Prologue: The Decision
The man with dark brown eyes and midnight hair had easily caught the attention of the entire café the instant he had walked in with his pinstripe blue suit and dress pants. Not only was he ruggedly handsome, but there was something about him that screamed danger and that drew people to him like moths to a flame.
However, Kim disregarded the stares and headed straight for the private booth at the back. His men were stationed right outside the café, looking out for any danger that might come his way, but most of all, they were there to ensure that he got the privacy he needed. This was an extremely important affair for him and he wanted it to be solved as quietly as possible.
And that’s why he’d chosen this café in particular. Because it was one of the many legal businesses he owned in Bangkok.
“Sir, your guest has arrived.”
Kim nodded and headed for the private booth at once to find his guest waiting. “Kanya.”
“Kim.” Kanya stood up from her seat at once, readily accepting her friend’s embrace. “It’s been ages.”
“Five years already?” Even he couldn’t believe that they had lost contact for so long. “I remember I couldn’t go on even a day without talking to you.”
“We’ve all grown up, I guess.” Kanya sighed, but she was nervous.
If only she was the same woman that she had been in the past, then she wouldn’t have been feeling so guilty to meet Kimhan’s eyes right then, but desperate times had called for desperate measures. The reason she was here today, sitting in front of her beloved best friend who she had spent her university years with…was because she was here for business…and in desperate need for his help.
The only good thing about this meeting however, was the fact that he had been the one to contact her first…as a potential client.
“So…” She wanted to start the conversation, but she didn’t really have words for him. How was she going to explain to him about how her name came to be on that list? She knew why he had gone searching on that website…but for her to be there…she had a lot to explain, didn’t she?
“I’m not going to ask you why, Kaya.” Kim sighed, calling her by the nickname that only he used with her. “But if you were having problems, you knew you could’ve always come to me.”
“We hadn't been in contact for five years already,” Kaya said in a small voice, looking down at her lap. “And I didn’t want to burden you.”
“You’re my friend, Kaya; you’ll never be a burden. But…” Kim hesitated a bit before rubbing at his temples. “You know it’s illegal, right? How did you even get your name registered?”
“A…friend helped me find the right people…” She still didn’t meet his eyes and Kim was starting to understand that Kaya’s ‘friend’ was not the kind that he had expected her to associate with. It was a good thing that the website in question was managed by him and his most trusted people…otherwise, there were plenty of examples of how badly things had ended for young women who signed their names on dotted lines without reading the fine prints.
But Kim decided not to torture her further. “Then I want to be direct with you as well. I need your help.”
Kaya looked up at him in surprise. “Me? I don’t know how I can help you, but just tell me what you want; I’ll do anything in my power.”
“Well…for that, I need you to listen to me first.” Kim told her, leaning forward so no one could overhear their conversation, even though he had already ordered for complete privacy. “After school, the reason I lost contact with you was because my father was shot by an enemy organization…and I had to take over after his death.”
“But why you?” Kaya asked immediately. “What about P’Kla?”
“Hia didn’t want this kind of life,” Kim shrugged, talking about his older brother who was now working as a legal businessman. “He didn’t want any part of our father’s illegal business…and there wasn’t anyone else to hold the reins after our father. So I had to do it. But it also meant I had to distance myself from the people I knew and cared about. The world I’m in…it’s filled with dangers at every turn.”
Kim wasn’t scared of telling Kaya who he really was, because she knew. Kaya was the one person who had always known him for who he really was and had never seen him any differently. When everyone at school had cowered away from him, keeping their distance because they didn’t want to mess with the ‘Mafia boy’, Kaya had been the only one who had extended her hand in friendship and made Kim feel wanted. In return, he had become the protector of the petite woman who had been easily bullied and harassed by others.
Their mutually dependant relationship had slowly turned into a beautiful friendship that had required no one else. Kim had trusted Kaya completely and so had Kaya. But the truth was…that was five years ago. Although they didn’t change much in appearance in the last five years, they could tell that there was so much that they had missed out on.
“My…mom died last year.” Kaya admitted, swallowing past the lump in her throat. “You know our dad left us when we were still very young, but things got even more difficult when mom left us too. Nong Kit is still in University and I can’t let him quit his studies just like that, even though he insists on doing so every day. We both work part time jobs but it’s getting difficult with paying off our tuition fees and the debts on the house that our father left us. So…I didn’t have any other choice.”
“Has anyone else contacted you before?”
