(Phase 26 of the Scarlet Night series.)
Phase Twenty-Six: Silent Harmonies
Through the glass ceiling, the stars and moon shone from the inky night sky. The clouds, mere grey wisps of cotton were stretched thinly, barely concealing the silver and twinkling lights. Despite the ceiling and one wall being made entirely of thick glass, the back courtyard was both warm and cozy with the occasional cool caress of a winter breeze.
White and blue halogen lights shone all over the room, running up columns like ivy and hung from the ceiling in strings like vines in a magical forest. Ice sculptures of the seven wonders of the worlds lined the courtyard, red, blue and green lights flashing through them, somehow not melting them. Servers walked around the perimeter offering finger foods on silver platters, weaving around students and round tables draped with silver and blue tablecloths. The dishes the best china and the cutlery sparkling silver despite no one wishing to sit down and eat.
The music was slow but slightly upbeat, a jazz trio playing in one corner. They would play for an hour and then a string quartet were to take over for the second and they would alternate twice more to complete the ball’s four-hour duration. Seniors stood about talking, engaging with one another while others gathered in the middle of the courtyard dancing to the mellow music.
“Four hours of dancing, I’m excited,” Kyuhyun murmured dryly,
Taeyeon smirked at him, “It’s not all dancing. We have to socialize first. Come on, Kyuhyun, I know your father denounced you, but you should still remember social protocol.”
“Ah, the lives of the rich,” Kyuhyun rolled his eyes as he let Taeyeon steer him to the closest group of people, “Another blessing of not having my parents in my life.”
Taeyeon subtly nudged him as she smiled at the others in the group. She smiled demurely, spoke politely to the others. She accepted compliments gracefully and gave them out generously. Kyuhyun stood at her side as a silent spectre, giving a curt nod when the occasion called for it but, as try as he might, he couldn’t force himself to smile even just a little at these people who never gave a damn about him.
Kyuhyun noticed that a few of the males in the group were eyeing Taeyeon a little too hungrily. He reached over to her hand on his arm with his other hand, covering her hand with his own. He leaned his head to hers giving the appearance of playful privacy.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t take my anger out on these pompous porcupines,” Kyuhyun murmured,
Taeyeon’s gaze swept over several of the males’ gelled-up hairstyles and barely suppressed a laugh. Her gaze locked with her cousin’s, “Play nicely.”
“Then let’s keep walking,” Kyuhyun straightened, his lips straightening and his gaze coolly reciprocating the curious stares of the other people.
Taeyeon easily bade goodbye for the both of them and just barely covered Kyuhyun’s attempt to drag her away to another group of people. She pinched his arm to stop him from rolling his eyes as they joined another group of people. He suffered socializing with group after group – granted, he never spoke, he left that to Taeyeon – for the first hour before he heard the jazz band put down their brass instruments and heard the first notes from the strings.
Kyuhyun turned his eyes to Taeyeon, “My dear, will you have this dance with me?”
Taeyeon, startled that Kyuhyun was no longer silent, looked up at him before a slow smile spread on her face, “Of course, who else would I dance with?”
“Excuse us ladies, gentlemen,” he threw a well-placed smirk and a curt nod to the men before pulling Taeyeon away.
“Wow, that’s the first time you’ve spoken in 45 minutes,” Taeyeon laughed as she knowingly followed him to the dance floor.
“I had nothing good to say,” Kyuhyun said as he twirled her once before turning her to face him. He held her hand and placed his other hand on her side,
“You could have all of those girls in the palm of your hand,” Taeyeon teased as they began to waltz, the dance automatic to both of them after years of socializing amongst Korea’s richest families. “They were eyeing you like a piece of meat, Kyu! All of them.”
“Too bad I’m taken,” Kyuhyun smirked as they danced along with other couples,
“Too bad the first person to get your attention is male,” Taeyeon murmured teasingly as they gracefully moved through a turn.
“Alas, I saw those stares as well,” Kyuhyun sighed in mock-drama, “At one point I wasn’t sure if I had to protect you or if you had to protect me.”
Taeyeon laughed up at him, her laugh a sweet melody harmonizing with the song of the strings. They talked and laughed as they danced. Others saw glimpses of them, watched them enviously of their light and affectionate manner. Not once did anyone guess that their relationship wasn't anything more than platonic.
