PD: Round 21 to 23

Round Twenty-One

To say that Taeng was happy would be a gross understatement. He was absolutely delirious with joy.

Peas! I kissed Tiffany! YAY!”

He hugged his peas with glee and squeezed his eyes shut, savoring the feeling of the kiss that would not budge from his memory. The feeling of her lips on his was absolutely heavenly. That was where he wanted to be, that was what he wanted to feel. He savored the feeling of her hand in his. The softness of her skin, the suppleness of her fingers… it was all good.

He missed her already.

Taeng 21:30

Would you like to have dinner with me after work tomorrow?

He waited patiently.

Boss 21:45

Ok (:

He grinned as he read her reply. It was the best feeling in the world and he wished that it would last forever.

~~~~~

Siwon strode into the building with confidence. He would work his way back into her life this time. He would not fail again. He had tried and failed but he had never given up. He couldn’t give her up. She was the only girl that had his heart in her pocket and he didn’t want it back anytime soon, painful as it was to be apart from her.

He supposed that his mother could be persuaded to accept Tiffany eventually. He understood that Tiffany hadn’t wanted his relationship with his mother to deteriorate because of her. He understood that Tiffany had wanted her independence. He understood every reason that Tiffany had given him for leaving him but he couldn’t understand why she had to leave when she clearly had feelings for him. Surely there would be a way out of this. He believed in the saying—If there’s a will, there’s a way.

They were meant to be together—of that he was sure.

Hi Tiffany.”

His confident smile made her heart flutter and turned her mind into mush but she managed to gather her wits and smile professionally back at him.

Hi Siwon.”

They shook hands and the feeling of his skin against hers gave her the tingles like always. She kept her composure and gestured for him to sit. They sat and she pushed a folder across the table to him.

That’s the first draft of our proposal for the opening. We’ve taken what you mentioned and worked it into this.”

I can see that. Good work.”

Thank you. We strive to keep our clients more than satisfied.”

This client would like to discuss this over dinner.”

I’m afraid that this client would have to keep his discussion to this meeting room.”

Siwon raised an eyebrow in moderate surprise. She had never rejected him with such firmness before. Have things changed? Don’t you strive to keep your clients more than satisfied?”

More than satisfied with their events, that is.”

Tiffany…”

It’s Miss Hwang. If you will…”

Siwon shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “Tiffany, what’s wrong? Why are you so cold?”

Nothing is wrong. I’m just being professional.” Tiffany shrugged nonchalantly. She smiled at the man who had knocked and entered the room. “Taeng, I’m glad you’re here. Have you brought the blueprints?”

Taeng raised the prints and grinned. “Here they are!” He was cheerier and chirpier than usual and Tiffany knew the reason why. She couldn’t hold back her grin at the thought. Siwon noticed her grin and he didn’t like what he made of it. This wasn’t going the way he had planned at all.

Siwon ssi, these are the preliminary blueprints of the layout. If there are any adjustments you want made to it, let us know and we can work out the best layout for you.”

Siwon looked at Taeng as he took a seat beside Tiffany. Something about the man set off alarm bells in him. He sensed a potential threat in him.

Taeng ssi, would you like to join us for dinner after this meeting?”

Taeng looked at Tiffany in surprise. Weren’t they supposed to have dinner together? He was under the impression that it would be just the two of them.

Siwon ssi, I would love to join you and Boss for dinner.” Taeng smiled warmly in response even though his heart was sinking as heavily as an anchor.

Tiffany stared at Taeng. She couldn’t believe her ears. After all the trouble she had gone through to avoid dining with Siwon, he had agreed so easily to it?! Weren’t they supposed to have dinner together? Taeng?!

Siwon smiled. It looked like Taeng wouldn’t be a threat after all—he looked more like a useful catalyst to bring Tiffany back to him in fact.

Excellent. Don’t worry about reservations; I’ll get those done.” He rubbed his hands with glee and smiled at the two people who looked rather passive. “Let’s get on with our discussion, shall we?”

~~~~~

Tiffany asked to be excused. Taeng, I need you to come with me for a sec.”

Taeng stood up, looking puzzled but nonetheless, he did not question her request. Siwon was on the phone, making reservations for the best Italian restaurant in town. Tiffany felt a tinge of happiness, knowing that he remembered the place where they had their first date but Siwon’s motive was too obvious and she was not willing to waver to his attempts to woo her back. On top of that, she was fuming mad at Taeng for agreeing to Siwon’s dinner invite.

She dragged Taeng to her office and locked the door. He looked at her in confusion as she walked around, shutting the blinds. When she was done securing their privacy, she stood in front of him with her hands on her hips.

Why did you agree to join in the dinner?” she hissed through clenched teeth.

Tiffany, if you are angry because I’m joining the two of you for dinner, I can go back and tell him that I can’t make it. But I’m really disappointed in you. I thought that we were having dinner tonight—just the two of us. I was looking forward to it since you agreed to it. I couldn’t even sleep properly last night—I was so happy. But now, I’m just angry. I can’t believe how angry I am. What kind of girl are you Tiffany? The kind who plays with hearts of men?” Taeng looked at Tiffany angrily. “I thought that we were dating. You even let me hold your hand. Does that mean nothing to you?”

You are an idiot for agreeing to have dinner with Siwon.” Tiffany couldn’t believe the words that came out of Taeng’s mouth. He was really angry. She had never seen an angry Taeng before and for some reason, it made her angry that he was angry with her for something that she did not do—especially when he was the one who landed them in this problem in the first place.

What else could I say Tiffany? He’s our client. As I said, if you want to be alone with him, I’m more than happy to oblige. I would do anything for you Tiffany, even if it makes me mad and sad.”

Taeng clenched his fists and jaw and his eyes were all fiery as he turned and left her office, leaving her there alone. He walked back to the meeting room and smiled at Siwon.

I’m sorry, Siwon ssi. Something came up and I can’t join you and Tiffany for dinner. Enjoy your dinner. I’ll be taking my leave now.” He smiled again as Tiffany re-entered the room. “Tiffany, I’m leaving now. Have a good dinner with Siwon.”

Unbelievable. Taeng is mad at me when it’s me that should be mad at him?!

Tiffany huffed. Yes you can be sure that I will be having a wonderful dinner with Siwon—just the two of us.” She retorted.

Goodbye Siwon ssi, Tiffany.”

Tiffany huffed and turned her nose up at him. And with that, he stalked out of the room, looking ready to murder a few cows for dinner.

Siwon grinned at Tiffany. “You know, if I didn’t know better, I would have thought that I had just witnessed a lovers’ Tiff.”

