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A Glass Cage

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Drops of water splash against the hotel glass shower walls, endlessly hitting Wonwoo’s skin, yet all he can feel is the rising heat of his body as an arm wraps itself around his waist from behind him, fingers splayed across his abdomen, gently caressing exposed, sensitive skin. 

The natural tilt of his head as he surrenders to the feeling of lips that is felt along the side of his neck, traveling downwards at an achingly slow pace, adds to the knot of heat that gathers within him. 

He knew. 

And if anyone asked, he could write in detail the exact moment he was magnetized to sable eyes that, even in the dimmed studio lighting, would glint the addictive color of coffee when the man would angle his body certain ways just to capture the perfect picture. 

Perfect picture.

It was almost laughable that the ‘perfect picture’ included him standing just as obedient and stoic as ever, motionless, passionless, and dreamless next to his father where, in several weeks, the headlines in bolded lettering of some business weekly magazine he didn’t care to pick up would read “Renowned CEO Jeon hands over the key to the esteemed family legacy: Jeon Wonwoo, the youngest heir to be appointed as acting CEO” ; father and son’s matching placid faces slapped on the cover under those words. So, of course, they needed the ‘ perfect picture’ to accompany those ‘perfect words’

But the man behind the camera was clueless, at the time, to how much Wonwoo didn’t care and how much he secretly and impeccably concealed his despise for what his future held; the feeling of being caged in a pristine, transparent glass casing, overwhelming; where the illusion of being boundless was perceived from the outside world, when in reality he was confined and flightless, the unknown taste of freedom he was starved from, being a far off fantasy and desire that he had long ago buried. 

Instead, the man had done his job ardently, flawlessly. And it was in those moments, again, only if anyone asked, that Wonwoo would write about; captivating and addicting eyes that matched their rich color filled with a passion, enthusiasm, desire that Wonwoo hadn’t ever known; the man’s face half hidden behind a camera lens focused on every subtle movement his models made, every detail captured. 

It was those eyes that scanned his features and those eyes that he learned to read so clearly. 

Eyes he knew were now filled with the same desire and passion, except this time were not obscured behind a lens but were instead studying every detail of Wonwoo’s dampened body, rivulets of water cascading down under the streaming shower. 

“Stop.” Wonwoo’s words say one thing, but his body speaks in volumes as it sends a shudder running its course, making his eyes slip close at every gentle stroke down the sides of his smooth skin, teasing light touches making his breath hitch with every inch that is traveled down his lithe, wet frame that is under the pour of heated water. 

A kiss to his neck and words whispered there, “Stop what?” 

He doesn’t have to look back at the man to know that husky words had slipped from smirking lips. But Wonwoo turns around anyway, warm flecks of water from the shower head now sprinkling on his back, a set of hands still relenting their hold, settle around his waist, thumbs ever caressing skin. “Stop looking at me like that.” 

As predicted, the damn cocky smirk. “Like what?” 

But two can play that game. 

He brings his arms up and around the other man’s neck, dark orbs peering up under slightly hooded eyes, uneven breaths teasing the taller man’s lips as he leans forward. “Like you’re trying to seduce me.” 

The feeling of the man’s grip on his hips tighten ever so slightly and it has Wonwoo leaning forward, a pair of lips encasing his own before he opens his mouth to meet the other man’s heated kiss, which ends too soon.  

“I always look like this. It’s my natural face.” Another haughty grin. 

“I have footage proving otherwise, Kim Mingyu.” A scoff escapes Wonwoo’s parted lips which is quickly followed by a short, unexpected moan as roaming hands had found themselves new places of purchase, one kneading the moistened skin of his ass and the other grazing digits against his cock. 

“Mmnn,” is the uninterested reply, Mingyu more focused on what he had in his hands, while darkened eyes travel over Wonwoo’s body, taking in every curve, every inch, as if it was the first time he’s seen his lover naked. It wasn’t. “What happened here?” 

The hand around the older man’s cock slips to caress upwards, fingers never leaving damp skin. 

Wonwoo peers down at the small bruise marking the front of his hip where Mingyu’s thumb gently caresses. He hadn’t noticed the meager, trivial blemish but of course the younger man did. He always entertained the minute details. 

Details

He noticed that Mingyu was a man of detail after their second encounter by chance in a solo shoot this time for yet another article that was agreed upon without his consent, another thing beyond his control, as everything in his life felt like at the time. 

The way Mingyu studied his features, the way his eyes, that Wonwoo was already enraptured with, scanned every detail of his face, every detail of his body to, again, find that perfect picture for some “unworthy magazine”, words that would be subsequently whispered in his ears while his back was pressed against the cold, glass windows of his apartment months later, setting his body aflame, by the man that had taken the said photo. 

It was with the tenth fix to his suit and the passing hour hand of the clock that had Wonwoo asking in concealed annoyance why the centimeter shift in his tie mattered. 

“Someone told me once,” Mingyu had said, stepping into his space and adjusting the silk that wrapped around Wonwoo’s collar, “that the difference between something good and something great ,” those addictive coffee colored eyes moved to meet obsidian, “is the attention to detail.” 

Wonwoo couldn’t remember why he countered the man’s claim, couldn’t remember why it mattered so much to him to hear Mingyu’s answer to the question he asked next. 

“Details. They’re role is insignificant in the grander scheme though, isn’t it? Bypassed, unnoticed. Something small and negligible. Are they really so important?” 

Maybe it was to genuinely hear the other man’s rebuttal. Maybe it was to have the man continue to talk and fill the empty silence permeating the room. Maybe it was a selfish question asked for himself, who had always felt like a minor speck in the life of his family, to see if he was worth the attention as just a detail

The clicks and snaps of the shutter echoed in the room, before the camera was pulled down, Mingyu’s eyes meeting Wonwoo’s own while confident words were uttered with an honest smile, “It’s the smallest of things that can have the biggest impact.”

And he learned that. 

It took Mingyu coming to the company with the excuse to go over prints for the magazine, an action that Wonwoo didn’t know at the time was needless, as the photographer and magazine usually picked the photo, electronically getting the ‘go-ahead’ by the model if requested. Wonwoo didn’t request the action, yet Mingyu still showed up with hardcopies in hand and a grin. 

It took Mingyu talking him into exchanging phone numbers with the excuse of ‘just in case we need to go over something’. 

It took Mingyu several weeks of ‘bumping into each other’, with the excuse of it all being mere ‘coincidences’.

It took Mingyu finally admitting all his prior excuses were just that so he could meet with Wonwoo. 

And it took Wonwoo agreeing to letting the man in, albeit under covert meetings away from the knowledge of his father and mother and anyone else that were wooden puppets, strung and attached to his family. 

But he learned. Mingyu taught him, showed him, with every little gesture, every short kiss, every tiny sentiment, that the smallest of things could have the biggest impact; that the hand that wrapped around Wonwoo’s stomach, the fingers he mindlessly played with that held his bare, slightly aching and sweat drenched body close against an equally heated chest for the first time, could let him understand, embrace and memorize the details of every moment; that the simple, three words strung together and uttered in the blanket of night that draped around Mingyu’s simple apartment, could make Wonwoo realize that even he, who was a small detail, could be loved. 

