Euphoria | Jikook | COMPLETED

Chapter 2

7th Dec, Monday

“Hurry up, kid. We’re running late,” Yoongi hyung urgent and Jungkook rolled his eyes.

“It’s only seven-thirty, hyung.” Jungkook walked to the dining table, hair still wet from the shower, shirt unbuttoned and hanging loose around his shoulders.

Taehyung plated the food, offering it to him before occupying his seat and digging in. Though Jungkook had a car, he always rode with Yoongi to the office. This morning his hyung had woke him earlier than usual telling him that he had to be in the office earlier.

“You know there are some changes in the top management,” Yoongi said in between the bites. “Our Chairman’s son is taking over the business in a few weeks. The transition was supposed to start after the holidays but something happened. He’s taking over today. So we were requested to be in the office early.”

Yoongi hyung headed the marketing division, so it made sense. He was one of the key people of the company. So it meant he would be busy in the coming weeks.

Jungkook pouted. “Can I ride with Taehyungie hyung today? I really don’t want to be in the office that early.” Being early meant running into Yunho and his bitches. That was the last thing he wanted on a Monday morning.

Yoongi shrugged. “You can. Just don’t run into trouble.”

Jungkook rolled his eyes. “I’m not a kid, hyung.”

The youngest knew his hyung meant well. The others seemed to pick on him at any chance they got. Going with Yoongi help him evade some of the snide remarks. No one wanted to mess with the head of the marketing team who had great influence among the top management. After all, his hyung was the best at his job.

“Yeah, our Jungkookie is all grown up and he has a boyfriend now,” Taehyung supplied earning a scowl from Jungkook.

“You, what?” Yoongi’s brows shot up.

“It was just a date, hyung.” Jungkook scowled at Taehyung.

“Sure, bub,” Taehyung snickered.

“He’s really nice.” Jungkook smiled at the reminder of the soft kiss on his wrist. The skin tingled even now at the memory.

“I remember Taehyung telling me something last night, but I was too tired to listen. So, who’s this guy?”

“His name is Park Jimin and ah…he works for his father.” Jungkook suddenly felt conscious. He didn’t know much about Park Jimin other than his name and the fact that he worked for his father. Damn. He didn’t even make an effort to ask more questions.

“Park Jimin?” Yoongi dropped his chopsticks. “You went on a date with the Park Jimin?”

Taehyung perked up. “Do you know him?”

Yoongi cast a look of disbelief before fumbling with his phone and turned the display toward them. “This Park Jimin?”

Jungkook frowned while Taehyung confirmed, “Yeah, that’s him.” He shared a look with Jungkook. The youngest shrugged. How did his hyung know him?

“Is this a joke, kid? Park Jimin doesn’t date. Don’t you know what people say about him?” Yoongi’s face twisted in anger.

Jungkook shrunk in his chair. He hasn’t seen his hyung this furious in ages. The last time was when he fell from a tree and sprained his arm.

“You allowed him to take our Jungkookie out?” Yoongi’s fury was now directed toward Taehyung.

“What are you talking about? How do you even know this guy?” Taehyung countered.

Yoongi scoffed. “Does the name Park ring any bell?”

Jungkook and Taehyung shared another look before shaking their head.

Yoongi narrowed his eyes at them. “How can you not know who your boss is Jungkookie? Park Jimin is the son of Park Jihyun our fucking chairman.”’

“Huh?” Jungkook gasped. Shit. He thought the name sounded familiar, but his muddled brain didn’t put the two and two together.

Taehyung whistled low under his breath.

“Stay away from him Jungkookie. He is bad news.”

“But he’s nothing but sweet to our Jungkookie. If I’m correct, you haven’t even met Jimin in person. How can you know he’s bad?” Taehyung reasoned.

“Fine. Don’t trust me then.” Yoongi stuffed the remaining food into his mouth and stood grabbing his empty plate. “Just look him up online. You’ll know what I mean.”

Taehyung shared a worried look with Jungkook whose stomach was in knots. Was it true? Yoongi hyung had no reason to lie and he only had Jungkook’s best intentions at heart.

Taehyung put a comforting arm around his shoulder as Yoongi exited the room without so much as a goodbye. His hyung was pissed. “Don’t jump to conclusions, Jungkookie. We will talk more about this, yeah?”

Jungkook nodded absent-mindedly, his mind reeling. Did Jimin lie to him? Once in the safety of his room, he couldn’t help but type his name online and something uncomfortable lodged in his throat when several articles popped out. He skipped the articles and went to the photos, his heart slowly breaking with every image popped on his screen.

By the end of the day, Jungkook was convinced that his hyung was right. Park Jimin was bad news. His colleagues were particularly loud throughout the day, gossip mills ran restless and every piece of information shared about Jimin only tightened the knot in Jungkook’s stomach. To summarize, Jimin was this cold and arrogant asshole who changed girlfriends like he changed clothes. At least that was how the media portrayed him.

Now that wasn’t what bothered Jungkook the most. He couldn’t care less about his past flings. It was the fact that Jimin was seen only with females. None of his flings were males and to be honest, they were all models and celebrities. Was Jimin playing with him because of his reputation in the company? Was he a conquest? Jungkook had heard about men finding thrill in the chase. Was he a challenge?

