Chapter 4

“Jessica-san, you seemed distracted tonight. Everything’s okay?” Jessica’s client, Mr. Sato asked. He was a young man around Jessica’s age. His hair was spiked up like a Japanese idol singer and he had a tanned complexion from playing golf.

 

“Sumimasen Sato–san, I was thinking about something and probably got lost in my thoughts,” Jessica said. She couldn’t wait to end this dinner and get out of this place which was filled with loud Japanese men. She was the only female present at this dinner with her clients. She would appear to be rude if she didn’t attend this dinner, hence she had no choice but to entertain her clients.

 

“Everyone, let’s raise our glasses and give a toast to Jessica-san. Without Jessica-san and her team in Seoul, our project would not have been so successful!” a middle aged man with white hair proclaimed, standing up and holding his glass of beer up.

 

Everyone in the room stood up and cheered loudly in the private room of the restaurant. Jessica pretended to take a sip before placing the glass on the table. She didn’t feel like drinking much at this dinner function since she had a more exciting plan later tonight. She couldn’t wait to bring Taeyeon to her favourite Japanese bar later.

 

Jessica felt Mr. Sato slipping his arm around her back. She turned around and met his gaze. His face was flushed and his eyes were red and watery. It wasn’t the first time Sato-san attempted to take advantage of Jessica that evening.

 

“Jessica-san, you look very beautiful tonight. Shall we adjourn to a private session of our own? I’ve a car waiting for us downstairs,” Mr. Sato suggested, his eyes full of lust as he leaned closer to Jessica. His speech was slurred and his breath reeked of alcohol.

 

Jessica rose from her seat and waved to get a waitress’ attention. “Sato-san, I think you had a little too much to drink. I’ll get a cup of hot green tea and hot towel for you to sober up.”

 

She felt Mr. Sato gripping tightly onto her hand as she passed him the hot towel. He didn’t want to let go. He caressed Jessica’s palm and his eyes were wandering to other parts of Jessica’s body. Jessica was feeling frustrated but she couldn’t blow her top at him since he was the client. Thankfully, Mr. Sato’s boss, the middle aged man who proposed the toast, came over to rescue Jessica from his wandering hands.

 

Jessica quickly took the opportunity to thank the director for his kind generosity and cooked up an excuse that she had to leave. The director empathised with her and told her to leave.

 

Standing by the main road, Jessica tried to flag down a taxi but all of them had passengers. She glanced at her watch anxiously and the time showed 9.55pm. Knowing she wasn’t able to make it back to the hotel in time, she texted Taeyeon, informing her that she would be late.

 

SMS Conversation

 

JJ: This is Jessica. Sorry, I’ll be late. My dinner appointment overran, trying to get a taxi now.

TY: Don’t worry. Where are you? I’ll come & meet you instead.

JJ: At a yakitori restaurant in Shinjuku. It’s alright, I’ll see you at the hotel lobby.

 

Jessica dropped the phone back into her handbag. She walked along the sidewalk while keeping a keen eye on the oncoming traffic for any empty taxis. There were several other people who were waiting along the same road for a taxi too. Everyone wanted to head home after dinner.

 

About fifteen minutes later, a taxi pulled up beside her. Jessica eyed the taxi with a suspicious look as the top of the taxi did indicate “Hired”.

 

Just then, a familiar smiley face popped out of the rear passenger window.

 

“Hop in!” Taeyeon stuck her head out of the window. She quickly slid to the other side of the seat so that Jessica could get into the taxi.

 

“How do you know I was here?” Jessica asked, with an amazed look on her face. She couldn’t believe Taeyeon had literally sprung up next to her.

 

“You’ve forgotten that I’m a fortune teller?” Taeyeon sniggered. Actually the yakitori restaurant Jessica was at was a very famous one in that suburb and Taeyeon knew that it was quite impossible to get a taxi during this time. Getting a taxi from the hotel to pick her up was the quickest way.

 

Jessica merely stared at Taeyeon with an incredulous look on her face as she buckled up.

