Here’s chapter 39 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.
The next morning, Marcela stooped over the bed and grabbed her bag. After spraying a dose of perfume for the day, she placed her combing brush inside. When she raised her hand, she looked at Alain, picking up the rest of the travel bags and heading downstairs. He left the door open.
As she was about to leave, her feet slowed, swiveling her head, and she stood before the mirror and watched her reflection. She scanned every inch of her face down to her stature. When did she last look at herself this way? She asked herself whether it was right for an old woman like her to experience puppy love.
But the moment she remembered how Albert looked at her with his smile—the same smile she fell in love with in college, she pulled her core up and straightened when she saw herself slouching.
While staring at her reflection, she recalled the bliss she had missed. It had been so long since she had always felt a flush of warmth and excitement. And she only experienced them whenever she was with him. The moments from when they first met to the time they became lovers.
“Hey, what are we doing here?” Marcela asked, patting herself to dry. “You knew it would rain hard today. Yet, you still forced me to run with you.” She paused and looked at him. When she saw him laughing, she smacked his arm. “Do you think this is funny?”
Albert shook his head while eyeing her.
She drew her eyebrows in. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
He smiled as he held out his hand. “‘Cause I have you, Mars.”
She froze when he caught her in a daze. Her heart throbbed, and it got louder the longer she felt his hand wrap around hers. Then, she yelped when he pulled her toward him and bumped her chest against his.
He took her in his arms and gazed at her. “No matter what happens. I will always love you.”
“Promise?” she asked.
Albert nodded. “I promise.”
As she raised her face to his eye view, she turned to stone when she saw him reaching her face. She closed her eyes and pressed her lips, squeezing herself the closer he was to her. Her mind squealed.
Returning to the present, Marcela leaned closer and saw the fine lines weaving her skin across her eye sockets, forehead, and lower cheeks. She fluffed her hair and grabbed strands. When she swiveled her head to the right, she noticed more than a handful of white and gray hairs scrambling down her shoulders.
She clucked while combing her long hair with her fingers. She has gotten old. She looked too old to fall in love. Who would have thought she’d—
Someone knocked on the door.
The familiar deep, low sound from a man’s voice muffled behind her. She turned to face the same direction. Whoa. It was Albert. There was nothing average about him. Despite being over fifty years old, he still had the bearing of youth.
She felt a warm flush creep up from her neck, though she wasn’t normally one to blush. Rarely did things take her by surprise the way Albert’s physical appearance had. Though nothing was special about what he wore, almost like a pajama, his clothes matched the charisma of an accomplished man.
“Ah, hi. Would you like to come in?” Marcela said, sending her the most confident glance.
Albert slanted a grin. “Sure,” he replied as he marched into the room. He gave off an air of being in charge, but somehow, he didn’t seem pushy. He was simply being Albert. The same Albert she knew when he was a student council president.
And she? Feeling the same as she did when she was his vice president?
It didn’t make sense to her.
Then, she frowned when she saw herself crying on her wedding day. She thought there was never a day she never had shed a tear since Albert left. Although she kept her head up for Clay, she couldn’t accept the reality she had never imagined. She couldn’t accept he had left her without a word. Until now, she resented him for it.
Was it too beautiful to last? That’s what Albert thought as he landed her an interested stare. Was coming here the right choice?
“Oh, my… You’ve always looked gorgeous in whatever you wear.”
“Thank you,” Marcela replied with a smile.
He smiled. “Are you ready? Should we go or—” he said while searching for any baggage she had.
“Just like that?” Marcela shot him a piercing glare.
Albert drew his eyebrows. His eyes narrowed while her eyes turned red as tears welled in her lids.
She stood closer to him and looked him in the eye. “Has it always been easy for you to let me go?” She paused to look away and inhaled while curling her hand. She wiped off her tears before she looked at him again. She gulped, easing her parched throat.
Albert turned to stone, unable to fix his thoughts. Watching her break down paralyzed him. Hearing those words escape her mouth felt like sandpaper scratching his wounds. He didn’t know what to say. If so, where should he start?
He lowered his head and stared at the carpeted floors as if he could find the answers that way. But when Marcela continued, he couldn’t help but look into her eyes.
“I waited for you, Albert. Thirty years! Why?”
