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All skin and no shame

...innocence is just an illusion...

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Round and Round [4]
Title: Round and Round
Pairing: YunJae
Rating: PG
Length: Chaptered
Genre: AU
Disclaimer: Goblin premise, the rest is mine.

Summary: In a thousand years, there have been more flowers than rain, but the Wanderer still wanders, searching for someone he knows will bring about his demise and yet, something within him compels him to keep on searching, for his heart has never been at peace in all that time.

AN1: Longest chapter yet…please take your time otherwise you might get lost.

AN2: Thank you everyone for the well-wishes and prayers. I shared them all with my friend and she is grateful to all of you. Please understand if I do not reply to them as the loss is still raw, but know that we have read every single word and appreciated them all in this difficult time.

I loved you more than anyone else
For your sake always
I believed that for as long as I live
I’d sacrifice everything without regrets

Yunho closes his eyes trying fruitlessly to block the vision, but it keeps going. He watches Jae who does not wait for an answer to his question, luminous doe eyes hazy with lust, lips rosy red, he bends slowly down towards him. He can see the man undulating his lower half as he leans down, and he squeezes his eyes even tighter in the hope that he will see no more. The point of view Yunho has is so terribly private and he feels like voyeur. He flinches as Jae gets closer, when the vision suddenly evaporates and he feels a sharp pain in his chest and he drops to his knees, clutching at the intense pain, eyes clenched against it, his hand wrapped around the blade of the sword protruding from his chest, flaring it to life till the flame from the sword merges with his own. He squeezes the blade so hard that had it been a millennia ago, would have sliced through his hand, but not this time.

The blade cannot hurt him more than it already does, a piercing pain right through his heart.

He squeezes harder, wanting, willing the pain to transfer to some other part of himself, but this is his punishment for a thousand years. It is a familiar pain, but it has never been this agonising, and a soul tearing groan is pulled from his chest, no longer aware of his surroundings as his ears ring with forgotten conversations from a lifetime ago, the voices buzzing in his mind, whispers that are like puffs of smoke from someone’s cigarette, curling and intense for a moment and then fading away while he struggles to grasp at them.


”It’s just a rose…”

“You are more beautiful that any rose in the land.”

“Your words are far too pretty for the most feared warrior in Goryeo, my love.”

“Only for you.”

“What if someone catches us?”

“We’re just two men swimming in the lake. Who cares if someone catches us?”

“It’s not appropriate…”

“I’m the Crown Prince. Whoever thinks it isn’t appropriate will be a head shorter come morning.”

“Bloodthirsty aren’t you?”

“Only when it comes to you.”

“The King knows.”

“He won’t be king for much longer.”

“He’s sending me to expand the borders in the north. It is the deepest of winter up there, and even if I am not killed, I cannot fight against the inclement weather.”

“Don’t go.”

“I will not disobey the king. I leave on the morrow.”

“You will return.”

“What if I don’t?”

“If you don’t, then I will go to you.”

“What are you saying…”

“I will return to you if you don’t come back to me.”

“No. You will remain here and reign as king the way you were always meant to. I forbid you to follow me.”

“Forbid? I am older and I will be king some day. You dare to forbid me?”

“By two miserable days. Let’s not talk of this. Leave me something sweet to remember you by to keep me warm during this wretched endeavour.”

“I will make sure you burn for me…”

“We had the right love, at the wrong time.”


Jae moves at the heart-rending sound from the handsome man’s throat, a groan so pained he feels it in the depths of his own soul, crouching down on his knees, his hand finding Yunho’s free hand, not knowing why he wants to offer the goblin comfort, but it is important to him that he does. The fiery jolt of electricity that lit up between them before occurs once again, intense enough to cause Yunho’s eyelids to fly open, staring at him with an unfathomable look in his eyes, seemingly blind for his gaze has no focus. The electricity courses through him, the feeling is familiar, the yearning is still there.

