When the plane lands, you can see the different members of his group gathering their luggage. He stands and reaches for his bag in the overhead compartment. Only your bag remains; he pulls it out with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, thank you,” you’re bemused and quite taken with the idols manners. Shaking your head, you remember that not all idols are as polite off camera. In fact; some are quite mean and obsessively competitive. He remains standing off to the side of the seats, motioning for you to procede him from the plane. As you pass, going into the aisle, he leans over and whispers; “If you leave first, you will hopefully not be crushed this time, in the mass that awaits us.”
You smile and turn to shake his hand in both of hers. With a slight bow you comment, “Thank you. For everything, it was a pleasure to meet you.”
His hand comes up to cover yours, “Mostly my pleasure, enjoy your time in my homeland.”
You turn and follow the flight attendant out the plane door, across the bridge, and into a very crowded airport. For 3 in the morning, this is ridiculous, you remind yourself that you don’t miss this. Shaking your head you make your way through the fans, the paparazzi, and what few family members wait amongst them. The noise level rises and without turning you know that your seat mate, and the other members of his group have stepped off the plane. You have to appreciate their stamina. Pushing through the front door, you’re off to find the driver sent for you.
Tong watchs the small American woman leave the plane. Her defense of him, her respect of him by not engaging him during the flight, she has made the day end on a better note. He lets out a sigh, the night end? It’s 3 in the morning, a new day is just starting and he still hasn’t been to bed. Glancing behind him for the rest of the guys, they all lift their bags and prepare to face the crowd that awaits on the other end of the bridge. Hoods pulled down, dust masks back in place; they approach and with the help of security, make their way through the crowd. He glances up just as the American looks over her shoulder. He gives her a small acknowledgement with his head, than continues on to their car. He would never understand some of the fans. Don’t they sleep? They wait at the airport until 3 in the morning just on the off chance to get a look at them? He loves his fans, they are loyal, their presence here shows that, and they are the reason his career is going so well. He just knows that if it were him, he’d be home in bed asleep.
Later that morning butterflies are waging war on your stomach as the car pulls up in front of the One Site Entertainment building. You can do this; you’ve travelled hours, lost a day or two, and then remind yourself that this is your idea; no one else’s. Taking a deep breath, you step out onto the busy sidewalk, glance at the sign that graces the side of the building. Thanking and paying the driver, you shake yourself, and walk through the front doors.
The inside of the building is as beautiful as the outside. It’s tastefully decorated in strong accent colors of red, black, and white. The company symbol is designed into the tiles of the floor, a few strategic fake plants, curtained off glass walls, and elevators. You push the button for the 3rd floor, making your way directly to the offices. Other floors contain practice rooms, conference rooms, recording studios, an eatery, and dorms for the trainees. Doing your homework is the mark of a good writer; after all, isn’t that the whole reason you’re here? Research for your latest romance novel; with a little personal vacation thrown in.
The elevator dings at the 3rd floor; the doors opening to the receptionist, the guard dog of the company. Turning your head to the right you notice the security guard and his multiple monitors. He glances at you, gives you a slight nod, and motions to the receptionist. Taking a deep breath, you turn on your thousand watt smile and step up to the guard dog.
“Good Morning, I’m Laurie Atlantic, I have an appointment with Mr. Kim at 11:30 this morning.”
“Welcome, Ms. Atlantic. I do see you on the list; unfortunately Mr. Kim has been called out of town on family business. He has asked that you meet with his personal assistant, Mr. Kwon, would that be alright?”
“Yes, that will be fine,” the butterflies in your stomach start to slow down their acrobatics, no first meeting with the big man, he has been delayed.
“If you will just take a seat over there, I will alert Mr Kwon that you’ve arrived.”
Just as you sit down, a well dressed man in an expensive suit comes forward.
“Ms. Atlantic? I’m Mr. Kwon, Mr. Kim’s assistant. I hope you had an uneventful trip here to see us. Your body will catch up with our time, probably around the time you are scheduled to head home.”
His smile is genuine, his handshake assists in helping you from the chair.
“Mr. Kim said you are to receive the royal treatment, I must admit I have been anxious to meet you. Mr. Kim rarely rolls out the red carpet for anyone other than dignitaries.” He raises an eyebrow as he looks you up and down; makes a decision in his head that you’re positive you don’t want to know.
“I can assure you, Mr Kwon, that I am not here for Mr. Kim’s personal entertainment, nor anyone else’s.” You look him straight in the eye and dismiss his body language and clothing as not important. “I appreciate the red carpet treatment you claim to be about to give me; however, I didn’t request it. In fact, I specifically asked that I be allowed access without fan fare and with minimal people knowing I am here.” You straighten to your full 5’8 height in her heels and tilt your head while waiting for his reply.
He bows slightly, “My apologies, Ms. Atlantic, I did not mean to offend. Please, come with me and we will start you with a tour of our facility. Mr. Kim has asked that we eat in the cafeteria when the tour is completed, I hope that meets with your approval?”
You aren’t letting this holier than thou little man off that easy, Mr. Kim will be hearing about the thoughts his trusted employee came up with and his comments about the full treatment for her. You nod your head, “Sounds wonderful, I will follow you”.