They continued on their island exploration as if the dance had never happened, but despite the cuteness and silliness on the surface, both of them had much to reflect on.
Giselle felt good. She felt relieved. She caught another break and because Tae Soo was so wonderful, he let her. Another guy would have already given up on her, but not him. It was yet another and competently redundant at this point proof of how much he liked her.
She sighed as she looked at the pictures they took together during one of their recent excursions. If she did not know any better and was objective they already looked like a cute couple in love. The week consisted of seven days and with two out of the way, she had five more to go. When she told him to wait, she clearly remembered having a pretty solid reason, but as the pressure dissipated, her reasoning began transforming into flimsy at best. She needed the time to forget about the awful hurtful things that had befallen her lately. And spending her days with Tae Soo was just the recipe. It felt right. Each day, she was getting more and more courage and less fearful of the unknown.
Tae Soo was not the kind of guy who would hurt her. To top it off, he was hot like scorching sun and gorgeous like one of the Hellenic statutes she once saw in the museum. It was a win-win situation, but why did she feel apprehension? No matter how she looked at it, the worst that could happen – they would break up, the best – they would stay together. Anything in-between, did not seem to exist.
An extra week to get herself together was ultimately only prolonging the inevitable – entering into a different kind of relationship with the guy she was crazy about. She was still reeling from the almost kiss on the lips and the other kisses she had received the night of the dance. She was fighting against the physical attraction as if pushing him away could keep her wanting him any less. When she was not stealing glances at Tae Soo, she daydreamed of him. And when she closed her eyes lying in bed at night, his smiling face, full of affection would look down upon her.
I'm falling for him. She had to admit the truth. I'm falling in love and there is nothing I can do to avoid it.
Tae Soo had his own demons to battle. Unlike Giselle, his concern was not with the matters of the heart, it was about the unspoken truth, which he unwittingly turned into a secret, now inching for reveal.
What Mr. Jerk had said to him kept coming back to his mind, buzzing around like a pestilent pest, and making him deliberate and then rethink over and over again what to do. If Rico could search the net, so could Giselle. Why did not she ever look him up out of curiosity? But then again, why would she search a name of a regular person on the net, like he was a celebrity? It probably never occurred to her.
Being famous was just something that followed him like a shadow, always stuck by his side, never to leave, only giving some break when the lights went out and he was in bed, safely tucked away from the world. Freedom to be himself and find what was missing in his life was the main reason why he escaped overzealous fans and media circuit. His celebrity was a burden he carried around, but once he boarded the plane to Puerto Rico, he honestly did not give it much consideration.
When the actor first met Giselle and she had no knowledge of his identity, he was elated. It was a rare opportunity to make a friend without any preconceived notions. Giselle was like a gift, a small miracle of authenticity and down to earth being. She did not seem to care who he was before he arrived to the island. She cared about him and she liked to learn about him, not the actor.
His anonymity was precious, as it nurtured and protected their true feelings, leading them to where they were supposed to go together, without the added pressure of dealing with his "other" life.
Was it really necessary to come out of the closet and announce, "I'm Lee Tae Soo, the most sought after romantic movie star and the sexiest man alive, as far as Asia is concerned"? Every time he thought of how to tell her, everything he could say sounded conceited and over the top. He did not know a proper protocol for such disclosures, since it was the first time after his career took off, when he encountered someone who had no clue about his stardom.
No matter how pitiful and embarrassing it sounded, he craved the one kind of recognition he could never be sure to receive before, a sincere heart of a woman he cared about, accepting his confession. The confession of Lee Tae Soo a man, not a famed actor. Thus, this little bit of information was inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, of so Tae Soo convinced himself.
Giselle appeared to have relaxed around him and was a lot more natural, even flirting innocently, making him chuckle at her cute attempts. They seemed to joke a lot more and laugh more frequently. They both appreciated the lightness that surrounded their interactions and neither of them dared to cross the comfort zone they seemed to have settled in. While she acted as a tour guide, at Giselle's request, he began tutoring her in basic Korean.