You think so?” Tiffany’s face remained passive. “Let’s go.”

~~~~~

We’ll have two of your signature spaghetti.” Siwon smiled at the waitress who was smiling at him most seductively. He wondered if Tiffany would feel jealous like she used to do. He looked at her but she hadn’t even noticed the waitress.

Should I text Taeng? Tiffany was looking at her phone.

What’s on your mind, Fany?”

I would prefer you to call me Tiffany.”

But I prefer to call you Fany.”

Siwon, we’re not the same anymore.”

I know but I’m working on it.”

We can’t.”

We can.”

Siwon, we’ve been through this many times. We can’t. We’re not meant to be together. Can’t we just move on? Every time you come to me like this…” Tiffany couldn’t go on. It hurt too much.

You still love me. That’s why it hurts.”

Love isn’t enough Siwon. That’s what broke us up.”

My mother can be persuaded.”

We tried. She can’t. You know that I can’t be the wife that your family wants.”

You are the wife that I want.”

You are part of your family.”

We can work it out Fany.”

Call me Tiffany.”

Tiffany, you love me. I love you. I can’t forget you and you haven’t forgotten me. How much more must we suffer? How much longer must we be apart?”

Please don’t do this here.”

You’re right. Let’s go to my place and talk.”

No.”

Fany, please, I want you back so badly and I know you feel the same. What can I say or do to make you believe that we can work it out and make it work?”

Siwon, I’ve tried. Believe me when I say that I’ve tried. I’ve done everything I can to make us work but sometimes…some things really aren’t meant to be. Let’s just leave it shall we? We have good memories of being together and I have wonderful memories of a beautiful first love and even though it had to end, it’s still beautiful and I would like to keep it that way.”

Siwon narrowed his eyes. Do you have another man in your life? Is that why you are so different this time?”

That was a curve ball for Tiffany. She hadn’t seen that coming but she wasn’t going to lie. I’ve just recently started seeing someone.”

Siwon’s face lost all of its colour. “Who is it?”

Taeng.”

You? And Taeng? No way.”

He asked me out and I said yes.”

Fany—”

Siwon,” Tiffany cut him off mid-sentence. “Don’t. Let’s both move on from this. We have no future together.”

We can if we really want it. It’s obvious that you don’t want it enough, Fany.”

Tiffany took offence to that accusation. “Look. You don’t know half of what I went through fighting for our future. Go ask your mother. I’ve had enough of this. I’m leaving.”

Tiffany stood up and left the table without looking back. She had someone she wanted to see.

~~~~~

DING DONG.

Taeng looked up from his peas. He was in the middle of a discussion with them about whether he should call Tiffany or not. They had said that he should. Who could it possibly be? His jaw dropped when he opened his door for before his eyes stood the girl who had the ability to make him so incredibly angry, sad yet happy at the same time.

Tiffany…” he whispered.

Are you going to make me stand out here? Can I go in?”

Taeng came back to his senses and nodded vigorously. “Of course you can. Come in…er…my place is a little messy though.” His face turned beet red.

There were books and papers on the coffee table and some clothes strewn across his couch. Tiffany looked around his apartment with a tiny smile on her face. The apartment looked like him. It had his brand of decoration—simple yet quirky. She smiled when she saw the peas on the table. Taeng bustled around, gathering his clothes and shoving them out of sight. He arranged the books and papers into a neater stack before turning to Tiffany sheepishly.

I’m sorry. My place is a mess.”

Tiffany pouted. “Isn’t there something else that you should be apologizing for?”

There is?”

Tiffany put her hands on her hips. “You said some mean things to me at the office.”

Oh.” Taeng looked at his feet. “I was angry. I still am actually but I’m happy to see you here so I don’t know. But whatever I said to you, I’m not taking it back. I meant it when I said that I was disappointed. I felt so hurt when Siwon asked me to join you two and I think I had the right to be angry. You went back on your word Tiffany.”

Taeng, I didn’t agree to have dinner with Siwon.”

Taeng’s eyes flew up to meet hers with incredible intensity. “You didn’t? But he asked…”

He made it sound like I had agreed. And I was angry with you because you agreed to go when you were supposed to have dinner with me.”

I thought…that…I…” Taeng looked rather confused. “I’m sorry.”

Yeah you should be. Thanks to you, I was forced to have dinner with him—a dinner that I was trying to get out of. I had rejected his offer but you came along and said yes.”

Taeng looked so apologetic that Tiffany felt like laughing. Oh gosh, she couldn’t stay angry with him for long at all. She had an overwhelming urge to cuddle him. So, she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing herself up against him, her chin resting on his shoulder, nose in his hair.

I don’t even know why I came over here,” she murmured.

I’m very happy to see you Tiffany.” His arms found their way around her shoulders and neck, into her luscious locks. “I’m so glad.”

I know.” Tiffany giggled. “I can see it on your face.”

Does it mean that you are over Siwon now?” He leaned back to look into her gorgeous brown eyes.

I will be perfectly honest with you, Taeng. When I saw him again today, he had an effect on me. I can’t deny that. We talked about our past and he still wants me back but I know that it’s not possible for us to be together.” Tiffany smiled shyly at Taeng who was looking perplexed. “I was thinking of you during the dinner Taeng. And when I ended the dinner, all I wanted to do was to see you.”

Taeng looked surprised. “You…were thinking of me?”

Yes.”

Taeng was certain that his heart was going into overdrive—his heart was beating so fast. “I was asking my peas if I should call you when you knocked.”

Tiffany looked at him, her eyes twinkling away like the stars in the night sky. “And? What did they say?”

I think they said to call you.”

Tiffany giggled. “I like your peas. They’re so wise.”

Really? You like my peas?” Taeng’s eyes lit up like candles in the dark.

Tiffany nodded. “Uh huh. They are cute and they give good advice.”

Taeng grinned from ear to ear like an idiot.

Can we hug some more? It feels really good,” Tiffany asked.

Taeng nodded vigorously and pulled her into his arms, holding her tight. Tiffany closed her eyes. Taeng made her feel precious and wanted. It felt too good and she indulged herself in it. She would need all the strength she could get to get through this—perhaps Taeng would be enough. Would he?

~~~~~

Are you up for Seventh Heaven tomorrow night?”

Nah, I’m not in the mood to go.”

Hyoyeon was surprised to hear that.

Did I hear you right? Or do I have to fix my phone?”

Sunny rolled her eyes at her best friend. “You heard me right. Yes, I’m saying no to a night of fun.”

What’s troubling you?”

I…think…I might be…” Sunny didn’t continue.

Might be? What is it Sunny?”

Sunny sighed which got Hyoyeon worried. Sunny wasn’t the type of person who would sigh. She was a fighter, a strong person who would troubleshoot her problems with gusto.

Men…are nothing but trouble.”

Something is really wrong with you Sunny.”

I know. I’ve got a problem with a man.”

Young?”

He’s not the problem…”

It’s Yoong then?”

Sunny heaved a huge sigh. “Yes.”

Why is he a problem now? You never had a problem handling him.”

I think he managed to get in.”

In? Huh? Stop speaking in riddles. It’s too late at night for me to be using this much of my brain.”

Hyoyeon ah, I think I may be falling for Yoong.”

Hyoyeon was surprised to hear that confession but she wasn’t unhappy to hear it. In fact, she thought that it was about time that Sunny fell for someone else. Only, she wasn’t sure if she wanted that someone to be Yoong.

Okay…” Hyoyeon proceeded to speak with caution. “This may be a good thing. That means that you are finally moving on.”

I guess.”

Yul is happy now and you’re happy for him, aren’t you? He’s found his girl. You should find your man.”

I know, I know but I think I need more time Hyoyeon ah. My heart has only had room for one man all my life. I’m not quite used to feeling this way with another man.”

You deserve to find a guy who will love you the way a man loves a woman. Yul can only give you the love of a brother and you know that. I’ve always wondered how you managed to love one man for so long with so many other guys going after you.”

Sunny laughed. “It’s easy not to fall for them if you detach yourself from them. It’s just fun. Have fun and forget. It’s not too difficult. So long as they don’t touch your heart.”

Hyoyeon shook her head. She could never understand how Sunny could keep one man in her heart for so many years. Even after she moved to America and lost contact with Yul, she had never forgotten him. She recalled how downcast and forlorn Sunny had looked when she realized that Yul had moved away from his old home. She had gone straight to Yul’s old house upon returning to South Korea—only to find that he was gone.

