“There is only so much I can tell you, Mr. Kim. I’m sorry. Mr. Choi is currently in a coma, and toxicology results will take a few days. He’s stable, and will be monitored around the clock.”
Taehyung bit his lip aggressively, swallowing the emotion that threatened to constrict him into a chokehold as he placed his hand on the edge of the bed where Youngjae lay, pale and hooked to machines.
“I understand your worry, Mr. Kim, but I can assure you he is in the best hands.” The nurse attempted to reassure him, reaching out to touch his shoulder but retracting her hand politely at his flinch.
“Oh, yeah?” Taehyung couldn’t take his eyes off of Youngjae. “And whose hands are those?” He blinked at the sound of the door closing and footsteps approaching closer.
“Mine. Good morning.” A middle–aged man entered the room, grasping the chart at the foot of the hospital bed to take a glance at it. “My name is Dr. Yu.” He glanced up at Taehyung, offering a less than polite, tight smile at Taehyung. “I will be overseeing Mr. Choi during his stay. Are you kin?”
Taehyung stuttered in his reaction for a second, declining to neither shake nor nod his head. “Mr. Choi and I are very close.”
“Ah. I see.” Dr. Yu glanced back down at the medical chart. “Well, I can assure you–,” he looked up over the rim of his glasses expectantly.
“Ah, Kim Taehyung.”
“–Mr. Kim,” his eyes looked back down at the chart. “That Mr. Choi is in great hands.”
Taehyung nodded curtly, humming in response. “Thank you, Doctor.”
5:37 P.M. –– Yongsan–gu, Seoul, South Korea
Taehyung sat on the edge of his bed as he stared at his phone, dreadfully expecting either a call from Youngjae’s father, or the hospital, which he’d requested update him according to Youngjae’s condition. Taehyung was the first and only person to show up at the hospital that morning; he wasn’t sure who would turn up after him. He jumped as his phone rang, staring at Hoseok’s name for a few moments before picking up. “Hello?”
Taehyung smiled, letting out a light chuckle. “Hi, hyung.”
“Hey. I heard you got in trouble.”
Taehyung frowned, headache returning as he thought of Yoongi’s scolding that morning. “Yeah, uh.” He chuckled. “There was kind of a misunderstanding, I think.”
“Ah, Taehyung. Seriously, you good, man? Yoongi told me that your boss–,”
“Yeah, he’s–, he’s fine, hyung. Thanks.” Taehyung swore he could hear Hoseok frowning on the end of the line.
“...What about you?”
“Are you alright?” Hoseok paused, and Taehyung didn’t quite have an answer quick enough to fill the silence. “What’s been up with you? Last night, you know, and lately. I’m worried, man. You make me worry.”
Taehyung smiled fondly. “Remember back in the day when you'd make fun of me because I said I liked you so much?" He chuckled. "How the tables have turned, Hobi–hyung. I think it's you who likes me too much.”
Hoseok’s laugh tittered on the phone line at the mention of an old nickname. “I haven’t heard that in years.” His laugh was light and lifted Taehyung's spirits. “You bet your ass I like you too much. Man, the fit that Yoongi had this morning. You’re going to give him a heart attack.”
“I think I’m the least of his worries. Maybe he just needs to get laid.” Taehyung snorted.
“Are you offering? I’ll let him know.”
“Hyung!” Taehyung whined, and Hoseok’s laughter erupted through the call. He shook his head and chuckled. “Fuck, I miss you. What are you doing? Let me take you to dinner.”
“Will you take me home after? You moved places and never invited me over. You never invite me over anymore!”
Taehyung frowned. He really hadn’t been in touch with Hoseok as much as he normally was – though he’d done so in the best interest of others, how far would it go before he lost Hoseok in the midst of it all? “Shit, I never sent you the address, did I?”
“Jeonggukie was the first to know, right? You’re breaking my heart, babe.”
Taehyung smiled with a tinge of sadness. “I’m an ass. I’ll make it up to you, hyung.” He checked his watch. “Come on, dinner. I know you liked the food.” He thought back on the last time he’d been to his favorite restaurant – with Hoseok, and Yoongi, and a flurry of anger and emotions as he had first discovered The Parthenon for what it truly was. “I fucked it up last time. I keep doing that.” He chuckled weakly and shook his head.
“Aw. I’d love to, but it’s tight today.” Hoseok paused. “We’ve had our hands full with the club lately.” He chuckled. “I don’t remember it being this crazy before, man. You know? I guess that’s just business.”
“Yeah.” Taehyung nodded idly; what was going on?
“Anyway, I’ll take a rain check?” Taehyung heard rustling on the other end of the call. “I gotta go, Taehyungie. I'll see you later?”
Taehyung nodded again. “Yeah, uhm. I’ll be there later. Hyung, wait–,”
Taehyung smiled. “... Love you.”
Hoseok giggled. “Love you too, babe.” Click.
Taehyung stared at his phone for a few moments, chewing on his lip in thought. He thumbed through his contacts, idling on “J” . Inhaling deeply, he settled on a contact name and pressed ‘call’ . He waited for a couple rings, heart racing for reasons he couldn’t quite be sure of.
“Jeonggukie, hi.” Taehyung smiled.
“Taehyung,” – he swore he could hear Jeongguk’s bunny–tooth smile – “You’re alive.”
Taehyung chuckled. “Yeah, so are you. You disappeared last night.”
“Yeah, sorry. Something came up.”
“Mm.” Taehyung fiddled with the hem of his shirt. His voice dropped register subtly, darkening his tone. “Are you going to make it up to me?” Jeongguk’s laugh on the line made him feel embarrassed.
“That only works when I say it, babe.” Jeongguk’s voice sounded breathy, and it made Taehyung’s head go to places he shouldn’t let it go. “What did you have in mind?”
“... I’d like to take you to dinner. If you’re free?”
Taehyung heard a dramatic gasp from Jeongguk. “Hyung! I’m never free, how dare you.”
Taehyung chuckled. “Of course not, how could I.” He shook his head; something that Jeongguk never ceased to be was flirtatious – coy and teasing. “If you’re available. ” He corrected himself.
Jeongguk giggled. “For you? Of course, baby. Right now? Where at?”
Taehyung checked his watch. “Would you like me to pick you up? I can take you to work after.” Wow, he was being brave. “If–, if that’s alright with you.”
“That sounds great, hyung. I’ll be ready in half an hour. Don’t be late.” Click.
Taehyung blinked down at his phone screen, and let out a small laugh. Oh, the boys he got himself involved with. After a moment of deliberation, he grabbed his car keys, heading out for the night and wherever it would take him.
Not more than half an hour later, Taehyung’s hands gripped the wheel of his Audi A8 tightly. He licked his lips out of nervousness, glancing at himself in the rearview mirror. He picked at his hair delicately with his fingers, fixing it as he waited outside of Jeongguk’s apartment complex. His mind wandered to Jimin, wondering if he was home and had gotten some rest – he hadn’t spoken to him since the morning. Taehyung eyed the dainty shopping bag in the passenger seat, and chewed on his lip as he contemplated throwing it to the back seat. It was a small gift – something he’d purchased quickly, on a whim, after Jeongguk’s words swirled in his head in the midst of their phone call. “I’m never free.” He caught a glimpse of Jeongguk’s hair, chocolate strands bouncing on his head, before swallowing hard and quickly throwing the glove box open – his breath caught as the body of his handgun glinted in the low light, and he tossed the small bag into the glove box, shutting it as Jeongguk approached his car. Quickly, he exited the car, circling to the passenger side to open the door for Jeongguk.
