ACT 1

Venenum
Please Subscribe to read the full chapter

 

They were following you. You saw their mirror image in the shop window you passed, felt their eyes burning holes into the back of your head. Hugging your shivering body, you ducked your head and stared at the wet asphalt. The artificial light of the streetlamps was reflected in the puddles covering the ground. Your heart palpitated in fear and you acted on instinct when you hastily turned into a small alley. It was darker here, the shadows of the night swallowing you up. The sound of your heavy breathing and your shoes hitting asphalt were the only things that could be heard in the eerie silence.

Fear had become a constant companion to you in the past week. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Your stalkers were elusive like smoke. You often caught glimpses of them from the corner of your eye, but when you would look a second time, they would be gone. Ever since that fateful night one week ago, they had been on your tail, and you could do nothing but wait as their eyes laid on you constantly. You knew why they did it. They wanted to make sure you didn’t run to the police—that would be their cue to silence you. What you had witnessed that night had been disturbing, it haunted your sleep. You desperately wanted to get it off your chest, but that would cost your life. And you weren’t ready to die at the hands of criminals.

So you kept your mouth shut and went on with your daily life, pretending everything was fine. You didn’t know for how long you could keep up the façade with endless fear crushing you but you would do your best.

You hurried down the stairs leading into the subway station and caught the first train that arrived. Once inside, you allowed yourself to take a break, leaning your back against one of the seats. It was late evening, and usually, you would have been home already at this time, but your co-workers had insisted to meet in town to have dinner together. You worked at a coffee shop where you spent most of your days. It wasn’t a fancy job, but it brought you joy and that was what mattered most to you.

You had a few regulars you enjoyed talking to—and one of them you were particularly fond of. Thinking of him had your cheeks turn pink. Only three weeks ago, you had finally found out his name, and since then, you hadn’t stopped thinking of him. Even now, when you were afraid, the memory of him put a faint smile on your lips.

Baekhyun came by nearly every morning to buy a coffee before he headed to work. It had become a habit of his to talk to you for a bit, and that way, you had gotten closer. He was good at telling jokes, and a real charmer. Nonetheless, he was surrounded by a veil of secrecy. There were things he never told you—for example, where the bloody scrapes on his hands had come from, or why he suddenly had a split lip. He had told you he worked for a trading company, but you didn’t buy it. However, you had never pursued the matter, knowing that everybody had their secrets.

Just like you.

The secret you had been keeping for a week was a sinister one. It made your skin crawl with fear and abhorrence whenever the memories came back. You wanted to erase them and pretend you never saw anything, but you couldn’t. The images had been burned into your mind. They would haunt you for the rest of your life. You felt guilty for not going to the police, felt terrible for being unable to speak about it. Maybe that would have lightened the burden on your shoulders.

Through an unfortunate coincidence, you had become the sole witness to a murder committed by one of the local gangs. Their feuds with each other often ended in senseless bloodshed, and Jiwon’s gang was particularly ruthless. It was his people that now had their eyes on you.

Jiwon, at first, had wanted to kill you in order to silence you forever, but he had changed his mind at the last second. Apparently, you could still be useful to him, and so he chose to keep you around. Ever since then, his gang members had been following you wherever you went. They watched your every step.

You had no idea how in the world someone like you would ever be useful to him, but you would soon find out.

 

 

They were watching you.

A shudder ran down your spine. You kept your eyes on the register as you handed out the change to the customer who had just bought a coffee and a muffin. It was early Monday morning, and the coffee shop was busy as usual at this time. The stream of customers thankfully directed your attention away from your stalkers who watched through the windows, standing on the other side of the street.

You took another order, handed out another steaming cup of coffee to a tired-looking student, and turned to the next customer. Your co-worker Amber Liu was just as busy as you, standing at the counter next to you and taking care of incoming orders. She was a ray of sunshine and always smiled at everyone even when the customer was rude. It was a trait you admired since you didn’t have that kind of patience.

An hour passed and by the time the coffee shop became emptier, it was nine o’clock. Most people were at school or work now which meant you would have some time to breathe. Amber had gone back into the kitchen to take care of the dishes while you stayed at the counter. Your eyes drifted over the few people sitting at the tables nearby, some of them reading the newspaper or typing on their phones. Quiet music originated from the speakers in the corners of the ceiling. It could have been a perfectly normal and relaxed Monday morning if only your anxiety stopped tormenting you.

Finally, you were distracted by the ringing of the bell when someone else entered the shop. Looking up, you met the brown eyes of Baekhyun, and a smile bloomed on your lips. He wore a button-up shirt and black pants, his light blond hair styled as usual.

