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From The Shadows

The Compound

When Karam and his dongsaengs reached the compound, they were met by two men they did not recognize. They also had a stretcher with them. Karam pasted a smile on his face and the men glanced at him. He moved out of their way as they took Jay and placed him on it. One of the men turned to Karam, Hyunmin and Injun. “Your friend will be okay. We are going to take him to Red, one of the healers here. He is also an alchemist and can draw the poison out.”

Karam brushed Jay’s hair away from his forehead, kissing it. “Take care of him, okay?” He looked at Hyunmin and Injun. “You guys will go with him, won’t you? I’ll be there soon. I need to speak with someone, if I can find him.” His brothers must be around here somewhere, and he needed to speak with one of them.

Hyunmin glanced at the men, then Karam. “Sure. We’ll go with him.”

Karam licked his lips nervously. “Thank you.”

Injun did not smile, which was rare. “Of course.”

Once they were gone, Karam began walking toward the leaders’ quarters. He was hoping to see Taehee or Yooseung, also. They could help clear some things up. When he was almost there, he saw a familiar man in black pants, a white tee shirt and red scarf. Karam smiled, and the other man returned the smile tightly. It was not Taehee or Yooseung. “Hi, Karam. I need to inform you of something before we go in and see everyone else.” Karam nodded, glad he had seen someone. “Okay. What’s up?”

The man sighed. “Yesterday morning Taehee’s father was found dead in his bedroom. His throat was cut. They are investigating it now to see what happened. It could be connected to this attack on you guys. It is definitely personal, judging from the note they found. Taehee is going to have to track down his brother, so he will be safe,” he loosened the scarf that was around his neck, but he didn’t look any less stiff. “Like I said, I wanted to let you know this, before you go in and see Taehee.”

Karam gasped. “Wow…Thanks, Seon. I appreciate it. How is Taehee?” He knew it was not a smart question to ask, but Seon did not comment on it.

Seon sighed. “He’s doing as well as can be expected,” he smiled, still looking tired and stressed out. He also was aware of the fact that his youngest brother had just gone through his own ordeal. He decided to comment on it. “Karam, I know you are worried about Jay. He’ll be okay. Red is one of the best healers I know.” Karam was a little thrown off by Seon changing the subject from Taehee, but he didn’t question it. He swallowed hard. “I hope he is.” Karam could feel the fatigue from the hard day getting to him. Pursing his lips, he took a deep breath. “Do you think it would be okay if I went to see Taehee? I want to see how he is doing. We both know that is a terrible thing to go through.” He offered a weak smile.

Seon shook his head, then surprised Karam by hugging him. Karam leaned into the contact while Seon stroked his hair gently. This was not how Seon had been expecting to see Karam, but he was more than ready to comfort his brother now, even if he was pushing his own problems to the corner. Karam leaned into the contact, shaking. Seon continued to hold him until he calmed down, at which point Seon pulled away slowly.
“Hey, let’s go to your bedroom. It’s all set up. After that, we can go see Jay. I think we need to give Taehee some space right now.”

Karam nodded, sighing. “Okay. Thanks, hyung.”

Seon nodded back. “Of course.”

After setting Karam’s things in his room, Seon led the way to where Jay was being cared for. They met Yooseung on the way in, so Karam smiled at him.

Yooseung looked a little surprised, but smiled back tightly. “How’s Jay?” Karam was almost afraid to ask.

Yooseung sighed, glancing at Seon. “It’s too soon to tell, but Red already gave him the poison antidote, so we will know if he will improve soon.”

Karam bit his lower lip nervously. “What was it?”

Yooseung shook his head. “Probably a prick from a poisoned knife.” He glanced at Seon again. “Did Seon tell you about Minyoung?”

Karam nodded. “Yes…I’m sorry. I know you were close to him.”

Yooseung sighed again. “It’s what happens when you are in this business. Now we need to find who did it. I honestly don’t think it was connected to what happened to Jay. Not directly, anyway.”

“I hope not…though we do need to take care of both situation,” Karam glanced at Seon. This conversation was becoming somewhat tense.

Seon took the hint. “Do you think he can go see Jay now?”

Yooseung sighed for what seemed like the millionth time. “You probably can. He won’t be awake yet, though.”

“That’s okay. I don’t mind. Thanks, Ji...um, Yooseung,” Karam said, turning to leave. The air was so tense that you could probably cut it with a knife.

As soon as he was gone, Yooseung turned to Seon. “So, is Mika on our side, or is he too sour to work with me?”

Seon frowned. He didn’t want to deal with the drama right now. “He’ll be here in a while, after he is done taking care of that demon. I think a dhamphir is a good match for it. He will be here.”

Yooseung nodded curtly. “Yeah…because Jay is injured. He won’t come here when we need him any other time.”

Seon rolled his eyes. “You need to just not mention it, and things will blow over. I’m sure they have been busy, also. Not to mention, the issues were on both sides.”

“True...I guess. We’ll see how things go,” Yooseung replied. “I need to go investigate some more. I’ll see you later. Will you let me know when Mika gets here?”

Seon sighed. “Sure. I will let him know.”

Karam walked into Jay’s room, taking his hand. “You’ll be okay, maknae. I promise.” He wiped away a tear that escaped. “I’m so sorry, baby Jay…Mika will be will here soon.”
There was no response, as the young man was still asleep. Karam just sat on the edge of the bed, holding the maknae's hand.

Minho sat in his small apartment, going through the many boxes of things his parents had left behind when they died. He sighed, wishing there was any other reason he was doing this. It had been almost a month, and he still had not gotten used to not having them around.

After looking though box after box, he found a manila envelope. Freezing, he opened it gingerly. As he had expected, there was a letter inside. Sighing, he sat down on a chair to read it. He could almost hear his father's voice as he began reading it.

"Minho, if you are reading this, we cannot be there to tell you this in person. It should have been easy to say, but it was very difficult."

Minho set the letter down, trying to stay unaffected by letter. It just brought back memories, and he did not want that right now.

Sighing, he picked up the letter again. "Minho, you were adopted, though we loved you like you were our own. We adopted you because we wanted you, and no other reason. However, we knew your parents, and they are very nice people. I don't know why they gave you up, but I am sure they had a good reason. It meant that we had you to love. I am sorry to tell you all of this now, but that is how it had to be. As I said before, we loved you as our own. Goodbye, son."

Minho set the letter down, his hands shaking. He had determined that he would not cry, but now he could not stop the tears that were rolling down his cheeks. He sat in the chair, staring at the floor. He would call the number that was provided when he was ready.

Slamming his hand down, he growled out a curse. This was not fair. To be honest, he was not upset about not being their birth son, but because he would not have the chance to tell them that it didn’t matter that they had not physically brought him into the world. It was enough that they had raised him, and he loved them. Now they were gone, and there were so many questions.

About thirty minutes later, picked up his phone and flipped through a nearby phone book. He could not find a Lee Taehee, but he did find Taehee’s father…his father. Punching the number into his phone, he saved it in his contacts. He would call later. Right now, he needed to go through some more things.

Late that night, Taehee received the call he had been waiting on. After they talked for a moment, he asked if Minho would like to meet. He agreed, which made Taehee happy. They agreed to meet the next morning.

Mika arrived at the compound the next morning, going straight to where Jay was sleeping. The younger man was sleeping, so Mika just kissed him on the forehead and lay down on the floor next to the bed. Looking at his hands, he smiled at the scratches on them. He had done his job, and the demon would never bother anyone again. Closing his eyes, he fell asleep quickly. It had been a long day.


Please update!!

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