Lead Me to Your Heart
His instagram post on March 2nd, 2020 was posted because he was really hoping that Go Eun would answer his feelings already. He had confessed to her in many ways over the past three months. She was more attentive and free in expressing herself, but she still hold herself back. It's a lot better each day, but he was impatient. He wanted the right to call her his, as soon as possible. Yesterday felt already too late for that.
On the other hand, the more she made him wait, the more fun it became. He loved the chase. He enjoyed making the efforts and waiting for her reactions. It had become a game that he was so addicted to, all the "would she, or wouldn't she?"
No one had ever made him waited this long. Not that he had a long list of exes.
Kim Go Eun was the only one who could set her own rules. And instead of getting bored, he felt even more excited each day.
When Lee Min Ho was in love, he didn't let pride got in his way. He attacked his target full on, frontal and shamelessly.
If Go Eun doubted his feelings before the New Year, Min Ho left no chance for even a drop of doubt after the New Year started, since it's his New Year's resolution to get her heart. By hook or by crook, he would get her.
He sent her thoughtful gifts that made her had no other choice but to beam at him.
Like one of her favourite jajangmyeon from Seoul, when she said she craved it. The problem was they were in Busan. So he sent one of MYM staff to buy it from the restaurant in Seoul, and rode the KTX just to deliver it to Go Eun right on her dinner break between filming.
She browsed a set of interactive app for toddlers to learn English one day. It's like Kindle, but specifically for toddlers and parents. Obviously, she was thinking to buy it for her little nephew and niece.
The next day, her sister-in law thanked her for her lovely present, and promised her she would use it immediately.
Go Eun was so surprised. She wanted to say thanks to him directly, but he was still filming. They would have filming on different locations the next day, and if she didn't tell him that night, she would have to wait for two days before saying it.
She finished filming two hours before Min Ho finished that day, and her staff was surprised because she decided to stay longer on set, waiting in her car, and asking to be notified when the main actor had finished working.
Lee Min Ho was really exhausted after he's done for the day. Go Eun's driver parked her car close to the exit already, so Min Ho didn't know that she was still there. All he thought was to go to his hotel as fast as he could (the crew rented rooms in a luxurious hotel because of the intense filming schedule. It's not effective for the cast to go back and forth to Seoul all the time), have a shower, and go to bed.
He already cleaned his face off of the filming makeup before he entered his car. It's weird that his driver and staff hadn't entered the car yet.
Where are they, he wondered. He could call one of them, but he's too lazy and sleepy for that.
When he nearly dozed off, his car door was opened.
Thank God, they're here. I could sleep soon.
He turned, fully expecting to see his staff, but they were nowhere to be seen. Go Eun was there, sitting on the seat next to him.
"You're still here? I thought you finished two hours ago?"
"It's you, right? The one who sent the interactive learning device to my sister in-law?"
"......Ne. Wae? Are you angry?"
"Manhi gamsahamnida" she said.
Something in her voice alerted him. He was wide awake in a matter of seconds. Her voice was wavering. She was on the verge of tears.
"They mean the world to me. I love them so much."
"I know. Don't cry" he begged, his hand automatically patting her arm.
"How do you know? How do you know that I haven't seen them in weeks? How do you know that I miss them badly? How do you know they mean everything for me?"
Min Ho was speechless.
"I wasn't thinking of them. I was thinking of you."
She sat motionless for a second, before her tears started to fall.
"Andwae. Uljima, jebal. I can't stand seeing your tears" he said, his fingers automatically reaching to wipe them.
His touch made her sobbed, as she pushed his hands away, holding his wrists down.
"I'm not sure what's happening, but if you're just playing with me, I'll -"
Min Ho blinked. How did their conversation turn this serious in a second?
"I'm not playing with you."
"What are you doing to me? Why do you get me so much? What would I do if you hurt me? How much will I break?"
Because she's crying, he moved without thinking. His van was really spacious, and there was space between each seat, so he knelt in front of her seat and pulled her into his arms.
"I'm sorry" he desperately said. He wasn't sure what he was saying sorry for, he just knew he wanted her to stop crying as soon as she could. It hurt too much to see her tears. "Stop crying, please. I'll do anything. Anything, Eunni, just please don't cry."
"Why are you saying sorry? You just did something really sweet for the people I love the most."
"Then you shouldn't cry. You should be happy."
"I am happy! But I'm also terrified."
"Why? What are you so afraid of?"
"I'm afraid you'll break my heart."
His expression turned to a painful one, and she would be blind to not notice that.
"Then give me a chance. See for yourself."
"What will I see?"
