Promptly at noon, Jungah received a call. She looked at the time and raised an eyebrow. *What do you know? The bean pole actually came right on time.* Jungah pressed SEND and put the phone to her ear.
“I came right on the dot like you wanted me to. Come down if you’re ready.” Kris said.
Jungah hung up without a reply. She grabbed her bag, checked to make sure the stove wasn’t on, and went downstairs.
Kris was leaning against his sportscar, looking like a supermodel. He pushed himself off when he saw her. “I actually arrived at 11:50, but since you wanted me to come on the dot, I waited ten minutes.” Kris swung open the door.
Jungah raised an eyebrow with a dry expression, “Am I supposed to be impressed? Should I give you a round of applause?”
“It would be nice.” He shrugged. “No.” She went into the car.
*She’s not in a good mood today. But then, when is she ever in a good mood?* Smirking, Kris shut the car door and walked around to the other side. “Seatbelt.” Kris said. Jungah clipped it on and crossed her arms. She looked at her watch, “Let’s hurry up. I need to leave your house by 5 p.m.”
“Fine with me.” Kris sped off into the highway.
It was quiet and slightly awkward in the car. Finally, he a random radio station on. Jungah glanced at her phone. There was no message from Zico. Yet. She tapped her fingers against her purse in anxiousness. She had never been to anyone else’s house before. On top of that, she was desperately hoping Zico wouldn’t cancel their dinner plans for the second week.
Finally, Kris stopped the car. “We’re here.”
Jungah unclasped her seatbelt and got out of the car. She looked up and halted. Her eyes bulged out. *He’s living in a freaking palace!* In front of her was a tall, gigantic, and pristine silver condo building.
Kris locked his car and nodded, “What are you doing? Let’s go.”
*To your palace? What the hell is this ?* Still stunned, Jungah followed him to the entrance.
Kris keyed in a code, and the glass doors slid open. Jungah looked around in bafflement then followed him to the elevators. Kris pressed the number eleven, and the doors slid close. Jungah looked around, still beyond bewildered. *Are we really going to his house, or is he just messing with me?*
The doors slid open, and Kris stepped out. Uncertainly, Jungah followed him. Kris stopped in front of a black apartment door with the number 1107 engraved on it. His long fingers quickly pressed in several numbers. Instantly, the door clicked open. Kris pushed open the door. Jungah remained outside. She was unsure of what to do. “Where are we?” Jungah suspiciously asked.
Kris blinked at her, “Didn’t I tell you? My house.”
Her eyes widened, “T-this is YOUR house?!”
He nodded and opened the door wider. “Come in.”
After some hesitation, Jungah entered the spacey condo. Her eyes widened at the luxurious interior design. Everything was red, white, or black.
Jungah couldn’t stop staring. *Who the freak lives in such a house AND goes to BS High?!*
Kris slipped his jacket off and hung it on the coat rack.
Jungah spun around and faced him. “Do you live alone?” He nodded.
“So…all this is yours?” She waved her arms around. Kris nodded again.
Jungah gawped at him, “How did you afford such a wealthy home?”
*I bought it with the dirty cash that I receive after selling illegal drugs to mafias, drug dealers, local muscles, and innocent high school kids.* “How else? My parents.” Kris smoothly replied.
“Your parents?” Jungah asked, dumbfounded.
Kris shrugged, “How else would I afford this when I’m only in high school? Do you want something to drink?” He went into the kitchen.
Jungah glanced around then followed him into the sparkling kitchen. Kris opened his fridge. Jungah caught a glimpse of what was inside and raised an eyebrow, “Beer? Wine? Really?”
“Parents.” Kris handed her a can of soda.
Jungah accepted it without a ‘thank you’. She opened the soda can and took a sip. “What do your parents do anyways? They must be filthy rich to get you such a house.”
“Business. Something to do with design. I don’t know the details much.” Kris fabricated.
“Figures.” Jungah glanced around again and took another sip of the cold drink.
“Did you bring a laptop?” Kris asked. “Was I supposed to?” Jungah asked.
Kris arched an eyebrow, “Did you bring anything?” “I brought myself. Isn’t that enough?” Jungah shot back.
Kris tilted his chin upwards with an amused smirk, “Did you want to do the project or not?”
“Good question. No, I didn’t. But someone threatened me, so I had no choice.” Jungah crossed her arms.
“I never forced you to come. You could flunk for all I care.” Kris shrugged.
Jungah scowled, “Can we just start?”
“Can’t wait to leave?” Kris asked. “I hope I made it obvious enough.” Jungah hopped off the high stool and walked into the living room. Kris grabbed his soda and followed her.
“Where are we doing the project?” She asked. “I only have three choices. Kitchen, living room, or my bedroom. Where will it be?” He asked with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes.
