Choi Inseop, who came to the bathroom, washed his hands in cold water as usual. As his fingertips tingled, his mind became clearer. He murmured as he looked at himself in the mirror.
Calm down. Should be good. Let’s endure it even when it’s hard.
As he washed his hands, he mumbled all the phrases he had seen in other books about mind control. He was so absorbed in the act of washing his hands that he did not even realize that someone was near him. The man in ragged clothes said something. The moment he raised his head because he couldn’t understand well, the man’s eyes met his. He had a bad feeling, so he thought he had to get out immediately. The man asked to borrow a lighter. Inseop said he didn’t smoke, but the man kept repeating the same thing over and over. He wondered if it was the Korean-Chinese who was somehow awkward with the way he spoke. When he first came to Korea, Inseop didn’t even know what Korean-chinese meant. When he said strange things or some words were difficult to understand, Koreans asked him if he was Korean-Chinese, so he searched the Internet for what it was. Inseop looked through his pockets and pretended he had nothing. Then another man behind him suddenly covered Inseop’s mouth with his palm. He was choked with disgust as if insects were crawling all over his body. He struggled, but he couldn’t stand the strength of the two men. The man who dragged him to the corner of the bathroom, lowered his pants and started groping his body. Inseop couldn’t even make a sound as his mouth was blocked by his clasped hands. He wanted to call Jenny’s name. But he knew that even if he called her name, she wouldn’t be there to help. Tears spilled out. Whoever it was, he cried out to help him. Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny.
As in the morning of that day, he constantly called out Jenny’s name. The door opened and someone came in. The moment he saw that person’s face, his mind went blank.
“Did you dream?”
“You seem to be having a nightmare, are you okay?”
“If Inseop isn’t feeling well, should I turn the car around right now?”
“Don’t be absurd. We have less than thirty minutes left to reach the villa.”
After hearing the voices of CEO Kim and Manager Cha, Inseop knew where he was.
Choi Inseop. A twenty-four-year-old Korean man disguised as twenty-six. Lee Wooyeon’s manager. He was currently traveling somewhere in Gangwon-do.
It was all a dream.
He blinked a couple of times. Tears were welling up in the corners of his eyes, running down his cheeks. He quickly wiped away the tears with his palm and looked at Lee Wooyeon, who was sitting next to him.
Lee Wooyeon, who was reading the script, turned his head and asked, “You’re still not feeling well?” Hearing that sweet voice, everything that happened before he got into the car felt like a lie. It was a very brief moment, but Inseop could feel the cold side of Lee Wooyeon. It wasn’t an illusion. In and out of the bathroom, he treated him as badly as anyone else.
“Drink some water.”
Wooyeon offered him a bottled water. Choi Inseop accepted it, but continued to glance at Lee Wooyeon’s side face.
“Inseop must have drooled on Wooyeon’s shoulder while sleeping, did you wipe it off?”
Choi Inseop’s face turned bright red at CEO Kim’s words, who was sitting in the front seat.
“Sorry, I’m sorry.”
He rummaged through his pockets, pulled out a handkerchief, and looked around Lee Wooyeon’s shoulders, anxiously trying to find the saliva marks that were left behind.
“The president was joking.”
“It’s a joke, a joke.”
“Right. I was joking. How can Lee Wooyeon leave a sleeping man drooling on his shoulder? … Ugh.”
Manager Cha quietly hit the side of CEO Kim, who was stuttering useless words, with his fingertips. Lee Wooyeon smiled and took out a pen and started writing something on the script.
-I didn’t tell anyone what happened before. Would that be okay?
Choi Inseop nodded slightly.
It was something he didn’t even want to say out of his own mouth. He didn’t even want to tell anyone about it as he didn’t want their worry or comfort… In fact, it was worse that Wooyeon found out about the situation. Not feeling well just thinking about it, Choi Inseop continued to drink water.
“Ah, by the way, those bastards were really annoying earlier.”
“It’s like that wherever you go these days, huh?”
Choi Inseop, who had been listening to the conversation that was happening in the front, asked. As soon as he got into the car because he wasn’t feeling well, he fell asleep as if he fainted.
“Some crazy bastards made a sudden stop in front of us and we almost got into an accident.”
“Ah, really. Throwing cigarette butts in my car. How much is this tint?”
CEO Kim reluctantly grinded his teeth and swept down the car glass with his palm.
“They suddenly lowered the glass of their car and cursed in Chinese, but I thought they were crazy bastards.”
Choi Inseop, who had heard CEO Kim’s grumbling, looked at Lee Wooyeon with an anxious face. Lee Wooyeon gently raised one eyebrow and made a troubled expression. They looked fine in the bathroom earlier.
