Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Areum Min is the most popular girl at the Seoul National University, but all those fakes after her family’s money don’t matter to her. She’s working hard to take over the business her father has run for decades, even if that means she’ll be the co-leader of the mafia with her older brother. Ever since The Tragedy many years ago, the siblings have been deep in the world of killing and drugs. What goes on in the mansion of the biggest crime organization in the capital of South Korea is hidden to most, but top gangs are doing their best to take it down. Blood will be shed, sweat will stain clothes, and tears will waterfall down cheeks.
(This is coming from my Tumblr, taehyungiestummy.tumblr.com, so go there to see moodboards and bios for characters if you like.)

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1. The Fakes

          The deadliest man in Seoul smiles down at his young son as he shifts from foot to foot. “Yoongi,” his baritone voice echoes down the empty hospital hall. “What is the matter?”

          “What if she doesn’t like me?” Yoongi looks up at his father, a clear pout on his lips. “What if she cries when I hold her? What if she refuses to look at me? Or worse, I drop her? Then she’ll really hate me.”

          Mr. Min chuckles, swiftly picking up Yoongi, “She’s going to love you. You are her older brother.” He taps the boy’s nose. “If you drop her, however, your mother will be a lot angrier than Areum, and so will I. You have to be very careful when you have her in your arms. A baby doesn’t really understand much, as they have to be taught, so you have to show her the ropes. Can you do that?”

          “Yes,” Yoongi firmly nods. “And I won’t drop her.”

          “Good, because that’s your job as an older brother. You must do everything in your power to protect your baby sister. There’s no limit to what you can do to ensure her safety. She’s the only one you have to worry about in this crazy world. Until you find the love of your life, but that’s years away.”

          “Is mom the love of your life?”

          “Of course,” Mr. Min brushes hair out of Yoongi’s eyes. “Your mother is the most important person in my life, along with you, and now Areum. I do everything in my power to protect you three. Nothing will ever hurt any of you. Soon that will be your job.”

          “I’m up for it,” Yoongi straightens his back. “I’m a big boy.”

          Another deep chuckle rings out through the hall. “Ah, Yoongi, you are going to be a great big brother. You’re already showing how capable you are, and I know you’re caring. Always being the one to take care of the puppies back home.”

          “They just make me happy. Their cute barks, and how little they are.”

          “Then you’ll love Areum,” Mr. Min presses his lips to his son’s forehead. “And she’ll love you.”

          The door to the hospital room that holds Mrs. Min and the newborn Areum swings open, revealing a smiling nurse.

          “She’s asking for two men that she loves very much,” the nurse steps out of the doorway. “Her words, not mine.”

          Mr. Min sets Yoongi on the ground, “Thank you for all your help tonight.”

          “It’s a pleasure,” she bows to the man who could wipe her from existence. “The perfect patient, and no complications at all.”

          “Yoongi, let’s go meet your baby sister,” Mr. Min pats the top of his son’s head, and the two of them head into the room.

          The door is closed by the nurse outside, and the newly family of four is left alone for the first time.

          “Yoongi, honey,” Mrs. Min’s voice is soft. Her tired smile giving away how much she wishes to sleep. “Come meet Areum. Come meet your baby sister.”

          Yoongi cautiously walks over to the hospital bed that his mother is lounging in, afraid of waking the sleeping baby in his mother’s arms.

          Mr. Min leans back against the door, a loving smile on his face as he looks over at his small family.

          “Don’t be scared, she can’t bite,” Mrs. Min softly chuckles. “Come sit on the edge of the bed, so you can hold her. You want to hold her, don’t you?”

          “Yes, very much,” Yoongi bobs his head a few times.

          “Get up here then, silly.”

          Yoongi struggles to climb onto the hospital bed, and pushes his father away when he tries to help. “I’m a big kid, I don’t need any help.”

          “Okay, little man,” Mr. Min chuckles, taking a seat in the chair next to the hospital bed. “I’ll remember that.”

          “I don’t want you to be a big kid yet,” Mrs. Min holds her hand out for Yoongi to grab. “You’re only four, you have a lot of growing up to do still.”

          “I’m not four yet, mom,” Yoongi moans, finally making his way up onto the bed. “Almost, but not quite. We were planning my party not long ago. It’s only two months away now. Don’t tell me you forgot already.”

          “I’m sorry sweetheart, I’ve had a long day,” she tiredly smiles at her son. “Now that you’re up here, though, meet your new baby sister,” she maneuvers the bundle in her arms so Yoongi can see.

