my name is finney, and this is my favorite photo i’ve ever taken. i took it in florida, standing in the sweltering humidity with my small nikon p520 in hand. i snapped it quickly, mouthed a thank you to the woman, and left without checking the photo. when i did check it much, much later, i had a ear-to-ear smile all day. i loved it.
i try to capture the natural atmosphere and light in a photo, how someone would see it as i saw it. as a kid, i would receive disposable cameras leftover from vacations, so i’d take pictures of everything around me, people, plants, skies, buildings, everything really, and i’m still doing that. one photo can be radically different from the last. i’m not proffesional by any means, my technical knowledge is limited, but i do my best to work with colors, forms, and framing to find a good photograph.
I hurt a man who devoted his life to me for someone who would never ever give me a second glance.
※ ※ ※
When you woke up, you were uncontrollably shivering in the warm embrace of Park Chanyeol. Every part of your body ached and it almost felt as if you were dumped into an ice bucket of fire. Chanyeol squeezed your body tightly against his as he lifted the makeshift jacket blanket over your small body.
“C-cold…cold…” you whimpered.
If it was possible, he pulled you in even closer against his body. Your head rested comfortably against his chest. You could feel every breath, every heartbeat, every flow of blood through his veins. Soon, cold sweat gathered onto your forehead, neck, and collarbone. Shuddering, you slowly tilted your head up to look at this man who had sacrificed his chance at freedom just for you. You swallowed in guilt.
Noticing that you were staring at him, Chanyeol tilted down his head. Automatically, your lips met. He kissed you softly, stroking your cheek with his thumb. You passionately returned the kiss.
“I love you,” his deep voice spoke.
“I love you too,” you replied, “but what are we going to do now that both the cops and SPY are after us?”
Chanyeol leaned in to peck your lips then replied, “As long as we are together it doesn’t matter”.
It’s all my fault.
You closed your eyes and sobbed, “I don’t deserve you. You could have left and been free if it wasn’t for me”.
“Freedom means nothing to me if you’re not there by my side. Life means nothing to me without you,” he spoke sternly.
When he furrowed his brows like that, he was the handsomest man alive. You giggled through your tears. Reaching up, you laced your fingers around his ears playfully. He bent down to kiss you again. With a contented sigh, you closed your eyes and drifted off to sweet slumber in the strong arms of Park Chanyeol.
A full week passed and by now, SPY would have begun sending assassins to get rid of you two betrayers. Chanyeol and you hid in one abandoned house after another, running rogue from the organization you both once swore your allegiance to. Due to your deep bullet wound, you were exceptionally slower than your former days as an assassin. But Chanyeol was Chanyeol – always the gentleman. He never rushed you. In fact, he would purposely slow down to make sure your stitches didn’t come undone. And it made you guilty for the fact that he always made you walk in front of him so that his tall physique could protect you if anyone attacked from behind.
Stopping momentarily under a shaded tree, your partner took a bottle of water out of his bag. He fed you it as if you had injured your hands and you laughed at his pampering. Chuckling, he took a sip of water as well. Sitting down comfortably on the forest floor, you rested your head against his broad shoulders.
“You know…I think spending a lifetime with you wouldn’t be too shabby,” you said gleefully as you laced your fingers through his.
He threw you a toothy grin and kissed you on top of your head. You pouted, wrapped your arms around his neck, and kissed him on the lips.
“Oh…I think someone’s starting to fall for me,” Chanyeol teased, pecking you on the nose.
Maybe I am…because who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t fall for his care, his devotion, his love? Who wouldn’t?
“Let me check your wound,” he said.
“No, I’m fine,” you replied but he already lifted your shirt up.
You blushed bright red as you timidly slapped his hand. Laughing at your shyness, he wrapped his arms around you from behind.
With a smirk, he joked, “Wow, when did the world renown femme fatale get so shy?”
Giggling, you pulled on his neck to give him a kiss but paused midway. From your left, you heard a suspicious ruffling sound. You looked up at Chanyeol and from his stern expression, you were sure he heard it too.
