Chapter 12.1

The unfamiliar sensation washed over Yi-soo, leaving a bitter aftertaste that she couldn’t quite put into words. Was it some kind of intuition, a sixth sense? She glanced around calmly, her dark brown eyes betraying a subtle unease. Min-seo, sipping on her strawberry frappuccino, observed Yi-soo with curiosity.

“What’s going on? Did you drop something?” Min-seo asked, puzzled.

“No… I just feel like someone’s watching me,” Yi-soo replied.

“Watching you? I don’t see anyone suspicious around,” Min-seo reassured, scanning the area with Yi-soo.

She was right; there was no one who seemed out of place. Most of the people there were office workers, enjoying their remaining lunch break. “Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive because of exhaustion,” Yi-soo sighed, lightly massaging her temples with her fingertips. The long hours of work during the weekends and the inability to unwind had taken a toll on her.

Min-seo reached out and gently patted Yi-soo’s shoulder with her cold hand, chilled from holding the iced drink. “You must be really tired. Shouldn’t you rest or meet Yoon Hyun-seong later? There’s no need to rush home.”

“It’s alright. We can talk once we’re indoors,” Yi-soo replied.

“Alright then,” Min-seo replied in her adorable tone, and they set off together. The route from the cafe to their workplace was a brief five-minute walk at most. Once they arrived, they swiped their entry cards and stood waiting for the elevator to descend from the eighth floor. Min-seo couldn’t contain her curiosity and spoke up again.

“So, what’s the plan with Yoon Hyun-seong?” she inquired.

“Oh, nothing much. Just going to visit his place for a while,” Yi-soo casually replied.

“Yoon Hyun-seong invited you over? Are you two dating or something?” Min-seo’s eyes widened, and she instinctively covered her mouth with her hand. She then disposed of her empty drink cup in a nearby trash bin, seemingly engrossed in the conversation. Yi-soo felt a hint of discomfort at her friend’s response and clicked her tongue disapprovingly.

“I don’t know what you’re imagining, but we’re not involved in that kind of relationship,” Yi-soo clarified.

“Come on, an adult man inviting an adult woman to his house like that? Maybe it’s to watch Netflix together? Did he say he doesn’t like watching alone? Wow, Yoon Hyun-seong is quite straightforward. Did you leave a good impression on him or something?” Min-seo’s excitement grew evident, pushing the boundaries of her imagination.

“Min-seo, you’re taking it too far. Let your wild thoughts come to a halt,” Yi-soo scolded.

Ding. The elevator doors opened right on cue. Glancing at Min-seo, who could barely conceal her enthusiasm, Yi-soo felt an inexplicable unease creep in. They weren’t involved in any romantic entanglement, so why was her friend conjuring up such scenarios in her mind?

Naturally, Yi-soo didn’t believe that Yoon Hyun-seong had invited her to his house without reason. After all, they were engaged, and soon they would be living together officially.  It seemed like a step to help her get accustomed to the idea.

However, the truth about everything needed to be uncovered before the engagement day. Yet, Yi-soo found herself swamped with countless dividend cases, leaving little time to spare.

“When I saw him, he seemed genuinely interested in you,” Min-seo chimed in. “He even said something like, ‘You’re the first woman I’ve been this interested in.'”

“In this day and age, who says such cheesy lines, Choi Min-seo?”

“But that’s exactly what he said! Well, it’s only natural for popular guys like him to be attracted to someone like you. If things go well between you two, will he treat me to dinner?”

“Forget it. I don’t want anything to do with that arrogant jerk. Just a few words from him are enough to turn my stomach.”

Yi-soo took a sip of her Americano and let out a sigh. While Yoon Hyun-seong possessed a charming appearance that could easily garner admiration, to Yi-soo, he was nothing more than an unfortunate lawyer. He also came across as independent and self-centered.

Just then, her phone, tucked away in her pocket, vibrated. As they stepped out of the elevator, Yi-soo checked the message:

[Rian Park Officetel. 103. 4101.]

The sender was none other than Hyun-seong. The message arrived precisely as she had anticipated – concise and to the point. Min-seo, unable to contain her curiosity, stole a glance at the screen and erupted into exaggerated applause.

“Oh, oh! He said he’d call and now he’s texting you too? Are you two exchanging messages??”

Yi-soo showed Min-seo the address that had been sent.

“Nice… Oppa doesn’t seem to remember how to send me a text these days. It takes him two to three hours to reply. I hope he’s not fooling around.”

While grumbling to herself in frustration, Min-seo suddenly raised her eyebrows. It was evident she was longing for something, but could one endure such emotional ups and downs?

Lost in thought, Yi-soo began typing a reply on her phone. “I’ll be working late. Let’s meet around 9.”

She hesitated for a moment, wondering if 9 o’clock was too late. But before she could second-guess herself, the message was sent. The “read” receipt disappeared shortly after, indicating that Hyun-seong had seen it. Yi-soo put her phone back in her pocket.

With about seven hours remaining until 9 o’clock, she could leave the office early if she kept her head down and focused on the documents. A quiet sigh escaped her lips as she contemplated the upcoming meeting.



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