Who Wrote It

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This story is the second in a series.
I write about men having sex with other men.  You must be eighteen or older to read my fiction.  This site is for consenting, responsible adults only.

            While everyone was getting ready for the morning, Sungjong getting dressed, Sunggyu in the shower, Sungyeol making coffee, Woohyun listened to Hoya and Dongwoo explain about the mysterious note they’d traced back to his jacket pocket.  Incredulous, he laughed at their description of events.  “What did it actually say?”

            “I don’t remember exactly,” Hoya said.

            “Hmm.”  Dongwoo narrowed his eyes, gazing into the distance.  “‘I try to wrap my tongue around it / It’s so big, it fills my mouth, baby / I’m not sure if I should swallow / But it feels so smooth going down.’”  He managed to rap it, making it seductively rhythmic, his voice low and suggestive.

            Kind of turned on, Woohyun blinked.  “Wow.  Where is it now?”

            “Sunggyu hyung took it,” Hoya said.

            He smoothed his hair, thinking back.  “If it was in my pocket…  I got that jacket from Sunggyu hyung.”

            “Sunggyu hyung?” Dongwoo repeated.  “Are you sure?”

            He nodded.

            “You got it from him.”  Hoya’s expression was thoughtful, bordering on suspicious.  “And he took it and said that he’d take care of it.  He acted like he knew what it was.  He recognized the handwriting.”

            Dongwoo inhaled suddenly, eyes widening.  “‘It’s so big, it fills my mouth, baby!’  That’s Sunggyu hyung!”

            Woohyun winced, sighing.  “Can we go for a day without talking about Sunggyu hyung’s cock?”

            Hoya snorted, eyeing him.  “Look who’s talking.”

            “It’s about Sunggyu hyung!” Dongwoo said.  “It’s his note!”

            “It can’t be.”  Woohyun wrinkled his nose.  “Why would anyone write that about him?”

            Opening the bathroom door, Sunggyu leaned out.  Naked, he toweled his hair with one hand.  “Lee Sungyeol!  Come here!  Clean this sink!”

            Hoya’s gaze dipped first.  Woohyun licked his lips and tried to look away.  Dongwoo snickered.

            Sungyeol came around the corner, complaining.  Kneeing him in the thigh, Sunggyu scolded him and followed him into the bathroom.

            “That’s why,” Dongwoo said.

            “But who wrote it?” Hoya asked.

            “A fan?” Woohyun suggested.

            “Did they hand it to him personally?” Hoya asked.  “Maybe someone slipped it into his pocket.”

            “A staff member?” Dongwoo asked.

            “What did it look like?” Woohyun asked.

            “It looked like a note,” Hoya said.  “What do you mean?”

            “White paper,” Dongwoo said.  “Black ink.”

            “It wasn’t my handwriting,” Hoya said.  “Or Sunggyu hyung’s, or Dongwoo hyung’s.”

            “Sunggyu hyung!” Woohyun called, moving toward the bathroom.

            “What,” Sunggyu said tonelessly, exiting the bathroom.  The three of them trailed after him to his bedroom, where he started to dress.

            “The porn note,” Woohyun said.  “Can I see it?”

            “I don’t have it,” he said.  “It’s gone.”

            “You threw it away?” Hoya asked.

            “Who gave it to you?” Dongwoo asked.

            “Hoya handed it to me,” Sunggyu said, zipping up his pants.

            “Hey!” Hoya protested.  “I didn’t give it to you.  Not like that.”

            Shrugging, he reached for a T-shirt.  “I’m not talking about it.”

            “Someone’s writing love notes about wanting to give you a blowjob, and you don’t want to talk about it?” Woohyun asked.  “Why not?”

            Silently, Sunggyu left the room.

            “Omo.”  Looking stunned, Niel sat between Ricky and Changjo on the couch.

            “What?” Chunji asked, eyeing him with a smile.  “Why do you look so weird?”

            Blinking, Niel shook his head.  He cast a quick, cautious look around the room, then sank back against the cushions.  Immediately interested, the others drew nearer, closing in around him, their backs to their managers and stylists, L.Joe sitting on the armrest and leaning over Changjo’s shoulder, C.A.P. crouching in front, Chunji perching on Niel’s knees.  In a whisper, Niel said, “Someone in EXO is a pervert obsessed with Infinite.”

            L.Joe and Chunji snorted with laughter; Changjo’s jaw dropped.  “Oh my god,” Ricky said, while C.A.P. laughed and asked, “What the hell are you talking about?”

            “Sungyeol hyung told me!  Someone at the ISAC left a secret sex note.  It’s all about…”  His gaze darted around for eavesdroppers and he whispered, “B and L and O and W and J and O and B and S.”

            “EXO?” Ricky asked.

            “That’s not what Chanyeol hyung said,” L.Joe said.  “He said Infinite was trying to sneak notes to EXO.”

            “Wait, this actually happened?” Chunji asked.

            “Chanyeol hyung wasn’t there,” Ricky pointed out.

            L.Joe shrugged, leaning comfortably over Changjo’s shoulder.  “He said that Nam Woohyun hyung gave it to Tao.  EXO’s Suho tried to give it back, and then Jang Dongwoo hyung gave it to Byun Baekhyun.”

            Niel shook his head.  “Byun Baekhyun gave it to Hoya hyung and Kim Sunggyu hyung.  It might have been Suho’s note for Nam Woohyun hyung, first.  It was in a jacket pocket, and he was really insistent about giving the jacket to Nam Woohyun hyung and nobody else.”

            “Suho wants Nam Woohyun hyung?” C.A.P. asked.

            While Changjo hurried to cover C.A.P.’s mouth, Ricky demanded, “Could you lower your voice, please?”

            “I’ll lower you,” C.A.P. mock-threatened, dragging Ricky down off of the couch.

            While the two of them wrestled, Chunji asked, “What did the note really say?  Really?”

            “It was super lewd,” Niel said.  “About swallowing and everything.”

            L.Joe rolled his eyes, then leaned farther over Changjo’s shoulder, gesturing the other two closer.  While they leaned in, he covered his mouth with one hand and whispered.

            Niel’s eyes widened.  Chunji grinned, chuckling.  Changjo turned red, licked his lips, swallowed, and looked around the room without settling his gaze on anything in particular.

            “I like it,” Chunji said, sitting back.  He looked down, nudging C.A.P. with his toes.  “Why don’t you say stuff like that to me?”

            “Say stuff like what?” C.A.P. asked, letting Ricky up.  Looking disgruntled, Ricky fixed his clothes and resumed his spot on the couch, trying to smooth his hair.

            Leaning forward, Chunji whispered into C.A.P.’s ear.  As he sat back, C.A.P. snorted.  “You want me to waste my time talking about it, or do you want me to spend my time doing it?”

            “What is this?”  Laughing, Dongwoo sat up, staring at his phone.  “What is this?  Hoya!”

            Half-asleep with his head in Dongwoo’s lap, L rubbed at his eyes.  “What?” Hoya asked, opening a bottle of water as he strolled across the practice room.

            Patting L’s hair, Dongwoo showed Hoya his phone.  “Half of Big Star is texting me asking about EXO’s Suho sending me love poetry!  What did you tell them?”

            “That wasn’t me,” Hoya said.  “I told them that it was creepy porn, and that Byun Baekhyun was using it to seduce me.”  He gestured with his bottle.  “Which he was.”

            “It wasn’t creepy porn,” Sungjong said, stretching by the wall.  “I thought that it was kind of sexy.”

