forum "How come you haven't run away from me yet?"//oxo//Closed
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@knightinadream group

(I'm so sorry for the delay. I just did a timeskip if that's okay.)

Morning came faster than he had wanted to. Despite being away from everyone else in the palace, he could faintly hear people up and moving about. Barely any light had come into his room when the servants came in to help him get dressed. As he prepared for the day, Kangdae went over the plan in his head over and over. There was not much for him to worry about.

Still, he was not completely sure what he'd say to derail the meeting. Throughout the late evening till the morning, he was not able to get his mind out of the pit that it was stuck in. He did not even go out to hunt because he was too distracted by his own thoughts. Those same feelings from before kept looming over him as he tried to think of something else, but it never worked.

Kangdae shook his head as he walked outside. Aside from his typical crown prince attire, he had on the gloves again. Since it was cloudy outside, he didn't bother using the hanbok to cover himself. His servant stood attentively holding up the red umbrella though.

He ambled over close by to his mother's bed chamber then leaned against a column waiting. Hopefully he did not leave too early. From what he recalled the morning after the first night, Jimin and Her Majesty would be meeting around this time. Crossing his arms, he kept his chin down while deeply inhaling.

@Tired-but-passionate

(it's alright!)
Jimin had a nightmare last night. She was sure she had. The memory of waking up with fear clutching her heart and dread making her fingers twitch was vivid in her mind, but she could not remember the dream itself. Every time she tried to go back, reach into her memories, she would turn up empty. No matter. She had to be prepared for today, and to dwell wouldn't do any good.
She approached the door to the Queen's chamber, going over what she would say in her head. Lost in thought, she didn't notice the prince. Taking a breath, she knocked on the door to announce her presence, then slid the door open and went inside.

@knightinadream group

Kangdae closed his eyes as he listened to the wind gently blowing in the background. Though he didn't keep them shut for long. He could hear Jimin's footsteps as she approached the door. His one hand grabbed the column as he leaned over to get a glimpse of her. The urge to get her attention and wave was small, yet he sighed just thinking about it. Foolish for him to let his thoughts run away for a second when he should be waiting attentively.

The queen tapped her finger against the table. She had been too eager to keep herself waiting. Something has to be going on, there must be more progress being made somehow. Otherwise she would have heard some sign of failure by now.

Cold temperature and no heartbeat, that is all she knows at the moment. Her doubt became more stronger than her suspicions at the current moment. The crown prince wouldn't be able to fight so persistently if he didn't have a pulse. Yet a small voice inside told her otherwise.

When hearing the door open, she stopped the tapping. Her head shot in the direction of the small creak. A small warm smile appeared on her face. "Good morning, Jimin," she said, "How was last evening?"

@Tired-but-passionate

She bowed. “Good morning, Your Majesty.”
A nervousness had begun to settle in her stomach. The last time she tried to cover up what happened the previous night, she had at least some truth to tell. But now there was none. At least she wasn’t alone, not anymore. But what if things went wrong? What if the prince didn’t come? What if the Queen became suspicious?
No, this is not the time to get lost in thought. She took a shuddering breath. “Forgive me, but I think the prince was determined to be more secretive after the previous night. I couldn’t get much out of him. I’m sorry.”

@knightinadream group

Queen Seohyun raised a brow as she watched her. The look on her lady in waiting's face was something she does not recall seeing before. On the other previous days, she appeared to be more confident and awake. It was concerning to say at the least, but she decided to not make a comment about it.

The grin on her faded away. "Yesterday you came with an important piece of information, but today you have nothing? Why is that?" she questioned. Her patience had come to be a bare thread as it thinned out with time. The prince decided to play the quiet game? Why would he be agreeing to cooperate one evening then go back to his usual self the other? None of it makes any sense to her.

Out of nowhere, a knock came from the door. The queen let out a frustrated sigh. "Who goes there?" she called out. There wasn't supposed to be anyone else coming by; really Jimin is the only one she has a meeting with in her room.

On the other side of the door, Kangdae smirked. Maybe he should have waited just a bit longer, but he didn't see any fun in that. Besides, leaving Jimin to sit there with his mother waiting and worry only makes him feel terrible. Experiencing such a feeling as this was something he had never thought of, he doesn't like it one bit.

Without a word, he opened the door and stepped inside. Keeping a neutral look, he took a glimpse of them both as he walked over to sit down. "It is only me, Your Majesty," he stated, "Are you two having a wonderful conversation? I hope Miss Hwang over here is saying good things about me."

