Mark scrunched his brows and groaned as the cabinet closing with a bang woke him up from his sleep.
"...sorry, sorry, sorry, hyung. Go back to sleep."
The hushed whisper made him open his eyes. He got up on his elbows and looked around. The room was dimly lit. It was evident from the dark sky outside that it was barely past daybreak. Jinyoung was walking from here to there, tie in one hand and the socks in other, getting ready in evident hurry.
"Is it time already?" Mark yawned.
"Yeah... Yugyeom is waiting downstairs and… I'm so late." The younger sat on the edge of the bed to wear his socks.
Mark got up and went to him.
"Why are you getting up? You can still catch up on a few hours of sleep." Jinyoung protested.
Mark lazily stood in front of him, taking the tie from his hand and knotting it neatly for him, while the younger wore his shoes.
"Why didn't you wake up earlier when you knew you had a flight to catch at 5?" Mark was now tucking Jinyoung's shirt in his pants, as Jinyoung ran his fingers through his damp hair, a useless attempt at drying them.
"I didn't wake up earlier because my husband made me watch Frozen with him till midnight and after that he got out of nowhere. What was I supposed to do?" Jinyoung shot back pettily.
"Who told you to entice me by cooing at Elsa so sweetly when you know my heart is weak for you?" Mark argued, while guiding his husband to sit on the edge of the dresser and switching on the hair dryer.
"You get enticed by me breathing. What to even say about you!" He pouted, eyes closed as hot air blew through his hair, a visible note of fondness in his tone.
"You don't have a hot husband like me. You won't understand." Mark was styling his hair with a brush now.
"Aha?" Jinyoung bit his lip. "Looks like you haven't seen mine yet." He wrapped his arms lightly around Mark's waist. "He shines the brightest in every crowd."
Their eyes locked. Love oozing from them for each other. So much love... Mark leaned in and kissed Jinyoung softly. "I feel like I live in Paradise, Jinyoung. I get to kiss you first thing in the morning..." His voice was thick with emotions as he Jinyoung's cheeks with his thumb. "And I get to kiss you last thing at night. Nothing in the world could ever match this." He kissed him again. "I love you."
Jinyoung kissed back. "I love you more."
"No, I love you more." Mark contradicted.
"Actually it was me who proposed you, so that means I love you more." Jinyoung wasn't losing this argument at any cost.
"But I confessed first. That is clear evidence that I love you more." Mark retorted.
"I was the one who asked you out first so no...I love you more, Tuan."
"How childish could you both really be?" Before the argument could catch even more fire, they were interrupted by an irritated voice. "We can, maybe, solve this world peace issue after coming back because no matter you are my boss Park Jinyoung, I'm not driving all the way to Vegas, if we miss the flight." A very ticked off Yugyeom was standing at the door.
Mark groaned. "Why is it always him -blocking us?"
Jinyoung chuckled as he got up and gave Mark a warm hug. "Actually he is right. We should really get going. See you babe." He pecked Mark's cheek.
"See you. Best of luck with your project and... oh wait. Have you eaten something? You can't be going out on an empty stomach."
"Hyung, I really don't have time."
"Give me just 5 minutes. I'll fix you something real quick." He was already half way to the kitchen when Jinyoung held his wrist.
"I promise I'll eat in the plane. Don't worry." Jinyoung assured him.
Mark sighed and then turned to Yugyeom. "Make sure he eats. And keep sweets away from him for heaven's sake. His glucose levels are fluctuating to unacceptable levels these past few weeks."
Jinyoung was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes Mellitus at the age of 3. And as observant as Mark was towards his health, Jinyoung happened to be just as careless.
"Don't worry Mark. He is safe with me."
"Yahhhh... I'm older than him. And I can take care of myself."
"Sure you can." Yugyeom mocked him. Jinyoung gave him a death glare before turning to Mark.
"I am going to be very careful. I promise. And now go back to sleep. You have had a tough week at work. If you keep messaging me every five minutes about breakfast, I swear I'm gonna divorce you." Jinyoung nagged.
Mark laughed. "Yes sir." He waved his husband and one of their mutual best-friends goodbye. "I love you Jin.” He didn't forget to call after him and was rewarded with a flying kiss. Mark made sure to catch it safely in his palm before closing the door.
