37.

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"Taehyung?" Jungkook called out, only to be met with his own echo throughout the hallway of the palace. He quietened the tone of his voice ever so slightly before repeating the boy's name once more.

The man felt utterly sick. He wondered where Taehyung had run off to since he barely knew his way around the palace. The last thing he'd wanted was for the night to end up with the servant getting upset, however it was only now that he was realising he should've never asked Taehyung to come to the ball. He should've known his Father would've held a short speech, which would've ultimately distressed Taehyung in every way possible.

Taking a short breath, Jungkook paused for a minute; stopping in the middle of the hallway. Thinking rationally, his mind went over each and every place Taehyung could've possibly gone. He doubted he'd go back to Jimin's room, as it was likely Yoongi and his boyfriend were occupied doing certain actions which absolutely no one would wish to witness.

The possibility of the boy going down to the kitchens was extremely slim, since Jungkook knew Seokjin locked up each night in order to avoid anyone snooping around and stealing items from the pantry, which he'd grown to realise.

Therefore, there was only one other place the boy could've fled to.

The willow tree where the pair had shared their first kiss.

In a mad hurry, Jungkook paced over towards the gardens of the palace, with only one thought in his mind: Taehyung. The male barely thought of how strange his sudden disappearance must've been after his Father's speech, since in that current moment, the entirety of the situation regarding Taehyung was far more important than absolutely everything.

"Tae? Baby?" he called out wildly once he'd arrived at the base of the tree. "Taehyung, please tell me you're here."

He waited a second, feeling his insides turning upside down after he was met with sheer silence. "Taehyung, I-" he began, before he felt himself being cut off by the familiar sight of a boy stepping out from the distance.

Squinting his eyes through the dark, Jungkook felt relief flooding his body upon realising it was Taehyung, causing the Prince to pace over towards him, intending to envelop him into a hug, however the sight of the tear-struck boy ended up in Jungkook pausing in his actions as he looked on at the boy with utter remorse.

"Tae? Why are you crying?" he asked softly, although he knew the question was pointless. He was well-aware of the answer.

"Are you really asking me that, Jungkook?" Taehyung laughed bitterly, shaking his head. He raised his head, staring at the Prince dead-on in his eye. "Do you understand that this is pointless? Whatever we have going on between us is going nowhere, Kook. You're marrying her, and I need to accept it."

Jungkook froze at his words, his mouth opening and closing a few times, since he couldn't exactly comprehend what he wished to say.

"No, I swear Tae," he spoke out a few seconds later, practically begging at this point. He no longer recognised who he was as a person, since his old-self had completely deteriorated at the hands of Taehyung. He'd come to the point where there was only one person he cared for.

"Taehyung, please," he tried again, his eyes exploring every inch of the boy's face for slight trace of backtrack. "I love you, Tae."

The elder paused at his words, feeling his own heart flutter slightly at Jungkook's confession. He only stared at him in disbelief, wondering if he'd heard correctly until the Prince repeated himself again, this time evidently louder.

"I love you, Kim Taehyung. I know for sure that's how I feel now," he said firmly, although internally he was practically shaking. He didn't quite know how to muster his feelings into words, however he knew he had to make it clear to Taehyung how he felt in attempt to convince the boy to simply stay.

"I haven't felt this way before, baby. You have to trust me when I say I'll sort this out. Give me a little more time," he begged, cupping Taehyung's cheeks with his palms. "I won't need long. I just need enough time to figure out what I'll say to my Father. Sweetheart, please," he continued, anticipating the boy's response.

Pressing his lips into a thin line, Taehyung felt the Prince brushing away his stray tears with his thumb before he finally composed himself after experiencing the sensation of his entire body melting after Jungkook's words. The elder knew he was far too whipped to maintain his detached demeanour. He knew he was far too whipped to be able to actually reject Jungkook.

"I love you," he said simply.

And those words were enough for the Prince to know that Taehyung had forgiven him, and that the boy had given him yet another chance at redemption.

As Jungkook brought the boy in for a kiss, pressing his chapped lips against Taehyung's smooth ones, neither one of the two men noticed a pair of wandering eyes fixated upon their direction.

Neither one of them noticed the dark silhouette of the lanky figure masked behind the bush several feet away.

In fact, the pair were far too absorbed within each other, as they mumbled sweet nothing's into each other's ears, Jungkook continuously repeating the three words he'd desperately feared to utter until this day.

"I love you."

𝐑𝐎𝐘𝐀𝐋𝐓𝐘. (𝐓𝐚𝐞𝐤𝐨𝐨𝐤)Where stories live. Discover now