Saturday, 23 August 2008

Chapter 141: Last Angel

[Sierra’s POV]

We got home earlier than usual tonight. I could sense that Shoei wasn’t feeling perky at all and it had nothing to do with his upcoming stint on We Got Married. After showering and clearing up some of the mess in my room, I decided to give him a pep talk.

“Shoei,” I called out as I tapped on his door with my nails in an offbeat rhythm.

“Come in,” he said, and I let myself in.

He was sitting in front of his laptop, tapping away as if he was writing a novel.

“How’s the memoir coming?” I joked.

“It’s almost done. Just adding the bits about my reactions to your scandals,” he replied without looking at me, but I could see the corners of his mouth turn up in a smile.

“What’s up with you today?” I asked as I flopped onto his bed.

“Nothing,” he sighed, and clicked the ‘Shut Down’ button on his computer screen.

“Then why do I see dark clouds looming above your head?” I asked.

“Odi?” he said and waved at the imaginary clouds above his head, making me giggle.

“They’re gone now,” I laughed, and he just smiled back.

“I’m fine. Just a little shaken, but I’m okay now.”

“Shaken by the news of your upcoming marriage?” I said.

“Do you have you put it that way?” he asked.

“How else shall I put it then?”

“Let’s just call it an engagement,” he said.

“A long one at that,” I smiled, and he thumped me with a pillow.

“You’re not getting cuter with age,” he said.

“It’s only been 3 years,” I said.

“And look at what it’s done to you,” he laughed, and this time, I thumped him with a pillow.

“So what’s annoying you?”

“I’m just feeling like a scapegoat. Someone they keep turning to when things don’t look too peachy for the band.”

“Look on the bright side. It just means that you’re dependable,” I pointed out.

“I am, huh?” he sighed.

“S-Cube is counting on your to revive our reputation,” I said. “You have to be strong,” I added, holding up my fist.

“This is only going to help or kill my reputation,” he said. “It may not affect the band’s.”

“Well… we’re releasing our 4th album soon. It will help with publicity. Don’t you think?”

“Maybe,” he said.

“I’m sure your wife… I mean… fiancée… is a nice girl. Be nice to her, eh?”

“I’ll try,” he said. “But I really have no recollections of her. Ex-SM trainee?”

“That’s what Skye said.”

“Let’s hope she’s not psychotic.”

“It’s gonna turn up on national TV,” I reminded him. “As long as you behave, I think everything would go well.”

“Hah… behave? The reason they have reality shows is to watch people misbehave.”

“Good point,” I laughed. “But try to hold back, will ya?”

“Araso,” he laughed.

[Su Bin’s POV]

“I need you to do this for me,” Darren oppa said to me as he clasped my hand in his.

“I can’t,” I said.

“Do you love me?” he asked me.

“I do. But what if I fail? It’ll just make me look bad,” I said.

“I’ll never get a chance like this ever again. You’re my only hope,” he pressed on.

“What if he doesn’t take the bait?” I asked.

“He’s a guy. He will,” he said.

I knew Darren oppa always wanted to succeed, but I didn’t know he had such a strong rivalry with S-Cube. What he was planning seemed beneath him.

“I still can’t get used to the idea,” I said.

“Just find every chance you have to make him look bad. Make him look like a jerk. You’ll push him to his limit someday.”

[Shoei’s POV]

It’s D-day…

I walked towards the park where I was supposed to meet Su Bin. The camera crews followed me. One right in front, filming my expression, and one behind me to make sure everyone can see what’s ahead of me.

“Are you nervous?” one of the staff asked; I suppose she doubles as an interviewer.

“A little,” I smiled at her, and the only reason was that I had no idea what this Su Bin looked like.

“Do you know who she is?” she asked me.

“I don’t know her well,” I replied. “So I’m waiting to be surprised.”

We turned the corner, and there she was sitting on a park bench. I walked up to her, and she stood up, smiling at me as I approached.

“Annyeonghaseyo,” she bowed.

“Annyeonghaseyo,” I bowed back.

Now I remember her. She was the girl who always tagged along with Hae Rin last time. She looked a little different now; a little more mature and sophisticated. When I last saw her, she still looked like a trainee. It could be because I usually saw her in t-shirts and jeans or sweatpants.

“Our place is just across the road. Shall we?” I asked her.

“Sure,” she smiled.

We took a short walk across the park, towards the entrance of our apartment building.

“Oppa… I’m so glad they picked you for me,” she said.

“Really?” I raised an eyebrow at her.

“Keuraeyo…” she said. “Shoei of S-Cube… you’re an idol,” she said and giggled demurely.

“Komawo,” I smiled at her, and we were silent for the next minute or 2 before we arrived at the elevator.

“Oppa…” she said. “Can you carry me up?”

“Huh?” I said, and looked at her puzzled. “Doesn’t the groom usually carry the bride into their new home?”

