Bora refused to cry this time around. Being around him sent her on a constant rollercoaster of emotions, and she was done with it. She sank her body lower into the hot water as she attempted to relax her mind. She was once again in the bathtub, feeling like it was the only thing that would make her feel better. It wasn’t working, and her frustration just grew deeper as she laid in the steaming water. Once again, a knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.
“Come in.” She yelled out, having no doubt in her mind who it was. Hyukjae nonchalantly entered the room, and she prepared herself for the next fight.
“Are you still mad?” He asked her. Bora closed her mouth immediately, surprised that he started the conversation in this way.
“I am.” She said in a cold voice after a couple of seconds. Hyukjae took a moment to scan the surroundings before replying.
“I really don’t get your fascination with baths, they’re such a waste of time.” He said in his usual blunt way.
“Why don’t you get in and find out for yourself.” She replied. Hyukjae looked at her for a moment before proceeding to take off his shirt, accepting her offer. With each article of clothing he removed she found herself becoming less and less upset. He entered the bathtub and sat down on the opposite side of her.
“Well?” She asked him.
“It’s really hot.” He complained.
“That’s what makes it better.” She said as she waded towards him slowly, forgetting entirely that she was upset. Upon reaching him, she sat firmly on his lap and pressed her body against his, feeling his excitement growing under her.
“What do you think now?” She asked seductively as she began to trail her lips down his neck.
“I still think it’s a waste of time.” He replied. Bora scoffed and tried to pull away, but his hands wrapped around her waist before she could do so, pulling her down onto him as he thrusted into her.
“That’s much better.” He breathed out as she gasped for air from the surprise. They held their position for a while as he ran his fingers up her body, tracing the outline of her breasts in their stillness. Bora began to gyrate her hips slowly as he touched her, hearing his breathing quickening as she began to move. He pressed his face into her chest as he braced himself, not used to someone else taking the control.
He grabbed her breasts firmly with the palm of his hands, letting his fingertips run along her nipples as he felt them hardening under his touch. Bora threw her head back as she moaned under her breath. She increased the movement of her hips as she felt his body beginning to tense.
“Hey...slow down.” He breathed out, as he grasped her hips tightly in an attempt to slow her pace. She ignored his request and squeezed her lower body tighter on him, continuing the speed she was going at.
She could hear him panting softly as his hands slowly released his tight grasp, his body no longer able to fight against her as he felt the tension within him rising.
She could feel how close he was, and she forcefully slid her body all the way down on him, enveloping him fully as she established the rythm, fighting against the pressure of the water around them. His hands grasped her waist erratically as he groaned
loudly into her chest. A couple of thrusts more was all it took before she felt his body thrust upward instinctively,
holding her in place as he felt the full weight of his orgasm.
His body sank back down as he released her, still panting loudly as he recovered. Bora felt extremely satisfied with herself, and casually got up from the bath and grabbed a towel, drying herself off as he continued to catch his breath.
She wrapped the towel around her and exited the bathroom, making her way to her bed as she began to brush out her hair. Hyukjae followed her out after a couple of minutes, managing to put on only his pair of briefs, as he made his way to her bed in a defeated manner. Bora smiled as she crept up next to him, placing her head on his shoulder as she trailed her fingers tenderly along his chest and stomach. Though initially hesitating, he gave in and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer to him as he traced the outline of her figure.
“Are you sure you want me to go back...after all this?” She asked him in a joking manner. The sadness in her tone was apparent. Hyukjae stayed silent as he thought about how to answer her question. He didn’t want to lie to her, but he knew he had to be careful with his words as he also didn’t want to hurt her.
“It doesn’t matter what I want.” He began. “You belong with your family...or better yet you belong back in America, far away from this life entirely.” Bora stared at him blankly as an idea ran through her head.
“Why don’t you come with me?” She said suddenly as she perked up, not knowing why she hadn’t thought about it before.
“What?” He questioned.
“Come with me to America. I mean you have to have a passport right? Come with me and then you can really run away from all this.” She said excitedly.
“He’ll be able to find me eventually, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before.” He replied, shooting her idea down immediately.
“Eventually...but then we just keep running...what do we have to lose at that point?” She stated, looking at him directly to establish her seriousness. Hyukjae did not answer her, and Bora could tell he was really thinking it over.