The queen lowered her gaze as she forced out a chuckle. "I suppose you can say so."

@Tired-but-passionate

(Jimin and Kangdae: don't be suspicious, don't be suspicious, don't be suspicious, don't be suspicious-)

She's already suspicious; it was almost amazing how fast their plan seemed to be falling apart. Jimin had been silent, trying to form a tactful response when the knock came. Anxiety, annoyance, and relief seemed to simultaneously spasm in her chest. Here she was, feeling as though the Queen was breathing down her neck, and the prince walks in like he owns the place. Of course, they'd planned this, but now that it was actually happening, it felt like they hadn't planned anything at all.
She gave Kangdae a pointed look. I hope you've got a trick up that long, ornately embroidered sleeve of yours.
Saying something or responding to the Queen's question felt unwise while the prince was here, but she looked between mother and son, looking for some kind of signal to speak, unless Kangdae beat her to it.

@knightinadream group

"Last night you do not say a word, yet here you are now. Why?" the queen questioned, "Do you have something to say now?" She stared straight ahead at the wall before turning her neck to get a glimpse of him. There were only a few things she could assume: he's bored and wants to stir trouble, he is here to complain about something/one, or he is being secretive. Her eyes narrowed at him.

He replied with a shrug at first doing his best not to sneer or look amused. It was not difficult to see that this scenario is slowly falling out of his hand, yet he found this to be fun; there is nothing wrong with having a bit of risk coming into play. Although, he had to admit that he did not like the expression he was receiving from Jimin. Perhaps he does deserve it.

"I have nothing to do. Myung is all over the place. He thought our tea time was today so he brought me here then left to go do a quick errand," he explained. Deep inside, he had the urge to look away, but he kept his eyes staring straight into his mother's. The look in hers were concerning, yet she did not say anything. He continued, "I had a long day yesterday, there wasn't anything for me to say so I didn't. I am quite alright."

Queen Seohyun was not sure what to do. Firmly addressing her son in front of someone else? How unheard of. She cannot force him to leave too, his skin too sensitive to go outside without protection. And it does not seem like he is going to willfully exit the room as well. All she could do right now was roll her eyes and shake her head.

Kangdae bit the inside of his lip as he waited for his mother to say something. If he lets too much time pass by, he isn't sure what could happen. His eyes were drawn to the tea cup to the queen's right. The sweetness of it was similar to the smell of Jimin's blood, but it wasn't just the scent of the tea making it aromatic. Then his mother's was a bit sweet, yet something was off to the scent, it was bitter. Grabbing at his sleeve, he let out a short sigh before gazing back at his mother and Jimin.

"Your Majesty, you're always drinking the same kind of tea more than three times a morning. Maybe it is time to try one with something that will not leave you restless, something better for your health. Wouldn't your lovely court lady over here agree?" Glancing over at Jimin, he gave her a wink.

@Tired-but-passionate

Was that seriously his story? That he was bored? Jimin tried to keep her face clear of emotion. Well, he has no idea what he’s doing.
An uncomfortable moment of silence seemed to stretch out in the wake of Kangdae’s words, and she found herself staring somewhere around the tea cup as well. For a moment the discomfort was drowned out by the static of her mind, until she snapped back to attention at the sound of his voice, and her anxiety returned.
Then annoyance came with it. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes at his wink, but she played along as best she could.
“Well on the contrary, Your Highness, Omija tea is quite useful for preventing restlessness,” she said, keeping her voice steady. “Though perhaps it would be a good idea to try something different if you still find yourself stressed, Your Majesty.” She nodded to the Queen. “I would recommend lemon balm or maybe passionflower.”
Her uncle would often ask her to prepare those kinds of teas, either for his patients or himself. They were usually more mild tasting than Omija tea as well, which is why they both preferred them.

@knightinadream group

Omija helps with restlessness? Why didn't he know that? Kangdae attempted to remain as calm as possible. He is a little bit dumbfounded currently, but he kept looking at Jimin as she spoke. There was a small between his lips as he listened. "Passion flower sounds wonderful, doesn't it?"

The queen thought for a moment as she bit the inside of her cheek before giving a nod in response. She did not want to admit that the crown prince was sort of right, but maybe he is. Omija is her favorite, though she has been drinking it for months now. Why is it any of his concern? Relaxing her shoulders, she forced her lips to curve up into a warm smile. "Your Highness, I do not have any time for this. I really wished that you didn't come in a few moments ago. Jimin and I are trying to help you with your health. If you are here to speak about your concern with mine, I say it would be better if we discussed this privately some other time."

