Confusion etched Woo-jin’s face at the couple in front of him, puzzled that the girl had decided to approach him about helping them take a picture. This had rarely happened before; most of the people merely limited themselves to staring and whispering whenever the CEO wandered through the public streets – save for the bold soul once every blue moon. Truth was, apart from the Chae siblings, Woo-jin didn’t get many social interactions that were not about his status or work. To be spoken to by a stranger with a simple request as helping to snap a photo was something so bizarre it felt like a reverie. Could it, perhaps, be because of his current attire? The thought enkindled a sense of pride within and tugged at the corners of his lips, a gratified smile akin to a young boy being called ‘strong’ breaking the prior bewildered visage.
“Of course,” He replied, his hand already reaching to grab the girl’s phone. However, his form suddenly got startled by Hana’s loud volunteer, and before he could even blink, the assistant had snatched the phone, leaving the CEO to awkwardly lower his arm again. Hana’s persistence on taking the photos elicited a few question marks in the mind, Woo-jin himself residing in a separate realm where the concept of him being not so tech-savvy did not exist. The fact that she was saving the couple from embarrassingly bad photos was just outside the concept of possibly. He guessed, instead, that maybe the woman just wanted to practice her photography skills? And well… who was he to take away such an opportunity from her?
Woo-jin patiently waited for his assistant to have taken the photos before his attention got pulled towards the girl’s offer on taking a photo of them. At first, the CEO did not see any use in having a picture of him being taken, but then his mind started to wander back to the recent text exchange with Jung-hwa. Perhaps a photo of him and his assistant could be the evidence to prove that they were having fun, even though this was actually a professional hunt for proper attire. He could even showcase his new outfit! His friend always teased him about looking overly CEO-like all the time. Besides, it was not like the two had never been photographed before; having two professions so closely knit together, it was only bound for the press to capture the two together whenever they were somewhere regarding 1TIME. With this point of view, Woo-jin’s thought about the picture flipped, and he began to square his shoulders. His face adopted the same kind of stoic expression he always wore on pictures, eyes piercing the lens in utmost focus.
Nevertheless, the girl apparently was not satisfied with the position of the two, her suggestion severing the man’s concentration. His eyes narrowed to Hana, a brief moment of hesitance occurring at the idea of following the stranger’s odd instructions. Putting his arm around her? Was that some new popular pose? Woo-jin was uncertain why he should perform such an action for a photo, the girl’s implications completely flying over his head… Yet, a part of him felt inclined to do as told, and the belief that she knew what she was talking about overrode his inner qualms.
Woo-jin closed the distance and put his arm around the smaller figure beside him, only taking a step away again once the phone got returned to the assistant. He nodded in response to her words, urging them to move on lest they wanted to displease the other colleagues waiting for them. But he didn’t take any steps yet. Instead, he pointed down to the mobile device in her hand.
“Could you perhaps send that photo to me? I would like to send it to a friend of mine. He has been enquiring about this field trip.”
He looked at her innocently, and maybe it was due to this expression – or the fact that he was still her boss - that the woman complied and forwarded the picture towards his phone. A characterizing tune erupted from his back pocket, alerting him to the received file.
“Thank you.” he voiced as he pulled out his phone, fingers immediately tapping against the screen to send the photo to his friend, along with the suitable message.
as you can see, I have evidence of this field trip and how we are adequately having fun.
it did not take long for his friend to respond, though the reply was even more confusing than the previous one.
oh I can definitely see the fun you are having ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
What kind of cryptic emoji did Jung-hwa send? Woo-jin stared at his screen, mind drawing an absolute blank at the weird text face, the meaning of it completely being lost on the CEO. His eyes then trailed upwards, catching the sight of the assistant, and an idea formed in his head. Hana could possibly be more versed in text language than him, right? Perhaps she could decipher the meaning.
Clearing his throat, he spoke up again.
“Miss Song, this might be an odd request but could you perhaps help me with discerning the meaning behind my friend’s message?” Woo-jin turned the screen towards her so she could view the text exchange, “I admit to not knowing many text faces. Do you perhaps know what this one means?”
