Damaged, Chapter Forty Two

Title: Damaged
Author: aquariuslover
Pairing: Yunjae
Rating: R
Genre: Future AU, Drama, Angst
Length: Chapters
Summary: On a cold winter’s day he cast their love away for the sake of his family. The following autumn an act of vengeance left their love beyond the reaches of forgiveness. Two summers later a fan’s anger and the ultimate act of self-sacrifice would redefine everything they knew about love, pride, selfishness, and forgiveness.


Previous Chapters

“You do not even know how long’s it been since I had one of these,” Jae said as he took a long drag off a cigarette.

“Are you returning to a nasty habit?” Hyun Joong asked as he downed a drink.

Yoochun, who was sitting with them celebrating his and Hyun Joong’s birthdays at a very exclusive bar, just laughed. “He can only smoke now because…somebody is in Bangkok right now and can’t smell him.”

“Dude, you are not allowed to smoke?” Hyun Joong asked in disbelief.

“I could…it’s just that I’d rather have sex,” Jae explained, causing the other two men to laugh. “It’s like after the injury the part of his brain that controls scent just went haywire.”

“Seriously, so you would get kicked out of bed for smelling like cigarettes?” Hyun Joong asked, grinning at the thought of Jae being so whipped.

Jae took a quick shot of vodka. “Believe me, I have been kicked out of bed and told to shower because I smell like them. The first time I took him home to my apartment he literally walked into the apartment grabbed my fucking cat and walked out. Then I proceeded to get a lecture on how if I want to cover my lungs in tar that was my decision, but my poor cat deserved better.”

Yoochun coughed as his drink went down the wrong way from laughing at Jae. “Why did your apartment stink? You rarely smoke anymore.”

“I had company over the night before and how hypocritical of me would it have been if I told them not to smoke,” Jae explained, smiling at the amused look on Yoochun’s face.

“You don’t let me smoke at your place,” Yoochun pointed out.

Jae nodded his head. “That’s right. I don’t let anybody smoke there at all anymore.”

Hyun Joong who had been listening with amused look added, “They say ex-smokers are the worst.”

Jae turned to look at him and agreed. “Well ex-smokers with brain damage are by far the worst,” Jae told him in a very low voice. The three of them were very aware of the people around them.

“How long has it been since we all got together and did this?” Yoochun asked as he motioned the bartender for another drink.

“Not since Florence Nightingale took up her perch…what, two years ago?” Hyun Joong answered, referring to when Yunho had gotten shot and Jae’s life had taken a drastic turn.

“We wouldn’t be doing it now if all three of us didn’t happen to be in Tokyo at the same time,” Jae pointed out as he toyed with his drink, knowing he shouldn’t have anymore. He had to be up bright and early for filming.

“It’s been too long,” Yoochun told them as he watched Jae grab for his phone that suddenly went off.

Jae immediately answered the phone. “Were your ears burning…is your concert over…how was it…what’s wrong…you sound off…what is this with the questions…I told you I didn’t have to be asked…another one…what question…I don’t get to know till you ask it…when are you going to ask…I am going to go somewhere private to talk to you,” Jae said, getting up from his seat looking worried. “I’m with Yoochun and Hyun Joong we are celebrating their birthdays…I’ll tell them…there are other people around me…no, we are not done talking…I don’t believe you…you better call me later…I will meet you in Singapore don’t think I won’t…”


******************


Yunho sat on the edge of the stage of SM Town Concert that had finished earlier. He sat and looked out over a vast stadium of empty seats that had earlier been full of screaming fans. He watched as workers collected chairs, cleaned up the left over mess, and worked to tear it all down so they could rebuild it again in Singapore.

Yunho hated the emptiness that he felt inside…the void that sitting on a stage and singing to beloved fans could not feel. He missed his legs, his wonderful legs that raced up and down stages delighting in their own movement. He missed the dance, but most of all he missed the ease of just going…just going anywhere he wanted to whenever he wanted. He missed never having to worry about tiring out, getting off balance, and never having to fear the fall. To fall on stage with fans watching him…this was a fear he could not escape. Before the bullet took his true legs from him he never feared falling. In the golden days of his life if he had fallen he would just have gotten up again and laughed along with the fans. If he fell now there wouldn’t be any laughter, only pity for poor, damaged Yunho.