“What about Donghae?” He asked her.
“He’s coming with us of course! We can’t just leave him here.” She proclaimed, and a small smile formed on his face.
“It’s not a terrible idea...but I’m not sure it’ll work, if I try to run I’ll just further escalate the situation, make it worse than it already is.” He said as his eyebrows furrowed.
“Hey...” She said sincerely. “It’ll work out. I promise.” Hyukjae looked into her eyes as she said it, reaching his other hand over to her face as he brushed a strand of hair away from it.
“You’re really strange you know?” He began. “Why would you do that...after everything I’ve done to you?” He said, with a slight hint of remorse in his voice.
“I don’t know…” she said self consciously. “I think everyone deserves a chance to start over...and I guess
I can’t really imagine my life without you two anymore.” She confessed to him. Her comment took him by surprise, making him slightly uncomfortable as his guilt crept up again. His reaction made her nervous and she quickly changed the subject before he could comment.
“You’re strange too...why even consider running away with me if you find me so irritating?” She asked him, in an attempt to divert the conversation.
“I find you intriguing and difficult to predict.” He said sincerely. Bora wasn’t sure how to take his comment as it was neither an insult nor a compliment.
“I admire how unaffected you are over matters out of your control...I can’t do that...Like when I told you about your mother and how she left, you were so accepting of it, like it didn’t change the way you saw her at all...I wish I could think that way.” He added.
“It’s not like I’ll ever be able to know why she did it...unless I hold a seance…besides, if I knew I had to deal with Heechul and myself my whole life...I probably would have left too.” She said bluntly. Hyukjae couldn’t help but laugh at her response.
“My mom left me too.” He said suddenly as he stopped laughing. “I mean she’s still alive at least...but I haven’t seen her in a very long time.”
“How long?” She asked him, surprised that he was sharing this information with her.
“She left when I was 5, around the same time Donghae came to us...she just couldn’t handle it anymore and left my dad and us without warning.” He continued, and she could see the seriousness in his demeanor. “She would call me every now and then, promise me that she would take me with her...they were all lies...she always lied.” He emphasized. “Eventually, I stopped hoping for it. I talked to her less and less as the years went by, and now it’s been over a year since we last spoke.”
“I’m sorry.” She said to him, as his confession helped her realize so many things about him and the way he was.
“Don’t be.” He said to her. Bora could tell he no longer wanted to talk about it, and dropped the conversation immediately, grateful that he had shared so much with her..
“How long have I been here?” She asked, changing the subject. “I’ve completely lost track of the dates.” Hyukjae thought about it for a moment before pulling his phone that he had placed next to him up. He hid the view of his phone as he began to unlock it.
“You’re so ridiculous.” She joked. “Why does it matter if I see your code, you don’t trust me?”
“Of course I don’t…you’ll take it from me while I’m sleeping and call someone to come rescue you.” He answered.
“But isn’t that exactly what you want right now?” She said with a raised eyebrow.
“Good point.” He answered as he unlocked his phone in front of her. He looked through the calendar app on his phone. “It looks like you’ve been here for almost two months.” He answered.
“Two months...wow.” She said as she processed the information. It hadn't even felt like that long. The two continued to embrace each other as they laid in silence.
“Well if you do take my offer, we can completely start over...no family, no debt.” She reminded him.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” He replied, as he gently placed his lips on hers.
Bora woke up the next morning to find herself alone in the bed, before knowing any details, she was already annoyed, assuming that he once again ran away from her. She quickly washed up and threw on some clothes before heading to the main room. To her surprise, Hyukjae was sitting at the dining table, having a long talk with Donghae.
“Good morning.” She said to them casually, feeling relieved that he had not actually left. They both turned to look at her and gave her a quick nod of acknowledgment before returning to the conversation.
“What’s going on?” Bora interrupted, her nosy nature kicking in.
“We’re just discussing the interview process for tonight, and going over the budget, nothing exciting.” Donghae replied to her. Bora’s eyes widened.
“You’re going through with the interviews?” She questioned, trying to hide the disappointment in her voice.
