| CHAPTER FORTY |
“I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may now kiss.”
Applause filled the outdoor space as the newly wedded pair, Mr. and Mrs. Byun, shared a kiss. It was a surreal sensation—the vibe of the ceremony, the emotions that flowed all throughout. Baekhyun ended the kiss shortly to simply rest his forehead against his wife. His wife—the new label itself gave a new kind of butterflies in his stomach. Tears, one again, started forming in his eyes as he shared a lasting eye contact with her. “Are you crying again?” Jiwon chuckled weakly while she cupped his face with both hands. They really did feel like they were the only people in the world right now—nothing else mattered. Of course, that was until Hansol and Hana were allowed to run up towards them. The twins hugged them on their legs, getting their full attention.
Baekhyun was the first to break off from the hug and lifted Hana into his arms. Jiwon followed and carried Hansol too. “Appa and Eomma are married!” She squealed while lifting Hansol’s arm up to celebrate. Their families then followed—Baekhyun and Jiwon’s father. They each gave their handshakes and hugs to the couple, congratulating them. The other guests eventually made their way to the couple to take pictures and give their congratulatory messages. It was a long day and night for Jiwon and Baekhyun, all the way down to the reception. But it was all worth it.
Everything felt like a great happy ending of a fairy tale or another beginning … of chaos. Or as we have already known very well, Jiwon and Baekhyun themselves.
T H R E E M O N T H S L A T E R
“No, you don’t understand, Hara. He’s like the worst sleeper—he hogs the whole ing bed. Last night was the last straw, I fell off the bed and he had the audacity to blame it on me saying that I kept on hugging him with both arms and legs and that I have the warmest skin that it hurts to hug me for more then two minutes.”
Hara took a sip on her champagne and shrugged her shoulders. “I mean … you do have warm skin. Not that I’m backing up his statement but, you know. I do feel your hot skin when we hug sometimes.” As expected, she earned an unamused glare from her friend. “Okay, seriously? You’re supposed to side on me here.” Jiwon complained and grabbed her glass to drink as well. She sighed in relaxation as she swallowed the frizzy warm sensation of the drink in . “Honey, it’s summer. I get it. Kyungsoo’s skin tends to get warm too and I don’t enjoy hugging him for too long, he makes the whole bed warm sometimes. But I do understand if you have problems with Baekhyun hogging the bed, it would be annoying.” Hara attempted to calm her down. “Just focus on the good parts of the honeymoon stage. Details please.” She added with a wink.
Her friend’s last advice was enough to bring warmth, even on Jiwon’s cheeks. “Okay, well it’s kind of different since we have Hansol and Hana. Maybe its different from how you experienced it.” She answered with a shaky chuckle. “Uh-huh, uh-huh. Go on. How often do you guys do it?” Hara insisted, obviously not content with the initial answer.
“Well.” Jiwon scratched her head, trying to ease up the growing awkwardness in her chest. “I mean, it’s only been three months since we started living together, of course it’s uh—” She paused to cough. “—a little, you know.” She was cut off by Hara’s loud squeal. “Everyday?” The woman finished for her, with much excitement in her tone. Jiwon leaned on the couch while covering with the back of her hand. Her eyes wandered around the living room as she came up with a more appropriate answer. “Well, the kids jus started attending day care and Baekhyun’s hasn’t been much busy with work and I’ve been working from home, so that’s kind of—”
“Oh my god, it’s more than once a day?!” Hara finished for her again and started laughing in high pitch. Finally, a genuine smile grew on Jiwon’s lips along with the redness on her cheeks. “Sometimes … if he does have a couple of photoshoots and meetings, he’d still go home in between to … to see me.” She broke into a pit of laughter because of how Hara was reacting like a teenage girl watching an movie. “Either that or … he goes to the gym. It’s always just work, gym, home—and repeat for Baekhyun, right now.” Again, an even louder squeal from Hara filled the living room. “Oh my god, I was gunna say, he seems even fitter lately. Kyungsoo and I met him last Tuesday and he looks buff.” She added to the statement.
Jiwon rolled her eyes to hold herself from smiling even wider. “Well, he always worked out even before—he’s just doing it more now to show off, I think. And he’s been very interested in kick boxing lately.” She laughed it off, even though she knew she was blushing even more now after saying it. “It’s like a phase in honeymoon stage, I guess. For me, I’ve been cooking and baking a lot for him and the kids. Maybe that’s also why he tries to work out more often so he can eat everything I make without guilt.” She paused for a second before sighing. “But it does make more difference … in terms of his stamina—in general, in a lot of things of course. Like you know, playing with the kids and stuff.”
“Ahhhhh! It’s getting hot in here.” Hara collapsed hard on the couch again and squealed long and hard. Jiwon buried her face down on her lap to cover herself from the embarrassment Hara was causing her. “Oh my god, I came here to complain about his stupid habits, how did we end up here?” She asked in between giggles.
