The argument between Minjung and Jessica became heated as both of them engaged in a battle of words. Everyone around them looked up as they ate their dinner, as if they were watching a drama.
Minjung grabbed a nearby glass filled with soju swiftly from the table and flung it towards Jessica.
“Jessica, look out!” Taeyeon called out. Taeyeon, Yuri and Yoona had just stepped out of the washroom when they heard a commotion. They hurried over to their table and saw Minjung and Jessica caught in a heated argument.
The small glass bounced off Jessica’s shoulder after hitting it and landed on the floor with a crash. The soju soaked through Jessica’s blouse.
“You can tell Taeyeon that she would be losing her biggest customer, no thanks to you!” Minjung shrieked before storming out of the restaurant.
“Are you okay?” Taeyeon asked, looking at where the alcohol had spilled. It was on Jessica’s chest and Taeyeon couldn’t help but gulped when she saw the lacy black bra that was beneath the wet spot.
Jessica nodded numbly, shaken by the incident that happened. “I’m fine. It’s only alcohol, not acid.”
“That’s good to know,” Taeyeon said in a soft tone, her eyes still glued to Jessica’s chest.
“Taengoo, stop staring. Bring her home to wash up. Jessica, you can use my jacket,” Yuri offered. She handed her jacket to Jessica so that the latter would cover her body.
“Thanks Yuri. I’ll return it to you as soon as I get it washed,” Jessica said politely.
“There’s no need to return my jacket so soon. Hurry home now. Yoong and I will settle the bill,” Yuri urged, nudging Taeyeon.
“Thank you and good night.” Jessica flashed a smile at Yuri and Yoona before stepping out the restaurant with Taeyeon following close behind.
After getting into the car, Jessica tried to recall what actually happened a while ago. The more she thought about it, the more she was amazed at her ability to remain calm. The usual Jessica Jung would have given Minjung a tight slap across the face instead of letting the older woman storm out of the restaurant unscathed.
What had gotten into me? I feel so tired suddenly…like I’ve just ended a four hour long meeting.
Taeyeon leaned over to buckle the seatbelt for Jessica. Touching Jessica’s hand accidentally, Taeyeon was surprised to find them warm.
She must have been really angry earlier on. Her hands are usually cold but now they’re so warm. Minjung must have been extremely mean to her!
On the way to Jessica’s apartment, no words were exchanged. Taeyeon was afraid to ask Jessica what had happened after seeing the blonde’s dark expression from the moment she left the restaurant.
They must have had a heated argument. Everyone was staring at them. I shouldn’t have asked Jessica to come along for dinner. It’s all my fault. Why did I get tongue-tied??! I should have made it clear from the start that she was someone special and that should put Minjung off. Aish!
Soon they arrived at Jessica’s apartment. Jessica kicked off her heels randomly after entering her apartment, not bothering to place her expensive pair of heels back into the shoe cupboard. She headed straight for the bar counter, selected a bottle of whiskey and sat down on a bar stool. After she poured the brown liquid into a glass, she threw a few ice cubes into it, swirled the glass and finished the whiskey in one shot. Taeyeon looked at Jessica, feeling lost. She didn’t know what to say or do. She stood an arm’s length away from Jessica and watched the blonde drink.
Jessica turned away from Taeyeon, filled her glass again and downed the alcohol in a swift motion.
Taeyeon was feeling anxious. In her heart, she knew that she was probably the main cause of Jessica’s unhappiness.
“Jessica, I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have asked you along and put you through this ordeal at dinner. I didn’t expect Minjung to behave in that way,” Taeyeon said softly, patting Jessica’s arm.
Jessica helped herself to the third glass of whiskey, not saying a word. This time, she drank it slowly while looking at Taeyeon. Both of them maintained eye-contact as Jessica finished the liquor. Jessica set the glass on the table and let out a sigh. She grabbed Taeyeon by the sleeve and pulled Taeyeon towards her. She poured the whiskey into the glass and shoved it in front of Taeyeon.
