Chapter 23, Dr. Clay (Cult of Eros #1, Ongoing Update)

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Here’s chapter 23 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.

“Are you alright?” Elizabeth said, which comforted Agatha in an instant. It was as if her voice was soothing and calm to Agatha’s ears, and she wanted to hear more of her than her annoying brother.

“Yeah, I am. Thanks for asking,” Agatha said before she moved her attention to the sea with her arms hugging her knees. She attempted to hide her flushing face and felt sorry for the scene she had caused earlier. “I didn’t expect you’d see that, Liz,” she said while attempting to cover her face.

Elizabeth hesitated to drop the multi-million-dollar question but was too concerned about Agatha to ignore her curiosity. But before speaking, she glanced at Agatha, who looked different than how she met her not too long ago. “How often do you have these nightmares?”

“Not that much. When I was younger, it was more frequent than how it is today.”

Elizabeth pursed her lips. “Did something terrible happen to you that caused you nightmares?”

Unprepared, Agatha felt a sharp tightening in her chest, and her throat swelled with fear. Although she had reasons to be vulnerable with Elizabeth, she lacked the courage to do so, for she wasn’t ready to say anything about it yet. She couldn’t even force herself to look at her, at least to keep up with the show, which made it even worse.

When Elizabeth noticed Agatha refusing to answer, she cleared her throat and looked away, facing down. “It’s okay if you won’t tell me. But you can count on me if you need someone to talk to.”

“Why are you doing this, Liz?”

“Did I make you feel uncomfortable?”

“If you feel indebted to me after I helped you find your man out of coincidence, stop. I don’t need your pity.”

Yes. “No, not at all.”

“Then why?”

“I understand we failed to hit it off right from the start, and I feel sorry for that,” Elizabeth said, looking away.

Agatha nodded, but she smiled when she saw Elizabeth staring into the distance. That smile faded when she noticed Elizabeth moving her attention to her again. At that point, she cleared her throat to ease her sudden discomfort.

“We could make a new start, though,” Elizabeth said, which caught Agatha’s attention, who arched an eyebrow and looked at her. “Do you think we could be friends?”

Agatha scoffed before she let out a sarcastic chuckle. Hearing those words from a woman like Elizabeth was far-fetched for Agatha, especially after everything that happened. As much as she wanted to refuse the offer, she thought it would be better if they started again.

Besides, in Agatha’s mind, they both have nothing to lose. Above all, they went there for a vacation, not a cockfight. They stayed at the villa because they wanted to escape, so they couldn’t be doing the same shit as they did in the city.

“Sure,” Agatha said with an awkward smile, which prompted Elizabeth to do the same. After sharing kind smiles, they both went on, relishing the magnificent beauty of the sunrise as the sun rose behind the dark horizon and silence reigned between them.

It wasn’t until Agatha recalled her conversation with Valon last night. Thinking about it made her feel sick. As she remembered what her brother had told her, she glanced at Elizabeth, looking concerned about her and her life with Clay.

But when Elizabeth caught Agatha staring at her, she flashed a smile. “What’s wrong?”

Agatha shook her head and smiled. “Nothing,” she paused, pressing her lips as she was frantic, realizing her dilemma. “Have you told Clay about what happened to you?” When Elizabeth shook her head, Agatha felt more frustrated than she was.

Despite wanting to ignore the issue, no matter how suspicious she was of her brother’s affair with Clay, she felt protective of Elizabeth. Even though she barely knew this woman, despite being her OG fan, and after the tears she saw Elizabeth had shed, she couldn’t dare step in and become a superhero. Yet, in the end, she couldn’t stop herself from wanting to ask questions to understand the situation better.

Before she could even utter a word, Elizabeth looked at her, leaving Agatha to freeze out of the blue. “By the way, Valon and I talked earlier,” she said with a smile, though she felt otherwise.

Agatha’s eyebrows were drawn tight as she filled her mind with many questions. “And?”

“He didn’t say much. But he’s quite talented, isn’t he?” Elizabeth said with a smile, even though she only heard a scoff from her. A reaction that made her chuckle while eyeing her. “I noticed you’re close with your brother.”

Agatha smiled kindly, though she kept her face facing the sea. “We are. We grew up together. We have each other when we need the most. I guess you’d say we have a unique relationship.”

