10:00 PM –– Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Raindrops battered down mercilessly as the temperature outside continued to drop. The deafening roar of heavy water droplets making contact with the aluminum vehicle body of a pitch black Audi A8 was enough to convince Kim Taehyung that he was anything but alone with his thoughts. He shifted in the leather driver’s seat, resting with his car idle in the parking lot of a very familiar place. A large, stone building with Greek-influenced architecture loomed overhead, emanating an eerie feeling in the gloomy September weather. He had been here hundreds of times –– but each time felt more like a first time than the last. Biting the inside of his cheek, Taehyung wondered why it felt that way. The wool of the dark Bottega Veneta overcoat wrapped around his frame suddenly felt itchy. Was it hot in here? Glancing down at the display, he checked the time. 10:14 P.M. It was still early – the valet wasn’t even attending yet. Sucking his teeth, he pulled his coat taught around his front before turning off his car. The vehicle ceased its purring without a hitch, and Taehyung cursed under his breath. Who’s idea was it to open a club without the valet for the first three hours? The rain wasn’t letting up anytime soon, and Taehyung knew it. He’d have to bring it up to Yoongi later. Cursing still, he grabbed an umbrella from behind his passenger seat, threw open his door, and stepped out onto the soaked asphalt, making a beeline for the stone stairs that led to the entrance of the building. Half of him prayed that maybe he’d slip on the way up – at least maybe he’d get his money’s worth back, and then some.
The Parthenon was a modern take on a structure true to its name. The building was quite massive, and situated on an incline accessible by a vast stone staircase leading up to its entrance. Several large, dusted white stone pillars designated the front of the building, fitting the structure’s neoclassical architecture. If you didn’t know any better, you’d never guess what was waiting inside. Taehyung, reaching the top of the steps, passed through the looming pillars and side–eyed the valet booth, void of attendance. Shaking his umbrella, he looked upward at the large, extravagant double doors that towered in front of him. He could turn around, and get in his car, and drive away. It’s not like he paid for valet. A second later, a smirk cut across his face and he stepped forward. It wouldn’t be much fun if he left now, would it?
Upon entering the building, most would be taken aback. True to its outward appearance, The Parthenon’s interior is nothing short of beautiful. Taehyung, though a frequent patron, admires the interior every time. The ceilings stretched infinitely high; and the walls were neatly adorned with classic artwork, mostly renaissance. Taehyung had always appreciated the artwork. He took pleasure in the fact it rotated every so often, and every piece was original and well taken care of. In every crevice of The Parthenon, there was always something beautiful to look at. The place is overwhelmingly extravagant and exquisite – it’s almost too much. Almost like there is a lot of effort gone into every detail. Almost like there is something to hide.
“Good evening, Mr. Kim. It’s a pleasure to have you.”
A warm, pleasant female voice echoed in front of him, coming from the reception desk to his front. Taehyung, snapping out of momentarily being lost in his thoughts, smiled and nodded toward the woman, cracking a polite smile and stepping forward on the lush red carpet that led from the entrance to reception. The woman circled around the desk, approaching Taehyung.
“Please allow me to attend you, sir.” She reached forward, bowing deeply at the waist. Taehyung nodded, bowing slightly in return. He handed her his umbrella and shrugged off his overcoat, which she took delicately off of his body. Brushing himself off, Taehyung hadn’t realized how much his skin was burning up. It was cold outside, but he still felt his body running anxious with heat. Adjusting the Patek on his wrist, he chuckled.
“It’s a bit of a shame with no valet,” he said, glancing at the hostess and then avoiding eye contact. His eyes roamed lazily. “With this weather and all.” He added. Long eyelashes blinked away the stray droplets that had formed on the tips of his dark, curly hair that hung in his face. He’d just gotten a perm recently – bad timing. His jaw clenched slightly.
The hostess’ face flushed with shame and apology. She bowed once again, deeply and at the waist. “I understand. I’m incredibly sorry, Mr. K–“
“Taehyung!” A man’s voice rang out from the hallway to the left of the reception desk. Taehyung followed the trail of the voice, and smiled in acknowledgment of a friendly face emerging from the darkness of the large corridor.
“Hoseok,” Taehyung greeted him warmly, “How’s it going?”
Hoseok beamed a bright smile. “It’s better now that you’re here! How are you?” He blinked, looking down at his watch. “You’re early, but late for you.” He peered up at Taehyung, pursing his lips. “Anything new?”
Taehyung chuckled. “I would have been here earlier, but the rain is bad, and seeing as there’s no valet…” He trailed off, purposely making eye contact to get his point across to Hoseok.
Hoseok’s face brightened and he laughed, throwing an arm over Taehyung’s shoulders. “You already know the rules! No valet before midnight.” He led Taehyung into the corridor, and Taehyung obediently walked with him into the darkness. “Yoongi’s rule. Maybe we should take it up with him.”
The calm, museum–like feeling of the front gallery was a stark contrast to the rest of the building where Taehyung was going. After walking with Hoseok down a dimly lit corridor, Taehyung could feel an anxious rush begin to bubble in the pit of his stomach. He admired the paintings that adorned the corridor, much like the ones in the front lobby. He swore he could hear the bass of club music through the walls, but he couldn’t tell whether he could actually hear it or just because he expected it. Moments later, the pair circled to a set of large doors with carved stone handles. Hoseok opened the door for him, and a cold blast of air hit Taehyung’s face. Along with it, the crisp scents of liquor, cologne, crisp bills, and the noise of club music hit him.
