HEART LIES

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DARK KNIGHT

“Neo?”

“Lee Seongsang, ani [no], Sa-rang.”

To hear her first name pronounced by the 25-year-old who a few hours ago was the incarnation of a medical student left the woman speechless. Sa-rang recollected her thoughts and shut her gaping mouth on the same occasion. Fear invaded her as the reality of the situation rained and settled in her mind.

“Otoké [How]?”

The young man smirked, “like you, I came by car.”

“You know what I mean,” Sa-rang wanted to hear the reason for his presence from his mouth.

“I’m your knight.”

Sa-rang’s eyes widened in horror as her mind processed his words.

Dressed all in black in the most fitted of suits, one could think it was pieced together by the delicate hands of a tailor just an hour before. His hair was combed back held correctly in place, showing the eyes that usually shone with mischief under his bangs daily.

“Surprised? I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine the shock the news is having on your nervous system.”

“Chae Ji-Seong Ssi.”

“Nae [yes], that’s my name, but for this occasion, I am Apollo.”

Ji-Seong pulled out the chair without making a single sound and sat down. He gazed straight at Sa-rang like an equal. Ji-Seong pressed a button on his side, and the door sprung open, giving way to the butler who settled the dishes.

Sa-rang observed the man’s precise motions as he laid the table with his eyes closed under her knight’s amused stare as he imagined the eruption to come.

The waiter gone, the two sat silently, letting the Cantonese music play. Sa-rang’s ears caught the notes for the first time; she had not even realized music played.

“Ji-Seong.”

“Please, it’s Apollo.”

Sa-rang smirked and got up.

“Where are you going? The night is still young?”

“I won’t listen to you another minute,” she turned to leave.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, the sponsor spent 10 million won to offer you these three nights, and there’s no refund, anja,” Ji-Seong said and waited before adding a “seyo” while pointing at her empty seat. [anja=sit, anjaseyo= sit down polite]

Sa-rang lifted her eyes to the ceiling. She acknowledged her friend’s gesture as love. Yoona had good intentions; all she wanted to do was offer her dying friend the best of life, and Yoona paid massive retribution.

The sound of a popping bottle made Sa-rang look over her shoulders. Ji-Seong poured the champagne into both their glasses before throwing Sa-rang, the type of killer smile which would have any woman fanning herself or fainting depending on her sensibility.

“This situation doesn’t seem to shock you,” Sa-rang said.

“Why would it?” Ji-Seong furrowed his eyebrows while his eyes darted from side to side before lightly tilting his head to the side as if to state that he didn’t see a problem after reflection.

“Neoran naran, uri, [you, I, we] we can’tㅡ.”

“Why, because you’re a professor and I’m a student you despise? I left my student cap when I left the hospital earlier, and for me, the woman standing in front of me in this black lace dress is Lee Sa-rang, keut [period].

Sa-Rang took two steps towards the table to stand just behind her seat.

“Come on, Sa-rang, you’re almost there, anja,” Ji-Seong beckoned, pointing his palm towards her chair.

“Don’t call me Sa-rang.”

“Oh, you are the dominant type. Okay, I can do that if that’s what excites you.”

Sa-rang crossed her arms, “ah, chum, look at this kid,”

“Oh, you want us to play, teacher, Dr.Lee. I didn’t know you had these kinds of fantasies. It’s not my fav, but I can adapt.”

“JI-SEONG.”

“Please, don’t raise your voice like that, and please sit down. I know you’re obsessed with looking down on people, but my neck and eyes would appreciate it if we could speak eye to eye.”

Sa-rang pulled out the chair, which shrieked like chalk on a writing board. The unlikely situation was not getting better.

Ji-Seong gazed at the light waves on Sa-rang’s hair, her cat-like eyes amplified by the eyeliner, the Ruby Woo red lipstick, the twitches of her face showed she was lost and without a clue, and the young man enjoyed having the upper hand in this scene.

Ji-Seong slid a finger across his lower lip “귀엽다 [gwiyeopda=cute]” he smiled “now you’ve sat down, maybe we can eat?”

“Mwo [what], what did you just say?”

“Perhaps we should eat?” Ji Seong repeated, lifting his eyebrows in an expression of bewilderment.

“I mean, just beー.”

“Ah, you mean cute, you’re cute, so I said it, is there a problem?”

There was a huge problem; the professor refused to accept the idea of dining with one of her students who dared to call her cute.

“Listen, Chae Ji-Seong Ssi; I’m a 40ー.”

“You’re not my mother, and as I said right now, I only see a woman. I don’t care about your title, your wealth, and what other flag or certificate you want to throw at me. Silent Knight pays me toㅡ.”

“This is prostitutionㅡ.”

“Oh, Seongsaengnim, do you already plan to sleep with me?”

“Omo, omo, are you crazy?” Sa-rang said, leaning over the table, hands clutching its edge; she was close enough for Ji-Seong to whiff the delicate fragrance of her perfume and the scent of her shampoo.

Sa-rang put in a lot of effort for a woman who was not in for this kind of game.

“What? You have the right to the full package the sponsor gave your last blood test.”

“She did what?”

“Yes, it’s the condition for a full package. The clients have to give a less than three months HIV STD test result.”

Sa-rang pushed her chair back, “that’s insane and illegal. I can’t believe Yoona did this,” she muttered to herself.

“Please, Sa-rang, relax. Nothing will happen without your consent. Your sponsor paid for a 517 000 won meal. Let us show some respect and eat.”

Sa-rang had to admit his words made sense. Of course, she intended to repay Yoona herself, but she had to show herself worthy of the effort Yoona put in to offer her this birthday present, which many would consider as prestigious. Also, it was the only present she received; Sa-rang thought of the wishes she formulated. She sought to walk on the wild side, and the occasion fitted perfectly.

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