Baekhyun worked himself for the remainder of the time that he waited for Minseok to call him, trying to get his mind off of Chanyeol even though the task wasn’t a simple one. After he had impulsively sent the message days ago, he figured that Chanyeol must’ve highly suspected that he was the one behind it because since that day, Baekhyun would hear a small alert from the cellphone every once in a while.
It would always be a text message. On average, Baekhyun got one every day—if not every other day. The giant sent simple things like “I miss you, too” and “Make sure you’re eating” to him, never mentioning the subject of Baekhyun’s isolationism and bringing it to hand.
Although he could have, Baekhyun never left the messages go unread. Despite never responding, the messages never stopped and Baekhyun was well aware of how Chanyeol could see when he opened the texts due to their cellphones’ features. He always read the messages around the same time just before he went out to meet his scheduled client for the night as if to remind himself that what he was doing was just a job. Sometimes, just before he leaves, he wonders if Chanyeol noticed that.
In the beginning, Chanyeol would constantly check his phone to see if Baekhyun opened any of the things he'd sent, but when he began to see the pattern of when Baekhyun decided to open his messages, he stopped guessing and checking. The brunet always did it around the time of when the sun was beginning to set, and Chanyeol wondered why Baekhyun would do that.
Sometimes a thought would pass by, suspecting that his little fiancé would check his messages right before going out with whomever, but Chanyeol found the feeling of jealousy to be unbearable, especially when he didn’t even know for sure. In the end, he just did his best to mind his business and continue on with the words that he’d send to gently show that he cared.
It took a week and a half since their meeting together, but Baekhyun eventually received notice that Minseok had finished with his part of the work. Baekhyun felt utterly nervous for a reason that he couldn’t point out. When he took a cab out to the company building, he was surprised to see Minseok was already outside waiting for him.
Without much greetings exchanged, Baekhyun took the papers from the lawyer. Briefly, Minseok explained what he needed to do, which was to retrieve the signature for both the marriage contract annulment and the revision to the conditions. Once he was sure that Baekhyun understood, he wished him luck and sent him on his way.
Maybe it was the cowardly thing to do, but it seemed like the easiest option at the moment. When Baekhyun entered the Park building, he made a beeline towards the front desk. He contemplated for a second, wondering what he was going to say, but when the young woman at the desk smiled at him and asked what she could do to help him, Baekhyun went with the choice that wasn’t exactly the best.
“Hi!” he greeted, giving her a bright smile. “I’m here to see Kris.”
The woman was thrown off guard for a second, blinking blankly at him. “Kris?”
“Um, yeah,” Baekhyun nodded. Then he held a hand up high in the air. “He’s tall and he works for Chanyeol.”
It took another second before the woman caught on. “Oh! You’re talking about Mr. Wufan.”
“Yeah,” Baekhyun replied slowly, “that guy.”
Taking in Baekhyun’s casual appearance with his cardigan and plain t-shirt underneath, the woman asked, “Do you have an appointment with him, sir?”
“No, I don’t,” Baekhyun said nonchalantly. “I was hoping that I could just go into his office and talk with him for a min—”
“I’m sorry,” the woman cut. “I can’t let you do that. You’re going to need an appointment with him if you want to see him.”
Baekhyun grimaced. “But it’s important…”
The woman frowned sympathetically at him. “I know, but—”
“Is there a way that I can see him today without having to set up an appointment?”
Sighing, the woman looked around before curling her finger, calling Baekhyun to lean in. “You can wait in the lobby,” she said, “because he’ll be walking out for his lunch hour in a few minutes. You can catch him when he walks out.”
Smiling satisfyingly at the woman, Baekhyun nodded and bowed, almost hitting his head against the hard granite surface. Then he thanked her before turning on his heel and walking quickly to the lobby near the front doors where he waited for his intended target to walk out.
Just as the front lady said, Kris didn’t take long to come striding into view. Putting away the magazine that he was using to hide his face just in case Chanyeol came along, Baekhyun quickly jumped up from his seat and lightly jogged his way over, catching the busy business man.
“Kris!” Baekhyun cried out once, trying to garner the man’s attention. “Hey!”
At first, he didn’t think he was hearing right, but when Kris turned his head to the left, he could see his boss’ evasive fiancé running towards him with his arms wide open. Left speechless, Kris didn’t even know what to say when Baekhyun ran into him, gave him a quick hug and backed off.
