CHAPTER 19 - CLOSET

Then Came You

 

 

 

 

Baekhyun was standing on the balls of his feet, rocking himself back and forth, and waiting for Tao to pick him up in front of KSE. He was quite eager to come home so he could prepare himself better for tonight--when he would tell Chanyeol everything. The thought alone already was filling him with nerves, twisting his insides and making his stomach hurt. There were a lot of things that could go wrong.

How would Chanyeol react if he found out that his boyfriend was drowning in debt? That Baekhyun's family had dealt with people like the Wu's? Would the knowledge push Chanyeol away? Baekhyun was scared for he didn't want to lose him. He was holding on to the fact that the potato said he loved Baekhyun, time and again. But that was before Chanyeol knew about his background.

Baekhyun started to fidget with the hem of his shirt, hands getting unsteady the longer he thought of what might happen tonight. He didn't know how long it would take Chanyeol to finish his meeting later and the idea of waiting for him in the apartment with nothing to accompany him but his thoughts was making him more apprehensive.

Just then, he stumbled upon the perfect distraction. Baekhyun took out his phone and messaged Tao. He told him he'd be a little late and asked if Chanyeol's assistant could wait for him by the office gates. He decided to cook for Chanyeol while he waited for him. Something simple. There was no time to get groceries but there was a convenience store just a block from KSE where he could probably get the necessary ingredients for tonight's dinner.

The short walk would also help him release the tension that had his body in a tight grip, he thought. Baekhyun set out with determined strides, thinking of what to cook. He'd make kimchi soup, he mused, since that was easy to prepare. He turned a corner. What else could he make for Chanyeol?

He was so into thinking of planning their dinner that he didn't immediately notice the red car parked a few meters ahead of him. That could have warned him about the shocking scene that was unfolding right before his very eyes.

Tao was being backed into his car by a blonde guy. The man was a little bit taller, yes, but Baekhyun was surprised that the bodyguard was letting the other corner him because the stranger didn't look particularly strong. Should he shout for help?

Baekhyun quickly walked nearer, still rattled, but determined to help his friend if he was in danger. A few steps further and he stopped, now clearly hearing what the two taller men were conversing about.


 

" it, you did all of those but I still want you. Goddamn it, I like you. So tell me if you want me or not or whatever. Just don't--"

"Excuse me. May I remind you that you were the one who disappeared? No calls. No messages. Nothing!"


 

This was Tao's lover? He looks a bit familiar, he thought. Further into the conversation, Baekhyun felt himself blush for surely he was invading a private moment.


 

"You were waiting for me to call? But the note--"

"What was so bad about that note anyway? I told you to lock the door. Or is Kris Wu too high up in his horses to even contemplate touching a doorknob?"


 

He moved to turn back but froze again at the mention of a name. Kris Wu. Kris Wu? His eyes went to study the blonde guy's face. Kris Wu. He suddenly felt cold. A vague memory flitted across his mind. A young man--tall, blonde, intimidating--stormed out of President Wu's office. Baekhyun was sitting on the couch at the reception waiting for an audience with the company owner when he saw him. He remembered the angry strides and a brief meeting of their eyes as Baekhyun stood up in surprise. "Come back here, Kris!" the old president had called out angrily.

Kris Wu, the heir of Wu Enterprise.

It was just a coincidence. Surely, this was just a coincidence, Baekhyun tried to tell himself. This had nothing to do with him.


 

"I really like you. I want to see you every day and not just when you give me your boss’ money to pay Byun Baekhyun's debt. I want to be with you."


 

He could feel everything crumbling around him. No. That was impossible. Chanyeol didn't know. Nobody knew about anything. Because--just no.

But no matter how hard he tried to, he knew it was futile to deny it. Chanyeol knew about his past but he didn't tell Baekhyun. Not only that, he was paying for Baekhyun's debts behind his back. What else were they keeping from him?

Tao turned and saw him. Baekhyun noticed the expression of guilt that settled on his friend's features as he stared at the taller guy, confirming what he just heard. He didn't know what was happening. Baekhyun was paralyzed, scared what all of this meant.

“Baekhyun?" Tao asked, hesitantly.

