Dedicated to @Starbell808, sorry it took so long Eomma!
Who: Reader x Lee Jongmin
Story: He's has an amazing talent but he doesn't trust the rich... He's about to learn.
You were in the kitchen of your restaurant running around getting everything in order. You hadn't been the head chef in years, instead you were going to the sink making sure the salad forks and the dinner forks weren't in the same drawer. You had checked that about three times already so this should be the fourth time.
People kept saying your OCD was annoying because it was like you didn't trust that they did their job the way you wanted it to be done. They were only right by a fraction, they knew your OCD was a very legit condition and most times they tried to keep their murmurs to themesleves once they had figured it out. Though you could sympathize how it might be taxing, it was just how you were, so they either took you as the obsessive boss you were or you'd happily replace them. Luckily over the past five years you only had to make that clear to two employees both of whom you replaced very quickly.
"Hey boss, they caught the guy!" one of your waiters said bursting through the kitchen door.
Everyone looked up with instant interest but didn't dare leave their station, especially when this was the rush hour. You quickly hurried out of the kitchen to go to the front of the restaurant. Recently, your restaurant became the target of a street tagger and it was getting expensive to get rid of their art and at the same time it was such a shame to you to have to cover it up. You were really amazed with the amount of talent they had and has gotten an idea because of it. Your restaurant was a classy place that made an array of foreign cuisine. Why your place was being tagged, you weren't sure but you had a feeling the location may have had something to do with it.
It wasn't the heart of Seoul but it was damn near close to it, where the elites could see the message from the less fortunate. You were no stranger to poverty and even now at twenty-seven you were surprised how far you had come up. You were adopted by your aunt when were six after your parents passed away in a terrible accident so you moved in with your aunt who was your only family willing to take on the responsibility of looking after you. Except, the problem was that she had other children she was taking care of at the time too: her own. Five mouths to feed became six when you joined in plus she was a single mother. Her job didn't pay well and you weren't allowed to make trouble. The girls taught you to fight the boys taught you how to spot danger; all of you had each other's back for a long time until you started advancing in school.
You soon became the well behaved child whille the others, save for Winter, your only cousin that didn't openly go looking for trouble, got into fights and failed in their studies. You weren't doing it to be better than them and even more you weren't interested in trying to be out of your Aunt's way. You were just intelligent enough to skip two grades. You went to trade school instead of college and picked up a lot. Your OCD was never a problem for your studies or your relationship with your family, for the most part you were just a smart kid. You went on trips around the world due to scholarships, grants and sometimes charity from teachers that liked you. You soon learned how to start a business, build it up and expand. The expansion was impressive, two restaraunts in North Carolina, one in New york and then your place in Seoul. Though your American chains were different from your international chains and it appealed to a very different crowd. Clearly, someone wasn't happy about that though.
You approached the two guards you hired to keep a look out around the building, they had a young man, older than you though, hand cuffed and they were holding him up by his arms. He had a leather jacket on with a black shirt and black leather pants to match. He was adamant about blending in with the dark. His hair was shaved down by the nape of his neck and revealed dark tattoos but the hair at the top of his head was a little longer and seemed wet, perhaps from sweat. A strand of hair from his brushed back bangs was free and hanging in front of his eyes. He had multiple earrings on each ear. Though he was looking at you devotedly irritated, you couldn't help but recognize how soft his features were even while angry. He looked like a guy that could get any woman he wanted just by looking her deep in the eyes one second then ignoring her presences the next. Classic strategy to have a girl begging for the loners attention, he had that Sasuke attuide from the anime naruto. He was an aloof, lone wolf, he didn't want to be bothered with any one. You disliked guys like that, most of them had a reason for being that way, you just hated how they acted like they were much better than everyone else. Just because they were hurt by a few trash people everyone else around them was now a lesser being that they couldn't be bothered with.
Never once did you let yourself forget where you came from. It didn't matter that your cousins were passive agressive towards you, you did everything you could to help out and still act like family. Right now though, right now you couldn't!t afford to be the weak minded girl that wanted to make people happy, in fact, there was a bigger reason to why you wanted this guy caught than just making him pay for tagging your building. You gave him a straight face and then waved your security guards to make them bring him while they followed you to your office. Once you arrived and sat down you said,
"You can uncuff him."
