Hi again! I had no intention of writing a sequel but someone requested a second chapter where Yi Jeong finds out about his pot and thought "why not?" so here's the result!
I'm very busy with online classes so I don't know when I'll be able to write again.
Anyways, hope you like it! : )
Sweat was streaming down Yi Jeong's face. Since his hands were dirty with clay, he used his forearm to wipe it off. Woo Bin was sure Yi Jeong's fan girls would have been aroused by the scene. Even innocent Ga Eul's cheeks would have flushed pink with embarrassment. He, however, found it rather gross.
Woo Bin had seen him work before. Many times, actually. He had known Yi Jeong for… how many years? Twenty? So the image of him sitting in front of his potter's wheel, molding a pot with a frown of concentration on his face wasn't unfamiliar, to say the least.
Unlike many other artists, Yi Jeong never crafted pottery when something was bothering him. It was actually the other way around. If he wasn't at a club drowning his sorrows, he would grab a hammer and destroy one of his already finished pieces. His art was just like him. Yi Jeong had a hard time opening up about his problems, especially his family affairs, and he didn't want to express them through his vessels, either. That's precisely why he always looked relaxed at work. Woo Bin had never seen him this serene, though. Yi Jeong was feeling at peace. Actual inner peace. This wasn't just another moment of calm before the storm. There was a ghost of a smile lingering on his features. Woo Bin had no idea what had happened, but he was glad for his friend nonetheless.
The moment he finished Yi Jeong let out a sigh, marveling at his creation.
"Congratulations, bro," Woo Bin said with pride. He had been absolutely terrified when he was told four years ago that Yi Jeong would quit pottery. Thank God he hadn't given up.
"I've still got the touch," he beamed with satisfaction, using a cloth to wipe his hands.
"That's an understatement," Woo Bin chuckled. "You're better than before. Your trip to Sweden has really paid off."
"Thanks," he grinned.
They walked to the kiln in comfortable silence. After the kiln was loaded, they added the wood and lit a fire. Heat started rising through the chamber, something they didn't appreciate very much on a hot sunny day. The fact that they wore full suits even in August didn't exactly help, either.
"What made you change your mind?" Woo Bin asked curiously. Yi Jeong looked at him with raised eyebrows. "You were going to quit pottery, but you ultimately decided against it... Not that I'm complaining," he added quickly. "But you hardly ever go back on your word." Yi Jeong just stared into the glowing embers. Woo Bin read him well. "So it was because of Ga Eul-yang."
"You shouldn't underestimate her power of persuasion," he half-joked.
"Commoners are truly something," he conceded brightly. Then he remembered something. "You know, you should have told me you gave her a spare key. I had to get a new phone number because your girls wouldn't stop calling. They were sure someone had broken into your studio." He didn't mention he had shamefully shared that belief at some point. He would take this one secret to the grave.
His words seemed to alarm Yi Jeong.
"Did they do something to her?"
"Of course not," Woo Bin replied, sounding almost offended. "I'll have you know I'm an excellent bodyguard. But still, I wouldn't have minded a heads-up."
Yi Jeong nodded, relieved.
He hadn't shared this piece of information because he hadn't wanted anyone to disturb Ga Eul while she practiced her craft and truth be told, he had been bashful. Giving her the keys to his studio had felt somewhat like giving her the keys to his home.
"It's Don Juan's job to keep the ladies entertained with Casanova out of the picture."
"Is he still gone?" Woo Bin couldn't refrain from asking him. He had grown to care for Ga Eul. She had practically become his little sister. He would hate to hear she had been hurt by his very own best friend.
Yi Jeong let out a little gasp. He hadn't expected the question. Maybe he should have, though. Woo Bin had been around Ga Eul for four years and he knew from first-hard experience how hard it was to dislike her. He nodded softly as a reply, a lump in his throat. Woo Bin gave him a pat on the back, pleased.
A few minutes passed before Woo Bin broke the silence.
"She broke one of your vases," he said casually. "Accidentally, of course."
