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Push & Pull
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| CHAPTER FOUR |

Friendly Joke

 

 

Tap. Tap. Tap. The light gesture from Park Hara fills in the quietness in the meeting room. After that big announcement Baekhyun had just done about an hour ago, they were later on gathered into the meeting room to talk about an upcoming fashion event some of their models will be participating in. It’s the first project Kim Jiwon gets to join in. Now the staff who heard what Baekhyun had said earlier and are a part of this meeting constantly looked at the two.

It wasn’t big news that their lead photographer is interested in a girl—not at all—but he never did something like that. He never warned anyone about the girls he hits on simply because he never really cared about them in that way.

It was definitely a first.

Jiwon sighed heavily making them all look. “So.” She reviewed the folder in front of her that contained clothing brands and some more designs by the fashion coordinators who now work under her supervision. “These brands, I have worked with before. These designs … hmm.” She flipped through the pages with a straight face.

The supporting coordinators looked and waited nervously. “You guys work for those singer-dancers on TV too, right? These designs give me the K-wave vibe, I’m not quite sure if it will fit the event’s theme. It’s very unique and fresh though.” She evaluated them the best possible way she can. “K—ehem—pop.” Baekhyun coughed hard making her immediately look. “Kpop, K-wave, K-drama, K-fashion, K-beauty; they’re all the same to me. All I am saying is that these designs are cute.” Not faltering, she replied knowing exactly what he’s trying to imply in that sarcasm.

Baekhyun leaned comfortably more forward the table and rested his chin on the back of his hand. “You are cute.” He replied making everyone look away, not really knowing how to react or where to hide at this point. Hara cleared and snapped fingers. “Alright, I agree with the design critic from Miss Jiwon. We need to think Vogue, Chanel, Gucci—you know what I mean, Rahee?” The woman looked at one coordinator who nodded eagerly. “Yes, Miss Hara. I will look into it more with Juri and—”

“Can you please … stop, you crazy bastard.” Jiwon suddenly groaned with clenched teeth, her eyes glued angrily towards Baekhyun across her making them all stop from moving on to the meeting.

Hara rushed her eyes to Baekhyun’s direction and widen her eyes at him for warning. “What did I do? I swear to god, I wasn’t doing anything. She’s so silly, aigoo.” He laughed, lifting both arms up, palms facing them in defense. Jiwon folded her arms and looked at Hara. “It’s either there’s something wrong with this creep’s eyes or he keeps winking at me and it’s making me extremely uncomfortable. I’m sorry, Miss Hara but it’s hard to remain professional at this point.” She burst as she closed the folder and pushed it away from her. Surprisingly, Baekhyun nodded with a frown. “I agree. I totally agree; this is too much. I can’t stay professional having such a gorgeous lady in front of me. Please, Park Hara. Help me out here.” He added.

Not taking it any longer, Hara stood up and grabbed him by the arm. “Yah, seriously—” She dragged him out of the office long with her. She closed the door behind her before lightly slapping him on the arm. “What is your problem? I already warned you, Kyungsoo already warned you. Come on, Byun Baekhyun. She’s the best investment my dad has made in such a long time, we can’t lose her. She’s so freaking good in what she does, it’s going to be good for our company.” The woman hissed just soft enough for him to hear and understand.

Baekhyun smiled, completely unbothered by the lecture. “I like her, what can I do?”

Hara closed her eyes for a moment as she scoffed back. “Baekhyun, I know you and Kyungsoo told me what you’re trying to do and I’m telling you, you better not try this one. From what I have observed from her, she’s not taking any you’re doing. So just stop and stay professional.” She pleaded. He looked at her the same, that smug smile on his face and the stance he always had. No care. Pure arrogance. Instead, he took a step closer and moved his face lower to her. “Yah, that’s too close.” Hara backed away, the back of her head hitting the door. “I think Park & Co. needs her just as much as you guys always needed me. Why don’t you fire me then if you’re so bothered by me innocently liking a co-worker? Come on, don’t be a hypocrite and use that non-existent policy of yours. I ain’t buying it, girl. So, mind your own business, please?” He replied, pure conceit in his tone.

