Distractions

Author’s Note: This is a sequel to We Meet Again. You’re advised to read that one shot before proceeding with this one.

= Arrival =

Jessica tugged at her leather jacket, as she pushed her trolley out of the airport. The sun was shining brightly on a cool morning. After a thirteen hour flight, she just wanted to get home as soon as she could and have a good rest.

“Where’s that girl? Has she overslept and forgotten to pick me from the airport?” Jessica muttered to herself.

The next instant, she felt someone hugged her from the back. The tensions in her body loosened as she enjoyed the familiar warm embrace.

“Hello baby, did you miss me?” Taeyeon rested her chin on Jessica’s shoulder and whispered into her ear.

“What do you think?” Jessica smirked and wrapped her arms around Taeyeon. The couple remained in a backhug for a few seconds before Jessica turned around to face Taeyeon. She was about to kiss Taeyeon’s forehead when a male voice interrupted her.

“Ahem, I think it’s best to go to the apartment soon. We need a good rest after such a long flight.” A tall, young, handsome looking man dressed in a light blue long sleeve shirt with black jeans pushed his trolley near Jessica.

“Oh sure,” replied Jessica, her cheeks flushed pink. “By the way, Taeyeon, this is Park Yong Sun. He’s from the States and would be here to learn the operations of the business. Yong Sun, this is Kim Tae Yeon.” Jessica pointed to the young man.

“Ah, so this is Miss Kim. President Jung mentioned her a few times. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Yong Sun smiled politely and extended his arm for a handshake.

“Hi Mr Park, pleased to meet you too. You can call me Taeyeon since we should be around the same age.” Taeyeon returned the handshake.

“I’m just a year older than the both of you. Do call me Yong Sun then. Let’s go.”

———

“Yong Sun, I’ll see you at the office on Monday morning. Have a good rest. If you need any help, you can call me on my mobile. Goodbye!” The couple dropped Yong Sun off at the rented apartment before heading home.

Once Yong Sun was out of sight, Taeyeon learned across the seat and gave Jessica a kiss on her cheek before driving off. “Missed you, baby. It was raining heavily for the past two weeks. The sunshine’s back now that you’re home. How was the trip back to LA?”

“Taeyeonie, I missed you too.” Jessica stroked Taeyeon’s arm and continued, “Well, as you know, it was packed with meetings all the way. I rarely have the time to meet up with some of my old friends. Daddy’s planning for some joint ventures with several shopping malls here, so I was flooded with stuff to do, including the weekends.”

“Oh my poor baby. Sounds like a grand plan. Looks like you will be very busy again.” Taeyeon patted Jessica’s hand. “Is Yong Sun posted here on a short term basis? Or is he based here permanently?”

“I’m not too sure what plans Daddy has in the long term but yes, for the moment he would be attached to me for the next six months. He has been working with Daddy for the past three months and Daddy has been singing praises of him. Apparently he’s quite a bright guy, having graduated from Columbia Business School in New York.” Jessica paused and studied Taeyeon’s expression. Taeyeon wrinkled her nose and looked straight ahead without saying anything.

“Are you feeling the heat, darling? He’s pretty charming,” Jessica teased, running her long slender fingers gently along Taeyeon’s face.

Taeyeon pretended to tug at her collar. “It’s so hot in here now, or is it just you? Who wouldn’t fall for that arrogant smirk or that pair of expressive brows?”

Jessica leaned over and whispered seductively into Taeyeon’s ear. “Taeyeonie, since I’m so hot and gorgeous, he might just fall for me.” She gently nibbled Taeyeon’s ear. Taeyeon could feel herself turning as red as a tomato, as the blood rushed to her face. She tried to concentrate on maneuvering the car on the crowded Seoul roads.

“Baby, you’re a very distracting passenger. I’m trying to get us home safely.” Taeyeon was trying hard to ignore her front seat passenger, who was now busy stroking her thigh.

“Taeyeonie, you’re one very cheesy driver and I like it. We shall continue when we get home,” Jessica whispered suggestively and moved back into her seat.

———-

The couple soon arrived at their apartment. Taeyeon parked the car at their usual spot and unloaded the luggage from the car.

“Baby, what exactly did you buy? Did you max out any of your credit cards? Your luggage is rather heavy. I can feel my back breaking.” Taeyeon was trying to push the luggage from the carpark to the lift lobby, and finally to their apartment.

“Hey, I’ve got your several presents. And of course I need to replenish my wardrobe as well. Wouldn’t want the employees to gossip and say that the General Manager of Jung Enterprises keeps wearing the same few outfits right?” Jessica batted her eyelids at Taeyeon, hoping the excuse for her shopping spree was valid. She punched the numbers on the keypad to unlock the front door while Taeyeon sat on the luggage, panting away.

“Alright, alright. I made some barley tea and it’s on the kitchen table. Go have a drink while I prepare a warm bath for you.” Taeyeon nudged Jessica towards the kitchen while she attempted to drag the luggage to the bedroom.

“Thanks darling! You’re so sweet!” Jessica gave Taeyeon a quick peck on her lips before skipping to the kitchen to get her drink.

“The bath’s ready. Come quickly before the water cools down!” Taeyeon shouted from the bathroom.

Jessica grabbed her clothes from the wardrobe and went into the bathroom. She was puzzled to see Taeyeon still standing in there. She sensed something was fishy when she saw Taeyeon smiling mischievously at her.

“Aren’t you gonna leave? I’m going to take my bath now.”

“Well, the tub’s big enough for the both of us,” Taeyeon said cheekily before shutting the bathroom door behind both of them.

———

“Two servings of ddukppoki, two servings of bulgogi, three servings of galbi, one budae jigae, one serving of makchang gui and two iced barley teas please.” Taeyeon placed her orders with the young waiter and handed him the menu.

“Taeyeonie, are you very hungry? Did you skip breakfast before going to the airport?” Jessica had more or less gotten used to Taeyeon’s huge appetite since their dating days. Until today, she was still unable to imagine how Taeyeon managed to fit that much food into such a small body.

“Nope, I had a hearty breakfast before I stepped out. I’m sure you missed Korean food so I’m just ordering a variety. Hmm…I’m so hungry I could eat a whole cow right now!” Taeyeon beamed.

The couple held hands across the table and they chatted merrily while waiting for their food to arrive.

Jessica flipped her hair and looked around the restaurant. It was one of their favourite Korean restaurants that served delicious home cooked dishes. She liked the cosy ambience and friendly staff. She spotted Yong Sun sitting at a corner of the restaurant. “Taeyeonie, I see Yong Sun over there. Would you mind if I get him to join us?”

“Baby, I’ve not seen you for two weeks and I missed you so much. Can we eat with him another time instead?” Taeyeon whined, stomping her feet like a five year old kid. She wanted to spend time with Jessica alone and wasn’t too pleased at having dinner with a stranger on the first day Jessica was back.

“He hasn’t been back to Seoul since he was five. I guess he has not many friends here and it would be quite sad to eat alone on the first day here,” Jessica bit her lower lip and gave Taeyeon’s hand a gentle squeeze.

“Aish! Your killer look is devasting! It never fails to make me give in to you. Looks like the amount of food I ordered came in handy. I’ll order some more since there’re three of us now. Come over here,” Taeyeon instructed, pointing to the empty space next to her. Jessica stood up and walked next to Taeyeon.

“You go get him then, I’ll arrange for another chair to be added to our table.” Taeyeon gave Jessica a kiss on the cheek and a pat on her butt before sending her off in the direction of Yong Sun.

“Hi ladies, thanks for inviting me to join you. I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” said Yong Sun after he sat down at the table.

“No you’re not. This place serves delicious home cooked Korean food.” Jessica said.

“Oh, I can’t wait to try it.” Yong Sun exclaimed. “Ahjumma, two bottles of soju please!”

Once the soju arrived, Yong Sun poured the transparent liquid into glasses and handed one each to the girls.

“Let’s drink to my first day in Seoul! Cheers!” All of them clinked their glasses together and drank.

“Wow, this soju is wicked! Let’s have another glass while waiting for the food to arrive.” Yong Sun served up another round of soju and all of them drank. He was about to pour another shot into the glasses when Jessica stopped him.

“Let’s wait for the food to arrive instead of killing our taste buds with alcohol.” Jessica said. She knew that Yong Sun was a good drinker judging from his partying ways back at LA. On the other hand, Taeyeon couldn’t hold her alcohol as well as him.

“Ah…sure, whatever you say, since you’re the boss.” Yong Sun joked.

The food finally arrived. All of them tucked into the food hungrily. Taeyeon scooped some budae jigae and galbi for Jessica. Jessica sat there smiling brightly at the older girl and mouthed a ‘thanks’.  Taeyeon had red pepper sauce on her lips as she ate her favourite ddukppoki . Using a napkin, Jessica wiped the red pepper sauce off Taeyeon’s mouth.

“Ahem, the food here tastes better than those back in LA.” Yong Sun interrupted. He wasn’t too pleased at the lovey dovey couple sitting next to him, who were oblivious to his presence.

“Of course, it’s prepared by Koreans and we always use the freshest ingredients here.” Taeyeon proudly replied, with a big smile on her face.

“Excuse me, I need to go to the washroom. I’ll leave you two to get to know each other better,” Jessica gently squeezed Taeyeon’s hand as she left her seat.

“So I heard you are together with Jessica,” Yong Sun said lazily, once Jessica was out of sight. He poured Taeyeon and himself a glass of soju each.

“Yes, I am.” Taeyeon didn’t feel comfortable revealing too much information about her private life to a total stranger.

“You’re one hell of a lucky girl then. Jessica’s really hot. A lot of guys at the LA office tried to date her out but she rejected all of them, including me.” Yong Sun chuckled.

“A drink to our new friendship!” Yong Sun raised his glass. Both Yong Sun and Taeyeon gulped down the alcohol in one mouthful. “So how did you get to know this hot babe?”

“We met during our university days and were together since then. I just heard from Sica that you grew up in LA since you were five. Your Korean’s fluent, where did you learn it from?” Taeyeon asked, trying to divert the attention of the conversation back to Yong Sun. She could feel her face turning red from the alcohol.

“Sica? That’s a pretty cute nickname for her. Perhaps I ought to call her that too.” Yong Sun grinned. Taeyeon frowned upon hearing that remark.

Yong Sun continued, “I live with my grandparents in LA and they speak to me in Korean. I’m guess I’m blessed in that sense. Some of the younger American-born Koreans couldn’t speak a single word of Korean at all. It’s such a pity. Jessica mentioned to me you are a photographer. What sort of work do you do?”

“I do all sorts of photography from still life to portraits. Lately it’s mostly editorial stuff with various magazines.”

“I see, that sounds pretty interesting. It feels great to be back in Seoul after such a long time. Here, have another glass.” Yong Sun poured Taeyeon another shot of soju.

“No thanks, I’ve had enough soju for the night.”

“Don’t be such a whimp! Your Sica’s such a good drinker. She used to party till the wee hours of the morning everyday back in LA.”

Taeyeon winched at Yong Sun’s use of her nickname for Jessica. She was wondering how much of what Yong Sun said was true. Was Jessica such a party animal as he claimed to be? She didn’t hang out at clubs in Seoul, except for the occasional birthday parties or company functions.

“So what did you guys talk about when I was away?” Jessica asked when she returned to her seat.

“Nothing much. Just idle chat.” Taeyeon replied, smiling at Jessica.

“Darling, did you drink a lot while I was away? Your face and neck are all red.” Jessica gave Taeyeon a disapproving look.

“No, just two glasses. We’re all in such a joyous mood tonight, so I had a little more than usual.” Taeyeon said sarcastically, casting a glance at Yong Sun. Yong Sun merely smirked as he ate some bulgogi.

“How’s the apartment? Finished unpacking?” Jessica asked, turning her attention to Yong Sun.

