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The following days of the week were packed with long work hours. Soojin had to share her office with Baekhyun which didn’t make concentrating on her tasks easier. Whenever her eyes left her computer screen, they came to rest on her ex-fiancé since he was sitting opposite her on the other side of the desk. The quiet in the room was tense and only the clicking of the keyboards could be heard as they worked. Ever since their strained conversation after their first mission, they had hardly exchanged a word. At first, Soojin had been pleasantly surprised that he had stopped putting her down at every chance he got, but the never-ending silence wasn’t much better. On the third day of sitting in their office without acknowledging each other, Soojin was tired of it, and when lunch break rolled around, she eagerly left the office to meet Seungwan and Seulgi. They were aware of Soojin’s predicament and none of them envied her. The three women visited a restaurant near their workplace where they ordered lunch.

“You have no idea how relieved I am to leave the office,” Soojin sighed, playing with the glass that stood in front of her on the table. She scrunched her forehead, not hiding her bad mood.

“You should relax this weekend and take your mind off work! We could meet up if you want to,” Seulgi suggested.

“And do what exactly?”

“Partying of course! We haven’t had a girls’ night in a while!”

“She’s right!” Seungwan chirped, winking at Soojin. “And who knows, maybe you’ll find a new male friend?”

Soojin finally cracked and grinned. “Fine, I’ll join you,” she said and her two friends exchanged a very pleased look.

“Great, I can’t wait!” Seungwan replied.

“Then that means I only need to survive Thursday and Friday in that stuffy office with my ex...”

“Did he insult you again?” Seulgi sighed and rolled her eyes. “I will kick his if he doesn’t stop.”

“He’s changed his attitude and now he mostly ignores me,” Soojin told them, her shoulders slumping in defeat. “I still don’t understand what his problem is.”

“By the way, I’ve tried to dig up some dirt on him, but I couldn’t find anything useful yet. The files about his former partner are all confidential and can only be accessed by high-ranking members of the Secret Service. If that isn’t suspicious, then I don’t know what is,” Seungwan frowned, playing with a lock of her brown hair.

“Really? Why would they be confidential? Seems fishy to me,” Soojin mumbled.

“Maybe the higher-ups are covering something up to protect Byun’s image. Who knows what happened to his partner? I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him being responsible for their death,” Seungwan said, her words sounding ominous in Soojin’s ears. She held back a shudder, tapping her foot against the ground as nervousness rose in her stomach. Soojin had lost her appetite and stared at her half-empty plate with a frown, pushing it away from her.

“You have to be careful around him, Soo. It’s best to stay on guard until we figure out what’s going on,” Seungwan said.

“I second that,” Seulgi answered. “Perhaps he’s more dangerous than he seems. He has something to hide and it smells like trouble.”

Their lunch break slowly neared its end, so they paid and left the restaurant, heading back to the well-guarded building that housed the Secret Service’s headquarters. With every step Soojin took, her mood dimmed until it was dark as the night sky. She said goodbye to her friends when they separated.

On the way to her office, she unexpectedly ran into Chanyeol who came from the opposite direction. The redhead stopped when he spotted her and smiled. He was dressed for work, wearing his gun on a belt around his hips and sporting a bulletproof vest over his black shirt.

“Hey, Soojin! How are you?” he grinned. He was rather tall, forcing her to raise her head to look up at him. She returned his smile.

“Fine and you?”

“Same, I’m on the way to take care of something. It’s actually great that I met you because I wanted to ask if you’d like to join me and the others on Saturday evening. We’re planning on spending time together and since you’re new to the team, it would be a good opportunity to get to know everyone.”

“I already got plans, sorry,” she answered and smiled apologetically. “Maybe some other time, but thanks for inviting me!”

“Is it a date?!” Chanyeol asked with a little too much curiosity. He leaned forward, eager to hear her answer as if his life depended on it.  

“No, it’s not… And why does it even matter?”

“No reason, forget about it,” he said and grinned cheekily like he knew something she didn’t.

“If you say so. Anyways, I have to go back now, my lunch break is over.”

“Okay, see you later then,” Chanyeol said and waved at her before jogging towards the lift.

She trudged toward her office, her heart sinking like a stone in the water when she reached the dreaded door of the room she had learned to despise. Putting her hand on the knob, she opened it and entered.