He looks away, gazing down instead to the flaming sword and he touches the goblin’s hand that is wrapped painfully around the blade, steeling himself against the pain, he slowly pries the man’s fingers from it. The long, slim fingers of the goblin are slowly loosened, one at a time, Jae needing to concentrate, the heat intense and had he been mortal, he would have combusted. However he is no human, and he had expected the pain after his previous encounters. He focuses on the will Samshin Halmeoni had lauded him with, bearing a pain that he cannot comprehend that anyone would bear for a stranger and yet he keeps at it, working on freeing the goblin from the flaming sword, unaware that tears are burning a hot trail down his pale cheeks once again.

The work is slow for the goblin has what feels like a death grip on the sword, but Jae is strong. Much stronger than he looks despite what happened with the Missing Soul and he keeps on till the man’s hand is free and drops to his lap.

His chest heaving from the exertion and the pain, he takes deep shuddering breaths, his face wet with tears, he lifts his eyes to once again look at the goblin, finally dropping the man’s other hand that he had been holding, scorched and unable to hold on any longer. Goblin fire only manifests if a goblin wills it. However, it can also occur as an automatic defence mechanism and the reaper cannot begin to guess what is causing this.

The reaper continues to watch as awareness finally seeps into the other man’s dark almond eyes, finding that he is now the object of an intense gaze. His own breath feels trapped in his chest, the goblin’s laser-like focus is rival to his own disconcerting way of staring at people when he feels inclined to distract or to simply cause discomfit because he can. He exhales slowly, cool air escaping his lips, blowing across the other man’s face, causing a very slow smile to tug at the molded lips of the man’s cupid bow mouth.

Jae drops his gaze, an unseemly fascination has sprung from deep within him, feeding the yearning pain he feels, at the simple quirk of the man’s lips and he cannot seem to look away. He tilts his head slightly, a soft sigh escaping his lips, cool air once again curling between the fiery deity and icy Death.

The reaper is close. Too close. He can smell him. Every breath he takes is filled with a heady scent of his favourite strawberry vanilla enhanced by a sweet musk that he wants more off. Intoxicated, his eyes roam the inhumanly perfect features of the other man. A stray tear clinging to long and thick eyelashes that would better suit a woman yet so very perfect on the reaper, the blond of the man’s eyebrows matching the shade of his hair, a colour that Yunho had never ever felt any type of attraction to, more inclined towards the dark colours of the women of his time but again, the reaper seems to be the exception to all his previous preferences. Cheeks so pale yet there is an ethereal glow coming from the reaper. His name suits him well.

“Angel…” the word escapes his lips before he can stop them, his hands moving to touch before he can regain control of himself, his eyes closing and his mind bringing back the memory of the vision that had sent him to his knees in the first place before he can block it out. A glowing angel smiling down at him, cheeks flushed with arousal and eyes filled with love and lust.

An inexplicable awareness rises through the blond reaper at the softly whispered word, the awe in it achingly familiar to him and he reacts to that without further thought, not resisting at all when the goblin’s large hands cup his jaw, pulling him close, his eyelids fluttering close, surrendering himself for the first time in 800 years.

Jae sighs softly against Yunho’s mouth when their lips meet, leaning into the man’s touch, electricity firing up between them again but the pain is muted, dulled even by another more powerful emotion that neither of them can identify.

A Reaper’s kiss can bring back a human’s memory of their past lives.

Jae is not an ordinary Reaper though.

And Yunho is no human.

And yet images start to fill the blond man’s mind as the kiss deepens.

Flashes of the goblin’s actual human life, a vision of only the man himself.


The man is waist deep in water, long hair piled haphazardly atop his head, the feminine wisps that have fallen free alongside his face doing nothing to detract from the raw masculinity in the man and his small handsome face. Tanned, the lines of his taut muscles clear in the bright light of the noon day sun.

“Are you joining me, my angel?” he asks, laughing as he takes another step back and back again still till the water laps playfully against hard brown nipples, puckered in the cool water.


The blond reaper moans against the goblin’s mouth, his mind lost in what he can see, reacting to the endearment yet again, though upon retrospect later, he will not be able to figure out why.


His brow is damp with sweat, concentrating hard with an unfamiliar sword, a two handed grip on it as he circles his targets. His steps are measured and calculated, moving like a dancer as he assesses the danger, before suddenly bursting into swift action, slicing clean through the six practice targets, avoiding the counter-movement of anything that was struck, ducking easily, his steps light as he annihilates all opposition.