~~~

Why don’t you confess your feelings to Yul?” Hyoyeon had asked her once, a long time ago.

I don’t want to be a burden to him. He has enough problems with his step-dad and his family. I am contented being his best friend and lil’ sis for now.”

Hyoyeon tried to get Sunny to tell Yul and she finally agreed to drop hints. She would ask Sunny about the progress of her hint dropping.

Hyoyeon, I tried hinting at it. I called him my boyfriend to get rid of the other boys who were getting too serious with me. He doesn’t seem to mind but I’m not sure if it’s because he likes it or if he is completely ignorant of it.

Oh Sunny…”

Hyoyeon continued to encourage Sunny to confess her feelings directly to Yul instead of dropping hints that he didn’t seem to get.

I would confess but my family is moving to America so I thought I should wait till we move back before confessing so that he wouldn’t be burdened by me. I mean, there is no way he can go to America so it would only be a problem to him,” Sunny told her firmly, refusing to cave in to Hyoyeon urging her to tell him the truth about her feelings for him.


~~~

Gosh, I will never forget how distraught you were when you lost contact of him.”

I was lucky though. I had you to call and cry to.”

Yeah, you were so sad that you made me cry too.”

Sunny laughed. “You’re my best friend Hyo. Then and now.”

Of course I am. I’m also the one who cried with you when you found out that Yul has someone he loves.”

Sunny sighed again. “Yul really loves her. I tested him. I guess, we’re just not meant to be together.”

You’re the best actress I know Sunny. But I think you never did end up with him because you’re supposed to meet somebody else. Maybe it’s Yoong?”

I don’t know about Yoong. I wasn’t even supposed to play with him. He’s my boss for goodness sakes. But he is so persistent.” Sunny shook her head. “I should never have caved in to him.”

I really don’t get how you can go out with these guys, even kiss them, yet at the same time keep your heart locked up, waiting for him who treats you like a sister. I really, really don’t get you at all.”

Sunny laughed again. “I am lonely sometimes Hyo. I want a boyfriend too you know. I guess, having fun with boys helps with that but at the end of the day, my heart only ever had room for Yul, until now…”

Mmm, until now. When did you start to feel something for Yoong?”

I don’t know. I didn’t believe him when he said that he was serious about me at first. But he saved me from that falling box at the resort, and we kissed that morning, after watching the sunrise. It was different. I felt different.”

You watched a sunrise with Yoong? And you two kissed? You didn’t tell me about that. And now you feel different? Tell me again why you are troubled over this. This is good news Sunny. It shouldn’t be a problem at all.”

It is. Yoong asked me to be committed to him.”

And what is wrong with that?”

How can I? Not with Yul still in the picture, I can’t.”

Bring out the player in you. Forget Yul like how you forget the others.”

You know that I can’t treat Yul the same way I treat other guys. He’s…”

Special. I know. You’ve told me a million, billion times. But now you have another man. You’ve got to give Yoong a chance and I’m saying this even though I have my reservations about him.”

Because he’s a player? He seems really serious Hyo. I can tell.”

Mmm, and you’re defending him already.” Hyoyeon grinned.

I’m not defending him. I’m simply stating a fact.”

Whatever you say, Sunny.” Hyoyeon’s grin grew an inch.

Hyo, you’re not helping babe.”

Okay, okay, so we won’t go to Seventh Heaven tomorrow night. I’ll come over and sleep with you instead.”

Sunny laughed. “Hyo, that sounds totally wrong in so many ways.”

Hyoyeon chuckled. “You laughed, didn’t you? See you tomorrow Sunny!”

See you tomorrow, Hyo.”

~~~~~

Round Twenty-Two

Hi Young.”

Hey, Sunny! It’s good to hear from you. It’s been a while babe.”

Yeah, it has.”

I haven’t seen you at Seventh Heaven and you have been claiming to be busy when I ask you out, so I’m guessing you’re calling me to tell me some bad news.”

You are ever so smart and witty, Young, but I’ve really been extra busy recently. You would know about the grand opening of the resort? It’s happening soon and we’re swamped in work on that.”

Ooh, the lady is praising me, and she’s explaining herself. It must be really, really bad news. Let me guess, Yoong has gotten under your skin?”

Young!”

Haha, you’re thinking dirty Sunny, so he really has gotten under your skin huh?”

Not really.”

And yet you’re calling me to say that we shouldn’t play anymore?”

Yes I am.” Sunny paused for a moment. “I guess you have a point there. He has gotten under my skin a little bit.” She admitted most awkwardly.

I expected as much. Yoong really is serious this time. I’ve never seen him like that before.”

I believe that he is serious now.”

Good. I hope you don’t break his fragile heart.”

He has a fragile heart?” Sunny gasped in disbelief.

Yes he does. He had his heart broken once. Really badly. She was such a bitch, that woman who broke his heart. I hate her.”

Frankly, I’m surprised to hear that. Is that why he ended up a player?”

More or less, yes…”

And you? Had your heart broken too?”

Young laughed. “No. My heart is in one solid piece. It’s never been broken.”

Why do you play then?”

My marriage will be for business so I won’t get to choose my wife. If I don’t play now, I’ll regret it when I’m married. Besides, it would totally suck if I fell in love with a girl and couldn’t marry her.”

I thought you were falling for me at one point, I was going to stop seeing you then.” Sunny laughed.

Oh, yeah. I thought I was falling for you too. Thanks to Yoong, I didn’t.”

You’re a really good friend Young. Can we stay as friends?”

What kind of a question is that Sunny? Of course you can! I’m always…er…available for some fun, if you know what I mean.”

Young…” Sunny rolled her eyes.

HAHA! Just kidding Sunny. It was fun playing with you though. I’ll probably miss hanging out with you like how we did. The girls at Seventh Heaven are seriously boring me to death now, thanks to you.”

You can always play Twister with them.” Sunny laughed.

Well, that I would like to keep special—to just you and me. I’ve never played that game with anyone else.”

I’m so very honoured Young.”

Young heaved a sigh. “Heh, you better be. Oh man, you’re the best girl I’ve ever played with.”

You know what?”

What?”

You’re the best guy I’ve ever played with too.”

Young laughed. “What about Yoong? He obviously won you over.”

Yoong, He was never in the market to play with me anyway so he doesn’t count.”

Young laughed harder. “I like the way you put it Sunny. I shall mourn the retirement of the best player in town.”

Sunny laughed along. “When will you retire from being a player?”

Young made a face. “When I have no choice but to.”

Sunny chuckled. “I wish you the best of luck on that.”

Thanks. You and Yoong have my best wishes.”

Thanks Young.”

~~~~~

A tall, raven-haired girl smiled as her passport was stamped. “Thanks.” Her sweet voice made the officer smile. She had that effect on the people around her. She boarded the plane and made herself comfortable. Her father had booked her on first class but she had insisted on flying on business instead. “Daddy, business class is good enough. I prefer business class, really.”

Her father had relented and his secretary changed the reservation for him.

As she looked out of the window of the plane, she wondered what her life would be like, now that her mother had passed away. She had never lived with her father before, except when he visited them—he would only stay for a few days each time. She had apprehensions of meeting her half-sister. She had never met her before and she wondered what she was like. It was unlikely that her half-sister would welcome her with open arms but she hoped that she wouldn’t be too hostile—they were half-sisters after all.