“Drink up,” Jessica commanded. Taeyeon took the glass and swallowed the whiskey as quickly as she could. The smoky smooth alcohol almost caused her to choke as she was trying to gulp it down her throat.
Jessica’s brown eyes were cold and piercing as she watched Taeyeon drink.
“If it makes you feel better, you can scold me or hit me,” Taeyeon offered. She wiped the excess alcohol from her mouth using the back of her hand as she put the glass on the table.
Jessica tugged at Taeyeon’s collar, causing Taeyeon to tiptoe and rest one hand on the bar counter in order to maintain her balance so that she wouldn’t fall onto Jessica. Their faces were merely inches apart. Taeyeon felt Jessica’s hot breath on her face and her pulse was starting to race. She swallowed hard and tried to regulate her breathing.
Jessica gently grazed her lips against Taeyeon’s, which made Taeyeon felt like she was floating on the clouds. Taeyeon wanted to kiss her back but Jessica retreated.
Jessica leaned forward and briefly closed the gap between their lips. Taeyeon took it as a signal to go further and wanted to suck on Jessica’s lips when the latter pulled away again.
I’m confused. One moment she is seething with anger, the next moment she’s teasing me.
A devilish smile appeared on Jessica’s face when she saw Taeyeon’s disappointed facial expression. She closed her eyes and leaned forward again, this time kissing Taeyeon fully. Her kiss was aggressive and fiery. Taeyeon was stunned momentarily but was soon lost in the kiss.
Hmm…is this my dessert? Her tongue, her lips, they seem so urgent.
Jessica’s lips moved towards Taeyeon’s right ear and she nibbled it while her hands loosen the buttons on Taeyeon’s blouse. Taeyeon gasped when Jessica pulled her blouse apart forcefully, exposing her milky white shoulders.
Jessica’s wet kisses trailed from Taeyeon’s ear to her neck and finally stopped along her shoulder. She bit hard into soft milky flesh and her nails dug into Taeyeon’s back. Taeyeon cried out loud uncontrollably but that only made Jessica bite harder into her flesh for the second time.
What the…arrgghhh…it’s bloody painful!
Taeyeon held her tongue as Jessica bit her shoulder yet again. It was extremely painful but she merely bit her lips and gripped the chair at the bar counter tightly till her knuckles turned white.
I’m definitely the cause of her agony. It’s my fault for making you feel so miserable.
Jessica released her grip on Taeyeon after the third bite. She collapsed onto Taeyeon, breathing heavily. Her hands were wrapped around Taeyeon’s neck loosely. Taeyeon stroked Jessica’s back gently, the pain on her shoulder long forgotten. The pain in her heart was worse; it felt like her heart had been stabbed with a dagger.
“Baby I’m so sorry I made you upset tonight,” Taeyeon said apologetically. She stroked the back of Jessica’s head and wrapped one arm around Jessica’s waist.
After a few minutes of silence, Jessica finally spoke. “I’m sorry too.”
Jessica’s head rested on Taeyeon’s shoulder and her face was buried in Taeyeon’s hair. The first drop of tear was about to fall from Jessica’s eyes but she blinked it away.
I never knew that I would be this attached to you. Taeyeon ah, I’m doing all these crazy things because of you.
“I should be the one apologising, not you.” Taeyeon hugged the blonde tightly and kissed her cheek.
Sensing that Jessica had calmed down, Taeyeon led her upstairs to shower and change out of her dirty clothes.
Lying in bed, Jessica caressed the red mark on Taeyeon’s shoulder, causing Taeyeon to twitch. The pain was still there though Taeyeon tried her best to hold it in. The skin felt rough and the teeth marks were obvious.
“It must have been painful.” Jessica kissed the red mark gently, hoping Taeyeon would feel a little better. She lost control of her emotions earlier on and the only way to release the pent-up feelings was physically, by biting Taeyeon.
Sorry if I get jealous with people around you. It’s not that I don’t trust you but I just don’t trust them.
