Chapter 14. Yuri : Second.
“Omo! Bruce Wayne finally get out of the cave at night.” Gary held up his glass of amber liquid, grinning toward me. “This calls for celebrations.”
I walked pass the few table to the lounge on the corner of the club where we often gathered to drink the night away. Minho was leaning back on the blue velvet couch, waving at me in a knowing smile. Seunggi hunched over the table with an empty glass in her hand, clearly wasted.
“Jessica kicks you out of the house?” Minho slid the bottle of whiskey toward me as I sat down. I grimly nodded, waving at the waitress to get another glass.
“Pretty much why I haven't asked for Jihyo's hand.” Gary gulped his drink. “I can't stand the emotion roller coaster of being tied to a woman.”
“Hey... Marriage is fun most of the time.” Seunggi chimed in, trying to pour the drink to his gl but couldn't even reach the bottle. “Or that what the book told me, because I had no experience on that field. Girls keep ditching me.”
“You'll get the perfect one someday. Go easy on book reading and go out more. ” I patted Seunggi's shoulder, pouring him only a small amount of alcoholic beverage to console him. “And you, Gary. Stop being a chicken and join the ride. Being with a woman who loves you is nothing sort of bad at all. When her hormones speak, things get bumpy for a while. But It's okay, I'm happy calling myself her man.”
Gary snorted. “Then why are you here in weekend at 1 a.m, Mr. Romantic?”
“Yeah.” Minho grinned at me. “What have you done this time?”
“Nothing.” A sigh escaped me. “I came home after the long meeting we had with the bank, eager to spend the weekend with my wife, only to have her screaming and pushing me out of the bedroom.” Rubbing my neck, I take a glass of whiskey in one go.
“Maybe you should have told her that you'll be home late.” Seunggi opened his mouth, trying to grab another chance at drinking but Minho swatted his hand away.
“I already did. Did you guys already order vodka?” I waved at the waitress again but Minho also stopped me.
“Easy on the drink, Yul. You have a pregnant woman to come home to.”
“If and only if she wants Yuri to come home.” Gary snorted. When a waitress passed our table, he placed order for one bottle of Vodka and a lot of ice, completley ignoring Minho's stare of disapproval. “From the look of it, I think you already did something so unforgivable you might as well start searching for a new place.”
“It's not that bad. But I don't think going home tonight will make it better either” I mumbled, trying to figure out if Jessica was really that mad at me. It was hard to guess because event the smallest mishap could trigger world war three in our household these days. Yesterday, I sprayed a zest of new cologne on my shirt before work and she stormed at me like it was the end of the world.
I knew I had to be patient. A lot of things happened in my wife's body and they affect the way she behaved. Not to mention that she was under a lot of stress trying to make sure that our baby grew healthy and safe. I understood all of it and I tried my best not to pick a fight, but things often blew out of control without me knowing witch wire I had cut wrongly.
“Hey! Hey!” Minho tried to stop me as I chugged the vodka straight from the bottle. I ignored him. Jessica wanted me out of the house tonight, and I would do just that. I'd figure out how to patch up with her tomorrow. It had been a while since I drunk with my buddies anyway.
Gary laughed, taking the bottle from me to chug his share of the drink. Seunggi lifted two thumbs up at me before hugging Minho's neck. “You are our designated driver for tonight, Minho-yah. Stay sober!”
“Yeah! Please take care of us, Areum and Daeul's appa.” Gary laughed.
I laughed too then took another chug, feeling my throat burn in a good way. Luckily, despite the alcohol that had started to seep into my blood, I still remembered the incident with Hara from a few years ago. “Minho! After this, lock me in a hotel room and don't let anyone in.”
Gary laughed harder.
The first thing I did upon waking up was checking if I still had my clothes on. Then I closed my eyes again, the ray of light filtered through the blinds felt like knife to my eyes. My head pounded, but I forced my eyes open after a while. The bedroom didn't look like a hotel room at all.
“Morning.” Someone came into the room, a woman, tall and lean, with beautiful bob of brown hair.
I jolted up. God be damned if someone was trying to trap me again.
“Or midday, since it's only fifteen minutes away from twelve.” It was Sooyoung. She set a cup of coffee and a plate of sandwich on the bedside table.
“Ah, Sooyoung. Thank you.” I rubbed my face. “I thought I was in a hotel room or something.”
“I happened to call him when he was driving you to the hotel. I told him to bring you here. It's safer.” She smiled from the door. “There are Minho's clothes and towels ready in the bathroom if you want to freshen up.”
“Thank you. Again.” I took a sip of the coffee. “Where's Minho?”
“He brings the kids to the mall. I have to clock in at work soon. Anything else you need go find it yourself, okay? Make it your own home.”
“Okay.” Another sip of the coffee and I already felt better. “Sooyoung, can I ask you something?”
'When you were pregnant, did you get angry at Minho a lot too?”
