Jungah stared at the brand new ipad in her hands. Slowly, she lifted her head up to meet eyes with the person who had bought her this. “Zico…”
“Why didn’t you tell your laptop was dying?” Lightly, he flicked her forehead, “Babo.”
“Where…where did you get the money for this?” Jungah asked, dumbfounded.
“You know what I do.” Zico softly murmured.
Jungah shook her head. *Of course. Drugs. What else?*
“I got a bonus this month, so I decided to get this for you.” He shrugged as if it was no big deal. She pushed the ipad back into his arms, “Take it back. I don’t need one.”
Zico put it back in her hands, “Yeah, you do. You’re going to college soon. You need something like this to take notes and get good grades in school.”
“Think of it as an early graduation present.” He said.
Jungah glanced at the ipad then up at him. “Please Jungie Jungie. Accept it.” Zico pleaded.
She gave in with a sigh, “Fine.” He smiled, “Thanks.” “Hey, that’s my line.” She lightly poked his side, and he laughed like Pillsbury Doughboy. “That tickles!”
Jungah gave him a funny look then chuckled. Her laughter faded, and she glanced at her phone. *Kris should be coming soon…* Without thinking, Jungah placed her fingertips on her lips and lightly bit onto her nail.
Zico realized at once that she was nervous about something. “What’s wrong, Jungah? You look so uneasy. Is something wrong?”
“Huh? Oh, no, it’s nothing.” Jungah shook her head, “It’s just…” Her shoulders slumped, and she mumbled, “Kris is coming.”
Zico’s face fell. “Right now?” Jungah slowly nodded.
“I didn’t know you were dropping by…” She glanced at the phone again. *She was waiting for him. Not me.* Zico got up.
Jungah blinked at him in surprise, “Are you leaving?”
“Yeah, I should go. I’m sorry. I didn’t know you had plans. Of course, you did. I mean, look at you. You look so cute.” Zico lightly ruffled her head. He headed towards the door.
Jungah panicked at the last second. She ran after him and grabbed his arm, “Zico, wait-“ He turned around. She took a deep breath and blurted, “Don’t go.”
“What?” Zico whispered in disbelief.
“You can join us.” Jungah finished. His eyes dimmed, “Join you?”
She nodded and rambled off uselessly, “We probably won’t do much except eat dinner and finish the ice cream he bought earlier. You came all the way here, so you should come with us-“
“Jungah, I can’t-“
“If that’s too uncomfortable, I can cancel plans with Kris-“
“Jungah.” Zico put his hands on her shoulders to stop her. She lifted her gaze to him.
“You can’t cancel on him. He made plans with you first. Do you really want to let him down now?” He asked.
*No.* Jungah dropped her gaze to the floor. She was officially stuck between her former lover and her current one. She didn’t want to disappoint either one. *Damn. Love IS hard.*
“Don’t worry about me. Kyung is actually going to come to my place later. And I don’t want to cancel on him. Do you know how big of a tantrum he’ll throw?” Zico faked a shudder. “I don’t even want to imagine it.”
Jungah felt grateful for his attempt to ease her guilt. “Thanks, Zico.” He smiled with a nod. “I’ll still see you for dinner tomorrow night, though, right?” She asked. “You know it.” Zico held out his fist. Jungah lightly bumped it with her own fist. “Later. Have fun with Wu Fan.” He saluted and left. She watched him enter the elevator and sighed heavily. *Why do I still feel guilty?*
Jungah heard her phone ring and went back inside. “Hello.” She answered. “I’m here.” Kris said.
“I’ll be down.” Jungah hung up. She tucked her brand new ipad away in a safe place. Then she grabbed her phone, tub of uneaten ice cream, and keys and left her apartment.
Kris smirked at his phone with a shake of his head. *She never says goodbye before she hangs up. Bad habit.*
He drummed his long fingers on his steering wheel and waited patiently for her.
A figure popped out of the building. Kris sat up straight in hopes that it was Jungah. However, it was a tall male whose face was familiar.
Kris furrowed his eyebrows. *Wait…isn’t that Zico?*
The male disappeared into his black car and sped off into the night.
A minute later, Jungah appeared by the car. She tapped on the door, and he unlocked it. Jungah came inside with the tub of ice cream. “Tell me again why we bought such a huge size? We both won’t finish it.” She grumbled as she placed it in the back. Jungah looked at Kris who was spacing out into the darkness. “Kris? Hello?” She waved her hand in front of his face. He blinked and turned his gaze to her.
“Aren’t we going?” Jungah nodded to the backseat, “The ice cream is going to melt.”
“Oh. Yeah.” Kris turned the key and the engine came to life. He drove out of the parking lot and towards his house.
Kris glanced at Jungah, “I thought I saw Zico coming out of your place.”
