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The Interview

Outside, the rain is pouring against the window pane, but the inside offers a cozy, intimate environment for the interview. Waree is in a state of excitement, for she has been waiting for a few days now, cooped up on the island, waiting for the right time to interview Khun Sama. After all, to him, it’s all about timing. But Sama is in a different state of mind, anxious and not at ease, he is about to reveal his life to a young reporter whom he found a connection with since she was a child. It’s not easy divulging the past filled with pain and rejection.

“Let’s go ahead and start,” Waree encourages him with a smile, clasping her hands together.

“I am willing to let you interview me, but I ask that there will be no voice recordings,” Sama starts.

“Why not?” Waree questions, how is she going to remember all of the details?

“In my line of work there are a lot of trade secrets, it’ll be best if I can eliminate any traces. I don’t even want my picture to be featured.”

“I understand it is because you are Jao Phor (of this island) you must be especially wary, are you satisfied now?” Waree says with exasperation.

Sama takes her voice recorder into custody. He has her pack of cigarettes, now her voice recorder, what next? Her heart? Hehehe.

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Waree sets up her interviewing materials, notepads, pens, going old school since she has been prohibited to record their interview. Khun Sama turns his face away with a smile, he is enjoying his time with her too much.

“Let’s start with how you initiated the money to create this casino.”

“I mentioned earlier that I will only allow you an interview once you’ve lost your prejudiced against the concept of gambling.”

“But you told me you were ready for an interview!” Waree exclaims, frustrated.

“That is right, but it (the interview) is not going to be about the casino today,” replies Sama. “I’d like it if you interview me about my past first, you need those background information anyway.”

“Fine, fire away. Feel free to create whatever image you’d like, go for it. That way I won’t have to waste my time asking questions you will never answer.” Lol. Could you blame her? This man is not going to give an inch.

Sama chuckles at her reaction.

“He laughs with a despicable sound,” Waree writes. Which causes him to concede and he starts his “story.”

“You probably know bits and pieces of the history of my life thus far,” Sama starts.

“So do you want me to go ahead and write it myself?” Waree interrupts sarcastically.

“Ok krup..” ah so sweet, “I’m about to launch into the story.”

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The smile leaves his face as he starts, “My mother, she passed away since I was a child. My father is a farmer and he has passed away as well during my last year of college. So I dropped out of school to work in the farm at home.”

“Why didn’t you continue your education?” Waree asks. “There was only one final term left.”

We get a scene where Sama, with longer hair and a cap, standing before the seashore, watching the waves crashing by.

Soh approaches him with cheerfulness.

“Soh! I didn’t think you would come,” he says, clasping her hands in his.

“My dad had me caught up with account receivables so I came late,” Soh replies, looking younger with longer hair. “Will you go back to school? You only have one term left.”

“I may have to pass on school for now, Soh,” Sama says, looking trite. “Do you know that if my father didn’t pass away, I would never know how indebted he is. I must work on the farm and save up money to pay off our debt.”

Soh looks concerned, “but sometimes working on the farm is very hard. One year you’ll make profit, another year you may lose everything. I have seen many farmers who end up selling their farms altogether.”

“But right now I’m out of options. The farm is the only inheritance that is left for me,” he peers at her and reaches into his pocket, “I have something for you.”

He gives her a bracelet, “This isn’t expensive, but I wanted you to have it. Please wait for me. I promise to build myself up, you will never have less than anyone else.” Hey I wish I have that much foresight in my life.

Sama holds her close, but Soh doesn’t have the happiest face.

As some time passes by, a huge storm hits his farm (which is near the beach), taking his hard work with it. He doesn’t have any more money to invest in the farm. He has already paid off his debt and he doesn’t think anyone would invest in him. The neighbor friend tells him that he can always sell his farm, but Sama couldn’t fathom what else he would do in life, especially when he hasn’t even finished his education. He tells his neighbor that he wanted to work on the farm and save up enough money to ask Soh to marry him. The neighbor recalls the name and tells him that she had already married a Jao Sua Kim, a rich man, and she wouldn’t look back twice at him. This floored him, Sama goes to see her but gets completely pummeled in the face by her father’s men. Her father is cruel and insulting, saying that Sama saved up money from selling his father’s farm, it doesn’t measure up with Jao Sua’s wealth. He wonders if her father pities her at all, marrying her off to an old man. Soh shows up on time to walk Sama out of the house.

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“I’m really sorry Soh, I didn’t mean to cause problems with your dad.” Sama’s such a sweet man, even though she’s marrying some old dude, he’s apologizing to her! Ugh, a stab in the heart. My poor Sama!

“But I couldn’t stand it, I couldn’t handle the fact that he’s marrying you off to the old Jao Sua Kim,” he continues.

“So you sold everything for my dowry?” Soh questions. “But have it occurred to you that if we did get married, how are we going to survive? You have nothing left.”

Sama takes her hand, “Soh, we can work through it. The most important thing is that I have you. I am ready to do everything. I’m not afraid of anything.”

“But I am afraid,” Soh says, “I am afraid of destitution.”

“Soh..” Sama utters.

“I am not willing to put my life with the ranks of yours (inevitable death of destitution?) I apologize for agreeing to wait for you,” she’s as much responsible for deciding to marry Jao Sua as her father. “But you disappoint me. You didn’t finish your education, failed at work. How am I supposed to leave my life/future in your hands?” Ouch. She’s blaming this on him!

