Back at the house, Baekhyun had more books than he could count and more books than Chanyeol’s credit card could keep up with sometimes. In many of those novels, hidden behind each page, was an evil mother, focused on separating her beautiful baby boy from the grasp of his fiancé or wife. As Baekhyun walked in front of Chanyeol, flashes bore in his mind. He remembered how Dimitri’s mother from Secret Fire treated Katherine terribly when he wasn’t looking, even treating her like a servant when he went away to Moscow for a while. Then in The Wedding, Connor’s conniving mother was also a heinous bitch that forced him to choose between her and his wife.
For a while, Baekhyun wondered if he’d be treated like a maid dressed in rags like Katherine or be left behind by Chanyeol for his mother as Connor did to Brenna. However, the moment he climbed up the steps and saw the homely woman standing near a man with Sehun already stationed near them, all thoughts dissipated.
“Hey, mom,” Chanyeol greeted, setting their things down on the floor the moment he stepped inside the sleek house. As he took his shoes off, he looked back and motioned for Baekhyun to take his hand. The brunette didn’t need any help entering the house, but the gesture was more for support. Watching Baekhyun slowly take his hand, Chanyeol could tell that the latter was doing so subconsciously. “Come on. Look, mom got slippers for you already.”
Looking down, Baekhyun spotted a pair of slippers, fluffy and soft by appearance, near Chanyeol’s. “Mine?”
Baekhyun cracked a small smile for a second, but it disappeared as soon as he felt himself struggling for air. Mrs. Park had her arms around him in a tight hug. By nature, Baekhyun should’ve let go of Chanyeol’s hand to hug back, but instead, he couldn’t. With one hand, he held the giant’s supportive hand and with the other, he wrapped it around his mother-in-law.
“It’s so good to finally see you after all this time!” she exclaimed after letting him go. “You look much more matured than the photos your parents released to us a year or two ago.”
Quickly bowing the traditional ninety degrees, Baekhyun laughed nervously while side glancing Chanyeol for possible aid. When the giant put his hands up in front of him and went over to talk to his father, Baekhyun felt himself die a little bit. “Well, um… Those pictures were from my high school years—early college, sometimes.”
“Ah,” she nodded. “I wish I met you in person sooner. We were supposed to meet a year ago, I think? Some mishap happened, I heard.”
The brunette’s lips wobbled for a moment before he dropped his eyes down. “I wasn’t ready then,” he replied slowly. “I’m ready now, though.”
She gently cupped his cheek, similar to the way Chanyeol always did it when the giant was trying to get the smaller one to lighten up, and nodded understandingly. The way she handled him put Baekhyun to ease, and he was able to slip off his shoes and put on the slippers that his in-laws had gotten him. There was no doubt in his mind that Chanyeol told his parents to buy him the most childishly themed ones in the store.
As he left their belongings and passed Sehun with Nugget quietly sitting in his arms for the first time since the day he was taken from the parking lot, Baekhyun was slowly led towards Mr. Park, whose appearance seemed more aged, but nonetheless, just as kind. With one look, Baekhyun could see where his giant had gotten his height and looks.
“Baekhyun. Nice to meet you,” his father-in-law said, holding out a hand.
Mustering up the strength to keep his smile, Baekhyun nodded as he stiffly shook the man’s hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, too.”
Chanyeol was standing by, grinning as his father grinned as well. “I was worried that this wouldn’t work out after you ran away. You left me wondering whether or not Chanyeol actually scared you with the way he looked.”
Prone to Chanyeol’s constant teasing, his father’s jabs weren’t anything that Baekhyun couldn’t handle already, despite the fact that he did feel embarrassed for his actions a year ago. They knew he had run off, but they didn’t know that he jumped from a second story bedroom just to avoid holy matrimony with their one and only male offspring. So, Baekhyun continued to uphold the smile on his face. “Ah, yeah, but like I said, I won’t run off this time, I swear. Also, Chanyeol’s appearance is really nothing to be scared of, so don’t think that that’s the reason why I, uh, delayed the last meeting. If anything, the only thing scary about him is his—”
“Okay, enough introductions,” Chanyeol cut in as his mother chuckled. He took Baekhyun from her hold and pulled him closer to him. “Before we get settled in, that’s Baekhyun’s dog.”
