Bold: The characters are speaking in English.
P’Pun stared at the photos on the screen of my MacBook with a dumbfounded expression, dark brown eyes beneath the glasses glancing over at my face several times.
“Confess, puppy… who edited these photos for you?”
“I really did it myself!” I lifted up two fingers like a boy scout to pledge that I wasn’t lying. “So are they good or not, senior?”
“It’s a damn ambush Petch.” P’Pun didn’t answer my question. Instead, he grabbed the stylus, sliding it around to alternate between the photos, impressed. “I hold back a little and you’ve shot right past me. With skills like this, I don’t think you need to borrow my new lens anymore.”
“You’re kidding.” I sat squished on the same sofa, leaving P’Pun to pat my head and rub my tail, showering me in praises. I felt very proud of myself.
“You don’t look very happy that I’m complimenting you though. Shouldn’t your tail be wagging side to side and jumping about by now?” P’Pun adjusted his glasses. I noticed that the area under his eyes looked equally as fatigued as mine. “What’s wrong? Coming to me with drooping ears and a tucked tail, did P’Chid scold you on the phone this morning?”
“No.” I responded, mumbling. I was gearing up to explain but managed to hold myself back in time, P’Pun didn’t have a clue about me and that hottie after all. “I slept at four last night, so I’m a bit tired.”
“Then feel free to take a nap here.” The owner of the two-story house on Prasarnmit street offered in his usual warm caring tone. Thus, I immediately collapsed onto P’Pun’s bed as he got to his feet. “Don’t pass out yet though, I’ll be back, give me a minute.”
“Eating before bed is going to make me fat.” I murmured, feeling extremely drowsy. Strange, whenever I visited P’Pun’s house, my eyes would never stay open for long. “It’s your fault that I got scolded.”
The owner of the room stilled. “Hm? What did you say?”
“Nothing, just talking to myself.”
Irritated, P’Pun traced back his steps and pinched my nose hard, making me cry out loud; chasing away all traces drowsiness. “What did P’Chid call you about? Start confessing like an obedient puppy Petch.”
“He… ow, it hurts, let go first… he called me to say… don’t twist, don’t twist, it hurtsssssss…”
Tell P’Pun what? That a golden retriever was flirting with me!?
“P’Chid told me: Next time you’re working, don’t bring another man along, even he can get jealous too.”
My senior jumped. I saw his reaction and felt somewhat guilty. When it comes to easily trusting people, P’Pun was second to none. His smooth white face was pale as a sheet of paper. Seeing this, the devil hiding inside my head began to stir. My hands were itching to pounce on this innocent prey in front of me.
“You’re joking, Petch.”
Well I am joking. P’Pun, why do you trust me so easilyyy… at this rate, you’re asking to be teased!
“P’Chid… is very serious P’Pun. I… umm… it’s better if you don’t bring that foreigner along with you next time. Think of it as being considerate of P’Chid’s feelings okay?”
I recalled vaguely that lying was a breach of the five precepts, however, I wasn’t Buddhist so this didn’t count as sinning.
“Yeah, it’s not as if Sasha and I are ‘together’ or anything. I guarantee it won’t happen a second time.”
“I didn’t know that you cared that much for me and Editor Chid, I feel so touched.” I said with vomit-inducing cheesiness.
P’Pun side-eyed me. “I guess so.”
I swallowed my saliva twice. P’Pun actually fell for it, wow! If Editor Chid finds out that I used his name for such a thing, my throat was definitely going to be slit. But killing two birds with one stone like this was way too worth it… Even though I felt a bit guilty, I couldn’t help holding in a smile.
“Oh Petch… you’re done applying for an Uzbekistan visa right?”
I nodded. “How about you, senior?”
Eh? …Something felt off. P’Pun was in a good mood earlier, so why did he seem oddly listless all of sudden? What was my senior thinking about? Scratching his ear here, scratching his head there, he seemed inexplicably worried. Or were P’Pun and P’Chid experiencing a hurdle in their relationship? With Sasha appearing out of thin air, has the situation transformed into a tragic love triangle? Hu… hold on, let me grab my popcorn first.
