Tainted Lie (Part Three - End)
Tainted Lie

(Part Three - End) short story stories
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ivoryannalise
ivoryannalise It's okay, little crystalline shell.
Autoplay OFF   •   a year ago
Park Minseon, aka Mingo of boy group .02rain, is all too familiar with the word stigma. One currently controls his life. It's either conform or lose everything he's worked the last 6 years for. With his company's strict dating ban, he's a sparkling example of heterosexuality. Until everything comes crashing down while on tour. With the ban and his so-called heterosexuality hanging over him, will he ever be free? Or will this stigma drag him to the ground?
Part Three - End

Source: ivoryannalise https://www.wattpad.com/s...

Tainted Lie (Part Three - End)

by ivoryannalise

Inspired by BTS'S song, Stigma

Previously on Tainted Lie -

* I bow my head slightly, apologetically. Sincerity melts into my words. "I'll earn back your trust, Jun." My hand reaches for his, squeezing his fingers. He squeezes back. "I'm sure you will." *

Hyeonju steps forward, his hand landing on my other shoulder.

Hyeonju steps forward, his hand landing on my other shoulder. His eyes are distraught when he says, "So you won't tell, then?"

Hyeonju steps forward, his hand landing on my other shoulder. His eyes are distraught when he says, "So you won't tell, then?" "Of course not, but-"

Hyeonju steps forward, his hand landing on my other shoulder. His eyes are distraught when he says, "So you won't tell, then?" "Of course not, but-" "But we can't keep hiding this. I know."

My eyes widen, heart kicking into a race. "We can't, Hyeonju."

My eyes widen, heart kicking into a race. "We can't, Hyeonju." I feel more tears welling up, imagining my company's reaction.

My eyes widen, heart kicking into a race. "We can't, Hyeonju." I feel more tears welling up, imagining my company's reaction. Hyeonju's eyes widen at my reaction.

He glances down, struggling for words. Finally, he shrugs.

He glances down, struggling for words. Finally, he shrugs. The man pulls me into a hug, comforting me the only way he can. His hand rubs small circles on my back.

Hajun stands beside us, his nails picking at his skin again.

Hajun stands beside us, his nails picking at his skin again. He gives us a moment, though his shoulders tense, eyes nervously watching the door.

Hajun stands beside us, his nails picking at his skin again. He gives us a moment, though his shoulders tense, eyes nervously watching the door. Finally, the older boy breaks the silence, his hands balling into fists at his side.

"They'll fire you both."

"They'll fire you both." His words are soft, almost nonexistent. Yet they crash into us with the weight of a cinder block.

"They'll fire you both." His words are soft, almost nonexistent. Yet they crash into us with the weight of a cinder block. I stare at Hyeonju, that little freckle beneath his eye I love.

"They'll fire you both." His words are soft, almost nonexistent. Yet they crash into us with the weight of a cinder block. I stare at Hyeonju, that little freckle beneath his eye I love. His eyes are so dark but warmer than any fire.

Every tiny crease and curl brings me joy. How could I ever give him up?

Every tiny crease and curl brings me joy. How could I ever give him up? But his lovely face isn't filled with joy right now.

Every tiny crease and curl brings me joy. How could I ever give him up? But his lovely face isn't filled with joy right now. It's frightened, the fear settling into every feature I adore, stealing them for itself.

Every tiny crease and curl brings me joy. How could I ever give him up? But his lovely face isn't filled with joy right now. It's frightened, the fear settling into every feature I adore, stealing them for itself. His face says it all. He can't lose this job.

I face Hajun, my hand slipping into his.

I face Hajun, my hand slipping into his. I'm weak and crumbling, but he grounds me.

I face Hajun, my hand slipping into his. I'm weak and crumbling, but he grounds me. Hopefully, he feels the same.

I face Hajun, my hand slipping into his. I'm weak and crumbling, but he grounds me. Hopefully, he feels the same. "Hyung-nim, please don't do this," Hyeonju pleads, the words tearing from his heart.

His hand shakes in mine.

His hand shakes in mine. I squeeze his fingers, trying to comfort him. It's a small gesture, but I hope it shows I'm here for him just as much as he is for me.

His hand shakes in mine. I squeeze his fingers, trying to comfort him. It's a small gesture, but I hope it shows I'm here for him just as much as he is for me. I won't let them fire him.

His hand shakes in mine. I squeeze his fingers, trying to comfort him. It's a small gesture, but I hope it shows I'm here for him just as much as he is for me. I won't let them fire him. "I'm not, but they will. We can't have this kind of publicity."