How long do these meetings go for? Kangdae stared off to the side as he rested his chin on his palm. This really is more troubling than he wanted it to be, and not in a good way. He's only doing this for Jimin because he is starting to feel bad, for himself most certainly; he was not expecting this to turn into a losing battle by mentioning his condition. His eyes started to squint when he looked back at his mother. Trying to return the warm expression was not impossible, but his drifted off into something else.

He sighed, "Oh my beloved majesty, I should say the same thing to you. And yet, I am not the one using others to find out if there is something wrong with my son meanwhile I look like I am going to faint any moment now. Isn't that awfully strange to you? How long are you going to be persistent? The paleness in your face is close to mine, but we both know that it's more troubling for you than me."

"Wouldn't you think it'd be best to leave now?" Queen Seohyun asked. Her, somewhat, lighthearted expression dissolved into surprise. Since when did all of this foolery have to be about her? Out of all the things the crown prince has pulled off, she is not sure if she would have expected something like this. The back of her neck felt warm when she looked down at her skirt for a second. How embarrassing.

Not saying a word, he shook his head. Then he gazed over at the door. His servant should be back any time soon, but he intended to leave once he head the knock. Besides, it is best to be here as long as he can, that way there is barely any room for his mother to try to discuss anything further.

"My servant should be back soon, just a few minutes, but no worries, I will leave by then."

@Tired-but-passionate

A look of surprise crossed Jimin’s face as well, and suddenly she wasn’t sure who should leave- her or Kangdae. Turning it on the Queen wasn't something she had anticipated, and felt like it was stepping over the line, but at least it distracted her.
But how to end the meeting? Ideally, she could leave soon without either having to reveal his secret or just saying she had nothing. Unfortunately, that didn't seem likely. She was afraid to speak, that her words would come out wrong or that they would be the wrong words. It would be a bad idea to speak now, of course, but after the prince left, what could she say? Why for spirits' sake hadn't she planned this?
She found herself staring at the teacup again, her gaze tracing the patterns in the china. Perhaps the problem was that she wasn't thinking of his condition as an actual, curable illness since of course, it wasn't. If she went back to how she used to think about it, maybe she could come up with something.

@knightinadream group

Not much time had passed when he realized he could sense the servant making his way back. Kangdae decided to not say much anymore, seems like he already had accomplished what was needed. The silence in the room was dreary, but he didn't mind it, in fact it was quite amusing to him.

A knock came from the door which prompted him to stand up and make his way over. "My apologies for intruding, but I should leave," he said while stepping outside, "Have a wonderful rest of the day, Jimin and Your Majesty." He turned around to give a bow then shut the door.

Queen Seohyun sat there quietly for a few moments. Well that was oddly surprising to her, all she had expected to come from this morning was a simple report, not a visit or a small attack from the prince.

"Well, let's get back to business. I am assuming that last evening wasn't as progressive as the previous one. I hope tonight will be better for you," she sighed. Her eyes gazed over to the door for a brief second then back at Jimin. "I appreciate your time. If there isn't anything, you may leave."

Although her focus was in other places, the suspicion still lingered. Something is going on, that she knows for sure, but she did not want to dwell upon it right this second.

@Tired-but-passionate

Jimin bowed her head as the prince left, then went to staring at her lap. She wanted to say something, but she didn’t know what.
After a pause she murmured, “No, it wasn’t. I’m sorry, Your Majesty.” Suddenly she felt tired, the stress of the meeting might be getting to her. Or maybe it was because she realized that, the way things were going, they may not be able to keep the prince’s secret for very long.
She took a deep breath, and stood. Not in the mood to do anything else, she bowed to Queen and took her leave.

@knightinadream group

Kangdae did leave the room, but he did not really go far. He wanted to talk to Jimin so he decided to wait till she came out from the door too. After getting outside, he made the servant take a couple steps away from him and hide while he stood away. It was still very much cloudy so sunlight getting him was not a worry.

While the sensation of pride loomed over his mind, something did not feel right. Whether or not it's because of what happened in there or the small pain in his abdomen, he couldn't figure it out. From the sharp look he was given to the long silence that hung in the air, he was given the notion that he did something wrong. Did he? No, if he did not show up or turn the conversation to his mother, then the two of them would be in trouble; he did exactly what he promised.