They didn't hesitate; the one holding onto him took out his keys and released the guy. He looked at the security officer annoyed while rubbing his wrists and looked at you still obviously upset he'd been caught.
"Have a seat." you said plainly.
There was formality in your voice but it was stern enough for him to know that you were very serious at the moment. When he didn't take a seat, one of your guards put a hand on his shoulder and pushed him down into the seat. When he looked back and acted like he was going to get back up you said,
"I could always have them call the cops to come and arrest you if you'd like that better. Although, i can't imagine sleeping in a cell would be more comfortable than being able to go home."
He looked back at you,
"I could be wrong, but you do have a choice." you finsihed.
"What do you want?" he said annoyed.
You leaned back into your chair comfortably and said,
"First, I want to know why you keep tagging my building."
He scoffed through a short chuckle and said,
"Just like rich people, can't see the message in the art."
"What's your message, that you have nothing better to do with your life than to vandalize things that people have worked hard for." you bit at him.
"Oh yeah worked hard for, you think just cause your American you can come over here and act like you had it hard."
"You don't know anything about me and just because I'm American doesn't mean I came from money dumbass."
"And just because I'm a tagger doesn't mean I'm some low life thug with nothing better to do." he snapped back.
You relaxed after he said that but a smile creeped across your lips.
"Point taken. So why are doing this, to make some sort of statement?" you said.
He just looked at you, the glare in his eyes tried to pierce through your own barrier but it was unsuccessful. You pulled out a folder from your desk drawer and opened it to show him photos of the tagging he did on your building. There was also a list of how much it cost to have the tagging covered each time he did it. You showed him the pictures and he smiled.
"Nice statement, take from the poor to make others rich. Poverty, pain, suffering. It says a lot- Babylon." you smirked at the end.
He looked up at you slight nervous or shocked, perhaps a mix of the two. You chuckled as you pushed the bill over to him so he could look at it.
"I'm very obersvant, enough that I could make out your signature in every tagging you've done and actually you've done a lot of work around Seoul. The police would be very interested in finding you I bet,"
He looked from the bill to you.
"What it cost to cover up what you did on this restaurant is nothing compared to what the bill might be around the city."
"What's your point? Threatening me to pay your bill or turn me in?" he said seething.
You shrugged and leaned back comfortably once again.
"Something like that. I'm willing to make you a deal. It'll settle the debt and I won't even turn you in, in fact I'll even burn these pictures if you do one thing for me."
He seemed interested now, he leaned towards the desk. His eyes narrowed on you half interested by the idea of a deal and the other half supicious of what you'd say next. You smiled, happy you had his attention and said,
"I bought a large building in Busan and you've got some talent, raw talent I don't think most people see. I'd like it very much if people got to see your work."
"Wait what exactly are you asking?"
"Come paint for me."
He looked at you shocked, actually, baffled was more like it. He leaned back in his seat, his eyes shifted to a corner of the room while his hand covered his mouth. He was thinking about his options and honestly the one you just gave him was his best way out. Perhaps he wanted to make sure his work wouldn't compare to his other stuff, you really weren't sure but he was in deep contemplation.
"Do we have a deal?" you asked.
He looked back up at you and sat up,
"Just to clarify, I do this job for you and you don't turn me in, all of this goes away and when I'm done you'll leave me alone." he said.
"Of course, what else am I going to do with you?" You joked.
He was silent for a moment,
"Fine." he finally agreed.
You both shook on it and you allowed him to leave the restaurant but you had your security follow him first to find out where he stayed just in case he tried to pull a fast one on you. The rest of the night went by fairly slow after that happened and closing seemed to take forever. The situation must've taken a bigger toll on you than you were paying attention to because you usually lock and unlock the door six times but you did it sixteen times tonight. You didn't even realize until you turned to walk with Hwa Lee, your head chef, to go to your car.
"Something wrong Y/N?" she asked you.
You looked up at her after snapping out of a daze.