Learning Korean was amusing. Giselle was quickly picking up all the essentials for communication, while Tae Soo laughed at her fumbling and getting confused with the word order and pouting about subject and object markers. He was never strong in academics. He could not really explain grammar, so he downloaded youtube videos, podcasts and lessons created by smart people, who did that for living, to help Giselle practice. His English was something that has gotten better by the virtue of listening to her and talking. He even got arrogant and announced that he will learn Spanish, but Giselle quickly curtailed his enthusiasm and confined his efforts to basic communication words. She marveled at his accent and his poor memory, but despite her best efforts to make as much fun of him as she could, he persevered and soon was able to form a few simple sentences, mimicking her rapid Spanish.
Who knew studying could so much fun? Time flew, as sightseeing, swimming and sunbathing interlaced with studying and learning languages and about each other's cultures. Giselle was fascinated with Korean familial hierarchy, honoriphics, seniority and the fact that being older was actually good, giving you respect at any age, even with kids. "Call me Oppa," requested Tae Soo.
"Oppa? What is that?"
"It means a familiar man who is older, an older brother, or a man you like."
She scoffed, grimacing and showing her tongue, "You are assuming that I like you."
"I'm assuming I'm older." He retorted with a impish grin.
"Still, I will call you flaco."
"Flaco? You... you... Toki!"
"Toki? Sounds offensive, not fair!" Giselle faked an angry grimace and shook her fist for warning, before attacking her offender. He managed to escape her grip, only to be caught between the table and a sofa and supposedly willingly surrender to Giselle's strong arms, while grabbing her closely and throwing her on the soft couch.
He jumped over easily, his long legs flying over the back of the couch and landing next to her. "Toki, toki, cute little bunny," Tae Soo laughed at Giselle, who realized belatedly that her nickname for him was meaner and not so sweet.
He took hold of her hands and squeezed her legs between his knees. "Call me Oppa and beg for forgiveness."
"Never!" She screamed through the laughter.
"Then I will not let you go." He warned her with a serious gleam in his eye.
"Fine by me. You can hold on to me till you get tired."
"Then you might as well move in with me permanently," he challenged her.
"Great. Then I will," she retorted quickly and not giving any ground.
They panted from the fight, their chests moving widely and their breaths intensified. The feeling in the room got heavy and more serious. They locked eyes. Slowly Tae Soo lowered toward her looking so intesely, she swallowed hard under his gaze. "Then can we amend the rules?"
"Which rules?" She asked weakly.
"The ones we just broke."
"The no touching rule?" She whispered; her body was very much in contact with his and in the heat of their play they had not realized that many boundaries were being crossed. "I ... don't..."
And then he did something with his eyes that was almost imperceptible, a slight pupil dilation, completely hypnotizing her. "Say yes, Giselle."
"And if I don't?" She mumbled losing voice and losing herself.
She could see liquid passion swimming in the dark orbs of his eyes, intent unmistakable. "Then I can't kiss you."
"Yes." She whispered silently. "Yes," she screamed with all her might in her mind, "Yes, please, kiss me, kiss me already, sexy and tantalizing, beautiful and the most perfect and gorgeous man of my dreams."
His eyes slightly narrowed, the almond shape morphing into something like a half moon, the lines of his face instantly transformed by the softness of his lips come ajar, and before she felt his heart-shaped mouth enshroud hers, she felt his breath enter her. She literary inhaled him, like he was the air, while her eyes closed shut and her mouth opened involuntarily to welcome him.
And then she felt it: a soft connection and hard pressure from his insistent lips, all at once; her whole body tensed momentarily, then a shiver ran down her spine, tingling sensations flowing as he began to kiss her slowly, moving his tongue along the ridges of her teeth as his mouth encircled hers, his lips sucking on hers gently.
Her hands found the nape of his neck, her fingers needing to feel the silk of his black hair, she arched toward him, starting to feel the urge for something stronger, his kiss too teasingly gentle for her taste, Giselle pulled his head closer, applying his weight and hungrily plunged her tongue into his mouth. He did not oppose, letting her take control and explore the hot cavern of his mouth, his tongue playing with hers. She let out moans of pleasure finally having the access to him after waiting for such a long and unbelievably unnecessarily and angsty period. What was she thinking?!