            “Ya!”  Standing by the door, Sunggyu stared them down.  “We!  Don’t!  Discuss!  It!  Understand?  No more!  It’s over!  Unless you wrote it, unless it’s about you, I don’t want to hear one more word out of your mouth!”

            “Is that fair?” Sungyeol asked.  “We don’t know who it’s about.  It could be about any one of us, couldn’t it?”

            Sunggyu looked him up and down.

            Turning red, Sungyeol lowered his gaze, turning his face away.

            “Lee Sungyeol.”  Sunggyu’s voice was quiet, a warning.  “Do you really think that someone wrote that note for you?”

            Briefly, Sungyeol met his eyes.  “No, hyung.”

            “Then don’t speak about it.”

            “Yes, hyung,” Sungyeol murmured.

            “Anyone else?” Sunggyu asked, looking around the room, his gaze pinning each one of them in turn.

            “No, hyung,” they said quietly.

            L wrapped his arms around Dongwoo’s thigh and gazed at the wall.  Glancing down at him, Dongwoo patted his back.

            “But who do you think wrote it?” Mir asked, sitting astride the couch’s armrest.

            “I don’t care,” G.O. said, between Mir and Seungho on the couch.

            “Maybe it was one of the girls,” Mir said.  He sighed, gazing into the distance, shaking his head ruefully.  “All of those horny, horny girls.”

            “I don’t care,” G.O. repeated, scrolling through something on his phone.

            “I know I didn’t write it,” Seungho said.  He smiled at Joon, who was tucked between him and the armrest, legs up, toes under Seungho’s thigh.  “Did you write it?”

            “No!”  Joon looked embarrassed.  “It wasn’t me!”

            “Who do you think it was?” Mir asked Thunder, who was stretched on his stomach across the floor.

            “I don’t think it was a fan,” Thunder said.  “Do you?”

            “If it was a fan, nobody would cover it up,” Mir said.  “Right?  If my fans wrote something like that about me, I’d tell everybody.”

            “They do,” G.O. said.

            While Seungho laughed, Thunder said, “I think that’s it.  It was from one idol to another idol.  They’re staying quiet to protect each other.”

            “But who’s involved like that?” Joon asked.

            “Everybody,” G.O. said.

            Seungho rubbed Joon’s thigh.  “You’re sure you didn’t write it?”

            “Hyung!  Why do you keep asking?  No, I didn’t write it.  I wasn’t even there!”

            Smiling, Seungho gave him a speculative look, then said, as if begrudgingly, “All right.”

            Suddenly, Mir laughed.  “Wouldn’t it be funny if it wasn’t about a blowjob at all?  What if it was about ice cream?”

            G.O. sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose, then gave Mir a tired look.  “Are you stupid?”

            “I love ice cream!” Mir exclaimed.  “I would write a love note to ice cream!”

            G.O.’s hand gripped his hair, pulling his head down to G.O.’s as he squealed in surprised protest.  “You’re supposed to write love notes to me!”  Ignoring Mir’s helpless laughing and whimpering, he asked, “You don’t love me?  I’m not special to you?”

            “Ah, I love you.  Hyung, I love you, I love you so much,” Mir assured him hastily.  “You’re everything to me, there’s no one but you.”

            “Ice cream,” G.O. muttered, pushing him away, releasing him.

            Overbalancing, Mir fell, sliding off of the armrest and landing in a tumble on the floor.  Immediately popping back up, he peered over the armrest and smiled at G.O.  “Hyung.  G.O. hyung.”

            Attention back on his phone, without glancing over, G.O. pushed Mir’s forehead.

            “I love you!” Mir shouted as he fell back across the floor.

            Ignoring them while Mir sprawled on the floor, Thunder said, “I think it was EXO.  Somebody in EXO.  One of the kids.”

            “Kai?” Joon guessed.

            “Could be,” Seungho said.  “Have you seen that kid dance?  He knows all about sex.”

            “That’s what I said the first time I saw Joon hyung,” Mir said, sitting up.  “I felt it.  In my groin.  ‘That hyung knows all about sex.’”

            G.O. eyed him.  “What did you think when you met me?”

            “You?”  Mir laughed.  “‘Wow, that hyung’s old!’”

            “Come here,” G.O. ordered, lunging off of the couch.  With a squeal, Mir scrambled away.  G.O. chased him from the room.  There was a thud from the bedroom, another squeal, and then delighted laughter.

            Seungho shifted on the couch, crawling onto Joon, sitting back against Joon’s raised thighs, hands braced behind Joon on the armrest.  Sinking back, Joon smiled at him, slowly tugging up his shirt.  Licking his lips, he smirked a little.  “What’d you feel in your groin when we met?”

            Joon smiled.  “Do you want me to lie?”

            Laughing, Seungho nodded.  “Yes.”

            Pouting, heavy-lidded, Joon teased Seungho’s shirt higher, knuckles rubbing lightly across his skin.  “Mmm, hyung, I was so turned on.  You were so handsome, I was hard as a rock.”

            While Thunder rolled his eyes, Seungho laughed, pulling off his shirt and tossing it aside with no regard for where it landed.  As his hips rolled forward suggestively, Joon thumbed open his fly.  “Are you sure that you’re an actor?”

            “Ya!”  Joon’s fist lightly bumped Seungho’s stomach.  “What do you want me to say?”  Pushing Seungho’s pants down, he glanced over to Thunder.  “Cheondung-ah.  What was in the note?”

            “Um.  ‘I want to blow you, I really want to blow you, I love blowing you, please let me blow you,’” Thunder said.

            Sliding his hands over Seungho’s ass, Joon smiled as Seungho kissed his neck.  “Seungho hyung.  I want to blow you.  I really want to blow you.”  Seungho was laughing against his neck, kissing his jaw; he slapped Seungho’s ass.  “Ya!  I’m being sincere!”

            Thunder grunted.  “Maybe it was, ‘I want to blow you, you have a great cock, I like to swallow, your cum tastes great.’”

            “Mmm.”  Joon moaned softly, kissing Seungho’s mouth.  “You have a great cock,” he whispered, threading his fingers through Seungho’s hair.  Arching, he pouted, curling his leg over Seungho’s hip.  “I love to swallow,” he murmured, his fingertips caressing down the side of Seungho’s neck.  With a groan, Seungho kissed him again, and he undulated, grinding up against Seungho’s cock, his moan soft and aroused.  “Oh, your cum tastes so good, I just, I, ah, I want to lick it up, every drop of it…”

            While Seungho groaned, kissing him, pressing him into the cushions, Thunder rolled his eyes and muttered, “And you say he can’t act.”

            Shuffling into the room, L saw Dongwoo on his stomach, on his bed.  Wearing nothing but red-and-yellow striped underwear, he was humming to himself and writing something.  Slowly, L’s gaze wandered over him, from the flex and curl of his toes to the sensitive bend of each knee, up his lean, muscular thighs to the roundness of his ass, up his firm, slender back to where his thick, black hair fell across his nape.  Quietly beat-boxing, he deftly twirled his pen.

            Drawn to him as completely and helplessly as if pulled by gravity, L crawled on top of him, settling onto his back.  He simply said, “Oh,” and shifted, spreading his thighs.  Happy, content, L nuzzled the smooth skin between his shoulder blades, smiling.

            L stayed there without moving, enjoying the moment of togetherness.  Closing his eyes, he rested his hand on Dongwoo’s waist, repetitively rubbing his thumb over Dongwoo’s skin just to feel how taut and silky it was, listening to Dongwoo’s incoherent mumblings.  Feeling desire stir within, he trailed his hand over Dongwoo’s ass, nuzzling against the back of Dongwoo’s neck, rubbing his nose into the softness of Dongwoo’s hair.  The swelling of joy and love in his heart came with a soft pang.  “I love you,” he mouthed silently, and he pressed lingering, heartfelt kisses to Dongwoo’s neck.  “I love you, I love you.”

