Chapter 21: Hello (Permanent) Roomie
Ah!
I keep saying that all this morning. Why? Because Sehun . . . actually . . . is a nudist. He says that for a while, he has been having trouble sleeping and being himself because he keeps wearing clothes at home. Maybe for some girls, this is free porn, but this is torturous for me. I mean, sure he has nice abs, a set of nice shoulder blades, a tight butt . . .

Crap. He is bringing out that bad side of me, and I already have a boyfriend. I'm supposed to still have feelings for Yeonjun, yet my heart is skipping for a naked man. Goodness gracious. I'm becoming a player. He's making me be one. Is this how males feel towards temptation? Is this how . . .
"Morning, Leia," Sehun greets me rather casually while bringing me a plate of scrambled eggs and toast. Eggs and toast are pretty much the only things that are safe for Sehun to make. Sehun takes a seat in front of me, and I'm so happy that he is still wearing an apron. 
"Sehun . . ." I, out of the blue, announce.
"Yes?" He glances at me, wondering.
"Aren't . . . you . . . ever cold?" I blab.
"Well, if it gets cold, I turn on the heat," he utters.
"And you'll be paying for that, you know that?" I verify with him.
"Mhm. I know. Don't worry," he reassures while stabbing his eggs. "You'll get so sick of seeing me like this that you won't feel anything in the end."
"But it's wrong."
"You said you wanted me to treat this like home . . ."
"Yeah, but normally, people aren't nude at home!" I holler and rush to the fridge to get some ice water. I need to keep my cool now. Drinking cold stuff will just do. 
Reaching for my mug on the counter, Sehun gently asks, "Are you sure that's a good idea . . . cold water in the--"
"Shush. I know what I'm doing," I ramble and pour the icy water into my cup. Then, I take a huge gulp and wipe the remaining droplets off of the corner of my lips. There. Just like a man. Quick. Cool. Collected. . . Crap. My stomach. My stomach is hurting like crazy. I know what I have to do, so I dash down the hallway to the washroom.
Sehun, on the other hand, chuckles loudly, calling out, "It's okay! I won't judge!"
Jesus, I think. Way to embarrass myself.
Minutes later, I finish the deed, and once I wash my hands and wipe them dry, I turn the door knob to find Sehun standing in front of me. I almost slip and shriek, but Sehun grabs onto my arm just in time. "Sorry," he tells me. "Didn't mean to scare you."
Accidentally, I glance down, and I'm about to scream in horror, but I realize that he is wearing . . . boxers. "Oh . . . you . . ." I mumble.
"Yeah . . . I thought I'd . . . tone it down a bit," he explains. "Wouldn't want you fainting or having bloody noses every few minutes."
"What? No! I'm not a pervert!" I back off and defend myself. "I would not get a--"
"Oh God . . ." Sehun cuts me off and swings his hand back and forth. Instantly, he grabs the air freshener and sprays the toilet. Inhaling deeply, he announces, "Much better."
"Thanks . . ." I mumble.
"No problem." Sehun smiles cheerfully. "Glad to help us out there, and don't worry. I won't let Suho know about this." Sehun winks at me and pats me on the head. Then, he leans forward and uses his thumb to swipe my eye gunk. "You should really wash your face properly in the morning," he jokes and parts his mouth to form a crisp grin. 
And my cheeks . . . fluster and my heart pounds.
Man . . . I need to stop being so easily affected by good looking males. Sehun is probably just as pretty as Yeonjun. Sehun does have an interesting eye colour: light grey. He also has dyed blonde hair that actually looks very natural on him because of his pale skin. Speaking of his skin, he has miraculous baby skin. I am so jealous. Really. Actually, Sehun may be even better looking just because he is nicer and understands women more. To be honest, I'm still surprised that he likes me in that way. From the longest time that I could remember, Sehun always had a wide variety of girls. It wasn't as if he was a player. He just had trouble saying no to people. He liked to please everyone, and so he'd never reject anyone. That only meant chaos among girls. He was everyone's boyfriend. They'd leave him first, but he'd never really talk about it. Breakups were too often for Sehun to be taken seriously. Honestly, no one took him seriously. Even his profession was sometimes treated like a joke among the group. I know we shouldn't judge him, and I don't, but from time to time, the guys would say how lucky Sehun was to be a choreographer and how all he had to do was make dances. Sehun would laugh it off and stick out his tongue. 
"Yeah," he'd say. "I also get chances to score with a celeb!"
I felt bad for laughing along with the group now. I should have known that there was more to Sehun than just being the nice player. Letting out a sigh, I re-enter the washroom which smells like fresh citrus. I turn on the tap and splash some cold water onto my face. I use some tissues to dry my face and then take a look at myself in the mirror. 
I really . . . don't understand why Sehun would even like me when I'm really . . . despicable. I'm not a good girl at all. I'm supposed to be cruel, but I like that he's by my side. I'm just as he says: sneaky and selfish.
"I don't need a man. I don't need a man."
My ring tone goes off in my sweat pants' pocket. "Hello?" I answer the phone quickly.
"It's me," Suho tells me.
"Yeah?"
"Are you free tonight?" he asks.
"Uh . . . I think so. Why?"
"One of my best buddies is hosting a birthday party at his place, so I was wondering if you'd like to come."
"S-s-sure," I nervously reply.
"Good. I'll pick you up at 7 at your place then."
"Sounds good."
Click.
My heart is racing crazily. I'm . . . moving way faster that I ever expected. Suho is going to introduce me to his circle of friends! What am I going to do? What am I going to wear? How should I even do my hair? Do I even know how to do my hair? What about my shoes? What about my makeup?
"Ah!" I grab my hair and bellow to myself.
Footsteps stampede to my direction, and Sehun pops his head into the washroom which I forgot to close and lock. "You all right?" he wonders. "Are you hurt anywhere? Do you need help?"
My mouth sort of gapes as I notice how awkward I am being. I look like a little Medusa or Ursula, but I really can't care less. And although I'm being very, very selfish, I still take help when I need it.
"Yeah . . ." I inform him. "In fact, I need major help from you."
Operation Leia to Cinderella.
Time to spend some moolah. Ka ching. Ka ching.
 -----
Sehun is my fairy godmother. I thank him wholeheartedly. He puts off time he should spend on developing his dance for this upcoming group just to help me. We go shopping, and not surprisingly, he knows the workers well at certain shops. He has told us before that he likes to go browse the latest fashions in department stores to have inspiration for dances. Not surprisingly as well, Sehun manages to pick clothing that actually highlights the good parts of my body while hiding the not-so-good areas. 

