I was finally released from the hospital. One of the coordinator’s had come to collect me since everyone was busy with rehearsals for the KBS awards show, which would be held tomorrow.
“Sierra,” the coordinator said as she read my schedule. “You’ll need to go to the studios now.”
“Alright,” I replied.
The car dropped us off in front of the building and the coordinator helped me with some of my bags as we walked in and got into the elevator.
“Nuna!” Skye exclaimed as I walked into the studio.
“Hey Skye,” I smiled.
“Welcome back,” Lex oppa said. “Are you up for today’s rehearsal?” he asked me.
“I have to be. The schedule says that I have rehearsals today.”
“You should rest if you don’t feel well enough to dance,” Shoei said.
“I’m fine. I’m sick of sitting around and sleeping all day. Let’s dance,” I said, and we danced for the next 4 hours.
“Omigod,” I panted halfway through rehearsal. “I’m so out of shape.”
“Good thing is we only need to perform it once tomorrow,” Skye said.
“Yea, good thing,” I laughed.
“Sierra, you just need to get the timing and the force of the movement right. Other than that, you’re pretty much alright,” Lex oppa said at the end of the rehearsal.
“Okay,” I smiled. Coming from Lex oppa, this could be praise since he usually berated us like we were rubbish at dancing.
“Good job,” Skye said as he rolled his eyes at me.
“Thank you,” I said sweetly, since I knew he was trying to be sarcastic.
“Same thing tomorrow,” Lex oppa said. “We meet at the venue at 9am. Don’t be late.”
“Nae,” we answered in unison.
It was about 7pm when we left the studio, which is early, compared to our usual standards. Lex oppa probably released us a little earlier than usual for my benefit. I flipped my phone open and dialed Jae Joong’s number as we descended in the elevator.
“Sierra,” he said, as soon as he answered the phone.
“Are you done?” I asked him.
“Not yet. I need another hour.”
“We’ll just hang around the lobby and wait for you,” I said.
“Alright,” he said. “See you in an hour.”
We waited in the lobby for almost 2 hours before Jae Joong finally showed up.
“What took you so long?” I grumbled as Jae Joong pulled me up onto my feet and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
“There were some last minute changes to our routine for tomorrow.”
“What’s the theme for tomorrow?” Skye asked Jae Joong.
“I’m not supposed to tell you,” Jae Joong smiled cheekily. He knew that would irk Skye, since Skye was such a busybody.
“Yah! Hyung… you’re starting to turn as evil as nuna is,” Skye remarked.
“Where’s your Hae Rin?” Shoei asked Skye, distracting him from Jae Joong.
“She’s still recording,” he said glumly.
“Aren’t you waiting for her?” I asked him.
“She asked me not to wait tonight.”
“Why?” Shoei asked.
“I dunno,” Skye shrugged. “She does what she wants, when she wants. I have no control over her.”
“I’m so glad you’re not Hae Rin,” Jae Joong laughed as he put his arm around me.
“Yea… remind yourself every day,” I said.
“Let’s go,” Shoei said. “I’m hungry.”
“We’re meeting the rest at the ramen shop,” Jae Joong said.
“Whatever, let’s go,” I said as I pulled Jae Joong out of the building.
We were all too tired to stay out tonight. After dinner, we went home, showered and collapsed onto our beds. Jae Joong didn’t even ask to sleep over tonight because he was too tired.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he smiled as he leaned over to kiss me. Skye and Shoei had gotten out of the car awhile ago and gone upstairs, giving us some time alone.
“Okay,” I said, and I pinched his nose.
“What was that for?” he asked me as he rubbed his nose.
“To remind you of my power,” I said.
“Say that again, and I’ll make you regret it,” I said threateningly.
“Hajima,” he said in a mock pleading tone.
“Twaeji,” I said as I reached over to brush his fringe out of his eyes.
“Yes, you are,” he laughed and I glared at him. “Saranghae,” he added quickly.
“Saranghae,” I replied, smiling.
“Gimme a kiss, then I can go home,” he said.
“I don’t want you to,” I said.
“I’m falling asleep, Sierra. You don’t want me to fall asleep while I’m driving, do you?”
“Fine,” I sighed and I leaned over to peck him on the cheek.
As I was pulling away, he caught me by the neck and pulled me in to kiss me on the lips, and we ended up kissing passionately for a few minutes.
“Sorry I didn’t come pick you from the hospital today,” he said as he nibbled my lips awhile later.
“You’re busy. I understand,” I replied softly.
“I should make more time for you,” he said.
“You make plenty of time for me. It’s enough that you bother to send me home each night.”
“Does that mean I can’t stop sending you home?” he joked.
“Nope,” I smiled. “It’s gonna be your job for life.”
“Until we live together?”
“You’d still be sending me home. Just that you don’t need to go anywhere after.”
“Did you just promise to move in with me?”
“I was saying if we lived together. I didn’t make any promise to live with you.”
“Don’t you want to live with me?” he pouted.
“I do, Jae Joong, but…”
“Ha! You agreed. Let’s move in tomorrow,” he exclaimed.
“Aishii… michoso,” I laughed.
“Fine… we’ll talk about this later,” he smiled. “I need to get home now.”
“Okay,” I said, and I started to get out of the car.
“One more?” he said and looked at me intently with his huge eyes. I couldn’t resist.
“Araso,” I said softly as I leaned over to kiss him gently on the lips.
“Naeil pwayo,” he said, as I pulled away.
“Sleep early,” I said, and I opened the door to get out of the car.
It was after the rehearsals and I’m standing at the backstage area in my costume while the stylist stuck pins into it.
“You lost so much weight,” she said.
“Thank you,” I laughed.