Soojin welcomed the weekend with open arms, and just as she had planned with Seungwan and Seulgi, they went clubbing together on Saturday night. Soojin used the opportunity to wear the black cocktail dress that had been hanging in her wardrobe for far too long and applied make-up, wanting to look pretty for the night. She left the house in a good mood, looking forward to having fun with her friends. The subway ride didn’t last long since she lived in the center of Seoul and her destination wasn’t far from her new apartment.

She met her friends in front of their favorite club, dodging a group of drunk people before she reached them. Seungwan sported a blue dress with cute butterfly sleeves that flared out at the ends while Seulgi wore a deep red one that hugged her curves.  

“You look stunning,” Soojin smiled when she embraced both of them, prompting them to giggle.

“You too! I haven’t seen that dress before,” Seulgi commented, sharing a sly glance with Seungwan.

“Oh, I bet she saved it for tonight because she’s desperate to find a boyfriend.”

“I’m not desperate!” Soojin complained and pulled a face, only making her friends laugh louder.

“Of course not, Soo,” Seungwan smiled. “But you can’t deny that you’ve been single for too long and we have to do something about it.”

“I like where this is going!” Seulgi chuckled, taking Soojin’s hand to pull her along. Loud music could already be heard outside the club, the bass booming in their ears. When they entered, Soojin felt like she was stepping into a different world. Bright lights illuminated the hall that was swarmed with people, some of them dancing, others drinking cocktails, or talking to their friends.

It was loud and hot and chaotic; precisely what Soojin needed to distract herself from her everyday life. She joined her friends at the bar, deciding to order cocktails first and go dancing later. That kind of thing worked best for her once she was drunk.

“What’s Jeno doing tonight, huh? Didn’t he want to accompany you?” Seungwan asked, nudging Soojin while Seulgi was busy ordering their drinks.

“I told you he’s just a friend… and he said he wanted to play video games with Donghyuck and Jaemin tonight.”

“Are you telling me he ditched you for video games?” Seungwan said, looking appalled. “Ouch…”

“I don’t mind. Besides, didn’t we want to spend time together?”

“Okay, okay. You’re right,” Seungwan laughed.

Seulgi soon returned and handed them their cocktails, the other women thanking her. Soojin took a sip of hers, liking its fruity taste.  

“Do you see the tall guy over there? Doesn’t he look like someone you would date?” Seulgi giggled, pointing at a random man in the middle of the crowd. Soojin had trouble finding the person she meant and eventually gave up.

“Uh… I’m not sure who you mean?”

Seungwan rolled her eyes, but neither she nor Seulgi pushed the topic any further, instead talking about something else. They ended up chatting for a while, completely forgetting about their initial plan to dance after they finished their cocktails.

“Hey Soo, is that Chanyeol?” Seungwan suddenly said, and this time Soojin easily found the person she meant. It was indeed Chanyeol and next to him, who would have guessed, was her ex. She cursed inwardly, remembering that Chanyeol told her about his plans for the weekend, but she hadn’t expected him to show up here, with Baekhyun of all people. As luck would have it, Chanyeol turned around this instant, spotting her and locking eyes with her. He waved enthusiastically, and she hid her annoyance, waving back politely. It wasn’t his fault she disliked his best friend. He wasn’t the one her resentment was directed at. As expected, he immediately told Baekhyun who glanced at her.

His stare was burning on her skin, and time seemed to stop when their gazes met. The flickering lights and the music moved into the background, becoming secondary. She no longer noticed the dancing people or the loud voices of the crowd. It was as if they were no longer there. An emotion flashed over his face when he took in the dress she was wearing, and she could have sworn that his eyes widened momentarily. Then again, it was hard to tell under the flickering light—she must have imagined it. Her traitorous heart fluttered in her chest as pink spread over her cheeks. Why, just why did he still have such a strong effect on her? He kept looking at her, eventually capturing her gaze for the second time. Cocking his head, a faint smile bloomed on his lips, but it was gone within a blink and his usual scowl took its place. He turned away and said something to Chanyeol.

“Was it Chanyeol?” Seungwan repeated, and finally gained Soojin’s attention.

“It must have been someone else,” she lied. The longing in her chest distracted her so much that she didn’t listen to her friends’ chatter anymore. Her thoughts revolved around a man she wasn’t supposed to care for anymore, but she couldn’t stop herself. Maybe the alcohol was messing with her head—why else would he look so attractive in his dark blue shirt? She bit her lip, fingers tensing around her empty cocktail glass.



