Chapter 2

Tangled

Seungwan watches her manager and the marketing team conversing, trying to do damage control for her one-night stand with a random girl last night. She takes the photos printed and purses her lips into a straight line, her face was perfectly shown on the camera as they got into the taxi but thank god, Irene was somehow always looking down and covering her nose and with her hand, making the public curious about her face.

If she didn’t know it any better, she would’ve thought she brought another celebrity to the hotel. Even from these pictures, Irene’s black luscious hair and those legs uncovered by her skirt were amazing. She really scored last night, especially knowing a woman as beautiful as Irene was a fan of her music.

“So, good thing is that the girl’s face was not seen clearly. I gotta say, Wendy, it seems like she knows what she’s doing,” Justin Lee, the head of the PR team states.

The blonde shrugs.

“We want to use this to boost your popularity,”

“Ok?”

“You’re going to come out as a lesbian, or biual maybe, but definitely not straight,”

Wendy stares at the flamboyant guy with painted nails as if he’s growing two heads, “I’m from Korea… We’re conservative.”

“So? You’re in US now, darling… We love people waving rainbow flags and you, darling, are a part of the rainbow team. You’re not like those fake people out there who’s queerbaiting. You are a queer. You like girls,”

Wendy nods, “I do like girls but what about my fans in Korea? They were the ones who supported me before all of this. I have younger fans who look up to me, I have fans as old as my parents who love me for being a good role model for their children. I’ve never- I’ve never got any scandals back in Korea. You want me to come out all of a sudden? This will become a trending topic, Justin.”

Justin moves away the chair blocking his way and walks towards her at the end of the long table, “Darling… Fans come and go… That’s the sad reality. We have the charts, the data. Your song is played mostly by people in the US, not Korea. US supports LGBT celebrities. Georgina, show her the data!” He claps twice and the woman in her mid-thirties with bright red hair plugs in the HDMI cable to present her screen to the projector.

“This is our target market. Our promotions are heading to this group of people,” the red-head mutters, using a laser-pointer to the projector. “However, Justin is right… Although we did put ads on Korean broadcasting channels, majority of the sales of your album comes from the US. Young adults especially girls love your song. Well, I love it too but anyways, seventy percent of your fanbase are girls, Wendy… We’re gaining popularity and we’re expecting our sales to boom if you come out,”

“What are the drawbacks if I come out?”

“You lose some of your fans, mostly the Koreans and other fans from conservative countries,”

The meeting room grows silent as they let their artist choose her own fate and even with a little thinking, she knows what she has to choose.

“What do you think, Peter?” Wendy asks her manager for a second opinion and he just gives her a small smile.

“Coming out sounds good to me,”

“Release the statement then,”

--- ---

Park Sooyoung can’t believe her eyes. She refreshes the page over and over again but Wendy’s name is still trending.

Wendy Son brings a woman for one-night stand?

Did Wendy Son leave Korea due to her uality?

Wendy Son is part of the LGBTQ Community?

Was the ex behind the inspiration of Wendy Son’s ‘Radio’ a female?

BREAKING NEWS: UNIVERSAL RECORDS CONFIRMS WENDY SON IS PRO-LGBTQ

She clicks on the last article and she scans through the content. It says:

Our Wendy has told us that she’s sorry for all the fans who has been supporting her from day one. She wishes there are other ways to let her fans know that she is indeed has been pro-LGBTQ ever since high school. She has been keeping it a secret because she didn’t want to disappoint anyone. However, her yesterday’s outing could not be hidden.

She’d like to thank Irene for giving her the courage to come out to public and she personally asked us to relay this message.

“Dear Irene, if you’re out there reading this, please see me again. I’d love to get to know you better. Thank you for the wonderful night and our long conversations. It’s been a while ever since I found someone who understands me.

To my fans… I apologise for hurting your trust. I’ve been keeping this for too long but now I’d like to share a little more about myself. I am attracted to both men and women. I hope that you can support me even though I am a little different.

