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The Sk8r Boi and His Muse

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They woke up late morning entangled in each other's arms. They shared lazy kisses in bed, not wanting to get up yet, and just enjoyed each other's warmth. That was until their stomachs decided that it was time for them to get out of bed. They took a shower together, and of course, some hanky panky in the bathroom.

They went to prepare breakfast, exchanging pecks occasionally, as if they would die if they stopped kissing like the lovesick fools they were.

 

Arthit POV

 

I discovered that the awkward young master, who had burnt water one instance in the past and would've probably burnt down my dorm room had I let him cook, was now very confident in the kitchen. It was amazing how he moved about, each movement sure and unwavering. I let him prepare breakfast, occasionally handing him utensils and condiments, not bothering to help him more. I was pretty much useless anyway because I couldn't stop watching him being all confident and cool in the kitchen.

He would occasionally shoot me bemused smiles, blushing prettily when I beam at him. Haaaa, what an adorable man. It made me want to gobble him up.

He served the food and it looked really good. I took a picture of it, to commemorate the first time I tasted his cooking (it looked edible and tasty, and I hope it would be both too, instead of just being safe to look at but not for human consumption). I impulsively uploaded the photo on my IG account, with a heart emoji as caption. There, it was generic and non-implicating. Then a glass was being pushed towards me, something pi—I gasped in surprise.

"Is this what I think it is?" I asked him. He gave me an amused nod then I was launching myself to him, kissing him senseless. "But how? I mean, I didn't see you prepare it. I was here the whole time!"

"Remember that extra green bottle yesterday that I put inside the fridge?"

"Oh my god, that was pink milk?! You're the best! But I can only have one glass, though. I need to watch my diet. But it's okay because I got one glass! Thank you so much," I said earnestly. I left him another peck and then we got to eating our brunch.

After eating, we decided to use the pink milk for other reasons. If you're thinking dirty thoughts right now... then you are correct. After we were sated and the bottle of pink milk was almost used up, we got off the island counter, feeling sticky and gross. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. We took another shower, this time separately.

I led him towards the other room in my condo, the music room. We sat on the couch there and I couldn't help the dirty thoughts that invaded my mind at the memory of our frantic coupling here. Basing on his flushed cheeks, I gathered that he was thinking the same. I banished those thoughts away, giving my Nong a chance to recover from all the exercise we've been doing. I laid down on the couch and I pulled him to me, prodding and moving his long limbs so that he was nestled against me.

He squirmed for a little bit, until he settled his head against my chest, his ears pressed against my beating heart. I felt at peace. My mind drifted off towards everything that had happened so far. Within the span of two days (give or take), I have the one that I had been yearning for in a long time. It all still felt... surreal. Like, I have the feeling that everything was just a dream, a very nice dream, and anytime now, I would wake up and I would feel all empty again.

"OW!" I yelped. I rubbed my sore side where the brat had pinched me hard. I glared down at his grinning face. "Why'd you do that?"

"To get your attention. You're spacing out, it seems."

"And you couldn't have called my name?" I asked, pinching his butt cheek in retaliation. I grinned in satisfaction with his yelp.

"Hey! I did call your name several times but you were so deep in thought. What were you thinking anyway?"

"Nothing," I said. I didn't know why I denied it. Maybe because I didn't want him to look at me weirdly?

"It's not nothing if it's got you this deep in thought," Kongpob said. He braced his body against his forearm so that he was hovering over me. "Spill."

I bit my lip, absently roaming my hands on his clothed back. He looked intensely at me and after a while, I cracked. So, I told him my worries. He didn't laugh, nor did he make fun of me. He listened, taking my worries and doubts seriously. When I finished, he laid his head back down on my chest, this time facing me. The look in his eyes were arresting and I couldn't look away. It was piercing, his dark brown orbs, and oddly enough, instead of making me uncomfortable, it was soothing me.

"Do you know why I laid like this? My head pillowed on your chest?" he asked, the question such off our topic that it drove me off-kilter. I scowled at him, thinking he was making fun of me. He reached out a hand to smoothen the frown in between my eyebrows.

"I laid like this because I love listening to your heart."

