Gracie Kim, a widely known girl for being the luckiest one in the region and the foster daughter of The Kim conglomerate, was sitting in the back of the black limousine. She kept staring out her window with a face that didn't look like someone who was about to enjoy the fun even though she was on the car ride to a high school graduation party.
It should be a night full of merry for a girl her age, but she didn't look enthusiastic at the slightest bit. Her thought was wholly thinking about how she would be away from her beautiful hometown, her loving parents, and be on a plane to The United States to further her study.
She knew it was her duty as the only heiress to strive for the best, but for some reason, she didn't want to be away from home. She had been alone before in the orphanage, and the feeling of having to live alone again brought back her past fear. However, she never mentioned this to her parents. Not even a single word. She knew once she said it, they would change their mind and cancel her studying abroad immediately.
Gracie wanted to be as filial as she could be, so she had to overcome this fear. She was going to miss her mother's bright smile and her father's protective aura. But she was a grown-up now. It was time for her to act like one.
The sound of the phone ringing woke her up from her deep thought. Fetching the device out from her purse, a bright smile overlayed her beautiful face when she read the displayed caller ID on the screen.
"Hi, mom," answered Gracie gently after she clicked the answer button and brought the phone up next to her ear.
"Grace, are you there yet?" The small voice of Lisa, Gracie's foster mother, echoed from the other line.
"Not yet. But I think I'll be arriving soon."
"Okay. Text me when you get there, alright? And don't stay out too late. Something is bugging me. My eyebrows twitch non stop."
"Mom, you're superstitious again."
"It is a woman slashes a mother's instinct. And it has never been wrong."
"I'm going to be okay. There are a lot of people at the party. No one can hurt me. Besides, Anna's mansion has never lowered its security. There must be guards everywhere. I'll be fine."
"Okay. Still,..." Lisa trailed off, still feeling insecure.
"I can take care of myself. It's just a party. If I can't even do this, how am I supposed to survive in America alone?"
"Right, America," she sighed. "Speaking of that, I miss you already. How am I to survive without you for all these years to come?"
"You'll be fine, mom. Dad will always accompany you."
"Victor? Huh," Lisa hissed under her breath. "Your dad was too busy managing the company lately, especially after signing that partnership. I could barely see him unless it's bedtime where we begin to do what is natural for couples to do."
Gracie coughed, knowing full well what her mom just referred to. Heat began to crawl up her pretty face, highlighting her pale cheeks with a dusting of red.
Despite being a mother in her early forties, Lisa Kim was still a teenage girl by heart. Most of the time, Victor Kim 一Grace's foster father一 always found his daughter's mindset was more mature than his wife's.
"Oops. Sorry, I blurted out R-Rated stuff to a kid." Lisa pretended to apologize as if it was not her intention to say those words. Still, Gracie knew for sure that was not the case.
"Mom, I'm not a kid anymore. I'm eighteen now."
"Yeah, yeah, my baby Grace is eighteen now. She's an adult. She no longer needs her parents." She faked a cry, sniffing loudly from the other side of the line.
"Mom, please. I'll always need you both."
"Even after you're married and have kids of your own?"
"Mom!" Gracie exclaimed, feeling a heat crawling up her face. She knew she would get married one day, but it was still too early to think about it now.
"Alright, alright. You must be nearly there now. No more talking. Enjoy your party, honey. Just don't forget to text me once you arrive, okay?"
"Yes, mom. Goodbye."
Once she hung up, Gracie looked at the black screen on her phone and smiled. It had never crossed her mind how lucky she was to have such caring foster parents. Even though it was sad not knowing a single thing about her birth parents and why they abandoned her, Gracie decided not to dwell on the past anymore. She already had the parents who showered their loves fully on her as if she was their own. It was time to move on and stop living in the past.
Gracie slid the phone back inside her purse and placed it on the seat next to her lap before continuing to stare out the window.