Masculine satisfaction is stamped all over him at his accomplishment, and he approaches, offering the sword, hilt first, genuflecting with an affectionate smile to the person he is speaking to.

“And that is how you use your sword, my angel.”


Tears prick the blond reaper’s eyes once again, an inexplicable pain slicing through him at the words for he recognises it.

That sword is now embedded in the chest of the goblin.

In a mindless need to offer comfort once again, a deep yearn to address the pain the goblin must have suffered at the hands of this faceless person whose sword is now buried almost to the hilt in his chest, and to feed his own need, the kiss deepens even more, hot mouths slanted over each others as they take and take from each other, tongues touching, stroking and licking, giving to each other more of themselves than they will ever know.

They are strangers.

Prior to little over twenty four hours ago, they had never met.

Yet the intensity of their kiss would make a gisaeng blush.

Not to mention a very shocked goblin who has been celibate for most of his existence, upon finding the couple kneeling and kissing in the doorway of his friend’s bedroom.

“What in God’s creation is going on here?”

“We need to talk.”

“I need to get to work like a human so you can drive with me or meet me there.”

“I’ll sit with you.”

Yunho keeps moving then, leaving the house to get to his car currently idling in the driveway.

He enters the vehicle at the same time as his friend, but he does not even manage to put the car into drive before the man starts to speak.

“Why are you looking for your bride?”

The older goblin frowns at the strange question, turning to his friend. “First you think I’m mad for not looking and now you’re asking me why I’m looking?”

“Yes, but I thought you stopped, and then…”

“And then?”

“Well,” Kim Shin flushes, tugging at his collar that starts to feel a little tight every time the memories come back to him.


The two men break apart, their mouths moist and rosy, staring back at the intruder.

The reaper moves first, he wipes the back of his hand slowly across his mouth, eyes shuttered, the remnants of tears still a stain on his skin, he leans back and finds his feet, standing up.

His friend moves next, gaining his feet, head cocked as he stares at Shin as if seeing him for the very first time, a tiny furrow in his brow as if unsure.

“Has he bewitched you?” Kim Shin asks, eyes darting back and forth between the two silent men.

“A goblin cannot be bewitched,” the reaper replies quietly, staring intently at the younger goblin, rubbing his thumb against his full bottom lip. “Even my powers don’t work on him.”

“Yet you summoned him?” Shin reminds the man, mentally telling himself that the only reason he is staring his mouth is because the man’s eyes are too disconcerting. Each time the pad of the reaper’s thumb tugs at his lip, the poor, somewhat virginal younger goblin has to suppress a whimper.

“You’re doing a fairly good job of bewitching my friend, Reaper.” Yunho’s voice is cold and surprisingly hard, pulling the gazes of both men back to himself. His expression is completely closed off, blank even, not even a twitch giving away his thoughts, before he lets out a self-deprecating chuckle. “I don’t know what you did to me, Reaper, and I want to believe that your powers don’t work on me, but I would prefer if you stayed away from me.”

“Now see here,” Shin interrupts, seeing the Reaper’s eyes flare. “I’m not bewitched, just a little surprised. And from what I saw, your hands were on him, not the other way round.”

“A moment of folly. It won’t happen again.”


“What about you and the White Reaper?”

“What about me and the White Reaper?” Yunho parrots back, turning back to focus on the road, he shakes away the memories of three days ago. Till that moment, he still has no idea what came over him, and he fully blames the blond man whose lush innate sensuality is messing with his ability to think.

A blond man that is currently residing with Kim Shin, and Yunho for whatever inexplicable reason, has also left his penthouse apartment to reside with his friend the way he does occasionally, refusing to even entertain the thought of a reason let alone the truth of why he is really there.

“I think you should consider it seriously.”

“Consider what?”

“Well, think about it. He’s some type of special reaper right? And he’s been around for over 800 years so he can probably match you year for year, and if you want to die, if he really wanted, he could probably call you. It’s the perfect solution really. He’s more beautiful than any girl I’ve ever seen and you’re clearly attracted to him and—“

Yunho slams on the brakes and turns to his friend, eyes hard. “What the fuck are you talking about, Shin?”

