Woo Bin was having a good time. Although he had never really worked in his life, he had really liked that day of painting and laughter and Jan Di’s smile when she saw her room was so happy he had felt terribly proud of himself. That was so much better than just buying presents, nothing he ever bought had ever rewarded him with that kind of feeling.
I could easily get used to this, he thought smiling while watching his friends all sat down around Jan Di’s table.
It was strange, to tell the truth. As a member of the underworld, he had been trained to not completely trust anyone and his father always made it very clear that, as his heir, this rule was very important: their family was always in danger and Woo Bin had to be ready to take his place in any moment, should a rival organisation rise and succeed in killing him. If not for Yi Jeong, Jun Pyo and Ji Hoo, he would have been a really lonely child and he would have become even more dangerous and bitter than his father was.
But there he was, eating sausages with his old friends and with some new ones. Sometimes he thought that like F4 saved him from loneliness, Geum Jan Di saved F4 from themselves.
Woo Bin wasn’t afraid to admit that before knowing her, they were just a bunch of spoiled young and rich boys who found it funny watching their school mates torment innocent people. Well, with Ji Hoo exception probably, he never really cared.
It had taken Geum Jan Di, the commoner, the Wonder Woman, to teach them they still had a soul.
After opening up to Jan Di, doing the same with Ga Eul had been a natural step as she was the same as her best friend, all steel and fire, always caring for others.
Woo Bin didn’t know when it happened, but he found out that his protective attitude, something he thought only belonged with his friends, had extended to those two girls too, like they were some kind of little sisters.
He wanted to protect them both even if, judging from what he had seen that afternoon, Ga Eul didn’t need his help anymore.
He had noticed the stolen glances between her and his best friend and also the fact that Yi Jeong always found a way of touching her every now and then, mostly brushing her hand when he thought nobody was watching. Except that the mafia prince was always on alert and trained to spot particular behaviours. Too bad for Yi Jeong, wasn’t it?
Time to do something for the Jan Di-Jun Pyo problem then, he thought taking a look at the woman sat beside the Shinhwa heir.
Ha Jae Kyung was without any doubt one of the most beautiful women he ever met. He liked that short hair, a sign of her strong personality and her wide eyes, so expressive. She was always laughing and cheering and, even though he still hadn’t forgiven her for that disastrous “date” with Yi Jeong and himself, he had to admit she was fun to stay with. She was a living earthquake and if not for Jan Di, he thought Jun Pyo could have fallen for her because they were very similar.
Woo Bin himself was feeling some kind of connection with her, the heiress grown up all alone and with nobody to talk to, except servants and bodyguards. He had been lucky in having the F4, and he could understand her hunger for some friendship, something he would have been glad to give her if not for the current situation.
Instead, now he was forced to hurt her, to isolate her again. He knew there was nothing Jun Pyo could do to avoid that wedding because if he even tried to lift a finger, Madam Kang would have had her revenge on Jan Di, so their only hope was to persuade Jae Kyung to withdraw. It was going to be painful for her, since she was in love with her reluctant fiance, and probably if they succeeded, she would have left again and resumed her nomad life, alone. But Jun Pyo was his brother and Jan Di was his little sister. He had no other choice.
“Hey Monkey.” Woo Bin called her forcing a provocative smile on his lips “If you ever find out that something you’re doing is deeply hurting somebody else, will you stop or will you keep on?”
That truth or dare game was fun and he was really trying to enjoy the possibility of laughing with his friends again. It seemed ages since they were last having fun without any drama and yet Woo Bin knew nothing could go back to the way it was at least not until the love square between Ji Hoo, Jan Di, Jun Pyo and Jae Kyung was unresolved.
Proof enough were the awkward questions that were asked some minutes before by his two friends and that had almost frozen the atmosphere. Like he had done now, he noticed.
The heiress stopped smiling for a second, but she soon recovered, resuming her cheerful appearance.
“I’m a fighter! Of course I’ll fight for what I want! But I’ll be a fair fighter, I’ll not use any trick. So if someone is hurt from something I’m doing, I’ll give him a chance. But I won’t withdraw!”
Her wide eyes looked at him with something that could only be called defiance and Woo Bin understood she was perfectly aware of what he was thinking.
