Tohoshinki & Dong Bang Shin Ki Paradise

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“Our flights delayed?” Xiah asked the other DBSK members.

The DBSK boys were going back to Japan after staying in Korea for almost two weeks.

“Yes, the flight is delayed for an hour,” their manager answered.

“So what are we supposed to do for an hour?” Xiah asked impatiently. He was very tired and he wanted to rest.

“How about we eat?” Max suddenly suggested. “I am kind of hungry.”

The other DBSK members all looked at Max and they all started to laugh.

“Come on, let's eat then . . . .We wouldn't want our little brother starving,” Xiah said jokingly.

After eating, they all waited patiently at the departure area of the airport. As they were sitting in a corner, Xiah noticed a girl sitting near their group. She wearing a cap and sunglasses. She was also carrying a lot of luggage. “Who could she be?” he suddenly thought to himself. He suddenly became curious about the girl. Then he started to watch her closely.

The girl's cell phone suddenly rang. She immediately searched her bag and after finding her phone . . .she quickly answered it. She spoke in an unfamiliar language. But he could hear that she had such a sweet voice. Hurriedly the girl left after finishing her phone conversation.

After the girl left, Xiah noticed something sparkling in the seat that the girl sat on. He quickly got up and took a look at what was lying on the the seat.

It was a bracelet . . . . .a gold bracelet with diamonds. He quickly looked around again, hoping that the girl was still around. He wanted to return the bracelet to the girl. It was obviously very expensive.

But the girl was already nowhere in sight. Xiah suddenly took out his handkerchief, and carefully placed the bracelet in it. He folded the handkerchief carefully so that the bracelet would be safe.

He didn't know why but he had a feeling that he would be able to return the bracelet to the girl somehow.

Suddenly Xiah was startled by Micky.

“Hey! What is that?” Micky asked. He had seen Xiah pick up something and place it in his handkerchief.

“Nothing . . . . just a bracelet . . . .” Xiah replied.

“Well . . . . you can give it the officials of the airport so they can put it in the lost and found section of the airport,” Micky said again.

Xiah just looked at Micky. Somehow he felt like he just wanted to keep the bracelet and return it to the owner himself.

“I think I'll just keep it for a while . . . . you may never know . . . . I might end up seeing her again. And besides I really want to return it to the girl myself. It's very expensive . . . . And who knows . . . even if I give it to the airport staff . . . . it may never be returned to her anyway,” Xiah tried to justify his decision to keep the bracelet.

Micky frowned . . . . then suddenly smiled. “Whatever suits you . . . .But frankly I don't think you'll meet her again. I saw that girl . . . . She was carrying so many luggages . . . . If I didn't know better . . . . I'd say she's going on a very . . . .very long vacation.”

Xiah knew that what Micky had said was right. It was really very impossible for her to meet the girl again. But he was determined . . . .he was going to keep the bracelet until he can give it to the girl personally.

“Xiah . . . . Micky . . . . Come on . . . . We're leaving“ U-Know said as they all started to arrange their personal belongings. The passengers of the flight they were in, had already started boarding.

Fifteen minutes later . . . .

Xiah and the other DBSK boys were already resting in their seats. They were in the first class section of the airplane.

“I can't believe we're going back to Japan . . . .” Max exclaimed.

“You better believe it! Two weeks is such a short time. I didn't even had the chance to meet up with some of my friends . . . . “ Jaejoong commented.

“Goodbye Korea! We will be missing you . . . .” U-Know said jokingly.

“Goodbye . . . .my girlfriends in Korea . . . . I'll be missing you . . . .” Micky said jokingly as well.

Everybody laughed with Micky's joke.

“Girlfriends? What girlfriends are you talking about? You don't even have one right now . . . .” Jaejoong said with a laugh.

“Well . . . . a guy is always allowed to day dream . . . .” Micky replied with a grin.

All the boys laughed again. They were busy laughing and teasing one another when a girl suddenly caught Xiah's attention.

The girl had only arrived and just sat a few seats away from them. Xiah kept on looking at the girl. He wasn't sure if it was the same girl that he had seen at the airport. She was no longer wearing a cap and sunglasses. So he wasn't so sure, if it was really her or not.

Micky noticed that Xiah was looking at something. He followed Xiah's gaze and he noticed that he was looking at a girl. Somehow the girl looked familiar. He tried hard to make himself remember where he had seen the girl. Then after a few minutes . . . . he was finally able to remember who the girl was.

“Xiah . . . . isn't that the girl who dropped the bracelet that you picked up?” Micky asked.

Xiah suddenly gave Micky a very sweet smile. “So my guess was right . . . . It is her. But I was somehow hesitant since she's no longer wearing her cap and sunglasses.”

Micky laughed. “You all know I easily remember a girl's face . . .”

“Hyung . . . . are you sure it is the girl's face you remember? Isn't it their phone numbers you always try to remember?” Max asked innocently.

Xiah, Jaejoong and U-Know all laughed at Max and Micky.

The girl had suddenly taken notice of the DBSK boys because of their laughing.

Xiah was able to have a straight glance at the girl's face. She was very beautiful. But it was very obvious that she wasn't a Korean or a Japanese. “Maybe she's Chinese or Malay . . . . Oh! I don't know.” Xiah said to himself.

“Earth to Xiah!” Micky said with a grin. “Why haven't you returned her bracelet?”

Xiah looked at Micky. He had totally forgotten about the bracelet. He carefully took out his handkerchief . . . . and the girl's bracelet.

“Return the bracelet . . . . and don't forget to ask her name and number . . . . “ Micky teased.

Xiah just smiled. Then he slowly approached the girl. He was already standing in front of the girl . . . . but he still couldn't find the right words to say.

The girl looked up at Xiah . . . . she then smiled. Somehow Xiah felt that his heart had melted with the girl's smile.

“Yes? Can I help you?” the girl asked Xiah.

“Yes . . . . Well . . . . Uhm . . . . You see . . . .” Xiah started to talk but he was still unable to start the conversation.

The girl looked at Xiah with confusion.

“I saw you earlier while you were waiting in the airport lobby . . . .and I think you dropped this . . . .” Xiah held out the bracelet to the girl.

The girl stared at the bracelet that Xiah was holding in his hand. She suddenly smiled again.

“Yes . . . . It is mine . . . . Thank you . . . . Thank you for returning it to me. It is really very important to me. “ the girl said as she took the bracelet from Xiah.

“I'm glad that I've finally returned it to you. Frankly I thought I would never see you again," Xiah said with a smile.

“I'm glad that a nice guy like you found my bracelet. Thank you again . . . . How can I ever repay you?” the girl asked.

“It's nothing. Your thank you is enough already,” Xiah replied.

The girl suddenly stood up. “Then let me give you something else to show my gratitude,” she said. She gently walked up to Xiah and gave him a kiss on his cheek.

Xiah suddenly froze. His heart suddenly started pounding.

“Thank you . . . .” the girl said again with a warm smile on her lips.

Xiah gazed at the girl. He could never forgive himself if he didn't get the chance to even know her name. He tried to gather all his courage . . . . he was determined to know who the girl was.

“I'm Xiah . . . .” he was finally able to say. He slowly held out his hand to her.

The girl smiled sweetly again and she quickly shook hands with Xiah. “I'm Moniqa Ramirez. . . . . Or just call me . . . . Iqa. . . .”

Xiah couldn't believe what he was feeling as he held her hand. Somehow he didn't want to let go of her hand . . . . How he wished he could hold her hand forever.

“What a beautiful name . . . .Iqa . . . .” Xiah uttered.

Last edited by emerheliena on 13th May 2009, 11:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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After introducing themselves to one another . . . . Xiah felt that he wanted to talk with her more.

“Would you like to join me and my friends?” Xiah asked Iqa sweetly.

Iqa looked at the other DBSK boys. “Are you sure you want me to join you guys? Wouldn't your friends mind if I joined you?”

“No . . . . it's okay. I know they won't mind at all,” Xiah replied.

“Really? Are you sure? It would really be nice if I could join you. Since I would really like some company while traveling . . . .” Iqa said as if hesitating.

Xiah looked back at the other DBSK members who were also looking at them. They all had wide grins plastered on their faces.

“Your friends seem very nice . . . . .” Iqa commented as she stared at them.

“Come on . . . . I want you to meet them . . . . “ Xiah said.

Iqa nodded . . . got her things and just followed Xiah to where the other DBSK boys were.

“Guys . . . . I would you like to meet Moniqa Ramirez . . . .” Xiah said to the other DBSK members.

“Hi . . . . . I am Micky.”

“I'm Max . . . .”

“I'm U-Know . . . .”

“Hello . . . . I'm Jaejoong. It's nice to meet you.”

Iqa gave everyone of the DBSK boys a very warm and friendly smile.

“Xiah said I could join you guys . . . . I hope you won't mind.”

“Sure . . . . you're welcome to join us,” Micky said with a smile.

“You can sit beside Xiah . . . .” Jaejoong said with a meaningful smile.

“Thank you . . . .” Iqa uttered as she sat down her things and sat down beside Xiah's seat.

The other DBSK boys were all amazed that Xiah had actually made friends with a girl so fast. He had always been shy and uneasy whenever there were girls around . . . . especially ones he didn't know very well. But he was very different with Iqa . . . . very different . . . . that they knew it had some other meaning.

“So . . . . what do you guys do?” Iqa started their conversation.

The DBSK boys looked at each other. They were all shocked that someone didn't actually know who they were.

“You mean you really don't know who we are?” Micky asked Iqa with astonishment.

Iqa stared at the boys. Then she smiled. “Why? Should I know you guys? Have we met before?” she asked as if she was confused.

“Well . . . . no . . . . it's just . . . . we have really met someone who doesn't know who we are . . . . .” Jaejoong answered.

“I'm sorry . . . . But I am already very confused. Who are you guys . . . .really?” Iqa asked again.

Max laughed. “ This is the first time that a girl is asking us who we are . . . “

“I'm sorry . . . . if I'm offending you guys,” Iqa apologized.

“No . . . . no . . . . it's all right. In fact . . . we're sort of glad . . . .It's very seldom that we meet a girl who is very natural in dealing with us . . . . I guess that can only happen if the girl doesn't know who we are . . . .” Xiah said with a smile.

“So you still haven't answered my question. . . . Can I know who you guys are?” Iqa asked again.

“We're a group called Dong Bang Shin Ki in Korea and Tohoshinki in Japan,” Micky answered.

“Oh . . . . I've heard about you guys . . . . I've also heard some of your songs. You guys . . . are very good . . . and very popular in Japan right. I'm very sorry if I didn't recognize you guys earlier. I sort of have a bad memory in recognizing and remembering people's faces . . . .” she said.

“It's all right . . . .So how about you? What do you do? I mean . . . . your line of work . . . .” U-Know asked.

“Me?” Iqa was a little hesitant to answer their question.

Then after a few minutes . . . . she finally answered.

“Let's just say I am also into the same kind of work that you guys are in.”

“What do you mean? You're also in the music industry? You're a singer?” Jaejoong asked.

Iqa nodded with a smile.

“Wow! So you're a singer also . . . “ Max exclaimed.

“Can I ask you something?” Jaejoong asked.

“Sure . . . .” she replied.

“You're not Japanese right? But how come you speak fluent Japanese?” Jaejoong asked again.

Iqa laughed. “No . . . I'm not Japanese. I'm a Filipina . . . You guys have heard of the Philippines right?” The boys nodded.

“Yes . . . we have been there once,” Xiah replied.

“So you're a singer in the Philippines . . . . So how come you're good in Japanese?” Max asked.

“I always travel to different places . . . . I figured if I was going to stay in one place for a very long time I should be able to handle having a conversation with the people where I am staying at. And frankly . . . . There are still a lot of people in Japan who don't speak English . . . . So I decided to learn Japanese instead. So I would be able to communicate better,” Iqa answered.

“Oh . . . So how long are you staying in Japan?” Micky asked.

“Frankly . . . .I don't know. As long as I can . . . . I guess . . . . I am quite tired of the busy schedules and the unending routines. I really need a break . . . . I am so fed up with everything. You guys know what I mean right?” she said as she sighed.

The boys nodded. They all knew exactly what she meant. They were all feeling the same thing. They were tired as well and they wanted a break too.

Xiah somehow felt pity for Iqa. He could see that she was really tired of being a celebrity. There were times that he also felt the same way. But seeing her expression . . . . he could easily tell that she was already far too sick and tired than he already was.

“How old are you Iqa?” Max suddenly asked.

“I'm 21 . . . . Why?” she suddenly asked.

“Nothing . . . I was just wondering why . . . .” Max replied but he suddenly stopped talking.

Max didn't know how to say what was in his mind. He was afraid Iqa might get offended by his question.

“What are you wondering about? Don't worry . . . . you can ask me,” Iqa said with a smile.

“Well . . . . I . . . I just wanted to ask how come you already seem to be very tired of being a celebrity when you're only 21 . . . . “ Max answered honestly.

Hana laughed. “That's a very good question. In fact . . . . a lot of people have also asked me the same question.”

“And?” Max asked.

“Let me ask you a question first . . . . then I am going to answer your question later,” Iqa said.

“What's your question?” Max asked.

“How long have you guys been in the music industry? I mean . . . . how long have you guys been celebrities?”

“More than 4 years, I guess,” Micky answered.

“4 years? . . . . That's still a short time compared to mine . . . . I first started to act in TV dramas and movies when I was only six years old . . . . Then at fifteen . . . . I also became a singer . . . . By seventeen . . . . I became a professional model. And ever since then that has been my life . . . . An actress . . . a singer . . . . and a model all rolled in one.” Iqa told the DBSK boys.

“Wow! You already have accomplished so much. You have really worked ever since you were only six years old? So that means you've worked in the entertainment industry for more than fifteen years . . . .” Max commented.

Iqa just nodded with a smile. “Maybe now you can all understand why I am already very exhausted . . . .and why I am always trying to escape.”

Suddenly . . . . Iqa's expression changed. “The life of a celebrity maybe glamorous and exciting but it also has its own price . . . .” she said sadly.

“We all know what you mean . . . .” Xiah uttered.

“So can I ask . . . . are you really on a vacation or are you just hiding?” Micky asked jokingly.

Iqa laughed. “You're very perceptive . . . . Frankly I am not on a legal vacation. I just woke up one day . . . . and I said to myself that I wanted to have a break. So I packed my things . . . . and booked myself a flight for Thailand first . . . . then Korea . . . . and now I'm off to Japan.”

“Aren't you afraid to travel alone?' U-Know asked.

“No . . . . why should I be? I can take care of myself and I'm not afraid of being alone,” she replied with a smile.

“But . . . . if you're a celebrity . . . . aren't you scared that fans might suddenly follow you around and harass you?” Max jokingly asked.

“No . . . I've never encountered such a thing . . . . And that's why I always try to keep a low profile when I am outside the country,” Iqa answered.

“But you should always be careful . . . . You're still a celebrity . . . and there are people who will always recognize you . . . .” Xiah said with concern.

“Thank you for the concern . . . But you don't have to worry . . . . I can always rely on my manager to get me wherever I am . . . .” then she suddenly laughed.

“What do you mean?” Xiah asked.

“I mean he's good in finding me. There was a time that I accidentally dialled his number on my cell phone. And he was able to trace where I was through that call. That time I was in Bangkok . . . But he was still able to find me . . . .” Iqa told the DBSK boys as she laughed.

“Your manager must really care for you a lot . . . .” Jaejoong commented.

“Yes . . . . he does . . . He's been taking care of me like a father ever since from the start,” Iqa replied.

“So does he know where you are right now?” Xiah suddenly asked.

Iqa smiled at Xiah. “No! I wouldn't call him unless it's very necessary . . . . and I have already had enough of my vacation . . . . Because I know once I call him . . . . he will immediately find me and bring me back to the Philippines.”

The DBSK boys looked at Iqa. They all liked her. She was very cheerful and had a very bright personality.

Iqa and the DBSK boys' conversation lasted thoughout the whole flight to Japan. The DBSK didn't even notice how time flew as they were talking with Iqa.

Finally . . . . it was time for Iqa to separate from the boys. Xiah didn't want his time together with Iqa to end. How he wished he could stay with her longer.

“Goodbye . . . . Micky . . . . Max . . . . U-Know . . . . Jaejoong . . . .” she said with a sweet smile.

Then she looked straight at Xiah. “ Goodbye . . . .Xiah. It's really nice meeting you . . . and your friends . . . . Thank you for returning my bracelet . . . . and thank you for the wonderful time I had during the flight. I hope we can meet again . . . . Goodbye . . . . Xiah,” Iqa slowly kissed Xiah on the cheek again.

“Will we see each other again?” Xiah asked Iqa.

Iqa shook her head. “I don't know Xiah. But I do hope so . . . .”

“Iqa . . . .” Xiah uttered.

“Goodbye . . . . .” she uttered as she slowly walked away. . . .

Xiah couldn't explain what he was feeling. He didn't know if he would be able to see her again. As Iqa slowly disappeared from her sight . . . . his heart was screaming and calling Iqa's name. How he wanted to ran after her . . . . and ask her to stay with him longer. But he knew he couldn't do it. So he just silently watched as Iqa finally disappeared. At that moment . . . . he could feel that his heart had suddenly stopped.

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Xiah was silently looking out the hotel. He was in their room's balcony. It was already passed midnight. But he couldn't sleep at all.

“How could I have been so stupid? I didn't even ask her where she was going to stay . . . . And more importantly . . . . I didn't even ask her about her phone number . . . .Oh!” Xiah said out loud while thinking. Then he cupped his face with his hands.

Micky who had been silently watching Xiah suddenly laughed.

“So you're still thinking about her?” Micky exclaimed.

Xiah was startled. He didn't expect anyone of the other DBSK members to be awake at that time.

“Micky . . . .” he uttered.

“You're still thinking about Iqa? You really got hooked didn't you?” Micky teased.

Xiah smiled. “I don't know ,why but I just can't seem to forget her.”

“Well . . . . she is a very amazing girl. I think she must be very popular in her country,” Micky commented.

Xiah nodded. “I keep on wondering where she is right now . . . .”

Micky laughed. “Don't tell me you're in love? You don't even believe in love at first sight.”

Xiah suddenly sighed.

“Honestly . . . . I am a little bit confused myself . . . . The first time I saw her . . . . I felt something strange . . . . something I can't explain . . . . something I've never felt before.”

Micky looked at Xiah. He could easily tell that his friend was really attracted to Iqa. But as for being in love with her . . . he knew it was very impossible. Xiah wasn't the type who would fall in love so easily.

“Well . . . . . Japan may be a small country but there are a lot of places to go to and to hide. So it may be nearly impossible for you to meet again. So if I were you . . . . I would try to forget her. It's been a week since we met her. Who knows? She may no longer be in Japan . . . . Like she said she never stays in one place for a very long time,” Micky said.

Xiah knew that what Micky had said was right. He really must try to forget Iqa.

“Is it really impossible for us to meet again Iqa?” he asked as he stared out the dark sky.

Several days later . . . .

The DBSK boys had just finished their scheduled activities for the day. Their manager had decided that they should eat at a famous restaurant as a reward for their hard work for the last few days.

The boys cheered after they learned where they were going to eat. They all loved the foods being served in that particular restaurant.

As soon as the boys arrived, they immediately ordered the foods that they liked. They were all busy talking with one another . . . . when Xiah noticed a familiar face enter the restaurant.

At first . . . . Xiah thought that he was just dreaming. But as the girl got closer . . . . his heart started beating faster.

“Hey! Isn't that Iqa ?” Micky asked as he saw her sit a few tables away from them.

“Iqa . . . . Iqa . . . .” Max called out as he also waved at her.

Iqa looked at the direction the voice was coming from. She was surprised to see the DBSK boys again. She had been thinking of them these passed few days . . . . especially Xiah.

Iqa smiled and waved back at the boys. She wanted to join them but she saw that they were with their manager and some other people which she guessed as part of their staff.

“Why don't you invite your friend over? Isn't that the girl you met on the plane?” their manager asked.

“Yes . . . . she is,” Max replied happily.

“Well . . . . she's all alone over there. Better ask her to join us . . . .” their manager said again.

Xiah was very happy. He hurriedly walked over to where Iqa was. “Iqa . . . . would you like to join us?” he asked sweetly.

Iqa looked at Xiah. She had been thinking about him ever since she met him. She was really attracted to him . . . . but she didn't want to give importance to what she was feeling. She had just ended a very painful relationship . . . . And at that time . . . . she wasn't prepared to go into another relationship . . . . especially with someone with a different nationality . . . . and someone who was also popular. She knew that the media in her country and in Xiah's country will certainly have a feast if they ever have romantic relationship.

Iqa sighed . . . . she had been in and out of relationships. And all of it ended with her being hurt. Her stardom was always the main cause of her break-ups.

“Iqa . . . . what are you thinking? I said if you would like to join us . . . . .” Xiah said again.

“Oh . . . . sorry! I was thinking of something. . . .” she said with a smile.

“So how about you join us?” Xiah asked again. He really wanted Iqa to join him and the other guys at their table.

Iqa felt that Xiah wasn't going to accept no for an answer. She suddenly nodded and followed him to their table.

“Hello . . . . everyone!” Iqa greeted the other DBSK boys.

“Hi . . . Iqa! How have you been?” Jaejoong asked with a smile.

“Fine . . . . And how about you guys?” she asked in return.

“Fine also . . . I guess. We have been very busy these passed few days . . . . And now our manager is treating us,” Jaejoong answered with a laugh.

Iqa looked at the boys' manager. She was somehow embarrassed.

The boys' manager stared at Iqa. He could sense that she was feeling awkward in joining them. He smiled at her. He wanted her to feel at ease with all of them.

“Come on . . . . sit down. Don't be shy . . . . these boys won't bite you,” the manager said as a joke.

Iqa suddenly laughed. “Thank you . . . .” she replied.

“What would you like?” Max asked Iqa.

“Here . . . .” Xiah said as he offered some foods that he had already selected.

Iqa looked at Xiah. “Please don't be sweet with me . . . . You're making my heart melt,” she said to him in her mind.

“Iqa . . . . that is your name right?” the boys' manager asked.

“Yes . . . sir,” Iqa answered politely.

“You're a very nice girl . . . . I can see. . . . So what nationality are you? Japanese? Chinese?” the elder man asked again.

“No . . . . I am a Filipino . . . .” Iqa answered.

“Filipino?” the elder man asked again as if thinking where he heard the word.

“I'm from the Philippines. . . .” Iqa added.

“Philippines! . . . . Oh right! We already went there for a commercial . . . .” the elder man said with a smile.

“So Iqa . . . . how long are you staying in Tokyo?” Micky asked.

“Not long . . . .” she replied with a sad look in her eyes.

Xiah suddenly stared at Iqa. His heart somehow stopped when he heard that she will be leaving Tokyo soon. And that meant he would never see her again.

“How long?” Xiah asked again.

Iqa looked at Xiah. She could see the sadness in his eyes. “I don't know . . . . .but maybe a week or so . . . .”

Xiah's heart suddenly started pounding. “You can't leave . . . . Please stay with me,” he said in his mind.

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The boys and Iqa were talking when someone caught their attention.

“Oh . . . . .It's Matsuda Masao . . . .” one of the boys' staff suddenly exclaimed.

The DBSK boys and their manager suddenly looked at the direction their staff was pointing. Matsuda Masao was a very famous Japanese fashion designer. Everyone in the fashion and entertainment industry in Japan knew him. He was well respected and was considered a fashion icon in Japan.

“He's really so handsome . . . . “ one of the female staff suddenly said.

“Handsome, rich and famous . . . . what can a girl ask for?” another female staff said with a big grin on her face.

Iqa looked at the man the DBSK boys and the others were all looking at. She wanted to hide but she knew it was already too late.

Masao Matsuda was with his friends. He was already about to sit down when he noticed the DBSK boys looking at him. Then he suddenly saw someone very familiar. He suddenly smiled and left his friends to go straight to where the DBSK boys were sitting.

Everyone . . . including the DBSK boys and their manager were very shocked to see that Masao was walking straight up to them. They didn't know him personally. And somehow they felt it was a big honor to have him greet them.

Iqa saw that Masao was going to where they were. She wanted to hide and just cover herself up so he wouldn't see her. But his gaze was already fixed on her.

Masao suddenly stopped in front of Iqa.

“Hello . . . . Long time no see. . . .” Masao said to Iqa.

Iqa looked up at Masao and smiled. She knew she couldn't escape Masao's attention.

“Hi . . . . Masao,” Iqa said with a smile. She slowly stood up and gave Masao a quick kiss on the cheek.