Kibum and Kyuri walked down the dim corridor together. With their fingers intertwined and her head leaning against his arm, they walked in silence. Kyuri had been in their room, the window overlooking the back courtyard and she had been silently watching the dream like ball below. Kibum had entered and raised an eyebrow in silent question. She shook her head as she turned her back on the ball. He had offered his hand and suggested a walk.
As they walked down the familiar corridor, Kibum broke the warm, companionable silence between them, “Are you satisfied with your life?”
Kyuri looked up at him through the dimness, “How could you ask such a thing? Of course I am!”
“No, no… I mean… do you have any regrets?” Kibum asked, his monotonous tone not helping him any,
Kyuri was silent a moment before answering honestly, “I did… many, in fact but, as I look back, I’m glad how things have turned out. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
“Even your relationship with your parents?” Kibum inquired tentatively,
“That is… unfortunate,” Kyuri conceded, “However, if it weren’t for that I would not have been abandoned in Japan nor been lucky enough to find and meet you. Also, I have a feeling that had my parents kept me around, I might not have developed the relationship I now have with Kyuhyun. I may or may not, but that is always a possibility when the past is put into question.”
She paused and squeezed his hand, “But it is my meeting you that would seriously be in trouble had the past been different. Despite all the hardships I have gone through, despite all the struggles and trials, at the end of the day I have been so grateful because they all led me to finding you.”
Kibum laughed, a soft and gentle tone. He rarely broke out of his monotone, scarcely smiled and rarely laughed, even with her. The sound warmed her like a summer’s day could not. He paused and looked down at her, “You make me sound like a treasure of unknown worth or some rubbish like that.”
“Kibum, had I not walked by that window and heard you playing, we might never have met,” Kyuri stated seriously, “I could have continued on my merry way and who knows where I would be now… But no, your music was so beautiful, so haunted that… that I had to stop and meet the person who played as if they were lonely.”
“I was lonely,” Kibum corrected, reaching up a hand to brush strands of hair from her face, “Come.” He turned towards the door they stood before, opening it and ushering her in.
Kyuri glanced back at him, confused, when she stepped into the room and froze on entry. Kibum placed his hands on her shoulders, gently propelling her into the room so he could close the door and lock it behind them. Kyuri’s hands slowly rose to cup over her mouth as her eyes surveyed the room.
The unused music room that they frequented was dim, the curtains pulled closed and probably still dusty, despite being unable to examine the surfaces clearly. The desks and chairs were all stacked against the walls and the grand piano stood silent, solitary in the room. However, around the room on desks, chairs, windowsills and blackboard edges were small tea candles, their little flames flickering like dozens of stars. Stars just for her, just for them.
His hands warm on her shoulders, he leaned down, his lips brushing her ear, “You never attended a school dance because of your dedication to the Council. You concentrated all you had on school and finishing quickly so you could become a Head Hunter.”
“But… neither did you,” Kyuri murmured, fighting the sting of hot tears pressing behind her eyes.
She took a step forward so she had enough space to turn and face him when she heard something rumple beneath her shoes. She stepped back, bumping against Kibum as she looked down. Another short gasp escaped her lips. On the ground, scattered gingerly were petals. From the bare light the small candles provided, she got glimpses of white rose petals.
“This stuff is important to girls, to you, even though you used to hide it all those years,” Kibum stepped around her and held out a hand,
Her eyes slowly rose from the floor up to his outstretched, waiting hand, “Since when did I ever act like a normal girl?”
“Never, but there’s a first time for everything, right?” Kibum raised a brow, “Are you going to give me your hand or make me stand here like a fool?”
Kyuri immediately placed her hand in his, but as he whirled her to the centre of the room, she placed her free hand against his chest, stopping him, “I think you’ve forgotten something.” He raised a brow, prompting her to explain, “It’s very difficult to dance when I’m almost eight months pregnant.”
Kibum perceived her large stomach thoughtfully, “You do stick out a lot now…”
Kyuri playfully hit him in the shoulder, “Can’t you just play the piano for me?”
Kibum scrunched up his face as he led her over to the piano, “I always play for you.”
“And I love you for it every time,” Kyuri stated earnestly. “Besides, we can’t dance without music, so you might as well just play.”
“Ah…” Kibum released her hand to bend over and pick up a stereo hidden from sight by the piano bench. He placed it on the bench and pressed the play button.
