We’ve reached the midpoint of the series, and it’s finally time to savor the cute and adorable moments between our main couple. They’re becoming more and more dependent on each other, and every date makes it harder and harder for them to prepare their hearts for the inevitable goodbye that they signed themselves up for. It’s a good thing though, because that means there’s a chance for both of them to decide to change it.
EPISODE 8: “Stay here. At my house. By my side.”
Annoyed that Da-hyun has canceled their date, Jae-in marches out of his office in a huff, agitatedly trying to reach her. At home, Da-hyun is about to pick up Jae-in’s call when suddenly, she hears someone loudly knocking at her apartment door.
It’s her mom, and Da-hyun rushes over to let her in, forgetting all about Jae-in in the process. Meanwhile, still inside the hotel elevator, a frustrated Jae-in wonders why Da-hyun isn’t picking up.
Just then, the elevator doors slide open and in steps Jae-in’s ex, Joo-hee, accompanied by a middle-aged businessman. Clearly hoping to spark some jealousy, she cautiously asks Jae-in if he’s curious to know why she’s coming out of a hotel suite with a man, but Jae-in doesn’t let her get to him — he simply responds that he’s not particularly interested in her personal life.
As they step out of the elevator, Joo-hee tells Jae-in that she was being sincere when she asked that they start over. Jae-in responds that he was being sincerep too, and he makes it clear that he has no reason whatsoever to start over with her.
Joo-hee tells Jae-in that she hasn’t been able to find a man as good as him, and even promises to sign the prenuptial that he wanted. Jae-in tells her to do whatever she wants, retorting that it’s not like he’s the one she’ll be marrying anyway.
Joo-hee reminds Jae-in to think of the situation with a practical mindset — she’s an only child, and Jae-in will definitely have use for the company shares that he would gain through marrying her. Jae-in stops her from saying any more and walks off, leaving Joo-hee to remark aloud that he’s the same as ever.
At Da-hyun’s apartment, her mom demands to know whether the rumor she heard from Sun-woo is true or not: Is Da-hyun’s boyfriend really a chaebol? Grimacing, Da-hyun confirms it, and her mom asks Da-hyun if she’s lost her mind.
Da-hyun doesn’t make things any better when she reassures her mom that it’s just a sponsorship, and that she’s dating Jae-in in return for him helping out with Ji-soo’s contract issues. Da-hyun adds that it’s not even like she has to sleep with Jae-in or anything and at that… which is when her mom loses it, giving Da-hyun a forceful whack on the arm for even daring to mention sex.
Her mom orders Da-hyun to stop this charade immediately, but Da-hyun argues that she already signed a contract, and there’s no going back now. Promising that they have no intention of getting married, Da-hyun insists that everything is strictly business, but her mom remains unconvinced.
Later, as Da-hyun and her mom are making dinner, Da-hyun gets a call from Jae-in, who’s curious to hear about her mom’s reaction. Da-hyun tells him truthfully that her mom just wants a son-in-law who isn’t too rich or too poor, and Jae-in rolls his eyes in disbelief.
He asks what Da-hyun thinks, and she responds that there’s nothing to even think about — it’s not like she’ll ever meet another chaebol after they break up. Her statement makes Jae-in stop in his tracks, as if he wants to say something to counter that.
Before he does though, Da-hyun’s mom interrupts and calls out to her daughter, and Da-hyun quickly ends the call. Jae-in can only stare at his phone, complaining that Da-hyun’s always the one to hang up first. He notes that Da-hyun’s already thinking about breaking up, and it’s a thought that seems to bother him quite a bit.
The next day, Da-hyun’s mom demands to see Jae-in so that she can feel at ease about this whole “business” transaction. Da-hyun points out that a meeting with the parents will just make the relationship seem more real, and she insists that there’s only two more months left to the contract.
Relenting, her mom asks Da-hyun if she’s sure that there’s only two months left, and Da-hyun nods her head. With that assurance, Da-hyun’s mom decides to trust her daughter, and takes her leave.
After seeing her mom off, Da-hyun comes back to her apartment only to find Jae-in outside, waiting to meet her mom. Da-hyun laughs that considering how hard it was to convince her mom that they’re in a business relationship, her mom would freak out if she knew that Jae-in came all the way here to meet her.
Jae-in’s a bit peeved to hear their relationship being characterized as “business,” but Da-hyun just says it’s not a completely inaccurate description. She tells him that she made it clear to her mom that they weren’t getting married, and adds that her mom thinks they would get divorced in two months if they actually did get married anyway.
Jae-in snaps that the word “divorce” doesn’t exist in his dictionary, and Da-hyun agrees that it should be that way, but remarks that she’s not the one he’s marrying anyway. Jae-in doesn’t say anything in response.