Happy as can be, Nugget slipped his tongue out and wriggled when Mrs. Park moved over to coddle him. “He’s very cute,” she said, looking back at the couple. “Just like you, Baekhyun.”
Beaming at the compliment for his dog, Baekhyun laughed. “I know!”
Chanyeol scoffed as he reached down and pulled at the brunette’s cheeks. “Usually, the pup’s not this well-behaved,” he muttered, making a thin line as to whether or not he was referring to Baekhyun or Nugget.
Believing that her son was speaking of the dog, Mrs. Park nodded as she gave Nugget a pat on the head. “Sehun, we’ve already set up your room upstairs in the right wing.”
“Alright. Thank you,” Sehun replied as he took his leave, making sure he made Nugget’s paw go up and down as if the pup was saying his farewells, too.
Once the boy had left, Mrs. Park excused herself to make some tea and check on the snacks she had prepared. Then, Mr. Park turned to his son and his son’s fiancé. “I’ll help you carry your things to Chanyeol’s room upstairs.”
Before Chanyeol could speak, Baekhyun shook his head, refusing the offer. “It’s alright! We can carry it up by ourselves!”
“Baekhyun,” Chanyeol said, looking down at him. “I don’t think you can carry that suitcase up by yourself. Don’t overwork it.”
“I can drag it upstairs,” Baekhyun mumbled in reply. “I’ll be fine.”
“Just carry your backpack—”
“I can drag the—”
“If you two are done,” Mr. Park interrupted, clearing his throat. The giant and his small significant other turned their heads to see that the elder already had the duffle bag swung across his chest with both suitcases in his hands, “I’m going to start heading up.”
There was a pause between Chanyeol and the brunette. Then, in a flash, Baekhyun left his side, scurrying to help his father-in-law with the burden of the bags, but as soon as he jetted off, Chanyeol went after him. Just when the tip of Baekhyun’s slender fingers touched the bag handle in an attempt to take it from Mr. Park, Chanyeol came from behind him and pulled the latter by his jacket’s hood. The wooden floor didn’t give the brunette much of an advantage, giving Chanyeol the chance to slide him away from his dad.
With Baekhyun slightly confounded by what just happened, Chanyeol let the jacket go and went after his dad who had started up the stairs shaking his head at the two. When Chanyeol persisted on carrying at least one thing, his father relented halfway and handed over Baekhyun’s smaller case. As the three when up the stairs, Chanyeol looked back at his defeated fiancé and stopped walking momentarily to address the male’s expression.
“Stop giving me the lip,” he said, sighing.
Baekhyun looked up at him. “What lip?”
“The boo-boo lip,” Chanyeol replied.
Mumbling, Baekhyun told him, “I’m not giving you the boo-boo lip.”
Reaching over, Chanyeol pinched the latter’s bottom lip which was jutted out in protest. “Trying to guilt me with those eyes and this—the boo-boo lip—isn’t going to work, okay?”
Moving his head, Baekhyun took back his own lips. “I was only trying to help,” he said in a low voice. “You know, I’m trying to make a good impression.”
“I know,” Chanyeol said, giving him a lopsided grin before turning back around and continuing on, “but falling down some stairs because you’re overexerting yourself won’t make for a good impression. Besides, you’re the one who almost vomited on the way here. Take it easy. You’ll find other ways to impress them.”
As they reached the top, Baekhyun looked around and spotted his father-in-law disappear down a hallway. “Are we going to a guest room?” he asked quietly, following behind the giant.
“Yeah,” Chanyeol responded. He moved at a steady pace, but had to look back every once in a while to watch Baekhyun marvel at the decoration and structure of the house. “It’s not anywhere near my parents’. They sleep on the bottom floor.”
Baekhyun kept silent, deterring himself from telling Chanyeol that he wasn’t asking where his parents slept anyhow. It wasn’t as though he was planning on doing anything adult rated with the giant during their stay, but he wondered for a short while whether Chanyeol knew that fact.
