enTWINed – Ch 7 & 8 (A Thai Fanfic)

Everyone is back in Bangkok. Will they ever meet again?  Of course, it’s a fanfiction! We finally get to meet a new character which may be familiar to lakorn fans… 🙂

Below is the Rama IX Park, located in Nong Bon, Phrawet. It was created for the late king’s 50th birthday. So peaceful! 

Chapter 7

Roni hummed tunelessly under her breath as she wiped down the Biodex 4Pro. It had been two weeks since they had returned from Spain. Her arm had completely healed, except for a hair-thin white mark that her doctor said would eventually fade. Her life had settled back down into the usual routine.

Even her sister seemed to be doing well. Despite the problems at the showcase, she had fielded several inquiries into her designer line. And, even better, had rebuffed Dean when he showed up a week ago, bearing flowers. So far, she had refused to see him in person or respond to his texted pleas. Roni wondered how long this would last, though. Her sister was a strong woman; if there was any weakness, it was her ability to forgive. She, though, was ready to knock that man off his feet if he ever ended up on their property.

“Ah, Nong Iryuu, just in time.” Roni smiled as a little girl was wheeled into the room. A victim of a dog attack, she had a prosthetic foot and damaged muscles. With Roni’s help, she was slowly gaining strength and control over her artificial appendage. She gave a shy, gap-toothed smile to Roni, who accepted the wheelchair from the nurse, and pushed it to a therapy bed against the wall.

“Any pain today? Do we need to zap zap anything?” Occasionally, pain occurred in the nerves of the damaged muscle tissue. Roni used interferential therapy whenever this happened. But the little girl shook her head. Roni leaned down and lifted her onto the bed. “Okay, let’s check everything first.”

She had just finished her range-of-motion measurements when a friendly voice boomed out, “There are my two favorite girls!”

“Khun Weir!” Iryuu squealed and clapped. A tall, rangy man, in blue scrubs and a white lab coat, strolled into the room. Roni smiled. “Sawasdee ka, Khun Weir. Are you here to take our patient to the pool?”

He nodded and adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses. “Are you all done with your evaluation? Okay, Nong Iryuu, time to strengthen your legs.” He went to lift her up, but Roni stopped him. She smiled and helped the girl slide down until both her feet touched the floor.

“Remember what we practiced.” Roni whispered, and then supported her little elbow. The girl took several, wobbly steps towards the other therapist. When she closed the gap between them, he crouched down and gave her a high-five.

“Excellent! If you do just as well in the pool, I’ll spring for ice cream. For both of you.” Roni smiled but shook her head.

“Kortuun, I’m sorry, but I have a new patient consult this afternoon. But you two have fun.” She ignored the look of disappointment that flashed across his face before his habitual smile was back. He gave an exaggerated sigh before turning to the little girl, now settled into her wheelchair.

“I guess it’s just the two of us, Nong Iryuu. Khun Roni, you won’t get upset if we end up as boyfriend and girlfriend, right?” Iryuu giggled again. Roni was used to his outrageous statements and merely waved them away.

She charted her evaluation, and prepared for her next patient.

~~~~~~

Roni was nursing cup of tea in the cafeteria when a hand landed on her shoulder. She knew exactly who it belonged to.

“Sawasdee ka, Khun Mor Cass.” She turned to smile at the twinkling eyes of an older woman. “How was your last procedure?”

The older woman sighed and sat down in a nearby chair. “It was tough. I hate when a senior is left alone and falls. We managed to pin her hip together, but it will be a long recovery time.” She inspected her short nails, painted bright red. “Honestly, sometimes people don’t see what gems their older relatives can be. Or how the elders around them are great listeners with great advice.”

The younger woman laughed. “Just tell me what you want to say, khun mor. And I, your nong, will listen.”

Dr Cass chuckled but then grew serious. “What happened in Spain?”

Taking a sip of tea, Roni tried to procrastinate. “I don’t know what you mean.”

Her coworker cleared her throat and touched Roni’s arm. “You have been working hard. You always have, but since returned from helping your sister you seem almost driven and angry. So, something must have occurred. Talk to me; you might feel better. I worry about you. Actually, Weir asked me, too.”

Roni snapped her neck up. “Khun Weir? Why?”

Dr Cass sighed. These kids can be completely clueless. “Because he worries, too. None of us in the department want to see you wear yourself out, especially if we can help. And he pays particular attention to you, haven’t you ever noticed?”

Waving her hand, Roni dismissed it. “We are friends, so we should watch out for each other. But, you are right about one thing. P’Sri’s showcase was almost ruined.” She launched into a brief synopsis of her sister’s stupid boyfriend.

“The only saving grace was that he showed up after everything, so he didn’t completely destroy her chance. But the embarrassment isn’t easy for my sister to shake off. Then she lost another another potential client, but that guy was a jerk. Karma will get him for sure.”

Cass picked up on a different tone in her coworker’s voice. “Another man was there? Was he Thai as well?”

Roni was tracing her finger around the ceramic rim of her cup and answered absentmindedly. “Yes, some hi-so hotel owner. He helped me out, and I thought he was nice. But then,” she slammed her hands on the table as her voice grew louder, “he just made all sorts of assumptions and backed away like we were contagious or something. If I ever meet him again…” Realizing the quiet of the cafeteria, she looked up from the table to find people watching her from other tables. She ducked back down, embarrassed over her outburst.

Dr Cass leaned forward. “He must have made some sort of impression on you, too. I want to know more. What’s his name?” Just when she leaned towards the younger woman, her phone went off. “Rats. I probably have an emergent patient. This conversation isn’t over, Roni. I promise.” She patted the therapist’s shoulder before heading towards the cafeteria exit, phone already to her ear.

“It is, if I can help it,” muttered Roni.