“It’s great. I’ve managed to unpack some clothes. There’s cable with sports channels on a large LED TV and a nice bar counter at the kitchen. Perfect for a single and eligible bachelor like me,” Yong Sun winked at Jessica.

“Glad to know that you’re settling in well.” Jessica replied.

“Perfect for your one night stands, you mean,” Taeyeon scrowled. She felt Jessica kick her leg and decided to keep her mouth shut for the rest of the evening.

Jessica and Yong Sun did most of the talking for the rest of the evening. Taeyeon chose to focus her attention on the delicious spread in front of her. Occasionally she felt Jessica squeeze her hand, as if to assure her that she wasn’t neglected.

The three of them stood outside the restaurant after enjoying a hearty feast.

“You must be jet-lagged after such a long flight. Go have an early night. Thanks for the dinner. I’ll see you at the office on Monday morning,” Jessica said.

“Thanks for the dinner,” Taeyeon said politely.

Yong Sun gave Jessica a hug and an air kiss, his cheek touching hers. He turned towards Taeyeon and shook her hands.  “No worries, it was my pleasure to have the company of two lovely ladies tonight. Good night and have a safe drive home.”

———

“Baby, did you party a lot while you were back?” Taeyeon asked as she slumped into the passenger seat while Jessica drove.

“The only spare time I had to meet up with my old friends was at night, so we either went clubbing or had coffee. Taeyeonie, are you feeling okay? You had quite a fair bit to drink earlier on. You know you can’t drink that much.” Jessica caressed Taeyeon’s warm cheeks.

“I didn’t want to lose to that guy. Did you notice that he was looking at you the whole night? His eyes never left you for a single moment.”

“Are you jealous?”

“No, I’m not. Why should I be?” Taeyeon said defensively, folding her arms across her chest.

“My Taeyeonie is jealous,” Jessica giggled.

“I’m not.”

“Yes you are.”

“No I’m not.” Taeyeon said firmly.

“Yes you most definitely are. I’ve a way to ease your jealousy when we get home.” Jessica winked at Taeyeon, her lips curled up into a seductive smile.

“I’ll be waiting.” Taeyeon finally broke into a grin.

= Surprises =

Knock knock

“Come in,” Jessica said, without looking up from her stack of documents on her desk.

“Surprise!” a bright child-like voice rang throughout her room.

“I know you must be really busy, so I brought sandwiches and your favourite caramel macchiato.” Taeyeon placed the brown paper bags on the desk and hopped onto Jessica’s lap. She draped her arm around Jessica’s shoudler and kissed her.

“Hey, I thought you’re busy with several meetings today?” Jessica patted Taeyeon’s butt. She grabbed the iced caramel macchiato from the table and took a sip to quench her thirst.

Taeyeon twirled the ends of Jessica’s hair. “Yeah, I’ve got another appointment at three thirty, so there’s still a little time to spare for my baby. It’s already way past two and you’ve not taken your lunch.”

Jessica massaged her temples and shifted her documents aside. “It has been an insane morning for me. Can’t wait to end the day and go home to rest.”

“Awww, my poor baby. Let’s have a quick appetizer to ease your headache before we start on lunch,” said Taeyeon mischievously. She started kissing Jessica’s neck, her nimble fingers unbuttoning Jessica’s blouse with ease.

———

The couple was feeding each other sandwiches when they heard a knock on the door. Taeyeon jumped off Jessica’s lap and both girls adjusted their clothes in a hurry.

“Come in,” Jessica said, once she was sure everything looked alright. Taeyeon took a seat in front of Jessica’s desk and flipped through a magazine that was on her desk.

“Hi Jessica. Oh hi Taeyeon, wasn’t expecting you to be here.” Yong Sun stepped into the room, cast a glance at Taeyeon before putting his attention back on Jessica.

“Hi Yong Sun, how can I help you?” Jessica asked.

“I heard you’re still in the office and haven’t had lunch so I went to get you some,” Yong Sun said as he walked towards Jessica. He spotted the half eaten sandwiches on the table.

“Oh, seems like someone has already beaten me to it. What a coincidence, it’s from the same sandwich store.”

“Too bad you were twenty minutes late.” Taeyeon smirked. She didn’t like his tone of voice and it didn’t help that his eyes were only focused on the beauty behind the desk.

Yong Sun took out a sandwich from the bag and handed it to Jessica. “I’ve got you a different sandwich from the one you’re eating. Here, have this instead. I know girls are usually more weight conscious, so I told the guy at the store to add more greens.”

Jessica’s face turned pale when she saw the cucumbers that were sticking out beneath the layers of lettuce and tomatoes.

“Sica doesn’t eat cucumbers. If you want to please your boss, the minimum you could do is to find out her dietary preferences first,” Taeyeon said curtly.

Yong Sun stared angrily at Taeyeon but managed to remain cool. “I’m sorry about that. I’ll take note of your eating preferences in future. Anyway, I would like to discuss some company matters with you when you’re done with lunch. It’s about the upcoming project Mr Jung has just assigned us to do.”

“Hmm…we better discuss it now. I’ve got another meeting with the Finance department in about half an hour’s time. Taeyeon, I’ll meet you tonight for dinner. Text you later ok?” Jessica smiled brightly.

“Sure, remember to finish your sandwich. See you tonight.” Taeyeon gave Yong Sun a smug look as she left the room.

———

“I don’t like Yong Sun.” Taeyeon said abruptly after stuffing a handful of popcorn into her mouth. The couple was watching The Proposal on DVD in their living room.

“Why the sudden remark? Was it because of this afternoon?” Jessica asked.

“Since the first day I met him at the airport, I don’t have a good feeling about him. He just seems so arrogant and sneaky. It’s like he has something up his sleeves. You better be extra careful about him.”

“He’s quite a nice person once you get to know him better. Maybe he’s still trying to get used to the culture and environment here. I’m old enough to take care of myself. Anyway, I have my Taeyeonie to protect me if he dares to bully me, right?” Jessica said gently, stroking Taeyeon’s hair. She cuddled closer to Taeyeon, taking in the fresh scent of the mint shampoo Taeyeon always used.

“Still, I don’t like him. If it isn’t for your sake, I wouldn’t have wasted my breath to entertain him at all. He has a creepy smile and you don’t know what exactly is going on in his mind all the time.” Taeyeon tilted her head sideways and leaned against Jessica’s and continued to munch on her popcorn.

“Alright, I promise I’ll be more wary of him. Meanwhile, you’ve been hogging the popcorn all evening, pass some to me.” Jessica teased. Taeyeon refused to give up her popcorn bowl. She merely grabbed some popcorn and stuffed it into Jessica’s hands.

“By the way, what’s the new project about? The one that creepy guy mentioned this afternoon,” asked Taeyeon while happily munching away on her popcorn.

“Oh, we’re working on a joint venture with a new mega shopping mall called Times Square. It would be located in Yeongdeungpo-gu. Daddy wants to let Yong Sun handle this big project in order to access his capabilities. I’ll have to guide him since he’s still relatively. We cannot afford any mistakes for this project,” explained Jessica.

Taeyeon turned around to face the younger girl. “So I suppose you would be very busy again? You’ve been having irregular meals. I hate to be a nag but I don’t want my baby to have gastric problems.” She ran her fingers through Jessica’s hair.

“Eeewww! Taeyeonie, your hands are so sticky! You didn’t wash them after eating your popcorn!” Jessica shrieked.

“Oh well, I’ll help you wash your hair later on. Or maybe we ought to take a shower now.” Taeyeon tilted her head towards Jessica, their noses touching, as she slid her hand under Jessica’s tee. Their faces were apart for less than two seconds, as Taeyeon swiftly remove Jessica’s tee before their lips met again.

“Taeyeonie, what about your popcorn?”

“Forget about the popcorn, I want you…”

———

Knock knock

“Come in.”

“This Fendi dress suits you well.” Yong Sun strolled across the room towards Jessica.

“Thank you. Is there anything I can help you with?”

“I’ve a small surprise for you. Go on, unwrap it.”

Jessica took the small parcel in her hands and tore the pink wrapper apart.

“It’s the latest Kelly Clarkson album! I wanted to get it back in US but it wasn’t available yet. Thanks a lot!” Jessica opened the CD cover, anxious to play the album using her laptop. Just then, she spotted Kelly’s autograph on the back cover of the album.

“You managed to get her autograph?” Jessica asked, bewildered.

“Haha, yes. I was lucky. There was an autograph session at the record store in the US and I got one of my friends to help me get her signature.”

Unable to contain her joy, Jessica bounced up from her seat and gave Yong Sun a hug. “I can’t thank you enough for this. I’m a big fan of hers. I’ll buy you dinner later.”

“Sure.” Yong Sun said, smiling from ear to ear.

———

The Californian Steakhouse boasts of a spectacular city view, with an observation window that allows diners to see the executive chef in action. Nestled on the hill top, the oak-panelled dining room had a seating for around fifty people, allowing for an intimate and cozy ambience.

Yong Sun was awed by the décor of the restaurant as he held the door for Jessica. “Wow, this place is like a hidden treasure. How did you discover it?”

“Taeyeon discovered it actually. She was looking for a new place to do one of the magazine photo shoots and chanced upon it. The owners of this place are very friendly and nice. The quality of steaks is top notch. Taeyeon and I pop by here once in a while.”

“Good evening, Miss Jung. Nice to see you again. Your table’s ready.” A middle aged waiter, dressed in a black shirt and pants led the way inside the restaurant.

Their table had one of the best views in the restaurant, overlooking the city skyline.

“I feel bad making you pay for this expensive meal. Afterall, I only got you a CD, not a diamond necklace.”

“It’s a signed CD. A CD signed by Kelly Clarkson. I’m a big fan of hers. Sometimes we need to take a bit of time off our hectic schedules and pamper ourselves. Don’t worry about the meal. Just sit back and enjoy the food. It’s truly heavenly!”

Yong Sun couldn’t take his eyes off the beauty sitting in front of him. Jessica was wearing an off shoulder peach coloured dress with a silver necklace. The lone candle light on the table was reflecting off her face, enhancing her flawless features. She was looking out the window, taking in the lovely sights of the night.

“Thank you for inviting me here. I propose a toast. Cheers to our good working relationship!” Yong Sun raised his wine glass.

“Cheers!”

“You look absolutely gorgeous tonight. The peach coloured dress complements your skin tone well.” Yong Sun said, after he took a sip of the red wine.

“Thank you. You look mighty handsome in that smart Armani suit of yours too.”

Throughout the dinner, the two of them chatted about their interests and hobbies. They discovered they shared similar interests such as wine appreciation, playing golf and cycling.

Jessica couldn’t deny that Yong Sun was a handsome young man and wondered why he was still single. He was brilliant, humorous and caring towards the people around him, often offered a helping hand to whoever was in need.

After dinner, Jessica dropped Yong Sun off at his rented apartment.

“Thanks again for that wonderful dinner. It has been nice knowing more about you. I hope we would have more chances to meet this way instead of just talking about work.” Yong Sun looked into the mesmerizing pair of brown eyes. He wanted to kiss Jessica on the cheek but felt it might be inappropriate since it was his first time dining with Jessica alone. Instead, he stretched his hand out for a handshake.

“Thanks for accepting my invite and for that precious signed CD. We’re gonna get really busy now that the project has been confirmed, so it was good to enjoy a nice dinner before the chaos sets in. Alright, I better get going. Good night!”

“Good night, Jessica.” Gorgeous, I’m gonna make you mine someday.

One late night at Jung Enterprises

The tables in the meeting room were filled with various files and books. Two people huddled together behind a twenty three inch LCD screen, trying to finish a report.

“Looks like it’s gonna be another late night for us. What would you like to eat? I’ll get it for you.”

“Yong Sun, don’t bother. I’ll just eat some biscuits. I’ve not much appetite to eat anyway.” Jessica was flipping through the stack of documents next to her as she typed her report.

