71: When the Thunder Rolled

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In the drafty warehouse with the metal roof, the rumbles of thunder sounded as though they would shake the walls apart.

Jungkook stood between two of his father's friends, rocking back and forth from his heels to his toes. A draft crept though the wide open door behind him, slipping through the knit of his black sweater so that goose bumps rolled along his skin. Water kept splattering in through the entryway, but no one bothered to close the door.

Jungkook didn't really get what they were doing here.

He was tired - it was night time, and usually he was already in bed.

That's where he wished he was, really. Curled up beneath his covers and feeling safe with all the lightening flashing like strobe lights between the slats of his blinds.

Instead, his father had demanded he get dressed and dragged him outside, stuffing him into a van with all of his uncles and his father's friends. Jimin hyung wasn't here, either, which was odd since Jimin hyung was always there.

Event since Jungkook could remember, Jimin had been there beside him. He'd always been the one to help Jungkook back up when he skinned a knee, or to pat his head well done when Jungkook's father wouldn't.

It was strange that Jimin hyung wasn't anywhere to be seen.

Jungkook glanced up at the faces of the men beside him, sober and stone-faced.

Whatever this was, it seemed serious.

Jungkook's father strode out ahead of him, hands tucked and clasped behind him. He didn't seem worried by the storm or the mysterious situation, nor was he worried about the fact that Jungkook was worried.

A few days ago, Jungkook's father had taken him to a gun range not far from their house. Jungkook has been practicing for several weeks in advance with Jimin, and his father had seemed pleased with his performance at the range. His lips had tilted up into an infinitesimal smile when the bullets had successfully targeted vital points on every target dummy.

Jungkook's father didn't smile very often.

He wasn't smiling then, either.

Another crash of thunder made the metal walls screech in protest, and made Jungkook jump.

"What's going on?" he asked in a whisper.

No one replied - another oddity.

Jungkook was used to getting a lot of attention from everyone but his father. Usually, people answered him right away, with a strange kind of respect that he didn't understand.

It was suddenly as if he didn't exist.

It made Jungkook want to puff out his chest and stand tall on his toes, so he didn't look so small next to them.

A sudden shuffling and a loud cry drew Jungkook's attention to the far wall of the warehouse. In the drafty dampness, he could barely see a small line of people against the wall.

They were on their knees, their hands tied, and their faces were covered by black hoods.

One of his father's friends put a hand on his shoulder and pushed him forward. Small, wet footprints were left by Jungkook's tennis shoes as he stumbled toward the people.

When he was closer, the only thing he could really see were their hands. Black cord strained against their wrists, tied together so tightly that it looked painful.

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