Chapter 1: The Starting of it all....
The first rays of sunlight filtered in through the hazy sintered glass of the skylight peeping through the gaps in the green vines with small white flowers that has weaved itself around it like a photo frame. The soft light lightened up the room reflected by the white washed walls adorned with numerous pictures and bundles of memories. Stuffed toys were stuffed in about every corner of the room. There were a number of books lying here and there mostly of the mystery genre and few old classics, while a tower of elegant looking leather bound books of Law were piled up sophisticatedly at the book shelf and the corner of the study table. The white lace curtains of the sliding glass door of the balcony was flown up in the gasps of the morning wind time to time as they seep through the crack of the half opened glass doors. Not strong yet but chilly, carrying a hint of the dawn the leaked in wind mischievously blew away the already scattered papers on the table to be strewn across the wooden finished floor. The furniture was minimal around the room and all in white and steel. A large bookshelf, a study table with a chair and a pretty ornate lamp, a bean bag on the corner, a bedside table and queen-sized bed with fluffy mattress on which lay the main protagonist of this story.
Who is at presently very comfortably asleep unaware of the world in her own pleasant dreams, though not for long. The alarm clock blared as an obnoxious Barbie Doll concept song started playing loudly.
I am a Barbie girl in a Barbie World….
The pillow is folded to act like an earplug sadly of no use.
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!
“Like fucking hell…” a hand reach out from the cover to the alarm clock slamming it down.
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
“I rarely brush my own…..and seriously wtf…just shut up…” another slam…sadly the clock is still in perfect condition. The song doesn’t stop.
Imagination, life is your creation.
“I give up.”
Resigned she got up from the bed and ran across the room in record time slamming the door behind her. There was the sound of utensils in the kitchen, breakfast was in the making and somewhere during her running across the corridor into the next room she heard a “Oh! Somin-ah you are up!” it was again ignored.
Somin wrenched open the door of the master bedroom as she glided across the tiled floor with practiced ease and like an Olympic Diver dived for the king sized bed that already had a lump of baby blue blanket on it.
It was cold outside and she was wearing a large old white shirt with shorts neither of which belongs to her. She tugged open a corner of the comforter and wiggled herself in.
“Appa!” she whined in her sleep heavy voice.
A toned arm encircled her around her waist and pulled her closer to the warm chest. Somin nuzzled into the embrace of the similarly dressed male and sneaked her hands under the similar white old large shirt.
“Uff…why are your hands so cold?”
His voice was scratchy and drugged with sleep. There was no annoyance in his voice but worry.
“Is the comforter in your room not warm enough?”
“Don’t know” she was feeling too lazy to talk. Her lithe cold hands crept up his sides as she pasted herself to his warmer chest. It was quite and Somin was pleased with the comfort but then….
“Yah! Jeon Somin isn’t today your first day at the company?” Somin felt him move his head as his chin rested on her head. She can picturise those doe eyes looking at her, the sharp jawline bent as the pale neck craned at her, studying the messy ball of her brown hair,
“Mhmmm.” Ah! She doesn’t wanna go. She doesn’t want to face that person. She wants to stay like this forever even better if her…
“Wake up Sleepy Heads.”
Both of them groaned in distress.
“Don’t want to” was the united reply.
A kiss was placed on each of their heads.
“C’mon up people. Breakfast is ready. Soo-jin has already set the table. She’ll get angry if I return empty handed.”
“Nooo…” both of them whined in unison.
Taehyung marvelled at this. They even whine around and complain in the same way. Like father like daughter. Smiling to himself he pulled at the comforter.
“Jeon Jungkook! Jeon Somin! Get up! Now!”
Somin whined groaned and tried to grab Jungkook as she was almost wrestled out of bed heaved up in strong tanned arms and delivered onto the sofa followed by Jungkook who is also carried out and dumped unceremoniously beside her.
“Paw!” Somin cried accusingly.
Taehyung sighed. Jungkook was usually the mature one but a sleep induced Jungkook is like a three year old, so no helping hand now.
“Don’t Paw me princess… isn’t today your first day? Giddy up you’re going to whip some ass today. Let’s wash up and put on your battle gear.” He smiled encouragingly.
