|The Java Hut isn’t exactly Junghee’s dream job, that’s for sure, but she figures it isn’t so bad once she gets used to it. The place has a certain charm to it – from its dated wallpaper to its constantly burned out neon sign to the people who come in every day for a cup of coffee and a bagel or two. Usually, it’s just a quiet little shop that her cousin owns and runs, but Junghee knows some of the regulars a bit too well.|
Yesung, who orders a medium coffee (with two creams and three sugars) and a bran muffin every other day, well, he owns a phone sex company. Even when she doesn’t want to hear about it, Junghee gets to know all about how great business is doing, even though the economy is going through a recession.
Siwon takes his coffee black, and he tells her about the wonders and glory of God and Christianity over a poppy seed muffin. Junghee doesn’t have the heart to tell him she’s a Buddhist.
Jessica is one of Junghee’s favorite regulars because even though she has no idea who they are, she knows all the gossip of Jessica’s apartment building. Who is cheating, who is fucking, who is annoying, who Jessica likes. Junghee knows it all. Jessica blabs this over a vanilla latte and a raspberry scone, and every time she leaves, she says “See you next week!” and she always comes back.
But there are a couple people that wander into the coffee shop completely unaware, order a small coffee and go to sit alone at a corner table. Junghee doesn’t mind, but she also doesn’t mind telling anyone who wants to hear about her musical passions and her dreams of stardom, and that can’t happen if they don’t talk, right?
Mornings are always the busiest time, and she wonders sometimes why the shop is even open 24 hours, because who even gets coffee at 4 in the afternoon? The night isn’t so bad though – Junghee sometimes works the night owl shifts and though it messes up her sleeping schedule, she doesn’t mind all that much.
Her cousin usually works with her anyways, finding pride in her quaint little shop, but tonight is her second wedding anniversary and Junghee doesn’t even want to know what she’s planning. So she works the night owl shift with a newbie named Eunsook. She’s not too horrible, but sometimes she’s just too clumsy and ends up burning herself on a coffee pot or two.
It’s a slow night, that’s for sure, the only customers being a skinny insomniac named Taemin (who immediately takes a liking to Eunsook, she notices) and a truck driver named Kangin. With Kangin in his own little world and Taemin flirting with Eunsook, Junghee doesn’t have much to do on her own. So she settles for cleaning tables, ignoring Eunsook’s flirty giggles and Taemin’s light chuckles.
When the door bell chimes, Junghee looks up with a relieved smile only to falter a little bit.
He definitely hasn’t been there before. She would have recognized his half-shaven head and prominent cheek bones. He has such a presence that it almost takes her breath away, and he hasn’t even spoken let alone look at her or even come close to her yet.
“Welcome!” She says once she regains her composure and her voice, a small smile on her face as she straightens her barista apron out, fingers shaking thanks to her nerves.
(Why does she feel this way anyway? She is starting to wonder how he has such an effect on her and so quickly at that. Is this how Eunsook feels thanks to that stupid insomniac and his smiles and-?)
She doesn’t notice him come closer to her, too wrapped up in her own thoughts to notice anything really, but she immediately tenses when he brushes past her and takes a seat in the chair right next to where she was just cleaning.
“Did you clean this table for me?” His voice is higher than she expects, but the combination of that plus his white smile makes a shiver run down her spine. She takes a moment to collect herself (No one has ever made her feel this way before, so why now?) and gives her cutest smile, clutching the towel in her hand.
“Only the best get VIP treatment, so you should consider yourself lucky.”
Two can play that game, she muses with a light hum, fingers moving up to play with the strands hair framing her face.
“What’s good here?” He asks as he slips his sweatshirt off and – oh god, he’s wearing nothing but a black wifebeater underneath that grey sweatshirt. And she doesn’t even time to register his question before her brain goes in a million directions on how she can get him to take the wifebeater off.
(She’s getting too hormonal she notices, but just last week… is it because she hasn’t been with someone in a while? Months, really. She guesses it’s taking a toll on her.)