Jeongguk smiled at him as he approached, clad in his usual tight jeans, casual tee and a black leather jacket, with a black leather weekender bag slung on his shoulder. A plethora of silver earrings flashed on his earlobes, and his smile was bright as he pulled Taehyung in to peck a kiss on his cheek in greeting. “Hi, hyung.” He giggled as Taehyung opened the door for him.
“Hi, Jeonggukie.” Taehyung flushed at Jeongguk’s small kiss, and his eyes couldn’t help but devour the man in front of him as he watched him toss his bag into the car. Taehyung’s breath caught as his eyes rested on the way Jeongguk’s jeans clung to his sculpted ass and thighs. He blinked, forcing himself to tear his eyes away as he waited to close the door behind Jeongguk and circle back to the driver’s side of the car. He huffed as he settled into the vehicle, feeling nervous for no particular reason. He chuckled – he was acting like a teenager on a date, a date that he had anticipated for some time now.
“How are you feeling? Hungover as shit?” Jeongguk settled into the leather seat, the engine of the car purring lowly as they pulled out of the parking lot.
Taehyung chuckled. “No, actually. The nurses showed up, saved my ass.”
Jeongguk laughed. “That’s great, hyung. I hope you had a good time.” His voice was suggestive, and Taehyung could feel Jeongguk’s eyes glancing on him.
Taehyung swallowed hard, feeling nervous as he slid his hand onto Jeongguk’s thigh, resting it there. “It would have been better if you’d stayed.” He gave Jeongguk’s thigh a small squeeze. God, he was toned.
Jeongguk scrunched his face, remaining silent as he watched the lights of the city pass them by. “So, where are you taking me?”
Taehyung smiled. “It’s my favorite place. I hope you’ll like it.”
“Mr. Kim, what a pleasure! It’s been quite a while. May I start you with the usual?” The waiter, dressed neatly and as happy as ever to see Taehyung, smiled brightly at the two men who’d seated themselves in the booth not two minutes ago.
“Younho, it’s good to see you. Yes, please.” Taehyung smiled politely up at the waiter, and looked at Jeongguk, whose eyes glanced over the waiter with attentive curiosity. He glanced back at Taehyung.
“What are you drinking?”
“Pinot noir. Do you like wine?”
Jeongguk thought for a second before offering a quick nod. “Red, right?” Taehyung nodded, and Jeongguk mirrored him with a smile. “Yeah, that sounds great.” The server obliged them, leaving to fetch the drinks.
Taehyung settled back, eyes wandering over the top of the menu to rest on Jeongguk. He took in his features – the purse of his lips, the smokey makeup that darkened his lids, the fall of styled chocolate locks that he tucked behind his ear, the glinting of earrings catching the low light with each movement. He shifted as Jeongguk’s eyes flashed up to meet his, catching his gaze with a smirk.
Jeongguk straightened up, raising his eyebrow at Taehyung. “You like what you see?”
Flustered, Taehyung cleared his throat. “Mm–.” He coughed, attempting to hide the flush in his face with the back of his hand. “You look… good. Really good.” He licked his lips, fingers fiddling nervously with the lack of anything to distract him with. A few moments later, the server returned with their drinks, and Taehyung asked for a few more minutes to peruse the menu. “Oh, Guk, what did you want?” He motioned to the menu and smiled. “Order what you like.”
Jeongguk flashed an apologetic expression, before smiling like he’d been caught doing something naughty. “Actually, hyung.” He shifted in his seat. “I uhm, I’m not very hungry.”
Taehyung frowned. “Oh, why didn’t you say something? You didn’t have to come out if you weren’t hungry.”
“I wanted to come because you asked me.” Jeongguk sipped at his wine idly.
Taehyung blinked and his expression softened to a smile. “Oh? Still, Gukkie, we could have gone somewhere else just for drinks, or something.”
Jeongguk pursed his lips. “It’s not that, it’s…” A blush began to tint his cheeks and he laughed sheepishly. “Uhm, I take care of my body a certain way on days that I’m seeing a client. It’s, uhm, hard to explain.”
Taehyung furrowed his brow in confusion, thinking about what Jeongguk meant, before he had an inkling of realization. “Oh.” Oh. Taehyung blinked, sipping on his wine to distract himself before he inhaled too quickly and had to cough and clear his throat. “No, I–,” he chuckled nervously. “I understand. Uhm, how about… Wine?” He held up his nearly empty glass, red wine swirling with the bittersweet taste of unspoken conversation.
Jeongguk smiled. “That sounds great, hyung.”
The server seemed curious when Taehyung had ordered the bottle of wine for the two to share, but obliged them with the same degree of sincerity that he’d always displayed. Taehyung resigned himself to only a couple glasses, while he kept a glass full of water on the side. He’d requested a small charcuterie platter for himself to go with the wine, mostly to help with his low alcohol tolerance.
“So, your… client, tonight.” Taehyung was unsure of how to pry into this conversation; he’d thought about it, many times over. He was curious. Ultimately, there seemed to be a plethora of things that Jimin would not tell him – maybe Jeongguk would provide more insight, or so Taehyung could hope. “Is it–, is he–, a big deal?”
Jeongguk smirked, letting the bittersweet taste of wine sit on his tongue as he thought of a response. “Mm, yeah, you could say that.” He nodded. “You curious about work, hyung?”
“I just, you know.” Taehyung raised an eyebrow, regarding Jeongguk in a manner that was encouraged by the alcohol coursing in his system. “After our… time together, I can’t help but wonder what kind of men you see.” And just like that, there it was – the glint in Jeongguk’s eyes, the one Taehyung never missed when he saw it.
Jeongguk glanced at Taehyung, observing him. “What kind of men?” He smirked. “Well, I guess they’re men like you, aren’t they?” He smiled, a mischievous smile to match a smoldering gaze. “Men who like to fuck me.”
Taehyung cocked his head. “You don’t say?”
Jeongguk let out a light laugh. “Are we talking business?” His gaze was challenging, dangerous, and he held it defiantly.
Taehyung took a large sip of wine to wet his mouth and he cleared his throat. His fingers lingered around the lining of his jacket, tempted to withdraw the small bag he’d retrieved from the glove box upon arriving at the restaurant. He’d tucked it neatly into the inside of his jacket without Jeongguk noticing, and dwelled on it now. As he felt Jeongguk’s eyes peering at him from over the brim of his wine glass, Taehyung withdrew the bag, setting it delicately on the table. Jeongguk cocked his head, a surprised interest on his face. Taehyung smiled sheepishly. “For you.”
Jeongguk seemed curious as he plucked the bag from the table – he withdrew a small box inside, the material of it making it feel luxurious and heavy in his hand. He popped the box open to reveal a pair of Cartier earrings, thick hoops of fine white gold, glinting beautifully under the low ambient lighting of the restaurant. He raised his eyebrows, eyes moving from the earrings to settle on Taehyung.
Jeongguk’s gaze seared into Taehyung, and he shifted uncomfortably. After a few moments of silence, he swallowed hard. “Do you like them? Shit, you don’t like them. Fuck. I’m sorry–,” He reached for the gift, stopping when Jeongguk pulled it away.
