Chapter 1: Prologue
A man in his 20's walking leisurely along the neighbourhood, on his way back home after a tiring day. Completely unaware of things that could happen to him.
As he got to some corner, he heard an excessive breaking sound from his back and when he realized it, he was already flying to the rooftop of the car. Rolling until he met the ground hard. He spilled the blood from his mouth. Gagging to call for help.
He couldn’t even move. His head hurt as the blood pooled around him, knowing the blood was his. His eyes blinked as his last urges. Begging for help as he could hear the sounds of the baby crying. Slowly, he closed his eyes forever.
Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin looked at the whiteboard with a complicated chart made on it. It was about her investigation regarding the new case related to a high ranking officer inside of the police agency. It was a very high profile case as this is involving the higher ranking officer above her which could possibly drag their organization's image down.
They are already suffering from the scandal regarding her past boss, Choi Bit who was involved with the chief in the prosecution, Woo Tae Ha, removing an attorney's body from its original place where he was found dead. It was a big blast for the both organizations and she was a part of the whole disaster as she was the one working together with the prosecutor side, investigating the hidden case. Of course, with one and the only, Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok.
It's been a year already since the case has been closed and it's also been a year since they ever met face to face. They talked on the phone sometimes but occasionally it's all about the case only. Work matters. It's very rare for them to talk about what is going on with their personal life especially on his part. It was always her to ask him first about his personal life and usually they ended up in the dead road of conversation. That's how they were now. Back to strangers as they were five years ago.
Now here she is. Lonely. Leading the investigation with her team. Even though she has enough resources to use in this case, there is still a blank space that needs to be filled by someone. That space was reserved for only one person. Cannot be replaced by another. Her very much special partner, again, Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok.
"Aigoooo...." She shakes her head and slapped her face a few times to awake herself from the daydream. She has been thinking about that prosecutor way too much lately since they got the new case. As the senior inspector in the headquarters, her position was mostly about managing the administration. This is her first case to be handled in that position. She was given that opportunity to take over this case based on her experiences handling big cases such as the one involving her past chief from Yongsan and Choi Bit. She was well known for her integrity from handling those cases which is why she was pointed to handle the same kind of case involving their own insider.
She set her feet and stood before walking to the whiteboard, intensely watching every picture stamped there. The picture of the second highest ranking officer of the whole Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, their very much well respected Senior Superintendent General, Song Ji Suk. The case was first reported at the Gangnam branch police station. An innocent young girl came into the police station and filed a report two months ago. She was wearing her school uniform and she was 17, reporting about a hit and run incident in her neighbourhood.
It was at night, around eight in the evening. It was a usual thing that happened in Seoul especially, a student like her to walk home around that time after finishing their additional tutor or academy. As she walked through the final corner towards her home, she witnessed the incident right in front of her eyes. As a young and innocent girl as her, of course she would freak out and run immediately leaving the location. But she was brave enough to go straight to the police station instead of being silent.
The policemen who were on duty that night quickly went to the location as mentioned by the girl and the only thing they found was a man on the ground who was already dead from the serious injury on his head. A pool of blood was found under his body. They investigate the case by asking more questions to the girl with her parents' consent and clearly, she was still in shock and trauma after the incident.
Yeo Jin's eyes darted to the below picture of the Senior Superintendent General's car. It was a luxurious Mercedes sedan. The girl mentioned the car saying it was a Mercedes brand which was the easiest thing she could recognize that night. Mercedes sedan in black specifically. However, she couldn't remember the plate number so the investigation team was forced to dig deeper into the case by involving the traffic department as well to find the car. That was where everything about this case started.
It was Song Ji Suk's car. Starting from there, the case was brought directly to the headquarters for further investigation by the higher ranking officer which is her. Why won't they just arrest Song Ji Suk if they already confirmed that it was his car who hit the dead man? Because they can't. Song Ji Suk clearly has denied the accusation and his alibi was confirmed. He was in Japan at the time with his family for a short vacation and everything was solid evidence showing he was not in South Korea at the time of the incident.
So, how on earth can his car be hitting the dead man? Who drove the car? Song Ji Suk pointed at his driver who was given the responsibility of taking care of the car when he was not around. They got him arrested for investigation but he also got the alibi showing that he is not involved at all. Now, both of them are pointing at each other. Song Ji Suk is still pointing at his young driver, Park Seo Jin for the hit and run incident. On the other side, Park Seo Jin pointed at Song Ji Suk's youngest son, Song Min Joon who was the one who used the car that night.
The problem is, Song Min Joon is in the middle of his military service and it is impossible for him to use that car on that night as he is confirmed to be inside of the camp when the incident happened. Everyone who was suspected for the incident got a very decent alibi making her head hurt like hell. No one has been charged for the case making the investigation still ongoing.
A knock on the door shocked Yeo Jin. She looked at the door and saw her same ranking officer, Kim Yong Joon walked into the room with two cups of coffee in his both hands. She smiled weakly at her colleague. "Here, your favourite coffee brand." He gave her one of the cups. She finally smiles brightly when taking the cup.
"Kamsahamnida..." She said brightly and began to blow the hot coffee before taking a sip. Yong Joon smiled at her before also taking a sip of his coffee. He looked at the whiteboard.
"Your head," He said, making her look at him again. "Is it hurt again?"
Yeo Jin shutted by his words. Not because she is feeling fluttered by it but because she was reminded of the line she used to say to Hwang Si Mok.
"Is your head alright? Are you feeling pain lately?"
It was her who used to say those lines to him. Nowadays, it has changed. Yong Joon always asks about her well-being while Si Mok rarely does. Yong Joon is also a part of her team, basically he is her new partner. Together handling the case. Together getting the stress and being pressured by the higher ups to solve the case. Yeo Jin has to admit that Yong Joon has been totally kind to her in every aspect. But to say he is better than Hwang Si Mok, she doubted that.
"Yeo Jin?" He softly called her as she was not answering his question. Yeo Jin quickly cleared her throat and stepped back as she realized they were standing way too close. She awkwardly tries to smile. "Yeah. It's been good lately. Not so much pain."
Yong Joon tried to hide his disappointment as Yeo Jin took a step away from him. It was his intent to get close to her while they were alone. Yes, he has a special feeling for her. More than just a coworker. He knew Yeo Jin knew about it but pretended not to. Yeo Jin seems to find it hard to acknowledge that and has always denied his overly kind treatment. As if that woman is still longing for something which he couldn't find out what or maybe, who.
"We will solve this one day. I trust in you." He said. Yeo Jin only chuckled at it.
"I believe in all of us." She said and clicked her paper cup with his before finishing the whole coffee in it. Yes, she knew it. Without him confessing it to her, she already knew it from the other colleagues. She knew that Yong Joon did have this special feeling for her. The whole team knew about it. The whole department. The whole building of this headquarters knew it. Yong Joon is quite popular among the officers as he has this handsome feature on his face which could make anyone adore him. With that rank and reputation as one of the most successful inspectors at his time, anyone could fall into him. Extra mark for his manners.
Yet, no one could approach him more than as a coworker but Yeo Jin. Only her, the most envied woman in the building for successfully stealing Mr. Perfect's heart. However, she just can't accept it. She already has someone else in her mind who also owns her heart. Even though she is more than sure that someone else won't be liking her back because of his condition.
It will need a miracle to get that stoic Hwang Si Mok to like her back. The whole universe's miracle.
Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok looked at the file in front of him in despair. It was about his recent case regarding the house breaking incident in the Wonju province. The witness who was being investigated for the case was actually the real suspect who was not only charged for the house breaking but also for murdering the mother of the house owner. The witness is now being hunted by the prosecution with the help from the police.
Ji Sang Yeob. A young man who was in the middle of his military vacation when he broke into the house. At that time, only the mother of the house owner was there, watching television while waiting for his son to come back home from the office. She might have heard the sound he was making while stealing jewellery from her room on the second floor of the mansion. She tried to stop him from stealing her precious things by trying to hit him from his back but got stabbed instead and died immediately.
Ji Sang Yeob came forward as a witness to give them fake hints to avoid the investigation team from getting the right hints about the suspect. He tried to drag them away from the right path and when they finally had the proof to show him involved, it's already too late as he was already missing from the radar.
The CCTV from the front house showed them everything including his clear face getting out from the mansion. But it was too late as the owner of the CCTV only gave them the recording yesterday as they came from their vacation in Seoul.
Today is the second day of the hunt. Si Mok went home to his apartment that he rented from the local in Wonju. Finally getting showered and changed to new clothes after more than 35 hours of hunting. He was involved with the hunt, following the police force to the suspected location but none of it was successful. The force was not as good as the inspector that he knew. Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin.
The last time they talked was a week ago when she called him first to ask for his advice on a case. Willingly, he helped her and stayed overnight helping her with the case. It was about her higher ups officer. He wasn't sure if he helped her enough with the information but he really wanted to talk to her again. If possible, he wants to meet her instead. Eating their dinner at the stall. Just like the old days.
He doesn't know how he is feeling right now but he would be somehow people say, delightful to meet her. He doesn't even know that he is missing her actually. He couldn't describe that. But seeing her is a great idea he could imagine.
He is finally fully dressed in his formal attire of a prosecutor. White shirt inside with a black tie tied nicely around his neck. Nice dark grey suit with trench coat outside. Anyone who saw him on the street will be able to know his occupation right away by looking at the way he dressed. Very much like a prosecutor. The typical one.
Without taking a nap after the long hours of working, he went straight to the main door of the apartment again and wore his formal shoes before walking out. As he was walking towards his grey Hyundai Elantra, his phone rang loudly. He took it right away from his trench coat's pocket and looked at the screen. It was Inspector Jung, the team leader of the hunting operation. He quickly answered the call.
"Yes, Inspector Jung." He begins while opening the door on the driver's side. He gets into it and starts the engine.
"We found him."
'Finally.' His heart is pounding fast as he waits for the other information.
"He was found dead by the civilians on the street. He overdosed."
Inspector Jung's additional information makes him dumbfounded. He wanted him alive but they found him dead instead. He shut his eyes for a few seconds as he was so frustrated by it. "Where was it? I will go there now."
"Ummm sir, it is actually in Yongsan. We are in Yongsan now. The local police will take over the case."
"Yongsan?" That would be about an hour's drive from Wonju. He will actually need to drive to Seoul after a year in Wonju.
"Yes sir. I already spoken to the team leader, Captain Choi-"
"Captain Choi Yoon Soo." He interrupted.
"How did you-"
Hwang Si Mok changed the gear into the drive mode and started to drive his car out the parking area. He is determined to drive to Seoul right away. "Please tell the Yongsan team that I will be there for the case. I will be there in an hour. Thank you again for your service Inspector Jung." He said and quickly ended the line as Inspector Jung on the other side finished the talk.
He was really driving to Seoul after a year. He was too busy with his work at the prosecution service and never had time for going there. If not because of this case, there is no chance for him to take a leave and go there. Even though his mom was living there. Even though his very special friend was living in Seoul too. Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin.
"Sir, as I mentioned before, the deceased was the suspect for a homicide case handled by the prosecution service in Wonju. We were here for him to bring him back to the prosecution." Inspector Jung In Ho came back to Captain Choi Yoon Soo who was with his other teammate waiting for the forensic complete report. Beside him was Detective Jang Geon.
Choi Yoon Soo only nodded at his junior from another branch. He understands the young man's job of fulfilling the prosecution warrant. It is just how they operate here in Yongsan. "I understood. But he was found dead in our area. So, this is a part of our investigation now."
In Ho nodded respectfully. "I just made a call to the prosecutor who was handling the case. He said he will come here in an hour."
Yoon Soo changed look with Jang Geon in surprise. Never thought the officer from a higher organization than theirs is willing to come to them rather than just order them around. "Really? Well, that will make things smoother." He said casually.
"He seems to already know your name, sir."
Yoon Soo was shocked but not too obvious in front of the young junior. "Me? He knew me?" He said in doubt. How on earth would a prosecutor from the Wonju branch even know him as he never had any connection with them before. He never works outside of Seoul afterall.
"Yes. Do you know Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok? He was the one who was handling the case."
Hearing that name, both of them are already shivering. Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok. They knew him so well for his integrity and anti corruption. He was kind of a legend for cutting his own colleagues for corruption together with Han Yeo Jin. The only prosecutor that ever leaves them with nothing but pride and integrity. Working with him was somehow challenging as he never missed anything and will assist them to find more evidence during the investigation. His attitude might be cold but he never disrespect the police like how the other prosecutor did to them. The fact he worked as hard as they did was practically the huge reason why they respected the prosecutor more than the others.
"Yes, we...ummmm...we worked with him several times in the past." Detective Jang Geon helped his still in shock leader to answer the question. In his memory, that prosecutor was not only a good prosecutor to be working with but also the finest man outside of their team that ever got near to Han Yeo Jin, his former teammate. He respected her as much as they did. Treated her nicely and never underestimated her works.
There was one time, when he caught Yeo Jin laughing so hard at the prosecutor after such a hard day. He was amused by the fact that Yeo Jin was able to laugh with that stoic man. In fact, she looked even brighter when she was with him. He always had this kind of hope that Yeo Jin would end up with Hwang Si Mok. He could never imagine a better man than Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok for her.
"Excuse me, this is the final report from the post-mortem." An officer from the forensic agency interrupted them by handing them a hard copy report from the post-mortem. Choi Yoon Soo took it right away and said thank you before reading them. His eyes were then dropped on one of the information stated there.
"There was foreign DNA found in his body?" He asked the female officer in her lab coat. She nodded at his question.
"It was found from his arm, we believed from one of the holes made from the needle used to get the drugs in. There is a possibility he took the drugs using the same syringe that the owner of the foreign DNA also used." She explained.
"There is no information about the owner of the DNA?" Jang Geon asked cluelessly, making Yoon Soo want to choke his neck right away. It wasn't their first time handling such a case, why is he asking such an amateur question?
"You punk, we don't have any other sources of DNA other than this guy. Just where can the doctor take the sample from to compare with this foreign DNA when we found no one but only him?" Yoon Soo hit Jang Geon's arm hard with the pile of paper in his hand.
"But, can't we just compare it with any DNA in the data?" Finally, a brilliant question from Inspector Jung. The female officer only shakes her head. "We did but none of it was the same as this foreign DNA."
Yoon Soo nodded as he obeyed her words. He sighed heavily. "Let's investigate from the start. Tell the others to start digging about where he was coming from before stranded on the street. From there, we could possibly find who else ever went to the same place with him." Jang Geon nodded and left him to make a call to the other teammate. Yoon Soo gave his final thanks to the female forensic officer.
"Thank you for your assistance Inspector Jung. We will take it from here. You may go home now." He said to the younger Inspector around his late 30. Maybe only a few years apart from Jang Geon's age as well.
Inspector Jung bowed to him. "Good luck Captain Choi."
The prosecutor was sticking to the promises he made to Yongsan within an hour. He finally arrived at the Yongsan Police Station and drove his car towards the available parking lot for the visitors. He nicely parked his brand new car that he bought early this year. Si Mok looked at the five floor building silently. There were a lot of memories of him and Han Yeo Jin remains there. Getting into it somehow makes him feel uneasy. Feeling uneasy and uncomfortable is the best way to describe his emotion as he cannot think of the other options.
He got out of the car with his backpack swinging to the back of his broad shoulder. He walked towards the main door of the building after locking his car in a single press on the smart key. It's been a long time since the last time he was here. It was when solving the case of Seo Dong Jae’s kidnapping last year, also along with Han Yeo Jin.
No need for any assistance from the officer, he independently took his step to the second floor of the building where the office of Captain Choi Yoon Soo was located. As far as he knew, the team still remains the same as last year so there must be no change in their workplace as well. He walked towards the door with the Violence Criminal Department label on it. Si Mok casually walked through the already open door and his eyes met Choi Yoon Soo, who was sitting at the same place as last year. He continued his step to get closer.
“Annyeonghaseyo, Captain Choi Yoon Soo.” He politely greeted the captain and bowed in front of him, making him startled. Yoon Soo immediately dropped a pile of paper he was reading on the table and bowed to the prosecutor back. He looked amused by the sudden appearance of the prosecutor in his office.
“Nae, annyeonghaseyo Prosecutor Hwang.” He greeted back. He took a glance at his watch on his wrist and calculated the time since Inspector Jung told him this prosecutor will be there in an hour. He really made it there in an hour as he promised. He cleared his throat. “Well, the other kids were out to find more details about this. I was the only one who remained here waiting for you.” Yoon Soo quickly retrieved the forensic report he received this morning and brought it with him.
“Ah, nae.” Si Mok answered calmly while following the captain towards the meeting room across his table. They went in and closed the door. Si Mok took the seat across from Yoon Soo and calmly waited for further presentation by the captain. The captain gave him the report to let him see through it. He took it immediately and find the information he wanted. They went silent for a few minutes as Si Mok went through the whole report and Yoon Soo gave him space to do so.
“The corpse is still with the forensic?” He asked, breaking the silence.
“Ah, yes. We have already informed his family and they will be here soon to take him home.” Yoon Soo answered him calmly and waited for more questions from the good looking prosecutor.
“Did you tell his family about it?”
Knowing what Si Mok meant, Yoon Soo unwillingly nodded. It was tough to tell the mother of this kid that her son was found dead on the street together with the fact that his son is the suspect of a murder case. It was a double kill to the mother. He sighed heavily. “What will you do now? The suspect is dead.”
Si Mok closed the file and paid his full attention fully to Yoon Soo. “I just need to know more about his death, especially when the report says about the foreign DNA. I will assist the investigation to find the possible murderer in this case.”
“So you will stay longer in Seoul then?”
Si Mok was silent for a while and nodded slowly. “Yes, I will. At least until we got the owner of the DNA.”
“Did Yeo Jin know you are here?”
That single question gave him a jolt especially when he heard her name. “No.”
Yoon Soo looked at the prosecutor’s face seriously as his fatherly mode is now on. He was Han Yeo Jin’s leader but he took her more than that. Yeo Jin was like a daughter to him and he knew, that the young Senior Inspector has something special for this man in front of him right now. To be honest, Yoon Soo respected Si Mok as someone who he is working with but as a man for Yeo Jin, he doubts it as this man is kind of too cold for the warm hearted Yeo Jin. However, Yoon Soo wanted her to be happy and if she is happy with Si Mok, he will help to make it happen.
“Well then, will you tell her?”
Si Mok seems to be a bit uncomfortable discussing this topic especially when it is related to his personal life. But he says nothing about him feeling uncomfortable about it as he knew Yoon Soo was asking out of his concern for Yeo Jin and he is smart enough to determine Yoon Soo’s role in Yeo Jin’s life. He might not be as alert as the other human beings when it comes to emotion as he has the difficulty to feel, but he learns about manners and to be polite with certain people.
“I will probably ask her for dinner tonight.” He finally gave the right answer to Yoon Soo as the man nodded satisfiedly and back to his calm mode as he lay back on his chair. Not long after that, the door was opened in a rush from outside, making both of them shocked by it. Yoon Soo who was sitting backing the door is the most frustrated as he glances sharply at the person who opened the door.
“WHAT DO YOU WANT PUNK!” He shouted at Jang Geon who was walking inside. The detective grinned playfully to his superior and walked towards the table.
“Annyeonghaseyo, Prosecutor Hwang. It's been a long time isn’t it?” He greeted the prosecutor who was politely standing from his seat and bowed back to him. The prosecutor reached for his hand first for a hand shake and he happily took the hand.
“Yes. How are you?”
“Yeah I am just fine. What about you? Your body seems to be tougher than the last time we met. Did you go to the gym?” Jang Geon casually made a conversation with him despite knowing the prosecutor’s nature to be very cold and gloomy. But it was true though that the prosecutor seems to look firmer with his new sturdy body build. The prosecutor looks more attractive now. Well, he was attractive before too as he was already born with a great face but now is better.
Si Mok cannot determine whether it was a compliment or just a question and just staying with his resting cold face. “I played skuasy sometimes.” He answered shortly which eventually ended their conversation right away. Jang Geon only showed the ‘O’ expression to the prosecutor’s answer as he had nothing more to say to extend the conversation.
“You only came to greet him? Why not just break the door as well?” Yoon Soo sarcastically mentioned about his manner when entering the room. Jang Geon only laughs playfully at it.
“Well, it’s not everyday he is here, team-jang nim. I am so excited to meet him. Our future brother in law. Right?” He looked at Si Mok who furrowed his eyebrows at his own words as if the prosecutor was still trying to process the information he said. Meanwhile Yoon Soo’s eyes already went bigger out of shock as he heard Jang Geon said such a thing to Si Mok. He quickly smashed the detective’s right arm with the file on the table.
“Ouch! That's hurt!” He shouted while taking a few steps away from his superior. Yoon Soo only could move his lip in silence as if he wanted to swear at Jang Geon but was forced to shut it down as the prosecutor was still watching.
In the middle of chaos between the two policemen, Si Mok, who was still thinking about Jang Geon’s words, interrupted. “What do you mean by brother in law? Do you want me to marry your sister?” He asked innocently with his stoic face but clearly there was confusion on his face. Yoon Soo and Jang Geon were changing their look with each other.
Finally Jang Geon breaks the short silence by laughing at Si Mok. “Don’t pretend as if you don’t understand what I meant.”
Si Mok was not affected by his laugh at all and his face never changed. “No, I don’t understand.”
The detective around the age of 30 quickly took a glance at his superior who was also showing the kind of ‘what the hell’ face after hearing Si Mok. Yoon Soo shut his eyes out of frustration of Jang Geon’s overreaction and finally sighed. Ready to shut the discussion down.
“He meant nothing. Just forget it.”
“It’s okay. Nothing to be understood here, Prosecutor Hwang. He was just overreacting to your comeback to Seoul. That’s all.” He said trying to conclude the mess made by Jang Geon. Si Mok is finally nodded obeying the captain’s sayings.
“If there is nothing more, I will go for now. Thank you for your assistance, Captain Choi.” He gave Yoon Soo his final bow that day and also to Jang Geon. “Please call me if you guys get any hints about the possible suspect.”
Yoon Soo cannot hide his annoyance when he could detect the sense of superiority in Si Mok’s words. But he had no choice but to obey the higher ranking civil servant in front of him. “Yes, we will.”
“I am in Seoul. Are you free tonight for dinner?”
Yeo Jin immediately stood on her feet from her seat when she read the message from Si Mok. Her eyes totally went big and round reading the text again and again as she couldn’t believe he is here now. Very near to her.
“Is there any problem, Senior Inspector Han?” One of the team members who was presenting her new findings to the team, Lee Hana, interrupted Yeo Jin who was showing her startled expression while looking at her phone.
Yeo Jin finally realized that they were in the middle of the team meeting and quickly turned off her phone. She sat back on her seat and calmly looked at every single face who was looking at her curiously. Especially Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon, who appears to be very concerned.
“I am sorry, but it was nothing. It's just...nothing. You may continue.” She said and Hana nodded as she obeyed her words. The presentation was back on and more new information presented to all five members including her. After about 20 minutes of presentation, the meeting finally came to an end. Yeo Jin looked at everybody who was there.
“Anyone want to say anything more before we adjourn the meeting?”
They shook their heads. Yeon Jin nodded after getting their confirmation. She stood from the seat and was ready to leave the room. “Alright then, we will meet again at another meeting. Maybe after we regained more information about this Park Seo Jin. Good work everyone.” She said and left in a rush. Quickly retrieve her phone from the pocket and open her inbox.
“Sorry. I was in a meeting. Yes, let’s have dinner tonight!”
She grinned at her own text and sent it together with the additional sticker of a dancing cat showing how delightful she was with his offer.
Yeo Jin stopped as her name was called by someone at her back. A few people who were using the same corridor glanced at them as the caller was using her first name informally. She was frustrated by it but turned and found Yong Joon’s face. “Yes, Senior Inspector Kim? Anything else?” She asked while pressing the uses of their formal title in the public.
Yong Joon pressed his lip apologetically as he detected the intensity in Yeo Jin’s words. “What happened there?”
Yeo Jin was confused. “What happened?”
“Your phone. During the meeting, it seems to be very important as you jumped at it in shock. What is it?”
Yeo Jin’s face totally changed after he asked about it, darker. “Like I said, it was nothing.”
“But it does seem important.”
“It was a personal matter.”
Yong Joon seems to be frustrated by Yeo Jin’s attitude of being very secretive to him. He sighed. “You know you can trust me, right?”
Yeo Jin was only silent at his words. Criticizing his overprotective attitude in silence. Especially on the fact he is being protective when they don’t even have any special connection. No man ever being this nosy with her and this is suffocating. “I trust you, Senior Inspector Kim. But only when it comes to work matters. Not my personal life too.”
Her intonation that somehow trying to tell him to back off totally made him surrender. He nodded in frustration and smiled at the woman he adored the most. “Okay, I am sorry if you feel offended by my attitude. I apologize.”
She lowered her head slightly as the last bow to him before leaving the man. She walked towards the office of their department to get her things. As she packed her things to go home, her phone twinkled again and she smiled at it. Open it eagerly.
“I will wait for you at the usual stall we used to go to.”
She knew the exact location right away and grinned widely. It’s been a very long time since they've been there. Maybe the stall was back to operate there as it wasn’t there last year when Si Mok was in Seoul. But seriously, the stall was like their dungeon in discussing any possibility about the investigation. Their secret place.
Yong Joon who also came into the office later saw Yeo Jin was grinning at her phone in her own room. He quietly observed the situation through the big glass that separated the room from the entire space of the office. Her smile. The smile that she never gave him before. What is the thing that the phone has shown her that made her smile like that?
“Sir, don’t you want to go home yet?” Kang Junho, the young IT analyst of the team has suddenly interrupted his observation on Yeo Jin. He cleared his throat and slightly nodded before vanishing into his room which has the same layout as Yeo Jin’s room.
Si Mok arrived at the stall first and he took his usual seat as a few years ago. It was only him there without any other customer. It's been a long time, even the owner has changed now. It was not the same owner the last time he met. This time the owner is a bit younger, maybe around her late 40.
“One ramyun,” He stopped and seemed to be calculating. He finally made up his mind and continued. “Two ramyun and a bottle of soju, two glasses.” He said to the owner at last. The middle aged woman understood and made the order immediately.
Si Mok looked outside the tent, his eyes dropped on the street with a few cars moving on the road. It really reminds him of his old days. The days he was fighting against the corruption in the Seoul Prosecution Service which finally cost him to lose his superior, Lee Chang Joon, his junior, Young Eun Soo, and now in jail, Yoon Se Won.
Those days were his golden time even though he couldn’t describe how weird that felt to cut his own superior and coworkers. His success in solving the whole case eventually made him famous for his reputation. Just say his name among the prosecutors, nine out of ten would recognize him immediately for his works in the past including the special investigation of the Prime Minister two years ago. Not to mention when he was also involved in the special council of defending the prosecution rights against the investigation with the police agency. He is a man with a reputation and if there is nothing to jump up into his path, he might be promoted soon as the chief of the criminal division in Wonju.
As he was admiring the night view outside the tent, a sudden rain came and wet the tent right away. It was a sudden blast of heavy rain making the owner of the stall running to the front tent to close the bind. Looking at how the woman was struggling to close the clear bind alone, Si Mok quietly went to help. He releases a strip that holds the folded clear bind and lets it down until it is covered to the ground. The owner who realized what he was doing politely bowed to him showing her gratitude.
He just nodded and signed her to just back to the inside tent and continue her doings. As she went to her cooking station, Si Mok clipped the bind with a clipper. When he was trying to close the main entrance to the tent so the water wouldn't go inside, a woman got in with her long hair completely hiding her face and being half wet. He could hear the woman panting while looking around before finally seeing him. She laughed.
“Oh here you are! I thought you were later than me.” She said and Si Mok recognized that energetic voice right away even though he couldn’t see her face completely. Without saying anything, he assisted the woman he believed to be Han Yeo Jin to the table where he sat before. She followed willingly and took a seat across from him. Finally, fixing her hair and showing her face.
“I arrived first. Just now.” He answered shortly while looking at her fixing her hair. “Your hair,” He pointed his index finger to her new looking hair. A very long hair. She just grinned at it.
“I was too busy to cut it off. Gosh, you know that I am back to my old job right?”
Si Mok only silenced while looking at her trying to tie her hair. Her right hand was holding her hair while another hand was grabbing her bag, digging for something before getting a scrunchie from it. Her bag dropped to the ground because of her excessive movement before and she sighed loudly out of frustration. Yeo Jin bit the scrunchie with her mouth before crouching to get her bag from the ground. Finally tying her hair with the scrunchie.
Si Mok, who was an observer along these times, slowly smiled. Yes, smiling. Even though not too wide, it still can be seen as smiling. Somehow, Yeo Jin’s clumsiness was humorous. He missed that too. The humor that she brought out of her.
“Wow.. you are smiling!” Yeo Jin remarks excitedly and points at this lip. Almost touching his face but fortunately not. Or is it unfortunately not?
Unlike before, Si Mok didn’t deny the remarks and still showed his smile to Yeo Jin. He nodded, signalling he acknowledged Yeo Jin. “Yes, I am.”
“Oh my god! You also acknowledge it! What has gotten into you?!” She said that excitedly. This sudden Hwang Si Mok is really triggering her excitement and joy.
Si Mok was about to answer her but the owner came with a tray full with his order. She put the tray on the table for support and carefully took the bowls to the table. Yeo Jin’s eyes were big seeing the bowls and the glasses. She looked at those and Si Mok in turn out of the unbelievable event.
The owner also put a plate of tteokbokki on the table which was not mentioned by Si Mok. He quickly reminds the owner of the mistake. “I am sorry but I didn’t order this.”
“Oh this-” She smiled. “It’s on me. To thank you for the help earlier.”
“But it’s ok-”
“Kamsahamnida…. We will finish all these.” Yeo Jin cut his words and accepted the owner’s kindness. She dragged the plate to the middle of the table to share it with Si Mok. The prosecutor could not say anything but just play along with Yeo Jin who had already taken the chopstick, ready to eat anytime soon.
“Have a good time,” said the owner before going back to her station.
Yeo Jin looked at Si Mok who was busy stirring his ramyun to make it blend with the broth better. She had already done that and was ready to eat but decided to stop. “You ordered ramyun for me.” She mentioned.
He doesn’t stop stirring and only glances quickly at her. “So?” He asked with his usual cold attitude. Back to the old grumpy gloomy Hwang Si Mok she used to know. He then took his first bite. He was really starving before came here as he was too busy with the case.
“You never ordered me food.” Yeo Jin glared suspiciously at him while taking her first bite. Si Mok took his time to think.
“I ordered you the lunch box.” Si Mok was looking at her seriously as if he was defending himself from her accusation. His face made her gag while she was actually slurping the noodle.
“You mean the lunch box we had last year?”
Si Mok nodded firmly. She laughed again at his eagerness to win the sudden trial.
“Fine. You ordered me that. But when we were here last time, you only ordered your own food. That is why I was shocked.” Yeo Jin was really showing her excited reaction for his unexpected kindness. Has he really changed now?
On the other hand, Si Mok put down his chopstick and tried to process Yeo Jin’s face. “You like it?” He took the bowl up to his mouth to drink the broth.
“Of course I like it!”
“Then I should remind myself to always order your food when I order mine.”
Yeo Jin only giggled at his words knowing that Si Mok is a kind of introverted person who might have never ordered food for anyone else but her. She took a piece of fish cake from the tteokbokki plate and chewed it. “You can do it to anyone else too.”
“Because they are not you.”
She stopped chewing right away. Almost forgot about the spicy fish cake in her mouth that was actually making her mouth burn inside without being chewed. She looked at Si Mok who was calmly eating his ramyun as if nothing happened. How can this man say something that romantic casually?
Si Mok finally looked up only to find Yeo Jin’s eyes on him. “Why?”
“Your face is red. Do you already have a fever?” He asked, remembering that Yeo Jin was walking through the rain earlier. Yeo Jin touched her face. It was hot.
“No! It was the fish cake. It was spicy.” Yeo Jin took a sip of water just to show him she was speaking the truth. Her rounded eyes looked at him confidently and pushed the plate to Si Mok. “You should try this too.”
Si Mok made a face and furrowed his eyebrows, clearly showing his unwillingness to try the dish. “I don’t like spicy food.” He said and continued eating his ramyun. Yeo Jin could only laugh at his cuteness after saying such a line with that face just like a kid. This prosecutor really doesn’t know how cute he is, isn’t it?
“By the way, why are you in Seoul though?”
“I was handling a robbery and murder case. The witness was the real suspect. We lost him so we hunted him.”
“Today, he was found dead in the Yongsan area. Overdosed.”
Yeo Jin’s eyes glittering hearing the area name. “So you are working with Captain Choi’s team then?” Si Mok nodded. She smiles in envy.
“Good for you then.” She wished she could join the investigation team and work with her former team. Working with them is better than working in a higher position with her new team. It’s not like she dislikes her team or what, but she would love to join the team again.
Even though he cannot tolerate emotion as normal human beings do, he still could understand the sorrowfulness in her face when he mentioned Yongsan. He opened the soju and poured it into their glasses.
“You don’t like your current post?”
“What? No. It’s not like that.” She played her finger around the lip of the glass. “But sometimes I miss the old days with them. My current post is okay but it will never be the same.”
“But you are still a police and so are they. Only the place is different now.” He innocently commented. Yeo Jin only smiled bitterly and clink her glass with his.
“I meant the people, Prosecutor Hwang. I work with different people now.”
“It's just coworkers. You will get more in the future.”
She envied him. The way he took things, especially the sentimental one so easily made her envied him so much. She wished she could be stronger like him. Not feeling anything. Easy to let go and not being attached with old memories as she is right now. Still longing for their old memories together. Attached for something that could never happen.
Why did she ever like this stoic man? Why must she fall for him knowing he could never give her the same energy as hers? Why cannot she just let him go when he wasn’t here? By thinking such things, she managed to produce tears within her eyes.
“Senior Inspector Han?”
“Ah yes. Sorry.” She immediately shakes the tears off and raised the glass and took it in one chunk. Her throat is burning already from the alcoholic liquid. Si Mok only watched her silently and slowly put down his glass. He poured more soju in hers instead of drinking from his own glass.
“I am sorry because I cannot relate with your situation.” He said quietly. Almost cannot be heard by her but she managed to hear that. His eyes looking into hers. Clearly realized that she was about to cry.
‘How can I let this man go when he looked at me like this?’
Thank you for waiting. I am committed to give this story updates at least 2 chapter per week, every Sunday and Monday. Stay tuned for more!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
They went out of the tent after the rain had stopped and they were already finished with everything. Si Mok and Yeo Jin walking side to side towards their cars.
“You can’t drive.”
Yeo Jin snorted. “I know I can’t drive. You cannot drive too. Let’s get a cab. Or do you want a designated driver?” She took out her phone, ready to dial a number she knew for the kind of service.
“I can drive.”
“Eh? You didn’t drink?” Yeo Jin looked at the stoic man in awe. She couldn’t remember the fact he didn’t drink because way too busy talking about her current life.
Si Mok shook his head in confidence. “I think you need the drink more than I do so I declined. I will drive you home. You still live at the same place right?”
“Huh? Ah, yes I do.” She stuttered as they both arrived at the side of the greyish Hyundai car. Seriously, Si Mok’s treatment to her now is just making her fall into him even more. Without saying any kind of romantic words, enough with this kind of treatment that made her feel special, already enough to lure her into him.
Si Mok opened the driver side’s door and got in followed by Yeo Jin who got into the passenger’s side beside him. He started the navigation and chose the location from the history. He clicked on the location to her rooftop apartment.
“You have the location of my house?”
Si Mok turned to her shortly before turning to the road as he was driving out of the street to the main road. “I went there once.”
“Yeah, but that was with your older car. You just bought this one recently right?” Yeo Jin pressed as she knew the model of that car is the new one that only launched early this year. Secretly envied him to have a very stable financial.
Si Mok is quiet. Trying to find the right answer for the question. Yeo Jin always keeps her eyes on him waiting for the answer.
“I key it in. Just in case I am in Seoul.”
Her eyes watching him in curiosity. “So what if you are in Seoul? It’s not like it's mandatory to visit my home.” She laughed it off even though she felt butterflies inside of her. Is he telling her that he has the intent to visit her anytime he is in Seoul?
“I feel the need to see you even once when I am in Seoul.”
He admits it. HE ACTUALLY ADMITTED IT! OH MY GOODNESS!
