Leigh really liked this city. Not because it was home to the supernatural, something he was but never really flaunted but just because of the general feeling like you could lose yourself in a crowd here. Leigh had never liked to be the center of the attention, it was why he owned a low profile store in the middle of the city where even his shop seemed to get in the crowd of others around. It was why all his published papers were written under a name that wasn’t his own and he never bragged about them or brought them up at all really. The kitsune did well for himself, but only his business partner and bank manager really knew that.

The therian was sitting on his slightly wobbly chair behind the counter of the shop, it was late afternoon and the sun was starting to set on Evermore city. It had been a busy morning for the store because a new book had been released by a popular author and all of his regulars had come in to pick up their pre-ordered copies but it had quietened down greatly in the afternoon and he was on the verge of dozing off as he leaned against the desk and tried to keep his eyes open. Just a few more hours and he could get back to his paper on weights of investor sales in share prices, he reminded himself.

His attention was suddenly snapped to alert when he heard the alarm to the store go off he quickly raised to his feet in surprise, he wasn’t all that worried at first because customers often accidentally set off the alarm when they knocked one of the displays but as he spotted the hooded figure who had his face covered with a balaclava the therianthrope realized quickly that he was in trouble. His heartbeat began to quicken as he reached for the phone in his pocket and his eyes quickly darted outside, there was no one there to shout for help.

When the male came up to the counter he demanded all of the money from the till Leigh stared a little dumbfounded and then his eyes widened and he nodded slightly when the male pulled a gun on him. Leigh’s breath hitched in panic, sweat forming on his brow from the very sight of the gun and the fear of the male pulling it “Okay, okay” he assured doing his best to keep control over his emotions as he reached to get the override key and then slotted it into the bottom drawer of the register, his hands were shaking as he pulled it open and then stepped aside to let the assailant take what he wanted. He kept debating reaching for his phone but it seemed unwise with the male watching him like a hawk, Leigh swallowed doing his best to stay calm.

Part of him was mad, why his shop of all the places here, it wasn't like an independently owned bookstore made anywhere near as much as money as all of the big corporations who kept trying to push him out of his property. He kept his words to himself as always though, Leigh wasn't a confrontational person and the money in the register wasn't worth the risk of being shot. When the male backed him against the counter and demanded his wallet was when he really started to panic, the screaming of the alarm not helping him to think straight either.

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There was something about the kitsune that really did pique his interest, was it the way he talks? The way he carries himself? Or was it really because just how real he portrayed himself to be? Behind Eun’s smile lies a difficult and complicated story that most people would often tell him to stand up for himself and lead his own life the way he feels right; the way he wanted it to be. If only it’s as easy as it’s being said. The saying ‘easier said than done’ didn’t exist for no reason, after all. It was backed up by proper and solid inferences. However, they forget that for someone like Sangeun, who only knew how to please people surrounding him, especially his parents, seeking approval is a prerequisite to everything that he does. Before he does this, he needs to be sure it will be well-approved by his parents and his superiors. In the working field, it would’ve worked, but once the personal curtains fall, not so much. It makes him feel limited.

Eun desperately wanted to fly away from the things that weighed him down. Leigh, on the other hand, he couldn’t quite read. Perhaps, there is some truth to what the therian said before, regarding their kitsune lying abilities. If he wanted to lie, he wouldn’t know it. What an interesting person, he thought. The elder Moon has been around people almost all his life, with the exception when he feels inclined to be by himself to finish his work and put a real distance between social life. He’s been to plenty of charity fundraisers held by the district attorney and the firms, he’s met various people coming from different backgrounds, from those who were born with a silver spoon to those who worked their way up into the hierarchy. He’s met genuine people and the opposite. But Leigh was probably the first person he actually felt comfortable to be around, without having to put up a mask over his face, or a wall. The therian oozes serenity and solace.

Much like the stories, he likes being the hero, obviously. It gives him a sense of elevated significance. Even if it’s to one person, he’ll take it. He does want people to be proud of him, anyway. From the corner of his eyes, Leigh exuded that shy exterior that really does look cute on him, and Eun being Eun, is loose with compliments. You can hear the sincerity in it. “Oh thank god, I was beginning to think I’m the only one who thought that this was going very well. It’s hard to stop your head from filling the spot with paranoia and what if’s. I was starting to think my company was boring you out, I mean, I ramble… a lot, which I normally don’t do, oh my god, I’m actually doing that again, uh, sorry” fluttering his eyes shut momentarily, the dhampir tried to take a breather and calm himself. Why was he being so jittery in front of Leigh? Why does this guy make him so nervous? Maybe it’s the first time meeting and first impression weighing on him. Yeah, that’s it.

As he ran his hands on his dark locks, he had a sheepish grin plastered on his face while rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. “Well, you know what they say, right? Practice makes perfect? Did I get that right?” he enquired, his orbs growing slightly larger as he leaned forward to see if his words were true or not. “Yeah, my first day in this city has been quite memorable so far. I was trying to incapacitate a burglar, and I managed to befriend a kind shopkeeper who’s not all that he says he is. What an interesting way to start my journey, indeed” he jested, an amused smile tugging on the corner of his lips as he stared gleefully at the other male. Unfortunately, once the talk about his wedding came around, he wasn’t so gleeful as he was. Don’t get him wrong, it’s not that he doesn’t approve of this arrangement nor was he against it. It was his parents’ wishes, and he’s always wanted to continue that streak of making them proud. Ahreum is a nice girl too, everything was well. Both families are getting along and everything was already planned, leaving Eun to just prep his own self into becoming someone else’s husband in 8 months time.

“Uh, yeah, I guess you can say that. As long as we’re together…” couldn’t make it more convincing, can you Eun? “Don’t pass out? Oh wow, that’s a bit of good advice, right there, Leigh” he chuckled, and pressed his lips into a thin line. Why does it feel more burdensome as the day passes by now? Did he make the right choice? Of course, he did. How gorgeous she looks? Ahreum Kim, in all of fairness, is known to be quite the beauty, but that’s all that he could appreciate, she’s a good company, a good friend, someone with a golden heart, which made everything a whole lot worse since rejection is so far away from his head. “I’m not gonna lie, I’ve never been to a wedding before. I’ve been to a few parties, formal ones like fundraisers and whatnot, and that’s all because my superior invited me and it’s all about making connections here and there. I know nothing about other kinds of parties or how wedding ceremonies are supposed to play out, I feel like a newbie” with his head hung low and the faint blush creeping up, Eun really did look like someone who got married without any notice. “I haven’t even had my first kiss yet, much less-” Shit, TMI, Eun. TMI. “Nevermind…” Thankfully, he was quick to cover it up with his attempts on helping Leigh clean up.