A sweet, soft and slow melody began to play. Simplistic in nature, it featured only a piano playing a familiar melody, the song filling the room, echoing off the surfaces as the candles’ flames seemed to dance to the tune.
Kyuri’s gaze flew to Kibum’s smug look, “This is you, isn’t it?”
“Ah, how you know me so well,” Kibum took her hand as he walked to the centre of the room again. He twirled her once before holding her hand and his free hand to her side, “Your other hand, my love, goes to my shoulder.”
Kyuri slanted a gaze at him as she did as he said. When he pulled her into a perfect waltz, both her brows raised in surprise, “When did you learn to waltz!?”
“After your brother finally started talking to your cousin again last week, there were some stipulations as to how she was allowed to help him during his… episodes,” Kibum began, gracefully completing a turn despite her new-found rotund body made her balance shaky, “The only way Taeyeon was allowed to be around Kyuhyun during his bloodlust was if someone else was around.”
“And you volunteered?” Kyuri asked, astounded immediately,
“I’ll ignore your surprise… Anyway, they’re the reason why I can lead you to dance in smooth three-four time,” Kibum concluded. “They’ve probably waltzed their way through so many social affairs here in Korea, they practically taught me with their eyes closed.”
He released her side, twirled her once, twice and half-way through the third revolution, he stopped her so her back was to him and his arm crossed over her front. His other arm wrapped around her, his hand lying protectively over their baby. He swayed her, them, as the music died down. It changed to a different melody. Still soft, still slow but this one was not sweet. Instead it depicted sadder emotions. Not negative emotions, but the bluer side of things.
“The song that brought us together,” Kyuri said quietly, knowingly, leaning back against him.
“I thought perhaps you’d like this song,” Kibum smiled against her temple, holding her securely to him,
“It’s my favourite song,” Kyuri admitted, turning her head just enough so that when she tilted her head back, she could kiss the tip of his chin. “Thank you for this… all of this… it was a beautiful, wonderful surprise.”
“I have one more surprise,” Kibum revealed quietly, his hands slowly moving in front of her, caressing gently, affectionately.
“A dog?” Kyuri laughed softly up at him.
Kibum scowled, “Never.”
Kyuri settled back in his arms as he continued to move them to the music, the candlelight flickering around them and the petals shifting beneath their feet. “Well, nothing can be a better surprise than this.”
His hands stilled, “Marry me.”
Kyuri froze, as did Kibum behind her. Had she heard right? Of course she did, the music wasn’t that loud. What was that peculiar weight on her left hand? His hands, their soft touches weren’t just caresses. She raised her hand into sight and an audible sigh fell from her parted lips. On the ring finger of her left hand was a thin, silver band with a single, square sapphire situated between two, small diamonds. The gems, the silver, winked at her by the warm light of the candles surrounding them.
“I believe I got your favourite colour correct,” Kibum murmured. He paused, “Darling… my love… you still haven’t answered me.”
“Because I’m half-wondering who you robbed to buy this,” Kyuri replied, her voice as if in a trance.
Then, with that hand, she raised it, reaching back to cup the nape of his neck. She turned her head to his, pulling his lips to hers in a slow and sweet kiss. She broke the kiss, only to lean her forehead against his chin.
“What took you so long?” She laughed softly,
Pressing a kiss to her forehead, he held her tighter, warmth and relief spilling forth from his heart and spreading all over his body, engulfing him, radiating from him. “I wanted you to know that when I proposed it wasn’t because of the baby, and not because I love you for giving me a child, which I do… but because I love you for you.”
His words made her heart want to burst with happiness, with love. His tone, so warm, so happy and so loving was like nothing she heard from him before. When he first asked her to a date, he had been nervous yet still monotonous. When he first said that he loved her, he had struggled to put forth his feelings into words. But this time, he was love incarnate, love eternal.
The strings played their final chords and the warm notes faded into silence. Kyuhyun released her side, to bow over her hand. She tugged him to straighten so she could wrap her arms around his waist and hugged him tightly, smiling up at his face. Couples around them ceased to dance, but none displayed the same pure affection that they always had, that they always radiated.
Kyuhyun took her hand, laid it on his arm and began leading her to the side, pulling a chair out from one of the round tables for her to sit in. As he sat down next to her, she raised her brows in confusion, “Aren’t we going to join the exodus?”
