A Mystic Messenger fanfic by farleythewill; source HERE. Please follow the link and drop him some kudos if you like it!
Getting caught up since I've been a little behind on this!
Zen has appeared before you and Jaehee. Not knowing his true intentions, the two of you continue your flirting, all while avoiding Zen's hurtful words...
More Than Friendship...
Chapter 13: The Third Wheel
You felt the cool, autumn air breeze glide against your legs, as both you and Jaehee stared into Zen's eye, confused about his elegant smile. "Really, Zen," you begin, still clinging to Jaehee's arm, "what are you doing here?"
Jaehee nods, not letting her guard down, still remembering Jumin's advice. "If you had an incident with your eye, you should be resting."
Zen chuckles, rubbing the back of his head. "Well, I went out for a walk...having only one eye to see changes one's perspective a bit, so I wanted to see the world like this. I didn't even think I would run into the both of you...and, Jaehee, don't forget about my monsterous recovery rate."
Jaehee sighs, shaking her head. "I haven't forgotten...I was still amazed on how your ankle healed itself in a few days...but, this is your eye we're talking about. What happened to it, anyways," she asks, looking back at Zen.
Zen smiles, making eye contact with Jaehee again. "Let's go get some coffee somewhere. Then, I'll explain what's happened...also, I have a few things I personally want to tell the two of you...but, first...coffee," he lets out, feeling his face relax a bit, his eye losing a bit of color.
Jaehee's expression softens as well, as you look up at her, poking her cheek with your finger. "Come on...let's go ahead and get some coffee, like he wants. We should hear him out..." you say, watching Jaehee's gaze shift to yours, her amber eyes shimmering with worry.
"...Okay, Zen. Let's go. I know a good place around here," she says, as she walks you forward, passing Zen. You feel her arm loosen, as she entertwines her fingers with yours again, holding your hand tightly. Zen grins, following the two of you.
"Good, good...the first part of my plan worked. All I have to do now is wait for these two to seperate...then I will go to the next part of the plan..." Zen thought to himself, admiring your bare legs. His gaze then shifts to your hand, noticing how tangled it is with Jaehee's. He feels his eye twitch with annoyance, then crosses his arms.
"You know, you probably shouldn't be holding hands like this," he said, shocking both you and Jaehee. She quickly turns to Zen, catching him off-guard.
"Zen," she snipped, "we are comfortable doing this. Please, refrain from saying such remarks."
You feel a light blush on your face, rubbing your thumb against hers, causing her to smile back at you. "Yeah, please. You, of all people, should know how special this is to us."
Zen nervously laughs, feeling one of his hands chench into a fist. "I-I wasn't meaning anything bad, you two...I just meant that because of how our culture is..." he trailed off, catching you and Jaehee's attention, "...I...I'm sorry."
Jaehee sighs again, thinking back to the conversation that she and Zen had, two months ago. "Zen...what's going on with you? First, you were in full support of my feelings for her...now, this? You're not...still jealous, are you? That she chose me, and not you," she thinks, staring off into the distance.
You look into Jaehee's tranquil gaze, wondering what she's thinking about. "Why the hell is Zen doing this? He knows I love her. He even gave me that stupid soda bottle metaphor...Zen...what are you..." you finish thinking, as Jaehee stops in her tracks.
"W-we're here," she says, as the three of you enter the building. You feel Jaehee loosen her grip on your hand, as you two pull your arms to yourselves, causing Zen to breathe a sigh of relief. Jaehee looks over at you, smiling. "Don't worry. Once we heave, I'll hold it again," she says, winking, causing you to blush.
Zen mimics a snarl, as he follows the two of you inside. The bold, yet sweet, aroma of coffee fills the room, causing Jaehee to breathe in deeply, her eyes closed. You breathe in as well, a pleasant smile crosses your face. "Gosh, I can't wait to open the bakery cafe," Jaehee says, cheerily, "then we get to smell this every day!"
"Yep," you respond, "as well as bread...and sweets...and cakes...and...and...more coffee!" Jaehee giggles, poking your cheek.