He was so confused. He wanted to just hide in a corner, close his eyes and cover his ears. Stop the spinning inside his head. He felt so cold and so alone. Chanyeol. He had to see Chanyeol. Potato-ahjussi could make everything okay.

"I'd like to--Please take me home," he pleaded.

He could feel Tao wanted to say something, however, Baekhyun couldn't find it in himself to talk yet. He could barely keep himself together. He couldn't breathe. If he started to speak, he wouldn't be able to stop and Baekhyun was afraid he'd break down completely.

The city outside the car window was a blur of tall buildings and twinkling lights against the sunset, a sad reflection of the struggle going on inside of him. Questions of when, how and why tossed and turned in his head, making him forget things he should have remembered and remember things that were best forgotten.

Recollections of people turning their backs on him filled his thoughts. People he trusted and cherished who readily cut all ties with him at the first sign of scandal. What hurt more were the pitying looks they gave before they all disappeared from his life. He could have lived with their scorn and the desertion but no, never their pity.

Baekhyun had once had a very happy life but then he woke up one day to a house ringing with emptiness and a heart left out in the cold. He thought he had escaped it, that he already outran sadness when Park Chanyeol said he loved Byun Baekhyun. So he didn't understand. What was this ache that was starting to claw at his chest?

Soon, he was pulled from his distressing thoughts when he felt the car stop in front of the apartment building. Baekhyun saw Tao open his mouth to speak again but he beat him to it. He quickly thanked the younger guy and got out before his friend could get in another word. He knew that he could get answers from Tao but not the one he really needed right now.

Only Chanyeol could give him that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ticking of the wall clock seemed so loud in the silence of the living room. It had been three hours since he got here. Three hours of torturing himself with questions of why, why, why.Baekhyun sat waiting on the couch, trying to find comfort from the thought that Chanyeol would be here soon and would end this confusion that made him feel so helpless.

Why, Chanyeol? Why didn't you tell me?

Baekhyun ran his hand through his hair in anxiety. Chanyeol must have had a perfectly good explanation. He couldn't believe his boyfriend would keep something as important as this from him without a legitimate reason. He hugged his knees to his chest and tried to collect himself. Chanyeol... He loves me, right?  He'd hold on to that.

There was a throbbing in his temple and he was exhausted from stopping himself to think. Thinking made him doubt, made him feel insecure.

Come home soon, Chanyeol. I need you.

Baekhyun continued to wait. He hummed to Kyungsoo's songs, choosing the happier tunes to help him keep the troubling thoughts at bay. Dozens of melodies later, he heard the door to the apartment open, making him jump from his seat. He immediately walked towards Chanyeol but stopped in the middle of the living room. He caught a glimpse of the man he loved and Baekhyun was inexplicably seized with panic.

For it could all be true. All the ugly doubts that he refused to entertain since he heard Tao and Kris Wu's conversation all came rushing to the surface. His feet wouldn't take another step. Why now? Why when Chanyeol was finally here to make everything better?

Because, his treacherous mind whispered, he could also make everything worse.

No, Chanyeol would answer all the questions he had. He'd make all sense of this. He'd tell Beakhyun the truth. Didn't he say he had something to tell Baekhyun tonight?

Then suddenly he was enveloped into Chanyeol's strong arms, pressed into his warm chest and Baekhyun wanted to cry because the first thing he thought of was, this hug, was this a lie?

He closed his eyes tightly. He wanted so much to hug him back and lose himself in Chanyeol but his limbs wouldn't move. Baekhyun felt the taller man's lips brush against his but he remained unresponsive. With an effort, Baekhyun pulled away from the embrace and turned his back on Chanyeol. "There was something you wanted to tell me, right?"

In that short second after the words left his mouth, Baekhyun had the urge to laugh at the irony of it all. It was supposed to be him making confessions here and not the other way around. But as quick as the impulse came, it was gone just as fast, leaving him feeling empty.

Chanyeol's large hand held on to his smaller one. He could feel Chanyeol's palm sweat and tremble slightly. Reflexively, Baekhyun's hand clenched, wanting to comfort the younger but how could he offer it when he needed reassurance himself? Instead, he told himself to wait for Chanyeol to tell him the truth.

