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“She was flirting!” Jin Hyuk said suddenly, only moments after having stepped back from the glass case and the window, watching a customer walk away. “Aish! This is your fault! She was flirting and I didn’t even notice, what’s wrong with me?”

Sun Woo cooed in what was probably supposed to be a soothing manner, patting Jin Hyuk’s shoulder on his way past, a tray of delicate, pretty cakes balanced on his other hand. There was a smear of something pinkish-red over one of his slim, angular cheekbones - something that rarely happened when he was working alone in his kitchen. Apparently Ki Beom, for all the fancy training he’d taken in France, had become little neater.

“Your fault!” Jin Hyuk repeated, as Sun Woo knelt gracefully and opened the case, restocking the pink cakes with glace strawberries angled across their tops. “I spend so much time watching you and keeping-”

“Watching me? Why, Jin Hyuk. . .” Sun Woo said, full mouth drawing into a tiny smile. “Could you be softening towards me?” he asked, leaning close to Jin Hyuk’s shoulder and humming as if in thought.

“Ai, get back to your kitchen.” Jin Hyuk said, swatting at Sun Woo, who laughed, flipping his tray up idly, and obligingly trotted off, his slim hips all but slinking as he threaded his way back through the room. Which Jin Hyuk shouldn’t have noticed save for the ridiculousness of Sun Woo’s seductive nature or overt attempts to play it up.

There was a great clatter, and Jin Hyuk cast his hands up in prayer for deliverance, then turned to see Su Young apologising profusely to a young woman whose stroller he had pushed away as he tumbled over the empty chair at her table. Fortunately he hadn’t toppled over the stroller, and fortunately it was empty, the chubby little one settled on his mother’s lap.

Jin Hyuk went to assist in soothing any ruffled feathers and scolded Su Young, sending him off to the kitchen to collect the fresh cookies that Ki Beom was supposed to have been working on an hour ago. When he returned a few minutes later he was grinning and calmer again, even if there was a slightly stupid expression on his face.

Sun Woo’s doing, no doubt - he couldn’t possibly miss that Su Young had a huge crush on him, but he did his best, seemingly, to keep from bruising the man’s heart.

Su Young never asked for much for himself anyway, and even if he recognised what he was feeling towards Sun Woo - Jin Hyuk took a moment, shuddering, to push away any thoughts of Su Young’s familiarity with . . . those kinds of feelings - he was no doubt happy only to be treated well and get Sun Woo’s smiles and fond pats.

The demon that was his patissier was hardly stingy with such physical contact - or even at times more intimate contact - at least with ‘pretty boys’. Or friends, Jin Hyuk supposed, though he couldn’t immediately think of anyone Sun Woo would call a friend that he wouldn’t also classify as a pretty boy. Ki Beom, perhaps, since he wasn’t Sun Woo’s type?

Jin Hyuk shook his head again and went to the kitchen even as Su Young trailed Ki Beom out of it, apologising for something, still bowing. Jin Hyuk took a breath and a split-second to brace himself just in case, but the kitchen looked safe and unrattled.

Sun Woo was neatly straightening a heavy mixing bowl full of some kind of pale batter, keeping it just shy of toppling off the edge of the large steel table. “Hello, Jin Hyuk.” Sun Woo said, offering a smile.

“How is the kitchen?” Jin Hyuk asked, coming closer. Sun Woo smiled softly, tilting his head - a lock of hair slid across his face, hanging up on the edge of his glasses briefly - and inclined his head.

“Everything is going well.” Sun Woo assured him. “Would you like to try one of the newest desserts I have prepared?” he asked, and Jin Hyuk coughed, trying to think of- Sun Woo laughed, taking up the heavy bowl with no discernible sign of effort and sliding gracefully around him on the way towards the counter and one of the large industrial mixers. He’d been teasing. Of course.

“Sharing a kitchen with another real patissier instead of a student. . . Is it difficult for you, Sun Woo?” Jin Hyuk asked, and Sun Woo laughed again.

“Ki Beom is much improved, true, but he is still an apprentice. He is very skilled, he has a passion, but he is not ready to be a master in his own right.” Sun Woo said, lips pursed. “And no, it is not difficult to work with Ki Beom. It is nice to have the company, as well as the hands.” Sun Woo turned his back to the counter, folding his arms in front of him. “In a way,” he said slowly, “Ki Beom will always consider himself my apprentice, I believe - it was under my hands that he began.”