"Faux leather is in right now," he informs me. "So is peplum. So, I think this dress is perfect for your formal party."

I'm wearing this sleeveless, tight black dress. I'm not even sure what peplum means. I just know there's this little wavy part attached to my waist, and well, I look good. "What about my shoes then?" I wonder.

"High heels of course," Sehun responds. "Some Manolo heels would be great." 

And then it hits me that we are in a luxury department store. My dress is from Prada by the way. I am so stupid. How can I let Sehun pay for all this? I feel so guilty. Sehun doesn't even make as much as me, but he reassures me, "It's to make up for all those crappy gifts we gave you for your birthdays."

"Still . . ."

Okay, every birthday, the guys would treat me to dinner, and then they'd buy something completely useless for me. They thought getting a deal for me to see male pole dancers was great. Then another time, they bought me the latest sex toy on the market and said they were actually thinking of giving me a male sex doll. Great. There was also that other time when they thought that giving me a lamp shaped like a little boy's body would be great. Its penis happened to be the light switch. Oh, and that horrible moment when Eunhyuk purposely ordered a cake made out of fried bananas and then gave me a hot dog. 

Still, this didn't mean that I deserved to be covered in Prada from head to toe.

"Don't worry," Sehun reassures me while handing his platinum master card to the lady. Platinum master card? Since when did he have such a good card? What was really going on here? Surprisingly, Sehun seems to know what I am wondering about because he explains, "To tell you the truth . . ."

"Yeah?"

"I'm not a choreographer anymore."

"Huh?" I Richard Simmons my head to the side.

"I'm starting to be a producer instead," he carries on saying. "It was really what my dad wanted me to do anyways. You know, take over the company and all that . . ."

"But I thought . . ."

Sehun shrugs his shoulders and lets out a sigh. "You can't have everything you want," he voices rather gently.

I'm worried that I might be robbing everything from him just because of his kindness. I'm taking advantage of him. I'm just taking, taking and taking, while he is just giving, giving and giving. I know I have to accept or else I'll hurt him more, yet seeing him change hurts too. I don't want him to change for me. I don't want him to do something he doesn't like just so that he'll be able to match up to someone else. Out of guilt, I murmur, "Sehun . . . I'm sorry."

