elles_letters: (Starlight TVXQ)
[personal profile] elles_letters
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] ligerliger
Rating: NC-17
Summary: When Jung Yunho agrees to be Jaejoong's servant for a month in exchange for repair of his father's expensive gold watch, Jaejoong doesn't see any way he can lose. It's a month of free labor and a chance to play matchmaker between the popular boy and his best friend, who's been harboring a years-long crush. But the more time that Jaejoong spends with Yunho, the more he realizes what his friend sees in him. And soon, Jaejoong realizes that Yunho is something he'd rather keep for himself.
Warnings: Sex, alcohol use by minors (the horror!), sad Jaejoong D=
Author's note: Written for [livejournal.com profile] brownbox72 as part of the 2012 JaeHo Exchange! =D

chapter one | chapter two | chapter three | chapter four


Jaejoong had tried to order Yunho to leave him alone, but the kind-hearted bastard refused. After Heechul had left, he'd dragged the visibly upset boy out of the park and drove them both to his house. He'd led Jaejoong to his bedroom where he wiped his face with a warm, damp towel

"Don't cry, Jaejoong," he comforted

The older boy bit his lip in frustration. "What's wrong with me?"

"Nothing."

Jaejoong laughed humorlessly. "'A stray dog.' 'A charity case.' Why do people think I'm like that?"

"People don't think you're like that. I never did."

"Right. You just didn't know I even existed."

"You're just kind of strange," Yunho said, his voice low and soothing. "So people have to make up their own minds about you." He gave Jaejoong a crooked smile and rubbed small circles in his back. "I didn't realize you were so sensitive, Jaejoong-ah."

"Shut up," he snuffled

"Heechul ... he's sort of a diva. He only riled you up because he doesn't like the fact that I've been ignoring him lately. He doesn't really mean it."

The older boy shook his head. "He was right. There's a reason I only have Junsu and Yoochun. Junsu's just too nice, he loves everybody, and Yoochun ... hell, I don't know why Yoochun bothers with me."

"They both love you," Yunho comforted.

"Until graduation," he mumbled softly. "Then Yoochun will probably fly off to Japan or America or China, and Junsu will get a music scholarship to go anywhere he wants. I'll still be here, broke and alone, working at the same job I've had since I was 15."

Yunho moved in close and rested his chin on Jaejoong's shoulder. "You won't be completely alone."

Jaejoong gave him a confused look. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I'll more than likely be here," Yunho admitted quietly. "My parents will only have enough money to help support me if I go to community college."

"Prince Yunho's going to attend junior college?"

"I'm not rich enough to be a prince, Jaejoong," Yunho answered sheepishly. "I'm just good at acting like one. We can be broke together if you'd like."

"You don't have to pretend to be my friend. That's not part of the contract."

"Consider it a favor. You're lending me to Junsu for the party; I don't mind letting you borrow me, too."

Jaejoong gave him a wary look before wiping at his eyes. "I don't need your favors. I don't need you. When the month is over, Heechul can have you back."

Yunho grinned before tugging gently on Jaejoong's hair. "You don't mean that," he sang softly.

"I do, too."

"No, you don't. I've figured you out."

"Oh, really?" Jaejoong snapped. "And just what did you figure out?"

"You're cute, Joongie. You act all tough to Heechul's face, then cry as soon as you're alone. You're so afraid of people judging you, that you push them away before they can even get to really know you. That's why you were so rude to me."

"You make me sound pathetic. Maybe I really just don't like you."

"See?" Yunho said, grinning. "But it's too late, you know. I've figured you out and I think I actually sort of cool."

The older boy shoved at him, but Yunho refused to move, instead placing an arm around his shoulders. Jaejoong wiggled and tried to shrug out of the embrace, but Yunho simply wrapped both arms around the other boy.

"Let me go, Yunho-yah."

"Nope. You can't push me away, Jaejoongie."