"Was she hurt?" He frowned, concern chafing him. Woo Bin shook his head. "Good."
"She was afraid you'd be mad."
"Can you blame her?" Woo Bin said amused, although he had correctly predicted his reaction. "You gave Jun Pyo a black eye when he ruined one of your pots. I think we were fifteen."
"Well," he scoffed at the memory. "I doubt Ga Eul-yang was dumb enough to play soccer in my studio."
"Touché," Woo Bin laughed. His eyes shone with sudden merriment and mischief. "She actually tried to make a replica."
"Hmm," he nodded, cackling. "She tried to make an exact replica so you wouldn't notice."
Yi Jeong blinked as the realization hit him.
"I saw the pot on the shelf," he admitted. "But I assumed she had made it for me. I would never have guessed..." He couldn't finish the sentence, his face contorted in shock and disbelief. "Wow, she's such a naughty girl."
Woo Bin burst into laughter, finding the situation hilarious. Yi Jeong shook his head, he couldn't contain his grin.
As the laughter died down, Woo Bin became serious again.
"What about your family?"
Yi Jeong knew what he meant and he was immensely grateful Woo Bin was worried about him. He was a good friend.
It hadn't been easy to deal with Jun Pyo's mother. She hadn't only made Jan Di and her family's lives a living hell but she had also dared to mess with Ga Eul and Ji Hoo. Jan Di had fled to the fish market and Jun Pyo had had a nervous breakdown, ending up arrested for disorderly conduct. This was a closed chapter none of them wanted to experience again.
"My grandfather already knows," Woo Bin's eyes widened, air leaving his lungs at a far too rapid pace. "He's been snooping."
"And you're so calm... why?"
"He's okay with it," he explained, a blank expression on his face. He couldn't quite believe it, either.
Woo Bin looked at him like he had grown a second head.
"And you trust him?! He married your father off so he would stop seeing his girlfriend."
"According to my grandfather, my father's girlfriend was really only after his money. He didn't say it just to break them apart. She would make my father buy her expensive jewelry and designer clothes. My father was so hooked on her that he couldn't see the pattern," he put his hands in his pockets and kicked a rock, uncomfortable. "He likes Ga Eul-yang, though. He said she's a nice girl."
"And your parents? Isn't your mother throwing a fit?"
"My father doesn't care," he shrugged, appearing completely indifferent. "And my mother's all right. She doesn't know that I know, but she's started an affair with one of the museum tour guides. Their marriage is in complete shambles but at least they've stopped fighting all the time." 'And they've let me alone,' he thought.
"You don't mind that she's with some other man?" He asked, because he knew that despite the fact that she had forced him to end each of his father's extramarital relationships, Yi Jeong loved his mom dearly.
"She deserves way better than the pathetic excuse for a husband she's got," he flicked his tongue in annoyance.
Woo Bin took his time processing things. His lips curved into a genuine smile.
"So is this the part where you get to live happily ever after?" Woo Bin teased and Yi Jeong chuckled, because he could imagine Ga Eul's voice in his head telling him just that.
"Seems like it."
It was far from ideal, but he couldn't complain.
"Well," Woo Bin rubbed his hands, his excitement growing with every second. "Since Casanova has officially retired, do I get to have Lee Ji Hyo's number?"
"I deleted it," he said it like it was obvious.
"Seriously?" He sighed in disappointment. Yi Jeong nodded. "And Park Soo Jung's?" He tried again.
"Ditto," he rolled his eyes when Woo Bin uttered a cry of dismay. "Why would I want to keep them? I told you I was serious about Ga Eul-yang."
Woo Bin flinched as if he had slapped him. The word 'whipped' replayed over and over in his mind. It was one thing to get in a relationship, but to delete all girls' numbers off his phone without giving it a second thought... That was simply outrageous.
Yi Jeong was the happiest he had even been, but Casanovas in love weren't fun at all.
Done! Thank you a lot for your reviews : )
Now yes. I won't continue this story. I think I gave it closure and it would be weird writing another chapter.
Hope it answered your questions : )
See you (hopefully) soon!