When a quiet sigh slipped through her thick lips, the man who was walking ahead stopped in his tracks and looked back to face her.
“—Ahaha… That most definitely not a sigh but, in fact, a relaxed breath right before smiling… That is to say, I was just so happy to meet you here, so…”
She inevitably smiled brightly after mumbling a few frantic words just to break the awkward air between them. There’s not really that much she could do right now except for that.
Standing straight with proper posture, Ethan just stared at her for a moment before he soon opened his lips to speak.
“It’s been a while.”
“Yes, I apologize, sir… Huh?”
Perplexed, Reina raised her head after hearing the unexpected greeting.
“What did you just say…”
“We haven’t seen each other since you came back from Cressen, so I merely said that it’s been a while.”
“Uh… Yeah. It’s been a while, alright…”
Now, class. Describe Chul-soo’s hidden intentions from the following excerpt in 100 words or less.
After meeting Young-hee for the first time in a while, Chul-soo had scowled so much that wrinkles had formed on his forehead. However, after some time, that crumpled expression of his completely disappeared, and he is now greeting Yeong-hee again with a much friendlier look.
What do you think are the hidden intentions of Chul-soo (Ethan) here? Elaborate. (3 points)
‘Ah… I’m going crazy.’
What kind of development was this?
“Seeing that your skin looks great, you must have been doing well.”
There was even a hint of disappointment in his tone just now.
‘He’s really driving me nuts… Why’s this punk being like this again, huh.’
She could already feel the heaviness of fatigue weighing her down.
“I’ve just… been a bit busy.”
“Of course you have.”
A brief period of silence stretched between the two.
Reina averted her eyes with an expression that’s full of disbelief, while Ethan kept staring at her with a slight frown pulling down his eyebrows.
After making that weird expression for a long time, he soon schooled his features and spoke first.
“I look forward to working with you, Reina.”
“Ah, y-yes… Please take care of me, too, my lo… I mean, Deputy Director.”
Was it because she was so used to calling him ‘my love’? It felt strange for her to call him ‘Deputy Director’.
‘But I can’t call him ‘my love’ here…’
And, just look at how stiff his expression after hearing that. She was so excited to hear him greet her just now that… the words ‘my love’ naturally just slipped through her lips…
“Let’s go, Intern Reina.”
After saying so with a very calm tone, Ethan’s expression was now so utterly devoid of any emotions that it’s hard to believe that he’s the same person who’s been standing there all this time.
“I hope you are mindful enough to distinguish between private and public affairs.”
This cold line immediately made her feel as if she was walking on thin ice. It was at this moment that Reina realized.
Not just the regular kind of screwed, she’s ‘quite literally’ ruined.
The ‘kindness’ that he showed just a minute ago was nothing but small talk from a superior to his subordinate.
“I’m saying that there should be no nonsense at work, I hope.”
As expected, he’s… seriously displeased with her.
* * *
Going back to that day, when Reina had just returned from Cressen.
“Miss Reina Chantra has arrived.”
As he was impatiently pressing down on the documents in front of him, Ethan raised the tip of his pen.
“Would Your Excellency prefer that I lead the Young Miss to the drawing room?”
The same time the attendant posed the question, Ethan managed to catch himself. He was about to answer something despite himself.
He was so jittery like this, as if he had been starving for three or four days.
There’s really nothing going on around him that’s urgent, and yet he was feeling so impatient.
Because his master had not answered for quite a long time, the attendant tried to call Ethan’s attention again.
Ethan hid his expression by covering his mouth with one hand. That unidentified emotion was swirling within him once again.
As the attendant left the room, Ethan stared down at the document on his desk.
“When did it spread like this…”
From a small dot, ink had spread quite a lot on the high-quality paper.
This smudged ink was not a cause for much concern, yet it urged a small sense of discomfort to rise inside him.
It’s as if Reina was that same dot, which just suddenly became a huge presence in Ethan’s life before he knew it.
His mouth was dry, so he got up from his seat and got himself a glass of water. After gulping it all down, he poured another glass and once again drank it all at once. Again and again, he repeated the same motion.
But strangely, his thirst refused to be quenched.
In the end, he gave up on quenching his thirst. He now stared at the door where the attendant had left through.
If he were to be honest with himself, he knew what this thirst was. No, it wasn’t actually physical thirst in the first place.
A faint sigh let through his lips.
After his quiet lamentation, he headed towards the drawing room where Reina was waiting.
As soon as he entered the drawing room, the scent of lavender that had permeated the entire room prickled the tip of his nose. It was heady, that scent. Ethan clenched one hand into a fist.
“It’s been a while, my love.”
Her voice was so sweet and saccharine that it felt like it was covered with honey.
And how was this possible? It felt as if his tongue could taste that sweet honey just by hearing her voice.
In an attempt to maintain his usual disposition, he controlled his expression even more tightly.
“The fourteen days that I didn’t see you felt like fourteen years, my love. It felt like I couldn’t breathe the entire time.”
As she said this, he felt a sensation of numbness starting from his fingertips. He clenched and unclenched his fist a few times.
He had already been informed of her arrival beforehand, so he knew that he would be facing her. Nevertheless, as if her visit had come out of the blue, his joints had gone all stiff.
‘…I kept thinking over and over that it couldn’t be.’
For a second time, a derisive chuckle slipped through his lips unknowingly.
Fine. Truthfully, he was waiting for her to return.
But he couldn’t believe that, as soon as he saw her, she’d take his breath away like this.
You’re driving me nuts.
But he pressed down the urge to speak such words.
This problem was not just a simple case of newness, of curiosity, or of anything similarly trivial along those lines. The existence he thought would serve as mere amusement for him was now threatening to change his entire life.
Thus, it was a very serious problem.
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