Masao smiled as Iqa kissed him, and he suddenly placed his arm around her waist. Xiah was surprised with Masao's action. He couldn't really explain what he was feeling as he saw Iqa kiss Masao . . . and now he was holding her in his arms. It was driving him insane . . . . with jealousy.

“So how are you Moniqa? I haven't seen you around Japan for some time now?” Masao asked.

“You know I love going here and there. I never stay in one place for more than a week . . . .” she replied.

“Except Japan . . . . . You always stay in Japan for as long as you can. You're eating in a famous restaurant now . . . . So this can only mean that you're no longer hiding in Japan right?” Masao asked with a smile.

Iqa suddenly laughed. “You are really very good. You already know me that well. I am impressed.”

“Do you know it is very hard to get in touch with you? You're manager is always saying that you're pre-booked whenever I ask him if you could attend one of my shows,” Masao said with a smile as well.

“I am sorry to hear that. . . . But you know how busy I have been these past couple of months. . . .” Iqa replied.

“Months? You're kidding right . . . . Baby . . . . You've been busy for the whole year . . . . ever since you broke up with that good for nothing boyfriend of yours . . . .” Masao said with sarcasm.

Iqa suddenly became silent. She didn't want to talk about his ex-boyfriend anymore. She had already moved on . . . . and she didn't want to think about him anymore.

“Oh! I'm sorry . . . . Me and my big mouth . . . . I didn't mean to mention him again in front of you. But you know how much I disliked that guy the moment I set my eyes on him. I already knew he was just going to make you cry,” Masao said again.

Everyone at the DBSK boys' table were all wondering how Iqa was able to know Masao personally. And judging by the way they were talking . . . . they seem to be very close.

Xiah was already getting red with jealousy. Micky had already noticed his reaction as he watched Iqa and Masao talk so sweetly to each other.

“So how long before your manager arrives and brings you back to the Philippines?” Masao asked again.

“Maybe a week at least . . . . “ she replied sadly.

“I see . . . . well . . . . it means you can still attend my fashion tomorrow. Please say you'll come,” Masao said with a twinkle in his eyes.

Iqa laughed. “What would you do if I said I already have a prior engagement?”

“Oh. . . . you're kidding right? I never get the chance to have you model my clothes . . . . You know how much I adore you . . . My clothes all look so perfect on you. That's why I always want you to model for me. But that manager of yours always keeps on denying my requests. I am beginning to think that I don't matter to you anymore,” Masao said as if his feelings were hurt.

Iqa laughed again. “Very well. . . . I'll attend you fashion show. . . . even if it means my manager will be strangling me for going on impromptu shows again.”

“Well . . . . he knows you love me right?” Masao asked sweetly.

“Of course . . . . You're my best friend . . . .” she replied sweetly.

Xiah's heart was already bleeding as he watched the sweet scene that Masao and Iqa were doing. It was too much for him. He already wanted to snatch Iqa away from Masao and just keep her locked up in a room where she will only be his and his alone.

“So . . . . I have a rehearsal in about half an hour . . . . Would you like to join me?” Masao asked Iqa again.

Iqa looked at the DBSK boys. They were all looking at her and Masao. “But . . . . I have some friends with me . . . . Masao.”

Masao then stared at the people staring at him and Iqa. He suddenly smiled. “I'm sorry . . . . if I have interfered your meal. Let me introduce myself . . . . I am Matsuda Masao.”

The boys' manager suddenly stood up and shook hands with Masao. “Hello . . . . Mr. Matsuda. It is a pleasure finally meeting you.”

As the boys' manager and Masao talked, Iqa apologized to the DBSK boys.

“I'm sorry . . . . but I have to leave. I have promised to help him in his show. Maybe we can meet again some other time . . . .” she said.

“It's all right . . . . we understand,” Micky replied.

Masao suddenly held Iqa's hand. “Come on . . . . We'll be late for the rehearsal.”

“Xiah . . . . I hope we can meet again . . . . Bye . . . .” Iqa said as she slowly walked away with Masao holding her hand.

Xiah just stared as Iqa slowly disappear with Masao.

“Why is it I always end up watching you leave?” Xiah asked Iqa in his mind.

“Who is that friend of yours? How come she's so close to Matsuda? Is she a model?” The boys' manager asked.

“Yes . . . . she's a model, singer and an actress back in her country,” Max replied.

“Oh . . . . Well . . . she must be very good then . . . to have Masao offer her to model for him like that . . . .” their manager commented.

“Do you think we'll be able to see her again?” Xiah suddenly asked out loud.

Everyone at the table all looked at Xiah. He was still looking at the door of the restaurant as if expecting to see Iqa walk in again.

“Better try and tame your heart . . . . Xiah . . . . She's way out of your league . . . . A relation ship with that kind of girl will just bring you trouble. . . . .” their manager said as an advice.

Xiah just nodded. . . . but deep in his heart he knew . . . . it was already too late . . . . his heart already belonged to her.

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The next day . . . . .

The DBSK boys were unexpectedly visited by their manager in their home. It was still very early for their scheduled activities, so they were all confused as to why he was in their apartment.

“Are we already late for an appointment?” Jaejoong asked their manager.

“No . . . . I am just here to tell you guys a very good news.,” their manager said with a sweet smile on his lips.

“What is it hyung?” Max asked their manager.

Their manager suddenly took out a piece of paper and started to wave it around. “Do you guys know what this is?” he asked with a grin.

“What is it?” Jaejoong asked curiously.

“Well . . . . this is an invitation for the Matsuda show tonight. He just sent our company an invitation for you guys. Do you know how hard it is to get invited to his shows? And to be sent an invitation is already an honor. Even the president of our company doesn't get invited to his shows . . . . So when the president learned that Matsuda had sent an invitation for you guys . . . . He told me to make sure that you guys were to attend the event. It is a very prestigious event . . . . and only the elite
get invited. So all of your scheduled activities for today have all been canceled so that you can all concentrate on getting yourselves ready for the show tonight,” their manager said with a big smile.

“So we are basically free tonight?” Xiah asked in disbelief.

“Yes . . . . and the president has even provided new suits for you to wear for the event tonight. We wouldn't want you boys to look out of place would we?” the older man said.

The DBSK boys all looked at each other. They had a feeling about why they suddenly got invited to Matsuda's show. They all knew it was because of Iqa.

“So get yourselves ready now. We have a lot of things to prepare for your attendance in the show tonight,” the older man said again.

The boys could easily tell that their manager was very happy by what had happened. They were all excited to go to Matsuda's show as well. But as for Xiah . . . . he had a strange feeling that he couldn't quite explain. He knew he would be seeing Iqa again tonight. But there was fear in his heart . . . He was fearing that he might not like what he was going to see. He was fearing the fact that he was going to see Iqa as the real person that she really was. . . . . Another shining star. . . . a star that he couldn't reach.

“Hey! What are you thinking . . . .hyung?” Max asked.

Xiah looked at Max as if startled. He was thinking about how he was going to react once he net Iqa again.

“Nothing . . . .” Xiah replied with a fake smile.

“Nothing? Do you actually think we are blind?” Micky asked.

“You haven't been yourself ever since you met Iqa . . . . And ever since yesterday. . . . you have been acting really strange as well. So please stop lying and just accept the fact that you really like her . . . . . . We all know that you keep on denying it. But it doesn't work on us,” Jaejoong said with concern.

Xiah stared at his friends again. He really couldn't keep any secrets from them They already knew each other so well . . . . that they could easily tell what was in each other's minds.

“I am . . . . really nervous about tonight . . . .” he said as he tried to smile.

“Why?” U-Know asked.

“I . . . . I don't know! I just . . . . feel strange just thinking that she will be around Matsuda. Have you seen the way he was acting around her yesterday? I just find it so . . . . so sickening. . . .” Xiah answered.

Micky laughed out loud. “You're jealous! Xiah is jealous of Matsuda!” he said again and again as he laughed.

Xiah suddenly blushed. “Please stop it! Our manager might hear you,” he said with concern.

Micky suddenly stopped laughing. He had totally forgotten that their manager was around.

“Sorry . . . . I forgot,” Micky apologized.

“So what do you plan to do tonight? Are you going to ask Iqa out or maybe talk to her?” Micky asked seriously.

Xiah was very confused on what to do. He wasn't even sure if he would be able to get near her . . . or talk to her.

“Do you guys think I can actually have the chance to talk with her?” Xiah suddenly asked.

“Why not?” U-Know asked again.

“Because . . . . we will be sitting in the audience and she will be on stage . . . and surely after that a lot of people will be around her and us . . . . of course,” Xiah answered.

The other DBSK boys suddenly paused and started to think. They haven't thought about that. They never thought about Iqa'a real status.

“Well. . . . surely she wouldn't be that busy . . . . since she will only be one of the models . . . . and the attention of everyone will be on Matsuda and the other famous Japanese models in his show,” Max suddenly said.

“Maybe you're right . . . .” Xiah suddenly said with a sigh.

“The best thing you can do now is get to spend some time with her . . . .” Micky said as an advice.

“But hyung . . . . what's the use of being close to her . . . . when she's supposed to leave Japan in a few days?” Max innocently asked.

Unexpectedly Max's question hit Xiah very hard. “Max is right! What am I expecting? She is leaving in a few days. Even if I get close to her for a few days . . . . what next?” Xiah started to ask himself.

The other DBSK boys knew that Xiah had started to think about Max's question. They all felt sorry for him. Max suddenly felt guilty for asking. He didn't mean to make his friend unhappy all of a sudden.

Night came . . . . the boys and their manager had finally arrived at Matsuda's show. The DBSk boys were amazed at how grand and star studded the show was. Everywhere they could see politicians, singers, artists, and other famous celebrities in Japan.

The boys entered the show room nervously. They were very uneasy as they all moved into the room. Their manager was somehow taken by surprise as well by how grand the event really was.

“Hello . . . . boys!” Masao greeted them personally as they entered the room.

“Hello . . . . Mr. Matsuda. Thank you for the invitation,” the boys' manager said with a big smile.

“Oh . . . .it's nothing. Any friend of Moniqa . . . . I also consider as my friend. So you guys are all welcome to my show. I hope you will enjoy it,” Masao with a smile.

“Thank you again,” the boys' manager said again.

“Excuse me . . . . Mr. Matsuda . . . . but can I ask where is Iqa . . . .I mean Moniqa?” Max suddenly asked.

Masao laughed. “ I'm sorry . . .But she's quite busy now boys. You will see her in the show. And after the show . . . . maybe then you can talk with her. . .” Masao replied.

“Is she really going to be in the show? Is she going to model?” Max asked again.

“Yes . . . She's my main model. You will all be taken by surprise by how she looks tonight,” Masao replied.

The DBSK boys and Masao were still talking when a girl suddenly approached them and whispered something in Masao's ear.

“I am sorry . . . . but I've got to go. The show is about to start. I hope you will all enjoy the show,” Masao said with a warm smile.

After Masao left the boys. . . . they suddenly felt very anxious. They were very curious as to how Iqa looked and if she really was a good model . . . . and a lot of other questions were running through their minds.

The guests started to take their seats. The DBSK boys waited . . . . . and suddenly all the lights focused on the stage.

As the music started . . . . female models started to enter the stage. One by one . . . they all looked very gorgeous and elegant.

After several minutes of waiting. . . . Iqa finally walked on stage. She was very stunning in her black velvet dress. She walked with such confidence and elegance that the boys were all convinced that she really was a professional model.

Xiah gasped in amazement at how beautiful she was. Everyone around them were all taken in by her beauty as well. He was feeling very proud of her . . . . and again his heart started to pound so hard and beat very fast.

As soon as Iqa entered the stage . . . . a lot of people started to talk. The DBSK boys couldn't help but hear everything that they were saying.

“Isn't that Moniqa?” a woman suddenly asked.

“She's so beautiful in person . . . . How come she is in Japan?” another woman asked.

“Masao is really very close with her . . . . Imagine he was able to invite her . . . . She's supposed to be very busy with her new album and upcoming concert in the US,” a man said.

“That only proves how special Masao is to her,” another girl commented.

Xiah's heart was breaking as he silently listened to everything that the people around them were saying.

“Isn't she supposed to have a boyfriend. . . . you know the CEO of a large cell phone company?” another woman asked.

“Didn't you know? She had already broken up with her a few months ago. It seems the guy was seeing another girl while he was having a relationship with her. So she broke up with him. Do you know that she was already about to get engaged with him . . . . when she learned that he was cheating on him?” another woman said.

“Poor girl!” the other woman exclaimed.

The DBSK boys felt pity for Iqa after learning what she had gone through. Xiah, on the other hand, was feeling sorry for her as well. . . . . so sorry that he wanted to comfort her and hold her in his arms.

“If I was that guy I would never hurt you . . . . If I was that guy I would never make you cry . . . If I was that guy I would never leave you. . . . . I would always stay by your side. If I was the one . . . . in your life,” Xiah said to himself as he watched Iqa.

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After the fashion show . . . . .

Xiah sighed. He had been trying to get the chance to talk to Iqa but she was always too busy. She was always with Masao . . . . and she was always either with a reporter or a media personality.

“Iqa sure is very popular . . . . Imagine all the press people here know her . . . .” Max commented.

The other DBSK boys all nodded. They never imagined she was such a big star. Somehow they all felt that she was even a bigger star than they were.

“It seems it's impossible to talk with her now,” Xiah said sadly.

Micky looked at his friend. He was obviously very upset that he couldn't talk with Iqa.

“Sorry . . . . Xiah. But there's nothing we can do . . . . unless she comes to us . . . . we can't possibly talk to her . . . .” Micky said to Xiah.

“I know . . . . Good thing . . . our manager is enjoying himself talking with different people or else we would have already left a long time ago,” Xiah said again with a sigh.

“Yes, that's true,” Micky replied.

Half an hour passed . . . . .

Xiah had already accepted the fact he was never going to have the chance to talk with Iqa.

“I guess . . . . I should just accept that I won't be able to talk with her . . . .” Xiah said to the other DBSK members as he sipped a glass of wine.

“You want to talk with whom? Maybe I can help . . . .” a sweet voice suddenly said.

Xiah was suddenly surprised and looked at where the voice came from . . . . It was Iqa.

“Hello . .. . Sorry I couldn't get away so easily from the press . . . . I have been wanting to chat with you guys as soon as the show was over. But someone was always trying to talk with me and was trying to get my attention . . . . And Masao was always trying to introduce me to someone . . . .” Iqa explained.

“It's all right. . . . We understand,” Xiah said with a sweet smile on his lips. Finally . . . . Iqa was in front of him.

“So did you guys like the show?” she asked.

“Yes . . . . very much. You were great!” Max said with a smile.

“Thanks . . . . While I was backstage I heard some of the models talking. . . . And they were talking about you guys. They were all saying you guys were much more handsome in person than in tv,” Iqa said with a laugh.

“Really?” Micky suddenly asked with a wide grin on his face. He was suddenly very interested in what Iqa was saying.

Iqa laughed. “Micky . . . . you’re really very cute!”

“Why?” Micky asked as if confused. He suddenly looked at Xiah . . . . who was suddenly having a gloomy look on his face.

“Well . . . .you suddenly became interested as soon as I mentioned about the other models . . . .” Iqa answered with a laugh.

“Oh. . . . “ Micky uttered.

“Well . . . . Xiah is way . . . . way cuter than Micky here,” Jaejoong said as if trying to divert Iqa’s attention to Xiah again.

All the other DBSK boys knew that Xiah had been waiting for the chance to talk with her. They all wanted to give him what they knew would make him happy.

“Xiah . . . .” Iqa uttered as she noticed that Xiah was very silent.

Xiah somehow snapped out of his thoughts and back into reality.

“I’m sorry . . . .I was thinking of something . . . . What were you saying?” Xiah asked with a smile.

Iqa smiled sweetly at Xiah. She had moved closer to Xiah and was standing next to him now.

Xiah didn’t know what to do . . . . He was very nervous as Iqa was only inches away from him. His heart was beating very fast and somehow he was feeling very cold.

“Xiah . . . . are you okay?” Iqa asked with a worried look on her face. She could sense that something was wrong with him.

Xiah tried to smile. He tried very hard to control himself. He didn’t want to look foolish in front of Iqa. He tried to control his nervousness and tried to act normal.

“Yes . . . . I am fine. How about you? Aren’t you tired? You were fantastic . . . . I never thought you were really an amazing model . . . .” Xiah commented.

Iqa laughed. “You’re very cute as well,” then she gently pinched Xiah on the cheek.

Xiah’s heart quickly stopped the moment Iqa touched his cheek. He then immediately blushed afterwards. He couldn’t explain the joy that he suddenly felt.

The other DBSK boys suddenly smiled as they all noticed the smile that appeared on his lips.

“Frankly . . . . I wanted to meet you guys again. I really enjoyed my time with you guys on the plane. I guess . . . . I just used this event to have an excuse to see you and talk with you guys again,” Iqa confessed.

The DBSK boys were surprised by what Iqa had said. They never expected her to be frank.

Iqa laughed again, as soon as she saw the shocked look on the boys’ faces.

“I mean . . . . I have been missing talking with friends. . . .And frankly I don’t have that many friends anymore . . . . Being a star has many advantages but mostly disadvantages, on my case. That’s why I feel so comfortable with you guys . . . At least with you . . . I can be open and you would somehow understand my situation and my sentiments . . . . since you are all stars as well. I hope you won’t mind me hanging out with you guys again . . . . even if one more night . . . . just tonight . . . .” Iqa said as she looked at Xiah.

Xiah somehow felt that there was a deeper meaning in what she was saying. He could see the loneliness in her eyes. Somehow he wanted to erase that loneliness and replace it with joy and love.

“We also enjoyed the time we had on the plane . . . . And we are more than honored to have the pleasure of accompanying you the whole night,” Xiah said with a sweet smile.

Iqa’a heart suddenly skipped a beat. “Please don’t be so kind. I don’t want to fall for you. . . . I can’t fall in love with you . . . .I’ve only met you . . . . And I don’t want to fall in love with anyone anymore. I am already finished with love. . . . I don’t want to be hurt anymore . . . . So please . . . . Stop Xiah . . . . Please don’t make me love you,” she said in her thoughts as she silently stared at Xiah.

Xiah was about to say something when . . . . something caught everyone’s attention. A man and a woman had suddenly entered the room . . . . Everyone started to look at the newly arrived couple. . . .and then some people started to whisper to one another.

As soon as Iqa saw the couple that walked in . . . . her heart somehow started to ache terribly. She suddenly became very pale that Xiah immediately noticed her.

“No! . . . . Please not him . . . . I don’t want to see him anymore . . . . .I can’t bear to see him now . . . . Please . . . .” Iqa uttered with fright in her eyes.

“Iqa . . . . what’s wrong? Are you all right?” Xiah asked with concern.

“I . . . . I . . . .” Iqa’s mind had suddenly gone blank. She wanted to run and hide. She didn’t want to meet the man and woman that had just walked into the show room.

“Iqa . . . .” the other DBSK uttered as they were also very concerned with Iqa.

Masao suddenly went to where Iqa was. He was obviously very concerned with her as well.

“Moniqa . . . . are you all right? I’m sorry . . . . I didn’t expect that he would come . . . . I’m sorry . . . “ Masao said.

Iqa looked at Masao. She then tried to smile. “It’s okay. We are going to meet sooner or later. I guess . . . .the time has finally come for me to face him again.”

“Moniqa . . . . be brave okay. . . . I will be here. I’ll make sure he won’t be able to hurt you,” Masao said again with concern in his eyes. He could see that Moniqa was already disoriented.

The DBSK boys were all confused as to who was the man that Iqa feared to meet. They all stared at the couple that had just entered the room. They were slowly walking to the direction that they were in.

“Moniqa . . . .I’ll take care of this . . . .” Masao said with a hard tone.

“Who is that man?” Max suddenly asked out loud.

“It’s Akira Sato . . . Moniqa’s ex-boyfriend . . . .And that girl is Reina Nakano . . . . the girl he replaced her with,” Masao answered.

The DBSK boys were all shocked by what they learned. Now . . . . they knew why she was acting very strange. . . . They somehow pitied her. . . especially Xiah. How he wanted to be the one to protect her from Akira. . . . .

As soon as the couple approached them . . . . the man had immediately greeted Iqa with a big smile.

“Hello Moniqa. . . . .” the man greeted.

Iqa didn’t know what to say . . . . or if she should say anything at all. She just stared at the face that haunted her dreams for months now.

“Hello . . . . Akira . . . .” Masao said with a very cold voice.

“Masao . . . . still trying to protect your best friend . . . I see. I was talking to her . . . .” the man said with a very cold expression on his face too.

“What are you doing here? I never invited you . . . .” Masao said coldly.

Akira laughed. “You didn’t invite me . . . . but you invited my father . . . . And since he couldn’t come . . . . I came in his place instead,” he answered bluntly.

“Hello . . . . Moniqa! Nice meeting you again . . . . I hope you already have someone new in your life,” Reina greeted with a big grin on her beautiful face.

The DBSK boys knew that Reina was making fun of Iqa. They became very disgusted with the girl. They never thought that such a beautiful woman could have such an ugly character.

“I don’t think that is any of your business . . . .” Iqa replied with a sharp look in her eyes.

Reina laughed. “I was just asking . . . . because if you haven’t met someone . . . .then maybe I can help. I can introduce you to some of my male friends . . . . I know they would be delighted to meet someone like you.”

“Reina . . . . stop it,” Akira warned.

“I’m not doing anything wrong . . . . In fact, I’m being nice to your ex,” Reina said with a smile.

The DBSK boys were very disgusted with Reina. They couldn’t believe that such a beautiful woman could have such a repugnant character.

“So? You haven’t answered my question? Are you seeing someone now? Would you like me to introduce someone to you? I hope you’re not still thinking that maybe Akira will come back to you. He’s already mine . . . . and there’s no way that he’s going back to you . . . .” Reina said again.

“I . . . . .” Iqa started to say.

“What? You already have a new boyfriend? . . . . So? I’m waiting . . . .” Reina asked.

“I . . . . I . . . .I . . . .” Iqa was trying to find the right words to say when . . . .

“She already has someone new in her life . . . . So you can stop asking her . . . .” Xiah suddenly answered.

“Really? Who? May I ask the guy’s name?” Reina asked with an eyebrow raised.

“Me . . . .” Xiah boldly answered.

The DBSK boys and Masao were all shocked with Xiah’s statement. They didn’t expect that he would be able to boldly admit his feelings for Iqa around so many people.

“Really? You’re kidding right? You’re one of the DBSK members right? So how come someone like you is going out with someone like her?” Reina asked again still unable to believe.

“What’s wrong with me going out with her? She’s much a nicer girl than you will ever be . . . .” Xiah answered sarcastically. He had already had enough of Reina’s insults.

Reina laughed out loud. “You really expect me to believe that you and her are a couple?”

“Yes . . .” Xiah replied.

“Then prove it!” Reina said.

“How?” Xiah asked again.

“Kiss her . . .” Reina said with a sly look on her face.

Xiah looked at Iqa. She was still trying to avoid looking at Reina and Akira. He could also see the tears that were starting to form in her eyes.

Somehow what he saw had made him mad. He slowly moved . . . . and gently, he took Iqa into his arms. . . . . And then he gently lowered his lips to cover her sweet lips. At first . . . Iqa was somehow reluctant to return Xiah’s kiss but as time moved on . . . . she had unconsciously started to kiss him back. Everyone who saw what Xiah had done were stunned. All of the people in the show room couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

But to Xiah and Iqa . . . .

As their lips met . . . . they somehow felt a very strange sensation overcome their bodies. It was as if their worlds had suddenly stopped and met at one end. They were in each other’s arms and they both felt that they had somehow found a place where they both felt so warm and secure. They both wanted their kiss to last longer. They both wanted to continue living in that day dream . . . . They both wanted to pretend that they truly belonged to each other. . . . .

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While Xiah and Iqa kissed each other . . . . . the media were already busy taking pictures and videos.

The other DBSK boys didn't know what to do. They all knew what Xiah had done was going to greatly affect his image and their group's image as well. Their manager was silently watching everything that was happening. But they could see the anger in his eyes.

“This is going to be big trouble for all of us . . . . .” Micky suddenly whispered to Jaejoong.

Jaejoong just nodded. As much as he wanted to support Xiah . . . . he knew what Xiah had done was totally unacceptable. Both in their personal and career aspects.

Xiah had finally released Iqa. And as soon as they ended their kiss, reporters started asking them questions.

“So the two of you are a couple now?” a reporter asked.

“How long have the two of you known each other?” another reporter asked.

“Can you please tell us how, where and when the two of you met?”

“Do you plan to make an album together?”

“Xiah , why did you fall in love with her?”

