After hours of standing up and watching people come and go, it was all starting to become a blur. The dizziness he felt was one that was quite familiar; he always got like that when too many people were around. Looking over to his boyfriend, he watched as he, on the contrary, moved swiftly and easily through the people, organizing and making sure everything was in place. The redhead had barely had the time to catch a breath over the last five hours, but he was still as energized as the minute he walked in.
Jonghyun couldn’t help but smile. In those times, he not only admired his boyfriend but was reminded why he had fallen for him in the first place. He was like a rock; he could never break. Unlike him who was always on the brink of withering. As much as he wanted and needed to be his strength on this special day, he knew he was failing miserably. Having his head filled with futile matters was keeping him from being fully present. And it had been this way for days now. Days of avoiding the problem and trying to keep it under control. But he merely had any control anymore. At each call he ignored, he could feel it leaving him. He just wanted to answer. He just wanted to make everything right. But he had his pride and pride was what had driven him out of bed that day to assist his boyfriend even though that meant facing him too.
He looked at his watch. It wouldn’t be long now; the fashion show was going to start in less than an hour and all the scurrying around had him looking around for his boyfriend again.
‘Oh my god, I can’t wait for this to be over,’ Key blurted, startling the other one.
Jonghyun turned around to face him. Worry was written all over his pretty features. He instinctively brought a hand up to his cheek and caressed it softly.
Key’s eyes closed as his body relaxed under the touch. ‘I’m so glad you’re here,’ he sighed.
Jonghyun inched closer, looking straight into his beautiful feline eyes. ‘How could I miss it? I know how important this is to you,’ he said, thumb still circling against the taller one’s soft skin.
‘Thanks, baby.’ Key wrapped his arms around him, hugging him tightly. He pulled back only to have his lips taken over by fuller ones. A moan inadvertently escaped him as he let the other one’s tongue toy with his own. Not minding the hundreds of people around them, he let himself enjoy it; the occasions for this kind of closeness had been scarce lately.
The older one pulled back as their chests heaved from the lack of oxygen. Grins crept up their lips. They had missed each other more than they could both admit.
‘Kibum, we need you in the back,’ a young man called out, making them both snap out of the sweet moment.
‘I’m coming...’ he answered, annoyance heavy in his tone. He straightened his jacket and lightly patted his hair. ‘Do I look good?’ he then asked his boyfriend.
‘You always look good, but yes, right now you look perfect,’ he reassured with a smile.
A second later, the taller one was turning on his heels and walking with determination towards the other end of the big room. Jonghyun let out a sigh. ‘I can’t wait for this to be over too.’
He knew there was nothing left for him to do here so he walked over to the other side, where the fashion show would actually take place. The seats were assigned and he knew he would have been placed somewhere in the front. He made his way to the first row and then saw his name, right next to his boyfriend’s of course. But what he hadn’t expected to see was a certain name written on the chair to his right. He silently cursed whoever had arranged it that way.
As he debated whether or not he should actually sit, his phone suddenly rang. He took it out of his pocket and looked at the screen. Rolling his eyes, he answered.
‘Hello,’ he voiced dryly.
‘Why do you keep ignoring my calls?’ Minho yelled instantly.
Jonghyun sighed despite him. ‘I’ve been busy.’
‘Yeah, busy avoiding me,’ the younger one riposted.
‘Look, right now isn’t really a good time to talk about this. I’ll call you later,’ Jonghyun settled dismissively.
‘No, no, no. Not this time, Jjong. I’m not letting it go. We need to talk about the other day. I was waiting for you to bring it up first, but you haven’t and-‘
‘And right now isn’t a good time,’ the older one cut in. ‘I’m hanging up now.’ He did just that before finally sitting down. People were starting to fill up the space and taking their seats. He couldn’t help but look around, trying to spot out a particular face.
It wasn’t until the lights were dimmed that the one he had dreaded to see appeared. He immediately sat, gaze directing towards him. He tried to ignore it, but a hand on his arm had him suddenly on edge.
His soft tone had him feeling suddenly weak. He didn’t meet his eyes; he couldn’t. Before the other one could add another word, the lights were turned off and the catwalk was illuminated. It was going to start. And as everyone around him slowly turned into a barely shaped blur, he allowed himself to steal a glance. Surprise shook him for a brief moment as he noticed the hair color change. It was dark now and unfortunately that didn’t help the troubled state he was in.