The younger goblin presses his lips together, before rolling his eyes and shaking his head. “You’re in denial.”

“And you’re crazy. If being around him for three days has you spouting all this fucking rubbish, maybe you should kick him out.”

“You know we can’t. He needs protection.”

Yunho makes a rude scoffing sound, getting the car in motion again. “Protection? I’m sure that’s a lie he cooked up to stick around. He doesn’t need protection. In fact, we need protection from him.”

“It’s not a lie. I checked. You don’t have to stay you know?”

“And leave you alone with him? Are you out of your mind?”

“Hah!” Shin crows, pointing an accusing finger at Yunho. “You see? You’ve known me for nine centuries and yet you—“

“Don’t be stupid. I’m worried about you.”

“Worried about me? I’m a goblin, same as you!”

“I don’t want to discuss this.” Yunho’s tone is final.

“Fine…” Kim Shin trails off, looking out the window, making no comment about the constant blanket of rain that has enveloped the city for the past three days, knowing full well it is unnatural.

Jae’s face is twisted with distaste at the hovel he is currently in. Flanked by two normal grim reapers he had been forced to take along for this reaping, they are waiting for the occupant of the flat to return.

However, his distaste is merely an extension of the annoyance he has been feeling for the past three days. He had allowed Just Jung the bloody bastard to blame him for whatever it is that happened between them because he cannot guarantee for certain that he had absolutely nothing to do with it.

He had touched the goblin first.

And 800 years of experience have showed that people react very intensely to him.

He has never allowed anyone to kiss him the way the goblin had kissed him though.

His kisses are always on his terms.

That kiss was not initially driven by him, that much he is sure of, but he is equally sure he was a very willing participant, and even more so when those visions started to hit, so nothing is clear to him, and that is almost as aggravating at being blamed for the whole thing.

Add to the fact that he will likely do serious damage to anyone who says angel in his presence again, the largest possible culprit being his actual target.

Just Jung.

He does not want to acknowledge anything that he feels, because whatever he feels makes him want to rip down buildings and cause tsunamis. Woe to anyone who crosses a jealous procurer of death.

The door bursts open just then, a large slovenly man stumbling in, stinking of stale beer.

He stops short at finding someone already in his apartment.

A very beautiful someone, dressed all in white with eyes of ice.

“Lee Jung Moo,” the White Reaper’s tone is so cold it sends a chill up the spines of the invisible Grim Reapers. “Your existence in this world is a blight that needs to be removed. Murderer, rapist, human and drug trafficker who killed your own mother to get money for a fix over twenty years ago. If you have any last words, say it now for it will be your only offer for salvation. Repent, and I will consider it.”

The man merely leers, scratching his crotch lewdly, eyes a little unfocused from the drugs and alcohol in his system, he does not realise his peril. “Suck on this, bitch.”

One of Grim Reapers, invisible because of his hat, stares in fascination at the empty name card he is holding as red letters slowly materialise on it.

Lee Jung Moo
Cause of Death: Heart attack

“Lee Jung Moo,” the White Reaper’s tone has a strange note to it. A vague melody that manifests despite merely calling a short name.

“That’s my name, lady. Don’t wear it out.”

“Lee Jung Moo,” the beautiful man calls again, expression morphing into satisfaction when the man suddenly pauses and clutches at his chest. “Lee Jung Moo,” he calls a final time, and the man drops, dead before he even hits the floor.

The two Grim Reapers are clutching at each other, eyes wide. They were told to collect a soul today, that someone would die but only a blank name card was given to them which is strange in itself. They know humans sometimes die at the very last minute in unpredictable ways due to the choices they make in sacrifice, for example a mother who throws her drowning child out of a river swollen with a flash flood, onto the embankment but is swept away herself and dies.

This man had not sacrificed anything.

“Lee Jung Moo,” the White Reaper calls again, his voice maintaining a singsong note to it, but the melody is different this time.

The soul jerks from his lifeless body, staring down at his own body in shock. “Wh-what did you do to me?”

“Lee Jung Moo,” the tone changes once again, and pain slices across the features of the soul and he drops to his knees with an agonised howl, the two Grim Reapers grimacing at the sound for it is the sound of a splintered soul, shattering upon the weight of his sins, a pain so indescribable and it will only get worse for him.

