Babylon Ch.6

Who: Reader x Lee Jongmin

What: Romance

Story: He's has an amazing talent but he doesn't trust the rich... He's about to learn.

Jongmin's POV

Y/N gave him a call and asked him if he had eaten already. When he said no, she announced she was in Busan and would like to take him to lunch. He wanted to refuse but he noticed that her voice was not in her usual business tone; she sounded more genuine and sweet almost as if she were smiling on the phone. He wondered what was up with her but he decided to take her up on her offer. He was waiting outside for her to show up and saw her car pull up in the parking lot.

"Did you want to see what else I got done first?" he asked.

"I'll see it when we get back. Hop in." she answered.

The car was quiet as she drove, he looked over twice to see her lips mouthing numbers as she counted. He wondered why she needed to do that. He undersrood she had OCD as Changmin explained before but why did she specifically have to count while she drove, what did that do for her? She was in very casual attire today, sneakers instead of heels and a powder blue t-shirt with washed out blue jeans instead of a blouse, slacks and a blazer. Her hair had a white head band to push her hair out of her face instead of it being in a ponytail and she was wearing that necklace again.

They pulled up to a beach like resturaunt and they were seated outside to enjoy the warm weather. She ordered a gin and tonic but Jongmin got burbon. He was still supicious of her,

"Isn't it kind of risky to drink with your employee?"

"Well, I'm not insisting we get drunk but it might help us talk a bit." she said

"About what exactlly?"

"For starters, the reason you seem to have a problem with me."

"Aren't you technically blackmailing me to work for you? That should be reason enough."

"You're right it should be. Except that I'm paying you and give you a place to stay here in Busan." she said.

He scoffed,

"I'm not stupid, I know you'll just use that to blackmail me later, to hold me in your debt becuase you've done nice things for me. It's all a plot."

"You know believe it or not Jongmin I have a lot more important things to do than blackmail you. So with that being said-"

She reached into the bookbag she was using as a purse and pulled out a file. The same file she showed him the night she caught him. She placed them in front of him and said,

"Here, these are the originals although I'm sure you won't believe me but do what you want with them." she said.

"Why would you do that? " he asked.

"I think we need to establish a good bill of trust and as long as you think I'm holding this over you you'll never trust me. Believe it or not I don't want to destroy you or anyone for that matter. I care a lot more about people than you know. I admire your art work it's- calming in a way I've never experienced."

The tone in her voice did something to him. She sounded genuine and her words were kind and beautiful. How did his art calm her even when he saw pain in them? All his art didn't revolve around pain though, like what he had done in her club. He enjoyed the fact that he could do something he loved for once. He was really only sticking with this so he could pay for his brother's surgery coming up. Stress flared up in his chest and he looked away from her while he took a sip of his drink. She wasn't using a business tone, she was talking to him the way she talked to his roommates, kindly. He looked back over at her when the appetizer was laid in front of them. He noticed the way she was organizing things on the table.

"Why do you do that?" he asked.

"I'm OCD." she answered.

Wow she just came right out and said it. If he had asked her earlier would she have said it that easily? They started eating the appetizer together and she said,

"So, how far have you gotten in the club?"

"I have the other half the first wall finished. I'll be working on the other wall soon."

"I hope it gets done before opening night." she said softly.

"If it isn't are you going to delay the opening?" he asked.

"Well if the bottom half is finished by that time I'll just close the upstairs until it gets done."

The way she had planned things out in her head, she was determined to open this club. He actually wanted to see how it would look once it was opened. He could tell from the look on her face and the way that her finger was tracing the boarder of her napkin that she wanted everything to be done in time. Perhaps she was already calculating how much she might lose on opening night if she didn't open the top half. For some reason deep down he felt like he wanted to make sure she was able to open up both halves. Her hand slid from her napkin up to her necklace and her thumb rubbed it like she was trying to summon a djinn from it.

"I like your necklace. You wear it like it's the only one you have." he said.

She looked up at him and there was a smile that grew on her face that shook his body. Whatever that reaction was, he was annoyed by it. However, her smile was genuniely beautiful and it was as if it were the first time he noticed how pretty it was. The coners of her lips curved up and a dimple appeared under her lips on the right. Her cheeks rounded up like little plums. He thought she was cute before but- now he was really looking at her.

