He felt their makeshift bed move as Yoongi got up, but he only went as far as the nearest empty bunk. Leaving Namjoon holding Hoseok, and Taehyung wrapped tightly around Jungkook, Jin stood and went to Yoongi.
He sat on the bed facing Yoongi but making sure that no part of his body touched the other. This was the hardest part of seeing his brother so traumatized. What most of the public did not know was that Yoongi liked to snuggle and if he didn’t have Taehyung to wrap around, then he always came to Jin. He would smile and say that besides Tae-ah it was his Seokjin hyung who had the warmest hugs. Right now, Jin ached to wrap Yoongi in his arms and give him some comfort.
When Yoongi looked up at Jin, the eldest could see the tears running down his face.
Yoongi hung his head once more in shame, his fingernails digging into the palm of his hand as he attempted to control his emotions.
Jin felt his own tears start to fall, especially when Yoongi held out a timid hand to him as he continued speaking.
“It hurts, hyung…it hurts a lot. But what makes it so much worse is you can’t stop it. I fought back, hyung; as hard as I could, I fought back, but in the end, they still did what they did. And now that is happening to Jimin-ah and there is nothing we can do to stop it.”
Yoongis hand tightened painfully in Jins, but the other said nothing.
“I know that he didn’t mean what he said, but it cut like a knife. And suddenly I was back in that room feeling every touch, smelling their scent, hearing their words, their weight on top of me... I wanted to die... It is a thousand times worse now because I know that Jimin is letting it happen, not fighting back; and it is because of us.”
Jin felt his soul break when letting go of his hand, Yoongi wrapped himself around Jin and buried his face in the older mans neck as harsh sobs shook his frame. With great care Jin moved his arms to embrace his broken brother.
“Yoon-ah, you are probably right… Jiminie is somehow doing this for us. So, we owe it to him to live. To survive. We must trust Mathan and do everything he says so all seven of us get out of here. Whatever our brother is enduring, when we are free of this place we will be there to comfort him….and you….and Kookie.”
The opening of the steel door woke both Jin and Yoongi, who had fallen into sleep holding one another. The two rose in panic at the sight of Sven with a group they had not seen before.
“I understand that some of you are under the weather, so for today we will skip Jung Hoseok, Kim Taehyung, and Jeon Jungkook. However Kim Seokjin, Kim Namjoon and Min Yoongi will present themselves please.”
The three in question moved forward, remembering Mathans words of caution about this man. Jin felt Yoongi take his hand and he in turn grabbed Namjoons.
The man simply smiled at their entwined hands.
“All of you are looking a little worse for wear, so my people here are going to take care of that. They are going to groom and take care of your appearance; much like your stylists would back home.”
Sven walked up to Jin and took a lock of hair between his fingers.
“What were those people thinking, Kim Seokjin-ssi? Blonde is not a color you should ever have,” the Russian man chided.
Moving back, Sven ordered his people, all in Hangul, to give the three the full treatment, including taking their hair back to their natural colors.
They were further horrified to see another person walk in with a chair that Sven promptly sat down in. But it was the sight of Jimin walking in dressed as if he had just stepped off one of their stages and sitting down on the mans lap that broke their hearts all over again.
Taehyung watched Jimin nod his head in response to whatever Sven had whispered to him as he hooked an arm around the monsters neck. But it was Jimins other arm that caught his attention, hanging limp off his lap but with his hand curved in the heart symbol they used. He looked up in time to see Jimin glancing in his direction and as their eyes met the dancer gave the barest nod before looking back at the monster and smiling.
He turned, watching as Namjoon, Yoongi and Seokjin were primped and their hair dyed back to match their roots. Leaning in to Hoseok, Taehyung whispered close to the mans ear so as to not be recorded.
“Keep your eyes on Jimin-ah, he just sent me a signal.”
Anything else that they might have said was interrupted by the shout of Min Yoongi the minute one of Svens people tried to touch him.
All of BTS except Jungkook who was still unconscious went still at Yoongi’s shout.
Jin, who had been standing by the table rubbing a towel through his restored to black hair looked over at Sven in time to see the man push Jimin from his lap and stand.
But it was the look of absolute terror on Jimins face that had Jin moving quickly to Yoongis side to try and calm his hyung.
“Do we have a problem, Min Yoongi-ssi?” The cold voice of the Russian man asked.
The man calmly walked over to where his people had set up.
Yoongi snarled at the man in his rage, smacking away the hand that Jin had tried to lay on his shoulder.
“I don’t need to be groomed like some show dog and I don’t want these assholes touching me. So, no, there is no problem…”
Staring at Yoongi Sven called out, “Park Jimin-ssi.”
They all watched in fear as Jimin walked slowly up to the man, only to cry out when the man grabbed him by the neck, forcing him to his knees.
“You, Min Yoongi-ssi, are going to sit quietly in that chair while my people work on you. They are going to groom you and dye your hair back to the color that I want. And do you know why?” As he spoke they could see Sven squeezing Jimins neck as well as hear their brothers painful cry. “From this position I can easily snap his neck or make him suck me off. You can choose, Min Yoongi. Or you can choose to sit like a good boy and neither of those things will happen.”
The rapper sat down in the chair quietly while tears fell from his eyes.
As Sven and his posse left, Mathan arrived, one eyebrow raised as he watched thirty people file out of the tiny room, almost choking when he saw the made over members.
“What…just happened?” Mathan asked as he looked around, taking inventory of the room. “What did that sick fuck do to you now?”
Namjoon sat at the table gazing at Jin try to comfort an almost hysterical Yoongi. He barely glanced at Mathan as he answered.
“That man decided we needed to look better than we do. I guess he doesn’t realize that being held hostage for almost three months takes something of a persons looks.” In a rage the leader of BTS smashed a fist down on the table. “When Yoongi objected to the beauty treatment that monster used Jimin against him.” Namjoon looked at Mathan as tears welled. “He forced Jimin to his knees and said…”
Namjoon could only shake his head; he couldn’t make himself repeat what that man had said. The look on Yoongis face as well as the painful cry uttered by Jimin would haunt his nightmares forever. Then having to watch that sick freak make Jimin hug him after Yoongi sat down to be groomed was too much to bear.
“Did you know he makes Jimin wear some kind of collar to show his ownership? Sven apologized to him for causing the jewel to bruise his throat, right in front of us, Mathan-ah.”
Mathan looked at the ground and nodded.
“It’s his family symbol,” he said, looking back up. “A raven. He intends for your brother to wear that for the rest of his life like a scarlet letter. It is what proves to others that he belongs solely to Sven, and is off limits to everyone else. He will tell Jimin-ssi that it is an honor to have such a fine piece of jewelry, and that said token of his love and adoration will provide your brother, and by extension the rest of you, a life of refined luxury for the rest of your days. All Park Jimin has to do is bow down to the sick fuck and do whatever he is told until the day he dies, or Sven is overthrown. Jimin will never know that while the six of you will perhaps live in refined spaces, you will be nothing more than sex toys and trophies to Svens highest bidders, and when your new owners break you, Sven will punish your brother for it and make him believe that it is all his fault.”
The three members looked at eachother in horror before looking back at Mathan.
“How…do you know…” Jin started, staring at the man before him.
Reaching into his pocket Mathan pulled out a broken choker identical to the one Jimin was wearing.
“That sick, twisted, demented soul holds so tightly to Park Jimin, and tries so desperately to break him, because the last shining jewel he had almost had him gutted before running for her life,” Mathan said. “He will not risk someone escaping him again, or being captured to answer for his numerous crimes. Which is why we all need to work together so that when we leave this godforsaken place, it won’t be all that hard to bring your brother with us, because I’ll be damned if I leave someone behind on a mission under my control.”
Jin walked up to Mathan and gently took the broken piece of jewelry from his hand. It was exactly like the one they had seen Jimin wearing. Looking up into the other mans face he felt a shiver of fear go through him at the murderous rage he could see burning there. But at the same time Jin had never felt more relief than he did at that moment. He had begun to doubt that any of them would ever leave this place alive, but now gazing up at Mathan a sense of real hope blossomed in Jins soul.
“What…you…need of us, Mathan-ssi?” Jin asked holding out the broken choker to Mathan.
Mathan gently took the choker and placed it back in his pocket.
“I have medicine coming for your brother,” he said. “I have negotiated a work out room for the lot of you, and if you behave, I can take you outside in turns for a few minutes a day, but the key word in all of this is BEHAVE. Do not try to run away from me or I will be forced to hurt you in ways you haven’t even seen. In the meantime, the dumbasses that run this joint plan to sell you from underneath Sven for twice what they were asking, and I am going to use that to our advantage to distract dumb and dumber from the real plans. As long as Dorian and Sven are fighting eachother they will have no time for any of you. Not even your brother. I need you all to start eating as much as you can stomach, work out til you think you will die, and start paying attention to everything and everyone. You will need your own basic knowledge when shit goes down.”
“So, there isn’t anything we can do for Jimin-ah right now, is there?” A voice spoke that most of the members of BTS in the room had not heard since his beating.
Taehyung sat on the mound of blankets and mattresses holding Jungkook. He gave a weary smile at the surprised looks from Namjoon and Jin.
“The one who did this to me; I saw his face that night.” Taeyhung waved his unhurt hand at himself. “He said not to tell or he would finish me. After that, every time I opened my mouth all I could hear was his voice telling me to be quiet, and I couldn’t make myself speak.”
“Carl is a dead man walking,” Mathan growled, his eyes blazing at the promise. “The most important thing you can do for your brother is to get better, keep your heads down, get your conditions back, be ready to run at a moments notice, and never look back because when we go this place will burn. You six need to help Hoseok get his strength back. He will have to run on his own. I will work on getting the sick one better because right now he won’t make it out of here alive. You all need to be able to fight, and win. These guards aren’t shit. Trust me. Plan in your down time. I’ll let you know when the cameras malfunction. And don’t act like anything is different. Just go with the flow. Dorian is going to try to break you again and tell you that the world has forgotten you, but they haven’t. Don’t believe anything he shows you because I have seen different. I’m not sure what a lot of it means, but…my contact told me it was all a big deal so…just hold on to that if you need something to keep you going…”
*GRAPHICS ADDED AND WORKING*
Back home, and even around the world, citizens were up in arms. Several protests were under way against the South Korean government for the decisions they had made using baseless facts. After nearly a month there had yet to be a concrete answer as to what had made Bangtan Sonyeondans murderers ‘terrorists’. The United States Department of Homeland Security had turned up nothing from Hitman Bangs request, and no further communications had come from the kidnappers.
Netizens everywhere demanded an answer for how seven bodies just disappeared, but without a starting point, no recovery efforts were ordered, and thus the world felt that they could not move on from their joint moment of grief.
Worldwide, music fans had gathered together, voting around the clock and petitioning various awards shows and as each show hit, as an honor to their memory, Bangtan Sonyeondan swept every category they had been eligible for.
It was during this time that some in the industry began raising questions about the stability of Big Hit Entertainment; quiet whispers wondering if the awards had truly been deserved or if they were in fact pity trophies given to a company who was once again plummeting towards financial ruin with the loss of their only successful group. SoMe, even said (cautiously, of course) that the kidnapping had been an inside job that had backfired and that Bang Si-hyuk was desperately grasping at straws in an attempt to cover himself when the truth finally came out. His lack of reply, in the eyes of the public, was as equally concerning as the accusation itself.
Much like a shark smelling blood in the water, SM Entertainment saw an opportunity and took it. As Big Hit was a privately owned company they went after the capital investment firm that had backed Hitman, and so took over the investment and any loans taken out on behalf of Hitman and Big Hit. This included the money that the company raised intended for use as the ransom.
Within a matter of weeks Bang Si-hyuk found himself no longer in control of the very company he had founded.
The news broke like a raging storm and caused even further discord amongst citizens when SM declared that it would do everything in its power to work with the South Korean government, granting access to every private record of not only Big Hit, but of everything that had happened on agency recorded lines of communication, including conversations between Bang Si-hyuk and the now deceased Bangtan Sonyeondan, as well as any personal communications the boys had made.
Back in Hell, it made the captors even greedier. As they researched the new company, their thirst for money grew exponentially. Dorian plotted new ways to bring BTS back to life, drawing up new demands for double what they had originally requested, and making escape plans to get around the ever annoying Sven. Mistakenly he shared his plans with Mathan, and seeing the door open wide, Mathan colluded to share his new found knowledge with Sven.
Making his way to the mans private quarters he wasted no time in disposing of his annoying lackeys, knocking on the door and politely waiting for the monster to answer. Now was the time to plant the seeds of doubt so that when the time to run came, Sven would only look at Dorian Foley, allowing BTS to get away.
Sven opened the door and seeing Mathan waved him in.
Right away Mathans eyes sought out Jimin and he truly felt something in his soul give way. Sven had had one of those big recliners brought in and right now Jimin was curled up in it watching some Korean movie. It was the sight of the young Korean man tightly clutching a large white teddy bear like a frightened child that broke something within Mathan.
What truly scared him was the fact that Jimin never looked away from the television. Not even when he started speaking to Sven.
“Thought I should give you the heads up. Some multi-million-dollar Korean music company just swallowed up Big Hit Entertainment.” Mathan glanced towards Jimin to see if there was any reaction to hearing his companys name. He thought he saw a slight tightening of the arms around the teddy bear but Jimin never turned away from the television.
“They gave a statement announcing the release of all this BTS memorial stuff, albums and so on. The press is speculating that this will generate hundreds of millions of dollars for this company, SM…something...I think.” He watched Sven to see if the Russian picked on what he was trying to hint at. Mathan knew that Sven was aware of dear old dads greed and he needed to play that card. “I sure hope you locked down your ownership on these guys…”
Sven crossed over to the recliner and laid a hand on Jimins shoulder. The young man showed no reaction whatsoever and this really made Mathan sick to his stomach.
“I am sure that your father will keep in mind that I have already paid him a great deal of money for these seven young men. Surely he is not foolish enough to think that I would stand idly by while he double-crosses me. I thank you for the warning and suggest you counsel Dorian to be cautious in return.”
Running his fingers through Jimins hair Sven pointed to the door and nodded, indicating that Mathans welcome was over.
Mathan rolled his eyes. He was not about to school his father on shit. The quicker the bastard died, the better off the world would be. He would, however, school Bangtan Sonyeondan just so he knew what kind of shit he was really getting in to. Swinging by the control room and shutting down the system Mathan barged in to BTS’ prison and looked around.
“How is he?” he asked, pointing to Jungkook.
Jin just shook his head sadly.
“He’s…not…good,” he said softly.
“We have a problem,” Mathan said. “I think.”
He had tried to call his outside source but all they had done was laugh.
“Who is SME?” he asked, looking at the three eldest members sitting at the table.
Namjoon looked at Mathan in confusion for a moment.
“If you are talking about home, it would be SM Entertainment. They are one of the big three music companies, if not the biggest. Then it is JYP and YG after that. But SME isn’t a good company to work for. They scouted both Seokjin hyung and Jungkookie to work for them.”
Jin nodded at what Namjoon was saying, then added, “Hear that…they…not treat their...idols well. Bad… things…”
“What my brother is trying to say is they treat their idols like shit; slave contracts and rumors of forced sexual servitude. Is that what you wanted to know?” Yoongi asked in perfect English sarcastically.
“Fuck me!” Mathan groaned, looking around the room, trying to decide how to handle the situation now.
“And…how…or…why…would they go about…acquiring…other companies?” he asked, not looking at the members.
This time Yoongi took the lead in answering.
“Well as to how, whatever method wouldn’t be honest. SME is known for backroom deals and under the table money. It is how they keep their idols on top. What is really bad is that most of their idols are really fucking talented, but every aspect of their lives are controlled by the company, especially artistic.” Yoongi paused thinking about Mathans question. “As to why, that answer is simple. Greed and fear. SME has been going after any independent or small company and talent that pose a direct threat to them. PD-nim said it was fear that SME would lose control over their own talent if small independent companies were seen to have success. The greed is that if SME sees any money being made that is in direct competition to them they will do everything in their power to take it away or destroy it.”
Namjoon and Jin nodded in agreement at Yoongis words causing Mathan to pale considerably.
“Fuck…” he breathed, his hand scrubbing over his face as he processed this new information. “So…having someone…”
Mathan couldn’t even finish his sentence. He knew this was bad.
“BigHit Entertainment is no more,” he said softly, looking at the boys to gauge their reaction.
“What do mean Big Hit Entertainment is no more?” Namjoon asked the older man in disbelief. “That doesn’t make any sense. PD-nim owns the company, he would never sell or give it away.”
Yoongi looked from Mathan to Namjoon and suddenly the mans questions started to make a connection in his mind.
“Joon-ah…he is trying to tell us that somehow SME has taken Big Hit away from PD-nim. Isn’t that right, Mathan-ah?”
Mathan just nodded.
“SME may have…causally...mentioned…that your kidnapping and death…was an inside job and that the ransom demand was conveniently just enough to pay off all of BigHits remaining debts. Bang Si-hyuk is now being investigated on roughly two dozen charges and, since SME paid off all of BigHits outstanding debt, they now own the company, and all rights to your associated merchandise which they are releasing for insane prices as memorabilia. All of your discography has been re-released and sold out twice, and…you are apparently nominated for…stuff…and…something about Billboard and…I really don’t speak that language so…”
Mathan pulled out his phone and looked at something before continuing.
“SME has also gained access to all of your personal belongings and…it’s really bad from what I can tell… All of your money…computers…cameras…notes…it’s all tied up and…your families…”
Even as sick as he looked Namjoon turned and translated everything Mathan had just told them to Taehyung and Hoseok.
“How can they just take our belongings like that; those things should go to our families.”
At that moment Hoseok couldn’t care less about the money, but his personal items being looked at by strangers... It was hard enough thinking about his family going through those items, seeing the personal pictures he had taken with Namjoon, reading his private diary, learning things about their son that might shock them. But now strangers would be seeing all that and he knew enough about SME to know they would use all of that to their advantage, not caring who they hurt or destroyed in the process.
“Surely there must be something our families can do to stop that madness?” Jin asked Namjoon, forgetting for a second that Mathan was in the room.
"Your personal belongings have been turned over to the authorities to clear you all of any wrong doing since according to SM you seven were ‘obviously brainwashed’,” Mathan said. “After that they are to be made into documentaries and the originals will be auctioned off to the highest bidders as authentic collectable memorabilia. Since SME has the crookedest lawyers around, fighting them will be hard. I know some people are looking in to it privately but…”
Mathan didn’t want to continue.
“SME is saying that because you had not finished the terms of your contract, your bank accounts and personal items have been seized as recompense for lost expenses to terminate said contract. The only one who got bought out was you, Seokjin. My resources tell me your father dropped the check off himself and was able to recover your bank card and personal belongings from the police station. Everyone else…”
No one else had that kind of money. They had all come from humble backgrounds.
“I promise we have people working on it. My contact said SME would win over her cold lifeless body and…she sounded really determined so…”,
“So even if we somehow escape this hell, we will go from one monster owner to another. Well, at least six of us will...” Yoongi cast a sideways glance at Jin. “And hell, maybe Kookie-ssi will get lucky and just die here, so he doesn’t have to worry about it.”
With that Yoongi got up and started pacing angrily around the room. Shooting a glare at Mathan, he snarled, “What point is there now? We’re fucked if we escape and we’re fucked if we don’t. You know, Mathan, I am getting really tired of being someone elses toy.” He leaned back against the wall and slid down until he hit the floor. Looking up at Mathan, Yoongi let the tears flow. “I just want to go home, Mathan-ah. I want to see my dad again…please.”
“You will, Min Yoongi,” Mathan said. “I swear you will. And all the payment did was keep Jins personal things from being auctioned. SME still owns you. Your songs…everything. They won’t…”
Mathan jumped when his phone rang.
“What?” he asked, holding his breath.
“Min Yoongi is out,” a female voice said. “Jihoon-ah purchased his contract with the money he made from royalties and…some friends of his gave him a loan. He picked up the items from the police station this morning. And I called a friend. She thinks she has a loophole for royalties and such. If we can get that sorted…”
“What about the others?” Mathan asked, looking at the guys.
“The ’97 liners pitched in for Jungkook-ssi's things,” the voice said. “Yugyeom can retrieve everything on Tuesday.”
“How?” Mathan started.
“I have no idea on Jihoon-ah,” the girl said. “But JYP owed Big Hit a favor, and, unbeknownst to the general public, they still hold a small interest in the company due to an undisclosed personal loan. Their lawyers are drafting paperwork for a partial injunction now.”
“What about the other four?” Mathan asked through gritted teeth.
“I…” the voice said. “Why don’t you cough up?” it asked in anger. “Why do you think I just happen to have that much spare change laying around?”
“How much?” Mathan asked, looking at the boys in the room, his phone on speaker since the beginning.
“Depends on who we are buying. Some members are worth more than others based on these contracts. Min Yoongi was worth the most because of his multiple talents. Kim Namjoon-ssi is next. Then Jungkook-ssi, but he is safe. Kim Taehyung is after him, then Jung Hoseok, then Park Jimin. Kim Seokjin was last but…he is safe as well so…”
“I’ll work on Jimin,” Mathan said.
“Careful,” the voice warned. “Tell me who stands to be damaged the most when these bedroom pictures are released, and I’ll see what I can do.”
Mathan just looked at the members in concern. He hated asking the question but he needed to know…
“How personal are some of these personal items?”
Namjoon and Hoseok looked at each other, both flushing a bright red.
“Very,” Namjoon replied.
“Taehyung and I took some intimate pictures, mostly selfies of us kissing...nothing graphic. I always worried about someone hacking our phones or computers. But...” Yoongi glanced over at Taehyung before continuing. “Taehyung talked Jungkook and Jimin into doing an artistic photo shoot for him. They never told PD-nim about it because they knew he would lose his mind. The pictures are really beautiful, but they are semi-nudes and...kind of...suggestive.”
“The pictures aren’t at the dorm. I have a safety deposit box at my bank. The memory card for the camera is in the box as well. But I did give copies to both Kookie and Jimin-ah this past Valentine’s Day,” Taehyung added.
Mathan spoke to the phone, “Did you hear all that?”
“Safety deposit boxes are compromised,” the voice said calmly, the clacking of a keyboard in the background. “And that didn’t answer my question. All of you are fucked if hard copies are made. Its blackmail regardless and there is no telling what SM didn’t hand over.”
“Can you find out?” Mathan asked.
“M not God,” the voice said, sounding annoyed. “I have to go. Oppas here. Text you later.”
The phone disconnected immediately as Mathan looked at it, his mind running a million miles an hour.
“I need to…Sven…” he said, trying to make his brain function. “He…Jimin-ssi…”
“So…” Namjoon said, looking around, “that leaves me, Hobi, and Taehyung-ah?”
Mathan shook his head.
“One of you will get a bail out,” he said. “She isn’t that cruel.”
“So, if we do manage to survive this and make it home, SME will try to either own us or destroy us by using our private lives against us.” Hoseok fell back on the bed staring at the grey concrete ceiling that he had looked at day and night for over three months.
They had already been through so much, how much more would they be forced to survive? And now on top of being held hostage they were being told that their private lives would become public fodder.
“What are we supposed to do now, Joon-ah?” Hoseok asked.
Namjoon turned to Mathan asking the older man the same question.
“Think of anyone who owes you a favor,” Mathan said. “Concentrate on getting better and get out of here alive. The rest you can deal with later. I’m sure your friends, and your family, and your fans will rally around you.”
As Mathan pushed them towards their freedom, he streamlined towards his doom. A selfish part of him wanted to keep them hidden forever so he could live a little longer, but it was only a tiny part.
“I’m going to go make a deal with the devil for anything I can. Everyone good for now?”
“Are you enjoying the movie, my beautiful jewel?” Sven inquired of the Korean man sitting in the recliner.
Sven had the chair brought in to ease Jimin’s nervousness about the bed and the young man spent as much time as possible curled up in it. He had also arranged for the television and dvd player for his jewel’s entertainment. But it was the gift of the teddy bear that convinced Sven he was making headway in his control over his lovely private dancer. Jimin had looked at the large white teddy bear for a few moments, then Sven had seen his eyes light up and a soft smile cross his face.
“Thank you, chagiyah...” Jimin had whispered.
What Jimin knew and Sven didn’t was that in his room back home in South Korea was an identical teddy bear that his beloved Jungkook had surprised him with on Valentine’s Day. Sitting in the chair Jimin could pretend it was Jungkook’s bear and he was back home with his hyungs before this nightmare began.
Jimin looked over at Sven who was working on a portable laptop and just nodded as he wrapped himself tighter around the bear and slipped into that dream world. It was the world where Bangtan Sonyeondan still lived and Jimin was reunited with his lover and family.
Sven smiled at Jimin, and then frowned when a knock sounded on his down, locking down the laptop and moving to the door.
Mathan had had no idea what to say to the man he was about to bribe. A thousand scenarios ran through his mind about whose privacy he could secure and whose he could not and how to best go about wording it. Never having been particularly loquacious, Mathan tended to screw up when he was talking. He had always been a physical presence. Knocking on the door and waiting for the monster Mathan reviewed what he had been told.
Seeing Jimin curled up like a small child knocked Mathan for a loop again.
“Uh…” he tried, staring at the boy, “you uh….” Shaking his head, he started again. “Someone got ahold of some uh…compromising pictures…of your little dancer there and…they intend to make quite the profit…unless you buy them out…”
“I have been looking into this company that you told me about earlier and I must say that I approve of how they run their people.” Sven stepped back into the room, motioning Mathan further in.
Mathan was surprised when Sven pulled out a set of headphones, plugged them into the television and had Jimin put them on.
“Thanks to some contacts in South Korea I am aware of some rather embarrassing personal items belonging to Bangtan Sonyeondan that are now in the possession of this company, SME. But as the world believes them dead why should I worry about this?” Sven lit a cigar as he asked.
Mathan looked dumbstruck.
“Because pictures of your pet fucking his boyfriends brains out are going to be released to the public for every sick fuck who wants them to masturbate too. That’s why you should be concerned. He won’t just be yours anymore. He will be EVERYBODYS.”
Sven laughed at the look on Mathan’s face.
“You know as well as anyone out there that I don’t like sharing, Mathan. And I thank you for your concern, my people have already been in contact with an executive at SME about purchasing all the personal items of those members of BTS who had not had someone come forward; one Kim Namjoon, Jung Hoseok, Kim Taehyung and my beautiful Park Jimin.”
Sven sat down and opened his laptop.
“The man in question was not really interested in selling all that money-making material to a shady third party but we were able to convince him with this.”
The Russian turned the laptop to show a group of hooded figures around a bound Korean woman and teenage girl.
“Surprising that someone so willing to make money off of selling away another’s innocence was unwilling to see that taken away from his own family. So no need to worry, Mathan. It has already been taken care of. And because I am feeling generous the non-intimate items are being returned to the families, everything else I am having sent here.”
