In her heart, she’s counting. One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five. And the woman she’s kissing lets her kiss for that long before pushing her away.
“What was that for?” Tiffany asks, wiping her lips with the back of her hand.
Taeyeon shrugs. “I figured I’ll get back at Agent Amber for spying on us kissing the first two times.”
“Very . . . mature.”
Taeyeon licks her lips and grins. “You weren’t protesting when I kissed you.”
Pulling her fingers through her hair, Tiffany sits on the chair Agent Amber vacated. Taeyeon follows and sits on the other chair.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?”
Tiffany doesn’t look at her. “I don’t talk to immature people.”
“So you won’t talk to immature people but you’ll kiss them?”
Tiffany throws her cap at Taeyeon without lifting her eyes from the monitors.
“Fine. Be that way.” Taeyeon pulls the cap over her head, low enough to cover her eyes, and slides down her chair to prop her legs up on the table. Her eyes are closed when her legs are shoved off the table, sending her tumbling to the floor. With a groan, she sits up and glares at Tiffany. “Whatchu do that for?”
“No sleeping on the job.”
“This isn’t even a job,” Taeyeon grumbles as she picks herself up.
“It’s more than a job. It’s our national security at stake.”
“Yes it is. Very important.”
“Are you mocking our national security?”
“I’m not mocking—geez, did gochugaru get up your ass?” Perhaps she should not have said that because Tiffany gets up, grabs her arm and twists it behind her back. “Oww, oww ,oww! Lemme go. Lemme go!”
“Are you going to beg like this if you get caught by the enemy?”
Taeyeon clenches her jaw. This is going to hurt. With a foot on the floor, Taeyeon pushes away from the table with the other foot. Using the momentum, she pushes back and tries to slam Tiffany into the wall. But her grand plan is foiled by Tiffany’s arm around her neck, yanking her off balance. They crash onto the floor, both breaking their fall with their arms and unfortunately for Taeyeon, Tiffany lands on top of her.
“Oww!” Taeyeon groans.
Tiffany pushes up on her palms on both sides of Taeyeon’s head. “If I were the enemy, you’d be dead by now.”
Taeyeon is still lying on the floor when the agent returns to the chair. Tiffany had knocked all the wind out of her and her side hurts.
Taeyeon doesn’t respond. The pain is spreading and beginning to throb.
“Taeyeon. Get back here.”
“Stop being an idiot and get up.”
“I’m really hurt. On my left.”
Tiffany is by her side in a flash. “Where?”
Taeyeon points at her ribs. Tiffany pulls Taeyeon’s jacket open and tries to lift the top underneath but Taeyeon stops her.
“Let me see.”
Tiffany tugs harder. “Don’t be stubborn.”
“Oh my—my eyes.”
Taeyeon freezes at the voice and turns to the face of Agent Amber.
“I’m pretty liberal but girls, get a room.”
“Stop blabbering and come help me,” says Tiffany.
“No,” says Taeyeon, still holding down her top to prevent Tiffany from pulling it up.
“Woah, woah.” Agent Amber puts her hands up and steps back. “The lady on the floor doesn’t look willing. I’m liberal but I draw the line at non-consent.”
“For goodness’ sake, get over here and help me. She’s hurt.”
“What did you do to her?”
“She’s lying,” Taeyeon retorts quickly.
“You two are a mess. First you’re kissing, then you’re fighting, and now you’re hurt,” says Agent Amber, shaking her head.
Both Tiffany and Taeyeon stare at Agent Amber.
“You saw us kissing?” Tiffany asks.
Taeyeon turns to Tiffany. “You told me there aren’t any cameras installed!”
Tiffany is staring at Agent Amber in incredulity. “Why would you install a camera in here?”
Agent Amber shrugs. “Additional security, of course.”
Taeyeon and Tiffany can only groan while Agent Amber grins at them.
“Hi, this is Daniel.”
Yoona smiles. She already knew that. “Hi, Daniel. Are you calling to tell me how great the security company is?”
Daniel laughs into the phone. “How did you know? You’re too smart for your own good.”
“If I’m smart then you must be brilliant.”
David chuckles. “Add eloquent and witty to your list of good qualities.”
“Thank you,” Yoona replies with a modest laugh. “I hope the security company was everything you expected it to be.”
“Your recommendation is excellent, Yoona. I would like to thank you over dinner. Are you busy tomorrow?”
Yoona looks at Seo. The agent nods and mouths, two days later. Understanding what Seo means, Yoona smiles as she replies, “I’m busy tomorrow but we can have dinner the day after.”
“Great. I’ll pick you up at seven, alright?”
Yoona looks at Seo again. This time, the agent shakes her head so Yoona rejects his offer politely. “I’ll be at my office so it’ll be easier if I drive to the place and meet you there.”
“Alright. How does Spanish food sound to you?”
“If you’re talking about the restaurant we met in, my answer will be yes.”
“Good. I’ll see you there at seven, two days later.”
“I’ll see you then. Goodbye, Daniel.” Yoona puts her phone down with a grin on her face.
Seo smiles. “He’s hooked. Now we just have to reel him in.”
Five days later, Tiffany strolls into Daniel’s office again—this time, with a security framework customized by Agent Amber and Seulgi. She demonstrates how the system will prevent hacking attempts from succeeding in getting to the stored data and critical file content. She also demonstrates how the security is enhanced by the multi-level authorization gateways. Daniel eats it all up and arranges for Tiffany to come back three days later to install it. With a nod and a smile, Tiffany agrees and leaves his office on a trail of professionalism.
They are getting close. Real close.
“Have you heard about Lord Liveyrev?” Sunny asks the rest as they dig into dinner after yet another gruelling day of training.
“What about?” Taeyeon asks.
“My friends said he’s been quite frantic about something. They think he lost something or had something stolen. Something important.”
“Your friends know him?”
“They know someone close to him who was grumbling about Lord Liveyrev’s bad temper recently. And they know people working in the top level management of Lord Liveyrev’s business. They’ve been saying the same thing.” Sunny grins. “I think our guy really wants his ring back.”
Summer stuffs a spoonful of rice into her mouth. “Budd ids judd a wing.”
Sunny smacks Summer’s arm. “Don’t talk with your mouth full.”
“Anyway, it might not be just a ring. Lord Liveyrev wouldn’t be so affected by it if it were just a piece of jewellery.”
Yuri looks at Sunny. “Do you really think so?”
“Mhm. And I think he needs the ring for something. That’s why he’s all flustered about it.”
Taeyeon frowns. “It can’t be the money it’s worth.”
Yoona chews and swallows. “Maybe the ring is part of a deal or something.”
“Maybe,” Summer says with a nod.
Sunny nods too. “I think the ring comes with strings attached. It’s not just a simple bribe. There’s something else going on and we need to find out what it is before we try to sell it.”
Taeyeon grins at Sunny. “And who else can do it but you?”
Sunny rolls her eyes. “I’m trying my best. But you girls gotta keep up the surveillance on him. We haven’t been checking in on the bug we planted on him.”
Taeyeon groans. “We’ve been distracted by S.N.S.D. and their nonsense.”
Sunny shoots Taeyeon a smirk. “By that you mean you’ve been distracted by a certain S.N.S.D. agent.”
“I—what—no.” The rest of Taeyeon’s friends giggle as she scowls. “Fine. I’ll be vigilant. Yuri, Yoona, you’re down for it with me too. And Summer—”
“I’ll work on opening the box too,” Summer promises.