Yeo Jin turned her face to the window instead to avoid getting caught by Si Mok. She cannot stop smiling at his words. Seriously this man...
“I am sorry.” He said out of the blue. Yeo Jin looked at him back in amusement. “Okay… what for?”
“I know it's not appropriate to go to a single lady’s house. I am sorry if you got offended by it.”
“What?! No-no. It’s okay.”
“So it’s okay for a man to go to your house?” He asked sarcastically while glancing sharply at Yeo Jin. Somehow he felt a bit triggered by that. Has anyone else, man, ever got into her apartment?
Yeo Jin narrowed her eyes to Si Mok, watching his face looking a bit gloomy while waiting for her answer. “Why? Are you jealous?”
He just sighed without answering it. Got no answer for that. Yeo Jin laughs at him out loud.
“Just for your information, I never invited anyone else to my house. Except for my mom, no one has ever been there but you when you make a guess about the case. Remember?”
Si Mok nodded slowly. His face slowly turned a bit brighter. Not so bright, just not gloomy. The usual stoic resting face.
The car slowly stopped at the traffic lights as the lights turned red. The dark interior of the car became brighter because of the neon lights coming from the retail stores near the street. There are also karaoke and pubs. Watching those places reminds Yeo Jin of their previous case when they went into a place like that.
Suddenly, her eyes caught the sight of a person she’s been looking for. Someone they faced difficulty to summon for investigation. Song Min Joon. He was out from one of the pubs and looking at his phone. Maybe looking for someone as he wanders his eyes around. Yeo Jin quickly unbuckled the safety belt and left the car. Running to the side road towards the pub before Min Joon went back into it.
Even Si Mok is shocked by the sudden move. He followed her with his car to the side of the road and parked the car there while his eyes never left her shadow. He quickly went to her who was standing at the front door of the pub. “What is it?”
“Do you remember the case I've told you about before?”
“About your superior. Hit and run case. Why?”
“Remember his son? The one who was pointed by the driver.” Si Mok nodded.
“It was difficult to summon him for the investigation as his dad got the power to decline it. He is still in the middle of his military service but I know he is on his vacation now. But still, we could never summon him.”
Si Mok quietly listens to the new info. He only knows about several things but this is a new info for him. “So you want to get him while he is here now?”
Yeo Jin nodded.
“Get in there?” Si Mok signed his eyes to the main door into the pub. Looking at her for confirmation.
Seeing Si Mok’s uncomfortable face made her feel uneasy. Offended actually on the fact maybe the prosecutor doesn’t want to cooperate with her now. “It’s okay, you can go home first. I will do this on my own.” She assured him. He pressed his lip to the thin line.
“I was just asking for your confirmation.” He walked to the door and confidently got himself in, leaving Yeo Jin gawked at his action. At last, she went in and followed him from behind. Her eyes went into alert mode despite the fact she already drank some liquor. As she walked from behind, she could see Si Mok’s hand went to his back as if he was trying to protect and to keep her close. She also realized his eyes consistently went to see her at the back.
“What do you want to do if we are able to meet him tonight?” He asked when they arrived at the bar. A male bartender went towards them to get any order but Si Mok waved him away immediately. He obeyed and went to his original post.
“I just want to ask him about the possibility he might be absent from the camp that night.”
“You mean, he illegally left the camp?”
Yeo Jin nodded. “His father is a high ranking officer and a good friend of the high ranking officer in the military. It is possible for him to get his kid out of the camp because of the connection he had.”
Si Mok quietly agreed with Yeo Jin. Power, connection and money are the things that could bring anyone in this world either up or down. Being ordered or being the king. Especially in South Korea, it is common for such things such as power abuse and corruption to happen.
“Why don’t you summon him to the investigation?” He asked again. He has had suspicions about the investigation since a long time ago, since Yeo Jin first talked about it but he never asked about it until today. He wants the answer.
Yeo Jin sighed. In the dark with neon lights sometimes hitting them at the bar, she could see his serious face looking at her. She knew that face. The face Si Mok made when he was being suspicious about something and he wouldn't let it go until he got the right answer. Like a dog with bones.
“Like I said before,” She felt like her throat was being choked as she found it difficult to speak. To speak the truth in front of this well known anti corruption prosecutor. “We can’t.”
Si Mok went into his silent mode again and the situation between them suddenly became tense. They are no longer friends at this point but only a police and a prosecutor that left between them. Yeo Jin could predict what he wanted to say or he was thinking but decided to let him spit it out first.
“This is an internal investigation about your superior. You asked me for advice about it so many times but why don’t you just ask for advice from the prosecutor whom you are working with for the case?” The sudden interrogation in the middle of the pub begins, with Han Yeo Jin as the defendant.
“I-” She stuttered. Is this how Si Mok’s defendant felt when they went into a trial with Si Mok? Seriously, this man was really born to be a prosecutor. He is too good. His eyes were intensely looking at her, demanding for an answer.
“You can’t. Because you never had a prosecutor in the team.” He concluded. Yeo Jin’s expression already confirmed everything. It's hurt when you get ambushed by your own friend especially when you took them for more than just a friend. That is what Yeo Jin felt right now. Insulted.
“It was an internal investigation and I guess the police agency doesn't want to make it big by getting the prosecution involved as the prosecution is more likely to be aggressive. The image is the problem, isn't it?”
Yeo Jin was about to defend her organization but she got cut.
“That is why you can’t summon him officially. Because you cannot request for a warrant from the court that eventually would involve the prosecution into it, which will cost the prosecution to take over the case immediately and make it big.” His face got darker. Not because Yeo Jin is trying to hide the case from the prosecution, but because the police agency is trying to dump everything on her shoulder. He closed his eyes out of frustration.
Realizing how Si Mok reacted to it, Yeo Jin misunderstood the situation. She thought he was mad at her. She was trying not to be affected by it or at least, not to show that she was actually affected by it.
“We were told to do the investigation first until we get the real suspect. Get the evidence and only by then, get the case to be prosecuted by the prosecution. We cannot risk the credibility and integrity of our organization to the public again. It’s already twice our image being dragged down and you know why.”
“You still can get it prosecuted in private. No one knows about it until the day of the trial.”
“Yeah but can I trust that? To the prosecution?!” Without her intending to do so, her intonation suddenly rises at him. For the first time since they ever knew each other, this is her very first time to use such a high tone to him. Luckily, their surroundings are noisy enough with the clubbing music and no one paid attention to them. She even shook by it but the pressure was too much.
“Prosecutor could never understand us. They will use anything against us just to show how low we are. You think we can trust them?!” Si Mok is only quiet at her words. Not sure how to react. Not sure if her words were pointing at him too.
“We have no choice but to bear it alone until the truth is unveiled. I know you are mad at me, but this is my work. I belong to the police and you should not judge me for it. I have my own reason.”
“It was never ‘we’, as far as I could see.” He finally said it out loud. Yeo Jin glances at him sharply with her teary eyes. Si Mok was startled. ‘Did I make her cry?’
“What do you mean?”
Si Mok was not sure anymore either to continue the argument or just back off. But Yeo Jin got the right to know the truth that he saw. The thing that he could see from this whole chaos. “It’s only ‘you’, Senior Inspector Han. They cannot bring the case to the prosecution so they brought it to you. They dumped it to you.”
The words he said were like a big hand slapping her face to the realization. It was true. They dumped the case on her because of her reputation and trustworthiness. She admits that she is the best choice to be given the responsibility as she also had the experiences working at the field. They cannot involve the prosecution so the best they could do is to dump this to the person who can almost give them the same result. It was her.
“They are using you to clean the mess silently.”
The additional sentence only made the situation even worse. It was like a final stab right into her heart. She couldn’t stand there any longer, in front of him or she might cry. She left him and went to the dance floor, blending with the crowds which she knew Si Mok could never follow her into. Even in that kind of situation, she managed to get her head together and walked around the pub looking for Song Min Joon.
She finally spotted the same man she saw at the main door earlier, wearing a black leather jacket with white sneakers. Totally looking like how he was supposed to look as the son to rich parents. Han Yeo Jin quickly got out of the crowd and went to the seating on the second floor to meet Song Min Joon on her own.
When she arrived there, she could see the lounge on the second floor was only occupied for Min Joon and his two friends. They were all spent and were lying weakly on the couch while he was alone smoking. Yeo Jin spotted a few syringes on the table with bottles of alcohol. ‘Drugs.’
Her eyes went big and she immediately got her gun out of her back, pointing at them. “Stop what you were doing and hands up!” She shouted, this time, enough to be heard by the rest of the pub. The music stopped. The rest of attention was laid on her.
Song Min Joon was the only one who was sober, quickly dropped his cigarette and obeyed her while smirking. Hands up and stood up. But his smirk never left his face. He knew Yeo Jin right away as his father warned him about her. The leader of the team that investigates his case.
“Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin. Glad to see you here.”
Yeo Jin smirked. “Yeah. Glad to see you too, doing drugs.” She said sarcastically. This time, she will make sure she gets him. Especially with the fact he was involved with drugs. “You ain’t going nowhere this time, kiddo.”
Min Joon laughs hard at her. Nearly losing his mind. The way he reacted was enough to show her that he was still under the influence. Min Joon stepped closer to her expecting the female officer to be alone.
“Stop or I will shoot.”
“Shoot? You know who my father is? He could end your life before you do to me.”
Power, connection and money. To be ordered or to be the king. Yeo Jin gripped the gun tightly. She chose not to be silent anymore. She stepped closer this time. Determine to catch him alive tonight.
Min Joon was amused by the braveness of the thin policewoman. He laughed again and tried to corner her to the wall but was stopped by the sudden grip that not only brought him a few steps to the back in one blow, but also slammed to the ground. He was then pinched to the ground by the weight of someone who he believed was not the female policewoman. He looked up and saw a man weighing him with monotone expression as if pinning him was nothing. He struggled to free himself but the grip was even tighter every time he moved.
“What the fuck!!! Let me go!! Do you know who my father is?!”
“I know and I don’t care.” Si Mok said in calm while pinning Min Joon’s head to the ground, letting the left side of his cheek pinched into the floor. Si Mok was about to call Yeo Jin to handcuff Min Joon but she already did that without being told.
“You can let him go now.” She said sternly before he finally got up and moved to the side, letting Yeo Jin take over Min Joon and slammed him to the couch.
“I already called the police, they will arrive soon.” He said to her but no response. She was busy checking on the others who were clearly being under influence.
“You can go home then.” Yeo Jin said as if she wanted to shoo him away. But that was her intent though. She doesn't think facing him right now after the argument was the best thing. At least they will be needing some time to cool down. Separated.
“I was the first prosecutor who found him under the influence of drugs. I will stay with them for the investigation for the charge of drug abuse. I will be in charge of this case, at least until the prosecutor from the Seoul branch takes over.”
Yeo Jin was just out of words as Si Mok reacted professionally to the situation. She never saw this coming. She never thought of this possibility of bringing him in, to get Min Joon will eventually get them involved with the prosecution. The police agency was trying so hard to protect the father and son’s case from the prosecution and now she is the one who brought them into the blackhole. The realization did hit her hard.
The first dinner they had after a year was only a disaster for her.
That night was a chaos for the police agency and the prosecution service. Both sides were informed about the arrest of the son of a high ranking officer in the police agency. The situation caused even more chaos as the media was also being informed about it by an unknown source. The whole nation is now informed about it.
The case also gets more attention from the public as the name of the prosecutor in charge, Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok was mentioned in the news. Everyone knows if he was involved, it would be nothing but a merciless investigation. Everyone trusted him that much. He is the symbol of integrity.
Han Yeo Jin was also being mentioned as the one from the police agency who got them arrested. Don’t underestimate her popularity. Most people already know her from the investigation of the missing prosecutor, Seo Dong Jae. She appeared a few times on television for briefings and that was enough to make people notice her existence.
A total of three people were arrested at the crime scene. The evidence is just more than enough to charge Song Min Joon for the narcotics crime. Together with the prosecution in the investigation, only time will decide when he will be put on trial. With Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok in charge, the investigation will be shorter.
After the arrest was made and they were delivered to the Yongsan Police Station under the narcotics department, Yeo Jin and Si Mok both separated independently. She didn’t even look back because feeling absolutely betrayed. She knew it wasn’t his fault as she was the one who lured him into the pub but still, she hoped he could turn his eyes on this one only.
Yeo Jin drove her car fast to the headquarters of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency after being summoned by the Superintendent General who was already waiting for her briefings there. Her team was also already there waiting.
Yeo Jin got into the building while being watched by the people who were in the lobby. She could hear them whispering and she just pretended she wasn't even affected by it. She got into the elevator and pressed the button to the third highest floor in the building. Floor 23, where the most offices of the higher ranking officers were located.
Yeo Jin looked at her reflection on the metallic elevator’s wall. She looked exhausted. Disappointed. Betrayed. Hurt. She sighed heavily and weakly lowered her head. She just couldn’t express what she felt right now. It's just too much pressure. There is too much happening in a day. Just a single day. With Si Mok, she only spent less than three hours with him to get into this situation.
Were Choi Bit’s words eventually proven to be true now? That she shouldn’t trust Si Mok that much because nevertheless, he is still a prosecutor.
The elevator stopped moving and alerted her that she had arrived at floor 23. She got out and made her steps towards the meeting room where everyone was waiting. No hesitation, she knocked on the door and got in.
“How can that prosecutor was even there?! With you?!” The Superintendent General, Lee Moo Sang watched her with massive anger. Yeo Jin, who was standing in the middle of the room, in front of the big round table quickly bowed her head.
“I am sorry. I will be responsible for this.” She said with confidence, right into the eyes of the superintendent general. Lee Moo Sang sighed loudly.
“I don’t care what you want to do to get that kid investigated. But never involves the prosecution! What is so hard for you to understand?!”
Yeo Jin was only quiet and waiting for more as she was actually expecting more from Moo Sang. Lee Moo Sang was the one who directly gave her the case to be solved. She reported all the findings directly to him. The man was basically the main person behind this whole investigation.
She sees what is coming next. If the investigation turned out to be pointing at the Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk or at his son Song Min Joon, Song Ji Suk will be likely to be fired or retired on his own will. The second highest position will be vacant and the one who will be promoted is none other but him, Superintendent General Lee Moo Sang. He is not doing this only for the sake of the deceased, but also for his own benefit.
“It’s only ‘you’, Senior Inspector Han. They cannot bring the case to the prosecution so they brought it to you. They dumped it to you.”
“They are using you to clean the mess silently.”
Was Hwang Si Mok right afterall? He only uses her for his own benefit to get rid of Song Ji Suk? If he wanted to get rid of him, wouldn't it be even easier if they involved the prosecution and made the case bigger?
“Now, I am asking you again, what did the prosecutor even do there? How can he know about Song Min Joon?” He asked again. Her other teammates that were summoned to the meeting also looked at her curiously, clearly eager to know especially Yong Joon.
“He was with me.”
“We had just finished having dinner and he was driving me home when I saw Min Joon outside of the pub. I went there without realizing I was bringing a prosecutor into this case.”
“YAH HAN YEO JIN!!!”
The room was about to be destroyed by the storm of Moo Sang’s voice. Enough to be heard by people around the same floor. However, she stood still on the same spot without even moving an inch. Her chest felt so heavy but her body stood sturdy. “I apologize.”
Lee Moo Sang could only stare with extreme anger that he tried to suppress. He knew where they were now and making more problems by hitting his subordinate won’t make it better. Especially when Yeo Jin actually knew the high profile prosecutor personally.
Yeo Jin clearly admits that she brought the prosecutor into the case accidentally. She made such a big mistake which even Lee Moo Sang could never imagine will be caused by her, the captain of the investigation team.
“Is he your boyfriend or what?”
“No sir. He is my friend. My good friend.” She denied instantly. From the tail of her eyes, she could see a dark expression from Yong Joon, who was watching her intensely. But she doesn't really care about it as she doesn't have any special feelings towards him. She doesn’t even care if that man is hurt by it and decides to move on instead which is better for her actually.
However, Moo Sang doesn’t seem to be very convinced by that. Somehow, he could sense something is going on between these two. He could sense it not only because Yeo Jin admitted that they went for dinner just now, but from a long time ago. He always had doubts on these two even though he never met Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok in person. He has his own informant to assure him that. There was at least one of them that cared for another.
His eyes darted to another Senior Inspector in the room, Kim Yong Joon who was watching Yeo Jin uneasily. Of course he would. There is no one in this building that doesn’t know about the fact he likes Han Yeo Jin. He is sure that Yeo Jin knew about it but chose to be ignorant.
“Does that prosecutor know about the main case?” He is finally using his calmer tone.
“No sir.” She lied. If that is the best choice, let it be that way. If she told him the truth, she can be accused of being a hole to the organization. That will cost her whole career. The question is, will Si Mok shut it down when he has been asked about it by his superior? If he tells them the truth, nothing can be done anymore. End game.
Moo Sang nodded in relief. At least the main case is still hidden from the prosecution.
“Listen carefully.” His stern voice back in the room made all attention dropped on him.
“Song Ji Suk will do anything to get his son out. But, with the public keeping their eyes on this investigation, it would be harder for him. Especially with that prosecutor's involvement in the investigation. People would be eager to know about the progress. Let them be the hero. Let the prosecution investigate the drug case with the narcotics team until they get them on trial.”
“As he gets punished for the drugs, it will be easier for us to interrogate him about the incident. His father could no longer protect him while he is in jail. Until that happens, the investigation on the main case will be suspended to avoid any suspicion. We cannot let them know about this no matter what, at whatever cost. Take the case to your grave if possible.” He looked at every face in front of him. His eyes laid on Yeo Jin the longest.
“Yeo Jin, I will send you to the Yongsan narcotics team to investigate the case with prosecution. Get all the information from there, report it to me directly. Make sure Min Joon is charged for his crime. Keep your eyes on Song Ji Suk. He will start his move soon.”
Moo Sang’s eagerness to have Min Joon arrested for his crime has assured Yeo Jin that her assumption might be right. Her superior is going after the higher position by getting Song Ji Suk out of his way, even by using Ji Suk’s son. She heavily nodded in obedience. “Yes sir.”
Chapter 5 is coming tomorrow. Stay tuned! ;)
Thank you so much for your support! Here is the first meeting of Hwang Si Mok and Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon;)
After such a long time since the last time he made it to the Seoul Prosecution Service, he finally got his feet into the building again. Same goes with Yeo Jin, he was summoned by the higher ups. Specifically by the Chief of the branch, Chief Jang Ki Moon. The chief has directly called him after the news broke to the public which he had already expected to happen.
He was the one who broke the news to the media through the Sungmoon Daily. He wanted this case to go public so the prosecution will be alerted by it. There is something huge going on inside the police agency right now and he needs to get into it no matter what. This narcotics case is only the beginning of the whole plan that he had in mind. The plan to get Han Yeo Jin out of the mess.
Hwang Si Mok walked into the building and was assisted by a man in a suit which he believed was the secretary to the chief. He obeyed and walked with him to the office. As he arrived there, he was brought into the room.
“Annyeonghaseyo, sir.” He politely bowed in front of the middle aged man. The man nodded his approval and signed him to take a seat on the couch beside him. Si Mok quietly to do so.
“What do you want to do now?” He asked without hesitation. Straight to the point as the young prosecutor sits beside him.
“I will help investigate the case. At least until the prosecution sends someone from this branch to take over.”
Chief Jang Ki Moon nodded showing his approval again. “You belong to the Wonju branch. This is not under your area of jurisdiction. Not to mention this case is totally not under your criminal department as well. Soon or later, you will have to let the bone go.”
“I understood sir. For now, I will assist the first phase of the investigation only with the police. The remains will be handed to the prosecutor in Seoul.” He promised. To get this case covered by the media and get the attention from the whole nation is enough for him. At least the case would be difficult to be hidden by the higher ups who are eager to save their own ass. He will just be satisfied with the prosecution already holding the grip on this case.
“But I heard you were here in the first place because of your case from Wonju? The suspect has died.”
“Yes sir. I will probably leave after we at least discover the possibility he was being murdered and arrest the suspect that might be involved. I will send the official request to stay in Seoul to the Wonju branch tomorrow.”
Ki Moon is only silent listening to his plan. It was a clear briefing of what is going on with him. At first when he heard about the news, he was startled to see the case was taken by Hwang Si Mok as everyone in the prosecution was informed he is in Wonju now.
He passed a tablet with the screen already on standby. Si Mok took it politely and saw the online website displayed. It was a video that was published about ten minutes ago with more than ten thousand views already. It was a video of him slamming the suspect to the ground before he could get his hand on Han Yeo Jin.
‘The Charm of the Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok’
Si Mok furrowed his eyebrows as he read the title and put down the tablet right away. He might be the informant to Sungmoon but never be someone behind this video. Seriously, he wanted to ask the person who uploaded this to take it down. He was afraid this video might be used against him for using violence against the suspect. “I apologize.”
Ki Moon laughed and took the tablet away, turning it off immediately. “Why would you? Thanks to you, the public now has acknowledged the strength of our organization and not being only known as a fat ass behind the table anymore.” He took his glasses off and pinched the bridge of his nose showing the clear sign of fatigues.
Si Mok glared at his watch. It’s already half past eleven at night. No wonder the older man seemed to be tired. He was also tired and ready to sleep anytime soon as he never gets enough sleep lately. Not to mention that he didn’t sleep for more than 24 hours now. He really needed a rest now.
“Their image is already ruined before and this will make it even worse. The police won’t let the prosecution make it harder and they will go tough with you. Be alert. Just do your job and avoid being involved in their politics. Understood?”
Ki Moon nodded. “He asked me to take care of you which is why I really wanted this to be working for you.”
Si Mok's eyes narrowed at him as he couldn’t understand his words. “Who are you talking about sir?
“Your senior, Kang Won Chul. He is a lawyer now. You should visit him later while you are in Seoul.” The young prosecutor was only silent to his words, not showing any sign of being moved by his senior’s care for him. Ki Moon tried not to mention it as Won Chul ever said to him about his weird attitude. His friend assured him that his attitude was not intently rude but it was just his nature. Looking at Si Mok now, he agreed with Won Chul.
“He might be rough with you but I know, deep inside, he took you as his own kid. The junior he groomed, just like how he groomed his own kid.”
Si Mok was not sure about that. He never got a real father figure in his life as his father left him alone to be cared for by his mother. His father left all the burden on his mother, never turning back after. So, he was not sure what a father’s treatment would be like and to be said Won Chul has cared for him like his own son, he just doubts it. Remembering Won Chul’s behavior to him such as calling him punk, he wonders if such treatment is the kind of normal treatment given by a father to his kid.
“Treat him for lunch at least. He will be thrilled just for a bowl of jjampong.”
He looked at Ki Moon and silently took a mind note of that.
On the next day, the first day of the investigation started. Si Mok went to the Yongsan police station with two cases with him. One, Ji Sang Yeob, possibly being murdered. Two, Song Min Joon and the two others involved in narcotics crime. He went to the urgent one first which is to the narcotics team on the fourth floor. He was about 30 minutes late from the time the interrogation was scheduled to start as he was summoned again to the prosecution to get his ID registered as he may be using the interrogation room in the prosecution as well.
It was his first time to be there and Jang Geon was the one who assisted him to the department. Thanks to him, the team acknowledged his presence and gave him the cooperation before he could even ask for it. He later was brought into the other side of the interrogation room, only to find Yeo Jin who had already been there watching the first session of interrogation through the tinted glass. Their eyes met each other.
There was a lot to say. To apologize. To explain. Especially on Si Mok’s side. He had a lot to say, but not here with the other two officers in the room.
“So you owned those drugs and Min Joon was just there to drink?”
The voice of Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon from the interrogation room snatched their attention from each other and back to reality. Si Mok looked at the first suspect in the middle of interrogation, that they found with Min Joon at the pub yesterday and tried to analyze his body language.
The man in his early 20 slowly nodded. Sniffing eagerly showing he started to feel the relapse after using drugs. Crave for the substance again. “Yes..YES...YES!! How many times must I tell you that?!” He shouted out loud.
Yong Joon slowly tilted his head a few times to show his acknowledgement of the statement. He then tidied the file with the suspect’s information in it and folded it back. “Okay for now. Maybe we will see you again later.” He said before stood from his seat and walked to the door. Another officer brought the suspect out back to the cell.
Yong Joon went to the other side of the interrogation room to meet Yeo Jin. Si Mok was standing near the monitor with the two officers who control the recording system and the room was quite dark enough for someone to easily miss his existence. Especially when people just get in from the door on his left. Just like Yong Joon, he didn’t notice the prosecutor as he just walked straight to Yeo Jin when he got in.
“I wonder how much did the Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk pay him to say that. He is willing to take the sentence for Song Min Joon.” Yong Joon shaked his head out of frustration. He slammed the file on the table and looked at Yeo Jin.
“Song Min Joon urine test turned out to be positive though. If we can’t charge him for bringing the drugs, we still can get him charged for using it.” He concluded, trying to assure Han Yeo Jin who was just silent.
“Bang Joo Heon, 22 years old.” Suddenly a voice interrupted them, making the uninformed Yong Joon jump out of startled. He looked back at Si Mok’s direction and looked at the prosecutor from head to toe. The man with his suit and long coat on the outside with nice combed hair slowly walking towards them while looking at the file.
Seeing him in person really put Yong Joon into the triggered mode, especially about the fact that Yeo Jin was having dinner with him alone. They never had dinner before unless with the other coworkers. He never had the chance to talk with Yeo Jin in dinner alone like this prosecutor gets.
He also remembered the smiling Yeo Jin yesterday before the storm happened. Is he the reason why she smiled so bright? Because he was contacting her and he gave her the butterflies?
“Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon, isn’t it?” Si Mok finally reached for him. He took his hand out first to the policeman signing for a handshake. “Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok.”
Hesitantly, he took the hand and smiled at the shorter prosecutor. Smirking. “Yes, nice to meet you sir. I have learned a lot about you from the news.” He said just to make a good impression. “But you are shorter in real life. How tall are you?” But directly going violence after that. He intently tried to make him look bad by mentioning his body figure.
Si Mok tilts his head to Yeo Jin as he doesn’t get the idea. Yeo Jin also doesn’t seem to be happy about it.
“Senior Inspector Kim,” She called.
Well, Si Mok knew the inspector wanted to insult him for being short because he didn't see any connection with the investigation at all. He then looked at the male senior inspector with his sharp eyes and stoic face.
“Have you been working at a theme park?” He asked suddenly. Yong Joon and Yeo Jin looked at each other.
Si Mok puts down the file on the table and gets both hands on each side of the table, watching the policeman seriously. “I wonder if you have been working there because they always ask about the heights like you did.” He said calmly without realizing his words really hit the target. Yong Joon looked almost choked by it and lost the smirk he got. Yeo Jin and the other two officers looked at each other.
“Are you insulting me, Prosecutor Hwang?!”
Si Mok blinked his eyes a few times as if he didn't understand. “I was the one who was supposed to ask you that. Are you insulting me for being short, Senior Inspector Kim?”
Seeing the situation ain’t getting better, Yeo Jin signalled the two officers out of the room quickly to give them some space. They seemed to be enjoying watching the argument and wanted to stay but obeyed when Yeo Jin urged them to do so. As they left alone in the room, Yeo Jin sighed heavily.
“What are you guys doing? Stop it already.”
Yong Joon blinked in frustration. “He was the one-”
“I expect cooperation from the police’s side and by all that means, I expect you to act professionally. I hope this is the last time I hear such a joke from you.” Si Mok concluded the event without apologizing for his lines. Yeo Jin could only roll his eyes, running out of patience because of Yong Joon.
“Please sit,” Si Mok signalled them to take a seat near the table as he was already sitting there. Yeo Jin fulfilled his demand and sat. Yong Joon was still standing with his eyes as if it wanted to jump out of his face, looking at Si Mok. Yeo Jin sighed again and pulled his hand to force him down to the chair. Si Mok who was watching couldn't help but feel his jaws tighten to the skinship.
“First of all, I apologize for being late for the first interrogation. I was summoned to the prosecution to settle something there.” He professionally apologized and took credit for that. “Senior Inspector Han, will you briefly brief about the first interrogation?”
As she understood his expectation of professionalism from the both sides, she took his words seriously. “The first suspect as you mentioned, Bang Joo Heon, 22, admitted that drugs were his, as you already heard just now. Not Min Joon. He claimed that Min Joon only drank that night but based on his urine, we can only confirm that he totally took the drugs that night.”
Si Mok was about to say something but Yong Joon cut in the middle. “So, you can proceed getting a warrant first to charge him for misusing drugs. It is confirmed now.”
Si Mok blinked at his words unbelievably. He brought his right knuckle to his face, as a stick under his nose. “We only had one interrogation with the first suspect. We have not interrogated the second suspect and Min Joon himself yet. And you are already asking for a warrant?”
Yeo Jin could not deny that Si Mok’s sudden cold voice was really intimidating her. Seeing him in his formal look, in the middle of investigation, really made him look very attractive. She was amused by the fact she still could fall for him in the middle of this kind of situation.
Yong Joon clicks his tongue out of frustration and gets closer to Si Mok by the table. “The urine test is positive. The urine tests of all suspects are positive, the interrogation is useless now. It is more than solid enough to prove that they are using drugs.”
“Fine then. They are on drugs and will definitely be charged for that.” Si Mok finally surrendered. Yong Joon smirked out of victory but Si Mok’s face got even more tense. “But is that the only thing you want from this? Get them arrested for using drugs?”
“What do you mean?” Yeo Jin asked.
“I was already informed about the urine tests. Three of them are positive. Fine, they will be arrested for it. But that’s it? That’s the only thing you wanted to know? Is this the end?”
“What else do we want to know? The faster this investigation ended, the better. You got the applause, we got them punished. The public will also be happy. Isn’t it?” Yong Joon went back to his tense mode. He is desperate to get Min Joon into the jail as fast as possible so they could interrogate him for the hit and run case. Meanwhile Yeo Jin could only narrow her eyes to him as she sensed his rudeness towards the prosecutor. She shouldn’t tag him along into this investigation if she knew he would act like this.
Shoving off Yong Joon’s rudeness, Si Mok continued. “The owner of the drugs, obviously. The real owner. We have to charge the owner for keeping the illegal substances. Or did you really trust that kid to own the drugs?”
Yeo Jin cut Yong Joon right away as she was worried if her fellow policeman would be rude again. She doesn’t want to seem suspicious, especially in front of Hwang Si Mok. If he gets to sense something wrong, it will risk their plan to get Min Joon punished immediately. “Yes, of course. We forgot about that thing. You were right, we shouldn’t stop interrogating them and close the investigation yet.”
Si Mok was quietly observing Yeo Jin for her sudden obedience. Something is wrong here. Yong Joon's eagerness to get Min Joon arrested was fishy but Yeo Jin suddenly surrendered even more suspicious. Why didn't she support her teammate and urged him to get the warrant instead? Did she try to cover him up for being too rushed to get Min Joon arrested? Why are they rushing to get him arrested? They got plenty of time, not like him as he will let go of the case anytime soon until the prosecutor in Seoul takes over.
Yeo Jin saw how Si Mok’s eyes moved from her to Yong Joon and back to the file. She knew that expression so well. The expression he makes when he senses something is not in the right place. If he spit it out, they don’t have any chance to run anymore.
Yes. Si Mok already knows about the investigation of the hit and run case. But the police agency doesn’t know that he is informed. If they act suspicious and somehow he brings that case up, Yong Joon will know that Si Mok already knows about it. Yong Joon will realize that she was lying last night and of course he will report it to Moo Sang. Before that happens, Yeo Jin stands from the seat.
“We will continue the interrogation with Min Joon this afternoon. After two. Are you in?”
In endless doubt, Si Mok nodded confidently. “Count me in.”
The man in a smart suit walked urgently into the huge mansion in depression. His both hands formed huge and strong knuckles as he got a lot in mind. After his son got arrested yesterday, he couldn’t even sleep that night and was awake through the night calling people for help. Asking for his connection to get his problem covered.
Out of all of his connections that he knew, he believed this one is the person who can help him through this. His own best friend who works inside the prosecution, Chief of the Supreme Prosecution Service, Heo Sang Chun. He is the only hope he got now.
As he got near the main door to go inside, a woman in a housekeeper uniform welcomed his visit and usher him into the mansion with manners. As this is not his first time coming here, he knew exactly the layout of the mansion and confidently formed his steps towards the library, where they promised to meet today. The housekeeper who had followed him instantly came forward and knocked on the door for him.
“Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk is here, sir.” She said.
“Come in.” The door was opened by the housekeeper and Ji Suk moved fastly into it. Shutted the door behind him and got closer to his friend.
Heo Sang Chun, who was reading his morning paper nearly in the afternoon, was peeking his eyes at Ji Suk from behind the wide paper. He sighed. “I cannot help you with that case. Just wait until they request for the warrant from the court to get it prosecuted.”
“Not about that case,”
His left eyebrows lifted in confusion. “Oh the latest one.” He turned the newspaper calmly.
“I already said to you so many times, control your son. You never listened.”
Without being invited, Ji Suk took a seat on one of the couches near Sang Chun. “I had him in control. I had him get into the military service as you suggested but it didn’t work!”
Sang Chun sighed again, this time even more heavier. He lowered the paper and started to fold it. His eyes narrowed to Ji Suk. “What do you want me to do?” He said, almost sounds unwillingly.
“Save him. Get him out before they get them into jail.”
“You punk!” His voice raised. “You think it is easy to do that?! You are a policeman, you should know better.”
Ji Suk knew how hard it was to get someone out. But this is his son that they were talking about. It was supposed to be easier for him. “Please… I am begging you.” He touched Sang Chun’s knee, nearly went down to the floor kneeling. Sang Chun holds his bridge of the nose.
“Chairman of Hanjo, Lee Yeon Jae, you didn’t try to contact her first?”
Ji Suk shivered as he heard of that name. If he could do that, he wouldn't even be here today, begging for mercy. “You know I can’t. We agreed to cut all the connections we have and you thought I would contact her? She will kill me if I do.”
“And you thought I wouldn’t kill you now for trying to get me involved?” He glances sharply at him. “Do you think I am an easy person?”
“No! Sang Chun, what are you talking about? I went to you because I trust you. I trust your power and influence. Not because I was thinking that you are the easier choice.” He desperately begged him. This time, he was really kneeling on the floor.
“Help me, Sang Chun. Please, I am begging you.”
Sang Chun went silent. He learned about the case last night from his secretary. The name of the prosecutor in charge made him acknowledge the fact that this case won’t be an easy game to get out of. This is Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok they are facing. A dog that will not hesitate to bite his own owner, won’t let go of the bone until it goes into pieces.
He saw what he had done to the other prosecutor. Lee Chang Joon, dead. Yoon Se Won, in jail. Woo Tae Ha, still in trial but soon to be punished and already losing his reputation. Getting involved was not a good idea to begin with. He knew, as he helped his friend through this, tomorrow won’t be easier for him. That Hwang Si Mok will go hunting whoever is behind this.
But to leave his friend in despair like this was not a choice. Ji Suk was not just a friend. They are a compliance in so many things. Ignoring him won’t be a good deal as well as he might drag him deeper than he could imagine. Ji Suk could betray him out of his own unloyalty.
He looked back at Ji Suk, holding his arm to bring him back to the couch. Ji Suk followed and got up from his kneeling position. Finally sitting on the couch. Looking at his friend with a mountain of hope. It was too late to close the case as the public already knew about it. Closing the case out of the blue will raise more suspiciousness.
“Your son… was in rehab last year, wasn’t he?”
“It was tense! We were both sitting like we couldn’t move in there.” Said Detective Kim Dae Seong from the narcotics department to the entire Team 1 of the homicide criminal department. Captain Choi, Detective Jang Geon, Detective Lee Soon Chang and the other from another team listen to it intensely while having their lunch. Eager to know what happened there this morning as the case got the media coverage as well.
“Well I am not backing up the prosecution but that was rude to be honest.” Remarks Jang Geon after Dae Seong told them about Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon’s comments on Prosecutor Hwang’s heights. “It’s not funny to make a joke about someone’s body figure.” He continued.
“But that was true though. I am taller than him.” Said one of the detectives from the other team. Instantly, the whole Team 1 glares at him sharply. He pressed his lip thin and bowed apologetically.
“Then, what happened? Was he mad?” Soon Chang put the conversation back on before spooning his rice into the spicy chicken broth.
“Was he mad though? His expression was confusing. He wasn’t really mad. He just replied to it sarcastically. But the senior inspector was mad after that. Like a crazy man.” He chuckled and shook his head.