“Your tutelage.” Jin Hyuk clarified, if only for his own peace of mind - and unnecessarily; they both knew it had been nothing more, even one of Sun Woo’s flings, and never would have been. “It was you who first allowed him to learn.” he added, reminding Sun Woo. “If you had not asked that he stay, that he be allowed to come into your kitchen and be taught, he wouldn’t have been allowed here.”

Sun Woo smiled. “You would not have allowed him to stay when he expressed such earnest longing for the job? Even with such willingness to do anything you asked outside the kitchen if only you would allow him to learn?”

Jin Hyuk snorted. “No.” he said. It lacked bite, but then, so did his dislike of Ki Beom, these days - he and the young boxer-patissier got on relatively well now, though it had been less than pleasant in the beginning. “If you had not asked, I would have sent him straight out, just as I tried to do then. You were the one who granted him his place.” he said honestly.

Sun Woo’s smile softened, and he inclined his head. “Thank you, Jin Hyuk” he said quietly, turning towards his mixer again.


“So I have made you forget how to see flirting?” Sun Woo asked as Jin Hyuk slid a palm up over his slim hip and back, now slightly sweaty but only enough to glow with exertion and health. He looked even prettier this way, Jin Hyuk thought idly. Demon.

“You are much . . . better at it.” Jin Hyuk assured Sun Woo, then wondered briefly if all gay men were so talented at ‘flirting’. He had no particular desire to experiment and see for himself, though - and Sun Woo . . . was likely better at it anyway. “And you keep me quite busy enough as it is.” he added, and Sun Woo hummed, turning over and pushing himself a little further up the bed.

“Ah, c’est mon plaisir.” Sun Woo said, his voice rich and silky as he turned onto his side, pressing closer to Jin Hyuk.

Jin Hyuk welcomed him in, though it had been strange at first to do so - contact could be strange. Sun Woo didn’t seem to care, though. He didn’t care if Jin Hyuk only cuddled with him for a few minutes before fleeing the bed for a cigarette outside, and he didn’t get cross if Jin Hyuk just went to sleep - or if one of Jin Hyuk’s nightmares, rare as they had now thankfully become, woke him after a few hours.

Sun Woo was . . . easy. Not in the sense that Lollipop’s bartender would say he was and should always be, but in the comfortable sense that he just . . . knew Jin Hyuk, in a way that he wouldn’t have expected. Of course, Jin Hyuk was realising that he knew Sun Woo in return, down to the shades of his smiles and the tonal shift in his voice when he spoke French.

Jin Hyuk still didn’t like it very much when Sun Woo spoke French - it made him think of the French bastard Jean-Baptiste, whose hand he was still slightly sorry he had not allowed Su Young to break, no matter what Sun Woo had said, bruised and gasping from the floor.

“You are thinking unhappy thoughts, darling.” Sun Woo said, delicate yet well-callused fingers tracing his face lightly. “What is it?”

Jin Hyuk shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.” he said, sliding an arm around Sun Woo’s waist and drawing him closer, meeting him with a kiss. Sun Woo complied with the caress easily, dark eyes meeting his own - Sun Woo knew it was a distraction, probably could guess some of why, but he was letting Jin Hyuk deflect.

He did that at times, and at times was thick-headedly stubborn, acting like he didn’t even know Jin Hyuk wanted to avoid a conversation when he obviously did, forcing Jin Hyuk to speak to him of whatever it was eventually.

“Sun Woo.” Jin Hyuk said softly, and Sun Woo hummed, welcomingly inquisitive, and kissed him again lightly. “Min Sun Woo. . .

“What is it, darling?” Sun Woo asked, caressing his face and meeting his eyes with a curious, open look.

Jin Hyuk hadn’t meant the word in . . . a very long time, hadn’t said it in years, and it was even harder to voice knowing that Sun Woo never expected to hear it. Not from Jin Hyuk, not from anyone - oh, he heard it all the time, or had, from his flings, but never did he believe it was the truth.

Jin Hyuk was half inclined to agree - not that Sun Woo was not worthy, because he was, no matter what he thought himself, but because the flings who entertained Sun Woo and flung themselves at him knew little of him. He was gorgeous, he was sexy, he was good in bed and playful. Many of them didn’t know even that he was a patissier, that those beautiful hands were skilled and busy. Didn’t know that he was kind and insightful, that he was a selfless friend as much as he could be a wonderful lover - selfish as he could be at times in that arena.