Crouching down as he picked up a few books, he shook his head and told him not to worry. “It’s the least I could do, besides, you’ve graced me with your company, surely you don’t mean to chase me away so soon after offering me tea, right?” with his eyebrow arched in a questioning manner and that pout, it’s impossible for Leigh to reject him, right? “I’m staying at a hotel and won’t be visiting him until tomorrow morning so it’s fine. He’s probably busy studying in his room at this hour, anyway” he added, he’s so tempted to actually give him a reassuring pat on the shoulders and would actually have done that had it not been due to the books piled up on his hands. “Of course, I miss my baby brother. It’s been a little over 8 to 9 months now since I last saw him? I didn’t get to do a lot for him so… call me sappy” Eun wasn’t shy when it comes to showering his siblings with love obviously. “I believe I’m a good brother, I’m not sure if others see the same. Hopefully, I lived up to the expectations” and there it is, the ‘expectations’.

When asked if he knew of his arrival to Evermore, or to visit, he shook his head and chuckled nervously. “Yeah, he doesn’t. He doesn’t even know I’m not in Korea, much less here in another country, in the same city where he’s residing at. It’s a surprise, which I really do hope he would take it as one and won’t try to end my life. If I die here, do I come back as a ghost to haunt people? Do you guys have magical soil or anything?” Oh, Eun. “I like to flatter people who deserve it. You can’t tell me putting a smile on someone’s face doesn’t make you giddy” besides, to Eun, Leigh is a cute guy. Goofy, reckless, precious. Cute. “Admittedly, it is nice. In a way. But sometimes, having something so predestined isn’t a good way to start your path. Maybe that’s just me” he murmured absentmindedly. Of course, Eun would say that. The pressure is still there and just because he said it’s okay, doesn’t mean he’s fine dealing with it for the rest of his life. There has got to be at least a sliver of resentment somewhere inside of him that raged. But he does like being a dhampir, it gives him meaning. His eyes would marvel at the way the sword infused itself with the bright energy suiting their own affinity color and the way it fits so perfect in his hold as if it was made for him.

Nodding in response to Leigh’s question earlier, he winked playfully while twirling the handle around. “I do. We have our local dojo, not far from where we live. I used to sneak there during law school a few times, completely unnoticed, of course. And sometimes, we train individually though it’s always much more fun when you have someone to train with.” He would admit, hearing the story of how Leigh’s kitsune heritage came to be made him frown slightly. Eun wondered how hard it was for Leigh but at least he had people with him to help him go through it, so there’s that small assurance. “A lone wolf dies but the pack always survives. At least that’s what I read from a book, anyway. Being surrounded by your family is always better than being alone.” Seeing how giddy Leigh was being when he offered him his sword, Eun couldn’t refrain himself from fawning as he tried to stifle his laugh. “You look a lot like those kids who their moms just told them they’re getting candies as a reward, cute” To Eun, calling people cute is a norm, but to the therian? Who knows. “I’ll be truthfully honest, I don’t know much about her...it’s uhm… an arranged marriage.” God, can he just bury himself already?

Leigh was the full definition of an introvert, he enjoyed being alone and his own company more than most, the idea of an afternoon to himself was a blissful prospect. He often felt very drained and exhausted if he spent too much time around people, especially customers who tried to small talk with him. His main problem was trying to come up with things to say to people, often when he tried to joke or talk to people he came off stiff and awkward. Most people he didn’t even try to talk to, he just let them pass. He was a good listener though, he picked up details well and enjoyed hearing people tell stories or talk about themselves. Sometimes he wondered if he was better at speaking whether he would have more friends but then he’d never really found someone he’d thought about befriending in a long time. Until today, today he had found someone who he just couldn’t ignore, someone who stood out from everyone else. Sangeun Moon.

Leigh laughed lightly and ran a hand through his pink locks and smiled innocently “Sorry, I’m not really good at putting people at ease, my parents say I’m unapproachable sometimes” he shook his head, he wasn’t trying to be, he just always seemed to be expecting the worst of people around him, mostly thanks to the life he had been through “I’m not trying to be, it’s just people are…” he paused trying to find wording for what he was trying to say “People, you just never know what they’re gonna do” like pretend to be your friend one day and hold you face down against the pavement another for example “It’s a work in progress” he spoke shyly and dropped his gaze for a moment. It seemed like they both had their troubles around others “Your rambling is okay though, I’m a good listener” he spoke softly implying he was getting the points Eun was trying to get across.

Leigh gave a proud smile as he listened to the other male use an idiom, considering he wasn’t a native speaker, it was really impressive how well Eun communicated himself and how well Leigh could make a conversation with him. The only thing Leigh noticed was that Eun did speak slowly when he was speaking English, likely because he was translating the sentence to himself as he spoke. Leigh was a little in awe of his ability “Yeah that’s right” he spoke with a nod but he got quieter, nervous for the nth time since this guy had walked into his life. Honestly, Leigh had lost count. “So we’re friends?” Leigh asked with a raised brow, he liked the sound of that, he didn’t really have many people he could call a friend, there was Yeon, but he was more of a business partner than a confidant, there were a few people from the university but he’d never really been particularly close with anyone there and then there was Willow. Willow was probably the closest thing he had to a friend. “I kinda like the sound of that” he admitted with a shy laugh, what a strange way to find a friend too.

The way Eun talked about his significant off felt off to Leigh, like he was trying to convince himself of what he was saying and not doing particularly well at doing so either. Eun’s comment about Leigh’s advice made the kitsune scrunch his nose a little “Not how I meant it” he spoke and then tapped the side of his head “My brain has a backward way of saying things but” he chuckled “I know when I see someone really handsome I feel a little weak in the knees when I look at them” he spoke and nodded. A little like now, though Leigh was doing his utmost to keep his nerves under control because he didn’t want to give up this chance of having a new friend. He’d not managed to keep a conversation going this long with someone in a very long time. Leigh hadn’t even realized his wording would probably tell the other male he was gay until a few seconds after when he awkwardly added to the end “So you might feel the same when you look at her, you know” he needed to stop talking because it sounded like he was digging a grave. But then the other male one-upped it by talking about how he hadn’t had a first kiss. Which shocked the therian completely to silence and made him quirk his brows in confusion, how did that work if he was engaged and also how had someone who looked like….that, never kissed anyone. He said nothing on it but his puzzled look was telling.

Leigh didn’t argue when Eun started picking up books from the floor and helping to stack them on the shelves, he wasn’t going to argue help when he probably really needed it and it was an excuse to stay alongside the other male for longer which he would definitely take advantage of “Sure, how could I say no when you put it like that?” he asked with a chuckle as he looked down at the spines of the books he’d picked up and arranged them alphabetically by author surname just like Willow had decided they should do. Hearing Eun talk about his plans with his brother, Leigh couldn’t help the smile that sat on his lips, he could tell how significant his younger brother was to him just by the endearing way he spoke. Hearing the word expectations made Leigh frown a little though, nothing good ever seemed to come from that word, he had found. Expectations were so rarely exceeded “If you think you are, that’s all that matters” he pointed out with a shrug “Well maybe his opinion too but you came here to surprise him so how could he say otherwise” Leigh smiled softly, he wasn’t the kind to give advice really so he was just saying it how he saw it.