“Iqa . . . . after your last break-up with Akira Sato, you mentioned that you will try to avoid falling in love again . . . . So how come you're with Xiah of DBSK now?”

“Do you guys have any plans of getting married in the near future?”

Both Xiah and Iqa were totally confused on what to do and how to answer the questions bring thrown at them. They were already being mobbed by the media people.

Luckily, Masao with a group of men interfered and helped Xiah and Iqa escape from the large group of media present at the fashion show.

The other DBSK boys and their manager were already waiting in the dressing room that the models used for the show. They were waiting for Xiah and Iqa to arrive.

Masao had told them to leave the show room as soon as the commotion started.

Xiah and Iqa finally arrived, still holding her hand, with Masao right behind them.

As soon as Xiah entered the room, their manager had totally lost his self-control.

“Xiah! What were you thinking? For years . . . . we have maintained your images as artists . . . clean and scandal-free. But now . . . . now with what you have done . . . . what do you think the president of SM Entertainment will say now? How are we going to explain everything to him. Aside from that . . . . there is also the president of Avex Trax to also think about. How are we supposed to explain to him too? I told you . . . . the moment I learned she was also an artist . . . . I told you . . . . Stay away from her . . . . I told you . . . . She was just going to bring you trouble. But did you listen to me? No . . . . you had to be the very charming and helpful boy that you are . . . . and you had to help . . . . in exchange . . . . you're going to ruin your career,” the DBSK boys' manager angrily said to Xiah.

Xiah and Iqa were both very silent as the boys' manager talked.

“Hyung . . . . I'm sorry,” Xiah said to their manager.

“Sorry . . . . Sorry? How is you sorry going to fix everything?” the older man asked.

“Please just calm down. . . . We can certainly think of something to fix the trouble they had caused,” Masao had said to the boys' manager.

“How? How are we supposed to fix everything? I am thinking of my boys' future . . . They have worked so hard for years . . . . I don't want it to all go to waste. Can you understand what I am trying to say?” the boys' manager was already very emotional.

“I'm sorry . . . . I didn't mean to cause any trouble . . . .” Iqa apologized to the boys' manager.

“Iqa . . . .” Xiah uttered.

“I'm sorry also to all of you . . . . Please forgive me. I didn't mean to bring you any trouble,” Iqa then apologized to the DBSK boys.

“Iqa . . . . Don't you dare apologize . . . .You don't have to lower yourself like that!” Masao angrily said.

“Masao . . . . But it is all my fault . . . . That's why I'm saying sorry,” Iqa softly said.

“Yes . . . . it's all your fault . . . . But your sorry won't be able to do anything,” the older man said.

Iqa looked at the boys' manager with tears already forming in her eyes. She was very sorry . . . She wanted to help clear everything up. But she didn't know what to do.

“you're so concerned with how your boys' images and careers will be affected . . . . But have you ever considered that Moniqa has her own image and career to take care of too?” a voice had suddenly said.

Everyone in the dressing room suddenly looked at where the voice came from. It came from another older man, more or less the same age as the DBSK boys' manager.

“And who do you think you are?” the boys' manager asked.

“Since Moniqa's real manager is still in the Philippines, Sony Music Entertainment has sent me to take care of this matter,” the other older man said.

“Sony Music Entertainment? . . . . Who are you?” the DBSK boys' manager asked again.

“I am Ichiro Nakano, her temporary manager. Moniqa is currently under Sony Music Entertainment . . . . You didn't know? Well . . . . as soon as the news of what happened at the show room broke out. I was immediately sent here to take care of everything,” the older man explained.

“You're signed in with Sony Music Entertainment? Then you're really a big star then . . . .” Max said to Iqa.

Iqa just nodded. She didn't know what else to say. Somehow she was glad that someone was sent to help her.

“What do you mean you will take care of everything?” Xiah suddenly asked Ichiro.

Ichiro looked at Xiah and Moniqa.

“The three presidents of SM Entertainment, Avex Trax and Sony Music Entertainment have already decided on a good solution to cover everything that had happened,” Ichiro answered.

“How?” Jaejoong asked.

“Only one thing to do . . . . Xiah and Moniqa . . . both of you will have to pretend that you are in a real relationship,” Ichiro answered.

“What?” the other DBSK boys asked in unison. They were all surprised by what Ichiro had said.

“Ichiro! . . . That's totally absurd! Isn't that going to make things more complicated for both of us?” Moniqa protested.

Xiah looked at Iqa. He couldn't explain what he was feeling at that moment. He was somehow hurt that Iqa didn't want to pretend to have a relationship with him.

“You don't have any choice . . . . I was just instructed to tell you of what they have decided . . . .” Ichiro said again.

“And that is?” Moniqa asked.

“Xiah . . . . Moniqa . . . . the two of you will have to pretend that you are both in love with each other and currently in a relationship . . . . Both of you will have to pretend for at least two months. After two months . . . . we can then work out how to announce your formal break up to the press . . . .” Ichiro answered.

Iqa looked at Xiah. She was feeling very sorry that she had suddenly dragged him into a very complicated situation.

“Is that the only way we can avoid further scandal?” the DBSK boys' manager asked Ichiro.

Ichiro just nodded. “Yes . . . and starting tomorrow . . . . Xiah and Moniqa will have to go out and make people believe that they really are a couple . . . .”

“But I'm supposed to leave Japan in a week . . . .” Iqa said.

“I am sorry . . . . But you won't be able to leave Japan until the two of you finished your so-called relationship. You will be staying here in Japan for two months. And while you're here . . . . you will also be doing your concert,” Ichiro said again.

“Concert? But it's scheduled seven months from now . . . .” Iqa said again.

“It has been moved. . . . Since you will be staying in Japan for two months, might as well . . . . take advantage of the situation,” Ichiro replied.

“You're really serious about everything?” Iqa asked again.

“Yes . . . And I already have found an apartment for you,” Ichiro replied with a smile.

Iqa sighed. It was totally hopeless arguing with Ichiro. She had known him for years . . . and he wasn't easy to persuade.

“There's nothing you can do . . . but follow. Everything has already been set . . . . Tomorrow . . . the two of you will have your very first official date under the public eyes. I have already set a dinner reservation for the two of you in a hotel,” Ichiro said.

Xiah and Iqa both looked straight into each other's eyes. They knew starting tomorrow . . . their lives will suddenly change.

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The next day . . . .

It was only 7 o' clock in the morning . . . . but the DBSK boys' manager had already arrived at the boys' apartment. He was instructed to prepare Xiah for his so-called date with Moniqa, by none other than the president of both Avex Trax and SM Entertainment.

"Hyung . . . . why are you here so early in the morning?" Max had asked their manager.

"I was told to help prepare Xiah with his date today. . . . . All your schedules have been cleared so that his date won't be affected. So basically all of you are free to do whatever you want today,” their manager had said.

The other DBSK boys all looked at each other . . . . then suddenly they all cheered. They were very happy . . . . They were going to have a day off . . . . and they could do anything they want.

“I am going to sleep the whole afternoon,” Max said with a smile on his lips.

“I am going to cook a new recipe that I have been wanting to try out,” Jaejoong said.

“We're going to watch a movie,” U-Know and Micky exclaimed in unison.

“As for me . . . . I . . . . I . . . .” Xiah had started to say something when his friends interrupted him.

“You . . . . You . . . . You are going on a date!” Micky had suddenly exclaimed with a big laugh. Max, Jaejoong and U-Know started to laugh as well.

Xiah suddenly blushed as Micky and the other DBSK members all started to tease him. But he was very happy and was already anticipating his date with Moniqa. The other DBSK boys could easily tell that he was very happy and was very much excited as well.

The boys' manager just watched as they all teased one another. He loved the boys liked his own sons and he wanted the best for them. How he wanted to always protect them and give them the best things that life could possibly give them.

He was very unhappy that something was now threatening the very successful careers of his boys. He didn't want anything . . . . especially someone to destroy what they have worked hard for so many years. He didn't actually blamed or disliked Moniqa . . . . In fact, he found her a very nice and charming girl. But somehow he could feel that she could easily attract the DBSK boys. And that was the main reason he didn't want her to get close to the boys. And especially after learning, she was also an artist . . . . He already concluded that she was really trouble for the DBSK boys.

And now . . . . watching the DBSK boys tease Xiah. He already knew that Xiah might really have special feelings for Moniqa.

The DBSK boys' manager sighed. He couldn't do anything anymore. Xiah was free to like and love anyone he liked. He had no right to control Xiah's feelings. Again he looked at the DBSK boys, all he could do now was just help them in the best way that he can.

“Hyung . . . is going on a date!” Max teased Xiah.

Xiah just smiled.

“He's not even complaining about our constant teasing . . . He's just smiling . . . .Ph! This is driving me crazy,” Micky said with a big laugh.

“The reason why Xiah is smiling is because he's so happy that he's finally going on a date . . .” Jaejoong also teased Xiah.

“Yes . . . . he's going on his very . . . . first date,” Micky added with a laugh.

“Hey! It's not my first date,” Xiah protested.

“Oh?” Micky asked with a big grin on his face.

“Hey! . . . That's enough. You're all going to make Xiah . . . . cry . . . .” U-Know said as if serious at first but then started laughing at the end also.

“Poor hyung . . . .” Max uttered.

“Just don't forget to be good to her . . . .” Jaejoong suddenly said seriously.

“She's a nice girl . . . So you should treat her nicely,” U-Know also said.

“Hyung . . . . be sweet to her okay?” Max said with a sweet smile.

“Remember . . . . Don't bite!” Micky said again with a laugh.

As soon as the other DBSK boys heard what Micky had said. They all started laughing again.

Xiah was speechless. He was blushing again because of what Micky had said.

“Okay . . . .boys . . . that's enough. Xiah, you're supposed to pick up Moniqa in her new apartment at 9 am. A car and a driver has been assigned to you. Then the two of you will be having breakfast at a restaurant. After breakfast, the two of you will have the whole morning and afternoon to yourselves. You can both decide where you want to go. Just tell the driver the place and he will take you there. Just make sure . . . . you show at the hotel I told you earlier for dinner. Then after dinner . . . you can still stay with her until 10 pm. After that . . . you're supposed to bring her home to her apartment. Then after you've brought her home . . .I expect you to be back here by 11:30 pm okay? You still have a full packed schedule tomorrow . . .” the DBSK boys' manager had elaborated every detail of Xiah's itinerary for the day.

Xiah was totally taken by surprise by what he heard. He was given the chance to be with Iqa from morning until late evening. His heart was already jumping with joy. Somehow he couldn't hide the joy he was feeling. And unconsciously, a smile suddenly appeared on his lips.

Their manager had instantly noticed Xiah's reaction. “I can see you're not even complaining . . . . and you're actually very happy about it,” he said.

Xiah just smiled at their manager.

“Get dress already . . . . We don't want you to be late on your first date . . . “ the older man said to Xiah with a hidden smile on his lips.

Xiah together with the other DBSK boys started to get ready for his arranged date with Moniqa. While he was preparing . . . . he couldn't stop himself from feeling very nervous. He was . . . . nervous that he wouldn't be able to act normal once he was already with her . . . . nervous that he wouldn't be able to find the right words to say . . . . nervous that he wouldn't be able to hide his true feelings once he was alone with her.

Xiah tried to burhs all his fears aside. He was determined to make this day a very special and memorable day for both of them. He wanted to make himself believe that he was actually going out with her because they both liked each other. He wanted to make believe . . . . even for one day . . . . that Moniqa really belonged to him.

“Xiah . . . .it's time to go. Moniqa is already waiting at her apartment,” their manager said.

Xiah closed his eyes. “ Please help me to make this day a special one for both of us,” he silently prayed.

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As soon as Xiah laid his eyes on Moniqa, His heart started beating wildly. She was very stunning in the dress she was wearing.

He couldn't believe that he was actually going out with her. Then suddenly fear started to fill his heart. As he stared at her, it was only then that he started to realize that Moniqa was someone he could only have in his dreams.

She was a star with such beauty and radiance that he could never obtain.

Xiah continued to stare at Moniqa as things started to fill his mind. “I know I can never truly have you, Iqa . . . . That's why I am willing to be contented with this make-believe world. . . . At least . . . . in this world . . . . even for a short time . . . . I can make myself believe that you are mine . . . .”

Xiah's heart was somehow feeling pain. But he just ignored it . . . . and tried to put on a happy smile.

This was his special day with her . . . . And he was determined to just forget everything . . . . and just pretend . . . pretend that they were truly in love with each other.

“Xiah . . . .” Iqa uttered.

Xiah smiled. “Have you been waiting long?”

“No . . . . Xiah . . . First of all, I just want to say sorry . . . .” Iqa started to say with a sad look on his face.

“Sorry? Why? What do you mean?” Xiah asked.

“Sorry . . . . for dragging you into this mess. . . . Sorry . . . for complicating your life. We have only met each other for a couple of days . . . and now . . . look at us . . . We're suddenly forced to look and act like a couple. I'm sorry . . . for all the inconvenience this situation might cause you,” Iqa apologized.

Xiah smiled sweetly at Iqa. “Why is it you're always apologizing for everything . . . . You don't have to say sorry to me . . . Come to think of it . . . I'm the one who started this problem. . . . So if there's someone who should be apologizing . . . . it should be me. So please stop blaming yourself.”

Iqa looked straight into Xiah's eyes. She could see the sincerity in his eyes.

“Thank you . . . .” she uttered.

“Come on . . . . I think we have to go . . . . or else our managers will be calling any minute,” Xiah said with a laugh.

Iqa smiled back at Xiah. “Where are we going so early in the morning?”

“We're going to have breakfast first,” Xiah replied.

Iqa just nodded. “Breakfast . . . that sounds good.”

As they were about to go out Moniqa's apartment, Xiah boldly took Moniqa's hand and held it.

As soon as their hands touched each other, a sudden warm feeling started to fill their hearts. Somehow they both felt like holding hands with each other was the most natural thing in the world.

As Xiah held Moniqa's hand . . . . the only thing he could think about was how her hand fitted so perfectly in his hand. How he wished he could hold her hand forever.

After breakfast . . . .

They were already in the car discussing where to go next.

“So where do you want to go?” Xiah asked Iqa.

“I don't know . . . .” She replied with a smile.

“They said we could go anywhere we like . . . How about if we go to a mall? Or watch a movie?” Xiah suggested.

Moniqa smiled. “That sounds like fun. But do you think it is wise to go to a mall? Many girls will recognize you instantly . . .”

“Oh . . . .” Xiah uttered. It had totally slipped out of his mind that he can't go out so easily.

“I'm sorry . . . But you're right . . . . going to a mall may not be advisable for both of us,” Xiah said with a sigh. He was really disappointed.

Moniqa saw the sadness and disappointment in Xiah's face. She suddenly smiled.

“Come on . . . . I have a perfect idea,” she said.

“Where are we going?” Xiah asked as if confused.

Moniqa whispered something to the driver. She was obviously very happy.

“It's a secret!” she replied with a sweet smile. “Just wait. . . .”

Fifteen minutes later . . . .

“Here we are!” Moniqa exclaimed with joy.

Xiah looked outside the car. He was suddenly shocked.

“But we're outside the mall . . . . Iqa. What are we doing here?” Xiah asked with concern.

“We're here to have fun. We're going to take a stroll . . . then we're going to buy some stuffs . . . then we're going to see a movie . . . .” she replied with a glitter of happiness in her eyes.

“But as you said before . . . . many people will recognize me . . . . and you,” Xiah said again with concern.

Moniqa laughed. “Don't tell me . . . . you're scared of your own fans . . .They won't eat us . . .”

“No . . . but I just feel it's not safe . . .I'm more concerned about you . . . .” Xiah replied.

Moniqa suddenly looked straight into Xiah's eyes. It was true . . . . she could see the concern in his eyes. Somehow this made her feel she should be honest with him.

“Xiah . . . . I'm always willing to take the risk. I don't want to always be confined to what I can or can not do. And frankly right now . . . . I want to enjoy my time with you,” Iqa said honestly.

Xiah's heart suddenly leaped with joy as soon as he heard what Moniqa said. Then he suddenly smiled.

“I'm also willing to risk everything . . . just to make you happy . . . .” Xiah seriously said to Moniqa. They both looked into each other's eyes. Somehow they could understand what the other was trying to say just by looking at each other. Xiah smiled and then he gently held her hand as they both stepped out of the car.

Xiah didn't let go of Moniqa's hand as they walked around the mall. Somehow they both felt like they were floating into thin air as they strolled. Moniqa was feeling very happy as well. She had never felt such a satisfying feeling like the way she is feeling right at that moment.

“Happy?” Xiah asked Moniqa as they strolled along the mall. It was still very early and there were still only a few people in the mall.

Moniqa laughed. “Yes . . . very happy . . . . And you?”

“Happy . . . . like you will never imagine . . . .” Xiah replied with a hidden meaning.

“What do you mean?” Iqa asked.

“Nothing . . . .”

“So this is how it feels like to stroll around the mall . . . . with your boyfriend holding your hand. . . . Frankly . . . .I've never experienced this before,” Moniqa said with a sigh.

“You mean . . . you never went to a mall with your boyfriend?” Xiah surprisedly asked.

“No. . . . I never went to a mall with my ex-boyfriends. I always forbidden to go anywhere without any chaperon. And all my ex didn't want to go out if I was with a bodyguard or a chaperon. The life of a celebrity has its disadvantages . . . . and one of them is all your personal relationship will be affected. I have had five boyfriends since I was eighteen and they all didn't work out. My longest relationship was more than a year and that was with Akira. But then he also grew tired of me . . . . and ended up replacing me with Reina. I know I can't blame him . . . since I had a lot of faults too. I was always busy and I didn't have much time for him,” Iqa said with sadness in her eyes.

Xiah didn't want to see Moniqa sad. It was breaking his heart seeing her down. He held her hand tighter and he led her to the arcade area of the mall.

“Where are we going?” Moniqa surprisedly asked.

“We're going to have fun. . . . “ Xiah answered.

Xiah and Moniqa passed the time different games in the arcade. As they played and happily laughed at each other, how Xiah wished that their time together would never end. How he wanted to be with her forever.

After the arcade . . . Xiah and Moniqa also went to some stores and bought some personal items for themselves. As they were busy trying to select what to buy . . . . many of the sales people in the different stores were already making a big fuss over them. But Moniqa and Xiah still continued to shop and go around the mall as if they were ordinary citizens.

Hours passed, Xiah then led Moniqa to the cinema center. They were already sitting and were already waiting for the movie to start when . . . .

“Thank you . . . . Xiah. . .” Moniqa uttered.

“For what?” Xiah asked.

“For being so nice . . . .and making me feel so special . . . .” Moniqa answered.

“You are special . . . .” Xiah softly said.

Moniqa softly laughed. “You're so cute . . . . do you know that? You can easily make a girl fall in love with you . . . “

“Do you think you can fall in love with me?” Xiah asked Iqa in his mind.

“Xiah . . . . What are you thinking about?” Moniqa asked as she saw Xiah was looking at her intently.

“Nothing . . . . I was just thinking how we were able to spend time together without any fans disturbing us . . . .It's like a dream,” Xiah said with a smile.

“Yes . . . .it is like a dream,” Moniqa uttered.

“A dream that I don't want to wake up from . . . . “ Moniqa said in her mind as well.

“Iqa . . . .” Xiah wanted to say something.

“What?” she asked.

“No . . . . nothing . . . . “Xiah had suddenly changed his mind.

Moniqa could feel that Xiah was feeling very tense and awkward with her. She then slowly leaned her head on Xiah's shoulder. She didn't know why but somehow she wanted to do it, and she was feeling very tired. Somehow she felt she needed to rest her head.

“We are supposed to look like a couple right? I hope you won't mind . . . .But I am a little bit tired . . . .” Moniqa said to Xiah.

The moment Moniqa rested her head on Xiah's shoulder, his heart suddenly stopped. He could smell the scent of Moniqa's hair and he could feel the warmth of her body next to him. It was as if his entire soul was on fire. He was somehow burning inside. . . .

A few minutes passed . . .

Moniqa had unexpectedly fallen asleep. And as she slept . . . . Xiah just lay still and wished the day will never end.

“Iqa . . . . “ Xiah softly uttered her name as he gently caressed her face. She was still sleeping soundly.

“Iqa . . . . if only you could hear me . . . . Do you know how much I want to be always by your side? I can't understand it . . . . Maybe it is love . . . . But I've never believed in love at first sight. So I can't really say it is love . . . . yet. . . . But what I do know is that I like you . . . . It's like whenever I see you . . . .I always want to be with you . . . I want to be around you . . . so I can take care of you and protect you. . . . I don't care about anything else . . . . but what I am feeling right now. . . . And honestly . . . . right at this moment . . . . I don't want to say I love you . . . because I don't even know what love really is . . . . But I just want to be honest and say . . . . I like you . . .“ Xiah continued to boldly say while thinking that Moniqa was asleep.

Unknown to Xiah . . . . Moniqa wasn't asleep . . . but just resting. She had heard everything that he had said . . . . Moniqa's heart was beating wildly.

“Sorry . . . . Xiah. . . . Even if I also feel something for you . . . I am afraid I won't be able to show it and let anyone else know. . . . . especially not you. I have already complicated your world enough. If I answer your feelings with my own feelings . . . I'm afraid . . . I will just cause more problems for you . . . . So sorry . . . . Xiah . . . We can only be friends . . . . That is the only thing I can offer you . . . .” Moniqa said as she tightly closed her eyes. She wanted to stop the tears that were somehow trying to escape her eyes. She just continued to pretend that she was asleep . . . . and she said to herself that she was also going to pretend that she didn't hear anything. . . . . She was going to pretend that she didn't know anything. . . .

“It is for the best Xiah . . . . Sorry . . . .” Moniqa said in her mind.

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As Xiah finally brought Moniqa home to her apartment, he was very sad that their day together had ended.

“Thank you Xiah . . . . for a wonderful day . . . . or should I say date . . . . I hope you also enjoyed as much as I have . . . . I will never forget this day . . . . This is the first time in a very long time that I felt like a normal girl . . . . Thank you . . .” Moniqa said with a sweet smile on her lips.

“I also enjoyed out time together . . . I hope we can spend some time again . . . . with each other,” Xiah uttered.

“Don’t worry . . . . I’m sure our managers will arrange it again,” Moniqa said with a laugh.

“Good night . . . “ Xiah said with a sweet smile.

“Good night . . . .” Moniqa uttered. She wanted to kiss him good night but she knew it would only make his feelings for her grow more. So she just contented herself as she watched him leave with a sad look in his eyes.

The next day . . . . .

“So hyung . . . . how did your date go?” Max asked with a naughty smile on his face.

Micky laughed. “Judging by the way he is smiling . . . .It went well . . . .”

“So what did you guys do?” Jaejoong asked.

“We had breakfast at a restaurant . . . . then we went to a mall . . . .” Xiah started to narrate.

“A mall?” U-Know and Jaejoong asked in unison. They were all surprised that Xiah was able to stroll in a mall without any escorts.

“Are you crazy? Why did you go into a mall? What if some fans mobbed you and Moniqa?” Micky asked with concern.

“We're fine . . . . actually we enjoyed the whole afternoon in the mall. We were free, without anyone bothering us. We went to different stores and bought some stuffs . . .and then we went to the arcade . . . After that we watched a movie. . . .” Xiah continued to narrate.

“Really? You guys were able to do that without any girls bothering you? And no one even followed you around to ask for an autograph?” Max asked as if bewildered by what Xiah had said.

“Yes . . . I was very much shocked as well. No one bothered us . . . . I guess they really thought we were in a date . . . So they left us alone. . . .” Xiah answered.

“So did you enjoy your make-believe date?” Micky asked with a big grin on his face.

“I certainly did . . . And I think I will remember it . . . . for the rest of my life," Xiah answered.

"Really now?" U-Know asked with a grin on his face.

"Our manager already called and said that we should be early today . . . Because of the sudden cancellation of all our activities yesterday . . . Our schedule for today has been doubled," Jaejoong said with a sigh.

"Sorry . . . I know I am to blame . . . ."Xiah said with a sad look on his face.

"It's all right, hyung. . . . We understand," Max replied with a smile.

"Well . . . come on, we don't want to be late . . . . Better start our day early so we can finish early too," Micky said with a smile as well.

They all wanted to make Xiah feel that they truly didn't mind the double work they were supposed to do that day.

The DBSK boys all hurried to finish their breakfast and afterwards left their apartment in a hurry.

Another two days passed . . . . .

The DBSK boys were already resting . . . . They had just finished eating their lunch. And they were already waiting for their manager so that they could go next to their scheduled interview.

