Chapter 47, Dr. Clay (Cult of Eros #1, Ongoing Update)

Dr. Clay Novel by M. Gaspary Featured Image - Free Chapters
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Here’s chapter 47 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.

Clay stood outside the Art Department, waiting for Valon in frantic. He glanced at his wristwatch, checking the remaining minutes he had spared for this visit. He hoped he could see him and talk to him. However, he never saw him, even at the last minute. When he saw the lights in the office turn off one by one, he clucked. “Where are you, Val?” he whispered. He tried to call him again. But he was only directed to the voicemails instead. He tried again and again, only to no avail.

When he was about to give up, his hopes sprouted when he saw a man walking out with his backpack. He turned off the last light above him and locked the door. Then, when he turned and saw him standing behind him, he jumped, thinking Clay was a ghost.

“I’m sorry if I scared you, Sir,” Clay said.

When the man, who looked in his forties, looked at him. He cursed while pressing his chest to ease. “It’s okay. I noticed you’ve been standing here for a while now. Are you looking for somebody?”

“I know it’s a bit late now. But I wanted to talk to your department head,” Clay replied.

“What is it about?” he asked.

“It’s personal,” Clay stuttered.

Frank studied his face with a trademark dubious look and crossed his arms. “And you are?”

“I’m sorry. Clayton Elizondo. I’m the resident surgeon here.” He extended his hand.

Frank smiled, looking surprised. “Oh. You’re the one he was talking about. By the way, my name is Frank. Frank Zambrano. Assistant department head,” he said, shaking the doctor’s hand.

Clay drew his eyebrows in and let out an awkward laugh. “It’s nice to meet you, Frank.”

“I remember he talked a lot about you at the art exhibition,” Frank replied.

Clay smiled.

“I’ve been working with him since his first day in San Carlos. He’s quite an extraordinary man, isn’t he?” Frank replied.

Clay nodded. “He is.”

“Anyway, Sir Val was here this morning. But he suddenly rushed home after the meeting.”

Disappointed, Clay lowered his face and sighed. “I see.”

When Frank saw him frowning, he clucked. He paused to take out a sheet of paper from his inner pocket. “I hope this can help you out.”

Clay took the sheet and looked at the address written on it. He looked at Frank. “Thank you. But why would you give his complete home address to someone you barely know personally? Don’t you think what you’re doing is dangerous?”

Frank sighed and crossed his arms. “I am not putting my friend in danger because I know you, Doc. Since he met you, there was never a day he didn’t tell stories about you. Though I never met you personally, I felt like I knew you that long. So, I became curious until I saw you at the exhibition.”

At that moment, Clay felt his chest swell, squeezing him. That left him wondering more. He had more questions than answers. “Really?” he stuttered, though he struggled to remain calm.

“I’m glad to meet his muse finally,” Frank said nonchalantly.

The doctor’s eyes widened while his eyebrows furrowed. “Excuse me?” he sputtered.

Frank smiled. “Why do you look surprised? I thought you knew.” He paused and looked at him. “Well, he asked for my help. So, we’ve been planning for this project for a while now. That’s why I’m stoked!” He giggled while squeezing his hands together. “I’ve never seen his output yet. But I trust Valon’s powers. Everyone in the department agrees this man has a Medusa’s touch.” He laughed.

As happy as he was, Clay was in chaos. He didn’t know what to say. All the time, he thought everything they did together was private. God. He failed to remind himself he was doing his artistic porn for a project. A collaborative project.

“Does everybody in the department know about this?” Clay’s voice sharpened.

Frank shook his head. “No. Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.” He giggled. “You know what, thank you.”

A reply he didn’t expect to hear.

Why would he be thankful? Was he grateful for having a full-fledged surgeon accept an incredible, out-of-character part-time job? That’s what Clay thought.

“Sir Val had worked hard for this. A lot. He kept searching for the right person for this project. Months of hell. So, I was happy when he told me he finally found the one.” He paused and shook his head. “For years working with him, I’ve never seen him that happy. You know, that inspired. Gosh. God knows. Whoever touched his heart was a lucky one. Sir Val may need some haircut after this. But isn’t he quite a catch?”

Clay let out an awkward laugh.

“Come on. He is single, handsome, tall, and creative. Extremely creative. He only needs someone to love him truly to complete the package.” Frank clucked again. “I once thought it was a hopeless case.”

“Why do you think so?” Clay asked with interest.

“As his friend, I always thought he was asexual. But then, he proved me wrong when he said he liked his muse. You know, we do Zoom calls time by time. So recently, when he was at the villa, I noticed him smiling like that.” He paused and looked into his eyes. “I bet he’s in love with his muse. That’s for sure.”

Clay’s heart throbbed triple time. He couldn’t believe what he had just heard. “Anyway, I have to leave. Thank you for telling me this and for the address,” he said before he turned around. He was about to leave when Frank continued.

“That’s why you thought of coming here to see him. Am I right?” Frank paused and saw the doctor turn in his direction and nod. Then, he let out an exasperated sigh and approached him. “Quite frankly, I’m worried about him. Because I don’t know what happened today.”

His eyes narrowed while drawing his eyebrows in. “Why do you think so?”

“He’s never been like this. I mean, he’s never been this angry and… sad.” Frank shrugged. “After all, he had worked so hard on this project for months. He even sacrificed some holidays for it. But then, he suddenly told me he might have to cancel it.” He paused when his face flushed, and he expelled an angry sigh. He shook his head. “I’ve never seen him acting like this. It’s as if something terrible must have been bothering him. So please visit him and check whether he’s okay.”

“Sure,” Clay answered. “And thank you…for the address. It means a lot to me.” He smiled.

