The sounds of the bustling city, fell short on his ears. Focus….they needed to pay attention. Boss had said, “You’re the only man I trust for the job. You’ve got to do this for me.” That way he had almost begged him, well it made him worry. The air was thick from the rain sure to come, and damn it if he didn’t hate the rain. Nothing good ever came from the rain, just a thick fog that over took the city, and sometimes…if he wasn’t paying attention. It would take over his mind too.
Just the thought of that white hot pain soaring through his body made him shutter. He’d have to as the boss for more happy pills, it seemed he had to ask the boss for a lot these days. He didn’t like feeling like a burden. He just wanted to help that man who helped him. It was fair, nothing more nothing less. His nick name “the dog” didn’t make him mad, much to the annoyance of the bosses other lackey’s.
He’d do anything for the boss, kill for him, die for him, and anything under the rainbow. He wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for him. Purpose around this part of the city was worth more than any amount of jewels or cash. People without purpose, well those were the ones that he had to deal with on a day to day bases. Filling their bodies with whatever contaminant they could get their hands on, just to feel anything.
He didn’t want to live like that, so he was thankful. One-hundred and ten percent truly thankful to know what he was supposed to be doing with his life. The boss was a god in his eyes, and when god told you to do something, you did it.
“What do you need me to do?” He had asked, just hours prior, and the reply was always the same to some degree.
“Kill someone, I need you to kill Bobby from the opposing side. They’ve taken back more and more space from us. We can’t afford for our name to slip any further behind in ranks. People are already starting to question me. We gotta do something big, they need to respect me again. You understand don’t you Jeon?”
“You don’t ever have to explain anything to me, I’ll do whatever you want Jooheon, you know this.” Jeon had said, like he always seemed to say.
He didn’t like the fact that Jooheon felt the need to keep trying to reassure him. Jeon had already promised his loyalty the day Jooheon saved his life. White hot…White hot…
Jooheon had taken him away from that pain, and although he couldn’t remember what had happened all before then, it didn’t matter. Jooheon was seemingly dying for him, and that would always be enough for Jeon.
“Thank you…he’ll be celebrating his anniversary tonight at the Hilton. Be careful, I can’t have you getting noticed at all. Don’t try to blend in, just take the shot and get out.”
“Got it, anything else?” Jeon asked, and the answer he got was always the same.
“Come back to me.”
“You’re going out again aren’t you?” Joshua asked, nibbling at the corner of his lip. Taehyung hated worrying his friend, but he needed a break. Having Joshua back was wonderful, but he couldn’t stand Luhan or Joshua’s father. He could still feel the man’s stiff fingers on his skin, pushing him down…further…and further to his knees.
“Come on, I told you I won’t be doing anything bad tonight. It’s my friend’s anniversary, I have to go celebrate with him.”
“You shouldn’t hang out with those people anymore Tae, they’re bad news.” Joshua said, crossing the room for where he was standing in the door way, as if trying to block Taehyung’s exit. Taehyung laughed at the thought, Joshua was easy to manipulate, and if the boy truly didn’t want to move, well then Taehyung would jump out the window. He wasn’t going to miss Bobby and Hanbin’s party for anything. They’d both been so good to him ever since he moved permanently back in with Joshua.
Taehyung needed to escape away from that, but also…he couldn’t help but think about Jungkook. The boy had gone missing months ago, and was presumed dead. Taehyung didn’t believe it, Jungkook would never be defeated that easily, not when he wanted revenge so badly, not…not when he said he loved Taehyung. He wouldn’t just die and leave him all alone. That was Taehyung’s job…he was supposed to be the one that left a trail of disappointment in his wake.
“I’m bad news Joshua, I’m a poster boy for the saying what that mouth do.” Taehyung said, laughing bitterly. All he could think was what he wouldn’t do, that list was much easier to write. Taehyung had never given his actions much thought, he had to do what was necessary to survive, and the drugs he used to take helped with that. Now though, staring his lifelong friend in the face made him feel sick.
He knew Joshua didn’t blame him, didn’t judge him for pulling tricks, but it was the guilt that ran across Joshua’s face every time that made Taehyung feel bad. An angel trapped in hell, now that surely fit his friend. Taehyung just wished he wasn’t the reason for his friend’s clipped wings. He was holding Joshua back, from what he wasn’t sure, but Luhan had a nasty way of reminding him that he was nothing more than a burden to his friend. Taehyung needed a break, a break full of dancing, eating, and fucking. Taehyung didn’t want to remember his name by the end of the night.
“Tae…can’t we just stay, and watch movies or something? It’ll be fun, I’ll pay attention while you snore next to me. The couch is soft…”
The hidden words of “it’s safe” did not go unheard, and Taehyung nearly broke down and said fuck it. Why couldn’t he just be a normal teenager? Why couldn’t he fall asleep to some shitty move next to his best friend in his footy pajama’s that were far too comfortable than they should be, but thoughts of sweat rolling down his skin, and a taste at any chance of getting word of Jungkook made Taehyung want to run for the hills.
He couldn’t change his mind, Joshua was asking Taehyung to change his DNA, and that just wasn’t possible.