“Well, everything I make is good, and I can make everything here… so I guess that means everything, doesn’t it?”
No, no, she can’t back down from his challenging stare and white smile even if he’s making her tremble like this. Junghee definitely won’t let him control or manipulate her. Definitely not, and she ignores the way her heart and mind are racing a mile a minute and the way it’s becoming harder to breathe.
(Who is this guy anyway? Just some mysterious stranger looking for a little coffee break, maybe from a stressful night at the office, and she is just his waitress really. It sounds a bit like a romance novel and – shit, she hopes she isn’t flushing – she knows how those always end.)
“Should I order one of everything then, princess?” He grins, leaning forward a little bit, and his shirt dips down and, oh god. She’s practically able to see down his shirt, looking right at his stomach, and she takes in a breath to calm herself.
“Well, my cousin would be pretty happy but my fingers wouldn’t. Please think of me.” Junghee giggles, putting her fingers to her lips and bowing her head slightly.
(Please think of me? How stupid can she get, really. It sounds like she’s asking him
on a date or begging him to accept her feelings or anything else like that. And he’s not even laughing, just staring. Just staring as she gives an awkward smile and looks off to the left and-)
He’s laughing softly finally, fingers running through the ends of his hair as he thinks about it, crossing one leg over the other in his lap. And that’s when she notices his skinny jeans, hugging just the right places, and fuck. Just fuck. She should win an Oscar for this moment, because on the outside, she’s calm and collected, and on the inside… well, that’s a different story.
“Okay, I’ll think of you… How about a cinnamon roll and a chai tea? That sounds good right now. I’m feeling a bit cold, I want to be warm.”
There’s something behind his grin, she swears there has to be, and she scurries off before she can say anything stupid again. Stupid like, “Then put your jacket on, if you’re cold!” because really. Who even says that?
She’s made chai tea a million times before, but this time is different, Junghee swears on her life. And she ignores Eunsook’s curious glances her way as best she can. Taemin is still talking (She overhears him say something about bed, and her thoughts immediately drift to the naughtiest things though they probably shouldn’t,) and Kangin is still sitting there (mumbling to himself about how he doesn’t want to leave) and whoever that guy is, he’s staring at her with a curious smirk.
“Junghee-yah, what are you making?” Eunsook’s floaty voice comes from the left of her but she shoots a warning glance her way to just leave her alone. She sort of feels bad because Eunsook basically shrinks away from her with a soft squeak of an apology, but Junghee doesn’t really make any move to apologize. She doesn’t have time right now, not when she has to make the perfect chai tea, and the pressure almost seems like too much.
(She’s so desperate, she realizes, trying to calm herself down before anything bad happens. She doesn’t even know his name let alone anything about him, and here she is trying to impress him with chai tea? Chai tea and a damn cinnamon roll. That’s it. Maybe if her cinnamon roll is the best one in the whole wide world, he’ll come back and visit her and order another one, but that’s just a shot in the dark. She doesn’t even work this shift normally so what if he comes in again and she’s not there and she never sees him again? God, she’s really an idiot. A complete idiot. A idiot with a burning ha- wait a minute-)
“Ow, goddamnit!” She pulls back with a slight cry and oh god, she wants to die right there on the spot. Eunsook is next to her in a second, holding onto her hand, tugging her over to the sink, but she isn’t going. She’s just staring at that guy, watching his reaction, and it makes her heart thump when he actually looks worried for her. But she’s too embarrassed to keep looking at him and she just looks down as Eunsook scrubs at her hand under the cold water.
“Are you okay?” She whispers hesitantly and Junghee doesn’t even answer, she just nods her head feebly with a little sigh. Eunsook puts a light hand on her shoulder and squeezes, and it isn’t so bad, though Junghee still feels like a complete idiot. “I mean… don’t cry, you don’t need to cry, right? You shouldn’t cry… so don’t!”
