Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Chapter 130: AM 07:05

Okay... I don't think I can update twice a week anymore, but I will try my very best to update every Wednesday from now on ^_^ Hope this chapter isn't too crummy. I couldn't find any other title to adequately describe this chapter other than this song by Lee Min Woo :P



[Sierra’s POV]

Jae Joong and the guys left yesterday. I woke up this morning and it hit me quite hard that I wouldn’t be seeing him for the next 3 months. I was awake since 6 am, staring at the ceiling, wondering what I was going to do on my own while Jae Joong was away.

“We’ll be back soon,” Jun Su smiled at me before they left yesterday.

I wasn’t allowed to see them off since this trip was highly publicized and they didn’t want any incidents between me and the fans happening at the airport. I was only able to see them off at their apartment before Skye drove me home.

“I’ll see you soon,” Jae Joong whispered as he hugged me and kissed my hair on the side of my head.

I hugged him back fiercely and we stood there in each others’ arms for almost a minute, the other guys busy loading the van while we were saying our farewell.

“Take care of her,” Jae Joong said to Skye before boarding the van.

“I will,” Skye said as he waved.

“I’ll see you soon,” Yun Ho smiled, before closing the door.

“Okay,” I replied.

Yun Ho was scheduled to come back to Seoul at intervals because we were still promoting our single. We have a few live performances scheduled and also some shows to appear on even while they are supposed to be in Japan.

“Bye!” the guys yelled as the van pulled out.

“Let’s go,” Skye said as he put an arm around me and led me to his car.

The ride home was a silent one, on my part. Skye chattered away, trying to distract me from my thoughts as he drove but all I could muster were sounds of agreement to his questions.

“You can’t stay like this for the next 3 months,” he said.

“I won’t,” I sighed. “I’m just gonna wallow today and I’ll be fine tomorrow.”

“You sure?” he asked.

“Ne… stop being a nag,” I smiled weakly.

“I am somewhat unconvinced,” he said, but laughed anyway.

I dragged myself out of bed at 8am to wash up. I had a reading to attend for the drama, then a dance practice for S-Cube’s next album.

I dressed casually, pinned my hair back and decided I didn’t need any makeup today.

“I’m going out,” I said as I walked past Skye and Shoei in the living room.

“See you at practice,” Shoei said.

“Right,” I replied as I slipped on my shoes.

“You need a lift?” Skye asked me.

“It’s okay. Someone’s here to pick me up,” I said as I opened the door.

“Okay, bye… have a good day,” Skye said.

My transport took me directly to the studios. The pilot won’t be shot until next week, and we’re having some reading sessions now just to familiarize with the characters and the rest of the cast. When I arrived at the building and got out of the car, I saw Darren leaning on the wall by the main door, casually puffing a cigarette. I closed the door, took a deep breath as I straightened myself up, then walked towards him.

“I know what you’re about to say,” he smiled as I approached.

“What?” I asked.

“Singers shouldn’t smoke,” he said.

“I wasn’t going to say anything,” I replied. “What someone does is his own business.”

“True,” he smirked, and tossed the cigarette away after one last puff. “Shall we?” he said as he opened the door, gesturing for me to enter first.

“Komapda,” I said, and I walked in.

“You’re speaking very casually,” he said, in a tone that sounded like he found it humorous.

“I shouldn’t?” I said, raising a brow at him.

“You may,” he said. “You are older,” he winked.

“Trust you to remind me that,” I smiled wryly as we entered the elevator.

“Didn’t mean to hit a weak spot,” he laughed.

“Don’t worry,” I replied. “You didn’t.”

“So… your lover boy shipped off yet?” he asked.

“Yes, Jae Joong has gone to Japan,” I replied.

“3 months of freedom for you then,” he said.

“Call it what you want,” I said.

“You’re still mad about that incident?” he asked me.

“What incident?” I said, pretending I didn’t remember at all.

“Twaeso…” he laughed softly.

The doors of the elevator opened at our floor, and we walked out together.

“Annyeong haseyo!” the receptionist perkily greeted as we walked past the front desk.

“Annyeong haseyo,” we replied.

