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    Loves Error

    “… Are you drunk?”

    Ji-an asked hesitantly. While flinching away from the insects gathering under the light and hunching his shoulders, he unconsciously pulled the swaying Jeong Hee-seo into an embrace. Instead of the expected pungent liquor smell, a mild fragrance wafted from him. His pheromones were also slightly slipping out uncontrolled.

    “Seo Ji-an.”

    Yes? Ji-an answered in a whisper. Jeong Hee-seo lowered his upper body and rested his forehead on Ji-an’s shoulder. He wrapped his hanging arms around Ji-an’s waist and held him in his arms.

    “…Hyung-nim? You’re not sleeping, are you?”

    Ji-an strengthened his legs to support Jeong Hee-seo’s weight. His gripping hands unconsciously tightened. Then Jeong Hee-seo’s body released a potent burst of pheromones, almost making Ji-an think it was raining.


    Jeong Hee-seo sighed and called Ji-an.

    “We… Let’s date.”

    Let’s date, Seo Ji-an…

    Jeong Hee-seo’s arms tightened around Ji-an’s waist. Ji-an let out the breath he had been holding in surprise. Though Ji-an’s legs had gone weak, Jeong Hee-seo stood steadily. It was Ji-an who ended up clinging to him. Even his own pheromones began to flow uncontrollably.

    The brown window frame creaked loudly as it opened. The hunched elderly woman slowly approached and looked at the pair clinging to each other. When her eyes met Ji-an’s, she clicked her tongue.

    “Don’t fool around here. Go sleep upstairs.”

    The grandmother handed Ji-an a key while pointing to the staircase leading up.

    “Can you carry that big guy up?”

    Ji-an wanted to see Jeong Hee-seo’s expression, but even when he turned his head, all he could see were Jeong Hee-seo’s lips touching his neck.

    “I’ll give it a try. Don’t worry. Thank you.”

    As Ji-an tried to come up with reassuring words to hide his awkwardness, Jeong Hee-seo suddenly straightened up. Ji-an followed suit, standing upright. With a clear and composed expression, Jeong Hee-seo bowed to the old lady.

    “Thank you, ma’am.”

    “I’ve already set up the room.”

    “Yes, thank you. We’ll see you in the morning.”

    As if the way he had leaned on Ji-an just moments ago was a lie, Jeong Hee-seo snatched the key and took the lead. The old lady glanced at them one more time before disappearing into the restaurant. Ji-an quickly followed Jeong Hee-seo upstairs, not wanting to be left alone in the dark yard.

    Without even having time to think deeply, Ji-an hurriedly climbed the stairs, took off his shoes, and entered the room. Jeong Hee-seo immediately headed to the bathroom without a word. Hearing the sound of running water, Ji-an felt a sense of relief and collapsed into a chair at the dining table.

    Looks like he’s washing up…

    The second floor consisted of a large room with a living room, kitchen, storage, and bathroom. The old lady had apparently been there already, as a mosquito coil was burning on the floor. A large mosquito net, resembling a fishing net, was set up like a tent, with a small bed inside.


    Finally, Ji-an’s mind started working again. For the first time, he felt sweat beading from the top of his head. The cool interior that had felt refreshing just moments ago now seemed stiflingly hot all of a sudden.

    ‘We… Let’s date.’

    At first, Ji-an thought he misheard. But as if reading his mind, Jeong Hee-seo whispered it again in his ear. His palms were hot, and the pheromones were sweet. Even though Jeong Hee-seo was the one who had consumed the alcohol, Ji-an felt as if he was the one getting drunk as he felt warm below the neck.

    The sound of water stopped. As Ji-an wiped his damp palms on his pants, the bathroom door opened and Jeong Hee-seo came out. It looked like he had washed with cold water, as steam was rising from his body. Perhaps it was just an illusion.

    This was the first time Ji-an had seen his wet black hair fall so low that it completely covered his eyebrows. Having only ever seen him after perfectly grooming himself in the powder room whenever they stayed in a hotel together, this disheveled look was startlingly unfamiliar to Ji-an. Though his shining good looks remained despite the old t-shirt…

    Jeong Hee-seo looked at Ji-an sitting there and furrowed his brows. He seemed to carefully pick his words.

    “Uh, um… I’m sorry it turned out this way. About home…”

    “I already called and informed them when you went to the bathroom earlier.”

    Ji-an quickly replied before closing his mouth. This was like a prepared script- Ji-an’s cheeks flushed red.

    Jeong Hee-seo opened his eyes wide and rubbed his neck. It felt like he was slightly avoiding eye contact. I don’t know if it was because my wet hair was covering my entire forehead, or because of the cotton t-shirt and cotton pants my grandmother had given me, but my usual relaxed image was gone and I looked nervous and even shy.


    “Seo Ji-an.”

