Yesterday's bad luck did not stop with a keyboard incident, it followed Giselle to the kitchen, where she burnt her lunch and got tomato juice splattered all over her white t-shirt. Her mind and body not connected, she had a record high clumsiness achievement by the time noon rolled around.
Whatever she touched, kept slipping through her fingers, and it was not a figurative expression – a coffee cup fell and cracked, silverware clattered on the floor and she feared even coming close to the china plates, resorting to paper disposable kind. Maybe, she was not meant to eat when her stomach was in knots anyway from anxiety and anticipation. If Lee Tae Soo wanted to get in touch with her, he had enough resources at his disposal to do so.
She was sitting on the warm comfort of the dryer, swinging her legs and daydreaming. With her laundry done, she had to keep herself busy. There was no inspiration for her creative juices to begin flowing, so writing was out of the question. Besides Lena and her husband, she did not know anybody in Los Angeles to spend her time with.
As far as Shklovsky, he was actually a nice man, sharp and funny, although his style was initially off putting, but either way, he was her path toward Tae Soo. Her mind worked on ways to casually bring up questions about Tae Soo and obtain his information. Of course, she was not planning to show up on his doorstep - she had pride... but it was desperately losing the battle against her patience. She had none.
Who gives a damn about the pride at the end of the day, if she could pacify her impatient nature and demand an explanation from Tae Soo. Because he better have one, and a good one at that. Otherwise, he was dead!
With that, she banged loudly and decisively on the poor hardworking dryer, which moaned in response to the underserved abuse. Giselle patted the machine, like it was alive and apologized.
Tae Soo wondered aimlessly around the bookstore, passing the conventional bookshelves and stacks of electronic literature, mocking him with the vast knowledge from A to Z and everything else in the world, besides one subject matter of interest – Giselle's whereabouts. He desperately needed advice about what to do next. An unlikely deterrent from his black hole of self-loathing and despair came with a phone ring.
"How did it go?" His assistant's excitement hung in silence and she even had to check if Tae Soo was there.
"I can hear you," he said bleakly, "I was late."
"Oh, no!" Angie was genuinely upset. "And we tried so hard! I'm sorry. I know that meeting was very important."
"It's not your fault. You were really great," he felt obligated to reassure her. "If you have nothing else, I would like to go."
"Tae Soo-shi, I canceled the dinner with Ms. Collins, like you requested..." She paused, expecting him to comment, but without a reply she continued in her usual cheerful manner, "if you need recommendations for a restaurant, I compiled a list..."
"No," he cut tersely. "Goodbye."
"Well, Mr. Lee," she decided to appease him by upping her salutation, "I'm just trying to be helpful. Of course, if you are unwell or still dealing with a crisis..."
"Thank you. You are a great help. I mean it."
She lit up with "You are welcome, Tae Soo-shi. Please call me anytime of day or night if you require assistance."
"I will keep that in mind." She was so enthusiastic that it was contagious. And he even registered a faint smile quickly passing over his lips.
Lee Tae Soo was not a drinker. A few times when he ended up at the soju tent with his buddies did not end well and when he became so famous that his face was easily recognized, he could not even have a drink at a bar, unless it was in a VIP section with his bodyguards at his side. Not that he went to bars for drinks, but there were a few occasions in his life when he felt like getting a drink or five. Today was such a rare occasion. Luck was not on his side, but he continued to feel hopeful.
That woman in the bookstore reinforced one certainty – Giselle was the woman that he will end up with. There was no other option or even a choice, for that matter. It was destiny that was pushing them on the collision course, which has been taking ten years. Even though they were torn apart so early, he felt it was a trial by time that was needed to solidify their commitment.
What he could not do for her then, he could surely offer now. His standing in the industry was solid. His earning potential - consistent and not affected by the winds of the latest fashionable hype, sweeping Korean show business. Mainly, he was his own man. He ran his own agency, having separated from under the wing of the big powerhouse that backed him in the beginning. The loss of oversight provided freedom from repressive restrictions and from the pressure to focus on the ratings and pleasing the finicky tastes of the Korean audience. He was able to break free and escape the environment stifling his artistic and creative endeavors. At last, he was in a place with his career when he could offer Giselle security and protection he lacked in his youth. If only he had a chance to show her how much he'd changed, how much he had matured! All he needed was to get to the book signing on time...