Leigh found it really fun, the way the other male would say somewhat naive things, the kitsune kinda found himself wondering if the other male was being serious or if he was joking sometimes but he’d always had that problem when it came to people, he erred on the assumption Eun was joking “Hopefully you won’t have to find out” he responded with a chuckle “You look like you can run fast though” he added with a smile. The way Eun spoke about complimenting people was kinda sweet “I think it depends if said person can take a compliment” he explained with a laugh and played with the hair at the back of his neck “I, however, can not, I get shy and embarrassed” there was no way the other male hadn’t already noticed that so he wasn’t exactly revealing anything major. “Don’t let it stop you though, I’m just hopeless when it comes to people” he gave a sheepish smile and shrugged.

Hearing about the training Eun did, it was clear the dhampir was really passionate about what he did and it was all clearly evident on his face as he spoke “Must have been nice to have a community alongside you when you were young, people you could relate to” it was an observation but also a recognition by the kitsune that he didn’t have that for himself. “I wouldn’t have chosen this life for myself but I don’t hate it either” he spoke about the comments on a pack “My pack have definitely made that easier for me” especially his alpha who was very kind and understanding and put Leigh at ease about what he was expected to do and me. As Leigh was playing around a little with the sword he grinned goofily at Eun and his comments, though he did blush when he called him cute “I’m a bit of an anime addict and this looks just like something from one” he admitted and then chuckled, well if Eun didn’t think he was a dork already he would now. He gave it back soon enough though because seeing it in the dhampir’s hands was even better.

The next words though, it made Leigh look a little like he had been punched in the gut though as he realized he just pushed on a topic which was probably very difficult “I’m so sorry, if I had any idea-” he spoke and then pressed his lips together “If I knew that then I wouldn’t have-” he didn’t really know what to say about it all. That was rough and probably what the other male meant about expectations. The kitsune’s expression softened as he forced his gaze to lift and meet Eun’s eyes “You don’t love her?” as someone raised in America with very liberal parents, it was very difficult for him to put himself in Eun’s shoes but he felt like he should say something about it now that he’d forced the topic onto him.

Exactly like how he portrayed himself to be in front of everyone in societal norms, Eun is a good extrovert. He's always forward with everything and did not shy away from any sort of advancements whatsoever. He learned about almost everything he needed to prepare himself for the inevitable hurdles in life. He knew one day, it would come knocking on his door and the elder Moon wishes to be no more than to be ready for it when it comes. The only department he seems to be lacking at the moment is one regarding relationships and love in general. He didn't even know what it's supposed to mean other than reading about it one time in his teenhood just because he came across the said topic and another when he had to do an essay paper and a questionnaire about the said topic.

Basically, it was one of the most awkward moments of his life. He didn't know what to do and it was rare for him not to know what to do for he likes to be prepared to do everything. Anything. He contrasts Leigh in plenty of ways but there were also parts where they matched each other better, much to his surprise. Recognizing the shy and timid nature before the kitsune's curtains, he wanted to do nothing but to unveil what lies behind it. So far into their conversation, and judging from how he acted, Leigh showed himself in a very exemplary light which does pique the dhampir's attention. "Awww no, it's not easy to talk to people, it takes a great deal of confidence and bravery, one which you've managed to showcase from the beginning of our conversation, so bravo to you, Leigh" Eun always thought the world of people. He wasn't a pessimist, in fact, he was the opposite of it. While still being a realist, at times, he is easily seen as an optimist who always strives to look the best in people but still knowing enough not to let it loud his judgments. Being a lawyer gave him enough training in that, thankfully. So he could read people according to their body language alone nowadays.

But Leigh? He couldn't read him as well as he thought he would. There was something about that charming guy that just draws him in and he's not sure what it was. Doesn't mean he's not gonna try to stick around to find out. He had a month to spend here, why not use some of it to get to know the latter better, right? He could use a friend. Or two. Though he'll settle with one for now. "You're doing very well, Leigh, keep going and maybe one day, you may even find yourself talking to strangers chirping with a cheerful demeanor" he jested, poking the therian playfully as the talks about conversing with others came to point. Nodding in response to his statement about not knowing what people would do, humans in general, are just unpredictable. In more ways than one. "Well,  we're not mind readers or telepaths, no? There's no way we could read their minds, anyway. So why bother investing on that thought? It's going to happen or pass, at some point. We best just get ourselves accommodate to it to ensure a proper...delivery? I don't know how you'd word it" truly, literature is not his forte. God knows how much he is crying internally whenever they asked for him to write down poetry mixed up in the figurative languages.

Are they friends now? Eun really does want to befriend him, that much the dhampir knew. "I don't know about you, Leigh, but I would love to find a friend in you. I don't really have many friends, to start with, just acquaintances… so you're probably my first genuine friend after graduating high school. When I was in law school, everyone was so busy trying to push each other roof the ranks, everything was a competition. It's not a healthy environment to grow in," It doesn't strike him as a surprise to find just how much he detested the environment he was forced to tolerate. At some point, he even conform himself into following their sociocentrism. He decided he hated it so he never looked back on that path, ever again. "But if you want me to disappear from your life like nothing happened after I walk out of that door, that's totally fine too, you know. I-um, don't want to make you feel compelled into befriending me and all, out of obligation or inclination." Eun rarely feels embarrassed or shy, but with the therian around, he's a lot more prone to it than he thought.

Was this the sign of him actually caring what people thinks? Wait, no, he's always cared. Perhaps, it's the first friend thingy. Yeah, he's not used to such genuineness after being surrounded with people who had no sense of authenticity. Handsome? Oh, Eun has been complimented plenty of times on his physical appearance and it had always elevated his narcissism. Hey, he likes being told that he's attractive, there's nothing wrong in basking in his own delight. But coming back to the question on hand, did he feel anything towards Ahreum? Were there any fluttering butterflies in the pit of stomach whenever he catches a glimpse of the heiress? Not that he could recall. It made the male press his lips into a thin line because he was trying to contemplate what this meant. Was he just heartless at love? Eun has never felt romance in his life but it also didn't mean he never wished for the chance to have them. So no, he's not heartless. But why couldn't he feel a thing about Ahreum that wasn't sympathy?

