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“Don’t call me that,” Taeyeon hissed as she walked towards Yoona.
“You don’t get to call me Taeyeonie.”
Yoona pouted. “Why not.”
“I’m here to coach you. I’m not here to be your friend.”
“Can’t we be friends too?”
“I don’t see the need for that.”
“Yet you want to get a job in my company.”
“It’s not your company. It’s your father’s company.”
“It’s not my company, yet. But it will be one day.”
“How can you be so sure about that.”
Yoona’s grin gave nothing away. “Well, we don’t have to be friends today, but we will be one day.” She glanced at her watch. “We have to start now. I have exactly one hour left.”
“One hour?” Taeyeon checked her watch. It was only 8 pm. “Don’t tell me you have a curfew at this age.”
Silence yawned between them and Taeyeon’s eyes widened. Surely…
“I’m not supposed to be here,” Yoona finally answered, dispelling Taeyeon’s questions. “Nobody knows that I’m here and not at my friend’s house.”
“Well, your friend knows you aren’t there…”
“Obviously.” Yoona frowned, her impatience evident in her fidgeting legs. “We need to start now.”
Taeyeon shrugged. “Sure.” She took a printout from her bag and handed it to Yoona. “You have five minutes to look at the route and plan your strategy. Then we’ll race.”
Taeyeon grinned, enjoying the look of Yoona’s shaken confidence. “What else did you expect us to be doing?”
“Some advice or tips? I don’t stand a chance against you with so little preparation.”
“You don’t have to win this race, Yoona. You’re supposed to try your best. If you lose, you’ll learn why. If you win, you’ll learn how.”
“I see. So you want to see what I’m made of.”
“Something like that.” Taeyeon nodded at the printout. “Five minutes. Then we race.”
Engine revved up, concentration peaked. Taeyeon was ready as always. There was nothing like a race to put her in the right place. A place of peace and belonging. Lately, she’d begun to find peace and belonging from another source as well. But that particular source was still a rocky journey. Nevertheless, this race was her priority right now. And all of her being went into it, heart and soul.
“3, 2, 1,” said the synchronized timer, and at the sound of ‘go’, her foot kicked into the acceleration and wreaked havoc into the sand underneath her wheels. Her car lurched into action and pulled ahead into the distance.
Here, in the deserted area of Ogok-dong and Daejang-dong near the international airport, two cars sped off, straight in the direction of Osoe-dong and threw caution to the wind. Taeyeon’s superior race car gave her the clear advantage with faster acceleration and Yoona was left behind in the dust. She could see Yoona’s car in her rear view mirror and made it a point to keep tabs on her. After all, the point of this race wasn’t to win it but to learn from it.
Still, she couldn’t help enjoying the speed and power of her car. Yuri had done a more than fantastic job on it and if the woman wasn’t already working in a top notch workshop, she would’ve asked her to join her in more future projects. Then again, what was stopping her? She could put the offer up to Yuri and let her decide, couldn’t she?
The glare of headlights in the rear view mirror brought her back to the race and she checked to see where Yoona was. Much to Yoona’s credit, she was keeping up, albeit, on a fairly straight road. But things were to change soon. Within a minute, they had entered Osoe-dong and Taeyeon made a quick turn to the right, checking the rear view mirror right after to watch Yoona’s execution.
Fair. Yoona’s turn wasn’t perfect but there was potential. The straight road that followed allowed her more time to think about the possible collaboration with Yuri but soon came another turn and from then on, she had little time for thoughts other than dealing with the route and checking Yoona’s techniques.
Another turn to the right took her into Daejang-dong and she sped down the gently curving road before clearing an S-curve which led to a straight, entering Expressway No.39 on Beolmal-ro. Another effortless turn to the right had her speeding down said road and from that point on, she could barely see Yoona in the mirror. Cars separated them and she could only catch glimpses of Yoona overtaking cars behind.
Expressway No. 39 was straight with a few gentle curves so it was the perfect route to take for a race that wasn’t really a race. She had chosen this particular road for this very reason. And with a gentle right, followed by a straight and a final right, Taeyeon breezed her way through the cars in front of her and exited the expressway into Olympic-daero. A sharp right turn took her into Geumnanghwa-ro where she pulled over into an empty side road and got out to wait for Yoona.
She didn’t have long to wait. Yoona arrived soon enough but that was far from good if she was aiming to win a race in the near future. It was a dejected Yoona that stepped out from her car and headed to her with shoulders that slumped, and eyes that were a far cry from the gleaming confidence that shone during previous encounters.
“You were too fast. I couldn’t catch up. No matter what I did.”
“Of course. Your car is no match for mine. You didn’t stand a chance from the get-go.”