“Do you mind?” A soft, familiar voice asked Yunho, pulling him away from his inner turmoil.

Yunho looked up to see Go Ara pointing to the spot next to him on the stage. Yunho smiled at her. “I don’t mind, but I’m not the best company.”

Go Ara sat down beside Yunho. “Are you moping?”

“Yeah, I am feeling sorry for myself.”

“It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. I know you must miss dancing and just running amok on stage.”

Yunho squeezed his eyes together, fighting the sadness that threatened to overwhelm him. “Yes, I do. I know there is more rehab that can help me…but I don’t delude myself into thinking it will ever be the same.”

She looked at him with sympathetic eyes and took his hand and clasped it. “Well nothing’s really ever the same, is it? All of us change, don’t we? We just all have to find ways to move on.”

Yunho let out a breath and exhaled slowly. “I know and there are things that have sparked my interests that could perhaps help feel this void. It’s just being on the stage does me no good.”

“The keen interest that you are showing for the business side of SM hasn’t escaped anybody’s notice. You always did look good in a suit.”

Yunho laughed. “You are not the first person who has told me that.”

She grinned at him and told him, “It’s because it’s very true.”

“Thank you.”

“For what?”

“Making me feel better.”

“Well I am the best ex-girlfriend ever.”

Yunho nodded his head in eager agreement. “That you are. I am sorry I haven’t been a very good friend lately…been busy.”

“That wouldn’t be code for ‘I am back together with my very jealous boyfriend’ would it?”

Yunho squeezed her hand tighter. “Yeah, that would be code for that. I wouldn’t wish jealous Jae on my worst enemy…much less you.”

“I appreciate that,” she told him laughing. “I know you are sad tonight, but really I can tell how happy you are in general. God, Yunho you deserve to be happy.”

Yunho chuckled and smiled. “I was so wrong to ever push him way…to ever let my dad pressure me into giving him up. I will always pay for that weak decision, but I am so blessed that I lived long enough to find him again.”

Go Ara frowned and asked timidly, “Speaking of your dad…how is your relationship with him?”

“It’s not good. I went with Ji-Hye to have a meal with him a couple weeks ago, and I don’t even know what to say to him. He’s glad I’m alive and he’s glad I’m successful, but I am the great disappointment of his life. I know he loves me, but even at the mention of Jae he just tenses up and just ages in front of me,” Yunho answered her, sounding miserable.

“You brought up Jae to him? Wasn’t that like waving a red flag?” Go Ara asked, stunned that Yunho would purposely engage his father.

“I didn’t, but Ji-Hye did. She and Jae are great friends again. Sometimes I suspect she loves him more than she does me.”

She started laughing hard. “She…she was always nice to me, but I could always tell I was a terrible replacement in her eyes.”

“Not best sister-in-law in the world material are you?” Yunho told her, rubbing it in.

“Not for her I wasn’t,” she said pouting.

“Jae had her brainwashed from a young age…you never had a chance,” Yunho told her, amused at her pouting.

“Story of my life,” she told Yunho and they both laughed.

“I called him before you showed up…and I was doing my freaking out thing,” Yunho admitted, cringing as he thought over what he had said.

“Lucky him! What were you freaking out about?”

“Well you know I was feeling sorry for myself, and then I started thinking about how I am a big, fat liar……..and then Jae got a phone call where I alluded to things, but admitted to nothing,” Yunho confided in her.

“Oh, the life of lies that you didn’t want to live,” Go Ara said, pulling her hand away from his to pat him on the back.

“Yes,” Yunho confessed.

“Honey, if it makes you feel any better. You never stopped lying. When you were with me you were lying to yourself and you were miserable all the time. At least now you are lying and happy.”

“True, I know…but still.”

“If you left him he would kill you…and nobody would really blame him,” she told Yunho, smacking him on the arm.

“I am not leaving him! I learned my lesson…never mind,” Yunho said, instantly regretting he brought it up at all.

She frowned at him. “Is this what you did to Jae on the phone? What is going on in that mind of yours?”

