After finishing a few deliveries to some farmers on the edge of the village, Taeyang began his way toward the next destination. He looked down at the bread sacks to see that he could deliver a certain one soon. He smiled to himself as he walked, not noticing an arm coming down to fall on his shoulder.
A spike of fear shot through him as he halted in his tracks. He had definitely not gotten over the trauma from the night terror yet.
"Why are you so jumpy today?" he heard a familiar voice say. Sighing half-heartedly at being made fun of, he turned to his left to face his friend.
"Hwiyoung, how many times have I told you not to do that?" he scolded. Hwiyoung beamed giddily at his own antics like a little child. Taeyang rolled his eyes as he couldn't truly be mad at him.
Hwiyoung's stride followed suit as he continued curiously, "So, where's the next stop?" Taeyang started smiling goofily and didn't answer. Halting, Hwiyoung narrowed his eyes and scoffed. "Wow. You're going to Chaekyung's again?" He shook his head knowingly at his lovestruck friend.
With a frown, Taeyang pouted, "How did you find out?" Hwiyoung laughed as he patted Taeyang's shoulder, "It was pretty obvious." "Really?"
Now, Hwiyoung rolled his eyes and motioned ahead of them, "Let's just go. You're wife awaits." With a look of shock on his face, Taeyang almost dropped the bread sacks. "W-wife?!"
❦ ❦ ❦
It was partly peaceful and disturbing for the forest to swallow most of the open space. One could never know what was lurking behind the bushes. Danger was present no matter if it be morning or night.
Why Chaekyung ever wanted to keep living with her father in this area was beyond anyone's understanding. Taeyang managed to respect her wishes even though he had tried to convince her before to live safer in the village. He definitely had no ulterior motive to see her more often.
As Taeyang thought about it, Hwiyoung was also odd too. Ever since they were growing up together, Hwiyoung had always lived in the forest. Taeyang had never really asked him why he didn't live in the village, but he had wondered about it.
His thoughts were interrupted as the view of Chaekyung's small, stone cottage came into view. It was now afternoon which made the visual of the home in the forest look cozy.
Candlelight illuminating the glass of the curved inset windows indicated that someone was home. Taeyang began hiding his face behind the bread sacks as he began acting silly once more.
"I'll just... Wait outside..." Hwiyoung suddenly spoke up. Taeyang turned to him, "Why? Don't you want to say hi? You followed me all the way here." "No, I don't want to be in the middle of a conversation between you two love birds." "What?!"
Hwiyoung walked away to examine a dying tree in the yard. "Why did you come here to look at a tree?" Taeyang mumbled and went over to the front of the cottage.
Rapping on the hewn wood door lightly, he awaited an answer. A glowing Chaekyung came into view as the door was opened slightly. She threw it open immediately when she saw her boyfriend.
"Tae!" she placed her arms around his neck in a hug.
Pretending to not have noticed what the couple were doing at the moment, Hwiyoung fiddled with a branch on the dead tree. When he heard the door close, he let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding in.
❦ ❦ ❦
With fingers intertwined, Taeyang and Chaekyung stared at each other in silence. It was too embarrassing to have Hwiyoung witnessing them when they merely acted like statues once they met after a while.
Chaekyung was good at hiding her shyness in front of people, but it was different when she was with her boyfriend alone. She had missed seeing him but kept breaking eye contact to look at their hands.
Taeyang was at a loss for words. He couldn't bring himself to say everything he wanted to for the whole week.
With a heavy air of uncertainty, they kept staring into each other's eyes and averting their gazes for a while. Finally, Taeyang simply placed his hands gently around her face to keep her from looking away.
He thought she was cute when she acted like this and made up his mind to finally express his feelings by leaning forward slowly. With their faces extremely close, they would have kissed had a startling crash not interrupted them. The sound had come from outside the house.
Taeyang opened the door quickly to make sure Hwiyoung was alright only to find his friend picking up pieces of broken pottery from the ground.
"Are you injured?" Chaekyung questioned while kneeling down and taking Hwiyoung's hands in hers to examine them. "I'm fine. I just tripped," he sheepishly grinned and pulled his hands back.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Taeyang asked with a thoughtful look. "Yes. Why?" Hwiyoung laughed nervously. Taeyang shrugged, "Your face is red. Maybe you're getting sick?"
"Oh, no. Let me check your forehead," Chaekyung reached toward his head when he jumped up. "I'm really fine!" he laughed.
Taeyang and Chaekyung were still suspicious of Hwiyoung but didn't interfere further.
By the time they had finished cleaning up the mess Hwiyoung made, it was almost night.
Hwiyoung apologized to Chaekyung for the upteenth time to which she kindly kept telling him that it was just an accident.
Finally, when they were ready to go home, they said their goodbyes to Chaekyung. Taeyang gave her an endearing peck on the cheek before catching up to Hwiyoung.
In all of his excitement, Taeyang forgot about how he hated being out at night. Taeyang wasn't scared of the dark itself but of what lurked in the dark.
He felt safer with his friend being beside him but still tried to remain alert for anything dangerous.
As they walked, a loud crack resounded from somewhere unseen in the forest. Taeyang flinched in panic as he thought the worst.
"It was just a deer. No need to be scared," Hwiyoung assured. "I wasn't scared," Taeyang retorted.
"Really?" "What's that supposed to mean?" "You're strangling my arm…" Hwiyoung enlightened.
Taeyang quickly let go and punched Hwiyoung in the arm playfully. Hwiyoung laughed at the childishness.
They were laughing as they entered the village after nightfall with arms over each other's shoulders.
Taeyang had jumped three more times on the way back so Hwiyoung suggested they stick together. It seemed to work especially well when Hwiyoung also told Taeyang funny stories.
However, Taeyang's anxiety came back when they saw the men in the village huddled around bonfires. Axes and pitchforks in hand, the men whispered to each other about staying up all night to protect the village.
"What's going on?" Hwiyoung curiously asked a few men. With a hint of fear in his eyes, one man looked up and replied, "Wolves."
Wow! This took a while to write (3 months? O.o)
Hope you liked it!