“You don’t like her, Baekhyun. Please, don’t be like this. What if she—” Hara paused, looking away to sigh. Just then, the door opened making them both move away from it. It was none other than Kim Jiwon herself. “Miss Hara, I decided to give those designs a chance. Let me check them personally in the design room.” Not even looking at Baekhyun, she walked ahead leaving them two. Hara forced a chuckle while nodding. “O-okay, I’ll go back in to discuss some other things then. They need me inside.” She gave Baekhyun a last warning look before grabbing the door. “Yah, just come back in. Leave her alone.” She tried to grab him but he stepped away and took something from his pocket.

They were keys piled on a keychain.

“I have the keys; I’ll help her in.” Baekhyun said and wiggled his eyebrows before walking. “Yah, Baekhyun, I will—yah, I will do it. I don’t want her mad again, please.” Hara tried to snatch the keys but he put it back in his pocket. “I’m not going to do anything, I swear—geez, chill out. Stop kissing that ing woman’s like she’s a god or something.” He groaned, finally sounding irritated making Hara stop. “I don’t understand you, Baekhyun. Why are you so worked up by her when we literally just met her yesterday? Come on, just give me the keys and leave her alone.” She attempted to stop him for the last time.

‘I feel bad for your mother.’

A memorable portion of her text message last night somehow echoed in his head as if she’s actually saying it, her voice painfully stabbing him deep inside. “Just leave me alone, will you? You’re getting on my nerves today, back off.” He groaned before laughing sarcastically and walking away.

Hara was about to follow when Kyungsoo came. “Sweetie, let him be. He seems very upset already.” He just came from another entrance door and saw a glimpse of what was happening. He cupped his fiancée’s face to calm her down. “I can’t let her quit, Kyungsoo. My dad’s been struggling to get this agency back on track again and he trusted us to make things better. Baekhyun, of all women he could target, why her? I just can’t—I don’t know what I’ll do if she goes back to Canada right away.” Hara sighed.

Kyungsoo looked at Baekhyun from afar. “I’ve never seen him this worked up on a girl too and it’s only day-two. Sweetie, maybe … I don’t know, maybe this could be a good lesson for him since Miss Jiwon doesn’t seem to be ever falling for his trap anyway? Yes? Relax, hmm, I think she is quite a tough woman. She’ll be fine, I think? But maybe go there with them just in case? Yes?” He told her softly before planting a kiss on her cheek.

“I guess … anyway.” Hara looked at him. “Why are you here? Joining the meeting?” A grin formed on Kyungsoo’s face as he showed the folder he was holding. “I printed out the wedding venues you were interested in, I contacted each one of them and I was able to book viewing appointments for four of them, Sweetie? Are you proud of me? I wasn’t shy during the phone calls.” He giggled and glanced around. “One of them is the garden location that you really wanted.” He hopped excitedly making her mirror the movement as she snatched the folder.

“Oh-em-gee, let me see!” She squealed in excitement.

With that, the couple completely forgot about the Baekhyun-Jiwon dilemma.

 

 

“Is there anyone … hmm.” Jiwon peeked at the glass panel of the two-door closed entrance of the design room. The room looked spacious inside, a bunch of mannequins lined up neatly, variety of fabrics, clothes and accessories at one spot and some machines and a lot of long tables at the center. Another spot of the room was also a backdrop and some photography lighting equipment – it’s like any fashion artist’s dream place.

“Need a hand?” a familiar voice behind made her flinch in surprise.

As soon as Jiwon met eyes with him, Baekhyun, an automatic frown climbed back on her face. “Get lost.” She groaned. Without answering, Baekhyun took out the keys from his pocket and opened the doors. “You’re welcome, madam.” He smiled as he pushed both doors open. Jiwon clears and kept silent as she hesitantly stepped in. Baekhyun followed behind, leaving the doors open. He leaned by one of the long design tables and watched as she looked around like a curious child.

She looked quite excited that for the first time, she didn’t seem to bothered by his presence.

As he watched her, he recalled the text message for the nth time. That’s the last thing anyone should ever be saying to him, it really triggered him a lot he barely even slept last night. Clenched up anger just built up in his body even more as he looked at her meters away. “I will buy drinks for everyone after the meeting. What drink do you want? Or you can come with me and pick it yours

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