Mistletoe Margarita

Flirt 'n Flair
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I wake up the next morning, cold sweats drenching my face and neck. I had a bad dream but I don’t quite remember what it was.

The gathering I attended with high school classmates last night made me feel so burnt out. Clashing voices and laughter, stories after stories, a couple of infants crying, the confusing scent of mixed perfumes and the suffocating smell of barbeque smoke and alcohol all combined in one single space. Flesh to flesh, we were all cramped up around a long table, with a total of thirteen fairly aged but still familiar faces that I have not seen in ages.

And I went through all of this in hopes of reviewing Park Yohan’s potentials.

Only to be disappointed when he came with a date—his fiancée, actually. So clearly, the only reason I went there was instantly disregarded because I am not a homewrecker.

Don’t get me wrong, I still do appreciate that he did not forget my name in the invite despite that I am really not tremendously close to anyone who came. The only two people whom I remember sharing a few moments with during high school was obviously himself, Park Yohan, because we went to Students’ Night together and another female classmate by the name of Kim Sooah who had migrated to the U.S. a long time ago and is obviously not available to come to the gathering.

I think Yohan remembered to invite me since I was a part of the class council as the treasurer and I am guessing he had the record of all the council members and so I was there on the list automatically? That’s probably it. Why did I think it meant more than that?

Aside from a few how have you been’s and the occasional life updates I was forced to give away whenever they’d feel that I’ve been way too quiet at my corner, nothing remotely interesting happened to me.

But nevertheless, I am quite proud of myself that I gave it a shot. I do not think it was worth my time and mental energy but I still gave it a shot because I am desperate to meet someone new. I am yet to officially start a hands-on lesson with Baekhyun but it’s already taking a big toll on me. Last night, before I left work, I suggested that we look through some new lingerie. I don’t know why I said that without considering the fact that him judging my lingerie means him having to see me in them.

I did not think that one through.

And then he did this thing with his eyes, his mouth, and his hand—no, my hand all over his firm chest, his warm body, his … manly scent all over me. My body wanted to negatively react to it, on fight-or-flight mode like the usual, but at the same time, I lost the ability to even move that I just let it happen, somehow.

I’ve let him get to me.

“You don’t settle for fairly adequate.” His voice rings in my head over and over again. I do not exactly know what he meant by that because I am genuinely content with adequacy. It’s balanced. It’s more controlled. It’s what I can handle without bursting or getting obsessed. I tend to obsess over things and I try to avoid it at all costs. When it’s too much or too little, whatever it is, it triggers a part of my brain that is not very good with regulating emotions and it makes me morph into this kind of person that I am not very proud of. A kind of person that … people don’t like.

I don’t want to be bad at but I also don’t want to be too much of an expert in to the point of obsession. That’s completely unnecessary and it contradicts my viewpoint.

I just want to be good at it, like a normal good, so that I don’t get dumped again and I finally get to settle down and have kids and live a normal life. That’s enough for me.

Anyway, it’s my day off today so the prior gathering last night worked out pretty well. It burned me out but at least, I could regain my energy today so that I can work in good condition tomorrow. Today is also a good chance for me to shop for new lingerie so that I can arrange a few minutes of Baekhyun’s time to check them out and approve or disapprove them.

I wonder if he’s with a client at the moment? Honestly, I don’t know his actual schedule in escorting. On Tuesdays, like today, The Alley Cat closes earlier so he only works five hours in the bar. I wonder if he’s also working less as an on Tuesdays?

Or does he always meet the same number of clients every day?

I remember that time when I was desperate to reach out to Doh Kyungsoo but didn’t have his contact information when I just recently lost my job at SCORCH Steakhouse & Bar. I made a crucial decision of reaching out to Baekhyun through his agency and booking him for a, you know, intimate service.

In my defence, he wouldn’t answer my calls and texts and I was too scared to visit him home without him verbally agreeing that I go there. I’m not that sort of person who can just go to someone else’s place without a formal and consensual heads up. Also, I know the building he lives at but I don’t exactly know what unit he’s in.

And so that happened. His name is Hyunbin.

