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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    vanalas
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Comments, critiques and tips are warmly welcome.

Raging Love - 10. Chapter 10: Will it be a happy ever after all for everyone or will it end in disaster?

Falling in love feels so good but it has its consequences. Will this be a tragic ending or it will be a new beginning for Travis? Find out as your favorite story continues.

Raging love, feel the passion….

Travis came running into the abandoned building, breathing like he was in labor. He was so tired, so scared and so helpless. He was a bit sweaty and his heart was racing miles away. He had his eyes scanning all around the building which had boxes and planks lying around. He had run as fast as he could to the tenth floor according to Bruce’s instructions.

Travis’ eyes widened and he gasped. “Sean, my baby.”

“Daddy!” Sean cried at the top of his voice.

Travis started running to his son who was tied to a huge plank. He looked helpless… his eyes were red and his face was wet with tears. Travis couldn’t understand how someone could be such a monster as to tie a little boy like Sean.

“Daddy!” Sean sobbed. “It hurts.”

“I am coming, baby.”

Travis continued running towards his son and he was almost reaching him when a gunshot was heard, stopping him in his tracks. He felt like someone had shot him. He quickly stopped and stood still, getting even more scared when his son’s cries intensified.

“Wow! Finally!” Travis heard Bruce’s voice from behind him. “I was starting to wonder what was keeping you.”

Travis slowly turned and found Bruce with a brilliant smile on his face, kissing on his pistol. He was wearing a black jumpsuit with sandals on his feet. His hair was cut short and he looked very different. He had several stitches on his face and there were a lot of bruises too. He didn’t look like the Bruce he had ever encountered before. He looked dangerous.

“Bruce, please…”

“Move away from him!” Bruce gestured with his gun. And when Travis remained standing there, he screamed. “Fucking now!”

Travis raised his hands like he was surrendering and glanced at his crying son before he moved away from him. He didn’t like seeing his son in that state. His poor little boy was in so much pain and it hurt him to see him like that.

“Bruce, I am begging you.” Travis put his hands together. “Please, let my son go. He’s just a little boy and…”

“Shut the fuck up!” Bruce yelled, breathing harshly. “Shut your trap before I do it for you.” Then he laughed at the top of his voice acting like he’d won a lottery. He’d never felt as much pleasure as he did that time. “You must be wondering how I did it, aren’t you. You thought you had gotten rid of me but you were dead wrong. Bruce is always a step ahead of everyone.

You might have placed me behind bars but you forgot that I am a very famous model with loyal fans, people that would do anything for me at the right price.” He laughed. “Even in the police force, I had such people. So your mistake was to underestimate what I can do.

I had it perfectly planned. I vowed to use all my money if I had to and so I hired some powerful thugs.” He opened his arms widely, chuckling. “And trust me, those idiots you call guards had no chance against them, and not even your darling Santiago had expected it. I was a little disappointed when I didn’t find you in the house but my plan still came into action because your life was there. He made my plan even better.” He chuckled, getting closer. “And now here we are, a wonderful reunion.”

Travis shook his head, a tear going down his cheek. “Bruce, I am begging you. Let my son go. I am here now. I didn’t call the police and…”

“Oh, I know…” Bruce gave a teasing smile. “…had you done that, you’d have found your precious life in pieces. I have someone in the police giving me all the information so if you had made that mistake…” He chirped, shaking his head. “…that would have been the end.”

“I did what you told me. Now let my son go.”

“Why?” Bruce laughed manically. “And miss out on the fun? Not a chance.”

“Please….” Travis put his hands together. “I am the one you want. I am here and I promise you that I won’t go anywhere. You can do as you wish with me but please, let him go.”

Bruce laughed when he saw the tears in Travis’ eyes. He felt like he’d hit the jackpot. “Please?” He yelled. “Please! You’re pleading with me after ruining my life? You took everything away from me. I had a perfect life… a more than perfect husband…. a perfect family… a perfect career… a perfect home and you took all that away from me. My parents visited me the other day and they disowned me! They disowned their son!” He yelled, furiously rubbing his tears. “And you think your pleas are gonna fix everything? No! I will start by taking your happiness away.”

With those words, Bruce furiously pointed his gun in Sean’s direction, slowly touching on the trigger. When Travis saw that, he felt his heart miss a beat and an emotion so strong that it brought him to his very worst. He felt his strength leave him.

“I hope you’ve already said your goodbyes to your precious son.”

With those words, he furiously pressed on the trigger.

“No!” Travis screamed right before he heard a loud gunshot.

Travis felt his heart go cold and a myriad of tears fell to his face. He started gasping, holding his chest while he slowly moved his head in the direction of his son. He knew it was all over. Shit! He had never felt such pain. His entire body shook in pain and fear.

And when he eventually landed his eyes on his son, he died. He died when he looked into those beautiful teary eyes and… he couldn’t believe what he saw. At first, he saw his son bleeding to death but then again, he was alright. His mind had played a terrible trick on him and it had left him so weak. Bruce hadn’t even pulled the trigger.

“Hahaha….” Bruce laughed at the top of his voice. “…I haven’t even pulled the trigger yet and you’re looking like that? What about when I eventually do it?”

Travis wanted to say something but he was too scared and too weak to speak. His mouth shook uncontrollably.

Bruce got closer and continued laughing. “What I just gave you is the taste of how you’ll feel when you eventually lose everything. First, you lost your entire family, then you lost your dear husband and now you’ll lose the one person that you consider your life.”

Travis was still staring at his son with tears rolling down his cheek. There was just a lot in his mind and he didn’t know what he was gonna do to save his son.

“Your feeling right now is the story of my life.” His face got stern, clenching his fist. “And you have written that story. You made me lose everything that I had. You destroyed my life and my marriage. Antonio has been the only man that I have truly loved and you took him away from me.”