          Areum is a smaller than average baby, and Yoongi feels his heart swell at the sight of her. This little human is now in his care, and he understands just how important that is.

          “Do you want to hold her?” Mrs. Min questions as she notices the look of awe on her son’s face.

          “Can I?” Yoongi hopefully looks up at his mother.

          “Of course, sweetheart.”

          Yoongi’s heart is pounding as he is handed the most important person in his life now. His brain going a mile a minute with all kinds of thoughts about is baby sister.

          With all the movement, Areum is shaken from her slumber, but she doesn’t burst into tears. Her gaze falls onto Yoongi, and she’s instantly in smiles and happy coos.

          “Aw, she loves her big brother,” Mrs. Min leans back into the pillows. “Look at how happy she is to see you, Yoongi.”

          “See, you had nothing to worry about, Yoongi,” Mr. Min taps the edge of the bed with his foot.

          Yoongi runs the pad of his finger gently over Areum’s cheek. “She’s perfect.” He leans down to gently rest his forehead on hers. “I will always protect you,” he whispers as the baby reaches out to place her small hand on his cheek. “Don’t you even worry, Yoongi will always be by your side.”

------------------------------ ----------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------

          I rapidly blink my dark green eyes to focus back in on the lecture. My pencil resting in my hand as it hovers over my notebook ready to go. Not a single word written down on the paper.

          “Now, I want you all to read and annotate the first two chapters by the next time you see me, and start thinking about who your favorite character might be,” the literature professor claps his hands together as he looks at the clock. “And with that, I will release you to your other duties.”

          I sigh as people around me quickly pack up and leave. “Nice job, idiot,” I grumble to myself as I scribble down the assignment, struggling to get my feet back into my heels.

          I’m the last person to pack up, and stand up, out of my back-row seat, earning a chuckle from the professor.

          “Areum, so deep in writing down all I have to say about The Lost Princess?”

          I force a tight-lipped smile, “As always. You are my favorite professor, and I look forward to this book.”

          “I’m glad. I think you’ll enjoy it. If you ever have any questions about it, I’m always here to help you,” he takes a seat on the edge of his desk.

          I sling my backpack over my jean jacket clad shoulders. “Off to lunch now. Bye professor,” I wave as I rush out of the room, wrinkling my button nose in disgust.

          There’s only a few seconds of calm before I’m swarmed by girls that I can’t stand, but I have to be on my best behavior when around.

          “Areum, oh, my, god,” a girl I’ve deemed Blondie, squeals. “Your backpack is so cute. You look like you’re going on a boat. Yellow, black, white, and grey are perfect together. You’re just always so cute with all the outfits you wear.”

          “Thank you,” I flash the girl a grin. “I saw it in the store, and I just had to have it,” I gush, returning the fake like an expert.

          “Perfect make-up and hair as always,” Chewing Gum flicks my dirty blonde waves with her hand. “Simple, yet elegant. Diamond earrings never fail to impress.”

          “Where did you get your dress?” Glasses motions her hand up and down my white designer sun dress. “I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere, and I shop, a lot.”

          “If you must know, this hasn’t been released yet, and I am supposed to let the designer know if girls like it,” I push the door to the cafeteria open.

          “You’re lying,” Cheekbones uncontrollably giggles.

          “As if,” I wave the girl off. “What would I gain with lying?”

          “She’s the daughter of the most famous man in Seoul, so she doesn’t have to do anything,” Blondie links her arm with mine as we step into the lunch line. “She doesn’t even need to go to university, but here she is.”

          I quickly roll my eyes, “Well, that’s not really true.”

          “Always so humble, Areum,” Blondie pats the top of my head. “And still short, even with those heels.”

          “Hundred sixty-six and some centimeters,” I force a giggle. “Runs in the family. My brother’s short too.”

          Girl’s all around me happily sigh at the mention of my brother.

          “How is Yoongi?” Glasses asks. “It’s been ages since any of us have been able to talk with him.”

          “He’s good,” I unlink my arm from Blondie so I can grab a tray. “Just working hard with my father. I’m sure he misses all of you.” The lie slips through my teeth without trouble.

          “I wonder if he has a crush on any of us,” Cheekbones places her hands over her heart, looking off into the distance.

          I bring a bowl of fruit onto my tray, “I’d never tell, so you’ll have to ask him yourself.”

