Chapter Twenty One
Ploy walked by yawning and stretching loudly. “Alright folks, when are we heading out and what time are we getting home?”
“What’s the rush?”
“I might be able to pick up a night shift tonight. Stragglers on holiday still.” Ploy found Charlie and tickled her, “I heard you wanted food. Let’s grab some while your uncle packs.”
Can frowned at her when she threatened to kick him if he’s not done packing within the hour.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ---------- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Gun rubbed his neck as he fell over on his couch. His condo was lonely, he was getting irritated at himself. He’d dropped off Air and Pim after they swung by the doctor’s office as he’d promised, but they wanted him to stay for dinner. He was tired and to stay around girls who kept looking in the mirror at themselves during dinner to make sure that their rash wasn’t worse? He knows he’s not a deep conversationalist, but it would’ve been nice to laugh and talk at a table. Other than business lunch or dinners that weren’t really filled with friendly conversations or jokes. He stretched again and glanced at the clock, Can had called a little bit ago to let him know that they’ve made it home. Grabbing Can’s car keys he left to find him and maybe grab a quick drink somewhere. He knew it was Monday, but he’s still on vacation mode.
“Huh?” Can asked as one of the servants told him Gun had just pulled up in the driveway. He ran out to find Gun stepping up into the front. “Hey!”
Gun looked around him as well as behind him. “Why are you making that face at me?”
“What are you doing here?”
“It’s my house.” Gun reminded him as he returned Can his car keys. “I came to give that back to you.” Can thanked him and blocked him from getting into the house. “If I didn’t know you so well, I would be saying that you’re blocking me from getting into my own house.” Can laughed. It sounded kind of fake as to Gun as well as forced. “Seriously though, are you okay?”
“Never been better!”
Scratched his head at his cousin he tried to step into the house again but Can mirror stepped him. When Gun stepped to the right so did Can. And again when he stepped to the left. “Can!”
“Yea?” Can asked as it became a little like a dance routine between him and Gun.
Placing his hands on his hips Gan demanded to know what was going on. “Uh.” He finally managed to pass Can and headed towards the stairs to find Charlie.
Pream was about to head downstairs to find the souvenir bags when one of the younger staff bounded up the stairs in the back. “What’s wrong Noun?”
“You brought a lot of dried food back, I was wondering where you’d like to place them. It’s really full already in the pantry.”
“Oh!” Pream smiled, “I was going to split them for Can and Ploy.” They had already dropped Ploy off straight at work and still had her luggage. “Here, let’s go through them now so that you won’t have to have them outside longer than you want them to.” They headed down towards the kitchen from the back stairs.
Bounding up the stairs Gun headed towards Charlie’s room. He knocked and entered. Mai was combing Charlie’s hair when he walked in.
“Daddy!” Charlie gasped.
“Okay, I know I don’t usually make an appearance on Monday, but since I was dropping the keys off to your uncle, I thought I’d say ‘hi’ to you before I leave again.”
It wasn’t the reaction he’d hoped to see from his daughter after a somewhat pleasant weekend away. “You and your uncle have been acting weird since I got here.” At that Can opened the door, panting out of breath as he tried to catch up with Gun. “See what I mean?”
Charlie shrugged, Mai froze, she wasn’t combing Charlie’s hair anymore.
Gun looked at the three of them and moved in closer to the bed. He noticed a larger luggage next to Charlie’s bed. “Whose luggage is that?”
“Mine!” Can called out. “They must’ve brought all the luggages from my car by mistake.”
Gun frowned, “when did you start carrying a pink luggage?”
Can blushed, it was actually Ploy’s. “Hey, it was the only thing I had at home. I didn’t really want to waste money on buying something I rarely use. I mean who's going to see my hotel room and judge me on my pink luggage? No. Really.”
Gun rubbed his forehead, “I don’t really want to ask you where that came from either.”
“Please don’t ask.” Can was running out of lies, and he’s not quick to come up with one either right now. The drive back was pleasant, minus Charlie and Ploy drawing all over his face. He still had some lines behind his ears and neck he couldn’t wash off.
“Whatever.” Gun said waving it off. “I brought you your car, now drive me back to the condo.”
Can grinned, “let’s go!” He pulled the pink luggage behind him like he really owned it.