~~~~~

Hi.” Young smiled at the pretty girl who was seated across the aisle from him.

She smiled politely. “Hi.”

Are you flying to South Korea for business or pleasure?”

I’m afraid it’s neither.”

Intriguing. Mind telling me why you’re going to South Korea?”

The girl smiled and shook her head. “It’s nothing really. I’m just going back to live my family.”

So you are from South Korea.”

No. I’m American. I was born in America but my dad is Korean.”

I see. Have you ever been to South Korea?”

No, this will be my first time in South Korea.”

In that case, it would be my pleasure to show you around town and to bring you to all the fun places. Here, call me if you need a guide.” Young held his business card in his hand, extending it towards her. She smiled and took it politely, looking at his name before slipping it into her pocket.

Sure, Young ssi.”

Please, call me Young. I know that you are probably thinking of tossing the card out the moment you leave the plane but I would like to urge you to keep it. You’re new to the country and I think you could use a friend.”

She was a little taken aback by his accurate reading of her thoughts and his bluntness. On top of that, his charming smile was also fairly disarming to her.

I know the best places to hang out in town. I could show you around, it’s no problem at all.”

Be careful what you wish for. I may just take you up on this offer.”

Young laughed. “If you take up my offer, your first dinner will be on me. How’s that sound?”

It sounds like you do this all the time.”

What do I do?”

Pick girls up on flights.”

Young laughed. “I’m just being friendly. I won’t deny that you’re pretty and I’m attracted to you because of that but there’s nothing wrong with getting to know someone new, is there?”

Well, if you put it that way, no, there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing.”

Young grinned. “That’s good to hear. It would be even better if I hear from you when you’re ready for some fun in Korea. What’s your name?”

Krystal, with a K.”

That’s a nice name. It suits you and your crystal clear eyes.”

Thanks.”

It was nice talking to you. Call me if you want some fun.” Young winked at Krystal before standing up to retrieve his bag from the overhead storage compartment. He sauntered off the plane, whistling a happy tune. Whatever unpleasant feelings he had when he was told that there was no more room in first class for him had been dispelled. If he hadn’t flown business class, he wouldn’t have met her. He grinned to himself. Suddenly, flying business class didn’t seem so bad after all.

~~~~~

Jessica couldn’t believe her ears. She finally knew why her mother had been in such a horrible mood for the past few weeks. She stared at her father most incredulously. “Daddy, you can’t be doing this to us.”

Mr. Jung heaved a heavy sigh and Jessica thought that he suddenly looked so much older than before. “Sica, I would never want to put you through a tough time. You know that, right? I really have no choice. Her mother is dead Sica. Can you take pity on her, just a little bit?”

Why didn’t you tell me earlier Daddy? Why? This is too much for me to take. She’s on the plane right now? She’s going to be here in less than a day.” Jessica squeezed her eyes shut, willing it to be a bad dream—a really bad dream—but when she opened her eyes, her father still looked at weary as before and her ability to breathe had flown out the window.

Sica…” Mr. Jung’s voice cracked. “I didn’t tell you about it because your mother asked me not to. She didn’t want you to be affected by this and she was trying to stop me from bringing her back.”

Jessica’s head snapped up and her eyes pierced through her father’s. “Mummy knew about this? She knew that you had a woman and a daughter in America?”

Mr. Jung nodded slowly, afraid of the way his daughter would react to this new bit of information.

Oh my gawd. I have the most insane parents in the world. I can’t believe that Mummy knew about your affair all this time and did nothing about it. Does she know about the other women as well?”

Mr. Jung nodded slowly again. “Yes, she knows…” He closed his eyes, not wanting to see the pain that was flashing in Jessica’s glistening eyes.

I…can’t…believe…this…” Jessica chocked back her tears as she fought to keep her composure. “Mummy knew about all of your affairs and yet she pretended not to know? Was it for me? Did she do it all for me?”

Sica, she pretended so that our family could stay together. You did the same. All we want is for this family to stay together and stay strong.”

Daddy, there’s no point in our family staying together if everyone is hurting so bad. You and your affairs are killing us.”

Sica, I’ve stopped it since a couple of years ago. You know that. But I really can’t ditch my daughter, no matter what.”

Jessica’s glare intensified and her eyes were as fiery as the sun on the hottest noon in summer. “I can’t and I won’t live with her. If you want to bring her back here, I’m leaving.”

Sica, please. I love you. Don’t make this difficult for us will you?”

Jessica laughed like a maniac. “Daddy, you’ve got to be kidding me! You of all people, are asking me not to make things difficult? Do you realize how difficult you have made things for us? You are an asshole, Dad. You and your women! You and that bastard daughter of yours! Fine, if you love her so much and can’t ditch her, I’ll make things easier for you. DITCH ME! I HATE YOU ANYWAY!”

Jessica stood up, looking angrier than she ever had in her entire life. Knives and daggers were shooting out from her fiery red eyes. Her father was speechless—he was too shocked by the intensity of her fiery. She exited his study room and slammed the door—hard. The impact of the door slamming shut pierced right through her father’s heart and his tears began rolling down his cheeks.

Sica, my poor girl…” he cried. “I’m sorry.”

~~~~~

The door sounded as though it was about to be broken down—it was being knocked so hard.

COMING!” Yul yelled as he put his book down and rushed to open the door before it was seriously damaged. He was surprised to see a dripping wet Jessica when he opened it.

Sica bab—”

He didn’t have the chance to finish his question. Jessica had bulldozed into him, crushing her lips on his, kissing him with hunger and fervor. He tried to pull her away.

What happe—”