“Lunch, right?” Baekhyun asked quickly, tilting his head.
It was odd to have the one person who his boss was constantly ranting about for being missing just suddenly appear before him, asking him if he was on lunch break. Kris didn’t know what was going on, but he went along with it. Nodding nonchalantly, he mutely answered.
“Can I come with you?” the brunet wondered. “I’m kind of hungry—oh! I also need your help.”
Kris frowned, wondering what favor Baekhyun needed of him. Looking at their surroundings, he asked, “Don’t you want to see Chanyeol?”
It was somewhat out of the blue, but it made sense—at least to Kris. He watched as Baekhyun’s grin wobbled before he picked up his happy composure once again.
“No, I don’t,” Baekhyun replied, solemnly happy. “I’m okay. I just need to talk with you about something.”
“Does it involve him?”
“A little bit,” Baekhyun admitted.
Pressing his tongue against the roof of his mouth, Kris hummed, pretending to think about it. “You know, Chanyeol’s lunch break happens at the same time mine does. In fact, we’re supposed to go to lunch together. If it involves him, we can wait. Then the three of us—”
Baekhyun shook his head. “No,” he adamantly said. “I just need you so can we ditch him just for today? I don’t want to see him…”
“Why not?” Kris pushed.
Huffing, Baekhyun shrugged quickly before letting his shoulders fall. “I’m not ready. Maybe some other time.”
Seeing as how Baekhyun wasn’t going to take the offer, Kris nodded, lifting his head up to turn his attention to the front door. “Fine, but for the record, you’re all he thinks about,” Kris said, casually setting the information out. “The car’s here. Let’s talk over lunch.”
“Okay,” Baekhyun mumbled, trying to dismiss the first part of what Kris revealed.
Kris walked ahead, holding the glass door open as Baekhyun stepped outside with him. As he passed by, Kris noticed the yellow envelope in Baekhyun’s hand and assumed that whatever the male had to speak about, it had something to do with the contents inside.
Baekhyun went ahead and started making his way towards the car. Then, midway, he turned around and flashed Kris a smirk. “Kris, can we eat at a restaurant that serves cheesecake?”
Raising his brow, Kris cocked his head. “Do you like cheesecake, Byun?”
“I love cheesecake, Kris,” Baekhyun replied happily.
“Then we’ll get cheesecake.”
Running a little bit behind, Chanyeol hastily left his office to go meet up with Kris out in the lobby. When he got off the elevator, he immediately spotted his tall friend out in the front, but then noticed a shorter male looking up and talking to him.
From where he stood, Chanyeol could just barely make out the face, but he was still able to recognize that it was Baekhyun. Struck, he found himself frozen in place until he saw the two beginning to leave. It was then that Chanyeol began to speedily walk, forcing himself to appear somewhat composed for the other people around.
Midway through his walk, Chanyeol began to doubt his sight, wondering if it was really Baekhyun who stood next to Kris. As he neared the glass windows of the building, however, the doubts were casted out as he saw a person wearing a cardigan—of all things—get into the car.
If he had to describe his afternoon with one word, Kris would have described it as successful—kind of.
When he returned back to the office, he carried Baekhyun’s papers with him. Baekhyun had explained to him while he ate his three orders of New York cheesecake that all he wanted was Chanyeol’s signature on the documents. He went on to further explain the situation and what his lawyer asked of him, and Kris willingly listened.
After Baekhyun was done talking about legal issues, Kris began to ask questions. It started out small with questions asking how the brunet was doing, but eventually, it got to a point where Kris asked him if he still had feelings for the giant.
At the time, Baekhyun didn’t immediately answer, but when he did, he nodded. When Kris asked, “Then why don’t you just go to him?”
“Because I’m stubborn and that would be very awkward…” the latter had mumbled.
As he passed by the reception desk, Kris nodded at the woman in charge before going back up to his office’s floor. He expected an earful from Chanyeol for ditching him. A little lecture was also expected. But as he entered the privacy of his own office, Kris was a bit surprised to see Chanyeol lounging in his chair with his feet set atop his desk.
Gently closing the door behind him, Kris motioned his hand towards his desk. “I have papers on top of that. Don’t get them dirty with your shoes.”
Chanyeol glanced at the desk, but decided he could care less. “Why was he here?” he asked, cutting to the point.