His eyes stung with tears. He didn’t want to believe it, but when his hyung said the same, he couldn’t help it. What was real? The Jimin he met was none of those. He was kind and patient, always respecting Jungkook’s wishes.

As if on cue, his phone pinged with Jimin’s text. Jungkook didn’t dare open it. He hadn’t talked to Jimin since their date and he didn’t know how to confront Jimin with this newfound information.

It was just one date. He could be his boss but Jungkook didn’t owe him anything. He should be able to pretend none of this happened and call it quits. It wasn’t that complicated. Jimin himself said he would respect Jungkook’s choice. But why the thought of not talking to Jimin again is so painful?

Was he catching feelings for someone he barely knew?

With the shake of his head, Jungkook ignored the message and put the phone on his nightstand. His phone rang. It was Jimin. His heart ached and he almost attended the call, but couldn’t bring himself to do so. It was close to 10 p.m.

What would he tell Jimin?

The phone stopped ringing and there was another text from Jimin. It was just a goodnight and Jungkook nibbled at his lips deciding to ignore it for now. He will decide tomorrow. Yoongi hyung always said not to take any decisions when he was emotional. So he’d wait it out.

Cool.

That should do.

With that thought, he settled under his covers unaware of the man sitting in the car in front of his apartment complex, hoping to see him once if he was awake.

***

10th Dec, Thursday

Two days had passed and Jungkook still hasn’t decided what to do with this situation. Jimin texted him every day and called at least once, which he ignored. He didn’t even open the messages fearing it would weaken his resolve.

He stared at the screen, his teeth sinking painfully into his bottom lip as Jimin’s name flashed on his screen for the third time that night. It was around nine-thirty and Jungkook sat curled on his couch in the living room.

Yoongi hyung had been too busy with the changes and Taehyung had asked him to talk to Jimin. But Jungkook didn’t know how to approach this subject. By now Jimin would have known he was avoiding him purposefully. What do I tell him? Why is talking so hard?

With a heavy heart, his finger hovered over the messages opening them. There were several messages from Jimin, asking if everything was okay, greeting him good morning and good night. The last one was sent just a minute ago.

Jimin hyung:

We need to talk

Jungkook debated before sending a reply. Better to do things over text.

Jungkook:

Ok

Jimin hyung:

Good

Open the door

Jungkook:

Door?

Jimin hyung:

I’m outside

Some rang the bell as if on cue and Jungkook swore, tumbling out of bed and into the living room to open the door. He paused for a second contemplating if he should pretend he wasn’t home at all. His phone vibrated.

Jimin hyung:

I know you’re on the other side of the door

Open the door

Jungkook chewed at his lip before opening the door. He froze when his gaze found Jimin. He looked…pissed? More like disheveled. Not the sophisticated look he usually sported. His hair was out of place, sticking in different directions while his white shirt was untucked, the first few buttons open and tie hanging loose. In short, he looked as if he got into a fight.

“What’s wrong, Jungkookie?” His anger took Jungkook by surprise and he jumped slightly. “You have been avoiding me since our date night. Did I do something wrong? Or is it something I said?”

Jimin walked inside, his gaze pinning Jungkook in place. Jungkook suddenly felt self-conscious. He must look like crap with his baggy clothes and disheveled hair. He hadn’t bothered to do much because he was mopping for the past two days.

The door closed behind Jimin and he stood in front of Jungkook. The youngest looked down at his feet, guilt flooding him. He should have at least said something.

“Did I make you uncomfortable?” Jimin’s voice was now gentle. When Jungkook looked up, his features had softened.

Jungkook shook his head. He never did anything uncomfortable. That was the reason Jungkook was so conflicted. Jimin gave him no reason to believe those rumors. Suddenly, his eyes widened and his mouth fell open. Rumors.

Fuck.

He remembered Jimin telling him about having to watch the places he has to go to avoid rumors and stuff. Shame filled him. He didn’t even give me a chance to explain.

“Jungkookie?” Jimin was standing closer; he could now smell the other’s cologne.

“I-I’m sorry,” Jungkook blurted out.

Jimin’s shoulders slumped. He was still watching Jungkook intently. “You know I’d never force you to do something you don’t want to do, right? You could always say no and I’ll stop.”

Jungkook’s throat tightened. He knew.

“I don’t know what I did, Jungkookie. I thought you wanted this.” A defeated sigh left the elder’s lips. Pain etched his features. “Maybe I misread the signs. I’m sorry for putting you through this.” He was stepping back and panic coursed through Jungkook’s body. “I won’t disturb you if that’s what you want. I’ll leave you be.”

He was turning away, walking to the door and Jungkook could only stare. He had to stop Jimin. Fuck fuck fuck. Once he left the apartment, there was no going back. Before he knew what he was doing, he closed the distance between them, wrapping his arms around Jimin.

“D-don’t g-go.” His hold tightened on the elder and he felt Jimin going stiff. “P-please…” Jimin slowly relaxed in his arms.

Jungkook didn’t know how long they stood like that. He had unconsciously buried his face in Jimin’s shoulder, sniffing at the comforting scent and relishing the warmth.

“Jungkookie…”

“Hmm…”

“We need to talk.”

Jungkook nodded, letting go of him and stepped back. Jimin turned to face him before jerking his head to the couch. Jungkook followed Jimin, sitting beside him when the elder patted the spot beside him.