Thank you.”

Sooyoung’s eyebrows quirk up, Seungwan unnie said this? Are they kidding? She scowls before tossing her phone to the couch. Is this some sort of PR move? Since when are you like this, unnie? All this just for popularity? Didn’t you reject all SM’s suggestion for fake dating? What changed?

--- ---

Seungwan’s mouth open wide and close again as if she’s a fish gasping for air. When did I say this? She instantly calls Justin Lee to ask about the article and he happily answers.

“Oh darling, just give it one or two days. You’d get tremendous support from your fans. I added a little love letter to your Irene to make it seem as if you’re just a lovesick fool. And of course, I put a letter of apology for your fans too. If we receive more backlash than love, I’ll resign from Universal Records darling. I promise that. If we do receive more love, can you give me one of your sweaters with your signature on it? My cousin is a huge fan of yours. She’s seventeen,”

“Wait wait wait… Resigning seems a bit extreme?”

“Nah… I know what needs to be done to move people. This is my job after all and my darling, Wendy, I’m excellent at my job!” he giggles. “Please prepare a sweater with your signature. See you in two days! Bye!”

“B-Bye,” Wendy ends the call and chuckles, she knows there’s no way she can meet this kind of person in Korea. It’s been fun working with all the staff in Universal Records. The vibe is very different to SM. It’s not as strict. Nobody is writing down what you do in a show or noting down the calorie intake from your meals. They just chill with you, sometimes they even offer you some weed, not that she’s interested. America is just different and it’s a good kind of different.

She’s about to put away her phone when a message notification pops up on her screen.

Really, unnie? Coming out just for popularity?

Seungwan frowns immediately at the message that Sooyoung just sent.

Hello, Sooyoung… it’s been a while

Thanks to you, my dating scandal with Chanyeol is no longer trending number one in Korea

The blonde frowns, remembering why she even went to the club at the first place.

Thanks to you, I came out today

What?

It wasn’t in my plan to go to a club and get wasted.

But I can’t just forget my three years with you just like that

You left me

And you’re dating him now...

For real, isn’t it? Not only for publicity anymore.

You look happy

Who is Irene?

Just a stranger

You wrote love letter to a stranger for the public to see?

It’s my PR team

Lucky you, your team knows what they’re doing.

I read through the comments, people love ‘your’ bravery, especially after reading ‘your’ love letter and ‘your’ apology to your fans.

Seungwan doesn’t know what to reply to that and so she says something else that’s unrelated.

I miss you

The message is read instantly but the response takes a while.

I miss you too, unnie…

Do you want to video call with me tonight, Soo?

We shouldn’t

We were friends before we dated

Lovers who broke up can’t be friends, have you ever heard of that?

We can prove them wrong, can we?

Unnie, please…

Let’s not do this

Just once?

I really miss you

I have a date tonight with Chanyeol oppa

Tomorrow?

The message is read instantly. Seungwan waits for Sooyoung to reply her message but after five minutes of not getting anything, she sends another one.

I missed your birthday a few days ago.

Call it a belated birthday talk?

We really shouldn’t, unnie

Have a good day

As the conversation comes to an end, Seungwan feels this dull ache on her chest. She wonders if in the future she’d regret coming to US? She wonders if she’d regret leaving Sooyoung back in Seoul just to pursue her career. She hopes not. She really hopes not. It’s been one year in the US and her career seems to be much better and she just hopes it’s going to continue skyrocket.

--- ---

Bae Joohyun whistles happily as she wipes the table. She has made sure that the table has been arranged orderly and everything is clean and spotless as usual. She then walks behind the counter and wipes her Espresso machine. Not long after, the alarm on her phone rings and she dismisses it before she flips the ‘Closed’ sign to ‘Open’.

Another day for the coffee shop owner. She hopes there won’t be any interesting event like last week where Seulgi’s ex-lover made a scene in trying to get her back.

