The plane was flying across a beautiful sea of sparkling blue - and as much as you wanted to keep your angry-face on, the sight of the sky and sea melted you away. Not that you admitted it to Jooyeon, though.
You still felt silly, stepping out of Joon's car and storming towards the plane, yelling at Jooyeon in all the languages you knew. Jooyeon apologized (but obviously did not mean it) and asked for you to come along.
"No. No, no and no!"
Yet Joon had lifted you up like a bride and carried you up - much to you chagrin. When he put you down in the plane, you tried to make your way to the exit. You put up such a violent resistance that Joon had ended up hugging you in his lap until the plane had taken off and was properly in the air.
From then on, you had not said a word to anyone. Thinking back about how Joon had wrapped his arms around you and cooed for you to sit on his lap like a 'good little girl', you felt heat tint your cheeks.
"Don't be angry, weren't you saying that you've been dying to go to the beach?"
"Do you realize there are no more workers in the cafe?" You glared at her.
Instead of an answer from Jooyeon, Joon looked up from the seat opposite yours. "Oh! You're finally talking!" He grinned.
His three other friends - whom Jooyeon had introduced as Seung Ho, Cheon Doong and Mir were seated on the other side. They turned to look as soon as Joon exclaimed, making you slink back into the chair.
G.O, who sat opposite Jooyeon, cleared his throat. "I've already sent replacement staff to the cafe and bought more than enough clothes and other essentials for the both of you." He looked pleased with himself. "And don't worry, the replacement staff are perfectly trained. "So, don't worry and have some fun?"
As much as you were angry with the arrangements, manners have taught you to not be a sulky kid when faced with such politeness. You nodded, noticing a smirk tug at the end of Joon's lips. "What's so amusing?" You could not help by ask.
"You." His eyes moved to look into yours.
Raising an eyebrow at his answer, you waited for him to continue. "I've never seen a waitress take off her apron, fling it towards her boss and have such a dramatic exit."
You blushed remembering that scene, and buried your face in your hands. "I hope he doesn't consider firing me!"
"I don't think he would, not many cafes have the privileged to hire such a cute girl as their waitress." You felt your blush deepen, and refused to remove your face from between your palms. He chuckled at your shyness, and you heard the rustling of clothes.
Letting out a gasp when a pair of warm hands touched yours, you looked up to find Joon's face inches from yours.
"Enjoy this trip, alright?" He asked with much sincerity, so you nodded with a sigh.
[ * ]
"That one over there will be your house." Joon pointed, walking towards a tiny, homely cottage with a luggage bag - your luggage bag, G.O had pointed out.
"Ex - excuse me? My house?"
Placing the bag in front of the door, Joon turned to affirm you with a grin. "Yes, of course. Did you think you would be sharing a room with Jooyeon?"
You looked towards your left, where other cottages were lined up at. Jooyeon was whispering in G.O's ear - both of them heading into the same cottage. You bit your lip. Of course not.
Still, you did not like staying alone in an unfamiliar place. Sure you rented an apartment, but you had housemates - Jooyeon being one of them.
"What's the matter?" Joon leaned towards you. Trying to ignore how close his face was to yours, you pretended to look at your surroundings.
"Ah, nothing. Just not one to adapt to new places quickly."
Joon stepped back, and you breathed at the sudden distance between him and you. You heard him fumbling with keys and then swinging the door open. "After you, milady." He gestured when you peeked, and you could not help but to laugh and enter.
[ * ]
"I'm leaving your bag over here." Joon informed, placing the luggage bag at the corner of the bedroom. He then took a look at your bathroom, exclaiming "Wow, the bathtub looks heavenly."
"Don't you get one too?" You asked, doing a quick tour around the cozy little cottage. Most of the room were joined to each other - except for the attached bathroom in the bedroom.
Joon's chuckle was heard, and as you reached the bedroom you found him leaning against the door frame, his gaze lingering on you before he moved it back into room. "I do get one in my cottage. The problem is I'm sharing the cottage with Mir. That means no Me Time with the bathtub." He ended with a bitter laugh.
You hummed in understanding, thanked him for bringing your luggage in and went to check out the contents. "Who bought all these stuff anyway?"
"Um ..." You bit your lower lip, fishing out a set of lacy white lingerie. "Whoever bought it must have very ... interesting tastes."
"I'll take that as a compliment." Joon smirked, then gave you a little wave. "I'm heading back to change! Waves here come in the evening, do you surf?"