“Who?” Kris asked, loosening his tie.
“You know who,” Chanyeol said, dropping his feet back on the floor and rising from the chair. “Baekhyun. What did he come here for?”
Kris quirked his lips. “What’re you talking about?” he asked innocently.
“Stop it,” Chanyeol snapped, moving from behind the desk. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. What was he doing here this afternoon?”
Setting Baekhyun’s envelope near a coffee table, Kris walked over to a couch set near his office’s glass windows and sat himself down. “He wanted to have lunch with me,” Kris shrugged. “So I took him to a restaurant and let him eat his heart out.”
“I’m not joking around, Kris,” warned Chanyeol.
“You can check my credit card bill,” Kris defended, waving his hand casually in the air. “Your small fiancé ate like a cow. I wondered if he was eating alright.”
In a second, Chanyeol’s trail of thought was derailed. “Did he look like he’s been eating?”
“Hm?” Kris raised his brows at the concerned giant. “Oh, yeah. He looked fine. I’m just saying that he ate like he was starving.”
Questions arose in Chanyeol head, questioning on whether or not Baekhyun was actually taking care of himself. He made a mental note to text another reminder to eat later that day.
Shaking his head, Chanyeol sighed as he crossed his arms. “Well, then why? Why did he want to eat lunch with you?”
“He came to me for that,” Kris replied, pointing over to the yellow envelope he set down. “It’s just some papers concerning the marriage contract and other things. By the way, since you’re here, can you sign them?”
Frowning, Chanyeol stalked over to the table and picked up the envelope, immediately taking out the content inside. He took a few minutes to scan the papers, going over the details that stood out to him. When he finished, his fingers were shaking as he looked up. “He wants it annulled.”
“And he wants to keep his family’s company away from us,” Kris added. “I have to admit that it’s a bold move to ask.”
Chanyeol’s chest heaved silently as his eyes continued to be glued onto the papers that Baekhyun desired to be signed. “Why didn’t he come to me? Why you?” he asked quietly as if it was a rhetorical question to himself.
“He said,” Kris started, letting the words hang until Chanyeol looked up at him with waiting eyes, “that meeting you would be… awkward.”
In a second, Chanyeol’s jaw slacked in utter disbelief. Forcefully throwing the papers back on the table, the giant walked quickly back to Kris’ desk. The mood around him caused Kris to be alerted. “What’re you doing?”
Ignoring the question, Chanyeol let out a frustrated groan. “Awkward! He said that meeting me would be awkward!”
Slowly getting up, Kris nodded. “Yeah, he did—”
“What part of coming up to me and discussing something that involves the both of us would be awkward!?” the giant huffed. He cursed under his breath as he grabbed for the telephone on Kris’ desk and began punching in the number that Baekhyun had been using. “You know, nothing about trying to fix this thing between us would be awkward! He’s absolutely frustrating.”
“He also said he was being stubborn.”
“Damn right, he is!” Chanyeol exclaimed, dramatically setting the receiver back down. When he realized what he had done, he furiously grabbed the phone and began dialing again. “Stubborn little idiot. For the love of god, if you ever find someone that you want to spend the rest of your sad life with, go for someone less challenging. Save yourself a shit load of trouble with people like Baekhyun.”
Slowly walking over to where his boss stood, Kris slanted his lips. “Why don’t you take your own advice and look for someone else?”
“Because this idiot,” Chanyeol snapped loudly, pointing at the telephone, “is the only idiot that I want.”
Putting the receiver to his ear, Chanyeol waited for Baekhyun to pick up. It only took three rings before he heard Baekhyun’s voice greet him with a sort of familiarity. But before Chanyeol could respond, Kris went up and ended the call with one push of a button.
Chanyeol slowly dragged his eyes towards Kris. “What do you think you're doing?” he asked in a subtly threatening voice. “He picked up and you just—”
Taking a step back, Kris heaved his shoulders in a careless manner. “What do you think was going to happen with that call?” he challenged, cocking his head. “The moment you would have opened your mouth, he would’ve hung up and never trusted any incoming call from my office number again. If you want to yell at him or whatever it is that you want to do to him, it’s best to do it in person. Play your cards right, Chanyeol. Calling him up now isn’t smart.”
