Despite living in a time of relative peace; the people of the great Joseon nation were beginning to recognize the growing disparity between the upper and lower classes. Individuals belonging to the lower class understood the hazards of overstepping the invisible boundary, which separated the aristocrats from the commoners.
While there were those who greatly resented the entire social construct; Hwan Ni Khun was a person who readily accepted his station in life. Having been orphaned at the tender age of six; Ni Khun found himself destitute and on the verge of death. His fate would have been all but sealed had it not been for his chance encounter with Lord Jung.
On a particularly cold winter’s night, Lord Jung had spotted Ni Khun lying unconscious in a nearby alleyway and had ordered several of his men to bring him back to the Jung estate. From that day on, Ni Khun had become a member of the Jung household and had been groomed to become Young Master Jung Yong Hwa’s personal attendant.
During their eighteen years of cohabitation, Yong Hwa and Ni Khun had developed greatly differing personalities. Yong Hwa’s bright and carefree disposition was a stark contrast to Ni Khun’s upright and reserved temperament. Their differences notwithstanding, the two young men spent nearly every waking moment together, which naturally helped to cultivate their brotherly relationship.
As per usual, Yong Hwa and Ni Khun had left the estate early to go on their daily morning walk. Having journeyed over nearly three miles away from the estate, Yong Hwa had suggested that they take a break in a nearby pavilion.
Once he was settled on a stone carved seat, Yong Hwa looked over towards Ni Khun and said, “You must be exhausted, come over here and sit beside me.”
“I am not tired” insisted Ni Khun as he remained standing on the opposite side of the table.
With a look of exasperation plastered on his face, Yong Hwa countered sternly, “That was not a suggestion.”
Having no other choice but to comply, Ni Khun took a seat beside Yong Hwa and wondered at the type of mischief that had been planted in his young master’s mind.
Showing his slightly bi-polar tendencies, Yong Hwa’s stern countenance reverted back to its’ cheerful exuberance as he wrapped his arm around Ni Khun’s shoulder.
“So, how many years has it been since you entered the household?” asked Yong Hwa musingly.
After clearing his throat, Ni Khun replied by saying, “About eighteen years ago.”
“Eighteen years!” exclaimed Yong Hwa, before he continued to say, “If you think about it, we really have gone through a great deal together. There was that time when…”
Before he could complete his sentence, Ni Khun interrupted him by saying, “There was that time when you saved me from that bear trap during the hunting expedition, which caused you to be bedridden for nearly three months.”
Seeing that he had silenced his young master, Ni Khun continued to say, “What exactly is it that you need me to do this time?”
A slightly discomforted expression crept onto Yong Hwa’s face as he sheepishly asked, “Why do you always assume I want you to do something when I talk about our childhood memories?”
Without mincing words, Ni Khun replied, “Because of my eighteen years of experience living with you.”
“Alright, I’ll cut to the chase then…” stated Yong Hwa before he stood up from his seat.
Calling out into the distance, Yong Hwa said, “Shin Hye ah, you can come over now.”
Surprised, Ni Khun turned around to see Duke Park’s daughter walking towards the pavilion. While they were still alone, Ni Khun stood up from his seat and asked Yong Hwa, “What exactly is going on here?”
“I’ll let you know as soon as she gets here” replied Yong Hwa without taking his eyes off of Shin Hye.
After she had entered the pavilion, Shin Hye made her way over to Yong Hwa’s side and politely greeted Ni Khun humbly.
Finding the situation entirely inappropriate, Ni Khun kowtowed to the Duchess and said, “Please do not speak to me using such honorifics.”
Helping him up from his position on the ground, Yong Hwa stated earnestly, “There is no time for that right now.”
Sensing the urgency in his young master’s voice, Ni Khun asked, “What is the matter?”
“Something very bad has happened” replied Yong Hwa.
Setting his gaze onto the Duchess’ face, Ni Khun asked warily, “Are you perhaps…”
“Of course not!” exclaimed Shin Hye as her cheeks reddened at the mere thought of Ni Khun’s conjecture.
Hoping to clarify the situation; Yong Hwa motioned for Shin Hye to hand over the cloth decree, which she held in her hands.
With the decree in his possession, Yong Hwa explained, “This scroll contains the royal decree for Jung Yong Hwa to prepare for his upcoming royal union with Princess Song Qian.”
