Waking up beside a girl wasn’t new to Yi Jeong. He usually was the one who woke up first, either to pay the bill in the hotel room and go away leaving the lady in question behind, or to have a morning round with the girl before saying goodbye forever.
But he never smiled waking up after such nights. Well, aside from the smirk he had on his lips waking up after having a good sex. But that whole-hearted smile… That was new to him.
He was awake since thirty minutes and he still hadn’t stopped smiling. It was tenderness at first, because Ga Eul was curled up on his chest and he had just stayed still, gently stroking her hair and enjoying the peace she was giving him. When she had started mumbling in her sleep, his smile had become amused.
Finally he had chuckled when he had heard her referring several times to crabs, shrimps and fries. Trust his country bumpkin to dream about food.
A satisfied sigh escaped his lips as he tightened his embrace on her, savouring that word in his mind.
Three letters that had a whole world of meaning behind them.
It had been a tough battle but in the end he had lost. Loosing was usually not an option for So Yi Jeong, but this time there was nothing he could do because that stubborn girl just refused to be turned down.
I have to protect her, he thought listening to her quiet breathing. He had to ensure his family could do nothing to her. Hiding her identity wasn’t an option, he knew his men regularly reported to his grandfather about his behaviour. As soon as the old man would find out Yi Jeong was dating a commoner, he would have struck in and Yi Jeong would have never allowed his Ga Eul yang to suffer what Jan Di was suffering. But what could he do?
The only thing that came into his mind was just keep on with his regular life of clubs and women while seeing Ga Eul in secret, but he discarded that hypotesis as soon as he thought about it. Ga Eul would have never allowed it.
She was so sure of them, of their feelings, or their future, she would have never accepted a lie to cover their love.
She was so naive, he sighed. She had no idea of what his grandfather was capable of. But he was.
“You just had to come and make my life difficult, did you?” he muttered stroking her hair. “I’m sure you find it amusing, seeing me so tensed up.”
He lowered his head to kiss her forehead and then he couldn’t resist anymore. Gently leaning her on the bed, he disentangled himself from her embrace, bending on her sleeping form.
His lips brushed her neck and as he started descending to her collarbone, memories from the previous evening flooded him: the way she had kissed him, the way she had shyly unbuttoned his shirt, her closed eyes while his hands gently removed her blouse and then her skirt, his own groans as her hands roamed around his chest and shoulders and her sweet, sweet moans when he had lowered her on the bed, kissing her so deeply he was fearing to leave her a bruise.
He had read a slight relief mixed with regret in her eyes when they found out they couldn’t progress any further and while he was frustrated, her shyness had been so adorable that he had hugged her tightly and just felt happy nonetheless.
The familiar heat started burning in his body as Yi Jeong recalled the previous night and his lips hardened on her shoulder. It really was frustrating to have her within reach and not do anything. He wanted to hear her moans again, to see her eyes glowing with desire for him, he wanted to hear her cry out his name when they were making love. Not even knowing what he was doing, he started unbuttoning her nightgown, acting on pure instinct. She was there, he was there and to hell all the precautions. He would have bought her a morning after pill when they were going out of her house.
And then I will be the one who locks her somewhere, possibly with a bed, until the day her parents are coming home.
“Yi Jeong sunbae?” a whisper in his ear suddenly froze him and he raised his gaze, just to find her sleepy eyes slowly opening.
Ga Eul stretched her legs and yawned covering her mouth with a hand.
Then she saw Yi Jeong. She reached out to stroke his face and she smiled.
“You’re not a dream then… you’re really here.”
That was all it took. Yi Jeong’s heart filled with warmth, a feeling so overwhelming he couldn’t do anything but tenderly smile and take her hand in his.
The lust was forgotten, his fears disappeared. She was there, he was there and that was paradise.
“Good morning Ga Eul yang.” he softly said, kissing her hand before pulling her into his embrace.
“But sunbae, it’s so pretty!”
“No Ga Eul yang.”
“But I’m sure she would love it!”