At night, the couple goes for a walk around the neighborhood to make up for Da-hyun canceling the day before. A jogger suddenly bumps into Da-hyun, and Jae-in instinctively catches her by the shoulders. He asks if she’s okay, and sweetly takes her hand into his as they stroll down the street.
Sitting near a playground, Jae-in reminds Da-hyun that considering how she canceled on him yesterday, he’s being suuuuper magnanimous today. Da-hyun retorts that he stood her up without even so much as a text, and points out that someone who’s actually being magnanimous and forgiving wouldn’t say that she owes him.
Jae-in argues that nothing is free in this world, and tells Da-hyun that the most important lesson he learned from Grandpa is to never forget a debt, whether someone owes you, or you owe someone else.
Da-hyun notes that Jae-in has learned a lot from Grandpa, but suggests that living by such a motto would make one an awfully inconsiderate person. Jae-in agrees and adds that that’s exactly why being considerate is only a hindrance in the business world. Da-hyun just makes a face at him.
The next day, Jae-in calls a terrified Employee Kang into his office. Handing over the documents that his mother gave him a few days ago, Jae-in asks Employee Kang to look into Tae-ha’s father.
Jae-in comments that Grandpa’s probably noticed something by now, and when Employee Kang asks why Jae-in is entrusting this task to him, Jae-in just tells him that he’s the only one he can trust.
Besides, Jae-in adds with a sly smile, Employee Kang needs to choose a side — Grandpa might be hard on Employee Kang right now, but Jae-in’s the one who’s going to be around for the next thirty years. In shock, Employee Kang stutters that he’s definitely on Jae-in’s side.
At school, Da-hyun picks up a call from Jae-in and apologizes — she won’t have time to meet with him today. She’s busy helping her students prepare for a dance competition, and Jae-in balks to hear that “those little things” take priority over him.
Da-hyun suddenly recalls that it should be Jae-in’s turn to come to her this time if they want to keep things fair, and hangs up on him. In his office, Jae-in looks at his phone with displeasure and decides to do exactly what Da-hyun wants.
He pulls up to Da-hyun’s school in his fancy car, and walks straight into Da-hyun’s classroom, much to her annoyance. Forcing a smile in front of her students, she asks Jae-in what he’s doing here, but he just smirks that she was the one who wanted him to come.
Gritting her teeth, Da-hyun tells him only parents are allowed to observe the class, and Jae-in grins, saying she should tell that to the assistant principal, who was the one who let him into the classroom in the first place. Da-hyun has no choice but to let him stay, though she does so with great reluctance.
At the end of class, two of Da-hyun’s students approach Jae-in and ask him if he’s their teacher’s boyfriend. Da-hyun cuts in, hurriedly explaining that they’re not in that kind of relationship, but Jae-in chides her not to lie to children and answers that yes, they’re dating. (Ha.) The kids giggle in delight, and Da-hyun quickly ushers them away.
Later, Da-hyun complains to Jae-in that now the whole school will be gossiping about the two of them. She asks him how he would like it if she did something similar in return, telling him that the next time they meet at the hotel, she’ll bring a massive sign with his name plastered all over it.
Jae-in just tells her to go ahead, laughing that the reporters would have a field day with her. Da-hyun knows that there’s no winning this argument.
Sitting on the seesaw at the children’s playground outside, Jae-in comments that the location is great and jokes that it’d be perfect to build a resort here. Da-hyun tells him not to even dream of touching this land, and he gets up suddenly in response, causing her side of the seesaw to fall abruptly.
Jae-in grabs her hand and leads her over to the swings, commenting that Da-hyun should like this, since she likes doing whatever kids do. They swing back and forth for a while, just chatting, when Da-hyun gets the idea to playfully push Jae-in’s swing a little higher.
He gets up and she starts running from him, and they get into a cute game of catch-me-if-you-can. As Da-hyun climbs up the jungle gym, Jae-in traps her between the bars so that she’s sitting down and facing him.
He leans forward slowly and grins, grabbing her chin before moving in to plant a kiss on her lips. As Da-hyun gradually registers the kiss, she eases into it, and they stay that way for a bit before Jae-in pulls back. Jae-in just beams at her as he continues to stroke her cheek, and Da-hyun smiles back shyly.
Jae-in brings Da-hyun back to her house and makes sure that she’s the one coming to him next time. He jokes that she can come to the hotel too (cue the wolf howl sound effect), and she groans at his sense of humor.
As Da-hyun turns to go inside, Jae-in suddenly grabs her arm and yanks her back. He asks if she locked her door before leaving, and she notices that her door’s been left ajar. She gasps and shuffles behind Jae-in for protection.
He tells her to stay where she is, and as soon as he steps inside the house, his eyes widen in alarm. Da-hyun’s things lay strewn across the floor, and it’s clear that someone has ransacked her house while she was gone for the day.