Thinking that he now fully understood the situation, Ni Khun stated sympathetically, “Although, I can be of little assistance to you…”
Interrupting him, Yong Hwa stated in a slightly hushed voice, “You’ve been of greater assistance than you think.”
Staring intently at Yong Hwa, Ni Khun asked wearily, “And exactly what do you mean by that.”
After a slightly awkward moment of silence, Shin Hye nudged Yong Hwa as she said, “Get on with it already.”
Nodding his head to indicate that he would comply with her wishes, Yong Hwa took a deep breath and handed the decree to Ni Khun before he said, “This belong to you, young master Yong Hwa.”
With a slacked jaw, Ni Khun looked at the proffered decree in disbelief.
Leaning over closer to Yong Hwa, Shin Hye whispered softly, “He’s taking this a lot better than I thought he would.”
In an equally hushed tone of voice, Yong Hwa replied, “Just wait for it…”
“What in the world are you talking about!” exclaimed Ni Khun as his eyes filled with ire.
Chapter 11: Looking for Work
Although, other students lamented the passing of yet another weekend; Victoria celebrated the commencement of the school week. With the turbulent weekend behind her; she could now focus all of her attention onto her studies.
Since he was scheduled to meet with his academic adviser, Nichkhun and Victoria arrived at school earlier than usual. Victoria made her way to her first period class once she had parted ways with Nichkhun at the front office. As she waited for class to start, Victoria flipped through her textbook and reviewed several sections, which she had previously highlighted.
While he peered over her shoulder, Taecyeon said, “No wonder you get such high marks on your exams.” Recognizing the familiar voice, Victoria looked up and asked, “What are you talking about?”
Before he endeavored to answer her inquiry, Taecyeon situated himself in his seat and dropped his book bag onto the ground. Pointing at her textbook, Taecyeon finally replied, “I was just saying that you get good grades because you actually read the textbook.”
Taecyeon’s response brought a smile to Victoria’s face as she marveled at his charmingly carefree attitude. Upon seeing her smile, Taecyeon immediately ran his hand through his damp hair and grinned as he asked, “Like what you see?”
Finding his narcissism slightly nauseating, Victoria scoffed before she bluntly inquired, “Does that really work on other girls?” With his focus fixated on Victoria’s face, Taecyeon replied by saying, “I don’t know. As you can see, I’m not too concerned with other girls at the moment.”
Before Victoria had a chance to respond to his unsubtle advances, Taecyeon asked with alarm, “How’d you get that cut on your lips? Did Nichkhun do that to you?” As she shook her head from side to side, Victoria quickly explained, “Of course not! I fell and accidentally bit the side of my lip on the way down.”
Taecyeon was visibly relieved as he said, “Oh I see. I’m glad that Nichkhun’s not the culprit or else my heart would break into a million pieces.” Victoria ignored Taecyeon’s increasingly cheesy avowals and instead changed the subject by asking, “Do you know where I can go to find a job?”
Without providing a response to her question, Taecyeon countered, “Why do you need a job?” Since she did not want to get into the specifics, Victoria replied by saying, “I want to find a job so I can at least earn my own pocket money. Since the Horvejkul family takes care of all of my living expenses, I really don’t want to burden them with having to provide my pocket money as well.”
Seeing her point, Taecyeon removed his cell phone from his book bag and dialed a series of numbers. After a brief moment of silence, he said to the person on the other line, “I want you to hire someone for the open cashier position. I’ll bring the person by after school today, so let my father know.”
Once he had ended the call, Taecyeon turned towards Victoria to say “Done.” Victoria was completely astounded by what had just transpired and asked in disbelief, “Just like that? You found me a job?” Nodding his head, Taecyeon smiled as he replied, “Of course. Being the owner’s only son has its advantages.”
After a short pause, Victoria finally expressed her gratitude to him by saying, “Thanks for helping me like this!” Not one to waste a good opportunity, Taecyeon slyly placed his arm around Victoria’s shoulder as he said, “You don’t have to thank me; but you do have to treat me to a good meal after you get your first paycheck.”
Chapter 10: I.O.U.