Something isn't right; she thought to herself the moment her eyes registered the quiet and dark view that seemed unfamiliar to her. I'm quite sure this isn't the route to the party.
She was about to reach for the limousine's phone and rang her chauffeur to ask if they were lost when the car suddenly came to an abrupt stop with an ear-splitting screech. Just then, the car's phone rang, reverberating the driver's panic voice from the other side of the line once Grace picked it up.
"Young miss, a man is blocking our path. He's just lying there in the middle of the road. Unmoving."
Whoever he is, he must be severely injured to lie in the middle of the road like this; Gracie thought to herself before speaking to her chauffeur through the phone. "Let's go and help him then."
The two hurried out of the car without turning off the car's engine. With the headlights to illuminate the dark street, Gracie finally got a clear view of what was going on.
A man in long, black hair was lying still, face-up, on the asphalt street. Gracie fastened her pace, reaching the lifeless body before her driver did. Kneeling next to the identity-unknown man, she tried calling a few times, hoping to wake him up.
"Excuse me, sir. Are you okay?" The man showed no sign of movement, so she tried again. "Sir? Sir?"
No matter how hard she called, there was still silence. Without knowing what else to do, Gracie raised her hand and placed it on the man's shoulder, trying to shake him awake, only to retract her hand quickly and gasp.
He's as cold as ice, she thought to herself. Is he dead?
To confirm, Gracie placed two fingers over the man's philtrum to check for breath. She was relieved yet surprised to know that he did.
Strange. He is still breathing. But why is his temperature ice-cold? Trying one more time, Gracie shook the man a little harder than before. Still, there was no response. This won't do. I need to call for help. Gracie was about to reach for her phone and made a call when she realized she'd left her purse in the car.
"Mr. Ra, please hurry to the car and call 911. This man needed help from the paramedics as fast as possible," she said, turning to the driver who was kneeling next to her.
The driver nodded and ran back to the car as fast as his feet could bring him. As Gracie was left alone, she decided to check and see if there were any injuries on the man, for his clothes were tattered in many places. In the process of staring at the mysterious man's body, she noticed that the man's chest was not making the slightest movement, which left her totally confused about how the man was able to breathe, to begin with. Curiously, she placed her palm over the man's left chest, trying to feel his heart to find out whether it was beating or not.
The moment the warm flesh came into contact with the cold one, the man instantly shot his eyes open, revealing a pair of silver pupils that resembled the color of a blade. He turned to look at Gracie with a frown and slapped her hand away. The thunderous slap sent the girl flying in the air, landing a couple of steps away.
Gracie braced the fall using her hands, scraping them to the asphalt road. She winced in pain at the impact but tried her best to get up on her feet. Once she did, she turned back to look at the old spot where the man was lying only to realize that it was now empty as if there was no one there in the first place.
What just happened? she asked herself in puzzlement.
"Young miss, I called 911. They said they'd be here to pick up the man in..." The driver ran to where his young miss was and reported his recent phone call only to trail off when he could no longer see the said man. "Huh, where did he go?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Ra, but look like you'll have to make a call again to cancel the ambulance," Gracie said with a smile.
"Did he just get up on his own and walked away?"
"Seems like it."
With his mouth dropped open, the driver murmured to himself as he walked back to the car. "I hope it wasn't a ghost I was seeing. I'm too old for this stuff."
Gracie glanced at that spot one last time before turning on her heels and heading back to the car, ignoring the pain on her hand until she registered something warm and wet dripping from her fingers. Looking down, she saw blue liquids run in rivulets from her wrist to her fingertips, making its way down to seep into the asphalt next to her feet.
"Oh, it must be from the fall back then," she murmured to herself.
Untying the fabric belt from her dress, Gracie used it as a bandage replacement as she wrapped it tight around the wound and continued her walk. She could have just waited for the proper bandage in the first-aid box inside the car, but she could not risk having anyone seen it. Not even her driver.
Yes, she was born with unique sapphire-blue blood.
<TO BE CONTINUED>