Heirs - Masquerade (2/2)

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This might have been because of the Jeju spell every hotel bragged about to play the romantic atmosphere card. Still, there was a promise in the smile Rachel had given him at the airport before they parted ways, a promise that kept Young Do checking his email inbox and his phone every chance he could the following week. Still no sign of her.

At least her silence was no special treatment because nor had Myung Soo or Bona heard from her either. That's why Young Do nearly tripped off the treadmill when Rachel sent him a text on Sunday morning.

Hyori will be at this movie theater at 2:00 pm.

The address referred to a small venue for indie movies fans. It only took Young Do ten seconds to accept the invitation. He got there 20 minutes early, but she was already there.

"Impatient to see me," he greeted her.

"I didn't think you'd show up."

He let his gaze travel down and up, noting she wore sneakers and jeans to compliment a checked shirt under a denim jacket. This was the most casual outfit he had ever seen her in.

"Park Hyori style," she answered to his unspoken remark. "I already got the tickets."

"I'll pay for the snacks, then."

"Who said I didn't expect you to?" And she linked arms with him to lead him inside.

Falling asleep almost as soon as the movie started would have been embarrassing if Young Do hadn't woken up with his head on Rachel's shoulder. Keeping his eyes closed, he had stirred just enough to give her a chance to push him away. She didn't, she even gently patted his head and shoulder. The brief but sudden embrace had left him wondering if this was just Park Hyori's action.

"Maybe you'll manage to stay awake when we go to the movies together one of these days," she said as they left the theater.

"I had a rough week."

She gave him a knowing smile and he realized she must have had needed a break too. And she wanted to spend it with him. It was too early to go home. "How about I take you somewhere I'm pretty sure you have never been to?"

"How would you know I've never been to..."

"Did you come with your car?"

"I took a cab."

"And no blind date or dinner or any other plan tonight?"

"Well, no blind date, but my mom does expect to see me for dinner."

"We should get going, then."

She rolled her eyes but kept up the 21 questions game until they reached Samcheong-dong. Her silence turned into wariness as they walked up an empty street with traditional houses.

"It's here," he said.

"I thought you lived in Pyeongchang-dong."

"I do and this isn't my place." He rang the bell a few times and opened a high wooden gate. "Come on."

The traditional house U-shape setting offered a large courtyard connecting three buildings. While the left and right buildings were in the dark, all the lights in the one overlooking the entrance were on.

"Do you like it?" Young Do asked since Rachel was still in awe in front of the well-maintained flower beds.

She cleared her throat. "Doesn't look bad, but where are we?" He nodded at the large sign with hanja characters above the main building entrance. "Mojashim?" she read. "Heart of a mother and a son?"

Right on cue, a short old lady opened the door of the main building. "I'm sorry, but we're close on Sundays," she shouted. "Come back tomorrow."

Rachel looked mortified and Young Do placed his arm around her shoulders to stop her from running in the opposite direction.

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