| CHAPTER EIGHTEEN |
“Oh my god, that was some good chicken.”
Baekhyun watched in amusement as Jiwon leaned back on her chair and rubbed her tummy while rubbing off the sauce on the side of her lips with the back of her wrist—there was always a part of her that was pretty boyish despite her sophistication, he loved it. His father laughed approvingly, obviously proud of his decision of getting the chicken and letting Jiwon have it for the first time. He was a huge pleaser and Baekhyun had always loved and hated that about his father.
Love and hate—polar opposites but always triggered the same rush of emotions.
Kind of what he was dealing with right now.
Jiwon snapped her fingers in front of him, only realizing it after his father had started doing it as well. “What?” He asked, keeping his arms safely tucked in a cross on his chest. He looked at his father first and then Jiwon. For god’s sake, she needed to stop being stunning. He always got … stunned the first second or two each time he looked her way. She had been resembling a flash of lightning during night time—in his eyes, it felt like that. She glanced down her watch before looking up to his eyes again. “It’s almost nine, we should finish up the work.” She stood up and bowed to Mr. Byun. “Thank you for the food, I ate very well!”
Baekhyun smiled. The way she acted so respectful and sweet to his father. The way she helped him do simple stuff here and there when they were preparing the table. Even the way she chatted with his father about the most random things was something he just learned he loved to watch. Everything she did made him feel so many things. Jiwon was just so beautiful like that.
“Let’s go, Spongebob.” Jiwon slapped him on the back, making him quickly turn with a stunned frown. His eyes then shifted to his father who was obviously suppressing a smile. Once she was out to the backyard, he spoke. “Appa, what the hell was that?” He asked.
Mr. Byun finally let out a grin. “I just told her how much you used to love watching Spongebob Squarepants and how I used to call you that cause your smile is pretty square like mine.”
Baekhyun shook his head in defeat before standing up. “Appa, you go ahead. Relax and watch TV, I will put all these on the dishwasher and then I will go out.” He offered and started carrying the plates they used. His father also stood up as he collected the empty chicken bucket, the glasses and other utensils they used. “Don’t worry about it. You guys finish the work now so she can drive home while it’s a bit earlier. I don’t want Jiwon to get home so late. Just go.” He insisted.
Shaking his head in disapproval, Baekhyun continued to clear up the table before bringing everything into the kitchen. “Let me at least help you clean up and then I will go do our work.” His father eventually gave in while laughing. “Okay, fine. If you insist. But don’t keep her waiting.” They started cleaning up together and putting away the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Baekhyun on the other hand threw all the disposable utensils and the empty chicken bucket down the trash bin.
He wiped the dining table with a damp rug before walking back into the kitchen, checking one more time of anything he could do for his father. “Everything good?” He asked.
Flicking his tongue with impatience, Mr. Byun nodded and waved his hand. “Aigoo, just go now. I will be fine here. You worry too much.” The man turned away and started wiping the kitchen counter. Baekhyun nodded with a smile before walking out.
When he arrived at the backyard, he the string lights that was wrapped around the ceiling of their backyard terrace to make the place bright again. It was already very dark and he only assumed that Jiwon didn’t know how to turn on any light out there when she got out.
Once it was all bright, he was welcomed by a sleeping Jiwon sitting on the bench, her head buried sideways in her arms on the table. He quietly walked towards the table and sat just beside her, his back meeting the edge of the table since he sat the other way. He leaned sideways and peeked down to her, pushing away the hair that was blocking her face.
A smile climbed up to his face as he watched her sleep peacefully. She was taking him all in and he couldn’t budge anymore. If he stayed there looking down to her for more than ten seconds, he might do something he’d regret. He looked away, shifting his gaze to the sky and letting out a heavy, shaky breath. It might have been the cold breeze … or it might have been the woman next to him.
He couldn’t tell the difference despite the obvious warmth her presence was giving his whole body.
Baekhyun stood up and went to his side of the table in front of his laptop. He decided not to wake her up anymore and just continued his work. After all, it really was his responsibility anyway. As much as he wanted to be pissed at her for coming here during his break … he just couldn’t. She had her own reasons, her own principles that he, for some odd reason, just began to adore. She was Kim Jiwon, the one and only. No one was ever going to be like her.
She was exceptional that way. In his eyes. In everyone’s eyes. She was that kind of woman other women envied, or should envy. At least, that was how he saw her. In his eyes, she was that woman.
Or maybe not. He looked at her again as he remembered the time they got drunk together. How she cried and how she let out all the pain she had gone through—to him. For an extended moment there, he saw a side of her that he was sure she didn’t usually show. Weakness. Fear. Defeat. Pain. The thought alone made his fists curl in a tight ball. He was getting mad, but at what? At that man, whoever the he was? The pain she had to go through? If it was possible to beat up pain like a person, Baekhyun would have murdered it instantly. Could also be the son of a she dated, that was more doable.
