‘So how was it?’ Minho scoffed.
Jonghyun glared at his best friend. ‘For you information, it wasn’t that bad.’ His mind went back to that night. ‘In fact, it was kind of nice,’ he added with a smile.
‘Well that’s too bad. I was so ready to laugh at you for having to go through that painful experience,’ Minho taunted.
A jab in the ribs was the only answer Jonghyun gave him. He then took a sip from his beer.
‘So how’s the family? Give me more details, Jjong,’ the younger one insisted.
Jonghyun sighed. ‘They’re just...nice.’ He looked down to his bottle. ‘Especially his brother...’ he trailed.
‘What?’ Minho exclaimed. ‘I would’ve thought him to be as much of a pain in the as Kibum,’ he continued.
‘Minho, that’s my boyfriend you’re talking about!’ Jonghyun reminded, voice laced with anger. He was used to it by now; Minho had never liked Kibum. He had always seen him as a shallow and pretentious , but that’s because he had never taken the time to see past his defences.
‘Oh yeah, I’m sorry,’ his friend replied dismissively. ‘So ... You’re all like a happy family now?’
Jonghyun could feel the angst in his tone. ‘I’ve only met them once. I can’t tell if they liked me or not.’
‘I’m sure they did, Jjong. Who wouldn’t?’
The older one smiled. ‘Now I remember why you’re my best friend,’ he teased.
Minho sneered. ‘You don’t deserve me,’ he retorted playfully.
‘Couldn’t you stay sweet a little while longer?’ Jonghyun reproached with a laugh.
Minho shrugged. ‘Sweet is not my style.’
Jonghyun rolled his eyes. Even though Minho could be quite a jerk at times, he was happy to see him again after such a long time. It was hard not being around him all the time like before.
‘So have you met anyone?’ Jonghyun inquired.
‘You know I always meet ‘someone’, but they’re never worth talking about,’ Minho shrugged off.
Before Jonghyun could answer, his phone started ringing. He sighed and looked at the caller ID. Wasting no time, he answered. ‘Hi, baby,’ he said, ignoring the other one’s disgusted face. He listened to his boyfriend, interjecting briefly. As he put his phone down, he noted Minho’s frown.
‘You’re leaving?’ he exclaimed.
‘Yeah, going to eat with Bummie and his brother,’ he explained as he got off the sofa. His beer had been barely touched and he looked at it longingly before setting it on the table. He was feeling nervous again.
The younger one crossed his arm. Jonghyun felt bad. He hated cutting their time short, but he couldn’t just turn down this supper. ‘I’ll make it up to you, I promise.’
‘Whatever.’ Minho turned his body towards the TV and opened it. A sigh left the other one’s lips as he took his stuff and got out.
Jonghyun’s ears were filled with buzzing conversations as he stepped into the restaurant. A quick glance around the place was all it took to locate them. Earlier on the phone, he had agreed to meet them here, but now it was past the hour they had decided upon. Once again, he hadn’t been able to leave his reflection, looking out for any little flaw there might have been in his outfit or his hair and when finally he had felt satisfied, he had stepped out, realizing only later on that he was late.
Approaching with shy steps, he finally made it to their booth. Key immediately gazed at him, his expression betraying a little annoyance. Jonghyun tried to ignore it and just sat down beside his boyfriend. He greeted Jinki with a nod and an apologetic smile.
‘Why are you late?’ Key couldn’t help but ask.
Jonghyun knew better then to roll his eyes at that moment. Instead he just said ‘I didn’t see the time.’
The brunette clicked his tongue, totally unsatisfied by the answer. ‘You didn’t see the time...’ he emphasized to show how ridicule he thought it sounded.
Jinki laughed. ‘Come on, Kibum. Give him a chance,’ he interjected as he smiled at the other one. ‘Plus, he’s not even that late,’ he pointed out.
Jonghyun nodded. It was true. He was 20 minutes late. That wasn’t a crime.
His boyfriend rolled his eyes. ‘Always being comprehensive, huh?’ he uttered accusingly. ‘You’re supposed to be on my side.’
‘What, you want me to scold Jonghyun?’ the blonde inferred.
The appointed one broke into laughter, causing the other two to stare at him. ‘I’m sorry, but the images...’ His words were cut by another laughing fit.
