ix. lies

kissed and cursed

  

Joohyun felt like everything was too much. Her feelings were too much, the newly found information was too much, and perhaps being a plaything to Greek gods was just too much for her right now.

 

Her involvement was one thing, but having everything else come crashing down was a step too much to the unnatural that she hadn’t even asked to be in. 

 

It can't have been a coincidence, Joohyun thought, how Apollo's ward ended up being the second half of her curse. How even two Greek gods found two girls in the same town to take under their wing, and how, “coincidentally“, it just had to be someone Joohyun’s best friend knew. It just had to also be who Joohyun had harbored feelings for for some years now.

 

She felt sick to her stomach, feeling like the world was out to get her even though she knew she had Aphrodite’s protection. Weren’t the Greeks so adamant about the inevitable fate or whatever? Did that also mean that the gods had little say to what was bound to happen? Was this all an elaborate plan at the end? Did Apollo know?

 

Did her patron goddess know?

 

Joohyun shook her head. She might not know how the goddess’s personality is, but it seemed genuine how shocked she was when the big reveal happened.

 

Apollo, on the other hand… Wendy had warned her that Apollo was a bit finicky; it seemed that whatever happened between them was something the younger girl planned to keep to herself for a bit. Wendy had also mentioned that her patron god was complicated. 

 

Wendy couldn’t have known, either, Joohyun decided. She was too freaked out and was borderline also in denial when she came up and suddenly found Apollo there with them. Or the fact that she never would have thought another Greek god would be there–and Aphrodite, too, for that matter.

 

But then Wendy was also quick to accept what was going on regarding the curse like it was another daily chore she was given by her parents. She never asked for a lot of explanation regarding suddenly being given an involuntary contract of essentially never leaving Joohyun’s side.

 

Joohyun stopped walking, feeling awful for doubting Wendy to such a degree. The dark haired girl had just gone to a simple party and ended up being forever tied to Joohyun. She wouldn’t have known.

 

She wouldn’t have known… right?

 

“GET OUT OF THE DAMN ROAD!“

 

Joohyun flinched, turning so fast she got dizzy. Someone was on a bike, aggressively ringing the bell to get her attention. It didn’t work because they had to yell anyway, but she moved out of the way and watched the stranger off to the distance. She felt some sort of longing--that stranger probably had the simplest of problems. Perhaps they were late for work, or they were coming back from lunch, or maybe even just off to get groceries.

 

They didn't have to deal with mythological beings only heard through stories. They didn't have to be stuck with just one lover in their life; and if they did prefer it, at least they didn't have to worry about dying without a single kiss throughout the day.

 

Her head throbbed so she slowly went towards a park that Joohyun was sure was normally an hour away from her house. She sat down on the grass and hugged her knees, the back of her eyes stinging.

 

A clock tower chimed 13 times.

 

1pm already, huh.

 

She just wished today wouldn't go any worse. She started by a near death experience and then escalating to a sudden introduction of another damn god.

 

The sky rumbled even though it was clear, almost as if the gods themselves heard her inner monologue talking .

 

Whatever.

 

She was about to go onto a whole new tangent of how her life was unfair and how much she had hoped Wendy was someone normal that she can rely on when things got too bizarre, but all of a sudden she dry heaved so loudly and scandalously that there were some people near her that gave her a look. She tried to get away with it looking like a cough but she only ended up doubling over harder.

 

Was the day actually about to get worse?

 

She excused herself to nobody and started heading to the water fountain, hoping that having a couple gulps of water would be enough to make her feel better. It did. Kind of.

 

Joohyun felt refreshed by drinking something, so she started trudging back to her earlier spot at the park. She felt a little less pessimistic now, less on the verge of just throwing a fit towards the next pagan statue and more of just shutting herself in her room instead.

 

She reached for her phone but grabbed nothing. Oh, she must have forgotten it.

 

The clock tower chimed again. Joohyun was about to start heading back when the loud bells started to sound. She was unconsciously counting how many times it chimed as if she didn't know what the next number was after 13.

 

However, she halted on the spot and had a surge of anxiety when it didn't stop after the 14th chime. Or the 15th. Or the 16th. Or even the 17th.

 

She had already started running back to Seulgi's house before the chiming stopped after the 21st. The bright park she was at earlier suddenly turned dark, as if someone just turned the lights off.

