Woo Bin blinked, as though he couldn't quite believe what he was seeing.
Chu Ga Eul was in a bar.
Chu Ga Eul was in a bar.
Chu Ga Eul was in a bar.
If he was drunk, Woo Bin would have thought that his mind was merely playing tricks on him, hence the image of Chu Ga Eul being in a bar.
Except it was merely eight in the evening - meaning he hadn't even begun drinking yet.
"Ga Eul?" he called out, struggling to be heard over the loud music. When that didn't make her turn, he tapped her on the shoulder.
She jerked from where she had her head on the table and quickly turned to peer up at him. Her hair was covering most her face, so she swept them up and away from her eyes before squinting at him."--sbae?" she murmured. Or at least, that was what he thought she said. "--sbae!" Somehow she'd managed to launch herself at him and he had not much choice but to catch her. Somehow, he managed not to lose his balance while he struggled to hold on to her.
Ga Eul was wearing something demure and flowy, but the material was thin enough that he could feel the heat of her skin beneath his palms. Being a gentleman, he tried to ignore that fact. Woo Bin managed to get a whiff of her breath when she sighed, and he fought the urge to wince.
The straitlaced A-student whose grades rivaled Ji Hoo's was, honest to goodness, goddamned drunk.
If he hadn't been so surprised, he would have laughed. Never in a thousand years would he think that a scenario like this was possible!
"What were you even drinking?" he demanded, pushing her forward until she was on her feet. That was, until she began to sway and giggle and claw at him. Woo Bin held on to her arms. "Ga Eul? Look at me. What did you drink?"
She swatted his hands away. "Something?" Ga Eul said, indicating the general direction of her table. "I didn't pay for it, --sbae. Someone-- someone sent it to me." She snickered. "It was-- it tasted-- slightly minty? And something else, I d'know. I liked it. I think."
He spied a glass of the emptied drink near her seat and grabbed it, grimacing all the while. It was a mojito, but it seemed like its alcoholic content was more than enough to knock her out of her considerable wits. Either there was more rum in it than usual, or Chu Ga Eul was such a lightweight that one glass of a goddamned mojito could make her drunk.
Woo Bin suspected it was the latter.
"Are you alone?" he asked, looking around them and half expecting someone was around to claim her.
She shook her head vigorously. "They went dancing," she said. "I d'know. But I want--"
"What?" He looked at her again.
Ga Eul grabbed his collar and hauled him closer towards her. He was caught so unaware that he let her do what she wanted. "Take me t'bed," she demanded, before depositing her head on the curvature of his neck and breathing him in.
Despite the loud ruckus around them, Woo Bin could swear he heard his blood pressure drop. "--What?"
"Sleep," she said helpfully - which chased away the rather interesting images dancing in his head.
Where the hell was Yi Jung when he was needed? Oh, right. Sweden. Woo Bin placed a hand on her back, resigning himself to this charitable act of kindness - just for tonight. "Come on. I'll take you home."
She hummed her assent into his skin and he swore he felt himself shiver.
He tried ignoring that, too.
"D'you think I'm plain?"
Woo Bin was in the process of buckling her seat belt when she spoke again. Her eyes had been closed when he half-dragged, half-carried her to his car and he thought she was already sleeping. But then--
"Are you awake?" he asked, looking up at her.
She sighed and opened her eyes. "You didn't answer my question." Ga Eul sounded disappointed.
Was he supposed to drive now or...? Woo Bin sank back into his seat, mulling the question over. "Of course not. You're lovely, Ga Eul." The words felt right on his tongue.
"No one thinks so," she said glumly. "And they all think I'm boring."
Where was this coming from? And why was she confiding in him, of all people?
More importantly, was Chu Ga Eul this chattily open when drunk?
Woo Bin regarded her almost fondly. "Who does?" he asked.
"Everyone," she said, making a vague gesture around her. "Everyone thinks I'm plain and boring. Just once I kind of-- I think about-- what if I--?"
Ga Eul started playing with the hem of her dress and looked so adorably forlorn that it made Woo Bin almost desperate in wanting to make her feel better. He leaned forward. "What if you...?" he prodded.
"Lose control," she whispered, before nodding to herself.
Woo Bin swallowed his smile. Ga Eul's definition of losing control might involve something minor - say, missing a day of class or not submitting an assignment. Certainly nothing earth-shattering.
"Well, why don't you?" he suggested.
"You wouldn't mind?" she asked, blinking at him.
He shook his head. What an odd question. "I don't see what's wrong with--"
That was as far as he was able to say as far as that matter was concerned.
Because the next thing he knew Chu Ga Eul, straitlaced A-student, had managed to launch herself at him, straddle his lap, and kiss him on the mouth.