"I'm not trying to push you away; I'm trying to push you off." Jaejoong shoved at the other boy roughly, and soon they were wrestling each other on the unmade bed. Yunho, being taller and stronger than the older boy, soon had him pinned underneath him.

"Let me up!" Jaejoong said.

"Nope," Yunho repeated.

"Let me up. That's an order."

"We're friends today. You said so, remember? And friends don't order each other around."

Jaejoong frowned and wriggled underneath Yunho in an attempt to get free. It was useless, however; Yunho sat straddled on Jaejoong's legs, pinning them to the bed. Yunho just grinned mischievously as the other boy tried to slide out from underneath him

"You're so mature, Jung Yunho," he ranted. "I'm going to tell Junsu the truth about you and —" He froze when he felt something firm pressing into his thigh right where Yunho was sitting. "What's that?" he asked

Face hot with red heat, Yunho leaped off Jaejoong and rushed to the corner of the room. He kept his back to Jaejoong

"Was that — "

"No! It was nothing. Look, I'm sorry. If you want to leave you can."

Jaejoong crept up slowly until he was standing behind Yunho. "It didn't feel like nothing," he whispered.

Yunho ignored him

"Turn around."

Yunho could feel his eyes burn. He wasn't sure if it was from embarrassment, shame or anger.

"Turn around. You have to do what I say."

Swallowing, Yunho turned to face the other boy, refusing to meet his eyes. It didn't matter, though. He could still see Jaejoong as he pressed close, invading his personal space. He could see the other boy as his gaze traveled down his face, torso, and settled on his hips. He wanted to run or fall in a hole. He wanted Jaejoong to stop staring at him with those big, dark eyes.

"Was that an accident?"

"Was what an accident?"

Jaejoong pushed closer until Yunho was pressing into him. "This," he breathed. "Was this an accident or was it for me?"

Yunho looked down at the other boy, the lump in his throat preventing him from answering.

"Because if it was an accident, if it was just from me getting too close, you can just say so and we can both ignore it."

Yunho remained silent.

"I had no idea you were that way," Jaejoong murmured. He looked on Yunho's face in amusement. "So, Junsu had a much better chance of winning Prince Yunho than he thought?"

Yunho swallowed and backed away. His throat felt dry and constricted, and his skin felt like it would burn at Jaejoong's touch. "Don't make fun of me."

"Never." Jaejoong smiled shyly and ran light fingers across the curve of Yunho's jaw. "Touch me."

"What?" Yunho rasped.

"Touch me," he repeated

"Are you asking me or ordering me?"

Jaejoong flicked his gaze away before meeting Yunho's eyes hungrily. "Asking," he replied softly. "Touch me. Please?"

Warm fingers tentatively skimmed the flesh above Jaejoong's waistband, drawing circles into soft skin. He ran hands underneath Jaejoong's shirt and up his thin chest, running the pads of his fingers across pert nipples before dropping back to Jaejoong's loose-fitting khaki pants. "Like this?"

The smaller boy smiled, his skin taking on a pink glow. "Lower."

Nimble fingers undid the top Jaejoong's pants. Yunho kept his eyes lowered as his hand slipped into Jaejoong's boxers. The older boy's breath hitched as warm fingers ghosted over his hip bones and he held his breath in anticipation as he waited for fingers to wrap around the most sensitive part of him.

"How is that?" Yunho whispered. Jaejoong inhaled sharply when Yunho's strong fingers grabbed a hold of his cock.

"Tighter," he asked. "Hold me tighter."

He gasped as Yunho took a firmer grip of him and nearly collapsed onto the taller boy. His knees weakened under the flood of sensations that hand was drawing out of him. Yunho caught him with his free arm and held him against him. They stared at each other, breath mingling, warm and damp. The sound of Jaejoong's panting breath echoed in the small room

"Like that?" Yunho asked.

