Chapter 1: Chapter One
“How is he doctor?”
The doctor shook his head and spoke to the woman in a hushed tone.
“I’m sorry Haneul, but he probably won’t make it through the night.”
The woman nodded and covered her mouth to smother a cry, her eyes finding the man sitting across the room on the sofa with his head resting on his hands and eyes cast down in sadness.
With a gentle squeeze to the woman’s shoulder, the doctor comforted her before offering the man a nod and taking his leave. The woman saw the doctor out and returned, taking a seat next to the man and resting her head on his shoulder.
“Appa!” she cried softly.
After placing a kiss at the top of her head, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer, comforting her as she cried. She was losing her father and he was losing his soulmate--the love of his life--his only true love.
Taking in the small room, tears fell from his eyes. There were sixty-five years worth of memories that were ingrained in this place. Beautiful memories that they had shared. He smiled through his tears and whispered comforting words to their daughter.
Yes, it was sad that it was all coming to an end but it had all been so fulfilling. They had done everything together, experienced things many couldn’t. They loved, laughed and enjoyed every moment. He had no regrets. He needed nothing more. This was indeed enough.
He and his daughter sat there for a while, just holding each other before she fell into a much-needed slumber. She had been awake for nearly twenty-four hours looking after her ailing father, with some help from him of course. But the man couldn't do much as he was advanced in age himself.
Moving slowly off the couch as to not wake his sleeping daughter, with a hesitant gait, he made his way towards the bedroom where his husband was resting. He pushed open the door and entered quietly. He was awake. A smile spread across the resting man’s face as the other fully entered and closed the door.
A smile spread across his face in response as he had not heard that endearment in months from the other. Most days, he was barely recognized. There was a sense of comfort in knowing that his lover, the other part of him would remember him in these last moments.
“Yes, darling. It’s me.” He said softly as he climbed into bed with him, holding him and placing light kisses on the top of his head.
He was still so fragrant. Even in sickness, even after so many years, the scent of their youth still lingered. It lingered in every room he entered, creating a sense of warmth and happiness. It was one of the many things that attracted him to the other and to know that even the test of time could not erase that feeling, made him incredibly happy.
“Jagi-ah, can you tell me a story?”
With another kiss to the top of the ill one’s head, a small chuckle escaped him as he pulled him closer.
This had become a ritual. Even when the other was well, they would cuddle every night in bed and he would tell the other bedtime stories until he fell asleep.
The ability to weave magical tales had always been easy for him. Their home was littered with evidence of his work in the form of published books stacked and placed neatly into bookshelves, unpublished manuscripts that sat in the corners of their office, study, and bedroom. Writing was something he enjoyed very much despite the stress that came with it from deadlines, promotions and sales pressure. However, what he enjoyed most was laying in bed next to his husband, holding him close and telling him the most fantastical and magical stories his imagination could manifest. In those moments, his imagination seemed to be without boundaries. His bestsellers were often cultivated there--here--with his love in his embrace.
“Yes,” he said with another kiss to the other's temple. “I have one that I have never told you.”
“A new one?” the other said as he shifted in his husband’s embrace to look him in the eyes.
“Yes, darling. A new one.”
The other clapped happily and cuddled closer.
A smile spread across the man’s face as he sighed in contentment before taking them both on a journey that would probably be their last in this lifetime but he hoped to make many more in the lifetimes to come.
Once upon a time in a land where Fae of light and dark magic coexist, there were two kingdoms: The Kingdoms of the Light (Seelie) and The Kingdoms of the Dark (Unseelie).
Many millennia ago, these kingdoms were at odds and because of the hate and intolerance between the two, many wars ensued. Often, the beings of Middle World were catalysts during the many battles. Feeling that the wars were becoming out of hand, The Sovereign Three, the supreme rulers of the Seelie Court, Kingdom of Light, called for a treaty causing peace to began spreading between the two kingdoms. However, not every Fae was a fan of peace. Some thrived off the suffering of others, that wished harm on the beings of Middle World and even the people of the kingdoms that they were once part of. These fae fell into the shadow realm that were banished beyond the Outer Gates. Despite the lengths that the Sovereign Three took, there were instances where these fae would slip through the gates and wreak havoc on all they came in contact with.
To keep the courtless and those that belong to the Shadow in check, the Winter Kingdom (Unseelie Fae), gave an oath to protect both the Seelie and Unseelie that abided by the laws of the treaty. These fae of the Winter Kingdom resided on the moon and stood guard over the night, where unbenevolence found its strength but the Winter Fae were stronger, especially in groups in which they often fought.
The presence of the Winter Kingdom and their power allowed the people of the Spring, Summer and Fall courts to live in peace during the day as even the Unseelie, courtless and Shadow fae weren’t as strong during that time and needed to return to their respective kingdoms to recuperate.
This system worked and harm to those within the treaty was minimized. However, stigma still fell upon the Winter Court. Those of the Kingdom of the Light (Seelie) still feared their protectors and were often on guard for any possible attacks or betrayals. These fae still told stories to their young of the scary and untrustworthy Winter Fae that lived on the moon, fueling an unwarranted fear that would be passed down from generation to generation. The cloud of suspicion and distrust followed the Winter Fae for hundreds of years until the unbiased, selfless love of a nature fae help dispel all preconceived notions, erased all lore, replacing them with the most beautiful love story ever told.
“Kookie, It’ll be dusk soon! We should head home!” Jimin called out from the banks of a lake he and his brother had stopped at to get a drink of water.
After splashing a bit of water on his face, Jimin realized his brother had not answered him. Coming to his feet, and searching the area, his eyes fell on his brother in the midst of practicing his magic. He was mumbling an incantation as a very large stone hovered uneasily just a few inches above the ground. Jimin smiled, even at the age of ten, when most young fae were playing with friends and getting into mischief, Jeongguk was dead set on mastering his magic and becoming the strongest fae in the Spring Kingdom.
At the time, Queen Haeun held that title, with her husband King Changmin coming in second. However, their father believed Jimin’s power outweighed them all and time would only prove his theory. Jimin was flattered by his father’s words but never took him seriously. What father didn't speak highly of their son? Despite Jimin’s skepticism, the older man was adamant and presented his theory about him as fact.
The older fae’s imagination didn’t stop there. He often spoke passionately of a Fae from his dreams with the ability to harness the power of both the Seelie and Unseelie. This all-powerful Fae, his father believed, would put an end to all suffering and create a peace like no being had ever thought possible. He would boast that even the Sovereign Three would bow at this Fae’s feet.
The thought of his father’s outlandish stories caused a small chuckle to fall past his lips. Clearing his head, he refocused on his brother who was still struggling with the large stone. A mischievous smile replaced his amused one as the thought of pranking his brother came to mind.
Jimin focused on the large stone for a moment, clearing his head before blinking, sending the stone high into the air. His brother yelped and fell backward, his wings fluttered preventing him from falling on his bottom. Jeongguk’s face lit up with excitement before turning to his older brother who was now doubled over in laughter. The younger’s smile fell as he realized what had happened.
“Hyung!” The younger Fae yelled, kicking the air. “You jerk! I hope your wings catch mites!”
The curse only caused Jimin to laugh harder because it was Jeongguk that had a bad case of wing mites last year after swimming in a creek that their father forbid them to play in. Luckily, the infestation only lasted for a few days but Jeongguk was indeed miserable as this illness was described as the worst inch any Fae could ever experience, but what probably hurt most was that he had to be quarantined from the family until the illness passed.
Coming down from his fit of laughter, looking over at his brother, Jimin realized that maybe he had gone overboard. His brother was now sitting on the ground, his back towards him and his arms folded in what seemed like a pout. Small cries began to echo through the clearing that housed the lake and the thought of maybe was quickly dashed away and replaced with certainty. Acting quickly, the elder Fae created a bridge of stone across the creek to get to him quickly so he could apologize.
“Kookie, I am so sorry. Please don’t cry!” Jimin said anxiously causing his wings to flutter and him to float a few inches above the ground.
The young fae angrily turned towards his brother. “As if you can make me cry!”
His feet meeting the ground, Jimin stepped towards his brother and touched his face, the younger, of course, waved his hands away in annoyance. Jeongguk opened his mouth in an attempt to insult Jimin, the elder was sure, but was silenced when he, himself heard crying in the distance.
“You heard that right?” Jimin whispered, looking around the expanse to decipher where it was coming from.
A quiet fell over the area and the crying became much clearer. Their eyes met again and Jimin could tell that this time that his brother for sure heard it too.
The elder fae immediately went into protective mode. It would be dark soon and although unbenevolence reigned under the cloak of night, it wasn’t unheard of them to attempt to lure weak fae during dusk. He had to protect his brother. He wasn’t as strong as him.
“Take the fastest route home. Make no stops and don’t look back.”
Worry spread across the younger fae’s features. There was a bit of hesitation as he came to his feet but Jeongguk had always listened to his brother. It was something their parents had preached to the younger his whole life and not once had he not heeded his older brother’s instructions. No matter how minimal it was. This time it was serious and Jimin could tell his brother was scared. It was going to be dark soon and Nature Fae are not as strong during this time and although they had wings, they couldn’t fly, just hover and glide, so they were quick prey for the courtless and the Shadow.
Jeongguk turned towards home and then back at his brother, apprehensive with tears in his eyes before running full speed in the direction his brother instructed. Once he was sure Jeongguk was out of the area, Jimin began to search for the source of the cries. He walked about a quarter of a mile before his eyes found a small child with their knees pulled to their chest sobbing quietly.
Halting his approach, Jimin closed his eyes briefly before opening them again. This child was not Fae. There was neither dark nor light magic emanating from the weeping child. He was also unkempt. His dark hair matted and his clothing tattered and dirty. No Fae, no matter their class would be seen in public in such disarray. This was a human child, an inhabitant of the Middle World.
Jimin had never seen a human close up before. He would often watch the wee ones play at a distance on occasion but he had never approached, although he was curious. He found them fascinating and adorable. He found it remarkable how much they and fae beings were similar with magic the only thing outlining their differences.
Continuing his cautious approach, he studied the child and concluded that they were male and probably around the same age as Jeongguk or a few years younger. He came to a stop a few feet away from the weeping child, cleared his throat to get his attention before speaking.
The boy lifted his head, his eyes slowly widening at the sight of Jimin.
“Are you hurt--lost?” Jimin said with an outstretched hand.
The child gasped and back-peddled away from the concerned Fae until his back collided with a tree preventing him from going further.
Jimin pulled his hand back quickly as the sudden movement of the child startled him as well. His wings fluttered from nervousness as he thought of another way to approach the child without scaring him.
“M-my name is Jimin, a nature fae of the Spring Kingdom. I promise I won’t hurt you.” He took a few steps forward as he continued to speak. “I just want to help you. Are you hurt anywhere?”
The boy sat there motionless, staring up at him wide-eyed with mouth ajar after hearing the Fae speak. However, through his shock, the boy managed to shake his head to indicate that he was unharmed.
A smile spread across Jimin’s face and he once again extended his hand. “My name is Jimin as I said before. What is your name?”
Still seemingly apprehensive, the boy slowly extended his hand. “My n-name is Taehyung.”
Jimin took his hand into his and the boy’s expression calmed and a smile pulled at his lips as he continued to stare in awe.
“You’re a fairy?!” Taehyung said excitedly, amusing Jimin, causing a light chuckle to fill the air.
“Yes! I am!”
“So pretty!” the child droned out trance-like, as he slowly let go of the other’s hand. Jimin laughed again, his wings fluttering once more as a blush tinted his sun-kissed skin.
Jimin studied the boy more in-depth and he realized that beneath his dirt-stained skin, clothing and his matted hair, the human child was also very beautiful. Probably one of the prettiest humans he had ever seen. “You are very pretty too Taehyung.”
The boy smiled, wide and boxy and in response, Jimin’s wings fluttered once more.
They stood there for a few moments. Not speaking, just taking each other in. Jimin snapped out the trance first when the horns from his homeland sounded in the distance, signaling the impending dusk and the setting of the sun.
Since the treaty, Seelie Fae from the Spring Kingdom were forbidden from traveling or leaving their homes at night. He had to hurry home soon. It was in his best interest as well as the human child’s.
“You should hurry home Taehyung. It’ll be dark soon.”
Taehyung’s smile fell and tears filled his eyes before he lunged at Jimin, wrapping his arms around the fairy’s waist and sobbing into his chest.
“Please don’t make me go back there! He’ll hurt me!”
“H-hurt you?” Jimin stammered, taken aback by the boy clinging to him suddenly. “Who will hurt you?”
“My father! Please don’t make me go back there!”
Still confused, Jimin wrapped his arms around the child awkwardly. The desperation in his cries were heartbreaking and Jimin felt his heart breaking with each sob. In response, the fae held him earnestly, stroked his hair and whispered words of comfort to him as he tried to make sense of what Taehyung told him in his mind.
The longer he pondered, it didn’t become any less confusing because the human children he usually saw seemed so happy. Why was this human different? What father would hurt their child? Just as Jimin was about to question Taehyung, night fell upon them. A chill went up the Fae’s spine as the last horn sounded and faded slowly in the distance.
The questions would have to wait. He needed to protect them both. The safest place was his home but it was too risky to try to make the fifteen-minute trek at night and even if they did make it, there was no certainty that he would be welcomed. Humans were rarely allowed to venture into the fae realm. There were exceptions of course, so with no other options, all he could do was hope that Taehyung would be one. He wasn’t sure why but he was afraid that if the human went home to his father, something horrible would happen to him. Quickly making a decision, he decided that they would have to wait it out until the morning before making the journey home.
“It’s alright, Taehyung. No harm is going to come to you. I promise”
The boy nodded into his chest as stones, vines, and roots created a shelter over the two. The sound of the moving stones alerted the young boy causing him to lift his head from Jimin’s chest as the last stone closed them off from the outside world.
Sensing the worry in Taehyung’s tone, Jimin pulled him close. “It’s okay. I built a fort. We will sleep here tonight and I’ll take you to my home in the morning.”
Jimin hoped this would calm the human. This would always work on Jeongguk whenever he had nightmares. He hoped Taehyung had not outgrown this type of game.
“Do you like building forts, Taehyung?”
The younger nodded, his head now in the crook of the other’s neck. Jimin smiled and stroked his back gently.
“I like them but I am afraid of the dark.”
The fae blinked at the human’s declaration. A quiet oh fell past his lips before a single stone from the top of the fort was lifted and a small swarm of fireflies filled the space before it was sealed again.
Jimin gently tapped the other’s shoulder and pointed towards the top of the fort to direct his attention. A wide smile spread across the once frightened boy’s face. Their embrace grew more lax as Taehyung watched the fireflies dance around them.
“Wow!” Taehyung gasped before falling into a fit of giggles as the fireflies swooped down, ruffling his hair under Jimin’s manipulation. This went on for a while until Jimin was sure the boy had calmed and was now laying his head comfortably on Jimin’s shoulder. It was quiet and Jimin was thankful because that meant that they were safe and well hidden.
In his relaxed state, Jimin began to feel sleepy. He closed his eyes and allowed sleep to slowly pull him under.
The fae’s eyes opened slowly at the call of his name.
“Yes?” Jimin responded, his voice heavy from sleep.
“Your home, what is it like?”
Jimin smiled as he envisioned his home. “Close your eyes and I will tell you all about it.”
Taehyung did as he was told, closing his eyes and making himself as comfortable as he could beside Jimin.
“Past the Mab River, through a patch of poplar trees, and a quarter-mile east of the ring of false parasols is the land of Spring.” Jimin exhaled in contentment, closing his eyes before continuing. “ From the moment you enter, your senses become heightened. The scent of Jasmine and vetiver hang onto every gentle breeze, the grass feels lush under your feet and is soft enough to lure you to sleep under the clear blue sky. The flowers--the flowers there hold every color of the rainbow and from that very soil, rich with magic and love, some of the sweetest and most nutritious food you have ever eaten grow.” Taehyung yawned next to him and cuddled closer as he continued. “It’s a safe and happy place. There, no one will ever harm you.”
A sigh escaped the young human and the soft mumble of wanting to visit was followed by light breathing. Jimin looked down at the boy's form and realized he had fallen asleep. During his perusal, Jimin noticed that the other’s tunic had slipped off his shoulder. He moved to adjust it and noticed dark purple bruises marking his tan skin. The fae’s eyes widened in horror. Within a few heartbeats, Jimin’s emotions rode a metaphorical rollercoaster. He was confused, sad and then angry. Jimin had never wanted to harm a human before, but he desperately wanted the person that did this to Taehyung to pay for what they did.
The urge to protect Taehyung grew stronger the longer he stared at the bruises. He was innocent. The young human seemed to exude the same innocence and curiosity as his little brother Jeongguk. It was only natural that he felt protective.
Jimin was not a violent person. It went against everything his people believed in but he wouldn’t hesitate if someone hurt the people close to him and for some reason, that feeling of protectiveness began to spread to the boy he had only met a few hours ago. It was strange but Jimin believed in destiny and that certain happenings weren’t mere coincidences. He felt strongly that he was meant to protect Taehyung and he would. Wrapping his arms around Taehyung and then his wings, Jimin closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
A small gust of wind ruffled Jimin’s hair and he shivered in response. He wrapped his arms around himself, his wings following. He was warmer but he felt that something was missing. Realizing Taehyung wasn’t beside him, he jerked awake, looking frantically around the small space. Taehyung wasn’t there!
Jimin continued to look about and realized that a stone had been removed from their fort and the fireflies were no longer present. A sense of panic washed over him as he quickly climbed through the small opening, summoned the fireflies again to light his path and began to search for the boy.
Calling out to the human would’ve been practical but considering he was trying not to draw attention to either of them he decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea. He would have to rely on the little power he had under these circumstances to find him.
Five minutes had passed and the fireflies that he had summoned had decreased. His powers were becoming weaker. He needed to find Taehyung quickly.
The sound of a horse whining nearby caused him to spin around in the direction from which it came. He stood there, listening a bit more and absorbing the atmosphere. That eerie whine penetrated the quiet again and that’s when he felt it.
“No!” he said just above a whisper.
Dark magic was thick in the air. It was so thick that it was becoming hard for the nature fae to breathe. He needed to get to Taehyung and fast!
He ran full speed in the direction where the magic was thickest. It was in the direction of the lake. Once there, he saw the manifestation of what he had feared.
“Kelpie!” He breathed as his whole body shook from fear.
Frozen from the ferocity of wickedness swirling around him, Jimin stood there watching as Taehyung stroked the horse’s mane with curiosity and then pull it away to inspect the sky blue liquid that coated his hand. He needed to get Taehyung away from the lake but he still couldn’t move. It wasn't until the horse kneeled to allow the boy onto his back that Jimin was able to snap out of his reverie.
“Taehyung! Don’t!” he yelled as he willed vines from nearby trees towards him.
However, the vines weren’t quick enough, falling dead onto the ground missing the boy’s feet by mere inches. Jimin felt the last bit of his power leave him as Taehyung mounted the horse. Falling to the ground in exhaustion, the fae watched as the horse rose on its reigns, letting out a blood-curdling sound before flying high up into the air and then pivoting to make its descent into the lake.
“Taehyung!” Jimin cried out again, his arms outstretched but it seemed the young human had become enchanted. The child didn't even look in his direction. Kelpies are beautiful creatures and it is with that otherworldly beauty that they can mesmerize their victims before taking them into the deepest depths of the water and killing them.
The ground shook violently as the fae watched helplessly. His vision began to blur and fire filled his chest. It was like nothing he had ever felt. Before he could grasp what was happening to him, a beam of light shot down from above, piercing the horse in the neck before it spread, decapitating the demon and making it disintegrate.
Everything was happening so fast. It was dizzying! However, Jimin managed to stay alert long enough to watch Taehyung’s lifeless body free fall towards the lake. He gasped and within a blink of an eye, a being dressed in black, caught the human child inches before impact.
Blinking again trying to decipher what was happening, light illuminated the being and Jimin saw firsthand what he had only read about in books, a fae he had only heard about from stories people told.
“Winter Fae?!” he whispered.
The longer the exhausted fae stared, he realized it wasn’t just one but at least twenty of them flying through the night sky. Their eyes met and Jimin realized that these fae were nothing like they were often described. They weren’t the scary bloodthirsty fae of the night as many called them. They were quite contrary. They were beautiful!
Their large almond-shaped eyes, devoid of irises seemed to have the ability to see souls and captivate with a single glance. And they were doing just that as the nature fae lay in awe at the sight before him but their beauty didn't stop there. Dark hair shone in the moonlight, ruffling in the gentle night breeze as wings in various hues of blue and black fluttered, cutting through the air. The winter fae broke eye contact first, staring down at Taehyung, limp in his arms. A pale hand went to the boy’s throat, touching him gently.
“He’s still alive. Check the rest of the area before we move.” the winter fae said aloud, his voice deep and commanding
Jimin felt his body go limp in relief and his mind began to shut down in an attempt of preservation. He welcomed it this time. He had no energy left to fight. Just as darkness was pulling him under, he felt himself being lifted into the air. The arms that held him were cold but strong and although this person was unknown to him, he felt safe.
Weakly, Jimin’s head rolled towards the being, the faint smell of anise and bergamot clung to its clothing. He inhaled deeply as his tired eyes fluttered open and what he saw made his heart accelerate.
Dark eyes looked down at him, their head tilting in curiosity. Jimin blinked to clear his vision, sure he was dreaming but when he opened them, they were still staring but this time, their eyes were different. They were no longer dark and exotic but were native to what eyes typically looked like except they were the most beautiful shade of purple and unlike the other winter fae, whose hair was black, this one’s hair was the same rich purple. The contrast of the purple with pale skin was remarkable. Jimin didn’t know where he found the courage or strength but he lifted his hand and touched their cheek. Their eyes widened in surprise as Jimin moved to cup its cheek. They were breathtaking!
“Pretty.” Jimin whispered before he grew too weak to continue keeping his eyes open and his arm fell limply.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Short Chapter but please enjoy :)
“Prince, please!” A winter knight said as he took the pink-haired fae from his arms. “Let me carry him. You are only here to observe.”
