Blessing In Disguise

Lay Down Beside Me
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Several long days had passed since the Chinese New Year party, and Yifan had spent just as many sleepless nights at the studio. Building a clientele was no easy task, but Yifan was highly motivated right now. He reckoned it was largely due to Yixing’s encouragement that he could stay motivated — texts from Yixing had managed to put a smile on Yifan’s face no matter how tired or frustrated he was because of work. Secretly, Yifan was even glad that he screwed up the statistics in the first place. Otherwise it would not have brought Yixing into his life.

“You’re in a good mood,” Chanyeol commented, glancing up at Yifan. “Something you wanna share?”

“Nope,” Yifan giggled, standing up and stretching his arms. “Ah, I haven’t seen the sky in such a long time now. Must be a beautiful day outside, I bet.”

“Don’t change the topic,” said Chanyeol as he efficiently rearranged his sheet music. “You ain’t keeping secrets from me, hyung. If you’ve got good news, spill.”

“I really haven’t. Honest,” Yifan insisted, although the smile stayed on his face. “You wanna go grab lunch together? I’m hungry.”

“Nah, meeting with client in ten. Would be nice if you could get something for me though,” Chanyeol replied, grabbing the guitar nearest to his chair and tuning it.

“Will do,” said Yifan casually on his way out, not even wearing his shoes properly. The cold wind hit his face mercilessly once he was outdoors, making him uneager to stand outside any longer than necessary. Seeing as Starbucks was the closest, and Chanyeol would most likely not complain about only getting a sandwich for lunch, Yifan made up his mind and went right in.

Yifan was hardly picky with his food (except when it came to coriander and fish because those monstrosities just made him lose his appetite) considering it was already a luxury to get to have a proper, albeit small, meal. While he was still deciding between the chicken panini and the ham ciabatta — oh, hey, the mayo one looks nice too —

“Fanfan.”

He froze, and it had nothing to do with the strong gusts of the cold winds that rudely invaded the café when the automatic doors opened for customers. It was a voice he knew all too well, a voice he once loved and adored, and a voice he never thought he would ever have to hear again.

When he finally had the sense to turn around, there she was. She was much smaller than him in stature, but somehow, something about the way she was staring at him, and that diabolical half-smirk on that deceptively angelic face of hers, had made him feel small. So very small, and powerless, and subservient. His height advantage did not mean when he was in front of her. She had a way of bringing him to his knees, literally and otherwise, and convincing him that that was where he belonged.

When he remained speechless, the smirk on her face grew. It seemed like such a long time ago when she had conditioned him to obediently, deferentially call her ‘Mistress’ while she would call him ‘Fanfan’ so affectionately.

“Mi…” Yifan gulped. “Mijoo-ssi,” he finally stammered after a deep breath. "I...didn't expect to see you here," he confessed, eyes darting everywhere. "I thought you hated Starbucks."

Mistress — ahem, Mijoo — merely laughed. It was neither icy nor acerbic, just belittling. He still reacted to her conditioning as if he were still hers to control. While he felt ashamed and embarrassed, she was amused and pleased to discover that she still held so much power and influence over him. Look at how he still struggled to say her name! What a nervous little boy...just like he was when they first met, when they first kissed, and when they had their first time.

"I'm impressed. You remember. Makes me wonder what else about my preferences you still keep in mind," Mijoo taunted. "You're right. I do hate it here. But my wife likes it, so, I'm here for her. Oh! Look, there she is." Her tone changed drastically as she locked gazes with the lady who just walked in, and her sly smirk turned into a saccharine smile. “Hey, honey. Why don't you wait for me upstairs?”

Yifan looked even more uncomfortable. How was he supposed to look into the eyes of the person whose spouse had an affair with him? And from the look on her face...she knew. Not just about the serial affairs, but that he was the one her wife cheated with. She just knew. She still foolishly stuck around even though it could not have been clearer that she was married to a pathological cheater.

“Of

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