Chapter 31 - Intent
“You’ve done a few pro bonos here, and you’re doing two right now. It’s not a big deal.”
“But the files I’ve done so far were just rolling around and dumped on me. This one is a pro bono case that you’ve personally given to me. I’ll do my very best so that I don’t cause you any harm,” Yoonshin replied.
Sehun squinted, displeased, then suddenly recalled something and said, “While we’re on this topic, return the two pro bono files to their original teams. From now on, listen to my instructions only, and do what I give you. You’re on my team. You can’t transfer departments without my permission.”
After saying what he wanted to, Sehun stood up from his desk and straightened his back. Then, he coldly walked by Yoonshin, whose eyes were focused on Sehun like a baby bird. Yoonshin felt that the conversation would end one-sidedly, so he instinctively grabbed the other’s arm. The skin of another’s palm touched the older man’s bony and sturdy wrist. At that moment, Sehun whipped his head around.
Sehun pointed an irritated glower down at his wrist.
Surprised, Yoonshin took his hand off and bowed. “I’m sorry. You told me to not touch you.”
Sehun used his other hand to rub off the traces of the other from his wrist that was just released and said, “Did you have questions? I have to go to my meeting. You have 30 seconds to ask.”
“Well, Attorney Kang…” Yoonshin babbled.
“It hasn’t even been five seconds.”
Yoonshin had something he wanted to say, but the other’s hasty countdown made him anxious for no reason, and his mind drew a blank. Yoonshin kept hesitating and then finally opened his mouth to speak. He cautiously rolled his eyes up and realized that Sehun’s sleek and sharp eyes were staring attentively. But for some reason, Yoonshin felt like the other’s eyes were focused on his lips instead of his eyes.
Was that just his imagination?
It had to be his imagination.
But maybe it wasn’t.
“But 30 seconds haven’t passed yet?”
“Is that your question? Time just ended.”
Sehun jutted his chin at the clock and walked out of the room in long strides.
The door closed with a click.
In a flash, the guest was left alone in a room without its owner. Yoonshin tried to gather his thoughts. He had a strong desire to look around this room a bit longer.
Two months ago, when he first went to this room to wait for Sehun, he was so nervous that he never looked around fully. Now that he was alone and in a similar situation to last time, he thought back to when he saw the copy of Great Expectations on Sehun’s desk. He was overcome with an inexplicable impulse to confirm whether Sehun re-read the book because of Yoonshin.
‘What should I do?’ Yoonshin glanced at the secretary’s office through the office door’s window and felt like he was given tacit permission. Perhaps it was because they were preparing for the meeting; Secretary Tak, the office manager, and the office assistant were away from their desks.
Yoonshin hugged the file folder in his arms and checked Sehun’s desk. However, all he could see were two laptops and a few volumes of precedents. The book that he was looking for was nowhere to be seen.
‘I guess no matter how busy he is, he could already be done reading it in his spare time in the last two months,’ Yoonshin thought.
He felt somewhat disappointed for some reason. As he turned to leave, he caught sight of Great Expectations on the bookshelf. Mesmerized, he walked toward it and opened the first volume of the two books. Apparently, Sehun was the type to read books cleanly as there were no underlines or sticky notes in sight. Swallowing back his disappointment, Yoonshin started to return the book to its place.
Plop. A golden ribbon hung from the bottom of the book. Yoonshin tugged it, opening where it was placed, and familiar words filled Yoonshin’s vision.
“And then I looked at the stars, and considered how awful it would be for a man to turn his face up to them as he froze to death, and see no help or pity in all the glittering multitude.”
It was the quote he had used at court.
When he saw that, his face suddenly started burning. He dabbed at his cheek with the back of his hand, hurriedly shoved the book back on the shelf, and ran away from the office. He went back to his room, locked his door, and pulled down the blinds—something he had never done since his arrival.
Only after he was completely isolated, he leaned against the wall, catching his breath.
It could be a coincidence, but all the evidence pointed to one thing.
It could be that there wasn’t a grandiose meaning and simply another famous work of literature by a great man of letters. Regardless, Yoonshin felt funny to think that he made Sehun, who was always buried deep in work, do something.
Yoonshin instinctively thought back to just moments ago, when Sehun’s gaze fell exactly on his lips. Yoonshin bit his own lips.
Why did he feel embarrassed like a secret was uncovered?
The only contact they had was Sehun’s wrist, yet he felt like they had kissed.
Yoonshin let out a long and troubled sigh, then swallowed dryly.
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