Tae Soo was the first one to break away from the kiss, his eyes dangerously muted by arousal, he gasped before plunging back for another long obsessive kiss, attacking her with a new found strength, he pulled her up to a sitting position, his fingers mindlessly caressing the lines of her face, running through the strands of her long hair, keeping her close, cradling her head for him to kiss her just so, for him to make this first time matter.
He had to kiss her to madness so that she would have no thoughts left in her mind to create another constricting rule or excuse to keep them apart. He any longer refused to follow rules that entailed not being able to touch her. He wished to hold her infinitely close, deserving to get paid with interest for all the times he had been needing, but could not touch Giselle. She was due to pay the debt for having him wait and he was collecting his first payment.
Giselle was loving not to think or worry, to let her body experience the delight of being with the man she liked so much. His masculine scent was all over her and his taste was now clearly imprinted on her lips. His mouth did wonderful things to her and after having satiated the first wave of desire, she calmed down, letting him take the lead and make her float on the cloud of sensations that radiated all over her body, taking her into a far away place where she could be happy, kissing and being kissed by him.
They both felt dumb to have missed on this. It was worth the wait, but they could have gone without. They did not seem to have the ability to stop; making out on the couch like teenagers, they were just so hungry for each other, they barely took breaks to breathe and kept on and on till their lips were numb to the sensations, inflamed and swollen from the effort. Sighs of satisfaction escaped them both, as Giselle cuddled on his chest and he placed his chin over her head, his arms chaining her.
"No more rules," she declared.
Tae Soo laughed lightly and pecked the top of her head. "I propose a rule."
"You?" She lifted up in surprise to see if he was joking, but his eyes were not twinkling with humor. He appeared dead serious. "What is it?" she wondered hesitantly.
"Let's do what we feel like doing. Let's not come up with any more artificial restrictions. Let's be together just like we are now."
"Ahh. That rule," she murmured wistfully. "Then can I add a clause?"
"What?" Now it was his turn to tense in expectation. After all, she was the queen of problematic rules.
"Can we not define what we are? I don't want any labels. I don't want to make any declarations or give each other promises in the heat of the moment." She looked at him and a shadow of foreboding flashed through her eyes momentarily. "I'm superstitious like that. I know it's silly. But I don't want to talk about the future or make any long term plans."
He stared at her, pursing his lips, taking her words into consideration.
"Don't tell me that you love me and you can't live without me, and I won't say anything either. I don't want to be bound by these conventions. My life is already a mess, I just want to be happy with you, as long as we can. And when you have to go..."
He looked worriedly at her, pang hitting at the center of his heart. Why did she have to bring up him leaving? After they've just finally started, why is she talking about ending? "Giselle. Don't be like that. You are already making up millions of rules, when we just agreed not to." He gave her a reprimanding stare and kissed her lightly. "I have till the end of summer. We have till the end of summer. I don't want to think about what happens then. I want to focus on you, on us, on now."
She did not say anything. Taking a deep breath, her chest rose, before she held it in, slowly deflating her lungs. "Tae Soo-ya," she said, "what I said, I meant it. I was not expecting you to feel the same way."
They stayed silent and the actor contemplated about his life, this girl, who loved to complicate everything, and unwillingly admitted that Mr. Jerk was right about one thing – Giselle was going to have a difficult time if she decided to be with him. Selfishly, he clasped his limbs around her, pushing the images of uncertain future out of his mind. Even if he had a supernatural willpower to avoid falling for her, there was nothing he could do to stop the havoc these feelings wrecked inside of him. He wanted to be with her desperately because he could not do otherwise. His feelings were his and only his own. He would keep them locked and try not to stir her. He will make her happy, just like she wanted, and if he could not speak, he would show her with actions, because there was nothing to prohibit him from that. If he were to fall in love, he chose to love her and not hold back any more.
