43 His Fleeting Happiness Pt.1

    Gyuri trailed after Namjoon and followed him until they were out in the courtyard and away from prying eyes. It was already late in the afternoon and it will soon be time for supper. As quickly as she could, Gyuri attempted to match Namjoon's stride which was long and fast-paced. Just as she was about to fall in step with him, he abruptly stopped, causing her to bump into him.

    Namjoon peered down at her curiously as she tended to her forehead, which had collided with his sculpted back.

    "Ow..." she groaned. "Geez, you must have a back made of iron or something!"

    Namjoon was startled but then, he chuckled.

    "What's so funny?" Gyuri asked. "Don't tell me you're the type who enjoys seeing others in pain."

    "Quite the contrary" he replied. "I enjoy it more when I see that my patients have recovered." He peered down at Gyuri and pried her hands away so that he could inspect her forehead. As he did so, Gyuri couldn't help observing his well-defined jawline and his broad shoulders. With Namjoon so close to her, his fine and princely features were suddenly in high definition. His neat eyebrows, his mesmerising dark eyes, his full lips...

    Gyuri had to make a conscious effort to tear her eyes away before Namjoon noticed. Hold your horses, Subin!

    Namjoon stepped back. "It is safe to say that you will live," he told her playfully. Seeing her face, Namjoon asked, "Is something wrong? Why is your face red?"

    Alarmed, Gyuri slapped both her cheeks with her hands. Damn it, not now! "Must just be the weather," she laughed awkwardly. "It's kinda warm, don't you think?"

    "Yes, I guess so." But Namjoon didn't appear convinced. "Gyuri... are you alright?"

    "Of-of course."

    "Because if you need someone to talk to, you can do so with me."

    At this, Gyuri was startled. Crap! Did he catch me checking him out? "What-what do you mean by that?"

    Namjoon eyed her steadily. "I want to talk about what happened earlier today with Taehyung..." he quietly uttered. "What you did today... I am truly thankful for. You saved my cousin's life."

    Ahh, it's about the brat, she thought. "No need to thank me" Gyuri replied. "In fact, I should be thanking you. You saved me from getting hit back there."

    "That was because you did not deserve such punishment. You were actually doing that to help someone, were you not?"

    Gyuri was taken aback. "How did you-?"

    Again, Namjoon chuckled. His laugh was like tinkering bells that made Gyuri's heart flutter. But it wasn't just his smile that tugged at her heartstrings. Gyuri couldn't help staring at Namjoon's smile which revealed his unmistakably charming dimples. He was like an innocent cherub in adult form.

    "I could tell from the way you were looking at her that you were concerned for her welfare" Namjoon explained. "And," he added while giving a lopsided smile, "you do not seem like the type to steal three baskets full of food."

    "Well, it's nice to know that you have a lot of faith in me, Master Namjoon."

    Namjoon's smile slipped slightly. "That is because I have decided to trust you, Gyuri."

    This made Gyuri look up.

    "You..." Namjoon started, "actually know more than you let on, do you not?"

    "Wha-what do you mean?"

    "'CPR'" Namjoon said, enunciating each letter carefully, "that is what you called the revival technique you performed on Taehyung, correct?" He eyed her steadily, his gaze seemingly colder than before. "How did a maid like yourself learn of such a technique?"

    Gyuri's eyes darted upwards as she searched for inspiration. "Erm, I-er... It's kinda hard to explain."

    "Are you literate?" he enquired, attempting to pry further. "Can you read? Write?"

    "Yes," Gyuri immediately replied but then regretted it. Oh, **... I can read and write but only in English! What if he was on about ancient characters?

    "Really?" Namjoon was genuinely surprised. "It is very rare to find a serf that is educated." His eyes seemed to sparkle at the news. "This is excellent!" he suddenly proclaimed, his earlier coldness ebbing away. "I have been searching for someone to help me with my work-" he leaned in abruptly, surprising Gyuri by his proximity, "you can help me with my work at the sanatorium."

    "Huh? Sana-sanatorium?" What the hell is that?

    "Yes," he replied. "I need help with treating the patients there. While it is not a prerequisite to be educated, it is very well advantageous." Namjoon's dimples appeared again as he grinned. "It will be most helpful when it comes to administration work..."

    "Hang on, Master Namjoon" Gyuri interjected. "I-I don't think I'm cut out for such a responsibility" Gyuri rushed to say. "The truth is, I learned CPR from just, er, watching someone else do it" she lied. "And it's been a long time since I, erm, read anything or wrote anything. I think I must have forgotten."

    "Oh..." Namjoon's voice sounded disappointed. Gyuri was afraid that Namjoon wouldn't believe her but then she heard him utter, "It cannot be helped if that is the case." He gestured for them to continue with their stroll. They ambled peacefully across the gravel courtyard, passing by the tree that was close to blooming. Once Namjoon was near his quarters, he turned to address her, "Before you leave, will you do something for me?"

    Gyuri looked up at him attentively. "Of course." Though, she couldn't help being wary.

    "Will you bring mochi tonight? I like the red-bean kind."

    She gaped at him questioningly.

    "You do not recall?" he said while tilting his head slightly. "You will need to bring me snacks every night from now on."
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