Yoona sighed. “Well,” she said, her arms flapping awkwardly at her side, “just give it to me. Tell me how much I suck at this. Tell me to go home and focus on the business. You don’t have to spare me any mercy in your comments.”
Taeyeon lifted a brow. “Where has your confidence gone? I don’t actually think you suck. Based on what I saw, I think you have the potential to win a race one day.”
“Really?” Yoona looked breathless.
Taeyeon nodded. “First, you will need to fix up your car. But that’s not a problem. I know an excellent mechanic who can help you. Then we can try some techniques with your new gear.”
“What?” Taeyeon barely had time to blink before Yoona threw long arms around her and pulled her into a lung-squashing hug. Her cheeks heated up and she squirmed, uncomfortable with the show of affection. “Too tight. Let go.”
Her feeble request was ignored. Yoona only hugged her tighter.
“No one has ever said I have the potential to do anything. No one.”
Taeyeon remained silent, her arms dangling by her side as she stood still.
“It’s always been ‘Yoona you have to do this right’, ‘Yoona you need to work harder’, ‘Yoona you aren’t good enough yet’.”
Her heart went out a little to this young lady and her burst of confession. It sounded like a hard life to live, with nothing but expectations placed upon her shoulders. So she found herself saying, “If you think you’re good enough for yourself, you’re good.”
Yoona pulled away, eyes glistening. Her tears had not flowed, despite the emotions that showed as they flickered across her face. She was a tough girl.
“Thank you, Taeyeon.”
Taeyeon nodded. “That’s enough for today. I’ll get the mechanic to take a look at your car. We’ll meet again for that.”
“Okay. Bye, Taeyeon.”
Yoona sneaked into the house through the back gate and entered the warm kitchen.
“How did the session go?”
She jumped, whirled around, only to let out a sigh of relief when she saw who it was. “Holy shit. You scared me.”
Said person merely giggled and crossed the kitchen to her side and linked their arms. “Don’t worry, I’m not your dad’s spy.”
Yoona grinned and hugged her, pulling her close to feel her warmth on every inch of her body. “I love you.”
“The session was that good?”
Yoona nodded before leaning back to allow their eyes to meet. “Yes. It was really good. She’s going to get me a mechanic to fix up my car and she promised to work on my technique after that.”
“I’m so happy for you!”
They hugged again and her smile wouldn’t undo itself. “It’s all thanks to you,” she pulled back again and added with a grin, “Doctor Seo.”
“Don’t call me that. It makes me feel guilty.”
“I’m not your patient any more, Doctor Seo.”
“So stop calling me Doctor. I’m not a doctor when I’m with you.”
Yoona giggled. “Okay, I’ll be good and listen to you. I’ll call you Seohyun unnie instead.”
“I’m not your unnie either.”
“Oh my goodness, stop it.”
Yoona merely grinned as she was pushed away by a blushing Seohyun. She loved to tease the younger woman. But it wasn’t entirely a tease either. Although Seohyun was a year younger, she often appeared to be more mature and wiser than herself. Seohyun took great care of her as well, so calling her unnie felt right in some ways.
“Alright, I’ll stop it. But I want a kiss first.”
At the mention of a kiss, Seohyun smiled, all embarrassed expressions vanishing behind it. And with the surest of hands, Yoona cupped Seohyun’s ears and closed her eyes as their lips drew closer and closer.
“I’m coming up.”
Taeyeon drove her car into the car lift and smiled at the thought of giving Tiffany her present. She put it on the seat next to her and waited for the mechanism to do its job of securing the car wheels before getting out. She raised her head and there Tiffany was, leaning against the glass door, holding it open for her.
Tiffany was a sight for sore eyes. She had always thought the phrase was quite a cliché but right at this moment, she understood why the phrase was coined. Seeing Tiffany in her silky pink nightgown could possibly cure her sore eyes if they were in fact, sore. Her fingers itched to pull the barely-there straps down and peel the one-piece away from Tiffany’s body, but the box she held in her hands reminded her of what she had planned.
“Tiffany, this is for you.”
Tiffany’s smouldering eyes lost their seductiveness in that instant. They locked on the box as Taeyeon handed it to her.
“It’s the candle.”
“Can I open it?” Tiffany asked, her tone hesitant.
Taeyeon shrugged. “Go ahead.”
Tiffany walked to the dining table and put it down to open it. Taeyeon could see the excitement in her eyes and couldn’t help but smile when Tiffany gasped.
“I hope you like it.”
Tiffany lifted the jar and turned it in her hands, inch by inch. Then, she gasped again. “Taeyeon…did you…”
“Yeah, I painted it. They wouldn’t sell me a new jar without a candle so I found one elsewhere and I thought it’d be nicer if I—”
Lips smothered hers and her thoughts flew out the window as Tiffany made it clear how much she loved the present.