With slight reluctance, the prince relinquished the unconscious fae to his knight. However, his eyes never left him. Even as they made the short journey to the spring kingdom.
He had never felt such warmth in all his seventeen years and his scent….it was the sweetest he had ever smelled. His touch was so gentle and the way he looked at him--he wasn’t afraid and did he call him pretty?
His eyes snapped towards the head knight who wore a stoic and serious expression.
“Focus.” the knight said sternly as they descended into the land of the spring fae.
Namjoon was slightly alarmed by how lively and bright the place was at this time of night. He knew of the strict curfew this land had in place but it seemed the center of this territory was alive with people, talking loudly and aggressively. It wasn’t until they approached the crowd that he realized what the commotion was all about.
“My son is missing and all I ask is permission to search for him!”
Namjoon watched as the older man spoke passionately to whom he guessed was the queen of the spring kingdom, his wife and small child crying at his side. Was this the fae that they rescued family?
“Manshik-ssi, I understand your urgency but we will be no help to him at this time, it's best we wait until--” The queen’s words faltered as her eyes fell on the visitors. Her expression grew serious and the kindness in her features and tone disappeared as she addressed the small army of winter fae.
“To what do we owe the honor of your presence Winter Knight Sangwook and after you answer that question please tell me how you managed to penetrate my barrier?”
The crowd parted and allowed the small army to move forward. Namjoon was in awe at all of the bright hair and clothing of the fae around him. He had never seen so many Seelie fae at one time. This wasn’t his first mission with the winter knights but they usually vanquished the courtless or rebel fae before they could cause harm. Only on rare occasions were fae or humans involved so this was somewhat new to him.
“We are here to return something that belongs to you.” Sangwook said with a nod as another knight came forward with the still unconscious spring fae in his arms.
“Jimin!” the family cried in unison as they hurried to remove him from the knight’s arms. The father held him close, kissing his face and hair.
“Thank you.” The father said tearfully with appreciation.
Namjoon looked around at the group and noticed that none made a move to acknowledge the elder’s gratefulness but were instead engaged in a heated staredown with the queen and her guards.
His mother had always taught him to respect his elders so he opened his mouth, attempting to greet and accept the gratitude offered to them but was halted by a hand across his chest by Sangwook.
“Don’t thank us. I would prefer that you teach your child the importance of keeping with the laws of our treaty. We are here to protect but will not continue to put our lives on the line for those who are being blatantly disobedient.”
Namjoon watched as the father’s expression went from gracious to confusion and anger. The older man opened his mouth to speak but was hampered by his wife speaking before him.
“We will and are very sorry for the inconvenience.”
The man shot his wife a glance and she shook her head in warning. The father conceded and the family bowed before leaving the center of the crowd.
The prince tried desperately to follow the family with his eyes through the crowd. He just wanted one last glance at the beautiful fae. He wasn’t sure if he would never see him again and he was certain he would never meet a Seelie fae that was as kind as he.
Despite what Sangwook was spewing, Namjoon was able to piece together that the fae in question was not being disobedient at all but was trying to protect the human child. This was rare. He had never seen a Seelie fae risk their life for a human. Even those of his kingdom were reluctant but followed through due to the alliance between courts and peace overall. However, this fae was different. He was selfless and apparently saw value and beauty in things most wouldn’t. He had to if he thought someone like him was pretty.
“And to answer your second question, Queen Haeun, your barrier is weak. I’m beginning to wonder if the title of the strongest spring fae suits you.”
The queen gritted her teeth in anger as the head knight smiled before giving a hand signal indicating his command for their departure.
The group rose into the air, Namjoon caught the family as they were making their way through town. He silently bid farewell to the pink-haired fae, that smelled of jasmine and something else he couldn't name, whose face was so delicate and angelic that it took his breath away. Who captivated him with a selfless gesture and a single word. He knew that this would probably be the last time he saw him but he couldn’t help but hope it wasn’t.
Namjoon sat on his bed, removing the heavy boots from his feet, thoughts of the spring fae still filling his thoughts. A light knock on the door diverted his attention before he told them to enter.
The young prince sighed as his father entered the room. His father wasn’t the type to just come to chat. He was sure this was going to be one of his signature lectures where he ended up being berated for something Sangwook reported to him. That man was strict and cold but he was successful in all he did so, of course, his father would take heed to his advice.
The king took a seat on the bed beside him before speaking.
“Sangwook told me you were a bit distracted tonight. Did something happen?”
Namjoon shook his head. He knew what sounded like concern was anything but. His father wasn’t the type he could divulge his feelings and thoughts to. His mother, on the other hand, was much more understanding and trusting. He had no other choice but to lie “No. nothing happened.”
The elder royal nodded and patted his son on the back. “That’s good to hear but I’ve decided you should refrain from night watches for a while and focus on your magic studies a little more.”
“What? But--” Namjoon said in protest.
He knew the chances of him seeing the fae again were slim to none but he still hoped for a miracle but now that he was being forced to stay within these walls, there would be no chance at all.
The prince just wanted to see him again, talk to him at least once. He wanted to ask him why he did what he did for that human and also why he thought he was pretty. However, there was something else he wanted to ask the fae about. It was something the others probably didn’t notice but he did.
When the fae fell to the earth, as he was calling out to the human, the atmosphere seemed to shift and a foreign feeling formed in his chest. He looked around and saw that the others seemed unfazed so he assumed he was hallucinating. Maybe it wasn't a hallucination? Maybe it was but now he would never know as well as the many other questions he had for the pretty fae.
“No buts. I need you focused Joon. You will be king one day and many will depend on you. You can’t allow your curiosity to become a distraction.”
“I know.” Namjoon said somberly.
“Good! I’m glad we came to a quick understanding. I will see you in the morning.”
The young prince nodded as the elder stood and left the room. Once he was gone, Namjoon fell back onto his bed and stared up at the ceiling. He had to see that fae again but how? They couldn't meet at night because it was far too dangerous and he was sort of grounded and the day was certainly out of the question. Not only that, how would he find him? He very well couldn’t venture into the spring kingdom. The longer he laid there, ideas began to swirl around in his head. He smiled as he thought of the perfect guise to overcome all of those obstacles.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
This chapter is a bit longer :) Enjoy and please leave comments. It's encouraging to hear from you :)
Thank you for Reading!!!! xoxoxo
“I don’t think that human is coming back, hyung.”
Jimin sighed as he fingered a blade of grass near the lake’s bank. He and Jeongguk had been coming there faithfully for a week in hopes of seeing Taehyung again. He was worried and scared for the human. He wasn’t sure what had happened to him once he was returned home and because of that, he found it hard to sleep, eat or think about anything else but him.
“It’s getting dark. We’ll leave soon. Don’t worry.”
Jeongguk nodded and picked up a rock to skip along the lake. Just as the rock hit the water a gasp could be heard from beside Jimin and he noticed out of peripheral that his brother had gone rigid.
“Kookie, what--” Jimin’s eyes found what had caused his brother’s shock and shot up to his feet.
The winged fae guards stood before them. Jimin stood in front of his brother protectively as the faes eyed them with aloof and arrogant expressions.
“Prince Namjoon of the winter court is requesting your company tomorrow at dusk at this location.”
Jimin was confused. Prince Namjoon? Who was that and why did he want to meet him? “Prince Namjoon?”
The guard turned his nose up slightly at Jimin’s unawareness. “Yes, the crowned Prince. The prince of the people that saved your life a week ago.”
Ignoring the guard’s apparent disgust, Jimin tried his best to remember what happened that night. Yes, he remembered Taehyung and even the Kelpie. He even remembered the winter knights saving him but he didn't remember a Prince being there. He searched every inch of his mind to try to recollect any memories of the fae. He was sure if he had been in the presence of royalty that he wouldn't forget. Despite his curiosity, he couldn’t meet with the prince. His father had conditioned him to coming home well before dark. It was the only way he would let him venture outside of the kingdom.
“I can’t. I have to be home before dusk.”
The guard looked down at him, his expression unreadable. “I will relay the message to the prince.”
The group turned to leave and it was then that Jimin realized that if anyone knew what had happened to Taehyung, they would. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.
“Wait! Please!” Jimin called out to the fae just before they left the ground.
They all turned back towards the two. Jimin wasn’t usually so easily intimidated but these fae had that aura about them. It seemed they knew they were stronger than most fae and Jimin began to wonder if all winter fae behaved like this. If so, he definitely had no interest in meeting the prince.
“The human from middle world that was saved that night, where is he and is he okay?”
The head guard sighed before speaking. “We don’t typically interfere in the affairs of humans. We leave that to the fae of your court but if you are curious, why don’t you meet with the prince as he requested? I am sure he will have an answer for you.”
Jimin thought momentarily. He was sure that disobeying his father would cause him to be in a heap of trouble and possible forbiddance of venturing beyond their land. The elder thought it was foolish anyway but he allowed it because before their world became so conflicted and dangerous, they were free to move about their land and middle world as they pleased and had close relationships with humans. That was until the Unseelie became uncontrollable and excessively violent. This made Unseelie very untrustworthy to the Seelie but Jimin needed to know what happened to Taehyung. He needed to know if he was safe, so with a short nod, he agreed and the fae were off, flying high into the sky.
Once the guard fae were out of sight, Jimin began to think hard about how he was to meet with the prince and make it home before dark.
“Hyung, you aren’t really going to disobey Appa, are you?”
Jimin turned to his brother, placed his hands on his shoulders. “Kookie, I need you to trust me.”
“But Hyung!” The young fae said tearfully. “What if it’s a trick? What if you get hurt again?!”
Jimin smiled at his brother’s concern and wiped away a tear that fell from his eye. “I will be fine. I wasn’t hurt last time. Just tired.”
The younger nodded and wiped at his eyes.
“I thought I couldn’t make you cry?” Jimin said with a gentle smile.
“You can’t! I’m just allergic to stupidity is all!” the younger retorted with a pout.
Jimin couldn't help but laugh as he held his brother and ruffled his hair. “I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”
“Promise.” Jimin whispered with a kiss to his brother’s forehead. “Now, let’s head home.”
Jeongguk nodded as he allowed his older brother to lead him towards their land.
As they made the short walk home, Jimin may have been able to seem certain of his safety on the outside but in truth, he was a little scared. He hoped he wouldn’t break his promise.
Jimin sat near the bank of the lake just staring out at the slow-moving water. Fish jumped from the water as dragonflies flew through the air. Birds could be heard singing in the trees as a gentle breeze ruffled his hair and his clothing.
Looking down at his attire, Jimin hoped he was dressed properly to greet a prince. Choosing from the best in his wardrobe, the nature fae wore a green sheer chiffon wrap blouse that fell past his hips, a deep solid green belt tied around his thin waist giving the blouse a bit more shape and elegance. He finished the look with a pair of dark green tights and golden booties. He styled his pink hair as usual and wore minimal make-up. He didn’t want to over do it. This would be a short meeting but he still wanted to be presentable.
The energy in the atmosphere shifted and Jimin soon forgot about his attire, his eyes going heavenward.
There they were. The winter fae. Residents of the moon and protectors of all fae under the
treaty of the Sovereign Three. Immediately, Jimin recognized the guards from before but there were two others in their company. A short stout fae whose eyes were large and shifty. He wasn’t too appealing as far as looks but he was dressed smartly and seemed kinder based on his expression as compared to the guards.
The small fae approached first, bowing to Jimin and he returned it nervously.
“Hello, please don't be frightened. My name is Doyoon and I am a top advisor to King Hanuel of the winter kingdom.”
Jimin nodded and bowed again. “My name is Jimin a nature fae of the Spring kingdom.”
“So you are a commoner?” the advisor asked and Jimin wasn’t sure how to answer.
He was a commoner but his family did have a close relationship with the royal family. Their garden provided some of the best produce and herbs in the kingdom so they earned a very high reputation although not royal.
“Yes, I suppose I am.”
The advisor murmured something under his breath. It sounded like something about this is going to be troublesome. Before Jimin could try to decipher what the fae was speaking of, a fae, probably the most beautiful Jimin had ever seen stepped forward.
He was tall. At least a head or two taller than him. His skin was very pale, reminiscent of snow but his gaze, it was the opposite. Dark purple eyes studied him, surrounding him with warmth that seemed to overshadow the dark magic that swirled around them. Dark purple wings fluttered as he moved forward, distracting Jimin briefly causing him to take in his full attire. He was dressed in black from head to toe. A black cotton v-neck shirt with a silver-studded harness fixed across his chest. Black leather pants and heavy boots finished his look as a silver crown sat atop his purple tresses.
Jimin swallowed hard and took in a quick breath. His heart began to go haywire and it seemed to accelerate even more as the prince approached.
When the winter prince was finally before him, their eyes met and the wind seemed to pick up as they stood there studying each other silently. It was at the moment that Jimin caught a whiff of anise in the air. It all came flooding back now. He remembered being in his arms. He remembered his stare and his scent vividly. He remembered the dark eyes that looked down at him and how in a blink of an eye they became the gorgeous purple ones looking back at him at this very moment.
“Hi. My name is Namjoon. It’s nice to meet you again Jimin.”
Jimin was not sure what to do so he bowed quickly, staying in that position for a moment to regain his barings. He squeezed his eyes shut and took in a few quick breaths before coming upright.
“Nice to meet you, your highness. Thank you for your help that night.” Jimin recited without taking much of a breath.
The spring fae cringed inwardly at his rushed tone. He was sure he sounded like a wound-up fool. He wasn't one to get nervous in the presence of a stranger but there was something different about Namjoon and it wasn't just because he was royalty.
The prince smiled and Jimin nearly melted at the sight of the dimples in his cheeks. Why was he so beautiful? He wasn't as his father described them to be at all! The longer Jimin stared at the adorable indentations in the royal’s cheek he realized what was happening to him and the reason for his odd behavior.
“There is no need to be formal. How old are you by the way?” The prince said gently.
Namjoon nodded. “Good, I am seventeen, so there is no need for honorifics.”
Jimin nodded thoughtlessly but instantly snapped out of it as he realized there was a need for honorifics. Despite their age, he was still royal.
“Umm, no! You are a prince and--”
“No.” Namjoon interjected calmly. “Namjoon or Joon is fine.”
Not wanting to argue, Jimin agreed with a shake of his head.
Namjoon put out his hands, palm up and Jimin stared from his hands to his face in confusion but soon understood what this gesture was.
Jimin slowly placed his hands atop the other’s, still slightly confused.
“Jimin, there are so many questions swirling in my mind as I look at you, so many things I planned on saying but the moment I laid eyes on you again, it all disappeared.”
Cold hands caressed his, causing his eyes to fall to witness the action and then back up to gaze into the purple depths. Was he under a spell? An incantation? His mind had gone blank as well and he found himself not wanting to look away from the other’s gorgeous eyes.
“This is embarrassing.” the prince said with a chuckle. “However, I am glad I was able to see you again and I am hoping it won't be the last. There is still so much I want to know about you.”
The fae nodded mindlessly again, his mouth slightly agape due to the prince’s words.
What was happening? Why was he interested in him? What happened that night? Did he do or say something? All of these questions flooded his psyche but he just couldn't find the fortitude to ask them. It seemed they had similar effects on each other.
“Let’s meet the day after tomorrow, at the same time? I will come alone and we can speak more freely.”
“O-okay.” Jimin squeaked. His tone making him want to hide under the largest boulder in the forest.
The prince gave a dimpled smile once more before lifting Jimin's hand to his lips and placing a small kiss there. Jimin gasped and his body jerked in response to his cool lips.
“See you soon Jimin.” The prince said as he turned to leave. It was then that Jimin remembered they had an audience.
The royal guard stood there regarding him with their usual unreadable expression but the small bugul wore a gentle smile and his face was soft with adoration. The servant didn’t snap out of his trance until the prince tapped his shoulder. The bugul immediately cleared his throat and bowed politely.
“It was a pleasure meeting you Jimin. Return home safely.”
Jimin returned the gesture and as he was coming upright, he remembered something he had to ask the Prince. It was something that couldn't wait.
“Wait!” Jimin yelled causing them halt in their departure. “I’m sorry but your highness, there is something that I must ask you.”
Namjoon approached again, his face full of concern. “What is it Jimin?”
Jimin instantly forgot his thought as Namjoon stood before him. The spring fae shook his head to clear it.
“T-Taehyung, the boy you and the knights saved--what happened to him?”
Namjoon thought briefly before speaking. “Oh, the human child? He was returned to his kind.”
Jimin’s mouth went dry and a sense of dread filled him. His father would continue to hurt him and possibly worse if they returned him. Tears filled his eyes as he thought of Taehyung and the promises he failed to keep.
“Your highness, please!” Jimin sniffled. “Taehyung isn’t safe there. His father hurts him and--”
“His father hurts him?” The prince asked in an incredulous tone.
Jimin nodded wiping his eyes.
Namjoon turned to his guards, giving them a quick order. “You two.” Namjoon said addressing the guards. “Find the human and report his whereabouts to me.”
Two of the guard rose into the air and did as they were commanded without a second thought. The prince then turned to Jimin, placing his hand on the fae’s shoulder. “He will be safe. I will ensure it. Please don’t worry.”
Jimin nodded. “Thank you.”
Namjoon smiled again. “Thank me by being at this very spot the day after tomorrow.”
A smile spread across Jimin’s face as the prince turned and ascended into the air. The spring fae stood there dumbfounded but relieved. He had faith that the prince would keep his word and because of that, he would as well. He would be at this very spot the day after tomorrow, waiting.
The nature fae snapped from his thoughts and handed his father the fruit salad as he had requested.
“Sorry.” Jimin mumbled as the elder removed it from his grasp.
The journey home was a blur. He couldn’t get the prince out of his mind or Namjoon as he asked him to call him. The thought of speaking to someone of his caste informally made Jimin blush and a smile to be fixated on his lips. He was looking forward to seeing the winter prince again. He also had so many questions.
“Hmm?” Jimin said nearly knocking over the contents of his cup. He had caught it just in time. His mother laughed and his father shook his head in amusement.
“Where is your head today?” the older fae said as she pinched his cheek. Jimin smiled shyly and began eating his dinner.
“I take it that your meeting with Prince Haeil went well?” His father said as he scooped some food onto his wife’s plate.
Confused, Jimin paused, his spoon nearly at his mouth. His eyes darted to his younger brother who nodded inconspicuously out of the elder’s view.
“O--Oh! Yes! It went well!” the pink-haired fae reassured his parents. Satisfied, they all continued to eat in mostly silence and fell into their nightly routine soon after.
“Thanks for covering for me Kookie.”
The younger nodded as he dried a dish Jimin handed him and put it away.
“You’re welcome but please don’t make me lie to appa again. I don’t like it.” the younger pouted.
“I’m sorry.” Jimin genuinely felt bad for putting his brother in this situation. He wanted to make it right. “Hey, how about I really go see Prince Haeil tomorrow and you can come with me?”
Jeongguk’s face lit up with excitement. “Really?! I can come with you?!”
Jimin nodded as he wiped down the damp counter and Jeonnguk looked like he was about to burst from excitement.
“Let’s sleep early then!” Jeongguk said pulling his older brother by the hand before he could hang the towel properly.
Jimin sat with his feet in the lake as Jeongguk and Prince Haeil were practicing magic nearby. The royal guard flew up above and hid in trees, keeping a close watch on the three. The nature fae would turn away from the water towards the two whenever, his brother’s laughter would fill the air. They really got along well together.
Prince Haeil had always been kind to them. It seemed status was never an issue with him or his family for that matter. Their kingdom was run like a big family and as with any family there are bound to be closer relationships. Jimin and his family just happened to be one of those few families that were close with the royals. However, everyone in the kingdom loved and respected each other the same.
“Jiminie! Come play with us!” The prince called with a smile as Jeongguk managed to levitate a stone a few feet from the ground. A huge improvement from last time.
Jimin declined with a shake his head and turned back to the water.
There was so much on his mind. Thoughts of both the winter prince and Taehyung made him extremely nervous and anxious. Tomorrow he would see the Prince Namjoon again. He silently hoped that the meeting would put his mind and heart at ease.
Jimin turned towards Haeil as he took a seat beside him, rolled up his pant legs and stuck his feet in the water.
“What’s on your mind? You haven’t been like yourself today.”
The pink-haired fae shrugged and the Prince bumped his shoulder gently with a smile.
“Come on Jiminie! We’ve been friends since we were two. fourteen years of friendship, you can tell me anything. I’m here for you.”
Looking over at Haeil, Jimin sighed. His friend was right. They had always been there for one another and confided in one another about everything. It was just this time it was different. How do you talk about a subject that his people were so closed-minded about and afraid of? Despite his reservations, he decided that if there was anyone he could talk to, it was Haeil.
“Well…” Jimin began. “What do you know about the Winter fae and not what you read about in books or heard from the elders?”
Haeil shifted uncomfortably beside him, clasping his hands in his lap. “I don’t know much but that my parents always told me to stay away from them and that they are dangerous.”
Jimin felt defeated by his friend's answer. It was the same rhetoric that he had heard for years. He believed it at first as well but that was before meeting Prince Namjoon.
“If it is about last week, you shouldn't confuse duty for kindness. They aren’t to be trusted. They are only following the treaty out of fear of the raft of the sovereign three. They are waiting for an opportunity to have the treaty dissolved, waiting for a reason, waiting for us to betray them or trick them so they have a reason to destroy us.”
The nature fae shook his head before meeting Haeil’s concerned eyes. “I really don’t feel like it's like that at all.”
Haeil expression changed from worry to confusion so Jimin decided to elaborate.
“I met the Winter Prince.”
“What?! Did he harm you?! Because if--” Haeil began before his friend quickly dispelled the thought.
“He didn’t and I have a strong feeling that he won't.”
Haeil calmed a bit but Jimin could tell that his friend was still skeptical.
“He was so kind and gentle. I could feel the dark magic in him but there was something else. I have never felt anything like it before.”
“Did he enchant you somehow?”
“No. It wasn’t a spell.” Jimin reassured his friend.
“How can you be so sure?” Haeil questioned.
Jimin closed his eyes briefly before turning back towards the lake. “He isn’t here and I can still feel it.”
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
A longer Joon chapter :) enjoy! Thank you for reading!!
