Chapter 59 - Awareness
“Ngh…” Yoonshin flinched and let out a short grunt. Yoonshin had never imagined that his eyelids would be this sensitive, so when he let out that sound, he felt silly and distressed. He squeezed his humiliated eyes shut before he opened them again, only to be met with Sehun’s words that threw him into turmoil.
“Why are you so shaken up? I’ll be the one to misunderstand you.”
“Why are you doing this to me? I just want to know why I’m suffering.” Yoonshin questioned.
“Because I feel like it.”
“Isn’t there a better, more substantial reason…?” Yoonshin was cut off.
“I always end up touching you. I could just ignore you, but I can’t when I see you. I really hate this inexplicable, uncomfortable feeling.”
Sehun liked when a situation had definitive causes. It gave legal responsibility to the actor. But the things that continued to happen between the two of them did not seem to have clear causes, which made Sehun uneasy. Yoonshin’s appearance created anomalies in Sehun’s structured life.
“Well, I’m very sorry. But if you hate it that much, isn’t it as simple as not touching?”
“If I could, I would have already done that.” When Sehun said he couldn’t help it, it wasn’t a matter of simple physical contact, and Yoonshin could feel that. Sehun seemed to be expending a part of his emotions on Yoonshin. As they continued to bump into each other, Yoonshin felt like they were becoming entangled in each other’s territories. Despite not sharing their innermost thoughts, they innately intruded on each other, and there was no way to get around it.
Sehun gazed intently at Yoonshin’s fair face, then he rolled his eyes down smoothly like a droplet of water along the younger man’s face. They fell upon the divorce precedents which Yoonshin’s bony fingers were tightly clutching.
“Whatever—let’s end that conversation here. Did you come here to borrow that?”
Feeling Sehun’s gaze, Yoonshin glanced at the cover and nodded. “Oh, yes. I thought I would give it a read. Reading precedents helps when my mind feels cluttered.”
“You’re getting a divorce?”
“I’ve never been married. Are you that disinterested in me?”
“Even if I were interested in you, you think you can handle me? I’m very persistent. I’ll scour through your entire life.”
“I haven’t received your attention before, so I don’t know yet. But, uh… could you let go of me? It hurts,” Yoonshin asked quite desperately, and only then, Sehun stared at the younger man’s wrist as if he had only just noticed it. Sehun’s thoughts were opaque to Yoonshin as he leaned in.
Maybe it was because their distance was too close, or maybe it was because a dizzying fragrance came from the other; Yoonshin felt his heart race faster than usual. His shoulders grew stiff. He was unfamiliar with such feelings—when Yoonshin tried to wriggle out, Sehun rather easily released his grip.
Yoonshin felt a bit defeated that he was freed so easily. He stared down at the red handprint on his wrist before he looked back up at Sehun. Before Yoonshin realized it, Sehun was already two steps back, leaning against the bookshelf across and facing Yoonshin. “How much was the settlement? Why didn’t you report it to me?”
“I was going to once I had all the documents in order. It was 10 times the OP’s offer. They also withdrew their claim. The case isn’t completely over, but the biggest obstacle is out of the way. Thank you for your help. To be honest, my vision turned blank for a moment when that lawyer with so many more years of experience grabbed me by my collar.”
More than anything else, if it weren’t for Sehun, he would have been stuck with a lawsuit that would most likely end with probation. Yoonshin would have won in any event, but he would have ended up awkwardly comforting himself that he did his best despite not being able to compensate his client proportionately for her suffering.
Sehun taught him several things with only one command. Yoonshin was probably drunk on his own grand ideologies. The older man standing on the other side of the river saw Yoonshin through accurately. The law was excellent and grand, but the truth was not. At times, for reasons like having insufficient evidence, the law couldn’t protect the victim for inadequate reasons, and it was a system full of flaws.
Yoonshin needed a different power to truly win. Sometimes, it was the power of authority, and other times it was information from dubious sources, like this case. There were probably many more solutions that existed which Yoonshin never experienced. Sometimes, there was nothing he could do with simply candor to his name.
Yoonshin held back a heavy sigh, and Sehun’s bass voice cut through his useless thoughts. “Fourth-year.”
“Yes, Senior Attorney?”
“Good job.” Sehun’s stoic voice was enough to astound Yoonshin. He didn’t do anything amazing, but this simple phrase felt like a positive assessment for ignoring all his past precedents and only following this law firm’s rules.
While he was fumbling about at the unexpected praise, Sehun cast a sharp glance at Yoonshin and left the younger man. Perhaps he was looking for a book because he walked over to the shelf with commercial law precedents. In Yoonshin’s vision, he saw the older man’s elegant gait, the slight fluttering of his necktie, and his handsome face earnestly selecting the right book, framed by the spaces between the bookcases.
For some reason, he felt an impulse to catch Sehun pound in his chest. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to. With a couple of bookshelves between the two, he simply watched Sehun.
He didn’t know how much time passed. Sehun found his book and was about to leave when Yoonshin called to him without thinking. “Senior Attorney Kang.”
‘Please stay with me… like back then. No, stay longer than last time.’
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