He was sitting in a dimply lit corner of a posh Hollywood establishment, recommended by his producer, who said to mention his name at the front. The suggestion worked like magic and a beautiful tall girl, who judging by her height and proportions was probably also a model, walked Tae Soo to a room, discretely tucked away in the back, next to a few others, which were reserved for patrons requiring more privacy.
"Here is the menu, sir, I will be back in a couple of minutes."
She departed and Tae Soo admired her professional catwalk stride. It's been long since he modeled on the runway last. There were so many beautiful women who surrounded him on a daily basis, especially in the fashion industry.
He smiled, remembering how much he had to fend of their flirtatious innuendoes and address his manager's concern about his sexuality, since none of the women seemed to arouse his interest.
He recalled the hilariously awkward conversation he had with his manager about two years after he had returned from Puerto Rico. It took Tae Soo good half an hour to even slightly understand what was all the fuss about.
"Tae Soo-shi, hmm," the man coughed uncomfortably into his sleeve. "If there is something you need to tell me... because it's better if I know."
"I'm not gay, Hyung. Don't worry. I won't cause a PR nightmare by coming out of the closet."
"No, no," the man flapped his hands, blushing deeply, "I did not mean to imply that you are. However, people are whispering. You don't even look at women any more. Is there something going on that I need to know about?"
Tae Soo remembered wanting to tell his friend that he was perfectly healthy and his sex drive was intact. However strange his behavior appeared, there was a simple explanation - he was as much in love two years later, as on the day he stepped aboard the plane, leaving Giselle behind - his feelings were preserved and untouched by the passage of time. Looking at other women seemed not only wrong, but also useless. All the dates he went on out of duty were just that. His heart was not touched, clearly averse to the idea of any other woman taking its residence there. But he never told anybody besides his mother, even his manager, about Giselle. So he was forced to come up with a lame excuse about being tired and not wanting to deal with complexities of dating just yet, blah, blah...
"Sir? Are you ready?"
He poked at the page without looking. "This, please." Each cocktail was priced around twenty bucks, so the quality should be good, he surmised.
The drink was delivered promptly, and sipping it, Tae Soo began drifting into the fresh memories of the last night. Seeing Giselle again was more than he ever hoped for. Just yesterday, she was right in front of him: trembling lightly under his gaze, face flushed by their proximity, and her delicious mouth slightly open as if she forgot to close it after taking a breath.
His most beautiful and sensual Giselle was so lavishly sultry – everything about her, starting from her tinted with desire eyes to the every last voluptuous curve of her breasts, her soft stomach and her sexy hips... Her dress was a distraction. He easily pulled at the thin fabric; it ripped allowing his fingers meet her supple silky skin. He pressed all of his tall 6.3 feet length over her body, collapsing Giselle on the flat surface of the table, his lips devouring hers, while his hands rushed to undo his shirt...
Being next to her, inhaling her scent, hearing her voice, watching her lips turn up in a smile for him – Tae Soo groaned physically tortured by quakes of desire which he had forgotten his body was capable of. If he was not kissing her soon, if he could not press her body against his soon enough, he might possibly go mad. Did not he already? Daydreaming, feeling the deep need for her under his skin, in his bones, her scent coming alive and making him draw air frantically?
He shook his head in frustration, laughing silently at how close and how far he was from her. Even one touch would be a precious luxury just about now.
Obviously, one drink was not enough to quench his thirst and to tame his body from leaping ahead of itself. He impatiently tapped on the table. He probably did not give enough consideration to the expensive liquid he swallowed in a hurry. It tasted good, well worth the exuberant price tag of twenty bucks, and he felt a hit of alcohol nicely warming up his insides. Tae Soo needed another one and quickly, but he was still sober to think clearly – these fancy treats were not something his body tolerated well.
