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    Ji-an pulled back the blanket and got up, climbing down from the bed. He pushed aside one of Jeong Hee-seo’s arms and lay down in the empty space at his side. There was no room for a pillow, so he rested his head on Jeong Hee-seo’s arm, feeling the muscles twitch beneath him.

    “You sowed these seeds, hyung-nim. You should take responsibility for this much.”


    Not having the courage to bury his face in Jeong Hee-seo’s chest, Ji-an lay with his back to him. Jeong Hee-seo didn’t resist or pull his arm away. Ji-an rested his head on the muscular arm, shifting slightly to find a comfortable position.

    Just as he felt the arm under his head tense up and lifted his head slightly, Jeong Hee-seo wrapped his other arm around Ji-an’s waist and pulled him close.

    Feeling Jeong Hee-seo’s chest against his back, Ji-an took a sharp breath.

    “Huh- Please maintain a safe distance, hyung-nim.”

    “You broke it first.”

    “Who was it that told the strange story?”

    “Were you that scared?”

    Ji-an flinched and moved his body a little forward. Unable to separate his upper body trapped by the heavy arm, he only moved his lower half, resulting in an awkward position.

    “So being in my arms is fine, but want to keep your lower body away?”

    “I’m worried you’ll get too hot, hyung-nim.”

    He stretched his legs, moving forward another hand span.

    “You’re going to end up under the bed at this rate.”

    “There’s still room.”

    “I think there might be a spider down there.”

    Ji-an was startled and pulled back. His head was completely buried and it looked like he was completely in Jeong Hee-seo’s arms. Ji-an could feel the breath reaching my ears.

    Suddenly, Jeong Hee-seo hugged Ji-an tighter. He pulled Ji-an’s upper body closer with the hand on his stomach and wrapped his sturdy legs around Ji-an’s. In the end, their bodies were pressed together without a gap.

    “…It’s hot, hyungnim. I’ll get heat rash.”


    Hearing his name called right next to his ear in the pitch darkness sent shivers down his spine. A tingling, electric sensation raced from the nape of his neck to his toes. Ji-an trembled involuntarily.

    “Let’s talk about this without… this position, hyung-nim.”

    As Ji-an struggled, Jeong Hee-seo gave strength to her arms and buried her lips in her ear.

    “Let’s sleep like this. No matter what comes out, I’ll protect you. You’re tired and sleepy, just rest comfortably.”

    As if he could sleep like this.

    Ji-an stopped struggling and pouted his lips in resignation. It seemed Jeong Hee-seo had no intention of letting go, so it would be quicker to give up. As he said, Ji-an was tired from the long car ride, and his full stomach made him feel languid.

    But still, how could anyone fall asleep like this?

    Why does this Hyung-nim say such unreasonable things so confidently?

    It seems Ji-an was the only one worried about what might happen. Surely Jeong Hee-seo must no longer be affected by his pheromones. How else could he hold Ji-an so tightly and sleep in this state when immersed in pheromones?

    How could he even think about sleeping?


    “Seo Ji-an, Ji-an.”


    “Get up. Grandma says to come down for breakfast.”

    What? It’s morning?

    Groggily getting up and rubbing his sticky eyes, Ji-an saw the bright summer sunlight coming through the window, warming his legs.

    * * *

    “Was the bed uncomfortable?”

    This was a question he heard as soon as he finished breakfast.

    “No, I slept very comfortably. Thank you for the clothes, Grandma.”

    “It seems the baby slept well.”

    Ji-an smiled brightly, flapping his oversized T-shirt. Ji-an’s cheeks glowed from having eaten and slept well. The grandmother clicked her tongue and added gruffly:

    “It’s 500,000 won per night, including the clothes. No cards accepted.”

    “F-five hundred thousand?”

    Feeling betrayed, Ji-an turned his head and looked at Jeong Hee-seo. Jeong Hee-seo still looked tired and his complexion was not very good. It was likely hard for someone used to luxurious bedding to cope with the hard floor and damp bedding.

    “That’s such a rip-off…”

    Jeong Hee-seo quickly covered Ji-an’s mouth.

    “Thank you, ma’am. The breakfast was delicious.”

    “I’m being generous. I won’t charge you for breakfast.”

    Ji-an remained sulky until they finished paying, gathered their clothes from the room, and completely left the restaurant in the car.

    “Hyungnim. Be honest. How much did you pay for what we ate yesterday?”

    “Don’t know. Didn’t look.”


    Jeong Hee-seo rested his elbow on the door trim and propped his chin on his hand, casually holding the steering wheel with the other. He seemed genuinely unconcerned, answering nonchalantly.

    No wonder they insisted so much on that strange liquor. The meat was delicious, but the thought of being scammed made Ji-an’s anger rise. Ji-an clenched his fists and looked back at Jeong Hee-seo.

