Lee Tae Ik: Six Months Later
“Tae Ik-nim, Tae Ik-nim.”
I smile. I roll over and I pull him close.
“Jang Man.” I say kissing his neck.
“Hyung-nim. What are you doing?”
I open my eyes and Go Dong stares back at me.
I scream and I shove him away, almost falling off of bed.
“What are you doing?!” I shout sitting up.
He sits up.
“I am a pure and innocent person, you know? I’ve never even been involved in a scandal. It’ll be problematic if you touch me like this again, I know exactly what Stylist Jang will do to me and you if he sees.”
I kick him out of bed.
“Stop saying such ridiculous shit! I feel sick and itchy just knowing my lips touched your skin. Eww!”
“Hey! A lot of people find me desirable so I don’t blame you.”
“You’re the one who accosted me.”
“I forgot I set my alarm to sound like Jang Man.”
He laughs and gets up off the floor.
“For such a serious person, I am surprised to find you are seriously perverted at heart.”
“I mean, taking advantage of sweet Man Ok like that.” He shakes his head.
“Advantage? Hey! Get out before I put my newly learned Taekwondo skills to use on your ass.”
“Your assistant asked me to come wake you.”
“What do you mean why? Did you forget you have a TV appearance today? Stop torturing your new assistant, she practically cries every time she has to keep you on track.”
“Hey! It’s not my fault they’re so incompetent.”
“Just stop daydreaming so much and keep track of time, huh?”
“I don’t remember you being this mouthy to me.”
“Hyung, I’m a professional musical director now. You aren’t so scary to me anymore.”
“Get up and get ready or I’ll tell Stylist Jang you’re misbehaving.”
I throw the pillow at his head and he runs out of the room.
“This guy! I should have fired him when I had the chance.” I shake my head.
I look at the picture I had by my bedside of Jang Man and I together.
“How dare you leave me at the mercy of these idiots?”
I kiss his smiling face before getting out of bed.
The days seemed to be packed with appearances, photo shoots and fan meetings.
Our new album had been very successful and I had even allowed Go Dong to use the song I had written for Jang Man.
I sigh as I look at my reflection in the mirror.
He had gone to the United States for a month.
He promised to be back for our first concert in a week but whenever we talked he seemed really excited about his new job. I just wasn’t sure he would come back so soon. I knew he wanted to extend his time abroad, even if he didn’t admit it out loud.
I missed him so much and Kang Hwi took every opportunity he could to make fun of me. He said I looked like a lost puppy. The fact that he was comparing me to a freaking dog pissed me off so much, he was lucky he was even still alive.
“Take One, two minutes till show time.” The stage director calls.
We were taping a recording for a morning show and we had been asked to sing one of our new songs. We were supposed to sing ‘Touch’ from our previous album since the fans always requested it but the song lineup had been changed at the last minute.
I had never sung this song publicly before, just because it was for Jang Man and I wanted him to be present when I did sing it.
Maybe that is why we weren’t told of the change in songs until ten minutes before the taping. At least we only had to sing the first half of the song so I suppose I could sing it in its entirety to Jang Man later.
“You ready?” Kang Hwi says clapping me in the back.
I glare at him.
“I’m always ready.”
“How about last week when you forgot the dance moves?”
“That was different!”
My cheeks burn and I’ll be damned if I answer his question.
“You thought you saw Man Ok in the audience again right?” He chuckles.
“I said forget it!”
He puts his arm around my shoulders.
“I get it. While he was here you were getting it regularly. This month must be hell for you and your libido.”
I shove him off and he holds his hands up in surrender.
“Come on, guys. What are you doing?” President Hwang asks opening the door.
“Come on. It’s show time.” Kang Hwi says slapping my shoulder.
I make sure I look perfect before following him out of the dressing room.
We take our positions on stage and the music begins to play.
I step forward.
The fans scream our name and I smile at them.
“Don’t say anything, just be as you are
And come into my arms-be my love, hold my hand”
Kang Hwi steps up beside me.
“When I see your lips, I feel your small breaths
The moment you came to me, you’re my dream
I only want you”
I picture Jang Man’s face.
“Day by day, my heart rushes all the time
My smile is only for you so only look at me.
I force myself to concentrate on the dance moves so I won’t look like an idiot just standing there.
Kang Hwi and I move in sync and the fans get louder.
