Chapter 12

* * * 

The lips that touched her were scorching hot, as if they would burn her.

 

As he gently swallowed her breath, her mind instantly blanked.

 

A large hand stroked her cheek and suddenly hugged her waist to hold her close.

 

She was frozen in place with her eyes shut, unable to lift a finger.

 

“Without me noticing, it seems I came while my brother was busy.”

 

The mocking voice cooled the heat of the moment.

 

Yu Gyeom slowly got off of her and when she opened her eyes, his face filled her view.

 

A deep heat remained like a shadow in the light-colored eyes looking down at her.

 

It was only a brief moment, enough to make her wonder if she saw something wrong. The light laughter he burst into, completely covered his expression.

 

“What should I have done? If you had called me in advance, I would have been prepared.”

 

Yu Gyeom grinned and rubbed a lipstick-stain from his lips with the back of his hand. Instead of wiping it away, the lipstick stain smudged and spread.

 

The lipstick mark, his bare upper body, and the uniquely languid atmosphere were all enough to make it look as if something was really going on.

 

She didn’t know what it was, but it was clear that the kiss just now was meant to avoid a crisis.

 

But she couldn’t help but feel her face flush every time she saw him still above her body.

 

“They say you can’t fool blood.”

 

“…”

 

“Do you think the same, little brother?”

 

Yu Gyeom looked over nervously at Yu Hwa’s words, which were openly sarcastic, but his face was still smiling without the slightest agitation.

 

“Well. When I look at my older sister and father, I feel that way.”

 

Is this what a shrimp caught in a whale’s mouth must feel like?

 

Even though the words were clearly said with a smile, it felt like she was watching a bloody fight.

 

At Yu Gyeom’s words, Yu Hwa’s eyebrows narrowed fiercely. Yu Gyeom smiled and tilted his head towards Cha Yeon-byeol.

 

“It looks like you have nothing to say, so should we just continue what we were doing? It doesn’t really matter to me if you keep standing there.”

 

What? No!

 

She spoke with her eyes since she couldn’t open her mouth, but Yu Gyeom still looked down at her with an overtly hungry look in his eyes.

 

Then, he reached out and started unbuttoning her shirt, one she assumed had belonged to Yu Gyeom.

 

The slow movement seemed to take her breath away.

 

“Fuhahaha!”

 

When Yu Gyeom’s fingertip touched the third button, Yu Hwa suddenly started an insane laugh.

 

“Tsk! Tsk tsk… I guess mixed blood thinks differently.”

 

A blatant insult.

 

She already knew about the treatment Yu Gyeom received in Utopia, but seeing it in person was different from reading.

 

She didn’t know if the pounding of her heart was due to disgust or pity.

 

Yu Gyeom’s face didn’t change in the slightest, with how familiar he was with this. It made her even more anxious.

 

Yu Hwa continued laughing as she left the room, and only then did Yu Gyeom slowly get off her.

 

She was still shocked by the unexpected situation and couldn’t recollect herself, so she finally pretended to stay calm and got up.

 

“This… You lunatic!”

 

Lee Chan, frozen in place with a pale face, finally shouted out what he wanted to say to Yu Gyeom.

 

However, Yu Gyeom pretended not to hear and asked as he put on his shirt.

 

“Father is calling for me?”

 

“Uh? Yeah, that’s right!”

 

“Take good care of the princess.”

 

“What?”

 

Lee Chan screamed with dissatisfaction, but Yu Gyeom didn’t bother to respond.

 

Lee Chan glared at Yu Gyeom as hard as he could, his cheeks puffed like a poisonous puffer fish. Well, in terms of rank, he was still far below Yu Gyeom.

 

That was the moment Yu Gyeom fully buttoned up his shirt and, wearing a black jacket, turned around.

 

“…!”

 

Yu Gyeom and Cha Yeon-byeol made eye contact, and she unconsciously covered her mouth with her hand.

 

Crazy.

 

Why are you covering your mouth?

 

There was a faint smile in the drowsy eyes staring at her. He felt resentful of the hand that she instinctively moved.

 

Yu Gyeom walked in front of her and smiled a dizzyingly beautiful smile.

 

“However… ”

 

Yu Gyeom lowered his gaze and tilted his head, a murky voice drifted to her ears.

 

“That’s not your first kiss, is it?”

 

Her face heated up again at the shallow laughter that followed.

 

* * *

 

“Lee Chan.”

 

“…”

 

“Hey, Lee Chan. Why are you ignoring me?”

 

She spoke in a dying voice to Lee Chan, who was sprawled out on the sofa, wearing glasses that did not suit him while he looked at documents.

 

Lee Chan turned away from her so dramatically that she questioned if he could hear her, but she saw him clearly. Lee Chan’s leg was bouncing as if his patience was gradually running out.

 

“I can see you shaking your leg because you’re annoyed.”

 

“Why? Why? Why on earth are you doing that?”

 

Eventually, Lee Chan exploded and stood up, ruffling his poodle-like hair.

 

“You must be very comfortable as a hostage, right?”

 

“Yes, it’s so comfortable. Feels like we’ve been friends for a decade.”

 

Lee Chan burst out laughing as if he was shocked by the answer.

 

Although he was only a character in a book, Lee Chan was very familiar to her. Perhaps because she had read about him so many times.

 

Maybe it’s because he’s a character she liked in that book and was on Yu Gyeom’s side, or maybe it was because of his unoppressive personality.