Charlie waved bye to him from the bed. “You don’t want to walk me out?”
“My hair is still wet. Too cold.”
Disappointed though he was, he still received a goodbye hug from his daughter and he left smiling.
Instead of walking out the door as expected he made a turn. “Where are you going?” Can asked following him and looking around to see if Pream was anywhere in sight.
“I’m going to my personal bar, for a drink from my personal collection and sit on my barstool.” Gun raised a challenging eyebrow, “got a problem with that?”
Can wanted to run and bash his head into that bar. It was right next to the kitchen. “Why don’t we go out for a drink instead?”
“I thought about asking you to go grab a drink with me outside, but I figured my bar is just as good.” He poured himself a drink, “want some?” He held out a tumblr for his cousin when he heard sounds from the kitchen. Gun glanced that way still holding out Can’s drink.
He quickly grabbed it and drank it in one gulp. Goodness he needed a chaser. What the heck is Gun drinking? He held his breath then let out a burning one. He needed Gun out of his house soon.
Gun took his after Can and replaced the stopper back on the bottle when another sound was heard in the kitchen. “What’s going on in there?” He stepped in to find bags all over the counter. “What did you bring back with you?”
“Uh.” Can didn’t know what Prem bought, he just carried the bag. “Stuff from the market. We went after you left.”
Noun walked back in with a basket and gasped when she saw Gun. Gun said his hello and started poking around in the bag. She made a face at Can and pointed out the door mouth Pream’s name.
“Since when did you buy these kind of snacks and dried goods from the market?”
“I didn’t. Jim and Mai helped.”
Pream looked at the pots and pans that were out on the side of the house when she heard Can’s voice from the window nearby. She looked through the window and saw Gun and Can. Smiling she turned to walk back in when the pile of pots and pans near her came tumbling down. “Crap.” She muttered squatting down to pick them up.
“What was that?” Gun asked as he stepped out the side door of the kitchen.
Noun walked out too. “Nothing sir. I was sorting the pots and pan around the corner.” She quickly excused herself and ran towards Pream.
Gun heard his cousin’s stomach growl. “You didn’t eat yet?”
He was busy dropping Ploy off that they only just got back home. “I was planning on getting something after everyone else settled in.”
“Why don’t you grab something to eat with me. I still want another drink.” Gun patted his shoulders and looked towards the direction of the pots clanging with the pans. “Come on.”
He walked back into the house and led Can with his pink luggage to the car. He never judged his cousin for his strangeness, or maybe Gun has been working too much that he hadn’t noticed his cousin’s behavior of late.
“Where do you want to go for food and drinks?”
“The bar Ploy is at right now and it’s nearby your work.” Can replied without a delay.
Gun watched his cousin as he drove. “Are you into her now?”
“I don’t think so.” Can shrugged, “girl’s don’t usually interest me. And she’s not really one my parents, should they be alive, approve of.”
“What you now, A-Sexual?”
Can choked, “no! I am not. It’s just that No one has caught my interest in awhile.” He cleared his throat, “plus, with you purchasing out other companies and working me to the bones with all these unnecessary hours, then going home to check on Charlie…” He gave a shrug, “I haven’t had time like you to meet girls.” Can looked at his cousin when he got to a red light, “I mean, how serious are you and Pim?”
“Why does everyone ask me that?” Gun frowned, “do I look like I’m dating her?”
“Lunch date here, dinner date there-- trip to the beach. But her a bracelet….” Can continued driving at the green light, “it sounds like you almost are. Wait a minute, yea, I think you are.”
“Courting her, yes, dating her. No.” Gun corrected. “I’m still trying to get to know her.”
“I’m sorry, what’s the difference?” Can asked. He opened his mouth and no answer came out. “Unless you’re just going from girl to girl because you feel like you have to find a mom for Charlie, I don’t think you should be just dating any woman Auntie Jan brings around to you.”
“What makes you such an expert?”
“I’m not.” Can smiled, “obviously, my single life status says much about me. But the trip we just went to, how often did you even see your daughter?”
“I saw her everyday.”
Can nodded, “sure, but I mean besides the obligatory ‘see you at lunch’ or kiss goodnight, when did you really see you daughter?”