When he woke up for the second time, it was 9. He quickly looked at his phone. Jinyoung had sent a message of arriving safely. There were a few memes from BamBam in their group chat and Jackson yelling at him to not be so annoyingly energetic early in the morning.
After replying a quick "Miss you already babe." to Jinyoung, he smoothly ignored the gc and headed towards the bathroom. He had one hour to get to the office.
The phone rang as he poured himself a cup of coffee. It was Jackson.
"Morning." Even after a good, long sleep and a morning shower the tiredness of a hectic week at work hadn't vanished.
"Mark, where is Jinyoung? I have been calling him since forever. He isn't picking up." Jackson's voice was laced with worry.
"He went to Vegas with Gyeom. To sign the contract for their new art gallery." Mark answered sipping from his cup. He knew how protective their friends had become of Jinyoung after that incident 5 years ago. Even Yugyeom and BamBam, who were 3 years younger, acted like they were his mom or something.
"Oh," Jackson mumbled. "I wanted to confirm with him about tonight's plan. You guys are on, right?"
"Sure. They would be back by 7 but I'm not going to force him if he is too tired."
"C'mon. It's been ages since five of us bros drank together."
"That's 'four of us bros' for me." Mark joked.
"Yeah 4 bros and one hoe."
"Anyways, no excuses at all. I need you guys here by 8 and get me a good present too. After all it's not every day that The Great Jackson Wang turns 27."
"Good present, my . Remember when you gifted us condoms on our housewarming?"
"Swear by Jinyoung that you guys didn't finish the whole box within the same week." Jackson retorted.
"Keep Jinyoung out of your antics, Wang."
"See, you didn't deny it." Jackson said smugly.
"Whatever." Mark dismissed him with a click of his tongue. "And it's not like you are going to let us live if we miss your birthday. So yeah...we will be there. Now get lost. I have an office to report to."
He had just cut the call when the doorbell rang. Oh, that must be the mail from the head office. He had especially told the postman to deliver it directly to him since they were very important documents.
When he opened the door, a brown envelope was lying on the floor and no sign of the postman.
The guy must be in a hurry.
Mark sat on the dining table, tearing open the envelope and turning it upside down to empty its contents on the table.
To his surprise, it didn't contain the office documents he had been anticipating. It was what looked like the back side of a photograph and a folded piece of paper. He grabbed the envelope and looked at the name of the recipient. Oh, it was for Jinyoung. He smiled at his foolishness and was about to put things back in the envelope when the single sentence in black ink, at the back of the photograph caught his eye.
"Do you remember this?"
Mark sat there frozen as if all the ice in the world had been poured on him. It wasn't the words. It wasn't the picture too, since he hadn't even seen it yet. It was the handwriting. Twisted and crooked letters. He vividly remember calling it 'ants crawling on the paper' all those years back.
Only Mark knew how he had willed himself to turn the picture over.
All his fears came true. A picture of two teenage boys, arms around each other, smiling happily at the camera. Of course he remembered it. He was the one who took that photo 9 years ago. With trembling hands he unfolded the white paper. The same hand-writing welcomed him.
How are you doing? I'm sure you will be fine. People like you have so much positivity in them that they always find a way to be happy no matter what the life throws at them. You must be surprised that I decided to contact all of a sudden...well, it is not sudden for me. I've been thinking about you for some time now. For years to be exact. In fact, I never stopped thinking about you since the moment I stepped onto that plane. It's not that I'm unhappy. But...you have been a part of every single thing I have ever done in my life. Suddenly not having you at all killed something inside me. I thought I would get used to it. But I still haven't....Five years have passed and I still haven't. Few days ago I was going through my old albums and this picture....it didn't let me sleep for days, Jinyoung. The emptiness, the hollowness inside me increased so much that I knew if I didn't share it with anyone I would die. And I couldn't think of anyone else other than you....
Arghhhh.... enough of me being a pathetic loser. What about you? And the guys? Is Jackson still his crazy, loud self? Do BamBam and Yugyeom still annoy you? And Mark....
Mark's fists clenched at this part.
"Does he treat you well? I heard about you two, though I couldn't understand your decision. I always thought that you two didn't match well together but you never agreed. Jinyoung...I miss you...I really, really miss you. And I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry..."
The letter ended without any name or signature. Not that Mark needed it anyways. He crumpled the paper in his hands. There was no way he was ever going to let Jinyoung see this. He got up as if in a trance, took the photograph, letter and the envelope to the sink and set them on fire before letting the water wash it away down the drain.