“Taeyeon, I’m very touched by this,” said Tiffany, after they finally broke their kiss.
“It’s not that big a deal—”
“Yes, it is. It’s a huge deal to me.”
Tiffany silenced her with a finger on her lips. “Thanks for the lovely present. I’ll treasure it.”
Her leg nudged Taeyeon’s apart and they stood close, legs between legs. Taeyeon could feel hands caressing her lower back, fingers rubbing the bare skin exposed by her short top. She knew what this was at once. Tiffany had planned to do so right from the start.
She was being seduced.
She got to pull off the straps as she wished. Slowly. Agonizingly slow. Kissing the skin underneath along the way. And she had managed to get both straps off when Tiffany placed a hand on her shoulder and stopped her from going further.
“I’ve got something to show you too,” she whispered, and entered the kitchen, her bare back enticing Taeyeon to follow. She opened the chiller and took a bottle out.
“Rose sparkling wine?”
Tiffany smiled. “Mhm. I was planning to share this with you tonight.”
“What’s the occasion?”
“An occasion to make up.”
Taeyeon knew what Tiffany was referring to. And she was happy to know that Tiffany too, wanted to make things right. “If we’re going to drink this, you should put your nightie back on properly.”
Tiffany flashed a grin. “Can’t deal with them?”
Taeyeon shrugged. “If you don’t mind me staring at them instead of looking at you, go ahead.”
“I don’t mind,” Tiffany laughed and walked to her bedroom with the bottle and two chilled wineglasses.
They sat on Tiffany’s bed with their wineglasses filled and smiled at each other.
“Cheers,” said Tiffany.
They clinked glasses and drank, both emptying their glasses in one long drink.
“It’s good,” said Taeyeon, smacking her lips.
“It is, isn’t it. I really love it.”
“It’s fruity. And not too heavy.”
“Yes, perfect for a night like this.”
Taeyeon leaned over and they kissed, each tasting the wine on the other’s lips. She took her time, savouring the flavour, before pulling away. “I like tonight.”
“Tonight has been great so far,” Tiffany agreed. “In fact, the whole day has been good. We managed to get our work done without any major problems and everybody got to go home a little earlier today.”
Taeyeon held her glass steady as Tiffany poured a little more for her. “Today has been good for me too. I sold a 7-seater today.”
Tiffany grinned and kissed her. “Congratulations.”
“Then I had a good meeting with Yoona after work.”
“You met Yoona? Before coming here?”
Taeyeon smiled and shook her head. “Jealous again?”
“Of course not. But if you had told me earlier, I would’ve gone for a drink or two with Paul before coming home to wait for you.”
“That’s not funny.”
Taeyeon frowned at Tiffany’s taunting lips. Then, she emptied her glass of wine and swung her leg over Tiffany to straddle her, putting the wineglass down on the bedside table as she did. Leaning close to Tiffany’s face, she held still and breathed slowly, taking in the scent of Tiffany’s defiance, arrogance and arousal. It was a crazy mix and it made her head spin. No, that wasn’t the wine talking. It was Tiffany. Tiffany’s wild and crazy scent.
“What if I am jealous?” she challenged, “What will you do?”
Tiffany held her gaze, smiled and Taeyeon felt, rather than saw, the hand on her chest, pushing her away. Their eyes remained locked as Tiffany too, emptied her glass of wine and put it aside. Then, Taeyeon allowed herself to be pulled back within a whisker of Tiffany’s lips.
“I prefer action over words,” Tiffany answered in slow fashion, saying each word like a sigh. For two seconds, neither moved, neither breathed. Then, all calm and quiet came to a crashing halt.
Taeyeon barely knew what she was doing but she found herself on her back. She lay there helplessly as Tiffany unbuttoned her shorts and removed it along with her panties, sliding them down her legs. They joined her equally useless top on the floor and it wasn’t long before her bra, pulled down by Tiffany earlier, was unclasped and removed too.
Their post-coital kiss was slow and unhurried. They took their time, slowing down as their breathing regained some calm. But their desires were nowhere near satiated and she groaned as the feelings washed over her once again. “Fuck. That was crazy. So good.”
Tiffany smiled. “I love it when you scream like that.”
That did it for her. Tiffany’s voice. Tiffany’s lips. What just happened was great but she wanted more. More of Tiffany. More of her sound. So she pulled away and sat up.
Tiffany flashed a knowing smile. “Stealing my lines?”
Taeyeon shook her head and returned a teasing smile of her own. “Stealing your breath, then your heart.”
“You can steal my breath, but you can’t steal my heart.”
Taeyeon nipped her earlobe, earning a moan from her. “Why not.”
“You can’t steal something you already own.”