Everything between Jumin Han and MC was going smoothly, until she stops talking to him.
Jumin was staring at the new phone in his hand. MC hasn’t been answering any of his calls and messages. He checked in with Seven, and he assured him she’s more than fine, and not in any danger.
“Then why…?” It’s not like his number was unknown to her. He made sure to keep the same number, even after he bought a new phone. He dialed her number yet again and waited, his patience barely present. No answer…
- Why, MC, why?
Jumin was walking around his living room nervously. He took care of the Sarah Choi issue as fast as he could. The reporters gave up on the whole engagement subject. Not like they had much of a choice, after Jumin announced that he will sue anyone who keeps spreading false rumors about his personal life. Sarah Choi had disappeared somewhere after the whole airport incident. Who knows what kind of mischief she was planning next. Whatever it was, Jumin couldn’t bring himself to care. She was just a temporary annoyance anyway. But, even if the whole engagement thing had made MC upset, she isn’t the type who would avoid Jumin. She would at least come to him for explanation, right?
When he arrived at his office the next morning, he immediately went to Jaehee.
- Assistant Kang, please get me some coffee; I haven’t slept a minute last night.
- Certainly, Sir.
- Oh, and can I please use your phone again?
- But, I thought your new phone was working properly, Mr. Han.
- Oh, yes, it is, but I need to confirm something.
- I understand. Here you go.
She handed him her phone.
- Thank you, Assistant Kang.
Jumin went into his office, and scrolled through Jaehee’s contact list.
- There she is.
He found MC’s number and dialed it immediately, his heart beating nervously.
- Jumin must be calling me again...
MC grabbed her phone to check, and that’s when she noticed Jaehee’s name.
- Oh…Hmm, it won’t hurt to talk to Jaehee, I guess.
She picked up, and greeted “Jaehee”.
Jumin’s heart was about to explode. He could finally hear MC’s voice. He had missed it so much.
- MC…It’s me, Jumin…I wanted to talk to you…I…
That’s when MC hung up, and Jumin’s heart clenched in pain.
- I’m so sorry, Jumin…
MC sobbed quietly.
Jumin had to sit down, because his legs refused to work. He put the phone on his desk. He wasn't even aware that a couple of tears had rolled down his cheeks. It was when he saw them drop on the flat surface, that he realized his body was shaking. He bit his bottom lip angrily, both at himself and the whole situation. At least now he was more than certain that MC was in fact avoiding him, and probably didn’t want to have anything more to do with him. But, why? What exactly did he do? He had no idea…
- But, Seeeeeeeveeen.
Yoosung protested for the 20th time.
Seven took a deep breath.
- I said no, Yoosung. If you keep this up, I won’t be able to concentrate on work.
- If you want me to shut up, then give me the apartment’s address!
- Yoosung, for the last time, It’s not like I don’t want to, but I can’t.
Seven was getting irritated.
- You only listen to V’s orders!
- Yes, that’s right; V is the one who decides everything in the RFA. You know that already, so I beg you, let the subject go.
- But I’m worried about her…
Yoosung was playing with the hem of his shirt.
– You said she is taking good care of the guests for the party, but she hasn’t been to the chatroom in forever. Not to mention the absence of Jumin and Jaehee. At least Jaehee drops by from time to time, but somehow it feels like the RFA is falling apart once more, and I can’t let that happen!
- Oh, I know! If I can’t see her at the apartment, I will just meet with her somewhere else!
Yoosung’s eyes were sparkling, and he looked extremely proud of himself.
- Hmm, are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, you two have never met each other before. Besides, If she is not coming to the chatroom, maybe she just wants to be alone.
- What if something happened and she doesn’t know how to ask for help, even if she needs it? I thought about it a lot. When I was depressed, I didn’t want to talk to or meet anyone, but that made me feel even lonelier. I don’t want the same to happen to MC. She’s a good person, and if there is something I can do to help her, I want to do it!
Seven sighed, and examined Yoosung’s determined and yet warm expression.
- Fine…You can go meet her. It’s not like I can decline when you ask me in such a way.
- Thank you, Seven!
Yoosung jumped up from his spot, and gave his best friend a tight hug.
- I will call her right now!
Yoosung reached for his phone, but Seven stopped him.
- Wait! How about we surprise her?
Yoosung raised an eyebrow.
– What do you have in mind?
- Let me call her, and you will see.
Yoosung could almost imagine the wheels turning in Seven’s brain.
- A package? For me?
MC was beyond confused. Seven had just called to inform her there’s a package for her, but it was delivered to the wrong address, so she had to go and get it herself.