 

She heard someone chuckle, and normally she would have been able to ignore it, but something made her look to the source of the sound. There was an ancient looking lady standing beside a telephone pole, her hands leathery and translucent. She held a pole that looked like it was a branch she had just snapped out of a tree. Her gray hair, or at least what was left of it, was perched at the top of her head in a very tiny bun. The old lady smiled at Joohyun and it made the hairs on her arms stand up.

 

Time seemed to slow down as the other person's smile started getting bigger. Her rotten teeth were showing now, and her eyes started having a dark look in them.

 

Joohyun felt terrified, but was unable to look away.

 

“Be careful, dear. You never know who's been keeping secrets from you.“

 

The old lady started to snarl, drool coming out of the corners of until it started becoming a shade of red.

 

Was… was that blood seeping from ?

 

Move, move, move, move.

 

She willed her body to keep moving, to look away, anything!

 

Joohyun tried to look away again, but her gaze only stayed and it almost felt like she was zooming in on the terrifying stranger, who started mouthing some words that she couldn't comprehend.

 

All of a sudden, she was back in front of Seulgi’s house.

 

Joohyun stumbled, bile rising up to . She went onto her knees and vomited, clutching her stomach through the pain.

 

There was a crack in the air, and she felt someone pulling her hair away from her face and rubbing her back.

 

She started to tear up again.

 

No matter how far she ran, she will always come back to this life of kisses, curses, and gods.

 

She was starting to hate everything again.

 

“How was… your walk?“ Aphrodite gently asked after Joohyun sat up.

 

“I… I don't know how it happened.“

 

“Which?“

 

“Everything. Me being born into this family, you suddenly appear in front of a Bae after centuries, how the person I like was all of a sudden also a ward. I just don't understand why this is all happening to me.“ She started to choke back her tears, waiting for some comfort from the goddess. “I don't think I can handle more of this.“

 

However, there was only silence.

 

Joohyun looked at the other girl, and felt a wave of sorrow.

 

Aphrodite was looking at her with apologetic eyes. “I'm sorry, sweet angel. I'm sorry this is happening.“

 

When it felt like Joohyun wasn't going to get an explanation, she just nodded and sniffled, trying to compose herself.

 

Perhaps the gods weren't as all powerful as she thought.

 

~o~

 

Joohyun didn't know how she ended up in her room, tucked behind a blanket with some rain music coming out of her phone.

 

She did, however, have an awful nightmare about that old lady she saw. Just the thought of the words she said and that weird smile on her face was enough to make Joohyun shiver in place. She never brought it up to Aphrodite because she had so much more pent up emotion that wanted to come out, and the memory of the creepy old lady just hid at the back of her mind. Maybe she should mention it to her patron next time she appears, whenever that was going to happen.

 

She stretched and rolled out of bed, trying to forget the surge of negative thoughts and emotions from last night in the hopes that it'll make her have a better day.

 

She felt lethargic, even after Seulgi barged into the bathroom while she was brushing her teeth, impatiently tapping her foot to the floor as she waited for Joohyun to finish.

 

“What is it, Seul?“

 

“Where did you go yesterday? We were so worried!“

 

“I know, I'm sorry. I just… needed a breather for a bit.“

 

“What kind of breather lasts you 8 whole hours? That's a full grown up work shift. You couldn't have walked for that long.“

 

“I was at the park and…“ Joohyun stopped, wondering how to at least explain that she was there for just an hour at most but time seemed to speed up out of nowhere and all of a sudden it was 9pm.

 

“And?“

 

“...I dunno, I guess I just lost track of the time,“ Joohyun lied, mentally beating herself up because she has never once lied to Seulgi about anything like this, and she was almost sure that the other girl knew it too.

 

Seulgi furrowed her brows, her face suddenly hardening for a split second that Joohyun was almost convinced that she didn't see it right.

 

Seulgi didn't press any further, and Joohyun was silently thankful for it. She vowed to explain to Seulgi everything one day. It was the least she deserved for being by Joohyun’s side for so long without any hidden agenda.

 

Joohyun gave her a small smile, to somehow silently apologize for hiding it from her.

 

Seulgi sighed and hugged her, and Joohyun was immediate in hugging her back, burrowing her face onto the taller girl's shoulder.

 

One day, Seul. 

 

They separated and went back to Joohyun’s room, sitting down beside each other on the bed. “How's Wendy?“ she quietly asked, also feeling bad for leaving the girl to conduct the crisis management with Seulgi because she left.

 

Seulgi shrugged. “She's alright, I guess?“

 

Joohyun raised a brow questioningly, waiting for the other girl to continue.

 

“What? She is alright.“

 

“You said it weird,“ Joohyun pointed out. There was some steel in her voice when Seulgi answered, which meant something must have happened after she left.