He sighed, willing himself to stay calm. Ga Eul could be really stubborn when she wanted to.
“If you cover all her walls with this wallpaper, her head will start spinning as soon as she goes home.”
The apple of discord was a pink wallpaper, decored with white flowers. Ga Eul found it totally adorable while Yi Jeong would have preferred just painting the walls. And still that little argument was fun.
Leaving her house that morning hadn’t been easy, but as soon as she remembered that they had to prepare Jan Di’s room, he knew he had no chance of staying there with her for a while longer. Her bedroom felt safe, like they could close the world outside and never bother about it again. But they couldn’t.
He had found the apartment door already open when he was ready to go, and she was lips-sealed about where that damn key was… she just smiled at him and pushed him outside, closing the infamous door behind them.
Even though more than half the females in the mall had squealed in delight in seeing one of the famous F4, nobody dared approach them and for that he was grateful. The last thing he needed at that moment was a public scene.
His attention came back to Ga Eul as soon as he saw her pouting. They had talked while driving to the mall and both of them agreed in no public display of affection, even though it was for different reasons: she was just shy, but he didn’t want to draw unwanted attention. Even if the press or, worse, his grandfather’s men saw them together, he could always pass her as a mere friend he was helping.
And now she was pouting and all he wanted was hug her until she had no more breath left. She really was a witch.
“How about this?” he offered, trying to reach a compromise. “We cover just one side of her room with this wallpaper and we paint the rest with the same shade of pink. The windows will be as white as the flowers. What do you say?”
She thought about it for a moment, and this too was new for him. First of all, he never offered a compromise, he was just used to do as he pleased, since nobody ever dared oppose him. And second thing, usually girls agreed with him instantly. They never took their time to think about something he said.
But this was one of the reasons she had made it under his skin, he thought looking at her: she had a mind and she wasn’t afraid to use it, even against him.
“I suppose we can do that way too.” she finally agreed. “How about blue curtains?”
Woo Bin and Ji Hoo were already there when Ga Eul arrived with Yi Jeong and nobody found it strange, since the potter was the one who always picked her up. The spare key Jan Di had given her for security reasons was put in good use and in a blink they were inside, working.
The F4 boys were good, for people who probably never did anything of their own. And it was the first time Ga Eul ever saw them dressed in common clothes and sneakers. Woo Bin’s blue jacket actually made him look like a mechanic! It was a pity Jun Pyo couldn’t be there with them, but he was still locked in.
Yi Jeong was only using his left hand even though she had seen him moving the right one the night before, but she decided not to care for that day.
She noticed he had removed the cast, that meant his hand was healed. Ga Eul was just waiting the right moment to approach him with that subject. She expected them to have a fight, Yi Jeong could be as stubborn as her when he wanted, but she was determined as well. That hand would have started working again, he was going to return doing his pottery soon. She would have personally seen to it.
She didn’t know if the other F4 noticed the glances she was exchanging with Yi Jeong, but she didn’t care either. She was just too happy.
What had started as a scary night, with him bursting into her house and kissing her like that, had changed into a dream after his confession. What he said about wishing to hurt her had actually frightened her, but his actions proved her otherwise. He was just scared, he was terrified of love because he didn’t want to be left alone again, like when his brother had abandoned him. She just had to prove him he had nothing to fear.
She still couldn’t believe it when she woke up and found him beside her. And in her bed, Ga Eul thought blushing. What almost happened the previous night was making her nervous because she didn’t actually
know what to think. It had been exciting and intense and even if on some level she was relieved they didn’t actually do it, she was regretting it too. He had been so gentle and passionate, and she could still remember his fingers’ touch on her skin and his kisses.
Their eyes suddenly met and her heart started beating faster when she recognized his dark glance: he had looked at her that way last night when he was unbuttoning her blouse. Was he thinking about it too?
Then Yi Jeong bent down towards her, apparently to better paint the window and when she heard his faint whisper, she flared up.
“Tonight Ga Eul yang. I’ll be yours. And you’ll be mine.”