“So you’ll put your life in Jao Sua’s hands?” Sama questions.

“That is right. Even though he is old, he has money and a secured profession. I can be comfortable for the rest of my life.”

Sama receives his reality check. The woman he loves, chooses comfort over him. He looks at her with pain in his eyes.

“I love you,” she dare says, “But.. not enough to face the struggles with you. I can survive without love, but if you want me to face difficulties, with no money, I cannot survive.” Just stab him even deeper!

Sama tears up, hurt, “You are correct. You shouldn’t have stopped your father earlier from hitting me to death.”

“If you want to die, die at different place.” Ouch. “I’m getting married. I don’t want dead people in my house. It’s bad luck.” She walks away from him.

Aw Chakrit, you are such a good actor! I feel your pain! Samaaaa you are better off without her na ka!

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The rain is steadily falling as Sama continues his story, “After that I sold my father’s farm, and I used the money to gamble. I wanted to spite my life. But I became good at it. Then you are familiar with what happened after that. I probably don’t need to retell the story.”

So it seems to him, gambling was a way to get him out of destitution. It’s a positive reinforcement, and I can understand why he wanted to create a legitimate institute to share the luck and potential prosperity to his fellow human kind. It’s always the case, that a heartbroken man who has nothing to lose, end up earning everything. Yay for success stories!

“And what happened to Khun Soh?” Waree asks.

“She married Jao Sua. Seven years later he passed away, dividing his wealth to his children and her. She is a widow.”

“Rich and beautiful, no?” Waree adds.

“But Soh and I are just friends. Our story is over and done with. We must learn from our pain, isn’t that right?”

“That is right,” Waree agrees.

“Are you able to write all of that down?” Sama asks, peering at her notepad.

“Your story is too personal, and it relates to someone else too, so I won’t include it in your interview.”

This pleases Sama to hear it and he smiles at her, yet again. Sigh.. oh the heart just melts when he does that. He’s such a good man, I hope Waree realizes just how much she needs to snag this true gem.

But Waree has other things on her mind, she accuses him of deceiving her by telling her the story about Soh so he could explain himself about their non-relationship status. Lol. Ah, Sama you are too clever.

“I tried to explain to you but you wouldn’t listen.”

“And why should I listen to you?!” Waree exclaims, realizing that she spent the better part of her morning listening about the backstory of Soh and Sama. “I already told you that your love life doesn’t matter to me!”

“I don’t want you to misunderstand me,” Sama says. “I wanted you to hear the truth from my lips, which is better than hearing it from another’s mouth, right?” Lol.

Waree couldn’t argue with that. She looks away.

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“Waree,” he says, “that day you not only saved my life. You gave me the inspiration to stand up on my two feet again.” He steps closer to her. “That day at the gambling house, I saw a frail little girl determined to ask her father for small changes so she could purchase rice and medicine for her mom.”

Waree peers at him with tears welling up in her eyes.

“While I on the other hand, I’m using money that was earned from selling my father’s hardworking farm, just to spite a woman who saw no value in me. It makes me realize and pull myself together.”

He steps closer to her, “You are an important person in my life, Waree.” Sniff sniff.

Waree could only look at him, speechless.

“That’s why I can’t have you misunderstand me,” Sama says. “No matter how small or big that issue is.” His eyes well up with tears, “I will never let it pass.”

Waree doesn’t know how to handle his intensity. She drops on the chair and tells him they can move on to the next question. Romance is not her forte, lol.

Damn you, Khun Sama. You are my dream pr’ek! You certainly know how to croon to a girl, haha.

Waree gets on the phone with Mee, and we see Mee in Siam Sarn’s office, excited for her BFF that Sama is willing to let her take photos of the casino.

“Why is it that all of a sudden your Jao Phor is so nice to you?” Mee wants to know.

“He’s not my Jao Phor! And he’s not nice to me specifically, he’s just keeping his words with me,” explains Waree. “But he’s still stalling time and won’t let me interview him.”

“It sounds like it means you’re not coming back yet..” Mee says.

“It’s going to be awhile, what about you? How did your fashion show case fare? Did many men flirt with you?” Waree asks, hehe.

“That would be crazy.. there aren’t any men who would do that,” Mee answers and she tells her friend that she needs to work now. Hm.

“What’s with you?” Waree wonders, staring at her phone. “Sounds suspect.”

In the kitchen, Lampang learns from her brother that Khun Sama will take Waree to Koh Praharm, where his casino is being built. She is pleased to hear that so the reporter would leave them once and for all. Lang (her brother) tells her that Sopie is green with envy, if the reporter leaves now, it wouldn’t be as fun. Lol. Lampang says that Sopie can’t even face Khun Sama now after her attempt to kidnap Waree. Her brother asks her if Khun Sama is serious about the reporter, which causes Lampang to be angry. She tells him to stop surmising because she doesn’t want to hear it.

The next in line to gossip is the bodyguards. Pipat says that he didn’t agree with Sama who invited the reporter to cause so much trouble on the island. The other bodyguard says that he’s overthinking it. The island has no secrets, he thinks that Pipat just despises Khun Waree too much. She’s going to have a hard time here, and Pipat wonders why since all she needs to do is gather her data and then leave the island.

“Why are you so naïve, haven’t you noticed that Khun Sama pays her a lot of attention, have you ever seen him care about another woman that much?”

