“How’s internship going?”, Khao asked, as he pulled out a chair and settled down his bags. The two friends finally found some time to sit down for a nice cup of coffee before another wave of assignments approached.
“Internship is fine. Nothing more than a few paperworks and helping out with printing and other small tasks. What’s really killing me is the thesis”, Mix answered and let out a long sigh. Even now, he had his laptop opened to read some papers while sipping on his Americano.
“Tough work, eh? At least your handsome boss is good to look at”. Khao leaned towards the table, his hands prompting up his face and lips curled into an annoying smirk.
Mix gave him a deadly glare. He’s not sure if the handsome face is nice to see but he found himself being awfully close to that face very often recently.
Once, he didn’t notice Earth leaning over his shoulder while he was working on the papers and their noses came close to touching when Mix turned his head around.
Another time was when Mix forgot his jacket, suffering the extreme coldness of the AC in the CEO office. Earth came over to his seat to personally put his coat over Mix.
He wondered if Earth does that for all of his interns but then he remembered Namtarn saying the ones she sent didn’t last long. Why wouldn’t they want to stay by this extremely kind boss’s side?
“Umm, earth to Mix! Are you listening?”, Khao snapped his fingers in front of his face and Mix was cut off from this train of thoughts. “Dont tell me you were thinking about your boss”.
“Sorry. What? No! I mean no, what- what were you saying just now?”
“Yeah I know he’s handsome but pay me some attention too, alright? So as I was saying, Pond and Phu are planning for a beach trip after the exams. We can invite Ciize and Jan from your business class too. So you in?”, Khao asked.
Mix definitely loved beach trips and a trip after the finals is necessary. Yes, a necessity. They were barely half way through their exam period and both boys were already dressed in their best dark circles, frowns and sighs.
“Oh and you can also bring Luke if you want.”
“How about me?”, a voice asked and the two friends turned to the owner of the voice. “Can I also be invited?”
“Earth!”, Mix exclaimed and Khao was staring, or perhaps even drooling, wide eyes at the tall CEO in his casual sweatshirt and tight jeans.
“Yes, sir- umm of course you are also invited”, Khao replied rapidly once he regained his conscious. Earth smirked and turned to Mix.
“Umm, Earth what are you doing here?”, Mix asked.
“To pick you up”
Khao’s narrow eyes widen even further. “Your boss picks you up?”, he whispered to Mix as if Earth wasn’t standing just a few feet away.
“What for?”, Mix asked his boss, ignoring his best friend.
“Work. I need do some urgent paper work and I need you to double check that for me.”
“Sure. No. Wait, how do you even know I’m here?”
“Umm you told me?”
Khao nudged his best friend on the sides as whispered, not so softly. “You have to report your daily activities to your boss?”
“I’m pretty sure I didn’t”, Mix said, still ignoring Khao.
Earth raised both hands. His grin dissolved and his face turned serious. “Alright. I happened to just see you when I was coming out to grab a coffee. And I also happen to be needing a hand with work. So will you help me?”, he said and when Mix didn’t say anything, he continued. “I’ll tell you what. You help me today and I’ll arrange your beach trip for that day. All expenses on me. How about that?”
“Mix! Say yes, you idiot.” Khao slapped his best friend’s shoulder.
Mix sat dumbfounded for awhile before nodding and standing up to follow his boss who appeared out of nowhere and interrupted his coffee date. He threw his bags and laptops on the back seat and sat down in the passenger seat, as he always does.
The drive started in silence until Earth spoke. “So you like beaches?”
Mix didn’t have to give a verbal response. It was evident in his sparkly eyes and his head nodding repeatedly while those plump lips sipped on the Americano. Another thing he loved.
Earth smiled when he took a glance at the young boy then turned his gaze back on the road.
Days passed and so have the exams. Khao and Mix happily marched towards the door as soon as he heard a familiar car honking. He threw his luggages into the trunk and got onto the blue truck.
“Morning, boys. Ready to hit the beach?”, Luke asked, looking over his sunglasses. He was dressed in a pink Hawaii shirt and cargo shorts and it made Mix want to laugh but he suppressed it with a small smile.
“Ready as I’ll ever be”, Mix replied climbing into the back seat with his friend.
Luke threw two more Hawaii shirts to the friends at the back. “What’s with the long sleeves when we’re going to a beach. Here. Wear these.”
“Umm no thanks. I hate the sunlight touching my skin. Also, I don’t like flowery shirts”, Mix protested.
Khao was already putting on the shirt over his white tee and pleaded his best friend to wear them too just so they can get a nice beach selfie later. Mix eventually agreed and took out the blue Hawaii shirt from the bag.
When they reached the beach, Earth still hasn’t arrived but the hotel was already arranged. There were 7 people in Mix’s friend group including Luke and the receptionist informed that 4 rooms were booked. Assuming the boss had reserved a separate room for himself, the friends argued who would get a whole room to themselves.
