Chapter 5: Coasters and Cough ups
Aeri tumbled in her bed, having trouble getting any sleep. The dinner went smoothly as she ever predicted, with Yoochun clearing away the awkward air in record speed, having Yunho and Eunhee doubling over their plates as they howled in laughter. She looked at Yoochun fondly as the man continued cracking up jokes, smiling as the dinner was finally over and as she walked him to the door to say goodbye. She sighed and sat upright, reaching for the glass of water on the bedside table and gulped it down, setting the empty glass back. She stood up and walked towards her desk, grabbing her backpack from the side and pulling out her laptop, setting it on top of the wooden surface. Might as well get some work done.
She picked through the photos and arranged them on a folder, clicking at a picture each of Yunho and Jaejoong to leave on her disk for her personal portfolio before opening her email and attaching the folder, getting it ready to send to Vogue. She rummaged through her files for the email address of the layout editors before clicking on send after typing them on the recipient box. Stretching, she closed her laptop and walked back to her drawer, grabbing her blanket and a small book and went out of the balcony. The cold, midnight breeze greeted her as she sat on her hammock and read a few pages, every now and then gazing out of the sky. She smiled at the stars, reliving precious memories of her childhood…of Junsu. Thoughts raced through her head as she felt herself drift to sleep, a single tear rolling down her cheeks.
“Aeri…I’m going to Sydney with Byulae.” Junsu said coldly, wringing his hand free from the weakened girl beside him, “She said she’ll make me more than I am now.”
“No, Su, please…don’t leave me here alone.” The eighteen-year old girl said, tears streaming down her face, “I-I can’t go on this without you! Didn’t you say we’ll succeed together? You’re my best friend, Su, I can’t let you go.”
“You’ll find a better friend than me, Aeri-ah. Byulae’s waiting.” Junsu whispered, walking away towards the door. Aeri sobbed and ran towards him, hugging him from behind. Junsu felt his heart shatter as Aeri’s tears drenched his shirt, her next words forcing a tear out of his eyes, “I love you…Junsu.”
“I’m sorry..” Junsu whispered, taking Aeri’s hands off his waist and going out, shutting the door behind him. Aeri’s mind went blank as she slumped on the floor, her head bowed and the pit-patter of her tears echoing eerily throughout the room. Her world seemed smaller, much darker when she realized Junsu’s leaving her. Seeing this, she stood up and frantically ran to the door, opening it and rushing down the hallway, calling out Junsu’s name. She ran down the flight of stairs and out of the house, just in time to see Junsu’s car drive off. She sobbed harder and sank on her knees, feeling a pair of hands on her shoulder, making her get on her feet. She turned around and buried her face on the person’s chest, clutching at the man’s shirt, drenching the fabric with her tears, “He’s gone…”
“I know…I’m here Aeri, I will never leave you.” The man said in a deep voice, making Aeri sob harder. The man hugged her tight as the skies darkened, signaling the upcoming rain. Yoochun motioned for Aeri to go inside, “No Chunnie…I want the rain to take away the pain….let’s stay a bit longer please.” She said, holding on to Yoochun’s shirt, “Please.”
“Okay…” Yoochun replied, covering her with his jacket. Yoochun felt a strong surge of sadness and anger when he felt Aeri’s quavering body, hopelessly kissing her forehead as tears fell down his own eyes. The warmth of their tears melted away in the rain, erasing the temporary pain, but Yoochun knew Aeri’s pain wouldn’t be gone like that and he promised himself he would help take it away.
Even if he gives his happiness in return.
Eunhee stood precariously outside the gates of Ginko Amusement Park, adjusting her tanktop, red petticoat and denim skirt, looking around for Yunho. She pouted and looked at her watch, wondering if she went there too early. Sighing, she sat on one of the benches that lined up the park’s entrance, waiting for the handsome man to come.