“Nah, this is nothing compared to the pain when I accidentally touched a hot metal tray which I had taken out of the oven years back,” Taeyeon laughed a little, trying to lighten the atmosphere. She tugged at the collar of the tee she was wearing to hide the red mark.
Jessica’s furrowed her brows, wondering which scenario was worse. Taeyeon tucked the loose strands of hair behind Jessica’s ear.
“You wanna know how you can help ease the pain?” Taeyeon asked. She had a cheeky grin, cupping her hands around Jessica’s face.
The look in Jessica’s eyes softened. “How?”
“By giving me my dessert,” Taeyeon giggled as she rolled on top of Jessica and started kissing the blonde.
Jessica stirred in her bed. She pulled the covers down so that she could see the time on her clock. It was 9.30am and Tiffany was coming over today. She pressed the green button on her house phone to allow Tiffany to take the lift to her floor. Minutes later, she heard the front door unlock and someone entering the house.
“Wake up Jess! Sun’s shining on your butt already!” Tiffany yelled from the lower level of the loft penthouse. Tiffany had the spare key to Jessica’s apartment and she could let herself in when she had permission from Jessica.
Jessica yawned and sat up on her bed. She didn’t feel like getting up and her body seemed to be aching. She was rubbing her eyes when Tiffany bounced onto her bed.
“Had a good time last night?” Tiffany grinned.
“Not really, depends on what you’re referring to.” Jessica yawned again.
“I was obviously referring to the dinner, not your *ahem* bedroom activity. I know that must have good judging from your sleepiness right now. You must have gotten quite a fair bit of action last night. Ooh, is that a love bite I see on your collarbone?” Tiffany sniggered.
“Yea it is. There’re more in places which I can’t show you,” Jessica said lazily.
“Oh my God, save me the details,” said Tiffany, covering her eyes.
“Anyway, dinner was bad. I did something horrible.” Jessica stretched herself, taking care not to let the blanket fall from her chest.
“Sleepyhead, tell me more after you washed up. You should have told me Taeyeon stayed over last night and even made breakfast for you this morning. Then I wouldn’t have bought sandwiches for you. I didn’t expect the both of you to progress so quickly,” Tiffany giggled.
“She made breakfast?” Jessica asked in disbelief.
“Come and see it for yourself. It’s enough to feed a village. I’ll meet you downstairs,” Tiffany said as she hopped off the bed and headed downstairs.
A huge spread greeted Jessica as she padded into the kitchen. There were waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon and bread on the dining table.
“This is…the first time…” Jessica uttered in amazement.
“Oh really?” Tiffany was surprised since Taeyeon had stayed over several times.
“Yea, she usually leaves the house early next morning. Today instead of a note I got breakfast. That seems kinda odd.”
“Wow, something must have happened last night! Tell me, tell me!” Tiffany said excitedly, tugging Jessica’s arm.
Jessica related last night’s incident to Tiffany, telling her about Minjung. Tiffany nodded her head every now and then while tucking in to the delicious breakfast spread.
“To summarise the whole incident, I can safely conclude that you have been attacked by the green-eyed monster,” Tiffany teased.
“What?” Jessica squeaked. She dropped her fork onto her plate.
“You’re jealous and it’s obvious,” Tiffany repeated herself in a firm tone, folding her arms in front of her chest.
“You’re talking nonsense again, Tiff.”
“Judging from what you’ve told me, it is a classic reaction to jealously. Defending someone you love from your arch-rival!” Tiffany proclaimed, speaking in a dramatic manner.
“Are the scrambled eggs making you high? I don’t taste Baileys inside them,” Jessica growled.
“Sometimes your pride gets in the way and you know it. Since the both of you are girls, there’s no harm in taking the initiative to confess. I mean, in a typical relationship you would expect a guy to do so first but for you…I guess it works both ways in your case?” Tiffany sniggered.
