Here’s chapter 52 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.
“Don’t worry, Val. I can handle this.” Clay smiled and winked, taking the art materials Valon had in hand. “You should do what you should do.” He pursed his lips, flicking them in the direction where his eyes were.
Valon swiveled his head in the same direction. When he saw the children’s excitement on their faces, he scoffed, laughing. “Right. I have to start. I know. But, I just couldn’t resist—”
A purring sound left Clay’s chest before he focused on his assignment. But as he turned his back, he let out a yelp when Valon tugged his collar. His eyes widened when he tilted his head and kissed his lips.
After a quick smooch, Valon looked at him, flashing a broad smile. A broader smile reached his ears as if he had fun watching the doctor’s cute reaction. He took his face, pressing his hand against his cheek, feeling his warmth, his ear. The tiny strands of his dark hair. “I love you,” he whispered.
Clay pressed his hand on top of his. “I love you, too.”
And the time slowed. It was like both of them were in a dreamland. They both felt as if they were alone, enjoying the gushing rapids inside their beings. Both hearts swelled with love, passion, and romance. Their skins tingled and warmed. A profound orgasmic spiritual sex, if you will.
But that moment was cut short. They opened their eyes and pulled away, swiveling their heads in the same direction. Their bodies shuddered.
“Alain…” Clay was in chaos. His mind convulsed and went blank when he saw Alain standing beside them. His heart throbbed triple time. Even when he felt Valon’s hand wrapping around his, he couldn’t find the words to say. He held onto it as if his life depended on it.
Yet, he flinched when Alain suddenly grabbed Valon, tugging him in his direction. “How dare you—”
“Alain!” He tried to squeeze himself between them, hoping he could get a chance to diffuse the situation. The force almost threw him back. “Stop it!” He grunted, trying one more time. This time, his voice was loud and sharp. “I said stop it!” He managed to get the most of his strength and pushed Alain away from Valon. The adrenaline kicked in. His face flushed, turning scarlet, while his eyes were wide.
“What are you doing?” Alain muttered under his breath, panting, trying to catch his breath. He pointed the finger at Valon while eyeing Clay. “This man,” Alain paused, pointing the finger at him, “He’s responsible for everything that happened to us. Clay… Please. We aren’t like this. What happened to us?”
“If you believe hurting him will help you catch my attention, don’t try too hard, Alain.”
“You’ve disappointed me. You’re embarrassing the family!” Alain glowered, flashing the last angry stare before he turned his back and walked out.
Agatha scoffed. “Bastard.”
Clay sighed. “I know that. You don’t have to say that to my face.”
“Twelve years. Imagine. Twelve years. Instead of fulfilling your commitment to your one-and-only, what did you do? Taking the time to have fun and sleep with my brother?”
Valon dashed to her and slapped her face.
“Kuya… How could you?” Agatha answered, almost stuttering. She winced, feeling the painful sting on her cheek. Fuck. When she raised herself, feeling the urge for a fair fight, her eyes widened as she froze, watching his piercing, menacing stare. Her chest felt tighter and tighter the longer she stared at them. But, as much as she wanted to move and free herself, she couldn’t. She felt paralyzed, though she was kind of familiar with it. She had seen those stares once. Though it had been ages ago, she couldn’t believe she would see them again, let alone receive them.
Oh, this was how it felt. It was ice-cold. She felt like she was a stranger. There was no sign of a brother in his eyes. God. She had never felt this fearful. She had never seen him this cold. Angry. She didn’t like it. It was as if a gun was pointed at her chest.
“I’m sorry,” Valon paused and shook his head, “But what you said was too much.”
Agatha looked away, scoffing. “Go, enjoy yourselves while you can.” She wanted to explode and scream at him. But she didn’t want to. After all, he was still her brother. Her savior. She turned her back and took Elizabeth, tugging her.
Elizabeth flinched. Her eyes widened. “Where are we going?”
“Let’s leave this fucking place and go somewhere.”
“But….” Elizabeth grunted, pulling her hand away from Agatha.
“Everyone, let’s welcome Dr. Saturnino Elizondo!”
She stopped dead when she saw Saturnino approaching them. “Dad…” The only word she could say. A short sound escaped her lips. While everyone was in a ruckus, she turned into stone. It was as if the time had slowed. Her chest began to pound her, hammering her with loud and fast beats. She wanted to run and escape, but she couldn’t. Because there was something in that man approaching her.