The salesman comes over and hands me a pair of high heels. While he helps me slip them on, Sehun answers, "That's not . . . what I want to hear."

"Then . . ."

"I just want you to feel comfortable, happy like before, not . . ."

"All right," I mumble. "Thank you. I'm really happy that you're so kind to me."

"You're welcome," he replies quietly. Then, he turns to the worker and utters, "We'll take everything here. Cut the tags for her too. She's going to be wearing everything she has on right now." He walks over to the counter to pay for everything and then he uses his phone to make a call. I'm just sitting there, completely dressed up. Now, I just need make-up, and as soon as that thought runs through my head, Sehun shifts his gaze towards me and hollers, "We need to hurry now. Samuel will meet us at the washroom to help you do your make-up."

"Samuel?"

Soon, I learn that Samuel is a famous make-up artist from Paris. He is a close friend of Sehun's since they were childhood friends. Samuel, however, relocated to Paris when he was ten, but Sehun and Samuel kept in contact all these years. It's sort of surprising seeing someone else, other than our crew, know Sehun this well. It's even weirder hearing Sehun converse in French so fluently. In a way, I think that's pretty . . . mesmerizing. Before I can even sink further into some sort of fantasy, Samuel starts touching my face. Actually, he pinches me this way and that, making me grimace. Then, he comments in French, which I can't understand.

"What's he saying?" I ask Sehun.

"Umm . . . well . . ."

"Skin sucks," Samuel manages to voice in flawless Korean. I don't see why he can't speak it and wants to put up some act. Saying that my skin sucks is like . . . breaking my heart. A girl's skin is pretty much . . . "So dry. So disgusting," Samuel shakes his head, grumbling.

"Hey!" I growl.

Sehun restrains me, reminding me, "Leia . . . this is for your own good. All right? Just bear with him. He's the best."

"F-f-f-fine."

Because Sehun insists that I be good, I listen to him. I decide to tune out all of Samuel's complaints and wait for the finished good. Around thirty minutes later, Samuel finally stops being in front of my face. He retrieves a mirror from his black bag of instruments and instructs, "Show."

My heart is pounding hard now. I'm afraid that I'll look like a squirrel or a sleepy vampire. Oh screw it. I stare right into the mirror and drop it from my hands. Samuel is cursing while diving down to fetch the mirror. Luckily, he is athletic enough to make the save. Sehun, on the other hand, sputters, "Wh-wh-what is it? You don't like it?"

"No .  . ."

"Then?"

Almost trembling, I shriek, "Ah! I love it! I love it! I love it! I look beautiful! I could turn lesbian on myself!"

The two guys give me a weird look, but Sameul still opens his mouth to scoff, "Of course you look beautiful. I did the work, and it was tiring too." 

"Thanks," I force myself to utter even though I do so with a glare. I still can't forgive him for penalizing my skin. I'm pretty sure Samuel hates me too because he says some stuff in French, causing Sehun to give him a pat on the shoulder.

I probably would have erupted, yet I choose to remain calm. I can't cause a scene in front of Sehun, who has been so nice to me. I swallow down my pride and be a good girl. Sehun takes me home and goes back to my apartment. I'm sort of there waiting for Suho to come to pick me up at the lobby. Normally, I'd text Yeonjun whenever I'm bored, but because he and I are still fighting, I decide to text one of the other guys: Eunhyuk. I tell Eunhyuk to send me something funny, and he obediently takes a picture of his drunk friend who has weird pictures on his face. I laugh aloud, causing the security guy to give me a stare. Ignoring him, I play the game where I take a random picture of some part of a car and ask Eunhyuk to guess the model and the brand. Eunhyuk usually gets it right 90% of the time. 

Whenever I take these type of photos, I try not to be slow. I don't want the car owner to kill me, so I typically just take a picture and then send it quickly to Eunhyuk. In this case, I see an orange Lamborghini and instantly press the camera button. Without thinking much, I push the button on my screen and mail it to Eunhyuk. Then, I look at what I sent. Oh . . . Richard Simmons. It's someone's crotch? What the hell? What? The orange car is half blocked by a man's crotch? Oh no! What's Eunhyuk going to--

How is this a fu.cking car model? Leiaaaa~~~ I think you're sending your porn collection to the wrong person! hehehe. 

As I'm pounding letters as a response, I feel a tap on my shoulder, and I almost fall off the bench. "Leia? I'm here?" Suho says. "I saw you sitting there, and I was waiting in my car for a while. I thought you'd come, but then, I thought I'd just get you since you're so close."

