Hi guys! It's time for the second-to-last chapter of this story. Yes, it's almost the end. I think the end will be enough of an epilogue so there won't be a separate epilogue either.
These new updates to Vingle have got me really unnerved. I read the cards, but I'm still not sure how all of it works. Plus, there must be something wrong with my feed or something because there's no way that only 5 cards have been published all day. It's so much harder to scroll. Hopefully there won't be any problems with the posts *fingers crossed*
Alright, well, let's just get to the chapter. It's a good share of angst and fluff, so I hope you enjoy.
Thank you for everyone who's reading, liking, clipping, following, and commenting.
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Disclaimer: The events are purely fictional. While BTS is real, I don't know them personally so this is just for fun. The original pictures do not belong to me, but the editing does.
Warning: May contain violence, language, and blood. Small amount of innuendo.
The Ties That Bind
Beginning: Chapter 1
Previous: Chapter 25
Everything was too perfect; her forgiveness, her love, finally having her in my arms again, feeling her, bathing in the warmth of her body around mine. I wanted to stay like that forever. So we stayed like that for a while. But the alarm on my phone brought reality crashing around us. I felt Sam’s body tense with the realization that we weren’t in our own world, we were still in the real world. Today was going to be hard for both of us, but her way more than me. With the alarm came the reminder of funeral arrangements to help with, injured colleagues to visit, dead friends to mourn. I knew there was nothing I could have done to change what happened but it didn’t make me feel any less guilty. All I could do was be there for her now. She’d been so strong to keep from being utterly destroyed by all of it and now I had the chance to help ease that burden by being her support, being the glue holding her together until she was able to do it herself again.
All our blissful happiness became anxiousness when faced with the rest of the day. So we did what we could—we took it one step at a time. We showered together, no thoughts of anything other than simply being together. I could see her lost in her dark thoughts and reminded her of my presence with small touches and butterfly kisses. We threw together a quick breakfast, never leaving each other for more than a couple seconds. I dreaded us having to leave.
“I don’t even know where to start,” she told me more than once. I told her to start wherever she thought she could handle it and move on from there. And each time I told her I would only be a phone call away. We got dressed, finishing early. I held her on my lap until I had to leave. I wasn’t even sure if the guys would be expecting me so I had to be in the lobby early and she was going to leave about half an hour after me. I hated to part from her. I would’ve been content to spend a week just curled up in bed with her. But we couldn’t do that.
As per usual, Jin was the first one sitting in the lobby. When I sat down next to him, he turned to me. His confusion quickly turned to surprise then happiness. He pulled me into the tightest hug I’d ever had from him.
“Thank God. It really was true. You have no idea how happy I am. We’ve been so scared and worried.”
My head lowered. “I know, hyung. I’m sorry. I caused everyone so much trouble and I was a complete and total idiot. My behavior… I can’t even—“
“It’s alright, Joon. The most important thing is that you’re okay now.” His demeanor changed as he obviously was trying to be more careful. “So… you and Sam…”
“There’s still a lot she’s dealing with right now, but… we’re working through it together. I don’t want to say too much because I know she wants us both to talk to you guys about it, but I can tell you this much at least.”
“Well, there’s a lot you need to catch up on. And there’s things you need to apologize for.” Before I could say anything else, he gave me the full story about Jungkook’s run in with enforcers, filling in the holes Sam’s quick info had left. My anger was tempered by my guilt for not being there for him. Not only that, but it was my fault he was in the place he got targeted. Jungkook needed a break from being around me and the guys understood. And then when it happened, not only was I not there but Hoseok wasn’t there because he was busy looking after me. Then he told me about how busy it’d been at work, especially with covering for me. I know he wasn’t trying to make me feel guilty so much as he was trying to get me to see how my behavior impacted everyone else.
Just as he was finishing, Hoseok came down. His footsteps stuttered to a brief halt when he saw me. Then his sunshine smile broke out on his face and he finished crossing the lobby to us. I stood up to hug him.