“Jessica, it’s not good to skip meals. You’ll end up with your gastric problems and I wouldn’t want to send you to the hospital. I’ll grab spaghetti carbonara for you then, since we already had fast food yesterday night.” Yong Sun smiled before leaving the room.

Half an hour later, Jessica and Yong Sun were at the office pantry having their late dinner.

“I’m sorry for being such a newbie and causing you to stay back late together with me.”

“It’s your first major project. As the General Manager and for the company’s reputation, I need to ensure that everything goes on smoothly. Everyone makes mistakes. More importantly you need to learn from them and not repeat them again.”

“Yup, agreed. My apologies, I’ll be more meticulous next time. You’ve some sauce on your lips.” Yong Sun grabbed a napkin from the table. He used the napkin to gently wipe the excess sauce from Jessica’s mouth.

Jessica was momentarily stunned by Yong Sun’s action.

“Why are you giving me such a weird look? Let’s continue with our dinner and finish up soon. I don’t think you would fancy the idea of watching sunrise together at the office right?” joked Yong Sun.

After dinner, both of them resumed their discussion in the meeting room. Jessica was correcting some errors in the report on the laptop while Yong Sun was standing next to her, looking for the missing information in the numerous files stacked on the table. At times, he leaned against Jessica’s chair, brushing against her arm when pointing something out on the screen. Occasionally, he would tap Jessica’s arm excitedly if he managed to find something useful for the report. At times, his hand would seemingly linger a little longer than usual before he moved it away.

Finally at around 2.30am, Jessica yawned and stretched her arms.

“I think I need to get another cup of coffee. Would you like one too?” asked Jessica.

“Let’s pack up and end the night. No point rushing through the proposal when our minds aren’t functioning properly. If you don’t mind, I’ll drive you home since you look quite sleepy.” Yong Sun offered.

“I’m fine. I’ll go freshen up and drive home myself since my house isn’t that far away. I’ll send you back first.”

“Nah, I insist. I’m a safe driver! Never gotten a single ticket in my whole life. It’s also easier to get a cab from your place than here. Let me be a gentleman and send you home for once.” Yong Sun said politely and smiled.

Jessica didn’t have any energy left to resist and nodded.

“Wow, this looks like a nice quiet neighbourhood, though I expected you would chose a more upmarket area because of your status.” Yong Sun remarked and he drove into the basement carpark. Jessica merely smiled.  All she wanted to do was to crawl into bed and sleep.

“Thanks Yong Sun. You can take that lift to the ground floor and turn left to get to the main road.” Jessica took her car keys from Yong Sun and directed him to the lift.

“Let me escort you to your doorstep since I’m already here.”

Sensing there’s no point resisting Yong Sun, Jessica made her way towards her apartment, with Yong Sun walking in step alongside her.

“Alright, I’m standing in front of my apartment now. Thanks for sending me home. I’ll be working from home tomorrow. Do give me a call if anything crops up at the office. Good night.”

“Oh, not inviting me in for coffee?” Yong Sun gazed at Jessica, leaning against the wall while Jessica typed the password on the keypad to unlock the door.

“Yong Sun, it’s already 3am. I think it’s best you go home to rest. Moreover it wouldn’t be nice to wake Taeyeon up in the wee hours of the morning.”

“Oh yes, Taeyeon.” Yong Sun said, disappointed. “Guess we can have coffee another time then. Good night.” Yong Sun bade Jessica farewell as she went into her apartment. He mentally took down the unit number of Jessica’s apartment and left.

Upon hearing the main door of her apartment open, Taeyeon awoke from her slumber.

“Taeyeonie, why are you sleeping on the couch?” Jessica bent down and gave Taeyeon a kiss on the forehead.

“Baby, you’re back. What time is it now?” Taeyeon yawned as she stood up from the couch.

“It’s 3.00am. Go sleep on the bed, else you’ll get a neck ache tomorrow.” Jessica linked arms with Taeyeon and led her to the bedroom.

Taeyeon rubbed her eyes and collapsed onto the bed, face down, with her limbs spread out like a star angel.

“Have you taken your dinner?” Taeyeon mumbled, half asleep.

“Yes darling. Don’t worry about me. Next time don’t stay up to wait for me, you silly girl. I’ve already told you I would be back very late today. You need a proper sleep for work the next day. I don’t want to see a grouchy ahjumma when I wake up in the morning.” Jessica chuckled.

Jessica turned around but Taeyeon swiftly grabbed one of her arms, preventing her from walking away.

“Don’t go. Come to bed with me.” Taeyeon mumbled, her eyes half closed.

“Taeyeonie, I need a shower first. You won’t want to sleep beside a smelly princess right? Hey, don’t occupy the whole bed, move to your side.” She tried to nudge Taeyeon into her usual spot by tickling her. The older girl giggled and rolled into her place.

“I’ve not seen you today at all. I missed you.” Taeyeon wrinkled her nose, stuck her lower lip out and made a sad face.

“Okay, now you’ve seen me. I promise I’ll come home earlier tomorrow to have dinner with you. I’ll take my shower and join you soon.” Jessica bent down and kissed Taeyeon.

“Hmm…carbonara. Okay, you promised.” Taeyeon mumbled before falling deep asleep.

Images of what Yong Sun flashed across Jessica’s mind as she was showering. In the past few weeks, she sensed that Yong Sun had some feelings for her but she thought it was impossible, since he knew that she was with Taeyeon. Moreover he did mention a few other girls’ names, so she assumed he was busy chasing after them.

After drying her hair, Jessica crept into the bed and snuggled close to Taeyeon. She kissed Taeyeon’s shoulder and placed an arm over the older girl. Taeyeon was deep asleep and didn’t fidget at all. She buried her face into Taeyeon’s back and closed her eyes.

“Taeyeonie, I love you.” Jessica whispered. Soon, she was lulled to sleep by Taeyeon’s soft breathing.

———

Taeyeon was busy cooking pasta in the kitchen when she heard her mobile phone ring.

“Hey darling, I’m sorry I cannot make it back home for dinner tonight. Something cropped at the last minute and I’ve to resolve it before I can leave.”

“Oh okay. I’m making your favourite pasta now. I’ll put it into a container and place it in the fridge. Remember to heat it up when you come back later.” Taeyeon said, feeling disappointed.

“I’m really sorry, I’ll make it up to you another time.”

“It’s alright. Don’t come back too late tonight. Eye bags are not the latest fashion accessory you should have,” Taeyeon joked.

“Yes darling. You can buy me more eye cream for our next month’s anniversary. Alright, gotta go. Love you!”

“Love you too.” You’re my everything.

That night, Jessica came home at around 2.30am. She was both mentally and physically exhausted from the numerous late nights in the office. Her mood brightened up when she read the yellow note stuck on the fridge door.

Don’t be a lazy girl! Remember to heat up the pasta before eating. ^^

Jessica took the plastic container out from the fridge and smiled when she opened it. Using fresh parsley, Taeyeon made a heart shape on the spaghetti. She poured the contents onto a bowl and heated up the food in the microwave oven. Taking a few bites of the spaghetti, she couldn’t help but feel guilty for not calling Taeyeon more often due to her hectic schedule.

After cleaning up, Jessica went to the bedroom to prepare for her shower. She walked towards the bed and her heart ached when she saw the peaceful face of Taeyeon sleeping soundly, hugging her favourite Disney peas in a pod. She gently brushed the gold locks away from Taeyeon’s face and gave her a light peck on the cheek.

“I miss you.” Jessica whispered.

———

After several continuous late nights at the office, Jessica finally found time to have dinner with Taeyeon. Both girls opted to order pizza and eat in the comfort of their home.

“Baby, you seemed to have lost weight. Now I look obese next to you! I gotta find some ways to fatten you up soon,” Taeyeon joked. She tore a small piece of pizza and fed Jessica with it.

“Are you sure you want a fat baby? I’ll probably crush you in bed if I accidentally roll over to your side.” Jessica leaned against Taeyeon, sandwiching her between her body and the side of the couch.

“I rather have a fat baby than no baby. I’ve not had a good look at you for ages!” Taeyeon playfully pushed Jessica away and helped herself to another serving of pizza.

“This project belongs to that creepy guy. Does he work till late too?” Taeyeon asked, her mouth filled with pizza.

“Yes he does. Both of us usually stay back to finish the proposal. Tiffany helps us once in a while.”

“You mean those late nights were all spent with that creepy guy? Are you two always alone? Does he try to do anything funny to you?” Taeyeon furrowed her brows and stared at Jessica.

Jessica expected that question from Taeyeon someday. She started explaining, “Yes, it’s just the both of us. We usually have our discussion in the meeting room. Yong Sun will usually be the one who buys dinner or orders food if we work till late.”

Jessica paused, looking at Taeyeon’s face for any unusual reactions. She continued, “Sometimes he will insist on waiting for me until I’m done because he felt it’s not safe for a girl to be alone in the office late at night. Don’t worry, he didn’t try to do anything funny. Even if he does, there’re still security guards in the building and I can always call for help.”

“I don’t like the idea of you two working so closely and spending so much time together. He has probably seen your face more than I do for the past week.” Taeyeon grumbled.

“Taeyeonie, you know it’s only a phase. Once this project is over, I’ll have more free time and we can even go for a short holiday if you wish.” Jessica cupped her hands at the sides of Taeyeon’s face and pulled her in for a kiss. Taeyeon dropped her pizza onto the plate and wrapped her arms around Jessica’s waist as she pulled her closer.

“Don’t think you can escape with just a kiss. Hmm…next time we shouldn’t order pepperoni pizza anymore. It’s quite salty and doesn’t taste good for a kiss. I still prefer sweet stuff such as cotton candy,” said Taeyeon, licking her lips after that long salty kiss.

Jessica blushed and pinched Taeyeon’s nose lightly. “Darling, pepperoni was your choice!” Taeyeon laughed and pulled Jessica in for another long kiss.

“Darling, you’re as red as the pepperoni! Even your ears are red!” Jessica burst out laughing uncontrollably after she pulled away from the second round of kisses.

“Aish! My blood circulation’s working too well.” Taeyeon curled up like a baby and rested her head against Jessica’s chest. The younger girl wrapped her arms around Taeyeon’s back, enclosing her in a warm embrace. The couple sat in silence for a few minutes. The only sounds were each other’s heartbeats and the television.

Taeyeon spoke first, breaking the silence. “I still find him very dubious. Always wear a jacket when he’s around. Some of your clothes are…a little too…revealing and it may tempt him. He’s a young hot blooded male specimen, who knows what ideas he may have in his mind. I don’t feel comfortable when he’s around you.”

“Okay okay, my dear Taeyeonie. Hmm, that means I need to go shopping again since I need to change my wardrobe! Yay!” Jessica laughed. She was mentally running through the list of clothes she would need to get and giggled excitedly.

“Baby, that’s a silly excuse to go shopping. The wardrobe’s already bursting at its seams with all your clothes and bags. Soon I’ll have no space for my clothes at all,” Taeyeon whined. She hugged her legs and stuck her lower lip out.

“Hmm…I prefer you without clothes on anyway.” Jessica started kissing Taeyeon’s neck, stopping to nibble on her ear. Her hands started roaming around Taeyeon’s body before stopping at her abdomen. She felt Taeyeon’s abdomen stiffened as she drew circles on it with her nails. Her fingers lingered at the waist band of Taeyeon’s shorts. She had a smirk on her face, as she teased the older girl.

Both girls were hungry for the close physical contact they missed during the past few hectic weeks. They hardly saw each other due to their individual irregular working hours. It didn’t help that Taeyeon was leaving for an overseas work assignment to Melbourne for two weeks early next morning.

Taeyeon shivered at Jessica’s gentle touch. She let out a soft moan as Jessica’s hands slowly travelled all over her body. She wrapped her arms around Jessica’s back and pressed her lips onto hers. The slow kiss soon got more passionate as both girls melt into each other. Things got more heated up and they decided to continue the love making in the bedroom.

