I’m surprised when we get out of the car. We’re at a small, isolated park with very poor lighting. It looks a bit intimidating, especially this late, even my chauffeur seems worried but I give him a polite smile to ensure him it’s okay.
“This is where I’m from.” Baekhyun breaks the silence and walks ahead of me.
I follow him until he comes to a stop, he lays his back on the grass, and I take a look around at my surroundings. The neighborhood is small and tight, some of the street lights are broken, the little park doesn’t seem maintained. That’s when I realize we’re on the other side and Baekhyun is sharing something with me.
He adds, “I know. You’re not used to places like this. But, you asked why I’m an .”
I fix my gown behind me before joining him. When I rest on my back, I respond. “A ...not an .”
He chuckles. “Both are pretty bad.”
I notice he’s looking up, that’s when I follow his gaze and stare up at the night sky. All the stars are visible and shine just how they are meant to light up the night.
“Wow.” I whisper. “I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen a night like this.”
I begin to compare this part of town to the city. There are so many buildings and lights overpowering the true natural lighting from the night, and here...there aren’t busy cars, loud noises, or crazy movements from individuals.
“I used to come here as a kid. It’s been a while.” He clears his throat. “I wanted to...I wanted to bring you here to see something.”
My eyes are locked on the twinkling stars and I can’t keep my eyes away from them. “See what?”
“How’d I feel coming back with you by my side.” He replies gently. “I’ve been a because that day I met you, I had to face I didn’t think I had to anymore. I didn’t want your help because I’ve never had it. I had to grow up always defending myself and my...” He stops himself then proceeds. “I don’t know...maybe without realizing it I was protecting you from things I know aren’t good.”
He has my full attention, when I turn my head to get a look at Baekhyun, his eyes meet mine. “Protect me from what?”
He pauses for a moment before whispering, “Me.”
Our brown eyes never disconnect. I’m not sure why I don’t feel any danger when he clearly warns me what he can possibly be capable of. Maybe it’s the softness his eyes hold, the sadness inside that lures me in and that makes me want to give him a chance. However, I’m a little worried this Baekhyun will not be there the next day and instead will be replaced with the one I’ve had bad encounters.
“Are you going to regret this tomorrow?” I find my voice. Brave and unashamed to ask.
He sighs, never breaking his gaze from mine. “I don’t know. I’m kind of second guessing what I’m doing right now.”
It’s like I expected that answer, not exactly word for word, but I expected it from him. “Why is that?”
“—Because I never open up to anyone. It’s ing crazy how I’m even doing it now.” He looks back up to the sky. “I barely ing know you and here I am.”
“Alcohol courage?” I tease and luckily he laughs, catching on to my making fun of him.
“Maybe.” He keeps his smile. “But, I’ve gotten pretty bad--nasty-drunk and never talked about anything.”
I grasp his confession and build courage of my own with my next question. “So...why with me?”
“I don’t ing know...” He takes a moment to continue. “But, all day I’ve been trying to not think about you. It’s pretty exhausting and I don’t think there’s a way to avoid you now. So, there’s no point in trying to fight it.”
“Oh gosh!” I break into a huge grin. “Please tell me you don’t actually like my brothers?”
He laughs with me. “Yeah, they’re alright. I’m invited to the private cabana tomorrow.”
“You’re right. We are going to be seeing each other more often.” I shake my head. “Funny. So much for staying away from each other.”
“Yeah.” He replies lowly. “This is going to be new for me. If I’m a tomorrow. I’m sorry.” He affirms with care.
I have a genius thought right away and my only remark is, “I’ll just toss you in the pool if you are.”
He laughs, “You don’t want to start something you won’t be able to finish.”
We take turns with our own wittiness for a while before deciding to head back home.
Sunday afternoon is here and as I’m walking with Somi to our Private reserved Pool Cabana, located in the upper terrace of the Resort, I’m extremely nervous to meet up with everyone or more like someone in particular. I keep readjusting the thin strap to my blush colored floral maxi dress. My bathing suit is being hidden underneath so I’m not sure why I’m starting to feel self conscious.
“We’ve done this almost every weekend, don’t see it any other way.” Somi’s voice is full force but as confident as she sounds, it doesn’t ease any nerves. “......” she slows her steps. “Except ing abs joining us..mystery boy’s ing abs.”