~~~~~

After stopping by a nearby market, Roni tiredly made her way home. She and Sri had purchased a two-bedroom townhouse in Min Buri. Her hospital was nearby in Suan Luang, so the commute was not bad, and the distance from the more heavily-populated center of the city made them feel safer.

Since her sister’s Honda City was not in the driveway, Roni fixed a simple meal and stretched out on the couch, intending to catch up on her social media.

Over her bowl of fried basil, she flipped through the news site. A picture of a certain male popped up, and almost unwillingly she clicked on the icon to open up the column.

“Hi-So Businessman and Bachelor Seen with Beautiful Dara: Possible Wedding Bells?”

“Hot Hotelier Ratsadanupradit Tanasugarn was recently spotted at the trendy Le Normandie Restaurant in Bang Rak with rising entertainment star Arisara Singha. Although the restaurant has a strict privacy policy, another person who was there managed to take a photo of the cozy couple.”

Roni looked closer. It was unmistakably that man from Barcelona, despite the graininess of the photograph. But his body language and demeanor certainly didn’t match the gushy description. He was sitting straight while the starlet, with her elbows on the table, leaned over her plate as if to show off her impressive cleavage.

She closed the article window, perhaps clicking a little harder than she needed. Feeling restless, she decided that a good run was in order. After an hour on the treadmill and a cool shower, Roni was in the kitchen pouring a glass of water when her sister finally walked through the front door.

“Sawasdee ka, P’Sri. How was everything at the studio?”

Her twin tiredly tossed her bag on the sofa and plunked down on the side chair.

“It was a long day. One of my shipments came in late, and I had to wait to receive it. Thanks, Roni.” She gratefully accept the cool glass and drank half in one gulp. “The air conditioning is not working in the car and it felt like I was driving inside a furnace. I’m glad to be home. I’ll take it to the mechanic tomorrow.”

The two of them walked back into the living room. Sri took the couch and relaxed against the cushions. After a moment, she noticed the quietness in the room. Instead of her usual cheery, chatty self, her twin looked lost in thought, curled up on the armchair. “Is there anything wrong, Roni?”

Roni gathered her thoughts before speaking. “Have you ever heard from Phra Kao’s representative since Barcelona?” She carefully avoided her sister’s eyes, in case her emotions were showing. Sri was always sensitive to her moods and expressions.

Sri wondered where that thought came from, but answered honestly. “I haven’t received a rejection notice, but I doubt that they will accept my bid.” Her face clouded for a moment, then cleared. She gave an elaborate shrug. “If Khun Ratsadanupradit Tanasugarn doesn’t have faith in my work ethic or integrity, I wouldn’t want to work for him anyway. Despite the exposure the job would have given me.” She scooted to the end of the couch and squeezed Roni’s hand. “We are doing fine. It would have been a wonderful challenge, but I’m sure there will be more, and better, opportunities in the future.”

Roni smiled at her twin, proud of her resiliency. She shook herself out of her slump and squared her shoulders. “I’ll make you some dinner. Why don’t you take a shower and it will be ready when you are done?” She unfolded her legs out of the chair and headed for the kitchen, determined to put those sexy eyes out of her mind.