“Oh… keuge…” I said. “Let’s take the elevator up, and I’ll carry you into the apartment, okay? I don’t think I can carry anyone up 20 floors,” I smiled.

“Chintcha?” she exclaimed and clasped her hands together in glee.

“Ne…” I smiled.

The elevator arrived and we got into it. The cameras were off for a moment while we took the ride up to the 20th floor. We were all silent in the elevator, and we hardly looked at each other, but the moment we got out and the cameras were on again, she turned on her perky character like a switch.

“Let’s start from here, oppa,” she said as she bounced up and down on the spot just outside the elevator.

“Here?” I asked.

“Eum… yeogi,” she nodded.

Actually, I wasn’t looking forward to carrying anyone or anything. But for the sake my image and the show, I had to comply. I’m starting to feel that she wasn’t going to give me an easy ‘marriage’.

“Araso,” I said.

I bent down to scoop her up in one movement, taking her by surprise. She squealed, and I just smiled as I carried her and walked up the corridor to our apartment. She wasn’t heavy at all. In fact, she felt like nothing. Thank god…

“Open it,” I said, when we arrived at the door, indicating for her to open the cover of the number pad to key in the security code.

She reached out her hand and flipped it open.

“What’s the code?” she asked me, and for a moment, I turned to look at the crew around us.

“Don’t worry, that will be edited out of the clips,” one of the staff assured me.

I told Su Bin the code. She punched it in, and pushed open the door. As the door swung open, I decided to be unpredictable. I’d visited the apartment yesterday, and since I knew my way around, I carried her all the way to the bedroom and dump her on the bed unceremoniously.

“Oww…” she groaned and rubbed her butt.

“Wae?” I asked. “Is the bed too hard?” I laughed.

“Oppa… you’re so bad…” she whined.

“Come on,” I said, as I held out a hand to her. “Let’s take a look around and see if you like our place.”

She put her hand in mine and I pulled her up, off the bed. The cameras trailed after us as we walked around the place.

The management had been pretty generous when they rented this place. They obviously wanted to make the public think that I’m doing very well as a member of S-Cube.

“Wa… oppa… you must earn a lot if you can get us a place like this,” she exclaimed as we walked into the spacious living room.

“I do at least 1 event a week, so I’m pretty set,” I laughed.

“Wow… I’m doing 1 a week too, but I guess it’ll take me sometime before I can actually contribute,” she giggled.

“You’ll have to work harder. We need to save more so that we can feed the kids,” I said.

“Kids?” she exclaimed.

“Of course,” I winked. “What’s a marriage without children?”

“How many do you want?” she smiled and sat on the coffee colored leather couch in front of a 40 inch plasma television.

“I’m not too greedy,” I said. “A basketball team will do.”

“Omo! Oppa! That’s exactly what I was thinking about,” she squealed.

This was going to be a long day…

[Sierra’s POV]

It was finally here. The moment I had been so afraid of since I became a gasoo. Skye was sitting in the control room, watching me with the sound engineer. Today, I would record alone, and this was going to be my song and my song alone.

Shi Kyung hyung tossed me the lyrics and the demo CD last week.

“Learn this,” he said.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It’s your solo,” he said.


“Wuaaa!” Skye immediately exclaimed excitedly. “You’re gonna do a solo?”

“But hyung,” I said. “Isn’t this album going to be all covers?” I asked as I scanned through the lyrics.

It wasn’t a song I knew, but I knew that it was written for me. The lyrics were foreign, but I recognized them to be the dreaded solo that the management had been waiting to spring on me.

“It’s going to be a bonus track, and you will follow up that bonus track with your own mini album early next year. This is just to get the fans excited,” he elaborated.

“Won’t they call me a sell out? Skye and Shoei don’t have solos,” I protested.

“Shoei and Skye have their own solo projects. Yours will be your mini album,” he said.

I couldn’t argue since it in the contract. I would do everything mapped out for me, like it or not. As much as I wanted to hate the song, it went well with the album. We were doing covers, and my song had a 80s Pop feel to it; a little Madonna and a little George Michael. In short, it was sexy and innovative, as much as it sounded old school, which made it true to S-Cube’s style.

“Ready?” the engineer asked, and I nodded.

The track started playing, and it reminded me a lot of Wham!’s ‘Everything She Wants’. I zoned myself into the sexiest mood I could think of, and channeled my best version of Madonna+Sierra I could think of.

Let me look in your eyes
Let me see through your mind~
Won’t you hold my hand
Make me feel alright~

It’s just not gonna work
If you’re not gonna tell me~
It’s just not gonna work
If you can’t be a man about it~

Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

Let me open your eyes
Let me open your mind~
I have your hand in mine
Don’t you feel alright~

This has got to work
And you’re so gonna tell me~
This is so gonna work
Baby now that you love me~

Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

Yeah… forevermore
As corny as it may sound
Yeah… there’ll be no other
As long as you’re around
Oh yeah… baby

Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

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