            “Smooth,” Dongwoo said thoughtfully.  “Smooth, smooth, smooth.  So smooth going down.”

            Surprised, feeling caught, L recognized his own words, the ones he’d written.  Pressing his nose to Dongwoo’s shoulder, he peered forward.

            His words.  His note.  It was written all over the page, in Dongwoo’s handwriting.  Written more neatly here, written in big, bold characters there.  Some words circled, some underlined, some looking like Dongwoo had written the word over and over again on top of itself.  It was in English, too, and in garbled Japanese.  Astonished, L tried to imagine what this meant.  His own obsession being obsessed over.  By the object of his obsession.  “Hyung?”  He licked his lips and curled his arm around Dongwoo’s shoulders.  “What are you doing?”

            “Listen to it,” Dongwoo said.  “Close your eyes and just listen to it.”  Making it slow and rhythmic, making it sound as sensually seductive as it had felt when it had first leapt into L’s heart, he said, “‘I try to wrap my tongue around it / It’s so big, it fills my mouth, baby / I’m not sure if I should swallow / But it feels so smooth going down.’”

            Hearing Dongwoo say it, the way Dongwoo said it, made L ache with love and desire and hope and frustration and longing.  He lowered his face to Dongwoo’s nape and rubbed his forehead against Dongwoo’s skin.

            “It’s not about blowjobs,” Dongwoo said.  “It is, I think it is.  But it’s about love, too.  It’s about being in love and admitting you’re in love and saying you’re in love.  Trying to wrap your tongue around it, that’s saying the word.  It’s so big because it’s intimidating, it’s important, falling in love with someone is big and really telling someone you love him for the first time can be scary.  Not sure if you should swallow but it feels so good going down.  It’s that feeling you get, like, like love is an adventure.  You feel shy and you’re not sure about it but you know it’s going to be amazing.  It’s about sucking cock and it’s about love, both.  Being in love, admitting it to yourself, telling someone else.  Don’t you think?”

            He couldn’t believe it.  He’d been so frustrated at first, so resentful, that everyone was missing the point, that everyone was interpreting it so narrowly, that he’d written down his love and the world had seen it and no one recognized it for what it was.  He’d felt vulnerable and exposed and still invisible, painfully misunderstood.  And then he’d been relieved, grateful, that the most private part of him was still private, that his secret was still, miraculously, safe, even while everyone was spreading it around and chattering over it.

            And now the one person who’d figured him out was the most significant person of all.

            Dongwoo had understood him when no one else had.

            Now being found out would be that much worse, because if Dongwoo knew that he’d written it, there would be no hiding, no escaping the truth.

            At the same time, this felt like beautiful confirmation that his heart was in the right hands.  Dongwoo recognized his love for what it was, understood him perfectly, in the midst of everyone else’s noisy, gossiping confusion.

            “It’s about love,” he said quietly, closing his eyes, face buried against Dongwoo’s shoulder.  “It’s about everything you said.”

            Dongwoo laughed.  “You think so, too?  I thought I was going to say it and you were going to laugh at me and say, ‘It’s about cocks, hyung!  What are you thinking?’  All anyone wants to talk about is the blowjob.”

            Raising his head, L stared at Dongwoo’s nape.  Rubbed his thumb over Dongwoo’s collarbone.  “Hyung.”  This seemed like an important moment.  He spoke carefully.  “Maybe you shouldn’t tell anyone else.”

            “What?  Why?”  Dongwoo sounded curious and wondering, not negative.  He wasn’t disbelieving; he only wanted to hear L’s reason.

            L ran his tongue over his teeth.  “Whoever wrote this.  Everyone thinks that it’s about sex, right?  That’s embarrassing.  What if everybody knows that it’s about love?  That’s too personal, isn’t it?  It’s private.  We shouldn’t make things worse.”

            “Oh.”  Dongwoo nodded, twirling his pen.

            “Let’s not say anything to anyone about it.”

            “Okay.”  Dongwoo drew a heart beside the words.  “You’re right.  I - - ya!”  Abruptly rolling over, he dumped L off of his back, laughing.  “We aren’t supposed to talk about it at all!  Sunggyu hyung said it!  You got me to talk about it!”

            Dongwoo’s laughter made him smile.  “You started it!  Scribbling it all over!”

            “Writing isn’t talking!  That doesn’t count!”  Sitting up, he closed his notebook.  “You’re going to get me in trouble!”

            “Aw.”  L pouted at him, squeezing his thigh.  “Are you afraid of your big bad leader?”

            “Yes!” Dongwoo exclaimed, laughing.

            “Afraid of me?” Sunggyu asked, walking into the room.  Startled, Dongwoo yelped; L laughed, surprised by the sudden invasion.  “Why?” Sunggyu asked, landing on top of Dongwoo, pinning him across the mattress.  “Why?  Afraid of me for what?”

            “I’m not, I’m not, I’m not afraid,” Dongwoo said, laughing, rolling away onto his side.

            “Am I scary?” Sunggyu asked, letting Dongwoo bear his weight, leaning in, trying to force eye contact.  “Does hyung intimidate you?”

            “You’re a pushover,” L said.

            “Oh, hey,” Sungyeol said, leaning in the doorway.  “I got three of them!” he called over his shoulder.

            “Who?” Woohyun shouted.

            “Gyu hyung, Woo hyung, and Soo.”

            Dongwoo started toying with L’s fingers.  Sunggyu bit his neck and he laughed.

            “I want L!” Woohyun called.  “No, Dongwoo hyung.  No, L!”

            “For what?” Sunggyu asked.

            “Threesome,” Sungyeol said.  He grinned at L.  “Come with me.  I’ll make all of your dreams come true.”

            L considered it.  He’d hoped to be with Dongwoo tonight, but now Sunggyu was here, and Sunggyu had first claim.  If he couldn’t have Dongwoo tonight, Woohyun and Sungyeol would be fun.  He glanced at Sunggyu, trying to tell if the way Sunggyu was nibbling Dongwoo’s ear was the usual playful show of flirtatious domination or sexual intent.

            “Sungyeol,” Sunggyu said.


            Raising his head, Sunggyu grinned.  “Invite hyung to your threesome.”

            Sungyeol’s smile was weak and pained.  Loving it, L laughed; he knew what Sungyeol was thinking.  A threesome with Dongwoo would be fun; a threesome with L would be satisfying.  A threesome with Sunggyu meant having to satisfy two pushy hyungs, and Sungyeol would be in for a very different kind of evening.  “Woohyun asked for L, so…”

            “L’s busy,” Sunggyu said, getting up and pushing L on top of Dongwoo.  Dongwoo’s laughter was happy and surprised; L kissed his cheek, taking delight in the prospect of the night ahead.  “Woohyun!”

            “Hyung?” Woohyun called.

            “Who do you really want?”

            There was a long moment of silence.  Finally, Woohyun called back, “I want you, Sunggyu hyung.  There’s no one else but you.”

            “Such a liar,” Dongwoo said, chuckling.  Smiling at his easy amusement, L kissed his cheek again, stroking his chest.

            “You don’t want me to intrude,” Sungyeol said hastily.  “You and Woohyun should have privacy.  I’ll stay here with Dongwoo hyung and L.”

            Sunggyu’s hand stroked the side of Sungyeol’s neck as he smiled.  “Kiss me for five minutes, tell me you don’t like it, and you can go.”

            L smiled; Sungyeol groaned.  “Why are you like this?”

