He was late. He hated being late but there was little sympathy when it came to the sign off process in the force, he had to file all his cases before the end of the day and thanks to a runner putting his schedule behind earlier he was still writing up the last of it. He pulled out his phone to send Alicia, Rosie's babysitter a message to say he would be late and he would meet her at the coffee shop, adding to treat herself and Rosie on him. He breathed a sigh of relief when she responded with 'No Problem' and got back to work on filing his final case, wiping his brow and shaking his head, working a full job was tough when you were a single parent. 

When Lici announced they were going to get hot cocoa, Rosie couldn't help but squeal excitedly before placing her hand into hers, they headed out of the house and she followed as they walked the distance over to the cafe they liked going to. It had only opened recently and the owner was really friendly, always giving her a candy whenever she came in. Before long they were heading inside and over to the counter. She looked around the room curiously before spotting what looked like a massive white cloud across the room.

Her eyes widened and she tugged on Lici's hand to point in the direction of the dog before pouting her lips as though to plead with her. When she nodded but asked her to stay in sight. She nodded before wandering closer to the white dog who was laying down and minding it's own business but instead of petting it, Rosie pulled out the chair opposite the owner and hoisted herself onto it. She wobbled a little before smiling softly "Hi" she tilted her head a little, trying to figure out what she was doing on her laptop.

"Your dog is very fluffy" she spoke softly as she looked at her and then back to the blonde girl "Do you have to brush it a lot?" of course she was fact-finding about dog ownership since she had been trying to convince daddy to let her get one for a pet. 

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Irene grew up in this life. Growing up, all she was told was that her parents were too busy for her and the days they do come home, they need to rest, they had no time spared for her. It wasn’t hard to see why the diviner grew up distrusting of everyone around her. It was just a bonus to know that she was betrayed once upon a time ago over an accident. An accident she didn’t mean to do but was blamed for it for decades later. That was precisely the reason why she didn’t believe in happily ever after. No like the man before her. He was probably the nicest guy she has ever met, second to Leigh. And instead of walking away to spare him of her tragic and messy life, she stayed and brought him inside. God she was really messed up.

“Stress is my middle name, what can I say?” She grew accustomed to it over time. It became her daily routine to check in on it. Stress could determine someone’s future after all, she would likely end up old and frail because of it. No, she would probably fall down and die one day without a single gray hair. He clearly doted on his daughter and she wished she had a father like that, Irene was mesmerized by his love for Rosie. “You know you make it so easy for me to be jealous…” Everything he did warranted her jealousy towards the both of them.

If she wasn’t so twisted, perhaps one day she could have had a child of her own. To continue her legacy, so it would not die with her. But more than just that, she would love them so much, give them the love she never received. To make sure they never end up like her. “You must have loved her very much” she quipped softly, Hyunjin seemed to recall his late wife easily. One important thing to note, Irene Farley wasn’t a pop fan so when Rosie started a mini carpool singing to Taylor Swift, she could just snicker to herself.

While Rosie was busy looking through the aisles thinking what she could buy, Irene was walking with Hyunjin far behind. “Yes, why is your default always no? For yourself, perhaps you think it’s hard to let someone spoil you but for the sake of your child, shouldn’t a parent want to give the world to them? You should let her have fun sometimes… it’s fine, I don’t have a sister or any family member, it’s just me. It gets… boring to shop alone.” She wasn’t about to unveil that she’s an heiress in front of him. This guy is probably one of the few people who didn’t care about her background. “When I said I’d spoil you, I didn’t just mean Rosie you know…”

Hyujin chuckled, raising his brows “Really, I thought it was Catherine…or Penelope” he joked with a grin, she definitely seemed like she came from a family with fancy long names like those anyway “Stress doesn’t sound very pretty” he commented and pouted his lips playfully, he didn’t have a middle name, wasn’t really a thing in Korea, but Rosie did, Lauren insisted she had one. He glanced over at her when she said she was jealous “Jealous?” he questioned and widened his eyes in surprised “I think out of us, you have the life people would be jealous over” he pointed out.