Kyuhyun followed her gaze to the many seniors who were chatting, waving to one another as they crowded to exit the back courtyard. The clock had struck midnight; the ball was over, the magic slowly dissipating into the darkness of the beautiful night.
Slowly, he turned his gaze back to his cousin, “You want to attempt to join that?”
Taeyeon settled back in her chair, smoothly crossing one knee over the other, adjusting the skirt to cover her legs as much as possible, “Ah, I guess you’re right.” She sighed happily before sitting up straighter, “Do you think he did it? Do you think Kibum proposed tonight?”
“He better propose, after all the help we gave him,” Kyuhyun said as he leaned back in his chair, loosely folding his arms about his torso,
“Help? All you did was stand and watch while I taught him to waltz,” Taeyeon argued,
“I ordered the flowers,” Kyuhyun defended,
“You could have helped pull the petals… I don’t know how many times I got pricked,” Taeyeon muttered, glancing down at her hands,
“If you forgot, I had my own appointment while you were strewing petals on the floor,” Kyuhyun reminded lightly, trying not to remember Zhou Mi’s words, trying not to worry too much.
Taeyeon picked up one of his hands, gently cradling it as her eyes swept over the bandages that covered his palm and knuckles, “Was it another bad one? What am I saying? Of course it was… you’re bandaged again… at least your fingers aren’t roughed up too.”
“It wasn’t as bad as others, true…” Kyuhyun said slowly, picking his way through his words, trying to vocalize his thoughts, “But it was more rapid… more impatient.”
“What do you mean?’ Taeyeon released his hand to run her hands through her hair, pulling the dark, long strands over one shoulder,
“I was meeting Mi and… he was late by maybe five – ten minutes. I couldn’t wait, couldn’t keep the lust at bay,” Kyuhyun sighed, wanting to shake his head, shake the thoughts and memories from his mind; “I all but ran to the isolation room.”
“I… I’m sorry I wasn’t there,” Taeyeon said quietly as the last of the people left and they were alone in the back courtyard.
Kyuhyun shook his head, throwing her a small smile, “It’s fine. You were busy picking petals and getting my suit for me.” Kyuhyun looked past Taeyeon and smiled a bit wider, “Well, it’s time I head out.”
“You?” Taeyeon looked over her shoulder to where his gaze had gone, “Sungmin?”
Sungmin walked towards them slowly, purposefully. Hands in his pockets, he smiled, his fox-like eyes dancing as he stopped right before her. It was then that her eyes slowly swept over him, taking in the charcoal-coloured suit, the pristine white shirt beneath. He held out a hand,
“Will you have this dance with me?” He asked formally, his lips tugging in a smirk,
Taeyeon looked frantically around, “But… we’re at school and… someone might –”
“They’re all on their way to their limos and rooms and possibly closets and unused classrooms,” Sungmin joked lightly as he took her hand and raised her to her feet, “And I have a feeling no one will be allowed through those doors without my permission.”
“But… someone might… through the –”
“The doors have curtains,” He said as he slowly pulled her back towards the middle of the courtyard.
“But –” Taeyeon looked back to where she and Kyuhyun had been sitting, but her cousin was gone, effectively emphasized by the click of the double doors closing behind him.
She watched as thick, black curtains were pulled shut behind the doors and they were alone. She turned back to Sungmin just as he took her other hand. He held her hands, raised them to his lips and kissed one and then the other. He pulled her hands to the back of his neck, draping her arms over his shoulders before running his hands up her arms, around her shoulders, down the sides of her ribcage to situate comfortably at her waist.
He began to move them in slow, swaying circles. Taeyeon opened her mouth to protest when he raised an eyebrow, silently daring her to speak. She furrowed her brows to do just that when music began to play. Taeyeon looked wildly toward a corner of the courtyard where she found the string quartet with their instruments once more, playing another song to fill the silence.
Her gaze returned to Sungmin, “How?”
“I explained that I was a man in love and wanted at least one dance with the one I love,” Sungmin stated as they slowly turned and turned, the music floating around them, the lights sparkling around them and the stars twinkling above them. “Apparently all four of the players are suckers for cheesy lines and cliché moments. They agreed to play a bit for us.”
