You and Zico were still running. You glanced back, afraid that the Dragons were following. “You think they stopped?” He asked. You shook your head.
Zico thought back to U-Kwon’s advice. “Take her to our place.”
*Maybe I really should. They’ll never know.* “Come on. I have a place we can hide out for a while.” Zico grasped your hand and led you back to the neighborhood where the sauna was.
“We’re going back to the sauna?” You asked, confused. “No…we’re going to my house.” He said. “What?” You blinked. *To put it more correctly, Block B’s home.* Zico stopped in a dark, empty alley.
You started to get creepy vibes from the fog. All you could hear was the drip-drip from a pipe somewhere. Zico stopped in front of a big building. You looked up at the warmly lit light, “That’s your house?”
“No…this is.” Then he opened the door to the garage below.
You blinked *What?*
Zico stepped inside and turned the lights on, “Welcome to Block B’s Lair!”
Warily, you came inside and looked around. A big enough kitchen was in the left corner. You saw a ping pong table, pool table, and foosball table lined up in the ‘living room’. There was also a dark gray beat-up sofa with all the stuffing coming out. A medium-sized TV stood in front of the broken coffee table. There were only two desks in the back with one computer. Seven beds crowded the vacant space. Papers, magazines, and food wrappers covered the floor. Zico turned red and started picking them up.
“Sorry. I wasn’t expecting bringing a girl home tonight.
” You raised an eyebrow, “You must bring girls home often.”
“No! I didn’t mean it like that! I- Argh.” He slapped his forehead.
You chortled. Zico sighed and tossed the trash away.
“Um, nice place.” You commented.
Zico rolled his eyes, “Right. Just go ahead and say it. It’s a .” He shut the wide door and chained it up.
“No, it’s very comfortable and…” You picked up a collage of girls in bikinis. Some were in nothing at all. You raised an eyebrow, “And…er, creative.”
Zico snatched the collage away with a red face *Damn you Jaehyo! Don’t leave your artwork out for everyone to see!* He shoved it under one of the beds.
“Which one is your bed?” You asked. “Guess.” Zico challenged.
You examined them. “Well, it can’t be the Hello Kitty one.”
All was silent.
“…Right?” You looked at him.
Zico sighed, “Please don’t laugh.”
“Ohmygod…so that is your bed?” You asked. He unwillingly nodded.
Your lips tingled. A bubble of laughter was threatening to come out.
Zico glared at you, “I told you not to laugh!”
“I’m not! It’s just…” You walked over and picked up a Hello Kitty pillow. You smiled and wrinkled up your nose as you held it out, “I can’t imagine you sleeping with this. What happened to ‘Zico a.k.a. Zicova I already razed this place to the ground. Gotta reconstruct this entire shabby place. You wouldn’t be wrong to call me a psycho. I’m hip hop from head to toe.’” You mocked him.
“Stop.” He frowned.
Still, you were having fun, “I was right after all. ‘Outside you’re a tough gangster boy but at home, you’re broke mama’s boy.’” You were cracking up and rolling on his bed now.
“Yah!” Zico yanked the Hello Kitty away with a pout, “You said real men wear pink.”
“Yeah, wear. Not sleep in them.” Amused, you pointed to the covers.
“Get off then.” Zico grabbed your hand and yanked you up but you clung onto his bed, “No! I’m starting to like it here actually!” He let you go.
You scrambled onto the bed and curled up on your side. You could smell the scent of his boyish shampoo on the pillow and smiled. You tenderly touched the covers. “I wish this could be my bed.”
You saw a book by the window and sat up. “What’s this?” You picked it up. It was his trigonometry book. “Omo! You actually read this thing?!” He turned red, “Hey, I gotta graduate sometime. Gimme that-“
But you held it away and opened it. “I can just imagine you trying to remember the formulas.” You started to beatbox and rap, “Yo, yo! Check it! SOHCAHTOA, baby! Sine is opposite over hypotenuse. Cosine is adjacent over hypotenuse. And last but not all Trig is over Adjacent!”
“Quit teasing me and GIMME THAT!” Zico lunged for it.