Jessica tapped Tiffany’s head and said, “The maple syrup must have gotten to your head. Stop eating those waffles and pass them to me.”
“Sometimes the most unexpected relationships last the longest. Open your heart and let Taeyeon in, trust me. She’s worth it,” Tiffany winked.
That night, Jessica lay in her bed staring blankly at the ceiling, thinking about what Tiffany said. Hugging her pillow, she picked up her mobile phone and started scrolling randomly through her photo gallery.
Stopping at one particular photo, she couldn’t help but giggled. It was the only photo she took with Taeyeon and it was that night at the Sky Deck at Mori Tower. She was scared stiff and her face looked distorted with fear while Taeyeon was smiling so cheekily. Taeyeon’s arm was around Jessica’s shoulder and their cheeks were touching each other’s. Jessica remembered bickering with Taeyeon about who should take the selca. Taeyeon kept insisting she wanted to take it though her arm was shorter than Jessica’s.
Why does she make my heart feel this way? I’ve not felt this warm fuzzy feeling since a long time ago. Everytime I see you name flashing on my phone, I unknowingly smile. Have you stolen my heart without my knowledge? We’re just…looking for fun… are we? Or are we not?
Since the incident at the Korean BBQ restaurant, Jessica hadn’t appeared at the café nor had she contacted Taeyeon. Three weeks had passed since Taeyeon saw Jessica. Taeyeon presumed she was busy with her project since Jessica never had the habit of reporting her whereabouts. She missed the almost daily late night chats with Jessica, either face-to-face or via kakaotalk.
Tiffany dropped by occasionally to buy cakes but she rarely sat down for coffee.Through Tiffany, Taeyeon learnt that Jessica was away in Tokyo, wrapping up her project, therefore she was unable to contact Taeyeon.
One afternoon in Harajuku, Jessica was sipping a glass of iced latte at a quaint café. She had a bit of spare time before heading back to her hotel to work on her project. While flipping through a lifestyle magazine, she came across the ‘Eat’ section and it featured Suzuki-san’s café. She was instantly reminded of Taeyeon and she felt a smile appearing on her face as she read the article.
Taeyeon was giving Jessica a lot of mixed feelings lately; both joy and pain. Jessica didn’t felt this way with any of the other women she dated. She was afraid of being too close to Taeyeon, afraid of falling in love with her which went against her ‘rules’. Jessica was always in control of her feelings. Walking away from a fling anytime without feeling hurt or upset wasn’t an issue for her, afterall she was out for physical satisfaction only.
However, Taeyeon came along and turned the tables. Jessica was losing control of her feelings. There were butterflies in her stomach whenever they met, a healthy glow on her cheeks and more importantly, she felt emotionally secured when she was with Taeyeon. The little gestures that Taeyeon did for her warm her heart. Physical satisfaction didn’t matter as much anymore.
One Friday evening, Tiffany bought some slices of cakes from A Spoonful of Sugar before going to Jessica’s apartment.
“Ta dah, a gift for you,” Tiffany proclaimed as she stepped into the apartment.
“Taeyeon made this especially for you because I told her I would be dropping by tonight. She asked me how you are doing and if you’re free, she would like to meet you for dinner.”
“What is it?” Jessica asked, peering into the box curiously.
Tiffany shrugged her shoulders. “I have no idea. How long have you not been in touch with her? I was surprised you didn’t tell her that you went to Tokyo for a business trip.”
Jessica took out the slice of pale yellow cake from the box. It was one of her favourite cakes at the café; mango cheesecake with jelly.
“No I didn’t inform her.”
Jessica didn’t see the need to inform Taeyeon that she was going to be away for her business trip. It wasn’t her habit to update people on her whereabouts besides Tiffany. However, everytime she walked past a familiar place in Tokyo, she would be reminded of Taeyeon. She missed the humorous baker who often brought her delicious cakes and pastries.
“Jess, are you avoiding her?” Tiffany stared at her friend, raising her eyebrows.
“What makes you think so?”
