Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Part 2
Summary of Part 1: You come home to find Baekhyun has been unfaithful, which you expected, but what no one expected is your reaction.
Part 2: Requested (by many lovely people): Hi! I know that this is probably a longshot, but I wanted to request a sequel for Send My Love? That scenario left me aching, and I need closure. Lol. More angst of course, but can the reader find a new love interest? I just want Baek to squirm a lot for what he has done, and of course there should be a big dallop about his jealousy.
So this was supposed to be a one shot, and as I said in Part 1, you can end it there. BUT if you need closure, here’s more to help satisfy your needs.
SPECIAL FEATURE ALERT: This is a reader-interactive fic, so in the box below, if you enter a name (yours or a character’s, for example), and click “submit”, it will swap out “Y/N” for that name. This feature does not work on dashboard/feed/mobile app unfortunately.
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Julie’s POV (Mistress) – One Month Later
The bed is empty when Julie wakes. It wasn’t a sound that woke her or a movement – it was the absence of it. The room is too still, too empty. She blinks groggily as she turns over to check the time on her phone. 5:12 AM. Always 5 AM, she thinks to herself tiredly. Like clockwork. Like Cinderella, except instead of a princess running away from the ball at midnight, it’s Baekhyun shuffling out of the house at the crack of dawn.
Sighing, she gives up on the idea of sleep and rolls out of bed, grabbing her bathrobe and the apartment keys on her way out.
It’s a cool August morning when Julie steps out of the apartment complex, not quite cold but not warm either. She draws her robe tighter around her and pads down the sidewalk in her slippers, trying to push down the nagging sense of foreboding that’s been building in her chest for a while now. At the corner of the complex, she takes a left and follows the path into the courtyard. The leaves on the trees are just starting to curl at the ends as if drawing in on themselves from the coming cold, but she keeps her eyes on the path as she makes her way to the gazebo where a familiar silhouette stands, half-hidden.
A pang goes through Julie at the sight of him, and she steps onto the gazebo. He’s standing utterly still, a statue, leaning against the railing with his hand slightly extended as if reaching for something. His eyes are glazed.
“Baekhyun,” she says as she catches his hand. “Baek.” He’s still frozen, so she gently shakes him. Sometimes it takes a little bit of extra coaxing from her to pull him from his daze. He finally blinks, coming back to his senses, and he looks down at her with confusion that quickly gives way to understanding. Shame – and wretchedness.
“I was sleepwalking again,” he says. It’s not a question.
Julie tries for a reassuring smile. “But you didn’t yesterday, so that’s progress.”
“It’s not progress. None of this is progress. I don’t…I can’t…” His face is pale and his eyes are wide and glassy like an animal’s caught in headlights. Not terrified. Just…helpless. Resigned.
“Please,” Julie clutches at Baekhyun’s hand. “Please go see a doctor, jagiya. They can help you with whatever is going on. I know you won’t talk to me about it, but you have to talk to someone. You can’t live your life like this.”
“There’s nothing to talk about, Julie.”
“Baekhyun, don’t be stubborn. This has been going on for almost a month! This is a problem, but we can fix it—”
“I don’t want to fix it!” He yanks his hand away as he barks this out, but almost immediately after, the anger drains out of him and he slumps against the railing. His eyes have that vacant look again and he says once more, softly this time, “I don’t want to fix it.”
“Okay, baby,” Julie murmurs soothingly. Behind her calm voice though is a growing fear. If Baekhyun doesn’t try to get better, he’s only going to get worse – and she has no idea how to help him. “C’mon, let’s get you to bed, okay?” Hesitantly, she reaches for his hand, and this time he lets her lead him back to their apartment. When they make it back to the bedroom, Baekhyun just stares at the bed for a while before climbing in beside her. She turns to him, ready to curl up against his chest, but he faces the other way before she can do this.
Julie waits for him to fall asleep before she whispers, “I love you.” Because she can’t bear it if he doesn’t whisper it back. And she’s not sure anymore if he will.
The morning – well, the afternoon, really – brings the scent of coffee. It’s part of Julie’s ritual: wake up, brush teeth, toss some bread in the toaster, and brew coffee for herself and Baek. She twists her hair into a messy bun as she potters around the kitchen. Unbeknownst to Baekhyun, she has a plan. A plan to break him out of this drowning stupor and transform him back into the guy she fell in love with. The guy she broke all the rules for.
Apparently the smells from the kitchen are enough to rouse him because Baekhyun appears in the doorway, yawning. Julie pauses for a moment, distracted by the sight of him. His loose shirt and baggy pajama pants still can’t hide the hard lines of his sculpted frame, and she watches the way his body moves as he makes his way over to her. Even with his bedhead and dark circles, he’s breathtaking.
“Good morning, honey,” she pecks him on the cheek as he passes her to get to the coffee.
“Morning,” he says absently.