“Oh g-g-god. I-I-I’m s-sorry.”

Too little and much too late, the stunning reaper calls the soul one final time. “Lee Jung Moo.”

As if dragged by unseen chains, the soul is yanked to his feet and brought to face the man who is now glowing with an unnatural light, as if summoned from within himself. The soul’s eyes widen as the impossibly beautiful creature before him leans towards him, unable to back away nor close his eyes, the vision of that beauty will sink within himself as he bears out his penance for eternity in Hell, a sickening longing and hunger that will never be assuaged, the memory of the glowing virago imprinted on him.

The merest touch of the lips, and the soul vanishes, a direct line to Hell without any need for Reaper tearooms, his howls of agony a short echo in the apartment.

The White Reaper turns to the two gaping and shaking young reapers, tilting his head towards them. “Clean this up,” he says simply nodding towards the body. “Dispose it however you want, but ensure nobody finds it. He will not be accorded any type of burial nor will you pray over him for his soul is forsaken. You may even dismember him if you wish.”

One of the reapers starts whimpering at that last bit, bringing an icy smile to the face of the White Reaper. He has done this a fair few times and the reaction is always the same. Perhaps he needs to inform the Academy to find Grim Reapers made of sterner stuff.

“H-how—” one of them starts to stutter but he stops short at a movement from his superior.

He presses a finger to his lips and winks at the two men. “This is our little secret alright? You know I can find you and I will call…” he smirks, before blowing them a kiss and disappearing.

“Did he just…” one of the reapers starts but is unable to finish his sentence, as he sinks into a swoon.

“The rumours are true,” the other whispers. “He is truly the Angel of Death.”

All the staff of Jung Holdings are on the edge of their seats. The mysterious CEO of their company has found fault with everything and everyone for the past three days, to the point where people are actually calling in sick to get some respite from the purportedly fair man. He had even thrown his lawyers out when he found a punctuation mistake on the first page of an acquisition proposal and told them not to come back until they have all passed a grammar exam.

The tension in the forty story building trickles down from the very top of the building right down to the lower basements where the valets reside. Half of them were almost fired just yesterday when their boss had mistaken a strand of hair on the door of his black Maserati Levante as a scratch.

Accounts from eyewitnesses said he grew even angrier upon finding out the strand of hair was blond.

This tension causes more mistakes, more absences, and more problems.

However, their CEO is oblivious to the chaos and havoc he has wrought in his normally well-functioning business entities.

He has broken countless pens.

He cannot sleep, he cannot think, and he cannot see without a deep-seated pain radiating from the wound in the centre of his heart and the memory of their kiss. The fact that such a kiss will be shared by the reaper with someone else in the future is too much for him to consider or bear, the pain of that thought alone blinds him to reason and he wants to end it all, and if it means ending his own existence then so be it.

“Am I still your angel?”

Another pen breaks, followed soon after by a clap of thunder so loud it rattles the windows of every building within a five mile radius.

“They’re coming here? Are you out of your goddamn mind?” Kim Shin pauses, looking towards the ceiling, his eyes closed. “Almighty, my apologies,” before he turns his gaze back on the impassive man sitting on his couch. “Have you lost your mind? This house holds two goblins, one of whom has been in a royal snit for the last week if this never-ending thunderstorm is anything to go by, and don’t you dare pretend it isn’t you as the met service are stumped and it’s not me,” he wags his finger agitatedly at the older man. “And let’s not forget the reaper, a man so beautiful he will chase away any female who even looks at him, who has a tendency to freeze humans he doesn’t like. He froze my nephew just yesterday for commenting on his eyes! It was a COMPLIMENT and he took offence. He even froze poor Chairman Yu who said that he must be an angel. Another compliment! There was actual ICE on the man unlike Deok Hwa who was merely frozen in between time. I had to blow on him gently to make sure he thawed alright and didn’t get hurt by my fire.”

“I will behave,” Yunho offers, his tone implacable. “They arrive in an hour.”