“Thank you, hyung.” Jeongguk’s lips pulled into a smile, and he scrunched his face as he did so. “I love them.” He plucked the jewelry from its case, replacing one pair of his worn earrings with the ones he’d been gifted. It took a moment for him to do so, and Taehyung watched in delighted relief. Jeongguk pocketed the old earrings, tucking a strand of hair behind his ear and smiling from across the table. “Well?”
Taehyung smiled, settling into the booth. “They don’t compare to the man wearing them.”
Jeongguk’s expression seemed to morph as fluidly as it often did, and Taehyung was yet reminded again of the duality of the man’s personality. “Are you asking because you’re interested?” He propped his elbows on the table, interlacing his fingers as he rested his chin on top of his hands. Taehyung regarded him with question. “You want to know what kind of men I see, to see if your… interests, line up with them?”
Taehyung cocked an eyebrow. “Well, that’s one way to look at it.”
Jeongguk smirked, and let out a small laugh. “You’ve already had a taste of what I’m into.”
“Are you and Jimin…” Taehyung paused. “Are you both… into the same things?”
Jeongguk took in his words, inhaling the scent of wine from the brim of his glass. “Jimin? Mm, no.” He pursed his lips and shook his head slightly. “Our clients are different.” He smirked. “Except for you. You’re the only one we share.” He winked, before his expression faltered slightly, face becoming somber. “Well, you were the only one we shared.” He chewed his lip in thought, and Taehyung could see worry flit across his face. Taehyung’s questioning look encouraged him to continue.
“Jimin and I don’t share clients.” Jeongguk took another drink from his glass, and Taehyung refilled it for him. “Some of the boys do, but we don’t, not really.” He let out a small laugh. “It’s kind of funny, because we’ve known each other so long, you think we would, and make a killing. But, we just don’t. It’s like an unspoken rule, or something.” Jeongguk glanced up at Taehyung, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. “Until you came along.” Taehyung became flustered at the thought of their night together, the three of them. “But it wasn’t at work, so I guess it doesn’t count, does it? Anyway, I don’t really know what happened.” Jeongguk frowned. “I was all fucked up and feeling sick, and it’s never happened before, but my client got handed off to Jimin.” Taehyung didn’t miss the tightness of Jeongguk’s voice as he seemed strained to get the words out. “I didn’t want that to happen. I had no idea that Master Kim had Jimin take him.” He chewed on the inside of his cheek, worry beginning to settle in the contours of his face. “The Doctor, he’s… I don’t know. He’s…” Jeongguk trailed off. “He’s just, uhm, particular. He’s got… particular interests, and…” He trailed off again, unsure of how to piece the right words together.
Taehyung kept himself from reacting too obviously, but there it was – ”The Doctor”. He’d heard the name that morning, in the falter of Jimin’s voice as he spoke to Yoongi. That had to be it – Taehyung was convinced that was who had something to do with Jimin’s broken resolve, and the marks all over his body. If not Seokjin, who else? Taehyung cleared his throat, thinking of the other things that Jimin had mentioned: a high–profile client, who was normally Jeongguk’s client – it seemed to fit. “The… Doctor?”
Jeongguk nodded absentmindedly; he seemed to be elsewhere in thought. “He’s a regular client of mine.” He nibbled on his lip, staring off into space as he did so. “Well, he was, up until Thursday.”
Taehyung observed Jeongguk intently. “Jeongguk…” He waited for Jeongguk’s eyes to find his to continue. “The marks…” He didn’t feel the need to explicitly ask upon seeing the fleeting reaction in Jeongguk’s eyes. The small nod that came from the man across from him confirmed his answer; his heart dropped into his stomach.
Sadness pooled in Jeongguk’s eyes. “It was his birthday, hyung.” His voice faltered, cracking before the last syllable tumbled out of his mouth. “Fuck, I feel so bad. I shouldn’t have left. He wasn’t supposed to take him. He wasn’t…” Tears brimmed and threatened to spill from Jeongguk’s eyes, and he quickly tried to swipe them away with his fingers.
“Gukkie.” Taehyung reached over the table for his hand, enveloping it in his own. He stroked the back of Jeongguk’s hand with his thumb lightly, reassuringly. “It’s okay.” He offered a linen napkin, which Jeongguk accepted and dabbed at his eyes gently, so as not to disturb his makeup.
“I didn’t know, hyung. I still don’t know.” Jeongguk sniffled, and Taehyung offered his glass of water in place of wine. “I haven’t really gotten to talk to him about it, or about anything. I’m…” He swallowed hard. “I’m nervous for tonight. Fuck, I’m so nervous.”
Jeongguk reached for the wine bottle, and Taehyung grabbed it, pouring another glass for Jeongguk. “... Tonight?” As he set the bottle down, Taehyung realized it seemed quite light already. He returned his hand to rest on top of Jeongguk’s on the table.
Jeongguk nodded, downing wine as if it were water. He allowed Taehyung to hold his hand – he felt comforted by it, if only a little. “We… We’re taking the client, together. He requested Jimin after Thursday, but…” He bit his bottom lip, chewing on it in anxious worry. “I couldn’t let him do it alone. He doesn’t know what he’s dealing with, he’d never had to before a couple days ago. I had to beg Master Kim, but I couldn’t let him do it alone.” Jeongguk shook his head. He sipped at his wine idly, the flush in his face betraying the effects of it in his system on an empty stomach.
Taehyung brushed his thumb delicately over Jeongguk’s skin, leaving reassurance in the traces. “Hey, Guk.” He smiled fondly. “Let’s go? You can get some fresh air before work.” Though his smile was fond as he helped Jeongguk out of the booth, wrapping his arm around his waist to hold him close as they left the restaurant, a storm of anger bubbled within Taehyung’s belly. He was enraged, and his mind rested on the sleek metal of the gun in the glove compartment of his car. He could only think of Jimin and the blood he wanted to spill for his sake – blood that coated his vision in red and fueled the fire in his chest, waiting for the onset of the night to spread and burn everything in its wake.
“Hyung,” Jeongguk gasped, breath coming out in heaving rasps as Taehyung’s teeth pulled at his bottom lip. “You said… fresh air.” He leaned downwards into their kiss as he straddled Taehyung in the back seat of Taehyung’s idle car.
Taehyung chuckled as his hands roamed over Jeongguk’s body hungrily. “I can crack a window?” He smiled into their kiss, pulling at the buckle of Jeongguk’s belt. Taehyung had driven them to a spot overlooking Han River – truthfully, to get Jeongguk some air before having to go into work for the night. They had enjoyed a small walk along the river, staying close enough to where the car was parked so that it wouldn’t take too much time to circle back. Taehyung wasn’t sure exactly when it got heated – who was hungry for who, but now they fumbled in the backseat of his car, passionate like teenagers in the middle of a dark parking lot by the river.
Jeongguk laughed lightly, his hot breath mingling with Taehyung’s as they intertwined themselves, his hand wandering down to palm at Taehyung through his pants. “I can’t be late to work.”