“Can you stop staring at me Doyoon-ssi?” Namjoon said as he tried desperately to concentrate on the book in front of him.
“A nature fae Namjoon?”
Namjoon lifted the book higher in a bashful gesture. He was just curious. Why was Doyoon making it such a big deal? Well, maybe he was more than curious but that was his secret.
“You tricked me into taking you to the outer gates so you can see a nature fae? Not that I blame you. He is very beautiful but you know your father would not be pleased.” The older fae said adjusting his glasses before resuming his own reading.
“I know!” Namjoon said placing the book onto the desk in frustration. “This is why you can never tell him.”
The royal advisor looked up from his book at pleading eyes. “Now you know that’s impossible! As a bugul, it’s impossible for me to lie.”
“You don’t have to lie. Just avoid the subject. I promise that I will not include you anything further.”
“Wait!” Doyoon said as he removed his glasses. “What do you mean anything further ? You plan on seeing him even after tomorrow?”
Namjoon did not offer an answer but instead lifted his book to begin reading again. It was best he not share anything more with the bugul as to not compromise his position. Doyoon was a great friend and mentor. He didn’t want to see him hurt or punished so from this point on, he would have to figure things out on his own.
Sneaking out of the Winter Kingdom wasn’t an easy feat. Slipping away under the pretense of training with the knights before their nightly duties was the perfect guise to fool his parents and offered enough of a distraction for the head knight to not notice.
Namjoon flew quickly towards the earth, the beautiful bright landscape of home looming behind him. He didn’t have much time. An hour max. Not nearly enough time but he would figure that out later. He needed to hurry.
Seeing the lake in the short distance was comforting but when the prince noticed that the fae wasn’t there, he began to worry.
His feet hitting the ground, he looked around hurriedly for any sign of the pink haired beauty but he really wasn’t there. Namjoon felt his heart sink in disappointment.
This was the spot they had agreed on and the time. He wondered if something happened or if he had changed his mind about meeting him.
Namjoon fought the urge to fly to the spring kingdom and find out for himself but he knew he wasn’t welcomed there. He would just wait a bit longer and then go home. Taking a seat at the edge of the lake, Namjoon watched as dragonflies flew around freely, dipping into the lake occasionally before rising into the air again. It was so relaxing and beautiful. He would sit there all day if he could.
Namjoon grew rigid at the sound of the soft voice behind him. He turned slowly and there was Jimin, dressed in a beautiful silk green ensemble with his pink hair styled away from his face. The prince was grateful, he could really appreciate his beauty this way. His hooded eyes stared at him apologetically. Namjoon guessed it was because he was late but that didn't matter at the moment. Not when soft blush-colored eyes were regarding him a hint of curiosity, shyness and a bit of fear. Namjoon hoped that after today, the latter will be erased.
“Jimin.” Joon breathed, coming to his feet and approaching the nature fae. “I thought you wouldn't come.”
Jimin smiled. “And yet you still waited?”
Namjoon nodded. He now realized how foolish he must have seemed.
“I’m sorry but it was difficult for me to get away.”
“I understand. Me too.” Namjoon said moving closer.
After the brief explanation and apology, they stood there silently, just admiring each other before Namjoon spoke but immediately regretted his choice of words soon after.
“You are so beautiful!”
Jimin’s eyes widened and Namjoon watched as the fae’s wings fluttered and a blush spread across his cheeks. He didn’t mean to say that out loud and he hated that he probably made the other feel uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry!” Namjoon apologized quickly. “I--”
Jimin laughed and Namjoon was taken aback by his response but was in awe at how melodious his laugh was.
“Don’t apologize. It is okay. Unless you didn't mean it?” The fae said as his expression went from amusement to concerned anticipation.
“No! Of course, I meant it!” Namjoon began to stumble over his words. “I just don’t want to scare you.”
Jimin smiled. “Thank you but don’t worry. I don’t typically scare easily.”
Namjoon returned the smile and the air around them suddenly began to move. Jimin’s smile faltered but his eyes remained soft and curious. It was as if he was searching for something, trying to understand.
“Can you feel that?”
Namjoon felt it but he wanted to hear Jimin’s explanation. He already had an inkling of what it was.
“What does it feel like?”
The nature fae shook his head. “Nevermind. It was nothing. We should speak quickly. We don’t have much time.”
The prince didn’t like the sudden switch in Jimin’s demeanor but he was right. They needed to hurry.
“Were you able to find the human child?”
“Yes, and he is safe. You need not worry about him any longer.” Namjoon said reassuringly causing Jimin to sigh in relief as he took a seat in the grass and Namjoon followed. Careful not to sit too close.
“Now that you’ve answered my question, what is it that you would like to ask me?”
Namjoon met his eyes but then looked away shyly. “Well, there are quite a few things I’d like to ask but I don't want to overwhelm you so I’ll just ask you two questions.
“That night--” Namjoon hesitated wanting to make sure he worded the question properly. “That night you said something to me and I wanted to know why?”
“I said something?”
Namjoon shook his head in agreement. “Yes. You said that I was pretty. Why?”
“Why?” Jimin parroted nervously.
“Yes.” Namjoon pulled his knees close to him as he continued. “You see, I’ve been described as many things and pretty had never been one of them.”
“That's understandable. I’ve been told all my life how scary your kind are and how bloodthirsty and wicked you are as well.”
“Not all of us are like that,” Namjoon said sadly.
“I know,” Jimin responded with a knowing smile.
Namjoon’s sadness dissipated at the other fae’s acknowledgment. It made him feel comfortable. It made him want to share more. This was a new feeling. He had only reserved moments like this for his mother and Doyoon. However, even then he was careful not to say too much. Because although they weren’t the quintessential winter fae, they still upheld their beliefs and had a great fear of the king, his father.
“My mother is a will o' the wisp and my father is a darkling. Despite the reputation of the fae with my mother’s power, she wouldn't hurt a fly. My father, however…” Namjoon paused with an exasperated breath before continuing. “...and fae like him are what keep the stereotypes about us going. I hope that when I become king, I can change that.”
The prince stole a quick glance at Jimin. He was looking down at his hands. Namjoon began to worry that he was probably boring him.
“I know it sounds ridiculous.” Namjoon chuckled nervously.
“It’s not. I think it’s beautiful.”
Their eyes met and Namjoon felt like he could stare into those pink depths forever. His eyes were so honest and emotive. The warmth that radiated from them, from him. It was something he was not used to seeing or feeling. It was magnetic and the pull he felt was hard to fight. His hands itched to touch him, to feel that warmth once again first hand.
“May I touch you?”
There was a pregnant silence before the nature fae nodded silently.
Slowly, Namjoon reached out and cupped Jimin’s face. The younger fae shivered at the contact but didn’t pull away. His eyes remained transfixed as Joon felt a familiar heat spread through his body.
His heart began to pound in his chest, breathing had become difficult and sweat began to form on his brow. He should pull away but he couldn’t. The pull was getting stronger and Namjoon felt the need to get closer despite his mind’s protest.
“Can I kiss you.”
Namjoon wasn’t sure where he found the words but there they were. It was too late to take it back. He just hoped his boldness wouldn’t be taken as arrogance.
“Yes. Please.” Jimin said without the slightest hesitation.
There was no hesitation on the Prince’s part as well. His lips sought the others with a gentle urgency, Jimin’s eyes closing in the process.
When their lips finally met, the once still air around them began to pick up almost violently and the ground shook underneath them. The hands that didn't want to leave Jimin’s face, seemed to become warmer. Was it his imagination? This was his first kiss. He wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be feeling. However, what he was certain of is that it felt so good.
His lips were so soft and sweet. He pulled away and ran his tongue across his own to have a better taste before kissing the nature fae once again. They probably could’ve stayed like that for most of the night but the sound of a horn in the distance startled the younger, causing him to pull away slowly.
“I must go.”
Namjoon nodded and moved his hands away from his face. They both came to their feet in unison, Jimin unable to meet his eyes. Namjoon slowly lifted his chin.
“I like you.” Namjoon said softly. His emotions seemed to be so unfiltered around Jimin. He should feel ashamed but he didn’t. He couldn’t help how he felt. He just hoped what he was feeling was mutual.
His hope was answered by the nature fae boldly kissing him again, nearly knocking him over in the process. Namjoon wrapped his arms around him to keep them balanced as they kissed once more as the horn resounded again through the forest. They separated once more. This time it was Namjoon that urged him to hurry home.
“You should go.”
Jimin shook his head in agreement and moved to leave but was halted by Namjoon’s hand grasping his wrist. The fae turned to him, wide-eyed.
“I still haven’t asked my second question.”
As Jimin awaited the question patiently, Namjoon took the fae in one last time, A dreamy sigh escaping him as he marveled at how unreal this all felt, at how ethereally beautiful the nature fae was.
“Can I see you again tomorrow?”
Jimin shook his head eagerly.
Satisfied, Namjoon slowly released him, allowing his hand to grasp Jimin’s briefly before releasing him completely. Jimin took a few steps towards home and turned back as if he had forgotten something important.
“I like you too Namjoon.”
The flight home was uneventful. Namjoon was on cloud nine the whole way. He wasn’t sure how but he had just made it home before the sun completely set. When he finally arrived back at the palace, the knights were wrapping up their training and preparing for duty. Thankful for the distraction, Namjoon decided this would be a perfect time to slip back to his room undetected.
Namjoon jumped and turned around at the call of his name. It was Sangwook and he didn't look all too pleased.
The winter knight approached him and looked down at him suspiciously. Namjoon shifted nervously, his eyes not able to hold the others.
“I was looking for you a bit ago, where were you?”
The prince hadn’t thought this far ahead. He should've known his disappearance would be noticeable and it didn't help his case that Sangwook was extremely observant.
“I took a quick walk during the break and lost track of time.”
Sangwook looked down at him with an unreadable expression. Namjoon shifted nervously, rubbing the back of his neck under the knight’s perusal.
“Well, I guess I’ll head to my room now.”
Namjoon exhaled in relief as he moved to pass Sangwook. It seemed he bought it as he didn’t press him further.
“Namjoon.” the older fae said as he placed his hand on the younger’s shoulder to stop him.
Namjoon eyes finally met the knight’s. The knight inhaled and his brow furrowed. He was angry.
“Let’s not make your walks a habit, yeah?”
The prince nodded obediently as the Sangwook gave his shoulder a squeeze before moving forward and directing his knights to get into formation.
The winter prince bolted once he had the opportunity. He didn’t like the sound of that warning. Its undertones were surely a threat. Did he know? Impossible! He would need to be more careful and he was from that point on.
Eventually, he was released from the restriction of staying within the kingdom. He resumed his knight training three times a week and the other nights or just before nightfall, he would spend his time with fae he was quickly falling in love with.
He learned so much about him during their time together. He learned that wasn’t an ordinary nature fae. He didn’t have to rely on spells or incantations for his magic. He just had to envision it and it would be so. It was astounding! Of all the books he’s read about Seelie fae, he had never read about one who could summon their magic in such an unconventional way. Jimin was special and the more time they spent together, it was obvious that Jimin hadn’t realized it yet. He hoped to change that in time.
“I don’t know why you felt the need to bring me into town knowing how much commotion it would cause.” Doyoon said as they entered what seemed like the hundredth shop that day.
The crowd outside of the shop had grown larger as Namjoon walked around aimlessly looking for the perfect gift for Jimin’s seventeenth birthday.
“It’s got to be here!” Namjoon shouted from the rear of the shop as the keeper followed him around.
“I sure hope it is.” Doyoon said with a yawn.
“I’ve found it!” Namjoon shouted and Doyoon hurried to where the prince was to see what had made him so excited.
Namjoon held out a copper necklace with a simple blossomed rose as its pendent.
“Its beautiful Namjoon-ah.”
The prince giggled with excitement. “Do you think he’ll like it?”
Doyoon took the necklace from Namjoon’s grasp and studied it carefully. It was so dainty, simple, yet very beautiful.
“He’ll love it! I am sure of it.” The advisor said reassuringly as he handed the necklace back to Namjoon.
The prince took it and handed it to the shopkeep, a smile plastered on his face as he envisioned the nature fae’s reaction. He couldn’t wait to give it to him.
Namjoon paced at the edge of the lake as he rehearsed what he would say before giving the necklace to Jimin. He wanted to tell him how he felt about him. How what started out as curiosity had turned into love. He loved Jimin. He loved Jimin a lot and he hoped he felt the same.
Just as Namjoon felt he had what he was going to say down, a swarm of butterflies surrounded him. Beautiful butterflies of many colors. One even found its perch on the tip of his nose before rejoining the others in the air. A smile lit up Namjoon’s features as the butterflies continued to dance around him. This could only be the work of one fae.
The winter prince spun around and there Jimin was, smiling as always with his hands behind his back. He was dressed so beautifully in green from head to toe. A full silk attire with vine-like embroidery along his collar. His pink hair was bright and neatly styled as usual but what was different was the way his pouty lips seemed to shine under the setting sun. The urge to kiss him was strong.
They closed the distance between them quickly, Namjoon cupped Jimin’s face, bringing the fae closer. Jimin stood on his tiptoes in an effort to meet him halfway. When their lips met, the kiss was explosive as always. It was amazing that although they had done this hundreds of times, each time it seemed the energy between them intensified.
They pulled apart, still holding each other.
“Happy birthday Jiminie.”
Jimin smiled and kissed him once more. “Thank you and I have a surprise for you.”
The nature fae stepped back and pulled a small box from behind his back.
“Ta-dah!” Jimin shouted as he opened the box revealing a slice of fairy cake. “It's my birthday cake. It’s made from the best ingredients! The best cake I’ve ever had. My mother made it!”
Namjoon took the cake from Jimin, stuck his finger in the icing and brought it to his lips. It really was delicious! The prince’s face lit up with delight.
“This is really good! You didn't have to bring anything. It’s your birthday after all.” Namjoon said as he took another taste of the cake.
“I wanted to.” Jimin said as he rocked from side to side, enjoying watching Namjoon eat the cake. “Besides, what’s a birthday without cake?
“You’re right.” Namjoon agreed before gesturing for them to have a seat.
They sat in their usual spots, their eyes instinctively going out to the water. Namjoon turned to the fae and watched as he looked out serenely at the view. The time was right. He should give Jimin the necklace now.
Namjoon sat down the cake box and dug in his pocket pulling out a pink velvet box.
“Hmm?” the younger fae hummed, his eyes still forward.
“Jiminie, look at me.”
Jimin turned a smile still playing at the corner or his lips. Namjoon opened the box and revealed what was inside. The birthday boy’s face instantly lit up. His eyes widened and his hands flew to his mouth from shock.
“Joon!” Jimin said faintly as he reached for the necklace with shaky hands. “It's beautiful!”
Namjoon beamed. He was so happy that Jimin liked it. He knew he would. The necklace screamed Jimin.
“Not nearly as beautiful as you are.”
Jimin blushed, biting his lip as he fingered the rose. “Thank you.”
“Let’s put it on!” Namjoon suggested, coming to his feet, the other fae following.
Turning away from Namjoon, the smell of jasmine and vetiver wafted through the air. Namjoon knew this was what home smelled like to Jimin but to Namjoon it smelled of hope, trust, and love.
“I love you Jimin.”
The words were uttered just as the clasp on the necklace was secure. It was symbolic in some ways.
Jimin turned towards Namjoon, his mouth slightly agape and his eyes shining with unshed tears.
“Joonie” the younger fae breathed.
The winter fae took Jimin’s hands in his. He was nervous but the warmth he felt gave him the courage to continue.
“I’ve never felt like this for anyone before.” The older fae said as he ran his thumbs across Jimin’s small and delicate hands. “ I know we are different in so many ways but I believe that is what makes this special--real. I am so glad that fate saw fit that we meet. You make me so hopeful for the future because if a fae like me can find love in a fae like you, there is hope for us all.”
“Joonie!” Jimin sobbed as he pulled him close, kissing his lips and face feverishly. “I love you so much!”
Namjoon sighed in contentment, wrapping his arms around Jimin as he cried into his chest. “Happy birthday Jimin.”
“Thank you so much. This is the best birthday gift ever.” Jimin sniffled.
“You’re welcome, darling.”
Jimin pulled away, his wings fluttered as he closed his eyes, his lips in a slight pout anticipating a kiss. Namjoon leaned down, preparing to give Jimin what he wanted. It was his birthday after all.
The two jumped apart. Their eyes falling on a fae dressed immaculately from head to toe. His gold-colored robe glimmered as he moved forward, his wings a pure white, just as his hair. It was then that Namjoon noticed the crown atop his head. He didn’t seem to be older than him. He actually seemed a few years younger but it was without a doubt that this fae was royalty.
“Haeil? What are you doing here?”
Namjoon looked between the two in confusion. Did Jimin just address this fae informally? Were they close and how close?
“So this is why you were in such a hurry to leave me?”
Leave him? What was happening? Was this fae Jimin’s lover?
“Jimin? Who is this?”
Jimin swung around to face Namjoon looking very distressed and scared. It was obvious the nature fae knew what the winter was probably thinking.
“He’s just a friend--we grew up together--our families are really close and he, my brother and I play with him sometimes--”
“Just a friend?” Haeil interjected. “We are much more than that!”
“Much more?” Namjoon repeated.
He felt jealousy began to burn through him. He blinked to calm himself but instead his eyes grew dark. His body felt hot and not in a good way. He needed to calm down but the anger and betrayal he felt was making him irrational.
Namjoon suddenly became illuminated. Both Jimin and the other prince wore alarmed expressions as the will-o’-the wisp and the darkling in him began to rage and cause a metamorphosis right before their eyes.
“Joon, it’s not like that!” Jimin said trying to calm him before whipping around back towards Haeil who now had three large stones floating in the air.
Things were spiraling out of control. Namjoon could feel it but he was far too angry and jealous to stop it. He was living up to the rumors and stereotypes but Jimin was his and he wouldn’t let anyone take him away from him.
“Haeil! Stop this! Joon please!” Jimin begged tearfully.
The light breeze that filled the air suddenly became fierce as the nature fae tried to get them both to calm down. However, the plea fell on deaf ears.
Haeil made the first move, sending the stones hurtling towards Namjoon. The winter prince whispered an incantation that would allow him to shadow merge and dodge the attack but it was still dusk and his powers weren’t as strong. He managed to flicker briefly but not long enough to avoid the boulders coming at him.
“No!” Jimin screamed, the large stones exploding into a million pieces mere seconds before meeting their target.
The force sent the two princes flying backward, their wings preventing them from meeting the earth.
Namjoon felt his magic dissipate and his eyes return to its previous state before the Spring Prince made his appearance.
Jimin immediately went to him, cupping his face and searching his eyes with worry. “Are you alright?”
Joon nodded, his eyes not leaving Haeil as he stood a few meters away, breathing heavily.
“I’m fine.” Namjoon growled.
The younger fae diverted his attention back to him with a gentle pull of his face. “There is nothing between us Joon. I need you to trust me.”
Namjoon searched his eyes momentarily before he nodded, his eyes going back to the Haeil. Jimin regained his attention again, gently just as the horns signaling the setting of the sun could be heard in the distance.
“Let’s go Jimin!”
Jimin didn’t move. He instead leaned in allowing Namjoon to place a gentle kiss upon his head. He wanted to kiss his lips but before he could, he was being pulled away.
“Let’s go Jimin!”
The nature fae stumbled away from him, his eyes not leaving his. Jimin pulled away from the Prince roughly but still followed him in the direction towards home.
Seeing Jimin leave like that sent him onto the ground in a fit of tears. What would happen now? Would he see him again? Jimin said to trust him but how? All it would take is for that meddling prince to out them to his parents and everything they had built over the last nine months would come crumbling down. All his hopes and dreams would be just that, hopes and dreams. It couldn’t end this way. It just couldn’t.
Chapter 5: Chapter 4.5
So I didn't upload the whole chapter for the previous...haha! Here's continuation. Enjoy!
It was well past midnight when he finally returned home. He had sat in that spot crying for six hours before he found the energy to move. When he got there the palace was in a state of chaos. His mother immediately ran to him, holding him tightly sobbing about how worried she was. That sentiment, unfortunately, was not shared by his father or the head winter knight that was at his side.
“Where were you?! Your mother has been worried sick!”
Namjoon’s mother released him and moved away as the King came forward. “I took a walk and--”
Before Namjoon could finish his sentence, He was being jerked forward by the collar, his father inhaling before releasing him harshly. Shocked by his father’s roughness, the prince nearly lost his footing but managed to regain his balance without falling.
“That smell…” The King began, a vein bulging in his neck and his eyes turning red and fierce with anger. “A Seelie?!”
Namjoon eyes went from Sangwook to his father. His heart was hammering in his chest as the look on their faces made him shake with fear.
Consorting with Seelie was forbidden. It was considered treason. The king did not trust the Seelie. In his opinion, they were untrustworthy and would resort to anything to bring Unseelie to their demise. They were worse than any shadow or courtless they had ever seen in the king’s mind. Namjoon knew none of that was true now and quite frankly, he was skeptical about it from the start.
“After you wash that stink off of you, I want you in my office immediately!”
The king turned quickly, not giving him an opportunity to answer. Namjoon’s mother came up beside him, placing her hands on his shoulders gently, guiding him towards his bedroom.
“Come on Joon-ah. Go get cleaned up.”
Namjoon entered his father’s office. Sangwook stood at his side as the winter king massaged his temples in frustration.
The King lifted his head and regarded his son as he shifted his weight nervously unto each foot.
“I won’t ask you how long this has been going on or what you could’ve possibly been doing with that Seelie that their scent is practically oozing from your pores!”
Namjoon looked down at his feet in embarrassment.
“You won’t tell me the truth anyway. I am sure!” The king said as he came to his feet and began pacing in front of his desk. “I forbid you from seeing them again.”
“But appa! They’re nothing like the rumors! Jimin is kind and he loves--”
“Jimin?” The elder asked cutting his son’s words. “Is that his name?”
Namjoon worried his lip at the king’s questioning. He had said too much.
The king scoffed at the silence. “Where did I go wrong with you?”
The prince’s shoulders sagged in sadness as his father continued to berate him.