Stuttering that there must have been a thief, Da-hyun nearly falls over from the shock, but Jae-in catches her and asks if she’s all right. He tells her that it’s fine as long as no one got hurt, and suggests that she stay at his place for the night, since she probably won’t be able to sleep soundly in her own apartment.
When they arrive at Jae-in’s house, Da-hyun comments that it looks so empty, and he just responds that he doesn’t like clutter. He reassures her that his house is safe so she can rest easy, and Da-hyun nods in gratitude.
In his room, Jae-in makes a call, highlighting his suspicions about the burglary. He admits that there was nothing expensive enough for someone to go through the trouble of burglarizing, but still thinks it’s strange that so many things were left untouched. He adds that the police dropped by, and asks for a more thorough investigation.
Wandering around Jae-in’s house, Da-hyun walks over to his room, catching him right as he’s taking off his shirt. The bag that she had been carrying drops to her feet, and she goes wide-eyed, immediately running away at the sight of his shirtless torso. Jae-in laughs and remarks that she’s sure putting up an innocent act.
Downstairs in the living room, Da-hyun fans herself in embarrassment. When Jae-in comes down to offer her a change of clothes, she asks if he’s planning to go back to the hotel to do his work.
Jae-in says that he thought she’d feel better having him around rather than staying in by herself. He adds that his house is big and there aren’t any bad guys around, so she doesn’t have to worry. Pointing a not-so-subtle finger at Jae-in, Da-hyun asks hesitatingly if he’s sure that there are no bad guys around. Ha.
Jae-in pulls her finger forward so that he draws her towards him. Da-hyun makes sure to tell him that she didn’t see anything earlier, and he just laughs, replying that he never said anything about it.
In Jae-in’s bedroom, Da-hyun asks if the plan is for them to sleep together on his bed tonight. Asking if she’s saying that they can’t, he grabs her by the waist and gazes into her eyes.
Da-hyun looks around nervously and says that to be honest, she’s a little tempted right now, but she doesn’t think she can do it. She thinks that one of them will probably regret it tomorrow morning, and Jae-in just tells her that he definitely won’t be the one who regrets it. Nevertheless, he tells her that he respects her opinion, and asks her to go sleep first.
As Jae-in is working away, Da-hyun wanders down to the kitchen and opens the fridge. She beams in delight when she sees that the brand of alcohol is called Dada, noting that it shares a name with her.
Later in the night, Da-hyun is drunkenly playing with Jae-in’s Jenga blocks, mumbling that he can do his hotel-related work while she builds her own “hotel.” The Jenga blocks come crumbling down as Jae-in joins her in the living room, and he tells her that she should’ve called him over since he’s an expert at this game.
He complains that she started drinking without him, and she offers him her opened bottle. They note that it’s raining outside again, and Da-hyun tells him that it seems to be more than just a brief shower this time.
Agreeing, Jae-in puts his arm around her to cuddle, and Da-hyun rests her head on his shoulder. She tells him softly that he’d better not think of sleeping with her tonight — only someone less than human would lay his hands on a drunk woman.
Jae-in agrees, but asks if she drank this much just to prevent him from sleeping with her. She denies that — she’s just wondering what she’s doing at a man’s house. Ha, she’s so disoriented that she actually starts to wonder why she’s here, and Jae-in has to remind her that a thief broke into her house.
Turning her head, Da-hyun gazes into Jae-in’s eyes and caresses his cheek, to his excited bewilderment. She moves her finger across his lips and mumbles slowly, “I think… that I… like you, Jae-in.”
Perhaps too happy to respond, Jae-in can only stare back at Da-hyun. She adds that she likes kissing him too and pulls him in for one, and Jae-in is thoroughly astonished. Da-hyun buries her head into his shoulder and suggests that they go to sleep now, but Jae-in asks her how she can fall asleep after a confession like that.
He carries her up to the bedroom and looks fondly at her sleeping form, bending down to give her a light kiss on the cheek. He grabs a pillow and sets it on the floor by the bed, and, looking up at Da-hyun, he tells her that he thinks that he’ll be the one who’ll regret it tomorrow morning.
The next morning, a groggy Da-hyun immediately remembers her embarrassing drunken confession from the night before and smacks herself, crying out, “Alcohol, my enemy!” Mortified, she buries her head into her pillow.
She tiptoes around the house, doing her best to avoid being seen by Jae-in. She walks over to a balcony area and breathes in the fresh air, when suddenly, she spots a puppy crawling dangerously along the ledge outside.
Climbing over the railing, she slowly inches across to save the clueless puppy, which is exactly when Jae-in spots her. As Da-hyun grabs the puppy, she loses her balance and slips off the ledge, but Jae-in runs in to cushion her fall.