 

“So where are we heading to?” Taeyeon asked, excitement building up inside her.

 

“Just sit back and relax.” Jessica smiled and gave the address to the taxi driver.

 

After a short journey, the taxi came to a stop along a quiet main road. Both of them alighted from the cab and Jessica led the way along a side street to her usual hangout place. As usual, the bottle of sake with two cups was served shortly after they sat down at her usual spot.

 

“You must be a regular here. Even the waiter knows your order without having to tell him,” Taeyeon opened her eyes wide in amazement when she saw the waiter placing the alcohol on the table, moments after they arrived at their seat.

 

Jessica merely winked as she poured the warm sake into the two ochoko. “This is my favourite sake. I hope you’ll enjoy it too. Cheers!” Jessica handed Taeyeon a cup.

 

Taeyeon took a sniff at the cup before downing the warm sake in a single gulp. Her face and ears turned red instantly. Jessica couldn’t contain her laughter when she saw Taeyeon fanning herself with her hand.

 

“Are you alright?” Jessica asked, concerned.

 

“Yes. Just that I don’t usually drink much,” Taeyeon replied, stuttering a little.

 

“Ah, you should have told me earlier on that you don’t drink and I wouldn’t have brought you here.”

 

Taeyeon shook her head. “It’s ok. I do drink on special occasions like birthdays and Chuseok.”

 

“So is this considered a special occasion?” Jessica purred, her hand resting on Taeyeon’s thigh. She was trying to test Taeyeon’s reaction and hoped for a good one.

 

Taeyeon didn’t shift her leg. A wide smile crept up on Taeyeon’s face as she spoke, “Yes. A very special one. We wouldn’t have met each other if it wasn’t for the bag mix up.”

 

Jessica laughed, leaning back into her seat. “Indeed, indeed.” She was glad Taeyeon didn’t shy away from her touch.

 

Taeyeon filled the two cups and handed one to Jessica. “To celebrate our special meeting in Tokyo.”

 

Both of them swallowed the alcohol in one swift motion before placing the cup back onto the table. Both women were chatting merrily, drinking sake and eating bar snacks. At times they would be whispering into each other’s ears, as if they were sharing secrets.

 

Distracted by the conversation they were having, Taeyeon didn’t realise that she had exceeded her usual limit of alcohol. She was starting to see stars twinkling in front of her eyes by the time she had her fifth cup of sake. Her body felt very light and she couldn’t quite concentrate on what Jessica was saying. Her cheeks, neck and ears felt warm.

 

Jessica must have told a joke as she was laughing heartily, her hand occasionally resting on Taeyeon’s thigh. Taeyeon felt a tingling sensation running from her thigh to her toes each time Jessica placed her hand on her thigh. She tried to laugh along but her eyes were focused on something glossy. It was a pair of luscious red lips.

 

Taeyeon felt like she was floating on a cloud. Through her clouded vision, she saw a ravishing beauty seated in front of her, smiling seductively and beckoning her with her index finger. She felt someone’s hand under her chin, tilting it upwards. She saw the lips coming closer and closer and seconds later, felt the warmth of those lips on her own. Those lips were soft and moist as she savoured them slowly.

 

“Taeyeon, Taeyeon, are you okay?” Jessica asked, shaking Taeyeon’s shoulders.

 

Taeyeon snapped out of her dream-like state. She realised she had been dreaming and was leaning onto Jessica’s shoulder. Embarrassed, she got up and shook her head groggily.

 

“I’m okay, maybe just a little sleepy.” Taeyeon let out a yawn.

 

“I think you must have drunk a little too much. Let’s get back to the hotel, you’ve got a flight to catch tomorrow right?” Jessica said, trying to stifle her laughter. Taeyeon was puckering her lips a moment ago, as if she was kissing someone in her drunken state.

 

Taeyeon nodded slowly before leaning back on the chair, her arms hanging loosely from the sides of her body.