“Do you really think that Khun Sama likes her that much?” Pipat questions.

“You can gauge even Sopie’s reactions.”

“Do you think he’s getting deceived? They just met,” Pipat rationalizes.

“Khun Sama said that they are old friends, remember? Besides, people don’t fool Khun Sama easily. Or do you want Khun Sama to go back to Khun Sopie?”

“No! Awful woman. She left him when he’s poor but became interested again when he’s rich. If he makes her as the lady boss, I’m leaving.” Lol, I love how loyal they are to Khun Sama and always has his best interest in their hearts.

“And what if Khun Sama picks Khun Waree, what say you? Would you still work here?”

“Same answer,” he says stubbornly and walks away.

“What the hell?” the other guy says.

Turns out Khun Sopie is watching the two men from behind a palm tree.

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That night Soh tries to come on to Khun Sama by bringing him a late night snack. He tells her to go back to her room, he doesn’t want anyone to misunderstand them. Soh says is he referring to Waree. Khun Sama doesn’t deny it, lol. Soh doesn’t give up, she caresses his shoulders and tells him that she knows he hasn’t forgotten that she married someone else.

“I’ve never forgotten it,” he says, “but it doesn’t mean that I want to reconcile with the old times. It’s a constant reminder for me, actually. It tells me never to be that stupid again.”

Soh thinks he’s still mad at her. She tells him that it pains her to do that to him, but Sama thinks that she must be enjoying her pain amidst hundreds of thousands of baht. She pretends to be trite, when we all know, including Sama, that she’s a gold digger and doesn’t regret it one bit. She says that she has the bracelet to remind her everyday of him.

Annoyed, Sama hands her a red velvet box. It’s the old bracelet that has S&S on it. The very bracelet she said that she has. Lol. How is she going to get out of that hole?

He tells her that he found it on another woman’s wrist and bought it from her. The lady told him that she got it from Sopie’s mom’s house, who left it with a bunch of old, worthless jewelry. Funny. He tells her that he designed that bracelet himself, so it’s a one of a kind. Of course Soh tries to make excuses, but Sama is smart and doesn’t want to hear any of it.

She pleads forgiveness.

“When you say you really miss me, when Jao Sua recently passed away, how come you didn’t come for me?” he asks, then answers for himself, “It’s because at the time I didn’t have any money. Not like right now. Now I have more money than you do, and is in the process of opening a casino, right?”

Sama pulls himself out of her arms. “I stopped caring about it. Now I only think that both of our money can be used to partner up on a business venture.” Oh the entrepreneur in Sama. “Or, if not that, at least we can be friends. But if you don’t stop meddling with my personal life, then it’ll just end like this.”

“It’s because of that reporter, right?” Soh questions.”That’s why you’ve changed this much-”

“I’d like to work now,” he dismisses her. Hehehe.

Koh Praharm

Staying here is not too far from your heart
Just look over here and you will see
Don’t peer at me as if I am a distant person
Because I’ll always be waiting right here for you
-Jetset’er “Mai Glai Mai Glai” (Not far)

A song plays in the background as Waree and Khun Sama goes on their excursion to Koh Praharm. The water is calm, the sky is blue, and Waree is taking snapshots of the journey.

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“Koh Praharm is so far, isn’t that going to discourage tourists?” Waree wonders.

“I have arranged a small jet to bring my clients to this island.” Fancy clients, and Waree says as much.

“I have to ensure that my customers have a deep pocket first,” hehe.

“Gambling is gambling. Rich or poor it’s the same thing.”

Khun Sama just takes a deep breath. Indeed, changing her prejudice will take time, if it is even possible at all.

The group, Khun Sama, Waree and the two bodyguards arrive on Koh Praharm. Waree doesn’t take his offer to help her get on the dock, he tells her to be careful because the water is very deep. She’s climbing the steps, Pipat glares at her.

“We should leave them alone,” the other bodyguard whispers to Pipat, who is annoyed.

“You can neglect your duty alone then. So who is the assistant and bodyguard then?” He steers Pipat away from the duo.

“This island is even more grand than Koh Yanok!” Waree observes.

“Indeed. It’s two times greater. Most importantly, the sea is better, the landscape is pretty. Suitable for a grand casino,” Sama replies.

“What about water and electricity? Where are you going to procure that?”

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“This island has a waterfall that can be used but I don’t overestimate it, I’ve created a dam just in case. It’s a huge project, if it fails, it would ruin my reputation. There leaves one problem though, we don’t have cell signal. Therefore you cannot use your cellphone on this island.”

She starts to worry, “what about electricity?”

“There is a generator, I’ll show you. It’s powerful enough to light the county,” he replies.

“A green casino?” lol.

Sama nods his head as if saying, ‘something like that.’

They make their way along the dock, but immediately, Sama sees a gang on a boat steering their way towards them. They aim their bazooka at Sama and Waree.

Sama folds his arms around Waree and takes her with him into the water as the dock blows up into bits.

The bodyguards overhear the explosion and they assume their positions.

The two groups exchange fire while Sama and Waree are in the depth of the water, swimming for cover.

More explosions on shore, Pipat gets shot on the arm, as the rest search for Sama and Waree.

Waree and Sama make it to shore, gasping for breath.

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“Are you alright?” Sama asks Waree.