- Sooo, why can’t the delivery people fix their mistake, and take it to the right place? And how do you even know about that package, Seven?
- I’m a hacker, remember? I know everything!
- I already spoke with them, and they told me they’re packed with work, but apologize for the mistake, and will make up for it during future deliveries.
- I see…I have free time anyway, so I guess a little walk won’t hurt.
- Make sure to call me when you get it!
Seven was his usual cheerful self, so MC couldn’t help but smile.
MC went to the address Seven had given her. When she reached the place, she saw a small café.
- Huh? Why would...Well, if Seven says so, I guess this is the place.
She went in, and made her way to the counter.
- Hello. I was told there is a package for me, which was delivered here by mistake.
- I apologize, but I have no idea what you’re talking about. We haven’t received any packages.
A cheerful male voice called out to her from behind her back. MC quickly turned around, and was met with blonde hair and a pair of beautiful soft purple eyes. She gasped.
- Yoosung! It’s you, isn’t it?
- Hehe, yes! You recognized me!
He was beaming with excitement.
- Of course I would recognize you! But, what are you doing here?
- Ah, I came here to get you.
- Get me? But I’m here because Seven called, and told me…Wait a minute…He tricked me, didn’t he?
- Hehehe, yes. I’m sorry about that. I wanted to see how you were doing, and he suggested a surprise.
Yoosung was looking down, and blushing slightly.
- Oh, okay. But, how did you know it was me?
- Well, I asked Seven to show me a photo of you while I was still in his house.
- I see.
MC apologized to the woman she was talking to earlier, and both her and Yoosung went outside for a bit. She then dialed Seven’s number on her phone. He picked up almost immediately.
- Hey there, Seven. I just received my “package”. I was quite surprised. This is the first time I receive a cute violet eyed boy.
Yoosung’s blush grew to a deep red.
– Thank you, I plan to keep him for the day.
That’s when MC hung up, without even waiting for Seven to reply, and turned her attention back to Yoosung. He was trying to hide his blushing face.
- No need to be shy, Yoosung. I was completely honest about the cute part.
- MC! Don’t tease me, please!
Yoosung pouted, which only made him look cuter, and MC chuckled lightly.
- But, why did you want to see me?
- Ah, yes.
Yoosung finally regained the ability to speak properly.
– I was quite worried about you, since you haven’t been around in the chatroom, so I wanted to check up on you. I hope that’s okay…
- Awww, that is so sweet of you.
MC’s eyes filled with happy tears.
– I…well…I’ve just been through some unpleasant things…But I assure you I will be fine soon. I just need a little bit more time, that’s all.
- Time, huh?
Yoosung moved closer to her, his expression a bit more serious than usual.
– MC, I am aware we haven’t known each other for long, but I am your friend. I hope you know that, because I am here for you whenever you need me. So, whatever you are going through, if I can help, please allow me to do so. Even if it’s just to be around you. If that helps, I will definitely do it. I want you to know you’re not alone. You have me and the rest of the RFA, and we are on your side.
MC couldn’t hold back her tears.
– Thank you…Thank you so much…You are a wonderful friend.
She wrapped her arms around him, and held on tight. He almost jumped in surprise, but then he heard her sobbing, and snuggled her in his arms.
- I’m sorry…Please, just let me stay like this for a bit… - MC said in between sobs.
- Don’t worry; I am here for as long as you need me.
- What do you mean you met MC all by yourself?!?
Zen was nearly shouting at his phone. Yoosung had to move the phone away from his ear, before answering him.
- Zen, I swear, if you don’t relax, I will end the conversation.
- Ok, sorry, I apologize. But still, how could you go and meet her without telling me anything?
- It’s not like I did it on purpose. Besides, why is it a problem I went to see her?
- It’s not a problem per say, Yoosung, but you are still a man alone with a woman, and…
- Yes, we all know the “All men are wolves” lecture. Like everyone else in the RFA I am her friend, Zen, and you are being ridiculous. I thought she might need someone to talk to, and I offered my help. That’s all.
- Good thinking, Yoosung. She hasn’t been in the chatroom at all lately. I hope she feels better soon…
- Yes…Me too…
- Mr. Han, Sarah Choi has requested to see you.
- Send her away, Assistant Kang. I don’t wish to speak with her.
Jumin answered without moving his gaze from a bunch of papers on his desk, which needed his signature.
- Understood, Sir.
