Chapter 23

The Real Beauty
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"I can't believe how much you've improved in such a short time", Narae breathed out as she leaned on her knees, trying to take deep breathes to recover from the effort of training under the sun.


"You think so? I feel like I'm never improving enough", Sori herself was gasping and laying down on the ground. They had only been practicing for half an hour, but the both of them were drenched in sweat.


"You have definitely improved from the last time we've trained together". A small, sad smile made its way on Narae's face. "How about we take a break and start again later? It's too hot now", she helped Sori to stand up again and they made their way inside.


Baekhyun was sitting on the sofa and lowkey giving them the stinky-eye, but not daring to say anything against Narae. He and Junmyeon had had another discussion in the morning because Baekhyun didn't want Narae there, and in the end Junmyeon had left slamming the door, yelling that if he were to find out Baekhyun had embarrassed the pack spewing bull in front of Narae, he would be ordered to stay in his room and be quiet whenever Narae was there.


"Do you want something to eat?"


"Yeah, and a glass of water, please", Narae told her before she collapsed on the seat closer to the air conditioner. Baekhyun glared at her, but he didn't open his mouth, so Sori rewarded his with a smile and a comforting pat on the back. She herself didn't feel completely comfortable with Narae there even though she was the one who said they could try and mend their relationship. There was this awkwardness left between them that clearly showed that things were not completely okay yet, but they were working on it. "So...mmm, I promised to ask you this". Baekhyun glared at her right away, and Sori had an half idea of where the conversation was going, but she prefered to wait and see if her suppositions were correct.


"Okay", Sori dragged the "o" a little, trying to sound more confident and happy than she actually felt.


"Yoongi and Hoseok wanted to come with me today, but I managed to convince them to stay at home until I had asked your opinion first". Narae left it at that, choosing not to add anything about their intentions for the next time, so Sori took her time weighting her options. There was a chance that if she were to actually say "no", the both of them would come anyway the next time. Although she had been upset the previous week when Narae had come alone to see her, Sori didn't feel ready to face both Yoongi and Hoseok. While Yoongi hadn't even tried to contact her anyways, Hoseok had texted her a couple of days ago, but Sori hadn't answered yet.


"I-", Sori started, then she stopped again and took a deep breath. She'd go for the least painful choice, but she had to speak up. It was time for her to start voicing her opinion, and it was high time people started respecting her will. “I don't want to see Hoseok yet. I'm not ready. Maybe Yoongi can come for the next training, or for the following one, but I don't want to see Hoseok yet. I'd rather neither of them came for a while more, though. I'm sorry”, she added an apology at the end, hoping it would be enough to comfort Narae.


“No, it's okay, I know you were really hurt by what happened recently”. Narae had never been a good actress, and the way she hunched shoulders when she said that clearly gave away her true feelings, still there was nothing Sori could do about it unless she were to go against her own wishes, and she didn't wanted to that no more.


“You think it was just what happened the day you kicked her out that hurt her?”, Baekhyun scoffed incredulously, “What about all those times you treated her differently just because she's a turned-werewolf? What about all those time you complained because she hang out with us?”


“Can you stop talking as if you know our pack dynamics for a second?”, Narae snapped at him. “You don't know how we feel. We all love and miss Sori, but we made a mistake and we're trying to fix it. If you cared about Sori as much as you wanted us to think you'd put her well-being before your personal interests”. Baekhyun looked like he'd eaten a lemon for a second, then his face started turning red and Sori knew she had to stop the two of them before the discussion got out of end and Junmyeon would punish Baekhyun, because Sori had no doubt Baekhyun would go overboard with his words and regret it later.


“That's a bit rich coming from you”, Baekhyun turned his body in Narae's direction and crossed his arms on his chest, “If YOU cared about her well-being, YOU would have stopped your mate from leaving Sori homeless. YOU would have stopped your packmates from making her an outcast in her own pack just because of her nature. YOU would have stopped the douche-bag who knocked her up from making her feel less than a piece of meat. YOU should have stopped your whole pack from making her feel like a traitor just because she was making new friends”, Sori grabbed him from his wrist and started pulling, so that Baekhyun would leave before he added anything else. It wasn't that she didn't agree with him at least in part, but hearing those things out loud and knowing the other members of EXO could hear him too from their rooms hurt Sori too. She always thought about those things, but it's one thing to believe something in your mind, and it's a completely different thing to hear the same things coming out from somebody else's mouth. “Fine, Sori. You know what? If you want to stay with your friend that much I'll leave you with her, but don't bother coming to me when she leaves”. With that he stormed out of the room. Baekhyun was known to love drama, and Sori had always found it amusing when she watched Baekhyun drag someone just for the fun of it, but now that she was on the receiving end of his drama it wasn't that fun anymore.