When we arrived at the room where the reading will take place, the rest of the cast and the acting coach were mingling and chatting while sipping refreshments.

“Ah… the stars!” the producer joked when Darren and I walked in.

“Annyeong haseyo,” I smiled.

“Coffee?” he asked me, gesturing to the refreshments table.

“No thanks,” I said. “I’ll just have some water.”

“Darren?” he said inquiringly as he looked at Darren.

“I’ll have some coffee,” he said and he walked over to the table with the producer.

“Sierra onni,” a female voice called out, and I turned around to find Yuk Hee behind me. “Remember me?” she asked.

“Yuk Hee, right?” I said.

“Ne,” she smiled. “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” I replied. “I heard from Skye that I’ll be working with you.”

“Yes,” she replied. “I got a lucky break and landed a part on this series.”

“What’s your role?”

“Some girl in the office. Probably the 3rd party,” she giggled. “I guess I look the part.”

“Hmm,” I smiled, trying not to blurt out that I couldn’t agree more.

{Girls on Top: Episode 1, Scene 1}

Ho Young – Darren
Maya – Sierra

“Hi, is this seat taken?” Ho Young said as he gestured to the empty spot beside Maya.

Maya looks around and sees that there are actually empty tables around her. She looks up at Ho Young and smiles.

“It is, but since the restaurant is full, I’m sure my friend wouldn’t mind you having her seat for awhile,” she replied.

“Thanks,” he laughed as he sat down.

“No problem,” Maya said as she turned to her food and book again.

“So is your friend coming back soon?” he asked as he started eating.

“I’m not sure. Should I be worried if she doesn’t?” she raised her eyebrows at him.

“That obvious, huh?” he laughed. “No… I pretty much harmless. No hurry for her to get back here.”

“Good,” she smiled briefly and ignored him again.

“So where are you from?” he asked her.

“Where are you from?” she asked back innocently as she pushed up her glasses.

“South Korea,” he replied.

“You don’t sound South Korean,” she remarked.

“Really? What would a South Korean sound like then?” he asked.

“You don’t substitute your ‘f’ with ‘ph’,” she said.

“Is that your general impression of Koreans,” he asked, “that we can’t speak English without the Korean slang?”

“Of course not,” she smiled. “I’ve just not met one who didn’t.”

“Well… I spent some years in America, if that helps quell your curiosity,” he smiled.

“I see,” she said.

“So where are you from again? I didn’t quite catch your reply,” he said.

“That’s because I never gave you one,” she pointed out.

“Ah… so?”

“I’m Chinese,” she smiled. “Take a guess.”

“That’s like me saying that I’m Korean and asking you to take a guess,” he looked at her, trying to sound offended.

“I can’t reveal my nationality,” she said in a stage whisper.

“Why not?” he whispered back. “Are you being followed?”

“I guess so…” she said, still whispering.

“By who?”

“This fella… I think he’s Korean, and he just sat down in front of me,” she finished, and started giggling.

Ho Young slapped his own forehead and pretended to fall back and faint in his chair.

“I guess you’ve given up?” Maya smiled and started standing up.

“I was that obvious huh?” he smiled.

“Well…” she contemplated for a moment, tapping her finger wistfully on her pouted lips, “kinda. Bye…” she said, and started to walk off.

“I’m Ho Young!” he yelled after her.

“I’m leaving,” she replied, without turning back, as she continued walking away.

{End of scene}

Everyone clapped when our reading ended.

“That was very smooth for a first reading,” the coach said. “The both of you have definitely practiced hard.”

“Komapseumnida,” Darren and I said as we bowed.

“I can picture the audiences going crazy for more once the episode goes into commercial after this scene,” the producer said. “This is definitely going to be a huge success.”

“I wouldn’t count on it yet,” Darren smiled. “But Sierra and I will definitely do our best.”

“The both of you definitely have screen chemistry. Did you rehearse together before this?” another producer asked.

“Aniyo,” I said. “This is the first time I’ve read with Darren.”

“Then she must have gotten Jae Joong to stand in and rehearse with her, didn’t you, Sierra?” one of the other actors joked.