Jessica pushed back against him and her lips silenced him once again, engulfing him. Her wet clothes clung to her body and she shivered from the cold but she was in too much pain to care. She pushed Yul to the couch, kissing him more and more aggressively with each step. Her hands found the hem of his t-shirt and tugged it up. She pushed Yul onto the couch and he gasped in shock as he fell onto it. Her lips descended upon him once again and soon he lost all sense and control…

~~~

She licked his pleasure spots on his chest, causing him to gasp hard. His reaction brought a smile to her face as she nipped him lightly with her teeth.

Sica, what’s wrong baby?” he managed to ask in between gasps and pants.

Shh, don’t ask…don’t,” Jessica whispered. Her hands wandered across his chest, finding the most sensitive tips and gave them a good flick. “Does this feel good?”

Yul could barely respond—he felt so aroused yet worried at the same time. A loud moan unwittingly escaped his lips and Jessica smiled. She lowered her lips back onto his chest, making full use of her lips, teeth and tongue to provide him the highest level of pleasure she possibly could.

Her hands found their way to his southern region and caressed him. He jerked from the sudden and unexpected contact but her hands didn’t stop rubbing him through his shorts. It wasn’t long before he was straining against his shorts, aching to be freed. Her fingers locked on the waistband of his shorts and the next thing he knew, he was stark naked and very, very hard.

Oh my Sica baby…ooh…” Yul was on the verge of losing his mind from the intense pleasure that Jessica’s hands were giving him. She clamped her lips on his, silencing him, seducing his tongue with hers. He responded and together, they danced the dance of seduction with their lips and tongues.

His hands grappled with her buttons and soon, her blouse hung open, revealing her milky white skin underneath. One glance at her bra-cladded chest was enough to raise his desire through the roof. He indulged himself in her bosom, kissing and nipping the swell above the cup of the bra. She moaned and clutched his head to her chest, wanting more, demanding more.

She shrugged off her blouse, reached behind her and unfastened her bra, letting it slide down her arms and onto the floor, joining the heap of clothes that was down there. Her back arched, presenting her bosom to him and he lost no time in giving them his undivided attention. His fingers flicked, pinched and pulled her into a feverish frenzy. She moaned louder and louder as his manipulation of her body continued to intensify her pleasure more and more.

Yul, I want you,” Jessica panted.

You already have me, Sica.” Yul gazed into her dark, dark, glistening eyes and he knew that she was not her usual self.

I want to feel you. I want to feel this” Jessica squeezed and he gasped. “…in me. I need you tonight, Yul. I need to be with you.”

Yul looked deep into her troubled eyes and nodded. He then lowered his head to her chest, loving her in the most physical way he could, giving her the most pleasure he could. And in that way, making her feel as loved as he could. He unbuttoned her shorts and tugged it down with her panties.

Mine,” he growled in her ear, sending tingles down her spine as his hand showed her what it meant to be his.

Ooh…” Jessica moaned loudly, unabashedly from the most delicious sensations that Yul delivered by hand. She jerked and bucked, impatient to have him fulfill her in the most fulfilling way.

Yul kissed her hard as he thrust his hips. She moaned into him as his tongue started to dance with hers, sending her temperature rocketing sky high. And then he began to move. Each pull and push sent the most awesome adrenaline rush zipping all around her and she couldn’t think anymore. She clung onto his shoulders for dear life as he sped up. She met him thrust for thrust, feeling each and every move that Yul made.

Yul grabbed her butt and hoisted her up into a vertical position and she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck as together, they felt the earth tremor from within, erupting into the most dramatic molten lava, demolishing everything in its path.

~~~

Yul looked into her glistening eyes lovingly and brushed the stray strands of hair away from her face. He tucked her hair behind her ear and leaned down to kiss her ear lobe, neck and shoulder.

What’s the matter baby?” His eye brows were furrowed as he looked at her again.

Jessica ran her fingers across his eye brows. “Don’t frown…”

Yul relaxed his face. “Tell me.” He pulled her closer to him and wrapped his arms around her, running his fingers lightly over her bare back.

Scalding, hot tears began rolling down Jessica’s cheeks. “Daddy is bringing my half-sister back home to live with us.”

Yul was shocked to say the least. “Your half-sister…from America…”

Jessica nodded and hugged Yul tighter than before. Her slender body shook and her shoulders heaved as she broke down and sobbed like the world was coming to an end. Yul didn’t know what to do except to hold her close and hug her as tightly as he could without suffocating her.

~~~~~

Sica baby…” Yul cooed in her ear as he rubbed her back comfortingly. “I love you, Sica.”

Jessica buried her face in the nook of his neck, nuzzling her nose into the little dip at the base of his neck. She breathed deeply, inhaling his scent deep into her system.

I love you too, Yul. Thanks for loving me.” Jessica sniffed.

Mmm…” Yul buried his nose into her luscious curls and took in a great, big whiff of her scent as well, the scent that he loved so much. “It’s my pleasure.”

They smiled into each other eyes and a moment later, Jessica burst into cute, girly giggles—the kind that sent Yul’s blood racing. “It’s…your…pleasure…” Jessica said in between her bouts of giggling. “I’m…your pleasure.”

Jessica laughed out loud over her own little joke as Yul watched her in amusement. He loved her late reaction to funny things, even when he didn’t really know what she was giggling about. He couldn’t help smiling as Jessica fell onto her side on the couch, giggling uncontrollably. The sight of a giggly Jessica who happened to be completely bare was too much for him to handle.

He leaned down over her and kissed her belly button, kissing his way up through the valley of her chest, neck and finally, claiming the lips that were rather swollen from their lovemaking earlier. Her giggles turned into moans and it wasn’t very long before the room resounded with the sounds of their loving once again.

~~~~~

Yul…”

Hmm?” Yul’s fingers traveled up and down her arm idly as they cuddled after their second round of loving.

Can I move in with you?”

Yul stiffened and shifted himself to face her. “Sica, please don’t run away from your family.”

Yul, there’s no way I’m living with that bastard.”

Shh!” Yul pressed his finger on her lips, silencing her. “Don’t call your sister that.”

She’s not my sister!” Jessica raised her voice, getting agitated over the term used.

Okay, your half-sister. She’s your Dad’s daughter, Sica, no matter what.”

Why are you talking like my Dad? I thought that you of all people would be as angry as me about this. The audacity of her to come and live with us, knowing full well that she’s a bast—“

Yul kissed her hard but briefly, cutting her off. “Sica I don’t like to hear these words coming from you.” He looked sternly into her eyes.

But that’s what she is! Look up the definition in an online dictionary.”

Yul couldn’t help but to chuckle at Jessica’s obstinacy. “I know what the word means, but it’s the way you say it. So full of hatred and rage. I don’t like to see you like that. I want you to be happy and to be happy. You have to learn to forgive.”

Yul, Let me move in with you for a little while at least. She’s arriving today. I need more time to get myself ready.” Jessica looked pleadingly into Yul’s eyes, willing him to agree to her request. “I’d really love waking up to see your face beside mine too…” She shifted her leg, nudging him in the process and smiled coyly.

Yul shook his head resignedly; ever since he met Jessica, his resolve and principles have been compromised somewhat. “Only if your Dad is agreeable.”

Jessica bristled at the mention of her father. “I’m not his daughter anymore. He’s made his choice and it wasn’t me.”

Sica.” Yul’s voice was firm. “Your Dad loves you, you know that right? He’s human and he’s made mistakes, but he loves you. Even I can see that.”

Jessica sighed. Yul was as obstinate as she was and she knew that he wasn’t going to cave in. then a thought struck her. “I’m curious, have you forgiven your Dad, Yul?”

Yul nodded. “Yes I have. I could never hate him anyway, he’s my Dad. I was angry with him but I’ve forgiven him.”

Jessica looked deep into Yul’s warm eyes and teared. “Okay, I’ll talk to Daddy tomorrow but please let me stay here tonight.”

Yul’s heartstrings were tugged in all directions—Jessica looked so miserable and vulnerable—and he finally relented. “Just for tonight, Sica.”

Jessica smiled sweetly and heaved a sigh of relief. She kissed his bare chest tenderly. “You’re not leaving me in the lurch.”

