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The Masquerade

Chapter Text

Luciel.

I require your assistance.

- - -

The importance and high profile nature of the patrons who had entered the restaurant had demanded the attention of the customers and staff. The Chairman of C&R International , along with his son and current lover, made their way to their table and sat. The customers watched as the high profile guests entered. The man’s lover, Glam Choi, smiled at the sight. The son, however, ignored it as he tended to always handle the public attention he received.

Chairman Han, always a polite and doting person towards the people he cared about, pulled out the chair for Glam Choi and kissed her cheek as she graciously accepted.

Jumin Han, the Chairman’s son, appeared to act as if the woman was not even there, walking passed her and ignoring the display put on by his father, taking his seat.

“Jumin, your father is such a romantic,” Glam told the younger man.

“I can’t help but show you how much I love you, my dearest Glam,” Chairman Han cooed, taking his seat at the table.

“He is a caring person,” Jumin merely stated, giving his attention to the menu in front of him.

Chairman Han beamed at the praise of his son, as dry as it was given.

“Your best red,” Jumin told the waiter that was at their table in an instant.

“I would like your best white,” Glam ordered. “I do not wish for the red to stain my teeth,” she then added with a wink to Chairman Han.

“Of course, my love,” he said. “Your teeth are such artful masterpieces.”

“They are the best money can buy,” she smiled.

“And for you, sir?” the waiter asked Chairman Han.

“I’ll take whatever the lovely lady is having,” he said.

The waiter nodded and took his leave.

“Now, about this proposition you had mentioned,” Jumin began.

“All business, are we?” Glam sighed, looking a bit bored.

“I was told this would be a business dinner, therefore I expect this to be business related.”

“It’s about a merger, actually,” Chairman Han told his son with a wide smile, placing a hand on Glam’s. “We are getting married.”

“I see,” Jumin eyed his father and the woman’s hands.

“I don’t intend to replace your mother,” Glam began.

“You won’t be,” Jumin cut her off with his disinterested tone.

“But, I would like for you to come to me with anything as if I were your mother,” she then continued, not missing a beat.

“Is that all?”

“Well, son, there is something else I would like to discuss with you,” Jumin’s father began. “It is in regards to your own marital status.”

Jumin felt a tension in his gut.

“Your drinks, sirs, madam,” the waiter had appeared with wine. Wine that Jumin felt he will most defiantly need at the moment.

“Leave the bottle,” Jumin told the waiter.

“Of course, Mr. Han.”

“We would like to order now,” Glam Choi told the waiter.
***
Jaehee Kang, Jumin Han’s assistant, felt the phantom presence of a stress headache. She sighed and looked down at her phone. Mr. Han was with his father, she knew. For what exactly the meeting was about, she was unsure; however, she suspected the outcome would be the source of her upcoming headache. She felt almost certain of that.

“God, please let me make it through the day,” she prayed.
***
“Marriage?”

“Yes, Jumin,” his father grinned, “to one of Glam’s students.”

“I do not think-”

“Sarah is a fine woman and would make a lovely wife for you,” Glam interjected, sipping her glass of wine. “She is also the CEO of Sugar Round,” she added.

“A company that I plan on purchasing,” Chairman Han added with a small smile as he eyed the steak in front of them.

“You wish to use me as some sort of leverage in order to purchase an unknown company?” Jumin asked, ignoring his food for now.

“Not unknown,” Glam replied, looking a bit annoyed. “Sarah’s company is small, but has made waves in their field.”

“So much so that I have never heard of them,” Jumin countered, taking a sip of his own wine.

“Regardless,” Chairman Han interrupted, “I plan on purchasing Sugar Round and your marriage to Sarah would make things far easier on the company with a smoother transfer of assets and easier transition into C&R International.”

Jumin gritted his teeth, something that he absolutely despised, and clinched his hands into fists. He closed his eyes and said, “I must tell you that this entire arrangement will be impossible as I am already seeing someone.” He opened his eyes and stared at his father, not letting his own shock at his words show. He didn’t even know where that thought came from, but it came out of his mouth before he could even process the notion. “I am already seeing someone,” he repeated, committing to his web of lies.

“Since when?” Glam demanded after the initial shock wore off.

Jumin eyed here in annoyance, but did not respond.

“Jumin,” his father spoke in a serious, yet soft, tone, “when were you planning on telling me?”

This caused Jumin’s poker face to falter slightly. He did not expect the look his father gave him. It was one of sadness, something he immediately regretted putting upon his beloved father’s face. “I planned on telling you when we had some time alone together, father.” The lie rolled off his tongue easily, as if he was accustomed to lying point blank to his father, which he was not.

“Is it serious?” his father then asked.

“I do believe so, yes.”

Chairman Han, no, Jumin’s father smiled as his son said those words. “I am so happy for you, Jumin,” the chairman spoke.

“What about Sarah?” Glam asked.

“About that,” Jumin’s father then began, snapping out of his moment with his son. “A political marriage will be arranged,” he said.

“No,” Jumin interjected. “I refuse and I doubt my partner would be okay with the idea, either.”

“Partner?” Glam asked, suspiciously.

“Girlfriend is such a frivolous title,” Jumin countered.

“Jumin, try to be reasonable here,” his father said.