"Boys . . . the interview has been cancelled and it has been moved for tomorrow . . . You are free to go home now," the boys' manager had said as soon as he arrived.

"Really?" Jaejoong asked in disbelief.

"Yes . . . . we're free!" Xiah shouted.

The DBSK boys had been working on a very tight schedule ever since the scandal at Masao's show happened. Somehow the incident just made them more popular, especially Xiah and their already fully booked schedule just became more packed after the incident.

"I thought we were going to be working until midnight . . . I'm so relieved . . . . We can finally take a break," Micky said with a big smile.

Suddenly . . . their manager's phone rang. A few minutes after ending his phone conversation . . . .

"Sorry . . . boys . . . But it seems you still need to do something . . . ." their manager said.

"What? I thought you said we don't have anything to do anymore . . . . What are we supposed to do now?" Max asked with disappointment in his eyes.

"Well . . . . basically . . . . all of you are free for today . . . except Xiah," their manager answered.

"Me?" Xiah asked surprisedly. "What am I supposed to do today?"

"Moniqa has informed us that she's having some friends over at her apartment tonight . . . Ichiro and I have decided that you should go to her apartment too. We wouldn't want any other rumours spreading around. At least if you are there, it would be much safer for both of you," their manager explained.

"She's having some friends over? Can't we come too?" Max suddenly asked.

The DBSK boys looked at Max. "I guess it would be all right if you guys join Xiah . . . That is . . . if you guys want to join him. . ."

"Of course . . . . we want to join him," Micky said with a big grin.

"Micky . . . Don't go fooling around with the girls okay? I've already had enough with Xiah's problem. Don't add more problem to your group," their manager suddenly said.

The other DBSK boys suddenly laughed. Their manager had already guessed what was running in Micky's mind.

"Who ever said that I was going to fool around with the girls?" Micky asked innocently.

Jaejoong laughed. "Even if you don't say anything . . . .It is already written all over your face."

The other DBSK boys laughed again.

"So can we really go with Xiah to Moniqa's apartment?" Jaejoong asked again.

"Yes. . . .that is if . . . . Xiah would allow you guys . . . ." their manager answered.

"So hyung . . . . can we come with you?" Max asked Xiah with puppy eyes.

Xiah suddenly laughed as soon as he saw Max's expression.

"Yes!" Micky and Max said in unison.

"So what time is are we supposed to go there?" Xiah asked their manager.

"Ichiro said that Moniqa is expecting her guests at around 6pm. But I think you guys can go there immediately as soon as you're finished here," their manager answered.

"Well . . . . come on . . . let's get going . . ." Micky said to the other DBSK boys excitedly.

U-Know, Xiah, Jaejoong and Max all laughed at Micky. They were very much amused with the way he was acting.

"So do you think Moniqa will have some special foods prepared for her guests?" Max suddenly asked.

Micky and Jaejoong suddenly burst out laughing. Max was thinking of food again.

"Of course, there will be food there . . . Don't worry . . . We won't let anyone starve you," Micky replied with a big grin on his face as he looked at their friend.

"Let's get going . . . ." U-Know said to the others.

As the DBSK boys all prepared to go to Moniqa's apartment, Xiah was very nervous. He was very nervous . . . . that he was going to see Iqa again after two days.

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Xiah and the other DBSK boys patiently waited outside Moniqa's apartment. Max had already rang the doorbell.

"Why is it taking her so long to open the door?" Micky asked the others.

"Maybe she went out and she isn't home yet . . . ." Max suddenly said.

After a few more minutes . . . . the door finally opened.

"Oh . . . . sorry . . . . I was taking a shower . . . ." Moniqa said as she opened the door. She was still trying to dry her hair with a towel.

"Oh . . .it's okay," Jaejoong replied.

"Come in . . . ." Iqa said with a smile.

As the boys entered Moniqa's apartment, they were all astonished at how lavish her apartment was. Everything in her apartment was either top of the class or branded. She was obviously very pampered by her record company.

"Wow! Your apartment is amazing . . . ." Max uttered.

"Thanks . . . ." Moniqa said with a smile.

"I wonder how much this place cost. . . ." Micky uttered as his eyes started to roam around the place.

Moniqa laughed. "Frankly I don't know . . . . They just provided this place for me."

"You're very lucky . . . . " Jaejoong said.

"Please sit down . . . . You guys are the first to arrive . . . . I think Masao and his friends will be here any minute," Iqa said with a smile.

"Masao will be here?" Xiah asked.

"Yes . . . . he and some of his model friends," Moniqa replied.

As soon as Micky heard the word 'models', he suddenly grinned. Jaejoong immediately noticed Micky's reaction and laughed.

"Why?" Moniqa asked as she noticed Jaejoong was laughing.

"Nothing . . . .nothing," Micky replied.

"I am just going to change okay? You guys wait here, and please make yourselves at home okay?" Moniqa said with a smile.

"Sure . . . ." Xiah and the others replied.

Moniqa left the DBSK boys . . . leaving them still amazed at how grand her apartment was.

"This place is sure amazing . . . . Look at the high tech gadgets and the furnitures . . . ." Max said in total amazement.

"She really must be one of the top artists of Sony Music Entertainment . . . Just look at how much they are taking care of her," U-Know said.

The other DBSK boys just nodded. They were still chatting with one another when . . . . the door bell rang.

Max stood up to open the door. After a few minutes . . . . he entered the living room again with Masao behind him.

"Hello . . . . " Masao greeted with a big smile on his face.

"Where are the girls?" Micky suddenly asked, obviously very disappointed.

Masao suddenly laughed after seeing that Micky's reaction.

"Sorry . . . . boys. . . But my models suddenly got cancelled," Masao answered

"Who got cancelled?" Moniqa asked as she entered the living room. She had changed into a body fitting shirt and shorts.

"My models . . . ." Masao replied.

"What about your models?" Iqa asked again. Then she started to look around. "Where are they anyway? I thought you said you were bringing some of your models. . ."she asked again.

"I cancelled them . . . ." Masao replied as he sat down on the sofa.

"Why?" Moniqa asked curiously.

"You said that the DBSK boys were going to come too . . . So I figured I couldn't bring the girls . . . ." Masao replied.

"What?" Micky asked.

Moniqa laughed. "Why? Are you afraid that Xiah and the others will take advantage of your models?"

"No . . . .but I can't bring them because they might notice what your real relationship with Xiah is. . . . My girls are very perceptive and very nosy. . . . I wouldn't want them making more trouble for you and Xiah . . . . " Masao answered.

"Oh . . . you should have told me about that so I could have told Xiah and the others to just play along . . . .so you could still bring your model friends," Moniqa said with a smile.

"I know you could play along . . . . But I doubt it if you could still act normal once he comes . . . ." Masao said with a smile.

"Who will come?" Moniqa asked again.

"Surprise . . . ." Masao replied with a naughty smile on his face.

"What? You know I hate surprises . . . . Come on tell me . . . ." Moniqa said as she went to where Masao was sitting and started tugging at his shirt.

Masao laughed very hard. "Just wait . . . . I think my surprise will be here any minute . . . "

"Who is it? Come on . . . tell me . . . ." Moniqa said again.

"I won't tell . . . . Just wait . . . ." Masao said again.

"You're so bad!" Moniqa said as she started pinching Masao.

Masao and Moniqa were obviously very close with one another as the DBSK boys all observed. As for Xiah, he was feeling a bit jealous . . . seeing how Moniqa was so close with him.

"I am really. . . . really curious . . . . Come on . . . . Who is it?" Moniqa asked again. "I won't stop bugging you, unless spill out who it is . . . ."

"I can't say . . . ." Masao said with a big grin.

Moniqa looked at Masao. She was very confused and she was very curious as well.

"I'm going to cry if you don't tell me now!" Moniqa said as she was already tired of asking Masao.

Masao laughed again. "Hey . . . no crying . . . "

Suddenly the door bell rang again . . . .

Masao stood up to open the door. "I think your surprise has finally arrived," he said with a big grin.

"Huh?" Moniqa asked.

Masao went out to open the door . . . . and within minutes he returned with the surprise he was mentioning.

"Hello . . . . baby!"

Moniqa looked at the person standing in front of her.

"Dong-Wook!" Moniqa happily said as she ran towards the newly arrived guest. She had flung her arms around the man's neck happily . . . . and in return, he had picked her up and swung her around as he was embracing her.

The DBSK boys were all surprised by what they saw.

"Hello baby . . . . I missed you . . . ." the man said with a bright smile on his lips.

"I missed you too . . ." Moniqa answered.

"Sorry . . . I couldn't meet with you in Korea . . . . My schedule got messed up . . . Sorry . . . ." the man said again as he touched Moniqa's chin.

"I know . . . your manager told me," Moniqa answered.

The man suddenly noticed the DBSK boys. He suddenly smiled.

"Aren't you going to introduce me to your new friends?" he suddenly asked Moniqa.

Moniqa smiled, then nodded. "Baby . . . Don't tell me you don't know them . . . . They are the very famous Dong Bang Shin Ki . . . . Jaejoong, U-Know, Micky, Max and Xiah."

"Hello . . ." the DBSK boys greeted. They were all surprised at who was standing in front of them.

"Guys . . . .I believe you already know my Dong-Wook . . . .or the famous Se7en," Moniqa introduced the man holding her.

Somehow Xiah's dreams suddenly came crashing down. How he wished that he was only dreaming . . . . His heart had suddenly stopped beating the moment he saw that Moniqa was in Se7en's arms . . . . He was trying very hard to smile . . . and pretend that what he was seeing wasn't affecting him.

And as Xiah tried to smile . . . . his heart was slowly breaking into tiny pieces.

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"Now . . . . Moniqa . . . . do you understand why I couldn't bring my models here . . . . They will certainly get very confused. Since you and Xiah are supposed to be a couple . . . and if Se7en is here . . . they will certainly take notice of how you and Se7en are so close," Masao said with a smile.

"Close?" Se7en asked while laughing. He had sat down on the sofa, while pulling Moniqa to sit down beside him. He was still holding her hand.

"More like he's taking advantage of me . . ." Moniqa said with a laugh.

"I missed my baby . . . ." Se7en said with a sweet smile as he looked at Moniqa.

"Before I forget I have a special gift for my baby," Se7en suddenly said with a smile.

Moniqa laughed. "Are you trying to bribe me? Do you think by giving me a gift I will forget that you stood me up in Korea?"

"No . . . . But at least . . . it can certainly make my punishment a little lighter," Se7en replied.

"I don't think I can forget that easily this time. You always make me wait . . . . and the last time was the worst and the longest," Moniqa said as she pouted at Se7en.

"Sorry . . . ." Se7en said sweetly at Moniqa. Then he gently hugged her.

Xiah avoided to look at Se7en and Moniqa. His heart couldn't bear the pain and jealousy he was feeling at that exact moment.

"My God . . . . Moniqa . . . . Se7en . . . Please stop it! I'm having goosebumps . . . just watching and listening to the two of you," Masao suddenly said.

Moniqa and Se7en both looked at Masao as if shocked . . . and then after a few seconds, they both laughed.

"The two of you are just plain . . . . I . . . .I can't find the right words to describe the two of you . . . .Aaaah!!! You are both crazy and unexplainable . . . . And you still expect me to bring my models here when I know that the two of you are going to be together? Just look at their faces . . . ." Masao then pointed to the DBSK boys. "Judging by the look on their faces . . . . if I said to them right now that the two of you are just friends . . . Do you think that they would actually believe me?" Masao said to Moniqa and Se7en.

Moniqa and Se7en both looked at the DBSK boys.

"No!" they both replied with a laugh.

"See . . . even I . . . sometimes . . . . can't believe that the two of you are really just friends. There are times I keep on thinking that maybe you are just hiding your true relationship," Masao said again.

Se7en looked at Moniqa . . . . then he smiled mischievously.

"Sorry . . . no comment," he suddenly said then he laughed.

"Masao . . . . you know we would never lie to you," Moniqa said with a smile.

"I know . . . I know . . . But frankly . . . the funny thing is . . . I am kind of hoping that the two of you would really end up with each other. At least . . . . in that way . . . I can finally be assured that you would end up with a nice guy who would really love you and take care of you . . . ." Masao said seriously.

Moniqa looked at Masao and then at Se7en. Then some kind of sadness showed in her eyes..

"Sorry . . .. but no comment also," she suddenly said.

Se7en noticed the sadness in Moniqa's eyes and decided to change the topic.

"So . . . . I was really shocked when the news about you and Xiah broke out," Se7en said to Moniqa. "I never expected you to be in a scandal like that . . . especially not with him . . . No offense Xiah," he said to Xiah.

"It's all right," Xiah said with a trembling voice.

The other DSBK boys noticed that Xiah wasn't himself anymore. He was obviously very affected by what he was seeing and hearing.

"Yes . . . you're quite right about that. The one who should be in that kind of scandal with her is you," Masao said with a laugh.

"Xiah just tried to help and it totally went out of hand," Moniqa replied.

"I see . . . Thank you Xiah for helping Moniqa," Se7en said to Xiah.

Xiah looked at Se7en and just nodded.

"So what kind of gift did you brought for Moniqa this time?" Masao suddenly asked out of the blue.

Se7en immediately laughed after hearing Masao's question.

"The usual stuff . . ." Se7en replied with a laugh.

"Usual stuff? Let me guess . . . . chocolates and junk foods . . ." Masao said as he shook his head as a sign of disapproval.

"Yes . . . . " Moniqa suddenly exclaimed with joy.

"You know she loves it . . . . And it's the only thing that she always craves for," Se7en said with a smile.

"You're spoiling her . . . " Masao said.

"Hey stop arguing okay . . . ." Moniqa said with a smile. "Let's just eat . . . I'm already starving . . . . Oh wait! Dong-Wook what do you want to eat? I can cook something for you . . . any special request?" Moniqa asked with a sweet smile.

"Hey! That's unfair! . . . How come you always ask him what he wants to eat and you always cook for him . . . and you never do that for me?" Masao said with a hurt look on his face.

Moniqa laughed. "Okay . . . Masao, what would you like me to cook for you?" she asked with a sweet smile.

"Anything . . . ." Masao answered with a laugh.

"See . . . .That's why I never ask you . . . You always say you eat almost anything. . . . just as long as it is edible . . ." she said.

"As for me . . . I would say . . . anything also. Just as long as you cooked it . . . Do you know how much I missed the delicious foods you used to cook for us," Se7en said with a smile.

"I've already cooked some foods . . . But since you are here I will cook some additional foods . . . just for you . . . Can you guys wait while I cook?" Moniqa asked.

"Sure . . . . Would you like me to help?" Jaejoong asked.

"No, thanks. I can manage . . . " she replied with a warm smile.

"I'll help . . . ." Se7en suddenly said . . . Then he stood up and grabbed Moniqa's hand.

"No . . . . you're tired," Moniqa said to Se7en. "Just rest. . . ."

Moniqa sighed. She knew it was useless arguing with him. He wasn't going to take no for an answer.

"Fine . . . let's cook together," she finally agreed.

As Se7en and Moniqa walked to the kitchen, Xiah couldn't help but stare at the way Se7en was holding Moniqa's hand. Somehow his heart was crying out in pain . . . But he tried to control his feelings. . . He tried very hard to hide what he was feeling.

Masao looked at the DBSK boys . . . then at Xiah. He had already noticed the jealous look on Xiah's face whenever he looked at Moniqa and Se7en together.

Masao suddenly smiled. "You know . . . you're very obvious. Jealousy is written all over your face . . . ." he said to Xiah.

Xiah looked at Masao with confusion in his eyes.

"I know you're confused on why Se7en and Moniqa are so close . . . . Let me tell you how we all met. . . .Moniqa, Se7en and I have been friends for more than four years now . . . I met Moniqa when she was just starting her modeling career. I saw her model while I was in the Philippines . . . and I really wanted her to be one of my models for a fashion show I was about to do at that time. I talked with her manage and he agreed to let Moniqa model for me. And after that a representative from YG Entetainment also asked me if Se7en , who was just training at that time could somehow join my show also. The company wanted him to be exposed in many fields and modeling was one of them. I agreed . . . and that's how we all met. And even though I was six years older than them . . . the three of us somehow clicked together. We all became very close friends after the show . . . And ever since then . . . we have been in constant contact with each other. Se7en and I love Moniqa like our own sister. That's why we treat her very lovingly and in a very special way. Se7en is just really a very sweet guy . . . . and he and Moniqa are much closer to each other," Masao explained.

Xiah continued to look at the direction of the kitchen. He could her Moniqa laughing.

"Come on . . . Let's all go to the kitchen . . . ." Masao suddenly said.

The DBSK boys all followed into the kitchen. As they entered . . . . they saw Se7en hugging Moniqa from behind . . . . while she was busy cooking.

"I missed you . . ." Se7en uttered.

Moniqa laughed. "I missed you too. . . . Now can you please let go of me so I can continue cooking? . . . ."

"No . . . . I am just going to stay right here . . ." Se7en replied with a laugh.

Xiah's heart was shattering into tiny pieces as he watched Se7en hugging Moniqa tightly.

"Sorry . . . love birds . . . But can we interrupt you two?" Masao asked with a smile.

"Masao . . . please ask Dong-Wook to stop bothering me . . . ." Moniqa pleaded.

Masao then laughed. "I can't do anything about him . . . You know, you're the only one he listens to . . ."

Se7en suddenly pulled out something from his pocket and slowly placed it around Moniqa's neck.

"Dong-Wook. . . ." Moniqa uttered as she carefully looked at the heart-shaped diamond necklace Se7en gave him.

"That is my real gift for you . . . ." he said with a sweet smile.

Xiah somehow couldn't breathe. The scene was just too much for him.

"Thank you . . . I love it," she said as she gently placed her arms around him again, and then she gently kissed him on the cheek.

The other DBSK boys noticed how Xiah was trying to avoid looking at Iqa and Se7en. How they pitied their friend. All throughout dinner, Xiah didn't even say a word. He was constantly trying to keep himself busy with the food he was eating.

After having dinner . . . . U-Know and the others decided that it was time they all leave. They didn't want Xiah to suffer anymore. They all knew how hurt he already was.
They wanted to leave already so he would no longer see the Moniqa and Se7en together.

"Good night . . . ." Jaejoong said to Moniqa. "Thank you for a wonderful dinner."

"Thank you for coming," Moniqa replied.

"So we should be going . . . ." U-KNow said with a smile.

"Xiah . . . . are you all right? I noticed that you didn't even say a single word during dinner. . . . Are you feeling all right?" Moniqa asked with concern.

"I'm okay," Xiah answered sadly.

Moniqa wanted to ask Xiah something else. . . but she noticed that he wasn't even in the mood to talk with her.

"Bye . . . . Xiah . . . " Moniqa sadly said.

"Well . . . I'll be going too . . ." Masao said to Moniqa. "Se7en . . . I can drive you to your hotel . . . "

Se7en looked at Masao and then at Moniqa. "I will be staying here tonight."

Masao didn't look surprised by Se7en's reply. Somehow he was already expecting that Se7en would stay behind.

The DBSK boys didn't like the fact that Dong-Wook was going to stay the night with Moniqa. But they all knew that they didn't have any right to say anything. So they just silently left with Masao.

Xiah was totally out of his mind. He didn't know what he was feeling at that time. All he could think about was the fact that . . . . at that moment . . . . Moniqa was left in her room together with Se7en. The thought was totally driving him crazy. How he wanted to run back to Iqa's apartment and just stay there . . .So that he could make sure that she was not alone with Se7en at all . . .

Back in Moniqa's room . . . .

Se7en was sipping a glass of wine on the sofa while Moniqa was silently looking out the window.

"You like him don't you?" Se7en asked.

"Who?" Iqa asked as if she didn't know what Se7en was saying.

"Don't play dumb with me . . . I can tell that you like Xiah . . . ." Se7en said with a serious look on his face..

"I don't know . . ." she gently replied.

"What's wrong? Why are you trying to hide it? If you like him . . . there's nothing wrong with it. . . ." Se7en said.

"You know . . . .I can't. . . . I think it is for the best that I just stay away from him. I have already caused him so much trouble . . . and I don't want to make things more complicated for him. . . " she replied again.

"Moniqa . . . ." Se7en uttered.

"Dong-Wook . . . . please . . . . you know why Xiah and I can't work out . . . It's just going to be useless . . . .We already know where it is going to end . . . So it is better if we don't start anything at all . . . ." Moniqa said sadly.

Se7en slowly walked to where Moniqa was and gently held her in his arms.

"I'm sorry . . . ." he slowly uttered.

"He is a very nice guy . . . . and frankly the first time I saw him . . . I already felt attracted to him . . . . But I'm afraid I can't let myself dream of having a normal relationship anymore . . . . I don't want to hurt anyone, especially not him . . . . So it is better to just stay away and just leave him alone. It is for his own good . . . ." she said as her tears started to fall.

"Moniqa. . . ." Se7en uttered again. How he felt the sadness and the pain she was feeling. . . . He knew there was nothing he could do to help her . . . So he just silently held her in his arms as her tears kept on falling.

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Xiah was silently looking out the window. He was still thinking about what happened the other day . . . He still couldn't believe that Se7en was actually Moniqa's close friend . . . And it was very obvious that they were more than friends. How Xiah's heart ached as he remembered how Se7en held Iqa in his arms. How he wished that he would be able to hold Moniqa like that also.

"Xiah . . . . " Micky said as he slowly walked up to him. "You have been sad ever since we went to Iqa's apartment. Are you still thinking about her?"

Xiah looked at his friend . . . then he tried to smile.

"No matter how you try to hide the sadness you are feeling . . . your eyes cannot lie. And even if you smile . . . we can still tell that you are unhappy. . . We have already been together for years now, we can easily tell when something is wrong with you," Micky said again.

Suddenly the other DBSK members arrived and they all surrounded Xiah. They had decided that it was time that they talked with Xiah. They were very concerned with the way he has been acting ever since the night at Iqa's apartment.

They could tell that he was very hurt. But they also knew that they couldn't do anything about it. And the best thing that Xiah could do was accept the fact that Moniqa was out of his reach.

"Xiah. . . . we have all talked and we are very concerned about you," U-Know started to say.

"We know that you are very shocked and hurt by what you saw and by what you heard at Iqa's apartment . . . . But that doesn't mean that you have to become so down because of it. Moniqa is a very famous star . . . . and we all think that maybe the best thing you can do now is try to forget her," Jaejoong softly said to Xiah.

Xiah just looked at his friends. He was very grateful to all of them. He could see the love and concern in their eyes. And somehow it made him feel much better after learning that they were thinking about him.

"Thank you . . . . but frankly I don't know how to stop myself from feeling so down. . . . I just can't stop thinking about Iqa and . . . . Akira and . . . Se7en. Frankly, I don't think I can ever match up to someone like Se7en. The moment I saw him hold Iqa in his arms . . . . it was liked my whole world had come crumbling down. I didn't know what to say or what to think . . . . The only thing that was in my mind was I can never compare with him. And no matter what I did . . . . she will always choose him over me. And somehow just thinking about that . . . . hurts me . . . . it hurts me a lot . . . to the point that it is making me insane," Xiah said sadly.

"Hyung . . . you know that we are always here for you," Max said with a smile on his lips. How he wanted to cheer up his hyung. He didn't want to see him so down.

"Xiah . . . . There are a lot of other girls . . . . more beautiful . . . more sweet . . . Just forget about Iqa . . . She already belongs to someone else," Micky said as he and the other DBSK boys had already concluded that Moniqa and Se7en were in a secret relationship.

Xiah looked straight into Micky's eyes. "I can't . . . . I don't think I can forget that easily."

"Xiah . . . .it may be hard at first. . . . but you've got to try . . . ." Jaejoong said with a sad look in his eyes.

"Hyung . . . . we don't want you to get hurt anymore . . . ." Max said again.

"I like her . . . . I like her a lot that I don't know what I would do if I lose her . . . . Is this love? I have never fallen in love before . . . . Can you tell me if what I am feeling right now is love? . . . ." Xiah asked with a bewildered look in his eyes.

The other DBSK boys all felt sympathy for their friend. They wanted to help him in every way that they can. They knew that he was very confused and it was very hard for him to accept what was happening.

"Xiah . . . . Two months is still a very long time . . . Please try to hold on and don't fall deeply in love with her. It will only cause you more pain . . . Just try to pass the time . . . .without giving in to what you feel for her," Micky advised.

"Do you think I can actually stop my heart from beating?" Xiah suddenly asked.

The DBSK boys all looked at each other . . . They knew what he was saying was right. No matter how hard they tell him to control his emotions. They knew that he can never do it. He was too pure and too clueless about love. He has never fallen in love before . . . this was his very first time to love and to get hurt. . . .