“Oh,” Mathan said, seeing this was too easy to be good. “And what do you intend to do with those items or…the other participants?” he asked. “And…Hoseok had someone…so…leave his shit alone…”
“I have been informed about Jung Hoseok’s relationship with Kim Namjoon, if that is what you are skirting around. And may I remind you that what I choose to do with my belongings isn’t something you need to worry about. But when the items arrive, you are more than welcome to look through them; you can even take a keepsake if you like.” Sven started to laugh while looking over at Jimin.
Mathan followed his gaze to see that Jimin had fallen asleep in the chair clutching the white teddy bear and wearing those headphones. To Mathan’s mind it would have made a really sweet picture if not for the hell they were all living in.
"Jung Hoseok has a BENEFACTOR," Mathan said through clenched teeth. "So, leave his shit ALONE." Mathan was raging, his blood boiling, and right now he wanted nothing more than to knock this sadistic fuck into an oblivion he would not return from.
“Very well, we will see whose items arrive.” Sven pulled a blanket from the bed and covered Jimin with it. “Was there anything else you needed to speak with me about?” The Russian asked as he took the headphones off Jimin’s head.
Mathan would curse himself all kinds of fool for letting his mouth open before his brain caught up.
“Have you fucked him yet?”
Sven went dead still at Mathan’s question and his face hardened into a cold dead mask. The voice that answered was colder than a full Russian winter.
“Curiosity killed the cat, Mr. Foley or at least ripped its tongue out. If you are asking on behalf of Jimin-ssis’ former boyfriend you may tell him that no, I have not yet taken the pleasure of my dancer’s body. That will come soon though, once I have relocated him to my home.”
“I couldn’t give a fuck about that pretty boy,” Mathan sneered. “If you pray real hard he might even die soon. None of that shit you sent is making him any better. I almost think you’ve done it on purpose out of fear… Best hope your little toy over there doesn’t find out you killed his lover…”
“A threat, Mr. Foley?” Sven looked into Jimin’s sleeping face, a look of almost tenderness crossing his features. “I will have the doctor brought to the compound, so he may check on Mr. Jeon. Would that be acceptable to you?”
"Whatever," Mathan said, secretly pleased at the results. "I have kids to babysit."
Turning and walking down the hall Mathan burst into the prison room, looking around.
“There will be a doctor here to check on Jungkook tomorrow,” he said. “And everyone’s items have been purchased except for Hoseok’s, but Sven doesn’t need that much power. I’ll make a phone call and arrange that transaction. And…Jimin was sleeping…” he said, not even waiting to be acknowledged. “Sven said he would have the non-compromising items sent to everyone’s families. He will keep the blackmail…”
They all felt relief at Mathan’s announcement that a doctor would be coming to see Jungkook and that most of their belongings would be returned to their families.
“But this man…Sven…purchased everything else? Why would he do that?” Namjoon asked Mathan.
Mathan sighed as he looked back at Namjoon, “Power and control? Something else to hold over your heads? As long as you behave yourselves and do as Sven tells you, then your families will never see or know about the things you don’t want to share.”
There came a weak, hoarse voice from nearby.
“Why…Jimin…sleep?” Jungkook asked from under the mound of blankets that Taehyung had piled on him. “He…hurt…” The last word faded into a harsh cough.
Mathan cursed and crossed the room, sitting Jungkook up slowly and beating on his back, trying to dislodge some of the phlegm.
“Jimin is fine,” Mathan said softly. “He’s just tired. Right now, you just need to worry about you. I have a doctor coming for you tomorrow; will you be okay until then?”
Jungkook just nodded lifelessly, unconsciousness already taking him again. It made Mathan want to punch someone. He knew this boy wasn’t going to make it, but he knew his brothers would never leave him behind.
“I need you all to watch after him while I make the appropriate arrangements, do you understand?” he asked, looking at the boys.
All of them just nodded.
Once Mathan had left the boys went back to what they had been doing before, Jin going to the maknae when he started calling out for him, his body thrashing from the fever and unknown nightmares. Wrapping his brother tight, Jin closed his eyes as the tears began to fall once more, singing and praying with everything in him that the boy would make it until the morning.
I will always love you
I will always love you (I will always love you)
I will always love you (oh baby)
I will always love you (I love you, I love you)
I will always love you (yeah)
I am in love with your gentle warm touch
Please hold on to me
I'm falling, catch me
The next morning Sven arrived with the same doctor from before. The Russian stood to one side of the room with his arm wrapped tight around Jimin, who was dressed head to toe in black as if he were attending a funeral.
Mathan stood on the other side of the room glaring at Sven. It was bad enough parading Jimin around in front of his family but to make him dress like that… He could see the pained looks that Jimin was getting from the others and he wanted to remind them that it was doubtful the dancer had chosen the clothes he was wearing. The only things that Jimin would have willingly chosen to wear would have been the jewelry, except for Sven’s choker. Beyond the choker that Jimin was wearing there was an added piece, a ring, and Mathan recognized it as the ring he had removed from Namjoons finger the day they had arrived here. Why was Jimin wearing Namjoon’s ring? He would have to remember to ask BTS’ leader about it when Sven and the doctor left.
After the doctor finished with Jungkook, giving him several shots and spending some time in whispered conference, he smiled at Sven.
Mathan felt his own stomach freeze then bottom out as Sven smiled coldly at him and ordered his guard.
“Have Kim Seokjin taken to the doctors quarters.”
Mathan took less than a second to step in front of the boys, his eyes going dark and his stance possessive, an almost animalistic growl ripping from his chest.
“Over my fucking. Dead. Body,” he snarled. “That one is MINE.”
Mathan felt Jin step closer to him and grab his shirt, twisting his hand in the material. Only he heard the fearful whisper of, “Mathan-ah.”
“My…my…Mathan. How possessive you sound with my property.” Sven gestured, and four guards entered with guns aimed and cocked. “The good doctor has requested Mr. Kim’s company for breakfast, a small payment for coming out here to see the sick one.”
Moving to the door with Jimin at his side, Sven asked, “Is Kim Seokjin worth dying for, Mathan?”
Mathan wrapped one arm backwards to pull Jin close.
"Always," he said, his own hand tangling in the mans shirt to hold him in place as he shifted his body to shield the smaller man. "And he isn’t YOUR property, jackass..."
Sven suddenly laughed as if he had heard something funny, and then he waved the guards away.
“Not to worry, Mathan. Seokjin-ssi's virtue is safe. I will send the doctor away sadly disappointed. But I think I will remember this…”
With that Sven, Jimin and the guards left the room.
Mathan waited until the door slammed shut before slowly turning around to look at all of them, but still holding on to Jin’s shirt as he especially looked at him.
“You’re going to have to watch everyone,” he said softly, his grip finally releasing off the man. “That doctor…”
“Every time I looked at Kookie that doctor was staring at me. I could see in his face what he wanted; it was like he was whispering these awful things with his eyes.” In his distress Jin was speaking Hangul to Mathan, ignoring the fact that the man did not completely understand him.
Mathan wanted to pull Jin close and whisper comfort in his ear but now was not the time nor the place.
“No one is going to touch you, Seokjin,” he did say. “I swear it. In the meantime…”
Mathan was cut off by Carl sauntering in, a smug ass look on his face.
“Daddy dearest wants to see you in his office baby boy,” Carl cooed, eyeing Taehyung like he was a whole new snack, causing the man to freeze in fear.
“Did I not hit you hard enough the last time?” Mathan asked, giving the guys a warning look before pulling Carl out, screaming at him before the door was even shut.
"The fuck is your problem Mathan?" Carl roared. "This is how you conquer and divide!"
Mathan snorted before he broke Carl’s nose, again, blood splattering everywhere.
"No, idiot. THAT is how you break and ruin THE GODDAMN MONEY!" Mathan yelled back, spit flying as he got right in his uncles face. "No one is going to pay us for broken idols. So, stop tryna fuck them up! Remember the last time you tried this shit and fucked it up because you can't keep your dick in your pants? Remember Aaron died because of you?"
Carl sneered as he held his bleeding nose.
“You better get some from that pretty little piece of ass you like so much. Sven’s coming for him next. Hear he already has a buyer who wants to try the goods. Said he wants something tight enough to split wide open in one spear…”
The raised voices were loud enough to hear from the partially open steel door.
“He is one of them, all of it is just a lie.” Hoseok growled from the bed nearest the door.
Yoongi gazed at the door afraid that the fragile trust he had started to feel for Mathan was an illusion and he suddenly couldn’t breathe.
Namjoon heard the words and for a moment blind rage filled him, he didn’t want to believe that this person who had helped them could so easily betray them.
When Jin looked at his younger brothers and saw the rising doubt grow on their faces, he wouldn’t stay silent.
“Stop what you are thinking right now! Mathan is playing them, not us. He is helping us, and he is going to get us out of here.”
Jin grabbed Namjoon’s hands in his own as he pleaded with their leader to believe in the only one who had a chance of freeing them from this nightmare.
“I know that he has done bad things and he helped bring us here, but what you hear out there isn’t really him. He is protecting us, the only way he can. He is playing a part, just like Jimin…”
Namjoon jerked his hands from his hyung’s grip as he drew himself up and walked across the room, his hands in his hair.
“How do you know?’ he asked as he spun to face his hyung. “How do you know this isn’t all some evil, sick joke of theirs to trick us again? All that could have been preplanned!”
“Namjoon is right, Jin hyung,” Hoseok said. “Mathan-ssi has nothing to gain from any of this. We have no solid proof that says he is getting us out of here.”
“If he takes us away from here what is he going to do? Dump us on the street and hope for the best?” the man asked. “If he gets caught…”
How could Jin admit feelings to his brothers that he himself was having a hard time putting into words? When Mathan touched him, he felt safe and cared for. Jin had not been blind to some of the looks that he had gotten from Mathan, looks that said Jin was the only person Mathan could see in that moment. He was innocent in a lot of things but even he knew desire…real desire…when he saw it in Mathan’s eyes. It was nothing like when that doctor had looked at him, making him feel like he needed to scrub his skin raw.
“I have faith, Joon-ah. It is the only thing keeping me sane in this hell.” Jin turned from Namjoon to Yoongi, then looked at Hoseok. “He was gone, Hobi-ah, probably far away from here. He didn’t have to come back. He was free, yet he returned. It was to help us, and he said there are others who are coming to help us too.”
He walked over to Hoseok’s bed and knelt.
“If you trust nothing else, trust me. I believe in Mathan and I know that he will do whatever it takes to get us home. H will not run away or abandon us.”
A week and a half passed of the boys carefully dancing around one another, the seeds of doubt well planted in each of their minds. A strict schedule had been set for them to follow which had them up at seven and in bed by nine with breaks for three meals and roughly 8 hours of ‘studio’ and ‘outdoors’ time. Taking them out in shifts Mathan had only been successful in getting Seokjin to talk to him no matter how hard he tried to persuade the others. That Tuesday however, everything changed.
Mathan had gotten a package delivered that no one dared open. Concealed inside was a tiny padded envelope which had originated from South Korea and was addressed to one Jung Hoseok, 6th Level of Hell, Middle of Nowhere, You’ll Be Home Soon. Smiling at the address Mathan stood from the com-room and left for the boys.
“Mail,” he said, walking up to Hoseok and dropping the package in his lap. “I am assuming it is a sign that your personal belongings have been retrieved by your benefactor and delivered to your parents.”
At first all Hoseok could do was stare at the envelope that Mathan had dropped in his lap like it was a snake about to strike out at him. He looked up at Mathan then down at the package, afraid to touch it, afraid to discover what it meant. All but Jungkook were standing around his bed waiting to see what it was.
“Hobi-ah, do you want me to…” Jin asked as he reached for the small package.
Hoseok shook his head as he snatched it from his lap and tore the envelope open. At first it didn’t register in his mind what had spilled out into the palm of his hand.
The necklace had been a gift from his mother to him on the night he left home to pursue his dream of being a dancer. It was a simple good luck charm with the Hangul character for luck on one side but inscribed on the other side was the message ‘Always smile, my bright boy. Love Mama’.
The tears came hard and fast for Hoseok as he remembered the last time he had seen it. He always left it hanging on the lamp switch next to his bed when he wasn’t wearing it; so, it was the first thing he saw in the morning and the last thing he saw at night. For it to now be in his hand was proof that someone in the outside world knew he and the others were alive and there was hope in the middle of this darkness.
“We…really…leave…here…soon?” Hoseok begged Mathan as he put the necklace on.
Mathan looked at the boy with pity.
“How is your leg?” he asked. “I was hoping three weeks but…I need to teach Jungkook some breathing exercises because…once we breech this door, it’s every man for themselves…”
Hoseok had been careful to keep his full weight off the injured leg, relying on his brothers to help him anytime he had to get up. But he had started on his own to lightly stretch and arch his foot up and down stopping if the movement caused pain. He pointed to his foot and leg showing Mathan the exercise he had been doing to keep the muscle from tightening up too much before looking at Namjoon,
“Tell Mathan-ah that I only move my leg like this and always stop if there is sharp pain or I feel something pulling.”
“We’ll start some exercises tomorrow to work the whole leg, okay?” Mathan said, looking at Hobi.
“How’s the breathing, Jungkook?” Mathan asked, tapping his chest.
Kookie smiled a little and nodded.
“Let’s plan for three weeks from today then. My last unit needs 24 hours’ notice so…I’ll tell them today and…they can deploy appropriately,” Mathan said, trying to quell his nerves. “And…you all are going to need to learn to defend yourselves so…we’ll work on that too. I don’t want you dying on me half way through. Continue to work on breathing cause when we break lose it is a mad dash for the rendezvous point, clear?”
The boys all nodded, looking at Mathan.
“Three weeks,” he said with a small smile. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
The next morning Mathan was in their room at seven am, waking them up and dumping them out of beds, watching as they cooked and washed up before escorting them to their play room. Setting each of them on individual tasks Mathan watched as each of them worked to improve weaknesses they had developed, confident they would be able to overcome whatever they might face.
For the next two weeks they worked and pushed as hard as all of them could, eagerly and nervously counting down to the day they ran.
Carl, however, was having none of it. He had a feeling that Mathan was up to something with all the so-called exercise he was putting BTS through. Plus, he knew that his brother Dorian was going to double-cross him over Jungkook and there was no way he was letting his songbird escape. With a smirk on his face he sauntered to Sven’s quarters and knocked on the door, intent on ruining everything and walking away with his prize.
Carl leered as Jimin opened the door dressed in workout clothes. The young Korean man never looked at Carl, only stood in the doorway until Sven spoke.
“Mr. Foley may enter, Jimin-ah.”
Jimin stepped aside and allowed Carl to enter the room.
“Got your little pet trained pretty good.”
Sven merely looked at Carl coldly, waving a guard into the room.
“Take my jewel to the Mathan’s little workout room.” He ordered the guard, then turned to Jimin. “Jimin-ah, go with Gregor and start working on that new dance routine, I will be in to watch as soon as I finish talking to Mr. Foley.”
Jimin silently nodded, grabbing a couple of towels and started to follow the guard out of the room.
Jimin froze and turned to look at Sven, who crooked his finger at him.
He moved back to Sven, who tipped the Korean man’s face up and kissed him before turning back and following the guard out of the room.
Carl noticed that Jimin never spoke or reacted in any fashion to Sven, almost as if he were in a drug induced haze. But Carl knew that Sven didn’t work like that with his pets, so it had to be something else. Maybe Sven had succeeded in breaking the young man’s mind.
“You really have to let me in on your secret there, Sven.”
“You didn’t come here to ask how I train my companions, so please get on with your business before I lose my temper.” Sven sat in the throne-like chair he took everywhere with him and lit a cigar.
Carl snorted and sat down on the bed, ignoring the grimace that Sven sent his way.
“I don’t know if you are aware of this, but my brother plans on selling BTS privately back to that big ass music company that took over Big Hit. He says he can get double, maybe triple what you paid for them. All he has to do is collect the money, tell them where they are, disappear and leave you holding the bag when the authorities show up out of nowhere.”
Sven sat back and took a long slow drag off the cigar, staring coldly at Carl. After a few moments the man started to fidget on the bed.
“I assume that you want something in return for telling me this and betraying your own brother?”
Carl stood and handed Sven his tablet.
“All I want is five million U.S. dollars and that. You give me that and I will help you with Dorian, I will even throw in Mathan, if you want.”
Sven looked down at the tablet which showed a picture of Jeon Jungkook. He looked back up at Carl and gave him a smile.
“I think you and I have a deal, Mr. Foley.”
All practice and exercise ceased when the door opened, the members freezing when Jimin walked in as though he didn’t even see them. Jungkook grabbed his chest as if he couldn’t breathe and Taehyung stood in front of the boy defensively while Mathan paid close attention to everything. If Jimin was here, Sven wasn’t far behind.
“Namjoon-ah,” Mathan asked, tilting his head towards the boy and whispering. “Why would Jimin have your ring?”
Namjoon looked at Mathan in confusion, then remembered his halmoni’s ring that had been taken from him when they were brought here. He looked at Jimin’s hand, the one clutching a towel and sure enough there was his ring. Namjoon had told Jimin the importance of the ring to him and he knew that was Jimin’s way of protecting something of Namjoon’s, of keeping it safe for him in this living hell they were all trapped in.
Rushing up to Jimin, Namjoon grabbed the hand wearing the ring, then pulled the other into a tight hug.
For a few seconds Jimin stiffened as if he would reject his leader’s embrace, then he wrapped tight arms around Namjoon’s chest and buried his face there as sobs shook his whole body.
Not wanting to interrupt, Mathan pulled himself back into the shadows next to the door and let the brothers have their reunion. He watched as Jin, then Hoseok stepped up and wrapped arms around the two. Both Taehyung and Yoongi came forward and laid hands on Jimin’s shoulders. Last was Jungkook who as he clutched at his chest with one hand wrapped the other around Jimin’s head and pulled him in for a deep kiss.
It was the sound of clapping that drew the guys from their shared embrace to stare at Sven standing in the doorway.
Not thinking, and giving into the blind rage that suddenly consumed him, Namjoon aggressively pushed Jimin behind him and snarled, “YOU WILL NEVER FUCKING TOUCH MY BROTHER AGAIN!”
All Bangtan Sonyeondan stood still, watching Sven and waiting to see how he would react to Namjoon’s words.
When Jimin tried to walk around Namjoon, Jin roughly pulled him back and thrust him into Jungkook’s arms.
“Hold him still, Kookie-ah. Don’t let him anywhere near that monster.”
Sven simply leaned against the door jam and spoke.
“You are holding something that belongs to me, Kim Namjoon-ssi. This one time I am willing to be lenient. I will allow this transgression to pass unpunished if you simply step aside and let Park Jimin return to where he belongs.”
Jimin started to struggle in Jungkook’s embrace as he begged.
“Please, love…you don’t understand! Please, let me go.”
Hoseok added his arms to Jungkook’s, caging Jimin in. Staring back coldly at Sven, Namjoon crossed his arms over his chest.
“Jimin comes back with us, he stays with us, and you stay away from him, motherfucker!”
“Is that your final answer, Kim Namjoon-ssi?” Sven calmly asked.
“Please, hyung! You don’t…you don’t know! Please!” Jimin cried out to Namjoon.
The words had barely started to leave Namjoon’s mouth when several guards came rushing in with guns up. All the members of BTS were forced to their knees as Jimin was pulled away from Jungkook and Hoseok. The young man did manage to resist the guards long enough to slip off the ring and thrust it into Namjoon’s hand as he hugged him; then he was yanked away and forced to one side of the room.
“You should have listened, Kim Namjoon-ssi, and now there will be consequences.”
Sven moved away from the door jam where he was still leaning and walked up to Namjoon. Namjoon heard the gasps coming from the other members and looked to the door where a guard walked in carrying a long thin bamboo cane.
“Twenty-five lashes, Kim Namjoon-ssi, and not a scream or cry from you, or each member will receive the same amount. Now take off your shirt.”
The leader of BTS looked from the guard holding the cane to Sven. He glanced at the silent shadowy figure who stared back at him as coldly as Sven. Swallowing, Namjoon removed his shirt and shivered at the sudden chill in the room.
The rest of the members were herded to one side of the room where they had a front row view of what was about to happen.
“As I am sure that it will take all your strength to not cry out, I will count out the lashes for you instead of making you do it yourself, Kim Namjoon-ssi.” Sven told him as if he were doing him a favor instead of standing there ordering him to be beaten.
The guard moved behind Namjoon and he didn’t have any time to prepare as the cane whistled down against his flesh. At first all he felt was cold, then a wave of fire lit across his back and it took all his strength, his teeth buried in his lip, to keep the screams in. As the second and third strikes hit Namjoon thought he had failed to stay quiet, but he realized that the screams he was hearing as each blow fell was that of his brothers.
By the time Sven counted twenty-four, then twenty-five, the whole of Namjoon’s back was a living wall of fire, so much so that he was having trouble taking a breath. As the last strike fell Namjoon gladly gave in to the call of darkness even as he thanked God that he had remained silent so that none of his brothers would suffer this pain.
“Return them to their room,” Sven said coldly and disinterestedly, eyeing Jimin dangerously. “And have my jewel brought to me.”
Without waiting a moment longer Sven departed, leaving the rest of them to the guards and to Mathan who for once wore a dark and empty expression. It was almost as if he had agreed with the punishment and it was a terrifying sight to behold. Manhandling the others, the guards forced the boys from the room as Mathan jerked Namjoon up and flung him over his shoulder, his rage barely contained as every plan he had carefully formulated fell apart all because they couldn’t keep their fucking mouths shut. When they reached the cell like room the boys were shoved through the door, Mathan throwing Namjoon onto the closest bed without any further regard.
Looking at the boys with a murderous glare Mathan could only slam the door as he walked out, for once completely speechless.
Sven walked into his private quarters carrying the bamboo cane. Jimin was standing in the middle of the room, his arms held by the two guards flanking him.
“I’m sorry, chagiyah!,” Jimin pleaded as he struggled against the guards’ hold while Sven moved towards him. "I tried to warn them...to tell them… Please! I’m sorry!"
The Russian laid the cane against Jimin’s lips and shook his head.
“It is far too late for that, my jewel. You didn’t believe me… You didn’t trust me, and that is what hurts the most. But even that is not why you must be punished.”
Sven nodded at the two guards who spun Jimin around, so he was now facing away from him.
Jimin continued to plead as Sven stepped up and grabbing the t-shirt, ripped it down the middle exposing his smooth unblemished skin underneath. Realizing that his pleas were falling on deaf ears Jimin looked to the recliner and focused on the white teddy bear there, trying to put himself into that place where he was safe with Jungkook.
Sven’s voice ripped him brutally from that dream world before the cane even connected with his flesh.
“YOU WERE KISSING HIM, PARK JIMIN-SSI!”
Then all Jimin knew was pain and the only sound heard was his own screams.
Almost an hour later Mathan came back still in a rage, dumping Namjoon out of the bed he had managed to curl up in and throwing a bucket of cold water on him to wake his ass up, the water stinging as it hit the broken flesh of his back.
“Get the fuck up,” Mathan growled down at the man. “You have a visitor…I trust you can save yourself from his wrath, because I won’t.”
Stepping back against the wall Mathan went stoic as Sven stepped through the door, his cold eyes appraising the members.
“Well. Well. Well….” He said slowly. “Have we gotten over our little rebellious selves?” he asked, looking around. “Do we all feel better after our eventful evening?”
The boys just stared at him in contempt.
‘I came to thank you, actually,” Sven said. “I was…mislead…by Park Jimin-ssi's true affections for me, and, because of his…naughty behavior…”
Sven sniffed and snapped his fingers, two guards pulling in a broken and bleeding Jimin.
The boy had not been able to hold in his own screams having witnessed what had happened to his leader and so he was beaten twice as much, twice as hard, one strike landing across his face and gashing his lip and cheek.
“My jewel is now broken,” he sneered. “No better than some common gutter whore I would sell in the back alleys of Shanghai. Whatever will I do?” he asked, looking around. “Perhaps it is better if I auction you off now? Hmm? I already have several willing buyers. Some of you may be harder to place than others… Kim Namjoon will need to learn some manners and how to hold his tongue…”
Jimin stood there, folded in on himself as much as possible, unable to look at the brothers he now felt a small level of hatred towards. If only they had listened, no one would have been caned. If only they had honored his sacrifices…they would not have to endure such pain.
“Jung Hoseok…can be placed with the doctor, I think. Not his first choice but…” Sven just laughed. “Carl…wanted the baby…did he not? Mathan?” Sven asked, turning to the man who simply nodded, his expression blank. “And…your payment will be?” Sven asked, laying yet another trap to use against the people in the room.
“We have discussed that already,” Mathan said shortly.
“Kim Seokjin it is…” Sven said with a nod. “I have just the place for Min Yoongi to be…properly…broken in. And Taehyung…perhaps he can be my new angel…” Sven looked at the boy with a predatory gaze. “Since mine is broken after all… I think he will be a tasty snack for my loyal guards. Would you gentlemen like him?” Sven asked, turning to the two men holding the broken boy up, the three of them exchanging evil grins.
“You should have listened when your superiors told you to lay down,” Sven growled, looking at the seven before snapping his fingers and leaving the room, everyone but Mathan following.
Mathan remained until the door clicked shut his eyes immediately turning cold as he moved to tower over Namjoon.
“See what you did,” he growled. “See what I am not…allowed to fix. What THE ONLY OTHER PERSON HERE WHO CAN SAVE YOU WENT THROUGH BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO LISTEN AND CONTROL YOUR TEMPER!” Mathan ended, his voice rising with each word as he lost his temper. “YOU DID THAT TO HIM!”
Mathan closed his eyes and tried to remember how to breathe.
“I’m done,” he said. “I won’t fix you. I won’t give you medicine. I won’t clean you up or even give you the supplies to doctor yourself. Maybe if I do not baby you, you will listen,” he said calmly, looking right at Namjoon. “I suggest you take the hottest shower you can stand. It will relieve your muscles. And sleep on your stomach with your arms under your head. And…preparations are cancelled. If I can’t trust you to listen to me…”
Mathan could feel his temper rising again. He wanted nothing more than to knock this arrogant child across the room and leave him here to suffer while he rescued the rest.
“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I SACRIFICED TO HELP YOU!” he screamed. ‘WHAT I AM GIVING UP TO DELIVER YOU HOME ALIVE! WHAT I HAVE ASKED OTHERS TO RISK JUST TO HELP A BUNCH OF UNGRATEFUL, SELFISH, CHILDREN! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE A FUCKING LEADER! LOOK AT YOU! YOU CAN’T EVEN PROTECT YOURSELF!!! IS IT PRIDE THAT WON’T LET YOU LISTEN TO THE STUPID HICK FOREIGNER? HMM?”
Mathan’s chest was heaving as he looked at Namjoon for an answer.
“I’m sorry…I am so sorry…” Namjoon lay there helpless as Mathan’s words flayed him as harshly as the cane had, but in the Korean man’s mind it was no less than he deserved.