“There are so many winter fae that you can choose from! Hell, even autumn fae would suffice! Yet you choose a Seelie from the spring court?” the king spat in disgust.
“I didn’t choose him appa!” Namjoon tried to explain. “Love isn’t really a choice! I can’t help who I love!”
The king slammed his fist down on his desk, startling Namjoon as he rounded the desk and sat heavily at his seat. “Silence!”
Pulling out a pen, the king began to write vigorously. Namjoon looked on curiously, standing on his toes trying to get a peek at what his father was writing.
“You can’t help it, but I can.” The king said turning the page and writing again.
Namjoon’s gaze went to the head knight whose lips that were once in an expressionless line, were now turned up at the corner in a smirk.
“Beginning tomorrow, you will begin your courtship with Lee Sangwook, head knight of the winter kingdom.” The king recited as he placed the pen back in the holder.
Namjoon’s eyes widened in disbelief. “What?! No!”
“And in one year and two months, after your nineteenth birthday, you will be married to Sangwook and you will serve at his side as his mate and he will serve as king.”
The prince’s eyes shot from his father to the knight whose smirk had turned into a full-blown smile.
Why would Sangwook agree to this? They had no chemistry whatsoever. He never once insinuated that he saw him as anything more than a younger brother.
“Hyung?!” Namjoon said pleadingly. If anyone could talk some sense into his father it would be him.
“Your highness…” Sangwook began with a bow. “I vow to honor this decision and will continue to protect and guide Namjoon as well as the people of winter by the doctrine of our forefathers.”
Namjoon stood there in horror as he had just been disinherited right before his eyes. Tears blurred his vision as the two spoke and shook hands, completely dismissing his presence.
The shattered young man turned to his mother standing there with a worried expression. She forced a smile and placed her hands gently on his shoulders. “It’s late. Let me help you to bed?”
Numb. That’s what he felt as his mother held his hand and led him to his bedroom. Once the door was closed, Namjoon broke down in tears, his mother coming to his side to console him. However, he was completely inconsolable. He would never see Jimin again. The fae would certainly come looking for him. He would think he abandoned him. Just the thought of the nature fae waiting for him at the banks of the lake caused a pained sob to escape him.
“Prince, have a drink?”
Namjoon swatted the canteen away. “I’m fine.”
But he wasn’t. He wasn’t fine at all.
A week had gone by since the incident with Jimin and his betrothal to Sangwook. It had been a week of little to no sleep, no appetite and dread of what was to come. The only reprieve he had was the nights he spent fighting courtless and shadow but sometimes even then, it wasn’t enough.
It seemed like a light bulb had gone off in Sangwook’s head. The way he looked at him seemed different and when he touched him, it didn’t have the same connotations as before. Namjoon was already very cautious around the knight but now the sight of him sent an awful sickness in his gut.
“You don’t look well, your highness. Please have a little?” the knight insisted and Namjoon declined again but more firmly.
“I said no!”
The knight shied away and Namjoon came to his feet, dusting his hands before storming off. He needed to get away from everyone. It was becoming suffocating. His mother fussing over him, his father watching his every move and Sangwook eyeing him with God knows what in his mind.
“Wait, Prince Namjoon! You can’t just--”
“I’m going to relieve myself. Do you mind if I do that alone?”
The knight’s mouth clamped shut and Namjoon proceeded deeper into the forest.
The prince walked about twenty yards, running his hands along the trees and tall grass as he moved aimlessly forward. He hadn’t gone far and did not intend to. It was just that the forest reminded him of Jimin. It was part of him. It was where the essence of Jimin’s magic dwelled, where they first met. He longed for these quiet nights with the winter knights. He would sneak away briefly and hope to feel a hint of any possible remnants of magic that the nature fae could have left behind. He didn’t feel it no matter how hard he tried. Despite this fact, he still would go there, hoping.
With a sigh, he turned to return to where everyone was resting and took two steps before he heard noises that were coming from deeper within the forest. Namjoon blinked, making his eyes go dark before moving forward.
Namjoon chased the sound until it became clearer and he realized it wasn’t just any noise. It was moaning.
Embarrassed that he was about to intrude on possibly two knights sneaking away to have a moment of intimacy, he turned back to camp. But then a familiar voice caused him to stop in his tracks. He waited and listened. He turned back towards the sound, his brow creased in confusion.
Impulsively, the prince made his way towards the sounds, the moans becoming louder as he approached. He reached a thick thatch of trees and there he saw the inconceivable.
It was Sangwook and his lower half was moving harshly, pounding mercilessly into someone bent over in front of him gripping a tree desperately. Namjoon covered his mouth to make his breathing less prominent. Not that they would hear him anyway because whomever Sangwook was brutalizing was crying and moaning in what Namjoon couldn't decipher if it was pain or pleasure.
He felt ill.
A normal emotion or reaction to this scene should be jealousy, but he would have to love Sangwook to feel jealous. However, it was sickening that the head knight would break the vow he gave his father so easily.
“Kiss me.” Sangwook demanded bringing Namjoon back to the scene before him.
Sangwook’s partner turned their head and an audible gasp seemed to echo through the forest. Namjoon stumbled backward at the sight.
IT WAS HIM???!!!
Namjoon watched in horror as Sangwook continued to kiss and fuck into....him? No! Whatever that was!
His chest felt tight and his vision was blurring. What was happening? What was that? His mind couldn’t process it and the harder he tried to understand, the dizzier he became.
He had to get back to camp.
Coming to his feet, Namjoon ran full speed towards where the others were resting. Once there, it seemed his mind and body had had enough. He needed to calm down.
“Prince are you al--”
Those were the last words he heard before everything seemed to spin out of control before it all went dark.
Namjoon awoke gasping for air.
“It’s okay. You’re okay.”
Despite the comforting words, Namjoon felt anything but. He felt like throwing up. The images were still fresh in his mind. What was it and why did it look exactly like him?
Namjoon gagged and he was immediately given a pail to be sick in. Since he had not eaten a decent meal in the past few days, he mostly dry heaved, causing his head and body to ache.
“Call the doctor again, please!” The voice from before urged. It was a familiar voice but Namjoon’s mind was so cloudy he couldn't distinguish it.
He fell back onto the bed, his chest heaving and sweat drenching his clothing. It was so hot! He pulled at his clothing to find some sort of relief but was stopped by gentle hands being placed above his.
“Joon-ah, please. The doctor will be here soon.” the person behind the voice whispered as a cool and damp cloth was placed on his head. He sighed in relief.
“Such a brave fae.”
Namjoon smiled. The voice, he knew it. Only one person would say those words. It was something she would say whenever he became ill as a child.
“Eomma?” Namjoon said hoarsely.
“Yes, darling.” she whispered as she ran her fingers through his damp hair. “You’re okay. Relax. I’m here. I won’t leave you.”
With a content sigh, Namjoon allowed the tension he felt in his body to dissipate. He opened his eyes and there his mother was. She looked tired but relieved. He felt horrible for making her worry. She had enough to deal with when it came to her husband, the king, but here he was making things much more difficult for her.
His mother chuckled lightly in response. “Why do you get like this when you’re ill? It isn't your fault. Don’t apologize.”
Namjoon nodded before closing his eyes briefly. He was tired. He wanted to sleep.
“How is he?”
The ailing prince’s eyes flew open and his head turned in the direction of the inquiring person.
Namjoon grabbed his mother as thoughts of what he saw in that forest came flooding back. The knight’s question was that of concern but his expression was the opposite. He looked irritated and angry.
“Sangwook, please!” The queen begged. “I asked for the healer! Namjoon is unwell! Please give us some space!”
The knight nodded, his jaw clenched as he eyed Namjoon heatedly before bowing and exiting the doorway.
Namjoon clung to his mother, tears burning his eyes.
“Shhh.” she soothed. “It’s okay. The healer will be here shortly.”
“No!” Namjoon cried. “You don’t understand! I saw Sangook-hyung--he was--he was with--and--a changeling? No!” Namjoon shook his head. That wasn’t whatever that was called. Changelings took on the image of small children. What he saw was different.
“A shapeshifter! I saw it and it looked like me--and Sangwook was--”
“Joonie, please! Calm down!” his mother begged, urging him back onto the bed. “You have a fever. What you saw was a hallucination. Shapeshifters belong to the shadow. No fae would ever associate with them.”
A hallucination? There was no way! He knew what he saw!
He knew that shapeshifters decided to rebel when the treaty was in place. He had read about them many times but had never seen one in the flesh. It was so frightening to see someone that looked like you, sounded like you and what Sangwook was doing to it--why? Why would he betray his people like this? Was it just him trying to get a quick sexual gratification or did he have a much larger motive? The thoughts that ran through his mind frightened him even more.
“Please, eomma! You have to believe me--”
His mother stroked his damp forehead and placed a light kiss there. “That’s enough. Rest. It’s the only way you’ll feel better.”
Namjoon was too weak to fight any longer. He would try to reason with her once he was better. He closed his eyes and allowed thoughts of a certain beautiful pink-haired fae erase all of those ugly thoughts, even if just for that night. Squinted tear-filled eyes that were shining from happiness and a pretty perfect smile was what he saw before he finally fell asleep.
Namjon flinched, clutching his chest as he turned to meet the small bugul.
“Doyoon-ssi! You nearly gave me a heart attack!”
The advisor eyed him suspiciously. “Why are you so jumpy lately and why are you peeking around corners?”
“Shhh!” Namjoon hushed the small fae guiding him back, deeper into the corner. “Why are you so loud?!”
“Joon!” The bugul complained as he straightened his clothing. “You are being ridiculous! This isn't about that dream you had when you were sick is it?”
Namjoon rolled his eyes and crossed his arms in irritation. It wasn’t a dream. He was sure of it. He knew what he saw and it was very frustrating that no one believed him. His mother refused to talk about it and his best friend even doubted him. The whole situation was beginning to make him question his own sanity but whenever he laid eyes and Sangwook, it was evident that what happened and what he felt was real.
The knight had always come off as an impassive person, never really paying too much attention to him. It was usually Namjoon that initiated contact but lately, the knight seemed to search him out. His eyes would follow him in any room they occupied together but it wasn’t a longing gaze. It was scary and unsettling. Just the idea of what the knight was probably thinking while watching him with what looked like murder in his eyes made him extremely anxious. So, he avoided him as much as he could.
Namjoon snapped out of his head and met the Doyoon’s eyes.
“You have to snap out of this. You are making us worry.”
Namjoon exhaled. This was frustrating but Doyoon was right. He had no proof and it was like talking to a wall. He wasn’t getting anywhere by allowing this to consume him. It had been nearly two weeks since he’d seen Jimin. That should be his focus. Jimin.
“Great!” Doyoon said with relief. “Meet me in the library in an hour.”
The prince nodded and the satisfied little fae continued onto his destination. Namjoon sank into the corner and pulled his knees close to his chest.
He hoped the nature fae hadn’t forgotten about him. He hoped that despite their separation, Jimin knew he still loved him very much and was going to do everything in his power for them to be together again.
Chapter 6: Chapter 5
“Hyung! Haeil is here! Can we go play? Please!!” Jeongguk begged as Jimin stood over the basin washing the dishes after lunch.
Jimin stopped his task, placing the dish aside as he gripped the edge of the sink with a deep audible sigh to try to curb his anger.
Just the mention of the spring prince’s name would make him feel anger like he had never felt before. It seemed since the incident with Namjoon, the prince had been relentless. Jimin thought the slap across his face and him shouting to stay away from him and his family would've been enough for the prince to leave him alone, but it wasn’t. He still visited nearly every day. Apologizing on most days and then the other’s bringing these lavish gifts and treats that he would send back immediately.
Haeil was his best friend and of all people in this world, he never thought his friend would lie and betray him in that way. The prince insisted that he did it to protect him but to Jimin, even if that were so, as friends, Haeil should've trusted him more. The fact that Haeil didn’t trust him had an unfortunate domino effect.
Namjoon had obviously lost trust in him and given up because, for the past three months, Jimin had returned to that lake, expecting and waiting for Namjoon up until the last horn sounded. He would return home downtrodden and torn. He wanted to believe something else was keeping him away but as time passed, that hope slowly dwindled. At night he would look out the window longingly at the moon while everyone was sleeping. Despite his feelings of abandonment, he hoped Namjoon was okay and he knew that he still loved him very much.
Slowly, the months turned into a year. The friendship between Haeil and Jimin was still sour and now, it seemed Jeongguk held a slight resentment towards his brother. The younger didn't understand why they were not friends with the prince anymore. Even his parents were confused. However, they didn't press it. They just chalked it up to an adolescent squabble and that they would be friends again soon. They were wrong. Jimin didn't think he could ever forgive him for what he did. However, he didn’t think that what happened between him and the prince would possibly ruin his close relationship with his brother.
“Hyung, how long are you going to be angry with Haeil-hyung? Whatever it is, can you forgive him? I miss him.”
Jimin sat down the basket he was carrying onto a small table and turned to his brother who was still pulling weeds from the garden.
“Can you please stop talking about him?”
Jeongguk stood angrily, throwing the weeds he had plucked up onto the ground. “Why? Why are you like this? What happened between you two?! Why are you so mean to him? He’s always been so kind to us!”
The nature fae regarded his brother in slight disbelief. Jeongguk had never really yelled at him like this and the tears he saw in his eyes--was he crying over that traitor?! Anger was an understatement of what he felt.
“I am your brother and if I say I don’t want to hear that name, then stop mentioning him!”
He was being overly harsh to his brother. He knew it. The younger had no idea what had happened and it wasn't his fault that he didn't understand but Jimin was still very bitter, angry and he missed Namjoon so much that he wasn’t able to think rationally about this situation.
“That’s not fair!” Jeongguk sobbed.
Anger still fueling him, Jimin marched over to his brother and grabbed him roughly by the shoulders, startling the young fae.
“Look! If you miss him so much then why don’t you go live with him and don’t call me hyung anymore since he’s so precious to you!”
Jimin released him harshly, making him fall back onto the dirt. Jeongguk’s eyes widened from shock before his face became pained and his bottom lip trembled from sadness.
Jimin’s heart sank at the sight. He had gone too far.
“I hate you! I hate you!” Jeongguk shouted as he got up and ran full speed towards the house.
“Kookie! Wait! I didn’t mean it!” Jimin called out as the back door of their home slammed closed and he could hear his parents shouting his name. Carding his hands through his hair in frustration, Jimin kicked the earth before making his way towards the forest. He needed to get away and calm down.
Jimin closed his eyes and allowed himself to float freely on top of the slow-moving water. The sun was shining brightly and small insects were flying above him. He opened his eyes and tears fell from the corners, falling into the obscurity of the lake. He felt horrible.
Everyone hated him. His brother, and now his parents-- Namjoon.
The thought of him caused more tears to fall. He hated feeling like this! He hated the way he was treating the people he loved. This needed for it to end. And that was his intention. It would end today.
Today would be the last day he searched for the prince. It had been a year. It was time to let go.
Taking in a deep breath and then exhaling, Jimin placed his hand over the rose pendant that sat against his neck. He took in another quick breath before allowing himself to sink below the water.
This was like a metaphorical cleansing--a rebirth. Once he was at the surface again, Namjoon would be no more. He vowed that with his first intake of air, thoughts of the beautiful fae that seemed to be a manifestation of the most beautiful dream would be just that...a dream.
Jimin found himself sinking further into the depths of the lake. A surge of memories filled his head and the urge to resurface disappeared.
He didn't want to get over him! He didn't want this to be a dream! He wanted Namjoon! He wanted to be able to hold him again. Kiss him again.
Jimin opened his mouth, a sob escaping and allowing an influx of water to fill his lungs. The nature fae gagged but still made no effort to surface as his lungs burned from lack of oxygen. He was being ridiculous. He needed to go up for air. However, he had not realized how far he had allowed himself to sink and the air he had trapped in his lungs had already escaped. Jimin began to panic, flailing his arms trying desperately to get back to the top. Just as his strength was nearly depleted, strong arms enveloped him, pulling him quickly back out into the open air.
The nature fae coughed and wheezed as he took in the air too quickly. He blinked to clear the water from his eyes and when they finally focused and his coughing had subsided some, he was sure he had died because there was no way Namjoon was holding him.
“Jimin? Are you alright?!”
But his voice...it sounded so real.
Jimin took in a few slow breaths and he felt himself beginning to calm and his head feel less cloudy. His eyes grew wide as saucers when he realized that it was, in fact, Namjoon looking down at him with panic in his eyes.
The winter prince shook his head, droplets of water falling onto Jimin’s face. The nature fae, with a relieved cry, wrapped his arms around Namjoon’s neck and held him tight.
Namjoon placed a kiss at Jimin’s temple and hugged him back just as tightly. “Yes. I am real and I am so sorry. I missed you so much.”
The tears began to flow again. He couldn’t believe it! Just when he had lost hope, here Namjoon was restoring it with a simple embrace and kiss.
“I love you so much Joon! Please don’t leave me again!” Jimin begged.
“I won’t. I promise I won’t.”
Jimin buried his face in the winter fae’s neck vowing to himself that this was where he was planning on staying forever. He would let no one come between them again.
“Joon-ah! We have to hurry! We don’t have much time.”
Both the winter and nature fae withdrew and Jimin realized that they were in the air and that Namjoon’s bugul, Doyoon, was shouting at them excitedly from the bank of the lake.
Namjoon turned to Jimin and it was then that he realized the other's attire.
Usually dressed in all black, Namjoon was instead dressed in white with an extravagant headpiece woven into his locks, an onyx sitting near the middle of his forehead. Jimin had only seen royalty dressed like this during their engagement or marriage. What was happening?
“Joon, why are you dressed like this?”
The elder fae looked down at his attire and then back at Jimin, his eyes sad and pained.
“Jimin, it’s not what you think but I don’t have time to explain.”
Jimin’s eyes filled with tears again. This wasn’t happening! “ But Joon--”
“There are no buts!” Joon said sternly. “The only fae I will marry is you! Do you understand?!”
Jimin nodded hesitantly, closing his eyes as Namjoon kissed his face and placed a gentle kiss on his lips.
“Only you.” Namjoon whispered as he pressed his forehead against a quietly sobbing Jimin’s. “I need you to trust me.”
Jimin opened his eyes and was met with a determined gaze. He had once asked that of Joon and obviously, he did trust him or he wouldn’t have come back. It had been a year but he had come back. He didn't understand what was happening, but he would do as Namjoon said and trust him.
Namjoon kissed him once more but more passionately as the bugul implored Namjoon to hurry.
“Meet me here tomorrow. I will explain everything.”
Jimin nodded again and Namjoon made a slow descent towards the ground. Once there, he placed the nature fae onto his feet. They hugged and kissed one last time before Namjoon grudgingly released him and flew with his advisor into the air to return home.
He hated to see him go. It had been so long but there was tomorrow. He had tomorrow.
Jimin was still soaked and cold when he finally reached home. His parents fussed over him, worried after his angry departure. He quickly apologized before they ushered him off to have a warm bath to avoid catching a cold.
When he was done, he joined his family at the dinner table. It was an unusually quiet dinner. Jimin couldn't keep his eyes off his younger brother who was just pushing his food around on his plate.
It was obvious that Jeongguk was still upset and Jimin knew he needed to apologize. The way he had behaved was immature and childish and most of all he hurt him. That was something he could never fathom doing but he had and he regretted it the second after it happened.
“Kookie, I know you’re still upset with me and you have every right to be. I am your big brother and I am supposed to protect you, not hurt you and for that, I am very very sorry.”
Their parents looked between the two quietly. Jimin kept his eyes on his brother who had stopped playing with his food and was just sitting there, not making eye contact.
The younger slowly pushed his chair out and lifted his plate. “I am done eating. Can I be excused?” he said politely.
“Kookie--” his mother began, seemingly ready to chastise him for not acknowledging his big brother. However, his father stopped her with a gentle hand atop hers.
“Let them work this out on their own, Seoah.” the elder fae said with a short nod, ”Yes. You may go.”
The younger fae moved from the table, into the kitchen to put his plate away before heading off to bed. Jimin sank defeatedly into his seat. Now he was pushing his food around his plate.
That night while in bed, Jimin lay there looking up at the ceiling, the moonlight filtering through his window.
He wondered if Jeongguk would ever forgive him or if they’d be close again? Deciding to try again in the morning and until he did, Jimin turned over and closed his eyes to go to sleep.
Just as he was dozing off, his bedroom door slowly creaked open and careful footsteps approached his bed before the blanket was lifted and a familiar body cuddled up behind him.
Jimin smiled and turned to embrace Jeongguk, kissing the top of his head.
“I forgive you hyung. I’m sorry if I made you upset.”
Jimin shook his head. “Don’t apologize. I shouldn't have yelled at you or pushed you. I promise it will never happen again.”
“I love you hyung.”
“I love you too Kookie.”
Holding up a small mirror, Jimin kept checking his makeup and hair. He wanted to look perfect. Smiling at his reflection, more than satisfied with his look, Jimin tucked the mirror into a corner and began arranging the various treats and snacks he prepared for Namjoon. Everything looked immaculate. Just as he wanted. So, with a satisfied smile, Jimin made his way out of the hollowed-out tree that he had turned into their very own private and romantic picnic area.
A smile spread across his face as his eyes found the winter prince. He was dressed beautifully in all white again, making his pale skin look like porcelain. Jimin was in awe at how elegant Namjoon looked dressed in a sheer high collar blouse and white robes. His purple wings and hair giving him a splash of color as well as the thin purple ribbon that was fastened around the neck of the blouse. Jimin had always thought Namjoon was the most beautiful fae he had ever laid eyes on but it was something about him dressed like this that made his heart melt.
The two quickly closed the small distance between them, crashing into each other passionately in a storm of kisses and whispers of love. The kisses soon became heated as Namjoon’s mouth found Jimin’s neck, peppering light kisses there, sending him into a fit of giggles.
“Joon, wait. I have a surprise for you.”
Namjoon released him with a soft whine before allowing the nature fae to take his hand and lead him towards the old oak tree. Once inside, a soft gasp escaped the winter prince.
“Wow! Jiminie!” Namjoon said as he looked around the beautifully decorated space. “You didn’t have to do all of this!”
