Sangwoo felt more alert than he had in months. He could hardly remember his previous shopping trips, only that he had acted more on autopilot than anything while the world passed by in a blur. He still hadn't shaved but he was beginning to like the beard. He would only get rid of it if Bum didn't like it.

He was halfway through filling his cart when he saw a ghost. Not the one he would have preferred to see, but another face from the past. But who was it, exactly?

Sangwoo firmly believed it was a woman he had killed until he placed her. Bum's friend.

Despite the fact it was full of food, he left his cart in the middle of the aisle and walked over to her, drawn like a magnet. She looked up, no doubt sensing the force of his gaze. She went from concerned to confused and he imagined she was trying to place him, like he had with her. The beard probably didn't help.

Sangwoo had to force a smile. He could sense the desperation rolling off him in waves. He knew he couldn't come on too strong. Women were timid creatures. If she took off, there was no guarantee he would see her again.

“Heeyoung, wasn't it? Hi.”

“Sangwoo? Hello.”

Sangwoo's smile was genuine then. She remembered his name. Good, that was good.

“I'm amazed I've never run into you here before,” Sangwoo said, scratching the back of his neck. “Since this is where we both do our shopping.”

She laughed and it was difficult to say if it was from nerves or politeness. Well whatever, she could be nervous just so long as she didn't leave.

“Yes, you're right, that is a surprise.”

Sangwoo smiled tight-lipped, trying to think of what to say next. He was a little out of practice when it came to small talk but he had started regularly going to work again. The rambly idiots he was forced to be around with helped him to remember how to be normal, at least.

But there was no way he could resist cutting to the chase. Not when a way to Bum was suddenly so tangible.

“Hey, so here's the thing. You know our friend in common, Yoon Bum?”

“...Yes?”

Sangwoo narrowed his eyes. She knew something. And from her wariness, she wasn't meant to tell him.

“Well, I haven't been able to track him down. I'm sure you know he moved but I guess he forgot to give me his new address.”

Heeyoung looked around them like she might need to call for help. Sangwoo instinctively moved in closer, close enough to feel the heat radiating from her body.

“I um... don't think I'm meant to tell you that.”

Sangwoo's eyebrows shot up. Either she was terrible at keeping secrets or she was scared shitless of Sangwoo. Either way, it benefited him.

His heart pounded at the prospect of being in close proximity to someone who knew where Bum was. He was so excited, he couldn't take it.

Months. It had been months. He was more than ready to see Bum again.

He leaned in closer, levelling their faces as much as he could. Considering how much taller he was than her, it was hard, but he was glad to have height on her in order to be intimidating.

She nervously licked her lips, looking off to the side for as long as she could before Sangwoo's gaze drew her back in.

“Give me his address,” Sangwoo said lowly, all pretences of niceties thrown to the wind.

“I-”

“Give it to me.”

Sangwoo's hand slipped around her wrist. He didn't even relish in the pained sound she made. He just wanted information. A phone number, an address- anything.

The bones in her wrist felt as fragile as a bird. Sangwoo thought about snapping them. Maybe if they weren't in such a public place...

“I can't,” she said softly, and Sangwoo felt his expression twist in rage.

Before he could spit venom back at her, an elderly man addressed them.

“Excuse me, but is everything all right?”

Sangwoo turned his head, all smiles.

“Yes, thank you. My wife suffers from panic attacks, I was just comforting her.”

“Oh, how dreadful.”

“Yes,” Sangwoo said, loosening his grasp on Heeyoung's wrist but not letting go.

The old man looked between them, no doubt weighing the truth of Sangwoo's words. Sangwoo smiled at Heeyoung but not with his eyes.

Catching on, Heeyoung smiled at the old man. “I'm feeling better. I just needed to remember to breathe.”

The old man chuckled good-naturedly. “Yes, we all need to remember that sometimes.” He dipped his head in a slight bow then walked off.

Sangwoo scoffed. What kind of idiot forgot to breathe?

“Ah!” Heeyoung cried out when he tightened his hold on her.

A plethora of violent images flashed through his mind and he considered voicing them. But god only knew how she would react if he did that. If she managed to get away from him, he would lose his only hope of seeing Bum again.

He was going about this the wrong way. She was a woman. Soft.

He released his hold on her and let out a pained sigh, dropping his eyes to the floor.

“I just miss him so much,” he said in the most pitiful voice possible.

With some reluctance, Heeyoung put a comforting hand on his back.

“What did Bum say to you?” Sangwoo asked, slumping his shoulders not only to look pathetic, but smaller. Less threatening.

Which was an odd thing for him to do. Not only that, it went against his very nature. But he was prepared to do anything in order to get Bum back.

“Only that you had a fight,” Heeyoung explained. The sympathy in her voice was more than a little promising. She was on the verge of breaking; he could feel it in his bones.

Sangwoo knew it was a risk- he didn't know what she'd been told about them and beyond that, what her feelings about homosexuality were. But he had to take a chance.

“He means so much to me. I feel like... like I've lost part of myself.”

Heeyoung's face crumbled. At first Sangwoo thought it was disgust, then he realized it was sympathy.

It's going to work. She's going to tell you.

Heeyoung sighed deeply, lazily patting his back.

“It's just that he made me promise I wouldn't say, if I saw you.”

“Do you know he's been leaving me flowers?”

She gave him a quizzical look.

“I don't know anything about that.”

For a minute, he considered it wasn't Bum who had been leaving the lilies. Except, Heeyoung had no reason to know that. It changed nothing at all.

“My thinking is he must want me to know he's thinking of me if he's leaving flowers.”

Heeyoung nodded idly, appearing deep in thought.

Almost there...

“What kind of flower?”

He didn't expect her to ask that. On the off chance she knew anything about flowers, she might think white lilies were an odd choice.

“Roses.”

She sighed. “How romantic.”

Cliche, more like.

“Yeah. So you see? He misses me. And I miss him.”

Sangwoo realized he wasn't acting at all. He meant every word.

Heeyoung sighed once more, hanging her head.

“I just don't think I can betray his trust...”

Stupid bitch.

“How about this,” Sangwoo said.

Heeyoung looked up, oddly hopeful. Was she hoping for a loophole so she could tell him without technically betraying her friend? She clearly wanted to help him, caught up in the romance of it all, like a typical dumb girl.

It made him wonder just what Bum had said about him... about the two of them.

“You don't have to give me an address. Just tell me what area he's in and if we happen to cross paths, I'll act like it was coincidence.”

He didn't expect it to work because it was kind of stupid. But surprisingly, Heeyoung agreed.

“He's in Jonglyo.”

Sangwoo walked off without so much as thanking her. He left his cart full of food behind because that didn't matter.

It was impossible to care about anything else now he had something to work with. He was one-tracked minded when it came to Bum. He had accepted this was how things were. So knowing where Bum was, he had to go to him, immediately.

For months Sangwoo had suffered but all that was about to end.

Chapter Text

Sangwoo was wrong: there was an afterlife. If there wasn't, nothing made sense. Because Bum should be dead.

Only, the more Bum came to, the more he realized the afterlife looked an awful lot like a hospital room.

And yet, it also didn't. For one thing, it was incredibly tiny- more like a supply closet than an actual room. But there was all the right equipment, including a drip going into Bum's arm.

The floors and wall were white or gray- it was hard to say based on how dimly lit it was. In hindsight, it would be a cliché for any sort of heaven to be white. And why would heaven look like a hospital? Unless it was some sort of stopover before Bum properly passed over?

Thinking about it was starting to hurt his head. Or maybe that was something else.

The thought of poison nagged at him, for no reason he could understand. He was reaching to pull out the drip when a gruff voice stopped him.

“You'll need that.”

The room was empty. Bum thought the wall opposite the bed was one big window, looking out into the darkened night. Only slowly did he notice the it was actually a glass wall looking into another room. A room that while darkened, was very dimly lit. Bum stared for a long time until he realized he was seeing the outline of a person. A rather large, imposing man.

Bum's mind felt very heavy. “Why am I here?”

“I found you in the woods. Lucky for you, I was hiking.”

Bum squinted. “Hiking?”

He had no reason to be confused for this stranger hiking. It was his own presence in the woods he found confusing. What had he been doing there?

It all came back at once, bringing with it every painful emotion Bum had experienced. Panic, rage.

He had disappointed Sangwoo in a way he could never come back from. Rejected him, which didn't seem even remotely possible.

What have I done?

The man breathed in and out audibly through his nose, like it was blocked. Despite the peculiar situation, Bum didn't feel grounded in the present. He wanted to consider what had happened with Sangwoo, to view it from different angles. But he had to keep at least one foot here, with this stranger in the present.

There were definitely things to wonder about here too. For one thing, this clearly wasn't a hospital. The only thing Bum's mind could conjure was that the hospital was overcrowded and they had put him in a supply closet. Except, what was up with the glass? Even if it were some sort of teaching hospital, why would the doctor stand in a darkened room when his patient woke up?

The amber of a cigarette lit up but not enough to reveal any of the stranger's features.

Bum sighed mournfully, considering a random memory of Sangwoo smoking on his porch. From what Bum had seen, Sangwoo didn't sense him watching. He had reached an arm behind him to scratch between his shoulder blades and ridden up his shirt in the process, revealing a slither of tanned skin on his stomach. It was the first Bum had ever seen of under his shirt. Of Sangwoo's body...

He had gone inside and frantically touched himself, come pretty much seconds later then kept at it until he'd come again. Later that night, he met with the first of many men online and lost his virginity. It had been terrible but Bum had learnt a lot. Luckily, the guy seemed to get a kick out of all the questions Bum asked him. “Does it feel good if I massage this?” “What's the best way to give a blowjob?”

“Aren't you going to ask where you are?”

Bum looked up, frowning. He supposed he probably should have paid more attention to what was happening.

“Where am I?”

The man made a disgruntled sound, like he was displeased Bum was taking his advice.

“My home.”

Bum wasn't sure what to say. He hated that despite the fact he seemed to be in trouble, he just wanted to see Sangwoo. But Sangwoo was... just where was Sangwoo?

Panic surged through Bum like a jolt of electricity.

“Was someone else with me?”

Bum's eyes had adjusted to the dim room enough to see the man cock his head.

“No. You were alone.”

“Are you sure?” Desperation seeped into Bum's voice.

He was afraid. What if Sangwoo was still out there? What if he hadn't made it?

“My... friend,” Bum swallowed. “He's in trouble. I think he might be-”

“You don't understand the trouble you're in,” the man hissed the words.

Bum's hands curled into the bed sheets. Only then did he notice his arms were bound to the bed.

Before he could say anything else, the man started walking and it distracted him. His footsteps sounded oddly calculated.

A door Bum couldn't see opened and closed. A moment later, the door to the tiny room he was in was opened, and through it stepped the man. The fringes of the room was covered in shadow. Bum's breath hitched when the man stepped into the light.

Naturally, Bum immediately compared him to Sangwoo, and honestly, he wasn't sure who was taller. This man was similarly built like a fridge. He was also bald. He only looked to be mid-thirties, forty at most and from his completely shiny head, Bum figured he must have shaved it. There was a distinct nothingness in his eyes that was entirely off-putting. But Bum still didn't feel like he was feeling the scope of emotions he should in this situation.

Sangwoo aside, he still doubted he would. Appropriate emotions... had always been a problem for him.

He could at least understand he was supposed to be scared. From the way the man smiled, he wondered if this might be where it ended for him.

The worst part of it would be not getting to see Sangwoo again. He had meant what he said: he didn't want to die on the chance he wouldn't see him again. Maybe he'd also been selfish, simply wanting to survive. But he wanted them to survive together.

He hadn't expected a murder-suicide from Sangwoo. It didn't seem his style.

But he's willing to change for you.

Was that such a good thing if it meant he was trying to kill Bum? Maybe, since he had been willing to go with him. Why was that, exactly? What had led Sangwoo to believe both of them had to die? Even buying into the fact he was wanted by the police... what did Bum have to do with it? Was it a case of if I die, you die? Sangwoo escaping consequences by death just seemed weak. That wasn't who Sangwoo was at all.

Maybe Bum had changed the wrong part of him. The thought made him feel ashamed, to have destroyed something so perfect.

The man cleared his throat in mild irritation. Bum looked up, doing his best to pay attention.

“My name is Doctor Park. You may call me Jaegyu.”

Bum just stared. What was this? Why was he here?

“You said this is your home?”

The look on Jaegyu's face suggested he was glad Bum was finally showing the right kind of interest.

“That's right.”

“I feel fine... Can I go home now?”

Bum expected he might break into hysterical laughter and say he could never leave. But Jaegyu just stared at him, devoid of any humor.

“No.”

“So what am I doing here?”

Jaegyu cocked his head to the side just slightly, studying Bum closely.

“You don't seem very concerned. Aren't you worried about what has happened to you? You do understand this isn't a safe place for you, yes?”

Bum chuckled softly. “Sure. But what do you want me to do about it? Scream?” He abruptly started screaming, loud and high-pitched. It satisfied him when Jaegyu flinched. He didn't tell him to stop though, waiting a few seconds later until Bum stopped just as abruptly. He offered Jaegyu a smile, whose blank expression gave way to slight confusion.

“You're a very strange boy.”

Boy. It was an interesting choice of wording. Bum supposed he was younger than him but he had to wonder if there was anything more to it. A lot of the men he'd gone to bed with had called him things like that. Baby boy.

“So what happens next?” Bum asked.

It wasn't like he felt nothing. A growing sense of unease crept up his spine as he wondered what this guy's intentions were for him.

When his eyes trailed over Bum's body... he was pretty sure he knew. It might be a good bargaining chip; he had gotten used to older men using him, and if it meant he got to go home afterwards he didn't mind so much.

Except there was no going home. Not when Sangwoo hated him. Not when he most likely wanted him dead.

Bum sighed. Jaegyu's eyes snapped back up to his face. Bum almost felt the need to reassure him. That he wasn't upset if he had to fuck him, not if it meant he got to live.

When had living even mattered this much? Ironic to think he'd fought Sangwoo for his life when Sangwoo was his entire life. It wasn't like he'd been suicidal or anything before. He had just never had much going on. Work a boring, at times demanding job, come home, maybe watch a little TV and go to bed. Rinse, repeat, go completely insane.

And then there was Sangwoo, looking so very perfect as he washed his car in the driveway. Sangwoo wearing a tanktop, showing off his muscular arms as he jogged around the block. Sangwoo charming people at the cafe and dropping the smile the moment he turned away. Sangwoo coming home at all hours of the night with different women on his arm. Sangwoo butchering the same women without mercy.

Bum wanted to cry. If the only way for Sangwoo to truly accept him was death, he should have accepted. Instead, he had driven a knife through Sangwoo's neck. He had killed him, for all he knew.

Jaegyu yanked back the blankets off Bum's legs. It was rough enough for him to snap back to attention, looking at the man questioningly.

Jaegyu didn't look at him. He stared downward, a strange expression on his face.

“You have lovely legs.”

It was a weird comment but maybe what was weirder was that Bum had heard the compliment before. Pretty thin legs... oh yes, wrap them around me, baby boy. Bum cringed at the thought. He didn't think he even minded the baby boy part- it was just that it had been some old geezer he didn't care about plowing him who had said it.