 

It shouldn’t be like this, but Lee Chan had become more comfortable with her and had reached this point.

 

“But where did Yu Gyeom go?”

 

“Ah-oh! You’ve said that over 20 times already, right? Just try one more time, really.”

 

To be exact, it was the 26th time.

 

Lee Chan distorted his face and screamed, but she had no sense of danger whatsoever.

 

To her, who had already faced Baek Hawon, Lee Chan just seemed like a fierce cat.

 

“So where did Yu Gyeom go?”

 

Today was already the third day.

 

She hadn’t seen Yu Gyeom.

 

And with my favorite…

 

‘It’s not your first kiss, is it?’

 

No it’s not!

 

The eyes that watched her. From the heat that felt like her lips were melting, to the cold that swept her cheek.

 

She shouted in front of Yu Gyeom as if nothing had happened, but after that, she was on the verge of going crazy when she hadn’t seen his face.

 

But Yu Gyeom left her in the care of Lee Chan and never came to see her.

 

Is it okay to kidnap someone and leave them like this?

 

Thanks to Lee Chan never leaving her for a moment, she was living as a hostage, unable to take a single step out of Yu Gyeom’s room.

 

But, there was something off about simply calling herself a hostage.

 

‘Hey, Lee Chan. I want to eat chicken.’

 

She had told them what she wanted to eat and it was delivered within 30 minutes.

 

‘Hey, Lee Chan. I’m bored.’

 

She could look at magazines of extremely handsome men.

 

These were quite peaceful days for a hostage, so much so that she almost enjoyed living it.

 

But she had a big ticking time bomb.

 

On the last day of the construction festival, Cha Yeon-byeol was destined to die at the hands of Yu Gyeom.

 

In order to change that fate, her plan to win Yu Gyeom’s heart so he wouldn’t kill her, was now impossible because she couldn’t even meet Yu Gyeom.

 

Meanwhile, time was still passing, and her anxiety and fear were growing day by day.

 

If that still happens, should I try to escape?

 

Escaping from a 66-story building full of Utopia gang members was nearly impossible, but she couldn’t just do nothing and wait for the day of her death.

 

“Ha.”

 

As was her habit, she touched her bandaged neck. They said the wound was shallow and would not cause any scarring.

 

The wound from Yu Gyeom’s knife was healing quickly.

 

* * *

 

When she suddenly opened her eyes, quiet darkness filled the room.

 

When did I fall asleep?

 

Her body was stiff as if she hadn’t slept for a long time, and a small piece of paper fell in front of her eyes.

 

[I’ll be back. Please stay calm]

 

The frantic handwriting was clearly Lee Chan’s, even when viewed upside down.

 

No, why is this guy leaving this on people’s faces?

 

When she thought of Lee Chan, the one who must have put this on her forehead, she couldn’t help but laugh from the absurdity. She crumpled the paper and threw it away.

 

Since Lee Chan was gone, she started walking around the room.

 

Is there anything that could be of help in such a large area?

 

I can’t sit still and wait for my chance. If possible, it would be nice to have a schematic diagram of the building or at least a gun.

 

If Yu Gyeom doesn’t come looking for her, she’ll have to try to escape.

 

“Ugh. Lee Chan, you needlessly meticulous bastard.”

 

All the drawers of the desk Lee Chan sat at, as the most influential person of this organization, were locked.

 

But she didn’t give up and searched every corner of the room thoroughly.

 

Damn, it was too wide. It was more appropriate to call it a house rather than a room.

 

She glanced at the door from time to time, searching the room as best she could, before a seemingly clean wall caught her eye.

 

“There…”

 

She remembered the space where she first woke up. The last time she saw it, it didn’t seem like anything special, but now that she thought about it, it was strange.

 

There was no need to hide an ordinary room like that.

 

Was there something else I didn’t see in there? Like a secret passageway to get outside.

 

As soon as her thoughts reached that point, she was banging on the bare wall.

 

“How do you open it from the outside?”

 

She lifted and lowered a vase on the table in front of the wall and tilted a picture frame on the wall.

 

As she leaned back against the wall and looked around the room, the bookshelf that filled the wall next to the bed caught my eye.

 

Do you have to remove the book from the outside to open it? I hope not.

 

When she saw the countless books on the massive bookshelf that reached up to the high ceiling, she couldn’t help but sigh.

 

She wondered if she should take out all the books every time she was alone from now on.

 

“That’s boring.”

 

A voice as sweet as a song sharply cut through the quiet air.

 

She startled and turned her head to where she heard the voice, but at that moment, a flash like a firework flashed across the black night beyond the window.

 

Like a trampled hope, the darkness brightened for a brief moment and then returned, becoming even darker than before.

 

The darkness was somehow suffocating and she held her breath.

 

Kwakwang-!!!

 

Despite the expectation that thunder would follow, she became dizzy with the feeling of her heart falling all the way to her toes.

 

Maybe that feeling wasn’t just because of the thunder.

 

“…”

 

Red water was dripping down the black figure, creating a creepy stain.

 

Another flash of lightning illuminated the entire room, and a face hidden in the darkness was revealed.

 

Even though she expected it, her heart stopped.

 

Yu Gyeom, standing with his back to the light, soaked in red, smiled at her like a doll.

——♦ ⋄· 🜲· ⋄ ♦——

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