“Mm,” Wonwoo’s response is hummed out, eyes lazily focusing not on the intended bruise but instead the fingers that caress his skin. “I dunno. I must have hit something.” Words slip from his lips while his sight travels back up to meet another set of equally dark orbs. “Or maybe it was the table you pushed me into. Or the bed frame you pushed me into. Or the doorframe you pushed me into. Or the-”

“Okay, okay, I get it.” Mingyu interrupts, pushing his lips against the man he holds close to his chest, tongue flicking out and licking into his opened mouth. Always pushy. 

Wonwoo’s breath is taken away and the heat of the ongoing shower does nothing to subside the flame that seems to ignite in his being.

“I can make up for it,” Mingyu’s lowered words are panted out between unsteady breaths, while parted lips already ghost over the exposed skin of Wonwoo’s neck. 

“By giving me more bruises?” Even as his words are spoken, the tilt of Wonwoo’s head and the flutter of his own lashes against his cheeks need no further indication to his compliance and desire for pretty marks to be left on milky skin. A hand comes up, running fingers through the ends of damp hair by the nape of the taller man.

It was Mingyu’s turn to hum a response, lips attaching to glistening skin, indulging in the inviting inclination of Wonwoo’s head tipping back. 

The older man let out an audible hitched breath, knowing Mingyu was relishing in the sounds of his quiet gasps and moans let out. 

Wonwoo’s frame is turned suddenly, his back now pressed against a chest while lips still trail and lick the column of his neck. 

“Your body is freezing, baby.” Mingyu’s words are muttered into his ears and Wonwoo suddenly feels the heated pelting drops of water that stream from the shower head encase his being and he takes a moment to savor the heat before letting tempting words hang in the air, mingling with the steam that had risen within the glass encasement. 

“Probably because you’re not doing your job right.” Coy words are said with a knowing smile gracing Wonwoo’s lips before he is pulled from beneath the covers of the pouring shower, into a hotter hold, back meeting chest once again.

“Oh, my bad.” A playful scoff is released while hands trail provokingly up and down the older man’s naked back, caressing over the slopes of his shoulders and traveling down his arms. The fire that had been lighted in him from Mingyu’s touch leaves the water droplets that roll down his body feeling cold. 

Eyes that had slid shut minutes ago flutter open again, watching the hand that wasn’t embracing him move slowly down his hip and leg, only to caress its way back up, fingers dragging against the damp skin of his thigh. 

A quiet moan escapes Wonwoo’s lips, drowned out by the white noise of the shower water as he places his own hand over the larger one that continues to gently knead the soft skin under its touch. 

A heated breath whispers his name into his ear, eyes sliding shut once again while his own hand comes up behind him to tangle in the wet locks of the other man. 

“I love you.” Voice low and heavy, words are uttered from Mingyu’s lips that continue to set his body aflame along with expertly practiced ministrations of roaming hands that make their way lower down Wonwoo’s body, water droplets being swept aside by heated fingers. 

Warm, stuttered exhales mingle with the steam of the shower and every touch from the other man brings him closer to losing control, every thought slipping away one by one replaced by focus on Mingyu. Only Mingyu.

Whether it was capturing a single moment from behind a lens or undoing Wonwoo with every whisper, kiss, and touch, everything Mingyu did was with adamant passion.

Passion

For most of his life, Wonwoo listlessly followed the direction he was pulled in by the unyielding metaphorical chain gripped in the steady hold of his heritage and tradition, doing what was told and being the upstanding, proper son of the Jeon family. 

Being a shell of a person didn’t leave room for entertaining much passionate notions and the pronounced lectures from his father smothered any absurd ideas or fantasies of living the life he wanted to lead from the time he could understand what was being spoken to him. 

“Just try it.” 

But of course, Kim Mingyu unknowingly came in and poked and questioned another layer of the glass wall he had learned to accept, maintain and peer out from behind. 

“No, I don’t want to.” From where he sat between the other man’s outstretched legs, the shake of Wonwoo’s head didn’t deter Mingyu’s innate stubbornness and the man only leaned forward, resting his chin on the former’s shoulders. 

“Here.” A camera was set in Wonwoo’s hands, arms wrapping around his frame to situate the bulky thing correctly. Quiet, directing words were spoken closely, while his eyes took in every detail of the beloved object he was trusted with. 

“Now, try and take a picture of the ocean.” 

Wonwoo’s eyes drifted up to the sparkle of the sea, the white foam of crashing waves hitting the shore, sun high in the sky. From where they sat on the beach, it was the perfect view, a sight to behold. He followed the instructions given, snapping a shot before pulling the camera down to peer at what he had captured.

“See, it’s a beautiful picture,” Mingyu praised, glancing over his shoulder. 

A kiss was placed on Wonwoo's temple while he stared at the frozen scene on the small illuminated screen of the camera. While it was noisy in his head, his lingered silence must have drawn the other man’s attention.

“You don’t like it?” Mingyu’s words shook him from his reverie. 

“No, it’s pretty.” He remembered answering, his voice probably tense and thus prompting the other man to further question. 

“But…” 

“But, nothing.” Wonwoo doesn’t recall the tone of his voice or if there was a slight shake and uncertainty tainting what he wanted to sound as confident and concluding. But something must have given him away. Something must have exposed his ambivalence towards the picture captured. 

“Talk to me, love,” were the soft spoken words pressed to his shoulder, while arms wrapped him in an embrace.

Or maybe it was because it had already been over a year of carefully planned rendezvous and stolen moments from under the watch of Wonwoo’s unsuspecting family, that Mingyu was able to notice his subtleties, his concealed uncertainties, from where the younger man had stood devotedly, watching Wonwoo from outside the transparent cage he was confined in. 

At that moment, it was as if everything in the world felt safe, secure; where he could pretend to be free, just like Mingyu. 

Wonwoo leaned into the embrace, into the man behind him, head lolling against a shoulder while he gazed at the screen of the camera he held. “I don’t understand the point of a picture,” he finally said quietly. 

“Why?” It wasn’t weighted with judgement or criticism or even prodding curiosity. It was the short encouragement Wonwoo needed to continue his disorganized, haphazard thought. 

“I mean, I get it captures a moment in time. But… if in the future… how do I know for certain I was there?” He brought his legs closer to his body, an unconscious reaction to the hesitance he felt as his thoughts became harder to put into words. Wonwoo’s eyes remained lingering on the still frame captured by the camera. “If I ever forget visiting this place, how do I know it’s real… that this whole thing is real, that I was there… that I was, am…” real. 

The word didn’t need to be spoken. Mingyu understood, just as he always had. But the older man still wanted to put into words his feelings and perceptions he had bitten back for so long. 

Still held lightly in Mingyu’s embrace, Wonwoo leaned over to pick up his phone, while setting the camera on his lap. Tapping on the cell, he held it up for the quiet man behind him to see, who’s chin was still resting comfortingly against his shoulder. 

“When I was in high school, I took this video and saved it. It was the first time I saw snow in real life.” Wonwoo watched the screen in his hands. “I’ve seen pictures and movies, but this was my experience. It was me… see?” A slim finger pointed to the screen where an outstretched arm appeared in the video, snowflakes gently settling atop ungloved, bare palms that were stark white with the cold. It was his first time feeling the frigid kiss of snow. It was real… he still remembered it. 

Wonwoo felt a chaste kiss to his neck, before playing another video he had on the device. “Or this one was when I visited my cousin’s estate and there was this stray cat that followed us almost all the way back from the woods behind her house. It looked like any regular black cat you could find a picture of, but that’s my leg it was rubbing its head against. That one.” Again, he pointed out the limb that belonged to a faceless person in the video, but he knew it was him… that he was there, really there. “I dunno, I like these videos. I can look back and see what I saw, relive the entirety of that moment instead of seeing one single shot.” 

