Chapter 26

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After Taehyung left the room, Emily called Angela's work phone and left a clipped message that she would be taking a week off from work. She couldn't bring herself to face Angela just yet; she needed time, and she needed to get answers from Taehyung.

While Emily plotted how to get answers from the man she was currently sharing her home with, she mindlessly cleaned her room. Mulling over different strategies to get answers about the magical beings around her brought her thoughts back around to Jimin.

There was a part of her that just wanted to trust him. In the time that he'd been around, he had never done anything to hurt her. In fact, everything he had done had been to help or protect her. Maybe I should just trust him she found herself thinking. She shook that thought from her head promptly. Knowledge was power and Emily wasn't going to be weak anymore.

After she got answers and determined how to deal with the mess that was her life, maybe then she could open up to him again and give him a chance. . . A chance to what? Surely after her wishes were granted he would leave. There would be no purpose for Jimin to stick around. I'll just have to forget about this silly crush on him she thought, moving to organize her closet.

Emily had just color coded all the shirts in her closet when she heard Taehyung calling for her to come for dinner.

"He can cook?" she mused aloud. Leaving her bedroom, her senses were assaulted with delicious smells as they wafted down the hallway. Emily picked up her pace, not caring if Taehyung was a liar or not if the food tasted as good as it smelled.

When she reached the kitchen, she was shocked to see that Taehyung had not only made dinner for the two of them, he had also set the table and tidied up the kitchen. Emily gaped at the Taehyung.

"I wanted to do something nice," he murmured quietly, moving to pull out a chair. She stared at him a moment, watching him as he drummed his long fingers on the back of the chair. Taehyung shifted his weight from foot to foot until Emily walked toward him. He straightened then, and sent her a small smile.

"Thank you," Emily answered. "You didn't have to do all this. I usually just order out."

"I know. I felt really bad about lying to you and tricking you," he answered as he moved around the table to sit in the other chair. "I really meant it when I said I felt like you were my friend. I want you to feel like that, too."

Emily's head snapped up at that admission. For all she knew he could be lying, he could be playing some magical trick on her to make her believe whatever he said, but something in the very depths of her being felt like she could trust him.

"I must be crazy," she muttered under her breath. Noticing that Taehyung had dug into the chicken dish he'd made, she picked up her fork and started eating, too. Her eyes widened and a moan of appreciation slipped past her lips. Emily speared more of the food onto her fork and looked up at Taehyung with a smile. "This is delicious! Thank you!"

"It's nothing," Taehyung answered, averting his gaze as a blush broke out on his cheeks.

"Taehyung?" Emily said. He looked up at her, tilting his head. Emily cleared her throat. "It makes absolutely no sense to me, but. . . I trust you. I believe that you didn't mean any harm and I believe that you want us to be friends."

Taehyung leapt up from his seat and rounded the table. He knelt beside her and grabbed her hands. "Oh, Emily that makes me so, so happy! You have no idea!"

Emiliy shot him a small smile. "I also believe that you meant it when you said you would truthfully answer any of my questions."

Taehyung's smiled dropped for a split second before returning to its boxy radiancy.

"I will!" He exclaimed, dropping her hands and standing. "I want to be your friend and gain your trust. My only friends are the ones that work at Wishing Well, but even I know you have to have trust to have any kind of relationship." He made his way back to his seat and started eating again.

Emily considered him for a moment. What kind of person would so willingly tell a virtual stranger the truth about something so secret? If Angela had never told her, why would Taehyung tell her so easily. Emily's chest squeezed painfully. Maybe we were never actually friends.

Tears silently started to fall from Emily's eyes. She sniffed and wiped them quickly, not wanting Taehyung to notice. At the sound of her sniffle though, taehyung's head snapped up.

"Emily?" he asked, alarm evident in his voice. Emily picked up her fork and started shoveling food into her mouth. She fixed her eyes on the food in front of her unwilling to let Taehyung see her having a moment of weakness.

When she didn't answer him and no more sniffles came from her side of the table, Taehyung slowly started eating again. He could see the tears falling from her cheeks to the table in front of her, but until she was ready to share with him he wasn't going to push.

They finished the rest of their meal in silence. The only sounds in the apartment was the clinking of forks on plates. When Emily was finished, she rose from the table and took her plate to the sink. She turned the water on and added soap, determined to occupy herself and put off the conversation she'd been so desperate to have earlier. She jumped a little when Taehyung's plate clanked into the sink with hers.

"So what happened today?" Taehyung asked, leaning back against the counter. Emily released a humorless laugh and grabbed a dish towel from the drawer next to the sink. Dunking her hand and the towel into the water she began scrubbing the dishes in an attempt to avoid Taehyung's questions.

After a few moments of silence, she found herself wanting to spill her guts though. Emily wasn't sure if it was the silence making her so uncomfortable that she needed to speak, or if the part of her that trusted Taehyung was overriding the pessimistic, distrustful side of her.

Emily stared into the soap bubbles as she spoke, "Well, you know I know about you and Jimin obviously. He and I banged heads and it's like the floodgates opened and every memory from that night came flooding back."

Emily reached out a soapy hand and grasped Taehyung's hand that was resting closest to her. His eyebrows jumped at the contact.

"Thank you," she said softly. "Thank you for exposing yourself to save me that night. I know you didn't have to and I know it puts you at risk, but thank you."

"I wouldn't have dreamed of not helping you," Taehyung answered. "My senses drawing me here aside, you're a genuinely good person; I could never have let that man do anything to hurt you. I'm sorry I didn't act sooner." Taehyung hung his head and Emily's heart ached. "If I had acted sooner, if I had just been honest with you from the start, then he never would have had a chance to get in this house. I'm so, so--"

Taehyung was cut short when Emily suddenly grabbed him from the side and wrapped her arms around him. Taehyung looked down at the top of Emily's head, eyes wide, mouth slightly agape. He shifted so that they were hugging normally and then he felt the wetness on the front of his shirt.

"You have nothing to apologize for," Emily said, her voice muffled by Taehyung's chest. "Thank you for caring and thank you for being sorry about lying. Even my own best friend wouldn't tell me the truth. So thank you, Taehyung. Thank you so much."

Her voice shook as she spoke into his chest and Taehyung's heart broke just a little bit. The raw hurt that was emanating from her cut him to the quick. He got it then; all that Emily had wanted from anyone was honesty. Honesty about who Jimin was and why he was there. Honesty about Angela's identity. As he hugged her, a weight seemed to lift from his shoulders. They were friends now; something in his senses alerted him to Emily's change of heart.

She was going to get through this, and he knew just how to help.

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