The younger guardian throws up his hands in disgust, pacing the room, agitation radiating off him in waves. “No, you’re crazy. You cannot do this here. You might behave but I can practically guarantee that Jae will not. That man comes and goes as he pleases, our protection for him merely because he resides with us but it doesn’t stop him from coming or going. He doesn’t bother walking anywhere, materialising whenever he wants, I actually sliced my fingers clean off earlier this afternoon making lunch,” Shin stops right in front of his friend and waves his now-intact fingers in his face, before continuing on his long rant, “…because he just appeared topless by the laundry to grab something to wear. Something of yours by the way, and—“

“Topless?” Yunho leans forward, eyes hard. “What do you mean, topless.”

The younger goblin turns, in a move borne out of complete annoyance at being imposed upon so tragically, yanking his own clothes over his head in a huge huff and throwing them onto the couch next to his hyung. “Topless like this!” He wasn’t wearing white anymore though, I don’t know where he got those jeans from as his waist is so tiny and he had wings—“

Yunho moves in an instant, thunder roaring in the sky as a deluge opens up further than it already has, causing chaos all round but the man has no idea. All he can see is his friend, and all he can hear are words that provide him of a vision he cannot seem to forget.

He presses the shocked Kim Shin against the nearest wall, forearm across his throat with eyes the deep black of the universe. However, before he can speak, an amused voice floats out from behind him.

“Are you sure you should be looking for a bride? I think you like men a little too much for any bride to tolerate.” There is slight mocking note in his voice. “And could you please stop with the rain. I don’t like getting wet.”

The deity whirls around, eyes piercing, refusing to allow any reaction to show at the sight of the elusive blond except that the rain gets heavier, and thunder crashes again.

It is as if the White Reaper has been going out of his way to avoid bumping into him, and while Yunho is alright with that to some extent, it does not prepare him at all in the slightest when finally faced with the man properly.

Only he can get away with a double denim look; dark denim jacket and stonewashed jeans, a white teeshirt underneath and leaning nonchalantly against the kitchen counter as he cools a bottle of beer in his hand. Blond hair tousled as if he has just gotten out of bed, eyes demurely lined with kohl which only draws attention to them, the reaper smirks as Yunho continues to stare.

“You cut your hair,” he observes, seeing the shaven sides of the goblin’s head, a look that only serves to enhance the intense masculinity coming off the other man in waves.

Yunho merely tilts his head, silent, watching unwaveringly, neither man looking away.

Other people would call it staring rudely.

“A man could choke on the tension between the two of you. Get a room on the other side of the world please and sort your issues out.”

Jae shakes his head, turning his attention to the other tall goblin who has pushed himself off the wall, walking around his stony faced friend. “No tension from me.” He tosses the beer bottle at Shin who catches it gladly, before summoning another bottle from the fridge for himself.

The man sighs even as he pops his unsolicited beer bottle open and takes a long sip before speaking. “You can’t do this. We’re expecting guests in less than an hour.”

“Yes,” Yunho agrees, strengthening his resolve not to react to the man who was clearly not affected by what happened between them. “Please make yourself scarce.”

The reaper ignores the goblin’s rudeness, focusing instead on the younger guardian, his actual host, his gaze intent. “Am I not a guest too?”

“Uh…what…yes…yes of course you’re a guest.” Kim Shin falters a little, barely containing his stutter.

“Can I not stay as your guest then, Kim Shin?” a tiny musical note enters the way he speaks, pursing his lips slightly to effect a devastating pout.

“Of course you can stay,” the poor goblin nods, mesmerised, nodding again some more. Continuing to nod. He nods, and agrees, repeating himself again. “You can stay for as long as you want.”

Yunho growls, utterly disgusted with his friend, shoving the man in the back. “Now you’ve gone and done it.”

“Done what?” the other goblin asks, blinking confusedly at his friend, half drunk beer bottle in hand, shaking his head as he tries to clear his mind and focus. It is very difficult to focus around the reaper. He makes him feel odd.

“You just invited him to stay for as long as he wants. Him. A Reaper. You can’t recant it, look at him.”

The blond is now seated on the kitchen counter, waving an open parchment in his hand with a wide smirk, pointing at the empty line on the bottom, and before their eyes, Kim Shin’s signature appears in red.

