Weddings did it every time.
It had taken years, diligence and dogged immovability, but Byun Baekhyun had finally trained his sisters to leave him well enough alone when it came to his confirmed bachelorhood. Until a wedding invite arrived in the mail. Then all bets were off.
He’d just hung up from his oldest sister, Soohyun, when the twins, Jihyun and Gahyun, came at him with a conference-call-style.
“She’s lovely!” one of them exclaimed before emitting even a hello.
He leant back on his office chair, executed a half turn till the sunlight slashing past the Seoul skyline and through the intimidating wall of windows nearly blinded him. “I’m fine, thanks. You?”
Ignoring his sarcasm, the twins tag-teamed. “Soohyun’s friend makes the best macaroons!”
“I’ve seen photos. She’s just your type.”
He opened his mouth to ask just what his type might be, but he snapped his mouth shut at the last second. They were good at finding weak spots. He was better. After all, he’d taught them all they knew; a consequence of becoming man of the house at thirteen.
He pressed his feet to the floor and a thumb to the temple that had begun to throb. “I’m thrilled you are all so content in your own lives that you have the time to stick your collective noses into mine, but you need to focus your impressive energies elsewhere. Third World Hunger, perhaps?”
“No more set-ups. Consider that an order.” At that, a pause. Then lashings of laughter which had his other temple throbbing in a syncopated rhythm against the first.
When the twins shifted into a familiar tune about how his charm and good looks wouldn’t get him by forever, Baekhyun slowly turned his chair back to face his vast office as his brain flicked through possible ways to convince them to leave the subject of finding him a good woman the hell alone.
He could honestly beg work, but that was nothing new. A weekend was something other people had. He hadn’t set foot on a beach in so long he couldn’t remember how sand felt between his toes. And telling them he was only keen on bad women hadn’t stopped them before; it had merely expanded the pond from which they fished on his behalf.
“I’m seeing someone!” The walls of Baekhyun’s vast office seemed to heave away from him as the import of the words he had just uttered echoed into the ensuing silence. Damn twins—they were like a pair of hammers banging at an exposed nerve. It had been bound to jerk eventually.
But when the silence deepened, Baekhyun wondered if he’d hit on something inspired. If he ought to have invented a significant other years ago—someone who travelled often, was ethically against telephones, who had lost her whole family in some tragic accident so he could therefore never subject his love to the pain of meeting his.
Caught up in his own dreams of freedom, he realised his chance to hang up on a high a moment too late.
Jihyun said, “Someone who can string a sentence together without saying ‘um’?”
“Why should it matter?” he demanded hotly. “As long as she looks good, smells nice and goes home happy.”
“Baekhyun,” they said on twin sighs, with familiar waves of guilt pouring down the line. They knew they should be nicer, considering all he’d sacrificed to make sure they were well adjusted after their father had died. However, knowing didn’t make it so. They were as stubborn as their brother. It ran in the family.
“The worst part is I don’t think you’re kidding,” Gahyun commented wryly.
“Then find her for me and then we can talk,” Baekhyun said as his office door swung open. Sehun poked his head through the gap. Done with being outnumbered, Baekhyun waved his recently returned business partner in with a brisk flap of his hand.
One raised eyebrow later, Sehun shut the door behind him and ambled across the room, sitting down facing Baekhyun.
“I have to go,” Baekhyun said. “My ten o’clock is here.”
“Say ‘Hi” to Sehun for me,” Jihyun said.
Then, “Tell him if it doesn’t work out with Mari, he can always—“
Baekhyun hung up quickly before either of them finished that sentence.
“The girls on a warpath?” said Sehun as Baekhyun once again rubbed his thumbs across both temples.
“This time, it’s your fault.”
“How’s that, exactly?”
“If you weren’t with Mari, you’d never have met Jinsu and Minseok, whom you introduce to me and made me get along so well with them, who’d then would never have invited me to their wedding. And that way,