"I kinda noticed that. But how does that rel—"

"Shh. D'you know why I like listening to your heart beat?"

I shook my head no.

"Because it makes this real. It reassures me that you're really here and I am not dreaming. I've always dreamt of lying next to you, or cuddling you, but then I wake up and it's like a bucket of cold water had doused me. There were dreams where I also rested my head against your chest, just like this, and I am sure I had dreamt of the heartbeat, but lying on you like this... it's different. The beats are different. I realized this last night, when I was cuddling with you. You see, I have the same worries as you, P'Arthit. I... I've been thinking that this is too good to be real. To tell you honestly, I kept waking up last night just to reassure myself that you're really here. And... I only managed to fall asleep when I pillowed my head on your chest. Sorry about that, by the way," Kongpob confessed.

I was rendered speechless. So, I wasn't the only one, huh?

"I... Are we going too fast, Kong? Could that be the reason? Should we have taken things slow so that we could've had a chance to get used to each other's presence again?" I wondered out loud. He looked thoughtful, for a while.

"Honestly? We should have. I think. But I also think that that would've made the situation worse... I think that we'd be awkward with each other and would've been too afraid to cross the line. What we did, we took a leap instead, leaving behind the fears that the past had planted deep within us. If we didn't, who knows, it might've taken us months, or even years to get to where we are right now. I don't want to waste any more time, P', so I'm really glad that I went to that concert and also went along with your crazy plan with my cousin."

"Damn it, come here, Kong," I said, coaxing him up so that I could kiss him senseless. He managed to banish away my fears with just his words. We kissed each other, tasting each other again, and again, and I think I was getting more and more addicted to his taste.

The kiss was just that, a kiss. We didn't let it go further. He gave me a final peck and nose rub then he was laying back down again on my chest. We basked in each other's warmth, the silence around us, comfortable.

"I got a question..." I said after a while.

"Hmm?"

"About your parents' company. Aren't you the heir or something? Why weren't you the one who took the reins, when it crashed down? Not that I'm disregarding your sister's ability or something, but wasn't it that it's because of your status as the heir that they did what they did to you? To us?"

Kongpob bit his lip and stayed silent for a while. Then he was looking at me again as he explained his side.

"I didn't want the company."

"What? Oh, well. It kinda makes sense because it had been in ruins, right?"

"No, no. It's not about that. Not at all. In a different situation, I would've taken responsibility for the company that my family had built. But... It's not a different situation, so."

"I.. still don't understand."

"I hated what the company represented for me, P'Arthit." Kongpob answered truthfully and it was like a dam had broken. He started to pour his heart out to me.

"It was nothing but a gilded cage for me at that time, never mind that there were a lot of people that would be affected if it went bankrupt. I didn't care. At all. I couldn't see past the cage. I couldn't see past the hurt that that cage had inflicted on me. I thought it was the root cause of all the pain I had to endure. It played a part, yes, but now I understood that it was just a tool. That the real ones to blame was the jailer. My grandfather... his arrogance and pride were the ones that made him push my parents into controlling my life like that. It was cowardice and misplaced respect that made them blinded to my real plight.

I-I... My grandfather, he was stuck in the old notion that homosexuals were abominations, that they're living in sin and corrupting other people into their ways, and he couldn't accept that I am one of those 'abominations'. I was the only male child remaining since he had written off P'Rome's mother from the family register. I was his only choice of being an heir, never mind that I had very capable sisters, too. So he did everything in his power to straighten me up. I was aware of his stance against homosexuals, P', that's why I had asked of you to keep our relationship secret before. I had been so naïve that I could keep things from him, but I found out that he knew everything, that everything had been a sham from the very start, on the day I overheard my parents speaking about it. That was the day they told me about the arranged marriage because our company had made a bad deal and millions were lost. They needed the merger to happen.

Of course I refused, and I wanted nothing but to go back to Thailand immediately, look for you, and beg for your forgiveness. You know what, I should've done that immediately. But I was hurt so much and I wanted to drown myself in alcohol, I just wanted to feel numb. So I got drunk, black out drunk. And then, uhm..."