“Eunsook, I’m not crying.” Junghee says and blinks a couple of times before pulling back, and she hears Taemin laugh really loudly but she ignores it. Chai tea is calling her name, and even if she burned her hand on the hot water, she still needs to finish.
It’s almost like a walk of shame as she approaches his table, her head hung low with the tea in one hand and the cinnamon roll on a plate in the other. A complete walk of shame, because he’s just staring at her, and she’s honestly surprised he’s still there. She sets everything down and takes a moment to rock back and forth on her heels, trying to think of something to say, but her brain isn’t keeping up with any other part of her tonight.
She wants to tell him it’s on the house, that he can take it and just get out as fast as possible, that he can never come back, but she really won’t say that because it’s rude and well… she wants to see him again.
So she puffs out a cheek and just watches as he takes a sip and immediately pulls it
back, and oh god. He hates it. He completely hates it, and she’s doomed. She always was from the start, and-
“It’s too hot.” He tells her after that, and he reaches out, and her heart stops beating when she feels his hand on hers. She can die right there and then and be completely happy. “Your hand is red, sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing?” She mumbles to him, and she swears her cheeks are as red as her burnt hand, and she’s half glad he isn’t looking up at her. No, he’s inspecting her hand, and then he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handkerchief, placing it in her palm.
“Here.” He grins at her then, and it’s not like she’s going to complain about it, but what is a handkerchief even going to do? She has a burnt hand, not the flu, but she clutches it in her hands tightly when he lets her go. And she doesn’t even get a chance to thank him or ask what the hell he’s thinking, because he brushes past her again and strolls out of the place, and oh god. Just like that, he’s gone forever. Junghee just knows it.
She sinks down into a seat at that table, setting the handkerchief down, her fingers running slowly over the material like some kind of reminder that she never wants to forget.
Eunsook is there again, she notices only when she takes a seat across from her, and she leans in with a smile.
“Are you okay?” And Junghee doesn’t know if she means physically or mentally, because yeah, her hand hurts but it’s not big deal. But her heart, and her mind… they’re somehow frazzled and all over the place. Junghee doesn’t answer, only plays with hair and sighs, unable to focus. And then Eunsook takes the handkerchief and Junghee wants to scream and yell at her not to but she stops herself, stops herself from seeming that needy. She looks down at the ends of her hair, mumbling about how she needs to cut her hair and it’s too long and about something that’s not even important and then-
“Oh hey, what’s this?” And that makes Junghee look up immediately, staring at Eunsook as she reads it. “To my beautiful waitress -”
“Give me that!” Junghee doesn’t hesitate to snatch the handkerchief back from her, ignoring the money that falls out from the middle for the note written in shaky… pencil? Crayon? Pen? She can’t tell.
“To my beautiful waitress, if you ever decide you want to know my name, why don’t you give me a call?” She pauses, her breath held in her throat, before she lets out the loudest shriek that makes Eunsook cover her ears. “Oh my god Eunsook, he gave me his number, he really gave it to me.”
“Oh god, I can’t breathe.” Junghee says, and she definitely isn’t lying. She puts a hand to her chest to calm herself but it doesn’t help – her heart is going crazy and her head seems to be spinning.
(And her mind is going in places it definitely shouldn’t. What if he wants a date, or wants something else? She shakes her head to try and clear it but all she can think about is kissing those perfect lips and running her hands through his hair, watching him smile and breathe and laugh from on top of him, looking down into those perfect brown eyes, and-)
“What if it’s the rejection hotline?”
Junghee is definitely going to talk about having her cousin fire Eunsook tomorrow. Definitely.
It takes her two days to finally get the courage to call him, thanks to the pushing of Eunsook and her cousin, and she waits until a relatively normal and acceptable time to call – 9 pm.
(Cause she figures he can’t be eating dinner, and he shouldn’t be a work, and it’s too early to go out partying or doing anything else, right? She thinks so, anyways. He looks like the type to party and go out clubbing at least 4 times a week, but it’s only Tuesday, and he shouldn’t be busy… right?)