“It’s selfish of me.”

She smiled at him and placed her arm back around him. “I don’t believe that for a minute.”

“Perfect!” Heechul shouted, holding up his phone surprising the both of them. Heechul was on the ground in front of the stage.

“What are you doing?” Yunho demanded as Heechul worked away on his phone.

“Did you take a picture of us?” Go Ara asked, standing up quickly.

“Not only did I take a picture. I just posted it to Twitter,” Heechul said, smiling as he slipped his phone in his pocket.

“Are you insane? Are you trying to get me killed? You have met Jae before right?” Yunho asked alarmed as he glared at the other man, who was making it up the steps to the stage.

“Hey, he followed me. The least I can do is give him a good eyeful.” Heechul smirked at Yunho as he walked up to them.

“I have to go. My boyfriend is not going to be amused…you are such a…” Go Ara said, biting her tongue before she told Heechul off.

“Is he not gay like your last one?” Heechul asked the angry woman, who was glaring at him.

“Heechul!” Yunho yelled at the other man outraged.

“Oh, chill. It’s your fault I had to do this anyway,” Heechul explained to Yunho.

“Yunho’s fault?” She asked, looking concerned suddenly.

“Yes, if he were more careful I wouldn’t have to do such things,” Heechul explained, sitting down next to Yunho.

“Oh,” Go Ara exclaimed, suddenly understanding. “Why didn’t you just ask me?”

Heechul turned and smiled at the woman standing on stage. “But then I would miss you getting all angry and trying your best not to cuss me out.”

She shook her head at him and started walking off. “I have to go do damage control. Yunho, I will see you later. If you want to push Heechul off the stage head first I won’t judge you.”

“Oh, believe me I am considering it,” Yunho told her as she left and he looked fiercely at Heechul.

“Hmmfff…that’s the thanks I get for being the best friend you ever had,” Heechul told Yunho, not looking worried at all.

You cannot post pictures of me like that…with her! Without my permission,” Yunho told him infuriated. “I know you love to annoy Jae…but this is too much.”

“This has nothing to do with me annoying Jae…okay a little bit,” Heechul admitted. “This is about saving your ass.”

“Saving me?”

“You have been reckless…you and Jae are living on the edge of being discovered. What the hell are you thinking?”

“Is this about the airport? Changmin was there too, so I don’t…”

“This is about a multitude of things… him picking you up in his car and driving off with you, this is about pictures of him at your place, and pictures of you at his place. He’s been wearing your clothing…”

“You sound like a fan girl! You know fans purposely give us the same clothing.”

“This is about him sending Changmin to another suite, while he stayed the night with you in yours,” Heechul continued, watching Yunho’s reaction closely.

“That was weeks ago!”

Heechul narrowed his eyes. “You don’t look very upset.”

“I am upset!”

“No, you’re not…you aren’t upset at all,” Heechul realized, not able to keep the surprise from his voice.

“Of course I’m upset. How did you find out about it?” Yunho said, rubbing his temples with his hands. Yunho was trying to fight off the headache he could feel coming.

“I’m always watching out for you that’s how I know! You think I like stalking Yunjae sites? Hell no, I do it for you.” Heechul snapped at his old friend. “It might have happened weeks ago but it is newly leaked news. A Japanese fan leaked it earlier today. They don’t have pictures, and most Japanese fans are doing double time saying it’s a lie that Jae was at a different hotel. They have been calling that fan a delusional liar…even your fans know how destructive this could be.” Heechul explained, still studying Yunho with an intent gaze.

“All it takes is one fan,” Yunho muttered to himself.

“They are too invested in you two. It’s like their personal happiness is all tied up in the thought of you two being together. Most of them are all upset now…”

Yunho removes his hands from his temples and turned to Heechul. “Because of you.”

Heechul sneered at him. “They were upset before I posted this picture. They think you two are fighting again. Jae is out drinking, and you looked so sad and pathetic during this concert.”

“Oh, we must be fighting. We can’t have other things affect us in life can we?” Yunho said, his voice full of contempt.

Heechul rolled his eyes, not impressed with Yunho. “Well your fans don’t want to think you’re an ungrateful ass.”

