Taehyung x Reader
Genre: Beast! Taehyung, fluff, angst and smut
Warnings: Violence, rough sex
Word count: 10,047 words
All my life they told me never to go into this forest. There are many wild animals inside. Predators that will kill a human without a second of hesitation. Poisonous plants that will extinguish your flame of life in an instant after being ingested. Dense growth that will confuse and throw away your sense of direction should you venture into their depths.
The most fearful of all is the beast. Since I was little I have been told never to go inside the forest where the most fearsome beast lives. When I asked what makes this beast so terrifying, I was met with many different answers. A savage being of the likes never seen before that will murder in the most grotesque way without thinking twice. A wild animal with cruel, yellow eyes, more cunning than any other predator. A merciless, hairy beast so ugly it must have been dragged from the deepest depths of hell. There are so many versions of this beast that I have no idea which one is true. Maybe all of them are. Perhaps none of them are. There is no way of knowing for as far as I know, no one has ever entered the forest before.
Any doubts I may have had have been quickly swiped aside whenever I brought it up. However, it never made me stop wondering. If the beast really is that powerful, why doesn’t it attack anyone in the surrounding villages? If it loves human meat so much and is cleverer than most people, why has there never been a complaint about lost people or even livestock? Our village is right at the edge of the forest. Why the villagers haven’t packed up and leave if they are so scared is beyond me. Perhaps it is one of those things where it leaves you alone as long as you leave it alone, I guess. I am skeptical, but I have never had a reason to actually find out the truth for myself.
It’s funny when I think about it. One of the main reasons I have never stepped foot into this forest is because my father and brother forbade me to. My father actually preferred to travel further away to get the necessary plants to use in his medicine making, and even after he passed away, I have continued buying and searching elsewhere for the materials I need. Now here I am, finding that it is this easy to go against their orders just because the plant I need to cure Jungkook’s fever cannot be found anywhere else.
My little brother cannot possibly blame me for this. He was reckless enough to go about gallivanting past the border into the neighbouring country, bringing back an obscure illness a mere fortnight before he is meant to arrive at the capital to start his training as a soldier. Thanks to the copious volumes of medical treatise I have inherited from our father, I managed to recognise the symptoms despite never having encountered it before. Unfortunately one of the vital ingredients for the medicine to cure Jungkook lies in that forest, and there is no other substitute for it.
Even though it is approaching late morning and the sun has climbed a considerable height in the landscape of the blue sky, the leafy trees growing close together lend the scene before me a mysterious, dark aura, forbidding me from getting a better look into its depths. Armed with a bag, a blade and a deep, calming breath, I take the first step into the unknown of over two decades of my life.
Being the daughter of an apothecary, I am no stranger to foraging for rare herbs and plants that we don’t grow in our garden or are not sold. It isn’t my first time venturing into the woods and although nothing looks out of place at first glance, it isn’t long after I am enveloped by its growth that I start to notice an unsettling abnormality.
No matter the time of the day or season of the year, the woods is always a symphony of tranquil sounds. The brush of a lizard scampering up a tree, the rustle of animals against the wild growth, the chipper of birds overhead, perhaps the soft tinkling of running water in the distance. It is never as loud as the villages and towns where people dwell, but the forest croons a quiet song of its own. However, now it’s too quiet. I’ve been careful not to wander too far, following a path that is easy for me to retrace, but I’m far enough within the trees to feel unsettled by the lack of sounds that indicate the presence of life around me. The only noice I hear is twigs breaking and leaves rustling underneath my feet, clumsy compared to animals despite years of experience in the woods, the only movement I can see are made by my own limbs as I look out for the plant that I need.
In an attempt to rid of the nervousness that is starting to envelop me, I tilt my head towards the heavens. The canopy of the old wood is dense, but here and there light from the sun shines through the leaves, gracing my face with warmth that helps alleviate my worries a little. Steeling my resolve, I push myself onwards, my eyes scanning the surroundings for the plant that I require. Or rather, the oak tree that I’ve read the necessary plant normally grows around.
That’s not all I’m looking out for though. Even though I cannot see or hear anything else but myself, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being watched. Most of my focus is on my primary goal, but part of my mind can’t help but wonder what it is. If it has no interest in me, it would have moved on by now. But I’ve been feeling this way since not long after I stepped foot in its territory. If it has interest in me, it has to be a predator. Yet it hasn’t jumped out to attack me. Perhaps it is the beast. However, I would be no match for it, so why can’t I see any movement or hear anything suspicious? Why hasn’t it gone for its prey, if that is what I am? The limited possibilities I can think of stumps me, so the best I can do is keep a tight grip of the blade in my hand, hoping that in case anything happens it can at least buy me some time to escape.
Thankfully I find what I need to make Jungkook’s medicine soon enough. Eager to prepare the remedy before his fever gets worse, I hurry home in one piece. The sight of my little brother wheezing on the mattress wrenches at my chest, and I set to work mixing the ingredients immediately, working well into the night, forgetting to eat as I always do when I’m too immersed in a task.
It has to be close to midnight when I finally coax Jungkook to gulp down the medicine I made for him with a cup of water before I collapse on my own bed. Exhausted as I am, I can’t seem to fall asleep. I suppose as far as it goes, today was an anticlimactic day, considering the fact that I’ve finally ventured into the place I never thought I’d set foot in, expecting to see the infamous beast and possibly not make it out with my life.