= Distractions =

Incheon International Airport

“Baby, I’ll miss you.” Taeyeon said softly as she looked into Jessica’s brown eyes, running her fingers through her long brown hair.

“Taeyeonie, I’ll miss you too. We can still chat over the phone or Skype. Since absence makes the heart fonder, I’ll be expecting twice the amount of love from you when you come back,” Jessica chuckled. She ruffled Taeyeon’s hair before combing it back neatly again, gazing lovingly at the baby-face kid in front of her.
Taeyeon was sulking, stomping her feet like a spoilt kid. Her arms still locked around Jessica’s waist, refusing to let go.

“But I wanna be with you at the red carpet for the official opening of Times Square! It’s such a grand event and I hate to miss it,” Taeyeon wailed.

“Silly girl, this is such a good opportunity for you. Your hard work has been recognized by the top magazines in Australia and they’ve invited you there to do a photo shoot and talk. Imagine the amount of people who would wanna be in your shoes. Now, be a good girl and do your best.” Jessica patted Taeyeon’s head and planted a kiss on her forehead.

Taeyeon leaned forward, wanting to kiss Jessica on her lips but was met with Jessica’s palm instead.

“Darling, don’t let Seungyeon wait. We can always catch up when you’re back.” Jessica giggled when she saw Taeyeon’s pout. She patted Taeyeon’s butt and led her to where Seungyeon was standing. Seungyeon was Taeyeon’s partner at the studio which Taeyeon had set up a few years ago. Both of them knew each other through an industry networking session and had hit off very well.

“Seungyeon, please help me look after this kid of mine. She gets hungry easily but would be easily satisfied if you give her some chocolates. She tends to get grumpy if she doesn’t have enough sleep. She …”

“You’re sounding like my mum. It’s not the first time I’m on an overseas assignment with Hammie.” Taeyeon groaned, holding onto Jessica’s hands.

Seungyeon laughed. “Sica, don’t worry, I’ll take care of this kid. I’ll let you know if she misbehaves. We’ve gotta go now. Goodbye Sica!”

Taeyeon reluctantly released Jessica’s hands to pick up her bag. She followed Seungyeon to the gate. Stopping just outside the departure gate, Taeyeon dropped her bag, turned around and ran towards Jessica. She cupped her hands around Jessica’s face and gave her a long kiss on the lips.

“Bye Baby.” Taeyeon whispered and ran back to the gate again. She was grinning from ear to ear as she handed her boarding pass to the security officer at the gate.

“That silly kid…” Jessica placed her finger on her lips, savouring that strawberry-flavoured lip gloss Taeyeon used.

Because of her recent hectic schedules and Taeyeon’s constant travelling, Jessica missed spending time with Taeyeon. She missed those mornings where they would wake up together and get ready for work, those evenings where they would share a nice home-cooked meal at home, or be lounging in front of the television, cuddling each other. She tried not to think of how she was going to spend the next two weeks without Taeyeon.

———

Day One

Buzz buzz

Jessica got up from her seat in her home office and walked towards the door.

Who could it be? Jessica thought to herself.

“Flowers for Miss Jessica Jung. Please sign here, thanks.” A courier service man was standing outside Jessica’s apartment, holding a large bunch of lilies.

Jessica shut the door behind her and looked for a vase to place the lilies. She found a small card attached to the wrapper and opened it.

Missing your touch, smile and laughter.

Jessica couldn’t figure out the sender of the flowers since there was no sign off on the card and the text was printed. Jessica placed the vase on the dining table and made herself a cup of coffee.

Just then, her phone beeped. She picked it up and read the message.

Have you received the lilies I sent? J – TY

Yes, they’re beautiful. Taeng Q! *muak* – J

 

Rem to take ur meals regularly. See ya in 12 days. CCK. – TY

 

Yes dear naggy Taeyeonie. Luv u too – J

Jessica couldn’t help but smile to herself as she admired the flowers while drinking her coffee.

Author’s note: CCK refers to cotton candy kisses. Originated from Part 1 of the story  > We Meet Again

Day Three

Jessica heard some muffled voices outside her office. She looked up from her paperwork, wondering what the commotion was about. The next moment, Tiffany barged into Jessica’s office and handed the bouquet of roses to her.

“Jessi! Someone sent you flowers! So romantic!” Tiffany exclaimed.

“Gosh Tiff, next time please knock the door first before you barge in like that.”

“It must be Taeyeon! She’s so sweet! How I wish I can meet someone like her.” Tiffany continued, obviously ignoring her best friend’s comment.

“You seem more excited than me. I’ll know who the sender is when I look at the card.” Jessica replied.

“Okay, shall leave you alone to admire the flowers.” With that, Tiffany skipped out of Jessica’s room.

Jessica sniffed the wonderful aroma of the roses and opened the card eagerly.

A little something to let you know that you’re on my mind and in my soul.

The next instant, her desk phone rang.

“Hello, Jessica speaking.”

“Hello, this is Yong Sun. I hope you like the flowers I sent.”

“Oh, the roses are from you? Thank you. What’s the occasion?”

“Oh, nothing. I saw this beautiful bunch of roses and just had to send them to an even more beautiful you. Would you like to have dinner together?”

“Erm…” Jessica hesitated.

“Taeyeon’s not in town right? It would be boring to have dinner alone. Don’t worry, it’s only dinner. Nothing else.”

“Oh…okay then….”

“We can go to the Korean BBQ restaurant near our office. I’ll swing by at 6.30pm.”

Day Six

“Hey Yong Sun, sorry I won’t be able to make it for dinner tonight. I just sprung a leak in my kitchen. Trying to get a plumber to come to my house and get it fixed.”

“Do you need my help? I know a little bit about plumbing. It’s a Friday and it may not be easy to get a plumber to your house anytime soon. I’ll hop on a cab and swing by shortly.”

Buzz Buzz

Jessica went to open the door. Yong Sun was standing outside her apartment, dressed in a crisp white shirt and a pair of denim jeans.

“Did you turn off the water?” he asked, as she led him to the kitchen.

“No, I’m not too sure where the water valve is.”

“It’s alright, I’ll look for it.” Yong Sun rolled up his sleeves and slipped under the kitchen sink. There was a steady stream of water flowing from the sink and towels were all over the floor. Moments later, he managed to turn off the water supply.

“There you go. You’ll need to get a plumber to your house tomorrow morning to fix it.” Yong Sun emerged from under the sink with a broad smile on his face. His shirt was soaked and his jeans were wet. Jessica could see the taut muscles and chocolate abs through the now-translucent fabric and looked away shyly.

“Thank you very much. I’m sorry for causing so much trouble. Erm…I know it sounds improper but perhaps it might be a good idea to dry off your shirt and pants, else it can be quite uncomfortable eating dinner in wet clothes. I’ve a dryer at the laundry room. I’ll get you a towel.”

Yong Sun stepped into the bathroom to change out of his clothes. He stepped out of the bathroom, holding his shirt and jeans in his hands, and with the Toy Story 3 towel wrapped around his waist. His naked upper body was a sight to behold.

Jessica quickly took the wet clothes from him and threw them into the dryer. She couldn’t help giggling at the sight of a grown man wrapped in the cartoon towel.

“Let’s order pizza instead,” Jessica suggested. Yong Sun nodded in agreement.

Both of them sat next to each other on the couch in the living room. Jessica turned the television on and the famous pottery scene from the movie ‘Ghost’ came on. She blushed and quickly switched the channel. National Geographic was next and it featured how animals mated in the wild.

Yong Sun chuckled and took the remote from Jessica’s hand. “Let me do it.” He punched in a few digits and ESPN sports appeared.

“I suppose this is a better choice?” he grinned.  Jessica nodded sheepishly.

The pizza arrived shortly and Jessica paid for it. “Take it as my fees for your plumbing services.” Jessica brought out a red wine from the chiller and poured it into two glasses.

They sat at the dining table, chatting about nothing in particular. Just two lonely souls enjoying each other’s company on a Friday evening. Throughout the whole conversation, Jessica tried to avoid looking at Yong Sun’s half naked body.

“How time flies. It’s already ten pm. I’m hope my clothes didn’t shrink too much by now.” Yong Sun joked.

“Oh, it’s my fault. I’ve been too engrossed in our conversation and forgotten about your clothes. Let me get them for you.”

“Are you free tomorrow? Would you like to go cycling at the Han River? I heard there’s a scenic track near Yeouido and Banpo Bridge,” Yong Sun casually asked as he stepped out of the bathroom, fully dressed.

“Sure, I would love to. It has been a long while since I last cycled. Would be good to get a workout. I’ll swing by to pick you up at four pm tomorrow.”

Yong Sun stood outside the door. “Thanks for the pizza.” He suddenly leaned forward and kissed her.

“See you tomorrow.” Yong Sun turned around and left.

Jessica leaned against the door, her heart still pumping rapidly from that quick kiss. She closed the door and sat down on the couch. She looked up and saw a photo of a dorky Taeyeon smiling mischievously. A sudden pang of guilt came to her. She wondered if she should still meet Yong Sun tomorrow evening.

 

It should be fine right? Since we’re only going cycling. If only the kitchen sink didn’t leak, he wouldn’t need to appear at my place.

Jessica picked up her mobile phone from the bar counter and dialed Taeyeon’s number. No one picked up the call.

Ahh…it’s past midnight in Melbourne. She’s probably asleep.

She grabbed some clothes and went to take a shower. Just as she was taking off her clothes, her mobile phone rang.

“Hey baby! You called? What are you doing now?”

“Taeyeonie, are you sleeping already? I’m about to take my shower.”

“No no! I just got back from a party organized by one of the magazines. The DJ at the party was awesome! He played a few remixes of popular K-Pop songs. Hammie and I were busy dancing to the beats.”

“I can’t imagine my dorky Taeyeonie dancing. Did you managed to pick up some dance moves? Were there any good looking people around?”

“Oh yes! Hammie says I look like a robot. The fashion stylist was trying to teach me the latest dance moves. Most of the people are very tall and skinny! I’m so envious of their height. I feel like a dwarf standing among them. There are many beautiful people around. Those Australians have such sharp features. But don’t worry, my heart’s still with you. You’re my everything, remember?”

Jessica felt an ache in her heart when she heard Taeyeon’s last sentence. She hesitated for a few seconds before replying, “Of course I remembered. Go shower and sleep early. You must be really exhausted.”

“Yup yup! You go shower too. I can smell you all the way from Melbourne! Imagine the both of us showering together under the same sky.”

“Yikes, stop being so cheesy Taeyeonie. My hands and feet are curling up.”

“No I won’t stop coz I know you love it. Good night Baby! I’ll be busy for the whole of tomorrow. Probably call you on Sunday morning instead okay?”

“I miss you, Taeyeonie. Come back soon.”

“Aww…I miss you too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is what you told me, so you better be prepared for a double dose of cheesiness when I get back!”

Day Seven

“You don’t mind I call Tiffany along right?” Jessica asked.

“Hi ladies, I’m fine. The more the merrier.” Yong Sun said as he got into the back seat of the car.

The trio reached Han River and went to a nearby bicycle rental shop.

“Jessi, I want that pink bicycle!” Tiffany squealed upon seeing a bicycle in her favourite colour. She ran towards the bike and sat on it, ringing its bell.

“Tiff, sometimes I wonder who’s a bigger kid, Taeyeon or you.”

There were many joggers and cyclists along Han River. Some people were walking their dogs while others were flying kites. The trio rode leisurely along the cycling track, taking in the beautiful Seoul scenery. Sensing that Jessica was slower than Tiffany, Yong Sun intentionally slowed down and rode beside her to keep her company.

“I’m tired, let’s take a break at the pavilion over there.” Tiffany yelled and sped up towards the pavilion.

“Tiffany sure is full of energy! Last one to reach the pavilion buys drinks for everyone!” Yong Sun teased.

Jessica gathered all her strength and pedaled as fast as she could. She didn’t want to be the last one to arrive.

