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Chapter 54, Dr. Clay (Cult of Eros #1, Ongoing Update)

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Here’s chapter 54 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.

Later that evening, Valon was about to explode. Clay hadn’t shown up since he left.

His failure meant two things. Something had happened to him, or he was blowing him off. What happened last night had been less than perfect. Far less. Damn it. He wanted more.

He stalked to the bathroom, splashed his face with water, and braced his arms on the marble counter. In the glow from the light above him, he stared at himself, seeing nothing more than an indistinct rush of long, curly, dark brown hair, his round, brown eyes, and the outline of his face.

He was exhausted. He hadn’t slept all day and the night before. He cursed as he toweled off. God. What the hell was wrong with him?

When he headed to his bedroom, he suddenly felt uneasy. The queasier he became when he swiveled his head, watching the wall clock ticking. It was already eight in the evening. And Clay still hadn’t come back. Where was he?

He stared at the clock, counting. Three. Two. One.

And the door opened.

He walked back to the entry and saw Clay marching in. He greeted him with a broad smile as he strolled in his direction. But that smile faded as his feet slowed when he sensed something was wrong. His eyes widened and narrowed in suspicion. His chest felt like somebody was sitting on him. He sensed something was about to happen.

He crossed his arms as fear thickened the air around him, turning it into a blanket that covered him from head to foot. He was unprepared to be happening now. Right. Now.

“Why did you lie to me?” Clay asked.

“What are you talking about? I never lied to you, Clay.”

“Why didn’t you tell me I was describing your life this morning?”

“How—How did you know? I mean—who told you?” Valon sputtered in staccato.

“It doesn’t matter,” Clay replied nonchalantly.

Valon was right. Something had happened. “Oh, of course. You had a date with my dad.” He let out an awkward laugh.

But inside, he was in chaos, jumbling images clanging around his mind. Though he was prepared to see what was coming, he was in denial to admit he feared it to the bone. He wanted Clay. He needed Clay. So, he would never let him go now that they were together.

Unfortunately, that was not what he saw.

Clay was in distress. Confused. Hurt.

And he hated to see him this way, let alone the fact he was the one who caused it. Realizing this felt like a punch in his face. As much as he wanted to keep him within his fence, deep down in his heart, he knew it was over. His plan was a fiasco. He failed. As an artist. As a man. As a lover.

So, all he could do was accept and let him go.

“Why? I thought you trusted me,” Clay sputtered.

“I do.”

“Then, why did you do it? I trusted you!”

“You don’t know how much I felt sorry for this.”

“Sorry? Did you feel sorry?” Clay’s voice was scissor-sharp.

“Yes, I do. So much.”

“How clever of you to use me like this?” Clay shook his head and kept stepping back. He turned around and walked, heading back to the bedroom. When he walked in, he dashed to the sideboard where he placed his things.

“I’m not using you. I never played games with you, Clay!”

While frantic, he kept ignoring Valon, following him from behind. And when he had enough. He turned in his direction and glared at him. “You’re not in love with me. You’re in love with how valuable I am to you.”

Valon shook his head as he extended his arm to reach his hand. He took both of his arms, tugging him toward him. His body leaned forward, begging him. “No. That’s not true. It isn’t like that anymore. But please. Listen to me. Please.”

“Anymore… Right,” Clay shoved his hands and freed himself instead. He walked toward the entry door to flee, but when he was close to it, Valon grabbed him. Before he could speak, Clay continued with a glare. “Well, you got what you wanted. I helped you finish your project while I destroyed my family and lost Liz for you. Great. You’ve done a great job, Master.

Valon grabbed both hands, squeezing them, though he felt Clay’s strength, attempting to free himself. He pressed them against his lips before he raised his face and looked into his eyes. “I love you, Clay.”

Clay yanked both hands, pulling away from him. “Wasn’t it fair? You knew who I was from the start. But you? You never allowed me to know who you are. Because you’re enjoying fooling me into your games. I could have understood you if you had told me about this earlier. If you had told me everything, I could have felt bad for you.” He paused, leading to an awkward silence.

But Valon didn’t care. All he had in mind was a need for resolution. Yet, he didn’t expect the next line. That one caught him to the edge.

