Yuri was pulled into the river with an obnoxious uproar. The accident occurred all so suddenly. She closed her eyes shut.
“Yuri! Yuri Han!”
Struggling to float up pushed her even deeper into the water. She couldn’t breathe. The water was so freezing that it stopped her from making a sound.
That sounded like Hye-yeon’s voice, or maybe Father’s. Or actually maybe…….
The very next moment, she felt a strong force pulling her up. Gradually, she moved towards the sky and out of water. She arduously lay on the ground, and when the fit of cough abated, she finally took a deep breath.
“What were you thinking?! Are you out of your mind?” Tae-jun yelled furiously.
It was only now that Yuri noticed he was soaked as much as she was. Did he just … throw himself into the river to save me?
Tae-jun looked confused and constricted. He didn’t know how a seemingly perfect girl, without a preamble, abruptly jump into the water.
“I just … I just remembered something.” Yuri slowly murmured as her lips trembled. It was so cold that her teeth were clenching.
“You remembered something?” He still couldn’t connect the memory and the jump.
But when he noticed her darting gaze, he followed her line of sight. One by one, people had started gathering around them.
Visibly annoyed by the crowd, without a word, Tae-jun pulled her up. Yuri shook as she tried to stand.
“Are you able to walk?”
When Yuri nodded Tae-jun held her by the wrist. The air was unbearably cold for the two of them, he lifted her trembling body into his arms.
“I know it’s really cold, but hang in there. There’s a pension nearby.” He reassured her.
Tae-jun was also completely soaked from jumping into the water. Was this why his voice seemed to tremble with a deeper tone? Just like he had said, a pension appeared after a few minutes of walk.
“Is this … where …?”
“Correct. This is where the Villa President used to live.”
He had passed away years ago, but the house must have remained. Like Tae-jun said, maybe nobody cared about this house because he had so many already. He entered the passcode, and the heavy steel door opened up without a racket.
The house was empty with a few furniture covered in white fabric. He took off his jacket and immediately walked up to the fireplace. Fortunately, there were some woods left. He lit up the fireplace with a lighter and walked to the master bedroom to bring towels and a blanket.
“Take off your clothes first, or else your temperature might drop.”
She struggled as she tried to take off her wet clothes because her trembling fingers kept slipping from the zipper on the dress. Soon he lent her a hand and helped her unzip the dress, effortlessly taking off her bra and pulling down her tights and underwear. When Yuri rapidly covered up her body with a blanket, Tae-jun shot her a judging glance.
“We’ve seen each other n*ked countless times.”
Showing her n*ked body was always embarrassing. Unlike Yuri, Tae-jun actively got undressed and brought the teapot and a couple of mugs. While she dried off her damp hair with a towel, Tae-jun hung his wet clothes near the fireplace and steamed up the teapot.
“We only have underground water available since nobody really lives here. but I guess it’s better than nothing.” He cussed quietly as he took out his phone, cigarettes, and his wallet from his soaked clothes.
“What?” His eyebrows quirked up when he noticed her staring at him.
“It comes so naturally to you.”
For a man of wealth who had the best servants at his beck and call, he was pretty adept at lighting the fireplace, drying soaked clothes, and boiling water in the pot.
“Done it quite a few times when I go hunting. Sometimes I even bivouac.” He shrugged.
“What’s bivouac?” She was curious.
“To put it simply, it means to sleep outdoors in the mountain. I’ve gone without three days of sleep when I was super unlucky.”
“That sounds extreme.” It was an honest reply.
Tae-jun poured hot water into a mug and passed it to Yuri. She blew on the water to cool it down and took a small sip. Finally, her frozen body seemed to warm up. The sudden feeling of relaxation led to great fatigue.
She felt as though she could fall asleep any second. She tried to take another sip of the water when she noticed the small letters on the handmade mug. Looked like an insignia, or maybe a brand name. Yuri read the letters as she tried to escape from drowsiness.
Tae-jun stiffened. He spat out his words. “It’s the name of the woman that lived here with my father.”
Oh, that’s what happened. Yuri slowly put down her cup.
Tae-jun looked rather dismayed. “I guess this isn’t news to you since you don’t look so surprised? Was this on the internet as well?”
“You told me. Don’t you recall?” She looked directly into his eyes.
“I did?” He looked totally puzzled.
Yuri wasn’t at all surprised at his reaction. After all, that was the only day she had seen the ever-in-control Tae-jun utterly intoxicated.