[ * ]
Hopping towards the huge flowerbed in the park, you pointed your camera towards yourself to take a picture. A few feet away, Joon was sulking. "I can't believe you're such a tourist. I can't believe G.O made me skip surfing to accompany you. I can't believe this."
You ignored his complaints, having already debated with him awhile ago. If he disliked following you, he did not have you - you insisted. "But G.O's a bro. So I'm stuck with you." He had sighed.
"Does this road lead to the top of the hill?" You asked out loud - generally asking Joon but knowing he would ignore you, you pretended not to point the question at him.
Running up excitedly by yourself, you noted that he was not following. "He's so spoiled." You shook your head. The view at the summit of the tiny hill was breath-taking, and you screamed in hopes that Joon would come up.
He did, and it made your heart skip - knowing that he did care, even if a little.
When he found out that you were perfectly fine, he scowled. "Don't be so bitter." You cooed. "Won't you have regretted not coming up here? The view is fantastic!"
[ * ]
"What's wrong with you? Has being all touristy left you without an appetite?" Joon was a gentleman through and through. Despite his little tantrum earlier in the day, he still bothered to tend to you during dinner.
Unfortunately, you did not have the spirit to talk to him. Sitting at the table right across you was a senior from your school that you had a crush on. He had always been a person you looked up to, and even had a crush on. Just a week ago, you had confessed to him - and he had smiled, saying "I'll think about it, since you're pretty cute."
At that point, you thought he really meant it - that he would really consider it. Every time you met him during club activities, he would be very intimate with you. A week passed, and another. You wanted to ask him if he was ever going to decide - but thought that you should respect his space. Yet here he was, sitting at a table full of girls, flirting with them. He did not even notice you being there.
"Hey." Joon waved his hand in front of your face, temporary breaking your glare. "What's wrong?"
"I - nothing. Excuse me." You fumbled with the napkin on your lap and made a quick exit. Praying that no one would follow you, you walked aimlessly until you found a secluded corner to sit at, and allowing tears to make their way down your face.
"Guy problem?" You heard a familiar voice.
"No, not really. More like, my problem."
"Your guy problem?" Joon took a seat next to you.
"Are you here because G.O sent you?"
You took his silence as a yes. "Then don't ask."
"I do sincerely want to help, even if I needed some prodding to get over here." Joon sighed. "So tell me. Or come back to the table so Jooyeon can stop being worried."
Oh Jooyeon. Why did you have to come here for a vacation, of all places? Why did he have to be here as well? Of all times?!
"My crush was there. Sitting at the table next to ours."
"And ... well he was supposed to think about ...."
"My confession." You expected a snort, a giggle, a laugh, a sarcastic remark from Joon - but none came.
"So he's out here hitting on girls even though he said he might date you?" Joon's voice raised ever so slightly. "What a jerk." He stood up suddenly, and you had the sudden image of him punching something into smithereens. "If I didn't want to date anyone - I'd just tell them. C'mon." He tapped your shoulder.
"Payback!" Joon grinned.
[ * ]
"So we're standing here for?"
"He's gonna be out in five minutes or so."
"How would you know?"
"I've sent Mir to do some agent-work for me." He looked pleased with himself, his plan. You were about to ask him what he meant with agent work, but he spoke before you could. "Do you act?"
"As in, are you good at acting? Have you acted before? Can you act?"
"I'm not much of an actress ... why?" You must have looked worried, because he laughed then reassured you. "Leave everything to me then, just play along!"
It certainly seemed less than five minutes when you caught sight of your senior walking out of the restaurant with his many girl escorts. Panic overtook you, and you thought to walk away. As if reading your thoughts, Joon grabbed your hand and gave you a reassuring smile.
Gently pulling you along as he walked towards your senior, he hummed a lively tune. As you neared your senior, you heard some of the girls gasping and saw them pointing excitedly at Joon. It made your heart thumped harder, and you wondered if you could 'play along' as Joon as instructed at all.
Your legs were already shaking as you walked, so when Joon moved his foot into your path, you tripped and cursed inwardly. Squeezing your eyes shut, you waited for your body to come into contact with the ground.
Instead of the chilly cement that you expected, you soon found yourself in the warm embrace of someone - Joon. Never in a million years would you have been prepared for what you would see when you opened your eyes. All the times you thought Joon was close to you - he was never this close.
His lips were barely centimeters away from yours, it made you ponder for a brief moment if they had grazed yours during the fall. The look in his eyes was something you had not seen in him before. Gone was that childish glint in his eyes, or that Casanova flirty spark, or even that moody look you had seen earlier.