“Hello hello, you’re my goddess
I love you my love
Hello hello, I only love you
You are my heaven
I want to have you everyday
To me, you are everything
I can’t let you go even for a single moment
You are my heaven”
The lights dim as we finish and the fans scream for us.
“Take One! Take One!”
“Kang Hwi Oppa!”
“Tae Ik Opppa!”
Kang Hwi and I exit the stage.
“I am probably being biased because you are my boys, but I think you looked fantastic.” President Hwang says.
We follow him backstage towards the dressing room and stop as I catch sight of the person standing in the corridor.
Kang Hwi runs into me.
“What are you doing?! That hurt my nose, idiot.”
Jang Man waves at me.
My heart beat thunders in my ears and I feel light headed.
“Man Ok!” Kang Hwi shouts running towards Jang Man.
He lifts Jang Man into his arms before setting him back down.
“Why didn’t you say you were coming? This is a surprise!” Kang Hwi says.
Jang Man smiles at me over Kang Hwi’s shoulder.
“That was the whole point.”
“Man Ok, I’ve missed you so much.”
“I missed you too.”
Seeing Kang Hwi embrace Jang Man so fiercely finally snaps me out of my stupor.
I walk up and grabbing the back of Kang Hwi’s jacket, I pull him off.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” I ask.
“I’m greeting my friend who’s been gone for a while.”
“Just say hello with words. You don’t have to grab him like that.” I look at Jang Man. “Don’t even shake his hand, Jang Man! You don’t know when he will start to getting indecent desires for you again.”
“Indecent desires?! Hey! Like you’re one to talk. I happen to be a pure soul. Man Ok, tell me. Am I more pure or is this Rude Bastard more pure?”
Jang Man snorts.
“Man Ok, it’s not too late you know. Just say you’ll come home with me. Am I not better than Tae Ik?”
“What?! What did you say?”
Kang Hwi hides behind Jang Man.
“Look, look. He’s still as violent as ever. Man Ok, scold him!”
“Come here you! You think you can say all this shit and get away with it?”
He uses Jang Man as a shield.
“Why are you guys acting like this again?” Jang Man asks. “Ah! You guys haven’t changed at all.”
“Fine! Just remember you asked for this.” I tell Kang Hwi.
I grab the back of Jang Man’s neck and I pull him forward. I lean down and press my lips to his and I initiate a passionate kiss.
Jang Man’s arms go around my waist.
“Hey, how can you kiss him like this in front of people?! It’s shameless.” Kang Hwi complains.
Jang Man laughs against my mouth.
I break the kiss.
“Shameless? We haven’t even gotten started.” I smile.
I take Jang Man’s hand and I pull him to the dressing room.
“Don’t you dare!” Kang Hwi shouts.
He runs after us but I close and lock the door before he can come in.
“Hey, Tae Ik! You better not do what I think you’re about to do with Man Ok! My stuff is in there!” Kang Hwi says pounding on the door.
I press Jang Man up against the counter.
“Please don’t do it on or near any of my things!”
I kiss Jang Man again.
“Are we really going to have sex in here?” Jang Man asks.
“No. I’m just going to let him think we are.”
“That’s too bad.”
He pulls a bottle of lube from his jean’s pocket.
“I came prepared.”
“Jang Man Ok, I think I just feel in love with you all over again.”
“Hey! Are you listening to me in there? Make sure my things are far away from where you are doing the deed!”
I let my jacket fall on the floor before lifting Jang Man onto the counter.
His leg pulls me closer as I put my hand under his shirt.
He nips at my neck and his fingers start unbuttoning my shirt.
“You looked so hot up there on the stage. I just wanted to run up and kiss you right there in front of everyone.”
“You should have. All I was thinking about was you.”
I nip his lip and he groans.
“Tae Ik!” President Hwang shouts knocking on the door.
I take off Jang Man’s shoe and I throw it at the door.
“We’re busy right now. Come back later!” Jang Man shouts.
I laugh against his neck.
“You really have made me crazy.” I tell him.
“I think you’re giving me too much credit. You were already half way there. I just happened to push you over the edge.”
“You crazy thing.”
“You rude bastard.”
We smile at each other.
“So!” He says slapping my backside. “Are we doing this or what? Should I go get the backup dancers to help you?”
I pull his hips up against mine and he groans.