The fucking Parthenon.
Where else would he be on a Friday night?
What looked like a grand museum or even a library on the outside, fooled its visitors quite easily when you ventured into The Parthenon far enough. The lobby was deceiving – intentionally so. But if you knew where to go, you’d find what you were looking for – if you were looking for it.
A bar stretched out to Taehyung’s right; to his immediate left, a small round stage with a sleek, silver pole adorning the center. He made his way to the bar. Behind it stood a fresh face – new bartender, Taehyung guessed – and a familiar one. He smiled and nodded his head in acknowledgment. His greeting was simply a pleasant, “Yoongi.”
Yoongi, taking his eyes off the display screen in front of him, looked up at Taehyung. His face cracked into a smile, revealing his pink gums and small white teeth. “Kim Taehyung.” He said in return, then his smile disappeared a moment later. “You’re late.” He returned to looking at the display screen in front of him, touching it with the bartender watching intently.
Taehyung chuckled, taking a seat at the bar. He made eye contact with Hoseok as he saw him crossing behind the bar and approaching Yoongi. “Should I tell him or will you?” Taehyung asked, receiving a panicked look from Hoseok.
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed and he looked up at Taehyung, then at Hoseok. “Tell me what?” He stood up straight, adjusting his suit jacket and looking expectantly at Hoseok.
Hoseok’s eyes grew wide and he shook his head, looking from Taehyung to Yoongi quickly, “Well, the, I– I mean, Taehyung– the v-valet,” He started, but was interrupted by Taehyung’s chuckle.
“You really should consider valet at open, Yoongi.” Taehyung said. Hoseok gave him an apologetic and thankful look. “I know it’s a rule, but it’s in the best interest of the customer.” He smirked. “I’d be a lot earlier if that’s what it took.”
The look on Yoongi’s face was one of sheer exasperation. He looked like he was over the conversation before it had even begun. “Shit, Taehyung. You of all fucking people…” He sighed. “It’s a rule for a reason. You know that.” He responded flatly, returning his attention to the bar register.
Taehyung, breaking into a smile, nodded. “I know, I know. The usual, please?” He asked, and with that, he looked at the young bartender – who was, Taehyung noted, quite attractive. Young, but attractive. They always were. “Glenlivet 18, please. Short, on the rocks.” He paused, glancing behind him at the floor adorned with mostly empty tables, lush chairs, and three very large, very obvious stages, all adorned with sleek silver poles. “two rocks, specifically.” He smiled at the bartender.
“Until the third.” Yoongi added, his arms crossed. The bartender looked confused. “Two ice cubes until the third round. Then it’s four, with a generous splash of soda.” He clarified, rolling his eyes and making a gesture for the bartender to get going. He then looked at Hoseok, who giggled. Taehyung raised his eyebrows, looking impressed and nodding thankfully at Yoongi. He then immediately cracked into a smile mirroring Hoseok’s giggle. He couldn’t help it – Hoseok’s giddiness was contagious.
After receiving his drink, Taehyung took leave from the bar and settled at a table in a more obscure corner of the club. The layout was quite massive; the main floor was open, but VIP booths in the corners and the cushioned chairs along the walls afforded a bit more privacy. Taehyung enjoyed being more of a wallflower; it was either the wall or the very edge of the bar. Never too out in the open. His eyes tracked upwards towards the towering ceilings. He peered at the darkness of the second floor. He’d never been upstairs to the VIP lounge. Not that he wasn’t intrigued, but no one had particularly piqued his interest to lead him to reserve a room. He looked down at his watch. 10:37 P.M. He brought the glass to his lips, taking a sip of his drink. He sucked his teeth as he felt the burn of the alcohol searing his throat.
His eyes scanned the room – it was relatively empty, with most patrons just starting to arrive. Dancers were already up on the stages; one on the main center stage, and another on one of two side stages. They rotated stages with each song.
“Ares, stand by. Ares, stand by, baby.” Taehyung heard the DJ’s smooth voice meshed with the music.
“Ares..” He thought to himself. It didn’t ring a bell. New dancer? Taehyung took another swig of whiskey, cursing at the burn. It numbed his tongue just slightly. Taehyung had been a regular patron of the club for a while now, and had become familiar with most of the dancers. He was cordial with some, cold with others – most knew that he was not an easy client to bag. He was the type to buy a drink, but yet to buy a dance. Normally, this would be a problem – but considering Taehyung’s tendency to rack a large bill and tip nicely for time, it wasn’t an issue. Besides, Taehyung had known Hoseok for quite a long time – Hoseok was the one who invited him here in the first place. Taehyung doubted that he’d ever be forbidden from returning. He smiled fondly at the thought of his friend, who was probably having a fun time right now, running the place. Taehyung looked over towards the bar, wondering where Hoseok and Yoongi were. Taehyung always found it interesting the industry that Hoseok had gotten his way into. “What an interesting profession to assume…”
Just then, Taehyung looked back at the main stage as the music changed. His eyes widened, nearly dropping his glass in the middle of drinking from it. He choked on his whiskey, eyes watering as he coughed and tried to compose himself without drawing any attention. He watched in disbelief as a dancer, toned and dazzling with a baby face too cute to match, strutted out onto the stage. A second later, after wiping his mouth, he burst out into laughter. He couldn’t believe it. Laughing, he grabbed for his wallet and pulled out cash. He made a mental note to get dollar bills from the bar later, and with a huge smile on his face, got up from his seat, placed his napkin over his drink, and walked towards the main stage.
