Winning, But At What Cost?

The LSM Corporate
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"And with 12 hours left, the scores are 22:20 points. Taeyeon leading with 2 points" Minho said. "Now, I don't like the fact that Taeyeon went behind my back and arrested drug dealers while injured, but she did it and there is no point in taking those points away" He stated.


We have 12 hours left till the official end of the competition, but LSM is coming for the end of month check up at 5pm. So you really have 5 hours" Minho stated. "And Taeyeon's in the lead, so Tiffany, you need to get more points"


"Ugh " Taeyeon groaned. "I'm getting tired of this already. I just want to go back to sleeping on my free time"


"Well this was your idea" Hyoyeon chuckled. 


"And, 21" Tiffany smiled and leaned back on her chair.


"You already got a point?" Taeyeon furrowed her eyebrows.


"Yep. Just finished a case from yesterday" Tiffany smiled and started cleaning her desk.


"Ugh, i'm going to have to actually do work today" Taeyeon sighed and got up to look for a case to do. She truly had nothing. All the cases she had were completed. And ever since her injury- well, ever since she injured herself even more by busting down drug dealers and walking all the way to Tiffany's house WHILE being injured, she had to actually take things slow. But doing that got her to fall behind. Tiffany's already catching up.


"U-Uh-..." Tiffany jumped out of her seat, her eyes wide.


"What's wrong?" Hyoyeon looked at the older girl.


"B-Bomb" Tiffany managed to stutter out.


"BOMB?" Taemin's eyes widened and Tiffany nodded. He immediately pressed the emergency button, alerting he entire firm that there was a bomb.


"What the hell" Taeyeon headed towards the exit with everyone else.


By the time they were all outside the building, Minho had called the bomb squad and they all impatiently waited outside.


"The bomb squad is on the way." Minho said, as be walked to his group of friends. "Tiffany, how do you know it's a bomb? Did the box say anything?" He asked, wanting to know as much information as possible.


"I-It said ‘open now’ and w-when I did, I saw the wiring of it. At f-first I thought it was a package for the firm, but i-it obviously wasn't.. I shouldn't have opened it" Tiffany said apologetically.


"Was anything else written on there? Maybe we can find a lead on who's sending us bombs" Minho gritted his teeth.


Tiffany hesitated. "N-No, nothing else"


"Bull" Taeyeon looked at the younger girl.


"W-What?" Tiffany nervously looked back at her.


"Taeyeon, you cannot possibly think she sent this bomb herself? I get that you don't trust her but-" Minho was cut off.


"-That's not what I thought" Taeyeon said. "She hesitated when you asked her if anything else was written on there" She stated.


"I-I-" Tiffany stuttered and looked around at her new coworkers, who one by one, had started trusting her and opening their arms for her. She couldn't lie to them, this bomb put all their lives at risk too. She sighed. "I-It also said.. Uhm.. To Tiffany" She said.


"Huh?" The squad all furrowed their eyebrows. "Why would anyone send you a bomb???" Jinki asked.


"Did they write their name? Do you know who might've sent it?" Minho asked.


"N-No" Tiffany shook her head and gulped. Tiffany wasn't technically lying. Well, she was. But not fully. When she was walking out of the building, she realized that this was exactly how her family were killed. They received a mysterious box, the killers probably signed it as if it was a gift from her, who was back in Japan at the time. They excitedly opened it, only for it to be a bomb. 


Whoever did this was the same person who killed her family, and she needed to know who it was. The only thing she knew is that whoever the murderer is, he was friends with a specific criminal she put in jail. He was getting revenge for Tiffany putting his friend behind bars, so he did this.


Taeyeon was good at spotting when someone was lying, and she could tell Tiffany was hiding something. She noticed Tiffany hiding so many things, but let it go because she couldn't just force the girl to talk to HER about her family, especially since Tiffany knew Taeyeon didn't trust her. But this time, it nearly cost her life. And all her friends lives. She wasn't going to let that slide.


The bomb squad finally arrived and diffused the bomb. If they hadn't arrived, the bomb would've went off in 3 more minutes.


"Okay guys, the bomb squad diffused the bomb. We can safely go back in. And i'll tell LSM about the bomb when he comes over" Minho said, as he headed inside.


Tiffany decided to distract herself by trying to get 2 more points to get a win. After everything that happened, she desperately needed this win.



When LSM arrived and Minho was telling him everything, Tiffany ran into the firm. "THERE" She smacked Taeyeon's table with 3 documents. "3 cases done. So that's 22.. 23... 24 points for me, making ME the winner of the competition!" She smirked. "Which means, you have to be nice to me!"