It rings a couple of times before he answers, and his voice is groggy like he’s just been woken up, and fuck, did she just wake him up? She curses before he even answers, because she’s definitely an idiot and should probably hang up the phone right now.
“Hello, who is this?” She wants to hang up right now because he sounds so disgruntled or angry or something at her, and she definitely didn’t mean to do that.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry, I’ll call late-“
“Oh, it’s my beautiful barista.” Just that phrase makes her heart thump loudly in her chest, her breath catching in her throat and she swallows with a little noise. His voice seems to change, from annoyed to something lighter, something that makes her want to talk about nothing just so she can hear it.
“Ah, I didn’t mean to call so late, I just thought... I mean, it’s 9 pm so, it’s not too late in the first place, so I just figured…”
(Great. She is babbling and she can’t even finish a damn thought. She feels like she is 16 again, with one of her schoolgirl crushes. But no, she’s 23 years old already and she shouldn’t feel like this, she shouldn’t be basically wetting herself every time she hears his voice. How childish.)
He chuckles then, and it’s low, breathy, and it takes her breath away.
“What’s your name?” He asks her and she can’t even remember who she is for just a second. This is ridiculous, she has to be going crazy, she’s too old for this.
“Junghee. Kim Junghee.” She says softly, a bit unsure, though that’s definitely who she is. There’s a silence for a second before he mumbles her name under his breath and it’s the best thing she’s heard, ever.
“Kim Kibum… but call me Key. Everyone does.”
She tries it out for herself, mumbling his name a couple of times like a mantra, and when he breathes out into the receiver, it sounds like he’s right there in her ear.
“How’s your hand?” And again, Junghee feels like dying. She’ll never get to live this one down, and even though her hand is totally fine, her pride definitely isn’t.
“Oh… it’s fine.” She murmurs, twirling a lock of hair in between her fingers, and it goes silent again because she doesn’t know exactly what to say.
“Hey,” He says after a little bit, and she lets out a little noise to let him know she’s still listening. “Come meet me, I have a surprise for you.”
“Meet you? Like a date?” She has to ask, and she pinches herself for even asking it because she looks like a damn fool. But he chuckles and she lets out a breath, butterflies dancing around her stomach because he seems like he enjoys her stupid moments.
“I guess it could be like that. Let me give you my address.” And then she pauses, because his address? For his apartment? Whoa, things are moving too fast for her liking, but maybe she’s overreacting and-
“I’m not like that.” She suddenly says and oh fuck, why is her mouth way ahead of her mind all the time? She can’t even pass that off as something else, and there’s no way for her to take it back now. “Well, I mean-“
“I wasn’t thinking like that, but that’s good to know.” He doesn’t sound particularly annoyed and that makes her feel better, but not by much. She mumbles a sorry and copies down the address as quickly as possible, trying not to think of how stupid she seems, and she promises to be there tomorrow at 11 PM. And then she hangs up as fast as possible, and when she tells Eunsook all about it, she leaves out the other parts.
The day passes so slowly, and almost every moment, she glances up at the clock to check the time. 4, 5, 6, and finally 7, the time she could leave to go get ready. And she bolts out of the place with a little wave to her cousin, making it home faster than ever before. She only has 3 hours to get ready, because he lives on the outskirts of town and she needs a car to get out there.
She settles on one of her favorite dresses, not too formal but not too casual, a little short but it hugs her curves just right to be the perfect dress. Her hair is curled lightly around her chin, cascading just a bit over her shoulders. Her makeup is light, just enough to make herself seem just a bit natural, even if she isn’t.
Before she knows it, 9:30 rolls around and she waits. Waits impatiently, pacing around her living room until 10, because she doesn’t want to arrive too early and seem desperate enough for him, even when she totally is.
The car ride seems to take forever, and even though she speeds the whole way there, his apartment is impossible to find and she gets lost. Great, just great, she tells herself and pulls up to a random curb, biting on her bottom lip for a second, trying to think, before there’s a knock on her window.