Soyeon breathed an internal sigh of relief, one that went well with the soaring of her heart into the stratosphere. Ji-hoon using the term wonderful in regards to her idea did more to the wedding planner than she would ever like to admit, and she purposely ignored the weird flutter in the stomach as best as she could while maintaining the same level of professionalism on her face. Luckily, the mention of Eunseo managed quickly squash that sensation before it could undergo a metamorphosis powerful enough to conquer the mind and soul, the light prance being replaced by weighted trudge. Truth was, she had briefly forgotten the bridezilla in the other room, her focus solely being captured by the groom. The reminder was an unwelcome dose of reality, but one she perhaps needed in the moment before she could actually embarrass herself.
It became more and more testing for Soyeon to keep these intrusive thoughts at bay as the two conversed, Ji-hoon’s mere presence somehow pulling at the strings of the soul like they were meant to connect in a cosmic way. It was one thing to objectively conclude that her client was attractive, but to actually get emotionally entangled in whatever these strange sensations were? That was on a whole another plane of faux-pas. It didn’t matter if the bride to be was someone as awful and deserving of a bitter pill as Eunseo, her morals wouldn’t, couldn’t, allow any of the yearning to happen.
Yet, just as the wedding planner had schooled her mentality back into the right box of professionalism, the groom began to talk again and… well… how could she not listen? Soyeon absorbed every word falling from his lips like it was her very salvation, expression softening as he talked about his sister. It was clear that he cared deeply about his sister by the way he rambled on about her, which made her heart flutter in a sweetening manner – mainly because it reminded her of the relationship she had with her brother. Jung-hwa was another breed of mischief and trouble, much to her parents’ aversion. The number of times her older brother got kicked out of the house and Soyeon was utilized as part of the argument in her father’s lectures was uncomfortably high. If anything, she was surprised that Jung-hwa didn’t manage to build up any resentment towards her for being treated as the golden child. Maybe even against the odds, the two grew closer together with age. Soyeon wouldn’t trade Jung-hwa for the world, considering him as much of an important pillar in her life as he did her, and it was heart-warming to discover that Ji-hoon was close to his sibling too.
“Oh please don’t apologize,” she quickly responded, ”I like hearing about my client’s life and their family, aside from the basics.”
Soyeon tilted her head slightly in thought at the question, though her contemplation got disrupted at something else the groom mentioned. Was he not a fan of the venue? Her eyebrows quirked up at this particular information, the question of the why immediately whirling in her head. The most logical explanation would be that he didn’t like to have the wedding on sea – but it didn’t give the reason behind the dislike. Could it be that it was the same as her? No, that would really be too coincidental, wouldn’t it.
Her lips parted to ask him about it, but before the question could be posed, a knock on the door caught her attention. Undoubtedly, it would be her colleague and the bride, leaving her no time to enquire Ji-hoon some more. So, instead, she utilised the little time window to reassure him, as a wedding planner should do.
“I promise I will find a way to incorporate the elements you want into the wedding without disrupting the overall theme.” she smiled at him. “and I will see about the venue too.. I don’t really like boats either.” the last sentence was hushed in a whisper and just in time before other two entered the scene again.
Soyeon tried to ignore the pang of disappointment and dread upon seeing Eunseo again and smiled professionally at her old nemesis.
“Welcome back. How did you find our boat venue options?”
of course what followed was a detailed rant about how she expected for there to be more and grander options, but in the end, Eunseo did manage to like one in particular.
“Well, I will get into contact with them immediately so we can visit the venue on our next appointment. “ her eyes travelled to the clock. “ and I suppose this will conclude our first consultation. Thank you for choosing me to be your wedding planner – I will try my best to create the wedding of your dreams. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, let me walk you out.”
In Hana's eyes, she couldn't see Woo-Jin taking a picture of a random couple, it was almost as if it was an offense that he did something that trivial as taking the picture, maybe it was the fact that the couple and Hana were on the opposite end of the social status where Woo-Jin was that she could not picture the CEO doing something like that, she wondered what would happen if someone found out that the CEO of 1TIME was the one that took the photo, would they create rumors about who he really was or just exaggerate their meeting saying how they were mesmerized by his dazzling visuals, either way, she thought it was better to not find out and still be on the low end trying to keep a low profile.