Jungah narrowed her eyes, “Keep your tainted thoughts to yourself.” “I didn’t say anything.” Kris innocently shrugged.
“But you were thinking it. Keep it discreet, will you?” Jungah sat on the black couch, “We can do it here.”
“Whatever you want, your majesty.” Kris rolled his eyes as he went to get his laptop. Jungah almost chucked the cushions at him but tried to control her temper as much as possible. Her phone beeped, and for a moment, she was distracted. ‘My gang is going out to eat tonight.’ – Zico. Her shoulders deflated. *Bailing again?!* Another message came instantly. ‘But I won’t be joining them, so it’ll be just you and me tonight Jungie Jungie~ : )’ Her heart immediately elated. *Dinner with Zico only?! Heck yes!* She began to text back with her nimble fingers.
Kris went into his room. *What kind of a student doesn’t bring any materials for the project? She’s the high school student, not me.* He sighed and shook his head. Three laptops were sitting on his desk. One was for leisure, and two were for work, but only one of them was exclusively for the drug trade. Kris grabbed two laptops and took them back out to the living room. As soon as he came out, Jungah smoothly shut her phone. Kris set the laptops on the marble coffee table and cocked a suspicious eyebrow at her.
“Who were you secretly texting?”
“God, so that he can get my out of here as soon as possible.” She snapped. He rolled his eyes with a snort.
Jungah stared at the laptops, “You have two laptops?” “So?” Kris sat next to her.
Jungah shook her head, “You really don’t belong in BS High.” She sank down onto the floor. Jungah opened up the laptop and pressed the ON button. The screen sprang to life; however, it required a password. Kris quickly typed it in, and the monitor flashed blue. “Wow. Is a password really necessary? What? Do you have your secret stash of in here?” Jungah scoffed.
Kris rolled his eyes but froze. On the screen was a file named ‘Ingredients for E-lixir’. *. How was I that clumsy enough to put that file on the main desktop screen?!* At that precise moment, her eyes shifted to that particular file. Kris swiftly snatched the laptop away.
“What the hell?” Jungah stared at him in bafflement.
“Sorry. Can’t let you see my ‘stash of ’.” Kris pushed the leisure laptop towards her, “You can use that one.”
“God.” Jungah rolled her eyes and opened it up.
“You know what our topic is, right?” Kris asked.
Jungah typed something into the search bar and blinked up at him. He bent down and took a look. ‘SHUT THE HELL UP.’ Kris shot her a look, and she innocently blinked back. “Close, but not quite.” Kris deleted the words, “You look for the cause and effect of the Korean War, and I’ll look for the timeline.”
“Whatever.” Jungah speedily typed.
“Don’t you know anything about this war? After all, this is your country. Not mine.” Kris said, entertained.
“Don’t give a . The past doesn’t matter to me. As long as it doesn’t with me in the present, I don’t know why I should pay heed to it.” Jungah sipped her soda.
*I should’ve guessed.* Kris smirked. He moved the file on the desktop to a separate, locked folder and sighed in relief. At that moment, Jungah’s phone lit up with a new text message. Kris’s eyes shifted to the name. Woo Jiho. *Who is that?* He couldn’t help but wonder. As fast as he had snatched his laptop away, Jungah had taken her phone. ‘I can’t wait either. ;) See you soon~’ Her lips curved into a smile.
Kris was taken aback. *Wait. Is this girl voluntarily smiling?!* Jungah placed her phone back on the table and sighed in content. She felt eyes boring into the back of her skull and blinked up at him, “Wae? Problem?”
*I don’t understand girls. Nonetheless, highschool girls. Especially you, Han Jungah.* Shaking his head, Kris began to research. *Whatever.* Jungah shrugged.
They worked in silence for hours.
At 3 p.m., she stopped typing and stretched. Kris minimized his screen. He hadn’t really been working on the school project, but his own ‘project’. Kris glanced at the time. *It’s past lunch.* “Are you hungry?” Jungah glanced at her watch. *I am, but I’ll be eating with Zico in a few hours. I don’t want to spoil our dinner…* “I’ll order something.” Kris got up. “Unless you know how to cook?”
Jungah snorted, “I don’t, and even if I did, hell would freeze over before I cooked for you.”
“I wasn’t even expecting it.” Kris went into the kitchen and searched through the drawers. He looked through the meaningless fliers that had been taped on his car a few times. Finally, Kris found a pizza place and called. Half an hour later, the Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza had arrived. Kris paid and brought the pizza to the table. “Here.” Jungah held out several, crisp green bills.