Truthfully Somin is completely helpless against her Paw’s cute boxy smile. The best part is it lights up her mood and worst part is Taehyung knows it and uses it to his advantage. She had been suspicious for the longest time whether Taehyung actually was a Kitsune/fox spirit with a tail while his poor Appa might be the Usagi/ bunny who got eaten up along the way. Or maybe she just watched too much anime.
Chapter 2: A Woman Like Me
“No point in whining about it princess, your grandpa already gave the final verdict. This Paw of yours or your Appa is pretty useless here.”
Taehyung stood up from his kneeling position in front of the sofa where the father and daughter were deposited previously. Jungkook was still sleepy as he leaned on the sofa with his eyes closed, wriggling around a bit as he was cold. It was almost the end of winter and beginning of spring and the mornings are still exceptionally chilly. They were both dressed in oversized old shirts and shorts. Letting them lying around in this kind of weather is recipe of getting a cold.
Taehyung was always an early riser except weekend and vacations. Those are the times when he tends to sleep late and not even the elders of the family are able to drag him out of bed. During weekdays he is usually energetic and gets up the earliest in their three member family. Mainly because he is the first to leave for work and has a lot to prepare before going to the hospital. Jungkook and Somin are the late risers. It takes a lot of coaxing and tempting and sometimes force to get them out of bed. During winters it is worse.
“Somin-ah!! Don’t fall asleep on me. There up you go princess.” Taehyung finally managed to get Somin to wash up not without any complaining though. Somin hates winter mornings.
Just like her Appa.
Taehyung eyed the wriggling body on the couch. A sigh escape passed his lips.
Only 50% of total work done.
He settled beside the sleeping male. Jungkook as if sensing the warmth sleepily wrapped himself around him.
Taehyung had already freshened up previously. He still was in his pajamas and a thick wool robe.
He mused at the sleeping male. This is the only time Jungkook is really adorable and cute. Otherwise he is always up on his guards the ever serious, the ever disciplined, the ever dominating CEO everybody respects and fears. He wraps his arms around the sleeping male almost as if in a reflex and lets him burrow in embrace inside the cover of his woolen robe.
Its times like Taehyung is taken back years ago in his childhood when he fell in love with a young boy with sparkly doe eyes and bunny teeth, and he feels thankful for his life.
A husband to spend his life with, a dream job, a stable life and above all a pretty daughter whom he loves to bits…what else can a man need.
He hugged the younger tightly chuckling. The man in his arms gave out a groan in protest on being squeezed so tightly.
“Are you ready to get up now? Somin already started getting ready. Don’t you have a meeting with Gramps today?”
The man groaned again sleepily, his voice hoarse from prolonged unused. He grunted a yes nuzzling deeper into the embrace.
“Ugggh….don't wanna go” his voice muffled in Taehyung’s chest.
Taehyung chuckled again. His silent laughter reverberated across his body making Jungkook smile at his chest.
Then his eyes fell on the wall clock in the room.
“Shit! It’s already 8:30 already. I have an OT from 9:45.” Taehyung extricated himself from the octopus clutches and went off towards the study but not without another reminder to Jungkook to get up.
Jungkook groaned again and made his way towards the washroom. The warmth was lost and it’s fucking cold to be lying down in the sofa without a blanket so no point in trying to catch up to some sleep.
Half an hour later the three gathered at the breakfast table. Soo-Jin the housekeeper had served warm breakfast with an equally warm smile.
While Jungkook was munching on food left and right, Taehyung surveyed Somin’s outfit carefully at the breakfast table.
Taehyung is very conscious about fashion and being her daughter Somin shouldn’t be tardy.
She was wearing the Van Heusen suit he bought her last week. The sleek indigo fitted blazer and wide legged pants paired with a classic white shirt underneath with a few buttons loose on top.
“What color do you like?” Taehyung had asked last week when they went out to shop for suits.
“Hmmm….” Somin just picked out the smooth indigo one.
“An indigo one, are you sure? There are other colors also the sky blue or pistachio one, if you want to go bolder there is also red or burgundy one.”Taehyung had offered.
“No, indigo is fine.”
“Any particular reason for this color choice?”
Somin just shrugged.
“Not particularly.” She mused. “Felt like breaking gender colors for suits.”
Taehyung smiled, he was fine with her choice.
The Tiffany necklace, the one Jungkook bought her on her 18th birthday was peeking out from the gap. She has a lot of accessories but she always wears this one.