The way Leigh phrase his words managed to drive his attention away from the female and on the male before him instead. Oh, now he gets it, did Leigh prefer the company of men more than women? Or was it just men in general? Fortunately, despite being raised in a conservative community, Eun never held any prejudice thoughts about people who had different sexual orientation. In fact, he probably admired them for their courage and strength. Stepping out could not have been easy at first. God, he wanted to tell him so bad that he didn't feel anything when he sees her. But the conflict that rests inside him would not allow him. He noticed the look of confusion masking Leigh's face upon hearing that he actually has not been given the chance to have his first kiss yet, which made a blush rose up his cheeks as his ears too, began reddening. It wasn't as prominent under the dark, thankfully. "I'm not sure what to make of your reaction, honestly. Do you have a hard time believing I have not yet receive my first kiss? Or the fact that you simply don't believe I'm telling the truth about that?" it was a half-assed attempt to jest, but it didn't go fully through because even Eun laughed awkwardly.

As he pulled the books on his hands, he was grateful that he was blessed with his physical state because it allows him to maneuver heavy things a lot better when the circumstances call for it. "I'm very persuasive" he quipped, wearing a rather proud grin on him. It does give the dhampir an easier access whenever he wanted things to go his way with others, though it never really involved his own personal life. Hearing the words of encouragement from Leigh was definitely what he needed. "You know, for someone who's so timid and shy with social communication alone, you give out good advices. Perhaps you should talk more, I can tell you that your voice does sound soothing." It really does. Eun felt like he could talk about his problems so easily with him around. "Maybe that's your charm." It felt like he was at ease around Leigh and he's loving the sensation it sends. "If you were to compare me and my baby brother, he's the faster one. If you want to to rely on agility, that'll be him. This is like saying I'm only brawn but no brains, but I do rely a lot of brute strength more. Doesn't mean I don't use my head... " he was quick to dismiss it sheepishly, after all, if it wasn't for his head, he wouldn't have landed a position as a lawyer.

"I really like shy people, you know why?" he  purposely leaner closer just to get a rise out of it, to identify what reaction he would receive from the kitsune. "Because they always give the best reactions. It's just cute. And they're always so genuine and sincere, it's endearing." Maybe that's how he views them, but it's not as if Eun viewed them in a negative light anyway. It felt more like a compliment, right? And maybe, Eun liked the blush he could elicit from Leigh a little bit too much. Eun  pursed his lips sadly as he stared at the taller male, masking a look as if he was thinking wistfully on behalf of him. "Yeah, it was nice to have people you know you can relate to, if not by personality individually, at least by what we are. I… don't really train with others, though. My father always trained me. And when my siblings were born, I trained with them. I didn't have friends, like I said before. Only sparring partners occasionally, and it kinda feel lonely" he wished that he could've spent more time with his siblings, honestly. And spend more time enjoying his youth rather than thinking too much for his future that's not going to pack up and leave him.

"I hope you, at least, have a loving family?" The way Leigh carried himself gave him an indication that he possessed loving parents. Eun loves his parents a lot, but sometimes they can be quite the pushovers which does infuriate the elder Moon when he's forced to do things out of his comfort zone. He wanted to have more freedom in his say. He never had any time to watch shows to fill his leisure time so unfortunately, Eun couldn't relate to Leigh's attraction toward anime. "I think it's cute. You know, to pour your interest and passion into something, it's remarkable to see how well you divide your energy." He wanted to have something like that too. Accepting the sword back from the therian, Eun made sure to push it back into its sheath and made sure the grip on the holster was stable enough. He should probably go back, but honestly? He doesn't want to.

Talking about Ahreum had been an accidental mistake, or maybe not, Eun just felt so pressured that he felt the need to say it outloud because he couldn't handle it. "Don't be sorry, no one would've known. I- everyone looks at me and see a guy who had a good life ahead of him. Loving family, good job, stable income, beautiful partner, all of that. I desperately wish that was true," he chuckled softly,  there was a bitter hint to it but it never deterred his smile. "I guess I want it to be true. But you don't always get what you want, no?" it was a question, but why does it feel a lot more like a statement? "I wouldn't go as far as to say I don't love her. She's a good girl, but I'm not sure how I feel about her. You know those butterflies or electric feeling people say they experience when they are in love? I've never felt it… not once." He would be lying if he never wished to receive that too. "Have you ever felt it?"

Leigh normally wouldn’t talk to someone long enough for him to ever admit that he struggled to communicate with others, which he supposed just proved exactly what he was trying to say. He had pretty much always been like that, shying away from others because he expected them to be like the kids back in high school. Of course, he knew those people had grown up and probably grown out of it by now, but the damage they did to him? It never really healed entirely, it was always there in the back of his mind. So to have someone who barely knew him tell him that he was doing well at communicating, that actually meant a lot more than he probably knew “Thanks” he spoke softly and scratched at the back of his neck “I think you’re the first person to stay around long enough to say that” he chuckled “At least in a few years anyway” somehow Leigh found it easier to open up to him than he did with most and so he was going with it, grabbing the confidence while it was there because he wasn’t sure it would be tomorrow. He blames the adrenaline.

Normally Leigh would just brush off any compliments with a shy smile and whoever it was would be on their way, typically they commented on the color of his hair and said it looked nice, a couple of times he’d been told he had a nice smile. But to be complimented on something he was truly pretty insecure over was really comforting, though the teasing Eun did made the therian let out an embarrassed giggle which only got louder when he felt the other male poke against his side where he was ticklish “I don’t think I’d take it that far, people still scare the bejeezus out of me” he spoke and then laughed at the way his brain decided to word that. He sighed softly running a hand through his hair. Eun was right, no one was a mind reader, but other people seemed to be better at picking up social cues than Leigh was “I guess you could say I have seen a lot of the worst in people and so I” he clicked his tongue as he thought about how to word it “I struggle to see the good when it comes to people” the instant someone made a mistake that was when his walls came straight up and he had no idea how to stop it.

He liked how direct Eun was with his words though, Leigh wasn’t that bold by any means, he preferred to hint and hope for the best but Eun seemed to pick up on the meaning behind his words pretty effortlessly. He supposed that came with being a lawyer, you had to be able to read the room and change what you said and did differently based on how the case was going. At least that’s the impression Leigh got from the small exposure he’d gotten while doing jury service a few years back. The way Eun instantly followed it up with an out clause made the kitsune shake his head a few times though “No, that would actually be really nice” he spoke softly “I don’t think...uh..I don’t think anyone has ever asked to be my friend” he spoke and then also reached up to cover his reddened cheeks “I don’t really have many either, there’s my business partner who likes to check up on me sometimes and the shop manager is nice too” but neither of them were people he spent time with regularly or anything, it was mostly just him and his dog most of the time “What do you like to do?” maybe they could find a common interest to do together.