On stage, Ares exuded nothing less than power. With a physique that seemed chiseled by gods, he retained a boyish, mischievous charm that seemed unique to him. His look screamed “bad boy” and the way he moved his body proved he knew it.
“I was wondering where you were!” Taehyung shouted, flashing a big smile as he approached the stage. He looked up at the dancer, who looked momentarily surprised and then smiled brightly down at him. Taehyung giggled. His smile was always cute – his baby face made him look like a bunny rabbit. The dancer dropped down in front of him as Taehyung put his hands down on the edge of the stage, exhibiting his best gentlemen's club etiquette. “Jeongguk”, he said, with flirtatious eyes and a sly smirk, once the dancer was close enough to hear.
Ares laughed, sitting down on the edge of the stage and throwing his legs over in one smooth, fluid move. Taehyung was momentarily startled – had he ever seen Jeongguk move so… sexily? It was like he didn’t even need to try. Ares placed his hands on Taehyung’s shoulders, slowly feeling down his arms and pulling him closer. He straddled Taehyung as the music continued playing, rolling his body and grinding his ass on the stage in time with the music. Taehyung was pressed up against the edge of the stage, with both of Ares’ thighs straddling his torso. Taehyung did his best to remain composed, though he was arguably overwhelmed, and definitely aroused. He had only ever seen Jeongguk in formal wear… behind the bar on the other side of the room. He chuckled to himself. “So that’s why there’s a new bartender…” Taehyung thought. Ares, with an arm around Taehyung, leaned in close and breathed into his ear. Taehyung shivered, feeling more than just the alcohol coursing through his veins.
“It’s Ares now.” He whispered, and pulled away looking seductively at Taehyung. A moment later, he flashed his cute bunny teeth in a baby-faced smile. A slight blush flushed his cheeks.
Taehyung smirked, looking Jeongguk – ahem, Ares, up and down. “Ares.” He said, nodding and taking the appearance of Jeongguk in, scanning him from his face downwards. Taehyung carefully placed his hand on Jeongguk’s leg and glanced upwards with a raised eyebrow as he did so, making eye contact with the dancer in seeking approval. After receiving a smile and a small nod from the dancer, Taehyung slowly traced the length of Jeongguk’s thigh until he reached his hip, feeling the softness of Jeongguk’s skin and the sinewed shape of his muscles before slipping a $20 bill in the string of his thong.
Taehyung had never expected to see Jeongguk on the other side of that bar, much less on stage. His head was swimming with the scent of Jeongguk upon returning to his seat. He finished his whiskey, feeling drunk but not on alcohol. He laughed to himself. “Good for him,” Taehyung thought. Jeongguk had been the star bartender since Taehyung had started coming here; and he had a personality perfect for this place. Taehyung knew that Jeongguk loved attention – Taehyung had come to know him well enough to know so – and there was only so much dazzling he could do behind a bar. There was a certain attractiveness that Jeongguk emanated while bartending, but this was a completely different ballpark. Taehyung felt amused; come to think of it, it wasn’t a surprise at all that Jeongguk had made the switch. He got up to get change and another round from the bar. On his way there, he glanced up at the second floor once again. Maybe it was time for him to finally make his way into the unknown territory of second-floor champagne rooms. He bit his lower lip at the thought, and checked his watch. It was nearing 11:30 P.M.. The night was still young – he had plenty of time. Hell, even the valet attendant had yet to clock in.
Taehyung stood at the bar, swirling the whiskey in his glass as he waited patiently for the bartender to exchange large bills for smaller ones.
“Mr. Kim Taehyung,” he heard his name being called, and turned to see none other than his not-so-new friend, Jeongguk – Ares, he reminded himself – joining him at the bar. Ares had finished his stage sets, made his rounds on the floor, and had just emerged from the dressing room after freshening up.
Taehyung smiled and gave a small laugh, turning to him and nearly placing his hand on Jeongguk’s waist. He stopped himself, but not before looking him up and down. “Fuck,” Taehyung bit down on his lower lip without thinking, moistening his lips which suddenly seemed very dry. How did he never properly notice Jeongguk and how absolutely gorgeous he was? He chalked it up to Jeongguk being concealed behind the bar for the entirety of their interaction, since they met. Taehyung had guessed he looked nothing short of handsome under his tux uniform, but now that Taehyung realized it, he had never really been this close in proximity to Jeongguk. The bar was always between them. He was beginning to be really glad that he didn’t go back to his car and leave earlier.
Jeongguk giggled, even more so when Taehyung’s smile mirrored his own. “I know you’re a quiet one, Taehyung, but I didn’t know you were really shy,” He said playfully. He took Taehyung’s wrist and placed it on his waist, rubbing Taehyung’s hand as he pressed it on his skin. He gave him a flirtatious look, to which Taehyung was glad it was dark and you couldn’t see his face flush. He blinked nervously and looked away, though making no effort to remove his hand from Jeongguk’s waist. He grabbed his glass with his free hand and put it up to his lips, before feeling Jeongguk’s starry eyes on him and stopping.
“Oh, excuse me.” Taehyung set his glass down, clearing his throat. “I’m being rude. Would you like a drink, Jeon–“, he paused, smiling sheepishly, “Ares?”
Ares’ smile lit up on his face once again, and he laughed. “It’s about time you asked, Mr. Kim.”