“Saranghae, Min Sun Woo.” Jin Hyuk said softly, squeezing him gently around the waist and then releasing him as he made to pull away, expecting it.

“I- Jin Hyuk!” Sun Woo said, shaking his head. “You don’t need to tell me that.” he added, shaking his head, smiling with practised ease. “You know I’m not made for that, not really. It is all right.” He leaned closer again and kissed Jin Hyuk on the cheek, more friendly, quick, than truly affectionate.

“No.” Jin Hyuk said, rubbing a thumb over Sun Woo’s jaw. He lowered his hand again as Sun Woo shook his head, still looking startled and perhaps uncertain. “You said, the day we met for the second time, you said that I was the one who had,” he paused, “ruined you. Made you this way.”

“You freed me, Jin Hyuk, it is not a bad thing, the way I am, I only . . . learned.” Sun Woo said without rancour, as always, tilting his head and smiling.

“Then I freed you,” Jin Hyuk allowed without argument, “I . . . it was because of me that you lived the way you did, that you found company with so many, and now,” he paused, a corner of his mind realising that in this vein he could sound like one of Sun Woo’s more deranged admirers, “it began with me, for you, and it can end with me. If that is what you. . .”

“Oh. . . Jin Hyuk. . .” Sun Woo said, sounding surprised if not quite uncertain. “I, that is, I mean. . . You know the way I am, you are a lover, but-”

“You have been here, with me, sharing my bed for months, Sun Woo, that isn’t like you usually, not like this.” Jin Hyuk said. He wasn’t angry at the reminder of Sun Woo’s usual habits, nor at the way Sun Woo had just pushed him in line with them.

“I- I have been with men for so long before.” Sun Woo said, his eyes wide, folding his legs as he drew himself up the rest of the way. “When I was with Jean-”

“I am not Jean-Baptiste.” Jin Hyuk said evenly.

Sun Woo smiled slightly as he huffed a little breath. “Non. You are not Jean.” he said, shaking his head.

“I am not one of your admirers.” Jin Hyuk told him, and Sun Woo nodded a little, agreeing to that much, at least.

“I know you, Sun Woo, the way that none of the men I have seen you with, have seen fawn at your feet and burst into tears over you have ever bothered to even try for.” Jin Hyuk said softly, shifting uncomfortably. “And you . . . you know me. Better than anyone, maybe, whether I like it or not.”

“Jin Hyuk. . .”

Jin Hyuk stroked Sun Woo’s cheek, watching his eyes soften again slightly, and leaned in, slowly enough to let Sun Woo stop him - not that he could immediately recall Sun Woo ever having done so, save for the first time, when he’d cared enough, despite his own desire, to make sure Jin Hyuk truly wanted him, and wasn’t merely drunk and making poor decisions. Jin Hyuk cradled Sun Woo’s face like he was something precious as he came closer, their lips almost touching.

Sun Woo did not stop him, didn’t move, in fact, and allowed Jin Hyuk to kiss him, very gently, light and lingering. It was the kind of kiss - like so many of the kisses he’d shared with Sun Woo - that Jin Hyuk had never given or received from anyone else before this very strange, passionate patissier had walked back into his life so very different from the shy, pretty boy he had once been.

This kiss was . . . trying to prove something, but at the same time, full of the feeling that there was nothing to prove, only the two of them, together.

Sun Woo returned the kiss after a few moments, with a soft sound that wasn’t quite a sob and wasn’t quite a moan. One of his hands came up to Jin Hyuk’s face, then slipped around behind his head, clutching at him almost desperately.

Jin Hyuk gentled the touch again as Sun Woo pressed into him - it wasn’t that he was trying to turn this into something he was more familiar with, sex and passion and lust and nothing as complicated as love; he was . . . overwhelmed, Jin Hyuk thought. He was that himself, and he had known his own feelings before this, he held no censure for Sun Woo’s reaction.

Sun Woo let out a little breathy cry, and Jin Hyuk murmured soothingly to him, catching his lower lip between Jin Hyuk’s own and tugging lightly. “I love you, Sun Woo. Kind heart, demonic charm, flippant ways, all of you.” Jin Hyuk promised.

