Chapter 15 – Caramel Coffee
Warm and soft. Warm and soft. Warm and soft.
These are the only words resonating in her mind after their kiss. She stares unseeingly at Taeyeon who is holding her hands, smirking at her and her mind recalls how her eyes fluttered close and how she allowed herself to melt into Taeyeon’s kiss. The shorter girl’s hand was at her nape, pulling her, holding her, keeping her close as their lips moved. Or rather, Taeyeon’s lips moved. At first, Tiffany was too stunned to react. But her lips soon began to part and she kissed Taeyeon back.
Now, as her fingers brush her lips inadvertently, all she can think about is what Taeyeon’s kiss was like.
Taeyeon’s kiss was dominant. Taeyeon’s kiss was expressive. Taeyeon’s kiss was one of the best kisses she has ever received.
“I wasn’t lying when I said that short girls can kiss well, was I?”
Tiffany blinks as her mind processes Taeyeon’s self-assured look and words.
What? What was that? Did you do all that just to prove a point?
A dash of displeasure courses through her as her thoughts run wild in her mind. Taeyeon’s smirk fades away and disappears just then.
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
Tiffany pulls her hands out of Taeyeon’s hold, folds her arms and huffs, “If you did all that just to prove what a great kisser you are then you’ve succeeded, Taeyeon. You’ve proven that you’re a great kisser. Happy now?”
Taeyeon shakes her head immediately, looking alarmed, making to grab Tiffany’s hands again but to no avail. “Tiffany, no. That’s not what I meant.”
“So what did you mean.”
“I didn’t mean anything! I kissed you because I got caught up in the moment. We were swaying so slowly and your body felt so soft and your hair smelt so good and your eyes—“
Tiffany clamps her hand over Taeyeon’s mouth and stops her from saying anything else, embarrassed by the heaps of compliments she’s dishing out with people standing all around them.
“Okay. Enough. I get it. I get it.”
“But I haven’t told you about your eyes yet, your eyes—“
Tiffany has to clamp her hand over Taeyeon’s mouth again and she doesn’t let go this time.
“Taeyeon. Please shut up. You’re embarrassing the heck outta me.”
Taeyeon nods and Tiffany shots a warning look before releasing her hand again.
“Tiffany, I’m not trying to prove anything. Really.”
“Okay. Okay. I believe you.”
Taeyeon looks relieved. “Okay.” Then, she smiles. “So…I’m a great kisser huh.”
Tiffany rolls her eyes but is unable to stop herself from smiling.
Taeyeon giggles with glee and reaches for Tiffany’s hand once again. “This isn’t going to be our last date, is it?” she states, rather than asks and Tiffany can only smile wider which Taeyeon obviously takes to be a yes.
“The insoles definitely helped,” Tiffany chips in, satisfying her need to tease Taeyeon a little. “You may want to use them on all future dates.”
“Yes, madam!” Taeyeon chirps and salutes smartly, making Tiffany burst into laughter at her antics and just as easily ceasing her laughter with a quick peck on her cheek. Tiffany blinks in surprise then blushes, suddenly feeling shy without even knowing why.
Then, her shyness increases tenfold when Taeyeon, with shining eyes, leans close to her ear and whispers, “By the way, your eyes told me to kiss you.”
“Hyoyeon unnie, are there really no spells that can undo their body switch?” Seohyun asks Hyoyeon.
They’d spent the past hour reciting English spells over and over again until Hyoyeon begged for a break and that’s when they began to talk about Yuri and Jessica’s predicament.
Hyoyeon shakes her head dejectedly. “I’m afraid not.”
“Not even the English ones? It doesn’t make sense to have no counter spell for it.”
“I know, right? I mean, every spell has a counter. Spells of light can be countered by spells of darkness. Spells of love can be countered by spells of hate. And reversal spells too. But according to my father, this particular spell can’t be undone when cast on humans. It has a different effect on animals though.”
Yoona sighs. “I guess, it’s up to Yuri unnie and Jessica unnie to work it out together. Yuri unnie is very kind. I’m sure she’ll be able to emphasize with Jessica unnie as soon as she learns more about her.”
“I sure hope so!” Hyoyeon grimaces. “It’s gonna be bad news if they don’t.”
“Will you get into trouble if they don’t break out of the spell?” Seohyun asks out of concern.