I’m glad to be alive, of course. Yet there is something that keeps nagging at me. There’s something more in that forest, something to do with the abnormal silence, something to do with those mysterious gaze I felt upon me that lasted until I made it back to my village, perhaps even after that, until I’m out of sight of those trees. My gut feeling tells me that there is more than meets the eye. A secret that lurks in the woods, although I have no idea if it is meant for discovery or if it is better left unknown. Countless thoughts swim around in my head, and I have no idea at what point of night it is when I finally drift off to sleep.
Such thoughts have no place in the next few days as I busy myself with nursing Jungkook back to health while getting the necessities for his upcoming trip ready and tending to patients that drop by our house. I’m relieved to find that the cure I made him is working well and fast, giving him enough time to recover and rest before his journey. As the day for his departure approaches, I start to have mixed feelings — sadness that my only living relative is leaving, excitement at the prospect of exploring that forest again and guilt over letting my curiosity overshadow Jungkook’s departure.
“Don’t worry about me and just take care of yourself, all right?” Jungkook requests, driving another wedge of gloom into the pile of sadness that has been welling up again since the moment I woke up on the morning of his departure. “I’ll send you money as often as I can.”
I scoff at his offer. “And what am I going to spend the money on? You should use the money on yourself at the capital. I’ll be fine on my own.” I want him to enjoy himself fully whenever he has time for himself, even if it’s not a lot. Besides, what I said is true. There is no point in getting anything fancy or glamorous when I’m living in a small village on the outskirts of the country, and the money I earn by treating patients and selling the medicine I’ve concocted is more than enough to support myself.
As if he’s read my mind, he quips, “If you buy some beautiful earrings you might actually look decent for once.” Guffawing, he expertly dodges my well-aimed jabs and rustles the top of my head.
“Just when I was about to say ‘come home when you can’,” I mumble irritatedly as I whack his hand away.
“I’ll visit as soon as I can.” He sobers up, although we both know the opportunity to do so will not come by often or anytime soon.
I nod, intending to wave him off before I do something as silly as burst into tears, but he suddenly pulls me into a bear hug. “I’ll miss you, silly sis.”
“I’ll miss you too, idiot brother,” I choke out, burying my face in his chest as I hug him fiercely back. Who knows when I will see him again, but he is going to serve the country and I’m proud of him.
There is a bout of flu going around, although nothing as bad as what Jungkook had, so after he leaves I have my hands full with the villagers that come by. A part of me is disappointed that I can’t go off exploring again today but I push it away, treating the patients with the same care served with a smile like I always do. By the time I wave the last of them off it is already late in the afternoon, so I decide to get some rest in preparation for an early day tomorrow.
With a meal packed neatly inside my bag and my trusty dagger, I head out into the woods again. Once again the place falls unnaturally silent, this time perhaps even sooner than the first time I came, or perhaps I’ve already been expecting it. I tell myself that the trip is simply to discover what other treasures lay inside that I may be able to collect for my medicine, but when my eyes wander among the trees I’m actually looking for a movement instead of stationary herbs and plants. Without noticing, the sun has already climbed up high in the sky, illuminating patches of light on my skin and when I finally realise that I’ve been dawdling around without being mindful of my position, I have no idea where I am.
Internally scolding myself for being careless, I turn around on the spot, uselessly attempting to determine my location even though I know that it won’t be successful. To get lost among the tall sturdy trunks and numerous undergrowth is all too easy but once it has happened, it isn’t a simple task to get out. Everything starts to look the same especially in a panicked state, and no matter how much I walk, I can’t help but feel like I’ve been going around in pointless circles.
Now distracted with the task of finding my way home, it’s only when my stomach starts to rumble with an unpleasant stab that I remember that I haven’t had anything to eat. Dejected, I give in to my hunger pangs, deciding to eat the food I’ve prepared early this morning before I set off before walking again. As I sit on the ground, munching on some sustenance, my gaze wander around the expanse of the forest before I take a look upwards and feel my heart dropping to my stomach. I can’t believe that I’ve roamed about this long. The descent of the sun is accompanied by the dip in temperature, and I will be in trouble if I don’t find a way out soon. Sure, I haven’t seen any other living creature the whole time I’ve been here, which is strange in itself, but who knows what will come out once the darkness descends?
My lower lip starts to quiver in anxiousness and the funny feeling I haven’t managed to figure out since the first time I entered the forest grows along with the intuitive suspicion that I am, again, being watched. Forcing myself to focus on anything that may be a clue to an exit instead of the puzzling presence, I plod on, every step growing weary as I sink deeper into despair.
Before I can cry out in frustration, a sudden shift in the shadows catches my eye. A tall shadow, unlike the crouching four-legged silhouette I’ve been expecting all this time. A bear? No, it is too slender a figure for such a burly creature. Most importantly, there is no doubt in my mind that the stare coming from behind that withered trunk is the same one that has been accompanying me all this time. It has been concealing itself perfectly before, so why show itself now?
Strangely, as I find myself staring back at it, my heart rate picks up, yet somehow I feel at ease. I’ve been expecting a dangerous animal of prey, and it still may be one, but I don’t feel threatened in the least. Holding its gaze with mine is slowly washing all the worries I have back into the sea of lost thoughts. Everything else seems to stand deathly still with a new quality of silence. I can’t even hear my heart beating; to be honest, I’m not sure ifit’s still pumping, so absorbed am I in the unknown figure and I have no idea how much time passed before it suddenly turns on its heels and moves away.
