His voice reverberates across the line, sending pleasant shoots of warmth through you. They run through your blood like ribbons, wrapping around your heart and squeezing tight. You clutch your phone, feeling a sugary smile touch your lips. Even though he can’t see how goofy you’re being, you still find that your cheeks are growing warmer.
“Hey," you say finally. Your voice is breathy with excitement. "Um, I… I was just calling. L-Like you’d asked.”
There’s a pause.
In that moment, you feel a sense of dread in your stomach. It sinks in slowly, spreading to your fingertips like an accumulation of frost. You suck in your breath, wondering what to say or how to even begin. He must not remember me, your mind is saying already. He’s obviously forgotten. He’s probably given his number to a million different girls and now he’s—
“Oh! From the restaurant?" Yong Guk says easily. Even over the phone, you’re taken aback by his deep voice — the way it rumbles as he speaks, rough yet strangely smooth. "I thought you weren’t gonna call at all.”
It’s amazing how paranoid you can feel about something important. You let out your breath in a whoosh, relief melting away your short-lived panic. You can feel that saccharine smile making its way back to your face already.
“Of course I was going to call," you reply, one hand absently fidgeting with the hem of your t-shirt. "I just didn’t want to disturb you.”
He laughs. It’s just the same as that voice of his. You feel your skin prickling agreeably at the sound, free hand now reaching up to press the phone more tightly against your ear, as though it’s hoping to press that laugh straight into your heart.
“I wouldn’t have given you my number if I didn’t want to be disturbed," he says.
You’re definitely blushing now.
“Oh," is all you can manage in reply for the time being.
You can hear some kind of commotion on the other end. It sounds as though the rest of the band is having some kind of contest, their chanting in the background growing louder and louder. Yong Guk apologizes to you, then turns to scold them. In the middle of his remonstration, however, he suddenly joins in with the cheering. You hold back your giggling.
“Wow!" You can hear Zelo (or should you be calling him Junhong?) saying. “I didn’t think Daehyun-hyung would really eat it all!”
“He’s gonna get sick," Youngjae, you guess, clucks from nearby.
“No, I’m not," comes Daehyun’s instant reply. "Don’t be jealous.”
“Jealous of being able to eat a whole cheesecake? Are you kidding me?”
“Okay, guys, seriously," Yong Guk’s deep voice quietens them down, seemingly cutting through all the noise effortlessly. "I’m on the phone.”
“With who?" It sounds like Himchan that’s asking, but you’re not sure.
You hear a door being shut somewhere (and Himchan’s muffled whining from the other side of it, evidently). With a sigh, Yong Guk redirects his attention to you once more.
“Sorry ‘bout that," he says. "They’re real kids.”
“Isn’t Himchan twenty-two?”
“What are you doing?" Yong Guk asks.
You lean against your headboard, wondering if you should tell some kind of lie about doing something glamorous. For some reason, you can’t bring yourself to. Instead, you opt for the bland truth: you’re sitting at home in your pyjamas, watching random dramas and eating ice-cream.
“Well," he says. "That was honest.”
“Um, should I have not—?”
“No," he says. You can almost hear his smile, settled between the folds of his baritone voice. "It’s a good trait.”
“And what," he asks, lowering his voice slightly, "are you doing tomorrow?”
You wet your lips, the ribbons of his voice wrapping around your heart even tighter. You feel a little out of breath, so to speak.
“Not much," you say, hoping you sound casual (but so sure that all the excitement you’re feeling is gushing through the line and spilling out on his side, clear as day). "Why do you ask?”
“Let’s have lunch," Yong Guk says easily. "I’ll be free for a few hours.”
“Sure," you answer. You bite your lower lip, wondering if you’ve answered too quickly. Moments later, you decide you don’t care. "That’d be great.”
“Great," he says, tying the ribbons in a firm knot. "Then I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow for lunch," you confirm.
He trails off. You wait expectantly.
“I like the sound of your voice," he says at last.
You find yourself grinning. This time, you wish he could see. You lean back and allow his words to wash over you, cheeks burning and breathing unsteady. You feel giddy and wobbly and dizzy, his voice the only thing that seems to bring you down to earth as it resounds all around you.
“The sound of my voice?”
“Yeah,” he says. “There’s something about it.”
Oh, you think. If only you knew.