“Hearing it is one thing,” he started, “but actually seeing you here…” I knew him well enough to see the hint of sadness in his smile. “I’m glad things are turning around for you.” Out of nowhere, he grabbed my face in one hand forcing my lips together and making a fish face. “Though you do still have some weight to gain back. You’re too thin.”
I smacked his hand away making all three of us laugh. “Hyung!” I turned to find Jungkook and Taehyung halfway across the lobby. They both crowded me as well, cautiously teasing me. I’m not sure the number of times I told Jungkook that I was sorry for not being there for him but he gave an equal number of ‘it’s ok’s. Jimin came right after and as usual, Yoongi was last. Yoongi flashed me a brief smile before indicating with his head for me to go ahead and talk to Jimin. I could finally tell him how sorry I was for hurting him. My memory of those weeks was mostly fuzzy, but I remembered having that empty bottle in my hand, getting angry, and swinging wildly. I remembered the blood dripping down from the side of his face and I remembered the look on his face as he gaped up at me from the floor in disbelief and hurt.
Jimin said he’d already forgiven me for it, but it was hard for me to look him straight in the eyes. In fact, as we walked to the cars, I found it difficult to look at any of them for too long. The things I’d said, the way I’d behaved, the inconveniences and troubles I’d put them through… I tried to play along as if everything was back to normal, but I knew I would constantly think of the things I’d said and did (what I could remember). They acted as though it was any other day but my guilt ate away at me. I know they noticed in the car and at the office, but to their credit, none of them pushed it. They knew how I felt and knew that the more they tried to convince me it was okay, the more I would feel guilty. I could see it on their faces.
Once at the office, I was greeted warmly. The guys had officially requested my time off as personal leave and no one asked anything more. I spent most of the morning getting caught up on what I’d missed and then spent the rest of it and my lunch on making calls. I talked to everyone I could aside from people at the office and the guys about going in to donate their healing enzyme. Sam wanted to be the one to tell them about the raid, especially Taehyung. He would take it hard and Sam would want to be there for him.
Throughout the day, I messaged Sam. I wanted to keep reminding her that I was there with her. She didn’t say much when she responded, but I hoped I was doing some good. I called her when I was able to shut my door for a few minutes without worrying about interruption. I could hear the strain in her voice. Seeing people at the hospital had been hard for her. To make it worse, she decided to try to do everything at once. She stopped by some of her colleagues’ houses that were injured and the ones who died.
I caught her right when she was about to head to Meg’s place. I knew she wanted to cry but she worked hard to keep herself together. All I could do was tell her that she was strong and that I would only be a phone call away if she needed me. And at the end of the day, I would be waiting for her at home, ready to hold her in my arms again. If I could’ve been there for everything I would’ve, but she insisted that I get my work and all caught up. I was torn, but she was right, we had to try to get things back to normal as much as possible, as impossible as it seemed. So, as much as I hated it, I had to pretend that it wasn’t breaking my heart to not be there for her. Throughout catching up on work, my thoughts constantly found their way back to her.
When work ended, I messaged Sam to tell her I was finished and would be waiting for her at home. She sent me a quick response back saying that she’d be home as soon as she was finished. I asked if she still wanted to talk to the guys today and she said yes. I went back with the guys and started cleaning up the place. Sam messaged me that she was on her way so I asked the guys to meet at my place. I ordered dinner for everyone. The second I heard the code being punched in, I was on my feet. The tone in her voice as she softly called out my name brought me to her in the next instant.
I held her in my arms again. The hours away from her had been too long. She held me tightly back and I felt her take in slow, deep breaths to keep from crying.
“I’m so glad I have you again,” she murmured. “I don’t know what I would do…”
“I’m going to be here for you for the rest of our lives. I can’t do it without you.” Her grip grew tighter for a second before pulling away.
“I love you,” she said, pecking me on the lips. Even tired and worn-down, I could see the love in her eyes and it made my heart flutter. Was it possible to keep falling in love with someone?
“I love you too.” Then I returned the gesture.
“The guys are here?” I nodded. “Tae?” I nodded again and she let out a shaky breath. “God… I can’t believe I have to do this.”
“I’ll be right with you.”