“I think I’m ok,” she says, “Unless we’ve turned into spirits already.” Lol.

Sama grabs her by the face and squeeze her, “Do you feel this?” Haha.

She pushes him away, “Don’t spite me!”

“Now do you understand why I told you that I must be cautious at all times?” Sama asks as he tries to catch his breath. They’ve been swimming from the enemies.

She looks at him with concern (aw), “Are you alright?”

“Don’t sweat it, this is small stuff. We need to keep going, can you manage?”

“I must manage even if I couldn’t,” she retorts. She’s wobbly and he tries to catch her.

“Hey I’m younger than you!” hah, as if saying, I should manage better than you.

She stomps off and Sama runs after her.

Meanwhile back at the “camp” Pipat won’t tend to his wound until he finds out that Sama is alright. The other bodyguard comes back empty handed. Soon however, Sama and Waree are seen trekking along the beach from afar. The bodyguards are ecstatic.

“Are you alright Khun Sama?” the other bodyguard asks after him.

“Waree and I are safe.”

Sama notices that Pipat was shot on the arm, he asks after everyone else. The biggest casualty is their signal to the outside world.

Waree peers at Pipat’s arm, “The wound is deep,” she says.

“It’s nothing,” Pipat replies, nonchalantly.

“Even if it’s slight, you need to tend to your wound,” Waree tries to steer him towards the medical kit, but he balks.

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Sama on the other hand, is frustrated with his set back. He turns to Lao, his “other” bodyguard. “Keep a close eye on everyone on this island. I’m sure there is a spy.”

“Why do you think so?” Lao asks.

“Think about it, when we came to Koh Praharm, there are people who watch the exit and entrance closely and at all times, it’s not easy for outsiders to come in.”

Lao nods his head in agreement.

“And when we arrive today, shit hit the fan. If there aren’t any spies, how are they aware of our detailed whereabouts?” Sama surmises.

“Yes sir,” Lao agrees.

Sama is pissed.

Back at the Sama’s house, Soh decides to take her leave.

“You’re not going to wait and see Khun Sama first?” Lampang asks.

“Why should I wait for your boss?” Soh retorts. “He’s the one who needs to console me.”

“No matter if you are in a rush, you need to wait because Khun Sama took a boat to Koh Praharm, and another boat is not available.”

“I don’t care, I’m leaving right now,” Soh demands. “Call my people to pick me up then, didn’t think of that did you?”

“And why don’t you call them yourselves, they are your people,” lol.

Her brother Lang announces to her that they couldn’t get a hold of Khun Sama, which is unusual.

Soh is left wondering about the reporter’s fate with a smile.

Along the beach of Koh Praharm, Waree has changed into the locals’ fashion with her signature red scarf. She’s dipping her feet into the low tide.

Sama joins her, “what are you doing out here?” he asks. “If those guys come back, we wouldn’t be able to help you in time.” Sama is adorned in the locals outfit too, looking relaxed and at ease.

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He stretches and pulls his fingers through his short hair, “you’re looking at me like that again.”

“Who exactly are your enemies? They brought weapons as if you are at war,” Waree wonders.

“Your reporter tendencies are dying to come out, eh?” he observes.

“If you don’t answer me, then I’m not gonna stay here with you,” she starts to walk away.

“I have many enemies,” he replies.

She stops in her track.

“Many people want me dead.”

She walks back to him, drawn in.

“I can’t tell you who is responsible for today’s wrath, but I can guarantee you that I have never done anything illegal. And I am being hunted due to this casino.”

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“Why’s that? Don’t you already have the permission to build the casino?” she questions. “What’s the point in killing you?”

Sama takes a deep breath, “There is a clause that says if I don’t build this casino according to the timeline, no matter the cause, they will revoke it. That’s why till this day, my enemies are determined to ruin my plans.”

“How can you agree to this stupid clause?” Waree questions. “You’re practically inviting them to come kill you.”

Khun Sama looks at her from beneath his eyelashes and takes a long pause. “Because it’s my dream,” he cracks a smile. “This casino is my dream. And this is my only opportunity to make it come true. Even though it’s life threatening, but it’s just a risk, right?” Truer words could not be said from a true gambler. Higher stakes, have higher rewards, no?

She looks at him for awhile, trying to understand him. “Your dream is to own a casino, must be great,” she says sarcastically.

“It’s because you are prejudiced against gambling. So right now I don’t think you are capable of being open minded regarding these issues,” he gives her a shrug. So perceptive.

As she stares into the horizon, Sama asks if she had any dreams.

“I used to have one,” she replies. “But it is an impossible dream that will never come true.” She smiles from the silliest of her aspirations. “I used to make a wish to the moon. I dream of the day my mother heals. I dream that my father will stop gambling. Do you think that could have been possible?” she asks him.

He couldn’t answer, so Waree walks away as Jetset’er croons in the background. Sama could only watch her walk away. They have opposite dreams, how can they ever come to terms with each other? Agree to disagree?

On Koh Yanok, Soh watches the rain drumming against the windows. There are still no signs of Khun Sama’s return. Soh and Lampang have at it again, exchanging verbal combats. Soh demands that Lampang take a boat out to rescue Khun Sama, but Lampang tells her that it’s too stormy out. They soon learn from Lang that there was a shooting at Koh Praharm.