“Good morning, love,” he said flirtily as he stood in front of the counter.

“Morning. How are you, Baekhyun?” you asked, flustered by the nickname he liked to use. “You’re later than usual today. I hope you’re not in a hurry to get to work.”

He laughed and shook his head. “No, no. Something unexpected came up this morning and that’s why I’m late. But my colleagues will understand.”

“That’s a relief,” you smiled. “Do you want the usual?”

“Yes, please.”

You nodded and went to the coffee machine, starting it. As you waited for it to finish, you went back to him to talk some more. He’d become a ray of light in your dark life—someone you always looked forward to meeting every single day.

“You look tired,” he remarked. He put his palms on the counter and leaned closer, scrutinizing the shadows under your eyes. His brows furrowed, showing his concern.

“Ah, yeah,” you mumbled, fidgeting around. “I… I just… can’t sleep well lately. It’s nothing to worry about though. I’m sure it will pass.”

“If you say so,” he answered, not sounding very convinced. “Maybe you should rest after work.”

“Are you worried about me?” you joked.

“Of course I am,” he answered, sounding playful yet looking sincere. “Do you think I come here every day just for the coffee?” He winked, making clear what he meant.

You blushed, your heartbeat speeding up. The fact that he was openly flirting with you made you a little nervous, but not in a bad way. “You’re here for something else?” you asked, pretending to be clueless, though your blush gave your thoughts away.

“Someone, not something,” he corrected amusedly. “I like talking to you. It’s rare to find people like you nowadays… and I think it’s great that you’re into photography too.”

Your passion for photography was one that you shared. And it was the reason why you had begun to talk when he had first come into the coffee shop. He had carried around an old camera, a model that was quite popular even today, but hard to get your hands on. You had been unable to hold back your fascination and asked him so many questions that his coffee had turned cold in the meantime. You’d apologized and made him a new one, prompting him to stay longer just to talk.

That had been the start of your friendship. Over time, you had developed a strong crush on him, even though you barely knew anything about him. You mostly talked about your shared hobby or your work while he stayed reluctant to reveal things about himself. At first, you had assumed he was shy, but later you realized that he was simply a closed-off person.

“I’m glad we met,” you answered cheerfully. “It was quite the coincidence, really.”

You turned to the coffee machine and collected the finished beverage, carrying it to the counter. You added in a little bit of sugar just the way he liked it before you handed him the cup. When he picked it up, you noticed a piece of white bandage sticking out from under his sleeve. Curious, you decided to ask him about it.

“Did you hurt yourself?” you said and nodded your chin towards his hand. He stiffened, caution taking over his features.

“I cut myself by accident when I made dinner last night,” he muttered. The warmth in his brown eyes receded and made way for a cold that you weren’t familiar with. Surprised, you wondered whether you had said something wrong.

“Oh. Be more careful,” you said. “And don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s bad at cooking.”

“I see,” he said with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. Put off by his strange behavior, you frowned. “I need to get going. Thanks for the coffee and see you tomorrow!”

“Bye,” you called after him, feeling slight disappointment as he left. You had the sense that your remark about his injury was the cause for his sudden departure. When it came to certain topics, he tended to become repellent, as if he had something to hide. You had no clue what exactly it could be, but you had a hunch that he was involved with the wrong crowd, judging by his tendency to get injured.

Amber came back from the kitchen and joined you at the counter, watching Baekhyun walk down the street. “Something about him makes me uneasy,” she said, furrowing her brows.

“What do you mean?” you asked curiously.

Your friend put her hand on her chin, staring at the tiles on the floor. “Sometimes, he has this cold look in his eyes… I think he could be involved in something bad.”

“Maybe…” you said unsurely. When even Amber had noticed, could your suspicion be true?

“It’s strange that he comes here every single day,” Amber replied with a sigh. “I think he likes you… but still, be wary of him.”

 

 

By the time your shift ended, it was four pm and you were quite tired. This whole time, you had been feeling terrible for obvious reasons, and now you wanted nothing more than to lie in your bed and shut out the entire world.

However, only moments before you could walk into the subway station, someone grabbed your arm and dragged you into an alley. A hand roughly covered your mouth and pressed your head against the wall of a building. Within a second, your heart was racing. You stared into Jiwon’s dark eyes, felt the blade of a knife at your throat. It hurt, digging into your skin, and it would draw blood if he continued to put pressure on it.

“If it isn’t the little bird,” he whispered into your ear. You were shaking uncontrollably as you realized why he had intercepted you on your way home.

He was here to kill you. There was no doubt. He wanted the witness to his crime to be silenced. You looked around fearfully, but aside from two other gang members, you were the only people in the alley. You had to face the harsh truth: you were on your own and nobody would help you.

