Chapter 4: Off to the Slaughterhouse

Dinner for four. Location: French bistro. Really. That’s just splendid. I mean, surely, after watching Sohee try on many designer gowns that made me shriek after hearing the hefty price tags they came with, it isn’t really necessary for us to be here to rejoice. After all, Sohee never managed to pick a dress. She said she couldn’t feel the emotions of finding the one overcome her, which was how she felt when she first saw Sungyeol. Yuck. Let me go throw up in a waste basket now. Honestly, the way she worded things sounded rather perverted. It seemed more like a girlfriend explaining to us about her great orgasm, and I’m sure Yeonjun could read my mind because he had that discerning look pasted on his face that was warning me not to think so immaturely.
Now, Sohee heaves a heavy sigh as she sinks her head in the menu. Instantly, Minjun asks, “What’s wrong, Sohee? Still upset that we couldn’t find the perfect dress for you? Mm?”

I think I still can’t get over the fact that Minjun and Yeonjun are twins. I have to remind myself that these two are different people because in all honesty, if Yeonjun were ever to use that tone with me, I think it’d be the day that he turned gay. Trust me. Yeonjun is the straightest guy ever; he’s kind of homophobic, which is something we always frown upon him. He doesn’t criticize or bash homosexuals aloud nor does he ever hate them. However, he just can’t stand the sight of two men kissing. His face just naturally forms that judgemental stare paired with a revolting sneer. Still, he tries his best to pretend that nothing is wrong, and the guys and I all accept that, at least, he is trying.

“No,” Sohee shakes her head and sulks, “it’s just that . . . I’m worried . . . you know? Like . . . if I don’t find the dress, then . . . does that mean Sungyeol and I aren’t supposed to marry?”

Oh my god. I almost burst out laughing at her statement that I have to take a huge sip of water to silence my jeering. Honestly? Seriously? What kind of logic does she go by? I mean . . . how can Yeonjun even like such a stupid girl? I shoot him a glare, causing him to ramble, “Wh-wh-what? Something on my face?”

“No,” I utter upon placing my glass on the table with a clink, “I think it’s on your cheek. Here. Let me get it for you.” Since I’m sitting beside him at this round table, I lean to my left and instead of swiping my napkin across his face, I take this chance to pinch his cheek fiercely.

“Ouch, what was that—“

“Well, silly me!” I giggle loudly and roll my eyes. “That was just your freckle! Ha!”

“R-r-right,” Yeonjun grumbles while rubbing his cheek with his palm.

Ignoring Yeonjun, I flash a warm smile at Sohee, who is sitting across from me. “You have nothing to worry about, Sohee. You’ll find the dress eventually. I mean, you can’t force things to happen right? You found Sungyeol out of the blue right?”

“Actually . . .” Sohee glances down at her empty plate. “I . . . umm . . . noticed him a year ago at the gym, and so I . . . sort of planned our meeting.”

Okay . . . so love isn’t natural at all. Yeah, so perhaps, I should start scheming for love. Then again, I’m already in this mess. I seriously doubt that it’ll be wise for me to jump into a relationship. Plus, all the good men are taken by now. I think it’s time for me to order a drink and indulge in alcohol. That way, I can drown in pleasure and sleep through the night.

“Now, Sohee, I think what Leia is saying makes senses,” Minjun remarks while stroking her hand a few times. Goodness. How can he be such a good brother? Then, I switch to Yeonjun, who is way too preoccupied with his phone. He is probably checking his email for work or just playing some game. Either way, he is being rude, and even Minjun reminds him, “Yeah, Yeonjun, stop being so hooked onto technology and just say something. Were you even listening?”

Yeonjun, after a good minute or so, looks up to Minjun, and then coldly notes, “I can listen and do work . . . unlike some people.”

“Jesus, hyung. Do you have to be such a—“

“Okay, okay, it’s all my fault!” Sohee erupts into tears and buries her head in her arms. I just think it’s rather disgusting how her long hair is all over her plate. Not to mention, the awkwardness she has created is just way too much for me to handle. I don’t deal well under the spotlight. I’m pretty sure that’s why I ended up directing plays instead of acting in them in high school. Let’s just also throw away the fact that I can’t act and am better off as a tree.