"That I have nothing but love for you."
Go Eun smiled amidst her wet cheeks.
And in a split second, she moved forward and gave him a peck on his lips.
Min Ho's eyes widened.
When he blinked, she already pulled back.
As oxygen resumed entering his body, Min Ho asked, "Did you just-"
She was sitting there, right in front of him, looking all pretty, with her reddening face and wet eyelashes, and she just kissed him first.
Min Ho bent down and pressed his lips on hers.
When he pulled away, she opened her eyes.
He's waiting for a sign, something from her that made him knew what to do next.
"Oppa" she breathed out.
His hands flew to her cheeks, lifting her face, before he kissed her like how she deserved to be kissed.
All searing and deep, passionate yet sweet.
Her body froze at first, her hands floated awkwardly in the air, before she melted into the kiss. Her hands then clutched onto his pullover. And she kissed him back.
He kissed her once for the Lee Gon and Jung Tae Eul's first kiss. But that moment felt a lot more. So much more.
And more than kissing her, he wanted an assurance from her. That she felt the same. That he was on the right track. So he slowed the kiss down, pulling away a little as he gave her several gentle brushes of his lips.
Her expression was dreamy when she opened her eyes.
"Wow. So I did something right" he whispered, smiling like a fool. "If I keep sending awesome things to your nephew and niece, would you keep kissing me?"
She hit his chest at that, making him laughed.
"You're welcome" he exclaimed, "I did it gladly. For you to notice how I feel with an open heart, but also because I am simply happy when you're happy. Now, Yeowangnim (my queen), before I lose my mind, you better go back to your car, rest well, have a sweet dream, and see me again in 2 days, Ahrasseo?"
He caressed her cheek with his hand, then bent again to kiss her forehead.
"Come on, I'll walk you to your car."
"Aniyo. That's too much. People will talk about us."
"So? I don't mind."
Go Eun sighed.
"We're not zoo animals. We don't need to be stared at."
"If you say so. Your lips are swollen, though."
She instantly covered her lips with her hand, and glared at him.
"You were asking for it" he replied cheekily.
"Ne, it's all my fault. Sure. Ok. Good night. I'll see you next time."
"Ok. Rest well."
She opened the door handle when he said, "You taste so good."
She bolted out of the car, his laughter ringing on her ears.
Lee Min Ho was so giddy afterwards. Even when he arrived at his suite, he couldn't sleep. He had an early schedule the next day, he had to force himself to sleep.
Before he slept though, he texted, "I miss you already."
She read but didn't reply. Despite that, he still smiled.
Five minutes later though, his phone vibrated.
She sent him a red heart emoticon.
He smiled from ear to ear at that.
They didn't meet the next day, and he had filming until the early hours of the morning. He arrived during the lunch break on the set, where he saw Go Eun having lunch with Kim Young Ok and Hwang Youn Hee (Shin Jae's mother).
He greeted them cheerfully and began having his lunch as well, with the dosirak the crew prepared.
The conversation was mostly led by the ahjummadeul. He smiled at their enthusiasm and laughed at their jokes. Hwang Youn Hee's daughter asked for his autograph, and he had given it on a photo of him a few weeks before that. The actress said that it's now framed and put on the daughter's desk.
"My granddaughter is like that as well. She's telling everyone that her grandma is playing a drama with Lee Min Ho. She will be even more excited when the drama airs" Kim Young Ok said.
"My daughter wonders whether you are dating anyone at the moment" Hwang Youn Hee added.
"None. I'm old and lonely" he exclaimed with a pitiful tone.
"I can only imagine how long the line is. Girls must have tried really hard to be with you" Kim Young Ok replied, her eyes narrowing in a speculative manner.
"Ahaha. I'm good in closing all the access for unwanted people to contact me."
"Omo, I feel goosebumps" Hwang Youn Hee said.
"Maybe that's why you're still single. You just don't want to be attached."
"I want to. But I prefer to chase, than to be chased."
"Ah. Too bad you're so busy filming right now" Kim Young Ok countered, her tone was sympathetic.
"So what is your ideal type?"
"My ideal type? Hem......someone who has fair skin."
"My daughter's skin is really fair!"
"She doesn't have to be tall, because I'm already really tall."
"My daughter is not tall!"
"She has to be someone really interesting to talk with as well" Min Ho smiled.
"She's in her second year at Yonsei! Her GPA is really high!"
"Ah. She's too young for me, then. Four years younger than me is the biggest age gap that makes sense in my opinion."
Hwang Youn Hee sighed. "My poor daughter. I had her too late."
Min Ho laughed.