“I didn’t know you’d come this early.” A voice said, making Eunhee shudder. She looked up and saw Yunho, smiling at her with two sticks of cotton candy in his hands, wearing a white, long-sleeved shirt and black pants and boots. Eunhee blushed and snatched one stick away, biting at the fluffy goodness and grumbling, “I just arrived you know.”
“Oh really? If you say so.” Yunho smirked, biting in his own candy, “Here, let’s go so that we can ride on everything and still get you home on time.” He said, winking. Yunho walked towards the ticket booth and pulled out his wallet. Eunhee stopped him, “Hey! I can buy my own ticket.”
“Nonsense; when does a girl pay for a date?” Yunho asked, pulling out a wad of cash using his other hand and handing it over to the cashier, “two ride-all-you-can passes please.” He said, winking. The cashier lady blushed and handed over the tickets, ticking Eunhee off. Yunho noticed the slight cold air and grinned, grabbing Eunhee’s hand, “Okay! It’s time to have some fun!”
They circled the park for hours, riding all the slow and close-to-the-ground rides. Yunho led the way, pointing out different objects everytime. Eunhee suggested to ride in any roller coasters or even the Ferris wheel. Irritated, Eunhee stopped walking, tapping her feet on the ground with her hands on her waist, pouting.
“What?” Yunho asked, looking oblivious. Eunhee raised an eyebrow, “You know, I’ve noticed something.” She said, smirking, “You’re afraid of heights, aren’t you?”
“W-what? Me? Afraid of heights? C-course not!” Yunho said, his lips twitching. Eunhee smirked, tapping her chin with her forefinger, “oh really? That’s great then because I wanna ride the Ferris Wheel now.” She said, her smirk evolving into an evil grin. Yunho’s face began to lose color as he stuttered his reply, “T-the Ferris Wheel?” He said, his eyes looking up at the humongous attraction a few meters ahead. Ginko Park’s Ferris Wheel stands a whopping 90 meters tall, the highest point almost disappearing into the clouds. Yunho felt bile rise up to his throat as his hands began to feel cold and clammy, his knees beginning to wobble.
“Well?” Eunhee asked, crossing her arms on her chest. Yunho gulped and looked at her, his voice coming out as a barely audible whisper, “S-sure…let’s go.”
Aeri opened her eyes, smiling as she was greeted by the warm sunlight as she rose from the hammock, gently stretching her arms and legs. She walked inside her room and shut the balcony door, grabbing her bathrobe from the door of her closet as she went out of her room into the corridor. She trudged down the stairs, yawning as she made her way into the kitchen. A drink of water later, she noticed the empty silence inside the house, raising her eyebrows, as she called out for her sister, “Eunhee?!”
“Yah! Eunhee!” She said as she peeked inside her sister’s room, finding the clean space empty, “Isn’t it a Saturday today?” She asked herself, scratching her head as she walked inside the room. She went to her sister’s study desk, noticing a note stuck on the lamp, and reading it, her lips curling into a smile at the contents.
‘Unnie, I went to Ginko with You-Know-Who ♥ Thank you for yesterday! Couldn’t have happened without you!
-Your pretty lil’ sis!
“You’re welcome squirt.” She said while pocketing the note, and going out of the room, closing the door behind her. Aeri went down the kitchen, reaching for a loaf of bread, an evil smirk playing on her lips, “I wonder if they rode on the Ferris Wheel of the Roller coasters yet?” She asked herself, pushing two slices of bread down the toaster. She felt something brush past her legs and looked down, finding Toto’s soft eyes looking up at her. She knelt down and patted the Lavrador’s head, stroking the soft fur, “Looks like you’re left with me, Toto…where should we go today?”
“Arf!” Toto barked and licked Aeri’s face before running down the hallway, returning moments later with his leash and a Frisbee clutched in his mouth. Aeri stood up and smiled, putting the toast on the plate and grabbing the jam before setting it on the table. She opened the jar and pread the luscious gel on the bread and gave it to Toto, who let go of the items and bit the toast gratefully, “The park then.”