When they reached the room, their bags were already settled near the bed, which was almost as large as the one in the beach house. Baekhyun stuck his head inside out of curiosity before settling in and looking around at his giant’s belongings. In one corner, there was an acoustic guitar set on a stand and another guitar—electric—hanging on the wall. Across the bed was a television, but the piece of technology wasn’t the main feature, because right behind it was a shelf full of awards and medals as well as Chanyeol’s degrees.
The room was painted with a light color, contrasting with the dark wooden floors. Although clustered with the items a teenage boy would’ve kept and collected, there was a familiarity to the room, something that reminded Baekhyun of their bedroom. “It’s nice…” he commented quietly, unaware of how Chanyeol had left his side to walk over to their things.
With his hands on his hips, Mr. Park went to stand near the door where Baekhyun was stuck, fixated on his surroundings. “Well, I hope you’ll feel right at home while you’re here with us. Chanyeol’s bed may look large, but once he’s on it, it’ll seem like a single. If you need anything, just tell us and we’ll figure something out.”
Putting his hands in front of him, Baekhyun shook his head quickly. “It’s okay! I can fit. If not, I can sleep on the floor. Chanyeol makes me sleep on the floor sometimes,” he lied, trying to make up an excuse to put less burden on the elder, “so it’s okay. Really.”
Mr. Park said nothing to Baekhyun’s statement. After a while, he turned his head to his son, who was looking at them with a blank look on his face. “You make your fiancé sleep on the floor?”
Chanyeol’s jaw hung open as he straightened up. The tone in his father’s voice wasn’t teasing, and it didn’t indicate that he was joking around. It sounded, to him, as though the elder had absolutely believed Baekhyun’s silver tongue. “No, I don’t,” he said defensively. “I—”
“Then why does he say that he’s used to sleeping on the ground? Do you not have a mattress?”
“We do,” Chanyeol said, moving his hands as if it’d aid his explanation. “We have a mattress, and he doesn’t—”
Mr. Park, however, was unrelenting. “Then how is it that he—”
“I was kidding!” Baekhyun loudly piped, intervening when he felt like it was getting too out of hand. Laughing nervously, he backed away from the two a bit, keeping his hands together in front of him. “He doesn’t make me sleep on the floor. Sometimes, I fall off the bed in the early morning and I’m too lazy to get back on.” He was rambling. He knew it, but he couldn’t stop. “The floor doesn’t really bother me. I wasn’t kidding about that, but when Chanyeol wakes up, he’s usually the one to pick me up and put me back on the bed. I didn’t think you’d take me seriously… I’m sorry.”
Chanyeol watched the brunette and he noticed it. There it was. The boo-boo lip was jutting out.
Perhaps it was in the Parks’ genetics or maybe Baekhyun just had some sort of power with that boo-boo lip of his, but after a second, Mr. Park let the subject go, sighing as he rubbed his head with a hand. “I see, I see,” he said, nodding. “Well, the offer will still stand. If you ever need to be away from that guy, just say so and we can move your things to a different room.”
Baekhyun smiled and said his thanks as the elder left, closing the door behind him. When the brunette heard the door click shut, he took in a deep breath and whipped around. “I like your dad,” he announced, moving quickly over to Chanyeol and flopping on the bed. For a second, he stayed with his face shoved in the sheets, but then he rolled over, catching Chanyeol looking at him with raised brows. “You don’t like it when I sleep in other rooms or lock you out, but here’s your dad telling me that it’s perfectly fine.”
Chanyeol snorted as he gently slapped Baekhyun on the knee. “Yeah, well you almost had me beheaded,” he told the smaller male who was smiling at him. “Just a heads up, my dad’s all about that chivalry type of thing, so he won’t like hearing tales about me treating you like some help. He’ll take it as a serious matter.”
“To be fair,” Baekhyun said, pointing at him, “you did treat me like help.”
“You were help,” Chanyeol scoffed as he turned his attention to their bags. Then, he dropped down to the floor and started unzipping the suitcases. “Anyways, do you still feel uneasy from the way over here? I’m trying to see if I packed any medication that can help with that. If not, we can go downstairs and try to find something if you still feel queasy.”
