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Eggs

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Kongpob sighed, wiping sweat from his forehead.

The room, large and bright, was furnished, tidy and clean: there was no longer any trace of the large boxes scattered around the room.  
He sank into bed dead tired, but satisfied with the work done.

He thought back to his neighbour, P' Earth, who kindly had brought him a Welcome Home cake.

"If I were you, I wouldn't eat that: she can't cook" her boyfriend, Arthit Rojnapat, had told him when they were left alone.

I wonder if it's true, he thought.

He sat up in the bed and stretched a little bit before he got up and walked into the kitchen.

He took a slice of cake from the tray he had left on the table. He took a bite and, soon after, he noticed that Arthit was absolutely right: the girl couldn't cook, she had put salt in the dough instead of sugar. Kongpob immediately spat the first bite back out, looking for something to drink that would take that disgusting taste out of his mouth.

Lesson learnt: never eat home-cooked food from a person who can't cook.

-

A few days passed by after the unpleasant incident when Kongpob had the occasion to deepen his relationship with his two new neighbors, P'Earth and P'Arthit. Unfortunately the occasion consisted in the girl trying to give him other home-made food.

"How was the cake?" P'Earth had asked, smiling kindly at him.
"Yeah, yummy!" He'd lied.
Arthit had looked at him with raised, skeptical eyebrows and Kongpob had had the grace to flush sheepishly.
"You know, I can bake cookies too..."
"Oh, there's no need to worry!" the youngest had stopped her, mentally praying she hadn't been planning to bake them for him.
The fair skin's man, understanding the situation, chuckled and smiled tenderly.
At least someone was having fun.

-

Kongpob often found himself thinking about his neighbor, but then he remembered that the latter was straight and engaged.
And yet, he just couldn't get it out of his mind: his dimpled smile, his big round eyes, his voice, his fair skin...
He roused himself from his moody thoughts and began to put the dirty clothes in the basket.
It would be the first time he'd used the laundry facilities since he'd moved in and was afraid the washing machine would flood.
He had never washed his clothes, his mother had always thought about it. He should have asked her how to use them before he left.

I could ask Arthit, he thought.

He dismissed the idea with a bitter smile twisting her lips.
He didn't even know if Arthit liked his company: sometimes the man would glance up and meet his eyes, and his whole cute face would smile openly, other times he'd look away and avoid him. 

Kongpob was so caught up in his thought that he didn't realize he had arrived. Standing in front of the laundry door he heard voices –or rather yells- coming from inside.

"I should have expected this!... Don't let me see you ever again... Asshole!"

The woman stomped furiously out of the laundry room, a sour look on her usually calm face, and left without even saying goodbye.
Arthit seemed really upset too, but the moment Kongpob stepped inside the room he blushed slightly. The fair-skinned man stood there, seeming uncomfortable and embarrassed. Finally he scratched his neck as he cleared his throat.

"Sorry. She... just had a bad day"

Kongpob nodded smiling and headed for one of the washing machines.
Arthit was still visibly upset. He just stood there, motionless, waiting for the washing machine to finish the load already in it.

Did they broke up?

Kongpob felt guilty for hoping it. They had always been nice to him.
Shaking off the thought he took it upon himself to change the subject.

"P'Arthit, out of curiosity, how can you eat P'Earth's cakes?"

Arthit suddenly laughed, leaning against the wall.

"I don't. I'm the one who cook"

Kongpob was surprised.

"Ah..."

Silence.

"Would... would you teach me how to use this contraption?" the youngest asked, pointing to the washing machine.

Arthit laughed, again.

Kongpob liked his laugh and he decided that embarrassing himself in front of the man just to hear his laugh was a fair price to pay.

"Is this your first time doing your laundry?"

"Yes, I've just started living alone" he said, scratching his head embarrassedly.

"Come here, I'll teach you"

The older boy calmly and patiently explained him all the steps.

