Deal Breaker 15

“3.981 seconds this time,” Agent Amber says with a wink as Tiffany walks by her in the corridor.

Tiffany halts and stands still for a moment before turning around to face the agent. “Is it really necessary for you to watch the monitors all the time?”

Agent Amber grins. “Absolutely. For safety reasons, of course.”

“Give me a break, Agent Amber.”

“You should give her a break.”

“I’m not even going that hard on her.”

“You’re picking on her.”

“I’m the same kind of tough on everyone.”

Agent Amber rolls her eyes. “Yeah, sure. Whatever you say boss.”

“The next time I see you, I want a full report on the program writing status.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“Where were you? Dinner’s almost over,” Yuri says when Taeyeon approaches the dining table.

“I passed out from the alcohol training.”

A smatter of chuckles bubbles from the table of ladies.

“So what’s up between you and Tiffany?” Yoona asks, her diction clear despite having a mouth full of food. “You into her?”

Taeyeon sits down and shoves a spoonful of rice into her mouth. “Maybe.”

“Maybe?” Sunny questions, her brow raised in curiosity. “Why maybe. You’ve never been the ‘maybe’ type of girl.”

Taeyeon makes a face. “I can’t decide if I’m more attracted to her or annoyed by her.”

“Ah, you know what they say,” Yuri waggles her finger, “that it’s a fine line between love and hate.”

“It’s neither love nor hate.”

“Lust and disgust?” Yoona contributes with a laugh.

Taeyeon chews, ignoring her friends and their teasing. Hunger has taken over her suddenly and nothing matters more than food right now.

A day later, Summer receives a call from her cousin. It is an invitation to dinner with him and his business partner, Daniel. She smiles when Minho slips in Yoona’s name. Their plan is working. She updates S.N.S.D and Yoona about the dinner invite and a meeting to brief them on the next part of the mission is arranged.

With the custom-made security hacking program nearing completion, the plan is to scout out Daniel’s office before they attempt to hack into it. As such, Tiffany has been spending some of her time in the rented service apartment making sure the equipment is up and running, that all the angles of Daniel’s office are covered.

Day and night, Tiffany and her team take turns to maintain surveillance on Daniel’s office. They note the business partners he meets and his habits. His routine. His office layout. They learn as much about him and his environment as they can and organize the information in a sensible way. All of this, in addition to the brief on the progress of the program, is presented to Taeyeon and her friends. It will be up to them to execute the carefully laid plans now.

Yoona arrives at the restaurant slightly late. Summer is already seated at the table with her cousin and Daniel and the food orders have been placed.

“I’ve ordered the Chicharrón for you,” says Summer, “but what happened?”

“Security. The company handling my family’s security came down to upgrade the system. Took longer than I expected to get my prints taken and test them out. It’s a little tedious but well worth the trouble setting it up. The system is impenetrable.”

“Which company is that?” Daniel asks.

Yoona meets his eyes. “Kingsman Security.”

“Top notch,” Minho adds helpfully, “Our company’s security is handled by this company too. They are one of the most expensive security companies but their systems are well worth even cent we pay. Very advanced.”

Daniel’s interest rises with Minho’s raving review. “I should have a look at what this company has to offer.”

“You should,” Yoona agrees with a nod. “I can put you in the priority waiting list with a recommendation.”

“There’s a waiting list?” Daniel’s eyes widen in surprise.

“The team is small. They don’t outsource anything. They only trust their team to do the best job. So even though not too many people are willing to spend the extra money they charge, there is still a waiting list.”

“In that case, I will have to trouble you for a recommendation into the priority waiting list.”

Yoona simply smiles and shakes her head. “No, it’s no trouble at all.”

The next day, Yoona tells Daniel (via Minho) that Kingsman Security will be able to schedule a consultation with him a week later. He is pleased with the efficiency and conveys his thanks to Yoona directly, having gotten her number from Minho to do so. With the date set and the plan moving forward, the stage is set for Tiffany and her team to infiltrate Daniel’s security system right under his nose.

Tiffany can’t stop her lips from curling into a smile as she pulls the Kingsman Security cap over Taeyeon’s head. In response, the petite woman scrounges up her petite nose and pulls it off.

“Don’t do it again,” she warns Tiffany.

But Tiffany doesn’t heed the warning and does it again.

“That’s it. You’re not getting it back.” Taeyeon pulls the cap off and tucks it under her jacket.

Tiffany tries to tug the jacket open but Taeyeon holds on tight, refusing to let the agent get her hands on it. Just as Tiffany is about to succeed, Taeyeon spins away so she sidesteps and pushes the woman up against the wall. And as luck would have it, they are in the middle of a cap-winning scuffle when the door opens.

Agent Amber claps her palm over her eyes. “Girls, get a room!”

Tiffany frowns at Agent Amber. “You are late.”

“I’m not late. I was outside, watching you two get it on.”

Ignoring Agent Amber’s teasing, Tiffany reaches into Taeyeon’s jacket and retrieves her cap. She puts it on while walking to the door. “Taeyeon is all yours, Agent Amber. I’ll give you the signal when we’re ready.”

“Copy that, Tiffany.”

Tiffany acknowledges with a nod and with that, exits the service apartment, leaving Agent Amber and Taeyeon behind to handle the surveillance. It’s her turn to play the field.

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