    “Hyung-nim, you might know business, but… you seem to know nothing about the ways of the world.”

    Jeong Hee-seo lowered his sun visor to block the sunlight. The intense light split across his nose. H He tapped the steering wheel with a light smile.

    “Actually, it was really hard in there last night.”

    “Yes. The blanket was also very damp.”

    “It wasn’t great for… doing anything. Right?”

    “Yes, but to charge that much for… Wait, what?”

    Ji-an furrowed his brow, wondering what he’d just heard. Looking back, Jeong Hee-seo was outright grinning.


    Jeong Hee-seo switched hands on the wheel. He reached out with his free right hand and took Ji-an’s hand.

    “Shall we go somewhere nice and stay another day?”

    Though the content was questionable, his smiling face looking at Ji-an was so fresh. With the summer sunlight sparkling brilliantly beyond his face, Ji-an was at a loss for words.

    * * *


    Myeong Hyun-sook looked up from slicing ginger. She hadn’t heard her youngest grandson properly. Thinking her eyes were failing, now her ears were becoming useless too… Clicking her tongue, she wiped her hands and took off her glasses.

    “What did you say, Han-joo?”

    “A wedding, grandmother. I talked to noona and booked a hotel, and now we need to get wedding gifts, so I wanted to go with you.”

    “That’s nice. I’ll take care of all the gifts.”

    Jeong Han-joo grinned widely as if he’d been waiting for this.

    “There’s more to do besides that. We’ll need to get clothes fitted too… I’ll introduce you to Lee Hee-young. She’ll take care of everything.”

    “Noona already said she’d make the arrangements. And Grandma, I had another thought…”

    As Jeong Han-joo paused, Myeong Hyeon-sook listened.

    “I was thinking of getting Ji-hyuk’s parents a new shop, and maybe a new house too. We might postpone the honeymoon since there’s a baby on the way…”


    Myeong Hyun-sook took her grandson’s hand with a calm expression.

    The Omega he had brought two days ago as a potential mate was pretty in both first impression and behavior.  It was evident he had practiced how to behave in front of Myeong Hyun-sook, just like memorizing a script. Considering the youngest’s personality of being greedy and always working hard to be liked, this was typical and could be overlooked.

    She was just wondering why he was rushing things, so she looked deeply into her grandson’s eyes.

    “Have you discussed everything you’re saying with that child?”

    “Of course. Ji-hyuk said he’d do whatever I want.”

    “Have you met the parents? Greeted them properly?”

    “I haven’t greeted them yet, but since I’m paying for everything, they won’t object. They’ll probably be grateful.”

    “Hmm,” Myeong Hyun-sook hummed, straightening up.

    “I understand your urgency with a baby on the way, but you must still observe proper etiquette.”

    “I was planning to set everything up first and then inform them. Besides, Ji-hyuk isn’t very close to them since they’re not his birth parents…”

    Jeong Han-joo stopped speaking hastily when he saw Myeong Hyun-sook frown.

    “That’s not the way to do things. Follow the proper order. First, meet and introduce yourself, get their permission, and then discuss the date for the formal meeting. You need to handle each step carefully to avoid any future issues.”


    “Marriage is complicated and cumbersome, but it is a beautiful act. It requires delicate handling; one misstep can easily hurt feelings.”

    Myeong Hyeon-suk could not hide her disapproving expression and soothed her grandson.

    Coming here on a Monday, neglecting work, and suddenly deciding to marry when she was worried about when he’d mature… It added another stone to her chest. She gazed quietly at the ginger she’d been preparing, then pulled a bell cord to call Manager Lee.

    “Manager Lee. Remember the yakgwa I soaked in syrup yesterday? Ask the kitchen to divide it in two packages. Han-joo will take them when he goes to work. One for the new baby, and one to send up to Hee-seo.”

    Manager Lee bowed and was about to leave when he turned back with an “Ah.”

    “I heard that the General Manager is on vacation today and will be absent.”

    Myeong Hyun-sook’s eyes widened. Thinking she hadn’t heard, Manager Lee spoke more clearly and loudly.

    “I was informed during the morning schedule briefing that he won’t be in today. He’s postponed the branch meeting as well.”

    “…Is he seriously ill?”

    “No, nothing like that was mentioned. From what I heard, he just took a day off.”

    Myeong Hyun-sook turned to Jeong Han-joo.

    “Han-joo. Do you know anything about this?”

    Jeong Han-joo shook his head with a sullen expression. Why would I know? He wasn’t happy with his grandmother’s interest in his older brother.

    “Really? So you don’t know either.”

    Since Jeong Han-joo’s jealousy was nothing new, Myeong Hyun-sook didn’t dwell on it. She was just curious about her eldest grandson’s whereabouts and her eyes sparkled with interest.

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