The airy breeze blew across Kendra’s face as she stared at Jong. The young man inched closer to her, and she took a step backward, with a throbbing heart. She didn’t want to be there but didn’t regret it. She wanted answers—they were all she sought. She felt hot in her denim, and the coat she wore made her annoyed. Despite the atmosphere being cold, she still felt hot. The expression on her face showed that of discomfort. Jong could easily see she wasn’t so comfortable with him.
“Is it the cold?”
Kendra breathed a yes. “A-actually, I-I’m hot,” she hesitantly made it known to him.
“Hot, you say?” Jong arched his brows. Amazed by her words, and clearly showing it, he asked her to take off her coat and leave only her gloves. “Just in case the cold decides to affect your palms,” he teased.
“Even your jokes are lame,” Kendra muttered as though she knew him so well.
“Can you just get to the point and let me be on my way?” Kendra threw him an angry look.
“Oh.” He chuckled. “Sorry,” he said the ‘S’ word again.
He was getting on Kendra’s nerves, acting like ‘Mr. Goody Man’. The second look Kendra gave him, made him get right to the point. He started by clearing his throat and went right on to introduce himself before anything.
“Is that your name?”
“Jong-Su.” He completed.
“And here I thought it was ‘sigh’,” Kendra couldn’t hold back the words that wanted to break free.
“Just kidding.” She laughed at his reaction. “But Psi?” She curved her lips in the cutest way Jong couldn’t help but stare at.
“Yeah, I gave a fake name… intentionally,” he was standing close to her.
Kendra didn’t realize this until their eyes met. Her body remained stiff as her legs were rooted to the ground. “What am I doing?” She finally got herself.
“You don’t feel so comfortable with me…”
“Like, we’ve met just one time and you expect me to be comfortable?”
“This should be our third time,”
“Third time?” She pursed her lips together as her forehead wrinkled. Her brows furrowed into a frown, but she tried to relax her face.
“So, you see, you don’t have to be afraid.” Jong rubbed her arm.
She looked at him, unsure of what to say. “Um, It’s getting late,” she remembered herself. “I mean…”
Jong quickly waved his hand. He peered into her eyes and admired them. Those dazzling eyes, he thought, feeling an unusual urge to kiss her.
He kissed me. Yes, he did! I froze at the spot, not knowing if I should pull away.
His brows formed into an arch shape when he withdrew. “Feel better?”
My throat tightened as I could utter no word.[JONG]
I made an awkward move; one I immediately regretted. I let my emotions get the best of me, making me fall in love with this girl. It wasn’t my intention to fall, doing so was the last thing. I wanted to be out of her sight but got held by an unknown force. It was unlike me.
“Why did you do that?”
Her reaction came as a surprise to me. I gulped and shifted back a bit, in case she wanted to hit me. She lifted her brows to me; her expression was one I couldn’t interpret.
I heaved a sigh and made to leave, as she caught my hand and stopped me from taking any steps.
The sound of the horn got Kendra fully alarmed, as she recognized it and turned. Her mother’s bodyguards alighted from the car. Four of them, she recognized. And, the driver who was behind the wheel.
“Kendra! Kendra!” Kamila opened the door of the car. She rushed out and made toward her daughter. The latter knew that she was busted.
“Who are you and what are you doing with my daughter?” Kamila gave Jong no chance to speak.
“Kendra, let’s go home,” Kamila tugged her daughter’s hand. “Let’s go home. Look at the time. What kind of a sane woman would be out by this time? And, you’re not even strong. Gosh! Let’s just go home, honey.” She pulled her daughter with her.
Kendra resisted, pulling away from her Mom. She had not yet gotten answers, and it was all thanks to Jong wasting her time.
“Mom, I’m not going anywhere. I’m a grown woman now.”
Kamila gasped. “You don’t even know this guy…”
“Yes, I do,”
Jong watched them struggle, shifting one side.
“He’s my boyfriend,” Kendra let out without proper thought.
Jong’s throat tightened at the lie. He wanted to object, but he kept his mouth shut. He watched the Vice President let go of Kendra’s hand.
“You heard me right, mother. Yes, my boyfriend.”
Kamila couldn’t believe her daughter. She was probably finding reasons to disobey her but she wouldn’t allow it. “Come on, Kendra. Let’s go home.” She pulled her by the arm.
“Mom, he knows the answers to our questions,”
Kamila froze at the spot. What answers was her daughter talking about? Was it about the men? She let go of Kendra’s arm and went over her statement in her head—
“He knows the answers to our questions. Answers—”
“Well, ride on, Dunlop,”
“It’s Harper, Mom. Just Harper.” Kendra corrected.
“But you said…”
“Just let it go, Kendra.” Kamila stopped her. “Tell me, what do you know about the men that had kidnapped my daughter, and how did you get to know them?”
This was a difficult one. What situation have I gotten myself in? I only wanted to see Kendra, to tell only her how I’d gotten ahold of the girl in her care. But, I was even in a bigger form; bigger trouble that I’d created for myself. What was I even thinking about making her come here? Oh no! This was a mistake.
“You should come to our house since you’re…” she looked at Kendra.
Not boyfriend, I prayed she wouldn’t say.
“My boyfriend.” Kendra was enthused beside me, clinging strongly to the lie.
I bent my head, avoiding staring into the eyes of the Vice President. If only she knew I was part of the gang. Once-
I agreed reluctantly, wondering how she had gotten so free with me. And, before I knew it, I was in their car.
“Trust me, Mom isn’t bad,” Kendra whispered to me as we were on our way.
I found no spirit to talk to her. This is ridiculous, I went on in my head. I kept my lips sealed all through the drive, daring not to look at my supposed girlfriend…
We arrived at the Observatory Circle; a place I’d never thought I’d be. It was big—so big, that I wished not to leave but stay for a while.
“You’re the first visitor Mom’s let in here,” Kendra whispered to me.
“Well, aside from members of the states and the few friends she has.”
“Oh, I see.”
She was behaving like a little kid, hovering around me. If I’d given her the chance, she would have slid her arm under mine.
“Welcome to the Circle!” She announced. She seemed so lively and happy to have me there.
“Tell me a little about yourself,” she delayed going to her mother, tagging with me. “You seem like an interesting person,” she said, urging me to say something.
“Well, what do you want to know?”
“A whole lot.”
“A whole lot?”
“Starting from where you’re from.”
“Where I’m from?”
“You keep repeating everything I say,” she laughed, curving her lips. “I like you,” she said to my utmost surprise.