“What’s bothering you, Jungkookie?” Jimin leaned on the couch, resting an arm on the backrest behind Jungkook.

Jungkook fidgeted with his fingers. “I-I looked you up on the internet.”

“And?”

The youngest bit the inside of his cheeks, his knees bouncing as he contemplated his words. “Um…I saw the photos.”

Jimin watched him intently, head tilted to the side.

“T-they…” Jungkook cleared his throat, picking on his nails. Fuck. This talking thing was harder than he expected. Why can’t he just vomit the words?

“They?”

“They are all women,” the youngest mumbled suddenly feeling smaller. “Y-your dates are all w-women.”

Jimin sighed. “I’m bisexual.”

Jungkook whipped up, blinking owlishly as his words settled in. The tip of his ears heated up under Jimin’s intense gaze. Bisexual. Why didn’t I consider that as a possibility? He returned his gaze to his lap.

“And they’re not dates. I don’t date, Jungkookie. You’re the first.”

Jungkook felt like a heavyweight lifted off from his shoulders. When Yoongi hyung said Jimin doesn’t date, the weight was suffocating, but hearing the same words from Jimin felt different. Well, it was mainly because he said Jungkook was the first person he was dating. Earth to, Kookie.

“So, um… they-uh—” Jimin patiently waited for him to finish. “They, uh…are models. I-I’m—”

“Not everything you see is true, Jungkookie. I know I have this fuckboy image. I’ve had my fair share of one-night stands. But that’s all it ever had been. If you’re wondering if I slept with those models, the truth is no.” Jimin leaned back, crossing his legs. “People do stuff for publicity. We hang out a few times, the paparazzi click a few pics, our names are splashed on tabloids for a few days. Free publicity.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened. “T-that is… Why would you do something like that?”

Jimin shrugged. “I was only nineteen when this agency approached me. You see, I had just started working for my father’s US division. They offered a deal and at that time, the company needed a breakthrough in the western market. I don’t even know why they chose me. They said they needed a fresh face. This model was a popular name in the industry and our PR team thought it would help, so I went out with her. We met twice in a coffee shop. The result was amazing. And it became a thing. I didn’t realize over the time, they’d paint me as a fuckboy but it is what it is.”

Jungkook frowned, processing his words. “D-do you still do that?”

“No.” Jimin’s voice was soft. “Not anymore. Seoul is a fresh start for me.”

The youngest nodded. “I-I’m not good at handling my emotions.”

“You could have just asked me, Jungkookie. I’d have told you.” Jimin took his large hands into his smaller ones. “I promise. I’ll always be honest with you.”

“I…I didn’t wanna say something I’d regret later,” he admitted. “I, um…needed time.”

“Is there anything else that’s bothering you?” Jimin’s voice was so soft that Jungkook melted a little. How can someone call this gentle soul cold and arrogant?

Jungkook thought about the situation. He agreed he shouldn’t believe what others say, instead get to know Jimin himself. There was now one tiny problem. It shouldn’t matter, but… “You’re my boss,” he stated softly. If anyone in the office found out, they’d have a field day and Jungkook didn’t know how anyone would react. Will Jimin be okay with that? Why would he agree to go with him as a plus one for their gala?

“Yeah. I thought you figured it when you heard my full name.” Jimin’s voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

“I didn’t.” Jungkook chewed at his lips. “W-why didn’t you say something sooner?”

“Would you have even looked at me if I did?” Jimin asked and Jungkook shook his head. “Thought so. I wanted you to get to know me for the person I am behind all the titles.”

“B-but you’re still my boss.”

Jimin watched him for a long moment before standing. One of his hands cupped his face, tipping it so he could meet his gaze. “Are you having second thoughts, Jungkookie?”

Jungkook blinked. Did he have second thoughts? Yoongi hyung did say he was bad news. He will be furious if Jungkook kept meeting Jimin. And this was his chance to back off. Tell Jimin that he didn’t want anything romantic.

“I understand.” Jimin dropped his hand while a frown tugged at Jungkook’s lips. A pained expression crossed his features. “You know how to reach me if you changed your mind.” His shoulders were hunched when he walked away and Jungkook sat frozen for a moment.

Shit.

He should just let him go. But why the fuck is it so hard? Why does it hurt so much to see him walk away?

Fuck the fuck.

Jungkook jumped to his feet. For the second time the day, he stopped Jimin from leaving. This time he caught one of his sleeves, another hand fisting with the hem of his baggy t-shirt. He should say something, but when did ever words help him? The youngest tried though. His mouth opened and closed but no words came out and he felt his mind go blank.

Jimin… He looked expectantly, a flash of hope in his gaze and it squeezed Jungkook’s heart. The youngest dropped Jimin’s sleeve and lifted the hand to Jimin’s mouth, baring his wrist to him, hoping he’d take the hint. He didn’t know why he did that. He just wanted to show him the things were good between them. That he wanted them to continue whatever they were doing.

His idea seemed to work because Jimin caught his wrist, pressing his plump lips over his pulse just like he did on Sunday. Only this time, when he flicked his tongue over his skin, it lingered. Jungkook flushed red, looking down to his feet, squirming under the intensity of Jimin’s gaze. It was just too much, yet too good.