“It’s from getting sick. That’s not healthy,” Shoei commented.
“But it sure beats running for hours in the gym,” I said and Shoei rolled his eyes.
“Done,” the stylist said as she stepped away from me. “Take it off and I’ll get it altered.”
“Komawo,” I said as I walked towards the changing rooms.
“Nuna,” Skye called out to me. “We’ll wait outside for you. Hyung’s bringing us to lunch.”
“Araso,” I said as I pulled my pants up.
The entire morning had been spent perfecting our entries and choreography for the awards tonight. We’d been so busy that I only managed to have a 1 minute conversation with Jae Joong before we started. He’d left about an hour ago to participate in a pre-awards radio show.
“See you tonight,” he said, and he lifted my hand up to kiss my palm.
“See ya,” I said, blushing.
Even now, I still blushed whenever he did little things like that in public. Oddly enough, I don’t blush or feel embarrassed when he kissed me in public. It is little romantic gestures like kissing my hand, or caressing my cheek that affect me.
I joined them outside about 5 minutes later.
“Yah… samui des,” I said as I zipped up my jacket.
“What did you say?” Skye stared at me.
“She said it was cold,” Shoei smiled, “in Japanese.”
“Don’t you pay attention during the lessons we’ve had?” I asked Skye. The management has started to send us for Japanese classes. They’re probably planning the release of S-Cube’s first Japanese single soon.
All this while, we’ve been releasing our Korean albums in Japan, and they did manage to sell, but it would have been better if they were in Japanese. I guess the only reason why we’ve not been able to enter the Oricon charts was because all our songs were in Korean. The only time we managed to enter the charts was when we released the English version of ‘Ghosts’. To date, ‘Ghosts’ has been our best selling single, whether in Korea or in the international market. Also, our album sales were more consistent in Japan. It seemed that the Japan market did not react to factors concerning our personal lives in the way the Korean market did. The scandals that concerned S-Cube did not affect our albums sales in Japan, even though we saw a huge boycott in Korea during the scandal concerning Yun Ho and I.
“Hyung,” Skye turned to Shi Kyung hyung as we walked to the car. “When are we gonna go to Japan again.
“When we release the next single,” he replied.
“When?” Skye asked.
“When we’re done recording,” Shoei answered for hyung.
“Skye’s a lot denser these days,” I laughed. “Ever since he’d fallen in love… half his brain has been committed to thinking about Hae Rin, and only Hae Rin.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Skye said as he glared at me.
“All you think about is Hae Rin, these days,” Shoei commented.
“I do not,” Skye pouted.
“Say that again when she’s around,” I dared him.
“I’m not going to dignify your comments with an answer,” he huffed and walked off ahead.
After lunch, we were back at the stylists place to get dressed for the awards show tonight. Since my last appearance in a qipao was so well received, they’ve decided to dress me in yet another one. This time, it was made of black silk at the bodice and it was strapless. A jeweled mock collar had been created for me to wear it as an accessory and as part of the dress. The skirt was sort of like a gown’s, but it only covered half my shins. It was made of layers of transparent fabric and I had to wear a pair of black tights underneath. The guys were once again dressed in classy, but funky suits which matched their usual style.
“Does this mean I’m gonna be dressed in oriental fashion for our next album’s image?” I asked Shi Kyung hyung as I adjusted the layered skirt before sitting down.
“We’re thinking about it,” he said. “But so far, nothing about the next album’s image has been finalized yet.
“Why can’t we have Chinese outfits too?” Skye asked.
“You wanna dress up in traditional Chinese costume?” I asked him.
“Why not? It’s cool. I wanna dress up like Bruce Lee or Jacky Chan,” Skye said.
“Then we’ll need a new track; a fast song with some Chinese, kung fu kinda sounds in the background,” I laughed.
“That’s a great idea,” Skye exclaimed. “I’m gonna go work on one.”
“You do that,” hyung said. “We’ll evaluate it after you’re done writing it.”
“Okay,” Skye said gleefully.
“Shoei,” I whined, as I tried to pull on the pair of boots the stylist had set in front of me. “I need help.”
Shoei walked up to me, and knelt down to help me with the boots. Again, the stylists had me wear knee-high boots. This pair was black and studded with diamante, sort of in the design of the mock collar I wore. In my ears were chandelier earrings encrusted with diamond-like crystals as well and on my head was a black silk band, also studded with matching crystals. My hair had been sort of combed up, and they’d randomly pulled out strands of my hair from the originally neat coif so that they fell out messily. I never understood why I could not get my boots on every time I tried, and Shoei always managed to pull them on for me, effortlessly. That was why he was always the one whom I’d call on to help me with them.
We arrived at the venue and because I’d been missing from all red carpet events for the last 2 weeks, the host practically attacked me with a barrage of questions.
“Sierra,” he said. “You’ve been missing for 2 weeks, how are you feeling today?”
“I’m excited to be back,” I smiled. “How’s everyone?” I asked as I waved to the crowd that had gathered outside the auditorium, along the red carpet area.
“We all missed you a lot,” the host said. “We heard you had internal bleeding. Was it painful?”
“I’d not felt the pain because I’d been taking some painkillers that numbed all pain in my body. So my advice to everyone out there is to be careful with the kind of medication you take, especially when you have gastric problems.”
“We’ll keep that in mind,” the host nodded. “Once again, it’s good to have you back. S-Cube did not feel complete without your, am I right, Skye and Shoei?”
“Nae,” they both nodded.
“All the best with the nominations tonight,” he said.
“Kamsahamnida,” we bowed, and we walked off the little stage.
The final awards show of the season, and we’d be going on our breaks. I can’t wait.