He closed his eyes as the image of Jimin’s bloody and pain-filled face burned itself into his memory. He had failed his brothers…his family...and because of his temper they were all condemned.
He felt Jin lay a cold damp cloth on his head, but he pushed it away. There was no ease or comfort for Kim Namjoon this day.
“It wasn’t pride, Mathan-ah, it was my temper that blinded me and now our sweet Jiminie pays for it. I should have listened and trusted one who was wiser than I.” Namjoon grabbed and squeezed Jin’s hand as a spasm of pain ran through his body. “Please do not let them pay for my failure. Please Mathan-ah, don’t stop the plan, take my brothers and go, this is my crime and I will accept the punishment.”
Namjoon could no longer keep speaking as waves of pain swept over him. He rolled over onto his stomach and buried his face in his arms, tightly clutching his halmoni’s ring and crying Jimin’s name over and over again.
Mathan looked at the boy in complete disinterest.
“I cannot,” he said simply. “My contact will only come if I have all seven and since you are…damaged,” he said with a sneer, “a week and a half is too soon for you to be even close enough to ready to risk it. After that I’m afraid…she will be back to the busiest time in her job. No one can come for us until at least February and so you will have to survive in this Hell until then. With no help from me. Maybe then you will learn what true despair is. What it feels like to be hopeless once more. Congratulations on letting the monsters win. Maybe I’ll just take my friend up on his offer and disappear to a private island somewhere. Maybe I’ll take Seokjin and make him my own pet. Maybe then, when Jungkook is a back-alley whore…maybe then you will see everything you have thrown away…”
Jin was quiet but when Mathan finished he didn’t stop or think.
“Yah!” He yelled throwing the wet washcloth at Mathan, happy when it hit the man in the face and fell to the floor with a wet plop. “Joon-ah mess up…I mess up. You want leave…go…I stay with brothers.”
Turning to Yoongi, Jin ordered in a harsh voice, “Yoon-ah, take Namjoonie and help him into the shower and run the water hot like that one said.” Jin waved a dismissive hand at Mathan. “Taehyung, you help but be careful of your own injuries.”
As Yoongi and Taehyung maneuvered Namjoon into the bathroom Jin turned back to Mathan with a cold closed look.
“You want to leave, go. You want to punish us like those monsters, go ahead. Tell your people not to come, tell them to stay safe. PD-nim leave us here, world leave us here, we are already dead to them. Go and we will die here, because I will tell you this, Foley Mathan-ssi. We will die before we let Sven or you or that doctor or Carl fuck us and turn us into whores.”
Jin walked up to where Mathan stood, picked up the washcloth, then spit at his feet before turning away and following Yoongi and Taehyung into the bathroom to help his hyungjae.
“The world doesn’t think you’re dead,” Mathan said, just loud enough for them to hear. “And if I leave you here…I’m no better than everyone else. I just…have no idea when our next window is because…you have already been here long enough and…the weather’s getting bad so…”
Jin stepped back out from behind the curtain, his face still closed off but there was a slight softening of his eyes.
“We disappointed you, Mathan-ah. Namjoon knows that, and it will eat away at him now. We all lost focus the moment that Jimin walked into that room and when Namjoon realized that he had saved his grandmother’s ring; all he could think about was saving his brother and returning him to our family.”
“Please, leave Nam dongsaeng to me. I am begging you now, for all our sakes, go check on Jimin. If you must be a monster to do it, then be a monster to us but we have to know, no matter how bad it is, for him and for us.”
Mathan shook his head.
“Now is not the time for that. Sven is furious and isn’t letting anyone in, or out. For now, Jimin will have to be a mystery. No one has called the creepy doctor so…”
Mathan had no idea what that meant.
“Right now, I need to see if I can find another window for you, so I know how long it is going to take and how to prepare. I can make absolutely no promises that you will make it out of here though. Not now that our window is gone.”
Jin gazed at Mathan as he felt hope begin to fade. They would never get out of this hellish prison they were trapped in. He looked over at Hoseok to see the same despair he felt written on his hyung’s face. From the moment they had awoken here they had been telling themselves they were dealing with monsters; but now the true reality of just how monstrous men like Sven and Dorian Foley were was breaking them all apart.
“What do we do now, Mathan-ah? Do we bow down and submit? Will that keep us alive long enough for another chance at escape? Tell me what we must do, and I will make sure the others follow your lead.”
He knew as of right now that Namjoon was broken in a way that would make his leadership of them questionable; so, as the oldest among them, Jin knew he would have to step forward and take that role. He just hoped that it would be enough and that Mathan would remain on their side.
Mathan looked at the man, wishing he had an answer and knowing he did not.
“I don’t know,” he said, deciding honesty was the best route. “I have no idea when we can make another break for it…or…even if we can. Things are about to happen and there isn’t going to be a winner. There are going to be losers and survivors. That’s it. But for now, I need you all to keep your heads down and your mouths shut. ALL of this could have been avoided if you had just trusted Jimin. You HAVE to trust each other. And you have to trust me. Even if you don’t want to…even if you feel like you can’t…you HAVE to. At least…at least until you are safe. Then…then everything will…”
Mathan didn’t know the panic rising in his chest. It wasn’t an emotion he had ever felt before. Then again…he had never actually ‘felt’. He had never been attached to anyone. Had never feared for the well-being of another. Had never fantasized or…loved.
“Promise me you will trust me,” he said, his blue eyes imploring as they burned a hole into Jin. “Until the end…promise me. And I promise you I will do everything in my power to get all of you out of here alive. I will deliver you to those who can care for you and get you back where you belong…”
He left the rest of his feelings unsaid.
Until his dying breath, which would be any moment now, he would protect these seven men with every piece of his life. He would love Kim Seokjin as he had never loved before…as he would never love again…and he would never expect a single thing in return.
“I promise, Mathan-ah…from now on we will follow your lead.” Jin vowed, looking over at Hobi who was nodding in agreement.
Jin was glad that Jungkook had fallen into an exhausted sleep when they had been brought back and hadn’t awakened when Sven had Jimin dragged in. Even Mathan yelling at them had not pulled their maknae from sleep and although it worried Jin, he was glad the young man still slept. Jungkook would never have survived seeing his lover beaten like that. It still made him sick to remember the laughter of the guards as they had carried Jimin out and he had not missed the look sent to all of them by the dancer. It was anger, betrayal, and hate, all rolled into one and he and Namjoon had brought it about.
Looking at Mathan, Jin fell to his knees, making as formal a bow as he could.
“Please forgive Kim Namjoon and myself, Kim Seokjin, for this grave error and the pain it has caused to our brother.” Jin rose up but remained on his knees. Hoping that one of the monsters was listening he continued. “We humbly beg for the life of our brother and regret our actions. From this moment on we will comply with all commands given to us.”
Jin looked at Mathan and prayed that the man saw the trust and faith as well as the deeper feelings growing inside of him. As crazy as it was Jin knew this was someone who could hold his heart and soul forever. Although he couldn’t speak the words out loud, Jin hoped that Mathan could see it in his eyes.
Mathan looked at Jin and nodded but ignored what his heart wanted to see from the other. Affection, and longing. Mathan knew that it could never be so. An angel could never love a monster.
“I will see what I can do for your brother,” Mathan said softly. “In the meantime, I have to…figure this mess out… I’ll come check on you later…”
Not waiting for a reply Mathan left the prison room, going to his own prison cell and shutting the door, pulling out his phone and sending a message to Pyro and Rider that plans had been delayed before sending one to his sister informing her of the same and asking when she could return. Mathan waited for hours before he got a reply.
Sven sat in his throne-like chair and watched as his jewel thrashed in pain on the bed. A guard entered and whispered in his ear, he nodded and dismissed the man. A few minutes later two of his guards entered with the doctor.
“No one saw you bring him in?” Sven asked his eyes never leaving Jimin.
“As ordered, Sir. The moment you radioed we retrieved the doctor and brought him in through the secret entrance. Neither Dorian, his men, or even his son saw. Dorian and Carl are in his office and Mathan is still with BTS. Our people are monitoring the secret surveillance system you had set up, Sir.”
“Good. Have the guards station themselves outside the door. I am not worried about Dorian and his ilk, but Mathan could be a problem if he comes to inquire about the boy and his condition. Have them fully armed and make it clear that until I say otherwise, I am not to be disturbed.” Sven waved the doctor over to Jimin.
“Take care of his face first, doctor. That must remain flawless at all costs.”
“And my payment this time?” The doctor asked.
Giving the doctor a smile so chilling, so evil that even his own guards shivered in fear, Sven replied, “Not to worry, doctor, you will have your time with the lovely Kim Seokjin and Mathan Foley will learn what loss truly is.”
The game he and Mathan were playing was entertaining but all games must have an end and a loser. Thanks to his own set of cameras set up within the building, and cameras and microphones surrounding the perimeter, there was very little going on that he wasn’t aware of.
Sven knew that all Kim Seokjin needed to do was bat his pretty eyes at Mathan and the man would move heaven and earth to free BTS; and if Sven waited and played his cards correctly he could use that to end the game and come out the winner.
I am SO SORRY it took so long to get this out! Sandra and I have had this done for almost a week now but life and adulting got in the way of me adding it. Please forgive me! ~Kaelyn
The day after Namjoon and Jimin’s caning Mathan roused the guys to start their day.
“Jungkook is still too ill for the weather outside so Jin will take him, Hoseok and Namjoon to the room for some light exercise.”
“But Mathan-ah, Nam--" Hoseok started to protest as Namjoon attempted to lift himself from the bed he was laying on.
Mathan just cast a sideways look at Hoseok and the young man fell silent.
“You all move, it is the only thing that will keep you going now. Yoongi and Taehyung, dress warmly, I will be back with your shoes, luckily it hasn’t snowed any yet.” He instructed as he walked out the steel door.
Less than five minutes later Mathan was back. No one spoke as the three moved outside.
Once outside Yoongi stopped and lifted his face to the sun, closing his eyes and drinking in the warmth even as he shivered in the layers of clothes he had piled on. For a second the rapper could imagine himself free and back home, at least until Mathan growled at him to follow.
Mathan didn’t mean to be harsh towards the guys, but he had to keep reminding himself to keep his emotions in check and to not get any more emotionally involved than he already was.
“’M sorry I don’t have anything warmer for you guys,” he said, walking beside Yoongi. “And…I’m sorry for…teasing you like this without actually being able to set you free…”
Yoongi just nodded, his senses overwhelmed at the fresh air and the feel of the sun on his face. For now, words had failed him.
“Are you okay?” Mathan asked, looking at the boy and studying him in his silence.
He needed a better understanding of how they all worked so that when the time did come, they would all be able to work together as a team.
Yoongi looked up at the man who had seen him at his most vulnerable. Jin insisted that if there was any hope of escaping for them, they had to put all their trust in Mathan and do what he told them to do. The Korean man was still unsure of so much about this man, but he trusted their eldest member.
“I am alright physically, I guess, better than most of my brothers.” Yoongi whispered. His sleep was still disturbed by nightmares and they had gotten worse from the moment that man Sven had taken Jimin away from them. “I worry about what tomorrow will bring.”
He looked around Mathan to where Taehyung stood gazing up at the sky as tears rolled down his cheeks. Yoongi pleaded with the larger man, “Please talk to him, Mathan-ah. He didn’t sleep last night and if he did, he would wake screaming Jimin’s name or crying out about not speaking…not telling. But he won’t speak to any of us about it, he says he is alright and we should be worrying about Jungkookah.”
Mathan looked to Taehyung as well.
“He misses you,” he said simply. “Whatever you two had…what the others have…you don’t have that anymore…do you?” he asked, looking back at the man before him. “And if you need help sleeping, I have shit for that too…”
Mathan could not reassure his fears about tomorrow because he did not even know what may or may not happen with the rest of their day.
“You know as well as anyone what happened to me, Mathan-ah. No pills will ever erase that from my memories. And I can’t let that touch Taehyung-ah…ever.”
Yoongi moved away from Mathan and grabbed a low hanging tree branch. When it held under his weight he crossed his ankles and started doing pull-ups.
Taehyung watched Mathan and Yoongi speak out of the corner of his eye. Every day he prayed that Yoongi would turn to him, say something to him, seek comfort from him; but it was as if he had become invisible to the person he loved most in the world. His lover had not spoken directly to him since the day he had been dragged away and Taehyung felt as if something in his soul were dying. Night after night he was plagued by dreams of the man Carl dragging Yoongi away and screaming at him to stay silent or else.
When Jungkook had woke him that morning begging to know what had happened to Jimin, especially after witnessing what Namjoon had gone through, Taehyung had found his throat closing up just like before, and he had only been able to smile and stroke their maknaes cheek.
When Taehyung saw Yoongi start doing pull-ups on the tree he waved Mathan over to him. Taking a deep breath and hoping his voice worked, he asked in stuttering English, “Jungkook…ask…Jimin…what…tell… him?”
Mathan sighed as he turned his attention to Taehyung, a small smile of endearment on his face that immediately turned sad.
“He must mean a lot to you for you to talk to me,” Mathan said softly, nothing about him even remotely like his uncle. “And I’m not sure. That monster won’t let anyone around him but…” Mathan let go a deep sigh. “Tell your brother to never lose hope,” he said. “The seven of you will be reunited soon and…I’m sure…Jimin is… well cared for. Sven may be a monster but…he takes very good care of…”
Mathan trailed off and looked around.
“Are you okay?” he asked this boy now. “Is there anything you need? Yoongi says…you haven’t been sleeping well. He’s worried about you…”
“Yoongi hyung is worried about me? Why won’t he talk to me then, Mathan-ah?” Taehyung switched from his faulty English to Hangul as he asked the larger man rapid fire questions. “Is he angry at me because that man Carl beat me? I had to stop him from hurting Kookie-ah and somehow I pulled his mask off...”
Mathan sank down next to Taehyung as he considered the boy, unsure of what to do or say.
“You still love him, don’t you?” Mathan asked softly.
Taehyung could only sniffle and nod, wiping his nose on his sleeve.
“Have you told him?” Mathan asked.
Taehyung shook his head as he looked to the man he still loved.
“Why not?” Mathan asked.
Taehyung just shrugged.
“I…not…” he tried. “I don’t know what to say,” he said softly.
“Just tell him that you still love him and that you don’t think he is dirty. The only person he is mad at is himself.”
Taehyung nodded at Mathan, stood up and walked over to Yoongi who had stopped the pull-ups and dropped to the ground.
“Please hyung…talk to me,” Taehyung said softly. “You are the most important person in the world to me and I cannot lose you.”
Yoongi stiffened at the sound of Taehyung’s voice but he slowly turned around. He tried to keep his face cold and calm but seeing the pain and yearning on his lover’s face was finally too much for the rapper. Beating back his own fear and pain he hooked a hand gently around Taehyung’s neck and pulled their faces close together.
“I’m sorry, chagiyah,” Yoongi said just as softly. “I do love you…so much. You are my light and I couldn’t stand the thought of the evil done to me touching you… I should have been there for you when that bastard hurt you but…I couldn’t see past my own pain. Please forgive me, chagiyah.” Yoongi wiped away the tears that fell from Taehyung’s eyes and brought their lips together in a soft kiss. “I am a broken man,” Yoongi admitted, his tone colored with shame. “I fear that…because of that…I will lash out to hurt and break others... Please don’t let me hurt you, Tae-ah… It would destroy me if that happened.”
Taehyung slowly wrapped his good arm around Yoongi and whispered, “I would gladly bleed for you, Yoongi-ah, just as I know you would for me. That is what families do for one another, now and always, chagiyah.”
Mathan watched as the lovers reconciled; a small weight lifting in his chest.
“The hopeless only have each other,” his mother had once said to him.
She had been right. In this dark and desolate place, the only way these seven young men would survive would be by clinging on to each other. It sent another painful ripple through his heart as he realized that his sweet angel was still hopelessly alone to face the world. Mathan hoped with everything he had that Jin would find someone to love him as he deserved…as he was. It was the only thing that would make all of this worth it.
Waiting a few minutes longer lost in thought Mathan finally stood.
“Come on kids,” he barked good naturedly. “I’m not fixing frostbite. And it’s time for lunch so go eat.”
Taehyung giggled helplessly at Mathan then felt guilty for the relief that washed over him when Yoongi wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him back to the other man. They had been through so much suffering and they still didn’t know about Jimin and his condition, but he just wanted to take this one moment and freeze it into his heart. He had his heart back and he let that knowledge strengthen him.
When they returned to their cell they found that the others had already returned. Jungkook was sleeping again wrapped in Hoseok's arms while Namjoon sat stiffly at the table watching Jin move around the kitchenette and cook. Two of Sven’s guards stood inside the door watching every move Jin made whispering back and forth to one another in Russian. Mathan came in and bristled immediately as he looked around. Right about now he regretted not understanding the language.
“Everyone good?” he asked, looking right at Namjoon.
“Fine,” Namjoon said stiffly. “Those guards brought a message for Jin from Sven. He heard that Jin makes good jook and wants some for Jimin. Said if he does a good job he can even bring the food to Jimin himself.” Namjoons eyes moved from Jin to Mathan then to the guards. “What should we do? I don’t think it is a good idea but…Jin says he will go.”
"Over my fucking dead body he will go," Mathan said without hesitation. "Sven has a master chef. Why would he need Seokjin to cook it?"
One of the guards stepped forward to answer.
“I do not know. All Master Sven said was for the jook to be cooked here and that the lovely Kim Seokjin could deliver it to his private quarters when it was finished. We were ordered to wait and then one of us was to escort him there while the other made sure that the rest ate and cleaned up. He did say that he would return the young man in a few hours.” The guard gave Mathan an evil smirk. “Perhaps you would like to discuss the order with Master Sven yourself.”
Mathan growled. GROWLED. A low and animalistic sound.
"Tell your fuckboy he can come get the food himself," Mathan said, his stance threatening. "Kim Seokjin isn't going ANYWHERE."
“Mathan-ah, if it is for Jimin…” Jin whispered as he moved to Mathans side.
“It isn’t. It is just a way for Sven to play some sick game with all of you.” Mathan whispered back under his breath as he encircled Jin’s neck with his hand. To the guards it looked like a rough hold but to Jin it was feather light.
The guard who spoke before waved the phone he had been speaking on at Mathan.
“Master Sven is on his way here to pick up the soup himself.”
In less than two minutes Sven was walking into the cell. He looked from his guards on one side of the room to Mathan with Jin on the other. A cold smirk crossed his face as he asked, “Is there a problem, Mr. Foley?”
“No problem, Sven. Just take your soup and go. Seokjin will not be playing delivery boy today.” Mathan snarled at the Russian thrusting the container of soup into his hand. “I would suggest that you leave quietly and spare me having to clean up blood later.”
Sven laughed and bowed at Jin.
“I am sure that your cooking will make Jiminie feel much better, Kim Seokjin. Oh, and I have decided to forgive his naughtiness, so I am sure that you will all be happy to know I didn’t give him to my guards after all… much to their disappointment. They were so looking forward to tasting that sweet flesh, but I find that I am a jealous lover and don’t want to share.”
As he left his cold laughter echoed through the room.
“Mathan-ah?” Jin looked up at the taller man.
“It will be fine,” Mathan insisted, looking the man in the eye. “Sven is way too fond of his little games,” the American man whispered into Jin’s hair. “Watch out for the others. Namjoon and I are going to have a chat, man to man.”
Mathan couldn’t help the grin that crossed his face at the worried look that Jin sent him. His angel didn’t know how cute he was sometimes, even in this dark and blood-stained place. It was a memory that Mathan would always carry in his heart, one more added to the thousands he had burned into his mind of this beautiful, perfect angel.
Turning to look at Namjoon Mathan hitched an eyebrow in the mans direction.
“Shoes,” he said. “You and I are going to have a little chat.”
Namjoon looked at the man and considered refusing but one look from his hyung had him slowly peeling himself from his bed and sliding on shoes before carefully shuffling over to Mathan, taking the jacket as roughly as he could and accepting Seokjins assistance in putting it on. Namjoon didn’t say one word as he followed Mathan out, sitting on the log next to the man.
“Why do you hate me so much?” Mathan asked, looking sideways at Namjoon. “Man to man, what is your problem?”
Namjoon couldn’t look at the man. How was he supposed to explain his feelings to someone who could reach out with one hand and snap his neck like a toothpick. He didn’t completely understand them himself. One moment he was grateful to the man for the help he had given his brothers; the next he wanted to rip the man’s head off.
Taking a breath, Namjoon decided to answer honestly.
“That night…you were there, weren’t you? You took us from our lives…our families…and brought us to this hell. You knew that what you did was wrong, against the law…and yet, you still helped. Which one of us did you carry into that building, tied, gagged and blindfolded? Was it Seokjin-hyung? Yoongi-hyung? Me?” He asked, waving a hand towards the compound.
“I wasn’t there from the go,” Mathan said calmly. “I was here on surveillance making sure everyone else had gotten away. But…it was…you,” he stuttered. “I carried you in and…stripped you of your belongings. I stripped all of you of your belongings and smashed your phones once I had handed over the sim cards to Carl. Because none of this was supposed to happen…”
Mathan stood up in frustration and threw a nearby branch.
“My father…told me a few weeks max. That you all were so popular that the ransom would be paid in a heartbeat, and all of us would be okay for a bit and…we wouldn’t get caught. Then everything went to shit and…I couldn’t just bail because…if I had known what was going to happen…” Mathan didn’t know what to say. Would Namjoon believe the truth? Probably not. “I never meant for this to happen and…if I had known…I would have done everything in my power to stop it. I could…have stopped it. But I promise I will finish it soon and…you all will be back to normal so…”
“You may be able to promise that this will finish soon but there is no more normal for us and that is the one thing you can never give back to us.” Namjoon stood slowly, wincing as the cuts on his back pulled open. “We will never be the people we were on that night again and there is a part of me that wants to make you bleed and suffer for it. For Yoongi-ah. For Jungkook-ah. For Taehyung-ah. For my Hobi-ah. And especially for Jiminie.”
Namjoon took a step, then another away from Mathan before turning back to face him.
“But Jimin…his pain right now lies solely on my shoulders and a piece of me hates you for showing me my weakness…as a man and a leader. My anger at seeing him like that…a ‘pet’ for that monster Sven…and then seeing him with that ring… All I could think of was my family. My team was fractured, and I had to come forward and make it right again. But instead all I did in my anger was create pain and suffering for Jimin and myself.”
“I’m sorry for that,” Mathan said sincerely. “I really am. But no amount of apologizing in the world is going to change things. And…when you all are free, I am sure you will see to my just punishment then. I will take whatever kind of hell that you condemn me to because it is no less than I deserve. But just remember that I am not the most evil monster you have met and…that I tried to save you from this nightmare as quickly as I could…”
Mathan took a deep breath. He wanted to tell Namjoon that Jimins pain was not his fault, but he could not lie.
“All you can do is learn from your mistakes, Kim Namjoon. Grow from them. Do not continue to make them. If what I have shown you pushes you to change and be a better leader and a better man, then I will accept your hatred with honor. BE a better man. A stronger leader. Your team will need you more than ever when the wolves of freedom descend. You will all need to heal and…find yourselves. They will count on you most of all to reassure them that everything is fine. Seokjin…”
Mathan turned his back and closed his eyes.
“He will be…he will be the only one that is alone. He will need you all…”
Mathan shook his thoughts aside and turned to face Namjoon.
“What’s so special about the ring?”
Namjoon looked at Mathan in confusion at the change of subject. He had been thinking deeply about the other man’s words, so the question threw him for a moment.
“The ring was a gift from my halmoni…grandmother. She gave it to me the night I told my family the plans I had for my future. She was the only one who believed in me about my music and encouraged me to follow my dreams, no matter what the family said. From the second she gave it to me it has never been off my hand except for showers.” Namjoon saw that Mathan was looking at his bare hands and answered the silent question. “Hobi-ah has it. He is keeping it on the necklace you gave him from his mother. He keeps them hidden from the other guards.”
“Please do,” Mathan said with an approving nod. “I can’t guarantee anything else was kept. I couldn’t even tell you where it is…”
Mathan sat back down and scrubbed his hands over his face as he thought about the mess he found himself in.
“You have got to work on your communication skills,” he finally groaned. “Don’t worry about being caught. I have control of the com-room. It hasn’t worked right in weeks so…not much of anything has been recorded… just so you know…”
“We did wonder about that but Jin was sure that you had something to do with the fact that even when we said things, no guards ever came storming in.” Namjoon stared into Mathans blue eyes and spoke of something else that was troubling him.
“About Jin.” Namjoon cleared his throat. “I have seen the way his eyes follow you but more important, I have seen the way that you look at him. There is a hunger in your eyes that frightens me for him…out of all of us, Mathan-ah, Jin hyung is the most innocent in that part of life. He has never been with anyone, or…dated. I don’t even think that he has ever been kissed.” The leader of BTS looked at Mathan. “You know this won’t end well, for either of you, don’t you?”
Mathan looked at the boy for a minute, considering feigning ignorance but eventually decided against it. He also considered being cold towards Namjoon, but he knew that that would undo any progress he may have made.
“I think the part where I’m condemned to death would end that…don’t you?” Mathan asked, his tone even. “Just…promise me you will take care of him and…let him know that above all others he is most worthy of someone who can love him for the person he really is…and…I will work better to contain how I feel…”
Mathan was never one to labor under delusions. He knew his death was coming and he knew that even if he got out of this unscathed he could never be with the man his heart had fallen for. It was inappropriate in ways he could not even begin to understand, and he knew that such a relationship would never be tolerated in the open even if he were not the monster he had turned out to be.
Namjoons heart was eased somewhat by Mathan's answer but he also knew his elder hyung in a way that this man did not. Kim Seokjin was innocent about the carnal part of life but he wasn’t naïve or stupid or overly trusting; he saw a lot more than most people gave him credit for, especially when it came to people. He didn’t want to give any kind of false hope to Mathan, but he did think this was something he should be made aware of.
“Mathan-ah… Jin-hyung made all of us promise…except for Jimin who wasn’t with us…that no matter what… none of us would speak against you. He said that when you get us rescued…we don’t know you. Not your face or your name…anything that would help them find you. He made us promise that we would all let you get away and be free.”
Mathan gave Namjoon a small smile.
“I appreciate that,” he said. “But…life doesn’t happen that way. I already know this. I won’t…push you out on some deserted road and…give you a direction to walk. You probably wouldn’t make it. I will take you straight to the nearest hospital I trust to care for you and…wait for the kind of authorities I trust to get you home safely and…there will be my doom so…”
Mathan looked at the ground as he tried to control his emotions.
“Please do not let any of them speak for me. Worry only about yourselves. I have accepted my fate already. Just…let me rot in hell until I die. It will be easier that way…I think…”
Namjoon wasn’t sure which way to turn. This man seemed determined to either die or spend the rest of his life in prison. And Jin was just as determined that this man would go free for all the help he had given them and in helping them escape. It would be almost funny if it weren’t so tragic.