He tried to imagine himself in a scene where Sangwoo was in the man's place, giving it to him sweetly and calling him that- baby boy, along with a plethora of other things. Sweet, and dirty things. But the way Jaegyu was looking at his body was too hard to ignore now.

“You wanna fuck me?”

Now it was Jaegyu's turn to look surprised.

“What?”

Bum shrugged. “Isn't that what this is about?”

Jaegyu opened his mouth then closed it. He pursed his lips together.

“No.”

“So you don't want to fuck me?” Bum was a little hurt. He didn't want to do it but the way Jaegyu said it like it wasn't something he'd even been considering... Why was he lying? Clearly he'd at least considered it.

“Why am I here then? What do you want with me, you stupid old man? Don't you understand I'm meant to be somewhere else? That I'm-”

Jaegyu slapped a hand over Bum's mouth, muffling the remainder of his sentence. It was probably for the best; Bum had no idea what he was saying. He was pretty sure he was just going crazy with worry for Sangwoo.

While keeping one hand securely over Bum's mouth, Jaegyu used the other to grope Bum's ankle. It was weird but he could only stare as the hand moved up Bum's shin, rubbing and squeezing along the way. He must have been confident Bum would be quiet because he removed the hand from Bum's mouth in in order to be able to feel up both Bum's legs. And while he'd certainly been touched there before... never had anyone paid so much attention solely on his legs.

The only thing keeping Bum quiet was confusion. What the hell was this guy doing?

Clearly he has some kind of leg fetish.

Bum knew of foot fetishes. But this guy seemed more into his legs as a whole. For what seemed like half an hour at least, he just felt up and down Bum's legs with something close to reverence.

It was already weird, but at some point he went to the end of the bed, lifted up Bum's foot and started nuzzling it with his face.

So I guess he does have a foot fetish...

The longer it went on, the more Bum grew accustomed to it. It was still weird but he was just waiting for it to be over.

He gasped when Jaegyu grasped both his ankles, pressing them down onto the bed. His eyes bored into Bum's, any softness that had seeped in evaporating.

“You're going to be part of my masterpiece.”

Bum blinked. Now was probably the time to ask more questions.

“Umm, you said this was your home, right? Why do you...” he looked around them. “Have a hospital room in your house?”

Jaegyu surprised him in smiling rather savagely.

“So I can carry out my important work.”

“You can't carry out your work at a regular hospital?”

“My work isn't... so regular.”

Honestly, his smile was maybe even more eerie than his dead-eyed stare and Bum wished he would stop it.

“When you say I'm going to be part of your masterpiece...”

Bum's heart was beating a little faster now. This guy clearly had issues and with his size, it would be hard to get away.

You got away from Sangwoo.

Bum grimaced. While it was a good point, considering Jaegyu and Sangwoo were built similarly, he didn't want to think of beating Sangwoo. It just wasn't right. He was ashamed for what he had done. Sangwoo had probably laid there dying, doubting Bum could ever be capable of love.

Once, Bum had doubted it too. He hadn't loved his parents- how could he? He'd had infatuations before Sangwoo but always brief and nowhere near as fulfilling. Sangwoo was his big change- his everything.

And now, he could never know him again.

Jaegyu touched his cheek, though his expression was devoid of emotion, eyes damn near reptilian.

“Does that scare you?”

Bum sighed. “I don't know what it means. What masterpiece?”

“You'll find out.”

While he stroked Bum's cheek, Bum's eyes skittered around the room.

He didn't expect the door to open, plunging them temporarily into more light. He almost certainly hadn't expected to see a teenage boy look in.

“Go back to your room!” Jaegyu thundered, throwing a look back.

The sudden loudness of it made Bum flinch a little but Jaegyu appeared unmoved.

“Have you found the right one?”

“That's for me to decide- now, out!”

The boy scoffed and left, slamming the door behind him.

“Was that your son?” Bum asked innocently enough.

Jaegyu looked at him, slowly narrowing my eyes.

“My lover.”

“Oh. I thought he was-” Bum wasn't sure it was safe to finish his sentence. A little awkward, he muttered, “Younger.”

“He is. But he's of age, if that's what you mean.”

“All right,” Bum said, completely over this whole thing. He just wanted to leave.

“These,” Jaegyu said, suddenly and roughly squeezing one of Bum's calves. “Will be his.”

“Wait... what?”

What the hell was he talking about?

“Didn't you look at his legs?” Jaegyu asked, making a face. “They're disgusting. But soon... soon, he'll be perfect.”

“And he'll be perfect when he has my legs?”

Jaegyu offered him another smile, this one even more off-putting than the last. His eyes were alight with something much more troubling than mirth.

“Yes. The legs are important. They say a lot about a person- I don't think enough people realize that. How about you? Have you given much thought to your legs?”

I've thought about using them to walk the fuck out of here.

“I guess so.”

“You guess?” He cocked his head to the side, a sort of patronizing smile slipping into place. “That doesn't sound like you appreciate what you have much.”

Bum shook his head. This weirdo was starting to piss him off.

“They're just legs. I bet you don't appreciate yours.”

He wondered if Jaegyu was moving to backhand him or something as equally unpleasant when he pulled away. Instead, he sat on the edge of the bed and reached down for one of his legs, surprising Bum in pulling it off all together. From what Bum could see, the prosthetic leg went up to just under his knee. Jaegyu looked at him pointedly then popped the other one off.

“...Oh.”

It was surprising but Bum still wasn't sure what it meant.

That he had some leg trauma that fucked him up in a very weird way?

“So you see? I understand better than anyone.”

Bum swallowed, not really sure what to say. He understood it would suck not having legs but didn't feel bad for the guy. He was keeping him here, trying to freak him out and telling him he wanted his legs for his lover. Bum could only empathize so much and the guy hadn't given him much.

“How did it happen?” Jaegyu asked, even though Bum had no plans to inquire. Not out of any sort of politeness, but because he genuinely didn't care.

“Diabetes. Isn't it fascinating? At my heaviest, I weighed four hundred and thirty-three kilograms. At first they told me I would only be losing one leg. I ended up losing both of them.”

“Uh...huh.”

“I've given up finding a new pair for myself.”

He said it so casually, Bum felt the heat prickle his neck. He needed to get out of here or this lunatic would cut off his legs. Not only that, but he'd attempt to sew them to someone else.

That Bum cared about a lot less, especially since the other guy seemed to be in on it. It was still fucked up to be the receiving party.

Was the only way out of this proving he hadn't wasted his legs? He hadn't gotten diabetic like this guy yet Jaegyu claimed Bum was the one taking them for granted?

Absurdly, Bum began to think of an old American song- these boots are made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

It was a bizarre moment to have that song cheerfully playing in his head while he thought about some psycho wanting to chop off his legs. If the guy had a sense of humor, he'd play it in the operating room.

Operating room... the thought made Bum feel sick. How many rooms did he have like this? Through the door, it was impossible to see anything but a dimly lit corridor.

Bum noticed his vomit soiled clothes were gone and he was wearing a hospital gown. Anybody could buy that but the equipment? Who but a real life doctor could acquire that?

But this guy was nuts. Assuming he had ever practiced medicine at a real hospital, someone would have noticed he was off, right?

“Cho will be perfect,” Jaegyu went on to say, making more unnerving eye contact with Bum. “All thanks to you.”

“Ah,” Bum let out, startled when Jaegyu started groping his calve again, though he supposed by that time he should have been used to it.

Once, Bum might have thought he was up for a challenge. He was up for the challenge of working through codes to open Sangwoo's door- starting with dates that were relevant to him and eventually discovering it was a random, meaningless sequence of numbers. He was up for the challenge of getting Sangwoo to agree to have sex with him and then to agree to Bum getting to watch one of his murders. But this? He wasn't even sure what to make of this.

“I pumped your stomach,” Jaegyu said, the random statement coming across as jarring. “Everything is fine now. Every part of you is pure.”

Pure, Bum thought, nibbling on his lip. He was a lot of things but pure wasn't one of them. Even before he had gone to bed with anyone, even when he was a child, he had never been pure.

Jaegyu removed himself from the bed. “Rest. Surgery is later.”

Bum struggled against his bindings. “Wait-”

But Jaegyu pulled out of reach and left the room without so much as a look back.

*

Despite the uncertainty of the situation, Bum eventually fell asleep. Left alone in a dark room, unable to move, what more could he do? It didn't help that he was still exhausted in light of everything that had happened.

Bum dreamt of Sangwoo lying in the open grave- the one they had dug together, in the woods. He held out his arms for Bum and when Bum refused, started to cry.

Bum couldn't imagine Sangwoo crying. It disturbed him how real it seemed. Naturally, being intimately familiar with Sangwoo's facial expressions, Bum's brain had managed to conjure something. A vision of Sangwoo in distress that made Bum's heart hurt.

Reality returned when Bum noticed the silhouette of Jaegyu through the glass, staring at him in the dark.

It really was awful luck getting trapped here right after being poisoned and half-buried in a shallow grave. Bum supposed it was also lucky, in at least one way. What were the odds a doctor would be hiking at the time? Or at least, someone with medical experience. He still had no idea if Jaegyu was any sort of real doctor.

The outline of Jaegyu disappeared and as expected, the door opened, light pouring over Bum and hurting his eyes.

“It's almost time for surgery.”

Bum swallowed, unsure what to say. He knew little about Jaegyu, besides the fact that he was apparently rather fond of legs and clearly out of his mind. He also knew he had saved him, but apparently only to take his legs, a concept Bum was still having trouble with.

There really were some weirdos out there.

Bum sat up when Jaegyu approached him, desperate to communicate something, before he lost his chance.

“I didn't really say before but thank you for saving me. You could have just left me out there but you didn't.”

Jaegyu scoffed. “I took an oath to do no harm.”

“...Right.”

“Besides.” Jaegyu's eyes dropped to Bum's legs, which was no great surprise. “I couldn't just leave these out there. How was it you came to be poisoned, young man?”

Bum struggled to formulate a response but then, it was a complicated situation.

Jaegyu seems complicated, Bum realized.

“A man- my lover,” he said, determined to connect with Jaegyu on some level.

Jaegyu paused temporarily as he loosened Bum's bindings. He avoided eye contact, looking from Bum's legs to the open door.

“I have Cho prepped for surgery.”

“Please,” Bum said, dropping all pretenses.

He didn't expect Jaegyu to sigh although it seemed like a stretch to decide that meant he was struggling with what he was about to do. Someone capable of simply conceiving of such a fucked up idea wouldn't be put off so easily. But if he that wasn't what it meant, Bum didn't have a hope in the world.

“I can't find the perfect fit for him,” Jaegyu went on to say, hand casually slipping up Bum's calve, massaging the muscle.

Bum nodded, trying not to look over-eager, although it was reassuring in some way to see he had reached the man.

“I tried to be what my lover wanted but it wasn't enough. He... tried to kill me.” Bum hung his head, hoping to inspire some sympathy. When he looked up, he saw a cold stare. The stroking continued so it was impossible to know how Jaegyu felt.

Sangwoo put on fake smiles, but Bum always knew when they were fake. Sometimes, he was just completely devoid of emotion, at least on the exterior. But any and all genuine expressions he had given to Bum had been filed away in his mind, treasured items he brought out and examined over and over. He loved to see Sangwoo in the peak of pleasure, and to know he was the cause of it. But he liked the genuine smiles Sangwoo had given him just as much. They were rare- mostly during the last few days. Sangwoo had smiled at him in the stream while he cupped his hands and poured water over Bum's head. He smiled at Bum in the car when he had asked him about himself- which, looking back on it, was interesting. Had that been to throw Bum off any danger or had he really been curious?

Jaegyu sighed once more. From the drop of his shoulders, Bum allowed hope to spread within him.

“You're in pain.” Jaegyu said it as a statement though Bum nodded an answer just in case one was needed. He wasn't sure how being in pain would help him. Jaegyu didn't exactly seem to feel sympathy for him- he was just stating facts.

A hand curled around Bum's ankle. “I don't want to transfer your unhappiness to Cho.”

Bum almost laughed, it was so ridiculous. He thought he should win an award for keeping a straight face. He considered verbalizing his agreement but didn't want to push things.

Jaegyu reflected in silence for a moment then stood up straight, shaking his head.

“It's an awful waste.”

Bum frowned. What, letting him keep his legs?

I'll use them to run to Sangwoo. That won't be wasteful.

The idea that Sangwoo might not have made it hurt him deeply but was entirely likely. Still, Bum didn't want to consider it. Sangwoo was a survivor. He had to be okay. He just had to.

“You're sure you saw no one else... out in the woods?” Bum questioned.

Jaegyu stared back at him with those reptilian eyes, so devoid of anything.

“I'm not a liar.”

Bum nodded slowly. “Right. I wasn't saying you were, only that-”

“You're a very odd boy.”

There it was again- boy.

“Why?”

“Your mind is elsewhere when it shouldn't be. Think of yourself instead of this other person in this situation. You're in more trouble than them.”

Bum frowned. Was there a chance Jaegyu had seen Sangwoo, maybe even brought him back here? The thought that he was in another room had Bum's heart beating faster... except, realistically, he couldn't go to him. Not when Sangwoo hated him. And it seemed Sangwoo would hate him as long as he was alive.

The thought brought tears to Bum's eyes. The only way Sangwoo would accept him was if he approached him with a knife- and drove it into his flesh this time. Maybe Bum could slit his wrists. Whatever would make Sangwoo happy.

Jaegyu observed him quietly crying, still unmoved but somewhat intrigued. And that was good. If Bum could keep him interested in some way, he might spare him, at least long enough for Bum to get away. Surely it couldn't be too hard- the guy had two fake legs.

“Cho will have to wait,” Jaegyu said, sighing deeply. Bum thought he might actually feel bad for Bum until he added, “The risk of the sadness seeping into him is too great.”

Bum nodded but he didn't care what Jaegyu had to say. Just as long as he left him alone.

Tears tumbled down his cheeks as he thought of Sangwoo. He lavished in loving him so much but at the same time, it hurt. He'd always been like that, putting all of his focus on one thing. One track minded, his mom had called him.

Jaegyu carried on stroking Bum's leg until Bum stopped crying. He didn't feel embarrassed about it. Why should he? It was normal to cry in situations like this, wasn't it? Not that that was even why he'd shed a tear.

“Where are we?” he asked, glancing around the room. Without windows, he really had no idea.

“Not far from where I found you.”

For some reason, Bum hadn't expected them to be close to the mountain, even on it still. It brought a pang of something- excitement and pain rolled into one, knowing they were so close to where Sangwoo was. Or, where he had been.

It was nagging on him more and more, whether or not Sangwoo had gotten away. Maybe he had found help. Bum had to believe he had for his own sanity but he didn't enjoy the likelihood.

“Are you going to let me go?” Bum asked casually.

Jaegyu gave him a hard look. Predictably, his eyes swept down to Bum's legs a moment after.

“Not just yet.”

Bum dropped back on the bed. He was exhausted thinking about not only trying to escape but find his way out of the woods.

“You're disappointed.”

“Well, yeah! I need to go home!”

Jaegyu stoically shook his head. “You need to stay here.”

“If my legs are too sad, why do you even need me?” Bum demanded, aware of his ridiculous he sounded.

“I may... find another purpose for them.” Considering his hungry expression eyeing Bum's legs, he only hoped he wasn't into cannibalism.

“Okay, well I appreciate them... just so you know.”