Elizabeth nodded, though she could never understand the feeling. She was the only child, so she could never share the same experience having a sibling, older or younger, and appreciate the love only siblings share. “I guess it’s nice to have a brother or a sister,” she paused when she noticed Agatha staring at her, “I will never experience something like that in my lifetime, although I don’t blame my parents for being a bit late for building a family.”

“I don’t think it’s always pleasant to have a sibling,” Agatha said, which reminded Elizabeth of Clay’s relationship with his siblings. His feud with them has escalated over the years, making her concerned. However, she felt thankful for Alain, who was different from his brother. A rose among the thorns in her eyes.

“After Clay ran away, I was clueless about where to find him. I called everyone I knew who knew him and tried to find himself wherever he could be. I was desperate, Agatha,” Elizabeth paused to give her a kind smile, “Little did I know Clay found someone he could confide with, and I’m happy to see what Valon had done for Clay.”

At that moment, Agatha felt more disturbed than she was, forced to let out a frustrated groan. Then, she stood with her clenched fists, flinching in her seat, which startled Elizabeth. She wondered why she felt beyond frustration for this woman. Her mind was clear about having zero interest in meddling with Elizabeth’s life. But it didn’t feel suitable for her, leaving her wondering what this unfamiliar feeling meant.

However, she froze when Elizabeth stood and suddenly found herself tracing every inch of her with her eyes. As their eyes met, Agatha gulped when her chest began hammering her, which confused her even more. All the blood drained out of her head, and the growing suspicion and alarm on Elizabeth’s face kept her from trying to jog her memory.

“Why are you looking at me like that? Is there anything else I need to know?” Elizabeth asked.

Despite her attempts to organize her thoughts, Agatha was frantic. She wished she knew. But now, she could not find reasonable answers to save face. Then, out of nowhere, she laughed awkwardly and looked away, clapping her hands. “Nothing. Anyway, how about breakfast? I think Kuya’s cooking today, which I missed a lot,” she said excitedly, even though her eyes spoke otherwise. She rushed back while her heart was beating triple time.

Elizabeth grabbed her arm. But when Agatha swiveled her head and let out a gaze, she released her arm before she took her phone out, which she tucked in her pocket, and checked the time before nodding. “Yeah, I guess Clay’s up now as well,” she paused when she noticed Agatha frowning, “Is something the matter?”

Agatha shook her head. “Nothing dramatic. I have to figure out how to film my next video.”

“Should I help you film while we’re walking around?” Elizabeth asked, smiling as if she was excited to go with Agatha to the nearby Poblacion, desperate to have more fun, hang out, and meet old friends. That’s what she thought without expecting Agatha to agree. When Elizabeth saw Agatha’s face glow after hearing the offer, she couldn’t help but smile and be pleased.

“You will?” Agatha, though pleased, asked with doubt in her tone.

“Sure, just tell me what I should do. You know, I’ve never been an influencer. So—”

“Don’t mind. Just be my cameraman today. That’s already a big help for me,” Agatha said with a smile, only to find herself yelping when Elizabeth stood closer and draped her arm around her neck.

As they walked in, Agatha gave in and glanced at her before she began studying Elizabeth’s face the same way she did before. Then, she glanced at her hand pressed on her shoulders, trying to keep herself calm because this time, Elizabeth was real that she could feel her warmth and hear her speak. It was different than just staring at her face, admiring her beauty on the screen.

“I won’t mind doing it for you,” Elizabeth said.

Even though Agatha felt more fidgety and her throat swelling with panic, she let out a soft sigh before saying a word. “Are you sure?” she asked shyly, almost stuttering.

“Yes,” Elizabeth said with confidence. “So, when are we going?”

Agatha’s eyes remained wide as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing from Rich Bitch. Well, that was Elizabeth’s old, fuck-given nickname Agatha coined out of nowhere, and perhaps, it could be used again if their friendship ends. That was how she thought about it. “How about we go anywhere? Is that a good answer?”

“Sure, I’ll drive you around. I don’t mind doing it for you,” Elizabeth said, smirking, as she turned without waiting for her to answer, leaving Agatha speechless and stopping while watching her walk a few steps away. When she was about to say something and saw Agatha standing behind her, she turned and looked at her with wonder. As they began exchanging gazes, it was that moment when she felt Agatha hugging her with her eyes.


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:

  1. Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
  2. Find more writing tips on my website (i.e., content writing, freelance writing, copywriting, self-publishing, novel writing, and many more!)

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