Taehyung eyed the clock on the dash – it was nearly 8 P.M. . “You won’t be.” His chest heaved as his heart quickened pace, breath hitching in his throat as Jeongguk worked to undo his belt and his pants. Entangling his fingers in Jeongguk’s hair, he threw his head back against the seat as Jeongguk nipped at the delicate skin of his neck, small growls of moans escaping Jeongguk’s lips as he pulled apart the buttons of Taehyung’s shirt with his teeth, leaving bites on the skin that became exposed. His mouth found Taehyung’s nipple, the warmth of his tongue sending pleasure shooting through Taehyung’s body. Something about intimacy with Jeongguk was primal – fierce, lustful, animalistic – and it enticed Taehyung to no end. His eyes rolled into his head as Jeongguk’s mouth finally descended on his cock, the wet warmth sending chills throttling up his spine. He let out a raspy moan as he tightened his fingers and pulled on the strands, eliciting sounds of pleasure from Jeongguk. He bucked his hips up into him, forcing Jeongguk to slack his jaw and accept Taehyung’s length. The palm of Taehyung’s hand pressed against Jeongguk’s skull, keeping his mouth deliciously full as his saliva began to drip out the sides, dribbling down his chin.
“Hyung,” Jeongguk choked out, and Taehyung released him – he withdrew from Taehyung, grasping his length and working him hard, pumping and twisting his wrist. “Don’t ruin my makeup.” He smirked, and let out a giggle. “I worked really hard on it.”
Taehyung licked his lips, pleasure pumping through his veins at Jeongguk’s touch. His lips pulled into a smirk, and he moved his hand from Jeongguk’s hair to grasp his chin, tilting Jeongguk’s face to look into his glossy eyes. “I’m sorry, baby. You just look so fucking pretty, I can’t help but want to ruin you.” He saw the flash in Jeongguk’s face at his words, lust burning in the depths of the dark chocolate swirls of his eyes.
“Why do you have such shitty timing, hyung?” Jeongguk whined. “Want you to fuck me.” He murmured, pursing his lips as he ran them along the length of Taehyung’s cock. His tongue lolled out as he took Taehyung’s length in his mouth again, fondling his balls in his hand as he slurped noisily, careful to keep himself from getting too messy.
Taehyung couldn’t take his eyes off Jeongguk, chest heaving as Jeongguk’s eyes darted up to meet his, defiantly keeping his gaze as Taehyung fucked into his mouth. Taehyung could feel the fire igniting in the depths of his belly, creeping its way through his body as it warned him of his climax. “Fuh–, fuck, Guk–, I–,” He moaned, a throaty growl escaping his lips. “I want to fuh–, fuck you, baby. Fucking ruin you, you and that fucking makeup.” He clawed at Jeongguk, eager to feel more of him. Jeongguk’s fingers pressed into Taehyung’s hips as he grasped him firmly for purchase before shoving his face all the way down, taking Taehyung’s length until the tip prodded his throat. Taehyung’s eyes rolled into his head and he gasped in surprise, choking a disgruntled moan as Jeongguk pulled back. “ Oh, fuck. Jeongguk, I’m guh–gonna,” he gasped. “Fuck, I’m–,” His hips stuttered as he bucked into Jeongguk’s mouth before attempting to pull away, though Jeongguk’s hands held him in place. Taehyung stammered a weak protest before he felt pleasure shoot fireworks through his body, blinding his vision and pumping Jeongguk’s throat full of hot cum. His chest heaved as he regained himself, relaxing into the leather of the seat. “Fuck, Guk.” His breathing was ragged. “Shit.”
Jeongguk let out a satisfied giggle as he patted his lips with the back of his hand to clean them; he glanced at the clock on the dash. “Hyung, come on, I can’t be late. It’s almost 9.” He whined and pulled at Taehyung, who was still spent and regaining himself while sprawled on the seat.
Taehyung frowned. “I’ll talk to Hoseok, it’s fine if you’re late. Come here.” He grasped at Jeongguk, aching to pull him back and feel him, fuck him, ruin him. He palmed at Jeongguk’s jeans hungrily before Jeongguk swatted him away.
“Hyung! I can’t.” He offered an apologetic look before leaning in to press a kiss against Taehyung’s lips, biting down on Taehyung’s bottom lip as he pulled away. “You’ll have to find me later to make it up to me.” He giggled as he climbed nimbly into the passenger seat of the car. “See, it only works when I say it, right?" He scrunched his face as he smiled playfully. "Come on, let’s go.” He turned down the visor to look at himself in the mirror, fixing strands of hair and checking his makeup as Taehyung exited the car only to re–enter in the driver seat with a huff. “I need gum. Do you have any?” Jeongguk reached for the glove box, pulling it open before Taehyung reached to slam it shut. Jeongguk blinked, jumping in surprise as he stared at Taehyung.
Taehyung averted his gaze and withdrew himself. “Not in there.” He busied himself opening the middle console, producing a container of mint gum from inside. “Here.” He smiled, and Jeongguk peered at him curiously, but said nothing as he accepted it. Taehyung swallowed dryly as he pulled out of the lot and drove towards The Parthenon.
8:51 P.M. –– Gangnam–gu, Seoul, South Korea
“I told you I’d get you here on time.”
Jeongguk smirked. “Barely.” He leaned over to retrieve his bag from the backseat. “You coming in?”
Taehyung frowned, glancing at the building towering over them. “Mm, it’s kind of early, even for me.”
Jeongguk pursed his lips. “You could hang out with me.” Taehyung swore he could hear the seduction creep into his tone, settle in the boyish features that morphed themselves into something mature as the night progressed. Taehyung was interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing a notification.
hoseok –– 8:53 P.M.
ur coming later right?
Taehyung raised his eyebrow at the text, a smirk playing on his lips.
taehyung –– 8:54 P.M.
I mean if i’m paying 24k again shit i better be
hoseok –– 8:55 P.M.
there are no money back guarantees ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
hoseok –– 8:55 P.M.
lol would u bring coffee plz
Taehyung chuckled; a coffee request at 9 P.M.. What separate lives they lived, he thought.
taehyung –– 8:58 P.M.
of course hyung 💜
I’ll be there in an hour or so
Jeongguk peered at him curiously; Taehyung smiled. “Hoseok. He wants coffee. Go on. You’re going to be late, brat.”
Jeongguk scrunched his face in response. “Fine.”
“Jeongguk.” Taehyung grasped his arm before he was able to exit the car. Jeongguk looked at him questioningly. “Those earrings look gorgeous on you.”
Jeongguk smiled. “Thanks, baby.” He leaned in to plant a kiss on Taehyung’s lips; Taehyung’s hand flew up to grasp his neck, holding him in place. Jeongguk’s breath caught in surprise and he smiled, letting a breathy chuckle escape his lips.
“Pretty things for a pretty thing like you.” His eyes devoured Jeongguk’s features, the growl of desire still rumbling in his body as his thumb pressed down into the contours of Jeongguk’s throat. “Keep them on tonight, okay? Something from me while he’s fucking you. You’re so fucking pretty, Gukkie.” Taehyung’s voice dropped register, purring into a growl that rattled chills up Jeongguk’s spine.
Jeongguk’s lips pulled into a smile, his nose brushing against Taehyung’s in their close proximity. “Anything for you, babe.” With a teasing peck on the lips he withdrew from Taehyung, swinging his bag on his shoulder as he stepped out of the car. He pulled his jacket around himself tightly as the cold air bit through the fabric of his shirt; he shivered. “Thanks, hyung.”
Taehyung’s eyes rested longer than he would like to admit on Jeongguk as he watched him ascend the staircase in front of the building. Clearing his throat, he swallowed hard and pulled out of the lot, pieces of conversation with Jeongguk swirling in his mind. Some things weren’t adding up – the thought of it all made him grip the wheel tightly in a silent rage.
