A face devoid of emotions and expression. Yet, the sharp eyes glowed with a contradictory sharpness, sending an intense gaze that seemed to interrogate her.

Leeseo tightened her grip on the glass.

“What are you talking about…?”

“For example, being afraid of the dark.”

Clank. The ice inside the cup clinked together as he continued speaking. The moisture from her hand’s grip slid down her fingers. She swallowed dryly.

The windows on this floor of the annex, which had always emitted a bright white light, remained the same during Leeseo’s stay.

Whether it was his questionable habits or vulnerabilities, they were regarded as inviolable territories, areas she shouldn’t intrude upon. She hadn’t expected him to bring it up first, so she hesitated, unsure of how to react.

Biting down on the soft flesh of her mouth, she contemplated her response before finally parting her lips.

“I just knew that you disliked the dark.”

“That’s right. I dislike it and I’m scared of it too.”

Taegyeom shrugged lightly, as if even breathing was too cautious for him now. Neatly finishing his portion of sandwich, he pushed back his chair and stood up. His shoulder lifted lightly, and he moved back, distancing himself from her.

He walked over to the sink between the kitchen and the island and turned on the water. Washing his hands under the cool stream, Taegyeom stiffened his back and sent a lingering glance to Leeseo, who was staring blankly at the empty seat across from her.

“But then you just leave me like this, coldly abandoning me.”

Leeseo turned her head to face him. The sound of the water stopped. Taegyeom wiped his hands dry and approached. His cold fingertips grazed her chin, and she lifted her gaze.

The hand that had cupped her chin and stroked her cheek now caressed her eyes. He held her gaze in silence, his touch lingering for a long time.

Then he spoke.

“I’m not going to let you go today.”


* * *


Her body felt unbearably heavy, as if she couldn’t move a muscle. The warmth of the cozy bed enveloped her entire body like a sticky swamp, pulling her down further and further.

The night before, Kwon Taegyeom had been unusually persistent in embracing her. He marked her repeatedly, as if trying to etch himself into her being. Even now, she could still feel him slipping in and out of her, filling her lower stomach tightly, pulsating within her.

Quietly, amidst the silence, she heard her own breathing, a tiny crack in the stillness. She tried to lift her eyelids, but even opening her eyes proved challenging, as if it were something outside her will.

She struggled to open her eyes, feeling as if she were tearing them apart one by one, eyelash by eyelash, up and down. Although she had grown somewhat accustomed, waking up in a bed that was not her own still felt strange. The unfamiliar surroundings filled her vision, unlike her own room with its reassuring walls. Opening her eyes in someone else’s bed remained awkward.

Outside the window, the first light of dawn was breaking the sky. Glancing briefly at the digital clock on the bedside table, she realized it was past five in the morning. He had mentioned he wouldn’t just let her go, but she had no intention of lingering in the annex until the morning sun rose.

She wanted to scramble to her feet, but a heavy weight held her down from the small of her back. She felt like a rigid log, immobilized and unable to move. She squinted and twisted her body as far as she could move.

Taegyeom was sleeping peacefully, his arms encircling her, encroaching on the centerline of the bed, his muscular thigh pressed against her legs, causing a tingling sensation.

Even though the bed was wide enough for three adults, the way he occupied space was intolerable. Even the pillow Leeseo slept on was half taken up by him.

She listened intently to Taegyeom’s rhythmic breathing. Compared to the savage intimacy of the night before, he appeared composed, lying beside her like a calm lake. His neatly arranged eyelashes and slightly pursed lips made him resemble an innocent boy.

The bedroom’s dimmed lighting cast subtle shadows over Taegyeom’s face. His masculine features, characterized by sharp lines and a strong jaw, created an imposing aura. A hard, cool look, as if nothing could scare him, nothing could break him. His forehead was the only part that showed any sign of sleep, with strands of his jet-black hair softly falling onto it.

The fact that a man like him feared the darkness puzzled her. Leeseo absentmindedly reached out her hand and gently brushed Taegyeom’s eyebrows but the deeply asleep man exuded a mysterious aura of untouchability, as if wrapped in an invisible, transparent membrane.

