126 She is Beautiful Pt.2

    With a gentle touch, Mayu patted away the beads of sweat that started to collect on Namjoon's forehead.

    A soft groan escaped his lips. "Ha... nae."

    Mayu pursed her lips. "Even now, you're still thinking of her..." Her eyes softened as she tried to ease the crease on his forehead by dabbing at his brow. "Why does she still occupy your heart, Master Namjoon?" She gaped at his sleeping face, reassured that her straightforwardness would remain unknown. Mayu sighed as she continued to stare at him, a mixture of adoration and wistfulness blooming in her chest. "Why does she occupy your heart... even though I'm right here?" Mayu leaned in as her eyes trailed down his face, following the movement of her cloth-holding hand.

    She had never been this close to Namjoon before.

    Despite working under Namjoon for a while, she had never seen him collapse. Like the strong man he was, he had always been a pillar of strength, a meticulous individual that was careful of his health. But seeing him in deep slumber was like having Namjoon reveal his vulnerability to her for the first time. And as he slept fitfully under her watch, Mayu couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the urge to touch him, embrace him, protect him from the stifling nightmares that seem to disrupt his dreams.

    Dreams... where her aunt  still lived on.

    "Gyu... Gyuri."

    Mayu froze. Had I heard right? With wide eyes, she searched Namjoon's countenance while implicitly urging him to repeat what he had mumbled. Gyuri... Was he dreaming of Gyuri?

    "How is he?"

    Mayu jumped before swerving around immediately. Disguising her shock, she forced a smile when she saw who it was. "Not too good," she replied, her teeth catching her bottom lip. "Master Namjoon's fever is still quite high."

    Finally changed out of her ruined clothes, Gyuri tiptoed over to Mayu's side, so that both were hovering nearby Namjoon's resting body. She whispered, "What did Physician Koh say when he came earlier?"

    "He says it's just a fever," Mayu answered, her eyes fixed on what she was doing. "Fortunately, he hasn't caught the plague. Physician Koh says that he most likely collapsed from exhaustion."

    Gyuri sighed in relief.

    "It was a good thing you were there when it happened," Mayu said softly, "Master Namjoon's condition might've gotten worse hadn't you been there to get help at once."

    A small smile graced Gyuri's lips. "I only wish I did more..."

    Earlier, when she witnessed Namjoon collapse, she had feared the worse had befallen him. Having spent the past few weeks by Namjoon's side, Gyuri had noticed slight changes in his manner. How his pallor had grown increasingly pale; how his utterances slowly decreased in eloquence; how his normally collected demeanour became flustered and irritable. Gyuri had seen the signs but had failed to act up on it. And now, witnessing Namjoon in his weakened state, she was overwhelmed with guilt.

    I could've prevented this...

    "Me too."

    Gyuri looked up and saw Mayu peering at her.

    "Me too," Mayu repeated. "I wish I did more. I'm his personal maid, yet I couldn't even prevent Master Namjoon from overworking himself."

    "He's quite stubborn sometimes," Gyuri said with a small smile. "I doubt he'd even listen if we told him to take it easy and rest."

    "Yes," Mayu agreed, "he's very hardworking. I can't remember the last time he took a day off from the sanatorium."

    "Maybe he's a workaholic," she mused.

    Mayu gaped at her quizzically. "A... work-a-holic?" she enunciated slowly. "What's that?"

    "Er," Gyuri scratched her head as she chuckled at her mistake, "someone who's addicted to working."

    Mayu let out a hum of enlightenment. "Ah, okay." She turned to peer at Namjoon again. "But yes, I guess you can call him that. Master Namjoon is very devoted to medicine and helping others..."

    "Yeah... Sometimes I wonder why he's so kind."

    "He has always been this way," Mayu responded immediately. "For as long as I have known him, Master Namjoon has always put others before himself. He's like a saint. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that such a kind man can exist..."

    Gyuri watched as Mayu let out a long sigh, her eyes undoubtedly brimming with adoration. She had suspected that what Mayu felt towards Namjoon was more than what she claimed, but just wouldn't admit it. And seeing the same wistful look that she herself was so familiar with caused an uneasy feeling to stir in her chest.

    "Yeah," Gyuri agreed, her voice wavering slightly, "me too."
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