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    Loves Error

    Choi Muhyuk thought it was about time to wake Jhi Yeonwoo and leaned towards him. Almost simultaneously, Yeonwoo, who had been facing the window, shifted and turned towards Muhyuk. He curled up on the seat, tucking his legs under him and wrapping himself in Muhyuk’s coat, then fell back asleep facing him.

    Muhyuk’s eyes wavered as he leaned towards Yeonwoo, now frozen in place. He held his breath, then let out a helpless laugh as he watched Yeonwoo fall back into a deep sleep.

    “You sleep well, tempting me to have bad thoughts.”

    Even though he had promised not to touch someone while they were sleeping, Yeonwoo’s defenseless slumber was testing his resolve. It felt almost like a test of his patience.

    “Yeonwoo, how long do you plan to sleep?”

    Unable to resist, Muhyuk poked Yeonwoo’s cheek with his finger. The soft, white cheek felt like a rice cake under his touch.

    Yeonwoo squirmed a little after being poked a couple of times, then burrowed deeper into the coat.

    “Mm, just a little longer.”

    “Just a little longer?”

    Muhyuk echoed Yeonwoo’s words, amused by the fact that he was responding in his sleep.

    “It’s already morning, Yeonwoo. You should go inside and sleep properly.”

    “…….”

    “Yeonwoo.”

    “…….”

    Despite Yeonwoo’s earlier stubbornness about not being sleepy, watching his defenseless sleeping face made Muhyuk want to tease him.

    “If you don’t wake up by the count of three, I’ll do as I please.”

    “…….”

    “One….”

    “…….”

    “Two….”

    “…….”

    “Three….”

    “……!”

    At the final count, Yeonwoo’s eyes flew open. As the coat slid down, Muhyuk leaned in, placing his arm on the headrest. Their lips met, and Muhyuk felt Yeonwoo’s body stiffen beneath him.

    Muhyuk opened his eyes slightly to observe Yeonwoo’s face. Yeonwoo’s eyes were tightly shut, his brows furrowed as if in distress. Despite noticing Yeonwoo’s startled reaction, Muhyuk didn’t pull away.

    He kissed Yeonwoo repeatedly, making soft, wet sounds, then greedily sucked on Yeonwoo’s lower lip, tilting his head. Their tongues entwined in a hot embrace, and Yeonwoo squeezed his eyes shut, as if the kiss was draining all the air from his lungs. Muhyuk’s hand slid from the headrest to Yeonwoo’s shoulder, and as soon as his hand touched Yeonwoo, Yeonwoo flinched and pushed against Muhyuk’s chest with clenched fists.

    The gentle push wouldn’t have made a difference, but remembering his promise not to push things, Muhyuk pretended to be affected and pulled back. Muhyuk locked eyes with Yeonwoo, who now lay panting, lips glistening from the kiss.

    “When did you wake up?”

    “…….”

    “Don’t tell me you heard everything I said?”

    Considering how quickly Yeonwoo had opened his eyes at the count of three, it seemed likely he had been awake for a while. The thought made Muhyuk suspicious that Yeonwoo had been awake all along.

    “I was curious what would happen if you had bad thoughts.”

    Yeonwoo blushed in embarrassment but didn’t hide his thoughts.

    “Wait, you were awake since then?”

    The timing was unexpected. Did that mean Yeonwoo’s sleep-talking responses were deliberate? He was more cunning than he appeared. Muhyuk laughed softly as he looked at Yeonwoo, who quickly added as if to explain himself.

    “I was awake, but I was half-asleep. I don’t really remember what you said because I was so sleepy,” Yeonwoo explained.

    “But you responded to everything I said.”

    “I was half-asleep! I thought it would be weird to open my eyes right away, and I was curious what would happen if you had bad thoughts…”

    Watching Yeonwoo’s face turn red as he stammered through his explanation was amusing to Muhyuk. He nodded vaguely.

    “Alright. I believe you.”

    “It’s not about believing, it’s the truth!”

    “Got it, I understand,” Muhyuk replied nonchalantly, causing Yeonwoo to frown in dissatisfaction. Muhyuk leaned closer to Yeonwoo.

    “So, what did you think of me having bad thoughts?”

    “What?”

    As Muhyuk’s face drew nearer, Yeonwoo leaned back against the seat, his eyes wide.

    “Did you not like it?”

    “Well, that’s…”

    Muhyuk moved even closer, his gaze examining Yeonwoo’s tense face. Yeonwoo’s eyes, which had been darting around, finally settled with a look of determination.

    “I didn’t hate it.”

    Muhyuk found this surprising yet pleasing. Yeonwoo didn’t seem as fragile as he initially appeared. Despite losing his pheromones, he didn’t wallow in self-pity but faced the world head-on. Muhyuk admired this about him, along with his willingness to accept new connections despite his initial defensiveness.

    Muhyuk wanted to know more about Yeonwoo. He was curious if Yeonwoo’s eyes crinkled when he genuinely smiled, if they reddened when he cried, and what sounds he made when excited. As he brushed his thumb over Yeonwoo’s moist lower lip, he found himself chuckling at his own thoughts.