He nodded slightly when she pointed out he must have loved his late wife a lot “A whole lot, she’s the reason I even came to America in the first place” he mumbled softly as he leaned against the window, looking out at the streets outside and chuckling at Rosie’s little one woman concert to the radio. “I feel more at home here than I do in Korea though, so I guess it was meant to be” after everything he’d been through with his family, he wasn’t sure he would ever go back home, he didn’t think it would be good for Rosie to be in that environment either. But it was lonely. Definitely lonely.

Hyunjin watched Rosie with curious eyes, she’d never really been given free reign to pick out things in a store like this before so he was interested to see what decisions she would make, shed wasn’t able to be spoiled because he never had the means to do that. But he did often get her a toy here and then whenever they took grocery shopping trips together. “It’s just…I’m so used to barely having enough to pay for her school uniform and that toy she so desperately wants…so the no becomes…necessary” Rosie understood that but he was sure she still felt a little left out at times, especially because she had some more well off girls in her friend circle.

“Is shopping a…hobby of yours?” he asked curiously, he was usually the guy who would go in, go directly to the thing he wanted, pick it up, pay for it and leave, he didn’t really understand the appeal of going around and sorting through everything on the shelves, trying things on, putting things back, seemed like wasted time to him. But maybe Rosie would enjoy the experience. He glanced over at her and shook his head “Oh…I uh…” he commented and shook his head again “I really don’t need anything” he protested.

Rosie came back to them with a toy which allowed you to create your own stuffed bear in her arms, looking at it like it was the most interesting thing she had ever seen “I like this…” she mumbled softly before holding it out towards him.

She rolled her eyes playfully when he said her middle name would be either Catherine or Penelope “Sorry to disappoint, honey, it’s Seylia.” She shook her head and popped the p in the nope when he said stress is not pretty. “Fun fact, my name Irene stands for something. Ireanna” she winked playfully, then again everything about her sounds pretty classic. There was no way she had the life people envied, or at least the diviner didn’t think she had much of one.

“Oh no… if we’re being honest, my life is… well… you know… not as interesting. Dramatic yes, but stressful and no amount of stress is worth a life you want to be jealous of. You have a child… a happy life. The girl who looks up to you… what do I have?”

Money, sure. Popularity? Okay, fine. Respect and being feared by? That too. But that was nothing if you’re going to be alone at the end of the day. He sounded so in love that made her jealous even more. “See this is the whole reason why I’m jealous… you had a good partner… I wish I could have even half of that…” That’s all she would have wanted if so. Irene had her eyes on the road the entire time but had a small smile because she could relate to that.

She couldn’t help but to bite her lip when he said he barely had enough to buy her the essentials. She never had that problem in her entire life but she was lonely for it. “It’s fine… let me take your role for today then. Money often makes you lonely… I’m bored.” She shook her head when he said he didn’t need anything “No no you don’t get to say anything. If Rosie gets to do it, you get to do it too.”

She turned his around and pushed him gently “Come on…” He was taller than her, now that she realized it, Hyunjin is quite tall which was ironic considering she never had to look up because she’s also above 170cm. “Baby you can get more than just a stuffed bear, put it in the cart and go get another thing okay? Whatever you want, I mean it” she purred, “If you do that then daddy is also going to be doing the same, aren’t you daddy?” She gave him a look that says please agree. “Surely you need something… or want something.”

He smiled softly, she had a really unique name to go with her unique persona, he had truly never ever met someone quite like her. He saw this lonely girl who was so surrounded in the life she had lead to this point that she could barely see outside of it. But for one night, she saw him. He was so sure that it affected her as much as it did him, because they wouldn’t be here right now if not. “Your life might be crazy but don’t many people dream of such a life? Full of adventure and challenges?” money had it’s impact for sure, she never had to worry about covering for her next meal that was for sure.

“Rosie is everything good that I have” he mumbled softly, implying that everything else didn’t even come close because honestly it didn’t. He struggled through life, through the pain of being abandoned by his family, through having to lose his wife so young, through raising a young girl all alone and wondering if he’s doing wrong by her without a female influence to guide her. Nothing was easy for him, he longed for a little easy sometimes. “Still…the highs are so high that the lows feel…you know” he nodded his head and pressed his lips together, honestly he felt sad more often than he felt happy.

