Gu June always follow his father’s orders; either from representing him to talk in some business confrontation with some other groups from downtown to showing the real power of his father’s legacy by slithering throats of people who try to rise against them. June is the next heir to rule over the mafia underground after his father is gone. He would follow orders without fail; but for him to be wed to a stranger is never been in his books especially when his future bride is apparently an apprentice barista at one café few blocks ahead from Gapjeong named Jung Chanwoo.
It’s in his blood; always, smearing himself with other people’s blood all over his hands and body because June is always content to kill of some roaches that never fail to plot against his and his father’s back yet never took the win by doing so. Because June is ruthless, and cruel and he never shows mercy when something important to him is jeopardize. He destroys everything that shakes his ground. He’s undefeatable.
He knows he’s the only one his father could count, being the eldest and only son in his family it is June who would inherit every wealth and power his father holds; the legacy his father has been so proud of; their Red Tail group that has never cease to bring victory to their hands. June would lead the people soon and become the greatest and fearful mafia leader, just like his father.
He’s outstanding, always faithful to his father’s orders and demands. But this one, has never crossed his path before and June couldn’t process the needs to even say yes although that has always been the answer he could and should give to his father. “No way…” He slowly whispers, yet audile enough to be heard inside the room with silence lingers in the air, except from the spoon clinking the cup while his father is having his afternoon tea accompanied by June. The guards they have, underlings of Red Tail; his father and his trustful people are the only one watching them, holding guards or something.
Mr. Gu could only watch his son’s bewildered face in calm and wise. He knows June would doubt it. After all, it is one request he has never asked his son to do especially in such a young age of 24. “Well, as much as confused and peculiar you would say, it is true.” He says, putting the cup of tea down onto the coffee table. He fixes his gaze on his son who still has the question mark painting his handsome yet stoic face. June surely inherits a lot from him. “I am not joking with you, son. You have to do it.”
“But, I barely know him dad!” June exclaims, totally losing his stance. He doesn’t care anymore if the others working under him and his father judging his reaction at the moment. He doesn’t care losing his cool for the first time ever in his 24 years life of living. Because whatever his father is proposing to him; it is not cool.
“Well, suit yourself.” His father said. “But the wedding date would still go on.” June leans back onto the couch, still not absorbing the information. “You must marry Jung Chanwoo.” June snorts internally at the name, what an old-fashion name. “And that’s your order, father?” Inquiring in much formality, June asks. But the expression his father holds, somehow he has never seen it before.
“No.” His father said, eyes locking with his, the emotions swimming in those orbs of his father’s old and tired eyes is something June hasn’t yet encountered. “It’s a request, from a father that loves his dear son so much. I want you to marry him.”
June is taken aback by that, it is quite odd for his father to show him affection in front of people. From the corner of his eyes, even June can see the underlings men having their eyes widen and face falls into amusement watching the unexpected spill of the leader’s emotions. Even June is surprised. Is this boy he’s opt to marry so important?
June does ask, but the answer he gets is only, “I’ve seen his worth billions of time. It’s time for you to see it yourself.” And the words his father utters the next one surely geared up his thinking. “You will never regret it, son. Never.” June wonders of that truthfully.
“Well, how do you feel Mr. Groom-to-be?”
“Oh shut the up, hyung. I hate that.” June’s reaction causes Bobby to laugh. He and the other 2 are totally enjoying how the ‘young master’ of them is taking the whole series of shocking marriage news. They could only guess how June flips his inside right now.
“Come on, it’s not necessarily a bad idea.” Donghyuk pipes out, putting the mug of coffee of the leader onto the table in front of him. June is having both his hands covering his face, countless sighs escape his mouth. The scene would make other people pity him but not them. They are absolutely enjoying it.
“Well, if your bride is a man and a stranger from another universe, yes it is bad.” A gush of laughter escape Bobby’s mouth. Hanbin joins him right after saying that, clearly not minding the murdering look June is giving them. It only gives the 2 credit to high-five when they know June is pissed. Donghyuk who’s sitting beside the leader could only smile and shake his head.
June leans his body forward, both hands no longer holding his head as if it could explode. His eyes stay on the hot mug of coffee Donghyuk made for him, mind blanks. “I really don’t see the worth of marrying this Jung Chanwoo.” He utters out loud.
“Well looking at the fact, maybe. Your father said that he’s only a normal boy right? How old is he again? 16? 17?” Hanbin inquires.
“18.” June spats out. “And worst, he works at a café to pay for his college. Guess the boy is broke.”
“Don’t say that, June-ah. It’s not nice. What’s so wrong of a college boy working his to pay for his college?” June freezes for a moment, he eyed Donghyuk at his left side. June feels bad. “Sorry Donghyukkie.” The latter only smiles, showing that he doesn’t take it to heart. June is truly grateful for his friend’s tolerance with his attitude. June wishes to be more careful when he speaks.
Because when he found Donghyuk he was working at a small café in Seoul, paying his college fees and life as he lived alone. Donghyuk’s mother was working as a nurse and his father was long gone. His family was quite poor. It was 6 years ago when June stumbled upon Donghyuk when he was beaten half to death by some drunkard men. June was only nearby after settling a few rats that cause his father headache. Bobby and Hanbin already worked with him that time. June saved Donghyuk, paying equal to what those bastard did to him for June hated it when others took advantage of people, no matter how rotten his life was.
