Eun Soo sighed and smoothed down the front of her dress. This one was a beautiful configuration of delicately wrought black embroidery over jade silk. Matching emerald pins held her curls away from her face, winking mischievously in the waning twilight.
She glanced over at her agitated fiance who was currently wearing a trail in the floor of their room. Even though they weren't allowed to be alone together, no one had dared stop Choi Young from barging into her room with his eyes all halfway to insane. "It's only dinner."
Choi Young halted in front of her, hand clenched around his sword. "Let's run away. Just you and I. Gi Ha will get tired of waiting and leave." He nodded fervently and grasped her hand. "Yes! Let's go."
He tried to pull her to her feet but she remained stubbornly planted. "No. The king decreed this weird dinner-prize thing and I'm going to do it. He's my king now, too." She wrestled her hands free and folded her arms across her chest, a mutinous glare in her eyes. "End of discussion."
"I will petition the king-" Choi Young began, striding for the door.
"No!" She screamed, leaping to her feet and halting him in his tracks. "You need to stop fighting my battles for me. I am an adult and I have chosen to live in this world with you. I need to find my own way here. You need to stop treating me like a child."
Choi Young frowned in confusion. "What are you trying to say?"
She turned her back to him, trembling with anger. "I'm saying that I don't need you right now. Please leave."
Eun Soo stared apathetically at the glorious feast spread out before her. The number of dishes on the table was staggering—the smell was intoxicating. Normally, she would have already eaten herself into a food coma by now. But instead, she just toyed with a boiled quail egg, morosely watching it slide around her small plate.
"Um," Gi Ha cleared his throat awkwardly. "Do you like it here?"
She looked up at him as if just noticing his presence. "What?"
"Do you like it here? You know, more than heaven?"
Placing her chopsticks on the table, she looked her fill of the warrior sitting across from her. Sure, he was handsome. Tall, dark, and full of mischief. But her heart lay with the brooding man no doubt pouting in a corner or pounding the teeth out of some unlucky recruits.
I was too harsh with him, she thought. He's only trying to protect me, like he promised to. Once again, I screwed up!
Gi Ha shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "Are you okay?"
Eun Soo suddenly flashed him a blinding smile. "I'm sorry, Gi Ha, but I need to do something right now. Please excuse me."
She got up and fled the room, holding her skirt up so she didn't trip.
After asking two Wu Dal Chi soldiers, she found Choi Young in the courtyard, slicing at unseen attackers with his sword. His movements were fierce and reckless as he battled the cool night wind.
He whirled around and froze. His chest rose and fell with his heavy breaths as he stared at her in wonder.
She walked up to him, stood on her tiptoes, and kissed him. She pulled away slightly and whispered against his lips, "I will always need you."
His sword clattered to the ground and his strong arms wrapped around her lithe body. He molded her body to his and his grip tightened. "And I will always need you."
Back in the palace, Gi Ha ate like a king.
***Author's note: Sorry this has such a lame ending. I really want to go back even farther in Choi Young and Eun Soo's relationship for my next story—so I just had to finish this one quickly! I will be posting the first chapter of my new story soon. Thanks for reading!