          “I don’t think I’d be able to ask him if he liked me,” Glasses sighs, messing with the faux piece of plastic she wears on her face. “He can only like one girl, so he’d have to turn down someone.”

          “I don’t think I could handle being turned down by him,” Blondie twirls a strand of her bleached hair around her finger. “Though, I’m sure he would never turn down me.”

          I’m able to break away from the group of fakes as I walk around to get my lunch. Their presence giving me a headache in the few minutes I was with them.

          “Yoongi would rather shoot himself than date one of you bitches,” I mumble to myself as I look over the pizza choices. “But, they can hang onto their crazy fantasies.”

          Every single person in this school is after one thing from me: money. My whole life I have had to quickly determine if a person was after the family fortune, or actually wanted to get to know me for who I really am. Now, I rarely trust that anyone outside of the business is actually trying to be a true friend.

It’s no secret that the Min’s are loaded beyond belief. The secret is how we came to get all the money. My father is the most dangerous man in all of Seoul, and runs the biggest organized crime business the city has ever seen. Yoongi and I are heirs to a mafia throne.

          “Sit with us, Areum,” Blondie waves me over to her table.

          “Of course,” I fake a smile as I bound over to the table, taking the only empty seat. My backpack ends up on the floor, but not before I take my phone out of the front pocket.

          “Do you ever have a fully healthy lunch, Min?” Chewing Gum uses her chopsticks to delicately place rice into her mouth.

          “I have a personal trainer,” I pick up a piece of pizza. “I can text him right now and ask him if this is an okay lunch.”

          “Of course,” Blondie sips her tea. “Areum has everything under control. She doesn’t need us to baby her.”

          I stuff pizza into my mouth, looking down at my phone.

          Notifications for emails, text messages, social media, and games fill my lock screen. Without a second thought, I open my text messages.

| Brother: Bambi, you left this morning without saying goodbye

| Brother: That makes you a brat

| Brother: You’ve wounded me

| Brother: I’ll never recover from this, and I thought you loved me.

          I roll my eyes at my brother’s overexaggerating, having a hard time keeping the smile off my face.

| Me: I still love you, idiot

| Me: Maybe if you didn’t sleep in so long you wouldn’t miss me

| Me: I’m a hard working uni student

          I finish my slice of pizza, moving onto the bowl of fruit and the next text conversation.

| Chim: Need to do some training today

| Chim: As long as you don’t have a lot of homework

| Chim: Should we work on punches or kicks?

| Me: Kicks are more fun, and who gives a shit about homework

| Me: Also, can I eat pizza?

          “Areum, do you think you’ll be free this weekend to go shopping?” Blondie taps my shoulder a few times.

          I look up from my phone, “Probably not. With school work, spending time with my brother, and taking care of the dogs at home, I’m booked.”

          “It’s so cute you spend so much time with your brother,” Glasses tenderly smiles at me. “You two have the best sibling relationship ever.”

          “He’s always been like that with me,” I shrug, looking back down at my phone.

| Chim: I don’t give a fuck what you eat, as long as you don’t go crazy

| Me: Thanks, I’ll let the fakes know

          “She’s probably texting her brother right now,” Cheekbones says. “She always texts him whenever she can, but never gives out his number.”

| Brother: Hard working uni student my ass

| Brother: Just wake me up next time

          “That would be rude,” Blondie scoffs. “Yoongi’s a person with feelings too, but, I wouldn’t be hurt if I got his number.”

          “In your dreams,” Chewing Gum chuckles.

| Me: How pissed would you be if I gave Blondie your number?

| Me: Also, if I tried to wake you, you’d just drag me down to cuddle

| Brother: Give my number out and I will seriously fight you

| Brother: Cuddling with me isn’t bad. You hate uni anyways

          “Yoongi probably already has some girl he’s with,” Cheekbones sighs. “How could he not? He’s a perfect gentleman, and so handsome.”

          “He bleached his hair recently,” I speak up as I quickly go through my pointless emails. “Now his forehead is showing.”

          “Really?” Blondie almost lets out a squeal. “Areum, you can’t just say that and not have a picture on hand. When is the next party for your father’s business?”

          “They aren’t parties,” I look up from my phone. “They are more like banquets or galas, and I’m not sure when the next one will be. Not really up to me, and I don’t get to say who is let in. Sorry,” I pat Blondie’s shoulder.

          “Well, my dad’s a doctor, so I might be okay,” Chewing Gum taps her chopsticks on her tray.

