Secret Keeping

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Shae walked just a little behind Hosoek through the evening air. It wasn't pitch black outside, but darkness was creeping in and fading the color of the world to grey tones around them.

Hoseok was frustrated. He was so good at skipping over tension, making a laugh! Why couldn't he seem to do that now?

Shae blushed to herself. I understand that they still want me to have a babysitter 24/7, but I have to say... everyone is just so easy with accepting this situation. Me. Hobi. Staying together. It's just so... weird to me.

They had reached the barracks and Hoseok pressed his palm into the security panel. Then he stepped aside and gestured for Shae to go first. She stepped past him, her eyes low and averted, through the threshold.

Hoseok cleared his throat. "I'll be out here. Let me in once you've changed and such."

"Right. Ok." The door slid shut, slicing through their tension, and both of them sighed in relief on opposite sides of that door.

" The door slid shut, slicing through their tension, and both of them sighed in relief on opposite sides of that door

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"Shae, you can do this. You can have a normal conversation with Jung Hoseok. You've done it dozens of times." She muttered encouragements to herself while she went about changing into more comfortable clothes.

Hoseok was muttering to himself, too. "Chill out, man. This isn't what it looks like, so just get your head outta that space and talk to her like you always do. Like a beautiful girl who you love to tease, whose laugh is like a Christmas present in every season. Just do that, Hoseok. Forget all this other stuff, it doesn't matter..."

Eventually, the door opened again at Shae's doing. She stood there in a matching pajama set with bulky red socks crumpling the ends of her loose black pajama pants. She held one of Hoseok's pillows against her stomach, and Hoseok couldn't help but think how she managed to look both sexy and innocent at the same time.

He swallowed.

"Well, you can come in now. I won't bite," Shae said through a smile.

Hoseok obliged, and he entered the tiny barrack space. When the door slid heavily behind them both, he realized just how close they were standing to each other. Warmth spread through his skin, but he realized there was nowhere to hide from it.

He stepped towards his truck of clothes and began to rummage through it. "Uh, I'm gonna change."

Shae said softly, "Oh. Should I turn around?"

"I mean, you can look if you want," he said with his typical sass, making her giggle. But his joke and her laugh didn't feel quite as lighthearted as usual.

Shae turned her back, still standing by the door. She could hear the rustle of his clothes as some peeled from his body, and others were pulled on to replace them. He traded his body armor for baggy gym shorts and a lumpy purple hoodie.

When he turned around fully clothed again, it was to stare at Shae's back. Her pajamas were loose and unrevealing. That didn't stop his eyes from tracing down the curve of her neck and drinking in the small dips in the top of her spine with greedy eyes.

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