“Switching topics as soon as I tease you about P’Chid, P’Pun are you having a secret affair with P’Chid?”
“You prick.” P’Pun cussed blatantly. My, my, I wanted to poke my nose into other people’s business more, but… let’s not. Having P’Pun as my personal sugar daddy was good enough, it won’t be pretty if another mistress (P’Chid???) gets involved.
“Oh… by the way, how are you getting back? I can send you off by car.” Switching topics again. Never mind, P’Pun was already someone with a short fuse, further prodding meant risk getting hit by the back of his hand.
“I drove here myself today.”
“Hua, is that so?” Look at him make that disappointed face, my intuition was definitely not wrong.
“If you want to see Sasha that badly, just call him. There’s no need to beat around the bush by driving me back, senior.”
Before me, the innocent bespectacled man’s ears flushed red. Dammit, I really love you P’Pun. If you’re going to be this cute, I’ll offer you to the golden retriever on a platter right this instant!
“Hush, Petch. If this reaches P’Chid’s ears, you’re not getting off scot-free.”
I slapped my knee. Saying this meant there was really something going on between the two of them, wahaha! The evil plan in my head was beginning to come together piece by piece. I’ll surely be free from that golden retriever this time!
P’Pun, on the other hand, had no clue that he was falling into the trap of a mischievous little monkey like me. He was sitting in front of his MacBook, moving his mouse here and there to check my work.
“For real though Petch, don’t lie to me, who edited these photos for you?”
P’Pun smacked my head so hard that it dipped forward. “You can’t even tell me this much?”
He tried to wring an answer out of me but I was far too shy to tell P’Pun about me and that drop-dead handsome mafioso; my mouth was heavy as if weighed down by rocks. Importantly, I was starting to wonder about what exactly the other man wanted from me? One second he’s fierce and menacing. Another second he’s gentle to the point where my heart would tremble.
A large hand, white and smooth like a cooked chicken offering grabbed my head, shaking it around playfully. A faint smile surfaced on P’Pun’s face.
I had no idea what that smile meant, the only thing I heard however was: “Sleep, your eyes are swollen from overwork. I’ll go buy you something delicious to eat.”
Huu, somebody get this ‘Gentleman of the Year’ away from me.
Opening the door to the room, he paused in his tracks, turning back to send a sparkly aura in my direction.
“Do you want some milk to cope with your hunger for now little monkey?”
“Is it school milk?” I made a clueless expression. “I don’t want spoiled milk.”
“Milk from a pair of breasts maybe.”
“Anything but milk from your breasts senior, I want milk from the breasts of a pretty girl instead.”
A carton of milk hit its mark at the center of my forehead, smacking me upside the head and causing me to tumble off the bed…
Oh P’Pun… you really are innocent on the outside but ruthless on the inside. You even have the heart to hurt your own junior… I grumbled inwardly while gingerly soothing my forehead. Look, there’s a bump now…
As for claiming that he was a gentleman earlier, I take it back!
Allow me to show off a bit. Editor Chid was in utter shock for a total of thirty seconds with my god-tier retouching work and asked the same question as P’Pun (you guys know each other so well) about who had taken over for me. Upon claiming that it was my own work, P’Chid insistently protested, refusing to believe me.
“Where did you go to get an upgrade from?” He questioned, eyes cautious.
“On Pantip probably! I lugged my brain over there to ask for a CPU and RAM upgrade, simple as that.” Since he wasn’t willing to believe me, I answered back with sarcasm.
(TN: Pantip – A Thai internet forum.)
“Then it seems like you’ve changed your brain from a Pentium II and 46MB RAM to a Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM instead.”
I was totally being looked down on… Seeing me grimace, P’Chid hurriedly patted my head in comfort. Wasn’t this the equivalent of slapping me then rubbing my back? Don’t even try to comfort me, I’m sulking here!
P’Chid paid no mind, quickly beckoning Meuk–our expert photo editor–over to relay the rest of the work onto him. Turning back to find that I was still sulking he took a seat beside me. “Where’s Pun? Did he not come with you?”
“Why don’t you go call him yourself, P’Chid.” I said, irritated. “Since you know each other so well.”
