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He wasn’t picking up, and I was in no mood for it. Zen knew it was almost time for our twins to arrive, and yet for some reason, his phone was off. Fantastic. Now I was angry as well as being in pain. Who else could I call? There was only one other person I knew of who at least had a car and always picked up. Unlike the last week when we’d had a false alarm, this was definitely the real thing. The babies were coming whether I got to the hospital or not.
Jumin was quick to pick up. “Is something wrong, MC? You never call me.” It was true. If we ever talked, it was because Jumin had called me, and it was usually business related. Rarely did I ever even call him for business; I had always preferred to email. “I’m in labor, and Zen isn’t picking up.” A contraction had me pausing to breathe. It was still a little early for the twins to be coming. They were technically right on the cusp of full-term, which was a bit of a miracle, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled. More like terrified and on top of that, horrendously angry.
“I will send a car over immediately. Please stay on the line.” Although he was curt and professional, it seemed that Jumin was very aware that right now I needed someone just to be there. I was all alone and about to face one of the biggest ordeals of my life. “Yes…okay.” It was a lot like searing pain and pressure was trying to crush down through my back, but I focused on breathing like I’d learned in classes. “It isn’t like Zen not to answer your calls.” Jumin’s low tone had me instantly panicking again.
That was completely true. Zen always answered me immediately, even if he was in practice, at least to tell me that he couldn’t talk right then. He was as excited and nervous about the twins’ arrival as I was. Where was he? “Jumin…I need to call Seven.” Emotions were swirling around in my head. Jumin’s voice was commanding but gentle. “You will do no such thing. Assistant Kang.” I heard him speaking softly to Jaehee and then he was back on the line. “Assistant Kang will speak to Seven. I will be meeting you at the hospital. I’m sure we’ll find him. His phone probably died in rehearsal.”
It all sounded so reasonable, but I didn’t want to be reasonable. I wanted to scream and throw things, but that didn’t seem like it was going to happen any time soon. Where was my husband? I needed my knight, but he wasn’t available.
Zen blinked and opened his eyes slowly. Where the Hell was he? It was dark, and there was some water dripping on his leg. He moved to sit up, feeling rough, wet stone underneath him. His phone pinged, but he quickly turned it to do not disturb. A message from Jumin, it would have to wait. Wherever he was, there were bars around him, and that meant he couldn’t risk losing his phone. Seven would need the signal.
He stood and tried to remember what had happened. His fingers brushed over the back of his head, and he found a large bump there, crusted with dried blood. Zen winced and decided to test the bars. He was pretty strong, but there was no budging them. Besides, once he got out of the bars, then what? The albino had no idea where he was or why.
What had happened? Zen closed his eyes and wracked his brain, despite the throbbing pain it caused. He had been in rehearsal. It was his last break, and he’d called MC, who was a little worried because she was feeling some twinges and light contractions. At first, he’d wanted to go home right away, but she’d told him that as long as he kept his phone on, he could stay, just in case it was another false alarm like they’d had the week before. After that, they’d said their ‘I love you’s’, he’d hung up, and then, nothing. Absolutely nothing.
His head ached. MC…She probably needed him, but he had no idea where he was. Could he risk sending her a message? No…Zen didn’t know where he was or what was going to happen to him, but he’d have to trust the RFA to take care of his babe. He gripped the bars as rage went through him. Whoever was keeping him here, he wanted to knock their teeth out.
Seven had set up in the hospital hallway just outside, after I’d thrown something at him for entering the room. Jumin was patting my hand lightly every time I gripped the side of the bed. It was the best he could really offer, and I was grateful for it. Zen had asked Jumin to take care of me if something ever happened, and now I was convinced something was terribly wrong.
Every once in a while, Yoosung would slip into the room to mumble something to Jumin who would excuse himself to call Jaehee. The only thing I could catch was that they’d located Zen’s phone. That at least gave me some hope, but would he be with his phone, and why wasn’t he answering his calls?
Yoosung once more ducked in just as I cried out in pain again, making him jump and apologize. I just shook my head, not in the mood to speak. After some soft whispering to Jumin and little glances my way, I felt the dark-haired man pat my hand gently. “Excuse me MC.”
“The bodyguards are on standby to move in once you confirm to me the address and information you have.” Jumin was worried, tapping his fingers impatiently on his arms. Seven looked up from what seemed like frantic typing to him, while Yoosung had stayed behind with MC. A faint squeak of pain from the blond had Seven perking up, looking towards the door. Jumin stepped into his view. “He probably did the stupid thing and took her hand. Women in labor don’t pay much attention to how much pressure they’re applying.”
Seven raised an eyebrow at the older man. Why would he know something like that? Jumin tended to research strange topics all the time, so maybe he’d just been brushing up. The redhead looked back to his screen. “Looks like his phone is still in the same location, a small home just outside of town registered to a Sakura from Japan.” He paused to pull up another screen before continuing. “Looks like she moved here from Japan shortly after Zen announced his relationship with MC. She’s been all over his fan clubs calling herself the ‘True Mrs. Ryu’ as well as being a major leader of the MC Hate Club that scattered after Zen and his agency disowned them.”
