“Well, I’ll be damned...”


( ( Chapter 7 ) )


“Unni, can I go out for a walk?” Jeejee asked, her head bent low over her lessons.

“Whatever for?” the nanny asked, looking up from her sewing.

“I want some fresh air.”

“How about leaving the door open?”

“I want to stretch out my legs.”

“Are you almost done with your work?”

Jeejee lifted the paper and waved it at Hyori. “See?”

Hyori took it from the little girl and examined it. “I suppose so. Don’t take long now.”

Jeejee snatched the paper away from Hyori and placed it on the desk. “Thank you, unni!”

“Make sure you’re back in time for bed!” Hyori called out after her.

“Okay!” Jeejee hopped out of the room and back onto the deck to look for Min. She was so funny and full of stories to tell. It was an ultimate secret they shared, Min being a girl and Jeejee was delighted to have a friend aboard. Jiwon would hate it if Jeejee was being naughty, but Min seemed fifty times naughtier! That girl had so many tricks up her sleeve!

She darted about, calling softly for Min. Much of her disappointment, Min left. She bent her head and started back for her room when a towering figure loomed ahead of her. “Oppa!” she gasped, bumping into him.

“What are you doing out here?” he asked, his voice low.

“I-I-I came for a walk,” she stammered, fear climbing up her throat.

“A walk? Why isn’t Hyori with you?”

“I-I-I asked for her permission to come alone.”

“Alone, eh? I don’t think she agreed to it.”

“Ask her! I’m telling the truth!”

“Why did you come here and over in the other direction?” he demanded, cocking his head to one side.

“I-I-I dunno. I just walked over.”

“Uh-huh. Does that happen to have anything to do with Kwon Min?”

Jeejee froze at the name. She felt her hands turn just as icy as the wind.

“Yeah, I asked her to meet me out here,” Min’s voice came from somewhere in the dark. “I wanted to tell me how much of a wuss you are. A damn homeless bastard,” she spat.

“Minnie!” Jeejee gasped.

“You’re sumthin,” Jiwon growled. “You are one cocky piece of shit.”

“Glad you can find good enough words to describe me. I’m all done for tonight. Maybe we can continue this session tomorrow.” Min disappeared around the corner again into her room.

“Do NOT! And I mean DO NOT speak to that boy ever again! YOU HEAR ME?!” Jiwon screamed, pointing in the direction of Min’s room.

Jeejee stayed rooted to floor, nodding to her brother’s command. She was completely terrified. She had never seen Jiwon so mad. Nobody had ever spoken him like that before. Not even the men that worked on the ship with him.

“GO TO YOUR ROOM!”

Jeejee mechanically picked up her feet and ran to her room as fast as she could. She burst in, tears streaming down her cheeks as the words finally took upon its impact on her. Hyori, startled, jumped out of her chair to let the girl throw herself on the bed, sobbing hysterically. Jiwon followed her into the room. “DO NOT! I repeat! DO NOT let her near Min or out of your sight. Hear me? DO NOT!!!” And he stormed out. Hyori, being completely lost in the subject, reached for the crying girl and smoothed out her hair.

“It-It’s so unfair! Why can’t oppa let me make friends?” Jeejee hiccupped as Hyori comforted her. “Why-Why does he-he have to hate Min so mu-muhuch? Mi-Min was just trying to help me.”

“What happened?” Hyori asked, rocking the child.

“Oppa was que-questioning me a-and Min-Minnie ca-came out of no-nowhere and made up some lie. A-A funny answer, but-but it pissed o-off Jiwon and he s-swore at h-her...”

“It’s okay. It’s okay. Min shouldn’t have cut in. He should have minded his own business.”

“But-But! Min-Minnie wa-was helping me! I-I-I was in-in trouble with oppa!”

“It’s okay. It’s all over. Go to sleep now. I’m sure it’ll be all right in the morning.”

Jeejee laid back on the bed, sobs still working their way out her system. She finally calmed down and fell asleep as Hyori kissed her a ‘good-night.’



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