My heart drops when I see Baekhyun standing shirtless, exposing his toned arms and well maintained figure. Seeing him in his swim shorts holding a drink in his hand, smiling with my brothers, completely unaware how insanely attractive he looks right now...I lose it.
I feel like I need to bail...I need to bail! I turn to walk away and Somi grabs me before I can even move. I’m not ready, I’m not ready, I’m not ready to be around him right now.
When we reach the terrace, it’s like every hot weekend. The DJ is playing upbeat music and it’s mostly Chanyeol’s and Xiumin’s friends from their class last year, along with a couple of people from my class. The private Cabana holds a maximum of 30 people. Honestly, not enough to avoid him.
I see Sooyoung and her group of girlfriends all over the boys. Siyeon seems to be a bit more interested in Baekhyun as she’s obviously flirting with him, touching his arm, and laughing at whatever he’s saying. He seems to be enjoying that attention.
Everyone makes a commotion when they see Somi and I approaching the lounge area, my brother immediately hands Somi her shot glass. I’m not offered any because he knows I don’t really drink, but does have a glass of water ready for me.
“Damn, a full cup of straight vodka? You’re wild Yeji.” Baekhyun sarcastically points out.
I can’t tell if he’s trying to impress his little new fans or joke with me to joke. I mean it seems to get everyone to find humor in it except me but I have to pretend to laugh along to not make it obvious I’m bothered.
Siyeon stands up and removes her short sheer crochet cover up dress to reveal her figure in the two piece she chose to wear. Of course she’s gorgeous and looks incredible, it’s no brainer that the boys are staring without hiding it.
She takes Baekhyun’s free hand. “I’m ready for a dip. Come with me.” She says it in the most seductive way with no care that she has an audience. He immediately gets up without hesitation and the boys cheer him on.
I expected this, why was I stupid enough to believe that last night meant something? I didn’t think I would be doing this but I need to not ing care and there’s only one way to do so. I don’t care what this shot glass has in it but I take it.
“Yeji, thats...not...water.” Somi states the obvious.
I don’t care what she says. I go to the next shot glass and another one after. I keep taking them until I reach five full shots. First one for meeting him, second one for being too friendly, third one for helping him, fourth one for caring, and the last one for last night.
It’s finally dark out and the lively fun music combined with the alcohol in my system is giving me a whole different vibe. I have no worries or care, I’m really having fun sharing jokes with Somi while some boys from our class talk to us. The drinks keep coming and I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy endless cocktails, compliments from Chanyeol.
Chanyeol walks up to the group I’m socializing in. When I see him I get excited and hug my generous brother. He pulls me to the side, away from everyone.
“Are you good?” He gently asks.
I smile widely. “So good! Thanks for the drinks!”
He nods. He looks cool and well put together, he’s always been so good at controlling his liquor.
“Yeji, you know I’m not going to complain that you’re drinking and having fun, but...this isn’t you.” He pauses. “Is there something you want to talk about?”
I laugh. “Talk? About?”
I look for the rim on my cup to take a sip but Chanyeol removes it from me in the most careful way.
“Okay...” He chuckles. “Let’s take it easy, give your body a break. If you keep attacking it with drinks you’re going to regret it all tomorrow.”
I roll my eyes. If only he know I already have that issue. I try taking my drink back but he hands me a glass of water instead, in which I end up grabbing.
“Did you get jealous? He smiles and I’m sure he already has his theories or whatever. “That’s not the way to handle it sis.”
“I don’t get jealous.” I convince both of us.
He places his hands on my arms and turns me to a different direction, a sight that boils my blood.
“Don’t play games Yeji. Just let him know. Otherwise, he’ll be a ing guy...a clueless one.”
My eyes naturally squint at that bastard, that attractive bastard who is sitting there with Siyeon on his lap. At least he has a shirt on now. But it isn’t enough to make me feel better, all the fun and care free attitude I had earlier vanishes. However, as I manage to process my brother’s advice, I end up recalling something. I have invisible devil horns as I walk with mad determination towards Baekhyun.
Once I reach him, he notices my presence and without warning or even allowing him to speak, I toss my water and aim for his face. Now I’m the one who doesn’t care to have an audience.
“The pool isn’t close enough to toss you in.” I aggressively slam the glass on the table. I smile and walk away proudly. Also proud for my successful plan.
I’m back in front of Chanyeol. “I told him.” I put my hand out for him to surrender my drink. He shakes his head amusingly and without an argument, gives me my drink.
