In the Highlands in winter, the days are short and the sun low in the sky. This can lead to beautiful light as I hope my winter photos show. It also brings many days of frost that are bright and wonderful for walking. Today my wee pup Gill and I enjoyed such a walk when the low sun glistened off the hoar frost of the winter grasses.
A panorama of 9 joined photographs showing the inner Dornoch Firth. One can see Bonar Bridge on the left and the recognisable silhouette of the Struie Hill on the right. This is mid afternoon in winter and there is all-day frost in the shadows. One can see the freezing fog gathering over Bonar Bridge. As I post this, it is dark and the fog is thick outside the window.
Minseok is the toughest as they come, being a gang leader of the number one mafia family he’s known as the Frost King of the city’s underworld. Cold hearted as they come, when he first takes notice of elementary school teacher Soo-mi he thinks nothing of her, just one his sister’s friends. But as time moves on, his sister A-ra realizes that she’s just what he needs to melt his frozen heart.
The lower level thug sat in the chair with confidence that Minseok hasn’t seen in awhile, his eyes not lowered or wavering in their determination. His partner on the other hand was shivering in his seat, not from the cold, but from Minseok’s gaze. His hands clasped on his lap, his eyes darting between the two. They had just been caught selling in his territory which under normal circumstances wouldn’t have been a problem, but they weren’t his sellers nor was the stuff they selling his.
“Cool tat.” The arrogant one smirked, leaning back in his chair. His fingers itched to touch the birthmark under his eye.
“Shut up bird brain. Do you know who this is?” The thin one whispered. Minseok’s eyebrows raised as he leaned on his desk.
“Who do you think I am?” He asked calmly tilting his head to the side. Two of his underlings chuckled as the thin one leaned away.
“Minseok Kim, leader of the Kim family mafia. They call you the Frost King.” His eyes never once peered up.
“Because of the tat?”
“No. Because of how I like to dispose of those who are nuisance to me.” Minseok, looked at the confident bird brain in the eye, head cocked to the side. His eyes piercing him. The room began to get cold as the temperature began to drop. Bird brain’s smirk began to falter. “You two have become a nuisance to me.” The thin one began to shiver but this time from the cold.
“We were only doing what we were told.” He spat out.
“Shut up you weasel.”
“Minho, said we could score big if we started selling on fifth. We thought he had gotten in, we didn’t know it was your territory or I would have never stepped foot there sir.”
“Minho, the low level street thug?”
“He’s not a street thug, you freak.” Bird Brain snapped as the weasel just sat there.
“You can’t talk to him like that.” Minseok raised his hand as his underlings stopped moving. Rising from his chair, he walked around to the front of his desk, leaning on the edge. Looking a the skinny one.
“If I catch you in my territory again, you’re going to end up like your friend here.” He stated, quickly reaching out, he grabbed bird brain by the throat. His face began to turn purple as he quickly fell from his chair clawing at Minseok’s arm. Releasing him, he continued to gasp for air, a handprint in the form of ice was wrapped around his throat as the light from his eyes dimmed. The weasel quickly fell to the floor, staring at his former partner.
“Drop him off in Minho’s territory. Dispose of this.” Minseok stated, kicking the corpse that lay on the floor.
“Yes sir!” His underlyings yelled, quickly moving to the task at hand. Leaving his office, he made his way into the kitchen. Using his powers always made him hungry. His sister A-ra was waiting there for him, a smile on her face.
“What do you want?” He asked as he quickly took the apple she was about to bite into from her. He smiled at her as he took a bite.
“Everything go okay in there?”
“The usual. You’re ignoring the question.”
“Can’t I ask how my older brother is doing?” A-ra batted her eyelashes at him.
“How much do you need?”
“Just a couple hundred, I’m taking my friend for a birthday spa trip today. We still on for dinner later?”
“Of course. Would you like me to pay for that as well?” He asked as he handed her his credit card.