“Then what the hell do you suggest I do?” Chanyeol threw. “I’m not really left with a lot of options. I don’t even know where he’s living right now.”
Kris thought about it for a minute. “Well, he’s expecting you to sign those papers. I told him I would call him back so he could pick it up once you’re done with them.”
Rolling his eyes, Kris sighed as he turned on his heels to retrieve the envelope. “I’ll tell him that you signed it and he’ll come to get it. If he asks about you, I’ll say you went back home for a few days to work by yourself.”
Catching the subordinate’s drift, Chanyeol scoffed. “Would he really be that naïve?”
The look on Kris’ face said it all. “I’m going to let you answer that question.”
Tracing his slender fingers around the rim of his glass, Baekhyun smiled as he lifted his eyes up towards his client of the night. It wasn’t a pre-scheduled service appointment, but the client was Kim Jongdae and Baekhyun liked the familiarity between them. Unlike the rest, whenever Baekhyun spent his time with the man, it felt like he had someone to talk to, which is what he did for the majority of the time.
A few people looked towards him for possible sexual favors, but Jongdae just needed someone to converse with. As to why he’d pay a ridiculous amount of money for an escort’s time just to talk, Baekhyun didn’t know, but he didn’t mind either.
Although the man was practically a stranger, Baekhyun told him everything except for the fact that he altered a few names and other circumstantial details. That night, Baekhyun updated him about a few things, including his self-evaluation, and Jongdae did nothing but listen over a few glasses of alcohol.
When Baekhyun finished, Jongdae looked at him with a shrug. “Then start over.”
As he sat in the office’s sofa, Baekhyun gave himself a pat on the back for having made the choice to go to Kris to do his business.
When he left the envelope with Kris, he had an idea that perhaps it would take a week or two for him to respond back, but the fact that the associate called back within four days came as a surprise. Either Kris had great persuasion skills or Chanyeol didn’t even bother to read anything before signing. Both scenarios didn’t necessarily matter since he was already sitting in Kris’ office waiting for the papers’ return.
Baekhyun didn’t know how deep he was in his thoughts about the papers, the annulment, and the realizations that he had about how he felt until the door loudly cracked open, snapping him out of it. Fixing the cuffs of his new cardigan, which was fit for the occasion of legally breaking up with one’s fiancé, he stood up, getting ready to run up and greet Kris.
However, when the tall male stepped inside, Baekhyun froze in his tracks when he saw that it wasn’t the lanky man that he was expecting. Baekhyun made eye contact with the person standing near the doorway, but he only lasted a few seconds before looking away and turning his attention towards the windows in the room.
Walking over, Baekhyun searched the windows for something that would open them, but it was unlikely to begin with. “You know,” he said after he gave up and resolved to putting a hand on the clear glass, “you should really make windows that open, Yeol.”
“I think that beats the purpose of having a sleek looking building, Baek.”
Baekhyun heard the clicking of the door lock and he inwardly sighed. “Did you know,” he started, giving a small pause, “that there are things called fire safety laws? Because I’m sure that having windows that don’t open is a violation of Kris’ right to be safe in case of a fire emergency…”
“The fire department came by a few months ago and gave us the go.”
“Well, they missed the windows.”
“Being on the seventh floor with windows that you can open all the way is not a good idea.”
“Then how am I supposed to jump off…” Baekhyun mumbled.
“You can stand on the couch and jump into my arms instead,” Chanyeol joked lightly.
Biting his lips, Baekhyun ignored the remark as he turned around. Seeing Chanyeol in a suit was something new, and frankly, Baekhyun found that he liked it. But he quickly reminded himself that he wasn’t there to fawn over the giant.
Catching the sight of a yellow envelope in Chanyeol’s hand, Baekhyun caught his breath. “I came here to get that,” he said, directing his eyes at the yellow object. “I was expecting Kris.”
“I’m sure you were,” Chanyeol said casually, moving over to the desk on the right.
“The little name thing on the desk says ‘Wufan’ on it,” Baekhyun said in a thin voice. “I didn’t know this was your office. Why is the name tag thing lying?”
“It’s not lying because this isn’t my office,” Chanyeol said, sighing as he set the envelope down. “You and I both know that.”
“He’s not needed here,” the giant was quick to reply. “I’m here. I’ll take care of business.”
Huffing, Baekhyun grimaced as he walked towards the giant, holding out his hand. “There’s no business to take care of. I came for the envelope.”
