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Dawon was seething, inhaling sharply as she watched Luda from afar. They were at a party, specifically, Cheng Xiao’s birthday party, and Dawon couldn’t stand the way everyone was all over Luda. The way all the guys gave her suggestive looks, and the way all the girls were practically dying over how adorable she was, all while Luda was oblivious to every bit of it. She was just being herself, which, unfortunately for Dawon, appealed to every person in the room.

The taller one was never one to be jealous. She knew Luda liked her, and she knew they were on their way to become something great, but her veins felt like they were on fire, blood boiling at even seeing the older one interact with the people around her, who were clearly in a mood to flirt. Dawon would be a liar if she said she didn’t understand the admiration. Luda was beautiful, everything about her was. Nothing could compare to her smile, or the way she looked in her dress, defining perfection without even making an effort. Dawon understood what everyone else saw, but she couldn’t stand that they were acting upon it. It made her angry, furious, even, and she was seconds away from picking up and leaving. She couldn’t bear watching it.

It felt idiotic. She and Luda weren’t even official, though they’d been a thing for a while now. Stolen kisses and even beyond that, Dawon practically became intoxicated by Luda, to the point that she couldn’t think of anything else. She downed another shot of whiskey, which she had in her hand for a while, feeling the burning sensation in her throat before slamming the shot glass onto the table. She wiped at her mouth with the sleeve of her dress-shirt, which she hadn’t had time to change out of after work, as Cheng Xiao’s party was immediately after. Her thoughts were soon interrupted by a familiar voice.

“Hm, I never saw you this mad when I lived with you for two years,” Xuanyi commented, gaining Dawon’s attention.

“Yeah, well...I don’t think I’ve ever felt this mad either,” Dawon muttered in response, sighing.

Xuanyi chuckled, shaking her head and taking Dawon’s shot glass to fill for herself. “You and Luda, then? Can’t say I’m surprised. When did it start?”

“Well, I don’t know what ‘it’ is, but I...I guess it was around five months ago? She kissed me.”

“What? All of a sudden?”

Dawon nodded. “From then on we couldn’t stop kissing. I don’t know if I’m too addicted to her, or if she’s too addicted to me, but all I know is that I can’t be here when everyone wants her. I feel like I’m going insane just knowing that people are looking at her the same way that I do.”

“I actually don’t think anyone in the room looks at her the way you do,” Xuanyi was playing around with her drink. “Sure, a lot of people clearly want her, but...they look at her with exactly that—with want, and desire. You? You look at her with something more than that. Like she’s the only girl in the world. You always have.”

The taller one took the shot glass from her friend’s hand, drinking it herself after it was left untouched for so long, and groaning in frustration. “I know it’s not her fault that they want her, I just...what if she wants one of them more than she wants me? I know we’re not official and I have no right to feel this way, but they don’t care about her, not like I do.”

Xuanyi was smiling, nodding. “I would ask if the girls know but they’ve been telling us in our ‘everyone minus ludawon’ groupchat.”

“The girls know?” Dawon seemed shocked, eyes widening at Xuanyi.

“Don’t look at me like that, I don’t know how they found out. Maybe you two are loud kissers or some shit, that’s not my fault, I’ve been living in China, in case you forgot.”

Dawon rolled her eyes at the response, before sighing, and looking back to Luda, who was smiling politely at those who approached her to converse. Dawon was captivated by her in every way she could be, and it was driving her insane. Luda was driving her insane.

“I love her,” she said quietly. “I don’t know how long I have. It’s as if one day I could live without her, and suddenly I couldn’t. Suddenly, she was all I thought about, all I wanted. I can’t walk away, no matter how nervous and terrified it makes me to love her. She’s just...she’s worth it. Even if she doesn’t feel the same.”

Xuanyi seemed stunned. “Wow. That is disgustingly homosexual.”

“I’m going to hit you with this shot glass,” Dawon narrowed her eyes at her old friend. She knew it was exactly something Xuanyi would say, so she definitely wasn’t surprised, but nonetheless.

She stopped thinking of the comment as soon as she noted the strange and clearly drunken state of someone approaching Luda. Suddenly, she was furious once again, walking past Xuanyi without a word and towards the scene. Before the guy could put his lifted hand on Luda, Dawon grabbed his wrist tightly, her jaw clenched.

“Woni?” Luda looked at Dawon, not failing to acknowledge the anger practically coming off of the taller one like steam.

“Do we have a problem here?”

“Yes, we do,” Dawon gritted her teeth. “Don’t try to touch her ever again.”

“What, does she belong to you or something?”

“She doesn’t belong to anyone, asshole. She’s her own person, and I’m sure she’ll express whether or not she wants to be touched, which I’m sure is not by a nasty idiot like you. So yeah, we do have a problem. Leave.”

A crowd gathered around them, including a lot of the girls, who were shocked at seeing such an enraged Dawon, eyes practically on fire. The guy chuckled at her words.

“She’s pretty, and she’s at a party, isn’t she? I think it’s appropriate to-“

Dawon cut him off by twisting his wrist with no limit, putting him down on his knees immediately from the pain. With venom laced in her tone, she spoke again. “I didn’t tell you to talk. I told you to leave. Why don’t you go ahead and listen?”