Chapter 8

As usual, the employees quickly lined up in the foyer as the Ken walked out of the elevator. He acknowledged their signs of respect as he strode toward the bulidng doors. Prasan folloed a step back, his ever-present electronic tablet in his hands as he made final notes.

“I’ll type up these notes and email them to you later tonight, Khun Ken.”

Squinting in the sudden sunlight, Ken accepted the car key from his assistant, giving hm a short smile as the younger man turned back towards the doors. He tossed his briefcase onto the passenger seat. It had been a rough day. His board of directors was pushing him to settle on a designer and company to begin the renovation of their flagship hotel. But he felt oddly reluctant to make that final decision. He had prevaricated that none of the tendered concepts they received completely fulfilled the proposal template. To some extent that was true, but he knew that was not the main issue.

The reality was that no other company’s presentation had that same sense of rightness that he found in Khun Chamnongsri’s designs. And then there was the information his assistant had uploaded to his tablet. Pulling out of the garage, Ken spared a quick glance at the black leather portfolio. The only link Prasan managed to find between Dean and Khun Sri was her use of several of his costume jewelry collections. Neither the business licenses nor the building lease were cosigned by his former acquaintance, and Ken now deeply regretted his knee-jerk reaction in Barcelona.

His phone alert chimed. It was Uncle Jithri, his mother’s brother, and the head of the marketing division for Phra Kao. Ken clicked on the handsfree. “Sawasdee krub, Khun Loong. How can I help you?”

His uncle’s jovial voice was tinny in his ear. “I wanted to see if you have reviewed last quarters Leave and Earnings statements, especially the reserve we have put aside for the renovation. I want to make sure everything is in place when you finally make a decision.” There was a pause. “The Board is getting antsy. They want the designer and construction company in place soon so the work can begin during the low season.”

Ken tamped down a sudden flash of annoyance. “Don’t worry, Khun Loong. I have decided on the designer already. I just need to review the final construction bids before the decision is officially finalized. By the way, how are things going in our Hua Hin expansion?”

“Fine, fine, nephew. We have secured the lands behind our properties, and are in the process of prepping the worksite.”

“I thought we allowed the previous owners to stay an additional six months to arrange transport of their households to other locations. What happened?” Ken was puzzled at the shortness of time. The purchase vouchers were delivered to the landowners less than three weeks ago.

A sharp note crept into his uncle’s voice. “If they want to leave early, why can’t I move up the date of demolition? It only helps us if we can have the site ready ahead of schedule.”

Ken couldn’t argue with that, but he felt that something was off. He decided to think about it later, and possibly talk it over with his best friend. His uncle was still talking, breaking him out of his reverie.

“By the way, your aunt and I haven’t share dinner with you in a long while. Why don’t you stop by on Friday at 5pm?”

He tried to avoid these as much as possible, and thankfully, he already had an appointment that day. “I can’t. I have a meeting at the Institute of Administration Development in Thanyaburi on Friday that will run to 7pm or so. Maybe we can set something up for next week.” After a few pleasantries, Ken disconnected and could concentrate on driving again.

He decided to call his best friend. “How is the moving going?”

At his garden house, Tik straightened up and wipe the sweat off his brow with a towel, the phone in his other hand pressed against his ear. “It is going well, my friend. It would go even faster if I had some help.” He slung the towel over his shoulder and walked to his kitchen. It was mostly put together, so he grab a glass from the cabinet and poured some water. “Thankfully, another day of opening boxes and I should be moved in. I’m not ready for company just yet, though.”