“I did but he didn’t pick up, so I thought you guys were together.” P’Chid got up to brew some coffee and inquired as to whether I wanted some. For a hardcore editor like him, this was the extent of the kindness he could muster up in order to appease his juniors. “Want a cup, Puppy?”
The scent of high grade coffee wafted up to touch my nose. I was still sulking, therefore I simply stared at him and refused to answer his question. “Did P’Pun hand in his work yet?”
“He submitted it several days ago actually, every photo looked great so there was no need for any touch-ups. The foreigner in those photos looked explosively handsome though, his bright aura caused all of the girls in the office to go feeble.” P’Chid was preoccupied with brewing coffee, not bothering to look at my face. “That said… he’s been travelling back and forth with Pun hasn’t he?”
I listened attentively. “You’re kidding me.”
“Didn’t hear the latest news yet I see. Your daddy Pun has kicked you to the curb I’m afraid.” P’Chid cackled, handing the coffee to me in a pristine white ceramic mug. The fragrant smell of brewed coffee circled the room. I received the mug and took a sip… the coffee was delicious, then glanced at P’Chid.
“Are you talking for real about P’Pun?”
“Oh come on, why would I lie, Pun is just feigning cluelessness… Mild is the one responsible for blowing his cover by inviting that foreigner inside the office. She assumed he was one of the models we arranged a meeting with.” P’Chid stood leaning against his work desk, leisurely stirring his coffee with a spoon. “It was only yesterday. When that guy came inside, your daddy…”
“Wait, wait.” I interrupted before the misunderstanding got out of hand. “P’Chid, P’Pun isn’t my husband!”
“Even if he isn’t, he’s almost like one already Petch.”
How about I smack your forehead with my feet!
Following that, when P’Pun saw Sasha walk into the office he began to go abnormal, face flushed red, ears flushed red, stumbling over his words. To make matters worse, Meuk was right in the middle of browsing through P’Pun’s photos too. Putting two and two together, he realized that the deific foreigner in the photos and the foreigner sitting leisurely in the flesh on the guest sofa was the exact same person. My poor P’Pun was therefore stuck in a difficult predicament. With Sasha shooting him a deadly smile, it was like P’Pun’s brain had malfunctioned, he couldn’t work properly. Agitated, my senior in the end had to drag the other man outside to sort out their issue. But when the foreigner dropped sweet cajoling words on him relentlessly, Punnaphob lost his center completely.
“Wow, P’Chid how did you come across these juicy details?”
“Well Mild’s the one who wrote it up on her blog. There’s more to it too.” P’Chid smiled. “Are you curious?”
I feigned a sigh. “Who would want to hear the story of their own husband with his new man?”
“Waai! So it really is a tragic love triangle!” Mild exclaimed loudly. I flinched, seeing Mild stood with a folder hugged up against her bulging chest while holding the door open. Everyone in the office turned their heads to look solely at me.
P’Chid roared with laughter till tears formed in his eyes.
As for me… I was so embarrassed that I might as well go home crying to P’Pun. At this stage… if I said I was pregnant with P’Pun’s baby, everyone in this office would likely believe me.
P.s. Before heading back, I turned on my office computer to read Mild’s blog… so shocked that I had to read it again twice.
P.p.s. I discovered that P’Chid was lying because he was there to witness everything unfold, including the first P.s.!
P.p.p.s. No wonder why P’Pun seemed awfully restless when I teased him about P’Chid being jealous this morning. Are you guys hiding a secret from me… hmm?
Kindaichi Phachara must solve this case, his grandfather’s name is riding on it!
(TN: Reference to detective manga ‘The Kindaichi Case Files’)
I thought about P’Pun the entire time while driving from the office to the bank, to the mall, to the currency exchange store, and so forth. I managed to conclude that my husband P’Pun was really feigning cluelessness. What dung beetle? That mark on his neck was clearly an allergic reaction to foreigners (But back then he looked truly clueless–this detail had me stumped).
I rung the doorbell of room 1202 and sighed.
Hu, one was a gentleman with a hidden streak…
As for this conceited young master… he was scary to the point where I wanted to have him as a guard dog.