Minjun now caresses her back softly. “There, there, Sohee. It’s not your fault. It’s just Yeonjun being . . .himself.”

Sohee lifts her head up and with mascara running down her cheeks, she stammers, “B-b-but, even Yeonjun o-ppa d-d-doesn’t think I’ll g-g-get the d-d-dress, and, and, he never b-b-believed in us!”

Yeonjun is shamelessly icy. He has this stoned gazed that I have never seen before. He is serious, way too serious to be the Yeonjun I have known for years now. I swear, the Yeonjun I recognize would laugh at a guy crashing into a set of glass doors. Yes, so being the mature, distant jerk is not appropriate at all for him. To make matters worse, Yeonjun slips his phone in his blazer pocket and publicizes, “Sorry, but I have a meeting to go to now. So if you’ll just—“

“Hyung . . . don’t lie to us. You don’t have any meetings.”

“Minjun,” Yeonjun informs in a rather menacing tone while rising from his seat, “unlike you, I actually have a job and work for the company.”

Minjun instantly shoots up from his seat and rushes to Yeonjun’s side to grab him by the collars. “You fu.cking—“

“Hold it! Hold it!” I leap forward to intercept the two who are about to punch each other to death. “Yeonjun . . . is actually . . . covering for me.”

“What?” Minjun caws, glimpsing at me with a fierce gaze. Twins. Ha.

“I-I-I’m pregnant, so I can’t take French food!” I shout out from the top of my lungs. 

Everyone in the restaurant is staring at me, making me want to hide under the table. To make the whole situation worse, Sohee squeals, “Oh my god! Congratulations! Who’s the Daddy?” Gulping down a roll of saliva, I point to the man next to me, the right man. “What? But you guys never told me anything about this when we were at the bridal shop! I mean, Minjun oppa, did you have any idea that—“

“Actually, I was just told earlier today,” Minjun cuts her off quickly to explain. “I was just as surprised as you.”

Yeonjun adjusts his cufflinks while answering, “Yes, me too.”

“Oh Yeonjun.” Sohee smiles like an angel. “Now I really don’t have to worry about you anymore. I see you’ve found your happiness, and I’m happy that you’re not listening to Father for once.”

“Right,” Yeonjun mumbles with his head low. Then, he glances at me and harks, “I guess we’ll be leaving now. Right, Leia?”

“Ah . . . yes, yes.” I follow Yeonjun by standing up from my seat. 

“B-b-but, we just got here,” Sohee mopes. “I w-w-was . . . really looking forward to . . .”

“I apologize,” Yeonjun turns his head towards her to announce, “but . . . my fiancée’s well-being takes precedence.” 

He extends his hand towards me, and because I linger, he seizes it firmly. I’m sort of being dragged across the restaurant for the first part as I struggle to understand everything that has happened. “Yeon-Yeonjun, wh-wh-what’s going on? Where are you taking me?” I ask.

He doesn’t say anything and doesn’t even let go of me until we reach the parking lot. As he opens the silver car door for me, he hollers with a straight, strict face, “Get in.”

“W-w-wait, you can’t just—“

Slam, the door goes and off he rushes to the driver’s seat. He starts the engine with a vroom, which prompts me to suit my seatbelt. A quick scan of the whole sports car makes me realize that this is an Aston Martin One-77. How do I know this? After flipping through car magazines with Eunhyuk one day, I was introduced to the world of luxurious cars. Now, I am good at recognizing models. It’s just . . . from what I remember, Yeonjun never drove a car before. I mean . . . he always took the subway with me. Sometimes, he even biked, so seeing him handle a steering wheel is just bizarre for me, especially at this extreme speed. He is whizzing through all these cars recklessly that I have to hang onto the sides of the cars. 

“I know what you’re thinking,” he tells me with his eyes glued to the traffic ahead. “You’re wondering how it’s possible for me to own this car and to be driving. You’re also wondering why I’m driving so quickly. You probably think I’m mad.”

“Yes . . . why are you mad?” I mumble. “And . . . where are we going?”

