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The tale of Siam

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There exists a power beyond our reach a power bigger than us, a power that encompasses the entire universe. They have an eye on everything that goes on around the world and if one day, a mortal catches their eye, they don't hesitate to make them theirs. They make sure they get what they want, even if history repeats itself.

Once upon a time, Apollo, the god of archery, music, healing, prophecies, and the sun had descended to the mortal world in form of a human as Prince Phubodin Rachatrakul. Being the god of music and dance, he wanted to explore theatre in a different form. He had come to gather a troop of special artists for his project. 

The artists had come from various parts of Siam with many different talents. They tried calling in many artists but there was always something amiss among all the auditionees they had seen. He felt they were too serious or not too flexible for his form art or lacked musical talents. After days of search, one auditionee finally caught his eye after watching more than a hundred in a day. He did a piece of a famous depiction from history and stood victorious with his arms spread out to complete his act. The lithe body of the boy excluded strength and soft features of the theatre. 

"What's your name?", Prince Phubodin asked.

"Phanuwat Chotiwat, Khun", the tremble in his voice was noticed by Phubodin which made him a little satisfied. 

He nodded and dismissed him, he then turned to his vice-chancellor and asked to recruit the guy. 

Outside the chambers, the young boy paced around wringing his hands in anxiety. He was in confusion if the audition went well or did he mess up big time. He was worried because the prince didn't ask anyone else their names and he felt a weird sensation when the royalty spoke in his velvety smooth voice. 

"Did I do something wrong?", he turned to his friends finally who were watching his pace for a while now.

"No, it was according to the script."

"Something had to be wrong for the prince to ask my name.", he was worried sick about it.

"Calm down Kao, I'm sure he might be just curious about you.", his crewmate, June reassured him. 

"Come on, let's go eat some Som Tam and royal food till they decide our future.", Thada, his other crewmate suggested patting on his shoulder. 

The crew's lunch was organized by the royal family kitchen which was a feast for them with the different styles they cook food. They enjoyed the food outside their tents talking about the next province they will be performing in if they move on. 

"Let's go to Ayutthaya.", Thada suggested,

"Will they allow us to perform?", June asked.

"Why don't we just perform in Siam for now?"

"We will be competing with the prince's troop if we want to perform here."

"Right, we will have to move on. He'll only recruit the best of best.", June continued after Thada.

They continued talking about the current affairs of the country till the royal guard showed up with a scroll. Everyone gathered around him waiting for him to announce the names. Thada and June's names were announced in the first ten names and Kao had again started wringing his hands in worry. The list was almost over and the announcer took a dramatic pause before saying, 

"Kao Phanuwat Chotiwat.", Kao turned to his friends excitedly jumped in for a hug. 

"I don't think we are going to more for a while now.", Kao smiled broadly.

Little did he know that someone was watching the way his face lit up with the news. 

***

The next couple of weeks passed by in settling in and getting acquainted with the whole troop. The prince dropped by occasionally but nothing more than that. Kao was bored put of his mind being cooped up in the chambers. He decided to walk the Grand palace gardens which had the most beautiful flowers. He leaned in to examine the details of it when a voice startled him,

"It smells good right?", Kao whipped around being caught. He was scared to be caught as a trespasser when Prince Phubodin stood proudly in front of him.

"I'm sorry, I-I was here-e..."

"What are you sorry about?", Phubodin had amusement in his voice.

"I'm not trespassing, Khun Prince."

"I know, you are from my troop.", Phubodin smirked.

Kao wanted to ask him how he knew but he then realized that the prince might have personally recruited them. He had a shiver run down his spine at the thought of the royal choosing him.

"Follow me, I'll show you something better.", Phubodin walked past him leaving Kao shocked to catch up with him.

He led them to a different side of the Grand Palace which had many beautiful flowers. If heaven was a place on earth it would be this, Kao thought to himself looking around in awe.

"I love to keep my garden to myself.", Phubodin said softly. Kao's vocal ability was blocked to react so he nodded.

"Can't you speak?", the prince frowned.

"Sorry Khun prince, I'm in awe of the beauty of your garden.", Kao quickly complimented. 

"That sounds better."

They walked around the garden with Prince Phubodin telling him the significance of the flowers and admiring them. When their hands brushed they both felt a spark run through their bodies and they glanced at each other before quickly looking away.

"Why am I feeling so hot?", Kao fanned himself while the prince kept stealing shy glances at him. It was the first time when someone made the cold-hearted prince's heart flutter. He asked Kao about his experience from before. Kao was shy at first but once he started talking it was hard for him to stop. They talked till the night fell and their stomach started growling. 

"Have dinner with me in the palace?", the prince offered but Kao was quick to decline.

"My crewmates may be worried about my whereabouts."

True to his words, Thada and June were waiting for him outside the camps for Kao. They were ready to chide him but when they saw the prince, they quickly kept to themselves. The prince bade them farewell and Kao was bombarded with questions which he answered briefly to their dismay.

"You look happy, brother.", the remark made Phubodin's smile falter for a moment before recognizing his twin sister in her mortal form. 

"I think I found him.", he grinned giddily.

"Keep him safe this time, the old ladies(the fates) are have woven their game."

"I will Sandee.", he took her mortal name and she turned around to walk away leaving Phubodin with his thoughts. 

***

Prince Phubodin started taking interest in his troop after his interaction with Kao. They start planning a  musical theatre for the account of the Loh Krathong festival. His closeness with one person is often overlooked by everyone but it had also flown to one of his rivals.