Well, this training session could have ended better.


Now Sori had no doubt she would have to apologize and listen to Baekhyun rating against her for at least an hour after Narae left.


“Don't take it too personally...Baekhyun is very protective of me”, Sori told Narae quietly when she saw how lost in her thoughts she was.


“No, I...did you tell him those things?”. Narae seemed unable to meet her eyes, and Sori felt too bad to confirm her suspicions, but she didn't want to lie either, so she kept quite, giving her friend the time to draw her own conclusions. It wasn't like she could just pretend she didn't know how Baekhyun had found out about those episodes anyways. “I'm so sorry you felt that way, Sori. I have no words to explain how sorry I am”, with the corner of her eye Sori saw how Narae gripper her own hands tightly to stop the from shaking. How had their peaceful afternoon together turned into such a sticky situation? “I had no idea you felt vexed for that long. Why didn't you tell me anything? I would have helped you”. What could Sori possibly reply to that? That she felt like she had to accept whatever they said because she was scared she would be kicked out? That she always felt singled out by them? That there was no way Narae hadn't noticed it wasn't just Jungkook who was bullying her? That she had treated her differently too at times? Sori didn't have the heart to dump all those heavy truths on Narae, thus she just shrugged and tried to change subject.


“What are you going to do in the weekend?”, on Sunday it would Narae's birthday, but since she was still very close with her family, they usually celebrated it the day before, so that she could spent the actual day of her birthday with her parents. Narae eyed her for a moment, giving her a knowing glance, but maybe she wasn't ready to hear the truth either, as she answered her question softly soon after.


“Nothing special, the mood is not best, so Jin is just cooking me a cake, and then I'll visit my parents for lunch. I have to study anyways, so I don't think I'll do anything special this time around”. Sori felt a little bit bad for that, for she knew how much Narae cared about her birthday and celebrating it the right way, but since she never really celebrated her birthday, to her it didn't seem like that much of a big deal. There were a lot of chances to do special things along the year, it wasn't necessary to go all out because of your birthday. Sori almost offered to spend time with her in the afternoon, but then the thought that someone from BTS might join them crossed her mind, thus she kept closed. “I think it's time for me to leave”, Narae stood up right away, not giving Sori the time to invite her to stay for more. Moreover, Sori had to talk with Baekhyun and the mood had turned so sour that she knew there was no making it better. She decided she would give her a call later in evening or in the night to talk about what Baekhyun said, as Sori knew she would never be able to address the problem if she had to face Narae as she spoke.


Sori followed her to the door and shared a short hug with her before she left. She watched her as she drove away and waved with her hand before she turned around sighing and made a plan to address what had happened with Baekhyun without letting Junmyeon know about it. Sori reckoned it was going to be hard, but she wanted to try anyway.


She took a moment for herself before she went upstairs to confront Baekhyun. It was going to be a very annoying discussion to have, and Sori felt like she needed a moment of peace before she took on another task. She sipped her cold water slowly trying to empty her mind from whatever thought. It wasn't easy since she kept thinking about what Narae might think of her now that she knew that Sori had badmouthed them, or even what she might tell to BTS about what happened that day. A part of her felt guilty, and as bad as it, Sori could admit at least to herself that she only felt guilty because Narae had found out what she said, not because she had complained to Baekhyun.


Surprisingly for her, ever since her belly had started to grow, sitting down and standing still for long amounts of time made her feel uncomfortable, so it wasn't long before she felt the need to stand up and pace around the room. At time she wondered what it would be like when her belly would be rounder, if it already made her feel uncomfortable now that it was barely there.


“Are you bored, baby? Me too. What do you think we should do now?”, she whispered as she looked at her belly. It made her feel a little bit stupid, but she had read that babies start hearing around the 18th week in the womb and since she was at the 15th week of pregnancy, it didn't seem too absurd to start talking with her belly. It wouldn't be long before she would be able to feel the baby moving around, and Sori found herself anticipating that moment whenever she read about it. “How about we go look for uncle Baek? Do you think he might want to hear about your development of the week?”. Sori and Baekhyun usually spent a lot of time together, and since Baekhyun found it boring to stay silent while Sori was reading, he had taken upon him the task of reading the developments of the baby from the app she had downloaded on her phone. It was a cute app that always compared babies to the size of fruit, and since that week he hadn't checked the developments yet, Sori thought it might be a good idea to be the one to read it to Baekhyun this week.