Without hesitation, without even so much as a thought, my feet shuffle to follow. All tiredness forgotten, I hasten to catch up, desperate to discover the entity that has been keeping me company — and I suspect, safe from other predators — for so many hours. I should have known that something that can move so stealthily would have no problem moving at a speed that I have no hope of matching.
My excitement initially took the fatigue away from my legs but still, I have been hiking for many hours with only one stop to swallow a meager amount of food and it isn’t long until exhaustion finds its way back into my limbs. Any hopes of keeping up with it shatters as I stagger on my feet, pausing to place my hands on my wobbly knees. Panting, chasing my breath, I regretfully give up on the endeavour of uncovering the identity of the mysterious being.
When my breathing has evened out somewhat, I lift my head up, expecting the creature to have disappeared into the shadows again, but I’m in for a surprise. It is still there. It has stopped, watching me. Its curiosity is palpable, rivaling my interest in it. Is it… waiting for me? The notion is laughable yet I can’t think of any other explanation.
Testing the waters, I take a tentative step forward. A moment passes, as if it is ascertaining my ability to continue, then it whips around and starts moving again. Inhaling as much oxygen my lungs can take, I push myself forward, determined to follow it until the ends of the earth. It’s a little frustrating that it’s obvious that no matter how fast I go, it is simply matching my pace; just enough for me not to lose sight of it but nowhere close enough for me to see what is hiding underneath the shadows.
Before long the obstacles become thin, and the last strains of sunset can be seen just over the horizon, fighting to stay visible above the row of scattered small houses. Relief fills me at the sight — looks like I won’t be spending the night in the wilderness after all. Suddenly remembering my saviour, I swivel my head around, but it has sadly disappeared completely from my sight.
The very next day has me inside the forest again, this time under no pretenses as to the reason I am here. I want to see it again. Properly. There is no doubt in my mind that it doesn’t have any malicious intent towards me. However, it isn’t clear what its intent actually is, and that makes me even more intrigued. I want to know if it meant to save me yesterday. I want to know why it was watching me. Most of all, I want to know what it is.
Once again, it isn’t long before I feel the presence with me again. Like before, it is keeping out of my sight, no peep or hair to be detected by my senses, which are probably inferior to its own. But I can feel it. Before it was a baffling existence, never intimidating, really, just inexplicable, but now that I’ve actually caught a glimpse of it, I can’t help but feel attracted. Perhaps my curiosity is pulling me towards it. All I know is that it soothes my nerves and sets my pulse racing at the same time.
I am not foolish enough to think that I will somehow be able to see it again just because I want to. A wish does not come true without some effort put into it. That being said, I have no idea how to achieve my goal. It has been made perfectly clear that I am not an equal in terms of speed, stealth or most probably any other physical attribute. Trying to chase after it or sneak up on it, assuming that I can even pinpoint where it is actually watching me from is impossible. The only way that offers a sliver of a chance at success is a trick.
Be careful what you wish for, isn’t that the saying? For just as the thought crosses my mind, my inattentive state proves to be my undoing, making me fall over a log that completely escaped my notice. My painful groan into the dirt is stopped short as I hear a rustle from somewhere behind me. Is it concerned that I fell? In a split second I make up my mind, resting my whole body weight on the ground and staying still. Guilt immediately creeps up on me from the underhanded tactic but what other choice do I have? It seems to be worried about my welfare and if this is the only way to find out more about it, so be it, even though the blatant manipulation leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
Whatever nagging my conscience is trying to hammer into my head is tossed aside when I sense it approaching me. Keeping my body immobile, especially when most of my face is facing the ground is extremely difficult when anticipation is rising within me, causing my heartbeat to boom inside my ears. Even harder is keeping my eyes shut while I’m dying to see, but I manage to hold my ground until I feel a gentle touch brushing the hair covering the side of my face away. With all the speed I can muster, my hand snaps up to grab it, eliciting a soft gasp of surprise from above. Before it can run away, my eyelids fly open, full of triumph and bursting curiosity at being able to lay eyes on this elusive creature at last.
The sight that greets me is nothing like what I expected. To be honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it is definitely nothing like this. Nothing like him. The eyes that stare back into mine are golden, shining even though his back is to the sun’s rays, as if illuminated by heat all of their own, almost like a cat’s yet more cunning and infinitely more brilliant. His nose is stately, perfectly sculptured and placed just atop breathtakingly alluring lips, dewy and slightly parted in astonishment. His loose beige shirt and brown pants are a little worn and torn in a few places, and his feet are bare, coupled with his shaggy dark hair lending a wild look about him. His arm muscles captured within my grasp ripple, breaking me out of my reverie.
When my fingers loosen their hold on him, it startles him into motion. Apparently he was as concentrated on me as I was mesmerised by him. Like a frightened fawn, he jumps backwards, putting a few meters between us in one leap. Although surprised by the show of his physical prowess, I react quickly enough before he can disappear from sight again, yelling, “Wait!” Pushing myself up from the ground in an attempt to pursue him, but I can’t even manage to get on my two feet without squealing and falling in a heap.
