58 Do You Promise? Pt.1

    "Stupid Gyuri..." Taehyung muttered under his breath as he kicked a pebble near his foot. He pouted as he sat down near the grass, not caring at all that his expensive garments would be soiled by the dirt. At that point in time, Taehyung didn't care about anything apart from what Gyuri had said to him.

    "Why would I ever want to work for an immature brat like you?"

    Taehyung sulkily ripped blades of grass from the ground beside him and proceeded to tear them into smaller pieces. He knew that engaging in such pointless actions won't solve anything, but he needed a distraction from the hurt he was feeling in his chest. He grunted out of frustration as he threw the torn pieces of grass away in frustration. Why was he so bothered by what Gyuri had said?

    "You are not that good of a maid anyway" Taehyung mumbled huffily. "I was only trying to be nice..."

    But deep down, Taehyung knew that he couldn't lie to himself. The truth was, Taehyung had become somewhat aware of his feelings towards Gyuri. Ever since he had learned about their shared kiss, he couldn't stop thinking about her. At first, he thought he would feel angry at her for lying to him about how babies were made. She had purposefully lied to him to make him look like a fool. Taehyung had planned to confront her about it but, every time they crossed paths, the first thing he always thought about was her lips. Learning about their kiss had the opposite effect on him: it had made him more aware of her. And because of that, he had been avoiding her like the plague.

    "Stop thinking about her, stupid!" he scolded himself as he placed his hands on his cheeks out of embarrassment. "She is not even that pretty or smart or-"

    Suddenly, the woman in white's smile flashed in his mind's eye.

    Taehyung was tongue-tied. He shook his head violently to be rid of her image. Why did I suddenly picture her? The woman in white was still a mystery to him and he almost forgot all about her until that moment. Who was she? And why does my heart ache every time I think of her?

    Just as Taehyung started revisiting his memories of the woman in white, he suddenly heard footsteps approaching from the shadows. He looked up. A scowl formed on his lips when he saw who it was.

    Gyuri emerged from the shade and gaped at Taehyung with a relieved expression. "There you are," she remarked as she strolled towards him. "I've been looking all over for you."

    Taehyung turned his face defiantly so that Gyuri was facing his cheek. A sharp hmph escaped his lips. Seeing that Taehyung was still upset, she took it upon herself to sit next to him on the grass. In response, he inched further away.

    Gyuri sighed. "I'm sorry" she sincerely apologised, "I didn't mean what I said."

    Still, Taehyung refused to look at her.

    "Can't we talk about it?"

    Taehyung reluctantly turned his head and peered at Gyuri, who appeared regretful. "I thought being with me is like a 'living hell'" Taehyung retorted, emphasising her words. "So why are you here trying to talk to me?"

    "Like I said," Gyuri repeated, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it-"

    "Yes, you did" Taehyung abruptly interrupted. "You think I am an 'immature brat'," Gyuri observed how Taehyung's brows were knitted close together as he glared at her. "And because I am an 'immature brat', you do not wish to work for me. Well, guess what? I was only offering you that job out of pity, stupid Gyuri!" He got up to leave but Gyuri obstructed his path. "Get out of my way" he grumbled.

    "Stop being so childish" Gyuri chided. "I already said that I was sorry. Why do you have to make things so difficult?"

    Taehyung's crescent eyes narrowed. "I am not making things difficult. You were the one who started it." He tried to push past her but Gyuri side-stepped so that they were facing each other again.

    "Young Master, please," Gyuri pleaded wearily. "I'm sorry for being a dick. I didn't mean to hurt you."

    Taehyung paused as he locked eyes with her. "A dick?" He didn't quite grasp what Gyuri had said.

    Ah, crap. "I mean, idiot" she corrected.

    Taehyung was quiet.

    "I tend to run my mouth when I'm tired and hungry" Gyuri explained. "And I say things that I don't mean." She searched Taehyung's face for any sign of being forgiven but he remained impassive. "So, what I said before... I didn't mean at all. It was my stomach talking, not me."

    "If that was the case then, you have an unruly stomach" he replied and Gyuri witnessed Taehyung's lips curl into a small smile.

    Relief washed over Gyuri. He smiled, she thought internally, that's a good sign. "It's true" she admitted, eager to get him to talk more. "Sometimes, I think my stomach has a mind of its own."

    Taehyung chuckled softly. "You are such a strange person, Gyuri. Everyone knows that the heart is where all thoughts are stored."

    Gyuri was about to correct him when she changed her mind. It's better I just nod along, she thought. "So... am I forgiven?"

