If anyone noticed Yunho and Jaejoong barely talking when the rest came down for breakfast, no one made mention of it. Even when the former excused himself right after eating without even a pat on his buddy’s back, Cassie only accepted the peck he gave on her temple and told him to take care. With him gone and only the maknaes around, the atmosphere lightened immensely.
Cassie, however, was worried. It never felt good when quarrels happen between them. Even before, she felt she had the mother hen role over these five rowdy boys and until now the protectiveness is present. What could have they possibly fought over now?
When Junsu and Changmin finally were able to take a newly-woken Jaehwan to the gardens, and Jaejoong went up to prepare for work, Cassie followed. She lay his clothes on the bed and wiled her time reading the book he had left on the bedside table in waiting for him.
As soon as the door opened, she looked up, only to quickly return to the text when he emerged with only a towel draped across his waist. Though it was a momentary glance, she had seen the wetness that matted his chest – droplets of water that went from his neck and downwards, tracing a sinful path until they dried out on the material of the towel.
Suddenly, it felt wrong to be in there. Discreetly, Cassie fanned herself and slowly blew air out.
Her reaction was not lost on him who smirked knowingly, proceeding across the room and onto the table by her. He did not seem to be in a hurry to retrieve his cuff links from the drawer and even leant on it, humming.
“Enjoying yourself?” He asked, immensely satisfied with the slight jump he had elicited, along with a quite visible blush on her cheeks.
“What?” She was again treated to a view of his chest, now even more accentuated by the sunlight that passed through the room. When she trailed her eyes upward and met his amused eyes, Cassie blinked and forced herself to look elsewhere.
“The book, Cassie. I meant the book.”
It suddenly felt hot. Very hot. She cleared her throat and nodded, forcing herself not to stammer.
“Y-yeah, looks interesting. Maybe I’ll read it later.. or s-sometime.”
“Tell me what you think about it,” he nodded, still watching her. “Tonight.”
Good heavens, she didn’t know which was more wrong – the way he used the word with that tone or the way her mind worked in reaction to it. This was not what she had planned upon coming up.
“Yeah. Sure.” She made quick work of laying the book down, swinging her feet to the floor only to find him blocking her path. “Excuse me, I’ll go check on Jaehwan.”
“He’s fine downstairs with Changmin and Junsu,” he leaned down, trapping her on the bed when both hands were planted on either side of her. “What is it, Cassie? If you waited for me to finish my bath, surely there was something you wanted to ask.” Not yet satisfied with teasing, he came closer, forcing her head to tilt upwards. "Too bad you didn't seem to be in a hurry, or I could have offered you to join me in there."
“I.. I just wanted to ask,” she had so suddenly felt conscious of his gaze, unable to stop from wetting her suddenly-dry lips. “Why was Chunnie not around..?”
“Mm,” he read from her lips more than heard the question. There was something incredibly sensual with the way her tongue darted out and left a sheen of moisture on her skin. It made him want to wipe at it with his own lips. Damn, but his thoughts were going the dangerous way. Any further provocation and he'd give in. Straightening up, he cleared his throat and focused on the question. “He’s with Sophie at a ski resort. Another wedding she had to manage. Since it was his free time, he went with her.”
“Oh,” she nodded, keeping her place and watching as he moved around the room. Several times, her cheek reddened at his boldness. The man literally undressed and dressed in front of her. When he turned sideways and held onto the towel, ready to flick it away, Cassie went back to looking gravely immersed in the novel. Her embarrassment though was not hidden in the high blush that graced her cheeks, nor at the smug expression on her husband’s face.
After a seemingly interminable length of pleasu—I mean, torture, Jae was down to buttoning his shirt and slipping the tie around his neck. From where she was seated, Cassie made out the difficulty he was having. If she was to be asked, he looked way better without it. Especially with two buttons undone and part of his chest exposed. Not that she was going to say so but it made him look powerful, dominating and very, I mean very, visually appealing.
Goodness, he was a walking sin.
“Uh, can you help me here a bit?”
She stood on the space between him and the table, taking hold of both sides of the tie and quietly starting the knot. He watched as she went about it, eyes trailing over her features and denying himself from stepping one bit closer. Damn, but she smelled wonderful. The scent was characteristic of Cassie – subtle, soft, sweet and very much lingering. He knew he was putting himself on dangerous ground again so he did the next best distracting thing – small talk.
“I never got around to getting it done, you know,” he cleared his throat, for the first time noting the drapery designs in their room. “The tie.. tying, I mean.”
She smiled, slipping the end of the tie in the loop.
“It gets confusing, especially when you’re in a hurry.” She proceeded to tell him how, quickly untying the loop so that he could see how she did it again. “It doesn’t have to be a big loop, just enough to slide the end in and pull it out, basically – ”
“Cassie.” Midway through her instruction, Jae placed a hand over hers, stepping forward and pressing her back against the wood. She gasped softly, apprehensive eyes turning up to him. Close was close. She could feel his breath on her cheek, his fingers moving across her back, sealing any distance that could have existed between them earlier. Instinctively, her palms pressed on his chest.