 

But if Seulgi was letting her go without explaining where she had went for 8 hours, then she can let go of her not explaining what happened at her house.

 

Seulgi hummed instead, being awfully quiet. “You should probably get your kiss for today.“

 

Joohyun laughed hollowly. Right. Wouldn't want to almost die again, she thought bitterly. 

 

“Okay.“

 

~o~

 

Seungwan found out the hard way.

 

When she kept pulling Seulgi back from chasing after Irene, her classmate suddenly had a sharp look in her face that would probably make any other sane person let her go.

 

But Seungwan didn't care if she could get beat up by her friend; and though Seulgi meant the best, she also knew that Irene needed this time alone to think and process Wendy's patron god. Irene needed that day to comprehend what was going on.

 

How did Seungwan know?

 

Well, she was in the same dilemma. She wanted to just sit somewhere and wonder what was going on; to have someone so close to her be another god's ward.

 

“She'll be okay, Seulgi.“

 

“I know, Wen, but that doesn't mean I won't worry.“

 

Seungwan just nodded, understanding where the other girl was coming from. She wanted to chase after Irene too, but she opted not to because if it was her running away, she wouldn't want anyone to follow her either.

 

Seulgi sat by her desk, looking the most exhausted Seungwan had ever seen her. “I just want to protect her…“

 

Seungwan looked away, feeling like she was intruding.

 

“Wellp!“ Apollo clapped his hands, and everyone in the room turned to him. “That was fun, but now I'm bored so… Bye!“

 

He disappeared just like that, and Seungwan buried her face in her hands in embarrassment. “Sorry about him.“

 

Aphrodite scoffed, as if she couldn't care less. She probably didn't. She glanced at Seungwan, who ended up gulping.

 

“You should head home, Wendy. Rest.“ Aphrodite sighed, and Seungwan guessed that was the end of whatever this was in Seulgi's room.

 

“Thank you for having me,“ she bowed down to the two deities and to her friend. “Uhh, Seulgi you can text me later when Irene… comes back. See you.“

 

Seungwan knew Seulgi didn't hear her because was too occupied whispering with Hermes. She just nodded at Aphrodite, who disappeared in a wave of flowers and pink, and started biking home.

 

~o~

 

“I can't find her.“

 

“What the hell do you mean you can't find her?“

 

Hermes winced at the sharpness of Aphrodite’s voice. “I-I’m saying I can't find her. I have literally looked everywhere, miss ma'am.“ He glanced at Seulgi for approval of using the slang and received a thumbs up. 

 

“It's been 6 hours, she couldn't have gone that far by walking!“

 

“I'm telling you,“ Hermes started again, “she's nowhere to be found.“

 

“Bull. The only way she could get out of your radar is if–“ Aphrodite paused abruptly, widening her eyes at the male.

 

Hermes narrowed his eyes at her, wondering what she figured out.

 

Oh .

 

The only way a ward can disappear is if they were stuck in a strong barrier.

 

“This means–“ Hermes chalked in disbelief.

 

Aphrodite nodded grimly. “We have another god here somewhere.“

 

 


 

OH???? its a start guys pls forgive me,,,, im trying to get back to writing and ngl im feelin it

omg,,,, im still in denial that this got featured,,, thank you guys so so much

here's to another new shower of cookies and love <3

and thank you for being patient with me 

 

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Comments

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wandawanda21 #1
🥺
Riscark #2
Chapter 13: Damnn talk about April's fools there 😬
SEEKER_
#3
Chapter 13: Is that person connected to the princess irene? And I'm curious as to what happened to the ancient seungwan after Princess irene died. Why do i get a feeling that it's all connected. Irene's disappearance and what happened before.
Marina_Leffy
1688 streak #4
Chapter 13: Wow! Happy April fools! What a scary premonition.
Riscark #5
Chapter 12: Holy , I know it's some kinda dream, but goddamn I was so scared that it was happening in real time and seungwan cannot do something to help irene
SEEKER_
#6
Chapter 12: What the did seungwan just had a vision of the past them? As lovers too??? Omg
Aizbox
#7
Chapter 12: NOOOOOOOOO~ but for real, I'm excited for what will happened next. Thank you for writing this! 🩷
mklarisse_ #8
Chapter 12: so intense 😭 thank u so much for the update happy new year author!!!
mklarisse_ #9
Chapter 9: woah the creepy old lady 😭
chantreux
#10
Chapter 12: I just read this in one go and its soo good? Woah.