"Aniyo. I'm sure your daughter will find a great guy. Just finish school first."
"Ne. I'll tell her I have tried my best."
The two ahjummadeul then bade him goodbye, as they had a scene that was about to start filming, leaving Min Ho alone with Go Eun.
He's staring at her freely, as Go Eun pretended to read her script.
"You haven't turned the page since I arrived. I'm sure you can act a hundred times better than this."
Go Eun shut her eyes, before lifting her face but turning away, to the direction of the door.
The crew were arranging the next set, carrying lighting and audio equipments inside.
"We can pretend it didn't happen, if that's what you want."
That's when she finally looked at him in the eyes again.
He saw embarrassment and hesitancy swirling in her beautiful eyes, and it was hard to breathe for a few seconds.
She then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened her eyes again, she called him with, "Lee Gon-ssi."
"Jung Tae Eul-ssi" he replied, smiling at her.
Just like that, at least for the day, they decided they would focus on work.
They switched to their "good friends" mode, and filmed the kitchen scene, where Lee Gon cooked a meal for Jung Tae Eul in his palace.
She was holding her laughter seeing him acted as a professional chef, when it's clear that he was actually really awkward.
"How bad are you in the kitchen, really?" she asked.
"I'm an expert in eating and heating food."
She laughed at that.
"How good are you in the kitchen?"
"I'm good enough for my own taste."
"That has to be great, then. Cook me a meal sometime."
She threw him with an "are you kidding me? We're working" look.
"Please practice the forehead rub scene" the PD requested.
And they practiced it several times, as Min Ho held up his hands, as if they were dirty.
"Maybe we should rub our heads in a more obvious manner" he suggested.
"Maybe I should just bang my head on yours" Go Eun said, laughing, standing on her toes, pretending to really do that.
For a second Min Ho thought she was going to kiss him again. His heart stopped for a beat. Then he realized he was deluding himself, so he laughed at his own stupidity and fought to catch her hands, since he just had a craving to hold them.
She was still laughing when he held those hands.
They finished filming the scene happily, then ended up finishing the steak and rice.
The crew let them ate peacefully, as the PD commented, "People would think we don't feed you enough."
"We're just always hungry" Go Eun answered, before gobbling up another slice of the steak.
"Has it been that tough, Kids?"
"Aniyo, it's fun."
"...............Lee Min Ho-ssi, it's like you haven't had meat for a year."
"I am shameless when there's meat, choesuhamnida."
It's his habit to walk her to her car before he entered his. They both stayed at the hotel which was the closest to the filming location in Seoul. None of them even thought of visiting each other's room, too tired for a secret rendezvous.
Min Ho had a feeling that she would look down on him if he even suggested it.
She was really not the type to play with fire. And he knew that respect was the way to win her heart.
Their situation was hilarious, really. They both knew they kissed two days before that day, and she didn't want to talk about it, while he didn't bring it up because that was what she wanted.
They were creating a drama within a drama, and sometimes Min Ho wanted to laugh at loud at their situation, but it was also the most endearing courtship he had ever done in his entire life, with the most adorable girl in the world.
They walked together to her car in silence, deep in their own thoughts, as the crew bade them "good night", already used to seeing Lee Min Ho walking Kim Go Eun to her car.
It's like they needed to be physically close to each other, even when they avoided what they had to desperately talk about.
Go Eun opened her car door and Min Ho, as usual, wished her a good night.
She suddenly turned around, though, making them stood really close to each other.
He was caught off guard and nearly moved back a step.
He knew she hated giving people the wrong ideas.
And yet here she was, standing so close to him, looking up at him with those pretty eyes and full lips, their chests nearly brushing each other.
"Thank you for today" she said gently.
She gave him an unguarded smile and he wanted to kiss her so badly it hurt
Then she turned around and entered her car, closing the door after herself.
He had to stand there for a few minutes to recover.
She was thanking him for being considerate, obviously. For not teasing her about how she, against both their predictions, kissed him first the day before yesterday.
But it's the look in her eyes. She looked at him as if he's the king of the world for those few seconds.
Huh. Respect really was how to win you, I guess.
After being close to her during the beginning of TKEM filming, Min Ho concluded that she's an expert in building a thick wall around herself. Not just a wall, a fortress. Her appeal was really strong, and she's used to fend off men who approached her, either with good or bad intentions.
She's brilliant. He could spend a day just listening to her. She's beautiful, to the point that he kept glancing at her, again and again. She's as polite as his mother to people. She's cheerful to everyone. She could talk to the cleaning service as animated as she was talking to the PD-nim.