“Was it fun using me?” Clay shook his head, wincing as his eyes pumped more tears. “I think you had a lot of fun playing with my heart, looking foolish, mad, and controlled. Because you know what, it’s fun to play god.”

The flare in Clay’s eyes told him what he had done. “I’m sorry. But please…”

“But did you care? Of course, you wouldn’t,” Clay screamed, pointing his finger at him. His face flushed, turning scarlet, but then it softened. “You told me you’re the person I can trust. So, I trusted you. I told you everything about my life, family, and problems with Liz. I trusted you with everything. And I have gambled my life, my career for you. ‘Cause I know you’re worthy of it. You deserve to be loved.” He paused, calming himself down. After he sighed, he continued. “And I love you. So much. Is it hard for you to trust me?”

While Valon remained still, anguish came out of him like blood from a chest wound, shooting him a dubious stare. His agony thickened the air. He removed Valon’s grip with every strength and expelled a loud sigh. He stared at him, savoring this moment as if it was the last.

Then, reality hit him. That made him shake his head and look away. “I’m sorry. I’ve got to leave,” Clay said as he walked out of the apartment, leaving him alone in silence.

Valon barely noticed him leaving. The voice screamed in his head—he was a worthless piece of shit who overrode just about everything else. He drew in a great breath and emptied his lungs with a vicious yell. The sound vibrated the room. He roared until his throat felt as if it were going to tear apart until he felt his chest burn. When he finally closed his mouth, he felt no relief but remorse.

He dashed toward his canvases and cans of paint and threw them, slamming them into the walls and doors. Everywhere. He went to his office and hovered over his lithographs, grabbing them like toilet paper and tossing them like shit. He was in utter chaos that he didn’t even notice the sting on his face when the paper cut his skin.

Still dissatisfied, he punched every door and wall until these knock-out punches drilled holes. He took each figurine in the room and threw them to the floor. He grabbed them one by one until there was almost nothing but empty shelves.

Then, he ran to the bathroom and punched the mirror. He paused when his eyes caught his tool. His favorite tool. He took a shard of glass with a shaky hand.

Clay left me. Everybody hates me. What am I living for?

He raised his other arm and stared at the six straight horizontal lines that scarred his skin. Despite the strong urge to feed his pain and find relief, he closed his eyes while his body shuddered in fear and despair. His legs felt like giving up, trying to stop himself from doing something stupid.

Again? Please, not again. This was what he had been telling himself as a distraction. His mind filled with deafening screams of the truth he didn’t want to accept. He would rather feed himself in delusions to avoid the pain than get hurt like this. It was unbearable.

Yes. It was too much to bear.

He shook his head, screaming like a madman. He couldn’t accept Clay was gone.

The shame made him retch. He ran to the toilet and faced down, vomiting liquids. His arms braced the toilet seat, holding his support until he was done.

When he raised his face, he paused and stared at the ring on his finger. He pulled himself up and saw his reflection in the broken mirror. He took a moment, watching himself, almost surprised.

Where’s the confident Valon I know?

I love you, Val.

Is it hard for you to trust me?

He looked into his eyes to his cheeks, wiping his wound. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the one he saw. Instead, he saw a monster with a black heart. An ugly, tall monster who had learned to hate and love the same person. Then, he looked down and saw his swollen knuckles covered in blood. When he felt his arms stung, he shoved the fabric of his sleeve and saw scratches and bruises covering his skin.

Then, silence reigned the space. Deafening silent. He could hear his sighs escape his mouth. He sighed as he looked into his reflection again while tears dampened his cheeks. He closed his eyes as his body began to shake. He wailed as he slowly lowered his arm and dropped the glass to the tiled floor.

As his face turned sour, his leg finally gave up, forcing him to slide to the cold surface. He wrapped his arms around his knees with his face down. “Clay, I’m sorry. But I love you,” he whispered. His cries continued breaking the silence.

Clay remained inside his car. He didn’t even turn on the ignition after he left Valon’s place. He wailed like a child with his hands slammed on the steering wheel. The stings he felt on his palms were nothing against the pain he felt inside. He needed relief, only to no avail. He needed Valon. He wanted him so much. But…

Much later, his face pressed on them, damped with his tears. “I’m sorry, Val. I’m so sorry,” he whispered, feeding his heart a pang of guilt for breaking a promise.

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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