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The camp is in charcoal and shambles. Waree glances at the destruction and says, “I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

“That’s not strange,” Sama says, “Only stupid people have no fear. Therefore you are not a stupid person. How many people could still stand after being shot after?” Aw, he’s trying to compliment that she’s brave.

“Well you, for one,” Waree replies.

“I’m used to it, this is not the first time someone shot after me.”

“How come this island doesn’t have any rescue news?” Waree asks.

“There are many things that reporters don’t know,” Sama starts, “but there are also many issues that we know but cannot report on. For instance our case, I’m sure there aren’t many people who are unaware on what happened today.”

“Can you imagine the headlines? Jao Phor gets shot after at the specific island that he’s currently building a casino on!” she’s already excited by the prospect.

“Don’t forget that you’re currently involved in this case. It wouldn’t be as fun writing about yourself getting caught up in the turmoil as writing about other’s distress,” Sama reminds her.

“But you shouldn’t withhold the news from the public.”

“I don’t even think it. Some news that is thought to be useful may turn out to be damaging to many. Besides, I think this issue is only relevant to a few people, I don’t see that it should make the news,” Sama reasons.

“Have you considered that maybe your enemies aren’t those that want to see you fail in building the casino?” Waree offers a different perspective. “They could be personal vendettas like Nai Dij?”

“If we don’t have any evidences, it’s best not to name any names,” Sama advises. He excuses himself to look after his work. “And please do not report on this.”

Waree watches his back disappear and follows him.

But she’s somewhat correct in her assessment. Nai Dij gets a synopsis from his minions that they don’t know if Sama is currently dead or alive right now. Nai Dij orders them to wait until tonight, if they don’t get wind regarding Sama’s condition, then he would find out for himself. “I need him dead, for real. This casino on Koh Praharm will exchange hands.”

A bonfire is created on Koh Praharm, Waree is snacking on some chips. Khun Sama never loses an opportunity to work, he has analyzed some documents for the casino and gave it to his assistant to take a closer look.

Lao peers at Waree, “It looks like she’s real hungry.” She’s practically dumping the chips onto her hands and into her mouth, lol.

Sama watches her with a smile and walks over to her, at this time she’s licking her fingers.

“Are you full?” he asks with a scrunch of his eyebrows.

She crumbles the bag of chips and tosses it, “How can I, this is all we have to eat, right? If I knew we were stuck on an island, I wouldn’t have eaten all of my lunch.”

“If you’re not full than drink more of that water so you can be full.”

Suddenly the lights go out, Waree covers her ears from the sound. Sama tells his employee to check the generator. He starts to chuckle from her freak out moment.

“What’s so amusing?” she asks. “That wasn’t funny.”

“Were you scared?” he asks.

“No I was not.”

“If you weren’t scared, why did you scream?” he asks, hehe. “Or..” he takes a seat by her, “you’re afraid of me?’

Waree stands up quickly. “Why would I be afraid of you?”

“If you’re not afraid, why don’t you have a seat and we can continue our conversation.”

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She forces herself to sit next to him, “What is it we need to talk about? Or did you change your mind and want me to interview you now?”

He pouts, “Nah.. I’m tired of talking about myself. Let’s talk about you.”

She looks at him with a question on her face.

“Why did you want to be a reporter?” he inquires.

“At first I didn’t really like it,” she starts, pushing a hair behind her ear. “I thought this type of work would be fun, I don’t have to sit in an office all day. But I started liking it when I started working. It takes me to places I’ve never been before, my work is always different. There are so many things in this world that we have yet to learn and know. But most importantly, this work makes me feel proud that a frail woman like myself, can impact the society.”

As she talks, Sama looks at her, I just like the way he looks at her. So thoughtful, as if everything she says is important to him.

“Are you creating an image?”

“Now why would I do that in front of Jao Phor?” she questions.

He smiles and rests his head against the banister, watching and listening to her.

“I’m just like a mirror in a large house, alerting the people of the goings on, so they could find ways to protect themselves.”

Sama sits up, “so you’re trying to tell me that you are alerting the public about my casino so they would be aware of it?”

“I’m just providing the truth. The public ought to come up with their own conclusions, whether it is good or bad, whether they should or should not.”

“You answer very well,” he compliments.

She finishes his sentence, “but I don’t ask very good questions?”

“Hey you said so yourself,” lol. They look at each other for a moment and Sama says, “But I feel better after hearing this.”

“You’ve been exhausted all day, why don’t you rest in that tent,” he motions to the green tent on the sand. He watches her meander over to the tent, remove her scarf and shoes. “Good night,” he says, “the first, very special guest of Koh Praharm.”

Aw, you shouldn’t have, Sama. Lol, another warm welcome.

Waree folds herself into the tent.

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Sama smiles to himself and turns towards the brightly lit moon. What a beautiful moment as the song plays in the background, and Sama peering at the mystical moon. Much like himself: so bright and clear, yet elusive.

The following morning Nai Dij visits the head of the casino agreement, Khun Jhiti, who thinks he’s hasty to talk about such agreement when Khun Sama has only been missing overnight. Nai Dij argues that the faster they move on this the better because they shouldn’t wait to receive news that Khun Sama is dead. He fills the other man in on the fact that Khun Sama was gunned down as if they are at war, he ought not to have survived. Doesn’t that raise a red flag? Jin, Waree’s friend, who’s the daughter of the powerful man adds that it isn’t the first time that Khun Sama was ambushed, and he survived all of those occurrences. Jin starts to worry when she hears that her friend was with Khun Sama when it happened and they aren’t able to get a hold of him. Nai Dij offers the older man to invest with him, since he heard that he wanted to invest with Sama but Sama rejected the help. But his attempt is futile, as Khun Jhiti is a good man and he’s not stupid to invest with a loser.