“Maybe I lied a bit, baby,” he whispered, coming in closer, his eyes focused on nothing but those parted lips of hers. “Maybe I knew all along how to do the knot.”
“Well,” he shrugged. “How else can I get you this close?”
Her eyes were on her when she looked up. In that one single moment, she saw him unguarded and maybe even barely in control. The look he gave her was hot; suddenly she was all too aware of the warmth on the pit of her stomach. Was he going to kiss her? Cassie found herself beginning to pray that he hurry up and get on with it, otherwise she’s going to humiliate herself and start breathing weirdly.
And that won’t look good for any of them.
“I.. I came to ask what..” oh god, did he just grazed his lips on her chin? “What happened between you and Yunho earlier? You weren’t talking at breakfast..”
Jae only hummed and kissed her neck.
“I don’t think you realize the torture you’re placing me in, wife.”
Oh, she knew all right.
“Jae..” she pushed a bit at his chest, biting at her lip when he kissed her right by the ear.
Cassie heard him groan, and then he had his head on the crook of her neck. Jae was hugging her.
“Damn.” He sighed, his breath tickling her. “And if I tell you, do I get a reward?”
“Maybe an apple or a kiss on the cheek?”
Her deliberate teasing earned a laugh. He rubbed her hip affectionately and she smiled.
“Yunho.. well, were having a disagreement over..” He shook his head. “He had the gall to tell me I was being stupid and I didn’t even know what he was talking about. Something that has to do with you, me, Jaehwan and this marriage.”
“What did you say?”
“I told him we’re perfectly fine. With Marnado gone, what’s there to worry about this time? Our son’s home, we’re doing well. No worries.” When she did not respond, he pulled back to look at her. “There is nothing wrong, right Cassie?”
Just like that he broke the magic again. She pushed and stepped sideways from him.
“What did he ask?”
“He told me I’m missing something. When I tried for an answer he looked like he was going to strangle me.”
“At least he knew,” she whispered, walking towards the end of the bed.
“Knew what? For goodness’ sake, am I the only one kept in the dark here?” He let his frustration show this time. “First it was Butler Ayi then Yunho. Maybe the next person going all mysterious on me would be my secretary. What’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” she shook her head.
“I haven’t been asking you because that time at the ranch, I felt you weren’t ready. But I don’t know what’s happening now. You went cold, you drank yourself unconscious and still you kept away, I can’t even touch you without sensing you don’t want me near.” He kneeled, holding her by the arms. “I’m your husband, Cassie, talk to me.”
“Don’t,” she was crying now, head shaking more pronouncedly. “Don’t use that. If you call yourself my husband then," she closed her eyes, whispering, "start being like one.”
“What are you talking about? I’m here, I am your husband. What more – ?”
“I don’t want a title! I could be Ms. or Mrs. Kim for all I care, that’s not what I need!” She reached out and held his cheek. It puzzled him that there was desperation in her eyes. “Jae, I want to know how long do you intend to stay?”
“Have you figured it out? I tried to stop puzzling you the past few days, just so I can help clear your mind. So you can get answers easily. You asked me to let you stay until then..”
“Are you saying you want me to go?”
His question was soft, and when it was out it left a chill in the air – a feel of sadness, of throbbing pain. They were silent, gauging each other’s emotions with a single look.
“Do you want to?”
“If you asked me, I will.”
She shook her head, smiling softly. Her thumb stroked his cheek. To Jae, it felt painful. Like it was something he’s going to lose. Fleeting. Like a goodbye.
“I need you to decide, Jae. I can’t answer that for you.”
In a surge of impulse, she kissed him. It was long, slow and to both of them heartbreaking. Cassie broke away just as he started to respond, mustering up all strength to give him a convincing smile.
"Take care at work."
She spoke no more. Slowly, her hand fell from his cheek and she walked away.
I miss everyone. ;A;
I'm sorry I haven't been leaving author's notes in my two previous updates. Now, I have the time to type some love and so here, receive it all! *showers you with hugs and kisses and smooches and everything else suffocatingly sweet* :PP
957 subscribers, a whole lot of new readers, wall posts, messages, friend requests too! I feel so loved. Thank you everyone. Really really and sincerely. I know I have not been that much active with updating JOMT but when I come back, the comments are pouring and I get to know others who have still been in hiding until then, keke. What more can I ask for?
A little JaeSie action perhaps but that can wait, right? *wink wink*
Thank you! I love you all! I hope I can write another chapter until tomorrow so I can post on the weekend. Until then, please enjoy the recent chapter. I'll see you all soon, okay? :)
You are all so sweet, thank you very much! Have a great day! :D
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