Chapter 7 - Red-Handed
As Kyuyoung walked towards the main street, a sedan pulled out from the company parking lot and seemed to slowly trail behind her. It was impossible to see past the darkly tinted windows, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being watched intently.
Suddenly, the car accelerated and hurtled through a large puddle, splashing Kyuyoung’s legs. The rainwater soaked through her stockings. Kyuyoung sighed in exasperation, as she watched the vehicle disappear from view. It was a black Maserati—the same model she’d seen Team Leader Jung drive a few times.
It was a truly strange day. Kyuyoung moved quickly through the pouring rain, making a quick pitstop to pick up takeout at a restaurant and purchasing wine from a nearby convenience store. If only she could’ve put together a proper birthday dinner for Jihyuk. The food wasn’t much to talk about, but Kyuyoung comforted herself that it was better than nothing. No matter how late it was, she wanted to see Jihyuk tonight. Kyuyoung tried his cellphone again to let him know she was on her way to his place, but it seemed he was fast asleep as her calls went unanswered.
As she ascended a set of stairs, suddenly her fingers felt numb and she was overcome with dizziness. Perhaps it was just exhaustion. She couldn’t shake her uneasiness; it was as if her body was trying to send her a warning signal. Kyuyoung felt a gnawing feeling that she had missed something important. Her doctor had given her a clean bill of health during her last check-up over the summer, save for her lack of exercise and irregular sleep schedule, but now her heart thumped erratically.
Nearing the entrance of the apartment complex, something scurried past, causing Kyuyoung to almost drop the wine out of surprise. As her eyes focused, she realized it was only a stray cat, and let out a sigh of relief. The small cat now sat across from her, its fur soaked from the rain, as it watched her and blinked languidly with its pale green eyes. Kyuyoung stared back for a few seconds, before turning to head into the apartment building.
She punched in the code to Jihyuk’s apartment and was about to turn the door handle when she heard a cat wail. It sounded almost… human. No… That wasn’t the sound of a cat.
Entering the apartment, Kyuyoung was greeted with a draft of warm, steamy air. Instinctively she knew what that strange warmth meant. The bedroom door stood slightly ajar, and just past it, she could hear the sounds of a woman’s moans and a man’s ragged breaths, along with the sound of skin against skin. Even the claps of thunder couldn’t hide the sounds of their lovemaking. A bolt of lightning illuminated the living room, and in the brief flash, Kyuyoung could see the clothes hastily strewn across the room. A woman’s blouse and skirt, delicate lace bra and panties, a man’s dress slacks, a white shirt with a lipstick print, and… the necktie that Kyuyoung had gifted Jihyuk just last month. Kyuyoung’s blood ran cold.
“Harder! Ah… Hnnh!”
The illicit lovers were too preoccupied with each other to notice Kyuyoung’s presence. With a grim expression, Kyuyoung picked up the blouse that laid at her feet. It was navy blue, with a floral pattern. She knew the woman who had bought this blouse a week ago. She wondered if the boyfriend this woman had been boasting about had been Jihyuk all along. Kyuyoung’s lips twisted into a strange smile. What an unbelievable turn of events.
“Ahh, haah, right there! That feels so good,” the woman moaned wantonly. “Don’t you—mmh—have to call Kyuyoung?”
“It’s fine. She’s probably tied up with work. You know how dense she is.”
The sounds of their skin slapping against each other sped up as their pace quickened. It was not long before Kyuyoung could hear the two reach their climax. A brief period of silence fell, as the two caught their breaths, followed by sounds of kissing.
As she listened, Kyuyoung calmly glanced around the living room. It appeared the two had spent an enjoyable evening—there was a pair of empty wine glasses and cheese spread laid out on the coffee table Kyuyoung had gifted Jihyuk. She couldn’t help but note with displeasure that several used condom wrappers laid scattered on the floor beneath it. The rug they had purchased together the week before was now stained with bodily fluids. It seemed like they started their intercourse in the living room.
“Should we go for another round?”
“Again? Gosh, really!”
Kyuyoung scoffed at their conversation. The rain, which had been pouring moments ago, had finally slowed to a drizzle. The raindrops now trickled down the windowpane in thin streams; as the patter of rain subsided, the sounds from the bedroom became clearer.
“Are we out of condoms?”
“I think the rest are outside. Hold on.” The echoes of the man’s footsteps were clearly audible as he got out of bed and walked towards the door. Kyuyoung held the box of condoms in her hand, as she watched the bedroom door open. Jihyuk froze at the sight of her. She looked at Jihyuk, before settling her eyes on Heeyeon, who had followed behind him. “Are you looking for these?”
Heeyeon stumbled back, desperately trying to cover her naked body with a blanket. Tossing the box of condoms at Jihyuk’s feet, Kyuyoung glowered at the two lovers coldly, before turning towards the door.
“Kyuyoung. Kyuyoung! Wait!” Jihyuk called out, scrambling to pull on a pair of sweatpants and chase after her. “Wait! Hear me out.”
As Jihyuk put a hand on her shoulder and tried to turn her around, Kyuyoung smacked his hand away and stared at him calmly. “What is there to hear? I think I’ve already seen enough.” Her blood felt like ice in her veins.
“Please, calm down…”
“The one who needs to calm down is you, not me,” Kyuyoung said, scowling at him as she dusted off the shoulder he’d touched.
“Let me explain.”
“I don’t want to hear it. I saw everything with my own eyes. What’s left to explain?” Kyuyoung hissed. She balled her hands into fists to conceal her trembling fingers. “Cancel the wedding. You can explain what happened to your parents,” Kyuyoung spat out coldly.
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