Hajun's tone is unapologetic, almost cold, but his face creases with worry. "We have a dating ban for a reason."

Hajun's tone is unapologetic, almost cold, but his face creases with worry. "We have a dating ban for a reason." "Is there nothing we can do, then?"

Hajun's tone is unapologetic, almost cold, but his face creases with worry. "We have a dating ban for a reason." "Is there nothing we can do, then?" Hajun studies us for a moment, silence descending on the room.

Indecision rests in his eyes, worry creasing the corners of them. A hand strays to his knuckles but quickly falls away again.

Indecision rests in his eyes, worry creasing the corners of them. A hand strays to his knuckles but quickly falls away again. He runs a hand through his hair, sighs, and asks, "Is he your nam-chin then? This isn't just a fling?"

Indecision rests in his eyes, worry creasing the corners of them. A hand strays to his knuckles but quickly falls away again. He runs a hand through his hair, sighs, and asks, "Is he your nam-chin then? This isn't just a fling?" My...nam-chin?

I study Hyeonju, brush a curl away from his face. Is this boy really my namja chingu, my boyfriend?

I study Hyeonju, brush a curl away from his face. Is this boy really my namja chingu, my boyfriend? He studies me in return, eyes searching mine for something, anything.

I study Hyeonju, brush a curl away from his face. Is this boy really my namja chingu, my boyfriend? He studies me in return, eyes searching mine for something, anything. We'd never addressed each other as such, sticking to safer pet names like Mingo the Mango.

But finally hearing him called my boyfriend clicks.

But finally hearing him called my boyfriend clicks. All the sneaking and lies over the past few months,

But finally hearing him called my boyfriend clicks. All the sneaking and lies over the past few months, all the missed events and horrible secrets,

But finally hearing him called my boyfriend clicks. All the sneaking and lies over the past few months, all the missed events and horrible secrets, everything felt worth it if I could keep this boy close to me--my nam-chin.

Such a simple word, one teenage girls all over the world say with ease. Did I dare to claim it?

Such a simple word, one teenage girls all over the world say with ease. Did I dare to claim it? Hyeonju's face says it all, his eyes sparkling.

Such a simple word, one teenage girls all over the world say with ease. Did I dare to claim it? Hyeonju's face says it all, his eyes sparkling. Worry lingers in the creases around his eyes, but he nods to Hajun.

He brushes the hair back from my face, fingers playing with the loose strands.

He brushes the hair back from my face, fingers playing with the loose strands. Adoration sweeps away the fear.

He brushes the hair back from my face, fingers playing with the loose strands. Adoration sweeps away the fear. "Minseon? Do you agree?" Hajun prods, wanting confirmation from both of us.

He brushes the hair back from my face, fingers playing with the loose strands. Adoration sweeps away the fear. "Minseon? Do you agree?" Hajun prods, wanting confirmation from both of us. His gaze jumps between us.

"Yes."

"Yes." My eyes linger on Hyeonju, tracing his face with every pass. His mess of curls has never looked so soft, his face never so stunning.

"Yes." My eyes linger on Hyeonju, tracing his face with every pass. His mess of curls has never looked so soft, his face never so stunning. My leader claps, rubbing his palms together.

The older man grins, his face transforming from one of worry into one of intelligent cunning.

The older man grins, his face transforming from one of worry into one of intelligent cunning. "I think I have an idea, but it may call for some favors."

The older man grins, his face transforming from one of worry into one of intelligent cunning. "I think I have an idea, but it may call for some favors." "What kind of favors?" I ask incredulously.

The older man grins, his face transforming from one of worry into one of intelligent cunning. "I think I have an idea, but it may call for some favors." "What kind of favors?" I ask incredulously. "We'll need our company's help."

*** [time jump]

An afternoon sun glares into my eyes, momentarily blinding me before I flip sunglasses into place.

An afternoon sun glares into my eyes, momentarily blinding me before I flip sunglasses into place. Stylish dress shoes clicking against the pavement, I stroll through Seoul, engrossed in the music blaring through my headphones.

An afternoon sun glares into my eyes, momentarily blinding me before I flip sunglasses into place. Stylish dress shoes clicking against the pavement, I stroll through Seoul, engrossed in the music blaring through my headphones. I'm happy wandering the streets of my city, finally home after a month of touring.

Seoul's vibrant life greets me around every corner, but dread creeps in with every newsstand I pass.

