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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Seven

Eun-sang was a little surprised when dinner showed up at the office Friday night, mostly because placing any orders usually fell to her as the most junior member of the team. By the surprised but grateful expressions Writer Ji and VJ Han were wearing, neither of them had been asked to do it instead of her. PD Yoon or Writer Nam—or both of them—must have taken care of it themselves, which made Eun-sang feel like she should apologize for being absorbed in her work but also happy that no one had thought to interrupt her to take care of something trivial. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Seven”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Six


Eun-sang took a few minutes to set up the conference room to her liking: blinds closed, laptop connected to the projector, and copies of her notes neatly set on the table for everyone to review. It was in sharp contrast to the morning Writer Nam had pitched her change in topic that had led them to the Hongs—but Eun-sang hadn’t earned the right yet to take up that much space or display that kind of explosive thought and effort. She needed to look put together and professional so that they wouldn’t question her delivery and would instead look directly at the information she had. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Six”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Five

After her Thursday evening class got out, Rachel went home. The housekeeper informed her that Esther would be out late and that Rachel was to dine alone, and the lack of any mention of RS International meant that Esther likely had a pleasurable evening ahead of her instead of a business one. Or at least, not solely a business one. Rachel enjoyed her and her mother’s mutual silence about each other’s intimate relationships too much to try to dig up any details, not that it was likely their housekeeper knew anything. Esther had never been the type to bring her lovers home, which suited Rachel just fine. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Five”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Four

Hyo-shin parked his car at the far end of the lot, away from the cluster of vehicles that probably belonged to the cast and crew of whatever shows were being filmed at this particular studio. The building itself was six stories, with a limited number of windows and a drab cement exterior. A very polite group of fans were huddled together against the chill of the autumn afternoon between the main entrance and the vehicles. Their signs indicated which actors and actresses they were hoping to catch a glimpse of when filming was over. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Four”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Three

The meeting with the lawyers didn’t take long; Young-do came into his Thursday morning meeting prepared with the basics of his second offer for the Barcelona property. He listened to Vice President Kwon’s input on how to tweak the bid—Sang-joong had far more experience in these kinds of negotiations than Young-do did—and then sent the lawyers off to draft something formal. It left him just enough time to have an overdue conversation with Sang-joong. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Three”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Two

Steamboat Bill, Jr., was an odd little silent film and not really to Rachel’s taste, though she could find things to admire about it. There was an amusing sort of absurdity to the slapstick comedy, and even she could tell that several of the stunts and effects had been cutting edge back in the 1920s. The title cards were painfully simple and straightforward, even in the original English, which floated above the Korean subtitles. The film never made her laugh, but she did smile a couple times, mostly at the contrast between the main actor’s deadpan expression and the ridiculous events going on around him.

So far as Rachel could tell, Hyo-shin was one of the only students not taking notes. That didn’t mean he wasn’t paying close attention to the film. From his intense expression and occasional anticipatory grins, Rachel could tell he was absorbed by it. He laughed a couple times, a sound that made Rachel smile slightly in response. Hyo-shin only caught her looking at him once, and the look he gave her made a small, silly part of her wish that he had tried to take her hand.

But he didn’t, and she didn’t offer, and his attention was drawn back to the screen. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-Two”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-One

The third cup of coffee—hastily grabbed at a convenience store between interviews—kept Eun-sang from dozing off in the taxi again. Barely. She spent the drive to the public defender’s office with her coffee cup in one hand, her notebook balanced across her knees, and a pen in her other hand. It wasn’t the most restful way to review the case information and interview questions, but it was her own fault she had been behind all day. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty-One”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty

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Eun-sang returned home to a dark house, her mother’s favorite shoes missing from the entranceway, and a note on the refrigerator. I’ve made your favorite side dishes, her mother had written on a piece of scrap paper. It should be enough for the rest of the week. Eun-sang opened the fridge, saw that it was indeed stacked with little plastic containers filled to the brim with at least four different types of dishes, and frowned at them. Where had her mother—

Right. Eun-sang snagged a beer leftover from when they had hosted movie night and shut the refrigerator door. Ki-ae had decided she wanted to go to Busan and to have Hee-nam accompany her. Tan was usually Ki-ae’s first choice, but Hee-nam was a close second since Tan was older now and had college and Jeguk Group demands. Hee-nam wasn’t all that fond of Busan, but trailing after Ki-ae, holding her shopping bags, and eating with her at fancy restaurants so she wasn’t alone was much lighter work than her normal housekeeping duties, especially when Hee-nam got paid a bonus for traveling. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty-Nine

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Tuesday breakfast with Ryu Ha-sun and Lee Sang-hyun at the Zeus Hotel restaurant was a polite, straightforward affair. Pyo Sook-ja wasn’t well enough to attend, but Ha-sun easily stepped in to represent their combined interests. Young-do wondered if she would be doing more of that in the future. Sook-ja had iron-willed herself to more than one recovery, and he didn’t doubt she would be extremely reluctant to allow Ha-sun to take her place in any official, significant capacity.

He would have to wait until the next board meeting to see if she would attend in person, attend remotely, or appoint Ha-sun as her surrogate.

Once they finished their meal, the three of them headed to a conference room on a lower floor, where their lawyers, Vice President Kwon, and his mother had been busy reviewing contracts. Kyung-ran didn’t have the law experience necessary to do much of the negotiating, but he had wanted her there as the only one he could trust to prioritize his interests. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty-Nine”

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Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty-Eight

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Rachel stayed at work late on Monday night in order to finish writing the draft of her sales report. It had been hard not to spend the entire day grinning or looking smug because they had sold out of every single jacket they had on hand. Almost of eighty-three percent of the shipment that was due on Wednesday had already been placed on backorder, too. She tried not to think about what sales could have been like if they hadn’t lost so much of the inventory in the fire; on the other hand, the messaging shift toward exclusivity had undoubtedly helped drive the purchasing frenzy. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty-Eight”