(Oh God, what if it’s a rapist? Her doors are locked and the window is up sure, but she can’t tell who it is thanks to the hood over his head. But he’s not trying to break in, and he’s not trying to hurt her or anything, so maybe it’s okay. And then the hood goes, and oh thank god.)
“Hey, what are you doing? Come inside.”
It’s just him, and he’s dressed down from what she can see, and she swallows because is her dress too much? Is her hair too over-done? What about her makeup? She takes a breath before she steps out of the car, fixing the bottom of her dress, and she smiles lightly at him.
“Ah, god, sorry, I’m.. yeah.”
But she’s not really too overdressed, because he’s wearing a nice pair of skinny jeans and a t-shirt under his hooded vest, and his hair is styled perfectly to show the shaved part of his head. He smiles at her, offers a hand out, and she takes it without question.
Well, it definitely isn’t what she expects the minute she steps into the door, that’s for sure. She expects maybe dinner and a movie, not a camera and a backdrop to be sitting there.
“Wha…” She blinks slowly, and her shoes are barely off before she considers putting them on and getting the hell out right now. “What’s all this?”
“Sorry about tricking you, but I needed someone to model for me since my last model quit and I figured you’d be perfect for the job. A little skin, a little fame, a little money… it seems up your alley.”
Junghee can’t really process anything at this point, just blinking dumbly in between him and the camera, not even wondering how he knows so much about her after talking so little.
“I mean… yeah, I guess, I just… what are you asking right now?”
And he laughs at her, his stupid fucking laugh that makes her blush and shiver even if she’s confused, and he hands her a bag and pushes her towards the bedroom without a word. Not even a word has he leaves her to… she doesn’t even know. She has no idea what’s going on right now, and now she’s starting to think this could be a bad idea.
(She barely even knows this guy, barely knows anything about him, only his name and where he lives at. I mean, if something happens, Eunsook knows who and where he is, but she’s going to be too late, and she’s way too young to die. Too young, talented and pretty to die, really. She’s got so much left to offer the world, and the world doesn’t even know it yet-)
“Junghee, are you done?”
“C-coming, hold on!” She calls out and she sighs, opening the bag and peeking inside and… oh. It’s not so bad. A t-shirt and-
She pales instantly, picking up the underwear in the bottom of the bag with her pointer finger. Really? Underwear and a shirt? She told him she wasn’t like that earlier, but she guesses he didn’t listen to her. But really, there’s no way out from here. There’s barely a window and no doors leading outside, and her keys are sitting on the end table in the living room, and if this is the price to pay for stardom, she doesn’t know if she wants it.
But she sucks up her pride, changing into the shirt and underwear, and it’s not too bad, she guesses. The shirt isn’t too short and it at least covers her stomach, and at least the underwear are boy shorts and not some see-through thong. And it’s kind of cute, pink polka-dotted with little red ribbons on the sides, and the shirt is just a simple white t-shirt to match it. She really can’t stop looking at herself, playing with her hair and the shirt, puffing her cheeks out because that extra yoga has definitely worked out in her favor.
“Junghee, god, what-“ And he comes strolling in, pausing in the doorway with a curious look on her face, and she instantly freezes, cheeks turning red enough to match the ribbons.
“Hey, um… I’m ready. You know… let’s just get this over with.” She walks by him with a hand over her eyes, trying to hide just how embarrassed she is, because he always manages to catch her at her worst moments.
The photoshoot is a blur, and he tells her to do normal things, like play with her phone or read a book or lay on the couch. It’s really easy, and Junghee seems to forget she’s even in lingerie, because this is always what she wanted to do. Be in photoshoots, become even just a little bit known, because that’s just the beginning of it all. She giggles and relaxes, kicking her legs in the air, straying a little from his cues though he doesn’t seem to mind.
Then it’s all over, he’s telling her he has enough shots for now, and she stops and looks up at him with the most innocent expression.