“I already paid.” Kris said. “I know, genius. I’m paying you back. I didn’t even bring anything for the project. The least I can do is pay for the food.” Jungah slapped the money into his palm before he could protest. She looked around, “I need to wash my hands. Where is your bathroom?” He pointed, “Turn left, and it will be on your right.” She walked off and entered the bathroom.
“Whoa.” Dazed, Jungah stepped back and blinked. It seemed like she had entered a magazine shoot for the world’s most deluxe bathrooms. *Rich bastard.* With a shake of her head, she shut the door behind her and the faucet.
Kris brought the plates and set them on the table. He caught sight of Jungah’s phone. The way she had mysteriously acted, and even smiled, made him curious. Kris glanced at the bathroom door to make sure Jungah wasn’t coming out. Then he took her phone and turned it on. Kris touched the phone and slid the front cover to the side.
Instantly, an unrecognizable male appeared on her wallpaper.
He seemed to be around Kris’s age. He was tall and unique-looking with brown hair and thick lips.
*Who is this man? Boyfriend? Model? Friend? Lover? Brother?*
His keen ears detected the faint click of the door.
Kris smoothly placed the phone back down and straightened up.
Jungah came back with clean hands. She blinked at him, “What?”
*Who is that male on your phone? What is your relationship with him? Are you close to him? Do you love him? Does he love you?* Kris looked away, “…Nothing.”
Jungah shrugged and sat down. She took a slice of pizza and began to chew on it. Jungah glanced at the time. *Only two more hours until I’m with Zico again.*
After lunch, they began on the project again. However, it wasn’t long until the history of the Korean War bore Jungah. Kris stopped calculating the profit from last month’s drug trade with the Philippines and looked up at her. Her head kept on nodding forward. *What the hell is she nodding along to…?* Kris leaned forward.
Jungah’s eyes had fallen shut. She was asleep.
Kris softened. *You’re such a foolish girl. How can you fall asleep at a gang member’s house? Even if you don’t know that fact, how can you sleep at a man’s house? Don’t you see me by your side? I am a man, Han Jungah. A man who has never had a female step foot, nevertheless, sleep at his house before.* Quietly, he set his laptop on the table.
Kris got up lithely, leaned forward, and shut the other laptop. He turned his head towards Jungah, who was deeply asleep. Nothing could wake her up at the moment. Kris bent down, slipped his arms underneath her soft, weightless body, and lifted her up bridal style. Very carefully, so as not to wake her up, Kris lay her on the couch and slipped one of the couches underneath her head. Jungah shifted a bit, but otherwise, did not wake up. Kris went into his room, grabbed a blanket from the closet, and came back to the living room. He tucked the warm blanket over her, and his eyes automatically drifted over her face.
His eyes committed each and every one of her facial features to his exceptional memory.
Pink lips. Almond-shaped eyes. Oval face shape. Long, dark eyelashes.
There was no scowl or a vacant look on her face but only a peaceful expression.
Kris was captivated by everything about her. He had never seen a girl so fiery beautiful. She stood out to him in a mass of people, and he made her heart quiver. She literally took his breath away. His expression softened as he reached out and caressed her tender cheek. *I could have any girl if I want to. No one had caught my eye…until now. I don’t know what it is about you, Han Jungah. But I’m dangerously drawn to you like a firefly is to a bright lamp. No matter how much I try to ignore you, I can’t. I know it’s not right for me to take interest in you this way, but I can’t help it. It’s the first time I feel so…attracted to someone. I don’t know if it’s your attitude, or your beauty, or your personality. But there’s something about you that I just can’t let go. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. My purpose for coming to Korea was completely something else. I didn’t even want to come here in the first place. I didn’t plan on meeting such a feisty, dazzling girl who wasn’t scared to challenge me. Now that I met you, I’m getting confused. I don’t know what my reason for staying in Korea is anymore. My business? My money? My reputation? Or…for something much more meaningful?*
Kris tilted his head as he deeply gazed at her. His fingertips grazed across her cheeks, down her nose, and stopped at her lips. His heart beat rapidly, and his gaze shifted to her closed eyes in dreadful excitement. *Don’t tell me. My first love is going to be you, Han Jungah. Out of all the female population, why did my heart have to choose you? A hot-tempered girl with a nasty attitude with no social manners at all?*
Yet, a wide, genuine smile appeared on his lips as his eyes twinkled in delight and adoration.
Kris took the bills that Jungah had given him earlier for the pizza out of his back pocket. He slipped it into her bag and gazed at her. *That’s my pay for making you come all the way here just to figure out that you might be the girl I’m in love with. Damn. I’m in for some hell of a romance.* With a sigh, he got up, grabbed the laptop that Jungah had been working on, and finished the history project for her.
Kris glanced at her one more time and half-smiled. *I must be head over heels for you if I’m stopping my drug trade business to do a worthless high school project for you that means nothing for me.*