Even if it wasn't the first time they were photographed together, this time felt more awkward than the rest, she wasn't sure if it was because the other times she knew that even if they were together on the same picture, Woo-Jin would always have the spotlight while she just faded away and once again became the shadow of someone or maybe it was the eagerness of the girl that wanted to take a picture of both as if her life depended on it. Either way Hana felt a knot on her stomach and she was sure at any moment she would throw up her breakfast. She found it hilarious that the last time she felt this way was once again with the person that was standing next to her, her first encounter with the CEO caused the same reaction she was having right now. But even after all those years of her working next to Woo-Jin the CEO still caused the same reaction to the assistant.
A picture that only needed a few seconds to be taken it felt like an eternity as the girl didn't seem convinced by their posture, Hana wanted to reject the idea but her mind started spiraling, wouldn't that make the CEO feel offended? would it be a sin to reject Woo-Jin the Han Woo-Jin? All those thoughts were on her mind making her overthink all her life choices that she didn't notice when an arm was around her. It took her a second to realize that it was Woo-Jin's arm. Even if it was just an innocent touch that was mostly done because of the instance of the girl. It made Hana's heart skip a beat, she was sure she didn't have a crush on her boss.
It would be crazy just to think to have feelings for him, she was sure it was the heat and the stress of having to find an outfit for the CEO that was making her go crazy in all her thoughts, but even if his touch was light, Hana felt secure just by that embrace as if it was meant to be. Hold on What was she thinking? This was her boss and they were only together in that instance because of work and nothing more. She really needed something to refresh herself and calm down, because so far she was just becoming a ball of stress.
Once the photo was taken, Hana thought that all her problems would be over, but instead, the CEO asked for the photo with the intention of sending it to a friend, why he wanted to send it to a friend? And why he was so interested in this field trip? Couldn't she just cropped out of the picture and just send the part of Woo-Jin? But in the end, it was still an order from her boss even if he asked in the nicest way possible so reluctantly she sent the photo it didn't take long until a reply was received, she wondered what kind of comments the supposed friend would have, but she wondered, even more, what kind of friends would Woo-Jin have in the first place, would he be as rich and particular as her boss or would it be the complete opposite? Just the thought of Woo-Jin messing around with his friends was just an image that Hana couldn't picture at all.
As she was trying to picture her boss in an environment that didn't involve work, the voice of the CEO was heard asking her if she could assist him in understanding the meaning behind his friend's message as she read it, just that short message made Hana's cheeks turned red, was he trying to imply something about them? There was nothing going between them they were just boss and employee that happened to be in an awkward situation that was all that was to say, there wasn't a meaning behind just an unfortunate event that was all, but how could she say that his friend was implying there was something going on between them? She was sure that if she told the truth she would be faced with the complete rejection of the CEO not that she was expecting for him to have feelings for her, but being rejected wasn't pretty at all.
"That face means curiosity, I'm sure your friend is curious to know what kind of fun you been having so far during the trip, I'm sure he is waiting to know more about all the activities you do in this time" She lied to her boss, but a while lie didn't hurt anyone and it was better than trying to explain to Woo-Jin the real meaning of the text face "We are not far away from the shoe store, should we go now?" She asked him trying to move the conversation to something else.
It didn't take them long to arrive at their place of destiny and just like in the clothing store, Hana rushed with a plan in mind already, this time it was easier since she now had an outfit where she could base her shoe selection for the CEO, it didn't take her long until she found the perfect pair that matched with the vibes of the outfit that Woo-jin was wearing and once she saw the CEO with the complete outfit, Hana almost patted herself on the back from the work that she did, she was proud of the outcome even if along the way there were some awkward moments, but in the end, she was pleased with the result.
Once their small shopping trip was over it was time to go back to the house where everyone was staying and that for sure everyone was waiting on the CEO and not because they were thrilled to see him, but it was more because of the formalities that he was the actual boss of everyone in that trip, "I think we just made it in time to start prepping the dinner, we usually grill some meat and eat by the lake near here" she said as she exited the car along with the CEO.
Once they arrived with the rest it was obvious that there was some tension, what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing trip now everyone was trying to keep the appearances since the CEO was there, prepping the dinner was a task where everyone helped but for some reason, everyone was trying to avoid the CEO and be paired with him, which only left Hana to keep him company as she tried her best to help with the food, it was almost as if they were back in school and Woo-Jin and she were the weird kids that no one wanted to hangout but your mother still made you invite them to your birthday party just to be nice.