Tears prickle at the corners of my eyes as I examine my right ankle. It is starting to swell, and I know that I can’t walk, much less run on it. Frustration fills me as I look up, then shock overtakes me when I see him even closer than before without having made a sound, bent over me, brows furrowed as he takes in my reddening ankle. Pain subsides as a new sensation takes over me, my heart pounding from being so near him again. Restlessness fills every fiber of my being, excitement threatening to spill over but I remain stock still, afraid to move or say something that may spook him off again.
I can’t stay like this forever though. Slowly, I place my palms behind me and drag my body backwards, hoping that moving away instead of towards him will not alarm him as much. He flinches from the movement, but doesn’t step away, watching me heave myself up onto the log that tripped me earlier with a small hiss. At first he only stares, as if a silent battle for a decision is happening within him. Then all of a sudden, he sits beside me in a swift shuffle. His intense gaze moves towards my ankle and he reaches for it, shifting his eyes back to mine just before touching it; a silent request for permission to hold it.
Without hesitation, I nod. The tips of his fingers are gentle but warm heat radiates from them; a comforting touch. “U-um…” I stutter, unsure of what to say, especially when he jumps at the sound of my voice, “it looks like I won’t be able to move around for a while. Would — would you like to share some of my lunch?”
It is probably one of the worst conversation starter in the history of man, but I can’t think of anything else to say. All I know is that I want to remain with him as long as possible. I want to get to know him. There is something about him that pulls me in, and even though I have no idea what this feeling is, I have no intention of pushing it away. As he continues to stare at me in silence, I start to wonder if he even understood what I said, but in the end he nods.
A smile involuntarily tugs at the corner of my lips at his answer. I scramble to take the food I packed earlier in my bag, part of me still afraid that he may run off. I take in his large, beautiful eyes that looks on curiously as I unwrap the food and hand over a rice ball to him. “It’s not much, but it’s the easiest thing to make and bring around,” I explain sheepishly. As he bites into the lightly salted rice, I watch for his reaction. For some reason I am hoping for his approval, although there’s not much to be earned over something so simple.
He gobbles it all up before I can even take a bite out of mine, which I take as a good sign. However, when I offer him the last piece he shakes his head and motions towards me instead. After several attempts of getting him to accept it, I give up, although I keep watching him as I finish my share to make sure he doesn’t make himself scarce while I’m stuffing myself. He does no such thing, keeping still — and unfortunately, quiet — until I clean after myself, at which point he finally stands up.
I’m sure the expression on my face as I lift my head up to look at him is a sad, desperate one, but I don’t care for appearances. Although there wasn’t much of an interaction between us, his presence fills me with inexplicable joy, a special bond that forms in an instant. However, instead of leaving as I expected him to do, he crouches down with his back facing me. It takes him twice to motion for me to get on his back before I can wrap my head around the idea and gingerly climb on him.
Never would I have thought that someone I technically just met today would be carrying me on his back now. I wonder if I’m too heavy, self-consciousness suddenly striking me but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all, moving at a pace that I cannot manage even when I’m not tired without running out of breath. For all his speed, his hold on me is secure, and it’s evoking emotions that I’m not familiar with. A sense of security. Of sudden affection. Of unfathomable belonging. I can’t help but notice the warmth of his solid back against my chest, but I try my best to ignore it. The silence that stretches between us isn’t awkward but a question that has been plaguing me since last night resurfaces and bubbles out of my mouth.
“Yesterday when I got lost, did you help show me the way back?”
No answer is forthcoming, and after a short while I start to debate asking him again in case he didn’t hear me the first time. Just as I open my mouth to repeat the question he nods an affirmative. It really was him. He really was helping me. Before I can think of any further questions, he stops in his tracks and it is only then that I notice that we have arrived at the edge of the woods. Bewildered, I watch him glance around without saying a word until he sees what he is looking for. With me still securely latched on his back, he walks over and picks up a long, sturdy stick before crouching down so I can get off and handing it to me — a walking stick.
“Why don’t you come back with me?” I suggest, a little disappointed. I don’t want to leave his company just yet. “There is plenty of room inside my house.” It’s probably very ill-advised to invite someone I’ve only just met to come over, but already I trust him with my life. If he wants to harm me, he has had countless opportunities to do so, after all.
He shakes his head violently, as if I have suggested something worse than death, and backs away from me. Does he really live in here then? Seeing how averse he is to the idea, I don’t try to pursue it, instead asking, “can I come see you again then?”
Retreating steps halt when he hears my question. Again he takes his time answering, although now his expression is of disbelief, as if the thought of anyone wanting to see him is out of this world, but he finally moves his head up and down. His agreement brings a grin to my face, and my happiness leads to him gracing me with the most breathtaking sight of the day; his own lips breaking into a wide, boxy grin. It rearranges his features into one of a young, excited boy, all the wilderness about him disappears beneath the joyful visage, taking any doubts I may have had about him before with it. I’m still unsure if he is human or some woodland spirit or a minor god or something else, but he is definitely a good soul.
The next few days are torture while I’m basically under house arrest as I’m forced to wait for my ankle to heal. They’re not wasted, though, as I spend my time making remedies with the plants and herbs I have gathered from the forest, mixing them with what I already have at home and treating patients the best I can with my limited mobility. All the time I go about my chores he occupies my mind. The way he looks at me, his gentle touch, his warm skin, everything about him calls out to me, and I can’t wait to see him again.