After his unexpected encounter with Soojin, Baekhyun ended up sitting next to Chanyeol at the bar. Baekhyun was restless, kept running his hand through his hair, and played with his half-empty whisky glass. The ice in it had already melted since he had clutched it in his hands for so long and now the honey-colored liquid inside was slightly diluted. He stared at it as if it held the answer to a very important question.

“Okay man, your behavior is getting creepy,” Chanyeol commented, unable to hold it in any longer. His friend was driving him nuts with his strange behavior and the murder in his eyes. “If you stare at your whisky like that a second longer, it’ll combust.”

He’d already finished his glass of vodka a while ago and already ordered a second one. Baekhyun on the other hand was so busy with his thoughts that he must have forgotten whisky wasn’t supposed to be stared at. The agent sighed deeply, ripping his gaze away from his beverage.

“You haven’t been yourself lately. What’s going on?” Chanyeol prodded. “Is it because of Soojin?”

“Yes. Ever since she joined our unit, everything’s messed up, and our first mission was a disaster. We were too slow, got discovered and barely escaped in time,” Baekhyun mumbled, propping his chin up on his hand.

Chanyeol rolled his eyes, sick of all the drama. “Your missions would go smoother if Soojin had a partner who she could trust. Your behavior towards her is doing more harm than good and I don’t understand why you insist on it!”

Baekhyun’s hand clutched the glass. “Because she has to stay away from me and you know why.”

“I understand you want to protect her, but you’re doing it wrong, idiot!”

“And what do you suggest me to do?!”

“Easy, stop acting like a jerk and be nice to her, maybe even apologize. You two are partners and you can’t afford to have disagreements on missions where your lives are on the line,” Chanyeol ranted, downing his second vodka in one go.

Baekhyun finally took a sip of his whisky, his eyes staring into space. Bitterness was reflected in their brown depths, the same bitterness he felt in his heart. “I get it, I really get it…” he said quietly. “I made a mistake, but I thought she would quit her job and stay away from me if I acted like this.”

“She only sees your behavior as a challenge,” Chanyeol remarked with a pointed look. “Soojin isn’t the type of person who gives up fast. She won’t quit her job, no matter how ridiculous you act.”

“You’re right,” he answered, his posture slumping. Baekhyun put his elbows on the table and glared at the wooden surface in a vengeance. He rubbed his hands over his face, letting out a groan as he thought about his former fiancée—he hadn’t expected to encounter Soojin tonight, and in such a pretty dress… His resolve to keep his distance from her was crumbling very fast.

“Promise me you’re going to change your behavior from now on. Become her ally and not her enemy. Protecting her will be easier if she trusts you,” Chanyeol said and observed his friend’s reaction. Baekhyun’s eyes were red-rimmed and looked tired, not as determined as usual. He’d gone through a lot in the past weeks and it was only natural for him to be overwhelmed by it. Witnessing the death of his former partner had to be the worst of it all. Chanyeol wished he could lighten the burden on his shoulders, but as of right now, he was powerless.



“This mission requires you to work as a team. It’s an emergency; a life depends on your success,” Junmyeon said, staring both of them down. He wasn’t blind, could easily see that his newest team wasn’t as reliable as the others, and the blatant unwillingness to work together irked him. Even Junmyeon did not have infinite patience. Frankly, he wasn’t sure if Baekhyun and Soojin were the right choice for such an important mission, but his other teams were already busy.

Soojin avoided looking at either of the men in the office. She wasn’t keen on another mission with her ex, but she wanted to keep her job so she held her tongue and didn’t share her thoughts.

“What do we need to do?” Baekhyun asked.

“We have an abduction at our hands. We were unable to gather much information on the situation because it’s urgent and there is no time to waste,” Junmyeon began and Soojin’s stomach dropped when she realized just how serious this was. “The abductors are requesting for someone to be released from prison in exchange for the hostage’s life, but we can’t possibly agree to their demand since the person in question is a convicted murderer.”

