The door to Baekhyun’s office was a varnished wooden sheet in the middle of one of the gray hallways of the Catacombs. The only difference was that this had decent lamps and an only door – the door – that Lara liked to call the gate to hell. She had only gone there twice, but it had been more than enough to make her hate it.
The first one had been when she had returned to The Catacombs after experiencing a false freedom. That night, Lara had felt the crystal dome shattering over her and every single glass needle burying painfully in her skin. The absent and tired look in Baekhyun’s eyes when he had introduced himself as the Boss of true hell had been the last blow that had thrown her off a cliff that she was still struggling to climb.
The next one had been the day after her argument with Baekhyun. A blonde woman finely dressed had personally gone to find her to the secluded corner where she had been peacefully reading. The anxiety had started the very moment the woman had stood still before the staircase and had called her name coldly.
She asked Lara to follow her and uttered no more words until she left her in front of the gate to hell, telling her Mr. Byun was waiting for her. Lara was ready to confront Baekhyun again. What would she find today? The soft Baekhyun that promised her with that boxy smile of his that he would always take care of her and asked her to trust him? Or the heir to Byun Jinhyuk’s underground empire? That stranger that spoke of topics she didn’t understand – nor did she try to – and used her as a ragdoll.
By now, she wouldn’t be surprised if she saw both.
But, surprisingly, the man sitting behind the walnut bureau wasn’t Baekhyun. He had dark silver hair, carefully combed off his forehead. His eyes were tiny little slits, sharp as razors and as capable of cutting the bulletproof glass dome, the thick walls painted in white and Lara’s own willpower.
He was the exact incarnation of the man she had imagined as the head of the Business: red lips, tailored suit and an Italian neckerchief. The only difference was the soft curve on his lips that reminded her of the pink smile of someone she knew well.
The man before her was Byun Jinhyuk.
And he was staring at her.
He stood from behind the walnut bureau and arranged his blazer. He was smiling, his teeth white and sharp and his red lips curved. But Lara thought she wouldn’t have felt so little if the man had glared at her. Byun Jinhyuk had a honey smile and icy eyes.
“Number twenty-two”, he started, “Lara. I must say that, of all the trainees, I never expected to meet you out of… how do you call them? The Catacombs?
Lara nodded, her gaze on the wooden floor.
“My son has a strange interest in you.”
Lara dared to look at him. Byun Jinhyuk wasn’t smiling. He was glaring at her with a crazed kind of curiosity that make her shiver. He seemed to be weighting the different ways to destroy her. And when he smiled briefly, Lara knew he had found the most painful way.
Tell me, Lara”, he took a moment to taste the name in his lips and the dread spreading silently through the girl’s veins. “What do you want from my son?
Lara didn’t know what to answer nor what Byun Jinhyuk expected to hear. After a minute of silence, Byun Jinhyuk spoke again. This time, though, the fake kindness had vanished. “I asked you something. Do I need to repeat myself?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Baekhyun and I were good friends, that’s it.”
“You ‘were’? And what are you now? I have heard that he has been taking you as his plus one to his every business dinner, just like an expensive . And suddenly I find out that one of our partners that you met yesterday never left the hotel and the other two call me, desperate to close the deal.”
Lara looked at him, dumbfounded. She didn’t expect Baekhyun could leave the men whose lives he had decided to spare so terrified. It looked like Byun Jinhyuk wanted her to say something – anything – but her mind was devoid of words. He poured some copper liquid on a cup before turning to pin her with that creepy smile of his. It smelled like expensive liquor.
“You know what the strangest thing is? They refused to tell me what had made them change their minds. Out of the blue, everything were compliments towards my training program. Conveniently, all the cameras on the dinning hall had been switched off. Strange, don’t you think? I want you, Lara, to tell me what the happened last night.
The air felt to thick to breathe, her knees trembled to hard. If she closed her eyes she would still see the corpses and feel the blood splatters all over her legs. So she kept them open. She knew she couldn’t let herself breakdown there, in front of the devil. Byun Jinhyuk, director of the hellish training program she had lost the chance to live for.
She looked at his eyes and bit down on her lip to stop the shiver that tried to shake her. She straightened her back and glared at Byun Jinhyuk. She hated to be treated like a doll.
“We had dinner. Baekhyun spoke to your partners. I guess he managed to convince them.”
“What did they talk about?”
She shrugged with fake nonchalance. “I wasn’t listening. No offense, but I don’t care about your ‘business’, boss.”
“Lara, I warn you: lying to me is not a brilliant choice.”
“I am not lying.”
“How can you be so sure?”
Byun Jinhyuk sighed loudly. He left his glass on top of the walnut bureau and opened one of the drawers. Lara felt sick at the familiar sight of what he held: a gun, silver and well-polished.
“Okay you brat, you know who’s the one that let you live?” Lara winced. All the heartiness had disappeared. Only a look of anger and disdain remained. “You will tell me what I want to hear or you won’t be saying anything else.”
“We had dinner, they talked, and we left.”
The man shot towards the bookshelves. Lara did her best not to flinch with the thundering boom of the shot. Behind her, the innocent sheets of an old book flew to the ground, scattered until the smell of old paper and gun powder stained the air.
“We had dinner, they talked, and we left”, she repeated.
This time the bulled flew barely a few inches away from her ear.
“You have one last chance”, he said.
“What a great man you are, Mr. Byun. I’ll die for telling the truth.”
Byun Jinhyuk lost his patience and threw the gun away. It hit something that fell to the ground with a loud crash, but neither of them bothered to look at it. Lara had decided she would hold Byun Jinhyuk’s gaze even if it was the last thing she did (it could well be her last day alive but she didn’t care as long as she managed to piss the old man).
She had been taught in one of her many lessons: lying was easy, making it believable even more. She didn’t need complicated stories, just one look. They used to tell her the eyes were the windows to the soul. If her eyes reflected confidence, nobody could tell she was lying.
Besides, Byun Jinhyuk had no idea of what had happened. She wouldn’t be there otherwise. He would have to live with the information she gave him, even if it wasn’t true.
“You’d better not be lying. Baekhyun would be devastated if something happened to his favorite little .”
“I doubt he would care”, she laughed humorlessly. “Baekhyun only used us. He has no special attachment with us.”
“What about you? I’ll ask you again: what do you want from my son?”
A thousand thoughts ran through her mind. She wanted Baekhyun to tell her what the hell was he thinking and the reason behind his every action. She wanted him to tell her how he could be so different. One minute he was a ruthless mafia leader and the next he was her soft friend, the one she loved.
She wanted to feel his lips over her, caressing them in the loving way they had that night when he snuck in her hospital room. She wanted him to be there when she woke up in the middle of the night because of her nightmares and hug her to sleep. She wanted to wake up to his husky voice and his bubbly laugh.
She wanted to understand why that Baekhyun had disappeared.
“Nothing”, she answered eventually. “I don’t want or expect anything from him.”
Hello everybody! I am super sorry for the late update, I've been super busy. But I finally finished school!! So with summer ahead, I promise I will write more!
Okay, now to the story. No Baekhyun in this chapter either but I need to get some family insight so you can start to understand why he is like that. This whole chapter is a flashback, it happens the day after their discussion. Let me know what you think of his father!