“Yes.” Hyukjae began. “Just a few new girls, we’re mostly looking to hire new bartenders and cleaning staff. Donghae will be taking care of it for me.”
“Well you definitely need all that.” She said as she shuddered remembering the current state of their bar. She was still feeling a bit insecure but she realized that this meant they would have the house to themselves tonight. She headed to the kitchen and began to prepare a quick breakfast for the three of them. Once she finished cooking, the three ate together as they usually did, making casual conversations and lighthearted dabs at each other. She was surprised to see that Hyukjae was in an uncharacteristically good mood, giving her the impression that he really was thinking about taking her up on her offer.
Once she had finished her plate, she ran back to her room and prepared herself for the night. As she applied light makeup, she was starting to realize just how attached she was becoming to Hyukjae. She was no longer able to deny her feelings for him, she was falling for him, hard. She was comforted in the fact that for the most part, he seemed to feel the same. Once satisfied with the way she looked, she headed back downstairs.
After spending the entire day around each other, the night finally came and it was time for Donghae to head out. They said their goodbyes and Bora waited impatiently in the next room, eager for Hyukjae to join her and initiate what they would be doing next.
She could hear him coming towards her and she closed her eyes as she felt him creep up behind her, pressing up against her back. His hands reached up to her neck and she felt him place a cold material on her.
“My necklace!” She exclaimed as she opened her eyes and noticed the diamond on her chest.
“A deal is a deal.” He said to her, clasping the necklace in place and turning her around to face him. Through the initial excitement, a feeling of uneasiness began to consume her. The necklace now had a different meaning to her, not to mention that it was the cause of all the trouble to begin with.
“Hey.” He said, changing the subject. “Let’s go out tonight.”
“What?” She questioned. “Like to dinner?”
“Yeah...like we did last time.” He replied.
“Why?” She said suspiciously. “You gave me such a hard time the last time...why do you all of a sudden want to do it now?”
“Things are different now.” He replied. “Do you not want to?” He asked her.
“No I do, it’s just-“
“Then let’s go.” He interrupted her. Bora closed her mouth and decided not to persist any further. She felt uneasy. but she tried to push past it, telling herself that she was overreacting.
“Okay.” She said in a half reassuring way. Hyukjae gave her a quick nod. “Let’s go.” He said as he rushed her out.
Bora didn’t stop herself from looking at him as they drove. He hadn’t said a single word to her since he started driving. He was lost in his thoughts as he usually was, but he seemed different to her, almost off.
“Where are we going?” She asked him, filling the silence in the air.
“I figured the same place as last time.” He replied.
“Ok...that sounds good.” She answered as her nervous energy increased, making her want to question him more.
“So what’s going to happen if the bar becomes more successful, after this patron and the new hires...will it be enough to get you out of your debt?” She asked him.
“Maybe eventually, but not by the time I need it.” He answered.
“Is my brother complying with your demands?” She asked, though she already knew the answer.
“Not really.” He established.
“I’m not surprised.” She began, fiddling her fingers nervously.
“Hey.” He said to her suddenly. Bora’s face shot up at the sound of his voice. “You know what we talked about last night...the offer you made me?” He asked her. Her eyes widened in surprise.
“Did you really mean it?” He asked her.
“Of course I did.” She said with a soft smile.
“What if something were to happen to me...would you still take Donghae with you?” He asked her again. Bora’s face immediately fell, and the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach began to worsen.
“What?” She replied, completely taken aback by his question.
“Answer the question.” He demanded
“I mean yeah...but why are you asking me that?” She replied.
“Promise me.” He said to her.
“Hyukjae you’re scaring me.” She said to him, no longer able to hide the emotion in her voice.
“Promise me.” He said again, his voice getting louder this time.
“I promise.” She said softly. Hyukjae said nothing in return. The conversation was all it took for Bora to realize that she wasn’t overreacting at all. Something was definitely wrong.
“Hyukjae…” she began, her voice beginning to break. “What’s going on?” She asked him. He continued to say silent. They arrived at their destination and Hyukjae parked the car and removed his seatbelt, staring silently at the floor.
“Please...talk to me.” She pleaded, now feeling terrified. Before she could say anything else, she felt herself getting dragged out of the car. She screamed loudly as her body went into a full blown panic.