He heaved a sigh and cast his eyes down, staring at his desk. “The problem is, we haven’t been able to confirm the identities of the abductors, so we aren’t sure who we are up against, but this must be the first time they’re trying something like this… They already disclosed the location where they plan to exchange the hostage, which is careless of them and an advantage for us. Your task is to go there, sneak into the building, and rescue the hostage preferably without being noticed. Once that is done, the police will take care of the rest. They are on standby and ready to take over. If the situation turns out to be too much to handle, call for backup.”

A heavy weight settled on Soojin’s shoulders when she thought about their task and her stomach churned in fear. If they failed, they would be responsible for the death of a human being and that was the last thing she wanted… The hostage had to be saved before anything could happen and judging by Baekhyun’s dark scowl, he thought the same. At least, they were on the same page.

“I printed all the information you need, including their location as well as the phone number they gave us for further negotiations,” Junmyeon added and handed them a slim folder. “The hostage is a university student who was on his way home last night when he was attacked. We got surveillance footage of said moment. His name is Wang Yijun—a random victim.”

Baekhyun opened the folder and skimmed through its contents briefly. There was one blurry picture of the hostage and it would have to be enough. Sadly, it wasn’t possible to make out the kidnappers’ faces as they wore masks.

“They gave us an ultimatum of five hours, so you should head to the meeting spot immediately. I’m counting on you,” Junmyeon said before he dismissed them.

Baekhyun and Soojin left his office, running straight to the parking garage beneath the building. This time, Baekhyun didn’t object when Soojin sat in the driver’s seat, preferring to read the information Junmyeon had handed them. Their destination was an abandoned company site near Incheon. According to Junmyeon’s research, there were several smaller buildings and a large warehouse in the area; the perfect place for a group of filthy criminals to hide.

Soojin couldn’t stop thinking about the hostage, and how scared he had to be. She was concerned for his wellbeing, never having dealt with a hostage situation in her entire career as an agent. Her missions with Jeno had been very different; they had been assigned tasks that were suited to rookies, tasks where no civilian lives were on the line. This was an enormous change. Failing wasn’t allowed. 

She was occupied with her thoughts and didn’t notice Baekhyun’s ongoing silence as he mulled over the information they had been given. The convict these people intended to free had been the head of a criminal organization known for drug trafficking and other shady business dealings. The police had arrested him in a large-scale operation about a year ago, and following a lengthy trial, he had gone to prison. Baekhyun assumed the abductors were affiliated with his organization—they had to have a good reason for their risky plan.

When they arrived, Soojin parked the car behind a building, at a sufficient distance from their destination so that it couldn’t be seen from afar. The agents left the vehicle and sneaked closer, eventually stopping behind the wall surrounding the property. Ever

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Re:start is now completed. 🥺 Thanks for your support throughout the time I worked on this story. Your kind comments were a huge motivation for me! 🥰


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Chapter 27: Let her stall Baek a Lil bit. Let him work a bit extra for their relationship . Loving their chemistry 😁👏😁
Chapter 26: This was nice. I was second guessing that whether the followers are their team members or not. They are acting as such dorks. And the date description, their feelings and all the things they were reminiscing it was giving such lovely vibes. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
699 streak #3

This one looks promising as well! I will read it! 👌😉

Chapter 35: I am loving the playing house fluffy stuff!
Chapter 47: Thank you for giving this story such a happy ending! I enjoyed the whole ride! I especially liked how you ended it with a vacation and that surprise for Soo was so sweet! I can imagine their wedding will be so much fun esp with all the EXOs there. I really enjoy all your stories! I am in awe with how you are able to create these stories and plotlines and keep it going at a good pace. Thank you for sharing your creations!
Chapter 44: This chapter was action packed! I was so nervous while Soo was eavesdropping. Come on, Baek, we’re counting on you!
Chapter 40: X-EXO is sooo hot! Ugh! And Chanyeol telling Baek and Soo to pls not make out while wearing their earpieces was so funny!!!
Chapter 38: We’re getting some intense action now with the Red Force! This is gonna be exciting! And we all know Baek is so hot in that getup, no wonder they couldn’t help themselves, only to be interrupted AGAIN lol
Chapter 35: Baek and Soo living in domestic bliss 🥹🥹🥹 I’m glad Baekhyun is able to talk about Boyoung and, more importantly, with Soojin. Things are moving in the right direction for our lovebirds for now 🥰🥰🥰
Chapter 33: You better watch out, Eunwoo! You just made Baekhyun mad!