Wonwoo played another random clip on his phone, eyes glued to the screen, but words sounding so distant, “I can hear the sounds and see me and see everything… and I know that I was really there. I was real in the video,” he ended in a whisper, while yet another self-taken clip played. 

And if he had been someone else, a passerby who happened to film the quiet moment, he would have captured the shine of adoration, fondness, love reflecting in the other man’s eyes who’s focus wasn’t on the small phone any longer, but instead on Wonwoo, who had a small, smile slipping on his lips. He would have been able to see the scan of orbs across the side of his face and the dawn of realization Mingyu had of never leaving his side. 

But he wasn’t someone else. He was himself. Wonwoo. Who was still positioned between Mingyu’s legs, back leaning against a chest. 

Silence enveloped the couple, only broken by the far off crashes of water against sand and with a tinge of anxiousness that crept into Wonwoo’s mind, mistaking Mingyu’s quietness for animosity towards his words, the older man plastered on an unbothered demeanor, shrugging with downcasted eyes focused on his hands. “But I guess you could argue the same thing about a photo taken. Just take a picture with your face in it to know you were there. I don’t know. I guess it’s the same.” Wonwoo tried to wave off his voiced thoughts and change the subject, a smirk pulled to adorn his lips. “You’re always taking photos of me. My face is expensive, you’re lucky I don’t charge,” he jested, turning his neck to glance behind him. 

It was only then Wonwoo met sincere eyes that stared back at him, the look of pure, passionate affection briefly noted before his lips were caught in a heated kiss, his body shifted by larger hands on his waist so he could face the man who had warmed his entire body with one look, one touch, one kiss. 

Lips parted, but Mingyu’s forehead stayed pressed against his own, slightly hitched breaths mingling in the small space between them. Even with his eyes closed, Wonwoo could feel the intense gaze Mingyu was looking at him with as he spoke, “You don’t need a photo or a video to know you’re real .” Wonwoo’s bottom lip was taken between lips again briefly before it was released. “You’re real, love. I’ll make sure to remind you of that everyday. Understand?” Those words were spoken with such quiet conviction that he could only nod and hum in agreement, his eyes still shut and hidden behind his lids because if he opened them now, Mingyu would know every secret, every desire and every need that he longed for. 

But of course Kim Mingyu wanted to know, wanted to see and learn and taste and feel everything about Jeon Wonwoo. “Look at me, baby.” Every word spoken was soft and it sent a shiver through Wonwoo’s body, but he did. Eyes fluttered open, gaze shifting between the other set of darkened orbs. “I love you.” A kiss was placed on reddened lips.

“I love you too,” the older exhaled. 

Mingyu's smile widened as he pulled back to reach around Wonwoo, grabbing the almost forgotten camera. 

“And this,” the younger man held the bulky object, shaking it slightly in the air, “can also film special moments, not just take pictures,” he said, bringing the camera down, changing out the lens for another and handing it back to Wonwoo while scooting forward, arms moving to wrap around his lover’s waist once again. “You can record your dreams and aspirations or moments you want to remember…” A lingered kiss is pressed to Wonwoo’s lips before whispered words are spoken, “But you don’t need to capture your reality. I’ll be here for that.” 

Wonwoo had searched the man’s eyes for any hint of deceit, any fleck of doubt or hesitation; for anything that implied he should turn and walk away now, before he fell too deep. 

But there was none. There wasn’t anything that he could blame, push the other man away and run. So he stayed, he listened, he learned. 

“There, now you know how to use this,” Mingyu jutted his chin towards the bulky camera he had taught Wonwoo how to use. “Film to your heart's content.”

And he did. Filming the unrhythmic pull and push of the ocean waves, recording the languid movement of the clouds in the sky, capturing the range of expressions on his lover’s face as he playfully shoved the lens up close, Mingyu’s whines and grumbles recorded and stored alongside spoken adorations and promises.

It was with him, Wonwoo was able to redefine, reclaim his own passion. It was with him, he was able to reveal parts of himself he had so long ago shut in a box, burying it beneath a facade his father and mother expected of their only son. It was with him, he was able to open that box, standing right next to Mingyu, the man patiently waiting beside him, albeit however painfully hesitant and slow Wonwoo was while unlatching that buried box.  

The hardness that heatedly presses against his back, pulls Wonwoo’s attention back to the moment, back to the hands that trail across his body slowly yet purposefully, back to the man behind him who’s still fixated on the pretty red and purple art he was sucking on to pale skin. 

Swallowing to regain some focus away from the large hand that moved to languidly stroke his own hardening cock and biting his lower lip, he rolls his hips and presses his ass back against the man behind him, pulling a low groan from him and a quiet “Fuck.” 

“You’re supposed to be cleaning up the mess you made,” Wonwoo’s words coming out hitched, “not make another one.”  

A short-lived snicker before open mouthed kisses are trailed across Wonwoo’s shoulders, up to his ears, “I thought you wanted me to get you all hot and bothered,” is the quip licked into his ear, small bites to sensitive flesh following suit.   

Wonwoo lets out an airy scoff, his hot breath getting lost in the steam of the shower that starts to fog the sides of the glass shower walls. “I didn’t say that.” 

“It was implied when you said I’m not doing my job correctly,” Mingyu retorts. “You don’t want me to do my job?” Again, lowered, provoking words uttered in the older man’s ear makes Wonwoo’s body uncontrollably jolt in anticipation. 

Eyes flutter shut. “I want you to hurry up and clean up.” 

“Okay. I’ll do both,” Mingyu states. Always the defiant one doing his own thing. 

Wonwoo’s body is turned around and without missing a beat, one hand travels up clinging to the taller man’s neck, fingers finding their way between silky, wet hair. Dark eyes meet his own; the wanton look unabashedly written across dampened features is noted, yet it doesn’t compare to the sustained flicker of adoration that is always there for him to see. 

A kiss is stolen upon Wonwoo’s ponderings, the heated lick into his mouth hotter than the rolls of steam that encase them in the blaring humidity of the modest, rectangular walk-in shower of the hotel. 

His back is pushed against the wall that is opposite of the shower head, the cool glass causing the tiniest gasp to escape his lips, which is swallowed by the desirous mouth that hasn’t left his own. Angling his head to the side, Wonwoo breaks away from devouring lips so he could fucking breath. But he makes up for it by arching his body into the other man’s larger frame in front of him, letting the groans he usually restrains reach his lover, inciting hands to caress every inch of him. 

The back of his head and his shoulders that are pressed against the wall are the only part of Wonwoo’s body that seems to not be touching Mingyu, the rest curving into the man that holds him, whispering curses and adorations in his ears. 

Trailing fingers, all aligned, begin their descent, starting at the nape of the older’s neck, pressing slightly down and following the arch of his spine as they travel further, meandering pass the dip of the small of his back, down the straight path to his ass, fingers teasingly rubbing against the rim of his heated entrance. 

“Fuck.” Words that are breathlessly panted out accompany the small push of Wonwoo’s hips backwards against those fingers, an action the other man definitely didn’t fail to notice.  

Mingyu’s head dips down, lips dragging across Wonwoo’s chest until teeth graze against the intended, sensitive area that spring chills down his arms. Hot words spoken, “Needy.” 

