“Miss Kim, are you out of your mind? Do you know what you just put yourself through? Going head to head with underground racers, what were you thinking?”
12:37 a.m., the brunette had just set foot in the building after a chase around the slums of Seoul, drained both physically and mentally. She had caught a glimpse of the group they had plastered on every flat surface possible, The Seven Sins, they called themselves. They had weaved through Seoul like it was their own background, the government was wrapped around their finger, and the people grasped in the palm of their hands. One command from the leader meant more work for Detective Kim Yuna.
Every day for the past three years, they had reports coming in with the group’s name written in ugly red ink. Whether it be murder, embezzlement, or drug deals, they were more inevitable than the Sun rising each morning. So many reports, so much crime, yet not a single clear photo, all they had were grainy pictures from surveillance cameras, unable to discern any facial features. She had to risk it, just for that tiny teaspoon of information. “Any other person would’ve run faster than you could blink, if I didn’t do it, who would?!” She slammed her files on the table before turning to leave.
She dragged herself to her private office. Before she was given the privilege of sitting down to rest, a knock on her glass door woke her from her non-caffeinated stupor.
“Miss Kim, I have something I wish to discuss,” the balding chief said.
“What?” was all she could muster.
“What you did last night was absolutely unacceptable, to dissuade you of your reckless behavior, you have been partnered with Detective Choi from our Daegu division.”
Her jaw dropped. Working with others was a big red no in her books, but before she could object, the blond-haired man stepped into her office, a smirk she wanted to rip off tugging at his lips. If she had any energy left, she would’ve been fuming.
“The two of you will leave for the slums at 7 P.M sharp. I suggest you get to know each other until then, and please, Miss Kim, try not to rip his head off.” With that, the chief scurried back to his office, leaving the two of them alone.
“Please stop glaring at me.”
They did not exchange a single word for the rest of the day. Both of them only occasionally stealing glances at each other. The air in the room was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. From what she could see, she noticed that the man had numerous tattoos. An attempt was made to cover them up to be deemed work appropriate, but the harsh office lighting gave it away. It circled his forearm, curling up his chest, a vine of ivy, it seemed straight out of a Percy Jackson novel, it looked vaguely Greek, but she couldn’t point out why.
“I’m driving,” the man announced before she got her hands on the keys.
“No, you are not,” she shot back, but he already had the keys twirling around his finger.
“It was more of a declaration than a suggestion, sorry,” he said as he walked towards the car, an aura of confidence emanating around him. All Yuna could do was sulk behind him.
“So, you went out alone last night?” he asked, breaking the silence that hung in the car.
“Yeah, I was so close to grabbing a picture of The Sins in Gangnam yesterday,” she explained as she slumped into her seat. What she failed to realize was the small smirk tugging at her partner’s lips and the smug look that was painted on his face.
It was a successful night, nothing went wrong, nobody bothered them or even seemed to notice them. Usually, she would have gangsters threatening her or touching her in all the wrong places. Yet tonight, there was none of that, was it really the fact that she had Choi by her side? Were they intimidated by the glint in his eye? The way he held himself as he walked? Or maybe the specific stance and posture he had when he was still? The questions loomed in her mind, throwing her in to a daze.
“Earth to Yuna? Are you still with me?” That snapped her out of her thoughts. Opening her eyes, she found the man occupying her mind staring right at her face. The small cuts and scratches on his face only confused her further. Who on Earth was he?
“Choi and Kim will be going to the tournament happening tonight in the slums of Gangnam. Identify The Sins and bring back as much information as possible.” The chief droned on, giving orders to the rest of the staff. That awful part of Seoul, hidden right in the heart of all crime, Gangnam.
“For the last time, I am not putting that on,” she shot back for the tenth time that evening, while the light-haired man stood there innocently holding a bodycon dress.
“If you’re going to the slums, you’ll need to look like you belong there,” he explained again, slowly losing his patience.
“Wearing that dress will restrict my movement, I’d rather wear something skimpier than that hell of a dress in your hands.” She rubbed at her temples as he ran out of the room to get the perfect outfit for her.
The place was booming with music and people. Sweaty bodies were bumping into each other even before the main event began. She looked down at the crop top and denim shorts that wrapped around her body, toeing the ground with her combat boots that gave her a few extra inches.
“Never seen you dress so.” he stopped, eyeing her from top to bottom, “Different.” The man stopped, a playful smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
“Maybe because we have a dress code?” she shouted above the music. “Let’s go, it’s starting soon.”
It was a thrilling experience, if she was honest with herself. The cheering and shouting of the crowds, the tires screeching along the course, but the best part was the picture she held in her hands. A clear picture of the Seven Sins, well, six of them. They were masked, but the glint in their eyes and demeanor they had were unmistakable.
“So, what did you think of tonight?” the man asked as he continued to drive.
“I’m very satisfied with the intel we gathered tonight, and it was actually a lot of”, she was cut off by the ringing of a bullet. Glancing at the rear-view mirror, four cars were tailing them, one with a gun pointed at them through a sunroof.
“What do we do now?” she asked with a quivering voice.
“Now? We drift, hold on tight, sweetheart.”
Before she could question him, he was driving like one of the racers in the tournament, blasting at full speed through the small roads. She was on the verge of tears, five years into her career and this was the first time she was going to cry from fear. She glanced at the man behind the wheel and to her horror he had a terrifying smile plastered on his face, fire burning behind his cat-like eyes. She gripped harder onto her seat like her life depended on it, literally.
“I think we lost them.”
“And I think I left my soul there too.” Her face had lost all of its colour from the less than safe car ride.
“Come one, it was fun!” He nudged her elbow with his while she took a step forward, turning to face him.
“Who are you? You have tattoos covering your body, and now you tell me you race?” she was shouting, her voice echoing off the brick walls of the dimly lit alley they were in. A small chuckle left his lips before he straightened his stance, turning the brunette around, trapping her between his toned arms.
“We’ve been working together for 5 months, yet you seem to have forgotten what school taught you, do not believe anyone, doubt everything,” he spoke, his voice laced with amusement as he moved his lips closer to her ear, she could feel his warm breath fanning her neck as he whispered.
“You looked everywhere, yet you forgot to look right in front of you.”