The way he gazed into your eyes, the way his eyebrows furrowed in make-shift worry - wait, was he even pretending anymore? "Are you alright, love?"
Taking a deep breath, you nodded without a sound. You were speechless. Under his intense gaze, you were melting, helpless, warm and cozy. Were there even people around anymore? It felt like you were alone with Joon.
A smile tugged at the end of his lips. "Thank goodness." He breathed, leaning to rest his forehead on yours.
Close, close, close! Your brain screamed as his lips hovered dangerously close to yours again. The tip of his defined nose brushed against yours, and you shivered. Maybe this whole thing was a bad idea after all, you thought bitterly. From all the stories Jooyeon had told you, these four friends of G.O were really popular - especially Joon. He was known to have a girl whenever he wanted, and have another the next minute.
He was still a gentleman - but he was a flirt. A heartbreaker. Someone who had a big No printed on his forehead in your imagination.
Yet here you were, dazed by the intimacy of your bodies. Your lips yearned to touch his seemingly soft ones, you wanted to be in his embrace again.
It was when you heard the unmistakable voice of your senior that you realized he was still there. Stepping away slightly from Joon, you looked at him - trying to hide the hurt and bitterness as you waved and greeted him.
"What a surprise! I didn't think I'd meet you here." He walked towards you, the girls followed closely behind.
"Mmm, neither did I. I remember you mentioning that you had some part-time work to tend to, since you couldn't meet up me for the holidays."
"Oh that!" He looked flustered. Clearing his throat, he stuttered and continued. "It was cancelled last minute, and I didn't have your number, so -"
"I text you every few days to update you on the Art Club, oppa." You breathed the last word with much disappointment. In a way, you were relieved.
Relieved that he was caught red-handed, so that you no longer needed to wait. Wait for someone who would not even get back to you.
As your senior stood there at a loss for words, Joon curled a strand of your hair around his finger. "Are you done talking to this sad excuse of a man who can't even treat you right?"
Before you could answer, Joon's lips were on yours.
It was a brief experience. A chaste kiss.
It was not one of the best kisses you had received, but it was not a bad one either.
It was not passionate, but it was not bland.
Pulling you close to him, Joon glared at the man he seemed to dislike more and more with each passing second. "Don't go near her anymore, you disgrace of a man. She's mine now."
While the rustle and whispers of the group disappeared along with the man you once called your crush - your mind only resounded with Joon's last words.
[ * ]
"Thank you." You turned to give Joon a little bow. He had walked you back to your cottage after dinner.
Surprisingly, no one had asked about why you left the table when Joon and you rejoined. Even Jooyeon did not bring anything up. It occurred to you that Joon might have already said something to Mir earlier, but whatever the reason was, you were thankful to have the night end with much pleasantries instead of interrogations.
Joon chuckled and placed one hand on the wall behind you, leaning over you in the chilly night. "Thank you for?"
"For bothering with me. For carrying my luggage bag earlier, for accompanying me while I was being all touristy, for helping me get revenge, for the ki- "
Covering your mouth with your hands, you prayed that Joon had not heard or interpreted your slip of tongue.
If he did, he did not bring it up. Instead, he smiled and leaned even closer to you. "You're welcome. Have a good night."
"Go on, get in."
"I - I can't move if you're leaning over me like this."
"Yes you can, you just have to walk sideways."
"So will this be when I think back about it."
Minutes later, you stood inside the warmth of the cottage with your back pressed against the door. Tears suddenly found their way down your cheeks, and you shook where you stood.
Reaching up shakily to touch your lips, you realized that they were still warm.
Warmth from his lips.
His last sentence had left you confused. It made you wonder if the little alcohol he had during dinner made him incoherent. What awkwardness was he talking about?
When he leaned down to press his lips onto yours for the second time that night, it suddenly made sense. Yet sense was the last thing that resounded in your mind. Unlike the kiss earlier, the second one was less careful and more demanding.
Joon had nibbled on your bottom lip and licked it, earning a whimper from you. He smiled then, and became more aggressive, wrapping his arm around your waist and pulling your body to meet his. When the kiss was broken, Joon was panting with a slight grin. His eyes were hooded, and you blushed at his gaze on you.
Without a word, Joon left and you scrambled to get in before you could felt anymore dizzy.
No, you would not play his game.
Not fall for him.
Despite chanting the warning like a mantra, you found yourself unable to sleep that night. Images of Joon flash through your head, images of his gorgeous features, his smile, his frown, his goofy grin, his dangerously suave Casanova gaze - his lips.
[ * ]