Your protests fall on deaf ears as the manager picks up his phone and calls the front desk. The manager then leads you out and up to your room; to anyone watching it looks as though you are being escorted from the hotel. You had already packed the night before, so it is a simple bag grab and then back downstairs to settle your account. The manager leaves you at the front desk with a simple nod and disappears back to his office. All you were told was to check out and walk out the front door, everything else was taken care of. Alright then, you wonder as you head out the front doors into the sunlight. A man gets out of a black car, three cars down the driveway. Wouldn’t it be ironic for Junsu to offer you protection and for you disappear right outside his hotel? It isn’t funny but a sardonic laugh comes out as the man heads directly towards you.
He stops a few feet from you, bows, and points back to the car. At his motion, the window in the back rolls down and Junsu’s profile shows up for a few seconds before the window goes back up. The man smiles at you again, motions for your bag and for you to proceed him to the car. He opens the back door for you and you slide in next to Junsu. He turns to smile at you, and gives the driver his attention with directions in quick Korean.
As the car smoothly joins the traffic, you wonder just where you’re headed. Didn’t he say that the penthouse was in the hotel? As if he can read your mind, he reaches over and pats your arm,
“Relax. A small confusion in case anyone is watching.” He smiles, “A small driving tour, so enjoy,” he states as he sits back into his seat and starts working on his Ipad.
Okay, only slightly awkward, sitting in the back of a chauffeur driven car, and ‘touring’ while your companion speaks minimal English and is now ignoring you. You smile and roll your eyes at yourself, so dramatic. The car is actually wickedly comfortable. You relax back into the seat, rest your head, and just gaze out the window.
Compliments not only to the car but the driver as well; as the next thing you know Junsu has a light touch on your arm and a smiling. You fell asleep? Oh how you hope you didn’t snore or drool, could you embarrass yourself any more in front of this man? No. Stop. Thinking that will only make it happen.
You clear your throat as you sit up, “I’m sorry,” you mutter as the door is opened and a hand extends to assist you.
“Car is very luxurious,” he smiles, “I am honored you felt so comfortable and safe.” He nods and then leads you to the underground elevator. Glancing around at your surroundings, it is not a large parking garage but there are a few cars.
“Private parking garage,” he states from beside you as he shows you a small key on the ring and inserts it to call the elevator. It is very quick and he ushers you inside. Again, the small key is inserted next to the PH buttons. You don’t remember seeing those in the regular elevator; interesting.
As the elevator stops, he holds the door while letting you pass. There is a long hallway with only four doors. Pointing to the left he begins, “Last door is PH2, where my family comes. The next door is security.” You raise your eyebrow at this and look over at him.
“Yes, there is security. They monitor all, camera’s are in and out of the Penthouses,” he notices you raise your eyebrows and laughs, “within reason.”
He motions for you to follow him and stops at the third door that is unmarked. He shows you the other key on the ring and unlocks the door. Lights flicker on as motion sensors pick you up. One side of the room has a few pieces of equipment, one wall of mirrors and sound proofing on the remaining three.
“Wow,” escapes before you can stop it.
He simply smiles, “You may use as wish. You were using the gym downstairs? Now use this.”
State of the art, dream practice room, who wouldn’t want to use this? All the wonderful things you could do in here. You glance up and catch the cameras in the corners. Well, at least you wouldn’t be able to see their reactions to your workout, that’s a plus.
You nod and bow, “Thank you, I’ll be very careful.”
When you walk back to the hall he points back at the security door, “There are always two on duty, they take turns and sleep here. Let’s introduce you.” He walks over to the door and knocks, it is opened immediately by a man that looks like he could be straight out of Men in Black. You smirk at that thought and hold your hand out to shake those of the two men on duty. Peeking inside the room you can see two closed doors, a small kitchenette and a bank of monitors with computer. Nice, fancy; but of course it is.
He finally leads you over to PH1 and uses the small black square on the key ring. He passes it over the wood next to the door handle and a small light turns on next to the peephole. He opens the door and allows you to pass through first. WOW. Is the only thought that registers through your brain. Understated but masculine, clean yet luxurious. Not opulent, not screaming money but screaming comfort, home away from home. The windows draw your attention the most, they cover one entire wall of the living room and the view is stunning.
“Are you sure?” you begin, turning back towards him from the view. “You don’t even know me, how can you invite me to stay here, this is part of your private life.”
He tilts his head and just looks at you a moment then responds with a smile, “That comment, your appreciation, they tell me I can.” He motions to the small hallway, “This is the guest room, you should be comfortable. The bathroom is attached, through there,” and on he continues as he leads you from room to room. Back in the living room he stops, hands you the keys, and once more closes his hand around yours over the keys.
“Any problems, press 2 on the phone for security.”
“I’m sure I’ll be fine, thank you, again; this is so much…”
“Pay it forward, isn’t that the expression?” he replies, bows slightly, “I’ll leave you now; rest, relax, be safe.” And with that he turns and leaves you standing in the most breathtakingly simple penthouse that you’ve ever seen in your life. You just sort of turn a circle trying to take it all in, then you remember the cameras and impulsively wave. Hey, why not? Their job has to be dull as dirt, maybe a little courtesy will spice up their boring day. You giggle at your own actions and wander to the kitchen, is there any food?