"Yes, more coffee...you know, I don't think you could ever stop being cute," she says, blushing. Your blush grows more red, her words causing you to nervously laugh. "W-well, it's only because of you, J-Jae..." you respond, causing her face to flush even more.
Zen coughs into his fist, catching the attention of the two women. "Sorry to be the odd man out...but shouldn't we order," he said, frowning. "Man...these two are flirting nonstop...I need to hurry up and put the next part of the plan into motion soon," he thinks to himself, crossing his arms.
"Fine, fine," you respond, waving your hand. The three of you walk towards the counter, looking at the menu. "Wow, Jae...look at this selection..." you say, in awe. Jaehee nods, smiling at the words on the wall. "Yes, it is good...but ours will be better...hmm...I think I will have iced coffee this time, caramel mocha. What about you, hon," she asks, looking into your eyes.
"Hmm...oh, there's a chocolate mint iced coffee! I'll take that one," you say, excitingly. Jaehee pouts slightly, crossing her arms. "What," she begins, "do you not like my version? I did make it for the two of you that one day...though, my version does have cherry, now I think about it..."
You giggle, scratching the side of your head. "N-No, Cookie, that's not it. It just sounded good at the time. That, and your coffee is always served hot...but, can you make me a cup when we get home? Don't put the cherry in it this time, so I can see whose is better," you ask, batting your eyelashes at her, causing Jaehee to become flustered. "O-of course, Cream...seriously...too cute..."
Zen sighs, shaking his head, hiding a clenched fist under his arm. "I'll just take some hazelnut coffee," he says, narrowing his eye onto you, his gaze focusing on nothing but your body.
Jaehee looks over her shoulder, noticing Zen's gaze on her love interest. "Really, Zen? If you want to go for something more flavorful, I can always pay for it. Since we got the loan from Jumin, I can use a bit more of my savings without regret."
Zen closes his eye quickly, shaking his head. "It's alright. Besides, I'm mainly here to talk to you two, and not to actually enjoy coffee. I know you two love it, but for me...it's to just get some things off my chest."
"Oh, okay..." Jaehee says, as the three of you place your orders. "Okay, thank you! We will call out your name when your order is ready," the cashier said, happily. Jaehee bows to the cashier, thanking them, but is startled, as you place your hand onto her back. "Hey, let's sit there," you say, as you point out a booth in the corner of the shop, and gently push Jaehee towards it.
"Okay, Cream, okay. No need to get pushy..." she says, giggling. You and Jaehee sit on one side of the booth, as Zen lounges into the other, placing his arms on the top of the seat.
"Wow, this really is comfy..." he says, laughing. He then fixes his gaze to the two women in front of him, placing a rather serious look on his face, causing the two women to focus on him. "Okay. First...I would like to apologize to you two."
"Apologize? For what, exactly," you ask, yet knowing the answer. You look over at Jaehee, who's eyes are now lowered to the table, misty-eyed. Your hand, placed on the cushion of the booth, slowly shifts its way to Jaehee's, placing your palm on top of her hand. As soon as you do so, you notice a small smile appear on her face.
"First of all, I apologize for how I acted in the chat room last night," Zen continues, looking down at the table. "I'm still a bit shocked about what happened to my eye...it really is a life-changer, if you think about it..."
Jaehee lifts her gaze to meet his eye, noticing his lack of eye contact. "Please, tell us...what exactly happened?
He closed his eye, smiling. "It was such a stupid mistake...To begin with, the director told me that I had a gorgeous look, but something was off...he then pointed out my hair, and said that I should cut it. I told him no, naturally, because I take great pride in my personal look, but I needed this role, so...I did it. He wanted a natural look, and didn't want to use a wig. He also wanted me to wear these contacts, in which I didn't mind. I know women love my crimson eyes, but he had a particular idea of what he wanted."
Jaehee closes her eyes, nodding. "Okay, that makes sense...I'm sorry to hear that you had to make such a sacrifice for your career," she said, turning her hand to grasp a hold of your own, squeezing it softly.