“Whhaatt…” Yunho stuttered, shocked at Heechul’s harshness.

“You, who were never supposed to breathe again on your own is throwing yourself a pity party because you can’t shake your ass anymore,” Heechul’s voice did not hide his disapproval at Yunho’s behavior.

Yunho had the decency to look properly abashed. “God, I know you are right.”

“Yes, I am. You are blessed with amazing health, you are rich now, and most importantly you have me as your amazing friend,” Heechul pointed out to the man.

Yunho turned and smiled at Heechul warmly. “Are you going to ask for a car next?”

“No,” Heechul denied. Heechul had not been shocked when Yunho had informed him of Lee Soo Man’s gift on the plane to Tokyo. Heechul had been suspicious of Yunho’s new found business savvy for months. “I want something else…I want the truth.”

“What truth do you want?”

“What do you want? What do you really want?” Heechul asked of his old friend. “Why are you so reckless? Why are you allowing Jae to be so reckless?”

Yunho squeezed his eyes shut and didn’t say anything for several minutes and then in a soft voice that only Heechul could hear he told him the truth. A truth he hadn’t shared with Jae or Changmin. “I want to come out. I don’t want to lie anymore. I don’t want to answer stupid questions about my ideal girl ever again. I don’t want to worry about somebody else exposing me…I want to do it myself.”

“Shit!” Heechul exclaimed, his eyes doubling in size. “Shit…shit…shit!”

Yunho turned to his friend that wasn’t bothering to hide his terror. “Well, you asked.”

“Fuck! I was hoping I was wrong. Holy Fuck!” Heechul declared, completely horrified as he laid back on the stage and pounded on it with his fists.

“Heechul! I know I can’t do it. Jae would murder me if I even tried. You asked what I wanted. I didn’t say I was going to do it.”

Heechul lay on the floor of the stage looking up at the night’s sky with his feet hanging off the stage and told Yunho in a voice full of distress, “But you are sabotaging yourself. Does Jae have any clue about your insanity?”

“No, well I have hinted but he hasn’t caught on.”

“Because it’s even too crazy for him,” Heechul said, laughing hysterically at the outrageousness of Yunho’s desire.

Yunho folded his arms and frowned down at Heechul. “I am not going to come out without his permission…”

“Thank God! He will never agree to it. I’ve never been as grateful for the man’s vanity and love of his own celebrity status as I am right now,” Heechul said, sighing in relief.

“Well it’s traits you both share,” Yunho snapped.

“Ouch!” Heechul whined, sitting back up. “Don’t insult me because I don’t want you to destroy your life.”

“Would it destroy…”

“Yes, it would! Your fan girls might get off thinking you are gay, but that’s different than knowing for sure.”

“I think you are wrong there. I think they would throw us a wedd…commitment ceremony.”

Heechul considered it for a moment. “True, some probably would, but it’s the rest of the world you have to worry about.”

“I have enough money that I don’t really have to give a shit what the rest of the world thinks do I?” Yunho said with a new confidence.

Heechul shook his head at Yunho’s arrogance. “You might be happy being a business man, but you are in love with Jae…and Jae would never ever sacrifice his celebrity, unless you made him.”

“Make him? I can’t make Jae do anything,” Yunho said, looking away avoiding Heechul’s perceptive gaze.
“Liar. You have been making Jae do things for years. You just have to dangle your love in front of him like it’s the grand prize.”

“I would never tell Jae if he wanted to be with me he had to come out. I would never do that,” Yunho promised.

“You better be damn sure he knows that before you two go down a path you can’t come back from,” Heechul warned. “If he thinks coming out means keeping you and staying in the closet means losing you…he will always choose you.”

“If I ever confess this stupid dream to Jae…I will make sure that he knows he holds all the power. I am his no matter what he decides. I know it could…” Yunho stopped as his phone went off. He pulled his phone out from his pocket looked at the caller ID and then handed it to Heechul. “It’s for you.”

Heechul took the phone and answered it with a grin. “Hello Flowery Queen what’s up…what…didn’t you like the pic…where is my thank you…you should know I don’t take murder threats lightly.”