Whatever answer Wonwoo was about to give is lost with a thumb brushing over and easily slipping in his heated and slicked entrance, remnants of Mingyu left inside his body from prior, similar activities, where restrained moans were even more subdued with the older man’s voice being absorbed in the pillows of the bed. 

Stuttered breaths are exhaled while Wonwoo’s entire focus is on the languid push and pull of the finger inside of him. A small, almost whine falls from his lips when the thick digit pulls out completely, slowly trailing the slightly coated thumb down against the back of his thighs, a short sticky trail left on his skin. 

“You’re still loose,” the cocky bastard grins, attaching his lips back along Wonwoo’s jaw while large hands grip defined hips, massaging the area. 

Wonwoo’s hand slides between bodies, slender fingers running along a defined chest, lower down a muscled abdomen to then grip a heavy member that pulses in his light hold, which he tugs on ever so slightly as if saying ‘no shit, Sherlock’, attempting to remind the other man of where his fucking cock was less than twenty minutes ago. 

“Mingyu,” Wonwoo breath hitches with a finger swiftly pushing past the laxed entrance, only to slowly drag back out before repeating its course, the rest of the younger man’s hand palming his ass. 

“Yeah, baby?” Mingyu innocently askes, as if the things he were doing were anything but. 

Wonwoo opens his eyes to send a small glare to the man that smirks at him. “Fuck you.” 

“I know. I’m working on it, love.” Mingyu slips another finger inside, stealing Wonwoo’s breath. “Don’t be impatient,” his words are low, sensual.  

But he was. With Mingyu, he would always be impatient to feel the other man, even if it was only minutes ago that Mingyu was enveloped in the heat of Wonwoo’s body, where the younger man’s thick member thrusting with consistent precision was, sending him over the edge of bliss; where deft fingers, which he bares down on to now, are planning to do the same. 

Remnants of Mingyu’s seed covering his inner walls make it easy for the man to feverdly increase his pace, skilled fingertips brushing over the stimulated bundle of nerves that easily undoes every ounce of composure Wonwoo has. 

Leaning his head back against the glass shower wall, he revels in the immense pleasure that starts to seeth through his entire body, experienced digits feeling almost as satisfying as Mingyu’s cock that had been previously uncladded from the usual thin veil of rubber that Wonwoo usually demanded the other wears. 

Maybe it was the frigid, stark room that had him craving for Mingyu to embrace him in his warmth or maybe it was just the copious desire to feel the other man in every way possible that had Wonwoo dismissing the thought of something else, no matter if it was the tiniest of millimeters, separating the other man from him again. 

Separating 

Four years, seven months and twenty-one days. That’s how long the program in Japan was. That was how long his father thought it would take to estrange whatever relationship his son had with some “uneducated”, “unknown” photographer of sorts, that was kept frustratingly, unrightfully hidden under his nose for an obscene two years. 

The distinguished chief executive Jeon of the business realm was oh-so charitably sending his son to an esteemed business program abroad, graciously helping him extend his education to obtain a doctorate of business administration. 

It was all bullshit hidden under the guise of a caring father who supported his only son’s dreams, when in truth, he was shoving him back into the cage that he had built for Wonwoo, slamming the glass door shut and pocketing the key; when in truth, he was separating Wonwoo with an ocean from the thing he wanted most, after his own freedom and flight away from the chains that bound him. 

And it was all brought on by Wonwoo’s sudden boost of confidence to confront the older Jeon, words carefully planned and practiced to amiably hand back the unwanted charge of a company he had no interest in, no passion for, arguing that there were other people more suited for the position, people who actually desired to make the flourishing company the best it could be, rather than just being obligated to do so because of the blood running through his veins. 

To date, it was one of the hardest decisions Wonwoo made, to express his feelings of inadequacy for the designated position of acting CEO as well as his own ambitions and desires he wanted to chase after, to someone he had never truly known and who hadn’t ever truly cared to know him as a child or a man. 

And even though his arguments were aloofly dismissed, his reasonings impassively ignored, his own frustration simmering in the pit of his stomach as he walked out of the cold, impersonal corner-office the older Jeon calmly remained in, Wonwoo should have known the conversation would spark his father’s inquiry into his son’s change of obedient indifference because never in the twenty-four years of his quiet, miserable life had he spoke his heart. Never had he eluded his father’s wishes, always dutifully agreeing, just as he was expected to. Never had he dared to admit to any form of weakness or feelings of incompetence because no one in their family did. No one. 

And he should have remembered, that when his father questioned, the man undoubtedly received answers, no matter the lengths needed to obtain them; in this case, answers coming in the form of some hired man unnoticed by Wonwoo’s negligent self, following every “reckless, childish gallivant around town”, as described by his father.  

It was when a thin manila file was tossed in Wonwoo’s direction across the long, wooden dining table that a sinking feeling encased his being, his throat feeling as if something was gripped around it, tightening. It was when slender fingers, gently opened the folder and photographs of innocently intimate moments that Wonwoo had thought were kept for himself were now tainted with the knowledge that some fucking hired stranger had discreetly followed him and had exposed what he wanted to keep safe and hidden away for himself; his one light, one salvation he wanted to keep free and out from the reach of his father’s shadow.

From where he stood, looking down at the photos and stapled stack of personal information on the man in the picture, Wonwoo’s features stayed masked, his eyes never hinting at the rising agitation felt. 

Funny enough, it was something he had learned from the man that came to stand beside him, slightly taller stature pretentiously peering over his son’s shoulder at information Wonwoo knew wasn’t new to the other man, his father most likely having read the dug up information, studying it closely as if it was a business proposal he could poke holes in, degrade, and toss aside as he had done to countless deals that didn’t suit his motive.

“Kim Mingyu.” The name Wonwoo knew so well, that he had learned to love slipping from his own lips felt as if they were suddenly enveloped in ice with the way the older man stated the name, disdain hinting at his tone. “This was disappointing in the least, to find your activities beyond your obligations towards the company filled with… frivolous behavior.”

He couldn’t take his eyes off the captured picture;  Mingyu, who was several paces ahead of Wonwoo, had his arm outstretched behind him to hold the latter’s hand, the widest grin adorning familiar handsome features that was slightly turned to peer back at Wonwoo, who also had a smile laying upon his lips, looking as if a perfect world was right before his eyes. He couldn’t pull his gaze away from the still, yet clearly caught, subtle breeze that combed through brunette locks of the taller man, the shine of happiness in his own eyes that he rarely saw when looking in the mirror, and the way their hands fit together as if it were the simplest puzzle pieces completing a whole picture. 

He hated it. He hated the photo because it was perfect . It would have been perfect

Instead it was stained with the knowledge that his father had someone following him and getting glimpses at the moments he wanted no one else to see. 

“I’m assuming he’s to be responsible for your ludicrous decisions in the past week.” Brusque words echoed in Wonwoo’s ears.

“He has nothing to do with…” He blinked, swallowed hard, schooled his features. “I’m responsible for my own actions,” was Wonwoo’s reply, masked with apathy as he closed the folder, setting it back on the table before turning to meet his father’s condescending gaze. 

The older man looked at his son, dark scrutinizing eyes the only windows showing true emotion on an otherwise placidly stoic face. 

When Wonwoo was younger, a child, he had wondered why films and books would portray a family, a father , that was affectionate, that wept for his family, that brushed their hands through their son’s hair and embraced them, saying ‘everything’s gonna be alright, I love you’ , because surely that wasn’t how father’s acted. They never told their son’s it’s okay to cry or that mistakes are a part of being human. They never told their son’s they loved them and that they are worthy of being loved. His certainly did not. 