In the end, Yong Sun was the last to arrive. “Ah, I must admit, my energy level isn’t as good as before. Time to hit the gym. What drinks would you ladies like? I’ll go get them.” He took down their orders and went off to the nearby convenience store.

“Jessi, it’s very obvious he likes you.” Tiffany said in a serious tone.

“Really? What made you say that?” Jessica asked.

“Jessi, I’m sure you can feel it too. Look at the way he treats you in the office. He’s exceptionally helpful towards you. Okay, let’s talk about just now. Did you realize he intentionally slowed down to accompany you coz you couldn’t catch up? Did you realize he stopped for a while to give you a head start, so that you would not be the last one to arrive at this pavilion?” Tiffany said simply.

“Tiff, to be honest, I can feel the attention he’s showering on me. I’m getting a bit worried about it. He knows that I’m with Taeyeon but he still comes right at me.”

“You gotta make it clear to him that you’re taken, unless you’re saying you have a change of heart.”

“Most definitely not. My heart is with Taeyeonie and no one else.” Jessica said firmly.

“Good, you better not break that kid’s heart. It took the both of you so much effort to be together. You’re her life and soul. By the way, I saw him leaving with you a few evenings ago. You had dinner with him?” Tiffany lectured.

“Yes, it’s just a casual dinner. I was bored. Taeyeonie’s away for two weeks and it happened you were busy that evening, so I just went out with him.”

“I’m not trying to interfere with your personal life, but do be mindful and don’t send out the wrong signals to him.”

Yong Sun appeared at the pavilion, holding a bag of drinks and snacks.

Yong Sun looked from one girl to another. “What are you girls talking about? The tension in the air is so thin, I could slice it with a knife.”

“Nothing, Tiff’s just being a nag as usual.” Jessica said with a giggle.

“Ah, Tiffany’s usually the boisterous type. No wonder she’s the Public Relations head in Jung Enterprises,” Yong Sun joked.

After replenishing their energy, the trio cycled to Banpo Bridge to watch the jets of water dancing to the beat of the music. Yong Sun sat between the two girls and offered them some chips. He passed Tiffany a packet of orange juice and offered to help Jessica with hers.

Jessica felt Tiffany shooting evil glances at her. She took the packet from Yong Sun and poked the straw herself. After the end of the last song, the trio cycled back to the bicycle rental shop and headed for dinner.

Dinner was a quick affair as the two girls were rather worn out after cycling. Jessica was thankful that Yong Sun and Tiffany did most of the talking.

Jessica’s phone rang during dinner. She took a look at the caller id and excused herself from the table.

Tiffany took the opportunity to drop hints to Yong Sun. “Ah, that must be Taeyeon on the line. Just look at that smile she had on her face. Knowing her for so long, I’ve never seen her smile that way before, except when she’s with Taeyeon. Their love for each other is boundless.”

“Oh really? Maybe she hasn’t met any other better guys around yet.” Yong Sun remarked sarcastically.

“Wanna bet? Loser foots the bill for dinner.”

Just then, Jessica walked into the restaurant.

“Was it your dorky Taeng?” Tiffany asked.

“Haha, yes. I didn’t expect her to call today. She said she was busy and would only be able to call tomorrow morning. Guess she wanted to surprise me.” Jessica blushed.

Tiffany shot Yong Sun a ‘see-I-told-you-so’ look.

Once the trio finished their dinner, Tiffany linked arms with Jessica and zipped out of the restaurant.  “Thanks for the dinner, Yong Sun!” she exclaimed on the way out.

Day Nine

 

Late one evening at Jung Enterprises, Jessica had decided to pack up and leave for the day. She bumped into Yong Sun who was standing outside her office.

“What a coincidence, I’m leaving too. How about going out for dinner?” Yong Sun offered.

Tiffany’s words echoed in her mind. “No thanks, I’ve an appointment with a friend. See you tomorrow.” Jessica smiled politely and left.

Day Ten

Yong Sun stood by Jessica’s office door, looking at the woman who was busy signing some documents. “Hey Jessica, I discovered a nice steakhouse near Sinsa-dong. Shall we go there for dinner tonight? I wanna repay you for that wonderful dinner you treated me the last time.”

“Thanks for the offer but I have an appointment with a client later, so I won’t be able to join you.”

“I’ve just checked with your secretary and she said you have no more appointments for the rest of the day. I’m sure you must have gotten the date wrong.” Yong Sun persisted.

“Oh it’s…” Jessica paused, trying to think of an excuse.

“It’s a last minute arrangement!” Tiffany pushed Yong Sun aside and bounced into Jessica’s room.

She walked briskly towards Jessica and pulled her up from her seat.

“Come on, Jessi! We’re running late. We can’t let this important client wait. Bye Yong Sun!” Tiffany dragged her friend out of the office before Jessica could say anything. Jessica was thankful for her friend who came in a nick of time. She was running out of excuses to reject Yong Sun’s dinner invitations.

Day Eleven

Buzz Buzz

Jessica dragged her feet towards the door. She was having a fever and left the office just before lunch to rest at home.

“Who’s that?”

“It’s Yong Sun.”

Jessica reluctantly opened the door. “How did you know I’m home?”

“I asked your secretary and she told me you were not feeling well and had gone home. Have you seen a doctor yet?”

“No. I just popped some pills. It’s just a common cold. I’ll be better after some rest.” Jessica was sniffing away, with a bunch of tissues in her hand.

“Aren’t you inviting me? You probably haven’t eaten anything yet. I brought porridge for you.”

Jessica sighed and opened the door to let Yong Sun in. He went to the kitchen and scooped out the fish porridge into a bowl. He brought it to the bedroom where Jessica was resting. He wanted to feed her but Jessica refused. She took the spoon from him and ate a few mouthfuls of porridge on her own. He took a seat on a nearby stool and propped his arms on the bed, next to Jessica.

With Yong Sun’s eyes constantly on her, Jessica felt very uneasy as she ate the porridge. Just then, the doorbell rang.

Buzz Buzz

“I’ll get the door. You stay here and finish your porridge.”

Yong Sun opened the door and saw Tiffany standing outside with a surprised look on her face.

“Hello Tiffany. Jessica’s resting in the bedroom.”

“Why are you here?” Tiffany questioned, eyeing Yong Sun suspiciously.

What’s this guy doing at Jessi’s apartment? At least he’s fully dressed.  Tiffany thought to herself.

“I wanted to ask her out for lunch but her secretary told me she’s not feeling well. So I decided to visit her.” Yong Sun replied.

“You can go now. I’ve taken half day’s leave to accompany Jessi.” Tiffany said curtly.

“You don’t have to be rude to a visitor. I’m being concerned about my boss,” scowled Yong Sun.

“Yea yea…whatever.”

Yong Sun followed Tiffany to Jessica’s room. “Goodbye Jessica. I’ll take my leave. Please take care. Remember to finish your porridge. If you’re still not feeling well tomorrow, don’t come to work. I’ll update you if there’re any important matters.”

“Thanks. Goodbye.” Jessica said weakly.

Once Yong Sun left, Tiffany sat on the bed beside her good friend and watched her finish her porridge.

“How does he know where your apartment is?”

“He insisted on sending me home once after a late night in the office.”

“I dunno what sort of sneaky ideas he has up his sleeves. As your best friend I’m telling you this, a few of us at the office don’t like him. He’s pretty arrogant and commands us around, as if he’s the boss. On a few occasions, he has even delegated his job to the admins! Nonetheless, I don’t talk to him unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“Oh really? He doesn’t behave like that in front of me and I’ve never heard anyone complaining about him.” Jessica commented.

“Jessi, has the fever roasted your brains? You’re the boss in this company. What makes you think your staff would come around and gossip about him? You’re also his boss. Obviously he would try all ways and means to impress the President’s daughter. Afterall, he does have the goods.”

A visual of Yong Sun’s half naked toned body came into Jessica’s mind. She mentally pushed it away.

“It’s unacceptable if he pushes his job to others when he’s supposed to be the one in charge of doing it. This is being very irresponsible.”

“Anyway, I’m not trying to tell tales behind his back. You should know what kind of person I am. I just find that he’s too much at times. Sorry for bogging you such office affairs when you’re down with such a bad cold.”

“It’s alright. That reminds me, we ought to arrange for a get together session with the staff. Good opportunity to hang out with them and get to know them better in a casual environment. Can you arrange something for me next week?”

“Arranging for parties is my forte! You can count on me.” Tiffany flashed her killer eye smile.

“Yes yes, that’s why you’re the head of Public Relations. Oh ya, don’t tell Taeyeon I’m sick, else she’ll surely be worried.”

“Okay okay. I’ll be working from your home office. If you need anything, just yell. Have a good rest.” Tiffany helped Jessica lie down on the bed and pulled the quilt over her. She took Taeyeon’s favourite peas and placed it by the side of Jessica.

“Here’s your Taeng replacement. Go hug it and sleep. Sweet dreams, Jessi.”

Jessica hugged the peas and smiled as she dozed off from the effects of the cold medication.

Day Twelve

“Baby baby baby! Can you see me? Can you hear me?” Taeyeon’s child-like voice echoed throughout the room.

“Yes I can. Calm down. You don’t have to shout.” Jessica was giggling when she saw the older girl waving her arms around in front of the web camera.

“You look a little pale. Are you feeling okay or is it the problem with the web camera?” Taeyeon asked in a concerned tone.

“I think it’s my table lamp, let me push it away. There, is it better now?”

“Yes yes! You look much better now! I can see your pretty face!” The volume of Taeyeon’s voice hadn’t decreased.

“Are you saying I look pretty in dim light only?” Jessica teased.

“Nooooo! I meant…you…the lighting…Aish! You know what I mean!” Taeyeon exclaimed in exasperation.

“Teehee! I love it when you get angry like that.” Jessica smiled and winked at the web camera.

“Aww…you’re so mean! I’m not gonna buy you any presents from Melbourne.” Taeyeon threatened.

“She has already bought you loads of stuff! Now she has difficulty fitting them into her luggage!” Seungyeon yelled in the background.

Jessica couldn’t help but burst out laughing. She saw Taeyeon left her seat and chased Seungyeon around the room.

Taeyeon soon sat back down again and stared at the screen. “Baby, I’m gonna have to log off soon. The hotel internet charges are sky high and I need to continue packing my stuff. I’m glad you’re looking as beautiful as ever. Don’t forget to pick me up from the airport tomorrow night! Love you till the end of time.” Taeyeon leaned forward and kissed the laptop screen, leaving some wet marks on it.

“Ewww! That’s my laptop, you silly girl! Buy me a brand new one!” Seungyeon yelled.

“Love you too sweet heart. Good night.” Jessica made a heart sign with her hands over her head and ended the video call.

That night, Jessica slept soundly with a smile on her face.

Day Thirteen

Taeyeon and Seungyeon were at a Korean seafood restaurant in Melbourne having dinner after a long day of shoot.

“Wow the fish soup’s really good. Their grilled shellfish rocks! Let me take a photo to show my baby.” Taeyeon took out her mobile phone and snapped a few pictures of the seafood spread.

“Talking about your baby, she’s on television now. I must say she looks damn gorgeous. You’re one lucky fellow, Taeng.”

‘Jessica Jung, the General Manager of Jung Enterprises is at the opening of the Times Square, the latest megamall to open in Seoul. She’s accompanied by the Senior Operations Manager Park Yong Sun. She looks stunning in the pink Lemona cocktail gown. Mr Park is wearing a black Armani suit with a white shirt, looking really smart. The two of them look very compatible together.’

Taeyeon couldn’t take her eyes off the beauty who was walking along the red carpet at the opening of Times Square. The only eye sore was that Jessica linked arms with Yong Sun and that guy was smiling from ear to ear, as if she was his girlfriend.

“Sigh… must the host add that line? She doesn’t belong to Yong Sun, she’s mine. I should have been there tonight. What an unfortunate timing,” Taeyeon grumbled.