So as soon as I can, I do. And I do so, again and again. My visits to the forest become a regular occurrence, a mixture of work and selfish desire to spend time with him. For he waits for me too. He never says a word, but I don’t mind that he is mute. His smiles more than make up for it, and our silent exchanges are more precious to me than any conversation I can have with the people in my village. Most of our time is used to explore the woods, rather, for him to show me all the wonders that it has to offer, from the biggest tree to the most tranquil river, but more than anything else, being around him makes my heart soar.
However, there is one thing about him I’d like to know more than anything else. “Say, you understand what I’m saying, don’t you?” I ask him one day.
As always, he doesn’t offer an answer right away, settling himself against the tree trunk more comfortably before he dips a confirmation with his chin.
“Can you write?” When he tilts his head sideways in question, I continue, “it’s just that I’ve told you my name a while back, but I don’t know yours. Maybe you can write it down for me?” I hand him a twig and point to the ground. Even though he takes it, he makes no move to write anything, so I try to persuade him softly. “I’d really like to know your name.”
Still he doesn’t respond, turning the stick over and over in his hand in deliberate but precise movements. My lower lip becomes the outlet of my impatience, nibbling on the tender flesh as I restrain myself from saying anything else. I’ve made my request and reasoning clear, and I don’t want to force him into telling me something he doesn’t want to reveal. It won’t be the first time my question goes unanswered; when I asked why he stays alone in the forest instead of among people, for instance, he furrowed his thick brows and shrugged, never really giving me an answer. I wasn’t hurt by it, as it is his right to share something with me or not. More than anything I’m just enjoying his company immensely. However his name is something I’d really like to know. Something I’d like to call him with.
A sense of victory fills me when the end of the twig scratches the dirt. Peering curiously to see what he is writing, my anticipation turns into bewilderment when he scratches out the first few letters he has written, only to start anew. Does he have more than one name? Is he planning to give me a fake name? Watching his features scrunch in concentration, I assume that he simply misspelled it, and wait for him to finish with barely contained excitement. When he’s done, he leans back against the tree so I can read it easily.
“Taehyung,” I mutter, testing the name on my lips. Looking up at him to see if I pronounced it correctly, I find him gazing back at me intently. Elation makes his eyes sparkle when he hears it, as if it is the first time hearing his own name, and perhaps it is, considering that he’s living alone in the middle of nowhere. Testing my theory, I repeat it again more confidently, “Taehyung.”
His response is a most glowing smile, lips forming a shape similar to a charming heart that prompts me to crawl forward between his sprawled legs to better observe it. “Taehyung,” I say again, finding his delight to be a happy drug for my own system. Before I know it, I’m whispering his name mere inches from his lips. His golden orbs now burn with something different as they return my gaze, but when his hot breath fans over my face, I suddenly catch myself, tumbling onto my backside in a show of gracelessness, and the moment is broken.
Awkwardness ensues for a while after that, both of us unable to look into each other’s eyes but it isn’t addressed again. That doesn’t mean that the moment doesn’t haunt me every waking moment after we part ways, pondering and truthfully daydreaming about how it would be like if I had actually kissed him. Fortunately the next time we meet the air between us has cleared and it is comfortable to be with him again, at least on the surface. Inside me, however, is a war of emotions as I slowly realise that my feelings for him is not simply one of friendship or being cared for, but something much deeper.
Eventually my visits to the forest are noticed by the villagers, and more than one start to voice their concern.
“Aren’t you afraid of the beast?” A farmer asks when he comes over to get a cure for his headache.
“I haven’t seen anything that even remotely resembles a beast,” I answer, trying to alleviate their worries. “In fact, I haven’t seen anything dangerous at all.” The reason for this, I’m sure, is because of Taehyung, although I have no idea how he keeps the wild animals away. However, due to his blatant refusal of venturing outside, I’m hesitant about informing others of his existence. He clearly doesn’t want to meet other people, so I want to respect his wishes.
“You just got lucky, young lady,” an elderly woman croaks when I feed her the same answer I give anyone who asks. “One of these days it’s going to get you, and it will be too late to regret anything then. Listen to the wisdom of the ones who came before you, child, and stay away from that godforsaken place.”
I flash a small smile to appease her, but I make no such promise. Besides, I know that Taehyung will keep me safe from any threat whenever I’m there. But perhaps I’ve overestimated the security that being around people offers me. For the danger that is about to present itself comes not from the wilderness of the forest, but from the evil of human beings.
Loud noises accompanied by shouts prompts me to head outside to see what is causing the commotion, leaving the old woman to follow me at a much slower pace. Several houses away, a group of men I don’t recognise are trashing my neighbour’s house, turning the place upside down as two of them kick the elderly man mercilessly although he has already collapsed, helpless and weak, on the ground. Onlookers cluster a little further away from the scene, watching but not doing anything to stop them.
“What are you doing?” I shout, darting forward towards the old man, shoving the ruffians off of him.
“Well! Look what we have here,” the man I pushed aside chortles. “We haven’t seen you before, have we? That saves us a trip to your house. Go and get all your money and valuables and we will spare your sad little village from being burnt to the ground.”
A pile of boxes and sacks are visible just past the gaggle of villagers watching the scene unfold before them. I can feel rage bubbling inside me as I piece the puzzle together. Rumours of bandits from the bordering country attacking nearby settlements have been going around recently but I never imagined that they would actually attack us. Furious at the very notion that these men would take what little we poor people have worked hard to earn, I straighten my back and address the man who spoke to me, taking his authoritative tone combined with his sheer size compared to his underlings as the makings of a leader in a group such as this one. “Return their belongings and leave, right now.”