Jaejoong just nodded. "You have to ..." he flushed, embarrassed and flustered in the position he found himself in. "You have to ... move your hand," he said. Jaejoong bucked uselessly into Yunho's hand. "I need you to ..."

The fingers around him tightened and slid up and down the length of his cock. "Like this?" a husky voice said in his ear. Jaejoong fisted the fabric of Yunho's shirt as he grabbed onto the other boy tighter

"Yes," he panted. He moved in a steady rhythm against the older boy, bucking roughly into the palm of his hand. He buried his face into Yunho's neck and moaned lowly into the tanned skin

"That feels good," he murmured. "You feel good." He could feel Yunho shudder as his hot breath hit his neck. Jaejoong leaned forward to press kisses along that strong jaw, nipping and biting the skin in time with his slow thrusts.

"Jaejoong," the younger man nearly sighed. He turned to capture his lips in a hungry kiss, quickening his strokes of Jaejoong's hard member. He traced his tongue down the pale skin of Jaejoong's neck to the juncture of his shoulder. He wrapped his free hand around Jaejoong's waist and turned him around until his back was flat against the wall. He pulled away slightly and stared the other boy in the eyes as he continued to jack him off. Jaejoong's back arched as he struggled to keep up with Yunho, to stay on his feet, and to keep from shouting out loud

"Come on," Yunho urged, his voice as low and teasing. He shoved Jaejoong's pants down past his hips and pushed up close against his naked skin. "Come on, Jaejoongie." He captured the smaller boy's bottom lip and ran his tongue over the soft flesh. He released it slowly and pressed their foreheads together as they moved in a quick, even tempo. "Sing for me again. I —"

A sharp knock at his bedroom door interrupted him. Both boys froze. Yunho shoved Jaejoong to the floor roughly. The smaller boy sat against the wall in a slight daze, looking flushed and enticingly kissable.

Yunho wiped the palm of his hand furiously on the seat of his pants. He approached the door, double checking that it was locked on his side. "Yah?" he shouted in what he hoped was a normal and not-at-all sexed up voice. "Yes?" he tried again.

"Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes," his mother called through the door. "Is your friend staying to eat?"

"I don't think so," Yunho said. He watched as Jaejoong stood and turned away as he quickly retied his pants. "He's heading home now. I'll come to the table after I walk him to the door."

"Don't bother," Jaejoong said under his breath as he shoved Yunho away from the door. His eyes were furious. "You're disgusting," he stated before flinging open the door. He gave Yunho's staring mother a sloppy bow and then bolted from the house.

###


Hey. Come pick me up.
Joongie~ 5:23 p.m. Dec. 11

What happened to your limo service? Yunho busy?
Chun 5:33 p.m. Dec. 11

Got into a argument. Don't want to talk about it. Come now!
Joongie~ 5:35 p.m. Dec. 11

"Yunho-hyung's right. You are bossy," Yoochun whined after Jaejoong slammed the door to his father's car. "And careful! Mess anything up on this car and my parents will never let me borrow it again."

"I need a ride to my shop," Jaejoong said softly. "Go."

Yoochun gave him a look before shaking his head and driving. "You haven't called me for a ride in almost three weeks. I was beginning to think you loved Yunho more than me."

The older boy didn't answer. Jaejoong, too entrenched in his own thoughts, didn't notice Yoochun trying to get his attention until the other boy grabbed him by the cheek and pinched.

"Ow!" he yelped

"Stop frowning so hard, hyung. You'll get little wrinkles on your forehead."

Jaejoong rubbed the sore spot on his cheek and tried to relax his face

"Want to tell me what happened?" Yoochun asked softly.

"It's nothing. It's stupid."

"Well, it can't be both. Were you mean to Yunho? Are we going to have to start planning once-a-month field trips for him, too?"