Travis looked at Bruce and slowly rubbed his tears. “You can kill me right now, Bruce.” He said softly. “You can even torture me but please, don’t harm my son. He’s only a child. How’s he involved in all of this?”

“His crime is having a father like you.” Bruce snapped, cocking the gun angrily. “Whoever is connected to you has wronged me and what can make me feel better than seeing you suffer?” He yelled. “You’re the reason why I am like this.”

Travis had no idea what he was feeling. “No, Bruce. I am not the reason that you’re here. You’re here because of your deeds. You’re here because of your past actions.”

Bruce got so mad when he heard Travis’ words. He furiously moved closer to Travis and smacked him hard across the face, sending him flying to the hard floor. It hurt and Travis held his cheek, staring right at Bruce. He was somehow getting angry but he didn’t wanna do anything that was gonna put his son’s life in danger.

“Don’t you dare tell me that when you’ve been the thorn in my flesh all along!” Bruce yelled, breathing heavily. “Antonio and I were meant to be together. We were destined to be together. Our love was strong. It was pure. But you came and you started destroying everything.” He snapped, feeling tears building up in his eyes. “You’ve been the villain in my love story and today… today I am gonna end this villain’s life. You deserve to suffer because of what you’ve been doing to me.”

Travis slowly got up and looked at Bruce. “You think I have had it easy, Bruce. You nearly destroyed my life. My son is innocent and doesn’t know about all this. He isn’t involved in any of it. You can kill me right now but let him go.”

“Oh, he is involved alright.” Bruce chuckled bitterly. “He bears your and Antonio’s blood, the product of your love.” He couldn’t fight his tears. It was so painful.

Travis felt a really cold wind hit him in the face and he gulped. “You’re mistaken. Sean is my son alone and…”

“You don’t have to lie. I know everything.” He snarled, losing the smile on his face. “Antonio’s mother visited me the other day and insulted me, telling me about how I ruined her son’s life and how he couldn’t be with his son because of me. I know everything and it all just makes me so mad.”

He pointed the gun in Sean’s direction, an evil grin appearing on his face. “What would happen if I pulled the trigger right now?”

“No!” Travis put his hands together. “I am begging you, Bruce. Please, don’t harm him. I am the one you want.”

“He’s not going anywhere,” Bruce yelled. “We’re gonna settle this and…”

“Daddy!” Sean cried.

Travis glanced at his son and his heart broke. “Don’t be afraid, baby. I am right here. I won’t allow anything bad to happen to you. I promise.”

“Never make a promise you can’t keep.” Bruce chirped, giving Travis a grin.

“Please.”

“But anyway, you’re right.” He laughed. “What’s the fun in killing a child when…” He cocked the gun angrily and pointed it right at Travis’ forehead. “…I could just kill the motherfucker that ruined my life?”

Travis felt his heart pound sharply in his chest and his breaths became harsh. He knew just how dangerous Bruce was and he wasn’t gonna hesitate to shoot him. He was nervous and he was feeling really hot.

“If I kill Sean, I will lose this fight anyway.” He glowered. “You and Antonio are just gonna replace him and forget about him. But if I kill you, then Antonio will also be in pain and he might just die from grief.”

Bruce laughed at the top of his voice, scaring Travis.

“But I have got the perfect plan.” He sneered, shaking his head. “I am gonna blow your fucking head off and then I am gonna take your son far away, so far that no one will be able to locate us. I have a chopper waiting for me as we speak.”

“No!” Travis muttered. “Please!”

“And then Antonio is gonna lose both the boy that he loves and the son that he’s always wanted to have.” He smiled. “That way, he’s gonna feel exactly what I felt when he decided to break my heart. I will hit two birds with one stone.”

“Antonio and I are no longer together.” Travis hollered. “I don’t want anything to do with him. You can stop this, Bruce. You can start…”

“Shut the fuck up!” Bruce glowered, feeling a whole lot of pain. “You don’t know exactly how I feel right now. I am a fugitive because of you… I lost everything because of you and now, I am gonna kill you and take your son away. That way, Antonio will feel exactly what I felt. And you will get to understand what it means to lose everything.”

With those words, Travis saw just how serious Bruce got and how he held the gun. He knew that it was gonna be all over and nothing was gonna stop his death. He was so scared and he closed his eyes, clenching his fists.

“Goodbye, Tra…”

“Bruce!”

Travis had no idea how he felt when he heard Antonio’s voice and then footsteps coming towards him. He quickly opened his eyes and saw Antonio running towards him, looking scared.

Bruce on the other got the shock of his life when he saw Antonio coming towards them with his fists clenched. But then, an evil grin appeared on his face and he laughed at the top of his voice, pointing his gun at him. He gestured for him to stand still and Antonio got closer to Travis, standing right by his side.

“Wow!” Bruce chuckled bitterly. “Isn’t this a wonderful family reunion?”

Antonio stretched his hand forward, trying to get closer to Bruce but the man pointed the gun at him and he stopped.

“Please, let Travis and Sean go.” He pleaded.

“You have some balls showing up here, Antonio.” He chuckled. “But anyway, it’s really good that you’ve joined us. I missed you so much.”

“Stop it!” Antonio snapped, getting a bit angry. “What do you really want? Are you that pathetic that you’d tie up a child like that? I thought you were despicable but I was wrong. You’re worse than that!”

“Yes!” Bruce roared, stomping his foot on the ground. “I am despicable, I am disgusting, I am horrible, I am a beast and I accept it all. But do you know why I am like this?” He said with tears following. “It’s because of you, Antonio. It’s because I love you and that’s why I am like this. You turned me into this beast with your rejection and your betrayal.”

Bruce couldn’t believe the pain that he felt.