She wondered why he was telling her such a story. A round wave spread through her mind like a stone thrown on a calm surface. The unkind man, who rarely shared his story, had only given a glimpse of it, and the stir it caused in Leeseo’s mind was uncontrollable.

People are extremely reluctant and uncomfortable with revealing their weaknesses, and some even see them as shameful. It’s a universal human defense mechanism to be wary that your weaknesses could be used as a weapon against you, cutting you down and hurting you at any moment.

Even with friends she had known for over five years, she had never revealed her poverty or her troubled family background. She let out a silent sigh and curled her outstretched hand into a fist.

There was no need to attach meaning to the smallest gesture to draw her deeper into this dangerous and fascinating man, whether it was the float of emotion he casually displayed or his clever habit of stirring the sympathies of the women he lured into his bed.

The moment Leeseo pulled her fisted hand to her chest, Taegyeom muttered through closed eyes.

“Do it.”

His voice, heavy with sleep, was barely audible.

“I was waiting for you to touch me first.”

He opened his eyes. She didn’t know how long he had been awake, but he seemed to be enjoying her observing his face, pretending not to notice. His eyes, hidden beneath his eyelids, were clear and distinct, without a hint of sleepiness.

With a playful twitch of his lips, Kwon Taegyeom grabbed Leeseo’s hand and brought it towards his mouth. He kissed the knuckles of her clumsily fisted fingers briefly, then stretched them out and suck the tips.

His slippery tongue wrapped around her fingers in a strange motion, similar to the way he caressed her n*pples or cl*toris. Sucking on her hand as if to draw out her libido, he effortlessly rolled over and came on top of her.

A warm breath brushed against her neck. Naturally, he mounted her, nibbling on her rounded earlobe and nuzzling the back of her neck. At the same time, she could feel his erect p*nis rubbing against her lower body. Unlike her, who was completely n*ked without any undergarments, Taegyeom wore his training pants.

Through the thin fabric, she could clearly see the outline of his p*nis, pressed against her thighs. A thick sh*ft poking into her lower stomach, along with the heat emanating from his balls. The sensation of coarse hair standing on end and the increasing heat in her lower abdomen overwhelmed her.

She realized she must be out of her mind, too. Serious self-reflection and self-doubt came over her, as she struggled with the severe guilt and shame over whether she had the right to denounce Taegyeom for his uninvited touch.

Trying to pull away from his grasp, she stretched her neck, glancing towards the window. The dawn outside was slightly brighter now. The temptation to surrender herself to his sensual touch tempted her to give in, but she fought against it, clinging to the remains of her rationality.

“It’s morning.”

“Yeah, it’s morning.”

Kwon Taegyeom replied dryly, ignoring Leeseo’s efforts. He pushed harder against her shoulders, and when she complied, he slid his head under her t-shirt.

He immediately found a n*pple and bit down on it, causing her back to buckle. The tips of her br*asts, the ones he’d been teasing all night, had become so sensitive that they sparked with electricity at the slightest touch.

There was no hesitation in his actions as he naturally spread her legs and positioned himself. Reminding herself that she was going to get caught again, she grabbed Taegyeom by the hair, pulling him up to meet her gaze.

“We have to stop.”


“I can’t, it’s late.”

“Why? Afraid someone might see us?”

“That, too.”

Staring into each other’s eyes, they found themselves in an awkward moment, torn between the question of whether to engage in s*x or not. Unable to overcome her embarrassment, she hesitated for a moment before her lips brushed against Taegyeom’s cheek. It was an attempt to avoid the situation.


Whether it was out of pity or sheer audacity, her action of pressing her lips against his cheek seemed bizarre. Taegyeom stiffened, stopping his movements. Regret flooded her immediately, but at least she managed to halt him temporarily.

Pushing off Taegyeom’s shoulders, which were as rigid as a large stone, Leeseo slipped out from under him. Despite the cool air of the annex, which was always kept at a low temperature, her earlobes burned and she felt hot.


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