"No," Jaejoong said bitterly. He would have felt better if he had been mean to Yunho, though. Instead, he'd pushed himself on the other boy, who had said nothing more than "I like you." He was pathetic. Yunho wasn't called "Prince" for nothing. He was handsome, smart, and talented; not to mention popular, kind, and from a better family than Jaejoong. He was, in short, entirely out of Jaejoong's league

There wouldn't be any need for once-a-month Yunho field trips, because there was no way Yunho was going to want to stick around with him. Jaejoong had enticed him to touch him. Then, too overcome with his own embarrassment, he had cruelly insulted him. He'd formed the deal with the boy to try and help Junsu win his heart. Jaejoong had forgotten that for a moment; he wouldn't forget again.

Jaejoong hissed when something pulled sharply at his hair. He turned to see Yoochun smiling at him sympathetically

"You're frowning again."

"I did something dumb," Jaejoong whispered softly. He could feel his eyes burn.

"How dumb? Junsu-level dumb?"

"Very dumb. I think Yunho may hate me now."

Yoochun watched the road as he considered this. "Well, that's not a big deal, right? You've never liked Prince Yunho. Teach him to play chess like you planned and then just leave him alone."

Jaejoong swallowed. "I don't want to leave him alone. I don't want him to hate me."

"Well then," Yoochun said. "Call him and tell him you're sorry. He'll forgive you."

"He'll forgive me, Chunnie. But it won't matter."

"Why not?"

Jaejoong just shook his head. It wouldn't matter what he said or what excuses he came up with. Yunho may smile at him and tell him that it wasn't a big deal, but that wouldn't change the fact that he'd never touch Jaejoong like that again.

When they climbed out of the car, Jaejoong clung to Yoochun. "I messed up, Chunnie-yah," he whined, hugging the younger boy like a child. Yoochun could feel hot moisture on his neck

Yoochun smiled and gave Jaejoong a quick squeeze. "Then make it better, hyung."

"I don't know how," Jaejoong whimpered.

"Well, that's easy to fix. Just ask him."

He buried himself deeper into the younger boy's neck and squeezed him close. "I can't. I can't face him. Not after I've treated him the way I did. God, I'm so pathetic. Why do you put up with me?"

Yoochun chuckled, voice deep and comforting. "'Cause I care, hyung. Yunho does, too. Just tell him what you told me. It'll be fine"

###

Monday came too quickly for Yunho. He'd spent the entire weekend avoiding Jaejoong and any Jaejoong-related items. A difficult task considering the other boy had called nearly two dozen times, leaving awkwardly worded apologies on his voicemail. It also didn't help that every time Yunho closed his eyes, he could hear the other boy's breathy moans blowing past soft pink lips, as well as the "you're disgusting" the other boy had flung at him right before he fled the room.

Yunho had no idea what to make of what happened between them. He had wanted to touch Jaejoong, and he'd thought Jaejoong wanted him to touch him. He had no idea what he would have done to the older boy if his mother hadn't interrupted them.

He had woken that morning, hard, and with Jaejoong's voice echoing in his head. He slogged through his morning routine and hesitated a moment before leaving early to pick up Jaejoong as usual. He didn't miss how Jaejoong's eyes widened in surprise when he pulled into his driveway.

"Hey," Yunho said hesitantly as Jaejoong climbed into the car

"Hey," Jaejoong answered back. He sat stiffly, holding his bag awkwardly in his lap. "I didn't expect you to come by this morning."

Yunho shrugged casually. "Orders," he said. He didn't mean for his tone to sound as biting as it did. An uncomfortable silence hung heavily in the car

"Are you angry with me?" Jaejoong asked quietly as they pulled to a red light.

"Why would I be angry?"

"You didn't answer any of my calls, my texts ... anything."

"It felt weird. I just needed some time to myself." Jaejoong turned to look at him before nodding slowly. Yunho smiled tightly at him. "Are you angry with me?"

"No," Jaejoong answered quickly. "I mean, there was nothing really to be angry about. It meant nothing. I just thought since I asked you to," he blushed deeply. "... you know ... you might have felt like I —"

"You didn't force me, Jaejoong. You didn't order me. You asked. It was fine. I'm sorry if I took it too far."