"Huh?" you responded.
"Are you okay?"
"Oh yeah, just a bit tired I guess."
"You locked the lock like sixteen times, are you sure?" she chuckled
"Sixteen, really? To be honest I don't think I was counting, I guess I am kind of out of it."
"Nothing a little sleep can't handle right?" she smiled.
You nodded and you two waved at each other as you got in your car and she hailed a cab. You headed back to your loft which was a bit bigger than you thought was necessary for one person. You bought it because it was close, comfortable and when you were out of the country you used it for Air BnB. You picked up your pug, you named Honey and locked the door.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.
The door was locked, your shoes were off and you headed to your room to pass out on your bed. At least tomorrow was your day off, the restaurant would be fine without you but you'd stop by anyway just to make sure the forks, knives and spoons were in the right place, and the door was locked.
When Jongmin got home, he flopped down on the couch irritated. He should've known his streak wouldn't last that long. He'd gotten away with some of the biggest jobs ever, like that girl had mentioned. He couldn't help but feel a little tingle of excitement inside thinking of what he'd be able to paint on the walls of whatever new project this chick had.
He scoffed to himself. She must've been looking damn close to notice his signature in those taggings. Her building was perfect for tagging though, important people went there to dine, political people. Jongmin reached into his pocket to pull out his phone, he should've been at least grateful that she didn't turn him into the police. There was a message from his boss complaining about him being late and that he was fired.
That was the whole reason he even went to go tag the building when there were people there, he should've been smarter about it but he was pissed, he was stressed and he was heart broken. His little brother was in the hospital with cancer and Jongmin was up to his neck in medical bills. He took on two roommates just to take down his cost in rent but when his brother came home he didn't know where he'd stay... If he came home.
Jongmin ran his hand down his face. He was going to go see his brother tomorrow but he wasn't quite sure what he'd say to him. No way was he going to tell him that he couldn't afford his treatments. It pissed him off that, that American girl could just come over and plant her base her like some operation when there were so many people in Seoul that needed help and were struggling. Sure, she had the previlage of having money, he wasn't upset at that but he was upset that she'd created a safe place for the elite to get on with their business in privacy; he wanted them exposed for spending thousands of won on luxury cars, vacations and food when others were fighting to stay alive. He was upset she cared more about the money than the message. She just wanted him to use his talent for free but he didn't have much of a choice now.
"I didn't even get her name or number, how the hell am I supposed to hold up my end of the bargain anyway?"
He threw his head back and ran his fingers through his bangs. Jiho, Jongmin's roommate walked out of his room to see Jongmin on the couch. He went to get water as he said,
"When did you get in?"
Jongmin looked over noticing his friend dressed in grey sweatpants and a long sleeve sweater.
"A few mintues ago." he answered.
"Want something to drink?"
"Unless there's beer over there not really."
Jongmin stayed on the couch with his hand on his head just trying to de-stress himself. Jiho came over to the couch and held out a beer to him. Jongmin laughed when he saw the can and took it. While opening it he said,
"What are you doing up so late anyway?" he asked.
"Just woke up to be honest, I'll be back to sleep soon I'm sure. What's up with you? You seem tense." Jiho answered.
"Just a lot of shit going on right now."
"Have you talked to your brother?"
"I'm going to see him tomorrow. By the way, I may be late on rent this month."
"Fine by me, I think me and Joon Kyung can handle it. Something happen with your job?"
"Let's just say I'm one step away from becoming a male prostitue at this point." Jongmin said sarcastically before taking a large sip of his drink.
"Oh come on you're not that desprate."
Jongmin gave him a look almost as if to challenge Jiho's statement. Jiho made a "yikes" kind of face. He decided to joke a little more,
"Look on the bright side, if you do have to take up sleeping around for money you'll at least release a lot of- tension if you get what I mean."
"Don't tempt me."
Jiho laughed as he walked back to his room to sleep. Jongmin would have to start looking for a new job soon, tomorrow wouldn't be soon enough. He relaxed more into the couch and started to fall asleep. If that Ameican girl was so rich perhaps he could get something out of her...