I would never.” Yul pinched her nose lightly, smiling at her yelping and scrunching up her face in response. He planted a firm kiss on her lips. “You’re mine forever.”

~~~~~

You know, I could get used to this.”

And you’ll have me to thank for it.”

Yes, I do. Thanks!”

Hyoyeon laughed and bit into the steamed goguma.

When can you bring me to the uncle who sells these awesome gogumas? Every time you bring them to me, I lose two da—er, treats.”

I told you that he is very irregular. He happened to set up his stall today so I got it as soon as I knew his stall was open.”

Well, thanks anyway. I really love these gogumas. They are the best steamed gogumas I have ever eaten.”

Thanks!” Hyoyeon grinned from ear to ear.

Hyun looked at her strangely. “What are you thanking me for? It’s not as if you are the one who made them.”

Er, no but I’m the one who brought them to you!”

Hyun laughed. “Okay, if you want to claim credit for that, I guess you deserve it too.”

They sat on the grass, chomping away on the steaming gogumas, each thinking their own thoughts for a while.

When will you ever be able to have dinner with me?” Hyoyeon asked suddenly.

Actually, I think I’m available this Friday. I am off work early as soon as my interview ends and Young and Yoong haven’t been going out to Seventh Heaven that much lately so I guess, we can have dinner on Friday!”

Really?” Hyoyeon sat up, looking very hopeful all of a sudden.

Hyun nodded solemnly. “Yes, really.”

That’s great! There’s a place selling fantastic goguma that I’ve been dying to bring you to but they’re only open in the evening. We could go there.”

Okay! It’s a da—er treat then!” Hyun grinned from ear to ear, looking very relaxed and much younger than usual.

Hyoyeon giggled as she was amused by his exuberance towards gogumas. “Yes, it’s treat 148.”

I can’t wait!”

Round Twenty-Three

Mum?”

Yes darling?”

What exactly happened between you and Tiffany?”

Mrs. Choi stiffened for an instant but recovered from her shock quickly—albeit not quickly enough to escape Siwon’s eyes.

Why do you ask?”

Tiffany asked me to ask you.”

That gold digging girl! What did she say to my dear son this time? Mrs. Choi cranked up a megawatt smile and shook her head. “Don’t listen to that girl. She’s just uttering nonsense again.”

She wasn’t Mum. She’s an intelligent, level-headed and self-motivated girl. She doesn’t utter nonsense. She doesn’t even joke that much! Let alone utter nonsense.”

Mrs. Choi narrowed her eyes and Siwon observed that her expression was guarded as she spoke in response to his little outburst.

Siwon, I was under the impression that you are over that girl but clearly, you are not. Are you still trying to get her back? Why are you doing this to yourself? She doesn’t belong to our family. She can never be part of us.”

Mum –”

Son.” Mrs. Choi cut her son off firmly. “You don’t even know the truth about her but it looks like I don’t have a choice now. I have been very kind to her because I liked her very much but she only wants you for your money Siwon. That’s all she wants out of you.”

Siwon stilled, completely thunderstruck by his mother’s accusations of Tiffany. That was definitely not the Tiffany that he knew and had fallen in love with. That…was…not…HOLY CRAP!

Mum, what or whoever gave you the idea that Tiffany only wants my money?” It was Siwon’s turn to regard his mother through narrowed eyes.

Mrs. Choi sighed. “I promised her never to let you know, but since I’ve said this much… Your best friend told me about Tiffany’s real intentions. I really shouldn’t be telling you this. I hope that your friendship with her doesn’t turn sour like she said it would if I told you.”

WHAT? MY BEST FRIEND??? LEE SUNHAE???” Siwon was shell-shocked. “No…” His voice was barely above a whisper. “Mum, you couldn’t have been more mistaken about Tiffany…”

Son, you are simply blinded by love. People around you can see it clearly but you can’t. Tiffany is clearly up to no good.”

Mum, I don’t know what to say. I don’t…” Siwon stumbled backwards, out of the living room and turned, running towards the door, opening it and leaving the house as his tears built up, blurring his vision.

Siwon! Where are you going?” Mrs. Choi called to him, worried for him. She hurried out of the house only to see him halt just outside the gates of his house, completely illuminated by the headlights of an incoming car.

She screamed.

He fell.

The car screeched to halt within an inch of his pale, stricken face.

And all Mrs. Choi could think about was how Tiffany had almost killed Siwon tonight.

Tiffany, you promised me to stay away from Siwon. I even offered you a generous amount of money—enough to spend for a lifetime. Now I know why you didn’t accept it. You never did give up on my son. You greedy girl, you want everything, don’t you?

~~~~~

Taeng was making a cup of coffee for Tiffany when he heard a commotion at the entrance. He popped his head out from the pantry and saw an immaculately groomed older woman insisting on being allowed to enter the premises. She was fuming mad. It was plain to see.

Taeng didn’t like fuming mad. He didn’t even like a little mad. Anger was not his favourite emotion. It always made people do stupid things that they’d regret later and he didn’t like to regret. Hence, he stepped forward to help defuse the situation.

Hi, I’m Taeng. How may I help you?” He smiled pleasantly at the woman. He couldn’t help but gasp a little at her beauty upon seeing her up close and personal. Even at her age, one could still fall under her grace and charm.

I need to see Tiffany.”

I see, and may I know who you are?”

I am Mrs. Choi.”

I’m sorry but I’m not sure how you are related to her?”

You don’t need to know that.” Mrs. Choi snapped. “It is none of your business who I am to her. Let me see her now!”

WHAT IS ALL THE RUCKUS ABOUT? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WORK WITH ALL THIS NOISE!” Tiffany emerged from her office, extremely unhappy with the disturbance at her workplace while she was in the middle of a conference call with her client. She stormed to the source of the ruckus and stopped in her tracks, her eyes widening in horror at the sight of the woman who had singlehandedly destroyed her happiness.

Mrs. C-Choi?” Her voice could barely be heard for her throat had turned as dry as a desert.

Mrs. Choi looked at her most angrily and strode to her in a few wide strides.

The slap landed squarely on Tiffany’s cheek. The impact was great but her shock was greater and that caused her to stumble backwards and fall to the ground; her hand covering the burning cheek instinctively.

HEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING LADY!” Taeng ran towards Tiffany, squatting down beside her, placing his arm protectively around her shoulders. He looked up at Mrs. Choi angrily. “HOW COULD YOU SLAP HER LIKE THAT? WHAT WRONG DID SHE DO TO DESERVE THIS? LEAVE BEFORE I CALL THE SECURITY!”

He turned to Tiffany and kissed her forehead gently, whispering comforting words into her ears as the raven-haired girl began to sob. He hugged her securely in his arms as she cried into his shoulder, her mind breaking down from the recent stress of work, relationship problems and now, the appearance of her nightmare, who had just slapped her.

Mrs. Choi looked at the couple on the floor and her eyes hardened. “So this man must be your boyfriend. If you already have a boyfriend, why are you still pestering my son? You broke your promise to me. I am most disappointed in you. And to think that I had trusted your last words said to me!”

Who is your son? Tiffany isn’t pestering anybody! You must have got the wrong person!” Taeng shouted at her in Tiffany’s defense.

Mrs. Choi laughed most disturbingly. She looked at Taeng and smiled. “I know Tiffany too well to have got the wrong person. This is Tiffany Hwang Mi Young, is she not? And my son is Choi Siwon.”

Taeng gasped at the information. “You may have the right person but you’ve obviously got your facts wrong. Tiffany isn’t pestering Siwon. It’s the other way round. Siwon won’t leave Tiffany alone. He even tricked his way into having dinner with her.”

Mrs. Choi shook her head sadly. “It looks like yet another unfortunate man has fallen to Tiffany’s charms. Young man, you’re rich, aren’t you?”

Taeng looked at her strangely. “What are you talking about? I’m not rich at all. And why are you even asking me this all of a sudden?”