Jimin released his hand only to circle his waist and pull him closer. Jungkook closed his eyes when he sensed Jimin’s breath hot on his neck. His lips feathered over the column of his neck before settling for a soft kiss at the crook of his neck.

“Good night, Jungkookie.”

Jungkook couldn’t speak. He could barely stand because his knees were weak from the kiss. Jimin backed away from him just like the other day, walking backward until he disappeared behind the door. The youngest released a breath he didn’t realize he was holding.

That was…hot.

***

14th Dec, Monday

Jungkook got the first taste of Jimin’s other side on Monday morning. The CEO met every department head and a few important personnel from the department personally in his office. Monday was the Jungkook’s team. Jungkook had gone with his department head, his direct manager, and five other key people from the team. He could tell his direct manager wasn’t thrilled with his presence because Jungkook was a programmer. But Sungmin-ssi, the head of their department insisted he go with them.

However, the Jimin he met in the meeting room was stoic with an emotionless mask. Jungkook saw a few others beside him and recognized them as the key senior partners of the firm. He’d met Namjoon once for a project. As for the others, Yoongi hyung had told him about them. They all moved to Seoul from the United States last year. Each handled a region.

Jungkook bowed in their general direction before settling in the designated seat beside his manager and kept his head low for most of the time. But man…was it a good meeting? Absolutely. It was the best meeting ever solely because Jungkook witnessed his manager being roasted. The hardest part was where he had to bite the inside of his cheeks and hold the laughter.

He didn’t dare meet Jimin’s eyes even once during the meeting. But his stern voice kept ringing in his ears. He asked several questions related to their department and when he didn’t receive the expected answers he wasn’t pleased. It didn’t help that his manager took too long to respond. Jungkook learned Jimin wasn’t so patient when it came to the others.

“Hwang-ssi you’re wasting my time. If you do not have proper answers, you may leave.”

Hwang’s face had gone red as he squirmed in his seat. What followed was something Jungkook would cherish for years to come.

Hwang used to be nice to him initially, but ever since Jungkook helped Namjoon with that project, he started seeing him as an enemy. He always dumped work at Jungkook and made him stay late hours. The youngest never complained though. He did what was asked of him because that was how he continued to retain his place as the star programmer of their department month after month.

“You’re the manager, aren’t you? Why is it that you keep directing my question to your subordinates? Shouldn’t you know these things? If the others are going to answer them, then what are you doing here?”

Sungmin-ssi, the head of their department sported a knowing smile and did nothing to help Hwang. As for his manager, he deserved it for treating him like shit most of the time.

In conclusion, Jimin was hot. He was a whole package. It even surprised Jungkook that he could find Jimin hot under circumstances such as this. Maybe if he hadn’t met Jimin before this day, he’d be shaking in his seat too. But now Jungkook mainly admired the confidence of the elder and the commanding aura that radiated off him.

When Jimin dismissed them, they all scrambled out with Hwang being the first to exit the CEO’s office.

“Jeon Jungkook-ssi?”

He stopped when the front office assistant called him.

“Looks like you forgot something.” She gestured him to the CEO’s office. “Please retrieve your item.”

“Oh.” Jungkook nodded. He didn’t forget anything. He did a quick pat over his pockets but thanked her before looking at Sungmin.

The head of the department just nodded and walked ahead. Jungkook took a deep breath before stepping inside the office. Why would Jimin call him back?

Jimin wasn’t in the office when he entered. He looked puzzled at the others, feeling conscious as he shifted on his feet.

“Ah, your Adonis is in there,” the one next to Namjoon said. His heart-shaped smile and bright features radiated warmth similar to that of Taehyung. “Just go in.”

Jungkook flushed red when he heard what he said. Without further word, the youngest rushed to the door the other pointed. He closed the door behind him and noticed it was a medium-sized room with a small bed, couch, a coffee table, and television. Jimin wasn’t inside, but his suit jacket was discarded on the couch.

The youngest heard the water running from the other end of the door and guessed it must be the washroom. They texted each other whenever possible after they talked on Thursday, but Jimin said he couldn’t meet Jungkook meet because he was busy.

As Jungkook stood in the middle of the room waiting for Jimin to come back, he didn’t know what to expect. Soon the door opened, revealing his boss. A grin lifted the corners of his mouth when his gaze found Jungkook.

“Jungkookie.” A bright smile lit up his face and he was walking to him, pulling him into a hug. “I missed you.”

Jungkook hid his face in Jimin’s shoulder, fighting the heat that was spreading on his cheeks. “I-I missed you too.”

Jimin released him and cupped his cheek. “Sorry I couldn’t meet you this weekend.”

Jungkook looked down at his feet. “It’s okay. I understand.”

Someone knocked on the door. “Minnie, the next meeting starts in five.”

“I’ll be there,” Jimin replied with a sigh. “Work is really crazy. I wish I could spend more time with you.”

“It’s okay, really.” Jungkook smiled. “I-I should go.”

Jimin nodded.

Jungkook hesitated for a moment before lifting his wrist to Jimin. The latter’s smile was blinding when he gripped his hand, placing a firm kiss over his pulse.

“I’ll see you soon,” Jimin said, his free hand tracing the smooth contour of Jungkook’s cheek.