“What? What does he say?” Captain Choi Yoon Soo butt in before he could finish his laugh. Dae Seong put his spoon down and made a face to impersonate Prosecutor Hwang’s expression.
“Have you been working at a theme park?”
“Huh?” The whole team was confused. Dae Seong grinned as everyone paid attention to him.
He then mimicked Senior Inspector Kim’s voice. “No. Why?”
“I wonder if you have been working there because they always ask about the heights like you did.” He finished with a final stoic face and monotone voice of Hwang Si Mok. The whole department made a voice of being defeated.
“Waaaa…. Even me couldn’t respond to that.” Jang Geon laughed at that. Silently cheering for Hwang Si Mok. Captain Choi was smirking. Who does he think he was talking to? It’s Hwang Si Mok.
“So what does the senior inspector say to that?” Captain Jang from another team who was listening the whole time suddenly butt in. Everyone grinned at him as he finally joined the gossip room.
“Okay, this is funny. Like sarcastically funny.” Dae Seong commented before saying the exact line and intonation as Senior Inspector Kim did in the interrogation room.
“Are you insulting me, Prosecutor Hwang?!”
“Heol... he was the one who started first.”
“I got a second hand embarrassment.”
“I am cringed.”
Dae Seong only nodded and acknowledged their reaction to it. Just how he reacted to it when he was there. “We wanted to watch more but got kicked out by Yeo Jin noona.” He finally got a chance to finish his meal after a long storytelling session.
“Of course I would! It wasn’t appropriate!” Said someone who just walked into the office. Everyone cheered as they saw her. As if she never visited before. Yeo Jin delightfully waved her hands to them like a beauty pageant.
“Noona!” Dae Seong dramatically shouted at her before getting smacked by Yeo Jin.
“Is the interrogation done for today? Why are you here?” Captain Choi comments while his mouth is still full with rice. Yeo Jin only pouted at his words and walked towards the table that was originally being put there for the visitors. Now, it is just like a normal dining table for the team.
“What? I want to have lunch too. The suspects were eating too.”
“The prosecutor?” Jang Geon poke around and joined by the whole room with playful sounds making her blushed a bit. Yeo Jin awkwardly touches her hair and fixes her trench coat. Suddenly forgot about the cold war she is having with Si Mok because of yesterday's event. She wanted to reply but got cut off by someone from the door.
“Yeo Jin, let’s go eat.”
The whole office that was noisy poking at her suddenly fell into a great silence. As if there was death in the office. All of them trying to see who the hell was calling her informally from the door. Then, they saw a man in a semi formal outfit, slack and blazer, white shirt inside and formal shoes. In one glance, they knew that is a typical look of someone who worked at the headquarters. Automatically giving them the idea of who he is.
Yeo Jin’s smiles dropped as she was still frustrated with the informality. Can’t he just use a formal name? This could lead to misunderstandings among people and she is against that. However, she couldn’t ignore him as she doesn’t want to seem rude.
“Ah, yes Senior Inspector Kim. But first, let me introduce you to my beloved team, Team 1 and 2 from the Violent Crime Department!” She said excitedly while putting her hands in the air, pointing at them. They nodded to Yong Joon and smiled, waiting for the man to at least come in and have a short chat with them.
“Ah, yes. Annyeonghaseyo.” He said, not moving even a step from the door showing he isn't interested at all to get to know them. Their smiles dropped and the silence went back as the first time he appeared.
“Let’s go for lunch. The restaurant will be full soon.” He said again, this time really making her annoyed by it. Why is he so thrilled about lunch? She was about to decline at that point because feeling insulted on behalf of her former coworkers but Captain Choi cut in.
“You should go eat. Dealing with the druggie punk will be needing a lot of energy. Get out!” He said fiercely but she knew he was just being playful. Yeo Jin pressed an apologetic smile to them before going out towards Yong Joon who was grinning.
Back at the office, Jang Geon scoffed while glaring sharply at the door where he saw the senior inspector earlier. “Gosh, I hate him already!”
See you next week!;)
I apologize for updating too late. I have problem with my laptop which cause I lose all the files inside including the chapters I have had it done. I need to rewrite the whole thing from the start. :( But here it is!! Enjoy everyone!! ;)
“You shouldn’t be rude to my coworkers, you know?” Yeo Jin mentioned the earlier situation when they were both in the car, on their way to the restaurant. She could see Yong Joon’s hand was gripping the wheel tighter.
“I apologize.” He said and turned to her for a while before going back to the road. Yeo Jin rolled her eyes.
“Not to me. But to them.”
She could hear him breathing hard at her words. As if he is not willing to do as told. He is just different from Hwang Si Mok. That stoic man couldn’t feel and had difficulty understanding others but he was still willing to learn. At least he is willing to learn manners and be polite. Asking what is wrong, does he do something rude, say sorry immediately without hesitation despite his position as a prosecutor. Si Mok treats her team better than Yong Joon, who is a police officer like them.
“You were rude to Prosecutor Hwang also. It was humiliating. You always be professional but today was disappointing. Why did you have to say something like that to him?”
Seriously when Yong Joon was mentioning about Si Mok’s body features, she really wanted to smack this man. Everyone knows that it is wrong to belittle someone, especially for their body. It's a common sense thing but as a police officer, with a decent ranking, he failed to show a good common sense and professionalism. Totally humiliating especially when Si Mok started to point at his professionalism issue after that.
“You were not you when we were there.” Yeo Jin shook her head out of total despair of what happened today. Yong Joon sighed.
“Don’t come tomorrow. I will not bring you with me anymore.”
“Wait what?!” Finally, he opened his mouth to talk. Looking at Yeo Jin and the road in turn. “But I am still a part of the team.”
“The team was formed to investigate the hit and run case and the investigation was suspended. You were never being pointed officially to join this investigation and I was just being kind to let you tag along. I will handle this with Prosecutor Hwang and the Yongsan’s narcotics team. Just focus on your work at the headquarters.” She concluded. Totally made her mind.
Yong Joon scoffed out of frustration. His jaw became tight. “What is so special about that prosecutor? He knows nothing about the police agency. I am way better. You will need me more than you need him.”
At this time, Yeo Jin was really being triggered to the final stage of patience. She could never stand if anyone talked down about her prosecutor. “What did you say? He knows nothing?”
Yeo Jin shook her head to his unbelievable claims. Seriously, Yong Joon really has shown the true side of him to her today. There is no way she could accept this man.
“The prosecutor only knows to direct us while they are sitting on their comfortable chair, in an air conditioned room, waiting for progress. While us,” He scoffed again. Pressing the gas makes the car move faster.
“...we suffered the most. Running, catching, fighting. We were exposed to danger every day during the investigation while they, the prosecutors, rode their nice car to the police station for briefings. Or just summon us to their office whenever they like, as if we are their dogs or something.”
“I won’t take back my words, Han Yeo Jin. They knew nothing. Not even that Hwang Si Mok you looked up to.”
Her eyes closed tightly. She cannot tolerate this anymore. Especially when he still had the audacity to call her full name informally, but she decided to only focus on his remarks on Hwang Si Mok. Hearing someone who doesn’t even know anything about Si Mok’s struggles but talking bad about him is annoying to her. No one has the right to talk or judge him to know or to not know something. Not even her.
“Stop the car.”
Yong Joon ignored her.
“I said stop the car!” She shouted finally, resulting Yong Joon to sigh and obey her order. He stopped at the side of the road. Luckily they are not using the main road which is easier for him to stop the car. Yeo Jin unbuckled her belt.
“It wasn’t him who knew nothing. It was you!” Yeo Jin looked at him sharp. Her eyes never left his. “You know nothing about him.”
Yong Joon clicked his tongue out of annoyance after Yeo Jin was still choosing Hwang Si Mok over him. He avoids her eyes and looks out of the window on his side. Pretend to not hear anything.
“We worked together for almost five years now. I saw him on his lowest,”
Her mind reminds her of the old memories of seeing Si Mok laid on the hospital bed after the death of Young Eun Soo. He was unconscious and she learned about his real condition from that day. The real reason why he was acting so weird and most of the time, rude. She also remembered when he shouted at Young Eun Soo’s father, Young Il Jae, at the funeral because he was reaching his limit. The fact Hwang Si Mok also witnessed his own senior, Lee Chang Joon’s death was just inevitable. That is how low Si Mok has ever been.
“...and I saw him on his highest.”
The success of the investigation regarding the corruption within the Seoul Prosecution Service five years ago was really his miracle step that brought him to the path he is now. Then he succeeded again leading the team in the former Prime Minister’s corruption case. From the involvement in a special council fighting for the investigation rights with the police to finding the missing Seo Dong Jae, it finally brought him to the flower path. Being respected, having a good reputation without such connections. That is the highest he has ever been. In fact, he is currently at the peak of his career now.
“Whether he is in the lowest or the highest episode of his career, both have cost him greatly.” Without her realizing it, she got tears pooling inside of her eyes. The realization just hit her hard. Mostly the thing she remembered about Si Mok was somehow depressing.
“You said prosecutors never got into a dangerous situation. You were wrong. The first time I met him, we ran together catching the suspect and he was thrown into a glass window. The glass was broken into pieces and hit him just like a diamond rain, cutting his face and ear.”
Yeo Jin smiled silently remembering their first meeting. It was chaos. She really thought he was being extremely rude by telling her to turn off the alarm on her car during the traffic lights and steal the suspect from her when she was the one who got him arrested.
“Someone also came into his apartment, hung his rip clothes to warn him of the circumstances he will face in his investigation. Possibility to get killed. The thing was never reported by the media and only a few people knew about it.”
The first time she got into his house. She caught him still keeping her drawings. They were having a night teatime while having an intimate conversation about work.
“There’s a lot of police out there who were being threatened too. Don’t be dramatic just because you are talking about him.” For the first time, Yong Joon finally butted in. Totally annoyed by this sudden recitation of the nostalgic moments about Han Yeo Jin and Hwang Si Mok.
“His coworker, a prosecutor, died. Because the person who was sent to threaten him thought she saw his face when he left the apartment. She died. Because she was being misunderstood as a witness.”
The image of the young, energetic and beautiful prosecutor projected in her mind. How awful the situation was. Finally, her pooling tears broke down, streaming down her cheeks like a waterfall.
“They killed the witness. Just a possible witness. Do you think they cannot do more to him after he ruined them totally?”
She looked at Yong Joon who was stunned in his driver seat. Observing this version of her.
“They could possibly kill or even burn him alive to get rid of him. And the reason why you saw him today,” She stopped as she was gasping for oxygens as her nose started to be blocked.
“...because he was just being lucky.” Yong Joon dropped his eyes immediately as she finished. Losing his words after seeing her broke down like that. Pain pinched his heart so bad. He made her cry.
“You said we are the dog to the prosecutors. We do the job for them and they know nothing about our struggles. But I never saw that kind of prosecutor that you describe in him, never once.” She cleaned her face with the leftover tears using her palms. Grabbing her bag ready to jump out of the car anytime soon.
“He knows more than you thought. Because he already went through hell, only to become stronger. The version of him that you saw today, was the result of the struggles he went through in the past which you could never relate to. I was never treated as a dog by him. He stayed with me through easy and hard times.”
Yeo Jin opened the door and got out of the car. Before she slammed the door, she gave him the final bullet.
“I don’t know why you hate prosecutors so much. But if you think Hwang Si Mok is the kind of prosecutor you always hate, you are wrong. He is different.” Yeo Jin closed the door and walked away.
Speaking about Hwang Si Mok to someone else really helped her to determine how wasted they were now. Despite the moments they have shared, she stranded him just because of work matters. She perceives the truth that she was indeed missing him.
Her phone rang suddenly. She thought it might be just a call from Yong Joon so she took it lightly. Slowly took her phone out of her coat and looked at the screen. It was Hwang Si Mok. Her eyes got big and she immediately accepted the call.
“Yes, Prosecutor Hwang?” She muted as she was trying to listen to the information from him.
Han Yeo Jin and Hwang Si Mok were both looking at Song Min Joon with their extreme hesitancy and disbelief. Together with them in the room was Song Min Joon’s attorney that was sent by his father to keep him defended. Yeo Jin scoffed at the unbelievable situation and crossed both her hands under her chest.
“So you want to tell us that you didn’t take any drugs found at the location that night, but you were under the influence of anti depression medication?” She repeated and Min Joon bobbed his head once, acknowledging the information. The corner of his mouth lifted up, smirking at the two civil servants as he knew he would be freed soon.
Si Mok took a look at the medical file that was brought by the attorney. His eyes sharply read every sentence with complicated medical terms used in it. But as he got experience dealing with his own health condition with the expert, he easily understood every word used.
“You have depression?” He asked Min Joon just to see his reaction.
Min Joon smirked. “It was clearly written there, wasn’t it?”
Si Mok nodded slowly just to approve it. He closed the file and pushed it away. The attorney, attorney Kim Gi Hong looked at him anxiously as the prosecutor looked very determined to ask more. More than the file has provided him. He knew that Si Mok was not very convinced by the medical records as he predicted.
“You have depression in 2019. Your parents took you to the rehabilitation centre to get you treated. You were given a doctor prescription for using anti depression drugs including sleeping pills along with the time you spend there. Correct?”
“You were free to go at the end of 2020, last year. I assumed your condition was getting better and they approved your discharge from the rehab.” Si Mok’s eyes never left Min Joon’s face. He was eager to read any suspicion shown by the suspect through his body language.
“I no longer harm myself and they trusted me to heal from it. So they let me out.”
“But you are still taking the anti depression now. Is that what we call healing?”
Attorney Kim raises his back from the chair close to the table. “Stop mocking my client!” He said to the well known prosecutor. Clearly showing his nervousness by the way Si Mok was interrogating his client. Gi Hong instantly took the file and put it back in front of Si Mok. He turned the pages and stopped at the document that was signed by a medical practitioner. Gi Hong shoved it closer to Si Mok.
“See? His doctor approved the drugs to him as he was getting severe depression again. He suffered from a relapse.”
Si Mok looked at Yeo Jin who was still in her cautious mode, looking at those documents with distrust. Si Mok felt the same. He knew something was wrong and the holes could be anywhere. He needs to find it. But if they couldn’t have him charged for the narcotics crime today, they still can investigate it later.
“But it doesn’t mean he didn’t take any illegal substance that was found that night, right? He might take the anti depression and still take the drugs.” Yeo Jin glances at Min Joon. The younger adult laughed at her.
Min Joon gets closer to the table, looking at the senior inspector confidently. “Check my blood. See if you could get the same drugs that you found at the location.”
“No.” Si Mok interrupted. “We wanted your hair. It can give us accurate results about your long-term drug use. We will have your sample to be compared to the DNA from the syringes that we found at the location as well.” He said while looking at Min Joon’s dyed brownish hair. His eyes narrowed looking at it, getting closer as he was trying to determine the real colour of Min Joon’s hair as the room was dim. As he got up a bit from his chair closer to Min Joon, Attorney Kim instantly pushed his shoulder making the prosecutor back to his chair.
“Why would you need hair? Blood is not enough? What do you want next? His blood veins?” Attorney Kim Gi Hong watches Han Yeo Jin and Hwang Si Mok in turn impatiently. He thought the session would be shorter as he already brought everything that was solid enough to prove Min Joon’s innocence. His impatience growing as Si Mok wouldn’t let them go easily.
Si Mok's eyes blinked a few times at his words. Innocently replied. “If that is possible, yes we would love to have his blood veins also.” Yeo Jin couldn’t resist the sudden innocent savageness shown by Si Mok and quietly pressed her lip thin, withholding her laugh. Her eyes wandered looking at the ceiling instead.
“You thought that was funny?! HUH?!” Attorney Kim Gi Hong raised from the chair, his eyes bulging and looking at Si Mok who didn't even budge from his seat. “Don’t think that you are that powerful to request so many things from us. Let’s do the test and see if you can find anything!” Gi Hong took his briefcase, ready to storm out and take the file as well. But Si Mok’s hand got a grip on it.
“I will keep this.”
“What are you-”
“Until he is proven to not take any drugs aside from his anti depression that night, I will withhold this. For further investigation.”
Gi Hong becomes more anxious as Si Mok pulls the file and pretends to be interested in it. Especially with the fact he will do a further investigation of it. “What else do you want to know?”
“Why are you so concerned about letting go of the file? If all the records in here were authentic and acknowledged by the medical institutions, I don’t think you will have anything to be afraid of.” Yeo Jin took a sip of water from the glass. Looking back at the attorney. “Unless there is something you want to hide.”
Gi Hong looked at Min Joon who was glaring at him, warning him not to be suspicious. He finally let go of heavy sighed. Completely not feeling alright about this. Especially with the file in Si Mok’s hands. He knew every holes in the information and if Si Mok gets to find any of it, his client could never get out of this.
“Fine. But I warn you not to make any copy of it. If I know-”
“It's the privacy of your client and we know that basic knowledge of secrecy. Don’t worry, you will get the exact file later on.” Si Mok assured him and got up from his chair, ready to usher the attorney out and totally ended the interrogation session.
“We will see you again after the result is out.” He said to Min Joon and walked out of the room with Yeo Jin. Lower ranking police officer came in to bring Min Joon into the cell. As they were walking down to the corridor near the elevator, they saw the attorney was talking to his phone, with someone in the line. Probably with Senior Superintendent General, Song Ji Suk. They stopped and stood there, watching.
“He was so stubborn, sir. I showed him all the documents but he wasn’t convinced at all.”
Yeo Jin narrowed her eyes on him. “I think he is talking about you.” Si Mok nodded.
“Yes sir. I will make sure of that. Okay.” Attorney Kim turned around and saw the two civil servants were openly listening and watching him. They looked very calm and didn't have any intention to even pretend as if they were not listening to him. Their suspicious eyes on him.
“What are you looking at?!” He shouted and vanished from the corridor. Deciding to take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Yeo Jin smirked.
“There must be something, right?” She said while looking at the same spot where Gi Hong was standing just now before turning to her right side, only to find Si Mok was looking at her. “What?”
“I think we need to talk.”
“Yeah, we...we should.” She stuttered.
“Do you have time tonight? Let’s have another dinner.”
Yeo Jin smiled and nodded. “But first, I need to inform the narcotics team about the test on Min Joon. They will have him tested later.”
“Alright. I will go to Captain Choi for my case.”
“Ah right. I forgot why you were here in the first place.” She laughs, totally forgetting he got another case in hand. Si Mok only pressed his lip thin and signalled his hand to go.
“Okay, see you later!” She said and ran away to the office of the narcotics team department that was located on the same floor.
Si Mok watched the CCTV recording that was being played on Jang Geon’s laptop in determination. It was the last track they got about Ji Sang Yeob as he was never caught to be in any CCTV recordings around the place he was found dead the next morning. This is the last time Ji Sang Yeob was seen alive.
“It was about quarter past ten when he visited the convenience store. After that, no track was found.”
Si Mok took Jang Geon’s words and looked at the time scale at the lower left corner of the video. He got to the store around 10:10 p.m. and went out after 3 minutes, 10:14 p.m. Si Mok looked at the scene when Sang Yeob walked out from the store with a plastic bag in his hand. He zoomed in.
“That was a lot of beer.” Jang Geon said as he also spotted a bunch of beer cans from the brand he was familiar with. Easy to recognize even from such a blurry video as the colour and design of the can is quite obvious.
Si Mok observed the way Sang Yeob dressed in the video. He was wearing a black shorts with white shirt. Looking comfortable in such a way of dress on a spring night. Springs in Korea are not so hot nor so cold. It's a nice season that allows people to dress in thin clothing without feeling too cold.
“He was buying beers, in the middle of night, wearing a comfortable outfit.” Hwang Si Mok concluded.
“Yes.” Jang Geon looked at him in curiosity, assuming the prosecutor got any idea. He detected Si Mok’s eyes narrowing at the laptop. He instantly understood that sight from Si Mok. Remembering Yeo Jin’s sayings about this kind of look. “You got something on mind don’t you?” He predicted, Si Mok blinks.
“How do you know?”
Jang Geon laughing victoriously. It was true indeed. Yeo Jin must know this prosecutor so well to know what he has in mind just from his sights. “Senior Inspector Han told me about your eyes. If you narrowed your eyes like that, that means you are assuming something. It was true then.” He continued laughing. Totally happy when he was finally able to see through this stoic man.
Without Si Mok realizing, he was pouting at the fact Jang Geon was laughing at him. The detective pointed at him.
“Oh! Now you pouted. You are feeling annoyed, right?!” Jang Geon was thrilled and he laughed even louder when the prosecutor pushed his finger away and looked away. He must be right again.
“What are you so happy about? Why are you laughing that loud? I could hear you from the outside.” Captain Choi Yoon Soo and Detective Lee Soon Chang finally arrived at the office after they went out to investigate another case. They were stunned by Jang Geon’s weirdness in happy mode especially when he got Prosecutor Hwang beside him. What did the stoic man even do that made him so happy like this?
Jang Geon stopped laughing and looked at Yoon Soo and Soon Chang in thrilled. “We are not wrong about them. They are really soulmates made from heaven.” He said and made the other two officers smile a bit. Trying not to make it too obvious that they are shipping the prosecutor with their beloved former coworker.
“Soulmates? Who?” Si Mok asked innocently. Yoon Soo really wanted to laugh at his pureness despite his serious image when handling cases but he shoved it away. Back to his serious mode, sitting beside Jang Geon in front of the laptop.
“Nothing, Prosecutor Hwang. So, what do you think about this?” He pointed to the laptop. It was hard for them to track this guy until they found the last footage of him at the convenience store. No footage was found with him in it after 10:14 p.m. as shown in the current footage.
Back to his working mode, Si Mok also pointed at the laptop. “He was wearing a comfortable outfit, buying beers, at night.” He repeated the information in different order. This time focusing on the vital category first.
“He must be living somewhere if he wears something comfortable like this. But his parents’ house is in Wonju and he lives there during the military vacation. His relatives also all live in Wonju. By all that means, he got no accommodation in Seoul. But seeing him buying those beers at night, he must have somewhere to stay to drink those beers unbothered. You should realize that from those beers or question where he has been drinking them.”
“Ahaa….” The policemen were all knocked into the sudden realization they never thought of having. It's really humiliating for them as they never questioned where Sang Yeob drank all those beers when they first found the footage.
“Have you checked the motel or sauna places near where he was found dead?” Si Mok asked at the same time when his phone ringing for receiving new message. He took it out from his coat but never left his eyes on those policemen. Expertly opening the message without even looking at his phone.
“Not..not yet.” Jang Geon stuttered. Now is afraid if the prosecutor will blow up.
“Hmmm…” Si Mok really wanted to say ‘you should know to do that’ to the team but pressed his lip shut. His eyes wandered at Jang Geon, Captain Choi and Soon Chang, thinking hard whether to say it or not, knowing that it might be inappropriate because they also must have been working so hard for this case. But never thought of the possibility of hurting them. He only considers the basic manner but no emotion being considered in this matter. He just silent and nodded.
“Can you check it later?” He finally asked and automatically made the team able to breathe again. Jang Geon nodded excessively, totally thankful that the prosecutor was just acting cold as usual and professionally giving them the order. As the team was feeling guilty about it, they quickly moved and were ready to go out again. Afterall, this is their case to investigate the death. Si Mok was only involved just to know the possibility of murder or at least the owner of the foreign DNA.
Si Mok went back to his phone and looked at the message from Yeo Jin.
‘I am already downstairs. Got no car as Senior Inspector Kim was the one who brought me here this morning.’
Instantly understood her meaning by saying that, he got up and bowed to the team as he excused himself.
Here it is! Get ready for some cringe-worthy moments!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Yeo Jin happily took the first bite of her udon at the same stall where they had their dinner a few days ago. The hot broth was really amazing and full of taste that made her sound satisfied. “Wow… this is it! This is the real food!” She said loudly, enough to be heard by the owner. From their seat, Si Mok could see the owner was smiling widely watching Yeo Jin.
“She could hear you.”
“I said that to be heard by her afterall.” She continued to drink the broth directly from the bowl in her hand. Yeo Jin then caught him watching her in confusion.
“Sometimes, you need compliments to make you feel better. Somehow, you don’t feel tired but happy for being appreciated by people. People appraise you for your good work.”
“I don’t think I would feel anything when people compliment me.” Si Mok said casually. Still couldn’t really understand it. Yeo Jin rolled her eyes.
“You look handsome today.”
Si Mok lost his words for the sudden compliment. Yeo Jin smiled as she saw his reaction.
“You look so perfect today.”
Si Mok blinked twice and tilted his head. Trying to understand the situation. “What are you doing?”
“When you were talking with us this morning after the first session of the interrogation, when you asked Senior Inspector Kim to be professional, you looked so cool. Like Gong Yoo in the Goblin drama. So cool!” Yeo Jin impersonated the Goblin drama’s character Ji Eun Tak’s voice when she was saying her last words. Acting cute suddenly.
Slowly but surely, the corner of his mouth tilted upward, forming a tiny smile. Yeo Jin was thrilled just like Jang Geon at the police station. “See?! You are smiling! That’s what the compliments did to you. It's like energizing yourself.”
“How do you feel?” She asked, really wanting to know how the man she cherished the most after her own father thought about the compliments she gave. Her eyes were glittering.
Si Mok looked at her in silence for a while. Thinking hard on how to express what he is feeling right now. He wasn’t sure if he was happy. Was he? But it feels indeed weird especially when Yeo Jin was the one who told him those compliments.
“I am feeling eased. I think?” He replied shortly. Yeo Jin grinning even wider. Taking her glass of water to the air in victory. “Told you.” She sipped the water slowly. “Compliments will work better on hard days.”
Si Mok took a note on that. “Do you want to drink some soju?” Si Mok asked and Yeo Jin shook her head instantly.
“We need to talk, remember? And I want to be sober enough to have a talk with you.”
“Where do you want to talk? Here?”
“Ummmmm…..” Yeo Jin looked at Si Mok who was eating his ramyun and wandered her eyes around. She then thought for a while about something she wanted to tell Si Mok that might not be appropriate to be talked about in public. It’s about the case. She got something to tell Si Mok about the hit and run case.
“How about at my rooftop?” She suggested. Then suddenly reminded about Si Mok asking her whether she is okay bringing man to her house. Yeo Jin pressed her lip, worried if the prosecutor took her in the wrong way.
Si Mok was quiet for a while. Considering.
“Or we can go back to the police station. We can talk in one of the meeting rooms.”
“It's not appropriate to talk about something personal in the workplace.”
“Is it personal?” Yeo Jin was stunned. “I thought you wanted to talk about the argument at the pub?”
Si Mok furrowed his eyebrows in uncertainty. “Yes, but wasn’t that a personal matter?”
This time, Yeo Jin was the one who looked confused. “I don’t know but we argued about things related to the prosecution and police which I take as maybe work matters?” She replied while being disorientated.
“Well, I thought it was personal because you might be taking it personal.”
Yeo Jin scoffed in disbelief and pointed at herself. “Me?!”
“You cried during the argument. I apologize for that.”
Yeo Jin paused from getting another sip of the udon’s broth. Completely went into the night when she cried in front of Si Mok. She huffed in embarrassment. “What apologies? No, maybe I was losing my mind there. Maybe because of my age. It wasn't you.”
“What’s wrong with your age?”
Yeo Jin glances sharply at him. “You can feel over-sensitive as you get older. How old are you by the way? I never know your age.”
“I don’t know yours either.” He blinked again. “How old are you by the way?” He was repeating the same sentence Yeo Jin asked him earlier.
“I asked you first!” Yeo Jin looked at him madly. Almost thought if Si Mok was trying to dig on her first before revealing his. Secretly amused as he never runs a background check on her.
“I am 41 now.” Si Mok said, totally being honest. Yeo Jin blinked at him in turn, looked at him in disbelief. “You?” Si Mok still won’t let it go. Give and take. It’s his turn to be a receiver now. He looked at her, totally interested to know.
“You know what? We are at the same age. I am 41 too!” She said excitedly as she found her same age chingu. Only after five years knowing him. She was so thrilled almost got up from the chair. “I was born in March. You?”
“Wow! That is Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok isn’t it?!” Said someone who was coming into the tent. Starting to take pictures of him without his permission despite knowing he is a prosecutor. Si Mok uncomfortably sits on his seat while Yeo Jin is ready to protect.
“I am sorry but you cannot take picture of other person without-”
“Wow! That is the policewoman in tv! Inspector Han Yeo Jin!” Another passerby who somehow saw the situation also butted in and took a picture also. This time, it was Yeo Jin who was being attacked by the flashes. She was stunned and was looking for Si Mok, asking for back up but he wasn’t at his seat anymore. Vanished. She nervously wanders her eyes around to find him paying for their food to the owner.
“Let’s go.” Si Mok took her hand and brought her outside of the tent using the opposite exit which was nearest to his car that was parked nearby. Quickly got into the car, they vanished to her rooftop apartment.
“We are here!” Han Yeo Jin raised both of her hands in the air as they arrived on her rooftop apartment. She was eager to show off her new look apartment that was decorated with many green plants by her.
Si Mok looked around the wide balcony and compared it with the last time he was there. When he was there last year, there weren't any plants there compared to this. The rooftop has become a mini garden that was somehow making him feel at ease. He walked towards one of the plants in the claypot vase.
“You planted a lot.” He said, unknowingly took his phone out and took a picture of the plant. Suddenly feeling amused by its beautiful look. Yeo Jin only grinned watching him acting like a normal person when meeting pretty things.
Yeo Jin took off her trench coat and left with black slacks and blue shirts that she wore inside. Ready to go inside her apartment to get some snacks for her guest. “I planted more as I am getting older. I need oxygen for my skin to avoid wrinkles.” She said and got into her apartment, leaving the door opened.
Si Mok walked towards the open door, didn’t realize it was not very appropriate to peek in someone else’s house. The first thing he saw was the living room. It was pretty big compared to her old unit. There was a couch and smart tv in there. Totally cozy and relaxing with the soft blue wallpaper. Yeo Jin came into the frame from the kitchen on the left of the living room.
“Do you want some alcohol or just a sparkling?” She asked.
“I need to drive home later.”
Yeo Jin made that ‘aha’ expression realizing the truth of his words. Vanished again into the kitchen but shouted back at him at the door. “Do you want to talk inside or outside? Just come in if you prefer to talk inside. Just close the door.”
Si Mok who was listening was left in the position of making a decision. He looked at the environment outside and turned to the inside view. Both were intimidating but the brazen wind that night made him choose the indoor. He quietly took his shoes off and got in. He met her eyes as he made it to the living room.
“Aha, you already made up your mind. Come and sit.” She put the snacks on the cute wooden table with two cans of soda drinks. She sat on the couch and Si Mok followed later, crashing beside her. Yeo Jin was stunned by the close view of Si Mok she saw at that time. Not to mention the smell of his cologne. He was stunning.
“Why were you looking at me like that?”
Yeo Jin cleared her throat and took one of the soda and picked the lid, desperately sip the soda. As she finished, she said, “You go first. Say what you want to talk about.”
Didn’t bothered by Yeo Jin's excessive action, Si Mok calmly jumped into the talk he wanted to have. “I am sorry if you were offended by my words at the pub. I wasn’t meant to offend you, and made you cry. I apologize.”
“You already apologized at the stall and I already said that it wasn’t your fault.”
Yeo Jin rolled her eyes lazily. “Fine! Whatever. Apology accepted.” She concluded while showing a hand sign of totally done with the topic.
“I just wanted you to know that I never downgrade the police. But at some point, there is always the limit you couldn’t tolerate alone and needed a prosecutor to back you up. I just want everything to be easier for you rather than working alone.” He explained.
“I am not alone. I have my team.”
Si Mok scratched his nose. “I mean...you and your police team are facing it alone. Without the prosecutor. Like-”
“Okay okay! I understood. Gosh! We were just about to argue about the same thing.” She laughed at him. “Next?”
“Next is you. I'm already finished.” Si Mok said calmly. Silently watching Yeo Jin for her turn to talk.
“Okay. First, on behalf of my partner, Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon whom you met this morning, I apologize for his immature and not professional behaviour. I hope you didn’t get offended by him.”
“Understood. Next.” He was completely unconcerned about the policeman and clearly didn’t like to bring up that man into the conversation. Yeo Jin who realized his sudden sternness was thrown into guilt.
“You're mad, aren’t you?”
“No.” He denied as usual if he was asked the same question. Yeo Jin as usual took a chance to poke around. She smacked his unprotected back hard. But stunned as her hands met his hard, tough and solid back. It got her left palm hurt a bit after the smack.
“Uwa...you are stronger now.” Her eyes widened in disbelief but amused. “Did you go to the gym?”
Even though he already heard the same question from Jang Geon, he was still answering that question for Yeo Jin. “I played skuasy sometimes.” His face was a bit bitter from the pain on his back, but not as painful as the first time he got smacked by Yeo Jin at the riverside of Han River.
“Wow… you play sports now.” Yeo Jin still looked at him in amusement. Silently adding another point for Si Mok for being her ideal man. The point of getting stronger.
Si Mok only nodded and pressed a thin smile. “Next?”
Yeo Jin was actually amazed by his sudden tiny smile. He smiles a lot these days. But decided to let it go. “Next is about the case.” Hearing the word of the case, his smile dropped instantly, back to his serious mode of Prosecutor Hwang.
“The hit and run case. About Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk, Song Min Joon’s dad.”
“Ah yes, what about it?”
“I told my Superintendent General, Lee Moo Sang who ordered me to take this case, that you don’t know about this case.”
Si Mok only listens obediently. Not even trying to interrupt.
“Remember this morning when my partner was asking you to request a warrant in a rush?”
Si Mok nodded, narrowing his eyes on Yeo Jin suspiciously.
“It's because we needed Min Joon to get arrested and charged immediately so we can interrogate him about the hit and run case, without getting any interruption from his dad. Superintendent General Lee has suspended the whole investigation to avoid any suspicion raises which might cost us losing the case. It is under suspension until we at least put him into jail.”
The prosecutor didn’t say anything as if he was still processing the new input. Finally he spoke, “But if bringing Min Joon to the jail was that important, why aren’t you supporting your partner for the warrant? Why did you stop him?”
“Because I don’t want you to be suspicious about it and accidentally brought the case up in front of Yong Joon. No one in my team knows that you know. So if we were both rushing, pushing you for the warrant, obviously you would be curious and I knew you might ask about the case as well and Yong Joon will learn that you were actually informed about it. He might report me to Superintendent General Lee.”
Si Mok finally got the idea. Realizing him that her future is now depends on his own words. He could easily break her apart if he missed one step. He took the can of soda and picked the lid without even looking at it. His eyes wander around instead.
Silently watching Si Mok’s natural behaviour as he opened the can, Yeo Jin adored how this man could be so charming just by doing such things. Suddenly reminded her of him recreate the murder scene of Park Moo Sung case four years ago. Took off his coat and suit before wearing it back like a boss, gosh that was the first time she was amused by a man. No man ever got her stunned like he does.
“Senior Inspector Han, are you listening?”
Si Mok watched her with his very calm eyes. Somehow her look in that messy bun has affected him a bit. He thinks that she just looks so pretty even in that way. Naturally being pretty without putting too much effort on it. “Are you sleepy?”
“Huh? No-no. What were you talking about? I wasn’t followed.”
“Do you want me to get involved or not?”
“I told you they do not know that you know.”
“Not that,” He drank the soda before going back to her. “When you finally get this case prosecuted, when your team has finally retrieved the solid evidence to bring the suspect to the open investigation with the prosecution, when it is authorized by your superintendent general to get a prosecutor in the case, do you want me to be involved or not?”
Yeo Jin looked right into his eyes. They were both deeply in silence.
“Do you want to get involved?” She asked at last.
A wide smile appeared on his face. Lighting up the dim space between them.
“You can just summon me anytime, Han Yeo Jin.”
Yeo Jin was stunned again as he called her informally.
Si Mok went back to his apartment that night after another long day. He took off his trench coat and slowly walked towards his room. Never bothered to turn on the lights at the living room and straight to the bathroom inside the room instead.
He took off his suit, unbuttoned both sides of his shirt’s cuff and slowly took off the shirt wholly. Leaving him in a sleeveless shirt. He got all of his clothes that he wore today off of his body and walked into the shower. Letting his body get wet by the steamed water. Totally refreshed his body into a better condition.
As he was done, he got out from the bathroom only with the towel tied around his waist, completely revealing his toned abs, wide shoulders and still red back from Yeo Jin’s smack. Opening the other door that was connecting the room with the closet room. He turned on the lights, wondering if he got any shirts left there as he didn’t bring any clothes to Seoul.