As the shock faded it was immediately replaced with sheer anger and resentment. Who did he think he was? Who the ing hell was he to judge his and Jinyoung's relationship? Jinyoung was Mark’s. Only Mark’s. No one in the world was allowed to think about him or miss him or anything....not even his jerk ex. There was no address of the sender on the envelope or Mark would have gone there himself and punched the daylights out of him. He absolutely, absolutely wasn't allowing anyone else to intrude in his paradise. Never.
The day didn't improve for Mark. As adamant as he was on not letting the letter from his husband's ex affect him in any way, unfortunately it wasn't as easy. Weird doubts and fears started rising in his head. Maybe love does that to you. The ecstasy of being with the person you love is always accompanied with the fear of losing them. Jinyoung was his most prized treasure. Even the thought of him taken away from him constricted his airways.
His head was splitting with migraine and all the works were going wrong. The sketch of the tower he was supposed to send to the editing department was mistakenly sent to the marketing team. He was one of the most renowned architects in the area and competency was expected of him. He was considering going home early when his phone rang. It was Yugyeom.
"Yeah, Gyeom?" He said resting his head against the chair and massaging his temples.
"Mark. Jinyoung...." Yugyeom's muffled voice came from the other end.
Mark opened his eyes in panic. "What about Jinyoung? What happened to Jinyoung?"
"I don't know. He was standing alright one second and then the next second he was falling. We are taking him to the emergency."
Mark's heart sank. Jinyoung was sick and so far away from him. What was he going to do?
"I'm coming right now. Stay with him Yugyeom." He gathered his things hastily from the table and ran outside. "Please." He pleaded.
"You don't have to say that. Of course I’m here with him. But there isn't any flight available to Vegas for today. Just stay there. I'll take care of him."
"No, no, no. I'll drive. I will be there in 3 to 4 hours. Keep me updated all the time."
He cut the call and ran for his car. That jerk had just re-entered their lives and things had already started going downhill.
He slowly opened his eyes. A few seconds passed till he was able to focus his vision. The room he was in was brightly lit. Most probably a hospital. He turned his head to the left and found Yugyeom standing by the bedside looking through what looked like boxes of medicine. Slowly his brain started waking up.
The food in plane was absolutely trash and he had refused to eat it. Then in the office things got hectic right from the start, and the foolish him forgot to eat at all, also forgetting the fact that he had taken his insulin in the plane and without eating anything he would go into hypoglycemia. Which apparently he did by the midday.
There were red stains on the collar of his shirt. He had hit his head on the glass table when he fell.
Oh God, Mark was going to be so mad at him. He groaned.
Yugyeom turned to him right away. "Jinyoung, are you awake? How are you feeling?"
"How long have I been unconscious?" Jinyoung asked tiredly with his eyes closed. He was feeling okay except for the pain in his wound and a little weakness.
"6 hours, more or less." Jinyoung opened his eyes at the unexpected voice that answered his question.
"Bam? What are you doing here?"
"Drove Mark here. Couldn't let him drive in that state or he would have been admitted in the room beside yours."
Jinyoung sat up startled. "Mark is here? Oh my god, Yugyeom why did you have to tell him? He is going to be so angry." The poor guy was panicking.
"He IS very angry, to correct you. Shouted at me in front of the whole hospital for not taking care of you." Yugyeom pouted. "And anyways, it wouldn't be anything you don't deserve. Are you five, Park Jinyoung? You care for everyone in the world except yourself." He chided him.
"No. He doesn't care for us too. Or he wouldn't give us death scares every couple of months." BamBam joined the youngest in scolding him.
Jinyoung jutted his lower lip. He knew this worked on everyone. "I'm already scared of Mark. Can you guys please go easy on me?" He whined.
Before they could answer, the door opened. Mark stood there in his disheveled state, shirt untucked, sleeves folded to the elbows, red eyes, messy hair... a guilt gripped Jinyoung's heart.
Mark's eyes softened in relief on seeing Jinyoung awake and sitting up but then within seconds they became cold and angry.
Jinyoung quickly held Yugyeom's arm, who was standing beside him, and hid his face in younger's side like a kid. "Save me please..." He whispered to him.