To compare his ferociousness… between a Rottweiler and Alexander Nazarbayev, I was starting to feel unsure about which was scarier.
“Why are you here again.”
The tone was frigid and coupled with a deadly gaze. I wanted to take on the role of a tragic heroine with tears rolling down her face like in those romantic dramas but I didn’t have the heart to do so, the hottie wasn’t a dumb male love interest. The more realistic outcome would be getting kicked out of the room.
“I’m here to collect my belongings.”
Saying this out loud made me realize: Was this hottie going to assume that I was moving bases to room 1206? How do I fix this misunderstanding? “Um… last night I washed my underwear and left it here to dry… um… so I came collect it.”
The beautiful pair of eyebrows furrowed together and he heaved a sigh. “You didn’t take a bath last night though?”
Every case of murder has its evidence. As for Petch the filthy monkey, what attested to his guilt was an unseemly smell!
Alexey shrugged but agreed to open the door and let me inside. His eyes seemed to be pondering something however his mouth stayed shut.
I slipped through the door which was ajar just enough for the size of my body. Once the door shut, I felt like I was being chased into a corner by his piercing gaze. Alexey inspected me from head to toe and swept his eyes to stop at the MacBook in my arms. “Did you submit your work yet?”
“My editor was very pleased…” I inhaled fully into my lungs, lifted my face to meet his pair of eyes, and pursed my lips tight before continuing to speak. “No one believed that it was my own work–and uhh… uhh…”
Say thank you, say it! Just tell him Petch!
“Well it does beckon suspicion.” The hottie interjected, expression still as frigid as ever.
There it goes, my mood to make up with him!
“So I said, Petchy Potter had a creative block and ended up falling asleep. However, Dobby the house-elf helped to finish up the rest of his work. After waking up, Harry–I mean Petchy Potter quickly went to deliver his work before a certain person dialed into his phone…”
They say you will end up in hell if you lie. Hopefully heaven is sympathetic enough to prevent P’Chid from finding out that I had used his name in another excuse again, amen!
“A good morning call.” The hottie finishes my sentence, glaring at me as if wanting to eat my flesh and blood. It was in this second that I realized, this hottie had horribly misunderstood. This character belonging J.K. Rowling, are we talking about the same one? Moreover, he shouldn’t be of Uzbekistan nationality! I opened my mouth to correct myself but it was too late. “Not long after that… Dumbledore with his fabulous beard phoned him and said, ‘Goodmorning my dear Petchy, did you sleep well last night?’ …That guy has twin sons in Frankfurt, they’re four and a half years old, would you like to help produce more heirs Petchy Potter?”
I almost fell out of my chair. “Hah? Four and a half years old!?”
“A man in his mid-thirties having two children, there’s nothing weird about it.”
Mid-thirties. Two children.
(The number of wives weren’t revealed, and how about his bed partners!!!)
And… and… and what about making P’Pun blush up to his ears, them travelling back and forth together, not to mention chasing after me as well, how do you explain this?
Beneath those golden locks of hair, blue eyes, and bright face, it was too pitch black. I should remind myself to never trust that golden retriever.
The hottie stares at my face… his expression blank… so blank that I feared for my heart.
“So why are you here?” He asks, pulling me back into this topic unprepared. I noticed now that this hottie looked oddly relaxed today. He wasn’t wearing a suit or a necktie, actually… with that appearance didn’t he just get out of bed!? How does the Kazakhstan embassy operate if the ambassador’s consultant wakes up at four in the afternoon?
Alexey raises his eyebrows high.
“Um… I brought a sock to thank you Mr. Dobby for saving my life.” Those pair of grey eyes had a glint of intrigue. I uttered in a soft voice: “Thank you.” Albeit it was more like a whisper to myself.
“Sorry Potter, but one sock isn’t enough.”
I flinched, face frowning. “I can take off the one on my other feet too if you want.” I was aware that we were playing around, but what did he need the other side of my socks for? A sock I had worn for the entire day, far too smelly and sour to bear, let me have a sniff to make sure…
Why was he speaking so closely, whispering next to my ear…?
