Tiffany smiles at the sight of Taeyeon’s sluggish wake up ritual. When she first witnessed it, she had serious concerns about working with these girls. After all, it is hardly confidence inspiring to see Taeyeon trying to switch off her alarm and getting caught by her own sheets in the process. And to be honest, other than Yoona and Yuri who get up quickly and efficiently, the other girls like Summer and Sunny aren’t much better off than Taeyeon in that area.
But now, having worked with the girls makes Tiffany confident that their plan will succeed. The girls have a certain kind of chemistry that cannot be bought or trained. And that was the tipping point in S.N.S.D.’s decision making in the end.
Turning away from the screen featuring Taeyeon’s ass in the air as the sleepy woman plants her face on her bed, Tiffany considers their next step. With the security system installed on Daniel’s setup, Amber and Seulgi have been working overtime to map out the structure of Elgoog’s database. It will certainly help them in breaking the codes protecting the critical data they require and once that is acquired and studied, they can formulate a way to infiltrate Elgoog’s CORE.
The main challenge is getting in. How are they going to get the girls in?
“We can duplicate the security system and run it remotely. If we use a backdated clone, and churn out a unique key, Elgoog’s sentinels will be none the wiser. It will take them an hour or two before they realise anything and by then, we would have moved in and taken what we need.”
Seo nods at Agent Seulgi’s assessment of the security system. “We won’t need more than thirty minutes to do this.”
“We can keep it running for an hour at least. We will clone the entire system, complete with all video footage of every security camera and sensor in place.”
“It’s set then. Sixty minutes max. The training can commence.”
“Oh-my-gawd.” Taeyeon is convinced she will drop to the floor and die the moment this speed training is over.
Tiffany taps her shoulder. “Be quiet. Don’t waste your breath.”
Taeyeon clenches her teeth and pushes her body a little harder to keep up with Yuri and Yoona who are having an easier time dealing with the training. It’s not fair, she thinks. Yuri has always been good at sports and Yoona has always been strong, despite her slimness. But as for herself . . .
Taeyeon punches the stop button and steps off the treadmill, sinking to the floor in a heap.
“Your fitness is appalling.”
Too exhausted to produce even a snort or a sigh, Taeyeon simply closes her eyes and ignores the irritating agent lording over her. Meanwhile, Yuri and Yoona step off the treadmill gracefully, panting but nowhere as out of breath as she is.
Tiffany kicks her leg. “Get up.”
Taeyeon continues to ignore the agent’s order. “Why am I subjected to this kind of training? I want to protest against it. This is torture.”
“You need to toughen up.”
“If you can’t run fast enough, you’ll get caught.”
Taeyeon sits up with a groan. “Why would I get caught? We’ve pulled off so many thefts and never been caught. I’ve proven myself capable.”
“This mission is tougher. This mission is high risk. Higher than any thing you’ve done so far. There is no room for error.”
Taeyeon lies back down on the floor. “At this rate, I’ll probably die before the mission starts.” An ice cold towel lands on her face, jolting her.
“I’ll see you in the weights room in five minutes.”
Taeyeon groans. She’s better off dead.
Agent Amber bites her lip as she almost loses the lead in the Tetris challenge. Sunny’s speed in laying the tiles is faster than she ever thought possible. Her eyes narrow and she puts in even more focus to drop her tiles faster in an effort to maintain her two point lead over Sunny. But five tile drops later, her lead drops to nothing and moments later, is in the red.
“Oh my goodness. You’re good.”
Sunny yawns and leans back. “Give me a day. I’ll get better.”
With a shrug, Sunny says, “This is nothing.”
“Is there anything you can’t do?”
“Reach the highest shelf.”
Agent Amber laughs. “Funny. Very funny.”
“So, this thing I need to do. Is something like Tetris?”
Agent Amber straightens up at once. “Yes. Pretty much. Let me demonstrate.”
Sunny looks at the screen as it shows sets of codes in tiles of different lengths. “The trick is fitting them into the system to unlock it?”
“Yes. There are doors we cannot unlock remotely that require the use of their hardware. So you have to unlock the gateway on the spot within CORE.”
“If it’s like Tetris then I’m confident.”
“The concept behind it is the same. We’ll try a sample Seulgi duplicated from the system today.”
“Alright. I’ll see you back in Seoul next week,” Yoona says with a smile before ending the call.
Seo nods. “All that flirting has paid off at last.”
