8 Facing the Challenge

The next day, Yanee's depression had lessened considerably. Thanks to her sister, her confidence was resurrected. Even if Ami was a hopeless romantic despite her age, Yanee couldn't deny she had a lot of spunk. Her self-assurance was admirable and was something the younger sibling would like to mimic.

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Last night, when she told her sister everything, Ami was dumbfounded.

"What? Your company was bought by Niji?"

Ami was not really knowledgeable about the publishing businesses, but she sure knew about Niji International. After all, it was the biggest publishing company in the country. Yanee felt ashamed now the way her sister looked at her.

"You were promoted and since you dislike the job, you want to quit?"

"Well…"

For other people, her situation was a dream come true. Yanee was the ungrateful one, she knew. Also, it would be hypocritical of her if she said she'd quit and try to start at a smaller place when she knew that she had ambitions as well. It was why she worked so hard in the first place and left that job in Nagoya to transfer to Tokyo. It was to reach the top – and the top meant Niji International. But now that she was there, just so she didn't like her new project, she'd whined and quit.

"Stop being a sissy and show them what you got," Ami told her, and so Yanee promised she would do it.

Yanee Lee studied herself in the mirror, noting how she looked in her cream-colored shirt and black slacks. She partnered those with a pair of cream stilettos and a flowery purse. She tied her hair in a messy bun atop her head, but it gave her a fresh look instead, plus her nude makeup.

She looked every bit a confident office woman, and she totally approved. Yesterday, she had come home in defeat, thinking she would quit, but she didn't think that way anymore. She was again ready to face the potato and show him she could do her job.

Just wait and see…

With her newfound brave heart, she marched on to work. Rush hour was always bad in Tokyo, so she always took a cab to work and take public transportation back home if she's not too tired.

"Wow! You look amazing!" Chummy crowed as soon as she spotted Yanee entering the editorial department.

Since Yanee would be taking over a project, Tohru James had arranged for Chummy to work in the literature department permanently as another assistant which the latter accepted happily.

As their routine, Yanee gave her friend some poses showing off her great curves with a mischievous grin. "As always," she answered jokingly afterwards as she went to Chummy to give her a kiss on the cheeks.

This type of greeting was totally unusual in Japan, but both Yanee and Chummy were not Japanese, and the latter even grew up abroad. Yanee's parents were foreigners who settled in Nagoya because of work. Chummy's an American born Chinese. This was why the two of them hit it off right from the start.

"Are you feeling better now?" Chummy asked with worry written on her face, making Yanee smile.  

She was touched. She went home upset yesterday, and even if she didn't say or show it, it was amazing that this girl always knew.

"Yeah. I'm so sorry for throwing a tantrum." Even if Yanee could be unreasonable and stubborn, she knew she was the one who was not acting correctly. When she made mistakes she owned up to them, and it's why the other didn't mind when she had her moments.

"It's fine. Yesterday must have been shocking to you," Chummy said as she patted her on the arm. "Boss is there in his office. If you want to make it up from the almost meltdown yesterday, do it as early as now."

Yanee's eyes widened as she lifted her arm to check her watch. It's still half-past eight in the morning, thirty minutes before work officially started.

"He's early," she commented, but then again remembered the interview and sighed.

Tohru James was an early bird. He came to work at seven in the morning regardless of how late he worked at night. It was an admirable trait, really, for a boss.

"I'll see you at lunch, okay?"Yanee said as she turned and headed for the editor-in-chief's office.

It took only three light taps on the door when she heard his soothing baritone behind the door, asking her to enter.

Er…

Yanee's eyes immediately spotted the man in a gray sweater and black pants leaning casually against the window as he drank his coffee. His hair was a bit messy as if he had combed it with his fingers several times, but it didn't subtract from his charm. In fact, his clothes partnered with the pair of glasses he had on today made him look hot.

Potato… A hot potato…

Yanee chanted that reminder under breath as she placed a smile on her face and greeted her superior. "Good morning boss," she said.

"Good morning," he greeted back with a semblance of a smile, before raising an eyebrow in her direction. "So?"

The prompt made Yanee want to sigh heavily, but she had already promised she'd bravely face what's thrown her way. "I will do it."

Her voice sounded confident, and the determination on her expression must have been pleasing to her boss as the little smile he had on became a full-pledged grin.

"Good decision," he commented as he walked towards his desk and placed the steaming cup of coffee he had been drinking on it before sitting on his chair.

He signaled for her to take the seat in front after, and Yanee didn't waste time to follow. Still, she wouldn't back down when she's given a chance to poke.

"It's not as if you gave me a choice, boss. Do you think I'd choose to be sacked?" she said this with a teasing tone, but it was the truth.

"Glad you know, and glad you're smart then," Tohru James commented with equal lighthearted tone as amusement danced in his chocolate eyes. It was as if he didn't care to deny that he had indeed twisted her arm into taking this project.

Yanee sighed. At least her boss was no longer the very quiet guy she first met. It was really a misconception on her part into thinking he was the cool-quiet type, and that the easy-going boss she heard about him was the real Tohru James. He wouldn't be exchanging witty lines with her if not.

"What's this?"Yanee was confused upon seeing airline tickets in the folder.

"Your travel itinerary and tickets," her boss answered easily.  

TRAVEL?

"W-what for?"

This time, Tohru James' eyebrow arched again. "Ms. Lee, haven't you read your project?"

"I did," she answered immediately.

Since she decided to tackle this challenge, she had read her projects and she had memorized the names of the people she had to interview.

"So? What is the name of the first one on the list?" he prompted and she answered.

"Kang Yunjae," she said, but she was still confused until she realized something.

Kang Yunjae… It's a Korean name.

Yanee immediately glanced at the airline tickets again and her eyes widened. They were flights to and return tickets from Seoul, South Korea, and her flight going there was this afternoon! Speechless, Yanee raised her head to see Tohru smiling sweetly at her.

"Bring back some spicy kimchi," he said as he waved her goodbye.

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