Drinking by himself was pathetic and only accentuated loneliness he was suffering. He walked out of his seclusion, crossing over to the bar, where a handsome bartender in boredom was polishing glasses. "Beer, please." The waitress noticed his presence and appeared by his side, looking mortified that her customer chose to leave his table. It probably did not look too good for her. "Sir, if you needed something..." She started.
"I'm fine." He pulled out a bill and placed it into her hand. "I think I will stay at the bar." Even if he was drinking alone, at least bartender would keep him company. He seemed competent enough to watch over Tae Soo to prevent him from overdoing it.
He looked around the span of the room. There were no customers at this early hour. Empty – like his life. He closed his eyes, tilting his head back and taking a long breath.
The beer was cold and tasted bittersweet to perfectly match his feelings. He nodded approvingly at the bartender.
"Keep them coming and if I look like I had one too many, cut me off. Put it on my tab and call this number," he pulled out his phone and showed him Angie's digits. "She is my assistant. She would know what to do."
"Sure thing." The guy was as easy going as a bartender should be.
Alcohol was not working as balsam to cover up Tae Soo's frustration; it was not working to do anything as far as his issue with Giselle was concerned, and it only made him hazy and loopy. Being drunk did not offer any insights into how to proceed further. He knew perfectly well that she felt stood up by him, only adding another offense to the injury and if he did not find a way to contact her, he might as well kiss all of his aspirations for the future with Giselle goodbye.
Giselle had gathered her thoughts and all of them centered on one thing – she can't be held back by Tae Soo, because his eyes halted her in her steps - her life was too important to be stalled while her momentum was on the rise. His eyes – his dreamy almond eyes, deep and sweet and always shining with the light that sparkled from within, the light fed by his love; she felt those eyes pouring that soft shimmering loving light over her... Dizzy, she stumbled down from her spot, leaning on the dryer that hummed rhythmically, like a friend, with understanding.
"You see what he is doing to me. You understand it now?" Voiced Giselle her grievances to the machine. "He is my undoing, my curse, my end!" She pronounced with exaggerated stress on each word, theatrically. She made another overly dramatic gesture of lifting her hand to the forehead, like one of those histrionic telenovella heroines. Her audience did not clap, but gave a bit of ramble and stopped the vibrations altogether. The light on top of the dryer fleshed and a pleasant feminine voice announced, "Your drying cycle has finished."
She took a deep breath that hurt her diaphragm, pushing it beyond her limits. It was a bit late to throw a tantrum and seek sympathy from an animate object, no matter how warm it felt against her side. It was too late to turn back and pretend that Tae Soo has not pulled her into his hold already. It was definitely and absolutely impossible for her to erase the night before last and move on as if it had never happened. Since he still had not rung the front door or contacted her over the phone, Giselle decided to consider him missing in action, still looking for her persistently, like she knew he would.
This simple thought that Tae Soo would not stop till he found her again gave her much needed consolation. Her plan to approach Shklovsky was the best one and the singular plan she had that might lead her to Tae Soo. Even though it was not very ladylike, she decided to pursue him till she could find out exactly what went wrong yesterday and also to cry on his shoulder about missing him for so long. She wanted to confront him and hug him, kiss him and hit him, yell at him and whisper lustful delights into his ear. She wanted to be able to see him.
She collected her things, absently folding socks and underwear, and hung her shirts up in the closet. She owned nice things and she brought a few of them to LA, since she had to be in public and mingle among the Hollywood's residents. She pulled out a pair of jeans and scanned the t-shirt rack. Even if her current financial status allowed Giselle to shop in high-end department stores and purchase clothing with labels other then the ones that came from Ross, she never really changed her basic style of blue-hued t-shirts and jeans. Before changing, she called Shklovsky, leaving him a message.
Tae Soo woke up from the disturbing ringing of the buzzer. He had no problems recalling his drinking from the night before, but could not quite place how he got home and why he was still dressed. After forcing himself off the bed, he extinguished the noise with a hard slam of his palm, wincing at how much his leaded head weighed, pressing on his shoulders and the rest of the body.
