“Freeze!” Jennie barged in thinking that something terrible was going on behind the closed doors of the Finite Hotel, but it just looked like a couple of guys hanging out. She quickly clipped the badge onto her belt.
“Officer?” Suho asked for her name.
“Kim…” she replied quickly
“Officer Kim.” He smiled professionally and held out a business card, “Is there something I can assist you with?”
Jennie read the card. Omo – This was the Executive Director of the Finite Group but she was a police officer, representing her district and her country. She straightened her shoulders. Behind her, she thought she heard someone snickering. “Just following up on a complaint.”
She circled the room, looking at each of the men. Her radar was going into overdrive too. These guys were hiding something, and she didn’t like the way they were exchanging looks.
“As you can see everything is normal here.” Suho began but Jennie spotted the bathroom. “That is private…” he began but she was too quick. What met her was a terrifying scene that sent her imagination in dangerous directions. There as a boy cowering on the bathroom seat. He looked cold and terrified. “Kwenchana?” she whispered, and he nodded, “Can you stand?” he stood up. “We’re getting out of here.”
“Can you tell me why this boy was locked up in the bathroom? He looks to be in shock?” Jennie demanded as they moved toward the exit with her blocking him from view.
Suho worked hard not to swear. Lee Johnny you stupid idiot. How were they going to explain this to the boss? “Shall we go to my office so we can warm this boy up?”
“He’ll warm up in the car ride to the station.” Jennie said smug when she saw their eyes widen. They were not smirking now.
“Oh, come on!” One of the boys, tall, with long honey coloured hair and an earring in one ear protested. “We go to school together. Why are you making a big deal out of this?” Everyone tried to send Johnny signals to shut up.
Jennie stood her ground, “Save it for the station. Then…” she bowed, “We will leave first.” She guided the shivering boy outside.
Suho made to go after the police officer. “Let me.” Kun suggested.
“You better ing hope Kun saves your or I’m coming for you.” Yuta threatened.
“Ooh I’m so scared.” Johnny pretended to shiver then saw Suho’s expression. He sank sullenly into his chair.
“I’m calling your House Master to get you.” Suho told Johnny.
“No…wait…” Johnny tried to stop him, but Suho was already on the phone.
“Minho, I have something that belongs to you. Come pick him up.” Suho turned his back on them and continued his conversation.
Yuta laughed, “Now who’s passed his bedtime?” Yuta looked for Taeyong when he suddenly realised how quiet his friend was. But Taeyong wasn’t there.
“Lose something?” Johnny’s eyes gleamed.
Jennie helped the boy along the passage. , he was shivering uncontrollably. Maybe he was in shock? “What’s your name?” she tried to get him talking.
“Kan…Kang Sang…yeon…” the boy’s teeth chattered.
She squeezed his shoulder, “I promise we are almost out of here Sang-yeon ssi. Your friend is waiting outside.”
“Let me help him.” Kun wrapped his big jacket around Sang-yeon’s shoulders before Jennie could stop him. Kun smiled but she spotted the alarm in Sang-yeon’s eyes. It was only for a moment, but it was there.
“I think I can manage.” Jennie pulled off Kun’s jacket and held it out, “You were in the room the entire time, right?” Kun didn’t respond, “Then you must also explain how Sang-yeon ssi ended up like this. Now get out of my way.”
Kun didn’t budge, he met the cop’s eyes but just as suddenly, he smiled and stepped to one side, “Of course Officer. I’m sorry. I was just trying to help.”
“What happened?” Taeyong asked and they watched Jennie helping Sang-yeon back.
“I don’t know hyung…” Kun was distraught, “I was trying to help Sang-yeon ssi but that police officer…”
“No Kun…I meant what happened in there with Johnny?”
“Ah…” Kun looked worried, “You know Johnny. I couldn’t stop him.”
“I told you to keep an eye on him.” Taeyong sounded tired from the situation, “Stay with Johnny until he’s collected. He walked after the cop.
“Where are you going?” Kun called out.
Taeyong kept his walk easy and tried not to rush. Taeyong had to make sure that he talked the cop out of opening a report against Johnny. As he exited the hotel, he motioned for the Finite staff to stay back.
“Officer Kim…” Taeyong finally caught up with them outside the hotel. Park Hyuk-soo was with them, “Ah hyung…” Taeyong bowed respectfully, “are you also here?”
Hyuk-soo nodded, he looked strained as he wrapped his jacket around Sang-yeon’s shoulders, “You need to get Lee Johnny’s head checked!” he let out his anger at the quieter Taeyong, “One day he’ll go too far.”
“I’m sorry hyung…I will talk to him.” Taeyong didn’t elaborate. The less said the better.
Hyuk-soo grumbled but how could he be angry at a face like that?
Jennie listened but didn’t interrupt this time. She wrote the names she heard in her notebook. Lee Johnny was the perp. A hand closed over the book, covering the page. She looked up shocked.
“Please Officer Kim…not yet…” Taeyong begged. His eyes were earnest. She didn’t see any malice or hidden agenda. Jennie pulled her book away, but she did close it. Taeyong nodded his appreciation. I’m not doing it for you.
“I want to go home.” Sang-yeon mumbled. He felt self-conscious in front of the entrance with guests and employees eyeing them.
“I’m taking him home, but you sort this out.” Hyuk-soo continued, “I don’t want Lee Johnny anywhere near Sang-yeonah.”
“Yes, hyung.” Taeyong bowed.
“Wait…” The boys were walking away without opening a report. “Hey, we need to go to the station…” Jennie protested.
“I’m sorry…” Sang-yeon apologised with a weak voice and no emotion in his washed-out face, “I won’t be pressing charges or anything like that. I just want to go home. Thank you for everything” he managed to bow his head.
“You can’t let them get away with this!” Jennie walked with them, “Bullies need to be reported on the national database!”
“If you want to understand, speak to him.” Hyuk-soo flicked his head toward Taeyong “but we’re leaving.” Jennie sighed – defeated. When she turned back, Taeyong was still there – watching her. Jennie marched back to him, “You…what the hell was that about? Just who are you and what was going on in there?”
Taeyong glanced nervously around, “I’ll tell you, but not here…can you give me a lift home please?” Jennie immediately agreed, she wanted to hear the story, “I’m parked on the next street.”
As they walked to the car, Jennie tried to piece together everything she’d heard and seen. Was it just a simple case of school bullying? Why do it at the Finite Hotel? And what was the Executive Director doing there? She glanced sideways at the boy. Maybe he was 18 or so? He looked young but hardly anyone looked their age these days. Tall, well-built but not bulky and…he just had to be the most beautiful boy she’d ever seen. “Yah, What’s your name?”
Taeyong smiled at her roughness, “Lee Taeyong.” He waited for her to reveal hers, but she didn’t.
Inside the car, she quickly the heater. It was summer but the recent rains chilled the air. “So?” she prompted as she tied her hair back and pulled on a baseball cap. Again, she was acutely aware that he watched her. “What?” She rubbed a hand across to wipe off the gloss.
“Ani…” Taeyong looked forward, “You seem more comfortable like this. I didn’t realise you were cop until I saw the badge” he glanced down at her waist, where th