02. Fatal Attraction
How did you end up here out of all places on Earth?
You are currently sitting on Hoseok’s lap in a lucrative sports car that doesn’t have much extra room. However, what it does have is a high price tag, and a reckless driver named Min Yoongi behind the wheel. The only thing higher than the price tag of this cherry red Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is your anxiety.
That’s saying a lot considering this car starts at a quarter of a million dollars.
Yoongi is going well over a hundred miles an hour, swerving through the lanes of one of the many busy expressways that stretch through downtown Seoul. He’s speeding past all the mundane vehicles like minivans and other SUVs, leaving them behind in the dust in a cloud of gray smoke. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice the ghost of a smile tugging at Yoongi’s lips. He’s having way too much fun with this.
“It’s like he’s driving in Grand Theft Auto.” You think to yourself as he presses on the gas eagerly.
The police would be following you right now if they weren’t so corrupted these days. If they aren’t being paid off, they’re being threatened, or blackmailed to do what the thugs want them to. The Kkangpae and Jopok are silently taking over Korea, but still, only one group can rise to the top and lay claim to the crown.
You want nothing more than for Yoongi to reign supreme in this twisted little game of money and power, but you’ve always known that Jeon Jungkook is one damn good player. He’s ahead of the game, practically a master by now, and he’s intent on becoming the champion... even if he has to use other people as pawns. He doesn’t consider that cheating. It’s just collateral damage in his eyes. Besides, like they say, all is fair in love and war.
Jungkook had such an early start to this unrighteous lifestyle after all. From the moment he was born, he began his training to become King of the underground. Jungkook was literally made to endure this lifestyle of pain and destruction.
When he was only a boy, he was trained to never illicit a single cry no matter what happens to him.
By his father who brandished a weapon that he used repeatedly against his own son.
Because pain is the biggest weakest second to none other than joy itself. Pleasure brings more pain than it’s worth. It will bring a man right down to his knees, making him grovel to nothing, becoming a weak shell of the person he once was. To some, joy could be used as strength, but to the Jeon family it was merely regarded as a traitorous weakness. Happiness may give you pleasure, but in the end, it will cause you more pain than anything else. It will leave you weak. And his father always reminded him that it’s better to be dead than it is to be weak. Showing weakness only brings dishonor and shame. It’s not tolerated in their family. It never has been and it never will be.
Jungkook believed it then and he sure as hell believes it now. So, with every day that passes by, he’s becoming stronger in ways that make his father proud but leaves others extremely disappointed. He’s becoming exactly what his father always wanted him to be.
If Yoongi, or somebody else, doesn’t put a stop to his reign of terror, then no one ever will. He will become completely untouchable. Like a ghost. But you’re the only one who seems even remotely worried about that horrifying future. He’s only a prince now, not quite at his full potential, but it won’t be long before he has all the power to rule over the entire underground world. From the very day he chose to be a made man, it has been destined that this would happen eventually.
If it isn’t Jungkook that becomes the patriarch to the Jeon family, and heir to the throne, it will be his half-brother who goes by the name Park Jimin.
Having some half-blood take over the family would be a disgrace to the Jeon name, so Jungkook intentionally made sure Jimin got eliminated from the game early on in a so-called accident. You can’t fight for a kingdom if you can barely walk.
Well, technically, that’s all just stuff you’ve heard through the grapevine... from other made men and gangbangers over the years. You aren’t even sure if any of it is true, but you have every intention of finding out for yourself. Someday. Soon. Very soon.
You’re pulled from your thoughts as Yoongi makes a sudden turn in order to reach an exit he nearly missed. If it wasn’t for Hoseok’s tight grip on your abdomen, you’re sure your forehead would’ve gone on a date with the windshield. Yoongi really needs to pay closer attention or go back to driving school. One or the other.
What are you going to do with that boy?
“I should make sure I still have life insurance.” You glare at Yoongi as you adjust your position in Hoseok’s lap to get comfortable.
Hoseok’s fingers dig into the side of your hips for some reason, applying a bit of pressure every time you move. Maybe you’re hurting him? Your body goes still when you realize your ass might be smashing his precious man goods. That doesn’t really help though. Not with Yoongi driving like a maniac, blasting hip hop tunes from the nineties, handling the wheel like he’s in Mario Kart.
