“Ah yes, Son-ssi pleased to meet you, I’m so glad you could make it. Though I must confess, I haven't heard your father’s name come up in conversation before, so I was quite surprised to find out what a - successful man he is. Apparently, he has quite the reputation. It’s odd that I hadn't heard of him before this evening. After all, most people in our circle are well acquainted with each other. Your father must be very… private.”
Hyunjin wasn’t fooled. Suspicion was painted on every inch of his face, and the man didn’t even seem to try to hide it. He didn’t trust ‘Donghyuk’. Well then, he’d make him.
“Yes sir, my father prefers to stay out of the limelight. He’s more of a ‘stay at home guy’. And well, in certain businesses, it’s better not to have a face. Wouldn’t you agree?” Lowering his voice at the end of his sentence, ‘Donghyuk’ locked eyes with the older and tilted his head.
Hyunjin knew the routine. Contrary to what most people thought, it was these ‘head up their asses’ businessmen who were easiest to fool. They let their overconfidence rule their minds and then made dumb decisions. It was predictable.
The change in Seong-Su was obvious. The crease between his eyebrows disappeared and a smirk settled itself on his lips. “Of course, of course I understand you completely. Your father sounds like a smart man. My assistant informed me that you were sent on his behalf to make a deal with me. Well, why don’t you follow me upstairs to my study and we can discuss the logistics.”
Nodding his assent, Hyunjin started walking a little behind the target, observing his surroundings. The large house was packed with people, all obviously from the higher class, mingling and making small talk with each other. Some drifted from one room to the other, taking full advantage of the ‘open plan’. They were all so oblivious. Hyunjin wondered whether they knew they were in the home of a criminal. He doubted they would care. Money seemed to numb most people’s morality. But Hyunjin was no one to talk about morality anyway.
As he climbed up the stairs, Hyunjin stared at the man in question. His short height was what stood out the most, along with the glasses perched low on his nose. His hair covered his forehead, ruffled and messy, some strands randomly sticking out. He was surprisingly young. It was hard to take him seriously; he looked like he could be a school teacher. But Hyunjin knew not to gauge targets by looks. Seong-Su was ruthless and conniving. ‘Donghyuk’ had to stay on his good side if he wanted this deal.
Ushering him into his study, his target sat behind his large desk, steepling his hands in front of him. Sitting from across him, ‘Donghyuk’ smiled serenely, “Before we start, I think we should get one thing out of the way. My father and I find implications and unsaid understandings extremely tedious. We would appreciate it if things are clear and out in the open.”
As Hyunjin had expected, he didn’t fall for it. Only a fool would. Seong-Su had no guarantee that their conversation wasn’t being recorded. If he was explicit about his ‘side business’, he’d be fucked.
Returning ‘Dong Hyuk's’ smile, the older replied, “well then Son-ssi, why don’t you tell me why you’re here?”
“I’m here to negotiate, and hopefully buy from you.”
“What is it you want to buy?”
Huh, he was clever. “I wish to buy the organs that you sell.”
He obviously hadn’t been expecting ‘Donghyuk’ to be so bold, judging by the way his eyebrows rose to his hairline. But he gained his composure soon enough. “I’m so glad we could be ‘clear’ Son-ssi. Now I-” But before he could finish, the elder’s phone began buzzing from inside his coat pocket. Putting the cell to his ear, he turned away from ‘Donghyuk’ and started to speak lowly.
That was never a good sign. In fact, that was usually a very bad sign. Great. Just great.
Clearing his throat, Seong-su tucked the black device back into his coat and leaned forward, smiling smugly. “I’d love to do business with you, but there’s just one issue. You haven’t been very honest with me.”
Hyunjin felt his heart stop. The room seemed to grow ten times hotter all of a sudden. It should have been impossible for him to find out, they’d covered their tracks too well. Unless-
No, Hyunjin had to stay composed.
Keeping his voice steady, he replied; “I’m afraid I don't know what you’re talking about.”
Suddenly the door of the study slammed open and in walked a large man holding an annoyed looking Minho by the arm. Fuck.
“My men found him a few streets down, all wired up, listening to our conversations. That’s not a very nice way to treat a prospective business partner now is it? Don’t you trust me Donghyuk?”
His tone turned sugary at the end of his sentence, and when Hyunjin turned back to look at him, he looked unbearably cocky.He thought he’d won. Idiot. This wasn’t the first time a mission had been compromised in such a way, and it wouldn’t be the last.
“At least be gentle asshole. You’re spoiling my suit”, Minho grumbled from behind him, but the younger agent wasn’t paying attention. He had cleaning up to do. He had to stay in ‘Donghyuk’s’ head.
‘Donghyuk’ was shrewd, cunning. ‘Donghyuk’ wasn’t afraid. ‘Donghyuk’ didn’t care.
Chuckling lightly, the youngest leaned back in his chair. Shrugging, he replied mildly, “Han-ssi please, I may be young, but I've been taught well. It’s nothing personal, I can assure you. As a fellow executive, I’m sure you understand the necessity of insurance and protection. Just as you have your guards and your security system, I have- workers as well. It’s not a question of trust, but rather of common sense.”
The room was completely silent for a total of 18 seconds. His target simply stared at him, face completely blank. Hyunjin willed himself to remain equally impassive. This was the ‘make it or break it’. It was almost as if no one was breathing. Not Minho, or the guard holding him. Not even Seong-Su himself.
When he finally broke the silence, he addressed the large man at the door. “What else did you find in the car.”
“Nothing, just him. He was listening to your conversation, but there wasn’t anything else.”
“Well. I must say. I was disappointed to learn of your deceit at first, but I would be lying if I said I’ve never been in your position before. I admire your discipline and candor.”
Wetting his lips, ‘Donghyuk’ raised his eyebrows and asked, “Does that mean we can move forward from this?”
Once more, he took his time replying. Finally, with a large smile, pushing his glasses up his nose, the elder replied, “In all honesty, I feel as though you and your father are quite similar to me.So I'll forgive this. Now- what exactly are you looking to buy?”