Chapter 63, 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 63 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 sat on the chair, waiting for someone in silence. When he saw Alain entering, wearing the orange overalls, his chest felt like someone had sat on it. And it had gotten worse when he saw him smiling. If he were the same old Albert thirty years ago, he would have beaten this man’s ass for good. How dare he. That’s what he thought as he ran his eyes over him.

“Hi, Albert. How are you?”

“I’m fine,” Albert replied coldly.

“How’s everyone?” Alain asked.

Albert scoffed.

“I’m happy to see you here. I never thought somebody would even plan to visit me,” Alain replied, leaning forward with both elbows on the surface. “Thank you, Albert. It means a lot to me.”

“And this would be the last,” Albert paused, taking a deep breath and curling his fists until his knuckles grew white. “I would have never thought a man like you could do this. Even though you’re an Elizondo, I admire you. But you’ve proven me wrong. I thought you were different than your father.” He sighed again. “Did you regret this?”

Alain stared at him in answer.

That stare. That blank, unremorseful stare.

“How could you?” He paused, trying to keep his emotional barometer in check. Though he wanted to scream at his face, he couldn’t. He wasn’t alone with him. He couldn’t let his emotions control his rationale. He sighed deep breaths and expelled a soft sigh, thinking it would ease the thickening air between them. He gulped. “Do you really intend to kill my son?”

Alain cocked an eyebrow and refused to speak a word.

“Why?” Albert screamed.

“Is that all? Is that the only reason for coming here? To ask me if I regret what I did?” Alain laughed and shook his head. He flashed a smug as he leaned against the chair with his arms crossed. “Don’t be a hypocrite, Albert. Didn’t you feel the same when you learned about them licking each other? Weren’t you disgusted, too?”

Albert was speechless.

“So, what’s the difference between the two of us?” Alain shook his head. “Nothing,” he said, giving him an insulting laugh. He clucked and rose from his seat, heading back to the jail guard, cuffing him again. “You’re funny, Albert.”

Albert was at a loss for words as he watched him leave. But before the guard opened the door, he rose. “I’ll take the project with me and let Liz continue.”

Alain stopped and looked into his eyes. He stared at them, glowering at them. His face turned scarlet. He inhaled exasperated sighs, letting out frustrated groans. “You can’t take that away from me. It’s my project. It’s mine, Albert.”

“It’s my money, so it’s my project! I’ll do whatever I want with it.”

Alain dashed to him and was about to grab him, but the officer held him back. After a backup officer arrived, they held both arms, making sure he won’t jump closer to him. “You can’t do that to me. No.” He screamed his lungs out while yanking his arms away. And it got louder and louder the further the officers took, leaving the room.

When left alone in the room, he sat on the seat again and slammed his fist on the table. The room was quiet. He could hear the sighs escape his mouth. As he left, heading back to his Jeep, he gestured to the driver. He swiveled his head in the prison gate for one last time before they drove off.

When he arrived at the villa, he went upstairs to his son’s room. He marched in and saw everything was arranged. It was unlikely for him to see it without clutter. It looked as if the room was untouched.

Since Valon left, there was nothing. No laughter. No screams. Nothing but silence. He looked around until he reached the working desk. He pressed his hand on the surface, but a thick envelope fell when he raised his hand to get to the shelf above it.

Curious, he went to have a look inside. His eyes widened when he realized they were photos Valon had taken with Clay from several weird angles.

“Is it true? How about the two of you? Where have you gone all morning?”

“We were working something together.”

“Where did you go?”

“In my atelier,” Valon replied.

As he went through each photo one by one, his chest burned; his gut churned. His face turned sour.

Clay had nothing on, hanging on a swing, arching back.

The next one, Clay wore a crown of thorns, covered in paint, and sat on a king-size chair spreading his legs with his arm resting on the armrest. The chair had gigantic nails nailed all over it.

Then, the next one, he faced down on a mattress covered with satin sheets, posed with his hip arched high. Both arms extended forward, forming an S-shape silhouette.

And then, in the next one, Clay stood underneath a metal frame, chained and hanged. His extremities were handcuffed. His eyes were blindfolded. His mouth gagged.

And then the next one… to the next one… to the next.

He tossed the photos to the desk. He felt his son was violated. Clay should be feeling this way. Yet, the longer he stared at them, the look in his eyes sharpened, recalling the scene he saw at the hospital.

Albert didn’t like the look in his eyes in these photos. Despite his attempts to ignore what he saw, he couldn’t deny how Clay’s trust in this person.

Because I love him, Albert.

Clay loved the person behind the camera.

The man who took them.

Disgust. That’s what he felt.

Alain was right.

He couldn’t swallow the fact his sons were doing this.

His eyes narrowed as his mind imagined what they had done. He expelled a loud sigh from his chest and turned around with clenched fists. But when he turned around and had a last look, he noticed one image that caught his eye. He walked in until his feet slowed. He scrambled through the photos and took one, holding it loosely.

Then, his eyes began to turn red as tears built around them. He let out a long breath, feeling like he’d just been missed by an eighteen-wheeler truck. A chill shot through him, sucking out the warmth in his body. He snapped his head back as he thought about his sons.

He pressed his fingers to the photo until the sides were crumpled. How could he do this to them? He was their father. He was supposed to love and accept them for who they were. He was supposed to be the first person to care. But how could a father destroy his children’s lives? For what? Shame?

That’s what he thought as he looked into the photo again, dropping the image as if it were broken glass. His face turned sourer the longer he stared at the photo of the three of them on Christmas Eve. In it, he stood between them, with Clay on the left side and Valon on the right.

Hi, dad.

Hello, Albert.

Good morning, dad.

Good evening, Albert.

I love you, dad.

Goodbye, Albert.

As he briefly closed his eyes, his sobs broke the silence. He cried for his lost hopes, for his love. He remembered how happy he was to see them that night, only to end up mourning for one. “What have I done?” he stuttered. He couldn’t accept that he had turned Valon into a sacrificial lamb. He was a father struggling to reconcile that he had made Clay choose to suffer like that.

Hours later, he drove back to the hospital. After marching in with a smile, he placed his hand on top of his. He took his hand, loosely holding it while eyeing him. And it didn’t take long for him to lose himself as he cried and cried. To a father, watching his son fighting for his life was penitence. A peril he couldn’t escape. A long one.

After calming down, he wiped his tears with his fingers, sniffing. “Do you remember the first time I met you? That day when you screamed at the director’s office? Oh, God.” He paused and laughed. “I remember when you asked me if I did it for charity, no.” He shook his head. He paused and waited until he was ready to speak again.

When he felt comfortable, he didn’t have qualms flashing a smile. “I am amazed by how eager you were. That spirit caught my attention. I could see myself in you.” He paused again, feeling more choked. Tears crawled down his eyes again, so he took his handkerchief from his inner pocket. “I never heard you playing the piano for years. So, I never thought you would remember how to play my favorite song on Christmas Eve.” He paused and forced a smile, stroking his son’s hand again, “But please don’t make it my last. I still want to see you play it for me. Please don’t leave dad so soon.”

When he couldn’t restrain himself any longer, he broke down. Hunching down. His face down. His eyes pumped out tears like a bottomless pit. His heart, swelled with profound guilt, had pounded him while his mind was blanketed with despair. “I’m sorry. Please, son, wake up.” His wails broke the silence in the room, with its walls listening to the desperate plea of a father’s broken heart. “Dad loves you.”

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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