Chapter 1: Secret
"Does it hurt?" Hyun-su asks one night, laying his palm over the gentle swell of her belly, the baby's little kicks pushing through his fingertips.
"What?" Ji-won lazily peeks open an eye, only to find Hyun-su staring curiously at her.
"Does it hurt when the baby kicks?", he asks again.
She laughs at his words, but realises he's being serious by the deep furrow in between his brows and bites back her laugh. "No, it doesn't," Ji-won shakes her head, but it might hurt a little when she grows bigger," she continues, holding up two fingers with a small space between them.
Hyun-su frowns even more. He doesn't like the idea of Ji-won getting hurt. If he could, he would bear all the discomfort and pain Ji-won has to go through, even though he doesn't understand. Quickly, he lowers his head to the level of her belly and whispers a few words, too soft for Ji-won to hear.
She chuckles. "What are you doing?"
He looks up at her, with a cheeky glint in his eyes. "It's a secret," he says, his hands never leaving her baby bump, never quite figuring out what the odd sensation arising from his chest was whenever the baby kicks in response to his voice, not until much later, he found out, it was, in actuality, excitement and love.
"Yah, sharing secrets with your daughter already?" Ji-won tuts in disapproval, albeit fondly.
He only smiles, and presses a kiss on her belly.
Please be good to your omma, he whispers.
"Are you done yet?" Ji-won wriggles uncomfortably.
"What's wrong?" Hyun-su sits up abruptly, always alarmed at the slightest discomfort Ji-won has nowadays.
"I need to pee."
Chapter 2: Pre-Wedding Night
It's past midnight and he can't sleep. Hyun-su is finding it difficult to shake off this odd sensation - the way he feels his heart is in his throat, the way there are butterflies tumbling about in the pit of his stomach, the way all he could think of is Ji-won.
He didn't know they were simply nerves.
He hasn't seen her for a day because it's a taboo for the bride and groom to meet before the wedding, and he thinks it's a stupid tradition, because he is seized with worry, and Cha Ji-won is his main source of worry - did she eat well? is she sleeping well?
Deciding he is done tossing and turning in his bed, Hyun-su resorts to rest on the small couch in his workshop, gaze traveling around the corners of the tiny space. In a few months' time, their little family of three will be moving to a new home, and a wave of nostalgia hits him.
Deep in thought, his reverie is interrupted when he hears the soft click of the front door unlocking, and he has a tiny inkling of who the 'intruder' is. Quickly, he pretends to be asleep, and then all he hears is the creaking of the floorboards, as Ji-won tiptoes her way to him.
He is enveloped by a familiar warmth when Ji-won climbs onto him, burying her face into his chest, the strands of her hair tickling his chin, and he takes in the inviting notes of her soft, vanilla fragrance, and the jitteriness in him ebbs away.
"I missed you," she murmurs into his chest.
"You shouldn't be here," he says softly, feathering a kiss on the top of her head.
"Yah, I thought you were sleeping!" Startled, she accidentally bumps her head against his chin when she looks up to meet his gaze. Hyun-su flinches in pain, but is soon distracted with the way the silver glow of the moonlight is catching the brightness of her smile, and the corners of his mouth starts to lift upwards too.
"Did you miss me?"
She had received a string of text messages from him, but had been too occupied with the party her colleagues and friends had thrown for her to reply him.
His actions prove otherwise, because he's wrapping his arms tightly around her, the soothing, gentle, patting on her back lulling her to sleep.
He hums in reply, sleep slowly taking over him.
"Are you nervous?" she asks, voice thick with sleep too.
"Are you sure?"
Her little snores fill the room before he could reply, and the softest of a smile twitches from the corners of his lips. He's not nervous, definitely not.
Much much later, when they renew their marriage vows, he remembers how he couldn't stop fiddling with his hands, his breath catching in his throat on their wedding day, as he stares at Ji-won, who's wearing the exact, same, bright smile on her face, shining like a sun goddess, as he once again, slips the ring into her finger.