"I was calling to tell you that I'd understand if you didn't feel comfortable hanging around me any more. I thought about it and you don't have to finish up this last week." Jaejoong reached into his school bag and pulled out a blue jeweler's box. "You've more than held up your end of the bargain. Here's your father's watch. I completed all the work this weekend and gave it a good polish. He'll never know it was broken."

"No!" Yunho said. "I mean ... thank you for the watch, but I'll finish out the week. I'd feel bad if I didn't fulfill the terms of our deal." He smiled gently at Jaejoong. "Besides, Junsu's party's this weekend."

"Well, have fun. I don't think I'll be able to make it."

"It's your party," Yunho insisted gently. "You have to come."

"It's Junsu's party," Jaejoong corrected. "And he doesn't need me there."

"He wants you there." And so do I. Yunho wouldn't say that, however. He'd already felt foolish enough after what had happened between them.

"He'll be too busy charming everyone there to worry about me."

Yunho didn't reply. They pulled in front of the school and lingered in the warmth of the car. Jaejoong turned and gave Yunho a shaky smile.

"Yoochun and I have already organized everything. You and your friends just need to show up at Junsu's house Saturday night at 8." He placed the blue jeweler's box on the dash. "Goodbye, Yunho." He climbed out of the car and slammed the door behind him. Yunho picked the small box up and gently ran a finger over the silver lettering of the store's name. He opened it to find his father's gold watch, its delicate arms moving smoothly behind its perfect and unmarred glass face.

3.2

Just as he promised, Jaejoong didn't show up at the party that Saturday night. Yunho didn't really want to spend time wondering why he was upset about that. All of his friends had shown up — Jinki, Youngwoon, Han Geng, an enamored Changmin, and even Heechul — so he really shouldn't have been wasting time worrying about one weirdo.

And yet, he was. Jaejoong's absence shouldn't have been too big a surprise; he'd spent the days before avoiding him, as well as Junsu and Yoochun. Yunho had even stopped by the lunch table on Friday to ask Junsu about the missing boy's whereabouts.

"Jaejoong-hyung will show up when he wants to," Junsu had informed him. He'd given Yunho a reassuring smile. "He does this every once in a while. Don't worry."

That did little to comfort him, and the day of the party, he'd tried calling the other boy. He'd left message after message, inviting, then pleading for the other boy to attend the party.

As soon as he arrived, he had checked each room, hoping that Jaejoong had decided to show up. Yunho hated the thought that he had been the one to drive him away from his own best friend's party.

Junsu looked amazing. Everything looked amazing, in fact. The house smelled of good food and thrummed with the sound of high energy music. The birthday boy himself was wearing what looked to be a hot new outfit and a bright smile, while Changmin was practically glued to his hip. He had spent the majority of the evening moving from one cluster of people to another, winning smiles and laughs. He was a good kid, and no matter what happened between him and Jaejoong, Yunho was glad to have met him.

He ducked into the kitchen, which appeared unusually crowded until he spotted Heechul and Youngwoon perfecting their usual party punch recipe: a mixture of soju, fruit juice, and lemon soda. He grimaced at the drink before scanning the other faces in the room.

As soon as he spotted him, Heechul frowned and put a hand on his hip. "Looking for your parasite? Last I checked, he wasn't here, so you can relax."

"Lay off him, hyung." He stole a cup of punch before sneaking away to the solitude of the outdoor patio. He was surprised when he saw he wasn't the only one who had needed to escape.

"What are you doing out here?" Yunho asked him. "You're the birthday boy."

Junsu smiled tiredly and shrugged, before moving over to allow Yunho to join him. His face was flushed a slight pink, and the smell of expensive cologne hung lightly in the air. Familiar expensive cologne. "I just needed a break. It's kind of crowded in there."