“It was supposed to be the two of us forever.” He yelled. “You promised we were gonna be together forever and nothing was gonna come between us. But this whore… this… this slut…” He furiously pointed at Travis angrily. “…came into our lives and changed everything about us. What was my crime in trying to protect what belonged to me? You were mine and you were supposed to be mine forever. Even when I got married to you, you didn’t make me feel like I was married to you. You made cheat on you all because I needed your love.” He cried. “It’s fine but I will not allow you to use and dump me just like that.”

“This is between us, Bruce.” Antonio raised his voice. “Leave Travis and my son out of this. I am the one that betrayed you. I am the one that had left you and sent you to prison. Leave them alone. You can do with me whatever you want.”

Bruce laughed, licking his lips sensually. Then he slowly pointed the gun at Antonio. “I don’t want you anymore, Antonio.”

“Then what do you want?”

“The death of the one that you love.” He glanced at Travis who was quiet. “That will be punishment enough for what you did to me.”

Antonio glanced at Travis and got scared when he saw tears in his eyes. He knew he had to act fast. He was ready to give up his life for him. He angrily tried to move but…

“Don’t even fucking think about it!” Bruce warned, now pointing the gun at Travis. “I swear I’ll pull the fucking trigger right now.”

Antonio stopped in his tracks and felt scared. He knew that Bruce was a mad man and with the hatred that he had for Travis, he wasn’t gonna hesitate to shoot him.

“What did you all think?” He glowered. “That by having me locked up you’ll be saved from me? And Travis… you took away everything from me, right?” Travis was just quiet, standing like a statue. He didn’t know how to act.

Bruce glanced at Antonio and gave an evil. “Antonio, get to know that even you today will lose everything forever. I will make you feel the same way I am feeling right now.”

He now looked at Travis and his evil grin grew even bigger. “If I can’t have Antonio, then neither will you.”

With a final evil grin, Bruce angrily pressed on the trigger and a really loud gunshot was heard. Travis quickly closed his eyes, expecting pain to welcome him before death came crawling. His heart was racing so much that it hurt and he was breathing harshly. But he got shocked when he couldn’t even feel a thing, not even pain from anywhere on his body.

Travis quickly opened his eyes to the shocking discovery of Antonio standing right in front of him. Travis’ breaths stopped and he could have sworn his heart instantly stopped beating. He stared at Antonio like he’d seen a ghost. The man had his back to him.

Antonio was gripping the gun hard. He had no idea how he’d managed to block the bullet from reaching Travis or how he found himself in front of Bruce, holding the gun which was pointed right on his abdomen.

Bruce on the other hand just stood still, looking scared and nervous like he’d seen the hounds of hell. His eyes were teary and he instantly got really scared. He planned to shoot Travis but Antonio had prevented that. He had almost shot him but the guy came out of nowhere and gripped his gun, trying to get it out of the way.

Antonio tried to breathe but was welcomed by a sharp pain that traveled to the rest of his body, weakening him instantly and making his vision blur. He slowly let go of the gun and fell on his knees right before he fell on his back.

That was when everyone saw it, the wound on his abdomen which was bleeding uncontrollably. He had blood from the abdomen going down to his trouser. He put his hand on the abdomen and his hand instantly became bloody. He took a really deep breath but ended up coughing blood. It was the most painful physical thing he’d ever experienced. He tried to breathe again but felt like someone was squeezing his heart.

Travis on the other hand got scared when he saw the state Antonio was in.

“Antonio!” He screamed, dropping to his knees. He slowly pulled the guy close to him, holding him tightly. Suddenly, he had Antonio’s blood all over his hand and a lot on his shirt. “Hang on, Antonio!”

Travis had no idea when he started crying or screaming and pleading with Antonio to hang on. But he was scared.

Antonio raised his head and stared into the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen. He tried to say something but the pain was just too much to bear. He couldn’t utter a word and he ended up coughing more blood.

“I… I…”

“Shh….” Travis whispered, looking into his eyes. “…you’ll be fine. Please, hold on.”

Travis continued crying. He could hear his son’s cries but he was in a big dilemma. He didn’t know what to do at that time.

“Antonio!” Bruce screamed, his hands beginning to shake uncontrollably. He’d never been that scared before. “Oh my God… I … I am so sorry.” He tried to touch him but he was too weak to do anything. His face was wet with tears. “I didn’t… I swear, I didn’t mean to shoot you.”

He slowly raised the gun and pointed at Travis, sobbing softly. “This is your fucking fault, you whore! I shot him because of you.”

Travis raised his head and the moment he stared into Bruce’s face, he had no idea what possessed him. He felt so much rage and he slowly let go of Antonio, clenching his fists.

“You made me shoot the man that I love!” Bruce cried, glancing at the man who struggled to breathe. “This is your fucking fault!”

Travis shook his head. “No! I am not at fault here. Your selfishness and evil ways made you do this. I thought you would change, that you would give up your evil ways and start anew but I was wrong. An evil person like you has already lost his soul. There’s no hope for you.”

“Shut the fuck up!” Bruce yelled. His hand was shaky and he was ready to pull the trigger. “I killed him because of you. You’ll pay for this with your life.”

He furiously cocked the gun and was about to pull on the trigger. But Travis’ hands were too fast to move on the floor and picked up a piece of wood that he used and furiously hit Bruce’s hand. Bruce was caught off guard and before he knew it, the gun he was holding was flying to the floor, a distance away from him. The wood hit his hand so hard that he felt like it was broken. It was painful.

“Fuck!”

Before he even realized what had happened, a fist was flying to his face, sending him flying to the floor with a thud. It hurt like hell and he tasted his blood. He quickly raised his head and saw another fist heading for him but he quickly rolled over and Travis hit the ground. He didn’t care about the pain. He was too mad.

Bruce felt his heart begin to race. He scanned the whole area for something he could use but everything was far away from him and Travis was coming towards him. He furiously thrust his foot and kicked Travis, sending him flying to the floor.