Hyoyeon nods sadly. “Please don’t tell them about this but we have a grace period of thirty days to clear up any mess we make while casting spells. If we don’t manage to do it, we’ll be penalized.”
Yoona’s eyes widen with worry at once. “What kind of penalty are we talking about? Will you be caned? Or have your wings taken away? Or forced to write lines? Or—“
Hyoyeon silences Yoona with a flat palm in her face. She shudders as she answers, “Yoona, you’re a scary girl. Thank goodness you’re not the one coming up with the penalties in our world.” Pausing for a bit, Hyoyeon takes a deep breath and exhales loudly before explaining, “If we can’t fix the problem, the wise fairies will be notified of the mess up and they’ll most probably lock down my ability to cast spells for a period of time. If we mess up too many times, it may result in our magical powers being stripped completely. Of course, it also depends on the severity of the mess up.”
“Well, how severe is this body switch mess up then?” Yoona asks out of curiosity.
Hyoyeon heaves a great big sigh. “Pretty darn severe.”
Seulji’s eyes are narrowed into slits as she tries to digest the shocking news. It is almost too much to process in such a short period of time. She pats herself on her back, rewarding herself for a job well done. She’d been this close to giving up on listening to them as they tried to teach her useless cousin English for the past hour. Thanks to lucky fairy dust, she persevered and listened on, finally getting something huge out of it.
Hyoyeon, her useless cousin is up to her ears in trouble.
“Ahahahaha,” Seulji laughs to herself. As usual, Hyoyeon has gone and gotten herself into trouble. She shakes her head in disgust at the thought of Hyoyeon. If she were the daughter of a fairy as powerful and wise as Hyoyeon’s father is, the last thing she would being doing is fooling around with body switching spells. She would be working hard, learning as many spells in as many languages as she can. Not that she isn’t already doing it. And it certainly has paid off. Because of her broad knowledge of spells, she was able to cast a bug spell on Yoona so that she would be able to listen in on their conversation no matter where they went.
Now, the grand question is this: what is she going to do with this piece of information?
I’m tired this morning. Frikkin’ tired. The past night had been spent with Yuri, helping her with her English and writing the article about beach necessities that’s due for the week. Not surprisingly, Yuri has quite a strong opinion about beach necessities and she is a vehement believer in the most traditional sunblock lotion—the kind that is white and sloshes over your skin, making you look like icing on a cake. She’s also a strong advocate for UV protection in a good pair of shades.
What impresses me most, however, is how she manages to stay fashionable while taking good care of her health. Her shades look completely badass and her charm oozes out from every pore when she dons it. And right now, I can’t help but to admire how cool she looks as I look into the mirror in the locker room.
The sound of a door opening jostles me out of my long unwavering gaze at myself (Yuri, rather) in the mirror and I shift the line of my vision to see Yuri stepping out of the changing room, decked out in a sexy tube bikini top and a matching bottom. Pink has always looked good on me, I can’t help but think as I keep my eyes on Yuri.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Yuri asks me as she walks up to me.
I smile and say, “I look pretty in pink.”
Yuri looks in the mirror and smiles too. “You do,” she agrees and adds, “You have a really nice body too.”
I blush and smack her arm. “Pervert.”
Yuri pouts and I’m unable to stop my grin from forming. My pout is really kind of cute. But time is ticking away and I want to get through the training so that I can go back home and sleep. I’m seriously sleep deprived and I don’t like it one bit.
“Practice. Let’s go.” I jerk my head towards the door and walk towards it, not waiting for Yuri.
Decked out in Yuri’s lifeguard bikini, I jumped right into the water without hesitation. I emerge from the water, sweeping the water off my face and look into Yuri’s eyes, wondering why she looks pleased.
“What?” I ask.
“You’re not complaining about the cold water anymore,” Yuri says with a hint of pride and my lips curl into a grin when I realize that she’s right.
“Yuri!” an unwelcome voice echoes within the indoor pool arena and Yuri’s pleased look disappears in that instant. I’m left wondering what the matter is until I turn around and see who it is. Argh. Seulji. What is she doing here!
I force myself to smile and greet Seulji. After all, she is Yuri’s senior.
“Hello, Seulji unnie.”