“Did you expect that I would just give it to you?” Chanyeol asked, raising a brow.
“That would be the nice thing to do.”
“According to you, I’m not nice.”
Frowning, Baekhyun slanted his lips. “If you give me the envelope and let me go, I’ll consider this your redemption.”
Cocking his head, Chanyeol smirked as he prowled closer to where Baekhyun stood until he towered over him. “Why don’t you take a seat and talk with me for a while?”
“I don’t want to,” Baekhyun bluntly said.
“Tell me why.”
Glancing at the envelope on the desk, Baekhyun wondered if he was willing to run over, grab it, and make an escape. Chanyeol followed his gaze and immediately understood what the smaller male was thinking.
“Don’t even think about it, Baekhyun,” Chanyeol warned.
Looking up at him, Baekhyun blinked. “I wasn’t thinking about anything.”
Scoffing, Chanyeol shook his head. “Go sit down.”
“Two months.” Thrown in a loop, Baekhyun gave Chanyeol an opportunity to push him down into a chair nearby. “Actually, now it’s almost been three months, right?”
Realizing what he was referring to, Baekhyun pursed his lips as he watched Chanyeol take another seat and pull it closer to him. Before he knew it, they sat facing each other. They sat so close that their knees touched, which Baekhyun had mixed feelings about.
“I’m… uncomfortable,” he said slowly, hoping that it would make Chanyeol reconsider some distance between them. However, it did not.
“And I miss you,” Chanyeol nonchalantly remarked, waving a hand, “but anyways, now that you have nowhere to go—”
“Actually,” Baekhyun cut in, holding up a finger, “I have an appointment with someone for lunch and I can’t be late—”
“Reschedule,” Chanyeol dismissively said. “I have questions and needs that only you can help me with.”
Unrelenting in his resolve to make progress, Chanyeol didn’t allow Baekhyun to pull out another excuse. “Where have you been?”
It took a minute for Baekhyun to calm his nerves and decide to reply. He held no interest in opening for the giant, but he took into account his situation and position and decided that he had no other choice. It seemed like it was the time to selectively put out all the cards he had in his hand on the table.
“I’ve been everywhere,” he finally replied, keeping his head high and his eyes locked with Chanyeol’s. “You name it, I went.”
“Just like at that opening party?”
Chanyeol paused. “Who was the guy you were with?”
“Why do you want to know?” Baekhyun grumbled.
“Because I’m jealous,” Chanyeol curtly said, not bothering to hide the reason. “Who was he?”
Sighing, Baekhyun didn’t know what else to do, but throw his hands up. “He was just a client, Yeol. We’re kind of close so he didn’t rat me out to my boss when you attacked him,” he said, snorting.
“Boss?” Creasing his brows, Chanyeol was genuinely appalled. “You have a job?”
“I haven’t been living like a homeless man,” Baekhyun responded defensively. “Well, okay, I was homeless for a few days, but then I got some help and got back on my feet. But yes, I do have a job. Nugget has to eat food.”
“I didn’t know you had a job,” Chanyeol said under his breath, cocking his head. “What do you do? And speaking of food, have you been eating?”
“This is starting to feel like an interrogation,” Baekhyun complained, slouching his shoulders. “I’m kind of like a prostitute. Yes, I’ve been eating. No, I haven’t had sex with any of my clients. Yes, I miss you and everyone else. Finally, yes, I really do need those papers.” Satisfied with himself, Baekhyun clapped his hands together. “I think I’ve said it all—”
“First of all,” Chanyeol interrupted, holding a hand up and motioned for Baekhyun to stay in his seat, which he did, “I’m going to need you to elaborate on the words ‘kind of like a prostitute’ later for me. Second, I’m glad to know that you’re eating. Third, I really hope you’re not lying about sleeping with your clients because I don’t like the thought of sharing you and it’d be a shame to destroy them all. Fourth, you’ll get the papers later. Now, back to the part where you said you missed me—”
“I said I missed you and everyone else,” Baekhyun emphasized.
“But you still miss me,” Chanyeol pointed out. Having none of Baekhyun’s denial, he waved him off. “I want you back and you miss me. Let’s kill two birds with one stone, quit being stubborn, and go back home.”