Travis didn’t care about the pain. He furiously got up and saw Bruce running away from him. He got on his feet and started running after Bruce as fast as his legs could carry him. Once he was near him, he gave Bruce a painful jump kick on his back, sending him flying to a pile of boxes. It hurt a whole lot and Bruce groaned in pain, feeling like someone had just broken a big log on his back. He tried to get up but the pain was just too much.

He furiously rolled on his back and saw Travis coming towards him with a stern face and his fists clenched. He’d never seen him so mad. He got so scared and his eyes widened. He knew the man wasn’t gonna spare him. He took some pieces of wood and started throwing them at the man but he was still coming.

“Stay away from me,” Bruce warned, sounding like a scared little puppy.

He furiously got off the ground but Travis caught his hand, pulled him closer, and threw him to the ground near a wall where a wooden ladder was. He gripped him by the head, pulled him to the ladder, and pinned his neck on a piece of wood, literally choking the life out of him. Travis saw a piece of rope on the floor and he quickly picked it and started tying Bruce’s neck together with the piece of wood.

Bruce couldn’t breathe and the pain that he felt was from out of this world. He knew that if he didn’t do anything, he was gonna be killed. He groaned in pain, his hands scanning the floor for anything that he could use against Travis. But there was nothing.

Bruce flexed his elbow and thrust it behind, hitting Travis in the abdomen. Travis groaned in pain but his grip just got tighter. Bruce hit him severally until Travis let him go. He quickly removed the rope and was about to run away but Travis kicked him in the legs and he fell to the hard concrete floor, hitting his forehead hard. It broke and he could feel blood running down his face and he had a terrible headache. He quickly wiped his face and grabbed a piece of wood that was on the floor.

He angrily got up, thrusting the wood towards Travis’ head, screaming like a maniac. But he got shocked when Travis actually gripped the wood and pulled it away from him. Before he realized what was going on, Travis hit him hard on the leg, sending him on his knees. It was painful but he received another one that sent him flying to the floor.

His whole body felt like it had been crushed by a wrecking ball. His whole face was hurt and it was bloody too. He got on his back and started crawling backward, getting away from the man that scared the shit out of him. That wasn’t how he’d planned it. Antonio had ruined everything. He had to act fast.

“I have had enough of your stupid, evil stunts and your drama.” Travis couldn’t even recognize his voice. “Do you think playing with our lives is all a game to you? I warned you to stay away from my son but you didn’t listen.”

Bruce groaned painfully. “Are you gonna… gonna kill me?” He asked in fear. “You’re gonna murder me in cold blood? What about your…”

“Even the almighty has ways of punishing evil men like you.” Travis was really mad. “I will never let you hurt my son or my family again.”

He groaned angrily, making Bruce move further away from the boy. As he was moving, his hands caught something, something that made him feel alive. His pistol. He quickly gripped it and then an evil grin appeared on his face.

“Hahaha…” Bruce laughed. “…even the almighty knows that today you won’t survive. Even that stupid god of yours won’t save you tonight. Prepare to die.”

With those words, he brought the gun forward, pointing it angrily at Travis. Travis felt a shiver go down his spine and his heart started racing. The next thing he heard was a really loud gunshot and a sharp pain in his arm. He held his arm, applying pressure on it. He knew the idiot had shot him.

He furiously looked forward and saw Bruce standing up confidently with an evil grin on his face. “What was that saying again?” He laughed, biting his lips. “Oh yea, ‘legends do not die.’ They only kill and are never defeated. My plans will still come into play.”

With a manic laugh, he pulled on the trigger and got shocked when nothing happened. He felt like death had just hit him. He cocked the gun and tried again but nothing happened. He could have sworn that the gun had more bullets than he fired.

“You’ve played with my life for the last time, Bruce!”

He moved his eyes forward and was welcomed by a huge blow. His nose broke and it hurt so badly. He was about to fall to the ground but Travis’ hands were quick to grab his hand and pull him back. He was thrown hard to a wall where he hit his back and felt the impact on his body. It was like someone had placed pins all over his body. He cried out in pain.

“You’ll pay!” Travis yelled.

He gripped Bruce by the neck and hit his head hard on the wall. A deafening cry escaped Bruce’s throat but Travis closed his mouth for him by giving him a huge blow on the jaw. Bruce could have sworn he lost some of his teeth. Blood filled his mouth and he spat it out.

He tried to run away but Travis gave him a hard kick in the stomach, sending him back to the wall. He took a metal rod from the ground and hit Bruce’s right hand hard.

“Ow!” Bruce cried but before he removed his hand, Travis hit it again and Bruce felt the skin ripping. “Ow!”

Bruce had never felt such pain his entire life. He moved his hand and screamed when he saw the blood that was there. He knew it had fractures and he felt like his heart had been torn to pieces. His face was wet and the cries escaping his mouth were just horrible. He knew there was no defeating Travis so he had to escape.

Travis thrust the rod to hit Bruce’s head but the man ducked and started making it to the staircase, nursing his broken hand while moaning like a bitch. But Travis wasn’t gonna let him go just like that. Bruce started going down the stairs but Travis gave him a really hard kick that he started rolling dangerously down the stairs to the floor.

By the time he reached the ground on the next floor, he was bleeding terribly and he was really scared. His body felt like it had been crushed into pieces. He tried to breathe and he felt his heartbeat in his neck. He cried softly, crawling on the ground like a little kid. His heart pounded sharply in his chest and he was losing blood.

He slowly rolled on his back and saw Travis slowly coming down the stairs, staring at him like he was ready to kill him. Bruce started crawling with his hands, going away from the man that was coming towards him.

“Tra… Travis… I… I… I am so sorry.” He muttered, his mouth shaking terribly. “Please… forgive me for everything. I… I know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness but I am sorry.”

All that was playing on Travis’ mind was the picture of his son tied up and Bruce threatening to shoot him and also Antonio getting shot right in front of his eyes. It hurt him so much and he just wanted to end the life of the man that had caused him so much pain.