"Ah...." Yugyeom racked his brain for some reasonable excuse for this 27 year old baby's irresponsibility. "Mark. Actually the food in the plane was really bad. Really, really bad. I couldn't eat it too. Nobody ate that in fact. Yeah....yeah..."
Mark paid no attention to his animated speech and folded his arms in front of his chest. "Can you guys please go and get the doctor?" He asked the younger two.
Both of them ran as if they were being held inside by force.
Mark completely ignored him and went to sit on the couch, taking his phone out and swiping on it idly. Jinyoung braced himself and cleared his throat to get his attention. Obviously he was denied.
He tried again. Another failure.
The third time he tried, Mark turned towards the door and called out. "Bam, ask the nurse to bring along a cough syrup."
Jinyoung pouted. "My body is short on sugar. You are supposed to be sweet to me so I can get better quickly."
Jinyoung didn't know if he was hallucinating but he saw a very faint upturn of Mark's lips. Oh here comes the first victory. His heart celebrated.
"We are seeing each other after 10 hours. I don't get a kiss?" He asked with round, puppy eyes. “Not even a hug?”
Mark sighed and got up, pocketing his phone. He sat by Jinyoung and looked at him with soft eyes.
“You do stupid and then don’t even let me get angry. That’s not fair.” He said, cupping Jinyoung’s face in his hands and pecking his nose.
“I’m sorry, hyung.” Jinyoung held his wrists.
“I was so scared. You were so far away from me. I didn’t know what to do. And when I looked at you…head bandaged and shirt drenched in blood… I was so, so scared.”
Jinyoung wrapped his arms around his husband and pulled him in for a hug, patting his back consolingly.
The frustration of that letter in the morning, head-splitting migraine, Jinyoung’s health….everything resulted in the opening of floodgates. Mark cried bitterly in younger’s arms, letting everything out.
“I’m so sorry. I should have been careful. Please don’t cry, hyung.” Jinyoung was whispering in his ear.
He was discharged after a few hours of monitoring. On the way back, he called Jackson and apologized for spoiling his birthday. Jackson, of course, was only mad at him for his carelessness about his health and told him that he would come visit him in his office tomorrow.
Jinyoung hadn’t agreed to take a day off despite Mark’s pleads, so Mark made sure he bugged the younger every half an hour by texting. He himself was about to leave for office when the doorbell rang. His eyes instinctively went to the clock. 9:50 am. Almost the same time the package had arrived yesterday. With a wildly beating heart he opened the door. And for sure there lied a package on the doorstep, For Park Jinyoung, written on the upper right corner with no sign of the sender’s address.
What the heck? Was this going to be an everyday thing now?
He came inside and ripped the packaging open. Today there wasn’t a picture inside but instead a small velvet box. Inside the box lay a silver pendant with a JJ dangling from it.
Mark looked at the jewelry in disbelief. So now that jerk was going to send such cringe-y gifts to someone else’s husband?
He opened the accompanying letter in fury.
Dear Jinyoung, (He hadn’t cut the ‘dear’ today.)
Last month, I was sent to Turkey for a week by the office. I thought of you there all the time. You know how the first thought that came to my mind whenever I saw good scenery or ate something delicious was to share it with you. Looks like that habit still hasn’t changed. In a souvenir shop I found this pendent. And I knew I had to get it for you. I hope you will like it. Oh god, how much I wish we could go back to the old times. I really wanted to ask you something. Do you believe in forgiveness, Jinyoung? I hope your answer is yes.
Just like the last day, today’s letter ended without a signature too. Just what the heck was he thinking sending these weird nothings out of nowhere? What was his motive? There was no address or even the name of the courier company which had been delivering these packages or he would have gotten the idea where they were coming from. The last letter mentioned something about plane, which meant he had left LA back then. But was he back now?
He looked dumbly at the gift lying on the table. He couldn’t burn it like the photograph. And he didn’t want to either. He wanted to reach him through his gifts. He packed the things back in the envelope and placed them safely in the farthest cabin in the kitchen, where he was sure Jinyoung would never look.
Driving to the office, one question was stuck in his mind like glue. Did Jinyoung believe in forgiveness?
When he returned home that evening, he found Jinyoung lying on the couch fast asleep, TV running at full volume in front of him but of course he didn’t care.