A sharp pain in his hand causes the younger goblin to drop his bottle which Yunho catches before it hits the floor, and he is stunned to see the thin line of blood on his finger.

“A contract in blood, Goblin,” the White Reaper intones, blowing the shocked deity a kiss before he vanishes.

“Oh my god…”

Yunho downs the rest of his friend’s beer, flicking the bottle into the recycling bin, before grabbing his friend by the arm. “Come on, you can pray later. God knows you’re going to need to pray a lot. We need to get ready and you better pray very hard that he doesn’t come back.”

Deok Hwa looks around his uncle’s home, the entire ground floor transformed into something akin to the VIP rooms of a night club. Women dressed to impress are everywhere, no other males in sight except for himself and the two men who called the party. He is having the time of his life, having no less than ten phone numbers of beautiful women already. He is meant to ask all the women if they see anything strange about his uncle and his uncle’s scary friend, but so far, all he gets is that they are both far too handsome to be real.

If only they knew.

Both men in question are mingling politely, Jung Yunho much better at it than Kim Shin who gets visibly nervous when a woman gets too close, Deok Hwa having to rescue his uncle several times which he does not mind of course for as a chaebol, he is just as good a catch and he scores a fair few numbers this way.

All he knows is that his uncle and his friend are looking for brides, and thanks to both their companies, these women were sourced from far and wide. However, no matter how beautiful and no matter how accomplished, neither man seem pleased with the turnout.

Disappointed even.

Deok Hwa is stirred from his musings by a commotion near the stairs. The upstairs area is out of bounds, and he knows there is something preventing the women from even taking one step up, no matter how rebellious they feel. It is as if there is a spell dissuading anyone from approaching. He can ask his uncle about it of course, but he will probably not like the answer so he pretends not to notice.

“Who is that?” a woman whispers breathlessly against his ear, making the young man turn towards the stairs fully and his eyes widen at the sight.

His uncle’s other guest. A man even more terrifying than Jung Yunho is descending casually from the stairs, his progress is slow, pausing on each step to survey the crowd below. He is wearing a knowing smile, as if he is privy to a secret no one else is, playing with the short stem of a single white rose.

He rolls the flower between his fingers, tapping it lightly against his knuckles, just fiddling with it as he descends, the room collectively holding their breath, staring at the glowing visage of the White Reaper.

No one thinks it odd when he stops just shy of the bottom step, leaning against the wall to observe the upturned faces of those staring at him, and he places the bottom end of the rose against his mouth.

No one thinks it odd when a clear stream of smoke flows from his mouth, as if he is smoking that pristine white rose. An impossibility.

No one thinks it odd when it feels as if time has stopped in that room, for they did not notice it, frozen in the moment.

Two goblins do though.

Pushing they way through their frozen party, both Kim Shin and Yunho move to confront the reaper nonchalantly smoking his rose.

The scent of fresh cut roses hits them, the cool curling smoke blown in their direction is filled with it, the unnatural plume stroking at their warm skin, caressing them, the touch tinged with sensuality marked by the reaper whose heavy lidded gaze provides a type of promise a man should only be giving his lover.

“Stop it,” Yunho’s voice is quiet.

Jae simply eyes the goblin through the thickly curling smoke, before pulling the rose from his lips, a dew drop of blood on his bottom lip from a thorn.

Again, the man moves before he can fully think his actions through, not realising it is borne out of something so deep that it could not be erased. He cups the diamond jawline of the beautiful man and bends his head, kissing the tiny wound gently, licking at the cut comfortingly, the familiar copper tang making the reaper human to him for the moment.

Stunned, the reaper does not move, now himself frozen, feeling the contours of that firmly moulded mouth slanting over his, again being kissed not on his own terms, but he cannot seem to draw on his famed will power to push the man away. His eyes closing, the blond man whispers against his mouth. “It’s just a rose…”

Pain lances through the goblin at the familiar words and he pulls away, staggering back, a hand over his heart, his eyes searching the other’s features, as if trying to find an answer. The voice a fading echo in his mind.

”It’s just a rose…”

“W-why did you s-say that?” he clears his throat, trying again. “Why did you say that?” he asks, voice firmer now.