            “Kiss me for five minutes,” Sunggyu repeated, caressing Sungyeol’s neck, “and tell me you don’t like it, and you can go.”

            With a sigh, Sungyeol closed his eyes and kissed Sunggyu.

            “That’s it,” Dongwoo said.  “He’s in, now.”

            Watching, L smiled, shaking his head.  It was a game he’d never seen Sunggyu lose.  Already, Sungyeol was starting to fall for it, breathing more heavily, tilting his head to deepen the kiss.  As Sunggyu’s hands slid under his shirt, his back hit the wall, and he moaned, kissing back more aggressively, inviting Sunggyu’s body closer.

            Feeling Dongwoo brushing kisses over his cheek, L turned his head.  Dongwoo met his mouth in a kiss, and all thoughts of anyone else fled his mind.  There was only Dongwoo, and the stroke of Dongwoo’s tongue, and the hum of pleasure in his veins.

            Seated on the practice room floor, Changjo stretched forward.  As his hyungs talked in the corner, laughing and stretching each other, he thought about the note.

            Ever since Niel had told them about it, it had lingered on his mind.  No, that wasn’t really it.  Not since Niel; since L.Joe had told them what it said.  He could still remember the moment vividly: L.Joe’s weight against his back, L.Joe’s soft, knowing whisper, L.Joe’s hand sliding across his chest.  “I try to wrap my tongue around it.”  That was the first line.  He couldn’t remember the rest - - he wished desperately that he could, but he only remembered impressions of it, something about swallowing - - but he remembered that first line, remembered how incredibly sexy every syllable had sounded in L.Joe’s low, conspiratorial whisper.

            The note had captivated him.  Not only what it said but the idea of it.  That someone would be bold enough to write that down and either carry it around or, even more brazen, give it to someone.

            What was it like to have such strong sexual urges as to write something like that?  Well, maybe he understood.  Sometimes he had nothing but sexual urges; sometimes he was so horny that nothing else mattered, everything else wiped out by his raw, throbbing need.  He’d never written it down for someone else to read, but he’d felt it, thought it.  It was reassuring to know that he wasn’t alone, that he wasn’t necessarily some obsessive sexual freak just because he sometimes felt like howling with lust.

            What was it like, though, to feel strongly enough about someone to write that stuff so shamelessly?  Everybody assumed that it wasn’t just about blowjobs in general, that it was about blowing one specific guy.  If that was true, who were those people?  What was their relationship like?

            Maybe he understood that, too, though.  He’d never written down how he felt, but hadn’t he said it?  He said all sorts of embarrassing things to L.Joe.  Lewd, private things he’d never want anyone else to hear.  Things it turned him on to say.  Things he needed to say, in the moment; things it felt good to get off of his chest.

            He wondered: if he couldn’t whisper it into L.Joe’s ears at night, if he had to write it down to express it, what would he write?

            Luhan slapped the table.  “I’m telling you!  It’s Kim Sunggyu sunbaenim’s!”

            “You don’t know that,” Xiumin argued.  “It came from Nam Woohyun sunbaenim’s pocket, didn’t it?  Anyone could have put it there.  He could have picked it up!”

            “Where?  From the ground?” Baekhyun asked.  “Someone just left it sitting around?”

            “Anyone could have dropped it,” Xiumin said.

            “Okay, but who?” Chen asked.  “There were a thousand idols there.”

            “Any of the U-Kiss sunbaenims,” Xiumin said.  “Did you see how they were walking around?  Like they were cruising for guys.”

            Luhan nodded, conceding the point.  “Those guys are fucking.”

            “The note was in informal speech, wasn’t it?” Baekhyun asked.  “Do you think it’s to a dongsaeng?  A friend?”

            “It would be funny if it was the obvious thing,” Chanyeol said.  “If Nam Woohyun sunbaenim was trying to come on to Tao.”

            “Does that make sense?” Kai asked.  “Does anybody really want Tao hyung that much?”

            “Ya!”  The bedroom door swung open and Tao stormed out, cursing in Mandarin.

            Startled, laughing, Kai said, “I thought you were asleep!  I thought you - - ah!”  He covered his face with his arms while Tao pinned him to the couch, squashing Sehun in the process.  “Ah!  Hyung!  I didn’t mean it!”

            Sunggyu walked into the dorm to find Dongwoo and Hoya making out on the floor.  He stood there for a moment, watching as they rolled over, their hips grinding together, Dongwoo’s hands all over Hoya’s ass, Hoya already tugging Dongwoo’s pants down.

            Kicking them, Sunggyu went to his room.  He found L there, slumped haphazardly across his bed, looking lost and neglected.  Dongwoo’s moans of pleasure and Hoya’s desperate, lusting groans were clearly audible.  Wincing, Sunggyu closed the door.

            L didn’t move or even blink as Sunggyu sat on top of him and stroked his hair.  “Ya,” Sunggyu said softly, tugging at his hair.  “Are you dead?”

            “He’s never going to love me back.”  Finally, L’s eyes moved.  He blinked slowly, then twisted around under Sunggyu, rolling onto his back and looking up.  “He’s never going to be in love with me.”

            L’s expression was so melancholy, so desolate, that Sunggyu felt bad for laughing.  He laughed anyway; he couldn’t help it.  “So sad!” he exclaimed, ruffling L’s hair.  “Just for our Dongwoo?”

            L stared up at him with surprised hurt, looking so betrayed that he felt guilty for teasing.

            “Sorry.”  He smoothed L’s hair.  “Don’t be this way over Dongwoo.  Just tell him how you feel.”  He’d given the same advice weeks - - months? - - ago when he’d found L’s secret stash of Dongwoo’s clothes.  First he’d made L put everything back, and then he’d scolded L for being creepy, and then he’d said, “Tell him you’re in love with him.”  Since then, L had stopped stealing Dongwoo’s possessions and started asking for them directly, and had written that infamous note, but apparently hadn’t actually told Dongwoo the important “I’m in love with you and I want you to love me back” news.  These foolish kids.  “Is he hard to talk to?  You’re around him every day.”

            “What will it do?” L asked.  “How will it help?  He thinks of me as a member, as a dongsaeng.”

            “He loves you.  He has sex with you.  He lets you take his clothes and borrow his jewelry.  He worries about you and looks out for you.  Just tell him that you’re in love with him and you need him to love you back.”

            L stared like Sunggyu had just said something dangerously bizarre.  “Is someone so stupid really our leader?”

            “Ya!”  Poking L between the eyes, he warned, “I’m letting that go because you’re upset.”

            “That’s not how love works!  You don’t start loving someone because he asks you to!”

            “How can you say that you’re in love with Dongwoo and not know him?” Sunggyu demanded.  How could he explain?  “Do you know those wind-up toys?  You wind them up and they start walking.  They go straight ahead in one direction.  They go right into the wall and keep going until you move them.”

            “You want to talk about baby toys?” L asked, sitting up, looking confused and outraged.

            “Shut up and listen,” Sunggyu said, pushing him back down.  “Dongwoo’s really smart and really, really stupid.  He’s creative and intuitive, but he’s also really simple and sometimes you have to point things out to him.  He only isn’t in love with you because it never occurred to him to do it.  That’s not how your brain works and it’s not how mine works, either, but Dongwoo’s not like us.  He lives in his own goofy little world.”

            “What are you saying?” L asked.  “If you walked up to him and said, ‘Be in love with me,’ he’d love you?  If Sungyeol did it?  If anybody did it?”