But time showed him that some fathers and families really did celebrate the successes of their children, finding pride in the things they accomplished and encouraging them to be the best they could be… some fathers did tuck their children in at night, telling them there was nothing to be afraid of the dark because they were there to protect them from all the bad guys out there… some fathers did express their feelings, their affection, their love for their children. He just wasn’t one of those children and he just didn’t have that father. And for most of his life, he compliantly accepted it. 

“Hm, yet is it only a mere coincidence that your childish and doltish acts have increased since your frequent visits with this… man.” A hand wrinkled with age yet was undoubtedly still firm, set fingertips atop the closed manila folder on the table, icy ebony eyes drifting down to the file before locking gazes with Wonwoo once more. “Influence can be a domitative force, can’t it… immaturity and stupidity being gained from mere days spent in the presence of someone that lives his life in that way.” 

His heart pounded with bitterness upon the degrading words his father calmly spat about the one thing in his life he actually loved and a wry statement dropped from Wonwoo’s lips without much thought to match narrowed eyes, “Then my immaturity and stupidity must’ve been noticed from two years ago then.” 

From the flare in his father’s usually masked eyes, the sharp intake of breath and sudden rigidness in the older man, he knew his father understood the implication of his remark that he had been with Mingyu longer than the older Jeon ever anticipated and the bit of satisfaction Wonwoo got from the slight reaction had the ends of his lips twitching up, which of course, further infuriated the older man. 

“Your abhorrent actions have further proved your impotence and uselessness .” The words were uttered calmly, yet the sneer in his father’s voice was unhidden. “Your obligation is to this family, not the pursuit of your own happiness.” 

Wonwoo scoffed under his breath, breaking eye contact and looking over to the table, unfocused, until further spoken words had his gaze snapping back to the older man in front of him.

“It has been decided that you will take a step further in your education abroad, simultaneously managing the Japan branch, under the guide of Kang that will be accompanying you.” Who will be watching you. Steel eyes peered down at him. “It is expected that time away will give you what you need to… realign your priorities.”

“To indoctrinate me, you mean, so I can return to groveling at your feet and complying to your every wish,” Wonwoo bit out. If his father wanted to cast a frigid glare at him, he could send it right back. It was the one thing the older man had taught his son and the one thing from his father Wonwoo had honed. 

The man took a threatening step forward, agitated. 

“It’s obvious that your time spent with that derelict, lowlife has inflated your ego and back talk,” his father growled demeaningly.

“Inflated…” Wonwoo mocked under his breath, “it’s funny hearing those words when you do the most upstanding job at making sure I stay subservient to you and your beloved company.” 

He would have internally given himself a pat on the back for his jeer and strided away to let his father seeth if the hard slap across his face didn’t engulf all of his senses, the burning red against his cheek stinging from that same, firm, wrinkled hand that he had watched settle atop Mingyu’s file. 

The tiny stumble backwards from the sheer force of his father’s assault was halted when a hand gripped the hair by the nape of his neck, pulling Wonwoo forward. He winced at the forceful hold from his father still in place as hushed words were gritted out, subsiding the ringing in his ears. 

“I don’t need to remind you again to restrain your absonant behavior, do I,” was the stoically calm words that were stated clearly, the underlying threat laced in his words as the grip on his son tightened. “It’s disgraceful.”

Arms were limp by his side, teeth gritting together while Wonwoo noticed his own reflection peering back through angered orbs as he was pulled upward ever so slightly towards his father, as if the man was saying this was his last warning. Without another word, Wonwoo was let go, pushed aside and the sting on his cheek and the back of his nape were the only remnants that his father had ever been with him. 

It wasn’t the first sting of his life; the heart shattering sting in his seven year old chest that constricted his heart when his father dismissed everything he did, the hated sting behind his eyes from suppressed tears of pure frustration, the accidental sting of a burning pot touching his hand for a second because of Mingyu’s clumsy self, the highly anticipated sting he was addicted to as the man he loved fucked into him, caressed him with searing touches, coaxing unrepressed moans from his body. 

It wasn’t the first sting. But he had learned that if his father wanted, he could separate Mingyu from his life if he ever chose to do so, and it wouldn’t just be by an ocean apart. Escaping the enclosure of his cage plus clinging to his light wasn’t as easy as dismissing his responsibilities and walking away hand in hand with Mingyu. 

So he left. With a whispered promise to come back, he left. Four years, seven months and twenty-one days. 

“Lift your leg, baby,” Mingyu’s voice sounds ragged and breathless in his ear, a large hand gently tapping his thigh twice. 

With a quiet groan, Wonwoo listens, wrapping his lithe limb against Mingyu’s waist and is rewarded with a third finger being added to his heat, the pace quickening to match the precise strokes to his pulsing cock that is in the other man’s grasp. 

Before he’s pushed off the edge of the cliff and sees white, the thought of how this position must be a bitch for Mingyu’s wrist and how unpleasurable it must be for the younger man lingers in his mind. Mingyu could have easily turned him around and he would have taken his cock again without much complaint, even if he was already aching from prior rounds, which he was the one that demanded in the first place. But he would have done it. 

Yet, then it wouldn’t be Mingyu, would it. The man always had Wonwoo’s well-being, his pleasure at the forefront of his mind and never pushed him too far, never made him do things he truly didn’t want to do and always made sure his entire body convulsed with pure bliss until he was sated before taking his own pleasure and ending with a messy kiss and whispered adorations.

Leaning forward, Wonwoo presses his lips to the other man, biting lightly to get him to open his mouth. Complying with the unspoken request, Mingyu shifts his head to slot his mouth perfectly against a needy pair, while simultaneously shifting his fingers to continuously abuse Wonwoo’s favored spot until the older man is trembling and cumming in large hands. 

Releasing the other man’s lips, Wonwoo leans his head back against the wall, eyes closed, breath still stolen, relishing the last few pumps into his body before Mingyu moves his hand to massage the older man’s hips. 

“You’re okay, love.” A chaste kiss to Wonwoo’s forehead before his eyes flutter open, heavily staring at Mingyu. All his senses are on fire and the sounds of pounding water that hits the floor along with the steam that licks his skin feel almost beautifully suffocating. 

Pushing off the wall, Wonwoo presses his body flush against Mingyu’s, his head nuzzling against a dampened neck. Arms lightly wrap around the older’s lean waist, while his own hands move from where they were around the other man’s neck to trail down broad shoulders, fingers skimming across a tanned chest in a teasing manner that make Mingyu’s breath slowly start to hitch with every feather light touch around his chest and abdomen. 

A finger and thumb gently lifts Wonwoo’s chin so he could peer up into searching eyes. 

“You good?” Mingyu’s thumb grazes against the older’s slightly parted lips, caressing slowly back and forth. Everything the man does sets his body aflame. Wonwoo only hums in acknowledgement before flicking his tongue out to lick at the thumb against his lips before sliding his mouth over the digit, teeth grazing against calloused skin, his sight glued to dark eyes that watch him carefully. 

The slicked thumb is pulled from his mouth before a knuckle juts his chin back up. “Stop.”  

Behind hooded eyes, Wonwoo smirks, recalling a very similar conversation minutes ago. “Stop what?” he utters, leaving his mouth slightly parted in a teasing manner, tongue flicking out briefly to swipe at his own lips, while large fingers run gently down the side of his neck.

“Stop sucking my thumb.” Mingyu always spoke so candidly, not matching the mood at times.  