“Okay. My place then, and my treat.”

~~~~~

Ken settled back into his couch with a glass of red wine, watching his best friend arrange the chess pieces. “It’s been so long, Tik. Who is white?” It felt good to finally have his friend face to face. He wanted a sounding board for his thoughts, both private and professional.

Tik smiled as the final pawn was placed. “Since I won last time, you can start.” He made sure his drink was within reach before sitting down.

Ken leaned over and moved his first piece. “Is your team settling in well? I wondered if they would miss Chanthaburi.”

The officer took his turn. “Khun Trot is ecstatic with the new upgraded server and desktop. The rest are ready to begin our new assignment on Monday. They always enjoy a new challenge and I’m glad they agreed to come with me. How have things been with you?”

After a moment, Ken answered. “Profits are up, and the Board of Directors seems to be happy with my efforts since I was voted CEO. Though I am a bit worried. There’s a lot of push to expand faster than I think is prudent. Right now, I’m finalizing the bids for the refurbishment of our unit at Hua Hin.”

For a few minutes they sparred on the chessboard in companionable silence, then Ken cleared his throat. Tik waited, but as the silence stretched out, he looked up. He was surprised to see his friend was clearly uncomfortable.

“I’d like to relay a story to you, and see your opinion about what my next step should be.”

“Is is work or personal?” Tik’s voice was neutral, but inside his curiosity was piqued. What sort of situation would cause his normally-confident friend to hesitate?

“Business…mostly. Let me tell you what happened while i was in Barcelona.”

“You were going to check out a young designer, correct? How did your meeting go?”

Ken replied. “She’s good. I think she would be a excellent choice for my hotel.” He chuckled ruefully and moved a piece on the board. “Although I doubt she will work with me after Barcelona.”

“What happened there?” Tik smiled. He had never seen his friend at a loss for words like this. Whatever happened, it must have been something large.

“I met a Thai woman in a park,that turned out to be the sister of Khun Chamnongsri. She was injured while fighting a robber. After I took her to the hospital…”

“Wait.” Tik interrupted and laughed. “Did you end up being a hero again? I didn’t know you aspired to be me, saving damsels in distress and making the world safer. The designer must have been grateful.”

Ken pulled a small pillow from the couch and tossed it at his friend, carefully avoiding the chess board. “This Woman was already confronting the robber by the time I arrived. She was slashed on the arm with a knife, shallow wound, minimal bleeding. I helped her give statements at the hospital and at the police station.” He stopped for a moment, suddenly embarrassed. “We had a meal together, then we went our separate ways. At the time, I had no idea she was the sibling of the person I was scheduled to meet.”

A-ha! Tik thought. So that’s where this is going. Out loud, he spoke. “So did you behave inappropriately to this young lady? Is that what put your potential collaboration in trouble?”

Ken was annoyed, mostly with himself. He saw that tiny smile his friend flashed, and realized what it sounded like.

“I did not flirt with Khun Roni. We merely spent a few hours in each other’s company. Nothing happened until the end of the fashion show. Change of subject: Do you remember Nawapol Namkang, from college?”

Tik thought for a moment. “Pompous jerk, rich family, who did nothing but get into trouble? He’s now into some shady businesses, as I understand through my colleagues. Nothing we can catch him on.” His friend nodded.

“Yes. He showed up, drunk, and nearly ruined the runway show.”

“Wow, it’s a small world,” Tik mused. “Why would he be in Spain of all places, and at that venue?”

Ken castled his king, took a sip of his drink. “He’s Khun Sri’s boyfriend. Or was. I’m not entirely sure of their relationship. He caused some commotion and had to be escorted from the building.”

He suddenly stood up, startling Tik who was looking at the board. Pacing back and forth, he suddenly blurted out, “I thought at the time that he was a partner in her company, so I backed out of any negotiations. Dammit, I should not have let that man’s words color my instinct.” Ken stopped and sighed. “Anyway, it turned out to be his usual BS, and now neither sister will talk to me.” Tiredly, he sat back down.

Tik laughed. His best friend’s control during business negotiations was legendary. “Surely, you can explain things in such a way that Khun Sri will understand. I know the amount of recognition and business you can give her has to have some weight in her mind.” Almost absentmindedly, he moved a piece.

Despite the conversation, or maybe because of it, Ken was quick to use the other man’s mistake. “Check. It doesn’t matter. Her troublesome sister has more influence over her. Dammit, emotions shouldn’t make your business decisions.”

“Like you did, when you let your distaste of our old friend make a quick decision in Barcelona?” Tik moved his knight and removed another enemy piece, saving his king. “Do you want me to check at work and see what our friend has been up to? If that will help ease your mind in this situation. Khun Trot can have it completed in a short amount of time.” He spared a quick glance to his friend. “When will you make contact again and try to meet?”

“Soon, but I already know it won’t go well. I bet she will even take a swing at me if I go see her. She quick with her fists, that Khun Roni.” Ken grumbled as he made his move. Silence greeted this statement until he finally looked up at his old friend.

Tik was quietly laughing, his eyes twinkling mockery. “I never said which sister I was talking about. Shouldn’t your mind be on the potential business partner? Or at least on the chessboard. Checkmate.” He leaned back and ignored his friend’s murderous look.

LINK TO LAST CHAPTERS

LINK TO CHAPTER 1

About Shukmeister

I have a great fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough, 80's science fiction movies, and thunderstorms.

Posted on May 28, 2018, in enTWINed: A Thai Fanfiction (NaNoWriMo 2016), Lakorn Information, My Fan-Fictions and Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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