It took a few minutes for the car to arrive, but things didn't seem to be going smoothly for Ryan. He expected one of his chauffer's to bring the car around, not the devil incarnate himself. Sang-Mun was sitting in the driver's seat, gripping the steering will tightly, glaring at the younger performer intensely. Ryan couldn't understand Sang-Mun's need to hover over him as much as he did. He already made it clear to Ryan how much he dislikes him. A normal person would try to stay away from their enemy but it seems that Sang-Mun's extreme need to control the people around him continued to override his innate instincts. Ryan opened the back door of the black Mercedes and allowed Devon to enter before getting into the car from the adjacent door.
"Devon this is a friend of mine, Sage. Sage this is Devon." Ryan decided to introduce Sang-Mun as his stage name Sage. He thought it would be easier for her, pronunciation wise.
Devon smiled at Sang-Mun through the rearview mirror and gave a light wave. "Hi."
Sang-mun smiled as well before giving a small nod in acknowledgement. He turned his attention to Ryan who was staring at Sang-Mun curiously. Ryan wasn't sure if Sang-Mun would cause trouble or not but it seemed that he was going along with him. Devon could feel the tension between Ryan and Sang-Mun. She found it hard to believe that they were friends. There seemed to be some resentment between them.
"Is everything alright? If this is a problem I can catch the bus." Devon offered.
"No. You don't have to go anywhere. I'm the one that said that you'll get a ride and I meant it. Just tell me where you need to go," Ryan said. Devon hesitated before telling him. He smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. If Sang-Mun had ruined his chances with Devon, he would have killed him or die trying.
"So, what do you guys do for a living to have a car like this on hand?" Devon asked. She couldn't take the awkward silence anymore. Most of the ride to Mrs. Reynolds house was spent with Sang-Mun and Ryan glaring at each other through the rearview mirror.
"We're mechanics at a local garage called Auto Plus." Sang-Mun interrupted Ryan. Ryan didn't say anything, only nodded his head in agreement. He understood Sang-Mun's reason for lying to Devon, he did not know her but Ryan's reason was different. He did not want to scare her away. His relationships didn't last long because once a girl finds out who he really is they run away in fear from the public eye or they run to him at full force to get in the limelight.
'It's not a complete lie. I did work at an auto shop before I joined the band.'
"Our boss lets us borrow one of his cars that he's having rebuilt. We just finished this baby a few days ago." Ryan said while rubbing the supple leather of the car's interior.
"Wow," Devon said in appreciation as she surveyed the car. "You guys have done a great job. I thought this was brand new when I first saw it."
'That's because it is new.' Ryan thought to himself guiltily.
"So, um, how long have you guys been in the U.S.? Your accent sounds really nice, Sage." Sang-Mun smiled at the complement and Ryan rolled his eyes. He could see Sang-Mun's ego swelling up at Devon's words, or rather his head.
"Thanks. I've only been here for a few days."
"Really? You speak English really well." Devon smiled brightly. She was truly impressed with Sang-Mun. She knew how hard it was for her to just remember the few Korean words that Stacy taught her. She still couldn't pronounce the R's and L's as well as she'd like.
"What about you, Ryan. I can hear a small hint of an accent. Did you grow up here or something?"
"Yes, actually I was raised here, in New York and I moved to Korea a few years ago to pursue my dream of becoming a singer but it didn't work out." Ryan said, ignoring the warning glare that Sang-Mun was shooting his way. He was too enthralled in Devon's eyes. They shined brightly as she stared at him with compassion. She touched his hand that was lying on the empty space between the two before massaging it slowly with her thumb.
Devon felt sorry for Ryan. She could relate to how he must have felt. When she found out that she wouldn't be able to make it into the French Culinary Institute, she cried for a long time. She felt like she would never be able to achieve her goal of owning a French restaurant and also because she felt like a complete failure and that the entire world was against her. Her mother died only a few months before she tried attending the school. "You must have been crushed."
"I got over it. I just decided that my love of cars would carry me through." Ryan smiled before looking ahead at nothing in particular. He could feel the intense emotion coming off Devon like a fierce wave. Devon released his hand and looked outside the window. She pointed at the security gate that led to the gated community that contained Mrs. Reynolds house.
"This is where I get off. Thanks so much for the ride, Ryan and Sage."
"Bye." Ryan and Sang-Mun waved goodbye as Devon hoped out the car and headed to the security gate. It didn't hit Ryan that he didn't get her phone number until he saw her disappear inside the complex. He didn't get to dwell in his sorrow for long because Sang-Mun began going on another rampage.
"What the hell? Are you insane? You blow off practice just to hang out with some chick?"
"How did you know where I was?" Ryan asked. He ignored Sang-Mun's question and thought back to the conversation he had with the youngest member of the band. He hoped that Chung-Hee hadn't betrayed him because if he did Ryan would have to get revenge.