‘You are so immature sometimes,’ Key said. He picked up his menu and looked at it again. ‘So guys, we should choose something before that waiter comes back again.’
They did just that and when the waiter finally came back, they gave their orders. As they waited, Key and his brother talked about this and that, catching up on each other’s lives. Jonghyun learned that Jinki had been travelling a lot this past year all over Asia and Europe and even spending some time in the States. He envied him. He had never had the chance to go anywhere. His financial situation never permitted it and even now that he was doing better for himself and had a boyfriend that was ready to support him, he was reluctant. He wasn’t used to such luxury.
Finally, their plates arrived and all they dug in immediately. A few minutes passed in silence, hunger leaving no place for words. Jonghyun was enjoying his pasta so much to the point of fading out the rest. He heard them getting back into conversation, but to his ears, it resonated like indistinctive vibrations. He was finally brought back to reality when Key’s phone started ringing. The latter took it out and answered. After some arguing, he put it down, looking angry.
‘What was that about?’ Jonghyun asked, worried.
‘My assistant told me a client showed up unexpectedly and wants to meet me,’ he explained sourly.
‘Now?’ Jinki inquired.
‘Yes... I said no though,’ he added quickly.
‘Bummie, I know how important your reputation is to you. You never turn down a client,’ Jonghyun reminded.
‘I know, but this is more important,’ Key replied. He dragged his fork against the ceramic plate.
Jonghyun knew the younger one was debating with himself whether to stay or to go. ‘Baby, go,’ he insisted. Then he was hit by realization. ‘I mean, well... if Jinki doesn’t mind,’ he corrected, embarrassed.
‘Yeah, you should go. We can do this again another time,’ Jinki reassured with a smile.
The brunette sighed. ‘I hope I haven’t lost him,’ he said putting his phone to his ear. Another quick squabble happened then he hung up. ‘Okay, my assistant is working on bringing him back to my office,’ he told them as he got up.
Jonghyun moved out of the seat to let him pass. As they faced each other, they exchanged a quick kiss before Key turned to his brother. ‘See you later,’ he intoned apologetically, before walking away.
Sitting back into the booth, Jonghyun suddenly realized that he was alone with his boyfriend’s brother. He wasn’t that good with talking to people he barely knew and being that it was someone important in Key’s life, it was going to be even more nerve-wracking.
‘So...what now?’ he asked shyly.
‘What do you mean?’ Jinki asked back with a frown.
‘Are we staying or...’ Jonghyun felt really uncomfortable. He suddenly wished Key came back.
‘Why not? I want to learn more about you,’ he admitted softly.
The younger one felt his body heat up. Attention was not something he was yet accustomed to.
‘Plus, you haven’t finished your plate,’ Jinki pointed out with a cute laugh.
‘Oh yeah, that’s true,’ he realized. He picked up his fork and picked on a linguini for a few seconds. The truth was he wasn’t really hungry anymore. As he looked over, he saw that Jinki wasn’t even touching his plate.
‘Aren’t you going to finish that?’ he asked.
‘No. I’m much more in the mood for some rum right now,’ he said, wiggling his brows.
Jonghyun laughed. ‘I would like some myself too.’
‘Okay, well let’s get that guy to take away those plates and bring us his finest bottle,’ the blonde uttered excitedly.
What was said was done and they soon found themselves pouring the alcohol into their glasses. Jinki was the first the take a sip and he watched as his companion did the same.
‘Kibum seems really happy...’ he started. He turned his glass a few times on the table before adding, ‘And I’m pretty sure you have a lot to do with it so thank you.’
‘I don’t know about that... I’ve always had the impression that he brought me more than I to him,’ Jonghyun admitted.
‘What do you mean?’ Jinki asked.
‘I mean that he’s beyond what I deserve,’ the younger one answered simply. Realizing the gravity of his words, he downed his glass and poured himself another one.
‘I believe in fate. So I believe that you two met for a reason; because you are good for each other.’ he exposed smoothly.
Jonghyun was a little taken aback. A million thoughts occurred in his mind before he found himself asking, ‘Are you in love?’
Jinki shook his head. ‘Haven’t met that special someone yet,’ he replied as their eyes locked.