“Taehyung!” A little over an hour later, Taehyung was barreled into by a flurry of Hoseok; he did his best to maneuver around his embrace to avoid dropping the holder of coffee in his hand.
Taehyung smiled. “Hi, hyung. Missed you.” He swallowed dryly, keeping his distance as the body of his handgun pressed against his back, tucked neatly into his belt under his jacket. He offered the coffee with a smile, before stepping away from the hostess who approached him to take his coat. “Oh, no, thank you.” She seemed taken aback, but bowed politely and retreated.
“Ugh, you’re a lifesaver, man.” Hoseok ripped the straw wrapper with his teeth, eager for the caffeine. “But, four coffees? What for?” He peered at him. “You don’t drink coffee.”
Taehyung shrugged, smiling. He plucked a coffee from the holder, offering it to the hostess. She was confused for a split second, before bowing and accepting the drink with both hands. “Yoongi seems like a coffee type? I don’t know, all of you fucking night creatures are a different breed. Does Jimin like coffee?”
Hoseok laughed. “Aw, my Taehyungie, always thinking of others.” He threw his arm around Taehyung’s shoulders. “I actually don’t know. Honestly, I never see him drink anything except vodka, champagne, and water.” He chuckled. “I’m sure he’ll be happy if it’s from you.” He wiggled his eyebrows, and Taehyung shoved him with a laugh.
“Hyung, stop. ” He plucked a coffee from the holder. “I’m going downstairs, yeah?” He checked his watch. “Yoongi said to come before 3 A.M., so yell at him if I’m not supposed to be here.”
Hoseok eyed him with curiosity. “He did?” Taehyung offered him the remaining coffee in the holder, and he furrowed his brow as he thought. “Well, shit, he’s not really telling me anything lately, then.”
Taehyung smiled. “That’s no basis for a relationship, hyung. You better kick his ass about it.”
Hoseok threw his head back as he laughed; he lowered his voice to a feigned whisper. “Don’t say the ‘R’ word, Taehyung. You’re on sacred ground.” He shook his head. “Kick his ass for me, what are you my best friend for?”
Taehyung laughed as he walked away. “That’s a good idea. Gives you a way in for make–up sex as an apology for your best friend kicking his ass.” Hoseok’s laugh made him chuckle and he waved lightly as he made his way down the corridor, leaving Hoseok to find Yoongi in the depths of the ground floor.
Alone in the elevator, Taehyung knitted his brows as he made the descent to the underground level. His heart began to race and his jaw clenched. A million thoughts raced through his mind: he was going to voice them, but how Jimin received them was going to be a complete wild card that Taehyung wasn’t sure he was prepared for. He gripped the railing of the elevator, staring at the sloshing contents of the coffee in his hand before the doors opened, and he stepped into the eerily familiar air of the underground level of the Parthenon.
Sitting at his vanity, Jimin patted at his face with a powder puff as he touched up his makeup for maybe the sixth time in the last thirty minutes. His heart thrummed with an anxious dread for the night to come – he’d been right, and Master Kim wouldn’t budge on the appointment with The Doctor. He thought of Jeongguk upstairs; normally, he wouldn’t have been here this early on a Saturday, especially only one other booking, but Jeongguk had insisted he wanted to see him, to talk to him, to game plan before their client tonight. It was nice of Jeongguk – he was worried, Jimin could tell, and it tore at him that he was unable to do anything about it. He swallowed dryly; the sound of a knock on his door made him jump, and he cursed under his breath. It wouldn’t work to be as wound–up as he was; he needed to calm down, somehow. He waited a moment, expecting to hear the sounds of the keypad and unlocking of the door. Surely, it was Jeongguk? Hoseok? Or Seokjin – Jimin furrowed his brow as the silence continued. “Who is it?” He called; purely out of habit, because he knew the rooms were well sound–proofed. He wrapped the thin fabric of his robe tightly around himself before making his way across the room. Opening the door, he was surprised to see Taehyung standing in the hallway. “Taehyung?”
“Jimin. Hi.” Taehyung offered him a smile. His heart raced, and he was beginning to feel hot under the fabric of his jacket. “Uhm. Do you like coffee?”
Jimin blinked at him for a second, confusion on his face before he moved to open the door. “Uh–, sure, yeah. Come in.” He accepted the drink from Taehyung, moving to set it down on a table. “You…?”
“Oh, uh. Yoongi told me to be here before 3 A.M., right?” Taehyung smiled nervously. “Am I… too early?”
“No, no.” Jimin shook his head – what time was it, anyway? “I actually, uh. I don’t know what time it is.” He smiled, averting his gaze to settle his attention on the coffee that sat on the table. He simply stared for a few seconds, before snapping out of his daze. “I’m sorry. Can I take your jacket?” He reached for Taehyung, flinching slightly when he pulled away.
“No,” Taehyung smiled apologetically. “Sorry. No, thank you.” His brow furrowed slightly as he caught Jimin’s reaction. “Are you okay? Did you rest well?”
Jimin looked down, offering a small nod in response. “Yeah, I’m fine. Thank you.” His lips pulled into a tight smile, and he swallowed the thoughts that plagued his mind. “How is your…”
“Boss?” Taehyung smirked as he finished Jimin’s question. He frowned slightly. “He’s… Well, stable. He’s… in a coma.” He swallowed hard, and Jimin felt remorse wringing his insides as he observed Taehyung and took in his words. “They’re running tests and everything, but.” He sighed, shoulders sagging as he slumped onto the sofa within the suite. He rubbed at his face with his hand. “I know he’s in good hands, but, fuck. I…” He bit his lip. “I just don’t fucking know what happened.”
“Oh, baby. I’m sure he’ll be okay.”
Taehyung inhaled sharply as Jimin settled into the couch beside him, leaning into his space and draping a hand on his chest.
“Let me take your mind off of it.” Jimin smiled. “Would you like a glass of champagne?”
Taehyung’s heart raced – the sound of Jimin’s voice, the feeling of his presence, his hand on his chest, the feeling of them being the only two people in the world within this quiet space underground, seemingly miles away from the rest of the world – Taehyung never ceased to feel completely engrossed in another world when he was with Jimin. He shook his head with a smile. “I’ve already had a couple glasses of wine, I shouldn’t drink any–,”
“Taehyung.” Jimin’s voice was firm, but there was a pleading tone to it. “Please. Just a glass, with me. Maybe I’m the one who needs his mind taken off of things.”
Taehyung blinked in surprise, and turned to meet Jimin’s eyes – what he saw there made a void tear into his chest, the storm in the colors of Jimin’s eyes thundering with torment once again. He nodded, carefully raising a hand to caress Jimin’s cheek. “Okay.” He offered a smile, heart stuttering as Jimin leaned into his touch and covered Taehyung’s hand with his own. It only wrenched his heart further as he watched Jimin cross the room, disappearing into the depths of the suite as Taehyung bit down on the words that felt like poison on his tongue.
“Jimin.” The pair had settled into the sofa, keeping the respectful distance of two who could only be troubled and sober. Taehyung sipped on his champagne, while Jimin had downed nearly all of his. “Hey.” He reached to place his hand on Jimin’s thigh, and hesitated at the slight flinch in response. “Are you… okay? You seem…” Taehyung trailed off. What was the right word?