Early the next morning, Nichkhun called for Butler Yang and handed him a signed check. The payee information was blank but the amount was written as 20 million won. As he examined the check, Butler Yang asked, “Young sir, what will you do if someone discovers that half of the money in your personal account is missing?” Nichkhun wasn’t in the right mindset to think that far ahead and replied by saying, “I’ll deal with that when someone finds out.”
Butler Yang knew that it would be improper to delve any further into the subject. With that in mind, he then carefully placed the check into his pocketbook and excused himself from Nichkhun’s room. When he arrived at the card room, Butler Yang entered the smoke filled establishment and requested a private meeting with the proprietor.
A surly employee granted Butler Yang’s request by taking him to a make-shift office located at the back of the room. Without taking a seat, Butler Yang said, to the man sitting behind the desk, “Before I can remit payment, I’ll need you to hand over Miss Victoria’s promissory note.” Even though his eyes were squarely focused on the beige envelope in Butler Yang’s hand, the man still managed to retrieve the promissory note from a nearby drawer.
Butler Yang surveyed the note to make sure that it was a genuine article before he handed the money to Victoria’s debtor. After he tore the promissory note in half, Butler Yang placed the voided document into his lapel and made his way towards the exit. While Butler Yang was still within ears range, the man commented mockingly, “It was nice doing business with you. Hope to see you again real soon.”
Without bothering to acknowledge the man’s snide remarks, Butler Yang quickly left the card room. On his way back to the Horvejkul estate, Butler Yang reflected on the gravity of the situation. Fearing that history would soon repeat itself, Butler Yang decided that he could not remain silent and thought pensively to himself, “I’m very sorry young sir, but I’d be doing a disservice to your family if I were to keep this matter a secret.”
Eager to figure out what was going on, Nichkhun hastily turned around to pursue her. As he began to ebb the distance between them, Nichkhun’s eyes jetted wide open upon seeing her suddenly dragged into an alley by a stranger. Without a moment to spare, Nichkhun quickened his pace and followed the pair into the unlit alleyway.
As she was dragged along, Victoria felt a searing pain from her assailant’s tight grip. Despite exerting all of her strength, she was still unable to break free. Hoping to cause a scene, Victoria screamed loudly, “You’re hurting me! Let go!”
Disregarding her entreaties, the man continued to pull her along until they reached the end of alley. With her arm still in his grasp, the man asked, “Where’s the money?” Victoria averted her eyes and paused to catch her breath before she replied, “I don’t have the money, something happened to it.”
Enraged by Victoria’s response; the man released her arm before he mercilessly slapped her across the face. The force expelled from his large course hand sent Victoria sprawling to the ground. Using her hands to cushion the fall, Victoria cried out in pain as she felt the debris on the ground dig deep into her palms.
Looking down at her the man exclaimed, “I’ll teach you to play games with me!” Victoria’s eyes involuntarily slammed shut as she felt herself being pulled up from the ground by her hair. “Let go of her!” demanded Nichkhun as he advanced closer to the scene. Slightly weary of Nichkhun’s sudden appearance, the man reached into his lapel to draw out a concealed blade.
Having noticed the man’s actions, Nichkhun stopped advancing and said hastily, “There’s no need for that!” Recalling his earlier encounter with Victoria, Nichkhun continued to say, “I’ll pay whatever she owes you.” Suddenly, curious as to the young man’s identity, the man asked, “And who exactly are you?”
With his eyes fixed on Victoria’s face, Nichkhun pulled out his pocket book and exclaimed, “I’m someone who has the ability to pay her debt.” Upon seeing the gold emblem on Nichkhun’s bank notes, the man leisurely let go of Victoria’s hair and motioned for Nichkhun to remit the payment.
Without any hesitation, Nichkhun handed the man a stack of bank notes. After he licked his thumb, the man quickly flipped through the ten bank notes, which were each inscribed with a 100,000 won denomination. With a satisfied smirk on his face, the man forcefully shoved Victoria over towards Nichkhun.
Upon seeing Victoria stumble forward, Nichkhun rushed towards her. Having prevented her falling, Nichkhun looked at her worriedly as he asked, “Are you okay?” Victoria nodded her head but was not able to make any response. As Nichkhun placed his arm around Victoria’s shoulders to help guide her away, the man nonchalantly strode past them.