Baekhyun hummed, sitting up as he listened, but his attention was gone from the giant. “I don’t feel sick anymore. It’s alright…” he said as his eyes wandered. Then, with his foot, he lightly hit Chanyeol’s back. “Hey, I didn’t know you played the guitar. We don’t have one back at home.”
Glancing up, Chanyeol took a look at Baekhyun’s expression that he focused on the instruments. “I do,” he replied. “I don’t have one at the house because I have no time for that type of thing anymore, but back in high school and college, I used to play. I was in a band, too. There’s also a drum set down in the basement since I learned how to play that after a few years.”
“I’ve always wanted to be screwed by a musician…” The words slipped out and Chanyeol looked to see if Baekhyun was even aware of what he had just said.
“You’ve been screwed by a musician, honey.”
Shaking his head, Baekhyun turned his head to look at Chanyeol as if the subject was as casual as asking for the weather. “You don’t count. You’re the business man fantasy, not the musician fantasy,” he said. “Someone needs to play my buns like a pair of bongos…”
Sighing, Chanyeol knew he couldn’t win—as usual. “Maybe we can role play later.”
Baekhyun shrugged. “Maybe,” he responded. Standing up, he started walking around the room, visiting the shelf of awards first. “You’re an athlete, too…You were really cute back then, Yeol!”
Chanyeol stood up and took a seat on the bed. “Where?”
“Here!” The brunette pointed at a picture frame of a young high school boy posing with his equipment. “You played baseball! I didn’t know. You learn new things about someone every day, I guess. But, oh, you were really cute. You’re on the verge of being hot—I would’ve had a crush on you if we went to the same school.”
The giant smiled at the thought, the small fantasy of what it would’ve been like to date the short vixen in his younger years. It would’ve made his high school experience a little more interesting. “Just a crush?” he laughed.
Baekhyun looked back and nodded. “I wouldn’t have had the courage to do anything back then,” he explained. “I was an extreme virgin, Yeol.”
“That’s hard to imagine.”
“I know,” the brunette agreed, laughing at his own self. His eyes wandered some more, taking in photos of his fiancé’s past achievements from winning baseball games with his team to winning a science fair all by himself. “You’re amazing.”
“Don’t you think I know that by now?” Chanyeol teased.
Turning around, Baekhyun walked back to the bed. “I don’t deserve you, Mr. Wonderful,” he continued on. It wasn’t with a serious voice, but it was something that had Chanyeol disagreeing with him.
“I think it’s the other way around, Baek,” he gently argued, watching Baekhyun grin at him as he moved past to reach the bedside table.
“Sure,” Baekhyun said, laughing as he explored the piece of furniture. “What do you have in here? I bet you have a lot of condoms, because you were probably a Casanova back then—Oh... Condoms. There really are condoms in here...”
Just as shocked as Baekhyun, Chanyeol shot up, standing on his feet and pulling Baekhyun away from the drawer. He side stepped the brunette and looked inside. Sure enough, there were packs inside, more than Chanyeol could count at the moment.
“Well,” Baekhyun said slowly after a while, “I’m glad you practiced safe sex?”
Brows furrowed together, Chanyeol reached a hand inside, rummaging through the packs as though he’d find something that’d explain the stock. “These aren’t mine. I never kept condoms in here,” he muttered under his breath.
“Well, you must have if they’re there?” Baekhyun cocked his head. “You know, you should probably throw those out. Those love gloves are probably like…ten thousand years old. You’re going to put dust in someone’s body with that.”
“No,” Chanyeol mumbled. “These are new… I still can’t figure out how these got here—” Suddenly, he stopped rummaging. He felt a note at the bottom of the drawer and unpeeled the white sticky reminder from the bottom of the condom supply. “‘Be safe’, ” he read to himself.
Unaware of what the giant found, Baekhyun arched his head to try and look past his fiancé’s big build. “What did you find?” he asked, curious. “I want to know! Is it an old reminder from yourself ten years ago? I want to see, Yeol! What is it?”
For the longest time, Chanyeol stood there, contemplating on what he should say and how he should phrase the message he wanted to convey. But, once the brunette started tugging on the back of his shirt, he sighed, turning around to show the latter the written note along with a pack. “You want to get screwed by a musician? Apparently, my parents approve.”
“Oooh…Flavored ones…I like those.”