97 Sphere of Influence Pt.1

    "Where did you get that ring from?"

    The words left Gyuri's mouth before she had time to think. Gyuri watched as Jimin shifted uncomfortably from opposite her, his eyes darting in every direction to avoid meeting hers.

    "It was- it was a present from my parents" Jimin fumbled in reply. But internally, he was cursing at himself for forgetting to take off something as important as his imperial ring.

    "Can I see it?" Gyuri asked rather enthusiastically as she leaned in to close the distance between herself and Jimin.

    In response, Jimin shuffled back. "W-why?"

    "I just wanna have a look at it" she replied, inching closer. If I'm not mistaken, that ring is...

    "No, I rather not" Jimin answered uncomfortably. He hid his hand behind his back. "It is too..." Jimin paused as he searched for the right word, "embarrassing."


    "The ring is made of poor material" Jimin lied. "It is of the cheapest quality-"

    "I don't care about that" Gyuri insisted as she drew even closer. "I just want to see..."

    But still, Jimin refused. "No."

    "C'mon, Chim Chim" Gyuri pouted. "I'm just gonna take a quick look, I'm not going to do anything else with it-"

    Without warning, Gyuri launched herself from her sitting position and pounced on Jimin to inspect the ring he was working so hard to conceal. Jimin scrambled backwards as he tried to defend himself.

    "What are you doing?" Jimin screeched as Gyuri managed to wrestle on top of him. "Unhand me!"

    "I just want to see your ring!" Gyuri growled back. "Why are you being so difficult?"

    Like a ravenous pauper, Gyuri continued to reach for Jimin's right hand while he squirmed from underneath her. "Get off me!" he bellowed as he attempted to wriggle free. "Get off me this instant!"

    Gyuri continued to claw after Jimin's hand while using her weight to pin his body down. By sitting on top of his midriff, Jimin was rendered immobile. With only his arms free, Jimin fought back Gyuri's advances with his left while he stretched his right as far as he could.

    I must not let her see it! He panicked. This ring will give away my identity!

    The pair continued to wrestle on the dry grass, both consumed with relentless fervour not to lose to the other. On multiple occasions, Gyuri reached out for his ring but failed as Jimin was quick to swat her prying hands away. Growing frustrated, Gyuri shifted her weight to her knees to gain a better reach, momentarily allowing Jimin to break free from her grasp.

    That was all it took for the tables to turn.

    Gyuri let out a yelp of surprise as Jimin grabbed hold of her wrists as he pinned her down, reversing their position. With her back landing with a soft thud on the dry grass, Jimin glared down at her, his face as black as thunder and his eyes burning with a muted fury. He spoke authoritatively, "You are not going to see my ring, do you understand?"

    Gyuri nodded, suddenly made speechless by the angry, young man on top of her. From their earlier struggle, loose strands of hair had escaped his top knot, peppering his face to create a dishevelled appearance. Gyuri swallowed as she took in the view from the bottom. Hot dang it, even when he's angry he's still handsome... Instead of being frightened of him, she abruptly became shy by their precarious situation.

    Oblivious, Jimin continued to glower at her. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

    "You're- you're too close..." She turned her cheek as she murmured, "And you're heavy."

    "I am too close?" Jimin echoed, puzzled.

    He inspected Gyuri's face and noticed the rosy glow spreading across her countenance. Her long, raven hair sprawled across the dry grass was like a silky blanket; her dark brown eyes were averted but showed a hint of nervousness, and her plump, pink lips were parted slightly to reveal her pearly whites. Jimin's heart skipped a beat when Gyuri locked eyes with him, a vulnerable expression gracing her features as she continued to gawk. There was something about the way she was looking at him that made Jimin's heart jump wildly in his chest. And it didn't help that Jimin's body was also responding to her seductive charm.

    He gulped when he finally realised what Gyuri's words meant. Hurriedly, he fumbled to get off her. "I-I-"

    But before Jimin could get another word in, an unexpected fist suddenly flew at him causing him to propel to the side. Saliva spewed from his mouth as he staggered sideways.

    "What are you doing to Gyuri?!"

    Gyuri and Jimin turned to the perpetrator and their eyes widened in disbelief when they saw who it was.


    With his fist throbbing in pain, Taehyung scowled at Jimin as he shielded Gyuri behind him. "Gyuri, are you alright?" he panted as he took a quick glance at her. "Stay behind me. I will protect you from this scoundrel."

    "Taehyung, you've got it all wrong-"

    "What was that for?" Jimin interrupted from the ground. Gingerly, he touched his lip and grimaced when he saw blood stain his fingers. "This is all a misunderstanding-"

    "Oh, yeah?" Taehyung spat. "Then what were you doing on top of Gyuri? Were you trying to take advantage of her?"

    Jimin's face coloured at the accusation. "I-I was- I was not!"

    "Chim?" Zeren called as he jogged towards the small huddle. Behind him, the orphans followed closely. "What's going on over here?"

    "We heard yelling," Chun Chun remarked while observing the scene before her.

    "Mama, why are you on the floor?"

    Taehyung shouted, "You corrupt imperial guards! How dare you try and take advantage of my person!" He turned to Zeren. "I just caught your friend trying to molest Gyuri!"

    Zeren's eyes flew open. "What? Chim was?"

    "No, he has it all wrong!" Jimin protested hurriedly. "It is all a misunderstanding!" He addressed Gyuri, "Tell them what really happened! I am innocent!"

    "He's right" Gyuri clarified. "He-he didn't do anything wrong..."

    Taehyung didn't look convinced.

    "It was my fault. I was trying to look at his ring when he didn't want me to and we ended up in that- in that... position."

    Zeren turned to Taehyung. "See! The pretty lady said it herself. It was a misunderstanding." He folded his arms across his broad chest. "I think you owe Chim an apology."

    "Are you certain he did not wrong you?" Taehyung queried, ignoring Zeren.

    Gyuri meekly nodded. "Chim Chim's innocent."

    Reluctantly, the young boy turned to face Jimin with his gaze cast down in shame.

    Jimin scoffed as he watched him engage in a staring contest with the floor. That is right, he internally spoke. You must feel dreadful for having hit someone innocent. You are fortunate that I am forgiving-

    Taehyung looked up.

    Jimin's eyes rounded when he finally locked eyes with Taehyung. Instead of the remorseful expression he was expecting, he saw something else that made him feel on edge.

    "I... apologise" Taehyung mumbled, but the hardened look on his crescent eyes sent him a different message.

    Jimin clenched his jaw as he matched Taehyung's unrelenting stare.

    Stay away from her.
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