Jaegyu made a non-committal sound that suggested he didn't necessarily agree but was willing to leave it there. Bum hated how helpless he felt watching him leave a second time.

“Wait, you can't just leave me in here, I have to get home! I have to-”

The door shut firmly behind him. Since he had left Bum free of restraints, he tried to open it. Predictably, it was locked.

Bum surveyed the room. The bed, a few medical supplies and machinery... nothing useful to him he could see. Not that he could see all that much to start with.

Helpless, Bum slumped back onto the bed. He was out of immediate danger now that surgery was off the table- and Bum, so to speak. But where did that land him? For all he knew Jaegyu had even worse plans brewing for him.

Bum sighed deeply. Despite everything, the uncertainty where Sangwoo was concerned hurt him the most. Even if he could manage to escape this place... he couldn't go back to Sangwoo. Not when he hated him.

Bum realized he still wanted to live, even if he wasn't able to be with Sangwoo. The thought made him want to cry. Shouldn't he want to be with Sangwoo no matter what?

But I don't want to die...

He would work it all out later. He needed to start putting his focus on how the hell he was going to get away from this place.

*

Bum didn't make the mistake of going to sleep again, even though he was exhausted. He couldn't leave himself vulnerable. Who knew if Jaegyu would be true to his word? Someone as deranged as him could easily change his mind. If Bum went to sleep there was every chance he might wake up on the operating table.

Bum shuddered at the thought. Just what did that entail? Considering the supposed doctor seemed to have all the right equipment, would he put Bum under for surgery? Did he even know how to do such a surgery? And what of Bum after that? Did he intend for him to survive the operation? Once he had what he wanted from him, what reason did he have to let Bum go?

Despite the fact Jaegyu claimed surgery would no longer go ahead, who knew what horrible things he planned to do with Bum in its stead? Bum sure as hell wasn't going to stick around and find out.

Since it was impossible not to dwell on Sangwoo a little, even while he tried to form an escape plan, Bum thought about the knife he'd driven into Sangwoo's neck. It looked bad in more ways than one. Not only had he stabbed Sangwoo, he had brought a knife with him up the mountain to begin with. And the truth was, Bum wasn't entirely sure why. Sliding it into the pocket of his- or rather Sangwoo's- ridiculously large sweatpants, he hadn't thought he would be using it on Sangwoo. But he wasn't sure why he had felt the need to take it from the motel kitchenette in the first place. He liked to think he hadn't hidden it from Sangwoo, but at the same time, he had made sure he hadn't seen him grab it. And at no point in the journey up the mountain did he reveal to Sangwoo he had it. So he had, for all intents and purposes, kept it hidden.

It just felt wrong not to have something. Bum liked to think he had it on him it in case some weirdo came and attacked them. And the weirdos were out there, case and point the lunatic's house Bum currently inhabited against his will. But if they were attacked, he had Sangwoo. He hadn't needed the knife.

And yet he had taken it, knowing he would be going to an isolated place alone with Sangwoo.

Was he subconsciously aware Sangwoo planned to do something to him? Maybe. He certainly couldn't rule it out, yet it hurt to think about.

It still hurt more to consider he had betrayed Sangwoo. But Bum still didn't want to die. He wanted to live and he wanted to be in Sangwoo's presence. But it seemed only one of those things could come to be.

Well... maybe. If he could find a way out of here.

It felt wrong to sit around without a weapon, and so Bum looked around the room. He considered attempting to use the IV considering the needle point when he found something better. The feet of the IV machine had sharp metal points. All Bum needed to do was snap off one of them and he had a decent weapon.

Once he did that, there wasn't really anything he could do besides crouch by the door, waiting.

Did Jaegyu have any reason to come back? Maybe to feel up his legs some more, knowing that lunatic.

There was no silhouette in the next room but that was no surprise. If Jaegyu were watching him, he would have stopped Bum from breaking one of his machines, right? Unless he was simply curious to see what Bum would do next.

Bum was used to lying in wait, waiting for his goal. Sometimes in the past, he would sit in his living room by the window, waiting for Sangwoo to appear, often for hours at a time. Not always, just sometimes, when he was feeling desperate. When he hadn't seen Sangwoo's beautiful face for awhile.

Catching just a glimpse of him... it was like drinking from a waterfall after wandering the desert, lost for hours in the punishing heat. And then Bum would have more material to think of while he went to bed with the old creeps like he did. The way Sangwoo looked in a red sweatshirt. A pair of shorts hugging his ass while he jogged around the block, along with the way the legs of his muscles moved as he moved. The way he threw his head back and laughed at something the girl next to him said, a real, genuine laugh, even while he planned to do away with her once they were both inside.

Bum sighed wistfully. In a way, he longed to go back to that time before Sangwoo even knew him. When the possibilities were still wide open. When he could dream of how things might play out and still believe it might happen.

Bum used to tell himself that a lot: anything can happen. And it had. Maybe too much.

It was hard to tell the passage of time in a dimly lit room but Bum thought it had been at least an hour by the time he finally heard footsteps. He straightened up in his crouching position, gripping his makeshift weapon tightly.

The door opened but instead of Jaegyu, Cho stepped inside. He appeared puzzled seeing a supposedly empty room. Before he had a chance to notice him, Bum plunged the metal into his calf muscle.

Cho howled in pain. It struck Bum as kind of ironic he had jabbed Cho in the leg. He was wearing quarter length pants so it had been hard to resist. Bum saw the metal go in deep. There was no blood but there would be if he pulled it out.

Don't pull it out! Leave it in! You're meant to- no, Sangwoo, wait! I love you!”

Bum tried to ignore the memory and focused on running out of the room with all the gusto of a Cheetah. He dashed down a long narrow hallway, plush carpet an odd relief on his bare feet. The overhead lights cast an orange glow and Bum just barely took in the old fashioned wallpaper, along with the deer head mounted on the wall. The only thing he was looking out for was a door.

His life had come to feel like a horror movie, and so Bum fully expected Jaegyu to appear in front of him and grab him, to drag him back into that awful room. It didn't help that Cho was shouting at the top of his lungs that 'he' had escaped.

But if Jaegyu was there, Bum didn't see him. He was pretty sure he had never ran so fast in all his life and was suddenly glad for the rest he'd been granted.

I'm making pretty good use of my legs now, you bastard. Bum smirked.

He found the back door and yanked on it desperately to no avail. It was locked from the inside. A precaution if Bum managed to escape?

“Where has that boy gone?” Jaegyu's voice traveled from down the hallway.

“Shit,” Bum cursed, running off.

The house seemed to be something of a mansion. It reminded Bum of the country house he had spent a lot of time in as a kid.

The thought made him consider the stairs. With Jaegyu coming down the hall, there was nowhere else to hide. He could either go back down the hall he had come or linger by the locked door for no good reason.

Bum raced up the stairs. He really felt like he was in a horror movie now but would Jaegyu really expect him to go up there? With any luck he would waste time searching the rooms downstairs first.

In some way, it was good there were a large number of rooms but on the other, the house was something of a maze. For awhile, upstairs, Bum just ran around, lost. Half the rooms were either locked or led nowhere. By the time he found a bedroom with an unlocked window, he could hear Jaegyu coming, the distinct clunk of his fake legs on the floor unmistakable.

Bum climbed out the window and just barely grabbed hold of the thin pipe that went down the wall. He doubted it would support his weight but he had to try. He had to get out of here; it was starting to feel suffocating, being trapped in this large house full of nothing but ill intent where he was concerned.

Holding fast to the pipe, Bum willed himself not to look down but in the end couldn't help it. He felt his eyes widen seeing the drop. It was higher than he expected, with nothing to freak his fall. Just hard flat earth.

For a moment, he thought of Minchul's face when he fell down the stairs. He was too shocked to look betrayed but Bum was sure he felt that way later. Would he get amusement out of this if he could, knowing Bum was perhaps about to be victim of karma?

He climbed down so slowly, he could still see into the bedroom when Jaegyu burst into it.

“Come back here, that's dangerous!” he gasped, seeing Bum. The genuine concern actually made Bum laugh. Because surely he wasn't serious. He planned to mutilate Bum but this worried him?

Of course it does. He can't take what he wants from you if you break your legs.

“Find yourself another pair of legs, old man,” Bum said, cackling despite the severity of the situation. The rush of being able to successfully escape gave him strength. He was starting to feel better about things. Not everything but enough to gleefully run away.

No doubt all the same regrets would eat away at him later.

The panic on Jaegyu's face was very real. He stood frozen in the middle of the room, watching Bum make his way down the house. In reality, he probably could have hurried outside and caught up with him there. Even on two fake legs, he could possibly make it before Bum reached the bottom. Was it his fear keeping him in place?

Bum let out another laugh, feeling victorious, even though he was still far from the bottom. Before another quip could pass through his lips, he slipped.

Jaegyu gasped loudly. He stumbled over to the window, grasping the pane and looking out.

“You foolish boy!”

Bum hugged the pipe, not eager to slip again though he wanted to get away more than ever and this slow escape really wasn't cutting it. He was even less reassured by the pipe creaking, like it might come away from the house. Clearly it wasn't designed to withstand such weight. If Bum weighed any more, the whole thing would break apart. He was just starting to think of grabbing onto the creeper vine growing alongside the pipe and risk his weight on that when something distracted him.

Bum flinched when something hit him in the back. It felt small- a rock, maybe. From the force it hurt and he just barely stopped from slipping again. He ignored it, carefully climbing until another one hit him, this time on the back of the neck. It throbbed and Bum immediately let go with both hands, letting out a little shriek before he started to fall.

“Cho!” Jaegyu bellowed, furious.

Bum's mind hurriedly pieced it together as he fell. It didn't take a genius- clearly Cho had gone outside and started hurling rocks at him, not caring if Bum was broken to pieces or not by the fall. And it seemed that was what was about to happen.

Karma wasn't going to take Bum today. That damn hospital gown Jaegyu had put on him caught on the vine, close enough to the ground so that Bum only needed to jump a few inches to be safe.

He would have probably felt more smug about that had the more immediate issue of Cho not been at hand.

He could see him now, several yards away. Cho hurled more rocks at him like some mischievous schoolboy, fury written all over his face. Bum ran into the surrounding woodland, vaguely taking in the fact it was night and that he had no idea which way to go and the fact that running barefoot hurt his feet. Instead, he focused on freedom. Running into the unknown barely mattered so long as he was away from that house. From those lunatics.

It felt like they were on a slope. Was this the same mountain?

Assuming Cho had lived there awhile, he likely knew the area well, or at least better than Bum, which was easy since Bum wasn't familiar with this place at all. For awhile, he chased Bum through the woods and Bum felt like he was in a movie again, trying to breathe quietly while he hid behind trees or at one point, dove into some bushes.

Considering Bum had fucked up Cho's leg pretty badly, he still managed to catch up with Bum, and not only that, continually find him even after Bum lost him.

The guy was relentless. When would he give up?

Bum decided to take a page from his book and threw a rock as far as he could. It landed in some bushes and made a noticeable rustling sound. Bum grinned when he heard Cho move in that direction and instead of running, started creeping away, careful to hardly make a sound, imagining himself disappearing into the air. In that way, being barefoot was better. He tip-toed away, delicately stepping over suspect looking twigs and branches on the ground.

Only from a safe distance did he break into a run, at which point Cho didn't catch up with him again.

He was free. Lost in more ways than one but free from that strange prison.

Bum's legs ached by the time he came to a road at what he was now certain was the bottom of the mountain. He considered it wasn't safe to be walking in plain view of passing vehicles- what if Jaegyu and Cho went out looking for him? But ultimately, he had no other choice besides sleeping in the woods. And he was already freezing.

Not surprisingly, no one stopped for him. On any given day people might be wary of allowing some stranger to hitch a ride with them, but on this particular night, Bum undoubtedly looked like some escaped mental patient in his hospital gown. He was sure he would have only looked marginally better in oversized sweatpants covered in dirt and vomit.

He understand well enough; people wanted to keep themselves safe. But god, people sucked. Couldn't just one person take mercy on him? Bum didn't think he could walk any further. In the end, he didn't even walk along the road trying to get a ride. He just sat down alongside it, burying his face in his knees.

Maybe he would have to sleep in the woods. It seemed he was running out of options.

Right when he began to consider turning back and finding a decent tree to take shelter under, a car pulled to a stop.

The driver rolled her window down, concern etched into her features. By Bum's guess she was about thirty, a mother going by the baby seat in the back, though it was currently empty.

“What are you doing walking around here at night? Are you okay?”

Only when Bum stood up did she notice the hospital gown. Despite looking at it for several moments, she didn't drive off in a hurry. So that was something.

“Yeah, I just... need a ride, if that's okay?”

“Well yeah, of course.”

She leaned over to open the passenger side door and Bum sighed, relieved the likes of which he hadn't felt in ages. Well, besides making it down that pipe maybe.

“Thank you.”

It felt good to sit down. Bum sank into the seat, very much aware of his leg muscles twitching from overuse.

He wondered how Cho's leg was doing. If Jaegyu was disgusted by his legs before, he would be truly horrified by them now. Maybe even more desperate for a replacement, which made Bum extremely eager to get the hell out of here.

“Sure.” The driver eyed him curiously, and with some concern. Not only for him but herself; clearly she was wondering what type of person she had stopped for.

She could think Bum was nuts all she wanted, just as long as she got him back to his house.

But then what? He couldn't stay there. Not with Sangwoo just across the road, wanting to kill him.

That was... if Sangwoo was even okay.

Bum swallowed, forcing down the lump in his throat.

“My friend... I'm worried he's hurt.”

“Your friend? What happened to him?”

Bum looked around, trying to get a feel for where they were. They were at the bottom of the mountain but it was right there, within sight. If they drove up to where the road split, Bum was pretty sure he could work out where Sangwoo had driven them.

“Up the mountain. I'm... really scared for him. Do you think we can see if he's still there?”

For a moment, the woman just stared at him, a frown slowly pulling on her face. Bum could see how it looked. But he would never be able to forgive himself if he didn't try and save Sangwoo. Assuming he was still up there and someone hadn't already found him.

Could he really still be alive? The thought of driving up and finding his dead body terrified Bum. But it terrified him even more thinking of just running off somewhere without checking first.

Bum knew how insane it appeared from this stranger's point of view. The desperation on Bum's face must have been a powerful thing because the next thing he knew, she was taking them up the mountain.

Thank you,” Bum breathed, meaning it.

Please he alive, he begged every god he could think of, pushing away the visuals of Sangwoo lying in the leaves, cold and blue.

Chapter Text

“Don't you think that's strange?”

Lee shook his head. “Sure but what does it prove? The guy's obviously lying but a thermos doesn't directly implicate him.”

Seungbae felt like throwing his arms up in defeat. Was Lee being purposefully obtuse?

He adjusted his glasses, barely managing to keep his composure.

“The fact is, Mr. Oh claimed this supposed suspect bought the thermos. And since he didn't, that means Mr. Oh was the owner of the poisoned thermos!”

Lee blinked. “I'm not denying that. But since that only proves the guy poisoned himself... what are we gonna arrest him for, attempting suicide?”

Murder!” Seungbae exclaimed, going ahead and throwing his arms up. “Obviously his story is a lie and he murdered Park Beomsoo and dug that grave himself!”

“So who stabbed him?” Lee asked, appearing close to bored at that point.