Knowing he was pressed for time, there was no way for him to drop this conversation. He knew he was trapped, but he had no plans of escape. For him, it was now or never. Either he would tell her the truth or ignore it and move on. That’s what his mind told him. However, that wasn’t what he felt.
“Because you gave up on me, Mars,” Albert screamed.
Wow. For the first time, he finally shed tears despite his attempts to calm and restrain himself. In his mind, he feared where this feeling of moving on could go on. Deep down in his heart, he still whispers her name. He still loved her.
Yet, as much as he wanted to indulge and enjoy, he knew his boundaries. His feelings didn’t matter anymore because she was a married woman. Somebody had already taken her heart. She had a family. A wonderful son. A lavish, comfortable life. What else could she ask for?
Who was Albert in her life after he left?
She deserved a better man. And he had already accepted his defeat a thousand years ago. His failure to provide her with a life—a happy marriage and wonderful family—was enough of a capital punishment.
But how about now? Things have changed. He wasn’t poor or powerless anymore. He had the money and influence to make things possible. Would he finally fight against himself at this point, or would he choose to run away?
Her dad was right, after all. No matter how powerful and wealthy he was, he was still nothing to Marcela. A trying-hard brat. But then…
“I never gave up on you. You gave up on me. You left me.” She paused as she expelled a loud sigh from her mouth. “I looked for you for months. Everywhere, Albert.”
“But then, you married Saturnino,” he answered.
Annoyance, she told herself. Annoyance and irritation. Albert was the kind who gave people strokes in his innocent way. She was insulted, barely curbing her impatience, which was she had set aside her normal tact. “Because I was forced to. Dad wouldn’t let me raise Clay alone.”
Something caught Albert’s attention. He knew something was off about what she said but couldn’t figure out what it was. Wait. Did she say she was forced to marry to raise a child? Wait. No.
Albert shook his head, looking more confused. He didn’t say a word. Instead, after studying her for what seemed an infinite stretch, he turned away.
“He’s not an Elizondo, Albert. He’s yours,” Marcela said with pride because pride was what she felt. She was like a steam kettle ready to blow. And there she was. She blew up.
Albert felt chilled. That was the first moment he had dropped the image as if it were a broken glass. The reality smacked his head pretty hard. He was speechless as silence marched in. Though he was still in a battle against himself, he couldn’t find reasons to let her go. Not again.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he said, giving her a shockingly intense look in his eyes.
After what he learned, his face lit with devotion as he walked in baby steps in her direction. When he stood closer to her, he couldn’t help but land her a gaze. A long, loving gaze. “I’m sorry for everything.” He paused and grabbed her chin. “Do you still love me?”
What Marcela saw in his eyes took her breath away. A tiny voice inside her told her she ought to be angry, to either lash back or turn in the opposite direction and run, but that voice was drowned out by the sound of her pulse beating rapidly, hammering her feet in place to the floor. “Nothing has changed, Albert,” she said.
His hand shaped her cheek, then slid her jaw until his fingers feathered her hair. Her neck jacked back up as she met Albert’s feral gaze. His stare burned.
And the extraordinary happened. She felt an unadulterated lust for the first time. Her body got wickedly hot and wet.
“Tell me not to want to kiss you.”
But she couldn’t.
As outlandish as it seemed, given that Albert De Lara—the antithesis of her current life—she wanted his kiss. Maybe, deep down inside, she’d been wanting it since he’d shown up that afternoon. Maybe she’d been wanting it even longer.
It was chemistry, she thought. Pure, raw chemistry. Whatever he had, she wanted. Whether she wanted it to be so or not, she had to accept that chemistry between them. She knew there was no way her body was letting her move away from his touch. No way it was letting her evade him when his head slowly lowered, and his mouth touched hers.
He gave her one kiss, then a second, then a third. Each one lasted a little longer than before. Each one touched her a little more deeply. He seemed to be savoring her reluctantly. His lips were firm, knowing increasingly open and wet. His kisses were smooth, as warm as butter, and ten times more hot.
“I want you, Mars. I still do,” Albert said. His gaze was so strong, and his voice was firm that she could only manage a quiet “Uh-huh.” She’d been at a loss if he had asked her to say anything else. Fortunately, he didn’t and continued doing what she yearned for so long.
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 to 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:
- Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
- Check out my upcoming book, “Non-Native Speakers Only.”
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