***********


Lee Soo Man waited patiently for the blackmailer to appear, as he thought of the best way to instruct Yunho on how to deal with such people in the future. Yunho’s pride and his inherent goodness would not mingle well with the likes of such people. Lee Soo Man suspected that Yunho would out himself just so that he wouldn’t be at the mercy of such people.

Lee Soo Man needed to make sure that Yunho had one trusted employee, who could deal with such people before he parted from the world. If he failed to destroy JYJ and CJeS before his death he would recommend that all blackmailers go through Baek Chang Joo. Lee Soo Man smirked knowing the man had to be skilled at dealing with blackmailers if he had managed to keep Jae’s sex escapades in Japan from the general public. He had not envied him that job.

“A car approaches,” the chauffer announced from the front of the limo through the intercom.

“When he arrives you are to wait outside of the limo,” Lee Soo Man pressed on the intercom and informed the chauffer. He missed Jim his old chauffer but Yunho needed men and women around him whose loyalty could not be bought. Lee Soo Man looked out the window of the car and saw an old, battered, blue vehicle making its way up the deserted stretch of road.

Although the blackmailer’s vehicle was not impressive, the amount of info he had on Yunho’s homosexual relationship with Jae had given Lee Soo Man severe pause. This was not the common blackmailer…this man knew things. He would have to talk with this man in person and find out who else he shared his information with and how exactly he had gotten it.

He watched as a tall, thin, bearded man, with long shaggy hair got out of the vehicle. Lee Soo Man rolled his eyes as he noticed the man was wearing a long, black trench coat, black hat, and sunglasses in the middle of June. It would soon be dusk and a storm was approaching, the temperature was warm, and the need for such clothing was unnecessary. It was as if the blackmailer was wearing his attire based on a spy movie he had watched. Perhaps this was just a common blackmailer after all and would not be so difficult to deal with.

The door to the limo opened and the man entered and sat across from Lee Soo Man. Although at first glance he looked like scum to be scrapped off Lee Soo Man’s shoes, his aura was not that of a common blackmailer…there was something else lingering hidden away underneath the costume.

Lee Soo Man watched curiously as the blackmailer tilted his sunglasses down. Lee Soo Man could not hide his surprise when he found Jae’s large, distinctive eyes staring back at him.

“Hello, old man.”

Lee Soo Man furrowed his eyebrows. “Is business not doing well? Are you taking up alternate means of enhancing your income now?”

“Business is doing just fine, but you don’t look too good,” Jae told him, looking very pleased at his findings.

“Hero, how kind of you to worry about my ill health. I’m truly touched.”

“Believe me, I’m not. You can’t die soon enough for me,” Jae told him, coldly. Jae hated this man. This man had done everything he could to destroy him and his friends, and rob them of their fame they had worked so hard to achieve.

Lee Soo Man leaned his head back against the seat and laughed. “You bring a smile to a dying man’s face. I was just worrying about U-Know and how he would deal with blackmailers in the future, and now the answer is staring me in the face.”

Jae frowned at the older man’s mention of his lover. “Yunho is not yours to worry about…he’s mine. I will take care of him.”

“I know that. I only hope he’s never foolish enough to leave you again. I fear what the consequences would be.”

Jae seethed and told the man coldly, “Yunho will never leave me again. His father is no longer an issue and you’ll soon be dead.”

Lee Soo Man reached a hand up and covered his heart and told Jae in a voice full of fake hurt, “You wound me, Hero. It is not I that inflicted pain on your U-Know. I believe that was you and your treacherous associates.”

“Shut up!”

The older man smirked. “Ah, did I touch upon a sensitive area?”

“Yunho and I are done hurting each other.”

Lee Soo Man thought back over all of Yunho’s words to him. “Perhaps, you hurt him in ways that you can’t even imagine.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Jae said, his eyes flashing.

“Nothing, I must be mistaken. My judgment might be clouded by all the pain medication I’m on,” Lee Soo Man said, toying with Jae.

Jae’s frown changed to a smile. “I hear pancreatic cancer is one of the most painful cancers there is.”

“It is.”