It was all one big moment of bright sunny happiness, with azure sky and cerulean waters which enveloped the world from top to bottom in one saturated and enormous color blue. The gold of sand and hot shine of the blackened by the sea rocks merged seamlessly in this carefree blue world, where wind played with waves and drew sea foam mustaches on the surface of the endlessly sparkling and warm Caribbean sea. Laughter was the sound of those days. And whispers of light kisses, touches and brushes of lips and bodies, hands wondering at the nape of the neck and the gentle slopes of shoulders. Eyelashes filtered the light and hair flew in ruckus strands, tangling in the distinct smell of the beach and sticking to the sunscreen covered faces with milliards of tiny sandy tingles.
The magical world of mermaids invaded by obnoxious humans, in awe at the corals and unpredictable formations of rocks and plants, with fish, big and small swarming, and many other sea inhabitants traveling about their important lives while the four eyes watched over them, following with curiosity that only those who live on land possessed.
The underwater world lured the visitors with its mystical properties, away from the burning shore where feet found no respite, the sea cooled the bodies and fed the spirit with the big expanse of everlasting beauty and mystery. The land awaited them with surprises of its own, grounded in reality and with its many paths leading places unplanned and unexpected. It prepared new challenges, taking away tranquility of the water world, to immerse them into the chaos of human existence again.
That afternoon they were unaware of many things that were to come soon. They were simply happy. Happy to be together, free of expectations and obligations. Happy. Very much.
"What are we doing tonight?"
"Tonight? I'm beat. We should stay in."
"I like the sound of that," he gave her a sexy smile and then took his baseball cap off and put it on her, pushing the visor low to cast more shade. Laughing boyishly, he crouched to look from underneath at her pouty mouth. "What? The sun is too strong. You don't want to ruin your complexion."
"I'm a Latina!" She fought for her rights to be burned by the Caribbean sun. "I was born dark. I've been friends with the sun in my mother's womb and not afraid!"
That caused him to grab her and smooch her big offended pout. Who could resist this spicy girl who was so cute when she was mad! Giselle enjoyed the kiss, locking her fingers around his waist before pushing him off, and with a trail of laughter, took off running, cap thrown into the air for him to catch. Her long straight hair caught by the wind, nothing keeping it tamed. She would not be a captive of some cap, even if it came from his head.
"Lee Tae Soo!" Loud squeals of excitement reached her ears and she turned, pausing her game of catch. Where was he? He was supposed to run after her.
A group of Asian girls were excitedly clamoring around her boyfriend, talking in some foreign language, while he for some reason stood and smiled at them with a fake smile that she had never seen before and looked as if he was uncomfortable in his own skin. "No pictures!" He demanded, as he pushed phones and cameras aiming at his face. "No pictures!" The young women already encircled him like vultures all prostrating their hands to touch the actor as if he was some healer who could perform miracles. He looked almost scared and his eyes shifted anxiously back and forth in search of escape. When he noticed Giselle staring, he mumbled something to them. Tae Soo tried to move right and then left, finally pushing through the crowd to quickly break away.
The girls relentlessly followed as Giselle stood in her spot, sea breeze battering her. Hair splashed over her face, blocking the view and getting in her eyes. Her fingers worked to clear the hair off, and she lifted a hand to shield from the sun so that she could see better. She was bothered by the sight of so many women after her man. He was hot, no doubt, but this kind of thing was out of the ordinary. It was so unreal and crazy. Even the island girls, who had no qualms about invading personal space, would never go after a man on the street merely because he was attractive. Her mind was melting under the pressure of unlocking the secret of Tae Soo's allure. Was he releasing some kind of irresistibly powerful pheromones to which she was immune after spending so much time next to him, but still pretty powerful to attract other females? She scoffed at the silly ideas coming up. There should have been a rational explanation...
"Come, let's hurry," he called out to her, approaching hastily and grabbing her hand, pulled Giselle along.
"Wait," she protested, but he used his free hand to stick the hat on her head again. "Tae Soo!"
"Later, I will explain later, please." He sounded serious and was almost pleading. Turning to hug Giselle's face into his chest and sheltering her from the looks, he moved swiftly and almost expertly as the possessed fans neared screaming and screeching, "We love you, Oppa! Saranghe! Give us a smile... Autograph..." and something else in other language that sounded nothing like Korean.