Jimin nodded. “No, I’m okay. Sorry, it’s just…” His jaw clenched, and he downed another gulp of champagne. “I’m sorry, baby. Forgive me. I’m here for you.” He offered a smile, sidling closer to Taehyung. He grasped Taehyung’s hand and placed it on his thigh.
Taehyung pursed his lips. “Jimin. Don’t.” He saw a reaction flit across Jimin’s face as he withdrew his hand, only to grasp Jimin’s hand in his own. “Tell me. Talk to me.” His eyes roved over Jimin; the blonde strands of hair, smokey makeup on his eyelids, glossed lips, opaque stockings that clung over the muscles of his legs, clipped in place with a garter belt – a smart outfit choice that covered the sight of bruises in the most appealing way, and the silken robe that hung a bit looser on his frame than Taehyung remembered. He could see the tension in the clench of Jimin’s jaw, the way his muscles were strung so tightly he was bound to snap.
“There’s nothing to tell, Taehyung.” Jimin smiled. “Everything’s fine. I’m here, with you. I’m present.”
Taehyung exhaled, tipping the glass to his lips. Maybe champagne wasn’t such a bad idea. He pulled Jimin forward suddenly, zoning his gaze on Jimin’s surprised – scared? – reaction. “You told me you weren’t going to break, but here you are, ready to snap.”
Jimin shifted his weight as he was pulled into Taehyung’s chest. “You startled me. That’s all.” He braced himself up against Taehyung’s chest, eyes becoming level with Taehyung’s as the distance closed between them. He forced his breathing to slow as his eyes fell half–mast to settle on Taehyung’s lips. “I’m fine. Are you worried?”
Taehyung licked his lips out of habit as the space between them lessened. “And if I am?” The burn of desire ignited in his body, and he ached to meet Jimin’s lips with his, intertwine their bodies, embrace him and keep him there in his arms for as long as he could.
“You don’t have to be, Taehyung.” Jimin breathed. “I told you, you don’t have to be careful.”
“It’s not me I’m worried about. It's others who aren’t careful with you.” Taehyung ran his hand over the lining of Jimin’s robe, fingers brushing against the raised scar on his neck. He could hear the stress in Jimin’s hard swallow, his Adam’s apple bulging as he did so. “I don’t want him to touch you.” The drop in register of his voice gave away the emotion behind it. “I won’t let him. I won’t let you.”
Jimin could feel his mouth beginning to run dry, clenching his words behind his jaw in steeled resolve. “It’s not up to you.” He whispered.
“Of course it’s not.” Taehyung didn’t miss the way that Jimin winced at his words. Taehyung sat up straight, forcing distance between them. “Give me his number, then. I’ll call Seokjin myself.” He withdrew his phone from his pocket and held it up. “I’ll tell him you’re mine for the night. Fuck the other guy.”
Jimin pulled back and furrowed his brows. “Taehyung.” He glanced from Taehyung’s eyes, to his phone, and back. “You’re serious? No.” He shook his head.
Taehyung suddenly rose from the sofa. “Why not?” He faced Jimin, gaze challenging him. “His number.” He held out his phone, looking expectantly at Jimin.
Jimin averted his eyes as he followed suit, rising from his place on the sofa. “Why do you even–, don’t you have it? It’s not up to you , Taehyung. Kim doesn’t listen to anyone.” He ran his fingers through his hair, clearly flustered. “It doesn’t matter, Taehyung, it’s–,”
Taehyung was taken aback – ‘Don't I have it?’ The realization began to settle insidiously in Taehyung's mind, enveloping him in a sense of dread. He covered his expression and kept his face straight as his eyes narrowed. “Jimin.” He interrupted him; the tone of his voice pricked chills on Jimin’s skin. He stepped towards him, and Jimin had the feeling of becoming overwhelmingly small in his presence. Jimin stepped back instinctively, feeling the beginning of his flight response seeping into his veins. Taehyung’s eyes seared into him. “Don’t I have it?”
Jimin furrowed his brow. “What?”
“Seokjin’s phone number. You just said...How would you think that I had it?” He paused, gears working through memories in his head. “When I showed it to you at the café…, you said you didn’t recognize it.” The silence became tense, the air heavy enough to suffocate. “Or did you?” His eyes burned into Jimin’s, searching for the storm – the thunder cracking in his irises, the break in his resolve. He swore he could see it, or feel it coming, but he couldn’t wait. “That day… who cut your neck?” He reached to pull at the lining of Jimin’s robe, revealing the scar on his neck and the marks on his skin. “Tell me, was it Seokjin?”
Jimin withdrew into himself as he pulled the fabric back over his chest. “What? No, I told you, Taehyung, a client–,”
“The same one you’re seeing tonight?”
Jimin glanced up to meet his eyes – the dark flurry of emotions in Taehyung’s eyes made him unsettled. He looked away, clenched his jaw in tense response, and nodded slightly. “Yes.” The air in the room was thick, heavy, weighed with the electricity between them.
He’s lying. Jeongguk’s words had confirmed Jimin had never seen the Doctor before two days ago – Taehyung swallowed the anger and emotions that bubbled in his chest. The number is Seokjin’s. He wasn’t with whom he said he was with. What else is he lying about? “Jimin, look at me.” He waited for Jimin to look at him, insistent on holding his gaze as the weight of Jimin’s resolve settled into the cavernous hole threatening to tear through his chest. “Are you sure?"
Jimin blinked, thrown off by the question. “What?”
“I said,” Taehyung’s voice was low, dangerous – something that Jimin was sure he’d never heard coming from Taehyung. “Are you sure?”
“I–, I don’t–,” Jimin’s mind began to race. What? What was he getting at? “What do you mean, am I sure–,”
“What the fuck do you think I mean?!” Taehyung shouted. He tossed his phone in anger and grasped the fabric of Jimin’s robe again, roughly, yanking it down and pulling Jimin forward in the process.
Jimin grabbed Taehyung’s arm for purchase as he stumbled forward. “What the hell, Taehyung?” Panic seeped into the tremble of Jimin’s hands as Taehyung’s advances throttled him. His mind raced, heart threatening to pound out of his chest. A sense of dread settled in his stomach, swirling in between all the memories in his head.
“Jimin. Fucking look at me.” Taehyung growled. “Answer me. Your neck. Who was it, hm?” Taehyung began to speak faster, adrenaline searing through his veins. “Who did you see that morning, huh? It’s not who you’re saying it is. So… Kim fucking Seokjin? Who are you protecting? What are you not telling me? Why the fuck won’t you tell me?!” He shouted, releasing his hold on the robe with a thrust of his hand. Taehyung swore he could see the panic in the tremble of Jimin’s hands, the fleeting fear within the depths of his eyes. “If it was an answer you wanted me to hear, it would have been easy for you to say it already.”
Jimin’s eyes flickered wildly to read the emotions on Taehyung’s face, in his voice, and he choked on his breath as Taehyung battered him with questions. It's all happening too fast. Slow down. Please, slow down. His chest heaved as his mind swirled with confusion, racing to pick up the loose ends of threads that somehow, along the way, he’d carelessly left untied. Carelessly? No. Every step has been calculated, everything accounted for. How the fuck does he know? Jimin’s heart raced. Seokjin was his fail–safe. Was he really that shattered, at fault for all the things that were falling through his cracks? “Taehyung, I–,” he choked on his words, the weight of them all threatening to constrict his throat and suffocate him, pulling him under in the chasm he’d created. His mind flashed through memories, running through a maze and desperately trying to hold onto the reality of it all, a lifeline, anything to salvage himself in the situation at hand.