Shower helped only a small fraction and the fogged mirror revealed the face of a man who did not look like somebody who was a spokesperson for a cosmetic brand: with under eye bags and dark circles, and a worry wrinkle etched above the nose bridge, the actor looked battered by alcohol and sleep plagued with nightmares. Without much thinking, he added two more steps to his usual facial care routine, including a purifying mask and then moisturizing mask with collagen adhesive for particularly stubborn wrinkles. At the end, he applied one more application of special emergency packets for under eye trouble.
The process took him more than two hours altogether, during which he had plenty of opportunities to think about what to do and how to make it up to Giselle. He decided that the best way to find her was to go to the source – Shklovsky. He cared little for the explanation of his interest, he only wanted the result – her phone number and possibly the address to her hotel.
Angie was dying from curiosity. She was a bright young woman and the way Tae Soo acted earlier indicated only one thing – it had nothing to do with work and probably had everything to do with mysterious mood swings the night before and dare she guess – a woman. She had to unravel the secret behind her boss' erratic behavior. If he were to successfully proceed with the project, he had to be in the right frame of mind. So all the distractions had to be eliminated or taken care of. Either way, she prided herself in taking on such challenges.
"Pick me up!" Shouted her phone annoyingly in Korean, managing to elicit a laugh and a huff out of her every time.
She was not very surprised at the request and quickly texted her boyfriend that she might not be able to make it on time for their date tonight, again (sorryJ), because of her job. He was a patient man and she truly appreciated all of his finer qualities. She will definitely try to deliver her expensive package to the hotel in one piece and might even have a chance to jet across town for the date.
Tae Soo was cautiously drinking himself into oblivion. He was a responsible drunk, having arranged for the aftercare, he still wanted to track his progress by lining up all the beer glasses on the counter in front of him.
Hana, dul, set, net, net, net ... The numbers jumbled in his head. So he started from right to left: Net, set, dul, hana, hana, hana AGAIN? He waved at the bartender, "Friend, tell me if I'm wrong, when I count left to right – one, two, three, four, then why is it four again? Or is it four, three, two, one, one, one and more ones?"
It appeared that after 'four' his vision consistently merged all the transparent and identical vessels into one, since he was tilting his head and squinting from the same odd angle.
The bartender not phased one bit by the helpless and clueless customer kindly smiled and pulled out a small dark bottle with Chinese label. He poured amber liquid into a glass number "one" on Tae Soo's repetitive list of ones, adding a few cubes of ice and slid it over to the customer. "Have this. I'm calling your assistant."
"Don't! Call Giselle. I have to apologize to her!" Tae Soo added and frowned heavily, to add more credence to his request.
Tae Soo made an incoherent sound, dropping his incredibly weighty head on his arms and wondered about the overpowering smell of beer that made him nauseated.
"Did I catch you at a bad time?"
"No. I'm actually making progress. I decided to find Tae Soo and tell him off in person. Do you like this idea?"
Lena laughed wholeheartedly, this plan sounded as convincing as Giselle suddenly being able to speak Chinese fluently because she thought she could.
"Mock away," growled the author, "We shall see..."
Lena did not waste any time entertaining fantasies, she jumped right to business. "Have you tried dryer therapy yet?"
"It did not work," complained her friend.
Lena choked on a fit of giggles. The question was a joke, but apparently Giselle has been trying innovative approaches to dealing with extreme discomforts of being left in limbo. "I told my husband to program it to respond with more empathy."
"Shut up!" Yelled poor girl, finally embarrassed even in front of her friend who had seen all kinds of crazy and pathetic and then some. "This is not funny!"
"Of course," responded softly Lena. "I'm glad you can joke and I bet your face is hurting from smiling, now, am I right?"
"Whatever," hissed more meekly Giselle. "I am going to speak with Shklovsky and get Tae Soo's number. Then... Then... you can call him and get all the intel we need." She finished, suddenly feeling lighter and happier, now that she did not have to face the situation on her own.
