The trip to the police station was a bit better than the hospital, at least . He wouldn’t have to worry about where she was hurt . But that didn’t really make it fun or relaxing . For Minjoon, at the very least .
But the cameraman was different . On the entire trip, the man had a hard time trying to keep down his laughter . He apologized when Minjoon finally gave him a sharp glare .
“Sorry . I know it’s not a funny situation . But I really can’t help it . A full grown man getting beat up by a lady… Is Kaya the amazing one here, or is the guy just weak?”
“The guy is definitely in the bad . Stalking at his age… And Kaya… Well, it’s better than getting hurt, but good lord did she make me surprised… I don’t really feel like praising her for her violence, though . ”
“I understand . I wouldn’t want to praise my wife if she beat someone up either . ”
Minjoon just sighed . He didn’t like looking so tired in front of other people, but he just didn’t have the energy today . He’s worked hard all day, and he just had to end it at the police station…
‘I’m really unlucky today . ’
Minjoon looked out the window with a complicated look . The street was filled with palm trees . When the car stopped for a little while, Minjoon’s gaze fell on a single house .
It was a condo . The windows weren’t closed up by the curtains or anything at all . He could see a young couple staring at a laptop together in a warmly-lit room .
The two’s eyes met, they smiled, and they fiddled with each other’s hands . They spoke to each other quietly with a happy look in their eyes .
It was interesting . The people on the other side of the window would live their own lives today . He didn’t really feel it when he saw people on the street, but… Looking at their lives from the window made him feel quite emotional .
‘I wonder if I can make other people feel that way . ’
Just like how Minjoon was able to get a glimpse of the couple’s lives, his life must’ve been shown to many other people as well . Kaya’s, too . And this would continue to be the case . Thinking this made Minjoon feel more careful than usual .
This also made him reconsider how he’d react to meeting Kaya at the station . He was going to get mad at first, but… That wouldn’t make him look pretty from an outsider’s point of view . While he couldn’t make all aspects of his life look perfect… at least this time he could choose .
“Kaya must be scared right now, isn’t she?”
“…Who knows? I mean, she beat up the stalker by herself . Is there anything to be scared of?”
“I’m asking because I’m not too sure . ”
Minjoon spoke with a light smile, then closed his mouth .
Somehow, the reporters managed to find out about the incident and got to the station before him . No, maybe they just camped at the station all the time? Flashes started exploding the moment Minjoon got off . Mics got shoved towards Minjoon’s frowning face .
“Hello, Minjoon . This is Natalie Olson from LA Street . I heard Ms . Lotus got involved in an incident . How do you feel right now?”
“I heard the victim was Ms . Lotus’ stalker . Did you know she was being stalked?”
Even Minjoon would get angry at reporters coming onto him at such an untimely moment . But he decided to act as calmly as possible .
“Thank you for working so hard to cover even small stories like this . But I’d like to hold off the interview for a moment . I need to meet Kaya first . Please understand . Thank you . ”
People would judge him through the lens of the camera, just like how he judged the couple through the window . Same with Kaya, and Rachel . That’s what it meant to go public .
The reporters couldn’t say much more with him being respectful like this . They just kept taking more pictures . The cameraman quietly opened up when they entered the building .
“You’re smart, Minjoon . ”
“What do you mean?”
“Facing reporters . They usually get more excited when you get angry . Being polite was definitely the right call . Makes them stay away from you . ”
“I didn’t do it with that in mind . ”
“Even better, then . You’re naturally the type of person the reporters can’t really touch . ”
The cameraman smiled . But Minjoon was unable to smile back . He could see the cops gathered on one side of the building, with Kaya looking down at the table in front of her . The cops seemed more sympathetic than threatening, too .
Kaya raised her head when he was about ten steps away . Minjoon stopped when their eyes met . Looking at the fear, anger, and sadness on her face… Rendered him unable to do anything other than sigh .
Kaya jumped up from her seat . Minjoon’s face looked a bit annoying to her still, but she was thankful still . The last thread of pride in her heart broke, and her face scrunched up into a crying face .
