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Chapter 53, Dr. Clay (Cult of Eros #1, Ongoing Update)

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Here’s chapter 53 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.

Albert sighed and cleared his throat. “I’m so sorry for what happened yesterday.” He paused, anticipating his reply. But when he heard nothing, he glanced at him and saw him staring into the distance. “Clay?”

Clay flinched. “Yes?”

“Are you alright?”

Clay let out an awkward laugh and shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

Albert was dazed. Though he looked calm, he felt otherwise. He was beyond frustrated. He felt lost. These thoughts ran through his head. It filled his attention so much that he thought he had lost his senses. He sighed. “I know you like Valon. But you can’t be with him.”

“Is that the reason why you want to meet me?” Clay asked. His voice was scissor-sharp.

His chest jumped and suddenly swelled with anxiety. Yet, a frustrated groan escaped his lips. “You don’t know Valon enough.”

“What do you mean?” Clay stuttered.

“Natalia Reyes. Does that sound a bell to you?”

“Yes. How do you know her?”

“She had two children. A son and a daughter. She was admitted to the hospital where your father worked. She was scheduled for abdominal surgery that day. However, she passed away.” He paused and looked into his eyes. “And the reason? Medical malpractice. And the best part? She was Valon’s mom. And Saturnino Elizondo was her surgeon.”

Clay’s eyes widened. His eyebrows knitted. “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.” He looked so confused. He was desperate for answers. His eyes begged him.

“Do you remember when they arrested your dad because of a homicide case?” Albert shook his head, watching his face frown, looking more confused. Even though it was painful to watch his son in that fashion, he would rather see him breaking this way than be with a man he thought would do more harm. “I can’t let you near him. He’s dangerous.”

“But he’s your son, too. How could you say something like that?”

“Don’t you know he planned all of this? He even used my name to plan an event to set you up. He’s using you to avenge his family. And here we are now. In this mess he created.”

“It isn’t a big deal.”

“It’s a big deal, Clay. Look. He lied to you. Big lies. Small, white, whatever it is. It is still a lie. Can’t you see? He’s pushing you to do something you aren’t supposed to,” Albert sputtered.

“Why are you doing this, Albert?” Clay asked in a monotone. His voice sounded like he was determined but in denial, firm but on the verge of an emotional breakdown. He paused for a second as he looked into Albert’s eyes as if he studied the look on his face. He gulped and grabbed the glass of orange juice on the table. After he slammed the glass on the surface, he sighed. “Valon lost his family because of what that old man had done. I spent my whole life feeling responsible for what happened to her. And learning his story better made me feel guilty for what my family did to his life. So…”

Albert leaned against the chair with both hands resting on the table. He looked surprised, but, at the same time, he appeared a worried father feeling bad for his son’s terrible choice. He sensed that. However, he remained unaffected on the surface.

Like Clay, he could never find a thing terrible about Valon. He felt horrible for choosing between them or breaking their hearts like this. He was left without other options to choose. In his mind, this madness must come to an end, even if it meant breaking his own watching how his two precious children would go mad.

“I can’t blame him for what he did. He was hurt. He was a young man who lost his mother. He trusted my father. But what did he do in return?” Clay paused as he teared up. “I would do the same if I were in his shoes.”

“Why are you willing to accept someone like him, Clay?”

“Because I love him, Albert. When I had nobody, Valon was there. No judgments. No fears. I was free.”

“Free? Is this what you call freedom?” Albert asked with a cocktail mix of anger, despair, and begging in his voice. He looked as if he couldn’t believe what he had just heard. “In exchange for your family? This isn’t freedom you’re paying for. It’s a trap.”

Clay gulped. “I understand your concern, but I’ve had enough of living this life in fear. It’s time for me to fight for what I love. And that’s your son.”

Albert was in defeat. He was at a loss for words. He didn’t know what to say anymore.

Clay continued, “No matter what happens. I will always love him, even if we’re brothers in your eyes.”

“What?” Albert sputtered as he, too, rose from his seat. He shook his eyes as he shot him an angry stare. His eyebrows furrowed. “You can’t do this.”

Clay tossed a glance skyward. “Don’t you think it’s time for him to be happy, too?”

Albert teared up. For a minute, he didn’t speak. He rubbed the bridge of his nose as he looked away, shaking his head. “I can’t let you do that. Aren’t you afraid of what other people might say about you?”

Clay rose from his seat. His brows creased in a frown. “I don’t care about what others would say or think about me. I need Valon. I can’t imagine living my life without him. There’s nothing, nobody could stop me from loving him.” He paused, giving him a long stare. “And please. Stop acting like a father.”

Albert was beyond speechless. He shook his head as he looked away. When he looked into his eyes again, his heart sank. He couldn’t bear watching his son frowning like that. But, as much as he wanted to accept what he was asking, he couldn’t allow him to stay near Valon. Even if it meant turning into a horrible person.

For him, Valon was a dangerous man. He feared what he could do to him, knowing he was using Clay from the start. Knowing that, in hindsight, he couldn’t understand why Clay continued and endured this type of relationship. If this was love, he couldn’t understand why Clay allowed himself to be used this way.

On the flip side, why was he feeling this way as a father if both his sons were in love? Was it because they were his sons? Was he homophobic?

Reality snapped back his senses when he heard him speaking.

“If you’re desperate, what if we make a deal?” Clay said.

“What is it?” Albert replied.

“Help me open Natalia’s case and promise I’ll see my father rot in jail. Maybe, you’ll get a chance to father me.”

Albert suddenly felt like winning this conversation. He tucked both hands in his pocket and looked at him in the eye. “In one condition.”

Clay scoffed and then laughed in disbelief. “Right. I forgot I’m dealing with a businessman.”

The concept of making a deal with the devil had always seemed an obvious bargain to Albert—something for nothing. He did that many times, countless times in his life. But now, he understood what it meant to trade one hell for another. A deal meant the illusion of choice. Yet, deep down, there was something else he had in mind. “Stay away from Valon, and I’ll help you with the case. Do we have a deal?” He let out his hand.

“What—” There was no mistaking. Clay stalled, revealing a familiar sense of panic welled and a tight expression on his face. He brushed his dark hair back from his forehead. He pinched his forehead between thumb and forefinger, pressing his lips until he was eased.

“I said do we have a deal?” Albert repeated. But this time, his voice was louder, more commanding. He sounded more like a politician than a friendly uncle.

Clay inhaled and sighed, lifting an eyebrow in surprise. Grabbed the empty glass and slammed it by way of punctuation. Curled his hand around it. “Yes,” he muttered, jerking his face forward while shooting him a long glare. He refused to shake his hand.

Albert sighed, dropping his hand as he looked away. I’m sorry, son.

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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