“It’s my lucky charm.” Somin had smiled and said.
The bright red lipstick looks good on her. She plainly brushed the hair at a parting and wore simple earrings. A simple gold chain bracelet, wait….is that…
“You’re wearing my watch.” Taehyung pointed the watch on her wrist with the chopsticks in his hand.
“Umm…..” Somin looked at him guiltily like she had been caught stealing cookies from a cookie jar.
It’s not the first time it has happened. Taehyung really doesn’t mind he has a collection of watches. But Somin likes borrowing his things especially when it is an important event or when she is really nervous. She likes to keep a token from each of her parents with her. Watch, handkerchief, socks etc. it makes her feel as they are with her. It had been her habit since she started preschool.
“Uwaaaaaa…waaaahhhh…can I…hic….I...not go….wuwuuu” Somin was crying her eyes out and Taehyung has no idea how to stop her.
“Don’t cry love.”
“But you are going to leave me here...hic…aren’t you? What if you don’t come back to get Sominnie. Just like mum and dad…and….then…”
“Sominnie, princess…my love…Look at me…huh? We’ll not leave you…Paw and Appa loves you very much.”
Somin was inconsolable. It was her first day at school after the incident. There she was gripping her father’s sleeve like a lifeline. Taehyung tried to hug her but it was a bad decision. The 5 year old clung to him like a monkey and hung onto him. Her small fists bunched up in his pristine shirt as she clambered on his body like a stubborn koala locking her hands around his neck. Then only she calmed down a little bit.
It was already late for school. She was sure to miss out the morning assembly. The more Taehyung tried to hurry up the more she tightened her grip on him.
After a few minute long struggling Taehyung gave up on morning assembly. He sat down by the side of the road with her on his lap. He’ll be late anyways.
He held the girl close humming a melody to her as he gently patted her little back.
Almost 30 minutes later Somin had finally calmed down.
“Princess…look at this. This is a very important treasure of mine.”
Taehyung had found out a way. He took out his wrist watch as he showed it to her.
“It was the very first gift to me from your Appa”
It was a plain black leather band watch with a white base golden dial. It was cheap and simple yet elegant. Jungkook had given this watch to him on their first anniversary.
“I’ll give this to you.” He strapped it on her little wrist. “when this big golden ticking hand gets on the number 3 written on it I’ll come back to get you. I promise. Won’t you wait for me?”
“Don’t all princesses wait for their prince? Since you are our Princess I’ll definitely come to take you back….you’ll wait for your Paw. Wont you?”
Taehyung saw a swirl of emotion pass through that face of the girl and lastly a determined look filtered through. It was a very familiar one. The one he sees on his husband when he is serious about something. The fondness surge through his chest and he feels grateful for the umpteenth time that he was able to make a good decision then.
“Okay…I’ll wait. But you’ll be back right?”
Those eyes were full of determination and seriousness with a glimmer of uncertainty.
Taehyung smiled until his face scrunched up.
He got an earful from his senior doctor at the hospital for being late but he was a happy man.
Somehow that habit stuck. She is 22+ this year.
Taehyung kind of gets it. She gets this habit from her Appa. Jungkook is same. He loves taking things from Taehyung. It makes them feel safe.
“It reminds me I have somebody back at home, waiting for me, wishing well for me all the time.”Jungkook had said when Taehyung had asked him about it.
Taehyung laughed at the memory. He remembers a week ago they had a similar conversation.
“Sometime I feel like I should do all the shopping as in case you’re not going to wear your own anyway.” Taehyung mock glared at the father daughter pair sitting on the dining table. Both of them were wearing his hoodies and shorts as they wolf down dinner like starved people.
“It’s not that we don’t have things. It’s just that yours are better?”Somin had answered carefully while chewing up rice.
“You mean I buy the expensive shits and you get the cheap ones.” Taehyung glared in mock anger stealing a piece of meat from his husband.
“You’re the only one who wears oversized clothes.” Jungkook replied.
“So you can buy them also.” Taehyung had reasoned.
“Nah! We’re just saving some money. By the way do we have something for dessert?” and Somin had concluded the conversation.
Taehyung sighed remembering the conversation, as he inspected the watch carefully.
“It’s a Rolex you’re wearing. Didn’t you want to keep your private life away from your professional life?”