“How do we know that she is not just trying to take advantage of Jumin’s wealth?” Glam cut in, receiving a glare from Jumin.

“I suppose you would know something about that type of relationship?” Jumin shot out, shocking his father.

“Enough,” Chairman Han boomed, receiving small gasps from members of the restaurant surrounding them at the sudden loudness of the Hans.

“You are right, this conversation should take place in private,” Jumin said, embarrassed and disgusted by his own lack of tact and awareness of his surroundings. Their conversation had surely been eavesdropped on by the surrounding patrons. Really, they wouldn’t have to. He felt like he was close to yelling. He wouldn’t be surprised if the headlines read something along the lines of a family disagreement and Jumin Han no longer being single. What a shit show he had caused in his annoyance at his father’s flaunting of woman and ignorance of the way they saw him; a piggybank with legs. He was sure Glam Choi saw him just as the others had. His father’s womanizing ways had harmed the company in the past and he suspected this upcoming marriage would continue to hurt C&R International. His cat projects would, once again, be put on hold in order to put out a few fires. Perhaps fires of his own, since he had been so careless.

“Private,” Chairman Han agreed, “along with your girlfriend,” he then added.

“Why must she be involved?”

“I want to meet her,” his father insisted. “I want to make sure her intentions are that of love and not to take advantage of my son and his wealth.” The snake of a fiancée had gotten into his father’s ear with her comment. “What is her name?”

“Lucille,” Jumin spouted, digging himself into a deeper hole with every breath. “Lucille Vanderwood,” he continued, recalling the last name of Luciel’s maid. Luciel was willing to cross dress, so perhaps...

“A foreigner?” Glam Choi nearly choked on her wine.

“What of it?” Jumin asked defensively.

“It is just surprising,” his father defended.

“She is of Korean decent,” Jumin continued the lie, “on her mother’s side. Her father is an American.” That should explain Luciel’s red hair, at least.

“How did you two come to meet?” his father pressed.

“Perhaps Lucille would prefer to join me in order to continue this discussion,” Jumin replied, closing his eyes in annoyance. He was undoubtedly and thoroughly fucked. Zen would surely get a kick out of the hole he had dug for himself. He would just have to hope that Luciel would be willing to come along for this charade.

“Yes, perhaps that would be for the best,” his father agreed. “We could meet for lunch.”

The three of them proceeded to ignore each other, attempting to enjoy their meal. Jumin had never eaten steak as bland as the one he had consumed during that meal. Although, he knew that it was not the chef’s fault.
***
“Mr. Han, how did the meeting with your father go?” Jaehee asked, answering her boss’s call. She listened and felt her gut lurch at the mess her boss had found himself in. He was normally one of a cool headed manner. The fact that Jumin Han lashed out at his father and his father’s newly dubbed fiancée IN PUBLIC was a shock. Mr. Han then dragging an unknowing 707 into the mix was even more of a shock. “You believe Luciel will be willing to assist you in this?” she asked, immediately regretting even asking.

“Perhaps you should bring it up to him,” Jumin then said, still sounding annoyed.

“Mr. Han, this is not a part of my job,” she insisted.

“Assistant Kang, you are just that, an assistant, so assist me.”

Jaehee gulped at the near desperation in Jumin’s voice and then stood her ground. “I will not be involved in this, sir,” she insisted. Really, losing this job...it would be okay, right?

Jumin sighed. It was if all the fight had disappeared from his body. “You are right to deny this, the request is unreasonable. However, I do wish to receive your support in persuading Luciel.”

Her heart nearly stopped at the sudden surrender of the topic. “Of course, Mr. Han.”

“As well of your lack of disagreement in all upcoming cat related projects,” he then added before hanging up.

Jaehee cringed at the idea of future projects involving felines.
***
Jumin went to the RFA app and selected the message option and tapped Luciel’s icon.
***
Two new messages from Cat Mom

Luciel.

I require your assistance.

Seven looked at the message and giggled at the thought of Jumin needing his help. Perhaps he needed a sitter for his sweet Elly. Maybe Jumin was finally coming around to the thought of having Seven as his co-parent for the precious ball of fur that was his sweet baby Elly. He even had a Cat Dad and Cat Mom mug for each of them, although Jumin may prefer a Cat Mom wine glass instead.

What is it that God Seven may assist you with? - Cat Dad

Seven hit send and waited for a response, which came sooner than he expected.

Come to the pent house. I have a prank for you. - Cat Mom

“A prank, aye?” Seven asked out loud.

“What are you scheming?” Vanderwood asked, finishing up the dishes that Seven had left for him in the sink.

“Scheming? Me?” he asked innocently, looking scandalized as he looked back at the annoyed Vanderwood.

“I have known you long enough to know that you are as close to your namesake as humanly possible when you bring up the word prank.”

“Vanderwood,” Seven began in an innocent voice, “I would never.”

“Just don’t involve me unless you want a taser up your ass.”

“I would never dream of involving you in one of my pranks,” Seven assured. “You have no sense of humor.”

“Never forget that,” Vanderwood replied, finishing up his cleaning.

“Don’t take any more jobs for a while,” Seven then said. “I think I will be busy for a bit.”

Vanderwood groaned, but said nothing.

I’m on my way. - Cat Dad

Seven hit send and then grabbed the keys to one of his babies and skipped to the garage.