Leigh was still processing all the new information he had learned tonight, he never usually made the effort to get past small talk with most people and none of that required much thought or understanding but he and Eun were passed that part now and that meant getting into deeper and more difficult topics. Yet, somehow, talking with Eun didn’t feel pressured or difficult, there was something about the other male’s aura that was comforting. Well, it was comforting when he wasn’t getting close to Leigh or saying things that made him as red as a tomato anyway. How he was managing to hold himself together while in the presence of someone that looked like Eun did, was beyond him, normally he was a complete mess around especially attractive men. Then again, he had made friends with Yeon who was also pretty attractive and very intimidating so maybe he had a type for friends. Was that a thing? Leigh had no idea, it wasn’t like he had much to compare to considering he basically lived like a hermit most of the time.

Leigh still couldn’t believe he had just implied he was gay to the other male, knowing he was from Korea he was expecting the other male to have some sort of discomfort from the revelation but as he looked back at him he only saw a soft smile which made the Kitsune release the breath he hadn’t realized he was being holding. Even though he had come out to his parents years ago and didn’t exactly hide the fact he was gay, he did still worry about people’s reactions. Another side effect of the PTSD he suffered from but he was getting better at not worrying so much about what people thought, it didn’t change anything about him as a person after all. Eun didn’t say anything on the topic so Leigh just smiled at him until the topic moved to a first kiss. He was quite literally in complete disbelief that was even possible and when Eun called his confusion out the Kitsune parted his lips and then shyly averted his gaze, well that was hard to tell the truth about so directly. He didn’t look at the other male as he spoke “Well I mean you’re” he felt so shy and embarrassed “You’re wow and the fact that no one got to” he was stumbling over his words badly “You know, it’s surprising” he kinda wished the ground would swallow him up from that particular admission so he busied himself with putting the books back in their rightful places.

The way Eun spoke about advice made the Kitsune shrug his shoulders “I guess I see a lot of people make a lot of mistakes” he pursed his lips “I’ve made a lot of my own too so maybe if I can prevent someone from going through what I did, then I have done something good with it” even if it was just one person, that was enough. Leigh didn’t really think much about his voice but he had been told a few times he had a calming tone to it, he tended just to speak slowly because it helped him think about what to say and process his words before he said them “My charm is having a nice voice?” he asked with a light chuckle “Must be all the tea I drink” he spoke and raised his mug to his lips finishing off the last of the green tea he had made earlier which was starting to get a little cold. He listened to Eun compare himself to his brother and he chuckled softly “I don’t think that’s entirely true” he admitted as he glanced over at him, finally shaking the blush a little “I mean you got the thief to back down without even drawing a weapon so” maybe Eun had more skill in using his head than he gave himself credit for.

Leigh was glancing down at the floor where there was a stray book and was about to retrieve it when he heard Eun talk about liking shy people, the Kitsune hadn’t been paying attention to the dhampir’s location too much so he was completely shocked when he looked up only to meet the other male’s eyes up way closer than they were previously. His breath hitched and he swore his breathing stopped entirely for a few seconds because he was so completely struck with how amazing the other male looked and how defined and bold his features were “You can’t just-” he protested but didn’t have the words “Not give me some warning” he spoke as he leaned back, evidently blushing again, God he was a mess. He was glad when the topic moved to something else just so his heartbeat could stop racing and he could go back to the semi-decent conversation they were currently having “Well at least you had your siblings around you” Leigh spoke and nodded a little “I would have loved a sibling” he spoke softly with a thoughtful expression. Not in the cards sadly.

Talking about his family he could definitely do though, he did indeed have quite possibly the best family he could ever ask for “I do” he spoke softly “I was adopted when I was a baby so I don’t remember my biological parents but my parents, my real parents” he paused and smiled “They’re everything I could ask for” he nodded softly, they were supportive and understanding, they were there for him through his highs and lows and never loved him less throughout, he never had a bad word to say about the people who raised him and he was very proud to be their song. He didn’t want to enthuse too much though because he knew not everyone was so lucky when it came to their parents. He repeated the word Eun spoke and smiled “Passion” he spoke softly “Such a rare but important feeling” he mused with a nod, Leigh would describe himself as a passionate person, when he believed in something, he believed in it wholly, it just took him a long time to find those things.

He did feel a few pangs of sympathy for the other male as he spoke about the life he wanted because it just didn’t feel realistic to Leigh, the therianthrope wasn’t very idealistic, he used to be but then he’d gotten kicked down and had his heart broken in the worst way and now that perfect dream of a perfect life just kinda faded away. He was much more for making the most of the moment than striving for something he didn’t actually believe existed. He nodded a little, he couldn’t blame Eun for not feeling anything towards someone he barely knew, he couldn’t imagine how hard it must be to have your life partner picked out for you and try and make something of it. Leigh couldn’t do it, that was for sure. When Eun asked him if he’d felt love and sparks fly the Kitsune pressed his lips together “Yes” he responded “But I uh…” he sighed “I don’t think it’s worth the pain that comes when you lose it” he admitted as he looked down at his hands which were twiddling in his lap. His heartbreak almost had as big of an impact on his life as the bullying did and while he was in a better place now, he supposed the pain had made him afraid of ever looking for it again, so he didn’t. Realizing how awful he was making it sound he shook his head “But that’s just my experience, I’m sure yours can be different” there were people out there who had very happy, very long lives together, after all.

Eun didn’t have many friends, not those he could even consider as friends. Perhaps, his co-workers and the people he often met at fundraisers and such could come around the category of acquaintances but he wouldn’t say they were his friends. For the elder Moon, that word alone held so much significance that he wouldn’t want to trade easily for anything else. Friends are meant to cheer you up and hit you with the bitter truth of how the world just goes, they don’t sugarcoat things every time. They tell you what you need to know because they wanted you to get over it to survive the ride. Those are one of the many things that Eun wished to have in this life, but that’s fine, his brother, Jae is his friend. His siblings Hyunsik and Ahri were his friends too. He’s not thoroughly alone in this, but hearing from the stranger he befriended not long ago say that he would be delighted to make his acquaintance did get a smile going on on that face. 

Something about Leigh drew him in, and he couldn’t specify which part of his many charms did that. He was this shy smart guy that would probably make girls giggle from behind a book while they stalked him in the library. “Don’t sweat it, not gonna lie, your shy demeanor is charming anyway,” and he truly meant it. For Eun who’s never known flirtation 101 in his entire life, flirting is not an option but he does like to flatter people. Sometimes, the compliments got fished out inside him and before he knows it, it’s out of the bag. So long as the person before him can smile, then that is more than good enough. He did strive to make everyone around him a tad bit happier, after all. That embarrassed giggle that was elicited by the Therian caused the Dhampir to cover his own mouth and stifle the laughter that was about to erupt just the same, how could he not? He was a cute giant. “You’re not the first I’ve heard who says that and it’s interesting to see how that concept goes around,” a part of him felt like he could somewhat relate to it, only in his case, he continued his vow of silence, “I think I’ve seen plenty of the bad sides of people. My clients aren’t always good people, but sometimes you just have to do it, you know? Hope for it to finish well and fast without any more implications being made for the other side to suffer. It leaves a bitter feeling in you but that’s what the job is all about.” 