“I know,” she sighed, the breath almost catching in her throat. I held the back of her head as I gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. My hand slipped naturally into hers as we walked back to the living room. Their faces lit up for a brief moment before faltering.
“What happened to your face?” Of course Jimin was the one to ask so bluntly.
Sam chuckled a little. “My job.”
“Does it hurt a lot?” Taehyung and Jungkook asked together. They gave each other a look and pushed each other playfully. Sam smiled. It was a genuine smile too.
“A bit. I’m on some medicine for the pain, so it’s not too bad.”
“Well,” Jin gave me a smile, “I, for one, am just happy you two are back together.”
“Seconded,” Hoseok added, slinging his arm around my shoulder.
“Same,” Yoongi said, smiling.
I saw Taehyung quickly pull out his phone and start typing. “Who’re you messaging?” Jin asked him. “We’re here for just us.”
“Meg,” Taehyung responded with pink cheeks. I quickly turned to Sam. Her smile had already dropped. “I asked her out just before they had their falling out. She said yes at first but then said she’d have to wait until the two got back together. I’m letting her know. I haven’t heard from her for a couple—“
“What’s wrong?” Hoseok cut him off when Sam pulled away from me and started walking quickly toward the bedroom.
“I’ll be right back,” I told them as I followed after Sam. I shut the door behind me and wrapped my arms around Sam who was already waiting for me.
“I didn’t—how can I—I don’t even know how to say it anymore.” I rested her uninjured cheek against my chest. Her tears started to dampen my shirt. My heart broke for her.
“Do you want me to…”
She shook her head. “I have to be the one. She’d want that. Just give me a moment. The sound of your heartbeat is helping.” I carefully covered her injured ear so that my heartbeat was the only thing she could hear and took a few deep breaths to slow it down. After a minute, she pulled away, wiping at her tears. She grabbed my hand and nodded and I led us both back to the other room.
“Are you mad at me?” Taehyung quickly asked as soon as he saw us. “We were going to tell you, I promise.” Tae couldn’t imagine what he was going to hear next and I hurt for him.
Sam shook her head. “It’s not that. There’s… there’s something I need to tell you.” She looked at me. “We should sit down.”
Taehyung’s face still showed his confusion when Sam sat him down on the couch next to her. I kept one hand on her back to let her know I was still there. The others sat down as well.
Her voice was soft when she finally started to speak. “You guys heard on the news about the raid last weekend, right?” Everyone nodded. It was all pretty much anyone around the office could talk about. “The families requested that the names of those who didn’t make it not be published. They wanted privacy to mourn.” Sam grabbed Tae’s hands. “Meg… Meg didn’t make it.” Tae looked like he didn’t understand. Sam squeezed his hands. “Meg was killed during the raid.” His brows furrowed together in confusion.
“I don’t understand. I just talked to her. And she’s—she’s tough. I—“
“You talked to her before the raid. You said yourself it’d been a couple days.”
“I’m sorry, Tae.” I saw her shoulders start to shake and set my hands on them. “They came out of nowhere. We didn’t even have time to react. She—She was killed instantly. She didn’t—she didn’t suffer.” He still looked at her in disbelief, but tears had already begun to well up. Even if his brain wasn’t allowing it to register, his heart was. “They’re doing a large enforcer funeral on Friday for everyone who died and her private funeral is on Sunday.”
“She’s… dead?” His voice cracked as he finally said those words.
“I’m so sorry, Tae.” I couldn’t see Sam’s face, but I knew she was crying. Tae let go of her hands to wipe at his eyes. He looked like he was in a daze when he stood up. We all quickly mirrored him.
“She’s dead…” Jungkook was the first to move, hugging him. The bond between those two had always been stronger than any bonds between the rest of us. They had been through so much together. “But she…”
Sam hugged him as well and it turned into big group hug with Tae finally bursting into tears and Sam following right after.