“Already?” She pouts and he sets his camera down, a smile on his face as he walks over to her, tucking a loose piece of hair behind her ear. Her heart goes crazy, literally crazy as he looks at her with such an unknown expression, and she can’t read him, not that she ever could.
“That’s it, unless…” He’s leaning closer now, and her breathing comes out uneven as she watches him, feels his fingers stroking across her cheek, and oh god, his lips are right there and-
“You should go.” He says and turns his head to the side, and she can’t help that her eyes go wide and her sinks so far down into her stomach. But he was right, they couldn’t do this, they couldn’t cross any lines now that they had a business kind of relationship, and she doesn’t speak as she walks silently back into the bedroom, shutting the door with a soft click.
(She’s a complete idiot, she realizes as she slips the underwear off and changes back into her own. A big idiot, because what would he ever want with a girl like her? She’s not too pretty, just full of herself and her looks and her (great) personality, and she could never be what he wants. Her boobs aren’t big, no, definitely not, she muses as she cups them in her hands and she changes shirts. And her stomach is tone but she’s not exactly an hourglass figure, and he would probably keep pestering her to lose weight even if they did end up together, and-)
“Junghee.” The breath of her name and the slam of the bedroom door scare her almost senseless, and she doesn’t even realize she’s missing her dress until he’s pressed up against her and kissing her messily, hands sliding up and down a thigh as he lifts it.
Her head is spinning, her heart going crazy as she kisses back, and she can’t even imagine why she’s doing all this, why she’s playing along with his little game. But she does, and her fingers thread through his hair and her lips move against his, just like in her wildest fantasies.
Is this real? She can’t be sure but she thinks it is, because his fingers are sliding all over her skin, and she can’t even catch her breath, let alone slow him down.
She only has a chance to breathe when he starts kissing her neck, nipping and sucking, and her thoughts are jumbled. She’s surprised, really, that she can even think of a coherent sentence like this, and her voice startles her because it sounds nothing like her.
“I… I told you I’m not like this, I-I’m not-“
“But I am.”
And it’s all he has to say, and she falls into him, arms wrapping around his neck as he lifts her, carries her to the bed, and kisses her silly while doing it.
It’s all happening so fast, too fast for her to keep up, and she doesn’t protest when he takes off his shirt. She drinks him in, fingers running up and down his stomach and arms, never wanting to forget this moment even if it meant nothing to him.
She wants to speak but she doesn’t want to break the moment, and his lips on her stomach are too good to ignore. She moans, whispers, anything he wants to hear as he slips off the only thing left between them – his pants.
(And she’s literally going crazy, but this time with want, her breathing heavy and her eyes lidded as she stares at him. That grin, that stupid grin that makes her go insane is on his face as he leans over her, his lips dragging over hers so slowly, enough to make her shudder and gasp against him, and oh god, she can’t take it anymore. She lifts her hips into his, and-)
The moan she lets out when he enters her is way too loud, but he chuckles into her ear, and she guesses he doesn’t mind. Not at all. He groans into her ear, and she memorizes that sound, her fingernails digging into his upper arms as she arches into him.
It doesn’t take long, it doesn’t take long at all before she’s crying out, head tilted back against the pillows as she comes, and she hears him groan something before he slams into her one more time. They slump together, trying to catch their breath, and Junghee puts a hand over her eyes so she doesn’t have to face what she just did.
She’s really not like this, nothing like this at all, but his lips are on hers one more time as she lets her hand drop to the side.
“Well fuck,” He breathes against her lips, and there’s vibrating from the end table but they both ignore it, her hands running up and down his back slowly as she calms down. It feels sort of like a dream with him in between her legs, hand running up her slide slowly as they drag their lips together, lazy but good.
The vibrating won’t stop though, and he curses, apologizing for a moment as he goes to answer it, and her cheeks flare up at how unabashed he is that he’s still naked. She isn’t so open about it and she wraps herself up in his blankets, puffing her cheeks out. She doesn’t watch him, instead playing with the sheet in front of her as she sits up, but she can hear how his voice grows into a sort of panic, and only when he hangs up does she look over.