After what felt like an eternity of prepping the food, they made it to the lake, and once again was Hana and Woo-Jin together it was almost as if Hana became the official caretaker of the CEO, she felt hopeless not because she didn't want to be with her boss she had gotten used to his presence that it was normal for her to be beside him, but she knew that deep inside Woo-Jin was trying his best in this trip call it her sixth sense of being his assistant or maybe because the guy couldn't really hide his intentions that well so she was going to try and make the best of it dor the sake of her boss "Woo-Jin-ssi we could go and have our food under that tree I'm sure the view over there is really nice" She said as she walked towards the place that she mentioned.
Once they settled under that tree as they saw the lake for some reason it felt familiar and she felt nostalgic, why she felt such at peace but also extremely sad just by seeing the lake, why she felt so secure just sitting next to Woo-Jin as if nothing would ever happen to her as long as she was next to him, the urge of start crying was taking over her, but she needed to control it, she couldn't cause a scene right there and even less in front of her boss, but a lonely tear was able to go down her face "I'm sorry, I don't know what's happening I guess I'm tired from the trip" she excused herself as she cleaned away the tear, at that moment Hana couldn't understand why she felt so lonely but at the same time she felt so accompanied.
Woo-jin’s expression morphed from confusion into an almost comical stretch of epiphany as his assistant informed him about the meaning of the cryptic emoji, absorbing the white lie as if it was the gospel truth. It felt so characteristically Jung-hwa to inquire about fun activities on a work field trip that the CEO didn’t question the weird text expression nor did he ever suspect that Hana would be lying to him. So he just offered her a grateful smile, all while storing the new knowledge in his mind palace for future use. Perhaps he could try utilising the given text face in the next conversation with either Jung-hwa or Soyeon and surprise them with his social skills in text chats. Surely that would convince them that he was more tech-savvy than they would like to proclaim in those annoying teasings. The image of him being clueless with technology was really all a grave exaggeration based on a negligible amount of incidents. You accidentally sent some awkward photos of yourself when you are trying to sent them an address or information and next thing you know, you are being labelled as the boomer of the trio. Whatever that terms entails. More than gratified to have evidence to combat the misconstrued image of him, Woo-jin followed after Hana with a satisfied smile.
And as anticipated, the shoe shopping went as flawlessly as the clothes shopping. Identically to the past visit, the CEO merely lingered around a certain aisle while his assistant did the selection. It didn’t take that long before she appeared with her choice of footwear. Woo-jin accepted her pick without any complaints – hell, he was even lightly impressed by the time efficiency – and instantly donned himself in the shoes. A quick examination in front of the mirror was due before purchase but this one also ended in a quirk of the lips. His reflection was an odd one, though also strangely encouraging. The outfit was certainly not something that the CEO deemed as an eligible attire before, but he guessed that was sort of the point. Gone was the Woo-jin who looked as rigid and impersonal as his suits; here was a guy that sparked a new approachability – one that you could want to have fun conversations with. Hana had helped him gain an image he wanted to have for a while now, and for that, he was immensely grateful.
“You did an excellent job Miss Song. I would like to thank you sincerely for lending me your assistance in this matter.” he told her, “ and I promise for you to be fairly compensated your efforts.” was what he added, because while being kind-hearted, the world of the wealth had bled their monetary visions in some ways into his being. Money was a powerful gift in his eyes still, and one of the only he had abundance of, so why not give it when deserved? Everything related to work was some sort of transaction either way, right? He got an outfit to impress his co-workers with and Hana got to have a praise from her boss and an additional bonus in return. Satisfied with this particular outcome, the CEO travelled back to the guesthouse in a good mood. He even tipped the private driver more than usual.
Upon arrival, Woo-jin proudly walked into the room and revelled in the astonished stares he got, completely unaware that his co-workers were more invested in how couple-like the outfits of the boss and the assistant were than the fact that the outfit in itself was unprecedented. Any tension that flowed through the room upon having the CEO join their purposed fun worktrip was perceived as silent awe in his eyes, and he loved it. Sitting well and clueless in this bubble of delusion granted by the fantasy crafted in the mind, Woo-jin made his way through the room, eager to strike up a friendly conversation with his fellow 1TIME employees. Unfortunately, it seemed that almost everyone was extremely busy with their assigned tasks in preparing for supper and well…. he did not wish to interrupt their obvious dedication so he left them alone pretty soon after greeting. There was always a time for chatter during dinner right?
