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Prince of Food EP 22: Chilly Dog

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Jackson Young


Cloushire


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I will admit that knowing today was the final day of Night Pulse did make me a bit sad. Knowing that I had to now return back to daily life and all. However, I didn't really get to mop too much as Jacob has taken on the persona of a disgruntled 5-year-old.


"Come on Jackson, please?" He whines out again for the fourth (or was it the fifth?) time since we all woke this morning.


"Seriously Jacob? We have a long trip ahead and you already have so much stuff already!" I argue back.


Jacob had been constantly asking before we leave if to run by the shopping booth, specifically the N1U one so he can buy more shit. Normally I wouldn't mind too much but it is a long drive back and I really didn't want to be sitting for possibly hours for him. Hayden was equally unhelpful as he didn't back me up and just watching the whole exchange like the most interesting game of ping pong.


Usually he's the one acting like the mean adult if the group when Jacob and I are back on our bullshit. So it doesn't take a genius to guess he was getting some sick amusement out of this.


"Please ~! I'll be quick, I promise Jack!" He asks eagerly, not giving up on his last-minute shopping.


"Jacob, we already woke up late. I doubt there's anything left at the booth." I say, trying to convince him.


It is true that we did wake up a bit late, given how long we hung out with my uncle last night, it's not even surprising. It was close to noontime now, and while I know the shops are usually cheaper today, I also knew how obsessed fans could be.


Jacob however was more determined than I thought and pulled out his trump card. The classic puppy dog eyes which on a grown man of his size is both awkward as well and also oddly hearing? Nevertheless, it was a dirty trick that Jacob knew well that I wouldn't be able to do anything against. I let out a deep sigh as I looked down at the ground as if contemplating how my life came to this.


"...Fine." I mumbled out


Jacob cheers like a child who just got the gift he's been waiting for. Hayden chuckles to himself still being extremely unhelpful as usual. Fortunately, it was a nice day as this whole weekend has been. So even when Jacob ran off toward the N1U booth, Hayden and I followed behind at a leisurely pace and grabbed something to eat which was a blessing considering we didn't eat much since we got up. It was a simple chilly dog but it hit the spot just as needed. Fortunately meeting back up with Jacob didn't take long.


However, upon getting closer, a few things happened in an unfortunate sequence.


First off, I bumped rather bodily into someone.


Completely on accident mind you, but the face that turned around to me was one I wasn't hoping to see.


That person that I bumped into happened to be someone that I had hoped to be long gone and never to have to interact with again but as fate would have it, here we are.


Jung-Hee dark-colored eyes seem to almost burn a hole in my head at the intensity that he was glaring at me. It didn't take long however for me to realize why he was so upset (outside of him just hating me of course).


There on the cold ground in front of him was a barely eaten fried dough.


Ah, god seems to really want us to never be friends it would seem.


I honestly have never met someone whom I have angered so much in almost every single meeting. It would be amusing if it were happening to someone else.


"Ah, s-sorry! ... Can I buy you another one?" I ask, looking back at him nervously.


He was just glaring back at me like a pissed-off cat who was disrupted mid-nap. Hayden and his other friends were looking between us nervously, more than likely expecting a fight. And I think there would have been one if not for his other friend, Racheal I believe calling out to us.


She was still in line with Jacob but it would seem she has some sort of six senses for Jung-Hee when he was clearly pissed off. She seemed to have some unspoken conversation with him by eyes only before giving him a rather universal motion of her watching him before turning her attention back.


I glance a bit nervously to the side at him and had to stop myself from letting out a small snort. If I had thought before he reminded me of an unamused cat then his expression now was 100% that of a child who was just scolded by their parent. His face was all scrunched up and almost pout of his face.


I almost jumped out of my skin as he suddenly turn to me, and hone my face neutral.


"...No, it's fine.." He mumbled out like the very words physically pained him.


This time I didn't stop the chuckle before it was too late. His answer glare this time was warranted.


"S-sorry... sorry!" I tried to soothe but was surely making it worst.


Fortunately, he didn't seem all the bothered overall. The four of us continued to wait as Racheal and Jacob proceed to haggle the shit out of the vendor. Honestly, I thought Jacob was scary when it came to N1U stuff but Racheal was just as formidable. Hayden and the other girl were chatting between themselves which left me with Jung-Hee in rather awkward silence. I keep glancing over at him, trying to think of a way to start a conversation.


"...Are you going to say something or just keep staring at me?" He said without even looking at me.


I almost full-body flinch at that and give him an easy-going smile. I guess I am going to try to make friends with him after all.


Pray for me.


"Ah, sorry. It's just we haven't had the ...uh best track record. Didn't want to make things worst." I answer honestly.


"...Hm, trust me I don't think anything more you can do to make the worst impression on me." He answers bluntly.


This guy really is an unapologetic asshole? I keep the biting words in my mind that is burning to be spoken.


"...But then again, I'm a natural asshole so honestly it's not all that hard." He answers so casually.


I almost felt my heart skip a beat as I thought I had spoken my early thought out loud but then calmed down after hearing how causally he delivered that. So he does know he's ... prickly at best.


"Hmm, well there is this thing called being nice? It actually proves to make you more friends?" I answer jokingly.


"Sound like a terminal illness. 0/10, won't recommend." He answers without missing a beat.


The laugh I let out was completely unconscious. It was probably the way he delivered it, with such a serious look on his face. And the simple fact that I truly believe that he 100% believes that.


"But you must have been nice at some point in your life. You have at least two friends?"


"Well, Racheal's crazy first off, and Amy is a literal angel so they both don't count." He answers again with no hesitation.


Again, I was caught off guard by his bluntness. Amy who I'm assuming is the other girl, does hear him and gives him a confused look to which he just shrugs like it is just a fact.


