Buzz buzz … buzz buzz buzz buzz…
“Did she forget something?” Jessica mumbled as she reluctantly got out of bed. She rubbed her eyes as she walked towards the door.
With her eyes still half opened, Jessica opened the door. All of a sudden, a tall woman hastily entered the room and shut the door behind her. She pinned Jessica against the wardrobe and kissed her on the lips hungrily.
“I missed you,” the woman said after removing her lips from Jessica’s.
Jessica was momentarily stunned as she stared at the tall woman in front of her. The woman removed her cap and sunglasses and smiled at Jessica.
“Yuki chan, I thought you were filming in Hokkaido?” Jessica asked, her eyes were wide with surprise.
“There is a break in the filming schedule. I came here as soon as I arrived,” Yuki explained and she attempted to kiss Jessica again.
This time, Jessica gently pushed Yuki away. Yuki stared at her with a puzzled look on her face. She held Jessica at an arm’s length and studied the blonde’s face. The usual Jessica would have pulled her to bed and made out with her right away but tonight, there was something different.
“Something’s bothering you?” Yuki asked with concern. She brushed away the loose strands of hair from Jessica’s face and tucked them behind her ear.
“Nothing, maybe it’s because I just woke up from a nap,” Jessica replied with a yawn. She excused herself and went to wash up in the bathroom.
Jessica was splashing water on her face repeatedly. She looked at herself in the mirror and wondered why she rejected Yuki’s advances earlier on. Was it really because she was still half asleep? No, it wasn’t. Being half asleep was just an excuse and Jessica knew it deep inside her. Yuki’s kiss felt different. It wasn’t as sweet as Taeyeon’s. It wasn’t as gentle as Taeyeon’s. Yuki’s perfume was overpowering and she wondered why she didn’t sense it last time. She quickly dried her face with a towel and stepped out of the bathroom.
Yuki took off her jacket to reveal a white body-hugging tank top beneath it. She had a cocky smile on her face as she beckoned Jessica to join her in bed. Once Jessica got onto the bed, Yuki pulled her in for a kiss. Jessica relented but ended the kiss quite soon by giving the excuse that they ought to chat since they had not met for quite some time.
The two women cuddled in bed while sharing the stories of what they did during the day and how the filming for Yuki’s drama went.
While Jessica was sharing her experience at the Tsukiji Fish market, she conveniently left out the fact that she was with Taeyeon. She didn’t feel the need to tell Yuki about Taeyeon since they were only bed buddies.
Yuki kissed Jessica on her neck and shoulders while Jessica was talking. She reached one hand under Jessica’s tee and started caressing Jessica’s soft skin. The other hand was gently stroking Jessica’s thigh and inching her way upwards along her leg as she nibbled Jessica’s neck gently.
Her touch is … different … from Taeyeon’s. Why don’t I feel butterflies fluttering in my stomach when she touches me? I don’t want to do it…at least, not with her, not tonight.
Yuki tugged at the hem of Jessica’s tee and attempted to pull it over Jessica’s head when she got interrupted by a phone call. It was her stylist who called, asking her to prepare to leave as Yuki had an early morning shoot the next day.
Yuki sulked in bed for a long while. “Your work is more important. We can meet again when I come back to Tokyo,” Jessica said, trying to pacify the actress. The phone call saved Jessica as she wasn’t in the mood for hitting the sack with Yuki. Something just didn’t felt right and she didn’t know what it was.
Yuki reluctantly went towards the door, holding hands with Jessica. Jessica handed Yuki her cap and sunglasses as they stood by the door. She was feeling sad that she had to part and that she was given the cold shoulders from Jessica tonight.
Jessica tiptoed and gave Yuki a light kiss on her cheek. The actress kissed Jessica’s forehead before leaving the room.
After closing the door, Jessica leaned against it. There was a mixture of emotions inside her and she just couldn’t figure out why.
I ought to have a drink. Maybe that would clear my mind.
She picked up the bottle of red wine from the table. After staring blankly at it for a few and put it back down again without opening it. Somehow she didn’t have the mood to drink tonight.
Drawing the curtains aside, she admired the skyscrapers around her hotel. Neon Japanese signs were flashing in the quiet streets, trying to attract anyone that walked past. Japanese men in dark suits were touting for young men to watch peep shows located in the basements of the surrounding buildings.
Feeling restless, Jessica went through her shopping bags. Normally she would have been excited over her purchases, trying out the new clothes she bought and matching the brand new handbags with her outfits. However, nothing seemed to interest her tonight.