Jungkook smiled. “Okay.”

When Jungkook left Jimin’s office, he was sure he looked tomato red. And to his dismay, his manager Hwang and Sungmin-ssi were waiting for him near the elevator. A look of pity crossed Sungmin’s features while Hwang looked pleased. They must have probably thought Jimin chewed his ass. Jungkook bit his lip. How would they react if they knew what actually happened inside?

The skin on his wrist tingled. He could still feel Jimin’s lips on his skin. He kept his head down, Jimin occupying his thoughts for the rest of the day.

***

18th Dec, Friday

The next time Jungkook met Jimin was on Friday night. It was close to ten at night when Jimin showed up at his door, looking exhausted. The youngest was taken back to see the usually composed CEO so exhausted and looking like he was about to pass out. Jungkook led him to the couch.

“I just wanted to see you,” Jimin said, stretching his neck as he reclined on the couch, kicking up his feet on the small table.

“Long day?”

Jungkook asked feeling bad for Jimin. He knew things were crazy at work. The meetings with different departments went on all week and it must be exhausting. The Park Corporation built software for banks and other sectors. They also had another chain of businesses and Jimin was now handling them all. They barely talked all week. Jimin was always busy.

“Yeah.” Jimin closed his eyes. “Mostly like a long week.”

Jungkook sat beside him, their knees brushing. Jimin cracked his eyes open, a soft, tired smile playing on his lips. “Um…Why don’t you, ah… freshen up? I’ll cook dinner.”

“We can order something.” Jimin groaned when he straightened, a hand clutching his neck. He checked the time. “It’s late. Why didn’t you eat sooner?”

“I had dinner earlier with Yoongi hyung and Tae hyung. I-I’m going to cook for you.”

Jimin smiled. “Okay. I’ll help.” He stood smoothing his pants out of habit. A hand went to rub his neck as he stretched to relieve some stress. It was obvious he was in pain.

The youngest jumped to his feet, wanting to make it better. Jimin was very caring when he got drunk, shouldn’t he at least return the favor? He made a split-second decision. He could care for Jimin just like he cared for him.

“No.” Jungkook rolled his eyes. The youngest wasn’t good with words but he could show it in his actions. He cared and he knew he wasn’t vocal about his feelings like Jimin. But he could show him if Jimin let him. “Come with me.” He took Jimin’s hand and led him to his room. “Take a hot shower. You’re staying here tonight.”

The youngest wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next but he went with his instincts. It felt like Jimin was the only one reaching out to him all the time. Taehyung had earlier scolded him that he wasn’t putting enough effort into this budding relationship. When Jungkook asked him to stay it was mainly because he was worried about Jimin. He couldn’t let Jimin drive at this state.

Jungkook didn’t wait for Jimin’s response. He strode to his closet and pulled a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. “Clean towels are in the bathroom cabinet under the sink. I have two new toothbrushes in the cabinet near the mirror.” He handed the clothes to Jimin. “I-I’ll be in the kitchen. My phone charger is on the bedside table.”

Jimin looked like he wanted to argue, but silently accepted the clothes and headed to the bathroom.

Jungkook went to the kitchen and started pulling the items he needed to fix a quick dinner. He settled for Jjajangmyeon and began to stir-fry pork belly.

By the time Jimin came out after half an hour, fresh from the shower, the food was ready. Jungkook topped the dish with julienned cucumber, scallions, and a fried egg.

“Smells good.” Jimin sat with an appreciative smile. His towel-dried hair was still wet and water droplets fell onto his shoulder. Jungkook’s clothes swallowed him but he looked so domestic in them. Jimin could wear rags and still pull it off like a runway model.

Jungkook grinned and placed the food in front of him. “I also have kimchi and rice if you want.”

“This is fine.” Jimin dug in, an appreciative hum leaving his mouth as soon as he took a bite. “Wow. This is so good, Jungkookie. Your Jjajangmyeon is better than the one Jin hyung makes. Don’t tell him I said that.”

Jungkook chuckled, feeling more at ease. He watched Jimin eating heartily and warmth spread in his chest. Jungkook liked to cook, but Yoongi hyung was the one who always cooked because his cooking was better. The feeling inside his chest was new and it felt good to take care of someone. Jimin appeared content and occasionally hummed while chewing the food.

“Do you want a beer?” he asked remembering Tae brought some this evening.

Jimin shook his head. “I’m good. Just wanna sleep.” He rubbed his neck again and stretched his back. “Thanks, Jungkookie. This is so good.”

“It’s nothing.” Jungkook shrugged. He grabbed the empty plate. “Sleep early tonight,” he said meeting Jimin’s half-lidded eyes. “Brush your teeth and get on the bed. I’ll give you a massage.”

Jimin lifted a brow but nodded with a tired smile. Jungkook washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen quickly. When he went to the bedroom, Jimin was already under the covers, nodding off.

“Hyung…” He shook him gently.

“Yeah.”

“Rollover,” Jungkook ordered. “Remove your t-shirt. It’ll be easier that way.”

Jimin nodded and sat up pulling the t-shirt over his head before rolling to lie on his stomach.

Jungkook grabbed the baby oil bottle he brought along and settled on the bed beside Jimin. “Just relax. Do you have to be somewhere tomorrow morning?”