Taehyung’s second whiskey turned into his third, with club soda this time, and four ice cubes instead of two – Jeongguk was the one who made a point to remind the bartender of Taehyung’s drink preferences. Taehyung began sipping lighter and lighter on it, interrupted by a couple of tequila shots with Jeongguk. Taehyung was not the biggest lightweight he’d met, but he definitely wasn’t the heaviest drinker. Five drinks normally lasted him the whole night, and by the third he was usually buzzing. He was never much of a “shots” kind of person – but Jeongguk was, and tonight was different, after all. Taehyung felt himself loosening up, feeling hot in his loose-fitting clothing. He was definitely a lot closer physically to Jeonnguk now, still standing at the bar and enjoying the dancer’s company. He was vaguely unaware of the rest of his surroundings – dancers continuously vied for attention, on stage and on the floor, but Taehyung had tunnel vision. Most of them knew not to bother him anyway, but a lot of envious and questioning eyes were on Jeongguk. It wasn’t the best start for him as a new dancer, to be envied and despised by the others who wouldn’t even be given the time of day by Taehyung, a coveted client. Jeongguk, however, reveled in it. He knew all eyes were on him – including Taehyung’s – and he loved it. To know he had Taehyung’s attention, and on his first night dancing – the pride in him swelled and he felt his blood boiling with the hunger for victory and and bragging rights. All he needed next was to get some VIP time with Taehyung, and he would be the only dancer in this entire club to have done so. With a pretty price tag, Jeongguk was determined. Target: acquired.
The lights were blurred and the floor was starting to feel a little unsteady. Before he knew it, Taehyung was sitting in a booth, with Jeongguk on top of him, straddling him. “Holy fuck,” Taehyung opened his eyes and looked up at Jeongguk on top of him, in awe. He glanced around; he knew he hadn’t gone upstairs, or had he? No way. It still had to be too early, and he hadn’t had that much to drink. Did he black out? No way. Three drinks wouldn’t do that. He only had three so far, right? Taehyung blinked and looked around hazily. He could see the entrance of the room – they were in downstairs VIP. Relief washed over him for an unknown reason – Taehyung found it funny, and smiled as he tossed his head back and relaxed into the booth. So, Jeongguk was the one to finally do him in. He chuckled to himself, and put his hands on Jeongguk’s hips, encouraging him to grind into him. A few dances couldn’t hurt. He’d never done this, after all. Not once. But something about tonight was just tempting him to try things he’d never tried before. He bit down on his lip aggressively, feeling Jeongguk’s dick grinding against his own. Jeongguk’s hands propped himself up as he grinded against Taehyung, and Taehyung could swear that Jeongguk was admiring his own reflection in the mirror that lined the wall behind them. Beads of sweat dotted Taehyung’s forehead, and his breath was ragged. Fuck, this was amazing. He could feel the alcohol fueling the blood rushing through his veins, rushing to a part of him that told him maybe he should put some space between him and Jeongguk… But he could have swore as he got hard, that it only encouraged Jeongguk to grind harder, slower, savoring the tease. He saw a sly smirk flash across Jeongguk’s face as the dancer turned around and sat himself on Taehyung, grinding his ass on Taehyung’s dick. Taehyung opened his legs to allow Jeongguk full range of motion, and heard a laugh escape from Jeongguk’s lips. Taehyung admired Jeongguk from behind, running his hands along the curves of the muscles in Jeongguk’s back, resting on his firm, sculpted ass. Taehyung whined slightly as the friction on his dick became enticingly stimulating. Jeongguk leaned back into Taehyung, resting as he continued to roll his body against him. Jeongguk let out a breathy laugh. “Are you enjoying yourself, Mr. Kim?”
Taehyung laughed, his breath ragged and hitching in his throat every time he felt Jeongguk’s weight settling on him. “Taehyung is –,“ he stuttered, “–fine”, he set his hands on either side of Jeongguk’s waist, running down his thighs. He felt almost, dare he say, euphoric? What was it about today that had him feeling like a fired up piston ready to go? “Ares,” he breathed deeply, relishing the scent from Jeongguk’s hair.
Jeongguk took Taehyung’s hand, guiding him over places of his body that no one would dare venture. “Yes, Taehyung?”
When did his name sound so sexy? Jeongguk had said his name plenty of times, but never like this. Never this close. Taehyung felt sweat prickling on his skin. “You feel…” fuck. “You…” Could Jeongguk stop grinding for two seconds so he could speak? No, wait, Taehyung didn’t want him to stop. He definitely did not want him to stop. “You feel… so… fucking good.”
Ares smiled, laying into Taehyung and resting himself as a song came to a close. Taehyung cracked a smile, letting his arms wrap around Jeongguk and feeling entirely grateful that Jeongguk had introduced him to Ares, and a brave world of trying new things.
The rest of the night was a blur, but a lot tamer than Jeongguk expected. After about an hour of lap dances in downstairs VIP, Taehyung had excused himself to go to the men’s room. Jeongguk laughed at the thought of Taehyung jacking himself off in the restroom like a teenager – there was no need for that though, when Taehyung knew the champagne rooms were upstairs, and downstairs… “He does know about downstairs, right?” Jeongguk wondered to himself. Taehyung had been coming to The Parthenon for a while, but maybe not that long… He at least knows about the champagne rooms , Jeonnguk thought. He sat in the main dressing room on the second floor, counting through his money. He’d made a nice chunk of change off of the downstairs dances with Taehyung – whether he would have made that off any other client in the club was up for debate, but at least with Taehyung it was comfortable. Jeongguk stopped in the middle of sorting through his dollar bills, mentally slapping himself. Taehyung was a client. His bar regular, to begin with. He made a note to himself to keep his distance from Taehyung as much as possible. Just enough to tempt him, and keep him as a paying client. No more than that. Taehyung was a gold mine – but Jeongguk knew that meant playing the game carefully. Resuming his counting, he hummed to himself, catching a glance of himself in the mirror and smirking, shaking his chocolate hair to fix it.
