Suzuki, Hinata and Taeyeon were escorted to a small function room in the hotel. Several chairs, studio lights and a long table with white skirting were the only furniture in the room. Two hotel staff stood at the corners of the room while the first media team were setting up their equipment.
The first interview was with a major newspaper. It involved the organizers and the bakers only. Taeyeon breathed a sigh of relief when she discovered that not all the interviews involved Yukiko. The lesser the contact, the lesser the stress. Dealing with the media was hectic, Taeyeon didn’t want to deal with the additional pressure from handling the actress. The three of them breezed through the interview with Suzuki answering most of the questions.
Once the first interview was done, another journalist from a different newspaper entered the room. When the organizers mentioned about back to back interviews, Taeyeon was certain they were not joking.
Taeyeon furrowed her brows as she tried to recall where she had seen the young lady in front of her.
The young lady had long wavy dark brown hair that framed her fair complexion. Her hazel eyes were beaming with excitement and she was twiddling her fingers.
“I’m Seungwan ah, Son Seung Wan.” Seungwan pronounced each word of her name slowly and clearly.
The name rang a bell and the face was vaguely familiar but Taeyeon was unable to recall where she met this person before.
“I attended your Choux Pastry workshop at the Seoul Culinary Academy two years ago. I had blue highlights at the ends of my hair,” Seungwan explained while doing a hair flip.
Taeyeon woke up to incessant beeps on her phone and wondered who was bombarding her with text messages so early in the morning. Scrolling through the messages, a wide smile gradually grew on her face. Jessica was shopping and took photos of what she tried on in the fitting room. Taeyeon rolled on her back and replied the messages with lightning speed, her energy level spiking despite just waking up moments ago. After a few text exchanges, Taeyeon decided to call Jessica. She missed hearing her lover’s voice.
Taeyeon’s good mood was evident when she stepped into the kitchen. Ren was relieved his senpai was smiling as brightly as the summer sun despite the busy day ahead. It seemed she had recovered from her lousy mood last night.
When everyone was present, Suzuki rounded up his team for a meeting and gave a detailed run through on the event. The media embargo was going to be lifted tomorrow and heavy media coverage was expected. Also, the team would be assigned rooms in the hotel (where the event was held) in order to facilitate final preparations. Security would also be tighter during those days and everyone had to carry a photo id at all times. Everyone had to be on their toes and be alert at all times. Suzuki’s reputation was at stake and there was no room for mistakes.
There was a lot of media buzz surrounding the upcoming charity event. So far, the only news released by the event organizers was about the team of award-winning bakers and the charity organization but none about the actress. Everyone was speculating about the actress in question. Several well-known names were thrown up for discussion but the organizers and everyone else involved in the event remained tight-lipped about it. Everyone had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and whoever who violated it would be heavily penalised. In this way, the organizers created hype and aroused interest in the event.
One morning, Suzuki was summoned to the organizer’s office for a meeting. It turned out that the organizers wanted Taeyeon to teach Yukiko how to bake. They needed some footage and photographs of Yukiko baking as part of their press release. In order to ensure Yukiko appear more ‘natural’ during the event, she would need to have prior practice in baking. Plus, it would be more credible that Yukiko put in some effort in contributing to the charity event instead of just making an appearance. This would greatly boost her popularity, thereby gaining more leading roles in dramas and endorsement deals. When Suzuki broke the news to Taeyeon, Taeyeon couldn’t help but suspect that Yukiko had a hand in requesting for the practice sessions. Afterall, Suzuki’s team had more than eight people, so why choose her specifically? Continue reading
The day of the masquerade ball
The school of magic was bursting with excitement and activity. Everyone was busy dressing up and preparing for the event. Chefs were setting the food on the tables while teachers cast various spells to dress the event hall in gold and silver. Boys were dressed in suits while the girls wore glittery gowns. Everyone had a mask and it was difficult to distinguish the face behind it.
The students sat according to the houses they were assigned to and the headmasters of each house at the front of the long table. Within each house, the seniors and juniors could sit randomly, thereby encouraging interaction. The Principal gave a long speech about harmony and using magic in a good way to help the world before everyone could tuck into the delicious feast in front of them.
A week before the ball
Everyone was busy discussing about their plans for the upcoming ball. Some were trying to decide on what to wear, a handful was boasting about which girl they invited and others were just simply excited to be partying instead of studying.
Wanting to avoid the chatter about the ball, Taeyeon decided to head to the library for some peace and quiet.
Taeyeon was walking down a flight of steps when he saw Jessica at the corridor. He had been thinking of how to ask Jessica to the ball but he ended up having brain freeze whenever he faced her directly.
It was the morning of the start of the new semester at school. The teenagers were rushing around the house, washing up and getting dressed. Late comers were punished by cleaning the attic in an old and creepy tower, something no one looked forward to.
Taeyeon and Jessica happened to bump into each other at the toilet. Due to time constraint, they had to brush their teeth together in the confined space instead of waiting for one person to finish first. After Taeyeon rinsed his mouth, Jessica noticed a spot of toothpaste on his chin and casually wiped it off with her finger.
As if lightning struck his head, Taeyeon felt a jolt of electric current running through his body. He hesitated for a moment before thanking Jessica and hurrying out of the toilet. While he was dressing up in the room, Taeyeon could still feel the spot on his chin where Jessica had touched.