His roar of laughter in response is grating on my ears. “Playing hero, aren’t we? Although now that I look at you properly,” he grabs my chin in his rough hand, pulling me forward so my body crashes against his, “you’re quite a looker. Heh. Fine, I’ll take you and leave the rest alone. But we’re taking what we already have with us. We worked hard to collect it, after all.”
Cackling like a deranged maniac, he picks me up with a grunt and tosses me over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes. Screaming and pounding my fists against his back as hard as I can, I try to fight back but it only serves to amuse him. “I like my women feisty,” he squeezes me tightly, groping my bottom sickeningly before motioning to his men to take their leave.
All the while the villagers; my neighbours, my patients, people I consider my friends, people that my father and I have always helped even when they cannot afford to pay what we usually charge just spectate without doing or even saying anything. When I look to them desperately for help, they just turn away, pretending that nothing horrible is happening if they’re not looking at it. In the moment of fury and urgency to act, I have foolishly charged in without any weapon on me. I am completely defenseless, helpless, forced to accept the fate handed to me, it seems. Until screams from behind cause me to lift my head up in surprise, relief washing over me at the thought of one of the villagers standing up for my sake. But I’m in for a surprise. It isn’t one of the inhabitants of the village.
It is Taehyung.
I only manage to get a glimpse of him punching one of the outlaws with inhuman strength, sending him flying before their leader turns around so I now face the other side. Anxiousness well up inside as I hear more shrieks and the sounds of a violent brawl, but I’m not kept in the dark for long. As the leader turns and starts to run away, jostling me in his hold, I can see Taehyung again, but my blood runs cold at the sight.
It is the same Taehyung I know by appearance, yet he is now a completely different person. If I had any worries about taking on a bunch of robbers on his own, my concerns have been misplaced. His rage makes him seem like he has grown twice his size, towering over his opponents that he is ruthlessly shutting down. Several bodies already lay immobile around him. Effortlessly he places his large palm on one of the men’s face and pushes him to the ground. The resulting crack makes me wince, but what he does to the next one is even worse. With one swipe to the chest, he sends another ruffian crashing against one of the houses. Blood spurts from the man’s mouth as he makes contact with solid wood and after he crumples, he remains motionless. I understand why the leader decided to leave the others behind now.
With the obstacles between us eradicated, his focus is on the bandit attempting to take me away. Belatedly realising that Taehyung is at his heels, he drops me onto the ground to lighten his load and possibly appease the rage they have caused, but Taehyung is so consumed with white-hot rage that he keeps advancing. Even though the current Taehyung is nothing like the kind, gentle Taehyung I have fallen for, I know he is in there somewhere, and it is with that thought in mind that I step in between them.
“Taehyung, stop!” He still moves forward, intent on getting to my kidnapper even when I’m standing in the middle. A deep growl rumbles from his throat, making the fine hair on my skin stand on end. Even then, fear somehow does not have a place in me as I look at his face, the beauty that I find soothing still there underneath the mask of beastly fury. My hands cup his face, trying to get him to look at me as I tiptoe to press my forehead up against his. “Are you doing this to save me? I’m fine now, so please stop.” Behind me, the leader takes the opportunity to run for his life, and luckily Taehyung doesn’t follow.
Instead, my voice snaps him back to his real self. His golden eyes, filled with bloodlust just a few moments earlier, are now washed over with regret. I can feel tremors wracking his body before he pulls away from me and dashes towards the dark forest before I can stop him. Without hesitation or heed to the shouts and warnings from the villagers telling me to stop, I chase after him.
No matter how fast I run, I know that I’m no match for him. His speed and ability to maneuver through the many growth in the woods will leave me in his dust in no time, so before I lose sight of him, I call his name. “Taehyung! Taehyung!” But he doesn’t stop. Nor does he make an effort to be quiet, so I can hear him crashing his way through. Using my hearing as a guide, I try my best to follow, but in my haste I trip over, knocking my head against something painfully solid and the world goes black.
My consciousness returns to me with a headache. Flickers of light dance across my vision between shadows on uneven surfaces. I’m in a cave. Following the crackle of fire, I flip my body on the soft bedding to find the source. Taehyung is brooding in front of it, facing me. It takes some effort to stand up and make my way towards him, but even then he is unresponsive, too absorbed in his own thoughts, so I sit opposite him. Watching the flames illuminate his handsome face as the pain in my head slowly recede.
“They call me a beast,” he suddenly speaks up, and I snap to attention. The first strings of his deep voice is music to my ears and my jaw drops open in surprise. He can speak after all. Deciding that it is not a matter of the most importance at the moment, I try to push it aside, addressing the topic so important that it has made him speak to me for the first time.
“The people in my village. Everyone except my parents. At first.” Every bit of his past comes forth in a gradual, painful flow. Yet I wait, hanging on to every word. “All my life, from the first memory engraved in my mind, I’ve been different. I look different. I’m able to do things others cannot do. I lose control of my strength sometimes. Everyone is scared of me but they cannot do anything to me, so they refuse to associate with my parents. It was hard, in such a small community like that, and I always feel sorry for them, but my mother told me that it wasn’t my fault. That I’m her darling child and she would do anything for me. So I just tried my best to stay out of everyone’s way.”