“I will follow your lead from now on, Mathan-ah but my loyalty is to my hyung, so that is something you will have to talk to him about. We all made our promise to Jin and we will keep it.” Namjoon said, starting to shiver in the cold late afternoon air.
Mathan looked at him and nodded.
“I’ll find you all some jackets,” he said. “But you should get back in.”
Mathan himself only had on a long-sleeved shirt and light jacket but he found it bearable. Returning Namjoon to the room he studied everyone there before his gaze landed on Hoseok.
“Feel like trying a walk?’ he asked the man.
Hoseok looked at Mathan in surprise before looking at Namjoon who just nodded.
Standing slowly Hoseok steadied himself before hobbling over to the door where Mathan wrapped an arm around the younger mans waist.
“We’ll take it slow, okay?” he asked, helping the man out the door and down the corridor before helping him through the door and slowly releasing him so that the man could enjoy his first time outside.
“Sorry it’s so cold,” Mathan said apologetically. “Is your leg okay?”
Hoseok looked down at his leg before nodding.
“Why don’t you sit down?” Mathan said, pointing to the log the rest of them had used.
Hoseok nodded again before hobbling over and lowering himself on to it. Mathan stood where he was, considering the boy before leaning against a nearby tree.
“Since I’ve already asked everyone else, I will ask you too. How are you?” he asked, looking Hoseok in the eye.
“I am better, Mathan-ah, I can bear more weight on my leg. But I am worried about the others… Yoongi-hyung and Taetae-ah seem to be back as they were, but I see the shadows in their eyes. Jungkook cries out at night for Jimin and he finally told me some of what Carl made him do.” Hoseoks face took on an expression that most had never seen and would have surprised any who only ever saw the happy, joyful J-Hope; it was cold… unsmiling, and his eyes burned black with fury. “I know this man is your family, Mathan-ah, but he must pay for what he has done to Jungkookie. He touched, kissed and fondled Jungkook while forcing him to sing, all this while blindfolded.”
Hoseoks fists clenched in his lap and he fought against the tears threatening to fall. The time for tears was over, they had missed their opportunity for escape and both Namjoon and Jimin had paid a heavy price. If they were to have any hope of leaving this hell they must all bow their heads to one wiser than them and harden themselves to this reality.
“Leave that piece of shit to me,” Mathan said. “If he touches Jungkook again…” Mathan knew he would be having a conversation with his uncle later that the man would not like. “We can’t always choose who our family is, yeah?” he tried, pushing off the tree and going to sit by Hoseok.
“I promise I will get you out of here but…if that is going to happen…I have to have your help. I think…you are the only one who can control your leader. He has to hold his temper if we are going to make this work. We have to be a team. And you all will…have to suffer a lot longer than I had planned. Our window of opportunity has closed for now…”
“Namjoon is a good leader but all this has tested him in a way none of us were prepared for; you know all about us, Mathan-ah. We are not wealthy like Jin-hyung and his family, but we all come from good families. We have never had to confront this kind of violence or evil before and it overwhelmed all of us. We should have listened and followed your words and that is a mistake that will cost all of us dearly. But I know my brothers, Mathan-ssi, they will bow and bend, they may even come close to breaking, but they will not give up now and neither will I.”
Hoseok stood up and gently put his full weight on the injured leg. When it held with only a small amount of pain, he smiled widely at Mathan.
“True families are not always blood, sometimes they are a choice, remember that, Mathan-ssi. I’m your hope, you’re my hope, I’m J-Hope… It isn’t just something I say for our ARMY, it is what I believe. We must be each other’s hope.”
“Do you know what today is?” Mathan asked simply, looking at the boy.
When Hoseoks expression changed to one of confusion Mathan let out a humorless laugh.
“It’s December 15th. Which means you have been here for 122 days. My help cannot join us until mid-April because she has commitments of her own that she must absolutely keep lest she risks everything of her own. That means you will be here at least three and a half months more. That’s almost eight months. Do you really think the seven of you can survive?”
The numbers that Mathan was throwing out at Hoseok were daunting and a part of the rapper/dancer wanted to break down; but his hand reached up and felt the necklace around his neck, now with the added weight of Namjoons ring on it. He took courage from its presence around his throat.
“Do we have a choice, Mathan-ah? If we don’t keep going forward one day at a time, then we might as well lay down and die right now. And none of us want to die. We want to go home and see our families again. I don’t know if it is possible now, but I want to stand on the stage again with my brothers and hear thousands of ARMYS chanting our names. Can you help us make that happen?”
“Your fans haven’t forgotten you,” Mathan said, pulling out his phone and pushing some buttons before turning it around and showing it to the boy.
On the screen in front of him were dozens of YouTube videos, all titled with things like “Bangtan Sonyeondan wins Artist of The Year Melon Music Awards” and “BTS sweeps MAMAs”.
“If you follow me, I will do my part in getting you back where you belong. Stage, fans, the whole nine yards.”
The tears that Hoseok had been determined not to shed fell down his cheeks in silver streams. They were remembered, by friends, family and their fans. No matter what they had to survive; to stand on the stage again as Bangtan Sonyeondan, in front of their families, friends and fans.
“Take us home, Mathan-ah!”
Mathan nodded and took his phone back.
“I’m counting on you to help me get to our final run date without any more punishments, okay?” he said softly. “You can even tell the others there’s a bunch of trophies waiting for them back home. I just…can’t push this back any more or I’ll have to kill everyone here and that’s a lot of bodies to hide.”
Hoseok laughed through his tears as he nodded, a bright smile on his face that did not disappear even when he faced his brothers again as he reentered the room. It was a smile that none of them had seen in quite some time.
Namjoon thought his heart would explode at the sight of a smile he had not seen in months. It was the true smile of his beloved Hobi, the one full of life and hope; the smile that had made him and the world fall in love with Jung Hoseok. A smile he had thought gone forever and yet there it was. He turned to Mathan and seeing the man’s blue eyes on him, Namjoon bowed his head in thanks.
At that smile on Hoseok's face Jin turned his smile fully to Mathan, thanking him silently for whatever hope he had given to his brother. He also saw a softening in the faces of Yoongi and Taehyung as they looked from Hoseok to Mathan.
Giving Hoseok a gentle push in Namjoon's direction Mathan moved over to Jungkook. Acting as if it were nothing he swept the maknae up into his arms, blankets and all.
“He needs to get fresh air,” Mathan said at the curious glances from the others. “I won’t keep him out long. He just needs to see how his lungs cope with the cold, so I know what we need to do if a chance to run comes up.”
The others just nodded, torn between letting their sick maknae out in the cold and using this time to ask Hoseok what had happened to make him smile so.
While Mathan had taken Jungkook for a walk the rest of Bangtan Sonyeondan crowded around Hoseok, each of them reaching out to touch him, Namjoon gently tracing the tear tracks on his lovers’ face.
“Hobi,” he whispered, an endearing smile gracing his worn features. “What…”
Hoseok smiled brightly again, more tears coming to his eyes as he recalled the image of Mathan's phone screen.
“We…” Hoseok tried, a sob escaping him as he took hold of Namjoons hand. “They haven’t…” Taking a deep breath and reigning his emotions in, he continued. “The world…ARMY…they have not forgotten us. We…we were nominated for the awards shows…”
“What?” Namjoon asked in surprise.
“We won!” Hoseok exclaimed, opening his eyes and looking at his brothers. “I…only saw a few titles but…we won a daesang. We did it! Artist of the Year at Melon and…one of them said we swept the MAMAs but…We made it!”
The others stared at their brother in disbelief. Never in a million years had they ever dreamed they would have a daesang. Especially not for artist of the year. In that moment they knew that now more than ever they had to make it home, if only to thank their fans.
Making sure Jungkook was bundled Mathan carried him outside and sat him on a bench in a little concrete outpost, letting the boy lean against him and even wrapping an arm around him to try and shield him from the cold.
Jungkook sat there with his eyes closed. It was the first time he had been allowed outside and it was a little overwhelming.
“Take a few deep breaths and just relax,” Mathan said softly, feeling the maknae comply against him. “You doing okay?”
Jungkook nodded, a small smile gracing his features.
“You’re warm, hyung,” he said, causing Mathan to momentarily stiffen before laughing softly.
“Glad I’m good for something,” he said, looking down on the boy.
“Gomabseubnida,” Kookie said softly, burying in to Mathan.
“What for?” Mathan asked in confusion.
“For taking care of me,” Kookie said, his tone sleepy. “Us…”
“You’re welcome,” Mathan said softly.
As cold as the air was and as warm as the man next to him was Jungkook roused himself from his sleepiness to ask, “Jimin-hyung really okay?”
Mathan looked down at the young man in his arms. There was no way in hell that he could tell Jungkook the truth, physically he wouldn’t be able to handle it. Forcing him to watch as Sven’s guard had caned Namjoon very nearly undid all the progress that Jungkook had made. The problem was that his body was still so weak that any stress could send him into relapse and Mathan would be damned if he was going to lose any of Bangtan Sonyeondan to death. So, he felt no regret at the lie he was going to tell.
“Jimin-ssi is just fine, Kookie-ah. Sven won’t hurt him, treats him like a jewel in fact. Pampers and spoils him, although I am sure that he is worried about you; and he would want you to focus on gaining your strength back and getting better, so they we can get the hell out of this place.”
Mathan watched as Jungkook nodded his head, then gave in to sleep. Picking the slight man up softly as to not wake him Mathan made his way back into the building. He laughed to himself as he added lying to the innocent to the list of sins that would condemn him to hell. It was growing to be a long fucking list…
Once Mathan returned Jungkook to the room and got him settled back in bed piled up with Namjoon and Hoseok he turned to Jin.
“Would Kim Seokjin like to take a walk outside with me?”
Jin smiled shyly as he nodded and put on the shoes that Mathan had brought for him. It felt strange to be wearing his own tennis shoes again after so long of moving around only in slippers. He layered on several shirts and one of the jackets they had gotten Jungkook when he first became ill, then followed Mathan.
Jin shivered at the cold bite of air that hit him as he and Mathan stepped outside. He couldn’t help himself as he spread his arms wide and twirled around in a circle, taking long deep breaths and laughing a little when his breath came out in puffs of cold smoke. He turned laughing eyes to Mathan only to find the other staring at him intently with a sudden hunger that sent a small shiver through Jin. Before he could say anything, the larger man had taken him by the arm and was moving him into the tree line away from the compound building.
“Mathan-ah!” He gasped as Mathan pushed him back against a tree once they were out of sight.
Jin looked up at the larger man wide-eyed as his face was cupped gently and he was pulled up into his first kiss. As Mathan's lips touched his, he gasped, and his lips parted. This was all the invitation that the older man needed.
Mathan was pretty sure he was damning himself to an even deeper pit of hell but at the touch of Jin’s sweet lips he no longer cared. When the smaller man gasped Mathan didn’t think or question, he simply took. Thrusting his tongue in he teased and licked the inside of Jin’s mouth, deepening the contact when he felt the other man’s body soften against his own.
When Jin wrapped arms around Mathans back the larger man couldn’t contain the possessive growl that emerged; and he followed his need by lifting the Korean man up and guiding Jin to wrap his legs around his waist, bracing him back against the tree.
Jin’s head fell back as Mathan's lips moved from his mouth to the column of his throat and he was helpless to stop the soft moan as Mathan's teeth nipped the skin just under his Adam’s apple.
“Mathan-ah…’ Jin moaned.
Pulling away from Jin but not releasing him in any way Mathan spoke from a heart he long thought dead.
“I dreamt of doing that for so long. I’m sure there is a special place in hell for me but for once in my life I wanted to touch beauty and taste perfection. I know this is the wrong time and an even worse place for this; but one day soon you will be free of this nightmare and I will either be in hiding, dead, or locked away. For one moment I want to believe that something as beautiful and pure as you, Kim Seokjin…could look at me and not see a monster.”
Jin could only shake his head as he buried his face in Mathans neck. The older man was right, this was the wrong time and place, but he could not feel any regret for giving in to his growing feelings for Mathan. He didn’t see a monster when he looked at the other man; all Jin saw was a soul as trapped in this prison as they were.
“Mathan-ah is not a monster. He is a good man trapped in a bad place just like us.”
Jin wanted to tell Mathan what he was feeling, what was in his heart, but he sensed that the other man wouldn’t believe what he said right now, so Jin let his actions speak for him.
He tightened his arms and legs around the larger man, pressing his lips back to Mathan's.
Mathan allowed himself a moment to fall into Jin’s kiss before reason came knocking. Backing away and letting Jin’s feet touch earth again he moved them back into the clearing, walking back towards the compound building.
“I am sorry for taking you by surprise, but I am not the least bit sorry for my actions, Kim Seokjin.” Mathan sent a wicked grin to Jin as he opened the outer door of the concrete building.
“Me either, Mathan-ah.” Jin grinned back as color flooded his cheeks.
Back in the room Mathan gathered up all the shoes that he had brought BTS for their time outside and gave them all a nod, sending a soft smile to Jin as he turned, making his way out.
It was only Taehyung who took notice of the kiss swollen lips and slight whisker-burn that Jin was now sporting. Going up to his eldest hyung Taehyung whispered, “Cold water to the face helps take care of the well kissed look.”
Sven sat back in satisfaction as he watched the replay on his computer. Mathan had just handed him all the ammo he needed to bring about the American’s downfall and drive a wedge in the brotherhood between the members of Bangtan Sonyeondan. And it would all be thanks to Kim Seokjin.
Jimin jerked awake at the sound of Sven’s loud cold laughter, curling himself tighter around the white teddy bear that had quickly become his one lifeline to sanity.
Seeing that his jewel was awake Sven motioned for Jimin to come to him, smiling as the wounded young man rubbed sleep from his eyes; and hugging the bear moved to perch himself stiffly and painfully in the Russian’s lap. He clicked on the computer and let his jewel watch the passionate interaction between Jin and Mathan.
Watching the video Jimin felt like his heart was breaking in two and seeing the evil smile on Sven’s face his body froze, causing the wounds on his back to flare.
“Please chagiyah… Don’t do this! Please! I beg you. I will do whatever you want of me, just please don’t hurt my brothers.”
Sven smiled at the gorgeous sight of his jewel begging him as tears slid down his face. More than anything he wanted to pick Jimin up, throw him on the bed and bury himself in that sweet dancer’s body; but the end game would be all the sweeter once he had Jimin all alone at his estate in Russia. So, he would wait and play his games here and it would be almost as sweet.
“As much as it pleases me to see you beg so prettily, Park Jimin-ssi, my answer is no.” Snaking his fingers through Jimin’s hair Sven yanked the young man’s head back hard and leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I am going to bury Mathan fucking Foley and your hyung Kim Seokjin is going to play whore for the doctor because I promised; and you, my jewel, will stay silent unless you want me to drag your precious Jungkook-ah in here and slit his fucking throat right in front of you.”
Giving Jimin’s hair another hard pull, Sven growled, “You do believe me, don’t you, Park Jimin-ssi?”
“Yes…” Jimin whimpered.
“Yes what?” Sven asked.
Jimin cried out at the pain in his head and back, “Yes, chagiyah.”
*GRAPHICS ADDED AND WORKING*
Newly promoted Police Inspector Daniel ‘Danny’ Kwon was not looking forward to the case he had just been assigned. He and his partner were about to interview Bang Si-hyuk, the former head of BigHit Entertainment, about his involvement in the kidnapping and death of Bangtan Sonyeondan. The higher-ups in the department wanted as quick a confession as possible to give the families and public some closure to what had rapidly become a national scandal.
The problem was that as Danny looked through the file it left him with more questions than answers. So many pieces were just not adding up and when he tried talking to his partner about it all he got was a shrug and a blank stare. It had become clear to him that all his partner cared about was how close to retirement he was and how soon he could leave to go drinking. Danny wasn’t stupid, he was aware that they had been assigned this case to wrap it up quickly and call it closed, but he was unwilling to do that until he had the answers that made sense.
Maybe this interview would start some of the pieces coming together to lead Danny to the answers that he, the families, the whole of South Korea, and the world needed to understand why seven young men died so tragically.
Stepping into the interrogation room Danny could see his partner sitting across from a man who looked like he was walking through the fires of hell. His appearance ragged, Bang Si-Hyuk was wearing clothes that he appeared to have slept in for several days and it was clear to Danny that the man had lost a considerable amount of weight. It was hard for the young inspector to reconcile the man in front of him with the man the families of Bangtan Sonyeondan had described as a caring mentor and father-like figure to their sons.
The evidence turned over to them by SME showed a cold, cruel tyrant who was at constant odds with Bangtan Sonyeondan over their music, personal lives, and schedules to the point of almost coming to physical blows. There wasn’t more than one Bang Si-Syuk and Danny was determined to discover which man they had in this room with them.
Hitman looked up in exhaustion as the door to the interrogation room opened once more. He had been in this room for thirty odd hours, several men coming in and out to question him, trying everything in the world to get him to confess to things he would never do. Now it seemed they had found a fresh face to try and break him. Cautiously watching the man shut the door and take a seat Bang Si-hyuk waited for his undivided attention before speaking.
“Good afternoon, Bang Si-Hyuk-ssi…I am Inspector Danny Kwon and I need to ask you some questions about what happened to Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi…” As Danny spoke each name he laid a publicity still of that member in front of the man. “…Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung and Jeon Jungkook.”
“My statement remains the same,” Hitman said softly, once again trying to contain the emotions that he felt. “I didn’t do anything to those boys… My boys. All I did…was…fail to keep them safe. To bring them home. But I never caused this. I don’t care what your ‘evidence’ says. I cared a great deal for them. Staked my entire company on their success. I don’t know what more you want me to say and…I honestly have no idea why I even bother to say anything when none of you will listen to me and see reason. I’ve told you the truth. Everything I know. I don’t know what else to do…”
Danny looked over at his partner surprised to see that it looked as if the man were sound asleep. Sighing under his breath Danny poked the man under the table and suggested that he might get Bang Si-Hyuk a cup of coffee since it looked as if the other man needed it.
Once his partner was out of the room Inspector Danny Kwon turned a cold hard face to the former head of BigHit.
“These young men are dead and right now all the evidence we have says that you might have had something to do with it.”
Placing a tape recorder down on the table between them, Danny pushed play and let Hitman listen to some phone conversations that took place between him and several members of Bangtan Sonyeondan. The tapes were damning, and Danny watched as the man’s skin tone went from flush red to pale then a grey hue. For a moment the inspector feared that the man might fall over dead.
“After listening to these conversations surely you can understand why there are grave concerns that you may have been behind the kidnapping of Bangtan Sonyeondan.”
Danny gave the man a look of sympathy.
“Something went wrong, didn’t it? Something you didn’t plan for…maybe one or more of them tried to escape and it just got out of hand. But now is the time to tell us the truth…time to tell us where those boys’ bodies are at, so we can bring them home for a proper burial.”
Hitman shook his head in horror as he listened to the tapes, the bottom of his stomach falling out as he listened to the recording.
“No…” he breathed. “You don’t…that was…you don’t understand. None of that…it wasn’t…”
He had not allowed himself to listen to their voices in months…had forgotten how passionate and enraged they could sound when they spoke to him of their hopes and dreams.
“I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO THEM!” he shouted. “I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE! SOMEONE TOOK MY BOYS! THEY TOOK THEM FROM ME!!! I TRIED TO GET THEM BACK AND NO ONE WOULD LET ME! I HAD THE MONEY! YOU CALLED THESE MONSTERS TERRORISTS, AND NO ONE WILL SHOW ME WHY!!! WHY CAN I NOT PAY TO HAVE THEM HOME? WHY? WHYYYYYY?????”
Hitmans chest was heaving and his head was spinning.
“Namjoon-ah…” he said slowly as he looked at his hands. “Namjoon-ah…questioned a lot. He questioned his ability as a leader…as a rapper…as a producer. He studied a lot, and he learned a lot. He wondered if his artistic color blended well with his members…if perhaps some of them were being forced to bend in order to meet what Bangtan Sonyeondan had been the first go round before most of the original members left. He made a lot of mistakes and…he had times when he wanted to give up. What you heard…what you heard were pieces…of a Bangtan Bomb that we did. The other members wanted Joon-ah to know…that they trusted him fully as their leader. That they knew before he did what his heart would immediately say if questioned. Everyone knows he has been Rap Monster since he was very young. No one has ever questioned his ability. In the beginning…I offered him a contract on his own. Told him I would support him in whatever he decided. But he worried a lot about Yoongi-ah…”
Bang Si-hyuk looked up at the inspector.
“Without one, there are none,” he said softly. “Do you know who taught me that? Kim Taehyung. A shy boy from Daegu who doubted his abilities just as Kim Namjoon did. Every day for a year he would follow his hyung around, full of big boxy smiles and overwhelming adoration. I knew who he was. How special he was. But he didn’t. Every day for a year I would see him…watch him grow and improve, and my heart would soar; but I had to be indifferent, and so I pretended not to know his name. He needed to find himself before anyone else did. He came up with the idea. Everyone but Namjoon knew. After their schedule for the day I pulled the rap line…Yoongi-ah…Hoseok-ah…Namjoon-ah…into my office. I questioned his dedication to his team. Used false accusations against him. Asked if he thought he was better than them. But in my heart…I knew. I acted that way to make it convincing. It was never real. No one was surprised when he immediately chose Bangtan Sonyeondan over his own career and after we were through the other members burst in and hugged their leader and we all had a laugh but…that part doesn’t seem to be in those recordings, does it?”
Danny gazed at the other man as he spoke so passionately about Bangtan Sonyeondan. The look in his eyes was that of a grief-stricken father, not a cold-blooded killer. The pieces of this puzzle were getting further apart instead of coming together as the young inspector had hoped.
“So…Bang Si-Hyuk-ssi…if you didn’t have anything to do with the kidnapping/death of Bangtan Sonyeondan, who and why is someone doing everything they can to convince the police you did?”
Hitman Bang watched the inspector and noticed for the first time that this man had a sharpness about him that the others did not. He had just asked a question that none of the other police who had grilled him for hours had thought to speak.
Growling in rage, Hitman answered, “As long as I am here fighting these accusations against me, I can’t fight for my company and for the legacy that my boys left behind. SME is doing everything they can to strip everything that Bangtan Sonyeondan was down, and make as much money as they can while doing it. That is where I would start looking for some of the answers to your question, Inspector Kwon.”
Inspector Kwon nodded as he considered the older man.
“Why would SME want Bangtan Sonyeondan?” he asked. “What do they have to gain from the dead?”
Inspector Kwon had little knowledge of how the entertainment industry worked, and he had a headache just thinking about how he might have to find out.
“SME stands to make millions, maybe more than that on the memorial albums, merchandise, and even the personal items belonging to Bangtan Sonyeondan. I know that several of their friends and family have stepped forward to stop SME; even my friends at JYP have come forward to help, especially in the courts. But SME is a powerful entity here in the music industry, and they are striking back hard.” Hitman leaned back in the chair he was sitting in, weariness settling over him like a dark cloud. “If it is real answers that you are looking for, Inspector Kwon, then I suggest that you ask your questions of the backstage staff. Music Bank is filming this afternoon and several groups from both SME and JYP are recording. It would be a good place to start asking those questions.”
Grabbing a pen and writing on the folder that Danny had come in with, Hitman pushed it towards him.
“Call that number, introduce yourself and explain that you want to speak to some of the company stylists. You will find that they know more about what is going on behind the scenes than we so-called company heads do.”
Inspector Kwon looked at the number and nodded, wondering why Hitman had not given this information up in the first place, and then realizing no one had probably cared.
“Stay here,” he instructed as he stood and pulled out his phone, dialing the number.
The secretary that had answered had not been very helpful or polite, but she had put Danny in contact with the boss man himself who told the inspector that he was more than welcome to ask around, suggesting that he speak with GOT7s stylists specifically, mentioning that the two groups had been close personal friends.
“I’m not sure who is there today honestly,” he had said. “But if you ask to speak with Kaelyn-ah or Somang-ah, they are with the boys the most, so they will probably know the most as GOT7s senior stylist noonas.”
When Danny had asked how he would know who they were, JYP had assured him he would just know.
Making his way to the venue Danny was slightly alarmed by the sheer number of teenage girls screaming and jumping up and down, cameras and signs everywhere. When he arrived backstage he immediately found a staff member from SME, but they were not willing at all to speak with him on matters related to the company, seeming very uncomfortable with the whole thing.
Walking further back stage he inquired as to where to find GOT7s dressing room, which a Music Bank staff led him to. Knocking on the door he entered to chaos as he looked around, seven young men in various stages of dress and consciousness and two young ladies standing behind chairs clips and combs and straighteners hanging out of pockets all over their clothes.
“I’m looking for a Miss Kaelyn-ssi or a Miss Somang-ssi?” he said as he looked around.
“Somang unnie is off work today,” one of the girls said, not turning around. “And Kaelyn went back to the dorms to grab some items. She’ll be back in a bit.”
Danny looked at the girl, then to the guys who eyed him warily.
“Why do you need Somang noona?” the blonde-haired boy asked. “Is she in some kind of trouble?”
A boy to his left punched him in the arm.
“It’s Kaelyn you have to worry about,” he said with a snort. “She probably cussed someone out and they went and made a report…”
“Yah!” another boy shouted.
“Leave Kae alone. Anyone who puts up with your ugly face only deserves praise.”
Danny looked around the room and felt increasingly more overwhelmed before backing out and shutting the door, taking a deep breath and wondering if this all was worth it before deciding to take a seat and wait for this ‘Kaelyn’ to come back.
Thirty minutes later a girl in a snap back and face mask came running up the hall, several bags in her hand before bursting through GOT7s door. Giving it a moment Danny stood back up and knocked on the door again, opening it and looking at the newcomer.
“Are you Miss Kaelyn-ssi?” he asked, not missing the way the girl stiffened or slowly turned in confusion before nodding. “Might I have a word with you in the hall?”
Kaelyn looked around at the others who shrugged before nodding and following the inspector into the hallway.
“Is there something I can help you with?” she asked, her tone low and unsure.
Danny sensed a nervousness in the young woman and wondered about it, but he was quick to reassure her.
“I am Inspector Kwon and I just need to ask you a few questions about SME and their takeover of BigHit Entertainment. There have been questions about Bang Si-Hyuk’s involvement in the kidnapping and death of Bangtan Sonyeondan, but he insists that this music company is somehow involved with the accusations against him.”
Kaelyn looked at the inspector in genuine surprise. It was inside knowledge that stylists knew all the dirt about all the companies, but if they wanted to spill…
“I…” she began, looking around. “I don’t know…if…” Kaelyn took a deep breath. “I really can’t afford to get in any trouble or…to lose my job. And…speaking against SM…” Her tone of voice was enough to tell the inspector something was wrong as she leaned even closer. “The last stylist who crossed them hasn’t seen her family in six months,” she whispered.
Inspector Danny Kwon was confused. This was a music company they were talking about, not a criminal empire. So why did he suddenly feel like he had stepped down the rabbit hole.