His eyes shifted back to his laptop, laser-focused on the screen. He needed to get this done, the thought of Jiwon having to drive home all alone for at least two hours—or more, depending on traffic—worried him.
Either that or secretly follow her all the way to Seoul and then drive back to Daegu? That would have been unnecessarily stalker-ish. But he’d do it if he had to. The option of letting her stay over the night would have made him feel delighted but he was too scared to go that far—no, maybe he’d regret it. Just no, that option was off the table. His inner thoughts were interrupted by Jiwon’s light moans. Was she dreaming? Was it a bad dream? A good dream? He peered closer across the table to check her expression. Her eyebrows were creased and her eyelids were slightly moving in different directions. What the hell was happening in there? Worry invaded his soul. He left his work again and went back to her side.
Hesitant hands rested on her slender arms. “Jiw—” He paused, removing his hands from her arms. Was this a good idea? Baekhyun didn’t even know if he was scared to wake her up and realize she was one of those people who get extremely cranky when woken up or he was scared to have her awake and make him feel all sorts of excitements again every time their eyes meet.
It was the latter. Nope, no opened eyes for Kim Jiwon. She needed to keep those eyelids shut for his own sanity. He just couldn’t do it. He stood up straight again and turned away.
Until a light slap on his lower back made him stop. “Yah.” Her voice was subtle but firm. He turned around and looked down to her. Her eyes were now slightly open. . He was doomed. A small smile formed on her lips as she sat up straight while stretching her arms. “, I fell asleep. Sorry.” She laughed with an unstable voice before looking his way. “I guess that was a good thing too. I get to sleep a little before I have to drive for two hours.”
God ing damn it. “Just sleep here, we have an extra room.” Baekhyun gasped before stomping his feet heavily back to his side of the table.
He screwed up. Why did he even open his mouth? He wasn’t going to give that option at all. No, OFF THE TABLE. OFF THE TABLE, BYUN BAEKHYUN. Just as he got to his laptop, he stood up again and rushed inside. He looked everywhere in the living room for his father. Not there. In the kitchen? Nope. Bathroom? son, not there either! Last thing he checked was his father’s bedroom. Finally, he was there. The television was on but his eyes were focused down the book he was reading. Typical of him.
“Appa, the extra room isn’t available right? Tell me its full of rat and spiders and we don’t have the time to clean it. Tell me she can’t use it, don’t let her use the extra room.” He impatiently pleaded.
His father looked up, adjusting his glasses. “Oh, I actually just cleaned it earlier when Jiwon came. Just in case she doesn’t get to drive home, we’re prepared to offer her something. You know how I am, I care about my guests. I’m guessing she’s considering it now?” Damn it. He closed the door again without further saying anything and was welcomed by Jiwon standing by the entrance of the backyard sliding door, an unreadable smirk on her face.
“W-what?” He asked.
Jiwon walked over to him, her expression growing more intimidating as she got closer. “I know what you’re doing and you’re not getting it. Not sleeping with you, . I’m going home tonight so finish the work.” She turned around and went back out to the backyard. Her frown deepened as she stepped out. She couldn’t believe it.
Baekhyun offered to let her stay the night, offer an extra room and then try to sabotage it? What, so she would be forced to sleep with him in his room or something? She read it so quickly, she was way too smart to be manipulated by him. She wasn’t going to let him get his way like that. Her heart pounded hard by the time she reached the table.
Sharing a room? With Baekhyun? Not in a million years would she ever share a room, especially a bed, with someone like him. It was too dangerous.
Warmth rushed through her system as the thought flooded her. She saw his bed this afternoon, it was a decent size, Full-size. They could fit perfectly although very close to—NO, she suppressed the thought from going further into detail. She would not succumb to it. Never. Baekhyun went back out, a disturbed expression plastered on his face. “What? Caught in the act? Idiot.” She grunted.
Baekhyun was silent for a moment before scoffing back. “Act of what? Wanting to get laid because you’re so ing beautiful and I want to see how you look lying on my bed … under me? Our clothes scattered around the floor, both of us fully under the sheets while we make love passionately under the autumn moonlight? Is that what you’re thinking I was trying to go to? Tell me, I wanna hear it, Jiwon. Say it.” He said like a total douche, he said every word with his deep and gruff voice—purposely. That actually worked fine although he half-meant it … or maybe full-meant it. He did not just say that in detail—that turned him on. He was trying to be an , what the ?
Jiwon opened to say something but she was too stunned. He did not just give her much worse scenes in her head to think about. “Oh.” She gulped hard, maybe way too many times before she managed to fight back. “I was thinking more like … you’re the one under me though?”
Silence. Long Silence, it was starting to get way too long that only crickets filled th