A half an hour was the longest your body could handle the smell of the food before your stomach started growling. Gone were the days of scrolling through email while you ate. Email was now something you looked at with dread. Joon-woo mentioned this morning that they had placed tracking software on your laptop. Any emails that came to you, also went to the server in the security room.
As tantalizing as the food is, your anxiety won’t let you eat more than a third. He always orders you too much, but today it looks like you hardly touched it. You shrug as you box it back up, it can’t be helped.
At five o’clock on the dot, Joon-woo shows up in front of your desk. You look up with a questioning look, “Is there a problem?”
“No, I’m your ride home tonight.”
“And if I’m not ready to go?”
He leans down to your eye level. “Don’t play this game squirt. I know you think your protecting the boss but all your doing is hurting both of you. He doesn’t deserve it.”
Why can’t any of them understand? Do they all live in a fairy tale? You get up and walk over to close the door. You deliberately turn slowly, trying to keep your temper in check. “And I suppose I deserve this?”
He straightens up and folds his arms over his chest. “Don’t put words in my mouth. You know we don’t think that. Hell, who do you think convinced the boss to give you a chance?” As the last word comes out of his mouth, his lips tightened and he turns his head away.
You walk up and get straight in his face, “Explain that comment to me.”
He rolls his eyes at the ceiling, “I’ve said enough, are you ready to leave?”
Your eyes go flat and your voice deadly quiet, “Explain that comment to me.”
“You’re taking this all wrong. The boss is a celebrity, we’re always super cautious with anyone he meets.” You are standing less than two inches away from him; you’ll give him no quarter. He sighs, “After the delivery that linked the two of you, the boss started having second thoughts. Others have tried to use his generosity as a way to get close to him and hurt him.”
"He thought I did this to myself? To get his attention?" You start to back away but he grabs you by the arms.
"We know you didn't. I thought we’d become friends. It doesn’t matter that we work for the boss, or if you’re in a relationship with him or not. Do-yun and I would still protect you with our last breath because you’ve become important.” He lets you go and storms out but turns at the door, “I’ll be waiting by the elevator.”
You pack everything up on automatic but can’t force your feet out the door. You release the door handle and slide down the wall to your familiar protective posture. You have no idea how long you've sat there silently crying into your arms. When had your life become so f** up? What had you done so wrong?
The door opens quietly and Joon-woo hands you his handkerchief. He doesn’t say anything, just gathers your bags from around you and helps you to stand. When you hand the tissue back he looks at your face, dabs a couple of areas and gives you a nod of approval. With his hand at your back, he escorts you out of the office and down to the car.
You head straight to the practice room after arriving at the penthouse. You switch playlists and turn the volume to an undiscovered level. The more memories that hit you about this room the harder you dance; until you fall to the floor in exhaustion.
After a shower you head to the kitchen knowing that his first comment will be, ‘Have you eaten?’ You pick through leftovers while flipping through channels. Nothing holds your interest, not even having music on in the background. You dig your laptop out; you will do as he wishes and wait for him to come home. The best course of action right now appears to be getting your project finished early.
The beep of the door startles you; you’d been deeply focused, attempting to complete this one spreadsheet. You look up to find Junsu standing at the entrance, looking over at you. “I was unsure if you would wait.”
You glance down for a moment, “You should eat. You must be hungry.” You look back up in time to see him enter the kitchen and you quickly clean up your work.
He comes in with your leftovers and bottled waters. “Join me?”
You shake your head, “I ate earlier.” He raises an eyebrow and you point to the box, “See for yourself.”
He simply sets the box aside and sits down next to you on the couch. He reaches over and takes a hold of your hand, intertwining your fingers. “I know you’re scared. I’m doing all I can to keep you safe, why are you pulling away?”
You can’t confess how much he’s come to mean to you. You simply smile and turn to look at him, “I’m sorry. It’s a defensive mode, it just sort of happens. Learned traits you know?”
He nods, “I do know. Let us protect you. Let me, protect you.” No matter your self control, a tear escapes. He smoothes it away and pulls you into his arms. You have no resistance against him; no matter what your brain says, your heart rules and it is breaking without him.
You awaken when he sits up and pulls you to your feet. It’s the middle of the night; you’ve both fallen asleep on the couch again. He leads you back to his bedroom and tucks you into his bed. After turning on the cameras, he climbs in next to you and pulls you close.