On the main floor, Taehyung gripped the edge of the sink inside the men’s room tightly. He steadied himself, feeling unusually queasy. Looking up, he saw his reflection in the mirror, separating into two blurry realities that he couldn’t force to unite. Shaking his head, he turned to sink on, splashing cold water onto his face. What was happening? He was never like this. He glanced down at his watch. 1:21 A.M. It was already past 1 A.M.?! He cursed under his breath, and sighed to regain himself. He rewinded the night in his head. He knew he hadn’t had that much to drink – three drinks. Oh, shit . The tequila shots. It was only a couple, though. Right? Taehyung’s head pounded. He immediately felt his stomach knotting up, and his jaw clenching. Sourly, he felt resentment towards the new bartender, feeling like there was something more than just alcohol in his drink. “Fucking bastard,” Taehyung cursed, taking a drink of water from the sink and steadying himself as he nearly stumbled out of the men’s room, heading for the building entrance.
“Taehyung! Taehyung, where are you going?!” Hoseok called out from behind Taehyung, in the corridor. He jogged to catch up to Taehyung, who was approaching the hostess to ask for his coat.
Taehyung had half a mind to let Hoseok have it. As he turned, though, and saw Hoseok’s concerned face, there was no way he could be mad at him. It wasn’t Hoseok’s fault, and even then – he didn’t actually know if anything had happened. He didn’t know if he’d been drugged, or maybe he was just more of a lightweight than usual. He never drank tequila, after all. Taehyung did his best to appear as sober as possible, smiling apologetically to Hoseok. “I think I’m going to call it early, Hoseokie.” He said, putting his arms in his jacket as the hostess held it out for him.
Hoseok looked surprised, hearing “ Hoseokie ” coming out of Taehyung’s mouth. He immediately was equal parts suspicious and equal parts concerned. “Taehyung…” he started, approaching him and placing his hands on his shoulders gently. “Are you good? You don’t look so great, man.” He analyzed Taehyung’s face – his dark eyes were glossy.
“No, no. I had a great time, Hoseokie,” Taehyung smiled. “Ares is… he’s a lot of fun.”
Hoseok laughed. “I heard!” He steadied Taehyung, who was leaning into Hoseok more than he probably realized. “I’m glad you had a great time, man. I knew hiding that boy behind that bar was a crime.” He laughed, and then in a more serious tone. “Honestly, Taehyung. We can get you a car. You can leave yours here.” He paused, smiling. “Valet will take care of it.”
Just then, Yoongi appeared in the front lobby. “Hoseok, where the fuck–“ he started, but was abruptly stopped by Hoseok turning and shooting him a panicked look. Yoongi pouted in annoyance. “What?”
“Yoongi–ssi! I was wondering where you went.” Taehyung smiled, waving, and Yoongi raised an eyebrow at Hoseok. “ Yoongi–ssi ?” He mouthed, looking confusedly at Hoseok.
“Taehyung is ready to go home now,” Hoseok petted Taehyung’s shoulder, “but I think we should send a car for him. I don’t think Kim sajang-nim would mind…”
“No, no,” Taehyung started, waving his hands. “I’m fine. I’m just tired.” He rummaged in his coat pocket for his keys. “ Kim sajang-nim?”, He thought. “ The owner?” Taehyung had never met him before. The man was elusive – though he owned The Parthenon, he hardly made an appearance. To see or meet him was quite rare. Rumor had it, though, that he was extremely handsome. “I’ll be back tomorrow.” Taehyung said, smiling and stepping away from Hoseok.
“Drive him, Hoseok.” Yoongi’s voice was firm, and he shot the hostess a look as the phone rang on the reception desk.
“What?” Hoseok seemed surprised. “Me? But, Yoongi, it’s Friday, you can’t be by yourse–“
“Drive him.” Yoongi cut him off. “Take his car, I’ll have one sent to escort you and you can ride back.” He was already turning to leave back into the club. “It’s a tame Friday, I’ll be fine. Hurry back.”
Hoseok pouted, and Taehyung opened his mouth to say something, but Hoseok grabbed him and turned him around towards the entrance doors. “You heard him! Let’s go, Taehyungie ~” With that, he grabbed Taehyung’s keys from him and helped him down the stairs of The Parthenon. The rain had let up to a light drizzle, though still bitterly cold. Hoseok didn’t mind – he liked the cold weather.
Fuck, Taehyung was heavy . Though this wasn’t the first time Hoseok had to carry his drunken ass anywhere, it had definitely been a long time. It was a good thing Taehyung’s apartment complex had an elevator. To his side, he heard Taehyung mumbling something. It wasn’t too difficult to get him inside – beads of sweat prickled on Hoseok’s forehead as the doors closed. He wasn’t entirely comfortable in elevators.
“Hyung…” Taehyung breathed. His vision was blurred and he felt like words were heavy, his tongue felt thick.
Hoseok patted him reassuringly, drawing circles on his upper back with his hand. “You’re okay, Taehyung. You just had a lot to drink.” He chuckled. “Tequila shots were never your thing…”
Taehyung patted his jacket, his eyes wide. “Did I pay my tab?” He asked, panicking.