Though walking limply with a cane in hand, an old man entered with charisma. His entrance was a head-turner, to say the least. He looked a lot older than Albert. Probably in his sixties. White strands covered his temples, leaving a bald spot on top of his head. Wrinkles furrowed around his eyes, his forehead, his jawlines. Yet, he looked dashing in his simple, old-fashioned choice of clothes—a plaid polo shirt and white slacks paired with a dark-colored Tux left unbuttoned and a pair of black shoes.
“Stop calling me dad,” he said with disinterest. He didn’t even look at her when he paused, expelling a long but silent, angry sigh. He shook his head as if she had disappointed him. As he continued walking, his feet slowed when he saw a familiar man before him. He flashed a dry smile.
“How long has it been, Albert?” He announced. Sarcasm was loud and clear. “Thirty years?” He laughed. It was an insulting laugh. “You impressed me, though. Who would have thought a rat like you could be one of us?” He pointed his index finger to Albert and then squeezed his shoulder. “I’m glad to see you again.”
He paused and waved his hand to the audience, forcing a smile while glancing at him with a smirk. He walked past them, heading to the stage. He climbed and stood before the podium. He took the microphone and cleared his throat.
“Good morning, everyone. Thank you for such a warm welcome. Thank you for your time, for trusting the children with us. For fifty years, my family has been providing excellent medical services in all facets. The country knows who we are and what we’re capable of. Our love, our deep-rooted love, to serve fuels our drive to continue this foundation for so long. So, today’s a special day because we have an unexpected visitor. I want to welcome the sponsor of this project. I want to introduce you to Mr. Albert De Lara.” He paused, watching everyone applauding.
Though forcing a smile, Albert turned to stone, but his fists curled until his knuckles grew white. He forced himself to climb the stage and stand beside him. His eyes wandered, looking at the audience before they caught Marcela’s worried face. His heart sank. He was out of options. What should he do now?
“Albert De Lara is an old friend of mine. I met him thirty years ago. He had been a wonderful man. A wonderful friend. A wonderful confidant. That’s why I feel grateful for having him here, supporting our mission to share love and care for others. As we all know, his leadership was impeccable. He’s an honorable man. He had served the country with pride. Even with his entrepreneurial success, he had never forgotten where he came from. And I hope he would always will.” He paused and looked into his eyes, smiling. “I’m honored to have you here, Albert. It’s a pleasure to see you again, my old friend.” He moved his attention to the audience. “He’s a man with principle. Loving. Caring. Charity work is his nickname. Just like his family. He isn’t just a father to two wonderful children. He also fathered another one.”
“Stop it,” Albert whispered, warning him.
Saturnino smirked. “Why?” He paused and glanced at Marcela, glowering at him. He laughed. “Are you scared to tell everybody you’re Clay’s father?”
Everyone was shocked.
He continued, “That’s right. Be scared.” He chuckled as he glanced at the audience, enjoying the people’s reactions while eyeing him. It was as if he enjoyed watching Albert freeze, looking like a fool. He placed the microphone back on the podium and turned to face him. “Instead of trying to piss me off, why don’t you try to be thankful for raising your kid, living a great life you had never fulfilled?” he murmured.
“I didn’t piss you off.”
“But you stepped into my territory, De Lara. We both know that’s not what we want. Right?”
“I was invited.”
Saturnino looked surprised. “Who?”
Disappointed, Saturnino turned his head, looking for his son. When he couldn’t, he flashed a sheepish smile and scoffed. “Do you really think you can win against me?”
Albert smirked. “I already won.”
Those three words were enough to boil Saturnino up to his rage. He collared him and was about to punch his face. But he stopped when he felt Marcela’s hand holding him, stopping him. “I’ve been waiting for this. It’s been a long time.”
“No,” Marcela said in her gentle way. Yet, it was enough for him to release his grip and let the man go. “Stop it!” she repeatedly screamed, thinking it was enough to diffuse the situation. Though she tried to block Albert, Saturnino was too strong against her. So, she was thrown to the ground when he shoved her away. While Albert struggled to get up, he didn’t miss the chance to sit on his abdomen while his punches continued.
Albert tried to fight and managed to grapple with the man, crawling to the floor, trying to grab a chance to tug him, screaming his name. He kept punching until a group of huge men in black entered, removing him from the old man. As he was dragged outside, he remembered himself thirty years ago. In that brief moment, he pictured himself as a young man with his mullets being dragged by a group of men bigger than him that day.
Marcela got up again. But this time, her hands tightened around her bag and hit the old man with it. She hit him once and then twice. Thrice. She didn’t stop until she saw him crawling to the floor. She tried not to cry, which was what she really wanted to do. She had wanted to do it a lot lately.