And she's sexy despite all the covered outfits she's wearing. It's the way she spoke, moved and smiled. It's that confidence, the love for her work, and her readiness to see the good of everything.
With all of these qualities, she still doubted his feelings for her.
Following his New Year's resolution, he paid no heed in preserving his pride.
In all their conversations, he slipped cheesy statements that made her blushed.
In January, during their script reading discussions and rehearsals, he randomly said, "Aigoo, manhi yeppeun (Wow, you're so pretty)."
The first time he said, it, she looked at him with wide eyes.
He only laughed and resumed reading his script.
When they had video calls he did the same thing.
In February, he blurted out "Joahe (I like you)" randomly.
In March, it's "Saranghae (I love you)."
In April, it's "Kyeolhon haja (Let's get married)."
Go Eun had given various reactions.
At first, she went speechless.
Sometimes she choked on her food (of which Min Ho would latter apologize profusely). Then over the time, she began scolding him.
"Can't you focus?"
"That wasn't the right response to my question."
"Don't distract me!"
When it was obvious he wouldn't stop his cheesiness, she began beating him.
So the Hallyu Star Lee Min Ho was often beaten up by the girl he loved, and was responding quite fondly to it.
One evening, it was 2 a.m and they were together in his van. They were both tired, but since they both had scenes to film, they sat silently together, the ever familiar script in front of them.
"From the scale of 1 to 10, how tired are you?" Go Eun asked.
"7 out of 10. And I really like you with the score 20 out of 10."
She froze, before glaring at him.
"Wae? I'm just trying to make you feel awake. It's not good for you to drink another cup of coffee."
"Lee Min Ho-ssi,"
"Ne, Kim Go Eun-ssi?"
"Why is it so easy for you to throw those cheesy lines? Do you treat every woman like that?"
He scoffed. "Of course not. You're the only one I go cheesy for."
"Not even to your exes?"
He turned to her, with those deep eye-stares.
"It's 2 a.m and we both have to resume filming in an hour, and you want to talk about how I spoke with my exes?"
He sighed deeply.
She turned, pulled her legs onto the car seat, and prepared to listen.
"Fine" he said heavily. "My exes were more......indulging. I was sweet when I felt like it. When the occasion was right."
He laughed again.
"Not everyday, definitely."
Go Eun was silent. They both knew he's cheesy with her everyday.
"Don't start telling me how you were with your exes. I'm not in the mood to hear it. My immune system would drop if I hear it" he warned.
"I wasn't going to."
He resumed to pay attention to his script.
"If you keep staring at me like that, I won't be able to concentrate."
"Would you turn cold, after you get me?"
Min Ho turned a page of his script.
"Why don't you say yes to me first, then find out yourself?"
She smiled at that.
"Nappeun yeoja (bad woman)."
"You like this nappeun yeoja anyway."
He chuckled, "Getting arrogant now, aren't we?"
"You can't blame me for being careful."
"I don't think I'll be able to blame you for anything."
"Omo" she giggled, covering her lips with her palm.
"You do enjoy dragging me out, Eunni. How mean."
She laughed at that.
"Aniyo. I'm just......trying to fall really slowly. As slowly as possible."
"I feel like we're in a relationship already, but it's not official yet, because you keep stalling saying yes to me."
"I feel like I'm the one being played here."
"Ah. So it's usually you who play the field?"
He's silent at that.
"I guess so" she answered her own question, "the targets were all willing, though. Can't blame you for that."
"Are you saying you're my karma?"
"I don't know. Maybe?"
He laughed again at that, reaching out to one of the dosirak boxes his staff put in his van.
"Let's have supper while we can" he suggested, realizing he was starving.
They both had dinner already, but it's draining to follow the filming schedule, so they preferred to eat again when it's necessary. They wouldn't gain weight after such a heavy schedule anyway.
He opened the box, opened the plastic wrapper for the spoon and chopsticks, took the spoon, got the rice, meat and veggie, then signalled her to come closer.
"What are you-"
He put his other palm under the spoon to not spill it and said, "Open up."
She automatically opened up her mouth and he fed her the food.
"If you want time," he began, getting another spoonful, and putting it in front of her again, "You can have it."
She swallowed and he fed her again.
"But don't blame me for trying to speed the process."
"This is the first time a guy feed me food."
"Wae? Shiro? (Why? You don't want to this?)"
"Aniyo. I like this."
"I can do this everyday."
"Is this the part of speeding up the process?"
"Definitely. Open up."
They were quiet for a few minutes. As she munched and swallowed, and he fed her.
"I like it right now. It's already really sweet."
"Is it?" Min Ho asked.