Twenty seconds later Jumin heard muffled voices in the distance. They became clearer as they got closer, and he could make out Jaehee’s “Stop, you can’t go in there”. In no time, the door to his office was opened wide. Sarah Choi made her entrance, and moved in the direction of Jumin’s desk, Jaehee following close behind her.
- Excuse me, Mr. Han. I wasn’t able to stop her.
- That’s alright, Assistant Kang. Please, leave us for a minute.
- Yes, Sir.
After Jaehee left Sarah smirked triumphantly, but Jumin wasn’t even paying attention to her. His eyes were still fixated on the pile of papers in front of him.
- You aren’t even going to look at me, Jumin, darling?
Jumin completely ignored her attitude, and made no attempt to face her.
- To what do I owe this unpleasant disturbance?
The poker face wasn’t leaving his features.
- Cold as ever, I see. I actually came here to apologize.
No reaction from Jumin’s side.
“He didn't even flinch. Tsk, such an annoyance.”
- I am aware my behavior was wrong, and I shouldn’t have been in a hurry to announce an important event, such as an engagement. I am here in hopes we can start over, and have a serious conversation about our future together.
“Whoever fed her those lines should have known better. They don’t suit a fake woman like her.” – Jumin thought to himself.
He got up from his chair, and looked straight at Sarah. His sudden cold gaze made her shiver in surprise.
- So bothersome.
- I hate it when I have to repeat myself, but I guess you aren’t very smart. I will say this one last time. I don’t care about you, and I never will. You are rude, disrespectful, and self absorbed. Your ridiculous tricks will get you nowhere, and I don’t have the time, nor patience to deal with such foolishness. I am not interested in you, or your games, find someone else. If you decide to approach me once more, I will turn to more drastic measures, in order to deal with you. Is that clear?
Sarah was actually shaking a bit, both from fear and anger.
- Assistant Kang, our “guest” is ready to leave. Can you please come, and escort her? – Jumin called his assistant.
- Yes, Mr. Han.
- Stay away from me!
Sarah hissed when Jaehee appeared next to her.
– I can leave on my own.
Jaehee was studying Sarah’s furious departure when Jumin turned her attention back to him.
- Assistant Kang, I need you to do me a favour. I want to know everything about this woman’s past. I wish to be prepared when she makes her next move.
- I will do my best, Mr. Han.
- Thank you, Assistant Kang.
After Jumin positioned himself back in front of his desk, he noticed his assistant hasn’t left the office yet.
- Do you need something, Assistant Kang?
- A-ah, no, Mr. Han. It’s just that…Is everything alright? I know it’s not my business, but you haven’t been yourself for a long while now. I’m actually getting very worried.
Jaehee, of course, had a good idea what was bothering him, but decided against mentioning MC. Jumin had a look of surprise on his face, which was quickly transformed into a small smile.
- I guess I can’t hide these things from you. Thank you for worrying about me, but I have to deal with this on my own. You help me more than enough by giving your best performance during work. Thank you, Assistant Kang, I appreciate the effort.
- Y-you’re welcome, Mr. Han.
Jaehee actually blushed a little, since she never even imagined her boss would say such things to her.
– Thank you for your kind words. I trust you will deal well with whatever is troubling you. Please, excuse me.
She bowed to him, and left the office.
- I wish I had just as much trust in myself as you do. – Jumin mumbled to himself after he was left alone.
MC had just gotten back from her grocery shopping trip. She was slowly getting used to Rika’s apartment, and was currently debating with herself on what to cook for dinner, when the sound of the doorbell surprised her.
- Now, who could that be? I haven’t ordered anything.
MC raised an eyebrow in confusion, and approached the door. When she opened it, MC was met with a bouquet of flowers, and a warm smile facing her way.
- Huh, what?
She was dumbstruck for about a minute, before she exclaimed in a loud voice.
- No way! Is it really you??
- Depends on which person you have in mind.
The handsome man chuckled a bit, and handed her the flowers. It was hard to tell, but even behind the sunglasses she could see the kindness and care in his eyes.
- Is it okay if I come in for a bit?
- Ah, yes! Of course!
She moved out of the way, her eyes following his movements. MC still wasn’t sure why he was here, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. She followed him through the apartment, which he studied carefully. MC could tell he was feeling nostalgic, which is why she remained as quiet as possible, afraid to interrupt his thoughts. After a while he turned around to face her.
- I apologize if I interrupted something.
- Ah, no, it’s alright! I was just about to cook dinner, but still haven’t decided on what to make.
- Oh, is that so? In that case, maybe I can help you, if you don’t mind.
MC smiled nervously, and had to force herself to decline.