She chuckled, leaning against the door jamb. “When I was with Areum, I got all clingy and needy, couldn't stand a day without Minho by my side. But when I was with Daeul, it was totally the opposite. I even sent Minho away to his parents' place for a full month during my second pregnancy, twice.”
“Every pregnancy is different. But judging from all the mess she is right now, Jessica might be pregnant with a baby boy. Congratulations.”
I grinned, taking a bite of the sandwich. “So, it's completely normal if she looks like she wants to slice me into pieces from time to time?”
Sooyoung laughed. “Bear with it future appa. Just make sure you don't cross the line too often.”
“I can't even see the line most of the time.” I frowned. “A week ago she was mad at me because I watched a football game on TV. Can you imagine? A football game? There was also this time when she insisted that I'm not supposed to go to work despite the important meeting. You know what? It will be very handy if pregnant wife comes with step-by-step manual.”
To my dismay, Sooyoung only laughed harder. “Bring Jessica food and flowers when you go home, also send her and the baby my hugs, Okay? Bye, Yuri.”
“Bye.” I sighed, falling back onto the bed. An hour or two of sleep before facing the war would do me good.
“Hi...” I stepped closer the pool. It was already four in the afternoon. I was clean and fresh now, coming to my wife with a bouquet of pink roses in my right hand. In the kitchen, the maid was preparing the cakes I had bought from Jessica's favorite bakery.
She was floating in the water. Her twenty-weeks-pregnant belly was wrapped tightly in the one-piece bikini. The small bump was visible a little above the water. It was only a day since the last time I hugged her and my baby but I already missed them so much.
She swam to edge of the pool, taking off her sunglasses as she rested her chin on her folded arms. Her feet lazily kicked the water, keeping her body floating. “Where have you been all night?”
I wasn't even tempted to remind her that she was the one who had kicked me out last night. Getting on one knee, I presented her the bouquet and kissed the crown of her head. “Crashed at Minho's place.”
She the soft petals, before smiling up at me. “I've missed you.”
I tried my best to hide my sigh of relief, smiling too. “I've missed you more. Come on out, I bought your favorite cheesecake.”
“Lemon cream cheesecake topped with lemon mousse and meringue, right?”
She grinned, getting out of the pool as I took the towel from the beach-chair. Before I even got the chance to wrap her with the towel, she already hugged me tight.
The sudden act startled me if for a fleeting second before my brain told me to just enjoy it. I returned the favor, hugging her as tight as I could with the swelling belly between us. My shirt and pants got wet, but I hardly care.
“I really-really miss you.” She looked up.
“Me too.” I kissed the tip of her nose. “Come on, let's get you dried up before you catch a cold.”
I wrapped a towel around her waist. Our baby has changed her curve so much but I always thought that I like this fuller, ier version of Jessica. Then I rubbed her back and shoulders with another towel before letting her wrapped it around her head.
The maid came with the cake, plates, forks and knife and a pot of tea. She prepared the dishes on the table under the purple beach umbrella and left after asking us if we needed anything else.
Instead of cutting the cake, I dug straight away with the fork, feeding Jessica's first. At her appreciative hum, I smiled and forked a big chunk for myself.
“What do you think of me?”
“Huh?” Knowing that this might be another trick question that connected to a ticking bomb, I pretended not to hear. I kept my focus on the cake, trying to think of what best to say.
“What do you think of me now that I'm pregnant?”
Okay. What did she mean? Did she want me to comment on her physique or did she want me to speak of how I feel about her being pregnant? This was more difficult than detonating a time bomb. I could feel myself sweating under her sweet smile.
“Lovely.” I rested a hand on her small bump, trying to hide my fear under a smile. “You look amazing and it feel amazing to have you and our baby.”
“Absolutely.” I caressed the bump. We were yet to feel our baby moved inside. Knowing that my child was there, healthy and safe, was more than enough though.
“Then why do you seem to avoid me these days?”
“Meeting after meeting. The many sport broadcasts on TV. Game time with your buddies. You hardly there for me, Yul.”
“You know that's not true. I'm always here for you.” I couldn't stop myself. Her accusation was too far from the truth. I was always by her side, at least I kept trying to be. I never missed an appointment with the Ob-gyn. I went out of the way to have lunch with her almost everyday even when my workload literally drowned my desk. I made sure to regularly text her or called her, giving her all the attention I could give.
“Yeah? You even start to use cologne again. What is it, Yul? Are you seeing somebody else out there?”
That was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard from her since the beginning of this pregnancy. Hormone or not, she needed to stop. I stood up, knowing that if I stayed she wouldn't stop nagging. I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't blow up either, now that my mind was so clogged. It was safer to leave than to trigger a fight.
“I love you.” I kissed the crown of her head while giving her belly gentle pats. Then I turned away, leaving the pool. My body was tired and my confused mind definitely needed more rest.
I didn't look back.
Fall came late this year. Climate change hit the town hard but I could still find comfort in the garden at the back of my parents' place. Mid morning like this, it still felt a little breezy in here. I laid still on the grass, just a little far to the left from my first child's last sanctuary.
