Here’s chapter 45 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.
Everything is according to plan. Valon thought when he was alone in the meeting room. He sat behind his desk with both elbows pressed against his glass table. He threaded his fingers and pressed both hands against his mouth. His eyes stared at the tiled floors.
Then, he heard somebody entering the office. He stood and saw Alain enter, surprising him. Although he had only met him once at the villa, he felt something was off about this man. It was as though his presence was enough to threaten him. However, he never expected to meet him here, let alone see another Elizondo entering his territory, wanting to pay a visit. He would expect it from Clay but not Alain. Besides, why would he come here to see me when it was his dad he should meet? In Valon’s mind, he has nothing to do with Clay’s brother. Unless…
Though his mind wandered and filled with suspicion, he smiled as he approached him, extending his arm to shake his hand. “Mr. Elizondo, what brings you here?” he paused, anticipating his answer. But when Alain approached and refused to greet or explain his sudden visit, that smile faded away. “If you’re concerned about your foundation, call my dad immediately. You don’t have to be here unless it’s about something else,” Valon said coldly.
Alain stood before the table, facing him with his chest pumped and both hands inside his pockets. He tilted his head while giving Valon a silent mock, which thickened the air in the room. “You’re right. I’m here to talk to you, Mr. De Lara.”
“What is it about?” Valon asked with disinterest, rolling his eyes as he moved his attention to his chaotic table, preparing the materials he needed for the day’s presentation. Although the air-con was turned on, his body was wet in a cold sweat. While he grabbed a binder and opened the hardcover, his eyes remained on high alert, glancing at the stern-looking, tall man.
Alain walked around the table and grabbed a seat. He sat on it and faced forward, intently scanning Valon’s features. He sighed when he noticed Valon’s business—disheveled papers and piles of binders scattered on the table. While ignoring the weight of Valon’s dubious stare, he took out an invitation card from his shirt pocket. He placed it on the table and pushed it in Valon’s direction.
“What is that?” Valon asked.
“The foundation wants to invite you to demonstrate art to kids. It’s Liz’s project, which your father supported.”
Valon took the card and flipped it to read its contents. He glanced at Alain before folding the card and placing it back on the table. “Why do you think I’m needed there when you can find others better and more popular than me?” he asked as suspicion arose and swelled his chest.
“You’re talented. Wouldn’t it be great to have you show everyone your incredible art?” Alain slightly tilted his head and smiled.
Of course, that didn’t escape Valon’s radar. It was crystal clear to him something was off about this man. Really. He felt Alain had more in mind than what he said. Curious, he made a shot and tested whether this man would talk.
“What art are we talking about?” Valon paused before he scoffed and chuckled when he remembered how the canvas was displaced. He thought, ‘Wow. Alain thought he was that stupid to haven’t noticed it.’
Though his system was shutting down and wanting to escape, he surprised himself by talking as calmly as he did. As if he didn’t care a thing about it. As if.
Alain turned to stone in his seat. When he felt cornered, the look in his eyes changed. Yes, he felt guilty for trespassing. But if he hadn’t been there, he wouldn’t have discovered the painting—his lustful impression of his brother. “I want to talk about your relationship with Clay.”
Valon paused for a second, feeling the thickening air and warming tension in the room. “What about it?”
Alain lowered his head as if he had second thoughts about what he wanted to say. “I saw you going out with him that night after we celebrated Christmas Day.”
Valon raised his head and looked at him, cursing himself. His mind wandered, trying to figure out excuses he could come out of his mouth. He didn’t care about what Alain felt; the concern of a brother didn’t matter to him. Deep inside, he understood the man’s anger toward him because he would do the same if Agatha had done something stupid.
However, he remained clear and firm in his decision.
Clay was his, and he would never plan to give him up. No matter what.
Yet now, he was forced to say something and was pressed for time. So, he had to find a good excuse and figure out how to dodge the question and end the conversation. “Didn’t he explain that to you when you arrived home?”
“I think both of you owe me an explanation,” Alain sputtered. He leaned forward and pressed his fingers on the glass table while glowering at the man. He looked forced to be there, talking to this man.
“If your brother refused to say a thing, why do you want to force me to say something I don’t know about?”
“Are you his lover?”
Valon scoffed and arched an eyebrow. He gulped before giving him a sarcastic laugh. “Finally. We’re talking!” He clapped. “What do you think?” He leaned against his seat and crossed his legs, leaning one weight on one side. He pressed his elbows against the armrest and threaded his fingers.
Alain bore him with his stares. “I do because I know my brother. He wouldn’t do something like this unless that person meant much to him.”
“What do you think I did? Do you mind explaining it to me?” Valon asked before he leaned forward, pressing his chest toward the table. He noticed how the look on Alain’s face changed, turning scarlet. His breathing was heavy.
Valon stood while having no qualms about answering his menacing stare. “If this concerns him breaking up with Liz or something between those lines, I am not involved.”
Alain stood and grabbed his collars, tugging him in his direction while glaring at him. He hissed. “I’m being patient with you right now. So, you better tell me the truth. Otherwise—”
“What? Do you think you could scare me with a threat like that?” Valon glared and pushed him away from his grip. “If you mind explaining what’s happening, I also won’t mind telling you the truth.” He grabbed the folds of his clothes and pulled down as he released a loud exasperated sigh. He looked at him, arching an eyebrow while anticipating the man to answer his inquiry. But when Alain refused to explain himself further fast as he expected, impatience started to override him. He scoffed, thanking God that he hadn’t forgotten how to keep his patience meter on track.
“Clay ran away.”
“Again?” Valon raised his tone.
“Yes. Again,” Alain replied.