- No, no, I can’t let you do that, you’re a guest.
- I insist. You do so much for the RFA; surely I can at least help you with dinner, can’t I?
Somehow there was a hint of determination and strong will in his otherwise soft voice. MC couldn’t bring herself to argue anymore, so she agreed to his proposal.
- Let me just find a vase for the flowers, and we can start.
- Oh, I believe I remember where Rika kept them. I can take care of the flowers, and join you in the kitchen.
- Alright, thank you.
MC went to the kitchen, and started sorting out the groceries.
- I’m not a great cook, but I believe that with your help we will be just fine.
Her guest announced, when he entered the kitchen.
- I’m not much of a cook myself, but I like to experiment and I strive to learn more.
- In that case, let’s see what we can come up with.
He removed his dark sunglasses, and smiled at her. MC was both surprised and excited from the sudden change, and the fact she could actually see him without them.
- But, I thought you need those.
She pointed at the sunglasses.
- Oh, no, not anymore. It simply became a habit, that’s why I still wear them.
- Does that mean…
- Yes, I went for the surgery.
- V, that’s wonderful! I’m so happy you made the right decision!
- I’m still not completely sure whether it was right, or not, but I had a lot of time to think about everything that happened. There are still things I want to do in my life, and people I need to take care of and protect. I also realized photography is a very important part of me, and I can’t give it up just like that. Rika is…no longer here, but my life continues, and this time I need to live it right. That’s what I decided.
- I think I speak for all RFA members, when I say “I am proud of you, V!” Does…Jumin know about this?
- I haven’t told him yet. I will do so, when I visit him soon. I have truly missed my friend.
- I hope my question won’t sound rude, but I’m a little confused. If you've decided to move on, why exactly are you here?
- Let’s say it’s part of my self-therapy. Besides, I was curious about our newest member, and wanted to check up on how you're doing. I hope I am not being a nuisance.
- No, not at all.
MC forced herself to smile. Mentioning Jumin was painful for her.
– I am happy to have some company. I have had a bit of a rough time lately, but everyone has been great. I even met with Yoosung today. He was worried because of my recent absence from the chatroom, so Seven kind of tricked me, but in the end it was a wonderful surprise, so I don’t really mind.
The whole time MC spoke, V studied her features. Her expression changed quite a few times. At first it was full of pain, but softened up quite a bit, and ended up as a warm smile. He wondered what had happened to her, but for now decided against asking. The rumbling of MC’s stomach interrupted his thoughts, and she giggled nervously.
- Excuse me, I hadn’t realized I was that hungry.
- Don’t worry about it. In that case, we should start cooking.
They ended up with a decent and tasty meal, which made both of them proud, followed by a long and fun talk. Ever since the whole Jumin ordeal, this was the first time MC was able to stop thinking about him and enjoy herself.
- No, Zen, for the 10th time, I am fine! I don’t need to go on a date to cheer up, even if it’s with you.
- Ah, princess, you are so cruel to your knight in shining armor!
MC rolled her eyes at Zen’s ridiculous comment, but deep down she was grateful all her friends were worried for her, and willing to help in any way possible.
- I am sure you will recover fast from my cruelty. But now I really must hang up. A friend is waiting for me.
- A friend? Is it a guy? You remember what I’ve told you about men, right? They are all…
- Have a nice day, Zen!!
MC was quick to interrupt him, and ended the call. He was the best friend in the world, but when it came to other men, Zen was like an overprotective older brother. A little too overprotective, actually, but that had its perks nonetheless.
“I couldn’t have asked for better friends”, MC thought to herself and checked her watch.
- Oh, no, I’m going to be late for the bus! That Zen, and his sweet talking!
MC ran as fast as she could. The station was two blocks away from her. If she was quick enough, she might just make it in time.
Meanwhile, Jumin was sitting in his limousine, deep in thought and gazing out the window, on his way to yet another business meeting. He wasn’t as busy lately, but swamped himself in cat projects, in order to stop thinking about MC. Or at least that was the original idea, but there was nothing in this world that could distract him long enough. Whenever Jumin tried to clear his mind, images of her kept flashing before his eyes, almost like a never-ending movie. Every night was a repeating cycle of thoughts about MC and attempts to contact her, even though he was fully aware she won’t answer. At the very least she was finally active in the RFA chatroom, but whenever he went in and tried to speak with her, she found an excuse to leave as quickly as possible. At one point he even resorted to begging Luciel to reveal the apartment’s address. He of course refused every single time, claiming he can’t break V’s rules. Jumin respected that fact; furthermore he didn’t want to bother his friend in any way. V already had enough on his plate after Rika’s death, so Jumin’s personal problems weren’t something he would dump on him. Jumin knew it was hopeless, but refused to give up. The need to talk with MC was stronger than him. Ever since he met her, he had felt alive for the first time in his life. But now he felt empty, like a huge portion of his heart, of his very self was missing. There was no doubt about it; he had fallen for MC. Was it love? No, he refused to think about it. Jumin was afraid that if he admits to himself the love he feels for MC, the pain from her absence would only grow much stronger, and envelop him completely. He felt the growing presence of a headache at the back of his head, when he noticed a familiar figure across the street. He rubbed his eyes in disbelief. It really was her!
