That's the sound of the ticking of the clock.
That's the sound of the ticking bomb.
Run as fast as you can, as far as you can run before it explodes. Tik! Tak! Kaboom!!!
Prologue: The Beginning
This day is like any ordinary day. The children having breakfast and getting ready for school. The younger ones are just finishing their breakfast and running for the school bus while their older brothers are just packing their school bag and going to their own car. While the oldest is just taking his time to finish up his last remaining projects while eating breakfast. The parents are just getting ready for their work that day while preparing the things that are needed their baby for the day before they leave and get to work.
When they were all settled down and ready for the day, they bid their kisses and goodbyes to each other. Now the house is void of any noise except for the random sounds made by the maids doing their job while the baby is still sleeping. But that day is not just an ordinary day for that family. Little did they know that it will change their whole life forever.
Chapter 1: The Case File
The morning comes and the sun shines brighter than ever before. Everything is so quiet and peaceful, so eerily calm like the peace of serenity. There were sounds of chirping birds, a smell of fresh dewdrops of the morning fog. Everyone is still sleeping, relishing the peace of serenity. The freedom to sleep peacefully and dreaming of the best dreams from their dream world. Everything is quite simple. A few hours later and everyone's starting to wake up.
Some wake up with a smile on their faces. Happy to face the day and working on their daily morning routines. While some woke up early than the others because they needed to prepare for their loved ones' needs while they're still sleeping. While still preparing, one by one, the others final wake up. While still half asleep, the smell of the fresh brood coffee somehow put a smile on his tired face.
"Good morning!" said the guy with a smile while still cooking a pancake for the kids.
"Good morning, Hyung, did you wake up early for this?" he greets while still looking at all the prepared food in the table.
"Of course, it's the first day of school today. So, everybody needs their energy for the day especially the kids," he said like it's an obvious thing in the world.
"Uh-huh, but Hyung, I think it's too much for breakfast, with all this food, it's like a feast right now," he said while gesturing in all the foods in the table.
"There's not too much in here, Nathan. Cause I want to pack meals for the kids and for you also. You always come to work early in the morning and come home late at night. Don't think I don't know that, hmmm." He said casually while setting a set of lunch boxes to fill it with the food he prepares.
"Oh, I thought you were all sleeping then," he said sheepishly.
"It's okay, but I'm worried about your health. I don't want you to get sick from overworking yourself to the ground." He slightly reprimands him.
"I know Hyung, it's just... lately, our schedule has been hectic. But this week is just fine. So, you don't have to worry, Hyung." He assured his older brother with his signature dimpled smile.
"Good morning, Hyungs!" said a cheerful guy who is just coming down the stairs. Although his hair is a bit messed, it doesn't dampen his mood in the slightest. And when he sees the food, he literally screams.
"Wow! So many foods, what's the occasion? Wow, my favourite, bacon and eggs. I love you, Hyung!" and he gives his Hyung a huge bear hug. And they laugh at his antics.
"Justin Hyung, you never cease to amaze me of your high energy especially in the morning," said Nathan like it was some kind of puzzle in his own mind.
"Of course, I am Justin," he said while beaming with a heart shape smile.
"What's with the noise early in the morning?" said a grumpy guy who has just woken up from a ruckus, that is his younger brother's doing.
"Oh, good morning, Hyung. Stop being grumpy early in the morning. You will get early wrinkles if you keep on doing that you know," he teased his Hyung from whom he just got an eye roll and a wave-like saying, ya, ya, whatever look.
Before the bickering could escalate more, someone is just coming down the stairs.
"Justin Hyung, stop teasing Simon Hyung early in the morning. You know he hates it when someone disturbs his beauty sleep." He said with a wink and a laugh when he got an angry glare from the said older brother.
"What I mean is don't disturb Hyung because if he gets angry then someone who is much grumpy in the morning would wake up also," he said with a wicked smirk on his face. Right on cue, someone is just coming down the stairs with messy hair and a bit dishevelled appearance who looks like he is ready to murder someone who just woke him up from his much-needed sleep.
"Who said who is grumpy early in the morning?" he said with an intimidating pout he could muster but before either can answer him.
They heard a soft paddle of little feet coming down the stairs. They all looked at each other and the boy who is still in the stairs quickly come back just in time to catch the baby taking a step down the stairs before he falls and hurt himself. They were all shocked and holding their breath.
"Jasper! Tristan! Are you alright?" They all but shout in shock when they heard a loud thud and they all race to see if they were hurt.
"Were fine Hyungs!" He shouts while still holding his baby brother.
"You scared me, kid, never do that again," he whispers to his baby brother. He has never been scared before like that.
The said baby just stares at him, so, he tickles his baby brother's tummy to make him laugh. While the others, they stop dead in their tracks when they saw that both their brothers are on the floor. Jasper is just tickling their baby brother like they were the only people in the world.
