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just love me

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The helicopter starts to descend, and the big H on the rooftop starts to get bigger. As they get nearer, she notices one sole person standing on the roof, and she chuckles a little at how the person’s clothes are fluttering wildly because of the wind from the helicopter. They land lightly, and she picks up all her stuff before getting out.

 

The person on the roof walks to her, and they share a fist bump before entering the building.

 

“How was everything while I was away, Secretary Kim?” She asks while entering the lift.

 

“Same old. How about you, Director Son? Did you manage to get the deal?” Secretary Kim Dahyun asks, pressing the lift for the 10th floor.

 

Director Son Chaeyoung holds up three fingers smugly. “They signed three years with us.”

 

Dahyun nods, not expecting anything else and Chaeyoung huffs exaggeratedly. “Wow, a ‘good job’ would have sufficed, you know.”

 

One would have thought that their roles are reversed, where Dahyun is the boss and Chaeyoung is her employee who’s trying to get a compliment for a job well done. But that’s far from the truth, and the secretary just shrugs.

 

“I will give you a compliment if you get through the shareholders meeting later.”

 

Chaeyoung groans. She would pick persuading difficult customers to sign deals over attending some stupid shareholders meeting any day. At least customers are difficult because they just want to make sure that the deal they are signing benefits them, but those shareholders are just being difficult because they can, because they know they hold power, leverage they can use over her. She had just taken a thirteen-hour flight back from US, and all she wants to do is to lie down on her bed and sleep for a day (if she can even sleep, that is), not attend some stupid shareholders meeting and interact with pretentious people.

 

She sighs, fixing her leather jacket and running her fingers through her hair to make herself look slightly more presentable. “Well,” Chaeyoung says as the lift door opens, “let’s go meet those asshats, shall we?”

 

--

 

It’s five minutes past the scheduled start time of the meeting, but nobody dares to start, all looking at the older lady sitting at the head of the long table, waiting for her to give the go ahead. She looks at the only empty seat in the room on her right, and she sighs internally. Why did she expect anything different from her rebellious granddaughter? She turns to look at her secretary standing behind her, nodding to him. He bows, walking to the podium, tapping the mic, ready to announce the start of the meeting.

 

But the door opens, and a girl clad in leather jacket walks in, bowing before walking to the empty seat beside the old lady. The old lady frowns disapprovingly at the younger girl, who just grins in response, dimples showing as she settles down in her seat.

 

“Director Son, it’s not very nice to make the whole Board of Directors wait for you, isn’t it?” The man sitting on the opposite side of the table clicks his tongue, and slight grunts of agreement sounds out from the entire room.

 

Chaeyoung smiles. “Well Director Lee, it’s not very nice that I have to go to the US to save a deal you screwed up, but you don’t see me complaining, do you?”

 

Murmurs start to rise from the crowd, causing Director Lee’s face to turn red with anger and embarrassment, and the old lady cuts through the noise with the clearing of her throat. “Let’s start the meeting.”

 

--

 

“You didn’t have to embarrass him like that.” The older Son says as she dabs her mouth with the napkin, referring to the incident just now before the meeting. As a grandmother, she’s glad to see her granddaughter standing up for herself, but as the president of the company, she has to uphold the harmony between the staff. That is why she has to remind Chaeyoung from time to time that she has to be less confrontational with her words in the office.

 

“You know me Halmeoni. Kind but not soft. I’m kind, but that doesn’t mean you can step all over me.” Chaeyoung brings a piece of steak to her mouth, beginning to chew loudly.

 

Son Jangmi sighs when she sees how uncouth her granddaughter is. “Eat with your mouth closed. How are you going to get married like this?”

 

Chaeyoung shrugs, she has no intentions of getting married anyway. But she doesn’t say it out loud, not wanting to break her grandmother’s heart. Jangmi shakes her head, continuing with what she wants to say. “Anyway, I have arranged for you to meet the daughter from the Jung’s family. Behave yourself when you are there, and don’t even try to be funny this time.”

 

The previous few times when she couldn’t get out of going for such blind dates, she had thought up of some… innovative ideas to make the other party never want to see her again. One time she drove the girl to the top of a mountain and left her there, and another time she brought another to a restaurant that sells only insects for dinner. Hey, she’s not proud of those moments, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

“I’m busy tomorrow.” Chaeyoung doesn’t even know if she’s busy tomorrow, but she will make herself busy tomorrow just so she can get out of this blind date.

 

“I have told Secretary Kim to clear your schedule.” Damn you, Kim Dahyun. Of course, her grandmother will be one step ahead of her.

 

“Well, I still can’t go because…” Chaeyoung sweats, trying to come up with an excuse, any excuse.

 

“Because…?” Her grandmother narrows her eyes, already preparing to send a knuckle to her granddaughter’s head for her ridiculous reason.

 

“Because I already have a girlfriend! That’s right!” Chaeyoung slams the table resolutely.

 

“Really?” Jangmi raises an eyebrow, doesn’t even believe her for a second.

 

“Yes really! She’s so pretty, kind and nice, you will definitely like her!” Chaeyoung smiles, thinking that she has gotten out of this one.

 

“Then let me meet her, ask her out for dinner tomorrow.” Jangmi leans back in her chair, crossing her arms in front of her.

 

“Er, she can’t make it, she doesn’t stay in Korea, and she’s very busy. Even I need to tell her one month in advance if I want to go on a date with her.” Chaeyoung sighs dramatically, hoping her grandma will finally buy her story.

 

“That’s just in time for our company’s 82nd anniversary dinner. I will see her there then.” This means that she’s not taking no for an answer, and Jangmi wipes her mouth with the towel napkin, looking at Chaeyoung as if daunting her to take her words back, to admit that she’s lying.