Da-hyun gets up and starts worrying that Jae-in is dead when he doesn’t immediately respond to her, but Jae-in just groans in pain that he’s definitely not dead. He tells her to take care of herself before taking care of the puppy and adds that she should be extra careful since she’s so clumsy.
He starts to pull her up, but moans in pain when she grabs his arm. It turns out that he’s dislocated his shoulder, and Da-hyun worries over him.
At SH Mall, Tae-ha tells his father that it’s suspicious for the mall’s stock prices to go up so much. His father simply responds that it’s natural for stock prices to go up and down, and assures Tae-ha that it’s a good thing for them. He tells Tae-ha to focus on getting to know more about Da-hyun, and Tae-ha looks suspiciously at his father as they part ways.
Back at Jae-in’s house, he leads Da-hyun over to the couch so that he can apply ointment on her scrapes. She tells him that they should be more concerned about his shoulder, but he just sits her down and tells her that he’s moody enough, considering how he couldn’t get any sleep last night.
Da-hyun starts to wonder why he didn’t get enough sleep, but argues that he’s always a moody person anyway. As Jae-in applies the medicine, Da-hyun tells him hesitatingly not to change all of a sudden — there’s a saying that people die if they change drastically. He just sighs at her nonsense, and walks off as soon as he’s done applying the medicine.
When Da-hyun pulls open a drawer to put the medicine box away, she notices a framed picture lying inside the drawer. It’s Jae-in and his biological mother at a much happier time, and Da-hyun looks at it thoughtfully.
Upstairs, Jae-in is struggling to button his shirt when Da-hyun comes in. Jae-in tells her that it’s just a small sprain, but Da-hyun urges him to go to the hospital, noting that he can’t even lift his left arm.
Jae-in just hands Da-hyun his necktie and asks her to tie it for him, though she warns him that she’s pretty bad at it. She inches closer to loop the tie, but hesitates when she notices how close Jae-in’s face is to hers.
Avoiding eye contact, she steps back and continues tying the knot. Jae-in, on the other hand, keeps a steady gaze on her. Da-hyun slowly looks up, and their eyes meet.
Cuuuuute. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I love Jae-in now that he’s stopped picking fights with Da-hyun like a little boy and no longer attempts to control every aspect of her life. He’s learning to compromise, and for once, he’s the one who’s accommodating Da-hyun instead of the other way around.
Ironically though, as Jae-in adjusts to the notion of dating “fair and square,” he’s also going to start realizing that relationship “debts” are not as easily transferable as business debts. Chasing after debts probably led Jae-in to become the successful businessman he is today, but like Da-hyun said, that just translates to being inconsiderate on a social level.
Fortunately for everyone, Jae-in doesn’t even realize that he’s stopped chasing the debts in this relationship — sure, he’s still calculating who gets to choose their next date-spot, but that’s small potatoes compared to how he instinctively puts himself out there to be by Da-hyun’s side.
Whether it’s something small like catching her when someone bumps into her, or something big like running in to cushion her fall from a balcony, he’s just naturally jumping in to protect Da-hyun. It’s certainly not something that goes unnoticed by Da-hyun, and it’s probably one of the many reasons why she’s fallen for him.
On another note, Da-hyun seems to be extremely guarded with her heart, yet unguarded at the same time. I can understand why she’s afraid to show that she’s already fallen for Jae-in, and why she keeps insisting to everyone that they’re just in a business relationship, but I imagine that her mixed signals prior to her confession were as confusing to Jae-in as they were to me.
During their phone call, she was resigned to the fact that their relationship wouldn’t work out, making it seem like she wasn’t hoping for anything more. It’s like she wasn’t planning to even try to continue their relationship.
At the same time, Da-hyun unhesitatingly returned Jae-in’s kiss at the jungle gym, suggesting that she’s not worried that Jae-in will find out about her crush on him. We know that she’s probably interested in being in a real relationship with Jae-in, but how is Jae-in supposed to know that when she keeps describing their relationship as only business?
It’s no surprise that Jae-in keeps hesitating when he clearly wants to tell her that their relationship is more than just business to him, and I’m glad that he at least got a drunken confession from her so that he has at least some idea of where he stands in Da-hyun’s heart.
Speaking of the confession, I loved the way Jae-in didn’t really know how to react. He probably had an idea that Da-hyun was attracted to him, but he was so excited and bewildered to realize how far deep she was in, because that’s probably how far deep in he’s been, too.
The running motif with the rain is also an interesting reflection of the progress of their relationship. Just a few months ago, the two had shared an umbrella under a brief but heavy shower, and that’s probably when the first inklings of an actual romance was starting to develop between them. Fast-forward a few months later, and their romance isn’t just a brief shower anymore, but a heavy thunderstorm that continues nonstop.