“You kidnapped my little son…” He shuddered as he neared the idiot. “…you almost had me killed six years ago. You’re the reason why my father is not with me today. You’re the reason why my son got hurt in the first place. You’re also the same reason why Antonio and I are not together. You shot…. You shot Antonio and you’ve got the nerves to plead with me?”

Bruce shook his head as he cried like a baby. “It was the devil’s work. I… I am so sorry. Please, give me another chance.”

“No!” Travis snarled. “Why the fuck do you deserve another chance? So that you can try to kill me and my family again?” Bruce shook his head abruptly. “Men like you can never change. Your only goal on this earth is to give bad names to other people. You’ve got no remorse.”

“N-no!” He stammered. “I swear, I will change. Call the police and let them take me to prison. Please, spare my life. I will change.”

Travis got closer to the man and just looked at him. “You don’t deserve to live. You deserve to die and I should be killing you right now for everything that you’ve done to me. But…” He sighed in frustration. “…I am not God to judge you. I am not like you and I will not stain my hands with your dirty blood.”

With a hiss, Travis furiously turned and started going away. But he barely took three steps when suddenly, he felt a sharp pain at the back of his head and a sound of something falling to the floor. It was really painful and his vision blurred for a second. He touched his head and slowly turned to find Bruce standing with a huge piece of wood and part of it was broken. He looked unstable.

Before Travis even realized it, the crazy man was charging at him. He gripped the wood hard, stared into the man’s eyes, and groaned.

“I was very wrong about you.” He muttered.

With those words, he pulled on the wood together with Bruce and gave him the hardest kick in the stomach yet. Bruce let go of the wood and went staggering behind. But unfortunately for him, he reached the edge of the building. He missed his step and went flying down, screaming like a mad person.

“Bruce!” Travis screamed and ran towards the edge of the floor.

But it was too late. Bruce fell to his death on some pieces of metal that pierced his body, killing him instantly. His lifeless body was lying on the ground. It was a horrible death and Travis felt his heart begin to race while he got pale. Right at that moment, a police car arrived and he saw about three armed policemen including the detective rushing to the dead body.

Travis was dumbstruck. He kept on looking down, wondering why Bruce had to face a horrible death. He only got back to the real world when he heard his son’s cries. He shook his head and started rushing upstairs.

Reaching his son, he quickly untied him and hugged him tightly, sobbing softly.

“Daddy!” Sean cried softly. “I am scared.”

Travis didn’t know what to say to his son. The little boy had seen something terrible, gunshots and fights which Travis hadn’t wanted his son to be exposed to.

“Shh….” He soothed his son, kissing his cheeks. He could still feel him trembling in his arms. “Everything is alright, baby. I am right here. Daddy is right here.”

He held him tightly and kissed him severally, praying to the almighty that everything could just go back to normal.

“Trav…. Trav….” He heard a weak voice.

Travis quickly moved his head and looked behind him. He saw Antonio trying to move and that expression on his face screamed nothing but pain. His heart started racing and his fear intensified. He could see that the man had lost a lot of blood. He needed to do something.

“Baby….” Travis cupped his son’s cheeks, trying his best to smile. “I want you to just stand here, okay. I will be back.”

“Is handsome uncle gonna be alright,” Sean asked with tears in his eyes.

Travis nodded and kissed his son.

Then he quickly moved to Antonio and slowly placed his head on his lap while holding his hand tightly. Shit! The man’s body was growing cold and his eyes were blood red. He was breathing harshly and he was still bleeding. Travis couldn’t help but cry.

Antonio on the other hand knew that his time was near. The pain he was experiencing was just too much. He had lost lots of blood and his vision was blurring. He slowly raised his bloody hand and caressed Travis’ cheek, trying his best to smile.

“Where’s… where’s Bruce?”

“He’s gone,” Travis said softly. “It’s all over now. You need to hold on, Antonio. You’ll be fine.”

“I am okay.” He smiled and then groaned in pain. “As long as you’re okay and our son is safe, I am fine. I can even die in peace.”

“No!” Travis sobbed, shaking his head. “You’re not going to die, Antonio. Don’t say that, please. You’re gonna survive this. Please, for the sake of your….” He paused and cried uncontrollably. “…for the sake of your son. He’s just… he’s just a little boy and he can’t lose you, Antonio. Please!”

“I… I…. am so sorry.” He said softly, tears going down the side of his eyes. “I… I know that I had hurt you terribly and maybe… maybe this is the Lord’s way of punishing me. I… I saved you and that’s what matters to me. You and our son are safe.”

“Don’t say that, Antonio!” Travis cried.

“I don’t have any regrets for taking this bullet.” He chuckled in pain. He was starting to shiver and his vision was becoming worse and worse by the second. “I couldn’t stand up for you six years ago and I was a fool. But I would never allow that again. That’s why I saved your life.”

“No!”

“Please… I… I want you to be happy.” He quivered. “Find happiness and… never loose that wonderful smile on your face. I… I wouldn’t want to see tears in your eyes again. I want you to find the happiness that I couldn’t give you.” He slowly rubbed Travis tears but they came flowing again. “Although I will not be with you physically, I will always watch over you and protect you. I swear by the almighty’s…”

“Please, stop it!” Travis wailed. “Stop saying that. The police are already here. We’ll take you to the hospital and…”

Antonio chuckled painfully. “I was starting to wonder what was taking those idiots long.” Antonio was starting to sound crazy. “There’s no need because my Praveen has already taken care of it.”

“Please…”

“You don’t have to cry because I am happy right here in your arms. I will go to heaven smiling because I will die in your arms while looking at your beautiful face.” Travis was still shaking his head. He was really scared. “Please, take care of our son.” Antonio sobbed. “Take very good care of him and tell him about me. At least, let him carry my name so that he’ll know who his father was.”

