“Yugyeom please…please eat. Daddy is going to be late to work if you keep playing instead of eating.” Mark pleaded with his three year old, but Yugyeom paid him no mind as he continued to mash up his peas into an even worse looking blob, giving Mark memories of when he first watched Ghost Busters with Jaebum.
Mark tried very hard to get the image of Jaebum’s smile out of his head while scooping up the now mashed up peas onto the spoon and hovered it just over Yugyeom’s small mouth. Finally the boy opened his mouth, but only to spit the food out all over himself, giggling in the process.
“Ugh! Jaebum can you please feed Yuggi, I’m running late.” Mark said, finally giving up. Jaebum always feed him the best anyway. Mark looked over at Jaebum who was sitting at the island in the middle of the kitchen, tapping lazily away at his keys. Jaebum was a fairly well off writer, and while the man wasn’t exactly famous he did do much better than most people in the literature community.
“I’m busy.” Came the gruff reply, followed by the sound of more keys being tapped.
“I know Babe, but I really need to go and he won’t eat and-”
“So let em’ starve and feed him when you get back.”
Scoffing Mark stood up, tugging at his crop top and groaned when he saw the mashed up peas that had somehow made their way onto his stomach.
“He’s a baby. We can’t exactly send him to bed without his dinner just yet.” Mark said, his eye brow twitching in annoyance. Mark could just hear the gears in Jaebum’s head turning, but the sound of his cell phone buzzing, probably messages from Jackson about being late were louder.
“He won’t eat so he’ll starve One night won’t kill the boy, fat fuck needs to lose a bit of weight anyway.”
“Jaebum! Get the fuck up and feed him, right now.” Mark said sternly, moving away from Yugyeom to glare bullets at the man. The sound of the sudden silence in the room should have given it away but then again Mark was hoping for a good day.
“What did you just say to me?” Jaebum said, before marching over to connect his fist to the side of Mark’s jaw. Falling to the floor, Mark wiggled his jaw around, Mark looked to Yugyeom who started crying the moment he fell to the floor. Yugyeom’s screaming dulled out any pain Mark felt from Jaebum’s punch.
“I’m going to work and you are going to feed him.” Mark said, quickly pulling himself to his feet. Mark ruffled Yugyeom’s soft brown hair on his way out the door and when Jaebum opened his mouth Mark moved a little faster. He didn’t have time to deal with this shit.
The thumping of the bass did nothing to hide the hollering coming from the patrons in the crowd. Their serenade of, “Take it off…take it off…take it off!” meant the promise of money more…more money for Mark’s coworkers.
“Hey I ordered a rum and coke nearly fifteen minutes ago man, what’s the hold up?”
Mark sighed as yet another frat boy, wearing way too much cologne barked at him. They had literally given Mark the order three minutes ago, Mark knew this because he had been staring at the all night. His shift was almost over, just twenty more minutes and he would be home free. Mark was sure Yugyeom was feed, but he didn’t want to piss Jaebum off any more than he had too. His cheek still hurt like a motherfucker and the constant fake smiling he had to do only made things worse. Not to mention the concealer he was wearing was itchy as hell. If there was one major downside to working at the strip club it was the fact that even if Mark wasn’t technically a stage dancer he still needed to dress up and wear makeup like the rest of the workers.
“Here’s your rum and coke, sorry about the wait sweet heart.” Mark said, his voice thick just the way people liked it. It was one of the reason Jinyoung hired him in the first place. He had said, “A voice that thick and dreamy will have people creaming their pants in no time.”
Sadly the only cream that got spilt onto Mark’s pants was spilt baby food. He really needed a new change of pace.
“You could always make it up to me with a dance baby, I’ll pay you real well.” The obnoxious customer said, his eyes tracing as much of Mark’s visible body as he could. Up this close Mark noticed that the over usage of cologne wasn’t the only thing wrong with the man. He had a missing tooth, probably brought about by one to many drunken beer pong table fights or something equally idiotic. Of course Mark couldn’t say he would rather get punched on his other cheek so instead he smiled. He needed good tips after all.
“Wow I’m flattered really, but I can’t dance. One of the reasons I’m a bartender and not up on stage. I recommend asking BamBam to dance though, he’s really good.” Mark said, cackling in his head. He fucking hated the little fucker. BamBam was always pulling in so much money because the boy literally had no morals, and half the time his lap dances looked like clothed fucking. If Mark could send a little bit of misery the boys way then he was all for it.