Biting his lips, Baekhyun broke eye contact to glance away for a second. “We can’t just go back to being how we were,” he mumbled. “I feel… really tangled. Imagine being in a house full of yarn and tripping over every single string! That’s how I feel. Do you feel me on this?”
“Let’s say that I do,” Chanyeol said carefully, “but go on.”
“I want the papers so I can divorce you,” Baekhyun explained, seeing it as his opportunity to confess everything that he had been lingering about by himself for the past weeks. “Well, it’s not really a divorce since you and I were never married, but the dictionary meaning of the word divorce is technically—”
“Okay, I get the idea. Go on.”
Taking a deep breath, Baekhyun continued, moving his hands around and animating certain words. “After I finish completely untangling myself from you, then we can start over,” he said, somewhat losing strength in his voice near the end. “You’ll just be Park Chanyeol and I’ll just be Byun Baekhyun.”
“You want to start over…” Chanyeol repeated.
Baekhyun nodded, but then caught himself. “Before I forget, I wanted to say that I’m sorry. I might’ve… judged your intentions, maybe. I thought about it and I talked to Jongdae—you know, the guy that you attacked—and we both came to the conclusion that I… was scared… Anyways—”
“Scared of what?” Chanyeol wanted to know.
Giving the giant a small smile, Baekhyun shrugged. “Scared that I really liked you and that maybe you were just pretending to like me for my money. Also, I couldn’t stand the thought of you using me so I just dropped you like a bowling ball and ran off, I guess.”
Chanyeol clicked his tongue. “So, were you still scared when I chased you across the parking lot?”
“Kind of,” Baekhyun admitted. “I didn’t want to see you.”
“But you were willing to lose your pants and dignity,” Chanyeol said, as if asking for confirmation.
Baekhyun chuckled to himself for a while as he nodded. “I’m shameless, remember?”
“You’re not shameless,” the giant corrected. “You’re just very open.”
“Since you think I’m open, I might as well tell you that I still love you whether or not you’re the asshole that I made you out to be,” Baekhyun confessed nonchalantly. “Also, I want to be in your arms again—presuming that you don’t dote on me when that happens. And I also want to kiss you and hug you, because I’ve been lonely for a while.”
“Well, I’m right here,” Chanyeol said, opening his arms and straightening his posture. “And I want you to lean over here so we can figure out the rest together.”
“That’s very nice and all, but no thank you.”
Chanyeol’s jaw slightly slacked. “What?”
“I want to start over,” Baekhyun said.
Trying to keep his voice low, Chanyeol thinned his lips. “Then come over here and we can—”
“No, you don’t understand,” Baekhyun whined, hitting Chanyeol on the knee. “I want to start over in the sense that I walk out of here pretending that you don’t exist.”
Taken aback, Chanyeol glared. “Excuse me? You want to walk out of here with the mental state of a forgetful mental patient?”
Baekhyun groaned. “You’re exaggerating.”
“I can’t believe you,” Chanyeol huffed as he rose from his seat and towered intimidatingly over Baekhyun’s small body sitting on the seat. “Let me recap. You’ve apologized for running away and misjudging my intentions. You and I have both agreed that we want to be together again. What you want is for the contract and the conditions to end so that all legal obligations between us is null and void and what’s left can only be personal feelings; however, you want to walk out of here pretending I don’t exist. Why does that last part not seem right to me?”
Rising, Baekhyun defended himself. “All I want is to go to a café and have a really nice and tall stranger tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘excuse me, hot stuff, but I believe I accidentally took your order’ and we hit it off from there! Or I want to miss the bus and have to share an umbrella with a tall stranger because I accidentally forgot mine at home.” He paused. “I want to meet you like how normal people meet their husbands… People don’t meet others and be like, ‘oh, by the way, you and I are already engaged,’ you know?”
“You want a story book meeting.”
“You want normal.”
“But you’re not normal. You’re nuts.”
Baekhyun shrugged, grinning up at the giant. “But you like nuts.”
In that moment, Chanyeol couldn’t help but smile back. Understanding of what Baekhyun wanted and what was needed for the both of them, he nodded. “I’ll get you those papers,” he started slowly, keeping his gaze locked with Baekhyun’s eyes, “and I’ll get you that story book scenario.”
Turning around, Chanyeol walked back to Kris’ desk to retrieve the envelope with Baekhyun following closely behind. When he got it, he was surprised to see an eager face standing so close. Before he handed the folder over to Baekhyun’s excited hands, he held the smaller male’s chin upwards.