When Saturnino got up, he tossed her long, piercing look in the eye. His chest expanded with his arm raised. It was as if he wanted to hit her as he had always done. But then, Marcela remained still. That baffled him.
“Don’t you dare tell me I’m weak or something’s wrong with me! Because I’m tired of hearing of it. I’d spent enough time punishing myself for what I did.”
Saturnino was tongue-tied. Unable to say anything in answer, to save his face from everyone, he let out a quick but loud, angry groan and turned his back to her. He walked out of the stage, shoving anyone who blocked his path.
Frightened, Marcela turned to stone, feeling surprisingly empowered. And it had nothing to do with Albert. It had to do with facing an unknown and daunting future. At the same time, a feeling of being alone. But it didn’t matter to her. She was done with being weak. She was tired of it.
If there was dismay on her face, it was lost in the middle as exhaustion had blanketed her from head to toe. “That’s okay,” she whispered—so quietly she didn’t feel anything but satisfaction she had hoped for.
While the ruckus went on, Clay was still. That announcement felt hit him like a knock-out punch in the gut. Calling himself a bastard was supposed to be a joke. A moniker he created to describe his life and irreparable father-son relationship. But who would have thought he was actually a bastard?
As emotions rushed through his veins, warming up, he briefly closed his eyes and saw himself on that day—reliving the pain and how distraught Valon was during their last night together. He couldn’t understand why Valon became cold.
Damn. Clay realized it wasn’t because he never wanted him but because he had a reason. A big one.
His mind questioned many things, from how Valon had turned hot and cold to how he noticed his mom’s glow at the villa. He hated to realize he missed a lot of points.
Does Valon know about this? Clay asked himself while watching him looking distraught while staring into the distance. When Valon walked out, he followed his trail and walked in strides, almost running to catch him. He felt his gut widen, feeling relieved to be away from there.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He screamed.
Valon stopped, but he refused to look at him.
“You told me I made you feel terrible. Is this what you meant?” Clay asked as anticipation shot through his being. He patiently waited until Valon sighed and straightened himself as if he was preparing his explanation. But when he refused to speak for a minute, he continued. “Is this why you suddenly stopped…” He couldn’t even finish the sentence.
“Dad didn’t like what I was doing to you. So, I had to stop and stay away,” Valon said as calmly as he could, though he wasn’t. He refused to look him in the eye.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Clay stared at the ring on his finger before he raised his face to his eye view. “Does knowing me better make you feel uncomfortable?”
Valon’s eyes widened and narrowed. “Yes.”
“Because I’m your brother?” Clay strolled, walking close to him while feeling disappointed for his refusal. His back was still at him. He sighed, inhaling as if he was preparing to say something outside his comfort zone. “If you knew, why give me a ring?” He paused, lowering his head while planting both hands on his waist. He pinched his forehead with his thumb and index finger as he shook his head in disbelief. “Do you want to know how I feel?” When Valon refused to speak or nod in answer, he continued. “I don’t like this game you’re playing with me.”
And it worked.
Valon turned slowly and finally looked at him. He narrowed his eyes, furrowing his eyebrows. “Do you think I am?”
Desperate, Clay reached his hand and took it, squeezing it. “I don’t care.”
Valon yanked his hand away from him. “Why wouldn’t you care? This isn’t right. We’re destroying families, Clay.” His eyes turned bloodshot as he breathed in. Despite his attempts to keep his composure, his tears were too stubborn to stop. As they crawled and dampened his face, he rolled his eyes, turning his back on him.
Clay walked around, blocking his path, and stood before him, clamping both hands on his neck, holding his head steady. “You love me. And I love you. We love each other. Isn’t this worth fighting for?”
Valon looked at him and then down at the ground as if in deep thought. The longer the silence was, Clay became more restless, though he tried to keep his emotional barometers in check. Please…
As he slowly pulled away, without a word, Valon placed his hands on top of his. He tilted his head and moved his face forward until his lips pressed against his. While their lips locked, he felt his hands snaking around his body, finding their way to where they wanted to be.
Little did they know Albert was watching them the whole time. And he hadn’t moved since he stood there. Disturbed, he expelled a sound off his chest and shook his head, looking hammered and disappointed. Way too disappointed. It stirred him. Realization of that stirring was enough to feel the cringe. It was too much for him to handle.
Without conscious intent, the pain in his heart swelled, and it had gotten more overbearing. The pain lasted for a minute, but it felt like an hour. In the wake of it all, his defenses refortified—a wave of anger and determination to do something. This shouldn’t go on.
It must end.
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!)