I kept on rubbing his back as I listened to his story. I already knew, well the gist of it, what his parents and his grandfather had done, P'Rome had confessed all of it that one time. I felt the same pang of hurt and helplessness, and anger, let's not forget the anger, for everything that had happened to the younger. My heart ached for him, more so now that I could see the raw emotions in his eyes and all I ever wanted to do that time was to hide him from the world so that nobody could hurt him ever again. I noticed his hesitation, and I smiled reassuringly at him.

"Shh, it's okay if you don't want to tell me the rest. I am aware of what happened next," I told him. I saw his eyes widen in panic and I didn't understand why.

"Y-you do...?" he whispered, as I felt him begin to tremble. He scrambled upright and slid towards the opposite corner of the couch, curling himself tightly into a ball. I watched him in bewilderment, wracking my brain for the possible cause.

"Y-you're not disgusted...?" he asked me uncertainly, peeking at me through his fringe. I was puzzled. Really, really at a loss.

"Why would I be disgusted? Kongpob, you were forced into an arranged marriage, it wasn't even your choice. What's disgusting about that?" I asked, confused.

He stared at me for a long time, maybe trying to read what I was truly thinking. After some time, he spoke again, in a voice so soft, I had to strain my ears for his words to be comprehensible.

"You don't know...?" he asked. He was still looking at me with thinly veiled fear and I didn't know the reason behind it.

"Know what?" I asked, getting nervous with his behavior. There was something wrong, some missing information about the younger's past that I might have missed. Something very bad but at the same, very important, guessing with how he was acting.

"How my daughter was conceived?"

A dark, wayward thought flashed in my mind's eye, of the younger being... forced. But I banished it as fast as it appeared. His parents wouldn't go so far as doing that, would they? They wouldn't be so evil as to force their son into intimacy with someone, right? I was pretty sure of that because Kongpob wouldn't have forgiven them if they went that far. So, something else might have happened...

"How was your daughter conceived, Kong?" I asked gently, even though I was wary of his answer.

He opened his mouth but no words came out. I heard his teeth clack together as he shut his mouth with force. Then he was closing in on himself, wrapping his arms around his folded legs tightly, his head bowing down to hide against his knees. I couldn't have that, with him getting lost in his own thoughts. I need to prevent him from succumbing into the darkness.

"Hey, hey. Kong, you don't have to tell me anything if you aren't comfortable talking about it. I'm not gonna force you, love. But please don't close in on yourself. Don't go getting lost in your thoughts of your past. C'mon love. Focus on me, please. I'm here, now. I'm here and I'm not gonna leave you unless it's you who tells me to leave. Please, baby?"

I watched a plethora of emotions pass through Kongpob's face in rapid succession, as if he was battling with himself inside. It seemed like Kongpob won the battle with his demons because then he was crawling back to me and I welcomed him with open arms. He wrapped his arms around my torso, tightly, and I returned the hug, just as tight. He gasped, loud against my ear, as if he had been underwater for too long, and he had finally broken through the surface, gulping precious air into his lungs.

"I-I'm sorry. I can't tell you. Not right now. N-not now. But. I promise, okay? I'll tell you someday, yeah? Please be patient with me, P'Arthit—"

"Of course, of course. You don't even have to tell me about it. I will wait until you're ready to tell me everything, okay? Just, stay with me. Here."

I rubbed circles on his back as he sobbed silently on my shoulder. Dread and confusion mixed in me as various scenarios chased each other in my mind, every scene getting worse than the last. I shut my eyes tightly, trying to focus on the warm body inside my arms, letting myself drown in his scent so that I wouldn't be thinking of those dark thoughts. It worked, in a way, as I let myself be lulled by the gentle breathing of the younger.

The sobs tapered off into sniffles, but still I held him. He didn't let go of me, so we stayed in each other's embrace for a few more moments. I jostled him playfully after a while then I was maneuvering our bodies so that we were back to our original positions. The quiet between us was a comforting blanket instead of being suffocating, and we drifted off to sleep like that.

--_--

I woke up when I felt something soft being laid on me.

"Kong?" I murmured, confused. I opened my eyes a fraction.

"Shh, it's me. Don't worry, just laying a blanket on you both. It seemed to me like you needed it," a voice that was decidedly deeper than my boyfriend's said.

