“Secretary Jang. Isn’t it time for us to eat?”
“It has been less than three hours since you had lunch.”
In fact, just 2 hours and 47 minutes ago, Seung-joon alone ate 12 servings of Korean beef, marbled soybean paste stew, cold naengmyeon, and spicy naengmyeon. Still, it looked like he had an empty stomach. In fact, Seung-joon was hungry even while he was eating meat.
His metabolism was too active. The rate at which calories were burned and lost seemed to be much faster than the rate at which nutrients were absorbed. In retrospect, he had a big appetite when he was 20. It was so natural to him at the time that he didn’t realize it.
Seung-joon was thirsty from hunger, which seemed to be relieved only by eating high-calorie and oily foods, regardless of their taste. Seung-joon said this while pointing to the fast food restaurant.
“I’m hungry. Let’s eat this and go home.”
Secretary Jang, who has the digestive capacity of a middle-aged man, appeared terrified rather than disgusted.
Only after arranging four different types of hamburgers, two french fries, cola, and a milkshake on the table did Seung-joon show a proud face. Seung-joon took a big bite out of the hamburger package with a serious look. His upper lip twitched on its own as he moved his chin up and down slowly.
It was tastier than beef. The feast of all kinds of stimulant sauces used to mask the stench of cheap ingredients set off firecrackers on his tongue. His eyes lit up as he felt the cheap grease on his stomach.
Since Ji-an’s taste was not very different from that of other boys in his 20s, Seung-joon often ate so-called ‘junk food’ while meeting him. Junk food literally means food waste. There were times when he thought, “This is the taste I eat,” but it was mostly unsettling because it was a food he had never tried before.
When he chewed the hamburger and ate it, his stomach like an active volcano, he quickly realized why Ji-an yearned for junk food when he was on a strict diet. In an instant, Seung-joon opened the package of the second hamburger and asked Secretary Jang.
“What about what I said before?”
Secretary Jang was pushing forward with the entertainment business under Seung-joon’s instructions.
The purpose was only to make a contract with Ji-an to pay for running away, so it didn’t have to be a proper company. Seung-joon couldn’t watch Ji-an degenerate into an actor for a living.
Even when Ji-an was still active in the industry, Seung-joon didn’t like his job very much.
Ji-an frequently complained to Seung-joon about the arduous schedule and his 365-day compulsory diet. He claimed that he would suffocate if he could not control his talents in various fields and spread work across them. He caught a cold, worried about how long he would be able to maintain his fleeting popularity.
So, after about a half-year of dating, Seung-joon decided he wanted to marry Ji-an. He thought that was the way to save Ji-an from the entertainment industry that made him unhappy. Seung-joon provided Ji-an with a reason to retire and became a stay at home person. In other words, Ji-an had grown tired of living with Seung-joon and resolved to return to the entertainment industry to forge his own path.
Even though his wife had run away from home and demanded a divorce, Seung-joon was still Ji-an’s guardian both on paper and practically. He couldn’t let Ji-an stay in an old colleague’s crumbling house because it was unclear whether it would be a month or two for him to live as a 20-year-old. Furthermore, it was a dangerous neighborhood for a dominant Omega who stood out like Ji-an to live.
“I made an investment contract with TOP Agency, and I’m currently converting it to SJ Entertainment. When it’s completed, we will change the registration of CEO Oh Seok-hyun.”
TOP Agency was a sole proprietorship run by a real estate broker as a side business. Seung-joon considered turning this into a corporation, acquiring a stake, and only interfering with the management under the name Oh Seok-hyun. The management power Seung-joon was attempting to wield here was to control Ji-an’s career.
Ji-an was a strong and wise figure in the entertainment industry. He wouldn’t be easily fooled by a clumsy ghost corporation. Because TOP Agency does not have an exclusive model, it was more like a large studio, but the CEO and staff were working and had their own accomplishments. In many ways, investment was a better option for Seung-joon than starting a new business.
There was another reason why Seung-joon chose TOP Agency. When Ji-an was a trainee, he used Oh Seok-hyun as a fitting model for a shopping mall. Although Ji-an was not a high achiever, this still meant that it was a long-term relationship that could not be easily questioned. If Seung-joon’s money was used to build the business, it was just a case of accepting CEO Oh Seok-hyun as a businessman who changed his mind.
“What about the office?”
“The interior will be finished next week.”
Seung-joon dipped the french fries in the milkshake and placed them in his mouth, letting out another low moan.
Would it be this delicious?
“Once the office is settled, have CEO Oh draft an exclusive actor contract that he cannot refuse. If other entertainment agencies take him first, all of this hard work will be completely useless.”