Yeonjun refuses to answer any of my questions and instead, he continues to drive on the highway. I give up with him. I mean, I could be like Song Hye Go in Full House and demand him to let me out of the car, but really? Am I going to be that stupid? Walk my way or cab back when I am guaranteed a sweet ride home? Nope, and so I just close my eyes and pray that he’ll take us somewhere nice.

---

My body is being shaken back and forth. Okay, maybe the world is crumbling in my dream world. There’s some earthquake, and I’m trying to run away without tumbling down some deep rabbit hole, but I lose. I lose and now, my eyes open as I gasp. “Geez,” Yeonjun grumbles while unbuckling the seatbelt for me, “you’re a really deep sleeper, aren’t you? And god, damn it. Wipe that drool off of your face, Leia.”

Using my sleeve, I clear off the wet saliva from the edge of my mouth. At least it’s still wet. Usually it solidifies by now. I think Yeonjun is too picky sometimes. He knows I’m a drooler because I can’t breathe from my typically plugged nose when I’m sleeping. Yup, I sleep with my mouth wide open. Suck it. No, really, it’s because I have allergies towards random things like grass, flowers, and dust. I remember when I had to attend my friend’s grandfather’s funeral. God . . . that was so embarrassing. That was my first time at a funeral ceremony, and I had no idea that there were going to be flowers everywhere. I ended up sneezing, crying, and blowing my nose. The people around me all thought I was extremely upset about the grandfather’s passing. I felt particularly guilt-ridden, but I just couldn’t stop blowing my nose and crying. Damn those lilies, and so, I constantly got hugged by strangers that day. 

Now, I retort, “You should know from before that I’m a deep sleeper.”

“Right . . . even when I kicked you off of your bed, you were still asleep.” He smiles at last, like the usual Yeonjun I have known. “Heck, I’m sure if I raped you, you’d have no idea.”

“Okay, you shouldn’t joke about these things,” I argue.

Yeonjun folds his arms and showcases his scheming smirk. “Right . . . and apparently we have had unprotected sex several times to make you pregnant, so I guess . . . there’s really no need to rape you anyways. You consented.”

“Can we . . .” I protest. “Can we not talk about that? I clearly was not thinking properly that time, so I lied.”

“Oh, so now you think that was a bad idea? Seriously, Leia, sometimes I just wish you’d—“

“I know. I know. Let’s just not talk about the past. We have to deal with everything now,” I interrupt hastily. “And . . . just where are we?”

Yeonjun, pointing his finger northwards, utters, “Here.”

I stare at what he is looking at and realize that we are at a parking lot overlooking a beach. Okay, so we must have driven for several hours to be here. Whatever . . . he’s wasting his own gas. I just don’t see why we need to be so far from civilization to have a chat. I really don’t think there’d be anyone spying on us. Businessmen aren’t worth spying over.

“And . . . this is supposed to be the place where you come to think?” I intentionally throw a cheesy line I have picked up from dramas.

“Actually no,” he responds while unbuckling his seatbelt. Opening his door, he clarifies, “I don’t settle in one place. Ever.”

Right . . . trying to be cool now, eh? I roll my eyes and follow his move, except I’m having trouble opening this door. I mean, how does this thing even work? The handle, you pull right? But, what is going on? Why is it jamming? This is supposed to be a luxurious sports car. This is so—

Suddenly, the door opens for me, and I realize that Yeonjun has come over to save me. He is laughing his head off, and immediately, I know that he wants to say some sarcastic remark, but I intercept his intentions by inquiring, “So you pretty much just drive like a maniac and then go wherever you feel like stopping when you want to think or when you’re pissed?”

Yeonjun lets out a suppressed smile. “Exactly.” He tries his best to be serious as I step out of the car. Closing the door for me, he remarks, “Now, time for business.”

Wait . . . that sounds so weird. Time for business? I feel like I’m starring in a Mission Impossible or James Bond film, where Ethan Hunt or James Bond is making a deal with one of the bad guys. I have no ulterior motive though. Am I going to get killed? Is he honestly going to shoot me and dump my body in the beach so no one can identify me? Oh my goodness! What am I thinking? This is Yeonjun, okay? He is my best friend. My best friend will not kill me. Then, why is he reaching in his blazer pocket for something. Why does it feel like it’s going to be a gun? 