Laughing, you held it away, “Can’t get it~ Can’t get it- Whoa!” You yelped as he pushed you down flat onto his bed and straddled you on top. You blinked at how close his face was to yours. “I told you to stop it! Do I look easy to you?” Zico snarled.
You searched his fierce face. *No…you actually look kind of y right now. Wait, what am I thinking?! Snap out of it!* Zico realized what he was doing and his annoyance vanishes. His heartbeat began to beat fast again.
“Um,” You looked away.
Zico looked at you. His bang covered one eye as he gazed down at you.
“I- I wonder if Seungri oppa studies trig, too. But I mean, he does nothing but play games all day. I doubt he even knows any formulas. So good for you haha!” You meaninglessly blabbered on and on. Your awkward laughter filled the room.
Zico gave you a confused, “Why do you do that?”
“What?” You blinked.
“Call Seungri ‘oppa’ but not me?” He questioned.
You rolled your eyes, “Cause you dork , he’s my brother.”
“I know that.” Zico snapped in irritation then softened, “But I’m the same age as him. I’m a high school senior also. I’m older than you. So why do you call him oppa and not me?”
“Cause um Zico oppa doesn’t really sound legit to me.” You lamely said. “Jiho oppa.” He claimed. You blinked, “Muh?”
“My real name is Woo Jiho.” Zico confessed.
“Woo Jiho.” You thoughtfully whispered.
“Add oppa in there.” He said.
You turned red, “No way!”
“Why not?” Zico asked.
“Cause it’s weird!” You blurted. “Now get off me!” You tried to get up but he pushed you back down.
“What?!” You were desperate to get out of this awkward situation.
“Call me oppa. Just once, please?” Zico whispered.
“Why?” You whimpered.
“I just want to hear you say it once.” He curled a loose strand of your hair behind your ear. You bit your lip. “Just one time.” Zico pleaded.
You sighed *Fine. What harm can it do?* You looked up into his eyes and took a deep breath, “Jiho…oppa.” His heart fluttered, “Again.”
“You said just once!” You said. “I couldn’t hear you properly.” Zico claimed. You exhaled and looked at him. “Jiho oppa.” You felt braver the second time.
His heart started to melt. His eyes softened. The cold chain around his heart started to unlock and his heart began to open up.
“Jiho oppa.” You said again, without being asked to. The more you said it, the braver you felt. You liked the way his name fit on your lips. “Jiho oppa.” You said it over and over again.
Every time you said it, a burst of warm, strong feelings spilled out of his heart and spread throughout his body. He shivered as a thrilling, some-what magical trickle went down his spine. *I’ve never ever experienced these emotions before. They’re so new and warm…I like them. I hope they stay forever.*
“Woo Jiho oppa. Not bad.” You giggled. You looked up and your face slightly fell. Zico was gazing so intently at you with eyes that were full with affection. “Zico, are you okay-“
He lowered his head and pressed his lips against yours.
Your eyes widened. Every single thought flew out of your mind. Your mind became blank. Your eyes shifted to the face that was kissing you. Your heart was beating so fast and loud. Bells seemed to be ringing in your head. It was like your body and mind were trying to tell you something. You softened. *I fell in love with him, didn’t I? A part of me knew it…but now I know it for sure.* Your eyes slowly fell close and you started to kiss him back.
Zico felt you responding and deepened the kiss. Just like his lyrics, all he could see, hear, and feel was you.
Nothing else mattered to him now.
Nothing ever mattered to him so much before.
*I finally found the one person I was meant to love.* Slowly, Zico pulled back and opened his eyes. You gazed at him, patiently wondering what he would say.
Then he said it. The three words that only your brothers had told you before. But with him, it was different. Everything was different now.
“I love you.” Zico whispered.
Your heart felt like it would burst in happiness. You wanted to scream, jump up and down, and cheer loudly. But all you did was tenderly smile back and whisper, “I love you, too, Jiho oppa.”
Zico slipped his warm tongue into your mouth and kissed you softly, deeply, and longingly. He wrapped his arms around your waist and held you as securely as possible. *Never will I let you go now. You’re my love and I will protect you until the end.*
*If time stopped right at this moment, I wouldn’t mind.* You slipped your hands up his fine arms and across his broad shoulders. You wound your arms around his neck and softly d his hair.