The taller guy led him to the door of his home office. Baekhyun had never been inside, it used to be one of the places off limits to him. He saw Chanyeol keying in the lock combination and his heart contracted painfully at the sight of the small smile lurking at Chanyeol's lips. He wanted to kiss it, feel it against his mouth.

Chanyeol, why did you keep it from me? Why didn't you tell me?

The door opened and they were inside. Baekhyun wasn't expecting the room to look like this. This was what was missing--what he was looking for when Chanyeol showed him his bedroom at the mansion. Inside was Chanyeol's life in a four-cornered palette. The bright yellows of his childhood, the deep reds of his adolescence, the cool blues of his adulthood. Baekhyun wanted to know each one, know the colors that made up Chanyeol. But right now his own life was a bleak shade of gray and he couldn't get past the feeling it would turn dead black all too soon.

Chanyeol, make it all better.

"You were surprised weren't you?" he heard Chanyeol laugh awkwardly beside him.

Chanyeol, tell me.

"Um, yeah. It's nothing much but--look!" Chanyeol let go of his hand and went to pick up a guitar from a corner. "This was the guitar I got from guilt tripping my father."

Just tell me why.

Chanyeol continued to speak but it wasn't about the debt. It wasn't about him or about them. It was about a plushie that Baekhyun understood was important to Chanyeol but couldn't Chanyeol see he was falling apart? All the doubts he had came back to rip the wounds of his past open.

Was it too insignificant for you that you couldn't even find the time to tell me?

Am I too insignificant for you?

What am I to you?

His eyes burned. His nails dug into his palms as he clutched them tighter. There was only one person who could ease the hurt but what was he to do when that person was the very reason for this heartache? It was too much, he couldn't breathe. He couldn't. He felt betrayed. Lied to. Fooled.

"Baekhyun, is there something wrong?"

Everything's wrong, Chanyeol.

He shied away from the pain. And maybe his greatest mistake was to resort to anger. But Baekhyun couldn't help it. For he knew he could handle anger. He would survive anger.

"When were you planning to tell me?" Baekhyun asked. "Were you even planning to tell me?"

He saw Chanyeol's eyes widen in surprise. "Baekhyun--"

Chanyeol, help me.

"How long have you known?" he asked instead. The tears started to fall, they were bottled up inside for too long.

"Listen to me. I--" Chanyeol pleaded.

But Baekhyun was too far gone to listen. "How could you?" he cried. "Was I that pitiful?"

"No, you weren't," Chanyeol answered.

Baekhyun could see the pitying glances again. Poor orphan Byun Baekhyun, they said while they shook their heads. He felt the world turn its back on him once more. "Poor orphan Byun Baekhyun. No money and no clothes and no one to take care of him. Poor orphan Byun Baekhyun."

"Baekhyun, it's not like that--"

Isn't it, Chanyeol?

"I was going to get my family's honor back. It wasn't just a debt! Do you know how it feels for everyone to turn away from you and hear everybody say bad things about the people you loved the most? My parents were the most wonderful parents in the world! They loved me. They were the only ones who truly loved me."

He couldn't trust anyone. Didn't he learn anything?

"I love you, Baekhyun."

Make this stop. Please, make everything stop.

But they didn't. He flinched away when Chanyeol tried to reach for him. "No, you don't. If you truly did then you would've told me that you knew about my past. You would've let me pay my own debt. You would have left me even a small piece of my pride." Baekhyun hid his face in his hands. "If you truly loved me then you would've trusted me to do this on my own."

"Baekhyun, I just wanted to help."

Help me now.

"This was my fight. Mine. You had no right, Chanyeol."

Mine. Mine. Because you're mine.

He felt another crack in his heart. "Mine... That night, when you told me I was yours... You knew by then didn't you?" Baekhyun laughed, the sound not one bit amused. "I literally am yours now, aren't I? How much did you pay for me?"

"Baekhyun, stop it. It's not--"

"You stop, too." It's for the best, isn't it?"Stop. We both stop."

He turned to get away.

"Don't do this please," Chanyeol grabbed his wrist tightly, almost painfully however, Baekhyun was already turning numb. "Don't do this to us."

I'm sorry. I can't.

"I don't know anything anymore."

"You promised," he heard Chanyeol say behind him. "You promised me that as long as I don't let go, you wouldn't either. I'm never letting go, Baekhyun."