“Are you going to start with threats again?”
“Whatever gets you moving.”
I reach down to unbutton his jeans and he pulls off my shirt before removing his own.
“I really have missed you.” I tell him.
He puts his arms around my shoulders.
“I missed you too.”
I press my mouth to his, softer this time.
His hands caress my back before reaching down to undo my pants.
His hand brushes against my hardness and I shiver.
I push down his pants and underwear and he lifts up his hips long enough for me to push them down his legs.
“Oh, that’s cold!” He says as his bare backside touches the counter.
I turn and I grab Kang Hwi’s hoodie.
“Sit on this.” I say with a smirk.
“You really are terrible.”
I snort and he laughs.
“TAE IK!” Kang Hwi shouts through the door.
Afterwards, we sit together on the floor.
He’d put his underwear and pants back on but we were still both shirtless.
I have my arm around him and his hand is lazily drawing circles on my thigh.
“So. I’m your goddess?”
“If the dress and contacts fit.”
He pinches the inside of my thigh and I slap his hand.
He presses closer.
“I’m so glad to be here with you again.”
“Me too. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming home earlier?”
“The look of surprise on your face was worth it.” He says smiling at me.
I lean forward and I kiss his mouth.
He rests his head on my shoulder.
“You know we have to vacate the room eventually right?” He asks.
“I know. Just let them stew a bit longer.”
“I think I like this new Tae Ik.”
Jang Man Ok
Tae Ik insisted on hosting a ‘Welcome Back’ party at Full House.
I thought it was just going to be Tae Ik, Grandfather, Kang Hwi and me but when we arrived, there was a lot more people than I thought.
And it was a lot fancier than I had expected. I felt a bit underdressed. I was glad I had put on a shirt instead of just a t-shirt over my jeans.
There were caterers and a pianist.
Ga Ryeong had also been invited and I shake my head as I watch her chase after Kang Hwi.
I grab two glasses of Champaign and I make my way over to my grandfather.
“Grandpa, have some of this.” I say.
He takes the glass and I hand the other to President Hwang.
A hand tugs on my wrist and I turn.
Tae Ik cocks his head towards the door and he mouths something at me.
“Follow me.” He whispers.
I follow him out of the house.
We walk down the pathway in silence.
“Grandfather might scold us later for sneaking out.” I let him.
He reaches down and he twines his fingers with mine.
“I wanted to take a walk with my boyfriend. I’m sure he’ll understand.”
My cheeks heat up and I smile.
We walk to the gazebo and he pulls me down to sit beside him.
“There is something I want to tell you.” He says.
I look at him.
He pulls a ring out of his pocket.
My heart speeds up.
“Are you proposing?”
“In a way, yes.” He reaches over and he takes my left hand. “I want you to wear this promise ring.”
“And what am I promising?”
“That you will always be my love.”
He places the ring on my finger.
“What about you?” I ask.
He lifts his left hand.
“Ta da!” He says showing me the ring he was wearing.
It was the same as mine.
“Tae Ik, I was just kidding.”
“Well I’m not.”
“Do you think it’s alright for you to wear that?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?”
“Because you have an image to uphold.”
“I love you and I’m not going to hide it from anyone.”
I press my forehead to his.
“Say it.” He says touching my cheek.
I pull back to look at him.
“You know what.”
“Ah.” I press my hand together under my chin and I bat my eyelashes. “Tae Ik-nim.” I say with as much affection as I can.
He smiles and takes my hands in his.
“Jang Man Ok. You use the Man for ‘Full’ and the Ok for ‘House’, don’t you?”
“And if you say it in English, what does it mean?”
“Full House.” I tell him.
“That’s right. So let us live here together continuously at Full House.”
“Live here? Together?”
“In separate bedrooms?”
“Why would we sleep in separate bedrooms?”
“Already knows we love each other. What? You don’t want to?”
“It’s not that.”
“Hey, Jang Man!”
And there it was, that look of irritation that made my heart flutter and my body feel hot.
“Alright. I will live here with you.”
He smiles smugly.
I punch his arm.
“OW! Are you crazy? Why the hell did you do that for?!”
“Last one back to the house gets to tell Grandpa.”
I take off first.
“Hey!” He shouts.
“Jang Man, come back here! It’s not fair, you cheated! JANG MAN OK!”