After a while, Hoseok starts swaying in his seat happily, as if he’s trying to dance without using his limbs. He’s practically grinding against your ass in slow rhythmic circles. You want to say something when you feel the presence of something hard beneath you, but you know he’d only blame it on his Gucci belt buckle. Although extremely doubtful, could be the case, so you don’t bother making a complaint. It isn’t until you hear the faint murmur of a soft whimper escape his lips that you know for sure what’s going on. You let out a disgusted sigh, scooting away from him, until you’re at the very edge of his lap. Despite your reaction, your heartbeat starts to race a little faster.
Hoseok pulls on the leash when you try to take the pink collar off your neck, reminding you of who’s in charge around here. To anyone else this embarrassing accessory around your neck might look like any normal choker, but it’s by no means an innocent piece of jewelry. It’s a humiliating device used to put you in your place when you forget where that is.
You want to be mad about that principle, and in all honesty, you definitely are. But still, Yoongi gave you a life when you felt like you didn’t have one worth living. He gave you a place to call home and a group of men to call family after yours was taken away from you. But it all comes with a price... it always has... and a set of rules you have to follow with complete and utter obedience. You’re not allowed to question anything Yoongi says at all. He has terms that everyone has to live by, but you’ve always been a little too stubborn for your own good. It’s gotten you in more trouble than it’s really worth.
Hence, why you’re sitting here in Hoseok’s lap on your way to see The Counselor. If you’d just followed Yoongi’s orders to leave Jungkook alone, you wouldn’t be in this situation. You don’t regret it though. Not at all. You’ll keep thinking about Jungkook and planning your revenge against him until it happens—or until you die—whichever comes first for you. But you’ll keep it a secret from everyone else. Even from Yoongi.
Because if he isn’t going to help you, then he’s only standing in your way.
In fact, he might even have to go down with Jungkook in the bitter end. That’s hard for you to admit after everything he’s done for you, but you always knew it could come to that. They’re two sides of the same coin after all. Neither of them can be described as good, or innocent people, but neither can you. Maybe you deserve to go down with them too. It’s not like you haven’t been, though. You’ve been falling from grace ever since the day you met Jungkook. Your life would be so different... so much better... if the two of you had never crossed paths. The life you could’ve had was stripped away from you by the very hands you held that day, playing in the field at your family’s farm. If only you knew what was going to happen...
“We’re here.” Yoongi swerves into an empty parking garage, hitting the breaks haphazardly, as the car skids to an abrupt stop. You put your hands on the dashboard to brace yourself from the rough impact, but Hoseok tightens his arms around you to stop you from hitting the windshield. Again. He’s really playing up the knight in shining armor guise today. You’ll never let him be your savior though. Not when he could be your greatest downfall.
“I got you.” His melodic voice is a whisper in your ear as he softens his grip beneath your breasts. If he raised his arms just half an inch higher...
“Get the hell off me.” You elbow Hoseok in the rib cage, earning a grunt of dissatisfaction from him, as you reach for the door handle to step out of the sports car. Hmph. Serves him right. You like it much better when he’s groaning in pain rather than when he’s moaning in satisfaction. You make it a couple steps onto the black asphalt, smiling smugly, before you’re being choked back by the leash. Your smile dissolves instantly as you cock your head to see Hoseok giving you a sly smile of his own. For God’s sake. Really?
“Now that wasn’t very polite, ____.” Hoseok says with a bitter pout, his eyes narrowed in your direction. “Where are your manners, young lady? You should respect your elders.”
“And where was your respect for me when you were dry humping me like a dog in heat?” You arch a brow, letting a sigh of disappointment escape your parted lips. Your fingers run across the collar on your neck as a thought suddenly crosses your mind. “You’re the one who should be kept on a leash, boy.”
“As long as you’re the only one on the other end of it.” He gives you a wry wink, pulling you in the direction toward the office building. He’s dragging you along like it’s his job, tugging you extra hard when he notices your becoming defiant the closer you get toward the entrance. “You’re not being a very good girl right now.”
“When am I ever?” You cross your arms over your breasts, rolling your eyes. That captures Hoseok’s attention, making him arch an inquisitive brow, lost in corrupt curiosity. He’s not looking at you. He’s looking at your boobs, which you inadvertently pushed up when you folded your arms over your chest, giving him the perfect view. You practically put your breasts on a shelf for him to see.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk. Such a bad girl.” He responds with a glint in his eyes, letting a chuckle full of amusement escape his throat. “I think you want to be punished.”
“I’m already being punished.” You give him a sarcastic wink, turning your back toward his towering silhouette, leaving him to chase after you. “Being around you is the worst kind of torture there is.”