“Weren’t they Korean-Chinese? They could be.”
“They were Korean-Chinese and they cursed at me, those Chinese bastards”
CEO Kim casually made remarks that would be marked as racially discriminatory if they had been heard by others.
When Choi Inseop’s complexion turned pale again, Lee Wooyeon wrote on the script again and showed it to Inseop.
“When you were sleeping, there were some trivial things that happened.”
Even looking at the letters, Inseop’s anxiety did not subside.
“You have nothing to worry about. It’s not like we’ll see them twice anyway.”
Choi Inseop hesitated for a moment, then motioned for the pen to be handed to him. When Lee Wooyeon gave the pen, he carefully wrote down the letters.
“Sorry. For letting you get caught up in something unpleasant.”
Choi Inseop was not in a good mood even as he wrote it himself. It was more shameful than he could have imagined, for a man to be seen as such an object by another man and to be subjected to such a thing under the pressure of physical force.
The moment the bathroom door opened and he saw Lee Wooyeon’s face for the first time, the thought that entered his head was, “I don’t want to live and die instead.” When Lee Wooyeon pulled him out of it, there was an instinctive feeling of anxiety in his heart.
He shouldn’t have done that.
If he looked at the facts alone, Lee Wooyeon took the risk and saved him. Regarding that, it was right to exclude personal feelings and thank him properly.
Should he say thank you? Will it just go away as if nothing ever happened? Can he have the feeling of gratitude towards Lee Wooyeon?… It would be better to do it though.
Choi Inseop picked up the pen. The moment he was about to write a thank you, CEO Kim exclaimed in an excited voice.
When they arrived at the entrance of the villa, he undid his seat belt, screaming loudly like a child. It was a mansion with many large windows and gray-white exterior walls giving it a modern feel. The lake was not far away, and the mountain could be seen in the background. Choi Inseop could understand why President Kim praised his villa so much before coming here.
“How is it? My cottage.”
“Inseop. That’s good, not a single word, but a more glamorous rhetoric.”
Choi Inseop frowned for a moment at the word glamorous rhetoric, and then used the phrase used by young people these days.
“King Wang is the best.”
“Did I say something wrong?”
“No …Hahaha, it’s a splendid rhetoric.”
Manager Cha, who parked the car, unloaded the luggage from the trunk. When Choi Inseop went to the side and tried to help him, he waved his hand.
Inseop is not feeling well. Go and rest.”
“What made you so sick? You still have a sickly face.”
Choi Inseop, who had gone to the bathroom, was put in the back of the car, and Lee Wooyeon blamed the car sickness for his poor condition. Lee Wooyeon gently pushed Inseop’s shoulder, who was about to move the luggage, saying it was okay now.
“Go and rest.”
Choi Inseop, unable to say anything, stood tall. Even knowing the fact that he said these words with consideration for him, strangely, Lee Wooyeon’s words, every word, came to him with weight. Being caught in the bathroom didn’t help at all, instead he felt as if he had a weakness.
“Inseop. Come here. Look at this. Isn’t the view amazing?”
Excitedly, CEO Kim pointed to the lake and told him to think of it as his own. He was quite different from the stylish CEO in the office who was well dressed and treated his employees. He didn’t want to, but Choi Inseop started to notice the good things of the people around him and it was difficult.
Manager Cha saw CEO Kim and went inside the villa with his luggage. Lee Wooyeon took the rest of the luggage from the car and went inside.
“The caretaker prepared well.”
“Of course. I just called him a few days ago.”
The walls and floors were all made of parquet. Inseop, who had changed into the slippers he had prepared, looked around the inside of the villa without hesitation.
“Inseop, sit there and rest.”
CEO Kim pointed to the sofa. Inseop carefully sat on the sofa and looked around with a blank expression on his face.
“How is it? Is it okay?”
“When I built this, I lived in Gangwon-do for a month.
If you don’t nag the builders, the work will be delayed, so you have to keep an eye on them.”
“It was really hard back then. There were a lot of things to deal with, but the CEO was crazy about the villa and didn’t come to the office.”
Manager Cha sighed as he recalled the past.
“Still, I did all the paperwork to pay.”
“The CEO just said ok and I stamped it. Of course, I also reviewed all the documents.”
“I gave you a bonus.”
“Huh, that was just a small bonus.”
Choi Inseop, who saw the two of them fighting like old friends, said.
“The two of you must be really close.”
“We’re not close at all. My road manager was pitiful, so I kept him.”