"You know, the first time I came here..." Arthit scratched his cheek and looked away, embarrassed for a brief moment "There wasn't anyone and I had no idea how to use a washing machine. Long story short, the washing machine broke and flooded everywhere"

"Really?" asked Kongpob with a laugh.
The fair skin man nodded, joining in on the laughter.
They stopped laughing and looked each other in the eye.
Arthit looked away first, biting his lower lip.

"I should go. If you need help, call me"

With that, the older man turned and left the room, leaving Kongpob alone, and now there was only one thought running through his head: Why is he acting like this?

-

Kongpob had decided he would talk to him.

He had thought about that for a long time and its logic was compelling. If he wanted to understand what was going through Arthit's head he needed to talk with him. 

It was easy to say, but not so easy to do.
What was he supposed to do? Should he show up at his neighbor's door and tell him he has to talk to him? So far, nothing bad. But then? How would he have asked him why he was acting like that towards him?

All those invasive thoughts and worries kept coming to his mind as he opened his apartment door and headed towards Arthit's. As he neared his neighbour's apartment, he could hear his senior arguing. When he saw that the door was still ajar, he decided to eavesdrop to better understand their situation.
"I can't go on like this" she sobbed.
"P'Earth..." he called her softly, drawing her gaze once again. He reached one free hand out to her, beckoning her closer.
"I don't know what to do anymore... What happened to us?" she asked him, her voice broke. She was definitely crying.
"I'm sorry. I don't know what to say"
"You don't have to say anything. Just... Keep being by my side, okay?"

The door abruptly opened and Kongpob, taken by surprise, stepped aside, letting the girl leave. She'd looked surprised to find him there, but then she smiled, nodded politely and left.

"Come in."

It gave him a jolt, hearing Arthit's voice. Kongpob was embarrassed as he entered the apartment and greeted the householder with a shy smile.

That was definitely not the best way to start the conversation he had in mind.

Sighing, Arthit sat down on the sofa and rubbed his temples.

"How can I help you?" he asked, trying to sound unaffected by what had just happened.

"Me? Uh... I came here because .. I need eggs!"

Kongpob wasn't good at lying, especially if he had to invent an excuse on the spot.
Arthit saw through him and laughed.

"Eggs? Did you want eggs?" he asked, giving him an amused smile and a skeptically raised eyebrow.

He nodded, his face flushed red. "I wanted to cook the minced pork omelet...?"

Arthit stood up and approached the boy slowly.
Kongpob retreated, his back to the wall with his back.
Arthit put his hands on the wall behind hi.. The action brought him very close, effectively trapping the younger with his body.

"You know what I want instead?" he whispered , almost against his lips.
He shook his head negatively.
"I want you... to go on a date... with me"

Although he wanted it too, hearing the latter say it snapped something inside. "What? NO!"

"No?" Arthit asked, pulling back a little offended "There's no need to reject me so vehemently, you know?"

"No, I mean yes. I mean no, I mean-" He started babbling like an idiot.

"Ok, stop it Breath in. Breath out. Now tell me"

Kongpob did as he was told; he breathed deeply and calmed himself down. When he composed himself, he asked what he had wanted to know for weeks.

"What about P'Earth?"

"What about her?"

"She was crying"

"Yes, lately she's a bit nervous"

"That's not a good reason to leave her"

"I'm not...? She's the best partner I've ever had"

"Then why did you ask me out for a date? Does she know?"

"Kongpob..."

"I won't help you cheat on her!"

"Kong-"

"She's a really nice woman. Ok, she can't cook but that's not-"

"Oh, for God's sake, Kongpob shut up!"

Arthit kissed him. At first he tried to resist but then he got carried away with the moment.

They parted and took a moment to catch his breath, staring intently at each other. Then the senior kissed him again and this time he reciprocated immediately with equal passion.

Arthit's lips tasted of pink milk, as he expected. He saw him every day leaving home and coming back with a cup of the pink beverage in his hands.
He had always imagined the sweet taste of his lips but they tasted even better than he'd thought.

"God, I've wanted to kiss you from the moment I saw you" he revealed, leaning in, but before he could kiss him again Kongpob stopped him

"Is... is this why you were arguing with P'Earth?" Kongpob couldn't help but ask.

