Choi Young, General of the Woodalchi, walked slowly towards the garrison. Business for the king had kept him on his legs for more than two days now and he was dead tired. Gone were the days where he could just sleep for days on end and only wake up certain to meet death as was his duty.
But these days were definitely over … living … all of sudden seemed much more important than dying.
The young general smirked at that and silently entered the garrison. His men were gathered in the big rec room, deeply in discussion.
"Of … of course I saw … that!" Oh Dae-Man stammered.
"Liar! Our general would never allow this," Second in command Bae Choong-Sik replied and gave the younger man a slight tap on the head. "Don't spread rumours like that!"
"I'm not lying, she ... The High Doctor pushed at his heart … Then she got really close ... with her lips … she kissed him!"
"And they held hands, I tell you!" Deok Man threw in but broke off when he saw his general standing in the door way.
"What is all this?" Choi Young demanded but his men were suspiciously closemouthed and looked at their feet. Dol-Bae pushed Oh Dae-Man forward.
"What is it, you punk? What are you talking about?" Choi Young demanded.
"The High Doctor … she kissed you … didn't you know?!" The younger man stammered and Choi Young frowned. So much for some peace and quiet, he thought as he suppressed a sigh.
"When you were ill ... she put her lips … there … on you." Oh Dae-Man put a finger to his lips.
Without a further glance at his men, Choi Young turned around. That woman had some explaining to do.
Choi Young found her in the Gonseongjeon, tending to the well healing wound of the Queen.
After bowing to Her Majesty, the Queen, he excused himself and took Eun-Soo's hand, dragging her out into the garden.
"Hey, wait, you … I was just …" Eun-Soo began and tried to slip out of the iron fist that surrounded her wrist. "What is wrong with you?"
When he was certain they were far away from the Queen's quarters, he released her hand.
"Is it true, you kissed me?"
"What?" Eun-Soo asked with a frown and rubbed her sore wrist. "Are you crazy? I was right when I thought you were a Psycho!"
Towering over her, he put his face close to hers. "Did you kiss me?" he asked again, careful not to touch her and shake the truth out of her.
"Why should I ki- … Ah" Eun-Soo smiled embarrassedly and took a step backward. "Kiss?! As in two pairs of lips …" she touched her palms together. "… meeting."
"Right, unless in Heaven it means something else," Choi Young replied tersely, obviously at the end of his tether. That woman, he thought. That woman would be the death of him.
"Well … in a way …" Eun-Soo started but when she saw the frown on his face, she got riled up. "Hey, listen, I saved your life, so don't get your panties in a twist, you hear?!"
"Panties in a …" He turned and looked at the sky for patience. "High Doctor, what exactly did you do to me?"
"This is standard procedure, I did CPR on you."
"Shi-Peo-Arreo?" Choi Young asked as he turned to face her, the words unfamiliar on his lips.
"CPR – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation …" when she saw the frown on his face, Eun-Soo elaborated. "During surgery, sometimes, the heart stops beating and with this procedure you can get the heart beating again, so it pumps blood throughout the whole body …"
"That doesn't explain why you … why you kissed me," Choi Young demanded and watched Eun-Soo blush.
"That was not a kiss … even though it is called kiss of life," she rubbed her temple. "How can I explain this to you big oaf?" she asked herself, for a moment oblivious to the very angry man standing in front of her.
"If the heart stops beating, it is essential that respiration is still intact. When you breathe you take in oxygen which in turn is needed for your brain. If you stop breathing, your brain will die, too." She shrugged and looked up at him defiantly. "And I don't care that it hurts your male honour, if you are ever in need of CPR again, I will do so."
Choi Young had to suppress a grin. She stood in front of him like a miniature dragon with her reddish hair and those big eyes shooting fire at him, telling him she would kiss him.
"You will?" he asked seriously. "Then you must like kissing me, right?"
"Didn't I just explain to you that this was not a kiss?" she asked in indignant exasperation. Walking up to him, she stabbed her finger into his chest.
"If and when I kiss you, I will certainly take your breath away and not give it to you."
When the meaning of her words sunk in, she blushed and tried to turn away, but Choi Young's hand captured hers and held it against his chest.
"You are already taking my breath away, Eun-Soo," he whispered softly and ducked his head towards her.
For a moment Eun-Soo was uncertain what to do, licking her lips nervously, she could feel her breath mingling with his. She was no stranger to kissing, in fact, she had happily and often engaged in that activity with her ex-boy friend back in Seoul. But was it wise to kiss this man, certainly younger than her and with a penchant to leave a blood trail behind? Closing her eyes, she told herself that it didn't matter. Her whole life had been turned upside down ever since he had dragged her into this mess and she wanted so desperately something normal and ordinary in her life, though she doubted that kissing General Choi Young of the Woodalchi was anything but.
When their lips met it took her breath away, she felt like an electric spark traveled through her body and she stepped closer to him. Hearing Choi Young's surprised gasp when she licked over his lower lip made her grin. Slowly she raised her arms and put her hands on each side of his face, drawing him further down to her. It was a chaste kiss and slightly unsatisfying to her but she was about to change that.
"This is how we kiss in Heaven," she whispered and playfully bit into his lower lip. When he gasped she slid her tongue inside his mouth. Angling her head, she felt one of his arms come around her waist while the other tangled in hair and she was crushed against his chest.
He was a quick learner, no sooner than she had touched her tongue to his, they were engaged in a veritable battle of tongues. Coming up for much needed air to both of them, they stared at each other in silent wonder.
"I like the Heaven's way of kissing," Choi Young said and grinned.
"Me too," Eun-Soo whispered and hid her glowing face on his chest. They both tensed when they heard the stirring of bushes to their right.
Choi Young could hear several suppressed gasps and out of the corner of his eye he saw two well-known faces hiding behind bushes. He would deal with them later.
Letting go of her was difficult but to keep a modicum of integrity intact, his arms slipped down to her hands, where he held her in his.
"I … we shouldn't do this in public ... too many eyes can see us."
"Yes," Eun-Soo replied embarrassedly, and put her hands against her burning cheeks. "I think ... I think I will return to the Queen …" Looking up at him, still tasting him on her lips when she licked them, she could feel her face glowing even more. "I better go ... now." With that she fled the garden to return to the Gonseongjeon.
Choi Young stared after her, a hand rising unconsciously to his lips to linger there. When she was out of sight, his grin turned into a frown.
"Oh Dae-Man! Deok Man! If you so much as breathe a word about what happened here just now, I will present both your livers to the foxes by nightfall, do you hear me?!" And with this he went back to the council chamber to attend the King.