Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
He changed his shirt for what felt like the twentieth time in the past ten minutes. He had a few button-up shirts to look a little more cleaned up but he couldn’t decide. He had never been on a date and he was running out of time.
He settled on a light blue button-up collared shirt and tucked it into his nicest blue jeans. He had found a dusty pair of black boots he had barely worn and survived in the back of the closet. Dusting them off he put them on. His hair was wild with curls that nearly covered his eyes. He ran his fingers through them to tame them and had little luck. He gave up after a few moments embracing the messy look.
His eyes were getting irritated from his contacts and opted for his glasses instead. The large circular frames complimented his look and almost aged him a few years. He hadn’t dressed up in what felt like years and he was finally content with the way he looked. He was gathering his keys when he heard a knock on his door.
“Hey,” a voice greeted as the door opened. Minjun smiled at Taehyung and looked him over. “What do you got, a date?” he laughed. His eyes widened from Taehyung’s silence. “Seriously?”
“I don’t know if it’s a date exactly but I’m spending time with someone I met…”
“Look, you know how it is. Just be careful. No information, keep it vague, and just know that it is nothing that can be long term unless she can be trustworthy to…” he trailed off. Taehyung nodded and frowned. He wasn't sure where things with Irene were going to do but part of him regretted the plans. What was he doing? She was innocent and this could lead to forcing her into this life…
Taehyung gave a weak smile before trying to pass Minjun but he wouldn’t budge.
“Be back in a few hours, you have to be up early in the morning, The Swan wants to talk to you.”
Taehyung’s heart felt like it was going to fall out of his body. It had been a long time and he normally only talked to The Swan when given assignments or if there was a bad situation. Considering the assault wasn’t too long ago, there were sure to be hard feelings. What did he want?
“Okay,” was his response when he was finally granted passage. He silently made his way to his car and started the engine. He idled in the driveway and stared at his phone. He decided to text Irene to be sure of the plans.
T: Am I still coming to get u?
I: Yup! Pick me up at the address I sent earlier
Taehyung couldn’t help but be disappointed. As much as he had begun to truly like her, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Things were starting to be somewhat simple with him spending time with Jimin but bringing more people into his inner circle was alarming. The thought hit him. What if The Swan had figured out what was going on with Jimin? He had to take a deep breath to calm his heart rate.
He slowly backed out of the driveway to pick up Irene, pushing down the demons that were looming for the time being.
Taehyung arrived at Irene’s apartment building a few minutes late. Irene shifted uncomfortably slightly chilled by the wind. It was dark so only a small amount of moonlight reflected off the aged brick building. Irene was relieved that Taehyung wouldn’t be able to clearly see the run down condition she lived in. She was eager for her pay raise.
She strutted over to his car, tight black dress snugly hugging her in all the right places, heels echoing in the lot. She peered into the window and Taehyung gave her a weak smile. His mood put her off.
“Hey, are you doing okay?” She opened the door and sat in the passenger seat, placing a hand on his arm and squeezing lightly. Taehyung nodded but wouldn’t look her straight in the eye. What was wrong with him? She looked him over and saw that he looked really nice. He already looked very attractive in his daily sweats but his clean look made her heart skip a beat. His jawline was incredibly strong and defined, the frames of his glasses giving him a more sophisticated look than she was used to. She had to look away before she got into a trace.
“Where are we going?” he asked. His tone was lighter than she thought it would be. Maybe she was off and misreading him.
“I was thinking of a local club. I go there sometimes and have some friends there,” she smiled. Taehyung sat for a moment staring into the steering wheel. “Is that okay?”
“Yeah, of course, tell me where to go,” he smiled. She nodded and he put the car in reverse to leave the lot. She directed him and in a few minutes, they were there. Taehyung seemed surprised when they pulled up. How could he not know this club?
“Is this okay?”
“Yeah, I was just surprised you wanted to go here,” Taehyung replied. He got out of the car and walked around to open the door for her. Irene’s concern dissipated at the chivalrous gesture. She had never had a guy make the effort to open a car door for her. Any guy she had been with was pretty far from decent, especially the last few years.
As they walked into the club she reached out and grabbed Taehyung’s hand. His arm stiffened for a moment before returning the grasp gently. Why was he so tense?
They made their way through the sea of bodies before finding two empty stools at the bar. “Can you just get me a Shirley Temple and I’ll be right back? I wanna freshen up,” she asked. Taehyung nodded and looked up at the wall showing the drink options. She gave him a quick hug from behind before grabbing her purse and making her way to the bathroom. She avoided the gaze of the girls on the stage around her.
She stood at the sink and stared at the mirror. Her black hair was straightened to perfection, makeup that her stylist would have been proud of. Why was Tahyung almost seeming put off? Was this too much? She reached to freshen up her lipstick when she heard someone clearing their throat behind her, causing her to jump.
“Well aren’t you all dolled-up? You have a night off and you come here with that arm candy? I’m surprised,” the throaty voice asked. She turned around to see Seulgi. She was in her typical style, almost non-existent skirt and a barely-there bra. Irene couldn’t understand her wearing that little when they didn’t even have to.
“Just felt like coming here for fun for once,” she shrugged, pouting her lips to freshen up. Seulgi laughed briefly before breaking into a fit of coughs. Irene shook her head, she told her to quit smoking a long time ago but Seulgi never listened.
“Does he know that you-” she started to ask but Irene quickly cut her off.
“No, and I plan to keep it that way if I can help it,” she stated. Seulgi looked at her with interest.
“Why? Is there something in it for you? Is he rich? A potential way out?”
Irene snorted. “You know there’s no way out of here. You dance or you’re found to be useful somewhere else.”
“Were you given a better deal by the man upstairs?” Seulgi asked. Irene stiffened. No one was supposed to know anything and she didn’t want to lose this one chance she had at a more decent life.
“Don’t worry about it. Can I not just go on a date with a nice guy?” she asked accusingly. Seulgi threw her hands in the air smiling.
“Hey, don’t come at me now. You and I are still the same here. Enjoy your date,” she said backing out of the room, throwing a wink before she left. Irene glared into the mirror and gathered her belongings. She took a breath and smiled. She wasn’t going to let Seulgi actually ruin her mind over someone that actually made her happy for once. She gave one last look in the mirror and walked out, heels pounding into the long worn tile.