It was even more painful if Ji-an had made a spectacular comeback by signing a contract with the wrong entertainment agency. Ji-an saw no reason to return to Seung-joon if only for a living once the divorce was finalized.
Ji-an would not hesitate to do anything he didn’t like as long as he had decided to not return. It was only a matter of time before everyone fell back in love with Ji-an if they want. It wasn’t for nothing that On Ji-an was once called the nation’s first love. Seung-joon was the man who fell in love with him at first sight. Not to mention the general public.
Ki-do answered Seung-joon’s concerns bluntly.
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
“The possibility that Mr. On Ji-an will sign a contract with another agency.”
Seung-joon listened to Secretary Jang but made a face that he did not understand what he mean.
“It must be said that there is no company that wants to sign a contract with Mr. On Ji-an.”
Seung-joon raised his voice at Secretary Jang’s insulting remarks. He erupted in rage at the news that should have made him happy. Perhaps it was because he had reached his physical age when hormones were raging and, for a while, conflicting emotions took precedence over the opposite sex.
“Even if there is a place that wants to sign a contract with Mr. On Ji-an, it won’t be able to keep it for long. The representative’s skills will be poor.”
“Why!? Did these people have their eyes twisted?”
He was Seung-joon, and since he was a child, he had a keen interest in art in general, including music, culture, and painting. The man who made Ji-an fall in love at first sight. So, even if it wasn’t enough for anyone to rush to take Ji-an, Secretary Jang provided a more measured and objective assessment.
“Who wants to see their first love again, who disappeared completely after marrying his sponsor?”
Seung-joon blinked and pursed his lips. He was aware of such a rumor at the time of his marriage. He didn’t care because it was filled with a romantic Cinderella story externally. He didn’t realize it was strong enough to hold Ji-an’s ankle until two years later.
It was a good thing. Seung-joon only wanted to solve his life until he found his true self, but he didn’t want Ji-an to be too comfortable outside his fence, and he didn’t want to give him enough money to last a long time. Still, he didn’t know why it doesn’t feel like a good thing.
Seung-joon belatedly corrected his expression at Secretary Jang’s, which seemed to read his mind.
“… Then there is no need for good conditions.”
Seung-joon ate the rest of the hamburger with a complicated heart. He was a 20-year-old man with a dull, dazed expression who was eating french fries and drinking cola. It was difficult to decipher Secretary Jang’s intentions while observing Seung-joon in this way.
He expected Ji-an to come to see him from the moment Seung-joon told him to ‘return the money he deposited.’ But he had no idea it would be that day. While Seung-joon was out shopping, Ji-an left money in an envelope on the front door. Seung-joon laughed as he took about half of the stiff check from the envelope.
At the very least, it was a reasonable sum to get a clean place monthly rent, and live for a few months. Still, 100 million won was not the cost of a pack of gum. Ji-an taped it to the front door with clear scotch tape, as if it were a flyer from a nearby restaurant.
Despite the fact that Seung-joon’s mansion was built on the Woo family’s property, the house was staffed by more than 30 employees. Although outsiders’ access was restricted, getting to the front door wasn’t too difficult if you put your mind to it. One of the guts was Seung-joon’s inability to keep up with Ji-an. Seung-joon smiled and shook his head from side to side.
‘Did you come in?’
The familiar dominant Omega pheromone in the house was still fresh. Ji-an’s pheromone felt more like warmth than scent, like a wet forest in the summer rainy season. For a brief moment, Seung-joon groaned, clutching the table’s edge with his palms resting on it.
‘This is no longer his home, is that it.’
Ji-an had even come into the house and placed a large check on the front door. It was so cold to think it was someone else’s house, where he couldn’t go in or out.
He then heard light footsteps coming from the second floor. Seung-joon was startled and turned, instinctively searching for a place to hide. He quickly looked around and jumped over the kitchen table with one hand. The sound of his wedding ring crashing against the table marble startled him.
The energetic body sat lightly behind the table, without the sound of thumping and falling feet. Seung-joon put one hand on his chest and exclaimed, ‘Wow!’ without realizing it because he couldn’t tell if he was running or not.
He had completely forgotten about his good body. Looking back, he didn’t walk when he was 20 years old but instead ran around.
“I stopped by the house because I had some business to do. I even packed up the things I forgot while I was here.”
Ji-an started talking to himself, perhaps he was on the phone.
“No, it’s Mr. Woo’s. My husband’s house.”
There was also an acceptable expression like ‘my house.’ Seung-joon’s face was dissatisfied, and he grumbled alone silently.
Nonetheless, it was refreshing to hear Ji-an’s soft voice instead of his sharp tone after such a long time. Seung-joon couldn’t swallow the sound of pain and leaned on the table, his teeth clenched. Ji-an’s next words caused his eyes to widen.
“I don’t have a house.”