For the next couple of days, it was hard to catch sight of JaeJoong. Hye was bothered about it when she had that free time to let her thoughts run wild; sometimes on the way back and forth work and sometimes over lunch. These days, Hye likes to eat her lunch alone rather than having the company of her colleagues. She thinks that she needs time to herself to think about many things. But, each time she sits down to really give it a serious thought, her mind just went blank. She felt puzzled and frustrated about it. She could ask no one. JaeJoong wouldn’t tell her of anything even if she’d try to ask, he’d just change the topic and asking Seo is definitely not the best idea. She wouldn’t want JaeJoong to be hated by Seo. It was a Sunday night when Hye was tidying up her schedule for the following week.

“Hmm… There’s just so many things to be completed in a week. Why do we have only 24  hours a day? And, spending 8 hours a day for sleep is just such a waste of time!” Hye complained to herself in her room. “And…” Hye glanced around her room. “Where is that Mr Kim Jae Joong!” She exclaimed quite loudly to herself.

“I’m here.”

“Wow!” Hye was shocked. JaeJoong was standing directly behind her chair. “Why did you appear out of nowhere?”

“Where am I suppose to appear then? In front of you?”

“That’s worse. It’s a wall.” JaeJoong nodded in agreement mischievously.

Hye turned her chair around only to find herself stuck right in front of JaeJoong. JaeJoong was staring directly at her. Hye started to pout and cross her arms to show her dissatisfaction.

“What’s wrong now?” JaeJoong asked, being concern. He was praying in his own heart that Hye would never ask him that question.

“Where have you been all week?”

“How’s work? Is it still bad? I wanted to help…” Hye broke JaeJoong off before he could finish up his sentence.

“Don’t try to change the topic again. Answer me. Where have you been?” Anger filled Hye’s voice. Hye stood up and her eyes matched JaeJoong’s eyes. He looked seriously tired. Hye’s eyes started to tear a little. JaeJoong softened.

“I’ll tell you when…”

“You’re not going to say you’re going to tell me when the time is right.” Hye walked away from JaeJoong to escape his glance. “You know that I’ll be worried. I’ve been worried about you for the whole week. Do you know how it feels like talking to myself, thinking that you’d reply me? Thinking that you’re actually right beside me and I couldn’t see you? I’ve been worried about your whereabouts.”

“I know…”

“I know. That is it?” Hye wasn’t trying to be pushy but she’s really worried. “Oppa, you can tell me frankly.”

“Hye, it’s not that I don’t. It’s I am not supposed to. You need to understand that.” JaeJoong thought.

“Fine.” Hye was crossed.

“It’s Sunday night. You’ll need to work tomorrow. You should…”

Hye glanced at the clock. “You’re going to ask me to rest again? But, oppa, you…” Hye felt too listless to continue. She didn’t want to quarrel with JaeJoong, especially so when he just returned after such a long time. One thing that Hye is very certain is, she’s still able to see him.

“I promise that I’ll come very night, alright? Now, go and rest.” JaeJoong tried to coax Hye.

Hye pretended that she listened to JaeJoong and went off to bed. Seeing that Hye is asleep, JaeJoong set off again. When Hye noticed that JaeJoong is gone, she get out of bed to get changed. She ran out of her house, onto the main street and found JaeJoong walking. She followed him but wondered to herself if that’s how ghost travel – by walking. She followed him quite closely but kept a distance so that JaeJoong wouldn’t know that he had been followed. She felt like a stalker and thought about to herself how his stalker fans must have stalked him like that previously. She saw him come to a halt in front of a condominium. JaeJoong stood there and stared at a single unit for at least 10 minutes before moving off again.

“Why is he doing here? Why did he keep staring at the apartment. Which apartment was it that…” Hye was distracted in her thoughts for a moment and before she realized it, JaeJoong was out of sight. She stood up and revealed herself, thinking, “Where did he disappear to? He didn’t walked?” There was a shine of light coming from behind. Hye turned.

“Miss, what are you doing here? Are you a resident?”

“No, I am…” Hye started off saying, but decided that she should lie. “I just came back from an exercise and will be heading back now.”

Hye pretended to enter the building and pressed the lift when the security guard went off. “Phew, that was close! What a time to be at a strange place and spotted by a security guard with no excuse.”

======================================================

For the next couple of days, Hye’s day schedule were meetings and conferences and appointments in the day. For night, the original planned schedule was overtime, dates with friends, drinks, movies but she had them changed and cancelled.

======================================================

As promised, JaeJoong did show up every night at Hye’s house and put her to sleep, but each night when she sees him, he gets a littler more tired than the previous night. Hye was worried but she didn’t question. She was unusually obedient to JaeJoong. JaeJoong was too tired for anything else so it didn’t cross his mind that Hye was being unusually obedient to what he has to say. Every night, when Hye pretended to sleep, JaeJoong would leave the house to go to that mysterious apartment. Hye would follow him only to fail to be able to tell which unit exactly was the one that he entered. But she was determined.

======================================================

“Oppa, I’ll be going out with some friends tomorrow so I won’t be home early. Would you be dropping by to see me?”

“Have fun with your friends. I’ll not drop by tomorrow since you’re not home.”

“Oh… Alr… right…”

“Are you disappointed?”