“You’re not going to run away again, are you?” he asked, smirking. “You’re not just feeding me bullshit just so you can get out of here?”
“You have my word,” Baekhyun grinned as he took the envelope from the taller male’s hand.
“Honey, your word’s kind of shit,” Chanyeol laughed, especially when Baekhyun made a face.
“Chanyeol, I have something to tell you.”
Heeding the smaller male’s request, Chanyeol leaned in, lowering his head until the space between their faces barely existed by a fraction of an inch.
“Did you know that sometimes, in some cultures, they kiss to seal deals?”
Chanyeol scoffed softly with his lips just barely touching the idiot’s in front of him. “Really?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Quickly, Baekhyun stood on his toes and placed a chaste kiss on the giant’s mouth. “But I wanted to. I just thought that I’d be spontaneous with it.”
“You call that spontaneous?” Chanyeol asked, as if making fun of the entire situation. Shaking his head, he disagreed with Baekhyun’s definition of the word. “This is spontaneous.”
It was like déjà vu in a fourth parallel the way Chanyeol dipped his head and slanted his lips across Baekhyun’s, connecting them like they were never apart to begin with. It was clear by the way that Baekhyun gave in and committed to the kiss that all those months in isolation did nothing to erase his feelings.
And when Chanyeol deepened the intimate action, it wasn’t long until Baekhyun’s trembling fingers dropped the envelope on the floor and he found himself pressed against the wall until the both of them were gasping for air.
A week passed without a word from Chanyeol—not that Baekhyun was expecting it. Waiting for his story book moment made Baekhyun feel like Rapunzel, who waited forever in her tower. However, after a while, he started getting antsy, but time and time again, he would tell himself to be patient.
And patient he was.
Baekhyun dealt with waiting in many ways. First, he quit his job gracefully. Second, he gave his cellphone back to Minseok, who was more than happy to finalize the annulment and receive his cellphone back.
Then Baekhyun went to go visit his parents for the first time since he climbed out his window and ran off to be the maid of an arrogant ass who lived in his own villa near the ocean. There wasn’t much to talk about with his dad except for the same old talk about taking over the business, which Baekhyun waved off because he didn’t feel like hearing it for the millionth time. He already knew.
His conversation with his mother was much more interesting, especially with her keen interest in Chanyeol. When Baekhyun asked about how she knew him personally, she laughed. She then explained how Chanyeol frequently visited to ask about him and if they knew anything new about where he was.
In a flash, Baekhyun felt slightly guilty for holding his accusations about Chanyeol for so long, seeing as how much the giant had tried to find him. When his mother saw the look on his face, she was quick to reassure him that everything would work out. All he had to do was wait.
And wait he did.
Being patient wasn’t Baekhyun’s forte. But on the one day that he was going to break and call Chanyeol to ask him if he was just sitting on his ass, Baekhyun found himself robbed.
When he came home from buying his microwavable food for the week from the store, Baekhyun saw that his apartment was broken into. Immediately he dropped everything and ran inside to check the damage. However, nothing seemed out of place. All his valuables were still there and nothing seemed stolen.
Just when Baekhyun was about to breathe a sigh of relief he realized that something important was very missing: Nugget.
Frantically, Baekhyun searched high and low for the dog, constantly calling out his name, but to no avail. And just when Baekhyun was on the verge of tears to even think that Nugget had been dog-napped, he trudged back to the living room and saw a small note on the dinner table that he hadn’t noticed before.
At first, Baekhyun thought it was a shitty ransom note left behind by a cheapskate kidnapper who couldn’t even afford printer paper, but when he saw what was written on it, Baekhyun yelled in irritation and crumpled up the note, cursing Chanyeol to hell and back.
Baekhyun didn’t know what Chanyeol was up to, but he prayed on the giant’s behalf that it would be worth it, because if it wasn’t, the small brunet wasn’t going to cage the beast inside. If Chanyeol knew him at all, he would have known that Baekhyun didn’t like being pushed into giving effort.
And making him take one long subway ride, a bumpy bus ride, and a short taxi ride took a shit ton of effort that Baekhyun could’ve spent doing nothing.
When he stepped out of the taxi cab and onto Chanyeol’s property again, he was hit with a strong sense of nostalgia, fully understanding just how much he missed the life he had there.