There were only Nike long black sports shorts around his knee level with a white sleeveless tank. He just remembered he got it as one set from the store as his training clothes. But he might have forgotten about it and left it there while he was working in Wonju. Luckily his previous tenant didn’t throw it away or took it. Si Mok finally took it and wore it for tonight.
As he got into the room back, he took the laundry basket and snatched all his clothes from the bathroom earlier. As he didn't have any clothes to wear tomorrow, he had to do the laundry. Expertly, he threw all his clothes into the washing machine and pressed the button for the washing function. The water started to flow into it, getting all the clothes he got wet. Satisfied with it, he left to the living room, finally turning on the lights.
Si Mok took his backpack and took out the medical file belongs to Song Min Joon. He read carefully about all the prescriptions shown in the file including the small details. His eyes were still sharp even though it was already almost eleven at night.
He read the cause of the depression. It was because of his leg injury that forced him to quit from his professional ice hockey. His knee was badly injured after a collision with his own teammate during the training.
Song Min Joon was a university student that was given a scholarship due to his athletic talent in ice hockey. He got into Seoul University and was ready to play for the national team for the Ice Hockey World Championship that will help him secure his scholarship for the rest of the future semester. He will also get a chance to join the professional league if he really performs in the championship.
As his knee was getting bad, he was forced to leave the team. He then left the university wholly, sent to the rehabilitation centre for further treatment for his mental condition. Becoming what he is today. He was broken.
“Choeun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre.” He took his notebook out of his backpack and turned it on. As he was waiting for it to be completely ready to use, he looked at the file again. Flipping the documents.
All the prescriptions were signed and approved by the medical practitioner from Cheoun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre. Yeo Jin already informed him about the authenticity of the documents after the narcotics team helped them contact the centre while they were in the interrogation room with Min Joon and attorney Kim Gi Hong. It was proven to be authentic and his records as one of the patients there was also confirmed. Nothing is suspicious about it. Totally clean. But the cleanliness of the documents made Si Mok even more curious. There is no in hell there was no hole at all. There must be even one.
Si Mok opened the search engine and typed in the name of the Cheoun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre into the search column. Quickly turn into the map option to find the location. Si Mok eyes narrowed at the small red dot on the location of the centre and touched the touchable screen, zooming in. It was in the area of Suam-dong, Namgu in the province of Ulsan. It was a long way from Seoul to get there. No wonder the team only made a phone call to the centre.
As he wanted to go deeper, his phone rang loudly from the bedroom as he left it there before going to bathe. He got up and took the phone on the bed only to find Yeo Jin’s name flashed on it.
“Yes, Senior Inspector Han.” He was back calling her formally. He called her informally before because they were the same age so he thought she might be okay to bring down the formality a bit. It turned out great as she smiled.
“Ah yes-” She answered awkwardly to that formality. “Where are you now?”
“I am at home. Why is that?”
“So, the narcotics team asked the forensic team to process the sample from Min Joon as fast as possible after the interrogation. The result is out now.”
Si Mok formed a knuckle on his left hand out of tense. “Is it positive?”
He could hear Yeo Jin sighed heavily. “I think you should come here and see it by yourself.”
He tightened his grip on the phone as he could predict what was happening from Yeo Jin’s voice. “I will be there in 20 minutes.” He said, calling off the call and immediately went to grab better clothes to go there. But only then he realized that all his formal clothes or at least the casual ones were already in the washing machine. Wet.
He sighed frustrated and looked at the mirror, just to consider his appearance again at that time. He looks really as if he just went for a run. The clothes in the machine have no chance to dry anytime soon and he doesn't want to keep the team waiting. Totally made his mind, he grabbed his wallet, phone and the car key, out of the bedroom.
He took out his old white Nike force sneakers from the dusty cupboard and left the apartment unit.
Get ready for some sporty looks from Mr Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok next week ;)
Yep, I am late again. Gosh, my pack schedule this week was really tough. Thank you for waiting and check on this story regularly. I appreciated it. So here it is! The sporty look of Hwang Si Mok!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The paper on the table was frustrating the whole narcotics team and Han Yeo Jin that were all grouping there for further discussion. Yeo Jin's hair was messy because she kept touching her head in frustration. This is not what they wanted.
Captain Choi Yoon Soo, Detective Jang Geon and Detective Lee Soon Chang from the Violence Crime team were also there after hearing the result from the upstairs office. They were still there after looking around for Ji Sang Yeob's possible accommodation.
Dae Seong from the narcotics team could only rub his face with his palm. "I asked the forensics if there could be any mistake, or maybe if the sample was contaminated, but they said no. The result is final."
"So you guys got to let the punk go?" Jang Geon asked, just to be answered with a weak nod from Dae Seong. "Aigoo.."
Yeo Jin looked again at the paper and read all the details there. No drugs as what they found at the location was found inside Min Joon's body. They could not charge him for taking the illegal drugs at the time he was arrested. They would need to eventually recognize his positive test came from his anti depression medicines.
The other paper was the DNA test from the syringes used. They tested samples from Min Joon to be compared with the DNA on the syringes and none was matched. Totally proving he didn't use the syringes at all. Automatically proven to be clean from the drugs available in the location.
This is it. The whole plan to get him arrested for drugs to let the hit and run investigation run smoothly has just ruined. She is losing hope. In the end, the one with power and connection will always win no matter how hard they try.
"You will let him go? Tomorrow morning?" Captain Choi interrupted. Yeo Jin opened her eyes and suffered.
"I don't know. Let's wait for Prosecutor Hwang to decide after he sees the result." Yes, he is the only hope. If he decides to hold because he knows something is still wrong, the investigation will go on and there is no way for Min Joon to run anymore. But if opposites...
"Wait, you called him?" Dae Seong butted in. They all looked at him as if they wanted to say 'what is so weird to call him' to Dae Seong. Looking at their expression, he knew right away they didn't understand his sudden reaction.
"Does the prosecutor even want to come? It's already night nearly twelve now, I doubt he will come. It's not the first time we worked with prosecutors and they always dumped us if something has gone wrong."
The other detective from narcotics nodded. "Yes, they always put the responsibility on us if something like this happened. Let us do the report all alone." He supported Dae Seong.
"He is different." Jang Geon defended him.
Captain Choi breathes heavily. "He will come. He promised to Yeo Jin." They all glanced at Yeo Jin and she glanced back.
"What? He will still keep his promise even with Soon Chang." She defended herself and got a playful smirk from the homicide triplets. She scoffed in disbelief.
"Wait, are you two in a relationship or what?" Dae Seong cut in as he observed the homicide reaction to Yeo Jin. Looking at her with stunned silence as if he couldn't believe in such a police-prosecutor kind of romance as the two organizations have always been fighting each other.
Yeo Jin was about to deny it but Soon Chang's shocked voice interrupted first. He looked at the entrance into the department and made all of them who were all sitting backing the entrance turned around. Just like Soon Chang, they were all shocked by the appearance of the devil in the speech.
"Prosecutor Hwang..." Jang Geon looked at him from head to toe just like the others. Shocked by this version of sporty Hwang Si Mok.
"I thought you were home." Yeo Jin asked while observing the new image of Si Mok. He looked younger in the sporty shorts and sleeveless tank top with stylish white sneakers. His current outfit lets her see the hidden part of Si Mok's body. His biceps, his broad shoulder, everything is well built. Her police coworkers were also triggered by the body build. Suddenly she hated the professional clothing he always wore.
"I was. But I got nothing to wear as all my clothes were all in the washing machine. This is the only thing I've got. I apologize for the inappropriateness." He said with his usual cold expression. The police immediately waved their hand to show their unbotherness. To have him here is all enough.
"You didn't bring enough clothes to Seoul?" Yeo Jin asked. Si Mok just pressed his lip thin and nodded.
"But you still came here?" Dae Seong butted in, impressed. Jang Geon proudly smiled at him.
"It's urgent afterall." Si Mok said, turned to Yeo Jin again.
"I heard the result is out. Is he clean?" He walked towards the table and stood beside Yeo Jin. Took the papers instantly.
"We did the test using the sample from his hair, he is clean. The only drugs he took were just the anti depression medicines. The forensics confirmed it." Yeo Jin answered, totally looking disappointed.
Si Mok is quiet. Putting the papers back on the table to see it from a different view. His eyes wandered from the drug test to the DNA test results back and forth. Putting his both hands on the table for support as he was thinking hard. There was a thin line appearing on his clean forehead. Both eyebrows were pulled together.
Everyone was so quiet as they were waiting for the next order. Looking at him in silent amusement, still cannot let go of his shocking attire that night. As his hands were holding on the table, they could see his strong biceps reflexing on the pressure he put against the table. It makes sense now how he could slam Min Joon's athletic body to the floor as shown in the viral video.
"Has anyone else been informed about this?" He looked at Dae Seong directly.
"No sir. Only us."
Si Mok nodded. Still considering to give the approval of letting Min Joon go. He tapped his finger slowly on the glass surface of the table. Thinking seriously and no one there was brave enough to interrupt.
Remembering the medical file that he left at home, he still cannot let go of Min Joon's extremely clean records. It was just too perfect as if it was fabricated carefully. No records of bad attitude during his time in rehab at all. Not even a simple violence or fights. It's totally suspicious to be compared with his real attitude as Si Mok saw in the interrogation room.
There is still a lot to investigate but they cannot put Min Joon on hold just because they have suspicion on him when the results have shown his innocence. It was forbidden to keep innocent suspects on hold. Now, Si Mok understood why Min Joon was so confident to get himself tested for the drug and DNA test. Because he knew he wouldn't fucked up.
Si Mok closed his eyes in frustration. Yeo Jin, who saw that, is already worried if the prosecutor is getting the headache attack. She was ready to grab him anytime soon. "Are you okay?"
Si Mok opened his eyes again and didn't answer her. He let go of the table and stood properly. "The results are final. Please let him go tomorrow morning." He decided. Yeo Jin was frustrated.
"Well, that's it?!" She nearly shouted at him, stressed about losing Min Joon after all the struggles she went through.
Everyone is ready for any possibility of argument and stands by to grab Yeo Jin if anything happens. But Si Mok as usual just showed his unaffected face, totally unbothered by this side of Han Yeo Jin. "We cannot keep him on hold as he is proven to be innocent. You knew the rule."
Yeo Jin rubbed her hair again for God knows how many times, totally discouraged by Si Mok's decision. "But you know there is still something wrong!"
Si Mok smacked his lip with his tongue as it got dried. He was totally unready with her sudden rage. Carefully, he held her both side arms gently and looked her straight into the eyes. "I don't have the proof yet. We cannot put him on hold like this."
Yeo Jin sighed heavily with her already red face caused by the rage. She looked at him again as she felt her body was shaken by him.
"We will find the truth and get him arrested later." He assured her.
Finally calmed, Yeo Jin nodded unwillingly.
"How much longer do you want to keep him in Seoul?"
Heo Sang Chun gulped nervously. Currently sitting in front of him is the Chairman of Hanjo, Lee Yeon Jae who called him over to her huge mansion. He silently watches the elite woman sipping her coffee using the elegant cup. "Don't worry Chairman Lee. I will send him back tomorrow."
Chairman Lee Yeon Jae looked at him in doubt as she put back the cup on the table. "Really?"
"Yes, Chairman Lee."
"Why don't you do that sooner? Why tomorrow? Do you want to play around with me, Chief Heo?"
"No ma'am! I would never dare to play with you. You know how loyal I am." Sang Chun instantly acts like a loyal dog. The character that is only available in front of Yeon Jae.
Yeon Jae laid her back on the soft backrest of the couch. "Really?"
This time, Sang Chun was so determined and got him to his knees. Kneeling to the female chairman. "I will not disappoint you again. I promise you that, Chairman Lee."
A cute voice interrupted them and Yeon Jae immediately got up from the couch, ignoring Sang Chun completely. She picked up a toddler in a cute blue outfit and brought it close to her. She walked back to the couch while being watched by Sang Chun.
"Omo, our cutie Na Dan is awake. Where is your mom?" She asked in a calmer intonation than the one she used when talking with Sang Chun. The toddler around one year old only giggled at her as he couldn't talk yet. Only communicate with the limited verbal language.
Yeon Jae chuckled as the toddler, her beloved grandson grabbing her hand strongly. "I will bring you back to bed. Okay Na Dan?" She said in totally motherly mode. The toddler chuckled and made her laugh in delight.
"Make sure you walk the talk." She said before leaving the living room with her grandson. "If I heard my name mentioned even once, I will end you."
Song Min Joon is officially freed from the accusation and given the approval to leave the cell. Yeo Jin could only look at the man in the hidden rage. Thinking of all their plans is now ruined. Following him was his father, Senior Superintendent General, Song Ji Suk. That was the first time ever he made a visit to the police station as his son was officially freed. The high ranking officer walked towards her.
"Are you happy now? Embarrassed me to death to the public?" He said to her, Yeo Jin only listens to it in calm.
"I have no choice but to arrest him that night sir. Whoever saw him in such a situation would have him arrested sir. I only do my job as a police officer." She talked back unaffected.
Seeing her talking back like that to him as if he was nothing but the ordinary parent, Song Ji Suk was feeling humiliated. There were other officers too, almost everyone from the police station were there, to send him off. He felt the kind of disrespect from her who is totally in lower ranking.
"Just wait for your termination letter! Don't think about coming back to work!" He said loudly showing off his veto power in front of the other police officers. Yeo Jin was shocked by it but only scoffed in total disbelief.
"She just does her job, sir." A voice butted in from his back, revealing Si Mok in his usual formal outfit, just arrived at the police station to continue his investigation about the drugs and Ji Sang Yeob's case. He bowed a little just to spare some respect for someone older. Ji Suk watched him madly as he recognized him immediately.
"You! You were the one who attacked my son!" He said and looked instantly at his attorney, Kim Gi Hong. "I will file a suit for you!"
Everyone there was already widening their eyes watching the scene. All of them knew who was right and who was likely to be wrong. Si Mok tilted his head a bit showing he was irritated by the accused.
"Did you watch the video or not?"
"What video? The video you slammed my son?! Of course I did! You will get punished soon! Just wait!"
"Your son was about to attack your fellow subordinate," He pointed politely at Yeo Jin. "It was clear that Senior Inspector Han was about to get attacked by him," He straightly used his index finger pointing at Song Min Joon who was already in the car with the door open, watching the scene.
"Your son is two times bigger than her. Use your logic, even though she is a police officer, can she fight your son alone with her smaller figure?" His voice was getting higher, but he didn't shout, only tensed. Enough to make everyone there shivered.
"But she got the gun!"
"So you prefer her to use her gun instead than having me slamming your son? Do you have a brain or not?!" This time, totally all out, he shouted back at him. Letting his hidden rage unleashed. As he has the weakness in expressing his emotion, it would be worse if he was really letting it out as it's the bundled emotion, letting out everything at once. That is how stressful he is right now to let Min Joon go unpunished. Watching him attacking Yeo Jin made it even worse.
Nobody could even dare to move even an inch knowing the usual cold and calm prosecutor is now in his baddest mood. Yeo Jin already saw this kind of attitude during the interrogation with the suspect of Seo Dong Jae's kidnapping case last year, so it doesn't seem very shocking to her. Just amused to see him shouting at their high ranking officer undoubtedly.
"If it's not for me who slammed him, Senior Inspector Han wouldn't have any choice but to shoot your son as a defensive action." He said again, this time opening his backpack and taking out a file. It was the medical file of Song Min Joon that he brought home yesterday. He passed it to the attorney. Gi Hong took it in despair while glancing sharply at him for shouting at his client.
"Terminating Senior Inspector Han service with the police agency when she was just fulfilling her job will prove you to be abusing the power as the higher ranking officer for personal benefit." He didn't stop there just to have himself defended without taking her with him.
"Now, I give you two choices. Would you rather have her terminated and have me indicted you later for abusing the power," He stepped closer to make the distance between him and the police officer smaller. "...or you can just leave with your son and have some tofu while leaving us behind." He finished with such a low but tense intonation, enough to warn his enemy.
"You know how eager the prosecution is to punish the officer from the police agency. Especially the top one, like you." Si Mok provoking him as the final touch of his counterattack.
Song Ji Suk couldn't help but gulp his own saliva in silence. Totally overpowered by the younger man. One thing about the police-prosecutor thing, no matter how high the ranking of the police officer is, they still cannot be compared with the prosecutors as their organization is at a higher level than the police agency. They have much more authority than theirs in the police agency. Another thing, prosecutors will always know how to defend themselves with the law and overpowered the police if anything like this happens. Hwang Si Mok just proved it to Ji Suk.
Ji Suk took his eyes off of Si Mok and wandered his eyes around for support from his own force but nobody could even dare to say anything to the prosecutor. Even the chief of the station. Si Mok was almost untouchable to them.
Realizing how defeated he was, Ji Suk quickly dismissed from the location, walking fastly to his car with his son waiting. Not even waiting for a minute, the car drove away from the main entrance.
Si Mok turned to Yeo Jin and observed her from head to toe. As he was satisfied, he nodded by himself and walked past her as he knew she would be following him after all. Walking into the station as if nothing happened. He took the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator as many of the officers at the entrance earlier were on their way back to their office. Most of them have already been waiting for the elevators.
As he climbed up, a smack hit his back made him stop instantly. Yeo Jin pouted at him.
"Why did you do that?" She asked as Si Mok climbed back.
"Would you rather be terminated?" He asked sarcastically. Yeo Jin was about to hit him again but a sudden reaction from Si Mok made her stop.
"Stop, it hurts." He said, didn't even know he was looking so cute, pouting just like a kid. Yeo Jin laughed at his cuteness, totally unbelievable how this man who just shouted at her higher up can actually act this adorable. She is sure he did not even know how lovely he was.
"Thank you." Yeo Jin said finally as they almost got to the fourth floor. They stopped as they arrived in front of the fourth floor's exit from the stairwell into the building. Si Mok only nodded to her.
"I know you did it halfly to help yourself out but still..." She smiled. "I appreciated it." She said about to walk through the door, entering the building on the fourth floor but he grabbed her hand. She waited for him to say something but nothing. They just stand like that for a while without him even looking at her. She just let him be as she was also feeling eased by it.
"No one can speak to you like that." He said, finally looking at her. His eyes looked at his only best friend with her hair tied in a tidy ponytail style, suddenly feeling intimidated by her look. He couldn't understand this feeling but it feels good. He felt good when he looked at her, who also couldn't break her sight from him.
His sudden phone ringer sounds loudly in the silent stairwell. He let go of her and saw who was calling. It was the chief of Seoul Prosecution Service, Chief Jang Ki Moon. He looked at her with a sign to have some privacy. She obeyed willingly and finally got out there into the building.
As the door closed and put a barrier between them, Yeo Jin panting in nervousness. Her heart was beating so hard, pumping her blood fast. Took her a while to finally be able to think straight and walked to the narcotics department's office. She still has to interrogate the last suspect.
Meanwhile Si Mok answered the call as the door shutted. "Yes sir?"
"Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok?"
"I just want to tell you that I already sent a prosecutor from Seoul Prosecution Service to handle the narcotics case. Maybe he is already there by now. So, you can focus on your primary case now."
"I understood sir. Thank you."
The man chuckled. "If you could give him some lessons, please do. He has so much to learn from you, Prosecutor Hwang. I personally hope you can teach him." He said again, didn't know Si Mok's face got darker.
"Alright sir." Si Mok waited for a while until the call was ended by his superior. Keeping his phone back into his coat, suspecting the new prosecutor that was sent for the case has some connection with the chief as the man openly announced his personal hope for the prosecutor.
"Personally," He said quietly as he walked into the building, straight into the office of the narcotics department. Already feeling unease with the mysterious prosecutor for having such a connection. He was having a kind of skeptical idea in his mind.
As he gets there, Yeo Jin was speaking with a man, in an outfit much like him. Long coat outside with dark suit and tie, nicely groomed. Typically like someone who worked for the prosecution like him. He had an idea of who that man could be but wasn't sure. He walked closer as he heard Yeo Jin laughing happily.
"Oh, this is Prosecutor Hwang. You know him right?" Yeo Jin gladly being the host between these two prosecutors. Si Mok only bowed as the younger man also bowed.
"Yes, I heard a lot about him from the seniors. Nice to meet you, Prosecutor Hwang." He said and held his hand out for a handshake. Si Mok took the hand in confusion. He looked at Yeo Jin for further information.
"Ah right. By the way this is Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong, from the Seoul Prosecution Service. He will take over the case for you starting from today. To get the other two suspects charged for the crime."
Listening to Yeo Jin, he nodded, recognizing the man as the one who had been sent by Chief Jang. The man with the connection. He let go of the hand in manner.
"It's been an honour to meet you, sir. You already worked hard for this case, Prosecutor Hwang. I will take over your work from here." Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong smiled nicely. Acting friendly with his senior. Totally trying hard not to fanboying Hwang Si Mok in the middle of the police station.
"Ah yes.." Si Mok was at a loss for words. Totally uncomfortable with the prosecutor's eyes that were some kind of glittering when seeing him. He looked at Yeo Jin instead.
"If that is so, I will accompany the Violence Crime team from now on for my case."
"Yup! Please do so. Thank you for your help during this time. It must be a huge burden for you." She said and suddenly took Prosecutor Jang's arm and collided it with her. Si Mok's eyes bulge at it.
"I will ensure those two will be punished by our Ki Yong-iee.." They laughed as if they already knew each other as long as Yeo Jin and Si Mok did.
"Ki Yong-ie?" Si Mok repeated the name awkwardly, asking for an explanation for the informal call name Yeo Jin used against the new prosecutor. Yeo Jin laughed again.
"Oh I forgot about another thing. Prosecutor Jang is my teammate's fiance. They will be married at the end of this spring season. We have known each other quite a while now. Quite a bro to me."
"Oh." Suddenly feeling relieved, Si Mok accidentally released a quiet breath. At the same time, her phone rang. She took the call immediately as she saw the name.
"Yes, Superintendent General Lee?" She listens carefully to her superior with both prosecutors having their eyes on her. Waiting.
She looked irritated by the phone call but tried hard to keep her cool. She pinched her nose out of frustration. "I understood sir. Okay...okay. I will see you later." Finally the call ended. Yeo Jin looked at Ki Yong apologetically.
"I am sorry but I was officially removed from the investigation just now. So, you have to handle those punk on your own now."
"Ah... don't worry. I got it handled." Ki Yong said confidently, not knowing Si Mok was eyeing him suspiciously. Yeo Jin who saw those eyes quickly walked towards the prosecutor.
"I will go for now. Take care." She said a final goodbye before walking out with Si Mok. She shouldered him. "Why are you glaring at him like that?"
"Nothing." He said coldly as they went back to the stairwell to go to the Captain Choi's department. Yeo Jin kept her eyes narrowed at him.
"There is something. What is it?" Yeo Jin still couldn't let him go. Following him closely until they got to the floor where the homicide department was located. Si Mok was about to get in but Yeo Jin grabbed him back.
"I thought you were on your way to the headquarters." Si Mok said casually, unaffected by Yeo Jin's glare on him.
"What is it? You already have a problem with Ki Yong?"
Si Mok sighed heavily. Totally irritated by the way she called Prosecutor Jang informally. "I said nothing. I was just not being friendly. You know me." He said, hiding the truth about the connection thing that made him uneasy with this Ki Yong-ie. Si Mok's eyebrows pulled together as he called him with that name on his mind.
Even though she still had doubts about that, she decided to let him go as she rushed back to headquarters. "Fine. I've got to go. See you when I see you." She clicked her tongue in a cool manner before running back to the stairwell towards the ground floor.
Just for your info, this story is also available on Wattpad. Yep, I update the same chapter at Wattpad on the same days (Sunday & Monday). You can also see the book cover at Wattpad which I designed on my own. ;)
Captain Choi and his other subordinates were back to their office after sending off their superior with his son just now. All of them, the entire building of that police station were still in shock witnessing such a rare situation of their superior from the headquarters being scolded by a prosecutor. It was unbelievable but somehow was also relieving their hidden rage of letting the suspect go because of lack of evidence.
“Honestly, he was cool.” Jang Geon said while pulling his chair from under the table and sitting comfortably. Opening his laptop ready to type the report for his case.
Captain Choi just glared quietly at him. “Don’t idolize him way too much.” Somehow he hated the idea of Jang Geon looking up to that prosecutor. He sat at his usual spot.
“Why? I thought you liked him.”
Captain Choi Yoon Soo sighed heavily. “Who said I hate him either? He is a good prosecutor,”
“And a good partner for Yeo Jin,” Soon Chang butted in friskilly only to get a sharp glare from his captain. Seeing that, he immediately checks his laptop just to avoid any collision with the captain.
“Just don’t idolize him too much. Nevertheless, he is still a prosecutor. Just see how he treated our superior earlier.”
“What? He deserved it. We all know Yeo Jin wasn’t wrong at all and Prosecutor Hwang came right on time to rescue. What is so wrong about that?” Jang Geon still cannot understand his captain’s sudden sternness about Prosecutor Hwang. He almost got caught for glaring at the captain but he quickly looked away.
“I know. I appreciated him for doing that. But still, he just showed the whole unit how powerful the prosecution is. Even the higher ups couldn’t deny them. Can’t you see how I saw that situation?”
“You think we were being humiliated?” Soon Chang interrupted with a question that only got a firm nod from the captain. Both of them went silent, carefully considering the idea and approved it.
“But he is Prosecutor Hwang. You know how he is.”
“He is still a prosecutor. He already has the power but just didn’t use it yet. When he used that power against us, no one could say anything. Just like Senior Superintendent General Song.” He concluded and started to revise the hard copy map of Yongsan area. Already getting a headache trying to find the other possible accommodation that Ji Sang Yeob went before got stranded on the street.
“Annyeonghaseyo.” A voice interrupted them and they all turned to that voice. Instantly all of them stood from their seats as they saw the person.
“Prosecutor Seo.” Captain Choi looked at the other prosecutor in an expensive suit just like Hwang Si Mok wore. Getting confused with the sudden visit from the prosecutor. The last time they met was last year, when he was discharged from the hospital and he thanked the whole team for rescuing him. This is the first time they met him again, in a much better condition.
Prosecutor Seo Dong Jae smiled at the whole team and bowed a little. “I am here to take over the case of Ji Sang Yeob. It was handled by Si Mok wasn’t it?” He said.
“Ah...that. Yes, but Prosecutor Hwang only advised us, not completely involved.” Jang Geon answered awkwardly as he heard Dong Jae referred to Si Mok informally. It is very rare to hear someone calling the prosecutor by his first name.
“So...where do we start?” Dong Jae asked politely, better than the last time they worked together in the investigation of Kwon Mina five years ago. The kidnap totally changed his attitude and manner.
“Okay. Ummmm….” Captain Choi looked over the meeting room across their table and saw it was already occupied by Team 2. No other choice, he brought the map to the table they always use to eat and put it there for everyone to see. There were many crosses all over the map of Yongsan that were made using a marker pen.
“So, before we begin, how much do you know about the case?” Jang Geon asked.
Dong Jae was silent but he took out his tablet only to see the profile of the deceased. “I only knew who the deceased was and what his connection to Si Mok previous case. I don’t know anything else other than that.” He confirmed it.
“Okay, if that is so, we will explain to you from the start until the current progress.” Captain Choi decided to begin the briefing session to let the prosecutor get the whole idea of the investigation.
He started from the first time they found Ji Sang Yeob’s body on the street, to the finding of foreign DNA, until the current progress of finding his possible accommodation.
“And you got nothing yet?” Dong Jae asked abruptly, triggering the police. They realized that the only thing that he couldn’t change about himself was his bluntness.
“We have another case to settle too. We only got a chance to explore motels and saunas in half of Yongsan yesterday. We will go to search for the other half today.” Captain Choi answered, clearly annoyed by Dong Jae’s question. As if they didn’t do their job properly.
“Alright, I understood.” He just nodded at Captain Choi’s words. No longer being as high tempered as he was a long time ago. He wandered his eyes around as if he was looking for someone. “By the way, where is Si Mok?”
Just as Soon Chang wanted to answer him, they saw Si Mok walking towards them with his eyes looking at Dong Jae’s back in confusion. He seemed to already know the person only by looking at his wide back and long legs under the table.
“Prosecutor Seo?” He called, made Dong Jae jump up from his seat only to look at him. His eyes were so bright as he saw Si Mok in front of him. It was the first time since he woke up from coma, he saw Si Mok face to face. It’s been a year since he didn’t met his old junior.
“Yah! Si Mok ah!” Totally happy seeing him, Dong Jae jumped to Si Mok and pulled him close for a hug. Totally hugging him tight.
Everyone, even Si Mok, were shocked by the sudden skinship. Si Mok didn’t hug him back, just being a total stone in Dong Jae’s hands. Dong Jae slapped his back a few times showing how glad to be able to see him again.
“It’s been a long time isn’t it? How are you now?!”
Si Mok, who was being too uncomfortable, finally pushed Dong Jae’s arm around him to release himself. He took a step away from him while his face looked so annoyed. “Yes, I am fine. What about you?” He said as he already had an idea why Dong Jae was there. With the open map on the table, he got a hunch of him being replaced by Dong Jae for the case.
As if he couldn’t believe what he heard just now, his eyes were big, eyeing Si Mok. “Did you just ask me back about myself?” Seriously, this is his first time ever hearing Si Mok being cared for someone else. Si Mok that he knew would only talk about fact, important things. Never talk about something useless like this just to make a small conversation.
Still with his stoic face, Si Mok only nodded and made Dong Jae almost cry by feeling touched. “I am fine. Thank you...for asking.” He answered it by the way, still couldn’t believe it.
“What about your sons? They must be thrilled to have you in Seoul.” Si Mok was informed that Dong Jae was sent back to Seoul Prosecution Service after he was back in condition and ready to work. He knew it as Dong Jae told him so, by a phone call as he wanted to thank him for the rescue.
This time, Dong Jae was the one who stepped back, putting his palm on his mouth. He looked at the homicide team and pointed at Si Mok disbelief. Jang Geon who watched this slowly formed a smile. He thought of the memory when Yeo Jin said to the prosecutor to at least ask him about his child during the council's first meeting. The prosecutor awkwardly did so.
As Si Mok didn’t want to waste any time making more conversation, he came back to Captain Choi. He bowed. “How’s everything sir?”
“Ah...yes…” He put his hand on both sides of waist, looking at the map with mixed emotion. “We only covered half of Yongsan until last night. But all the motels and saunas we went to got no info about him. We will go to the other half of Yongsan today.” Si Mok was only quiet as he listened to him.
“By the way, sir,” Si Mok looked up at Soon Chang who called someone who he believed must be him. The youngest detective pointed his palm to Dong Jae. “Prosecutor Seo Dong Jae said he will take over the case from you.”
Si Mok looked at Dong Jae, who was already steadying himself back to normal mode. Dong Jae signed him to wait with his hand and took out a piece of folded paper from his briefcase. He gave it to Si Mok. “I got the letter from my chief.”
He opened the folded letter and it was an official appointment letter to take over the case as he had predicted. He folded the letter back as it was and gave it back to Dong Jae. “Okay. I understood.” He said as he eyed Dong Jae with suspicions.
First, he was removed from the investigation of the drug case with the narcotics. Now, Dong Jae was sent to take over the case. It is true he wasn’t officially being pointed out for the both cases as he worked for the Wonju branch and any case that happened in Seoul is not under his jurisdiction at all. But isn’t it weird to have both cases covered with the prosecutors from the Seoul branch on the same day? As if someone desperately wanted to send him back to Wonju immediately.
“Those eyes..” Dong Jae pointed at Si Mok’s narrowed eyes at him. “You are being suspicious of me, aren't you?”
Si Mok only silent in approval. He is not an expert in lying though and doesn’t even care if Dong Jae is somehow offended by it. Dong Jae tried to hide his disappointment but he truly understood why Si Mok acted that way with him. Si Mok totally got a reasonable point to feel so as he wasn’t a great prosecutor after all. He is still in the process of becoming one. Just like Si Mok.
“I apologize.” Si Mok said without emotion. Just say it out of manner. Dong Jae only nodded.
“I will leave it all to Prosecutor Seo now. But you can still call me for advice. I don’t mind.” He said to the other police. They just accept it.
“So when will you go back to Wonju?” Jang Geon interrupted in a rush. Worried about Yeo Jin to be separated from the prosecutor again. Everyone had their eyes on him to know about the same thing.
“Maybe this evening.” He said, undoubtedly. As he has nothing left to do, he needs to go back.
“That soon?” Dong Jae looked disappointed a bit. He thought he could have him for a while as it’s really been a long time since he met Si Mok.
“You will at least visit Senior Inspector Han before going back, right?” Soon Chang asked sincerely, hoping so. Dong Jae who knew nothing only could watch them in disbelief and curiosity. He then leans his eyes on Si Mok who is still silent. But he knew the face that Si Mok made that time was the calmer that he ever saw. The interest to know much more hit him hard.
“Yes, I will.”
Lee Moo Sang signed the report made by Yeo Jin as he finished examining it. It was a very frustrating report related to Song Min Joon’s case. They almost got him arrested. Too close to get him thrown in jail. But this happened. He closed the file.
Yeo Jin took the file back and held it on her side. Looking at Moo Sang as she waited for any additional order from him.
“Did the prosecutor tell you about his suspicion on Min Joon?”
Shit! She forgot to ask. “No sir. I didn’t ask.” She licks her dried lip in nervousness. Moo Sang sighed in despair.
“A cooperative investigation is all about give and take. You give, he takes. But he must give something in return too, Senior Inspector General Han Yeo Jin.” His voice got harder as he talked even more. Yeo Jin nodded in obedience. Totally took the credit for that amateur mistake.
“I apologize, sir.”
“Did you forget to ask or he was the one who was being secretive?”
“No sir, I didn’t ask.”
“And he didn’t bother to tell you after all.” He scoffed and took off his glasses. “A good partner should tell anything that they have in mind to their partner. Share the information. Let me ask you one thing Han Yeo Jin,”
“Has he been a good partner to you?”
Yeo Jin was losing her words as she heard the sudden question she never thought of. She never thought about it as she never doubted Si Mok as her partner. They have always been good friends with each other after all.
“He is indeed a good partner, sir.”
“Are you sure?”
Yeo Jin looked at Moo Sang without any doubtness in her eyes. “Yes sir.”
Moo Sang nodded satisfiedly. “I heard about the chaos at Yongsan this morning.” He smirked. “Someone told me, he defended you. Are you and him, perhaps, dating?” Yeo Jin almost went blank hearing that question and denied it immediately.
“No sir!” Her answer was only followed by his laughs.
“Listen, I just want to tell you that I still doubted that. And there is another person who has always been suspicious that you two might be in a relationship. We both have quite strong reasons to think so. Today’s event just made us think that our hunch might be right.”
Yeo Jin was distressed by the conversation. Her face totally showed a clear confusion and disorientation. She really wanted to ask who was the person he talked about but she knew that would only make the conversation longer. She hoped she could meet this other person and punch it to the face.
“What do we do now, sir? Are we being disbanded or what?”
“Disbanded? Why so?”
“Senior Superintendent General Song must have done something to stop the investigation. He is your superior after all, he must be saying anything to you about this. After seeing his son being arrested, he must be mad and wanted to cancel the whole investigation.”
“Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin.”
“Do you think we are alone on this? Why do you think he didn’t do anything to close the investigation even though he knew this team existed? Why did he could only reject the request to investigate his son but cannot demolish the whole team and the investigation?”
Yeo Jin is silent. Thinking hard. “I don’t know sir.”
Moo Sang smiled. “He can only rejected for the interrogation because we had no warrant, but the reason why he cannot interfere with the investigation is because he just can’t. Remember when I said that we cannot have this case prosecuted? It’s because his connection is mostly in the prosecution, not in the police agency. If we bring the case to the prosecution, I bet the case is closed already. That is why we need to investigate this inside of the police agency and find all the solid proofs before bringing it to the prosecution. At that time, they had no choice but to resume the case to the trial.”
“If he knew about the case and he got connected to the prosecution, why don’t he just tell his friend about the case and ask them to press us to get it prosecuted?”
“Let's say the prosecutors wanted us to prosecute the case by force after they learned about it from Song Ji Suk, we can ask back just where did they get the information about the secret investigation? No one knows but us so how did they know? If they do that, automatically the prosecution will be accused of being sneaky on us or someone in the police agency has seek their help. Maybe Ji Suk did tell his prosecutor friend but because of the pride of the organization, he cannot help either.”