"I saw you sneak out of the studio and when we got the call that you needed a car, I volunteered to pick you up. You see, I had to see what was so important that you had to abandon your band mates and now I see that it's a girl name Devon."
"You need to get a life." Ryan said as he set back into his seat.
"And you need to realize what is important in yours. I can't believe that you left to drive a girl around the city. Are you insane?"
"Oh don't act like you're innocent. Did you or did you not just leave the practice to follow your band member around instead of learning the dance moves? I believe that action is just as irresponsible."
There was no response from Sang-Mun and Ryan took satisfaction in his silence.
Devon quickly ran up the steps of the mansion that was owned by the Reynolds. She rang the door bell and waited for Henry, The Reynolds' butler, to answer the door. He was a nice elderly man that kept to himself but was always around when someone needed help.
The door opened but it wasn't Henry on the other side instead a tall middle age black heiress dressed in a sleek Chanel, opening glared at the 22 year old. She signaled for Devon to enter by stepping aside but Devon didn't feel welcomed at all. She knew that she had done something wrong already to get such a insincere welcome.
"Hello Mrs. Reynolds." Devon greeted Mrs. Reynolds with a smile as she entered the foyer. She promptly removed her shoes and put on some slippers that were nearby. Mrs. Reynolds didn't allow anyone to enter her home wearing their outdoor shoes which probably made it difficult for her to host any gatherings. Devon knew that women of Mrs. Reynolds' taste did not separate from their Jimmy Choos easily.
"Follow me." Mrs. Reynolds commanded and Devon did into the nearby parlor room.
The parlor was absolutely breath taking; Devon never got use to it frequently. Everything was white or translucent with a splash of color here and there such as the paintings and the red roses that were placed in a crystal vase. Opposite of a large window was a white couch that Devon was directed to sit on, she didn't. Devon was scared to even breathe in that room for fear of dirtying it let alone sit on the furniture.
"You made it on time which means you are late." Mrs. Reynolds said as she tapped her diamond studded watch. "I'm a very busy woman Devon and I need a nanny that is dependable. Could you imagine the ridicule that I would go through for being late to Jenny Swanson's fiftieth birthday party? I will be the outcast of the Neighborhood."
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Reynolds. It won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't. Otherwise I will have no choice but to find help elsewhere."
"Honey, don't you think that you are being too hard on her? You asked her to be here by six and she came at six. If you needed her here earlier you should have told Devon." Mr. Reynolds said as he came down the grand staircase that led to the parlor.
Mr. Reynolds was a very handsome self-made black man that made a lucrative career out of giving financial advice to the wealthy elite. Devon really respected him because he also volunteered his services to struggling businesses and families.
Mrs. Reynolds bristled at her husband's comments before putting on her jacket with the help of her husband. Devon sent a silent thank you to him and he mouthed back his welcome. She truly believed that she wouldn't have been able to keep her arrangement with Mrs. Reynolds without Mr. Reynolds' help. She couldn't remember the amount of times Mrs. Reynolds threatened to fire her over something as miniscule as being on time.
"Where are Jamie and Stacie?" Devon asked when she realized that the home was silent. She was usually up to her elbows with screaming twins by now.
"They are with their tutor right now, doing their homework assignment. Please do not disturb them. My children's education is of the upmost importance," Mrs. Reynolds said before exiting the foyer and leaving out of the main door.
"Henry is out back, tending to the garden and the chef is preparing a meal for you and the kids. You know the routine. They have to be in bed by 9 o'clock so make sure they eat by 7:30." Mr. Reynolds said before following his wife. He stopped at the door before turning to face Devon. "Oh, and thanks so much for your help Devon. I know working for my wife and I can't be easy."
"It's fine, Mr. Reynolds. Really it is."
"Alright then, have a nice night. We should be back around 11:00."
Devon turned around to face the stairs and thought about whether it was worth it to check up on the kids. She decided that it wasn't. Knowing those two they would tell their mother that she ruined their tutoring session.
She decided to call Stacy to see what she was up to in order to burn some time while she waited for the chef to finish preparing the food and the twins to finish their homework. She reluctantly sat down on the couch and began dialing home. It didn't take long for Stacy to pick up the phone.
"Stacey, It's me."
"Oh, hey Devon. What's up?"
"Nothing. I'm at the Reynolds', babysitting the angelic twins that I adore so much."
Devon scanned the living room for anything out of the ordinary. She never felt comfortable in the Reynolds' home, not because of the many fragile items such as the crystal vase but because she felt like she was being watched. It felt like someone was always around waiting for her to do something incriminating.
"You usually call them the twin spawns of Satan. What's going on? Is someone around?"
"No but you never know with Mrs. R. I think she may have Nanny Cams or something. I wouldn't put it past her. She seems like she is a little neurotic. So did you talk to Diva today?"
"Yea. Can you believe that whore didn't tell me that Rising Dragons had a photo shoot at his studio? I was so pissed when he told me. You know how much I love them. Man, to think I was this close to running my fingers through Sang-Mun's hair."