Sun Woo swallowed, nodding slightly as he pulled back, only centimetres away, their breath still mingling between their faces. “I- I love you, Jin Hyuk.” he said. He was crying, and a little shaky, and he threw himself at Jin Hyuk, arms wrapping around him, knocking him back and halfway down to the bed as Sun Woo buried his face in Jin Hyuk’s shoulder, shivering.

Jin Hyuk stroked his back automatically, trying to soothe him, uncertain what had pushed him this far. He tangled one hand in Sun Woo’s loose, messy hair, sliding his fingers through it and hushing Sun Woo gently as he almost keened.

“It’s all right, Sun Woo, what. . . What is wrong?” Jin Hyuk asked uncertainly.

“You. . .” Sun Woo began, his voice wavering. “You love me?”

Jin Hyuk hoped that was just what Sun Woo was stuck on and not truly what was wrong, to be making him cry. “Saranghae, Min Sun Woo. I love you. Truly. Is that something to cry over?” he asked, insecurity rising.

Sun Woo shoved back from him, long-fingered hands splayed over his shoulders, and looked him in the face, eyes wide and slightly red-rimmed in a wet face. “No! No. . . Saranghae, Jin Hyuk, my lover, my darling, I- I just. . . I have never. . .” he stumbled over his words and gave up helplessly.

“I’m not one of the idiots to swoon over your charm and forget that there is the rest of you.” Jin Hyuk said gruffly. “And you’re still frustrating and pushy and-”

“I love you, too.” Sun Woo said, smiling a little. “I didn’t realise. . . I suppose . . . was it always you, Kim Jin Hyuk? Min Jeon. . .”

Jin Hyuk didn’t scold him for using the forgotten name. He didn’t like it - it wasn’t him any more - but Sun Woo knew who he was, after all. Better than he did himself, at times - it was Sun Woo who had understood intrinsically what he needed when they were to assist the police, he who had kept Ki Beom from asking too many questions, who had offered support without. . .

Jin Hyuk stroked Sun Woo’s face, drawing him closer again and resting their brows together. He rubbed the nape of Sun Woo’s neck with his fingertips, his hair ruffling over the caress. “Are you all right?” Jin Hyuk asked.

Sun Woo nodded slightly, sniffling, and Jin Hyuk stroked his cheek with a thumb. “I didn’t mean to upset you.” he added, and fleetingly thought that he should have added an endearment, but . . . Jin Hyuk wasn’t really naturally given to using endearments, for anyone. He had in the past, but only . . . it was expected. To try and please.

“I am,” Sun Woo said, then paused to clear his throat, smoothing his voice, “I am glad you told me, my darling. I am glad you love me.” he added, and Jin Hyuk didn’t mind being tagged with an endearment - had never minded Sun Woo’s affectionate speech.

As long as it wasn’t in French. Jin Hyuk chuckled and tipped his head, brushing a soft kiss to Sun Woo’s lips.

Sun Woo’s hands slid down his body, tracing slim, hard muscle and edging closer with a slow, sinuous movement. “Jin Hyuk. . .” Sun Woo murmured, his voice soft but not slipping into his enticing purr.

“Yes?” Jin Hyuk asked, amused, and Sun Woo leaned in and purred in his ear, kissing the lobe and nibbling lightly at it. Jin Hyuk curled an arm around him welcomingly, a shiver running down his spine as Sun Woo’s breath tickled his neck and lips teased his skin.

“Make love to me?” Sun Woo asked, not quite vulnerable - it was strange, how difficult it seemed to be for Sun Woo to be vulnerable in bed; not of his own defensiveness, but simply of his nature - but soft, pleading.

Jin Hyuk stroked his spine, then twined a hand into his hair, wrapping a few thick, silky strands around his fingers and tugging. Not hard, but enough to encourage Sun Woo to lean away. Sun Woo whined quietly in protest, pouting, as he did so, but allowed himself to follow the encouragement.

Jin Hyuk kissed him, more passionately this time, pressing into his lover’s mouth with a flick of his tongue and a slide of lips. Sun Woo moaned and opened for him, his kiss halfway submissive - allowing Jin Hyuk to kiss him and explore his mouth freely, to move and push Sun Woo as he liked - but eager and responsive all the same.

Jin Hyuk was breathing hard when he pulled away, but he didn’t pause to catch his breath, only kissed Sun Woo again, this time his cheek, nuzzling close. “Always.” he promised, running his hands over more of Sun Woo’s body.

