“I understand what you’re saying.
I’m sorry my feelings have caused such harm,” she said.

“That’s not what I mean…”

“I actually didn’t plan to confess to you today.
I just… wanted to make time for the two of us.
Laugh about nothing in particular and drink beer like now.
If you had not realized my feelings for you it would be a day like any other,” she shook her head.
“This won’t happen again.
I’m not so shameless as to come on to someone who dislikes me.”

Her voice quivered at the end of her words, laced with another mix of emotion.
As if thrown off guard, Kwon-woo looked back at Se-ha.

“I’m going to resign.
Thank you for your kind words but I don’t have the courage to see you every day.
I also don’t like the fact that I’ve made you uncomfortable.”

“Secretary Hong.”

“After the transition, I’ll leave.
During that period, I’ll try my best to give up and you should act as if nothing happened.
I know my feelings don’t mean much to you… But hopefully you can do this for me after the five years we’ve worked together.”

She stood up and Kwon-woo’s eyes shook even harder.

Avoiding his piercing stare, she cleaned up her seat and took a quick bow.
She walked to the door slowly.
She could not feel her arms and legs.
Her whole mind was concentrated on Jang Kwon-woo behind her.

Just then, she could hear Kwon-woo standing up.
She swallowed and stopped walking.
This was the important part.

After a moment of standing where she was, she slowly twisted her body and faced him.
Kwon-woo was standing with an expression she had never seen before.
It was do or die.

“Kiss me,” she blurted out.

“…What did you say?”

“If you kiss me I think I can give up.”

“Secretary Hong, are you crazy?”

“Yes, I think it wise to think that.
I feel crazy.”


“My feelings accumulated for five years while I worked by your side.
You didn’t think I would disappear so easily without accomplishing anything? I won’t ask for anything else.
I’m not so tacky to be such a needy person for just a kiss.
If you want I can sign a contract.”

Kwon-woo stood speechless.

“Or… Is it that you hate even a momentary lock with my lips?

She smiled bitterly.
He did not avoid her eyes now.
They were fixed on her as if he could not move them of his own accord.
He opened his mouth to say something but stopped.
Then he slowly walked towards Se-ha.

One step, two steps.
His footsteps drew nearer to Se-ha.
It excited her.

He was standing right in front of her now.
They stood so close they could feel each other’s breaths and hear each other’s heartbeats.
Se-ha did not dare to move a step.

She raised her head and her eyes caught his.
She could see her own reflection in his eyes.
What was he thinking about? She thought she could see the middle of his pupils flare as if it was caught on fire.
He was still indecipherable. 

She reached for the outline of Kwon-woo’s lips, gently touching the cut he got from earlier.
He frowned the second her fingertips felt the prickle of it.
He stopped her by grabbing her wrists.

Slowly, very slowly, Kwon-woo leaned forward.
She stopped breathing and tightly closed her eyes.
She could feel his breath on her lips.

His lips barely brushed against hers.


But that was it—a fleeting contact.

Unable to hide the disconcert on his face, he took a step back from her.
He mumbled, as if asking himself, “What was I about to do just now?”

“Director… are you worried? That I would be troublesome for you?”

“No, I’m not worried about me…”

Kwon-woo skipped over his words.
Then he let go of her wrists and avoided her eyes as if just faced with the reality of what was happening.

“Forget this happened.
Forget everything.”


She bit down on her lips and quickly left.
From the time she stepped outside and bowed until the door was closed shut, Kwon-woo did not meet her eyes.

Se-ha went into the room next to his.
After realizing how much her body had stiffened with tension she leaned against the wall and slowly slid down.
She could not organize the whirlwind of things that had just happened.

It was just about to happen, so what went wrong? A skip of a preface, or maybe she was too much of a hurry? She covered her face with her hands.
She thought maybe a wash would help her  return to her senses.

When she staggered to get up, there was a loud knocking on the door.
She looked back in surprise.

She didn’t have to ask who it was.
Kwon-woo stood in front of her.
His eyes were burning.
He had an expression as if all the pillars that were supporting him had collapsed, as if every boiling, mixed-up emotion had overflowed.

“You don’t know me.”

Kwon-woo said with a shaking voice.
WIth her feet glued to where she was standing, she looked at him.
An unsteady tension tightened around her chest.

“You don’t know… what kind of person I am.”

Maybe it was the lights but his eyes were bloodshot, as if in pain.
Her heart sank.

The childish, laid-back and self-centered boss with always a smile on his face was nowhere to be found.
Although she had seen him every day for the past five years, the sight before her was strange and unfamiliar.
She thought maybe this was the true Jang Kwon-woo.

“You’re going to regret it.
You’re going to swear at yourself for being shaken up by your feelings, that you should have rejected Jang Kwon-woo’s hand.”

“I don’t swear.”

“Well, if you’re going to, swear all you want at me.
I’m a bastard for coming here despite knowing the fact and still wanting to put you in my life.”

“…Did you just come here to vent?” Se-ha asked Kwon-woo as they stared intensely at each other.
“Jang Kwon-woo, it’s you who don’t know who I am.”

It was the first time she had called him by name.
Kwon-woo could not hide the surprise on his face.

“Hong Se-ha is… crazier than Jang Kwon-woo thinks.”

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