Giselle felt fear in his faltering heartbeat and did not question his behavior anymore, realizing that it was one of those moments where he was saving and protecting her, not himself. The fear lodged into her stomach as well, primal and instinctual. Fear of these hungry for his attention strangers somehow swallowing him whole, along with her. An image of Iona in a fish's stomach flashed in her mind, as she recalled a story from the Bible.
Tae Soo yelled something at them and then urged her, "Run!" picking up the pace. She trudged along to keep up with him, not able to lift her head to see in front of her, but trusting him to lead the way. She felt the sand under her feet getting hotter and hotter, scorching her soles before the soothing touch of the grass caressed them. He loosened his grip for a second before she could even see and hugged her tightly again, whispering into her hair, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
"Who are those people? What had just happened?" She was so thrown off by this whole incident. Confusion was etched on her face and her eyes demanded an explanation.
Guilt was covering him from head to toe and he could not even meet her gaze. "I was hoping to tell you at the right time. I did not expect this to happen. I was careless and lost vigilance. It's completely my fault."
"What the hell are you talking about?" She was not even angry, just flabbergasted and needing to understand.
"I can tell you now, or we can go home first. I think it will be safer."
He put on his sandals, gesturing for her to follow suit. Giselle slid her feet into the flip-flops and silently took his hand.
He looked nervous. His teeth were tugging at the side of his lower lip. He followed by running the tongue over agitated skin of the ruddy from all the biting lips, licking them over and over again in anxiety. Giselle sat calmly on the sofa, staring at him and waiting. She was not as serene inside as she showed on the outside. Her stomach was churning almost nauseatingly as she tried to avoid jumping to conclusions. It was obvious that something big had occurred earlier and the implication of it weighed on Tae Soo. Discomfort loomed over both of them with haunting air. This man had a secret and he kept it from her; she hoped it was a secret of a good kind, if any secret could be considered good, not something that would threaten their relationship. Between the two of them, she was more curious then anything; the initial confusion settled and she was ready for a reasonable explanation.
"There is something I have to tell you about myself," Tae Soo stated the obvious with a tone she could not identify. He appeared to be distant, despite being a few steps away, stiffened and rigid as he spoke.
"What is it?"
After a minute of contemplation, he delivered a careful statement with a timid smile, "I am a bit famous in my country."
"Oh?" She laughed. He was so cute, with those dimples popping up and his eyes looking earnestly. Somehow this secret did not seem awful at all. "What do you mean?"
"I'm an actor."
"Yes. It is my profession."
"You are an actor," she repeated thoughtfully. "Like in the movies?"
"Like in the movies and on TV and also a model for commercials and clothing brands." He continued cautiously watching her reaction.
"That's so cool!" She lit up with excitement. "Is it fun? Is it difficult? Do you like it?" She threw a slew of questions at him with an unmistaken gleam of curiosity in her eyes.
Tae Soo stared at her at first, dumfounded. He expected anything, but this. Her reaction was so... ordinary, yet completely unique. She was not screaming at him for lying or wondering why he never told her before. She was not accusing him of keeping such a big secret and allowing her to be ambushed and accosted by his rabid fans.
In disbelief, he felt it was necessary to clarify, "Giselle, this is not important. I'm kind of... a big star in my country and in Asia. Like Brat Pitt in America."
"You? No way?" She tried to joke, but the gravity of what he said slowly started to affect her. "So when you said famous, you meant like very popular?"
"So those girls, they recognized you?"
"Hmm." She studied his statue and traveled up and down his long legs and broad chest with a discerning eye. Finally, her gaze settled on his face and she peered into his almond eyes. "I can see why. You are not so bad looking." She evaluated teasingly.
"Giselle," he murmured in embarrassment. Such a compliment from her was rare. She mentioned a few times about him dressing well, but she never explicitly told him what she thought about his appearance in such a blunt fashion. And although he was more than confident about his charms, her comment took him by surprise.