Did no one care about justice? It seemed even the most seasoned officers all gave up at some point. Like they looked at Seungbae like he was strange for wanting to get to the bottom of it. Like that wasn't their damned jobs.

Seungbae's anger dissipated and he sighed in defeat, slipping into his seat.

“I don't know. We only got a partial on the prints.”

“Mph,” Lee grunted, clearly finished with this conversation.

“I just think it's-”

“Don't think too much. It'll turn your brain to mush.”

“Well this murder isn't going to solve itself,” Seungbae muttered. He was about to say something else when a woman approached the desk, pushing a stroller.

“Can I help you, ma'am?” Lee asked.

The woman looked uncertain, if not troubled. Not unusual for someone reporting a crime. Seungbae paused, curious what she was might say.

“I'm not sure if it's worth saying anything, but...”

“Go on,” Lee encouraged.

“Well... this happened about... four months ago?” From the look on her face, she was trying to remember if that was the case, perhaps even remembering the event itself.

“My little one was at home with my husband at the time, thankfully. My sister was ill and I went to check up on her. I was driving back when I saw a figure on the side of the road.”

“A figure?” Seungbae asked.

Both the woman and Lee looked at him. The woman took it in her stride having another officer pipe in but Lee frowned slightly. Seungbae knew what he was thinking. Don't you already have enough to worry about?

“What sort of figure?” he went on to ask, adjusting his glasses after they slipped down his nose.

The woman frowned, looking off to the side as she recalled it.

“I couldn't even tell it was a man until he got up. Before that he was curled in a ball, like he was in pain or something. The peculiar thing was, he was wearing a gown.”

“A gown?” Lee frowned. “Like a dress?”

“No, a hospital gown, from what I could tell. He looked exhausted and I felt bad for him so I still offered to give him a ride... but it was definitely strange...”

“Where did you take him?” Seungbae asked.

“Up Hoesaeg mountain,” she went on to explain, and Seungbae felt like something was about to snap into focus.

Hoesaeg mountain? What were the odds? Lee looked at him as if to say don't get excited. But the coincidence was astounding to say the least.

“What business did he have up the mountain?” Lee asked.

“He said... he had a friend in trouble who was up there? I... don't know what happened but when I followed his directions, we found him up there. He was just lying alongside the road. He was in bad shape. I took him to the hospital and the man- the one I picked up first... he sat in the back with him and just cried. Said it was all his fault which... I'm not sure if that means this other man was hurt because of him? I barely even managed to get him in the car, even with the man's help. He was a big guy.”

“Big?” Seungbae asked before she could say anything else. “In what way do you mean?”

“Tall,” she said, gesturing above her head. “Big guy, broad shoulders.”

Unbelievable. She was talking about Oh Sangwoo. There were no two ways about it.

Yet Lee kept giving him that look, willing him not to get carried away.

“Anyway, we got him in the car-”

“Did he happen to give you a name?”

The woman shook her head. “Neither of them did and I can see why. One in a hospital gown, the other... half dead. I'm guessing they were caught up in something, drug related maybe? I don't know. I drove them to the hospital and the workers came out and helped the man into a stretcher. I thought the other man would want to go in and be checked out as well since he didn't look the best.”

“What was wrong with him?” Lee asked.

The woman's baby stirred in the stroller, prompting her to rock it.

“He just looked exhausted. But I suppose if he had ran away from a hospital, he wouldn't want to go back to one.”

Seungbae frowned deeply. Assuming this other man was Yoon Bum, the man Sangwoo had mentioned, why would he be wearing a hospital gown? None of it made any sense.

“Why didn't you report any of this until now?” Lee asked.

The woman hung her head in shame.

“I... thought it was too bizarre to believe.” Very slowly, she met Lee's eyes, and then looked at Seungbae.

“And that... I might get in trouble for it.”

Lee shook his head. “You're not in trouble, ma'am. Although you should have come forward sooner.”

“I know, I'm sorry.”

“Well, you'll know better next time.” Lee gave a short, wry laugh and glanced at Seungbae. “Hopefully there is no next time.”

“Yes,” the woman agreed, visibly relieved now she knew she wasn't in trouble. The baby wasn't settled by the rocking and so she picked it up, resting it on her hip.

While she and Lee talked further, Seungbae reflected on all he knew. The thermos had a distinct label on it. After following his hunch and tracking it to the convenience store, Seungbae showed Sangwoo's photo to the clerk, who agreed he had been the one to buy it- he remembered because Sangwoo hadn't quite had enough cash to cover his purchases but the clerk let him go anyway. After going upstairs to the motel and checking the log in book, Seungbae found no Oh Sangwoo or Yoon Bum signed in, although the owner agreed they looked 'familiar' when he showed him their pictures. No man had been found matching the description Sangwoo had given. No Yoon Bum could be found either, although he had seemingly abandoned his home. Had Sangwoo gotten rid of him too? Exactly who was Park Beomsoo to Sangwoo? From all Seungbae had found, there was no link between them. They lived in completely different areas, didn't work together or share a social group.

Maybe it would be worth speaking to his ex-wife again. She had to know something. Seungbae hoped she knew something.

The moment the woman walked out of the station, Lee pointed at him.

“Don't start.”

“But the man she described is clearly Sangwoo.”

“I know.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, I'm not an idiot but you really need to hold your horses and think before you dive headfirst into this.”

Seungbae knew he was right; he definitely got ahead of himself sometimes. But there was no way Sangwoo wasn't guilty. His best guess was this Yoon Bum character had somehow gotten involved, perhaps taken by force and eventually fighting back with a knife in Sangwoo's neck.

It was amazing Sangwoo had survived but entirely likely Mr. Yoon had been killed after fighting back. Maybe he was chopped up and sitting in a makeshift grave not far from where Beomsoo had been found.

“I think we need to talk to the ex-wife again,” Seungbae said. “See if there's any kind of connection between Mr. Park and Mr. Oh.”

Lee eyed him thoughtfully, hand rubbing absently over his five o'clock shadow while he considered. Seungbae was used to 'no' but any sensible cop would agree to his suggestion at this point, given the evidence.

Slowly, Lee nodded. Seungbae realized he would have gone to see the ex-wife on his own if Lee had disagreed. Although it was certainly better to have the two of them work together.

“You really think there's a link between these guys?” Lee asked, straightening up some papers on his desk.

Seungbae shrugged. “I'm not going to rule anything out until we've explored every possibility.”

*

Jonglyo was the type of place that would make people crazy, namely because there was fuck all to do. There were no clubs, just a single, boring bar that housed stiff businessmen politely sipping cocktails and quietened down at about one every night. Beyond the almost non-existent nightlife, they had very little in the way of stores. A lot of antiques and homemade stuff Sangwoo had no use for. No big brands although everything was still expensive as shit; like Sangwoo was going to dish out some big amount for soap some old witch had made in her own bath.

The beach was nice, at least, although the novelty wore off quickly. A nice backdrop could only go so far in inspiring Sangwoo to stay here, although the real reason was yet to reveal himself to him. That was, if he even knew Sangwoo were here to start with.

Sangwoo was a little more than three hours from home. Bum hadn't traveled far, although the fact that he made this journey so often was impressive. That was some dedication just to deliver a measly flower.

Doubt nagged at him it had been Bum at all. Fuck, it could be some random secret admirer for all he knew. Maybe he'd come here for nothing.

Except, Heeyoung told him this was where Bum had gone. People lied, but she had seemed very sincere, especially after getting caught up in the romance of it.

Sangwoo sighed from where he sat outside a cafe. He had been staying in a shitty hotel for a week and still had no idea where Bum was. The whole drive over, he had been excited to find him. Only when he arrived did he realize how fruitless it was, searching a whole town for one person without a clue where to even start.

It wasn't like Jonglyo was a very big town. The small size of it was what was causing Sangwoo to slowly lose his mind. God help him, he even missed the cafe. At least that gave him something to do.

It wasn't like he didn't have anything to do, only that walking around aimlessly searching for someone grew to be very old, very fast. But he would stay as long as possible. As long as he found Bum.

Occasionally, he looked past how suffocating Jonglyo was and felt excited. He was in the same place as Bum, breathing in the same air, for all he knew, occupying the same spaces. He longed to run into him, so he went into as many of those wretched stores as possible, picking up items and turning them over in his hands, as if he intended to buy them, all the while hoping they would run into each other.

Of course there were plenty of slutty women assaulting him with their eyes everywhere he went. A violent need built up within him the more he noticed them. Sometimes, he thought of taking one home with him before he realized he couldn't.

He didn't necessarily miss his house- too many bad memories there. But fuck, he missed his basement. Missed having some sort of system in place to easily commit murders whenever he felt like it.

Part of him was angry at Bum for making him feel so caged. It was his fault he was here searching so aimlessly for him, after all. One could say Bum didn't anticipate Sangwoo to come here, except, he had lured him with those flowers, hadn't he? Maybe he even hoped Heeyoung would give away his location.

“Are you enjoying your meal, sir?”

Sangwoo glanced up, noticing the waitress' perky tits before he even saw her face.

He wasn't in the mood to play nice.

“It's fine.”

She made a sound like she was pleased, even though from experience Sangwoo knew she just served the meals and likely hadn't had a hand in making it herself.

“I'm glad. Pardon me asking but you're new around here, aren't you?” Sangwoo looked up when she chuckled, her little tits bouncing with the action.

God, he was horny. He had way too much fucking time on his hands chasing a ghost day in, day out. He wondered if he'd always been this horny all the time. He felt like a damn kid again, discovering his own dick for the first time.

He jerked off as a necessity but what he really wanted was to fuck Bum again. But while he was chasing his ghost... he'd have to wait.

He eyed the waitress' chest with newfound appreciation. Would Bum mind?

Part of Sangwoo was inclined to discard Bum's feelings on the matter. Not because he resented him- he didn't. Not anymore. What he did resent was the idea that Bum had been to bed with countless dirty old men before.

Had he been with anyone since they'd parted? Did Sangwoo have any right to get upset if he had?

Sangwoo flashed the waitress a winning smile.

“I'm just passing through. I took some time off work to explore places I've never been to.” He sighed, as if in wonder. “Jonglyo sure is beautiful.”

The waitress snorted as if she disagreed. Sangwoo quirked an eyebrow.

“Sorry,” she apologized, bowing her head slightly. “You're right, it is beautiful. There's just only so much you can do.” She smiled at him. A couple of her front teeth were crooked but it gave her a certain charm. “It's the perfect place to pass through though.”

Sangwoo nodded while he considered it. Bum was probably going stir crazy, in that case. No wonder he was fine with driving to Sangwoo's place so often. It was probably nice to get out of Jonglyo.

And to see you, Sangwoo thought, frowning when he considered. Just why was it he'd never once noticed Bum watch him? He always noticed him before. Staring across the street, peering in at Sangwoo's house as he walked past...

Another customer gestured to the waitress, who smiled apologetically at Sangwoo.

“I've got to go. It was nice talking to you.”

“Yeah.”

Sangwoo let her go, resisting the urge to ask when her shift ended. She was clearly reluctant to leave him, going so far as casting a several looks back at him after she walked away.

She'd be an easy fuck. Sangwoo thought about what she might look like with her shirt off, perky tits bouncing with his every thrust into her petite little body. He could probably fit his hands around her thighs while he held them apart.

A large part of him wanted it. Maybe he'd kill her afterwards, just for the hell of it. The last had been the filthy hobo in Bum's house and Sangwoo could feel himself get lightheaded needing a fresh kill- like he was upside down and all the blood was rushing to his head.

But beyond that, he wanted to see Bum. It seemed Bum took priority over everything. Sangwoo hated to admit at least a small part of him hadn't pursued the waitress because he didn't know how Bum would feel about it. He couldn't afford to hurt his feelings at this point. He wanted them to be on the same side.

Sangwoo threw some cash down on the table and walked off. He felt idle sitting there. He needed to continue his search before he snapped. If he didn't find Bum soon, he didn't know what he would do.

Maybe he would revert back to what he had become when Bum disappeared. It was hard to believe that had been just four months earlier.

Four months and five days, Sangwoo thought, clenching his jaw.

He wouldn't turn into that husk of a person again. Not even for Bum.

His next fear was that he would lose it in a different way, to lose all decorum and start butchering people out in the open. God knew he felt like he needed to inflict violence. If he didn't kill someone soon, he'd be in trouble.

The problem with Jonglyo being small was that someone missing would not go unnoticed. Sangwoo wasn't sure he wanted to risk it. Killing would feel fucking amazing at this point; murdering that homeless loser really had helped restore him. But he couldn't do anything that might fuck up his chances of seeing Bum again.

He walked until his feet hurt and decided to sit for a bit when Jonglyo park came into view. It was close to the city center, with a view of the stores on all four sides. Sangwoo sat on a park bench staring at what seemed like nothing in particular and suddenly become a very big something.

White lilies. A whole lot of them.

Sangwoo walked blindly across the road, prompting a car to screech to a halt and many more to honk their horns at him. Sangwoo wasn't listening. Focused only on the lilies, he walked, dazed to what he discovered was a florist. For a few minutes, he could only stare in wonder at the display outside of the store. It was a quaint shop, squashed between a fruit grocer and bookstore.

Sangwoo's hands were shaking. He felt like when he was in the electronic store where Bum used to work and the coworker handed him a piece of paper with Bum's number on it. Right before Sangwoo's hope was dashed upon discovering the number had been disconnected. Was he about to be let down again?

Sangwoo couldn't remember ever feeling so lightheaded and dizzy. He was excited but weirdly scared. He hated feeling like that.

Pushing forward, he stepped into the store, prompting an overhead bell to ring.

It was anticlimactic seeing an elderly woman with an apron on, arranging something by the counter. Sangwoo felt his hope shrivel up and die.

Then someone stepped out from he assumed was the back office. They had their back to Sangwoo but they were Bum's height with a mop of black hair and the same floral apron the old woman wore.

“Jungsoo, there's something wrong with the computer.”

Was it really Bum? It sounded like Bum. Sangwoo stared at the back of his head, waiting for him to turn around. He couldn't allow himself to believe it until he saw his face.

He had been searching for so long and now, he was finally here. Sangwoo felt like the whole thing was a dream. He'd had so many dreams like this. Never exactly like this, although lilies had featured in many. Bum lying naked in a field, covered in white lilies.

And sometimes, blood.

Sangwoo's heart was in his throat watching the exchange between Bum and the old woman.

“What did you do to it now?”

“Nothing. Like I told you, it's an old, shitty model.”

It was definitely Bum.

“Don't use that language with me, young man.”

“Well it's the truth. You really should update before the hard drive fries itself.”

“Is that a threat?”

Bum laughed, incredulous. “No, you old bag. It's pretty much a promise at this point with that hunk of junk.”

“Well, nevermind that now, we have a customer.”

Sangwoo took a moment to realize she was talking about him. He realized from the dryness of his throat he hadn't swallowed in awhile and desperately tried to force down the lump. He would need to speak in a minute, right? To smooth things over with Bum.

“Fine, don't listen to me,” Bum huffed. “No one ever does.”

Help the customer!” Jungsoo snapped.

Bum still hadn't turned around. Sangwoo's heart thumped in his chest waiting for them to finally be face to face again. What would Bum do? What would he say?

Just breathe, Sangwoo thought, remembering what that old man in the supermarket had said. How weird; apparently it was possible to forget how to breathe.