“And he can’t demolish us because the Chief Superintendent General who was the one who ordered the investigation. That is why we still exist today. The reason why he cannot destroy the case from the inside of the police agency either.”
“Wait, so you are not the one who wanted this case solved?”
“What are you talking about? Of course I wanted it to be solved for justice to the deceased and the family. But I just help the chief form the team and supervise the progress. The final lead was from the chief.”
“Wait, so you didn’t do this because you wanted his position?”
“What are you talking about?”
Yeo Jin scratched her cheek in confusion. “I thought you wanted to investigate this case because you want him to be fired so you can take over his seat.”
“I misunderstood. I apologize sir.” Yeo Jin bowed apologetically. Couldn’t look straight to her superior. However, she felt reassured as her superior wasn’t using them to get a better position in the organization. She could hear Moo Sang getting up from his chair.
“Just continue the investigation as usual. And no prosecutor allowed. I really meant it, Han Yeo Jin.”
“It’s only ‘you’, Senior Inspector Han. They cannot bring the case to the prosecution so they brought it to you. They dumped it to you.”
Hwang Si Mok’s sayings to her a few nights ago getting back to her mind. Is it true what he said? That they, the Chief Superintendent General and Superintendent General Lee Moo Sang are eventually using her to clean the mess?
“Sir, may I ask you something?”
Moo Sang, who was about to get out of his office to go for lunch, stopped at the front of the door. He looked at her again. “What else?”
“Why did you choose me, sir? Why did you choose me to clean the mess for you?”
As if her superior got something in his throat that blocked his voice to give the answer, Moo Sang seems to be shutted by Yeo Jin's unpredictable question. He has his own reason why it must be Yeo Jin. He and the chief got their own reason for making her as the captain for the sake of the case.
“Why not? You are my subordinate after all.” He smirked in order to hide the tension and instantly vanished to the other side of the building, leaving her behind in there.
Hana was giggling at her phone as Yeo Jin came to the office. It’s been a few days since she didn’t go to her usual office as she was assisting the drug case at Yongsan. Now, with Min Joon already freed, there is no reason for her to stay any longer there and her superior has finally summoned her back to headquarters. Leading the suspended investigation back to its operation.
Yeo Jin walked towards Hana who was still holding her phone and looked at it passionately while her right hand was holding her fork tight. There was a bowl of salad on her table, clearly for her lunch meal.
“Tsk tsk…” Yeo Jin butted in and took a seat at Park Yo Han’s table that was unoccupied as her subordinate had left for lunch. Only the two of them were there as everyone else also left for lunch. “You ate salad for today too? Have you eaten anything delicious this week?” She looked at the salad with some yellow dressing on it with disgust. Hana pouted and pulled the bowl closer.
“I am still on a diet. I'm afraid I might look fat on my wedding day.” She said while trying to pick something from the drawer under the table. A white envelope was taken out from there and she gave it to Yeo Jin delightly. Yeo Jin’s eyes sparkled as she saw the envelope, quickly opened it up and took out the invitation card in it.
“This is beautiful!” She shouted excitedly while holding the card up to get a better view of it. It was printed in white with a flower pattern of lavender in purple, forming a nice circle around the card just like a frame with the details of the event inside. She was totally in love with the minimalist design.
“Hehe...it was Ki Yong who chose the design. I was too busy with the catering. They just printed it yesterday.”
“Oh, did you hear that Ki Yong took over the drug case?”
Hana nodded while showing off her phone. “He told me last night. He was thrilled to meet Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok and kept talking only about his senior for about an hour.” She rolled her eyes as she remembered their last night phone call.
Yeo Jin only giggled at it and remembered how Ki Yong was trying so hard to suppress his excitement when he saw Si Mok this morning. “Have you found a place yet?” Yeo Jin asked in concern while looking down at Hana’s flat tummy. Thinking about her future with their wedding happening in two weeks.
Hana, who found Yeo Jin’s eyes on her tummy, calmly touched that part. She was confirmed to be 3 weeks in pregnancy last week. Starting from the day she and Ki Yong knew that, they immediately decided to get married despite lack of time and no plan at all. The baby itself was totally unplanned. Because of the whole unplanned thing, they don’t even have a place to live yet after the wedding as they were both living with family.
“It’s okay, you can live with your parents temporarily. At least until the baby is born. I am sure they won't mind that much.” Yeo Jin touched Hana’s shoulder to encourage the young soon to be mother. She could hear the 28 years old woman sighed heavily.
“You want to know what is more frustrating than not having our own place to live?”
“Ki Yong just received an official letter from the prosecution. He will be transferred to Chonju after this spring. The date was totally a month after our wedding.” Hana closed her eyes and brought her both palms to her face.
“Oh…” Yeo Jin was at a loss for words hearing that. What a huge burden for a young mother. She knew being pregnant is not an easy thing to handle especially without the presence of the father. The baby would miss the presence of it’s father most of the time. She ever read about how important it is to build a relationship with the baby since it is still in the womb.
“It’s not for 6 to 12 months. He will be transferred for two years!” Two fingers of Hana swinging in the air. “How am I supposed to live alone with the baby while he is in Chonju? The baby won’t even know its father.”
“Hey, it’s not that bad. He still can visit you in Seoul during the weekend.” Yeo Jin tried to reassure her, gently tapping her shoulder.
Hana looked at her in doubt. Without her knowing, she was actually looking at her superior from head to toe as if she was critically judging her. Yeo Jin looked at her sharply. “What?”
“Chonju was farther away compared to Wonju to Seoul.” She said suddenly only to receive Yeo Jin’s typical confused expression. Trying hard to understand what this sudden topic is all about.
“Prosecutor Hwang was transferred to Wonju but he never visited you even once for a year. Chonju is farther than Wonju is from Seoul, how can you be so sure he would visit me once a week?” Maybe because of her pregnancy hormones, Hana started to cry out suddenly. Yeo Jin was still in dazed with such an absurd comparison and did not know how to react but eventually pulled some tissue from Yo Han’s table, gave it to Hana. She blew her nose hard.
“I am sorry. My emotions aren’t in a very stable condition. I always cried even for something small like dropping my pen. It felt like the whole world disgrace me.”
“Alright…” Yeo Jin awkwardly sitting there, wanted to go before Hana picked more topics to discuss from her personal life.
“How did you cooperate with that, ma’am?” Her eyes that were still wet from the sudden tears looked at Yeo Jin for more encouragement. Yeo Jin, who was about to run, sat back properly. Her hand brought to her face to hide any clear embarrassment appeared. Awkwardly wanted to explain the real situation that Hana had misunderstood.
“You know, me and Prosecutor Hwang weren't a couple like you two. So I don’t know how or what to say to you.”
“Okay, let’s pretend you and him were just friends. How do you cooperate with a long distance relationship?”
“What pretend? We are friends!” She denied, almost shouted at her. But considering her mood swings, she tried to control her emotions. “Sometimes we make phone calls. Discuss about some cases that we need advice from each other.”
“Ask how he is doing. Is everything fine? Did he eat properly?”
Yeo Jin nodded as she couldn’t find anything else that they ever did during her time with Si Mok in Wonju. Mostly only about work.
“Wait, that’s it?! You talked about cases and chit chatted about small basic things and THAT’S IT?!”
“Yeah, what’s more?”
“I thought you two were a couple? There must be more!”
“I already said we were not!”
“But the dinner you had with him the night you arrested Song Min Joon?”
Yeo Jin rolled her eyes and completely left the seat this time. “Is being just friends means cannot have dinner or what? We need to eat like you couple do too.” She nagged as she left the office for lunch. Totally annoyed by the conversation they had.
Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong breathed heavily as the interrogation from the last suspect of the drug case involving the son of Senior Superintendent General almost ended. Everything has been proved that both of the suspects left in the police station have indeed taken the drugs on the day they were arrested and the owner of the drugs also proven to be owned by Bang Joo Heon, 22 years old, as what the first interrogation conducted by Yeo Jin and Si Mok has found.
In front of him now, the other suspect arrested by Yeo Jin for that case, Shin Woo Joo, 22 years old. Sitting in despair knowing he will be charged with severe punishment for doing drugs. Everything is done now and Ki Yong would only need to bring them for a trial before sending them off to jail.
“Anything to add?” Ki Yong asked as the interrogation was almost done. He waited as the young adult was about to say something. “Yes, Shin Woo Joo?”
“I heard Min Joon was freed this morning.” He said with a clear frustrated face.
“Yes, his innocence has been proven as the drugs he took that night were only anti depression pills.”
Woo Joo laughed sarcastically. Totally couldn’t believe that. He glances at Ki Yong sharp. “How much did he pay you all to get him freed?”
Getting irritated by such a blunt accusation, Ki Yong’s jaw automatically tightens. “Mr. Shin Woo Joo, I think you have misunderstood us. We did a thorough test through his sample and it is proven that none of the drugs found that night was found in his body. Neither DNA on the syringes was his. Only your DNA and Bang Joo Heon’s were found on the syringes. Enough to prove that he didn’t take any illegal substances other than his prescripted medicals that night.”
Listening to the explanation from Ki Yong, Woo Joo has finally understood the current situation that has made the whole universe take Min Joon’s side. He licked his lip in thinking and looked at Ki Yong.
“He took drugs that night. I saw him. I am sure.”
Ki Yong sighed. “Maybe it was his medicine.” He said lazily, totally doesn’t really care with such statements considering Min Joon already freed and the evidence was solid.
“No! I knew what drugs would look like! You need to listen to me!” He shouted and made Ki Yong lose his patience to keep sitting there. He took his file and was ready to leave. He totally doesn't want to listen to Woo Joo anymore as this might be just his scam. Ki Yong already met many of these situations.
“See you in court.” He said and went out. Without knowing how precious the information that Woo Joo was holding with him.
I forgot to tell that I uploaded the story on Wattpad under the same title. Hehe, please look up for 'The Thing We Could Possibly Be' on Wattpad. Your support means a universe for me. Thanks! ;)
I apologize for skipping a week updates. Thank you for your patience all this time. I am trying my best to make it as fun as possible to redeem my late update.
After a short briefing ended with the violence crime team, Si Mok walked out from the office to the stairwell. On his way to the main door downstairs. Ready to leave the police station again after having a simple farewell with the team. Politely rejecting their offer for a farewell dinner as the case wasn’t even solved yet. They must be busy after all.
He took his phone out and find the number of his senior, Kang Won Chul. He still remembered Chief Jang’s words a few nights ago about how he cared about him. As this is his last day in Seoul, he wanted to have lunch with him. Just like Chief Jang suggests to him.
He pressed the number for a phone call. It’s been a long time since he pressed the number for a phone call. The ringer was waiting for the other side to pick up. As Si Mok arrived on the ground floor towards the door, he could hear the sound of his senior.
“Annyeonghaseyo, Pro-” He was about to call Kang Won Chul as a prosecutor but remembering the fact he is a lawyer now. “...attorney Kang. This is Hwang Si Mok.”
“I know it’s you punk.” He could hear the giggles from the other side. “What do you want?” He asked, secretly feeling happy with the phone call from his beloved junior.
“Are you busy? Because I would like to have lunch with you as today is my last day in Seoul.”
Won Chul was silent as he said that. He was silently being amused by the sudden offer from his cold merciless junior. “Are you asking me for lunch?”
“Yes, sir. I am.” He arrived at his car and saw Dong Jae was following him afterwards. Arriving at his car that was about two cars away from Si Mok’s car. His eyes found Si Mok’s and slowly came closer to him. Si Mok only stood there without any intention to run and quietly waited for Won Chul’s answer.
Dong Jae, who has finally arrived beside him, didn't say anything but just quietly letting him finish the phone call first. He seems to have so much to say as Si Mok looks at him hesitantly. As if the man tried to figure him out.
“Okay, let’s have lunch.” He said finally to Si Mok. “Come to my office, I will bring you to my favorite restaurant. I want you to try something.” He said later.
“Yes sir.” Si Mok looked at Dong Jae again. “Wait sir.” He said and put down the phone from his ear, covering the part of his phone that allowed the other side to listen on this side. “Where are you going?”
As Si Mok finally spoke to him, Dong Jae smiled coyly. “I was about to ask you for lunch actually. But it seems you have something to do.” He pointed at Si Mok’s phone. Without hesitation, Si Mok picked up his phone and spoke.
“Sir, can I bring someone else too?”
Si Mok and Dong Jae walking into the big building of H & J Legal’s building. It is a well known and established legal firm in South Korea that has been involved in managing many high profile cases around the nation. It is a very good thing for Won Chul to be one of the attorneys there with his experiences in the prosecution.
“Who are we seeing?” Dong Jae whispers to him and makes Si Mok avoid him immediately out of shock. He grinned at his overreaction and playfully collided his shoulder with Si Mok’s. He could hear Si Mok's annoyed groan.
“Please don’t. We are in an established firm’s building. Act professional.” Si Mok said and walked towards the receptionist. They welcomed him with respect. Dong Jae followed him, eager to know who they were going to meet.
“I am here for Attorney Kang Won Chul.”
Dong Jae’s eyes bulged in shock as he heard Si Mok.
“Do you have an appointment with him?” The woman at the receptionist asked while already picking up the phone to call Won Chul’s office.
“I made a lunch appointment just now. With a phone call.” He said. The woman nodded and quickly called the office upstairs. They both waited patiently until the receptionist put down the phone.
“Yes, he will come downstairs in minutes. You can wait for him at the lounge.” She politely pointed at the lounge. After they thanked the receptionist, they walked there quietly.
“Senior Kang is now an attorney?” Dong Jae has finally spoken after knowing who they actually will be meeting for lunch. Secretly touched as he was invited to lunch with them. Si Mok nodded while looking at the lake in front of the building. It was a very nice building that was built near the golf site with a very nice view. Built far from the center of Seoul, inside the elite area in Gangnam.
“Yes, he resigned from the prosecution.”
“I only knew he resigned but never knew he is working as an attorney now.”
“You didn’t call him.”
“Yeah, because he didn’t really like me that much.” He said quietly. Si Mok looked at him when he heard those sayings. He doesn't really have much to comment on that like or not like thing as he couldn’t even know that stuff very well but he doesn't think Won Chul is such a person as Dong Jae thought.
“It's just your feeling. If he didn’t like you, he would reject my lunch offer as I told him about you coming too.”
Dong Jae looked down at Si Mok who is a bit shorter than him. Silently took his words as a self comfort. Smiling at his junior. “You’ve changed a lot Hwang Si Mok.”
“The old you would not even care to offer lunch, not to mention to let someone else join you. But you did now. You offer Senior Kang for lunch first and you let me in.” He looked away towards the lake.
“You never care about the people around you. You never say something to comfort other people but today was different. You comforted me.” He continued, slowly turned back to his left side where Si Mok was but only found no one beside him. He panicky tilted his head to find Si Mok around and found him already walking towards Senior Kang. “That son of a bit-” He slowly ran at them and greeted their senior.
“Annyeonghaseyo Senior Kang. I am happy to see you again.” He bowed in respect and was replied by a gentle smack by Won Chul on his right arm. He smiled in ease as Won Chul treated him the same way he treated Si Mok just now. Both of them get a smack from him.
“It’s great to see you two too. The troublemaker from Seoul Prosecution Service.” He grinned proudly at them, seeing his juniors already being great prosecutors.
“I am from the Wonju branch sir.” Si Mok brazenly corrected him. His spontaneousness only made Won Chul and Dong Jae want to laugh.
“I know that punk!” He said and started to walk towards the main entrance of the building to exit. “I will treat you both the dishes I love. I swear it was out of this world. Let's just walk from here. It’s not that far.” He said, before suddenly bowing at someone who coincidentally walked into the building before they left. They all stopped as the man came close.
Si Mok recognized the man instantly. The chief of the Supreme Prosecution Service, the leader of the whole prosecution, the first rank prosecutor, Heo Sang Chun. He and Dong Jae were both bowed to the man who was accompanied by someone else from behind. Again, Si Mok knew the other man right away. It was attorney Kim Gi Hong, the attorney of Song Min Joon whom he met in the interrogation yesterday.
“Are you all out for lunch?” Sang Chun asked in a friendly manner. His eyes were eyeing Si Mok and Dong Jae in turns before back to Won Chul. His former subordinate.
Won Chul, who saw him eyeing his juniors in suspicion, quickly stood in front of them and answered in order to get out of there as soon as possible. “Ah yes. We are. I think we are just going for a simple lunch as it’s almost two. Both of them are busy.” He said, signalling that they don’t have much time to talk. Sang Chun seemed to be alerted enough as he nodded in approval. Suddenly, he took his wallet out and gave it to Si Mok directly, passing through Won Chul the senior.
“Here, take my card. I will treat you for your hard work these few days. I heard you are returning to Wonju.” He said while handing the card in black, clearly showed how exclusive the card is by its colour. Si Mok only looked at the card without even having any intention to take it.
“How do you know I am returning to Wonju?” He asked, slowly his eyes looked up to him from the card.
Trying to hide his hidden emotion, Sang Chun laughed at his words. “I am the chief, of course I would know such a thing.”
“I don’t know a chief has so much time to put their eyes on the ordinary prosecutor like me.” Si Mok replied, totally unaffected. Both Won Chul and Dong Jae have already been anxious. Secretly wanted to smack his head out of his attitude to the high rank prosecutor.
Sang Chun was losing the smile he formed on his face. Seriously looking at Si Mok as if he wanted to slap him right away.
“Hwang Si Mok,” Won Chul called him in a tense tone to calm his junior down. His eyes were sharp on his cherished junior, hoping him to pull away and apologize.
Si Mok understood Won Chul’s voice and his gaze on him. He looked back at Heo Sang Chun and bowed. “I think I have been so rude to you sir. I apologize for making you offended.” He said and pointed to the card that the chief was still handing. “My senior was just getting a new job this year at this firm, I would like to ask him for a treat. Thank you for your offer sir, but no.” He said firmly and rejected the card.
Attorney Kim Gi Hong stared at Si Mok in fire, totally being humiliated as the prosecutor had again, being rude to the person he accompanied. He cleared his throat to break the silence as people in the lobby also peeked at them who were in a clear tense situation. As if a war might occur anytime soon.
“Sir, let’s go to my office.” He said to Heo Sang Chun quietly. Finally breaking Sang Chun’s eyes on Si Mok. Sang Chun sighed heavily.
“Okay. Let’s go. Enjoy your lunch.” He gave a final gaze on Si Mok and walked away. Finally leaving the trio.
As Sang Chun walked away, Won Chul and Dong Jae hit his arms from both sides in sync. “Aigooo….” They also sighed in sync. Totally out of words for Si Mok’s unchanged attitude.
They finally had their lunch without any interruption from others at the restaurant Won Chul had suggested. It was a Chinese restaurant as they had predicted. Won Chul is a die hard fan of chinese cuisine and would always recommend such a restaurant.
The so-called ‘out of universe’ dish he loved was just the ordinary tangsuyuk like they could get from any other Chinese restaurant. Won Chul ate in so much energy and seemed to enjoy his lunch so badly that his juniors were with him today. Dong Jae as usual, being the most talkative, talking about his current life and how happy he is to be in Seoul with his family.
“I could never think of how to live without them.” Dong Jae ended the topic about his current life with such an emotional remark. Won Chul only laughed and understood the situation that he also been through at his young age. He gently taps Dong Jae’s back as the young man continues eating his dish. His eyes then dropped on Si Mok who was being the quietest as usual. Totally focusing on his food.
“Si Mok-ahh..” He called him, the prosecutor looked up finally. “Is it good?” He said, referring to the jajangmyeon he is currently eating.
“Yes sir. It’s better than in Wonju.” His comment made Won Chul laugh in pride as he suggested the right restaurant to his junior.
“Haha, I told you so.”
Dong Jae secretly grinned at him and turned to Won Chul. “I heard about him and Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin.” Won Chul’s eyes bulged out looking at Dong Jae and Si Mok in disbelief. Meanwhile the owner of the name calmly ate his noodle as if he was not a part of the conversation.
“Is it a woman? This Han Yeo Jin?” Won Chul asked for confirmation. Dong Jae glared back at him.
“Han Yeo Jin, sir. The policewoman from the Yongsan police station. Remember, the policewoman that helped him in the special investigation four years ago. She is a senior inspector now, working in HQ.”
Won Chul went silent with his face in a clear confusion, eyebrows pulled together, really trying hard to remember about the sudden woman in the talk. It’s not everyday they can talk about Si Mok and a woman in one conversation. Suddenly he remembered the policewoman he met four years ago at the prosecution when he asked her about Si Mok after the death of Young Eun Soo. He clicked his hand out of realization. “The policewoman that led your kidnapping investigation isn’t it?! Han Yeo Jin?!” Dong Jae nodded excessively.
“Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin.” Si Mok corrected him, only to be glared back by his former superior.
Won Chul looked back at Dong Jae eagerly. “What’s up with her and Si Mok?!” He asked excitedly, waiting for the possible romance involved in Si Mok’s life.
“Well, this morning, I was there to take over the case where Si Mok was advising and they were informed that Si Mok will return to Wonju this evening. So, one of them asked him whether he would see Han Yeo Ji-” Dong Jae stopped as he could sense Si Mok’s sharp eyes on him. “I mean, whether he would see Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin first before going back to Wonju. And he said yes!”
Won Chul gape at Si Mok excitedly. “Really?! You and her are in a relationship?!”
“No sir.” His cold response totally shutted down the conversation. Both of them looked at him in bizarre. “We are only friends.”
“But I always thought you and her-” Dong Jae signalled his two fingers close in the air as the symbol of being together but Si Mok shaked his head, totally denying that. “But why?!” He asked frustratingly, as if he was watching a drama where the hero and heroine didn’t end up together.
Si Mok was silent for a while. He didn’t have a good answer for that.
Seeing his junior in a very hard situation to answer, Won Chul butted in. “Do you like her, Si Mok?”
Like or don’t like. He doesn’t know. He can’t figure that out. “I don’t know sir.”
“Do you hate her?”
“No sir.” Instantly he gave his answer this time.
Won Chul had a thin smile on his face. “Are you comfortable to have her around?”
Si Mok’s thoughts flew to his old memory with her along this time. How he always had her during easy and hard times. She always had his back when he was having an attack. She helped him despite their situations that were fighting for the investigation rights for their own side. She is the only woman, no, the only person who ever made him feel really comfortable with. Not even his mom comforted him as much as she did.
“I think so, sir. Yes, I am comfortable with her.” He answered finally, making Won Chul and Dong Jae change their look and nodded with smiles.
“Then it’s done. You are actually like her. Like is subjective Si Mok. You don’t have to exactly say that you like her to know if you are actually liking her. It’s enough with you being comfortable with her. Share everything with her, be happy, laugh, cry with her. That is what a life partner does. To comfort each other, protect and support through the hard and good times.” As the most senior and already married for 25 years now, Won Chul suddenly became an advisor of relationship for Si Mok. Didn’t even care if the lunch hour was already over.
“You are no longer young, Si Mok. You will be needing a life partner. It’s not easy to find someone like her, who sincerely cares for you.” Won Chul was reminded of the time when he sought for Yeo Jin first to ask about Si Mok’s whereabouts. He could only think about the policewoman to look for him as she was the only person on earth who could ever be that close with Si Mok.
“I know you are not like the other people Si Mok. You treated people differently and she stayed with you after all. No one could tolerate you better than she is, Si Mok.” Won Chul said before returning to his dish, finishing what was left.
“Don’t you want to try to be an attorney, Dong Jae?” Won Chul asked when they were on their way back to the building. Exactly on their way back to the parking lot. Won Chul offered to send them off. Especially to send Si Mok off to Wonju after this.
Dong Jae sighed. “I want to but I am still young.” He sipped his coffee that was bought by Si Mok after lunch. “I still want to be in the government sector.”
Won Chul smirked at his words. “Don’t be too desperate in climbing the ladder. You will get hurt.” Dong Jae only laughed at it.
“No, I am not that same anymore.” He gazed at Si Mok who walked at the left side of Won Chul, calmly sipping his coffee without even giving his attention to their conversation.
“That is to hear. I always worried about you punk, you were being too brave playing in the dirty politics among those high people. You know it’s not good.” He said while gazing at Dong Jae, sincerely being concerned for him. Especially after the kidnapping incident.
“Thank you sir.” Dong Jae pulled a smile on his face as Won Chul slapped his back.
“What about you punk?” Their attention was on Si Mok who calmly looked at the lake as they arrived at the huge private park of H & J Legal’s building. They stopped as Won Chul was also stopped and sat at one of the benches. No need other choice, they came to him and sat on his both sides. Won Chul smiled as his plan to hold them both a bit longer was successful.
“What about me sir?”
“Anything to say?”
Si Mok was thinking hard to find something to say and made Won Chul scoff at it. Usually people would have the idea for the talks instantly but Si Mok needed to think first. He sighed loudly and slowly turned his attention to the lake instead. Waiting for Si Mok.
“I have a question,”
“Finally,” Both of them said in sync and turned to him, very interested in what he was going to say. Si Mok pointed to the building at their back.
“Do you know Attorney Kim Gi Hong?”
As he heard the name, Won Chul’s face turned dark. He knew this was coming and he was supposed to just send them off just now so he could avoid the question. He turned back to the lake and laid his back to the backrest of the bench.
“Sir?” Si Mok still wanted to claim the answer. Won Chul sighed heavily while he was thinking about the attorney’s background, which wasn't a very nice thing to talk about.
“He is a troublemaker in the firm. Just like you two in the prosecution.”
“What did he do?” Dong Jae asked in pure interest. His eyes go big to dig deeper.
“Apart from his job in the firm, he is also working with Hanjo’s legal team. He has already represented Hanjo a few times now and always wins. Even though his wins are mostly kind of fishy.”
“Why is that?” Si Mok asked.
“I don’t know because I have never seen his trial before. But people were talking, you know. There was one case, the plaintiff was almost confirmed to win the trial as the evidence was solid. Totally in a good position. But somehow, the plaintiff canceled and withdrew the suit towards the defendant which was the company and pulled off right away on the day of the trial.”
“Clearly, the plaintiff might be paid. They might settle it outside the court.” Won Chul nodded to Dong Jae’s hunch that was the same as his. Si Mok carefully listened to it while remembering the medical file he brought to the interrogation. He was certain that half of the information in the file might be fabricated.
“Has he ever fabricated evidence?” Si Mok cutted in.
Won Chul only shrugged. “Maybe? Especially as he is working with Hanjo now, anything is possible.”
“What is his connection with Chief Heo?” The sight of those two entering the building before they went to lunch was just unusual for Si Mok. There must be something.
Dong Jae sighed as if he knew something. Their attention was on Dong Jae immediately, considering he had quite a time working with Hanjo. “Our chief had some relationship with the chairman before he died. Now his daughter, Chairwoman Lee Yeon Jae took over, he might be working directly for her now.”
“Chief Heo?” Won Chul questioned in a daze. Didn’t know their chief could have such a connection. “What did he ever do for Chairman Lee Yoon Beom?”
Dong Jae automatically pulled his neck tie to make it looser as he felt choked. Totally not in a comfortable situation to share his information. He looked around for any possibility of being heard by others but only they were there. They are the only crazy trio that would sit on a bench like this in the middle of the afternoon, completely ignoring their working hours, which had already started about 25 minutes ago after the lunch hours had ended. Dong Jae got closer to them.
“I heard he had them covered for things like the tax manipulations, sex scandals and more. But the main cases are mostly the tax. Every case that was brought into the prosecution about their tax misconduct, must be destroyed completely.”
“He started to work for the chairman after the death of…” Suddenly he felt heavy to say the name of his dead senior. “...the secretary Lee Chang Joon. You know, senior Lee was the one who always cleaned up everything for Hanjo but as he died, Chairman Lee took him in.”
Won Chul nodded as he saw the connection very clearly now. Attorney Kim Gi Hong is working with Hanjo together with Chief Heo. No wonder…
“Is Chief Heo a good friend with Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk from the police agency too?” He asked directly to Dong Jae, who likely knew that much. But Dong Jae only showed his confused expression that he believed was real.
“Aigoo...what is this all about?” Won Chul seems to be suffocated with the sudden scandal opened in front of him one by one. Getting too much involved is not good for him but he stayed as he was eager to know.
“Attorney Kim Gi Hong, he was the attorney for Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk’s son, Song Min Joon. The one who was caught in the drugs scandal recently.”
“Wait, what?!” Dong Jae sat up from his leisure position as he was shaken by the sudden information. Same goes with Won Chul who was also informed about the scandal from the television and his friend in the prosecution, Chief Jang Ki Moon. They looked at each other.
Hanjo. Chairwoman Lee Yeon Jae. Chief Heo Sang Chun. Attorney Kim Gi Hong. Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk. They were all connected to each other. Si Mok’s mind secretly went to Yeo Jin’s hit and run case that was still an ongoing investigation.
‘What if, the police cannot get the case prosecuted because they were afraid of Song Ji Suk’s connection to the prosecution? What if, the connection with Chief Heo Sang Chun was the thing that made it harder?’
Hello dear my readers. It has been such a long time since the last time I gave an update to this fanfiction. I have had caught Corona virus and was not in a good condition, in addition of getting quite a nuisance post covid symptoms. Here is the update. Or should I call it 'updates'? ;) Enjoy!
Captain Choi and his subordinates were already desperate to find the possible accommodation that the deceased Ji Sang Yeob probably had stayed at. It’s almost five in the evening but they still couldn’t find the right motel or sauna yet. They went out together from the last sauna. Totally exhausted and disappointed.
Jang Geon took out his tablet and an A4 map printed on it. He crossed the sauna on the map as they had already been there. “Why is it so hard to find his place?!” He groaned in frustration. Totally spent out of long working hours.
Ignoring Jang Geon completely, Captain Choi went to the motel near the sauna, hoping this is the one that they have been looking for. He went inside the motel with Jang Geon and Soon Chang followed him from behind. He took out his official badges and showed it to the receptionist. The woman in her early 30 only nodded in anxiety as the policemen came into the building, thinking if they ever did something wrong.
“Yes, may I help you?” She hesitates. Jang Geon took a picture out of his notebook and showed it to her.
“Do you know him? Did he ever come here?”
The woman took the picture and looked at it closely. Her eyes opened bigger and suddenly took the picture somewhere to the room at the back of the counter. They couldn’t even have a chance to stop her but silently hope that this is the end. They waited patiently while listening to the unclear voices from the inside. Another woman in her late 40 came from inside and walked towards the counter with the picture in her hand.
“Why are you looking for him?”
“Did you know him?” Rejected to give the answer first, Captain Choi asked her back impatiently. She gave the picture back to one of the policemen.
“He was here a few days ago. He took a room. But never come back. He left without taking his stuff and didn't even pay us for the room.” She said, all of them three already cheered in mind as they won’t have to travel around the area anymore.
“He's dead by the way.” Soon Chang interrupted and made the both women gaped at it. Already holding onto each other out of fright.
“Can we see his stuff?”
The woman looked over her shoulder at the younger woman, and signed her to take the belongings of the man had left in one of their rooms. The younger woman is back into the room behind the counter and back with a backpack that was almost a half of her size. Clearly, Ji Sang Yeob took a lot of clothes and stuff with him as he also was on the run from the prosecution. She gave the backpack to them to be examined.
Soon Chang took the bag and held it just to guess the weight. “It’s quite heavy.”
“Can we perhaps see the room he stayed in? Is it occupied?” The woman is kind of uneasy to let them do so but she picks a key from the drawer with a heavy heart. She walked out of the counter table and walked them to the room on the second floor.
She opened the door with the key and let them in. Their eyes wander at every corner of the room to see if anything there is suspicious. But since they just got there, nothing could really be told. The room is not messy and seems already being cleaned by the owner as his belongings were also already collected by the owner.
“Did you notice anything suspicious when he first came to this place?” Captain Choi asked the owner back. The owner was silent for a while, thinking of any weird things she could remember about him.
“It was at night when he arrived and I was the one who is in charge at the counter. He came as the other usual visitors, with the bag.” She pointed at the backpack that was opened by Jang Geon and her eyes bulged at his action by letting all the things inside out on the bag. She quickly stepped up and ready to attack but Soon Chang came through between her and Jang Geon. “What are you doing?! This is my motel! That would bring bad luck to this place!” She shouted.
“Ma’am, please cooperate with us. We need to check his belongings here so if anything is suspicious, we could just investigate it here. Please cooperate.” Captain Choi pulled her from Soon Chang and was about to get her outside with him. She doesn't have any choice but to follow the policeman with hesitation.
“I will check the CCTV with her downstairs. Anything, just call me.” He said before closing the door, leaving Soon Chang with Jang Geon alone checking the stuff. One by one clothes were dragged out of the bag by Jang Geon who was wearing his gloves. Soon Chang followed him by also wearing gloves to avoid contamination on the stuff that might be evidence for the case.
Jang Geon checked every pocket in the bag and just pulled it out the bag. There was not much stuff there other than the clothes. He really packed well to run from Wonju as there were many clothes there. “I don’t think he is just running from the prosecution. I think he tried to run away from military service too.” Considering he was still in his military service, being searched by the prosecution won’t do him any good to return to the camp as the vacation is over. He had no choice but to run from the military as well if he didn't want to be caught by the prosecution.
“That is why he brought this many clothes. Because he tried to run forever.” Soon Chang concluded. Running from the prosecution and the military means you need to run forever. No choice.
“There must be someone in Seoul that could give him such protection that he was so desperate to come here in the first place. Why Seoul when you can go to the island and live there quietly? No one would know him if he went to that kind of place instead.”
Soon Chang touched the belongings and try to find anything suspicious that could bring them to another clue in finding the possible murder. As his hand randomly picked a pair of jeans trousers, a white pharmaceutical bottle came out and rolled to the floor. It hit Jang Geon’s leg and he took it right away.
“You should be more careful-” He stuck as he saw the label on the bottle. It was labeled with the name of a rehabilitation centre, Cheoun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre. Seeing that, they both have their own idea in mind. Jang Geon quickly opened the bottle and saw the pills inside. He sniffs at it.
“Drugs.” He said confidently with his experiences handling illegal substances a long time ago when he was working under the narcotics team before being promoted to the homicide department. He looked at the bottle to find the name of the drugs and found it. “Oxycodone?”
Soon Chang’s eyebrows furrowed at the label of the bottle. “But if this is from the rehab, it would prescripted and it won’t be an illegal use right? Because it was for medical purposes.”
“We didn’t find this kind of drug when we did the post-mortem last time, right?”
“As far I could remember, he only overdosed because of heroin. Nothing else was found.”
Jang Geon thought carefully while looking at the bottle. Especially the name of the rehabilitation centre. His brain was working so fast in looking for any clue from that. “If he was prescripted with this, why didn't he eat them?” He murmured as the post-mortem report never mentioned such drugs to be found in his body.
“Should we call Prosecutor Seo?” Soon Chang was ready with his phone. Jang Geon looked at him in hesitancy. He was thinking about Prosecutor Hwang instead as the man was more brilliant than Prosecutor Seo is as far as he could see. Besides, Prosecutor Hwang has more experience handling this case with them. But it would not be so appropriate to call another prosecutor as they have already been given the specific prosecutor to handle the case. He nodded at Soon Chang and finally made the younger detective dial the number immediately.
“Hello?” The charming prosecutor quickly accepts the call from another side. Jang Geon took the phone and put it on loudspeaker for them to hear.
“Hello, Prosecutor Seo. Can we talk?”
“Ah yes of course.” He sounded weirdly delightful. As if receiving their call is something special to him. “Please speak,”
“So, we have already found the motel where Ji Sang Yeob stayed at before he was found stranded. And we found his belongings too.”
“Really?! That’s great! So do you need any help?” He asked eagerly.
“Err...so we need your advice.”
“Aha..please ask.” On the other side, they could hear the sound of him starting his car engine.
“Are you perhaps about to drive?” Soon Chang asked out of concern. Worried if this is not the right time for a phone call.
“Yes, but it’s okay. I can wait for a while. Please continue.”
“Erm okay. So we found a bottle of medicine. Prescripted by a rehabilitation centre, a drug specifically.”
“Oh, okay wait.” He said on the other line. “Si Mok-ah!” Suddenly he called Prosecutor Hwang and made both of them look at each other. Never thought that they were still together. “Can you join us for a sec? I think you might help us.” They heard him and the sound of the closing door interrupted.