“Ugh, I don't envy you”, Minseok whispered from his room when Sori passed by his door. Sori really wanted to tell him she didn't envy herself either, but that might have sounded wrong if Baekhyun were to be listening, so she just faked crying and proceeded to knock on Baekhyun's door.


“What do you want?”, Baekhyun spat from the other side of the door without opening it.


“Come on, Baek, can we talk about what just happened?”


“Go spend time with you best friend. Better even, go back to you old pack, it seems like you miss them so much after all”, he snapped. Well, maybe he shouldn't have said that, because that led Sori to snap too. She blamed it on the raging hormones.


“You like to complain so much about them, but aren't you doing exactly the same things they did? Aren't you trying to control me? Aren't you deciding who I should spend my time with? Aren't you trying to force your opinion on me?”. Baekhyun had opened the door by the time Sori had pronounced the last sentence, and albeit he looked less annoyed with her, his forehead was still marked by a very deep scowl. Unfortunately for him, Sori was still annoyed with him.


“I'm doing it for you. You don't see to be able to do what's best for you”, he sassed.


“You don't get to choose what's best for me. No one gets to do that. I choose what's best for me, and I choose with whom I want to spend my time with, and you have no reason to tell other people what I tell you. If I wanted them to know about it, I would have told them already”, before Sori had the chance to add more, or Baekhyun had the time to speak again, Minseok and Jongdae interrupted their argument.


“Okay, you two, time out”. Jongdae grabbed Baekhyun's wrist and dragged him back into his room, closing the door behind his back, while Minseok brought Sori back downstairs.


“Don't take it too personally, Sori, I'm sure he doesn't mean what he said, he's just a little childish at times. He will apologize as soon as he realizes what he said”, he told her as he patted her shoulder comfortingly. Lately Sori had developed a worrisome habit of crying whenever she felt upset over something, but today it seemed like she was too mad even for crying. She couldn't get over the fact that Baekhyun, who had always considered himself better than her old pack, had told her exactly the same things BTS had told her. Why did everyone think they knew better than her? Why would they even think they got to decided what was best for her?


Damn it. I better keep my mouth closed before I end saying something I shouldn't.


“Here, drink some water, it will help you calm down. You're shaking, take deep breaths”. Sori didn't want to drink at all. She didn't want to take deep breaths either. She wanted to scream all her frustration in Baekhyun's face, and even Minseok's excessive apprehension was starting to rub her in the wrong way. Okay, maybe she was the problem, and not the raging hormones.


“Hyung, let me take care of her, you go talk with Baekhyun hyung”, Jongin waltzed in the room so light on his feet that Sori hadn't even heard him coming down the stairs. “Come on, let's go for a walk”. He helped her stand up and helped her put her shoes on. Sori was still very irked and the fact that Jongin was moving her around as if she was a rag doll wasn't helping her to soothe her nerves, but some part of her found it nice to have someone taking care of her. She didn't need him to help her, but it was nice nonetheless.


It had been a while since Sori had actually stepped out of the house to go for a walk. Partly it was because Junmyeon had been strongly against her leaving the house on her own and Sori considered it a waste of time to go for walks with other people, because that way she wouldn't have had the freedom to think of whatever she wanted without paying attention to what happened around her, but partly it had also been because she was scared. The short meeting she had had with the wolf from her past had scared her, no matter that she knew he couldn't hurt her now that she was with EXO and they never left her alone.


Sori took a couple of deep breaths, breathing in the warm, summer air, and taking in the beautiful scenery that surrounded her. Albeit she had expected to be bothered by Jongin's presence, she wasn't bothered by him at all. He walked beside her, but he looked lost in his thoughts too. His eyes were focused on the ground as he silently walked at her pace. It was a while before the silence between them was broken, and Sori used all that time to think about what had happened, trying to rationalize it and get a hold of her feelings.


“How far along are you now?”, Jongin asked after a while. Sori looked at him and caught him eyeing her tummy curiously. Only then she realized she had put a hand on her belly as she was walking, and that was probably the reason why he was asking her that question. Embarrassed, Sori removed her hand and pulled her shirt in her stomach area, trying to make it adhere less to her skin.


“This is the fifteenth week, the app said the baby should be as big as a pear right now”, she found herself smiling a little as she talked about the baby.


“Wow, already? But you don't look pregnant though. Shouldn't you be showing more?”, Jongin looked really perplexed. Minseok had told her that Jongin had an older sister and she had had a baby a few years ago, but Jongin had been weirded out by the idea of his sister having , so he had kept himself as far away from as he could without actually disappearing. He loved his niece, and when his sister told him she was pregnant again he had been less awkward with her than the first time, but by then he had already joined EXO, hence he hadn't had the chance to see how his sister's body changed as the pregnancy proceeded. He had just seen her when she was half way through the pregnancy and after she had given birth.