"Xiah . . . . Moniqa is in the studio of Sony Music . . . . You have to go there and pick her up," the DBSK boys had suddenly said as he approached the boys.

"What?" U-Know said as if irritated. "We're all convincing him to forget her and now he is expected to pick her up?" he asked in his mind.

"Moniqa is having a rehearsal for her upcoming concert with Se7en. The two of you are supposed to go to a restaurant tonight," their manager suddenly said.

"Why is it that you suddenly want hyung to pick her up?" Max asked.

"I don't know either . . . . I was just instructed to tell Xiah that they suddenly have a date at a restaurant tonight," their manager answered.

The DBSK boys were all irritated. They somehow felt that their friend was being taken advantage of and was being played around with.

"It's all right guys . . . . Don't worry," Xiah said to his friends.

The other DBSK boys just looked at Xiah. They all knew what he was really feeling and they somehow wanted to stop him. . . . They wanted to stop him from seeing Moniqa again. They knew that once he saw her again . . . the pain and sadness he was feeling would increase. And they certainly didn't want him to suffer anymore.

"Hyung . . . . just tell them that you're not feeling well. Don't go," Max said with concern.

"Would you like us to go with you?" Jaejoong asked.

"No . . . It's fine. . . . I can take care of myself," Xiah answered.

"No! You're not fine . . . Have you seen yourself in the mirror? You look like you haven't slept in days . . . You look very tired . . . ." Micky said to Xiah.

Xiah tried to laugh. "Tired? Yes . . . I am a little tired . . . . tired of living . . . ."

"Hyung . . . . don't say that!" Max said with a high note.

"Xiah . . . . If you're going to be like that . . . . We might as well talk with the president so you and Moniqa can end this little charade of yours," Jaejoong said seriously.

"No . . . please . . . . don't be like that . . . ." Xiah said with a fake smile.

"Xiah . . . . We're very concerned about you. Please take care of yourself . . . . We don't want to see you get hurt . . ." U-Know said with concern written all over his face.

"Please . . . don't worry so much . . . . I will try to control my heart . . . And I just want to thank you guys for caring about me so much," Xiah said as he looked at his friends.

The other DBSK boys couldn't help but feel sorry for Xiah. All the sweet smiles on his lips and the sparkle in his eyes were all gone. It had suddenly been replaced with a sad, serious face and a sad look in his eyes. The boys couldn't bear the unexpected change in their friend. How they wanted to bring back the real Xiah . . . . the very happy . . . full of sweet smiles . . . . glittering eyes . . . . full of hope . . . . full of enthusiasm . . . and with a funny disposition. How they wanted to have their real Xiah . . . they didn't want him to change just because of a girl.

"Xiah . . . . the car is already waiting for you downstairs," the DBSK boys' manager had said.

"Bye . . . ." Xiah said to his friends.

As Xiah was on his way to meet up with Moniqa. His heart wouldn't stop pounding. He was very nervous . . . . He didn't know what to do once he was alone with her again. He didn't even know what to say.

"Iqa . . . . " he slowly uttered her name.

The car had finally stopped and Xiah didn't know what to do. He was in front of the studio where he was supposed to pick Moniqa up.

Xiah slowly tried to gather all his courage . . . and slowly went out of the car. Then he went inside the studio. As soon as he entered, some staff members immediately noticed him and started to whisper.

"Excuse me . . ." a staff member suddenly approached Xiah.

"Yes . . . ." Xiah replied.

"Ms. Moniqa is still in the recording room . . . Maybe you would like to wait for her there?" the staff asked.

Xiah just nodded. Then he quietly followed the man.

Xiah entered the recording room. On the other side of the room, Moniqa and Se7en were happily laughing at each other. Again . . . .Xiah's heart started to be filled with grief. He tried to look normal and unaffected by what he was seeing.

As soon as Moniqa saw Xiah . . . . her heart suddenly skipped a beat. She could see the sudden change in his face. The bright and sunny disposition he had was gone and was already replaced with a very gloomy and sad mood . . . She didn't want the sudden change she was seeing in him. She was very concerned. . . . How she wanted to console and comfort him. . . . How she wanted to bring back the Xiah she had liked.

"The concern is showing in your face . . . my dear . . . . Just be true to yourself . . . Moniqa . . ." Se7en suddenly whispered to her.

Moniqa looked at Se7en and then she tried to smile. "It's impossible Dong-Wook," she said as she shook her head.

"Nothing is impossible with love Iqa . . . . especially when both of you are feeling it . . . . And judging by the way he is looking at you now . . . . I can say that he truly loves you . . . " Se7en said with a smile.

"Se7en . . . stop it," Moniqa uttered.

"Want me to prove it?" Se7en asked.

"How?" Iqa asked again.

Se7en smiled. Then he pulled Moniqa closer to him. "Simple . . . my dear . . . Let's make a simple test . . . . if I were to keep on whispering to you like this . . . ." then he gently pulled Moniqa closer to him in a way that she was already leaning on his body. "I would say he would go out the room in . . . . one . . . . . two . . . . . three . . . . four . . ."

As Se7en said the word 'four' . . . Xiah had suddenly left the room. He couldn't take seeing Moniqa so close with Se7en anymore.

Se7en suddenly burst out laughing as soon as Xiah left the room . . .

"See . . . . I told you . . . ." he said with a grin.

"Se7en . . . . ." Moniqa uttered.

"Iqa . . . . give the man a break . . . . Have pity on the guy . . . ." Se7en said with a smile.

"Se7en . . . ."

"Please . . . . just forget about everything . . . . and be true to yourself . . ." he replied.

"But . . . ." Iqa started to say.

"No buts . . . . we're already finished with practice . . . . You can go now . . . ." he said again with a smile.

Se7en saw that Moniqa was somehow reluctant to follow what he was saying. He suddenly grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the room.

Xiah was still outside the room . . . . He was leaning against a wall . . . And he was thinking of what to say to Moniqa once he faced her again. He was suddenly surprised after seeing that Se7en was pulling Moniqa towards him.

Se7en was smiling at Xiah. As soon as Se7en and Moniqa were in front of Xiah . . . . . Se7en finally placed Iqa's hand unto Xiah's hand.

"Can you please get your girlfriend out of the studio? You guys are supposed to have a date right?" Se7en said with a smile.

Xiah was very confused on what was happening.

"I am giving her to you now . . . . Don't you ever let her go . . . ." Se7en said to Xiah with a hidden meaning.

Xiah just nodded. Then he looked at Moniqa . . . . then at her hand that he was holding . . .

"Don't worry . . . . I will never let her go . . . ." Xiah suddenly answered.

Se7en smiled at Xiah. "Go . . . Have fun. . . "

As Xiah and Moniqa walked out of the studio, hand in hand . . . . Se7en was still looking at them with a fake smile.

"Iqa . . . . I love you . . . . Why is it I am always late in telling you how much I love you? . . . . After you broke up with Akira . . . . I said I would just give you enough time to heal your heart . . . .before I confess my love to you . . . . But now it seems . . . I am late again . . ." Se7en smiled with tears in his eyes. " I am willing to let you go as long as you are happy . . . Iqa . . . . That's how much I love you . . . . I hope you will finally find happiness with Xiah . . . ."

Slowly Se7en turned away and his tears finally fell . . . . .

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Inside the car . . . . . Xiah and Moniqa were both very silent.

He was still holding her hand. . . . And he certainly didn't want to let go. . . . He slowly looked at Moniqa. . . . He was afraid that if he released her hand even for a second, he will never have the chance to hold it again.

Moniqa didn't know what to do. She was already very tensed. She couldn't explain the sensation she was feeling as Xiah still held her hand. It was as if . . . . she wanted to freeze the time and just hold hands with him forever.

Xiah held Monica's hand tighter . . . .

"Iqa . . . . " Xiah started to say.

Moniqa looked at Xiah . . . . "Yes?"

"I . . . . I . . . . . I need to talk with you . . . . about something," Xiah slowly said.

Iqa looked at his face, she was very uneasy . . . . Somehow she had a feeling she already knew what he was going to say. She was afraid that he was actually going to tell her about his true feelings for her.

"Please Xiah . . . . don't tell me you like me . . . . I don't know how I will respond to what you are going to say . . . . I am very confused on what to do . . . . " she said in her mind.

Moniqa noticed the direction that the car was taking was different from the route to the restaurant they were supposed to eat.

"Xiah . . . . where are we going?"

Xiah smiled sweetly. Somehow Moniqa's heart suddenly melted as she looked at his very charming and innocent face.

"It's a secret . . . . Just trust me . . . . ." he said as he held her hand tightly.

As Moniqa patiently waited for them to arrive at their destination . . . she couldn't stop her heart from throbbing wildly. She was very anxious . . .

"Xiah . . . . . . Please . . . . Please . . . . Don't tell me you like me . . . . More importantly . . . . Don't tell me you love me . . . . . . Please . . . . " Moniqa continuously said in her mind.

"We're here . . . ." Xiah said as the car finally stopped in front of a large hotel.

Moniqa looked out the car. "Why are we here?" she asked curiously.

"I told you . . . . I need to talk with you . . . ." he replied with a serious expression on his face.

Moniqa's heart started pounding again. She was totally speechless.

"Come on . . . ." Xiah said with a sweet smile.

Moniqa couldn't say no to him. His smile was too inviting. . . . that she was somehow hooked by it. Her heart was telling her to just follow him . . . . and just forget everything that she was worrying about.

Moniqa smiled . . . . she suddenly remembered what Se7en had told her in the studio . . . . . "Please . . . . just forget about everything . . . . and be true to yourself . . ."

"Don't worry . . . Dong-Wook . . . . I will try . . . " Moniqa said as she slowly followed Xiah out of the car and into the hotel.

The moment Xiah and Moniqa walked into the hotel, everyone all looked at their direction. Xiah led Moniqa straight into the elevator.

"Where are we going?" she asked again.

Xiah stared at Moniqa and then put on his very charming smile.

"Just wait . . . . It's a surprise," he answered.

Moniqa was baffled by Xiah's answer. "What surprise id he talking about?" she asked herself.

The elevator finally stopped at the top floor of the hotel. Slowly Xiah led Iqa into a room.

"This is your surprise?" Iqa asked Xiah with a laugh. She was trying to hide her nervousness.

Xiah smiled . . . and then slowly he opened the door. . . . Moniqa was totally shocked the moment Xiah opened the door.

The whole suite was filled with roses. . . . Moniqa couldn't believe it . . .Right in front of her eyes were different roses of different colors. The whole place was such a magnificent sight. The moment she stepped into the room . . . it was as if she was transported into another world. . . . . A world full of beauty and . . . . love.

"Xiah . . . . This is so sweet!" Iqa uttered with extreme joy.

"I'm glad you loved it," he replied with a sweet smile.

"You shouldn't have gone to so much trouble," Moniqa said.

"But . . . I did this . . . because I want to say something to you . . . something very important . . ." he said with a serious look on his face.

Moniqa's heart suddenly stopped for a second.

"Xiah . . . ." she uttered his name.

Xiah slowly walked up to Moniqa. Then he stopped as they were already face to face.

"Iqa . . . ."Xiah uttered as he looked straight into her eyes.

Moniqa's heart was already screaming Xiah's name as he gently drew her closer to him. She was unable to move . . . It was as if her whole body had suddenly froze. And then she started trembling as soon as he touched her. She wanted to push him away . . . . but she didn't have the heart to do it. As she stared at his expressive eyes . . . . somehow she could see through his entire soul.

"Xiah . . . . What are you doing?" Moniqa asked with confusion in her eyes.

Xiah embraced Moniqa tighter. Then he stared lovingly at her face.

"Iqa . . . I . . . I. . . . I'm sorry for doing this . . . . But. . . . But I don't think I can hide what I am feeling anymore . . . . The very first time I saw you . . . I already felt something special for you . . . . At first, I thought it was just an infatuation . . . But as time grew . . .I realized it must be love . . . ." Xiah said with love so visible in his eyes.

"Xiah . . . . we have only known each other for a very short time . . . . How can you say that you love me? Please . . . try to think about what you are saying . . . . It isn't possible for you to fall in love with me . . . ." Moniqa said with sadness in her eyes.

"Why? Why is it impossible? I know we have only met. But what can I do? I have already fallen in love with you the moment I saw you. . . . . I love you . . . . I am very sure of it now. . . ." Xiah said.

"Xiah . . . . I'm sorry . . . . but . . . . I don't think it will ever work out between the two of us . . . . There are a lot things . . . .things that you still don't know about me . . . . " she said as she tried to control her emotions.

"I already know what I need to know about you . . . . and that is . . . . I love you . . . I don't care about who you really are or your status as a star. . . . or who you have been with . . . . I don't care about what you have done in the past . . . . All I care about is you . . . . as the person I love . . . the woman I want to spend my whole life with. . . ." Xiah said with the sweetest smile Moniqa has ever seen.

Moniqa closed her eyes. She didn't want her eyes to betray her. . . . She didn't want Xiah to see the love she was also feeling for him. She was too afraid of too many things . . . . She wasn't sure if she was even allowed to fall in love again. There was still a very important part of her life that Xiah would need to know. . . . and she was afraid that the moment he knew about it. . . . he would also turn his back on her . . . . like what Akira had done.

Unconsciously, a tear slipped from her eye. Xiah saw the single tear that had ran down her face. Slowly Xiah kissed the exact path that the tear had fallen. And slowly . . . Iqa opened her eyes as Xiah kissed her.

"I never want to see you cry . . . .Iqa . . . .My heart aches whenever I see you cry . . . So please stop . . . .I love you . . . . Please give me a chance to prove how much I love you . . . . ." Xiah said as he lovingly stared at her.

Moniqa's heart was already shouting Xiah's name. She knew she had already fallen in love with him too. But she was afraid. She was afraid that in the end she would eventually hurt him. . . . And that was what she wanted to avoid.

"Xiah . . . . Please stop . . . I can't love you . . . ." Moniqa whispered.

"Why?" Xiah asked with tears already forming in his eyes.

"I . . . . I . . . " Moniqa wanted to lie to him and tell him that she already loved somebody else. But the moment she saw the tears in his eyes . . . . her heart had suddenly melted and started to feel pain.

"Iqa . . . . please I love you . . . . How many times do I have to tell you that I love you before you believe me? Tell me what I can do to make you believe what I am saying is true . . . . I am willing to do anything . . . . . Just give me a chance to love you . . . " Xiah said as tears started to fall from his eyes.

Moniqa didn't know what to do . . . . It was breaking her heart seeing him cry. She looked at him again . . . . Then she finally decided. . . . She was going to give it a try. She was going to forget everything that was stopping her from loving him, and just give in to her heart's desire. She had finally decided to give herself a chance to be happy . . . . even for the last time.

"Xiah . . . .I . . . I love you too." Iqa uttered with love in her eyes.

Xiah looked deep into Moniqa's beautiful brown eyes. And he finally saw the thing he was searching for . . . . love.

Slowly Xiah lowered his head and softly whispered. "I love you, Iqa." Afterwards he gently kissed her sweet and soft lips. Xiah couldn't control his emotions. He was filled with so much love and joy . . . . She wanted Iqa to be with him forever.

As Xiah and Moniqa kissed each other . . . They had somehow forgotten about everything . . . . All they cared about was the fact that they loved each other.

"Please God . . . . give me a chance to love him . . . . Please give me more time . . . . . ." Moniqa said in her mind as tears suddenly slipped from her eyes.

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Days later in Moniqa's apartment . . . .

"What are you thinking about?" Xiah asked Iqa as he gently caressed her hair.

She was lying on his lap while he was sitting comfortably on the sofa.

Moniqa laughed. "I'm thinking about how our managers are going to react once they find out that our make-believe love affair just became a reality."

Xiah laughed as well. "I think we are going to receive a lot of nagging after they learn about us."

Moniqa looked at Xiah seriously. "Aren't you afraid . . . . even a little bit? The presidents of your record companies will surely demand an explanation from you . . . ."

"Well . . . . I'll just tell them that I fell in love with you . . . . That is the only explanation I can give them . . . ." he said with a smile.

"Silly . . . . they will surely be more upset if you do that," she replied.

"How about you? Aren't you scared of what your manager and Sony Music will say?" he suddenly asked back.

Moniqa smile. "No . . ."

"Why?" he asked curiously.

"Because . . . . the very first thing I demanded from Sony Music when I was still signing a contract with them is that they can never interfere with my love life . . . . I can be in a relationship whenever . . . . wherever . . . . and with whomever I want. And they agreed to it . . . . It's also written in my contract. So they can't really object if I have a relationship with you . . . ." she replied with a laugh.

"That's good . . . . I'm very much relieved to hear that . . . ." Xiah said while smiling.

"Do you know you're so cute . . . . when you're smiling like that?" Moniqa asked as she stared at Xiah.

"I know . . . . I know I'm totally irresistible . . . . and naturally born very cute," he replied with a grin.

"Really?' she asked then she started to laugh.

"Yes . . . . that's why a lot of girls just love me . . . " he replied again with a grin.

"You're quite conceited . . . ." she said as she started pinching Xiah.

Xiah laughed as Moniqa lightly pinched him.

"So better prepare yourself . . . . you will always get jealous . . . . because a lot of girls always ran after me . . . . ." he said again as he laughed.

"Oh . . . . you . . . . ." she said with a laugh as well. "Better start running . . . . because I'm gonna pinch you until your whole body hurts."

Xiah suddenly moved away from Moniqa. . . . and she quickly ran after him, trying to pinch him anywhere she could get her hands on. Both of them laughed so hard, as they both ran around the room. They were both very happy. They were like little children playing around in the park. They both laughed and giggled happily.

After almost fifteen minutes of playing around, Xiah and Moniqa were already both very exhausted. They both sat on the sofa again to rest.

Moniqa snuggled close to Xiah. She was resting her head comfortably on his chest. She could hear his heart beat as she lay so close to him.

Xiah gently caressed Moniqa's head.

"Why are you so quiet all of a sudden?" he questioned.

"Do your friends know? I mean . . . do the other members of your group know about your feelings for me?" she asked.

"Yes . . . they know . . . Why do you ask?"

"Nothing . . . .I was just thinking about what they're going to say . . . ." she replied.

"Why are you always so concerned about what others will say?" Xiah asked.

"Because . . . . that's the way we all are . . . . We are artists . . . celebrities . . . We always think about others first, before we think about ourselves," she replied.

"Honestly . . . . I don't care about what others might say. All I care about is you. I love you and i will do whatever it takes to always have you by my side," he said lovingly.

"You're so sweet . . . . Is your twin brother as sweet as you?' Moniqa asked.

"No . . . . I'm much more sweeter . . . . and much more cuter than him," Xiah replied with a laugh.

Moniqa laughed. She was very happy . . . . that she somehow was able to forget her problem.

"How about Se7en and Masao? Do you think they will approve of me?" Xiah suddenly asked.

Moniqa looked at Xiah . . . . "You don't have to worry. Se7en already helped you remember? And as for Masao . . . . he is always skeptical about every guy I go out with . . . . But then he always gives in to what I want. So he will like you too . . . . Don't worry. . . . I will make sure they don't eat you up alive," she said as she laughed continuously.

"I love you . . . . Iqa . . . . I will endure anything as long as you are with me," Xiah suddenly said as he embraced her.

"I love you too . . . . And I am willing to go through hardships just for you. . . ." she said in response to him.

"But I really want to tell you something. . . . But promise . . . . you won't laugh. . . okay?" he said with a smile.


"I . . . . I . . . . I am very jealous of you and . . . . Se7en," Xiah said shyly.

"What?" she asked surprisingly.

"I know . . . . I shouldn't be jealous . . . . But I can't help it. . . . Whenever I think about the way you and Se7en . . .Aaaahh! . . It just makes me so jealous that my whole body trembles .. . ." Xiah said.

Moniqa laughed out loud. "You're jealous of Dong-Wook? He's like a brother to me . . . ."

"Yes . . . I know that but I can't help myself . . . . I am really affected whenever you are so close to him," he said with a sad look in his eyes.

Moniqa embraced Xiah tighter. She wanted to make him feel how much he meant to her.

"You don't have to be jealous . . . . There is only one person that I love right now . . . . . and that is you," she uttered.

Xiah was deeply touched by what Moniqa said. He was very happy that he felt he was very fortunate to have met her and having her in his life.

"Sorry . . . . I just wanted to get that thought out of my mind . . . ." Xiah uttered.

"It's okay . . . . I understand . . . ." she replied with a smile.

"I just love you so much that I am afraid that I will lose you to another guy . . ." Xiah confessed.

Moniqa softly laughed . . . then she gently kissed him on the cheek. "You don't have to worry . . . . You will never lose me . . . ."

As Moniqa said those words . . . . her heart started to pound.

"I love you . . . .You will never lose me to another man . . . Xiah . . . But to fate . . . . I am really not so sure . . . . . I wish I can tell you everything about me . . . . But I am afraid that if i tell you the truth, it will only make our remaining time together filled with sadness. So I am sorry . . . . if I am keeping secrets from you . . . I only want to leave you with happy memories . . . ." she said in her mind.

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"What are you doing?" Masao asked Se7en as he slowly shook his head as a sign of disbelief at what he was seeing.

"Drinking . . . ." Se7en softly answered as he sipped a glass of whisky.

"You just gave Moniqa to another man . . . . and now you're here trying to drown yourself in a bottle of whisky . . . . Isn't that a little too pathetic?' Masao asked.

Se7en looked at Masao and then he smiled bitterly. "What am I supposed to do? I can see that she likes him . . . ."

"So what if she likes him? You like her too . . . . But being the very foolish guy that you are . . . .you just decided to set aside your feelings again . . . . And to top it all, you're even the one who pushed Moniqa to tell him how she really feels. Sometimes I wonder if you're really a man . . . . If I were in your position, I would have taken advantage of your closeness with her . . . . And by this time . . . I would have made her my girlfriend . . . ." Masao said in an irritated tone.

"You and I both know that she likes him . . . We can both see it in her eyes . . . And ever since from the start, all I want is for her to be happy . . . . even if it means seeing her with another man . . . ." Se7en said sadly.

"You're really hopeless . . . ." Masao uttered.

"She had already given up hope after she broke up with Akira . . . But now . . . . she's more determined to find a cure for herself since she has Xiah to think about," Se7en told Masao.

Masao smiled. "That is a good news . . . .I was also worrying about her. I know she had stopped communicating with the hospitals she had gone to . . . ."

"But honestly . . . . do you think she will ever get a suitable heart donor? It's been two years . . . .and the ones the doctors get her always doesn't match. Frankly . . . .I am starting to think whether those doctors are really doing their jobs," Se7en said irritatedly.

"Hey . . . . It isn't the doctors fault . . . . They are doing the best they can do to help her," Masao said with a sigh.

"There are millions of people in the whole world and they can't find a single compatible donor. . . . Now that is pathetic!" Se7en said as he poured himself another glass of whisky.

"Does Xiah know about Moniqa's condition?" Masao suddenly asked.

"No . . . Moniqa doesn't want him to know about it. I think she will be hiding it from him as long as she can . . . ." Se7en replied.

"Silly girl! Why would she do that?" Masao asked as he shook his head.

"She doesn't want him to pity her and she doesn't want him to leave her like what Akira did . . . . " Se7en replied again.

"Akira? Akira is a total fool! Why would Xiah leave Moniqa if he truly loves her just because she's sick . . . ." Masao uttered angrily.

"Masao loved Moniqa . . . . but he left her as soon as he learned that she is sick. He didn't want a dying lover in his hands . . . . We can't deny the fact that some men are like that . . . ." Se7en said as he continuously drank the glass of whisky that he was holding.

Masao looked at Se7en. "Tell me honestly . . . . Are you like those men you are talking about? Frankly I still can't figure out the real reason why you keep on denying your true feelings for Moniqa . . . . And you just keep on letting her go to some other man while you're left sitting in a corner drinking away your blues . . . ."

Se7en slowly looked at the glass that he was holding. It was already empty. . . . then he suddenly laughed.

"I am not afraid to have a dying lover . . . . if only she would want to have me . . . . That is the main point of it all . . . . I would gladly accept Moniqa . . . . But the question is . . . . 'Will she accept me?' . . . . So you see . . . . it is quite complicated," Se7en said with a bitter smile.

"Complicated? I don't think so. You're the only one who is making everything complicated . . . ." Masao replied.

Se7en took the bottle of whisky on the counter table . . . . Then he poured himself another glass . . .

"Are you really trying to get drunk?" Masao asked angrily.

Se7en looked at Masao with a fake smile. "Who? Me? Drunk? No . . . . I am not drunk . . . ." then he laughed out loud.