- Driver Kim, stop the car!
- Yes, Sir.
Driver Kim made sure they won’t break any laws, and quickly stopped and parked the car near the pavement. Jumin didn’t wait long, before he jumped out of the vehicle, and headed towards the opposite street. As a result, a few drivers screamed at him for not paying attention, and almost causing an accident. That’s when he noticed the red light, and cursed out loud. Due to the traffic it was hard to see MC, but he could still tell she was running down the street. When she finally stopped, she was at a fair distance from Jumin’s current position. His heart was beating fast. He kept gazing anxiously at the light up until it turned green, and he could cross the street. When Jumin was finally at the other end, he noticed MC getting on a bus, and ran as fast as he could, praying he would make it on time. But luck wasn’t on his side. He could only gaze after the departing bus, and curse repeatedly. Jumin took his phone out, and dialed her number.
- Please, I beg of you; pick up, just this once!
Jumin’s voice sounded close to a whimper. But, like the rest of his calls, this one was also left unanswered.
MC gazed at her phone with teary eyes. Her heart ached every time she willed herself to ignore his calls. A part of her prayed he would finally give up, and live a happy life with his future wife. But a much bigger part of her was still mourning over everything that had happened. Even so, she couldn’t forgive him for betraying her like this. How MC felt for him didn’t matter, because ever since the very beginning their relationship was never meant to be. Upon reaching her stop, she got out of the bus and forced herself to smile. V was waiting for her in front of the movie theater.
- I’m sorry I’m late!
MC called out to him, and he smiled back at her.
- Don’t worry about it. I used the extra time to get us tickets. Shall we go in?
MC tried her best not to reveal any of her previous emotions, but V still noticed how red her eyes were. Nonetheless, he had previously decided to give her enough time, and was waiting patiently for the moment when MC would share her worries on her own. Until then V would be a good friend, and support her in any possible way.
After he refused to move from his spot for more than 5 minutes, Jumin was approached by Driver Kim, who was getting very worried.
- Mr. Han, is everything alright?
He placed a hand on Jumin’s shoulder. Jumin was so deep in his own thoughts; he almost jumped when he felt the body contact.
- Y-yes, I’m fine, Driver Kim. Let’s leave, or we might be late for the meeting.
Jumin willed his body to move. This was all a big nightmare, and above all else, he wished he could finally wake up.
The months passed quickly. It was snowing outside, and New Year was just around the corner. Jumin was sitting in his living room with a glass of wine in his hand. The RFA decided not to have a Christmas party this year, since everyone already made their own plans. He had also refused to join his father and Glam Choi on a short holiday trip. Jumin never really cared for this particular holiday, so Elizabeth the 3rd’s company and his cozy home were more than enough for him. He seized all attempts to contact MC, at least during the holidays. He knew she loved Christmas, so he figured she might have special plans like everyone else, which is why he didn’t want to be a bother. Tsk, Jumin felt like a complete idiot. After all this time, he still cared and worried about her, even though she didn’t try to contact him even once. Is that how little he meant to her after what happened between them? He was angry, furious even, both at her and himself. But most of all he was angry at the lack of a good explanation for what happened. His mind was clouding up with thoughts once more, but he chased them away and searched for his phone.
- I hope it's okay to call him today.
V had promised to come visit him once he was feeling better, but Jumin was growing impatient. His friend had been much more active in the chatroom, but his visits were short and he always left because of something urgent. Jumin couldn’t fight with his curiosity anymore, so he had to contact V, and see if he’s alright. At least that would get his mind off of…someone else. When his friend finally picked up, Jumin could hear…excitement in his voice.
- Hello, Jumin. It’s nice to hear from you!
- Likewise, V. How have you been? You sound like you’re having fun.
- Ah, yes, I’m actually with a friend of mine. I have been much better lately. I’m sorry I haven’t visited you yet. I was planning to do so, but…
- That’s quite alright, V. You don’t need to worry about such trivial things.