“And you think he’s with me?”
“He did it once. He will do it again.” Alain paused, observing the man’s reaction on his face. “Do you understand what you’ve done, De Lara?”
“Is that an accusation?” Valon’s voice sharpened.
Alain arched an eyebrow, shooting him with a glare, leaving Valon felt at gunpoint. He released an exasperated sigh as he fixed himself. “Suppose that’s what I want to say.”
“Don’t waste your time here. If you have nothing more sensible to say to me, you better leave,” Valon answered.
Alain pointed his index finger at Valon’s chest. “If you have planned this, I will never forgive you for hurting Liz and destroying my family like this.”
“Whatever he did, it was his choice, not mine. So, it’s not my fault they broke up if they did.”
“Why wouldn’t it be your fault when you seduced my brother and brought him to your den?”
Valon walked toward him and gave him a piercing look in his eyes. “Uh-uh.” He shook his head. “I didn’t seduce him. It was he who approached me. And I’m just being kind to give him what he needed.”
“I don’t care.” Alain paused and walked closer to him. “What do you think of Clay? A toy to play with and throw away when you’re done?”
“Why can’t you accept it was meant to happen even if Clay hadn’t met me?”
“If he hadn’t met you, he wouldn’t have considered leaving Liz.”
“How dare you come to my office and accuse me of something I never did.” He paused and saw Alain looking confused. “If you’re truly concerned about your brother, why wouldn’t you let him do what he wants and be happy instead of accusing and harassing innocent people?”
Alain scoffed. “Do you think I’d believe you’re innocent?” He laughed. “Aren’t you delusional right now?”
Valon drew his eyebrows in. “I don’t think so,” he paused and smirked.
Alain scoffed again as if he couldn’t believe what he had heard from this man. “I can’t believe someone like you, a shabby-looking man, could do that.”
“Thanks for the compliment. But I don’t need that shit here. Not in my workplace.”
Alain couldn’t stop himself anymore and grabbed Valon while the other hand curled, attempting to punch his face to ease himself. Though anger gushed in his being, he tried to stop himself from hurting this man. Watching Valon remain still with eyes open and seemingly unaffected baffled him. So, he proceeded to tug him instead. “Don’t you dare lie to me, De Lara! I know both of you are hiding something from me.”
“Do you really think I’m Clay’s lover?” Valon asked while glancing at the man’s shaking fist.
Alain dragged him away from the table and pushed him back, slamming him against the wall. “Yes, I do because I saw your painting. So, don’t bullshit me.”
Valon’s eyes widened.
Alain paused, watching his frantic reaction. When he saw his round, brown eyes widen, he smirked. “Now, you look surprised.” He went on, boring him with his menacing stare and clucking. “I can’t believe how much you’re obsessing my brother with your disgusting art.”
“Your words don’t hurt me, Elizondo. What you saw there was nothing but a professional affair. There’s nothing else. But Elizabeth? Do you think she’s an innocent angel?”
Alain hissed. “Do you mean Liz cheated on my brother?”
“Yeah. Clay ran away because he found out Elizabeth was cheating on him right under his nose,” Valon replied nonchalantly.
“She wouldn’t do that. Certainly, she won’t do that,” Alain replied.
Valon shook his head. “Before you accuse Clay of doing something stupid, why don’t you ask her first?”
Alain refused to answer for a second, looking confused about what he had heard. His eyes still widened in anger. His face showed despair, feeling bad for Elizabeth—a hopeless victim in his mind. “She wouldn’t do that.”
“Fine. If that’s what you believe,” Valon replied.
The door opened. Both of them turned their heads in that direction. It was Frank, looking suspicious with an eyebrow shot. “Excuse me, Sir Val. We heard noises outside. Is everything okay?” He stuttered.
Valon forced an awkward smile while Alain immediately released his grip and turned around with both hands on his waist, shaking his head. “Yeah. Everything is okay, Frank.”
“By the way, everyone’s at the conference hall. And the meeting will be soon. So, you better not be late this time,” he said.
“Sure. Give me five minutes. Alright? I’ll finish this first and go,” Valon replied.
“Come on. You’ve always been late.” Frank paused, watching them with wary eyes.
“I’ll make sure I won’t be this time.”
“Sure.” Valon nodded.
“Okay. Sorry for interrupting you. Excuse me,” Frank said as he stepped backward and closed the door.
“It’s okay. Don’t mind,” Alain replied, easing the man with a smile. But as soon as Frank left the room, it didn’t take long for him to land another glare at the man standing before him. “We’re not finished yet.” He shook his head and shoved his hands away from him.
“I think we’re done now,” Valon announced as he moved his attention to the files scattered on the table. While arranging the papers and tapping them on the surface, he glanced at Alain. He continued placing the sheets on the binder to look busy and inattentive.
“Don’t worry. I won’t stay long. Anyway, it’s nice meeting you, Mr. De Lara.”
“I have enough. You can leave now,” Valon said, gesturing to the exit door.
Alain scoffed as he walked in that direction. But as he opened the door, he turned to have a good look at the man. “Oh. There’s one thing I forgot to tell you. I told Clay once about him having an eye for interesting things. I guess I was right. Because he found you.”
Remembering how Clay reacted when he said the same line during the art exhibition and how he mentioned it to him that night, Valon refused to speak as Alain walked out of the meeting room. As soon as he left, it was the first moment he felt the space he needed after this conversation, which sucked his life out. He planted both palms on the table and leaned forward to ease himself. He looked at the door with contempt, though Alain was gone.
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.”
- Find more writing tips on my website (i.e., content writing, freelance writing, copywriting, self-publishing, novel writing, and many more!)