"What friends are for? I'm sure he will be thrilled to hear from you and will be apologizing for hours, begging for forgiveness."
"How do you know?"
"I just have a feeling."
"Then why did not he call me first?!"
"I'm sure he is trying his best. Trust me. I have a good feeling about it."
"I don't." Sighed Giselle with resignation. She would rather be ready for a serious blow to her ego, than trustingly allow hope to wash away all the pain and suffering she had to endure. That hope was an annoying little thing, it kept tickling her from every possible angle and sneaking quick glances into Giselle's eyes, right from her own reflection in the mirror. It also seemed to add beautiful rosy blush to her cheeks, and even her long straight hair seemed to get glossier, shining with that said insistent hope. Giselle had to protect one organ in her body that could not be allowed to be invaded by such a dangerous virus – her heart. Oops, it was too late. Her heartbeat was racing, hope chummy and unwilling to evacuate, sitting comfortably for a long hall smack in the center of it.
Giselle took another critical look at herself. Hope did wonders for her complexion. With that hope, she could climb the mountains and cross the oceans to get to her final target – normal, basic, human happiness of a simple kind – the kind she felt during those languid and humid days of summer with Tae Soo at her side, loving her and her loving him back.
Tae Soo was a mess. "A gorgeous mess, even when drunk", Angie noted in her head. After she had seen him shirtless, it was difficult to regard him with neutrality. Despite smelling like a beer keg, he was steady on his feet, only leaning lightly on her shoulder. It seemed that alcohol mainly affected his brain function, not touching the rest, more physical duties of his body, such as walking and holding his head up. He was mumbling in some spankonglish, which she had never heard before – it was a weave of English, Spanish and Korean, so tangled that without a drink one would not even begin to decipher the mangled word salad.
What was more amazing, Tae Soo remained a perfect gentleman when she reminded him about who she was and why she was here, thanking her in Korean with proper honorifics before he added in English that he was not feeling well and required her assistance to the hotel. He blankly stared out the window, dozing off a few times, before they reached the valet. Angie motioned to the driver to continue inside the parking garage and slipping a five dollar bill to the parking attendant, explained that a VIP guest needed to be discretely escorted to his room. The man nodded knowingly and directed them to the back elevator. Angie shook Tae Soo half-awake and explained that he had to walk just a bit more and then he would be home. He looked at her with unwavering trust in his glossy with drunkenness almond eyes and followed her into the freight elevator.
"Don't leave," he asked softly after she had deposited him on his bed and kneeled in front to pull his shoes off. She might as well take care of his shirt since she had already seen what lay underneath. She paused to think whether such measures were necessary.
A woman in her could not deny the attraction she felt toward her boss, although inappropriate and obviously not reciprocated. She thought "no harm, no foul" – she was just going to take advantage of the situation innocently – he will sleep better and she will have a story to brag to her friends later about an anonymous celebrity whom she helped dress and undress.
Angie unbuttoned three of the top buttons, but when she reached his stomach, she began to reconsider. It was a bit too much and was crossing the boundaries of innocence into a more gray territory. Tae Soo was hot and sexy and also very drunk. She pulled at his shirt, deciding to just to leave it untucked and go before she did something that would cause her a job or even more.
But the actor held onto her arm, almost frantically. She lifted her head taken aback. "Tae Soo-shi, you need to sleep it off. I will turn off the light and go." She got up, thinking of how to politely free her hand from his grip.
"Stay with me," he pulled at her waist, enfolding her into a tight hug. Angie breathlessly tried to push his arms, but he was strong and insistent.
"Please," she urged him with a voice that shook with uncertainty, "let me go."
"I missed you. I've waited for all these years. I'm sorry I was late. I'm sorry for everything," he murmured, hot beer breath hitting her ear. "I don't want to be alone tonight."
She did not feel threatened by him, as in his desperate embrace, she could see a very gentle soul underneath, a sad soul, a lonely one. His embrace was pleasantly arousing and exciting going against all the rules of professional conduct, but Angie never felt more fragile and vulnerable than next to this man. She felt her stomach flutter and surrendered.