That almost made him fall down and pray that everything was just dream, a very bad dream.

This morning I thought we were going to last forever.

Baekhyun paused and said words he didn't really mean. "Maybe you should."

He returned to walking away, running away. That was what Baekhyun was good at anyway. Now that I hurt you, too. Will you still run after me?

"No, I love you too much. I know you need time. If you want to go, you can. Just know that I'll be here. I'm not going anywhere, Baekhyun."

Chanyeol.

Then he was out of the apartment, strides becoming longer and faster as the distance grew. The closing of the door echoed in his ears. It seemed so final. Baekhyun broke out into a full run--terrified, confused, heartbroken--his feet taking him to the only other place he could call home.

 

 

 

 

 

It was the first time in a long time that Baekhyun saw no hired goon manning the front of his house. He felt relief, a dash of happiness, and a pang of loss at what that meant. He walked to the gate and stuck his hand inside the mail slot to feel for the house key hidden there. He remembered discreetly sticking it inside, just below the slot, the first time he noticed Wu's men following him. That seemed ages ago.

Baekhyun had no trouble going inside. To think that he missed this place so much, he should have been eager to enter the house. But his footsteps against the brick walkway were curiously careful and unhurried. It was like going home after his parents' funeral all over again.

Baekhyun was hit with nostalgia as soon as he the lights. Everything was all so familiar. The hallway, the short path to the living room to the right, the corridors leading to the kitchen and the stairs to his left leading up to their rooms. Baekhyun placed his palm against the cream colored wallpaper lining the hallway, feeling the hard stone wall beneath it. It seemed so forbidding. The security he expected to feel from coming home didn't reach deep and he still felt so alone. He'd been living alone for the past three years in the very same house but why did being there again make him feel lonelier?

He walked further inside, up the stairs until he was in front of his room. The red door was slightly ajar, just as he had left it three months ago. Inside was the same, too. The bed was still half done. Although dusty, the furniture was still where they had always been.

He walked towards a wide chest of drawers against the far wall. On top of the polished wood were pictures, thirty-seven frames which captured the most important moments of Baekhyun's life. An 11-month-old Baekhyun grinning to show his first tooth, a chubby twelve year old him in red hapkido uniform, a not much younger version of Baekhyun with a bunch of classmates, holding a bouquet of flowers and a high school diploma.

Byun Baekhyun where are you now? He didn't even have a good answer to that.

More memories assaulted him as he looked around. His parents' photograph was still in its place on his bedside table. Baekhyun let out a small sob as he went to pick it up. He sat on the bed and hugged it closely against his chest, unmindful of the wooden frame digging into his flesh. He was instantly filled with grief and undeniable guilt. "I'm sorry, eomma, appa. I'm so sorry," he cried. "I'm sorry."

Baekhyun broke down completely, unmindful now of how loud his sobs were. He cried and cried until his eyes were completely swollen, until his throat hurt. He cried because he failed his parents. He was supposed to bring back the honor they lost after the scandal. He was their only son—Byun Baekhyun, the only one left to carry their family name. He was supposed to prove to everyone that the Byuns weren't made to be pitied. They didn't deserve to be remembered with shame and scorn. That his parents were the most hardworking people who deserved respect and recognition.

But he lost focus. Baekhyun got distracted by a pair of big, beautiful eyes and a heart stopping smile. He began to trust people again even when he had learned long ago that people would just lie to you. They would tell you that they were there for you only to bail out immediately and leave you behind the first chance they got. He cried because he was a fool not only to give his trust but his whole heart.

It was fine when he knew it was just a one-sided love. He still got to keep the most important part of himself. But then Chanyeol had to go and get him to believe that he loved Baekhyun, too. He sneaked through Baekhyun's defenses and buried his insecurities under dreams of a happy ending--one he didn't have to work so hard for, one he'd get if he just let himself be swept off his feet.

He fell for it--hook, line and sinker. Baekhyun forgot what he was working for and what he had to do. And to top it all off, when he was waiting for Chanyeol to tell him the truth, what he was concerned most wasn't of him lying about the debt but of Chanyeol lying about being in love with Baekhyun.