He didn’t but he wanted to. They had so much to talk about--so much they had missed over the last year. Jimin knew one day would hardly make up for it but he hoped it could be a start.
“I know but we missed each other’s birthdays and so many other special moments and occasions over the past year, I wanted today to be special.”
Namjoon pulled him close and placed a light kiss on his hair. “Everyday I get to spend with you is special. Thank you so much for doing this.”
Jimin smiled proudly and led him over to a corner where he had laid out a soft cashmere blanket and a few small pillows. They both sat down and Jimin immediately handed him a cupcake decorated with a pink and purple swirl.
“Happy Birthday Joonie!”
“Happy Birthday Jiminie.”
The two said in unison. They both laughed as Jimin put the cupcake aside and looked down at the small jewelry box that Namjoon had extended towards him.
“Joon-ah~.” Jimin pouted as he took the box from Namjoon’s grasp. “You don’t have to buy me such expensive things.”
“I know and I promise it wasn’t expensive at all.”
Namjoon urged him to open it, moving closer and stroking his back gently. After unwrapping it, Jimin opened the box slowly, not sure what would be inside.
“Joon!” Jimin cried in adoration as he hugged the prince and studied the copper crescent moon charm. “It’s so pretty! Thank you, Joon!”
“You’re welcome.” He said with a kiss to the nature fae’s shoulder. “Let me attach it for you?”
Jimin turned his back towards Namjoon and he made quick work of unfastening the necklace and placing the charm onto it alongside the rose one. Gently, Namjoon placed the necklace back onto Jimin’s neck. Jimin turned back towards him, his hand caressing both charms.
“I love you.”
Namjoon bent and placed a small kiss upon his lips. “I love you too. I love only you.”
“I know.” Jimin whispered with a small smile as he cupped his cheek.
Namjoon turned and kissed his palm before taking his hand and moving it to his lap where he held it tightly. Jimin noticed a change in his expression. He was no longer smiling and he looked broken and a bit scared. It was then Jimin remembered Namjoon’s attire from the previous day. He began to wonder if his absence and his current demeanor was connected to it.
“Joon, is there something you need to tell me?” Jimin watched as the winter prince shifted nervously before him. He knew what he was about to hear would be hard to digest but he needed to hear it. His only hope was that it was something they could work past.
“Yes.” Namjoon whispered. His eyes going to their joined hands before meeting Jimin’s again. “Jimin, I won't beat around the bush.” he said with a sigh. “My father has betrothed me to the head of the winter knights. I am due to marry him in three days. This is our engagement week. I’ve had to lie the past few days to come and see you. They think I am out shopping for gifts for the groom.”
No this felt worse than that. It felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest. Their promises to one another felt like a distant memory or even a fabrication from his own lovesick mind as Namjoon uttered those words. Had he been foolish to believe that they could actually be together? Had they both been so blinded by love that they didn't realize how impossible this was?
Jimin was rendered speechless and all he could do was cry as Namjoon desperately tried to reassure him.
Namjoon gripped the sides of Jimin’s face and used his thumbs to wipe away the tears. “We will be together Jimin!”
Namjoon slowly released his face and took his hands once again. The space grew silent only Jimin’s soft cries filled the air.
His heart was breaking again. His head fell weakly as he mourned over their hopeless love. Why was the universe being so cruel to them? They were probably two of the most sensible and kind beings on the planet. Didn't they deserve a bit of happiness? None of this was fair.
Jimin’s head raised and he met the winter prince’s eyes. He searched them for sincerity and the more he stared, the more he realized how desperate and serious Namjoon was. Could they leave their families and friends? What about Namjoon’s duty to his people? Was he suggesting to throw it all away so that they could be together? The idea was foolish. It was an irrational and dangerous idea but wasn’t falling for an Unseelie all those things anyway?
“O-okay?” Namjoon echoed.
Could he do this? The longer he looked at Namjoon, he knew there was no other way. Neither of their families would agree to their union and Jimin didn’t want to live his life without him. There was no way he would allow anyone else to have his winter prince. It was a selfish and possessive way of thinking but to Jimin, Namjoon was his and he wanted to always be by his side.
“Yes! Let’s leave.” Jimin said with much more certainty, this time.
Namjoon embraced him, whispering promises and words of devotion and love to reassure him. However, he needed no reassurance. He knew that as long as he had Namjoon, he would be alright.
“I promise to protect and take good care of you, always.”
“Me too Joonie. I promise.” Jimin murmured before placing a light kiss on Namjoon’s neck and laying his head on his shoulder.
They would be fine. He trusted Namjoon and he knew leaving didn't mean that they could never return. He had faith that one day they would return and their homes would be much more peaceful and accepting of all faes.
Namjoon pulled away and wiped at his eyes with a smile. “I made you cry and you were sad for such a long time worrying about me. Thank you for waiting for me Jiminie.”
Jimin smiled back with a slight nod. “I will always wait for you Joonie.”
The prince smiled and came to his feet suddenly confusing Jimin briefly. Namjoon extended his hand and Jimin took it without hesitation allowing himself to be pulled to his feet.
“Since I made you sad and missed your birthday, I will grant you two wishes.”
Jimin laughed, the mood becoming much lighter. “Are you a fairy or genie, Joon?”
The prince chuckled, his dimples becoming prominent in his cheeks. “For today I am your personal genie so, your wish is my command.”
Namjoon bowed deeply sending Jimin into another fit of laughter. “Okay! Well, I do have one wish.”
Coming to his full height, Namjoon stood waiting eagerly for the nature fae’s command.
“Well, I’ve always wanted to do one thing.” Jimin said shyly as he playfully swung their conjoined hands.
“What is it?”
Jimin bit his lip, his wings fluttering as a blush tinted his cheeks. “I want to fly.”
Namjoon’s face lit up and a wide smile spread across his face. He pulled Jimin by the hand, leading him out of the oak tree. “Let’s do it!”
Jimin’s screams echoed throughout the forest as Namjoon flew high above the clouds, doing spirals while the nature fae held onto his neck for dear life, his legs wrapped tightly around his waist.
“Joon!!” Jimin screamed before he came to a complete stop, just hovering in the air.
“Look!” Namjoon urged and Jimin finally found the courage to open his eyes.
The sun was setting. It was such a beautiful sight. Beautiful shades of orange and gold-colored the sky. Jimin closed his eyes and allowed the warmth that it emanated fill him. He opened his eyes and looked over at Namjoon who was still staring in the direction of the sun as it slowly disappeared. Jimin marveled at how his pale skin reflected the sun rays. It was as if someone had sprinkled him with gold dust.
Jimin touched his cheek, turning the prince’s face towards his. Namjoon’s eyes widened and his hand went to Jimin’s chin. He studied his face intently. This confused Jimin a bit.
Jimin’s brows wrinkled in confusion. “My eyes?”
“Yes.” Namjoon said as his hand moved to his cheek. “They’re golden. I didn’t know they changed colors.”
“I didn’t know either.”
Namjoon smiled toothily. “Every time I think I have you figured out, you surprise me.”
Jimin giggled and was quickly silenced by Namjoon sweetly kissing his lips just as the orange in the sky began to morph into shades of red and purple, signaling the end of daylight. Despite the impending nightfall, the two stayed like that a little longer. Holding each other, kissing without care.
“You should go home Jimin.” Namjoon said as the two laid inside of the oak tree in each other’s arms.
He should but he didn’t want to move from this spot. He wouldn’t see Namjoon for the next two days. Their plan was to leave the night before the wedding. It would be dangerous, especially for Jimin but he knew and trusted that Namjoon would keep him safe.
“I know but can we stay like this a little longer?”
Softly, Namjoon kissed his forehead. “Okay. For just a little longer.”
Jimin cuddled closer and closed his eyes. Enjoying the familiar and spicy scent emitting from the other.
“Oh!” Namjoon breathed causing Jimin to open his eyes again. He looked up at the prince awaiting an explanation for his surprise.
“I just remembered. I said two wishes. What’s your second wish?”
Jimin thought for a moment. What could possibly make this day better? It had already become the best day in all his eighteen years and then it hit him. The thought burned his cheeks and caused a ball of nerves to form in his throat. He swallowed hard, cleared his throat and moved from Namjoon’s embrace.
“You will do anything--whatever I ask?”
Namjoon sat up and took both of Jimin’s hands. “Anything. Whatever you ask.”
Jimin’s eyes went from Namjoon’s lips back up to his eyes. “Kiss me.”
A smirk turned up the corner of the prince’s mouth before he leaned in did as the nature fae requested.
The kiss began with an innocent intention before Jimin deepened it, slipping his tongue past Namjoon’s lips. A soft hum vibrated against his lips giving Jimin the confidence he needed to take things a little further.
He pulled away and Namjoon blindly chased after his lips until he realized Jimin had come to his feet. Namjoon opened his eyes and Jimin felt his heart thrash inside of his chest.
Jimin exhaled as he stared down at a confused and curious Namjoon. He loved Namjoon so very much and there was no one else in this world he wanted to be with like this. He had uttered his love for him more times than he could ever count. Even during their separation, his love for Namjoon never ceased, filling his thoughts and dreams. He wanted to show him in the most beautiful way possible.
With shaky hands, Jimin slowly untied the ribbon at his side that kept his blouse closed. The fabric fell open and the prince’s eyes widened as he took him in. But, Jimin wasn’t finished. His hands went to the lace in his trousers and with a gentle tug, that too fell open exposing just a bit of skin just below his stomach.
Jimin watched as Namjoon licked his lips, his eyes moving from his exposed chest to that small bit of skin that he had exposed just below his waist.
“Kiss me Joon.”
Namjoon came to his feet, completely entranced. He moved towards Jimin slowly snaking his hand around his waist. Jimin shivered from the contact and Namjoon apologized, attempting to move his hand away.
The nature fae shook his head and placed Namjoon’s hand back on his waist. “It’s okay. I like the way your hands feel against my skin.”
Those words seemed to create confidence in Namjoon that the nature fae had never seen. Namjoon had always been so gentle and careful with him. It was as if he was afraid he would break or that he would scare him off. Jimin didn’t see himself as delicate as most thought and running? He would never! Being embraced by Namjoon was all he ever dreamed of.
The winter prince’s lips found his again, taking his breath away. His tongue dipped into the warmth of Jimin’s mouth and he accepted him hungrily, running his hands through Namjoon’s locks and tugging at the strands as the kiss grew more feverish.
Namjoon released his mouth with a loud gasp and began peppering kisses down his neck, nipping at his skin and then running his cool tongue over the bite marks. Small whimpers escaped him as Namjoon proceeded lower, kissing his chest and taking each of his hardened nipples into his mouth. Jimin’s head lulled heavenward and his eyes closed briefly as a wave of unimaginable pleasure washed over him. He didn’t think anything could feel better than this but he was wrong.
Namjoon tugged at his trousers and they fell to his feet and without an ounce of hesitation, took him into his mouth. The cry that Namjoon’s mouth drew from him reverberated against the walls of their shelter making his knees feel weak as Namjoon continued to move his mouth back and forth along his length. It was sloppy and wet and Jimin couldn’t help but wonder how love-starved Namjoon had felt all this time. He had always been so respectful. Only sharing chaste kisses with the nature fae here and there but right now, it seemed he wanted to devour him and he did over and over again. Prickly heat began to form and Jimin’s gut and he knew what was to happen next.
It was so hard to verbalize what he was feeling. His mind was in a haze and it seemed the louder he cried, the more impassioned Namjoon became. His pace had quickened and Jimin was finding it more and more difficult to remain standing. His legs shook as Namjoon continued his unremitting pace. He felt completely intoxicated, his head swimming in an ocean sensuality.
“So good Joon-ah!” he cried out, tears burning his eyes as he felt his completion imminent.
Namjoon hummed around him sending a current through him and without warning he came and hard. His body jerked and convulsed as Namjoon continued to kneel with his mouth still tightly around him.
Chest heaving from exertion, Jimin looked down at Namjoon who was slowly releasing him but still licking and sucking at the remnants of his release. He looked so beautiful.
Pushing his violet locks from his face, Jimin continued to watch him, his bottom lip tucked between his teeth.
“I love you so much Joon!” Jimin hissed as Namjoon gently sucked on the head of his cock. “Ahh!”
Namjoon released him and came to his feet. He wasted no time capturing Jimin’s lips again and Jimin showed just as much fever as he tugged and pulled at the other fae’s clothing.
“I want to taste you too.” He breathed between kisses as he alternated between cupping Namjoon’s rigidness and pulling at the knot that held his pants closed. “Let me kiss you here Joon.”
With Namjoon’s help, Jimin was finally able to free him. He gripped him, running his hand up and down his length. He was cold even there but the friction created by Jimin’s movements created a stimulating sensation in his palm. He wondered if it would feel in his mouth--inside of him? Jimin went to his knees and satisfied the first part of his curiosity.
Jimin’s mouth enveloped him and the sigh that escaped the elder fae sent a chill down his spine. The nature fae glanced up at his lover and watched as his expression shifted from awe into what looked like animalistic pleasure. He didn’t move for a while just stayed kneeled there enjoying the way Namjoon shivered above him.
“Jimin, your mouth--your mouth is so hot!” Namjoon groaned as his trembling hands gripped his hair.
Deciding to put the winter fae out of his misery, Jimin began to move his mouth back and forth just as Namjoon had for him. He had never done this before so he assumed that if what Namjoon did made him feel good then it could be just as pleasurable for him. His assumption was answered by the way Namjoon grew thicker and longer in his mouth.
The size made the nature fae gag but he pushed through it and continued. The tears and the sobs of pleasure that came from Namjoon was so gratifying that it overrode the soreness he was sure would ensue if he kept at this pace.
“I’m--I’m--” Namjoon stammered as Jimin continued his onslaught of pleasure.
Namjoon’s cock slipped from his mouth during his frantic pace, Namjoon gasped as his essence shot from him, coating Jimin’s swollen lips, chin and chest before he took him hungrily back into his mouth to allow him to finish.
The nature fae swallowed every drop even licked his lips as Namjoon slowly withdrew from him. Namjoon was panting heavily as Jimin came to his full height and stood on tiptoes to kiss his lips.
The two clumsily moved back towards the pallet that Jimin had created, stepping out of their trousers along the way. They sank back onto the softness of the blanket, lips still locked and tongues still actively tasting each other's mouths.
Namjoon shifted them so that he was now on top of Jimin and the bottom fae went to work immediately undoing the ribbon and buttons of the prince’s blouse. The prince tugged the garment off and tossed it aside and Jimin sighed from the contact of the other’s cool skin.
A horn sounded once in the distance and since it was already dark, Jimin guessed it was probably the final warning from his land. Was he in such a state of ecstasy that he failed to hear the other two warnings? It wasn't too far fetched because at this moment his only focus was the fae moving down his body.
Jimin bent his knees and spread his legs without any provocation and Namjoon went to work preparing him for what was to come.
Namjoon’s tongue kissed, sucked and prodded at his opening causing his toes to curl and keening cries to fill the air.
“Joon!” the nature fae cried out as he gripped Namjoon’s already tousled hair to urge him deeper. “Ahh!”
His mouth was so wet and soft. Jimin felt like he was losing his mind. Despite this feeling, Jimin urged him on. No, begged for him to continue.
“Please! Please! Don’t stop!”
And he didn’t. He continued to lap and kiss him until Jimin came again, his body sagging limply as it found contentment. Even after so much pleasure, there was still a fire burning deep within him. He knew that the lovemaking was far from over and he was certain that Namjoon wouldn’t stop until they both were completely satisfied.
Cool fingers prodded at his opening and instead of recoiling slightly from its frigidness, Jimin welcomed it as Namjoon pressed past the tight ring.
It burned slightly but Namjoon’s cool touch soothed him at the same time. Meticulously and gently the elder continued his entry. Jimin’s eyes were squeezed shut until Namjoon’s slender finger finally fully entered him. The nature fae gasped, his eyes springing open to see Joon staring down at him.
Jimin nodded and Namjoon leaned down to kiss his lips as he moved his finger in and out of him. Releasing his lips, Namjoon rested his forehead against his, their breaths both coming out ragged and clipped.
“Another?” Namjoon asked trying to determine if Jimin was ready to take another finger,
He nodded again and Namjoon slowly entered another digit in one steady stroke. Jimin swore and tears sprung to eyes before he squeezed them shut and opened them, Joon still looking down at him trying to gauge how he was feeling.
It hurt like hell but there was no way that Jimin would tell him to stop. He knew pleasure was to come and he also knew that Namjoon wouldn’t move forward until he was sure he was ready.
Jimin nodded hesitantly and Namjoon seemed to pick up on it because he began to slowly remove the extra digit. Jimin stopped him, gripping his wrist and pushed him back inside. He hummed from how full he felt and Namjoon kissed him and whispered how pretty he looked.
“So pretty Jiminie.”
The praise made Jimin overzealous. Because he then positioned himself to take another one of Namjoon’s fingers. Jimin cried out but continued to push him inside. When Jimin was finally completely full, his hand fell from Namjoon’s wrist and he just lay there still allowing his body to get used to the intrusion.
Jimin nodded weakly, his eyes lazily fluttering open to meet Namjoon’s.
“Tell me when I can move.”
They remained like that for a few minutes before Jimin slightly moved his hips, wordlessly urging the other to continue.
Namjoon began moving his fingers in and out of Jimin’s opening. Scissoring his fingers, the winter fae spread him and prepared him for his entry. The pain was beginning to subside and Jimin found himself moving his hips in time with Namjoon’s entry. He was ready. He wanted him inside of him.
“Joon, please!” he begged and Namjoon obliged moving between his legs and slowly pushed himself inside.
He was so big, so thick that Jimin could feel saliva trickling out of the corner of his mouth from the immense pleasure he felt.
When Joon bottomed out, He collapsed against him, his body becoming aglow from the will-o-the wisp that was inbred in him. Namjoon began to tremble and Jimin felt warmth fill him.
Jimin sighed, running his fingers through Namjoon’s hair as he peppered his face with kisses.
“I love you so much.”
“I love you too my Joonie.” Jimin cooed before lovingly placing a kiss upon his lips and then wrapping his legs around his waist.
Namjoon’s hips snapped forward eliciting a gasp from the nature fae below him. Jimin’s head fell back against the blanket and his eyes blinked towards the top of their shelter. Stars flashed behind his closed lids. As he slowly opened them, he noticed that deep green vines had begun to snake up the inside of the oak tree.
His magic had developed a mind of its own as Namjoon continued to move inside of him. The vines continued to grow around them, pink flowers sprouting as his magic intensified. It was a beautiful depiction of the love and pleasure he was feeling. Closing his eyes, Jimin reclaimed his focus on Namjoon again as his thrusts became more intense. In response, Jimin nuzzled his neck and face as soft whispers of how good Namjoon was making him feel fell from his lips.
“So good Joonie.” Jimin moaned as he took his ear between his lips and released it grazing it with his teeth. “You're so good, so perfect.
The praise sent the older fae into a frenzy as his hips began to move harshly and Jimin could do nothing but hold on tight and grit his teeth as Namjoon pounded into him. The intensity of Namjoon’s movements became too great. Jimin was beginning to feel overstimulated.
“Joon!” Jimin screamed. “Joon--I--”
“I’m sorry--I just--just a little more--” Namjoon moaned, his lips still pressed against Jimin’s neck.
The coolness of his breath sent a tremor through him and that seemed to be just what Namjoon needed to send him over.
They both cried out in unison at his completion. Jimin from the overwhelming heat and fullness he felt and Namjoon from satisfaction. Namjoon collapsed against him and Jimin held him, kissing his shoulder and stroking his back as he came down from his high.
After their breathing calmed, Namjoon lifted from him and met his eyes. “Did I hurt you?”
Jimin shook his head as he smoothed Namjoon’s hair from his face. “No. You were perfect.”
Namjoon smiled before kissing Jimin’s lips sweetly. “I want us to stay like this with you forever.”
The sound of birds chirping happily and something brushing softly against his cheek aroused Jimin from sleep. He sat up slowly, a dull ache could be felt throughout his body. Reminiscing on how the aches came to be, Jimin smiled as he stretched and took a look around. A breathless oh escaped him as he noticed that the space was littered with pink roses. Looking up, Jimin realized that they were from the vines that had sprouted during their lovemaking.
Jimin eyes panned downward again to where Namjoon was still sleeping peacefully. He smiled at the sight of the prince nestled under the rose petal covered blanket and the few that clung to his hair. He looked angelic and soft. It seemed inconceivable to Jimin that he was a part of a race of fae that people feared.
Gently, Jimin reached over and plucked the petals from Namjoon hair and stroked his pale cheek. Namjoon’s eyes fluttered open and when they met Jimin’s, a smile spread across his face.
“Good morning darling.”
“Good morning.” Jimin said bending to kiss his lips. Namjoon, however, wanted a little more and pulled him back down beside him. Jimin protested but Namjoon held him close anyway. His back to the prince, Jimin stopped protesting and allowed him to hug him.
“My parents are going to kill me.”
Namjoon chuckled. “That makes two of us.”
“What will you tell them?” Jimin asked as Namjoon kissed the side of his face and shoulder.
“I don’t know. I didn’t plan on spending the night here.” He said in between kisses. “I guess I could tell them I spent the night making love to the most beautiful fae in the world.”
“Joon!” Jimin whined with a pout. “Seriously.”
Namjoon stopped kissing him and addressed his question properly. “It doesn't matter what I tell them. All they care about is this wedding that will take place over the next few days.”
The talk of a wedding made Jimin sad and uneasy again. What if something went wrong? What if their plan didn’t work?
“Stop worrying. It will be fine.” Namjoon said with a kiss to his temple.
It was easier said than done. Jimin knew he wouldn't feel at ease until they were far away from this place.
Jimin didn’t realize he had fallen asleep again until he awoke to yelling just outside of the oak tree. He looked at his side and realized that Namjoon wasn't there. He got up and dressed as quickly as he could, the argument becoming more heated outside.