“You really think so?” He yanks on the leash with all the strength he has, pulling you back to his waiting arms without a single struggle. Your back meets his warm chest instantly as he wraps one arm around your middle. Hoseok’s head lingers near your shoulder where his breath is hot against the nape of your neck. It’s somehow both comforting and concerning to you. He triggers both your survival and primal instinct. It’s so bizarre. “Because I think I can make things a lot worse.”
Where the hell is Yoongi when you need him? Oh, that’s right! Nowhere to be found as per usual.
“That’s the thing about hitting rock bottom...” You turn around in his grasp, placing your hand on his taut ridged abdomen. He thinks you’re falling for his trap, that you’re going to take the bait, and pull him closer. It’s what every other female has done in your current position. Not too many people can resist his boyish charm, but you can, so you do the unthinkable. You push him away from you. “Once you hit the very bottom, you can’t possibly get any lower.”
“A hole can always be dug deeper.” He replies through clenched teeth, tugging you toward the entrance of the building. You walk through the doors silently, waiting for Hoseok to finish talking. You know better than to interrupt him in the middle of a speech. “There’s only one true rock bottom for people like us and that’s when we’re buried six feet below the dirt. Everything else that happens is just... an unfortunate inconvenience for us. If you think you’re going to be stuck at rock bottom, then you’ll never get to be on the top of the world. Do you like the view from down here, ____?”
When you don’t answer his question, he takes the opportunity to answer the question himself.
“I like the view from inside an airplane better myself.” His lips quirk into a small smile, alleviating the stormy look that had overtaken his eyes only moments ago. “Maybe that’s why I always have my head in the clouds.”
You shake your head as you walk into the open foyer of the office building, ignoring everything he just said. It’s too early for Hoseok to send you into an existential crisis. Today has already been hard enough on you, and if you’re being honest with yourself, you know it’s about to get ten times worse. The Counselor is supposed to help you solve all your problems, but he just creates more of them for you to deal with.
A secretary with long black hair, pulled into a tight ponytail, comes to your aid, greeting both you and Hoseok at the door. You’ve come to know her by the name of Soojin, but she insists that you only call her by Ms. Seo during your visits. For a business specifically catered to criminals, and other sketchy clientele, they’re oddly professional here.
This building is home to several businesses, all of which serve to keep the underground, well, underground. There’s a financial advisor that helps with money laundering and transferring assets, a law firm that settles any legal issues that may arise, a doctor’s office for any unfortunate injuries that may need taken care of without public knowledge, and then there’s a counselor on the top floor. Apparently, when you live a life filled with criminal activity, you’re bound to need a little professional help at some point. If PTSD doesn’t get to you, paranoia, anxiety, or depression certainly will.
It makes sense considering most of these criminals are serial murderers. That’s got to fuck with your mentality eventually. Not many people can handle playing the role of God, but Jeon Jungkook can. It makes your skin crawl knowing that he’s still able to sleep peacefully at night after everything he’s done. You’re the victim here and you can’t even remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. The nightmares haunt you every time you close your eyes.
“____?” Soojin, the secretary, is looking down at you expectantly. She’s gesturing toward an open elevator that Hoseok’s already pushed the bottom for. He’s pulling at your collar lightly, but Soojin pays no mind to it. Anyone else would be so confused by your odd accessory, but she’s paid to be more than just a secretary. She’s paid to turn a blind eye. She is paid for her silence. They all are. “He’s been waiting to see you for a while now.”
You don’t say?
You ended your visits three weeks ago with the knowledge that you’d never have to come back. The way you left things with your counselor was... a little impractical... but damn did he deserve it. Besides, it’s not like things between the two of you had ever been normal. They were fucked up from the very beginning.
Hesitantly, you step into the elevator to join Hoseok. His pink lips are curled into a bright smile that makes you feel uneasy. He’s humming to the music coming from the elevator speakers, as the silvers doors come to a sudden close, making you feel trapped in the small space. The atmosphere is so light around you, but the ambiance in your heart holds nothing but darkness.
Something bad is going to happen.
The elevator dings abruptly, the doors opening to the top floor. You step out with Hoseok leading the way, ending up in an empty hallway. There’s nothing out here except for a lone door at the very end of the hall. Even from here, you can make out the name on the gold plaque. There’s nothing sinister about it, but you can’t deny the chill that runs down your spine. You never thought you’d have to see him again, but here you are, and he’s right behind that door.
Kim Namjoon, MA