            “Not anybody, no, that’s stupid.  But you - - he’s close to you.  He thinks you’re cute, he thinks you’re handsome, the sex is great, he takes good care of you, all of the other parts are there.  He just hasn’t made the connection.  He thinks of you as a member, and he’s going to keep thinking of you as only a member and nothing else until you suggest it.  Those little wind-up toys can’t get around obstacles until someone helps them.  They just go on walking into the wall until they fall over.”

            L gazed into the distance, looking concerned and thoughtful.  Then he met Sunggyu’s eyes.  “This is a weird metaphor.”

            “I read that crappy sex note,” Sunggyu said.  “Don’t criticize my metaphors.”

            L chuckled, sitting up again, fixing his hair, smiling.  “Do you really think he could be in love with me?”

            Sunggyu smiled, tickling him under the chin.  “When he’s cuddling you and calling you his boyfriend and telling you how much he loves you, you can thank me with a steak dinner.”

            Changjo had been hunched over a notebook, scribbling, for the past day or so.  Every time he had a moment to himself, he pulled it out.  He refused to let anyone look at it, and when C.A.P. had teasingly tried to snatch it from him, he’d seemed so genuinely upset that they’d given him his privacy.

            He was bent over his notebook at one of the make-up tables during a photo shoot when Chunji sat beside him.  The room was otherwise empty, and Chunji had closed the door to block out the noise and music of the shoot.  Chunji wasn’t close enough to make out details, but it looked like Changjo would write down a few words, cross them out, write a few more, cross those out, and stare at the page in frustrated resentment.  “You want any help?” Chunji offered.

            “No,” he mumbled.  Slapping the notebook shut, he shoved it away.  Slumping in his chair, he stared at the notebook with disgust, fiddling with his pen.

            “I guess it’s not homework.”


            Since Changjo obviously didn’t want to talk about it, Chunji shrugged and played with his phone.

            Then, a moment later, Changjo said, “Hyung.  Can I ask you something?”

            “Sure,” he said absentmindedly, not looking up.

            “Do you.  Say things.  To C.A.P. hyung?”

            “Hmm?”  Looking up, he carefully brushed his hair out of his eyes.  “Like what?”  Changjo blushed, which gave him some context.  “Oh.  You mean…”  Grinning, he nodded.  “Sure.  That’s part of the fun, isn’t it?”

            “What do you say?”  Changjo put his hands out, waving hurriedly, red with embarrassment.  “You don’t have to tell me!  It’s private!  But.  I don’t know.  What kinds of things do people say to each other?”

            Chunji glanced at the door, then scooted his chair closer, lowering his voice.  “I say all of the things he wants to hear.  How handsome he is, how much he turns me on, how great he is.  ‘Oh, hyung, I can’t take it, it feels so good, I’m going to come.’  Like that.”  Curious, he searched Changjo’s face.  “Why?”

            Rubbing his hand over his mouth, Changjo avoided Chunji’s eyes for a moment before peeking over shyly.  “He likes it?”

            “Sure.  It turns anybody on to hear that somebody wants him.  Doesn’t L.Joe say those things to you?  ‘Ah, maknae, you’re making me come.’”

            Changjo smacked at his arm lightly, embarrassed.  “Not like that!  Ugh!”

            “Yes, he does,” Chunji argued, laughing.  “I’ve heard him.  ‘Yes, maknae, yes, you’re so hard, it feels so good.’  Oh, and, ‘Deeper, maknae, deeper, yeah, fuck me, I need it, you want it, yeah.’”

            “Why do you listen?” Changjo demanded, hitting him harder this time.  “Hyung!  That’s private!”

            “Then tell him not to be so loud!” Chunji said, laughing, smacking Changjo’s hands away.

            “At least he doesn’t grunt like a gorilla!  C.A.P. hyung sounds like a zoo!”

            “It’s better than you!  ‘Oh god hyung, oh god hyung, oh god hyung, oh god hyung, oh god hyung-’”

            “Stop,” Changjo protested, looking mortified.

            “‘-oh god hyung, oh god hyung, oh god hyung-’”

            “Hyung!” Changjo exclaimed, shaking the arm of his chair.

            “‘-oh god hyung, oh god hyung, oh god hyung,’” Chunji panted.  He shook his head.  “It was adorable the first time.  Then it made L.Joe sound like the best lover in the world.  Now it’s just annoying.”

            Changjo shrugged, crossing his legs, a secretive, proud smile playing on his lips.  “I can’t help it if L.Joe hyung’s better than C.A.P. hyung.”

            Chunji pointed at him.  “You take that back.”

            Another shrug; Changjo toyed with his pen.  “One sounds like the best lover in the world.  One sounds like an angry monkey.  I don’t know.”

            “Are you kidding?  You can’t even compare them!” Chunji sputtered, laughing.  “If I were you, I’d be embarrassed to talk about this.  Your tiny boyfriend is such a short little elf boy, shouldn’t you be more reluctant to admit that you actually have sex with him?”

            Changjo snorted.  “Then shouldn’t C.A.P. hyung worry about you?”

            “Ya!”  He shoved Changjo’s chair.  “I’m the visual!  I’m the one everybody wants to be with!”

            Bursting into laughter, Changjo got up, edging away.  “Aren’t you embarrassed to talk about yourself that way?”

            “Aren’t you embarrassed to have such a tiny boyfriend?” Chunji asked, getting up, moving in on him.

            Changjo was trying to make his way to the door.  “Aren’t you embarrassed to have sex with a monkey?”

            Just as Chunji lunged, the door opened.  As Changjo tried to bolt for the open doorway, Chunji grabbed him, the two of them slamming into Ricky, the three of them together tumbling out of the room and spilling across the floor.  While Ricky yelped and Changjo laughed and Chunji made them both suffer for good measure, L.Joe stood over them and said, “Don’t bruise anything I’ll need later.”

            “There he is.”

            Twelve pairs of eyes watched as Infinite strolled down the hallway.  As the sunbaes passed, everyone in EXO bowed politely, murmuring greetings.  If Sunggyu noticed that most of the hoobaes were looking specifically at him, and even more specifically below his waist, he gave no sign.

            A few yards down the hallway, VIXX bowed, too, N’s gaze dipping, Hongbin blushing.

            “That sunbae.  Of all people,” Luhan said, gazing after Sunggyu, shaking his head.

            “I can believe it,” Chanyeol said.

            “I can’t,” Kai said, crossing his arms over his chest.  “I don’t think there’s anything worth talking about.  I just think whoever wrote that about him is too in love with him and too horny to be sensible.”

            “But in love with him and horny over him,” Xiumin said.

            “Members,” Suho said, glancing from one face to another.  “Language.”

            “Sorry,” Kai said.

            “I still want to know who wrote it,” Tao said petulantly.

            “Hoya sunbaenim said it’s nobody in Infinite,” Baekhyun said.

            “L.Joe sunbaenim said it’s nobody in Teen Top,” Chanyeol said.

            “It’s not VIXX,” Lay said.

            “I still think it was the U-Kiss sunbaenims,” Xiumin said.

            “They have each other,” Baekhyun said.  “Why would they be interested in a hoobae?”

            “The ice cube,” Sehun said.  “It all goes back to that big, hard ice cube.”

            Woohyun barely made it to the dressing room before bursting into laughter.  Entering after him, Hoya and Sungyeol pulled each other away from the door, snickering.

            “What to do, what to do?” Woohyun asked, laughing, as the other members came into the room.  “Everyone’s staring!”

            “Did you see their faces?” Hoya asked.

            Sungyeol opened his eyes, staring widely, and dropped his jaw, pointing down at Hoya’s crotch.  “Omo…”

            Laughing, Woohyun pushed away Sungyeol’s hand.  “Everybody was blushing!  Red face after red face!”

