Chase has been set up. She finds herself on a blind date with a Korean hottie, and all because her mom obsessively loves Korean romance dramas. It turns out that Daniel Bak is actually really dreamy, but things take a turn for the worse when Chase happens upon stolen research on her university professor’s laptop. It throws her into the arms of wealthy corporate heir Hyun Tae, who also happens to be Daniel’s best friend.
Caught between both men, and hunted down by a vengeful CEO, Chase must rely on Hyun Tae’s protection. But when the drama settles, where will her heart land?
The lunch lady ladled the soup into a bowl and placed a Styrofoam plate with the grilled cheese next to the bowl on her tray. “Anything else?”
“That’s it, thanks.” Chase smiled.
The Asian kid behind her asked for a salad. She caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye as he got his plate of food. He was wearing white skinny jeans, navy sneakers, and a sort of silky gray T-shirt that definitely looked designer. They shuffled along in line until finally it was her turn to pay. Chase handed the thin student cashier her card. He looked at the debit card briefly before handing it back to her. “You need your student card.”
Chase took the card, suddenly nervous. “My what?”
The student had dark blond hair and kind features, but his look of exasperation told her he was thoroughly fed up with answering this question. “Your student ID card. You pay for lunch with it. You can’t get lunch any other way.”
“What, seriously?” Chase looked down at her tray. Her stomach gurgled. “So I have to get my card and then come back?”
She swallowed. “My mom didn’t say anything about a student ID card.” The cashier gave her a blank look of disbelief, so she added, “She works in registration.”
“Okay. Well, sorry, but you need a student ID.”
Someone sighed behind her. She was holding up the line.
“Excuse me,” a low voice said from behind her. Chase looked over her shoulder and found the guy with the designer shirt leaning toward her. He held out a student ID card, and reaching over her, handed it to the cashier. “Just pay for both.”
Chase turned to face him, her eyes widening. “Oh . . . ah, wait . . .”
The cashier hesitated.
“No, don’t do that,” Chase insisted. No, no, no! Don’t do that! I don’t like owing a complete stranger, thanks very much.
The guy gave the cashier a nod so full of confidence, Chase was pretty sure anyone would have obeyed an order from him. The cashier swiped the card.
Chase realized she was staring. For one thing, this guy was otherworldly beautiful. He had high cheekbones and warm brown eyes that tilted up at an exotic angle. His chin sloped down to a square point from his razor-like jawline. She almost couldn’t find words to respond to him. And besides that, he held himself like he owned the school.
His eyes flitted to her. “You can go now.”
“Oh.” Direct. And people thought she was made of stone. “Thanks. Sorry.”
“It’s fine.” He had an accent, but it was barely detectable.
She scurried forward with her tray, her face hot and her calm ruffled.
She whirled around to face him but miscalculated the motion by a mile. She collided with the generous stranger, her tray flying off to the side. Tomato soup splattered all over the floor, washing over both their shoes in a torrent of scalding liquid.
The guy jumped back and then looked up from his shoes to her face, his scowl a mixture of incredulity and shock.
The racket in the cafeteria quieted almost instantly. All eyes turned to them. Chase stood there like an idiot with tomato soup trickling down her leg and seeping between her toes. She couldn’t seem to find her voice with the entire cafeteria staring at her.
“Don’t slap me,” he murmured, so low it was almost a whisper.
And then he lowered his lips to hers, catching them in a firm, but gentle kiss. Chase’s eyes flew wide open, and her hands went to his chest, as if to push him away. But he gave the barest shake of his head before pulling her closer and deepening the kiss. Chase couldn’t help it. Her eyes fluttered closed, and she found her hands clutching his shirt instead of pushing him away. He tasted minty and clean, and his lips were so marshmallow soft she wanted to melt like the chocolate on a s’more. Whatever this was, it was really, really nice.
“My name is Daniel Bak. You don’t know me, but I met your mom, and she told me that you wouldn’t mind going on a blind date.”
Should she say she was busy? Or get it over with? She texted him as she entered the brick physical education building. “Yes, she told me about you.”
She wasn’t rejecting him, but she wasn’t committing to a date either. She found her way to Room 108, and as she settled in a desk, his response binged back. “From your picture I could tell you don’t need blind dates, by the way. If you want to back out, that’s okay. I’ve never done this either.”
Chase bit her lip and texted back. “I’ve definitely never been on a blind date, and I’m a little crazy for not disowning my mom.”
Other students were filling up the classroom around her, but Chase found herself waiting for Daniel’s reply instead of paying attention to her surroundings.