“Joohyun unnie,”

“Yes?”

“If Mark comes back to this shop, can we just call the police directly? Tell them he’s stalking me or something?”

The older chuckles, “Sure thing, Seul… It’d be best if we do that, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” the younger nods her head vigorously. “Anyways, did you see the news?”

“What news?”

“Wendy Son came out!”

“What?” Joohyun’s eyes widens in surprise. She then jogs away from the entrance door to grab her phone below the counter. She quickly types her idol’s name and true to what Seulgi has said, her idol did come out this morning.

“You know… She’s kinda sweet. Asking Irene to see her again. I didn’t peg her to be a lovesick fool you know, being an idol and all that. I bet you like it, huh? Your idol’s crush name is Irene, exactly the same as your fake English name. It makes you feel as if she’s talking to you,” the taller woman nudges her side but all the smaller woman could do is to re-read the article again. “And you know, that Irene in the photo dressed up like how you usually do when you go to clubs… Maybe you have a twin somewhere around this city, unnie,”

“Seulgi… I-“

“Welcome to The Velvet!”

Joohyun takes it as a cue to stop discussing about Wendy. She has a coffee shop to maintain and being understaffed has never been a pleasure for both her and Seulgi, especially on a Monday morning where caffeine boost is very much needed. She just hopes Yerim can come on time at 8.30 instead of 9 like the lazy she is. But then again, she owes Yerim her life, doesn’t she?

--- ---

As Joohyun reaches her apartment, she tosses her tote bag and plops on the couch tiredly. Having to work full shift almost every day is definitely not something she’s excited about, yet money is still tight and she can’t really afford to hire any new employee. She only has a total of seven people in her team including her, Seulgi and Yerim. Having both and a couple of her team members still pursuing their degree doesn’t help either because she has to rotate their shift according to their schedule.

She massages her tired legs and sigh, this is her dream, opening her own shop. It’s only been a few months but she has seen an increase in net profit which is good. She has heard from other people how an original coffee shop would be nothing against Starbucks, especially knowing that it is located near The Velvet. She guesses she must be lucky then or the fact that all her employees she has selected are pleasing sight to sore eyes.

She knows beating Starbucks or even being on par with that company would be a difficult thing so she chooses this marketing strategy. She knows it turns out to be an amazing strategy, especially when she sees some customers sometimes taking picture of her or her staffs and flirt with them when they’re ordering. Out of her frequent coffee trips to Starbucks back during Uni, she has never encountered any customer flirting. Yet in her shop, it’s a daily thing. She doesn’t mind it though and she has briefed it as well with her staff and lucky her, they’re all a little narcissistic so they’re fine with the attention.

As she lies down on her bed and ready to sleep, her mind drifts to a certain blonde-haired singer. When she wanted to have some fun on that particular Saturday night, she wasn’t expecting to meet her idol. She figured everyone was too busy drinking their sorrow or having fun that they didn’t notice a particular slouched figure by the bar table. She thought it was brave of the singer to not have any manager/ bodyguards following her to a club. But then again, who would’ve thought a bigshot singer would come to a normal club like this instead of a high-end one?

She observed the blonde who looked so broken-hearted for a few minutes before she took a seat next to her. The singer didn’t even look at her, she’s too busy staring at the rim of the glass of her Whiskey. Joohyun wanted to cheer her up a little so she asked how she is. She didn’t expect the singer to be that drunk to not have any filters.

“I left someone just for my career. Do you think it’s worth it?”

She stayed mum for a moment before she answered, “Depends…”

The singer looked at her with that lopsided smile, “Depends, huh?” Joohyun had to stop herself from squealing, her idol looked damn attractive with that smile.

“I’m… I’m a singer from Korea… Do you perhaps recognise me?” She adjusted her cap a little.