Jumin ceased his tapping on his arms and instead fixed his cufflink as he thought it through. “It would seem he has somehow been kidnapped by a super fan. How did she manage to bring down a man as strong as he is? As much as I don’t understand his choices and opinions, Zen isn’t weak, and he isn’t stupid.”
Seven pulled up another screen in answer. It showed a video of Zen standing with his back to a woman dressed all in black, a hoodie barely cover her face. He pressed play and Zen hung up the phone, his call to MC, and then the woman hit him over the back of the head. She dragged him away and out of the alley. The redhead pressed a button to show her struggling to push him into the back of her car and then driving away, pulling her hood down to reveal her face, confirming her identity with Seven’s research.
“We don’t know what she wants with him, so we need to send someone in, fast.” Seven had barely finished his sentence before Jumin was once again on the phone to Jaehee. “Send them in.” Well, at least they were taking care of it.
Zen hadn’t realized he’d fallen asleep again until he heard a door opening. His eyes flew open, and he leaned away from the wall he’d propped himself against. “Who’s there?” A giggle answered him and then a short woman, her hair black as night, eyes a strange shade of pink, came into view. “Just your darling wife, silly. Are you ready for dinner?” What was obviously a home-cooked meal was on a tray in her hands, which unlocked a little attached mini cage to push into his area. Zen didn’t move. What was this? His wife was at home and probably scared out of her wits, which wouldn’t be helpful for the twins. They were probably even on their way and he wasn’t there for MC again.
“I don’t want to play this game. Let me leave before my friends find me.” He was trying to keep his temper under control, seem like he was perfectly calm, but he honestly wanted to hit this woman in the face. Her smile was so creepily serene. “No one’s going to find us here, honey. Don’t you worry; you’re safe from that witch MC now. I know she forced you to date her and then she got pregnant to trap you, didn’t she? So disgusting.” Zen inhaled sharply, his fingers going to pinch the bridge of his nose.
He heard it then, the sound of doors slamming open and footsteps upstairs. Faintly he could hear what they were saying. “Secure the area. Your first priority is to capture Sakura and rescue Zen. Move.” The RFA had come through for him. The woman was still serenely looking at him. What was with this woman. How deluded was she? Was this just something he did to people? Alia, and now this Sakura woman…
Zen shook his head and pulled his phone from his pocket. Now that they were here he could risk it. His eyes widened. Ten missed calls from his wife and a multitude of angry and clearly terrified texts. Frantically he sent a few of his own back, telling her what had happened, that he loved her, and that he would be there soon.
Not a minute later, Sakura was shrieking as the bodyguards entered the room. “Zenny, protect me.” The albino snorted mirthlessly as he stood. “Not on your life.” That was when her face became a pit of rage, fighting against the bodyguards who held her back. “That witch brainwashed you!”
Really, he was doing his best to ignore it, but as soon as the guards had opened the cage and he was being walked past her, he turned and put his face right by her ear. “Rot in Hell.” He wouldn’t raise a hand to her. She was clearly insane, and he had better things to focus his energy towards. Zen learned from the bodyguards that his wife was in labor at the hospital nearby, and it wouldn’t be long until they arrived. No one knew if the twins had been born yet, and Zen was hoping he would be there in time.
The look of relief on Jumin’s face when he had reentered the room this time, saying that Zen was safe, it had helped wash away some of the fear. Zen was on his way. My phone was vibrating like crazy across the room, but the doctor was busy checking me over, so he wouldn’t let me use it. “If you don’t progress any farther soon, Mrs. Ryu, you might have to go in for c-section.” I had been told my body was fully ready for the babies to come, but for some reason we just weren’t getting anywhere. “We should prep you now.” The doctor gave me a look when I shook my head vigorously. “If the babies aren’t in danger…I need my husband here first.”
Now Jumin was the one giving me a look. “Wouldn’t you rather get it over with now? You’re in so much pain, it simply isn’t logical to…” I snapped at him, too tired and too in pain to care at the moment, and he didn’t even flinch. “Shut up about your logic. I don’t care about logic. I want Zen.” Immediately guilt washed over me as Jumin once more patted my hand through a contraction. I’d have to apologize later.
The door opened, and I didn’t open my eyes, expecting that the doctor had left or that it was Yoosung again, except then I heard his voice. “MC…” Zen. He was here. My eyes flew open and I tried to sit up more in the bed only to have him there wrapping his arms around me, keeping me in place.
His hand now rested on my stomach and it was like everything in me had relaxed again. There was still pain, but there was also Zen. “Babe, I’m so sorry…” His ruby eyes had tears in them, but I couldn’t say much at the moment as there was another contraction, one with a considerable amount of pressure. “Oh God, I need to push…”
The doctor had laughed after handing us our children, joking that they had obviously just been waiting for their dad. Zen leaned over me to stroke my hair as his other hand kept going from one baby to the other. He had wanted two baby girls, but what we had gotten were one of each. They both looked exactly like him.
“God cursed my children with beauty too…” His voice was so full of adoration, and all of the stress from the day had melted away into pure unadulterated joy. We named our son Jun, meaning talented or handsome and our daughter Areum meaning beauty. It would be a little while before I went back to work as Zen’s manager, but we had a long road ahead of us as a family of four, one that would fill our lives with happiness and memories.
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