Mrs. Choi raised an eyebrow in surprise. “You are not rich? Are you sure you are her boyfriend?”

Taeng stood up and stretched to his full height—which barely topped Mrs. Choi’s—and held her gaze unwaveringly. “We are dating. I have held her hand. What does that make us?” He bent and helped Tiffany up, holding her waist supportively.

And you are not rich at all?” Mrs. Choi was most surprised.

Why are you so insistent about me being a rich man? My pay is even lower than Tiffany’s, how can I be a rich man?”

Mrs. Choi gaped at the news. Tiffany is dating someone who is poorer than her? Can pigs fly now?

I don’t know why you came here so angrily and I don’t know why you slapped me but I would like to forget everything so please tell your son never to come near me again. I will cancel our project. Tell him that he is no longer my client. I don’t want to see him EVER AGAIN.” Tiffany had come back to her senses and was beginning to feel really, really angry.

He is your client?” Mrs. Choi was shocked.

It was him who approached Tiffany and asked her to help him plan the grand opening of his new pharmacy.” Taeng explained quickly, not wanting Mrs. Choi to think that Tiffany had been the one to initiate the partnership.

Taeng, we have nothing to say to her. Don’t bother explaining. She seems to think that I’m some evil bitch but I’m beyond caring about that.” Tiffany smiled wanly at Taeng and gave him a quick appreciative peck on his cheek, colouring his cheeks pink in the process. She turned to Mrs. Choi.

I meant what I said earlier. I don’t know why and I don’t want to know. I want to have nothing more to do with the entire Choi family. You have stamped on my pride, killed my first love and strangled my happiness but I’m not going to let it stop me from living life to the fullest. As you can see, I am dating Taeng now. I have managed to move on after much difficulty. Please don’t come here and impose on my life again. We have nothing more to do with each other. LEAVE. ME. ALONE.” Tiffany held her emotions in and spoke in a deadly calm manner, emphasizing on the last three words—the furthest she’d go; she didn’t want to be too rude to Mrs. Choi.

The cold, solid steel in Tiffany’s voice sliced through the air, piercing into Mrs. Choi’s entire being. The older woman didn’t know what to think. Something was amiss. Something was very wrong somewhere for she was quite certain that Tiffany was not lying. And this man who was beside her, Taeng, the things he said, his steady eyes, he told the truth as well.

Their truths did not coincide with her truth. Why?

She looked at the couple who stood before her one more time before silently turning around to leave the office. Tiffany’s colleagues dodged and ducked out of her way as she walked straight to the entrance and disappeared from view.

Taeng took Tiffany’s hand and tugged her into her office, closing and locking the door. He shut all the blinds, blocking out the curious faces of their co-workers who were staring into the windows.

Once their privacy was secured, he walked to Tiffany who was seated on the couch. He hugged her again. Tiffany sighed and leaned her head on his shoulder.

Taeng…” She murmured softly.

Yes?”

Thank you.”

Taeng’s heart somersaulted a few times in succession most perfectly. He grinned from ear to ear as Tiffany planted a smiling kiss onto his cheek for the second time that day. He wanted to hop and jump around for joy but he couldn’t—not when Tiffany was still sad. He stroked her beautiful, silky hair, enjoying the feeling of her hair around his fingers. Ooh, he could do this all day! Taeng looked down at Tiffany and his heart leapt again.

Her lips were so close to his. Too…close…in…the…danger…zone…

He puckered his lips and leaned a little lower and their lips touched. Tiffany jumped in her skin as she felt a pair of soft lips pressing into hers. It didn’t move. It simply stayed there—a delightful pressure.

One second passed. Two seconds… Three seconds… Four sec—

Are you ever going to move your lips or is this how you kiss a girl? You were so much better the last time,” Tiffany talked with her lips still against his, grazing his lips in the process.

Taeng’s eyes widened to the point where his eyeballs could have dropped out if they wanted to. He blushed deep to the roots of his hair as he remembered the kiss they shared in that restaurant. “I can do better than that!” He declared—albeit a little shakily.

Tiffany’s eyes twinkled as she burst into laughter. Her loud, unbridled laughter reverberated through the office, door and out to the other side where multiple ears were pressed up against the door, in hopes of catching on to something that was said. The co-workers looked at one another in confusion. Why in the world was Tiffany laughing so happily when she had been so sad and angry just moments ago? Was Taeng really her boyfriend? The co-workers began to get excited. This dramatic episode in the office would feed the gossip mill for at least a month—they were sure of that.

Tiffany’s laughter eventually subsided and had reduced to little random giggles. Suddenly, she felt so much better. Taeng had a way with her. She realized that now. And it was amazing because he didn’t even have to try.

~~~~~

Daddy, I am moving in with Yul for a little while.”

What? Why?”

Jessica rolled her eyes. “Do you really have to ask? If it wasn’t for Yul insisting, I wouldn’t even be here talking to you. I would have been long gone by now so don’t make it worse for me by asking stupid questions like that.”

Mr. Jung sighed. Jessica thought that he looked ten years older since the last night. A tinge of heartache for her father pinched her heart but her deep, dark anger ignored it. She was going to inflict pain on her father—as much as she could. It was payback for the hell he had put her and her mother through.

Sica, please, don’t leave this family.”

Oh, I’m not leaving. Oh no I’m not. I’m not stupid, Daddy. I’m not going to let that bastard child of yours become the only daughter of the Jung’s. No. I am the only rightful daughter of the Jung’s and I’m not going to let the daughter of your disgusting mistress own this family or this house.”

Jessica paused to breathe.

Remember this Daddy, I am the only legitimate Jung in this place. That other daughter of yours, she was an accident wasn’t she? You didn’t want her but she’s here anyway. And as long as I’m alive, I will never ever accept her as a member of the Jung family. NEVER. She is just a very unpleasant reminder of all the women you have fucked other than Mummy. And that is why I’m going to live with Yul—until I figure a way to get rid of her so that I won’t have to see her face in this house. My house with my fucked up family.”

Jessica stood up, not waiting to hear what her father had to say and walked to the door. With her hand on the door knob, she turned around.

Oh, I almost forgot to ask. Do I have your permission to live with Yul, Daddy?”

With Jessica in her rampant wrathful mode—just like the time when she first found out about his affairs—he knew that it was best to let her have her way.

Yes you have my permission, Sica.” Mr. Jung closed his deeply saddened eyes.

Not that I care for your permission but Yul wanted me to get it.”

And with that, Jessica walked out of the study, past the living room and out of the house, before getting into the car.

To Yul’s.”

~~~~~

The tall raven-haired girl shook, from the deepest corner of her heart all the way out to her lips—she shook as she stood behind that pinewood door. Jessica’s words had cut right through her like a knife. And her half-sister was right. Jessica was the only legitimate daughter of the family. Who was she? She was born of a mistress. Was her mother even considered a mistress? Would her Dad even have talked to her mother again if not for her being conceived? What right did she have to be in this house? She was but an unpleasant reminder of…

She squeezed her eyes shut. She had had to grow up tolerating being bullied and taunted at by the meaner kids at school because of her family background. She was used to hearing unkind words thrown at her carelessly. You see, she went to a school for the rich but those kids knew that she wasn’t born legitimately and so they never accepted her into their circle.