She lay on the side of the bed where Taeyeon would sleep if the latter came over, thinking that she could have tiny whiff of Taeyeon’s scent.
Goodness, what am I doing? Jessica Jung, just go to sleep right now and stop acting like an idiot!
“Taeyeon senpai, what are you making? Is it a new recipe?” the young Japanese baker Ren, asked as he was drying the kitchen tools. Ren was usually the last person to leave the café as he was in charge of locking up the place.
On this particular evening, Taeyeon didn’t pack one of the cakes she baked for the café. Instead, she was busy making something new.
“Hmm…sort of,” came a short reply. Taeyeon didn’t like to talk much when she was baking. She liked to immerse herself fully in the baking process, sometimes letting her feelings dictate the type of cakes she would be baking on that day for the café. She picked up that habit from her mentor Suzuki –san several years ago when he took her under his wing.
Ren knew better than to bother his senpai anymore. He picked up a broomstick and went to sweep the corridors.
Suzuki-san left Taeyeon in charge of setting up this small bakery in central Tokyo and to train his staff. He was aware of Taeyeon’s capabilities and was also thankful that Taeyeon was able to take some time off her busy schedule in Seoul to help him out. Taeyeon was also indebted to him for imparting his precious knowledge to her so she knew she had to make time for him no matter how busy she was.
Meeting Jessica was a bonus for her. It wasn’t easy to find someone who shared the same language in a foreign land, and especially someone who hit off so well with her. As time went on, it wasn’t about the physical satisfaction anymore. Taeyeon enjoyed the meaningful conversations they shared and she admired Jessica’s strong personality.
However, right at the beginning, Jessica made it clear to Taeyeon that she was only looking for companionship during her constant business travels and that she was commitment phobic. She believed that there was no such thing as everlasting love and her constant overseas travels was a barrier to any relationship.
Thirty minutes later, there was a shrill ringing sound coming from the oven, interrupting Taeyeon’s thoughts.
“Great! It’s done,” Taeyeon proclaimed, putting on her oven gloves. She carefully removed the tray of brownies from the oven.
“Smells great!” the young baker complimented. “Can I try one?”
“Hold on, I need to spread the frosting first.”
Once the frosting was spread across the brownie, Ren took a piece and bit into it.
“Wow, dark chocolate brownies with Baileys frosting. It’s delicious! Taeyeon senpai, lately you’ve been making a lot of new creations with Baileys. Are you turning into an alcoholic?” Ren exclaimed with his mouth full of brownie.
“Is that the way you should be talking to your senpai?” Taeyeon said sternly.
Ren looked down in embarrassment and kept bowing to Taeyeon in apology.
Taeyeon sighed. “I’m leaving now. Make sure you lock the gates.”
Ren nodded enthusiastically and held the door for Taeyeon as she exited into the alley. She sniggered when she recalled Ren’s reaction upon eating the brownie. What was more important to her was the reaction of the person whom she made the brownies for.
Taeyeon stood outside the familiar hotel room and the door burst open almost instantly after she pressed the doorbell. Jessica grabbed Taeyeon’s arm excitedly and pulled her in. She hadn’t seen Taeyeon for the past three days as both of them were very busy with their own activities. After that episode with Yuki, she realised she wanted Taeyeon more.
“Hey hey, what’s the rush?” Taeyeon asked as she was dragged towards the desk in the hotel room.
“Look at the screen!” Jessica exclaimed, unable to contain her excitement.
“Wow.” Taeyeon looked at the laptop screen and in front of her was the website for her own café in Seoul. It was nearly completed.
Jessica made Taeyeon sit down in front of the laptop and click through the website. Oohs and aahhs punctuated the silent room.
“You managed to finish it, thank you so much! The website is awesome!” Taeyeon beamed. She turned around and flashed a bright smile at Jessica.
“Of course, I’m the one and only Jessica Jung you know. The most sought after project manager in my company. There’re some tweaks left before I can hand it over to you,” Jessica smirked.
“Ah, no hurry. There’s still some time before the café officially opens. By the way, I brought your reward!” Taeyeon held out the small white box in front of Jessica.
“I prefer this kind of reward instead…” Jessica smiled and pointed to her lips.
Taeyeon chuckled before planting her lips on Jessica’s. She always enjoyed the taste of Jessica’s lips, especially if Jessica just had red wine earlier. It tasted sweet initially and a slightly bitter aftertaste would set in.