Some relief washed over him as he saw Key step on the stage. He clung on to his every word as he watched him make the opening speech. ‘Just keep your eyes on him,’ he told himself as he watched his boyfriend standing proudly beside his designer friend.
‘I hope you enjoy the show,’ Key concluded before walking out to the back, only to reappear beside him a few minutes later. He sat down, quickly greeting his brother.
‘How was I? Did I look nervous?’ the younger one whispered.
‘You were perfect,’ Jonghyun replied in a murmur.
‘Good. I still have some work to do in the back. I don’t even know why they reserved that chair for me, it’s not like I’m really going to use it,’ Key ranted. ‘I wish I could actually see the show, but I have to go. They can’t go through this without me,’ he continued while rolling his eyes.
And as quickly as he had arrived, he was gone; leaving Jonghyun back to square one. Fortunately, the models started coming out one by one. He was trying hard to focus his mind on them. Trying so hard that it didn’t actually work. He inevitably found himself looking to his right and immediately regretted it as their eyes locked for a brief instant. He wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to keep it together for the next two hours.
The minutes went by painfully and slowly until one hour finally passed. He was still trying to focus and failing. He could feel the other one shift beside him and looking his way every once in a while. And at some point, it became too much. He finally gave in to staring at him and didn’t shy away when the other one returned his gaze.
They stayed like that for a few seconds, until the older one finally inched closer. ‘We need to talk,’ Jinki whispered against his ear.
Jonghyun looked away. ‘We shouldn’t be talking right now...’ he indicated, eyes drifting to his hands.
‘We both can’t deny how uncomfortable this is. We need to talk now,’ Jinki insisted.
The younger one cocked an eyebrow. ‘Here?’
‘No, let’s get out. We can go back to the parking lot or something,’ he suggested as he was already getting out of his seat.
Jonghyun didn’t consider the option of not following him; he just did. They tried to move as subtly as they could, but a few people still showed displeasure at their interference.
Cool air hit both their faces as they stepped out from the back door. Jonghyun let out a breath he didn’t know he had been keeping in. He could finally feel the ache from being tense that whole time in his body.
Unnerved, he asked, ‘What was the urgent matter?’
Jinki’s eyes set on his face. ‘Jjong, don’t play dumb,’ he retorted.
Jonghyun was a little surprised by his tone, but tried to look unfazed. ‘There’s nothing to say, really...’
‘Well if you don’t have anything to say, that’s fine. But I do.’ He stepped closer. ‘I’m sorry,’ he then said with lingering guilt.
‘You’re sorry for what?’ Jonghyun crossed his arms.
‘I’m sorry for not calling you before and for that awkward dinner the other day.’ He bit down on his lip. ‘I wasn’t ignoring you by the way... I... I just thought you should work out things with Kibum before I came back in the picture,’ he then added.
Jonghyun suddenly felt stupid. He sighed. ‘I’m sorry for acting like a jerk at the restaurant and for not answering your calls. I don’t know what got into me...’
‘I get it. You thought I didn’t care anymore because I didn’t check up on you in the first place, but I do... care.’ The serious but gentle expression he had on his face had Jonghyun’s heart beating faster. He didn’t understand it. How could this man leave him in such turmoil?
His eyes widened as the taller one’s arms wrapped around his body. The sudden warmth and closeness had him feeling a little light-headed, but he returned the hug nonetheless. He didn’t know how long they stayed like that, but after what seemed like an eternity, Jinki pulled back, leaving considerable space between them.
‘We should get back in,’ he said.
‘Yeah, but... I have a question first,’ Jonghyun let out before thinking.
Jinki looked slightly confused. ‘Okay, go ahead.’
‘Is there something... Is there... Um,’ he stuttered, before stopping himself completely. ‘Never mind,’ he finally said, feeling embarrassed.
Turning around to walk back inside, he was suddenly stopped by a grip on his arm.
‘No, there’s nothing going on between Taemin and I,’ Jinki answered knowingly.
And then he walked in, leaving a distraught Jonghyun to ponder on his words.