“I do,”

The blonde gave her a tight-lipped smile, “Good… It means my career is going somewhere here in US…”

“You’re too loose after drinking. What if I’m a paparazzi or an obsessive fan?”

Wendy shrugged her shoulders, “I have my team… They’ll figure out something… They’re amazing people.”

The conversation came to an end afterwards and Joohyun just enjoyed sipping on her cocktail. She’d finish her drink and have a dance with strangers before going back home. She didn’t want to be too hangover, knowing she still have to open her shop at eight tomorrow. Her drink was about to be finished when she heard soft voice coming from her idol.

“I don’t usually do this… But do you want to spend a night with me? I just need some company. You seem like a good person,”

“How do you even know I’m a good person?” She asked, chuckling lightly and she saw her idol shrugging her shoulders again before giving her a smile.

“Just a gut feeling from my intoxicated brain… it could be wrong but I hope not,”

“You sure?”

“Yes, according to my hazy mind,” she gave her another lopsided smile and Joohyun chuckled at this. “So… Would you like to keep me company?”

“Ok,” Joohyun answered and she saw that soft smile again. Wendy left some tips on the bar before she dragged her by the wrist. If this was a dream, Joohyun wouldn’t want to wake up from this. How could Wendy Son be holding her like this? It made her wonder a little if the idol did this in Korea but then again she said she didn’t. She just hoped it wasn’t a lie. Her heart fluttered when Wendy opened the taxi door and asked her to get in first before her. They ended up in a five-star hotel not long after.

“I think I can think well enough but I can’t walk straight, goddammit,” the idol cursed at nobody and lied down on the couch. “I’m sorry, I told you I wanted some company, but I don’t think I’d be a good company to you. I’d probably doze off in five or ten,”

Joohyun chuckled and sat near her head before lifting her head up and put it on her lap, “Doze off then. I’ll leave after you’re asleep.”

She saw the blonde blinking a few times as she looked at her, “You’re beautiful…” The idol’s hand reached out to caress her cheek. “And I haven’t got your name,”

“Irene,”

Wendy smiled and put down her hand, “Beautiful name.”

They stayed silent for a few minutes and Joohyun caressed her idol’s cheek. After today, their path wouldn’t cross anymore. She’d take everything she could get just to have this experience as if she and her idol was having a relationship. She’d kept it in her memory forever. She promised not to even let a word slip to Seulgi or Yerim. She’d cherish this memory by herself.

“Irene,”

“Hmm?”

Wendy stayed mum and the idol bit her lower lip, her face blushing a little, then she muttered, “I want to see all of you. Can I?”

“Didn’t you say you’re sleepy?” Joohyun scoffed, an amused smile on her face.

“I don’t think I will be able to sleep if I’m seeing all of you,”

The black-haired woman snickered, “You surely are good with words, hmm?”

Seungwan smiled a little, “Well I do write some of my songs’ lyrics by myself, yes…”

“You need sleep, superstar… Not with me,” she chuckled.

“Call it as a short-term remedy? Just for tonight… I want to forget about that person I left in Korea,”

“Are you sure?” Joohyun asked again, this time seriousness in her voice, no more teasing smile or snickers.

“Yeah… If you allow me to, I’d like to see all of you… Can I?”

“Ok…” the black-haired woman replied before she leaned in to kiss her. “You’re sure of this, right? I don’t want you to leave me hanging in the middle,”

“I’m sure,” the idol sat up and pulled her body close. The next thing Joohyun knew, she’s already straddling her idol, their lips moulding into one, the blonde’s hands on her waist.


AN Hello eveyone... Thank you for all the votes, subscriberes and comments!! I've read all of them and i'm loving the support :)

Forgot to mention on prev chap, the song "Radio" is a song by Henry. It's an amazing song, you should try listening to it! I've got the link down here for your convenience ;) ;) this one here is a duet with Jessi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoxsF5Bdqlk

Anyways, ciao~~ do take care of yourself please, thxxx

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