Yoona grins. “I wasn’t even flirting. I was just being myself.”
“And that’s why he fell for it, hook, line and sinker.”
“Now, to get Nicholas.”
Yoona grins. “No problem.”
Getting Nicholas was easy enough. All it took was a request for help and a willingness to help. And some buttering up of an ego.
Yoona leans back comfortably in her seat, smiling from ear to ear. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Or rather, two missions with one man. Her father, thoroughly pleased to hear about her connection to Elgoog’s top men, had approved her suggestion to engage Elgoog for their surveillance programme on their largest F&B rival, JC Corp.
“Confidentiality is our primary concern,” Yoona states, after listening to Nicholas’s explanation.
“That goes without saying.”
Yoona flashes a smile she uses often in business talks—polite but firm. “It’s safer not to assume.”
“You are an astute businesswoman. An asset to your father, I’m sure.”
“I’m probably more trouble than I’m worth to my father,” Yoona replies with a laugh.
Nicholas smiles. “Your father will definitely see your worth when you bring a wealthy prospective husband back to see him.”
Yoona maintains her smile, in spite of her displeasure in hearing his sexist statement. “I should do my best to up my charms then.”
“Oh, you’re charming enough. Trust me.”
Still smiling, Yoona thanks him. Nicholas is a confident man but between him and Daniel, she’d pick Daniel any day.
“It’s too tight,” Taeyeon complains.
Tiffany turns the whining woman around and loosens the bullet vest a notch. “How’s this.”
“I still can’t breathe.”
“You’re so troublesome.” Tiffany slaps Taeyeon’s butt before pulling off the bullet vest, leaving the woman in her little white razorback tank and black thigh-high tights. She grabs another from the cupboard and fits it onto Taeyeon. “What about this?”
“Mmm, this feels okay.”
“Jog around. Jump a few times.” Tiffany watches as Taeyeon does as she says. “Are we good?”
“I’m good. Can’t say the same for you.”
Tiffany shoves Taeyeon and the woman backs into the cupboard. “If I’m not good, it’s because of you.”
“I’m the one being tortured yet she blames me,” Taeyeon grumbles as she tugs on her bullet vest. “It’s not like I can say it isn’t too tight when it’s too tight. What if I faint during the mission because I can’t breathe?”
“Open your mouth wider and inhale harder.” Tiffany pulls the strap on the bullet vest and Taeyeon tips into her arms. “You’re such a paper girl. I should regret choosing you to do this.”
“Yeah, you should. Why aren’t you swapping me out? I could be the getaway driver instead. I’m really good at driving.”
Tiffany pulls out a pair of black boots and pushes Taeyeon onto the bench. “Put these on.”
Wrinkling her nose, Taeyeon refuses to touch the boots. “They stink.”
“Put them on or I’ll tie them around your neck.”
“Do I have to?”
“Unless you have another pair of boots that doesn’t leave shoeprints, I’d suggest you shut up and put them on.”
“Are you sure they don’t leave shoeprints?” Taeyeon looks at the soles. “How is that possible?”
“You have ten seconds to put them on before I throw you back into the weights room.”
Taeyeon groans. “Please don’t. I’ll put the boots on like a good girl.”
An extended scuffle later, Taeyeon stands in front of the long mirror and looks at the woman in it. Hair tucked neatly under a beanie with a special layer of protection over it. Arms and legs covered in long black sleeves and leggings. Torso protected by the light bullet vest that looks as flimsy as a house made of stacked up cards. Boots and gloves masking hands and feet. The woman in the mirror looks like she could melt into the shadows unseen.
“What about my face?”
“If only you were tanned like Yuri. But instead, you have to be fair and reflective like a flashlight in the dark.”
“Being fair never stopped me from stealing before.”
“I’ll put camo paint on your face. Then the night vision goggles.”
“But I need to be comfortable when I’m stealing stuff.”
“You’ll get used to it.”
“Heartless fellow,” Taeyeon mutters under her breath.
“If I’m really heartless, I’ll use the smelly camo paint instead of the lighter one.” Tiffany tosses a jar of black goo in the air. “Should I live up to your praises?”
“No, no, no. You’re much too kind-hearted to do that.”
“Now, don’t open your mouth when I’m painting your face. I might just be heartless enough to stick it in there.”
Taeyeon presses her lips together at once. Hell no.
Happy BirthTAE! And CONGRATS on #Fine1stWin
Kim Taeyeon with camo paint KEKEKE