I feel like I should be upset with my angel but I’m not. I know I deserved it, I just didn’t think she would do something like that. Not that I underestimated her, I just didn’t see her to be the type to be revengeful. She’s too sweet, gentle, and caring to be that way.
I really didn’t care for Siyeon, she’s just going after what she wants and I’m not really rejecting her. It doesn’t mean I want to her. It’s just, I’ve been this person for years. I know I really feel something different around Yeji, I just don’t know how to express that or be that version for her to see.
Chanyeol appears and takes a seat, almost demanding everyone that’s there to clear out. Everyone listens to him immediately.
I smirk. “What are you...the boss?”
“Dad owns the Resort. So, yeah. This area at least.” He teases half way and I know why he’s here. “You good?”
I nod. “She has every right to be upset.”
He hands me a shot and sits back with his drink. “I’m not going to get involved. Even though she’s my sister, I’m only going to get involved when she asks me to.” He sighs. “Look, if you didn’t defend her twice I wouldn’t be sitting here.” He sips his drink. “I know you two idiots like each other. You both at saying though.”
A girl comes up to Chanyeol to ask him to dance. He takes a sip of his drink before standing up. Then, he reaches over the center table to pour two shots and hands one to me before disappearing. Surprisingly I haven’t been drinking as much, I’ve been taking it slow so that means I am somewhat trying to care for Yeji’s feelings. I know if I get really drunk, I’ll truly be a .
From where I’m sitting, it’s a pretty good view of the entire party, I can see the rest bed areas, DJ booth, dance floor, and bar. My eyes are scanning for one particular person.
I know she’s been drinking a lot and that worries me. I don’t want her getting hurt or anyone taking advantage. To my luck, I spot her walking up to the bar area with some lame . He’s ordering drinks and I have my eyes closed in on that kid. She turns away for a second to talk to Somi and I react by standing up when I see him taking something out of his pocket.
Getting closer to them, I see him pour something in his drink and that piece of thinks he’s so ing slick by switching his cup with my Yeji’s cup. He nudges her to grab her attention and the audacity he has to hand her the ing drink. She drinks it and I walk faster, I’m not sure how much she consumes but I pull it away from her quickly.
Of course she gives me but I don’t pay attention to that. Instead, I grab that er and slam his face on the bar counter. I blackout, I see red.
“Give it to me now dirty !” I demand. I feel someone grabbing me and it’s Xiumin. Luckily he takes my side by holding the guy.
“What dude?” Xiumin reacts quickly. “What do you need?”
Chanyeol rushes to the scene. “What’s going on?”
“Pockets!” Is all I can manage to say, I’m not sure how I’m controlling the urge to not ing knock this out.
They do as I say and take out the tube, I don’t have to say . They know what it means.
“He poured it in Yeji’s cup.” I add. That alone makes Chanyeol act out. He takes him from the collar and tosses his to the ground. He deserves more than that.
Chanyeol handles that idiot and my attention goes to Somi. She is trying to get Yeji to sit down but she’s being a little brat and fighting off her own cousin. The sight of seeing Yeji calms me because my focus is on her, to make sure she’ll be okay.
“You need to take her somewhere safe.” I walk up to Somi and explain. “It’s going to make her fall asleep. I’m not sure how much she took but she needs to be away from everyone.”
Yeji stands up and her little courage mode is on. “No, I need to stay away from you.” She slurs and pokes my chest.
Chanyeol walks up to us. “Somi, take her to the private Villa.” He hands the keys over. “Try to take the shortcut to avoid a scene. Baek, go with them.”
“No!” Yeji shouts, clearly unaware what has happened to her. “I don’t want him...to come...” she starts to struggle to speak.
Plenty of eyes were being exchanged and it’s like we all agreed without discussing it.
Somi whispers to me. “Just stay behind us please.”
Chanyeol and Xiumin nod to one another while I notice Sehun and Jongdae have joined us. I want to go with them because I know what they’re going to do. Except, Chanyeol reassures me he has it handled and to just follow the girls.
By the time we reach the double doors to the Villa, I’m carrying Yeji inside because she’s already drowsy. Plus, she’s falling out of consciousness to even argue about accepting my help.
I put her down on the bed and grab the blanket that’s on the sitting chair to keep her warm. I fix her hair and watch her sleep, I don’t even want to imagine what that ing idiot would have done to her.
