HEART LIES

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TAKE I: GOODNIGHT

Sa-rang stopped drinking; getting drunk in this scenario would not solve the problem. The resolution was one glass too late; the euphoria bubbled in her as the waiter posed the desserts on the table. Though no longer hungry, Sa-rang ate. Ji-Seong took bites and stopped to glance at her.

“Stop doing that,” Sa-rang snapped.

A sly grin appeared on the man’s face,” doing what?”

“Don’t look at me.”

“Sorry, I can’t do,” the knight answered.

“Orders?”

“No, personal motives.”

Sa-rang coughed as the Amaretto almond cake diverted its route.

“Are you okay?” Ji-Seong got up and came beside her, about to tap on her back.

Sa-rang slapped his hand away, “Do-n’t-egh, touch-egh me.”

“As you wish, I didn’t have any bad intentions.”

The lie was evident; during the whole evening, the man’s eyes surfed on Sa-rang’s dress; it clung to her body like a second skin. Transparent on the shoulders, it showed the legendary porcelain skin that most Asian women ran after. With her long dark hair on one side, Ji-Seong refrained his desire to cradle his lips in the nip of her neck. Instead, he returned to his seat and finished his dessert. Sa-rang took the coffee to chase away the alcohol.

It was nearly 11 PM when they should up to leave.

This time as Sa-rang crossed the hall, she noticed lights under each door. She wondered if there were other women like her having a meal with an Aphrodite or Zeus.

Sa-rang kept looking behind her to check Ji-Seong didn’t do something funny as they walked in the underground wine cellar’s narrow corridor. They handed her coat to Ji-Seong at the reception; the man then put it on her shoulders like a gentleman.

Reaching the surface, Sa-rang almost kissed the ground, thankful to have survived the ordeal. The experience had a catharsis effect; the first instances’ fear faded, leaving only joy and relief.

The car which brought her came to a stop in front of them.

“What happens now?”

“I accompany you home.”

“Orders?”

“Yes,” Ji-Seong said, opening the door of the car for her.

Sa-rang got in, and Ji-Seong sat next to her, making the woman push herself against the door widening the distance between them.

Ji-Seong released a chuckle, “I’m not contagious.”

“No, you’re viral.”

Ji-Seong smiled; he knew women. The knight tested most of the types available and women all over the world. Sa-rang was in denial; it was a typical reaction. The professor was exactly like he imagined when they gaze crossed at L’hexagone the year before. Afraid, lonely, and unconsciously seeking for someone or something which would fill the void.

Sa-rang’s pride, social status, and natural stubbornness stopped her from expressing her profound desires, which came out of her mouth like warning signs pushing away those who tempted to approach her. The mascarade hid something else, and Ji-Seong decided he would dig till he uncovered her darkest secrets.

They arrived in front of her apartment Ji-Seong climbed off the car out too, raising his head to admire her building’s height.

“I guess I have to say thank you,” Sa-rang stared at her shoes like a teenager back from prom night.

“No, you don’t, but it would be nice.”

They stood to face each other in front of her building. Despite the late hour, Sa-rang’s eyes were alert. Crossing a neighbor or another acquaintance was plausible.

“So, what happens now?”

Sa-rang mentally bashed herself as her words came out sounding like she waited for something.

“Well, you go inside and have a good night’s sleep so you can be up and ready to whip your students tomorrow.”

In one sentence, Ji-Seong reeled reality back to its rightful place, sobering Sa-rang up.

“Thank you,” Sa-rang turned to leave.

She had taken a few steps when her arm was jerked backward; the strength of the pull almost made her fall. Like in the movies, she found herself held in Ji-Seong’s arms. The woman’s heart crossed the standard rate as it drummed, beating 90bpm.

The man locked his eyes on her gaze, searching for something, an answer, or a sign. The flickering glint in Sa-rang’s pupils as they dilated gave him the green light; Ji-Seong leaned to bless her with a perfect cinema kiss.

Startled, Sa-rang had no time to build resistance or tense her lips, which accepted Ji-Seong’s, giving him a visa to explore.

두근두근[dugeun dugeun=korean onomatopoeia of heartbeat].

Sa-rang ears became stethoscopes as her heart banged in them. The young man’s grasp tightened around her, Ji-Seong was getting carried away, realizing it, the knight released the woman only to grasp her again as she was about to fall.

“Sorry, it was in the 1st night’s commands.”

Still in shock, Sa-rang did not argue. She turned and attempted to enter her building in a dignified manner without saying a single word.

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