Se7en was already drunk. He had already drank a couple of beer in a club he had gone to.

"Se7en . . . . You're drunk already. I knew it the moment you stepped into my house. So don't lie . . . ."

Se7en laughed again. "Sorry . . . . Yeah . . . I've already drunk at a bar I had gone to . . . . But it was only four bottles . . . ."

"Four bottles and what? . . . . You've already drank half the bottle of whisky . . ." Masao said again.

"So do you think . . . . Moniqa will ever get her operation done?" Se7en asked seriously all of a sudden.

"I hope so . . . . We both love her . . . . But in my case . . . . I only love her as a sister . . .." Masao answered.

"I love her? Yes! I love her . . . . . I love her . . . . I love Moniqa . . . . I love Moniqa . . . ." Se7en started to say as he twirled around the room. He was already drunk and he wanted to play around.

Masao laughed. "Yeah . . . .you fool! You love her . . . . You should try and be true to yourself and just admit it . . . ."

Se7en looked at Masao . . . . Then he started to laugh. "I have loved her for the past four years. . . . I love her with all my heart . . . .I love Iqa . . Why doesn't she love me back? . . . Am I that unlovable? I love her and she doesn't even know . . . .I love her . . . . I love . . . Iqa . . ." Se7en suddenly looked at the direction that Masao was looking at. He was shocked at what he saw.

Moniqa was standing right in front of him near the door, with her eyes wide with shock. She had obviously been standing there long enough to hear everything that he had said.

"Moniqa . . . ." Se7en uttered.

"Dong-Wook . . . ." Moniqa said in a low voice. She was very much surprised with what she had found out.

Se7en who was drunk awhile ago suddenly snapped out of his drunkenness. He didn't know what to do and what to say to her. He was already looking at Moniqa's shocked expression. Somehow he knew that everything was going to change now . . . . now she already knew that he had feelings for her.

"Moniqa . . . .Please let me explain . . .." Se7en said as if pleading.

Moniqa looked at Masao then at Se7en. "I . . . . I . . . . I'm sorry but I think I have to go . . . ." then she quickly ran out of Masao's house.

Se7en hurriedly ran after her. He wanted to explain. . . . He wanted to clear everything that she had heard.

"Moniqa . . . . wait! Please!" Se7en shouted as he ran after Moniqa.

They were already outside the house.

Moniqa suddenly stopped running and turned to face Se7en. Tears were already streaming from her eyes.

"Moniqa. . . ." he uttered.

"Why do you have to fall in love me?" she suddenly asked.

"I can't answer that question Iqa. . . . . It is like you're asking me why do I have to breathe . . . . " Se7en answered.

"Dong-Wook . . . . I . . . .I'm quite confused right now . . . ." she said softly.

"Moniqa . . . .I guess it's time I tell you the truth . . . .I have loved you for four years now . . . . " Se7en said with a serious look on his face.

"Se7en . . . . " Moniqa uttered.

Slowly Se7en approached Moniqa and then he embraced her tightly.

"Se7en . . . . Please . . . ."

"I just want to hold you . . . . not as a brother . . . . not as a friend . . . . but a man . . . . a man who loves you . . . ." Se7en uttered.

Moniqa didn't know what to say . . . . or what to do. . . . He pitied Se7en. She knew he was in pain. She wanted to comfort him. She then slowly embraced him back.
Se7en could feel the warmth of Moniqa's body . . . .and it was somehow bringing a strange sensation that he had never felt before. Slowly . . . . he lowered his head to find Moniqa's lips . . . . lips that he had wanted to kiss for a very long time now.

Moniqa was surprised with what Se7en did. She was totally frozen. It was as if she couldn't move.

"Moniqa . . . ." a voice called out.

Se7en immediately released Moniqa from his kiss and his embrace. And as they both looked at where the voice came from. . . . they were both faced with the sad and hurt look on Xiah's face.

"Xiah . . . ." Moniqa uttered.

But as Moniqa tried to approach Xiah . . . . he quickly turned away.

"Xiah . . . .Please let me explain . . . . Xiah . . . .Xiah!" Moniqa called out with tears in her eyes.

But Xiah had quickly gotten into their van and had immediately asked the driver to go. Moniqa helplessly watched as the DBSK boys' van moved farther and farther away.

"Xiah . . . .I love you," she uttered again as her tears continued to flow.

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Xiah was very silent while the van was on its way back to their apartment. He was with the other DBSK members. They had also seen the scene with Se7en and Moniqa. He wasn't sure what he was feeling at that exact moment. The only thing that he could think about was the scene that he had seen. It was like a movie that kept on repeating in his mind.

As soon as the DBSK boys arrived at their apartment, Xiah had hurriedly went to his room.

"Hyung . . . . " Max had called out. He was trying to stop Xiah from entering his room. But he had already gone in and had immediately locked the door.

"It's better if we leave him alone . . . . for now. He needs some time alone to think . . . . " U-Know said seriously.

"I'm starting to think that all girls are the same . . . . a girl makes a guy fall in love with her, but the moment . . . . another guy comes along, she ditches the first guy for the second guy . . . ." Micky said irritatedly.

"Hey! That's unfair . . . . Not every girl is like that . . . . and besides . . . . in Moniqa's case . . . . we all saw what happened . . . ." Jaejoong said.

"And besides what? We all saw that Se7en embraced her and kissed her," Micky said.

"Just like you had said . . . . Se7en embraced her and kissed her. It wasn't Moniqa who started it," Jaejoong tried to point out.

"But still the fact remains that she didn't object to it. She didn't try to stop him. She just stood still while Se7en kissed her . . ." Micky said angrily.

"How can you react when you're shocked?" Max suddenly asked. He was obviously trying to point out Moniqa's side.

"Why is it that I feel that all of you are trying to defend her?" Micky asked the other DBSK boys.

"Because . . . . we also want to be fair with Moniqa . . . hyung . . . . We all know that she also loves Xiah. And we don't really know the whole story . . . . So we can't judge her that so easily . . . ." Max said to Micky.

Micky suddenly lowered his head. His friends were right. He had no right to judge Moniqa so harshly. "I know . . . . I'm sorry . . . . But I am just so angry . . . . I can't bear to see Xiah so hurt like that."

"We all don't want to see him hurt . . . . But the only one that can help him now is himself . . . . He has to learn how to deal with this all on his own. He must learn to accept what he saw and forgive . . . ." U-Know said with a serious expression on his face.

"But frankly I don't think Iqa is to be blamed. She was just a victim . . . ." Max said with a sigh.

"Victim? I guess . . . . she is kind of a victim too," Jaejoong said helplessly.

"What are we going to do with hyung?" Max asked (pertaining to Xiah).

"Nothing to do . . . . but leave him alone, I guess," Micky answered.

"Should we talk with Iqa?" Max asked again.

"No. . . . . we mustn't interfere . . . . Let them settle this all on their own," U-Know said to the other DBSK members.

Max looked at U-Know. He didn't agree with what he was saying, but there was nothing that he could do.

"Maybe things will be fixed in a couple of days . . . . Just give them some time," Jaejoong said again.

"I just hope that they will be able to talk to one another again after this . . . ." Max said.

Jaejoong sighed. "Knowing Xiah . . . I don't think that Iqa will have a chance to talk with Xiah again . . . . unless he wants to . . . . ."

"You're right . . . . I hope hyung will try to talk with her again . . . . so they can clear everything up . . ." Max said.

"The best thing we can all do now is just keep quiet and let him be . . . ." U-Know said.

After several days . . . .

The DBSK boys were already having breakfast when the doorbell rang. Max hurriedly stood up to open the door. And within minutes, he entered again with Moniqa behind him.

Moniqa looked at the other DBSK boys sadly. She didn't know how they boys felt about her and she certainly didn't know how Xiah would react to her.

"Hyung . . . . someone wants to talk with you . . ." Max said.

Xiah looked at Max and then at Moniqa. There were mixed emotions in his eyes. But what made Moniqa scared was the hatred that she saw in his eyes.

"Xiah . . . . Please . . . . Can we talk?" Moniqa asked in a low voice.

Xiah stared at Moniqa as if looking right through her.

"No!" Xiah answered as he suddenly stood up and left the dining room.

Moniqa's heart was silently crushed as Xiah just carelessly passed her by . . . . .it was as if she didn't exist. Slowly her tears fell . . . . one by one . . .

"Xiah . . . . Xiah . . . " Moniqa uttered as she suddenly broke down into tears.

The DBSK boys didn't know what to do. They could see and feel that Moniqa was hurting badly. And they all pitied her. Somehow Micky's perception about her changed the moment he saw her cry.

Now they all knew that Iqa truly loved Xiah. And the only thing that they hope now is that Xiah will learn to forgive and try to clear everything up with Moniqa. They didn't want to see both of them suffer . . . .

"It's all right Iqa . . . . Everything will be all right. . . . Please don't cry . . . ." Max said as he tried to calm down Moniqa.

"Why won't he talk with me? I want to explain . . . ." she softly uttered.

Max just shook his head. "I'm sorry . . . . but there is nothing we can do."

Moniqa looked at Max. "I love him . . . . and I thought that he loved me too . . . . So why doesn't he trust me?"

The DBSK boys didn't know what to answer.

Moniqa silently left the DBSK boys' apartment with a broken heart. She was very hurt that Xiah still didn't want to talk to her. Now she was starting to wonder if he truly loved her as much as she did.

Moniqa sadly climbed onto the car that was waiting for her. Then she looked at Se7en who was sitting next beside her.

"How did it go?" he asked.

Moniqa just shook her head. Then she suddenly broke down into tears again. Se7en just held her in his arms as he gently caressed her head.

"I'm sorry . . . . I know it is all my fault . . . . I should have just kept my feelings to myself," Se7en said sadly.

"No. . . . I don't blame you . . . . What hurts me most is that the fact that he doesn't trust me enough . . . . Now I am starting to wonder if we can ever be together again . . . ."
she said as tears flowed down from her eyes.

"Iqa . . . . you know that I love you and no matter who you are with and no matter what you do . . . . I will always be here for you . . . ." Se7en softly said.

"I know . . . . I know . . . ." she uttered as she rested her head in his chest. She was still crying . . . . crying for the love that she knew she was going to lose.

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The next day . . . . . the DBSK boys had just arrived at their studio when their manager suddenly told them a good news . . . .

"Boys . . . . I know you will all be excited by what I am going to tell you," their manager said with a big smile on his face.

"What? Come on tell us, hyung," Max said with a smile as well.

"Well . . . . Sony Music has invited you boys to be guest performers in Moniqa and Se7en's concert," their manager had announced with a big smile on his lips.

"What?" Micky, Jaejoong, Max and U-Know all said in unison. They were all shocked with what they learned.

Xiah just stared at their manager with an expressionless face. He was totally unable to think straight. He didn't want to see Moniqa and especially Se7en of all people.
He sighed heavily. He had been successful in avoiding Moniqa for the past week and now it seems even fate is against him. Now he was going to be forced to face her and Se7en because of the concert.

Xiah could feel that he didn't have the strength to confront Moniqa and Se7en. He was still very hurt and he wasn't ready to listen to any of their excuses. All he could think about was the fact that Moniqa had cheated him.

"Hyung . . . . Why are we suddenly being put into their concert?" Max asked surprisingly.

"I don't know either . . . . but it is a request from Sony Music so basically Avex Trax and SM Entertainment just accepted. So you guys will be very preoccupied this coming two weeks for the preparations and the rehearsals for their concert," their manager said again.

"What are we supposed to do in their concert?" U-Know asked suddenly.

"You will be performing at least five songs for the concert," their manager answered.

"When is their concert scheduled anyway?" Micky asked.

"Their concert will be in two weeks," the older man answered.

"So where are we going to rehearse?" U-Know asked.

"You will be rehearsing together with Moniqa and Se7en in their own studio. It is better that way so you will be familiarized with the way their concert is to be done. And so you will also have the chance to get acquainted with one another, since you will all be working with one another. Well . . . . I know it isn't needed anymore since all of you are already friends with one another. But the company presidents have insisted that all of you try to work with each other during the preparation period," their manager said again.

"So when is our rehearsal with them going to start?" Jaejoong asked.

"As a matter of fact . . . . It is supposed to start today . . . .You will all be brought to their studio now . . . ." the older man said again.

"What?" Micky asked again with the surprised look on his face.

"Why is it you're like rushing us into that concert all of a sudden . . . . You only tell us about it today and now we are supposed to go to their rehearsal all of a sudden?" U-Know asked with a confused look on his face.

"Come on guys . . . . Be good. This is a big opportunity for you. Sony Music is a very big company. You should feel very proud that they are requesting you guys to perform in one of their concerts. What's the problem? Why are you guys opposing it so much?" their manager curiously asked.

"Nothing . . ." Jaejoong quickly answered.

"Yeah . . . . Nothing . . . ." Max also answered.

"Well . . . . better prepare yourselves. We are going now in a few minutes," the older man said with a smile.

The other DBSK members all looked at Xiah. He didn't even say a single word.
He was just listening and was staring blankly into open space.

The boys' manager suddenly noticed Xiah. "What's wrong with him?' he asked the other DBSK boys.

Micky and Max just shrugged their shoulders. They didn't want their manager to know what Xiah's real problem was.

It was already afternoon when the DBSK boys with their manager arrived at Sony Music's Studio.

"So this is the place . . . ." the boys' manager exclaimed as they arrived.

The DBSK boys just looked at the place and vaguely smiled. Max, Micky, Jaejoong and Micky were all thinking about Xiah. They were very concerned with how he was going to react once he saw Moniqa and Se7en again.

The DBSK boys quietly entered the studio. As Xiah entered . . . . his heart was pounding very hard. He wanted to turn back and just walk out of the studio. But he knew he couldn't do it. He had to face his fears. He had to face Moniqa and Se7en . . . . he constantly told himself as he went inside.

As soon as Xiah and the other DBSK boys entered the studio . . . . all the people immediately turned to look at them.

Moniqa and Se7en were in a corner, resting. They didn't notice the boys as they entered the room.

Se7en was sitting comfortably on the floor while Moniqa was resting her head on his lap. He was gently caressing Moniqa's hair as they sweetly talked with one another. Xiah's heart suddenly stopped beating the moment he saw Moniqa and Se7en together in such an intimate position.

The other DBSK boys stared at Xiah. He was looking at Iqa and Se7en. It was very obvious that he was hurting because of what he was seeing. The boys wanted to just drag Xiah away. They wanted to protect him from the pain . . . . that Moniqa and Se7en were giving him.

"Hyung . . . . are you all right?" Max asked Xiah as he gently tapped him on the shoulder. Xiah had been staring at Se7en and Moniqa for the past five minutes.

Everyone in the room were already conscious of what was happening.

"Se7en . . . . Moniqa . . . .DBSK is here . . . ." one of the staff called out.

Se7en and Moniqa both looked at the DBSK boys. It was only then that they noticed the boys. They immediately approached the boys to greet them.

"Hello . . . ." Se7en said coldly.

"Hi . . . . ." Moniqa said with sadness in her eyes. Then she slowly looked at Xiah who was staring at another direction. He was obviously avoiding to look at her.

Moniqa smiled bitterly. She had expected Xiah to avoid her. But it was still breaking her heart. Se7en saw the hurt look in Iqa's eyes. He was angry with Xiah that he was treating Moniqa in such a cruel way.

"Come on Iqa . . . . Time for practice . . . . " Se7en said as he gently placed his arm around Moniqa's waist and pulled her away.

Moniqa just let herself be pulled away by Se7en. She was feeling very lost and totally lifeless. It was like her body was there but her entire being was somewhere else.

"Please . . . . . don't let him see that you're very affected. Have some pride, Iqa" Se7en softly whispered in Moniqa's ear as they walked away.

She knew Se7en was right. But she couldn't do anything. She was truly feeling hopeless . . . . At that moment, she wanted to cry. She wanted to release the sadness she was feeling.

Se7en saw the tears that were forming in her eyes. He immediately wiped them away. Then he asked one of the staff members to start the music that they were going to dance.

As the slow music started . . . . everyone's eyes were focused on Se7en and Moniqa. Xiah didn't want to look but he couldn't resist. He wanted to see how Moniqa and Se7en danced. He wanted to see if they were really perfect for one another. He wanted to see if she truly belonged to Se7en now. He wanted to see the truth . . . . even if it hurt him.

As Se7en gently held Moniqa in his arms and they started to dance intimately, Xiah couldn't help but feel pity for himself and sad as well. Now he can see that Se7en really fitted well with Moniqa. He fitted her more than he will ever do in this lifetime. He slowly turned away. It was already hurting him so much. He couldn't take it anymore. He had already admitted defeat. He no longer believed in the word 'love'.

"I'll make you forget him," Se7en softly whispered to Moniqa as they danced.

Moniqa just stared deep into Se7en's eyes. And even though she was looking at him . . . . all she could see was Xiah's face.

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Two days later . . . .

Everybody were very busy with the preparations for the upcoming concert.

"Okay . . . . everybody . . . . dance rehearsal is over for now . . . Se7en, Moniqa and DBSK will be having their rehearsal for their songs in a little while . . . . Please prepare . . . " one of the staff members announced.

The DBSK boys looked at Se7en and Moniqa sitting in a corner of the room. They were talking with each other. There were times they would catch Moniqa staring at Xiah. They could see the sadness in her eyes, and it made them pity her very much. Ever since their rehearsal started, Xiah had been constantly avoiding Iqa. He wouldn't even look at her.

Many of the other staff members and dancers both from Sony Music and Avex Trax were already very confused. They already noticed that Xiah and Moniqa haven't talked with each other ever since the rehearsals started. And all of them could see that he was avoiding her deliberately.

"What's wrong with Xiah and Moniqa?" the DBSK boys' manager asked U-Know.

U-Know looked at Xiah. And then he gently shook his head. He didn't want to say anything.

"Everybody is already making a big fuss about their cold treatment with each other. Where is Xiah anyway? He was here a moment ago . . . . Where did he go?" the older man said to the other DSBK members.

Jaejoong and Micky started to look at each other.

"Maybe he just went out to . . . . to . . . ." Micky tried to find a perfect alibi for his friend.

"Maybe he went with Max . . . ." Jaejoong said with a smile.

"Yeah . . . . Max went out to get something he left in the van," Micky lied.

Their manager looked at the DBSK boys. He knew that they were trying to hide something. But he just to let it go. He didn't want any problem.

"There he is . . . ." U-Know said as he pointed to Xiah who just arrived with Max.

"Where have you boys been?" their manager asked angrily.

"We went out for a while," Max answered.

"For what? You know that rehearsals are going to start . . . ." the older man said again irritatedly.

"Sorry . . . hyung," Max apologized.

"Okay . . . . Just get ready . . . . And Xiah . . . . what is wrong with you and Moniqa? You still have more than a month before . . . . you know what . . . . So even if you are already starting to get on each other's nerves . . . . just try to pretend. Smile . . . and act that the two of you are lovers . . . . I know that it may be already very hard with you . . . . But for your sake . . . please try to bear with it a little while longer," the older man said to Xiah.

Xiah stared at their manager. He wanted to say something, but somehow the words wouldn't come out of his mouth. Then finally after several minutes . . . . he was finally able to say what was on his mind.

"I . . . . I . . . . I don't want to pretend anymore," he softly said.

"What?" their manager asked with shock in his eyes.

"I can't stand it anymore . . . ." Xiah said with desperation in his eyes.

"Xiah . . . . This isn't the right time and place to discuss that . . . that matter," their manager said with a nervous voice. He was very afraid that someone might hear what he was saying.

"But I . . . . . I . . . I want to break up with her already. I'm sick and tired of her," Xiah had suddenly said with a loud voice. He was already feeling agitated and very much confused.

Everyone in the room suddenly looked at Xiah. All of them had obviously heard what he said. They were all surprised by what they learned. They all stared at Xiah . . . . afterwards they all looked at Moniqa. They were all hoping to have some kind of answer from looking at her.

Moniqa and Se7en who were also in the room, also heard what Xiah had said. Moniqa was stunned . . . . her mind was already spinning and her heart was slowly breaking into tiny pieces. She never expected that Xiah would do such a thing. She was very hurt . . . but she still tried to control her emotions.

Suddenly the officer of Sony Music entered the room.

"Please start the rehearsal . . . . Moniqa. . . . " he said.

Se7en was very shocked . . . and angry at Xiah. How he wanted to confront him with how he was treating Iqa. Xiah was hurting her very badly and he wanted to help her.

Moniqa looked at Xiah's direction. Tears were starting to form in her eyes. But she tried very hard to hold back the tears. She didn't want their rehearsals to be affected. She was trained to be a professional artist. She had to put her responsibilities first before anything else.

Slowly Moniqa went to the center of the room and started to play the piano. Sadness was very visible in her eyes as she started to sing . . . . .

Someday you'll gonna realize
One day you'll see this through my eyes
By then i won't even be there
I'll be happy somewhere
Even if i cared

I know
You don't really see my worth
You think you're the last guy on earth
Well I've got news for you
I know I'm not that strong
But it won't take long
Won't take long

Coz someday, someone's gonna love me
The way, i wanted you to need me
Someday, someone's gonna take your place
One day I'll forget about you
You'll see, I won't even miss you
Someday, someday

Right now
I know you can tell
I'm down,and I'm not doin' well
But one day these tears
They will all run dry
I won't have to cry
Sweet goodbye

Somehow Iqa couldn't control herself anymore . . . . and slowly her tears started to fall one by one . . . . . But she just continued to sing.

Coz someday, someone's gonna love me
The way, i wanted you to need me
Someday, someone's gonna take your place
One day i'll forget about you
You'll see, i won't even miss you
I know someone's gonna be there

Someday, someone's gonna love me
The way, I wanted you to need me
Someday, someone's gonna take your place
One day I'll forget about you
You'll see, I won't even miss you
Someday, someday

Everyone in the room who were watching her felt like their hearts were all being torn into pieces. They all could feel her sorrow and pain.

Se7en couldn't stand seeing Iqa so down . . . . he suddenly stood up and walked up to where she was and spontaneously embraced her in front of so many people. He wasn't going to let Moniqa get hurt ever again. . . . He was determined to protect her and take care of her . . . . no matter what the consequences were. He was going to be responsible for her and he was going to love her . . . . without any conditions.

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The DBSK boys, Moniqa and Se7en with their respective managers were all waiting anxiously for the decision of the four companies . . . . SM Entertainment, Avex Trax, YG Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment were going to make regarding the sudden scandal that Moniqa, Se7en and Xiah were in.

The press had somehow gotten a picture of Se7en embracing Moniqa during the rehearsal that they had a day before. The picture was already printed in all the major newspapers and magazines, and was already making a big commotion in the entertainment industry.

"What do you think they will say?" the DBSK boys' manager asked Moniqa's acting manager.

"Frankly . . . I have no idea," the other man answered.

"I just hope they won't cancel the concert because of this . . . ." Se7en's manager said with a sigh.

Moniqa and Se7en sat beside each other and just stayed quiet. They already knew that there was really going to be a big problem after they saw the picture on the newspaper. The picture had also been posted in different sites in the internet. It was truly a big news and they knew they had to be responsible for the problems that may arise from it.

Slowly Se7en took Moniqa's hand and held it. The three managers just looked at Se7en and then at Moniqa.

"I know . . . . sooner or later . . . . you two would fall for each other. But I never expected that your relationship would be this complicated . . . ." Se7en's manager told Se7en and Moniqa as he shook his head.

"Sorry . . . ." Moniqa uttered.

"It's okay . . . . I understand that the two of you have known each other for years now . . . . And frankly, I'm quite amazed that it took you guys this long to finally admit that you are more than friends," Se7en's manager said again with a smile.

"Hyung . . . what do you think they will demand this time?" Se7en asked his manager worriedly.

"Don't worry . . . . I already know how Sony Music always favors Moniqa. So I think they will surely go easy on the two of you . . . . and I think this thing between you and Moniqa will also be a big help for your concert," Se7en's manager answered.

"But . . . . this isn't a promotion for our concert," Se7en said somehow annoyed with his manager.

"I know . . . but I just think it will help a lot for your concert. Many of your fans are already waiting a formal statement regarding your true relationship," the older man said again with a smile.

Se7en looked back at Moniqa. He was feeling very sorry. He wanted to comfort her and assure her that everything will be all right. She was obviously very worried as well. She was totally not herself and just stared into the open space.

"Why? Don't worry . . . . They will surely go easy on you," Se7en said to Iqa while he held her hand tighter. He wanted to attract her attention and draw away her thoughts from the person he knew she was thinking about.