"Being nice isn't all the bad. You won't even die from it!"


"Hmm, sound too hard. Being an asshole is easy. Less facial muscles as well."


This guy was certainly something else. I honestly think I've never met someone so brutally honest about their thoughts. Especially once they knew who I am? Never, they either are too busy stumbling ass over to impress me or kiss up.


This is the first time I've been openly disliked or even dismissed by someone.


And I like it?


My brain seemed to stall a bit as I thought more other that than needed as I stared at Jung-Hee with I'm sure a weird look on my face.


Am I a masochist or something?


"Why are you making such a weird face?" He asks slowly.


Still, the same sour look on his face that I'm starting to realize is more a default look on his face.


"Ah, nothing. It just..." I let my words trail as I try to get the ideas straight in my head.


He tilts his head a bit confused which is honestly the same way I feel talking about this. It was just off to trying to describe it to someone else.


"I can honestly say you are the first person who knew me and generally didn't like or even gave a shit about me. It's ... refreshing." I say.


My word hangs in the air a bit awkwardly and now hearing them out loud sounds a bit weird.


"...Hmm, you're welcome..." He mumbled a bit awkwardly.


I look back at him and he actually looks flustered. Probably the first time someone ever thanked him for being rude to them. He truly was an interesting person that much is for sure. But before I turned back I noticed something just at his neck. I was actually surprised I didn't notice it before given that it was rather noticeable once I did. There dotting his neck just below his ear were bright red marks.


"Ah, you got some marks on your neck," I informed him.


I wasn't an idiot, of course, I knew it was a hickey. Maybe it was just due to the rather harmonious moment or even the shock from know he was someone who would even be in a relationship which was why I even brought it up. He does seem shocked as his hand reaches up and feels the mark with a hiss. He lets out a grumble and turns away, almost bashfully. Which honestly didn't fit his character at all. Which is why I felt like teasing him a bit.


Thinking on it now, I really, really wish I didn't.


"Ah, the girl you were with must have been pretty possessive?" I said off handly.


He turns to me slowly, looking at me with an analytic look on his face.


"...Wasn't a girl. Not this time at least." He answered without a hint of shame.


I... don't know what exactly I was expecting from him, shame maybe? Or even a hint of embarrassment?


"O-oh? A boyfriend then?"


He just looks at me again like I'm a child or something.


"...No, just some guy I hooked up with. Must have not noticed, was a bit sore this morning..." He answered again, no shame or filter.


Jesus Christ. My brain unhelpfully supplied an image of him in an attempt to be submissive and it just looked all wrong.


"Oh, uhh I see." I said while pointedly looking away.


"..What? Wasn't expecting something like that?"


I didn't know how to respond without giving away that it was exactly that so I just shook my head.


"Liar..." He said with a smirk.


Well, at least we had a relatively normal conversation. Fortunately, at this point, Racheal and Jacob were returning with their spoils of war. I could see the vendor glaring moodily at them as they approached which means that they successfully bully their way to getting more than they would have normally.


"Why is the vendor looking at us like we just robbed them?" I said pointedly looking at both of them.


They responded with equally impish smiles like little goblins. I just let out a deep sigh and shook my head not really wanting to know.


"Then we are all good to go then? That took a bit longer than I was expecting." I said as I looked at my phone.


What was supposed to take only 20 minutes has taken over an hour but I suppose given the positively giddy look on Jacob's face it was worth it. He at least has the decency to look over at me with an apologetic look. I just give him a shrug and look over at the other group.


"So we are heading off now, see ya!" I said to give them a wave.


Racheal and the other girl were the only ones to return my goodbye which was expected. Jung-Hee at least give me a look I'm assuming means he at least heard me before turning away. Jacob walks over to Racheal with his voice out and a big grin on his face.


"Remember to check the group chat! I'll probably be scheduling a meet-up again."


She smiles back at him and nods.


"Yeah, I definitely will! See you again Jac!"


Then she and her group disappeared into the slowly dispersing crowd. A beat passed before I finally opened my mouth.


"Jac.?" I asked with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face.


Jacob's face was something close to that of a tomato with how flustered he got. He was looking at me like I a just told him his sister didn't love him. Hayden on the other hand was just shaking his head as he knew damn well I wasn't going to let this one go.


"S-Shut up man!" He yelled as he stomps away.


"You let her call you Jac?! Haha, that's cute seriously." I teased as I followed behind him.


I had fun tormenting Jacob all the way back home. He practically jumped out of the car once we arrived at his place. Then it was just Hayden and me which I had hoped would be a nice ride.


"....So I got to ask.." Hayden says, after not speaking for practically the whole trip back outside of a few chuckles.


Clearly, I can't have nice things.


"...What is it?" I ask rather nervous about what he was going to ask.


I mean I could gather he was going to ask about Jasmine but honestly at this point, I had completely forgotten about the whole interaction.


"...About Jasmine-"


"How did I know you were going to ask about that?" I let out a sigh.


He just looks at me from the passenger seat.


"Jackson, seriously... I'm just ... worried about you."


I don't respond, I mean I didn't really know what to say. I understood his concern. I still didn't quite know what I wanted to do with her. And given how she reacted at the festival, I couldn't help the pangs of guilt. Even after I dropped off Hayden, my mind was going a mile a minute. Laying out on my bed just staring blankly at my ceiling, I couldn't help but wonder what I should do.


What did I want? Should I believe Jasmine and her want for friendship? Or should I just cut my losses?


"Argh.. this is driving me crazy..." I mumbled to myself, soothing an oncoming headache


Ah forget it, there is no reason to worry about it now. I'm almost certain that given my terrible luck, it's not the last I've seen of Jasmine.


For better or for worst.

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