A/N: A little something because Jo Ahra and Han Sihoo were my favorite ship from Orange Marmalade (I usually ship supporting characters more than main characters lol) and there aren't nearly enough stories about them…Originally published a while ago under my other username BlueMoon42 on asianfanfics. I've now deleted it from that account to avoid confusion.
The end of Jo Ahra's shift at the store couldn't come soon enough. For the past four hours, she'd watched countless star-struck schoolgirls alternately gawk at and cling onto Han Sihoo like he was some kind of celebrity. She supposed he was – they all were – as far as the city went, given that more and more schools were opening their doors to vampires these days. Sihoo, Mari, Jaemin—they had started that. Maybe later the history books would read: "And they ushered in a new era of peace for human and vampire kind..."
Right now, it simply felt like they were at the front end of a trend that had Ahra personally feeling like the tail end of a joke. She'd barely admitted to herself that she liked Sihoo when he'd gained a veritable city of admirers.
First Jaemin and now Sihoo.
For all her beauty and intelligence, she had the most awful luck with guys.
Of course, it didn't help that in Sihoo's case, she'd openly despised and discriminated against his kind's very existence for the first half of their acquaintance.
Now she spent too many waking hours wondering what it would be like to kiss a vampire.
If he bit her lip, or perhaps her neck, would he suck her blood?
Would he like the taste of it?
The thought sent a chill over her body; it was tantalizing in its forbiddenness. Sihoo already had a taboo quality about him in a rebellious, bad boy kind of way, but the fact that he was a vampire made it horribly worse.
If she were honest with herself, Jaemin was cute, but he had been a safe choice, someone her father would definitely approve of, someone who could escort her to dinner parties and study with her for entrance exams to the best colleges. Someone polished. Someone predictable.
Sihoo constantly surprised her. He'd easily outwitted her, stripping her of her false pride and ignorant notions. He had nothing to his name, but he carried himself with a surety, a confidence that she couldn't help but stare at. He acted so tough all the time, but when he was swept up in the emotions of a song, it showed in the tremble of his jaw and the roll of his shoulders, in the way that all of his body leaned into the music as though it were coming from some place deep inside of him that he only unlocked when he sang or played guitar.
And then there was that one time he'd almost bit her wrist.
When he'd let go of her arm, she'd almost been disappointed.
She'd been shocked to find she wasn't scared at all.
Jaemin had been her fairy tale, but Sihoo was her fantasy.
Clearing her throat, Ahra tapped Sihoo on the shoulder.
"If you're done vamping, you can help me restock all of that." She pointed to a pile of returns and other items that had been found out of place.
"Can't. I get off in...five minutes." Sihoo glanced at his watch.
"Are you sure you ever clocked in?" Ahra muttered as she began sifting through clothing and putting them on hangers.
"Why are you always so mad lately?"
"I'm not mad." She shot him a look.
"Oh, yeah? You're totally making me want to stick around and help you organize all of that."
"This isn't a clubhouse, you know." Ahra gestured to the gaggle of girls exiting the store, sneaking glances at Sihoo as they left. "They can't just...organize fan meetings and autograph signings. This is a store. People have work to do."
"Okay. Says the girl who never needed to work a day in her life." Sihoo raised an eyebrow. "Why do you work here again, exactly?"
Ahra shoved a bundle of clothes at his chest.
"Put those back where they belong, please."
She flounced away to hang a few sets of earrings back on the racks.
To her annoyance, he followed her, setting the clothes down on a nearby bin of clearance accessories.
"Don't tell me the princess is jealous. You know, if you want my autograph, all you have to do is ask."
"I don't want your anything," Ahra muttered and hung the earrings up, one by one, on the appropriate racks.
"Are you sure? There are tons of other stores you could work at. Why this one?"
She felt him coming up behind her, invading her space. The heat from his chest warmed her back and sent chills over her body.
She needed to get away from him before she said something stupid.
Turning around, she huffed, "Would you please move?"
"You sure you want me to? You are my girlfriend after all." He smirked down at her, towering over her in a way that should have been intimidating but that only made her think it must be nice to be in his arms, to be warm and safe there.
Staring straight ahead at his chest, she replied, "Excuse me. I need to finish cleaning up."
"Don't you think, as my girlfriend, you should have coffee with me sometime?"
Ahra gulped, and her eyes fluttered up to meet his.
"What?" Her throat was dry.
"Or not. I'm guessing daddy wouldn't approve of you consorting with a vampire after school hours."
"I...that is I, uh..."
"Forget it," he continued quietly and turned away, moving back to where he had thrown down the clothes.
"Wait." Her fingers latched onto his shirt cuff, just the cuff. When he turned again, her fingers brushed against his hand, and she quickly released him.
"I, um"—she cleared her throat and tried to sound smooth and unflustered, the way she had always been with Jaemin—"I can have coffee with you. I mean, I want to have coffee with you. Today. Or not today. I guess it's too late for coffee today." She trailed off, unsure of where she was headed with this. "Whenever you want," she amended.
He looked amused, like he was sizing her up; it reminded her of how he'd looked at her when he'd pretended to almost suck her blood.
He'd pretended to almost suck her blood.
She realized how crazy that statement sounded, but it didn't at all make her not want to have coffee with him.
Tonight or any other night.
"You can't drink coffee," she stated, creasing her brow in confusion.
"I know. But you like it, right?"
She nodded, the beginnings of a smile on her lips, pleased that he knew that about her, if only because she brought a coffee to work every day.
"And in the absence of blood cafés, I don't think we have much of a choice."
"Hmm, I suppose that's true."
"Maybe I'll just have to try your wrist again." The amusement had reached his eyes now; they gleamed with devilish—vampirish—promises in the fluorescent lighting.
"Would you let me?" he asked, lowering his voice.
Her cheeks burned.