Jin tries to phone her friend, but to no avail.

On Koh Praharm, Waree gets ready for the day.

“Did you sleep well?” Sama asks when she walks pass the camp.

“Yes,” she smells coffee, “and coffee smells so good,” hoping for an invite.

“Come have a cup,” he invites her over, she beams.

“Are you hungry?” he asks. Lol, she’s always hungry.

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His assistant comes running to take the order, “would you like rice soup or sandwich?”

“Let’s start with the sandwich and we’ll have the soup next,” lol.

Sama chuckles, “make yourself at home then, I’m going to take a turn about this camp.” Sama looks so tempting with his sleepy face, haha.

Pipat walks over to pick a fight with Waree, “If you want to eat comfortably, you shouldn’t have come to Koh Praharm for news. You’ve caused trouble for everyone.”

“That’s not right. Who is troubled and close to death? Even if I didn’t come, you guys would have still been shot at. Unless..” she teases, “those shooters notice how pretty I am and wants to start a war with you guys.” Haha.

Pipat gives up and walks back. She mutters that he’s emotional like a gay person.

The cook brings over Waree’s meals and Waree asks if there are any scenic places on this island. She would like to take some pictures. The cook tells her to come see her when she finishes her meal and she would show her.

Once energy has been revived and sustenance handled, Waree walks with the cook.

“Khun Sama says that people who come to this island don’t necessarily have to gamble. There are hotels, restaurants, beautiful nature to explore.”

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Waree mutters that everyone on this island have been brainwashed.

“No,” the cook denies.

“Are you aware that gambling is a bad thing? If you lose, you lose everything, including your place of residence. Do you know that your boss is doing something that will damage society?” Waree questions.

“But Khun Sama is not forcing anyone to gamble. And only the rich people come to this casino. People like us,” she points to her fellow coworkers, “can’t afford to gamble here.”

Waree snaps photos of a couple of kids running. “There are children here too?”

“They’re the worker’s children, Khun Sama wants them to be with their family. He’s also in the process of hiring a teacher for them too.”

“There is only a few months left until the casino opens up, why would he hire a teacher?” Waree questions.

“Even if the casino is opened, he told us that if we still want to work for him, he would accept us as regular employees. Whatever we specialize in, we would work in that area. He says that it’s difficult to find trustworthy people. Since we helped him build the casino, he wants us to continue helping him. He is a very kind man, lady. Besides, our salary is generous too. We want it to be finished soon so we can feel relieved.”

I love how the writer shows us his character by having someone else talk about him. It’s the best kind.

Waree is contemplative about what she is hearing. She peers at the hard working people around her. The cook takes her on a walk to the beautiful sceneries.

As Sama talks about his plans, overlooking the mountains, his assistant alerts him of two boats heading to their direction.

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He looks at the incoming boat through binoculars, and knows exactly who is coming for him.

The next scene has Soh chastising his assistants that they don’t know where Khun Sama is. Hah, apparently he’s hiding from her. She is determined to find him.

Waree reaches a beautiful quiet side of the beach and tells the cook that she could leave because she’s planning on playing in the water. The cook asks why she doesn’t play in the beach where everyone can protect and see her, but Waree says she’s shy. So the cook leaves her be, and Waree runs into the water with glee.

Sama certainly found a place where he wanted to be. He watches her frolic in the water.

“It looks like you’re having fun,” he observes.

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She hollers over the sound of the waves, “The water was inviting so I thought to play in it. Go on, you don’t need to stand there and watch me!”

“Play in your water, don’t mind me,” hehehe. As if she could ignore him watching her.

“Go on, pervert!”

He scrunches his eyebrows, “Hey, I oughtta go play in the water with you.”

“No need! I know what you’re thinking!”

He starts towards her with determination and she yelps for him to leave.

“What do you know?” he questions with a smile. “What are you afraid of?” lol.

She’s splashing water at him, trying to deter him from coming towards her. He splashes back at her.

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“I remember what you called me, was it pervert?” He splashes more water at her.

“No I didn’t!” she lies. I think Sama is winning in this water splashing contest.

But Soh has to come and ruin their fun. She’s livid at the scene before her.

“Sama!” she calls out for him, angry.

Waree changes her clothes and emerges from the green tent.

“Where are you going? I need to talk to you,” Soh says.

“Didn’t Khun Sama explain to you already, what else do you want?” Waree questions.

“I don’t believe him.”

“That’s your problem,” Waree retorts. I love her sass!

Soh angrily grasps Waree’s wrist.

“Stop it Soh!” Sama’s voice is heard. He comes in between them, “don’t treat my guest like that.”

“Is she your guest or your mate?! I came out here to look for you but you were playing in the water with this woman!”

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“And what if I play in the water naked with Khun Sama, what are you going to do about that?” Omg Waree! She doesn’t back down from a fight. Sama turns his head to look at her in shock. “You’re not his guest or his lover. I on the other hand, has been invited to stay with him on the island. And I don’t notice that anyone here welcomes you.”

