The newest fiction series from The Unpublishables is a teen K-drama-style romcom without the interminable wait for Viki to load properly (or is that just me?) and for a generous person to subtitle. If you haven’t read Chapter One, you can do so here.
Things are pretty grim for Vanessa “Bunny” Chan. It’s the start of Sixth Form and classmate Ji-hun still hasn’t realized that she’s a girl, much less noticed she’s been in love with him for a year. When Ji-hun tells her that he’s fallen for the new girl, Bunny almost loses hope but fate gives her the luckiest break ever: she manages to convince the most popular boys in school, known as the Wolf Pack, to swear to help her and Ji-hun get together. Kurt, Taishi, and Wei resist at first but gradually get swept up by Bunny’s plans…until they all start falling for her, too.
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BUNNY AND THE WOLF PACK
Kurt Wu was not used to feeling unsure about things. His father hadn’t become a billionaire from being indecisive, and Kris was determined to follow in his footsteps (at least in that area). He paced the Learning Lounge next to the school library restlessly, earning him surreptitious evil glances from a group of Year 6 students working on a project together in the corner. “I can’t do it. No, I can. But maybe I don’t want to. But I want to ask her to her face why she did it.”
He tossed his phone towards his friends, Taishi and Kei, who were submerged in the lounge’s famously huge beanbags. “Read them, and tell me what you think.”
Kei Chao caught the phone easily and bent his head over it to read the messages that had gotten Kurt so worked up.
“What’s it say?” Taishi Furukawa asked curiously when he saw the complicated set of expressions that flashed through Kei’s face.
Kei passed him the phone wordlessly. Taishi read quickly and looked up at his friends. Even though he was known among his friends for his ability to stay poker-faced, he had the same look on his face as Kei did.
“Well?” Kurt demanded.
“You should see her,” Kei said at the same time that Taishi said, “Don’t do it.” They glared at each other and said accusingly, “Your advice sucks!”
“Look,” Taishi said reasonably. “Don’t you think it’s kind of weird that she’d suddenly reach out to Kurt after all this time? She must want something from him.” Kurt nodded, his eyebrows lowered grimly.
Kei tried to jump up from his beanbag, failed, and decided to roll over to where Taishi was ensconced. He put a hand over Taishi’s mouth and said, “Okay, I agree with that, but so what? I think it’s a good thing she wants something from you, Kurt. I mean, you want something from her too, don’t you?”
Kurt’s eyes softened slightly and uncertainty flooded him again. “I guess…I don’t know, to be honest.”
At that moment, Mrs Choudhury materialized with a stern look on her face. “Boys, enough of this chatter. You’re disturbing everyone in the Learning Lounge with your noise.” Behind her, the Year 6ers smirked in vindication. “If you need to continue your discussion, take it outside, please.”
The three friends managed to unfold themselves from the beanbags and slunk off with a few mumbled apologies, except for Kei, who brightly said, “Sorry about that, Mrs Choudhury!”
As the librarian was about to return to her desk, she noticed a phone on the floor by the beanbags. One of the boys must have left it behind. She flagged down another Sixth-Former who was leaving the library with a book clutched in her arms.
“Vanessa Chan, would you mind asking those boys over there whether this phone belongs to one of them? If not, please bring it back to me, and I’ll keep it for the owner.”
“Of course, Mrs Choudhury,” Bunny said automatically. Wow, this is a really expensive phone. She looked in the direction that Mrs Choudhury was pointing and then went cold when she saw Kurt, Taishi, and Kei still arguing as they walked. The Wolf Pack? You’ve got to be kidding.
The first time she’d ever heard of the Wolf Pack was from Emi. At first, she’d been grossed out by what the name suggested. “So you’re saying that they’re predators? Of girls?” She made a face. “That seems…rapey.”