Moniqa stared at Se7en. . . . then she smiled. "I'm not worried about myself . . . . I'm more concerned with what the companies will do with you and . . . ." she suddenly stopped talking and then looked at Xiah.

Xiah was still trying to look at his friends. He avoided staring or even glancing at Moniqa and Se7en. He was trying to pretend that he didn't care at all.

"You don't have to worry about him . . . . He obviously doesn't care about you anymore. So don't waste your time and energy on him," Se7en whispered to Moniqa.

Iqa just gave a quick glance at Xiah's direction and then she turned her attention again at Se7en. She suddenly sighed. She was very hurt . . . .how she wanted to talk with him and clear everything up. But he just kept on avoiding her calls and even when she tried to talk with him personally, he would just find some other excuses so that he would be too preoccupied to talk with her.

The DBSK boys just stared at Moniqa as she sat beside Se7en. They were feeling the tension as all of them waited for the decision of the three record companies. They also felt that Xiah wasn't even concerned with what was going to happen to him. He was obviously more concerned with hiding and denying his true feelings for Moniqa. The DBSK boys could see that he was very hurt and jealous of Moniqa and Se7en. But he just tried his best to cover it with his anger. He was also trying to pretend that he wasn't affected with what was going on between him and Iqa. He tried to give everyone fake smiles to cover everything up. He had totally lost all his happy and bright smiles, and all were replaced with fake ones filled with bitterness and sadness.

The boys felt pity for their friend. But there was nothing they could to help him. They had tried talking to him. They had tried reasoning with him, but he wouldn't listen. He didn't want to follow their advices. He obviously wanted to deal with his problem in his own way. The boys sighed . . . . they knew their friend was being totally foolish and unreasonable. . . . but they couldn't stop him. He had already made up his mind.

After half an hour . . . . the record companies finally reached a decision. They were all called into the office to discuss everything. Moniqa, Se7en and the DBSK boys, together with their respective managers all nervously went in.

"Let me get straight to the point . . . . " the president of the Sony Music Entertainment said. "I know you are all worried and anxious about what will happen . . . now that Se7en and Moniqa had been exposed in the magazines and newspapers as lovers. We have finally reached a suitable solution for this problem. I hope of all of you will agree and abide by what we have decided," the older man said.

"Can I just say something . . . please?" Se7en suddenly asked the three officials of the record companies.

"Yes . . . what is it that you want to talk about?" the president of Avex Trax asked.

"Well . . . . sir . . . I would just like to say . . . that I am solely responsible for all this mess . . . . Can you please spare Moniqa?" Se7en asked with concern in his eyes.

The president of Sony Music suddenly laughed. "You sure care about Moniqa a lot . . . . Don't worry . . . . we're not here to give out punishments or anything . . ."

"We have decided that your concert with Moniqa will go on as scheduled. And the DBSK boys will still perform in your concert. As for the scandal, regarding you and her . . . . we have decided that after your concert . . . your relationship with each other will be formally announced," the president of YG Entertainment said.

Se7en looked at Moniqa with a worried expression on his face.

"Formally announced?" Se7en asked again.

"Yes . . . . your managers have told us that the two of you have been close for the past years and it is only recently that the two of you have developed feelings for each other," the president of SM Entertainment said.

"So we have decided to end the fake relationship of Xiah and Moniqa. We will be making a formal statement to the press regarding their sudden break-up . . . today . . . . . Then after the concert . . . . Se7en . . . . Moniqa . . . . both of you are already free to go on with your relationship without any worries," the president of YG Entertainment said again with a big smile on his face.

"Don't worry . . . . Se7en . . . . Moniqa . . . . we don't oppose your relationship . . . In fact, we support it. We think that both of you perfectly fit each other. . . ." the president of Sony Music said with a smile.

Xiah suddenly felt very jealous that both the presidents of YG Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment were supporting Se7en and Moniqa. It was breaking his heart just thinking of them together.

"So Xiah and Moniqa's charade is really over?" Se7en asked again.

"Yes . . . .it is over. . . " the president of SM Entertainment answered.

After hearing that it was really over between him and Moniqa, Xiah finally glanced at her. Moniqa also looked at Xiah's direction. After a very long time, the two finally looked into each other's eyes.

Xiah could see the sadness and pain in her eyes. It was as if his heart had already stopped beating. He didn't want to look at her anymore. It was too painful. He wanted to return to the time that he and Iqa were just starting their love for each other. How he wished that it was still the same.

"Xiah . . . ." Iqa had unconsciously uttered.

Se7en saw the way that Xiah and Moniqa were looking at each other. He could feel jealousy creeping up in his heart . . . but he just tried to brush it aside. He knew he had no right to be jealous. He was the one in the middle . . . . and he was the one who was breaking up Xiah and Moniqa.

"So that is all what we wanted to say. . . . We all hope that you will try to avoid making anymore scandals . . . . like this . . . ." the president of Avex Trax said seriously.

"Xiah . . . . Moniqa . . . . we will be releasing the statement of your formal break-up in an interview an hour from now . . . . Don't worry . . . .the two of you don't have to attend. We will be handling this affair by ourselves," the president of Sony Music Entertainment uttered.

"Well . . . . you can all go now . . . . " the president of Avex Trax said.

The DBSK boys looked at Xiah. He was silently staring at Moniqa.

Moniqa and Se7en with their managers had all stood up and were about to leave, when Moniqa suddenly approached Xiah.

"Goodbye . . . . Xiah. . . . . I will never forget you . . . . . I hope you will be happy . . . . .And thank you for the memories . . . . " she said as she sadly looked straight into his eyes.

Xiah felt like time had suddenly stopped. As he heard her say goodbye . . . . his heart had suddenly stopped beating as well . . . . . and at that exact moment . . . . he felt like he had already died.

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Moniqa was silently sitting on the sofa while drinking a glass of wine. She had been staring blankly at the TV screen for almost an hour. Her break up with Xiah had already been announced by Sony Music a few days ago. Many reporters covered the sudden press conference and it was even aired live in a showbiz program. She wanted to think . . . . but there was nothing on her mind . . . . except the fact that Xiah and her were finally over. She suddenly laughed bitterly as tears rolled down from her eyes. She was missing Xiah badly, and it was driving her mad. She wanted to forget . . . . forget everything . . . .

She had been dreaming of him these passed few days. She didn't want to think about him anymore, but he just kept on appearing in her head. She slowly twirled the glass of wine in her hand. It was already empty. She suddenly tossed the glass of wine on the floor. And within seconds . . . . the glass had shattered into tiny pieces. Then she saw the two bottles of wine next to her . . . she quickly grabbed them, one by one and tossed them on the floor as well.

She was missing Xiah so much . . . . she had tried every possible way to forget him. But she just kept on thinking about him. He was like air she couldn't live without. She couldn't control her mind . . . . and especially not her heart. She was already crazy with her longing for him.

She had been drinking for hours and the wine had already taken effect . . . . both in her body and in her mind. She was already drunk and she wasn't thinking straight. She was already feeling very dizzy. Slowly she tried to stand from the sofa that she was sitting on. And as soon as she stood up, she immediately fell down again on the sofa. She already felt that everything around her was spinning. She tried to get up again. She was able to walk a few steps away from the sofa when she felt dizzy again.

Moniqa tried to control herself. She tried to fight the dizziness she was feeling. But her body was already weak. . . . and within minutes, she fell on the floor with pieces of broken glass scattered everywhere.

As Moniqa helplessly fell on the floor . . . . she somehow could feel the tiny pieces of glass that pierced different parts of her body. She knew it should hurt and that she should feel great pain. But she was somehow numb all over. She couldn't feel anything. And as she finally lay motionless on the floor . . . . she suddenly noticed the bright red liquid oozing on the floor where she lay. . . . . It was blood . . . . her blood . . . . She was bleeding profusely.

Moniqa just closed her eyes. She didn't care if she died at that moment. She didn't care about anything . . . . anymore. She was thinking that she was going to die anyway. . . .so she didn't need to prolonged it. Before she had a reason to keep on fighting and hoping . . . . but now that Xiah was gone . . . . . She didn't have any reason to live anymore.

The DBSK boys were all sitting in their van. Their scheduled rehearsal for Moniqa and Se7en's concert had been cancelled in order to give way to a sudden video shoot.

"What's with this sudden video shoot?" Max asked while they were in the van.

"Don't know . . . . They just said that it is going to be used for the commercial for the concert," Micky replied.

"Oh . . . ." Max uttered.

"Why all of a sudden?" Micky asked again.

The other DBSK boys just shrugged their shoulders.

"So . . . . hyung . . . .where are we going now?" Jaejoong asked their manager.

"Well . . . . we are all to meet up in front of Moniqa's apartment. Se7en and his manager are already on their way. And the bus with the staff members are almost there as well. All of us are going to pick Moniqa up in her apartment since she doesn't know about the sudden change of plans," the DBSK boys' manager answered.

"Why do we have to pick her up?" Xiah asked unexpectedly. He was obviously irritated.

The other DBSK boys glanced at Xiah. They knew that he didn't want to see Moniqa. And it was the main reason why he was being irritable.

After several minutes, they finally arrived at Moniqa's apartment. But they were the first to arrive at the place.

"Well . . . . we're here," the DBSK boys' manager announced. "Why aren't the others here yet?" he asked as he looked around.

"Don't worry . . . . they will be here. Maybe they just caught up with something," Jaejoong said to their manager.

"Yes . . . . you're right," their manager replied.

A few minutes later . . . . Se7en together with his manager finally arrived in their van, followed by the bus with the crew members.

Se7en and his manager hurriedly got out of their van with worried looks on their faces. They approached the DBSK boys and their manager who have also gotten out of their van as well.

"What's wrong?" the DBSK boys' manager asked Se7en's manager.

"We have been trying to contact Moniqa . . . . but she hasn't picked up her phone. Her manager has been trying to call her both on her cell phone and the phone at her apartment . . . . but she also hasn't answered him," Se7en's manager answered.

The DBSK boys suddenly became worried.

"Are you sure that she's home? Maybe she is with a friend . . . . or maybe she left her cell phone somewhere . . . . that's why she's not picking up," Max asked Se7en and his manager.

"Moniqa never leaves anywhere without her cell phone. And she is supposed to be home . . . . I drove her home last night. I am really worried about her," Se7en answered.

Xiah suddenly felt a sharp pain in his heart as he heard Se7en say that he had brought Moniqa home the night before.

Moniqa's acting manager suddenly arrived. He hurriedly got out of his car and he ran to where the Se7en and the others were.

"What's wrong?" Se7en asked worriedly.

"Hurry . . . I've checked with the apartment's management . . . . and they've confirmed that after she arrived home last night . . . . she never went out again. I've already asked them to help us open her door," Moniqa's manager said with concern written all over his face.

As soon as Se7en heard what Moniqa's manager said . . . . he hurriedly ran into the apartment building. Moniqa's manager and Se7en's manager ran after Se7en. They were all very worried.

"Let's go . . . ." U-Know said to the other DBSK boys and their manager.

"They can handle it all . . . on their own," Xiah suddenly said.

"Hyung . . . ." Max uttered.

"If you don't want to go . . . . You can just stay here . . . . but we're going in," Jaejoong said in an irritated voice.

Xiah looked at Jaejoong. He seldom see Jaejoong irritated or upset . . . . so he was quite surprised with Jaejoong's reaction.

Jaejoong together with the other DBSK members and their manager entered the apartment building. Xiah couldn't do anything but helplessly follow them.

They arrived at Moniqa's apartment . . . . Se7en and the two managers were still waiting for the apartment personnel to open the door.

"Come on . . . . what's taking you guys so long?" Se7en asked impatiently.

"Sorry . . . . sir . . . but it isn't easy to open Ms. Moniqa's apartment door. It has a different security lock installed and it can only be activated from the inside," one of the men answered.

"Do something . . . . You've got to hurry . . . . She might be dead by now . . . ." Se7en angrily shouted at the apartment personnel. He was already very nervous. He was very worried about what might have happened to Moniqa. Fear was already written all over his face.

The DBSK boys were all shocked with what they heard. They suddenly became very concerned for Moniqa as well. Xiah . . . . who was trying very hard to control his emotion just acted like he didn't care about what was going on. But deep inside . . . . his heart was already screaming Moniqa's name. He was also very worried about what may have happened to her.

The men who were trying to open Moniqa's room suddenly became alarmed as well.

"If it is okay with you . . . . We can open the door but we will be destroying the whole security system for this door . . . ." one of the men said to Se7en.

"I don't care if you guys have to destroy the whole door and building . . . .Just get that door open . . . . now!" Se7en said angrily.

The men hurriedly worked on the door. After ten minutes, the men were finally able to open the door.

As soon as the door was opened . . . . Se7en immediately stormed into Moniqa's apartment. The DBSK boys and the three managers also followed him straight into the room. Never in their wildest dreams did they expect the kind of horror that they would find once they entered the room.

Se7en was the first one to go inside the room. But as he entered the living room . . . . . his heart immediately stopped the moment he saw Moniqa lying lifeless in a pool of blood.

"Iqa!" Se7en screamed. He immediately went to Moniqa's side. Then he searched for her pulse. "She's still alive," he uttered.

"Hurry call an ambulance . . . ." the DBSK boys' manager said to one of the apartment personnel.

"Iqa . . . . Come on baby . . . .Open your eyes . . . . Don't scare me like this.," Se7en said with a trembling voice as he tried to touch Moniqa's bloody face.

The DBSK boys and the managers were all stunned with the sight that they saw. Xiah just stood looking blankly at Moniqa on the floor. It was as if he was in a dream . . . a nightmare that he wanted to wake up from. Se7en started to move Moniqa carefully. But he was having trouble because of the many broken glass pieces scattered all over the room.

U-Know and Jaejoong hurriedly helped Se7en to move Moniqa. There were so many cuts in her body that Se7en was instantly covered with blood the moment he carried her in his arms.

Everyone who saw Moniqa's condition was suddenly terrified. She was lying face down on the floor. But as soon as she was turned, they all saw a very large piece of broken glass stabbed on her chest. Everyone was suddenly horrified. The wound was open and was bleeding profusely. Moniqa was already pale and her lips were almost gray.

"Moniqa . . . ." Jaejoong said with concern in his eyes.

"Get her to the van!" Moniqa's manager exclaimed.

"Hurry . . . . she's already lost a lot of blood," Se7en's manager said.

"Iqa!" Xiah suddenly uttered. He suddenly snapped out of his madness and his heart started to beat very fast. He wanted to go to her side and make her open her eyes. He couldn't believe the sight that he was seeing. Moniqa was lifeless in Se7en's arms. He wanted to scream . . . . he wanted to tell himself that it was all a dream . . . . a very bad dream.

As Se7en hurriedly carried her down into the waiting van, the DBSK boys and the managers were all praying very hard that she will be all right.

"Moniqa . . . . please don't give up. . . . Hang on . . . . please . . . .I know . . . Xiah is the only man you love . . . . . Don't worry . . . . I will help you to get him back . . . . I will do whatever it takes to make him come back to you . . . .Just promise me you won't give up. . . .I love you, Iqa. . . . But I am willing to let you go . . . . .as long as I know you're happy . . . . and very much alive. . . . Please Moniqa . . . .Please . . . .Fight . . . . Hang on . . . . We're almost there . . . . We're almost at the hospital . . . . Hang on. . . . Please don't die . . . .," Se7en repeatedly said as he held Moniqa in his arms. Tears were already streaming from his eyes. How he wanted to help Moniqa . . . . he never imagined he would ever see her in such a horrible condition.

The DBSK boys and their manager followed Se7en's van to the hospital. While on their way . . . . Xiah was also praying very hard for Moniqa's safety.

"God! Please . . . . help Iqa . . . . I still love her . . . . I just suddenly realized that I won't be able to live without her. . . . Please . . . . Please give her back to me . . . . . I promise if you give me another chance, I will try to fix everything . . . . . Please save her. . . . . I need her," Xiah said in his mind as tears rolled down his cheeks.

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Se7en, together with the DBSK boys and their managers were all waiting patiently outside the emergency room of the hospital they had brought Moniqa in. They were all very worried and nervous. They were all praying that she would be fine.

"What do you think happened to her?" Max unexpectedly asked the other DBSK boys.

Jaejoong and Micky both just shook their heads. They were also wondering what really happened to her.

"Did you see the broken bottles? God! I don't even want to remember . . . . ." Max said as if very horrified.

"Maybe she got drunk . . . . and she accidentally slipped . . . . while holding the bottle . . . . and . . . . .and . . . ." Micky tried to find a perfect explanation for what occurred.

"The press will surely have a field day covering this news . . . . ." Moniqa's acting manager said with a sigh.

"Has the companies been informed about Moniqa's condition?" the DBSK boys' manager asked.

"Yes . . . . I have already informed everyone. . . . I just hope she will be all right. Her real manager will be here in a few hours," Moniqa's manager said again.

"Some reporters are already waiting downstairs. . . . so I suggest you all be careful in going out of the hospital," Se7en's manager suddenly said to Se7en, the DBSK boys and the two other managers.

He had just finished talking on his cell phone. And their driver had already informed him that news vans and reporters were already stationed outside the hospital.

"How did they find out?" Max asked suddenly.

"Nothing is impossible with the press people . . . . Whenever and wherever there is a big news . . . . they will surely find it," the DBSK boys' manager answered.

"What do we do now?" Micky asked the other managers.

"We don't have to worry about the press . . . .What is more important now is Moniqa . . . . " Se7en suddenly uttered.

The DBSK boys all looked at Se7en. He was still wearing his bloody clothes. He was obviously very tired as well.

"He's right . . . . For now . . . .let's just wait. . . . ." Se7en's manager told the others.

Another hour passed . . . . .

A doctor finally came out of the emergency room. Se7en immediately approached the doctor and with a trembling voiced asked about Moniqa.

"How is she? . . . . . How is Moniqa?"

The doctor looked at Se7en. He didn't know how to start what he wanted to say.

"First of all . . . . we have already removed the big piece of glass on her chest and treated her other minor injuries. . . . But . . . . our main concern now is . . . . the condition of her heart . . . . Her heart is already very weak . . . . We have already communicated with her attending physician and the hospitals she is connected with. They have already provided us with her medical records. . . . And frankly, we are all amazed that she has survived this long without a heart transplant . . . . . But sad to say . . . . her condition has worsened. She needs a heart transplant as soon as possible . . . . But as of now . . . we are still unable to get a suitable heart donor for her . . . ." the doctor explained.

Se7en was totally stunned by what the doctor said.

"So you mean . . . . she might die?" Se7en asked with a trembling voice.

"I'm sorry to say that we are only giving her until tomorrow . . . . If by that time . . . . she still doesn't receive a new heart . . . . Then I'm sorry to say . . . .she may not survive," the doctor replied.

It was like a bomb had suddenly been dropped in front of Se7en, the DBSK boys and their managers. . . . what they suddenly discovered was too much of a shock for them. All of them were totally speechless and unable to move.

"Doctor . . . . please . . . . you've got to do something . . . . Please help her," Se7en said as he begged the doctor.

The doctor just shook his head. "I'm sorry . . . . but there's nothing more I can do . . . unless she receives a new heart . . . . Then there is no hope in saving her . . . ."

Se7en felt like his whole world was spinning. He suddenly leaned against the wall and started to cry. He didn't want her to die. He loved Iqa so much. . . . he was willing to do anything for her.

The doctor just gently tapped Se7en's shoulder as he slowly moved away.

Xiah who was just sitting quietly in a corner was already in the brink of totally losing his self-control. He was trying to pretend that he didn't care and that he wasn't affected by what was happening wound him.

Max just looked at Xiah with a weird expression on his face. He couldn't imagine how Xiah was able to act like he didn't care at all. He wanted to get angry with him because Moniqa was already dying and he was still thinking about himself and his pride.

"Hyung . . . Iqa . . . . is already dying and you're still angry with her?" Max asked surprisingly.

"What?" Xiah suddenly asked as if caught by surprise by what Max had asked.

"Xiah . . . . Please just forget about your anger and the hurt . . . . she's dying . . . ." Micky said while looking at Xiah with a sad look on his face.

"We know we don't have any right to say this to you . . . . but we know that you still love her . . . . and we can certainly see that she still loves you . . . . And frankly . . . . we all think that the main reason why she did this is . . . . because of . . . . you . . . " U-Know said with serious expression on his face.

Xiah stared at his friends. He knew that they were right. And he was already willing to forget everything . . . . The only problem was that he didn't know how to react since Se7en was around.

Se7en heard everything that the other DBSK members said to Xiah. He tried to control his tears and suddenly tried to sum up all his courage to finally tell the truth to Xiah.

Se7en slowly approached Xiah. He was determined to finally clear everything up regarding Iqa and him.

"I think it is about time that we talk . . . . man to man . . . ." Se7en said to Xiah with a serious expression on his face.

Xiah just stared at Se7en and nodded. He quietly followed him into a secluded part of the hospital.

As soon as they were alone . . . . Se7en angrily approached Xiah and gave him a straight punch in the face. Xiah was totally taken by surprise that he didn't have time to avoid Se7en's fist.

Xiah suddenly fell down on the floor. Se7en's punch was very strong that his lower lip had immediately started bleeding.

"Why?" Xiah asked with a surprised look in his eyes.

"That is for Moniqa . . . . . You didn't even give her the chance to explain herself to you . . . . Do you know how hurt she was? She tried to talk to you, but you just ignored her. I know I was partly to blame as well. But . . . . what you saw that day . . . . wasn't what you were thinking . . . . She never cheated you . . . . She loved you . . . . And from the very start . . . . she was honest with me about it . . . . And the only reason why you saw me kissing her . . . .was because . . . . because I wanted her to know about my own feelings for her. . . . But she told me that the only man she loves is you . . . . " Se7en said as he tried to control his emotions.

"I . . . . I . . . ." Xiah tried to say something but he couldn't think of anything to say.

"She loves you . . . . Xiah. . . . You were the only reason why she was trying to fight for her life. . . . You are the only one she is living for . . . . So I guess after you got mad with her . . . . she became very depressed. And that's why she was drinking . . . . and she . . . . she . . . ." Se7en said in a low voice.

"I . . . . I . . . . I still love her too," Xiah finally uttered.

"You should have given her the chance to explain . . . . You didn't have to be so cruel to her . . . . and avoid her. . . " Se7en said.

"I know . . . . and I'm sorry," Xiah uttered.

"While we were on our way here to the hospital . . . . I told her that I would help her to get you back. . . . . if she would only fight to live . . . I know that it is what she wanted most in the world. . . . You are the only man she wants . . . . and loves. . . . So please go back to her . . . . Make her want to live again . . . . " Se7en said with sad eyes.

Xiah was totally speechless. He didn't know how to respond to Se7en.

"And the punch was also for me . . . . frankly . . . . I am angry with you. I love Iqa . . . . but since you are the one that she loves . . . . I am willing to let her go and be with you . . . . So please . . . . this time . . . . try to make everything right . . . . She doesn't have much time left . . . . Make her happy . . . . ." Se7en said as tears finally fell from his eyes.

"Thank you . . . ." Xiah uttered.

Se7en smiled bitterly. "You don't have to thank me . . . . Just make her happy . . . . That is all I want . . . ."

Xiah nodded and tried to smile.

"Go . . . . she's waiting for you . . . . Please make her happy for me," Se7en said as he turn his back on Xiah.

Xiah just quietly left Se7en alone . . . . .

"Iqa . . . . I love you . . . . I hope you will be happy now . . . . I told you I will get him back for you . . . . Just promise . . . . you'll try to fight . . . .and hold on. . . . I love you . . . .Iqa . . . .I love you," Se7en said as tears streamed down his face. . . . and he finally cried uncontrollably.

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CHAPTER 23 Part 1

Xiah slowly walked to where the DBSK boys and the managers were all waiting.

"Hyung . . . . Iqa has just been moved to her room . . . ." Max said to Xiah.

"Where is Se7en?" Se7en's manager asked Xiah.

"He . . . . . He just wants to be alone for now," Xiah answered.

Somehow all the men understood what he meant.

"The doctors said that as soon as Moniqa is set in her room . . . . We can all see her then," the DBSK boys' manager told Xiah.

Xiah nodded. He tried to think if he was even strong enough to see Iqa in her condition now. He was very much afraid that the moment he saw her. He wouldn't be able to control himself and that he would suddenly break into tears.

"Hyung . . . . are you all right?" Max asked with concern. They all could see that he wasn't himself. He was obviously thinking about something else.

"Yes. . . ." Xiah replied.

After several minutes . . . . Moniqa's acting manager arrived. Moniqa was already in her room. And the doctors have already allowed them to see her.

"We can all go to her room now . . . ." Moniqa's manager announced.

