"P-Please stop... I promise I will do something about it..."
"Spare my life..."
"You had your last chance, Lee Jungwoo. Goodbye."
Eyes snap open, Chaeyeon jolted up from her bed covered in a cold sweat, shaking, heart pounding. Her frantic eyes darting around the room suspicious and paranoid that the horror may have followed her here. Realising that it was yet another nightmare, Chaeyeon gets up cautiously while still shivering and ran her hand into her messy locks.
Her head was pounding with sharp pains as she tries to get off her bed.
However, a groan rolled off her tongue the moment she tries moving her body. The soreness on her abdomon caused her to halt her movement as she once again, slowly set her foot down the ground and leave her off with as little movement as possible.
"Ugh, this hurts." Chaeyeon grunted, lifting up to see the never fading purple blotch on her skin.
As she took her very first step away from her bed, her stomach growled loudly.
"Wait. It's already 9pm?"
Chaeyeon sighed when she glanced at the clock. She slept for 5 hours straight after taking the medicine Hangyul got for her when he dropped by to take the envelope for her sisters. No wonder she's famished.
Ignoring her hungry stomach calling out for her, the brunette dragged herself out to the living room and slumped onto the couch to rest for a minute.
The sick woman had been lying on bed for the past three days sick because of those bastards attacks. Her wounds at her abdormen aggravated and suddenly she was under the weather.
She hated the feeling especially when there's no one to look after her and it really. It makes her miss her parents more and she have been having the same nightmare of her father's death for consecutive nights. It's taking a toll on her and adding to the stress she's been suffering in.
"Ugh, I better make some food."
Barely stepping a foot into the kitchen, Chaeyeon's dinner had to be pushed back by the abrupt knocks on her door. Thinking that it might be Hangyul, the sick woman slowly staggered her way to the door and open it lazily.
Chaeyeon almost fell back when a sudden weight fell upon her aching body. A painful groan almost left if only she wasn't appalled at the unexpected guests that appeared infront of her doorstep. Her body froze as her ears kept picking up cries and sobs from her sisters.
The youngest Lee pulled away and wailed again while Chaeryeong was throwing complaints, blaming Chaeyeon about how she suddenly left their house and left them alone. However, nothing was processing in Chaeyeon's brain. She was too shocked to even react to anything.
"Good to see you again, Lee Chaeyeon."
Standing behind Chaeryeong was the detective she saw three nights ago.
The said woman grimaced, "Can you let us in? It's getting pretty cold and I think you should calm them down before they lose all their water in their systems."
Though still in her appalled state, the house owner made way for the self-invited guests in. She engulfed her sisters into tight hugs each while muttering apologies and ignoring the pains jolting through her muscles and bone. Her injuries could not be compared to the hurts and disappointment she cause to her sisters.
Meanwhile, Eunbi stood at the side watching the bittersweet reconcilation of the trio sliently. The sight before her tugged a string in her chest and somehow she doubted that she made the right choice of bringing the sisters back to Chaeyeon, noticing the frown etched on the thief's face. She could sense the burden and stress the brunette was carrying.
Shortly, Chaeryeong and Chaemin sobs subsided and the two older woman heave a sigh of relief.
"Wait here, I will get you guys some drinks." Chaeyeon smiles gently and pat on her sisters heads before making her way to the kitchen.
That's when Eunbi realised how pale the taller girl looked and how she seems to have difficulties walking. The detective glanced at Chaeryeong and Chaemin who were wipping off their tears and failed to notice their oldest sister's discomfort.
Quietly, Eunbi quickly catched up with the thief and held her wrist.
"Are you still hurt? You were walking weirdly."
Chaeyeon took a quick look at her sisters then shot Eunbi a pleading stare, "Please don't tell them what happen. I don't want to scare them."
"You're not answering my question."
The brunette ignores her and continues to prepare the drinks.
Eunbi huffs and took the bottle in Chaeyeon's hand to stop her movement.
"Have you took medicine at least?" The red-haired questioned while filling the rest of the empty cups.
"What about dinner?"
"I was about to cook when you guys came." Chaeyeon clicked her tongue, "How did you find me?"
Chaeyeon frowned. How did Eunbi even know Hangyul?
"Save your questions later." Eunbi takes two cups in her hands, "Your sisters need you."
"We will talk later."
Chaeyeon kept a safe distance away from her sisters, ensuring that she's at least 1 meter away from her bed as she talks to them. The last thing she wants is to spread her sickness to them.
"So how did you guys found me? I am pretty sure I had Hangyul's lips sealed for the past few years. Why did he suddenly spilled my address to you two?" Chaeyeon interrogated.
"That detective unnie."
Chaemin nodded, "She was in unnie's cafe when I went to find her and tell her about the envelope you sent to us. Then Eunbi unnie came and told us she will help us to find you."
"She tracked Hangyul oppa down and threatened him with some pictures about this Kim Jiyeon girl?" Chaeryeong continued, "and inexchange for deleting the pictures, Hangyul oppa had to tell us your address."
As expected from the sneaky dective.
"But unnie, you still haven't tell us why you suddenly disappeared." Chaemin pressed, settling on sitting beside Chaeryeong while watching her oldest sister pulling a chair infront of them.
"It's complicated. I don't want to add on extra burden on your shoulders."
Chaeryeong sigh, "Is it about those mafia guys that appa used to work with?"
The brunette widen her eyes in shock.
She was sure that those men did not ever show up infront of her baby sisters and never once did she mentioned that she've been working with the mafia since 14. So how did Chaeryeong know about them?
