64: Flies and Monsters

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Jungkook's fingers go slack, and slip from yours.

As the last fold of his fingerprint disconnects from yours, time is suspended.

It's as if you can look around and see outside of yourself, to that minuscule space that separates your fingertips an ocean's breadth apart.

His eyes are half-closed, dark slats of regret in the dips of his cheekbones. While his face is shuttered and closed off, the length of Jungkook's fingers are opened and loose.

Letting go of you.

Giving up.

No.

Time screeches into motion, and you grab his fingers back.

It takes everything in you not to look at his face while you hold onto his hand tighter than a tourniquet, cutting off his blood flow.

Although grief and pain crash through you in a shudder of numbing emotion, the impact of it has broken through some fragile shell, avalanching the last slivers of the old you away so something new can burst through.

You've been through far too much to let go of Jeon Jungkook's hand now.

While Jungkook stares at you in shock, you lift your chin and, for the first time, voluntarily try to look into the soulless eyes of your father.

"So what?" you ask. "That doesn't matter."

You're living in anticipation of seeing your father start at the statement, of watching him simmer in anger that his bait didn't land you on the hook.

But he isn't looking at you.

Boss Song is still staring at ebony-haired man beside you, lips crooked up into an eerie smile.

"It doesn't, hm?" hums the insidious being parading as a human, wearing a soul's disguise. "Maybe it wouldn't - maybe, if that was all. But how much family has he killed?"

Now, even Jungkook has genuine confusion written in plain script across his face.

There are rings on your father's fingers; they glimmer as he smooths his hand down the front lapel of his coat.

"I'll ask you two questions, Mr. Jeon. You needn't respond to either," he says with a polite smile. "First: do you believe in fate? Because I do - and she's a cruel mistress, as they say."

"Cruel, huh?" Jin scoffs. "You would know."

Your father holds up a silencing hand. "I'm not finished."

On a normal basis you'd expect Jin to throw back some kind of obnoxious reply, or maybe do something childish, like sticking out his tongue.

But the way your father is looking at Jungkook scares all of you - as if the fact that Jungkook murdered your grandfather is only the hors d'oeuvres passed around before the main meal.

"What happened to the Kims, Mr. Jeon?"

Each word is precise, perfectly enunciated with crisp satisfaction as your father takes absolute pleasure in ticking them out.

The Kims?

Which Kims?

You take a quick peek at Namjoon, then Seokjin, but neither look any wiser to the meaning.

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