“You’ve got me there,” I smiled, and the room laughed.

The rest of the morning up till lunchtime was spent reading and discussing the plans for the shoot of the pilot episode. When I returned from one of my toilet breaks, I saw Yuk Hee cozying up to Darren.

‘Birds of a feather flock together,’ was all I could think of as I walked back into the room and took my place in the activities.

[Darren’s POV]

“So you’re practically a trainee, except that you haven’t been for any training,” I said to Yuk Hee.

“You can say that,” she smiled. “But I am being trained at the moment.”

“And you’re the female lead in my band’s next video,” I said.

“Seems like it,” she said coyly.

I sneaked a glance at Sierra to find her taking her seat with a disapproving expression aimed at me and Yuk Hee.

“Do you know Sierra personally?” I asked Yuk Hee.

“I’m a friend of Skye’s,” she said. “Why?”

“Nothing,” I said.

Something from Sierra’s expression gave me the impression that either Yuk Hee was bad news, or it’s just because she’s still mad at me. But when I look at Yuk Hee, the glint in her eyes tells me that she’s not as simple as she looks.

Yuk Hee must have some strong connections to be able to debut in the business so easily, but she sure isn’t letting on what her connections are. Maybe I can coax it out of her during our MV shoot. She may prove to be a useful ally, or even a deadly foe. I’ll need to figure her out soon.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying watching Sierra trying not to squirm during our interactions in front of the entire room.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Chapter 129: You're My Endless Love

“What?” I sputtered, in response to Skye’s announcement.

“Correction; she’s moved to Seoul, as of today,” he said.

“Is there a problem with that?” Jae Joong asked. “Isn’t she your friend?”

“She is,” he sighed.

“There’s a side story to it,” I added helpfully, which only got me confused expressions from Shoei and Jae Joong.

“Okay… have you guys been not telling me something?” Shoei asked. “Am I not part of the band?”

“Sorry… you weren’t around when I was telling,” Skye said. “Didn’t mean to keep it from you. We were touring and all… busy…”

“Sure…” Shoei said as he continued chewing thoughtfully.

“So what’s the story?” Jae Joong asked.

“Yuk Hee’s a stalker,” I offered.

“Huh?” was Jae Joong’s reaction.

“She imagines that Skye fancies her because of their past and childhood and the memories… get my drift?” I explained.

“Okay…” Shoei said, his brows furrowing from the information overload.

By then, Shoei had stopped eating, Skye was staring listlessly at the kimch’i, Jae Joong looked at me with his big anime eyes and I still had my elbow propped on the table with my chopsticks mid-air.

“So what did she say? Why would she just move here? Aren’t her parents in Taipei?”

“She’s joining Sidus,” Skye said.

“No way!” I exclaimed. “Sidus?”

“And get this… she’s going to be one of the supporting characters in your series, nuna.”

“This is getting creepy,” I said.

“How do you two even know she’s back here because of Skye?” Jae Joong asked.

“I know it…” I said. “Sorry Skye…” I took a moment to apologize before I continued, “but it was a bit like back when Hae Rin was obsessed with Jae Joong.”

“It’s okay. I know what you mean?” Skye said.

“So what are you going to do?” Shoei asked.

“Hey… let’s just keep eating before the food gets cold,” Jae Joong interjected.

“Right,” I said as I stuffed a spoonful of rice in my mouth and started chewing again.

“What can I do?” Skye said through a mouthful of egg and rice. “I can’t tell her to go back to Taipei. I’m not her keeper, and I have no proof she’s stalking me.”

“You’ll just have to let it play out and see what she does,” Jae Joong said.

“Yeah… you can’t run around screaming bloody murder when there isn’t one,” Shoei added.

“Arayo…” Skye sighed.

“It’s annoying though,” I said. “How on earth did she land a part in my series?”

“You’re not the producer, honey,” Jae Joong said as he playfully patted my head.

“I can’t see how a sane minded producer would’ve picked her,” I complained.

“Well… she is tall and beautiful,” Shoei reminded me. “You’re being biased now, nuna,” he laughed.