“And I don’t really want to hear any more excuses”
- I’m just glad you’re alright. Since you have company, I won’t inconvenience you any further.
- Don’t be silly, Jumin. I am happy you called. I hope we can talk more soon.
- Yes, of course, I hope for that as well.
- Oh, and Jumin, I know you don’t really believe in this holiday, but “Merry Christmas, my dear friend”.
- Yes…Merry Christmas, V…
Jumin hung up almost immediately. So much for feeling better tonight…
After his friend hung up, V called out from the kitchen.
- MC, you need to come taste this!
She appeared almost instantly, wearing a cute Christmas hat, and placed one on V’s head as well.
- There, now you look much cuter!
- Haha, thank you.
V chuckled wholeheartedly.
- Now, open wide!
- That’s actually quite tasty.
MC exclaimed, licking her lips.
- I’m glad you liked it. I’m almost done with everything, so we can soon sit down and enjoy our Christmas dinner.
- Can’t wait! I am working on the decorations in the living room. I will probably be done just in time for dinner.
- Then it’s settled. I will join you in the living room in half an hour.
- Alright, I’ll be waiting!
MC strolled out of the kitchen. V’s gaze followed after her up until she was out of view. He smiled to himself, and went back to cooking.
- Gosh, I’m stuffed. I swear, if I get fat, it will be your fault, V!
- That’s fine with me. Besides, you will still be just as cute.
MC’s face turned red.
She tried to hide her blushing face, and quickly changed the subject.
– But, seriously, your cooking skills have improved a lot. I’m proud of you!
- Thank you. I am happy you think so, and I’m glad you enjoyed the food.
V filled both their glasses with his favorite brand of wine, which he picked up for this very occasion.
- I suggest a toast for the wonderful Christmas we can share together.
- A toast for Christmas!
MC took a sip of her wine, and felt the delicious beverage travel all the way down her throat.
- If it’s okay with you, I would like to give you your gift, MC.
- Oh, alright, and you can have mine afterwards.
- It’s a deal.
V dug in his pocket, and took out a small box. It was wrapped beautifully, and he handed it to MC with a smile. She was careful not to tear the wrapping paper too much. When she finally managed to unwrap it properly and opened the box, she saw a pair of the most beautiful hair pins she had ever laid eyes on.
- V…they looks so…beautiful.
- I thought they might suit you, since you have such long and beautiful hair. Do you mind if I put one on for you?
- Not at all.
V positioned the hair pin with utmost care. When he was satisfied with the result, he noticed MC was blushing. Their faces were almost too close to each other. V’s face was also a bright pink when he encouraged himself to act, and gently took hold of MC’s face in his hands. She was looking deep in his eyes, so he shortened the remaining distance between them and closed his eyes. Just as he was about to kiss her, she winced away.
- I’m sorry, V…I…I can’t. I am…
She swallowed thickly.
- I am still in love with Jumin...
V couldn’t believe his ears. He had slight suspicions before, but since neither MC, nor Jumin ever mentioned anything about it, he thought they were a fragment of his own imagination. But the truth was looking him in the eyes…well, not exactly. MC’s gaze was currently everywhere else, besides on him. He could tell she was very embarrassed, and probably ashamed. How could he possibly reply to something like this? Now that he heard her confession, it all made sense: the tears he usually saw in her eyes, Jumin’s usual absence from the chatroom, MC’s constant disappearance whenever Jumin showed up, Jumin’s multiple cat projects, which completely destroyed Jaehee’s sanity, not to mention MC’s expression whenever V mentioned Jumin’s name. He wondered if everyone else knew about it. No, that’s not possible. If they did, it would show in their behavior and talks in the chatroom. Heck, if Luciel knew, he would have already suggested marrying them, or something as silly as that. But why weren’t they together? Maybe MC’s feelings are one-sided? Or maybe they were together, but something happened. He wished he had been around RFA more, that way he might have been able to help in this case. What about Jumin? How does he feel in the whole situation? If he shares her feelings, why didn’t he mention anything to V? Sure, he has always been secretive and preferred to fight his own battles, but he had deep trust in his best friend.
“That’s probably my fault; I haven’t been around him at all. So much for being a good friend…”
V decided to fix his mistakes one by one, but right now he had a more urgent matter to take care of.
- MC…look at me.
He spoke softly, but she refused to comply.
- There’s no need to be ashamed, you did the right thing. Now, please look at me.
