“Let me go. Let me go now!”
Ga Eul was resisting every step, trying to break free of Yi Jeong’s iron grip. He wasn’t even looking at her, just dragging her to where his car was parked and when he shoved her in, he turned it on without sparing her a glance.
“What were you trying to do?” He snapped after some time, clenching the steering-wheel. “Why don’t you just run through Seoul shouting ‘I’m involved with So Yi Jeong’? It would be easier!”
“Hey, it wasn’t me who smiled that way when Jae Kyung unni asked me about my first kiss! I saw you!”
“So what if I want to smile? It was perfectly normal! But you just had to put up that show, didn’t you?”
“I just repaid you in your own coin!” Ga Eul was getting really angry now. “You were so sure you were my first kiss, weren’t you? The all mighty, irresistible, I-always-get-what-I-want Casanova! Serves you right!”
“I don’t care about your first kiss!” He shouted, his eyes on flame, while the car kept speeding up. “I just don’t want you to wave flags about our relationship for all to see!”
“So what do you plan to do? Keep it a secret from our friends? Lie to them? Keep doing all you want because Ga Eul will always be there for you when you feel like to kiss her and sneak in her bed? Well, forget it!”
“That is not what I want to do!” He raised his voice even more, losing completely his control. “Why can’t you understand that we can’t be together in public? The second my family finds out about this, we’re done! I will be married off on the spot and you will struggle for the rest of your life just to survive!”
“Our friends would never betray us! And I’m not afraid of anybody!”
“Then you are as stupid as you appear to be!”
Ga Eul froze on her seat and looked away, her eyes suddenly full of tears.
“Damn it!” He shouted after a minute, hitting the steering-wheel and stopping the car, close to her home.
“Ga Eul yang, look at me.” He said, turning towards her. She remained still, her eyes fixed on the road outside.
“I see you brought me home.” She replied, her voice cracking on some words. “Thank you for the ride sunbae. Goodnight.”
Before she could open her door, he grabbed her arm and hold her in place. “You aren’t going anywhere.”
“Let me go.”
“Not until we settle this.”
She turned then, and he could see the tears staining her cheeks. His heart painfully twisted inside him and all his anger disappeared. He had made her cry.
“What is there to settle? You made it perfectly clear what you think of me.”
Without a word, he drew her in his embrace, circling her waist and shoulders. “I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean to make you cry. I never thought anything like that.”
She stayed still and he just hugged her tighter, burying his hand in her hair.
“I’m afraid, Ga Eul.” He whispered. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t want you to suffer because of me.”
“You’re the only one who’s making me suffer, right now.” She replied under her breath.
“I know. I’m sorry. I just don’t know what to do.”
She disentangled from his embrace, looking at him, her eyes still full of tears. “I don’t want to keep this a secret, Yi Jeong. I can understand the need to hide from your family, but Jan Di, the F3… they are different. They are people we can trust. They could even help us. Woo Bin sunbae already told me we can count on him.”
“He came to the porridge shop some days ago.”
He closed his eyes and leaned back on his seat, breathing slowly. “I guess I wasn’t thinking straight. Of course we can trust them. It’s just that…”
He turned his face to her again. “It’s all new. I never had someone to protect before.”
“I’m a big girl, you know.” She slightly smiled, drying up her tears.
“Said the one who just cried.” He quipped, pulling her close to him.
Before she could reply he had already bent down to kiss her, gently cupping her face and caressing her with such a tenderness, she felt on the verge of tears again.
“So… which kiss do you like better? Mine or his? And you know you have to tell me everything about this guy, do you?” He asked with a grin.
Ga Eul stared at him and then she chuckled. “You really are jealous then!”
“Maybe a little.” He admitted. “But most of all, I think I’m surprised.”
“Well, that’s what you get when you’re so full of yourself!” She was still laughing “Did you really think you were the first one I ever liked in my life?”
Truth was that he never thought about that. Somehow in his smugness he assumed Ga Eul never really lived until they met, like she was born the moment he entered her shop that fateful day.
He never bothered to ask what her life had been before him. They almost never talked at all.
He didn’t need to ask himself the reason, he knew that very well. Talking meant exchanging information and the only thing he ever wanted to know from a woman was… well, nothing. He never wanted to know anything.