His eyes were closed. As Angie stopped fighting against him, he smiled lightly and whispered, "Thank you." His hands slowly slid to her hips and she felt the kind of things she should not be feeling, having a boyfriend and working for Tae Soo. He had long and strong fingers that wrapped around her curves and stilled.
"You are too skinny, Querida. Have you been eating well?" He asked with concern.
Angie rose her brows, infuriated. He was groping her and complaining about her size? But Tae Soo did not stop there, his eyes slowly opened and fell onto her chest. He appeared to be measuring her cup size, as he strained and pulled back to better see in the dim light flooding low around the bed. "It's not right. You looked bigger before. Much bigger," he mumbled in confusion. He moved his hands back to her waist and sent her just a step a ways.
"You lost too much weight since yesterday. Not healthy, cariño. Not good," he babbled warmly, now stroking Angie's hand with care.
Mixed with frustratingly unavoidable pleasure she received from his touch, she felt guilt that she took somebody's place and his display of misguided affection was becoming burdensome. It was obvious he was not seducing or making advances on her. It was another woman that he hoped to see next to him. If she did not stop him, she would be a horrible person.
"Tae Soo-shi. I'm Angie. Angie Song, your assistant," she leaned closer to make sure he was looking at her face. "Remember me?"
"Angie," he said listlessly. "Where did she go? She did not want to stay, did she? I asked her to stay," he sounded progressively sadder with each spoken word and then closed his eyes again, dropping his head down. He finally let go of her hand and Angie felt both relief and embarrassment for not revealing her identity earlier.
Lee Tae Soo was a tragic character she discovered. She was slightly pissed and slightly in awe at how she let herself slip into his charms so easily. Right there and then she vowed to wipe this evening out of her memory. Tonight her boyfriend was going to meet one very horny and dissatisfied lady in his bed and he better do a good job!
"Get some sleep. I can help you find this woman tomorrow." Whoever that person was – she was lucky to elicit such loyalty from the irresistible Lee Tae Soo. She turned to leave, but stopped and muttered, "Beer, really? A classy man like you?" She shook her head in disappointment.
"Sorry," he hiccupped and smiled. "I can't hold hard liquor." He inhaled his own beer fumes and wrinkled his nose. "I smell like a salary man after a paycheck," he added remorsefully.
Angie looked over him with pity. He was harmless and appeared oblivious to his previously inappropriate moves. She helped him back on the bed and covered him with a blanket.
After she had left, Tae Soo stirred in the darkness, reaching out for an invisible hand he wanted to hold. "Giselle, I will come to you," he murmured. "Please wait another day."
Shklovsky was puzzled and upset. First, he received a phone call from Lee Tae Soo, that Korean actor who was in Gangitano's production, asking for Giselle's number. Then Giselle called him, asking how to get a hold of Lee Tae Soo. Of course, he had enough sense not to break the most recent California privacy legislature with either of them. The last thing he needed was to be hit with a fine and be blacklisted in the industry because he released personal contact to a third party, without prior consent. Those two foreigners had no idea what kind of thing they were asking for. Besides that, it bothered him that Tae Soo was looking for his protégé. What if he was trying to get into her good graces and secure a role in the movie that Shklovsky was considering for her script? If the writer insisted on Mr. Lee, it would become difficult for him to say no. But he could never accept this man, even if he was a good actor and fit the profile of the main character for one reason – he was going to be in Gangitano's blockbuster. The two producers had a competitive friendly rivalry since the days of film school. They never showcased the same talents and never borrowed actors from one another.
"Tae Soo-shi, I need to see you in person, I have something to tell you." Angie
Strange... Angie has been acting weird since he got drunk last night. He was sure he did not take too much of her time. He checked the call log again – the bartender contacted her at 21:03 and he entered his suite at 21:26 based on the automatic alert sent to his handheld. So all she had to do was to load him in the car and then unload him at the hotel. Did he vomit on her expensive stilettos? He shrugged off the scary thought. That he should have remembered, or not?