Taeyeon smiled brilliantly at him, wrapping her arms tighter around his neck, pulling him closer until she could lay her cheek against his shoulder, “After all the boys I’ve danced with, this is the best dance.”
“What boys?” Sungmin’s hands slid until his arms wrapped around her waist, “I thought you only danced with Kyuhyun!”
Taeyeon raised her head to meet his narrowed gaze. She laughed softly, “I meant before tonight. At all those social functions I’ve had to attend with my parents. But don’t worry,” she moved one arm to pat his chest in mock-condescension, “None of them kiss as good as you.”
“They kissed you? Wait – you kissed them?” Sungmin froze, just standing there, holding her,
“I can’t even joke with you,” Taeyeon shook her head in disbelief, pulling out of his arms
“I… I knew that was a joke,” Sungmin murmured,
“Maybe, but you were jealous anyway,” Taeyeon grinned at him. She took his hands, placed one at her side and held the other. Then, she placed her hand on his shoulder,
“What are you doing?” Sungmin said as Taeyeon began to tug him until he took a step forward and she took a step back,
“Teaching you do waltz,” Taeyeon replied simply, “Keep your face looking at mine.”
“I’d love to, really I would, but it’s kind of hard when I don’t know where I’m going and if I might step on your toes,” Sungmin stammered as his face bounced up and down, trying to watch his feet and follow her instructions. The music stopped and they froze, “What’s going on?”
“Sorry, sir, we have to go. It’s crawling closer to one and we have families to get home to,” the cellist called out, bowing to them as they packed up their instruments.
Sungmin and Taeyeon watched them pack up and leave, the double door closing firmly behind them, the black curtains swishing back into place. Then, Taeyeon continued to pull him into the movements of the dance,
“W-what are we doing?” Sungmin stammered as his gaze immediately dropped to their feet,
“Continuing your dance lesson,” Taeyeon said brightly.
“I… I love you, Taeyeon… but even I can’t dance without music,” Sungmin argued as he stumbled but she continued to guide him into the steps.
Before Sungmin could argue, Taeyeon began to sing senseless words, weaving a slow, song to the usual beats of a waltz, “La, la, la… la, la, la,” She sang softly, creating a melody to surround them, to engage them as she patiently taught him the proper steps of the dance.
He stumbled and she had to steady him. He laughed in spite of himself, pressing his forehead against hers, “I’m sorry Taeyeon, this isn’t working.”
“You’ll have to learn sooner or later,” Taeyeon teased lightly, “Unless you want me to dance with more boys at more social functions my parents drag me to.”
Sungmin threw back his head and sighed with mock-drama, as he slipped his arms around her waist, pulling her to him, “I suppose I can suffer a few dance lessons if it means I can dance with you again.”
Taeyeon laughed as she laid her cheek against his shoulder, “You can dance with me whenever you want, Sungmin.”
Sungmin raised a hand, cupping the side of her face, raising it so he could brush his lips against hers; “I’m sorry I couldn’t escort you to the ball.”
“You’re here now,” Taeyeon smiled at him.
He held her against him, embracing her as he pressed a kiss to her forehead, her eyes, both cheeks and her nose. His lips stayed a hair’s breadth away from hers, “I’ll escort you to a hundred balls to make up for this one.”
He pressed his lips to hers, drawing her into the kiss, into his warmth. Slowly, her arms slid around his neck, pulling him closer. She smiled against his lips, “You’ll have to learn to dance, then.”
Sungmin laughed heartily, hugging her tighter. Taeyeon slid her arms beneath his, her hands clasping between his shoulder blades as she lay her cheek against his chest, over his heart. She slowly began to rock them, to turn them into a swaying dance to silence.
“Are you going to sing for me again?” Sungmin teased lightly, lovingly,
“Sometimes you don’t need music to dance,” Taeyeon said, allowing her eyes to close as she pressed closer to him, holding him securely to her.
Sungmin smiled, touching his lips to the crown of her head, his breath a light caress on her forehead as they danced to the music only they could hear. He held her tightly, securely, lovingly as they turned in small, perfect circles. Slowly, slowly, he closed his eyes, falling into the sultry rhythm of their music-less dance.
“You look beautiful,” Sungmin whispered.