Bum's voice was sarcastic asking, “What can I help you with today-” then he turned around and froze seeing Sangwoo standing there.

“...Sir.”

Sangwoo couldn't stop staring. Not only because it was Bum and he'd missed him more than would have previously believed possible, but because Bum had never look more appealing to him.

His hair hit his shoulders in loose, from what Sangwoo could tell natural waves. Maybe it was because he was flustered or maybe the heating was overdoing it, whatever the reason, Bum's cheeks were tickled pink like he was wearing blush.

Or like he had just been fucked.

Even the stupid floral apron looked good on him.

Sangwoo's eyes shot to his nametag- Byungho. He wanted to laugh. Byungho? Well that explained why no one had been able to direct him to a Yoon Bum.

Jungsoo glanced at Sangwoo a moment then looked disapprovingly to Bum. “What kind of professionalism is this, huh? Tie that hair back!”

Despite the clear shock on Bum's face, he still managed to look irritated at the request. He reached into the pocket of the dress pants he currently donned then reached back to tie up his hair.

Sangwoo swallowed. This was very dangerous. The way Bum pulled his hair up looked unbelievably sexy, especially the way he left two pieces of hair out to frame his face.

Bum stared at Sangwoo the whole time, intrigued but reminiscent of a deer caught in the headlights. He seemed unsure whether he should run or let himself be hit by the vehicle hurtling towards him.

“Now, take the man's order,” Jungsoo said, irritation and a hint of condescension entering her voice.

Sangwoo pulled his eyes off Bum long enough to consider the old bag. Maybe they could kill her. Bum would like that, right? He clearly didn't want to be here.

So why was he? All because of Sangwoo? Even if Bum had to flee, couldn't he go and do something he actually enjoyed?

For a moment, Bum eyed the floor and Sangwoo considered he would refuse to serve him. Ultimately, he lifted his gaze, focusing squarely on Sangwoo as he stepped over to him with slow, calculated steps.

“What can I interest you in, sir?”

It sounded courteous enough but Sangwoo picked up the sly undertone in the deep, melodic voice he had missed so much. Bum's lips twitched, a small, wry smile threatening to take over. He looked up through his lashes at Sangwoo, who knew without a doubt he was the same twisted bitch he had come to know before.

All of it interested Sangwoo and he thought of saying as much, even with the old witch hanging around like a bad smell.

“Those white lilies,” Sangwoo said.

Bum flinched, a small, easily missable thing. Sangwoo only noticed because he was hyperfocused on his movement, down to his every breath.

Bum's eyes dipped to the floor and for a moment he looked genuinely shy. His hands slipped into the pockets of his apron and Sangwoo thought about what he had often thought of- the knife that must have been from the motel, hidden away in one of Bum's pockets. Had he intended on using that on Sangwoo, anticipating the need to defend himself? Sangwoo doubted he had anything like that in his pocket now. But he wouldn't completely put it past him, knowing what he knew.

He thought of the scar on his neck, half covered in stubble. Had Bum noticed it. And what did he think of his beard?

Bum brought his hands out and clasped them in front of him. He met Sangwoo's gaze with a fairly untelling look.

“What about them?”

“They're nice to look at,” Sangwoo said, eyes slipping over Bum's body to convey the double meaning.

Bum's cheeks grew closer to red than pink. Sangwoo's jeans felt incredibly restrictive and he longed to get them off. He thought of shoving the old lady aside and throwing Bum over the counter, ripping his clothes off with his teeth and plunging inside his body. He needed it before he went completely insane.

At the same time, just being around Bum was like breathing again after being deprived of air for a lengthy period.

“Y-Yes,” Bum quietly agreed, looking down.

He was close enough to reach out and touch but Sangwoo didn't, for now. His hands had itched for violence for some time, now they longed to slide over Bum's body, to feel the warmth of his smooth skin.

He wanted to fuck Bum but he also wanted to touch him. He thought he might like to lie down and just run his hands over Bum's body for a long time, if he'd let him. To memorize every curve and distinctive point. To listen as Bum breathed in and out, next to him- alive. Present.

Sangwoo felt a sudden rush of hate directed at himself. It was unexpected although he quickly decided that he deserved it. How the fuck had he ever wanted to snuff out Bum's existence? A perfect little demon like Bum belonged by his side, causing chaos.

He wondered what expression he held, considering Bum looked a little confused. He cocked his head at Sangwoo like a confused puppy trying to understand something.

Maybe he's just waiting for you to say something else, idiot.

“You don't happen to know the meaning of them, do you?” Sangwoo asked. “The white lilies.”

Bum gulped audibly and looked off to the side.

“They um... they're...”

Sangwoo couldn't help but smile, big and wide. Bum acting shy and unsure was doing it for him big time. It wasn't only making him want to desperately be inside of him- although there was most certainly that. It was also just endearing in a way he could have never expected. Sangwoo wasn't sure what to do with that feeling. He thought maybe he might just like to hold Bum close, maybe rake his fingers through his hair.

And there was more hair to do that with now. Gorgeous, long shiny hair. Sangwoo was considering reaching out for it when the bell over the door jingled, cheerily announcing another customer.

Sangwoo could have died when Bum abruptly pulled away from him. He went completely still as Bum walked past him to whoever had entered the store.

Sangwoo grit his teeth together. Bum belonged to him. Didn't he see that? How fucking dare he prioritize anyone else over him. What, was Sangwoo dropping back into his life suddenly no big deal at all? What a fucking joke.

“What can I help you with today, sir?” Bum asked politely, in that beautiful smooth voice of his.

Sangwoo turned around slowly, seething. There was Bum with some old guy, a very fucking familiar sight.

Bum probably loved working here. Loved having old geezers like him come in and oogle him while they pretended to care about flowers.

“Oh, it's my wife and my wedding anniversary this Friday.”

Bum gasped in delight as if that in any way affected him. “Congratulations!”

Sangwoo rolled his eyes. Why Bum was working here was beyond him. Didn't they have an electronics store? What interest did Bum have with flowers? None.

Sangwoo realized he still didn't know enough about Bum to really dispute that. A little less angry, he simply watched Bum and the guy talk for awhile. He flinched when the old bag approached him.

“I'm so sorry about my employee, sir. Is there anything I can help you with today?”

It would be a big help if you would have a breath mint before you put your face near mine, Sangwoo barely resisted saying. He figured he couldn't really afford to get thrown out of the store and put on a big smile for her instead.

“No thank you, just looking.”

She nodded. “Well, take your time.”

Sangwoo returned his focus to Bum, honing in on his ass, which was as plump and delicious as he remembered.

Oh, I will.

*

Bum didn't like to admit when he was afraid. It so rarely happened that it was strangely embarrassing whenever it did.

It wasn't so much as embarrassing with Sangwoo as it was terrifying. Yet somehow, at the same time, it was a big relief.

Obviously he had been longing to see Sangwoo again. Part of him had wanted Sangwoo to track him down, the other was petrified of the thought of it actually happening.

And now it had. But how, exactly? Had Heeyoung let up and told him or had he worked it out another way?

He seemed to get the lilies were a clue- maybe he had worked out the link to Jonglyo, since they were known for them at this time of the year. It wasn't something one would easily work out without a bit of digging. Which, Bum assumed Sangwoo had done.

And now he's here to dig your grave.

Except, there was undeniable pleasure on Sangwoo's face, right? Was he really here to kill him?

Any pleasurable feelings on Sangwoo's end could be written off as excitement getting to kill Bum. Maybe he'd want to fuck him again first, just for old time's sake. Bum was very eager for that side of things, he just wished he could know he would be left in one piece afterwards. But he couldn't break the promise he had made to himself.

Months ago, he had decided; if Sangwoo found him, he would allow Sangwoo to do as he pleased. If Sangwoo found him, Bum's death was meant to be, if Sangwoo willed it.

Bum wouldn't run this time. He would hand himself over to Sangwoo in the way he had denied him before.

Sangwoo had doubted him then but this would show him. It would be the ultimate act of love.

Bum smiled after the old man paid for his anniversary flowers and bid him a good day. His eyes sought out Sangwoo after the transaction was complete. Except all of a sudden, he was nowhere in sight.

Bum's heart beat a little faster. He hadn't left, had he?

Maybe he just wanted to look at you. But he wouldn't come all this way for that, would he?

Bum noticed Jungsoo in the far corner, restocking the bulb shelves.

“Did the tall man leave?”

She cast a distasteful look over her shoulder. Bum knew it was for him and not Sangwoo.

“I wouldn't blame him if he did after you favored another customer over him. So rude. I'm not sure why I keep you on, Byungho. I thought it was to deal with the books but lord knows you keep breaking the computer.”

“I didn't break it,” Bum snapped.

“Is that so? Well I hope to see it running next time I go into the office.”

Bum grit his teeth. The old bitch would be the death of him.

She didn't complain when he walked off, probably because things were usually slow in the afternoons.

After going down the short passageway, he nudged the office door open with his foot, sighing irritably at the sight of the computer still frozen the on the same screen.

Some people just didn't listen to reason.

Bum stood for a moment, thinking of Sangwoo. At least he knew where Bum was now. Maybe he would come back. Or maybe... this was it for them.

Bum let out a small startled sound when someone grabbed him. He stared, dazed, as Sangwoo swung the office door shut then threw Bum up against it. For a moment, he expected a repeat of their first meeting but Sangwoo didn't strangle him. He did put a hand behind Bum's neck but only to pull him in closer.

Bum froze when Sangwoo leaned in and pressed their mouths together, a surprisingly light brush of their lips. One of Sangwoo's hands grasped his wrist but when Bum remained in place, he loosened his hold on him and slipped both hands down to Bum's hips instead, softly kissing him.

It was alarmingly similar to a lot of Bum's dreams. He liked when Sangwoo was rough but there was something surreal and otherworldly about Sangwoo touching him gently, like he was something precious- fine china, to be handled with care.

Isn't he going to kill me?

Maybe he was lulling him into a false sense of security. Maybe...

It was hard to think of anything beyond how much Bum wanted him. He closed his eyes, making a pleased sound up against Sangwoo's lips right as Sangwoo slipped in some tongue.

They had never kissed before. Not properly like this on the mouth. Bum felt dizzy from the romance of it. Any minute he expected Sangwoo to crack and start yelling at him, to grab him and bash his head against the wall.

And he would deserve it, wouldn't he? For betraying Sangwoo like he had.

The longer they kissed, the less gentle it came to be. But Sangwoo was not the instigator of that. Bum couldn't help but nip Sangwoo's lower lip and Sangwoo seemed unable to stop himself from biting Bum back, though he leaned back enough for Bum to see he was smiling.

Was he enjoying this? Was he... happy?

Bum pressed his groin up to Sangwoo's, rubbing in a light but pointed way, enough to signal his intentions. Sangwoo ignored that for now, kissing Bum like he was trying to coax something out of him, like some deeper understanding of the universe existed within. Bum felt like he was going to pass out. He bumped their groins together again on purpose. He was pretty sure Sangwoo had gotten hard. He was thinking about pulling back and saying something when Sangwoo abruptly grabbed his hair, pulling hard enough for Bum to tilt his head back with a little gasp.

Bum felt alive. More than he had in months.

Sangwoo's pupils were little more than slits and full of murderous intent. His cheeks were an appealing shade of red.

“Don't you ever hide from me again, Bum. You hear me?”

Bum struggled to nod his head given how tight Sangwoo's grip of his hair was. It hurt but it also felt kind of good. He'd be lying if he said he hadn't pulled on it a few times while he'd touched himself, imagining Sangwoo fucking him while he yanked on it, telling him he was such a pretty little bitch.

Sangwoo caught on and loosened his hold just enough for Bum to nod. Then, a wicked smile spread across his lips.

“Is that old bag outside?”

“Yeah,” Bum answered, still a little stunned Sangwoo was really here, close enough to feel his breath on his own face.

Sangwoo smirked. Bum wondered if he really wanted to know or if he was just trying to make conversation. Then Sangwoo grabbed his arm and pulled him over to the desk.

Besides the bulky old computer, it was covered in papers. Jungsoo was not the neatest person, despite what the image of the tidy store might present. Sangwoo threw the papers aside and Bum let him, even though some part of him wondered if he would need to clean them up later.

He cringed at the thought. Here was Sangwoo, happy and excited to be with him and he was thinking about his old life. This wasn't even a life, just a way to pass the time before his past caught up with him.

And it finally had.

Bum realized didn't care if Sangwoo planned to kill him here and now. He would keep the promise he had made himself and allow it.

He made a surprised but pleased sound when Sangwoo threw him over the desk, folding him over it chest first. Bum's heart slammed in his chest when he heard Sangwoo unzip himself behind him, then reach out and attempt to pull Bum's pants down. They got caught under his body and Bum chuckled, trying to shuck them down himself. He thought Sangwoo might get impatient and scold him but when he looked over his shoulder, Sangwoo was grinning.

His smile faded but didn't dissipate completely. He almost looked like he might say something profound.

“What?” Bum asked, still smiling.

Sangwoo shook his head. “Fuck, I've missed this.”

It seemed obvious to Bum he'd planned to say something else but he let it slide for now.

“Me too.”

Bum moved off the desk and briskly removed his clothes. Afterwards, he repositioned himself on the desk.

Sangwoo spat on his hand, lewdly, and Bum grinned, waiting for what was coming.

He had to admit the needy whine that escaped him at the faintest brush of Sangwoo's fingers was a little much but he couldn't fault himself knowing how touch starved he was.

Sangwoo's eagerness was clear and Bum winced a little when he shoved two fingers in without preamble, like he was trying to coax something out of Bum. He pulled them out and wet them again, this time shoving in a third one.

Jesus, he's desperate.

But Bum was too and despite the sting of it, he moaned loudly. Anything Sangwoo gave him, he could take. To be hurt by him was a privilege. To be killed, if Sangwoo wanted that, would also be a privilege. He knew that now.

“If you've let anyone else use this I'm going to be very upset,” Sangwoo said, sounding more like the Sangwoo Bum knew.

Bum briskly shook his head. “There's been no one.” He twisted around to look at Sangwoo, who stared back at him, fairly unmoved.

“I'm not sure if you're lying or not,” Sangwoo said without emotion.

“I'm not.”

“Well either way, it's mine from now on.”

Bum felt a full body shiver- like some sort of miniature orgasm. He smiled, utterly thrilled, and Sangwoo roughly pressed his fingers in as far as they could go.

Ah! Sangwoo...”

“Say it's mine or I'll stop.”

“It's yours! I-It's always been yours, all of it.”

Sangwoo grunted but he sounded pleased. Even though it was uncomfortable to stay twisted around like that, Bum stayed in place. He couldn't stop staring at Sangwoo. Couldn't believe he was really there and they were doing this.

His fingers were moving a little too fast, almost like he had something to prove. It hurt but Bum liked it. He arched his back and shuffled back, licking his lips lewdly at Sangwoo, who stared at him like a dangling piece of meat.

“Did you enjoy it with those men? Or did you hate every minute?”

Bum groaned. “It was all for you, Sangwoo.”

“You hated it?”

“I hated it.”

Sangwoo eyed him for awhile and Bum wondered if he was skeptical. After a moment of deliberation, he looked satisfied.