So, in the end, the CEO stuck by Hana’s side. It was not like he didn’t try to help, but it was pretty clear that having grown up with personal chefs hadn’t done his culinary prepping skills much favour. Who could have thought that something as seemingly simple as cutting vegetables was wickedly tricky? It was the poor quality of the knives, he was sure of it. There was no way that carrot would escape his cutting moves otherwise. After a tough battle versus edible greenery, the CEO walked together with the others outside towards the lake where they would have dinner. Woo-jin was actually planning to continue his pursue in striking up conversations with his co-workers when Hana invited him towards a certain spot, but he would feel bad declining after her help today so he obediently followed the assistant to the spot under the tree.
The moment he arrived there however, Woo-jin experienced something ethereally surreal. It wasn’t like a wave, but more like a cloak that was slowly encircling him. It clung to him in ways that he could not let it fall to the floor even if he let go, almost like an anchor to the soul. Emotions travelled through him, ones that he could not quite recognize yet felt too close to abandon while also too far for comfort. His heart suddenly seemed to sit too heavy, too achingly in his ribcage and the CEO found himself blindsided by the echoes of laughter in his head, laughter that sounded awfully familiar. Happiness and sorrow followed in such a conflicting manner that Woo-jin could barely compute what was happening around him till he heard a voice beside him. Now, it was true that the man had trouble noting the emotions of others but the unbecoming on Hana’s face was so palpable that even Woo-jin recognized the distressed state of his assistant. His lips parted to ask if she was okay but the woman had excused herself before he could even exude any verbal concern. Normally, he would take her at face value but somehow, something told him that there was more behind it. What was even odder was the sudden urge for him to pull Hana into his embrace and keep her there lest she might slip away for good. It was an instinct so inherent, so irrational that it startled the CEO. Part of him immediately tried to banish it, repulsed by its impropriety, however, another part of him nourished the though, even sending tingles to his limbs in encouragement. Rationality won in the end, much to his own normalcy -- though, the urge to do something about Hana’s distress never ceased. Instead, it guided his vision across the landscape, right until he spotted some orchids near them.
What drew Woo-jin towards the flowers was unexplainable but his body acted before his mind could even process the action. The CEO left the spot without a single word, making a straight line towards the orchids like he was a bee being beckoned by the scent of sweet nectar. His hand snatched one and simultaneously, a distant memory seeped into the mind. No imagery was present except for the voice of a woman who sounded eerily like his personal assistant.
“they are my favourite.” the echo spoke, filled with affection. Woo-jin blinked, before looking back at Hana. Had she shared this information before? If so, how come the memory only surfaced right now? Not to act pompous but if there was something the CEO prided himself on, it would be his excellent memory. Forgetting something, anything, was a rarity. He remembered almost every name of 1TIME’’s employees, could recall every little detail of every meeting. He should be able to remember this information about Hana, regardless of how trivial it was, yet....it felt like this knowledge had entered his mind for the first time now. He blinked again, eyes lowering down at the orchid. It seemed like fate was not done yet with the CEO, because the next thing he did was even more surprising than picking the flower. His feet carried him back to their spot and his hand moved to her as he offered the flower.
He cleared his throat awkwardly.
“They are your favourite, are they not?’’ Oh, how he wished to know his way with words now. Woo-jin had never been great at conversation in general, let alone ones that required the ability to comfort someone. He tried though, tried because that’s what Hana deserved now at the very least. Tried because even the stoic CEO could not quite shake how much his heart ached still to enveloped her smaller frame into his arms. Actions were not an option, and words often fell short – but here was to trying just because he wanted to.
“I…. don’t know what is troubling you miss So-… Hana, but I hope whatever it is, it won’t plague you for much longer. A lady like you deserves better than that.” his eyes gazed deeply into hers. "I recognize that I might not be the greatest conversationalist, but I do attribute myself as being a good listener so if you ever wish to have a lending ear my err....office is always open."