"You think you can have him this time?",  Zephyr(the king of west winds) smirked to himself. He too descended to the mortal world in form of prince Phubodin's distant cousin, Non.

Kao was out to get some essentials for the market and while returning he lost his way back to the palace. How can I forget such a simple route, he cussed himself walking around the outskirts of the market. The dense vegetation was making it even hard for him to navigate back. Just when he thought of taking the plunge into the forest, a royal entourage passed by him. He decided to follow them discreetly. 

Non had a strong instinct to be a godly descendent but he didn't want to lose the stalker so he waited till they were out of the market and into the woods. As they neared the palace, he ordered his guards to go ahead without him. He fell a step behind them and found the intruder following. 

"Why are you following us?", he asked in a sharp tone.

The man was startled from being question out of the blue and being caught.

"Khun...", the man started saying something but Non was too focused on his beauty. He had pale skin which glistened with sweat under the afternoon sun. The same twinkling eyes that he dreamed of, I want him he said to himself. 

"Khun?", He called him again waving his hand in front of him.

"Yeah?", Non quickly collected himself.

"I was going towards grand palace too that's why you might have thought I'm following you."

"What work do you have in the palace?"

"I work for... some personal business."

"You can tell me, I might know it.", Non probed.

"Sorry Khun, I'm getting late, I have to go.", Kao quickly took his escape and walked into the palace.

I'll find you and make you mine, Non smirked to himself. 

Kao found the stranger creepy but he kept it himself knowing his friends might get worried over nothing. They have always been protective of him since they left their province from the south. 

"Where were you?", Phubodin came out of nowhere and fell in step with him.

"Khun.. .I-I...", he still felt startled with the prince's presence at times, "I got lost on the way but I found the route back thanks to the royal entourage."

"Which royal entourage was going to arrive today?", the prince wondered to himself aloud, "You are not allowed to go out alone anymore.", he continued sternly, "Take me with you or someone from the crew."

"Khun, I cannot trouble you with such trivial matters."

"After what we have do you think this would be trouble for me?"

Kao's eyes widened and he quickly looked away to hide his hot cheeks and ears.

***

Prince Phubodin's attraction towards his troop had increased considerably as the festival got closer. He spent most of the time working with theatre members working on their musicals. 

This unusual attraction was observed by the king and the council members but it was brushed away as childish infatuation. It was still frowned upon by the queen and the distant family which was residing with them but the prince hardly paid heed to them.

Whereas Non, who had settled in the royal palace as a family was extremely jealous of Phubodin. He wanted Kao for himself but the prince never let him out of his sight. His distastefulness was also seen by Phubodin but this time he was determined to chase the Fates on his side. 

Little did he know that the three old women who spun the thread of human destiny had already woven their cloth. 

Non kept trying various methods to woo Kao into his love but it was almost impossible because Kao's heart was already smitten by the prince. Phubodin's little gestures of dropping him home, taking him to show gardens, or simply riding a horse had him hooked. He was ready to profess his love for the prince but had to hold back due to their social statuses and duties. 

Prince Phubodin was sure that he was winning this game of love. He loved Kao dearly and didn't want to lose him in this lifetime. He decided to propose Kao after their musicals had been enacted.

The day of play arrived sooner than anyone had expected. They had worked hard for this day and it had finally arrived with a good blessing from the elders.

Right before the play started Phubodin pulled Kao aside from the other members and said, "I'll be rooting for you."

"Me too.", Kao's voice was nearly above a whisper as they stared at each other adoringly. Phubodin pulled him close and placed a chaste kiss on his lips before leaving him dumbstruck.

The play started with Kao and Thada entering. Kao was the second lead with the antagonist traits but he just turns out to be protecting the lead. It was towards the end when Pete enter the stage, his role to suppose to kill the lead with an arrow and set him free. 

Phubodin picks his bow and plucks out an arrow which he feels is a little different but chooses to use it anyways. He aims it right between Thada and Kao knowing his aim will never be wrong. The direction of the arrow moves slightly and he realizes someone had definitely meddled.

"Kao!", Pete throws his bow away and runs to his lover. He kneels down holding him close and pulls out the arrow patting his cheek but Kao only stares at him with droopy eyes.

"I will save you!", Phubodin picks him up in his arms and take him away from the prying eyes of the audience who still think it was a part of the play but one person smirks and vanishes into thin air. 

Phubodin ends carrying him to his garden where they first met.

"Wait for me Kao.", he doesn't realize how hard he is crying till he throbs his hand on one of the thorns while picking out herbs with blurry eyes. He makes an ointment using the herbs but it's to avail. He is about to look for another healing substance when Kao holds his hand.

"Stay with me.", he coughs out blood but continues talking, "Don't go."

Phubodin breaks down into tears holding his lover in his arms, "I can't lose you again, please."

"Next life...", Kao says slowly.

"I never got to tell you this but I loved you, Kao. I loved you endlessly through time."

"Khun... Rak...", Kao again spits some blood and Phubodin held him to his chest. He swore to take revenge on his name when Kao said,

"rest now..", Kao murmured. 

Apollo, being the god of healing and diseases couldn't save his lover yet again. He cried till his brother appeared in front of him to take Kao to a better place.

"I forbid thee.", he growled.

"He needs a better place, brother.", Hades said calmly knowing the wrath of Apollo. 

Phubodin had to let of him but before leaving, he blessed the soul to be a flower. 

Every year around the time of the Loh Krathong festival, Phubodin was found in his garden waiting for the flower to bloom. He nurtured it like his own child and remembered him till his last breath.