The flimsy protection from pain that his anger provided now dissolved under the onslaught of desperate tears. For even after everything, he still wanted to go back to Chanyeol's embrace. Thinking of him hurt Baekhyun more until it was almost unbearable. He stood up and blindly made his way to his parents' closet where he'd be safe from all the heartache and disillusion.

He stumbled into his parents' room, vision blurry, but his body instinctively knowing where to turn and where to walk until he was inside the large closet. Baekhyun sat down in the midst of the different clothes, welcoming the musky smell of old fabric and wood. He curled into himself and waited for the pain to subside, for the relief the closet had always given him to set in.

It took some time but the sobs finally quieted. The tears dried to form two melancholy tracks down his cheeks. Baekhyun sat staring into space and wondered why there was still that dull ache filling his chest. He was supposed to be comforted. He was supposed to feel better. He placed his hand below his left collarbone and felt for the place where his heart was. Why are you still crying?

As if to answer his question, his mind chose that moment to play that memory in full color.

 

"My name's ByunBaekhyun. You are Park Chanyeol. And I'm going to live with you."

"What?"

"I said I'm going to live with you."

"And why would I let someone I don't even know move in with me?"

"Because I gave you my first kiss."

"I didn't ask for it!"

 

Chanyeol looked so incredulous that night that Baekhyun didn’t expect him to say, "I'll let you stay for the night." But he did. He let Baekhyun stay for more than just one night even. Chanyeol let him in his house and in his life, even against his will.

But he made me forget what I had to do.

 

"I said quit. I don't want you to work there."

 

I mean nothing to him.

 

"Now I run to the only place left to escape from you and you're there, too. Can you just leave me alone for one second and let me breathe!?"

 

He lied to me.

 

"I'm in love with Kyungsoo."

 

So why, why are you still crying over him? he asked his heart. Yet even before Baekhyun could think of other things that he should hate about Chanyeol, more memories came rushing back in droves to drown out everything else. They shouldn't affect him this way because again and again Chanyeol hurt Baekhyun.

But he made me remember that I wasn't alone.

 

"If ever you're in trouble call Zitao, he's the best. I don't like being second in anything but after him, call me."

 

He also made me feel I was important.

 

"Do you want me to lose sleep and get sick with worrying where you are, if you've eaten or if you're even safe? Do you want me to go crazy?"

 

He told me he loved me.

 

"I thought my life was perfect but then came you and now…  I don't care even if it isn't. Because I'm with you and that's all that ever really matters--"

 

It didn't stop there. Recollections of Chanyeol just rolling his eyes at Baekhyun no matter what prank he played. Agreeing for him to drive Joey even though he never let anyone else do.Their unexpected outing in the park where Chanyeol gave him the most special cup of instant noodles. Walking hand in hand and that kiss in the rain. Asking and wanting to be Baekhyun’s potato again.

But he took away what little pride I have earned for myself, he thought in a desperate attempt to remember why he was angry at Chanyeol. Although it was no use, for along with his mind, his heart was already rooting for Chanyeol. He did. but he also took away your burden and made it his.

 

"Chanyeol, why?"

"Because you're mine."

 

In the stillness of the closet and the aftermath of their shared memories, it seemed to mean so differently. He recalled Chanyeol's tight embrace as he said those words. And something clutched at Baekhyun's chest because he realized he might be wrong. Maybe Chanyeol did mean something else when he told Baekhyun that. Maybe Chanyeol really did believe that he loved Baekhyun.

Well, Byun Baekhyun, how stupid can you get? I wouldn't be surprised if Chanyeol wouldn't take you back. That thought pushed Baekhyun to his feet. He had to go back right now. He had to explain and had to give Chanyeol the chance to do the same. He messed up so bad. He still wasn't sure about anything but he had to make this right.

Baekhyun got out of the closet. As he closed the door, one last memory hit him.

 

"I changed my mind. You still can't go into my closet. When you're lonely, don't go in there. Come to me... And I'll try to make you happy, okay?"

 

He finally understood. Comfort wasn't to be found inside that enclosed space anymore because Chanyeol had already become his closet. There was nowhere else where he felt safer than in Chanyeol's arms. Even after everything, there was nowhere else he would rather be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He knew the lock combination by heart but Baekhyun hesitated to press the numbers that would open the door and take away one more piece of barrier between him and Chanyeol. Chanyeol told him he would never let go and that he would wait for him but after the way Baekhyun left, if he was Chanyeol he'd hate himself, too.