That day was only one of many hard days for us over the next couple weeks. The day after we told Tae about Meg, I had Yoongi feed from Sam to help the cravings that had come back with a vengeance. And with Sam somehow managing to trace back the healing enzyme donations back to me and seeing her colleagues get better, she finally allowed me to heal her just a bit at a time. Sam told me about them finding out how a couple of the human enforcers had been using the system to sneak and sell Sunlight on the black market. Their efforts allowed a backdoor into the system. A similar incident had occurred with the vampire enforcers and was thus exploited as well. Apparently, the only solace they could take in was the fact that it was only hacked right before the raid, otherwise the casualties would’ve been worse. One of the enforcers involved was killed in the raid and the others were going to be prosecuted.
Then came the funerals. Tae was a mess just about as much as Sam. I tried to comfort Sam the best I could, but there was only so much I could do. But Tae was in a similar position as her so they could at least comfort each other. Jimin watched over Jungkook as he was the next closest to Meg. He was hurt too, but he felt like his pain wasn’t as important. Only Jimin seemed to be able to convince him otherwise.
It took months before things started going back to normal. Sam and Tae still mourned for Meg, but it didn’t consume their every thought any longer. Seeing how torn up Tae was, I wondered how short of a time it would’ve been before they became bondmates had she lived longer. And one day during the first few weeks after the funerals, Sam told me about her miscarriage. It took time for that wound to heal as well—a good deal of time. I reminded her of the talk we’d had before. No matter what, we would make things work. And we were careful with protection after that.
Her and Yoongi’s bond had settled so he went and had the treatment. After that, things got more comfortable between all of us. In fact, things got better for a lot of people. Seeing the care and cooperation between vampires and humans, both enforcer or regular citizens, gave a lot of people hope and comfort for the future of both species.
It took about a month before I stopped waking up with the fear that everything had been a dream. The first time it happened, Sam and I celebrated, both at a restaurant and in bed. I could never seem to get enough of her.
Granny was hesitant about letting me back into Sam’s life at first. I completely understood and knew I deserved that. But with a simple conversation with Sam, and a promise from me, she accepted us again. Soon after, without telling Sam, I got Granny’s blessing to marry her.
Under guise of an anniversary, Namjoon took them on a trip. He told Jin he was going to be using Jin’s parents’ summer place in the woods and took Sam there. In order to keep her from suspecting, he didn’t do anything unusual the first day and night. On Sunday, they walked through the woods, recounting memories from the summers all those years ago. When night fell, Namjoon took them back to the house just to grab a picnic basket; he had promised Sam a night picnic under the stars and full moon. He hoped the fireflies were still out like they used to be. Just like old times, he hurried up the hill to their hideout, making sure she couldn’t keep up.
“Oppa! Slow down, you know—“ she cut herself off with a squeal when he scooped her up in his arms. Picnic basket clutched tightly in Sam’s hands, he raced up the hill. Her laughter brought him back to their innocent love. Back then, he never found the courage to tell her how he felt, especially since he thought Yoongi was better suited to her than he was. He smiled at the thought. The things he never could’ve imagined…
They reached the top of the hill, but he refused to put her down. She was his to carry like that forever. The reflection of the moon in her loving eyes sent butterflies throughout his whole body. He was pretty sure he’d never stop falling in love with her over and over and over again. Sam loved the way he held her so perfectly in his arms. It was familiar and comfortable. She couldn’t stop looking at him and drinking in the sight of the moonlight highlighting the features of his face. She’d never get sick of looking at him.
Namjoon set her down when they reached the edge of the clearing where the now smaller waterfall became a small pond before continuing on. This was their getaway, their secret hideout. It was just as they remembered with time only changing a few things. The last of the fireflies of the season were there to greet them as well. The sky was clear so every single star was visible and in the clearing, the moonlight was strong enough for Namjoon to be able to switch off their lights.
The utter awe on her face… He stepped behind her, wrapping his arms around her and settling his chin on her shoulder. “Is it just like you remember?”
She turned her head. “Better.” Their kiss was sweet with a deeper hint of passion. With the mosquito spray they’d used, Namjoon was pretty sure we could get away with something he never thought he’d consider. But with her, he found himself wandering from his comfort zone and towards anything that would make her smile… or moan his name. His other brain threatened to make him forget why he really brought her here.