Hoseok tilted his head in a jerking motion, a habit of his that he was more of less unconscious of. “Well, I’m not sure, but it’s okay, Taehyung. I’ll see and take care of it when I get back. I have your wallet and your keys. Your phone is in your jacket, I think…” He trailed off once the elevator door opened onto Taehyung’s floor.
Hoseok dragging him into his apartment, throwing Taehyung’s keys and wallet on his kitchen island. He helped him to his bed, breathing heavily. Sure, he was Taehyung’s good friend, but he did not get paid enough for this. He roughly stripped Taehyung of his overcoat. Finally dropping Taehyung on the bed, Hoseok sat on the edge and laughed. “Finally… Taehyung, you’re such a fucking lightweight, man.” The clock on his bedside table read 2:36 A.M. The club would be closing soon – the first two floors, anyway. Hoseok bit his lip. He really needed to get back – he refused to leave Yoongi alone for after–hours. And on a Friday, at that. No way.
“Oh?!” Hoseok’s breath caught in his throat as he felt Taehyung’s hand close around his wrist and tugging him down onto the bed. He sunk into the bed, and could feel Taehyung’s breath hot in his ear.
“Hyung…” Taehyung breathed, slurring his words. “Stay with me.” He reached to interlace his fingers with Hoseok’s.
Hoseok smiled, letting out a light laugh. He turned to face Taehyung, who looked like a hot mess. He allowed Taehyung to hold his hand, and reached his free hand to brush Taehyung’s hair out of his face. “You know I can’t, Taehyung. I have to get back to the club. Yoongi–“
Taehyung pouted and cut him off. “Yoongi.” He groaned, and Hoseok looked at him questioningly. Taehyung sighed. “You really like Yoongi, don’t you?”
Hoseok seemed taken aback. His face flushed, and his breath quickened. “Yoongi? N-no, it’s not like that. I mean, he’s great, we work together–“ he paused. “We just work together, you know? He’s basically my boss.” Hoseok’s voice lowered as he stared up at the ceiling.
Taehyung chuckled, rolling closer to Hoseok and cuddling up next to him. “Hyung, I’ve known you since even before you were a dancer at that club…” he licked his lips before continuing, “when you kept it a secret from me.”
Hoseok frowned. “Taehyung, I–“
Taehyung’s eyes were closed, and he smiled and shook his head. “It’s okay, Hoseokie-hyung. You know it’s always been okay.” He buried his face in Hoseok’s shoulder. “I just wish you knew you never have to hide anything from me.” He smiled, enjoying the warmth of Hoseok’s presence in his bed. “Even your feelings for other people… Including your boss.”
Hoseok smiled and sighed. He stroked Taehyung’s hair fondly. “I have to go now, Taehyung. Get some sleep.” Taehyung made a small whimper of protest, furrowing his brows; but he was already half asleep. Hoseok chuckled, slipping his way quietly out of Taehyung’s grasp and out of his bedroom. He stopped at the kitchen to grab a bottle of water and a vitamin tablet from Taehyung’s cupboard, leaving both on his nightstand before slipping out and heading downstairs. A sleek, black Cadillac waited in front of the complex.
Taehyung awoke abruptly to the loud ringing of his phone’s alarm. Scrunching his face in disgust, he turned, grunting and feeling for his phone. Cursing to himself, he felt a headache slamming his head in full force. “Oh, shut the fuck up!” He yelled, finally finding his phone and turning off the alarm. He rolled onto his back, covering his face with his arm. Ugh. He felt like shit . He could feel his skin clammy and hair matted with sweat. He reeked of alcohol. Grabbing his phone, he checked the time. 9:23 A.M. He sighed. Normally, even on weekends, he liked to wake up early and keep in a routine. Normally, though, he wouldn’t be hungover and feeling on the verge of death. He opened his eyes fully, looking up at the room around him. At least he was in his own place. The event of last night began to flood back into his memory. Oh, god. He groaned. He remembered the burn of his scotch whiskey, and Hoseok bringing him home, and… Ares . He reveled for a moment in the memories of his time with Ares last night, cracking a smile. It instantly turned to a grimace when he felt a wave of nausea. He turned to get up, and caught a glance of the water and vitamin tablet on his nightstand. Hoseok . He smiled. Reaching for the water, he downed nearly the entire bottle before picking up his phone and typing a message.
taehyung – 9:31 A.M.
thank you for taking care of me last night ~
He opened the vitamin tablet, downing it with the remaining water in the bottle. His throat felt sore. He got up slowly, stripping his clothes and heading for the shower.
The hot water felt like a burning blessing to Taehyung. He stood facing the shower head for what felt like hours, letting the water melt away his hangover and any of the ugly things from the night before. He couldn’t help when his mind wandered to Jeongguk. The heat of the boiling water sent his blood coursing hot through his veins. He braced himself against the shower wall with his left hand, holding himself in the other. He bit his bottom lip, feeling it swell against his teeth. Fuck… What was it about Jeongguk that had him so… ravenous ? Taehyung slowly worked himself, stroking the length of his shaft as the hot water battered down his body. He threw his head back, indulging of the memories of last night. Images flashed in his mind like flipping through a blurry, euphoric rolodex. The first sight of Jeongguk on stage. The chiseled curves of muscle; the way he moved his body with such power, exuding sparks of animalistic energy that Taehyung fed off of the entire night. His breath hitched as he quickened his pace, stroking fast and hard. He remembered his face buried in Jeongguk’s hair, swore he could smell the sweet scents of sweat and alcohol mixed with the dancer’s cologne. Harder, faster. He remembered the way Jeongguk felt on top of him, grinding his hips down on Taehyung. Jeongguk’s devious smile, and his breathy laugh in Taehyung’s ear. The way he said his name – Taehyung . He bucked into his grip, bracing himself up to keep his balance. “Yes, Taehyung?” The way it sounded like all kinds of secrets laid on the tip of Jeongguk’s tongue as he said his name made Taehyung wonder what Jeongguk's kiss would taste like. Blurry memories of Jeongguk continued to flood rapidly, firing off in his brain. Remembering Jeonnguk’s voice is what did it, and seconds later, Taehyung felt a fiery sensation shoot through his body as he climaxed. He lurched forward, letting out a raspy, jolting moan as his vision became blurred. He felt the tingling of his orgasm flooding his body, poking pins and needles in his shaking legs. Breathing heavily, water soaking his hair and running down his face, Taehyung watched as it all washed down the drain. He instantly felt better, and crackled a slight smile – he guessed the vitamin he took was a damn good one.