“Oh come on, it’s not like you can predict your assignments. Anyway, Times Square called you at the last minute to inform you of the opening, way after you’ve accepted this job. Regarding that host’s remark, it’s probably part of his speech, not like they’re going out for real,” Seungyeon explained. She couldn’t help but chuckle when she looked at Taeyeon’s face. Taeyeon was practically staring at the television screen with her mouth wide open.

‘Miss Jung, would you like to say a few congratulatory words to the owners of Times Square?’

 

‘Jung Enterprises is proud to be one of the partners for Times Square. We wish them a roaring success for the years to come.’

Jessica looked straight at the camera, flashed a brilliant smile and waved, as if it was only meant for Taeyeon.

 

‘Thank you Miss Jung, we wish you and Jung Enterprises all the best too. Next we have …’

“Baby, cotton candy kisses to you.” Taeyeon blew imaginary kisses towards the television, feeling like she’s on cloud nine. “Can’t wait to get home tomorrow.”

“Oh my, you are so cheesy. Happy now? Quick finish the food and have an early night. It’s a long flight home tomorrow.”

Seoul
“Jessica, here’s your red wine. Looks like all the big shots are present at tonight’s Times Square opening.” Yong Sun took a seat beside Jessica. Earlier on, Jessica was busy shaking hands and making small talk with the various directors of other companies. She decided to rest her legs and took a seat at one of the couches near the bar counter.
“Thank you. Indeed, it’s a good chance to do some networking as well. Go get yourself more drinks or go to the dance floor. You don’t have to hang around with me, I’m fine sitting here by myself.”

Jessica felt her phone vibrate and took it out of her clutch bag to see the sender of the message. She grinned as she typed a reply to the sender.

“Judging from your facial expression, it must be Taeyeon. Why didn’t she come along today? I thought she would be invited as well since she did the interior shots for the mall.”

“Ah yes. She wanted to come but had to turn down the invite due to an important assignment in Melbourne. Sorry, please give me a moment to reply her messages.” Jessica let out a giggle as she furiously typed away on her phone.

Just then, the DJ announced that he was turning up the heat by changing to faster songs. Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With You started playing.

“Jessica, may I have the honour to invite you to a dance? Getting butthurt sitting here for so long.” Yong Sun stood up from his seat and extended his arm.

“Sure.” Jessica placed her hand onto Yong Sun’s as he led the way to the dance floor.

Jessica and Yong Sun grooved to the music as the DJ played a remixed version of the song to turn up the heat on the dance floor.

Oh I wanna dance with somebody

I wanna feel the heat with somebody

Yeah I wanna dance with somebody

With somebody who loves me

All Jessica had in mind was Taeyeon and she couldn’t wait to see her tomorrow evening.

———

“I insist on sending you home. It’s dangerous for a lady like you to take a taxi by yourself since it’s so late.” Yong Sun accompanied Jessica to the taxi stand.

“I’m fine and it’s not the first time I’m going home so late. Moreover I only had two glasses of red wine. You better get going since your place is further than mine.”

“Nah, I insist,” said Yong Sun firmly.

During the taxi ride to Jessica’s apartment, Yong Sun tried to initiate small talk but he was often met with monosyllabic answers from Jessica. Jessica had a long day at work and all she wanted to do was to rest on her way home in the taxi.

They arrived at Jessica’s apartment block. Yong Sun insisted on sending her right to the door step. Jessica could only shrug her shoulders and let him follow her to her apartment.

“Thanks for sending me home. Good night,” Jessica said as she tapped the keypad to unlock the door.

“Not inviting me in for a cup of hot coffee to freshen up?” Yong Sun smiled and placed his hand on the door to prevent it from closing.

Jessica was reluctant but tried not to show it. She put on a smile and invited Yong Sun in.

“Have a seat while I make you a cup of coffee,” Jessica pointed to couch at the living room.

“Sure, thanks.” Yong Sun walked around the cosy living room, looking at the various photographs that lined the shelves. Most of the photos were of Taeyeon and Jessica, while some were landscape and still life shots taken by Taeyeon.

He spotted a photo of Jessica, presumably taken during a vacation, and felt his heart skipped a beat. It was a beach resort and she wasn’t looking directly at the camera. She was dressed in tight fitting white cotton top, a pair of denim shorts, a straw hat and slippers. The warm sunlight reflected off her fair skin. There was a bright smile on her face and she was skipping along the shallow waters.

Just look at those curves! I’m feeling the heat just looking at that gorgeous body of hers. When would I ever get the chance to feel those curves of hers?

A soft feminine voice broke his train of thoughts. “Here’s your coffee. Do be careful, it’s hot. Please excuse me for a moment while I change out of my gown.” Jessica handed Yong Sun the cup of coffee and headed towards the bedroom.

“Sure, please take your time.” Holding the hot cup of coffee, Yong Sun began to explore the other parts of the apartment. The couple’s apartment was simply furnished and kept very clean. The walls were white and furniture was in black leather, giving off a modern contemporary feel. There was a stack of photography and fashion magazines piled up neatly by the side of the coffee table. There were three rooms lined up in the hallway.

Feeling curious, Yong Sun wanted to explore to the rooms. He gently twisted the door knob of a room nearest to him and the door opened. He flicked the light switch and took a quick peek into the room. The walls were painted lilac and the whole room was filled with photographic equipment such as light stands and various props. On one of the walls, countless photos of the happy couple filled the wall from top to bottom. A huge iMac was on a small desk and the table was stacked with various photography books and DVDs. Yellow post-it notes filled almost the entire screen of the Mac.

This must be that dwarf’s room. It’s so messy, typical of her. Sigh, wonder what Jessica sees in her. They’ve such opposite personalities.  

 

He quickly switched off the lights and closed the door. Knowing that Jessica would probably take a long time to change out of the gown, he walked towards the other room at the end of the hallway. The door was slightly ajar. He gently pushed the door open. A large dark brown desk occupied the centre of the room. An Apple Macbook and an empty in-tray were on the desk. One side of the wall had a built-in bookshelf and it was filled with various types of books, ranging from business to novels. There was a metal photo frame on the desk, presumably containing a photo of the couple.

This must be Jessica’s room. Such a stark contrast compared to that dwarf’s. It’s so neat and professional, just like her office.

“Ooops!” Jessica bumped into Yong Sun as he was exiting the second room. Fortunately the coffee didn’t spill onto the tiled floor.

“I didn’t expect to see you here, I thought you would be at the living room,” said Jessica in an unfriendly tone. She hated nosey people and recalled that she didn’t offer him an open invite to explore her house while she was changing out of her gown.

Jessica emerged from the bedroom wearing a pink tank top with grey training pants. Her hair was tied up in a neat ponytail. Yong Sun couldn’t help but gawk at her.

“Sorry, I was bored so decided to walk around your apartment. You look sweet in pink. You should wear more of such colours to work. Ah yes, I meant to compliment you on your gown tonight. It suits you very well and you looked extremely glamorous,” as he inched closer to Jessica, with a sinister grin on his face.

“Thank you for the compliment. I don’t remember giving you an open invite to explore my house though. Shall we go to the living room instead?” Jessica said, feeling a little irritated. She quickly closed the bedroom door behind her, preventing Yong Sun from poking his nose into her private space.

“Shall not disturb you any further. Will make a move now. Have a good night’s rest. Thanks for the coffee.” Yong Sun placed the cup on the kitchen table and made his way to the door.

“Good night.”  Jessica was relieved Yong Sun had decided to leave.

“How about a good night kiss?” Yong Sun suggest with a smile on his face.

“Yong Sun, I’m attached. I remember telling you about this before, even when we were in LA. By now, I’m sure you know she’s Taeyeon.”

“No harm trying my luck. Guess I’m just a step too late. Oh well, good night.” Yong Sun strutted off towards the lift lobby.

Once Jessica finished taking a bath, she made a quick call to Taeyeon. After several rings, Jessica was greeted by a sleepy voice.

“Hello…”

“Taeyeonie, are you asleep?”

“Hey baby, yes I am but nothing beats hearing your lovely voice after a hard day’s work.”

“Did you miss me today?” Jessica already knew the answer in her heart but she always enjoyed hearing the answer from Taeyeon.

“I miss you with every step I walk and with every breath I take. How was your day? I saw you on television earlier on. When God made you, he was showing off. You looked stunning and totally took my breath away. Was that a new gown? I’ve never seen you in it before.”

“How can you be so cheesy even when you’re half asleep? Don’t I always look stunning in anything I wear?” Jessica went on to briefly describe her activities for the day. She decided to leave the part where Yong Sun appeared at their apartment out during her conversation.

“Sorry to disturb your sleep. I’ll talk to you when you get back. Good night and have a safe flight tomorrow.” Jessica made a kissing sound over the phone.

“Why are you being so polite with me? Aww…I want a real kiss when I get back. Anyway, you better go sleep too. You sound very tired. How I wish I could cover you with my love, just like the quilt on our bed. Go hug my peas in place of me tonight. Good night, baby.”

“Good night cheesy darling.”

Jessica chucked her mobile phone on the bedside table and pulled the quilt over herself. She hugged Taeyeon’s peas, taking in Taeyeon’s scent as she fell asleep.

= Devil’s Cry =

A group of around thirty people gathered at the poolside of a boutique hotel in Seoul. A few of them were crowding around the buffet table while others were busy chatting with one another over wine. There was a crew of waiters and chefs busy serving up delicious BBQ food and drinks.

Jessica stood at the mini stage at the end of the swimming pool. Suddenly everyone focused their attention on the stage and there was silence as Jessica began to address the crowd.

“Thank you for coming to the mini gathering. I hope this gives us a chance to interact with each other on a more casual note. Please feel free to help yourself with the food and drinks. No one’s supposed to leave until all the food has been finished. Enjoy yourselves!”

Everyone applauded and the previous noisy atmosphere soon resumed.

“Hey Tiff, thanks for helping to organize this gathering. The location’s great and so is the food.” Jessica stood beside Tiffany at one of the bistro tables. The two good friends were nodding their heads in sync with the jazz music playing softly in the background while enjoying their glass of red wine.

“Cheers to a wondering evening ahead! By the way, where’s that shorty Taeng?”

“She’s meeting a client somewhere in town and would be joining us later. I hope she doesn’t get lost.”

Tiffany’s facial expression changed as she saw a familiar figure walking towards them.

“Oh my, that irritating guy is here again. I better make my move. I can’t stand talking to him unnecessarily. He makes my blood pressure go up almost instantly.” Tiffany took her glass of red wine and wanted to walk away.

Jessica held onto Tiffany’s arm. “Wait, don’t go else he will bug me for the whole night. You know how persistent he is. I don’t want Taeyeon to get the wrong idea either when she appears later.”

“Alright, what are friends for?” Tiffany sighed and stood next to Jessica.

“Hey beautiful ladies, having a good time chilling by the pool?” Yong Sun strolled towards the two of them. He was wearing a white Hermes polo tee with a pair of neatly pressed khaki bermudas. His toned physique could be seen through the thin fabric.

“Yes, it would be better without you around.” Tiffany said softly but it was loud enough for Yong Sun to hear.

“Aww…Jessica, seems like your friend doesn’t like me much.”

Jessica stepped onto Tiffany’s foot and continued, “Pardon her, she had a bad day.”

“Ah, poor Tiffany. PMS perhaps? Anyone care for another round of wine?” Yong Sun openly gawked at Jessica. It didn’t help that Jessica’s pink v-neck tank top was shouting at him through the white loose fitting cotton blouse.

“No, we’re fine.” Jessica replied. She pulled the collar of her blouse, hoping to cover up a bit more. She could feel Yong Sun’s eyes boring through her clothes.

“Babyyy!!”

A short figure dressed in a purple checkered blouse with black skinny jeans came running towards Jessica.

“Ah, here comes your Prince.” Tiffany announced.