            “What?” Dongwoo asked.  “What happened?”

            “You didn’t notice?” Sungjong asked.

            “What?  Notice what?” Dongwoo asked, looking around the room.

            “The way everyone’s staring at Sunggyu hyung’s cock,” L muttered, dropping onto the couch and slumping against the armrest.

            “Whoa!  What?” Dongwoo asked, putting a hand on Sunggyu’s waist.  “What’s wrong with it?”

            Sunggyu snorted, smiling, brushing Dongwoo off.  “Nothing’s wrong with it.  Everyone’s being stupid and these kids think it’s funny.”

            Their manager came to the door, calling Sunggyu away.  As soon as Sunggyu was out of the room, Woohyun closed the door and Sungyeol said, “That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.  Did you notice people coming out of their dressing rooms to stare?”

            “Why?” Dongwoo asked.  “What happened?”

            “The note!” Sungyeol said.  “Hyung, the note.  Everybody knows that it’s about Sunggyu hyung.”

            “Oh.”  Dongwoo frowned.  “I thought we couldn’t talk about that anymore.”

            “He’s not in the room,” Woohyun pointed out, laughing.  “It’s okay to talk about it if he’s not here.”

            Hoya eyed L, who was hugging his knees to his chest, gazing at the floor, and chewing on his lower lip.  “What’s wrong with you?”

            “Everybody’s been asking me who the note was from,” Sungyeol said.  “I don’t know what to say.”

            “It had to be from a fan,” Woohyun said.  “If he had some hot affair with another idol, we’d know about it.”

            “Unless it was from one of us,” Hoya said.

            Sungjong eyed Hoya.

            Hoya eyed Sungyeol.

            Sungyeol eyed Woohyun.

            Woohyun eyed Dongwoo.

            Oblivious, tilting his head to one side, Dongwoo patted L’s hair.

            Realizing that Sungyeol was looking at him, Woohyun started.  “Ya!  It wasn’t me!”

            “It wasn’t me,” Hoya said.

            “It’s someone who likes…”  Sungyeol hesitated, glancing at the thin walls, then made a quick blowjob motion.  “Doing that, right?  So you know it’s not me.”

            Silently, as one, Sungyeol and Hoya gravitated toward each other, backing away from the other four.

            “Well, it’s someone who likes special private time with Sunggyu hyung,” Sungjong said.  “You know it’s not me.”

            Hoya and Sungyeol reached for him, welcoming him to their side of the room.

            “Ya!”  Woohyun laughed helplessly.  “I didn’t write it!”

            “You write lyrics,” Sungyeol said.

            “Mine rhyme!”

            “Are you okay?” Dongwoo asked, sitting beside L on the couch, stroking his hair away from his forehead and looking into his face.  “Are you sick?  Does something hurt?”

            “Isn’t it a stupid thing for everyone to care about so much?” L asked suddenly, looking up.  Dongwoo’s eyebrows went up; Woohyun turned around.  “Why is everyone still talking about it?  Wow, someone sucks cock.  Wow, someone’s hot for some guy.  Wow, someone’s in love with somebody else.  Who cares?  We all do it.  You’re no different.”

            “Then why won’t Sunggyu hyung tell us who wrote it?” Sungyeol asked.  “If everybody’s done it and everybody feels the same way, then he can tell us who it is.”

            “Maybe he’s ashamed,” Sungjong said.  “Maybe it’s someone embarrassing.”

            “Maybe he doesn’t know,” Dongwoo said.

            “I’d want to know,” Woohyun said.  “I would have to know.”

            “As much as I want to know,” Sungjong said, “I kind of hope we never find out.  You saw how everybody stared at Sunggyu hyung.  Can you imagine how they’re going to treat whoever wrote it?  Staring and whispering.  Nobody would ever forget.  I want to be known for being in Infinite, not for being the one who wrote that thing about Kim Sunggyu hyung’s junk.”

            L laughed suddenly and briefly.  Only Dongwoo was close enough to see the flash of pain in his eyes.

            Riding Changjo down to the bed, L.Joe was already pulling off clothes.  An early night off was a rare and thrilling treat, and he wanted to spend as much of it as possible getting off.  Dropping his shirt to the floor, he tugged open Changjo’s fly.  His grunt was muffled in their kiss as Changjo rolled them over, and as Changjo’s pants were kicked to the floor, he tugged Changjo’s body closer, arching his back to rub up against it.  Changjo’s body was gorgeous, with its long lines and smooth skin and handsomely defined muscles, and he could never have enough of looking at it, touching it, feeling it strong and silky against him.  Moaning, hot with joy and anticipation, he ran his hands down Changjo’s back, riding the lines of corded muscle, panting a little against Changjo’s mouth as he felt Changjo’s hand sliding down the front of his shorts and cupping his hard-on.  “Nnh, that’s it.”  The tip of Changjo’s tongue traced across his lower lip as a warm, familiar hand curled around the shaft of his cock, stroking him.  “Yes, aah-ohhohhh.”  Wincing as pleasure flashed through him, he ran his hand down to Changjo’s ass, needing something to hold onto.  “So good, maknae, I love the way you touch me.”

            Changjo was being unusually quiet.  He moaned the way he usually did, with need and energy, and he gasped with helpless ecstasy when L.Joe handled his cock, but he didn’t say anything.  L.Joe intended to ask him about it, but then he slid his finger up L.Joe’s ass, and conversation suddenly seemed less important than writhing around the bed, moaning.

            They made out and got off, made out and got off, Changjo fucking him face-to-face for a while, from behind for a while, going down on him and then fucking him again.  Pleasure, ecstasy, arousal, need, lust, rolled through him in endless succession, until the world narrowed down to this room, this bed, the way Changjo moved against him.  And then he was on his knees, sitting up, his hips pumping, Changjo between his thighs and deep inside of him, Changjo’s handsome body spread beneath him, those familiar hands stroking his body and teasing his cock, those watchful brown eyes staring up at him as if the rhythm of his hips and the way he bit his lip held all of the answers.

            They’d already had enough sex that it should have been a slow, leisurely ride, but he was too stimulated, too charged up, too affected by the sexual intensity of Changjo’s gaze and the prideful possessiveness of Changjo’s touch and the erotic pleasure of Changjo’s cock inside of him.  Groaning in joyful repetition, he rolled his hips energetically, bucking, bouncing, thighs aching, erection throbbing in Changjo’s grip, pleasure pulsing and burning in his veins.  The lustful fascination of Changjo’s stare made him feel sexy, made him feel confident, and he wanted to show off, to say something provocative, but his body was in thrall to rhythmic jolts of searing pleasure, and when he spoke, the words tumbling desperately from his tongue were, “Oohhh, unh, please, maknae, I need it…”

            “Oh, god, hyung,” Changjo panted, finally speaking, fondling his cock while his hips rocked, and in moments they were bringing each other to orgasm, his cum striping Changjo’s abs while Changjo moaned, “Yes, yes, hyung, aahhhoohhh…”

            He spent the next few minutes slumped over in a satisfied daze, smiling foolishly and relishing the feel of Changjo’s sweaty, sated body under him.  Unmoving, doing no more than breathing, he just enjoyed blissful contentment.

            He felt Changjo move, and he grunted when Changjo rolled them over, but the pillow was soft behind his head and in this position he could see Changjo’s face, so he had no complaints.  Aware that he was still smiling foolishly but willing to go with it, he gazed up at Changjo.  That straight, handsome nose.  That sensuous, well-shaped mouth.  Mustering energy, he brushed hair away from Changjo’s eyes, feeling all sorts of deep and tender feelings flutter around inside him.