          “You’d have to let be me your plus one,” Blondie pleads to the girl. “Yoongi and I are meant to be.”

          I can’t help my eyes as they roll.

          “Says you,” Glasses pouts. “Maybe he likes girls with glasses.”

          “Does he even have a preference?” Cheekbones takes a chug of her water.

          “Shit,” I glance at the time, realizing if I don’t leave now I’ll be late for my next class. “I have to go guys,” I push my chair away from the table, swiftly picking up my backpack. “Have fun gushing over my brother.”

          In the next moment, I’m speed walking out of the cafeteria. The pounding in my head slowing down the further I get. One day I won’t have to deal with their fake asses any more.

------------------------- --------------------------- --------------------------- --------------------------

          “When you have to leave is the saddest time of day,” Blondie pouts as we walk towards the university entrance, the other fakes following behind us.

          “I know, and it’s only the first day of this semester,” I faux whine, adjusting my backpack. “And I’m such a busy person, so we might never have time to hang outside of school.”

          “Then we’ll have to make the most of the time in school,” Glasses firmly states.

          “Yes,” I feel my stomach drop to my toes. It was one thing to deal with these girls last year, but I thought I could ditch them this year. “Of course. We can always eat lunch together.”

          “Maybe we can finally get you to eat healthy,” Chewing Gum chuckles. “Though, I kind of doubt it.”

          I bite the inside of my cheek to hold my tongue, spotting the black BMW that’s driven me to high school and now college. “Ah, my ride is here. Always right on time.”

          “You’re so lucky to have someone drive you everywhere you go,” Cheekbone dreamily sighs. “That’s my goal, so I know I will have made it.”

          “Lofty goal then,” Blondie snickers, rolling her eyes.

          “Bye guys,” I pick up my speed to get away from the group of leeches.

          “Bye Areum!” They all wave, giant smiles on their faces.

          I open the car door, tossing my backpack in before sliding in myself. The door shutting automatically as I buckle my seat belt.

          In the next moment, the car is speeding away from Seoul National University, and I feel all my negative feelings staying behind.

          “Oh my god, Joonie,” I kick my heels off, not caring where they end up. “They are so fucking fake,” I groan, grabbing a make-up wipe from the supplies basket-like bag in the middle.

          “So, I’m guessing it wasn’t a good first day of your second year?” Namjoon glances at me in the rearview mirror. His kind, dark brown eyes inviting me to spill my thoughts.

          “God, it was terrible,” I begin wiping the make-up off my face. “The same group of girls that followed me last year, found me again this year. I swear they hack into the system and find out my classes,” I giggle. “Could you believe that? Those idiots hacking into the school system. I bet our hackers could do it with their eyes closed. Hell, they could do it in their sleep.”

          Namjoon chuckles, “Well, they are pretty skilled. That’s why your father and brother hired them to hack for us. Especially the one that’s work with the mafia the longest.”

          I smile as Namjoon’s dimples mark his cheeks. “One girl wears fake glasses that make me go mad. She doesn’t understand that some of us need glasses, and instead thinks it’s just a fashion trend. This is why I leave my reading glasses at home.”

          “I’m sorry those girls bothered you. I can’t begin to imagine how hard that must be. Some people just don’t understand that you are more than the money.”

          “Thanks, Joonie,” I sigh, tossing the dirtied make-up wipe into the small trash can. “You’re my savior, ya know?”

          Namjoon has been driving me to and from school for six years now, and it’s no surprise we’ve become close. When my brother bailed him out of jail for illegal street racing years ago, I could tell he was a lost kid that needed a path in life. The mafia gave him that path.

          Now, seven years later, Namjoon has grown up into a fine young man. He’s like another older brother to me, but only three years older. If I can’t get ahold of Yoongi, I know I can get Namjoon to help with whatever I need.

          “I know,” Namjoon smiles, the dimples still present on his cheeks. “That’s what I’m here for.”

          “Okay, Mr. High and Mighty,” I stick my tongue out at him for a few seconds. “You’re lucky I need you to drive me around.”

          “Ah, so that’s what it is, lucky,” he runs a hand through his platinum blond hair, pushing his bangs farther to the side. “I always wondered.”

          “Shut up,” I giggle. “I’ve had a hard day, and you’re being a brat.”

          “Me, a brat?” His eyebrows shoot up for a second. “Yoongi was calling you a brat when I got back this morning. Someone didn’t get a goodbye, or a cheek kiss.”