But Baekhyun didn’t linger about the feeling too long. He had a dog to get.
Quickly stepping up the porch, Baekhyun wasted no time on abusing the doorbell and knocking his delicate fist against the door. It didn’t take long for the door to open, but strangely enough, the entire house seemed dark until Baekhyun stepped inside and heard a loud bang.
Immediately, the lights came on and Baekhyun no longer understood anything at all.
With the dog in his arms, Chanyeol stood in the middle of all his house workers wearing a black and white suit with a bow tie that didn’t match. In Kyungsoo’s hand was an uncut cheesecake and in Kai’s hands were two bags of the latest romance novels released with a few bookstore gift cards. Sehun got the easiest task of holding a pair of car keys.
Baekhyun was thrown in a loop when he saw Luhan standing behind Chanyeol as well. The latter looked just as confused and shocked. But pushing the questions aside, Baekhyun went back to focus his attention on Chanyeol.
Clearing his throat, Chanyeol called for his sole attention.
“So, there I was,” the giant started out, making sure that Baekhyun was looking only at him and not even at the dog, “taking a walk down the street when I decided I wanted to go up inside this one building by total coincidence.”
“By total coincidence?” Baekhyun teased.
“Don’t interrupt me,” Chanyeol mumbled before continuing on. “Anyways, I found an apartment with an address that Mr. Kim Minseok might’ve slipped to me and I decided that I was going to steal the only living thing inside.”
“Well, that was the plan, but you weren’t there, so I took the dog.”
Giving the giant a small smile, Baekhyun laughed. “What’re you doing?”
“I’m asking ye tae be mine,” Chanyeol answered. “Will ye let me court ye?"
“Really, what’re you doing?”
Chanyeol shrugged. “You’re into Scottish guys with those stupid accents. I thought I’d give it a try if it was going to help my case.”
“One, it’s called a brogue,” Baekhyun said, taking a step towards the ridiculous, try-hard giant. “Second, I thought I said I wanted a story book meeting. I didn’t ask for you to break into my house and steal my dog. That’s not romantic, you twat.”
Chanyeol smiled as Baekhyun got closer and closer until they stood toe to toe. “Well, the scenarios that you had were boring so I came up with this. Why? You don’t like it?”
“Just like you.”
“And it’s corny.”
“Just like you.”
Snorting, Baekhyun shook his head as he took Nugget from Chanyeol and carried the dog by his hip. “But I love it,” he admitted softly.
“Better than the books?”
As Chanyeol leaned forward, pressing his forehead against Baekhyun’s, the others around them watched, knowing completely well that their presence no longer mattered to the two. But that didn’t stop them. They continued to watch on.
Laughing, Baekhyun nodded, tilting his face upwards to kiss Chanyeol on the cheek. “Much better than the books.”
Then Luhan did his assigned job and popped the champagne bottle.
X X X
“Can I tell you something?”
“You hired my ex-boyfriend.”
“The maid. He’s my ex-boyfriend. Well, we were more like friends with benefits. I thought that I should just let you know.”
“What the hell—”
“We kind of had sex, too, but it was nothing…”
“When was this?”
“After I ran away and became a homeless man for four days…Are you mad?”
“I don’t know what to say. I should fire him—no, I should kick his ass out in the middle of the road.”
“No, don’t do that. He’s handsome.”
“And Sehun likes him. Nugget seems happy.”
“Well, I’m not happy.”
“Are you not happy with me, then? I’ll go sleep in my room tonight if you’re not…”
“I’m sorry. I mean it, tall man…”
“But if you don’t want me anymore, that’s okay. If you’re still gay for the cook, then I guess that’s fine—”
“Baekhyun, shut up, I’m not in love with the cook and I’m not that mad at you. I’m jealous and I’m mad that I practically drove you in that guy’s arms, so get back over here because you’re not leaving.”
“Give me a few days and a punching bag and I’ll be fine.”
“I can give you a lap dance on the strip pole in my bedroom?”
“Do that, too. That shit took a lot of money to install. Use it.”
“You’re not in love with Kyungs—”
“I think you mentioned this before, Baek, back when you just started here. And like I told you then, no, I don’t like the cook and I never liked the cook.”
“And why’s that, giant?”
“Because I fell in love with the maid.”