As he walked away, the man said, “Don’t forget about the principal that’s still owed.” Puzzled, Nichkhun called out to him by asking, “What principal?” In response to Nichkhun’s inquiry, the man turned around and replied mockingly, “Silly boy, you shouldn’t take on other people’s debts if you don’t know the whole story. Anyways, ask your girlfriend to fill you on the details.”
Chapter 8: Mistaken
Early the next morning, Nichkhun was awakened by the sound of his blaring alarm clock. Reluctantly, he dragged himself out of bed to begin his day. After completing his morning hygiene routine, Nichkhun went to Victoria’s room to check on her condition.
Thinking that she might still be asleep, Nichkhun decided to forgo knocking and instead entered without permission. Upon seeing Victoria fast asleep in bed, Nichkhun ventured closer to get a better look at her.
When he reached her bedside, Nichkhun was slightly surprised to see how tightly she clung onto the covers despite being drenched in perspiration. Fearing that she had developed a fever, Nichkhun reached out and lightly touched her cheek to gauge her temperature.
Much to his relief, Nichkhun was unable to detect any indication of a fever. After withdrawing his hand away from her cheek, he then proceeded to gingerly rearranged several strands of stray hairs tousled in her bangs.
As he watched her take steady breaths, Nichkhun mused silently, “She seemed perfectly fine yesterday; how did she suddenly become so sick?” Realizing that there was nothing more he could do for her, Nichkhun exited Victoria’s bedroom and began preparing for school.
After a short while, Nichkhun made his way downstairs and saw Butler Yang standing in the main foyer. Calling out to him, Nichkhun said, “Victoria’s sick, so she won’t be going to school today. Please arrange for someone to take care of her. Also, force her to eat even if she says that she’s not hungry. If her condition gets worse, just take her to the hospital.”
Even though he was slightly taken aback by Nichkhun’s apparent concern, Butler Yang still managed to nod his head to acknowledge the specified instructions. Recalling the events of the previous night, Butler Yang then said, “I wonder if Miss Victoria is feeling unwell because of last…”
Interrupting Butler Yang mid-sentence, Nichkhun suddenly said, “When you see grounds keeper Lee, ask him to take a look at the window frame in the sitting room.” Wondering as to the reason for the request, Butler Yang asked, “Is there something wrong with the window frame?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Nichkhun replied by saying, “I don’t know; but Victoria was sitting by it last night. She’s probably sick from catching a draft from that window.” Having communicated all of his instructions, Nichkhun bid farewell to Butler Yang before he made his way out of the main house.
During the course of the entire day, Nichkhun could barely focus on any of his lessons and was relieved when the last period bell rung. Before leaving the school grounds; Nichkhun was able to convince his friends to forgo their previously planned visit by reasoning that Victoria was in need of rest.
Chapter 7: Sins of the Father
After a short while, Butler Yang became increasingly anxious and called out to Victoria by asking, “Miss, are you okay?” Victoria looked back at Butler Yang and timidly nodded her head to indicate that she was fine. Since she didn’t want to burden anyone with her problems, Victoria then said, “I’m okay; we know each other. You can go back inside, I’ll be in shortly.”
Having been excused, Butler Yang re-entered the house so the two could talk in private. When she saw that they were alone, Victoria refocused her attention onto her unwelcomed visitor and asked coldly, “What do you want?” Finding her tone contemptuous, the man grabbed her wrist and replied, “Your father told me that you were here. So naturally, I’ve come to retrieve my possession.”
Feeling his grip tighten around her wrist, Victoria yelped out in pain before she said, “I’ve already worked off my father’s gambling debt!” The man laughed upon hearing her assertion and quickly corrected her by saying, “I’m not talking about the old debt. I’m talking about the new one that he just racked up this month.”
Horrified by the revelation, Victoria asked dejectedly, “How could he do this to me again?” Finding her response rather amusing, the man smiled as he said, “Well you know what they say, sins of the father and such…” Pulling her wrist away from him, Victoria then demanded that he show her proof of this so called new debt.
More than willing to oblige, the man took out a wrinkled piece of paper and handed it to her as he said, “Go ahead and look for yourself. Your good for nothing father owes me 20 million won (17,500.00 USD).”
Tears formed in Victoria’s eyes as she scanned through the promissory note. Upon reaching the end of the note, Victoria could no longer hold back her sobs as she read silently to herself, “In lieu of payment, reparations will be made by our daughter Victoria Song in the form of service for five years.”