“Oh….oh…oh…!” Yunho whispered, his eyes closed and his forehead beaded with sweat, his knuckles white as his nails dug crescents on his palm, his breath coming in short pants. Eunhee squealed as they began to move, feeling the floor vibrate beneath them. She clutched at Yunho’s arm excitedly as the basket rose higher, taking them halfway to the top and stopping a good 45 miles up in the air, “Isn’t this fun?!”
(fooled you didn’t I? *looks at PG-14 rating and gives a smirk XD)
“Y-yeah it is.” Yunho muttered, bravely opening an eye to peek but regretting it a second later. The view was breathtaking; the ocean a few meters from the park was clearly visible, the horizon a pure white as the high noon sun blared, making the sky a cool light blu, accentuated by the fluffy clouds. It was beautiful, but all Yunho could see was the sheer drop below them, making him clutch the railings of the ride a bit harder.
“Oh shit!” He hissed as the basket rose higher, this time, taking them a full 90 meters up. Yunho felt the color on his face drain as he felt the sudden urge to puke.
“Yunho, are you okay?” Eunhee asked, holding back her laughter after seeing Yunho’s pale face. The guy was seated across her in the small space of the basket, clutching at the railings and obviously scared shitless. She felt guilty at forcing Yunho to ride the huge wheel but she couldn’t help but be curious as to what he would look like when he’s scared. And boy did he look hilarious.
“I want to be honest with you, Eunhee…” Yunho started, opening an eye to look at Eunhee, “I’m scared of heights.”
“Well no shit.” Eunhee said, rolling her eyes, “Why’d you have to lie? If you told me that earlier I wouldn’t have forced you to come with me. I can ride this alone you know.”
“Yeah, that’s why.” Yunho said, finding the strength to smile as he clutched at the hand Eunhee was using to hold his arm, “I don’t want you to ride here alone.”
“Idiot.” Eunhee snapped, looking away from him, her cheeks blushing and a smile forming on her lips. Yunho moved closer and rested his head on her shoulders, feeling his fears ebb away as it was replaced by the fast beating of his heart.
‘The heights wasn’t that bad after all.’
“Toto!” Aeri screamed, running after the massive Labrador as said dog ran frantically across the park, his leash bouncing along behind him. Aeri gasped as Toto managed to tackle a man to the ground, slurping and barking at the man’s face. Aeri quickly ran over and pulled Toto’s leash, “Bad Toto! I’m sorry sir; he’s just a bit out of control. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, I swear, and we already sent him for anti=rabies shots. I’m really sorry!” She said, bowing as the man stood up and dusted his clothes, “Hmm, how will you make it up to me then?”
“Huh?” Aeri snapped her head up and looked at the man as the familiar voice rang in her ears, “Jae!”
“Hi baby.” Jaejoong winked, pulling Aeri into a hug, “Is this your pooch? God, he’s gorgeous.”
“What are you doing here?” Aeri asked, pulling Toto’s leash harder as the Labrador struggled to get himself free, “Aren’t you supposed to be on a shoot?”
“Didn’t happen; seems like the new codi blew her top off because our wardrobe manager didn’t get the clothes she asked for. It was moved for next week. Good thing too, because I really, really need this free time.” Jaejoong said, giving Toto a pat, “Come! I want to introduce you to someone!” He added, pulling Aeri across the park. They headed towards a bench where a pregnant woman sat, reading a book. She had big, almond shaped eyes, fair skin, plump lips, and long, luxurious black hair that well in layers to her waist. Jaejoong cleared his throat as they approached, getting her attention, “Haneul, this is one of my photographers, Kim Aeri-sshi.” He started, smiling at the woman. The woman looked up and closed her book, her beautiful emerald eyes making Aeri gasped as she recognized the woman; damn she was still so beautiful!