Wonwoo lets a short airy breath out, rolling his eyes at the other man’s blunt, unmoving statement before leaning up and nipping the taller man’s jaw. “Wrong.” 

“Wrong what?” Mingyu’s words are grunted out, his hands still kneading Wonwoo’s hips.  

His lips sensually leave his own small red marks down the tanned column of Mingyu’s neck. “Wrong words.” Another small bite to heated skin. 

“What’s the right words then?” Wonwoo grins at how low and breathy the other man’s voice is, knowing Mingyu was barely paying attention to what the older man was saying and more on each hot kiss and bite placed on his flesh. 

“You were supposed to say ‘stop looking at me like that’,” he drops a kiss in the juncture between Mingyu’s neck and shoulder, while his hand slides down a hardened, wet body, “and then I say, ‘like what’,” another kiss on the man’s chest and another even lower as fingers teasingly brush against a growing arousal, “and then you say, ‘like you’re trying to seduce me’,” his hand wraps around the thick length, languidly caressing the heated cock from tip to base, while his body follows the slow descent of kisses he places downwards, until he’s settled on his knees in front of the man, obsidian orbs trailing up to finally meet hooded, blown eyes that peer back down at him, “and then I say ‘I always look like this. It’s my natural face’,” he leans forward, wrapping lips around just the tip of the engorged head, a lick at the slit which pulls a groan from the man. 

Pulling back and looking back up, he traces his tongue against his lips, dampened dark bangs falling in his eyes, “and that’s how the conversation is supposed to go. Not, ‘stop sucking my thumb.’ That’s unarousing.”   

His chin is grasped and tilted up once again, this time his head falling backwards more than previously from the immense difference in height now. 

“Wonwoo...” The rest of Mingyu’s soft spoken words go unsaid, but he knows. He knows Mingyu means to say he doesn’t have to, that the man was satisfied bringing Wonwoo to his own climax. He knows. 

Sliding the hand that was wrapped around the enraged cock from the base to the tip, he thumbs the head gently, coaxing the thin rivulets of thick liquid to coat the digit before moving his lips over where his thumb was and letting his mouth engulf the pulsing length down his relaxed throat. 

He knows. But he wanted to. He wanted Mingyu. 

Because the man became a part of his dream… a part of something bigger he wanted for his life. 

Until Wonwoo met the detail-loving, passionate photographer, until his face felt as if it were on fire with every casual compliment or cheeky remark, until differing views were shared under the moonlight about life, opening his eyes to a world beyond the chains of his father, until his first kiss was gently taken after a futile attempt at making dinner one night, until Mingyu made love to him, held him and spoke those three words in his ear with every ounce of affection laid out in the open, happiness seemed like something that Wonwoo didn’t deserve and couldn’t obtain… a far off dream. 

Dream

They had a weekend. Forty-eight hours.

“What’s your dream?” Mingyu questioned. 

Wonwoo peered down at the man from where he sat, back against the headboard, the younger man’s head on his lap while the rest of Mingyu’s long, naked body was lying diagonally across the bed. Inquisitive eyes peered up at the older man after asking the simple question.

They had a weekend. Kang, his fucking babysitter, had a spontaneous emergency he needed to attend to back in Korea and with the solemn promise to not leave the confines of his modest apartment suite, Wonwoo was left alone for the first time in two years, six months and fourteen days. 

And he kept his promise. He did stay at home, just not alone. 

They had a total of forty-eight hours… with only ten left now. 

Jutting his bottom lip out, Wonwoo hummed, looking down to the wooden flooring in the bedroom. “Dream? Mm, I dunno.” He looked back down at the man whose hair his fingers were mindlessly running through. “Why?”

Mingyu shrugged, “I was thinking about what I wanted to do next. I don’t wanna be working for that company forever and taking the same kind of photos over and over again.” Wonwoo noticed the talking man had slipped his eyes shut, probably enjoying the feel of fingers running against his scalp comfortingly. 

“What kind of pictures do you want to take then?” the older man asked, moving a hand to caress a flawless cheek. 

“Mmm, maybe landscape or fashion or cultural shots.” Mingyu opened his eyes to look back up. “Something like that.”

“Those are three different things.” Wonwoo stated, eyes still scanning over loved features. 

“Yeah,” Mingyu ran a hand through his own hair, before pushing out his lips, eyes staring up at the ceiling in deep thought and concentration. “The goal is to quit the company and travel. I think if I go around the world, I can do all three. Like, visit and see another country’s landscape, experience their culture and different fashion styles.” 

The far off look in the younger man’s eyes had Wonwoo staring; staring at the fiery look of determination, the idealistic plans being seen in Mingyu’s own mind's eye, the excitement that bubbled in dark, coffee colored orbs. 

He didn’t want to lose this moment, didn’t want to forget this look… because it was something he never saw on himself. 

“Wait,” Wonwoo said quietly, patting Mingyu’s head lightly, a wordless signal for the other man to lift his head, which the younger did with a small groan. Sheets slipped from his own bare body as Wonwoo stood up, the cold night air sending a chill through him. He wrapped a hand loosely around his stomach while he bent down to pick up a plain, white shirt that was carelessly forgotten hours ago. “Okay, keep going, you were saying something about London.” 

He slipped the clothing that belonged to the other man over his frigid frame, before walking over to the closet, Mingyu’s voice wrapping the room in a soothing atmosphere that his bedroom had never known until now; the usual icy room now warmed with the heat of two bodies, the usual somber walls looking almost bright, the usual apartment that felt like a prison, finally feeling like a home no matter how short lived that would be. 

“What are you doing?” Mingyu had sat up, his back against the headboard now, while he lifted his head to peek at Wonwoo, who was crouching by the opened closet door, obviously fiddling with something. 

“Nothing, keep going.” With a small smile, Wonwoo unzipped the black, rectangular bag, lifting the lid and peering down at the safely kept present. It had arrived unannounced on his doorstep a year ago on his birthday. It was the only thing that did. 

When he cut open the boxing that had no return address, had no sender information, the slight frown that had adorned his lips at the time, fell.  

‘Happy birthday, love!’  

The recognizable messy scrawls on a yellow sticky note taped to the front of a boxed camera didn’t need a name put to it.

The only prior form of contact that he had with Mingyu was through written letters; letters that were carefully sent and received with the help of some compassionate postal workers that he had practically begged secretly without his stupid babysitter’s knowledge, letters that were kept hidden from his father’s reach, letters that had kept him going for the two years, six months and fourteen days in Japan without a single shedded tear. 

But in that moment, he remembered the race of his heart, the tight constriction in his chest, the suppressed longing that he shoved away, start to heat his body. It had been early in the morning and his despised babysitter wasn’t due for another hour, so he had time to pull his knees to his chest, drop his head and let the stream of built up tears escape quietly in his empty, cold apartment. 

But now, there were no tears and slim fingers gently traced the smooth, dark object before lifting the camera out of its cushioned confines. Standing back up and gently kicking the bag aside while he turned the device on and changed its settings, Wonwoo crawled back on the bed, walking on his knees.

“... and I heard there’s nice weather-- what are you doing?” Mingyu’s thorough explanation of his future plans were interrupted as Wonwoo settled over him, a knee on either side of the younger man’s legs, camera in hand. 

“Nothing, keep going.” Wonwoo peered intently at the camera screen that was recording Mingyu’s confused face, taking in every detail. 

“Are you even listening to me?” A small grumble. 