“You didn’t think. You did see him.” She corrected.
“He was at your apartment?” Kris furrowed his eyebrows.
“Yeah. He gave me an early ‘graduation gift’.” Jungah shook her head.
“What did he give you?” He questioned in interest. “…An ipad.” She answered.
His eyes widened. Ipads weren’t cheap. Kris turned his eyes back to the road, but his attention was diverted to Jungah. “I’ve been meaning to ask you. What business does Zico exactly in?” Her body became rigid. She stared staright ahead, hoping he would forget the question if she didn’t act like she had heard him. “Jungah?” Kris glanced at her once more. “Did you hear my question?”
“Yeah.” Jungah sighed. “I heard you.”
“So what does he do in business?” He asked again.
*Drugs. Bad, illegal drugs that harms people and makes them crazy.* “I don’t know. I don’t really pay attention.” Jungah mumbled. Kris gave her a puzzled look. *But isn’t he the guy that you once loved? I thought you would know everything about him…* He cocked his head to the side once then shook his head to wave the senseless questions away.
Ten minutes later, they arrived at his grand condo. Kris opened the door, and Jungah entered. He the lights, and she saw the beer cans all around the room. Jungah raised an eyebrow, “I see you had a little reunion party…” “Put this in the freezer. I’ll throw the cans away.” Kris held out the tub of ice cream.
Jungah took it and went into the kitchen. Kris tossed the cans away and tidied everything up. He went into the kitchen to find Jungah staring into the freezer. He appeared behind her and peered in there as well. Jungah stretched her neck backwards and blinked up at him. Kris gazed down at her, and his eyes swept over her big eyes, sharp cheekbones, and small, kissably lips. He lowered his head to kiss her, but she swept her head back into proper position and slammed the door of the refrigerator shut.
“There’s nothing to eat.” Jungah walked away.
Kris rested his shoulder on the refrigerator, “There is. We just have to cook it.”
“We?” Jungah crossed her arms, “Unless you want me to burn down your multi-billion kitchen, I suggest you leave me out.”
“It’s okay. I can always replace it.” Kris walked towards her. He rested his hands on the counter on either side of her. Jungah gave him a suspicious look. “I love girls that can cook.” He murmured as his gaze flickered to her lips.
She pushed his forehead away, “And I like guys that know how to respect a woman’s personal space.”
“So you won’t cook?” Kris asked.
“Will you?” Jungah challenged.
Kris placed his hands back to his sides with a sigh, “I’ll call for pizza.”
Jungah smirked in victory. *That’s what I thought.*
The pizza came, and they ate in the kitchen. After pizza, they shared ice cream. Both were too lazy to scoop out the ice cream onto separate plates, so they just ate straight out from the bucket. “This is so freaking big. I don’t know what you were thinking when you bought this.” Jungah dug another scoop onto her spoon. “I was thinking of how much I loved you.” Kris said fondly.
Jungah didn’t even look up at him as she her spoon, “Sorry. Those cheesy words don’t do to me. Nice try. Maybe next time.”
Kris saw a dot of ice cream on her upper lip. He smirked. That was enough to convince Jungah.
Kris stood up and leaned over the table. Before she could comprehend his action, his lips pressed onto hers. He her upper lip, off the cream, and nibbled on her bottom lip. Jungah’s spoon clattered onto the ground. Slowly, Kris pulled back and gazed at her. “Do cheesy actions ‘do ’ for you, too?”
Jungah dropped her gaze to the floor. She pushed her chair back and shot up. “I’m out.” Jungah quickly walked out of the kitchen. *My ing face is burning. I have to leave before I have a heart attack. I do not want to wake up to a satisfied smirk on his face.*
Kris grasped her wrist, “You’re leaving so soon?”
“What do you mean so soon? It’s almost 10.” Jungah pointed out.
“We didn’t even watch a movie yet.” Kris pointed to his TV.
“Movie?” She raised an eyebrow. He nodded, “I recorded it last night because I thought we could watch it together.”
Jungah paused to think. Then she asked, “It’s not some sappy romance , is it?” He chuckled, “No. It’s action.” Jungah relaxed. “Okay then…I guess I can stay a little while.” She walked over to the couch. Kris dimmed the lights. Jungah sat with her legs crossed. She grabbed a cushion and hugged it to her chest. Kris turned the movie on then sat next to her. The credits rolled by, and the movie officially began.
Kris slipped his arm behind her back and around her waist. He leaned down towards her neck and breathed in her sweet lily and coconut fragrance. Kris kissed her jawline then nibbled lightly on her earlobe.
Suddenly, Jungah whipped her head around and eyed him with grave eyes, “Do you know who I find the most annoying in movie theaters?”
Kris blinked at her at the random question, “Who…?”