"Thank you for understanding this much," Zen continued, "Anyways, I was getting ready for practice, and one of the stagehands bumped into me. I fell, and my eye caught the end of a guardrail to a flight of stairs. Upon impact, a searing pain went through it. I knew, in that instant, that the contact lens shattered..." he placed his hand over his eyepatch, cringing, "...the pain is still there."
You look into into Zen's eye, your own gaze widening. "I...I'm sorry to hear about that, Zen. That...sounds awful..."
Zen nods, lowering his hand. "It felt awful. The doctor said that I will be able to see again, but I can't use my eye for a few more weeks. Even knowing my track record of healing, he still wanted me to cover it for the time being. That's why this eyepatch exists."
Jaehee opens her eyes, as you take notice of her serious tone again. "Then...why did you act the way you did in the chat? You deeply hurt me, and worried her..." Your eyes widen from what she just said, as you attempt to squeeze Jaehee's hand a bit firmer, rubbing your thumb against her skin.
Zen looked down again, shaking his head. "I was still in pain...I've been through a lot of injuries, but this one...stung the most. I know that you two became such great friends, but...I just feel a sense of happiness when I gaze upon you," he says, looking directly into your eyes.
You feel your hand tremble, causing Jaehee to squeeze it more, moving her hand to entangle her fingers with yours again. "W-why me? Why not Jaehee? I know that you two practically became best friends shortly after I joined the RFA."
Zen shook his head, softly laughing. "Well, we are strictly on an actor-fan basis, so I can't really feel attraction towards her," he says,shifting his gaze to Jaehee. "No offense, Jaehee. I'm not saying you're not attractive, because you are. I just find her beautiful...and thinking of her brought me strength."
Jaehee sighed, shaking her head. "None taken, Zen...but, I have another question to ask. Why did you get upset and leave, right after Seven hacked my phone and took that picture?"
You tilt your head, nodding. "Yeah, Zen...it wasn't that bad of a picture. Though, we were pissed because Seven did it...but we weren't doing anything bad in it. Why did you get upset?"
Zen placed his forehead into his palm, laughing. "It's...a stupid reason. I was thinking...that because I did try many times to gain the affection of both of you, it was painful to see you two so happy with each other. Yes, I guess you can say that I was jealous...because I would never get to feel that happy with someone."
Your eyes began to feel misty, as you continue to look at Zen's painful, pathetic look. "Zen...don't think that. I know that you'll be able to find someone who will make you happy. You just have to look," you say, smiling.
Zen locked his eye onto your gaze, a soft smile appearing on his face. "Yes, I know...see what I mean? Even the softest of words from you can heal me."
"Yes," Jaehee followed up, "I believe so as well. You will find someone that will love and cherish you, no matter what." As she finished her sentence, you feel her hand squeeze yours a few times, causing you to look into her loving gaze, her amber eyes glowing with affection. She then lets go of your hand, and gets up. "If...you excuse me. I'm going to go use the restroom...oh, and Cream," she said, as she got up from the booth.
"Yeah, Cookie," you reply, a slight blush entering your face, your hand placed on where she was sitting, the warmth of the cushion soothing your palm.
Jaehee smiles, and softly pokes your nose with the tip of her finger. "Don't drink my coffee, or else, I'd have to drink yours," she says, then makes her way to the back of the coffee shop, pulling her phone out.
Zen closed his eye, softly grinning. "Yes, finally...I got her alone...let's see how I can mess with her...and break her psyche..." he thought to himself, resting his elbows on the table. "So...'Cream'...how are things going with Jaehee?"
"Well, they're going great," you begin, smiling, "better than great, actually. I'm pretty sure that she was going to tell me her feelings, right before you showed up earlier," you finish, blushing.
Zen sighs, smiling. "Oh...well, that's great...but, I might ask...please, don't reciprocate her feelings."
Your eyes widen, shocked at Zen's words. "W-why would you say that," you respond, hastily, giving a sharp, hurtful look towards him. As soon as you say this, you feel your phone vibrate. You look down, and notice a message from Jaehee, saying, "Please, be careful. Once Zen leaves us alone, we will continue our conversation we had earlier," followed by a heart emoji, causing your heart to jump.