He placed the palm of his hand on her cheek, and upon feeling his warmth, she finally turned her gaze to him.
- Much better. I apologize for what I did. I thought you felt the same way. If I knew beforehand about your feelings for Jumin, I would have never attempted to kiss you.
- No, V, it’s not your fault...I…am sorry I didn’t tell you. All this time I was trying to run away from my feelings, and even thought I was all better, but apparently I was wrong. I’m sorry for hurting your feelings in the process...
MC bit her lip nervously, and looked down once more.
- I won’t lie, and tell you I’m not hurt. But it’s not something you did on purpose, so you don’t need to apologize.
V tried his best to keep a smile on his face.
- But there is one thing that I want to ask, so can you please look at me again?
MC looked up at V once more.
- I feel like a little kid, which has been extremely naughty.
MC attempted a joke, and a small smile.
- Well, it’s not like I can completely disagree.
V teased her a bit.
– About my question: What happened between you and Jumin? Did you have a big fight, or something?
- I wish it were that simple…
- Hey, it’s okay, you can tell me.
V quickly sensed the embarrassment rushing back to her.
– Nothing has changed between us, we are still good friends. I won’t deny my feelings, but right now what’s most important to me is why my good friends are suffering.
- V… Can I?
MC extended her arms in a silent plea.
- Of course, come here.
V cradled her in a warm hug, and gently petted her hair. After a bit MC freed herself from the hug, feeling relaxed and much calmer.
- Me and Jumin…we were seeing each other. It wasn’t for a very long time, but I felt a special connection between the two of us. Everything was going smoothly before…
MC grew silent once more. V was patiently waiting for her to continue her story.
- You’ve probably heard of Sarah Choi, haven’t you?
V pondered for a second.
- Oh, you mean Jumin’s “fiancé”. Yes, I heard about her. He sure has to deal with a lot of women, who try to get their hands on the Han name. What about her?
- I wish I could look at the situation as cheerfully as you.
- Why? What did she do? You don’t really believe Jumin has anything to do with her, right?
- I have proof, V.
- Proof? What do you mean?
- One night, a couple of days before the announcement on TV about their engagement, she sent me photos of her and Jumin together. They were…quite intimate.
V’s eyes widened, and he didn’t say anything for a while. His mind was trying to comprehend the unexpected information.
- She, of course warned me against seeing Jumin – MC continued – since he was, you know, an engaged man…
- I can’t believe Jumin would do something like that, especially while he was going out with you.
- I didn’t believe it either, but because of the announcement on TV, not to mention my talk with…
MC quickly covered her mouth.
- Your talk with whom, MC?
V looked at her suspiciously.
– MC, tell me! We’ve come this far, no use hiding important information.
- Yes...you’re right…I’m sorry…When I went to see Jumin about the whole situation, I bumped into his father.
- Let me guess, he told you how you are not fit for his son, or you’re not good enough for the Han family name.
- How did you…
- Me and Jumin are childhood friends, remember? I know what his father is capable of. Besides, my father is very similar to him. He would probably use those same lines on many people.
- I feel very stupid right now…
- It’s okay; I can imagine how hurt you were from the whole situation, so your reaction was only normal. Tell you what, how about you run me through the whole situation chronologically? I want to know everything that happened, and all important details you can remember.
MC told V the whole story, careful not to miss anything. After she was done, V was in a deep thought for a bit, before he started speaking.
- Don’t you find it a little too convenient? How everything happened at the same time, like it was planned that way? I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all a big plot, created by those two women and Chairman Han.
- But, what about the photos?
- Oh, speaking of those, can you please show them to me?
- No…They are…way too intimate…I don’t want you to see Jumin in such a compromising position…
V moved a bit closer to her.
– Don’t make me use my charm to try and kiss you once more, in order to persuade you to show me those photos.
- V! Don’t even joke about that!
MC hid her blushing face in her hands.
- I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
He chuckled a bit.
- But MC – he took her hands in his, and removed them from her face. His expression had changed to a very serious one – This is important, so please show me the photos, so I can put all the puzzle pieces together.
She only nodded, opened the desired message on her phone, and then handed it to him.
- Tsk, such a bold woman. Please, send the photos to my phone. I will need to gather as much information on this woman, as possible.
- What are you planning to do, V?
- Not sure yet, but I think I have an idea.
He stood up from his spot on the sofa.
- Since the party is right around the corner, I don’t have much time. I will need to act fast. But, MC, I promise you, I will do my best to clear this misunderstanding.
He sent a smile her way, and headed towards the door.