Taeyeon enveloped Jessica in a hug, almost causing Jessica to lose her balance.

“Taeyeonie, you’re here.” Jessica smiled as she combed the messy gold locks away from Taeyeon’s face.

“Sorry I’m late. The meeting overran and I had a hard time finding my way here.” Taeyeon looked at Jessica with her puppy eyes and smiled.

“As long as you’re here, I’m happy.” Jessica beamed.

“Gosh, the atmosphere is electrifying. I can feel my hair standing at its ends.” Tiffany joked.

“Ah Fany! Sorry I didn’t see you.” Taeyeon released Jessica and gave Tiffany a hug.

“Ahem…” came a male voice.

Taeyeon’s mood went down instantly when she saw the creepy guy standing at the same table as the two girls.

“Oh hi Yong Sun.” Taeyeon greeted him briefly before turning her attention back on the long hair beauty next to her. The bright smile appeared on her face again.

“Yea, hi Taeyeon. Glad you made it.” Yong Sun said sarcastically.

“Darling, are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?” Jessica asked, her hands resting on Taeyeon’s shoulders.

“Baby, why don’t tell me what you want and I’ll get it for ya!” Taeyeon winked as she slid her arms around Jessica’s waist.

“Oh God! My hands and feet are curling up. Let’s leave these two lovebirds alone, shall we?” Tiffany gestured to Yong Sun to leave but he remained rooted to the ground.

“The rest of the tables are occupied and I prefer the view of the pool from here.” Yong Sun insisted.

In the end, both Yong Sun and Taeyeon went to the buffet line to take some food back for Jessica and Tiffany. At the buffet line, whatever Taeyeon took, Yong Sun took twice as much. She was irritated by him parroting her every move, as if trying to outdo here. The two of them returned to the bistro table with piles of meat stacked like a mountain on their plates.

“Baby, say ahhh…” Taeyeon picked up a piece of BBQ pork with her fork and gently placed it into Jessica’s mouth.

“The meat’s so sweet, thank you darling.” Jessica squeezed Taeyeon’s arm.

“Jessica, here’s some BBQ chicken for you.” Yong Sun poked a few pieces of chicken from the pile of meat in front of him and transferred it onto the plate in front of her.

“It’s okay Yong Sun, I’ll help myself to the food. Thanks for bringing it here, together with Taeyeon.”

“Baby, you have some sauce on your lips, shall I clean it with my lips or use a napkin?” Taeyeon purred, sliding her arms around Jessica’s waist.

“Napkin!” Yong Sun and Tiffany exclaimed simultaneously. Tiffany grabbed a stack of napkins from a nearby table and handed them to Taeyeon.

The couple gazed at each other as Taeyeon wiped the extra sauce from Jessica’s lips using the napkin in slow motion.

“Thank you, darling. You’re so sweet.” Jessica replied in a saccharine laced tone.

“Oh my, my hands and feet are really curling up. You two, stop being so lovey-dovey in public. Mind you, Jessi, you’re at a company gathering. Taeng, control your hormones, will ya!” Tiffany lectured, pointing at the two girls.

Yong Sun gritted his teeth and clenched his first. He wanted to punch Taeyeon in her face when he saw how she was fussing over Jessica. He was furious that Taeyeon made it to the event and ruined his precious time with Jessica.

Just then, the DJ turned down the music and spoke into the microphone, “How’s everybody doing? Time to heat things up a little. I’m sure you know this dance. The best dancer wins a hug and a dinner date with the boss, Miss Jessica Jung!”

“Huh?” Both Jessica and Tiffany looked at each other. Taeyeon almost dropped the BBQ beef she was eating.

“What’s going on Tiff? Did you plan this?” Jessica questioned, glaring at Tiffany.

“No, obviously not! Even if I did, I would have informed you earlier.” Tiffany’s eyes were as round as the full moon.

Yong Sun merely turned around to face the DJ stand and smirked.

Looks like my plan is working. Great job DJ!

The popular tune of LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem started.

A few people in the crowd gamely approached the empty space in front of the stage and started doing the shuffle dance. The rest of the audience clapped along to the rhythm, cheering the dancers on.

Yong Sun walked confidently to the center of the dance floor. Those who were there earlier made space for him. They knew he would definitely be the ultimate winner since he was such a party animal who frequented clubs.

Yong Sun began his shuffling dance slowly and sped up as the music got louder, sliding his feet to the heavy best of the music. True enough, it was obvious he was the best dancer so far. The crowd was cheering for him as he conquered the dance floor with ease.

“Taeng, why are you still standing here? I’m sure you won’t want Jessi to end up giving a hug to that irritating prick right?” Tiffany glared at Taeyeon, who was breaking out in cold sweat at the thought of dancing in front of so many people.

“Darling, I’m sure you can do it. You’ve had some practice in a Melbourne club right?” Jessica whispered into Taeyeon’s ear. She gave Taeyeon a reassuring rub on her back and nudged her towards the dance floor.

Taeyeon swallowed hard and tried to remember the dance moves she learnt from one of the Australian stylists during her overseas assignment in Melbourne. Yong Sun stopped and stared at the short figure as she approached the dance floor.

“Wow, let’s give a round of applause to the renowned photographer Kim Taeyeon! Show us your moves, Taeyeon!” Yong Sun bellowed above the loud music.

Taeyeon stood at the center of the dance floor, looking rather awkward. By this time, Jessica and Tiffany made their way to the audience that was surrounding her.

Suddenly Tiffany shouted, “Taeyeon, Taeyeon, Taeyeon…” The rest of the audience followed Tiffany’s cue and started chanting along.

Taeyeon took a deep breath and tried to block out all the pairs of eyes that were staring at her. Her heart was pumping rapidly as she tried to engage herself with the beat of the music.

Touch right toe forward

Lower right heel to the floor

Touch left toe forward

Lower left heel to the floor

Repeat a few times

Step forward on right with toe pointed in and heel out

Swivel on right sole to bring right heel in while stepping forward onto left with toe pointed in and heel out …

After the initial few awkward steps, Taeyeon finally got a hang of the rhythm and started to speed up her movements. Soon she was shuffling as if she had been doing it for the past few years.

“Holy shit! It looks like she’s floating on air while shuffling to the music!”

“That’s one wicked shuffling! She’s great!”

“Never know she could dance so well! She’s always so quiet at our company events. Gosh, such hidden potential!”

The crowd was awed by Taeyeon’s smooth shuffling motion and cheered even louder.

“Never know that shorty Taeng could dance! And now she’s shuffling! At least she doesn’t look as dorky as I thought. In fact, she looks really cool!” Tiffany shouted into Jessica’s ear, amid the techno beats. “I’m sure he will admit defeat now. It’s obvious who the winner is.”

“Yes, it is quite obvious,” Jessica said with a laugh, visibly delighted at discovering Taeyeon’s hidden dance potential.

“Alright everyone, I want all of you to vote for the best dancer tonight. Remember, the winner walks away with a hug and a dinner date with Miss Jessica Jung, the boss of Jung Enterprises! Please send the person up the stage if you think he or she deserves the prize.” The DJ announced over the microphone.

The next moment, Taeyeon felt a group of people pushing her towards the stage. One of them shoved Taeyeon up the stage and the crowd roared.

“Taeyeon, Taeyeon, Taeyeon…” the crowd chanted.  Yong Sun was fuming mad as he watched a sweaty Taeyeon standing on stage, waving to the crowd. He should have won the dance competition, not that shorty.

“Now that the winner is on the stage, let’s invite Miss Jung up the stage to present her hug to the winner.”

Jessica gracefully walked up the stage with a broad smile on her face. She stood in front of Taeyeon, gazing into her eyes for a few seconds before enclosing her in a hug.

“Congratulations Taeyeonie. Never know you had such a hidden talent.” Jessica whispered into Taeyeon’s ear. “You pick the dinner place since you won. My treat.”

Jessica released the older girl from the hug and wiped the perspiration off Taeyeon’s brows with her fingers.

Taeyeon shot Yong Sun a smug look as she waved to the crowd with her hands in the air.

Yong Sun couldn’t stand the sight of the couple and stomped off.

I will get my revenge some day.

The rest of the evening went smoothly without any troubles.

Jeju Island

“Jeju’s always a lovely place to be taking photos don’t you agree Hammie?” said Taeyeon as she carried her photography equipment towards the shuttle bus.

“I’m sure that’s not the only reason why you chose Jeju for this magazine photo shoot right?” Seungyeon said jokingly.

“Well, it’s just a coincidence that Jessica is having a company event here. I didn’t plan it on purpose,” Taeyeon stuck out her tongue at Seungyeon.

“By the way, I won’t be coming back to the room tonight. Will be spending the night over at Jessica’s.”

“Ya, go ahead. I would be more surprised if I see you around tonight. You two are like magnets, perpetually stuck together. Just make sure you appear on time for the morning shoot tomorrow. ”

“Yes madam! I’m sure your other half would appear really soon. Once love hits, you’ll understand how I feel,’ Taeyeon chuckled.

———

“Baby, are you sure it’s okay to miss the drinking session with your staff tonight?” Taeyeon asked as she stroked Jessica’s hair, occasionally planting kisses on her forehead, brow and cheeks.

“I’ll make it up to them tomorrow night. I wanna have a good rest tonight in order to prepare for my presentation tomorrow morning.” Jessica snuggled up to Taeyeon’s embrace, resting her head on Taeyeon’s shoulders.

“Hmm, it would be such a waste if we let the night pass by so peacefully right? It took so much effort for me to sneak into your room tonight without being seen by your staff. Luckily I had help from Fany.” Taeyeon playfully pinched Jessica’s nose.

Jessica yawned. “But it’s gonna be a really long day for the both of us tomorrow. You have an early morning shoot right? We really ought to sleep now. Taeyeonie, be a good girl ok?”

“No, I wanna be the perfect bad girl instead,” Taeyeon said seductively while sliding her hand underneath Jessica’s tee.

———

The next morning, Taeyeon stretched her arms and rolled over, wanting to hug Jessica. Instead, she felt an empty spot next to her on the bed. She opened her eyes and spotted a note stuck on the mirror at the dressing table. She got up and dressed herself before walking towards the mirror.

 

‘Sorry I couldn’t eat breakfast with you this morning. Last min meeting for the presentation. Will make it up to you when we get back to Seoul. Luv U.’

“It’s only 7.00am, must have been something urgent then? Aish, I better get going else I’ll get scolded by Hammie.” Taeyeon left the room and headed back to her own hotel room to prepare for the photoshoot.

———

“Taeng, you’ve an incoming call from Tiffany. She said it’s urgent.” Seungyeon handed Taeyeon’s phone to her. “I’ll take over from here, you go take the call.”

Taeyeon mouthed a ‘thanks’ to Seungyeon and walked away from the outdoor photo shoot to answer the call.

“Ya Fany, what’s up?”

“Taeng, you were with Jessi last night right?” Tiffany said in a hurried tone.

“Yes, we were in the room the whole night. I woke up at around 7.00am and she was gone. She left a note, saying something about a last minute meeting for the presentation. Did anything happen?”

“She didn’t appear for this morning’s 9am briefing. The presentation was supposed to start at 10am but none of us could find her. I thought she might have gone off somewhere with you.”

“No, she’s not with me. Did you search the hotel? Knowing how easily she can fall asleep at anywhere, she could have fallen asleep in the bathtub or at the gym?” Taeyeon’s voice got louder as she got more worried. She glanced at her watch and the time showed 10.30am.

“Sorry to disturb you. I’ll get the security officers to search the hotel thoroughly. You may be right. She has probably fallen asleep somewhere since she was working continuous late nights for the past few weeks. Will keep you updated. Don’t worry about it. Go focus on your photo shoot.”

“Something happened? You look pale.” Seungyeon asked as Taeyeon walked back to the photo shoot location.