And yet, he was not able to shake the feeling off. Kangdae stood there with his arms crossed while staring down at his feet. A confused sigh left him before he began to frown. When hearing the door creak open, his head shot up watching as Jimin appeared. The corners of his lips curved up into a small grin. "Jimin!" he called out in a whisper. He looked around for a few seconds then walked up to her.

"I thought that was pretty successful, wouldn't you agree?" he asked then added, "But something feels wrong, my mind keeps telling me that. Are you okay?"

@Tired-but-passionate

For a moment, all that was on her mind was getting on with her usual duties. The sequence of the day’s tasks going over in her mind were then thrown off by Kangdae’s whispered call. She stopped in her tracks, then looked over and watched him approach her. She was silent at first, fascinated by how she was seeing him in daylight for once. His skin seemed to take on the look of carved stone rather than its pearlescent sheen she usually saw it in when in moonlight. Then she took a breath, trying to move her mind to recent events.
“I… technically, yes, the plan we made succeeded. Nothing significant has changed.” Her gaze flickered downward. “But now I’m doubting whether it will work in the long run. And I… I suppose I’m not okay. I feel like I failed, despite what I’d hoped. I had nothing. I know I disappointed H-Her Majesty…” she took another, shakier breath, and rubbed the bridge of her nose.

@knightinadream group

Maybe he did do something wrong, something really is happening. Instantly, when he saw her, the reality of it hit him. He was hesitant to walk forward a bit as she spoke.

Their current plan may not work in the long run, but he is going to make it work and if it's needs to be changed, then he'll do it. She shouldn't get worried about it, if his mother finds out, he is the one that is going to be in trouble. He will do everything in his power to make it look like she was never apart of it so this situation will not be a burden.

"Jimin, listen I…" His eyes gazed at her watching as looked down and patted her nose. With his index finger, he wiped the corner of his right eye. He looked up for a second, avoiding taking another glimpse of Jimin. His jaw tightened refusing to let out any words while his brows furrowed. The urge to walk away held together with the regret of wanting to talk to her.

Kangdae could not help but take a step forward, wrapping his arms around Jimin. If only there he could do more than just trying to embrace. If only he wasn't this way, then they wouldn't be having any problems or troubles. He gently stroked her back while trying to come up with something to say.

"It wasn't your fault, you did not fail at all. No one wins or fails in such a confusing position," he assured, "Her Majesty is only sad, she worries for me, but she also worries for you too. She always sees you like a daughter in a way. You'll never disappoint Her Majesty, you're too good for that. I am the one that created this mess and took too much pride in it, I should be one that should be feeling the way you do, so don't be sad."

@Tired-but-passionate

There was a soft intake of breath as she felt herself being wrapped in his arms. Her body stiffened, and for a moment she was struck speechless. Standing there, she had no idea of what to do. She had no idea what to feel. It always seemed to her that their friendship didn’t exist outside of the prince’s chambers, and now it felt as though she couldn’t trust him again. Did he want something from her? Would he be angry if she pulled away?
She shivered as she felt his hand run along her spine. The fabric that covered him only protected her from the cold, it didn’t give warmth in return. Being touched like this, by someone like Kangdae, a man of high status, was so foreign to her that she almost wondered if this was real.
But she stopped when she heard his voice. It seemed to carry the warmth that his body never could, making it clear that he wanted nothing from her. No, instead he wanted to give her something. Comfort. How novel, and yet perhaps that should’ve been obvious. Friends comforted friends, she knew that.
To her mild annoyance, her ears went hot again. “W-with all due respect, Your Highness,” she whispered, “that may be so, but…” how can I be like a daughter to her? I am still a servant. I can still be replaced. No matter how high I go, how far I’ve come, I can still be replaced. And if I can disappoint my family, I can disappoint the Queen. These were the things she did not, could not say. Her hand went to her temple, rubbing it instead. She shouldn’t be thinking like this this early in the morning.
She took a deep breath, and found the courage to pull away from him. His actions still confused her somewhat, but she did not have the time right now to dwell on them. More than anything, she wanted to focus on something else, for mundanity was less confusing than a simple hug.
“Your Highness, please understand, this is not the time,” she found herself saying. “My duty calls.”
She bowed her head and quickly left before she could have second thoughts.

@knightinadream group

So many thoughts swirled around him that it was beginning to make him feel lightheaded. For so long, Kangdae was assured that he would never be able to feel a single human feeling again. No pity, no sympathy, and most certainly no compassion towards others. Yet here he is, hugging a person who he now considers a friend because he knew that his carelessness caused a lot more than just a problem or two.

