Words taken from that morning glow.
“I might be here for a while longer,” said the young guy with brown, long hair, after Seungkwan suggested he could leave and come back the following day. The guy sat down, ruffled his own hair and grabbed a magazine that was next to his seat.
Just like Seungkwan, the guy didn’t fit at all in a tattoo parlor, but Seungkwan was at least getting paid to be there. The guy had asked for Seungcheol, but the artist had gone for lunch and told Seungkwan he’d probably wouldn’t be back until much later.
And so, Seungkwan awkwardly stood behind the counter, watching a young boy with ruffled brown hair turn the pages of a magazine full of body art. Shaking his head, Seungkwan went back to the computer screen and typed in the excel document the last sessions that were paid. When Seungcheol had left, he didn’t take the money from the cashier with him.
The young boy didn’t lift his head at all during that time, while Seungkwan freaked out over math not being his friend. He let out a tired sigh, mumbling quietly about stupid numbers, and heard a chuckle coming from the couch. But when he looked back up at the guy, he was still staring at the paper in his hands.
“Yo! Where is‒ There you are!”
Seungcheol bursted into the parlor, barely managing to not tear down the door, scaring the shit out of Seungkwan who clutched his chest and was ready to whine about it. But as soon as Seungcheol saw the guy, he pulled him into a hug.
“Hansol!” Seungcheol gripped him too tight, if Hansol’s grunt was anything to go by.
“Cousin?” Seungkwan asked. And the two guys pulled apart. He looked between the two of them to see any common features. There were none. “I didn’t know he was your cousin.” Seungkwan slapped his forehead softly. “I should have offered you something to drink,” he said as he bowed in apology, twice.
“It’s okay.” The guy brushed it off as if it was nothing to worry about. But Seungkwan couldn’t help it. He was paid to keep the clients happy and comfortable as they waited for their turn to get tattooed.
“He’s actually the son of my father’s cousin,” Seungcheol then explained.
Hansol actually looked very different from Seungcheol. Where Seungcheol’s strong features stood out, Hansol’s seemed softer. Another contrast were Seungcheol’s thick arms covered in tattoos, while Hansol’s were skinny and pale. They did have strong jaws, but they were different. What they did have in common, though, Seungkwan thought as he tilted his head is that they both grinned widely at him. He shook his head, feeling his cheeks grow warm as they both stared at him.
“Well, it’s still not too late,” Seungkwan said, stepping out from behind the counter. He walked to the coffee table and the water dispenser. “Hansol, do you wanna drink something?”
Hansol’s bright laughter made Seungkwan’s belly jump. It was unexpected. Seungkwan took a cup with nervous fingers and turned to face them again. Seungcheol was watching him amusedly, while Hansol smiled. It reached his eyes and Seungkwan was struck by how handsome the young guy that had walked into the parlor about an hour before actually was.
“Coffee?” Seungkwan offered.
“I’ll go get my stuff from the back,” Seungcheol told them before he walked out of the room, leaving a nervous Seungkwan with his handsome cousin.
“Sure, thanks,” Hansol said.
He stepped closer to Seungkwan, who turned back around to focus on making the instant coffee. Hansol’s presence, though, made Seungkwan’s hands shake a bit. The guy was standing close, apparently interested in how it was done.
Seungkwan turned his head to tease him but found him standing way too close. And he took a step back.
“So… Seungcheol’s uncle is… uhm…” Seungkwan tried to make small talk as he handed Hansol the cup. Their fingers brushed and it made Seungkwan’s heart skip a beat.
“The one that moved to America? Has he told you about him?”
Seungkwan’s mouth opened as he remembered. “Ah! You’re the mixed cousin!” Seungkwan replied, excited about the fact that he remembered something about Seungcheol.
Hansol grimaced a bit and, even though he didn’t step back, his face did move further from where it was.
“Ah, sorry. I didn’t mean it in a bad way.” Seungkwan slapped his mouth while smiling apologetically. “It’s just that usually I don’t remember what Seungcheol tells me.” He waved his hands in front of him as he said it.
Hansol smiled back at him, and he leaned in closer again. Actually, he was closer than before. It was like personal space was not a concept Hansol was familiar with. Seungkwan looked at him and was once again struck by how handsome he was.
When Hansol brought the cup to his lips and sipped his coffee, Seungkwan’s gaze was caught on the action. Hansol’s thin lips touching the cup, his throat swallowing it, the way he licked his lips afterwards. It was mesmerizing.
And Hansol’s eyes were on his the whole time.
“This is the first time I’ve seen Seungkwan’s so quiet,” Seungcheol commented in the background, bringing Seungkwan’s attention back to him.
“Get out, boss.” Seungkwan walked away from Hansol, back to the protection of the counter and everything else he was familiar with. He could feel his cheeks heating up, probably as red as his t-shirt.
Seungcheol laughed, as Hansol chuckled softly.
“I’ll be back at four,” Seungcheol told him, nodding his head towards the door. Hansol, before following him out, went to the counter, placed the empty cup, and smiled one last time at Seungkwan.
Once he was alone, Seungkwan gripped the counter tightly, but it was not enough. His knees gave out. “Oh my...” He whispered quietly, clutching his chest, where his heart was beating wildly. He took deep breaths until he was able to calm back down. Meeting Hansol shook his ground; it felt so new. He regretted now not having flirted enough with him when he had time to do so.
Standing back up, he forced himself to focus on the open document on the computer screen. In vain. His mind was still reeling, when he got a text on his phone. He pulled it out of his pocket, expecting it to Soonyoung, but it was an unknown number.
“hey. it’s hansol. wanna hang out sometime?”