    Taehyung's smile suddenly vanished. Eventually, she heard him mumble, "Yes... I forgive you."

    "Really? That's great-"

    "But I want to know why you rejected my offer" Taehyung suddenly added, cutting her off. "I want to know the truth this time." Taehyung watched Gyuri fumble with her sleeve while her eyes darted upwards in a nervous fashion.

    "You already have a personal maid" she eventually replied. "So, there's no need for me to work for you."

    "But I want you to."

    Gyuri blinked. "Huh?" She searched Taehyung's eyes, still confused. "Why?"

    "Because I li-" Taehyung abruptly stopped midway his sentence and Gyuri watched his face flush pink. He stumbled on his words, "Nothing, forget-forget what I said..."

    Gyuri cocked her head to one side as she continued to peer curiously at him.

    Taehyung covered his mouth in embarrassment as he fidgeted, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Stupid Taehyung, he cursed internally. What were you thinking?!

    "Young Master," Gyuri spoke, catching his attention. "The reason why I can't be your personal maid is because it would put Kalyani out of the job." She scratched her head as she admitted bashfully, "In all honesty, I don't mind being your personal maid at all" and then she mumbled under her breath, "if it means getting out of grunt work..."

    "Really?" Taehyung was surprised.

    Gyuri nodded.

    "So, you turned my offer down because you were concerned about Kalyani?"

    "Well, yeah" Gyuri answered. "I'd feel bad if someone lost their job because of me."

    "I see..." Taehyung's voice trailed off and Gyuri witnessed a shy smile appear. "So, you refused because of Kalyani and not because..."

    Again, Gyuri peered at him curiously. "Not because of what?"

    "Huh?" Taehyung's head darted up. "Oh, erm, nothing." But Gyuri noticed that, suddenly, Taehyung seemed to be in a chipper mood. "But I still want you to work for me."

    "Young Master," Gyuri replied wearily, "I already explained to you that I can't."

    Taehyung's lively expression remained unfazed. "Yes, you can" he insisted. "I can just have two personal maids."

    There's no reasoning with this kid! Gyuri groaned internally. But just as she was about to refuse him for the second time, she suddenly remembered what Namjoon had told her:

    "...What he really needs is a friend in the household."

    Suddenly, Gyuri had a eureka moment. "You know what," she pointed out, "I don't want to be your personal maid."

    Taehyung's jaw dropped. "What?" His voice was squeaky from shock and disappointment. "Why not-?"

    "I want to be something better" she finished. "No, correction. We can be something better."

    This made Taehyung blink. "Something better?" he echoed, unsure as to what Gyuri was hinting at. He pointed to her and then to himself. "We can?"

    "Yep," Gyuri happily declared. She pointed her nose up to the sky proudly as she added, "We can be blood brothers."

    Taehyung gaped at her disbelievingly before letting out a cross between a scoff and a laugh.

    "Why are you laughing?" Gyuri questioned with a frown. "I'm serious about this."

    Taehyung was sceptical. "You want to be blood brothers?"

    "Yep," Gyuri affirmed. "Why not?"

    "But... you are a girl."

    "So? Would you rather we be called blood sisters?"

    Taehyung considered this. "No," he eventually replied. "But why blood brothers?"

    "I don't know" Gyuri replied while scratching her head. "I mean, being friends just seemed too boring and 'blood brothers' sounds cool."

    "No, what I mean is," Taehyung elaborated, "why must we define it as a sibling relationship?"

    "Well, what do you suggest then?"

    Taehyung thought deeply. Under close inspection, he eyed Gyuri and was suddenly reminded of what Chun Chun had said about the red string of fate. "Why not... soulmates?"

    Gyuri was taken aback. "Soulmates?" she repeated. She observed Taehyung's earnest expression and felt slightly uncomfortable with the way he was looking at her. For Gyuri, 'soulmates' was suggestive of something other than the friendship she was offering. "I think- I think being blood brothers would do" she nervously replied.

    Taehyung pulled a face. "But I already have four brothers."

    "Well, now you have a sister too," she said while grinning at him. "From now onwards, you can rely on me as an elder sister and I will treat you like I would my younger brother."

    Taehyung was doubtful. "But what does having you as my sister actually entail?"

    "It means," Gyuri explained, "that you will have someone to support you, protect you and talk with you whenever you need them." She smiled at him kindly as she added, "I can be the shoulder you cry on when you want to cry."

    "I do not cry, though," Taehyung remarked while rubbing his nose. But all the same his eyes brightened up. "So, does this mean I can always come to you when I need to?"

