Chapter 19, Dr. Clay (Cult of Eros #1, Ongoing Update)

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Here’s chapter 19 of the new book, Dr. Clay, I’ve been writing since NaNoWriMo 2022. Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Confusion. Fear. Lust.

These were the words Valon thought of after Clay announced his intention to help him out and volunteered to be his muse. Although he felt relieved from over-extension, it was an irresistible offer he had least expected. Let alone from an attractive human being like Clay. At the same time, watching the doctor shocked beyond words worried him.

Despite having inhibitions, Valon looked at Clay with keen eyes as if something had changed. It was as if he saw something in Clay’s eyes—an unconscious declaration of a secret attraction. However, as he continued thinking about this, he struggled to resist giving into temptation as he began to feel an increasing heat inside his body. As he continued observing the doctor, who remained still and fascinated, paranoia kicked in in the middle of pleasure—a conflict.

“Are you sure you want to do this, Clay?” Valon asked again as they headed, only to get a nod, which forced him to shake his head and let out an exasperated sigh to ease himself. The nearer they were, the more nervous Valon was, though his decision to do it was firm.

When they reached there, Clay saw the door was open, so he walked into the same room without hesitation. It was as if he became familiar with where he saw Valon painting earlier that day.

“How do we start? It’s the first time I’m doing this. So, I’m not sure if I could do it,” Clay said, turning back in Valon’s direction, only to find himself caught in his demanding gaze.

“You sounded confident before, and now we’re here. Do you want to pull out?” Valon paused and shook his head. “No, there’s no way back now.”

Clay gulped and looked away while clearing his throat and crossing his arms. “I’m not saying I’m not doing it. It’s just that I’ve never done this before.”

“Do you know Ralph Waldo Emerson?” Valon asked as he headed to the area where he placed the easel and took a stool, placing it near it.

“Yes. I guess. I know that name back in high school.”

“He said, ‘Every artist was first an amateur.’ So, if you fear you won’t get what you want to see, you surely can’t get anywhere. If you let go of that fear, you will see magic.”

“I hope so. I know I do appreciate art. But I’ve never been someone’s muse. What would you expect from a doctor? I even doubt if our actions are a good idea.”

“We’ll never know if we won’t try.”

“Can I trust you?”

“I’m your artist, and you’re my muse. So, you have to trust me always. Please take a seat,” Valon said, gesturing for Clay to sit on the stool in front of the easel covered with fabric. When Clay sat, he reached the switch and turned off the lights, leaving the brightness beaming through the windows to enlighten the entire dark room.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Clay sputtered.

“I’m turning off the lights for you, so you won’t see what I’ve done.”

“Why is that?”

“It’s a surprise,” Valon said, smirking, before revealing his work, which made Clay as curious as he was. Before Clay could even say something to react, he almost leaped out of his seat when he heard Valon speaking again. “When we disable your sense of sight, your feelings and thoughts will amplify.”

“Why do you want me to do that?”

“It also helps you achieve clarity with whatever has been disturbing you lately. Do you think you could do that for me?”

“I think so,” Clay said, almost stuttering as he shut his eyes to ease his discomfort. While in his seat, he could feel Valon standing behind him, leaving him feeling a familiar sense of panic in his chest. “Do we really need to do this? Aren’t you exaggerating?”

Valon ignored his inquiry and went on his way instead. “Relax. Now, close your eyes and relax. Try not to panic even when they become more disturbing. Just observe and let your body feel it. Are you ready, Clay?” Valon said, his warm hands pressing his shoulders, making Clay feel like he had never been that vulnerable.

“Yes,” Clay said with a beautiful mix of anticipation and anxiety before he let out a soft exasperated sigh.

He switched the lights again and turned his head down to watch Clay with his eyes shut. “It’s time to open your eyes,” Valon said in a calm, comforting tone as he removed the fabric covering the canvas.

As soon as Clay saw what Valon revealed before him, he widened his eyes in shock and muzzled his mouth with his hands. “Is this me?” he stuttered while pulling his face up in Valon’s direction. Speechless, he gulped and immediately pulled back when he saw the painted image of him posing naked as in those artworks he had seen at the exhibition. He stood as sitting there was too unbearable for him. So, he kept his distance, facing Valon, who remained unaffected by his reaction.

In Valon’s mind, as Clay guessed, this was how Valon had imagined him—wrapped with a dark-colored fabric, wearing nothing. With his face looking down, his torso and knees bent forward, draping both arms down. The man, who looked exactly like him, had his arms covered with intricate details of tattoos. His face showed pleasure, with his mouth remaining ajar as his eyes invited him to join him for a sensual crusade.

Although the painting was striking, Clay had never seen himself that way and noticed how Valon had played with artistic elements around his tattoos, which surprisingly flattered him. While his eyes remained on the image, it was clear that he had never been that vulnerable until he saw what Valon wanted from him.

At that exact moment, Clay felt a weird sense of freedom and realized an unconscious layer of himself for the first time. Was that the side of him Valon had been seeing all this time?

He froze in his seat, and his body was covered with cold sweat when he felt Valon’s fingers touching his skin. At first, he felt uneasy, but when he felt his face pressing against his cheek, he froze. He was so close to his face that he could feel his warmth and hear his breathing.

“How do you like it?” Valon said in a calm yet commanding baritone, almost whispering to Clay’s ears.

“I like it. No, I love it,” Clay stuttered and gulped to ease his parching throat. “I didn’t expect you’d use me as your subject with this one.”