“A-annyeong hasseo! I’m Kim Aeri.” Aeri bowed, smiling at the woman. The woman stood up and walked towards Aeri, a scowl forming on her lips. Aeri began to sweat, looking at Jaejoong for help, and the man cleared his throat again, “a-ah yes, this is my wife, Kim Haneul…but you might know here from her maiden name, Song Haneul.”
And at that, Aeri’s fear disappeared.
“Oh my god! I knew you were her! I’m your biggest fan! I have all your cd’s and photobooks, a-and your online albums! Gah, it’s so nice to meet you Song- I mean, Kim Haneul –sshi!” Aeri squealed, earning a startled look from the other two. Haneul chuckled and took Aeri’s hand, pulling her into a hug, “It’s definitely nice to meet a fan. But don’t you dare steal Joongie away from me, okay?” Haneul said. Aeri’s eye twitched, “O=of course not! He’s just a friend I can assure you that!” She said laughing nervously, “Congratulations with the baby, by the way.”
“Thank you very much Aeri !~” Haneul said, suddenly displaying energy a pregnant woman shouldn’t have had, “Very well, would you like to come with us for lunch?”
“Ah, I’m sorry, I’d love to but I have to run to Elle to submit a portfolio from the photoshoot last month…” Aeri shyly said, “Um…can I take a picture of you sometime, Haneul-sshi…maybe you can sign it too..”
“Of course! And drop the formalities; I’d like to be called Honey or Neullie, whichever you prefer, besides, any friend of Joongie’s is a friend of mine. Except for that Shim Changmin; he always makes Joongie work so late!”
“Honey, that’s just one time; we needed the light of dawn for our shoot.” Jaejoong sighed, kissing Haneul’s pout away, “Well, if you really can’t come for lunch, then maybe another time, Aeri, I have to give Haneul and our little Alice something good to eat!~”
“Yah! Who said her name would be Alice?!” Haneul snapped, cuffing Jaejoong’s head. Aeri laughed and waved goodby, watching the bickering lovers in happiness, glad to have ran into something good that day.
Yoochun smiled as a black and white mass of a dog ran helter-skelter around him, jumping up to reach the Frisbee in his hand. He threw the Frisbee far towards the end of the park and the dog bounded towards it, bringing it back after a couple of seconds.
“Good job, Harangie.” Yoochun said as the dog barked and wagged its tail as it let go of the purple Frisbee on Yoochun’s feet. He picked it up and prepared to throw but stopped as another dog ran towards him; a black Labrador.
“Huh, Toto?” Yoochun said, patting the dog’s head, “What are you doing here?!”
“Toto!” A screech came and Yoochun found himself smirking as a woman with long, braided hair, fair skin, and clad in a Sunday dress and designer boots ran towards the dog, a leash and a pink Frisbee clutched in her hands, “Stop running away, you mutt!” She said, attaching the leash on Toto’s collar, “And don’t you dare give me that look; I’m not letting you out again if you’re like this.”
“He might grow sad if you do that.” Yoochun said.
“Oh, Chunnie! And Harang too! Oh I missed you!” Aeri said, glomping the Alaskan Malamute, stroking its fur as it licked her face, “It’s a good thing he remembers me.”
“How would he forget you? When you always spoiled him when he goes to your house.” Yoochun smiled, attaching the leash on Harang’s collar, “Wanna get a bite?”
“Sure, oh but let’s go to Elle for a bit. I have to do some errands.” She said, pulling Toto up.
“Okay then” Yoochun said, leading the way, “I have my car; it will get us there faster.”
“O-okay, let’s stop by my house first so I can drop Toto off.” Aeri said, as they walked towards Yoochun’s white BMW, Toto and Harang tottering behind them, “You can leave Harangie there too.”
