Chapter 50.2

Unbeknownst to her, the evening air had taken on the chill of autumn, and the single blouse she was wearing offered little protection against the cold.

Not too far from the pub, a designated smoking area beckoned. Yi-soo gazed up at Hyun-seong, a faint smile gracing her lips.

“Why did you really come? It’s not as if you dropped by to play the role of my make-believe lover,” she quipped.

“Why not consider it that way?” Hyun-seong countered.

“I didn’t necessarily need to bring someone I’m dating… By the way, how did you find out where the alumni gathering was being held?”

“One of my colleagues in the Prosecution Office has ties to our school. They mentioned the gathering, and since I had no pressing work, I decided to join them.”

Hyun-seong delicately pushed Yi-soo’s hair behind her ear, a small gesture of affection that sent a warm flutter through her heart. She cleared her throat softly and raised her gaze.

“Weren’t you stepping outside for a smoke?”

“You’re not a fan of the smell of cigarettes.”

“It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t bother me, so feel free to smoke without worrying about me.”

In response to Yi-soo’s words, Hyun-seong slowly lifted the corner of his lips, retrieving a silver Zippo lighter and a cigarette case from the inner pocket of his suit jacket. With a single, graceful strike of the flint, he ignited a cigarette, and Yi-soo observed the process in silent fascination, holding her breath.

Smoking can be sexy, too…

She wasn’t particularly fond of the scent of smoke, but there was something inexplicably enticing about watching Hyun-seong smoke. His long, slender fingers, the wispy tendrils of smoke that escaped his lips, and even his deep, dark eyes. His distinctive, almost decadent charm had a pull that made her steal glances without even realizing it. To witness him in that state, she was willing to endure the scent of cigarettes.

Hyun-seong exhaled a thick plume of smoke, his gaze turned away from Yi-soo.

In reality, he harbored no intentions of playing her lover; he was simply on a mission to rescue her from an unwanted social gathering. As soon as he received her text expressing her reluctance to attend, the idea struck him.

Few things were as unbearable as subjecting oneself to an unpleasant situation like this.

Hyun-seong pointed out, “You left your bag inside.”

“Ah, right. I’m going back in anyway.”

“If you’d rather not stay, I’ll drive you home. So, grab your things and join me. You must be weary, especially on a Monday evening.”

“…You’ve become quite the considerate gentleman since the last time, Attorney Yoon Hyun-seong.”

Her statement hit the mark, assessing her sentiments accurately. Without missing a beat, Yi-soo nonchalantly toyed with her fingertips and grazed her throat—an audacious move that went by without a flicker.

As Hyun-seong exhaled a languid plume of smoke, a wry smile tugged at the corner of his lips. He tilted his head ever so slightly and half-closed one eye.

“Well, why not? Doesn’t it suit me?”

“Honestly… we’ve never quite matched,” she responded after a brief pause. Who would have thought that Yoon Hyun-seong, often dubbed a “cold-hearted bastard,” would become so considerate? She realized that her own gaze toward him had taken on a more dangerous edge over time.

Hyun-seong tapped the unburnt tip of his cigarette on an ashtray, extinguishing the flame, and then directed his gaze upwards to the darkening sky.

“It’s already autumn. Time really does fly, doesn’t it? If you pause for just a moment, it’ll be winter again.”

Yi-soo concurred, her thoughts mirroring his sentiment. “That’s so true… it would be wonderful if we could somehow hold onto time. Oh, wait a moment. I have a call.”

As she was about to turn her head to follow him, she retrieved her phone from her pocket. Ring, ring. The familiar vibration echoed softly.

Checking the caller’s ID, a clear sense of doubt clouded her face. She had the number saved, but she hadn’t spoken to this person in several years. Hyun-seong motioned for her to take the call without any pressure.

[Sister’s Adoptive Father]

A straightforward contact name. Why would Su-jeong’s adoptive father suddenly be calling her? Could it be that even he couldn’t reach her through conventional means?

With various speculations in her mind, she swiped the green answer button to the right and answered, “Hello?” 

“Oh… Is this Yi-soo? I’m Su-jeong’s father.” 

“Yes. What’s the matter? Has something happened to my sister?” 

The last time they shared a meal together a few years ago marked the end of their once-close relationship. Receiving an unexpected call without any prior message fueled Yi-soo’s instinctual anxiety, slowly consuming her. She blinked rapidly, anxiously waiting for a response from the other end, unable to fathom what was happening. Hyun-seong, meanwhile, checked the time on his left wristwatch.

“Our Su-jeong… Su-jeong’s mother. Don’t cry, and try to stay composed. Okay?”

“Did something happen…?” 

“Right now, she’s on her way to the hospital emergency room. Can you come here? Su-jeong’s condition is critical. They said it’s life-threatening, so I thought it would be best to contact you first…” 


The word “life-threatening” jolted Yi-soo, causing her body to go rigid. She gazed blankly at Hyun-seong as she listened to the voice emanating from the speaker, their eyes locking in the empty air. Nervously, Yi-soo bit her lip.

“My sister… is in critical condition.”



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