After storing the fish in the supplies warehouse, Yohan and Saeri headed towards Ji Hye’s restaurant. The restaurant was located on the first floor of the wellness center that she was operating. Food was available twice a day at specific times and survivors often gathered there. There was also a coffee shop and a bar. However, it was after peak hours right now, so the place was pretty empty.
“Yohan! Saeri!” Ji Hye smiled brightly as soon as she spotted the pair and came out of the kitchen. Even though she was wearing plain clothes, her signature smile accentuated her innocent beauty.
“Oh, it’s Yohan?” Jung Soo also appeared, carrying a table. His face wasn’t remarkable, but he had an athletic build and was able to perform the basic duties of a recon team member. He and Ji Hye recently made their relationship public after dating secretly for a while.
“Oh, what’s going on here? Did you guys move in together?” Saeri gave the couple a sideways glance and the pair blushed under her scrutinizing gaze. Yohan saved them by tapping on Saeri’s shoulders, urging her to hand over the bass that she had brought along.
“You want sashimi or would you rather have it cooked?”
“Okay! Please wait a moment!” Ji Hye nodded aggressively and quickly disappeared into the kitchen. She was still young and full of energy.
“Yohan, I think your hair is getting long. Why not get it trimmed while we’re here?” Saeri asked, reaching out to brush Yohan’s hair.
There was a hair salon and repair shop on the second and third floor of the wellness center. They were established early on to provide people with some comfort, but the people working there were pretty good at cutting hair now. Given Yohan’s preferred hair style, it was good that other people were used as test subjects first. As Saeri’s hand moved a bit lower to caress his face, Yohan gently removed her hand and pulled it away.
‘She’s doing it again.’
Yohan hadn’t completely been rejecting Saeri’s advances. Sometimes he even played along a bit. As a consequence, Saeri had begun pushing boundaries and it was getting dangerous.
“Here you gooooo~!” Ji Hye announced, with a sing-song voice. She brought out the cooked fish and some simple side dishes. It was obvious that she had put some effort into their meal. Just the sight of it was enough to make them salivate.
After their simple, but delicious, meal, Ji Hye made them some coffee, which Yohan graciously accepted.
“So, you two are living together now?”
“Yeah, that’s what happened Yohan.”
“You guys look good together. Still…” Yohan’s voice trailed off. There was something that he was worried about.
The second rule in his zombie survival guide. Atmospheric infection. There was an assumption that, whenever a mutant was around, the probability of atmospheric infection increased. By now, it was all but proven. Ever since they arrived at the island, the chances of a minor injury getting infected was close to nil. However, they would always be exposed to danger. Yohan was worried about pregnancy and labor. In a world without gynecologists or a proper surgery facility, giving birth was a life-threatening event. However, it was a difficult topic for Yohan to broach. It was their own lives and it was their own choice to make.
“Yohan, please speak your mind.”
“It’s nothing. I’m sure you’ll be okay.”
“…Excuse me?” Jung Soo was confused.
“Practice safe sex. Use a condom, okay?” Saeri inserted herself into the conversation.
“…” Everyone, aside from Saeri, felt their face flush instantly. Yohan felt a headache coming and rubbed his head.
“I’ll apologize for Saeri…”
“N—no, it’s fine.”
“What’s wrong? Didn’t you guys learn sex ed in school?”
“This is sexual harassment, not sex ed.”
Saeri pouted. “You guys aren’t kids. What are you getting embarrassed for?”
“Jeez, just drop it. Oh, Ji Hye. I know you’re busy, so I’m sorry for asking you this, but I need you to prepare something.”
“Leave it to me, Yohan! What do you need me to prepare?”
“Military gear and emergency food.”
“Oh.” Ji Hye and Jung Soo had been following Yohan long enough to know what the preparation was for. The couple glanced numbly at each other before a firm expression set on their faces. Jung Soo was a recon team member. Once recon missions started again, he would be going out into dangerous situations. Additionally, the couple would be apart for a while.
“I’m not so awful as to split up newlyweds. Jung Soo won’t be going on the first expedition.”
“N—no, it’s okay Yohan. Don’t worry about us.”
“It’s not because of Ji Hye. I’m only taking people who are good with guns this time around.”
“Besides, we still need people to protect the island, right? I’ll leave that up to you.”
“Okay!” Jung Soo was worried before, but now he answered sharply.
* * *
Later on that evening, Yohan was by the beach, staring at the ocean. He was feeling strangely emotional tonight. No matter how tough he acted, he was still just an ordinary human. Even though he tried to deny it, he was also starting to get used to the peace they were enjoying. It was to the extent that just knowing that they were restarting the expeditions tomorrow was making him emotional.
‘Maybe it’s because the scenery is so beautiful.’
Yohan had chosen an ocean-view lodge as his home, giving him clear vantage of the waves. The house was built into the base of the mountain and came with a dock and private beach.
‘We have to go out. We don’t have a choice.’ Yohan shook off his moment of weakness.