“I promise that any information you can give me will kept strictly confidential. I need to know why one music company would want to swallow another, in this case SME to BigHit? Especially when one is so much smaller than the other.”
Danny opened his tablet and scrolled through his notes.
“This man, Bang Si-Hyuk, is being accused of playing a part in the kidnapping and deaths of Bangtan Sonyeondan. Yet he states that this company, SME, is fueling the accusations against him. I would like to know why he would think that and if it is true, how they would go about it?”
Even as he was asking the questions, Danny had opened his private email server and was typing out and sending off a few questions to some old contacts in the military. Bangtan Sonyeondan was seven young men in their prime, so one or two persons would not have been enough to pull off that kind of large scale kidnapping. Danny also made a quick note to re-interview the two staff members who had been with the victims the night they were taken, as well as staff at the studio where they were that night.
He looked up from his tablet to see a strange expression cross the young woman’s face. For a second it was like looking at a totally different person, someone dangerous, but it was fleeting and then gone.
“PD-nim is innocent,” Kaelyn said, her tone firm. “Whatever Lee Soo Man has told you… It is a lie. SME has been after Bangtan Sonyeondan since they beat EXO on Music Bank in 2015. He can’t stand competition. EXO has cooled off a lot because they aren’t being properly managed, and because their artistic styles are being controlled. You might want to look into the terms of any one of SMEs idol contracts. A lot of your questions will be answered there. If their idols were to see the level of success and freedom that BTS has… the reign of the Big 3 would be over. And…Lee Soo Man doesn’t like when he loses to others. Kim Seokjin turned him down without a thought because he knew from his father how the company was ran, and wanted no part of it. Jeon Jungkook was offered an exclusive contract with SM, but…he followed Kim Namjoon for a very long time, and he had a lot of respect for him so…he chose to come to BigHit Entertainment. That was a huge loss for Mr. Lee. Jungkookah…”
Kaelyn closed her eyes and shook her head.
“He was a very talent…very kind…”
Looking at the inspector, rage was back in Kaelyns eyes like a dangerous storm.
“The galaxy lost many stars the day BTS was taken from us, and I hope that the monsters who did this suffer for their crimes. I hope Lee Soo Man is finally held accountable for what he has done to Bang PD-nim. For what he is doing to the families of Bangtan Sonyeondan. For how he is disrespecting their memories. For the pain he is causing their friends. GOT7 and BTS were very dear to each other. I watch my Gyeomie suffer every day from the loss of his very best friend. I thank you for taking this matter so seriously, and I trust in you to look outside of the box that the government has created for you to fill. They have already given you the answers I know but…you will never be able to piece them all together because the answers you have been given, are wrong.”
Danny bowed to the young stylist and left the chaos of the backstage area. Once outside he headed straight for his car. Turning the heater on full blast to fight the December cold he thought about what the stylist had told him about SME. The way she had talked, it did start to sound more like a criminal organization than a music company. He wondered how deep he could dig before his superiors tried to put a leash on him...
As quickly as they wanted this case against Bang Si-Hyuk closed and put away, Danny wasn’t willing to just let it go at that. There were too many unanswered questions. Questions that no one in the government or law enforcement wanted to ask, but he did, and he would.
Just as he was about to start his car and head back to headquarters his phone buzzed. Plugging the phone into the hands-free jack, he answered, “Kwon here.”
A gruff American voice answered in English, “You, my friend…are asking questions that could get your career cut short real fast.”
Smiling as he pulled into traffic Danny replied back in English.
“Jase…I have a group of young men who are now dead. The families want answers, real answers…not the bullshit that the government is trying to shovel at everyone. This wasn’t a spur of the moment thing, it was well planned out. This was a well-known group, healthy young men…it had to be a team, professionals. That is why I need your contacts.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone. So much so that Danny was starting to think that Jase has just hung up. Then he came back, “I will see what I can do, give me twenty-four hours. Normally I would be telling you to just go to hell on this one…but I got a sixteen your old daughter who has been crying her eyes everyday over these guys.”
After that there was just a click as the line went dead.
Once the inspector had left, Kaelyn looked around and pulled out her phone, dialing her brothers number and hoping he would answer.
“You better keep those boys safe, fucker,” she hissed when Mathan picked up the line. “They got Young Blood on the case and it’s every miracle of God I had a facemask on or everyone would have been screwed. You need to think of a way to warn him what his involvement will do. I’m not with you on this one. And you need to gag everyone you called before you get the hook.”
The next morning when Danny was still at his apartment the phone buzzed. He didn’t even get a chance to answer properly before that American voice was speaking again.
“Danny, I don’t know what shitstorm those boys got pulled into, but I am out. I barely scratched the surface before I was warned to back away and reminded that I have children. But I have a name for you. It’s a ghost. A myth really, but…it is the only thing I can give you. And as far as your case goes, lose my fucking number. This is some deep, deep, dark ops. And a friendly reminder…those boys are dead, and their concerns are over. But you, my friend, are still very much alive. If you keep asking the wrong questions of the wrong people though…these folks could make you wish you weren’t.”
Danny stared at the phone in disbelief when he heard the very real fear in Jase’s voice. He was not a man who frightened easily. Although his instincts were telling him to follow his friend’s advice, Danny still asked.
“Can you give me the name?”
Jase sighed over the phone line.
“It has been nice knowing you and I will send flowers to your mother…for you grave. Name’s Beorn. But like I said, he or she is a myth. And now, don’t call again, at least not about this.”
With that the line went dead.
Danny stared out of his apartment window for several minutes trying to see where these new puzzle pieces fit. Why would a dark ops team kidnap a Korean pop group? Was it just about the money? And if it was just about the money, why did the government declare them terrorists? The more Danny thought about it, the more he became convinced that Bang Si-Hyuk didn’t have the knowledge or clout to pull in the kind of professionals who had done this.
Now he found himself back at square one. Was SME just taking advantage of something they saw as an opportunity to throw the investigation off, or was it something much darker? Who or what was Beorn? And what part did they play with Bangtan Sonyeondan?
Deciding he needed more answers from the source Danny went back to Bang Si-Hyuk, once more calling him to the station for questioning.
“I need to know anyone you may have made angry or…anyone you may owe money to,” the inspector said, looking right at Hitman.
“No one,” the man said in confusion. “The only enemy I had was…SME…”
Danny nodded at that and made some notes.
“Who is Beorn?” he asked again.
“What?” Hitman asked as though he had not understood the question.
“Do you know someone with the code name Beorn?” the inspector asked again.
The man before him only shook his head.
“What is this about?” he asked the inspector, curious as to where the new questions were coming from.
“A new angle I’m working,” Danny said. “I don’t believe that you have the power to make these new leads come to be, so I don’t think you had anything to do with Bangtan Sonyeondans disappearance or their murder. I just need to make all the pieces fit before I present my case.”
“So…so you believe me?” Bang Si-Hyuk asked with hope in his voice.
“I do,” Danny said, looking right at the man. “Now I just have to figure out a way to make everyone else believe.”
“Thank you,” the man said, feeling like he would collapse.
“Don’t thank me yet,” the inspector said sadly. “We still have a long way to go.”
Seeing Hitman out, Danny went back to his desk, scrubbing his hands over his face before picking up his phone and making a call to the only successful contact he had made.
Leaving a message, the inspector sat back and waited for his phone call to be returned.
A few moments later his phone rang, and a young woman’s voice asked, “What can I do for you, Inspector?”
“I need to know if you have ever heard the name Beorn in connection with SME or Bangtan Sonyeondan,” he asked, his tone serious.
“No,” Kaelyn said immediately, her heart racing. “I have not. Why do you ask?”
“New leads,” the inspector said. “Have you heard of the name at all?”
“Never,” Kaelyn said, hoping her voice did not waiver. “Do…do you think…is this the person…”
“I can only tell you this person is a person of interest,” he said.
“Have you spoken with the staffs that were with them that night?” Kaelyn asked softly.
“My partner did,” Danny said, feeling confused.
“I think…I think you should. I heard some things…at a schedule and…”
“I’ll look in to that,” he said, jotting down some notes. “Thank you.”
Danny disconnected the call and threw his device on the desk, a massive headache coming on. For every question he asked he only got more questions and no answers. It was highly infuriating.
GOOD NEWS IS: This installment isn't ending any time soon...
BAD NEWS IS: It's gonna hurt...a lot....
Over the next few days Inspector Kwon backed up to the beginning of the investigation, gathering all of the evidence that had been collected and reviewing each piece one at a time to try and find anything anyone had missed. Starting from the kidnapping and moving forward, the first piece of evidence he decided to scrutinize was the video that had been broadcast supposedly confirming the deaths of Bangtan Sonyeondan. After watching it several times Inspector Kwon commissioned copies which he sent to leading experts in the fields of movies, makeup, and autopsy, even slipping a copy to a contact he had that worked in shadier employment than most.
Waiting several days he was more than disappointed when none of his contacts had been able to come to a unanimous agreement. Some had said that the boys were definitely dead while others had been convinced that the video was a farce.
Re-reading the initial interviews of the staff at BigHit, Danny made several notes, remembering that he had meant to question the managers that had been with BTS that night, also making a note to question the staff at the studio. Yet another brick wall was met when he realized the only people who had been there were BTS and their two manager-nims. From what he could tell Bangtan Sonyeondan had been working on a completely self-produced album to release for their fans.
As Christmas quickly approached he felt an overwhelming pressure to find closure for the families, yet he knew he was no closer to the truth than when he had started several weeks before. Obstacle after obstacle kept presenting themselves and as he sat at his desk late one-night Inspector Kwon wondered if he would ever have the answers he so desperately needed. As he went about finding the BigHit staff he realized that as their jobs had ended, they had scattered to the wind. One of the manager-nims had moved to a different province to care for his aging parents and the other had since passed away from an apparent suicide which had been contributed to the loss of his job. Several of the stylists were now employed with other agencies or local salons but due to the hectic holiday and awards show season, none of them were available to come in for questioning until after the new year.
Going over the files of the stylists who worked closely with Bangtan Sonyeondan something caught Danny’s eyes. One of the senior stylists had been having severe money problems right before the kidnapping, yet now the woman’s debts were clear. She was now working in one of the high-end salons in Gangnam and had never been questioned. This was a big red flag in Dannys opinion and it frustrated him that he was finding so many open holes in this investigation.
Knowing that his superiors would reprimand him for what they saw as a waste of department resources, Danny had the woman brought in.
He now sat across from a woman who was clearly nervous.
“I am Inspector Danny Kwon and I have a few questions for you. I am sorry we had to pull you away from your new job. But you were one of Bangtan Sonyeondans senior stylists and yet you were not questioned after the kidnapping.”
Danny leaned back in his seat giving the woman a hard stare.
“I am curious as to why you think that might be?”
He was surprised that within a few seconds of the question the woman broke down into tears, crying and begging forgiveness from Bangtan Sonyeondan for her sin of betraying them.
In minutes Danny had a full statement on how she had been contacted secretly by an unknown person wanting detailed information on the schedule of the group. The woman insisted that she never saw anyone face to face, communicating only through a phone that had been delivered to her apartment. This had excited Danny until she said that this person had ordered her to leave the phone in a certain spot near her apartment. She did say that she had been tempted to keep it but the day after the kidnapping she had received pictures of her only child at school and a warning.
Gathering up all the information that the woman had given him, Danny released her but told her that he would be forwarding everything to Bang Si-Hyuk for possible legal action.
As he saw at his desk Danny decided that since he had exhausted all of his legal resources, it was time to take a walk into the shadow world. Grabbing up his phone he called the one number that he had sworn as a police officer he would never use. The phone was answered on the first ring.
“Uncle…I need your help.”
It was Christmas Eve, and for the seven families gathered in the home of Kim Seokjins parents, it was the loneliest Christmas of their lives. It had been his fathers’ idea to have some kind of private memorial for their children…to gather strength from one another as their sons had done so many times before. As the families sat in silence, staring at the table filled with gifts from their childrens’ fans, it began to sink in that no matter what, they had raised their sons well. ARMY, as these fans were called, had apparently planned dozens of memorial projects in silence, the end result being more happiness and joy than they could possibly have imagined. Through a worldwide, months long effort, millions of individuals had raised funds with one common goal of honoring Bangtan Sonyeondan in whatever way they could.
On the first day of December as Mr. Kim was struggling through a particularly difficult day his secretary had informed him that a representative from a fan club was there to meet with him, insisting that she needed but a moment of his time to pass on some items of great importance related to his son. Unable to turn the child away he welcomed her in, and listened with tears in his eyes as she spoke of how much Kim Seokjin had meant to her, how much he had done for her, and what he had inspired her to be. When she was done she handed several envelopes to him.
“Since…we could not celebrate their birthdays…ARMY thought…we could make your Christmases a little easier…” she had said. “Bangtan Sonyeondan taught us always to think of others first and…we cannot imagine how hard this all must be for you and the other families. We sincerely hope…that these small tokens of appreciation will help you through the holidays. It is all we know to do to honor the fine young men that their mothers and fathers raised.”
Waiting no longer the girl rose and left, leaving Mr. Kim to stare at seven envelopes. His hands shook as he picked up the one labeled with his sons’ name and it took him a long time before he finally opened it with all the care in the world.
ARMY had honored his son by funding a scholarship to help underprivileged students obtain a higher education.
Looking at the others Mr. Kim opened them as well, desperate to see what these people thought of the other boys his own son had loved so dearly.
For Jung Hoseok, a studio had been established in his hometown for people of all ages to learn and experience the joy of song and dance.
For Kim Namjoon, a large donation had been sent to a school in his district so that they would be able to update their library and offer a range of books that would expand learning and creativity.
A garden had been created in Park Jimins name, so that others would be able to experience the beauty of the life he had been meant to lead.
Kim Taehyung’s grandmother would be free and clear of the payment on her house, because if their sweet V could not care for the woman who had raised him, those who loved and cared for him would.
For Min Yoongi, his parents would never have to worry about their restaurant going into debt again. A voucher for the remaining amount of their loan had been enclosed as well as a promise that ARMY would eat there often, if only to support their angel in the only way that they knew how.
Jeon Jungkook was honored with a donation to a local charity that helped train service dogs for individuals that could not otherwise afford one in honor of his love of animals and the companionship they offered.
It had taken several days for Mr. Kim to be able to contact the other families, inviting them to his home for Christmas, and offering to cover the travel expenses, stating that he had a gift for each of them, and that he wanted to deliver it in person. It was a bittersweet meeting as the families laughed and shared memories, before consoling one another as the tears fell with the memories of the children they had lost. Each one gathered was blown away by ARMYs kindness, and for a moment the Mins had tried to refuse the help, unable to process the fact that their son had been so loved by people far and wide. They had never imagined those who had never even met their child could love him as much as them.
Hoseoks parents were in a stunned silence at their only son being honored with the one thing he had always wanted to do. They promised they would supervise his studio well.
Taehyungs grandmother cried as Namjoons mother held her, the both of them emotional from the gifts of remembrance for their children.
Mrs. Park could not help but smile, somehow comforted that others had seen the beauty of her sweet sons’ life.
Jungkooks parents were numb at the fact that their youngest son had inspired so many to give so selflessly.
As the memorial came to a close, a soft melody of music began to rise from outside. At first it was a beautiful array of instruments and when the families exited the building together they were confronted with hundreds of people holding lights, a memorial of another kind just beginning to take place. Everywhere they looked were ARMY Bombs and candles, cell phone flashlights and lighters, people young and old, all bundled against the weather to honor the families as they left.
Pausing to look at the crowd the lot of them were stunned when from several raised platforms slow voices began to sing a sorrowful tune of remembrance and mourning obviously meant to honor their sons. Coming forth seven sets of fans held a large lantern each, lighting the candles within them and letting them fly, messages of love and of hope written on them before one member of each group stepped forward, handing each set of parents an envelope.
“They were the brightest stars in ARMYs galaxy, and now they will forever shine for all the world to see,” one of the girls said softly, looking at Bangtans parents.
As they opened their envelopes gasps and tears sprang forth again as they read the certificates held within. These people they didn’t even know had bought an entire set of stars, named it Bangtan Sonyeondan, giving each of their sons a star in the sky, and naming the brightest star in the middle after their fandom so that BTS and ARMY would forever be together. It was more than any of them could have asked for. In that moment, everyone’s world became just a little brighter.
May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh! How far you are from home
Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now
May it be the shadow's call
Will fly away
May it be you journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun
Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now
A promise lives within you now
On the other side of the world Mathan Foley quietly opened the door to Bangtans prison cell, watching the six remaining members as they finally slept, free of nightmares, for the first time since they had arrived all those months ago. Slipping further into the room Mathan went from bed to bed, brushing the hair from Taehyungs eyes; tucking Jungkook in a little better…rearranging bodies so they didn’t fall out of bed, his heart giving a painful tug as he wiped away the tear tracks on Seokjins face.
“Merry Christmas,” he said softly, his tone low and sad. “I’m so sorry I cannot give you what you want…”
Laying small packages beside their heads, Mathan checked them one last time before slowly turning and exiting the room.
In Jimins hell he watched the clock strike midnight, his white teddy bear clutched tightly to his chest as the tears fell from his eyes. He had not seen his brothers since he and Namjoon were beaten and a part of him desperately needed to know that they were safe. That the sacrifices he made were still worth it in the end.
“What ever is the matter, my jewel?” a velvet voice said from his side, a gentle hand reaching around to wipe away his tears.
Jimin plastered on a smile and softly shook his head as he turned to look at the monster before him.
“Merry Christmas, Chagiyah,” he said, a look of love and endearment on his face, his tone happy and light. “I’m sorry I could not get you anything.”
Sven smiled at his precious prize, happy that he finally seemed to be breaking, but knowing he still had a long way to go.
“Do not apologize, Jiminah,” he soothed. “Your company is all the present that I need. As long as I can enjoy your company, all is well.”
Jimin bit his lip and nodded, one more piece of his soul slipping away.
“Saranghae…chagiyah,” he said slowly, forcing himself to look the man in the eyes.
“There,” Sven cooed, stroking Jimins cheek. “That is all I wanted.”
Jimin gave him a smile as his skin crawled from the touch.
“What does my jewel want as a present?” Sven asked, using this moment to test Jimins loyalty.
“Chagiyah is too kind,” Jimin said, leaning into the touch. “He has given me everything I could have asked for.”
Sven laughed and shook his head as his evil plan cemented more.
“Surely there is something that you want?” he asked, playing the part of a doting lover well. “Anything at all. Just ask and it is yours.”
Jimin knew that would never be. If he ever spoke his hearts true desire to this devil his family would be destroyed. He wanted his brothers safe and sound, his lover in his arms, his life from all those months ago firmly in his grasp. The only thing that Sven could give him now was a quick and painless death.
“Jimin only wants chagiyah,” he said, his trademark Mochi grin slipping onto his face as he retreated to the fortress of his mind. “If Jimin has chagiyah…Jimin will be fine.”
Sven couldn’t help but smile.
“Show me, my jewel…”
Jimin bit his lip before standing on his toes, his lips coming against Svens in a soft, loving kiss.
“Please don’t leave me,” he whispered as he slowly pulled away, his lips barely parted from the others. “Promise me you will keep me forever, and I can die a happy man. That is all I want for Christmas…”
*GRAPHICS ADDED AND WORKING*
The next morning a heavy snow fell across the state of Kentucky burying most under several inches of the white stuff.
Mathan rose early and gathered supplies for a large American breakfast from the south. The cart was loaded down with eggs, ham, sausages, pancake mix, milk and orange juice, and a few other things.
He knew that his father wasn’t happy with his plans for today, but he had gotten up in Dorian’s face telling the man that there would be no cameras or microphones on this day. Even in this nightmare Mathan was going to try and give these young men some measure of peace as he hadn’t yet been able to give them freedom. Dear old dad would just have to deal with it.
The guys had been quiet. Sven was keeping himself entertain with Jimin, which broke Mathans heart, but there wasn’t anything he could for the young Korean man just yet. He prayed to a God he didn’t believe in for Jimin to hold on a little longer. Mathan swore to himself that no matter what he was getting Bangtan Sonyeondan out of this hell and back home where they belonged.
Opening the steel door, he pushed the cart in and brightened the lights, watching as each member began to wake. It was Namjoon who first noticed the small wrapped package by his head. Mathan began to unload the food and pans for cooking as each found the gifts that he had left the night before.
“Even in this shithole, Santa found you. I know it isn’t much, but Merry Christmas and I swear that you will be with your families for your next Christmas. So go ahead and open them…”
Each member of BTS opened their package, taking out the couple’s bracelets that Mathan had searched high and low for. Taehyung and Yoongi’s were purple and black, Namjoon and Hoseoks were yellow and red; Jin looked at the gold metal one in his hand then he spotted the silver one gracing Mathans wrist as his shirt sleeve pulled up and tears filled his eyes.
Jungkook stared down at the two bracelets in his hand, one blue for his Jiminie and the other grey for him. He couldn’t control the tears as he clutched the bracelets to his chest and gave in to the overwhelming pain in his heart. His sobs brought Mathan to him and he lay himself over the larger man’s chest as he gave in to his pain and grief.
After several minutes Jungkook pulled away from Mathan, shaking his head as the man apologized repeatedly and Namjoon translated. He wanted to make the man understand that yes, the gift was painful as his Jimin was not here to wear the other half, but it was also a gift of hope that they would get out of this place and he would be able to put it on Jimin’s wrist. All Jungkook could do was sing as he put both bracelets on his wrist.
“For my Jimin-ah…”
No limit in the sky
That I won't fly for ya
No amount of tears in my eyes
That I won't cry for ya, oh no
With every breath that I take
I want you to share that air with me
There's no promise that I won't keep
I'll climb a mountain, there's none too steep
When it comes to you, there's no crime
Let's take both of our souls, and intertwine
When it comes to you, don't be blind
Watch me speak from my heart
When it comes to you, comes to you
Want you to share that
(When it comes to you)
Cupid ain't a lie
Arrow got your name on it, oh yeah
Don't miss out on a love
And regret yourself on it, oh
Open up your mind, clear your head
Ain't gotta wake up to an empty bed
Share my life, it's yours to keep
Now that I give to you all of me, oh
When it comes to you, there's no crime
Let's take both of our souls, and intertwine
When it comes to you, don't be blind
Watch me speak from my heart
When it comes to you, comes to you
Want you to share that
(Share) When it comes to you
Want you to share that
When it comes to you, there's no crime
Let's take both of our souls, and intertwine
When it comes to you, don't be blind
Watch me speak from my heart
When it comes to you, comes to you
As Jungkook sang the last line of the song Mathan saw that Namjoon, Hoseok, Yoongi, Taehyung and Jin had encircled both him and the young man sitting in his lap. They had each laid a single hand on Jungkook and the other on him. Unfamiliar emotions welled in his chest as they each smiled at him and wished him a Merry Christmas.
Inspector Danny Kwon was not having a good holiday. The day after Christmas he had been pulled into his superior’s office and given a firm reprimand about his handling of the case against Bang Si-Hyuk. They had not been pleased when he began to show them evidence that proved the man had nothing to do with the kidnapping/death of Bangtan Sonyeondan. Now he was playing a waiting game to see if he could clear the former head of BigHit before he was formally pulled from the case and demoted.
It wasn’t helping that the one person he was hoping could be of some use to him wouldn’t see Danny until New Years. That was the next day, so he decided to ask a question of someone who might be able to confirm a suspicion that was beginning to take root in his mind. Again, calling the number given to him by Hitman, he left his message and waited. He had made it clear over the phone that if this person did not call him back, Danny would go looking for her.
He smiled as twenty minutes later his cell rang. Danny couldn’t stop the grin that crossed his face as his, “Kwon here,” was answered by a very annoyed female voice.
“I don’t know what kind of schedules police inspectors keep but mine is rather hectic. What do you want, so I can get back to work.”
Danny could hear several men arguing and yelling in the background.
“Problem?” He inquired as her voice faded for a moment to yell at someone named Mark to put his damn pants on, so she could do his make-up.
“No,” she snapped back. “Just the usual chaos of a variety show and a new stylist who brings the wrong concept clothes.” Danny again heard her voice move away from the phone to yell, “Mark-ah, if I have to tell you one more time to put your pants on…I am feeding you to JB-ah!”
“I just have a simple question for you.” Danny rushed to speak when she came back on the line. “How easy or hard would it be for someone to fake a video like the death of Bangtan Sonyeondan?”
There was silence for a few seconds, then the female voice came back on the line, hard and icy cold. The certainty in that voice seemed to confirm the growing suspicion in his own mind and if true would shake the world.
“The video is a fake, Inspector. A total fake. But good luck proving that.”
The line went dead on her end and Danny was left staring at a phone as a thousand new questions roared through his head.
Those same questions still plagued him as he approached Uncle’s table at the restaurant where they had agreed to meet the next day.
Uncle was not Danny’s biological uncle, but a distant cousin to his mother. In fact, Uncle was the head of a very powerful crime family in South Korea and had connections to the underworld in almost every major country in the world. It was those connections that Danny needed right now. Getting to the table Danny made a low formal bow, then sat when Uncle inclined his head.
Before Danny could even ask one question, Uncle spoke coldly and harshly.
“I know what you want from me, but I will not answer your questions and I will not use my position to aid you. Instead I will speak a truth to you, and as the son of a woman that I hold in high respect, I need you to hear.” Uncle leaned back and lit a long slim cigar as he continued. “There are different shadow worlds…there are shadow worlds within shadow worlds and there are shadow worlds that you never enter unless you have a death wish. There are such worlds that even I will not enter, and you are asking questions about such a world.”
Uncle stood from the table as one of his men appeared with his coat. As Uncle walked past Danny he laid a hand on his shoulder.
“I cannot tell you where to go from here but my advice to you is let the dead stay dead. Seek what small answers you can in the light but ask no questions of the shadows or those seven lives will not be the only ones swallowed by the darkness.”
The day after New Year’s Dorian and Sven were in Dorian’s office and the tension in the room was thick. Both Mathan and Carl were on standby in case the men came to blows, but that was highly unlikely. Dorian knew where his bread was buttered.
“I fail to see what the problem is, Dorian. I have made my payment in full, the money is in your accounts, and my property is healthy enough to travel. With the proper arrangements we can be gone from the compound in twelve hours.”
Mathan felt like he had taken a blow to the chest, his mind franticly trying to think of something, anything, to delay this. He had thought back in December that they would have been long gone by now with the guys back in Korea. It seemed that his plan to get the guys healthy again was backfiring on him now. For once in his life Mathan was happy when his dear old dad spoke up putting the brakes on Sven’s travel plans.
“I guess in your enthrallment of the lovely Jimin, you failed to pay attention to the weather reports. There is a major winter storm heading this way, should be here within the next six hours. One of the worst to hit the state in several decades. My people and some of yours are already on their way back from laying in supplies. We are all going to be here for a while. Possibly a few weeks… The state government is already talking about declaring a state of emergency.”