“But one night I learnt of the truth. My parents were arguing. My father was trying to convince my mother to send me away. There was no point to raising a child that wasn’t theirs, he said. Not when I wasn’t even human. When they found me, they thought I was just a strange looking child, but with time it became clearer and clearer that I was different. He was afraid of what I would become when I grew into an adult, but my mother refused to let me go. She didn’t want to hurt me, and she loved me so much.”
His voice lowers even more, almost devoid of emotion as his tale draws to a close. “That’s when I really understood how much I’d put them through. I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t risk hurting them, couldn’t risk putting others in danger with my presence. I ran here. The people in my village correctly guessed where I went and spread the rumour of a beast living here so no one would come find me. So I stayed and never came out since, until…” he laughs bitterly as he recalls the incident that just transpired. “Looks like they were right. I’m a horrible, monstrous beast.”
A turbulence of emotions rage inside me while he talked, overwhelming me with sadness, pain and anger. He doesn’t respond when I stand up and stride over, only looking up at me in confusion when I slap the side of his head.
“You’re wrong,” I tell him, dropping to my knees in front of him and wrapping my arms around him tightly. “You came out to save me, didn’t you? And you saved the other villagers as well. You’re not horrible or monstrous at all. Those people who wear human skin, but inflicting pain and suffering onto others like that… they’re the real monsters.” Pulling back so I can look into his eyes, I say firmly, “You’re not a beast to me. I only see my saviour. Someone who watches over me and makes me happy. The one I’ve fallen in love with.”
Disbelief is etched all across his face, and he bides his time by reaching out to wipe my cheeks tenderly with his thumbs. “Don’t cry,” he begs. “I can’t stand to see you sad.”
I nod, not even noticing that I’m crying. I try my best to keep my tears in check, but I still need to let him know. How much he means to me. How much I want to be with him. That I’m not scared of him. That I’m in love with him. So I finally give in to my impulses, leaning forwards to press my lips against his. Even if he is a beast, no monster could possibly possess lips this soft, this fulfilling, making me feel so complete, inviting me for more. The flimsy dam I have constructed to keep my desire in check has cracked from the moment I heard the deep tenor of his voice relaying his tormented past, and has burst open at the first touch of our kiss, letting out the stream of lust unchecked.
A moan barely escapes my lips as I climb onto his lap, deepening the kiss. My tongue tracing the soft pillows is granted easy access into his mouth. When he pulls my hips closer to him, my breath catches, but I discover that I need him more than I need air. However, the evidence of his desire is pressing insistently against me, and I can’t stop myself from moving my hips, savouring the delicious burn that it offers my own flaming core. Unwilling to give up even one bit of him, I place one of my hands on the back of his thick neck while the other slides down to find his cock.
The grunt that comes from the back of his throat when my fingers close around him is satisfying, making up for the lack of friction on my own center of need. I refuse to let him go even as I feel him grow harder and larger under my touch, his erratic breaths against my lips not a deterrent to my mission of showing my intense desire for him. However, a strong, powerful being such as Taehyung can only hold himself back for so long before asserting his dominance, and he eventually gives in to his urge to make me his completely. Not that I have any objections against it.
Again he shows no strain as he rises to his feet, lifting me along with him, my legs circling his waist so we can remain attached at the hips. However it gives him difficulty when I refuse to lay on my back after he sets me down on his makeshift bed, so he gamely obliges to my request for him to stand as I kneel before him. A sharp yank on his trousers brings them right down to his ankles, and I have to contain myself from gasping at the revelation.
His erection stands tall, proud, and massive, potent liquid already leaking from the tip. Taking a deep breath, I grip the base and flick my tongue out to get a taste of him. Lightly salty, pleasantly sweet, and strangely addictive. Craving for more, I take him in my mouth, the weight reassuring on my tongue, sliding further and further inside until he hits the back of my throat. Tears prickle at the corners of my eyes at the discomfort but it is impossible for me to take in any more than this. Desperate gurgles echo from above me as I swallow once, twice, before pulling myself back, then going in again, bobbing my head up and down his shaft as my hand makes up for what my mouth lacks, pumping and lightly twisting the bottom half of his cock to meet my mouth every time. Drool seeps out of the edges of my mouth but I don’t care. Even when he tugs on the strands on my hair so only the head is enveloped in my mouth and he can see the dazed, greedy look on my face, I don’t care in the least.
With a guttural groan and enormous effort, he pulls me off of him, forcing me to release him with a loud pop and pins me down to the bed. His lips lock onto mine with a feverish need far more desperate than before, leaving me no room to escape, not even to replenish the depleting oxygen in my lungs. I can feel the fibers of my clothes being torn apart accompanied by vehement ripping sounds, reminding me of the brute strength he is capable of and when he lifts himself up on his elbows I am spread naked before him. He eyes every inch of me like a starving predator yet instead of being frightened, arousal pools between my legs. The wetness intensifies when he starts a journey of nips and bites down my body from the crook of my neck, tracing my collarbone and between the valley of my breasts, down to my very core.
Shame finally catches up to me when he parts my thighs and stare at my center. “You’re soaked,” he comments with a roguish smirk and with a squeal of embarrassment I try to close my legs, but to no avail. His palms are insistent, pressing the inside of my thighs to keep them spread wide for him, drinking in the view before he dips in to drink from me.