“He he he. CEO. If I take the kids and talk about the days when the CEO played, no one will listen to the CEO anymore.”
“Hey man, Manager Cha. Talking about it now, it’s a riot.”
“Who would listen to what a nosy person is saying? Why are you so serious?”
Manager Cha, who laughed playfully, grabbed Choi Inseop’s shoulder and continued.
“Make sure you have at least one or two weaknesses of the celebrity you are in charge of. The day will come when it will become your property.”
Lee Wooyeon, who was looking around the house, put his hand on his waist and burst into laughter.
“Hahaha. The manager is really. Are you instructing Inseop to uncover my weaknesses?”
“…No, I mean…”
“What are my weaknesses?”
Lee Wooyeon frowned playfully. However, all three other men did not accept the prank and their faces turned pale.
“That is …other celebrities. Inseop. I mean, if you take on other celebrities, that’s it. Wooyeon has no weaknesses… does not exist.”
Manager Cha stuttered and continued.
“I have no intention of becoming another celebrity’s manager.”
Choi Inseop, who had said his true feelings without realizing it, said, lowered his head. Lee Wooyeon made a more pleasant laugh than before.
“Would Lee Wooyeon make Inseop the fan club president?”
When CEO Kim told the joke, Choi Inseop only shook his head with a bare face. Lee Wooyeon, who was happily looking at Inseop like that, turned around and said.
“I’m going to take a shower.”
As CEO Kim pointed to the stairs, Lee Wooyeon naturally climbed the stairs as if it was his own house. As soon as his figure disappeared, the two sat down next to Inseop.
Inseop. Did something happen before?”
“Is it that Korean-Chinese or Chinese? What happened to Lee Wooyeon?”
In the car, Wooyeon clearly said that he would not say anything to the two of them. Choi Inseop chose to breathe slowly as he felt the blood draining from his fingertips.
“Nothing… there was none.”
It was always difficult to lie. Still, he couldn’t help it. Inseop didn’t want anyone else to know about the terrible things that had happened to him.
“Really? There must have been an argument.”
Manager Cha, who was organizing the luggage said to CEO Kim, “Right?”
“Clearly there was something. Otherwise, Wooyeon will not throw it… Ha ha ha ha, there is dust here.”
Manager Cha, who was talking, suddenly bent down and pretended to wipe off the dust. When Choi Inseop turned around, CEO Kim rolled his eyes and changed his expression.
“What happened while I was asleep?”
“No, I was just asking just in case the Chinese suddenly picked a fight. Don’t worry about it.”
He said so, but CEO Kim Hakseung was extremely concerned.
When a madman made a sudden stop in front of him and they almost had an accident, he threw all kinds of curses at him.
The people who spit on his newly bought Evoque, raised their middle finger, and swore in unintelligible Chinese, made CEO Kim angry to the point of being pushed back. Just as he was about to point his finger at those crazy people and swear at them, Lee Wooyeon, who was quietly reading the script from behind, stretched out and brought something from behind. Then he opened the window and threw a spanner at them. It happened before he could stop him.
When he saw the spanner stuck in the windshield of the car, CEO Kim shouted in surprise. After all, there could have been a really big accident.
However, Lee Wooyeon motioned for him to be quiet and sat down as if it was no big deal and started reading the script again. It was a very minor incident that happened when Choi Inseop was asleep, leaning on the seat, moaning.
It was also a small incident that showed what kind of person Lee Wooyeon was, who generously showed his true personality in front of CEO Kim and Manager Cha.
“Oh, Wooyeon didn’t take this.”
Manager Cha, who was organizing the luggage took out the shampoo from the bag. Choi Inseop already knew that Lee Wooyeon only used a certain brand of shampoo.
“Can you take this to him? I think I should go grocery shopping.”
“Yes. All right.”
Choi Inseop took the shampoo and stood up.
“Hey, let’s go together. Let’s buy beer and buy soju. I’ll buy the liquor.”
Looking at the back of CEO Kim, who followed Cha, Inseop recalled his relationship with Wooyeon and had a bitter taste.
As he went upstairs, he quickly found the bathroom with the sound of running water. As soon as he raised his hand to knock, the door swung open.
Lee Wooyeon, who opened the door, was also surprised. Choi Inseop held out the shampoo he was holding in his hand.
“Thank you. Anyway, I was just about to go down now.”
Lee Wooyeon, who had only one towel around his waist, smiled and took the shampoo. Choi Inseop put his gaze elsewhere and spoke calmly.
“Then, please take a shower.”
Lee Wooyeon’s laughter leaked out from the crack in the door that was about to close . Choi Inseop also thought that he had made a mistake and came down the stairs, tilting his head.