“You think I didn’t spend enough time with my daughter?”
“I think you should find someone else that would plan a trip with you to involve your daughter.” Can suggested. “You may think Pim would make a good choice because she’s lasted the longest.” Can rolled his eyes, “but did she include your daughter in anything you were going to do?”
Gun frowned. “I see.”
“I mean if you truly might feel something for her, then I suggest you take your daughter along more with Pim to see how she really feels about Charlie.” Pulling in to the parking lot now Can gave his cousin a careless add, “I’m just saying. I love you and Charlie, I don’t want to see your daughter any more messed up than she needs to be.”
“My daughter is fine now.”
Can snorted, “are you sure?”
“What makes you say that?”
“As a single man who doesn’t really care about anyone right now, my focus has always been you and Charlie. More Charlie than you, now that you’ve grown your wings and dating half the population of the country.”
“You’re making me sound like a gigolo.” Gun muttered.
Can eyed him, “fine, of those girls Auntie Jan introduced you to, tell me you didn’t sleep with not even one of them.” Gun avoided his eyes. “Yeah, I thought so, Gigolo.”
“Shut up and get us a table.” Gun said shoving his cousin into the bar.
“Ploy’s table please.” Can smiled at the hostess. The hostess eyed Can and left a lingering look on Gun. “I swear, every girl throws herself at you, and you seem indifferent to it all.”
Gun looked at the hostess and then shrugged, “too easy.”
“I’m sorry. Too easy you said?” Can repeated in disbelief. Ploy placed the water down at their table then. “Hey, is your hostess easy?”
Ploy nodded, “Yep. Sure is. Why, blue balls?”
“Not me!” Can said grabbing her tray and smacking her butt. “I’m asking for this guy.”
“Wow,” Ploy huffed. “I mean you have Pim, granted she’s a semi-easy girl, you’re still checking out other girls?”
“She’s not my girlfriend!” Gun said throwing his hands up.
“Like are you looking for a challenge or something?” Ploy laughed, “because a bar isn’t the place to find a challenge if you get my drift.”
“Now you guys make it sound like I’m man-whoring.” Gun muttered, “can you grab us two beers and a menu while he decides on what he wants to eat?”
Rolling her eyes, “two beers and a filet mignon pasta on it’s way.”
“Is that an appetizer?” Gun asked.
Shaking her head and crossing her arms, “no, your cousin just eats that much here.”
He looked between the two. Can leaned back on his side of the booth and Ploy leaning over the booth towards him. “Are you two secretly dating?”
Ploy looked down at Can as he looked up at her. They both frowned and yelled, “NO!”
“She’d be classified as very hard to get, not to be confused with playing hard-to-get, she is not an easy lay like our hostess over there.” Can said and Ploy high fived him. “Who by the way, is still looking at you.”
Gun looked at his phone as it rang, “It’s Pim. Beer?” Gun asked Ploy and stepped out to talk on the phone.
Ploy still leaning against the booth asked, “you know who wouldn’t be an easy-lay for him?”
Can shooked his head, “who?”
“Pream.” She grabbed the tray back.
Can shoved her when she grab the tray back from him. When Ploy left to grab their orders he thought about what Ploy said and looked over at the hostess. He realized Gun was back in the building when he saw her fluffing her hair and making her smile wider. “Oh to be Gun…” He shuddered.
Gun and Can left leaving Pream and Charlie to have dinner, just the two of them. Pream looked at her phone when the text alert went off. Charlie was digging into her carrot puree and seemed to not notice anything else but finishing the carrots for her dessert as a treat. There was only two people who had her number, so she wanted to guess it was Ploy. It was indeed Ploy.
“Do you mind if Ploy stays over tomorrow night?”
Charlie shook her head and smiled. “Will she be here after I get off of school?”
“I’m not sure.” Pream smiled, “but I’ll find out when she gets off of work later tonight.”
“You know what would make your dating life hard with girls that Aunt Jan doesn’t bring to you?” Gun stabbed a piece of Can’s pasta and shook his head. “How would you hide your wealth from the ones who’d be dating you for your money?” Gun frowned, “I’m not talking about Charlie’s mom. But it’s kind of like that situation if you think about it.”