"Whoa she actually did it" Sooyoung's eyes widened.


"Taeyeon, I told you not to just sit here and do nothing. You underestimated her and she beat you!" Hyoyeon chuckled.


Taeyeon pretended to be frustrated. "How the hell did you get 3 cases done?"


"You busted druggies and shady people, and told me where they go to do shady stuff. I went there and busted 3 idiotic teens dealing drugs" Tiffany smirked.


Taeyeon rolled her eyes and sighed. "Cheater"


"Actually, if I remember correctly, you're the cheater. Because your first 3 points came from cases you did before the competition even started. But I let that go. And anyways, even those 3 cases couldn't help you win because I beat you by 2 points!" Tiffany bragged.


"whatever, Hwang" Taeyeon scoffed. She didn't actually care about the competition anymore. She wanted to let Tiffany win because even though she doesn't trust her, she thinks the younger girl went through enough pain. First her family, losing her job, applying to a different firm, now the bomb.. She needed this win. Which is why she didn't do anything all day.


Taeyeon was pretending to be confident and say that she's not worried about Tiffany beating her, but she was hoping Tiffany got a few cases done before the competition ended.


"Anyways, I WON!" Tiffany smiled. The whole firm cheered, completely forgetting LSM was here.


"Now what the hell is going on here?" Minho walked out of his office, LSM right behind him.


"I WON THE COMPE-oh" Tiffany stopped jumping once she noticed her boss. Her face fell and she looked down at her feet.


"You won what?" Lee Sooman looked at her.


Tiffany just gulped and stayed silent.


"What the hell is going on here?" Their boss asked. Nobody answered. "I said, what the hell is going on here?" He repeated, louder and angrier this time, looking at Taeyeon.


Taeyeon sighed. "Tiffany and I had a competition to see who could get more cases done in a month" She truthfully said.


"You WHAT?" The boss snapped. "So, instead of doing your jobs, you decided to play a month long game, knowing damn well this firm has been slacking compared to others?" He yelled. "And you" He looked at Tiffany. "I give you a job, tell you to be an assistant for a while, before you can jump back into being a lawyer, but you completely ignore that??" He spat.


"You people have had too much fun here. I think it's about time we get you separated. "Maybe that way, you'll get something done for once" LSM snapped.


"“For once”?" Tiffany finally snapped. She was tired of their boss acting like they never do anything, when the competition they held was literally part of their work.


Everyone in the firm was looking at Tiffany with wide eyes.


"Excuse me?" LSM looked at her.


"When I first joined this firm, you told me that this firm needed someone to “pick up the slack”, because everyone here was not serious about their jobs. And at first, I believed you, because they were always playing games. But the games they play are literally their jobs. Taeyeon and I's competition was to see who got the most cases done in a month. I got 24 cases done. She got 22. With the both of us alone, this firm has 46 cases completed in 1 MONTH" She snapped.


"And that's not counting all 7 of Hyoyeon's cases. Or all 10 of Key's. It's not even counting all 13 of Jinki's arrests, or Yuri's 9 arrests. Or Sooyoung's 10. Or Taemin's 8" Tiffany said, as she pointed at each member. "That's 103 total cases done in a MONTH. And i'm only counting the ones from our squad. And let's not forget General Minho, who has been working his off going to meetings and saving your from looking stupid" She spat. She knows she probably shouldn't have said that to her boss, and that she was probably going to be fired after this, but she didn't care. She worked her off, only for her boss to say they're not getting anything done.


"And you want my assistant work? Here you go" She got the papers from her desk and tossed them towards her boss. "I did every. Single. Assignment I was given, the week they were given to me. All of them were signed and completed by General Minho too. I did all of that while winning cases. So don't you dare say we did nothing. Because we are the reason this firm is maintaining that number 1 spot. Now stop being a miserable . We're all doing our jobs, so why not have a little fun as we do it? Especially when that fun motivates us to go get more done" She finally finished her rant.


Lee Sooman was mad. More than mad, he was furious. No one spoke to him like that, especially not a new person who's been here for a month. "Tiffany" He called through gritted teeth. "You're fired"


Tiffany's heart sank. She knew this was coming, but it still felt terrible.


"What?" Key furrowed his eyebrows.


"Did you even hear anything she said?" Hyoyeon remarked angrily.


"But sir-" Minho was cut off.


"I said, she is fired. And anyone who has a problem with that, can follow her out the door!" Their boss shouted, as he started walking out.


"You can't fire her" Taeyeon finally spoke up. "And you wont" She strictly said.