“It’s fine. I am going there temporarily, that also people will know that the boss is my fiancée of an arranged marriage set-up. So nobody would be as stupid as to think I am a Cinderella without any backing. Anyway I don’t mind what people are talking about.”
Somin stuffed her mouth with more food as she looked like a chipmunk.
The word fiancée somehow put the whole table in an uncomfortable mood. It’s true both of Somin’s parents are against it. It was her great grandpa’s decision i.e. Jungkook’s grandfather. And in the Jeon household his words are rules.
“Its fine…I am sure grandpa has something in mind. Just trust him a bit.” Somin believed in her great-grandfather. He was a cunning old man never ready to take a loss sitting. He must be planning something to come up with this proposal.
Kim Jae-joong the supposed fiancé of her is a member of the Kim household. In other words that would be Kim Taehyung’s nephew (a distant one though). Somin had met him a few times when they were young. A pretty boy he was then and unlike the other girls she wasn’t much interested. Somin was always an outcast and she didn’t mind it at all.
“Need to drop you off?” Jungkook offered.
“Its fine, Paw has a OT and you have a meeting don’t you? Nabi will come to take me there. She said she needs to talk to grandpa too.” Somin put the dishes in the sink.
“Tell Nabi to have breakfast before she leaves. Oh! There are two boxes of kimchi in the fridge, one for Nabi and other for your Uncle Yoongi. When you go to his place in the evening make sure to take it with you.” Jungkook hollered from the foyer as he put on his shoes. He could already hear Taehyung calling him followed by the sound of the car’s engine roaring to life. A pat on her hair to smooth out the frizzled fringes and with a loving smile Jungkook was out of the house leaving Somin standing on the foyer of their apartment alone with lingering remnants of a warm touch on the head.
She checked her phone and decided to ring her best friend up.
“Where are you?”
“Gimme 5 minutes more.” The voice on the other side was a pretty one. Mature melodious yet sensual are the perfect words to describe it. “I am at the intersection.”
“Okay. I’ll be downstairs then,”
Somin tucked her phone in her hand bag, grabbed her keys and turned back to the kitchen to get the kimchi container from the fridge. Strapping her stilettos she was out through the door within a minute.
She locked the door checking the knob of the door twice before making her way downstairs, her heels clicking on the marble staircase.
When she finally got to the entrance there was already a car waiting there. The deep blue Masarati was pretty eye catching to normal people.
On seeing Somin, the door to the passenger seat opened up. There inside in all her glory sat Dr. Lee Nabi, wearing loose white shirt rolled up her arms and first button opened and a perfect indigo pinstripe suit ensemble. Her sunglasses perched upon her pointed nose as she greeted Somin with a cheer.
N:“Morning babe. Wanna ride with me to the horizon?”
Somin just rolled her eyes as she got in.
S:“You're starting a job today, is it okay to be late?”
"Well you are also starting your job today…so let's be late together".
Nabi was as chatty as possible today too.
" What work to you have with Gramps?" Somin wasn't much curious about it. She has an idea but she asked nonetheless as she fastened her seatbelt.
“Nothing much. Same old work. Also my old man asked to deliver him something.”Nabi pointed at the rectangular box kept in the back seat wrapped in an yellow cloth." He told me it's peaches. Ren-ssi loves them"
Somin didn't talk further. It's an hour and half journey to her Gramps house and she plans to sleep on the way like a heartless friend as her best friend drives on.
Her Gramps lives in the Old Town while they reside in the New Township of S City. It takes an hour by car but considering the traffic in the morning of a week day due to office workers it will be an hour and a half minimum.
Somin passes on the kimchi and breakfast Tupperware to her friend putting them on the dashboard. She is rewarded with an excited squeal.
She lays back down adjusting her seat as she stared off into the passing scenery of a city scape. She hears Nabi humming to herself and she smiles at the peaceful atmosphere.
She is happy. Her parents are well and alive. Nabi is here. She has a good backing in her family. She has a job. ‘HE’ is alive. She is alive and she will protect all her precious people from harm no matter what. Life has given her a second chance she won't let it get wasted a second time. The people who tries to harm her or her family will be dragged down to hell by her. Even if she has to get her hands dirty for it she'll make sure of it.
She will not live her two lifetimes in vain.