Devon heard a long sigh on the other end. She could not believe how obsessed Stacy was with Rising Dragons or RD as Stacy calls them every now and then.
"I guess I'll have to take solace in the fact that I know someone who was in the same building as RD not too long ago. Oh MY GAAAWD. Damn Diva and his forgetfulness but whatever. So why did you really call me? I know that it can't be out of sheer boredom. Is there something you want to talk about? Did Mr. Henney try to feel you up again?"
"Yes but that's nothing new. I ran into the guy that I told you about yesterday, the one that I bumped into on the street."
There was a loud gasp on Stacy's end.
"Oh my gawd. Did he stalk you or something?"
"No. He was at the bus stop. He gave me a ride to the Reynolds'."
"How could he give you a ride if he was at the bus stop?"
"He had a friend come pick us up." Devon explained.
"Then why didn't he just get a ride before instead of catching the bus?"
"I don't know. Maybe he didn't want to bother his friend? Why is that important?"
"STAAAAALKER! Stalker, stalker, stalker, stalker—"
"Okay!" Devon shouted. "I get it but he's not a stalker. We just happened to pass each other by is all. He actually seems like a very nice guy."
"Oh really? And what about this complete stranger that you keep bumping into is so nice?"
Devon sat back and thought about what she knew about Ryan. She hadn't learned much but they've only spoken for a few moments, not long enough to truly get to know a person.
"Well, for one, his name is Ryan and he's a mechanic that wants to be a singer. He grew up in New York but moved to Korea for a while to pursue his dream but he didn't make it."
"So let me get this straight. You are infatuated with a wannabe singer that couldn't cut it and decided to settle for a job as a mechanic. Are you insane? You know what you are trying to do. You don't have time to think about men."
"First off," Devon began rolling her eyes, "I am not infatuated with him, I just think he is interesting and second, I know where my priorities lie. Don't worry about that. In a couple of months I will have enough money to enroll in The French Culinary Institute and I will be on my way to being a world renowned chef."
"Just making sure that you have your head on right since you're going crazy over a stalker and all."
"How many times do I have to tell you that he is not a stalker…" Devon paused for a moment when she heard footsteps coming down the main stairs. "Look, I gotta go. I think the twins are done with their tutoring."
"Bye." Devon said before quickly hanging up the phone and just in time because the twin boys entered the parlor with their devilish twin grins on their faces.
"Ready to have some fun Devon? We have a whole lot of games planned for you," The eldest by one minute, Jamie, said. His hazel eyes were glowing eerily."
"I can't believe you lied to me." Chung-Hee exclaimed. The group was back at their hotel room, holding a band meeting when Sang-Mun revealed Ryan's latest activities. It was like they were holding a mini tribunal with all the members circling around Ryan who sat on the couch. Each one firing questions at him that could change their verdict from guilty to innocent. "Hyung, I would have totally understood. Was she hot?"
Chung-Hee jumped onto the couch where Ryan was sitting before flopping down onto the chair. Ryan rolled his eyes despairingly at Chung-Hee's before releasing a long sigh. He knew that he would be in for a night of questions, some good, others bad and he didn't feel like answering any of them.
"Chung-Hee," Haneul began, "That's not important. What I want to know is why didn't you discuss this girl with us first before going out with her? You know that it could jeopardize our careers if the fans find out that we are involved with someone. We don't just sell music, Ryan, we also sell fantasies."
"I know that Hyung, and I'm not seeing her. I barely know her. I just happened to bump into her and she needed a ride."
"So now you give rides to everyone you meet?" Chin-Mae joined in.
"No. I just happened to bump into her the other night and we spoke for a bit. I couldn't just let her be stranded like that when I knew that I could help."
"Yes you could have. She could have caught the very next bus that came by. You didn't have to bother."
"Yes, she must be hot if you went out of your way like that. I am so jealous of you, Hyung. We have girls surrounding us every day but we aren't allowed to touch them. It's like someone taunting a dehydrated man with water. The only kinds of girls I can look at are the ones on the internet. I would be fine with that but doing all the work myself can get tiring."
"Chung-Hee, shut up." Sang-Mun said quietly. Chung-Hee immediately closed his mouth he knew that whenever Sang-Mun wasn't yelling at the top of his lungs meant that he was really irritated.
"You don't know anything about this girl to give her rides here and there. I can't believe you did that."
"Let's put what happened into perspective because I think you guys are blowing things out of proportion. The only thing I did was give a ride to a girl that I bumped into on the street. That's all. She doesn't know anything about us all she knows is that I'm a mechanic from New York."
"A MECHANIC!" Chin-Mae, Haneul, and Chung-Hee exclaimed in unison.
"Yes a mechanic. Credit that one to Sang-Mun. The bottom line is that noting happened and nothing will happen. I told you I bumped into her by chance and what are the chances of me seeing her again? Relax guys, yesterday was the last day that I will ever lay eyes on her again so chill out."