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There’s something to be said about the notion of love.  It binds you to another, synchronizes your heart to their every hope and dream.  You want to know all the textures of their essence, explore every facet of their personality.  You’re drowning in attachment but it feels wonderfully pleasant.  Love is a splendid thing when it’s reciprocated. It shatters your soul when it’s not. 

Jae-Ha wasn’t sure when it began, but somewhere among the dusty roads and the laughter and sleeping under the stars his feelings had surpassed friendship.  He could blame his affection for Yona on the damnable dragon’s blood, and for a while that’s exactly what he did.  However, there’s only so long one can lie to one’s self and Jae-Ha hated knowing. 

He didn’t want to be aware of these emotions swirling inside of him.  He didn’t want to be aware of the way Yona’s eyes scrunched up when she smiled, or the precise moment her semblance lit up with a new plan.  He didn’t want to be aware of the way she gazed up in awe at Hak as if he was the very air she breathed.  He tried so desperately not to absorb her, but what could he do?  Hak may have been her sun and moon and stars but she was his. 

“Jae-Ha, Hak and I are going to scout out Sensui.  Do you want to come with us?”

He did, he really did.  Jae-Ha knew better than to answer that way.  He truly savored each moment with Yona, but it was time to put this to an end.  This torture was sweet, almost addictive.  He knew one day it would break him. 

“No, you two go on ahead.  I’ll hold down the fort since everyone is gone.”

Yona shot him a smile, the type that twisted his heart every which way and moved the ground under his feet.  He watched as she jogged over to Hak who stood waiting.  Yona grinned up broadly at the hulking man and he rested his hand on her head fondly.  Yes, there was no denying the mutual feelings that existed between the two.  They began walking away, Yona’s animated chatting punctuated by Hak’s short remarks.

This was right.  Jae-Ha was happy that two people who he cared so much for could cultivate their own joy within each other’s presence.  Their bond would only flourish with time and he would be glad to see it.  If anyone, Hak and Yona deserved their own little niche of bliss. He was happy.              

Turn around.  Stay, stay, stay.

She didn’t look back.