“You’re the best big brother a girl could ask for.” She jumped up, engulfing him in a hug. Pulling away she went to leave but quickly turned around. Looking at his sister, he saw the glint in her that she gets when she has an idea.
“Is it okay if she comes as well? She never gets to go anywhere fun.”
“Your gold digging friend?” He raised his eyebrows at her. A smirk played on his lips.
“She’s not like that.” A-ra walked over to her brother. “Shes already upset that I’m making her go to the spa.”
“Sure she is.” Minseok, took another bite of the apple as she pouted. Siwon his number second in command appeared in the archway.
“Sir you have a meeting downtown with the leader of the gang Army.”
“Oh, yes, those newbies.” A-ra smiled.
“That’s perfect! Can you drop me off at the spa, I’m already running late and she’s probably already waiting for me there.”
“Um…how about no.” Minseok tired to walk away, but the apple in his hand began to grow extremely cold. Peering at his sister, he titled his head to the side. “You ruined the apple.” He frowned as he dropped it on the counter.
“It’s on the way.” A-ra sternly walked over to Siwon who smiled at the young lady’s antics. “I’ll be in the car.”
“What are you smiling about?” Minseok asked Siwon who merely shook his head.
“Shes just like you, except she always get whats she wants.”
“I always get what I want Siwon.” He mumbled as he walked to the car.
“I don’t know why you’re so upset, it’s not like you’re late to your meeting, besides the coolest one is the one who shows up late right?”
“If you weren’t family, you would be dead by now.” Minseok rolled his eyes as she giggled at her brother.
“Love you to bro.” The car pulled to a halt as she opened the door. “Soo-mi! Over here!” A-ra yelled as she exited. Turning she smiled at her brother. “Always early that one. Isn’t she cute?” A-ra winked at her brother as she closed the door, waving goodbye to Siwon.
“She’s got something up her sleeve.” Siwon pondered out loud as Minseok nodded, looking out the window at his sister’s friend. The girl was dressed differently than what he thought his sister’s friend would wear, almost conservate compared to today’s standards. Tilting his head he watched as she smiled at A-ra. Her eyes looking back at the car quickly, her eyes meeting his for a second, except only he could meet her eyes, unable to see through the darkened glass. She wasn’t unattractive, yet she wasn’t the most beautiful women in the world. Yet there was something almost charming.
“Sir?” Siwon asked, as Minseok snapped his eyes back to his second in command.
“Is there something interesting?” Siwon’s usual smile was there as he looked out the window to A-ra and her friend.
“No. Let’s go.” Siwon hit the glass divider as the car took off.
“A-ra, I don’t want to be intruding on dinner with your brother and you.” Soo-mi spoke as she was pulled out of the taxi by A-ra.
“Nonsense. You’ll love him, he’s really sweet. Besides, I already asked and he agreed.”
“But I have work to do, papers to grade-”
“There in the third grade, their project grades can wait another day.” A-ra dragged her into an expensive Japanese restaurant. Soo-mi began to feel self conscious as she played with her more conservative work clothes. The simple light blue dress just fell down to her knees and her black ballet flats in all didn’t really scream high class.
“But, I’m not dressed for this kind of place.” A-ra walked up to her friend, placing her hands on her arm.
“Soo-mi. You are the sister of the most famous and beautiful actress. You have the genes of goddesses, were ever do get this notion that you don’t deserve to be here?”
“An-na is better at coming to these places than I am. You should-”
“No. An-na would not like my brother, nor would she be good for him.” A-ra wrapped her arm around Soo-mi’s shoulder escorting her to the front of the house.
“What does that mean?” Soo-mi asked, as A-ra ignored her question.
“Reservations for Kim Minseok.” The matradee nodded, escorting them to their own private room. When they entered, Minseok was already there waiting with Siwon standing near by. Minseok stood when he saw his sister giving her a warm smile.