Now that’s what I call a war declaration, he considered, glaring back. It wasn’t going to be easy, but he wasn’t one to give up either, not after seeing the pained expression in Jan Di’s eyes. That girl was too loyal for her own sake, she would have never fought against someone she considered a friend.
“My turn now!” Jae Kyung joyfully exclaimed. She scanned them all, and her eyes stopped on Ga Eul.
“Ga Eul yang!” she called her with a wide grin. “Tell us about your first kiss!”
And that was when Woo Bin knew for sure something already happened between Yi Jeong and Ga Eul: the girl furiously blushed and the boy smiled. Smugly.
As soon as Ga Eul noticed Yi Jeong’s grin though, her eyes narrowed and she sweetly smiled to Jae Kyung.
Uh uh, the Casanova is in some deep trouble, Woo Bin thought, preparing for the fun he knew was coming.
“My first kiss, uh?” Ga Eul raised her eyes in a dreamy expression and the mafia prince had to suffocate a laughter. She was a really good actress. “Let’s see… it was very passionate. I thought I would have melted right there and then… you know the first lips touch, his arms around me, the crazy heartbeating… It was just perfect.”
She sighed, and her eyes wandered around the room, stopping on Yi Jeong just when she concluded with a sweet, sweet smile that masked the steel look in her eyes. “I was sixteen. He was my classmate. And my first love too.”
Woo Bin, Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo chuckled at the same time while Yi Jeong expression froze.
Jan Di and Jae Kyung exchanged some amused glances and then the heiress pressed on. “That sounds so romantic! Was he a hot guy too?”
“He was the hottest boy of my class. I had a crush on him since forever and one day he finally noticed me!”
“Ga Eul yang, your turn is over.” Ji Hoo told her, still widely smiling. A man had to stick with his friends after all, and Yi Jeong already suffered enough.
“Oh, you’re right Ji Hoo sunbae…” her voice was so honeyed that Woo Bin was clenching his teeth. “But it’s a memory so sweet I got carried away.”
“Yi Jeong sunbae.” she asked then looking at him straight in the eyes. “Don’t you think too that conceited guys are absolutely insufferable?”
He glared back at her and then he wickedly smiled.
“I think that a conceited guy is someone who usually gets what he wants… and it’s not wise to enrage such a man. You never know how he can react. Don’t you agree, Ga Eul yang?”
“Is that a question for me, sunbae?” she replied innocently. “In which case I will answer that nobody can always get what he wants. Not tonight, not tomorrow, maybe not even next year. It’s never too late to learn that and sometimes spoiled, conceited guys really need additional lessons.”
Feeling the temperature of the room suddenly rising, Woo Bin decided that it was time the two lovebirds settled their differences in private, even if it would have been fun to keep watching them exchanging remarks.
Masking with his hand the chuckle that was threatening to explode from his throat, the mafia prince theatrically yawned and stretched.
“Don’t you all think we should go now? Geum Jan Di has to work tomorrow, and I’m really tired from all the painting today.”
Ji Hoo supported him, nodding and yawning himself. “You’re really right… it was fun, but I’m sleepy now.”
“Tell me something new, Ji Hoo.” Jun Pyo stood up with a wide grin and Jae Kyung followed him.
“We’ll go then Jan Di! It was a wonderful evening, wasn’t it?”
“It really was.” Jan Di’s smile was as bright as the sun “Thank you all so much for your gift. It was the best thing you could do for me.”
“I’m glad you liked it.” Yi Jeong stood up and grabbed Ga Eul by the wrist, pulling her up. “Goodnight Geum Jan Di, see you tomorrow guys, goodnight Monkey.”
Completely ignoring her cries of protest he dragged Ga Eul outside, closing the door behind them.
After a startled minute of silence, Ji Hoo looked at Jan Di, slightly puzzled. “I would have expected you to do something.”
“I promised Ga Eul to not interfere.” she sighed. “But I warn you… if that Casanova makes her cry, I’m going to kill him, promise or not promise.”
“Yi Jeong and Ga Eul?” Jae Kyung asked surprised.
“Well, that’s a good pairing.” she added “He really needs someone like her, to teach him some humility.”
Jan Di and the F3 looked at her and then quietly chuckled.
“You’re right Monkey.” Woo Bin agreed. “And I bet it will be a lesson our Casanova will never forget.”