Could his nose not pick up scent or what, playfully brushing it beside my ear…
And… that mouth… was he going to kiss me or not… teasing and tempting… causing my heart to falter.
The drop-dead handsome man in front me stared with a glint in his eyes, as if about to devour me whole. I was sucked back into the real world where the Russian version of Dobby was way more ferocious than the children’s fiction version.
Alexander Nazarbayev pulled something out of his back pocket. I glanced over and flinched. Hey! That was my E-ticket!
“Where did you get that from?”
“A messenger from K Line delivered it.” Do not misunderstand, K Line isn’t some gay hotline, but a Japanese agency whose services I regularly used to buy my airplane tickets from. The jingle goes something along the lines of ‘If you can’t think, just ask K Line, call 02XXXXX68’–Hey! That airplane ticket is mineeee…
“And why is it with you?”
Alexey sneered. Being this handsome and sinister flipped the entire concept of Dobby upside-down.
“How about it Potter? …Now what are going to compensate me with?”
I swallowed my saliva stiffly… If I danced the ‘Grilled Chicken Dance’ as compensation, I wonder if this hottie was going to tear my airplane ticket into pieces?
(TN: Grilled Chicken Dance – A popular silly dance based on a children’s song, here is a demonstration)
“With… with…” My wretched face was flushed with heat as I began to imagine obscene things… don’t… move your face away from me a bit… I can’t breathe… I was completely defeated by these stunning eyes.
“I’ll give you three seconds.”
Three seconds ended in what felt like a lie.
“I don’t know…” I admitted, voice pleading sympathy. “Whatever you want, just take it.”
“The time for playing games is up.” The frigid voice and deadly piercing gaze resurfaced. The hottie tore the airplane ticket, splitting it in twain… rip~
If I was J.K. Rowling…
I would trash the original Harry Potter and write a dark version instead… make Voldemort into the protagonist and Dobby the little house-elf into a scoundrel. What’s the use for feel-good literature when the real world was several times more cruel?
I went weak-kneed, slumping down onto the floor and eyes brimming with tears. The airplane ticket was torn in half, fury made my entire body numb. Alexey produced an irritating sneer. The vein on my forehead twitched uncontrollably… I mustn’t punch him…
“I really wanna know… how you managed to survive this far when you can’t even properly handle your own matters. All you do is make a fuss, waiting for other people to do ‘this’ and ‘that’ for you…”
I mustn’t punch him…
“As for yesterday, I wasn’t really angry at anything, just annoyed at the sight of you… you were also a little pitiful.”
I mustn’t punch him…
“Only a loser dreams of being a professional while never thinking to make an effort with their own ability… remember these words well.”
The sound of a punch cut through the air with a loud whiz. My fist made contact with the left side of his face. However, Alexey merely stared at me with amused eyes, as if the punch which I swung at him didn’t irritate his skin in the least…
“Oh, another thing, the fact that we ‘make love’ doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to do anything for you, understand this as well.”
I was doubly shocked at what I was hearing. Yet it seems that my surprise was according to Alexey’s plans–he who did not care, was not interested and… saw me as worthless.
“I’m not like Sasha who would gladly offer up all sorts of things to others–especially to someone with a horrible personality, doing nothing but take, doing nothing but ask, a lazy bum like you. Don’t even hope to gain anything from me… I’ve told you this before so let me refresh your memory again, with that personality of yours, you need to be taught a lesson. Remember this well and cram it in that thick skull of yours!”
His thumb swiped carelessly at the blood seeping slightly from the edge of his mouth. The stunning grey eyes flashed, lips stretched into a sneer, as if satisfied that I fell for his game… I glared at those pair of eyes with anger… Seeing him not bother to evade my attack caused me to tremble even more uncontrollably with pent up rage. Yet, his words stabbed my heart in all the right places, I couldn’t object.
Last night I asked myself: What was I to this man…
A bed partner?
…Before this, yes. But now….. I was nothing but a loser!
Alexey, you’re so goddamn mean T_T. There’s a reason for his actions I assure you, but you’ll have to stick around for the next chapter (It’s lengthy again, see you in a week+)