Hyunjin sighed softly because he knew she would be the stubborn type who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He wondered how often she had the chance to spoil someone like that and if it was how she gained some level of happiness. She definitely struck him as the lonely type and perhaps she felt the need to pay people to stick around. His loyalty couldn’t be bought but there was also a part of him that wanted to indulge her just for a little while.

He followed her, eyes still watching Rosie carefully as she picked out a single toy she wanted from the shelf, that was to be expected as that was usually what she would gain from a shopping trip, their limit he supposed because he certainly couldn’t spare the cash to be buying things in greater amounts. He gave her a stubborn look when she pressed him to say he must need or want something. Pressing his lips together she didn’t back down so he sighed “A rice cooker…so I can make some traditional Korean recipes” he commented “But you have to agree to come try it…” then it was justifiable.

She was probably stupid and down bad for letting this go on longer than it should but what can she do? The diviner was… too enthralled by him honestly. And to find out he had a cute daughter is just a cherry on top. A nice and decent guy, would it be too much to wish she could have someone like that by her side? Who accepts her through and through?

“Adventures and challenges huh… I’m not sure if that’s the exact words I’d use to describe my rather… colorful life.” It’s colorful, that’s one thing for sure but Irene was a cutthroat lady in who stood on her business, she was bound to get non fans. “She’s truly lucky to have you then… a parent who would sacrifice everything and anything for them… most could only wish to see that happen once in their life.” But Rosie got to see it everyday. How nice to be her.

Irene can be very persuasive when she wants to be and it was clear that she was not budging from her firm decision so Hyunjin would have to give up for a change. When he gave in and expressed his wishlist item, she beamed in delight “See, you do want something. It’s fine to want things Hyunjin… everyone has desires, you are so disciplined and selfless it makes me wonder what your desires are.” Could there be more beyond the front she sees?

“I’ve never tried Korean cuisine actually but… I’ll try yours.” When Rosie came back shyly with another toy, this time a Barbie doll, the blonde had a wide grin because she was glad the little girl follow through. “Even your wishlist have household items. Do you have anything you wish for that does not… look like a grocery list? I’m curious. You seem like a fun guy to be around so…”

Hyunjin reached up and ran his hand through his hair “Well perhaps I’m an optimist” he mumbled softly under his breath, he was sure there were downsides to her life as there was with any but it was appealing in his mind to not have to worry about money, to be certain that part was already covered. “I couldn’t see myself being any other way honestly…I don’t understand how a parent could not put their child first…I mean look at her…she’s amazing” he mumbled softly.

He sighed under his breath at the way she celebrated him giving in and choosing something he did want “Don’t enjoy this too much” he commented softly, he just had a hard time accepting help from anyone, to start with he didn’t even want to ask Rosie’s grandparents for help and that meant he was trying to do everything himself, that wasn’t healthy and he slowly came around to letting them help with more but it was still hard for him to do “I guess I’ve just taken care of just me and her for so long…you get into a certain headspace you know” and then it was really hard to leave it.

“You will? How are you with spicy food because I swear even the blandest of my recipes are pretty…hot” he was excited about the idea of getting back into cooking because he hadn’t done it for such a long time and he thought it would be exciting to make some things…for Rosie…and Irene too if she’d try them. Seeing the barbie picked out by Rosie tugged at his heart a little because he realized she was picking out the small affordable things he might have been able to get her.

He bit his lip and knelt down to her level and looked at her “Daddy is really proud of your choices sweetheart but today I want you to pick out something you really want without looking at the price okay…something in the store you really love, without any limitations” she looked at him with wide eyes and then nodded before looking more closely at the shelves for something she really wanted, her one thing she could have without limits. He looked up at Irene and nodded as he got back to his feet “That’s what you wanted…right” he mumbled softly.

When she asked him if he wished for anything that wasn’t part of his grocery list he cleared his throat because he felt like he was being called out for being boring “I have…hobbies…” he defended but bit his lip, the first ones that came to mind were cooking and gardening, neither of which met her criteria “I have always wanted to buy one of those ridiculously expensive lego sets…” he mumbled under his breath.