“I mean...I am showing, just not that much, but it's normal since it's still quite early and it's my first pregnancy”. Saying that aloud was slightly embarrassing as it gave away, but Sori found it endearing that Jongin was showing interest in her pregnancy. “I could feel the bump even a couple of weeks ago. Now you can see the bump too, look”. Sori tightened the shirt on her belly area, and Jongin let out a mesmerized gasp.


“I didn't even noticed it”, he moved his hand, but then he shook his head and brought the hand back down his side. Sori bit the inside of her cheek, praying she hadn't read his intentions wrong as she spoke next.


“You can touch it if you want, I don't mind”. Okay, that was a little bit of a lie. She did feel bothered by having other people's hands on her belly, but she supposed it was because of some weird instinct, and since she enjoyed it when people showed any excitement for her baby, she had decided she could get over herself and let them touch her bump if they wanted to.


“Really? Then, uhm”, he still looked hesitant, so Sori grabbed his hand and put it right on top of her belly. There was no movement to feel, honestly, but she supposed she would've been curious too if she had to live with a pregnant woman. “It's so small! Are you sure the baby is as big as a pear? How does it fit in there?”


“I don't know, but I trust the app on this”, she chuckled. His hand on her belly was starting to bother her more and more, but she didn't want to be impolite and remove it since she had been the one to put it there in the first place. Sori also felt a little bit guilty towards her baby for not having wanted it in the beginning, thus it made her feel better when she could talk about her pregnancy without having to worry about boring those she was talking with. It gave her the impression she was correcting her wrong doings towards the baby.


“Do you feel them moving around though?”, he rubbed the belly a little on the sides, and then finally Jongin brought his hand back down along his hip. Sori sighed in relief and took a step back, hoping Jongin wouldn't take offense in her actions, because she really didn't understand her instincts either lately.


“No, not really, it's too early, but I should start feeling it soon”. Sori felt a little bit sad about this. Sure, she hadn't wanted the baby in the beginning, but now she was looking forward to having the chance to get to know her baby, thus even something as small as a fluttering in a belly seemed like a way to establish a connection with the baby, and the fact that she still had to wait for it seemed a little unfair.


They walked in a comfortable silence for while once again, they could see the house again, and Sori was starting to wonder whether she was ready to go back in or not when Jongin stopped right in front of her.


“Okay, just let me say this before we go back inside”, he paced until he was standing right in front of her, “When you first joined us I couldn't help but think BTS were disgusting for treating you the way they did, but now that you've spent more time with us, I think I partially get why they did what they did”, he raised his hands in surrender as he noticed Sori's burning glare, “I'm not justifying them, I'm just saying that now that I've spent some time with you I find it easier to understand why they acted that way. You wouldn't know because you just know what you're feeling and living, but to us you look so frail and weak, like a little kitten who needs help. I know you're strong, I do, but there's this protective instinct that always makes me want to fight those who upset you, and trust me, I don't like fighting”


“So? Should I be thankful?”, she scoffed, cocking her hip.


“No, that's not what I'm saying. It's okay to feel angry and upset both with BTS and Baekhyun, I'm just letting you know that it's so easy to make a big mistake while being sure to be doing the right thing. Compared to us, you are very young. You are extremely young, honestly, you're just a little more than a baby in our eyes and we want to keep you away from all the things that might hurt you”. Jongin looked completely serious as he said this, and it didn't go unnoticed as Sori always saw him joking around and being annoying. It was a completely different Jongin the one that was standing in front of her.


“You say that, but I know it's not true. Narae is barely five years older than me and no one treats her the same as me. Damn, even Kyungsoo is younger than all of you, but I'm sure no one would ever dare to tell him what to do or with whom he can hangout with”. Sori had lost count of how many times she had had this discussion already, and no matter what they said, she had already told them there was nothing they could to make her change her mind. Sure, at some point in the future she might stop being angry with BTS, but she will never excuse their poor behavior towards her.