When he stepped outside, his eyes grew wide at the sight before him. Hundreds of winter knights, the King of winter as well as Doyoon and the head knight were in attendance. Namjoon and the King were arguing and were still pretty much oblivious to his presence. It wasn’t until Namjoon said something that must’ve enraged the King that caused him to slap him hard across the face. Namjoon fell to the ground and a gasp escaped him garnering the group's attention
“Joon!” Jimin yelled rushing to come to his aid but was halted by a small group of knights.
“You!” The king said as he approached the restrained nature fae that was fighting to get free. “You’re the fae that has bewitched my son! Release him from whatever spell you have on him or I swear to Arawn--”
Spell? What was the King speaking of? Jimin would and has never used his power to manipulate anyone. It went against everything his parents had taught him.
“There is no spell! Leave him alone! Don’t touch him!” Namjoon shouted as he came to his feet and ran to stand between his father and Jimin. “I’ve told you numerous times that I did not want to marry Sangwook-hyung. Jimin is the fae I want to marry and the only fae I will accept!”
The King stood in shock as did Jimin who had stopped fighting. He couldn't believe Namjoon was speaking to his father this way.
“Namjoon-ah…” Doyoon said coming to his side to calm him down. “Let’s go back to the kingdom and talk about this.”
“No!” Namjoon said with tears in his eyes, redirecting the King’s attention back on him. “I won’t return! I won’t continue to do your bidding. I am not your servant or your knight! I am your son!”
In a rage, the king reapproached Namjoon, gripped his neck, lifting him a few inches off the ground.
Jimin watched Namjoon struggle to free himself from his father’s grip. Jimin felt that foreign feeling return to his chest. He fought to free himself again to no avail. Doyoon was doing his best to try to defuse the situation but it seemed useless. The King was angry and it seemed nothing would calm him.
Tears began to pool in his eyes and the feeling in his chest moved to his head, making it feel hot and heavy. He watched helplessly with anger as the King berated and slowly began to asphyxiate his son. He was going to kill him!
The ground began to rumble under their feet and Jimin was only vaguely aware as his only focus was on Namjoon and getting to him to protect him.
The group looked around in bewilderment as the wind began to whip intensely around them. Some of the knights, even Sangwook began to look heavenward as the sky slowly began to darken and thunder rumbled in the distance. It appeared the angrier Jimin became, the wind grew harsher and the thunder resounded in response.
“Don’t hurt him! Let him go!” Jimin screamed. With his outburst, lightning struck a nearby tree sending it crashing onto the ground just as few feet away from the group of knights.
All eyes flew to him and with bewildered expressions both Namjoon and Jimin were released.
“His eyes!” Someone yelled as the knights began to step further away in fear.
Jimin blinked just as an intense pain radiated from the back of his eyes, sending a current through his whole body. The pain was so great that he slunk to the ground in response, holding his head.
What was happening to him?
The nature fae struggled to look up at Namjoon from his crouched position, his eyes aching and full of tears.
Namjoon rushed to him and embraced him. Jimin collapsed weakly into his arms as he struggled to keep his aching eyes open.
“It’s okay. Calm down, my love.” Jimin closed his eyes as Namjoon’s cool fingers caressed his hair, grazing scalp.
“The prophecy!” Doyoon could be heard asserting, reflexively sending the group into a frenzy.
The king could be heard angrily questioning the bugul as well as the knight. Jimin tried to stay alert through it but his head felt like it weighed a ton and the pain. It had gone from painful to full out excruciating.
“It hurts!” Jimin bawled into the winter prince’s chest. Namjoon was doing his best to comfort him but it was ineffective.
“It’s going to be okay.” Jimin could feel Namjoon coming to his feet, scooping him into his arms. “I’m going to get some help.”
Jimin could feel them elevating but out of nowhere, a strong jerk sent them both back to the earth causing Jimin to writhe from the pain he felt throughout his body from the impact.
“Jimin!” Namjoon called out to him. Jimin turned his head to see Namjoon being restrained again and two knights rushing towards him.
“Kill him and take the prince home immediately!!” The King ordered, pointing down at him.
“No!!! Don’t!” Namjoon cried out pulling away from the knights briefly before they got hold of him again. “Please!”
Jimin lay there helplessly as tears fell from his eyes into the dirt. The pain he saw in his lover’s eyes was far more agonizing than what he felt in his body. His body shook from his cries as he watched Namjoon fall apart before his eyes.
The nature fae opened his mouth to speak. He wanted to tell Namjoon he loved him one more time but his vision was obstructed by the King stooping in front of him. “I’ve heard of you and what the likes of you will do to the Unseelie.” The king gripped his hair causing him to yelp from the pain. “The prophecy will die right here-- today.”
The king’s eyes grew dark and then he stood, Jimins hair still in his grip. Kicking and screaming, Jimin was being dragged through the dirt. He wasn’t sure what the king had planned but once he looked up in the direction where they were headed, he realized that they were nearing the lake. The king would drown him?!
“Stop! Please! Appa!!”
The King was unfazed by his son’s cries as Jimin suddenly felt water soak his back and then the rest of his body become submerged. Jimin struggled and fought against the King’s grip as he was being held under.
He was close to drowning just a few days before but somehow this felt real. He was going to die today. The king seemed adamant about keeping that promise.
Just as Jimin felt like he could hold on no longer, he was being pulled from the water with such great force that it sent him and the King at least one hundred feet into the air. The two landed on the edge of the lake, heaving from the impact as it knocked all of the oxygen out of their lungs.
“You have until the count of ten to return to your land or we will send you and the rest of your shadow skippers and nightlights to the furthest depths of the abyss where you belong!”
Coughing and gasping for air, Jimin turned onto his stomach and looked up towards the voice that made the threat.
It was the Queen of Spring. She was dressed just as elegant as always but in her hand was a swirling orb filled with currents of wind and energy. Behind her was her army, all dressed in white but prepared for battle.
His eyes found the source of the cry. It was his mother. She was standing near the back of the formation, his father and brother at her side. Her face was tear-soaked and Jeongguk was shaking and crying as she held him.
“Ten..nine...eight…” The Queen began her countdown, the orb growing larger.
To Jimin’s shock, the winter knight stepped forward but was halted by the small bugul.
“It is daylight! Don’t be foolish!” the knight snatched away, his eyes still on the Queen. “She will kill us all and if we do manage to survive the sovereign will finish! No wars! It’s against the treaty!”
The knight turned and stormed away signaling for his subordinates to retreat. The bugul helped the winter king to his feet and the two followed the others into the sky.
After the winter army was gone, the energy that filled the air immediately calmed and every ache Jimin felt returned with a vengeance. His eyes found the queen’s. He expected them to be filled with anger but instead, they were filled with pity and sorrow.
“Bring him to the healers, quickly!” she commanded and within seconds he was being lifted and taken in the direction of home.
Chapter 7: Chapter 6
Enjoy the short update! Thank you for waiting :)
Namjoon sat outside of his parent's room awaiting the healer to reemerge and give a prognosis for his father. Two knights were at his side, keeping a close guard over him per Sangwook’s order.
The door flew open and the healer exited, shaking Sangwook’s hand. Namjoon shot to his feet in an attempt to question the doctor about his father’s injuries but was halted by Sangwook. The healer bowed to the two before taking his leave.
Sangwook turned to him, his eyes dark and full of anger. He raised his hand in what looked like an attempt to strike Namjoon but was halted by the queen, his mother stepping between them.
“You will not lay a hand on him!” She barked, her body becoming aglow with her power.
The knight lowered his hand and blew out a breath of frustration. His eyes went from the queen to Namjoon. “You have no idea what you have done! You have laid with the enemy, an enemy that has the power to destroy us all!”
Namjoon stood behind his mother dumbfounded. Jimin? Not his Jimin. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. And this prophecy everyone was speaking of? What prophecy and what did it have to do with Jimin. Yes. Jimin was extremely powerful. Probably more powerful than a normal nature fae but to assert that he would cause harm to anyone was preposterous.
“You’re wrong! Jimin wouldn't hurt anyone!”
“He nearly killed us all in that forest and that was in his untrained form. Can you imagine what will happen once the Spring Queen realizes what power she has on her side?!”
Namjoon stood speechless. Would the spring Queen use Jimin for her own gain? Namjoon knew that if his father had a fae with the potential that Jimin has, he definitely would. Was the spring queen the same? Namjoon shook the thought. It didn’t matter. Jimin was his own fae and was innately good. Just as Namjoon had come into his own, Jimin had as well. He would not allow outside influences to sway his judgment of Jimin or for spring fae he didn’t know personally for that matter.
“Our blood will be on your hands!” The knight added before turning and making his way out of the hall.
His mother turned to him and held him. “Don’t listen to him. None of this is your fault. Your father just has a few injuries and will heal in time. Nothing to worry too much about.”
Namjoon embraced her back. Tears clouded his vision as he wished he didn’t have to choose love over his people. He wanted both, but if he had to choose, it would be Jimin. Without question, without a second thought.
Chapter 8: Chapter 7
First and foremost, I apologize for the delay in updating. So many things have (good things) happened over the last couple of months. I have entered a brand new career path that requires a lot of my time and attention and am currently in my last semester of my studies. I should've finished much sooner but some unavoidable circumstances prevented it but I am happy to say by the summer, I will be done with school for at least six months before I start again. I hope to be more consistent with my writing in the mean time because this is something that I really hold dear to my heart and I enjoy giving people a glimpse of the my imagination.
Please enjoy this update and there will probably be another coming this weekend. :)
Thank you for reading and enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jimin looked up towards his mother in a squatted position.
A week had gone by since the near clash between winter and spring. Jimin had been forbidden by not only his parents from leaving his home but the Queen as well so he spent his days in the garden and his nights sitting up in bed, looking at the night sky. Namjoon was probably married by now. The thought felt like iron on his skin. He would force himself not to think about it and try to just remember the beautiful moments they had shared.
He would never forget Namjoon. The fae from winter whose touch was as cold as ice but had a gaze that could set his heart and soul on fire. A smile that had the power to make flowers bloom and an intellect that would have you completely captivated and awe struck. Namjoon was perfect. He was his perfect love. Even if it was for a short time.
“Jimin? Did you hear me?” His mother repeated.
She smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes as it always had. “It’s lunchtime. Will you go clean up and join us?”
Jimin was far from hungry but he knew that the reason for his mother’s demeanor was her worry for him. He barely ate or slept. He only found comfort on those nights when Jeongguk would crawl into bed next to him to sleep. His days were spent mostly outside in his garden. It was the only place that he could find comfort during waking hours. He had changed in the short span of a week and although the last thing he wanted to do was entertain company, he knew that it would comfort his mother if he complied so he got up and followed her inside.
“I made all of your favorite dishes, Jimin-ah!” His mother said excitedly as they entered the house. She seemed really pleased with his willingness and it did lighten his mood a bit to see her happy.
As they were making their way down the hall, his mother abruptly stopped in her tracks, her eyes going to the front door. Jimin nearly ran into her but stopped just in time, his eyes following hers.
His father was holding the door open as the Queen and Haeil stood outside awaiting to be invited inside. Jimin’s father, clumsily invited them inside but quickly apologized and excused himself as he was already leaving to make a delivery.
After the elder fae was gone, the two stood in shock by the Queen’s appearance in their home. Yes, they were friends but most of their visits happened on the royal grounds. It was rare for the Queen to visit anyone’s home. Despite the unusualness of the Queen’s visit, the two came to their senses, respectfully bowed and greeted the royals properly.
“My Queen, what brings you to our home?” His mother said straightening to her full height, Jimin following.
“I’m sorry for imposing. Haeil told me he was visiting and I decided to tag along.” The Queen smiled as Haeil looked nervous and uncertain beside her.
Jimin had to swallow his anger at the sight of his old friend. It angered him that he was using his mother, the Queen, as a way to gain access to him. He had made himself clear the last time they met that he wanted nothing to do with him anymore and he meant it. The Queen seemed to sense the tension in the room and spoke to try to de-escalate it.
“Jimin, please don’t be upset with Haeil. I came on my own accord.”
Jimin nodded and bowed at her explanation but was not swayed. “Please excuse me while I go freshen up.”
The Queen nodded with a smile and Jimin left the hall to go to the bathroom. When he was done, he made his way to the dining room and was surprised to see that it was empty. He figured they had probably decided to have lunch in the garden so he made his way outside and realized that he was right.
“Jimin! There you are!” His mother said as he slipped into the seat next to her. She kissed his hair and stroked his back while complimenting his wardrobe.
“You look so pretty.”
Jimin thanked his mother quietly. It was the first time she had seen him not in his gardening attire all week so the compliment didn't surprise him. He could feel her mood becoming even more cheerful. His eyes went to Haeil whose own were staring at his apologetically. Jimin looked away and refocused on his mother. He was doing this for her.
“How have you been feeling, Jimin?” The Queen asked gently.
The nature fae nodded as his mother served him some food. “I’m fine. Thank you for asking.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I wanted to visit you sooner but I thought I would give you a chance to fully recover.”
Jimin nodded and lifted a cup his mother had filled with tea to his lips. The Queen smiled awkwardly at his short response and his lack of engagement before sipping tea from her cup as well. His mother laughed uncomfortably, whispering her son’s name before addressing the Queen.
“Thank you so much for your concern, you highness. Jimin is still not at one hundred percent it seems.”
“I understand.” the Queen said somberly. “I’m sure all of this is quite difficult for you--for you and the Prince.”
Jimin closed his eyes briefly at the mention of the Namjoon. He squeezed his lids tightly as the prickly feeling of tears could be felt behind his closed eyes. The Queen’s empathetic words did little to comfort him. The pain of loving someone you couldn't have--no amount of comforting words would ever be enough to console him. Everyone meant well with their words, but it was frustrating to say the least.
He opened them and a tear ran down his cheek as he intensely gazed at the Queen and then at Haeil who had remained silent the whole time. He had almost forgotten he was there.
“I’m afraid you DON’T understand you highness because if you did--” Jimin’s words were cut by the wind suddenly picking up, ruffling the fancy table cloth that his mother had used to cover the round wooden table. However, the wind did little to deter him from expressing his thoughts about the situation. The Queen wanted to know how he was so he decided to be truthful. “--then you would not have forbidden me from meeting him. If you understood--if any of you really tried to understand then you all would realize that the preconceived notions about light and dark are false! Wasn’t that what Namjoon and I had proof of?!”
“Jimin!” his mother said, placing her hand on top of his to calm him.
“No!” Jimin said pulling away from his mother and coming to his feet. “She asked me how I was feeling, right?!”
“Please Jimin, calm down!” his mother begged, her eyes going between the Queen who was sitting just as poised as always watching Jimin with a glint in her eye as the air around them grew more violent and the sun disappeared behind a cloud. Haeil and his mother however, were both trying to keep their lunch from being ruined by the wind, while trying to keep an eye on the intense argument that was happening before them.
Jimin began to tremble with anger. He had held this in for over a week and the Queen’s seemingly fake empathy had pushed him over the edge.
“I feel horrible! I am broken!” Jimin sobbed, his lips trembling as he spoke. “I miss him!”
“Jimin-ah!” Haeil interjected, his voice sad and pleading.
Jimin shook his head at the mention of his name from the spring prince before looking over at him. “I don’t want to hear a word from you!” Jimin said through clenched teeth. “You were supposed to be my friend and I trusted you! You betrayed me and don’t you dare say it was because you cared!”
Haeil’s mouth clamped shut and he looked down at his lap in shame.
“Jimin!” his mother cried out trying desperately to end his rant but Jimin was too far gone.
“But I really did Jimin-ah!” Haeil sobbed.
The moment the words left his mouth, a hand slapped his cheek. His mother gasped and covered her mouth in shock from what she had done. “I’m sorry!” she cried, her voice trembling. Jimin kept his head down as his mother excused herself from the table and hurried back into the house.
Jimin cried out from frustration before plopping down in his seat and placing his head in his hands. The slap, he deserved it. He was trying his best to not behave selfishly and to think of everyone in this matter but he just couldn’t bear it any longer.
The darkened sky rumbled a bit before it slowly calmed and the sun began to shine brightly again. Jimin sat oblivious to what was happening, he was too full with self loathing to notice. He didn’t lift his head until a hand hesitantly touched his shoulder.
Jimin looked up and there was Haeil.
“I’m sorry Jimin. I really am!” the prince squatted down before him and grabbed his hands. “I should've trusted you more.” he said tearfully. “Truthfully Jimin--” the prince hesitated. “I did have ulterior motives but I honestly wanted to protect you too.”
Jimin sat silently watching as the prince struggled to express himself. The nature fae just wanted him to get on with it. He was only tolerating any of this because the Queen was present.
“I like you Jimin....in more than a brotherly and friendly way.”
“What?” Jimin said just above a whisper, his irritation replaced with shock and curiosity. He searched Haeil’s face, searched for understanding in his expression.
Hail looked down at Jimin’s hands then back up to his eyes with an awkward smile. “I like you more than in just a friendly way. I was jealous.”
Jimin looked at the Prince in silence. He was shocked that this was his motive. There was never a feeling or indication during their friendship that Haeil wanted more. Jimin had assumed that it was just him being prejudiced, not that he had a crush on him. His brain felt like it was in a whirlwind but It seemed he had more to say and for the first time in a year, he was ready to hear it.
“Over the past year, I realized how wrong I was and that it was wrong for me to try to force you by lying. Being your friend should have been enough and today, I am at a place where I can accept that this is all there ever will be between us and I am okay with it. I just want my friend back.”
The nature fae sighed. Now that he had heard the reason. It did offer him a bit of closure on his feelings toward Haeil but being friends again after knowing he was in love with him? He wasn't sure if he could take that step yet.
“Haeil, I accept your apology but I don’t think I am ready to be friends again.” Jimin moved his hands out of Haeil’s grasp and placed them in his lap. “I’m sorry but I still have so many emotions to sort through. I can’t be a good friend right now.”
Haeil nodded and stood. “I understand. Just know that if you ever need me, I am here.”
Jimin nodded and for the first time in a long time, he smiled at the prince. “Thank you for understanding Haeil.”
The prince turned to his mother, stating his intention to leave. The Queen nodded her approval and the prince took his leave. Jimin looked over at the Queen, she was eyeing him silently and Jimin had an inkling that she was probably waiting for an apology as well.
The nature fae came to his feet and stood before the Queen. He bowed and straightened before offering his apologies.
“My Queen, I beg your forgiveness for my behavior today. I know you and my family only wish to protect me and the people of our land.” Jimin took another breath before continuing. “Please bear with me as I--” Jimin was halted by the Queen lifting his head with her hand and then staring into his eyes. He was alarmed by this action but didn’t make any attempt to move away as she studied him wordlessly.
She smirked and let out a small laugh before coming to her feet. “Don’t apologize. I wasn’t offended. You have every right to be upset.” The Queen shrugged her shoulder with a sigh before clasping her hands together. “Honestly, everything you said today is correct but there has been so much hate brewing between the courts for so many millennia that it's going to take a miracle or an intervention beyond any of our capabilities to fix.”
Jimin nodded. He understood the Queen’s reasoning but he just didn’t understand why the Sovereign didn’t do more than just creating a treaty or putting restrictions on their powers. It would be so much easier if they intervened more.
“Then why won’t the Sovereign Three help? They see what has been happening! Why can’t they do more?”
The Queen laughed but it was more bitter than a joyful or amused one. “It isn't that simple, little one.” The Queen said with a gentle stroke on his cheek. “They won’t intervene for many reasons but mostly because we have free will and they only have the power to change minds, not hearts or souls. Even if they wiped the hate from our psyche, there will still be hate festering underneath and eventually it will resurface again.”
The nature fae’s shoulder’s sagged in defeat. The Queen placed her hands on his shoulders to reassure him.
“Don’t be sad my sweet nature fae.” She said with a smile that was much more hopeful and genuine. “I have a strong feeling that there will be a shift and very soon.”
Jimin looked at the Queen in confusion as she continued to smile at him. She offered him a wink before moving past him and making her way towards the house to leave. Jimin stood there for a while just contemplating the Queen’s words. He shook his head, still confused before making his way inside to bid her farewell.
Once inside, Jimin watched as his mother and the Queen embraced. The Queen wiped his mother’s eyes before leaning in close to her ear and whispered something, too quiet for Jimin to make out. Their eyes met and Jimin quickly bowed and the queen offered a small smile and a quick nod before leaving.
Jimin watched silently as his mother stood there, her back to him, hand on the door and shoulders trembling from her soft cries. It pained him to see his mother like this. She was always so cheerful and joyful. His intention today was to lift her spirits a bit and he had managed to make matters worse.
His mother turned at his call, her race flush and wet from her tears. The sight felt like a knife to his gut. Jimin opened his mouth to apologize but was hushed by his mother closing the distance and wrapping her arms around him.
“Don’t apologize for how you feel!” the older fae said as she held him tightly. “You have every right to be angry. I should’ve been more understanding. I should've given you more time to grieve.”
His mother pulled away and wiped his eyes. “There is nothing I want more in this world than for you to be happy. If I could, I would make this all go away and give you everything you heart desires.”
Jimin pulled his mother close again and burst into tears.
“I’m so sorry Jimin-ah that protecting you like this is all I can do.”
Moved beyond words by his mother’s unwavering understanding, all he could do was cry and wish things could’ve turned out different as well.
Jimin looked up from the basin in the backyard, where he was washing some vegetables and turned towards his younger brother’s call.
The young fae ran quickly towards him, an envelope in hand.
“Hyung! The winter guard came to the lake and gave me this letter to give to you!”
Jimin looked at his brother in confusion but took the letter from his grip and regarded it suspiciously.
“They said it’s from the Prince!”
With that, Jimin ripped the envelope open and began reading frantically. He gasped once he reached the end of the letter, his eyes finding his brother’s that were full of curiosity.
“What does it say?!”
Jimin swallowed hard and debated if he should tell him. Jeongguk was very protective of him and he was of the younger fae as well so he was sure if he told him, it would wreck him with worry.
“Please tell me, hyung!”
“Okay.” Jimin said softly. “”The prince wants to meet one last time.”
The younger fae looked down at his feet. Jimin could feel what was to come and he just couldn’t deal with anymore tears today.
“Don’t worry Kookie. I won’t go.”
The younger looked up at him, unshed tears shining in his eyes. “You miss him, don’t you?”
Jimin nodded slowly.