Chapter 6: Unexpected Visitor
When the last period’s bell sounded, Nichkhun quickly bid farewell to his friends and ushered Victoria towards the school’s front gates. Not a single word was exchanged between the two after they boarded the awaiting vehicle.
During the ride home, Nichkhun occasionally glanced over at Victoria to see what she was doing. Not noticing Nichkhun’s surreptitious glances, Victoria continued to stare out of her window at the passing landscape. With a clear view of her side profile; Nichkhun had to admit, albeit silently, that her delicate features provided her face with an unmistakable charm.
Upon recalling the overly warm welcome, which she had received at school, Nichkhun muttered under his breath, “No wonder those wolves all wanted to get their paws on you.” Having heard Nichkhun’s hushed voice, Victoria turned to face him as she asked, “Did you say something to me?”
Caught off guard by her question, Nichkhun quickly looked away and countered tersely, “Why would I say anything to you?” Finding his attitude a bit annoying, Victoria replied by saying, “Oh sorry, I thought you were talking to me; turns out that you were only talking to yourself again.”
Puzzled by her response, Nichkhun snapped himself back around to face her as he asked, “And what’s that supposed to mean?” With a clearly insincere smile, Victoria replied coolly, “I meant that even though you’re surrounded by people all day; you have this tendency to talk only to yourself.”
Displeased by her seemingly relaxed demeanor, Nichkhun gruffly demanded that she stop smiling like an idiot. Victoria’s smile instantly disappeared as she exclaimed loudly, “I’d rather be an idiot than a crazy person who talks to themselves all the time.”
Locking eyes with her, Nichkhun asked incredulously, “Who are you to call me crazy?” Not flinching, Victoria countered by saying, “I’m not a psychiatrist but if it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, then…”
Cutting her off mid-sentence, Nichkhun warned, “Finish that sentence and see what happens.” Deciding that it might be best to hold her tongue, Victoria shrugged her shoulders and looked away.
After a few minutes of awkward silence, Nichkhun suddenly pretended as though nothing had happened and asked, “What do you think of the school?” Not sure if she ought to respond, Victoria paused slightly before she finally said, “The school’s very nice and the professors seem to be very distinguished. But, I think that your friends are very troublesome.”
Intrigued by her response, Nichkhun asked her to clarify why she had made such an assessment about his friends. After giving it some thought, Victoria explained by saying, “Well you know your friend, the one who’s not the tallest but also not the shortest, he kept trying to carry my book bag all day. And your other friend, the shortest one; he must have asked me for my phone number nearly fifty times.”
As he listened to her explanation, Nichkhun wondered where he had been when all of this was taking place. Before he could make any response to the proffered information, Victoria continued to say, “Worst of all was Taecyeon. He grabbed my hand a few times today and even asked if I’ve ever dated anyone as handsome as him.”
Shaking his head, Nichkhun said exasperatedly, “That guy is always like that.” Nodding her head to acknowledge Nichkhun’s statement, Victoria added, “He must have some kind narcissistic prince complex. Anyways, just so you know, if he tries to hold my hand again I’m going to punch him.” Nichkhun laughed as he imagined how Taecyeon would react to getting punched by a girl.
Chapter 5: New on Campus
As she walked across the hallway towards her room, Victoria wondered if she had managed to appease Nichkhun’s anger. Upon reflecting on their short exchange, Victoria came to the conclusion that he was not the type of person who was easily appeased.
When she entered her bedroom, Victoria noticed a stack of new books atop her desk. Despite not knowing where they had come from, she looked over each textbook and read aloud, “History, Science, Economics, and Introduction to Music.” Just from observing the thickness of each book, Victoria deduced that her new school would be very challenging.
Curious as to the content of the books, Victoria flipped open the first text on the top of the stack. Much to her surprise, Victoria discovered a small post-it note with a message that was written with nearly implacable penmanship.
After she removed the post-it note from the book, Victoria read aloud, “Here, these books are for you. Look through them when you have time; I have notes for most of the semester, so come and ask me if you need them.”
A smile crept onto Victoria’s face as she continued to read the final line of the message, “P.S. Don’t expect this type of kindness from me often; this is definitely a one-time kind of thing. From: Nichkhun Horvejkul.” As she placed the post-it note back into the book, Victoria mused to herself, “Nichkhun Horvejkul, why do you have such a strange personality? If you’re going to be nice, just be nice; why include such a prickly post-script?”