“No.” Kaya shook her head immediately. “Just you. I guess the background of the surrogate matters as well, so-”
“So you’re perfect for me.” Kim finished for her, offering her a small smile, because he didn’t want her to get hurt…and didn’t want her to know yet that he was the reason why no one had yet been in contact with her. “You’re my best friend; I couldn’t think of a more suitable person.”
Kaya’s lips trembled at the kind words that she hadn't heard in over five years. She truly did miss him.
“But... I want it to be our child, Kaya. Not just you as a surrogate, but you as the child’s mother.”
Her heart thrashed against her ribcage. “Kim…you know I can’t-”
“I know.” Kim shook his head. “You know I can’t either. I don’t want to cross any lines with you, Kaya. That’s why I’m asking you if you’re going to be okay with it? The entire procedure will be done by expert doctors and we will discuss in details about what to do from here on once you’ve made up your mind.”
She sighed in relief, sitting back against her chair as she thought it through.
Actually, even during their university days, people had often mistaken them to be a couple. Maybe in another life, they probably would have been. But both of them knew the truth about the other and they understood each other, more than anyone else ever would. That’s what made their friendship so special.
Because Kaya knew that Kim liked men and Kim knew that Kaya was asexual, unable to be sexually attracted to anyone she liked…forever weary of physical contact.
“Think about it.” Kim told her now. “I’ll take care of you and your brother from now on. Once you agree, you become part of my family…and I will protect what’s mine.”
Wasn’t it a tempting offer? ...Kanya thought to herself. Never to have to worry about debts or what to eat for the next meal? Never to have to worry about taking care of her little brother? But like Kim had said himself…his life was filled with unknown dangers as well. How much was she going to be risking in order to get that life that she always hoped for?
She had thought that by registering herself as a surrogate, she could make some money to pay off the huge debts that her malicious father had left behind after he took off with everything. Her back was up against the wall and she was trying her best to take care of the situation, but she was tired. The debtors were relentless, the jobs kept getting harder while she was underpaid, and she was trying her best to let her brother have as normal of a life as he could.
“Are you sure you want it to be me?” Kaya asked hesitantly, because she knew there would be no better option for her than Kim. But what she wasn’t sure about was Kim wanting the child to her ‘theirs’. “You know my family history…”
“And you know mine.” Kim reminded her. “So it’s more a question of you accepting me, because I’ve already made my decision…and I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t sure.”
Chapter 1: Friendly Little DinerKit:Kit placed the neatly cut slices of pork into the plastic bags and placed the poached eggs onto another plastic bag , before finishing it off with a garnish of fresh spring onions.It wasn’t often that he got to bring back something delicious to share with his sister, especially because he had to save up all the money from his part time job to help his sister pay off the debtors.So when the restaurant owner had told him to take home some of their freshly made porridge with any of his favourite toppings…he hadn't stopped to think before rushing to the topping’s station with packs in hand as he piled up on the veggies. He knew that taking too much of the meats would make the other employee’s frown, so he kept it to a few slices only but usually the customers didn’t like adding too much greens to their dishes, so he made sure to take some extra with him.“Got everything you need?” The restaurant owner, an old man of about fifty years of age, came to
Chapter 2: The First MeetingKim:The burly man on the ground, who was straddling the young boy, desperately trying to get his pants down, looked up at Kim enraged.“Aun! Didn’t I tell you to lock the door?” The man screamed in a gritty voice.Kim looked up to see another man, about the same age as him, running out of the kitchen, his eyes red-rimmed as he tried to shoo him out of the shop.“Khun…we are closed.” The man named Aun said urgently, his lips trembling as if in fear. “Please…”“Closed?” Kim tilted his head to the side. “Closed for what? So you can take advantage of the kid?”“What advantage?” The older man screamed once again, this time, his voice rose an octave, making Kim grit his teeth in irritation. “Can’t you see we’re closed? Get out! Get the fuck out!”“Thuanthong Rattakul,” Kimhan called out, looking the older man directly in the eye. “I came to collect the five million baht that you still own us…but I see you’re busy digging your own grave instead. If you can pay t
Chapter 3: An Unforgettable NightKit:Kit brought his hands to his throat, trying to stop the voice that tried to escape his lips. He bit down on his lips to stop it, but a low groan still escaped his mouth before he could stop himself.It made him feel incredibly embarrassed but he no longer had any control over his own body. What the hell was happening to me?He was hot…so hot…He was drenched in sweat with his clothes plastered to his body. His hair was sticking to his forehead and his nape and he wanted to take everything off just so it could help cool him down.But worst of all…he was hard and so, so turned on that it hurt.Another moan escaped his lips without his conscious control and he clamped his hand on top of his mouth to stop it.Tears brimmed from the corners of his eyes as he fought hard to regain control of his body. Why was this happening to him? What did he ever do to deserve this? P’Aun…Khun Thong…he had trusted them…he had simply wanted to find a job to help his s
