Push & Pull
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Baekhyun impatiently pressed the ‘Skip Ad’ option on the video he just chose on his phone. He had been done showering half an hour ago but he decided to stay in his room. Jiwon wouldn’t have been too patient enough to wait for him, right? She would have eventually gone home by now, right? A knock on his door brought all the anxiety back into his system.

“Son? Are you done yet? We’re both waiting for you so we could all eat together. Jiwon has agreed to eat a little, she said she already ate a full meal on the way here.”

OH GOD DAMN IT. Baekhyun threw his phone harshly down his bed before getting off. He ruffled his still damp hair out of irritation before grabbing the door. “Appa, can you just—” He sneakily glanced at the small space his father had left from standing right at the door. “Distract her until she wants to go home.” He hushed while nodding at the old man persuasively. “Oh god, Baekhyun. Did you sleep with her after the ball and now you’re running away from her? Son, what did I tell you about this problem?” His father interrogated softly. Baekhyun’s eyes bulged out in panic when that was the first thing the crossed his father’s mind. “Wha—no!” He hissed before shutting the door closed.

Again, knocks on his door. “Appa, I did not sleep with Jiwon, I promise.” He grunted in frustration.

“I know, phew, so glad you didn’t. That would have been a nightmare for her.” A female voice answered against the door, Kim Jiwon. Baekhyun immediately pulled himself away from the door as if it was flaming hot.

What was he supposed to do now? He wanted to escape from her but now she was here. He wanted to avoid everything first and so he could have moved forward and refreshed his mindset. But now she was here to break everything he had just planned. Taking a nice deep breath, Baekhyun readied himself and opened the door.

Baekhyun watched as Jiwon’s body flinched ever so lightly when they met eyes. “Look.” He sighed. “You can’t just barge into my father’s house demanding work when I took vacation. And sorry if I forgot to tell you but I already discussed things with M.S. and they agreed to move the meeting.”

Jiwon folded her arms and scoffed intimidatingly. It clearly worked because Baekhyun felt the goosebumps on the back of his neck. Now, he just noticed that she was wearing a casual attire different from the usual ones he would see her wearing for work and special occasions. Red sleeveless blouse, simple skinny jeans and black closed heels, it wasn’t too high this time because he can tell that she looked shorter than usual. Her work shoes usually made them almost the same height but not today and for some reason, that made Baekhyun feel things. Different kinds of things.

Superiority? Maybe dominance? Control?

No, it felt different this time.

What the hell was he feeling?

“Well you, look as well.” Jiwon replied, her eyebrow twitching higher. “You can’t just take vacation and propose new things with M.S. without notifying me, we agreed to this contract together very recently and it’s so unfair of you to make decisions on your own, my name’s at stake here too. You don’t do that to me, Byun Baekhyun. I am so mad at you right now. We are doing this output together today because I said so, understand me?” Her words full of authority, her tone of voice, the way she sternly said his full name were making every part of Baekhyun’s body turn jelly—except one thing. He cleared his throat and carefully stepped out, taking the small space between her and the door frame, making sure he wasn’t going to touch her skin at all as he passed. “No, you should go home.” He argued back and was about to walk away when he was pulled by the collar of his shirt on the back.

He was thrown back into his room and the next thing he knew; his back was right up against the door of his bedroom shut closed. “You listen,” Jiwon stood right in front of him, pushing her fingers against his chest for more intimidation. “I care about my job and what people think about my job. I understand if you want to take vacation, I heard you haven’t gotten one in a long time so I have nothing against it. All I ask is for you to guide me with everything else so I can do it alone when I get back.”

Baekhyun gulped a few times as he looked down to her. No words. “I’m not going to pull your name out of the contract because M.S. love your work. So, let me do the introductory process of this project by myself while you enjoy your vacation and then we will start once you’re back. I’m sure they can wait for your signature since that’s just for formality. But today, I request of you to just finish the outputs with me so I can call them again to resume the meeting on the original arrangement. Is everything clear here, Byun Baekhyun? Or do I have to repeat myself?”