He replied immediately, "Of course. I owe you for yesterday. If I ruined your outfit by any chance... Just bill me, I will gladly replace it."
His phone beeped in less than a minute. "No material damages were caused."
No material damages, then what kind? Tae Soo's palms became sticky. Did he say something offensive that he should not be saying to a young woman? He was not one to swear easily, drunk or sober.
"Please, whatever I said, forgive me. I hope that you would allow me to treat you to a meal at a place of your choice."
He waited for five minutes, trying to desperately recall the happenings of his drunken night. It was a black hole of nothingness. Vaguely... numbers hana, dul, set, net started to creep up into his memory. Then an image of a... handsome bartender... stench of beer and glasses, glasses, beer glasses... The end. What the f...?
He was about to send her another message and began to think of ordering flowers and a card, just in case, you never know... and women were always more forgiving when flowers and cards were involved, when the phone offered relief: "I will take you up on that offer. Here is the address. Since you don't have anything scheduled for a brunch, I shall see you there. Will you driving yourself or want me send a car to pick you up?"
Just by the tone, Tae Soo imagined her energetic chatter and a bright smile. Even after he was at fault, she was still doing her job flawlessly and probably, not realizing how awesome she was.
"What is brunch, by the way?"
"Breakfast and lunch combined, you will enjoy it!"
"I'm sure I will."
He fiddled with the phone. An empty contact slot with Giselle's name on it and her picture he used from the book jacket was staring back at him, contemptuously. He could not believe Shklovsky refused to tell him how to reach Giselle. "Does he like her or something?" voiced Tae Soo.
There was a momentary collapse of judgment as a hot wave of jealousy hit him. His overactive imagination produced a scene of Giselle and Shklovsky staring at each other with puppy eyes while producer was holding her hand. Giselle seemed quite happy with the attention. The little hairy man said something to make her laugh. And then they kissed.
Tae Soo saw dark blotches of anger and anxiety flash in front of his eyes, finally exploding into fireworks. Next - he was smashing his fist into the wall, screaming out in frustration. Shocked from a sudden sharp pain and his wrist slacking in recoil, he noticed blood on his knuckles. He only nodded with a scoff. "It's come down to this," he murmured.
It was official. Tae Soo was losing his grip on reality. In this huge metropolis, how was he going to find Giselle, if the only logical and simplest link to her was severed?
Giselle just had the most frustrating conversation with Shklovsky. He flat out refused to give her Tae Soo's contact information. She was so flustered, she hung up on him, muttering that she believed he was becoming a mentor of a sort, but he obviously could care less about her personal plight unless it was work related.
She felt thrown back in time. All the insecurities, worries and emotional confusion returned with new force and made her face the fact that when it came to old unresolved feelings she remained a young and impressionable girl. No other man had an effect on her like Tae Soo did. She knew that finding him was essential for her sanity, but how?
Lena set her plan in motion. Her friend was suffering unduly and she easily convinced Angie to arrange for Tae Soo to be at a restaurant, where she was bringing Giselle, supposedly to relax and take a break from her romantic rollercoaster ride of mishaps and disappointments.
"Is Mr. Lee OK? He did not show up for Giselle's signing yesterday."
"Because he is a lousy drunk." Angie had no qualms about expressing her feelings to her new confidant.
"What do you mean? Because he is not that kind of man, so he must have been going through a very hard time."
"How do you know what kind of man he is?" wondered the young assistant in fleeting suspicion. "Anyway, I don't want to talk about it."
"Of course you don't want to talk about, I understand. It must have been tough for you to deal with a boss who is a lousy drunk. I wish you had somebody to talk to about it."
That was so easy, it was not even fun. In the next few minutes, Angie explained everything, omitting obvious details that were nonexistent as far as she was concerned. Out of that strange experience, something wonderful came about – last night her boyfriend surprised her with proposal and she was now proudly sporting a 4 carat diamond and a title of fiancé. "So I'm happy and I want everybody to be happy. I want to help Tae Soo-shi to find that mysterious woman."
"I think I know the way," Lena whispered in conspiratorial hushed tones.