It was well known Ki Soo adored the company of young men. At every corporate gathering or any event covered by the media, she always had an extremely pretty flower boy behind her.
Per her given protocol, they were not seen touching her, other than lending a hand to get in and out of vehicles or to step up and down stairs. Rumors were always spread, though, about their activities away from the paparazzi, perhaps for good reason.
She operated this way for 15 years, ever since she founded FloridaCorp, five years after taking residence in Seoul. During those 15 years, not once did she decorate her arm with an employee, that is, until now.
Lee Ho-Jun entered her office with his campaign proposal in hand. The proposal was for an advertising campaign intended to target women 40 and over. The product was a high-end, sophisticated hybrid car with very nostalgic styling.
He gave his report, standing rather casually, but not disrespectfully. He sported an air of relaxed confidence. She couldn’t help but note he looked exceptionally beautiful in his nicely tailored suit.
In addition to his fetching appearance, she knew he had in him a well-rounded business savvy, a useful tool in the sales and creative side of advertising. Because of this, his status in the Seoul business community was high, despite his young age of 25.
“I would suggest giving the vehicle a test run, to get a feel of this car meant for women over 40, Ki Hoe Jang-nim.” He gave a very slight smirk. “They gave you a prototype to drive and flaunt. Perhaps your upcoming networking conference would be the perfect opportunity. The car can be shipped to Busan if you wish.”
She leaned back in her chair, sizing him up. He was trying, subtly, to wiggle himself into the networking conference.
She challenged him.
“Lee Jun Moo-nim, can I assume you wish to observe how I, a woman in that age group, handles the car? I would hope you would use your findings to develop further this winning campaign.”
“Only if you wish. I would not want to intrude on your personal time,” he said, getting a little excited his plan just might be working.
With formality, he handed her a flash drive containing the report, using the right hand with the left-hand underneath, holding back a large imaginary sleeve.
“While I agree the newly appointed Director of Creative Services would benefit from observing someone in that demographic using the product,” she stated, “I have to suspect something else is going on here.”
She leaned back in her chair.
“What are you up to?”
“She read me like a book,” he thought.
“Yes, I did,” she confirmed, making him realize he just verbalized his thought, a very bad handicap of his. He realized that lying to her about his intentions would only make his now compromised situation worse.
“I wish to be your escort during your upcoming networking conference.”
She removed her eyeglasses and blinked.
He was becoming quite uncomfortable with this dialog.
“Purely for business purposes,” he confessed. “Being in your presence alone will increase my stature in the business community.”
“You are already high on the Totem Pole,” she said, wondering why he would want to speed up his already fast-paced progress.
“A symbol of hierarchy.”
“Yes, my reputation in Seoul’s business community is fairly high, at the moment,” he said, lowering his head. Raising it back up, and looking straight into her eyes, he stated his true desire, hoping she would understand.
“I want more, and by your side, I can get it.”
She made a half smile, impressed by his ambition.
“And, how long do you plan on using me?” It wasn’t the first time an escort wanted to use her for her influence.
“It is you who will be using me,” he said truthfully, knowing he just gave her full control of his business future and any other relationship they might have.
“You are aware of the… demands I make of my “escorts.”” Ki Soo made a statement, not a question.
“I am very aware,” he said, still looking straight into her eyes.
“This is an interesting proposal,” she said. “Are you looking for a long term arrangement?”
“I do not know.” He paused an extra second. “You will be the one to make that decision.”
She looked away from Lee Ho-Jun to contemplate this unexpected situation. This very pretty man was quite bold, a trait she normally disliked in her escorts. She found this man’s boldness, though, rather intriguing.
“I suggest a short-term trial run, then,” she said, looking back at him. “After the two-week conference, I will make my decision.”
She felt she had to make one more comment, one that would show she would be fair.
“If you don’t meet my expectations, you do not need to worry. I am impressed with your performance as Director of Creative Services. Your position is safe.”
He bowed, grateful to her for that assurance. She put the flash drive on her desk.
“My travel begins tomorrow morning. I expect to see you at my penthouse by nine. Bring the car. Be prepared for at least three high-class gatherings. When not attending to my wants, you are free to do whatever you please.”
“Yes, Sunbae-nim,” he said, bowing again.