“Please speak.” The cold voice they really wanted to hear came into the line finally. Jang Geon was so excited to spill everything and gripped the phone tightly.
“We found a bottle of medicine. Prescripted by a rehabilitation centre, a drug specifically.” He repeated.
“What kind of drug?”
“Oxycodone. But it never appeared in the post-mortem report. He never took it.”
Si Mok was quiet before asking again. “What is the name of the centre?”
“Choeun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre sir.”
Si Mok is quiet again and so all of them. They are all waiting for him to speak.
“The drug could belong to someone else. Someone whom he met before he died.” He concluded. “I need you two to do some things for me.” He ordered.
“Yes, please tell us what to do sir.” Soon Chang quickly took his note out of the pocket and was ready to write down anything the prosecutor said to them.
“First, ask for Ji Sang Yeob’s medical report and confirm his admission to the rehab with the Cheoun-Nal centre. You can ask how to contact them from the narcotics team. We need to confirm whether he was ever a patient there or not. If not, the medicine clearly wasn't a prescription for him.”
Soon Chang wrote a dictation instead as the prosecutor was talking fastly. But it’s understandable by both of them. “Next sir?”
“Bring the drug to the forensic. Ask them if we could do a test for the drug with the sample left from Ji Sang Yeob. Oxycodone is a kind of drug that only can be found in someone’s body with a specific test. It needed a special routine for it, that is why the post-mortem couldn’t detect any drugs other than heroin because they didn’t test him for oxycodone.”
“Noted sir.” Jang Geon nodded in the logical explanation the prosecutor gave them. The name of the drug is very rare to be found in Korea but it’s not impossible.
“For now, that’s it. Do that first and Prosecutor Seo will assist you for more. I will go visit you later.” Si Mok concluded and they heard the sound of the door closed. “I will come to the station right away.” Prosecutor Seo said at last and ended the call.
Jang Geon checked the note back. “I will go back to the station to get the first thing done. You, bring this to the forensic.” He gave Soon Chang the bottle and quickly tidied up Ji Sang Yeob’s belongings into backpack again as Soon Chang walked out of the room to complete the errands.
He took the backpack downstairs to check on his captain for the CCTV records. As he was standing near the counter, he could see the captain was looking at the screen intensely as if there was something. “You found anything sir?”
Captain Choi looked up at him and waved his hand to the air to sign him to get closer to him. Jang Geon put down the backpack and came closer as told. He looked at the screen. “Why?”
Captain Choi’s finger moved on the screen and pointed on the car in the recording that was parked in front of the motel. “Watch this.” He pressed the mouse to play the recording and the sight of Ji Sang Yeob appeared. He got into the car in the front passenger seat and drove away. He was wearing the same outfit as they saw in the recording from the convenience store a few days ago. Captain Choi pointed at the time scale. It was recorded at 9:45 p.m., confirmed on the same night as he went to the convenience store.
“It was 10:10 p.m. when he went to the convenience store, and got out around 3-4 minutes later. This is before the event.” Captain Choi laid on the chair. Breathe heavily by thinking about the possibility. “But the car didn't appear in the footage from the convenience store.” He said as he remembered the sight of Ji Sang Yeob walking from the store.
“Maybe they parked the car a bit far.” Jang Geon answered and he just nodded at it.
“I heard you found a drug upstairs.” He said as Soon Chang told him before went outside, taking their car to the forensic. Jang Geon only nodded.
“Prosecutor Hwang gave us errands just now.” He simply said and cutted in as Captain Choi wanted to nag about calling Prosecutor Hwang instead of Prosecutor Seo. “So it is confirmed then that he was with someone before his death. And if the drug test is turned negative on him, that means, the owner of the medicine must be the person whom he met that night.”
“But the drug is here. If he met the owner that night,” Captain Choi tensely pointed at the footage of the night. “Why is the drug only found here? Not with him when he was found stranded?”
“Wait, he didn’t come back afterwards?”
“The owner already said that he didn't go back to the hotel that night and didn’t even pay for the room.” Captain Choi’s voice was about to shout at his clumsiness. The detective only laughed at it and nodded apologetically.
“What if they already met before he came here for a room, and went out again that night?” Jang Geon tried to make up for his mistake by giving relevant possibilities. Captain Choi glared at him while thinking.
“The drug might have been passed to him when they met before he got here.” He continued. “But if he is tested positive for the drug, and his medical records approved that, the drug is his then. And the situation would be only one. He met someone and got into their car, went somewhere and never returned back to the motel.”
“And that someone must be the killer.” Captain Choi said lastly while looking at the car in the footage. An expensive sedan in black, Mercedes Black Sedan with a plate number clearly shown in the footage. He silently calculated the distance between the motel and the convenience store. If they track the car, they could possibly find the place where Ji Sang Yeob went that night with the car. “I will go track the car with the traffic department.” He decided and got up from the chair.
“Where are you going after this?” Dong Jae shouted at Si Mok from his car window after he left the car as the phone call with the policemen ended. Si Mok was walking towards his car parked beside his car in front of the firm’s building. The junior thought for a while. Dong Jae knew his face right away. “You are thinking something crazy, aren't you?”
Si Mok tilted his head and looked at him weirdly. “Am I that readable?” Dong Jae only laughed shortly at his innocent reaction. Secretly thought his junior was quite cute. He was imagining how fun it would become if a strong woman like Han Yeo Jin took care of this savage yet so innocent Hwang Si Mok. It must be chaotic.
“Cheoun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre.” He said quietly but still could be heard by Dong Jae from his car.
“What? The previous rehab?” Dong Jae referred to the rehab that Jang Geon told them about before. Si Mok nodded. Slowly, he came back to Dong Jae’s car and stood beside the open window. Right in front of Dong Jae who was already eager to know more. He licked his lip out of the hesitancy of his theory.
“What? Spill.” Dong Jae pushed.
Si Mok rests his hand on the car and lowers his head to be on the same level with Dong Jae’s sitting in the car. “The police agency’s Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk’s son, Song Min Joon, was admitted to the same rehab. The rehab was in Suam-dong, Namgu in the province of Ulsan.”
“Wow, he sent his son that far? Just for rehab? There’s a lot in Seoul too.” Dong Jae commented and Si Mok nodded in approval for that comment. “So? What are you actually thinking?”
“You know my case with Ji Sang Yeob right?” He asked Dong Jae and the prosecutor nodded instantly. “I did my own research on him since the day I found he was the suspect. I read all of his records including his medical records already.”
“But if you already read that much, why did you ask the detectives to check the medical reports from the rehab just now?”
“To reconfirm.” He answered and looked around to find anyone that might be hearing their conversation. “He never admitted to rehab. Never until he gets into the military.”
“Wait, so the drug?”
“It might belong to someone else, or it might be unprescripted.” Si Mok concluded.
Dong Jae’s eyes opened widely as he made a dramatic sound while covering his mouth. “You wanted to say the rehab might be doing illegal drugs? Sell the drugs to people like a dealer?!”
Si Mok didn’t nod or deny Dong Jae’s opinion. He just silently walked back to his car.
Si Mok’s mind was brought to the medical reports of Song Min Joon. He still couldn’t find any hole of if but sure there must be one. The record was too clean to be real. Now, a discovered drug prescription from the same rehab was found in the dead man's belongings. Someone who had never received such treatment from a rehab.
If the record was proven to be fabricated, they must be capable of doing something badder. Which means they could also sell the drug that was supposed to be given under the medical prescription. Song Min Joon could have more drugs than his anti depression the night he was arrested that he got from the rehab. The drug that couldn’t be detected by a usual drug test. Oxycodone.
“Can you request a warrant for me?”
Yeo Jin in the middle of her own brainstorm session with her own brain. Alone. Her eyes were set on the messy picture on the table belonging to Song Min Joon’s lifetime. His campus life until his current life, every record of him was available in front of her. She took one of the pictures that he got from his social media through an illegal hacking by their IT officer, Kang Junho.
It was his picture from Seoul University. He was wearing a full kit of an ice hockey uniform and holding up the stick. The young man looked totally alive then. Nothing like someone she met in the interrogation before. He lives his life to the fullest.
She took another picture of the full team of the Seoul University Ice Hockey athletes. She found him right away in the middle of the line up with a captain badge on his right arm. Totally easy to detect him in every group picture with that badge around.
The other picture of him alone wearing the same kit, standing on the ice court. With the usual pose with the stick in his hand. Smiling widely. But, as she looked at the picture closely, she could spot the person who took the picture through the reflection on the glass barrier behind him. It was a girl.
As she wanted to see more, the door of her office knocked from outside, bringing her back to reality. As she looked up, Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon was standing in front of the door with a paper bag in his hand. She signed him in with an awkward smile.
“You seem busy.”
“Yep, I lost the suspect. Trying to dig deeper.” She said.
“I told you I am better.” He said the same thing that he said a few days ago about Hwang Si Mok. This time, Yeo Jin’s eyes on him were just the same as they were days ago. Sharp on him.
“I thought you wanted to make up for the mistake but instead, you wanted to make more.” She smiled sarcastically, tidied her table by putting all the pictures in a file. Still not ready to share any unconfirmed information with others. She only had the picture with the girl's reflection on the table as she wanted to give it to Junho for further investigation. She flipped the picture to hide it.
“I apologize.” He said finally. “I shouldn’t have judged him that much since I don’t know him.”
Yeo Jin sighed. “You always apologize to me when you make a mistake. You talked about him, senior inspector Kim, so apologize only to him.” She said, getting from her seat to go out to Junho with the picture in her hand. But her phone rang loudly and made both of them look in the same direction on the bright screen with the caller ID showing.
‘Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok’
Ignoring Yong Joon, Yeo Jin picked it up fastly. Yong Joon only glared at her fast reaction as she never picked up his call that fast. He stood there in silent madness.
“Yes, Prosecutor Hwang?” Yeo Jin listened carefully to every word the man said to her and her face slowly changed. The information that he sent her really made her instinct triggered.
“Yes, pick me up. I will be there in a few minutes.” She said quickly and ended the call. Back at her table, she picked up the file of Min Joon’s pictures in it and put it in the briefcase. She gets all of her things inside of her bag instantly and wears her trench coat hanging on the hanger behind the table. She walked fastly leaving the room, towards Junho who was still behind the table.
“Wait, Yeo Jin!” Yong Joon shouted and made everyone look at them but Yeo Jin only ignored him and got to Junho. She put the picture on his table.
“Look, there is a girl in the reflection. Look at this,” She pointed at it in a rush as Si Mok was already downstairs, waiting for her. Junho followed her finger and detected the reflection right away, he took his marker and circled the girl. “Can you try to find her for me?”
“Yes ma’am. I will inform you right away.” He said while looking at Yeo Jin and Yong Joon in turn as the situation was so intense between them. Especially with the rushing Yeo Jin. What is going on with these two again?
“Thank you Junho.” She said and rushed to the door out of their special investigation office, right to the elevator. Yong Joon is still following her from behind to know what actually happened. What did the prosecutor say to her that made her rush to meet him? Why is she rushing to him?
“Yeo Jin-” He stopped as Yeo Jin glared at him to warn him about the formal name between them. The elevator opened wide and there were a lot of people in it, including them, there were about ten people in it. They took the elevator and the door closed. Closing the opportunity for Yong Joon to ask further as there were people listening behind them.
Yeo Jin’s mind at that time was flying back to Si Mok’s words about his theory. The theory that could link Song Min Joon back to the drug scandal. The prosecutor had offered her to do a cooperative investigation with the rehabilitation centre in Ulsan. Yes, they are going to Ulsan.
The metallic door opened wide and they got off from it as fast as possible as Yeo Jin was also in a rush. She took her phone to call him about her arrival in the lobby but Yong Joon grabbed her hand and made her put down the phone from her ear. She tried to snatch her hand back but his grip was tighter. People are already gazing at them with wild whispers.
“What are you doing?!” Yeo Jin asked in a pressed whisper. Desperate to get her hand go. If she could kick him right now, she would. But with everyone watching, she tried to be out of there in peace. Not trying to embarrass anyone. “Stop it. People are watching.”
“Where are you going?”
“Why do you care so much about it? As if I have something to do with you?”
Yong Joon's eyes glared hard at her eyes in fire. His eyes were in disappointment. “No matter what happens, you will still choose that prosecutor, don’t you?”
“It’s none of your business.” Yeo Jin tried again to snatch her hand off of him but the grip was still hard on hers. No chance for her to win this. She glanced at her surroundings. No one could even dare to get her out and pointed at him for the workplace assault. Ironically, this is a police agency headquarters and no police even come to her to provide protection.
At that time, she had no choice but to kick his leg or maybe his lower torso. But before she could even do that, a firm grasp came between them, taking Yong Joon’s hand that was grabbing hers. They both looked at the owner of the hand only to find Si Mok. He gazed at Yong Joon sharply.
“What are you doing, Senior Inspector Kim?” He asked firmly, as tense as he was this morning.
“And what are you doing here, Prosecutor Hwang?” Yong Joon replied back with a question. No smile for a good impression was offered today.
Si Mok tightened his grip on Yong Joon’s hand to pull the male’s hand off from Yeo Jin. But it only made Yong Joon’s grips on Yeo Jin even tighter. “Argh!” Yeo Jin groaned in pain from the sudden tightness. Si Mok, who was aware automatically glanced at Yeo Jin and saw her in pain, made him triggered even more. His jaw tightened. “Let her go.”
“You let me go first.”
“Just stop it already, Kim Yong Joon!” Yeo Jin shouted lowly just for them to hear. Her gaze was never off from Yong Joon, still sharp.
“We are on our way for an investigation. You are standing in our way.” Si Mok interrupted.
Yong Joon was so triggered as he heard about the fast he was the one who was in their way. He scoffed in disbelief. “What investigation? You failed her by letting the kid go. What more to investigate?”
“The superintendent general already told me to do anything I could to solve this. Stand back!”
“But I am your team! Not him!”
As soon as he shouted, the game was totally on. People started to murmur even more loudly. Everyone was in alert with the situation involving the special investigation teammate with a well known prosecutor. Just who would want to miss this kind of show?
“Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon. Let her go now.” Si Mok tried to suppress his anger as well as he could as he knew blowing up in the headquarters of the police agency would not do him any good especially for Yeo Jin.
“For the sake of the investigation, let me go now.” Yeo Jin followed Si Mok by toning down her voice as well. Her eyes wandered around at the crowd surrounding them and signed Yong Joon to also looked around. He gasped at the realization of how his poor attitude has caused him. Slowly, he pulled his hand down and let her go, finally being released from the prosecutor.
“I will be back soon. Please inform Superintendent General Lee about my absence. Take care of the team as I am not here.” She said before went out with Si Mok. Totally focusing on the case.
“Are you okay?” Si Mok asked as they were already driven away from the headquarters. Si Mok drives his car fast towards somewhere. His eyes glanced at her right hands and spotted a redness around her cuff. His hand on the wheel tightened as he saw the mark.
She touched her hand to soothe the pain away with her furrowed face trying to suppress her groan. “Yeah, I am good. This is nothing more than the usual kicks I got from thugs.” She laughed at her own words only to find Si Mok getting more tense. She slapped his right arm that was nearest to her on the right side of the front passenger seat. “Are you worried about me?” She giggled again.
“Yes I am.” He said honestly and took another glance at Yeo Jin before slowly looking at the road again. Driving the car towards the area of Yongsan. Yeo Jin was still in awe of his words, feeling touched and appreciated.
She looked around and found them in the middle of traffic in the area of Yongsan. Looking back at him as they were there. “I thought we were going to Ulsan? Why didn’t you take the exit to the highway and come back here instead?”
“We need to fetch Captain Choi and Jang Geon from the motel where Ji Sang Yeob was living before he was found dead. Detective Lee took their car to the forensic. We may need a short briefing from them before going to Ulsan.” He explained as the car entered the area with a lot of entertainment business located including clubs, karaoke and motels. Yeo Jin didn’t ask for more and helped him find Captain Choi and Jang Geon that were waiting for them.
“Oh there they are!” She said excitedly and pointed at the further motels with a pair of men talking to each other standing. Si Mok approved that and drove slowly as they were near to fetch them. He honked as the policemen didn’t realize their arrival and quickly went to his car. Jang Geon didn't see Yeo Jin at the front seat and immediately opened the door to get in. But got a small kick from Yeo Jin instead as the door opened wide to sign him to go to the backseat.
“Ack! I don’t know you two will come together?!” He asked loudly and closed the door, following Captain Choi to the backseat. They closed the door immediately and both were already eager to know what Yeo Jin was doing here with Si Mok. “Why are you here?”
“Prosecutor Hwang asked me for a cooperative investigation with you guys. So he fetched me from the HQ.” She answered simply without giving a specific answer. From the mirror, she could see Captain Choi was glancing sharply at her as if he couldn’t believe her. She pouted.
“But I thought we were investigating Ji Sang Yeob. You have nothing to do with this case.” Captain Choi butted in, suspiciously looked at Si Mok’s head in front of him and Yeo Jin back to back. His hand was busy organizing his notebook as the car started to move again.
Yeo Jin sighed as she needed to explain a lot about this to Captain Choi. “The drug that was found with Ji Sang Yeob was from the same rehab that the suspect from my drug case, Song Min Joon, went to. We suspected his medical record was a bit off before letting him go. So now we found more things related to the same rehab, we planned to go to the rehab by ourselves.” She finished.
“And….where is this rehab at?”
“Ulsan?!” Both of them reacted at the same time in disbelief. They didn’t search about the rehab yet and were waiting for the narcotics team to send them the info. But never expected it would be that far. Seoul to Ulsan by car would take around 2-3 hours of journey.
“So you will go to Ulsan? Today? Only you two? Together?” Everyone could sense the firmness in Captain Choi’s voice as if he was questioning a suspect.
“Yeah…” Yeo Jin answered awkwardly as she could sense that both of the policemen might think about something else. She looked at them through the rear-view mirror and as she expected, they glanced at her suspiciously. Especially to Si Mok. “Don’t worry. This is Prosecutor Hwang.”
Jang Geon still doesn’t want to let the topic go and wanted to ask more but Si Mok cutted him off. “Your team, including Prosecutor Seo, were short of people to be sent off to Ulsan. Prosecutor Seo will be leading the interrogation, Detective Lee with the forensic and you two will handle the suspect. No one else but us was available to go there.” Si Mok answered typically in a cold manner as usual, making the topic buried in second.
“What have you found so far? Other than the drug.” He gazes at the detectives through the rear-view mirror while driving the car to the Yongsan police station.
“So far, I already asked the narcotics team to contact the rehab about the medical record. Still no answer from them. Maybe we need to wait a while.” He said and Si Mok nodded a bit.
“Soon Chang already arrived at the forensic. They said they will try to use the older sample from Ji Sang Yeob for the Oxycodone test. The result might be out within a day if the sample is still usable.”
Si Mok went silent as he was thinking. Now, they only need to reconfirm that Ji Sang Yeob wasn’t a patient at the rehab and wasn’t an Oxycodone drug user to find that his theory might be right about the possibility of illegal drugs dealing inside of the rehabilitation centre. His finger tapped lightly on the wheel.
“We found a CCTV recording from the motel. It showed that Ji Sang Yeob went out with someone after he checked into the hotel on the same night when he went to the convenience store.” He passed the tablet to Yeo Jin at the passenger seat to show them to Si Mok. Yeo Jin took it politely and played the video with her hand holding the tablet in the middle of the car to let Si Mok see it too.
“The owner of the car must be the last person to meet him alive. If Ji Sang Yeob was murdered with an overdose of drugs, it must be the person who drove the car who made it.” Captain Choi added.
They silently kept their eyes on the black car in the video with the plate number clearly appearing there. Yeo Jin gawked at the plate number and the car as she realized something. She covered her mouth out of shock and disbelief, her hand slowly holding the tablet down. “Oh my god.” She said nervously as her eyes wandered around thinking hard. All the memories regarding the hit and run case of Song Ji Suk came into her mind.
“What?! What did you find?!” Captain Choi asked eagerly as he was already up from the backrest. Jang Geon gripped Yeo Jin’s headrest in front of him as he looked at her through the side mirror. Her expression was so shocking.
“I think…” She brought the tablet slowly back to her while her eyes were still on it. She bit her lips out of hesitance either to tell them or not. Because she wasn’t very sure of the idea she had in mind. She was afraid that she might be wrong.
“Just spill it, Yeo Jin-ah. It’s okay.” Captain Choi urged in desperation. He knew Yeo Jin that well to see her through the expression. He knew that Yeo Jin’s hunch or opinion on this might be right as she was rarely wrong since they ever worked together in the homicide department. He trusted her.
“Senior Inspector Han,” Si Mok called her formally and glanced back at her from the road. “You know that we trust you. Just say it. Either it is true or not, we will find out later.” He said calmly, reassuring her.
“He is right.” Jang Geon assured her. Yeo Jin gazes at Si Mok who is back on the road. Yes, they trust her. So does her.
“The car… I know this car.”
“You know this car? But I'm just on my way to the traffic department to find it out.” Captain Choi opened his notebook again to take note of Yeo Jin’s words. Ready with his pen in his hands.
“It belongs to Song Ji Suk, Senior Superintendent General of the Seoul Police Agency.” She looked at the same Mercedes sedan in black with the same plate number as the one which she was investigating in the hit and run incident. She knew that car very well.
The car was left silent as she spilled it. It just got them goosebumps on her statement except Si Mok who maintained unaffected. If the car belonged to Song Ji Suk, the case of Ji Sang Yeob and Song Min Joon might be related. There is a relation between these cases, they just need to find what it is.
“So, it might be Song Ji Suk or Song Min Joon who fetched him from the motel that night. The father and son are now our suspects for this possible murder. We just need to know who was the one who was driving the car that night, either Song Ji Suk or Song Min Joon.” Si Mok calmly concluded the situation for them emotionless. Driving expertly entering the main gate of Yongsan police station.
“After that?” Jang Geon asked in trembling. Still couldn’t believe that the suspect might be their own higher up. Si Mok parked his car at the front entrance, with Dong Jae already waiting for them with an envelope in his hand. Coming to them with a troubled face.
As he rolled the window open on Yeo Jin’s side as Dong Jae arrived at the car on her side, he gazed back at the two policemen. “Ask the one who drove the car that night and-” He stopped as he realized something. His eyes go big as his brain hits the jackpot. “No. Take their DNA sample and compare it with the foreign DNA that we found in Ji Sang Yeob’s body. It must be one of them.”
“Then, ask whether the heroin was taken willingly by the deceased or given by him. How much dose was used against him and whether he knew the dose was fatal or not. The suspect could have intentionally or unintentionally murdered him. If he knew the dose was fatal, and he was the one who giving Ji Sang Yeob the drug, it is confirmed to be a murder with an intent. One of them made Ji Sang Yeob overdosed. The owner of the foreign DNA.”
Silent again, neither of them wanted to move or get out of the car. Dong Jae looked inside of the car to find everyone but Si Mok were in an absolutely blank situation. “What is wrong with them?” He asked as he gave Si Mok the envelope through the window. Si Mok politely bowed at Dong Jae and took it. He brought a paper out of the envelope to assure the content. It was a warrant to investigate the rehabilitation centre for the case that only can be requested by Dong Jae as the prosecutor in charge.
“Thank you.” He said politely and back to the policemen. “I need you to work with Prosecutor Seo in Yongsan for the interrogation. Prosecutor Seo knows exactly what to do. Just trust him.”
“This motherfuc-” Dong Jae almost cursed at him as he heard Si Mok. He talked as if he didn't know how to do his work.
“The suspects are confirmed for interrogation and DNA tests. They will explain to you later. I need you to stay here with them for the interrogation and I will go to the rehab with Senior Inspector Han to collect more evidence.”
“Really?! Already? Who?” Dong Jae’s eyes bulged out looking at them one by one.
“Later.” Si Mok replied. “What do you have?” He asked Dong Jae back. Dong Jae scratched his eyebrows as Jang Geon and Captain Choi hopped out of the car, still standing there to listen to their conversation.
“The info that Detective Jang Geon asked from the narcotics team, they already confirmed it with the rehab. They passed the info to me as I was the prosecutor in charge.”
“Okay, what did they find?!” Jang Geon was thrilled to know and didn't even realize he was grabbing the prosecutor’s suit in desperation.
Dong Jae looked at Jang Geon and Si Mok again in frustration. He nodded slowly as an approval for something. “I think you were right Si Mok, he was never a patient at the rehab. The drug they found might be sold illegally or belongs to someone else.”
“The someone else might be Song Ji Suk or-”
“Song Min Joon.” Yeo Jin finally opened her mouth after the shocking revelation. Si Mok pressed his lips thin and nodded.
“Please test Song Ji Suk and Song Min Joon for the oxycodone drug test as well.” Si Mok said, ended the conversation before moving the car away from the police station.
Si Mok drives his car through the highway towards their destination in Ulsan. It’s been two hours of journey and he was keeping the pace of the car fast to get them there faster. He looked at Yeo Jin who was sleeping in her seat. Her tiredness was visible through her face. He could hear her noiseless snores. A corner of his lips lifted a bit, forming a thin smile.
A huge direction board at the side of the highway showed him that the rest stop is near about 1 kilometre from there. He looked at the gas level on the dashboard that almost reached the lowest level, signing it would be needing more fuel. As the rest stop slowly appeared on the side road, Si Mok lowered his pace and drove into the driveway of the facility. Immediately went to the gas station first.
He stopped his car and unbuckled the belt, grabbing his wallet from the drawer on Yeo Jin’s side, carefully not to awake her. He retrieved his wallet and went out of the car to the counter to pay for the fuel. He walked calmly to his car just to find Yeo Jin already awake and doing a strange stretching in the car. His eyebrows furrowed at her gestures while walking straight to the tank.
“Huahhhhh!!!!” Yeo Jin’s voice came out as she came out of the car, continuing her stretching movement excessively. It was a relief as it was only them there without any other car, so no one had to see her acting like that but Si Mok. Her still not fully awakened eyes looked around before she found Si Mok who was also looking at her with his judgmental face. She pouted. “What? I was only stretching.”
“You can hurt your back by doing it excessively.” He commented on it and shook his head. Yeo Jin walked towards him at the tank. She could see him holding the host of the fuel. Suddenly feeling him attractive only by fuelling his car. With the typical outfit of a suit and long coat outside, the typical look of a prosecutor. She didn't realize that she was staring at him intensely until he called her.
“Senior Inspector Han? Are you okay?”
“Why are you looking at me like that?” He asked with his calm face while his hand was busy, took the host out from the tank and closed the tank back.
“Ah no- it's just I was hungry.” She said and instantly realized how weird her words were. Her eyes bulged at realization of what her sayings might lead to and awkwardly looked at Si Mok. Hoping that this stoic man won’t know such things and didn’t misunderstand her words.
Si Mok looked at her as usual with his emotionless face while he finally closed the lid of the tank as the final touch. He calmly signalled her to get back into the car. “Do you want to buy something to eat? I saw some stalls opening back there.” He asked innocently, making Yeo Jin relieved. She followed him to the car and got into her seat back.
Si Mok turned on the car and buckled his belt again. “Let’s stop to get some food and go again.” He said while turning the car out of the gas station driveway. He drove slowly to the stalls but discovered there was a food court there.
“By the way, where are we now? I was sleeping and didn’t follow. Sorry.” She asked while looking at the clock on the navigation screen. It was already half past eight at night. Totally a long day for them.
“It’s okay. We are almost in Daegu.” He said as he parked the car near the entrance to the food court.
“Wow, you drive that fast?!”
He stopped the car and turned off the engine again, unbuckled the belt and Yeo Jin did the same. She untied her messy hair and let the hair free before she fixed it with her fingers. Si Mok was silently watching her in amusement but seeing her combing her hair with her fingers triggered his emotion. Slowly, he reached for the drawer in front of Yeo Jin’s seat and took out his comb.
“Here, use mine.” He gave it to her. Yeo Jin looked at him in shock.
“Is it okay if we share a comb?” She asked as the comb might be a bit personal. Maybe not for him but for her, comb is a very personal item as it is used for self grooming. Same goes with razors.
“It's just a comb after all.” Just like she predicted, he didn’t care. Yeo Jin smiled and took the comb. As she brought the comb to her hair, she could smell his scent on it. The same scent she would smell every time they met. Maybe from the shampoo he used. Using the comb with his scent on it automatically made her smile even wider.
Si Mok, who was waiting for her and watching this, couldn't even move his eyes. He doesn't know why but he just can’t dart his eyes away. He fell into a situation that he never thought he could ever be able to. Amused. Charmed into the way she tidied up her long hair. He always finds it difficult for him to pay attention to things other than his works but Yeo Jin is different. He could watch her for God knows how long. He cannot describe how he is feeling at the time. It just feels right.
“The comb smells nice. Thank you.” She said finally after she finished tied her hair back into a presentable look. She put it back into the drawer and closed it. She was about to get out of the car but found Si Mok’s eyes still on her. Has he been watching her all this time? “What?”
Si Mok came back to reality and shook his head. He opened the door and waited for Yeo Jin before locking it. Hiddenly forming a smile on his lips.
Yeo Jin drove the car along the road in the hills area towards their destination to the Choeun-Nal Rehabilitation Centre according to the navigation. The area was dark as it’s already a quarter past ten at that time. Nothing was there but only a stream near the hills. The road was also quiet with on average only one or two cars passing them in a radius of one kilometre. Not many people came to the area and she already checked the area through a map before driving into here. The rehabilitation centre was located in the middle of woods with no other building near them. Totally being outstranded.
She glanced at the passenger seat to see if Si Mok was sleeping beside her, but only to find Si Mok was playing with his phone. Specifically reading something from the internet. Yeo Jin rolled her eyes. “I offered to drive not to have you playing with your phone, Mr. Prosecutor. Did you even sleep when I was driving since the rest stop?”
Si Mok's eyes blinked a few times as Yeo Jin suddenly nagged at him like that after about an hour they didn’t talk to each other as she was too focused on the road. He got off the screen and put all of his attention on her instead, looking at her direction. “I am sorry, I didn’t sleep. I was reading the group chat.”
“You have a group chat?!” Yeo Jin almost shouted in disbelief. Somehow offended as she was not a part of the group.
“Yes, with the Yongsan homicide team 1. They just added Prosecutor Seo too.” He said while coming back to his phone as he was waiting for updates. His finger awkwardly scrolled the screen with another hand that wasn’t holding the phone. Yeo Jin only grinned at it as his action reminded her of his mom who scrolled her phone like that.
“Why are you scrolling like an old man?” She giggled even louder. Forcing her to cover her mouth a bit while gazing at him for a while before coming back to the road.
“It's just how I prefer it to be.” Si Mok answered while typing something. A few seconds after that, Yeo Jin’s phone twinkled once as the notification also came up on the screen. Yeo Jin just ignored it as she thought it was just a message. “I asked Detective Jang to add you to the group.”
“Really?! Tch, they don’t even care to add me before you tell them.”
“They were busy.” Si Mok tried to soothe the situation as he doesn’t want her to be misunderstood about them. Yeo Jin laughed shortly. “I know. I was just bluffing.”
Si Mok’s phone rang once as a signal to a new message. He quickly checked it out and read it fast. “The drug test on Ji Sang Yeob is done, he never took oxycodone.” He informed her instead as she cannot see the message by herself while driving.
“Really? Then the drug that was found in his backpack must have belonged to someone else. It might be Song Ji Suk or Song Min Joon.” Si Mok nodded firmly, still got his eyes on the screen as he could see Dong Jae was typing. He waited patiently. A few seconds later, his phone made sounds again.
“The warrant for arresting Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk and Song Min Joon has already been approved by the court and they will be brought to the prosecution for interrogation tomorrow morning.”
Yeo Jin asked as she drove the car slowly into the open gate of the rehabilitation centre, drove through the garden and finally arrived in front of the entrance. The building was already dark inside, maybe because it’s already hitting curfew for the patient. Only the lobby had the lights on. Yeo Jin stopped the car and took her phone from the small space near the gear, joining the chat immediately.
“I did the oxycodone drug test on Song Min Joon’s sample from the database too. Positive. Oxycodone.”
“Yaa… finally we can get him for the narcotics crime.” Yeo Jin added without typing it in. Only to be heard by Si Mok.
“We still cannot prove that the drug from Ji Sang Yeob belonged to Song Min Joon. He might be positive about oxycodone but no one could tell the drug was his yet.” As if Si Mok wanted to answer Yeo Jin, he typed it in to be seen by the whole group as well. Yeo Jin’s eyes narrowed at him as he chose to talk on the phone instead of talk to her directly. She types excessively but the typing Captain Choi stopped her.
“The drug must be given to him before he arrived at the motel as it was here with his other belongings that he left behind the night he went out with the Mercedes car.”
“Don’t worry. I will ask that to the one who matched the foreign DNA. I am taking their sample now. Will get the result soon.” Dong Jae cutted in.
“I thought the interrogation was tomorrow?” Yeo Jin asked directly to Si Mok.
“It's just the interrogation that starts tomorrow. But for collecting DNA samples, especially for something urgent like this, it can be managed as soon as they have the warrant.” Si Mok said while his eyes were still on the phone. Waiting for more.
“Song Min Joon’s sample is already in the database. No need to collect from him.” Soon Chang cutted in. “I already asked the forensic team to compare the foreign DNA with Song Min Joon’s sample. Just bring the Senior Superintendent General’s sample to the forensic.” He added.
“Okay!” Dong Jae sent a moving sticker with a blowing kiss. Yeo Jin just giggled at it.
“He has become more approachable now.” She appraised him, silently glad for his new change. She quickly types in the first message in the group chat.
“We have arrived at the rehab. We will find additional proof to find the owner of the drug. Or a possible witness.”
“Be careful.” Jang Geon said. Yeo Jin only smiled at her former teammate and kept her phone in the coat before getting out of the car. Si Mok followed.
“Do you think they will cooperate with us during this hour?” Yeo Jin asked as both of them were eyeing the building. Even though it was built in the middle of the woods, the building wasn’t that bad. The design was a bit modern and more into European style.
“Let's just try.” Si Mok breathed heavily and marched to the lobby of the rehabilitation centre. Yeo Jin followed him as usual and entered the three floor building with her cautious eyes. She was impressed by the interior of a rehabilitation centre that could be said to be quite luxurious, with a chandelier hanging above them in the lobby. Anyone might have mistakenly taken the centre as a hotel. She got near Si Mok and said something quietly.
“Isn't the interior is way too much for a rehab centre?” As she said that, the prosecutor wandered his eyes around and the suspicious looks masked his face right away. He looked at her and nodded.
“May I help you?” A woman in a nurse uniform in turquoise color stood behind the reception counter, looking at them both back to back. They continued their step to the counter and Si Mok took out the warrant immediately.
“We are from the Seoul Prosecution Service and Police Agency. We are here to investigate something.” Si Mok said while the nurse looked at the paper carefully. Reading it in anxious. She hesitantly gave the warrant back to him.
“I need to call our manager first. Can you wait at the lobby first?” She said and they willingly obeyed. Slowly moving from the counter as she picked up a phone on the table, walking towards the couches. Yeo Jin touches the couch.
“The couch is also the branded one. You know how much this is?” Si Mok also touches the couch on the same spot Yeo Jin touched and brushes his finger with her hand unintentionally. Yeo Jin was shocked by the touch that had given her some sort of electricity jolt.
“No.” He said calmly and looked directly into her eyes as if it was nothing to him. Yeo Jin fell into a sudden gaze. Unable to answer. “Senior Inspector Han?”
“Huh?” She looked at him weirdly. Being with him, this close, made her lose her mind. She could smell his usual cologne that she smelled a few days ago at her home. It is still comforting just like it was. Refusing to be intimidated by him, Yeo Jin brought herself away from Si Mok and stood three steps away from her previous spot. Si Mok only watched her in his usual calm and cold look.
“Well, where are we?!” She said, mediumly about to shout. Si Mok blinked once and pointed at the couch. Yeo Jin made her iconic ‘aha’ reaction and slowly walked back to the couch. “This couch might cost you about two million Won each. Here, they even bought a set of it with the coffee table, I bet all these might be around 10 million Won. Is that even logical for a rehab centre to have something luxurious like this?” Yeo Jin pointed her fingers at the entire set up and furniture settled in the lobby without having an intent to try sitting on them. Si Mok gazes at the modern looking furniture in silence while taking her words.