Taeyeon felt Jessica stroking her thighs, wanting more. Jessica’s hands were on Taeyeon’s jeans, trying to undo the button. The latter seemed to be in a hurry tonight. Taeyeon brushed away her wandering hands, her lips still lingering on Jessica’s lower lip.
“Not now. It’s your last day in Tokyo, don’t let it go to waste.”
Jessica opened her eyes and looked at the older woman with a puzzled expression.
“Go and change. We’re going out.” Taeyeon smiled and pushed the blonde towards her wardrobe.
Surprisingly Jessica didn’t resist and did what she was told.
I wanna see what she has up her sleeves. First fish market, now what.
Many people were out as it was a Friday night. Bright lights lit the main street as it was peppered with branded stores and Japanese restaurants. Taeyeon held Jessica’s hand as they weaved through the crowded Roppongi Hills district.
Jessica enjoyed the warmth coming from Taeyeon’s small hand. It fitted her hand like a glove. She would never be able to walk down the streets holding hands with Yuki since she was a popular Japanese actress and such intimate actions were impossible in public. Then again, she never really had a proper relationship with the previous women she dated. Besides their bedroom activities and the occasional dinners at restaurants, they never took walks or visited anywhere else.
Walking into a commercial building in the middle of Roppongi Hills, Taeyeon and Jessica took the lift to the top floor. Stepping out into the open deck of the Sky Deck on the roof of the building, the two women were welcomed by the exhilarating 360 degrees view of Tokyo city.
There were several couples standing around the railings, admiring the sights of the city. Taeyeon pulled Jessica towards the railings but felt some resistance from the blonde. Jessica stood rooted to the ground and stuffed both her hands into her jeans pocket.
“We should go nearer to the railings in order to enjoy the beauty of Tokyo,” Taeyeon said with a smile.
“It’s cold,” Jessica said firmly.
“It’s going to be cold up here anyway. It makes no difference if we just stand in the middle of the Sky Deck or go nearer to the railings,” Taeyeon remarked.
“It’s very crowded. I hate crowds.” Jessica shook her head and planted herself firmly to the ground.
“There’s an empty spot over there, let’s hurry!” Taeyeon said impatiently as she tried to pull the blonde from her rooted spot.
Jessica still didn’t budge. “You go ahead. I’ll wait for you here.”
Taeyeon eyed Jessica suspiciously. “You’re afraid of heights?”
Jessica turned away and pretended to look at another couple who just arrived.
“Ah, I see. The most sought after Jessica Jung is afraid of heights,” Taeyeon teased. She couldn’t help but burst into laughter.
Jessica puffed her cheeks and pouted. She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Am not.”
“You don’t have to act like you’re a fearless career woman in front of me. Come on, I’ll hold you tightly and won’t let go. You won’t fall. Give me your hand,” Taeyeon assured.
Taeyeon tried to pull Jessica’s hands from her pockets. When she finally did, Jessica had a vice-like grip on Taeyeon’s right arm. Taeyeon squirmed but said nothing.
“I think I’m going to turn into a Smurf soon,” Taeyeon said as they approached the railing with small and steady steps.
“Because you’re gripping my arm so tightly, I’m going to turn blue due to lack of oxygen,” Taeyeon joked.
That remark earned a jab in the ribs from Jessica. Taeyeon let out a yelp which attracted the attention of the nearby couples. Jessica quickly pulled Taeyeon away from the stares of those couples.
After what seemed like a long time, they finally reached the railings where they could overlook the city. The bright lights of Tokyo city were twinkling like fallen stars on the ground.
“Doesn’t this remind you of the first time we met?” Taeyeon asked, recalling the ‘date’ at the restaurant.
“Ya, we met under such unusual circumstances,” Jessica said, her voice sounded a bit shaky. She was still terrified standing so close to the edge of the Sky Deck. Thankfully Taeyeon had an arm around her waist, so Jessica felt more secured.
The light breeze was making Jessica’s hair flutter in the wind. Taeyeon’s heart melted at the beautiful sight of the woman next to her (who was still gripping very tightly onto her arm). She swore she could have confessed her love for Jessica right then but Jessica made it clear right from the start that she wasn’t into a serious relationship.
“Why are you staring at me with that strange look in your eyes?” Jessica questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“Just admiring the beautiful Tokyo sights and the alluring you,” Taeyeon answered. Those words came out naturally and she sincerely meant each word she said.