 

Jessica called for the bill and wrapped her arm around Taeyeon’s shoulder as the latter was walking rather unsteadily. They hopped onto a taxi and made their way back to the hotel. Fortunately Taeyeon wasn’t completely knocked out yet so she could still walk but needed some assistance. With some difficulty, Jessica managed to lead Taeyeon back to her hotel room.

 

“Taeyeon, where’s your room key?” Jessica huffed, feeling a little frustrated. She didn’t like dealing with drunks, especially when she was the only one left to deal with it.

 

Taeyeon was leaning heavily on Jessica as the latter randomly patted her jacket and pants. Jessica felt her heartbeat picking up rhythm while watching the drunken girl hunt for her key. Her face was very close to Taeyeon’s and she could smell the sweet sake from Taeyeon’s breath. Her arm was wound around Taeyeon’s waist to support her from falling. Taeyeon’s soft brown hair was plastered onto her face and she had a rather cute nose.

 

“I…can’t…remember.”

 

Jessica let out a long sigh.

 

She had no choice but to feel around Taeyeon’s pockets to locate her key if she didn’t want to hang outside her door for the whole night. Roaming around all the pockets, Jessica could feel the small waist Taeyeon had. A sudden hot flush shot up to her face. She caught her reflection in the metal room number sign outside the door and saw her cheeks turning pink.

 

Pulling the card out of Taeyeon’s pants pocket, Jessica quickly unlocked the door and led Taeyeon to the bed. With one hand, she pulled the blanket aside before unwinding her other arm around Taeyeon’s back. Taeyeon landed on her back, her limbs sprawled on the bed.

 

Jessica sighed and massaged her arms. She covered Taeyeon with the blanket and tucked in the sides to keep her warm.

 

“Why is it so hot in here? Is the aircon turned on?” Taeyeon mumbled as she struggled to kick away the blanket.

 

Jessica got a shock at the sight of Taeyeon unbuttoning her blouse. She gasped and quickly pulled the blanket over Taeyeon’s body.

 

“The aircon is on. Give it a few minutes to cool down the room,” Jessica hissed, pressing Taeyeon down onto the bed so that she would stop moving.

 

Jessica hurriedly went to the toilet and wet a small towel. She used it to wipe the perspiration off Taeyeon’s face and neck. A few minutes later, she heard soft breathing from Taeyeon.

 

Thank goodness she has calmed down.

 

Switching off the lights, Jessica left the room. The image of a drunken Taeyeon leaning on her body flashed in her head.

Ding. Twentieth floor.

 

Jessica looked up and saw a smile on her face on the reflection of the lift’s doors. She had been smiling subconsciously as she recalled the moments earlier on.

 

It was tiring yet fun.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The following morning, Taeyeon was woken up by the incessant ringing of the phone. She reluctantly rolled over and answered it.

 

“Good morning Miss Kim, this is a morning call. We would also like to inform you that your airport transfer has been confirmed at 1pm. Please wait at the lobby for the airport transfer. Thank you.”

 

Taeyeon rubbed her temples and opened her eyes. She stared at the ceiling, trying to recall what happened last night. The corner of her lips turned upwards into a smile. She slid off the bed and walked into toilet to take a shower to freshen up.

 

While buttoning up her blouse in front of the full length mirror, Taeyeon noticed a piece of paper sticking out from under her passport.

 

Dear Taeyeon,

I hope you had a good rest. Sorry I peeked at your air ticket coz I was worried you may oversleep and miss your flight. I’ve taken the liberty to arrange for a morning call and airport transfer for you. If you already have a transport arrangement, please inform the front desk. Have a safe flight.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                Jessica

 

Taeyeon folded the paper neatly and slid it into her passport cover.

 

Aish, I must have caused a lot of inconvenience to her last night, probably acting like a fool. What a “great” 2nd impression Kim Taeyeon.

 

Taeyeon picked up her mobile phone and sent a text message to Jessica, thanking her for being so thoughtful.

 

I’m sure our paths will cross again.

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