Seoul's vibrant life greets me around every corner, but dread creeps in with every newsstand I pass. With a face mask and a bucket hat pulled low, I quickly slide in and out of the crowd, heading towards a cafe.

Seoul's vibrant life greets me around every corner, but dread creeps in with every newsstand I pass. With a face mask and a bucket hat pulled low, I quickly slide in and out of the crowd, heading towards a cafe. Its colorful sign blinks cheerfully at me.

I check my phone, making sure it's the right shop before pulling the door open.

I check my phone, making sure it's the right shop before pulling the door open. Inside is charming, a cute little coffee shop full of patrons. The atmosphere is light and modern, spots of pastel colors livening up the cold brick walls.

I check my phone, making sure it's the right shop before pulling the door open. Inside is charming, a cute little coffee shop full of patrons. The atmosphere is light and modern, spots of pastel colors livening up the cold brick walls. I order an iced coffee and bingsu, a shaved ice dessert topped with fruit.

Food in hand, I head towards a corner table.

Food in hand, I head towards a corner table. It's already occupied, but I recognize the face and familiar slouch.

Food in hand, I head towards a corner table. It's already occupied, but I recognize the face and familiar slouch. Hyeonju, his face lined with week-old stubble, freckles fighting to stay visible.

He sips at his coffee as I sit, looking up from the news he's reading to flash me a grin. "You made it."

He sips at his coffee as I sit, looking up from the news he's reading to flash me a grin. "You made it." "Of course," I say with a laugh.

He sips at his coffee as I sit, looking up from the news he's reading to flash me a grin. "You made it." "Of course," I say with a laugh. He sets down the magazine, running a hand through his dark hair.

It's longer now than it was on tour, nearly touching the ends of his ears.

It's longer now than it was on tour, nearly touching the ends of his ears. I take a bite of my bingsu, letting the shaved ice melt on my tongue.

It's longer now than it was on tour, nearly touching the ends of his ears. I take a bite of my bingsu, letting the shaved ice melt on my tongue. Hyeonju watches me eat, an amused smile taking over his face.

Halfway through my dessert, he slides the magazine towards me.

Halfway through my dessert, he slides the magazine towards me. His finger points out a specific article on the page he's flipped open to.

Halfway through my dessert, he slides the magazine towards me. His finger points out a specific article on the page he's flipped open to. My picture graces the page, a headshot from a year ago. A girl is pictured beside me, a screenshot from some popular drama.

"That leader of yours sure knows how to work magic, doesn't he?"

"That leader of yours sure knows how to work magic, doesn't he?" I blink, still a little shocked that he actually did it. "You could say that, yeah."

"That leader of yours sure knows how to work magic, doesn't he?" I blink, still a little shocked that he actually did it. "You could say that, yeah." I wipe my mouth, taking another drink of coffee.

My eyes scan the article but not genuinely reading it. The words blur together, becoming jumbled symbols.

My eyes scan the article but not genuinely reading it. The words blur together, becoming jumbled symbols. "Breaking news!

My eyes scan the article but not genuinely reading it. The words blur together, becoming jumbled symbols. "Breaking news! Since early May, Park Min-seon, better known as Mingo of .02rain, has been rumored to be dating actress Seo Yunjoo."

"These rumors were unfounded until recently, but Monday afternoon, .02rain's company released a statement confirming the rumor.

"These rumors were unfounded until recently, but Monday afternoon, .02rain's company released a statement confirming the rumor. Fans and netizens alike are shocked, considering the company's strict no-dating policy."

Hyeonju laughs, bringing my attention back to him.

Hyeonju laughs, bringing my attention back to him. He leans across the table like he's going to brush the hair from my face, something he's done at least a thousand times since our relationship started.

Hyeonju laughs, bringing my attention back to him. He leans across the table like he's going to brush the hair from my face, something he's done at least a thousand times since our relationship started. I tense, immensely aware of the crowded cafe we're in.

Instead, he flicks me in the forehead.

Instead, he flicks me in the forehead. I jerk back, a blush threatening to consume my face. "What was that for?" I blurt.

Instead, he flicks me in the forehead. I jerk back, a blush threatening to consume my face. "What was that for?" I blurt. His eyes twinkle as he leans forward again, resting his head in his hands.

"Oh, nothing. Your face is just so easy to read."

"Oh, nothing. Your face is just so easy to read." He cocks his head to the side, leaning closer to whisper, "Maybe you should try looking more distraught over your 'confirmed' relationship, yeah?"

