“Well, I’ll be damned...”


( ( Chapter 5 ) )


Weeks went by and she spent them washing and cleaning. Jiwon finally set up a cot in his room so she could sleep close to him when he needed her.

She was still cold to the other members on board, although she doesn’t have a reason to and she didn’t know why she was this way. It could be her father that triggered this side of her to light up and fire. Nevertheless, she kept to herself and reminisced her childhood.

As she now walked around the ship, she spotted Hyori giving out commands and men arguing with each other. She spun around on her heels to dodge the hawk-like eyes, but it was too late. Hyori already caught a glimpse of her light colored hair.

“Go wash Jiwon’s clothes. They’re dirty and they need a scrub,” Hyori commanded, pointing to the dark stairway. “I’ve gathered them already. It should be in his room.”

Min grumbled and disappeared down the stairs. She opened the door and entered. A tub stood in the far end of the room, opposite to where she slept last night. She walked to the wooden basin and looked in, scowling at her reflection. Jiwon’s clothes were indeed dirty. Who would want to clean after the man?

She stepped away from the water and looked over to his table. A picture of a very pretty girl sat at the corner. Min picked up the frame and blinked, fingering the gold colored edges. The girl had big eyes and a shy, quiet smile played at her lips. She sighed and replaced the picture to the corner and picked up another item. Jiwon’s cologne.

She brought the bottle to her nose and sniffed it. It was light, a subtle scent wafting to her nose. A sudden pounding over her head startled her. She paused, her hand over the cover of the small bottle. The thuds came down, closer to where she was. Then it stopped. She watched the knob on the door turn. A low creak gave out and a mass of hair popped in. A girl. The one Min saw on her first day aboarding the ship. The girl was so absorbed in her own actions and her fears, she didn’t even notice someone else was already there.

Min placed the fragrance on the table, making sure the clatter of the bottle would have the girl’s attention.

Jeejee jumped and whipped her head around to find Min looking back at her. She blushed, embarrassed to have been caught going into her brother’s room without permission. “Hi.”

Min nodded, cautious not to speak. She returned to her business, sniffing out Jiwon’s perfume.

“What are you doing?” the small voice asked.

“Doing sumthin,” Min replied gruffly.

“Can I see?” Jeejee stalked forward, trying to look over Min’s shoulder.

“No,” Min growled in her most manly voice she could manage. She tried shaking the girl off as the hand found its way to her shoulder.

“C’mon! Please?” she pleaded.

Min spun around. “Here! You wanna see?!” She opened the bottled and waved it in front of the nosy girl. “Here!”

“Oppa yi!” she shrieked. “That’s his cologne! How dare you touch his stuff!”

“I’ll touch anything I please! He doesn’t scare me,” Min retorted, peering into the bottle.

“I’m telling oppa you said that! He’ll hang you and whip you! Aren’t you supposed to be washing his clothes?” she demanded.

“Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere else and not here? I’ll tell your oppa you were in here pestering me,” Min threw back.

Jeejee shrank back at the threat. “No. Please don’t tell my oppa. Please! I won’t say anything. I promise.”

“Fine. Now be quiet or get out. I think it’s best you leave. I can’t lie very good, you know.” Min looked up from the smelly substance. “I think your brother can find out the truth.”

“What are you doing looking at that thing?” Jeejee asked, leaning on Min’s arm to see.

“Stop! You dunno what you’re doing. You’ll get that thing all over you! It’ll get in your eyes. Stop!” Min tried pushing the girl away as she struggled.

Jeejee tugged at Min’s hands, wanting the bottle for herself. Min fought for control and she finally let go, nearly sending the little girl sailing across the room upon the sudden release. The perfume sloshed out of the bottle and all over Min’s shirt.

“Fuck!” Min cursed beneath her breath. She gaped at her soaked shirt and back at the girl.

“Sorry,” Jeejee whispered, backing up.

“Gimme!” Min snatched the bottle that is now only half filled and stuffed the cover back on. She placed it next to the picture and quickly unbuttoned her shirt before Jiwon finds out she had spilt it. Forgetting she had a spectator in the room, she pried the wet shirt off her, revealing her true sex.

“You-You’re a girl!” the girl gasped at Min.

“Yeah, so?”

“I-I-I...How come I didn’t know?”

“Because I didn’t tell you.”

“But why?”

“Because I didn’t wanna. Now help me find anutha shirt!” Footsteps over Min’s head pounded loudly again. Her mind was clouded and she dismissed the thumping over her head, unaware it was Jiwon looking for his sister.

“But! How did you get on without letting other people know?”

“Easy. I just did. Any more questions?”

“Yeah! Does my oppa know?”

Min paused. That was a good question. Does he know? She was never with him long enough to figure out his personality. “No,” she answered. “Anything else?”

“You’re a girl!” Jiwon’s sister said again, pointing at Min’s bandage-wrapped chest. Jeejee stopped talking as Jiwon flung the door open, slamming it against the wall. Min twirled around and groped for something to hide herself in. Her eyes found Jiwon’s crisp, white shirt that sat on his bed and she snatched it up before Jiwon fixed his eyes on anything. She slipped into the soft, cool fabric, buttoning the top and pulled the lower half around her small waist. She turned around to face him and his sister, who was rooted to her spot in the room.

Jiwon scanned the room for something suspicious. He saw Jeejee and Min standing idly, both scared witless at the sight of him. He set his eyes on his sister and slowly shifted them to Min, who had already turned away. He saw the boy reach for his pants, probably gripping onto them to brace himself for the intense impact of Jiwon’s eyes.

