Lay Down Beside Me
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When Solbin and Shixun stepped out of Mijoo’s office building after finishing the last day of their internship, they were in high spirits. Solbin, in particular, was glad that it was getting warmer and she no longer had to shiver and squeak every time she went outside. However, it was also the time of the year when Yixing was busiest with schoolwork. He pushed through without complaint, but it just meant that he would not be able to meet up with Solbin after work that often.

Yifan, on the other hand, had all the reasons to go pick Shixun up from work whenever he could. Usually, they also went back to Shixun’s place to have dinner with his parents, like this evening.

“Ge, look at my reference letter,” said Shixun proudly, taking the folded document out from the envelope and handing it to his cousin. Chuckling with glee, he added, “CEO-nim penned this for me personally. I can’t believe she praised me so much, even though just a month ago I was napping all day at work and stealing all the food from the pantry.”

Yifan gave his cousin a smile and read the letter gingerly. He tried to make it less obvious when he exhaled in relief afterward. “Hey, good job! You’ve got a ‘positive attitude even in face of adversities’. You’re doing well. Ge is so proud of you. This is really good for you. Your CEO-nim seems to be really influential and has shares in quite a number of other corporations. Now that you have a reference letter from her, your employment prospects are gonna be so much better.”

“Yeah, I’m lucky everything worked out for me. Oh, man, I’m gonna miss the snacks though…” Shixun drawled as he lied back, rubbing his tummy and wrinkling his nose at the smell of dinner being prepared in the kitchen. He was completely relaxed and completely oblivious to the bullets that he had dodged partly because of some sacrifices that Yifan had made behind his back. Seeing Shixun like this and happily maintaining his relationship with Luhan, Yifan was relieved. So far, at least, Mijoo had not made any effort to return to his life, and that included showing up to the studio unannounced. But he also knew all too well that Mijoo was always ten steps ahead of him. He — or any of her preys — could be falling into her trap without even knowing it before it was too late. So at the end of the day, could Yifan really ever let his guard down?

Albeit constantly ten steps ahead of everyone, there was still one thing Mijoo did not see coming.

The CEO was not needed in the office until the afternoon, so she had the entire morning off to relax. Her favorite way to do that was just to put on some music and enjoy some fine wine. Making her way down to the cellar, she sat down comfortably.

Upstairs, her wife was standing in front of a mirror, stopping to put on some accessories and fix her hair. The mirror reflected all of her stunning beauty and radiance of a model, but none of the thoughts that hid beneath such a pretty, youthful face. Especially not all the pain caused by the failure that was her marriage to Jung Mijoo.

After fetching what she needed, she too went downstairs to join her wealthy wife. Albeit Mijoo's eyes did sometimes wander to the Château Margaux 1994 sitting prettily in the specially designed temperature-controlled wine cabinet, its 1990 vintage was what truly pleased her. The wine lingered long after caressing her palate, leaving her with a satisfied smile on her face and an empty glass that she wished she could fill one more time. Rarely was she able to find something with the ability to please a hedonist as herself. It was perfect, a sublime experience every time, and she just wished she could consume it over and over again.

Still, she pushed these thoughts to the side for now and refocused on what was within her reach, looking up at her wife who was approaching. The model was gorgeous and well-dressed as always, but had never looked this solemn before, breaking her usual countenance of meekness and innocence.

With a completely serious face, she looked Mijoo in the eye and announced something life-changing. It left the CEO speechless and not even so much because of the words that came out of the model’s mouth, but what she laid out on the counter: three sets of divorce papers.

On another evening that the producer trio did not have to spend meeting with clients, they had all gone to the barbecue party hosted by Solbin's friend, Seulgi, as well as her fellow university band member Irene. The two of them had decided to chase their dreams beyond being in the uni band. They were starting out as a local band, ready to perform wherever they were needed. The producer trio had been helping them look for opportunities, and so girls were throwing this party to thank the boys.

Yixing was not having as much fun that night, however, and only relied on instant noodles and snacks as he was busy with studying. He definitely had some assignments that he needed to get done. The good news was that he was highly motivated to get done because tonight — he was getting so excited just thinking about tonight — Yifan was going to come over to his place after the BBQ party. They were going to talk about stuff and perhaps he might spend the night here.

Pursuant to the events after Yifan's last encounter with Mijoo, obviously he had unblocked Yixing. But there was still so much that they needed to address, and in particular a lot of Yifan's unresolved feelings.

Perhaps laden with guilt, Yifan was desperate to prove to Yixing and, above that, prove to himself that he really did have feelings for Yixing, and that these feelings were true. He wanted to use to make it up to Yixing, and to make Yixing believe that he was someone worth keeping, so that Yixing would not leave him. He would not be able to take it if he had to deal with losing Yixing, and he knew he could never go back to Mijoo again. But after some thought, he held back, stopped himself, because he knew that it would not work. was easy but it was not a magical cure, a quick fix, for all the problems under the sun. Even if it could bring about a remedial effect, it was not going to be lasting.

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