“Min!” A-ra placed a kiss on his cheek as Soo-mi stood by. A-ra turned to her. “Minseok, this is my best friend Soo-mi, Soo-mi this is my brother Minseok.” Soo-mi Bowed her head, he gave her a slight nod as well as, as they went to take their seats. The table was small, only really fit for one person on each side. Minseok sat on down, his legs sitting sliding under the table. Soo-mi sat across from A-ra who sat on his left side. Soo-mi turned and looked at Siwon who smiled at her.
“Will he not be joining us?”
“Siwon, do you wish to join?” Minseok asked to his friend.
“If I may boss.” Minseok nodded as Siwon took the only remaining seat at the table. He smiled as A-ra high fived him. Soo-mi looked at the menu, peering up at A-ra for some help. She avoided these places as best she could, mostly because she never really enjoyed the high class lifestyle and the pressures it came with.
“You would enjoy the Soba.” A-ra spoke as Soo-mi smiled in thankfulness.
“Do you not enjoy Japanese food?” Minseok asked, not looking up from his menu. Soo-mi glanced at him. At first he looks intimidating with the tattoo under his right eye and his icy stare, but his facial features have similarities to A-ra that make him seem nice.
“Not usually Mr. Kim.” She answered formally, as A-ra rolled her eyes. Minseok glanced up at her from behind his menu. A smirk playing on his lips. Siwon had a smile of his own as he did not try to his amusement at all.
“Always have to be proper don’t you.” A-ra rang out. Soo-mi took a sip of her water as Minseok put the menu down.
“What do you do for a living Miss?”
“Cho. Soo-mi Cho.”
“Miss Cho?” He asked, tilting his head to the side.
“I teach the third grade.”
“You’re a teacher?”
“What do you do Mr. Kim?” Soo-mi asked. Minseok smirked as he looked to A-ra who had a shy smile on.
“You didn’t tell her?”
“No, why would I?” A-ra poured herself a sake.
“Let’s just say, I run a business.”
“Family Business.” Soo-mi nodded but didn’t press for more details. Minseok nodded to Siwon, who exited the room, giving their orders to the waiter.
“What did you get me?” A-ra asked excitedly.
“It’s a surprise.”
The rest of dinner went off without any complications, just small talk here and there. Minseok mostly remained quiet as he ate, A-ra did most of the talking. Minseok paid the bill as A-ra walked out with Soo-mi to wait for the car. By the time Minseok got out, A-ra was trying to stop Soo-mi from flagging down a taxi.
“My brother can drop you off.”
“No, really I don’t want to be a bother, besides I live nowhere near you.”
“Soo-mi, stop being so difficult.” A-ra pulled Soo-mi’s arm down as Minseok walked over.
“Minseok, tell her, you can take her home.”
“What and ruin all the fun you two are having here?” He smirked as Soo-mi rolled her eyes.
“It was a lovely dinner, thank you very much Mr. Kim.” Soo-mi bowed to him. Minseok raised his one eyebrow as Soo-mi finally flagged down a taxi. A-ra pushed her brother towards the car. He nodded, walking over to the passenger side, handing the man enough fair to get her home and plenty more for a tip. Before Soo-mi could close the door, Minseok stopped it bending down.
“I’m glad you had a lovely evening Miss Cho.” Soo-mi stared into his eyes as she smiled.
“Your sister has the same birthmark on her left shoulder.” Minseok’s eyes narrowed as he wanted again to subconsciously caress the mark.
“Most people assume it’s a tattoo.”
“I did at first, but then I remembered at the spy I saw A-ra’s. Must be a family trait.”
“Only for the special members of our family.”
“Goodnight Mr. Kim.” Soo-mi smiled at him. He started to feel his skin begin to prickle with cold as the Taxi door began to sprout frost where his hand was placed. Removing it, he hide his shocked composer.
“Goodnight, Soo-mi.” He shut the door, watching as the car drove off. Looking down at his hand, he wondered why for the first time in a long time, he had lost control momentarily.
First Frost | Second Frost | Third Frost | Fourth Frost | Fifth Frost [M] ||