"It's the only necklace I care to wear. It was my mother's. Her name was Celeste and my aunt has a moon because her name is Luna."

"Does she wear it as much as you?"

There was a soft sad look on her face and her eyes dropped to the table as she shook her head.

"No, she stopped wearing it after my parents died. It seems like her only loving gesture towards me was to give me my mother's necklace to remember her by."

"I'm sorry about your parents."

"Thank you. It doesn't get easy but I feel closer to her with this." she said.

He thought about his own parents. They had their own problems and he had to practically fight them so that they would let him take care of his brother's hospital bills. Even with his other jobs he was still making enough to take care of Hwimin while they worked out some of their problems that would've only drug them down even more. He has his parents, she didn't.

"They must've left you a fortune." he said.

She looked at him confused and then she laughed,

"Oh so that's the big thing, you think I just got family money. Hate to break it to you but my parents weren't rich. They had money to take care of me but they weren't bringing the bank home Babs."

"Babs?" he laughed.

"Babylon." she whispered.

She had given him a nickname for his penname. He didn't know if he should be flattered or annoyed by the name. He did think it was funny though. However, he felt embarrassed that he had said that and in reality she didn't grow up privleged.

"My aunt took care of me. She had five kids to take care of and then here came me another mouth to feed. I think she resented me on some level because I was a smart kid and I liked to keep to myself. I was rarely in trouble and her own children aside from Winter, my cousin, were out of control. Honestly, I'll say I've had a few lucky breaks in life but more than anything I've worked hard as hell for all of this."

"Guess I put my foot in my mouth." he said ashamed.

She chuckled,

"You're okay. You didn't know."

"But I assumed."

"Why did you assume?" she inquired.

Her eyes narrowed on him the same way she did that first night. He wondered if he'd walked into a trap but she shrugged and looked away from him. Their food came a little later and they started to eat. The entire time he thought about her question. He knew the answer but he knew explaining it would leave him vulnerable. He knew not to trust the rich, he saw them as opportunist that would step on or trick anyone they had to, to get what they wanted. They would do that with no regard for the people they were hurting or stealing from and he hated it.

His eyes flicked up to look at her for a moment and he saw her smiling at her plate. Her fork was in her mouth and it seemed like she was giggling a little. He said,

"What are you laughing at?"

She looked up with a smile,

"Nothing, I just tend to smile when the food is really good. Has food ever made you happy? Like really happy?"

"It's been so long since I've been really happy I don't even know what that feels like." he said.

"Maybe that'll change." she beamed a smile.

Jongmin's phone rang and he recognized it as the hospital number.

"I have to answer this." he said.

"Be my guest."

He answered the call expecting Hwimin and he was about to leave when he heard a female's voice.

"Hello Mr. Lee this is Sun Chae lee, I work at the hospital with your brother. I wanted to inform you that we can schedule your brother's surgery sooner if you'd like." she said.

"I told the doctor's I wasn't able to pay for that yet." he said confused.

He wanted it to happen and he didn't want to deprive his brother since it concerned a big part of his health but the doctors made it clear about payment.

"Your payment was already made Mr. Lee."

"What? By who?" he asked.

"I don't have a name sir I just have on file that his surgey has been paid for." she answered.

He looked at Y/n who was resting her chin on her hand and looking at the restaurant. She wasn't paying attention. He sighed and said,

"How early can you get him in?"

"We can schedule him for Tuesday with doctor Moon Sunjae at 12:00 p.m"

"Um- okay."

She confirmed everything with him and then he hung up the phone. He felt a bit in shock but he was happy because his brother was getting his surgery. At the same time, he was confused and conflicted. Would he owe someone soon? Was someone watching him? This couldn't have been a random act of kindness. Y/n looked over at him and said,

"Are you okay?"

He took in a breath and held it. When he released it he looked up at her and said,

"When I was about 18, my father got into a business deal with someone who basically said they'd pay to start him up. He was like family to us until years later my father was being forced to sell the business to the company that basically helped start him up. Something about the contract, a part he didn't read or understand; he knew us well."

"I think you'll learn." she smiled.

He smirked. Maybe he would...

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