Emi had snickered. “No, it’s not like that. They’re called the Wolf Pack because they’re the ones always being hunted down. Like, they’re really hot and rich, even for this school.” Emi leaned forward and said meaningfully, “A lot of girls and boys want their pelts, if you know what I’m saying.” Her eyebrows looked like they were straining to reach her hairline.
“Yeah, one of the reasons you can’t use your phone to take pictures in school is that too many people were taking videos of them and sharing them on social media.”
“Oh, come on, you can’t be that surprised. Look at them!”
Bunny couldn’t deny that Emi was right. The Wolf Pack was so good looking that they looked like actors who’d been dropped into school to do research for a role. They just did not look like regular teen-aged boys. But Ji-hun was just as gorgeous, and on top of that, he had a great personality. The Wolf Pack always appeared a little too narcissistic, although Kei seemed to be a lot nicer than the other two, and so it was him that Bunny decided to call out to.
“Hey, uh…excuse me. Kei? Kei Chao?”
The boys all turned around just as the phone beeped with a new message. Bunny inadvertently looked at the screen as the message appeared.
I want to see you, even just once. Don’t tell your family. It’ll be our secret.
She gasped as Kurt unceremoniously snatched the phone away from her. “That’s my phone!” he snapped accusingly. “What are you doing with it?” He looked down at the message and went pale. “Did you read this?”
Well if that wasn’t the rudest…! Wolf Pack or no, Bunny wasn’t going to let anyone talk to her like that, especially when she was the one doing them a favor in the first place. “You could be a little grateful that I tried to return your damn phone to you instead of implying that I stole it. And anyway, I don’t care about your secret rendezvous. I’ve got my own stuff to deal with, you know.” She jabbed her finger at Kurt.
“What stuff?” Kei asked curiously before Kurt elbowed him aside.
“I am not having a secret rendezvous! Don’t you dare tell anyone about that message,” Kurt said as he towered over her. It was his turn to jab a finger at her. “I swear, if you do…”
The flash of fear in his eyes made Bunny pause. “You’re really worried about this,” she said, a crazy, half-formed idea growing in her mind as she remembered Emi’s words about how people chased after the Wolf Pack.
Taishi put a hand on Kurt’s arm and pulled him aside. He ducked his head to look at Bunny through his long lashes and said soothingly, “Listen, it’s not a big deal if we don’t make it a big deal, right?” He gave her a slow, crooked smile.
“Yeah, Kurt’s our friend, and we don’t want to have any…any messed-up rumors going around about him,” Kei added earnestly, widening his limpid eyes framed by lashes just as feathery as Taishi’s. Kurt glowered behind him, and noticing his eyes as well, Bunny was stung by the injustice of the world. Does everyone have long lashes except me?
However, she was impressed at how the Wolf Pack was trying to use their charms to convince her. Taishi’s cool grace, Kei’s boyish sweetness, and even Kurt’s look of injury–even though she loved Ji-hun, she couldn’t help feeling the strength of their persuasiveness.
Persuasiveness…she clutched the book she was holding tighter as she said, “So you guys really don’t want me to say anything about this secret meeting.”
The three boys nodded in unison.
“It’s really that important?”
They nodded again.
“Then…are you guys willing to exchange something for me to keep my mouth shut?”
The Wolf Pack drew back. “Uh, give us a minute,” Taishi said. The three friends huddled together and began whispering.
“I am not going to be blackmailed into dating someone,” Kurt hissed furiously.
“This is your secret, you should be the one to take the hit,” Taishi objected.
“She seems nice, maybe she just wants one date with each of us. That wouldn’t be so bad, right?” Kei said encouragingly.
“I can hear you,” Bunny said. “I’m standing, like, two feet away. And I’m not interested in any of you guys.”
At that, the Wolf Pack straightened up and turned to look at her: suspicious Kurt, appraising Taishi, and curious Kei. Bunny met their gaze straight on. “I want you guys to teach me how to make Ji-hun Choi fall in love with me.”