“Mmhh, this is so good!” I stuffed pieces of meat in my mouth. Michael’s surprise was to take me to a Korean restaurant he came to often, and we were having the best Korean barbecue I had ever had! It was so mouthwatering I couldn’t stop eating. Even the kimchi was so delicious that my plate had been refiled three times already.
“Da*n, it’s like watching live porn with the sounds you’re making.” Michael gave a cheeky smile.
“Why would you even say that?!” I hissed at him. I gave an
awkward smile to the table next to us as they heard him make that comment.
“It’s hot though.” He grinned, completely unaware they had heard him.
“Stop it.” I glared and he chuckled as he continued to eat.
“Have you ever tried Soju Bomb?”
“I’m ashamed to say that’s the only thing I haven’t tried yet.”
“Let’s get one right now.” I stopped cutting the meat as I looked at him confused.
“Did you forget you’re driving?” After that little stunt of mine, I wasn’t allowed to drive his car anymore. Actually, he said he would never get in a car with me if I was the one driving.
He was such a big baby.
“One won’t affect me. Besides we’re not going back right away. I know another place to get dessert, so it’ll be fine, trust me.” I agreed and Michael waved over one of the owners. Her name was Ji-*o, a small, cute older lady who placed the items for the Soju Bomb. This was a family-owned restaurant, and they were crazy about Michael and had practically adopted him.
“Gamsahamnida.” She looked at me a bit startled when I thanked
“You speak Korean?” She asked in Korean.
“Just a little, I’m still learning.” I replied with a smile.
“Ah, what do you mean just a little? You speak Korean well!” Ji-*o turned to look at Michael with a twi*kle in her eyes.
“Michael, such a pretty girlfriend speaks Korean well! I approve.” She winked with a thumbs-up and just walked away before either of us could say anything.
“Guess I’m your girlfriend for the day.” I chuckled, switching back to English.
“Does that mean I can take you home with me too?” Michael wiggled his brows.
“You wish! Shut up and let’s do this.” I reached for the glasses and poured the beer into a pint glass and the soju into a shot glass. I grabbed the two chopsticks and put them on top of the pint glass. and placed the shot on top of them.
“Are you ready?” He asked and I gave an excited nod.
“1…2…3…Soju Bomb!” We yelled together and slammed our hands. down on the table on either side of the glass, making the shot drop
down into the beer, and we quickly downed it in one go.
“Hell yeah!” Michael yelled as he finished his glass.
We went for a walk after we ate, which was well-needed after all the food we had consumed. I was glad I was off my period so I wouldn’t be extra bloated, but still, I had to unbutton my jeans at one point to make more room. It was a bad idea as I was so full it actually hurt. But it was totally worth it.
Michael didn’t disappoint me when he took me to get dessert. We got the most delicious chapssaltteok with chocolate and fresh strawberries inside. I could literally die of happiness right now as I continued to stuff my face.
We laughed and joked, completely losing track of time. I noticed. the sun was setting, and I grabbed my phone to see what time it was. My heart dropped as I saw the 28 missed calls.
“Michael, it’s getting late. We should get going now.” We made it to his car, and I bit down on my lip in nervousness. I made Michael drive a little faster back to the mansion as I had totally forgotten about Antonio, and Damiano was most likely pi*sed now. I didn’t dare to call him back now and thought I would just talk to him when I got back to his place.
We pulled into the driveway, and my heart stopped a little at the sight of Damiano standing by the stairs. He was smoking a cigarette, his eyes following the car. I couldn’t figure out if he was pi*sed or not because his face showed absolutely nothing. Beside
him stood Antonio, and he didn’t bother to mask his annoyance.
I gulped as I didn’t know what was awaiting me.
I felt like I was in trouble…
I got out at the same time my father walked down the stairs. He exchanged some words with Damiano and shook hands with him.
“Althaia, I’ll see you when you come back for the wedding.” My father gave me a side hug when I neared him.
“Okay, take care of yourself.” I smiled. Damiano walked over to his car and opened the door to the passenger seat, waiting for me.
“See ya, Michael. I had fun.” I hugged him and he kissed my temple before he let me go. I walked over to Damiano’s car, and his gaze never left me once. I hated that I couldn’t tell what he was thinking with his expressionless face.
I jumped a little in the seat when he closed the door a little too harshly. I sunk down, not ready to face his wrath.
Damiano was silent as we drove. Antonio took off somewhere in his car, so it was only the two of us. I noticed we took a different turn that wouldn’t lead to the manor.
“That’s not the way back… Where are we going?” I finally broke the silence. He ignored me as he continued to look straightforward. His hands were still clenched around the steering wheel, making his knuckles turn white.
“Look, if it’s about Antonio, then I’m sorry.” He gave a dark chuckle that sent a chill down my spine.
“You’re sorry?” He said darkly.
“Imagine the f*cking phone call I got from Antonio, only for him to say that he lost you.”
“I think you’re overreacting…I was just hanging out with Mic
“I told you to behave.” He growled out.
“I’m not a da*n child! I can do whatever I want.” I snapped. I didn’t lose Antonio on purpose and I would have given him a call if I had his number, but then I got distracted by the surprise Michael had in store for me and I forgot all about it.
Damiano didn’t say anything as he sped up. He was going so fast that everything was blurring, making the other cars *ok at him as he weaved in and out of them. It made me uneasy as he kept speeding up and I feared we would crash by how fast we were going.
“Please, slow down… I can’t…” I squeezed my eyes shut and held onto the door. I started to feel nauseated, and I could feel everything I had eaten wanted to come up.
“Ca*zo!” He let out a string of curse words in Italian and he slowed down. He pulled to the side of the road, and I opened the door to get some fresh air, trying my best not to throw up in front of him. I heard him get out of the car and made his way over to me. He crouched down in front of me, putting his hands on my cheeks to look at him.
“Are you okay?” Damiano’s brows pinched together as he looked around my face. I nodded and took a deep breath, already calming down. He sighed and pulled me into him. I closed my eyes and breathed in his scent. He always smelled so good.
“You’re going to drive me crazy.” He kissed the top of my head.
“Deal with it.” I mumbled into his shirt and smiled.
The Devil’s Fire by Mariam El-Hafi Chapter 28