Yunho smiled knowingly. "Changmin smells good on you."

The younger boy blushed a deeper shade of pink. "What are you doing out here?" he asked, changing the subject. "It's mostly your friends in there. That makes it sort of your party."

"I needed some space, too."

"Did you and hyung have a fight?"

"Why do you ask that?"

Junsu shrugged. "You two have been acting funny."

Yunho frowned, and suddenly the hurt and disappointment he'd repressed since the moment Jaejoong fled from his room came rising to the surface. "He's a cold-hearted bastard, and I don't understand why anyone would want to be friends with him."

Junsu laughed softly. "Yeah, I have those moments, too."

They sat in silence, listening to the faint strains of the music reverberating inside

"Junsu-yah," Yunho began suddenly, breaking the silence. "How do you know ... ? I mean, he's so ... How do you know he really cares?"

"You're friends with him, aren't you? I mean, chess wasn't the only thing you all did together."

Yunho fidgeted. He knew Junsu's questions was perfectly innocent, but he couldn't help but wonder just how much of his and Jaejoong's "friendship" the other boy knew about.

"Yes," he finally admitted. "At least, I think we are. I don't know. It's complicated. Sometimes I can't tell if he's actually my friend or just using me or ..." he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I sound like an idiot."

Junsu wisely chose to ignore the comment. "Why are you thinking so hard about Jaejoong-hyung?" he asked. Yunho turned to see the other boy giving him a curious look before dropping his gaze to stare at his hands.

"He's just so weird," he shrugged.

"Yes. A lot of people don't get him."

Yunho frowned at the ground. "Sometimes, I think I hate him, and sometimes, I think he could be my best friend."

Junsu grinned to himself and lay back on the patio to stare up at the stars.

"You know what crabs are, right, hyung?"

"The STD?"

"The ocean animal. Crabs have hard shells, but underneath that, they're soft and vulnerable. That's exactly what Jaejoong is like. If he thinks there's a chance you may hurt him, he'll hurt back. It's just how he protects himself. He doesn't make friends easily, so people think he's stuck-up."

"Then why bother? Why try at all?"

Junsu sat up and turned to look back at the party. "Because of you, of all this. Jaejoong-hyung may embarrass me, he may boss me around, and he can be kind of rude, but you can't deny that him planning all of this wasn't done out of anything but love.

"He knows how to drive me crazy, and sometimes even I need a break. But then I remember things like this, like taking me out to noraebang, and I realize that people aren't perfect. You have to take them as they are, fear, flaws, and all."

"I guess .... " Yunho stared at his hands.

Junsu hesitated a moment before continuing. "I used to love you, you know."

Yunho flushed. He didn't know whether to tell the other boy that his feelings had long been obvious. "Oh?" he answered instead.

Junsu gave a chuckle. "You don't have to pretend as if you didn't notice."

"And?"

"And ... I was wrong."

"To love me?"

"About loving you. I admired you. You're a great person, hyung. You're kind, you work hard, you're fair. I've never seen you be mean to anyone even though you could have. I don't love you. Not like I thought I did. But, I still like you, hyung. Very much."

"Why are you telling me this, Su?" he asked. He was too bogged down with his own confusing emotions to begin sorting through anyone else's.

Junsu rolled his eyes. "I took time to get to know you, hyung. Spend time with you. And I plan to keep doing so in the future. It's the same with Jaejoong-hyung. Get to know him, spend more time with him. I have a feeling things aren't as complicated as you think they are."

"What if I tell him I ... want to spend more time with him and he tells me 'no'."

"Now why would he do that?"

Yunho tried to answer, but his own tongue got tangled by his insecurities.

"You don't need to worry so much, hyung. From what Yoochun's told me, Jaejoong-hyung's kind of crazy for you, too."

###

Jaejoong was weak. He'd promised himself he'd stay away. This was Junsu's party; Yunho was Junsu's gift. He had no right to show up and snatch him away.