Jaehee quickly turns the cold water on from the bathroom sink, cupping her hands under the flowing water, splashing the cool liquid onto her face lightly. "Good thing I didn't wear make-up...I needed that. Still...Zen, why are you acting that way? You know I love her...you even told me that you support that decision fully. Did something bad happen that you're not telling us? That's the only thing that makes sense...I mean, we haven't talked to him for two months, and now, he's...changed..." she thinks, drying her hands.
She then slides her hand into her pocket, pulling her phone out. She smiles as she is greeted by your smile, your picture being her background. "Seriously...there's no one in the world that makes me feel the way you do..." she says, blushing, as she begins to type a message.
"I do like flirting with her...perhaps...I can send her a message that will show just a small sample of how I feel, without telling her through a text...but, I do want to tell her to be careful around him, since I couldn't really tell her out-loud, with him sitting in front of us," she continues to think, telling you to be careful in her message.
"Now, how to show her a hint of love...ah, yes," Jaehee says, softly, yet excitingly, as her blush brightens up. She presses a button, that allows a heart emoji to show up, "this is an emoji that I never thought I would use...but, I hope this helps her calm down."
Just after sending you the text message, Jaehee feels her phone vibrate in her hand, with a picture of a certain ex-boss on it. She tilts her head, confused, as she answers the call.
"H-hello, this is Jaehee," she says, a bit shaken. On the other side of the line, Jumin sits at his desk, both elbows on the wooden, polished surface, as Elizabeth 3rd sleeps happily on his lap.
"Yes, it's Jumin. How are things going with you two," he says, his charcoal eyes staring into the distance, showing signs of boredom.
Jaehee blushes again, her heart beginning to beat quicker. "W-we're doing great. Fantastic, even...but, it's a good thing you called..." she says, trailing off.
Jumin's gaze fixed onto a vase next to the door to his office. "Oh? And how is that," he asks, sighing.
"It's Zen," she begins, catching Jumin's attention, "...he's here. With us."
"W-what?! When did he show up," Jumin asks hastily, his tone darkening with seriousness.
Jaehee takes in a deep breath, calming herself down. "I went to take Cream to see that coffee shop I sent you that email about, and...he just came out of nowhere. I can vouch...he is definitely different than before. He's been fully supportive of our friendship, but now...he seems to be fixated on her, and is trying to separate us, of some sorts."
Jumin begins to massage his temples with his free hand, his eyes closed. "'Cream?' Oh, yes, your best friend...sorry. It is taking awhile to get used to you two calling each other such...what's the word...'cute?'...yes, cute nicknames. Anyways, what all has he done? Please, tell me in detail. As much as you can."
Jaehee's eyes begin to become misty, as she remembers all of the hand-holding that you two have done while Zen was following you and her to get coffee. "D-do I have to, Jumin? There are some things that...I don't really want to say...it does tend to get embarrassing..."
Jumin hesitates for a few seconds, then chuckles softly, catching Jaehee's attention. "Are you talking about your affection towards each other? You don't need to hold back on that...I have already figured out that you have deep feelings for her."
Jaehee's eyes widen, a shocked expression plastured onto her face. "W-what did you say? You...you figured out my feelings?"
Jumin places a small smile on his lips, as he starts to pet Elizabeth 3rd. "Yes. At first, I thought you wanted a friend, and only that...but, as time went by, especially when you two came in to ask for the loan, I began to notice how much you love her. Some people might call me cold, without emotion, in which they are right...but I do know what love means, and how it looks. I learned that from my father..." he finishes, scratching her head, causing Elizabeth 3rd to purr.
Jaehee rubs her face, tears forming in her eyes. "J-Jumin...you never cease to amaze me...yes, I do love her. I was actually going to tell her how I feel, but Zen interrupted me."
Jumin returns his gaze onto the vase, his serious stature returning. "Hmm...I doubt he meant to do that. He would have had to know that you two would be there, and what you were planning to do...but, what is he doing now?"
Jaehee turns her head, facing the door to the bathroom. "She's sitting with Zen. We're at a coffee shop, but I'm in the bathroom at the moment. I had to find a way to send her a message of being careful."