            Changjo’s fingers skimmed down his chest and trailed across his stomach.  Humming with lazy satisfaction, he tugged Changjo down for a kiss.  They made out slowly, just for the sake of it, just to indulge their desire for intimacy.  He was caressing Changjo’s sides and running his hands over Changjo’s firm, round ass and drifting on languid pleasures when Changjo kissed his ear and whispered, “You’re so sexy that I dream about you.”

            L.Joe smiled.  “Really?”

            “I think about you all day.”  Changjo’s hand slid up his leg, stroking high on his inner thigh.  Turned on, he squirmed a little, nipping at Changjo’s shoulder.  “Oh, god, hyung,” Changjo breathed, kissing his neck.  “I think about you all day.  You’re so sexy, all of the time, even when you’re being annoying and dominant.  I want you so much.  When we’re at the salon, they keep telling me to sit still, but I don’t want them to see how hard I am.  When we’re in the van, I fantasize about reaching over and touching you.  When we practice, I watch you in the mirror so I can see how your body moves and watch you sweat.  When we perform, I think about doing it right there, onstage, in front of everybody.  I want to turn you on and get inside you in front of the whole crowd, in front of the cameras, right there under the lights, so everybody can see you the way I see you when you’re coming.  Sometimes I wish everybody knew how beautiful and sexy you are.  Sometimes I wish I was the only one who knew, that it was a secret, just for me.”

            Turned on, disbelieving, L.Joe cupped Changjo’s chin in both hands, forcing Changjo’s head up to look into that handsome face.  Changjo tried to avoid his gaze, then stared directly at him, alternately worried and defiant.  He was amazed; Changjo had never talked to him this way before.  Had never, as far as he knew, spoken to anyone like this.  “You like me that much?”

            Embarrassed, looking shy and irritated, Changjo looked away again, muttering, “You know I do.”

            He did; he knew.  And he felt the same way right back.  It was just something they didn’t talk about: how deep their feelings went, how serious this was, how much their private relationship meant to them even in the midst of their other personal and professional commitments to each other.  Stroking Changjo’s jaw, he smiled.  “Should I confess to you?”

            Blushing, Changjo shook his head, his fingers settling over L.Joe’s lips.  “Don’t.”

            “You don’t like it?”  Intrigued, he chuckled, brushing Changjo’s hand aside and kissing that sexy, handsome mouth.  “Only you get to say it?”

            Kissing him back, Changjo squeezed his inner thigh again, thumb brushing his balls.  A little electric sizzle of pleasure whispered through him, and he moaned, sliding his fingers into Changjo’s thick hair.  “I want you so much,” Changjo breathed, kissing him again, again.  “Oh, god, hyung, let me have you.”

            “Yes,” he panted, winding his legs around Changjo’s thigh.  “Yes, maknae, I want to feel it again.”

            Humming to himself, Dongwoo danced toward his bedroom, his feet kicking and shuffling.  As he reached the doorway, he realized that L was blocking his way.  Drawn up short, he waited for L to move.

            Looking even more handsome than usual, relaxed and confident, L smiled at him.  It was a charming, sensual smile, and it made him feel weird in a really, really good way.  “Dongwoo hyung.”

            He grinned.  “Can I go in?”

            Instead of replying, L crossed his arms over his chest, rested his shoulder against the doorjamb, and gazed steadily at Dongwoo with seductive, mysterious eyes.  “Will you do something for me?”

            “Sure,” he said immediately.  “What do you need?”

            A cool, slow blink.  A lazy, pleased smile.  “I think that you should be in love with me.”

            Surprised into laughter, he looked around to see who else was in on the joke.  No one else was in sight.  “What?”  He stared at L in bafflement.  “You think what?”

            L seemed completely unruffled.  “I want you to fall in love with me.  I’ve been in love with you for months, and I want you to be in love with me, too.  Between us, I want you to consider us boyfriends.  You can do whatever you want with the other members, but I want to be first in your heart.”

            What was this?  What was happening?  “What are you saying?  You’re in love with me?”  He felt like he’d accidentally walked into another team’s dorm with some other L.  This didn’t make sense, it wasn’t-

            For the barest instant, a flash quicker than a second, anguish sliced through L’s expression.  He tried to blink it away, but he couldn’t completely regain his composure.  Looking hurt and lost, wounded, he turned away.  “Never mind.  Stupid, this was stupid.”

            For a moment, Dongwoo felt pinned to the spot, trapped in time, held prisoner by his own turbulent impulses.  L was in love with him?  L wanted to be loved back?  By him?  When had this happened, how had this happened, why him?  How had L been in love with someone and he hadn’t noticed?  How had L been in love with him and he hadn’t noticed?  And now L was hurt, so hurt that he hurt from it, too, feeling sliced open and stabbed in the chest by the sight of L looking so agonized.  Was that his fault?  Had he hurt L?  “Wait.”  L was halfway across the room; he caught L’s arm, pulling, hopping around in front.  “Wait, stop.”  He tried to see into L’s eyes, but L swallowed and looked down, avoiding his gaze, looking unbearably young and heartbreakingly beautiful.  “You want to be my boyfriend?”

            Nothing happened at first, and then L bit his lip, even white teeth against soft, pink flesh.  And then he nodded, so faintly that Dongwoo almost missed it.

            He’d never had a boyfriend before, but it seemed like it would be the same as having a girlfriend.  He’d never thought of the members as potential boyfriends, but he guessed there was no real reason they couldn’t be.  If he’d been looking for a boyfriend, L was a better fit than anyone else he could think of.  Except, “Aren’t you away too often?  What if I can’t take care of you?  You’ll be lonely and I can’t come with you.”  He didn’t like that at all.  The idea of having L as his boyfriend was kind of interesting, though.  He hadn’t had a girlfriend in years, so he was out of practice, but he and L already did most of the things he’d done with girlfriends, anyway.  Sex, flirting, cuddling, teasing, looking out for each other.  He took L home to his parents for holidays.  He got that weird fluttery feeling when L paid him unexpected attention; he didn’t get that around the other members.  Well, he got it around Sunggyu, but he couldn’t imagine being Sunggyu’s boyfriend.  He wouldn’t know what to do.

            Being L’s boyfriend, though, he could picture that.  It would involve a lot of snuggling, and that was good.  It would involve a lot of caretaking, making sure that L got some rest, making sure that L ate better food more often.  The poor kid was always hungry and exhausted, always overworked.

            Twisting in his grasp, L was trying to get away.  He tightened his grip, not wanting L to go before he’d thought about this some more.

            He could take care of L’s body just fine - - sex, food, sleep - - but what about L’s heart?  L was very sensitive in some ways and very resilient in others.  L needed a lot of love and affection but gave a lot of it out, too.  Gave too much, sometimes, gave too generously, and then had to hold back, reserve it, like love and affection were finite things and L was running on fumes.  Ah!  But if he was L’s boyfriend, he could fill L back up.  Keep the supply moving, give L the emotional resources to deal with everything and everyone else.

            The more he thought about it, the more sure Dongwoo was that L needed a boyfriend.  Someone to love him and look after him and understand him.  Someone to support him.  Someone he could trust.

            Dongwoo wouldn’t necessarily have thought of himself first, but apparently L had decided on him anyway.  That was surprising and flattering, too.  “Are you sure about me?  I don’t know if I’m a very good boyfriend.  I want to be.  I try to be!” he said earnestly.  “But I get distracted and I forget to call and I’m too friendly with other people.”

            L stopped trying to get away and looked at him uneasily.  “What are you saying?”