    Yeonwoo looked at him with wide, questioning eyes. Muhyuk shook his head as if to say it was nothing.

    “If you didn’t hate it, can I do more?”

    Muhyuk’s fingers gently traced Yeonwoo’s earlobe. His touch was bold, but his voice was tender, seeking permission.

    “Kissing, I mean.”

    Yeonwoo hesitated, his heart pounding. The atmosphere felt thick and almost intoxicating. It wasn’t something he could easily resist. After a moment’s hesitation, Yeonwoo, his ears turning red, nodded.

    Upon receiving permission, Muhyuk grasped Yeonwoo’s chin and tilted his head, pressing their lips together again. This time, the kiss was deeper and more intense, with Muhyuk parting Yeonwoo’s lips and intertwining their tongues.

    The kiss was far more passionate and intimate than the previous pecks. Yeonwoo, unsure of where to place his hands, eventually wrapped his arms around Muhyuk’s neck. Muhyuk noticed this and squinted his eyes in satisfaction. Yeonwoo had his eyes tightly shut, fully engrossed in the kiss.

    Muhyuk pulled Yeonwoo’s upper body closer with one arm, tilting his head again to deepen the kiss.

    “Mm…”

    A faint moan escaped from Yeonwoo between their joined lips. Muhyuk rubbed Yeonwoo’s soft cheek with his own, savoring the moment.

    Yeonwoo was still hesitant but gradually became more responsive, and Muhyuk found this endearing.

    * * *

    Yeonwoo spent most of his days at Flower Fiancé. Unless he had plans with friends or errands to run, he didn’t take any days off. This routine had been the same for the past two years.

    The shop’s operating hours were from 10 AM to 8 PM. Typically, Yeonwoo would arrive around 9:30 AM to clean the store and water the plants to start his day. However, on the days when flowers were delivered from the greenhouse, he arrived an hour earlier to prepare for the delivery.

    “Is this the last pot, boss?” Yeonwoo asked, pointing to a potted plant placed at the edge of a 1-ton truck. It was a snake plant, well-known for its air-purifying qualities. The greenhouse owner, who was organizing the pots for the next delivery, glanced over his shoulder and nodded.

    “I’ll take this one inside.”

    “Let me help you. I’ll finish up here and give you a hand.”

    “It’s alright. I can handle it myself.”

    “It looks heavy.”

    “Oh, I can manage this easily.”

    Despite the owner’s protest, Yeonwoo stubbornly lifted the pot with both hands and carried it into the store. He placed it temporarily by the entrance and scanned for a suitable spot inside. Seeing several large pots had been sold recently, he found a few places where the new snake plant could fit. He set the large pot down and stretched his back, which had become stiff from the effort. The ache in his hips reminded him that handling large pots alone was a bit much, especially without any sleep.

    As he massaged his aching lower back, memories from just a few hours ago flashed through his mind. 

    Who kisses someone until they feel like their soul is leaving their body and then claims they wouldn’t touch a sleeping person?

    He couldn’t really complain about the situation because, in truth, he had been swept up in the moment and enjoyed it as well. Yeonwoo realized he was a simple person. Just one act of physical affection had broken down the walls he had put up. He still didn’t know much about Choi Muhyuk, but he couldn’t help being drawn to Muhyuk’s kind words and gentle actions.

    “Yeonwoo, where do you get all that strength? You don’t look like you have any muscles at all,” the greenhouse owner remarked as he handed Yeonwoo an invoice. It could have been taken as an insult, but Yeonwoo laughed it off.

    “What do you mean? I’m a guy, too. Can’t you see my muscles?” Yeonwoo flexed his arm, playfully trying to show off his biceps. The owner chuckled heartily.

    Not many people knew Yeonwoo was an omega because he had no pheromones. Muhyuk, being a rare dominant alpha, had recognized it, but most people assumed Yeonwoo was a male beta. This was evident from the fact that 90% of Flower Fiancé’s regular customers were female betas.

    “How old did you say you were, Yeonwoo?” the owner asked, pausing as he opened a drink Yeonwoo had handed him.

    “I turned twenty-six this year.”

    The owner looked at Yeonwoo in surprise.

    “You’re so young! Don’t you think spending your days among flowers is a bit of a waste? And it seems like you don’t even take days off.”

    Realizing the owner’s intention, Yeonwoo smiled awkwardly.

    “There are no days off when you run a business. Gotta earn that money.”

    “That’s true. You need to earn while you’re young. But still…”

    “I don’t want to rely on my parents anymore. It’s too embarrassing to ask for help when you’re grown up. So I have to work hard.”

    “Well, if you ever have time, let me know. I have someone I’d like to introduce you to.”

    “Introduce?”

    “Yeah. Actually…”

    The owner’s words trailed off as his gaze shifted to Yeonwoo’s phone, which was vibrating on the desk. It was a call from Muhyuk.

    “Excuse me, I need to take this,” Yeonwoo said, excusing himself and swiping his thumb across the screen to answer.