Mark looked at his ethereal face which looked even more innocent while sleeping. He smiled gently as he leaned down to kiss his forehead. All the tension and restlessness dissipating out of him in seconds. Really, he was such a fool for worrying the whole day. There was no need for it when Jinyoung loved him and he loved Jinyoung. No third party mattered at all.
With a lighter heart, he changed and tucked Jinyoung in a blanket before heading to the kitchen.
Today was his turn to make dinner.
He was setting the table, when two arms engulfed him from behind. He smiled as he felt Jinyoung hiding his face in his shoulder.
“When did you come back?” The younger asked in a muddled voice. It was endearing that no matter if he took a nap for 30 minutes or 8 hours, he was always so muddled up after waking up.
Mark turned around in his arms to face him properly. “About half an hour ago. Was about to wake you up for dinner.” Mark flattened his hair and leaned in to kiss him. “C’mon let’s eat so this pretty, little head of yours can reboot.” He made him sit on the chair and sat beside him.
Jinyoung took the first bite of the pasta and swooned. “Wow, you make the best pasta in the world, Mark.”
Mark laughed. “I’m flattered sir.”
“How was your day?”
For a second, Mark considered telling him about the gifts but then stopped. He cleared his throat to compose himself. “It was fine. Just the usual. The company has approved my sketch of the Avalon tower. We are really hopeful we will get selected for the final project.”
“Really?” Jinyoung clapped his hands cutely and threw his arms around Mark for a quick hug. “As expected of my superstar husband.”
Mark chuckled. “Superstar what?”
“No really, you are a super star. My superstar at least.”
“That’s all I really want.”
“You are such a great architect, hyung. How about you make something for me?” He stopped to eat before continuing. “Like how kings used to make things for their beloveds. Something like Taj Mahal.” His eyes shone brightly in excitement.
“Taj Mahal is a tomb, made by the emperor in remembrance of his queen. After she died.” Mark emphasized on died.
“Just promise that you will make one for me, I swear I’ll die tomorrow.” “Shut up. Don’t talk nonsense.” Mark scolded him.
“Yes sir.” He took a sip of water. “My day was the least productive ever. Jackson Wang decided that since he can bunk work whenever he wants, everyone else can too. Didn’t let me work even a bit.” He whined.
“Perks of being a ceo. At least no one is going to question you. So just chill babe.”
“Whatever. Anyways he says he is going to reschedule his birthday hangout for Saturday. I might not be able to go yet again. Joey wants me to meet some artist friend of his.”
“Jackson will be so pleased to know that you rejected him in favor of Joey.” Mark teased.
“I know you will take care of him for me.” Jinyoung sing-songed.
They were almost done with the dinner, when something clicked in Mark’s mind. He looked at Jinyoung.
“Jin, do you…do you believe in forgiveness?” He tried his best to sound as nonchalant as possible.
“Oh my god, what have you done Mark? Wait wait wait…don’t tell me you have drunk-slept with someone?” Jinyoung’s eyes widened animatedly.
Mark hit his ankle with his foot under the table. Did he really expect Park Jinyoung to take that question seriously?!
“For the nth time tonight, shut up darling. I’m asking just a general question. Like if someone does something bad to you, really bad…life changing-ly bad and then one day they realize their mistake and come back to apologize…do you think they deserve this chance at redemption?”
“Ummmm….” Jinyoung thought while taking the last bite of pasta from his plate. “I think every human deserves a chance at redemption. So if I was in that scenario, I would definitely forgive them if I felt like their apology was genuine. We are all humans after all. And humans do make mistakes.”
This answer shouldn’t have constricted his chest like it did. It was a very Jinyoung like answer after all. What else would you expect from this angel of a human being? But Mark didn’t like it. He didn’t like the answer at all.
“Thanks for the dinner hyung.” Jinyoung was already up. He kissed his temple before taking the dishes to the sink. “Go, select what movie to watch tonight. I’ll do the dishes and bring us coffee.”
Mark nodded and smiled softly. That smile definitely didn’t reach his eyes.
The next day Mark didn’t let the package surprise him. Instead he was already waiting outside the door, when the delivery boy came. Apparently this was some new business, where people could send anonymous mail to people via some company. The payment was online so even the company wouldn’t find out who the secret sender was. With a heavy heart he brought the package inside. His instincts were telling him not to open it and just throw it away but curiosity got the better of him.
There was a silver silk tie in the package today. Not just any tie, but from a very renowned and expensive designer. The accompanying letter was short.