Bum faced forward, unable to keep looking back. He gripped the far edge of the desk and pulled himself off Sangwoo's fingers and back onto them again. Any pain had given way to pleasure and he moaned loudly, not giving the slightest shit if Jungsoo came in and saw them. It would be better if she came in and fired him. Bum was finished with this place.

Sangwoo's fingers became clumsy and it took Bum a moment to realize why he had lost his rhythm. He was distracted stroking himself with his other hand. Bum turned back to watch again, hypnotized at the sight of Sangwoo's cock, angry and red and ready to be put inside him.

“Please, Sangwoo...” he whined. He thought Sangwoo might like that, plus, he really did need it. He had waited for so long; he couldn't wait a minute longer.

The smile on Sangwoo's face was positively feral as he withdrew his fingers. A few more strokes and he was lining them up. From all his roughness, Bum expected him to shove it right in but he slipped in slowly, damn nearly gently, eyes locked on Bum's the whole time, mouth agape like he was in shock.

Both of them groaned when it was all the way inside and Bum winced slightly. It felt really big but then, he was out of practice. What he had said was true; he hadn't been with anyone since Sangwoo. There had definitely been opportunities, even here in Jonglyo. Older men, even a few younger than he was, hoping he might top them. And Bum had thought about it- all their offers. But in the end it just felt wrong. None of them could give him what Sangwoo could.

Then there was the fact that Sangwoo, apparently, was angry about that idea anyway. Bum was glad he hadn't given in, even though there had been a lot of lonely nights where he had seriously considered it.

Bum ignored the pain and focused on Sangwoo's face instead, what Bum's body was doing to him.

“Does it feel good?” he asked and Sangwoo threw him an incredulous look, as if to say is that a joke?

Bum still couldn't believe he could do this to him, render him this complete mess of a person- someone powerful like Sangwoo.

Sangwoo seemed like he was having trouble getting the words out, even though he was yet to move his hips.

“Do you have any idea... how hard I'm going to fuck you?”

Bum's eyes widened. Then, he grinned, delighted.

“Show me.”

Sangwoo snarled, canine catching on his lip.

He pushed Bum down on his chest and gathered his wrists together behind his back. Holding him in place like that, he pulled out and thrust back in, punishingly hard. Bum let out a cry that echoed within the small room and could no doubt be heard from the main room, especially with the shop being empty. Sangwoo completely let himself go. Whatever he had been feeling these past four months came out. As he slammed into Bum, Bum felt like he was hearing a story. He felt the confusion and anger. He felt sorrow he didn't expect to feel. It was a lot like his own, reflected back at him.

Sangwoo had always been rough but this was something else. Every thrust throbbed yet Bum welcomed it, delirious off the pain, which melted into pleasure in ways he'd never been able to understand. His hands were free now and he tried to grip onto the desk but his hands were shaking so much, he let go. Sangwoo baffled him in pulling out at one point and Bum considered maybe he wanted to come on his face or in his mouth until Sangwoo rolled him over, so he was lying on his back.

“Want to look at you,” Sangwoo muttered, brow gleaming with sweat.

Warmth spread through Bum's limbs and he smiled, spreading his legs open. Sangwoo wasted no time pushing back inside, falling forward and resting his forehead against Bum's.

Bum liked it like this, the two of them face to face. It felt intimate. Sangwoo attached his lips to Bum's again and Bum was vaguely aware of the needy sound he made.

He loved kissing Sangwoo. In his old life, he would have never thought it possible. Maybe if he had something over Sangwoo's head but he didn't, he was just doing it because he wanted to.

Sangwoo's sheer eagerness to be close to Bum made him more reluctant to believe Sangwoo had any kind of plans for him beyond this. It was hard to believe he would kill him- then again, he had acted like this last time too, flashing Bum smiles and acting nice on the way up the mountain.

Just let it happen, Bum thought, staring as Sangwoo straightened back up, a towering figure over him. He picked up one of Bum's feet and placed it on his shoulder then tenderly planted a kiss on the other before doing the same.

Bum's thoughts flashed to Jaegyu for a moment. He hoped nothing in his expression gave him away considering the odd man.

Sangwoo returned to a steadier rhythm, keeping Bum's feet up and thrusting into him, head tilting back with a very fulfilled expression.

All Bum wanted was to make him happy. If he killed him after this, he was grateful to be able to make Sangwoo feel good one last time.

Bum reached down to touch himself lazily. With Sangwoo going at a more comfortable pace, it felt really good and he moaned, arching his back in contentment.

Sangwoo's eyes scoured his body. It went right to Bum's head, the fact that he was clearly pleased by what he saw. Bum never could have imagined that would happen. He remembered staring at himself in the mirror sometimes after spying on Sangwoo and girls and wondering how he could ever compare. And the conclusion he came to was that he never could, hence the need to manipulate the situation.

Sangwoo looked at something over Bum's head and nodded.

“Take that out.” He was a little out of breath, half delirious based on his expression.

Bum didn't know what he meant. Sangwoo nodded again and he realized he was talking about his hair.

He reached back and pulled it out, letting his hand drop to his shoulders.

Sangwoo groaned and went a little faster, making Bum squeak.

Did he like his hair like this? Was it because he looked more feminine?

If Bum was being honest, he hadn't even meant to grow it out. He'd felt pretty shit for awhile there and just let it go. He kind of liked it now though. Jungsoo had been pestering him to cut it for ages. He had no love for her and found it amusing how much hair of all things could get at a person.

“Ah... You're so sexy, Bum.”

Bum froze. Had he really just said that?

Sangwoo laughed. “Keep touching yourself. I like it.”

Bum was doubly shocked. He did? Bum thought Sangwoo still had trouble with the fact that he was a guy... yet he was saying he liked him rubbing his dick?

Bum slowly started stroking himself again, completely caught off guard.

Sangwoo looked very pleased, tracking the movement with his eyes. Bum wondered if he might be enjoying Bum's surprise just as much as what they were doing.

“Do you do that while you think of me?” Sangwoo asked. “Touch that cute little thing?”

Bum's eyes widened. Quickly, he nodded. There was no point in denying it, and he wanted Sangwoo to know that he thought of him- often.

Sangwoo laughed, a low, lazy sound. He was fucking Bum at an equally lazy pace. Bum couldn't tell if he was having mercy on him or trying to stretch this out for as long as possible.

Definitely stretching it out, Bum thought when Sangwoo leaned in to kiss him again, faltering in his movements and putting off coming a little longer. On pure instinct, Bum opened up his legs wider, wrapping them tightly around Sangwoo, who hissed in a breath. He wasn't trying to make him finish, he just wanted to hold him close.

Sangwoo bumped his nose against Bum's. Bum couldn't tell if it had been intentional or not. It seemed so affectionate, he couldn't stop staring in complete awe.

What had happened to Sangwoo?

Sangwoo laughed again, still right up close to Bum. He brushed some of Bum's hair out of his face and leaned in, bumping their noses again. This time it had clearly been intentional.

“You look like you've seen a ghost, Bum,” Sangwoo said lowly, but with humor.

Bum swallowed. “I think I have.”

“Hmm. Me too. You've been haunting me for so long now...” He tip-toed two fingers down Bum's chest, frowning as he watched their descent.

Bum wondered if they would continue to have a conversation about the past while Sangwoo was still inside him or if they were going to finish first.

His head was starting to hurt from all this. Exactly what did Sangwoo want from him? Wasn't he angry? Did he not want to take Bum's life?

The stillness was killing him. He could feel his walls twitching around Sangwoo, eager for him to move again.

“Please, Sangwoo...”

Sangwoo laughed thickly. “The same needy bitch as always, I see.” But he sounded beyond pleased.

Bum started chewing on his own finger while Sangwoo stood up straight once more, gathering Bum's legs in front of him, pressing them together and hugging them to his chest.

“Mff!” Bum cried out around his finger when Sangwoo thrust into the tight space he had created.

Sangwoo paused, noting his reaction. He bit down on his lip, grinning and thrust in again, eyes trailing from Bum's face to his body.

He fell into a normal rhythm again and held fast to Bum's legs while he slammed into him, long, merciless thrusts. The small space he forced himself into hurt but felt really good at the same time. Better than it had any right to. Bum was moaning and babbling incoherently while Sangwoo grinned at him, looking very pleased with himself for the reaction he was receiving.

When he asked Bum a question a minute or so later, Bum was moaning and crying so loudly, Sangwoo had to practically shout it at him.

“Has anyone ever fucked you so good, Bum?”

“Noo,” he cried, no longer even having to touch himself. It would be too overwhelming if he did and he was already on the edge now as it was.

Without warning, the door burst open.

“Get out of here, both of you!” Jungsoo shrieked like a banshee. “I've called the police.”

Sangwoo laughed, not so much as faltering in the movement of his hips. Bum grinned at him, adoration pouring out of him. The whole world could burn around them and he would never ask Sangwoo to stop.

“I always knew there was something wrong with you,” Jungsoo hissed, turning and slamming the door.

“Guess we'll have to run from the police again, eh?” Sangwoo said.

Bum stared.

Sangwoo winked. He was joking.

Bum started laughing uncontrollably. For a moment Sangwoo did too, but he couldn't stop himself from continuing.

Bum reached over his head and gripped the edge of the desk with both hands, shaking from the force of Sangwoo slamming into him. He felt raw and used but when it was Sangwoo, he liked feeling that way.

The pleasant feelings that he had been feeling all bundled up and doubled, then tripled and suddenly Bum was coming harder than he had in a long time. Harder than any of the times when he'd pitifully touched himself on his own, desperately missing a more familiar touch.

He wailed throughout his orgasm and Sangwoo stared at him, oddly transfixed, which just made the whole thing even more overwhelming.

Sangwoo made a wounded sound while Bum tightened around him.

“Jesus christ, Bum.”

A few more rough thrusts and he was releasing inside of Bum, leaning over him and swearing beneath his breath.

Bum hoped they might kiss again afterwards but Sangwoo removed himself and readjusted his pants.

“I think she meant it about calling the police,” he said.

Bum leaned back on the desk. Unable to bring himself to care, he merely shrugged.

The look Sangwoo gave him at that was forceful, and made him straighten up a little.

“I don't want to deal with any police right now.”

Bum nodded slowly. He slipped off the desk, fixing his clothes. To his surprise, Sangwoo brushed his hand off and readjusted them himself, smirking. He leaned in and Bum's breath caught expecting a kiss. Sangwoo gave him one- a quick little peck on the nose.

Just what was happening? Had Bum died? Was this some sort of glorious afterlife?

“Come on,” Sangwoo said, gesturing for the door.

“Where are we going?”

Sangwoo shrugged. “Anywhere we want.”

Chapter Text

Sangwoo was more than happy to check out of the shitty hotel he'd been staying in but felt mixed emotions when Bum led him into his new home.

It wasn't much and it didn't seem permanent. Just a modest sized apartment with shabby flooring and water stained ceiling and a couple who, according to Bum, never seemed to stop fucking next door. They were going at it now- loudly. The woman was the kind of screamer who sounded like she might be getting murdered.

Bum grinned at him damn near pointedly. And as much as Sangwoo wanted to grab him and go for another round- in an actual bed this time- he felt like they had things to say to one another. A lot of things.

“So why the white lilies?”

Bum snorted and to be fair, it was an odd thing to be hung up on considering everything else they needed to discuss.

Bum strode casually across the room and into the kitchen, which was open with the living area. Sangwoo slipped his shoes off at the door and followed.

“Caught up on that one, huh?” Bum threw him a smile while he moved around the kitchen, making some tea.

It was interesting to see; Sangwoo had become curious about seeing Bum in his own environment. But so far, this was a false reality. Bum wasn't meant to live in this crappy apartment, and he wasn't meant to work at a florist. Sangwoo wanted to see him before, in his old life. But was that a life Bum planned to go back to?

Sangwoo shrugged, resting his hip against the count and observing Bum. He couldn't keep his eyes off him. But he didn't plan to let it distract him from getting some answers.

“Seems significant,” Sangwoo said. “I looked up the meaning.”

“Oooh you did research,” Bum giggled. Once Sangwoo might have thought he was mocking him. It seemed closer to teasing than anything. Beyond that, he was pretty sure Bum was just trying to distract him from the subject.

“The shoe doesn't really fit having someone dirty like you claim to be pure.”

Bum snorted. “When did I say that?”

“When you brought these to me.”

Bum didn't say anything, pretending to focus on the tea.

Sangwoo rolled his eyes.

“Well they also represent death.”

Bum looked up at that but with no real expression.

“Just tell me, Bum. I've been going crazy for months. Don't you think I deserve some answers?”

Bum sighed, drooping his shoulders.

“Yeah. Sorry.”

He seemed to feel genuinely sorry. Strange to see Bum truly remorseful. Sangwoo felt like he could trust that more now, even though it might prove dangerous.

“So?”

Bum sighed again, leaning back on the counter. There was a sizable difference between them but that was probably for the best; if Bum were too close, it would be distracting. As it was, Sangwoo was having a hard time not just openly staring at him.

Part of him couldn't believe Bum was here at all. He expected the illusion to fade at any moment, and Sangwoo would find himself in an empty apartment.

“It was my way of saying sorry,” Bum said very quietly.

Sangwoo straightened up, curious.

“I'm not... pure,” Bum muttered. Sangwoo wondered if that embarrassed him. Maybe he was embarrassed by the thought he had put into it.

“I guess this was my way of saying I'd like to be...” He looked up at Sangwoo through his lashes. “The link to death was intentional too.”

Sangwoo snorted. “Obviously.”

“Jonglyo are renown for white lilies. I thought you might work it out.”

“I didn't,” Sangwoo admitted. “I asked Heeyoung.”

“Ah.” Bum frowned, considering something. “You didn't hurt her, did you?”

Sangwoo rolled his eyes. “No.” Minus squeezing her arm a bit, but she seemed no worse for wear.

“What did you tell her about us?” Sangwoo asked, cringing inwardly at how it sounded- us. Like a dumb girl wanting to define the relationship.

He expected Bum to look shy again but he smirked instead, looking at the floor.

“Just some stuff.”

It was oddly catching and before he could help it, Sangwoo was smiling too.

“What kind of stuff?”

Bum shrugged, meeting his eyes. “Stuff to make her life a little more interesting.”

“I thought she slept around. Why would she need to live vicariously through you?”

Sangwoo realized before Bum even had to answer. Bum had lied about Heeyoung sleeping around. It seemed obvious now, maybe it even had at the time considering Bum had said that to try and discourage Sangwoo's interest in going to bed with her.

“Well you're just a little liar, aren't you, Bum?” Sangwoo teased.

Bum smirked at him, cheeks tickled pink. For a moment they just stared at each other and Sangwoo wondered what would happen. Bum couldn't go back to work so it wasn't like he had anything here- not that such a crappy job counted for much. Would Bum be coming back with him? There was no way he was staying here, right?

The kettle boiled and Bum pulled his gaze away from Sangwoo with some reluctance. He poured them each a cup with his back to Sangwoo, hesitating a long moment before he turned back around. His hand shook a little offering it to Sangwoo, which seemed strange.

“I thought... you wanted to kill me.”

Sangwoo stared at Bum's hand, jostling the cup enough for tea to spill. He closed his hand around it.

“I thought I wanted that too. But things are different now.”

“They are?”

Sangwoo laughed. “Well no shit. I didn't come here to kill you, Bum.”

Bum shrugged. “I wasn't sure.”