“I’m sorry, but I’m leaving.” Taehyung said, finally making up his mind, and when he saw Joshua narrow his eyes he knew the other boys mind was made up as well.
“Well then I’m going with you!”
Taehyung had to admit, he friend was persistent. Perhaps that’s why they got along so well. Taehyung knew it would be a little dangerous, but Bobby and Hanbin said it was a very private party, along with a, bring more beer! Text message. Even Joshua needed to party right?
“Fine!” An exasperated Tae said, rubbing his hand over his face. “But, there is no way in hell you’re wearing slacks to this party. Take em’ off, time to see what you’re working with.”
Taehyung laughed finally, and the text messages of shut up or die, he got from Luhan who was napping just down the hall in the guest bedroom only made him laugh harder. Tonight would surely be interesting.
“Taehyung I can see my dick through these pants!” Joshua shrieked, as he covered his front with his hands.
When Joshua had decided to follow his friend to this little party, he knew it meant some sort of sacrifice, but this was honestly a little too much. Joshua was sure the moment they left the house that they were going to get pulled over by an officer for looking like street workers, and not the kind that picked up trash either.
Taehyung had gone and picked out the tightest black pair of skinny jeans he could find, which he paired with an equally dark fishnet top he was near positive was for women. All of this would have been fine, until Taehyung decided to put a choker around his neck that looked like a belt made for an elf.
“Showing a little bit of skin won’t kill you, jeez, you’re too uptight. Need to get you laid.” Taehyung laughed, the cigarette he had between his soft lips bobbing up and down as he talked.
“O…Oh no no, none of that. I’m only going to make sure you don’t get into any trouble. I will not be having the sexual relations with anyone tonight.”
“Sexual relations? Jisoo, please for all that is holy just try to have fun tonight.”
“I make no promises, now let’s go before I change my mind.” Joshua said, already feeling unsure. He wanted to be there to protect Taehyung, after all the boy had always done the same for him. Joshua would do the same, no matter what the cost. So when Taehyung put his hand on the ledge of the windowsill, Joshua followed him and when it was his turn, he didn’t think twice before jumping over the edge.
“Why not let him buy you a drink? He’s been staring at you since we walked through the door.” Taehyung said, smiling at his friend.
Joshua didn’t know who this guy was, but he didn’t seem to intimidating, and he was invited to Hanbin and Bobby’s party, so he had to be at least slightly trustworthy right? Taehyung would never willingly take him somewhere dangerous, so what was the harm.
He just had to walk over to the man, say he was flattered, but not interested while Taehyung wasn’t looking and walk away.
“Hi! I haven’t seen you come around one of these parties before. Are you new to this district?”
The bar top vibrated under Joshua’s finger tips as he waited for the man to approach. The hustle and bustle of bodies grinding around the dance floor scared Jisoo, but he wasn’t going to let anyone else know that. Joshua had acted in many plays, and this would be no different. A few hours ago he was a begging Taehyung to stay away from this life, but now at this moment he was going to embrace every piece of it. He could do this for Taehyung, he could save his friend.
“Yea, the names Ji, care to buy me a drink?”
“Wow, forward!” the boy said, his sideways smile making him look more inviting. He wasn’t a fuck boy right off the bat. That was good, this would be easy. Think like Luhan…think like Lu…Joshua chanted in his head.
“Bartender, two kamikazes my good sir!” The mysterious man said, before turning his attention back to Joshua who was still surveying the room. Taehyung was off to the side, slowly making his way to the middle of the dance floor. He was a natural at this. A lion hunting for the next piece to devour. Joshua wished he was as poised as that, but he was more like a wet rat in a sewer.
In movies in only took one look, a sly smile and then most people were off to the dance floor before they began to have unwed relations. Joshua didn’t want to go past planting his butt on the bar stool, but he also knew the longer he sat there, the higher the possibility that he was going to get roofed or something.
“So what brings you out to this party, you say you’re new but I don’t believe that. It’s a very hush hush party you see.”
“Well, I know a guy of a friend of another dudes cousin who happens to be here.” Joshua said, lowering his voice so that the man in front of him had to lean forward to hear him. Joshua wondered if he sounded sexy, wondered if the other man wanted him.
“Oh well than that perfectly explains it, you completely belong here. I’m sorry I didn’t see it before.” He said, his words tickling Joshua’s face, like soft whiskers of the cat Joshua used to have before Luhan killed it with a lawn mower. Thoughts of his brother were not the ones he should be having, but the way Luhan moved and talked would surely keep this man interested in him wouldn’t it? Joshua knew there was always trouble to follow when being a wall flower in parties such as these. This wasn’t a normal club, but a party run by a gang. A gang that wanted to take down the jokers, but a gang still.
These people were murders, they killed woman and possibly children on the opposing side. Joshua knew Taehyung was only a prostitute for the Joker’s before he switched sides. Taehyung wasn’t a killer, but he was still a gang member of sorts, or at least an associate. So what was this man? A killer, a prostitute, or perhaps both?