“Well, you're right, but Narae is a born-werewolf coming from a rich family and a powerful pack- She has a lot of people who have her back and she's the mate of the alpha of BTS. No one would hurt or annoy her. And about hyung...damn, can you imagine what would happen if Baekhyun told him what to do?”, he chuckled. “That's beside the point, though. You know as well as I do that hyung is scary, strong and well-trained. You're none of that, Sori, which makes it very easy for us to fall into this protective, cavemen mentality. It's instincts. And now that you're pregnant it's even worse. So...mmm, how do I put this?”. He actually took a moment to organize his words, and Sori waited patiently, telling herself there was no reason to snap at him. He was entitled to have his own opinion. “Okay, I don't know how to say it nicely, all that belongs to Junmyeon hyung and Jongdae hyung. Just don't go too hard on Baekhyun hyung. I'm sure he has realized his mistake already. And about BTS...I'm not saying they weren't s, but now I get why they didn't want you to spent so much time with us”.


“And what am I supposed to do with this information? Should I blame myself because of the way you feel? I never asked anyone to protect me”


“No, you don't have to blame yourself, obviously. Just try to be patient with us. Fighting against your instinct isn't easy, but we are trying. That's it”. With that he slowly started to walk towards the house again. Although she felt really annoyed, she had no way to

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AiiSoo #1
Chapter 35: I really really hope that Sori won’t return to BTS. Not with the current mindset that Jungkook has and even Namjoon too. I was really pissed that Namjoon tried to like give Minyoung a chance and had like a benefit of doubt that she could change. Not in a million years that that could happen. Even Jungkook himself that had stayed in the pack for years still kept the same learning from his previous pack, why would Minyoung changed hers in a matter of months. Although fortunately Minyoung kept true to her personality and getting kicked out in the end. At this point, I can see that Namjoon is not fond of confrontation and he is bad at it too. Not that everyone is fond of confrontation, but Namjoon tried to avoid it so much that the action hurts his pack. He almost did it again when he tried to talk to Minyoung in early of this chapter though.
I think this is a new information, or maybe I forgot about it entirely; Minyoung knew about Sori’s pregnancy way before Sori herself knows?! Was this mentioned before? That girl is just pure evil. But with her gone, BTS and EXO has to be ready if she get together with the enemy and attack both packs. If before, Minyoung hates Sori because she is a turned-were, now, she just basically hates Sori.
Thank you for this update..!
Chapter 35: About time already. But from her reaction being kicked, I could sense she’s about to plot something evil in her head.
Chapter 34: It's good that Jungkook tried to bring himself to finally get the helps he really needed. It's the first step.
AiiSoo #4
Chapter 34: It was nice to know what happened to the BTS pack after Sori left. And to know Jim’s thought and his point of view in some of the matters when Sori was with them. But knowing about it made me angrier to the pack. And maybe Sori too. At least now she won’t be so oblivious anymore or making her assumptions that the pack didn’t see what actually happened between the members. In Jin’s case, he decided to turn blind eye in a lot of cases. But his honesty was definitely appreciated. Quite refreshing to read too.
Jungkook has taken the first step in getting better although he was still in denial himself. The woman is a psychiatrist and trained. So it would dumb do him to believe that she won’t detect his lies if he decided to do so.
I hope all goes well for both Sori and Jungkook.
Thank you for this update..!
Chapter 34: I was so happy to read this update!
hope Sori and Jungkook will have their happy ending ♡
also every chapter you write is amazing, you put thought in every detail and it's really amazing in my opinion.
take care and hope to read more updates soon :)
Chapter 34: I love it!! I like that Jin and Sori got to talk as well. I can understand it’s going to take time to build back the friendships they’ve lost with her, but I’m so excited for her and Jungkook to meet again, he’s really trying and I like that you’ve focus on how his part is going on. Thank you for the UPDATE!! So excited so so excited every time I see an update from you!
july-pupetta #7
Chapter 33: Hi, how are you? Thank you so much for the chapter! I am always happy reading this story!!! I'm glad sori is bringing out her personality and saying how she really feels, it's okay for others to understand how her feelings. I'm also very glad that Namjoon is trying to find a way to improve the situation in the group and encourage a healthier and more cohesive environment. I am happy they are noticing how Minyoug has worsened relations within the group with her prejudices and treatment of Sori. It is good the others are trying to reconnect with Sori and are taking their time to understand her and give her space.
Thank you so much for the update and I am looking forward to your next chapter! <3
Chapter 33: She's starting to stand for herself and I liked it. Thank God Namjoon has decided to do something about Minyoung. It just had to be done.
Chapter 33: I was waiting for this update :)
I really loved how Sori stood up for herself with Jin and Yoongi.
hope you're feeling better ^__^
AiiSoo #10
Chapter 33: I like that Sori was determined on what she wanted. It’s up to her ex-packmates to adhere to what she wanted or just forget about bonding again, even as friends. I guess she was so sick and tired of all the previous dramas and just wanted to settle down with her baby.
Well, good for her.
Thank you for this update..! I hope you are feeling better than before though