"Jasper, what are you doing on the floor? We thought something happened when we heard a loud thud but look at you. I thought the baby fell from the stairs," said the guy who is a bit paler than usual when he heard the thud sound.
"I'm sorry, Russell Hyung. But yes, the baby almost fell," he said bluntly but quickly explained, "But I caught him before he even set his foot down the stairs." He reassured his older brothers when he saw their horrified looks. After that, Russell quickly took the baby from Jasper and took him downstairs, reassuring himself that the baby is in fact alright.
Jack is older than Jasper but smaller than him, helped him to his feet and asking, "Are you alright, though? Good thing you caught him, first. You're a good kid, Jasper." He reassured his younger brother.
"Yeah, yeah, if it's not you, Jasper. We wouldn't know what would happen to him," said Justin while he smiles and ruffles his hair to make him smile.
Jasper just swats Justin hand and made a pout but he smiles then.
"Okay, enough of the drama. Come down the stairs. We need to get back to work," said Simon dismissing the incident that happened.
When they were all getting down the stairs Simon stops Nathan.
"Nathan, can we talk?" Simon said like it's business. So, Justin, Jasper and Jackson just come down first.
"What is it, Hyung?" he asked, ready to give what he can give.
"I think we need some protective gear in the house especially now that Tristan is getting older. Just look what happened earlier," Simon said with a serious look and frown on his face.
"I'm thinking the same thing, Hyung. Let's tell it to Russell Hyung, then," he said while thinking all the materials and protective gear that will be needed.
"Okay," and they both come down the stairs to the dining area.
They are all sitting in their own seats. Russell, as the head of the table and Nathan on the opposite of him. While Jasper and Jack are sitting with each other on the right side of Russell and the baby in his high chair next on the left side of Russell. Simon is sitting across from Jack while Justin is sitting beside him. They silently pray before eating. All was silent except for the casual sound of the utensil clanging. Each has their own thoughts of what had happened earlier. Until they heard a doorbell. They all look at each other.
"Do we have a visitor?" Jasper asked. Nobody answers him except,
"I'll go get the door then." Jack stood up to take up the door.
At the door, Jack cautiously opens the door to see the person.
"How may I help you, Sir?" he asked the man in a suit.
"Is this the house of Mr Simon Kim?" asked the guy slightly peeking out through the door.
"Yes. Who are you? And what do you need from my Hyung?" he asked with curiosity.
"We have some business to talk about. I am his colleague at the office," he said with a confident smile.
"Ah, okay. Wait, I'm gonna get him. Come on in then," he smiled and invited the said guy.
"Can you stay here for a while?" he asked with a polite smile and the guy just smile back at him and takes a seat in the sofa of the living room waiting for Simon.
"Ah, by the way, before I forgot. I'm Jackson, one of the younger brothers of Simon Hyung and you are?" he suddenly asked the guy.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't properly introduce myself, I am Benjamin Park, you can call me Ben or Benny." He extends his hand on Jackson for a shake-hand.
"Oh, it's nice to meet you, Benny Hyung? If I'm not mistaken, you're the same age as Simon Hyung or you're younger than him because you look younger," he said it with a genuine smile. And he goes back to the dining room where everyone is just having their breakfast while talking about their task of the day.
"Simon Hyung, there's someone at the living room waiting for you. He said that he had some business with you," he said while going back for his seat.
"Who is it?" he asked confused as to whom he might have business with at this moment.
"Oh, it's Benny Hyung, he said he is your office colleague. I left him in the living room." After he said that Simon's expression became gravely serious but then it quickly vanishes and replaces with a grateful smile. Nobody notices the brief changes in Simon's expression.
"Oh, yes, he is. Excuse me for a while." He excuses himself and goes to the living room where Benny is waiting.
"Hyung, do you know him?" Jackson asks his older brothers.
"I've heard of him from Simon Hyung and I saw him a few times with their other office colleagues," Nathan answer him.
"Ah, I think Benny Hyung is a nice person." Jackson absentmindedly commented while eating his slice of pancakes.
"I bet he is, cause we all know that Simon Hyung is a scary person," Justin said while laughing at his own jokes.
"If Hyung heard you, you're so dead," Jackson said in a big voice and they all laugh.
"So, Hyung, who's gonna watch my sports event later?" Jasper asked his older brothers.
"Of course, we're gonna be there, Jasper. How can we ever miss out our golden boy, hmmm? 4 pm right?" Justin enthusiastically answered him and Jasper just beams at them. Nathan ruffled Jasper's hair with a smile on his face while Russell is feeding the baby with mashed potato.
While on the other hand, Simon is silently conversing with Ben. From the outside point of view, they seem to be talking about something and nothing seems out of ordinary, not until Ben present a folder to Simon containing the file of a case that Simon is investigating from a long time ago since he started working as a detective.