"Excuse me?" The boss stopped walking, turned around and looked at her. "You do not tell me what to do. It's the other way round. I am your boss. I tell you what to do. Tiffany is fired. And you, Taeyeon, are the last person to even talk about this, because you've been on the chopping block for weeks now. This is a law firm and you're all treating it like it's preschool. You're grown men and women. You're here to work, not horse around!" He snapped.


"I said, you can't fire her, and you won't" Taeyeon repeated.


"Oh is that so? Why not?" LSM sarcastically and rhetorically asked, not expecting her to talk back any further after threatening to fire her.


"Because as Minho probably already told you, the bomb was addressed to Tiffany. Tiffany specifically. Which means, there is a tie between her and the bomber. We can use her to help us find who the killer is" Taeyeon stated. "If we fire her, we lose that lead" 


"I'm willing to risk the chance" The boss said. "She's fired, end of-" He was cut off.


"-No you aren't" Taeyeon shook her head. "You're not willing to risk it. Because this bomber can be tied to the bombing of the Hwang family house. And if he's sending random people bombs, then the next victim may not be as lucky as us" She snapped. "Tiffany is our key to finding out who the bomber is. And he can be linked to the Hwang's case. This is too huge for you to let go. If you fire Tiffany and another firm figures this all out, they'll take the case and most probably Tiffany too. And as she just proved to all of us, she's a damn well good lawyer AND detective. With her, they can easily figure out who the bomber is and they'll beat us to the top" She stated confidently.


Everyone, Lee Sooman included, was silent. They were all surprised Taeyeon was defending Tiffany this hard. Even Tiffany couldn't believe it. She expected Minho, Hyoyeon and maybe Sooyoung to defend her like this, since they became close friends, but never did she expect Taeyeon of all people to risk her own job to defend her.


"So, no, Sir." Taeyeon said, as she took slow steps towards her boss. "You are not going to fire her. Or me. Or anyone here. You will not separate us either. Because our little month long game just got you more completed cases than any other firm in the country. I know because I checked the statistics" She snapped.


Lee Sooman was furious. "Taeyeon" He gritted his teeth. "Since you want to defend Tiffany so much, you're both suspended for 2 weeks" He snapped, and walked out.


"My god. He cannot be serious" Jinki rolled his eyes.


"I don't know what the hell is wrong with him. Our firm got the most cases this month compared to all the other firms around us. Why is he still pissed?" Minho shook his head. "Whatever, Tae, Tiffany, i'm sorry but I can't oppose what he says"


"No, it's fine. I'll pack my things and see you guys in 2 weeks. Hopefully the boss doesn't have a stick up his by then" Taeyeon rolled her eyes and walked towards her desk.


"U-Uhm, Minho, before I leave, can I talk to you privately for a sec?" Tiffany asked.


"Oh, yeah sure, let's go to my office" Minho nodded and walked into his office, Tiffany following him.


"Congratulations on your win, by the way. Sorry we couldn't celebrate with you" Minho said, as he took his hat off and sat down on his chair.


"Thank you. And it's fine. It was stressful but fun" Tiffany smiled and nodded. "Uhm, anyways.. I have a confession to make"


Minho furrowed his eyebrows. "Shoot"


"I-I-.. Uhm... I think someone's been following me" She truthfully said.


"What?" Minho's eyes widened. "Do you think it's the guy who sent you the bomb? Why would anyone follow you and send you a bomb in the first place?" He asked, confused. 


Tiffany closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "So" She started explaining everything. How she was the eldest Hwang daughter, how she quit being a lawyer at JYP because one of the criminals she locked up had gotten his criminal friends to bomb her home, how she's been seeing the same hooded person everywhere for the past 3 days. Everything. "I-It can't be a coincidence... It has to be the same person... I don't know anyone else who would want me dead" 


Minho was stressing out. "Okay" he sighed. "Since you may be followed, we all have to take precautions. Especially you" He stood up. "Do you mind if I tell the others about the person following you? I wont tell them that you're the eldest Hwang daughter, I promise" He truthfully said.


"Yeah" Tiffany nodded. "Okay.." 


They both walked back out into the firm.


"See you guys in two weeks" Taeyeon said, as she picked up her bag.


"Actually, Taeyeon, can you sit? We have a code red" Minho sighed.


"What?" Taemin furrowed his eyebrows.


"What happened?" Hyoyeon asked.


"Is it another bomb threat?" Key asked worriedly.


"No, but, Tiffany here thinks she's being followed. She's been seeing the same hooded man everywhere she went, for the past few days" The General started. "He may be the person who sent the bomb. Or working for him. So we need to get to the bottom of this" He sat on the

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