“Try it.” Baekhyun pushed the cookie towards Kyungsoo’s mouth to force him to eat it. “It’s horrible. I don’t know what to tell her, obviously I lie. I even beg Hansol and Hana to tell their mom that it’s good but the kids would spit it out on my hand once Jiwon’s not looking.” He watched as Kyungsoo took a bite of the cookie Jiwon made last night. As soon as he did, the man frowned hard while slowly chewing. “You can’t do cookies wrong, it’s very basi—oh no, what’s that—” He picked something out of his mouth and showed it to Baekhyun. It was an egg shell. Baekhyun covered his mouth and fells off the couch laughing.
Kyungsoo put the remaining cookie down the plate and stared at it with disappointment. “I mean, it’s not bad. It’s just a little bit … too salty and egg shell-y? The chocolate chips are good though. But then again, you buy those chocolate chips to add in it, right?” He asked while blinking hard. Baekhyun finally calmed down from laughing and took the piece that Kyungsoo didn’t finish to eat it. “Don’t tell her though, she’s been bored working from home and that’s her only hobby aside from sleeping.” He said and took a bite of the disgusting cookie. “You’re still eating it?” Kyungsoo asked in disbelief.
Baekhyun shrugged his shoulders while chewing. “I’m immune to it now.” He answered. “Besides, she knows you’re coming over to play video games. If this is not finished, she’s going to ask. I don’t want to argue. She’s the worst person to argue with.”
The two men continued playing video games while forcefully stuffing the cookies in their mouths. “What time are you picking up the kids with Eun Jung noona from the daycare?” Kyungsoo asked while glancing down his phone. “In twenty minutes. Wanna come with me? I might take them for some ice cream or something. Jiwon said she has a meeting with Hara until five so we have time until you need to go.” Baekhyun offered. The man pouted and took another bite of the cookies, making the same sour face while chewing. “But why do I need to go right away? Can I come over for dinner? I’m hungry.” Kyungsoo pleaded.
Baekhyun put the game controller down and shrugged. “After we feed and wash the kids, get ready for bed—I want to be alone with Jiwon. Why do you need to stay? Go home and your wife too, come on.” Kyungsoo’s eyes widen in surprise and slapped his friend’s arm. “What? You react like I just said something illegal. We can only do that whenever the kids are away for daycare or asleep at night. Which is actually frequent now that I think about it—but whatever.” Baekhyun laughed pridefully.
Kyungsoo slowly nodded. “Oh! Are you two trying to get pregnant? That’s great news!” He smiled widely. Baekhyun responded with a shameful laughter. “Is that the only reason a couple s? No, Do Kyungsoo. We do it because we are , buddy. We’re not planning to have more kids. We have twins who grows up at the same time, meaning double the responsibility and money. Okay? We for love … and because I’m good at it.” As Baekhyun finished his explanation, Kyungsoo covered his ear trying not to hear the whole thing.
“Don’t talk like that, it’s disrespectful for Jiwon.” Kyungsoo mouthed while looking around the empty house. “I don’t tell on what she does, I talk about what I do. Jiwon probably does that more than I do. I’m not surprised if your wife knows my habits in bed or how big I am cause Jiwon doesn’t know when and how to shut up sometimes, especially to Hara. Those two are like ride or die.” He scoffed. There was a brief pause before Kyungsoo spoke. “Well, I mean, you two are ex’s so she probably does know either way.” Baekhyun looked at him with a growing smirk. “I wasn’t going there but … you did it yourself, man.” He pushed him lightly. “Anyway, do you know what’s their meeting about? Jiwon wouldn’t tell me yet cause she said it’s not finalized.” He then changed the topic to not make it any more awkward between them.
Kyungsoo hummed for a bit before answering. “Well, Park & Co. are discussing of bringing Jiwon back into the team. You know, since Jiwon is only now an executive consultant of Free People for the Seoul branch and she hasn’t been too busy lately, we thought it’s time to offer that.” Baekhyun nodded and leaned on the couch and smiled. “Brings back memories, huh?” He asked. Kyungsoo did the same and nodded. “I remember emailing and video calling her from Canada almost five years ago. I remember her telling me that she wasn’t still sure if she wanted to take the offer. So, I had to made a few more calls to convince her. Imagine if she didn’t, you wouldn’t have met her.” He suggested.
The two friends shared a fist-pump. “Thanks, man. I must say … you’re basically my wingman.” They then later on, cleaned up the coffee table and went to the kitchen. “Yeah, I could probably come for ice cream before leaving. It’s so hot lately, I could use some ice cream.” Kyungsoo put the glasses and plates down the sink while Baekhyun threw the cans to the garbage. There was a calm silence between the two until Baekhyun snapped out of it with a gasp.
“Oh my god—I have like the coolest proposal for you, Kyungsoo.”
“Where have you been going? I thought you said you only have two photoshoots this month? You’ve been going some place often and you’re not telling me. And don’t tell me you went to the gym because sometimes, you come home in formal clothing.”
Baekhyun rolled his eyes and placed his bag down the couch before walking straight to the twins’ room to check on them. “Baekhyun, I’m talking to you. Where were you? It’s eleven o’clock.” Jiwon followed him, a