“No! Please, help!” Travis screamed at the top of his voice. “Hurry up. He’s dying.”

“I love you so much!”

With those words, Antonio’s hand moved from Travis’ cheek and fell to the ground. Even the one Travis was holding, he felt Antonio’s grip loosen. He quickly dropped his eyes on the man and saw that he had even dropped his neck.

“Antonio!” He furiously shook him, screaming like a maniac. “Antonio! No! Antonio!”

He started crying, holding the man tightly in his arms. He tried to move him but the man had already given up. Travis was crying like a little kid and little Sean too was crying. By the time the police came to the floor where they were, Antonio had given and Travis was mourning. He couldn’t believe it. It was all a lie. Antonio couldn’t die like that.

***

Emilia came rushing into the hospital, running like the hounds of hell were after her. God knows the woman was dead. She was shaking uncontrollably from fear and her face was already flooded with tears. She was together with her family and they were equally in a terrible state.

They went to the emergency room and found Travis seated on the floor, covered in blood with tears on his face. He was trembling in fear… he looked disoriented and he couldn’t even blink. Just the way he was looking like was able to kill their hearts and put the fear of the Lord in them.

“Travis!” Emilia screamed as she rushed to him. She knelt in front of him, holding his hands. “Travis, where’s my son? What happened?”

Travis robotically moved his head and looked at Emilia and the moment he saw her, the pain that he felt was from out of this world. More tears flooded his face and his mouth began shaking. He didn’t know what to say to her.

“Travis….” She shook him slowly.

Travis gasped. “I… I am so sorry, Mrs. Gonzalez.” He sobbed uncontrollably. “It’s my fault. It’s all my fault.”

Emilia felt weak when she heard Travis’ words. Her heart started racing and more tears flooded her face. She fell to her knees and looked pale suddenly, holding her chest. The pain she felt was blinding and she was hyperventilating.

“Travis!” Celine gasped, kneeling. “What are you saying? Are you trying to tell us that Antonio is… he is…”

Travis burst into tears and cried uncontrollably. “Antonio’s life is in danger, Celine. He took a bullet for me and he is in critical condition. He’s been in the emergency room for over an hour now. I am so sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

Celine sobbed and held Travis’ hands. “You’re not at fault here. I am sure…”

“No, Celine!” He shook his head. “Had Antonio not been there then none of this would have happened. Bruce didn’t wanna hurt him. He was after me. It was me that he wanted. He doesn’t deserve this. And Bruce…”

“He got what he deserved,” Ethan said harshly, clenching his fists. “That bastard deserved what he got and even if he had made it, I would have killed him myself. He’s made all of us suffer for so long. And you don’t have to blame yourself for this, Travis. You’re not at fault.”

“No, Ethan. I am at fault.”

“Ethan is right,” Emilia said, slowly rubbing her tears. The woman couldn’t even mask her pain. “I am sure Antonio doesn’t regret what he did. He loved you too much to see you suffer again. Even if my son dies today…” She sobbed uncontrollably. “…I am sure that he’ll still be happy because he saved your life. He saved two of the people that he loves the most. So you don’t have to blame yourself.”

Travis slightly closed his eyes and cried, not even bothering to rub them.

Celine held his hand. “By the way, where’s Sean. I hope that bastard didn’t do anything to him.”

Travis shook his head. “He’s with a doctor who’s checking to see if he’s completely fine!’

“Thank God!” Celine breathed. “Now you don’t have to worry. Antonio will be fine.”

There was a long moment of silence for the Gonzalez family. All of them were in tears. None spoke to the other. The only things that could be heard were sobs from all of them. That was probably the most difficult time they’d ever faced and the most painful too.

“Travis!”

Travis quickly rose from the floor when he saw Vanessa rushing to him with her arms wide open. She was with Santiago who had a bandage wrapped around his head but both of them looked super worried.

“Mom!” Travis threw himself in her arms. “Mom!”

“My baby…” Vanessa cried, kissing his head. “…Oh my God, I was really worried. You’ve got no idea how I prayed for your safety. Where’s my grandson?” She asked when she pulled away from the hug.

“He’s fine!” Travis muttered. “It’s Antonio, mom! He’s in a really bad shape and the doctor hasn’t come out. I am so scared, mom.”

“You don’t have to worry.” Santiago rubbed on his back. “Antonio will make it. All of us are here for him.”

Travis looked at Santiago and cried even more. He wanted to hug him when all of a sudden, the door to the emergency room opened and the doctor came out. Antonio’s family rushed to the nervous-looking doctor while Travis remained standing there. He could feel his heart pumping through his ears. He’d never been as scared as he was at that time.

“Doctor, what’s happening?” Emilia gasped, breathing heavily. “Tell me the truth.”

The doctor gave a gloomy sigh, wiping the sweat off the forehead. “I will be honest with you. Mr. Gonzalez is in a very critical condition. He had lost lots of blood but we have his blood type, fortunately. We’re struggling to remove the bullet but my fellow doctor is in there and he’s still trying.”

“Oh my God!” Celine covered her mouth in shock.

“But I can assure you that we’ll try our best. It’s a 50:50 chance right now. He needs your love and support.”

“What the fuck!” Eduardo cursed, stamping his foot on the floor. “I am coming into that operation theatre. There’s no way I am gonna let my brother die.”

“Mr. Gonzalez, I understand that you’re one of the best surgeons in the world but I don’t think….”

“Look…” Eduardo warned, angrily pointing at the doctor. “…I don’t give a fuck about that, okay. All I know is that my brother needs my help. I will not let him die because he still owes me a lot so don’t you dare stop me. Do you understand?”

The doctor took a deep sigh and nodded. “Alright, Dr. Gonzalez. Let’s go.”

Eduardo didn’t even waste any time. He rushed inside the emergency room together with the doctor. Emilia and Celine held their hands together, praying in their hearts that Antonio survived. They just wanted him to be with them.

