The next day, Taemin finally got Jooyeon to come out of her bed and change into fresher clothes to go to school. She had resisted intensely at first because she didn't want to go there to see Himchan. She wasn't ready.
But Taemin assured her that he would be there for her all the way. And it didn't help that he actually got her parents to convince her as well. It was an unbeatable trio.
And that was how she found herself, clutching her school bag till her knuckles turned white as she waited outside her house for Taemin to come fetch her to school. He had stayed over all weekend to care for her and to be honest, she was touched by how much he was willing to do for her.
If he wasn't there, Jooyeon didn't even want to imagine how she'd turn out. Not to mention him saving her from Himchan's clutches, but the fact that he would wipe the tears when they fell, that he would lend her his shoulder to cry on, that he would smile and assure that everything was alright...he was the very reason why she was still alive after this ordeal.
The shrill ringing of a bell woke Jooyeon from her thoughts and she saw Taemin smiling brightly, cycling towards her. Her eyes widened slightly, surprised. "Where's your car?" she blurted, blinking at the bicycle.
Taemin rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "I thought it'd be better for you to enjoy the fresh air and wind instead of being cooped up in my air-conditioned car." he muttered. He patted his skinny legs and grinned. "Don't underestimate these, they can speed faster than you think." he winked.
Jooyeon giggled lightly as she clambered onto the bicycle behind Taemin. He wrapped her arms around his waist and smiled when she let her hands stay instead of pulling away. "Ready to go?" he asked. Before he could answer, he pedalled away at full speed, grinning like an idiot.
And Jooyeon was thus completely convinced that those skinny legs of Taemin really had some sort of power gear in them as she shrieked her lungs out.
Jooyeon felt highly conscious of herself the whole day. She kept thinking that everyone else would know what happened to her, but the fact was that none did. They acted completely normal, and friendly to her. SHINee knew what happened and were careful around her, but other than that, everything was normal.
She didn't even see Himchan because it seemed he chose to avoid her way. Jooyeon slowly began to relax and smile a soft smile. Her first heart break wasn't that easy to get pass, but now that she saw things more clearly, it was easier to let go.
Perhaps all along the thing she felt for Himchan wasn't love at all. She just idolised him too much that she confused that for real affections.
Taemin made sure to be around Jooyeon at all times in case that bastard Himchan showed up at any time. He was rather like an eagle, as his eyes darted around alert at any small movements around them. Jooyeon grew used to his protectiveness and somewhat thrived in it. At least she felt safe with him around.
It wasn't until break that Taemin finally tore himself away from Jooyeon and suddenly disappeared. Jooyeon grew slightly uncomfortable without him at first, until another group of hot dongsaeng a came to brighten up her day.
"Noona!" Sehun called and came running over. Jooyeon smiled and was just prepared to give him a hug when he sped past her and went to Sunmi behind.
Jooyeon rolled her eyes slightly and smiled at the rest of the EXO-K members. "Hey guys. How are you guys doing?"
"Would be better if Sehun would just shut up about Sunmi." Baekhyun muttered.
Jooyeon smiled lightly. *Thank god for this then. I wouldn't want to know how he's going to react if he finds out that Himchan nearly me.* she shuddered.
All eyes turned to Kai at that moment. And his were focused on Jooyeon. "Himchan what?" he snapped, his voice loud and powerful.
Jooyeon's eyes widened and mentally smacked herself for forgetting that Kai could read minds. She just busted herself, in front of Sehun, EXO-K, in front of Sunmi.
"Uhm that isn't-" Jooyeon tried explaining. "It was just a random thought-"
Kai growled and stared at her fiercely, gripping her wrist. "Spill." he growled.
The EXO-K members were puzzled over Kai's behavior. Why was he suddenly so hostile towards Jooyeon?
"Hey Kai, I don't think you should be this rude to Jooyeon noona." Suho coaxed, his brows furrowed.
"You wouldn't be this calm if you read her mind about being by Himchan." Kai spat in angst.
Jooyeon closed her eyes in horror as the group gasped. "WHAT?"
Sehun immediately bounded towards his noona and shook her shoulders. "Noona! What happened!" He demanded. "Why don't I know anything about this?" he snapped, all cuteness dissipating from him.