“I figured that's why you were staying away.”

Bum nodded. He looked like he was going to say something but found himself distracted staring at Sangwoo's face- or rather, one particular part of it.

“What?” Sangwoo prodded.

“You grew a beard. It's... really sexy.”

Sangwoo laughed warmly at that, but it really was nice to hear. He'd only shoved so many items into his bag before coming to this town but a razor had been one of them, just in case Bum hated it. It had grown on him so he was glad Bum liked it too.

“Like your hair.” Sangwoo put his tea on the counter and took a step closer to Bum. “You're beautiful.”

Bum looked off to the side. It was hard to tell if he was pleased. Sangwoo brought a hand up, raking it through Bum's hair. It was so shiny and soft- it smelt really good too. Had it smelt nice before? He couldn't remember ever taking in that detail.

He started to lean in, hoping to steal another kiss but Bum pulled away. That was unusual.

Bum looked at him, frowning slightly while Sangwoo waited. He wanted to be a more patient guy, even though the idea of Bum having some problem with him made him want to punch a hole in a wall.

“What?” he finally asked, when Bum allowed the silence to go on longer than it should.

“I'm a man, Sangwoo.”

Sangwoo blinked. “I noticed, yeah. Thanks for telling me.”

“I just mean, I like dress ups as much as the next person but that's not really me.”

“Okay?”

Bum sighed. He moved to lean against the counter once more and picked up his tea with both hands, blowing on it before taking a delicate sip.

Sangwoo stared at Bum's lips while he puckered them. He had nice lips. He had nice everything.

Part of him thought he might resist fully giving into his obsession with Bum but it was easy. It helped that he had months to embrace it, to feel the weight of it and see if he could handle it. Turns out, he could.

“I just mean...” Bum struggled for awhile, staring at the floor. He found the words suddenly and looked right at Sangwoo when he said, “If you want a woman, go be with a woman.”

Sangwoo stared at him, incredulous. Was he kidding?

“I don't want a woman.”

He moved closer to Bum's side once more and considered taking the cup out of his hands and bending him over the counter. But he had to maintain some sense of control. They couldn't just fuck each other senseless all the time. There had to be more to this.

There didn't have to be. But Sangwoo wanted there to be.

“Are you sure?” The doubt in both Bum's voice and pinched expression were adorable. Fuck.

It would have been less cruel to answer right away but Sangwoo took a moment to consider the best answer to give.

He stood alongside Bum, leaning against the counter. He casually sipped the tea Bum had made for him as he thought it over, finally arriving at what felt like the right words.

“Tell me something, Bum. I'm the kind of guy who gets what I want, aren't I?”

“Yeah?”

“So if I wanted a woman in my life, don't you think I would have one? I mean, I could obviously get one.”

Bum snorted. “So modest.”

“But it's the truth, isn't it?”

“Yes,” Bum sighed, like it pained him.

“So if I wanted a woman so bad I'd have one but I don't.”

“But if a woman came along who was like you, who liked the kinds of things you do...”

Sangwoo frowned. Bum was taking a giant leap worrying about shit like that.

He patted Bum on the head. Bum leaned into the touch like he was completely touch starved, like they hadn't just fucked the living daylights out of each other not even an hour earlier.

He always wants more, Sangwoo thought, although the thought pleased him. He wanted more too. He didn't think he could get close enough to Bum. The next best thing to pressing skin to skin would be ripping off Bum's skin and climbing inside of him. But of course he would never do anything like that because he realized Bum was better alive.

He expected those to be where Bum's doubts lied. Not with thoughts of Sangwoo leaving him for a woman.

But Bum moved on from it after that, gasping when he finally noticed Sangwoo's scar peeking out through his stubble and brushing his hand over it without thinking.

“Oh- sorry! Does it hurt?”

“No, you can touch it.”

It brought Sangwoo a sick thrill having Bum's dainty little fingers feel the wound he had inflicted. Thankfully Bum seemed eager to touch it too, although he was driven by less unsavory motivations. He appeared to be upset, guilty maybe.

“I can't believe I did this to you.” He looked close to tears when he met Sangwoo's gaze, pouting as he said, “I'm so sorry.”

Sangwoo grabbed his wrist, earning a small gasp from Bum.

“Don't ever apologize for this.”

Bum looked surprised, if not confused. Sangwoo held his wrist in place and went on to explain.

“I was wrong, Bum. I'm sorry.”

Bum's eyes bulged at that but he remained silent, hearing him out.

“You're strong- a survivor. You bested me- no one does that, Bum. Ever. Fuck, this is a badge. From here on out, I'll wear it with honor.”

Bum swallowed. At first he just looked shocked but a sense of satisfaction slowly seeped into him.

What Bum said next was unexpected. While Sangwoo never knew who brought him to the hospital, Bum explained he had waved down a car and directed her back to Sangwoo. Sangwoo thought to ask why Bum wasn't in the hospital then but figured he had opted out of going to run from him instead. It made him feel shitty, making Bum think that was necessary. He explained that from the moment he woke up in that bed, he realized he had been wrong about everything and Bum was just like him.

Halfway through their discussion, the remainder of their tea had gone cold but Sangwoo didn't care. Bum suggested they move into the living area to talk since they had been standing in the kitchen close to an hour pouring their hearts out.

Bum talked about being lonely at night and missing Sangwoo so much he cried himself to sleep. Sangwoo admitted he had sort of lost it for awhile and just stumbled through life.

Eventually they circled back to what happened after the mountain and Sangwoo mentioned a policeman had talked to him, one who- annoyingly- had followed up since with more questions.

“Do you think he's onto us?” Bum asked, eyes a little wider than usual.

Sangwoo liked that- us. He liked how Bum said it so casually.

Sangwoo pulled Bum's legs over his lap. From the way Bum sat with his legs out in front of him, he was more or less sitting on Sangwoo.

Sangwoo knew he ought to worry about that cop sniffing around and whether or not it was actually safe to go back home, let alone resume things as they had been. But the close proximity of Bum was distracting. All he could focus on was the fact that he was really there.

Giving a dismissive shake of his head, Sangwoo said, “It's just one guy and he doesn't seem like the brightest bulb in the bunch.”

Bum giggled at that. Something primal within Sangwoo hungered for him in that moment and he wondered if he would ever be able to calm down or if he'd just want to be on Bum at all times.

He pulled him over a little more so Bum was sitting on his lap. Bum looked questioningly to him, although delight was written all over his face.

“I'm done talking about that shit now,” Sangwoo said dispassionately. He meant the policeman although he wasn't eager to speak of the shitty time they were apart either. Later, they could go through more of it but right now, he just wanted to enjoy being in the same space as one another.

He rested his chin on Bum's shoulder and sighed. He felt Bum stiffen for just a moment and wondered why that would be. Didn't Bum want him close like this? The thought that he didn't like this side of Sangwoo was fucking disappointing- maybe also embarrassing, curiously enough. What if he preferred the rougher side, the Sangwoo who fucked like a champion and who delighted in spilling blood? Not this soft, inoffensive version of the killer Bum desired.

But then Bum repositioned himself so he was lying down with his head resting in Sangwoo's lap.

Sangwoo sighed, content. Strange how close body proximity like this could be satisfying in a completely non-sexual way. He wasn't sure he'd ever experienced that before. Not even after sex; he wasn't into any of that girly, cuddly shit. Except, with Bum he was. It seemed Bum was the exception for a lot of things.

Sangwoo took to rubbing his hands up and down Bum's back. He wanted to keep it non-sexual, to explore this side of whatever this was between them, but the way Bum moaned approvingly made him wonder if such a thing even would be possible. The only thing that saved him was the longer it went on, he became convinced Bum was on the verge of falling asleep.

It would probably be better to pace themselves anyway. From past experience, it was easy to think of Bum as unbreakable but when it came down it, he was still a human being. Sangwoo didn't want to hurt him, not in any lasting way. Besides, if they waited a little while, Bum would want him even more.

As Bum drifted off to sleep, Sangwoo swept a hand through his thick mop of hair.

He wouldn't allow Bum to be alone tonight. He was beginning to think he would never allow him to be alone again, period. Just what would Bum think of that?

Bum made cute sounds in his sleep. The remote for the television was in reach and Sangwoo considered reaching for it but decided watching and listening to Bum was all the entertainment he needed. If that made him a stalker freak then so be it. He was happy and right now, that was all that mattered.

*

Bum panicked when he woke to find an empty bed but it made sense in a way. This thing with Sangwoo was too good to be true. He'd probably realized he couldn't do the whole nice thing and crept out while Bum was sleeping to spare them both another confrontation.

A good ending, in some ways. Better than Sangwoo taunting him about being unable to be what he wanted him to be- or worse, killing him.

But it still hurt.

And then, the toilet flushed and Sangwoo stepped out from the adjoining bathroom.

Bum could have cried. He hadn't left after all.

Sangwoo looked at him like he had lost his mind- assuming he'd ever had it to start with.

“I thought you left,” Bum blurted out, unable to stop from getting teary. Jesus, this was pathetic. Sangwoo would run for sure now.

He laughed and Bum shot him a look. If he mocked him for this, he'd just die.

Since when was I ever so weak? What happened to being a survivor?

Then he realized the look on Sangwoo's face was one of affection. He was only teasing him.

Sangwoo climbed back into the bed. Bum wasted no time in cuddling up next to him.

After Bum's marathon nap, they had gone out for dinner. Bum kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was what normal people did; go out and have a nice meal. Sangwoo paid and everything. The low lit restaurant's only lighting was from candles and Bum had marveled at the way the shadows danced over Sangwoo's smiling face. 

Then they came back to Bum's apartment and just kissed each other for awhile. At some point, Bum fell asleep again.

“Did you sleep too?” Bum asked, a little embarrassed.

“You left me with no other choice.”

Bum winced. “Sorry.”

Sangwoo laughed heartily. “Stop saying sorry. Anyway, I needed it. I feel like I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in forever.”

“Well, can I say I'm sorry for lying about the whole footage going to the police thing?” Bum asked, making a face. That one had been eating away at him.

Sangwoo shrugged. “Sure. That was shitty.”

Bum cringed. It really was, but he had been desperate. Part of him couldn't even feel bad about it since it had worked out so well. He never would have guessed such a scheme would land Sangwoo in his bed.

“But I'm over it. It's fine.”

Bum blew out a sigh of relief. Sangwoo really did seem over it.

With a thoughtful look, he considered for a moment before admitting something Bum didn't expect to hear.

“Some guy was squatting in your house so I killed him.”

“What? Who?”

Sangwoo shrugged, unmoved. “Some homeless guy. The thing is, I used this antique clock to smash his skull in.”

Bum straightened up a bit, feeling an immediate body reaction. He wondered if Sangwoo would be agreeable to give him all the details.

“The clock's okay, if you were wondering.” Sangwoo laughed. “The guy got all the damage.”

“What was it like? Was there a lot of blood?”

Sangwoo caught Bum's eye knowingly. He laid back on the bed, folding his arms behind his head and providing all the grisly details as he explained the whole thing. Bum leaned over his chest, staring at Sangwoo's face while he went over the incident. The way one drop of the clock completely destroyed the guy's head or the massive blood splatter, or how he came afterwards. But Bum's favorite part was the way he imagined Bum there with him.

Bum's lips found Sangwoo's easily and he climbed on top of him. He felt familiar with Sangwoo's mouth now from all the kissing they had done earlier. While he was sure it had been leading to more before he fell asleep, it made him laugh to think of how innocent it was- like school children practicing on one another. Their whole relationship was backwards, going from sex to kissing. Bum didn't mind. It made it all the more intimate doing it now.

“You know what bothers me, Bum?”

Bum swallowed, waiting for it. This was it, the other shoe was about to drop. No, it was about to come crashing to the floor.

“What?” he squeaked out.

“The fact that you're wearing clothes.”

Oh.

Bum giggled and Sangwoo wore that look he always wore. Like he wanted to devour Bum and leave no trace of him.

Bum stripped off his clothes and laid flat on the bed. He expected Sangwoo to do the same but he didn't. Curiously, he just sat there, running his hands over Bum's skin. Bum's breath caught every time his hand started trailing down but it never went anywhere. It was starting to drive him crazy.

Touch me, Sangwoo,” he complained.

Sangwoo laughed. “I am.”

Bum pouted. “You know what I mean.”

Sangwoo raised his eyebrows but ignored him, resolute to carry on randomly touching everywhere but the place Bum needed.

Please, Sangwoo.”

Sangwoo huffed like he was annoyed but he honestly looked pretty happy.

“All you ever do is whine, you know that? Did you ever think maybe I was enjoying touching your skin, hm?”

“I'm beginning to think you're going to make a rug out of me or something.”

Sangwoo laughed. He was laughing a lot tonight. Bum liked it.

“How about this then?”

Bum was confused when he started drifting south, down the bed. They had made a lot of headway today but he doubted Sangwoo would do that.

But then Sangwoo's mouth closed around the most intimate part of him.

Jesus christ.

Bum was fairly certain a ridiculous sound left his lips but he barely took it in. He stole a look down but that just messed him up even more. Sangwoo hollowed out his cheeks and sucked, looking up at Bum like he was everything.

Fuck,” Bum exclaimed, grabbing Sangwoo's hair.

At Sangwoo's soft exclamation, he let go, only for Sangwoo to pull back just to say, “Grab it. Hard.”

Bum froze. He wanted him to pull his hair? He'd never wanted anything like that before.

He did what Sangwoo asked of him and Sangwoo slipped his mouth around Bum's cock once more, sucking him. He might as well have been a fucking delicacy from the look on Sangwoo's face. That pressure felt toe-curlingly good but part of Bum wondered if Sangwoo was enjoying it even more than he was. It made him feel an odd surge of power having that kind of affect on Sangwoo, the most powerful person he had ever known. It didn't take him long at all to come, and he tried his best to warn Sangwoo, gripping his hair even tighter as his orgasm rocked him.

Nggh... coming...”

Sangwoo swallowed it which only messed Bum up even more. Sangwoo nosed at him, swallowing him up all the way, eager for more. Bum's head fell back against the mattress.

“Fucking hell.”

Sangwoo dropped down next to him, the adoration on his face unbelievable. Bum waited for him to nudge at Bum, to point out it was time to reciprocate. For now he didn't. He seemed completely sustained from making Bum come.

Nothing this good could last, Bum was sure of that. He didn't know how or why but was more certain that he'd ever been of anything that this would end soon. And the thought brought tears to his eyes.

Sangwoo didn't question it, probably passing it off as a reaction to what he'd just done.

Sangwoo leaned his head on Bum's shoulder and breathed in sharply. For awhile it was quiet between them and Bum wondered if they might go to sleep like this. He had lost track of time but it was probably late enough now. Not that he had a job to go to in the morning, but that was just fine. The white lilies only made his heart hurt, thinking of Sangwoo and all the time he'd spent longing for him. Even if that time was now over, looking at them still wounded something deep inside of him.

He had nothing good to say and was sleepy. It seemed Sangwoo's mere presence had overwhelmed him- along with the numerous physical activities.

Sangwoo broke the silence first. Somehow, Bum hadn't expected it to be what he was going to say.

“I think we should kill someone soon. Together.”

Bum didn't say anything. He wasn't sure what to say. He was thrilled but realized his silence might have looked bad, since Sangwoo felt the need to lift his head.