“One moment you are raving about her, peppering your sentences with her name. The next instant you’re pretending like she never existed.”
Jessica took a bite of the mango cake. It felt heavenly, as with all the other cakes that Taeyeon made.
“Are you still seeing TYO person?” Tiffany grabbed Jessica’s shoulders to get her attention.
“I ended it with her last week,” Jessica replied flatly. She turned back and continued eating her cake.
“That’s good. Since you’ve been back for the past two days, you didn’t make any effort to contact her? What’s holding you back?” Tiffany crossed her arms in front of her chest and waited for Jessica’s answer.
“I like my current status now. I have the freedom to do whatever I want, to meet whoever I want.”
“Jess, you can’t have your cake and eat it. You’re being very unfair to Taeyeon. Seriously, don’t you like her at all, even for a tiny bit?”
There was a long period of silence.
“Tiff, we’re just…friends…” Jessica’s words hung in the air.
“Your lips say ‘just friends’ but your eyes say otherwise. She makes your heart flutter, right? Tell her your feelings. Be sincere about it. I can’t believe I’m actually telling you all these,” Tiffany sighed, throwing her hands up in the air. She knew she read Jessica’s mind but her friend was too proud to admit it.
Jessica shrugged her shoulders and stared at the half eaten piece of mango cake in front of her, deep in thought.
“My Japan project has just ended and Mr Sung has already assigned me to a new one in LA which would span across the next few months to a year. I don’t have time for love. I don’t have the heart to love someone. I’m just in for a casual relationship.”
Tiffany patted Jessica’s head. “Your mind’s confused and you keep deluding yourself that you aren’t in love when you actually are. You keep finding excuses to avoid giving into your true feelings because you’re afraid. My friend, what you’re feeling now is an explosion of emotions in your heart. Let your heart lead the way.”
“Love isn’t just about kisses and hugs. Love is about taking those physical needs away and still having feelings for that person,” Tiffany continued.
“You’re sounding more and more like a philosopher. What trash have you been reading lately?” Jessica said sarcastically. She finished up the last bit of mango cake with a satisfied grin on her face.
Taeyeon’s really good at making cakes. I should ask Tiff to buy more later on.
“I’m just stating your true feelings since your ego gets in the way of things most of the time. Or shall I say all the time,” Tiffany rebutted, slapping Jessica’s thighs.
“Whatever,” came Jessica’s standard reply. She got up from the chair and went to the kitchen to wash her hands.
“Don’t lose sight of her, Jess. She’s a nice person and please don’t break her heart,” Tiffany called out from the living room.
The following day, Jessica had a day off and decided to stay at home to rest. While watching a movie, she had a craving for cakes. After a long deliberation, she decided not go to the café as she wasn’t prepared to meet Taeyeon, at least not after what Tiffany said yesterday. She needed some time to come to terms with her true feelings.
In the evening, Jessica heard her house phone buzz, signalling the arrival of a visitor. She was wondering who it might be. Picking up the phone, the security informed her that it was Taeyeon.
Taeyeon, why are you here? Are you telepathic? Why do I get butterflies in my stomach when I hear your name?
A few minutes later, she heard the doorbell rang.
“Good evening, Jessica,” Taeyeon greeted.
“Hi Taeyeon, what are you doing here?” Jessica replied. She noticed that Taeyeon had something hidden behind her back.
“Tiffany told me you’re back from your business trip. Do you have some time to spare? I brought something for you,” Taeyeon said nervously.
“Sure, come in.”
Something doesn’t feel quite right. Her behaviour is similar to the night she asked me out to dinner with Minjung.
Taeyeon placed a white box on the coffee table. It was identical to the previous boxes in which she packed her cakes except that this one had a pink ribbon on it.
“This is for you.” Taeyeon picked up the box with both hands and handed it to Jessica.
Jessica raised her brows, wondering what the occasion was. She untied the pink ribbon and opened the box. A gasp escaped her mouth.
“This… what does this mean?” Jessica stuttered.