Most would just ignore her but there was a group that made it a point to make her life miserable for her. All that, she could handle. Hearing those words coming from her very own half-sister, however, hurt much, much more than she ever thought it would. It hurt to know that her very existence could cause so much pain to somebody else.

I should just disappear.

~~~~~

Did your father give you permission?”

Yesss…” Jessica rolled her eyes at Yul. “Gawd, I’m an adult Yul. why would I need his permission at all?”

It’s a form of respect. I’m not saying that you’re not an adult Sica. I certainly treat you like an adult.” Yul’s eyes flashed dangerously close to displeasure.

Jessica knew that Yul would be displeased but she was in that sort of mood and spoiling for a fight.

You’re just a goody two-shoes, Yul. It’s so irritating.”

Sica…” Yul said in a warning tone.

Jessica shot him a glare. “Don’t use that tone on me. I’m not a kid that needs to be disciplined.”

Yul shot her a glare of equal intensity. “If you’re here to pick a fight with me I am more than ready for it. Don’t forget, I’m a prosecutor. Verbal jousting is what I do for a living. But I don’t want to fight over something like this with you. I’m going to leave you alone now. When you’ve finally calmed down and gotten out of this ridiculous mood of yours, come and look for me in my study. I have work to do.”

Yul walked into his study and closed the door louder than usual and Jessica knew that she had done it. She had made him mad.

~~~~~

Yul?” Jessica called from the other side of the door. “Kwon seobang…”

She opened the door and slipped in. Yul was reading a file that he had opened on his computer and typing away at the keyboard. She walked to him and wrapped her arms around his neck and shoulders. He paused—just long enough to move her arms away gently—before resuming his work.

Jessica pouted and whined. “I’m bored.”

I’m busy,” was his curt and rather cold reply.

Jessica stared at his back for a while. Then she sighed and left the room quietly. He was still angry. What could she do?

~~~~~

She looked at her luggage sadly. She hadn’t even opened it and she’d already left. Her right hand massaged the area over her heart absentmindedly. Her heart was in so much anguish that she didn’t know if she’d ever recover from it. But she eventually will. She knew from personal experience that even the most hurtful words would eventually fade away into a dull ache, into numbness.

She laughed at her stupidity. She didn’t even have much cash with her. What was she to do? She stuck her hands into her pockets with a sigh and felt the presence of a foreign object in it. She took it out. It was a name card—Young’s name card. She fingered it thoughtfully for a while but she knew that she didn’t really have much choice. She didn’t have any other friends to begin with and her family didn’t want her so…

It seemed so uncanny to seek help from a stranger but so long as this stranger didn’t know of her family background, it would be alright. Wouldn’t it?

She tapped his number into her phone and he answered after a few rings.

H-Hello…” she said hesitantly. “I’m Krystal, we met on the plane, remember?”

Of course I remember,” Young’s cheerful voice came over the phone. “Are you calling to tell me that you have decided to take up my offer?”

Yes, that and, a little more,” Krystal said in a small voice. “I’m in need of some help actually.”

I see. Well, I’d be glad to help.” Young paused. “Where are you now? I’ll come over to meet you in a while.”

Young hummed as Krystal told him of her location. “Mmhmm. Got it. I’ll be right over.”

~~~~~

Yoong…”

Yoong looked up from his documents the moment he heard her voice—her hesitant voice. It was a tone that he had never heard before—Sunny wasn’t the type who would be hesitant about anything. “What’s the matter Sunny?”

Sunny looked down at her twiddling fingers and exhaled loudly. She seemed to have come to some sort of decision but was having trouble voicing it out. Then she slammed her palms on his table really hard, making him jump in his skin.

She held his gaze firmly. “I’ve ended the game with Young.”

Yoong blinked for a moment, not quite understanding what she had just said. Then it dawned on him. If she had ended the game with Young, that would mean—he gasped.

You chose me!” he yelled out in sheer exhilaration.

Sunny blushed and nodded. Yoong went around the table and completely overwhelmed her in a great, big hug.

Oh Sunny, you’ve just made me so happy! You have no idea!”

Sunny giggled and poked him in the ribs. “If you’re idea of being happy is hugging me to death then I’d rather you not be happy.”

Oh, sorry!” Yoong loosened his arms but he did not let go.

He lowered his head and parted his lips to meet hers. Sunny raised her chin to meet him and their lips came together most naturally, knowing exactly where to go and what to do to each other. Yoong’s hand pressed into the small of her back and nape, leaving no space between them. Chest on chest—well, almost—and hip on hip, their bodies melted into each other as their tongues pushed for dominance.

Sunny got hold of his lower lip in her teeth and tugged on it gently. He moaned as his blood raced around the circuit, mostly to the south. Sunny felt his ever-growing ‘presence’ and giggled. She thrust her hip at him and he groaned.

Don’t tease me Sunny.”

Sunny grinned cheekily. “Well, that’s all I wanted to tell you. It’s time for me to knock off. Bye!” She turned to leave but Yoong pulled her back into his arms and wrapped his arms around her waist. She felt him against her butt and wiggled it, inducing a moan from Yoong.

Sunny, you’re still as naughty as before,” Yoong groaned.

Sunny giggled. “I guess I can never fully stamp out the player in me.”

Yoong laughed and squeezed her with his arms. “Don’t stamp it out. I like you the way you are but I’m really happy that we can limit the number of players to just two—you and me.”

Sunny turned around to face him, rubbing against him yet again, torturing him slowly and deliciously. She flashed him a wide grin. “Yes, let’s play on, just you and me.”

Yoong whooped with joy and kissed her again, momentarily forgetting about the discomfort in his pants.

I should warn you though. I’m not an easy game to play. My heart isn’t easy to get into.”

Yoong looked deep into her chocolate brown eyes and smiled. “If you can get into mine, I’m sure that I can get into yours too.”

~~~~~

Lee Sunhae.”

Siwon oppa! What happened to you?” A tall, lean girl stepped forward to take his weary body into her arms.

He stepped back immediately, pushing her arms away with more strength than he appeared to possess. He looked at her most mournfully, alarming her further.

You.” He pointed his index finger at her face. “You are my best friend.”

Yes I am.” She nodded.

Then how could you do this to me?”

Wha–? What did I do?”

Siwon fisted his hand and banged the door with immense force as he face turned red with rage.

WHAT DID YOU DO? WHAT DID YOU DO? HOW COULD YOU TELL MY MOTHER A PACK OF LIES ABOUT TIFFANY AND STILL HAVE THE CHEEK TO STAND BEFORE ME ASKING WHAT DID YOU DO???” His voice roared with fury.

Sunhae recoiled in horror. How did he find out? Mrs. Choi promised never to—

Siwon…” Sunhae began to sob. “I love you. I thought we are getting closer and closer, aren’t we? We even kissed last week.”

Siwon breathed through his mouth, his shoulders heaving as his agitation rose in intensity. “You are no longer my best friend. I don’t want to see you or even hear your voice ever again.”

B-But I’m your secretary!” Sunhae cried out, her pain ever increasing in quantum leaps.

I’ll have a new one by tomorrow morning. You will be transferred to another department.”

No! You can’t do this to me Siwon.” Sunhae’s shoulders shook violently as sobs began to overcome her.

Before you say things like that to me, think about what you have done,” Siwon said coldly. He turned away from the sobbing mess that had sunk to the ground in a heap, got into his car and drove away without looking back.

~~~~~

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