“No. I have to go only around 3 p.m.”

“Good. You can sleep in then. I’ll make sure you’re well-rested.” Jungkook poured the baby oil into his palms and rubbed them together before digging his fingers into Jimin’s shoulders, slowly working on to ease the tension in his muscles.

Jimin groaned, but went lax in his arms. The elder continued to relax and soon Jungkook heard his soft snore. A smile tugged at Jungkook’s lips as he continued to work on Jimin’s back.

Once done, Jungkook washed his hands and pulled the covers over Jimin. He briefly contemplated going to the guest room but decided against it. They already slept together on the same bed once. Well, Jungkook was drunk but now they were dating. It was okay to share the bed, right? Besides Jimin would have said something if he didn’t want to stay tonight. He only appeared to be relieved when Jungkook asked him to stay.

Jungkook climbed under the covers and ran his hand through Jimin’s blond hair. He looked so peaceful in his sleep. With a sigh, he snuggled closer to the elder slowly drifting off to sleep.

***

19th Dec, Saturday

“Heard the CEO chewed your ass on Monday,” Yoongi said as he drank from his cup of water. “Why didn’t you tell me this?”

Jungkook rolled his eyes. “Because he didn’t chew my ass.”

“At least not the way he’d have wanted,” Taehyung supplied helpfully and received a smack from Jungkook in response.

“Hyung…”

“Explain.” Yoongi’s eyes narrowed at him. “I heard he called you back into his office and when you came back, your face was red and you refuse to speak about it.”

“Don’t believe the rumors, hyung.” Jungkook grabbed the bowl, serving himself more food. “We just talked.”

Yoongi and Tae showed up at his apartment for lunch like they did every Saturday and they had cooked together. Jimin hadn’t stirred in his sleep and Jungkook conveniently ignored the truth from Yoongi and Taehyung. He still hadn’t spoken to Yoongi hyung about Jimin yet. Only Tae knew about it and he wasn’t sure how his hyung would react.

“Talked?” Yoongi quirked a brow.

Jungkook shrugged, trying to appear nonchalant under Yoongi scrutinizing gaze. “He said he just wanted to see me. I was there for like two minutes.”

“And he kissed his wrist,” Taehyung piped in. “Again.”

“Shut up.” Jungkook knew he was flushing red.

“It’s cute,” Taehyung chirped. “And romantic.”

“So you’re still seeing him. I hope you know what you’re doing, kid.” Yoongi wasn’t pleased, but he was never the one to dictate what to do or what not to do.

“He hasn’t given me a reason to not see him, hyung.” Jungkook met his gaze. “I…I trust him.”

Before Yoongi could respond, Jungkook’s bedroom door opened and a soft voice reached them first. Jimin was still in the clothes Jungkook gave him last night and he was talking on his phone. Jungkook was glad Jimin thought of putting on the t-shirt before walking out. Jimin hadn’t seen the others yet.

Yoongi’s surprised gaze flicked to Jungkook and the youngest ducked his head to avoid him. He went to grab another plate and wordlessly filled it with food.

“Oh.” Jimin halted in his tracks for a moment, gaze flitting between the three men on the table. “Hello Tae, Yoongi-ssi,” he greeted with a smile and sat on a chair.

“Did you sleep well?” Jungkook placed the food in front of him and took the seat beside him.

“Yeah, I slept like a baby. Thanks.” Jimin’s smile was relaxed, genuine and it brightened his features. Even with his bed hair and loose-fitting clothes, Jimin looked ethereal.

“Jimin-ssi, how’s your father’s health?” Yoongi asked handing him the chopsticks and poured water for him.

Jungkook blinked looked at his hyung and a frown tugged at his lips. Did something happen to Jimin’s father?”

“Call me Jimin. I’m younger than you. Dad is fine. They’ll transfer him to the room tomorrow.”

Yoongi nodded. They continued to eat in silence until Jimin’s phone rang again. He cast an apologetic look before taking the phone to the living room.

“What happened to his father?” Jungkook whispered furiously to Yoongi.

Yoongi gave him a pointed look. “Jihyun-ssi suffered a cardiac condition and had to go through surgery, which is why Jimin had to take over the business early instead of January as planned. You really do live under the rock, Jungkookie. Shouldn’t you pay attention to things like this?”

Jungkook frowned. Disappointment filled him. Jimin’s father was ill and he hadn’t known. Shit. They were dating for god sake and his hyung was right. If he had paid enough attention to the others, he’d have known about this earlier. He always tuned the others out when their conversation wasn’t related to work.

Taehyung put a hand on his thigh, squeezing it gently. He opened his mouth to say something when Jimin came back.

“Sorry, I gotta run.” He sat down, quickly shoveling the remaining food into his mouth. He finished the food and took the empty plate to the sink. “I’ll text you later.”

“It’s okay, hyung. Do you need anything else?” Jungkook asked following Jimin to his room.

Jimin grabbed his clothes and other things in his hands. “No. Thanks for letting me stay last night, Jungkookie. I’ll return the clothes later.” He came to stand on his tiptoes and kissed Jungkook’s cheeks, making the youngest blush.

“I-It’s okay.”

“No, really. I haven’t slept that good in a while.”

“You can come over anytime you want,” Jungkook blurted out before he could think through and Jimin’s face lit up like a Christmas tree.