All this time, I can only focus on Suho's crotch. It was his crotch and part of his body that I mailed out! Ah! Then, I get another message from Eunhyuk.

Didn't know this was your type! Btw, this guy looks awfully familiar. Feel like I've seen him before. Mmm . . .

"Leia? Is something wrong?" Suho continues to ask.

"Oh! No!" I wave my hand a few times at him. "No! Definitely not!" I raise one of my arms up and form a weightlifter's fist at him. "I'm good to go! See?" 

Suho gives me a smile and then pulls me up by holding onto my hand. "Come on. Let's go," he utters. "And I have a surprise for you too!" I'm now sitting in an orange Lamborghini, which is probably every guy and girl's dream. As I'm being mesmerized by the car, Suho announces, "Here. This is for you." I see that he has a wrapped box in his hand. It's something from Tiffany. That signature colour is unmistakeable. 

"Th-thank you," I stammer. "You really didn't . . . have to. I mean, it's not even my birthday."

"Well, since we're together now, I wanted something for us," he explains and shows me his hand. There's a ring on it, and as I suspect after opening the gift box, there is the same ring. It's a simple band with several Roman numeral markings, but I like it. "Put it on," he instructs. Listening to him, I give the ring a try. It fits perfectly on my index finger.

"Thank you! It's really nice," I reply.

"You're welcome! I'm glad you like it!" he says with a grin before starting the engine. 

During the drive, Suho explains that it's Changmin's birthday, They have been best friends since high school, and he thinks we will be able to get along perfectly. Changmin is a well-known plastic surgeon. In fact, I think my mother wanted him to work on her face once. Suho also tells me that his other close friends will be there too. There's Cho Yonghyuk, supposedly a famous baseball player; he is known to crack indecent jokes like Eunhyuk. Kang Dongwook is a serious district attorney, who seems to remind me of Myungsoo. I think . . . I'll be okay! If it's a group of guys, I'm sure I can handle them.

When I'm actually at the party, I realize that I need to take that back. All the guys rush towards Suho, and they seem to have some weird bond. I feel kind of left out, and after a few minutes of staring at them, Suho comes to get me and introduces me to them. They all have curious eyes, and my stomach feels queasy. My heart is trembling, and my hands are clammy. All those guys are staring down at me, and we are only at the front of Changmin's exquisite, modern house.

"Hi," I cough a bit. "I-I-I-I'm Nam Leia!" My voice suddenly becomes super loud, and one of the guys even hops. "S-s-s-sorry," I mumble and look down. I try my best not to stare. After all, they're . . . all . . . pretty hot. Ah! The fan girl in me is squealing like crazy. I can't believe my luck. I can't believe that I'm so lucky that I can see so many good looking people at once. These guys are definitely hotter than the ones I hang out with. Sorry pals. I might hop ships.

One guy holds out his hand, and so I shake it. "Hi. I'm Changmin." Changmin beams a suave grin. He has slightly curled hair and pale skin; he's definitely my mom's type. No wonder she wanted him to do surgery on her face. Man. . . if he said I needed a higher nose bridge, I'd probably scream out that I agreed with him. He has such a hypnotic voice; he can talk to me forever, and I'll never get bored of him.

Before I can even say anything, I feel someone hold out my hand. As a result, I almost trip on my own feet and land on someone's chest. Luckily, I balance perfectly, and all I hear is a guy bellow, "Did Suho give you this? Holy crap, man, a ring already? You are marrying her already? Eh?" 

Suho carries on explaining, "No, but I thought--"

"No? So you don't think you'll marry her at all? That's a pretty harsh thing to do, man," the same guy interrupts.

"No. That's not what I meant, Yonghyuk." Suho glimpses at me and reassures me, "Leia, I didn't mean that I wouldn't marry--"

"Oh so she's just a girlfriend," Yonghyuk butts in.

Then, the final guy, who I presume is Dongwook chimes in, "I think what Suho means is that she is his girlfriend for now, but that doesn't mean he hasn't considered marrying her. Am I right?"

"Exactly," Suho breathes a sigh of relief, which I find odd. It's not such a big deal to me. Marriage. I mean, I only thought about us dating for now. I don't think I even thought that far off.

"All right. All right. Enough of that serious talk!" Changmin exclaims. "It's my birthday today, so it's time to party . . . hard!"