“You want that, don't you?” Sangwoo frowned. Was he considering that side of Bum had been a lie? That would be a hell of a thing to fake.

“Of course I do.” Bum smiled.

“Great,” Sangwoo said, lowering his head to Bum's shoulder.

Bum couldn't stop from smiling, even though he knew this was all too good to be true and would come crashing to an end sometime soon. For now, he would enjoy it as much as he could.

Sangwoo sounded half asleep when he said, “I can't get the image of you covered in blood out of my head... it's a good image.”

Bum smiled so wide his cheeks hurt.

*

Seungbae had always had trouble with boundaries, particularly where the law was concerned.

So many of his coworkers seemed content to just let things slide, or at times- horrifically- arrest someone for the crimes of another, all for the sake of convenience.

Things with Oh Sangwoo had come to a dead end. After a bit of prodding, Beomsoo Park's ex-wife had admitted her husband often hung around gay bars. There were only so many of those and it didn't take Seungbae and Lee long to find someone who recognized Beomsoo. Seungbae felt a hint of doubt holding up Sangwoo and Bum's photos next but surprisingly, the man claimed he had seen them.

“I remember because I'd just been laid off at work. This guy-” he tapped Sangwoo's photo. “Acted like I assaulted him, and for what? Touching his arm? Brushed past me like I was dirt. Fuck, all I wanted was to offer him a drink. Some people just think they're better than everybody, y'know? Anyway, I saw him with these other guys later.”

“And you're sure?”

The man cocked his head, studying the photos a second time.

“Yeah, I remember. That Park guy's here all the time. I've seen this one a couple of times too,” he added, pointing at Bum's photo.

So there was the connection. Why Sangwoo had killed Park was anyone's guess. Seungbae considered he was just an aggressive person. There had been an undercurrent of something both times he had seen him- at the hospital and the visit he had paid him since.

His prior belief Yoon Bum hadn't been involved changed after he did a little digging. As it turned out, Bum had been in some sort of facility for some of his childhood after an incident with his parents and the family maid.

With the information that they were romantically or at least sexually involved as well as neighbors, Seungbae believed Bum had probably been the one to stab and possibly poison Sangwoo. The phantom man who had forced them up the mountain didn't exist, obviously. Bum had turned on Sangwoo, perhaps feeling in danger himself. And now, he was either buried out there or Sangwoo was keeping him somewhere.

Seungbae drove by Sangwoo's house more often than he probably should have. He noticed in the months following Bum's disappearance, Sangwoo was home, often sitting outside smoking. It seemed entirely likely to Seungbae that Sangwoo was keeping Bum somewhere in the house. Why else did he need to be home all the time all of a sudden? He hardly seemed like the type. From all Seungbae had learnt of Sangwoo, he was the life of the party- not a homebody.

Bum was there. He had to be.

The problem was, Sangwoo so rarely left for long periods of time. Even when he regularly started going to work again, it was an inadequate amount of time for Seungbae to do much sleuthing.

Some months passed. The precinct was on his ass about other crimes and Seungbae got that. All kinds of messed up things were going on in the world today. There was still some deranged lunatic out there amputating people's legs and it seemed each new day birthed a new kind of dangerous monster.

But Seungbae continued driving by Sangwoo's house. Just to check things out.

And one day he noticed the last three times he had been there, Sangwoo's car was gone. By the fourth time, his curiosity won out.

He was going in there. He couldn't stand this anymore.

A broken ball to the window did it. He tried as best he could to ignore Lee's voice in his head, warning him this wasn't a good idea. A good idea, perhaps not but necessary? Yes, it was necessary.

Slowly creeping through the house, he considered calling out for Bum. But that was a stupid idea, wasn't it? If Bum was scared, he wasn't going to answer him. Maybe he would even hide.

The house seemed to be empty. Seungbae was about to leave the kitchen when his shin brushed against something.

A desktop computer left on the floor, gathering dust.

Seungbae crouched down for a closer look, even though he had no idea exactly what he was looking at.

The whole house looked like it had just been abandoned. Had Sangwoo made a run for it? It seemed as if he had simply walked away. Dishes were left on the dish rack, a bomber jacket tossed over a chair. And yet, there was a staleness to the air, like the windows hadn't been opened in awhile.

Just how long had Sangwoo been gone? He had left all his things- did he plan to come back?

Seungbae swallowed grimly, considering Sangwoo might have left Bum here to starve. He continued to search the house, expecting at any moment to smell rotten flesh. That moment never came but left him no more reassured than the mystery left him.

It took him awhile to find the basement door, hidden through the closet. That was certainly strange and Seungbae felt his gun, leaving it holstered but preparing to pull it out. He flicked a light on and crept down the stairs.

“Yoon Bum?”

He was pretty sure he would find him here. If not here, where else could he be?

Seungbae reached the bottom and squinted, trying to see each darkened corner.

Bum wasn't here. In fact, the basement was quite tidy. Maybe even a little too tidy.

With a sigh, Seungbae turned to leave, disappointment weighing on him heavily. Something caught his eye at the last minute and he froze in place.

Seungbae crouched down and picked up the wallet. Opening it, he quickly learned two things. One: Beomsoo Park had definitely been here, seeing as the wallet belonged to him. And two: it was drenched in blood.

*

The first thing Sangwoo did when he woke up was slip beneath the covers. Hearing Bum's breathing go from steady to ragged made him grin around Bum's hardened cock. Bum didn't even seem to properly wake up at first. Maybe he thought this was just a dream. Had he hoped for Sangwoo doing something like this in the past? He must have, right? Considering his obsession for Sangwoo, he probably imagined all sorts of things. Sangwoo would have to ask him about that. Maybe he had some interesting ideas they could try.

Sangwoo never would have imagined doing it in his old life. Even now, it surprised him it didn't feel wrong, considering he was essentially submitting to him. He didn't even think like that anymore. He just wanted to give everything to Bum. To give himself over to him. To fall on his knees in front of Bum, if that was what he wanted.

“Nggh... S-Sangwoo.. ah.”

So he was awake then. Sangwoo delighted when Bum grabbed his hair, hard, with both hands. Was it on instinct or did he remember what Sangwoo had instructed him? To take pleasure from being hurt wasn't something he was used to, or even wanted outside of what Bum could give him.

As Bum's grip on him tightened, he made the most appealing mewling sounds. He was adorable yet outrageously sexy. Sangwoo didn't know how he could be so many things. He also didn't know how it was he had ignored it for so long.

He was getting better at this. Bum's cock hit the back of his throat and he didn't gag. Bum wasn't being particularly gentle. Not only did he grip Sangwoo's hair to the point of pain, he took to thrusting in Sangwoo's mouth, seemingly unable to help himself- or maybe, because he had decided Sangwoo could take it.

He made a girlish sound when he came, crying out and squeezing his thighs around Sangwoo's head. Sangwoo moaned in response, sucking hard on the head as Bum came into his mouth.

“Oh my god, Sangwoo,” Bum uttered, falling limp on the bed. “It's too much.”

Sangwoo thought he ought to have mercy on him. Bum had finished coming yet Sangwoo continued sucking him, honestly a little disappointed it was over so soon.

Bum pulled up the covers and threw him a look. “You're a maniac,” he pouted.

With a grin, Sangwoo finally withdrew himself, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

“And you're delicious.”

Bum squeaked when he pushed him back on the bed. Sangwoo caged him in with his body, lingering in his face a moment then leaning in to suck and nip at his neck. He almost laughed as he started to make hickeys- like some overexcited teenager. He just wanted to mark Bum as his. It was only fair; Bum had already marked him, albeit in a much different way. Sangwoo wasn't sure if he imagined a muscle in his neck twitch or not and smirked.

“How many times did you do that last night?” Bum sounded tired but not unhappy.

At first Sangwoo thought he meant the hickeys before he realized what he meant.

Maybe he had gotten overexcited. He couldn't help it. Neither of them had slept through the night. Sangwoo had had marathon sex before but never like that. They slept for an hour or so then both seemed to wake at the same time, Bum brushing his ass enticingly against Sangwoo's dick. He'd pretty much just spat on it and pushed in, the surprised but thrilled sound Bum made causing him to almost blow his load right away.

They started out slow and lazy, which was still relatively new for them. Sangwoo was still over eager having Bum back though and couldn't help but encourage a faster pace. He put Bum down onto all fours and at Bum slamming back meeting his thrusts, lasted an embarrassingly short amount of time- not even enough for Bum to come first.

And so he had gone down on Bum, eager to do it again because he had liked it the first time. Bum didn't last long either.

They had easily fallen back asleep but woken up to do it again a few hours later. And after that, Sangwoo was mostly the instigator, slipping beneath the sheets and pleasuring Bum with his mouth. He figured that since Bum wanted to give Sangwoo everything, he probably wouldn't admit when his ass was sore. So Sangwoo took care of him, surprised by the swell of pleasure he felt simply hearing Bum moan in sleepy appreciation. Sangwoo kept trying to sleep but couldn't stop going back for more. In the end, Bum was having dry orgasms.

Sangwoo hadn't gotten off himself in hours but decided he needed it now. The way Bum was lying back looking so cute was getting to him. What he really wanted was to be inside again but Bum looked exhausted. Sated but desperately in need of rest.

Sangwoo dropped down next to him on the bed, reaching down. He had slept naked; the idea of either of them needing clothes was laughable.

Bum rolled on his side, curious when he realized what Sangwoo was doing.

“On your stomach,” Sangwoo grunted, stroking himself harshly.

Bum obeyed but from the pout on his mouth, Sangwoo wondered if he was holding back from saying he was sore. Not that he had to worry.

While stroking himself with one hand, Sangwoo reached out with the other to squeeze Bum's ass. He made a pleasing surprised sound and squirmed slightly. The way he giggled at his own reaction a moment later nearly made Sangwoo come.

“Jesus, Bum. You're so...”

He didn't know how to finish that sentence but Bum didn't push him. He let it hang in the air which was praise enough.

Bum wiggled his butt playfully while Sangwoo groped him, all the while excitedly stroking himself.

“Do you want it in my mouth?” Bum asked. His eagerness to please sent a pleasant shiver through Sangwoo. He was tempted by the offer but shook his head.

“Just stay there. I wanna look at you...”

Bum's smile lessened although he wasn't disappointed. He seemed intrigued by what Sangwoo was doing- not only touching himself but using Bum for inspiration.

Then another sort of smile crossed his lips, one decidedly more devious. It went right to Sangwoo's dick and for a moment he had half a mind to tell Bum fuck it, just climb on. But no, this would do for now. He was enjoying looking at Bum's body, squeezing his impressive ass. Fuck, how was it he looked like that? Sangwoo felt a random flare of jealousy for anyone who had been at it before him. But he didn't bring it up. He had no reason to. That was in the past; it was his now.

Sangwoo smacked Bum's ass, which made him cry out in surprise then grin, pleased. Some of the tiredness had eased off him now.

“Are you close?” Bum purred at him.

Sangwoo nodded briskly, although part of him was disappointed. He wanted this to go on and on. Using his hand seemed uninspired but it was doing things to him having Bum watch closely, eyes tracking the movement like it astounded him.

“Come for me then, so I can lick it up.”

Sangwoo didn't think he was one to come on command but that did it for him. And true to his word, Bum licked up the mess afterwards, like a mischievous kitten lapping up cream.

He expected Bum would want to go back to sleep- from what he could tell of the silvery light, it was still early. Instead, Bum went to take a shower. Sangwoo considered following him but decided to give him some space. Maybe they would get sick of each other if they were in the same space every moment. He doubted it, but he didn't want to risk ruining this beautiful thing they had.

To think only yesterday he had been so lost. Everything seemed right as it was supposed to be now. So much could change in a day.

And yet, he knew it might not be all smooth sailing. He hadn't broached the subject of what would happen next, exactly. But there was no way Bum would want to stay here. There was nothing for him here now. If he really loved Sangwoo like he claimed to, he would come with him.

But could they really go home? With that annoying cop hanging around, who knew if it was safe. Sangwoo might have been careless in his old life and assume things were fine and that the guy didn't have anything on him- on them. But now he felt more cautious. He needed to guard his future with Bum. He didn't need some annoying policeman poking around ruining everything.

While Bum showered, Sangwoo looked around the apartment. It looked lived in, which hurt in a weird way. It had been four months. Of course it was going to look lived in. It wasn't messy per se but the takeout menus on the fridge and shoes left on the floor suggested the apartment was inhabited.

Sangwoo froze hearing a woman scream then chuckled to himself when he realized it was only the couple next door. They really did go at it all the time. Sangwoo was pretty sure at least one of his performances with Bum last night had encouraged a similar one from the couple, the woman screaming in the usual over the top manner while Bum cried out in reaction to Sangwoo eagerly moving against him.

Amusement eased off when he thought of Bum here, listening to the sounds of someone else's union, utterly alone. Before he could allow himself to beat himself up over it again, he made a promise. He would be here for Bum, from here on out. Even if Bum told him difficult things, if he did something to piss him off... he would stand by him. He would be everything Bum needed him to be.

Right as he heard the shower stop, he noticed something. Someone had slipped a piece of paper under the door.

Unfolding it, he expected it to be a note telling them to quit it with all the noise. The thought made him grin. He hoped they left their room number so he could write a letter back, respectfully declining that request. Instead, what he saw made little sense to him.

It made sense in terms of him understanding what he saw, just not what its relevance was. It was a medical type drawing of the human body- well done from what Sangwoo knew about art, which was admittedly not a lot but he could respect its likeness to the real thing. The figure- a naked, faceless man- stood in a sort of starfish shape, legs and arms held out. The drawing was in pencil but above the knees were red horizontal lines- one over each. They appeared to have been made in red ink.

Sangwoo wasn't sure how long he stood there trying to make sense of it. There was no return address- not even Bum's address was on it seeing as they had clearly just shoved it under the door.

“You know, I have to admit- and I never thought I would say this,” Bum walked in, towelling dry his hair. He wore a fuzzy white bathrobe and Sangwoo wondered vaguely if he had stolen it from a hotel.

“I'm kind of sore.. everywhere. Do you think we could maybe I don't know, go slow today?” He grinned while he said it like he knew it would be impossible. Sangwoo wasn't even thinking of them fucking now, which was an impressive feat.

“I'll still go down on you if you want but I need to recharge. Please don't get offended. You fucked me so good, I just need to recover. Sangwoo?”

Sangwoo realized he was frowning and that Bum seemed to think he was angry over what he was saying. The truth was he had hardly even heard him.

“What have you got there?”

Sangwoo mutely handed it to him, still mulling it over.

“You've got weird neighbors, Bum.” He made a vague gesture. “And I don't mean Mr and Mrs. Fuckathon over there. Who would send this kind of thing? I mean, it's well done I guess but pretty weird to give your-” He finally looked at Bum and froze seeing his face.

He looked about five shades paler than usual. Despite looking at the paper, he seemed to be staring right through it, gaze unfocused and weirdly glazed over.

“Bum?”

His smile came a little too fast.

“Ah, yeah, they're weird all right.” He scrunched it up and threw it on the floor. “I'm gonna go get dressed.”

Sangwoo watched his retreating form. Bum left too fast for him to even try and stop him.

Frowning, he picked up the paper and unravelled it. Turning it over in his hands, he suddenly noticed the small writing at the bottom of the page: Mine.