Chapter 5 – Start of an Unseemly Contract
The face of the woman, who was here to say no, was livid. If looks could kill, then the seething hatred in her eyes would’ve turned him into ashes already. She seemed to know no fear; there was no admiration that women normally had when looking at him. All there was, was pure, unveiled disdain.
Tae-Jun carefully studied the woman sitting opposite him. It was unexpected to see her upset, but it wasn’t as bad as he thought. She had delicate features. Her white face was unusually flushed, and her hands on the table were slightly shaking.
He observed the woman’s hand interestedly. Unlike the smooth hands of the women around him, hers seemed rough albeit with neatly clipped nails.
Is she into hard labor?
Nonetheless, he couldn’t stop thinking of licking the back of her hand where blue veins could be slightly noticed. As opposed to her trembling hands, Hye-Yeon’s voice sounded quite firm. Neither did she waver, nor did she break their eye contact.
“You didn’t think I’d accept it, did you?”
“That’s different from what your father told me, Miss Hye-Yeon Jin.”
With interest, Tae-Jun looked at her red fluttering lips that seemed to indicate she was thinking of something to say. The thought of those lips being all his sooner or later thrilled him.
“There’s something you’ve misunderstood… A mistake,” Hye-Yeon said urgently.
He laughed at her clumsy and urgent tone.
“Something I’ve misunderstood? Let’s hear from your father first what I’ve mistaken. He asked me to call him if you’d come to say something different to what I have settled with him.”
He immediately dialed her father’s private phone, and Hye-Yeon seemed to tense up…
“Mr. Jin, as you said, your daughter is telling me a different story. What must I do?”
In only a brief moment, he pushed his cell phone toward Hye-Yeon without saying anything, her white hands trembled even more than before.
Intrigued, he watched what words would be exchanged between the two. However, from the moment she picked up the phone, Hye-Yeon didn’t say a word. Perhaps Mr.Jin told her just to stay quiet and listen, for her fair face turned paler and paler, and in the end, she closed her eyes tightly.
Hye-Yeon slowly put his cell phone down on the table. Tae-Jun knew by intuition–there was no hope for her.
It was the very next day that Hye-Yeon, who’d returned home wordlessly after receiving her father’s call, contacted Tae-Jun. He invited her to the hotel room to meet him.
Arriving first, he whiled away, sipping wine and playing with a cigarette in his mouth. Not long after, he opened the door at the doorbell, and Hye-Yeon slipped in quietly.
Passing by her, who was standing in a daze, Tae-Jun sat on the sofa, stubbing his cigarette on the ashtray.
“Have a seat,” he said.
She came over to the side hesitantly. Looking at her slender legs stretched under her dress got him excited a little bit.
Tae-Jun took out the prepared contract. Hye-Yeon, who read the contract through with a stiff face, opened her mouth slowly.
“The contract is for one year.”
Tae-Jun made a slight impression. It was enough time to get bored with a woman but was too short for the money he paid.
“Isn’t that too short for the money I would pay to buy Jinseong hotel?”
“I don’t know about that. One year is the maximum that I can give.”
She was calm but firm. Tae-Jun stared at Hye-Yeon’s face trying to read her mind. To his surprise, she didn’t avoid his eyes and continued talking.
“Take it or leave it.”
She meant it. She was not playing mind-games in order to increase her worth. Nor were her words lacking conviction. Tae-Jun was not happy with her half-standing position, which implied she was ready to leave. He hated that he was losing control over her already. He bit the cigarette and lit it up then asked her a question as if he was exhaling the smoke.
“Why just a year?”
“I should finish my degree.”
“Did you say you majored in Western painting? If so, getting my support would be an advantage for you. An exhibition or a gallery, whichever you want to open.”
“I don’t want you to take control of my future with this relationship.”
He thought she was bold. Tae-Jun smoked his cigarette to its end and then opened his mouth.
“All right. I accept your offer, but you have to move in here.”
He didn’t even know why he’d set such a condition on it. He just wanted to keep her by his side. She had to be there whenever he wanted. He didn’t want her to be involved with other men. He had claimed her.
“You are saying… moving in with you?” she asked him back with her eyes wide open. And her, with those eyes, got him curious out of the blue. It was quite tempting to imagine what she would be like in bed.
“I also don’t want to lose out or waste my time. No refusal when I want to, if you accept this condition, I’ll take yours, too.”
Hye-Yeon was silent for a long time. Tired of waiting for her answer, Tae-Jun took out another cigarette. Just before he lit it up, she spoke below her breath.
“Okay, I will.”
Tae-Jun tapped the table and put down the lighter.
“The house will be prepared. Make sure you have nothing to make trouble and move in one week later. Our contract will begin on that day. And when I said making trouble, it includes guys around you. So don’t forget to cut them off before you arrive.”
Hye-Yeon had lost all her pallor. All she could do was nod. Tae-Jun relaxed and shifted into a more comfortable position on the sofa.
“Is there anything else you want? Jewels, designer bags, or cars, just tell me… whatever it is you want.”
Weren’t those what girls usually wanted? Well, he was going to be generous; all he wanted was to close the deal.
“I don’t like the smell of cigarettes.”