As soon as he finishes that sentence, all of the boys run off like crazy. Suho just pulls me along to join the fun. We eat and drink like crazy. I keep hearing people telling me to chug it down, chug it down. Somehow, it feels like that karaoke night where I met Yeonjun. Knowing that I can't turn out to be a drunkard, I excuse myself and race off to the washroom. On my way, I accidentally bump into a lady. "S-s-s-sorry . . ." I apologize and half burp.

The lady helps me up and hands me a beautiful grin. She's really, really pretty. She's tall and has the right curves at the right spots. She reminds me of the actress, Han Yeseul; they both have such lovely eyes that sparkle like little diamonds. I know. I know that I give the worst analogies, but this woman here is just too beautiful to be true. I really could be bisexual for her. 

"It's okay," she answers in a seductive tone. Okay. If my female heart is pumping so hard, then imagine all the males in the room! They could die for her. "You're Suho's girlfriend right? Nam Leia?" she questions me.

Oh my God! This goddess knows my name! I feel so honoured, so I reply without thinking, "Yes! I am!"

Sporting a devilish grin, she whispers in my ear softly, "I feel sorry for you. You're nothing but a toy to him."

"Huh?" I hark. "What are you talking about?"

Flicking her long, curly hair back against her shoulder, she explains rather innocently, "Trust me. I've known Suho since high school. He's only dating you to get back at Yeonjun. You're one of Yeonjun's close friends right?"

"W-w-w-wait . . . how do you even know--"

"Oh," she interrupts. "I'm Yeonjun's fiancée, Lee Haneul."

"And . . . he tells you about me? What?" My eyebrows scrunch up together.

Again, Haneul smiles at me. "Of course. We know everything about each other," she remarks carefully. "We've known each other for too long," she lets out a yawn.

I don't know why I even ask this, but I do: "Do you . . . even love Yeonjun?"

She doesn't look at me, and instead stares at her nails. "It's complicated, and I . . ." She shoots me a glare this time. "I don't think this concerns you when you're only his close friend unless . . . you love him?"

"What are you--"

Inching closer to me, she notes, "Your eyes tell me so. You have the eyes of a woman in love. I know how you feel. I know."

"But you don't love Yeonjun!" I shout.

"Sweetie," she giggles at me, "you're so innocent that it's cute. You know, I can tell why Yeonjun is interested in you. You're fun to tease, but that's not enough for Yeonjun to marry you. Yeonjun . . . only cares about success, and I can bring him that."

"But . . . what about yourself?" I wonder. "Why are you marrying him then?"

Placing her hand under her sharp chin, she exhales a long breath. "It's my punishment," she mutters. "It's the least I can do." 

Then, she waves a gentle goodbye at me and strolls away in her long, violet gown. Just as she departs, I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around to gasp, "Y-Y-Yeonjun . . . what are you doing here?"

"Don't take what Haneul says to heart," he tells me.

"Why not?" I ponder.

"Trust me. I've known her for a long time. She likes to do things like that."

"But . . . she wasn't lying about being your fiancée?" Because Yeonjun doesn't answer me, I add, "So, she is honest. I'm surprised you never introduced her to me. She's really pretty, you know? I think you made a good choice."

"Thank you," he coldly answers.

"You two really seem . . . perfect for each other. I'm happy. I'm really--" I don't know why I'm choking on my words. I don't know why I can't wish for my friend's happiness. I don't even know why I seem to be crying. Out of the blue, I feel a flick on my forehead. "Ow!" I groan. "Wh-wh-what was that--"

"Grown-ups don't cry. Stupid," he grumbles, folding his arms together. "Crying for such a stupid thing too."

"S-s-s-sorry," I stutter. "I don't know why I'm being this way either. I'm usually not that emotional."

Yeonjun now stretches both of my cheeks, lecturing, "You're still so stupid. Ugh. What am I going to do with you if you're always so careless? Huh?"

"Mister. Miss. Would you like some champagne?" a random waiter asks. I'm pretty sure he's so stupid that he can't even read what's going on or maybe he pities me. Right. Someone with stretched cheeks needs to be pitied.

"Sure," Yeonjun agrees and grabs two glasses. He passes one to me, uttering, "Here. Drink up."

"What? Why? I've already had like eight glasses and two shots?"

"And you're still . . . Just drink up." He pats me on my back, forcing me to listen to him. I don't know why, but I take the whole gulp down, and before I know it, my whole life is turning black. I think my waist is giving in too. I can semi hear Yeonjun calling my name, but it's too late.

I'm . . . drunk.

The eleventh one is the charm.

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