"What? It's true. Too bad for Korea then. Because I got you!" She got up from the couch with a seductive glint in her eyes and moved toward him. He felt a hot wave of anticipation rise, knowing that Giselle was not about to freak out because of his stardom, instead she was about to ascertain her claim on him. "All those girls should wait in line, because you are taken," she said with confidence. "Mr. Korean movie star Lee Tae Soo is mine, am I right?"
The answer came in the form of a passionate kiss.
Authors Notes: Do you think Giselle will be OK with his popularity? Is it the end or just the beginning? Will Mr. Jerk try to cause trouble about it? Is she truly not upset about Tae Soo hiding the truth about his identity? Will it change the nature of their relationship like he feared? Let me know. If you have any specific ideas or suggestions I'm open to take them into consideration.
"Excuse me, are you Lee Tae Soo?" A girl tapped his shoulder. He turned, looking as if a thief caught mid-robbery.
"I can't believe it!" The girl chirped excitedly. "You are!"
"No, I'm not," he denied, but she did not care much for what he got to say. She waved her friends over and soon he was completely surrounded, with no way to flee. He was trapped, caught like an unsuspecting fly in a spider's net. The more he struggled to free, the more entangled he became, and now the hungry eyes of the predators were set on the victim. He had a sinking feeling in his stomach that soon he would be devoured limb by limb, piece by piece.
There were too many of them and their pretty faces morphed into ugly zombie looking monstrosities. Camera flashes blinded him, and in horror Tae Soo covered his head, shrinking to the ground as they pressed on, hovering and looming above, blocking the sun, taking away the air out of his lungs, pitch black enveloped him and he knew it was the end.
"Tae Soo, what's wrong, wake up," Giselle urged him. She was shaking him for the last few minutes, alerted by his screams.
"Help me. Save me," he held tightly onto her hand, screwing up his eyes hard, still under the spell of his nightmare.
"Tae Soo-ya, it's me." She ran her hand over his forehead covered in cold sweat. "Oh, no. This won't do." She cupped his cheek and caressed his wet sticky locks. His eyes fluttered, opening just a slit, and he rose with a start.
"What happened? Bad dream? Tell me."
"Nothing. It's nothing," he muttered, obviously embarrassed. "I'm fine. Did I wake you?"
"Yes, you were screaming Save me! Help me! Must have been a scary dream."
"I have not had this one in a long time. It is an old nightmare." He patted her hand, giving her a comforting smile. "I've had it before and it goes away after a while."
"Never mind." He clammed. It was embarrassing enough to scream like a little kid at night. How was he supposed to explain to her about the dream?
"I looked you up on the net," she informed him.
Tae Soo tensed up, but squeezed a smile for Giselle. "And did you like anything in particular?" His flirtatious tone did not cover discomfort she noticed right away.
"There are so many pictures, videos, interviews and articles, it is mind boggling. If I did not know you, I would have never believed it was actually Tae Soo that I know."
"It is a public image I have. It is very specific and catered to the needs and interests of the fans."
"Don't you want them to know real you?"
"Real me?" He appeared taken aback. "That image is real me. Just a different part of me."
Now it was Giselle's turn to tense. She did not give it much thought. Her boyfriend was a dorky, cute, albeit hot Korean tourist, not this huge celebrity figure Lee Tae Soo. Although he told her about his popularity, she could not begin to comprehend what it meant. "It must be strange to have your pictures everywhere. Do you even have any privacy?"
"Not really," he sighed. "I'm used to being recognized. When I wake up in the morning, do you know what I see out the window?" It was a rhetorical question, but Giselle let him keep a pause as his mind wondered, painting a mental image. "Nothing. I make sure my windows are shut. Curtains are drawn. When I look, I see girls with banners, proclaiming their undying love for me. It's like they expect me to be somebody who is always just there for them. Fans get upset if I actually have a life outside of the one they created for me on their forums." He looked calm now and contemplative.
"Is it hard?" Giselle sat beside him and he placed his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer. "Is it hard to be you? Those girls from the beach will they make it hard for you?"