All of them were very nervous as to what they would see. Se7en had already joined them as soon as he found out that Moniqa had been moved to her room.

"I don't think I want to see Moniqa . . . . in such a pitiful condition," Micky said to Jaejoong.

"Yes . . . . me too. I don't think I can take it if I see her in a hospital bed and still unconscious. It is too saddening . . . ." Jaejoong replied.

Xiah could hear everything that his friends were saying. And somehow everything that they had said had also been on his mind. He was also asking himself . . . if he can stand seeing Iqa lying in a hospital bed . . . . pale as a ghost . . . .unconscious . . . . dying . . . . Just thinking about it was already breaking his heart.

Xiah tried to close his eyes . . . .

"Please . . . . let this just be a dream . . . . a bad dream . . . . Let me wake up please," he begged in his mind.

"Xiah . . . ." U-Know suddenly tapped Xiah's shoulder. "Are you all right?" he asked.

Xiah looked at U-Know. "I . . . . I am afraid . . . . I will break down once I see her," he honestly answered.

U-Know suddenly smiled. He was happy that his friend had finally admitted his true feelings. "Just be strong . . . . You need to be strong . . . . for her sake . . . ." he said to Xiah.

Xiah tried to smile even if his heart was slowly aching. They quietly entered Moniqa's room with all of their hearts pounding heavily. They were all afraid of what they were about to see.

As soon as they entered her room . . . . all their fears suddenly became a reality. Xiah immediately cupped his face in total disbelief. He didn't want to accept what he was seeing was real. He wanted to just turn back and pretend that he didn't see Moniqa in such a pitiful situation.

All the men's hearts were instantly broken after they had finally seen Moniqa. She was lying in the hospital bed with different machines attached to her body. She had several bandages on her arms and some cuts on her beautiful face. She seemed so lifeless . . . . that Xiah's tears immediately fell the moment he saw her.

The other DBSK members saw Xiah's reaction and tried to comfort him. They knew that he was hurting because of Moniqa.

"Hyung . . . . Try to be strong . . . .," Max said with concern.

Xiah glanced at Moniqa's direction again. His heart was already heavy with pain and sadness. He couldn't accept that the girl he loves was going to die. . . . He couldn't accept he was going to totally lose her.

He tried to walk closer and closer to her . . . . one step at a time. He felt that his feet was somehow too heavy to move. And he was afraid . . . . he wasn't sure what he might do once he was already close to her.

"Xiah . . . . she's been waiting for you . . . .Don't waste the remaining time left" Se7en said with a sad voice.

Xiah looked at Se7en and then at Iqa. Se7en was right . . . . he had to take advantage of the time he had left with her . . . .

Xiah slowly moved forward . . . Then as he was finally in front of Moniqa, he gently took her hand and held it between his two hands.

"Iqa . . . . I'm here . . . . Please open your eyes . . . ." Xiah uttered with a trembling voice. He was sure that any moment his tears will come again.

The DBSK boys, Se7en and the three managers silently left the room. They knew that Xiah needed some time alone with Iqa. They wanted him to be able to spend the remaining time alone with her.

Xiah sat down beside Moniqa's bed as he was still holding her hand. He didn't want to let it go . . . . he was scared that the moment he let go . . . . she would slip away from him permanently. He wanted her to feel the warmth of his hand . . . . and the love he felt for her.

"Iqa . . . . I . . . .I'm sorry . . . . Can you forgive this foolish man in front of you today? I know I have been very foolish . . . . and I have hurt you badly . . . . I didn't even give you the chance to explain yourself to me . . . . I was very jealous with you and Se7en that I let my mind and heart get all confused . . . . and I admit I was totally unreasonable. I wasn't thinking straight. . . . . and I didn't even consider your feelings. I was totally selfish . . . . . There were a lot of times that I wanted to talk with you . . . . but I let my foolish pride get in the way. Please . . . . Please open your eyes . . . . don't worry I will do whatever it takes to help you . . . . I won't let you die . . . . I don't want you die . . . . You can't leave me . . . . Do you hear me? Don't leave me . . . . I don't think I can live without you . . . ." Xiah said as he held her hand. Then he gently kissed her hand.

"I'm sorry . . . . Please wake up . . . . Don't leave me . . . . I don't know what I would do without you . . . . I just realized how much you really mean to me . . . . If I can only turn back the time . . . . I would try to fix all the wrong things that I have done. . . . " Xiah said as tears started to fall down one by one. "Why didn't you tell me about your condition? Why didn't you tell me you were sick? Why? Now I am left with nothing to do but watch you as you slowly slip away from me . . . . Do you know how painful it is for me to see you this way? If I can only take all the pain and your sickness away and just take it all on my own . . . . I would do it . . . . that is how much I love you . . . . I am willing to do anything for you . . . .Iqa . . . . I love you . . . . I love you . . . ." Xiah said as he finally started to sob.

"Xiah . . . . ." Moniqa softly uttered.

Xiah suddenly looked at Moniqa. She was already awake, but obviously very weak. She tried to smile. But somehow her smile just brought pain to Xiah. He could feel that behind her smile was a pain that he couldn't even imagine.

"You're finally awake . . . . How are you? Do you feel any pain?" he worriedly asked.

"Why . . . . Why are you here?" she asked softly.

"I . . . . I . . . ." Xiah tried to find the right words to say.

Iqa smiled again . . . ."You don't have to answer . . . . "

Xiah suddenly held Iqa's hand tighter. "I . . . .I'm sorry . . . .Iqa. Can you ever forgive me?" he asked as he looked straight into her eyes.

"Xiah . . . ." she softly uttered. She was already feeling very weak. She already knew that she didn't have much time left. She could feel it . . . . and the reality was adding more pain to her heart.

"Iqa . . . . Can we go back to the way we were before?" Xiah suddenly asked while still holding her hand. "I still love you . . . . Please can you give me another chance? . . . . Please . . . ." Xiah begged.

Moniqa stared into Xiah's eyes. She could see the love and pain in his eyes. Right then she knew that he already knew that she was dying. Slowly the tears started to form in her eyes . . . .

"Why?. . . .Why are you crying?" Xiah asked with concern in his eyes.

Moniqa shook her head. "Don't you think it is already too late for us? Even if we fix everything now . . . . the fact still remains . . . . . I am dying . . . . I can see it in your eyes. You already know. . . . Is that the reason why you are here now? You learned that I was dying and you are pitying me?" she asked with tears falling from her eyes one by one.

"No . . . . I love you . . . . And I'm not here because I pity you . . . . Yes, I already know about your condition . . . . But it doesn't have any connection with my decision to come back to you . . . . I have been wanting to do it . . . . I was just lacking the courage and I was being too selfish . . . . Please. . . . believe me . . . ." Xiah said as he stared at Moniqa.

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CHAPTER 23 Part 2

Moniqa smiled bitterly. "But it is already too late . . . . Xiah. Even if we continue with our relationship . . . . our love will just be going nowhere . . . . I have been on the waiting lists of a dozen hospitals all over Asia for years now. But until now . . . .I haven't even found one donor . . . . There are always problems . . . .complications. . . . So you see . . . until now . . . . I'm still dying. And frankly, I already have learned to accept it. . . ." She smiled again. She was trying to hide the pain that she was feeling.

"No . . . .Iqa . . . . Please don't say that . . . ." he said as tears were flowing his eyes.

Moniqa brushed the tears from Xiah's eyes with her hand. "Crying doesn't suit you. You're way too cute for crying . . . ." she said as she tried to laugh. She wanted to stop Xiah from crying. It was making her feel so much pain seeing him cry.

"It's useless . . . .Xiah . . . ." she finally uttered.

"No . . . . it's not the end yet. . . . . We can still find a way . . . .Please don't lose hope . . . . " Xiah said with a trembling voice.

"Xiah . . . ." she said as she was trying to keep herself from crying uncontrollably.

Moniqa closed her eyes. "God. . . . Please give me more time to say goodbye to him . . . . ." she said in her mind. Slowly her tears fell down again.

Unexpectedly. . . . Xiah kissed Moniqa's forehead. She surprisedly opened her eyes. And she was finally looking straight into his eyes . . . . up close . . . . It had been such a long time . . . . since she had been this close to him. She could feel her heart was beating wildly. How she wanted to be with him again. . . . . How she wanted to love him again . . . . How she wanted to be able to grow old with him . . . . But she knew it was all a dream . . . . A dream that could never come true . . . .

"Xiah . . . . I . . . . I'm dying . . . . It's too unfair for you . . . . if we just continue with out relationship . . . . when we already both know where it is going to end . . . ." she said with a sad tone.

Xiah shook his head and smiled. "I don't care if you're dying . . . . What I care about is that I love you . . . . I don't care if we only have a day . . . . a few hours . . . . or even several minutes to spend with each other . . . . I want to be with you . . . . even if it is only for a short time . . . . I want you to spend your remaining time with me . . . . I promise you I will make you happy."

Moniqa's tears were continuously falling. "You don't have to promise me anything . . . . . You are already making me happy . . . . just by being here . . . . by my side.I love you Xiah."

Suddenly Xiah softly kissed Iqa's lips. He was very gentle . . . . He wanted to remember this moment as long as he lived . . . . He wanted to store this special memory in his heart and his mind forever.

Moniqa allowed Xiah to kiss her. She wanted to give him a special remembrance of their time together. She lovingly kissed him back. She brushed aside all her inhibitions. . . and just acted according to what her heart was dictating.

As they were kissing each other. . . . Moniqa suddenly felt a very sharp pain in her heart. The pain was too much that she immediately cried out in pain. Xiah was immediately alarmed.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"I . . . . It hurts . . . . Xiah . . . . ." Iqa cried in pain.

Xiah suddenly rushed out the room to call the doctors. Within minutes . . . . doctors and nurses were already rushing in and out of Moniqa's room.

Xiah and the others just waited patiently outside. Xiah didn't know what to do. He could hear that Iqa was crying and was in so much pain. As he heard her moan in pain . . . . he could feel his heart was being ripped out of his body. It was as if he was the one dying. He couldn't stand hearing her anguish.

A doctor suddenly came out . . . .

"I'm sorry . . . but the patient needs to have an operation in the next six hours or she won't be able to survive . . . ." the doctor suddenly announced.

"Has a donor been found?" Se7en asked.

The doctor suddenly shook his head. "I'm sorry . . . but finding a donor these days is very difficult. And frankly . . . . even this is already an emergency case . . . . We still can't find a donor for her . . . ." the doctor replied.

Xiah heard what the doctor had said and somehow he suddenly felt very weak. He was totally confused. Everything he had discovered during that day was already bringing him to the brink of insanity.

"Can't you help her? Please . . . . Can't you try to help her?" Xiah continuously asked the doctor.

"Sorry . . . . But finding a donor at such a short span of time is nearly impossible," the doctor replied again.

"Maybe we can help find a donor . . . ." Moniqa's manager suddenly said.

"Finding a donor is not that easy. First of all . . . . the donor's heart must be healthy. And second is . . . . unless the donor himself writes a written consent that he or she allows Moniqa to be the sole recipient of his or her heart . . . . then it is the only way that we can use his or her heart without any delay," the doctor answered.

"Are there any important things we should know while trying to find a donor . . . I mean what blood type he must be or are there age requirements?" Moniqa's manager asked again.

"Any kind of heart donor will do . . . . either male or female . . . . and blood type is no longer important now . . . ." the doctor replied again.

"I see . . . . I will try to contact our company right away . . . . I will see what I can do," Moniqa's manager said.

Xiah just quietly listened. He was thinking of a way to help Iqa. He wanted to help her in anyway that he can.

Then suddenly Moniqa suddenly screamed . . . . Xiah rushed into the room. And there he found her already clutching her chest . . . . She was obviously in so much pain. It was making Xiah mad as he watched her in so much agony. The sight was pure torture for him. Tears started to roll down his cheeks.

"Iqa . . . ." he uttered.

Unexpectedly . . . . Moniqa passed out. The nurses and doctors asked Xiah and the others to step out of the room. Then after a few minutes . . . . she was already being transferred into the ICU area.

"She's in critical condition now . . . . So we are moving her to the ICU. . . . " a doctor suddenly announced to Xiah and the others.

As Xiah watched Moniqa being moved into the ICU room . . . . his heart and mind was totally spinning. He wanted to help . . . . He needed to help her . . . . He must help her . . . . . He can't possibly live without her . . . . He would rather die than live without her.

Suddenly . . . . . a thought came into Xiah's mind . . . . He knew it wasn't right . . . . But he knew it was the only way that he could help Iqa.

He immediately walked up to their manager . . . .

"Hyung . . . . Can I borrow the van? I need to go somewhere . . . .It is very important . . . ." Xiah said seriously.

The DBSK boys' manager could feel that there was something strange about Xiah as he looked at him.

"Okay . . . .You can take the driver with you," he replied.

"No . . . .I need to go somewhere . . . . alone," Xiah said.

"Very well. . . . Just be careful," their manager said with concern.

Xiah looked at his friends . . . . . "Take good care of her while I am gone . . . ." he said to them.

The other DBSK boys just nodded. Xiah then hurriedly left the hospital. A few minutes after he left . . . . Se7en’s cell phone suddenly rang.

Se7en answered the call . . . . . And he was surprised . . . . It was Xiah who was calling him.

"I'm sorry . . . . But I won't be able to take care of her anymore . . . . So I am giving her back to you . . . . Please take good care of her . . . .I know you will love her with all of your heart . . . . When this is all over . . . . just tell her I love her and I will always look after her even when I am gone. And I will always be with her no matter where she is . . . . because she will always have my heart."

Xiah had already shut off his phone before Se7en could say anything.

Xiah was driving the van in an alley. He wanted to do it as fast as he could and without anyone getting hurt . . . . except him. He was already determined . . . . . He looked at the piece of paper in his hand. Then he suddenly smiled. It was a consent paper stating that he was willingly donating his heart to Moniqa.

"I love you . . . .Iqa . . . . I am sorry . . . . I can no longer be with you . . . .Please try to live a happy life. And always remember . . . I will always be with you," Xiah uttered as he stepped on the accelerator of the van. Then as the speed of the van increased . . . . he just closed his eyes. . . . .

Back in the hospital . . . .

Moniqa was already in the ICU . . . . when her heart suddenly stopped . . . . .

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Moniqa opened her eyes . . . . The light was too bright . . .She didn't know where she was . . . . She knew she was standing but she also felt like she was floating. . . . . She was very confused. . . . .She closed her eyes again. . . . Then she heard a familiar voice . . . .It was as if someone was calling her . . . . She opened her eyes again . . . . This time she saw a familiar face . . . . It was Xiah . . . . He was standing in front of her with a bright smile on his lips. He was being surrounded by a a very bright light . . . . Somehow it was the light that was blinding her eyes.

"Xiah . . . ." she uttered.

Xiah was holding his hand out to her. She quickly took hold of his hand. And then he started to lead her into a path where a bright light was also emanating. . . . They were almost at the middle of the path when he suddenly stopped . . . .

"Xiah . . . . where are we?" Moniqa suddenly asked. She was already very confused. She couldn't understand it. But she could feel that there was something very different with him.

Xiah slowly looked at Iqa with a sweet smile on his lips . . . . but there was also sadness in his eyes.

"Iqa . . . . . I'm so happy to see you again . . . . even for the last time," he said.

"Xiah . . . . I'm very confused already . . . . Can you please answer me . . . . Where are we?" she asked while looking at Xiah's sad face.

"We're between heaven and earth . . . . I brought you here . . . .because I just wanted to be able to spend some time with you . . . . before you go back . . . ." he said as he tried to hold back his tears.

"Go back? . . . . . Between heaven and earth? . . . . Xiah . . . . Please you're scaring me . . . . Stop it . . . . please," Iqa said with a quivering voice.

Moniqa saw the sadness in Xiah's eyes. "What have you done . . . . Xiah?" she suddenly asked nervously.

Xiah smiled bitterly. "I did it for you . . . . . I love you Iqa . . . . And I am willing to do anything for you . . . . "

"What do you mean?" she asked again. She was already very confused.

"I love you Iqa. . . . So I gave up my own life . . . . just to save you . . . ." he answered.

Moniqa was shocked with what Xiah had said.

"What? What are you saying? Give up your own life . . . . just to save me? What do you mean? Xiah . . . . What are you trying to say?" Moniqa asked with a raised voice. She was already very emotional. She didn't like the way Xiah was talking. And she didn't like what he was trying to say.

"I'm sorry . . . . Iqa . . . ." Xiah uttered as tears slowly flowed from his eyes. . . . one by one . . . .

Moniqa's heart somehow stopped the moment she finally realized what he was trying to say.

"No . . . . no . . . . . no . . . . ." Iqa shouted. She suddenly felt very weak. "What have you done . . . . Xiah? Why?" she asked again as she finally broke down into tears. She was very weak that she suddenly fell down on her knees. "Why? Why?" she asked again and again as she continuously cried.

Xiah gently embraced Moniqa. He didn't want to see her in so much pain. "Iqa . . . . please stop crying . . . ." he begged as tears also flowed from his eyes.

"You're dead? Is that it? What did you do? What did you do Xiah? . . . . Why did you do it? You're not supposed to die . . . . . I'm the one who's dying . . . . not you . . . ." she said as she stared at Xiah.

Xiah smiled bitterly. "I really can't explain what I did . . . . But just bear in mind . . . . I did it because of my love for you . . . . . I wanted to give you another chance at life. You still have many things to accomplish in your life . . . . And I want you to be able to enjoy the wonderful things that life can offer you . . . ."

"What about you? Have you even thought about yourself? You also have a lot to offer the world . . . . You can also accomplish so many things in your life . . . . And you just decided to throw it all away just to save someone who is already dying . . . . What you did is totally foolish . . . . Do you think I would be happy . . . . that I am alive and you're not? . . . .Do you even think that I can live a single day without you? . . .Xiah . . . . I love you . . . . even if you gave up your life for me . . . . I'm sorry . . . . but I can't continue living without you . . . ."

"No . . . . Iqa . . . . You have to continue with your life . . . . You have to . . . . not only for yourself . . . . but also for me . . . . I want you to be happy . . . .So you have to continue living . . . ." he said as he tried to control his emotions.

"You want me to be happy?" Moniqa angrily shouted.

"Iqa . . . ."

"I can never be happy . . . . without you . . . . Xiah . . . ." she said as tears continuously flowed out of her eyes. She was already sobbing uncontrollably.

Xiah didn't know what to do or what to say to ease Moniqa's pain. They were both in pain. . . . and somehow he wanted to undo what he had done . . . . He didn't want to leave Moniqa alone . . . . He loved her too much.

"I'm sorry . . . . " he said as he held Iqa tighter. Tears were already streaming down his face.

Moniqa continuously cried as she was in Xiah's arms. She couldn't bear to be away from him. She couldn't even bear the thought of not being able to see him . . . . hold him . . . . kiss him . . . .

"Iqa . . . . promise me . . . . you'll try to be happy . . . ." Xiah said again.

"No! I won't be happy . . . . I will never be happy . . . . I will follow you wherever you go Xiah . . . . So even if I survive . . . . . I will just kill myself . . . . so I can be with you . . . ." Moniqa said with a hard tone in her voice. She was angry . . . . angry at Xiah . . . . angry at herself . . . . angry at everything around her.

"Moniqa . . . ." Xiah uttered.

"I can't live without you . . . . Can't you understand me? I don't know if I can last a day without you . . . ." she said as she tried to control her tears.

Xiah stared at Iqa's beautiful face as her tears continuously flowed. He didn't want to see her cry. . . . . How he hated seeing her cry . . . .His heart was aching so badly. He wanted the pain to stop. He didn't know if what he did was right or wrong . . . . But at that time . . . . for him . . . it was the only thing he could do for the woman he loved. And he didn't really give much thought to what the consequences would be . . . . or about the outcome of his actions . . . . He just followed what his heart was dictating.

Xiah kissed Moniqa's head. . . . and he embraced tightened. He wanted to feel the warmth of her body . . . . It was the last time that he would be able to hold her. His tears suddenly started to fall again.

"Please . . . . let this just be a dream . . . ." he silently uttered. The pain was already driving him mad. He wanted to scream . . . . He felt like someone was torturing him . . . . over and over again. And as he held Iqa in his arms . . . . somehow the torment was just too much for both of them. He was already thinking what they have done to deserve such agony . . . .

"Xiah . . . . Please just stay by my side . . . .I can't live without you," Iqa softly uttered. She was feeling very weak. She didn't know why . . . . but she felt like she was ready to give up. She didn't care about her life anymore. . . . What was more important to her was the fact that she didn't want to be separated from him.

Xiah's heart ached as he heard Iqa's words. "Iqa . . . . we can't be together anymore . . . . You have to go back . . . ."

Moniqa continuously shook her head. "No . . . . I'm not going back . . . . If you're not coming with me . . . . I would rather stay here with you . . . ."

"But you can't stay here . . . . It is not your time yet . . . ." Xiah said with a low voice. He was already feeling very weak as well.

"It isn't your time also . . . you just made it your time . . . . Come on . . . . please say you'll go with me . . . ." Iqa said as she gently held Xiah's hand.

"I need you Xiah . . . . You're the only man I want to be with . . . ."

Xiah suddenly felt that his heart stopped beating. He wanted to cry out and tell her that he didn't want to leave her either. He didn't want to be away from her. But he knew he couldn't do anything about it. It was already too late. . . .unless God himself permitted him to return . . . . There was certainly nothing he could do to be with Iqa.

Xiah closed his eyes and cried. He couldn't control his emotions anymore.

"Xiah . . . . ."Moniqa uttered as she saw him cry. She gently caressed his face. . . . Then she cupped his face with both her hands. "Don't cry . . . . you're making me cry too . . . " then she tried to smile. "We will be together . . . . no matter what happens . . . ."

Xiah stared straight into Iqa's eyes. He then slowly bent down his head to find Iqa's lips. He gently . . . . lovingly . . . . kissed her . . . . It was as if all their problems suddenly disappeared the moment their lips touched Xiah wanted their kiss to last longer . . . . . he wanted to remember their last kiss forever . . . .

Moniqa's tears fell . . . . one by one as she kissed Xiah . . . . she wanted to be in his arms forever . . . . She wanted to be able to taste his kiss . . . . and remember it for as long as she lived . . . . She didn't want to let go of his hand . . . . She wanted to be with him forever . . . . . She was wishing very hard that everything was just a dream . . . . and that any moment she would wake up . . . . safe in his arms again. . . .

Suddenly . . . .

"Xiah . . . . . What's happening?" Iqa suddenly cried out. She was starting to see through Xiah . . . . . It was as if he was disappearing into thin air.

Xiah looked at his hands. He was already starting to change.

"Xiah . . . ." Moniqa tried to touch him again. But her hand just passed through Xiah's body. She suddenly gasped. "No . . . . .No . . . . Xiah . . . . don't leave me . . . ." she said as her tears started to appear again.

"I guess it's time . . . . Iqa . . . . Please take care of yourself . . . . Remember . . . . I will always be with you . . . . and I will always love you . . . ." Xiah said as he continued to disappear bit by bit.

"No . . . . No . . . . Please . . . . Please . . . . I don't want to live without you . . . . " Iqa said between sobs and tears. "You can't leave me! I can't live without you . . . . I don't want to lose you . . . . ."

"Goodbye . . . .Iqa . . . . I love you . . . . ."

"No . . . . No . . . . . Don't go . . . . . No!!!!" Moniqa screamed as Xiah finally disappeared before her eyes.

Moniqa suddenly opened her eyes . . . . She started to look around. She was in the hospital. She then noticed Se7en and their managers in a corner.

As soon as they saw her open her eyes . . . . their eyes suddenly lit up with joy.

"Iqa . . . . " Se7en said as he hurriedly went to her side.

Moniqa was still very confused. She remembered Xiah . . . ."Was it just a dream?" she suddenly asked herself.

"Where . . . .Where is Xiah?" she immediately asked Se7en.

Se7en looked at the other managers and then he looked at Moniqa again . . . . but this time . . . . sadness was very visible in his eyes.

Moniqa's heart suddenly stopped beating as soon as she saw the look in Se7en's eyes.

"No . . . . Where is Xiah? I want to see him? Please . . . . I want to see him . . ." she begged Se7en as her tears flowed from her eyes.

Se7en slowly shook his head. "Iqa . . . . You're still too weak . . . . I don't think you can . . . .handle . . . ."

"No . . . .Please . . . . let me see him . . . . I want to see him . . . . ." she begged Se7en again.

Se7en just stared at Moniqa . . . . He knew she wouldn't be able to handle what she wanted to see. But he knew she had a right to see him . . . . even if it was for the last time . . . .

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