It was well past two o’clock in the morning.
After writing the last sentence of the summary of Kwon-woo’s revision, she could finally relax.
She raised her head to tell him that she had sent it to him.

His eyes were closed.
Was he asleep? She waved her hand in front of his face carefully.
He didn’t wake.
His breathing was steady.
She thought about waking him up but continued to stare at him.
Her heart beat wildly.

“Why aren’t you waking me up?”

Kwon-woo said suddenly, still with his eyes closed.
Her body froze in surprise.

“You have a bad habit.”

He let out a small smile and opened his eyes.
A brief moment passed where their eyes met.
It felt like hours to Se-ha.

When she did not return the smile, Kwon-woo’s lips dropped slowly and he got up, shaking his head as if to chase away sleep.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“We’re done, aren’t we? I’m going to go out.
It wasn’t like me to work so much,” replied Kwon-woo.

“There’s only this hotel in the vicinity and there is nowhere else to go.”

“I don’t think you’re someone who knows how to have fun.
I’m fine on my own, thanks.”

“I’ll go with you.”

She quickly got up from her seat.
Kwon-woo looked displeased.

“Don’t ruin the mood.”

“You’ve never hung around with me.”

Kwon-woo rubbed his face with his hands at her words.

“…I know without having to.”

“You’re prejudiced against me.
How do you know I’m not some hotshot player?”

“Are you sure you want to be like this?”

“My job is to assist you by your side.”

“Your job is to assist, not meddle.”

“It doesn’t matter anyway whether I’m there or not.
Or do you have any other reason to avoid me?”

Kwon-woo stopped, his expression of one who got caught red-handed.
Frowning, he let out a small sigh and sat back down on the couch.

“Forget it.
I would rather stay glued to the room than be some wuss who hangs around with his secretary.”

He crouched down and took out a bottle of whiskey from the small refrigerator.
He pointed with his chin at Se-ha.

Go rest.”

She nodded, but she had no thought of leaving.
She could not miss this chance where they were way far out here, in a hotel of all places.

She took this chance to head to the bathroom.
She let out a small breath after turning on the faucet.
Her sigh deepened after looking at herself in the mirror.
There was nothing to adjust.
A basic black top and a suit with no distinct features.
A pair of black-rimmed glasses.
Hair tied back.

She took off her glasses though she knew it was meaningless.
She re-tied her hair and combed her bangs.
Her hands shook.

“My lips…”

Her face was practically bare because she had washed her face in the day due to the nosebleed.
She rubbed her lips in awkwardness.
If she knew this would happen she would have brought her make-up pouch.
It would be weird to go back out and inside again.
Se-ha rummaged through her body in blind hope.

It was then she found a finger-sized lipstick in the pocket of her jacket.
It was a lipstick without a brand or a logo.
She wondered when she had bought this because there was only one she used. 

Confused, she opened the cap and found it was new, and drew on the back of her hand.
It was the color of a bright red apple.

She remembered where she got it then.
She let out a tiny smirk at the memory of the man wearing a jacket with sleeves of multicolored stripes, the vivid red standing out in particular.

-Kiss with this lipstick on and you can make the man you desire into yours…

It sounded like some third-rate copy of a cosmetic advertisement.
She didn’t believe it but decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.
Whatever happened, happened.

Se-ha put on the lipstick.
It looked good on her.
She thought she could smell a faint scent.

Kwon-woo stared at Se-ha point blank when she came back.
The gaze was unfamiliar.

“The color on your lips…I don’t think I have ever seen it.”

Se-ha stepped closer to the couch where Kwon-woo was sitting.
He avoided her gaze with an unstable expression, obviously taken back.
However, she could feel his eyes on her lips as if unable to hold back.

As if to show him that all she wanted was the beer in the refrigerator that stood next to Kwon-woo, she took it out when he cleared his throat.

She took a drink, and when she licked the foam from her lips Kwon-woo’s gaze sat glued to her lips once more.

What was going on? She knew there was some scent that could not be clearly made out, but it wasn’t like it was the first time she had any lipstick on…

 “Secretary Hong, don’t like me.”

Her heart sank at his sudden words.

What was he saying? Frozen, she blankly looked at him while scrambling to find the words to reply to.
She licked her lips and dropped her head.

Kwon-woo kept staring at her with a look of restlessness until he lowered his head.

“I don’t know why I said that.
I never thought of saying anything like that,” he paused and continued, “But I know I’m not wrong.”

“…How did you know?”

“You blush whenever we make eye contact, your gaze shakes, you tense up and tremble when we almost touch.
If you don’t know by then, then you’re an idiot or you’re pretending not to notice.”

“You’re right.
You have a lot of experience, too.”

“I don’t understand.
Why would someone like you like someone like me?”

Kwon-woo knit his eyebrows.
Se-ha quickly raised her head.

“You have a lot of strong points.”

“I know.
So why do you like me when there is no way that someone like me who has so much can ever be together with someone who has so little.”

A laugh escaped from Se-ha’s lips.
Her heart eased a little but there was still a part of her that hurt.

“I worked with you for five years.
I know you’re just saying that but it still hurts to actually hear it.”

Her throat felt like it was closing on itself.
She didn’t know how to act since it was her first time doing something like this.
She fumbled with the cold beer can though she didn’t have the courage to drink it.
The tips of her fingers felt colder than it.

When she had joined Myung Hwa Group, she had the opportunity to go to the department of her choice after the six-month probation period with another newcomer and getting the highest score in the secretarial job.

Everyone envied her, saying she had an easy life ahead of her now.
They advised her to work under Jang Ta-hwon in the control tower, or gain experience with Jang Ji-ho in the semiconductor field.

But she had taken the secretarial job with Jang Kwon-woo.

He caught one’s eyes with features more handsome than an actor or model.
He was the youngest son of Myung Hwa Group, one of the five conglomerates in the financial world.
The owner of Masterpiece Hotel, a subsidiary of Myung Hwa Group.
Also, he was single.

He was the dream man for every woman.

However, Jang Kwon-woo was not interested in work.
He played around in the workplace.
He was always caught up in scandals with numerous women and was the topic of gossip.
He was childish and undignified; a roughneck.
That was the image most had with Jang Kwon-woo, so nobody could understand Se-ha’s choice.

She believed he was special.

Se-ha thought back to five years ago when she had new employee’ training.

All three brothers of the chairman of Myung Hwa Group appeared at the training institute.
She thought she had never seen a man of such beauty when she spotted Kwon-woo, standing a step behind his brothers.

While Jang Tae-hwon was in the middle of his short speech, Se-ha, standing amongst the new employees, noticed a problem with the broadcasting equipment.
She noticed because she was a member of the broadcasting department in high school and had part-time jobs where she had to set up sound equipment.
It might look like nothing at all but if something went wrong, someone could get electrified or worse.

How did nobody know? Se-ha decided to fix it.
It was a simple job, something that did not require any help.

A round of applause broke when Kwon-woo stepped off the platform.
Excusing herself for the bathroom, she headed to the back of the stage.
She thought she could fix it quickly and be back without anyone noticing her.

But she hid when she found Kwon-woo standing in front of the broadcasting equipment.
He removed a few lines after looking at the equipment with a blank face.

While nobody in this large gathering had noticed, only Se-ha and Kwon-woo had.

The employees of Myung Hwa Group ran to him.
Kwon-woo did not reveal what he did or reproach them, instead headed back as if nothing had happened.

She stared at his back, his large and robust back, and her heart quivered.
She could see a light flowing from every movement Kwon-woo made.
In that moment Se-ha knew she had to make him hers.

No matter what.

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