Mathan did his best to keep the relief from showing on his face as he directed his statement to his father.
“I hope your supply order includes medicine for Jungkook as well as winter clothing, coats and boots for the others. Even with the heaters running, this place is still cold as a meat locker and we don’t need any more of them getting sick.”
Sven smiled at Mathan.
“Not to worry Mathan, I will have the doctor here within the hour and he can stay until the weather clears. That way if any of us become ill, even the lovely Jin…the doctor will be here to take care of him and us.”
Mathan growled as he turned to shoot daggers at Sven.
“He better stay the fuck away from Jin,” Mathan said, his tone deadly. “Tell him to fuck with someone else. Hoseok is almost healed. He can be that sick fucks play toy. All your creepy ass doctor needs is to do his fucking job.”
“My dear Mathan…does that mean you would be alright with the doctor entertaining himself with the intriguing Jung Hoseok?” The smile that Sven sent Mathan would have made a shark pause. “We could arrange it for the pretty Hoseok to play with the doctor this evening but…how would the lovely Jin react to knowing that you set up the date.”
“Fuck you,” Mathan said as he spat at the mans feet. “The sicko probably can’t even get it up to do anything so why waste Hoseoks time. Or…anyones time for that matter. I don’t even know why you keep him around. Unless it is because of his lacking moral compass and sickening willingness to drug anything you wish to fuck so none of them can object…”
Even Dorian was surprised by Sven’s laughter as he stood. He had been expecting the Russian’s guards to come bursting in to put a bullet in his son’s head. The elder Foley stiffened when his door opened but it was only a single guard walking in behind Jimin. Sven opened his arms and Jimin rushed into them, laughing when he was picked up and spun around.
“This is why I don’t kill you today for your insult, Mathan. Perhaps if you had someone who looked at you the way my beautiful jewel looks at me, you would be a happier man.” Wrapping a tight arm around the smiling Jimin Sven continued. “Come, my jewel. Let us have a walk before the snow that Dorian says is coming arrives.”
Mathan looked at the monster in anger and disgust. What had he done to warp the poor boy so. There were so many insults he wanted to say but for the safety of all he kept his thoughts to himself.
Once Sven was gone Mathan left, ignoring the calls of his father as he made his way to the prison cell that held the boys. Bursting in Mathan looked around as he tried to calm his heart when he saw that all of them were fine.
“We have a bad storm coming,” he said, trying to sound normal. “Should be here in about six hours so if you want to go outside we need to do it now. Otherwise…I don’t know when I will be able to take you out again. And I suggest you prepare this room the best you can because it’s about to get really fucking cold…”
Mathan looked at all of the boys but in his panic his gaze kept returning to Kim Seokjin.
Jin in turn moved towards Mathan.
“I need to stretch my legs, Mathan-ah. Namjoon and the others will get the room ready as you say.”
As he passed Namjoon he whispered to his leader, “Something has happened, keep the others occupied and I will find out what is going on.”
Namjoon nodded at Jin.
The eldest member of Bangtan Sonyeondan was frightened by the panic he could read in Mathan's eyes as he layered up, putting on the shoes they had been allowed to keep now because of the American.
When they got outside Jin laid a hand on Mathan's arm, looking up into the man’s worried face.
“Mathan-ah…is Jiminie alright?” At that moment that was the only thing that Jin could think of that might account for the look on Mathans face.
Mathan looked at Jin before pulling him around a corner and out of view of the cameras. Without even thinking he enveloped the smaller man in a desperate hug, his eyes closing as he held Jin close.
“I don’t know what is wrong with your brother,” he said softly. “He’s… Physically he looks okay but…he was laughing and smiling and…”
Jin did not miss the shudder that ran through Mathan's body.
“I’m not worried about him,” Mathan said as he pulled back and looked in Jin's eyes. “I am worried about you. You and Hoseok. Please do not do anything stupid, Seokjin-ah. Don’t…don’t be injured or…become unwell. Make sure none of you have reason to need a doctor. When things get bad…I don’t know where I will be with this weather and…if anything more were to happen to you…I would never be able to forgive myself…”
Laying a calming hand on Mathan's rough cheek, Jin sought to reassure the man who was surely taking over his heart.
“We will be extra careful, Mathan-ah…I promise. But I don’t understand your…” Jin felt his eyes widen and his heart stutter in fear. “…Sven’s doctor is back, isn’t he?”
Mathan could only nod as he laid his hand over Jin's, his eyes closing as he allowed himself this one stolen moment.
“I will kill him if he even looks at you…Seokjin-ah,” Mathan said. “But…he will be here for the entirety of the storm and…where we are at…the thaw out could take several weeks. And Sven… Just…”
Mathan didn’t know what to say as his heart ran away with him.
Giving into the need welling in his heart, Jin stood on tip-toes and pressed his lips to Mathans. Wanting to show this man the depths of his feelings, Jin let himself be bold, pressing his body hard against Mathan's and teasing the other's lips with his tongue.
Mathan didn’t even think as he held Jin tighter, picking the man up by his waist and deepening the kiss, saying with actions what he refused to admit in words. So much he had to show that the two of them found themselves breathless when the kiss was over.
“Jin…” Mathan breathed, sounding pained. “You know…that this is…wrong… That we can’t…”
Licking his lips, Jin nodded as a single tear fell down his cheek.
“I know it may be wrong, Mathan-ah, here in this place…but I will speak from my heart. Saranghae, Mathan-ah…saranghae.”
Mathan's heart broke at seeing this sweet angel cry and he could not help but kiss the tears away.
“Please do not taint yourself so,” Mathan whispered. “Give your love to…someone who can love you in return… Can…love you like you deserve. Not some monster who has already been condemned to hell for his sins that brought you to this wretched place. I do not accept such love and…I…” Mathan took a breath and slowly let it go. “I will not be so selfish as to allow it…” he said, feeling his heart rip in two at what he had forced himself to say.
Jin stepped back as if he had been slapped hard. All he heard was that Mathan would not accept his love.
“I understand, Mathan-ah…it will be as you say. I will tell Hoseok and the others to be careful because the doctor is here. We should go back in before the others start to worry too much.” Jin moved back around the corner to wait for Mathan by the outside door. No sign of his crushed heart showing on his calm face.
Mathan wanted to curse the Gods, wherever the fuckers might be. He knew in his heart that he would love this man until he died, and he did not see why life should be so unfair as to take away all hope.
“Jin-ah…” Mathan said softly, keeping his head tilted down so the cameras would not see. “Just because I won’t allow it…doesn’t mean I do not appreciate it or that…I do not love you in return. It just…I want to protect you. And…I’m not quite sure how to do that anymore…”
As quickly as his heart was crushed Mathan's softly whispered words brought it to life again. Jin could understand his fear. It was the same fear that he lived with everyday wanting desperately to protect the ones he cared for, and that list had grown by one since coming to this hellish place.
Giving Mathan a small nod Jin looked up at the taller man, letting his eyes speak of his love and trust.
“Saranghae,” Mathan said, giving Jin a small smile before opening the door to hell and leading his sweet angel back to his cell.
Stepping from his hiding place in the tree line Carl Foley laughed with all the evil glee in his black soul. Standing there he hadn’t understood anything they had said to one another as both were speaking in Korean, but the kiss they had shared spoke loud and clear. His nephew was about to pay for all the pain he had caused Carl and for coming between him and his songbird.
Whistling a jaunty tune Carl made his way to Sven’s quarters. Once there he knocked and waited but there was no answer. Turning to leave Carl spotted Sven and Jimin walking back up the hallway.
Stepping back away from the door Carl waited patiently as Sven took his sable coat off and handed it to a guard. Removing Jimin’s and also handing it to the guard Sven gave the young Korean man a gentle push into the room.
“Wait for me inside, my jewel.”
When Jimin moved into the room and closed the door leaving Sven and Carl standing in the hallway, the Russian gave Carl an impatient look.
“What can I do for you now, Mr. Foley?”
Carl smirked at the Russian.
“I just thought you might like to know about a little tryst I just witnessed between one of your pieces of property and my nephew.”
Carl felt a shiver go through him watching the smile that bloomed on Sven’s face. For a moment the man was almost sorry for Mathan, but then Carl pictured the beautiful Jungkook writhing in passion beneath him and there was no guilt.
“Where exactly did this tryst take place, Mr. Foley?”
“The left corner from the main outside door. There is no camera sight there, so I guess they figured it was the perfect place for a kiss.”
“I do thank you, Mr. Foley,” Sven said, his tone greasy. “You are one step closer to your five million dollars and Jeon Jungkook as your very own.” Sven laughed much like he had in Dorian’s office and to Carl that was as frightening as Mathans fists.
Part Forty- Two
Sven watched Carl saunter off pleased as a peacock with himself for his little spying game. The man was a fool but right now he was a useful fool for Sven. As long as Carl thought he would honor their deal for the money and the Korean boy, he would keep Sven up to date on Mathan's plans. He already had plans for Jeon Jungkook and they didn’t include wasting him on an idiot like Carl Foley.
Sven chuckled to himself as he opened the door to his quarters but stopped dead at the sight before him.
Jimin was standing wide-eyed in front of Sven’s open laptop…the laptop that had been securely closed when they had left for their walk outside.
“Looking for something, my jewel?” Sven questioned softly.
Jimin shook his head as he backed away from the desk where the laptop had been sitting.
“Nn…ooo, chagiyah…I wasn’t looking for anything, I swear. I heard the computer making a strange noise and only lifted it as you walked in…”
Sven could see the lie on Jimin’s face. Smiling inwardly as the new game he was planning just became all the easier thanks to his curious little jewel, Sven nodded his head in sadness.
“A strange noise, my jewel...really? That is odd as the laptop was powered off and would only come back on after it was opened. I think it is more likely that my beautiful Jimin-ah became a curious little cat and decided to look at something that he shouldn’t have.”
The Russian moved towards Jimin, his mouth quirking slightly when his dancer flinched and backed away even further.
Cursing himself for being such a fool, Jimin looked around the room as if an escape route would suddenly present itself to him. When he had walked into the room alone his eyes had gone right to the laptop and he was suddenly overcome by the vision of opening it and sending out a cry for help. In his mind he had seen himself opening the laptop and sending a message to PD-min’s private email, the one that only he and the other six knew of. Help would descend, and they would all be free of this nightmare, especially him. He was becoming overwhelmed by the caricature of himself that he had to play for this monster and he was so tired. All Jimin wanted right now was release from this nightmare, in one form or another.
Pushing his emotions away and pulling on the persona of Sven’s jewel, Jimin went ice cold as tears filled his eyes and he threw himself at the other man. Clutching Sven’s shirt, he pleaded.
“Please, chagiyah…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you, I’ll be good, I promise.”
The Russian smiled sweetly at his jewel clinging so tightly to him. Oh, how he loved breaking this beauty to him. Sven had worried that he might have gone too far in his anger with the caning but after that Jimin had become a model companion. He truly hated using violence as a training method because it broke the spirit too harshly and in some cases pushed his jewels to rebellion against him. In this case Jimin had fallen like a sweet fruit into his hands. Sven knew if he pushed the issue that Jimin would give himself over completely in body and spirit; but that was a prize he was saving for when he was home and away from this hellhole of Dorian’s.
“Shh, my jewel. I am not angry with you, just disappointed. You didn’t trust me or believe me and that has hurt my feelings. I think a couple of days apart will give you time to reflect on your feelings for me, plus I have something I need to do.” Sven cupped Jimin’s face, kissing his forehead, then his cheek before taking his lips in a passionate kiss.
Jimin reacted as he knew he was supposed to, but inside he felt nothing. He was becoming empty of everything. It was getting so hard for him to hold on to the memories of his life before this place. Of who he had been before coming here to this Hell. Even the memories of his hyungs were a struggle to hold on to. The few times he had seen them lately it was like he was looking at strangers through a frosted glass. Even his beloved Jungkook was moving further away from him as each time Jimin saw him he was clinging to Taehyung.
Stepping away from Jimin Sven called in two of his guards.
“Take Jimin next door to the smaller suite. Treat him as gently as glass, do not scare him in any way and make sure that he has anything he wants…within reason.”
The two guards nodded as they both knew what the punishment would be for them and their families if Sven’s orders were not carried out to the letter.
Sven smiled at Jimin gently.
“I want you to go with Gregor and Misha, they will look after you for me. No need to fear, my jewel, they will not touch you or hurt you in any way. And if you are good, when you return, I will have a surprise here for you.”
Sven walked Jimin over to the guards, nodding approvingly when Gregor crooked an elbow for the young man’s hand. The Russian lifted Jimin’s hand, kissing the back of it, and placed it in Gregor’s bent elbow.
After Jimin was led away, Sven called another of his guards.
“Have Kim Taehyung brought to me and if Mathan tries to give you any trouble, shoot the sick one, Jungkook.”
Luck be damned, Mathan was not with Bangtan Sonyeondan when Sven’s guards arrived at their cell. The first guard pointed his gun at them as he spoke calmly.
“Kim Taehyung, Master Sven requests your company, if you will please come with us.”
Yoongi and Jin crowded around Taehyung as Namjoon stepped forward. Jungkook made as if to try and rise from the bed he was laying on but Hoseok gently pushed him back down.
“Mathan is returning in a few minutes, so I suggest that you go back to your master and tell him that Taehyung declines.” Namjoon growled at the two guards as he moved in front of Taehyung, Yoongi and Jin.
The guard simply smiled at Namjoon as he turned the gun towards Jungkook and Hoseok.
“Kim Taehyung can walk out of this room with us or we can carry out a dead body, the choice is yours. I wouldn’t count on your guardian angel, Mr. Foley right now. He is far too busy dealing with his father… Now what is your choice?” The guard calmly cocked the gun and shifted it so it was pointed directly between Jungkook’s eyes.
Laying a hand on Namjoon’s shoulder Taehyung stepped from behind his leader.
He was terrified of what was about to happen because Taehyung remembered the look in the Russian’s eyes from the day of Namjoon and Jimin’s beatings. The others including Mathan had brushed off Sven’s taunts as some sick game, but Taehyung had seen the desire in the man’s face.
“Chagiyah….” Came Yoongi’s soft whisper as Taehyung walked towards the guards.
Taehyung turned giving Yoongi his boxy smile and blew him a kiss as the guards escorted him from the room. Out in the hallway Taehyung closed his eyes as the scream of “TAEHYUNG-AH!” came through the steel door of their prison.
Moments later they were standing in front of another door. Looking at that door Taehyung felt for sure that something was about to alter for him and the others.
It opened abruptly causing Taehyung’s eyes to widen in surprise at the smiling joyful man standing on the other side.
“Kim Taehyung-ssi…I am so happy that you accepted my invitation.” Sven took Taehyung’s hand in his own bringing it to his lips and placing a soft kiss on his knuckles. “I have been meaning to inquire after each of you but your guard dog Mathan had been most insistent that I keep my distance,” Sven said as he pulled Taehyung into the room.
Taehyung looked around the room in awe at the luxury this man lived in, even in this hell. He wondered if Jimin was taken care of in this luxury, but he did not dare ask.
“Forgive my meager accommodations,” Sven said with a somber look. “I had hoped to have you gentlemen moved somewhere more comfortable but…mother nature seems to have other plans.”
Taehyung looked at the man before him as he flawlessly slipped on his own mask of survival, fitting it to him like a glove. Sven was ever a force to be reckoned with and if Taehyung was here now it meant that something had happened to his brother.
Walking around the room and covertly seeking signs of Jimin, Taehyung let his body relax into a slow smooth glide. Looking over his shoulder at the Russian he quirked his lips.
“Mathan did say something about bad weather coming and that we should be prepared to be cold.”
He wrapped his arms around his own slim waist and shuddered in pretend cold. Giving Sven a coy glance, Taehyung asked, “Jimin isn’t joining us?”
Sven leaned back against the door crossing his arms over his chest as he studied the young Korean man prowling around his room. Something told Sven that this was a very different kind of prey, the opposite of his jewel.
Taehyung turned his attention back to the room, perking his ears as he continued his evaluation.
“Why do the others fear you?” he asked as he rounded to face Sven. “You seem very…gentle…” he mused, his tone huskier than normal as he approached the man again, his gait that of a cat approaching its prey.
“Do I now, little kotyonok?” Sven smiled tilting his head to one side. “I would have thought that given your present circumstance that you wouldn’t see any of us as…gentle.”
The moment that Taehyung stepped close enough, Sven struck. Wrapping his hand around the smaller man’s neck Sven pulled Taehyung up against his body, whispering, “Beware the games you start with me, little kitten…I play to the finish and I don’t lose.”
Taehyung's breath caught in his throat at the motion and the moan that escaped him was slightly alarming considering the situation. Looking at the man before him Taehyung gathered his thoughts before speaking.
“If we are naughty…we deserve to be beaten…”
Now this was prey that he could have fun with Sven thought before he crushed Taehyung’s lips under his. He didn’t give the young man time to resist as his tongue sought entrance to the sweetness he knew awaited him.
Taehyung caved to the pressure of Sven's body, another moan parting his lips as he welcomed the exploring tongue. Sven tasted like expensive cigars and peppermints but it wasn’t a taste that Taehyung minded. It was almost like Yoongi’s taste of cheap cigarettes and spearmint.
Relishing the moan from the other man Sven pulled back enough to whisper, “Strange…you haven’t asked about your hyung. He could be bleeding out in the bathroom from a slit throat and you are moaning against me like a cat in heat. What should I make of that, Kim Taehyung-ssi?”
Picking Taehyung up by the waist Sven moved to the bed, throwing the smaller man on it.
Taehyung scooted back on the bed a bit before looking up at the man.
“If he isn’t here then obviously he is being punished because he disobeyed,” Taehyung said with honesty. “Or because he isn’t taking care of you like he should…” Taehyung mused. “Is he hurt?”
Taehyung never once let his mask slip or his tone waiver even when fear overtook him. He hoped with all his heart that Jimin was well. If anything were to happen to his brother, Jungkook would not survive.
“Such a perceptive angel… Jimin was caught peeking at my laptop. Not that he would have seen anything. It wasn’t connected to the internet, but still…naughty, naughty Jimin-ssi. He is perfectly fine, just having a quiet time-out next door.”
Sven placed one knee and hand on the bed, hungrily feasting on the visual meal in front of him. He was curious to see how far this young man would allow the game to go before he put a stop to it.
“Why am I here?” Taehyung asked. “Why me?”
Taehyung watched the man carefully, but his eyes never left Sven's face.
Sven laughed as he moved away from the bed sitting down in his chair and lighting a thin cigar.
“And if I answer honestly and say, I’m bored. That my beautiful jewel is starting to show flaws and out of all the others, you peaked my interest. What then, my angel?”
“Who told you I was an angel?” Taehyung asked, crawling to the edge of the bed and sitting down, still staring at the man. “I’m not inexperienced like Jiminie, if that kind of innocence is what you are looking for…”
“Ahh…in my world, Kim Taehyung-ssi, there are many kinds of angels. There are pure angels; beautiful to look at but you mustn’t touch, lest you taint them. Then there are the tarnished ones…they use to be pure, but they were corrupted, just a little. Then you have the dark angels…they have never been pure. Their wings as dark as night and every sin to behold in their eyes.”
Taking a deep draw on his cigar Sven blew out a perfect halo of smoke.
“So, tell me, my angel…are your wings pure, tarnished…or dark?”
Taehyung bit his lip as he thought.
“What if I’m somewhere in between?” he asked. “Not quite dark but a little more than tarnished?”
“That is the sweetest kind of angel…” Sven purred, beckoning Taehyung to him. “Are you willing to show me that sweetness?”
He sat back in his throne-like chair and put out the cigar.
Taehyung crawled off the bed with a smirk and walked over to Sven, his insides turning and his mind racing as he played his part.
“How shall I do that?” he asked, giving the man one of his more innocent, bright grins, a small piece of aegyo showing.
Sven allowed himself to be captivated by the angel in front of him even though he knew it was a game they were both playing. The only question was who would emerge the winner.
Leaning further back in his chair Sven widen the space between his knees and pointed to the floor. His posture leaving no doubt to what he expected as he waited to see if Kim Taehyung would accept the challenge.
Taehyung wanted to vomit as he considered what the man was asking. Had his sweet ChimChim been subjected to the same kind of torture? He desperately hoped not. Jimin wasn’t tainted in that way. He and Kookie had barely started the cuddling stage of their relationship. Chaste kisses and holding hands were the absolute worst the lovers had done. It had been painfully cute.
Standing only inches away from the monster Taehyung dropped to his knees his eyes never leaving Sven's face as his hands quickly undid the fastenings on the man's pants, his hand slipping in to teasingly stroke what was hidden inside.
Twenty minutes later Taehyung was staring into Sven’s bathroom mirror after washing the tears from his face. The memories of what he had forced himself to do sent him heaving his stomach contents into the toilet. The thought that Jimin was enduring this same treatment made him want to scream but in order to protect all of them he would play this part. And he would play it well…
Rinsing the taste of Sven and vomit from his mouth Taehyung put on the mask that he hoped would keep them safe long enough for Mathan to help them escape.
Standing in the center of the small room that Sven had banished him to, Jimin felt the first measure of relief that he had since this nightmare began. The two guards had returned briefly carrying a few items of clothing with a small bag of toiletries and his bear. As much as he hated that the teddy bear had come from Sven, it was a reminder of happier times with Jungkook.
He had gotten up the courage to ask if he was truly being left alone in the room for two days. The guard he knew as Gregor told him that yes, he was being left completely alone; they would only return with his meals but if he needed anything to knock on the door.
After the two Russian guards left, Jimin collapsed to the floor and cried for twenty minutes in thankful relief. For two blissful days he would be alone; he wouldn’t have to worry about Sven and what cruelty disguised as a kindness the man would show him next. For two days he would be allowed to let the mask he wore around the Russian fall away and just rest.
Jimin did regret that he would not be able to see his hyungs… to know that they were alright and being taken care of. The chasm widening between them was growing with each moment he was forced to play a bejeweled doll for the monster.
Pulling himself from the floor Jimin explored his smaller prison cell. It was much like Sven’s room except on a less grand scale. The bathroom was simple with a sink, toilet and shower.
Fear returned when the door opened but it was only Gregor with a tray of food and a cart with a small T.V. and DVD player. Jimin was informed that he was free to request any movies or shows that he wanted to watch over the next two days and they would be brought to him.
When Gregor left Jimin continued to look around the room. He opened the drawers of the small writing desk and was overjoyed to discover pen and paper. Placing the food tray on the desk he sat and ate as he contemplated the writing materials before him. Finally deciding this might be his only chance he picked up the pen and put it to paper.
Wiping away the tears as he re-read the letter, Jimin looked for a place to hide it from Sven while still keeping it close.
Catching sight of the stuffed animal he remembered that the bear at home had a secret pocket, hidden in the ribbon around its neck. He smiled for a moment thinking of the gift that Jungkook had left in that bear’s secret pocket. Praying that the bears were similar in that regards Jimin grabbed up the teddy bear and checked. Crying in relief when he found the pocket Jimin quickly folded up the letter as small as he could make it and placed it in the hiding spot.
Curling his body around the bear on the bed he cried and went to sleep.
“I trust all is well, my angel?” Sven asked, knocking on the bathroom door.
Jumping slightly Taehyung checked himself in the mirror, cursing himself for being so weak behind closed doors.
“Of course,” Taehyung said as he opened the door with a boxy smile, no hint of the breakdown from five minutes ago visible on his face. “I was just taking care of cleaning up…”
Gripping the smaller man’s chin Sven swooped in for a quick kiss.
“As much as I would like to keep you here with me, I must regretfully send you back to the others. We mustn’t have your guard dog being rude and banging on my door.”
With his arm around Taehyung’s waist Sven walked him to the door and ordered the guard to return him to the others.
On the other side of the compound Mathan was in a rage. Trust his father to kiss ass to the sick little monster they were forced to entertain. He had thought it strange that his father had ordered him to the outer buildings to check on the snow accumulation but seeing it as an opportunity to check on his spies he had not declined. Now however he wished he had.
“What do you MEAN that asshole sent for Taehyung?” he roared, looking around the room. “How long has he been gone?”
Jin placed a hand on Mathans arm as he answered.
“They came thirty minutes ago. One of the guards pointed a gun at Jungkook and Hoseok so…Taehyung went with them willingly. They said you were doing something for your father! There was nothing we could do.”
Mathan looked at his angel with unconcealed rage.
“Is he stupid?” he asked. “They’re not going to shoot any of you. You are far too valuable to Sven and all he cares about is money. If he shot you all, the cheap bastard would have to give someone a refund and that is never going to happen.”
“Perhaps you are right, Mathan-ah…but Joon-ah and Jiminie carry the scars of our past interference in what Sven wants and you were not here.” Jin’s voice hardened in fear and anger.
Just then the steel door opened and in walked a smiling Taehyung with Sven’s guard.
Mathan knew the lie behind that smile and his very soul broke as he bit his cheek to contain the exclamation of horror at the sight of it on Taehyungs face.
“Get the fuck out Gregor,” Mathan hissed. “Go back to your little whore if you need something to play with. And tell your master to do the same. None of these boys owe him anything. He already claimed his jewel…”
Gregor smiled at Mathan as his gaze flicked to Jin briefly before speaking.
“I have no idea what you mean, Mr. Foley. My master simply wished to speak with the young man and as you can clearly see, he is returned and unharmed. My master remains in his chambers if you wish to speak with him on the subject.”
The large Russian guard backed out of the door, bowing to Taehyung as he left.
“It was a pleasure escorting you, Master Kim,” he said with a painfully disingenuous smile.
As soon as Gregor was gone Mathan approached Taehyung and looked him over, searching for any sign that anything had happened.
“What did he want with you?” he asked, his tone forceful.
If Sven had touched the boy Mathan knew he would have blood on his hands. The monster had been allowed to play for far too long and Mathan was no longer going to stand by and watch.
Taehyung gave Mathan his trademark boxy smile even though he was sure that the man wasn’t buying it.
“I am fine, Mathan-ah…I promise. We just talked and that was it.” Stepping closer to the large American, Taehyung continued in a whisper so that Jungkook couldn’t hear. “Jiminah wasn’t there. Sven said he caught him looking at his laptop, so he was being punished in time-out. I don’t know that means, Mathan-ah, but Jimin wasn’t anywhere around and I am afraid. Please…”
Mathan nodded at that, concerned by the news as well.
“I understand,” he said softly. “I will see what I can do. But Taehyung-ah…you are a terrible liar, and you have on different clothes than when you left. If you don’t tell me everything that happened…I can’t keep it from happening again…”
As much as Taehyung wanted to tell Mathan he knew that if they were to have any hope of lasting until the weather broke and Mathans friends could help them, Sven had to stay distracted and Jimin was faltering. His hyungs were no match for the Russian and Mathan couldn’t kill him. That would have been a death sentence for all of them. He had to do this, even if it broke him.