Taeyeon couldn’t even stop the smile tugging on her lips. Instead, she pressed her face closer to his heart, tightened her arms around his torso, her heart so full of love and happiness that she couldn’t think of anything else but the lulling dance in his arms.
“Only for you,” she promised, turning her head just enough to press a kiss on his jacket, over his heart. Turning her head up for his kiss, she whispered her promise again, “Only for you.”
Kyuhyun slipped through the door, making sure the notebook that had been wedged between the door and its frame was secure, keeping the door open. He stepped out into the cold night air, walking towards the only other person on the roof. After leaving the courtyard, he had run into Heechul who Sungmin had assigned to watch the doors for him. Heechul, however, had a message for him and so, he was on the roof for his own secret meeting.
He stood shoulder to shoulder with the older man by the roof’s fenced perimeter looking out at the quiet, dark campus. He unbuttoned his blazer, slid it off his arms and draped it over the older man’s shoulders, “How long have you been waiting up here?”
“Since I heard all that commotion of limos trying to leave the front courtyard,” Zhou Mi laughed as he pulled the halves of the jacket together. He paused and looked at Kyuhyun, “Aren’t you cold?”
“Not right now,” Kyuhyun replied, “I’ve had three layers on all night. I think I’ll survive with just two.”
Zhou Mi’s gaze swept over Kyuhyun’s dark blue button-up and black vest, forming to his torso perfectly. He looked away, turning his gaze to the moon, “I think that is a good idea.”
Kyuhyun nudged him teasingly. Zhou Mi turned his back to the fence, leaning against it. He reached out and pulled Kyuhyun to stand before him. His dark eyes searched Kyuhyun’s whose eyes were reflected by silvery moonlight.
“You said you don’t know anymore,” Kyuhyun said, suddenly feeling very cold. However, this chill swept through him, starting within and spreading with icy fingers throughout his body.
“Did you hear when I said I wasn’t talking about us?” Zhou Mi asked tentatively. He reached up, taking his chin between thumb and forefinger, “I wasn’t talking about us, Kyuhyun.”
“I heard you and I felt… relieved but,” Kyuhyun felt his jaw tremble in Zhou Mi’s hold and he wasn’t completely sure it was because of the early-winter wind, “But what don’t you know anymore? Me? … If it’s not us then… then what?”
“I’ve been so arrogant and confident and I didn’t even realize it, Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi admitted quietly, his voice light with just a hint of self-mockery, “This entire time I thought things would be okay because I knew what to expect. Because I’m a Hunter… a Head Hunter and because I made my career out of knowing vampires and yet…
“You have, from the beginning, always broken all of my expectations, all of my theories. This time, however, it’s not for the good and… and, in fact, I’m scared,” Zhou Mi stated, his hand moving to cup his jaw, his thumb slowly stroking back and forth across Kyuhyun’s cheek; “I’m scared for your sake more than I have ever been. When you lay in the hospital wing injured, when I found you on the roof… every time that my concern for you has been tried doesn’t even surmount to how much I worry for you now.
“When I realized how bad your bloodlust has gotten; when I see the ferocity of your rages; and when I see your hands… your beautiful, loving hands bleeding or bandaged… I can’t even begin to describe how much my heart aches, how much it turns over and how much I hate myself for causing this all,” Zhou Mi grounded out, eyes narrowed in self-loathing. “A mistake I made last year has rippled to cause all of this and… and… to see you in such torment, to see you…
“I’m scared because I don’t know what’s happening, because I don’t have the answers for once,” Zhou Mi confessed, his voice low and just barely refraining from breaking, “Because I’m scared what will happen to you… that I may lose you and… and that makes me scared even more.”
“Why would you lose me?” Kyuhyun attempted a small smile, “The worse could happen, but still I’ll be here with you, Mi.”
His hand hardened against her jaw, “What if you died, Kyuhyun? What if something happened, what if someone… what if you died?”
“I can’t,” Kyuhyun stated, “I know you were all worried every time I was sick and I truly do appreciate the concern, indeed, half the time I truly believed I was half-way to the grave, but we both know vampires are immortal, Mi.”
“Not turned vampires,” Zhou Mi swallowed hard, speaking the words like a physical strain on his body and heart. “Purebloods are immortal without question, but turned vampires… half-bloods… you… you…”
“Are not…” Kyuhyun slipped his head from Zhou Mi’s hand, only to duck his head and bury it against the crook beneath his chin, “I… I had no idea. I…” He slipped his arms beneath his own jacket that Zhou Mi wore, wrapping them about his waist, “It’s colder out here than I first thought.”