“Great, let’s go then!” Yoochun cheered, opening the door for Aeri, taking both leashes from her. Aeri slid inside and whistled at the interior of the car; it was pure white leather on the dashboard and covering the steering wheel as well. The rug was black and fluffy while the seats were covered in gray vinyl. She looked behind her and smiled as the two dogs lounged comfortably on the backseat, Toto already lying on his stomach while Yoochun unclasped their leashes and closed the door. He rounded the car and sidled into the driver’s seat, pulling his seatbelt, “Buckle up, princess.”
“Shut up!” Aeri chuckled as she pulled her seatbelt in place, “Nice car.”
“Yeah, I get by good.” Yoochun winked, starting the engine, “Toto likes it.” He said, smiling as he pulled out of the parking lot. Aeri nodded and picked through Yoochun’s cd collection and slid one in the cd player. Yoochun smirked as Aeri started to sing and bob her head along with the music. He drove a good five minutes worth until he pulled into Aeri’s driveway, stopping just outside their gate. Aeri got out and fumbled for her keys while Yoochun let the dogs out, their tails wagging as they walked inside the gate after Aeri. Yoochun followed Aeri inside the house, “I’ll just give them some treats and get my stuff then we can go, okay?”
“Okay, I’ll go give them the treats, you go get your stuff.” Yoochun said, walking towards the kitchen.
“Do you know where I keep the kibbles?” Aeri asked, going up the stairs to her room. She heard Yoochun open some drawers and the sound of dogfood hitting the metallic dogbowls and she knew the answer to her question. She smiled, Yoochun always knew where she kept stuff. She grabbed her portfolio and walked down the stairs, finding Yoochun seated on a stool, the two dogs lapping away happily in their bowls of food.
“Ready to go?” Yoochun smiled, standing up and gesturing for Aeri’s folder. She handed it over and walked to the refrigerator, getting two popsicles from the freezer and tossing one to Yoochun. Yoochun was busy poring over the photobook, “Wow, I didn’t know you got to shoot Yamapi?”
“Yeah, he’s really nice, and Jun Matsumoto for An-An too. But I didn’t include his pictures there; they’re a little revealing.”
“But I see a half-naked me here.” Yoochun pointed out cheekily, Aeri cuffed his head, “You’re wearing Jeans, Chunnie, Matsumoto-san wasn’t wearing anything.”
“What?! Does that mean you saw his…” Yoochun said, closing the portfolio and looking at Aeri dolefully. Aeri chuckled and ruffled Yoochun’s hair, “Come on Chunnie, I have to get that to Elle.”
“You haven’t answered my question yet.” Yoochun whined as he handed over the folder and followed Aeri out the house
“I don’t plan to Chunnie~.” Aeri replied in a sing-song voice, opening the gate and waiting for Yoochun to go out.
“Not that one, the other question I asked you a couple of years ago.” Yoochun said, opening the door for Aeri. She slid inside the car and waited for Yoochun to get in as she realized what he meant. She bit her lower lip and fastened her seatbelt as Yoochun drove off, “Chunnie…I-“
“I’m just kidding, you don’t have to answer that.”
Aeri looked out the window and fell silent, watching as the streets stretched farther into the freeway and the houses began to dwindle in number, finally leaving barren fields. She sighed and looked back at Yoochun, smiling as the sunlight touched his face in a mesmerizing way. She found herself looking at the man with a new pair of eyes, suddenly noticing the details from his high cheekbones, to his sexy neckline. She took out her phone and snapped a picture, earning a bewildered look from Yoochun, “What the heck was that for?”
“Oh nothing~ It’s just that you look so cool when you’re driving so seriously.” Aeri said, putting the phone back in her pocket, “Chunnie…”
“Hmm?” Yoochun turned right and stopped in front of a massive building then looked at Aeri, his dark eyes shining, “What is it?”
“I…I think I can answer that question later.” She mumbled, taking her folder and getting out of the car, leaving Yoochun utterly perplexed but happy all the same.
End Chapter xD
Sorry for the long wait especially to Eunhee-ah.. *adenine* Here you go dear !~
Till next chap 😀