Meanwhile, Travis furiously rubbed his tears. “Nothing will happen to Antonio!” his voice was so confident and strong.

With those words, he quickly turned and started rushing out of there.

“Travis!”

But Travis was deaf to anyone’s calls. He rushed to the altar that he saw nearby and got on his knees, putting his hands together. There was a lamp that was burning and a small idol of the almighty with his hands stretched like he was blessing him. He had his eyes on the idol.

“You’ve never left my prayers unanswered before.” He started softly. “You’ve been my guide, my protection, and right now, you’re my only hope. Please, protect Antonio from any form of danger. Save him because you’re the only one with that power.

You’re a remover of obstacles. Do whatever it takes, but please save Antonio. I don’t want to lose the father of my child, please.”

He was crying once again and this time, the pain that he felt was unimaginable. It was like someone was stabbing his flesh with a sharp knife.

“Please save Antonio!” He sobbed softly. “Please!”

He closed his eyes shut and started offering prayers to the almighty. Everyone could see just how much pain he was in and no one approached him. They too were in tears.

Travis prayed with his entire heart, his soul, and his strength. He pleaded with the almighty to give Antonio a second chance. While he did that, Travis lost contact with his environment. A really warm wind blew on his face and he felt a warmth deep inside of him that he had never felt before. It was like the Lord himself was praying with him. What he felt like minutes took over an hour and he didn’t even realize.

Meanwhile, the light at the door of the operation theatre turned off and a doctor came out. The sound of the door opening alerted everyone and even Travis opened his eyes but he never got up. He just looked in the direction of the doctor, getting nervous.

“Doctor, what happened?”

The doctor looked at all of them and then sighed. Then he gave a brilliant smile. “The operation was a success. We’ve taken the bullet out and by the grace of the almighty, he will recover in a few days.”

Emilia and her family felt like life had just been brought back to them. They were breathing harshly, chuckling through their tears. Travis cried softly, feeling his heart go at peace. He looked at the almighty and touched his feet before he got up.

“But all the credit goes to Doctor Gonzalez.” He added, shaking Ethan’s hands powerfully. “In all my years as a surgeon, I have never seen such an exceptional doctor before. He did put up quite a good fight and I don’t think the patient was also ready to leave this world.”

“Thank you.” Emilia cried softly. “May I… may I see my son now?”

“Not now!” He shook his head. “We’ll be shifting him to the ICU in some time. You may meet him there. However, you can only see him one at a time.”

Emilia chuckled in her tears, holding on tighter to her daughter in law. “Thanks a lot, doctor. The almighty will bless you.”

The doctor couldn’t help but smile. “And before I forget, during the operation he kept mumbling the name… Praveen. Perhaps it will be good if that person were here.”

Emilia nodded and thanked the doctor before he left. She was so excited and she was able to breathe again. She had felt like she was gonna lose her son. But now she was sure that her husband was watching over him and protecting him. She was really happy.

Emilia took a deep breath and looked in the direction of Travis. She saw him slowly walking away. She quickly rushed after him.

“Travis, please wait!”

Travis stopped in his tracks and slowly turned, rubbing his tears. Then he gave a sheepish smile but deep inside, he was suffering.

“Where are you going?” Emilia asked. “It’s because of your prayers that my son is alright. Don’t you wanna see him? I think he’ll appreciate it.”

Travis nodded, wearing a fake smile. “I only did what I did because Antonio saved my life and that of my child. I had put him in that situation and now that he is out of danger, I am happy. But I don’t think I need to be here.”

“No!” Emilia took his hands and rubbed them sweetly. “You need to be here. You should be the first one to see him. Talk to him and maybe he might just recover quickly.”

Travis wanted to see Antonio. God knows he was dying to. “No, Mrs. Gonzalez.” He shook his head. It was painful for Emilia to hear him call her that. “I can’t take that right from you. You’re his mother and…”

“I am sure this is what he wants also.” Emilia pleaded, putting her hands together. “Go and see him, even if it is to thank him in person. I will appreciate this, son. Please!”

Travis was in a dilemma. He wanted to go and see Antonio. But he also didn’t want to see him because he didn’t know if he was gonna control himself. But the woman was also begging him to go and see him.

What was he going to do?

***

Travis slowly entered the ICU room, closing the door behind him. His eyes were only on the man that lay on the bed with a sheet covering him from the waist downwards. He was motionless and he looked pitiful. Travis was feeling nervous as soon as he entered and his eyes watered.

He slowly got closer, scanning the man. He was still really hot, if not hotter. His hairy chest was more muscular than he remembered and the man had a gorgeous body. Shit! What was he thinking? He came back to his senses and reached the bed, standing still to look at the man’s face.

He was having a nasal cannula and he looked peaceful. Travis traced his body down to the abdomen where he had been shot at. It was stitched and then bandaged. Travis couldn’t help but smile. At least, he had seen with his own eyes that Antonio was perfectly fine. He tried to touch the area where the wound was but quickly withdrew his hand.

He sat carefully on the chair closer to the bed, staring at the man’s face. He didn’t even realize that he was teary until he felt a tear going down his cheek. He quickly rubbed it and chuckled softly.

“I am so sorry, Antonio. I am not used to seeing you like this.” He said softly, taking the man’s hand, cupping it in his. At least, his hand was warm and he was breathing just fine. “You had to go through this pain because of me and I am so sorry about that. What you did for me back there, I never thought you’d do it. You protected me even though you knew very well how dangerous it was for you. It has got me asking questions, Antonio. Just what kind of person are you?”

He brought Antonio’s hand closer to his mouth and kissed it. He was getting emotional and he couldn’t control it.