He pursed his lips momentarily as if he was in deep thought before resuming his words with a bright grin that traveled up to his eyes. “But I’ve met a lot of good souls too. They do bad things but they’re redeemable. It’s beautiful.” Eun never saw himself to be so poetic, but sometimes he likes to think that there was more to a person. Naturally, for someone so extroverted around everyone else, he never filtered any of his words simply because he never thought bad things no matter how irritating the company was, but with Leigh, there was this small sense of solidarity that looms over them, allowing the Dhampir to be more carefree and outgoing than usual. What a positive vibe. It was no wonder that he wished to befriend the pink-haired male so bad. Surrounding himself with good people is the best start. “Well, anyhow, with luck before the day ends and I will be on my way, I’ll give you my phone number so we can still contact each other. I sincerely meant it when I said I wanted to befriend you, Leigh. Truly.” 

Scrunching his nose up at his words, he shook his head and made an annoyed expression, “That sounds absurd, no offense. Why wouldn’t anyone want to befriend you? I feel like you just came out of Professor Utonium’s experiment with all that shyness and smile.” He didn’t bother to hide the fact that he really did find Leigh’s smile to be very enticing and pretty. But then again, Eun doesn’t know what he’s doing most of the time anyway, he was surprisingly clueless when it comes to stuff like that hence why a part of his childishness jumped out and referenced Powerpuff Girls. “What do I like to do? Interesting question… I like to cook. A lot. My brother says I stress-cook, not that he ever complains because that meant free food. Oh, I also like to train. It doesn’t have to be at the local dojo, anywhere I can train, I will take it. However, due to the unfortunate time constraint, I’m afraid training isn’t something daily I can do nowadays. My favorite subject used to be History, so you can guess what I like to nerd out on when I can. You?” It was a refreshing question, nothing too out of the circle but nothing too generic either. It helps that he could sense the sincerity radiating from him too. 

Eun doesn’t judge, okay perhaps a bit casually, he does have that judging look present across his face sometimes, but that was all banter purposes. He never cared where someone came from and what their background story was, so long as they’re good to him, that’s all that he needed to know about who they’ll be to him in the future. Admittedly, he wouldn’t be able to find anyone who wasn’t straight in Korea, surprisingly he hasn’t stumbled across either one of them, so Leigh was the first and seeing how kind he was, Eun couldn’t help but allow a smile to adorn his features. Honestly, how can someone not like this guy? Then came that topic about first kiss, Eun was telling the truth, he’s never come anywhere close to a kiss. If you put cheek and forehead kisses out of the equation. “I’m wow?” The confusion spreads around and all he could offer the Therian was a frown and tilt of the head because he didn’t get what he was trying to deliver. “Do you mean to say that it’s surprising no one tried to hit on me all these years? Well now I’m embarrassed,” he scratched the back of his neck awkwardly and struggle to meet his eyes, “I was so busy studying I never noticed any advances, I feel so inexperienced.” Hearing him out, something about the pink-haired male made him feel at ease like a calming storm washed over him. 

Nodding profusely at his claim, he side-eyed the mug for a while and winced slightly because he wasn’t a big fan of green tea, but then again, he doesn’t like earl grey either. “Could be, not gonna lie, I can stand here and hear your voice any day. It sounds very reassuring. Calming, perhaps?” That was when his vocabulary suddenly went out of the window and he wasn’t sure what he was trying to say. Weird. “Too bad I wouldn’t know what tea feels like,” he grinned sheepishly and fixed his sleeves absentmindedly, “coffee guy.” Receiving compliments weren’t unusual for him, he’s gone used to it, but getting them from someone who barely even know him and entirely on his ability to use his head, it made him gape in awe, he even blushed slightly. “Thank you…” Shy look really does not suit him. For a brief while, he was about to ask what’s wrong because Leigh widened his eyes and halted until Eun concluded that he was probably taken aback and surprised by the sudden leaning in, sometimes Eun can be forward like that. 

With one hand behind his back, he chuckled sheepishly and apologized, “Sorry about that, I forget personal space is an actual thing and I need to respect that, it’s just that sometimes I get very comfortable and mutual with someone and that happens,” liar, it was the first time he did that. Contrary to his own beliefs, Eun is a shy guy despite how extroverted he can be at public events. Though he wasn’t lying about the part where he gets comfortable and mutual, he likes the Therian’s company, even though they’ve only met for a while, so he forgot that they were strangers and not life-long friends even when they talk like one. Holding the book in his hand, he brushed it off tenderly and smiled upon hearing the talk about siblings from Leigh, “Yeah, I’m lucky to have them. I would do anything for them... “ putting it back where it was, he leaned against the aisle and stared at the taller male, “You can take mine if you want,” he snickered, pushing both his hands into his pockets and rolling his shoulders back, “I mean, the only one here is Jae, I bet you’d love him. I think he’ll love it here too, that guy reads a lot of books. And having someone as smart as you, he’s probably going to be hooked” he reassures, sharing is caring, no? 

Family talks are always considered as a sensitive subject and despite the treatment, he’s received throughout his childhood, Eun never resented others for having a good family, he only smiled at them, wishing he could feel a small pinch of that too. He always tells himself that he was being ungrateful for feeling that way, but much like what Jae said, their father is a cold and stern man. “I’m glad you have a good family, Leigh, you seem to have a good upbringing too. Guess we know who to thank” he winked playfully. It was clear that Leigh had a bad experience with relationship-wise, from the somber tone underlying his words and his reaction, it hurts to see someone so bright be so sad. “Well, I think anything is worth it if you truly love that person. It goes both ways, of course. If I happen to find that someone, I’ll say they’re perfect and I’d do anything to be with them because I deserve that, the same way they deserve to be happy too. Nothing is impossible.”

 When his eyes caught the clock across the room, he had a mini panic attack because he was supposed to visit his brother tomorrow and it’s getting late, “Oh wow it’s getting late,” he finished arranging the books at a fast pace and was about to walk by the counter before he turned around and fished out his phone, offering it to the Therian, “I wasn’t kidding when I said I want to get to know you more, Mr. Kingsman, so put it your phone number and I’ll send you a message.”

He looked up at the dhampir a little confused when he said his shy demeanor was charming, he wasn’t sure what was charming about barely being able to say a word to someone without choking over your words and looking like a tomato but the look on his face seemed to be sincere which made the therianthrope smile gently “Pretty sure you’re the only one who thinks that” he laughed, people were always telling him he needed to be more confident and put himself out there, it was easier said than done, especially with everything he had been through in his past. Today had definitely shaken him up a little, reminded him of a very dark time in his life. If it wasn’t for Eun he definitely would have been in a much worse state and he’d probably be down the takings from the till and everything he had in his pockets too. He was really grateful the other male happened to be passing tonight for more reasons than just the whole saving him from an armed robber thing. Of course the other male would have probably seen the worst of the worst when it came to people, defense attorneys had to defend clients who were evidently guilty after all and he imagined that couldn’t be easy “I’m not sure my conscience could let me do that so I really respect your ability to separate that” he nodded thoughtfully, couldn’t be easy, that’s for sure.

