Seoul’s glittering lights illuminated the grand ballroom, casting an ethereal glow over the elegantly dressed attendees.
Among them Kim Hanuel, a young woman whose presence exuded both determination and vulnerability. her heart racing in rhythm with the elegant chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. Her midnight-black hair cascaded in loose waves down her shoulders, framing her delicate face. Her almond-shaped eyes, the color of warm chestnut, sparkled with a mix of curiosity and unease as she navigated the sea of opulent gowns and tailored suits.The charity gala was a prestigious event that brought together the city’s elite, but she felt out of place amidst them.
Hanuel’s emerald-green dress, adorned with intricate floral embroidery, contrasted with the lavish surroundings. The dress was lend by her friend yoojin. Hanuel’s lips curved into a polite smile as she exchanged pleasantries with fellow guests.
Amid the mingling crowd, Hanuel’s best friend, Yoojin Park, stood by her side. Yoojin’s bubbly personality and playful sense of humor were a stark contrast to Hanuel’s introspection. Yoojin’s short, chestnut-brown hair framed her round face, and her eyes sparkled with mischief as she scanned the room.
“Come on, Hanuel! Let’s find some handsome, eligible bachelors,” Yoojin teased, her arm linked with Hanuel’s.
Hanuel sighed ” i wouldn’t have tagged along with you if it wasn’t about finding investor, you are used to this am not”
yoojin chuckled softly ” i got it , atleast enjoy now you are here”. hanuel clutched a glass of champagne, her fingers trembling slightly as she watched the room buzz with conversations and laughter.
As the daughter of struggling business owners, she rarely found herself in such extravagant settings. everyone was like ignoring her so she couldn’t ask fir help. Her parents’ bakery, once the heart of the neighborhood, now faced a grim future due to financial struggles. her parents also helped those in need but look at everyone turning their back.
With a sigh, she took a sip of the champagne, hoping it would lend her the courage to navigate the sea of unfamiliar faces. She scanned the crowd, her eyes catching on couples swaying to the soft melody of a string quartet. The sight made her heart ache; her parents’ love story had been as sweet as the pastries they once baked together. The reality of her family’s predicament weighed heavily on her shoulders.
her gaze momentarily flickering to the stage where the evening’s entertainment would soon begin. It was in that moment that her eyes met those of Kang Eun Woo, a figure of undeniable charisma who seemed to command the room effortlessly . clearly written oh his face ” center of attention”
Eun Woo’s raven-black hair was meticulously styled, and his sharp jawline gave him an air of elegance and confidence. His deep green grey eyes held an enigmatic charm, drawing Hanuel’s attention like a moth to a flame. Eun Woo’s tailored suit clung to his frame, accentuating his presence and setting him apart from the crowd.
Yoojin nudged Hanuel, her voice hushed with excitement. “Hanuel, do you see him? That’s Kang Eun Woo, the elusive billionaire.”
Hanuel nodded, her heart skipping a beat as Eun Woo’s gaze briefly met hers. Her cheeks flushed, and she quickly turned her attention back to Yoojin, hoping to hide the effect his presence had on her.
As the night progressed, Hanuel found herself drawn to the stage where Eun Woo was delivering a captivating speech about his philanthropic endeavors. His words were eloquent, his charisma magnetic. Hanuel’s eyes remained fixed on him, his every gesture and expression a mesmerizing dance of power and vulnerability.
yoojin suddenly tapped hanuel shoulder ” did you know we all went to same university”
hanuel ” i never seen him ( it was a lie there was a brief moment when i saw him)
she was thinking of going back to sit some where . before turning back her gaze caught eunwoo staring at her.
she instinctively took a step back, bumping into a waiter carrying a tray of delicate snacks. The tray wobbled precariously, and before she knew it, the man with the intense eyes had moved with astonishing speed to steady the tray and prevent a culinary catastrophe.
“be Careful ,” he said, his voice a smooth baritone that sent shivers down her spine. His lips quirked into a half-smile, and for a moment, hanuel was utterly captivated.
“Thank you,” she managed to stammer, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment.
“No problem at all,” he replied, his gaze locking onto hers as if he could read her thoughts. while also greet her friend “I’m KANG EUNWOO.”
Yoojin laughed she nudged hanuel ” as if you are not famous , we know your name already”
Eunwoo place his hand on mouth while softly chuckling ” still it is courtesy”
“myself Yoojin,” she introduced herself and beside me is my friend.
” KIM Hanuel ” she replied with feeling a mixture of fascination and curiosity why would he show courtesy to us? his name suits him’graceful’
“Hanuel” he repeated, the syllables rolling off his tongue in a way that made her name sound like a secret he was savoring. your name suits your personality very beautifully “What brings you to a place like this, Hanuel?”
yoojin noticed something is going here “she picked up a glass , “you go girl” she whispered into hanuel ears and then she laughingly ” i will excuse myself to where am needed . you guys have a chat”
hanuel bit her lip, her fingers tightening around her glass. “I’m here… (she was nervous, everyone was looking to their side because the center of attention was standing with her)
Eunwoo noticed her stiffness ” let’s go to balcony , if you are uncomfortable ”
hanuel finally spoke while seeing the whole view from balcony “well, I’m hoping to network. My family owns a bakery, and things haven’t been going well. I thought maybe I could find some potential investors.” ..
Eunwoo ‘s eyebrows lifted slightly, his gaze sharpening with interest. “A bakery, you say? That’s quite different from the usual crowd at these events.”
She nodded, suddenly feeling vulnerable under his scrutiny. “Yes, it is. But my family’s bakery has been around for generations. It’s… it’s a part of who we are.”
There was a pause, a charged moment where their eyes held, and hanuel felt as though he saw right through her. But then, his lips curved into a genuine smile. “Well, hanuel of the bakery, it’s a pleasure to meet someone with a genuine passion in a sea of pretense.”
She further clarified, “I’m not suggesting that you invest; it’s just that you inquired, which is why I mentioned it.”
Eunwoo, while gently swirling his wine, leaned back against the balcony and took a measured sip. “Why would you consider that?”
Hanuel asked, “What do you mean?”
His gaze grew more intense as he inquired, “Why didn’t you ask me?”
Hanuel responded, “I just couldn’t fathom investing such a famous person in my business. I’m not foolish enough to put myself in such a position.”
He chuckled softly, “just think of merely reaching out to an old college mate.” He took another sip of his wine while casually glancing in her direction. “Even though we didn’t interact much back then.”
Hanuel’s heart was taken aback by his words, a wave of gratitude washing over her. “I had thought you might have forgotten by now.”
“Please, calm down,” she urged herself, dispelling the nervousness that had held her just moments ago.
“I’ll consider it,” she said, genuinely smiling as she took a sip of her wine, using the moment to clear her thoughts. She decided not to reveal her initial hesitation, to make invest him. The fact that he had taken the initiative to inquire was already more than she had expected..
They danced, laughed, and shared stories as if they were the only two people in the room. For the first time in a long while, hanuel felt a glimmer of hope amidst her family’s struggles.
Little did she know, this fateful encounter would set in motion a series of events that would forever change the course of her life. And as she looked into eunwoo’s eyes, she couldn’t help but wonder if destiny had plans for them beyond this magical night.