And oh boy, he looks so distraught, so panicked, that she doesn’t even have to ask to know something’s wrong.
Another clue is the way he’s tugging her almost harshly out of bed, telling her in half Korean, half English that he needs to do something, but she doesn’t know what because she can’t understand.
“What is going on?” She breathes but he doesn’t answer, only hands her the dress and everything else she was wearing, mumbling at her to hurry up. But she doesn’t, she just stands there with a dumbfounded look, swallowing down her pride. Did she do something wrong?
“God, do you want my boyfriend to kill you? Get dressed and get the fuck out already!” He almost screams at her, and she starts trembling, eyes filling up with tears because boyfriend? He has a boyfriend that she never knew about. He lied to her, he led her on, he-
“Boyfriend?” She says and he takes the liberty to help her get dressed since she can’t even do it herself. Her body won’t let her, she’s too tense and frozen to even think about moving on her own. She doesn’t know what she’s feeling – anger, embarrassment, hurt? – but she sure doesn’t like it at all.
“Yeah, I have a boyfriend.” He mumbles into her ear and he sounds generally sorry, but this time she doesn’t shiver, only stares forward at the floor as he zips her dress up. “That’s why you should-“
“How dare you?” Her voice is barely there and she can’t look back at him, only dips her head down to put a hand over her mouth. “How dare you even… you’re a bastard, and I hope-“
“Don’t even say what you’re going to,” And his hand is on her arm, squeezing tightly and he sounds angry at her for some reason. She holds in a sob as he continues, and her heart breaks with every one of his words. “Don’t you dare say you never want to see me again, because I won’t let you go, I’m not going to-“
“For God’s sake, you have a boyfriend! What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” She turns around, breaking from his hold, breaking from him, and she realizes she’s crying, warm tears streaming down her cheeks as she clutches her dress in her hands. “You can’t do this to me, I won’t become some… mistress! I won’t let you hurt me like this, I won’t let you, I won’t.” And she breaks down in front of him, putting her hands over her eyes, crying into her hands, and she feels embarrassed for not being able to keep calm but it’s impossible. It’s just not possible when it hurts too much.
“I’m not asking you to become a mistress, I just want-“ And he cuts off, unsure of what to say, rubbing the back of his head slowly. She stops crying as best she can, palm wiping away her tears as she turns, walking out of the bedroom even though he’s calling for her, begging for her to come back. She grabs her keys and her purse, makes a turn for the door and-
“I’m not going to let you get away from me. I’m not the type of person to give up.” He tells her, leaning against the bedroom door frame and she pauses, turning to look at him. They stare at each other for a moment and she tries to read his eyes, but she can’t. She can’t see that far, and there’s no expression on his face, and god, she wishes her heart would stop thumping in her chest because now is not the time.
“But I am.”
The look on his face says all she needs, and she leaves and doesn’t look back.
It takes her approximately six days to get over everything, and it would have been sooner if he had stopped sending her messages and calls. It takes her everything, but she doesn’t respond to any of them, and she deletes the texts as they come.
Eventually, he stops trying and he doesn’t send her any more messages, and she goes a record 5 hours straight without thinking about him.
And just when she thinks she’s okay, he sends her one last message, with a website, a page, and a time on it. 7 PM that night. She bites her lip and considers deleting this one too, but she can’t, she can’t bring herself to for some reason, so she keeps it in her pocket until 6:45 when she gets her break.
“Eunsook, can I borrow your computer?” She asks as she sips at her bottle of water, and Eunsook nods, running off to get it for her before taking another order.
She has to be crazy, she thinks as she opens the webpage and oh, it’s his fashion website. Wait, his fashion website?! She blinks a couple of times, looking through all the banners for sales and discounts and he has everything – shirts, pants, lingerie, all designed by him. Kim Kibum. She’s surprised she’s never really heard of this stuff or even him before, because his clothes are cute and she would definitely buy them.
