You pull your coat closer against your neck as the chill of
winter bites into your skin. Thankfully,
a black umbrella keeps snow from falling on you and that in itself is some
comfort in the bitter cold. Billows of
steam form under your nose as you breathe, your steps tentative as the pavement
offered little resistance as a thin sheet of ice threatened to make you slip.
It has been a few months since your brush with an
underground organization known as Silence—a name pegged by ethical hackers,
since nobody really knew what they called themselves—and things were not
exactly peaceful ever since.
Today, Jumin has assigned two bodyguards to pick you up to
attend the RFA meeting in C&R’s penthouse suite. Although you assured the man that you carry a
gun with you at all times, you and your husband welcomed the gesture since
extra protection for the members will never hurt.
It has also been a week since you have heard from
Vanderwood. As much as Saeyoung wants to
deny it, he finds himself worrying about the man. Vanderwood was tasked to track down the
remaining Silence members to ensure the safety of everyone in RFA, and it’s
disquieting that there had been no reports since last week. This prompted the RFA leader to call a
meeting in order to ensure RFA’s and its guests’ safety—the association’s
yearly party is just a few months away, after all.
Briefly looking at your wristwatch, you feel self-assured by
the fact that you will be arriving 5 minutes early. As you have learned from being with the RFA
for more than a year, the C&R director does not take kindly to
tardiness. The familiar entrance of the
C&R building welcomed you as you lifted your gaze from the pavement, and
you made your way up the steps towards the door.
Once inside you almost sighed in relief as the building’s
heating system welcomed you when one of your bodyguards held the door
open. You stepped inside, and was
greeted by a pleasant smile by the receptionist.
“Welcome, Mrs. Choi.
Mr. Han and the others are waiting in the penthouse,” she greets.
“Thank you, Ji-eun,” you smiled back. “I love how you did your hair today.”
A slight blush tinted the receptionist’s cheeks and she gave
you a genuine smile. “You are always so
kind, Mrs. Choi.”
You waved goodbye as you walked past the receptionist’s,
into the elevator waiting area. The
building had very sharp but bright interiors; the walls are mostly made out of
glass to allow as much natural light in, frosted in areas where some privacy is
needed. A slight touch of earth
tastefully adorns some strategic areas: indoor plants placed in stone walls
gave some contrast and texture to the design, and the artistic lighting made
glass and stone work so perfectly together.
You immediately turned your attention to the elevator as it
opened; one of the bodyguards stepped in first and the other motioned you to
follow. He got into the lift afterwards,
tapped his ID card onto the scanner and pressed “P” on the topmost part of the
Once you reach the penthouse floor, imposing, wooden
double-doors welcomed you, and so did an entire fleet of bodyguards, standing
on attention. One of them stepped forward
and turned to open the door for you.
“Good day, Mrs. Choi.
They’re waiting within.”
The door opened to a spacious room with a large, dark wooden
table at the center with Jumin and Jaehee standing on either sides of the large
LED screen, Yoosung and Zen seated on the left side, and the twins to the
right. You could immediately tell that
everyone was waiting for you; the
tension in the atmosphere was unmistakable.
“Welcome, MC,” Jumin said, and motioned you to sit on the chair
beside Saeyoung. You nod in
acknowledgment to the RFA leader and turned to your husband. He smiles at you
and you lean down to kiss his forehead before you sat on a chair. He placed his hand on your thigh under the
table, which you gratefully took; your cold fingers warmed with a slight
squeeze. He can tell that you are nervous
and do not wish to do what you are about to do, and would honestly just want to
pretend that nothing happened—but as friends…no, as family, the RFA deserves more than that.
“I guess everyone’s here,” Jaehee softly broke the silence,
sitting beside Yoosung at the left side of the table, while Jumin, as chairman
of the RFA, sat at the principal position of the table.
Jumin clears his throat and turns to everyone. “The reason why I invited everybody in the
C&R building, and not somewhere else, is to make everybody understand that
whatever that will be discussed in here is to be kept with utmost secrecy. This is the place wherein C&R discusses
our most secret strategies, and I hope bringing you here will make you
understand that the information we will discuss is of the same, if not greater,
importance,” he stated, leaning his elbows on the table, his fingers
Zen and Yoosung looked at each other briefly. Yoosung looked worried, and Zen looked a
little irritated. “Yes, we know. What we are just worried about is that why
are things being kept secret from us? I
thought we already discussed that there should be no secrets kept within the
RFA,” he sternly eyed Jumin, who kept a stoic expression but regarding the
actor’s argument with respect.
“I’m afraid the decision is not mine to make,” Jumin
“What do you mean?” Yoosung challenged. “Jumin-hyung, you know more than anything
what secrets made the RFA become. Why do
we still keep doing that?”
You let out a frustrated sigh. “Stop it,” you interrupted. Your eyes were focused on the reflection of
the overhead lights on the shiny, polished surface. This tension in the room
was just suffocating. Of all the things
that could happen, having suspicions with each other, especially the original
people in the RFA, was the last thing you wanted.
Everybody went silent.
“Do I not have a say in this; Zen, Yoosung?” you replied in
a soft, controlled tone. “I chose to keep this secret. Jumin
knows about the same as everybody else in this room…so please do not
automatically assume that this is all Jumin’s doing.”
Saeyoung looked over to you worriedly, and gives your hand a
light squeeze to assure you. You squeeze
his hand back, and he gently caresses your knuckles with his thumb.
Saeran watches with deep interest. He has not revealed any of the information he
found about you during the picnic a few weeks ago, since the trails he followed
all lead to a dead end. Whoever made
this cover-up may have neglected that one simple detail—if that was changed, he
may have been convinced that the data was authentic as well.