Sun Woo purred beneath the caresses and arched as he lay back on the bed, rolling to his back and reaching up to welcome Jin Hyuk, his long, slender legs parting naturally. Sun Woo was a passionate man - Jin Hyuk knew that before the first time he had been overwhelmed by the strength of his patissier’s kisses; anyone who knew him in the slightest could tell you of his passion - and asked, or demanded, much from his lover before he was satisfied.

Jin Hyuk had never had low stamina, though he wasn’t sure whether the years he had spent trying to build a relationship on no substance - sharing little more than sex and pretence - had strengthened it more or weakened it. Sun Woo and his desires were certainly encouraging Jin Hyuk to build his stamina - and getting him used to regular lovemaking, none of it boring or remotely unsatisfying.

Jin Hyuk climbed over Sun Woo, pressing a kiss below his collarbone as he shifted, graceful and eager, eyes soft and hot with desire as he wrapped his arms around Jin Hyuk in return. A hand dipping between his thighs made his hips rock - the brief caress to his cock pulled a gasp from his lips - and found him still slick from their last round, though as Jin Hyuk pushed two fingers into his lover, he found the muscle hot and slightly swollen.

“Are you all right?” Jin Hyuk asked, rubbing at the surely-sore muscles lightly, and Sun Woo gasped, trembling, but didn’t pull away. He nodded quickly, with a quiet whine, and murmured a pretty little plea, gasping and biting at his reddening lips.

Jin Hyuk smoothed a hand over his hip to soothe him and trusted his word, coming closer and sinking into his lover’s body with a rough moan. Sun Woo’s head tipped back and he let out a guttural sound of pleasure of his own, his hands clutching at Jin Hyuk’s shoulders as he asked to be taken harder.


“Ki Beom, go and sweep the walkways before it is time to open!” Jin Hyuk yelled.

“I’m not an underling, I’m a patissier now!” Ki Beom shouted back, glaring, from the doorway into the kitchen.

Su Young lifted his head from where he was sweeping up a small pile of ceramic shards below the railing on the upper level. “I’ll do it, Master.” he offered obediently.

“Sun Woo is doing the patissier work for the morning before we open!” Jin Hyuk narrowed his eyes at Ki Beom, who had come back from Paris if anything more rebellious and difficult than when he had left.

“Just do as he asks, Ki Beom.” Sun Woo said, patting him on the back and looking beyond at Jin Hyuk with a helpless little ‘oh, forgive him’ look that was quite familiar when speaking of Ki Beom.

Ki Beom sulked and mumbled, but he took the broom and took himself off outside to sweep as Su Young finished his own work and trundled off to the store-room to bring out a crate of the autumn-themed plates that Jin Hyuk had recently acquired and wanted to try using seasonally.

Sun Woo came out a few moments later, as Jin Hyuk was backing himself out of the pastry case at the window, glass freshly polished. “Are you ready for these?” he asked, holding out the trays he carried, and Jin Hyuk nodded, hurriedly accepting them. He smiled and set one of them down atop the counter.

“Why do I put up with him?” Jin Hyuk asked, jerking his head to indicate the other side of the still-closed shutters. He couldn’t hear Ki Beom’s mutterings on the other side, but no doubt he was still out there, just a little further away.

“Because he will be a wonderful patissier someday.” Sun Woo said, touching his cheek lightly. Jin Hyuk huffed, putting the trays out into the case.

“That is why you put up with him. Or because he adores you so much.” Jin Hyuk said, accepting one of the little placards from Sun Woo’s elegant hand.

“Because you are a kind man.” Sun Woo said, crouching beside him and putting the little pile of placards down on a shelf within Jin Hyuk’s reach. “And you do not hate him so much as you pretend you do. I dare say you are even a little fond of him.” he added, smiling.

“Bah!” Jin Hyuk said, scowling, and Sun Woo laughed, soft and melodic, patting his back just beneath the nape of his neck and walking away.

Jin Hyuk didn’t hurry through putting the desserts and pastries into their proper places to go back and help Sun Woo carry out the next load of them, he told himself. He made himself stop to straighten the rows of the Gateau de Opéra so they were all neat and in line with each other all the way to the back of the case.

Then he went to find Sun Woo in the kitchen and help carry out the trays of freshly-baked - or fresh from yesterday evening - cakes and desserts to the waiting shelves inside the case. He paused just inside the kitchen door on his way out.