“I’d love to. See you soon, Jungkook-ah.”

“Okay.”

When he returned to the dining table five minutes later, Taehyung gave him a knowing smile.

“He’s different with you,” Yoongi observed, now munching on a cake they bought. “He’s all stiff and stoic with the others, but he softens when he talks to you. I wasn’t expecting that.”

“Told you,” Taehyung chimed. “He treats Jungkookie so good.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t know about his father,” Jungkook admitted. “I feel so bad now. I didn’t even ask him how he is.”

“You didn’t know,” Taehyung said, ruffling his hair. “If you want you can visit him at the hospital.”

Jungkook frowned. “Is that okay? Can I visit him?”

Yoongi nodded thoughtfully. “You’re an employee. It shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll drive you. We can go together.”

“I’ll also come,” Taehyung suggested. “We can go shopping or just take a stroll around the streets after the hospital visit.”

“Sounds good to me,” Yoongi agreed.

That was how Jungkook found himself standing in front of the room in the hospital. Jimin wasn’t there when they arrived. Namjoon and Jin who were at the waiting area greeted them with a friendly smile and Namjoon had shown Jungkook to a room while Yoongi chatted with Jin. Thank God, he asked his hyung for more details about the top management and soon learned about Hoseok, Namjoon, and Jin. They were also supposedly Jimin’s hyungs.

Jungkook knocked on the door and entered after a moment. The room was spacious with a bed in the middle, two armchairs, and a coffee table near the window. A middle-aged woman who looked so much like Jimin looked up from her book. The youngest paused at the doorway unsure how to greet Jimin’s mother. Why would Namjoon send him inside?

“Come in,” her kind voice greeted. “Who are you?”

“Ah, um…” Jungkook walked over to her and handed her the flowers he brought. “My name is Jungkook. I…ah, work at your company.” He bowed and clasped his hands in front of him.

“Oh,” her bright smile reminded him of Jimin. Now he knew where his handsome suitor got his beauty from. “That’s so sweet of you to stop by. Please take a seat.”

Jungkook hesitated for a moment before sitting at the edge of the chair. “Sorry. I couldn’t come sooner.”

“That’s fine.” She waved her hand. Though she looked well put out together, he could see the dark circles framing her eyes. “It’s the thought that counts. We get so many flowers and other stuff but very less visitors. It’s good to know people care about us.”

Jungkook blushed. He didn’t know until this afternoon. But at least he was here to make up for his negligence. It’s the least he could do, offer her some comfort. He couldn’t imagine how Jimin handled everything this past week. He felt ashamed for causing some stress from his side because he believed the rumors. The youngest made a mental note to change his attitude toward such issues in the future. He would talk to Jimin no matter how hard it was.

He was fidgeting with his fingers not knowing how to carry a conversation, feeling so awkward when he noticed her swollen ankles. A deep frown pulled at the corner of his mouth.

“Your ankles are swollen,” he pointed out before he could stop. “You should rest more. Do they hurt? Of course, it should hurt.” He was already on the floor, taking her leg on his lap as he began rubbing his fingers over her ankle and the surrounding skin in smooth circle. “You shouldn’t stand on your legs for a longer duration. Are you taking enough rest?”

When he didn’t receive an answer, he looked up to see her smiling fondly. She reached to pat his cheek softly. “You speak just like my son,” she said. “I’m fine. The past week has been stressful.”

Jungkook nodded in understanding. He ducked his head and continued to massage her foot.

“You don’t have to do it, sweetie. I’ll ask Jimin once he comes back.”

“It’s okay. I do it for my mom all the time.” Jungkook shrugged. “Besides, Jimin-ssi must be busy with everything going on. I’m happy to help.”

She ran her fingers through his hair with a gentle nod. A soft groan left her mouth when he applied gentle pressure on her foot. “It’s good to meet my son’s friends,” she said after a while. “Is my son being a good boss?”

Jungkook offered a bright smile. “He’s the best,” he vouched. “He’s working really hard.”

The door burst open as he moved from her left foot to the right. “Mom, I made Japchae just the way you like.” Jungkook whipped his head up and Jimin halted when he noticed the male sitting on the floor in front of his mother. “Oh, Jungkookie? What are you doing here?” he asked, surprise evident on his face. However, his features softened when he noticed what Jungkook was doing.

“He came to visit your father,” his mother replied, her eyes gauging her son’s reaction.

Jimin placed the bags he was carrying on the table before pulling a tiffin box out. “Here, eat it before it grows cold. Hoseok hyung said you skipped lunch today.” His tone was so gentle when he spoke to his mother. Jungkook realized Jimin used the same tone while talking to him.

“I wasn’t feeling hungry, son.”

“That’s not a good excuse, mom. You need all your strength to look after dad. And you’re making me worry because you don’t take care of yourself.” He sat on the arm of her chair and handed her chopsticks, which she took with a soft smile. “Jungkookie, did you come here alone?”

Jungkook shook his head. “I-I came with my hyung. He was talking to Namjoon hyung.”

“Oh.”

They sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes. Jimin’s mom ate silently while Jungkook continued to massage her foot. It was awkward when Jimin walked in. Jungkook briefly wondered if he was overstepping his boundaries. But his actions were genuine. His mom suffered from leg pain because her job required her to stand most of the day and he always massaged her legs at night so she could sleep. It just came out naturally.