The way he managed to put a good spin on it though, that said a lot about his character, he could tell that Eun was much more of an optimist than he was but it was nice to meet someone like that, being around him was kinda uplifting, his outlook on things refreshing and while conflicting with Leigh’s own views on the world, certainly interesting “You know your sense of optimism is kinda addictive” he commented and nodded his head slightly “I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who can quite so easily look for the good in something” he meant that as a compliment of the highest stature, after all, anyone who could see the dark in the world and still manage to find some light was admirable. The whole idea of making friends with him though, it almost seemed too good to be true, Eun definitely looked like he walked straight off a modeling runway and then there was Leigh in loose-fitting jeans, glasses perched on his nose, looking about as average as average came, it definitely felt like a weird combination for a friendship. Plus Leigh didn’t even know where to start when it came to friends, he didn’t have many of them and those he did he’d known for so long he didn’t even remember what brought them together in the first place “Okay” he spoke softly choosing to take his word for it “Though I should warn you I forget to reply a lot” usually because he was too buried in a book and didn’t want to leave it.

He widened his eyes in surprise at the geeky reference Eun used which quickly became an appreciative grin when it set in, he liked someone who wasn’t afraid to show their more goofy side, especially because he had always been considered a little odd and silly himself and so he felt like he could relate better to people who didn’t think they were above the odd pop-culture reference. He pressed his hands against his warm cheeks which were definitely blushings and pouted slightly “Sometimes I wish I wasn’t quite so shy, it would make my life so much easier” he complained and shrugged his shoulders, he couldn’t help it though, put him around an outspoken and confident person and he would instantly recoil into his shell. At least that was the case most of the time anyway. He listened intently as Eun talked about the things he liked to do in his spare time, he found you could learn a lot about a person from the things they chose to do on their own accord “Feel free to stress cook around me any time, I am constantly hungry” he commented with an amused raise of his brow, one of the key things you notice when you become a therianthrope is the increased appetite that was for sure. “Well I’m terrible at cooking and you can probably already tell I’m not really built for fighting but” he pressed his lips together “I’m really into astrology, you know like the theory of the universe and all about planets we never even discovered yet” he grinned slightly “And then I have a pretty nerdy side, I like to read comics and watch anime a lot” he nodded a little and grinned shyly.

He saw the confusion on Eun’s face and instantly felt flustered, trying his best not to flail his arms from the awkwardness of what he’d just said, it wasn’t like it wasn’t true, Eun truly was wow, it was the perfect way to describe someone like him with broad shoulders, perfectly defined features and pouty lips which kept trying to steal the therianthrope’s attention constantly whenever the dhampir would speak. He wasn’t going to be able to say directly to him that he thought he was incredibly attractive without actually being swallowed by the ground so he simply nodded timidly when the other male asked if it was surprising that no one had hit on him over the years. It was very surprising considering pretty people tended to flock to pretty people from his experience and Leigh had never seen anyone quite as striking as him in person before. “I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing?” Leigh offered though his eyes were still glued to quite literally anything other than the other male “It means all the exciting developments are still to come after all” he wished he could redo his first kiss or his first time and make it more special but that ship had long sailed.

The way Eun commented on his voice made Leigh chuckle “Maybe I should start a podcast or something then” his eyes lit up a little at the possibility of that, thinking about how he could talk about all his theories about undiscovered planets and where, from his calculations, he believed they were located. He hoped one day to be able to make enough money to do his own research into the possibility of it all because honestly, it absolutely fascinated him and he was sure his math was sound. Leigh wrinkled his nose a little when Eun admitted he was a coffee guy and he reached up to scratch at the back of his neck “Oh sorry, I don’t keep any because everyone who works here tends to prefer having tea” he blushed softly, maybe he should keep some instant coffee at least in case someone decided to come and visit like this again. The way Eun reacted to his compliment actually caught the kitsune off guard and he just kinda stared at him for a moment in awe, seeing how the color in his cheeks deepened a little.

He definitely was surprised when the other male came in close, mostly because getting a look at him like that, Leigh was completely in awe of the way he looked and the way it made his heartbeat instantly quicken in his chest, he had never really been great at handling himself around people he found attractive and while he had surprisingly managed to hold a conversation with Eun for this long, he was sent into complete panic mode by him coming so close, to the point that the therianthrope had even got a deep sense for his scent “Oh no it’s fine, I was just surprised is all” he nodded slightly, he didn’t want Eun to think he didn’t want him close to him because that was simply untrue, he just hadn’t been ready to handle such a gesture. Leigh continued to pack away the scattered books and reorganized the papers on the desk so that they were readable. He laughed when Eun offered his siblings to him “Oh I could never, they sound very important to you” he teased, he was sure they could be frustrating at times but it was evident how much he loved them too. When Eun said the name of his brother his breath hitched for a moment and suddenly his brain put two and two together, earlier Sangeun had said his surname was Eun and the name Jae definitely rang a bell now. He widened his eyes “I think I know your brother actually, one of my regulars who come in for pre-orders” he exclaimed amazed by how small the world actually seemed to be “What a coincidence” he commented with a laugh, but now he really looked, he could quite evidently see the resemblance.

It was clear to Leigh that his relationship with his family was somewhat of a rocky one, it seemed he wanted to make them proud and do what brought honor to them but then also he felt conflicted because it went against the things he might actually choose for himself. Leigh couldn’t see anyone being truly happy about their life partner being chosen for them after all “I’m very lucky in that sense, it makes me miss having them around though” he commented with a half nod “They live in a different state so I only get to see them twice a year nowadays” but he was living an independent life and he thought that was important too, he definitely felt like he’d discovered himself somewhat in the past few years while running the shop and working on papers. Eun’s outlook on love was admirable and painted a pretty picture but sadly it wasn’t something Leigh could get behind, he supposed he’d just seen too much bad in the world “Have you ever tried nailing jelly to a tree, that’s pretty impossible.” he gave a cheesy smile “Maybe one day someone will knock me off my feet and make me believe again but until then” he pressed his lips together.

Seeing the panic in Eun’s eyes he quickly realized how long they had been talking and he was shocked that so many hours had passed without him even noticing, he definitely didn’t want to be a burden on the other male and so he shook his head insistently “Don’t worry about it, I can sort all these tomorrow, you already did so much” he spoke clearly. His expression looked confused for a moment when Eun offered his phone to him, he hadn’t really expected him to be serious when he said he wanted his number and frankly, Leigh hadn’t given out his number in a very long time. After a moment he took it hesitantly, opened the contact app and entered his name on it and then typed in his number “Sorry to keep you, you must have a lot to get to” he offered it back to him “And thank you” he met his eyes to express his seriousness “sincerely” he was so grateful to him for everything it was hard to even word.