“The clothes were a gift, Mathan-ah…just a gift, nothing more.”
Mathan frowned as he gave the boy a scrutinizing once over.
“I don’t believe you,” he said. “But I think Sven and I need to have a little chat. That will give you time enough to come to your senses about telling me the truth, mmm?”
Backing away and looking around the room Mathan left without another word, his feet quickly leading him to the lions den where he intended to find out as much as he could about what had happened to Jimin and why Taehyung had been summoned.
Mathan had little time to gather his thoughts on the short trip to Svens room and took a moment before knocking to compose himself, knowing that he could not just kill the man and be done with it. Closing his eyes and counting to five Mathan knocked firmly on the steel door and waited for Sven to answer, his hands in fists behind his back.
Looking down at his watch Sven mused; it didn’t take the guard dog long to come barking at his door. Throwing a grin at Misha, he nodded for her to open it and let the man in.
“What can I do for you this fine snowy afternoon, Mr. Foley.” Sven inquired as he leaned back in his chair and stretched his legs out, making himself look very relaxed and almost boneless.
“Where is Jimin?” Mathan hissed as he entered and looked around. “And what business do you have with Taehyung?”
“I hardly think it is any of your business what I do with my property but if you must know…Jimin was bad and he is paying the price.”
Completely ignoring Mathans question about Taehyung because he knew it got under the mans skin, Sven took out a thin cigar and lit it.
“Jimin isn’t property,” Mathan scolded. And he isn’t some child. How do I know you haven’t slit his throat and left him to bleed out because you got bored or broke him or something?”
It wasn’t lost on Mathan that Sven was trying to mindfuck him as well, he just wasn’t going to let it work. The asshole seemed to have forgotten that Mathan had met monsters far worse than his adolescent ass.
Straightening in the chair Sven waved Misha out of the room. When the female guard was gone he let the mask of civility drop from his face.
“Jimin made the error of touching something he shouldn’t have. Normally I would have had fingers removed for such an offence, but I didn’t want to mar his perfection. He is resting quite comfortably and unharmed in any way, in the smaller suite next door. You are more than welcome to check on him, if you like?”
Mathan eyed the man cruelly. He knew better than to trust a rat.
“What did you do to Taehyung?” he growled, his eyes narrowed dangerously.
Giving a sad put-upon sigh, Sven stood and walked to the large mirror. He took his time going over his appearance before zeroing in on Mathans reflection.
“I did nothing to the young man…we simply had a conversation. All perfectly innocent, Mr. Foley, I assure you.”
Turning around to face Mathan Sven set the trap and waited to see if the American would walk into it.
“Jimin has been a little lonely lately…I haven’t been able to give him as much of my attention as he deserves. So, Mr. Foley, would you be interested in coming to an agreement?”
“I don’t make deals with scum like you,” Mathan said, his jaw clenching and unclenching. “Your kind never seems to keep their word. As for your pet…maybe you should learn how to take care of such things lest they run away again…”
Sven felt his whole body clench and it was only through sheer will and luck on Mathans part that he didn’t pull out his gun ending the conversation with a bullet between the Americans eyes.
Giving Mathan his coldest smile he spoke.
“Not even if it allows Jimin to spend time with his beloved Jungkook or his brothers?”
Mathan locked down at that. Everything in him screamed ‘no’; told him it was a trap, but his heart was screaming ‘yes’. Countless times the others had asked about their brother and every time Mathan had not been able to provide an honest or comforting answer. It had already begun to take a toll.
“Try me,” Mathan said dryly, trying to conceal his sparked interest in the devils offer.
Leaning back against the dresser and crossing his ankles Sven presented the appearance of a man totally at ease, but on the inside, he was laughing in triumph. He knew from past conversations with Dorian that Mathans fatal flaw was his desire to protect those he saw as weaker. And it was that desire that would ultimately lead to his destruction. Sven would enjoy every step that Mathan took towards it.
“A very simple trade. An hour of Kim Taehyung’s time and in return whichever member of Bangtan Sonyeondan that you choose gets that hour of Park Jimin’s time.”
"No," Mathan said immediately as his mind raged and his heart broke. "Absolutely not."
Mathan had a fear that would be the bargaining chip and if Sven was so willing to let Jimin go without condition then it meant that something had indeed happened between Taehyung and Sven. The very idea made Mathans stomach turn.
“It is only an hour of time, Mr. Foley. Nothing happens in an hour. I am only speaking of conversation… perhaps a bit of food but…nothing more. All terribly innocent. I wouldn’t dream of harming a hair on that angels head.” Sven laughed suddenly. “Which I must say has grown back rather quickly. The cue ball look just didn’t suit him.”
"I could split you beyond repair in an hour, Ivchenko," Mathan growled. "No plesantries or conversation required."
Sven grinned at Mathan.
“Why Mr. Foley, are propositioning me for an afternoon of entertainment? Although I would have to turn you down. I prefer my lovers a little softer…”
Turning deadly serious Sven moved back to his chair and sat down.
“Tick-tock, Mr. Foley. This offer is only on the table for a short time and my patience is running thin now. Why don’t you look in on Jimin while you consider the offer and get back to me...”
Mathan narrowed his eyes at Sven. He would NEVER agree to such a deal, but he desperately needed to see the boy for himself.
“Fine,” he huffed. “Give me five minutes alone with him and I will give you an answer…”
“Step next door, Mr. Foley. That is where he is. Gregor will be happy to open the door for you.” Sven waved a hand dismissively at the wall connecting his suite with the smaller one.
Mathan glared at the man before exiting the room and going to the next one over.
“Your master said to let me in, dog,” Mathan growled at the guard, disgusted by the pride these drones took in serving the Ivchenkos’.
Gregor said nothing as he smiled and opened the door.
Jimin jerked from sleep at the sound of the door opening, his terrified mind sure that it was Sven. But as his sleep dazed eyes clear and he saw the large man at the door he couldn’t contain his joy. He jumped from the bed and threw himself at the man, his words coming fast and furious.
“MATHAN-AH! Is Jungkookie okay? What about Namjoon-hyung? Is he alright? Hobi-ah is taking care of his leg, isn’t he? Taehyung-ahs wounds are healing well, right? What about Yoongi-ah and Seokjin-hyung? Are they getting enough food and staying warm?”
Jimin’s fingers dug into Mathan’s arms as all he really wanted to do was beg the man to take him back to his family; but he knew that the guard would be reporting every word to Sven.
“Get the fuck out Gregor,” Mathan growled as he held Jimin as far away from him as he could. “The deal was five minutes just him and I…”
The guard looked like he wanted to say something, but he knew that if he disobeyed there would be a heavy price to pay. Snarling at the man he backed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
As soon as the guard was gone Mathan pulled Jimin to him, holding him close as he buried his face in the younger mans hair, his emotions threatening to overwhelm him as he processed all of the boys questions.
Slowly pulling back Mathan held Jimin at arms length as his eyes ran all over the man.
“What has he done to you?” he whispered, his heart breaking at the site before him.
Jimin was broken. It was easy to tell. It almost made the deal that devil had offered worth it.
He pulled away from Mathan, his eyes on the floor as he shook his head.
“I am not supposed to talk about that… Master Sven doesn’t hurt me. As long as I am good, he takes care of me and hyungs.” Tears flowed down Jimin’s cheeks as he eyes spoke of horrors that he endured. “I can’t tell you, Mathan-ah…I can’t tell you…I can’t tell you…I can’t tell…I can’t tell you…I can’t tell you…I can’t tell you…”
With each refusal Jimin’s voice rose until it was almost a scream.
Mathan looked at the boy in horror, pulling him close and muffling his screams in his chest.
“Shhh…” Mathan said as though he were comforting a small child. “It’s okay. You don’t have to tell me.”
Stroking Jimins hair, Mathan decided that his deal with the devil was complete.
“The others want to see you,” he said softly, pulling back to look Jimin in the eyes. “They’re so worried about you…”
“I want to see them too…but he won’t let me, not unless he is there. I can’t be trusted to good and stay quiet like I am supposed to.” Jimin whispered into Mathan’s chest. “You could talk to them for me…tell them how much I miss them. Tell them I am trying to be good but sometimes it is so hard…”
“Sven will let you see them, Jiminah,” Mathan said softly. “Just you and them. Only one at a time but…no one will know what you speak of. I’ll put you in a room with no microphones or cameras. I’ve already arranged it.”
Mathan pulled back to look at Jimin once more.
“You don’t have to do this you know. There are other ways. Don’t sacrifice your happiness for anyone elses. Not ever…”
Mathan would never tell that he was about to agree to Taehyungs torture in order for the man before him to have a few moments of happiness.
Jimin wanted to believe what Mathan was telling him. How could he tell this man of all the times that Sven had promised him that if he was good, if he did what he was told, if he behaved a certain way, that he would be allowed to spend time with them. In the end they were only empty words from a monster who enjoyed seeing him on his knees.
Pulling away from the larger man Jimin crawled on to the bed wrapping himself around the teddy bear and squeezing it tight.
There were no more words as the door opened and Gregor stepped back in.
“Master Sven is waiting.”
Mathan looked at the man, wishing he could say more, but knowing that would be unwise.
Turning away Mathan checked Gregor with his shoulder on his way out, pounding on Svens door and waiting to be let in.
Sven opened the door and waved Mathan in.
“I trust that you had a lovely visit with Jimin and found that all is well. So, Mr. Foley…do we have a deal?”
There were so many things that Mathan wanted to say but he knew each of them was unwise.
“When does this start?” he asked, agreeing with the man in a roundabout way.
A sweet smile crossed Sven’s face as he nodded at Mathans agreement.
“Even though Jimin is being punished we mustn’t be too harsh with him, so…tomorrow? Mr. Kim and I will enjoy a nice lunch while you do…whatever with Jimin. A word of warning though, Mr. Foley. Remember who the jewel belongs to.”
Mathan mock vomited at Svens words.
“I like my lovers a bit rougher than that,” he mocked. “So you really have no reason to worry. Noon work for the exchange?”
“Noon is fine, Mr. Foley. Although I wonder now at your interest in Kim Seokjin. He doesn’t strike me as the rough type.” Sven laughed as he turned away from Mathan and booted up his laptop. “Do show Mr. Foley out, will you Misha…”
Mathan growled at Svens back, glaring at Misha and leaving on his own. Once safely down the hallway he punched the nearest wall he could find, relishing in the pain that splintered through his knuckles at the contact. Hanging his head, he took a deep breath, added to his mental list of sins that would keep him in hell, and slowly made his way down the hallway to make a report to Bangtan Sonyeondan on the status of their brother, deciding to keep the negotiations of the meetings secret for now…
*GRAPHICS ADDED AND WORKING*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUTHORNIM!!! EVERYONE PLEASE JOIN ME IN WISHING MY EVIL OTHER HALF @LadyMidnight122 A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
As soon as the door shut Namjoon turned on Taehyung.
“What happened?” he asked as he approached the boy, looking for any physical sign that his dongsaeng had been damaged.
“Nothing happened!” Taehyung insisted, giving his hyung a smile. “He said he wanted to talk to me and that is all we did, I promise. He told me he wanted to talk to all of us but…Mathan would never allow that. You know this…”
Namjoon paused as he considered the boy again, his eyes raking over the expensive clothes.
“They were a gift,” Taehyung said softly, acting slightly ashamed. “He said…he wanted to make sure they fit but… He let me change in the bathroom so…” Taehyung looked up, his eyes focusing on each member in the room. “As terrible as it sounds…he was a gentleman about it and…once I had received his gift…he let me go. No harm, no foul.”
“You’re lying,” a rough voice came from the corner where Jungkook sat.
“I’m not!” Taehyung insisted, causing Jungkook to let loose a low, sarcastic laugh.
“Just like when you lied to me and told you didn’t love me anymore only to turn around when Yoongi hyung threw you away and begged me to take you back?” Jungkook asked, his eyes dangerous, a burning anger barely hidden there.
Jin moved over to Taehyung as he glared at Jungkook.
“We need to stay calm,” Jin said softly. “We are just worried about you, Tae-ah. You were gone for over thirty minutes and Mathan-ah was very upset. I am sure that Jungkook-ssi will re-think his words.”
Yoongi flopped down on the bed furthest away from the group sneering at Jin.
“Of course, you can be calm…you have Mathan Foley to protect you. Tell me, Jin hyung…in all the time we have been in this hell…what is the worst thing that has happened to you?”
Jin looked at Yoongi in hurt and surprise, unsure of what to say.
“Watch your mouth Min Yoongi,” Hoseok growled, looking at the man. “Or did you not learn your lesson when you were drug out of here and punished for your disrespect?”
Yoongi reared up snarling at the rapper/dancer.
“So, you call being pulled out, raped, and tortured for several hours a lesson in respect? Pretty twisted fucking lesson there don’t you think, Jung Hoseok?”
There was a horrified pause as Yoongi finally spoke aloud what they had all suspected, but the anger in the room only grew.
Jungkook gave a barking laugh, mean and ugly.
“He doesn’t care, Yoongi hyung. All he got was a nick on the leg. He has kept quiet, hiding in the corner just like a good little boy.”
“Shut your fucking mouth Jeon Jungkook,” Namjoon growled, his voice deadly and low as he concentrated on the maknae, his hands balling in to fists as he stood.
“Or what? Hyung?” Jungkook asked, a shit eating smirk on his face. “No one’s scared of you. We all saw you become that guards little punching bag. All you did was sit there and take it like a whore.”
Jin managed to wrap his arms around Hoseok as the other attempted to jump Jungkook. But there was no one to stop Namjoons fist as it connected to Kookies jaw. The maknae stumbled back against the wall, then growled and started swinging his fists.
Namjoon deftly avoided the maknaes swings, all those years of dancing finally paying off.
“Namjoon-ah!” Jin scolded, trying to use his position as eldest to diffuse the situation. “This isn’t helping anything! We are supposed to be a team. Not a bunch of bullies who turn on one another for no damn reason!”
Yoongi laughed from his position on the bed.
“Team, Jin-ah? We haven’t been Bangtan Sonyeondan since that night in August. And to be honest, if by some miracle we survive this and make it home…I don’t think I ever want to any of your faces again…” He rolled over on the bed facing away from the others and jerked the blanket over his head.
“Take that back,” Taehyung said, his low voice even lower and shockingly deadly.
The voice that emerged from the blanket was muffled but Jin could hear the tears concealed within it loud and clear. It was deafening and heartbreaking all at once.
“I’m done, Tae-ya…”
“Done?” Taehyung asked, sounding confused. “With what?”
Taehyung held his breath, his posture stiff. Only Jungkook could see the wheels turning in the older mans mind. Only he knew that Taehyung was on a precipice and with only a few brief words he would break and fall over the edge.
With a sudden roar Yoongi was up and off the bed. Before anybody in the room could think to react, he had Taehyung in his grip pushing him hard against the concrete wall yelling into his face.
“Tell me, Tae-ya, my love… Did you suck him, fuck him, or let him defile you?”
Taehyung put his hands up in front of himself in defense before futilely clawing at the hand around his throat, his eyes wide in fear.
“Yoongi!” Jin roared, crossing the room to pull the man off of his lover, Hoseok and Namjoon joining, Hoseok grabbing Taehyung and pulling him close.
Yoongi wheeled around and raised a hand ready to strike but dropped it when he saw his hyung.
“Like I said,” he spat, his tone dangerous. “Bangtan Sonyeondan is OVER. I never want to see you hypocrites again.”
Hell broke loose the minute that Mathan walked in the room. All he could see was Min Yoongi with his fist raised to strike Kim Seokjin and that was that.
In mere seconds Mathan had Yoongi off his feet several inches above the ground pressed against the wall. The same wall that moments ago Yoongi had Taehyung pressed against.
“If I ever see a hand raised to Jin…I will break that fucking hand, then I will break the body attached to that hand.”
In all the time that they had been in this Hell they had never heard that voice come out of Mathan Foley.
Everyone in the room looked at the scene with wide eyes, Taehyung frozen somewhere between moving to defend the man he loved and staying statue still out of fear of the man before them.
“Mathan-ah,” Jin said softly, reaching out a hand and slowly placing it on the mans’ arm. “Let him go…”
Murder was written all over Mathans face, a silent promise made as he dropped Yoongi, causing the man to fall in a pile on the floor.
“What is going on here?” Mathan asked, his tone quiet, calm, and scary as hell.
“I think our tempers got the better of us, Mathan-ah.” Jin stated as he looked from Namjoon and Jungkook with their bruised and bleeding faces to Yoongi on the floor and Taehyung staring at him as if he didn’t know him.
“Harsh words were exchanged…some that may not be so easy to apologize for later.” The eldest collapsed into one of the chairs at the table running his hands through his hair, griping it as if he were going to rip it from his head.
Mathan nodded, his face going blank.
“Which one of you started it?” he asked as he looked around, assessing the damage and deciding he wasn’t going to fix it.
Maybe he would tell them the evil deal he had made after all just to see who chewed up whom and spat them back out.
“Well it could have been Jungkook calling Taehyung a liar and a heartbreaker,” Yoongi answered from the floor. “Or maybe it was Hoseok telling me I deserved to be raped and tortured for being disrespectful to our hosts. It might even have been Namjoon and Jungkook taking swings at one another. Who knows, Mathan-ah…maybe we are just fucking sick and tired of being Bangtan Sonyeondan.”
“I’ll pretend like I have no idea what that last statement means,” Mathan said dryly. “But there is nothing in this world worth fighting each other. You guys are all you have and if you break now…the monsters have won and every punishment and sacrifice you have endured will be wasted. Is that really what you want?”
All of them except for Yoongi shook their heads no. Taehyung and Hoseok had tears rolling down their cheeks. Jungkook was rubbing his head and looking confused. Namjoon continued to glare at Yoongi on the floor.
“Min Yoongi?” Mathan asked.
Yoongi just let loose a humorless laugh and spit on the floor before him.
Jin stood up from the table, intent on scolding his hyungjae for his appalling lack of manners and that is when it happened. Time slowed to a crawl, Jin blinked, swayed, grabbed his head, and then collapsed to the ground.
Mathan moved lightning fast, catching the man before his head could collide with the concrete, a look of terror on his face. He had never seen his angel drop like that before and it scared the hell out of him.
“Seokjin?” he asked, shaking the man lightly. “Seokjin-ah???”
Mathan looked up, his eyes pleading with the others to tell him what was wrong.
The rest of Bangtan Sonyeondan looked at their eldest hyung in horror. While they had a slight idea of what might be happening, they knew that there would be only one way to bring Jin back to them.
“I think…” Namjoon said softly. “You need to…page the doctor…”
Carl hurriedly made his way to Sven’s quarters. This latest bit of news was not going to sit well with the Russian. Carl himself was furious that his brother was also going back on his word about Jungkook. His temper threatened to erupt as he thought back on the conversation.
“Congratulate me, Carl. I just brokered a deal that will net us one hundred million dollars. Who would have thought that seven Korean pretty boys would be worth that kind of money?” Dorian couldn’t contain his laughter as he twirled around in his chair. “That stupid Russian only paid us five million over the original ten-million-dollar ransom we were asking for.”
The elder Foley stood and came around the desk enveloping Carl in a hug. He hadn’t noticed that Carl had stiffened from the moment he began speaking.
When Dorian drew back Carl asked, “And Jungkook…I still get him, right?”
“I am telling you that some desert oil sheik is willing to pay us one hundred million dollars and you are still thinking with your dick.”
Pivoting around Dorian began pacing the room as he berated Carl.
“We collect the money, deliver those boys to this sheik relativity untouched, and leave Sven to rot; here or in Russia…I don’t care. With that kind of money, little brother, you can buy a thousand Jungkooks. So, leave the boy alone and do what I tell you. As soon as the weather breaks and the snow clears, we are out of here with those boys.”
“Sven isn’t going to let Jimin go that easily. And what about Mathan? He seems to have a thing for Jin and Sven did promise him a shot.” Carl wanted to know.
“Our people will take care of Sven and his like. As for Mathan…if he interferes, he’ll have to be put down, I’m afraid.” Dorian gave his brother a smile that would have rivaled Sven’s.
Now Carl was running to Sven to tell him what his brother was planning. He just prayed that it wouldn’t lead to bloodshed as the Russian was infamous in how he dealt with betrayal.
When he got to Sven’s door Carl took a second to steady his breath and calm his racing heart. By telling Sven this he was betraying his brother for the first time. But when he pictured Jungkook in his mind, his body hardened, and his blood felt like it was liquid fire. There was no way in hell he was giving up on having that beautiful boy as his own, brother be damned.
With Jungkook in mind Carl knocked on the door.
He was a little surprised when the female guard Misha answered the door. She was something of an oddity as she was the only female that Sven had in his inner circle of trusted guards. Carl had heard rumors that she was his half-sister, trained by former KGB agents to be Sven’s personal bodyguard. All Carl knew was that she was completely and utterly loyal to Sven, willing to do whatever he asked of her. And that made her a large threat.
Carl was also surprised by the absence of Jimin, commenting, “Where is your pet today?”
Putting down the phone which he had been on when the younger Foley entered, Sven ignored Carl to give orders to Misha.
“Collect the doctor and escort him to Bangtan Sonyeondans quarters.”
After watching Misha bow and leave Carl turned back to Sven to find the man peering at him intently. Swallowing nervously Carl repeated his question, “Where is your pet today?”
“Jimin is in the next room having a little think on some naughty behavior. But I am sure that you didn’t come here to check on the welfare of my jewel, unlike your nephew, did you?”
Carl felt the need to ask, “What was that about Dr. Hans?”
“I don’t know. Your nephew called frantic that Kim Seokjin had suddenly collapsed. I do hope that it isn’t serious. Out of all of them, he had the least injuries and that made him the most valuable.” Sven sat back sighing. “What can I do for you, Mr. Foley?”
Figuring that it was better to just get it over with Carl blurted out, “Dorian sold BTS to some sheik for one hundred million dollars and plans to deliver them when the weather clears up.”
“Really, Mr. Foley? Is your brother planning on refunding me the fifteen million I paid for them?” Sven asked, his voice calm.
“Yea, he sold them and no, returning your money isn’t part of the plan,” Carl said as he shook his head.
Sven withdrew one of the thin cigars that he favored and lit it.
“I see. Well, I’m afraid that we just cannot have that, Mr. Foley.”
“Look, no bloodshed, okay? This storm just moved in and we are going to be stuck here for weeks, plenty of time for things to change. Right?” Carl pleaded. He was pissed at Dorian, but he certainly didn’t want his brother dead.
Sven just smiled and nodded his head.
“No bloodshed, Mr. Foley, I promise. However, I will have to throw a monkey-wrench into your brother’s plan. I have no intention of losing my perfect jewel to Dorians misguided greed.”
Taking a long draw on the cigar Sven leaned his head back, blowing a steady stream of pale smoke towards the ceiling. Letting out a small laugh he gazed back at Carl.
“I believe in rewarding those who do me a service. And you, Mr. Foley, have done me a great service, so you shall have a reward. You shall have the beautiful Jeon Jungkook for an evening before your final payment…a taste, if you will. Providing that the boy remains pure, in that manner. So, until I am satisfied that your services are complete, you, Mr. Foley, will keep your dick out of that boy…understood?”
“Tonight?” Carl asked with excitement.
“Such impatience, Mr. Foley… I will let you know when. First, the wrench in your brother’s plan, then you shall have your reward. Now if you will excuse me, I must go check on the condition of Kim Seokjin.”
The moment that Misha informed Dr. Hans that he was needed in the cell of Bangtan Sonyeondan the man was on his feet grabbing his medical bag.
Any chance to see the exquisite Kim Seokjin was a great plus of being in this place during the storm. From the moment that Dr. Hans had seen him and the equally attractive Jung Hoseok the doctor’s imagination had been set afire. He had not felt so alive in decades and the recent playthings that Sven allowed him had barely held his interest.
As he and Misha entered the cell the doctor could feel the anger and tension in the room. However, it was the sight of Mathan Foley cradling an unconscious Seokjin that had the doctor moving into overdrive.
“What has happened?” The doctor asked Mathan.
He took note of the fact that Mathan did not answer, only continuing to hold the man and whisper words that could not be heard.
It was the young man sitting against the wall who answered the doctor.
“What does it look like? He passed out…fucking attention seeking pansy.”
“YAH…MIN YOONGI-SSI!” Namjoon yelled as he jerked the smaller man up off the floor.
Roughly pushing Yoongi to the other side of the room Namjoon glanced at Mathan before reluctantly giving the doctor an answer.
“Sometimes he gets these headaches; migraines from stress. The only thing that could be done was to send him to the hospital where they gave him fluids and medicine. They would also keep him in a dark sound-proof room.”
“Mr. Foley…you will have to release Kim Seokjin so that Dr. Hans can examine him.” Sven’s voice coming from the door froze everyone except Misha and the doctor.
“Over my goddamn dead body will that freak touch any of these boys,” Mathan hissed, tightening his grip on Seokjin.
“Really, Mathan,” Sven purred. “Is that any way to address a man of such prestige? All he wants is to help. Surely you do not wish for the young man to suffer needlessly.”
Mathan was torn between getting his angel help and letting the freakshow doctor put his hands on him.
“Fine,” he growled, laying Seokjin down softly and moving far enough away for the doctor to examine him.
Dr. Hans tried to keep a professional look on his face. He feared that if any of his eagerness to touch Seokjin showed, Mathan Foley would not hesitate to beat him to death. If looks alone could kill, the doctor had no doubt that he would have dropped dead the moment he stepped into the room.
Taking his equipment from his bag Dr. Hans took the young man’s temperature and blood pressure. He also checked his pupils, taking note of how they reacted to light as well as the twitches Seokjin made at any loud noises, even in his unconscious state.
He looked back at Sven.
“I believe these young men are correct…it does look like a migraine. I would recommend having him moved to a room where I can treat him with fluids and pain medicine. I will keep the room in darkness as I monitor his condition.”
“He can stay in my room,” Mathan said with a glare. “It is the only other room in the compound with no windows and is specially made to keep sound out and echoes down.”
Standing in the doorway Sven smiled at Mathans words and the doctor’s pout. His gaze moved around the room taking note of the appearances of the other members of Bangtan Sonyeondan.
“My…my… Are my boys fighting?” Sven mused as he stepped further into the room. “That simply will not do. So, before I allow Kim Seokjin to be treated…I want to know what happened? Anyone care to tell me?”
The only answer was a harsh, “FUCK YOU!” from Yoongi.
“Watch your mouth,” Namjoon hissed, glaring daggers at his hyung.
While the remaining members in the room may have discourse, they would not allow anyone else outside of Mathan to see. Even Namjoon knew the monsters needed no further ammo.
“We had a misunderstanding. It’s been taken care of,” Namjoon hissed, standing up in his place as leader, Hoseok glaring at the man from Namjoons side.
“I think the boys need a time-out, don’t you, Mr. Foley?” Sven gave Mathan a cold dead smile. “After all every second we stand here is a second longer that Kim Seokjin must suffer.”
