54 The Flirty Turd Pt.1

    "Sister!" Namjoon bellowed, "There you are!"

    Like an excited puppy, Namjoon approached the glamorously dressed woman who was standing underneath the blossoming magnolia tree.

    It was late into the summer evening and Namjoon had finally returned to the Kim household for the wedding celebrations which were already fully underway. Upbeat music spilled across the courtyard as many guests indulged in the liquor and delectable dishes prepared in honour of the newlywed couple. While the guests mingled over the entertainment and food provided, Namjoon had taken the opportunity to search for his older sister, who he hadn't seen since her wedding a month or so ago.

    The woman peered over her shoulder and gave Namjoon a warm smile. "Joonie!" she exclaimed while extending her arms out to him. "I am so glad to see you."

    Namjoon took her outstretched hands into his and held them gently. "How are you, sister?"

    "As you can see" she replied with a sly smile, "I am quite well."

    Namjoon continued to grin. But then, his smile slipped. "Why are you standing here all alone?" he queried. "Where is brother-in-law?"

    Namjoon felt his sister's hands stiffen against his. "He is..." her voice trailed off as she looked past Namjoon's shoulder.

    Following her gaze, Namjoon spotted the man in question laughing heartily amongst the company of several young maidens. Namjoon scowled.

    "That scoundrel," he muttered. He turned to look at his sister and she noticed that his brows were furrowed, ruining his princely features. "How dare he leave you alone! I should have a word with him-"

    "Joonie, there is no need" she hastily interrupted.

    "But, sister-"

    "Please, Joonie" she begged. "It will only make matters worse between my in-laws and I."

    Reluctantly, Namjoon backed down, the tension in his arms easing away. "It is unfair, sister" he grumbled. "You should not have married that bastard, Lee Jongsuk." His eyes were forlorn as he stared into hers. "You deserve better."

    The woman smiled weakly. "I had no choice. It was Uncle's wish that I married one of the Lees."

    "Yes, but it should not have been him."

    Namjoon watched as his sister gave a light laugh. "On the contrary, I think I am fortunate that it was him. At least it was not Minho."

    The pair exchanged knowing looks in agreement. Out of the Lee brothers, Minho, the eldest of the pair, was considered the worst. While Jongsuk was an incurable flirt, Minho, on the other hand, was a despicable misogynist.

    Namjoon frowned at his sister's prospects.

    Either way, she was fated to marry into a family that he did not approve of but had no say in the matter. After all, the Lees were an important ally; they were an influential family; they were part of the Jade Lotus. And being part of the Jade Lotus meant that the Kims, Parks, and Lees were bound together by a sacred pact-a brotherhood-that needed to be solidified even further by the act of holy matrimony.

    "Are you sure everything is well?" he asked Taeyeon. "The Lees have not been too dreadful to you, have they?"

    Taeyeon shook her head slightly. "They are tolerable, to say the least."

    Namjoon slowly released his grasp on her so that there was ample space between them.


    Namjoon stared at Taeyeon with woeful eyes. It saddened him that his sister had to sacrifice her life and chance at happiness for a mere formality, binding her to a man that neither cares for her nor treats her the way a good husband should. For Lee Jongsuk, his sister, Kim Taeyeon, was no more than a transactional marriage. A marriage that was no better than a trade of livestock between two farmers.

    "If father was alive, he would not have wanted you to marry him" he murmured solemnly. "I feel as though I have failed him by letting Uncle sign your life away to him."

    "Do not blame yourself" Taeyeon kindly replied. "I already knew my duty as the only daughter of Kim."

    Namjoon eyed her doubtfully. He could tell that she was only saying that to comfort him.

    "But what about you?" she suddenly questioned, diverting his glum thoughts momentarily. "Now that Cousin Minseok is married, are you not considering marriage too?"

    Namjoon was taken aback.

    Taeyeon inspected her brother closely before gesturing at the many guests that swarmed the household courtyard. "Look around, dear brother. This place is teeming with eligible maidens. Handpicked by Uncle, no doubt." Her tone was sarcastic as she added, "He must be looking for our cousins' prospective wives."

    "Prospective wives?" Namjoon repeated, puzzled. "If you are referring to Junmyeon, I doubt that he will settle down any time soon." He thought for a moment before mentioning, "And Jongin and Taehyung are still quite young."

    "That has never stopped Uncle before" Taeyeon replied, her voice icy and impertinent. "I would not be surprised if he has already arranged your marriage for you too."

    Namjoon whipped his head around wildly before hissing, "Sister, enough!"

    "Why? It is not as if I am lying."

    "No," Namjoon agreed, "but your tone is offensive." He glanced around warily again. "What if Uncle hears you? It will cause unnecessary problems."

    Taeyeon pouted. "Uncle has never taken kindly to me anyway..." she mumbled.

    Namjoon eyed her pityingly.

    "But that is beside the point" she continued, "while it is still early, you should marry a maiden of your choice."

    "Sister, please do not rush me" Namjoon replied in a low voice. "I... I have no desire to marry yet."

    Taeyeon gaped at him questioningly but said nothing. Eventually, she spoke again, "If you have no maiden in mind, I can introduce you to someone."

    Namjoon suddenly looked up.

    "She is called Lu Ten. She is a frequent visitor of the Lees and is of excellent breeding-"

    "I am not interested" Namjoon interrupted.

    "Then what type of maiden does interest you?" Taeyeon pried. She lowered her eyes as she made slight notions towards the guests who, she noticed, were sneaking glances at the pair. "Must I point out to you that you are as eligible for marriage as Cousin Junmyeon?"

    Namjoon followed her gaze and indeed noticed the sudden weight of the stares directed their way.

    Taeyeon observed, "If it is not the daughters that are eyeing you up, it is the mothers." She subtly pointed to a plump woman who had been eyeing Namjoon up hungrily. "You are like prized game in this party. All the mothers want you for their daughter."

    Namjoon accidentally met eyes with the plump woman and he turned around abruptly. Flustered, he replied, "It is a shame but, I am not interested in marriage for now."

    "Then you must hurry and gain an interest" Taeyeon urged him. "For it is better you marry a maiden of your choice in a hurry than being hurried to marry a maiden chosen for you."
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