Arthit looked at him confused "Arguing?"

"Yeah, that day in the washing room"

"We weren't arguing... at least not with each other" Kongpob raised an eyebrow skeptically at him.

"Look," he continued "we had just finished a work call. Our colleague was trying to take credit for our work"

"And she was crying just now "

"She had problems with her boyfriend ... Ex-boyfriend ... Her soon-to-be-her-boyfriend-again? I'm not sure, they have a push and pull relationship that has been going on for years"

"But ... I thought you were her boyfriend...?"

Arthit studied him for a moment, then burst out laughing.

"Me and P'Earth? Together? As 'romantically together'?" When he nodded, the older laughed even harder. "Impossible. She would probably eat me alive in no time"

"But you said she's the best partner you ever had"

"Of work. The best partner I've ever had... at work"

"And she's always here"

Arthit sighed "We've been entrusted with a really important project. So, we often take our work home with us"

"In your house? It's not..."

"Kongpob, I'm gay. And her soon-to-be-her-boyfriend-again lives upstairs. This is the best place to meet "

Kongpob looked down, embarrassed. "Ah... yes, you're right"

Now he felt extremely stupid.

"So, about the date, are you interested? The board had just approved the budget and I'd like to celebrate... with you... if you want"

Kongpob nodded smiling and kissed him. Arthit pressed him against the wall once more and deepened the kiss.

"Wait, wait, wait" Kongpob broke the kiss again.

The other man grumbled, but let him go anyway. "What now?"

"When I moved in, why did you come to introduce yourself together if she didn't live here?"

The boy's ears suddenly turned red and he began to look everywhere except at him.

"She's always here, it's only natural that she'd cook a cake for you" he tried to sound convincing, but it was evident that it was an excuse.

"P'Arthit..."

The boy sighed and hugged him burying his face in his neck defeatedly.

"It was my fault"

"What do you mean?"

"She was trying to get me to talk to you because I... I told her that I like you"

Kongpob tried to pull away to look him in the eye but Arthit tightened his grip more. Then he continued his confession.

"Actually, I admitted to her that I've liked you since forever, since ... " he took a shaky breath "Since you became the moon of Economy faculty"

That happened four years ago.

Kongpob's eyes widened in surprised and he finally managed to move his senior slightly away from himself.

"P'Arthit look at me". He demanded softly but the raven-haired man kept looking everywhere except him.

"P'Arthit, please" he pleaded.

Finally, the man slowly fixed his eyes on him. His cheeks were fiery red and his mouth was pursed up into a lovely pout.

"Did you vote for me too?" He couldn't help but tease him a bit. He looked so cute when he was embarrassed.

Arthit's face became even redder and he punch on the shoulder.

"Ouch P'!" He rubbed his shoulder with exaggerated motions. "Is this how you treat the guy you just confessed to?"

"Oh, shut up" he grunted, rolling his eyes.

After a long moment of silence, Arthit uttered under his breath "Yes, yes I did. I... Voted for you"

Kongpob couldn't help but grin. "I like you too, P'Arthit!" He beamed happily, before kissing him again.

The kiss was gentle at first and then it became more and more passionate with each passing second. They began to trace each other's body with their hands, neither of them saying anything.

In the room could be heard nothing but the sound of kisses and groans, at least until a ringtone rang out. The two men looked at each other, dazed and unable to speak. Kongpob was the first one to break the spell by answering his phone.

"Hello?... Dad! How are you?... I'm fine... Yes. Tonight? Dinner?... Yes of course!... Okay, see you later."

"Your dad?" asked Arthit... Kongpob nodded.

"He'll come tonight to eat at my place.."

Silently, the two began to fix themselves.

"I was wondering..." the younger began , approaching the other men " Would you mind helping me in the kitchen? I can't really cook..."

Arthit smiled. One of his big dimpled smile.

"With pleasure."

Kongpob smiled back at him. "You know, now that I think about it you might know him; you two work in the same sector. That would be fun, right?"

"Yeah, fun" he replied sarcastically.