Chapter 32 - Intent
Outside the window, it was dusk. Yoonshin got off work past midnight, but instead of going to his cozy abode, he dragged his leaden body to the 24-hour café on the first floor of his apartment.
He ordered a very bitter cup of americano, enough to jolt him awake, and bought a few donuts to pacify his taste buds. Then, he started to study the pro bono file that Sehun personally assigned. He was stuck, trying to understand this case for two days straight. Yet the longer he dwelled on it, Yoonshin’s eyebags grew darker.
The case was about the conflict between a president and manager of a mid-sized company. The manager, a married woman, sued the male president for sexual harassment, but due to the lack of evidence, no charges were laid. Except for the complainant’s testimony, all the documents submitted were insufficient. The situation ended haphazardly, so in turn, the president sued the manager for libel.
‘He must have a reason. Why did he give me this file?’ Yoonshin wondered.
Sehun clearly said that he would only give work that Yoonshin was capable of handling. He wasn’t giving him mere homework—he was teaching him how to work at the firm going forward in general, so Sehun was most likely being genuine.
But the longer he stared at the investigation report for this case, the more he felt like he wouldn’t be able to find the answer on his own. He read through all the documents twice, but it was the same. The accused couldn’t be indicted for the crime no matter how hard he looked.
Moreover, libel was difficult to prove, and yet the president counterclaimed. He clearly had concrete evidence showing that the woman’s claim was intentional and told falsehoods. One wrong move and the client could be driven into a corner and hurt in the process.
“CCTV footage, texts, testimonies from colleagues, chat history… How could nothing turn up anywhere?” Yoonshin mumbled, exasperated.
Unlike other crimes, in the case of sexual assault, if there was no material evidence but the complainant’s testimony was consistent and detailed, there were cases when the accused was indicted. This case was different. All the witness statements excluding that of the complainant were consistent. Most notably, the accused and the other witnesses’ testimonies matched.
At this point, Yoonshin wondered whether the woman sued the innocent president for no reason. However, he needed to believe in this person, so he made an effort to shake off that nagging feeling. But that was all. There was a severe lack of evidence, so how could he demonstrate that his client was telling the truth? He still couldn’t make a breakthrough.
What would Sehun do in this case?
‘How would you save the client, Sehun?’ As those thoughts flashed by, Yoonshin was hit with a reasonable theory. “Is this the second test?”
If Sehun wanted to observe how Yoonshin worked at Doguk, the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Yoonshin was underlining a sentence with his nose practically diving into the papers when he put down the pen with a loud thwack. He looked up, looking troubled.
Yoonshin was sitting in the corner-most seat of the café at a bar-styled table facing a large window. He stared vacantly outside when he suddenly flinched on his stool.
A familiar figure walked by.
“Huh…? Attorney Kang?”
He had just spotted Sehun.
Sehun was wearing casual clothes. The black crew-neck sweater draping his firm upper body and the pair of jeans that accentuated his long legs suited him surprisingly well. He also matched his outfit with white sneakers. Everything he wore seemed to highlight his preference for cleanliness and tidiness. It looked like the snake in a suit had temporarily molted.
The horrible timing that prevented them from meeting by chance not too long ago somehow allowed for the right timing this time. Sehun’s perfectly timed appearance was almost uncanny.
Yoonshin bolted up from his seat and knocked on the window.
Sehun must have felt Yoonshin’s gaze as he stopped his walking and glanced in Yoonshin’s direction. Sehun stared back, so the younger man thought Sehun would either tell him to come out or he would come in himself. If neither was the case, Yoonshin thought Sehun would approach the window, but perhaps he had too high expectations.
Sehun simply stared impassively, then resumed going on his way as if he had never even noticed Yoonshin in the first place. Yoonshin knocked on the window again, but the older man didn’t even stop to look this time.
“Wow, the nerve of that guy… There’s nothing cute about him,” Yoonshin grumbled.
Yoonshin gathered his documents in a rush and returned his tray with his cup and plates to the pick-up counter. Then, he sprinted full speed after Sehun, afraid that he would miss him. After running in the direction Sehun went for a short distance, luckily, he saw the other turning into a darkened street.
He gasped for breath and slowed down to walk beside Sehun. “Hahh… huff… Senior Attorney Kang. Nice w-weather today… hah…”
“Did you gather your things properly? You got out of there quicker than I thought.”
“I moved as fast as I could.”
“Maintain your class. I’ll cut your paycheck if you ruin the firm’s image.”
Yoonshin grinned, telling Sehun not to worry about that. Then, Sehun finally looked at the younger man. He glanced at the naïve, grinning face and frowned, seemingly annoyed again. Meanwhile, Yoonshin caught his breath and observed the other’s unordinary outfit. He carefully asked, “Where are you going at this time of night?”
“Taking a walk.”
“You must be the type to think as you walk. Me too. But the apartment’s park is that way, not this way.” Yoonshin pointed to the road on the left, and Sehun’s eyebrow raised slightly.
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