All that ever mattered to him was a pretty face, a gorgeous body and possibly a dead brain, so he didn’t have to hold any conversation. He didn’t even remember most of them.
But she was different. Yi Jeong surrendered to that already. Ga Eul was nothing like his women and as much as it frustrated him, he didn’t want to treat her like that.
“Ga Eul yang, do you have any siblings?”
The sudden question and his obvious change of mood, stopped her laughter and she turned to look at him, a questioning look in her eyes.
“Do you have any brothers? Sisters?”
“Well no, but I have some cousins. What’s this sudden curiosity?”
“And your favorite colour?”
“I suppose anything bright… I don’t have a favorite one.”
“Your favorite movie?”
Ga Eul raised a hand, requesting a halt. “Yi Jeong sunbae, are you all right? Why are you interrogating me?”
He averted his gaze, looking straight ahead. “I didn’t know about your first kiss. I don’t know where you like to go on holiday. I don’t know your favorite book or what music do you like. Aside from our dinner some days ago, I never really talked with you.”
Ga Eul eyes softened and she hesitantly took one of his hands into her own. “It’s never too late, don’t you think?”
He shook his head but he slightly squeezed her fingers. “You don’t understand. This is normal for me. I never talk. They never talk. All I do is…”
“Flirt?” She finished for him.
“That’s a mild way to put it.” He smiled bitterly, closing his eyes. “I use them. All I want is just have a good time in bed. I don’t care about their names, their tastes, their dreams.”
Turning toward her and opening his eyes, he looked at her with that dark gaze Ga Eul knew so well by now. It made her heart beat faster.
“I want you Ga Eul yang. You know that. I never needed so much to hold a girl, to kiss her, to have her. I want you to the extent that I don’t know for how much longer I’ll be able to control myself.”
One hand was firmly in hers, but the other one raised up to gently touch her face, lingering on her lips and when she closed her eyes feeling his caress, he swallowed hard, trying not to think about how much he wanted to kiss those lips again, this time with passion and not tenderness, how much he needed to hold her against him, to feel her, to know that was not a dream and he wasn’t going to wake up again beside some stranger woman he was going to forget. Despite all his fears about the future, he desperately wanted what she could give him, the warmth of her heart, the sweetness of her embrace, the loving look of her eyes. He needed to have her, because she was the strength that could keep them together.
“I don’t want you to be like them. I don’t want to do what I do with them. You… We are different.” His voice cracked on that ‘we’ and Ga Eul opened her eyes, not even knowing what to say, her voice strangled in her throat.
When he felt the tears damping his hand, he looked at her in alarm. “Did I say something wrong? Don’t cry! I never meant to…”
He couldn’t end the sentence though, as Ga Eul reached out to kiss him. She lingered on his lips, savoring them little by little and then she slightly parted them, while Yi Jeong hugged her with something similar to despair. He never wanted to let her go, he wanted time to stop at that moment, he wanted to forever have her near him, in his arms.
When they finally broke the kiss, her cheeks were a deep pink and her eyes were still closed. He leaned against her forehead and cupped her face in his hands, deeply breathing in.
“Please let me come in with you.” He whispered, not even caring about how pathetic he sounded. “I promise I won’t do anything you don’t want or you aren’t ready for. I just want to stay with you.”
His heart skipped a beat, when she murmured back in his lips saying a soft “Let’s go”.
Hand in hand they walked towards her house and this time Yi Jeong knew that she wouldn’t need to lock him in. He never wanted to leave her again.
This must be a dream, Ga Eul thought as soon as her apartment door closed behind them.
It couldn’t be true. Yi Jeong was there with her and even though he never told her those three magic words, he implied them with his every gesture, his every glance even with his fear of letting anybody know about them. He told her he didn’t want to treat her the way he did with the other women and she knew that he meant it; there would be no other women. Not anymore.
“Tonight I will be yours. And you will be mine.” She whispered in the dark corridor.
“Yes.” He replied behind her, gently slipping an arm around her waist and drawing her against his chest. “You will be mine. And I will be yours.”
Yi Jeong turned her in his arms and in the faint light coming from the window, Ga Eul saw him lock his eyes with hers, a raw emotion filling them.
“I will be yours.” He murmured again. “Only yours. Yours.”
Yes, her heart whispered when he kissed her. Mine.