"I watch only from a distance, because the time isn't right yet."
The sunlight streamed in through the open window, a slight breeze ruffling Namjoon's hair as he attempted to rouse himself from a deep slumber. Rubbing his eyes listlessly, he stretched his toned arms as the world began to assume a greater clarity.
The rapper pushed aside the Ryan doll he had been snuggling with, extricating his limbs from where they were entangled with the bedsheets. A couple of raps on the bedroom door successfully revived his consciousness.
"Namjoonie," Hoseok's voice called out loudly. "Hurry up! We're about to leave. Bang PD wants our opinions on the 'Love Yourself' posters we're going to release."
Namjoon opened his door a fraction and peeked out, his eyes squinting at the bubbly man. "Why are you so bright this early in the morning?"
Taehyung, passing by Namjoon's door as he made his way towards the kitchen, laughed as he patted the sleepy-head. "Early? We were supposed to be at Big Hit almost half an hour ago."
Namjoon jerked at this, his head almost colliding with the door frame. "Why the hell are you waking me up just now then?"
"Relax, Joon," Jin's voiced called out from down the hallway. "We were working tirelessly late into the night so Bang PD allowed us some leeway."
"Am I the only one who slept in?" Namjoon inquired as he rinsed his face, grabbing the toothbrush lying next to the basin.
Hoseok, who had decided to wait while Namjoon freshened up, shook his head. "Rest assured, Yoongi Hyung displays absolutely no signs of detaching himself from his bed anytime soon."
The rapper resisted the urge to snort. He was perfectly aware that none of them would dare to disturb Yoongi while he was asleep. Namjoon was quite certain that even armageddon wouldn't incline Yoongi to crawl out of his sheets.
Wiping his mouth, Namjoon strode into the kitchen with Hoseok where the members, sans Yoongi, were indulging in the strawberry pancakes Seokjin had whipped up. Taehyung licked his fork with relish as Namjoon seated himself at the counter.
"So, things don't seem to be as strained between you and Hong Ji Ah," Jimin prompted as he popped a slice of apple into his mouth. "On the contrary, I'd say that you seem to be absolutely unbothered."
"That's because I am," Namjoon stated without batting an eyelid. "Her presence is of no consequence whatsoever. We're both just doing our jobs."
Seokjin smirked as he handed Hoseok a mug containing piping hot coffee. "Oh? Seems like our leader has a grip on his wild emotions."
Jungkook almost chortled on his banana milk. "Really Hyung? Wild emotions? That sounds wrong on so many levels."
Seokjin grinned eerily and Namjoon willed his expression to remain indifferent. "Say what you may, but I don't have an inkling of any emotion."
"Is that why you had a wide smile on your face when she dropped you off after getting your ankle dressed last week?"
The members turned to find a semi-naked Yoongi strolling towards the dining table. He was clad only in his boxers, dawdling in his effort to reach the chair Seokjin had pulled out for him. Last night had been extremely exhausting and Yoongi wanted nothing more than to sleep through the blazing summer day, something none of them had the luxury to do at least until the album was released.
"That was because I had the opportunity of meeting some of our fans," Namjoon replied quietly, hoping that the faint tint that had crept into his cheeks wasn't visible. "Hong Ji Ah doesn't figure into the equation at all." His ankle had healed, but the pattern Ji Ah's words had carved on his skin wasn't as easily erased. He had pondered over them countless times, twisting and turning them over in his head.
Those had been Ji Ah's parting words eight years ago and Namjoon remembered them clearly. He also understood the importance of accepting himself, something he had been trying to slowly integrate into everything he did.
"Whatever you say," Yoongi drawled as he pulled the pitcher of orange juice towards him. "Doesn't mean a thing, right?"
Namjoon didn't hesitate as he answered the rapper's question.
"Doesn't mean a thing at all."
The posters had, unsurprisingly, turned out to be aesthetically pleasing and Ji Ah couldn't help but admire the sheer beauty of them. Bang PD beamed as his eyes roved over the images which would soon be presented for the world to see. The members expressed their opinions as Jae Chan's camera followed them closely, endeavoring to capture their reactions.
"This one is especially brilliant, if I do say so myself," Yoongi claimed proudly, pointing towards the poster which portrayed him on his haunches within the confines of a dark tunnel.
Hoseok rolled his eyes and Namjoon laughed. "You seem to have taken the title of the album way too seriously, Hyung."
The older rapper pouted as he shrugged. "There's nothing wrong with loving myself."
The members shook their heads in amusement and Ji Ah struggled to hold in the laugh that was threatening to erupt from her lips. Namjoon's eyes locked with hers.
"What do you all think?" he asked tentatively, his question aimed at Ji Ah under the guise of addressing the videography team.
Before Jae Chan could answer, So Min stepped up with a glint in her eyes. "They're great. And adding personal quotes makes them even better."
"Right?" Seokjin exclaimed excitedly as he took a step towards her. "We framed them ourselves too."
"No wonder," Ji Ah ruminated out loud. "They do seem reminiscent of your personalities depicted in the previous concepts."
All eyes turned in her direction as Ji Ah's head snapped up. She smiled uncertainly, raising her palms. "Who doesn't know about 'Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa'?" She forced a laugh as her gaze locked with Namjoon's, whose eyes were glazed with an expression she couldn't read.
Before anyone could reply, Manager Sejin bounded into the room, his glasses knocked askew in his hurry to get there. "The reporter you are scheduled to meet regarding the 'Love Yourself' press conference is here." He directed the information at Bang PD, who nodded as he gestured for the members to follow him.
Ji Ah heaved a sigh of relief as they exited the room. She lamented her inability to avoid attracting Namjoon's attention, wondering how long it would be before she finally snapped.
"So the 18th of September?" The reporter, a stout, short man, reiterated once Bang PD had revealed the release date of the album. The CEO had soon been whisked away by an important phone call, and Namjoon and the rest of the members were left to discuss the remaining details with the man.
"Yes," he said, his back sinking into the comfortable leather of the chair he was perched on. Yoongi and Hoseok flanked him, with the vocal line seated around the long, gilded table cluttered with documents.
"Alright then," the reporter said as he pushed a manila folder towards the leader. "If you'd please sign here, we can conclude the contract pertaining to the conference."
Namjoon nodded, alert eyes skimming through the crusted papers as his slender fingers glided over them. He placed the folder next to another one which bore an uncanny resemblance to it and was careful to keep the two files apart, aware that the contract papers of MSL had been inserted into the other.
As he dove into another round of discussion, the maknaes grew restless, shooting bored looks at one another. They pushed around a few papers, barely controlling their laughter when Seokjin tried to stop them from fooling around. The reporter glanced at their antics as Taehyung's chair bumped into Hoseok's, forcing the latter's forearm to knock over the folders placed before Namjoon.
The leader's features were irate with annoyance as the maknaes finally quieted down. Yoongi handed Namjoon the folders, the meeting at an end as he returned the file to the reporter.
They exchanged bows as the stout man took his leave and Namjoon sighed happily. He couldn't contain the excitement building within him, eagerly awaiting the anticipated date when they could share their new music with the fans.
"Uh, I think we have a problem," Yoongi nudged him as the leader looked up. He was holding the folder which was identical to the one the reporter had reclaimed. "This file holds the press conference contract," Yoongi began uneasily as realization dawned on the members. The exhilaration that Namjoon had felt just moments ago was swiftly extinguished.
"So which file did we return to the reporter?" Taehyung asked, his eyes wide. The answer weighed upon the room heavily as Namjoon groaned, burying his face in his calloused palms.
"The one which contains the contract with MSL."
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.