“You love him a lot?”
The older fae nodded again.
“If you see him one last time, will that make you happy again?”
Jimin smiled at his brother’s innocence. He was sure if this would be their last time meeting, he would be filled with a plethora of emotions but to be able to say goodbye properly would make things a bit more bearable. So with a nod, he reassured his brother.
“Then, you must see him! I want you to be happy again! I want my hyung back!”
Jimin pulled the younger close and kissed the top of his head. “Thank you so much Kookie. I love you.”
Jimin ran through the forest, sweat clinging to his skin and the burn of tears in his eyes. Although he told Jeongguk that he would indeed meet the winter prince, he stood in his room pacing until it was nearly too late before he found the courage to just go. He wasn’t sure what to expect but he wanted to see Namjoon at least one more time.
What would he do when he saw him? Obviously kiss him senseless. Tell him that he loved him and with the minutes they had before sundown, he would make love to him like he had never done before. He would never see the beautiful fae after today so he wanted to cherish this moment because it would be their last.
Jimin came to an uncoordinated stop once he reached the clearing where the lake sat. And like a dream, there Namjoon stood. He was dressed in all black, gazing out at the water as he always did. With a soft sigh, Jimin allowed himself a few moments to take him in. He wanted to remember him like this.
The warning horn sounded in the distance, breaking the trance that Jimin was in. Jimin looked up at the sky. It was already changing into a deep orange and red. He needed to hurry.
“Joon?’ Jimin called out to his love but he didn’t respond.
Confused, Jimin called out to him again as he began his approach. However, the winter prince still didn’t budge. He stood there as still as a statue and Jimin began to wonder if something happened. Had he been hurt in some way? Because Namjoon was very attentive in nature and would never ignore him, even if he was deep in thought.
“Joon?” Jimin whispered as he reached his hand out to tap his shoulder. Just as he was about to make contact, he pulled his hand away. Something felt wrong.
Jimin was used to the dark magic that seemed to surround Namjoon whenever they would meet. However, it never felt threatening--just different. But this--this felt scary. It felt foreign. It felt like danger. Despite all of the red flags, Jimin reached out to him once more.
Namjoon began turning his head towards him. A smile spread across Jimin’s face but it quickly faded when he saw the distorted toothy smile widen across Namjoon’s.
The nature fae took a step back, clenching his chest as whatever that was head did a one-eighty and stared directly at him.
It’s eyes were large and blood red. Jimin watched as it’s teeth grew pointy and sharp before his eyes as did its arms, forming dark long blades.
Jimin took a few more steps backward as the demon continued to morph into a horrifying imitation of the winter prince. The sight made his heart rage and heat rise from his core. The thing let out an ear piercing roar that put Jimin on his bottom before he clumsily got back to his feet and raced towards the thick forest.
I apologize for any typos, misspellings, etc. I do not have a beta so this is all proof read and edited by me. Any volunteers????? DM me on twitter please! @writeon423
Chapter 9: Chapter 8
A quick update! Enjoy and don't forget to stream Black Swan and Shadow :)
Namjoon sighed as he closed the huge book on fairy folklore. He hadn’t read this book in years as his interests had changed as he had grown older, to his father’s dismay. The King would rather his son’s studies focus on strengthening his magic but Namjoon had always believed that strength not only came from physical prowess. He felt mental strength was just as important as well and from what he read, the fae with golden eyes will possess them both.
Other-worldly is the best description of this fae’s beauty but their beauty won’t cease at the physical. They will possess all the wisdom of all worlds, even those in between. This wisdom will allow them to harness their power with just a mere thought and with this power they can control both light and dark magic as well as all things earthly and celestial. As a descendant of the Aos Sí, this fae will bring harmony to all worlds by eradicating the evil that dwells there. All will live in peace and even the sovereign will praise their name.
Did that include them?
Namjoon didn’t want to think it could possibly include the people of winter but there was a high chance it did. Lifting the heavy book, Namjoon made his way back to the shelf from which it came. He fingered a few other books and stopped when he saw a book titled, Sacrificial Magic. He pulled it off of the shelf and studied the cover.
The cover was littered with warnings about using it and Namjoon had no interest in delving into this type of magic. He was just a bit curious. As he opened the book and was flipping through the pages, he stopped on a page where there was an illustration. It was of whom he guessed were the Sovereign Three, sitting on a throne. A fae was kneeled before them, his eyes white from blindness. Underneath the image, in Edwardian script was a description and it read:
Reverse sacrificial magic- where a living being willingly sacrifices themselves for the life of the deceased.
Namjoon was shocked that this type of magic existed. However, he continued to read, going over the rules and practice.
The Sovereign Three, the high fae, whose Kingdom is on the sun are the only Faes that are capable of reverse sacrificial magic. Many have tried to venture to their realm but have not made it and if they did, they didn’t live to tell the tale.
Namjoon was intrigued and went to read more but was interrupted by a sharp gasp.
“What are you doing here?” Doyoon asked as he pulled out a pocket watch and studied it briefly before putting it away.
The prince closed the book and stuck it back on the shelf with a pout. “You expect me to stay in my room all day and night? I just needed a break.” He lied. What he was actually doing was trying to learn as much as he could about the prophecy. He didn’t want to believe what Sangwook had suggested and if it were true he needed to find a way to protect Jimin from the fae of winter and spring if need be.
“No!” Doyoon said with a shake of his head. Namjoon didn’t notice it before but the bugul looked horrified. The sight sent Namjoon into his own panic.
“What? Did something happen? Is mother okay? Father?”
Doyoon grabbed him and pushed him deeper into the corner between the bookshelves.
“The letter you gave one of the guards to send to Jimin…” he whispered aggressively.
Namjoon’s eyes widened. Letter? He didn’t write a letter. He was still trying to figure things out and he most certainly wouldn't ask Jimin to meet him with tensions between their courts so high.
“...I intercepted it before it was sent.” Doyoon continued. “ I figured you’d want to see him again but I was afraid that you’d run off but when I read it and it said you only wanted to meet him one more time, I allowed them to deliver it.”
Horror surged through Namjoon’s being. That meant Jimin was waiting for him! He was certain the fae would. No matter how late it became.
“Shit!” Namjoon swore before moving past the bugul and racing out of the library.
“Joon-ah! Wait! I will send the guard to help you!”
There was no time. He needed to get to Jimin quickly! The sun had already set and whoever wrote that letter to Jimin did not have good intentions,obviously. His heart was racing. He couldn't move fast enough.
He was just about to exit the castle, when strong arms enveloped him from behind.
“Where do you think you are going?”
Sangwook? And just like that, everything began to make sense.
Namjoon opened his mouth to activate his magic but was quickly hushed by Sangwook’s hand and dragged back through the palace doors.
They didn’t go far. Namjoon was thrown into a nearby closet where he fell haphazardly into some shelving before Sangwook locked the door behind them.
Namjoon righted himself and was about to open his mouth to chant an incantation to activate his darkling spirit when Sangwook’s hand closed over his mouth again and he was pushed roughly back against the shelving.
“Oh no you don’t!”
Namjoon fought to free himself but Sangwook was much stronger. He clawed at the hand clasped around his face and kicked wildly but the Knight was unfazed.
“I won’t let you destroy everything I worked for!” the knight said as he drew his body closer to restrain him.
It was more difficult to move with Sangwook’s weight on him but Namjoon kept fighting. He had to get to Jimin! He didn’t want to imagine the dangers the nature fae could be experiencing or if he was hurt or afraid. Tears filled Namjoon’s eyes at the thought of his Jimin fighting for his life in his night induced weakened state.
“I’ve devoted everything to this kingdom--to your father--to you--it’s my right!” The knight spat angrily.
So, this was Sangwook’s motive all along? He never cared about him, his family or the kingdom. He just wanted a title that he had no right to and it seemed he would do whatever in his power to get it. Create a rift in his family to cause him to be disinherited and even kill the man he loved under the pretense of prophecy; it was all ultimately for him to gain control. He couldn’t imagine what he planned to do with that power but Namjoon was certain peace and unity wasn’t on the knight’s mind. For the sake of everyone, Namjoon had to get out of the closet.
“What should I do with you, huh?” Sangwook said as Namjoon continued to try to free himself from his hold.
“Should we have a little fun before you kill yourself due to the grief of losing your lovely Jimin ?”
Namjoon shook his head frantically and choked on a sob behind Sangwook’s hand. The knight laughed and gripped both of Namjoon’s hands above his head with one hand before removing the one covering his mouth and replacing it with his own.
Smothered screams filled the closet as Namjoon fought to at least catch a breath to evoke his powers but not only was Sangwook strong, he was quick. The moment he began his chant, Sangwook’s mouth would close over his again. He felt helpless. No one knew he was here and the guard would certainly not help. They were under Sangwook’s control since his father was incapacitated. He had to fight harder. Jimin’s life possibly depended on it.
Just as the prince was trying to formulate a way to get out of this situation, the knight’s tongue slipped past his lips and there, Namjoon realized, was his opportunity.
With great force, Namjoon bit down hard on the other’s tongue. The knight groaned and fought to release himself but Namjoon bit down harder until the metallic taste of blood filled his mouth. He didn’t release the knight until his hands were freed. And with a swift and powerful kick to Sangwook’s abdomen, he was released fully.
Angrily, Namjoon watched the knight double over and groan from pain as he spit out the blood that filled his mouth. He wanted so desperately to stay there and beat the knight until he was unrecognizable but Jimin was much more of a priority. He would deal with Sangwook later.
Wiping his mouth, Namjoon began his chant, conjuring his magic and disappearing out of the closet. Once outside, he stumbled slightly from exhaustion but quickly recovered as the closet door swung open. Namjoon chanted once again and was outside of the palace. He didn’t waste time going into flight. He flew with all of his might, using the power from the will-o’-the wisp to propel him towards earth faster. His heart was racing as well as his mind. Namjoon wasn’t sure what he’d find but he hoped for the best. He hoped he wasn’t too late.
Chapter 10: Chapter 9
Jimin ducked behind a tree as the shapeshifter roared and the sound of trees snapping and falling to the earth filled the forest. He wasn’t sure what to do!
The shadow dweller continued its destruction. Jimin cried as his mind raced with thoughts of how to get out of this situation safely.
Maybe--maybe--the winter knights would come to save him? Jimin shook his head at the thought. They certainly wouldn’t. He was sure the head knight was probably responsible for this if not the King himself. No one would be saving him so he needed to calm down and figure this out.
Jimin took a deep breath and stepped out to face the monster head-on. There was no escaping this. He would have to fight back.
It roared once more upon seeing him and began to run towards him at full speed, it’s sharpened limbs reflecting in the moonlight. Closing his eyes briefly, Jimin opened them and two large boulders were hurled at the demon sending it stumbling backward. Before it could recover, Jimin conjured vines from the trees that wrapped around the beast's limbs and neck.
Sweat formed on his brow as he willed the vines tighter. He could feel his power waning but he just needed it to hold on just a bit more. If he could just keep the hold on the monster’s throat long enough for it to pass out, it would give him time to escape.
After a few moments of evoking all the energy he could garner within himself, he began to feel dizzy. Shaking his head, Jimin blinked rapidly and forced himself to focus as the shapeshifter growled and coughed in protest.
“Just a bit more!” he chanted to himself through gritted teeth. He could feel the beast weakening. However, the more power he exhausted within himself, he could feel his conscious beginning to slip. It quickly became a game of will and Jimin was unfortunately at a disadvantage. Jimin began to cry. He wasn’t sure if he could hold on much longer. The vines began to snap and it sent Jimin into a panic.
“No! No!” he cried as he tried to force himself to concentrate harder. This was all in vain as it only caused pain to radiate behind his eyes, crippling him further.
Jimin fell to his knees as the vines around the monster’s neck snapped and it roared at its release. The vines that circled the monster's wrists and ankles fell away soon after as Jimin fell in a heap to the earth. The monster roared again and began running full speed towards him.
This was it.
This was how he would die.
So many thoughts flooded his mind as he awaited his demise. Would his family be able to find him or would there be anything left for them to find after this monster was through?
He imagined his family’s pain and sadness at the promise he had broken. In hindsight, he should’ve been smarter and thought things more thoroughly. Namjoon would never ask him to meet him after what happened. He would’ve been more careful and wouldn’t put him in danger. He felt so foolish!
“Joon!” he cried as the shapeshifter drew closer, its sharpened limbs lifted preparing for its attack. Jimin closed his eyes tightly and curled himself up tightly into a ball. Any minute now. He just hoped it would be quick and as painless as possible.
The call of his name was followed by him feeling like nothing--light--weightless, to him stumbling to the earth wrapped in familiar arms.
He opened his eyes and Namjoon was looking down at him, his face paler than usual with sweat beading his forehead. His violet eyes were wide with worry as he stared down at him.
“A-Are you hurt anywhere?” he stammered, his breath clipped and labored.
Jimin was speechless but he managed to shake his head to indicate that he was not hurt. He was still in shock. He should be dead! But Namjoon--where did he come from and how? Did they just shadow jump? A roar in the distance from the shapeshifter interrupted his thoughts. Both turned towards the sound and then Namjoon slowly pulled them both to their feet.
“You should--” Namjoon began before falling into Jimin sending them back onto the ground.
The winter prince met his eyes and Jimin watched as his beautiful orbs filled with tears.
Namjoon’s eyes fell and he opened his coat and touched his chest. When he pulled his hand away, it was red and wet with blood. The forest became deathly quiet at that point and Jimin’s senses seemed to become hyper-focused on Namjoon.
The strong grip that Namjoon had on his forearms began to lessen and the sound of his breathing became more labored and panicked. Namjoon lifted his head and their eyes met again. The tears that were pooling before had spilled and his once supple lips were now blue and trembling.
He was dying.
“Joon?” Jimin cried out as he held Namjoon’s face, shaking him slightly to keep him alert.
“I’m sorry.” Namjoon rasped out before falling more into him. ‘I-I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.”
Jimin held him and sobbed. “No! Joonie!”
“I love you so much.” Namjoon choked weakly through tears.
“Don’t be sorry. I love you too. Please just---just don’t leave me, Joonie!” The nature fae held him tighter, kissing his hair as he continued to whisper his unending love for him. He begged him to hold on. Pleaded with him for love’s sake. However, no amount of pleading, tears or whispers of love could match the deathly blow from the shapeshifter, so Jimin sat there holding his lover as he slowly died in his arms. When Namjoon took his last breath, the heavens erupted with thunder and the sky wept, showering down rain upon them.
Was it seconds?
Jimin wasn’t sure how long he sat there on the cold wet ground holding Namjoon’s lifeless form. His tears seemed to flow with just as much ferocity as the rain and the anger and pain he felt resonated with the thunder. He was so wrapped up in his emotions that he was not aware that the shapeshifter had found them until it roared before him.
The nature fae’s cries slowly subsided as the overwhelming feeling of anger and vengeance swept over him. The thunder boomed louder as Jimin lifted his eyes towards the monster that took his lover away from him. Their eyes met and Jimin could see his golden eyes reflecting in the blood-red orbs. The shapeshifter quieted and his expression became transfixed before slowly shrinking away under Jimin’s stare.
The energy around them suddenly began to change. Fear radiated from the beast and it grew more abundant the longer their gazes were locked. The shapeshifter took a step back in an attempt to flee.
Jimin would not allow it.
The earth suddenly gave way under the monster’s step. It screeched and tried to free itself but to no avail because soon after, its other foot was engulfed as well.
Jimin watched as it was slowly being swallowed into the ground. Large thick roots sprung from the earth assisting in the descent of the monster, gripping its limbs and neck. It was chest-deep in the earth when the shapeshifter morphed into its true form. A pale, thin fae with large dark eyes and delicate features, a complete contrast of its former self.
“Please!” it cried out before the root that was gripping its throat tightened, snapping its neck. The earth then swallowed it completely before returning to its previous state, grass growing in its wake.
Jimin blinked. He realized he hadn’t during the whole ordeal. He looked down at Joon. His face soaked from the rain. Cognizant of Jimin’s situation, nature caused the trees overhead to snap and bend, providing them both protection from the downpour.
Tears blurred Jimin’s vision as he bent and kissed Namjoon’s forehead. He lifted with shaky breath, smoothing Namjoon’s wet hair from his face.
“I love you,” he whispered before kissing his lips.
They were warm. Usually, this would be an indication of life but for a fae of the prince’s kind, it meant the opposite. Jimin broke down in a fit of sobs as he pulled Namjoon into his chest and held him.
Why? How could fate be so cruel? Weren't the odds already against them?
“I love you.” he continued to whisper over and over again. He knew Namjoon wasn’t there with him anymore but he hoped that wherever he was, he knew that even death couldn’t sate their love. With everything in him, he would love him forever, without waver.
As Jimin was keeping vigil over Namjoon, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and goosebumps pimpled his arms. It wasn’t from the cold. The atmosphere had shifted again. His eyes went heavenward and there he saw, through the limbs of the trees that protected them, Sangwook.
He and his small army of what Jimin guessed were about fifty, hovered in the air looking down on them. The anger returned, reigniting that fire he felt in his chest whenever it did. Thunder rumbled as the two glared at one another. This was his fault! Jimin knew it!
“Kill him!” Sangwook ordered his men, ending their staredown.
A scowl turned up Jimin’s lips at the Knight’s command before lightning struck, its charges separating, striking them all. The roar of thunder followed soon after and Jimin’s eyes found Namjoon again as the knights fell to the earth like raindrops from the sky. Tears rained down onto Namjoon from Jimin’s eyes as stones and boulders formed around them creating a barrier from the outside world.
He placed one last kiss upon Namjoon’s head before his body gave way to exertion and he collapsed back against the wall of the stone fort.
His name sounded muffled through the fog that the trauma and exhaustion had created in his brain. He could hear the stones being pulled away and multiple voices crying and calling out to him and Namjoon. He was far too weak to respond so he just laid there barely conscious with the weight of Namjoon still felt in his lap.
Hands gripped his face and a voice was calling out for him to focus. He forced his eyes open as the weight of Namjoon was being removed from him. His eyes slowly adjusted and found his mother kneeling before him, calling out to him, drenched from the rain. Her eyes were wide and panicked as she spoke. Jimin couldn’t understand a word as his attention was being pulled towards whoever was moving Namjoon. He forced himself to sit up to his mother’s dismay.
“Please, Jimin-ah! You’re hurt! The healer--”
Jimin swatted his mother’s hands away and reached for Namjoon who was being carefully lifted by two guards. She did her best to calm him but Jimin didn’t calm until Namjoon’s body was given to his mother, the queen.
He watched as she carefully sat on the wet ground, a guard protecting her from the rain with a large parasol. She placed her forehead against his and sobbed. Jimin closed his eyes. The heartbreak and agony in her expression was far too great for him to continue to witness. His own body soon shook from his own cries as his mother tried to comfort him. However, he didn’t want comfort. He wanted Namjoon back.
Jimin stared at his reflection, specks of gold shining in his eyes that were red and slightly swollen from crying. A tear escaped and the royal stylist that was styling his hair stopped to grab a tissue and dab it away.
“Thank you,” he whispered. His voice was unable to go any higher due to his endless crying that put great strain in his throat.
Since Namjoon’s death, he and his family had been staying in the Spring palace. The queen thought it best so that Jimin could receive the best care both mentally and physically. His parents were very fearful due to his mental state and welcomed the queen’s help. They worried that he would wander off or worse, harm himself. Jimin had no intention of doing that. His head was too full of the memories he and Namjoon had shared and thoughts of how he was to continue without him.
“All done!” the stylist said with a small smile. “You look very beautiful Jimin-ssi.”
For the first time since he sat in the stylist chair, he actually took in his appearance. He did look beautiful. Dressed in white from head to toe, his pink hair with streaks of white from stress and grief was styled away from his face and his make up was neutral, highlighting his natural beauty. It looked like he was preparing for a wedding--his wedding, but in reality, today would not commemorate the joining of two souls. Today would solidify their separation as one continued their journey towards eternity while leaving the other behind.
Why did things have to turn out this way?
That question continued to ring through his mind as he walked up to where Namjoon was laid before the spring court as a martyr of the land, an example of the sacrifice that one would take for love and preservation of a decedent Aos Sí. Jimin had learned of his status and power through recent conversations with the Queen and her scholars. It seemed his father’s dreams were not as ridiculous as Jimin had once believed. However, Jimin wanted nothing to do with the responsibility. If his status and power could not bring Namjoon back, then what was the point? Despite his apprehension and feelings of resignation, he was treated like royalty and held in great reverence in both the S eelie and U nseelie courts. That reverence was on full display as he stood before Namjoon. Everyone in attendance was kneeled before him as he reached out and touched Namjoon’s face.
Dressed in all white just as he was, Namjoon looked so peaceful lying there with his delicate hands clasped across his torso. He looked like he was sleeping making this all seem so surreal. Jimin couldn’t count how many times he had wished he was just in a nightmare and would wake up any minute to find that Namjoon was alive and safe. A week had passed and despite how unreal this all felt, it was reality. A harsh--cruel reality.
Jimin bent and kissed his lips, tears spilling from his eyes. “I love you and I will never forget you.”
Wiping his eyes, he lifted and touched the charms that hung around his neck. Two spring guards came to his side and assisted him to a seat next to his family and the queen.
Hours passed and the once full room had practically emptied except for a few guards assigned to watch over him. Jimin sat there staring at the space where Namjoon once laid. He had been taken to winter so that they could give him a proper burial. It was so very difficult to say goodbye and for it to truly be indefinite. He begged the people of Winter to allow him to be buried there so that he could visit as he wished. It was a selfish request and upon seeing the torment Namjoon’s mother was experiencing, he conceded and apologized. The queen of spring promised to make a memorial in his honor for Jimin and that satisfied him. However, he still found it difficult to move from where he sat.
How was he to move when his whole world had stopped in the blink of an eye? It felt impossible. Implausible even! Jimin put his head and his hands and cried.
“Jimin-ah, can I come in?”
Jimin turned towards the closed door of the room he had taken residence within the palace. He blinked trying to rouse himself fully from sleep. A light knock was followed by his name being called again. He sat up and ran his hands through his mussed hair before advising the person to enter.