Okay, maybe telling someone their shy demeanor is charming isn’t a way to go for his first step, but what would Eun know about it anyway? Everything wired in his head is always filled with moral values and theories meshed up together like one big pile of confusion. He didn’t know most skills people used to survive their daily life, he doesn’t lie but he can evade the truth unless people force it out of him and make him feel guilty. But he always wanted to appease people and for people he’s appeasing, that’s a good thing, but for others who may take advantage of him? Who knows. “Well, it shouldn’t matter if I’m the only one who thinks that I’m still one person, no?” he giggled, Jae always reminded him that even when the entire world is against you, if you have yourself and another who believes in him, then that should be more than enough. Eun believes in that. Genuinely. When Leigh applauded his ability to separate personal and work, Eun shrugged and rubbed the back of his head soothingly, it didn’t feel all too great when you have to defend a bad man but that’s work.

 “I try not to think much about the bad people, because I always get a thrill when I receive good people I need to defend. That’s enough for me, at least I can do some good while knowing there’s a lot of bad in this world.” Maybe it’s a far-fetched theory, but that’s what Eun believes in too. “And now you’re telling me my sense of optimism is addictive, my my, a man with words, aren’t you?” he teased, completely missing out that he was actually flirting. “It’s not easy to look for the good in people all the time, especially when they keep pushing you away… but that’s the best challenge. To see the good when others see the bad. To see the light despite the darkest time” Eun suddenly chuckled tenderly, finding his words to be quite a cliche, “I swear that sounded less poetic in my head.” He didn’t know what to make of it when he could find the minimal seconds of Leigh staring at him, he had no problem with that but this time, he swore he felt the gaze burning into him. Not the bad kind, but the dhampir was still curious to know what it meant, he desperately wished to know what the therian is thinking. 

Was he doing a good first impression? Was he what he expected? All the questions kept bombarding his head and it was slowly becoming an endless cycle over and over again. He noticed this familiarity with it. “Great” he beamed, a small smile aligning with his own happiness, “Oh don’t worry, I’m usually buried with work too. But fair warning though, sometimes I can be clingy and when I feel bored, I like to call and talk to them. It reminds me that I’m not a robot as others call me.” He’s not much of a workaholic but he does have a tendency to solve things. When he sees someone distressed over it, he’ll want to help and aid them. That’s just Sangeun Moon at his finest. He wanted to take the burden away. Despite the dark setting that was only illuminated by a small light in the store, he could picture the sudden change of hue settling in Leigh’s cheeks and it made him cover his mouth and stifle his giggle, it was cute.

 “Maybe it would make your life a lot easier. Perhaps. I don’t know about others but I really like your shy self. Pretty ironic that I would find myself befriending someone so shy when I’m so shameless.” It was a good change of air, to find someone who wasn’t as outspoken as others. His eyes lit up knowing he could stress cook around Leigh at any given time, he grinned in response, “I’ll take that as an invite, you know. If you won’t eat all the food I cook, it’ll go to waste and it would be so disappointing” he pouted and wagged his forefinger as if he was chastising him, “So you better eat them for real, mister.” He was a bit amazed that he found a friend who had the potential to geek out with him, he was such a sucker for chemistry, despite having none in reality. “I don’t know much about physics, but I used to excel a lot in chemistry when I was in school. I use to geek out on it, yeah I used to wear glasses and bury my nose in books, I still do actually… I just barely had time to do anything leisure.” Well, now that he had someone to talk stuff with, maybe he would find a reason to get out in the world more. 

“My younger sister is an anime lover, I can’t say much about myself because I’ve never watched one and I never had time to read comics…” he grinned sheepishly, feeling a bit shy that he never had the chance to do all of those due to time constriction. Leigh was taller than him by a few centimeters though Eun was a lot bigger in physical stature yet something about the pink-haired male made him feel at ease. It was as if he was exuding a calming aura, like an air purifier placed in the middle of the room, and Eun couldn’t get enough of the whiff. It was no wonder he wanted to be around Leigh just because he wanted to have a friend to talk to. The dhampir noticed that Leigh was trying not to meet his eyes and that made him frown, did he do something wrong? “Are you avoiding my gaze, Leigh?” he mumbled to himself, careful not to let the therian hear. “You’re right, it’s all good in due time. We only have once in a lifetime chance, can’t be bothered to waste it if we are unsure, right?” Leigh wasn’t a pessimist, and he wasn’t an optimist, it made Eun smile because it was the first time he met someone who wasn’t constrained in only one category, it reminds him a lot of his youngest brother, someone who he doted on very much.

 It also didn’t help that he always found himself smiling whenever Leigh did the same, those dimples are killer, even he couldn’t lie about that. “No need to apologize, Leigh, tea makes me sleepy and let’s be real, that’s a good thing too. It helps me sleep better. Especially chamomile. But I wouldn’t want to fall asleep on you, though that voice may lull me back into slumberland for all we know” he snickered and couldn’t hold in his laugh, god when was the last time he laughed so hard in front of a stranger? Well, he supposed, Leigh wasn’t a stranger anymore. He’s his friend. “If you start a podcast, let me know. I’m gonna bring all your fans.” He was sure the blush resting on his cheeks had not faded away yet and while he may feel a bit embarrassed in front of Leigh, he wasn’t all too pressured to put it away. He had nothing to be afraid of if he blushes, then he blushes. “We can share” He had no problem sharing anything before, and with someone like Leigh, why not? “I have 3 devilish brothers and sister, they’re a handful so I’m not even sure if you can handle one of them, much less all 3 of them. They make me age a lot faster than I should.”

 Upon finding out Leigh knowing who Jae is, a proud laugh escaped him, “Of course you’d meet that lovable rebel” Jae always had an inkling for books, it’s why he got into literature major. “If you get to visit them more than twice a year, go. They’re your parents.” That’s what he told himself. That he is the person he is today because of his parents. He should be grateful. One last sacrifice, Eun. “No need to nail a jelly to a tree, you just need to make sure the jelly stays stuck to it” he winked and understood his outlook on love, it made him wonder if he’s being a hopeless romantic all because he wanted to live a life outside of his own bubble that he’s made now. A part of him felt guilty for leaving earlier than he probably should, even if the time was late, he bit his bottom lip and mumbled an apology, “I’m sorry...I’ll make it up to you next time we meet!” He finally met his eyes and Eun smiled softly in return, “You’re welcome, Leigh. I hope to catch you around again.” Tucking his phone back into his pocket, he waved a goodbye toward the therian and exited the bookstore with a content smile gracing his lips, today was a good day. Tiring… but good.


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