“Is everything alright?”, a familiar voice asked and Mix turned around to see his boss in round neck cotton shirt and a pair of cargo shorts. It was a bit weird to see his boss in casual clothings when all he had seen him was in business suits or business ‘casual’ fashion.
But the look on his boss’s face seemed he was even more disapproving of Mix’s fashion taste. “Didn’t know you’d be a flowery kind of man”, Earth whispered, standing next to Mix.
Mix looked confused for a moment before looking down on the shirt he was wearing. “Oh this? Nah this was my brother and best friend’s idea. They wanted to take a ‘beachy’ selife”, Mix replied and slightly rolled his eyes.
Janhae and Ciize were still arguing with Khao, Pond and Phuwin while the rest of them stood and watch. Finally Earth managed to ask, “Umm is there anything wrong with the rooms?”
The friends didn’t notice the boss arrival as they were busy arguing over each other. “Oh no nothing sir”, Janhae said bashfully, pushing her hair to the back of her ears. And this earned her a slap on the back from Phuwin.
“Yeah nothing. They were just arguing over who gets the extra bedroom”, Luke answered Mix’s boss.
“Umm yes. You booked us 4 twin bedrooms, didn’t you?”, Mix turned to Earth and asked. “Since there are 7 of us, someone is gonna get to use a whole room for themselves”.
Earth looked over to Mix’s friends and to themselves and pointed out, “But there are 8 of us here. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make a mistake”, he said.
“What?”, Mix, Khao and Janhae exclaimed in a higher than normal pitched voice.
“Yeah, 8 of us, 4 bedroom. Oh and Mix, you’ll be sleeping with me”.
“What?!” This time it was Luke who was surprised. Though he tried to control himself, anger was written all over his face.
Earth paid a second worth of attention to the furious man before turning back to Mix. “Sorry, Mix. But I need your help with these three documents and it has to be done by tonight. Just three docs, promise. I won’t let you work more on your holiday”, the boss pleaded Mix found himself unable to refuse.
He nodded in reply. Mix’s friends and Luke watched him silently as he walked behind the CEO and followed him into their shared room.
It was clear that the documents were Earth’s reason to get Mix to sleep in the same room with him. Because after the boss and his employee went into their room for the said work, it took them only 30 mins before they emerged back from the room, ready to join the rest.
Mix took a seat on the sunbed with his book, coconut and sunglasses.
“You’re not gonna play?”, Earth asked. He took the seat next to Mix, top stripped to sunbathe his beautiful skin.
“Umm no, I umm- I don’t really like being in water”, Mix replied. He was really glad then for his sunglasses.
“Mix, come on. Let’s play”, Khao called. He ran towards them followed by Luke and they both tried their best to get Mix into the water. When Mix didn’t move an inch, Luke marched towards him, lifted him up and lifted him up bridal style.
“Luke, no! Put me down!”, Mix screamed. He flapped like a dying fish in Luke’s arm, trying to wriggle out of his embrace.
“Luke”, Earth called, stopping Luke with a hand on his shoulder. His voice was low, eyes dark, making everyone turn to the trio.
Everyone was silent before Mix softly patted Earth’s hand on Luke’s shoulder and smiled. “It’s alright. They’re just teasing me. I’m used to it”.
“First one to the beach wins”, Khao yelled out of nowhere and Mix jumped off Luke’s embrace to race his friends to the water. Luke half jogged to the shore and Earth walked behind to follow them.
The group spent the whole afternoon playing in the water until everyone was exhaustedly floating on their respective swim tires, letting the waves slowly carry them to the shore.
Luke took a seat besides Earth who was lounging on the sunbed. “Don’t even try. You and him. You’re not-”, he paused then said, “meant to be”.
“And you’re the one who’s been meeting Gun?”, Earth asked him. He either didn’t hear or pretended not to hear what Luke had said.
“So he’s your omega? Is that why you’re coming after what’s mine? Because I’ve been sleeping with Gun?”
“With all due respect, “Mr Luke”, I dont think Mix belongs to anyone. And no, Gun is my family but he’s not ‘my’ omega”, Earth stressed each word he said.
Luke threw his hands behind his head and leaned back on the sunbed. “Mix may not belong to anyone yet, but he definitely belonged to somewhere you don’t”.
“And where could that be?”
“Look”, Luke nodded towards Mix and his friends who had just came out of the water. Mix may have had a little too much fun because he didn’t seem to notice his swim shorts being pulled slightly lower than his waist by the waves.
He didn’t but Earth did. So did Luke. And their unnaturally sharp eye sight also saw the small tattoo mark just above Mix’s left pelvic bone.
Two Ss back to back with a dagger in between. A scared silver.