“If you scream, I’ll slit your throat,” Jiwon threatened before he removed his hand from your mouth. His ruthless tone mad

Please Subscribe to read the full chapter
Like this story? Give it an Upvote!
Thank you!

Comments

You must be logged in to comment
preciousloey61
28 streak #1
Chapter 3: Woah... I loved the whole story so much authornim.. one of the best... well written everything... fluffy, cute ,full of suspense, mystery, thrill and actions.. wow.. complete package and Rollercoaster ride... loved the way their relationship started from total strangers to lastly lovers... even though that one event and intense incident were so shocking and nerve-wracking...specifically when she was on gun point and later the plot twist moment of last shooting... that part was so heartbreaking and heartwarming cause of the situation, emotions, feelings and confession... glad that atleast they got to confess to each other.. even though it wad sudden and they had feelings for each other but that incident brought them more closer than before... so happy for them and their happy ending... it's a relief that they got their deserved happy ending..otherwise I would cry..TT TT..really enjoyed reading from beginning till end.. so catchy and interesting plot and characters... thank you authornim for writing and sharing this amazing and lovely story ❤️..oh I guess L for love as he endearingly called oc as love.. ah.. I also loved their cute, fluffy and lovely teasing lovey-dovey moments..hehehe... 🫶😍🫰👍🙆‍♀️❤️🤗👏😍
Teneky
734 streak #2
Chapter 3: This chapter was tense for a good part of it, but I really enjoyed reading it! It had literally kept me on the edge of my chair and with every paragraph I wondered what would happen next! I was afraid that she wasn't going to make it and that it was going to be a sad ending, but in the end everything was alright and they got their happily every after!

I LOVE IT!

Thank you!
Teneky
734 streak #3
Chapter 2: I am glad that she didn't manage to escape and that Baekhyun stopped, getting answers from her. It's good that she finally opened up to him and shed some light on the situation. There is more revealed and Baekhyun also said a few critical things, so that's good! *thumbs up* The rest of their time spent together was just adorable and so heart-warming and sweet. I. LOVE. IT. <3

But then morning came and horror struck. Beakhyun was nowhere to be found, and the person she feared the most was standing at the front door with a gun pointed at her. *sighs*

UGH! I HATE JIWON! -_- Once again, Baekhyun came to the rescue... but that cliffhanger... *sighs* Please... no...

Thank you!
Teneky
734 streak #4
Chapter 1: I swear this first chapter gave me the chills! *blinks* But I loved it! I feel sorry though, living in fear is not a good thing and it's hard to live with certain things. It's a constant struggle and it causes a lot of stress. *sighs*
Baekhyun on the other hand, seems like a sweet, but an interesting guy. I believe there is more to him than meets the eye, but I won't be jumping to any conclusions yet! ^^

Looking forward to seeing what happens next! ^^
byunbaek_hyun34
#5
Chapter 2: hey i wanna read this fic but here it says only authors friend can read it. can someone tell me how can i read it too????
Sykrh_ #6
Chapter 3: Whenever I read your story, it felt like I'm watching a movie. I can "see" it while reading. The best part of your stories is definitely the friendship between the guys! They're always there to support him💖 and I'll never say no to Fluffy Baekhyun! It's the best😆

I have yet to watch the vcr😬 me No like tragic endings😭

Thank you again!! See you on the next fic!!😝
SuhoLoverDebo
#7
Chapter 3: OMG this story is so good.. Thrilling and Cute.. I love them both so much.. Both characters are perfect in their imperfections.. They are hopelessly in love.. They are not courageous but still can die for each other stupidly.. I am glad that they talked it out and didn't separated.. They were both practical with their reactions.. You write such beautiful stories.. Soon I am going to read all the rest of your stories too..
kpopkoreaforever #8
Chapter 3: Hi ! It was such a beautiful story, it felt like watching a soft action movie with the perfect amount of action and the perfect amount of romance <3 I really enjoyed reading it ! I am always amazed by all your stories and how you make up such wonderful and various plots ! Now every time I want to read a baekhyun story, I know where to look for it ;D
It's fluffy without it being too cheesy nor too much, and isn't too dark (my heart can't handle it when there is too much against XD )
Thank you for this story <3
Bellalula
#9
Chapter 3: Okay so I’m gonna be frank here I’m gonna be that annoying reader you’d found in most of your stories (if not all) coz I’m checking out all of your work! They are amazingggggg I really love your way with words and also Baekhyun’s characters in all of your stories so far!
tang53 #10
Chapter 3: I just come across this story and it is amazing. I love and look forward to your other products.