“She’s just being protective of her little brother,” Jae Joong said affectionately as he put an arm around me while I stirred my bowl of soup whilst staring at its contents. “Don’t worry… we won’t let Yuk Hee eat Skye up.”

“Yeah, nuna. I won’t let her get to me,” Skye said.

“And Hae Rin?” I asked.

“She knows I’m true to her. I worked too hard at our relationship to allow it to be swayed like that,” he said.

“Good,” I said.

That night, I didn’t so much catching up with Skye and Shoei, because I had a more important task of getting in as much time with Jae Joong as possible before he disappeared for the next 3 months.

“Go on,” Shoei had said while I stood beside him, drying the dishes. “Go spend some time with hyung. He’s leaving tomorrow.”

“It’s just a few dishes,” I said, but my face had betrayed me as the tears started prickling my eyes.

“Skye!” Shoei yelled and grabbed the dishcloth from me.

“What?” Skye popped his head into the kitchen. “You’ve got dessert for me?”

“Wipe the dishes,” Shoei said as he tossed the cloth at Skye, and it hit his surprised face.

“Isn’t nuna doing it?” Skye whined as he picked up the cloth.

“And you’re entertaining Jae Joong hyung?” Shoei said as he looked at Skye pointedly.

“Oh…” Skye said, finally getting what Shoei was getting at. “Shoo!” he said to me and pushed me out of the kitchen, closing the sliding door shut as soon as I was out.

I quickly rubbed my eyes and turned to see Jae Joong sitting in front of the television, absorbed in a serial drama. I did a quick check in the mirror nearby, my eyes looked fine. I never realized it until my friend, Kat, told me long ago.

“I always thought the crying women on television or movies were fake because people can’t have normal eyes after so much crying. I need like an hour to wait for the puffiness to go down. But now I know it’s possible.”

She said that after I’d been crying to her for an hour over a departing boyfriend. After that, I became strangely aware of my odd ability. I guess I was just made for crying. I smiled to myself at the thought, then turned and walked towards Jae Joong.

I stood, facing his back, behind the couch, then put my hands gently on his shoulder.

“Hey,” he looked up at me and smiled. “Sit down,” he said, patting the empty space next to him.

I shook my head, then slowly slid my hands down his chest, then around his neck in a hug, until my chin was resting on his shoulder, then I turned my head slightly to kiss his cheek.

“Waegeurae?” he whispered softly as he turned to kiss my lips gently.

“Pogoshipo,” I mumbled into his shoulder, and when I looked up at him, tears were starting to form in my eyes again.

“I’m still here,” he said, then sighed. “Come on,” he said as he stood up and turned off the television. “Let’s go to your room.”

He got up and led me slowly, by the hand, to my room, and he closed the door behind us.

“I love you,” he said, in English as he hugged me tightly.

His words brought tears to my eyes because he always conveniently used Korean to express his love, but today he remembered to speak the language I knew best.

“Na tto,” I sobbed on his shoulder.

He kissed the tears that rolled down my cheeks, then covered my lips with his. I could taste my tears on his lips as he slowly and gently kissed my lips. I tightened my arms around his waist and he continued working his magic on me.

We continued kissing, the urgency increasing, like a fever rising as I started to move towards my bed. We fell onto it, side by side.

“Ow,” I exclaimed when his elbow squashed my arm.

“Kwaench’ana?” he sat up quickly and examined my arm.

“Ne,” I smiled, and laughed a barely audible laugh as I rubbed my arm.

I looked down on the bed for a moment, contemplating the situation.

“Ya…” he whispered as his fingers reached out to softly touch my hair.

“Hmm?” I replied as I looked up.

“I’ll be back soon,” he said.

“Arayo,” I mumbled and threw myself back on the bed in frustration.

“Ya!” he said a bit louder and he jumped on top of me.

“Ya!” I yelled back at him. “You’re killing me,” I laughed.

“You ignored me,” he accused.

“Onje?” I challenged him.

“Mwo?” he started tickling me as I squealed and wriggled. “Onje?”

“Mian!” I yelled as I tried to push his hands away.