“Purebloods are immortal unless they are dealt a blow to their heart. Turned vampires will age and die because of their human side… I thought you knew… damn it, I thought you knew.” Zhou Mi held Kyuhyun against him tightly, “Why do you think I don’t protest as much as I could about every foolish idea that comes into your head?”
“No, I…” Kyuhyun pressed closer against him, relishing in the warm strength he found there as the wind howled, crisp and cold against his exposed skin.
He closed his eyes, slowly tilting his head until his nose pressed against the side of Zhou Mi’s neck. He inhaled deeply, as if he could smell the sweet scent of blood. His own blood coursed vigorously through his vessels, pounding loudly in his ears like thunder. He sandwiched the older man’s body against the fence as he felt his heart pound wildly from the building hunger rapidly flowing through him. He rubbed the tip of his nose against the soft skin over the strong pulse in Zhou Mi’s neck. He parted his lips, his incisors already lengthened as he grazed their sharp points over the pulse, barely remembering what had brought them to the cold exposure of the school’s roof.
“Zhou Mi,” he murmured, his breath hot on the cool expanse of skin,
“Whenever you have a need,” Zhou Mi replied, tilting his head to the side to give them more intimacy rather than tilting his head back to expose more of his neck.
Kyuhyun didn’t hesitate to pierce the skin, burying his fangs in deeply. Hot, thick liquid painted his lips, sloshed into his mouth and fed him sweet, sweet nectar. His lips lightly touched before clasping as he began to feed, slowly at first before growing greedier. His hands pushed the back of the jacket up so he could grasp the fence behind Zhou Mi, his hands clawing around the criss-crossing, metal wires.
Zhou Mi slowly slid one arm around the younger man’s waist, pulling him firmly against his body. His other arm wrapped around Kyuhyun’s shoulders, his hand cupping his skull, holding his mouth to his neck, supporting him. Slowly, he tilted his head against Kyuhyun’s, brushing his jaw to Kyuhyun’s temple, allowing his eyes to close.
“Kyuhyun,” Zhou Mi whispered, his breath slightly ruffling the tiny hairs above Kyuhyun’s ear, “I… I love you.”
Kyuhyun stopped immediately. The blood trickled into his mouth slowly, steadily instead of the rush it had once when he fed actively. The red haze he knew which had once lay over his mind was dispelled immediately. His heart had stopped, skipped a few beats and then began its rapid tattoo but for a completely different, happier reason. He found it hard to form words, to piece together thoughts.
He uncurled his fingers from the fence, slipping his hands back within the jacket and pressing them flat between his shoulder blades, embracing him securely. Subtly, he pressed his body closer to Zhou Mi’s, his mouth moving over the other’s pulse once more, actively feeding. However, this time, it was slower, seductive, as he sated one hunger and trying to entice a different one in Zhou Mi. He could practically feel the groan building in Zhou Mi’s throat, trying slowly to cause it to bubble forth when he suddenly felt Zhou Mi’s arms and hands still, lock about him.
“Head Hunter Zhou?”
It was Kyuhyun’s turn to imitate steel as his entire body seemed as if it were encased in ice. His mind ran wild, absorbing what had just occurred, who had just interrupted them – caught them – and what he could do, should do, to prevent –
“Close the bite as subtly as you can and try to get rid of all the blood,” Zhou Mi whispered, his lips barely moving.
Kyuhyun did as he was told, biting his lip, smearing his healing blood across the bite, sealing the skin immediately. He quickly licked away the blood from the skin and his own lips, brushing clean lips against the pulse like a reckless reminder of what had just occurred and because should that be the last time he feed from Zhou Mi, he would remember the taste.
Slowly, Zhou Mi stepped forward, surreptitiously pulling Kyuhyun behind him. “Hunters Lee,” he gave a curt nod to both Eunhyuk and Donghae. “The roof isn’t a part of your rounds.”
“We know, sir, it’s just that as we were walking by the stairwell to the roof, we could hear the wind. When we climbed up the stairs we found the door wedged open and…” Eunhyuk’s words drifted off.