“Rather than saying I’m disappointed, I’m just…”

“I can find you at whereever you’d be tomorrow night”

“No,no,no it’s fine.” Hye insisted thinking that it’d foil her plans. She had intended to wait for him at the apartment instead.

======================================================

Hye was there at 10.15pm. She knew that she could be early but she wouldn’t want to be late. So, she didn’t bother about the time. It was a good thing that the weather was kind to her that night. She waited at a bench nearby, close enough to be able to spot JaeJoong when he appears. After a long wait, he appeared. Hye was excited and determined when she saw his appearance. This time, he walked into the building. Hye followed closely behind. He was gone when she reached the lobby but she noticed that the lift stopped at 15th floor, so she took the lift up to the 15th floor. There were 6 units in that level. Hye started to walked back and forth at the lift lobby, wondering which unit could JaeJoong be at.

“It’d be insane to go and ring the bell of every single unit. People would complain and I’d get into trouble and I can’t investigate. No,no,no, that’s a very bad idea. What can be done?”

The lift door sprang opened and a black suit man walked out. He looked beat. Hye followed behind him to see which unit he entered. He walked to the far end of the unit that the main door faced the whole corridor. She tried to followed closer up, intending to make a right turn to the unit at the right if he notice her. That black suit man turned his door knob and Hye stood there frozen.

Before she could react, JaeJoong was standing in front of her. He shook her a little to get her to wake up.

“Hye!” He said to her, looking at her eyes. “It’s not safe here. Let’s go.” JaeJoong knew that the other two men would most probably appear soon if they found out.

======================================================

“What are you doing there? Have you any idea how dangerous it is? And, what time is it now? Do you think it’d be safe for a girl to…” Hye was still in a daze. “Forget it. I’ll take you home.”

JaeJoong grabbed Hye by the wrist but Hye shook his hand off.

“What’s that for?”

“I’m taking you home.”

“Not that.”

“What?”

“You know what I mean…”

“You’re going home this moment.”

“Oppa, don’t try to escape this time.” Hye started to cry.

JaeJoong hated to see her cry. He hugged her. To Hye, he felt a lot colder than he used to be when they first met. She didn’t question. She knew the answer. She didn’t have that energy to either.

“Alright, I’ll tell you.” JaeJoong said as he grabbed her hand and started to walk. “Let’s walk home while I tell you. But you’re not allowed to ask any questions.” Hye nodded in agreement like a 3 year old kid given a lollipop candy.

“I’m on a mission. I can’t tell you what mission is that. It’s against the rules. There are rules that I have to abide by while I’m here. I didn’t know what happened that allowed me to stay here, but I have to exchange something with it for while I’m here. There are people in charge of me to ensure that I accomplish my mission and to ensure that my identity wasn’t revealed. You are a threat. You’re not supposed to know anything. But, I stayed for you.” JaeJoong said, stopping now and then to check that his words are clear to Hye.

“I have to do this every night. It drains my energy. I’m always with you during the day. But, I need to rest too, so I didn’t appear in front of you.”

“Is that why my work is always so smooth?”

“No, not exactly why. I couldn’t help much because it strains my energy as well. You were good at your work to begin with.” Hye nodded to show that she understood him.

“It’s like an exchange. For the missions I complete, I get to stay here longer. There are things that I need to find out. I promise I’ll tell you when I get the whole picture…”

They were almost at reaching Hye’s house. JaeJoong was glad that nothing happened. But he wasn’t glad for long. That two men appeared in front of him. JaeJoong didn’t know that Hye wouldn’t be able to see them. On the other far end of the street, he saw that Seo is standing there with her arms crossed and an angry look on her face. He didn’t have to ask to know. He and Hye walked nearer to the two men and Seo decided to walk towards them as well. Seo saw the two men and felt that their presence could be a threat so she decided to walk to Hye.

“Hye, what are you doing out here in the middle of the night?” Seo tried to shake Hye awake. “Are you sleep walking again?” Seo pretended that she didn’t see JaeJoong or any of the two men. JaeJoong was glad that she did so. He didn’t want to put either sisters in any danger. Seo grabbed Hye’s arm and put it over her shoulders. She didn’t turn around to look at JaeJoong or the two men and made sure that Hye didn’t either.

======================================================

“Mr Kim Jae Joong.”

“Yes.”

“We have our rules to abide to.”

“Yes.”

“You have broken some rules tonight.”

“I know. But, could you…”

“We don’t touch the living. Their forces and ours don’t match. It’d cause us more harm than good.”

JaeJoong didn’t understand what his last sentence meant but it wasn’t important. Before he could react, he was brought to a dark room.

======================================================

That night, Seo put Hye to sleep after feeding her with a cup of hot milk. That night, Hye had a rough night. She saw JaeJoong in the dream, but he wasn’t his usual self. He wasn’t laughing and he looked more tired than usual. He was, in fact, in pain. 

======================================================

Preview Part 12
Hye found out what JaeJoong was up to at night, but she didn’t manage to get her answer. Her dream that night bothered her greatly but she didn’t question JaeJoong about it. JaeJoong still manage to keep her company during the day, appearing now and then when she needed him. But, that marked the start of the nightmares that Hye started to have at night. What exactly was all that? To JaeJoong and Seo’s surprise, Hye actually had a visitor ever since that night – a non-human visitor.

Check it out: Part 12 Unprecendented past and an unknown future

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