“Do you want me to make you an omelet? With chives and tomatoes and cheese? I know you like that.”
“That’s okay.” The clouds on his face clear for a moment as he offers her a smile, and Julie feels her breath catch. “Thank you though, Jules.” His appetite is still next to nonexistent.
“Anytime.” Plucking the toast from the toaster and placing them on two plates, Julie snags the butter from the fridge on her way to the table. Baekhyun joins her with the coffee, and they settle into comfortable silence as they eat.
That is, until she breaks it.
“So I was thinking…” Julie begins, trying not to feel discouraged by Baekhyun’s mental distance, “we should look at houses together.”
This catches his attention and he freezes with his toast halfway to his mouth. Slowly, he puts its down and meets her gaze. “What made you come to that decision?” he asks carefully.
Well, that wasn’t the response she was hoping for.
“I don’t know. This apartment seems so abandoned. Ever since Y/N left and took all her stuff with her, this place feels so impersonal, like a rest stop. Just somewhere to crash in between work and errands and all that.”
His shoulders have become rigid under his shirt. “Don’t talk about her, okay?” he says in a strained voice. The break up was hard on him, Julie knows this. There’s nothing Baekhyun hates more than hurting people, and he’s still probably feeling guilty.
She shrugs. “Okay. My point is, I want a home with you, Baek. I think maybe your soul is feeling restless, and building something new with me could help you find peace. You might even sleep through the night for once.”
He’s tearing his bread into smaller and smaller pieces as he considers this with a frown. “I just don’t know if I want to go house-hunting right now,” he finally admits. “I’m exhausted, and that sounds like an ordeal.”
“Or we can just do up this place.” Baekhyun still seems reluctant. “Come on, please?”
“Fine,” he groans, and Julie squeals, throwing her arms around him.
“Hurry up and finish your breakfast then.”
He glances at her apprehensively. “Why?”
“Because we’re going to the mall right after. And I’m driving.”
The mall is packed. It’s a Saturday afternoon, and everyone and his mother are hanging out here. But then, it’s a small town and this is the only place to go.
Julie drags Baekhyun from store to store, and he struggles to keep up with her as she weaves easily through the clusters of shoppers, towing him in hand. His body feels heavy and clumsy from so many hours – so many nights of disturbed sleep, and his head is beginning to pound. But when Julie points out an intricate lamp or a patterned rug or a potted plant, looking for his opinion, Baekhyun does his best to show interest. Because this girl genuinely cares about him – and he cares about her too. Just not the way he cares about –
Stop. He shakes his head and grinds his teeth together. Don’t go there. Don’t think about her. But how can he not when every damn thing reminds him of her, of Y/N? The way the sun slants through the window of the bedroom they once shared – it used to slip through the blinds and fall directly on her face, and she would complain every morning to Baekhyun about this. But he never bought new curtains because he loved the way the light touched her soft features and made her into something celestial. The sound of rain against the roof of the car brings her to mind. The first time he kissed her – a real kiss, with his hands in her hair and her arms around his neck, pulling him impossibly closer – was in the car, and it had been pouring out. He can’t even bring himself to eat omelets anymore because that was her favorite breakfast food.
Julie is marveling at different ceramic figurines to liven up their living room when Baekhyun suddenly excuses himself to go to the bathroom. As he makes his way out of the Pottery Barn, he pulls his phone from his pocket. He needs to make a call.
The mall is thinning out now. Baekhyun and Julie have been here for a few hours, and people are starting to trickle out. He’s on his way back from the bathroom, trying to remember how to get back to the Pottery Barn, when something catches his attention. A familiar sound, like the tinkling of wind chimes. Laughter. He whips his head around in search of the source of the noise, and his eyes land on a couple standing by a food court kiosk, trying out samples of cheese.
The guy is tall, taller than him, with a white smile, gelled hair, and an expensive fall coat. And the girl beside him is…Y/N.
Baekhyun feels the color leave his face as he reflexively steps back, allowing the people walking to partially hide him as he watches them. He hasn’t seen her since…that day.
The kiosk vendor looks bored as he offers them more cheese samples, but Y/N and the guy seem to be having a great time. She looks radiant, Baekhyun realizes with a twist of longing in his stomach, happier than he’s seen her in a long time. He can only stare as the guy places a sample in his mouth, makes a face, and then leans down to say something in her ear, and she throws her head back and laughs. The sound reaches him again like a caress, like a slap in the face, and Baekhyun’s legs can’t seem to decide if they want to run over to Y/N and the guy and yank them apart – or if they should carry him far, far away. It’s only when he watches the guy reach over to tuck a strand of Y/N’s hair behind her ear that Baekhyun finally can’t take anymore, and he slips into the throng of walking people, letting the tide of their bodies tug him away from her. It almost feels natural to do this.
After all, this isn’t the first time he’s let life pull them apart.