Donghae, who had already turned his back on them, tugged on Eunhyuk’s arm to do the same, “We… we’ll leave you, sir.”
“Before you both leave,” Zhou Mi interrupted their escape, “What you saw here… what you witnessed…”
“It’s okay,” Donghae insisted hesitantly turning to face the Head Hunter, “Hunter Hwang let it slip that you like… that you don’t like… Well, I suppose she didn’t let it slip, more so that she was angry and jealous and told the Hunters that you’re… well… you know.”
“No, I don’t know,” Zhou Mi smirked despite his Hunters and Kyuhyun unable to see it, “But if you’re referring to me having a boyfriend, you have obviously seen to… seen to… seeing the evidence of it.”
“But she said the school’s nurse…” Eunhyuk stated tentatively, trying to avoid Zhou Mi’s gaze,
Zhou Mi snorted, “Me and the nurse? Really? How cliché, don’t you think?”
“A little less than Hunter and vampire,” Kyuhyun murmured softly so only Zhou Mi could hear – and said person could grip his hand in silent warning.
“I ask – no, command – you both to relay none of this to anyone,” Zhou Mi stated firmly, every inch the Head Hunter; “Seeing as you both saw nothing, I’ll explain this so you may understand the dire need to know nothing. I am not engaged in a relationship with a student while I myself am a teacher here at Shim Jang Academy. Such a relationship goes against many rules at this school and could cause problems to both teacher and student… should a relationship exist.
“Furthermore, that student who I do not have a relationship with happens to be the twin brother of the Japanese Head Hunter present here. Such a connection, if let known to certain persons, could cause quite a bit of trouble for a Korean Head Hunter for forming an alliance the Council may not approve of. And should a Head Hunter be not only torn away from their significant other and should a Head Hunter suddenly find themselves close to losing their job with the Council, said Head Hunter would wreck havoc and bring vengeance upon those who caused such unnecessary chaos.
“To see innocent Hunters who were doing nothing but showing initiative in their jobs suddenly punished due to a slip of the tongue… well, that would be unfortunate, indeed.” He slipped the jacket from his shoulders, handing it behind him to Kyuhyun. He crossed his arms over his chest, eyes narrowing like dark, explosive obsidian. “But of course, Hunters… there was nothing for either of you to see and thus, you saw nothing.” His words were smooth, elegant on the cold wind, encasing a will as strong as steel.
“Yes, sir,” both Hunters bowed immediately,
“We’ll leave you now,” Eunhyuk stammered,
“Not that we ever saw you,” Donghae added.
Together, they turned and bolted from the roof, stopping only once to ensure the door was still wedged open. Zhou Mi sighed heavily, suddenly exhausted from the ordeal of getting caught rather than the late hour. From behind he felt slender, firm arms wrapping about him, felt a warm body press against his back and a warm breath tickling the nape of his neck.
“That was too close,” Zhou Mi murmured as he unfolded his arms, covered Kyuhyun’s hands with his own only to raise them, bringing them to his lips, “Are you still hungry?”
“Yes,” Kyuhyun answered swiftly, honestly, “But the setting to satisfy that hunger requires a bedroom – yours or mine is your decision.”
Zhou Mi laughed then, dropping Kyuhyun’s hands so he could turn in his embrace. His hands went to Kyuhyun’s waist as he pushed him against the fence, grinning down at him, “Wherever you have a need.” His gaze softened a fraction, his expression showing all he thought, all he felt; “I say this again not because I want to hear it back, but because I merely want to say it again… I love you, Kyuhyun.”
Kyuhyun smiled up at him, raising his hands to cradle the older man’s face. His lips parted with a soft exhalation, the words piecing together in his mind, the sounds, the syllables building in his throat, but before he could borne them, make them known, he felt a cool drop on his nose that soon turned wet. Slowly, his gaze rose to the dark sky, stars suddenly concealed by thicker sheets of clouds. He grinned as snowflakes floated down from the cottony clouds.
Suddenly realizing what he was about to say, suddenly scared of his own words, his own thoughts and emotions. Kyuhyun’s eyes slowly lowered from the heavens to Zhou Mi’s eyes dancing with enjoyment at watching his enjoyment.
“It’s snowing,” he announced quietly, his words barely a breath as he pulled Zhou Mi’s head towards his own for a kiss.
(Phase 27: Siren's Call)