 

Never one to back down from a challenge, Chaeyoung smiles, hoping that it doesn’t come out forced. “Of course. I’m sure she will be glad to meet you too.”

 

--

 

Sana usually loves coming to the airport, because it either means she’s leaving on a holiday, or fetching someone she loves. But today, it’s neither, and she has lost count on the number of times she has rolled her eyes as she stands beside a penguin who is anxiously tapping her feet against the floor.

 

“Mina-chan, stop fretting.”

 

“I can’t! I’m so nervous! What if he doesn’t like me in this dress?” Mina whines as she stops tapping her feet, but starts wringing her hands instead.

 

“Don’t worry, as long as your family stay rich, he will still like you.” Sana deadpans. Mina has been seeing this douchebag for a while now, and everyone knows and has been telling the girl that he’s only staying for her money, but the penguin is just so smitten that she refuses to believe them.

 

“He’s not like that.” Mina pouts, not understanding why everyone has such a bad perception of her boyfriend. She doesn’t know why they would think that of him when he has been nothing but the sweetest and kindest to her.

 

Sana sighs, knowing that Mina will never believe her no matter what she, or anyone says. That is why she will just stay by Mina’s side and help her boss to mend her heart when the douchebag finally leaves her after getting all the money he can from her.

 

“Okay, fine. But why do I need to be here too? This is clearly not a work event.” Frankly, she’s more than happy to accompany Mina anywhere because they are friends before she is her secretary, and friends do anything for each other. But maybe it’s precisely they are friends that she can’t stand watching her friend dive head first into concrete.

 

“Come on Satang, this is the only way I can meet him.” Mina pouts. Her parents doesn’t approve of her relationship with him, and that’s why she has to pretend to go out with Sana on a “business meeting” in order to come out and meet him secretly. In dramas, parents are usually tyrannical, coming in between a couple who is deeply in love, but Sana thinks there is some truth and reason behind the older Myoui’s rejection against this guy.

 

“Sweetheart!” A voice calls out from the departure gates, interrupting their conversation. Mina immediately turns, waving wildly and beaming widely as she sees her boyfriend. He gets to them, immediately pulling her into a kiss. Breaking apart, “I have missed you so much.”

 

Mina is bright red from the show of affection, but from the light hit she sent his way and the shy smile on her face, she doesn’t dislike it. Sana rolls her eyes at this flamboyant show of affection, he’s just trying to show off that he has Mina wrapped around his finger, and it just makes her more pissed off.

 

He turns around to look at her like he doesn’t know she’s there, feigning surprise as he greets her. “Oh, hello Sana. Didn’t see you there.”

 

Sana rolls her eyes, obviously not buying his crap. But she still has to maintain her professionalism, and that’s why she bows. “Good afternoon, Mr Kunpimook.”

 

“Just Bambam will do.” He shakes his head, having told her many times before, but the secretary just refuses to budge.

 

She refuses to address him by his nickname because it’s her small resistance, to show that she does not approve of him. Ignoring his words like always, Sana turns and gestures towards the exit of the airport terminal. “Let’s go, the car is waiting.”

 

They reach the car, and the couple get on. Sana leans down to converse with the chauffeur through the front passenger seat. “Takuya-san, please send them to their destination safely.”

 

“Sana, just get on. We will drop you off at your house first.” Mina doesn’t expect the older girl to tag along on her date with Bambam, but she can’t leave Sana alone at the airport like that.

 

Sana’s gaze shifts from Mina to the guy beside her and knows that her decision is set. She doesn’t want to look at him, or even just be around him for another second. “It’s fine Mina, I will just get a cab.”

 

She bows at the chauffeur again, moving away from the car so that it can drive off. Sana shakes her head when she sees Mina mouthing an apology as the car pulls away, and she finally lets out a sigh when the car is finally off. When will her dear friend finally wake up and realize the person beside her isn’t the right one?

 

--

 

“What am I going to do!” Chaeyoung whines as she paces around Dahyun’s living room. Lying doesn’t solve the problem at all, and now she has to lie more, has to find a fake girlfriend to cover up her lies.

 

“Well, you can just own up to the President, I’m sure she already knows you are lying.” Dahyun deadpans as she types away at her laptop on the coffee table while sitting on the floor.

 

“That hurts my pride! Also, that means I have to go for the blind date, which is an absolute no.” Chaeyoung sighs as she plops down on the couch behind Dahyun.

 

“Why not? The girl this time is really okay, Jeongyeon-unnie checked.” Dahyun says, throwing a file back to Chaeyoung who picks up and flips through it lazily. Jeongyeon is the director of their IT department by day, but their personal PI by night. She can hack and get any information available, making for a very good PI, like right now.

 

The file is filled with information about the girl she’s supposed to go on a blind date with, and of course the girl is perfect, from her family background, to her education attainments and personality. But Chaeyoung sighs and closes the file. “You know this isn’t the reason why I don’t want to go.”

 

She doesn’t do romance anymore, doesn’t believe in love anymore, which is also the reason why she doesn’t want to go on these blind dates. She doesn’t want to give the other party false hope that there can be anything between them other than just business. (She knows the feeling of false hope very well after all.)

 

This gets Dahyun’s attention, the secretary finally turning away from her laptop to look at the younger girl. “Chaeyoung-ah…”

 

Chaeyoung clears her throat, interrupting Dahyun before she can say anything else. She doesn’t need to hear Dahyun’s nagging again. “Just ask Jeongyeon-unnie to look for a rich girl who doesn’t live in Korea. Oh and most importantly, the girl must know that this will be strictly acting. Or even better if she can find someone who already has someone they like already.”

 

They have four weeks to find this person, and Chaeyoung is not going to accept failure for this search.