It was risky, but there were good reasons for starting the recon missions again. While the farm produced some food, there were certain supplies that they couldn’t get from the island, such as toilet paper, condoms, feminine hygiene products, and soap. Sure, they could survive without them, but they also needed to go out in order to keep the recon team sharp. The one month rest was more than enough of a reward. Any more could result in unnecessary deaths.
Nobody was saying it, but he could feel that everyone was reluctant to start the expeditions again. Unlike their time in Bucheon, the island felt really safe. Yohan enjoyed the peace as well, but it had only been a month. Getting hung up on peace was dangerous. They were still living in an apocalypse. It had only been nine months so far and they shouldn’t forget it.
“What are you thinking about Yohan?” Saeri came over from her home, which was the lodge next to his. She was carrying a can of beer and it was clear from her flushed cheeks that it wasn’t her first. She poured some of it into a glass and handed it to Yohan. “Cheers. What are you thinking about so deeply?”
“Running mental simulations of tomorrow’s expedition.”
“You really are amazing.” Saeri was not being sarcastic, she was sincere. There was a look of innocent admiration in her eyes. She knew that Yohan never took a break and was always working to improve himself. She sat down next to him and sipped her beer as they shared the evening ocean view.
Yohan patted her on the head. Even though she often criticized him for being a workaholic, she was also someone that worked and trained hard in order to help him achieve his goals. She had grown a lot and pulled her own weight. Yohan remembered that his first impression of her wasn’t great, but that only meant the amount of effort she had put in was significant.
Putting the natural chemistry between a boy and a girl aside, Yohan felt a strong attachment to Saeri. There was an unknown energy emanating from her, the kind you would expect from a middle-aged man. She was interesting and had her charms. Hanging out with the group felt different when she wasn’t there.
On top of that, she was dangerously good looking. Yohan avoided her gaze. Saeri looked determined and it was obvious what she was after. He could feel a cold sweat roll down his back and he drank a bit faster. He could feel himself playing right into her hands.
‘She planned this.’
Yohan could sense it. He had to clearly reject or accept her now. Saeri moved closer, her skin was soft and she smelled nice. Just the light skin-to-skin contact was enough to send electricity down his spine. It had been a long time since he had felt sexual tension. His lower body reacted naturally. Yohan nudged her gently away.
“You’re drunk. Go to sleep.”
“Do I look drunk?”
“Why are you doing this all of a sudden?”
“I can ask you the same question. You’re not stupid and I can tell just by looking that you’re not an eunch. Do you like me or not? Tell me clearly and I won’t cling on to you anymore.” Saeri’s frankness put Yohan at a loss for words.
“It’s not that I don’t like you…”
Saeri shifted so that she was now sitting on his lap. She wrapped her delicate white arms around his neck.
“You’re the one that said that it’s important for people to take care of their urges.”
He definitely did say that before.
“I’ve been holding back because we were just struggling to survive back then. I wanted to jump you, but knew that it would only hurt my pride. But now…is it too dangerous to do anything now?” Saeri’s breath tickled his face. It was sweet.
There was no need to answer her question, she wasn’t expecting an answer. Saeri immediately pressed her lips against his. Her soft tongue darted out and wrapped around his. Yohan didn’t push her away.
“I want you, Yohan.”
This event would change their relationship. It was a change that introduced variables. Yohan knew that a relationship would bring with it possessiveness and obsession. It wasn’t something that he wanted.
‘I don’t love her.’
However, he was only human. He had urges and desires like any other man. Saeri had been by his side for many months, watching his back. He had run out of excuses for rejecting her sweet temptation.
“I want to do it with you too…” Yohan wrapped his arms around her waist roughly. A soft moan escaped her lips. They rolled over so that he was on top, their lips and tongues still entwined. When they finally separated to breathe, a thin string of saliva kept them connected.
“Don’t expect my attitude to change after this.”
“You’re not romantic at all.”
“That’s nothing new.” Yohan leaned in to whisper into her ears. Saeri let out another soft moan as his breath brushed her skin. “There is no love. Dating is a luxury. Did you forget?”
Saeri did not acknowledge him. She pressed her body closer to his as her breathing became ragged and hot. Yohan could feel the air heat up around them as he felt the skin of her curvy body touch his. Even though her body was taut and lean from all their training, she still kept her feminine figure. The moment he felt her soft skin, he felt like he was going to melt away in an instant. Her soft lips met his as he removed her clothes.
“Are we doing it here?”
“If you want.”
“It’s…a bit embarrassing. What if someone sees us?”
While Saeri protested, Yohan had already removed her pants and underwear.
“Yohan, slowly. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience.”
Saeri’s coquettish behavior wasn’t enough to hide the fact that she was fairly innocent. It was obvious seeing how she reacted to Jung Hwan. Saeir’s hands wrapped around his neck and pulled him closer. She held on as if she was never letting go. Soon, they were both left breathless.
— Ω —