Chapter 4: Troublesome Girl
Victoria sat alone in her room feeling slightly dejected and wondered if her behavior had been inappropriate given the circumstances. Nichkhun’s statement about her background was not untrue. Furthermore, she could sense that he didn’t hold any ill-will towards her despite his gruff attitude.
But for some reason his words seemed to cut too deep, wounding her already fragile sense of pride. As to not inconvenience him any further she decided that she would do her best to endure his worst. After all, she was now dependent upon his family, who had shown her nothing but kindness.
Victoria’s hunger pangs increased as dusk turned into night. The sensation was not new to her since she rarely had a fulfilling meal. A short while later, one of the older maids arrived at Victoria’s room to summon her for dinner. Excited at the prospect of finally getting something to eat, Victoria followed closely behind the maid who guided her to the formal dining room.
Upon entering the dining room, Victoria saw that the entire family was already seated at the dinner table. She bowed politely and made her way to the unoccupied seat beside Nichkhun. As she sat by his side, Nichkhun glanced over at Victoria but made no attempt to speak to her.
Nichkhun’s Grandfather asked if resting had helped Victoria reduce her fatigue, and was happy to receive her affirmation that it had. Nichkhun’s Grandmother then urged everyone to eat comfortably. Happy to oblige Victoria smiled and began to eat as comfortably as was possible for her.
Victoria had never had such a delicious meal and continued to eat until she felt as though her stomach would burst. When he had nearly completed his dinner, Nichkhun peered over at Victoria and chuckled to himself. Being as discreet as possible, Nichkhun leaned over and asked her teasingly, “Are you saving some of the rice for a midnight snack?”
Not understanding his taunt, Victoria looked blankly at him. Pointing to her cheek, Nichkhun explained by saying, “You have some rice, right there. If you’re not planning on saving it for later, I suggest that you wipe it off.”
Embarrassed, Victoria quickly wiped her cheek to remove the grains of rice before she looked up shyly at the rest of the family members who were now focused on the amusing exchange. Dinner concluded without any further incident and it seemed that the Horvejkul family was greatly enjoying the addition to their household.
Chapter 3: Her Smile
Nichkhun’s sudden outburst prompted a stern look from his mother who attempted to keep her son’s behavior in check. Realizing the inappropriateness of his declaration, Nichkhun smiled weakly and said apologetically, “Oh sorry about that. I just suddenly remembered that I haven’t studied for my test tomorrow. Go on grandfather; please continue what you were saying.”
Nichkhun’s Grandfather was amused by the sight of his grandson’s back peddling, but was more than happy to help the young boy out of his current predicament. Re-addressing the people in room, he continued to say, “Please give Victoria the love and respect, which you have always given to my family.”
As expected, the staff members readily agreed to treat Victoria as a member of the Horvejkul family. With the formal introduction completed, the elder Mr. Horvejkul dismissed the staff to resume their daily duties. The staff quickly dispersed from the room, leaving only Victoria and Nichkhun’s family members in the sun room.
Victoria sat silent looking around at the faces of the people who now surrounded her. She was nervous and unsure of how to behave in light of the confounding announcement, which had just been made. To break the tension, Nichkhun’s father said teasingly to the elder Mr. Horvejkul, “You really should’ve given our little Victoria a script of your announcement ahead of time.”
Nichkhun’s Grandfather laughed and agreed that it might’ve been less shocking if a script had been provided beforehand. Although, she was still at a complete loss for words, Victoria was thrilled that the family was so willing to accept her into their household. However, the nervous smile, which appeared on her face, quickly vanished when she caught sight of Nichkhun’s displeased expression.
Chapter 2: Her Past
Nichkhun turned his attention away from his self-declared victory to refocus on Victoria as he said, “We look like we’re around the same age; so I think that you’ll be waiting on me. I’m going to lay out some ground rules just so you’ll know what I expect of you.”
Victoria looked at the self-aggrandizing expression on Nichkhun’s face as he continued his speech and wondered to herself, “How am I going to pass the days with such a troublesome young master?”
Noticing that she was staring off into space, Nichkhun asked loudly, “Are you paying attention?!”