Chapter 4: Regrettable ChoicesKit:Kit woke up with a start as the sound of a gunshot broke through his nightmares.The bright early morning sunlight coming in through the curtains illuminated the entire room, making it easier for him to see everything that he had missed last night.Swallowing nervously, he looked back at the face of the man who was spooning him from behind, his body a welcoming warmth as it wrapped around his own under the blankets.Kit’s heart thrashed against his ribcage at the sight of him. With his tousled midnight locks falling over his forehead, he looked much younger than he had last night…probably around the same age as his elder sister. His skin was golden honey that coaxed him to run his fingers down his chest, but Kit clenched his jaw against the temptation.However…he suddenly got this feeling like he knew the Phi from somewhere…as if he had met him before.But how could that be possible? With a face like this…there was no way Kit could forget him easily
Chapter 5: The Boy who got awayKim:“It’s done.” Aawut handed his boss the tab that held the cleared out footage of the only surveillance camera that was placed outside the restaurant that the traitor Thong had built.“I guess traitors are more afraid of being cheated on than the rest.” Kim mused, going through the footage of him taking the boy into his car, followed by his men taking out Thong and the man who was his chef and escorting them to another location. “Did you get the money?”“Two million.” Aawut confirmed; his black suit and white shirt still without a single wrinkle despite him having working all night long. “The rest he had used to purchase the restaurant, so we confiscated the keys. The papers for the transfer of asset are being prepared. It should be signed and handed to you this afternoon.”“Good.” Kim nodded. “And the chef? Have you gotten anything out of him yet?”“Yes, sir.” Aawut nodded, taking the tab from his boss to pull up an information page before handing i
Chapter 6: Unexplained ConnectionsKit:He had left marks… Kit thought to himself as he traced the patch of red on his shoulder before lowering his hand to another spot on his chest.Thanks to him being fair skinned, the marks stood out more prominently, almost like bruises all over his body. They didn’t hurt or sting…but somehow, when he was tracing his fingers over the hickeys, he could feel the lingering sensation of P’Kimhan’s fingers on his body, the way he had branded every inch of his skin with his lips, lapping at him with his tongue...Moreover, he was still sore from the encounter. Before last night, he had had no idea what sex between two men was supposed to be like, if it was even going to feel good or not…but now he didn’t have a single doubt in his mind. He had never lost control of himself the way he had last night and he vividly remembered that they had continued to make love well after the effects of the drug had worn off, until the sun was about to rise in the horizo
Chapter 7: The Chao Pho MansionKanya:The huge iron gates to the mansion were pulled open by two professional guards and Kaya found her hands tightening on her dress as the Sedan entered the gated compound and the gates closed behind them.“Was your friend always this rich?” Kit muttered from beside her, seeming more annoyed as he narrowed his eyes outside the window.There were several lights that lined either side of the path leading to the main house, which was more like a humongous, luxurious mansion. Since night had already fallen, they couldn’t exactly see the surroundings all that well, but Kanya could already tell that it was going to be a magnificent view.In reality, she had never been to Kim’s house before. Since his family dealt with several illegal affairs, Kim had never brought her over when his father was still alive, but now that he was the head of the family, she felt a lot a ease coming to The Chao Pho Mansion of Bangkok.The car came to a stop a little further away
Chapter 8: A Shocking DiscoveryKit:Kit didn’t know how long he slept for but as he slowly came to consciousness…it felt like someone was watching him. As he opened his eyes, feeling panic rise in the pit of his stomach, the first thing he noticed was dark brown orbs staring right back into his…a very familiar pair of dark brown eyes.Was I…dreaming?The panic begun to subside almost immediately when Kit started to connect those eyes to his memories of last night…and then the panic returned full force.“P’Kimhan?” Kit rose from the bed, surprised to see the covers drawn up to his waist. How long had he been sleeping?“Yes,” Kim looked at the boy’s tired wide eyes with a soft smile. “I thought you were going to sleep through the night.”“Phi…what? How?” Kit looked around the room in confusion, noticing that he was still inside the room that he had entered earlier. He was at the house of his sister’s friend…P’Kim…And that was when it clicked.Kimhan…Kim…It didn’t take a genius to fig