“It’s my pleasure, Doc. Bye,” Frank said before he walked in the opposite direction.

“Bye,” Clay replied. When alone, he stared at the sheet again and ran to the hallway, heading to the parking lot. He slid into his car and drove away.

Valon sighed as he walked into his living room and sat on the bean bag, leaning against its plush while staring at the ceiling. He felt right when he thought about vengeance for what the doctor’s father had done to his family. She had been gone for a long, long time. Still, his sad eyes made him look like he had a terminal illness.

“It’s going to be fine.” He found himself saying, although he didn’t believe it.

“I’m sorry, Mama. I tried to be a good son. But look at what kind of person I have become,” he asked himself before shutting his eyes in tears, reeling his memories while watching himself when he was eighteen.

He held his mother’s hand. “Mama. Would you be alright?”

“Don’t worry. Dr. Elizondo is one of the best doctors in the country. So, I trust him, ‘Nak. So, pray for me and ask Papa God that I will survive this. Okay? Don’t leave Agatha alone.”

“I will. I promise,” Valon said. He held her hand until the medical team pushed him aside, preparing her for the surgery. He swiveled his head when he felt his father’s touch.

“Let’s go,” his father said.

Valon nodded and turned his head again, facing the surgery room, hoping to see his mother one last time.

Before the surgery room closed, he saw the last man, in his thirties, entering the room. He looked Hispanic—stocky, tall, and grumpy. He felt the charisma oozing out of him.

Yet, later that afternoon, he saw him talking to his dad, shaking his head.

“I’m sorry. But your wife passed away,” the doctor said.

In the next scene, he remembered the court scenes and how his dad reacted to the judge’s decision against the Elizondos. His dad died from a broken heart during the burial the following week. He remembered how Uncle Elmer bastardized him and his sister to meeting Albert during his first year in college. He sat in front of the Scholarships Office, waiting for the director to arrive and begging her to offer him a scholarship to help him finish his studies for the sake of Agatha. He thought he could easily find a job if he could finish any degree. But when the director arrived, he was refused.

Albert was a politician in his prime, thinking of retirement. He didn’t like politics anymore. He considered visiting the Scholarships Aid to sponsor academically excelling but financially unstable kids.

After talking to the assistants to process the finalization of the terms of his scholarship, he saw the commotion outside. When he walked out, he heard the ongoing conversation and understood the young man’s situation. So, he offered his help. It was the first time Albert and Valon met.

Going back to the present, he shook his head, lowering his head until he remembered what Albert had told him.

You can’t fall in love with your brother.

“Dad’s right. There’s no way I will fall in love with him. Right?” He reached out for his phone and scrolled through his contact until he reached Clay’s name. When he was ready to make a call, he couldn’t find the courage and do it.

Instead, he returned to its home page and placed his device on the only table. “Don’t worry, Mama. If justice weren’t given to you, I would ensure you would have it.” Even if Clay would have to pay the price.

But then, when his mind remembered his conversations with Clay, he broke down, shaking his head because he knew what he said wasn’t true.

Even though he knew his ill intent, he couldn’t deny how his body felt whenever he was with Clay. While his mind struggled to reconcile his feelings, he was in denial of the blossoming romance. His mind was hungry for revenge, but his heart spoke love.

Shortly after, his sobs echoed in his cramped but silent room until he heard the doorbell ring three times. He clucked when he listened to another three.

“Wait,” he sputtered, wiping off his tears and dragging himself toward the entry door. Disinterested, he checked the intercom and saw Clay standing outside, panting. His eyes widened, and his body was suddenly covered in a cold sweat.

When he opened the door, Clay looked him in the eye. “Are you busy? Can we talk?” he asked, ignoring his inquiry as he kept panting. His forehead was soaked with his sweat as he tried to catch his breath.

“What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be there and help with the preparations?” Valon replied.

Clay shook his head. “Haven’t you heard the news?”

“What news?” he asked as if he didn’t know about the issue.

“There will be no preparations to make because there will be no wedding,” Clay sputtered.

He drew his eyebrows. “Are you kidding me?” His voice sharpened, remembering his conversation with Alain earlier.

“No. So you better allow me to get in and talk to you.”

“What did you do?” Valon scoffed and shook his head in defeat, swiveling it to hide his tears. He wiped it with his palm before turning his head in his direction. He gulped before his eyes landed on his. “Look. It’s over, Clay.”

“I know you’re saying this to hurt me. But I know this isn’t what you want to say,” Clay replied louder, demanding his honesty.

Valon rolled his eyes and shook his head, feeling caught. “Before you came to the villa, there was no you and I. It was okay when you were getting married to Liz because you knew you loved her.”

“I fell out of love with her long before I met you. That was the problem.”

“Still, I caused the breakup. And that’s the fact,” Valon sputtered.

“Don’t blame yourself for causing this breakup because it was meant to happen,” Clay paused as he studied his face, “Because there is no way I could stop wanting to move forward with you anymore.”

Valon shook his head. “No, you can’t do that. You can’t.”

“Why?” Clay asked.

“Listen to me, Clay. I had already accepted my fate and that this feeling would only lead me nowhere. Besides, everything between us was over. So, what’s this? I don’t understand why can’t you leave me and move on. You have a bigger and better life than this. And I don’t think I deserve to be part of it.”

“Just because I left, do you think we’re over now?” Clay shook his head, pushing himself toward him with his hand grabbing the handles and his torso blocking the door this time. “No! There’s no way I can move on with my life without you.”

Valon softened and suddenly released his hand from the door. “Fine. Whatever. Come in.” He gestured and watched Clay walking in. Then, a loud door slam broke the silence.

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 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:

  1. Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
  2. Check out my upcoming book, “Non-Native Speakers Only.”
  3. 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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