He starts laughing at me waves his hand in my face as though I’m talking another language, and he isn’t interested in anything I have to say. He lifts his arm and waves it around to get the attention of fellow protestors, and I’m aware of some turning this way and pushing in slightly to form more of an arc facing our building instead of away. Eyes are coming my way, and some quiet down to listen.

“She says it’s not their problem!” he yells out loud for them all to hear in a snarly tone and thumps his board on the ground so that I flinch. Many more of them follow suit and pound their boards too, creating a buzz of bangs and murmurs as their voices blend into one. I catch more security filing outside from the doors in my right line of vision and know that upstairs will have been notified of this going on by now.

“Bullshit!” he leans into my face and spits it out, so he almost grazes my nose, and I pull my face away and turn to the side to pat my mouth and nose in disgust. His breath stinks of stale booze and ash, and my stomach lurches as I fight the urge to gag.

“This is an illegal protest, and I asked nicely. Now it’s not MY problem.” I turn back to him and nod to the army of black-suited coming towards me. I smile salaciously as if to say I’m done here, and you’ll regret it, as they begin to start shoving those on the ends and pushing, pulling, them out of line. A sweeping sea of suits against lumberjack shirts. The bear-man turns to me with an angry growl and snarls right into my face once more.

“We came expecting a fight, Girly. Just watch us.” He laughs again, a hearty and arrogant noise like a bellowing animal, and I turn and nod to my escort that they should deal with this. Moving out of the way as my men collide with theirs, I skirt around them and head for the open end to get out of here and still meet my appointment time. There’s no other way to deal with these types other than brute force, and I can guarantee the staff inside have already called the police to come break this up soon enough. I don’t need to involve myself any further. There’s nothing to negotiate as OLO is not at fault. It’s not our problem.

I duck my head and dodge splaying arms of my men wresting with theirs and scoot by with a confident walk until I’m around them and on the other side of their human wall. I start looking for the car that I requested to be brought to the front door. Many vehicles are abandoned on the sidewalk haphazardly, of all makes, colors, and models, and it irritates me that they have congested the road. I’m guessing most are from them and clench my fists in anger while looking around to try and locate mine.

“Sohla, move.” The raspy and urgent male shout comes at me from my left side, and before I can turn around and see who or where it came from, I’m yanked backward, spun into a warm body, and hugged in tight as I’m pulled sideways. A hand reaches over the top of my head, pushing me down in a crushing manner into the cocoon of his body, and covers my skull. At the same time, the black wool coat of my protector is pulled around me to conceal as much of my body as possible. Debris rains down on us from further back, and I squeal as I realize what’s happening.

Bottles, boulders, cans, and a manner of hard and heavy objects fly around, over, and at us from all angles. Coming for people and the building, I’m overwhelmed in panic mode to find we’re right in the epicenter, like a cyclone of weapons flicking around and smashing at our feet.

I cling onto my bodyguard, ducking my head, and close my eyes tight as he steers me and turns me to take the brunt of everything hitting us. Jerking with him and feeling the repercussions through him as he takes a battering and it pushes me into further terror. My body shakes, and my legs turn weak as I don’t know what else to do, allowing him to move me in whatever direction he deems safest and trusting he’ll protect me.

My fingers dig into his under jacket and shirt, feeling hot body temperature and firm muscles, and I blink up, unsure who this even is. He’s tall and using every inch of him to keep me shielded and safe while moving us around and dodging the worst of it. I can’t see anything because of my forced position, facing him, and hunched over inside his dark clothes.

He pushes my head back down and yanks his jacket back over me like a fabric roof before pulling us into a run, and I become disorientated at not being able to see where I’m going, stumbling, but he has me held fast and takes my weight. My nose ends up pressed to his chest, and it’s then as I inhale his body scent and aftershave that it hits me that I do know this body. I should have known it from a single touch, yet I was too shocked by what was going on that I didn’t even realize it. I should have recognized his voice.

Jyeon hauls me as fast as he can into the side end door of the main building, as security flanks us and gets us inside of the doors before locking it behind us. He stops and turns to bark orders at those standing in the hallway watching without relinquishing his vice-like grip on me.

“Get the police out here and tell them they’re throwing things. Call security from all floors and get them outside to deal with this. Keep all regular employees away from the glass in case they smash it.”

“Yes, President Park.” A male voice answers in urgency, and I lift my chin to try and take a glimpse of Jyeon, scared that he’s hurt after enduring everything I felt pounding us. My entire focus was on his body, and I start scrambling inside his clothes, my heart hitching up that he was being assaulted all over. It hurts my soul to think about what he just endured while protecting me.

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