His finger hovered above the doorbell. It was already close to 4AM and what if Chanyeol was asleep? He didn't want to wake him up and add to the list of transgressions he already committed. He could have been here earlier but during the bus ride, he realized he didn't know what to say.

How would he tell Chanyeol he screwed up? How would he make him see that he was just really scared and stupid and everything? How would he ask Chanyeol to forgive him one last time because... because he loved him so much? He ran the words through his mind, forcing the disjointed reasons into some semblance of order. This was impossible, he thought. Even he couldn't completely understand himself.

Before he entirely gave up, Baekhyun tightly closed his eyes and simultaneously pushed on the button. He quickly snatched his hand back in anxiety and hugged himself. Waited. Hoped.

He started when the door opened not even three seconds after, as if Chanyeol was just by the door waiting for him. The taller guy's bloodshot eyes widened and his jaw had gone slack as he stood there in the doorway in his rumpled office clothes. "Baekhyun?" he asked in a choked whisper.

Just like that all the words he practiced disappeared and all Baekhyun wanted to do was to bury his face against the crook of Chanyeol's neck and never ever let go. He stared at him with imploring eyes and took a shaky breath. "I'm sor--"

But Baekhyun wasn't able to finish because he was suddenly snatched into Chanyeol's arms, his face pressed tightly to his chest. Chanyeol's arms tigtened even more, gathering Baekhyun closer until he was standing on his tiptoes. He could barely breathe but he welcomed the embrace. "I'm sorry," he sobbed, the words muffled against Chanyeol's shirt.

"Shhh," Chanyeol murmured. It almost sent Baekhyun to his knees when he felt something damp touch his neck and he realized Chanyeol was crying, too. "It's okay. You're here and it's okay."

Baekhyun clutched at the back of Chanyeol's shirt and drew him nearer. "I'm sorry," he repeated over and over again, just now realizing how much he must have hurt Chanyeol, too.

After a few more words of reassurance, the younger man stepped back and motioned for Baekhyun to come further inside before he closed the door. Chanyeol then led him towards the living room where he cupped Baekhyun's cheeks and wiped his eyes dry with his thumbs. "Please, stop crying, pup." The smile he gave Baekhyun was wobbly at best.

Baekhyun felt his eyes fill again. "I thought I'd never hear you call me that again, potato-ahjussi," he said, his voice breaking at the last syllable.

Chanyeol gave him a teary laugh then kissed him on the forehead. "I was scared I'd never hear you call me that."

"Chanyeol, I'm sorry," Baekhyun felt the need to say again.

The taller boy sighed and sat down on the couch before promptly pulling Baekhyun on his lap. He drew him into a loose embrace and tucked Baekhyun's head under his chin. "You don't have to say sorry. If there's anyone here who should, it's me."

Baekhyun shook his head. "No. I--"

"Ya, byuntae, can you let me speak this time?" Chanyeol asked gently.

"Okay," he complied, remembering that this wouldn't have gone out of proportion if he had let Chanyeol speak in the first place.

"I'm sorry. I should have told you that I knew about your past when I found out about it from Zitao." Chanyeol paused to settle Baekhyun more comfortably against him. "You're right. I found out about it the night I told you that you are mine. But believe me, the debt was the furthest thing in my mind when I said that. Thinking about it, back then even when I was trying my hardest not to fall for you, when Zitao told me that those people practically own you, something in me protested quite violently against it."

Chanyeol absently played with a lock of Baekhyun's hair. "I thought, they couldn't own you. Because you belong to me--with me. I was afraid to look deeper into the reasons of why I'm possesive of you. I just know that I had to do everything to get you free from those people."

"I knew it was awful of me to feel happy about someone else's misfortune, but when I came home and found you here waiting for me, I'm sorry Baekhyun, but I felt happy. I forgot about the debt, about your past, about everything else except the fact that I can call you mine."

Baekhyun felt warmth seep into his chest at the confession. "I know I have not been completely honest with you about my past, either. I was working so hard to rebuild my life again and fix it. You weren't exactly part of my plans."