After Simon read the file, each page he turns, his demeanour goes darker and colder. His knuckles are turning white when he stops at a particular page of the file containing some gruesome pictures attached to the file. He stops at a particular picture of a man lying in the pool of his own blood on the floor. A bullet wound on his forehead and his heart. A fatal wound that potentially killed the man lying on the floor. A wound that indicated the motive of the killer. A wound that would ensure the death of the victim.
At the middle of the file is another picture of a woman in her nightgown. Just like the guy, she was lying in the pool of her own blood in their own quarters. But the wound inflicted to the woman is quite gruesome. Upon investigation of the wound, she seems to be fighting her assailant. The analysis states that there was a struggle between the victim and the killer.
The woman died from the fatal stab wound to the heart for 5 times. The total stab wound in different parts of her body is 50 stabs, some are shallow and some are fatally deep. There are some laceration, scratches and signs of strangulation based on the handprint that can be seen on her neck and some rope burns indicating that the killer tried to strangle the victim with a cord using the cord of the lampshades on the side table of the bedroom.
And at the bottom of the file is another picture of a baby barely alive. Like the parents, the baby is lying in a pool of blood. The injury sustained of the baby is broken ribs and punctured lungs from the fall. Upon investigation, the killer wanted to take the baby but the mother of the baby took the baby and ran to their bedroom. She almost made it to their room and locked the door but the assailant slammed her at the door. She was thrown away with the baby in her arms from the force.
She tried to keep her distance away from the assailant but she has nowhere to go. She tried to shield the baby with her body from the assailant that's towering them. The assailant tried to take away the baby from her. So, she fights back and kick him with all her might and run from the door. But the assailant recovers and goes after her.
On the way down the stairs, she felt her hair have been grabbed with such force so she stumbled and dropped the baby on the stairs. She watched as her baby fell on the stairs, she tried to go after her baby but the assailant pulled her back into the room and locked the door.
From that moment on, the assailant took out his knife and started taunting the poor woman. The assailant still holding her hair, caressed the knife along her beautiful face, whispering something only the woman can hear. After that, the woman struggled more, she elbowed him and the assailant got winded off so she took her chance to escape but the door is locked so she fumbled upon it.
But the assailant recovered from it so he plunged the knife to her back. She gasped but still, she punched him. She was still trying for the door but the assailant plunged the knife again. So, she head-butted him which cause them to fall down. She drops on top of him, she slaps and punches him over and over again. They both struggled on the floor.
The assailant tried to push her away from him. He grabbed her head and slammed it on the floor twice until she almost lost consciousness. When she was subdued, the assailant got up from the floor and took the woman and lay her on the bed. He took out some rope on his bag and tied both her feet and both arms. Then he went out and took the baby on the floor. He went back to the room where the unconscious woman is tied up to. He then put the baby down in the bed beside the woman. He went on the other side of the woman to watch her and caress her face. The woman groaned and tried to open her heavy-lidded eyes only to see the assailant caressing her face. She tried to push him away, only to notice that her hands have been tied up. But still, she tried to put a distance with him when she bumps on something besides.
That's the only time she notices her baby beside him. All she sees is his pale face and some dried blood on his head and face. She cried for her baby and tried to untie her hand. She wanted to take her baby away from this horrible nightmare. She prayed that whatever happens to her she will do everything in her power to save her baby. So, she tried to hug her baby with the best that she can to try and save her baby. And that is all the last thought she had before she finally closed her eyes. She whispered in her last breath, "No matter what happens, I love you, my baby boy." And the next thing that happened is the horrific and gruesome death of the woman.
That is the last video recording of the CCTV in the baby's room. The killer has not yet been identified through the CCTV footage. But there is a person of interest based on the stature of the killer in the CCTV recording. The case is now under the archive file of a cold case because of the lack of the evidence.
"Are you alright?" Benny asks Simon after he saw how hard he held on the file he had been reading.
"I know it's horrible and I don't know how hard does it feel but I am here to help you. We are here to help you, Simon," and he put his hand on Simon's shoulder for comfort.
"Thanks, Benny." That's all he can say right now.
"Call me if you need anything." Benny bid him goodbye. After that just sat there staring into nothing. He snapped out from his stupor when he heard some breaking in the dining area where his siblings are eating their breakfast.
He came running, hearts on his throat, thinking of the worst-case scenario, fearing for his nightmare to come true. But all is well, except for the broken glass that Nathan accidentally hit. They all look up to him when he came running like there was someone who wanted to kill him.
"What's gotten into you, Hyung? Looks like you've seen a ghost back there." Justin asked him with a laugh.
It took him a second before his words sink in. And he glares at Justin with his iconic glare. And they all laugh at his own expense. And he gave a sigh of relief he doesn't realize he's holding. He smiled a bit, thankful that his family is safe, albeit all the turmoil that is running in his mind at that moment.