Changmin pulled a chair back to the side of the bed. Min Hee went back to sleep after Dr. Lee finished talking to her. She needed to rest after being dumped with all those information. Even though it was only a teaspoon of what she used to know, he could tell that it was too much for her to digest in one day.
The man rested his elbows at her side. One hand was holding his head up while the other was greatly tempted to grab Min Hee’s hands in its own. Now that Min Hee knew who he was, he wondered if she will act differently when he attempts to touch her again. He stared at her chest as it rose and fell in a synchronised tempo. His attention then diverted from her chest to her abdomen. Changmin cursed. It was such a painful miracle…
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. It opened rather slowly before the figure of the man from before came into view. He walked closer. “Milord, the Drunken Tiger’s head chief is on hold,” he kept his head low in respect while his hands were holding on to each other in front of him. “He wants to speak to you directly,” he went on in a whisper.
“I see,” Changmin replied, not bothering to look at the person he’s talking to. “Transfer him to my private line. I’ll talk to him from there.”
“As you wish, Milord…” The man bowed and left the room.
Changmin sighed and refocused his attention back on his beloved wife. She was still asleep and it had been more than 3 hours. He gave one last glance at her flawless face before he stood up and made his way back to the sofa. He didn’t want Min Hee to catch any irrelevant details of the conversation that is about to take place. Who knows she might be fake-sleeping.
“Speak.” He said sternly into his wireless headset as soon as he got comfortable. He was careful to make sure that his voice won’t cross the room. Thanks to the carpeted floor and the heavy curtains, he didn’t have to put that much effort to lessen his voice’s vibration.
“Shim Changmin-sshi,” another voice replied from the other end, very deep and hoarse. “With all due respect, our clan do not mean to interrupt. But we heard that your wife was attacked a few weeks ago. Thus, we are sending you our deepest regret and we hope on your wife’s fast recovery.”
Changmin grunted. He crossed both his arms in front of him and smirked. “Is this all you wish to tell me?”
“Actually I wanted to discuss about our peaceful treaty with the state’s authority,” the head chief didn’t wait for another second. Indeed, he wanted to speak privately to this man for a reason. “We’ve lost confidence in your west subsidiary’s ability to keep all our properties safe, so I’d like to discuss on further improvements applicable within the treaty as soon as possible.”
“NO. There’s no need for such things. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the treaty or our subsidiaries,” Changmin hissed quietly. “To bring this up in the midst of the attack, I should assume that you’ve played a part in this plot. Did you not?”
There was a brief silence on the other end of the line. There were distant sounds of papers crumbling and tapping of fingers on a wooden table.
“Don’t accuse us of such crime. You should know how well we respect your organisation.” The voice sounded to be suppressing fear.
Changmin chuckled. “Words can be misleading. And chances should be taken at its first presence. Who knows you might be one of the pawns of this ridiculous agenda.”
“I can see that your words are now bolder.”
“It has always been that way, my friend.”
Changmin looked over at the hospital bed where he could see his wife is slowly waking up. “There will be no amendments needed for the treaty. It’s either you’re in or you’re out. Let my men know,” he said finally before he ended the line.
He made his way back to Min Hee’s side. She still had her eyes closed shut when he sat down on that chair. Only a few wrinkles were visible on her forehead. Once in a while, Changmin could hear a distant moan coming from her. Is she having a bad dream?
“Changmin!!” her body stiffened momentarily in front of him before her eyes shot wide open.
His own eyes widen at the call. “Min Hee, I’m right here,” he uttered immediately while fetching her neglected hands.
“Ah, it hurts…” she mumbled as she started to loosen up. She attempted to touch her head with her hands when she realised that it was tightly grasped by larger hands, a man’s hands. Her eyes followed to the owner’s direction and multiple expressions soon appeared on her face. “What are you doing?” she uttered in alarm and awkwardness. She pulled her hands away slowly.
“Oh. Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to--” he released the soft hands and pulled his own back to his sides. He was suddenly lost for words.
Min Hee continued to glare at him. Somehow it made him feel very much agitated. Didn’t she just call out his name out loud?
“Did you have a bad dream?” he asked a while after, trying to brush off his ridiculous thoughts.
She looked at him suspiciously, making sure that he wasn’t one of those evil mind-readers she came across in fictions. “I guess,” she replied. “How did you know? Did I talk in my sleep?”
“Kind of…” he answered. “A name, actually. You called out a name.”
Changmin crossed his arms on his chest. He was trying hard not to feel disappointed, but his heart just continued to fall in sadness.
“I did?” she asked him back. Clearly she was unaware of her own doings let alone to remember the name that has just slipped her lips.
The room then fell into a deep silence. Only Min Hee’s eyes were doing some silent whispering as she kept on glancing back and forth from the walls to Changmin and back again. He wondered what is going on inside her mind.
“Are you really my husband?” she suddenly asked as if knowing the queries that have been playing inside Changmin’s head. She tilted her head to one side to have a better view of him, all the while clutching her hands together. Changmin didn’t know what she expects as an answer from him but he won’t bother to lie or create stories in front her. He might’ve done that before, but he had sworn to stop when he realised where his heart actually belonged to.
“Yes,” thus he replied simply.
“Really?” she stressed the word this time just to make sure. Her eyes were full of suspicion. “How should I believe that this is not some sort of a conspiracy?”
Changmin thought for a while. This might be the most crucial stage of explanation and he couldn’t afford to lose her trust. After all, she had been the target of his enemies. He needed to keep her very close to his side at all times from now on. And having her have the slightest doubt in him is a very bad idea.
“No words from me will be a good enough proof for you,” he spoke after a while. “I wanted to use that ring on your finger as proof, but maybe you’ll just end up accusing me of putting it on you while you’re asleep.” He sighed heavily.
Min Hee held up her left hand to witness her ring finger which was holding firmly to a neatly carved piece of metal. The body was made of pure platinum and it was expensively decorated with clear diamonds which sent a marvellous watery effect to the eyes. It was surprisingly the exact shape of the ring she had ever dreamed of when she was a little girl. Somehow it made her heart skipped a few beats.
She turned her attention back at him. “How long have we been married then?”
“Almost a year now,” he answered and paused. “We’re supposed to celebrate our first anniversary next month.”
Min Hee was suddenly speechless. Seeing the sad expression on Changmin’s handsome face made her heart crumbled. She could guess how awful he’s feeling as the words came out from his mouth. And most of it was because of her. “I’m sorry,” she uttered quietly. “I was told that I’ve lost a part of my memory which had you in it. I’m sorry that I can’t remember anything.”
The man smiled bitterly. “You have nothing to be sorry for. I deserved this as a punishment for the bad things that I’ve done to you. Instead, I’m the one who should ask for your forgiveness.”
His eyes gazed lovingly at her direction, hoping that he could win a little smile from her lips. If he were given the permission, he would’ve liked to scoot closer to her and caress her soft hair while looking deeply into her hazel eyes and whisper lovers’ dialogues to her ears. But he had to restrain himself. He should not act too fast when she had only started to show signs of acceptance. He held himself instead, capturing the warmness of his own arms around his body while longing for hers.
He could tell she was still afraid to accept the whole truth.
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