“Aw don’t worry baby, I can lead and you could just follow me.” The customer said, this time reaching out for Mark’s hand. Luckily Mark’s knight in shining armor came.
“Shifts up Mark, you are free to go.” Yugyeom said, barreling his way behind the bar counter. What was up with the workers here, was being late a good thing?
“Maybe next time.” Mark said to the customer before quickly taking the money that was in his hand. Mark made it to the register and got everything all organized before leaving to head to the back room where the dancers were.
Feathers were flying in the air like a thousand tiny little birds, and it was followed by the sound of a hyenas laugh.
“Jackson…I swear if you do not give me back my eye liner I will fucking rip your balls off.”
Mark rolled his eyes and pushed his way past a few other dancers he didn’t know the names of until he got to the middle of the room where Jackson was running away from BamBam.
“I told you Bam, I need it I left mine at home. Just let me finish putting my face on and then I’ll give it back.”
“Screw your stupid face, give me back my freaking eyeliner before I bash your face in.” BamBam yelled. Mark was quick to step between the shorter boy and BamBam who was nearly as tall as Mark was.
“Jackson give back his stuff. You two are acting like children.” Mark said, mom voice as the rest of the workers came to calling it.
“Yes mommy,” Jackson said, quickly tossing the eye liner back in BamBam’s general direction. If it fell on the floor, well Mark really didn’t give a shit.
“Jacks hurry up and sit so I can get out of here.” Mark said, moving over to his station where he kept his own makeup supplies. While it wasn’t nearly as much as everyone else’s, Mark did happen to have the few things Jackson tended to use.
“Paint me like one of your French girls.” Jackson said, giggling as he turned to face Mark.
Mark tried to sit in silence as he carefully applied foundation to Jackson’s skin, huffing as Jackson fidgeted around.
“I don’t even know why you want to wear makeup Jackson, you don’t even need this shit.” Mark said, smoothing the streaks away and blending it into a seamless canvas. Putting makeup on Jackson’s face was like feeding Yugyeom, messy but rewarding. Mark always felt a little happier when he saw the way Jackson’s eyes would light up when he looked in the mirror to see what new look Mark had done next.
“You always make me look so much better though. You really should be doing this for a living instead of serving drinks to pervy old men.” Jackson said, fluttering his eyes as Mark struggled to put eyeliner on the smaller boy’s eye lids.
Mark never really thought about it, doing anything other than being a bartender. If he could help it Mark would just stay at home with his baby boy all day and protect him from the outside world. He hated the fact that he had to miss pieces of Yugyeom’s life to earn the occasional slap on the ass and have eyes undressing him nearly every night just to help put food on the table.
This job fucking sucked, but at least it did give him so much needed time away from Jaebum.
“Jackson I swear if you fidget one more time, I’ll make you finish by yourself. I’m supposed to be halfway at home by now.”
“I know I know, I’m sorry. I’m just a little ticklish.” The next move Jackson made, sent liquid eyeliner across his face. “Okay maybe a lot of ticklish.”
Mark rolled his eyes before moving to fix Jackson’s mistake. Next time he was most definitely letting BamBam pummel Jackson.
“Hey Mark…how are things at home?” Jackson asked, his laughter dying down and his voice solemn.
“They’re fine as usual, why?” Mark didn’t really care to know what Jackson had to say, but the boy did sound earnest, and he sort of was the closest thing to a friend Mark had in the club.
“Well it’s just I caught a glimpse of you before you put on your makeup, and I spotted another bruise and I was just wondering-”
“Enough Jackson, We’ve talked about this. My life outside of these walls is not up for discussing. Just…Just forget you saw anything alright.”
The finger that prodded into Mark’s cheek made his eyes tear up. “You really shouldn’t let other people hurt you. There are shelters, and other resources out there to help you.” Jackson said, his voice dangerously close to mirroring Mark’s mom voice.
Dropping the brush he was using, Mark got up and grabbed his bag. “You’re makeup is done, you should look fine on stage. Don’t forget to powder in-between routines.”
“Mark, please I just want to help you out.”
“Goodnight Jackson.” Mark said, turning and walking away threw the boa feathered room. As much as Mark wanted to listen to Jackson he knew he couldn’t go to a shelter, not with the chance of losing Yugyeom. Mark would swallow down every hit Jaebum threw his way as long as he got to hug his son at the end of the day.