☾ 32 ☾
It’s a relief for Taehyung when he realises he’s woken before Jungkook, what he was planning to do is definitely something his mate wouldn’t let him go through with if he knew. Ever so quietly he rises to his feet, trying his best to make as little movement as possible in order to not wake Jungkook. He pads out of the room at a snail’s pace, nervously gritting his teeth as he goes. He lets out a grateful sigh once he gets to the bedroom without alerting anyone, quickly making his way to shift back into his human form and throw on some clothes before all of his sneaky efforts go to waste.
Truthfully, he hates doing anything behind Jungkook’s back, the guilt is practically crippling whenever he does. He puts it down to the mate bond, he knows his wolf hates disobeying his mate but he just can’t help but need to do this. So with a deep breath, he quietly makes his way out of the back door of the cabin and into the woods, pulling his jumper over his hands in comfort as he walks.
In hindsight, Taehyung knew it was a stupid idea to go out looking for a dead body alone, but his urge to keep anybody from ever finding it was clouding his judgement. It was all to protect Jungkook, to prevent anybody from ever knowing what really happened to Jaehyun. So he carries on searching through the trees, keeping his breathing steady with every turn he makes. But no amount of steady breathing could prevent the wind being knocked out of him when he actually finds what he was looking for.
What hits him first is the smell, the most gut-wrenching smell that has ever surrounded him. His stomach is weakened by it before he even has Jaehyun’s body in his sight. ‘You can do this Taehyung, it’s just a person… okay a dead person, but all of this is to keep Jungkook safe. We need to keep Jungkook safe’, he repeats the words within his head to keep himself from backing out and makes his way towards the smell.
When he finally reaches the body he finds out that the smell was just the beginning of the horror story, the body was so much worse to look at. He stills as his eyes rake over the corpse, shocked but not surprised that Jungkook was able to do so much damage. But there is no pity as Taehyung looks upon him, instead, he wishes he had the guts to spit on him before he buried him under the forest floor.
Jaehyun almost took everything away from Taehyung in his final last act of spite, he almost managed to kill the one person who makes everything in his life so much better. There was no remorse for what he had done, he knows that even as Jaehyun laid here dying there was no guilt or regret in his mind. He can only imagine him filled with anger, hatred for his whole family. And that thought makes it so much easier for Taehyung to put him in the dirt.
The shower Taehyung takes once he arrives back home is possibly the longest one he has ever taken. He couldn’t stop scrubbing his skin, wanting to get every trace of all of this off of him. It was just as if he could scrub off the memories, and he thinks that maybe if he scrubs hard enough he might just be able to. But obviously, nothing is that easy to forget.
Jungkook is awake when Taehyung finally makes his way back into the living area, which doesn’t surprise him at all. He can tell by Jungkook’s eyes that he’s looking for answers as to where he’s been, possibly why he was showering for so long also. That’s the beauty of him being in wolf form, he can’t pry for answers.
Instead of letting on that he knows just what Jungkook is thinking he flashes him a bright smile as he walks into the room, heading straight to the kitchen to start preparing breakfast. “I can’t wait until you’re back on your feet again, I much prefer it when you cook.”
Jungkook huffs out and Taehyung knows full well it wasn’t related to his comment, but he continues the act regardless. “Okay fine, maybe I have got a little too reliant on you doing everything for me.”
The wolf narrows his eyes, something Taehyung pretends not to see as he busies himself in the kitchen. There’s not a chance he’s going to let Jungkook know what he was really doing today, he’ll come up with a good excuse to hide it. Keeping secrets from his mate is wrong, he knows full well that it is. But for the sake of moving on with everything, he’s willing to let this one stay just that.
“Okay I can’t decide what to make, so blink once for bacon and twice for eggs… maybe three times if you want both,” Taehyung says as he turns to get a response only to find himself in an empty room. “Kookoo?”