Soh launches herself at Waree, but Sama stops her in time. “That’s enough Soh! You should leave now!”

Soh watches her beloved walking away with Waree. I’m surprised she didn’t burst an artery, lol. The rest of the gang witnessed this and Lampang comments, “It looks like Khun Sama is falling for this woman.”

They arrive back to Koh Yanok and Sama rushes after Waree.

“Are you angry with me?” he asks.

“If it weren’t because the interview isn’t finished yet, I would return to Bangkok asap! Do you realize how irritating today has been?!” Waree exclaims.

“I’m really sorry that you have had a bad experience at Koh Praharm.” But before they could discuss anything further, Khun Jhiti and daughter pays them a visit.

Waree and Sama disperse to welcome their guests.

“I appreciate your concern about me, Khun Jhiti,” Sama says, “Luckily I have my men around.”

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“It’s been getting worse every day, Khun Sama,” Jhiti comments. He recommends that the younger man quit his construction and focus on something of a smaller scale.

Sama doesn’t agree because he doesn’t want anything he creates to suffer because of it. Khun Jhiti compliments him on his big picture vision, that is probably why he’s responsible for front lining such a large project. Khun Jhiti wants to discuss a different topic but Sama’s mind is drifting off. Sama asks whether Khun Jin is going to take her friend back with her- hah, that was the direction of his thoughts.

Waree and her friends chat about her time at Koh Praharm, they have an inkling something else is going on but Waree won’t allude to it. She keeps denying that a man like Khun Sama is too old for her. Jin says that his experience can help control her, hah. Waree doesn’t think that she should find a boyfriend who can control her, after all, she’s not looking for a father figure. She adds that she can’t fall for her case and she has only met him for a few days, she’s not that “easy.” Jin invites her to return to Trat but Waree says that she hasn’t gotten much research for her article. They tease that she doesn’t ever want to return.

The news that Waree wants to stay longer reaches to Bangkok and Waree is angry that Wattana (her junior reporter) told her boss about the events that transpired at Koh Praharm. She’s on the phone with Mee who is ordered to phone her because her boss wants her to return home. He’s concerned for her safety and is willing to toss this assignment. But Waree is not a quitter, she’s invested so much time in this. Waree reassures them that she is certain that Khun Sama won’t harm her nor allow anyone to hurt her either. This perks Mee’s interest, “Waree, you’ve never used the word “certain” for any man before.” Waree just realizes what she said, and hangs up.

The next morning Waree cuddles in bed, but doesn’t realize something is moving under her comforter. It’s the Rai Cat! Lol, she starts to shoo it away.

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During breakfast, the Rai Cat is nibbling on pancake on the dining chair. Khun Sama tells Waree that his cat doesn’t have naughty thoughts about her, and he’s not giving her dirty looks.

Waree thinks Sama is always on his cat’s side anyway, lol. “Your cat is quite evil. I don’t know when he climbed into my bed, but when he looks at me, it is as if he’s blaming me for waking him up!”

Sama is amused. He reasons that his cat probably went into her room since last night and got cold so he wanted to snuggle in her sheets. “This is his house, he can stay anywhere, right?”

“So are you going to keep feeding him sweet stuff?” Waree questions.

“But he loves it, so why should I stop?” Hah he spoils his cat. “It’s only a bit, he’ll be ok.”

Sama changes the subject with a sobering tone, “There is a place I want to show you.”

He takes her to a cemetery, where her father was buried. The tears came by themselves as Waree stands before her father’s burial stone.

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Sama waits for her at the courtyard, he gets up from his seat and approaches her. “Are you ok?” he asks.

“Yes,” she answers, but with her sad tone. “Thank you for bringing me here.” Gosh, this man is so considerate.

“You told me about it, that your dad passed away several weeks and I figured you didn’t get the opportunity to pay him respect.”

“I didn’t even know that his ashes were kept somewhere,” Waree says, sad. “My sister and I used to trace his story, but we aren’t familiar with his relatives. Our grandparents never spoke of our father, so we decided to end it there.”

The uncle (Sama’s security guard) speaks up in agreement, “I lived next to you and still didn’t know when your father passed away. I only found out when his body has already been cremated.”

“If it weren’t for gambling, my dad wouldn’t have died and my family wouldn’t have met a fate like this.”

It is hard to change someone’s frame of mind, especially when it comes from a memorable, tragic event.

“And do you know why your father was addicted to gambling?” the uncle questions.

“There are rationale on why people are addicted?” Waree questions in return.

“Your father used to tell me that your mom was a daughter of a rich, wealthy family. Your grandparents disliked your father because he was poor so he wanted to build himself up, so that your mom’s family would accept him.”

“Create something of himself? From gambling?” Waree is unconvinced.

“Waree,” Sama says, “your father might not have thought very far about this. But I believe that everything that he has done is because he loves his family.”

The uncle takes out a letter from his shirt pocket, “This is a letter written by your dad before he passed away. They found this on him when he died, but they didn’t know where you had moved to. They left if with the temple and I learned about this when Khun Sama had me investigat your father’s whereabouts.”

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She takes the letter and Sama says, “Read it, your dad’s spirit would be comforted by it.”

Waree takes a seat on the patio chair and proceeds to read the letter:

I know that I’ve written this letter too late. But I want to tell my two daughters why I had to agree for you both to live with your grandparents, it’s because I don’t have any money. After I’ve created something for us I had planned on going back to get you both. Wait for me. Love, your dad.