            What kind of question was that?  “I’m saying what I just said.  I think I’m a good boyfriend, but my girlfriends didn’t think so.  You’re a great guy and you deserve a great boyfriend, and I don’t want to let you down.  And I’m worried about how often you’re away,” he added, still dissatisfied on that point.  “It seems like I won’t be able to take care of you properly.  I don’t want you to feel lonely.”  Remembering, he added, “And maybe I’m not good at long-distance relationships?  My last girlfriend said that I get too distracted and I only pay attention to what’s right in front of me, and she felt like every time she walked out of the room I forgot she existed.”

            L frowned, looking mystified.  “Do you forget about me when I’m in Japan?”

            Dongwoo laughed.  “No!  How could I forget about one of our members?  I think about you all of the time.  I miss you when you’re gone.  It’s not the same without you.”

            Tugging free of Dongwoo’s grip, L crossed his arms over his chest.  He chewed on his lips for a moment, then asked, “Do you want to be my boyfriend?”

            “Yeah.  You need one,” Dongwoo said.  “And if you,” he blushed, embarrassed, uncertain, “if you’re in love with me, then it should be me, right?”

            L hugged himself more tightly, taking a step back.  “You only want to do it because you feel obligated?”

            “No.”  That wasn’t right.  Dongwoo wondered how to explain.  “I never really thought about it before.  You’re one of the members.  That’s what you are to me.  It’s like your mother.  No matter what else you do with her, like if you start a business together, you think of her as ‘Mom,’ not as your business colleague.  If she’s, like, your town’s mayor or something, when you see her on the street, you don’t say, ‘Oh, there’s our mayor!’  You say, ‘Hey, there’s Mom!’  It’s like that.  You’re a member, and whatever else happens, that’s what you’ll always be to me.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t elect you mayor or start a business with you.”

            Frowning, L ruffled his hair with one hand.  “What?”

            “I want to be your boyfriend.  If you’ll take me.  I’ll do my best, I’ll work hard at it.  I’ll try not to let you down.  If I mess up too much, you can get rid of me, but I’ll take good care of you.”

            L’s smile wavered.  It was the saddest smile Dongwoo had ever seen.  “You aren’t in love with me.”

            “I don’t know,” Dongwoo said honestly.  “I might be.  Maybe I already am.  Maybe I will be when I wake up tomorrow.  How do you know?”  Bracing his hands on L’s shoulders, he looked into L’s beautiful, worried eyes.  “L.  I love you.”  Oh, that felt good!  Smiling, he cupped L’s face in both hands and tried it again.  “Myungsoo-ah, I love you.”  It felt so good he laughed aloud.  “It’s not big or hard to say at all!”  He said it again, again, gazing earnestly into L’s eyes.  “L, I love you.  I love you.”  It felt better and better every time he said it, flooding him with warmth and affection and happiness, like he only grew more fond of L with each word.  “They’re wrong,” he realized, rubbing his thumb over L’s cheek.  “It doesn’t fill my mouth.  It fills my heart.”

            With a soft, broken breath, L hugged him.  As he hugged back, L squeezed him tightly, face buried against his neck, hair soft against his cheek.

            “Boyfriend,” he said thoughtfully, rubbing L’s back.  “What time is it?  Let’s go out to dinner.  I’ll buy you steak.  Then we can go to the movies.  No, just dinner,” he decided.  “I want you to get to bed early.  You need sleep.”  Something occurred to him, and he smiled.  “Hey, if you’re my boyfriend, do I get the first chance?  Can I ask you for sex first before the other members do?  I hate being late and not saying anything in time and finding you already with somebody else.”  The other members were great, but it wasn’t the same.  Sex with the other members was all sorts of things - - hot, steamy, fun, familiar - - but when he slid inside L and L made that soft, moaning sound and looked up at him with those deep, beautiful eyes, a whole world opened up inside his heart.


            He’d assumed that sex with L was better than sex with anyone else because L was terrific at sex.  Or because L was so good-looking.  But maybe it was more than that.  Maybe he wanted L so much more than he wanted the other members because his body had caught on to what the rest of him had been slow to realize.

            “It bothers you?” L asked.

            “Yeah,” Dongwoo said, mulling over the past few weeks.  “I think I might be in love with you.  I think that I already was.  Can you be in love with someone and not know it?”  That seemed strange.  “But it isn’t like tripping over a rock, is it?  You trip, you know when it happens, you stumble, you can’t miss it.  Falling in love…”  L was still hugging him, so he kept rubbing L’s back.  “How did you know that you were in love with me?”

            L’s arms resettled around him, L’s chin hooking over his shoulder.  “I woke up in bed with you.  You were asleep and your mouth was open and you were drooling and your eyes were open and it was creepy and your hair was a mess and you looked like the most precious thing in the world to me.  I treasured you so much it scared me.  I laughed so hard you almost woke up.  I didn’t know what to do.  I tried to keep it to myself, but Sunggyu hyung found out.  When I talked to him, I had to say it, I had to call it what it was, I had to tell him.  ‘I’m in love with Dongwoo hyung.’  It was the best, most terrifying moment.”

            Dongwoo felt bad that L had gone through that.  He felt like he should apologize.  “Sunggyu hyung knows?”

            “He told me to tell you.”  L sighed, nuzzling against his ear.  “I didn’t want to.”

            Dongwoo shivered as pleasure skittered across his skin.  “I’m sorry you had a hard time.  I didn’t know.”

            L’s fingers feathered through his hair.  “Don’t tell me that you love me again.  Not so soon.  Not until you’re sure.  It seems like you’re only saying it because you feel sorry for me, and that hurts worse than not hearing it at all.  Don’t say it.  Even if you mean it.”

            This poor kid.  Dongwoo squeezed him, kissing his cheek.  “I won’t say it.”  Instead of saying it, he’d feel it and live it and show it until it was real to them both.  L deserved to be loved, and he wouldn’t play around at being L’s boyfriend if he couldn’t be the real thing.  “Will you let hyung be your boyfriend?  Can I take you to dinner?”

            “Yes,” L murmured, kissing his neck.  “Yes.  But let’s have sex first.  I want to be with you.”

            “Sex first?” Dongwoo repeated.  “You don’t want steak?”

            “I want you,” L whispered, licking at his earlobe.

            More than steak?  Shit, this was serious.

            L felt more content than he had in months.  The unfulfilled yearning inside of him, instead of expanding into a deeper and broader pit, was filled in more and more each hour he spent as Dongwoo’s boyfriend.  Dongwoo had so much energy and so much compassion that L could soak up affection like the greediest sponge and Dongwoo always had more to give.  He felt happier, more settled.  He slept better now, and he had more energy.  Sleeping curled up in Dongwoo’s arms, he felt as sated emotionally as he did sexually.

            He still didn’t want other people to know that he’d written the note.  It was too private.  But it bothered him that Dongwoo didn’t know.  Every time someone made some comment about Sunggyu’s devoted note writer, L wished that Dongwoo knew the truth.  It was Dongwoo who’d inspired that earnest love, and Dongwoo deserved to know it.

            But Dongwoo wasn’t in love with him.  Not truly, not fully.  Might not ever be.  Would never be.  And L thought - - felt - - tried to convince himself - - that if he protected this one tiny corner of his heart, if he kept this one paltry secret, when the end came, when he lost Dongwoo, the final break would hurt less.

            So he kept quiet.  And he held onto Dongwoo while he could.  And when other idols stared at Sunggyu and whispered behind their hands, he laced his fingers through Dongwoo’s and asked, “Hyung.  Will you take me to dinner?”

Series page: "The Note"

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Copyright November 16, 2013
by Matthew Haldeman-Time