Min quietly pushed the cologne bottle away, hoping Jiwon wouldn’t notice her moving. His shirt was so big, she could have stuff the little girl in here to save trouble from her monstrous brother. Once the bottle was back in its original corner she slowly snaked back her arm so it hung awkward by her side.

He stared down at the boy, glaring seethingly. He was sure the boy was squirming uncomfortably under his gaze, but that was his sport. A hobby he loved. A cherished past time. He bore his eyes into the short, messy hair with a hint of light copper shading. Min’s head turned slightly as Jiwon observed him.

She watched out of the corner of her eyes, waiting for Jiwon to explode. Yell at her, scream, kick, throw something at her for wearing his shirt. Instead, he stopped to watch her. Making the flow of her blood inside her body freeze. She darted a glance at his dark face and immediately regretted she did. His face was storming, his eyes fiery and his lips scrunched in such a fashion it resembled the ugly dealers her father was acquainted with. She tugged the shirt, wrapping it closer to her body, careful not to show her identity.

Jiwon bit his lip as he caught Min looking at him. It was the most unusual. A guy like him with such pale skin, lips pink with the nature and the lashes...It curled like the splash of a wave. Min was the type of boy he hadn’t seen ever in his life. Stubborn, yet beautiful. He felt a strong urge to walk over and tilt that small head up and kiss those lucious lips. He stepped back, shocked by the thought. But the sight of Min looking away was just so captivating. Him standing there in Jiwon’s oversized shirt. The boy looked inviting.

Jiwon shook his head. Utterly shocked by the dirty thoughts that danced in his mind. He wasn’t like that. He was only attracted to women. Boys like Min wouldn’t be able to catch his eye. Besides, he had his eyes set on Hyori. Min couldn’t possibly overtake his idea on festing Hyori.

Min chewed on her lip as the clammy, nervous feeling turned to anxiety. She wished Jiwon would stop staring and leave the room. Unless...It couldn’t...He couldn’t have. She had made sure she was careful about it. Not to leave any clues that she was girl and not a boy. What if he was undressing her with his eyes right this moment?! No...It can’t....It can’t possibly...

“Don’t make a mess in here!” he barked, interrupting her thoughts.

She sighed in relief, happy he didn’t find out the truth. She heard him turn around and head for the door, his boot thumping loudly on the wooden floor. She sneaked a victory glance to his sister, a slow smile spreading across her face.

“And...”

The smile froze. Min felt her head locked in the position it was in.

“Where is your shirt?”

Min felt her eyes bulge at the question.

“Don’t you ever. And I mean, ever! Wear my shirts.”

Min managed a nod and squeaked something inaudible to satisfy Jiwon. Just as she wished, the smug look returned to his face and he waltzed out of the room. His sister let out a loud breath of relief and jumped on the bed. Min walked over to the door and slammed it after him. She reached for the collar of the shirt and yanked it off.

“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t want to wear it again!” She crumbled it up in a ball and flung into the water.

“I’ll admit. You’ve got guts. I dunno anybody on this single ship that defies my brother. They’re all so scared,” his sister said admirably.

“They’re dickless that’s why. They think they can’t do anything without his command. If he tells them to go fuck this person, they’ll do it with no question. If he tells them to go screw this other person, they’ll do it too. Anything for their Master,” Min sneered. “Well, I’m not that stupid Plus, I’m not one of his men. I didn’t grow up on this ship. I’m Min and grew up on my father’s boat! I’ll do things the way how I was taught. My father was my Master. Not your brother. So, if he ever tells me to do sumthin I don’t wanna do. I’ll tell him to go suck a nut.”

“Whoa. He’ll kill you if you said that to him.”

“I’ll dare him. Who would dare to lay a finger on Kwon Yoonshi’s son?! If my father’s still alive, he would kill your brother before your brother could send out an army and start war with my dad! You wanna see him kill me?!”

“Your - Your father...? Your father’s Kwon Yoonshi? You’re the son?! Kwon Min?!” she uttered, her eyes bulging with disbelief.

Min beamed, smirking. “No shit, Sherlock.”

“But! But-But! But you’re a girl!”

Min nearly fell to the floor when Jeejee shouted the protest. She rushed over to the shocked girl and clapped her hand over the trembling mouth. “Could you be any louder?! Of course I’m a girl! But you can’t admit to that when you’re living on a ship full of men!”

“Why not? I’m living like a girl and I’m here with men all around me.”

Min sighed. The girl was so naive. She would have known if Jiwon wasn’t around to protect her. “You have Hyori with you. She’s not a man. I don’t have a nanny on the boat with me.”

“Oh! But...why did your dad give you a boy’s name?”

“My name’s not Min. My dad decided to call me that so the men on the ship wouldn’t suspect sumthin when my dad call for me. My mother named me Minyi, or so I was told. My dad never included the ‘Yi’ part. He didn’t want things happening to me. My mother never agreed.”

“Oh...” the girl murmured, astounded by the explanation. “Why not?”

“She didn’t live long enough to even think of a name for me.”

Again, another ‘oh’ escaped Jeejee’s mouth.

“Promise me you won’t mention this to your brother?”

“I promise!” Jeejee vowed, throwing up a small palm.

Min smiled, brushing a strand of hair away.

“As long as you keep your end of it,” Jeejee added impishly.

Min stared at the girl, surprised. She caught on and nodded. “What?”

“Promise me you’ll be my friend.”

Min chuckled at the request. “Sure,” she said, sitting down on the low chair.

“Pinky swear?” the little girl suggested, hopping off the bed.

“Pinky swear.” Min hooked her pinky onto Jeejee’s and squeezed it. Jeejee stepped back and Min returned to work, washing her fragranced and Jiwon’s dirty shirts.



C · h · a · p · t · e · r · 6





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