Gasps of pleasure pile on top of each other, cutting one so another can begin, as his tongue laves over me, a coarser muscle than my own inciting more friction as it drags against my slit, slipping into every nook and cranny of my folds. When it brushes upwards and over my clit, every minuscule nub of his harsh tongue gliding against it is akin to a bolt of lightning striking every one of my nerve endings, making me abandon any hold I have on my sanity in favour of tugging on his silky hair, drawing him closer to me as I burst all over his face. My grasp only loosens as the high slowly recedes but he stays there, lapping every drop of my essence, rebuilding my passion anew. But I want more. “Taehyung, I need you,” I plead, initially falling on deaf ears until my insistent begging becomes too much for him.
In a swift move, he rises to his knees and flips me around, raising my hips up in the air. I can barely suppress a groan when the tip of his cock presses against my entrance from behind, but ultimately I cannot mask my helpless lust for him, clear in the way I push myself back against him. My movement forces the very end of him inside me, evoking a moan from both of us, but Taehyung refuses to give in to his ardour without asking me, “Are you sure about this?”
“Yes!” I yell at him, frustrated at having to wait even one second longer. “Taehyung, I want you. I need you. Please.”
His booming growl at my words sends tremors shooting down my spine. “You are too good for the likes of me.” I shake my head in disagreement, but before I can turn my head to argue, he starts pushing in, inch by inch. A low moan reverberates from my throat as I feel my walls stretch open to the limit to accommodate him, tossing any words I have on the tip of my tongue out of my mind. Having him completely sheathed inside me gives me a sense of wholeness that is oddly unfulfilled; I need more, and then some more, as my thirst for him knows no bounds.
As is his hunger for me. He allows me some time to adjust to his size, but that is the end of his generosity. When he pulls away it is to ram back inside me with such vehemence that my elbows give out, planting my upper body into the bed. Stars shine at the back of my eyelids as I groan with pleasure and pain from his force and size, hoisting myself up to receive his next thrust, and the next, each one building in strength and speed. His deep, animalistic growls form the bass of a savage song interlaced with my high-pitched cries every time he plunges deep into my recesses, pushing me closer and closer to another orgasm. Each breath are drawn in shorter intervals between desperate yelps as I’m pulled tighter, unable to think, much less warn him as my body grows so taut I’m sure that I will implode on his cock.
His name is torn from my throat in a scream when he pounds the thrust that does me in. Every part of my body shiver and quake from the force of my crashing high, but he doesn’t stop. Only a menacing snarl signals me of his registration of my inner muscles clamping on his length, posing a challenge to his fierce strokes, yet still he goes on, with inhuman strength and stamina. Time is a lost commodity as he continues his merciless onslaught upon my body, savouring each orgasm he rips from me with fervour as he goes on, inevitably stoking a new fire within me before I can even recover from being burnt by the last one.
I have no idea how many times I’ve shattered around him, each one more intense and crushing than the one before. My arms have long since given out from underneath me, leaving me to whimper brokenly into the sheets with his hands on my waist to hold me up, but not wanting him to stop. A rapacity that knows no bounds, only increasing in potency, encouraging him with lustful groans when he grabs me by my arms, pulling me up so he can slam into me harder, convincing me that he will push my insides out with his violent thrusts.
“Taehyung, Taehyung,” I manage to call for him in my sexually-charged haze, and he yanks me up even more, pressing my back against his sweaty chest. The low rumble vibrating from his mouth against my ear almost unravel me again right then and there, but I fight to get the words out. “I want to see you.”
After a pause while he tries to make sense of my request in his own aroused state, he pulls out and picks me up to lay me on my back, pushing back in so quickly I don’t even have the chance to complain about the temporary loss of contact. Bending my legs up towards my chest, he nearly folds me into half, allowing him to pound even deeper into me as he looks into my eyes. His own are smoldering with lust and something more profound, and he hovers over me to whisper softly, “You’re so amazing.” The smooth baritone of his voice is in stark contrast with his powerful, precise thrusts. “You’re incredibly beautiful.” His fingers circling my clit is driving me up the wall again, but I retain enough of my senses to hear his following words as the snap of his hips become erratic. “I— I love you.”
The emotional and physical load is too much for me to bear, and I erupt again. My screams calling for him as I writhe underneath him irrevocably breaks him, with a triumphant roar of my name he forces the last few strokes inside me, filling me with a part of him. Together we bathe in the aftermath of our lovemaking, and eventually he shifts me with him to lay on our side, but he doesn’t let me go. Euphoria with Taehyung seems endless, passionate, heated kisses bruising my lips while we are still joined as one making it difficult for me to bring myself down from the clouds.
“Taehyung,” I mumble, but it doesn’t deter him, merely making him switch his target to my neck. “I want to stay with you.”
“Here?” He pauses, still latched onto me, but concern colours his tone.
“Here. My village. Anywhere.” Wiggling in his arms that refuse to loosen, I place my hands on his jaw so he can’t look away or distract me. “If you want to stay here, then I’ll stay here. But if you want brave the outside world again, then I will be there with you, no matter where you go. I couldn’t care less what other people think. You’re the one who matters to me the most. So I’ll always watch over you and support you whenever you need me.”
His smile is dazzling, his nod of agreement infusing me with untold delight. “Anywhere is fine with me as long as it’s with you,” he says, brushing the tip of his nose against mine. “Although I’m the one who will always watch over you, the woman of my dreams.”