“Silver always looked so cool on you. I am sure it still does. I miss the times when you wouldn’t be able to pull a proper knot and I would do it for you. How I hope that we can go back to the old times.”
Mark scoffed as he crumbled the letter in his hand. What a liar! It was Mark who had been knotting ties for Jinyoung since forever. At least from the day the two of them met. They were roommates after all. It made sense. The few number of times the jerk ex had done it before that, didn’t even count. He thought begrudgingly.
Furiously he grabbed the tie and letter and threw it in the same kitchen cabinet. Suddenly a thought came to his mind. If ever Jinyoung was given a choice to choose again, who would he go with? His ex whom he loved so much that…that he tried to take his own life for him…or Mark, who was maybe just a replacement.
Deep down, a quieter, wiser voice was telling him that these were his insecurities speaking and it was unfair to Jinyoung to think like that. But he opted to listen to the louder, more stupid voices.
They had never, not even once in five years, talked about what had happened back then. What if that meant that Jinyoung was still not over him? The thought terrified Mark. He quickly got up, shook his head of all the things he absolutely didn’t want to think and headed for office.
That night, when they lay side by side, basking in their post glow, Mark kept looking at Jinyoung for minutes on end, not even blinking much. Jinyoung was just as much beautiful and Mark was just as much in love.
“Sing something for me, Jin. It’s been days since I heard your singing voice. I miss it.”
“What song? Any requests?” Jinyoung pecked his chin.
“Anything that you really, really mean. That tells me how much you love me.” He tried his best to keep the underlying fears out of his voice.
Jinyoung cleared his throat and started singing in his mellow, honey voice, softly caressing Mark’s with his fingers.
We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til January
And this is our place, we make the rules
And there's a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear
Have I known you twenty seconds or twenty years?
Mark could feel his eyes tearing up but he didn’t let go of the eye contact.
Jinyoung ended with a smile and leaned in for a long kiss. Mark kissed back with all the passion in the world. Once they separated, Mark turned around so that his back was facing Jinyoung. Tonight he wanted to be held.
“Hold me, Jin.” Jinyoung obeyed within seconds, wrapping his arms around Mark and entangling their legs.
“Don’t ever let me go. No matter what happens, promise me you will never let me go.” “I promise.” Jinyoung whispered and sealed his promise with a kiss on his shoulder.
It was a warm Saturday morning. Jinyoung had already left with Mark’s younger brother, Joey, for whatever appointment they had. Mark loved it how Joey kind of connected more with Jinyoung than him, because of their mutual interest in art. It warmed his heart how well Jinyoung had fit in his family, since the younger didn’t have one of his own.
He was supposed to meet Jackson, Bam and Yugyeom too. But first he wanted to make sure that nothing came in at 9:50 clock today. After three consecutive days, he was spared of opening gifts from his husband’s ex for Thursday and Friday. His paranoia was decreasing and he hoped that that person had whatever the fun he wanted and now he would leave them alone.
But apparently he was wrong, since the doorbell rang exactly at 9:50 once again. Tiredly he got up and brought the package inside.
It was another small velvet box. Inside was a silver ring. Mark recognized it. This ring, Jinyoung’s old engagement ring to be exact, had given Mark worst nightmares for months before one day the ex had come and quietly taken it off the younger’s finger. What was the purpose of sending it back?
To answer his question, there lay a white paper inside the box with a single line written on it.
Let’s go back to the old days.
Mark felt blood freezing in his veins. With trembling feet he went to the kitchen and brought out the two previous packages that he had hidden there. He arranged the three letters in order on the table. The evolution of the final sentence in each letter exposed the motive of these gifts as bright as the daylight.
-I wish we could go back to the old days.
-I hope we can go back to the old days.
-Let’s go back to the old days.
With shaking hands, he threw all the gifts in a paper bag and ran outside. He couldn’t handle it alone anymore. He needed help.
The three of them looked at things placed on the center table, dumb-founded. Jackson was the first one to find his voice.
“What the hell is this Mark?”
Mark raised his damp eyes to look at him. “Five years. It took me five years to create this Paradise of mine. Now he has come back to snatch it away from me.”
“Who?” BamBam hoped against hope that the answer wasn’t what was so obvious. Well his hope got crushed, as Mark whispered in a pained tone.