          “I know. I was just so rushed, and it’s the first day of second year, and I didn’t want to be late, and Snow was being so whiney, and he wasn’t awake,” I pout. “He’s the brat.”

          “I won’t let him know you said that,” Namjoon sends a wink my way.

          “You better not,” I grin, looking out the window. “So, Joonie, how was everyone today?”

          “Seokjin missed you in the kitchen, and Sooyoung was in her room all day, and Jimin didn’t understand why you asked about pizza.”

          I burst into laughter, tears springing to my eyes. “Those idiots again,” I sputter out. “I don’t eat healthy.”

          Namjoon shakes his head, “Anyone could tell you that, but I guess you do work out a lot. It all balances out, seeing as you aren’t out of space.”

          I take a few deep breaths, wiping tears from my eyes. “It was pepperoni today, so I couldn’t say no.”

          “Of course not. Pepperoni must be eaten.”

          “Yes, it must be,” I firmly nod. “It’s the best pizza topping.”

          “Do you have any homework today?” Namjoon swiftly changes the subject.

          “Literature, and Japanese, and history,” I grab a hair-tie, putting my hair into a messy bun. “You don’t have to tell me to do it. I’ll get to it as soon as I get snuggle time in with Snow, or Yoongi. That boy will be pouty.”

          “You sure he’ll pout? He just looked pissed when you weren’t there.”

          “Trust me, you don’t know my brother’s side when he’s just with me. He’s very sweet.”

          “I don’t know if I can trust you, seeing as all I ever see is his mean, serious side.”

          “Believe whatever you want,” I glance back at Namjoon. “He’ll never show you the soft side, so it doesn’t matter.”

          The mansion is revealed as the car passes through the trees on the edge of the property. A huge stone building that was at one time a boarding school, until it was bought by my great-grandfather. Now it’s used to lead organized crime. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool, a huge garage full of expensive cars, a beautiful garden, a basement dedicated to training, professional restaurant kitchen, and double digits worth of bedrooms.

          It’s been my home ever since I can remember. All the guys rushing around were always just friends of my father, and I didn’t question how nice they were to me. I’m sure if they weren’t, Yoongi would have lost it.

          That was when I was young and innocent, though. That was before the worst moment of my life.

          “Joonie, why do I still go to school?” I widen my eyes as I look up at him.

          “To get an education,” Namjoon answers, slowing the car down to allow the garage door to rise. “You’ve always had your mind set on graduating. You want to be like me, and have a degree. Remember?”

          “I know, I know,” I wave him off, feeling a calmness wash over me as I’ve finally made it home. “You drove me to high school while having to deal with college classes. It’s just, I don’t know if I can handle those girls.”

          “You can do it, Bambi. If one day you break and scream at them, then so be it. They don’t deserve any money. If it makes you feel any better, they are missing out on being friends with an amazing, beautiful, funny, badass, and caring girl. It’s their loss.”

          The car engine is shut off, and Namjoon is out of the driver’s seat in seconds.

          I find my heels, gathering them into my lap with my backpack. I’d rather walk in barefoot than put those devil shoes back on.

          The car door opens, and Namjoon reaches in to help me out.

          “I’m surprised Yoongi isn’t here waiting for me,” I look up at the man that’s a good fifteen centimeters taller than me.

          “I can tell you why he’s not here,” Namjoon closes the car door, motioning me to follow him into the house.

          “Where’s my brother?” I feel my anxiety skyrocket.

          “He’s fine, Areum,” Namjoon stops us and looks me right in the eyes. “If something happened to your brother, or your father, we wouldn’t let you finish out a day of school. I can promise you that.”

          I take a deep breath, “Of course. I just, got scared. We are in a dangerous business.”

          “No need to be scared, your brother wouldn’t go down easy,” Namjoon smirks. “Your father asked to see both of you when you arrived home, so I’m sure Yoongi is waiting outside your father’s office.”

          “Any idea what he wants to see us about?” I give him a push so we can get back to walking.

          “Not really sure, but it seemed a bit urgent.”

          “Great,” I scrunch up my nose in disgust. “Can I just get a break today?”

------------------------- ------------------------------ ------------------------- -------------------------

Bambi: Italian for little child or young girl.

And that is chapter one! I hope you enjoyed reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, concerns, and whatever else. I’m always open for criticism, just don’t be rude. I did my best to edit and catch all mistakes, but things do slip past, so sorry about that.

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