Jumin quickly slams the palm of his hand onto his desk, scaring the cat, as well as Jaehee. "What?! You left her alone with him?! Please...tell me it's at least crowded in there."
Jaehee nods, closing her eyes. "Yes, it is. She even chose a booth that is furthest from the entrance...she's really smart, now I think about it..."
Jumin calms down, taking in a deep breath. "Well, there was more than one reason why you wanted her to work for you, and not me...anyways, try to keep Zen with you two as much as possible. If you end up going to his place, or you take him to your house, let me know. I want to talk to him myself, and get some more answers..."
Jaehee takes another breath in, as she stares into the mirror. "Yes, of course...but, don't you want to hear my every detail of what he's done?"
Jumin shakes his head, his phone staying steady in his hand. "No. I have heard all I needed. Please, let me know when you get him secluded. I'll have my phone on me...oh, and Jaehee," he says, causing Jaehee to tilt her head.
"What is it, Jumin," she asks, her eyes relaxing.
"...I'm certain that good things will happen when you finally tell her your feelings," he states, ending the call. Jaehee clenches her phone tighter, placing it against her chest, as she looks into the mirror, her eyes glistening from the water building up. She then smiles happily, wiping the tears, then cleans her face with a paper towel, and exits the bathroom, feeling a light skip in her stride.
"Is this how it feels to be excited like a school girl, finding her first crush? I enjoy this feeling...but I know I won't be satisfied until I tell her my feelings...that I love her. Don't worry, Cream. You will soon know what I feel...and no one can stop me. Especially Zen..."
You quickly place your phone back into your pocket, your blush appearing on your face, catching Zen's attention. "Really, you two? I can tell that she sent you that message...I really think you should tone it down."
You look him dead in the eye, an annoyed expression spreading across your face. "Look, Zen...I love her, and I'm sure she loves me back. There's no way I'm going to simply 'tone it down.' If it were you, instead of her, you would adore it."
Zen gazes into your eyes, smiling. "Yes...yes, I would..." he says, softly, then quickly realizes what he had said, shaking his face. "I-I didn't mean it to come out that way...I understand that you love her. If anyone does, it's me...I just don't think that Jaehee is ready. Remember that I told you that she's cautious."
You shake your head in disbelief. "I know that she's cautious. Trust me, I know...but, lately, she's been...disregarding that cautious nature. We've been holding hands in public now. We used to do it in private, like at the house, or in the car...but, we held hands all day today, even while walking down the sidewalk. If she does have feelings for me, and like I said, I believe she does, then I don't think she's really caring about being careful..."
Zen grunts out softly, his eye narrowing, his teeth grinding together, behind his lips. "I-I see...I...I just don't want you two to get hurt..." he says, stubbornly.
You cross your arms, looking as serious as you can. "We won't get hurt, Zen. In fact...in a way, it seems like the only thing that's hurting us...is you..."
"Damn! Damn! She figured me out...hmm...well, if I can't break her...I'm sure I can break Jaehee. I've already done it once...I'm sure I can do it again," Zen thinks to himself, as he places both hands in front of him, palms pointing towards you. "Okay, okay...I'm sorry. I do mean it when I say that I don't want you two to get hurt...but if I'm the one doing the harm, then I will drop the subject..."
You sigh, as you turn your gaze to the beautiful woman next to you. "Really, you two? You didn't even hear my name when it was called out? They said these were sitting on the counter for about three minutes..." Jaehee states, pouting, holding the tray of coffee in front of the two.
You panic, placing the tips of your index fingers together, pitifully. "I-I'm sorry...Zen and I were too busy talking, that we didn't hear the call, I guess..." you say, admiring Jaehee's figure, as she holds the tray.
"Wow...so this is what she will look like when we finally open the bakery cafe...gosh, she's so cute...now, just imagine her with longer hair...well, regardless of her length of hair, she is still beautiful to me...I'm sorry, Zen...but you fail to compare to Jaehee. She's perfect in every way. We may both be women...but she's more beautiful than any male that I've seen. I really wish for her to hurry up and tell me her analysis..."
"...and tell me how much she loves me."
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