“Sica’s nowhere to be found. No one could locate her since this morning. She didn’t leave any note for her staff either.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure Tiffany will be able to take care of the situation. Let’s finish the photo shoot soon so that you can pop by the hotel to take a look.”

Two hours later, Taeyeon received a phone call from Tiffany. This time Tiffany, who was usually as cool as a cucumber, sounded very frantic.

“Taeng, there’s something I really have to let you know.” Tiffany took a deep breath and continued, “We think that Jessi’s missing and it has something to do with Yong Sun. A security officer at the lobby saw them leaving the hotel early this morning. We’re sending a team to hunt for her now.”

Taeyeon’s mobile phone slipped from her hand and crashed onto the ground. Seungyeon ran over and saw Taeyeon standing in a daze, her lips quivering.

You’re my everything. I can’t afford to lose you. Baby, where are you?

“Are you alright? Something happened to Jessica?” Seungyeon asked, holding Taeyeon by her shoulders.

“Sica’s…missing,” said Taeyeon slowly, trying to digest the information she heard from Tiffany.

“Don’t just stand here, go look for her! Anyway, we’re almost done and I can handle the rest of the shoot. Go now!” Seungyeon picked Taeyeon’s phone from the ground and chucked it into Taeyeon’s palms. She knew that Jessica meant the world to Taeyeon and that Taeyeon would not be able to focus on the photo shoot with the bad news lingering in her head. She shoved Taeyeon towards the direction of the hotel where Jessica was staying.

Taeyeon took a few deliberate steps, then suddenly quickened her pace and broke into a run towards the hotel.

“Fany! Fany! Where are you?” Taeyeon was panting by the time she arrived at the hotel lobby. She saw Tiffany pacing up and down the lobby, her brows furrowed and the phone was plastered to her face. Tiffany was engrossed in the conversation and didn’t notice Taeyeon approaching.

“Yes, yes. She’s about 1.63m, straight long brown hair and big brown eyes. Fair complexion. Likely to be wearing a plain black top with khaki capris, a pair of Toms bronze flats and black with Marc Jacobs watch. Yes, those are the things missing from her room. Please keep this a low key affair. We don’t want the media to pick this up and turn it into front page news. Okay, please give me a call if you have any news. Thanks, goodbye.” Tiffany ended the phone call and plonked herself onto the couch at the hotel lobby. The whole morning of hunting for Jessica had worn her out.

Tiffany felt a pair of small hands grabbing her arm. It was Taeyeon.

“Where’s Sica?! Is it true that creep kidnapped her? Any idea what time they left the hotel? Was there any note from Sica? She’s not that type who would leave without telling anyone. Are you sure no one heard from her at all? ” Taeyeon shot a string of questions to Tiffany.

“Taeng, please calm down. We’ve been asking every single person we know around here, including the hotel staff. All we can confirm so far is that Jessi and Yong Sun left the hotel at around 6.30am and headed for the direction of the beach. Nothing valuable was missing from both rooms. Their travel documents are all intact so this shows they’re still on the island. Can you tell me more details about last night? It may help uncover certain clues.” Tiffany patted Taeyeon’s hands.

“After you helped me enter her room, we were hanging out in the living room watching cable. At around 11.00pm, Sica said she’s tired and wanted to sleep early because she had a presentation early next morning, so we went to bed. I, erm, didn’t want to let her sleep early, so we, erm, had some fun.” Taeyeon’s face turned pink as she related the events last night.

“Okay, spare me the details of your late night fun. Did she mention anything unusual or odd?” Tiffany asked.

Taeyeon furrowed her brows, trying to recall if there were any unusual reactions or comments made by Jessica last night.

“While we were watching cable, she was texting someone on the phone. There was nothing odd about her expressions. Then again, maybe I was too engrossed in that movie that was on cable. She didn’t mention who it was and I didn’t ask as well. We give each other space and respect each other’s privacy.”

“I suspect it could have been Yong Sun. He has been acting a little weird ever since we landed on Jeju. He went straight into his room and didn’t join any of us for drinks last night. That was quite unlike of him since he’s such a party animal. We thought it was because he was tired since he had to help out with the presentation this morning as well.”

“You mentioned about them heading towards the beach. I know of a small quiet hotel near the beach. I was shooting near there earlier this morning. It’s quite a deserted area. I have a hunch Sica might be there. Let’s check it out.”

———

Jessica wrenched her eyes open and squinted. She looked around the unfamiliar surroundings. A rush of panic came over her when she heard a male voice.

“My Princess, you’re finally awake,” said Yong Sun in a sinister voice.

Jessica realized that her arms were bound by ropes onto the bedframe. She struggled to get her arms free but to no avail.

“What the hell are you trying to do to me?!” Jessica shouted. Her eyes were filled with a mixture of anger and panic.

“From the moment I set my eyes on you in LA, I know I had to make you mine. You are such a hot babe. Oh, that curvaceous figure of yours is always such a tease.” Yong Sun’s eyes travelled down Jessica’s face, lingering at her chest. “Why waste your time on a girl? She can never give you the satisfaction I can. Let me educate you on what a girl ought to be enjoying and make you feel complete,” Yong Sun laughed hysterically as he stripped off his polo tee and bermudas.

Yong Sun flexed his arm muscles and grinned, before climbing on top of Jessica. Jessica was a fighter and strong-willed person. She was determined not to let Yong Sun have his way. Jessica tried to kick him but Yong Sun had predicted that move and used his arms to hold her legs down. Then, using his own legs, he gripped hers tightly, preventing her from moving her legs freely. He leaned forward, his face just inches away from Jessica’s. His lips curled up at the ends into a menacing smile.

“Get away from me, you bastard!” Jessica yelled with her might, fighting to hold back her tears at the same time.  “My Daddy made the wrong choice this time. I don’t know what tricks you used to deceive him! You’re going to be in deep trouble for this!”

“My my, you look more beautiful when you get angry like that. Your cheeks are so red, you glow. Just lie back and relax. Resisting would only hurt more,” Yong Sun purred. He forced himself onto her, despite her struggling to escape. Jessica bit his ear as he tried to kiss her neck.

“You bitch!” He gave her a slap across her face as he rubbed his reddening ear. Blood trickled from her lips.  “I’ll make you suffer!”

Yong Sun smirked and tried to kiss Jessica again while attempting to pull her top off. Jessica was a rather fit girl and battled vigorously to break free from Yong Sun but he was able to overpower her easily. He managed to rip the side of the black cotton top Jessica was wearing. Tears streamed down Jessica’s face as she felt helpless. She could only pray that someone would find out where she was soon.

Just then, the door burst open. Two security officers dashed into the room and pulled Yong Sun off the bed.

“What the hell is going on here?!” Yong Sun yelled.

In a split second, they tackled Yong Sun to the floor and handcuffed him. Taeyeon took off her jacket and covered Jessica with it. Tiffany and Taeyeon helped untied Jessica’s arms from the bedframe. Jessica collapsed into Taeyeon’s arms once she was freed. Taeyeon kissed Jessica’s forehead and hugged her tight. She rubbed Jessica’s back, hoping to sooth the crying girl.

“Baby, it’s alright now. Don’t worry, I’m here. Everything’s under control.” Taeyeon was trying to console a distressed Jessica, who was crying nonstop. Her heart sank as she felt Jessica’s tears soaking the tee she was wearing.

“Miss Hwang, we’ll bring him to the police station right away. I’ve told the security at the resort to prevent any unauthorized personnel from lingering around the escape route. You can leave by the back entrance, near the cargo lift,” one of the security officers said.

“Hang on!” Taeyeon shouted. “Fany ah, please hold onto Sica for me. I’ve to settle something before he’s brought away.” Taeyeon stood up from the bed and walked towards Yong Sun.

She mustered all her strength and gave him a tight slap across his face. “This one’s for kidnapping Jessica.”

Another slap soon followed. “This one’s for attempting to do…to do… vile things to her.” Taeyeon felt her voice trembling as she struggled to find a word to describe that dreadful act which almost happened.

She clenched her jaw and gave him the third and final slap across his face.

“The final’s one for not being a gentleman and fighting for a girl like how a real man would if he likes her.” Taeyeon’s palm stung from the impact of the slaps.

By the end of the third slap, Yong Sun was bleeding from his lips. He hung his head loosely and muttered, “Someday, I’ll make sure Jessica’s mine. Just you wait.”

“I’ll see how you’re gonna do that while in jail.” Taeyeon shot a fiery glare at the half naked man who was kneeling on the floor in his boxers. “Security, please send him to the police station now.”

“Taeng, bring Jessi back to the hotel. There’s a car waiting for you at the loading bay. I’ll deal with the rest of the stuff here, so don’t worry about it.”

Taeyeon held her close as she led the way to the car.

——–

Seoul

At the police station, Jessica related the details of what had happened on Jeju Island that morning. Yong Sun had texted her the night before, asking her some questions relating to the presentation they had the following morning. He claimed that he was still unsure about some figures and wanted to seek Jessica’s opinion. As it was already late at night, Jessica agreed to meet him the following morning instead.

The next morning, Yong Sun insisted on bringing Jessica to a café at by the beach, stating that the ambience was good. That café was located a distance away from their hotel and they had to ride a buggy to get there. Once there, they ordered coffee and had a small bite before starting their discussion. The next thing Jessica knew, she woke up in an unfamiliar hotel room. She suspected that Yong Sun might have spiked the coffee with sleeping pills.

The three girls also discovered that Yong Sun was convicted of a molest offence back in the US but he managed to get the case covered up.

Once Jessica’s portion of the case had been settled, Tiffany ordered Jessica to take two weeks off work to rest. She informed Mr Jung about Yong Sun and also helped to arrange for someone to cover Jessica’s duties at work. Mr Jung was infuriated at learning about his precious daughter’s plight. He vowed to ensure that Yong Sun would never be able to find a job in any similar industries.

———

A few days later…

“Baby, baby, baby!” Taeyeon yelled as she barged through the front door.

“Yes darling?” Jessica looked up from her novel. Taeyeon mentioned that she needed to go out for a while. Therefore, she spent the morning reading her novel while waiting for Taeyeon to return.

Taeyeon bounced onto the couch and gave Jessica a kiss. She reached into her bag and pulled out a white piece of paper.

“I’ve booked a pair of business class tickets to the Paris!” Taeyeon waved an airline e-ticket in front of Jessica. Her bag was filled with brochures and travel guides.

“Why choose Paris, darling?” Jessica draped her arm over Taeyeon’s shoulder and picked out one travel brochure from the bag.

“The architecture’s fascinating! There’re various cultural sights and museums for us to visit. You can shop all you want at Champs Elysees. Retail therapy’s the best cure for anything. I wanna visit the Eiffel Tower, drink a nice cup of Earl Grey tea at one of those lovely sidewalk cafes and most importantly, spend my long deserved break with my precious baby,” Taeyeon rattled on, with a huge smile on her face.

“You’re right, we’ve not had a good break for the longest time. Our last holiday was like more than one year ago?”

Taeyeon turned around and kissed Jessica’s cheek. “I’ve blocked out all my appointments for the next two weeks so it would be just ‘TaengSic’ time. Now baby, where would you like to visit?” Taeyeon licked her thumb and flipped through the various brochures that filled her bag.

Jessica turned around to face Taeyeon and wrapped her arms around her neck. “Taeyeonie, thank you for being so sweet and caring. I just want you to know that you’re indeed the best gift I’ve ever had. Every day, I count my blessings that I found someone like you and that I’m receiving so much love from you in return.”

“Awww…I’ll gladly give up my heart, my soul, my everything just to be with you. You know that right?” Taeyeon pinched Jessica’s nose playfully.

“Yes. I know it and I can feel it from deep within my heart.” Jessica leaned forward and pressed her lips against Taeyeon’s.

I am your everything.

Taeyeon pushed her brochures aside and wrapped her arms around Jessica’s waist, as both of them melted into a passionate kiss.

One thought on “Distractions

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