31 Securing Dates

"Ah, too bad we have a party to attend to tonight," Tohru James said as soon as they got out of the boutique.

He and Yanee now trudged the length of the street with their shopping bags in tow. Yanee had seen that her boss also bought something from the shop. But as to what it was, she didn't bother asking. She had no right to put her nose into his business anyway.

She had to admit that she was curious, though. The shop, although it sold trinkets and the like mainly had clothes as their product. She couldn't help wondering if he bought something for himself or for someone else.

A woman perhaps

She shook her head, getting rid of her thoughts. Regardless that the Potato bought something for himself or for a woman was not her concern. She forced her brain to focus on the present and almost missed what her boss had said.

"Excuse me?" Yanee kicked herself mentally for not paying attention. "What did you say, boss?"

Tohru James looked at her knowingly, and Yanee cleared her thought, embarrassed to be caught spacing out.

"Er… Sorry. I didn't hear what you said. I was thinking about something earlier," she apologized.   

She silently prayed the Potato wouldn't ask her what she was thinking about but prepared an answer nonetheless just in case he did. She'd lie bare-faced that she was thinking about her notes, but in the end, there was no need to fib. Her boss didn't bother asking her.

"So, what were you saying earlier, boss?"

She took the initiative to inquire. In case he talked about work concerns and she didn't understand because she was spacing out, she'd be in trouble. Just like what the people very successful in their jobs said, it's better to humble yourself and ask again when one made a mistake or failed to listen well. It's to make sure you had a complete grasp of the situation as to not embarrass yourself by committing a mistake that could have been avoided by simply asking.

 Yanee watched as the corner of her boss's mouth turned up in amusement. She knew he was secretly laughing at her but she didn't care. She raised a brow at him, prompting him to talk or react, or whatever.

"I said, it's too bad we have a party to attend to tonight," Tohru James repeated as they walked on along the sidewalk, passing by rows and rows of boutiques and stores.

Their task to buy clothes for the small event later was already finished, and so they didn't need to go into another store to check. The two of them would walk down the street to hail a cab and go back to the hotel.

Yanee inclined her head; her face tilted to look up at her boss' face, a deep eleven marred the space between her brows in confusion. "Why is it bad, boss? Did you have other plans for the day?"

Urgh…

Yanee almost bit her tongue and hit her head for asking such a personal question.

Where the heck did that question come from? Huh?

She knew she was just being too sensitive about it though. Trying to remember what she said, she hoped her voice sounded neutral. It was the Potato's fault anyway that she asked something stupid.

"Ms. Lee, where are we right now?"Tohru James asked out of the blue.

 "Er… In Seoul?"

 Well, duh, Yanee Lee – that's a very smart answer. She mentally rolled her eyes.

"I mean, where exactly in Seoul?" Tohru rephrased his question which made her feel somewhat relieved.

"Er... Itaewon-dong…"

"Yup!" Tohru suddenly looked pleased that she answered correctly, and Yanee felt a little depressed.

Whatever happened to her IQ? She wondered if Ami's teasing about her brain cells drying up because she dyed her hair too much was true. Ami scolded her since she colored her hair more than four times a year to keep her preferred color. Her big sister said that all those nasty medicine and strong bleach would go deep into her skull and cook her brain.

Of course, that was ridiculous. Yanee just wanted to blame something because she's not mentally prepared to accept that the Potato was influencing her more than he should.

"I feel it's a pity that we can't stay here for dinner,"Tohru continued and Yanee listened to him explain.

He told her that Itaewon was nicknamed Seoul's Special Tourism District. It had extensive food offerings, ranging from international restaurants, bars, and clubs. They were near Hamilton Hotel Seoul, and those places were all found on the streets behind it.

But of course, she already knew this about the place. Yanee was well-traveled after all.

"You mean, you were disappointed because you wanted to eat here?"

"Of course!"Tohru answered readily. "I haven't had opportunities to travel much because of work. So each time I could go somewhere, I like checking out places with good local food."

Good food?

Oh…

Yanee suddenly remembered her interview with him, and yes, this man admitted to liking eating out whenever he could. But…

"But boss, the food here in Itaewon is mostly international.  If you like local food, you better go somewhere else, like Namdaemun Market."

The mentioned place was the oldest and biggest traditional market in the whole of South Korea, which dated back to 1414. It also boasted being part of Asia's Ten Greatest Street Food Cities.

Tohru looked thoughtful. "Interesting. I've never been there. How about you?"

Yanee smiled as she looked ahead, remembering fond memories. "Yeah, with my sister. They have tons of street food there."

She didn't notice how Tohru studied her smiling face when she was not looking. She didn't see how his gaze lingered on her with a fondness that immediately vanished when she looked back at him.

"Then take me there. We should go check it out tomorrow," Tohru announced with a voice that didn't accept contradiction.

Yanee tried though.

"But –"

"No protests Ms. Lee. Your flight back to Tokyo's canceled anyway, and the new one is the day after tomorrow," he told her.

Yanee's going straight to Taipei for her next interview and had nothing to do tomorrow, so she stopped. She was not convinced, however.

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Why did this potato want to go so badly?

As if reading her thoughts, Tohru James gave her a smug look.

"Also, have you forgotten? I need to get my hands on my spicy kimchi," he reminded almost seriously as if it was the most important thing in the world that rendered her speechless.

Oh. The spicy Kimchi.

She should have known.

With a bland expression, Yanee had no choice but to agree to take the spicy-kimchi-addicted-potato to Namdaemun Market tomorrow.

Unbeknownst to her, however, Tohru James was mentally jumping in joy after securing another date with her.

HUZZAH!

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