Still riding the high of his orgasm, Taehyung stepped out from the bathroom to begin his day. He looked down at his phone, which showed several notifications.
hoseok – 9:43 A.M.
i always got you, bro
hoseok – 9:44 A.M.
are you hungover?
eat something nice ~ !
hoseok – 9:51 A.M.
you coming back tonight?
Taehyung chuckled. It was the first time he’d been hungover in quite a while. He debated on whether to return to the club tonight. He’d had fun last night – arguably quite a lot of fun – but he wasn’t sure if returning was the best idea. He recalled sourly the experience of being nauseated in the bathroom, and suspicious of the new bartender. But – he licked his lips, mouth suddenly feeling parched – it was a Saturday, and Jeonnguk was bound to be working again. He bit down on his lip as a feeling of remorse rushed through him. Had he said goodbye to Jeongguk last night? He couldn’t remember. He remembered their lap dances in downstairs VIP – and then Taehyung went to the bathroom, and after that… He only remembered Hoseok helping him to his apartment. Did he even pay his tab? Just then, his phone pinged again.
hoseok – 10:23 A.M.
you’ll want to hear from me before yoongi but
you left your tab open last night
Taehyung’s eyes widened as he read the messages. “Shit.” His face suddenly felt hot, and he felt really bad. He always paid before leaving. This wasn’t like him. He watched the ellipses bubble pop up on the screen, indicating Hoseok was typing.
hoseok – 10:25 A.M.
yoongi took care of it but
you owe him one
Taehyung frowned. Yoongi . If he showed up tonight, Yoongi would probably lay into him without a doubt. But if he didn’t show, it would be a lot worse – and incredibly rude of Taehyung. He rubbed his face with his free hand and sighed, typing a response.
taehyung – 10:27 A.M.
fuck, hyung, i’m so sorry
it’s not like me to do that.
Taehyung thought hard about his next message. He wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to go back tonight – but he couldn’t just bail on his open tab and leave Yoongi seething over it. He knew it was a significant sign of trust that they didn’t ask him for his credit card when he got there – they relied on him because he always paid at the end. Taehyung sighed.
taehyung – 10:30 A.M.
i’ll make it up to you guys, i promise
i’ll be there tonight
He clicked his phone to lock it and sighed again. He’d have to apologize to Yoongi, and really make it up to him. But how? He rubbed his eyes tiredly. Tonight was going to be interesting.
Most of the day passed by in a blur. Taehyung ordered brunch delivered to his apartment, then proceeded to venture out for some fresh air. The October air was crisp, with a nice breeze lifting Taehyung’s spirits. The sky was overcast, and nature around him seemed more lush in the aftermath of yesterday’s rain. The weather was cold, but Taehyung didn’t mind. In the evening, he went to dinner at an affluent restaurant in Seoul. He dined alone quite often – as he sat in a corner booth, away from the bustle of dinner time in a fine dining establishment, he realized just how alone he was all the time. Swirling a glass of pinot noir of the Louis Latour variety, he sighed. Life was seeming to be quite lonely as of late. He looked lazily across at the empty booth he sat in. He felt himself blushing slightly as he imagined Jeongguk in the seat across from him. Sipping his wine, he let his mind wander. “I should treat him to dinner sometime.” Taehyung thought. Just a nice dinner – why hadn’t he ever thought of asking him before? Taehyung felt shy at the thought of never having the courage to consider these things when Jeongguk was a bartender. It definitely wasn’t that Taehyung didn’t find him attractive before – he did, definitely so. What was it now that made Taehyung feel so brave? Maybe it was Jeongguk making the first move. Jeongguk technically did make the first move, right? Or was it Taehyung? “Hmm…” Taehyung sat back in his seat, looking blankly down at the half-finished steak on his plate. Pushing it away slightly, he took another sip of his wine, and glanced up to survey the people in the restaurant. He’d really have to invite Jeongguk out sometime.
It was around 7:00 P.M. when Taehyung’s phone rang. He was in the process of paying for his dinner, when he fumbled for his phone. He looked at the screen. “Shit.” He didn’t even get the chance to say “hello” before the caller was speaking.
“Ya, Taehyung. Hoseok said you were but you better fucking be coming tonight.”
“Yoo–“ Taehyung timidly tried to interfere, but it was to no avail.
“You’ve never done this and it’s fucking embarrassing for me, Taehyung. I know you didn’t mean to, but the owner is on his way in tonight and I’ll have your ass on ice in a sparkling fucking champagne bucket before my numbers are fucked up.”