His hand froze feeling Jimin shiver underneath it. He almost backed away, wondering if he should just let go and leave. Leave. Why hasn't she left yet? She could get out of his arms then turn around and go if she wanted to. She does not have to stay still like a statue nor having to pretend to befriend him. Better yet, she does not have to trudge all the way over to his chambers tonight after this; he'd understand.

Sensing blood rushing, he hesitated to steal a glance. Instead of saying anything, he went back to gently moving his fingers up and down her back. Her whisper was the softest thing he had ever heard. It is a lullaby that could almost put him to sleep. He waited to hear the rest of what she was going to say, only it came to his realization that there wasn't any more. Silence rung in his ears instead.

An unfamiliar sensation filled him as she backed away. His heart has already been hollow for so long, but this new futile response, he had no idea what to think about it. Kangdae crossed his arms before returning her bow with one of his own. When his head raised back up, he froze as he did nothing but watch Jimin walk away from him. "I am sorry," he muttered, "Please never forgive me, resent me forever."

Is it too selfish to want to hug her more? Would wanting such a thing be considered normal for him? Friends hug each other, or at least that's what he knows from all the books he's read. Not one has ever mentioned a vampire embracing a human, let alone comforting, unless they were going to bite them. Any kind acts towards a human led to bloodsucking, but he doesn't want to do that, he has no clue what he wants to do.

He faced the other direction as his eyes looked over into the sky. More clouds passed by as the sun tried its best to shine. In the corner of his vision, he noticed some flowers standing by the walkway. Kangdae took a few steps, trying to reach out to them, but pulled back when a feeling of pain punched him in the chest. He sighed, "I am so thirsty when I shouldn't be, although, I will pick some flowers on the way back."

@knightinadream group

Kangdae rushed into his chambers through the balcony doors. It started to get dark out so quickly, that he did not even realize that Jimin would show up any moment. His eyes scanned the whole room a couple of times to make sure she wasn't there. A sigh of relief escaped from him as he closed the doors then locked them.

Every time he went out to hunt, he would follow his own routine. Once a month, he'd go out late at night then find someone, feast, clean up, and then go home before anyone would check his room. He even went out in all black, more commoner-like, clothing with a hat to cover his face. Now with meeting Jimin every night, he decided it'd be best to go out before she came.

He walked over to the bed which had his regular clothes folded neatly. Setting down the purple azaleas he found, he quickly got dressed then put his other clothes underneath the bed. Last but not least, he slipped on the white gloves that covered some of the dark crimson spots he wasn't able to wash off yet. Everything had to be done swiftly before she gets there. Obviously she already knows what he is, but he has no clue how she'd react knowing he just went out to do what vampires have to do.

Like the first evening, he could tell that she was close by. This time though, he had to hold his head up while looking over to the front door. Whatever agenda she has tonight, it is not going to be the agenda. He is not sure what exactly to do, but all he knows is that he has to apologize to her. If embracing her wasn't going to work, he hoped that flowers would. He even tried to pick out the ones that were the same color as her hanbok.

Moving the azaleas to the other side of the bed, he lifted the covers and laid down. He rested on his right side so that he would not have to face Jimin when she would walk inside. To be honest, he does not want to see her today, but not in the way he didn't want to see her in the first place. All of this is going to get more complicated from here on out. Nothing will turn out for the better if he doesn't keep up his usual callous manner.

@Tired-but-passionate

(Thank you!)

Jimin had definitely calmed down since morning. A day of work and some time with a friend did her good. After being fairly productive, it was admittedly difficult to think of herself as a failure. The prince’s actions still confused her, but thinking back, she appreciated his words. The situation had most likely been exaggerated in her mind, stress feeding into stress, as Iseul, her friend and one of the seamstresses, had put it. Perhaps she should take her own advice and make some lemon balm tea for herself.
She hoped she could explain herself to Kangdae, then discuss what they could do for the next morning. Hopefully he didn’t take her abrupt leaving too badly.
She came to the doors to the prince’s chamber, automatically taking her binyeo from her bun and leaving it with the guards, then knocking to announce her arrival and making her way inside.
“Good evening, Your Highness,” she said with a bow. Then, after staring at him on the bed for a moment, she asked, “Are you alright?” She glimpsed at the azaleas curiously, then looked back the prince.