"Knot?" I asked, more awake than before.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to wake you up."

"Hmm. It's okay. What are you doing here? Time is it?" I asked. I heard a groan from the lump in front of me, so I rubbed the head peeking out from the blanket gently. I turned my attention back to the other man, who hadn't answered my question yet. I found him smiling at me amusedly.

"What?"

"Nothing." I scoffed at that.

"Fine. I just find you adorable right now, letting your beloved Nong use you as, huh, bed is the more apt term."

"W-what's wrong with that, huh?" I could feel my cheeks heat with his comment.

"Nothing. Nothing. Anyway, the whole gang is here, including P'Jane. You weren't answering your phone so we just went here and decided to conduct the meeting here. And it's past three already."

"Meeting?"

"Yeah. If only you'd checked your phone, you would've known. WE need to talk about the setlist for the Northern half of our concert. And of course, the schedule."

I groaned in reply. So much for having the weekend off and enjoying the cuddle sessions with my lovely Nong.

"Sorry. I know you've been anticipating your first date with your dear Kong again for the past years, but P'Jane insisted. I dunno if there had been a change in schedule or something. I think there is, so we really need to meet before we head off tomorrow," Knot apologized, as if he had read my mind. I heaved a sigh of defeat and reluctantly started to wriggle out from beneath the younger without waking him up. It was easier said than done.

"Help me, with him please? Don't let him wake up."

"Sheesh. You probably let him do all the work," he grumbled teasingly.

"Work? What work?" I asked, uncomprehending. Knot rolled his eyes at me as he gently lifted the younger up, earning a groan from the latter. I quickly slithered off the couch and then I was standing, stretching and rolling my muscles.

"Sex." My so-called best friend answered as-a-matter-of-factly. He laid Kongpob down on the couch gently as I spluttered in reply.

"Oi, Knot!" I hissed. I could feel the blush creep up my face.

"We're all adults here. And we also knew that both of you are healthy adults. Sex is normal. So, you could've helped him out you know, instead of just lying there and take it."

"Hmm, P'Arthit's the one who did all the work, P'Knot..." I gasped in shock as I turned towards the raspy voice.

Kongpob still had his eyes closed but there was a smile playing on his lips.

"Kongpob!"

Knot couldn't hold it anymore; he laughed. By then, I felt my cheeks burn so hot, and I bet that my face had resembled a tomato at that point.

"Oh, I thought you were the one doing the pitching, N'Kong!"

"Hmm, I actually don't care which role I take, P'Knot, just as long as it's with P'Arthit. But yeah. I played the catcher."

"Ooookaaaay, that's enough. Kong, go back to sleep, okay? We're just gonna have a meeting in the living area."

"Mmmkay, P'. Have fun..." Kongpob slurred, already burrowing further into the couch. I smiled fondly at him and bend down to kiss his forehead. "I love you."

"Mmm love you."

With that, I stood up and walked towards the door, Knot following close behind. When the door of the music room was firmly shut behind us, he teased me again.

"That's disgustingly sweet. You're so mushy."

"Shut it! Like you and Tob are any better."

He laughed in reply as we trudged to where the others were waiting.

--_--

"...and that's the last of it." P'Jane concluded as he discussed the minor changes to the schedule and overall concert details. We all looked incredulously at him. Normally, changes like this didn't warrant an emergency meeting like this. We could've just discussed this in the tour bus as we headed for the venue.

"That's it?" I had to ask.

"For the whole band? Of course. For you? Hell. No."

"What? What'd I do?!" I asked, looking at the others for any clue as to why our manager was looking so serious and kinda upset. They were as clueless as me.

"What did you do? Well, dear Mr. Rockstar, you just caused a major media stir and your fans are fighting all over the internet because of the stunt you pulled on stage in front of thousands of people!"

"But I had to do that, P'! It had been my chance and I grabbed it! I wouldn't let a golden opportunity like that to slip through my fingers, not after so many years!" I almost yelled, getting frustrated at how all of this was playing out. I also realized that I was starting to panic. What if I lost Kong again because of fame this time?