Taking your hand into his, you two began to run. Branches and twigs crumpled under your feet. As you closed in on a harbor, Chanyeol and you frantically hid in a small boat. He wrapped his arms around your body protectively. Two men in full black attire appeared from the forest, scanning the area. You held your breath. When they do not discover you two, the assassins retreated back into the forest. Chanyeol let out a sigh of relief. A film of sweat formed on his forehead. Smiling lovingly at him, you dug into your pockets for tissue. But it wasn’t there. In fact, your pockets were empty – flipped inside out. You gasped. Chanyeol looked at you worriedly.
“What’s wrong?” he asked?
“It’s gone. It’s gone!” you spoke, digging through your other pockets.
“What is?” he questioned.
“The ring. It’s gone!” you panicked.
Ignoring him, you climbed out of the boat and began looking around the harbor. When it wasn’t there, you began to go back into the forest.
“________ah, it’s dangerous in there!” he warned, following you behind but you were stubborn.
Bending down, you scanned the forest floor for any signs of a blue velvet box. You lifted rocks, kicked over branches, and even dug into the soil. Before you knew it, you were walking deeper and deeper into the forest.
“________ah, let’s go. The assassins may still be in there,” Chanyeol persuaded, holding you by your arm.
You flung him off and growled, “Then you go!”
He staggered back at your outburst; the hurt was evident in his eyes. You immediately regretted taking your anger out on him. Because you were always so selfish when you were with him. Because you knew he would never be mad at you, so you took advantage of his love. Hanging your head apologetically, you walked over and intertwined your hand to his.
“You’re right, let’s go”, you sadly replied.
He shook his head and suggested, “No. The ring must be really important to you. Let’s quickly find it and then leave”.
“No. Chanyeol, let’s leave,” you tried to convince but your best friend was already walking deeper into the forest to search for your lost treasure.
“It’s not that important!” you lied, trying to get Chanyeol to give up the search but he was adamant about finding it for you.
You swallowed the lump in your throat. As you stood there watching him once again risk his happiness for something so trivial for you, you inwardly cursed at yourself. The more he searched the more guilt piled up in the depths of your heart. As he dug into the soil with his bare hands, a jagged branch perforated into his palm. Blood trickled out. Immediately, you ran over, bringing his injured hand against your chest as you willed the wound to heal.
“Please…let’s go…” you begged through your tears.
But he brushed away his injury and continued to scrutinize the area. You followed him, stroking his arm to catch his attention, but he does not respond.
“Chanyeol…please…I just want to leave safely with you. Nothing else matters anymore,” you whispered, attempting to drag him out of the forest.
However, your thin frame was no match for his strong physique. You watched helplessly as he walked deeper and deeper into the woods. The blood from his hand dripped down his slender fingers, creating a dotted trail along the dirt ground.
And for that moment, you realized nothing else mattered to you anymore but the happiness of this man who loved you more than himself. You would do anything – anything to grant him his freedom.
Biting your lip, you pleaded for his attention, “Park Chanyeol”.
He does not respond but you continued.
“I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” your voice cracked.
Finally, he looked up with soft, watery eyes. Your lips quivered when he slowly walked to your side, stroking your tear stained cheeks with his uninjured hand.
“So please…please…can we just go?” you asked, staring up into his eyes.
He doesn’t respond so you swooped his bleeding palm up to your lips. Tearing a strip from your shirt, you wrapped it a couple times to stop the blood from profusely seeping out. Still holding tightly onto his hand, you brought it up to your cheek, caressing it as if it was a baby. Chanyeol stared at you intently.
“I just want you, Chanyeol. I want you to be safe. Please,” you genuinely spoke.
Touched by your words, he finally nodded. You let out a sigh of relief as your tensed shoulders slumped back. With that, you turned around and began to drag the big giant out of the forest.
You get about five steps forward, before a familiar rustling noise alerted you. Immediately, Chanyeol stepped in front of you protectively. From the bushes, two figures emerged in front of you. Their hands clenched onto merciless weaponry.