After taking a shower, Lee Wooyeon came down, wiping his hair with a towel. In his training pants and a thin white T-shirt, Choi Inseop could understand what it means to say that everyday life became a CF.
“What about the others?”
“… They went shopping.”
Lee Wooyeon sat down on the sofa. Reading the script on the table, he leaned back on the backrest. Inseop didn’t know what to do at the smell of a man’s shampoo, which he felt was too close, and he looked anxiously forward.
Even the slightest movement was enough to touch his shoulder. They even sat next to each other in the car, but after that incident, it was the first time they were alone. His mouth was dry from the tight tension.
After hesitating a few times, Inseop opened his mouth.
“Where are you hurting?”
Choi Inseop’s eyes widened like a puppy surprised by a sudden question.
“I think you are not feeling well.”
“Just a little… ”
He couldn’t say that his heart was not good, he was no different from a normal person now, but he couldn’t say that he shouldn’t overdo it yet. Instead, he replied in a low voice, “I’m not feeling well.”
Lee Wooyeon took out a cigarette from the cigarette pack on the table and lit it. Choi Inseop was surprised. According to the information he had gathered, he did not smoke.
“There are times when I have to smoke while acting. Sometimes, I smoke.”
The appearance of Lee Wooyeon speaking with a cigarette in his lips seemed unfamiliar. While reading the script, Choi Inseop stared blankly at the side of him smoking a cigarette with his forehead narrowed. Then he inhaled cigarette smoke and coughed a little.
“Do you hate cigarette smoke? Sorry.”
Lee Wooyeon got up and opened the window. He had wide shoulders. The moment he looked at his shoulder, Inseop thought of a word.
Jenny talked about the prince’s shoulder enough to write a book about it. The rapturous praise of the shoulder was always concluded with one line.
He has the shoulders of a quarterback.
Maybe that was why Choi Inseop often glanced at his shoulder without realizing it.
“I didn’t smoke because I was exercising… ”
Lee Wooyeon smiled faintly as he blew smoke into the air.
Did it even bring back memories of the past? Choi Inseop wondered what he was thinking.
“I smoke often, so this isn’t bad either.”
“…Yes. By the way, what kind of exercise did you do before?”
The last question was asked in a more serious tone. It was a feeling of wanting to give even a small scratch to Lee Wooyeon, who lived as if he had nothing to do with the past.
When the manager, who is always modest, suddenly asked such a question, Wooyeon was a little surprised .
“This and that. I did it like everyone else.”
Lee Wooyeon rubbed more than half of the remaining cigarette on the ashtray and put it out. He stretched out his hand. Putting the back of his hand on Choi Inseop’s cheek,he said in a low voice.
“Get some rest. You must have been very surprised.”
On the back of his hand, he felt Inseop’s whole body stiffen from his touch but he did not lift his hand. He touched his forehead with his hand, and his face went pale.
“You have a fever.”
“… I’m fine.”
“Forget such bad things. It’s like being bitten by a crazy dog.”
The appearance of Choi Inseop nodding his head with a pale face as if he was about to collapse at his words reminded him of what he had always been taught not to do as a human being.
Lee Wooyeon was different from others since childhood. Parents liked that he was a polite little boy who could control his emotions. However, it was only that he lacked the emotions to restrain himself in the first place. He was a child who had to memorize it as a social norm rather than emotionally understanding why he shouldn’t bully someone weaker than him.
It wasn’t like he had no emotion at all. But in a way different from others, he felt pleasure.
When others suffered, grieved, were sick, and in pain.
Those things he enjoyed.
He’d been taught not to do that, that humans should respect the feelings of others, that was a social promise. To live among the people, he accepted the promise. But sometimes the urge to break that promise arose.
“Why? Where is it uncomfortable?”
When he bowed his back and looked at the complexion of his opponent, Inseop had a face that looked like he was going to faint.
“It’s just that… ”
Seeing his manager barely saying that with his trembling lips, Lee Wooyeon swallowed a laugh inside.
He thought it was well attached to the subject he disliked so much.
He didn’t shed any tears, but it was not much different from the look on his face from being attacked by a pervert in the bathroom.
Lee Wooyeon, who suddenly remembered the scene that happened earlier, frowned slightly. The very idea of committing such a thing to the same man did not fit his sensibility. It was funny to say that someone like him was talking about sense.
It was a scene he didn’t want to see twice.
“Get some rest.”
Lee Wooyeon said moving away. Choi Inseop nodded, holding the hem of his robe in his hand. Lee Wooyeon stood up from his seat with the script.
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