“I am sorry, MC,” Zen replied. “I just assumed the jerk knew. We’re just
worried for everybody, that’s all.”
You nod, acknowledging their apologies. Gazing at the two men, you sigh and shake
your head. “I don’t want to cause any
rift between any of you, directly or indirectly.”
Looking at everyone in the RFA, you felt your chest clench
like a vice. Saeyoung squeezes your hand
again in support. “You are all so important to me. The RFA is my only family,” you hear your
voice starting to break. You can see
Jaehee’s worried look at the corner of your eye.
Jumin grabs his silk handkerchief from his suit pocket and
hands it over to Saeyoung, who in turn wipes your tears. You smile at both of them thankfully.
“I was hoping I would never have to tell you this,” you
stared at the tabletop, trying to find the right words.
“I…I killed somebody.”
A gasp was heard from you assume Yoosung and Jaehee, but the
others were quiet. If it weren’t for
Saeyoung’s reassuring hand you might have relived the nightmare in your mind
again and worry everyone even more. But
you braced yourself to continue. They deserve to know.
“It happened when I was a child,” you managed to blurt
out. “We…my teacher and I…we got
attacked by a man on our way back to the orphanage,” you instinctively ran your
right hand up and down your left arm, as if brushing a non-existent cold.
“The man…killed her in front of my eyes…so I…”
“Stop,” Saeyoung caught both of your arms, seeing that you
were squeezing his so hard and your right hand was brushing way too much. “Breathe,
You took a deep breath, and let out a shaky sigh. You closed your eyes and gave his hands a
light squeeze. “Thank you, love…I’ll be
Saeyoung reluctantly lets go of your right hand as he went
back to his seat, but he kept holding your left hand under the table. You are afraid that everyone would stay away
from you after this confession, but it was wishful thinking that you could just
get on with your lives and go back to how things were after what happened,
“I didn’t know why I did it,” you started again, but unable
to look at anybody in the eye. “But I
killed him. And shortly afterwards, the
man—the Silence leader—grabbed me. And
that’s all I remember from that point.”
You took a deep breath to calm your nerves, and let out a
long sigh. You gripped Saeyoung’s hand a
little tighter. Everybody looked at you expectantly;
waiting for you to say something. Closing your eyes and taking another breath
to gather your courage, you continued to tell your tale.
“He said he was sure I was dead,” you spoke in a quiet,
shaky tone. “And he was surprised to see
me alive all these years when his son stayed dead.”
You finally lift your eyes to look at each and every one in
the room. There was the expected shock
in everyone’s faces, but there was also genuine…concern.
“Whoa. That is some story,” Zen finally leans on the
chair, his mind adrift with thoughts. “You
said Silence leader. Who is Silence?”
“An organized crime syndicate,” Saeyoung answered for
you. “We made an enemy out of them by
putting the leader and one of his men behind bars.”
Jumin sighs. “That
explains a lot…and complicates many things.”
“I agree,” Jaehee adds.
“and from the looks of it, they seem to be very…influential.”
“Oh yeah?” Zen turns to Jaehee. “What made you say so?”
“The Prime Minister himself dropped by when I was caught
hacking in the facility,” Saeran quietly replied, which prompted Zen to
abruptly stand up.
“Enough, all of you,” Saeyoung interrupted. “You’re making the situation seem a lot worse
than it is. The Prime Minister thanked
us for assisting in catching him, so that’s that.”
Zen sat back in his chair, and Yoosung gingerly spoke. “So…that means they should be gone, right? I
mean, the leader’s gone, so…”
“If only things were that easy,” Jumin spoke. “I’m pretty sure that a successor would
easily take one missing leader’s place.”
The gravity of Jumin’s words hung in the air like a low
“I’m sorry,” you mumbled, “I’ve placed you all in danger—“
“MC, we placed you in an apartment with a bomb,” Zen interrupted. “I don’t think we’re the one to talk.”
“He’s right,” Yoosung added, “Thank you for telling us, noona. Like you, we will do our best to
remain objective on this,” he gives you a warm smile. “Don’t even think of leaving RFA!”
This surprised you. How the hell did he know what I was
“What?! No, why would you leave?” Zen chimed in.
“We should all stick together,” Jaehee added.
Jumin straightened in his chair. “I told you, didn’t I? It will be harder to leave. We’re your family. Even if you leave, we will come looking for
Saeyoung turns and grins at you. “See?
I told you they’re very
stubborn. Believe me, I’ve tried to get rid of them.”
Saeran scoffs. “And you’re not?”
You felt tears in your eyes roll down your cheeks as you
laugh along with everyone.
The penthouse is quiet once again. Watching the snow gently fall and collect at
the bottom of the window pane, Jumin sits and sips his wine, his eyes staring
out in the snow-covered city below.
“Mr. Han,” Jaehee calls to him as she walks into the main
conference area from the kitchen.
“What is it?”
“I just noticed that you have been deep in thought the moment
MC had told her story,” she sits herself on one of the chairs around the
conference table, resting her hands on her lap.
“Is there something you need me to look into?”
Jumin looks at her for a moment and gives a brief
smile. “Since when did you care about my
thoughts? You don’t seem this interested
when I think about cat projects.”
“Mr. Han.” Jaehee spoke sternly, not picking up the
joke. “Don’t even think about it.”
A light chuckle escaped Jumin’s lips, and then he turns back
towards the window, swirling wine in his glass.
“I just…thought her story is familiar.”
A/N: OHOHO I AM BACK!
:D Yes, Quietus is the sequel to
Although I may not be updating as much as I did with
Missing…but as always, I will do the best I can. ^^
And this is more of a trial chapter anyway~ I’m still writing the next one.