"N'Arthit! You can't just do something like that without any thought! You are a public figure, you do realize that right? So everything you do outside will always be scrutinized. The lot of you have managed to keep out of major scandals, and you are the most behaved celebrities I had ever had the pleasure to handle. I don't want your careers to crash and burn when you're at the peak of fame—"

"P'Jane, let me just stop you right there," I calmly said. Deep inside I was raging though. I looked at each of my friends, and one look at my face, they knew what I wanted. They nodded their heads in support.

"I don't care about my career. I don't care that if after this, I lost my fans. The love of my life arrived first than my successful career. I've lost him once and I am not willing to lose him for a second time. I won't. I'm not letting him go this time," was my vehement answer. P'Jane looked at us one by one.

"And all of you are okay with this?" he asked even though I knew that he knew that my friends were supporting me a hundred per cent. They nodded their heads, even Tutah who wasn't technically part of the band, but he's a part of our little family, so. He chose to be the head of our PA's and our stylist.

"Okay, fine. You'll continue to pursue your mysterious Nong. But Arthit, you've got to be careful with this, please. I don't want to know that at the end of this all, that Nong is just..."

"Just what, P'Jane?" Knot asked lowly. I couldn't even speak at what P'Jane was implicating.

"That he's just with you because of the glitter; the fame and the money. You know. You know what really happened to one of the artists that I handled before. I don't want that to happen to you, okay? I couldn't prevent the ruin of his career and his life, just because of a girl."

The gang and I all exchanged looks.

"I assure you, P'Jane, that our Nong isn't like that. He had been a good child since we first met him in university," Knot answered. I threw him a grateful smile.

"Yes. Knot is right about that. My baby gay is a mild-mannered man, always so respectful and charming. A lot of girls had been falling for him but too bad for them, he's gay. And this had been good for our dearest friend here," Tutah said next, winking at me for good measure.

"He's been the only first year that I liked even if he had been from a different faculty," Prem muttered.

"Ehem *Wad* Ehem," Bright fake coughed, earning him a smack from Prem.

"You don't have to worry about the fame and money part, P'," I told him seriously. "I'm pretty sure that he's got more money than me. As for fame, well, he's not an attention-hog. He liked remaining relatively anonymous, but given his social status, he had to face cameras sometimes. But I know that he absolutely doesn't enjoy it."

P'Jane deflated when he saw all of our determined looks.

"Okay, if you want this to work, you have to provide me with a name. I'm sorry, N'Arthit, but I would really like to run a background check on him to be sure. Then I need to set up an appointment with him so that I could brief him on what to do when someone inevitably finds out the identity of your Nong."

I was reluctant to share details regarding Kongpob to anyone, even P'Jane, who was also a part of the family now. I looked at Knot for help but he agreed with P'Jane's decision. Sighing in defeat, because deep down I knew that they were right and P'Jane only wanted what was best for us.

"Kongpob Suthiluck," I revealed.

"Thank you. I'll run a simple background check on him, okay? Just to be sure."

I only nodded in reply, leaning against the back of the arm chair, suddenly feeling exhausted. P'Jane was murmuring under his breath and I paid him no mind.

"By the way Arthit. How did the date go? Huh? Huh?" Bright asked enthusiastically, wriggling his eyebrows at me. Five sets of eyes were suddenly on me and I felt a little cornered. I scowled at them and shut my mouth.

"You went on a date, Arthit?" P'Jane asked, a frown marring his features.

"We- Yes, P'. I had a date with him last night," I admitted. He heaved a sigh.

"Nong... please tell me you've been careful. You're still the hot topic—"

"I had a date with him here, P'. Both of us knew what will happen if we went on a date outside."

"Oh, okay. That's good to hear. Phew. Don't scare me like that, Nong," the older said with a relieved smile.

"So? How did it go? Was it successful? When will you become official?" Prem asked.

"I didn't know you were such a gossip, Prem," I mocked the other. He rolled his eyes at me. Knot and Tutah were smirking at me, though. Knot, I understood, because he knew that the date went very well. Tutah on the other hand...

"It went well, didn't it? It went so very well..."

Bright and Prem zeroed in on their stylist.

"What do you know, huh? Share it with us!" Bright cajoled.