“So mystery boy, you care to dance with me, or are you to cool for that?” The man said, sliding his hand to rest over Joshua’s.
Joshua was quick to remove his hand, flustered. He was not used to being touched in the slightest. Taehyung had tried many times to give him what he thought was proper Sex Ed, but once Taehyung had said something about just relaxing his throat he had shut the boy down.
“I don’t even know your name, and you’re already asking for a dance? Look whose forward now.” Joshua said, hoping finding out more about this mystery man would calm his nerves. Maybe he only killed like three people instead of hundreds? Or maybe he was just a drug dealer…that ruined people’s lives…
“The name’s Vernon, I’m visiting from another city district. Just business stuff thought, I haven’t had fun in quite some time actually.” Vernon whispered into Joshua’s ears, sending the hairs on the back of his neck erect with attention.
“Business, what kind of business? Or are you not at liberty to say with this kind of work that you do?” Joshua asked, leaning away from the man to try and read his face in the slight illuminated bar light.
“Not at liberty to say? What kind of work do you think I do? I’m a private contractor for the city of Newton. The city is looking to purchase property around here, most of its abandoned anyway, so it’s cheap as hell to move more things over here since Newton is getting a little congested.”
“Newton, like uptown Newton? I don’t like a bunch of rich people would just leave to move around here.” Joshua said. He sure as hell wasn’t leaving Newton. Joshua could almost laugh at the thought of his mother moving from her plushy house down here, just to see Taehyung perched on the corner looking for a quick buck. It was heart attack worthy.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m here talking to Hanbin and Bobby. They’ve been really diligent with talking to the city council of Newton, and are trying to get some of Newton’s police force to join. Apparently they’ve lost a bunch of police officers to a violent gang group called the Jokers, and after their last cop, Jeon Jungkook got killed, well let’s just say they are ready to hire the big guns so to speak. I won’t be dealing with any of that though, I’m just going to draw up the new city plans while to police do their job.”
Joshua couldn’t believe what he had been told. Did Taehyung know about all of this? No…he couldn’t have. Taehyung hadn’t been down town in ages since moving back in with Joshua, and yet this seemed extremely important. A larger police force meant more trouble for people like Taehyung, and possibly some of Taehyungs friends from when he did work in these parts. He needed to find his friend, and tell him everything that just happened!
Joshua was about to hop off the barstool when Vernon yelled, “Look our drinks are here. Come on, stay a little bit more. I’m not leaving until I get you on this dance floor!”
Joshua smiled nervously, as he scanned his eyes over the crowd.
“I haven’t seen my friend for a while, I think I should maybe check on him?”
“Aw hey don’t worry, if he’s at this party then he’s perfectly safe. Hanbin and Bobby only keep good company, I promise. Look, after our drinks, and one dance if you’re still worried I’ll even help you go look for him okay?” Vernon pleaded, pouting his perfect lips.
Joshua set his eyes on the drink in front of him and gulped. Just one drink…and then it was time to find Taehyung.
“Alright. One drink, but I’m not promising you a dance.”
“That’s the spirit!” Vernon said, excited to finally see Joshua opening up.
Both boys wrapped their hands around their glass before pulling them to their lips.
“Three…two…One….Go!” Vernon said.
Stumbling into the bathroom, Taehyung just barely made it to the toilet before the insides of his stomach shot out through his mouth. Pizza going out did not nearly taste as good as pizza going in. Taehyung dug his hand into his pockets, fishing for his cell phone for the time. He needed to find Joshua so they could get back home in time. The sheer thought of having to wake up early in the morning to service Mr. Jameson down the street, however kept him from hitting the on button. The illuminated light would only make his stomach sicker.
How had it come to this again, laying across a urine covered floor, surrounded by the smell of sex, and his own vomit? Taehyung had never thought he would have an easy life, but damn if he didn’t think maybe, just maybe Jungkook could save him.
Jungkook, the stubborn cop who wanted nothing to do with him in the first place. Taehyung smiled at the memory of the man before frowning once more. That’s right. Jungkook was nothing but a memory now.
Taehyung could no longer remember how often he’s felt the same pangs on guilt in his chest. Guilty for getting involved, guilty for stealing him from Jimin, and above all guilty for making Jungkook truly fall for him. Taehyung didn’t know if Jungkook actually loved him, after all they only knew each other for a few months, but damn it if Taehyung didn’t think for a second that it could have worked out.
Taehyung would have quit prostitution, and Jungkook could finally give up being a vengeful cop. Taehyung would have gone back to school, gotten in trouble and had Jungkook punish him in the best of ways. Taehyung would have stayed up late doing homework while Jungkook ordered them pizza, and did mundane office work at their kitchen table. They could have gotten a fucking dog together, named it something stupid like Spot.
All of those pip dreams went down the toilet the moment the truth came out. Because the truth, the truth doesn’t set people free. The truth just puts bullets into people.
Taehyung reached for his phone, and groaned at the number of new messages. Many of them from clients requesting him, and others from old friends he no longer spoke to, but one message stood out. One message among them all.
New Message: From Park Jimin
Now that was a name he hadn’t seen in a while.