It’s 6:55 and when she clicks on the tab he told her to, her eyes widen and she has to suppress her gasp. It’s her, in those pictures he took in the lingerie, and it’s not just a couple of pictures. The whole page is her – there are pictures of her modeling, sure, but there are also pictures of her laughing, pictures of her pouting, pictures of her wrinkling her nose at him – outtakes she thought wouldn’t be in the shoot.
“What an idiot.” She mumbles and finishes looking at the whole page, and there’s a note written at the bottom, so small that someone who wasn’t looking would definitely miss it. She leans in to the screen, eyes squinting to read it, and- “Junghee, turn around.”
She pauses, takes a breath and slowly turns her head to look behind her, and there he is, one hand stuffed in his pocket, the other holding onto a large container of whatever. She stares at him, blinking a couple of times, before she turns around again, rubbing at her eyes to try not to cry, and she doesn’t have to look to know he’s taken a spot next to her.
“This one is my favorite.” He tells her and he points to a picture where she’s staring into the camera, a small smile on her face, and she looks over to see him with a matching smile.
She doesn’t say anything, only plays with a piece of loose hair from her ponytail, one cheek puffed out. It’s not that she doesn’t want to talk to him, it’s just that she doesn’t know if she can without blowing up at him.
“I wanted to say sorry,” He mumbles a little bit later, scooting just a little bit over to her and she doesn’t lean in but she makes no move to lean back. “I don’t know what I was thinking, and I dragged you into my personal problems without telling you. So… sorry. I don’t say it a lot, so you should accept it.” And his cheeky grin is back, and she tries to fight off a blush as she closes the computer.
“It’s alright, I guess.” She mutters without feeling and she moves to get up, but he grabs her arm, making her sit down again.
“The reason why I did it is because I’m attracted to you. Haven’t you figured that out yet?”
She freezes, her eyes wide and mouth falling open like she’s just gotten this biggest
shock, and to be honest, she kind of has. She’s not the best when it comes to love, and to hear someone say they’re attracted to her… Her heart flutters wildly in her chest and she swallows down any dumb reply before it’s too late.
“Your… wait, your bo-“
“We broke up. Well, I broke up with him. That night, actually. If you would have responded to my calls, you would have known.”
“Don’t pin this on me, you’re the one who-“
And he cuts her off again, but this time with his lips. He tastes strangely like chai tea and she vaguely hears Eunsook gasp behind her, but she doesn’t think about either of those, no, she thinks about kissing him back, how it feels to finally get what she wants, how his lips feel so nice on hers.
When he pulls back, she takes the opportunity to do the one thing she’s wanted to for 6 long days: she slaps him as hard as she can, covering her mouth when it’s all over. He takes it well, she notices, putting a hand to where she slapped him with a little grin.
“Well, I guess that was deserved, huh?”
And it falls silent again, Junghee kicking her feet underneath the table, Kibum sipping at his drink. There doesn’t need to be much said, though the air seems a bit hostile and uncomfortable, and it makes Junghee clear her throat with a little groan.
“I just wish… I wish we could go back to the night when we first met, the night I was instantly attracted, the night I… fell for you.”
She looks up at him and they stare at each other. It feels like forever to her, way too long, but eventually, he smiles. He just smiles and gets up, then walks out of the coffee shop just like that.
Junghee doesn’t have time to ask what the hell he thinks he’s doing, because he’s back inside in just a second, and he’s changed from his earlier sweater to that grey sweatshirt, that same grey sweatshirt the night they met. And he takes the same place at the same table, looks over at her with a beckoning grin, and she thinks, wow. This just can't be real.
Everything is the same as they play it out, but everything is different. She slips up and says his name when he orders, and he slips up and tells her not to burn her hand, and they both end up slipping up and making out right then and there before she can
even leave to get his order.
Junghee meets a lot of interesting people at The Java Hut sure, and even though Yesung comes close, no one can really top Kim Kibum in her eyes. And yeah, it’s definitely not her dream job, but she realizes she doesn’t really mind all too much anymore.