"Hey Knot, you know something. You're smirking. Oi! Share it with us!" Prem prodded the other. My eyes were wide in panic as I looked at my two friends.

"I don't know. Ask Arthit. Or Tutah," Knot evaded.

"Tutah! Share!" Bright yelled enthusiastically. Tutah smirked at me before he was pulling something out from behind him, something black...

"Which base, Arthit?" he purred as he raised the familiar looking black button up shirt. Oooooh shit. "I'm betting... home base."

My four friends were smiling like the Cheshire cat at me, like I was their prey and they were ready to pounce. And pounce they did.

"Where'd you even get that, Tutah? Did you go rummaging in my room?" I hissed at him. Yeah where did he ge—oh no. I've only picked up the clothes strewn around the living area and not the—

"The balcony. Really Arthit? The balcony? D'you have an exhibitionism kink?" Tutah teased. I felt my face burn hot.

"Oi, Arthit, you dog!" Bright hollered.

"I didn't know you had it in you!" Prem added, smiling widely.

"I-I—"

"Tell me at least that you didn't have sex at the balcony..." P'Jane asked, half-serious.

"Wha—No!"

"So you went all the way?" prodded Tutah. I didn't answer; my burning face revealed the answer anyway.

"They did," Bright said.

"They did," Prem said.

"They so did it," Tutah added.

"They did," Knot said smugly.

"Oh yeah, what do you know, Knot? You've got to reveal it. C'mon spill!"

I shook his head frantically at him. He looked at me for a long time then he was shaking his head and mimed zipping his mouth shut.

"Oh c'mon! You've gotta tell us. Tutah already shared his discovery. It's your turn now."

"Nope."

"...it's in the music room. That's where he found Arthit," Prem observed. Why, oh why, did Prem use his brains in mischief. They stood up but was promptly yanked down by Knot. I sighed in relief. My relief was short-lived though because I forgot about the other one, and he took that chance to flee towards the music room. I was too far from him to stop and I was too slow to react. Minutes later, we heard him shout.

"BABY GAY!"

I slumped back on my seat in defeat and just prayed that Tutah didn't smother my boyfriend. I avoided my friends' stares.

"He's still here! Arthit, you dog!"

"Huh, I thought he'd be walking the morning walk of shame but I guess he's be walking in the evening instead?"

"He's not gonna walk. He's gonna drive home."

"Oh that's good. Bring him here so I could brief him and get this over with," P'Jane said seriously, carefully not looking at me. I think he was judging me but I couldn't be too sure.

I sighed and trudged towards the music room. The scene that I walked into was not what I had expected. To be honest, I was expecting excited chattering of one of my best friends with my boyfriend smiling widely and just being his charming self. Instead, I heard sniffles and gasps as Tutah cried against Kongpob's shoulder. The younger was also teary eyed but there was a gentle smile on his face.

Oh right. I almost forgot that Tutah and Kongpob had known each other longer than I knew the latter. Tutah had, sort of, adopted Kongpob as his "Baby Gay" when they met at one of the campaigns in our alma mater. So when I introduced Kongpob to them the first time, it was a huge shock to receive the shovel talk from one of my best friends after he gave it to my boyfriend.

Kongpob noticed me lurking at the doorway and he gave me a watery smile. I returned the smile with one of my own, and left them to themselves. I went back to the others and they gave me curious looks when I came back alone. I shrugged my shoulders.

"I let them have their moment. You know how Tutah and Kong had been close before I even met him."

The others nodded in understanding. I turned to look at P'Jane. He raised his hand in the universal stop sign before I even had the chance to speak.

"No need to explain. I understand," he said with a smile. "Just fetch them when the food's here. I ordered takeout."

--_--

P'Jane and Bright went down to gather the food bags up while Knot, Prem and I brought out plates and utensils and set them up on the coffee table in the living room. It has been roughly twenty minutes since Tutah had gone to the music room and they were still in there.

"Hey Arthit, should I go fetch them?" Prem asked. I looked at him then at the direction of the room and shook my head.

"No, I'll go. You can stay here."

"Okay."