“Let me know if you need anything.” I turn to look at Somi who’s on the other side of the bed and I see she has blood shot eyes. “She’s safe now, she’ll be fine.” I try to comfort her with those words.
“Thank you.” She whispers.
I nod and I really don’t want to leave Yeji but I have a feeling she won’t want to see me when she wakes up.
“Ew.” Somi sits up and stays still, she looks around and I recognize that look. .
She tries to cover but it’s too late, the puke splatters all over Yeji’s blanket and a little on my shirt. She rushes to the bathroom and I try not to feel grossed out.
Somi managed to scream from the bathroom there’s a washer and dryer with request to call housekeeping in the suite. Once I find it, I toss the blanket inside the washer to do it’s job along with my shirt.
There’s a wide walk in closet that connects to the bedroom and bathroom, I’m about to yell to warn Somi I’m approaching to make sure she’s okay, but I hear the shower on. I decide to go sit on the bed, next to Yeji. I’ll just wait for my shirt to be ready and Somi gets out of the bathroom to head out. I’m not really aware how sleepy I am until my eyes start to give out.
The unsettling feeling rising up to my throat force my eyes to open wide to the bright day. I sit up immediately and I don’t think I can make it to my bathroom but I truly fight to keep it in.
As soon as I’m running for the toilet, I begin to get familiar with my surroundings, how and when did I come to the pool Villa? Those thoughts soon don’t matter once I start throwing up my regrets. The pain and misery keeps me near the toilet for a good while.
Finally able to get up feeling a bit better with no urge to keep puking, I instantly sense a sore stomach and a possible damaged throat. I open one of the brand new toothbrushes from the dental kit provided here to remove the vomit taste.
After I’m done brushing my teeth, a sudden thought makes me panic. ! Today is Monday! I feel nasty and I reek of alcohol sweat. I decide to take advantage of the showers here, so I get out of my dress. What time is it? I run back to the bedroom and in a frantic I crash into someone.
“.” Within a second, I recognize that voice all too well.
Baekhyun’s hands grip to my waist while my hands are on his bare toned arms. The small exposure of my skin is in contact with his shirtless body. Seeing him in this bedroom raises more panic. My mind begins to wonder of all the worst possible things, my heart drops, terrified to a specific one.
“D-did, did we...”I struggle to ask from the embarrassment taking over my body.
He smirks. “Yes.”
I’m horrified. I burry my face in his chest, hiding my face hoping it will hide the absolute shame and hate for myself right now. I don’t even remember how I ended the night with him.
He chuckles. “Yes, as in we slept on the same bed.” He clarifies. “Nothing happened.”
I look up at him feeling relieved that I still have something of mine that means a lot to me, something that’s important to me. Although I’m thrilled to know nothing happened, I don’t appreciate his scare.
“How are you feeling?” He gently asks.
I’m inches away to falling for his charm, except I’m fully aware this type of care won’t last from him. I realize I’m still in his arms and I pull away.
“I’m going to be late for school.”
His voice stops me from taking my steps and one glance into his eyes, I’m captivated. I’m waiting for him to speak but nothing comes out. I nod after a while has passed of his silence, breaking away from his gaze I’m able to walk away.
Stepping out of the room showered and fully dressed, thanks to Somi for going to the boutique to pick an outfit for us, I can now join everyone at the dining table having breakfast.
They ordered room service and thank goodness there’s plenty of coffee. I dive into that right away and pick up a poppy seed bagel with cream cheese.
“I think I’m still drunk.” I confess to the group.
Chanyeol carefully chews before speaking. “Nah, you’re hungover.” He smirks. “I told you to take it easy.”
“Here.” Jongdae hands me an iced cold water. “Just be sure to not throw it at anyone’s face.”
Everyone laughs but tries to regroup from it as well while I’m trying to find the humor in it. After a moment, it clicks, I regain a memory. I tossed water at Baekhyun.
“You should talk to him.” Sehun encourages. “He’s outside by the pool.”
Somi adds. “Also, not to freak you out but he did save you from some drugging you.”
That definitely freaks me out because I don’t recall that at all! I’m not sure yet at what point of yesterday I actually remember and where I blackout.
Xiumin and Baekhyun walk back inside through the large sliding doors from the patio and my eyes lock with the one who keeps saving me.