Judging by her expression, she had no idea. Her eyebrows drew together in confusion, "Ryang..."
There came his name again. His name that finally lacked the usual phrase of "Young Master".
A gentle breeze began to blow and the waves became softer. It felt like something that came out of a storybook.
This was it. This was the moment. There was no turning back.
He stepped into the water, shoes, and all and walked towards her.
She blinked in surprise.
"I didn't think you'd follow me in here."
I'd follow you to the ends of the earth... he heard himself think. But then he said aloud, "I didn't intend to."
"Well, I wish you didn't. You're probably going to blame your wet shoes on me later anyway."
"Shut up. You're right, I probably will," he stopped, knowing that this might turn into an all-out argument. Feeling as if he had no control over his body, he gently placed his hands on the girl's shoulders.
She looked at him, stunned.
"Listen..." he said in a quiet voice which he normally did not use. "Don't play dumb with me, Shorty. I think that you know exactly what's going on here..."
She didn't say anything but her eyes gave away the answer. She knew.
"And I think that you know exactly what I'm going to say next..."
"Fine. Then listen..."
This was it. This day, this hour, this minute, this second...
"Look. I think that I..." he paused. "No wait. Scratch that. I know that I..."
He was surprised how he did not have to force himself to say it. It flowed so easily...
"I love you."
He had finally said it. He loved this girl, no... woman who was once so impossible to capture... impossible to touch.
Please, he prayed. Just this once. Let her be mine... don't let her fly away... Let her be mine...
She did not answer immediately. Was this a bad sign?
She narrowed her eyes and locked his anxious gaze into her own icy one.
He felt his heart drop down to his stomach. He lowered his head, waiting for rejection.
"You better not cheat on me!" he heard her say. "If you do, I promise I'll give you hell! I have connections, you know."
He looked up abruptly and widened his eyes at her. She gave him a sheepish smile.
"What I meant to say was..." she paused. "...I love you too."
Ryang smiled, "Want to come home with me?"
Fanta scrunched up her nose, "You're going to take advantage of me, aren't you? Pervert."
He hesitantly touched her hand before taking full hold of it.
The boy, no... man looked at the woman who was in turn smiling fondly up at him.
"Hey, Fanta. You know what?"
"I kinda feel all grown up now."
She tilted her head to the side, "You know... so do I."