He could feel Jimin’s intense gaze on him. Jungkook’s phone pinged with a text from Yoongi, providing a necessary distraction from the growing awkwardness because of the silence. “It’s ah…my hyung.” He placed her feet gently on the ground before climbing to his feet. “I-I’ll leave now. Please take care of your health and don’t stand for too long.”

Jimin’s mother nodded with a smile. “Thanks for visiting, Jungkook. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise.” He bowed before nodding to Jimin.

“I’ll walk him out.” Jimin jumped to his feet.

“Sure.” She turned to Jungkook. “Don’t be a stranger, Jungkook. I love your company. Feel free to visit whenever your time permits you to do so.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” He bowed again. Jimin placed a hand on his lower back as he guided him out of the room, making him stiffen a bit. “Hyung, your mom…” he whispered under his breath.

Jimin chuckled. “She already loves you. And if she already doesn’t suspect it, now she knows for sure.”

Jungkook turned wide-eyed toward him. “They know you’re gay?”

“Bisexual,” Jimin corrected him. “They know.”

“A-Are they okay with you dating a man?” Jungkook couldn’t help but ask. Jimin’s mother was so lovely and he already knew his father. Park Jihyun was a man he respected. He was a great boss.

“They’re happy as long as I’m happy,” Jimin answered.

“Oh. Um… Sorry I didn’t know until today. Yoongi hyung scolded me earlier.” He looked down at his feet. “I’m sorry I put unnecessary stress on you last week. I should have been there for you when you were having a hard time. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Jimin squeezed his hand. “You’re here for me now. That’s all that matters.”

Jungkook nodded thoughtfully. “Um… Is it okay if I visit again? I…I like your mom.”

“You can visit whenever you want to, Jungkookie. And mom loves you. She asked you to visit again, didn’t she?”

Jungkook nodded. “I’ll go then. Take care, hyung.”

Jimin nodded. “I’ll come over tomorrow. It’s my turn to stay at the hospital tonight.” He took Jungkook’s hand in his. “Hoseok hyung stayed last night.”

“It’s nice to have someone to help. If you need anything just let me know.”

Jimin nodded again. “I will. Thanks again, Jungkookie.” This time when Jimin kissed his forehead, Jungkook wrapped his arms around the elder and buried his face into his shoulder. It felt right.

***

“So, Jungkook, huh?” his mom asked when he returned to the room.

“Yeah.” Jimin smiled as he sank into the other chair.

“I like him. He’s so sweet. Namjoon had a lot of interesting things to say about the boy.”

Jimin rolled his eyes. “So you’re going behind my back now.”

A soft chuckle filled his ears and his heart warmed to see her relax for the first time in weeks. His father had been sick for quite some time. It was the main reason he came back. He was on his way home from his date when he got a call from his mother saying his father collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. His father had to go through surgery and he took over the position with little to no time. Fortunately, his hyungs were there to help him. But still it was no easy feat.

“You’re my son. I’ve always known what you’re up to.” She placed the now empty container on the table, slowly closing it. “I was a little worried about everything recently. You’re so young, Min. This is no age to take so much responsibility. Your dad had his father to guide him and he didn’t take over until he was in his late thirties. I don’t want you to compromise with anything. Your happiness always comes first.”

Jimin slid from the couch to sit in front of her and took her hands in his. “I’m not compromising anything, mom.” He met her soft gaze. “This is something I wanted to do since high school. I know what I’m getting into. I’ve been training all years. The sudden transition is a bit hard, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Also, I have the hyungs. You have nothing to worry about.”

His mother cupped his cheek. “Are you happy, my little Min?”

“I am, mom.” Jimin gave her a true smile. He was genuinely happy. Work was tiresome, but he was content. Maybe it has something to do with a certain doe-eyed brunette.

Jungkook was mostly reserved and talked very less, but Jimin knew he was getting somewhere, especially after last night. Jimin just wanted to fall face-first into the bed after a long week of work, but he somehow ended up in Jungkook’s home. He hadn’t expected to stay. However, he appreciated the hospitality of the youngest. He hadn’t realized how exhausted he was until his head hit the pillow.

“He’s different,” he found himself murmuring as he rested his head on his mother’s lap. She ran her lithe fingers through his hair, gently massaging his scalp. “He didn’t even know who I was until last week.”

His mother hummed. “He looks like a genuine person. Namjoon was full of praises for the boy. I can see why.”

“He makes me happy.” Jimin sighed in contentment.

“And that’s all it matters. Can’t wait for your dad to meet him.”

Jimin groaned. “He’s gonna make fun of me for falling head over heels for someone I barely know.”

His mom laughed. “Don’t forget your father proposed to me on our first month anniversary. He’s no better. And there’s nothing wrong in going after what you want, Min.”

“Ah, it runs in the family.” Jimin straightened. “I got him there.” He winked. “Now come on, mom. I know you haven’t been resting properly. Lie down a bit. Can’t have the old man chewing my ass for not taking care of his wife.”

She laughed again but obeyed. Jimin pulled the covers over her and sat at the edge of the bed with a soft smile. His heart felt light and Jungkook was the reason.

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