A wave of confusion and panic rushes through him as his eyes dart around the room, his mind racing with questions. It then he hears a thump coming from the bedroom, and he doesn’t even wait a second before he’s running after the noise to investigate.
There he finds the younger in his human form, wincing in pain on the bed as he attempts to pull his shirt over his head. “What the hell are you doing?!” Taehyung yells in panic as he rushes over to help.
“Trying to dress myself, what else would I be doing?”
“Now is not the time for your sass! What about the bad things you told me about shifting when injured? What if you hurt yourself more?!” Taehyung sighs as he moves to check Jungkook’s wound, his eyes narrowing when he sees a small drop of blood. “You’ve torn your stitches which thankfully is minor compared to what could’ve happened.”
“Shh. Lay on your side and wait for me to get the medical supplies, do not move.”
Jungkook sighs as he follows the order, carefully laying down on his side as he watches the door and waits for Taehyung to come back. He’s quiet when the elder returns, staying that way as he lays still and allows his mate to patch him up.
“You’re so annoying, do you know that? Why did you shift? I’m handling things on my own for now, I just wanted you to rest and heal up.”
“I know you did. But you’re not talking to me when I know for sure something is wrong, and I can’t pester you for answers in wolf form,” Jungkook tries his hand at a joke, feeling lighter when Taehyung lets out a small laugh at his statement.
“I was actually grateful for that.”
“So are you going to tell me where you were this morning?”
Taehyung takes a deep breath as he finishes securing Jungkook’s bandages, his heart thumping loudly in his chest as he racks his mind for an excuse that would sound somewhat believable. “I needed some air so I went for a walk, no biggie.”
“You really think I’m going to buy that?” Jungkook slowly sits up as he eyes the elder, patiently waiting to hear the truth.
“There’s nothing to buy, that’s what happened.”
“You went out to look for the body, didn’t you?”
Taehyung stills, his eyes darting down to his lap to try and hide his expression. He should’ve known Jungkook would figure it out by himself, there was no chance of him ever keeping things from him. “No…” He sheepishly replies, despite the fact he’s been caught.
“Don’t lie to me, Tae.”
“Nuh uh, don’t use your alpha tone to try and get me to talk!”
“Just tell me the truth then, shouldn’t we always be honest with each other?” Jungkook places his hand on Taehyung’s thigh, an attempt to sweeten the tense air forming around them.
“Okay fine, I went out to look for Jaehyun.”
“I told you not to do that, nobody would’ve ever found him-“
“But what if they did, Kookoo? We’re the first people the police would question, they’d realise we are suspicious and start digging and we’d end up as experiments! What kind of life would that be for our babies? I needed to get rid of anything that could make me lose you, I can’t lose you Jungkook.”
Jungkook pushes past the extreme pain in his side and brings Taehyung into his arms for a tight hug, the elder happily complying as the tears slip from his eyes. “You won’t lose me, you know that.”
“Do I? I almost did and it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever had to deal with, I can’t go through that again.” Taehyung cries, his hands fisting into Jungkook’s shirt to try and ground himself.
“I know, pup. I’m sorry you had to go through that, I wish I could change what happened.”
“I just want to protect you, the way you always protect us.”
“And I love you for that, so, so much.” Jungkook places a gentle kiss onto the top of Taehyung’s head, a slight feeling of relief running through him when the elders crying finally simmer down to soft sniffles.
“It was so stupid of you to shift, but I’m kinda glad you did… I can’t properly kiss you in wolf form,” Taehyung smiles as he raises his head. He looks into Jungkook’s eyes for a second before leaning forward and connecting their lips, his heart somersaulting from the feeling. “And for the record, I love you too. So, so, so, SO much.”
Bad memories will fade with time, or so Taehyung hopes. But, as long as he’s got Jungkook to hold him and tell him everything is okay he knows he’ll be fine. Nothing makes him feel safer than being wrapped up in his mates’ arms, and he knows that this is all he’ll ever need to get him through anything that life throws at him.