She wasn’t able to finish . She just started hitting Minjoon’s chest with her fists . They hurt quite a bit . Minjoon grabbed her hands . They were ice-cold .
“Stop it . It hurts . ”
“…That’s all you have to say?”
“You look pretty ugly right now . Your nose is leaking, and your face is red . Come on, don’t look so sad . ”
Kaya was about to kick him, but Minjoon swept her into a hug right then and there . Minjoon muttered to her tiredly .
“Thank goodness . Seriously . ”
She couldn’t really do or say anything after that . Minjoon continued with a wet voice .
“I’m sorry . I’m so sorry . ”
“…You did nothing wrong . ”
“Yes I did . I’m sorry for getting mad, I’m sorry for leaving you behind . ”
Kaya just sniffled . She bit Minjoon’s shoulder lightly, before resting her cheek on his neck .
“Don’t leave me alone, then . I get scared . ”
“Ok . ”
Kaya hesitated for a bit .
“…I’m sorry . ”
“…So she was scared, huh . ”
Minjoon looked at the screen in front of him dumbly . Thanks to Kaya’s cameraman, he was able to see exactly what happened on video .
What happened was simple . The stalker tried to hug and kiss Kaya out of nowhere . But Kaya responded quickly . She stepped on the man’s foot, then knee-kicked the man’s balls .
And that was pretty much all . She just finished off the man by kicking the man’s ribs .
“Two of his ribs are broken, and one’s cracked . And his balls… Well, I don’t really want to talk about it . Point is, he’ll need a few weeks to recover at the very least . I can’t really give a definite answer, but I don’t think she’ll get anything bad, so no worries . ”
“He’s going to be charged for stalking and sexual assault, but he won’t be in there for long . Problem is, he has a mental illness… He might be stuck in the hospital for the rest of his life . ”
“Good . Ugh, what a weirdo . ”
Kaya looked at the screen with an uncomfortable gaze . Minjoon muttered to himself with Kaya in his arms .
“You should be my bodyguard, I can’t fight . ”
“Don’t keep picking fights with me, then . I’ll screw you up . ”
“Alright, alright . ”
The actual thing wrapped up by dawn, but after being pestered by reporters, they only managed to get out in the morning . Kaya looked at Minjoon apologetically .
“Sorry . You couldn’t even sleep because of me . ”
Minjoon smiled .
“Let’s ask Marco for breakfast . ”
The breakfast didn’t actually happen, though . The two only managed to wake up at 11, after all . By the time they were ready to go out, the time was 12 .
It was time for brunch . They decided to have it at Lisa’s place .
“Are you really just fine with bread?” Marco said .
“Of course . ”
“…It’s nothing compared to the plane ticket, though . ”
“Well, you paid for it by accepting my invite . ”
Minjoon grinned . The three of them, including Anderson, was driving on the streets of Venice . Marco spoke out with an excited voice .
“This is that place where the merchant of Venice takes place, isn’t it? I never thought I’d come here . ”
“…Sorry man, but that’s in Italy . This is LA . Different place . ”
“But this place is probably better . Especially thanks to the bakery here . ”
“That makes me nervous for whatever reason . ”
Marco looked out the window after talking . The trip didn’t take long . A little later, the party managed to enter the bakery .
“Where’s Ella?” Minjoon asked, after looking around the store .
“…You’re looking for Ella here? Not bread?”
“Of course I came from bread . But I also want to see Ella . ”
“She’s in preschool right now . Oh, I saw what happened by the way . ”
“Yeah… Crazy stuff just keeps happening . ”
“But it was pretty good . I got to see the true power of a female chef . And the boyfriend who didn’t lose his cool in front of reporters . You guys did really well . ”
Minjoon turned to the cameraman with a smiling face . The cameraman returned a thumbs up . Lisa turned to look at Marco .
“Ah, he’s my friend . He’s good at baking . I wanted to show him your food . ”
“…Is that really all you came for?”
“Well… You did say you needed a helping hand . Marco’s great . I can vouch for him . ”
The system vouched for the man as well . Marco’s baking level was at a 7, after all . Minjoon glanced over at Marco . He blinked in surprise .
[Marco Denver] Cooking: 6