“Go first,” Chanyeol whispered to you.
Shaking your head, you firmly replied, “I’m not going without you”.
From your boots, you retrieved your two daggers. Poisonous liquid trickled down the sharp edges with a push of a button. Beside you, Chanyeol also held his revolver in his hands.
“C1314. P520. You two traitors of SPY Organization. Our mission is to bring your severed heads back to Leader,” one of the assassins spoke, pointing his rifle at you.
Automatically, your best friend stepped in front of you, acting like a personal shield. You grimaced, pushing Chanyeol over but he remained stubbornly in front of you.
“Any last words for the Leader?” the other assassin questioned, raising his curved spear like a death reaper.
Smirking, Chanyeol gritted his teeth and said, “Tell him to rot in Hell”.
With that, he lunged forward, taking the assassins by surprise. He ripped one’s skin from his flesh mercilessly while knocking the other with the back of his gun. Within seconds, the three of them were intertwined in a bloody mess.
“Chanyeol!” you shouted.
“GO!” he hollered, struggling to get out of a death grip.
Disobeying his instructions, you aimed and threw one of your daggers, slicing the assassin through his neck. He fell motionless against Chanyeol’s bruised body. Immediately, you rushed over, throwing your arms over your best friend. However, your sweet moment was spoiled by several gunshots that landed inches from you. Instantly, both of you rolled against the dirt ground to dodge the attacks. Propping yourself up, you and Chanyeol began to sprint deeper and deeper into the forest for cover.
“There’s three of them,” you spoke as you ran.
“No, there’s six,” Chanyeol informed and your eyes widened.
You steered left at a diverging path, dragging the tall young man with you. You ripped the curtain of ivy and entered the cave, where you and Chanyeol had hid in two days ago. With your back against the wall, you slid down in exhaustion. Blood seeped through your ripped stitches as you desperately hid your injury from Chanyeol. He sat down next to you and held your shaking hand, reassuringly. You gave him a sad smile.
I just want you safe and sound.
With your forehead against his, you said a silent prayer. You were never a believer of God, but for the sake of your best friend’s life, you would do anything. But, deep down, you both knew it was a matter of seconds before the SPY assassins caught up.
“I love you. I love you, Park Chanyeol. I love you,” you repeated several times until he placed his lips against yours to quiet you down.
Tears streamed down as you fervently kissed him back. As you separate, a sparkling light appeared from the corner of your eyes, catching your attention. With furrowed eyebrows, Chanyeol looked over at the object as well. Extending his long arms, he lifted the blue velvet box into his hands.
With a low chortle, he spoke, “Hey, we found it”.
You took it from his hands and threw it roughly onto the ground before burying your face into your hands, sobbing.
“I don’t want it! I don’t want it anymore. I just want you safe!” you wailed.
Bending over, Chanyeol gently picked the box back up and placed it back into your palms, “Shh…”.
Wrapping your arms around his muscular body, you tilted your head and kissed him several times. But Chanyeol was calm and quiet.
“________ah,” he cupped your face into his hands, “being safe for eternity means nothing to me if it isn’t with you”.
You shook your head childishly.
Holding you still, he whispered, “Let’s escape together. Two assassins – two meters away. I’ll shoot them down. Run as fast as possible back into the city. Do not look back”.
With that, he released his hold over you and rushed out, pulling his two guns out to welcome the intruders.
“GO!” he ordered.
You hesitated, clenching tightly on his arm.
“Go, _______ah. I’ll follow right behind. I promise,” he spoke, pushing you to go.
You looked at him longingly but a series of gunshots forcefully separated you guys. Without a choice, you unwillingly ran back to the city, hoping – begging that Chanyeol would keep his promise.
a/n: Sighhs Panda Unnie is depressed today. Any comedy fanfictions/ scenarios out there that you can recommend to me?
Last chapter of Cat and Mouse tomorrow!! Then Temporary Affairs finally begins -dances around excitedly-