Startled by the loud volume of his voice, Victoria quickly looked over towards him and vehemently nodded her head in affirmation.
With a slight smirk on his face, Nichkhun asked, “So what is that I was saying?” Victoria stood silent, not knowing what he had said to her.
Nichkhun shook his head and said, “I knew you weren’t listening,” to which Victoria quickly responded, “I don’t remember your exact words, but I’m sure that you were saying that I’ll need to do everything you say from here on out, right?”
Satisfied with her succinct response, Nichkhun nodded his head in agreement and answered, “That’s exactly right.” With that final sentiment, he happily strutted out of her bedroom leaving Victoria awe struck by their first encounter.
Chapter 1: Our Beginning
As the sun set in the distant horizon, the landscape of the tranquil hillside, slowly disappeared into the dark of night. Nichkhun closed his eyes and felt the brisk wind brush against him as he pictured her tear stained face. Feeling as though she was there, Nichkhun whispered softly, “I miss you, but I know the summer solstice will bring us together again.” He contemplated that had she been there by his side during this difficult time; the hardships, which he currently faced might have been slightly eased.
Nichkhun’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the loud ringing coming from his telephone. He flipped open the phone and answered in a haggard voice, “Hello?” He was greeted on the other line by an older gentleman who pleaded hastily, “Sir, please come home your Grandfather’s condition is deteriorating!”
Without another word, Nichkhun rushed to his car and drove wildly towards the main house. He knew that the doctors had advised his family to be prepared for his Grandfather’s passing, but the prospect of losing another loved one was more than he could bear. Nichkhun rushed into the grand foyer, passing several maids, who stood at attention with distressed looks upon their faces. He rushed up the stairs and ran down the long corridor.
He only stopped momentarily when his arm brushed against a porcelain vase, which sent the beautifully crafted ornament, crashing to the ground. Not concerned with the broken vase; Nichkhun continued down the corridor, flung open the closed double oak doors and rushed towards his Grandfather’s bedside. He tenderly grasped his Grandfather’s hand and looked earnestly at the elderly man’s worn features. Nichkhun could barely hear his Grandfather’s shallow breathing over the beeping sound coming from the heart monitor, which filled the silence in the room.
Nichkhun looked up at the doctors who surrounded his Grandfather’s bed and the fear stricken expression on his face prompted the head physician to say solemnly, “His vitals are very weak so we don’t think that he’ll be able to hold on much longer. We would like to assure you that he’s not in any pain.” Nichkhun’s non-responsiveness signaled to the doctors that they should take their leave.
After a few moments of silence, Nichkhun’s Grandfather slowly opened his eyes and forced a weak smile as he looked at his Grandson’s worried expression. In a low raspy voice Nichkhun’s Grandfather said, “My dear Grandson, don’t be so sad, we all must die sooner or later. My life has been fulfilling and I’m very happy that I will soon join your Grandmother in heaven.”
Nichkhun could not respond and only fought to restrain himself from bursting into tearful sobs. His Grandfather continued, “There is one aspect of my life, which I greatly regret. Khun, please open the top dresser and get me the picture in the frame that is faced down.” Letting go of his Grandfather’s hand, Nichkhun walked to the dresser and took out the only picture frame that was in the drawer. He flipped over the frame and looked at the image of Victoria’s smiling face. He brought the picture over to his Grandfather, who gently used his finger to trace the outline of the young girl’s face.
Looking up from the picture, Nichkhun’s Grandfather said tearfully, “Our family owes her everything.” Nichkhun simply nodded in agreement and sat back down on his Grandfather’s bedside. His Grandfather earnestly asked him, “Do you remember when she first came to our household? I can’t recall that day, but I’m very sure that it’s a day, which you have not forgotten.” Nichkhun responded softly, “Yes, I remember the day as if it were yesterday.”
Written By: Devoted2U
Victoria examined her last batch of rice cakes and thought that they looked presentable.
She wanted to convey her gratitude to the “We Got Married” production team by presenting them with the home-made treats.
Thinking that it had been awhile since she last updated her me2day account; Victoria snapped a picture of herself posing cutely with her colorful culinary creations.
When she finished packing up the treats into separate containers, Victoria returned to her room to upload the rice cake picture onto her computer.
While waiting for the upload to complete, Victoria logged onto the internet and read a few articles on Naver.