“Can’t hear you!” he said.

“Mianhae…” I laughed, “mianhae…” and he stopped.

“Igot naeko,” he whispered as he kissed my forehead lightly. “Igot naeko,” he repeated as he kissed both my cheeks. “Keurigo igot…” he said as he ran a finger lightly down the middle of my body, from my neck to my belly, and I giggled a little and caught his finger in my hand, “ta… naekoya…” he said.

I looked at him, my heart just bursting with emotions and everything I wanted to say before he left, but I couldn’t speak, and my body just felt like it was aching and limp with the love I felt from his actions.

“You’re mine… ara?” he hugged me, his lips just at my ears. “I’ll come back very soon. So make sure you’re waiting.”

“Ne,” I replied, and pulled him down for a deep kiss, continuing where we had left off.

[Yuk Hee’s POV]

“Annyeong haseyo, Jin Yuk Hee-imnida,” I smiled as I bowed to the row of executives in front of me.

“More than 5 years in Taiwan. That means you speak excellent Chinese?” one of them asked.

“I am literate in Chinese and I can definitely carry a conversation in Chinese,” I replied confidently.

“Can you sing, Yuk Hee-ssi?” another asked. “Sing us a song in Chinese.”

I took a deep breath and started singing Theresa Teng’s ‘Return My Love to Me’. As I sang, I could see the nod of approvals from the executives. One of them signaled for me to stop, and there was a brief silence again.

“You won’t be singing in your first assignment with Sidus,” the one who signaled said. “But we wanted to see what else you could do.”

“Then may I know what is my first assignment?” I asked.

“You’re playing a supporting role in an upcoming drama with Sierra from S-Cube and Darren from Helix, that you already know. Before that, you will appear in Helix’s new MV.”

After a few more minutes of briefing, they finally released me. I had a MV to record with Helix first thing tomorrow, and a stack of scripts I have to memorize in a week.

“Ch’uketta…” I breathed as I walked down the corridor, oblivious to the people who walked past me.

People usually had a look of curiosity and sometimes even awe when I walked. It had to be either my physique, my height, or maybe I had a really good plastic surgeon, but here at Sidus HQ, there were plenty of stars around, but I still manage to garner some attention.

“Ready?” my agent, Jun Tak asked me when we met up at the lobby.

“Yea,” I said as I followed him.

The company had arranged for accommodations for me but I had declined because my parents had a condo that was currently empty because the tenants’ lease ended. I’ve never lived in those one room studio apartments and I never plan to. I like to have rooms. Good thing this job isn’t where my main income is coming from.

“You need to cut down that air of superiority on the set tomorrow,” my agent advised.

“What air of superiority?” I said.

“We both know you’re a rich girl who doesn’t need this job, but please don’t make it obvious to the people who are hiring you. You’re still new in the game.”

“Ne…” I sighed.

Jun Tak was a friend I met a few years back through some school mates. He and I had a short affair when he once visited Taipei and left it at that when he went back to Seoul. It was a stroke of luck that he had the right connections to get me the job I wanted to break into the industry. I wasn’t really satisfied to have him as my agent, but I had to start somewhere. Once I get on board a bigger company, he and I both know that our relationship will end once again.

“So who is Helix?” I asked him.

“They’re a band from the company, DSP.”

“All guys?”

“Yes. 3 of them. They were formed to rival SM’s S-Cube.”

“Have they succeeded?”

“They did well in their first year, but S-Cube is gaining these days.”


“S-Cube has been working hard on publicity and diversifying their material. They’re getting fresher with each album and people tend to like that. Plus, they have 1 girl for variety. So they garner enough male fans too. By the way, didn’t you once tell me you knew the guy in S-Cube?”

“Skye,” I said.

“Oh… that one. He’s pretty popular.”

“The other 2?”

“The same… Shoei’s got that dark and brooding attitude going on, but he gets cute sometimes, and Sierra is just different.”


“Not Korean, not Japanese, just different. Can’t describe her. You’ll meet her when you start filming.”

“Then I look forward to see what’s so intriguing about her,” I smiled.