Jessica raised her eyebrows and glared at Taeyeon. “Stop being so cheesy else I will…”
Jessica was unable complete her sentence as she felt a pair of soft warm lips covering hers. Her strong grip on Taeyeon’s arm slowly relaxed and her arms found their way around Taeyeon’s waist instead. Taeyeon circled her arms around Jessica’s neck and pulled her closer.
Time seemed to stop at that instant when their lips met. This time, they took time to slowly savour the kiss. Complete with the twinkling stars in the sky and the cool breeze, it felt like they were in the own world with only both of them and nothing else mattered.
Just as their lips parted, Taeyeon grabbed Jessica by her shoulders and gave her a firm yet sudden shake. Jessica let out a high-pitched scream because she thought she was going to fall from the Sky Deck. By then, Taeyeon was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down her cheeks.
“Kim Taeyeon! I’m going to make you regret this!” Jessica started pounding Taeyeon’s back and pinching her arms.
“Ok, ok, I’m sorry! Stop hitting me!” Taeyeon pleaded amid her laughter. It was quite a hilarious sight for any onlookers to see; a taller woman was hitting the shorter woman’s back while the shorter woman was bending over with laughter.
Jessica finally stopped after a while. She got tired of hitting Taeyeon and her fists were hurting.
“Gosh, with the numerous bruises on my arms, I wouldn’t be able to hold up my whisk and bowl. How am I supposed to bake tomorrow?” Taeyeon pouted, showing Jessica some red marks on her arms.
“You deserve it!” Jessica’s brows were creased and she was angry at Taeyeon for playing such a trick on her.
“Let’s go, I don’t like this place,” Jessica said as she stomped off, dragging Taeyeon by her collar.
Back at the hotel, Taeyeon stood outside the door after Jessica entered her room.
“It’s quite late and you have an early flight to catch, so I’m not going in. Remember to eat the brownie I brought earlier on. It is freshly made by the most sought after baker just for you,” Taeyeon beamed, pointing to herself.
“It’s no fun eating it alone. Stay and share the sin with me,” Jessica commanded.
“Look at the layer of fats accumulating around my waist! At this rate, I won’t be able to fit into my baker’s uniform and I doubt my mentor is willing to spare me a new one so soon,” Taeyeon remarked, pointing to her waist.
“It’s my last night in Tokyo,” Jessica said firmly, her arms akimbo.
I want you to stay… I want to fall asleep with you. Do you get my hint?
Both of them were still standing at the doorway, looking at each other. There was a soft look in Jessica’s eyes. It felt different from her usual haughty cold stare. Taeyeon took a deep breath and stepped into the hotel room.
I wouldn’t want to regret that I didn’t spend the night with her. It may be my last chance to accompany her.
After eating a brownie each, they cuddled on the bed while watching an old movie ‘Love Actually’ on the television. Taeyeon was leaning against the headboard and wrapped her left arm around Jessica’s shoulder. Her right arm lay across Jessica’s waist and her fingers intertwined with Jessica’s. They played with each other’s fingers while watching the movie.
Jessica rested her head against Taeyeon’s chest, listening to the soothing rhythm of Taeyeon’s heartbeat while watching the movie. Occasionally Taeyeon would bend down and kissed the crown of Jessica’s head while stroking Jessica’s arm. They didn’t say a word to each other, choosing to watch the movie in silence. As the movie came to an end, Taeyeon realised that Jessica had fallen asleep in the warmth of her arms. She carefully tucked Jessica into the big comfortable bed.
After getting up from the bed, Taeyeon bent down and gave Jessica a kiss on her eyelid. She smiled at the blonde who was sleeping so peacefully and couldn’t help but plant another light kiss on Jessica’s cheek.
My heart’s all messed up because of you. At this rate, I’m going to have to break the rules you set. Jessica, I think I’m falling for you…falling really hard for you.
Taeyeon’s heart was heavy. She wanted to stay for the night but was hesitant. After spending almost three weeks with Jessica in Tokyo, she knew that she had crossed the line. She needed to step back in order to prevent herself from falling deeper. She took a last look at the sleeping blonde before leaving the hotel room.
Early next morning, the alarm on Jessica’s mobile phone rang. She got out of the bed and went to the desk to check if Taeyeon had left her a note even before brushing her teeth.
As expected, there was a white piece with a handwritten message on the desk.
“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful. ~ Scott Westerfeld”
Jessica spotted three letters written at the bottom right corner of the paper.
She turned the note over and saw another message written by Taeyeon. She couldn’t stop giggling as she read the second message.