He broke their kiss with a reluctant groan. Her smirk… Damn, the things she did to him. He quickly laid out the blanket and sat down, pulling her down between his legs, her back against his chest. He lit the mosquito candles and set them around while Sam pulled the fruits out of the basket and began feeding Namjoon. He returned it as well. They sat in comfortable silence, listening to the sound of the cicadas, the buzzing of insects, the rustle of wind through the leaves, the clear sound of the small river carefully cascading down the rocks to the pond.
“Feisty,” Namjoon murmured against her neck.
“Hmm?” She leaned into his touch.
“I found something I think you’d like to see.”
“And what’s that?”
In the early morning hours, while she was still fast asleep, Namjoon had snuck out into the forest and began looking for something. They were both exactly where the two had hidden them, though definitely showing the wear of age.
“This.” It took a moment for Sam to see clearly even with the moonlight and candles.
“Oh my God… I can’t believe these were still here. After all this time.” Her smile was warm and nostalgic as she looked over the faded pictures. The flower crowns… She’d been lucky that Jin had been able to join them the next day and Yoongi had allowed them to take the picture. Her gaze lingered on the picture of her and Namjoon. She still remembered the way her heart beat so intensely when he pressed his face against hers.
“We were meant to meet each other again, all of us. And you and I… we were meant to be together.”
“So cheesy. I love it.” They both laughed together and Namjoon kissed gently along her exposed neck.
After another moment, Namjoon spoke up again. “Can you stand up for a sec?”
Namjoon chuckled. “I have another surprise for you, but I have to get it out of my pants.” Sam covered her mouth and turned as she started snickering. “What’s so—oh, you’re bad. You’re really bad. It’s not that. Now, get your perfect ass up so I can get your surprise, ok?”
“Ok, oppa,” she agreed, kissing him quickly on the lips. Namjoon wanted to grab her and pull her back down on him, but first thing was first.
“Now, close your eyes.” Sam rolled her eyes before obliging. “Keep them closed until I say, ok?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just hurry up so I can pounce on you. This full moon is making me want to do some things to you.” Sam chuckled when she heard Namjoon growl lowly.
With a lot of self-control, Namjoon stayed to the task at hand. He pull out the small box he’d kept carefully safe in his side pocket and opened it, checking to make sure the moonlight was enough to make it shine perfectly. It was. He adjusted himself to one knee and held the box up to her.
“Alright, feisty, open your eyes.” The moment her eyes rested on the object in his hand, her expression changed from curious expectancy to breathlessness. Namjoon actually saw her breath hitch. “My most beautiful Angel, who I fell for the first time I saw you in that clearing, the sunlight creating a beautiful radiance making you look like an actual angel. My perfect feisty, who I fell for again when you opened that bedroom door the first time we met again. My amazing girlfriend, with who I wouldn’t trade the moments we had for anything else in the entire world. I love you more than anything.” Namjoon cleared his throat that started to close at the sight of her tears. “Samantha Wester, love of my life, my bondmate, and true mate… Will you marry me?”
Without a single moment of hesitation, Sam cried out, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. God, yes.” Namjoon jumped up and the two shared a passionate kiss that held promises of all future kisses. They broke for air and he slipped the ring onto her finger. Sam marveled at the ring for a moment before pulling Namjoon into another kiss. Surprising him, she shoved him away and onto the blanket. Propped up on his elbows, Namjoon looked up at her in confusion. She quickly pulled her shirt over her head and straddled his lap. One finger against his lips, she shushed him before he could say anything. “Now, it’s my turn to do all the work.”
I do feel really bad for Taehyung, of course, but a lot of bad things happened in this story. But I love what worked out with Sam and Namjoon. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. One more chapter to go. I hope I won't disappoint.
Please feel free to leave any feedback or constructive criticism either on here or messaging me. I'm always looking to improve.
Also, I'm uploading all my old stories, with some (sometimes major) editing, onto Wattpad in case anyone is interested or uses it. My username is the same. Thanks in advance for your support!