Chapter 41 - Above The Surface
The endless distance between Kyuyoung and Yoongun seemed to narrow.
‘That’s right. Didn’t he say he likes me?’ Kyuyoung thought, recalling his shocking confession. She quickly pushed away the thought. Her exhaustion was shoving her into a pit of despair. She’d uncharacteristically asked him for a favor; had it not been for this situation, she’d never have accepted his help. Now wasn’t the time to be considering the relationship between them.
Yoongun returned with a mug for Kyuyoung, and after handing it to her, he sat next to her on the couch. It was a loveseat, fitted for two, but it was on the smaller size, and their shoulders bumped against each other. Startled, Kyuyoung attempted to tilt her body and put some distance between them, but Yoongun wrapped his arm around her shoulders, letting her know it was okay to lean on him. His touch seemed thoughtless, but the warmth was oddly comforting, so she gave in and leaned into his arms.
A subtle herbal scent from the tea filled the air; it was brewed at the perfect temperature with the perfect amount of concentration. Taking a sip, Kyuyoung revelled as the warmth spread throughout her body. She felt her tension easing. Spotting the blanket slipping down, Yoongun grabbed it and pulled it up, wrapping it securely around Kyuyoung and gently patting her shoulder. Kyuyoung closed her eyes, and allowed the rhythmic patting to lull her to sleep.
* * *
Once more, the call went unanswered and the voice mailbox message began to play. Jihyuk grunted with annoyance and hung up the phone with a frown. He’d sent a bunch of texts to Heeyeon that had gone unanswered too.
Jihyuk had been informed that a complaint had been filed with the police, and the victim had intention to press charges. He was advised by the police officer that it’d be in his best interests to reach a settlement with the victim if possible. However, all his calls to Kyuyoung and her lawyer went unanswered. Logging into his computer, he checked the company messenger and found both Kyuyoung and Heeyeon were offline. He had an inkling that Yoongun Jung might have an idea where both women might be, but his pride wouldn’t allow him to ask.
He’s been forced to come clean to his father about the incident, out of concern that reporters might sniff out the story from police officers. His enraged father had impetuously decreed that if the media or public caught wind of the incident, he would divorce Jihyuk’s mother immediately. This had led to his mother dissolving into hysterics. On top of everything he had to deal with, he now also found himself responsible for comforting his mother’s frazzled nerves. How could Kyuyoung involve a lawyer when it was only a simple matter of their breakup? She was being excessively stubborn.
A buzz from his phone caught his attention. He quickly swiped his screen, only to find that the incoming call was not from anyone he’d been waiting for.
“Yes. Mother,” Jihyuk answered the call with an irritated expression. “Don’t worry. I’ll do whatever I can.” He diligently hid the annoyance and switched the phone to his other ear. His mother’s screeches were soon assaulting his eardrums. Apparently, his father had declared she shouldn’t expect his support, and somehow his step siblings had heard the news. His mother wailed that they were mocking her and Jihyuk, as if mother and son were inferior since birth. However, Jihyuk was only listening halfheartedly; he was more preoccupied and anxious about handling the issue with Kyuyoung. He licked his dry lips nervously.
When he was finally able to hang up the phone, he tugged to loosen his necktie, and frowned. This whole mess started after he got himself involved with Heeyeon Kim. Plenty of rumors had surrounded her since her college days. Some rumors claimed she hailed from a wealthy family, while others suggested she was sponsored by a rich elderly sugar daddy. None of the rumors were ever confirmed, but based on her outfits and accessories, it certainly didn’t seem like her family had any financial difficulties.
Still, it was strange. Her demeanor in public was never vulgar, nor did she wear heavy makeup or revealing clothes. Yet, when Kyuyoung had briefly stepped away when they were together at a café, Heeyeon had immediately moved to secretly seduce Jihyuk… and she was good at it. He could tell she was not a typical woman. If Kyuyoung Seo was the perfect marriage partner, Heeyeon Kim was the perfect partner for a good time. That was the kind of woman she was in Jihyuk’s eyes.
Dialing her number again, Jihyuk felt frustrated when Heeyeon still didn’t pick up the phone. He briefly wondered if he’d been played; had he been arrogant and naïve in believing in Heeyeon’s exaggerated compliments?
And then, of course, there was Kyuyoung. He would have to make a trip to her apartment after work. Despite her harsh and cold attitude, he knew she was kind. He knew she was still trapped under her father’s influence, and with the right method, he felt sure that he’d be able to coax her. Speaking of, what was her relationship with Yoongun Jung? The image of Kyuyoung wrapped in Yoongun’s arms flashed in his mind. ‘I wonder if they slept together.’
Without realizing, Jihyuk licked his lip again, as if he was parched. Heading to the cafeteria, Jihyuk bought himself a cup of coffee; when he turned away from the cash registers, he noticed Yoongun Jung in conversation with a director walking through the entrance security gates.
The man had the same expressionless face, and comported himself in that same arrogant manner, as if he reigned supreme from high up above. A flash of anger surged through Jihyuk. Yoongun had interfered in his relationship with Kyuyoung during this delicate time, not once but twice. The first time Yoongun had disregarded Jihyuk’s presence was that time he’d waited outside Kyuyoung’s building, and he’d done it again when Jihyuk had arrived in a hurry at the lobby yesterday.
As Yoongun and the director crossed the lobby, Jihyuk noticed Yoongun glance in his direction. Their eyes only met for a split second, but somehow, Jihyuk felt overcome with an indescribable sense of defeat.