Seulji walks right up to me and puts her arm over my shoulders. I don’t like it one bit but Yuri’s words ring in my mind so I try to tolerate it. For Yuri.
“Teaching your girlfriend how to swim again, Yuri?”
Why I feel as if she were taunting me, I’m not sure, but there is an underlying current to her casual tone and it unsettles me.
“Any chance for us to have a cup of coffee later on, Yuri?”
I’m all ready to spin up a lame excuse to get out of it but much to my surprise, I smile and agree to it in a heartbeat. I’m shocked by my answer and I can see that Yuri is stunned too. She looks at me questioningly but all I can do is blink as Seulji grips my shoulder tightly, drawing me closer to her and plants a quick peck on my cheek.
“Awesome. I’ll leave you two to swim now,” she says, her eyes glinting with a little something as she leaves and all I can hear is the thumping of my heart and a strange roaring in my ears as I turn to face Yuri.
“Why did you agree to go for coffee with her?” Yuri’s accusatory tone doesn’t sit well with me and I turn defensive immediately.
“You’re the one who wants me to be nice.”
“You’re being too nice!”
“Well, make up your mind. Do you want me to be nice or not?”
“I asked you to be nice but I didn’t ask you to go out for coffee with her!”
“It’s just coffee. Why are you so uptight about it?”
I have no idea what is going on but Yuri is being totally unreasonable and I’m beginning to feel irritated.
“I’m not being uptight. You’re the hypocrite here. You were all about not letting her get her way but here you are now, going for coffee with her.”
“You know what? I can’t be bothered to talk about this. Are we going to practice or what.”
“I don’t feel like practicing with you anymore. I’m leaving.”
And with that, Yuri gets out of the pool and leaves in a huff without even looking back as I stand akimbo in the pool. I’m angry now. Really, really angry.
Screw this, Yuri. You can lose your job for all I care.
Yuri is already in the changing room when I get to the locker room and I don’t quite know why but that irks me even more. I grab my clothes and stomp into another changing room to get changed, slamming the door shut as I do.
When I get out, Yuri is gone and somehow the knowledge of that calms me down, somewhat. At least, I don’t feel as riled up as before. I sigh and slump onto the bench, rubbing my towel through my hair to dry it as I stare at the door. What had gotten into me? And what had gotten into her? Yuri isn’t so short tempered usually. I mean, I’m the one who was hopping mad at Hyoyeon for casting the spell on us while Yuri was the one who was trying to save that useless fairy’s life. It’s odd. Yuri doesn’t seem like herself at all.
Suddenly, I gasp as a thought grips me with fear. Will our personalities change somehow as we stay on in each other’s body? It seems too good to be true that there’d be no side effects from body switching. Yes, maybe that’s the reason why I feel as though I’m losing control too.
I desperately want my questions answered but Hyoyeon is nowhere near. I have no way of calling for her either. It’s really crappy to have a fairy like Hyoyeon, claiming to help us when all she’s really doing is cleaning up a mess she made. And not very well at that!
My phone beeps, notifying me of a message received and I read it only to find that it is Seulji who has just told me that she’s waiting for me at the parking lot. For a moment, I hesitate. Should I go? Or should I not. Well, I did promise…and I suppose, a promise ought to be honoured, no matter how I feel right now. Right. I stand up and pick my things up. I figure I might as well meet Seulji and try to figure out what the woman is about.
Seulji gets and to wave at me when I step into the coffee shop. She’s pretty. I can’t deny that fact. And actually looks pretty much like Yuri in some ways. A toned body, tanned skin, long hair swept up into a ponytail, a charming smile. How odd. I don’t find her repulsive anymore. She’s actually quite nice!
With a smile, I join her at the table and she gestures towards a cup of coffee.
“I ordered a caramel coffee for you. I hope you don’t mind.”
I smile instantly, touched by her kind gesture and shake my head. “No, of course not. I don’t mind at all.”
“Well, what are you waiting for? Drink up.” Seulji’s congenial smile is a little unnerving but pleasant nonetheless so I pick up the drink and sip it.
“It’s nice, isn’t it?”
Nodding my head, I continue drinking it through the straw until three quarters of the cup is drained. Only then, does Seulji stop egging me to drink more. But as soon as I put my drink down, my world blurs and I see two of everything. Holy mother of blistering icicles. What is happening to me?!