Khun Sama watches her all the while she’s reading the letter. Waree turns to look at him, “Thank you again for finding my dad. If Sahma knows about this, she would be so happy.”

“Consider it as a gift before you leave for Bangkok,” Sama replies.

“What’s that?” Waree questions.

“I don’t want what had happened on Koh Praharm to happen again for the second time,” Sama says. “I’m ready for you to interview me. I am wiling to answer any and all questions that you may have today. Once we’re done, you can go back to Bangkok.”

Waree should be happy, but she couldn’t get herself to smile or rejoice over this triumph.

The real interview

Pipat phones Lampang to pack all of Waree’s belongings at the island so she wouldn’t have an excuse to go back and get collect them. Lampang is ecstatic and asks why she has changed her mind to leave all of a sudden. Pipat explains that Khun Sama is concerned about her safety, and fear that it would become news if a reporter died on his island. Hm. Oh these two, they are too happy about sending Waree back to Bangkok and out of their boss’ life. Lao however, has a gut feeling that things aren’t going to end like this. They peer at their boss and Waree chatting under the summer sun.

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“I’ve done my research at Vegas, Macau, Singapore. It makes me realize that our people have wasted so much money and it inspires me to wonder why we won’t create a casino in our country. If we build one, we can create jobs and increase profit for the country,” Sama says.

“And how are you going to manage the casino? The dealers would need training, isn’t that right?” Waree questions.

“At first we would have to invite dealers from different countries to train our people.”

“You’ve only mentioned the good part, don’t you know that gambling houses damage the society? Wouldn’t it be better if we don’t have any casinos at all?”

Sama looks at her with his hooded eyes, “It would be good,” he says. “But do you think we can eliminate it? Where there are bad people, they can’t escape gambling. Would you argue with that?”

Waree looks at her fingers. Yep, can’t argue with him there, she’s not stupid.

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“People who gamble,” he continues, “no matter how much you forbid them, they’ll find a way. But people who don’t play, they will never play. Please give me your final question.”

“Do you have any special motives to desire to build the casino despite its many dangerous obstacles?”

“It’s an easy answer. It’s a good business. Investment worthy. But there is one reason..” he says, “I can tell you but it can’t be included in your interview. Is that ok?”

“Who dare say no to Jao Phor?” Waree says sarcastically.

Sama leans in, “I once told you that building a casino is my dream. But it is not mine alone. It is my dad’s too. My dad always talked about his dream of opening a casino when I was a child, until he passed away. Therefore, I’m in this business of opening a casino to make my father and my dreams come true.”

“That might be why no matter how much you are chased and shot after, you won’t back down.”

Sama smiles.

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“Thank you for the interview,” Waree says as she packs up her things.

“Are you returning to Bangkok today then?” he asks.

“I’ll spend a night at Jin’s. If you’d like to make any changes please feel free to call me.”

“And then after that I can’t call you anymore, right?” he asks, sadly.

They look at each other from across the table. She doesn’t say anything, but goes back to securing her bags while Sama looks sadly at her. Aw.. not a farewell. I’m not good at those.

“Do you have any interest in writing a column about gems?” Sama asks as he walks her to the car.

“It’s like you can read my boss’ mind,” Waree says.

“Then wait until I’ve finished building my casino and you’ll be safe,” Sama says.

But not long after he finishes his sentence, a man on a motorcycle aims a gun at him. Pipat shouts for Sama to be careful- Sama covers his body over Waree and Pipat gets shot in the stomach. Sama immediately rushes his sidekick to the hospital.

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Sama waits outside of his bodyguard’s room, angry and worried. The doctor tells him that it’s a good thing the bullet didn’t hit any important organs, but Pipat has lost a lot of blood and must stay for close observation.

He turns to Waree, “I think you should return to Bangkok. You don’t have anything to do with this problem. I don’t want you to be ambushed.”

Sama tells his assistant to prepare the car.

“Khun Sama, can I stay and find out whether Pipat will be ok? I promise not to trouble you,” she says.

“I thank you on behalf of Pipat then,” Sama replies.

Lao reports that they have a clear picture of the shooter’s face, his name is Omnui and he’s Nai Dij’s hired hand.

Sama tells his assistant to watch over Pipat as he walks off. Waree, concerned, follows him.

“Where are you going?” Waree questions.

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“If you’re going back to Khun Jhiti’s house, I will have someone drive you there,” Sama says, his face and voice determined.

“You’re going out to avenge those who hurt you right?” Waree surmises.

“I have my way,” he replies.

“I’m going too,” she adds.

He stops, “You don’t have anything to do with this. Lao, take care of her and meet me there.”

As Waree tries to follow, Lao stops her. “Trust me, don’t follow him.”

“He’s on his way to hurt Khun Dij!”

“It’s not your problem. And this cannot be reported on-”

“I’m not going to report on it!” she exclaims. “I’m just worried about his safety,” oops, too late to take it back.

Our Waree is concerned about our Sama! Woo!

Another wonderful episode, fast paced and character revealing. We’ve learned so much about Waree and Sama- about who they are, what their dreams are, what makes them tick- in only a span of one episode. Most importantly, their chemistry keeps me glued to the screen. And I cannot wait for more! Until next Wednesday folks!

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