“You what, Jimin? You what? Two days ago was your first booking with that man, that fucker. ‘The Doctor’. Am I wrong?” Taehyung paused, searching wildly for the answers in Jimin’s eyes. “The cut on your neck can’t be from someone you were never with, right? So that leaves me with what?" His chest heaved. "It all goes back to that day. The night I spent with you. The night I left early." He swallowed hard. "Why would you have gotten cut in the first place? I thought... Is it a coincidence that Jeongguk was covered in blood that night, blood that wasn’t fucking his, Jimin? You said you didn’t recognize the number when I asked you that day, but now you say I have it, don’t I? How would I?" His heart raced as the words spilled from his mouth faster than he could think. "Did he – did you – hurt him, Jimin? Did you leave him drugged and tied up in my bathtub to fucking die?!” Taehyung paused, chest heaving with the weight of questions left unanswered. “You don’t have any answers for me, do you?” Venom dripped in the words that rolled off Taehyung’s tongue, pooling at Jimin’s feet. “Do you?” He shouted.
“No!” A response in the form of a scream like the crack of a whip tore from Jimin’s throat, bearing with it broken sobs that welled with tears in his eyes. “Stop it, Taehyung.” He choked. “Stop it!” Hot tears spilled onto his cheeks, his chest heaving with the weight of sobs and the searing panic in his body. The panic morphed into anger as he felt like he’d been backed into a corner, left with nowhere to turn.
“Just tell me, Jimin, talk to me!” Taehyung matched the raised volume of Jimin’s voice, each shouting at one another in the dead silence of the suite. He reached for Jimin, who jerked back to avoid his grasp, not before Taehyung had caught his robe, tearing it off of Jimin’s body.
“Get the fuck away from me.” Jimin’s voice was low, cold, and a calculated rage settled in the spaces between his words. His chest heaved as he struggled to control the storm of emotions that shattered his façade, the cold air biting at his exposed skin as he stood in nothing but a thong and stockings, held with a harness and garter belts around his thighs. “Who do you think you are, Taehyung?” His eyes flashed up to meet Taehyung’s, and Taehyung could see a morph in the emotions within them. “Huh?! All of these questions, who the fuck are you to be asking?”
Taehyung’s mouth dropped open slightly and he stepped back, taken aback by Jimin’s shift in demeanor. He’d never heard Jimin speak to him the way he did now – he hadn’t heard Jimin speak to anyone the way he did now. “I’m just asking for the truth, Jimin. That’s all. I just want to know.” The pain in his voice broke through, and he clenched his jaw to maintain his composure. He reached for the robe on the floor to offer it to him, making a point to avert his eyes from Jimin’s body.
“I think you should leave.” Jimin’s expression had steeled, the emotion in his voice gone. He crossed his arms to cover himself, seething with anger.
“No,” Taehyung pleaded, reaching out to him, trying to close the distance between them. “Jimin, I just want you to tell me–,”
“Get out!” Jimin cried. “Get out, Taehyung. Leave. I don’t fucking have to–,” he shoved Taehyung, hurling his his fists at his chest to beat him away. Taehyung grasped his wrists to still him, holding on as if Jimin would slip through his fingers. He struggled to pull away. “Get the fuck off of me, I don't have to–,”
The interruption to Jimin’s words happened in a flurry of events that seemed to occur all at once. The sound of the keypad on the door broke his sentence first; suddenly, the door to the suite flew open, and a man in a police uniform barreled through without warning, a stranger’s voice yelling and igniting panic in Jimin’s veins.
Before Taehyung knew it, he was staring at the barrel of a pistol, hands raised as he stood in front of Jimin, instinctively shielding him the moment he’d reacted to the intrusion. His mind screamed in panic after lunging to put his body between Jimin and the intruder, and it took him a few seconds to register that a police officer was standing in front of him, pointing a gun to his face. The realization then settled in – he’d seen this officer before . The memories of a couple weeks ago flashed in his mind – the night in the champagne room. The night he’d met Jimin . The shattering of glass echoed in his head, and his eyes flickered to meet the appearance of Hoseok and Yoongi trailing in the room behind the officer.
“What a surprise.” Officer Kim pulled a smirk, a humorless chuckle escaping him. “What kind of bullshit story did you feed me, huh, Director?” He glanced at Yoongi. “Dancers get ready down here, or some shit like that?”
Yoongi’s jaw was strained with stress, as best as he tried to hide it. He steeled his expression, pulling the facade as expertly as he knew how to compensate for the worry evident on Hoseok’s face. “Officer–,”
“He brought him coffee, sir. That’s all. He brought us coffee.” Hoseok pointed to the coffee on the table, left untouched.
Namjoon smirked. “Sure, let’s go with that.” He looked between Yoongi and Hoseok, the gun still held and pointed at Taehyung. “If he’s just bringing you coffee,” he paused, doing a double–take while glancing at Taehyung. “Wait. I know you.” His eyes narrowed. “You’re the guy from upstairs.” Taehyung could see the calculating thoughts within the officer’s eyes, and he forced himself to steel his emotions, lest he react without caution. “The one that didn’t show on the tapes.”
Hoseok’s breath caught in his throat and he swore he could feel Yoongi wanting to scream at him to stay still, don’t react.
“Behind you.” Namjoon flicked the gun with a gesture of his wrist, peering at Jimin, who stood shielded behind Taehyung. “Step aside.”
Taehyung shook his head, refusing to move. “No.” He clenched his teeth, swallowing any ounce of panic that screamed at him because here he was – in the depths of what could only be considered a police raid on a very illegal business venture, with the metal body of a fucking handgun tucked into his waistband. His mind raced for a second, presenting him with the most unanticipated question he would ask himself tonight – What would Seokjin do?
Namjoon regarded him for a moment. “No?”
“Come on, Namjoon–,” Yoongi stood to interject, but was cut off.
“Don’t get informal with me, Min.” Namjoon glared at him, raising his gun to point in Yoongi’s direction.
Hoseok gasped, lurching forward to put himself in front of Yoongi, who barred him from doing so with an outstretched arm. “It’s fine,” he mumbled under his breath, seemingly unphased in the line of a loaded gun.
“I think we’re past that. Don’t you think so?” Namjoon chuckled humorlessly. “I know what you’re up to. I don’t know how stupid you think I am, but this entire place will go down, Min, and you’re going to go with it.”
“I don’t think you’re stupid, Kim. Far from it.” Yoongi shook his head. “There’s nothing here, I told you. Shit, put the gun down, for fuck’s sake.”
Seeing the officer distracted, Taehyung took the opportunity to reach behind him slowly, searching to grasp Jimin’s wrist; he moved carefully so as not to draw attention. When he found it, he grasped it delicately and gave it a light squeeze. Taehyung’s heart raced – anything from then on depended on Jimin, and he was terrified of the wrong result. Jimin would have to make a choice – Taehyung had little idea if it would be a right one, but he hoped to death it wouldn’t go as wrong as it easily could. “I apologize, Officer–,” He peered at the officer’s chest. “Kim?” His lips tugged a smirk. “Kim. Of course.”
Namjoon glanced at him, raising an eyebrow and turning his attention back on Taehyung.