He was everything she was not, that was the first thing she thought of when she heard him talk. From the first glance, Hyunjin was not who she painted himself to be. Of course, she knew he’s a genuinely good person but this paternal. “You love her so much it’s amazing…” How lovely would it be if someone were to love her this much? “I am enjoying it this much, please just… indulge me today okay?” She giggled, the idea of pampering both the father and daughter made her believe that perhaps they could be something more. Maybe. Perhaps they could be close friends.

When he asked her how she is with spicy food, she bit her lip and cleared her throat awkwardly “Uh I can’t tolerate too much of it. I’m as white as I can be, Hyunjin. But I do like paprika a lot, so that’s something. Surprise me?” She was sure that given that he’s a good cook, his spicy would still be delicious. “Hot like the owner, huh?” She teased, she wouldn’t downplay her attraction to him, she didn’t think it would be necessary because both of them knew the other felt.

“That’s what I wanted yes, I love a good shopping spree and don’t worry… this is what I want to do, don’t let it get to you.” Rosie’s a child, she deserves to ask for things without thinking about it and the diviner wanted to be that fairy godmother for her. “Oh yeah? What are they?” She exclaimed haughtily when he defended himself and said he had hobbies. “It better be something good, Hyunjin. If you tell me cooking is one of them I’m gonna have to stop you right there. There must be something more that’s not classified as a household chore.”

Her ears perked up almost instantly when she heard the word lego and quickly dragged him to the toy section without thinking much. After a while of rummaging, she finally found the aisle filled with legos. “Pick one. Or two. Or three. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I want to see you build them…” There were a wide range of variety and she wondered which he would choose. “You’re a fan of lego? A police officer who’s a single father good at household chores and has an interest in legos? I think you just got hotter.”

He ran his hand through his hair, feeling a little shy because she was complimenting him “I get the feeling you don’t get the chance to do this often…” he commented and pressed his lips together “Or perhaps…you don’t find someone you think is worth your time often…” that seemed more likely, she gave him the impression she was pretty selective about who she let close to her, which made him flattered that she had chosen to open up to him, even a little.

He grinned just a little “Okay…I can tone it down a little for you, at least until we can train your tastebuds up to handle the spicier stuff” even though he’d lived in America for many years now he still craved Korean food a lot so he’d learned to make his own plenty and made sure that Rosie got to try it too. He smirked when she teased him with the hot comment “Hotter than you can handle it seems” he jested back playfully, never missing an opportunity to flirt with her.

He nodded slightly when she said she wanted to go on a shopping spree “Do you go on them often?” he asked curiously, wondering if it was a hobby of hers and what she found appealing about it, he didn’t find buying things all that exciting but he did enjoy using the things he bought so he could understand in some level at least. “Don’t knock cooking…it really is a hobby of mine and I won’t have you downplay it” he shot her a playful look “Not just making chicken nuggets and fries either” though Rosie would eat plenty of them given a chance.

Not a moment after he mentioned lego she was dragging him halfway across the store where they had a large assortment of them lined up on the shelves, his eyes widened as he looked over them all, noting some he had never even seen before his eyes lit up excitedly “I thought it would be really cool to make the titanic but look at this death star one” he turned the box around to inspect it closer, it looked really fun to make. He looked back at her and pressed his lips together “Is that considered hot?” he questioned playfully “What hobbies do you have…other than shopping” he asked curiously.

She shook her head as if to affirm what he said was spot on “I don’t get to do this often no.” It wasn’t as if the opportunity presented itself to her all that easily either. “People are generally not worth my time” she exclaimed bluntly, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Well, except Hyunjin. Hyunjin was worth every time to Irene. She has just met this man one night and even spending one day with him today was more than enough to tell the diviner that this man has the energy of a golden retriever, therefore he’s probably the best man she could ever meet.

She loved the fact that he was actually jesting her back with all the flirtation she’s doing towards him. How witty and charming, she thought. “Who says I can’t handle you hm?” When asked if she went on shopping sprees often, the blonde nodded “I like shopping. It helps me destress and as you can see, I have a lot of things that contributes to that state of mind.” But shopping alone wasn’t fun. Not after a while.