"When you were at the hospital when omma passed away from shock after appa's death. I was running from school and I heard you conversing with them." Chaeryeong shook her head, "Or rather. They were threatening you." She corrected her sentence.
"Appa still were in-debt to them and they wanted you to work for them to pay off those debts if not he threatened to take us away from you and our house too. Right?"
Chaeyeon blinked, "W-Why didn't you tell me that you know?"
"Because I was confident that my unnie wouldn't follow appa's footstep."
The thief might have faced abusive words from the maifa leaders, from the government, from the police. But no other sentence hurt Chaeyeon as much as what Chaeryeong said.
"I was confident that you wouldn't hide things from us." Chaeryeong trails, "Let alone, leaving us."
"I'm sorry. I failed you." Chaeyeon covers her face with her hand and groaned, "I shouldn't have left you guys. I'm really sorry."
"It just that you guys were still young and had a great future ahead. I don't want you guys to be held back."
Chaemin reached out and grabbed her hands, shaking her head.
"You were just trying to protect us." Chaemin smiles comfortingly, "You've done enough for us. You've carried enough burdens. Now, can you please share them with us?"
"We are sisters. We are suppose to be protecting each other even if you might be the oldest one."
Chaeryeong agreed, "You said we are young. But unnie. You are barely 1 year older than me only."
"Don't act like you are in your 50s."
Chaeyeon giggles and engulfed her sisters into a tight hug, thanking them.
"You will never leave us again right?"
"Yes, I will stick to you two now everyday and nag at you just like how I did in the past."
It was a lie.
Chaeyeon knows that she's going to leave them soon. Afterall, it's only right to recieve punishment for what she had done. But for now, she doesn't want to take the smiles away from her sisters. She rather embrace the current moments than to think of the storm coming ahead.
The three sisters exchanged smiles and laughters before Chaeyeon decided that it's time for them to call it a night, especially when they have school and work the next day.
"Unnie, can we stay here for tonight? I'm too tired to move after all the cryings." Chaemin pouted and made herself comfortable under Chaeyeon's covers. The second oldest followed suit and tucked herself in bed.
"Yes you can but please at least wash up? I have some clothes in my wardrobe."
"What about you unnie?"
Chaeyeon pointed to her door.
"I will take the living room. I'm still sick and I don't want to spread to you guys. Plus, I have another guest waiting for me."
The detective had left the sisters to catch up alone, since she was still an outsider and it's kinda awkward to be sitting in and listening to them.
Before Chaeyeon left, Chaeryeong had stopped her with her brows arched.
"Eunbi unnie told me that you did something wrong. It's not you right?"
Damn that detective.
Chaeyeon shoot her younger sister a smile and shake her head, 'Don't worry. We will just have a talk. Nothing is going to happen to me. Just rest for tonight okay? I will make the Vietnamese roll that you guys love so much tomorrow morning."
"Yay!" Chaemin cheered.
"But unnie. I don't know who is that red-haired unnie but she seems to care for you alot."
Eunbi probably just wants to put her behind the jail as soon as possible.
"Alright. Go bathe and sleep. When I come in to check on you guys, I hope to see you two asleep already ok?"
"Goodnight unnie! Love you."
"Love you too."
Although she was happy that she finally get to see and converse with her sisters again after years, Chaeyeon wasn't going to lie that the talk drained out her energy. The moment she stepped out of her room, her knees gave in and she let out a huge sigh while feeling her burning forehead with the back of her hands.
Her body was already at its limit yet she still have another stubborn guest awaiting for her to entertain.
Eunbi had gave her space to talk to her sisters privately, knowing that she was afterall still an outsider and Chaeyeon was pleasantly surprised that Eunbi was willing to wait though she knew that the waiting time is not going to be short.
When Chaeyeon walks in to her living room, expecting Eunbi to be seated on the couch, she found no one there and either was Eunbi found anywhere else the house.
"Maybe she left."
Chaeyeon shrugged. Half-relief and half-disappointed.
Relieved because she can finally rest and, disappointed maybe because part of her still wished what Chaemin said was true.
Bringing an arm over to cover her eyes, Chaeyeon didn't even bother covering herself with a blanket and decides to just sleep her headache away.
"Omma? Are you ok?"
"Omma... don't leave..."
"Stop bothering them!"
"Work for us and we will leave your house and your sisters alone."
"You can go once you pay back all of your dad's debts."
"Chaeyeon? Chaeyeon. Wake up.."
Disturbed by both her recurring nightmare and a pair of warm hands slapping her cheeks soflty while nudging her shoulders, Chaeyeon's woke up, disoriented. Her chest heaving up and down harshly, trying to draw in more air and stop the frantic heart beats pounding fearfully in her chest.
"Are you okay?"
Blinking her tears away, Chaeyeon squinted her eyes to see a worried-looking Eunbi staring down at her.
Was she still dreaming?
What's Eunbi doing here? Didn't she left already?
"Kwon Eunbi?" Chaeyeon slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes, ensuring that she wasn't having hallucinations. When her vision became clearer, Eunbi was still standing infront of her with her brows creased.
"D-Didn't you left already?"
The red-haired pointed to the table placed infront of the couch where Chaeyeon was sleeping earlier on and the taller girl spotted a bowl of porridge. Chaeyeon quirked a brow and glanced at the shorter girl who cleared and took a seat next to the sick patient.
"You said you haven't had dinner so I went out to pack some for you while you were with Chaeryeong and Chaemin." Eunbi explained casually and hand Chaeyeon a spoon, "When I came back, I saw you struggling in your nightmare so I woke you up."
The thief tries to dismiss the