“The people that don’t watch the movie but exchange salivas instead. The theater is a place to watch movies, damn it. It’s not a motel where you can do whatever the hell you want.” Jungah snapped. *Oh.* His eyes glistened knowingly, “And your point is…?”
“I’m the type that wants to focus on the movie. So while we’re watching this, keep your tongue to yourself, all right?” Jungah shot him a look then faced the television with her arms crossed.
Kris couldn’t help but feel pride and giddiness for her straightforward attitude. He leaned back in the seat, “All right…but at least let me hold you.” Jungah shifted her gaze to him. Kris lightly shrugged, “That’s okay, right?” He held out a palm in mock seriousness, “I swear I won’t use my tongue on you.”
Jungah rolled her eyes, but scooted back, “Fine.” She shifed closer to him and pulled her knees into her chest. Her head rested on his shoulder, and he tightened his grasp around her waist. Kris brought the coffee table closer so that they could rest their legs on it.
Jungah began to relax. It felt warm and comforting to be by his side. She felt his thumb make soothing circles on her waist. His presence was a sedative drug to her. She felt calm, peaceful, and secure. “I’m not really the cuddly type.” Jungah mumbled.
“I wouldn’t say that. Have you ever cuddled yourself?” Kris chuckled lowly. He slipped his hand over her right arm and rested his cheek on her head. “You’re so warm.” Kris mumbled.
Jungah looked down to see his fingers lacing through hers. *Now I am.* She thought.
In silence, they watched the movie. There was a scene where the cops found a basement full of drugs. The protagonists and antagonists began a brutal fight with guns and knives. Jungah immediately thought of Zico. *Is his world really like that? Does he use weapons? Does he kill people?* The thought of gentle, cheerful Zico murdering someone made her stomach clench. *Impossible.* She shook her head.
Kris felt her head moving, and he glanced down at her. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I was just thinking…” Jungah paused then spoke her mind, “Do you think drug trades are really like that?”
Kris became rigid by her side. He stared at her. *Is she really asking me because she’s curious…or because she’s onto me?* Her expression remained neutral and plain. Kris was afraid she would explode on him with accusations. “Why…are you asking me this?” He whispered.
Jungah shrugged, “I’m just curious. It looks like they exaggerate everything for the big screen, but I’m wondering if this is what really drug trades are like.” *So she doesn’t know about me yet.* Kris sighed in relief. He looked back to the screen and studied the violent scene. *It is exaggerated. It isn’t always like that. But when it is…it’s worse.* “Don’t mind it. It’s just a movie.” Kris assured.
“Yeah…just a movie…” *A movie of reality.* Jungah thought.
When that scene was over, Kris turned to her, “Jungah…I have a question.” “What is it?” “…What if I’m not who you think I am?” He whispered. She stopped watching the movie and slowly looked up at him with questioning eyes. “What do you mean?” “What if everything you thought I was turned out to be…a lie?” Kris dreadfully asked.
Jungah stared at him for a long time. Her eyes turned into narrow slits. Then she finally asked, “Are you…gay?”
Kris stared at her in bafflement. *I tell her my identity is a lie, and the first thing she suspects is that I’m a homoual?* He shook his head, “No. It’s not that-“
“Then I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jungah faced forward with a light shrug,” You’re Kris, aren’t you? That’s all I need to know.” He gazed at her with sadness. His shoulders felt heavy. This secret was starting to become burdensome. *But you don’t know who Kris really is. I’m someone who you despise. I deal with drugs. All the dirty money I have comes from doing that. I’m scared to tell you. I don’t want you to leave me. My greatest happiness is you. I don’t want to go back into a world of total darkness. I can’t live without my light anymore.* He d the back of her head. Jungah turned her head and gave him a quizzical look.
Kris gave her a tiny, soft smile. Her expression turned tender, and she leaned back into his side. He slipped his around her and rubbed her arm in comfort.
A few minutes later, he heard Jungah’s even breathing. He looked down to check on her. A soft smile lit his face. *She fell asleep.*
Kris stopped the movie. Carefully, he stood up. Kris lifted Jungah like she was a bride and carried her into his spacious bedroom. He pulled back the covers, laid her on his bed, and drew the blanket back over her. Kris placed his hand on the back of her head, lifted it up, and placed her head on the comfy pillow.
Kris watched her sleep for a couple minutes. He could watch her all night, if he could. *I want to make our happiness last. If all works well, after this task, I want to tell Liang that I want to quit being a drug dealer. I know he won’t take it lightly, but I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to be able to be with you freely without the threats of drugs and gangs. You mean everything to me, and I’ll do anything to keep you by my side. So don’t give up on me and wait. I’ll take care of everything, wo de ai ren…(my lover)*
Kris bent down, gently kissed her forehead, and whispered affecionately, “Wo ai ni…”