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I cried my eyes dry the weekend I was gone and by the time we came back to the large manor, I'm all cried out and could no longer cry in front of anyone. I was glad Li He took me away those days.

When I came back, I wore a stern face, pretending to be strong as I prepared myself to face master Hooney again. I stood outside his chamber just like I would each morning ready to tend to whatever he needs. Although, I did not hear his voice call me today, and hours passed without him calling me inside to help him change.

My chest ached each hour I stood there waiting, thinking he had been in his bed with that beautiful woman.

I flinched when a soft finger brushed my nape making me shudder and slap his hand away. I turned around and saw master Hooney grinning at me. "How long have you been waiting outside the door?" He asked.

I looked at him bewildered. Has he had a change of schedule I missed? "Ever since this morning, the same time I come here each morning."

His mouth formed into a big O. "Oh, I was not expecting you this morning, so I went ahead and readied myself. It didn't take long to get dressed at all."

Despite my aching chest, I somehow found him amusing. But I said nothing in return, as I kept a firm hold of myself. I could not bring the light of my feelings for him. What's real for me is a mere game to him and I need to be careful, more careful than anything else. My head dipped low and I avoided the usual eye contact we're so comfortable sharing.

"I'm sorry for arriving late." I murmured.

But master Hooney noticed my changes anyway. He is not a fool and he can see what I failed to hide so carelessly. "Is everything alright, Hui?" He asked with heartbreaking tenderness that I couldn't even pick my head up - much less, answer him. I hated him, I hated the way he is to me, and most of all, I hated the way I feel about him.

He grabbed my arm and tried to reel me away to his room where I've been inside numerous times - now felt like a sacred place I shouldn't step foot in. I refused and fought to get back out. "I shouldn't be in your room, master." I gasped, as I broke free from his grasp.

Stunned, he peered at me stung. "This is ridiculous." He began. "What's the matter, Hui?"

His voice fell another notch of tenderness that made me hate him even more. "Stop being nice to me!" I snarled softly.

He frowned, then his frown vanished replaced with a tender smile. He issued a confident step forward, crowding me until I backed all the way to the wall, cornered by him without anywhere else to turn. "Is this about Ai?"

"I don't know who Ai is." I moaned.

He leaned with his head tilted, trying to get a peek of my face. "Oh, I think you know who she is."

"No, I don't." I murmured.

"Look at me, Hui." He purred.

I did not move.

"Look at me, Hui. I want to see that jealous face." He crooned, and I heard that unmistakable confidence in his voice, the tease, the playfulness.

"Don't get too cocky," I whisper trying to rescue what's left of my courage back.

"Oh? But, I'm right." Oh, the joy oozing out of his presumptuous voice.

I tried stepping away from his cage in need to run away. "You're wrong."

Master Hooney squeezed me tighter in my spot. He wasn't going to let me go anywhere. I felt suffocated by his dominance. "I don't think I am." He began, a soft laughter leaped out of his chest and stepped back, allowing me a much-needed breath. "Ai is my eldest sister." He confessed. "She's beautiful, isn't she?"

I managed a peek of his face. Master Hooney grinned from ear to ear. "My, my, my...I must say, I find your jealousy too damn cute. You have no idea what I want to do to you right now."

And then, I was red again.

He laughed.

"Don't worry about her, she's married. I have two more very beautiful sisters, though. Would you like to meet them?"

"No!" I was so embarrassed, I'm ready to get away from him.

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