The door opened and in came Haeil and Jeongguk. Both carrying what Jimin assumed was breakfast.
“Good morning, Hyung,” Jeongguk said as he sat down the pitcher of water he was carrying and sat down beside him. Jimin instantly laid his head in his brother’s lap and the younger began to massage his scalp and run his hands through his hair. Haeil smiled at the display as he sat down the breakfast tray and found a space to sit on the other side of Jimin and stroked his back gently.
“We brought you breakfast. All of your favorite foods.” Haeil said softly.
Jimin closed his eyes. Food was the last thing on his mind. Even the thought of eating made him feel slightly ill. “I’m not hungry.”
“Hyung, it’s been a week and you haven’t taken any meals. Can you please eat a little?” Jeongguk begged.
Despite Jeongguk’s pleas, Jimin didn't budge.
“Please Jimin-ah,” Haeil added. “Everyone is very worried about you.”
Jimin shook his head in protest as tears welled in his eyes.
“Please Hyung!” Jeongguk continued to plead. “Do you want anything else? What can I do to make you want to eat?”
“I want Joon,” he said as tears fell from his eyes dampening his brother’s lap. “Bring him back to me.”
Jimin knew he sounded foolish but this was all he wanted.
The days were moving like years and nights were filled with dreams of a smile as warm as the sun and eyes that shone with wonder, tenderness, and love. Even in his dreams, he found himself captivated by Namjoon’s features. He never wanted to wake but the call of day would always rouse him.
After about an hour of crying and voicing his frustrations and hurt, Jimin conceded and took a few bites of the food his brother and friend had prepared for him. He bathed and dressed for the day and was almost immediately carted off to meet with the royal scholars to learn about his lineage and the extent of his powers.
“Aos Sí are nature spirits that are divided into distinct categories of wood spirits, water spirits, air spirits and so forth. However, you, Jimin-ssi possess all of these elemental powers and from the energy you emit, have the ability to garner much more.” The scholar explained before turning to write on a huge white-board that outlined his possible family tree and the history of the Aos Sí that dated back to the war between the Tuatha Dé Danann and Milesians.
They believed that one of his great grandparents was a Tuatha Dé Danann that possibly fell in love with a nature fae that began his bloodline. However, they were not able to explain how it missed certain generations. They only suspected that maybe both of his parents were descendants of Tuatha Dé Danann (Aos Sí) and that his brother, Jeongguk either has not reached the age of maturity to activate his powers or it skipped him altogether.
Jimin’s head ached from the influx of information. The combination of grieving and being fed so much knowledge was wearing on him physically.
“How about we take a break?” The scholar said, noticing Jimin’s distress. Jimin nodded and decided to take a walk around the large library where his study sessions had been designated.
He wandered down the aisles, looking up at seemingly endless shelves of books. He stopped when he came to a section that was closed off by a forcefield and a sign that read: Prohibited . For authorized Fae only! Jimin looked around and then back at the sign. Since he was considered royalty--godlike , wasn’t he an authorized fae ? Jimin didn’t allow himself much time to mull over the question. He allowed his curiosity to lead him.
Reaching out in an attempt to penetrate the barrier, he was jolted backward slightly from its protective energy. Jimin caressed his sore hand for a bit before reaching out again but this time he concentrated harder. The barrier was thick and strong but with extra effort, he was able to breakthrough. He stumbled inside and took in his surroundings.
It was a dimly lit space with a single large book sat on a large wooden platform. Jimin approached the book cautiously, looking around to make sure no one had noticed his intrusion. When he was sure the coast was clear, he stepped up onto a stool and peered down at the large text.
The cover was worn and the text almost unreadable. All he could make out was Magic of the Seelie. He ran his hand over the cover before flipping the book open. His eyes widened as he read about spells and magic he had never heard of. There were spells to make a fae fall in love with you, spells to remove a fae’s magic, to steal magic and many more practices that were forbidden for obvious reasons.
As he flipped through the large text, he began to wonder if there were spells that could bring a fae from the afterlife. Even if it were momentarily. Jimin quickly flipped through the book and was about to give up when he saw a chapter dedicated to sacrificial magic.
It talked about sacrificing a fae or human to gain power or favor from the gods. That would do little to help Jimin. He had no desire to harm anyone and the powers he had, he had no use or desire for them anyway so obtaining more power was not something he wanted but what if….what if... he gave up his powers as a sacrifice? He figured that if his powers were so great that it would be of use to the gods. Maybe he could offer his powers in exchange for Namjoon?
Jimin flipped through the chapter and stopped on a page that he thought would assist in his endeavor.
“Summoning the Sovereign Three?” he read out loud before flipping the page and continuing. “The all-powerful gods of the sun, rulers of the Seelie. Many have attempted to penetrate their realm but all have failed.”
There were many warnings that followed that said summoning the three could result in blindness, insanity and even death but Jimin ignored it and turned the page to read over the spell.
It was a lengthy summoning spell. Jimin wasn’t sure he could remember it all on the first try and regretted not having his notebook and pen with him to take notes.
His break was coming to an end. He was sure the scholar would be looking for him soon. He would have to come back another time and be more prepared. Jimin closed the book and quickly left the area, bumping into the scholar as he turned the corner.
“Oh?!” The older fae said with a smile. “There you are! Are you ready to resume your studies?”
Jimin nodded and then allowed himself to be led by the scholar back to his seat but not before taking a quick look back at the area that housed the forbidden text.
“Tell me all you know about The Sovereign Three!”
Haeil stood in the doorway of his bedroom adjusting his robe and looking at his friend incredulously. “What?”
Jimin pushed past his friend and entered his bedroom. The prince closed the door and turned toward his friend still in shock.
“I need to know about The Sovereign Three!” Jimin repeated before going on a tangent of questioning. “Do you know anyone that has met them? Are they fair? How powerful are they--”
“Whoa! Whoa!” Haeil interjected. “Why are you asking such questions and are you aware of how inappropriate it is to be in my chambers at this time of night?”
Jimin pinched the bridge of his nose. He didn’t care about appropriate and besides, Haeil and he had already established that they were to be just friends. He just needed to garner as much information as he could before his venture. Not that whatever Haeil told him would deter him. He just wanted to be prepared.
“Nevermind the time! Answer my questions please!” Jimin begged.
“Not until you answer mine first!” Haeil retorted.
Jimin sighed. “I will after you answer mine.”
Haeil shook his head and exhaled in defeat. “Okay. Well, I don’t know much. Just what they say in our history books. That they are all-powerful and such and they believe in balance and autonomy which is why they hardly ever interfere with fae issues. They only interfered once when they feared we would face extinction and cause harm to the human race.”
That bit of information did little to help Jimin. He had learned that much from his own studies and from the talks with the Queen.
“As far as your other questions--the only fae I know that has met them is my great-grandmother and that was because they made themselves visible. It was during negotiations for the treaty.”
Jimin walked over to Haeil’s bed and sat down heavily, placing his head in his hands. Haeil followed. “Now tell me why you're asking all of this?”
The nature fae looked up at his friend. He felt slight apprehension in telling him especially since he had betrayed him in the past but Jimin decided to forgive him and with that meant he deserved to be trusted again.
“I want to ask them to bring Joon back.”
Haeil shot to his feet, his face full of shock and horror. “You what?!”
Jimin stood, placing his hands on Haeil’s shoulders to calm him. Haeil swept them away. “Are you insane?!”
“I’m not!” Jimin said with tears in his eyes. He wasn’t insane. Desperate, but not insane.
“Well, you have to be to think something like this is a good idea!” Haeil turned away from him in frustration before turning back and gripping his forearms. “Jimin-ah, I know you miss him but the chances of you even catching a glimpse of them is practically impossible and even if you did make it, the price you would have to pay--I can’t let you do it!”
Jimin shook his head, the tears in his eyes running down his cheeks. “I’m not asking your permission, Haeil.”
Haeil’s hands fell away and Jimin watched as tears filled the spring prince’s eyes. “You would risk death for him?”
Jimin studied his friend's eyes. They were pleading for him to rethink his choice but Jimin had already decided and besides, he wasn’t as pessimistic as Haeil. He had faith that he could negotiate with the Three. He had something of great value to them. He just wanted something of great value given back to him in return.
“I would and if I were in Joon’s place, I know you would do the same for me.”
Haeil looked away signaling that Jimin had struck a chord.
“I won’t fail!” Jimin said lifting Haeil’s face. Their eyes met and Jimin reiterated his position to reassure the other fae. “I won’t! You have to believe in me--trust me Haeil?”
The Spring prince closed his eyes and nodded his head in agreement. Jimin could tell it was difficult for the other to do but he needed someone to support him in this. He needed Haeil to be a true friend this time.
“Okay but you better not die or I’ll kill you!”
Jimin chuckled and pulled his friend into his arms. “I won’t! I promise.”
The nature fae could feel Haeil’s arms grow tighter around him the longer they embraced. Haeil was scared and quite honestly, Jimin was as well but the possibility of getting Namjoon back overrode all of it.
“Stay here,” Jimin instructed the prince after they had reached the library without incident thanks to Haeil’s familiarity with where the guards were on duty.
Jimin turned to enter the library but was halted by Haeil pulling him into an embrace. With a smile, Jimin hugged him back. “I’ll be fine. Look after Jeongguk until I return.”Haeil shook his head onto Jimin’s shoulder before the nature fae pulled away and entered the library.
Standing before the large book in a dark library with the only light source a small candle was far more intimidating than it had been earlier. Jimin was so nervous that his ragged breathing extinguished the light. He panicked at first but then remembered what the scholars had told him about his powers. He had dominion over all elements so that would include light, right?
Jimin stared at the smoldering wick, concentrating his energy and with a blink of his eyes, the candle was lit and burning strongly. He smiled but quickly moved towards the book as he had no time to relish in his newfound power.
He stood on the stool and opened the book, flipping quickly through the pages until he found the incantation he was looking for. Releasing a cleansing breath, Jimin began reading and almost immediately he could feel the room begin to change.
The space seemed to spin and the temperature spiked. Jimin pulled at his clothing and wiped his brow but he continued the chant causing the heat to continue to rise and the room to spin so fast it became a blur. Tears clouded his vision as he continued reading the last few lines. It had become so hot that it felt like his eyes were melting. It caused him to question if what he felt were actual tears and not his corneas melting away from his eyes.
Shouting out the last word of the spell, Jimin fell to his knees, his arms wrapped around himself in an attempt to protect himself from the heat. Jimin forced his eyes open, his teeth bared from the prickly to excruciating pain he felt. It was so bright, unbearably bright. Jimin blinked and when he opened his eyes, everything had gone dark. He had gone blind!
Jimin cried out, as his wings burned and his clothes began to melt away from his body. His body felt like it was on fire. He could feel his skin blistering and then bursting from the burns. The smell of burning flesh made him nauseous and his head felt empty and light. He collapsed fully onto the ground and it suddenly gave way. He screamed as he began a free fall that felt endless until he came crashing into something solid, back on all fours again.
The nature fae forced his eyes open and it was still very dark. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, opened them, blinked and slowly his vision began to return. He blinked faster and his badly burned arms came into view.
The burns on Jimin’s arms slowly began to heal and his charred clothing mended as the heat that engulfed him slowly subsided.
“Well, to what do we owe the honor of a visit from the creator of fae, Goddess Oonagh?”
His eyes slowly cast upward and he saw three beings. Golden eyes, fixed on the most breathtakingly beautiful faces he had ever seen staring down at him. Jimin had never seen beings so beautiful before in his life. With their golden hair, golden wings, and iridescent skin, it was without question he was amongst gods.
Jimin bowed his head respectfully before introducing himself properly. “My name is Jimin, nature fae of Spring, son of Seoah and Manshik.”
There was a deafening silence after his introduction and then a light chuckle filled the space. Jimin looked up and saw the god from the highest throne step down and walk towards him. He was huge but with each step he grew smaller until he was just above the average height of a spring fae.The god lifted his chin and studied his eyes.
Jimin became entranced as he watched the god’s irises turn clear and reflective. He could see himself but not really himself? It was of a beautiful female fae. She resembled the three in certain features like hair, wings and skin color. However, her hair was adorned with greenery and flowers that he did not recognize and that was shocking because he knew of all that grew from nature. He was mesmerized. He reached out to touch his face and his reflection did the same. What was happening? Who was he?
Another chuckle from the god before him withdrew his attention. “I knew it was you. Your beauty and power can be discerned through many millennia and rebirths.” A smirk turned up the corner of his mouth. “You can’t hide from us, Oonagh.”
Jimin shivered under the high being’s stare. He was so captivated that he didn’t notice that the god had moved in closer and their lips were centimeters apart. A hand on the god’s shoulder caused him to freeze before their lips touched. The god shook his head and let out a flustered laugh before standing upright.
“Seems I got a little carried away. Please forgive me.” The god bowed as well as the two that were now at his side followed. The one that was the most vocal came to his full height first and began speaking in a tongue that Jimin couldn’t discern. His confusion must have been visible because the god quickly apologized.
“I’m sorry. How foolish of me.” he said with a shake of his head. “Of course you wouldn’t remember your native tongue in this form. You’re probably confused by all of this?”
Jimin nodded slowly. The god to the left put out his hand to help Jimin to his feet and he took it without hesitation. Once on his feet, he was rewarded with the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. He couldn't imagine that these beings were capable of becoming more beautiful but the more he looked at them, the more breathtaking they seemed to become.
“How about a proper introduction?” the outspoken god said as he turned back to his throne and sat down, the other two following in unison. “My name is Seokjin, and I am a god of all Seelie.” His eyes and hair turned fiery red at his declaration. He stretched out his hand as he continued. “I possess the power of fire manipulation, light, heat, nature, air, and water.” The elements he described danced in his palm and Jimin stood there in awe. Seokjin snapped his fingers and Jimin came out of his trance. “I can even manipulate time....” He said and it seemed that everything around him began to move in slow motion. “...and absorb powers from both Seelie and Unseelie.” he finished as time returned to its normal pace and his appearance returned to normal. He smiled and gestured to his right. “This is Yoongi, also god of all Seelie.” At Yoongi’s introduction, his golden hair seemed to turn into flames as did his eyes. “He possesses the power of heat and air manipulation.” Yoongi smiled and his eyes and hair calmed as Seokjin continued. “And last but not least, this is Hoseok, god of all Seelie.” As if on cue, Hoseok’s eyes and hair turned a brilliant orange. He lifted a finger and an orb of light formed on its tip. “He harnesses the power of light and he’s a bit of an empath as well. You can thank him for the treaty that saved the lives of both Seelie and the Unseelie.” Jimin bowed and Hoseok smiled and nodded appreciatively.
Their introductions evoked curiosity within him. He wanted to know more about them and about himself but he needed to focus. He was there for Namjoon.
The god named Hoseok’s smile faded. He studied him briefly before leaning over to whisper in Seokjin’s ear. The head god smiled and spoke in that foreign language again before addressing Jimin.
“Hoseok feels that you are here in requisition but I--”
“He’s right,” Jimin interjected. Seokjin and Yoongi eyes widened with curiosity while Hoseok sat back with a satisfied smile. “I need your help.”
Seokjin sat back against the throne, his expression now full of amused disbelief. “Impossible! Why would our Queen Goddess come to us for help?”
Jimin shook his head. “I am not your goddess--” the gods looked at each with confusion before Jimin quickly corrected himself. He wasn’t technically Goddess Oonagh but it was obvious that her blood ran through his veins. “-- I mean I am but that was many lifetimes ago. I am Jimin now and all of this is happening so quickly and..and… it's so overwhelming... I just need your help, please!”
The god’s faces softened as tears streaked down Jimin’s cheeks. Yoongi lifted his hand and blew against his palm. Warm air caressed Jimin’s face like a gentle touch, wiping his tears away.
“I apologize again for our insensitivity.” Seokjin offered. Hoseok leaned over and whispered in his ear again eliciting an eye roll from Seokjin. “Correction. My insensitivity. It seems as if you are still in the early stages of learning about your capabilities”
Hoseok smiled, his eyes forming crescents and his lips parting and forming a heart against his perfect teeth. Yoongi then leaned in to whisper something to him as well and Seokjin became visibly irritated.
“Okay! Okay!” Seokjin said with his hands raised in surrender. “I was going to ask her! Of course, I don’t like it when she cries either!”
“Him.” Jimin corrected with a raise of his hand. Seokjin pinched the bridge of his nose and Yoongi and Hoseok smiled in amusement.
“Yes. Of course. My apologies again. Him.” He said with a sigh. “What is it that we can do for you?”
Jimin took a deep breath to calm himself before speaking. “Prince Namjoon of winter…” All three gods moved to the edge of their seats at the call of Namjoon’s name. “...I ask that you revive him from the afterlife and return him to winter.”
The three looked at each other in shock. Their eyes fell back on Jimin as he awaited their reply nervously.
“You want us to revive an Unseelie?”
Jimin nodded. “Yes. Is that not within your power?”
Seokjin laughed as if it was the most ludicrous thing he had ever heard. “Not within my power?!” his voice boomed, his eyes becoming like flames briefly before dimming under Hoseok’s touch. Seokjin looked down at where Hoseok’s hand laid atop his. He lifted it to his lips and kissed it gently. Jimin cleared his throat redirecting the attention back to him.
“Oh yes!” Seokjin said more joyfully. “Of course I can bring him back but why? One less Unseelie for you to worry about.”
“He wasn’t just an Unseelie !” Jimin said a little more forcefully than he intended but he couldn’t stand to hear them speak of Namjoon in that way. He was probably the kindest fae he had ever known. So beautiful, smart and fair but most of all, he wanted to end the division between courts. He wanted everyone to live in harmony.
Hoseok leaned over and whispered into Seokjin’s ear again. Seokjin nodded and turned towards Jimin. “He asks permission to use your eyes.”
Jimin was confused but he nodded in agreement. Anything that would move this along so that he could bring Namjoon back, he would do.
“He wants to take a peek at your thoughts and memories.”
Jimin shook his head in agreement again as Hoseok approached and placed one hand gently on his shoulder and then the other on the side of his face. Jimin closed his eyes as the warm touch of the god lured him into a semi-unconscious state. Images of his childhood up to his adolescence flashed through his mind like a sped-up film but at he and Namjoon’s first encounter, everything slowed down.
The nature fae’s eyes opened and he was met with Hoseok’s eyes full of tears. The god trembled and a breathless whisper of Namjoon’s name slipped past his lips.
Yes. This was what he wanted. He needed them to know that Namjoon wasn’t an ordinary Unseelie. Jimin needed them to see--feel what every moment with Namjoon was like. Each kiss, each touch, and whisper. He wanted them to feel the euphoria he felt the first time they made love and then the unimaginable pain that crushed him as Namjoon lay dying in his arms.
Jimin watched as the god’s tear-filled eyes shift from happiness, pleasure and then sadness. A sob escaped Hoseok and he tried to pull away but Jimin placed his hand over his to keep him close. He wanted to remove all doubt about how he felt about Namjoon. He wanted him to feel the loneliness, the guilt and desperation he felt in every waking moment since his death.
Hoseok fell to his knees, his whole body trembling and his face soaked with tears. Jimin however, didn’t let up although the god was facing apparent distress. He wanted to make his point very clear.
“Release Him!” Seokjin ordered, coming to his feet.
Jimin did as he was instructed and the god fell backward into Seokjin’s arms. Seokjin looked up at him, his eyes becoming red like fire and a sneer distorting his face. The god’s distaste was met with Jimin’s own eyes becoming aglow with his power. He wasn’t sure what was happening but it seemed Seokjin’s anger had aroused the part of him that usually reared its head when he was in danger or being protective. However, in this instance, this facet of him was evoking supremacy and authority. Something Jimin knew he did not have over these gods but it seemed beyond his control.
Seokjin blinked and his eyes returned to its soft golden state. His brow wrinkled in shock as Jimin willed that part of him to calm down as it begged him to punish the god for his insolence.
“I’m okay! Please stop!” Hoseok spoke softly, calming Jimin and shocking him as he had grown used to the three’s unusual way of communicating.
“My apologies.” Seokjin offered the nature fae hurriedly with a dip of his head before helping Hoseok back to his throne. They both took a seat, Hoseok still visibly exhausted. “We will grant your request but we must make you aware that it comes at a hefty price.”
Jimin nodded. “I am aware. I offer my powers in exchange for the life of Namjoon.”
The space went quiet and Seokjin’s head tilted in bewilderment before a mischievous smile spread across his face. “That is not exactly how it works, scion of the goddess Oonagh .”
Confusion and fear swept over him as he watched Seokjin’s expression turn from amusement to loftiness. “It’s a life for a life, I am afraid.”
Jimin’s eyes widened in shock at this revelation. He was hoping that giving up his powers would be sufficient. He didn’t want to die! He couldn’t leave his family and friends behind! He promised them. They would never forgive him!
“Wait!” Jimin tried to reason. “Isn’t there another way?”
“No!” Seokjin said bluntly.
Jimin’s head fell. He promised Haeil. He promised his family. How was he to choose? He stood in reflection trying to formulate what would be the best decision. After a few moments, he knew what he had to do.
“Okay,” he said softly causing the three to regard him with a mix of confusion and shock.
“You would die for him?” Seokjin asked in an aghast tone. It was the same question he had been asked by Haeil and even though he was afraid, his answer still remained the same.
Jimin nodded. “If I could change anything about the time we were together, the only thing I would change is that instead of him that day, that it would have been me.” Jimin’s eyes flickered to Hoseok. “You felt it right? You saw him? You heard his wishes and his dreams?” Hoseok nodded in agreement. “He wanted nothing more than for everyone, no matter their court, to live in harmony.” Jimin sighed and continued. “I know I am the prophecy but the pursuit of peace belongs to Namjoon. It had always been his goal. It was all he ever talked about and because I love him, I won,t take that away from him.”
Seokjin sat back against his throne, the other two following. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a fae in all of my four thousand years as selfless as you. You are one interesting fae.” Yoongi leaned in and whispered in Seokjin’s ear and that mischievous smile spread across his face again. “I’ll grant your request but how about we make things a bit more interesting?” Seokjin said as his eyes became aflame with his power.