"Who knows," he shrugged his shoulders. "I tried to make sure there were no pictures taken. Were there any?"
"No, I did not check."
"Shall we?" He brought over his laptop and switched keyboard setting to Korean. He quickly typed something and scrolled through a number of search items till he stalled at one. He clicked and the page popped up with a bunch of hastily taken pictures. None of them clearly showing his face, but it was him, enclosed by a bunch of fans.
A worry line crept across his forehead and his eyes turned darker; she looked at the picture he was staring at.
"Is it me?" she asked, voice shaking a little.
"Mmm." He just grunted in response. "Luckily I covered you in time. Don't worry. This will blow over," he said somewhat unconvincingly. His face was stone cold, emotions unreadable and it frightened Giselle to see him like that.
"It will?" she grabbed at his arm, surprised at her own reaction. The anxiety hit her momentarily, her chest was hot and her palms sweaty. "Am I causing a problem for you?"
"No, you are not a problem." His kind voice was reassuring. She looked at her lovingly and she immediately felt safer. "But I think we should abstain from going out for a few days. Do you mind hanging out with me at home?"
"Of course, not." She wrapped around his arm and put her head on his shoulder. "I can spend a few days sitting like that and I will be happy."
"I think we should get more comfortable then and I should call for food to be delivered." He chuckled lightly and kissed her forehead.
"Let's pretend there is hurricane."
"Let's. We have not been in hiding ever since."
They did not have to pretend, the hurricane was coming. It did not begin its life like most Caribbean hurricanes over the eastern Atlantic, it arrived from the shores of the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea, bordering land far and away, the native land of the actor. It did not start as tropical waves, following the trade winds, but rather as rumor waves splashed over the internet. From a few pictures and blog comments excited netizens incited a storm, which moved along the electronic passages reaching the peak of power in the Caribbean basin.
"Have you ever seen this person?"
"Let me see," the man squinted, moving the picture further away. "Not sure, ask over there," he pointed to a long chain of taxis lined along the strip outside the airport.
The reporter was persistent. He went from driver to driver until he hit the jackpot. "This one? Of course, he is my daughter's boyfriend," the man scoffed. "Why you need him?"
"I have something important I have to give him," the reporter lied without any qualms. "Can you take me there? I can pay well," he pulled out a wad of cash.
"Can you tell me more about the person on the picture?" The reporter probed, after he got inside an old beat up Toyota.
"Why?" The driver turned tied lipped and suspicious as soon as the money was secured in his pocket.
"How long has he been dating your daughter? What kind of relationship they have?"
"My daughter and I are not on the best terms right now and I think it's none of your business anyway."
The reporter smirked, he hit the gold mine and now he just needed to dig a bit deeper if he wanted to capitalize on his discovery. If you want to be rolling in gold, you can't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
"You are right. I'm just a curious person. Since my friend is so nice, I only wish him to date a nice girl."
"Are you friends with Chino?"
"Who is Chino?"
"That guy. Tall, handsome, skinny. Chinese guy."
"Chinese guy?" Reporter began to worry. Did he make a mistake? Did the old man mistake some Chinese for Tae Soo?
"Yes. He is Chinese. I thought he was your friend. You know what? Forget it." The man abruptly stopped the car. "Get out!"
The reporter flung forward, hitting his head on the headrest of the front seat. He shook it off and stuttered, "Bbb-ut why?"
"I don't like you and I don't believe you."
"But sir, I paid." His weak reasoning did little to improve his chances to stay in the car and even less to get him to Tae Soo's location unannounced.
"Then take it back," Giselle's father pulled out the bundle out of his pocket and before shoving it back thought for minute and split it in half. "That should cover my fare and my patience with you. Get out."
"Sir, but you said you could take me to the house."
"Get out before I shoot you!" The old soldier gestured toward his pant pocket, struggling to pull something out of it. This was enough to have the reporter scared.
Mr. Gonzalez laughed with a devilish smirk. Quite satisfied with himself, he watched through the back mirror the lone quickly diminishing figure of the reporter, literary left on a side of the dirt road, and sped up toward Tae Soo's beach house.