“You are only saying that to make me feel better,” Jae told him as he reached inside his trench coat and pulled out a brown package.

“Why are you here?” Lee Soo Man asked, tired of playing with the cold hearted young man.

Jae took a deep breath and told Lee Soo Man with a voice devoid of emotion, “I am here to grant you your dying wish.”

“What have you done, Hero?” Lee Soo Man questioned as he took the package from Jae.

“I have done what I had to do. What I always do,” Jae told him as his cold exterior started to falter.

Lee Soo Man pulled out a picture of a woman from the package. “Who is this?”

“She is the one who knows where all the skeletons are buried. She has records of laundering, defrauding the government, misappropriation of funds, and extortion,” Jae whispered as if he was afraid somebody might hear him.

“You are sure she will turn?” Lee Soo Man asked, amazed at his sudden good fortune. Relief flooding all over him as his revenge was handed to him on a golden platter.

“I’m sure. She was in love with a man…that met with an unfortunate outcome due to his own negligence and disrespectful behavior. She is married to another man so nobody suspected their relationship…except for me,” Jae explained.

“Why did you suspect it?”

Jae sighed and confessed, “I always pay attention to people who are not…affected by me.”

Lee Soo Man smiled. “So she loved this man so much that your beauty had no effect on her?”

“None.”

“And you are convinced that she will get revenge for her dead lover?”

“I never said he was dead…I just said he had an unfortunate outcome. I don’t know what happened to him and I don’t want to know. It happened years ago, and I have never been privy to the dirty details…involved in surviving you. All these acts were done in order to survive your vindictive, hateful, evil….”

“Hero, don’t make excuses for the company you keep. You have no qualms about what they did as long as you got to look pretty for the masses. Blame me all you want, but you can’t make a man do what he isn’t willing to do,” Lee Soo Man told Jae, the contempt dripping off his tongue.

Jae glared at the older man but it had no effect. “I regret so much, that in order…that you get this at my hands.”

“Hush, remember that you will have U-Know to kiss away those regrets. Now tell me are you positive she will turn?”

Jae’s glare softened as his mind drifted to Yunho and kisses. “Yes, she will get his revenge for him. I’ve watched her and she hides it well but her hate is strong…of course I am spared her hate.”

“Let me guess, you two bonded over great love lost,” Lee Soo Man said, smiling proudly at Jae despite his best efforts not to. Jae was an amazing creature capable of many extremes. The members of Dong Bang Shin Ki had always been amazing, but Jae had always been the strongest of them.

Jae grinned. “I might have fed into her pain…encouraged it.”

The older man looked through the papers in the package and pulled out a disk and eyed it. “And this?”

“Just another means to destroy the company if something should happen to her. I doubt you will have to use it,” Jae informed him, any remorse he was feeling he hid it well from his old mentor.

“Always good to have a backup plan,” Lee Soo Man agreed. “But are you not afraid of implicating Xiah and Micky?”

“There is nothing in there that will harm them. They never did anything wrong.”

“What about family and friends?” Lee Soo Man asked, looking up from the papers to study Jae.

Jae arched an eyebrow. “If you break the law shouldn’t you pay?”

“No, not always,” Lee Soo Man confessed. “But perhaps you think they should pay for other things?”

Jae’s eyes darkened. “There are many people that used my pain…my heartbreak to further their own plans. I will only spare my mercy for Yoochun and Junsu…nobody else.”

“Fools, they had no idea that a tiger lurked in their midst. The day you reunited with U-know…did a cold chill run down their spines I wonder? Did they know their destruction was upon them?”

“Nobody can ever know I had anything to do with this,” Jae insisted, suddenly. “I have covered my tracks so completely. They know I had a weak moment and tried to return to SM, but they think it was a just a romantic whim of mine. They think that when my request was denied my hate returned full blast. I display my hate for you and your entire company like a badge of honor…nobody will suspect me unless you tell them.”

“You need not worry. I will carry this secret to the grave, and I suggest you do the same. I will take all the credit for destroying your company, but not because of you. I don’t want this to ever touch U-know. No one must ever suspect what you have done,” Lee Soo Man warned.