He nodded. He shook his head. He frantically nodded again before shaking his head back. He did it a couple more times. In his defense, her two last questions needed very different gestural response.

“What? Use your words.” Jiwon demanded.

Baekhyun cleared his throat while clutching hard on the door knob. “Sure just—just get out of my room first because I need to set it up in my laptop.” He managed to say before opening the door, momentarily touching his body against hers as he moved. She took a few steps back before nodding and walking out.

Jiwon released a heavy sigh once the manly scent of his room lingered faintly in her nose as the door closed. That was hard to do, his room was like his very own cologne store. Like, not an actual cologne, just his natural scent store—if Byun Baekhyun Limited Edition Eau Da Parfum actually existed. It was hard to concentrate being alone in that room with him and keeping her composure so intact, it almost collapsed at one point when she saw him gulp hard while looking back. For a moment there, he looked … submissive. What the ? Byun Baekhyun? Submissive? She couldn’t have just imagined that in her head in a far different kind of way, could she?

When she met the old Mr. Byun’s gaze, she forced a shy smile back on her face. She walked to the dining hall again and carefully took her seat again. “He should be out soon, I asked him to set up his laptop so we could finish the work.” She nodded convincingly before grabbing the glass of water in front of her and drinking it in a few big gulps, bottoms up. “Oh, did he leave a work unfinished before taking the vacation off? I’m so sorry.” The man apologized.

Aww, he was so kind of do that.

Jiwon quickly shook her head. “No, no need to apologize. It was just a misunderstanding; we couldn’t communicate well on this project we are handling together so there’s some things we just need to work on so I can start it without him while he’s on break.” She explained as simple as she possibly could.

A small laugh escaped the man’s mouth. “You know, communication is key to a healthy relationship. My son … isn’t the greatest communicator, I must admit that. I guess it’s our fault as parents, me and his mother who by the way is no longer with us, too bad. But yes, my son tends to be distant in crucial moments, I think I should say sorry.” Jiwon smiled in panic. “Oh god, no we—we’re not in a relationship, oh my god. You misunderstood me, sir.” Her laugh turned solid as panic grew more and more.

Mr. Byun mirrored the laugh. “Well, co-workers are in relationships. I may not have meant romantically but still, you two are in some sort of relationship since you work together.”

As realization hit her, Jiwon loosened back in size as she hid both hands in between her thighs under the table. “Right.” She nodded before looking away, feeling the flash of heat surfacing on her face. Just then, Baekhyun came out, somewhat saving her from the awkwardness that was starting to build up. He stepped out carrying his laptop with him. “I don’t have the best connection in that room. We can do it in the living room.” He walked straight to the living room, not even bothering to eat anymore.

Mr. Byun lifted his head to peek at his son. “Yah, you haven’t eaten anything yet. Come here and have lunch with us. Baekhyun?” When he didn’t get a response, he shook his head in disappointment while looking at Jiwon. “Aigoo, he’s very stubborn right now.”

For some reason, Jiwon’s soft spot always worked on Baekhyun’s father. Maybe it was because he was such a kind man, she wished she had as a father. “Baekhyun, your father’s calling you.” She spoke sharply and within a second, they heard a loud groan coming from the living room followed by heavy steps coming their way. He grabbed a chair on the dining table, placed his laptop down before taking a seat. As much as Jiwon wanted to get the work done with so she could leave, she closed the laptop herself.

Baekhyun gave her a confused look. “O—okay? You just went on and on about finishing the work, right? What are you doing?”

Flicking her tongue, Jiwon looked away for a moment before shifting her gaze at the food served on the table. “Let’s eat with your father first, these look good.” She smiled at the old man who smiled back proudly. She could feel how glad he was that there were people to eat with him. He was so persistent earlier, almost desperate. From what she just recently found out from the chatty old man, he lived alone and would just occasionally be visited by his sister who lived nearby

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