"So I didn't know exactly what to do when I found myself falling for you. I knew--aside from you being in love with Kyungsoo--that you'd never love someone with a background as black as mine. But then you told me you felt the same and that made me push myself more to clear up my past. I have my pride, Chanyeol, I don't deny it. I wanted to come to you with no baggage, just me. The me that deserves to be with you."

Chanyeol sighed. "Baekhyun, I would have accepted you in any form."

That made Baekhyun let out a startled laugh.

"I'm serious," Chanyeol said indignantly but the elder could hear the smile in his voice.

There was silence as Chanyeol just held Baekhyun there in his lap while he listened to the steady beats of Chanyeol’s heart.

"You still should have told me after," Baekhyun murmured.

"I know. I was wrong to keep it from you. That's gotta be one of the stupidest things I've ever done." Chanyeol sounded angry with himself.

Baekhyun kissed the side of his neck. "We've both been stupid at one point or the other."

"I just want you to know that I did that because--I was afraid that if you knew then you wouldn't have any more reason to stay with me. And I wanted so much for you to just be with me. It took me a while but after realizing that, I finally admitted to myself that I loved you," Chanyeol said, dropping a kiss on Baekhyun's temple.

Baekhyun straightened and stared intently at Chanyeol's eyes. "Do you, really?"

He saw a flash of hurt in Chanyeol's brown eyes. "Baekhyun, do you doubt me?"

"It's not--It's just." Baekhyun found it hard to explain. "I know you believe that you love me, but... It's actually one of the main reasons I was so hurt when you kept the truth from me." He could see Chanyeol wince. "Because after knowing that you knew about my past, what if what you felt for me was just pity? Chanyeol, look at me. I'm the person people left behind. They couldn't find anything in me worth staying for."

The taller boy frowned, glared even. Baekhyun let out a surprised yelp when Chanyeol stood up and carried him towards the bedroom. He let out another one when he felt himself being thrown onto the bed, getting a little disoriented as he bounced on the mattress. Baekhyun hadn't had the chance to recover yet when the air was knocked out of him by the press of Chanyeol's weight on top of his body.

There was a second when Chanyeol stared straight into his eyes before the taller guy leaned down and captured his lips in a thorough kiss. Chanyeol pulled him closer by the nape and tilted his head so their mouths could fit better. Baekhyun could feel Chanyeol's free hand run down his side to grab onto his hip. His head began spinning with the heat of the shared kisses and all Baekhyun could do was hang on to the other’s shoulders.

He didn't expect for Chanyeol to abruptly pull back, eyes dark and breathing hard. "Does that remotely feel like pity to you?" he asked hoarsely. "You are smart. Funny. Strong. And you don't take from anybody. Not even from me. No. Most of all not from me."Chanyeol kissed the tip of his nose, a nose Baekhyun had always thought was too big. "You're beautiful."

Baekhyun looked away. He wasn't, not really. Not Do Kyungsoo material at all. He was kind of cute at the most. Chanyeol caught his chin and made him look again at him. "If you aren't then why else couldn't I take my eyes off you? You have the nicest and also the most annoying laugh because damnit, most of the time it's me you're laughing at. But you also have. The. Most. Amazing. Smile. I'm awestruck every time. Every single time, pup."

Baekhyun couldn't help the smile from spreading on his lips and he saw Chanyeol smile in return. "See? I'm awestruck now." The taller man leaned down and put a chaste kiss on his lips. "You're worth more than a million Joey's. I'm an idiot but what I'm failing to say is--Byun Baekhyun, you're easily the best thing that has ever happened to me. How can I possibly not love you?"

Baekhyun didn't know what to say. Chanyeol made him feel that he deserved to be loved for who he was. How did he even manage to get someone as perfect as Park Chanyeol to fall in love with him? At that instant, whether he deserved him or not, Baekhyun decided he wouldn't ever run away and let him go again. "Thank you. For everything. Just--Thank you."

He ran his hand through Chanyeol's short hair and stopped when he reached his nape. He wanted to make Chanyeol feel even a fraction of the happiness that he was giving him with his words. He pulled him closer, willing Chanyeol to look into his eyes and read the promise in there. "I swear. I would be everything that you'll ever want. Everything that you'll ever need," he whispered fiercely.