“You know he stays because of you, the same reason that he was allowed to stay when he first came through our door, don’t you?” Jin Hyuk asked, and Sun Woo ducked his head slightly, smiling a tiny smile, the couple of free locks of his hair falling over his face, around his thick-rimmed glasses.

Jin Hyuk and Sun Woo worked in peaceful silence as they put out the desserts that his master patissier had made - he realised faintly that he should probably be concerned about the amount of time it was taking Su Young to return with the box of dishes, but he couldn’t really spare the time to think about it yet.

Sun Woo kissed Jin Hyuk’s cheek lightly, his fingers - still bearing the slightly silky, smoothing feel of flour - caressing Jin Hyuk’s jaw.

Jin Hyuk stopped him and pulled him back - Sun Woo swayed with the movement and easily returned to his side without protest, and Jin Hyuk smiled. Sun Woo laughed softly, tipping his head as if with curiosity, and hummed, close enough now that the heat of his hips could be felt through both of their clothes on Jin Hyuk’s own.

“Sun Woo. . .” Jin Hyuk murmured, then paused, licking his lips.

Sun Woo raised his eyebrows slightly, eyes earnest and waiting.

Jin Hyuk shook his head, curling one forearm behind Sun Woo’s slender waist and kissing him - not on the cheek, but properly, mouths meeting and Sun Woo’s lower lip caught lightly into Jin Hyuk’s own. Sun Woo’s breath caught with surprise, but he didn’t resist, his lashes fluttering behind his glasses as he hummed and moved against Jin Hyuk, returning the pressure of the kiss.

“I love you.” Jin Hyuk said softly, not quite aware it was slipping out until it had.

Sun Woo made a startled sound, then wrapped his arms around Jin Hyuk’s neck and hugged close to him. “I love you, Jin Hyuk. Don’t- Don’t be stupid at work, okay? Everyone. . . Everyone else has begun to . . . do things, at work, has gotten jealous or pushed at me or-” He looked genuinely worried.

“I love you, but I’m not one of your admirers, Sun Woo, I promise.” Jin Hyuk said, stroking Sun Woo’s cheek. “This is just the only quiet moment I am likely to have alone with you for most of the day.” he reminded, kissing Sun Woo again. “Now, get back to work on those ridiculous sweets of yours.” he ordered, trying not to wrinkle his nose at the thought.

He seemed to have failed, by Sun Woo’s expression, but he laughed and tapped Jin Hyuk’s nose and apparently something had reassured him. “All right, I will, Jin Hyuk. When he is finished cleaning send my apprentice in to me, mm?” he asked, collecting trays and carrying them away back to the domain that was his kitchen, his slinky hips swaying in a natural rhythm, not the stalk of when he was being purposely seductive.

Jin Hyuk really thought ‘purposely seductive’ was probably overkill for Sun Woo, but it was damn hot to watch him do it, if irritating, so he never said anything. Besides, Sun Woo was quite confident enough in his looks and his body, it was the other things he was insecure or dismissive of.

Jin Hyuk shook his head, snorting, and opened the shutters - it was a little early, but things were mostly ready; assuming Su Young hadn’t killed himself back in the storage rooms somehow. Ki Beom was leaning against the wall, wiping his sleeve across his face like he was sleepy.

“Yah! If you’re finished working the master wants you back in the kitchen!” Jin Hyuk said, but smiled a little when Ki Beom jumped, looking back at him, and scowled, even as he bowed acknowledgement. The pavement was cleanly-swept, he had clearly finished his task before taking a moment to relax.

Jin Hyuk looked up and down the street, then went back to find his erstwhile waiter - it was really unfortunate that Su Young was the only one they had, still, aside of course from Ki Beom’s at times reluctant help, and Jin Hyuk himself, but Su Young was a familiar part of Jin Hyuk’s life, assistance and sometime burden in his world.

Su Young emerged just as he stepped that way, mercifully not dropping the box, and bowed as he got to work opening it. Jin Hyuk helped to unpack the delicate china as he kept an eye on the open shutters, prepared to flit back and forth as necessary when customers came to the window, or stepped through the doors.

Ki Beom darted between the coffee corner and back into the kitchen, and Sun Woo’s voice called through a few times - it did not make Jin Hyuk smile foolishly, though some of his comments prompted small bits of laughter.

Another day at Antique had begun.