“Honestly, this is what I want to see in my own eyes, Clay. But I didn’t expect you’d offer yourself to me, too,” Valon said with excitement printed on his face and paused as his eyes crawled, studying Clay’s features the same way he did before, “Did I make you feel uncomfortable?”

“No,” Clay said.

“Did you find this painting offensive?” When Clay shook his head, Valon smiled and sighed. “I’m glad to hear that,” he paused as he pulled away and stood in Clay’s direction. “You’re an attractive man. So, why would I miss using you for this painting?”

Using me? Right. He’ll use me. Clay raised his face and looked at Valon with interest before he stood without losing his gaze upon him. “I don’t want to question your kindness to me, Val. But why are you doing this?” he said, gesturing his hand at the painting before he looked at it with an arched eyebrow.

“You’re my muse now and want me to use you, right?” Valon paused to study the doctor’s doubt he saw on his face, “I asked you before, and you said yes. So, I’m asking again to ensure we’re on the same page here. Are you sure about doing this?”

Clay knew it was the chance he could get and take advantage of to pay Valon in return. He understood why he said yes and was aware of his intent. Yet, as Valon revealed his plan, the better he understood this project’s demands, the more concerned Clay became.

“Yes, I am,” Clay said confidently, which pleased Valon.

“Does that mean from now on, it’s okay to spend more time with you?”

“I guess if that’s required.”

“You’re my muse now. So, you have to stay with me more now whether you like it or not.” Not even your woman should stop you.

Though it was uncomfortable for Clay, he knew that saying yes would mean two things. First, he would have to submit himself entirely to Valon without questions asked. Second, he would have to allow Valon to use him in whatever artistic ways he wanted without questions.

But that was the deal. He wanted this in the first place, thinking it was the best thing he could do to give back, making him feel good.

“Isn’t that what you want?” Valon asked.

“I don’t want anything from you except for paying you back.”

“So, you think being my muse is a great option?” Valon sputtered with his eyes widened and his face flushed.

“Yeah,” Clay said with doubt, making Valon cluck and almost throw the brushes in hand. “What’s wrong with being fair?”

As he struggled to contain his anger, Valon scoffed and raised an eyebrow as he bent down to Clay’s height. “I understand you’re a doctor. You follow the rules fair and square. You took oath for it. But remember, I’m not a doctor. This isn’t about being fair to me. It’s about me, my feelings and spirit—my life,” he paused to contain his rising anger as he shook his head in disbelief, as if he was feeling disappointed.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way,” Clay said.

Valon shook his head again and looked at Clay with fire in his eyes. “That’s the problem. You always didn’t mean to say it this or that way. But I don’t care. You said it anyway,” he said, hissing as he was pulling away and was about to walk out.

“I will do it, and I mean it,” Clay said in a seemingly cold and distant way. However, seeing him walking closer to Valon tells a different story. Nevertheless, Clay had offered his yes, so Valon was right. There was no way to turn back, so he had to do it.

“You can’t imagine how much this means to me. So, I don’t want you to play games with me because this isn’t a game for me at all.”

“I understand. Okay? It isn’t a game for me, too. I want this.” And I’m sorry.

That confirmation pleased Valon a lot that he couldn’t hide his blushing face and then smile that reached both ears. As if he wasn’t satisfied, Valon grabbed Clay, pulling him towards him before wrapping his arms around him.

“Thank you so much,” Valon whispered, pressing his head on Clay’s shoulder, without knowing whether Clay was in a dilemma about whether he should press his hands on Valon’s back. But was that the real problem?

No.

Clay knew it wasn’t about pushing his hands or not. It wasn’t about that at all. Instead, in hindsight, he was aware that it was a more significant concern that he had dug himself into. At this point, he was curious about what would happen next, though he sensed more than he could understand.

That choice—that one yes—could change his life for the better, or perhaps, it could turn it upside down. Regardless, there was nothing he could do anymore, so he had no choice but to commit to it.

As Valon pulled away, his eyes couldn’t resist gazing straight into Clay’s eyes. While they exchanged gazes, Valon suddenly felt something ignited inside him that urged him to cradle Clay’s face. Though he seemed surprised when he saw how Clay had reacted, anticipating his next move, he didn’t pull back as he moved his face closer towards Clay, so close that he was a breath away from kissing his lips.

Until…

Kuya?” Agatha said in a loud voice, echoing through the silent room, which startled them. So, they pulled away and turned their heads in the same direction, facing where the voice was coming from. Their eyes widened, thinking fuck.


Author’s Note:

Thank you so much for spending time reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when I wrote this part three months ago. This chapter, in particular, reminded me of those times when I sat before my desk, seemingly prepared to type in words, but I struggled to keep it up.

It took an external motivation to get it through, and, at that time, the NaNoWriMo event was upcoming. At that time, I thought, “This could be a great opportunity to try and give this a shot one more time. You’d done an excellent job with ‘The Rival,’ so you could do it, Mecyll.”

You know, it’s easier said than done because writing a chapter with a clear intent to finish it requires more than just a skill. Since I started writing fiction, I realized how much this work demands my ability to be naked and the guarantees to answer whether I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face my fears, conscious or unconscious.

So, being able to write this down meant I managed despite the countless times dancing around with depression and enjoying the roller coaster rides my anxiety provided me.

This is why I don’t know how I could thank you for your support, regardless of the scale or contribution size, from sharing my work with others or buying my books. It doesn’t matter because, for me, every small act you show is appreciated.

Again, thank you, and have a great day!

If you like to support my writing life, here’s what you can do:

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