I scream with my arms shielding my face and my eyes closing, “Don’t kill me! I’ll do anything!” 

“Yeah, open your eyes!” he hollers.

Slowly, but surely, I do as he instructs, and there I find his small, leather agenda. Okay, so he wasn’t going to kill me. Gosh, am I silly, but believe it or not, Yeonjun is extremely organized. He likes jotting down all of his important dates onto a day planner. It’s just that he never writes down when we are meeting. He likes to surprise me, so he claims, and he finds that it’s unnatural for friends to hang out on a schedule. Somehow, he doesn’t think I have other social circles. That self-centered who.re. And now, he hands me this? What am I going to do with this? Huh?

“I think it’s important that we lay out some rules,” he carries on explaining. “We need goals too.”

“Isn’t our main objective just to . . . make sure we wreck a wedding and thereby win over your half-sister?”

“Not exactly,”

“W-w-wait . . . what? I thought you liked . . .”

“Our main goal is to make sure that my company successfully wins against Lullaby House.”

“But don’t you have a fiancée for that?”

“Oh her . . . she’s just some childhood friend that’s unrelated to our business. I can really care less,” Yeonjun remarks.

“B-b-but, you made it seem like such a big deal!”

“Mm . . . yeah, my dad will get pissed, but if I get this deal, then he’ll be cool about it.”

“Deal?”

“Yeah, and I need your help, Leia.”

“And . . . why should I help you?”

“Given that you sort of complicated my life, and that you’ll meet a really good guy along the way, I think . . . you will help me.”

“But . . . what am I supposed to do?”

“Not telling you unless you agree first.”

“Th-th-that’s—“

“You’re curious right?”

“Yeonjun . . . you owe me big time!”

“So, you’re agreeing then?”

Reluctantly, I agree, “Y-yes. Now spill.”

“I want you to . . . seduce this guy, Han Suho.” Yeonjun flips open his agenda for me and on the first page is a photo of a man. He reminds me of Daniel Henney with this tanned skin and gorgeous smile. His hazelnut, almond eyes are sparkling and his nose is perfectly hooked. He looks pretty . . . hot, and with that thought in mind, I hear Yeonjun utter, “Yup. Told you you’d be pleased. You’re already eye fu.cking him. Now, thank me.”

“But why . . . why do I even need to seduce him?” I quizzically ask while returning his day planner to him. “I mean . . . you want to go the dirty route to win?”

Yeonjun seizes my shoulders and glowers at me. “Look,” he accentuates, “if I don’t get this deal, our company is going to be in trouble, and my father will never trust me for sure.” His pupils are dilating, and his hands are trembling. I know how important this plan is for him, but I never expected him to stoop to that level. The Yeonjun I have known has always been righteous. Sure, he may be coy during a game, but he would never cheat. “Please,” Yeonjun adds, “please . . . just help me this time. It’s a do-or-die situation.”

Relieving a sigh, I murmur, “I-i-if . . . that’s the case, then—“

Yeonjun abruptly envelops me with his arms, leading me to almost suffocate in the process. “I knew it!” he screams delightfully. “I knew I could count on you! Leia, you’re awesome, you know that?”

“Yes, I’ve known that since the day I was born,” I grumble. “Now, let me go, so I can breathe properly.”

“No!” he whines like an obese boy craving for more chocolate.

“Yeonjun . . . I’m going to tickle you if you don’t!”

“Oh, you don’t dare,” he states while holding onto my tighter. I wrap my arms around his body, and my fingers start to do their job. Tickle, tickle, tickle, and Yeonjun starts chuckling like Elmo. Okay, maybe not as high-pitched, but probably like Elmo’s father with much testosterone. “St-st-stop,” he urges like a shrill little girl. 

“No!”

“W-w-w-well, if you s-s-say so . . .”