    “Hello, Director. Did you get to work safely?”

    [Your voice sounds bright. Did you get to work okay, Yeonwoo?]

    Hearing Muhyuk’s deep voice made Yeonwoo’s face flush as memories of their kiss replayed in his mind. Not wanting the greenhouse owner to notice, Yeonwoo turned away and continued the conversation.

    “I had to come in early because it’s flower delivery day, but I almost overslept.”

    [Did you not sleep well?]

    “You didn’t let me sleep, Director.”

    [All this fuss over just a kiss?]

    “Just a kiss? That was…”

    Yeonwoo stopped himself from saying it had been his first kiss in two years. He glared at his phone, swallowing the words he couldn’t speak. There was a moment of silence, followed by a low chuckle from the other end.

    [If I’d known it would be like this, I wouldn’t have held back.]

    Held back? Yeonwoo’s face flushed as he processed Muhyuk’s words. What am I even imagining? He muttered to himself, lightly slapping his cheeks to snap out of it.

    [I thought you were okay with it since you didn’t push me away. If you didn’t like it, you could have slapped me.]

    “It wasn’t that I disliked it, it just made me feel… unsettled.”

    [Why were you unsettled? Because I kissed you without asking?]

    Yeonwoo pouted.

    “You know why. Why are you asking?”

    [Alright, next time, I’ll ask for permission before any skinship. Is that okay?]

    Yeonwoo froze at the unexpected comment, his heart pounding so loudly it felt like his head was vibrating. It was always like this. Muhyuk’s unexpected words and actions always caught him off guard and left him feeling a flutter of excitement.

    “I’ll hold you to that,” Yeonwoo replied, trying to sound composed, his face still red. He was relieved it wasn’t a video call, so Muhyuk couldn’t see how flustered he was.

    As the call continued, Yeonwoo heard footsteps behind him. Turning, he saw the greenhouse owner watching him. Realizing he wasn’t alone, Yeonwoo lowered his voice.

    “I should go now, Director.”

    [Alright.]

    Muhyuk didn’t press for a reason, sensing Yeonwoo’s urgency.

    “I’ll call you later.”

    Yeonwoo hung up quickly, turning to the greenhouse owner with an apologetic smile.

    “Sorry, that call went a bit long.”

    “It’s my fault. I didn’t realize, and I almost put my foot in my mouth,” the owner laughed good-naturedly.

    So he heard everything. Well, it was a small, quiet space, so of course, he did. Yeonwoo laughed awkwardly, unsure of how to respond.

    “You’re right to think about these things. You’re young, so even if you don’t get married right away, you should be dating. Life is meant to be enjoyed.”

    “You’re right. If I meet the right person, I should give it a chance.”

    The owner’s hearty laugh and pat on the shoulder encouraged Yeonwoo. After the greenhouse owner left, Yeonwoo busied himself with arranging the new plants. It took about an hour to finish conditioning the plants before he could finally sit down and catch his breath.

    However, the brief moment of rest didn’t last long. By the afternoon, a stream of regular customers began arriving at Flower Fiancé. Despite his tiredness, Yeonwoo welcomed each one with a smile, ensuring they received the best service.

    As he bid farewell to the last customer, Yeonwoo noticed the rain pouring down outside the glass windows.

    It’s evening already. It was then that Yeonwoo realized he hadn’t eaten all day. The constant busyness had kept him from feeling hungry.

    He thought back to the previous night and Muhyuk’s striking presence behind the wheel. With the rain pouring down outside the car window, Muhyuk had looked almost like a perfectly sculpted statue. Watching him with the rain as a backdrop, it felt like he could stare forever without getting bored.

    Sitting at the desk, gazing at the rain, Yeonwoo found himself smiling. It was fascinating to see how much he was changing, even though he was just starting this new relationship.

    – Bzzt.

    The phone on the desk vibrated. Absentmindedly, Jhi Yeonwoo picked it up, noticing a message that had just arrived at the top of the screen.

    [Director Choi Muhyuk: Are you free now?]

    Jhi Yeonwoo cupped the phone in both hands and tapped the screen with his thumb.

    – Yes, I’m free now.

    Shortly after, a gentle vibration was felt in his hand.

    [Director Choi Muhyuk: It’s raining heavily. Do you have an umbrella?]

    Looking at the message on the screen, Jhi Yeonwoo turned his head towards the inside of the desk. In the corner, there was a navy blue long umbrella standing. Jhi Yeonwoo stared at the umbrella, unable to remember when it had been there, and then tapped the screen again.

    After writing and erasing several times, Jhi Yeonwoo finally sent a brief message.

    -No.

    He felt a bit anxious. Maybe he should have just been honest and said he had one. As he was thinking this, another message came in.

    [Director Choi Muhyuk: I’ll come to pick you up at closing time.]

    Jhi Yeonwoo’s lips parted in a small gasp as he quickly read the message. He hadn’t really expected Muhyuk to actually offer to come and pick him up.

    A smile spread across Jhi Yeonwoo’s face as he looked at the screen.

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