Jae lifts the rose still lying limply between his fingers, twisting the beautiful flower in the light, one eye closed to narrow his focus. “This is just a rose. It can’t hurt me, but I appreciate you wanting to take the pain away.” He nods towards the bevy of frozen females behind the two men with a rueful smile. “I don’t know if your future bride would appreciate that though. Do you kiss every man who bleeds?”

“Just you,” Kim Shin replies on behalf of his friend, giving both men strange looks. “I told him this was a bad idea, but he never listens. We should probably wrap it up. Can you unfreeze them please?”

Four men are mingling now, one of whom draws the most eyes on himself but the least bodies to his side.

There is an aura of untouchability that surrounds the impossibly beautiful blond man who roams the room. He is neither here nor there, rarely speaking, merely watching curiously, occasionally a sardonic lift of his lips betrays his thoughts at an overheard conversation.

He interrupts conversations though, and only those that involve a certain Jung Yunho.

”Can you swim? Our Yunho here enjoys swimming.”

“He’s a very virile man. Are you sure you can keep up? Are you a good kisser?”

“Can you wield a sword? I doubt he’d be interested in someone who cannot.”

It is that last interruption that finally causes both goblins to call it quits, and with Deok Hwa’s help and his own exit, the last of their guests leave with neither man finding what they were looking for.

A bride.

“What is wrong with you? Who asks a lawyer whether she can wield a sword? Are you trying to give everything away?” Kim Shin asks, his tone annoyed as he cards his hand roughly through his thick hair, causing it to stand out more than usual. “Is your filter broken?”

“Why would you care about a sword?”

“Because I have one!” the younger goblin points to his chest, rolling his eyes.

“Really?” the White Reaper leans forward, placing his palm in the centre of the other man’s chest and rubbing it in a concentric circle, in a way that ensures had there been a sword, his hand would meet it, but it does not. His actions make both goblins flinch, Kim Shin from the touch itself and Jung Yunho from the fact that Jae is touching someone else, but he will never admit it. “I can’t see it.”

“Of course you can’t see his sword.”


“What’s so interesting about that? You can’t see mine either obviously but I can promise you we both have it.”

Jae turns his gaze to Yunho, stepping away from Kim Shin and approaching the other tall man, hiding a smirk when the thousand year old goblin takes an involuntary step back away from him.

He places his hand against the older goblin’s broader chest, not quite in the center, his hand off to the side slightly, feeling the man’s muscles jumping at the touch. Cocking his head, he looks up at the taller man through lowered lashes.

Yunho is struggling to remember to breathe properly.

It is simple really.



Every inhale, he smells the smoky memory of a white rose.

Every exhale makes him want to inhale again quickly to take in that scent again and the memory of those words that are teasing just outside the periphery of his memories.

”It’s just a rose…”

Jae drops his gaze, refocusing on what he can see, staring at the man’s chest. He does not move his hand in concentric circles the way he did for Kim Shin, instead moving painfully slowly towards the blade that he can see, till it is practically in the V between his thumb and forefinger, before he lifts his hand, stroking his middle finger up the blade, making it burst into a greenish blue flame.

His eyes are intent on it, not at all seeing the starkly wild look in the goblin’s eyes as he stares down at the flaming sword in his chest and reaper’s finger stroking up it, unable to comprehend what is happening.

Reaching the hilt, the White Reaper deliberately wraps his hand around it, the long handle allowing more than one hand, and so he wraps the other around it, not the two-handed grip of a swordsman, but the two-handed grip of someone who would have pushed the blade in.

Gripping tightly, he looks up at the ashen face of the goblin.

“You mean this sword?”

...Only the Goblin’s bride will pull out that sword, and if the sword is pulled, may it return to ash and be at peace...

AN1: I’m trying to wrap this up…key word being trying cos I did intend 5 chapters...

AN2: Also, if anyone is a little confused, whatever Jae saw, only he saw. Whatever Yunho saw, only he saw. They didn’t see each other’s visions.

AN3: Oh and I think some people think Changmin is Kim Shin OTL Kim Shin is Gong Yoo :D It’s only YunJae so far…

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Wonderful chapter. All three times. I can just see Jae's face/expression as he utters that last line "You mean this sword?"

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