And yet, that's what he felt compelled to do. That's why he was standing in the doorway of Junsu's house, searching for the boy who'd come to mean so much to him

He searched the house, earning curious stares from the members of Yunho's clique who'd shown up. One person in particular watched Jaejoong angrily as he slipped around the house in his search for Yunho.

"What are you doing here?" Jaejoong heard a familiar voice gripe

"Leave me alone," Jaejoong growled. "I don't feel like dealing with you."

Heechul moved from the seat he was sharing with Han Geng and stood to stare down Jaejoong. "Why? Too busy looking for Yunho?"

"None of your business."

"Look, I've tried being polite — " Jaejoong snorted, but Heechul ignored it and continued. "But now, I'm actually starting to feel sorry for you."

"Excuse me?"

"Yunho-yah let you pull your little scheme because he was desperate. He humored you because started pitying you. He's too nice to say it, so I will: Leave him alone."

A sick twist of fear knotted Jaejoong's stomach. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Fine, play dumb. But stop chasing after him. I'm not about to let some manipulative freak bring him down to the level of trash.

Something in Jaejoong snapped, and the overwhelming need to defend himself, to refute everything the older boy said, rose up in him. He turned to face the other boy. "Yunho is all yours."

Heechul rolled his eyes, a bored expression on his face. "He's always been mine. That's the problem. I was tired of you dragging on to him."

"I don't drag. I never forced him to do anything he didn't want to do."

Heechul smiled as if he knew a secret. "That's not what I heard."

"What are you talking about?"

"I heard you and Yunho had some kind of deal. That the only reason you even got close enough to cop a feel was because you extorted him."

Jaejoong could feel the eyes of the small crowd gathering around him. "I didn't —"

"Don't lie. I don't know what's more pathetic: Your creepy friend's disgusting crush or you throwing yourself at him."

Jaejoong could hear partygoers murmur at Heechul's accusation, and he tamped down on the urge to run out of the house. He had no idea how the other boy had learned of what transpired between him and Yunho. He'd told no one, not even Yoochun. The idea that Yunho had spoken about their awkwardly intimate moment with someone else felt like a stab to the heart. Tears pricked at the corner of his eyes, but he refused to cry

"If we're so revolting to you, why are you here?" he whispered harshly. "This is my friend's house and my friend's party. Yunho was invited and so was I. Why is that such a problem? Afraid I'll steal him away?"

The older boy laughed. "Please. I just don't appreciate you taking advantage of my friends."

"Yunho's nearly an adult. He doesn't need you protecting him."

"Yunho's a sweetheart, which is the only reason he'd agree to something as crazy as working for you for a month."

"I didn't —"

"I said don't lie." Heechul looked Jaejoong up and down before sneering. "You are so sad. The only way you could get close to him was with blackmail. And if turning him into your slave wasn't bad enough, you molested him, too."

"You don't know anything," Jaejoong spit back, nearly in tears. "I offered to help him out and that's it. Like I said, you can have him back. If being friends with Yunho means I have to deal with you, then I want nothing to do with him."

"Some friend you are," Heechul huffed.

"I don't care what you think, and I don't care about what Yunho thinks. I'm not stupid enough to get involved with some shallow, materialistic poser and his spoiled-ass friends. He needed me, and I helped him. Now I want nothing to do with him."

The smile on Heechul's face twisted into something evil during Jaejoong's emotional outburst. He looked past Jaejoong and waved brightly. "Oh, Yunho," he called. "We were just talking about you."

Jaejoong could feel his heart freeze as he whirled around and spotted the other boy standing in the doorway, his hair still dusted with snowflakes. Junsu's worried expression could be seen hovering behind him.

"Yunho-yah ... " he began

Yunho strolled past him, his face unreadable, and draped an arm around Heechul's shoulders

"Come on, hyung," he said softly. "I've been dying to get out of here." He didn't spare Jaejoong a glance as he led the other out of the room.

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