“You are right. It does look expensive.” He commented while Yeo Jin scoffed proudly. “What if the rehab was built for specific patients?” He narrowed his eyes on her, pulling her attention on him. Yeo Jin took a step closer to him with her suspicious eyes that sometimes gazed at the counter.
“What if the hospital itself was built for the top one percent of people in Korea? This whole rehab was actually housing and only took care of rich patients only.” She continued Si Mok’s theory, and made the prosecutor nod a bit.
“Imagine how these people, took advantage of it and manipulated many things to get out of the law for medical reasons.”
Yeo Jin was silent for a few seconds at his words. Thinking deeply at his unknowingly meaningful statement. She came back to Song Min Joon’s medical record and they still couldn’t let go of how perfect the record was. “There’s a lot to investigate from here.” She said lastly while her eyes were looking at the nurse who was walking to them. She tapped his shoulder gently as a sign to turn at the nurse who almost arrived near them. Si Mok obeyed and met the gaze of the nurse right away.
“I talked to the manager and he said you can only start by tomorrow morning as the patients are already sleeping. He is afraid you might wake them up.” She said promptly.
“Can we ask you a few questions then?” Yeo Jin interrupted. The nurse looked scared as she was the only one there. No one will back her up if she said something wrong. She instantly denied her by shaking her head.
“No, tomorrow will do.”
“Just a few questions. One or two?” Yeo Jin pushed.
“No ma’am. I beg your pardon,”
“Just-” Si Mok crossed his hand in front of Yeo Jin as a sign to back off when she tried to step closer to the nurse. He glanced at her by the tail of his eyes before glancing away back to the nurse.
“We will come back tomorrow, eight in the morning, sharp.” He said and turned to Yeo Jin who was narrowing her eyes at him for interrupting. Si Mok shook his head slowly tried to sign her to just let it go for now. They still have more time tomorrow. Yeo Jin sighed heavily as she was defeated by his tired eyes handling her through the day. From defending her at the Yongsan station, to pick her up from the problematic Yong Joon, drove all the way from Seoul to Daegu and now needed to deal with her stubbornness. She bowed lightly at the nurse before following Si Mok back to the car.
“Now what?” She asked him as the sudden scream interrupted them coming exactly from her back, made Si Mok pulled her drastically as he could see what was coming from her back. She was pulled to his back, being completely shielded by his sturdy body, with closed eyes, not knowing what was coming, and suddenly got showered with cold water. Si Mok’s body couldn’t be enough to protect her from the sudden splash out of nowhere. She opened her eyes and found Si Mok already on the ground, fighting with a man in pyjamas.
The man strangled him by the neck and got his legs around Si Mok’s torso to lock him down on the ground, on his body. Si Mok was struggling to let himself go, totally all out and bringing his old military skills he learned from the mandatory service on the man. Si Mok strolled on the ground to get himself out but instead, the man rolled again, making them back into the same position back.
“Ughhhhh!!” Si Mok groaned as his neck felt strangled even harder. Yeo Jin, who was actually considering the man might be a patient in the rehab, hesitantly attacked the man with her punch on his face. Straight on his nose, made him bleed right away and scream in hurt. Let go both hands on Si Mok immediately. Yeo Jin took Si Mok and now shields him with her hands ready to attack in fists. Both of them panting in totally wet clothes from the attack.
“OH MY GOD! What happened to you both?!” The previous nurse who just came out looked at them in fear. They don't know how they exactly look like but it must be that bad as she was reacting that way. She came back inside and came back with a syringe with her in hand. Quickly went to check the man, expertly penetrate the needle into his arm. The man who was struggling on the ground with his bleeding nose slowly became unconscious by the effect of the medicine given. They could hear her breath out heavily.
She took out her walkie talkie and spoke right away as her finger pressed the button. “Hey, this is Go Soo Young. Male houseman please come out to the front area of the lobby. We had a patient come off from the ward.”
“Alright. Come right away.” A male voice replied. She kept her small walkie talkie into the pocket and checked the patient. She took his impulse and let his wrist go as she was satisfied with the reading. The big bucket that was used to bring the water to Si Mok and Yeo Jin was stranded on the ground and she picked it up. Soo Young looked at them and smiled bitterly at their poor condition. They were 80 percent wet. The coat, the hair, all wet. But maybe the water didn’t penetrate deeper into their beneath clothes as she could see now.
“His name is Park Jeo Suk. He was in the army before being sent here by his children. He always splashed people with water and strangled them to the ground because of his PTSD. I hope you understand.” She said apologetically. Bowed to Si Mok and Yeo Jin as two male housemen in the same uniform in turquoise came out with a stretcher. Took him on the stretcher and brought him in. Soo Young came back to them as she finished assisting the housemen.
“Where do you stay tonight?” She asked. Si Mok and Yeo Jin looked at each other. Yeo Jin was secretly hoping that Si Mok might have a plan after this he was usually being super oriented. But Si Mok also looked at her like that as she was also a good back up planner.
“Don’t you have a plan?” Yeo Jin asked Si Mok. The man pressed his lip thin and innocently shook his head. “YAH!” She shouted in frustration as she was also cold with the damp clothes. She was trembling looking at him as he pulled her closer in manner. Gently put his arms around her shoulder as he saw her shaking. Yeo Jin couldn’t even feel touched by that as she suddenly felt a sudden tightness under her belly, a familiar sudden attack.
Watching those two, Soo Young immediately caught a different idea in her mind. She completely thought that these two might be a couple. An idea came through her mind as a solution. “I knew the nearest homestay nearby. I can call the owner to bring you there.”
“It’s okay, just give us the number. We will call them and go there.” Si Mok coldly said, also in shivers. But at that time, Soo Young was already calling the owner and waiting for the line to be connected. Finally, she spoke.
“Hi, sir. Do you still have an available unit for tonight? Yes, yes… Mmm for two people. Yes.. adult.” She said while gazing at them both. “It’s okay, I think they can find the place. Yes, yes please do so. Thank you.” She turned off the phone.
“Can you give me your number please, I will send you the number of the owner and the location.” She asked them, Yeo Jin came forward. Instantly gave her number instead to the nurse than giving up on Si Mok’s number to her. In a few seconds after retrieving her number, she sent the location with the contact.
“The homestay was just about 300 metres from here, you literally can walk from here but as you brought your car, it would take around two to three minutes from here.” She said again. “I already asked them to prepare the house for you two, just say my name to them when you arrive.”
“I am sorry but I didn't get your name earlier.” Yeo Jin said, totally monopolizing the whole conversation with Si Mok quietly behind her. Yeo Jin touched the screen to save the number as the nurse’s name.
“Go Soo Young.” She said, Yeo Jin nodded and bowed again before signalling him to move from the door, giving her space to get into the driver seat as she still got the key with her. Si Mok obeyed and moved to the other side of the car, to the passenger seat beside Yeo Jin after bowing to Soo Young and got into it.
They finally arrived at the homestay nearby as recommended by the nurse. As Yeo Jin drove the car into the private land, they could see the small chalets that were built in a row. There was also heavy equipment and materials that were usually used to build something like a building, stranded at the other side of every chalet. As if they are in the middle of construction or renovation.
Yeo Jin parked the car near the double story house that might be the home of the owner. There were two people already waiting for them outside of the house. A man with a woman, both in their middle age like in their 50s. Smiling as they saw them. Yeo Jin smiled back and bowed as she turned off the engine while Si Mok just bowed politely.
They jumped off from the car and walked towards them in heavy steps as they were too wet and uncomfortable in their clothes. However, Yeo Jin still played her normal warm hearted character by greeting the owner first even before arrived near them. “Annyeonghaseyo!” She greeted them delighted while waving her hands up to them. The owners giggled and waved back at her.
“Oh my goodness! Look at you two.” The woman said while sympathetically looking at their wet condition as if there was rain just now. Yeo Jin could only smile awkwardly at her words. “Don’t worry. I will give you my daughter’s shirt.” She said and gaze at Si Mok too. “I will give you my husband’s shirt too. Don’t worry.” She giggled again at their hilarious condition.
“Soo Young already told us to get the house ready for you. You are lucky as there was a chalet house that finished the renovation today. So we could give it to you.” The husband said while showing the key to both of them. Yeo Jin and Si Mok looked at each other before coming back to him.
“There is only one chalet house sir?” Yeo Jin asked on behalf of Si Mok. The man nodded.
“Unfortunately, yes. We are in the middle of renovation and we could only finish one house for now. The other houses are still unsafe to be rented by the visitor.” The man said while looking at them hesitantly. “It shouldn’t be a problem right? Soo Young said you two are a couple.”
Oh my god! Just how many times more does she need to hear this accusation about their relationship in a day? So many people have been asking her about the same thing and she has been explaining herself for the whole day! This is horrible than not having him in town at all. Secretly, she rolled her eyes in annoyance but Si Mok could see it clearly.
“We are not, sir. But it’s okay as we are now adults.” Si Mok has finally spoken to the owners in his usual cold intonation. Yeo Jin looked at him in disbelief for his bluntness.
The woman saw Yeo Jin’s expression and somehow worried if she might be uncomfortable to be in the same room with a man. “You can stay in our daughter’s room if you are not comfortable.” She offered it to Yeo Jin.
The husband nodded. “Yes, she is not in town for a while now. Shouldn’t be a problem. What do you say?”
Yeo Jin looked at them both and the house at their back. From the open door, she could see the cozy living room with the warmth inside. How cozy and comfortable that would be. But the chalet house must be as comfortable as that too as they just finished the renovation today. It shouldn’t be an issue for that even while having Si Mok in the same house. She looked at Si Mok quietly.
Yes, it's just Hwang Si Mok. Her trusted prosecutor. What could possibly happen?
“No, I think I will just stay at the chalet with him. No worries.”
“You got to help me out, Heo Sang Chun!”
Sang Chun massaged his hurt head with his right hand while the other hand was holding his phone tight. He was in the middle of call with Song Ji Suk who was given a warrant for an interrogation for a murder case. It is just so stressful for Sang Chun to handle his friend as this is the third case in a row that his friend reached for him. Just how many more cases after this?
“First, hit and run. Later, drugs. And now a murder? Just how many times do I need to save your ass?!” Sang Chun shouted to the phone. Completely losing his mind.
He could hear the desperate voice of Ji Suk from the other side. “You gotta help me Sang Chun. Or else…”
“Or else what?!”
“I will tell everyone what I have against the Hanjo. You choose!” He said and finally ended the call, leaving Sang Chun in a tight position. Sang Chun sighed deeply while thinking about the possible storm coming.
He is working for Hanjo, specifically for the Chairwoman Lee Yeon Jae. His job is to protect the family from any scandal. By law or outlaw. Failed to do so, God knows what would happen to him. Now, Ji Suk has threatened to expose the thing that could bring Hanjo deep down. The only thing he could do to save Hanjo is to help Ji Suk out of the mess that he doesn't even know where the end is.
After another case, another case came out. It is just like covering a hole only to make a new hole. Sang Chun looked at the screen of his phone and searched for a number he saved inside of it. He pressed the contact and connected to it right away before pulling it to his ear.
If closing the hole is not enough, chopping the hoe should do.
Both of them get into the house after the owner, Mr. Shin Nam Woo and his wife, Mrs. Jeon Jina left them alone with a bag of clothes that they took from their closet. Enough for the both of them to change into meanwhile waiting for their clothes to dry. The owner also offered them to use their dryer machine at the back of the house, literally across their chalet.
Si Mok and Yeo Jin took off their coats immediately as that was the dampest one. “I will take our clothes to the dryer. Just put your clothes in the basket over there.” Yeo Jin pointed at the basket near the main door while dumping her own coat on the chair in a rush. Si Mok who was busy taking off his wet socks only looked at it once but obeyed her.
“I will go shower first. Okay?” Yeo Jin said to him, trying not to show any embarrassment in front of the man. Si Mok just naturally nodded at her without showing any unnecessary reaction as she had predicted in mind. She was right, it was just Hwang Si Mok.
As Yeo Jin disappeared into the bedroom with a bathroom inside of it, Si Mok did the necessary thing by taking off his wet clothes. His suit was also wet from the water but luckily doesn’t smell a lot. He took off his necktie too and unbuttoned the first two buttons of his shirt, flipping the arms of the shirt to his elbows as well. Totally looking more comfortable and leisurely as he always does after work hours. He put his wet clothes without his pants that he was still wearing into the basket. He also took Yeo Jin’s coat from the chair and put it inside with his clothes.
He opened the bag that the owners gave them and took out the clothes inside. They were sets of sweaters with the pants in the same color of grey, same design, only the size was different. The sweaters were printed with a design of family day on the front. Maybe it was specially designed for their family day. Si Mok took the smaller set of sweaters and brought it to the room to give it to Yeo Jin.
He pushed the door slowly and went inside as he had confirmed Yeo Jin wasn’t around. He could hear the sounds of dripping water from the bathroom as he walked towards the bed. Si Mok put the clothes on the bed only to find her undergarments were lying there. His eyes were nailed to the black bra and panty that somehow made his heartbeats raised.
It is true that it is difficult for him to show emotion on something. It is almost impossible for him to feel, to show, to express his thinking on anything. Everything was just given a plain reaction from him. Not to mention how introvert he is. But one thing that shouldn’t be ignored is, he is still a man. A healthy man that could react to something like this.
The clicking noise from the bathroom door woke him up and he glanced at the direction only to find Yeo Jin in the towel around her body. The towel only covered her chest until her thigh as it was quite short. Their gazes met and Yeo Jin was the first to scream while instantly covering her chest with the other towel she got in hand.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?!”
Si Mok blinked at her. Totally intimidated by her in that situation. He pointed at the sweaters he put on the bed without leaving his traces on her. He could see every part of her body that wasn’t visible in her usual outfit. He could see clear scars around her arms and legs that she might have gotten from the fights with thugs. “I was just leaving this-”
“TURN AROUND!” Yeo Jin shouted as she could see his eyes were wildly scanning her body and he obeyed. Is he really just a Hwang Si Mok or did she just underestimate him? “What are you doing here? You knew I was showering. This is not polite Hwang Si Mok.” She said in a serious tone that she usually used it on her suspects. The most deep voice she ever used against him.
Si Mok tilted his head down to the floor, trying to figure himself out. Just why did he be so blunt and look at her undergarments that long? He could just leave but why was he stuck with the things? Why did he even trace his eyes on Yeo Jin that long? He doesn't understand. Is this what it is called as liking someone as Kang Won Chul told him so?
“Hwang Si Mok!” Yeo Jin called again as he was silent for so long. Inside of her mind, she was already overthinking about the possibility that Si Mok might be the same as the other men out there that will take advantage of her vulnerable situation.
“I apologize, Senior Inspector Han.” He said, finally. “I was just trying to leave the clothes for you so you don’t need to come out and take it outside but I was intimidated for a while. I am sorry if you felt uncomfortable by it. It was my fault.”
Yeo Jin was silent at his words. From the sight of his back, she could see clearly how the man was in confusion of his own behaviour. She knew Si Mok so well and she knew how difficult it was for him to understand things that happened arounds him.
“I breached the limit. I apologize for my unprofessional behaviour.” He said before leaving the room and closed the door, leaving her a personal space to get ready.
“Wait-” Yeo Jin took a step out of the bathroom to run after him before realizing how inappropriate her situation is. Considering the situation, she quickly took the clothes. Yeo Jin looked at the undergarments on the bed and realized he must be looking at it too before she came in. She closed her eyes in embarrassment and continued to wear the sweaters without any undergarments as she wanted to dry it with the dryer later. She was confident that the material of the sweater was thick and loose enough to hide her body curve, especially her braless breast.
She carefully wrapped her undergarments with her damp shirt to hide it and took all of the clothes outside to the basket she pointed to Si Mok before. But when she was outside, Si Mok wasn’t there anymore neither the basket.
“Aigoo...did he just go alone without taking a bath first?” She went to the door and opened it and saw Si Mok was sitting in front of the dryer on a chair. Completely seem to be pensive as if he was reflecting on what just happened. She sighed while her hands ensured that her towel on her head that was wrapping her wet hair was secure enough before finally going outside. On her way to Si Mok.
“Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok.” She called and the prosecutor stood right away. As she arrived at the laundry room, she slapped his back right away and laughed at his dumbfounded reaction. She naturally took a seat beside him.
“Oh my god! Stop it already. Let’s just pretend it never happened.” Yeo Jin said while looking at the machine that was rotating their clothes. “Why don’t you wait until we both finish showering? What about your other clothes then if you dry it now. What about my other clothes?” She said while showing him her other damp clothes in hand. He just pressed his lips apologetically.
“I am sorry. I can't think straight after what happened. It was inappropriate.” He closed his eyes trying to delete the footage from his mind.
“So you just took the basket outside?” He nodded and looked at her finally.
“You went to the dryer just to clear your mind?” She continued and he nodded again. Yeo Jin laughed at his innocence. “Like I said, just forget it. Let’s act like it never happened.”
“If you don’t want to pretend as if it never happened, I won’t work with you anymore.” She said while pretending to get up from the seat but Si Mok immediately pulled her hands and pulled her down back to the chair. She laughed.
“If you said so, I would just pretend like it never happened.” He obeyed at last.
Yeo Jin breathed calmly and looked around the private land’s landscape. It was a very nice surrounding they have there with the woods. Totally calming with the dim lights put around the facilities. “You know, it is normal to be in that situation.” She said suddenly, her eyes darted back to Si Mok.
“You mean to see a woman in that situation?” Si Mok said in confusion. His eyebrows pulled together clearly tried to understand.
“No. I meant to be intimidated. Like you, when you...saw me.” Yeo Jin awkwardly clears her throat. To be honest, of course she wasn’t very comfortable to speak about this thing again but if she didn’t speak about it, she bet it would take forever for him to finally understand what he was feeling in the room.
“I was intimidated?”
“Yes. You were. And you were clearly confused by it.”
“I have never been in that situation before. I didn't even realize it. I apologize.”
“Oh my god! Stop with your apology already!” Yeo Jin laughed again and she could see his corner of lip slightly went up forming a thin smile. “You are a man too. Whatever your situation is, you are an adult man. The healthy one. So….it is normal for you to be intimidated by it.”
“It was inappropriate, yes, I didn’t deny that and you should be careful next time. You were right about breaching the limit or whatsoever. I forgive you this time.” She said and finally gave him another slap on his back and almost dropped him from the chair. Yeo Jin laughed loudly and supported his arm to get him back in position.
“Thank you. For your explanation.” He said and Yeo Jin just nodded in a smile. Both of them were relieved that they finally had the issue solved.
The machine stopped rotating finally and Yeo Jin quickly took out the dried clothes inside back into the basket. Then she threw her damp clothes inside the machine before looking at Si Mok. “You go inside and take shower first. I will wait here until you come with your damp clothes.” Yeo Jin expertly pressed the button for the drying function to dry her clothes first before Si Mok finished his shower and brought his clothes. But Si Mok was still there, standing in daze.
“I think you better wait inside. It's safer than here.” Si Mok gazed around the laundry room that was surrounded by the woods in his usual judgmental face. Yeo Jin scoffed in disbelief at him.
“I am a policewoman. What could possibly happen?”
“But still...” Here we go with his another ‘but still’ iconic line. Yeo Jin rolled her eyes and knew that he wouldn't go until she followed him back. She took the basket with their dried clothes in it before dragging his arm with her back towards their chalet house. Obeying him at last.
The homicide team together with Dong Jae were still at the police station waiting for the DNA result to come out. Detective Lee Soon Chang was still left at the forensic office to give them the result right away after the report was out through a phone call.
They checked the alibi for each suspect and found only one of them had the alibi for not driving that night. The one with the alibi would likely be innocent and they just need the proof that pointed directly at the suspect. The DNA test result.
Their phone rang at the same time as Soon Chang sent them a soft copy of the DNA result through the group. They quickly opened the PDF document and expertly found the information they wanted.
Dong Jae grinned satisfiedly while looking at it. He changed looks with Detective Jang and Captain Choi. They all nodded to him.
“Let the hunt begin.”
Yeo Jin grinned at her phone when she saw the DNA report. The test has shown that the foreign DNA that was found in Ji Sang Yeob’s body belonged to Song Min Joon. Together with the oxycodone test we made on him, Song Min Joon has nowhere to hide anymore. The light is coming.
“I checked Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk’s alibi on the night his car was seen to fetch Ji Sang Yeob from the motel. He was confirmed to be in the headquarters at that time. The DNA test also tells us it was Song Min Joon’s DNA, it must be him.” Captain Choi said.
“Gosh, can’t it be done tomorrow?” Yeo Jin sighed as she sent the message. Suddenly worried about their captain who is already in his 50s this year. It was already one in the morning. Slightly shook her head.
“Are you crazy? How can I wait for this thing?!”
“We are all still at the police station. Getting ready for tomorrow's interrogation.” Jang Geon interrupted and sent a sticker of yawning.
“Prosecutor Seo too?!”
“Yep. I am still here with them.” Seo Dong Jae replied to her. Yeo Jin could only laugh at their over commitment. At the same time, Si Mok came out of the room with his match sweater like hers. She grinned at the sight of his style at that time.
“Nice sweater.” She said to him and he just shrugged his shoulders before sitting beside her on the sofa. Naturally sneaking at her phone to see what she was doing. He took his phone out and read silently to the chatroom to follow the current situation.
“I will check the dashcam in the car to see if Song Min Joon met Ji Sang Yeob before the night or not.” This time, it was Jang Geon.
“Fine, do it tomorrow please.” Yeo Jin typed. Totally worried about their health.
“Have you told Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong about this? He should know about Song Min Joon’s oxycodone test that might be related to the drug case.” Si Mok butted in finally. Automatically making all of the group participants aside from Yeo Jin typing.
“Gosh! You two haven’t slept yet?” -Seo Dong Jae.
“Oh I forgot about his other case.” -Detective Lee Soon Chang.
“I will tell him right away!” -Detective Jang Geon.
“Tch..who were you nagging at Han Yeo Jin? You can’t even tell your partner to go to sleep.” -Captain Choi.
“Aigoo…you shouldn’t have been talking.” Yeo Jin glared at him while typing. Si Mok just blankly stared at her before leaving her back to the laundry room again to dry his clothes. He went there with the basket to take Yeo Jin’s clothes in the dryer.
“We just got back from the rehab. Will continue tomorrow. Off to sleep. FINALLY!” Sent. She dropped her phone to the couch and yawned. She stretched a bit and took the remote to turn on the television. As Si Mok hasn’t done drying his clothes yet, he might be needing a friend to accompany him while waiting for the clothes. She chose the public channel SBS and blankly stared at the drama on air. Don’t even know what kind of drama it was but just chilling watching it anyway.
Si Mok went back into the house with the basket. Carefully drop it near the door and go to Yeo Jin, claiming his seat back. “I thought you were sleeping already.”
“Nah.. let’s wait until you finish drying your clothes.” She carefully laid on the backrest of the sofa and adjusted her position to be more comfortable. Si Mok joined her and watched the drama but Yeo Jin's sudden eyes on him distracted him away and looked at her instead.
“Oh by the way, what about your post in Wonju? I heard you're supposed to go back there today.”
“Where did you heard that? I don’t think I ever told you that.”
“Geon told me after the briefings you had with the team this morning.” She planted a bitter smile. Feeling disappointed of him finally leaving her again after a few days.
“Oh. Yes, I was supposed to come back tomorrow but things got complicated. I will request to stay longer.”
“As long as you needed me to.” He said casually without realizing how his words affected her so badly. Her breath suddenly became unstable with sudden raised heartbeats.
“If that is so, you would need to stay forever.”
Just like being striked by lightning, Yeo Jin was beaten to reality and realized she was saying her monologue out loud. She awkwardly looked away and straightened up while her eyes wandered around the living room desperately looking for a topic to cover this up. Then, a sudden idea came up.
“Oh, so your house will be empty again?”
“My house? My apartment?” Si Mok asked confusingly and Yeo Jin nodded excitedly. “I think so as I don’t have a new tenant yet. Why?”
Yeo Jin folded her both legs on the couch and sat facing Si Mok who was still on the same position laid on the backrest. “Remember I said that Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong is getting married with my teammate?”
“Well, they still don’t have a house yet to live in after their wedding so…as you are going back to Wonju again, why not rent your apartment to them?”
Si Mok was quiet in thinking of her suggestion. “They still don’t have their own house? I thought they were getting married? Isn't getting a place the important thing to do before planning on a marriage?”
Yeo Jin sighed at his thought. Even her thought the situation was complicated for them. “My teammate, the bride, is pregnant. It was an unplanned pregnancy. Out of wedlock. You know such a thing right?”
“Sex before marriage?” He asked innocently and made her face become red as she heard the term used by him.
“Yeah-yeah, that thing. So, they wanted to hold the wedding before her bump became bigger. So the wedding plan was a bit messy. They don’t even have time to look for a new home. Most of the houses in Seoul, even a small studio apartment would need a big amount of down payment if they wanted to move in as soon as possible.” Yeo Jin smiled with hidden meaning as she finished. Hopefully Si Mok would understand the situation.
Si Mok narrowed his eyes at her in suspicion. “So you thought I could rent them my apartment with a special price?”
“Well, if possible, just put a small down payment and you can negotiate the monthly rent with them later on.” Si Mok only silent at her, still not very convinced. “By the way, Ki Yong is getting transferred to Chonju at the end of this spring.”
Si Mok just nodded and blinked his eyes once. “That’s normal.”
Yeo Jin rolled her eyes at his slow thinking when it comes to personal matters. “Can’t you imagine their situation now. Hana is pregnant, Ki Yong is getting transferred, but they still don’t have a place to live. How can he leave Hana in that condition?”
Watching how Yeo Jin cared about the couple made him realize that Yeo Jin might have a special bond with them. She might know more about Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong. “How well do you know this Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong?”
“Suddenly?” Yeo Jin eyed him in suspicion as he suddenly picked a topic out of the conversation. Si Mok sighed.
“He seems to have a strong connection inside the prosecution.”
Si Mok looked at her with his typical suspicious eyes that he always had when he got something on his mind. “When the chief of Seoul branch prosecution called me this morning, telling me he already sent someone to handle the case, he clearly said that he got a personal hope for this prosecutor. That must mean he got something personal related to him right?”
Yeo Jin slightly smiled at his words knowing what is going on exactly but refused to talk about it yet. “And what is the name of this chief again?”
“Chief Jang Ki Moon.”
Yeo Jin finally let her laugh out loud. Totally laughing at him out loud this time while Si Mok looked at her frustratingly. “What?” He asked with his judgmental face while Yeo Jin held his shoulder for support from the hard laughs.
“Well, I forgot to tell you this actually but it was because I thought it wasn’t that important after all because you are from the Wonju branch.” She was still panting from the good laugh Si Mok gave her.
“What is it?”
“Your chief, Chief Jang Ki Moon, is the father of Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong.”
“Ah-” Si Mok was hit by the realization. Just realized how similar their names are. He shook his head out of disbelief as he missed the point.
“Don’t take it too seriously, it's just a hope he had on his son. Nothing more. He didn't even give him money to support their newly wed life.” Yeo Jin pouted at the fact Ki Yong’s father didn’t give them extra money for renting a place.
“Maybe he just wants him to be independent.” Si Mok said casually without being affected by emotion. He stood up and walked towards the door again to pick up his clothes from the dryer. Yeo Jin followed.
The awaited tomorrow finally came. The day of the interrogation of Song Ji Suk and Song Min Joon finally arrived this time with the bigger possibilities of getting Song Min Joon arrested for murder or at least, indicted for the narcotics crime. Whatever the result is, Song Min Joon is confirmed to be arrested at least by one of the accusations.
It was only seven in the morning but both Si Mok and Yeo Jin already woke up and were getting ready for the investigation at the rehab. Yeo Jin, who was sleeping in the bedroom last night was given the advantage to take shower first before Si Mok, who was willingly sleeping on the couch last night.
Yeo Jin wore her suit from yesterday and put a light compact powder on her face just to light up her dull and tired face. Getting sleep only after two in the morning last night was really tiring and didn’t give her enough sleep at all. Still exhausted from driving this far from Seoul even though she just drove from Daegu to the rehab. She took the lipstick in natural coral code out of her handbag and smeared the thin layer of it on her lip just to add more color to her pale lip.
As she was done with the makeup, Si Mok came out from the bedroom in his usual suit just like yesterday with his long coat folded in his arm. His hair was also done handsomely by himself just like usual. She secretly admires his charisma at the age of early 40s, even more charming from the men in their 20s or 30s. Si Mok walked towards her in the small dining room and took a seat.
“Good morning.” Yeo Jin greeted him while pushing a plate filled with toasts which she made earlier with the toaster available in the kitchen. She took the spatula and took a bit of the cold blueberry jam from the jar, spread it nicely on the toasted bread. “Here, eat this.” She gave it to Si Mok at last and licked her finger with the jam leftover afterwards.
“Thank you.” He said and bit the bread in starvation. He knew right away the toast wouldn’t be enough to fill him until the afternoon. Maybe they could find another place to eat after the investigation at the rehab this morning. Only if they could settle it by this morning.
“Do you want more?” Yeo Jin asked as he almost finished his toast. Grinning at him as if he was a child and she is the mother. Si Mok hesitantly shook his head. “No, I am fine. You should eat more.” Si Mok took the spatula and spread the jam on the toast just like Yeo Jin did and gave it to her. Yeo Jin's eyes were big looked at the toast that Si Mok handed to her. Is this even real?
“Are you feeding me right now?” She asked in disbelief, took the bread eventually as Si Mok nodded. Casually pour the coffee from the pot into the mug. Not only for him but also for her. She could only observe him in curiosity and bit the toast in silence, wondering what has gotten into him lately?
“I have a question by the way.” Si Mok suddenly made her stop chewing for a second. “What?” She asked and continued biting for another bite of the toast, gazing at him in full interest.
“About the hit and run case, I wonder perhaps the police agency didn’t want to bring the case to the prosecution not only because of the matter of the image and pride,” Si Mok stopped in the middle with his eyes narrowing at her. Yeo Jin also stopped chewing again and darted her eyes away from looking at Si Mok. Completely avoiding his gaze.
“...or there is someone in the prosecution that can help Song Ji Suk out of the problem.” He ended it with a tense gaze on Yeo Jin who refused to look at him. Just like Yeo Jin, he knew Yeo Jin so well to be able to recognize her body language right away. Yeo Jin knew that she would avoid someone’s eyes, especially his eyes if she had something that she wanted to hide.
“The reason why you cannot get the case to be prosecuted before getting a strong proof to bring it on trial is because you are afraid of his connection in the prosecution. Wasn’t it? Because someone in the prosecution might destroy the case from the inside. That is why the police agency refused to trust us for this case, right?”
Yeo Jin could feel his eyes were on her, totally glued on her who was looking away. She was informed not to involve a prosecutor in this case, especially not Hwang Si Mok. But as they already went this far, even went to the rehab for further investigation together, she cannot see how to exclude him anymore. Soon or later, he will know the fact. She put the unfinished toast back on the flat plate and finally looked at him and met his tense gaze. Her heart was pounding so hard looking at his nice brownish eyeballs.
“I wasn’t supposed to get you or any prosecutor involved. You do know that right?” She said in her cold tone, totally being defensive and made the prosecutor alarmed by her attitude. He nodded.
“But like I said before, you can’t do this alone. You and your team still have the limit and eventually would need assistance from the prosecution. I can help you.”
Yeo Jin sighed heavily while tilting her head down in a tight position. As the leader of the team, she knew her responsibilities of taking care of the secrecy within the organization and the investigation itself wasn’t supposed to be known by anyone outside of the team, especially by a prosecutor like him. Involving him even deeper into the case would just make the situation even harder for her to cover the fact that he knew the existence of the case. Her superior would obviously punish her more than he will after he knew that she left with Si Mok yesterday. She is still waiting for the phone call from the headquarters actually but still got no answer. There is no way the headquarters didn’t know what happened as many witnesses were there watching the scene.
“Fine, you were right. Our Senior Superintendent General, Song Ji Suk has a connection inside of the prosecution that could help him destroy the case from inside. My Superintendent General, Lee Moo Sang just told me about this yesterday.”
“Do you know with whom he had the connection with in the prosecution?” Yeo Jin shook her head.
“We are still trying to get it covered. But it's just tight. You were right again about the limit. The limit as police officers made it hard for us to get into the fact. The intel wasn’t strong enough. We don’t have the information from the prosecution as we cannot retrieve it.” She touched her head in desperation. The power of the prosecution is just inevitable.
Si Mok was left thinking about the theory he had in mind. His finger was playing with his mug while his eyes were wandering around. Finally dropped on Yeo Jin’s exhausted face, sympathetically thinking of her hard position in the police agency. “I can help you with that.”
He nodded confidently. “Do you know H & J Legal?”
“Yes. What about it?”
“I went there to visit my senior, the former chief in the Seoul branch, senior Kang Won Chul. He is now the attorney in that legal company. On our way to the nearby restaurant, we met the chief of the Supreme Prosecution Service, Chief Heo Sang Chun. He was accompanied by the attorney of Song Min Joon, he worked there.”
Si Mok nodded before continuing. “Dong Jae has told us that Chief Heo is working for Hanjo and I am sure not many people knew about this as senior Kang wasn’t informed as well. Ironically, attorney Kim Gi Hong was also a part of the legal team in Hanjo.”
Yeo Jin was left silent. Totally not predicting she could earn this much by opening up to him. She learnt something she couldn’t possibly earn by doing the investigation alone with the team. “So, attorney Kim Gi Hong and Chief Heo are working for Hanjo. Attorney Kim was also representing Song Min Joon,” She tried to get the idea again and Si Mok nodded in approval.
“I am suspecting Chief Heo as the insider in the prosecution.” Si Mok concluded everything that he learned so far that he believed could help her in many ways. There is a lot that the investigation team could dig only from the suspected insider. As the case was still not being prosecuted, he could do nothing but just advising and sharing the information with her.
“That is the sequence. What if Song Ji Suk asked for his help during the drug scandal to save his son and Chief Heo from the prosecution sent him attorney Kim to help?”
“You can start the investigation from that fact. There is still a lot to discover. Ji Sang Yeob, the drug scandal and the hit and run case. I believe that all of them are connected to each other.” He sipped his coffee finally and checked the time from his watch. It was half past seven. He instantly stood from the chair and brought the mug to the sink to clean it up as that could be the last time they were there before going back to Seoul. Yeo Jin also finished her coffee and toast as she realized the time for the appointment is getting near.
Si Mok went to the living room across from the dining room and took his dried socks from the basket, calmly wearing them on his both feets while being observed by Yeo Jin. Their eyes met finally and he silently watched her in a navy suit in a few seconds. “Get this case prosecuted, Han Yeo Jin. We can get more together.”
Yeo Jin was surprised when he called her informally again. This is the second time he called her by her only name. Ironically, she doesn’t feel annoyed or disgusted by it just like how she felt when Senior Inspector Kim Yong Joon did the same. It just feels so right. She formed a smile. “Why do you kept on calling me by my name, informally?”
“Aren’t we at the same age?” Si Mok asked again at the matter-of-fact. “Don’t people always drop the honorific when they are at the same age or know each other for a while?”
Yeo Jin grinned at his words before standing up and bringing the plate and mug to the sink. “So you want to drop the honorific? Are you sure?” She asked Si Mok again who was busy wearing his black long coat outside of his suit, back into his typical prosecutor mode.
“As long as you are okay with it.” Si Mok said and took her coat from the basket, hanging them around his left arm to give it to her. Yeo Jin just smiled at him while tidying up the cutlery she used. As she finished, she came to the living room with her handbag and took her coat that was handed to her.
“Fine, let’s call each other by our name. But, only when we are alone and out of working hours. I am expecting you to call me formally during the official duty hours.” Yeo Jin has finally wear the trench coat nicely on her small body. Si Mok nodded in obedience to her request without any further question.
As promised, the investigation at the rehab started today. They were brought to see the doctor who was assigned to take care of the medical prescription for the patients in the rehab. In front of them right now is psychiatrist specialist, Doctor Vince Min, the one who holds the intel they needed now. Han Yeo Jin led the investigation by having him interrogated first with Si Mok silently watching them.
“Oxycodone. Are you familiar with the name of this drug?” She said and showed him the tablet with the picture of the oxycodone pills shown on the screen. The man in the typical medical coat tilted his glass in calmness as he zoomed in the picture.
“Well, I have heard of this before when I was working in the US, it’s quite a common drug used in medication there but it’s rare to be found in Korea.” he said confidently, not knowing what the partner is holding. Yeo Jin only scoffed at his statement.
