Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Eight

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(Originally posted 23 Nov 2014 on tumblr)

Rachel arrived a little before noon at the studio where the final scenes for A Daughter’s Revenge were being filmed. Min-ah trailed behind her, hauling a cartload filled with energy drinks, protein bars, and an assortment of whatever other snacks she had managed to purchase in the thirty minutes Rachel had given her to buy it all. The assistant hadn’t asked any questions about the sudden decision to drop everything at work and go to the studio; Rachel hoped she assumed this was yet another effort to court Moon Chae-won.

Even if Min-ah wasn’t the one reporting to her mother, someone else on her team was. One way or the other, Esther would find out that Rachel had abruptly left work. It would be easier to explain if Esther believed this was about the clothing line Rachel was supposed to pitch to the board and not about tracking down Lee Hyo-shin. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Eight”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Seven

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(Originally posted 9 Nov 2014 on tumblr)

Even though Sang-joong had ultimately been displeased with the decision to turn down Ha-sun, he still spent the rest of Wednesday afternoon and evening strategizing with Young-do about how they could win over the board and the stockholders without her and her grandmother’s support. In an exercise of caution, Young-do had not yet told Ha-sun or Sook-ja, just in case he couldn’t come up with a feasible plan.

Kyung-ran had joined them as well—after all, with the small crowd of reporters still lurking outside Secret Garden, waiting for her to return and reopen the café so they could ambush her, it wasn’t as if she was going to oblige them when things were still turbulent in the media. While most of the public’s attention was firmly on the Hong family’s manufactured outrage, indignation, and brand new suit against YBS, a not-insignificant portion of the media was still sniffing around the other unintended beneficiaries of the Hongs’ manipulation. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Seven”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Six

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(Originally posted 26 Oct 2014 on tumblr)

Young-do spent Wednesday morning finalizing the initial bid on the Barcelona property with Sang-joong’s help. His vice president was polite, efficient, and thorough as always, but there was an undercurrent of tension in his voice whenever he spoke. Neither of them brought up their almost-argument over Ha-sun’s marriage offer.

It was a relief that they had something else to focus on. Zeus Hotel was an international company, and a love triangle and prison scandal in Korea didn’t mean much in Spain—other than the risk that the owners might see it as an opportunity to negotiate for a purchase price that was higher than they could have reasonably expected otherwise. The board had set a maximum bid for the property, and Young-do would have to stick to that in the offer–counter offer negotiations. That was why the initial offer was so crucial: too low, and the owners would be insulted; too high, and he could end up paying millions of Euros more than he should. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Six”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Five

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(Originally posted 19 Oct 2014 on tumblr)

Perhaps one of the things Eun-sang was happiest about when she was finally allowed to go home for the night was how few people were waiting for her outside the YBS building. A love triangle that already had two scathing rebuttals from both Zeus and Jeguk was nowhere near as interesting as the accusation that the Hong family had manipulated politicians and the Ministry of Justice for the last six years in order to get their youngest son out of jail early.

There were only a couple of photographers lying in wait, and Eun-sang walked past them and to the waiting car. The driver opened the door for her and took her backpack; she thanked him and slipped inside the car as quickly as she could.

“I saw your name in the credits!” Bo-na hooked her arm through Eun-sang’s and beamed at her, delighted. “It was a fantastic piece.” Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Five”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Four

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(Originally posted 5 Oct 2014 on tumblr)

Eun-sang stifled her yawn and tried not to resent the fact that she hadn’t slept since Sunday morning. She had, at least, made a quick detour home after meeting up with everyone at Hyo-shin’s apartment in order to reassure her mother that yes, everything was fine; change clothes; and stuff a backpack full of additional clothes, her phone charger, and toiletries to take back to the office.

(When she had tried to apologize for the reporters lurking outside the apartment building, her mother had shrugged it off. As long as you’re okay. Ki-ae told me that Won already has one of his people looking into it.

That had been a small relief, and then Hee-nam, smiling, had added, You and Hyo-shin would have made such a good couple.) Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Four”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Three

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(Originally posted 14 Sept 2014 on tumblr)

Young-do let his lawyers take care of writing the statement for the press. They all were much better at deliberately crafting denials and carefully selecting words in order to seem impartial and honest, even when they were writing nothing but lies. He told them what points Eun-sang had wanted him to include in the statement and let them know they needed to give him their final draft for approval in forty-five minutes.

Kyung-ran sat with Sang-joong at the table in Young-do’s office. She took notes on a small pad of paper while the vice president continued getting her up to speed on everything that had happened in the last week. They kept their voices low enough that they weren’t a distraction to Young-do while he made his phone calls. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Three”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Two

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(Originally posted 7 Sept 2014 on tumblr)

Zeus Hotel’s Choi Young-do and Attorney General’s Son Dating Kim Tan’s Ex-Girlfriend?

Eun-sang wanted to crawl under her desk and never leave. This wasn’t the first time post-breakup that she had ended up being dragged into the tabloids because of her past connection with Tan, but it was the first time it had happened since she had started working at YBS. Her face and neck burned with embarrassment, but one ridiculous, irrational thought kept popping up as she skimmed through the article: How long am I going to be known as Tan’s ex-girlfriend? Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-Two”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-One

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(Originally posted 31 Aug 2014 on tumblr)

It was the cramping in his legs that finally pulled Young-do out of sleep. He opened his eyes, disoriented by both the ache and his positioning, but it only took a few seconds for memory to filter through. Young-do had fallen asleep at his mother’s bedside, holding her hand.

Now her bed was empty and unmade, and Young-do had his fingers curled in the sheets. The house around him was silent, which meant his mother wasn’t anywhere nearby. The blanket she had draped over his shoulders slipped to the floor when he straightened up.

The tenderness of the gesture should have been reassuring, but all Young-do could remember was that she had tried to eat a meal with him before she walked out of his life. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty-One”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty

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(Originally posted 24 August 2014 on tumblr)

Eun-sang had refused to let Young-do drop her off at the YBS building or even the nearest subway station. He watched her walk away—and for the first time in years, seeing her turn her back to him hadn’t immediately filled him with regret.

It was ridiculous. How could he feel such relief over a handshake and a tepid declaration that they could try to be friends? Especially when everything else in his life had fallen apart?

She disappeared around a bend in the path. She never once looked back at him. Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Twenty”

Dividing Lines: Chapter Nineteen

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(Originally posted 10 Aug 2014 on tumblr)

Young-do ground out his last cigarette butt on his balcony railing and then tossed it over the edge and onto the night street below. He hoped it hit one of the reporters or photographers or VJs lurking at the base of the hotel, but between the wind and the dark and the distance to the ground it was impossible to tell.

Smoking was a habit he had mostly kicked after the army—his mother hated the smell, almost to the point of nausea—but he always kept a few packs and a lighter in his hotel suite for the days he needed to let off some stress and a judo mat was inconvenient.

Continue reading “Dividing Lines: Chapter Nineteen”