I trudged towards the room and peeked inside. They were now sitting face to face, their postures relaxed as they talked quietly. There were smiles on their faces and it was fun to watch them giggle with one another. I knocked on the door to alert them of my presence. Both of them looked at me and smiled. I moved inside and sat beside my boyfriend, snaking a hand around his waist and hooking my chin on his shoulder.

"Oi, Arthit! What'd you do to my Nong, huh? Look at his neck. Just look! Are you a rabid dog? He looks like he's been attacked by a dog. Or a fangless vampire. His neck is a mess of bruises!"

Kong touched his neck self-consciously.

"It is?" he asked, looking at Tutah then at me. I nodded sheepishly.

"Sorry," I mumbled. I dropped a kiss on a particularly large and vivid purple mark as an apology. He shrugged in reply after a while.

"If you didn't have a concert, I would've done the same so that people would know that you're taken," he declared nonchalantly. Tutah watched our interaction, a wide smile dancing on his face. Then he squealed like a school girl.

"Oh my god, you guys are sickeningly cute even after ten years! Just go get married already!" he remarked.

"Patience, P'Tutah. Soon, I'll be asking this damn beautiful man's hand in marriage so that he'll be mine forever. But I'll content myself with this for now," the younger declared, looking straight to my eye.

"Kongpob Suthiluck, you have the gall to declare that?" I said dangerously low. I saw uncertainty flicker in his eyes and then I was smirking. "You're not the one who's gonna be doing the asking. will be the one making you forever mine. Actually, I am declaring now that you are mine, and mine only. Understand that, baby?"

I watched him as he fought back the smile from blooming on his face by biting his lower lip. It was a lost cost as I could still see the corners of his lips twitching.

"Aaaaah! Team Air. Damn it. I'm fangirling right now, Phew. You guys are so sickeningly cute. Stop that! Aaaah! I'm blushing and I'm so giddy just watching you two."

Both of us giggled at Tutah's ridiculous commentaries.

"By the way, food's on the way. I'm supposed to fetch you two. And, uhm, Kong..."

"What is it P'Arthit?"

"Uh, our manager, P'Jane, wants to talk with about our situation..."

I watched how Kong's eyes seem to harden, getting defensive.

"Don't worry, he's not gonna talk about you leaving me behind. He just wants to know you and brief you regarding PR and whatnot. We still don't know how the public will take our relationship so he'd probably brief you on possible scenarios," I reassured him.

"Don't worry about it N'Kong. P'Jane is really understanding. He did the same with Bright and Knot when they had their partners. The well-being of the band and whoever gets associated with them is his priority. And I'm pretty sure that he'll like you," Tutah added confidently.

Kongpob bit his lip, looking at me and then to Tutah. He still looked conflicted and I waited for him to tell us what was bothering him. After a while, he did just that.

"My situation is different from P'Bright's and P'Knot's relationship. Mine is more difficult because of my past, P', so he might not approve of me."

"Kong. He will understand, trust me."

"But P'—"

"No, he will. I'm sure of it. And if he doesn't, well, he can't make me leave you. No sir. Not happening. I'm choosing you."

I let the weight of my words sink in with them, the implication of it. Then Kongpob was clamoring to change my mind, that he'd feel bad if he'd be the cause of the possible fight with our manager, our management, or worse, the disbandment of the band. I was immovable with my decision, though.

"That's why we have to convince P'Jane that we could do this. That we could weather the storm if it falls upon us."

Kongpob looks at me silently for a while. Then he heaves a sigh, coming into a conclusion.

"Okay... okay. I was planning to use the PR department of my family's company, or a better option, consult my family's publicist," he revealed. I raised an eyebrow at him.

"If you had this idea all along, why didn't you tell me?"

"Well, I didn't want to freak you out or something. I mean, I am aware of your status as a celebrity and I have had extreme experience in the past with the paparazzi's so I know now how to be wary. And since I am trained, and am now a businessman, I needed to make plans for the future. So when I decided to go to the concert, worst case scenarios had played in my mind and I had started to plan for them. And this is me, using whatever resources I have."

"Hot damn, you're one step ahead," I murmured.

"Oh yeah. I keep forgetting that you are rich. Okay! Why don't we all go and talk to P'Jane about this now? I'll help with the convincing if he disapproves with your relationship."

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