Wonwoo could feel Mingyu lightly fingering the hem of the white shirt he donned, the material brushing and tickling against his thighs with the casual movements. 

“Yeah, nice weather. Keep going.” He swatted the large hand away from the clothes he wore. 

On the screen he could see Mingyu look directly at the lens, “What are you doing.” 

With a small snicker and a scrunch of his face, Wonwoo zoomed in on the tiny dot that marked the tip of the other man’s nose. “I’m capturing a moment.” He zoomed out. “Tell me more about your dreams, hurry.” 

Since he had received the camera, Wonwoo didn’t have much time to film the things he wanted or capture any moments he felt were worth saving. In total he had three. Three clips. 

The first one was of a sunrise that peeked over the just waking city that was quietly serene, absent of the bustling life that usually filled the streets and buildings that surrounded him. 

The second was of the full moon and the light that it cascaded down upon the darkened city below, capturing the myriad of colors from other lights that didn’t dare compete with the shine of the moon.  

The third wasn’t complete yet. It was still being filmed right now. 

“Wonwoo…”

“Hurry, tell me.” He shuffled forward a little and settled his weight on the other man’s lap, a grin on his face, while obsidian orbs focused on the screen that showed the love of his life before him. 

Mingyu turned his eyes up in thought, “Mmm, overall I want to go beyond this country and what I know, what I’m used to. It’s comfortable here, or well there ,” the man corrected, referring to their home country that neither were at right now, “but I want to do more than just be comfortable.” 

Wonwoo felt hands slip under the loose-fitting shirt, caressing up and down his sides habitually. His hand trembled slightly but he gripped the camera tighter and steadied the bulky object.

“I want to go out and see things that other people might not be able to see and then bring it back and show them what’s out there. You know, like an exhibit or something? Where people show their work? That would be cool,” Mingyu nodded, a short silence enveloping the room before he leaned forward, pushing his face in the camera still filming him. Wonwoo smiled. “So what’s your dream, Mr. Jeon? Tell me.” 

The camera was plucked from Wonwoo’s hands and turned around to face him. Mingyu leaned back until his shoulders hit the headrest, both hands steadying the camera focused on Wonwoo, who still sat atop the other man. 

“I haven’t really given it much thought,” he replied. Why would he? His life had been planned from start to finish. There hadn’t been a point in dreaming about something he couldn’t have. Until now. 

“Anything at the top of your head. Hurry,” Mingyu copied Wonwoo’s former words of haste, with a wide smile while wiggling his legs, making the other man shake slightly. 

Slouching his shoulders a bit and turning his head to think about his answer, Wonwoo’s fingers mindlessly started to caress Mingyu’s bare abdomen, thumbs lightly stroking in opposite directions from under the younger man’s navel, unaware at the shudder that ran through Mingyu’s body from feather light touches. 

“Maybe… visit all the seven wonders of the world. That would be fun,” Wonwoo said, turning his gaze back to the man who continued to film him behind the camera. A familiar sight. 

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. They’re cities, monuments that have lasted for so long...” Wonwoo looked back down to his fingers that gently fluttered along bare, tanned skin. “Withstood everything… time, wars, people . Granted, with a little help and repair. But,” his eyes glanced back up to meet another set, “for the most part they’re still… alive, I guess. Free.” 

Wonwoo watched Mingyu set the camera aside on the bedside table, his stare lingering on the favored birthday present he had ever received. “And they are all in beautiful places that are so far from here,” he muttered before trailing his gaze back to the younger man that shifted to wrap his arms around Wonwoo’s body, pulling him forward in a warm embrace. “I don’t want to be here,” he whispered against the man’s shoulder. I want to be with you.

“I know,” Mingyu’s hold tightened around his frame, “I know.” 

They had a total of forty-eight hours… with only nine left now. 

And he used three of those hours to pretend he had shattered his cage, his fake wings released from their restraints as his body trembled with every promised word whispered in his ear, every sweet praise kissed upon his cheek, every sharp thrust into his body that left him breathless… to pretend that he could feel every inch of the man that held him close, body hot and drenched in sweat, scent lingering everywhere around him forever and not just for another handful of hours… to pretend that he could stand beside Mingyu and support him with every aspiration he had, every dream he desired, just as the man had been there for him. 

They had a total of forty-eight hours… 

And when there was only one hour left, when he was wrapped in the other man’s sleeping embrace that he would have to eventually wake and kiss goodbye, he decided. Just as he had carefully devised every tiny detailed step to send the first hand-written letter to Mingyu without it being intercepted and just as he had stubbornly held onto his desire to stay beside the other man, he would get what he wanted. 

Like with every circumstance in this lush , opulent life he was born in, he needed to plan and make his decisions carefully, meticulously, needed to be dozens of steps ahead of the other player and needed to be convincingly thorough with a mask of obedience that hid his newly dignified self so his father would be unsuspecting as Wonwoo took every tiny step forward to get what he wanted. 

Two years, six months and fourteen days had passed… two years, one month and seven days to go.

He needed to play the game a little longer so he could win. And his win would be his freedom. 

“Fuck.” 

Those stuttered, groaned words send a shudder through Wonwoo’s own body, as he drags his loose lips back to the tip, tongue caressing the cock in his mouth as he moves. Just as Mingyu knew every inch of Wonwoo’s body, every sensitive spot that could make him quiver and tremble with need, every place to stimulate until he came undone with a quiet whimper, Wonwoo knew Mingyu’s. 

Knew that the man was watching with blown, darkened eyes as he let the length slip from the heat of his mouth, only to let deft, lithe fingers stroke the thick engorged member sensually, while his eyes slowly trail up perfectly tanned skin, meeting perfectly colored orbs. Addictive as always. 

Mingyu’s slightly heaving body jerks as Wonwoo’s free hand rakes blunt nails up the front of the man’s thigh, hand finally resting on the younger man’s hips while he leans forward again, taking Mingyu’s cock in his mouth once more. 

“Baby,” the endearment is almost lost behind the stuttered moan that escapes the man’s lips with the tightened pressure of Wonwoo’s lips. 

Feeling fingertips caress his cheek, traveling up to the shell of his ear and tangling in dampened wet locks, Wonwoo lets a low groan vibrate in the back of his throat, while his mouth slides down, enveloping more of Mingyu’s cock, the stutter of the man’s hips bringing a satisfied heat in the pit of the older’s stomach. 

Fluttering his eyes shut, Wonwoo tilts his head slightly to the side. Again, he knows half lidded eyes watch his every movement, picking up every detail of his body. So he lets Mingyu see. Let’s the man view his own handiwork, the reddened mark that is probably already darkening on a slender neck, while Wonwoo’s lips trail back up towards the thickly, slicked tip of the large cock. 

The slight clenching of the hand that is in the older man’s hair has a pitched moan escaping his lips. It was perfect. Always perfect. Mingyu never hurt him, never left him wanting more. It was always perfect. 

“Wonwoo…” 

He only hums in response to his name, the inclination of his head moving a bit more as he tongues the ever spewing slit at the tip of the cock in his mouth, his fingers continuing to work up and down the bare shaft and base, not leaving any part of the man neglected. 

The hand that was gripping Wonwoo’s hair moves to stroke down the side of his exposed neck, Mingyu’s thumb caressing over his made mark on flawless, pale skin. The gentle press down into the bruised area causes a gasp to escape from Wonwoo, the younger man’s length falling from his lips. 