Despite her efforts to avoid all articles related to Nichkhun, Victoria soon found herself reading about his “We Got Married” related Twitter message.
Victoria thought that it was very considerate of Nichkhun to thank everyone for their love and support.
She mused silently to herself that it was Nichkhun’s thoughtful nature, which had completely endeared him to her.
Curious to see what else he had posted; Victoria typed “Nichkhun’s twitter” into the internet browser’s search bar.
From the list of search results, Victoria clicked on the link titled “นิชคุณBuck หรเวชกุล…” since it was accompanied by a picture of him.
After reading the first few inspirational messages, which he had posted about seizing the day; Victoria clicked on a tweet titled “The sun was so bright that it made it alright.”
Within seconds, a photo of Nichkhun posing in front of a hazy sunrise appeared on her computer screen.
Upon seeing the restrained sadness in his facial expression, Victoria’s eyes began to well up with tears.
She recalled that he had looked at her with the same expression on their last day of filming together.
Nichkhun’s forced smile coupled with the downward slope of his eyes conveyed a sense of loss and sorrow, which she had also experienced on their final day together as a couple.
Feeling the sensation of tears streaming down her cheeks, Victoria quickly closed the web browser and thought silently to herself, “One day, I think I’ll be alright too, Nichkhun-ssi”
Episode 54: Wedding Photography Mission Part 1
BTS of 2PM’s Lotte Duty Free Photo shoot…
While glancing down at his wristwatch, Nichkhun bemoaned silently to himself, “At this rate, I’m definitely going to be late. Victoria’s gonna be so mad at me.”
Had it been any other day, Nichkhun was sure that Victoria would have readily forgiven his tardiness. However, on this day, they were scheduled for an appointment to select their attire for their upcoming wedding photography session.
Visualizing the image of Victoria’s displeased expression was enough to compel Nichkhun to act quickly. Thus, having a clear objective in mind, Nichkhun made his way over to the waiting area to join his fellow 2PM group members.
When they were within earshot, Nichkhun asked the group, “Hey guys, would it be okay if I did my solo shots first?”
“Why do you need to go first?” asked Junho inquisitively.
With his trademark toothy grin, plastered on his face, Taecyeon replied, “So he can rush home to have skinship with his wife.”
“Ah… I’m so jealous!” exclaimed Wooyoung as he placed his water bottle down on the nearest table.
Not wanting to be left out of the conversation, Junsu asked, “After being married for over a year, aren’t you two tired of each other yet?”
“We wouldn’t be tired of each other even after being married for 50 years” replied Nichkhun unabashedly.
Nichkhun’s proficiency in the art of cheesiness caused his group members to all shake their heads in disbelief.
As he crossed his arms over his chest to ward off the goose bumps, Chansung proclaimed, “I don’t think I can take any more of this mushiness!”
Being as democratic as possible, Taecyeon responded by saying, “For the sake of our over-sized maknea, I vote to let Khun Hyung go first.”
“Agreed!” yelled the others in unison.
Shrugging off the obvious teasing, Nichkhun said nonchalantly, “Great.”
Nichkhun Horvejkul, Victoria Song, Lee Ki-Kwang, HyunA, etc. This is a story about how the strength of respect, friendship and adoration can bring out the hidden beauty in even the roughest of diamonds. Disclaimer: The situations and events contained in this fanfic are purely fictional and intended solely for entertainment purposes. I do not own or claim to own any of the people/characters in this story. P.S. To add to the list of items which I do not own, is the picture, which I have borrowed for this fanfic’s main image. Credit goes to the individual who created the image. Authour: Devoted2U (OUR OWN KHUNTORIALURVE ADMIN :) )
Nichkhun Horvejkul, Victoria Song, Lee Ki-Kwang, HyunA, etc.
This is a story about how the strength of respect, friendship and adoration can bring out the hidden beauty in even the roughest of diamonds.
Disclaimer: The situations and events contained in this fanfic are purely fictional and intended solely for entertainment purposes. I do not own or claim to own any of the people/characters in this story.
P.S. To add to the list of items which I do not own, is the picture, which I have borrowed for this fanfic’s main image. Credit goes to the individual who created the image.
Authour: Devoted2U (OUR OWN KHUNTORIALURVE ADMIN :) )