Chapter 14 - Undertaking
“I’ll also attend the test then.” Sehun’s tone was cold but ultimately, he obliged Yoonshin’s request.
Yoonshin, who was tense, hesitated for a moment before conveying his sincerity. “Thank…”
But the other turned around before he could finish his expression of thanks.
Click. The door closed.
The back that was eye-catching no matter how many times he saw it soon disappeared from sight. Disappointed as he was, Yoonshin continued to follow the image of the other walking away with his eyes. The older man stopped at the reception desk and began giving instructions to Secretary Tak, and in case he turned around, Yoonshin crouched.
As he was crouching, he picked up his necktie from the floor. He redid his tie, but a sudden feeling of being wronged washed over him. “‘I dislike that even more…’ What exactly does he dislike? Did I make a mistake somewhere? No, I didn’t. He could decide to dislike me after giving me a chance to speak with him.”
After neglecting him for nearly a month, the words that the partner spat out after he suddenly appeared made Yoonshin’s brain a disorganized mess.
The way he got into this firm wasn’t the most honest, and everyone was bound to have someone who they were irritated at, so Yoonshin just thought it was the other being uncomfortable for those reasons. Even though the older man had never done anything wrong to him, Yoonshin also didn’t like Sehun very much, so he thought he could relate.
However, after watching the older lawyer in proximity for nearly a month, Yoonshin realized that there was a lot to learn from the other. The widespread rumors about Sehun were probably exaggerated because according to them, Sehun committed misdeeds daily and drowned himself in hedonism—shockingly, Sehun was actually holed up in his office all day, doing work.
The partner was buried in an unmanageable volume of documents all day, and amid that, he produced opinion letters and reports. On top of that, he devoted a fixed amount of time to meet with the principal lawyers of a file and with foreign accredited lawyers, and he squeezed out even more time to meet with clients.
Moreover, he always came to work exactly on time and worked overtime almost every day. If there were associates on the file, he at least rested completely for two days during the weekend.
‘Maybe he goes on dates over the weekend. Or maybe he’s in a long-distance relationship? He looks like he would have a Korean-American girlfriend,’ Yoonshin casually thought to himself, then paused as he finished tying his tie. As he was about to sit back at his desk, he imitated Sehun, stuck his finger in between the knot, and tried to pull it down. Although he tried to undo the knot as skillfully as the other, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
Meanwhile, all Yoonshin could think about was how Sehun’s skin might have brushed by the same spot.
‘So what if we touched?’ Yoonshin quickly took his hands off his tie and fixed his posture, but he felt a bit embarrassed that he was feeling conscious of another man’s touch.
‘He’ll probably get married to a decent woman eventually, right?’ He couldn’t imagine the other settling down and making a family. Sehun looked like he would treat love as the most useless thing in the world. That made Yoonshin even more curious. Maybe if he was still here around then, he could be invited to the wedding.
As his train of thought continued, he wondered why he was so curious about such meaningless things. Yoonshin rested his eyes on the documents that covered his coffee table. He felt his head spin just looking at the stack of white papers.
“Let’s focus on this first,” he said to himself out loud.
He hurriedly dragged his acrylic board and timer to the table. He decided to hold off on his work for the pro bono file and moved his seat. He divided the mountain of paperwork into the civil and criminal cases and started reading from the pile on his left.
His supervisor said he would judge him, so Yoonshin was thinking of getting the highest possible mark.
* * *
Yoonshin’s neck was stiff after burying his face in his documents all day. He lifted his head and massaged his neck. He could feel how tight his muscles were. To make matters worse, his eyelids slowly started to close.
“I feel like dying.” He glanced outside the window of his office door to check if there was anyone that he could ask to bring coffee, but he sighed after seeing the darkened room. When he checked, the time was already one in the morning.
Time at a law firm wasn’t separated between morning and afternoon or day and night. It was divided by the time a lawyer was at work and wasn’t at work.
It was the dead of night, but there were still places in the building that were lit up. There were merely a few more unlit spaces than before. The seventh floor, where Yoonshin was, housed the firm’s source of funds—it was used by the financial and corporate law teams. The offices were inevitably filled by more senior lawyers, so unless they were at the peak of a case, this floor was darker than others.
On his second day of work, Yoonshin realized that the position of his office was very wrong. Directly opposite of Sehun, his placement seemed to overtake the other senior lawyers in the team.
Senior Attorney Mihee Song instructed this room assignment, so Yoonshin presumed that she decided to take this risk and make a gamble to place Yoonshin close to Sehun. Seeing as Sehun didn’t say much about this arrangement, Yoonshin guessed that perhaps this was also part of his sister’s request. Thus, he willingly played along for now.
“Ugh, I really can’t stand it.” Yoonshin stood up to head for the break room.
Creak. The blinding light escaped the confines of his office through the slightly open door and evanesced into the darkness.
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