Half opening his eyes, Wonwoo leans into the slight pressure, another mewl voiced. 

He loved it. Reddened marks that would bloom into something darker, contrasting against ivory skin, was something that could unravel Wonwoo unlike anything else. 

They were marks that he allowed, marks that he wanted, marks that were given because he was also desired. Trivial as it may seem, to him, they signified obtaining the things he never had, signified how he had a choice, how he was desired, how he was wanted, how he was loved. 

Increasing the pace of his stroking hand, Wonwoo savors the pressure put on his neck only for a second more before he leans forward once again, slipping his lips over Mingyu’s cock. 

He moves his mouth in time with his hand that gently applies pressure with every downward stroke while his tongue flattens and caresses the underside of the length he moans around.  

The man above does his utmost best to restrain the stuttered thrust of his hips forward into his lover’s experienced mouth and Wonwoo rewards him with the curl of his tongue as he drags his lips back up from the shaft to the tip, following the favored vein under the throbbing cock. 

“Shit--fuck.” 

Wonwoo doesn’t have to open his eyes to see the other man throwing a palm against the glass wall of the shower, head thrown back as he tries to catch a breath and steady himself with a tightening grip to dark hair. He can hear it, he can feel it. 

With another groan let out that vibrates around the member in his mouth, the older increases his pace once again, lashes fluttering against flushed cheeks, hand in tandem with his mouth, as he sends his lover over the brink, swallowing every bit given and pulling out every drop with continued, languid caresses from his lips and tongue alike against the flaccid cock. And only until Mingyu is convulsing from the heated stimulation, does Wonwoo pull his mouth away, tongue swiping his own lips, unintentionally, to lap up any remnants left, a subtle, satisfied noise escaping as he does so. 

Before the thought of provocatively looking up at Mingyu with pretty, obsidian orbs from where he was still kneeling on the wet ground, his arm was gripped, body dragged upwards and pushed against the cold wall. 

Hot lips press against his, arms wrapping his waist in a warm embrace. 

“You’re so fucking hot.” Mingyu’s forehead drops on his shoulder. 

A breathy laugh leaves Wonwoo’s lips before his body is shuffled clumsily by the other man, who is still attached to him, to stand under the pour of the briefly forgotten, warm shower. 

Mingyu lifts his head again, locks now soaked and rivulets of water stream down his face. “I love you, Wonwoo.” 

The older man leans forward, capturing the other man’s lips in a gentle, unhurried, languid kiss, water droplets getting caught between kisses as they stand pressed against each other under the pelting shower. 

Light caresses and kisses were shared with soft conversation spoken, dotted with snickers and giggles as they washed and finished what was intended in the first place. 

It was as if he was living a perfect moment, as if a longed for dream was coming true, as if the world could shatter around him and it wouldn’t matter because he was finally here. 

Shatter 

He had seventy-two hours… and only fourteen left. 

“This is new.” Fingertips ran across the top of the large, oaken conference table that was stained a befitting dark, somber color, contrasting with his own pale complexion. 

Upon setting foot in Korea, not even two days ago, he was summoned by his father, ready to be bound down by another appointed obligation and the new piece of furniture that seemed to have replaced the preceding, pristine, custom made glass table top that had made the dull conference room it’s home for as long as Wonwoo remembered, was the first thing he noticed upon entering the boardroom. 

“The previous one shattered months prior.” His father responded, deep tone austere as ever while the suited man took his place customarily at the head of the table. 

The smile that graced Wonwoo’s lips as he buttoned his blazer and took a seat on one of the many chairs that lined the extensive table, unconsciously slipped. “I see.” How befitting, once again. 

Only fourteen hours left. 

And even as he sat, a leg crossed over the other, waiting with feigned politeness while his father spoke of the arrangement he had contrived between another distinguished family, even as the petite woman who’s downcasted face trailed behind the strides of her parents that walked with a familiar hauteur, even as he watched the exchange of hands shaking and animated talk of the soon-to-be wedded couple, who was not once asked for their approval on the matter, a tiny, defiant smirk laced his lips. 

A tiny, defiant smirk that stayed as uninteresting talk blurred into the background, his mind instead escaping to the first twenty-four hours he was back with the order to stay confined to his apartment with the instructions to stay put, in solitude, until his father had returned from a business trip. And he did, just with Mingyu there. 

A tiny, defiant smirk that stayed while slender fingers pressed down on the hidden red and purple marks that adorned his skin under the snug, cashmere sweater that enveloped his neck as he recalled every missed kissed, every missed touch, every missed adoration that was left on his skin from his lover hours prior. 

A tiny, defiant smirk that stayed as he counted down the hours. 

Only twelve left. 

Because at the end of the countdown, he would take an already packed bag and disappear into the night, no trace left behind. 

Because at the end of the countdown, everything that he had planned for two years, one month and seven days, every detail that he attended to to make his perfect escape would be set into motion. 

Because at the end of the countdown, he would leave with Mingyu and a camera in hand, not bestowing this place even a last glance. 

Because at the end of the countdown, he would be free, leaving behind the shattered glass of what was once his cage.  

The door is open, steam escapes, vanishing into the air, his feet step beyond the ledge, and he’s free. He isn’t met with the frigid cold or a shiver to run down his body. Instead, Wonwoo is enveloped in warmth, with just the perfect coolness to make the deep inhale he takes feeling fresh, feeling calming, feeling relieving. 

Lingering hands that can’t seem to leave his body, wraps a towel around his wet frame, chaste kisses adorned across newly dried shoulders, arms, chest, hair and face. 

Wonwoo dresses, tossing the cotton shirt aside, only slipping a pair of loose pants that hang on his hips. The warm humidity in the air doesn’t call for much clothes. 

And as he turns to hang the towel on the rack, his eyes linger on the empty glass shower, the beads of now cooled water languidly rolling down the transparent walls, the door that was opened by his own hand and left unclosed. The glass encasement was empty. He had left it. 

Asking Mingyu, who was puttering around outside of the bathroom, to bring him his camera, Wonwoo lifts the object to his eye once it was placed in his hands, another shoulder brushing against his own while the quiet click and shutter echo in the room. 

“What’s that for?” Mingyu peers down at the screen that captured the still glass shower lined with a gold frame, one stark, white wall apparent from the rest of the transparent panels that made up the encasement. 

Wonwoo stares down at the picture. The first picture on his camera, unmatching the recorded clips he usually takes. 

“A memento,” he says quietly looking back up at the glass shower. A memento of his past, a memento to fuel his future. 

“Come on.” Fingers wrap around Wonwoo’s wrist, leading him out of the bathroom. “There’s a whole world out there for you to see, yeah?” The balcony door is slid open, and he takes a step outside, his skin draped in the same humid, warm air, a characterization of Thailand. “We can start with this place.” 

It was always him. Mingyu, who never picked up the broken pieces of Wonwoo, but instead showed him how to do so on his own. Mingyu, who never casted judgement to the way he lived, but instead showed him a different life he could pursue. Mingyu, who stayed patiently beside him, taught him, loved him unconditionally until Wonwoo freed himself. 

A smile spreads across his lips, camera moving up to snap another photo, capturing the nightlife of what Thailand, “the land of the free'', had to offer. The translated name of the new country he was in felt befitting. 

Because now he was, too. And it was done with the utmost care to every detail, no matter how small… the fiery passion that was ignited for wanting to separate himself from everything and everyone that locked him away… and the desire to follow his own dream till he shattered the glass cage he had once lived in.