“Are you using the drug in here too Doctor Min?”
“Of course not! Like I said, it is rare to find it here in Korea.”
Yeo Jin only nodded calmly at his sayings and slid to another picture. It was a picture of a bottle with the label of the rehabilitation centre’s name on it, clearly stating the name of the medicine inside, ‘oxycodone’. “Then, how can you explain this?”
Vince has finally shown his nervousness but expertly suppresses it inside with his quite tough mentality in facing such situations. He looked at Yeo Jin as calm as before as if he wasn’t affected at all. “Well, that-”
“The sticker wasn’t fake. We have it compared to the other pharmaceutical bottle packaging from the other patient of yours by the forensic, it was the same bottle as used here. Clearly the drug was coming from here. And as you are the one who handles the distribution of the medicine for this rehab, it must be through you.” Not giving a chance for him to deny, Yeo Jin straight to the main point. His face has finally shown the sign of pressure.
“As you said before, the drug was rare to be found in Korea, because it was illegal even for medical purposes. Distributing this drug is already a crime. We can get you arrested now for the crime-”
“It wasn’t me!” He shouted out loud, stood firmly in front of the table, facing the two civil servants. He palmed his own face and slowly sat back in the chair. Sighing in despair.
“It wasn’t you, then who?”
Vince looked at Yeo Jin back and rested both of his elbows on the table. Clearly to be affected this time by the stronger prove she presented. As he looked like he was about to spill the beans, Si Mok turned on the recorder on his phone and put it on the table, clearly to be seen by everyone in the room including by Vince himself. He spoke while knowing he was recorded. “We only followed the order. The VVIP patients were the one who smuggled the drug into the country and had us repackaging it into our pharmaceutical packaging. Making it look like nothing but a normal medicine.”
“Who are these VVIP patients?”
Vince was in doubt. Still cannot decide what to do at that time, worrying about his own life by spilling the secret. “I-I..” He shook his head in confusion, totally blank to decide whether to tell or not.
“Having you trying to cover this up now will eventually get you a heavier punishment for smuggling the drug, like the actual criminal.” Si Mok has finally spoken, making the atmosphere in the small office even more suffocated especially for Vince. It was working when the man finally took out a file from the locked drawer under the table. He pushed the file to both of them.
“Here is the list of patients who smuggled the drug to this rehab. They work on it together and send it to us for repackaging. Some of them take it monthly and the most frequent is weekly.”
Yeo Jin and Si Mok analyzed the information stated in the handwritten form, clearly recorded in rush and the papers were also almost worn by the stains. There weren't so many names in it and just about five names in it. Yeo Jin looked at him again. “This is it? Are you sure?” The man nodded excessively.
“The drug was expensive. It could cost them around a million won per gram. Not many people could have access to it.”
Yeo Jin went back to the record and read the name carefully. Jung Ki Ho, Shin Da Hae, Young Ji Won, Kim So Won, Nathan Lee. That’s it. No name of the person they wanted to be there appeared. Yeo Jin sighed in frustration. “Are you sure this is it?”
“Yes, they are all the ex patients here. I am sure.”
“How did you distribute the drug?” Si Mok asked him back despite disappointment not having Song Min Joon’s name on the list.
“I post it using the express service to the place they assigned. Usually to the train station or any public places.”
Of course that would be the place. They would never have it sent to their actual house. Si Mok observed the list again and flicked to the next pages where the profile of each person was included. He slowly recognizes every name. He could detect the name of the minister’s son and daughter right away. One of them is a celebrity and the other two were unknown to him. “Who is Kim So Won and Nathan Lee?”
Vince glances at the profile once before answering him. “Kim So Won was a professor’s son. He was here for a panic attack. Nathan was also here for the same issue, just released a few years ago.”
“And whose son is this Nathan belonged to?” Si Mok asked as he couldn’t see a clear view of what kind of connection Nathan has with the VVIP people. None of his special connection was stated there. He was just an ordinary person to him with a plain background except for his nationality as half American.
“I am not so sure about him actually. As far as I knew, he was here a few years ago to work here. But got sick and got into rehab. We never saw anyone visit him here as he was adopted by a foreign family in the US when he was a child. Yes, he has no family here.”
“Is he rich?” Yeo Jin interrupted. Vince looked at the file with Nathan’s picture on it.
“I don’t think so because he had difficulty paying the medical bills.”
“And how on earth could he afford the million Won worth drug if he wasn't as rich as the other purchaser?” Si Mok’s voice became colder as he couldn’t see a clear view of Nathan. The suspicions he had on Nathan was just killing him inside and if Vince couldn’t provide him with valuable information, someone needs to pay for it. That someone was clearly Vince.
“Maybe he got richer? Who knows?”
“You never try to figure it out?”
Vince shook his head. “It’s not my wanting to get involved in such things, of course I wouldn’t want to know deeper as I don’t want to get dragged into it.”
Si Mok sighed heavily on how a doctor could be so careless and dumb at the same time. If he didn't want to get dragged, he shouldn’t have been involved in the first place. “Any suspicious thing you ever found on him?”
Vince is quiet for a while in thinking.
“Or anything exceptual than the other purchaser you see from him?” Yeo Jin butted in.
Vince’s eyes were finally glittering in realization. “Yes he does! I didn’t send the drug to the public place but directly sent it to his house. Yes, I remembered that.” He pointed at the address on the profile. “I sent it here.”
Yeo Jin and Si Mok changed looks and nodded in sync as they finally got what they wanted that probably led them to the actual person who purchased the drug. They still got the name of Song Min Joon in mind, no matter how complicated the thing is now. Yeo Jin took her phone out and dialled the number to the nearest police station while Si Mok took a picture of the profile of every purchaser and sent it directly to the prosecutor who is in charge for the drug scandal, Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong for further investigation.
“What about Song Min Joon?” Si Mok gets into the main question here. Vince looked confused.
“He was a patient here as well as far as I could remember.”
“Did he purchase the drug as well but perhaps you miss his name?” Yeo Jin tried to ring the bell that Vince could be missing but the man did not know anything about Song Min Joon more than his status as the former patient in the rehab. His expression told them so. Yeo Jin glanced at Si Mok and just nodded to let it go for now.
“Thank you for your cooperation Doctor Vince Min. But I still needed you to be arrested for illegal drug dealing.” Si Mok slammed the file closed.
Si Mok drove the car on their way back to Seoul with Yeo Jin at the passenger seat, handling the file given by Doctor Vince Min that was arrested by the local police. As he took the exit out of Ulsan, he could see her messaging her team instead of the team in Yongsan.
“I told my team to dig into Nathan Lee.” She said as she caught him staring at her. Just to avoid any misunderstanding between them in case he thought she had been doing things out of his concern. Si Mok just nodded and understood the situation.
“I have told Prosecutor Jang about it too. Including Doctor Vince Min, maybe he could interrogate him about Song Min Joon’s medical record again later.”
“Oh really? But it hasn’t been confirmed yet that Nathan has something to do with Song Min Joon.”
“Not only Nathan, I gave him the complete profile of all criminals. Any of them, not only Nathan, could have been given Song Min Joon the drug.” Yeo Jin nodded in silence.
“Okay this is too heavy. Let me summarize what we got so far.” She closed her eyes and brought her hands up ready to count the points. “First, we already have proof that Song Min Joon is positive for using illegal substances, he will eventually be indicted under the narcotic crime.” She put down the first finger.
“Second, Song Min Joon doesn’t have the alibi on the night Ji Sang Yeob was seen to be left in the Mercedes car belonged to Song Ji Suk. Clearly he was the last person to be with Ji Sang Yeob alive. Possibly a murderer. We also have another proof that shows he was with Ji Sang Yeob that night as he took drugs using the same syringe as his DNA was found in Ji Sang Yeob’s body. Another illegal uses of drug there and if he is found guilty for intentionally murder Ji Sang Yeob, he will be indicted with murder crime as well.”
“Third, we still didn’t figure out whose oxycodone pills were brought by Ji Sang Yeob to the motel. We could only confirm that after Detective Jang Geon checked the dash cam from the car today. If it’s negative, we have to investigate the possible owner of the pills starting from interrogating Song Min Joon even though I doubt he would talk.”
“Fourth, we still haven't figured out how Song Min Joon got these oxycodone pills if his name wasn’t in the list. It must be one of the names on the list who gave him the pills. So we are in the middle of investigating the person who gave him the pills which you asked Prosecutor Jang to do. Tracking the possible person who gave the pills to him to prove he has been taking the illegal substances.”
Si Mok nodded in approval to every point she stated. “We just need to know who amongst the five purchasers who gave him the drug. The other including investigating the rehab will be taken by the local prosecution service and police agency. We just take what we need for now.”
“Do I need to give all the information of the purchaser also to the team? Or just focusing on Nathan instead?”
“How many people do you have in this team by the way?”
“5 officers including me and Senior Inspector Kim.” She said and could see Si Mok’s hand tighten on the wheel as he heard of Senior Inspector Kim as a part of the team. “Prosecutor Jang’s fiance, Lee Hana and the other two officers. I think they could manage if I give them all the purchasers to dig into.” Yeo Jin went back to her phone and typed again. She sent them a picture of every purchasers’ profile.
“So now, we got both Prosecutor Jang and my team to dig into this. Nice.”
“We just need to know who is the one who possibly supplied the drug to Song Min Joon, but I am suspecting Nathan Lee the most.” Si Mok said after, pressing his lips hard as he thought about Nathan Lee. Totally suspecting that guy.
“Hmmm… but it’s safer to cover all of them right?” She turned off the screen and finally closed the file, resting her head on the headrest. Si Mok glanced at her once.
“Just sleep. It was a long night after all.”
Yeo Jin only scoffed at it and opened her eyes slowly as Si Mok changed the line into the speed line on the right, totally pressing the gas to get the car faster. “If someone else heard that, they will think something else you know.” She laughed and she could see his tip of the lip raised a bit, making a smirk. “Did you understand what I was talking about?” She asked in curiosity while her eyes went big analyzing him. Si Mok looked at her with a small smirk on his face.
“Why do you think I don’t know anything?” He said and made Senior Inspector Han Yeo Jin out of words instantly. Her face became redder. Was she really underestimating this man or did he really change? She was about to ask more but the pain around her stomach area from last night came back and made her face fall immediately. She desperately pressed her stomach and looked at the window instead to hide it from Si Mok. She knew what this pain was about and silently made a prayer in mind.
‘Please, not now! At least until I arrived in Seoul!’
However, Si Mok who is always the most observant person in the car noticed her weird and sudden quietness, not even replying to his words just now. He observed her position on the seat, with the legs pressed together and her body was like crouching against the door. Her face was far from his sight. “Are you okay, Yeo Jin?” He called informally, totally concerned of her condition especially when her hands gripping onto the seat belt tight, as if enduring pain.
Yeo Jin suppressed her pain and gulped her saliva inside the dry mouth, trying hard to answer him. “Well, I am actua-” Her eyes shut as the pain attacked again, making the usual powerful and energetic policewoman whimper. She covered her mouth instantly as she realized that. Slowly turning to Si Mok who was looking at her in worry.
“Are you in pain? Do you need to go to the hospital?” He asked while his eyes back on the road, desperately searching for the nearest exit from the long highway. Yeo Jin came back to her normal position on the seat as the pain slowly went away but she still could feel the tightness around her waist.
“No, but I think we need to stop at the rest stop later.” She took her bag and dug inside, taking out a bottle of pill while Si Mok constantly gazed at her. She knew he was eyeing the medicine as well but she just shrugged it off for now and swallowed the pills, later drank the water to shrink it deep in her throat. Yeo Jin laid back on the seat with her hands still pressing on the tummy area.
Si Mok was absolutely in worry for almost the first time in forever, especially when she took the pills. He never saw her eating any medicine before. More and more thoughts came into his mind as he overthink the situation he saw just now. “Are you perhaps…”
Yeo Jin opened her eyes again and tilted her head to Si Mok’s direction. “What?”
“...has a serious disease?” Si Mok continued at last, his face was pale while gazing at her from head to toe. Totally concerned about her health. But Yeo Jin laughed instead, weakly.
“Oh my gosh, my stomach.” She couldn’t stop laughing at his thoughts even though still feeling the pain. “It wasn’t a disease. It's just a normal pain I had monthly.” Yeo Jin decided to just spill the fact that she knew Si Mok could tolerate it.
“Since when enduring pain is normal? Monthly, you felt the same pain?” He still couldn’t get the idea and innocently tried to process the new information. Looking at her situation in pain earlier, he doubts it was normal. It was almost like how he was while having a headache. Pain.
“Yeah, it’s our thing as a woman. You know, period pain?”
Si Mok was silent as he heard the actual thing, slowly nodding as he could understand her situation finally. He let go of his breath in relief and glanced at her back. “Are you still in pain?”
“The attack will come after a while but now it is quite fine. The painkiller is working.” She said while patting her tummy, still praying the attack won’t come again. She closed her eyes to soothe the pain away. Suddenly feeling her seat drowning, she opened her eyes instantly and discovered Si Mok was adjusting the seat lower with the automatic button on the dashboard. She blinked at him as the backrest was totally laid.
“Sleep. Don’t overwork your body. I read it once, women need to rest more during this time.” He said and slowly darted his eyes away to the road again. “I will wake you up when we arrive at the rest stop.”
Yeo Jin was losing her words entirely as he treated her this well. She couldn’t describe how she felt at the time but happy is totally the word for it. Her lips formed a beautiful smile while her eyes were still looking at his side profile. This man might lack those sweet words and emotion but his action is beyond. Feeling appreciated by the man she always thought of having, she slowly closed her eyes in ease.
Back at Yongsan Police Station, the interrogation in the homicide team begins. As the police found the body first and the prosecution only be sent after, the interrogation will take place at the police station instead. Prosecutor Seo and Captain Choi will lead the whole interrogation session with the first suspect that has already been excluded from the list but they still would have, Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk.
“We checked your alibi at the night when Ji Sang Yeob was leaving the motel with one of your cars,” Captain Choi brought the picture of the Mercedes Sedan to the table and pushed it in front of Ji Suk. Song Ji Suk and the same attorney that was sent for his son, Kim Gi Hong, looked at the picture that was taken from the CCTV.
“You were at the headquarters. Right?” He continued while his eyes never left his superior’s face even for a second. Seriously, this is the very first time he ever interrogated his own superior and it got him super nervous about it. Just how did Han Yeo Jin get to pull off this task so well when interrogating their former chief four years ago. He couldn’t relate to her confidence.
Ji Suk sighed heavily while looking at Captain Choi and Prosecutor Seo in turn sharply. “Yes I was. I believed the CCTV told you the same thing.” He answered unwillingly, totally drained from the problem that was made by his own son.
Captain Choi nodded. “So, it was your son then who drove the car.”
“Do you have proof to say that? Did you see my son get out of the car in any CCTV recordings you have?!” Ji Suk’s voice raised instantly. They could see his nerves on the neck as if they wanted to explode under his skin. Attorney Kim Gi Hong immediately touched his arm to calm him a bit. Prosecutor Seo cleared his throat and was ready to speak.
“But it was your car. Your other kids were out of the country, your wife was at home. Who else could take the car if not you or Song Min Joon? You are confirmed to be in the headquarters when the car appeared at the same time at the motel. But your son, Song Min Joon, who is in the middle of his military vacation does not have any other alibi. So, it must be your son then.”
Song Ji Suk was about to speak again but got detained by attorney Kim Gi Hong. He came close to the table and shot his eyes directly at the prosecutor. “You don’t have any evidence, don’t you? That is why you are desperate to make my client acknowledge the accusation, aren’t you?”
Dong Jae put on his iconic smirk and took out the DNA test result they got from the forensic. He put it on the table and knocked his finger on it. “A foreign DNA was found in the hole on his arm made from a needle used to inject the drug into Ji Sang Yeob’s body. We had it compared to your son’s DNA sample and guess what?”
Gi Hong took the paper and read the information there only to be dumbfounded by it. He sighed heavily and whispered something to Song Ji Suk, making his client jump at it. “Are you crazy?!”
Gi Hong put the paper back on the table and stood on his feet again, taking his briefcase. “Dump your son, it’s too late. We can’t help you anymore if you refuse to let it go.” He whispered again and walked away leaving Song Ji Suk alone in the room with the interrogaters. Totally in an ultimate frustration.
Captain Choi sighed heavily as Prosecutor Seo kept the paper back into the file for evidence. He hesitantly wanted to speak again with the superior but the prosecutor only nodded at him as a sign to just carry it on. “Look sir, we called you today not because we are looking for your confession. We had your alibi confirmed but bringing you here was just a formality as you are the owner of the car. We still can have your son as the main suspect with all the evidence we had.”
“Then what do you want?” He asked frustratedly.
Prosecutor Seo took over and pointed at the car in the picture again. “The Mercedes Sedan that was seen in this photo, do you acknowledge it was your car?”
Ji Suk took his deep breath realizing how late it is now for him to save his son. “Yes.” He closed his eyes as he was about to give up on his son to the police.
“Are you the one who drove the car on 13th May, around 9 p.m., at the motel and took Ji Sang Yeob with you?”
“No. I was in the headquarters.”
“So, did you acknowledge the fact that your son was the one who drove it that night?”
He couldn’t save his son anymore, so he decided to save himself.
Took him an hour to finally arrive at the rest stop as Yeo Jin requested. He finally parked his car at the parking lot after easily finding one as there were not many highway users on the workdays. Si Mok turned to Yeo Jin who was still sleeping tight in her seat, under his coat that he put on her earlier after she dozed off. He looked around as he did not know what to do either to wake her up or not. He also does not know what to do or buy for Yeo Jin.
He decided to take his phone instead and search for something on the web. His eyes were totally focused on the screen while typing in the keyword.
There were millions of results out in seconds after he keyed it in. The meaning, the cause, the way to get it treated, routine to soothe it out, what to do when the attack came and more. He tapped on the website that offered him the meaning of the period pain as he wasn’t very informed about it.
‘It is a normal pain in the menstrual cycle when the vaginal is bleeding and a woman who experienced it will have pain around her stomach area which could spread to the back and thighs area. The pain is similar to muscle cramp or while having a stomach-ache.’
Si Mok’s memory went back to the time when Yeo Jin was patting her stomach area, maybe this is what she experienced then. His eyebrows furrowed as he read more about it which made his own stomach feel tighter. He gazed at her in genuine concern to see if she was still in pain but the only thing he could see was her in a deep sleep. He went back to the phone.
‘You can ease the cramp by doing some exercise, putting a heating pack on your belly or lower back and taking a pain reliever. You may also have herbal teas and change your diet by eating anti-inflammatory foods such as green vegetables and fruits. Fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel will also do.’
Si Mok looked outside at the area where the stores opened. He couldn’t see any pharmacy from there but it might be possible to be inside of the building. He looked at her again before carefully getting out of the car.
He went straight into the long built building looking for a pharmacy or at least a drugstore. Si Mok walked straight into the section where all the non-food related businesses were located which was in the west of the rest stop building. He then saw a familiar drugstore that he always spotted around Seoul where ladies were going to. Si Mok went straight into it without being awkward at all.
As he went inside, he wandered his eyes through the large stores, which might be the largest store in the building with fancy decorations that could attract any woman right away. He carefully took a basket near the main door before a woman approached him.
“Welcome sir, may I help you?”
Si Mok looked at the woman in the uniform with a khaki apron who just greeted him as he took the basket. Well, he wasn’t the kind of person who likes to be accompanied especially by a stranger but in this situation as he knew nothing about the thing that Yeo Jin would be needing, he might be able to use assistance. “Yes, I am looking for something to help with period pain.”
The staff understood it right away and smiled in amusement. “Yes, I can help you with it. Let me show you some products that might help.”
The twinkle notification ringtone from her phone made Yeo Jin slowly awake from her deep sleep. Her eyes blinked a few times as she tried to figure out again her situation and location at the time. She was completely blank after a few hours of sleeping.
The first thing she realized after that was the already stopped car at the parking lot of the rest stop. Yeo Jin got up from the laid backrest and pressed the button to make it in the proper position again as she noticed the empty seat beside her. She wandered her eyes around as Si Mok wasn’t there anymore made her somehow feel empty. Then she saw the big signboard that showed her the name of the place where he decided to stop. They were already in Yongju, supposedly two to three hours away from Seoul.
A soothing scent of cologne came into her realization as she properly awakened at last. She knew the scent right away, it was his smell from his cologne but it smelled faded. Yeo Jin touches the thick fabric on her body that is already there since she was awake for an unknown duration. She noticed it was Si Mok’s long coat.
“Did he put this on me?” She talked with a lower voice that somehow sounds a bit hoarse after hours of sleeping. She cleared her throat and smiled. Again, his action made her feel like a dog winging its tail in happiness.
Her phone ringing the notification ringtone again made her shrug the daydream away and back to reality again. She took the phone in the bag and opened the messenger application right away. Feeling overwhelmed by the messages that she received in hours from the different group chat. She decided to put her team first at the headquarters before coming to the Yongsan homicide team.
Park Yohan: Okay, we will get it started now ma’am. Where are you now ma’am?
That was the first message she got about 5 minutes after she sent the profile to the team, which she didn’t reply to as she went straight to sleep. Somehow feeling bad about it.
Kim Yong Joon: We will do the briefings after 2 pm today after a short intel search. I will distribute the name on the list to all members first.
Maybe after giving up on waiting for her reply, Yong Joon sent the message after 10 minutes since Yohan sent her one. Looking at the way he typed the message, she could find it was the same as usual as he always did, as if the man wasn’t very affected by what happened yesterday. Yeo Jin let out a relieved sigh, at least she won’t be fighting with him when she gets to Seoul.
Han Yeo Jin: I am now on my way to Seoul already, in Yongju. Will be there soon. I am sorry as I cannot join the first briefing.
She sent the message at last by updating them about her latest location and looked at the digital clock at the dashboard screen. It was already 3 p.m. and the briefing might have already been adjourned.
Han Yeo Jin: Noted, thank you Senior Inspector Kim. Please lead the team for the time being. I will treat you for coffee later :)
Sent, just to show her genuine and formal gratitude plus a bit of manners. She moved to the other group chat which is Yongsan homicide group chat. The last message was sent by Dong Jae.
Captain Choi: Update for all. Senior Superintendent General Song Ji Suk has been released from the interrogation and acknowledges his alibi and his son to be the suspect for the case. We will start the next interrogation with Song Min Joon right away.
Detective Jang: Good luck! On my way to download the video from the dash cam. Will send it here later.
Detective Lee: Good luck ;) On my way back to the station now.
Prosecutor Seo: Okey dokey!
Yeo Jin just laughed at Seo Dong Jae’s reply from a few hours ago that getting more friendly since his comeback at Yongsan. Another good news for them as Song Ji Suk has finally withdrawn his support for his kid making the whole process of the investigation easier. It is just the matter of time now to see Song Min Joon finally arrested. She scrolled further down to see another message sent by Dong Jae just now before she got on the phone.
Prosecutor Seo: Si Mok, did you say something to Prosecutor Jang by the way? He was acting weird when I saw him at the narcotics department.
Yeo Jin furrowed her eyebrows at his message. No one replied to it as he directly mentioned Si Mok’s name. As far as she knew, Si Mok only informed Prosecutor Jang Ki Yong about Song Min Joon’s oxycodone drug test result and the profile of the drug abuser that they got from the rehab which led Song Min Joon to be arrested for the interrogation again under the same case. She didn’t know anything besides that. Is he perhaps feeling overwhelmed with the sudden work overload that Si Mok passed him?
Han Yeo Jin: How weird?
Dong Jae was typing right away as she sent the message as if he had so much free time with him. Is the interrogation already over?
Prosecutor Seo: Oh there you are! Where are you now?
Han Yeo Jin: Right on my way to Seoul already, in Yongju.
Prosecutor Seo: Wow you drove that fast?
Han Yeo Jin: Prosecutor Hwang who was driving. That is why he couldn’t reply to you guys earlier.
Prosecutor Seo: Then, what about you? You aren’t driving right? You can reply for him…
Dong Jae sent her a sticker with cats crying in sync, making her roll her eyes in annoyance already. Can we just get straight to the point now?
Han Yeo Jin: I was sleeping. Totally dozed off. Back to Prosecutor Jang, what’s up?
Prosecutor Seo: Well, I went to the narcotic department earlier just to check him up as he also will have Song Min Joon summoned for his case. But he doesn’t look so happy about it that he got Song Min Joon in his grip. That is why I asked whether Si Mok has said anything bad to him.
Detective Jang: Eyyy… Maybe he just got overwhelmed by the sudden workload. Maybe he thought everything already went well in the right path and he just needed to get ready for the trial for the other two druggies but instead, got another one need to deal with.
Prosecutor Seo: Lol… that might be possible.
As Yeo Jin wanted to reply to them, she saw Si Mok who was across the parking lot, holding plastic bags in his both hands. Looks so occupied with the things he bought from the outlet at the rest stop. Just what the hell did he buy though? Yeo Jin furrowed her eyebrows at him as their eyes met when he started to walk to the car after the road was clear to cross. Yeo Jin helped unlock the door and open it for him from her seat.
“What the hell did you buy?!” Yeo Jin laughed at his very busy condition trying to get into the car with those bags. Yeo Jin quickly gets the bags and puts them on her lap for the inspection. Her eyes bulged at the contents. There were so many foods like bread and also sushi with ice cream. What the hell…
“Are you planning on picnic Si Mok?” She asked informally as they had agreed. Si Mok who was already sitting nicely in the car only pressed his lips thin and took one of the plastic bags from her lap. It was the medicine and necessities that he bought from the drugstore earlier. He brought out the hotpack that was already out of its packaging. “Here is the hotpack that is ready to use. Use this to ease the pain.” He gave it to Yeo Jin who was in confusion but took it anyway. He looked at the woman hesitantly and rubbed his chin. “You do know where to use it right?”
Yeo Jin quickly spared a sharp glance at him and put it near her belly. “I know.” She patted the heating pack that was very warm as if it was just put on heat. “This is so warm and comforting. Was it already this warm when you bought it?”
“Of course not. I warmed it at the convenience store.”
“Using the microwave?” Yeo Jin looked at him in disbelief and amusement. He nodded and made her laugh right away at his bluntness yet so caring. “Thank you. This is so good.” She said while sneaking the pack under her blouse to let the warmness directly on her belly without any barrier. Si Mok continued on bringing out another thing that he bought from the outlets.
“I also bought you another pain reliever. You can eat this instead if your medicine is not enough.” He showed her the medicine that he bought from another pharmacy at the rest stop. Yeo Jin took the medicine that was still nicely in its packaging and read its user direction on the box before shoving it into her handbag. She brought her wallet out after that, which Si Mok assumed she might have wanted to go outside for a while.
“This is the food you should consume to help relieve the pain. I bought some sushi for you.” He took the last plastic bag from her lap and took out the food container from the sushi restaurant and opened it for her, nicely putting it on her lap. Not only that, he also helped her separate the chopstick for her and shoved it into her right hand right away without realizing Yeo Jin’s eyes on him.
“And you bought me a cup of green tea too.” She said while tilting her head to the cups in the cup holder between their seats, which one of it on her side was definitely bought for her.
“Ah yes. I read about it, it is good to relieve period pain.”
“About period pain?”
“Because of me?”
Yeo Jin tried to suppress her feelings and tried so hard to hide her smile when he easily acknowledged the truth he did all this for her. He even read the things related to period pain for her. How can’t she fall in love with this man? She cannot resist his kindness without not being attached. Yeo Jin hid her smile by putting her hand near her mouth area but she could see his sight on her softing. He was so vulnerable that she couldn’t help but stare in amusement.
How can this man look like this? The man that is so famous for his integrity, the man that the higher up people are afraid to, the man that is well known for his merciless judgement, the man that so many prosecutors and law school students idolised is looking so soft in front of her right now. His eyes, his expression, it was just so perfect and comforting and Si Mok knew it was just available for her. The version of him that can only be seen by Han Yeo Jin alone.
“Let’s eat.” He said finally and took his own food container from the plastic bag, ready to eat anytime from now. Yeo Jin was also following him by starting to dig into the nicely arranged sushi in the container.
“Wow! This is so good!” She moans with her full mouth. Of course the innocent man beside her wasn’t even distracted by the weird noise she made and was so busy with his own food. She opened her wallet. “How much did I owe you by the way?”
“All these things you bought me, how much are these worth?” Yeo Jin said while counting her cash inside the wallet. Not so much cash in there but she still could see it was enough to pay him back.
“Eyy… no way. I will pay you back, here!” She gave him the note of 50,000 Won to him but he just stared at it blankly.
“It’s okay. My treat.” He said again, shoving her hand away and continued digging his sushi. Yeo Jin still doesn't want to give up and just put it on the dashboard. She went back to her food again while Si Mok stared at her.
“Just keep it for now. Use it when you need it.” She said and Si Mok looked tired to fight her back. Yeo Jin smiled in victory when she won the unofficial fight against the prosecutor. “By the way, Dong Jae asked if you ever said bad things to Ki Yong. He saw him at the Yongsan narcotic department and he was in despair.”
Si Mok looked at her in confusion. “I just told him about the information we got from the rehab.”
“Right? I told him so. But Detective Jang thought he might be tired of the sudden workload.”
Si Mok furrowed his eyebrows which Yeo Jin could see he was a bit mad with his junior. She just softly patted his arm. “Maybe he was overwhelmed. A bit distracted with the upcoming wedding and the sudden work overload. I will talk to him later.”
They finally arrived in Seoul and went straight to Yongsan Police Station eventhough Si Mok disagreed with it. He was insisting to send Yeo Jin home instead and rest as she might be in pain again but Yeo Jin was stubborn. Here they are back in Yongsan Police Station after a small argument they had in the car in deciding where Han Yeo Jin should be at.
“We are back!” Yeo Jin shouted at the team led by Captain Choi. They were eating dinner at their usual spot while having a pile of papers on the table. Clearly shown how busy they are in handling the case including having the interrogation with the two suspects. But as the main suspect is now confirmed to be Song Min Joon, she thought it might be easier now. She sat beside Jang Geon who was shoving his rice with broth in starveness. Si Mok followed from behind and stood behind her.
“Oh you are back! How’s the vacation?” Jang Geon winked at her naughtly and glanced at speed to Si Mok with Soon Chang laughing at it. Yeo Jin spared him a big slap on his arm with a loud clap noise. Si Mok, who knew how painful the slap must be, could only frown at that.
“What vacation? We are busy to death!”
Captain Choi who just back from the pantry with the mug in his hand looked at them both in shock. “Yah, just when did you arrive? Why are you here? Just go back already!” Yeo Jin only laughed at him.
“How the case so far?” Asked Yeo Jin and she was about to take a bite of the spicy kimchi but was restrained by Si Mok. She glanced sharply at him before taking her hand back to her. Scoffing in dissatisfaction of his overly caring behaviour. Jang Geon, Captain Choi and Soon Chang changed their look with each other after witnessing such a weird obedience act from Yeo Jin.
“Well, as we have told you in the group chat before, Song Ji Suk already gave up and Song Min Joon is still in the middle of interrogation.” Captain Choi answered in a slightly awkward way as he kept his eyes on them. Somehow the situation between them was a bit weird. Maybe tense? As Si Mok was observing Yeo Jin from her back in concern. Why must he be concerned?
“Oh you are back!” Another familiar voice coming from Si Mok’s back and Dong Jae appeared with his less formal outfit, maybe just got back from his home. He put the paper bag with the logo from the familiar chicken house near the station printed on it, to the table. “Here is your chicken.”
“Wah...daebak!” Soon Chang brought out the container with different kinds of chicken in it from the paper bag, expertly opened all the containers and served it nicely on the table for his seniors as he is the youngest. The policemen took the chicken without hesitation. Yeo Jin quietly observed the fried chicken that was nicely coated with korean spicy BBQ sauce on it and was about to take one. But again, Si Mok blocked her way by simultaneously slapping her hand.
“Aish! Leave me alone!” Finally, she exploded by letting out her maximum voice of capacity in protest and made all of them back off in horror. No one including the others from another team in the office could even move or make any sounds after the extreme explosion from Han Yeo Jin. Being the only female officer that ever worked in the department made her madness way too obvious and familiar to them. They knew right away, Hwang Si Mok is fucked up.
Si Mok on the other side just reacted as usual and shoved her madness away. Not even affected by it and he even dared to put the chicken away from Yeo Jin so she couldn’t take it. “Detective Lee, put this away.” He also passed the cola in the bottle to Soon Chang as a precaution. Yeo Jin rolled her eyes in rage as Soon Chang obeyed him and put the bottle away.
“Prosecutor Hwang Si Mok, what are you doing now?” Yeo Jin asked with her furious expression that she always showed to the culprits but now at him. Having him controlling all her activities was so irritating. Is this what Lee Hana felt when Prosecutor Jang controlled her pregnancy diet?
“You can’t eat spicy things or carbonate and alcoholic drinks. It could irritate the pain even more. Just restrain yourself at least until you finish menstruation.” Stick to his matter-of-fact attitude, he calmly told her so with a clear sincere concern on his face for her. The others who were listening could only watch in amusement for his care for Yeo Jin and his knowledge in that kind of field. But somehow felt a bit embarrassed for his bluntness in stating the fact.
Yeo Jin only sighed and didn't really bother about the fact he said it in front of the other teammate that all males as she is kind of open about such things. But the fact he is just being overly care for her was again, so irritating that made the woman with freedom like her felt controlled. “Look, I have already experienced this for over 20 years now. It’s not the first time I had period pain and I know my body so well. Eating chickens won’t bother. Stop worrying too much.”
Yeo Jin took the chicken anyway eventhough Captain Choi was a bit hesitant to let her do so as Si Mok sharply looked at her. He was about to say something to fight her to not take such foods during this time but his ringing phone disturbed. Si Mok hesitantly took his phone while still keeping his eyes on her in concern. He looked at his phone and saw the name. Si Mok quickly made his step out of the office to receive the call, leaving Yeo Jin with the team.
“Wow, is that how you guys always fight?” Dong Jae broke the ice between them as Si Mok left, he sat beside her who was eating the spicy chicken. As Si Mok was very concerned about her taking such foods, he also felt the same as if he was taking care of his sister in law.
“I think you shouldn’t eat the chicken.” Jang Geon said as he also felt the same. Yeo Jin glanced at him before had her eyes glanced at all of them near her with the same concerned expression. She put down the chicken in frustration.
“Come on guys! I am not his wife or anything. It’s not like I am pregnant or what! Why is everyone so overreacting over this?!” Yeo Jin spared a glance at Si Mok who was seriously listening to his phone outside of the glass window separating the office from the corridor. She could see how serious his face was but decided not to intrude as it may be about his work.
Captain Choi smirked. “Well who knows in the future you will be like what you said just now. Just take this as your early practice to marry him one day.” In seconds, the whole department made a loud noise at his words and whistling noises were everywhere in the office. Yeo Jin closed her eyes in embarrassment and closed both her ears with hands.
As a few minutes passed, she could hear the noise slowly resolving and Jang Geon also patted her arm to sign her the calmer situation. She looked around as everyone was already back to their own work again. Yeo Jin was about to take the cheese ball but startled when the heating pack she left in the car earlier was landing on her lap nicely. She quickly looked up and met Si Mok’s icy sight that clearly showed him in distress.
“At least keep this with you. Don’t stay up late. I need to go back to Wonju now. Take care.” He said in urgency and walked out after spare bows to the team. Yeo Jin was again left in despair. Dong Jae beside her smiled in calmness witnessing the familiar situation that he always had back in his days.
“That’s what you have to face if you are married to a prosecutor. Like marrying a soldier, we could leave anytime when the higher up called.” He drank his cola in one shot as remembering his old days when he sacrificed his time with his family. Barely had time for them as he was sent away to another branch outside Seoul.
They silently watched him in mixed emotion. As police, of course they have their own vendetta towards the prosecution and it’s not something weird to have such a dirty look on prosecutors as they always thought the prosecutors had it easy. But watching the new side of being a prosecutor tonight made them realize how painful their work could be sometimes. They silently consider if Si Mok was really the best for Han Yeo Jin as she could be left hanging like this again when marrying a prosecutor like him.
Hello dear readers! Thank you for your kudos and comments. I really do appreciate your comments and opinions. It really means everything to me in developing the story even better. I am a very introverted person that doesn't really engage with the online community that much because I kind of shy :) , I apologize for not replying to your comments but I swear I smiled a lot as I read them. As for that, thank you again. Love you all..