Taehyung let out a small chuckle, and felt both Yoongi’s and Hoseok’s confused eyes searing into him. “I’m sorry, officer Kim. I understand the impression you might have of this place, but regardless... I wouldn’t do any man the disservice of exposure.” Taehyung shook his head. He began to shrug off his jacket, to which Namjoon tensed.
Taehyung remained calm, moving slowly. “I’m just going to offer my jacket, sir. That’s all. My hands are visible.”
As Taehyung’s jacket slipped off, Jimin’s eyes caught the unexpected glance of a handgun, the handle sticking out of Taehyung’s belt as it laid tucked into his waist. Something in his head screamed – he tore his eyes away immediately, focusing instead on anything else but the weapon that Taehyung had been hiding the entire time . He swallowed hard, realizing the warning in Taehyung’s touch – he was armed. They were in a room with a police officer, Jimin in an unlawful state of undress, and Taehyung was fucking armed. What the fuck was he doing with a gun?! Jimin’s mind raced; he was presented with too many options and not enough time. He swallowed the temptation to expose Taehyung in possession with his weapon, emotions clashing in his mind with the pressure to act. “ You could take him down, right here, right now. He wouldn’t be your problem, with everything that he knows. How the fuck does he know? What else does he know that you don’t? He won’t be your problem, he’ll be out of Master Kim’s reach. Make your decision . You have a choice. ”
“Sir, really, there’s no reason for the gun–,” Hoseok pleaded, nervous to see the weapon pointed at Taehyung.
Namjoon glared at him. “That isn’t for you to decide.”
Jimin realized he had no time to weigh options – he had to act, no matter what it meant for him later. With that, Jimin nodded slightly, stepping forward to press himself against Taehyung’s back. As nimbly as he could manage, Jimin slipped the gun out of Taehyung’s belt, using the obstruction of Taehyung’s body and the jacket to hide his movements as he slipped the weapon into the tight straps of his harness and thong, hoping like hell it would hold as the weight of it pressed coldly against his bare back. He slipped into Taehyung’s jacket, thanking the powers that be that Taehyung had a tendency for clothes that were oversized, even for him. He stepped to Taehyung’s side, careful in his movements. “I’m sorry, officer. I was getting ready, sir, and I’m not dressed.” He exposed his front to prove his words, showing his state of undress, in just a thong, garters, and stockings.
Visibly flustered at Jimin’s brave display, Namjoon averted his eyes and lowered his gun. He coughed and cleared his throat. “Sorry, uhm–, hm. Okay.” He made a point to look away from Jimin. He looked from Taehyung, to Yoongi, to Hoseok, and back. “It just seems really odd to me, doesn’t it?” Namjoon’s eyes, calculative with a tinge of accusation, settled on Taehyung. “I think you know something. Either you’re who I’m looking for, or you know where he is.”
“Kim, seriously, he doesn’t know shit–,” Yoongi attempted to regain his attention.
“Shut up, Min.” Namjoon growled.
“Officer. This is all a bit much–,” Hoseok raised his hands in a placating motion.
“Namjoon, he doesn’t–,”
“Fucking christ, Min, shut up or I’m taking your ass in first!”
“For what?!” Yoongi spat. “For fucking what, Kim?”
“Yoongi,” Hoseok raised his hands to Yoongi’s chest. “Stop, you shouldn’t–,”
“Excuse me–,” Taehyung attempted to interject.
“What are you doing down here?” Namjoon’s eyes narrowed on Taehyung. “You're not an employee, are you?"
Taehyung shook his head silently.
"What's your name?"
"Kim Taehyung, sir."
"Kim Taehyung..." Namjoon regarded him with suspicion. He glanced at Yoongi. "You said this is a dressing room, correct?" Yoongi peered at him, warily nodding his head. Namjoon smirked. "So you're of the understanding, Mr. Kim Taehyung, that being here, in this vicinity, as someone who isn't an employee, is breaking the law?"
Taehyung swallowed dryly. “ I could say no,” he thought. Something told him the cop wasn’t leaving without taking someone with him. “I could say no and save my ass, act innocent.” His eyes flickered to Yoongi and Hoseok, before settling back on Officer Kim. “...Yes.”
The rattling of metal handcuffs being produced from Namjoon’s belt broke the silence that had settled in the spaces of their words. “Alright then.” Taehyung’s jaw clenched as Namjoon approached and clicked his wrist into the device, pulling his arms behind his back to handcuff him. Jimin’s eyes widened as he watched in silence, and a mixture of panic and surprise flickered on his face.
Hoseok’s eyes widened in terror. “Sir, you’re misunderstanding–,” Yoongi moved to silence him, shaking his head subtly.
“No, I don’t think I am.” Namjoon glared at Yoongi. “Your little playground here? Shut it down.”
“Suck a cock, Kim.” Yoongi hissed.
Taehyung’s eyes met Yoongi’s, and he held his gaze defiantly for a few moments. He mouthed the words that Officer Kim had just said – “ Shut it down .” He broke their gaze. “Am I being arrested?”
“For the liability of the crime of trespassing, Mr. Kim Taehyung, you have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions from here on forward. Let’s go.” Namjoon grabbed him by his elbow, proceeding to push Taehyung towards the door; he glared at Yoongi. “Count your days, Min.”
“Do me a favor, Kim.” Yoongi looked solemnly at Namjoon, then to Taehyung, and back. “Take him out the back, will you?”
Taehyung’s eyes glanced at Hoseok – who watched in horror, then Yoongi, and lingered on Jimin, searing the moment that held their gaze into his mind. Without another word, he was ushered out of the room, leaving a heavy silence that weighed on the three men that were left behind.
“… What the fuck ?” Hoseok whispered, his quivering voice breaking the silence.
“Come on, Hoseok.” Yoongi’s fists were clenched, voice cold and collected. “We have a lot of shit to do.” He moved to exit the room.
Hoseok blinked. “What? But– but Yoongi–,”
Yoongi flashed him a glaring look. “But nothing, Hoseok. Let’s go. ”
“Sir?” Jimin’s voice tittered into the silence, quiet enough to seem like he’d disappeared into the shadows of the dimly lit suite. “What…” He trailed off, unsure of how to piece the questions together that swirled in his mind.
Yoongi checked his watch. 11:47 P.M. “There’s still time.”
“For what?” Confusion flitted on Hoseok’s face.
“We’re going to contact clients and move their appointments to the hotel.” Yoongi’s expression was deadpan, as serious as ever, as if he hadn’t just insulted a cop and had a patron leaving in handcuffs. “The ones that are willing, anyway. They can’t do shit about anything before 2 A.M.. Radio the hostess for a head count, we’ll manage capacity or close the gallery early.” Yoongi’s jaw clenched with stress. “Nobody will have seen Taehyung leave, don’t tell any of the staff. Everything is normal. We close at 2.”
“Sir… The…” Jimin paused. “The Doctor?”
Yoongi shook his head. “I don’t know if he’ll go to the hotel, but I’ll let you know as soon as we know. Go upstairs and tell Ares – and don’t tell anyone else. You should go to the hotel. And Jimin–,”
Jimin blinked, thrown off by the sound of his name coming from Yoongi’s lips. Yoongi never called him by his birth name.
“Don’t tell Kim about this.”
Yoongi turned to leave without another word, leaving Hoseok to trail in his wake. Jimin stared, feeling numb as the shock began to settle in with the silence that engulfed him. His eyes glanced down to the phone on the floor, abandoned where Taehyung had thrown it.
What the fuck had just happened?