Taehyung was startled. The owner was going to be there? Tonight? He suddenly felt nervous; the wine made him a little queasy as his stomach unsettled.
“I’m really sorry, Yoongi.” He thought quickly – that wouldn’t suffice. “You know that’s not like me. I don’t know what happened.” He resumed quickly, then paused. “I told Hoseok that I’d make it up to you guys, I will.” He didn’t know what else to say. Shit, Taehyung, think. “I don’t know what my tab was last night, but I’ll make tonight worth everyone’s while.” Saying this made him nervous, and he felt like he instantly regretted it. But he had to make up for last night. Money wasn’t the issue – he knew that, and he knew that Hoseok and Yoongi knew that, too. The issue was trust, and Taehyung knew he couldn’t fuck that up – he had to fix it.
“Shit, Taehyung. You fucking better. No slip-ups tonight, for fuck’s sake. I can’t have Kim thinking I’m a fucking shit chicken without its head.” The pause that followed seemed to stretch for longer than Taehyung was comfortable with. “Give your card to the bartender when you open your tab tonight. I took care of yesterday’s…”
“–But it won’t happen again.”
Taehyung nodded, even though Yoongi couldn’t see him. “Understood.” He heard a click . Yoongi had hung up on him. Taehyung’s shoulders slumped as he relaxed – he didn’t realize how tense his body had become during the phone call. Fuck, Yoongi was scary. He thought about Hoseok, and wondered if maybe that’s the kind of thing he was into. Come to think of it, Taehyung had noticed that Hoseok tended to gravitate towards personalities almost opposite of his own. He smiled at the thought of his friend. With that, he grabbed his wallet, making his exit from the restaurant and stepping into the cold evening with the unknown that waited for him ahead.
Back at the fucking Parthenon.
It had taken Taehyung quite a while to convince himself not to back out of tonight – he spent a couple hours tearing his closet apart and pacing around his apartment. But, at the end of everything, he knew that tonight was important and he had to make amends. Finding an outfit wasn’t much of an issue – Taehyung pridefully knew how to dress well. He had been concerned about the owner’s appearance at the club today – Taehyung felt like he needed to impress him, somehow, even though he wasn’t an employee and realistically had no obligation to do so.
Taehyung had entered the club around the same time as yesterday – he opted to be early, but not too early. The same hostess greeted him, with the same warm smile and the same polite aura. He wasn’t too bothered by a lack of valet today, since it wasn’t raining. Hoseok had not come out to greet him, so he figured both Hoseok and Yoongi were busy. He had made his way down the corridor by himself, admiring the paintings longer than usual, before taking a few minutes to encourage himself to enter the world beyond the two large doors with ornate handles.
The familiar gust of cold wind rushed into his face, carrying with it the equally recognizable scent of cologne, liquor, and pheromones. To his right, the bartender immediately acknowledged his entrance, with an expression on his face that Taehyung couldn’t quite decipher. He knew the bartender would have had a rough time in dealing with the open tab that Taehyung had carelessly left – though he resented him for possibly spiking his drink and didn’t trust the man whatsoever, Taehyung felt a twinge of sympathy for him. The bartender did have to answer to Yoongi, after all. Chills pricked up his spine as he made eye contact with the bartender, offering a smile and approaching the bar.
Almost immediately, Taehyung pulled out his wallet, retrieving a slick black credit card and holding it up between his index and forefinger. He maintained eye contact with the bartender, who had been looking at him apprehensively. Taehyung had a calm, almost seductive look expressing through his eyes – however, he smiled sheepishly when the bartender took the card from him. He did feel embarrassed about yesterday.
“What’ll it be, Mr. Kim?” The bartender asked, scanning the card to open the tab, and placing it inside the box of the register.
“I apologize for yesterday,” Taehyung replied, abruptly. The bartender raised an eyebrow at him, but said nothing. “It was incredibly rude of me to leave without closing my tab. I… First impressions are important.” He peered up at the bartender through the dark curls that hung over his brow bone. “And I’m afraid I might have made an awful one.” Licking his lips out of habit, he continued, “I’m sorry if you might have gotten in trouble. I won’t let it happen again…” he paused. “What’s your name?”
The bartender looked him up and down skeptically, propping himself on the bar with both arms extended. He furrowed his brow slightly, before walking away from Taehyung and fetching something from the bar shelf. Taehyung, startled, sat up and opened his mouth to speak. “Wait–“
“I accept your apology, Mr. Kim.” The bartender cut him off. Using a clean hand towel, he returned brandishing a bottle of Glenlivet 18. He fetched a rocks glass, dropping in *two* ice cubes, and began to pour – Taehyung watched as he poured a double. Just as he was about to protest, the bartender spoke again. “My name is Helios.”
“Helios?” Taehyung was confused. Were the names for just the dancers or all the staff? But, Jeongguk wasn’t Ares until he became a dancer… Right?
Helios placed the glass on a napkin and pushed it in front of Taehyung. “The double is getting you back for the shit I got into with Mr. Min.” Helios cracked a smirk. “After this we’re even.”
Taehyung let out a breathy laugh and grabbed the glass. “Deal. Thank you, Helios. I’ll be sure to… take care of you.” He raised his glass and nodded, before looking at it nervously. He did watch him pour it… but a double? It was going to be that kind of night… Swallowing hard, he took a sip. The burn of the alcohol ignited in his throat and spread warmth into his stomach. Sucking his teeth, he winced slightly. He had to please as many people as possible tonight – it just so happened that he was starting with Helios. Taehyung surveyed the club behind him, wondering who would be next.