Ever since then, he took Donghyuk under his wing. He paid for the wounds, gave Donghyuk a training so that he could protect himself and even helped his mother out a bit. Donghyuk was never been thankful thus he took the job when June offered despite he knew that whatever the things he did was illegal. But he didn’t care much, the world was corrupted in the end and he admired June for who he was.
And still admiring him, so does Bobby and Hanbin who have been by June’s side ever since their childhood. Both Bobby and Hanbin are raised in the mafia family too; both their fathers are June’s fathers right-hand men thus it is only natural for both of them to work for June. They are close, all 4 of them. Which is why when they know about the marriage news, they try to lift June’s mood up. It is not a secret for them that the man is not happy and much lost. But then maybe, maybe they thought, this Jung Chanwoo isn’t exactly a bad idea.
The next day June and the others decide to pay a visit to June’s fiancé. They wait at the café Chanwoo’s work for June to meet up with him. It is June and Donghyuk that take orders for all 4 of them, it is so that they can ask which one of them is Jung Chanwoo. But unluckily, one of the employees said Chanwoo is not coming to work today. June would be lying if he said he’s not disappointed hearing that.
June is up early today thus he decides to have a jog. It’s been a while since he’s alone, taking light jogs around the park nearby his mansion. He has the mood to go outside without his father’s people watching him for 24/7. Of course, his 3 friends are an exception but for today June just wants to be alone. The marriage thingy keeps coming into his mind, invading the space of his brain and making him judging every decision he will make. Should he call the wedding off? Persuade his father to not marry him off to this Jung Chanwoo? June scoffs badly at the last idea. For sure his father would say no. Whatever the things he father wanted, ordered or requested he would always get it. For June never says no. He loves and respects his father very much, the only family he has after his mother died. Disappointing his father is the last thing June ever wanted in his life.
But could he really do this? Marrying a man he never knows his existence? Never speak of his name for the last 24 years nor seeing his face in his eyes? June is lost, tremendously wandering in the paths filled with thorns searching for the right answer. Besides, he’s only 24. Marriage has never crossed his mind at all. Sighing out loudly June picks up his pace. Until the sun rises he would run, hoping for his mind would be cleared by the time.
On a second he’s on the right track then the next June is kneeling on the floor. Groaning in pain he looks to his behind to find another man who’s also beaten down to the ground like him. A button snaps in June’s head, the man knocks him over and he better begs for June’s apology because he ain’t giving in too easily for a person disrupting the peace of his glory morning. June is the first to stand up. When he’s already standing intimidatingly in front of the man, the latter has just wiped the dust from his knees then makes eye contact with him.
June is wrong, for he not just knocks him down to fall on the ground with scratches decorating his arms and palms, but also he knocks the air out of him. The boy standing before him is beautiful, truly handsome and June swears to God he’s flawless. His face is serene, pristine and innocent yet breathtakingly gorgeous and handsome. His height matches June by an inch but June knows he could spill on his love to him much taller than their heights. It’s cheesy, but June is captivated. The boy before him is tall, but how does June knows he’s still a kid? Well it’s obvious by his face. He looks like a Bambi June swears he wants to protect him at all cost.
“I’m sorry!” The beautiful stranger apologizes to June. Both his palms stick together making an apology gesture. “I’m in a hurry and I didn’t notice you. I am truly sorry, sir. Are you hurt? I—Is there something I can do for you?” He keeps babbling non-stop but June swears his voice fills his ears like a bird from heaven chirping melodiously into the day, filling the paradise with its amazing gift from God. June couldn’t help but to stare, the boy is so beautiful.
“It’s alright.” June eventually answers after timeless of staring. “I’m fine. How about you? You got hurt?” June doesn’t need reply when he sees the blood seeping down the cuts on the boy’s left knee. He curses silently in his head, quickly he urges the boy towards the bench nearby. He let him sit first before running to the drugstore around the corner, convincing the stranger to wait for him. He couldn’t even give an answer for June left immediately without hearing him out. When June is back after 10 minutes, he takes the role of the gentlemen between the two and cleans the wound.
“Thank you.” The boy says. “Seriously, you don’t have to do this. I’m the one knocking you down.”
“It’s alright. I insist.” June assures, not faltering the smile on his face. God, June swears he never smiles this longer. His cheeks hurt but the butterflies in his stomach is not a help. The warmth spreads inside his heart only makes it worst.
“I probably should be going.” The boy gathers the sling bag he has and stands up. But June stops him. “Wait, umm…. Is it possible for us to meet again?” June knows he’s being ridiculous, even scary for what kind of people willingly wanting to meet a mere stranger? But he could care less. He wants to meet this boy again or he would jump down the Han River and die. The boy looks at him weirdly, but agrees nonetheless. They exchange phone number and email address. June asks for his name.
“My name is Jung Chanwoo.”
June is dumbstruck. Fate surely knows how to roll its wheel unexpectedly.