Within the hour Jiyong was back. You try to convince he and Jak to go back to their evening but they refuse. You aren’t sure what to say to Jiyong; he just escorted one of his best friends out of your apartment. As if he knows what you’re thinking he simply says it first,
“He is my friend. But you came here for Jak, who is mine. That makes you mine to protect until you find someone worthy.”
To say you’re stunned would be an understatement. You simply nod, and curl up on your mat.
In the morning Ji is gone and Jak almost out the door before you even raise your head. She gives you a quick hug goodbye after checking on you, than runs out the door. Still confused about what to do with your new contract your text goes off.
UNK: I am Jang Yi-jeong of group History. You are the set designer?
YOU: Yes, this is [YN].
UNK: Very good. Would like to set lunch meeting with you today to work out schedule?
YOU: That would be great. When and Where?
A sigh of relief escapes you that you won’t have to talk to the director about working with a different member of the group. A small pang of disappointment hits with the realization you won’t be working with Kyungil. You smack your head into the shower wall, really? You seem to be just as messed up as he was last night.
When you arrive for lunch you’re shown back to a table that only has Kyungil sitting there. You stop, unsure of what to do or what is going on. A hand reaches out and touches your arm; you turn to a friendly face;
“You are [YN]? Set designer?”
You hold your hand out, “Yes, Yi-jeong?”
He bows, “Yes, we’ve been waiting. Please, have a seat.”
You choose the seat furthest from Kyungil but it places you directly across from him. In front of his member he acknowledges you with a slight head bow, which you give back. He’s quiet the entire lunch, letting Yi-jeong do all the talking.
Once business talk is over, Yi-jeong moves to small conversation and you find out the two of you have a lot in common. You begin to enjoy lunch, even finding a few occasions to laugh. Before the bill comes, Kyungil gets up and excuses himself. After twenty minutes the two of you realize he isn’t coming back. Yi-jeong shoots off a text.
“Ah, I apologize. I guess he had another meeting he had to attend. I’m ashamed at his manners, please accept my apology.”
You just shrug him off, you know very well why Kyungil left.
“Tell me Ji-yeong, are you my new contact with the group?”
“Me? No. That is still Kyungil’s job. He felt you would be more comfortable meeting with two of us instead of just one.”
“Oh,” so you will still have to work with him. However, he now doesn’t seem very keen on the idea.
“Tell me, [YN],” he interrupts you. “Do you mind if I keep your contact number in my phone?”
You shake your head no, and then realize what he means by his next words.
“This was enjoyable. I would like to call you, maybe take you out? Without Kyungil, and his bad manners?”
His smile is so endearing you can’t help but laugh and agree to let him call you. Plans are reaffirmed for your next meeting and he sees you into a taxi. As if the man always knows when you are in a taxi, you receive a text.
YOU: Don’t what?
HP: Go out with him.
YOU: I realize that would be awkward. I’m not stupid.
HP: He’s my brother, keep it professional.
YOU: And you? Are you going to keep it professional?
HP: I want that. What I need maybe different.
YOU: And last night?
HP: I shouldn’t have been drinking; everything else was the truth. No apologies.
Well you didn't expect that response. Before you can reply he texts again.
HP: If I frightened you, I am sorry for that.
YOU: Why did you leave lunch?
HP: I didn’t need to see that. Someone else making you smile.
As you look up from the text you realize you’ve arrived at your apartment. You step out of the taxi and a movement to your left catches your eye. Standing next to his car waiting for you; is Kyungil.