There he goes and attacks me with tickling as well. I’m suffering just as badly as him, and I swear that we resemble monkeys scratching ticks off of each other. I’m sure whoever is passing by would think that we are being foolish lovers, but honestly, we are just silly friends who don’t know any better. I’m sure we would continue this stupid act if Yeonjun did not manage to snatch both of my hands.

“What?” I protest. “What are you going to do now?”

“This.”

Then, he stoops his back to my level, and surprisingly, I feel his lips press against mine. I feel his hands grasp onto mine tighter as my heart is making odd noises. It is echoing way too much for my ears to bear. Is this supposed to be normal? I know I’m too young to have a heart attack, and my family history has no diseases associated with the heart. So, I’m pretty much heart-risk free. Then, why am I feeling this way? It’s Yeonjun . . . I don’t even want to rip his clothes off when he is wearing a wife beater. In fact, I would rather him be clothed than to reveal his upper body. So if I don’t have sexual urges for him, then why is my heart rushing so quickly? Is this even love? What is love anyways?

And hang on . . . isn’t this . . . my first kiss?

Now, I finally push Yeonjun away in a miserable way. I forget that he is holding onto my hands so it is as if we were just pulling away from each other for a dance move. Stupid me forgets that he will lull me towards me again, and he does with much success. There’s that awful smile imprinted on his face like the evil Joker.

“Liked it?” he asked.

I must be really stupid because my head actually bobs up and down. I have always been a bad liar. I know I’m supposed to be mad right now, but I don’t think . . . it’d be bad to have one more kiss. Wait . . . wait, Leia! Snap out of it! This is Lee Yeonjun, okay? He’s the one that is screwing up your life, and now you want to kiss him? What is wrong with you? Argh! I bit.ch slap myself in my mind, and instantly, I curse, “No! Fu.ck no! That was my first kiss!”

“Well,” Yeonjun explains, “if you think about it, you are supposed to seduce Han Suho, and it really wouldn’t make sense if you can’t even kiss right?”

I tilt my head to the side and mutter, “I guess so . . . but . . . why do I even have to seduce him? To figure out what his plans for the project is supposed to be?”

“Exactly,” Yeonjun affirms with a nod. “Glad you can read my mind.”

“And . . . how am I supposed to even do that?” I ponder out loud. “I mean . . . how am I even supposed to meet him?”

Yeonjun hands me a poised look prior to tapping my shoulder a few times. “Don’t sweat it,” he reassures. “I’ve got it all covered. Next weekend, you’ll attend this party.”

“And what will I wear?”

“I told you already,” Yeonjun stresses. “Don’t worry! You know the only thing you should be worrying about is how you’ll actually catch Suho’s attention. This man is no easy deal.”

Hearing that statement, I can’t resist yelling, “And you expect a love noob to try to win over some player? What do you take me for? Huh? I mean, is there a Dummies for Seductresses? Because I sure need to read one.”

Yeonjun tugs my nose and chuckles. “No, silly goose, you just need experience,” Yeonjun tells me.

“And how am I supposed to gain experience? Huh? You know, this isn’t like Final Fantasy or some other RPG where I can just level up after battling some—“
“Actually, if you think about it, it is sort of like a game,” Yeonjun interrupts. “Let’s just say that you’re going to be training with me.”

“Training?” I shriek. “This isn’t Fitness World, Yeonjun! You can’t expect me to turn into some sexy lady that all the guys want to fu.ck. Okay? I wasn’t born with the sexy face. I was born with the I’m-cute-like-Hello-Kitty face! Okay? And no one screws with Hello Kitty!”

“Well, for one thing, you have a mouth,” Yeonjun points out. “And you don’t have oversized cheeks, whiskers or stubby legs. Sure, you might be Hello Kitty’s height, but—“

“Hey!”

“What I’m saying is that . . . I’ll be there every step of the way,” Yeonjun utters. “So don’t worry.”

At this point, I have to say that I really don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like Yeonjun just tricked me into all of this. He knew what I was going to say or do, and I fell for his trap completely. Maybe he is right. I am a silly goose, and I’m going to be sent to the slaughter house to become fried goose wings or to be used to make winter jackets and pillows. Either way, this, whatever this is, is really, really bad.

A comedy of errors?

I believe so.
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