He was like a child, the way his eyes literally lit up just staring at the assortment of legos made Irene smile. Cute. “A man who knows what he wants and is not afraid nor shy to show it, is hot, yes. It’s an attractive trait.” There was nothing more that Irene likes other than a person who knows what they like and want. Because that way, she didn’t have to beat around the bush either.

“I like to make pottery… it’s calming. And surprisingly despite my temper I crochet… skiing when it’s the best time of the year… we should totally do that. It’ll be fun.” She nudged him and basically told the Initia to get the Death Star lego.

The way she spoke generically of people not being worth her time made him feel a mix of emotions, on the one hand it sounded sad and lonely, if she felt like no one around her was worth paying mind to, then she must be awfully lonely. But there was also a part of him that couldn’t help but feel touched, what made him different to others? “Have you ever considered it’s because you don’t give people a chance?” he questioned curiously, wanting to know what had made her so cautious and guarded.

He scrunched his nose playfully and grinned “Well you did just say yourself that you can’t handle…spicy” he teased softly, though the night they shared together definitely spoke otherwise in that sense, he couldn’t help but play with her words here and there. “Don’t you run out of space for everything though?” he commented almost naively he supposed given that he wasn’t raised wealthy and certainly didn’t lead a life where he had much room for buying things.

He glanced at her over his shoulder, he had to admit that he found her reasoning behind her actions rather enigmatic but that just seemed to be the kind of person she was, she lived a life so different from his that he wasn’t sure he could begin to understand it all “Well…there are a lot of things I want, but that doesn’t mean I can just have them all” he gave her a pointed look, that flirty energy from earlier not lost on this comment either.

Pottery…well that wasn’t an easy hobby, he thought to himself “So what’s your favorite thing you’ve made…” now he was curious to see the things she would have made. He looked down for a moment and bit his lip “I went ice skating once and my legs went everywhere…” which didn’t translate to skiing at all but it was the closest connection he had. After a moment of contemplation he picked up the box with the death star lego and bowed his head to say thank you “I will enjoy building this…a lot” he mumbled softly.

She raised her eyebrow in curiosity and amusement when Hyunjin mentioned if it was due to the fact that she never once considered to give them a chance. “Maybe I did and they disappointed me, or maybe I just couldn’t be bothered. Both scenarios will deliver me the same result. But don’t worry, I’m not… too cold to the point I ignore everyone.” She emphasised on the everyone part because that is true, she does have a close friend that she keeps to heart.

“You are pretty special in that sense yes but unfortunately you are not the only man in my life that I keep so close either. But the other one is gay and happily taken so…” Irene was trying to tell the Initia that he is something else to her. “Right, we did have quite a spicy night last time… normally I would say my mouth can’t take the spice that my body convinced itself it could but then again… I seem to remember I had a talented mouth” she had playfully winked at him as if to insinuate she was talking about the night they shared together.

When asked if she has ever ran out of space, the diviner shook her head and shrugged “I don’t think I have ever encountered such problem. Usually I would dispose my old clothes and have my secretary donate them somewhere. Better than to just burn they said.” Though she lived a very sheltered life and was pretty much a stone cold floor with everyone else, it didn’t mean Irene didn’t possess a heart.

“Oh but I think you should work to get all you want… as you can see I do that… a lot.” Two can play at the game, she thought. “I’ve made a vase… some ceramic bowls and cups… just the regular things.” Shebhas time allocated for her hobbies but because of the nature of work she does, Irene often gets phone calls about work more than she could sit down and rest. “I imagine tall people can’t balance themselves very well” she chuckled, she could definitely picture Hyunjin trying to balance himself on the ice. “We should go ice skating when we have the time… I’ll teach you.”

He looked like a child with the big box of death star lego, which made the blonde grin as a result because she had won against him. “Send me updates. You have my number” she purred. Before she could flirt further, Rosie came back with a few other things and confirmed to her that she has everything she wants now, which was only an additional 2 things but Irene didn’t push further. She gave her credit card ti the cashier and gave the father and daughter their paper bags with their things in it. “We should get new clothes too.”

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