"Yes. Our now."
"Then say yes to me, already."
"At the right time."
He laughed at that, but he wasn't annoyed.
He loved her honesty, and her carefulness to not give in until she's entirely sure of him.
"Don't agree to me so easily. It's no fun."
"It's hard. To say no to you."
He had finished feeding her, and was then beginning to eat his own dosirak.
"I haven't done anything for you. That's what I feel."
"You've kissed me first, so......"
"Yah, I thought we agreed to never talk about it!"
"Did you just "yah" me?"
He laughed again.
"I was just saying, it's not like you haven't done anything for me."
She suddenly clapped her hand, like she discovered a genius idea. Getting a pen from her pocket, she opened the last page of her script, and wrote a note.
Once done, she torn the piece of paper, and gave it to Min Ho.
"Here. For you."
Min Ho read it.
To you who always shines brightly.
May you always be happy.
You deserve all the happiness in the world.
May your days always be wonderful.
Kim Go Eun
He was so happy he couldn't speak.
"Omo, don't look at me like that!" she squealed, covering her face with her script.
"Thank you. I'll keep it in my wallet."
"You don't have to treat it that seriously!" she exclaimed behind her script.
"I'll keep it well, thank you so much."
Go Eun peeked at him, lowering her script under her eyes.
"Don't look that happy!"
"I am happy, what can I do?"
"Ah, mwolla, let me out!"
"Shiro" Min Ho replied, putting his long legs on the long seat in front of him, blocking her way out of the van.
"I need to film!"
"It's not going to start in 30 mins. You're safe to be here for another 15."
"I can't be here with you any longer!"
"Be a good girl until I'm done with my supper. That's the least you could do after I fed you."
She resigned to her fate.
"I'll just have a brief nap, then. Wake me up in 20 minutes."
She moved to the backseat, put the blanket there on top of her body, and fell asleep in a matter of seconds.
Min Ho put the note from her in front of him, then resumed his supper.
Once he's done, he put the dosirak boxes away and reclined his seat, before he too, took a nap.
Twenty minutes later, his staff knocked on the van's window.
"It's time to standby."
He sat for a while, gathering his thoughts. Then he saw the note from her, and remembered she's sleeping at the back.
He went to the backseat and saw her sleeping soundly, curling and breathing evenly.
She looked like an angel.
Or a baby girl.
He almost didn't have the heart to wake her up.
Gently, he patted her shoulder. "Eunnie, it's time to film. Wake up."
She didn't stir.
"Eunni" he called, patting her cheek then, "Wake up. Eunni-yah."
He shook her shoulders gently, and called her louder.
Her eyes fluttered opened.
Then she was shocked to wake up and seeing Lee Min Ho crouching so closely above her.
"Wh-where am I?"
"Oh. Right. What time is it?"
"Almost the time to standby."
She sat up heavily, her hands automatically folding the blanket she used, as Min Ho sat beside her.
She yawned sleepily.
"What were you doing when I slept?"
"I took a nap as well."
"Oh. It's good that we woke up on time."
"My staff woke me up."
"Ah. That's a relief."
Her phone vibrated. It was her staff telling her it's almost the time to standby.
She tidied her hair with her hands, still yawning.
"Let's go back" she suggested.
"Where's my script?"
"At the front."
She moved to the middle of the car and retrieved her script, then opened the car door.
"Aren't you coming?"
"I'm right behind you."
Their staffs were waiting near the van.
They then all walked together to the filming location.
"Put this in my wallet" Min Ho told one of his staff.
The staff then did as she was told, without reading the content, since Min Ho had folded it.
"Do you want coffee, Lee Baewoonim?"
"Aniya, I'm fine. I feel refreshed."
The staff frowned.
"Some iced tea maybe?"
"No, thank you. I feel wide awake."
The staff was confused. It's 3 a.m.
Well, if the actor said so, then he had to be fine then.
He was all smiles, walking to the filming location and even joining the staff's conversation.
Wide awake, indeed.
There you go!
I finally finished this chapter, haha.
Work schedule has been crazy. Online teaching is more exhausting than conventional classes, maybe because I can't go anywhere for 6-7 hours straight per day, not to mention the lesson planning. I'm tired and could have the energy to write only on weekends.
TKEM's last few episodes were so good, and I was drowning in my shipper feels (it seemed that the reality is prettier than fanfiction, haha, fingers crossed).
So all things considered, I can only update now.
I hope you like the update. Thank you for waiting and reading this.
I wish to update again next week, but we'll see.
Stay healthy and happy, everyone!
PS: this chapter was first published in May.