I spent the night at my parents', glad that my mother hadn't pestered when she had found me in the kitchen last evening. She had just asked if everything is alright with my wife and the baby before serving me delicious set of late dinner.
And now, after long morning jog and fifty sets of push up in the garden, I was ready for a good heart to heart chat with my dear Eunsoo. I always thought of my my first child as a girl, a precious little girl that was in the good care of God above. Whenever I came to visit my parents, I always made sure to visit Eunsoo too.
I closed my eyes, imagining our little girl playing happily in heaven while talking to me. I heard someone coming, probably my mom or the maid bringing me food. But then I felt someone lying on my chest, a hand hugged my waist.
“Jess?” I lifted my head a little, immediately saw her head full of beautiful dark hair. To my surprise, her shoulders started to shake. My wife was crying. “Baby, what's wrong?”
She didn't answer, just sobbing on my chest. My heart nearly stopped beating, my hand instinctively went to her belly. A relieved sigh escaped me when I felt the baby bump under my touch.
“Jess, is everything alright?” I sat up, slowly bringing her to my arms.
“I'm sorry.” She covered her face with both hands. “I was so mean to you.”
“Hey...” I sighed, rubbing her back. “You're not mean. I know it was the hormone talking.”
“I made you left.” She sniffed. “Twice. I should have been more rational.”
It was hard to hold back from snorting. Irrational couldn't even describe the things she had done and said to me this fast few weeks. I held her at arm-length, smiling while staring into those glassy eyes. “I completely understand, sweetheart.”
I lied, of course. But it wasn't the matter of whether I 100% understood the way she acted or not. It was the matter of keeping peace. It was about putting her health and her happiness as priority.
“I'm so sorry. I can't stop myself from having these crazy thoughts.” She sniffed again. I hugged her, peppering her face with kisses before taking her body with me as I laid back on the soft grass.
“The cologne.” I her head gently. Maybe a little explanation could clear the situation. “I have started to work out intensively again lately. I sweat easily. I figure a little help is needed to keep me smell fresh at work.”
“The meetings were all necessary, SK-K is heading to a new direction with projects toward renewable energy. I'm literally neck deep in workload at the moment, baby.”
“I'm sorry. It's just like you've tried hard to get away from me this day. You hardly stay in bed with me at night. Always doing things in the study or watching game on TV.”
I sighed,rubbing her arm. How would I explain to my pregnant wife that I had been keeping distance at night because of all the not-so-innocent thought I had whenever I saw her in a nightgown and such?
Jessica seemed to glow lately. Her body got curvier, her s got rounder, and I had to mentally slap myself every time I got a hard on upon a simple act of lying by her side.
“I miss the way you touch me, Yul.”
“Oh,baby.” Pressing a kiss on her forehead, I moved my hand to caress her belly. “I miss you too. But I don't want to hurt you. I don't want to put any harm on our child.”
“But YoonA said it's okay now. I'm healthier. Our baby is stronger.”
I had been there when YoonA said those words. Probably had been blushing fifty shades of red after Jessica had thrown the question just like that at our appointment with the kind Ob-gyn. Still, I didn't feel like risking Jessica's pregnancy at all.
“Please Yul. I need this. We'll go slow. We'll stop if I feel any discomfort.”
Her pleading eyes, blinked at me as she lied on her side and twirled a finger on my chest,was forever my weakness. I caressed her hair, the natural black locks that she had stopped dyeing because she didn't want to impose our child to unnecessary chemical. We had gone out of the way to ensure our child safety. I surely hoped a little fun on our own wouldn't harm my baby.
“I had no idea that a day like this will come. A girl comes to my parents' place asking me to shag her.”
“Yah! Don't tease me.” She swatted my chest. Her face tinged with pink blush. “I thought you're mad at me and going for another woman. I called Gary and Minho searching for you. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it was for me to call your mother asking if you are here?”
“I'm sorry.” I grinned at her. “I'll make it up to you, tonight.”
“Tonight?” Her eyebrows rose up as her foot enticingly rubbed against my leg. “Not right now?”
I groaned, feeling something stirred inside of me. I brought Jessica back to my chest, holding her tight while closing my eyes. I had read that at the second trimester, pregnant woman's drive increases significantly. It must be harder for her than for me to hold back all the need. Now it was up to me to give her what she deserved as safely as possible.
“Be patient, Jess.” I kissed the top of her head again. “You'll be greatly rewarded.”
“Can I take that as a promise?”
“Of course you can, baby. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
__ tbc __
Author's note : I hope you still enjoy this update despite the lack of drama/romance. Many beautiful things happen during pregnancy but I want to write a different side of it from the husband's POV. If you want a little fun, a bonus chapter is posted earlier HERE. You can find the password scatters all over this chapter. ;)
Thank you for reading.
Also, brace yourself because winter is coming. ^^