“Yunho has no idea that I am…”

“I know that. This ruthlessness that allows you and me to do what has to be done…U-know does not have it in him. It’s a good thing, but it’s also a weakness. A terrible weakness that you must never allow anyone to exploit,” Lee Soo Man instructed Jae.

“I won’t,” Jae eagerly vowed, listening to the man he had hated for years. He hated Lee Soo Man with a passion but the man had risen to fame and power due to his own intelligence, and he would be ignorant to ignore his advice. Jae watched as his old mentor bent over suddenly holding his stomach and gasping for air as a wave of pain overtook him. Jae just watched as the minutes slowly passed as the older man tried to control his pain…to tolerate it. “Will you live long enough to put this plan into action?”

Lee Soo Man looked up at him suddenly very pale. “I must act quickly. My days are not many, but to know my greatest creation will…”

“You will not live long enough to see Dong Bang Shin Ki reunited. I will give you the means to destroy JYJ and our company but I will never give you that. When you are dead and buried and Yoochun and Junsu are made aware of Yunho’s shares then we will return, but not until then,” Jae told him, the coldness seeping back into his voice.

Lee Soo Man eyed Jae with cold beady eyes as he continued to hold his stomach. “I wonder if U-Know knows…surely he must suspect.”

Jae who was reaching for the door handle paused and turned his focus back to the dying man. “I told you he has no idea.”

“I wasn’t talking about that.”

“I am not a mind reader,” Jae spit out at the man harshly. He wanted to be gone. Watching the man he had hated for so long in agonizing pain brought back memories. Memories of a more innocent time, when he was young and Yunho was by his side and they both worked so hard to please this man…their mentor.

“I wonder if U-Know knows that you would have taken the gun from your psychotic fan and shot him yourself if you had known it meant getting him back,” Lee Soo Man said knowingly, and found great pleasure in the way Jae flinched.

Jae swallowed back his denial, flung the limo door open and got out of the car and slammed the door shut in a hurry to get away from the dying man as quickly as he could. Jae fought off his building anxiety as Lee Soo Man’s limo pulled away leaving him standing in the road alone.

What had he done? The doubts echoed throughout his mind. If Yoochun and Junsu ever found out he would lose them, as surely as he ever lost Yunho and Changmin. “No!” Jae shouted in the middle of that deserted road as he threw off his hat, wig, and sunglasses. He ripped off his fake beard and fell to the ground on his knees. He had betrayed them all to a man who wanted nothing more than to destroy them. He had given the bastard everything he needed…but still he did not regret it. “We will be five again, and it will all be worth it. It will be worth it. Worth it,” he told himself as tears started to fall from his eyes. “It will be worth it…and I’ll always be with Yunho now.” Jae clenched his eyes shut as his truest, most selfish motives for his act of betrayal slipped from his lips. “Yunho.”

The dusk arrived and the clouds in the sky gathered over his head as lightening pierced the landscape surrounding him. Thunder roared off in the distance as he pulled out his phone, and called Yunho desperately needing to hear his voice. Jae waited patiently for that most beloved of all voices to answer. A smile broke through his tormented face washing away the pain. “Hey…did I wake you up…I’m sorry…I needed to hear your voice…I just miss you…I know, but it can’t end soon enough for me…I wish I was in LA with you…I’m not in Tokyo...I had to come back home to deal with a few things…nothing, just work…you know I love you more than anything, right…yes, even more than my hair…I dyed it blonde just for you…now, you’re awake,” Jae listened to Yunho complain as he cast his eyes to the sky where the rain had started to fall down on him.

“I lied…it’s really mahogany brown…it’s even more fabulous than usual…I will send you a picture later…naked, huh…if you return the favor,” Jae said smiling as the rain came down hard. “I can’t now…I am outside and it just started raining…I just felt like taking a walk…I have lots of pent up energy that you aren’t around to help me with…no, this isn’t one of those phone calls…I just needed to hear your voice and know…know that nothing will ever keep me from you…nothing…I love you…I know you do…I have to go before my phone drowns…bye, My Love,” Jae told him, ending the phone call and then quickly putting his phone away. Jae stood up, his strength and resolve back and stronger than ever as he hurried toward the car.


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