I can never forget that night when he showed up at the door of the hotel room I picked. That royal blue silk shirt that hugs his body loosely. That’s actually … the reason why it’s my favourite shirt of his. Because of that one night.

I mean, he freaked out when he saw me at the door. He went completely pale and stricken … and ashamed.

He didn’t know that I was aware alongside the other three people in SCORCH Steakhouse & Bar. But he also didn’t know, at the time, that I’ve known long before they did. I’ve known for a while. He was devastated when he found out.

The thing is … it was kind of a straightforward incident. A couple of years ago, I was helping out on my brother’s fiancée’s bachelorette party preparation at that time—Hanbin wasn’t in speaking terms with Baekhyun around this time anymore—and I was viewing some chauffeur services for the bride-to-be, Hara, and also for the bridesmaids including myself even though I really didn’t want to go so instead, I busied myself with the preparations.

Anyway, one result in the listings I was looking up on the internet … was definitely not a chauffeur service agency. But obviously, I didn’t initially get the memo and decided to make a freaking call. The lady who answered my call actually sounded pretty nice and she accommodated my questions until her answers started to not sit well with the information I was hoping to get in that conversation.

But still, my silly proceeds to the phone call because the lady seemed to have an answer to all of my questions and so I thought maybe she was just really playful and whatever and I tend to misinterpret people’s words anyway? And I am not so good in cutting off people’s moments and just saying goodbye and I’m not interested. I’d get too anxious to do that.

So, I decided to keep on listening to her recommendations with the hourly rate; with the services, the add-on services, the deluxe service and repeat services whatever that meant and some more information she was giving out.

And I genuinely thought that ‘Oh, this seems like a really kind and accommodating chauffeur service.’ Even though I must say, it was weird when she asked me, at one point, if I have any favourite hottie actors that I’d have fantasies about but then I thought maybe she was just bored and wanted to chat in between the consultation?

Then the lady sent me a private email that has a file attached to it of a link and PDF that shows me pictures and information of these … young men.

And one specific picture caught my attention. The name says Hyunbin but the face definitely says my first crush ever since high school, Byun Baekhyun.

And that’s when it finally hit me.

That’s … basically it. Not that interesting, really. I just found out and then done. I’m not a whistleblower. I don’t have a big mouth. I just left it alone, I guess?

I never tried to get more into it. I never dared to approach him about it. I never even really … thought about it that much after the fact. It’s none of my business and to be honest, at that time, I always considered the possibility that I might have also misunderstood the purpose of that chauffeur service—I mean service agency, even though it says clearly on their discreet website that they are all down for a good time and ready to be the man of your dreams or something around those words.

My little daydream was halted when my phone rang. I am extremely surprised to see Baekhyun’s name on the Caller I.D. I literally was just thinking about him!

Oh my god. He never calls me. Like ever. I believe this is actually the first time he’s ever called me even though we’ve always had each other’s phone numbers.

I clear my throat to say a proper “Hello?” But it doesn’t come out the way I wanted to. I just woke up so my voice is a bit broken and dry and I don’t like it.

There was a long pause before I heard him cough. “Hey—uh, you’re off, right? Did I wake you up?” He asks me. I look at my nightstand clock. It’s 9:05 AM. I have an alarm set for nine o’clock every morning on my days off and I didn’t realize I completely spaced out for a whole five minutes.

That’s not good.

“Yes, it is my day off and no, you didn’t wake me up. I have been awake for five minutes before you called.” I assure him. “So, uh—” I cover the speaker of the phone as I clear my throat again. “—how can I help you?” I finally ask.

“Well, I just got back home from the post office with Jaehyun and then I got an email that two of my clients cancelled because of personal reasons and then I have my last client at one o’clock. I was thinking—” He pauses and I hear a scratching noise from his end, it could be from paper or plastic crumpling together. I’m not very sure. “Obviously, I’m not like super super down, like it has to happen today, it doesn’t really ... I was just giving it a shot since you are so pushy, I don’t know, I just think since we seem to have a free time at the same time today for a few hours, why don’t we try and—”

“The lessons?” I try to help out, seeing as he couldn’t find the right words t

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