- I’m sorry we need to cut our Christmas celebration short, but there is somewhere I need to go.
- V, if you meet Jumin, please don’t tell him what we spoke about tonight…
- No need to worry, I won’t. It’s not my place to tell him. You will have to do that yourself.
V winked at MC, and left. She was looking at the door, and couldn’t move from her spot for a bit, before a few tears left her eyes and a smile bloomed on her lips.
- Thank you so much, V…
When V left the building, he took his phone out and dialed Saeyoung’s number.
- Hello, Luciel. I am sorry to bother you so late at night, but I will need your assistance with something.
- Who could it be at this hour?
Jumin looked beyond irritated when he opened the door. His expression suddenly changed to one of surprise.
- V? What are you doing here?
- Hello, my dear friend. I’m simply here to fulfill a promise. I apologize it took me this long.
- I see…
Jumin was wondering whether all the wine he drank was causing him to hallucinate.
- Can I come in? I bear wine and gifts.
V showed his good friend the big bags he was carrying.
- Y-yes, of course…
Jumin’s baffled expression was an unusual sight.
- Hello there, Elizabeth the 3rd!
V put the bags down, and took her in his arms, a gesture she welcomed happily.
- Oh, good, Elizabeth the 3rd can see you as well!
Jumin exclaimed, after following V inside his living room.
- Haha, did you think I was a ghost or something, Jumin?
- Well, considering I haven’t seen you in forever…
- Yes, I know, you’re completely right.
V put Elizabeth the 3rd to rest on the couch and approached Jumin.
– I’m really sorry I haven’t been around for so long.
He hugged his friend tightly. Jumin’s previous surprise was now more like a shock.
- It’s not typical for you to be this…emotional, V.
- Let’s say I’ve had some life-changing experiences lately. I’m really happy to see you.
- Yes, so am I. It’s been so long.
Jumin finally relaxed, and smiled at his friend.
- What do you say we have a glass of wine, and talk a bit, like the good old times? - V suggested.
- That sounds like a pleasant idea.
V opened the bottle, and poured both of them a glass of wine. He handed Jumin his glass, and sat down next to him. He took his dark glasses off, and placed them on the table. Jumin raised an eyebrow, and looked at V questioningly.
- Oh, I had the eye surgery not long ago.
- You really went through with it? You weren’t joking when you said you had some life-changing experiences.
- Let’s say I wanted to start anew.
- I am glad you finally thought of yourself.
- Hmm, Jumin, I hope you haven’t forgotten about the RFA party we will be holding soon.
- How could I forget? We’ve all been preparing for it for so long.
A half-smirk was showing on Jumin's face as he said that.
- I am actually quite impressed with MC. She has been doing an excellent job as the new party coordinator.
V studied the changes on Jumin’s face at the mention of MC.
- Yes…She has been working very hard.
Jumin took a big sip of his wine.
- I see. You know, I have been watching her for quite a while now.
V spoke slowly, his eyes not leaving Jumin’s face.
– I think she’s a very special woman. Don’t you think so, too?
“An obvious lie”, V thought to himself, and continued to speak.
- Ever since Rika’s death, MC is the first woman I have found interesting.
“I’m sorry, my friend, but you will be a bit angrier at me now”.
- To be honest, I took a liking to her, and I am thinking about telling her how I feel during the RFA party.
Many different emotions went through Jumin’s face, all of them already expected by V.
“So, they are both in love with each other. Good. “
- Why are you telling me all of this, V?
Jumin finally spoke; the anger in his voice was more than obvious.
- No special reason. Just wanted to share it with you.
Jumin finished the rest of his wine in one last sip, and stood up from the couch.
- I am quite tired, and I have a big day ahead of me, so I will head to bed now. Please, excuse me.
- Do you mind if I sleep on your couch for the night?
V shouted after Jumin, who was already on his way to his bedroom.
- Do as you wish.
When V heard the door slam after Jumin, he called for Elizabeth the 3rd, who positioned herself on the couch next to him.
- Will you keep me company tonight, pretty lady? Oh, and don’t think I didn’t bring you anything.
V took an elegant brush out of one of the bags.
– This is for your beautiful fur. Let’s give it a try.
Elizabeth the 3rd was more than satisfied with her gift, and started purring quietly under V’s touch.
- Good girl. Let us sleep for now, because we will need to take good care of your owner when he wakes up with a bad headache tomorrow.
When Jumin was left alone in his bedroom, he couldn’t help but repeat V’s last words in his head. Was there anything going on between him and MC?
- No use thinking about it now. I am going to learn everything soon anyway...