    Gyuri nodded. "Yes, but that doesn't mean you can abuse that power. Being your sister means I deserve respect as your elder."

    "You are not that much older than me, you know" Taehyung pointed out playfully.

    Gyuri stuck out her tongue. "True, but I'm still older."

    Taehyung continued to grin until he asked solemnly, "So, are we blood brothers forever?"

    "Hmm... I guess so."

    Taehyung appeared disappointed. "But I do not want you to be my sister forever" he murmured under his breath.

    Gyuri looked at him questioningly. It was only faint, but she had managed to catch every word. "Huh? Why not?"

    Taehyung met eyes with her and Gyuri saw that they were unwavering. He answered seriously, "One day, I want you to consider me as a man."

    Gyuri was speechless. She gazed into Taehyung's crescent eyes which were passionately boring into hers. Something about them made her face heat up with the intensity. Not knowing how to react, she reached out her arm and ruffled his neat hair as if she was trying to scrub away her embarrassment.

    "Ow! Gyuri, quit it!" he complained while swatting her hands away. "That hurts!"

    Gyuri giggled nervously. "Geez, Young Master, you're such a tease" she eventually told him, her cheeks still feeling hot. "You're ten years too young for that kinda talk."

    An annoyed expression flitted across Taehyung's face as he attempted to fix his hair. Once he was done he replied, "So, you mean you will consider me as a man in ten years' time?"

    Gyuri pondered about this. She couldn't help noticing that his tone sounded hopeful. Ugh, I'm no good at lovey-dovey talk... she groaned internally. She awkwardly smiled before responding, "Perhaps." But her voice sounded strained.

    All the same, Taehyung was pleased. "Do you promise?"

    Seeing Taehyung's puppy-eyed expression made her feel guilty since she didn't mean what she said. After all, she might not even be in Saim in ten years' time. "I promise" she carelessly swore. It's not like things will change between us in the future, even if I stay, right?

    "You better not go back on that promise!" Taehyung said excitedly.

    Gyuri laughed. "I won't. But if you want me to consider you as a man in the future, you should probably work on your upper-body strength. I don't find weak guys attractive."

    Taehyung huffed. "For the last time, I am not weak!"

    "But you're so scrawny" Gyuri mentioned while offhandedly waving her hand. "I even managed to lift you bridal-style."

    Taehyung arched his brow as he abruptly stood up so that he was towering over her. "I can lift you up bridal-style too!" he exclaimed. Without warning, he attempted to lift Gyuri up from the ground, causing her to squeal in surprise.

    "Put me down!" Gyuri shouted while clinging onto Taehyung's shoulders.

    Taehyung smirked as he succeeded in lifting her up by a few centimetres. "See? I am not weak" he remarked, but Gyuri could feel his arms shaking. Suddenly, he dropped her onto the grass as they toppled over. "You are just fat!"

    Gyuri kicked him from the ground. "Hey! That's not how you speak to your elders, Taehyung!"

    Taehyung blinked, surprise evident in his eyes. "You-you just called me by my name."

    Gyuri, realising her mistake, tried to amend it. "But-but I can now, remember? I'm your sister."

    A smile spread across Taehyung's lips. While being his sister wasn't what he hoped for, he was still content that he and Gyuri had at least drawn even closer than before. "Okay, I guess when it is just us two, you can call me by my name." He offered his hand to her to help her up. "But anyway, you will see. One day, I will be able to carry you bridal-style properly."

    Gyuri accepted his help and noticed how Taehyung's hand wrapped around hers so easily. "When that day comes," she said as she got up, "I'll give you a reward."

    "Really? What kind of reward?"

    "It's a secret." Gyuri playfully tapped the side of her nose. "You'll just have to wait and see."

    "Why can you not just tell me now?" Taehyung whined.

    Gyuri grinned as she signalled for them to make their way back to the main grounds. It was almost time for the fireworks display to begin. "Then it won't be a surprise anymore. You'll just have to work hard until then."

    Taehyung scrunched his face.

    "Why do I feel like you're not going to stop pestering me from now onwards?"

    "Because I really want to know!"

    Side by side, Gyuri and Taehyung walked along the path back to the centre, where the sound of people celebrating was loudest. While Taehyung continued to relentlessly pester her, Gyuri gazed down at her hand which he had held only moments ago. Time sure flies by quickly... she internally spoke. Not too long ago, his hand was smaller than mine.

    She peeped at Taehyung who was still badgering her. "Such a troublesome kid," she told him affectionately. "I feel like you're going to be a troublesome little bugger."
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