    They called out simultaneously, then fell silent at the same time.



    Jeong Hee-seo took a long breath through his nose.

    “You speak first.”

    Ji-an stood up with difficulty and opened his mouth.

    “… Me too, no, I’ll go wash up. You, you go to sleep first.”

    Without waiting for an answer, he avoided him and rushed into the bathroom. There were no flying squirrels. He was like a flying squirrel. After closing the door, his legs gave out and he slid down. Ji-an smacked his forehead silently.

    Go to sleep first. Why didn’t he just unfold and show him what he was imagining?

    He couldn’t give any response to the idea of dating. That was Ji-an’s reality.

    What he had left… Ji-an counted on his fingers. Out of the year the Voice had promised, about 9 months remained now. Assuming the Voice kept its word, Ji-an would disappear from this world like smoke in 9 months.

    How could he rashly accept the idea of dating when a breakup was certain…? But he didn’t want to reject it either. Even if he did, that quick-witted Alpha wouldn’t believe him. His pheromones were honest.


    Even people who promise eternity and get married often divorce, and it hadn’t even been 24 hours since he learned how terribly his father had betrayed his mother. Who knew how feelings might change in 9 months – If it was the voice it might mock him, saying it was foolish to worry about how emotions might change in nine months.

    If he said he only had nine months left, the voice would likely scoff, saying he still had nine whole months left.

    “I don’t know either.”

    Ji-an lightly hit his head against the bathroom wall in frustration.

    After finishing a long, long shower – as long as Ji-an’s worries – and changing clothes, he came out to find the room dark with the lights off. The small entrance light was on, so he had no trouble lifting the mosquito net and getting to the bed, but it was still scary all the same.

    Jeong Hee-seo was lying on a thin sheet spread under the bed. He had one arm covering his eyes, so Ji-an hesitated, wondering if he had fallen asleep. Then he moved his lips and spoke in a low voice.

    “Go up and sleep.”


    All his worrying and hesitation seemed pointless now. Ji-an scratched his cheek.

    As he quietly climbed onto the bed, it creaked so loudly, as if cruelly exposing his attempt to ignore Jeong Hee-seo’s feelings, or his desire to run away at this chance…

    Ji-an blushed, feeling as if his heart was transparently visible. He wrapped himself in the blanket and lay down, even stifling his breathing. He just wanted to fall asleep as quickly as possible and forget this atmosphere.

    The room was pitch dark.

    With all the lights off in the yard, only the faint moonlight came through the window. The checkered pattern of the mosquito net created a mysterious atmosphere in the dim light. The sound of unknown insects, distant bird calls, and the scent of mosquito coils tickled his nose… any sleepiness he had disappeared.


    Once he became aware of the squirming, Ji-an couldn’t even turn sideways. It felt like someone was watching him from behind.

    “Um, hyung-nim.”

    He cautiously called out while clutching the damp blanket, but there was no answer from Jeong Hee-seo, who seemed to have fallen asleep.

    “Hyung-nim, are you sleeping already?”

    As the silence deepened, he grew more scared. Ji-an rolled over and poked his head out of the single bed. He came face to face with Jeong Hee-seo’s two eyes shining in the darkness.

    “Ah, you scared me! Why didn’t you answer if you weren’t asleep?”

    “…Why are you calling when you are not scared?”

    Tsk. When he put it that way, there was nothing to say. He lay on the edge of the bed, silent as a mouse, when Jeong Hee-seo spoke up.

    “Are you scared?”


    As Ji-an denied it, there was a sound of air escaping, like a snicker. If you know, why ask? How embarrassing. Ji-an pouted. It was a moment when the tension that had been etched on his face slightly eased.

    “You know, I heard this story from grandmother. When grandfather was alive, he had a dream where he saw a hole in his mother’s grave. The crying sound coming from there was so sorrowful that he rushed over before dawn, and by then, so much rain had fallen that all the soil in the village had washed away.”


    “At that time, my grandfather repaired the entire village. Before that, large and small landslides occurred frequently, but now it is very safe. So, you can sleep without worrying.”

    “… I wasn’t worried about that.”

    “The place behind this house is a graveyard, but it’s not as old as you think.”

    Ji-an blinked.

    “Hyung-nim. can’t we sleep with just one light on?”

    “Grandma would rush in. She’s old-fashioned…”


    When Ji-an fell silent, the room became quiet again. As he lay back, staring at the ceiling, his feet grew cold.


    Instead of answering, Jeong Hee-seo took a deep breath.

    “I can’t sleep.”


    As Ji-an spoke honestly, Jeong Hee-seo sighed repeatedly.

    “Did I tell you something unnecessary?”

    “… I think you did it on purpose.”

    Perhaps because Ji-an had hit the nail on the head, Jeong Hee-seo let out a soft laugh.

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