“Their last time-out almost killed them,” Mathan said coldly, his jaw twitching in his agitation. “Why can’t you let boys be boys? Did daddy not let you play with others? Or could he not afford to buy you any friends?”
“Those seconds are ticking away, Mr. Foley.” Sven refused to let Mathan see the rage growing inside him. “And the rooms will be warm and cozy this time, I promise. I am not an idiot like your father.”
Sven nodded to Misha who left the room to carry out his silent instructions. Three guards entered taking up positions by the door just behind the Russian.
“And not all of them, Mr. Foley…just the troublemakers. Mr. Min for his disrespect and foul mouth. Mr. Jeon and Mr. Kim for the fight they obviously had. Kim Seokjin will go with you to be cared for…Jung Hoseok will go and be made ready for his evening with the doctor and Kim Taehyung will spend the evening with me.”
“Fuck you,” Mathan spat, his posture changing noticeably. “The doctor has no need for Hoseok and you have a pet already… As for Namjoon…he was just doing his job as a leader to keep his crew in check. Maybe he could teach you some lessons on how to control your dogs.”
“Oh, believe me, Mr. Foley…I have learned some new tricks. In fact, one of my guards has a tranq gun trained on you right now. Five seconds and you are out for the next twenty-four hours. I doubt that you could get to all three before one got to you. So, the choice is yours…time-out or sleepy time.”
“Mathan-ah….” Namjoon cried out as Jin suddenly reared off the bed screaming and clutching his head.
Mathan looked from Seokjin to Namjoon, obviously torn at the decision. Was he to sacrifice all for one? Could he really do it again?
“You will die for this,” Mathan said thorough gritted teeth as he agreed to the terms, looking at the boys as his eyes begged them for forgiveness for this transgression.
Sven threw his head back as laughter shook his whole body.
“I don’t doubt that, Mr. Foley. And then you and I will burn in hell together for our sins. I will keep my word…simple isolation for the night, warmth, bedding and food provided. Just time to think and reflect…”
Misha returned, whispering in her master’s ear.
“Ah…the rooms are ready. If Kim Taehyung would be so kind as to join me here.” Sven indicated the spot next to him. “Once Namjoon-ssi, Yoongi-ssi and Jungkook-ssi leave the room then you, Mr. Foley, are free to take Seokjin-ssi with you. Dr. Hans will follow you to get everything set up to take care of poor Seokjin. And I will have my stylists come and prepare Jung Hoseok for his time with the doctor.”
Mathan narrowed his eyes at the monster before nodding slowly, looking at each of the boys in return.
“It’ll be okay,” he whispered in to Hoseok's ear. “Whatever happens…the doctor can’t do anything to you. Just…endure it and…return here safely, okay?”
Hoseok nodded his head. Glancing around to make sure that Mathan's body blocked him from view he reached up, unclipped the necklace and quickly stuffed it into Mathan's hand.
“Please keep safe.” He whispered as he stepped back from the taller man.
Mathan didn’t even show he had anything in his hand as he looked around at the others in disappointment.
“I hope you all use this time to reflect on what you have done, and I hope you all have enough senses to agree to never do this again,” he said, his tone firm. “I expect you to play nice or I will not fight your master next time he comes to punish you for your appalling lack of manners and decorum.”
Understanding the silent message that Mathan was sending, Namjoon gave the man a quick nod as he pulled Yoongi away from the wall; his eyes daring the other to say anything as Jungkook joined them to stand in front of Sven. He couldn’t stop himself from looking over his shoulder at Hoseok and mouthing, “Saranghae, Hobi-ya.”
“I am glad to see that you three understand the seriousness of your actions. I think this night apart will do you all some good.”
He waved the three out to the hallway where Misha and another guard were waiting.
Several stylists moved into the room as the boys were led away.
Sven turned back to Mathan.
“And that means you are free to take Seokjin to your quiet, dark room. Make sure you take care of him, Dr. Hans…he is precious to someone. And you have your time with Mr. Jung to look forward to.”
Mathan wanted to vomit. He wished with everything in him that he could free these boys here and now, but he knew that he could not.
Gently picking Seokjin up he carried him to his room where he laid him down under the cool sheets, tucking him in and grabbing a wash cloth before turning off the lights and plunging the room into total darkness.
Growling at the knock on the door which made Jin whimper in pain Mathan cracked the door open. It was the doctor.
“I have the I.V. and medicine for Seokjin, Mr. Foley.” Dr. Hans made sure to keep his voice soft as he felt like he was bearding the lion in its den. “I will need the light turned on briefly so as to administer the medicine and set the I.V. line. I would suggest a cool cloth over his eyes while the light is on. It should only take a couple of minutes.”
“I can do it myself,” Mathan hissed, intent on not letting the sicko touch his angel. “I do have field medic training you know.”
“Very well, Mr. Foley, I will leave this with you. I have a dinner to prepare for.” Dr. Hans couldn’t resist giving the man a wide smile.
“Touch him and I will gut you,” Mathan growled before shutting the door in the doctors’ face and turning to the bed.
Carefully making his way to the bathroom he blindly prepared a cool washcloth, laying it over Jin's eyes before turning the light on.
“This might hurt a bit, Seokjin-ah,” Mathan said softly as he tied off a vein and prepared the i.v. “I promise you will feel better soon.”
*GRAPHICS ADDED AND WORKING*
Sven led Taehyung back to his quarters eager to have the young man all to himself for an entire evening. Twice in one day was more than he had hoped for.
Stopping at the door he turned to Taehyung.
“I am going to check on Jimin-ssi and see about having a dinner prepared for us. While I do, why don’t you clean up, shower, and I will have several outfits laid out for you to choose from. I will even have a stylist come in and give you some pampering before we eat.”
Moving closer to Taehyung the Russian reached down tilting his face up to whisper against the Korean man’s lips.
“How does that sound, my angel?”
Taehyung looked right at the man, hoping beyond hope that there would be no repeat of this morning. He didn’t think his stomach could handle it. Knowing the monster before him required no verbal response, Taehyung pressed in to the man, his lips parted slightly as he initiated the kiss, his teeth barely grazing the Russian mans’ lower lip.
Growling when teeth touched his lip Sven deepened the kiss hauling the smaller man against his body. With the heady scent of Taehyung filling his senses for a few moments Sven was overcome but quickly pulled himself back.
“A hallway is no place for such things, Kim Taehyung-ssi.” Opening the door, he guided the man in. “Go in and make yourself comfortable. Go shower, there are extra toiletries. Feel free to use them. A stylist will be ready for you when you finish, and I should be back in no less than thirty minutes.”
Taehyung just licked his lips and winked, turning around and seeing his way into Svens room, locking the bathroom door where he collapsed to the floor as he forgot how to breathe before climbing into the shower and scrubbing himself pink, already feeling dirty.
When Taehyung was done he dried off, slipping on the simple white satin shirt with a low v neckline, choosing a tight pair of pants to go with it, tucking them in and doing his belt before tying a bandana to keep his hair out of the way, his bangs a little long for his liking.
A silent team of stylists came in just as he finished dressing. Taehyung allowed them to go about their work, so deep in his own thoughts that he failed to see that they were suddenly gone, and Sven was standing there.
“Absolute perfection,” Sven purred. “Your beauty earlier was fair, but now it is breathtaking to behold.” Stepping close Sven ran his fingers through Taehyung’s hair. “I find myself amazed at how quickly your hair grew back…Mathan should have had his fingers removed for defiling such beauty.”
There was a brisk knock on the door before Misha entered with another guard pushing in a mobile table covered with food.
Holding out a hand to Taehyung, Sven asked, “Shall we at, my angel?”
Taehyung grinned at the hand, gently taking it and allowing Sven to lead him to the table, silently accepting the chair that was offered to him, and waiting for Sven to sit.
“If I might ask a favor,” he said, his deep tone even deeper, “be considerate with…Mathan. He has been very useful in keeping us all alive and…I feel like I owe him for all he did for me. I mean…if not for him…I would not have the pleasure of dining with someone as refined as you…”
“You are far too forgiving, my angel, but what is done is done, so Mr. Foley may keep his fingers. And that brings me to my question. Who attacked you, Kim Taehyung-ssi…and why?” Sven growled out the question to Taehyung.
Taehyung froze at the question. All he could see was the face behind the mask, that cold cruel voice in his ear warning him not to utter one single word or the man who beat him would come back and finish the job. He didn’t even notice when he began to shake, or the tears of fear threatened to spill from his eyes as his breathing became shallow and quick.
Sven moved around the table sweeping Taehyung up into his arms. He sat in his throne-like chair rocking the distraught man in his arms as he hummed a Russian lullaby.
“Shhh, Taehyung-ssi…shh, I promise that you are safe in my arms. Nothing and no one will ever touch you again, I swear.”
Taehyung clung to the man that had him, his mind a million miles away as he tried to calm his racing heart.
“Please…” he whispered, choked by emotions. “I’ll do whatever you ask. Anything at all. Just please,” he begged. “Do not let him have my brother… Do not let him have my Kookie…”
Sven found himself stiffening in anger but striving to control it. The game had just started, and he didn’t want to lose his head.
Gripping Taehyung’s chin Sven forced his tear-stained face up, so he could look directly into his eyes as he asked, “What is it about Jeon Jungkook that makes two of you so willing to throw yourselves at my feet to keep him safe?”
Taehyung looked at the man before him, the question bringing him out of his fog.
“Jungkookie belongs to Jimin-ssi,” Taehyung said. “But…”
Taehyung wasn’t sure what to say. Beyond the fact that he had loved the boy first, Jungkook was their brother, and was that not what families did? Lay down their lives to protect one another.
“Any of us would lay down our lives for our maknae,” he decided to say.
Standing and setting Taehyung on his feet Sven guided him back to the table holding out the chair for the younger man.
“I find that very curious, Kim Taehyung-ssi. I grew up in a family of wolves and only the strongest, the most cunning, and the most vicious survived. The idea of laying one’s life down for another member of the family was something to be mocked and laughed at.”
Pinning Taehyung to his seat with the heat of his gaze Sven questioned again, “Who attacked you and why? Was your Kookie the cause?”
Taehyung was back to panicking. Not because of Sven but because of the monster he feared more.
Taehyung tried, but he could not, the words refusing to come as Carl’s face flashed over and over in his mind, the physical blows manifesting in phantom pains all over his body as he pulled his arms to his head to protect himself from the memories of the attack.
Sven pulled out his phone and spoke quickly in Russian. Within ten minutes Misha and another guard were dragging in a struggling Carl.
In a rough voice Sven order, “Kim Taehyung-ssi…look at me! I brought the one who hurt you, he stands in front of you now. Tell me, what is his punishment to be?”
Carl struggled harder, crying out, “What kind of fucking game are you playing, Sven!”
Taehyung was momentarily frozen in fear, but something also told him the monster before him would never be able to touch him again if he did what Sven asked. The transformation from sweet, innocent Taehyung to a hyung after blood in revenge for the attack on his maknae was glorious and terrifying to witness. Thinking only of Jungkook, Taehyung spoke.
“If sweet little play things are something he wants so bad…maybe you should make him one...” Taehyung said, a smirk on his face. “I’m sure someone somewhere needs a decent little fuck.”
“I think, my angel, that those wings of yours are more dark than tarnished.” Sven laughed before turning to Misha and ordering her in Russian.
“Take Carl out and beat him well…don’t kill him but make it painful. And tell him when he comes back here in two hours he is to act like a man who has been well used. If he resists, make it real.”
Walking over to Carl, Sven backhanded the man as hard as he could, the rings on his fingers cutting deep into the man’s face. After Misha had Carl drug from the room Sven turned to Taehyung.
“They will bring him back in a couple of hours, so you may see their handy work. Will that please you, my angel?”
Taehyung just turned his face to look at Sven, a truly evil smirk on his face, his eyes glinting with an unspoken glee.
Jung Hoseok stared at himself in the full-length mirror being held by a stylist, but he did not recognize the person reflected there. It looked like him with his natural black hair returned, but the face was thinner and sharper than before, and the eyes spoke of a stranger. Someone who had looked into the abyss and seen true evil.
Mathans words echoed in his mind but they did not keep his stomach from churning or the fear from threatening to choke him as his throat closed up. All he could hear were Yoongi’s screams at night; visions of Jungkook after Carl had returned with him flashing before his eyes. The memory of Taehyung’s eyes earlier when he had come back from Sven’s had his breath stilling in terror at what awaited him.
He nearly jumped out of his skin when a guard opened the door motioning for him to follow. Swallowing with difficulty Hoseok went with the guard. He was led to a room set up with a table and two chairs, laid out with food enough for a small army. The sight of the food had his stomach churning even more but it was the man sitting and waiting for him that had Hoseok attempting to back out of the room.
“Do not be afraid, my sunshine,” the doctor said, his voice wavy and thin. “Have a seat and dine with me.”
Hoseok looked around the room, his stomach revolting as he saw the man before him. Forcing himself not to vomit Hoseok slowly entered the room, his body rigid with fear and his mind screaming at him to run.
Dr. Hans couldn’t help but admire the trembling beauty in front of him. While not Seokjin, this young man was just as lovely and as tempting a morsel as the doctor could have hoped for. When Hoseok sat the doctor stood and pulled his chair around the table so he was sitting flush against the young man.
“I hope you don’t mind, my sunshine…I took the liberty of choosing our food but if something doesn’t agree with you…” He laughed as he placed a hand on Hoseoks knee and rubbed. “I am a doctor, so I will take care of you.”
Hoseok stiffened at these words. The hand on his knee burned him like acid and tears gathered in his eyes as his mind raced through every possible thing that could happen. Obviously dinner was real, but was he meant to serve as dessert? He certainly hoped not. The doctor smelled sickly sweet and it was a level of repulsive Hoseok could not physically tolerate.
Watching as his tormentor served the food Hoseok wondered how much he would be required to eat and if he would escape the room quickly enough to empty the contents of his stomach once this nightmare was over. The spread before him looked heavy, foreign, and under cooked. While he did enjoy things like cheeseburgers, pizza, and tacos, he did not enjoy the look of caviar, raw steak, or whatever animal innards had been boiled and presented in a greasy looking sauce.
Hoseok barely realized he was being talked to until he heard his hyungs name, and he wondered what all he had missed.
“I do so hope that troll of a man has the decency to wait until poor Seokjin is recovered before trying anything,” the doctor mused as he spread butter on a roll. “Americans. Complete lack of decorum, control, or respect. Why my employer tolerates them I will never know.”
Something inside Hoseok told him that this person didn’t care if he spoke or not, so he simply nodded his head and tried to think of Namjoon. His response seemed to placate the man as the doctor continued to eat and talk for the moment.
Every muscle in Hoseoks body locked as fingers caressed his face.
“Such lovely skin you have, my sunshine. So smooth…without blemish or flaw. It is one of the first things I noticed about you and Seokjin…such beautiful, tender skin.”
The doctor’s hand lingered on Hoseoks face then moved slowly down his throat and arm before taking the Korean mans hand in his own. He entwined their fingers never taking any notice of the blood welling on Hoseoks bottom lip or the tear that ran down his cheek.
As soon as the ‘dinner’ was over and the doctor had inquired after Hoseoks health, innocently checking his leg, Hoseok was escorted back to the prison cell he shared with the rest of Bangtan Sonyeondan sans Jimin. As soon as the door slammed shut the man was pulling off clothing and running for the bathroom, emptying the contents of his stomach into the toilet before collapsing onto the floor as the tears streamed down his face. While he knew things could have been so much worse, it had still been more than his mentality could handle and he was almost thankful he was in this room alone, away from judging eyes and worried questions. Here and now Hoseok would have time to wash the memories of his nightmare away and to compose himself before his sweet Namjoon returned.
Turning on the water as hot as it would go Hoseok grabbed fresh clothes and a towel and stepped into the water, burning the memory of the doctor from his skin.
Taehyung was surprised at how quickly two hours could pass. Sven spent the entire time telling him stories about people Taehyung had only ever read about in fashion and celebrity magazines. He was amazed to find himself laughing at some of the naughty gossip that Sven had told him and telling the Russian about his own celebrity encounters. Taehyung never let himself forget that this was a monster who held their lives in his hands, but the man could be charming, and he allowed himself to be swayed by that charm.
He was again reminded of the monster when the door opened, and Carl was drug in. The man was naked from the waist up covered in blood and crying. Taehyung stared at the demon from his nightmares and felt nothing for him. All he could see was Jungkook’s face the day Carl had returned him, his cries as Yoongi held him and the night-time screams that had followed.
Taehyung moved back from the table and before he realized what he was doing he was across the room kicking Carl repeatedly as hard as he could; the memories of his own encounter with the man fueling his rage. It was only Sven picking him up that stopped him from stomping on the man when Misha and Gregor let Carl fall to the floor.
“It is alright, my angel…it is alright. He will never hurt you again, I promise.” Sven whispered in Taehyung’s ear as he held tight to the screaming man. “Your monster is vanquished.”
Sven was momentarily caught off guard when Taehyung turned suddenly in his arms kissing him passionately. Growling at the ferocity of the kiss, Sven caught up Taehyung in his arms wrapping the young man’s legs around his waist uncaring of the guards or the bleeding man laying at their feet.
For a few moments it was tongues, teeth, and growls before Sven set Taehyung back on his feet pulling back from the other.
Keeping a hand tangled in Taehyung’s hair Sven spoke between harsh breaths.
“As much as the idea of taking my angel to bed and worshipping his beautiful body all night long appeals to me, I must reluctantly send you back to your room. Due to the time difference there is something I must take care of right now and business comes before pleasure in this instance. Gregor will deal with the trash while Misha escorts you back to your room.”
Taehyung looked appropriately reprimanded, still managing to lick the taste off of his lips as he nodded.
“Thank you, Master,” he said, his voice low and filled with lust.
Sven smirked at the name, nodding at his guards to do as instructed before turning to attend to business of his own.
Hoseok woke in a panic when he heard the door to his prison opening, looking around for anything he could use to protect himself from the monsters around them. Seeing it was Taehyung made it even worse. The boys’ hair was mused and his lips were kiss swollen. The wrinkles in his clothing were confusing, and the at ease look on his face unsettled Hoseoks stomach even more.
“T-Taehyungah?” Hoseok asked in confusion as he slowly stood, his body sore from how hard he had scrubbed. “Are you…what…”
Hoseok was truly at a loss for words.
*GRAPHICS ADDED AND WORKING*
Once Taehyung had been led away Sven turned to the door of the room that held his jewel, his new plan starting to bloom. If Dorian Foley wanted to betray the Ivchenkos that was fine, but Sven knew how to fight the dirtiest of fights and he swore on everything he was that the rat would not make it out of this fortress alive. Securing the phone that was in his pocket so that it would be untraceable Sven slowly opened the door, just barely stepping in as he considered the man on the bed, a small smile creeping onto his lips.
“Oh Jimin,” he purred, pretending to be sad. “I have missed you, my jewel. Have you missed me?”
Jimin slowly registered the voice speaking to him and sat up to look at the man before him, nodding his head morosely.
“Have you been a good boy like I asked?” Sven cooed.
Jimin only nodded again, holding his bear tight.
“Have you reflected on your actions? Can you tell me what you did wrong?”
Jimin looked into Sven’s face then back to the floor before he whispered softly, “I touched chagiyah’s laptop and then I lied about it. I’m really sorry and I will be good from now on, I promise.”
The words choked Jimin and for a second, he thought he might actually throw up. He was disgusted by this sick game that Sven wanted him to play. But the more child-like he acted the softer it seemed to make Sven; keeping his temper in check.
Since writing the letter and Mathan's visit, Jimin had become aware of a subtle shift in his own mind. A shadow overtaking him. He would push for Mathan to get the others out, to find a way for them to escape this nightmare. And when they were gone from this place, that would be the moment that Jimin would strike…he would leave this world behind.
From lowered lashes Jimin glared at Sven with hate-filled eyes as he promised himself that when he died he was taking Sven with him.
This was the promise he repeated over and over as he wrapped tight arms around the Russian tilting his face up to accept Sven’s kiss.
After leaning in for a quick kiss from his jewel Sven pulled back and smiled.
“I am pleased that you understand what you did wrong, my jewel…it makes me very sad having to punish you like that.”
Leaving Jimin standing where he was Sven sat down at the small desk and pulled the cell phone from his pocket sitting it in clear view of the young man.
“You were in the wrong, but you accepted your punishment and have learned your lesson so now…you shall have a reward.”
Sven pushed the phone to the edge of the desk closest to Jimin.
“You may take this phone that is untraceable and call anyone that you wish. You will have ten minutes to speak to them once the call is answered, after that the signal will be scrambled. You will be alone, so you may tell them anything you want.”
Jimin looked at the phone as his breath caught in his throat and he wondered if this was just a trap…another sick game he was to play with the monster in the room.
“A—any…one?” he asked slowly, not trusting himself to move his eyes from the phone he so desperately wanted to grab.
“Anyone,” Sven said firmly.
“My parents?” Jimin said, choking on the idea.
“Yes,” Sven replied, his tone a little softer.
“Chagiyah,” Jimin whispered, his eyes shooting to the mans face. “Why?”
Jimin could not…would not…believe that this opportunity was true. It was just too good and…wouldn’t it ruin all of the plans these monsters had made?
“As a reward,” Sven said. “Tell them you are alive and well if you wish. They will not be able to find you anyway.”
Jimin wanted to cry as he thought of exactly what he would say…who he would call. This opportunity could not be wasted, and he would not be so selfish as to only use it on himself.
“P…PD-nim?” he asked, looking back down at the phone.
“If you wish,” Sven said, his eyes burning holes into the man before him.
“Thank you, Chagiyah,” Jimin said with a nod as he felt himself break even more.
“Ten minutes, my jewel,” Sven said as he stood, eyeing the man one last time before leaving the room.
Jimin sat as he felt his knees give way.
Inspector Danny Kwon hated bothering the former head of BigHit, especially now that he was convinced of the man’s innocence when it came to the kidnapping and death of Bangtan Sonyeondan. The problem was a growing suspicion in his mind and it had been plaguing him since the new year. He didn’t have any proof and Danny certainly wasn’t going to get the man’s hopes up, but he had questions that needed answers and Bang Shi-hyuk was the only one at that moment still willing to talk to him.
The man greeted him looking a little better than he had at their last meeting and just as Danny was about to start with his questions, the man’s cell phone went off.
Bang Shi-hyuk frowned when the unknown number called him, looking at the detective before him before answering the phone. He took a second to hit the record button as he had been receiving threats since the death of his boys.
“Yeoboseyo?” the man said, his tone colored with confusion.
For a moment it was quiet, and he almost hung up.
On the other end of the line tears were streaming down Park Jimin’s face as the voice of his mentor rang clear on the other end.
“PD-nim,” he whispered, afraid that even now he was being monitored.
“PD-nim, it’s…it’s me. It’s Jimin-ah. We…we’re alive. We’re here. We’re alive…”
Jimin didn’t know what else to say as he prayed with everything he had that the man on the other end of the line believed him. If just one person knew that they were still okay…maybe someone would fight for them. Maybe…maybe some how someone would be able to find them.
“I don’t…I don’t have much time. They…this phone deactivates in a few minutes…”
A thousand thoughts ran through the man’s mind as he put the phone on speaker and waved at Inspector Kwon. The Inspector’s eyes widened at the voice coming over the line and he grabbed his own work phone calling and whispering into it to attempt a trace. He pulled his personal phone out hitting the record button as he laid it next to Hitman’s phone.
Hitman couldn’t even speak. He knew the voice on the other end of the line. One of his boys was calling him and according to what he had said, all of them were alive.
“Jimin-ah,” he tried again. “Where are you? Do you know? Are all of you safe?”
Jimin curled into himself cradling the phone to his ear as harsh sobs rocked his frame.
“I don’t know where this place is …we are all here and alive. But, PD-nim…we are not safe. Bad things have happened to us…” Jimin’s voice was raw as all the pain and fear that they had all suffered came pouring out.
“Yoongi hyung was hurt in a bad way and Taehyung was almost beaten to death. I was locked in a dark closet for three days when I tried to stop that man from taking Jungkookie away.”
Bang Shi-hyuk looked at Danny in horror as tears ran from his eyes. And Jimin’s words of horror just kept coming.
“Jungkookie won’t tell anyone what happened. Namjoon-hyung tried to protect me, and they punished him…they took a cane to him and then they took it to me.”
Hitman grabbed tightly to Danny’s hand nearly crushing his fingers as he struggled to stay strong for the young man on the phone.
“I am here, Jimin-ah…I am not going to stop until I bring you home. Let me speak to Namjoonah or Seokjinah…”
Jimin’s voice came back soft and the words broke both men listening.
“I am alone… I’m not allowed to be with them. We just want to come home… Please…find us. Please bring us home, PD-nim…please…”
Both Danny and Hitman heard a door opening and footsteps, then Jimin’s voice came over the phone line a final time.
“PD-nim, I have to go now…my master wants the phone back.”
Before the trace could be completed the line went dead and the two men in the room were left staring at a phone with no way to get the person on the other end of the line back.
“Help me,” Bang Shi-hyuk whispered, his eyes once more haunted as he looked at Inspector Kwon. “Help me get my boys home.”
Danny didn’t know what to say. He was in shock as all of the pieces finally started falling together, but in his mind, he knew there were still several more questions that needed to be answered.
“I need…” he tried, his brain refusing to work for once.
“The world needs to know they are alive,” Hitman said, a whole new demeanor overcoming him.
No longer was the man before him broken, Inspector Kwon saw. This was a man on a mission to rescue what he held dear and Danny knew that just short of arrest there was nothing he could do to stop this man from picking up his crusade and marching on to recover his boys.
“Sir,” Danny tried to say calmly. “There are…protocols and…”
“To hell with your protocols,” Bang Shi-hyuk said calmly, standing and grabbing his coat. “This time I will bring those boys home my way. It is the only way I know that works.”
Sven smiled down at the boy before him as he held out his hand, taking the phone from Jimin as soon as it was extended and dropping it in a bowl of water, frying the whole device for security in the trace failing.
“Did you get to say everything you wanted to, my jewel?” he asked, sinking into the seat beside Jimin. “Has anyone been comforted with the knowledge that you are doing well?”
Jimin gazed into the face of the person he hated most in the world and smiled lovingly.
“Yes, chagiyah. I think they were very comforted by the knowledge I gave them.”
He had seen the way the doctor looked at Jin, and now that monster was alone with his fragile Hoseok. Namjoon had not mentioned to the others how many times he had awoken to Hoseoks nightmares. All he had been able to get from his lover was Hobi seeing himself in place of Yoongi, or Jungkook, or Jimin. Countless times he had held Hoseok as he wept, begging forgiveness for being so frightened and weak in Namjoons eyes.
Now Hoseoks nightmare was becoming reality and there was nothing that Namjoon could do to stop it. All he could do was stare at the door and count the seconds until it opened.