Jooyeon sighed and reluctantly filled them the details. Kai's fists clenched tighter as the story progressed, and he was surprised to find that it was his hyung that saved the girl of his dreams. He could only thank his heritage for the gift of reading the future that was blessed on Taemin.
The EXO-K member's faces grew hard with anger and Sunmi's red and fuming. When Jooyeon finished, Sehun and Sunmi burst out at the same time. "This happened and you didn't think of telling me, Noona/Jooyeon?" both of them hollered in unison.
Jooyeon smiled weakly at them. "Hey you two are so in synch."
They ignored her comment as they paced in front of Jooyeon. "We have to do something about this." D.O. mumbled.
"This is serious bull." Chanyeol growled in that deep voice of his. "He drugged noona. Drugged! Wow i don't even want to imagine if Taemin hyung didn't turn up in time."
Kai closed his eyes momentarily as the possibility of that damage ran through his mind. "Let's kick some asses." he grounded out.
Jooyeon gasped in shock as the six members began striding away to look for BAP, despite being younger. She gripped at Sunmi in panic. "Stop them, Sunmi!" she shrieked.
Sunmi twisted away and have Jooyeon a soft look. "I would stand on your side for everything else but this one, Jooyeon. I'll have to go with Exo on this one." with that, she strutted off to follow Exo-k as they went to confront BAP.
What took them by surprise was that when they reached where BAP usually resided, another five handsome men were already there, having their showdown with BAP.
"Shinee?" Suho blurted in surprise as he looked Jooyeon. "I didn't know Noona was acquainted with hyungs!"
Jooyeon pinked. "Not that close anyway, we're just classmates." she clarified.
Sehun made a face. "That's what you think." he retorted. He smiled at the rest of EXO. "Noona here and Taemin hyung are great friends!"
Kai smiled. *Thats great! Taemin hyung and Jooyeon noona are friends which means he most probably won't have any thing against me and Jooyeon being together.*
Jooyeon frowned at the way the Exo members were casually calling SHINee hyung. She asked about it and Chanyeol offered an answer. "Of course we know them! They're the senior Jjang gang and we're the junior!" he exclaimed. His eyes darted over to Kai. "And of course not to mention Taemin is Kai's-"
All attention whipped to the middle of the room where Taemin had just delivered a hard punch on Himchan's jaw and sending him crashing to the ground. Jooyeon gasped. Not for Himchan. But for that tiny gash on Taemin's arm.
"I get it. I shouldn't have fooled with miss Goody Two shoes!" Himchan retorted.
"She. Has. A. Name." Taemin growled. "Her name is Oh Jooyeon. Have you even remembered her name after all this time with her?"
The Exo members were surprised to see Taemin in a rage. This was new indeed, maybe except to Baekhyun who had already seen Taemin blow his top at the farm during the -pool incident.
The rest of the BAP members tried to get to where Himchan was but the SHINee members held them back. "Back off!" Minho warned as Jongup tried to take a step nearer.
"Get this clear." Taemin muttered. "Don't go close to Oh Jooyeon or I'll make sure you pay. Thrice."
He finally backed off and closed his eyes momentarily to clear his head of the anger. When he opened his eyes, he found Jooyeon staring at him with eyes full of gratitude, disbelief and appreciation.
He smiled back softly, seeing no one else in the entire room but her. *Ill protect you, Yeon. * he promised himself.
Which was partly the reason why he didn't notice his brother Kai just standing inches away from his soulmate. And there goes the chance of knowing how his brother actually felt for the one girl he was waiting for.
"You horrible evil man!"
Sehun's eyes widened as the slap resonated throughout the room. He gaped at Sunmi as she panted, glaring hard at Daehyun.
"I'll never forgive you Jung Daehyun!" she wagged a finger at him warningly. "You're terrible for just standing there while your friend tried to take advantage of my friend! From this day onwards, Kim Sunmi's heart no longer belongs to you!" she humphed and stormed off.
Sehun's eyes were wide as saucers. "Woahh..."
"Close it." Baekhyun muttered, pushing Sehun's jaw up.
"Totally my girl." Sehun muttered as he ran to catch up with Sunmi. "WAIT UP SUNMI NOONA!!"