Baekhyun is silent during the ride home, but it’s the kind of silence that feels loaded, ready to burst messily. Something happened while he was in the bathroom, that much she’s figured, and she flexes her fingers around the steering wheel uneasily. Every move she makes only seems to drive him further from her – but she also can’t just stand by and watch him spiral.
“I love you, Baekhyun,” she says softly, tentatively.
“I love you too, Julie.” She bites her lip at how automated his words sound.
At this, he finally looks away from the window to her. “Of course I do. How could I not?”
That should have been comforting, his answer, but something unsettles her about the way he says the last bit – how could I not? – as if there’s more to the question, something he’s leaving unsaid.
How could I not – because I have to at this point.
Even though it’s 6 PM when they get back to the apartment, Baekhyun tells Julie that he’s going to go take a nap and disappears into the bedroom, leaving her alone in the living room with her newly purchased home furnishings. She wilts onto the couch and pulls her knees up to her chin. Without Baekhyun’s company, there’s too many hours to fill, and she doesn’t want to start clattering around with the décor while he’s sleeping. It’s a small apartment.
So she fills the time with busy work – organizing the book shelf, going through her emails, taking out the garbage. On her way back in from the dumpster, she stops by the mailbox to collect their mail and flips through the envelopes as she heads back into the living room. Might as well attend to the bills and cut out the coupons now.
Going through the mail is as dull as she’d expected – until she gets to the phone bill. Julie straightens up in her chair as she scans the page, her interest peaked – and not in a good way. It seems in the last month, Baekhyun has made over fifty calls to the same number, and it’s not one that she recognizes. Shoving the other papers aside on the dining table, she unearths her cell phone and dials the number, not sure what to expect. Hopefully it isn’t some phone sex service—
We’re sorry; you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try your call again.
Julie stares at her phone as the intercept message ends. What the hell? She quickly compares the number she dialed to the one on the bill, and it’s the same. Baekhyun has been calling a disconnected number – multiple times.
Well. It wasn’t always a disconnected number. Pulling her laptop in front of her, she drums her fingers on the table as she waits for it to power on. She’s got some research to do.
It’s late when Julie finally climbs into bed, and not because she had too much trouble with her research. It’s because she had to go take a walk after she was finished to clear her head.
She settles against the pillow and traces the line of Baekhyun’s sleeping form with her eyes, considering waking him. But this might be one of those rare nights when he manages to stay asleep, when he’s not moved to wander, and so she holds herself back, albeit with some difficulty. She can talk with him in the morning, and it’s probably better to sleep on her thoughts anyway. Sighing, Julie closes her eyes and lets the storm in her mind lull her into oblivion.
She wakes a few hours later to an empty bed and rolls over to check the time. 5:15 AM.
“Like clockwork,” she exhales and scrubs her face with her hand. When did this become a normal part of her life? Running after her somnambulistic boyfriend who she’s not even sure loves her, at ungodly hours of the day? A flash of anger goes through Julie as she throws her legs off the bed and gets to her feet. This isn’t the guy she fell for, the guy that could make her laugh even when she felt like crying, who kissed her so deeply that she felt it in her toes. The guy she had been willing to hurt another girl to have.
The guilt comes back in waves as Julie walks out of the apartment complex, repressed emotion set free. She’d never been the type of girl to do what she did, set her sights on a taken man, become a…mistress. Ugh, what a dirty word. But Baekhyun was like no other man – no other person she’d ever met before, and at the time, she probably would have done anything for him. Maybe even still. It hadn’t felt wrong to be with him then because he felt so right by her side, the missing piece in her life. But today, for the first time, she’s feeling something new.
The gazebo comes into sight, and Julie shakes her head, snapping back to attention. Then she blinks. Looks around. Looks around again, feeling panic rising in her chest now, and she hurries over to the gazebo before stopping in her tracks when she finds it unoccupied.
Baekhyun isn’t here.
Julie braces herself against the railing and tries to stay calm. The car is still in the lot, so he can’t have gotten that far, right? But then, he could have started walking hours ago, and she can’t call him because his phone is still on the nightstand. He could be anywhere by now. Oh god, there’s a lake a few blocks away. What if he walked into it and just kept on walking? Forget the lake, what if someone found him in his defenseless state and tried to mug him? What if—
Julie’s bathrobe pocket vibrates – her cell phone. Thank god she took it with her. Snatching it up, she answers it without even checking the caller ID. “Hello? Baekhyun?”
“Is this Julia Lee?” an unfamiliar, commanding voice says from the other end.
“Hello Julia, this is Officer Richards. You are Mr. Byun Baekhyun’s emergency contact, correct?”
Julie’s stomach drops. “Yes. Is he alright? Did something happen?” For the first time, she notices the sound of sirens and voices talking in the background of the call.
“It’s unclear right now as to what the situation is. You see, we found him lying on the side of the highway.”