The guy quickly nodded, making Dawon let go of his wrist harshly. He got up, running out of the crowd, and leaving Dawon and Luda alone in the center of it all.

“Dawonie...hey, it’s okay. I’m okay,” Luda’s voice was soft, tugging on Dawon’s arm. Dawon was still infuriated, clearly, which concerned Luda, and everyone else, as she’d never been that way. Luda cupped Dawon’s face, gaining her attention. “Look at’s okay.”

Upon meeting Luda’s eyes, and hearing her words, Dawon’s face softened almost immediately. Of course, as she calmed down, she realized she’d made a scene.

“Luda...I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

She backed away, before running past the crowd herself, not looking back for a second. She heard Luda calling out for her, but the door closed behind her as she went outside, muffling the sound of the party’s music and instead welcoming the sound of the quiet night. Dawon ran a hand through her messy hair, before putting her face in her hands out of frustration. She’d never been so angry before, and her lack of control surely disappointed Luda, and she couldn’t bring herself to face the smaller girl. Alas, it was something unavoidable.

She heard footsteps behind her, the sound of heels clicking on the ground of Cheng Xiao’s backyard making Dawon nervous. She saw Luda step beside her from her peripheral vision, the older girl looking out into the distance, as did Dawon, remaining silent for only a short while.

“Dawon...” Luda broke the silence, glancing to the taller girl, who didn’t turn even for a second. She sighed. “Don’t avoid me.”

“I’m listening, Luda,” Dawon’s voice was low.

“Look at me.”

Luda waited a while before Dawon succumbed to the request, turning around, and looking down at Luda, who frowned. “You’re upset.”

“Yeah,” the taller one laughed softly, while Luda cupped her cheek, stroking it with her thumb. Dawon was confused, but didn’t express it. “Shouldn’t you be mad at me?”

“Why would I be?” Luda’s voice was soft. “Because you were?”

Dawon nodded. “I hurt that guy...I caused a scene at Xiao’s party and drew attention and I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me, I-“

“Hey,” Luda shook her head. “Don’t apologize. You hurt him to defend me, Won. That says more about you than your anger does, I promise you. Don’t beat yourself up for this.”

“I don’t want you to be scared of me,” Dawon felt her voice break, sighing. “I know I’ve never been like that in front of you, and I don’t want it to change how you see me. I was just jealous and protective, and I...I couldn’t think.”

“I’m not scared of you,” the words left Luda’s mouth as a whisper. “You had good reason to be mad, and it doesn’t scare me, I know you’d never be like that to me. In fact, the way you looked at me when our eyes met, it made me realize...nobody cares like you do, Dawon.”

Luda sighed, grabbing Dawon’s hand, and putting it on the left side of her chest. Her heart was racing.

“This is the worst you’ve done to me,” she said, looking at Dawon, although the younger one avoided her eyes. “Make my heart race when it shouldn’t, make me want to protect you even when I hardly have the strength to, make me run after you when you run away from me. I’m not scared of you. I’m scared of how much I love you. You have nothing to be jealous of, so please just...look at me.”

Dawon’s eyes met Luda’s, like those of an injured puppy. Luda looked at her for a while, before hugging Dawon’s neck tightly, even if the taller one struggled to reciprocate for a few seconds. Ultimately, a pair of stronger arms wrapped around Luda’s waist, and there they were, hugging under the moonlight, and it was all the comfort Dawon needed.

They stayed there for quite some time, and Dawon felt herself getting sleepy from the insane amount of alcohol she’d ingested, laying against Luda’s head and mumbling into her hair. “I love you.”

“Are you tired?” Luda noted it in her voice, pulling away to look at Dawon, who nodded, while frowning. “Let’s go to one of Xiao’s rooms, I’m sure not all have been occupied for...yeah.”

Luda grabbed Dawon’s hand, the taller girl rubbing her eyes as they made it inside, proceeding to go upstairs. The first door she tried was locked, but the second worked nicely, allowing them to walk in. Dawon sat on the bed, looking up at Luda with a small pout.

“What’s wrong?”

“You didn’t say you loved me too when we were outside,” Dawon crossed her arms, making Luda smile almost immediately, her heart warming at Dawon’s tone. The younger one was evidently drunk, and beyond tired, but her attitude made Luda melt.

“Well, baby,” Luda placed a soft kiss on Dawon’s forehead. “I love you too. Wait for me here, okay? I have to take my make up off.”

“Can you take your dress off too? For me?”

“Dawon,” Luda rolled her eyes, smiling. “I’ll be back soon.”

Luda came back after a few minutes, and to her surprise, Dawon was already fast asleep under the covers, which were left down on one side as though she was waiting for Luda. The older one smiled, getting into bed with her lover, tracing Dawon’s facial features that she loved so much.

“You’re hot when you’re jealous,” Luda whispered, smiling. “But I’m yours. I’ll always be yours.”

She placed a long, sweet kiss on Dawon’s lips, pulling the taller one’s head closer to rest on her chest.

“I love you, Woni. Sweet dreams.”