"Oh, nothing. Your face is just so easy to read." He cocks his head to the side, leaning closer to whisper, "Maybe you should try looking more distraught over your 'confirmed' relationship, yeah?" Before I can say anything, he steals my spoon and swipes a bite of bingsu.

Hyeonju hums a low noise of appreciation. "That's good!"

Hyeonju hums a low noise of appreciation. "That's good!" "And mine!" I knock his hand away from my dish, stealing the spoon back.

Hyeonju hums a low noise of appreciation. "That's good!" "And mine!" I knock his hand away from my dish, stealing the spoon back. I lower my eyes to the article again, still shocked that our stunt actually worked.

Hyeonju hums a low noise of appreciation. "That's good!" "And mine!" I knock his hand away from my dish, stealing the spoon back. I lower my eyes to the article again, still shocked that our stunt actually worked. "I'm just surprised, that's all. I didn't think Hajun-hyung would be able to do it."

"Right?" Hyeonju says flippantly before dropping his tone into a serious one. "But seriously, it was brilliant of him. No one suspects anything."

"Right?" Hyeonju says flippantly before dropping his tone into a serious one. "But seriously, it was brilliant of him. No one suspects anything." His eyes dance around the coffee shop, finding no one interested in a pair of boys having coffee.

Hide one relationship with another. Simple enough.

Hide one relationship with another. Simple enough. He turns back to me, resting his head in his hands again. His eyes are curious flint, dark and brittle.

Hide one relationship with another. Simple enough. He turns back to me, resting his head in his hands again. His eyes are curious flint, dark and brittle. It has to hurt seeing me with someone else, even if it's fake. Jealousy never does play with logic.

I flip the page of the magazine, finding a picture of me and the girl, Yunjoo.

I flip the page of the magazine, finding a picture of me and the girl, Yunjoo. My arm's around her shoulder as we stroll through a park, our faces lit with laughter.

I flip the page of the magazine, finding a picture of me and the girl, Yunjoo. My arm's around her shoulder as we stroll through a park, our faces lit with laughter. I think back to meeting her in that park, how my manager drove me and dropped me off in a well-populated area.

"The more eyes that see you together, the better this will work." He'd said before ushering me out of the car.

"The more eyes that see you together, the better this will work." He'd said before ushering me out of the car. He'd driven off, and I'd waved like he was a friend, not my boss.

"The more eyes that see you together, the better this will work." He'd said before ushering me out of the car. He'd driven off, and I'd waved like he was a friend, not my boss. After that, I'd stood awkwardly on the sidewalk, waiting for her manager to drop her off.

The photographers had come then, swarming in like vultures.

The photographers had come then, swarming in like vultures. As planned, we'd rushed to find some privacy. There was a hotel we'd ducked into, a place with a room already booked.

The photographers had come then, swarming in like vultures. As planned, we'd rushed to find some privacy. There was a hotel we'd ducked into, a place with a room already booked. We'd spent the night, wanting to be seen together as much as possible.

The whispers had built.

The whispers had built. For months, we'd lingered in windows too long, held hands, and drove around the block countless times.

The whispers had built. For months, we'd lingered in windows too long, held hands, and drove around the block countless times. Our days turned into endless coffee shop runs and movie dates--anything to leave crumbs of us dating.

And it had worked. Hajun had been right.

And it had worked. Hajun had been right. The mice had come nibbling, eager to believe anything. Hide one relationship with another, simple enough.

Hyeonju taps on the table, bringing me back to the present.

Hyeonju taps on the table, bringing me back to the present. He's amused, a smile curling at his lips, his serious mood evaporating like his coffee.

Hyeonju taps on the table, bringing me back to the present. He's amused, a smile curling at his lips, his serious mood evaporating like his coffee. I blink. "What?"

Hyeonju taps on the table, bringing me back to the present. He's amused, a smile curling at his lips, his serious mood evaporating like his coffee. I blink. "What?" He playfully rolls his eyes. "I asked about her? Why'd she get involved?"

I drop my eyes to her face again, studying her soft, round features. Her smile is charming, adorable even.

I drop my eyes to her face again, studying her soft, round features. Her smile is charming, adorable even. I recall how her eyes had softened when she gazed at me.

I drop my eyes to her face again, studying her soft, round features. Her smile is charming, adorable even. I recall how her eyes had softened when she gazed at me. She's a great actress, but I can't find a reason for her involvement.

It's a story I'll never have an answer to.

It's a story I'll never have an answer to. "I don't know, but I'm glad she did."

A/N: Link to full piece (on Wattpad) will be in the comments. Thanks for reading. <3

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