Why was she feeling like this? She was sure there was nothing that was making her worry this much that would lead her to have this kind of feelings, the number of times she had been in the same place never causes this kind of reaction, was it the pressure of almost having to babysit Woojin knowing how her peers were not that fond of him being here? Not that he was a terrible boss, but it was obvious he cared more about results than social interactions and always expected perfection from everyone, but even if sometimes she felt she just wanted to scream her lungs out when he was expecting that she would write that report in less than an hour when he just notified her like five minutes along of scheduling his meetings and sending gifts to his peers just to comply wth the social norm it wasn't easy, but even with all of it, Woojin was someone who wasn't money-minded completely, he still cared about his employees on his way, a way that not a lot could notice if they didn't spend most of their time next to him.
So saying that her wanting to burst into tears because he ruined her work trip was a complete lie, even if she had to fulfill her work as his assistant, she didn't mind, maybe it was the fact that this would allow her to win more money for the extra hours, but it wasn't like she needed it the money, well she needed it because it wasn't like she had the salary of her brother, who had a way fancier lifestyle, but she wouldn't say no to the money because that would only go to the savings to start her own clothing line, a dream that every time was feeling farther and farther away especially when she still needed to cover her living expenses and nor the fabric or her rent was getting cheaper as time passed.
For sure it wasn't because of money and sure it wasn't because of work stress, so why was she feeling this kind of way? She already resigned that she would be as successful as her brother or as rich as Woojin, she was just trying to make it one day at the time and live the best she could with what she had, after all not everyone could accomplish their dreams, so most likely it wasn't jealousy after all they also worked hard to get where they were.
The more she tried to think about the real reason why she felt that pressure on her heart it was as the real answer was slipping away from her fingers, and now she was just embarrassing herself in front of her boss if she knew something about men is that they never knew what to do when a woman was crying and she was pretty sure that Woojin wouldn't know how to act, she needed to stop with this circus and focus, the last thing she wanted was to have people talking how she started crying in front of their boss and make Woojin's reputation worse.
Maybe it was the fact that she was worrying more about what others would think of her boss, like she usually did, putting others before her and her needs that she was completely taken back when he out of everyone in the entire world offered her a flower, but not just any flower, it was an orchid which happened to be her favorite flower, but what surprised her, even more, was the fact that he knew it was her favorite when in the time they had known each other have they talked about flowers? Sure, she had sent flower arrangement to her mother or an acquaintance for their birthdays, but he had never asked her what was her favorite flower or not that she could remember, there most trivial conversation was about the weather, and it was because of work-related, she was sure she had drawn the line between professional and personal with her boss, but she couldn't remember any moment when she had a slip and shared about her personal life to her own boss.
She took the flower and take a look at it as if it was the most precious thing in the world, call it cheesy, but her receiving a flower meant the world to her, not like she was against receiving something nice, but for her, it was more about the intention than the price, but more what made her feel this kind of joy was the fact that it was Woojin the one that gifted her the flower, she just wanted to cherish it forever, a smile appeared on her face and she started wondering if she was starting to lose her mind, but the joy she felt at that moment it was almost as if it was just back to be a teenager and she was receiving a flower from the guy she liked, but in reality, she wasn't a teenager and Woojin wasn't her crush he was her boss. She shouldn't be having these thoughts or feelings towards that was the one that helped her pay her bills.
When she heard him call her by her name, it felt surreal, and the butterflies on the stomach started going crazy, it felt nice, she liked the sound of his voice saying her name, after all, she was used to him calling her Miss Song, but instead of feeling awkward by the sudden change of addressing, she felt happy and relieved, she didn't mind him calling her by her last name but just listening to him saying her name felt better, and if she was in the position to ask him to grant her a wish it ould be for him to continue calling her by her own name, but there was no way she could do that, he was just trying to be nice after all she helped him even if it was her job, so she would take that moment and treasure it for the rest of her life knowing how much it meant to her.