"You already are."

Baekhyun pulled him all the way down until he could reach for Chanyeol's lips. He kissed him with everything he got, fitting their mouths together, moving repeatedly, urgently, against Chanyeol's. They were so close, he could feel Chanyeol's heart beating wildly against him. Still, it wasn't enough.

Baekhyun slid his hands down Chanyeol's chest and pushed him gently onto his back, following Chanyeol's descent until he was the one hovering above the younger guy, his lips never leaving Chanyeol's. He let his lips travel across the smooth curves of his cheeks over the bridge of his nose, the dips of his dimples, his eyelids, his jaw--everywhere.

He latched on to his mouth again, missing the heat only Chanyeol's lips could bring while his hands made an exploration of their own. They found the button of Chanyeol's shirt and began to undo them until Baekhyun could slip his hands inside and touch skin. He traced the hard planes of the other's chest and caught Chanyeol's answering moan with his mouth.

Baekhyun could feel Chanyeol's hands loosen his clothing too, and his breath hitched when a large hand settled on his stomach, making the muscles there tense and making Baekhyun feel lightheaded with pleasure. In retaliation, Baekhyun broke the kiss and let his mouth drop open mouthed kissed down Chanyeol's chin, his neck, further down into his chest, down, down, down.

"Stop," Chanyeol moaned, voice gruff. "Baek, we--stop."

He wasn't completely sure of what he was doing but judging from the sound Chanyeol just made, he must be doing it right. The plea just spurred Baekhyun on and he boldly dipped his tongue into Chanyeol's navel, enjoying the way the younger man flinched and let out another needy moan. He was about to go way lower to force another one from Chanyeol when he suddenly found himself on his back again, arms pinned on either side of his head.

"Baekhyun," Chanyeol panted. "We don't--You don't have to do this."

"Potato-ahjussi," Baekhyun gave him his best smile, the one that he hoped would completely drive Chanyeol out of his mind so he'd let Baekhyun continue. "I want to."

Chanyeol looked dumbfounded but quickly shook his head. "Don't get me wrong. I want it, too." He dipped his hips so Baekhyun could feel how much he actually wanted to. They both whimpered at the contact.

"So why stop?" Baekhyun whined and Chanyeol placed his forehead on top of his.

"Because I don't want it to be because you're grateful for what I did for you. For that, the thank you was enough."

"You got it wrong. This isn't a thank you," Baekhyun replied. He couldn't wrap his arms around Chanyeol since the taller man still had them trapped so he settled for a light kiss at the corner of his lips. "This... This is an I love you."

He watched Chanyeol's eyes widen then darken with emotion. Feeling he already won, Baekhyun said,  "So could we possibly--"

However, he wasn't able to finish as Chanyeol swooped down and caught his lips in a long and heated kiss.


 

A kiss that meant, Yes, they possibly could.


 

That they would.


 

And they did.







 

Sometime later, when early morning sunlight was already trying to slither through the bedroom curtains, Baekhyun found himself being dragged closer to the warm body next to him. He was by now more than half asleep, limbs heavy with exhaustion, but also feeling sated and content. He felt Chanyeol tuck himself against Baekhyun's chest, tickling the shorter boy's chin with his ruffled black hair.

"You're too far away," Chanyeol murmured.

Baekhyun grinned sleepily. He pulled the covers more snugly over them. "I'm right beside you."

"Pup, close isn't close enough if I can't hear your heartbeat."

The answer made him fall more hopelessly in love with the potato. I love you, he thought as he kissed the top of Chanyeol’s head.

He was already on his way to a happy ending.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

an: I know you all hate me now. I hate myself, too. orz
so chap epilogue is already outlined and id kill myself if I don’t finish it within the week.
(who’d ever believe me?)
but yeah, all sorts of sorry for the lame and the dumb that this chap turned out to be.
it was really so difficult to write ;; this is still pretty much unbetaed :(
every couple will be done by ch. 20 so I hope u still would want to read about that..orz
 
(thanks to ifallelsefails and her sister eheheeh. forever. always. ♥)
 
PS. im sorry about the non- lol
 
/hides

 


 

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YoungWoo17
ill be replying to the comments soon.. omg just so many but i will. ilu guys
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