She felt a warm feeling when he tried to cheer her up, sure it sounded awkward, she was sure that Woojin was kind of lost on what to say, but she thought it was kind of adorable "You don't have any idea how much this means to me" She said as she smelled the flower enjoying the sweet fragrance "Thank you so much Wojin-s...Woojin" she said feeling a little bit bold by taking the honorific out, but it wasn't like she could just call him oppa out of nowhere, she was only expecting she wouldn't lose her job for it "To be honest I don't know what's being troublesome in my life, I guess I just got overwhelmed of being here, in this beautiful view of the lake, with you. Haven't you ever felt that kind of way? I haven't and this kind of feeling is completely new to me so I don't know what to do or say, but something I'm sure is that I'm happy you are here" She said without thinking, letting her heart decide her words and expressing her real feelings, she didn't care about appearances or that he was her boss at that moment, she just wanted him to know how she really felt, even if there was a possibility of losing her job she was willing to take that risk.
Woo-jin had not prepared himself for what happened after he gifted his assistant the orchid. Again, the blueprint of facts over feelings found himself pulled into a storm of emotions, a lightning striking his heart and rendering it still for a moment as a picture of newfound beauty unfolded before his eyes. For a moment, the world around him blurred, his focus completely seized by the woman next to him. And what happened next was as rare as it was unbecoming.
The CEO was born with an indifference to almost everything, viewing the universe in simplicity and frightening objectivity. He could agree that a flower or a certain type of clothing was appealing without having any sentiment attached to it. Empty were his opinions, often uttered as dull as one does when giving statistics. It was not without reason that his employees thought of him as a robot, his expressions and words as mechanically emotionless as could be. Was Woo-jin even capable of emotions, or was his soul nothing but an empty vessel, save for some objective data? Well, it seemed miracles had yet to leave the earth, and as surprising as it may be for everyone, it was even more shocking for the man himself when a foreign feeling blossomed inside. It was light and fluttery but so potent it immobilized all thought. Hana’s beauty at that moment was not one perceived in the mind; it came from the heart.
Despite the darkening of the sky, her smile got everything looking a bit brighter, and again, the CEO felt a strange urge climbing up, his fingers tingling in want. It was a conflicting feeling; at one hand, it brought discomfort with its impropriety and novelty. On the other hand, the longer it stayed, the more it felt like those feelings were supposed to be there. Like a traveler coming home after a lifelong journey. Woo-jin didn’t know which source these emotions were flowing from, his sharp mind serving him with no clear memory that could warrant this unbidden, irrational force. Aside from this moment, there had never been an occurrence where their personal lifes bled into their professional ones, the line drawn with such a permanent marker it should be immune to blurring. It was true that Woo-jin admired Hana and that he trusted her more than anyone else but those things were different from what his heart implied at the moment. It didn’t make any sense -- at least not in the way his mind could comprehend.
What to do with these feelings? That was the question, and one he could not provide an answer to for once. His mind that once could be seen as a neatly organized library was now a maze with no clear path to take. Disoriented by these strange emotions and odd echoes in the back of his mind, Woo-jin found himself at loss. It was like his current self was in battle with something else, something like a ghost from a recently discovered relic. It felt like himself but at the same time not. This Woo-jin was not one to be taken by emotions, yet he could feel his cheeks heating up when Hana expressed how much his offering of the flower meant to her. His heart was supposed to be at a steady, regulating pace at all times, yet its beat rose up as if lifted by the melody of her voice. For once, the CEO was properly flustered.
“Oh… W-well…. I uh...” Woo-jin’s mind was a blank as he tried to assemble a response, the tips of his ears feeling so incredibly hot he had to avert his gaze. He was certain that this lack of response was probably making Hana regret opening up to him and his stomach twisted with guilt. But as cursed as he was with this incompetence of communication, the CEO refused to give up. Hana deserved more than that. Taking a deep breath, Woo-jin tried to calm down some more and clear up his mind so that sentences could be summoned again.
“I am not familiar with emotions at all.” he stated, his gaze moving back to hers, “so I can almost certainly say that most feelings are new to me. But, at the same time, I am convinced that there’s a reason for their existence, and even though we might not know of it at the time, it does not take any validity away from them.” he awkwardly shifted in position, crossing and uncrossing his arms. “ Err I suppose what I am trying to say, don’t be afraid to feel them.. and… uh…. I recognize that I am content as well that you are here.” his gaze turned uncharastically soft for a moment, his lips almost curving into a smile. “ To be completely honest with you, miss So- I mean Hana, I don't think I know what I would do without you.”