“When we got married six years ago, I never thought we’d end where we are today.” He sobbed softly. “I never even knew that from all that pain I was experiencing, I’d get the joy that I have today. Even though our relationship wasn’t perfect and it was based on deceit, lies, and hatred, I still got my joy because of you. Sean is my joy and I love him so much.

I wouldn’t have had the courage to say this to you if you were awake but…” He chuckled through his tears. “…that night we made love was one of the best moments of my life. I don’t have any regrets that you took my virginity because I still got the greatest joy of my life, another reason to live. Our son is my life, Antonio. I love him so much and… and although I’d have loved for the both of us to raise him, only the almighty knows why it happened the way it did. There’s just one thing that I don’t understand….” He paused and cried.

“Despite all the pain that you had caused me, the pain that almost led to my death, I…. I can’t completely hate you. No matter how much I have tried for the last six years, it hasn’t happened. When I found out that you had married Bruce, I was honestly hurt. I cried a lot that day. But perhaps it is because you’re my first love and the love you inflicted on me has failed to go away.

Maybe what they say is true, ‘first love dies hard.’ Maybe that’s the reason why I love you so much, Antonio. I have never hated you.”

Travis was getting intensely emotional and images of his past were slowly forming in his mind. But it wasn’t as painful as before.

“It hurts me to see you like this. I just want to see you happy but…” He cried softly, kissing Antonio’s hand. “…we didn’t have anything between us to start with. There was no love. Both of us found ourselves in circumstances that were beyond our control. That’s why there’s nothing that can be fixed between us. Back then, I could only see your hatred and your mistakes and not your support for me. There was no love.”

Though Travis was saying that, he was in unimaginable pain. He had tried forgetting the love of his life for six years. But it hadn’t worked. What he was doing was for the best.

“But now Antonio…. now you’ve got another chance to start anew. You’ve got a chance to fix your life and make it perfect.” He sobbed. “The past is the past and I want to completely forget about it. It is time to close this painful chapter of the story and start anew, both of us.

And to do that… you… you…” He paused and sniveled uncontrollably. “…you need to forget about me and whatever we shared. You need to fix your life, find someone new, and fall in love with that person right from the start. You’ll love that person with all your heart, marry him, and raise a family with him. You are a great man and that person will be very lucky to have you. I don’t intend to keep our son away from you. I want him to get to know his father although I don’t know how we’re gonna do this. It’s gonna be really difficult.”

He got closer to Antonio’s face. “I forgive you for everything, Antonio. You’re now free to live your life without any burdens.” He slowly rubbed his tears. “I don’t know what fate has for me but I’ll probably live like this. I love you so much and I don’t know if I’ll ever love anyone that way.”

He got off the chair and leaned down slowly. Then just like a flash, he captured Antonio’s lips in a wonderful, fiery kiss that left him emotional and in pain. He didn’t want to pull away. He just wanted to be with him, holding him and kissing him. But he had to leave.

“Forgive me if you can.” He muttered. “I love you so much.”

With a final kiss on the forehead, Travis turned and started leaving. As soon as he left, Antonio’s tears started rolling down in streams. He slowly opened his eyes, watching as the love of his life went away. That had been more painful than getting shot at. Antonio didn’t know what to do but cry. He had been awake since the time Travis had entered the room.

***

Travis was holding his sleeping son in his arms tightly as he exited the hospital. He was feeling terrible… he had a headache and he had no idea why his heart was racing that much. It was torturing him. He was together with his family.

“Travis!” He heard Ethan’s voice behind him. “Travis, please just a moment.”

Travis stopped in his tracks and gave his son to Vanessa. “It’s okay, mother. You and Santiago can go ahead. I will find you in the car.”

The two nodded and left. Travis turned and found Emilia and Ethan rushing to him with worries on their faces. They were both panting because they’d been running for a long time. They were happy that they’d catch up with him.

“Travis, are you sure what you’re doing is right?” Emilia asked, fearing for her son. “You should have stayed until he wakes up. I don’t know if he’ll…”

“Everything will be alright, Mrs. Gonzalez. I am in a bit of a hurry. I need to go to the police station to report what had happened. The inspector told me that they’d caught the officer that helped Bruce.” He was wearing a fake smile and it wasn’t fooling anyone.

“Yeah, he called me too.” Ethan sighed. “Everything is gonna be fine. But that’s not what we’re talking about.”

Travis gave a gloomy sigh. “We all have to face the truth. Antonio and I didn’t have anything between us. That’s why there’s nothing to fix. He’s gonna have to start a new life.”

“But will you be okay with this?” Ethan asked, raising his eyebrow.

Travis chuckled, taking a sigh. “With what I have gone through, I was living in pain and all I wanted was to make Antonio feel that pain. But for the first time in six years, I feel like I need to start my life anew and so should Antonio.”

Emilia had no idea why it was so painful. “My son loves you so much, Travis. He does. Why don’t you give him another chance?”

“No, Mrs. Gonzalez!” He shook his head. “Antonio doesn’t need to dwell in his past. What he needs is to fix his life and move on. He’ll eventually fall in love again with a man that will make him happy, someone that will appreciate him.”

“But you’ve got a son together,” Ethan added. “What are you planning on doing about that? Sean cannot grow up without his father. Think this through.”

Travis smiled brightly. “I already have. Antonio can see his son whenever he wants. Sean will understand all this. I didn’t say I will cut all connections with Antonio. He just needs to fix his life and maybe one day…” He shrugged. “…we might just be great friends. Life is very funny, you know.”

Ethan was in pain. He could see that Travis was saying that in pain. “But…”

“All I can say to you is that now I have realized that sometimes breakup of a marriage isn’t a single person’s mistake. Both are responsible for that.” He said softly. “Sometimes, not the people but the circumstances are bad. I can assure you that everything will be fine. I have forgiven Antonio and it’s about time I forgave myself too and all the mistakes I have made. It’s time to learn from them and move on. I know it will be very difficult but it’s very necessary.” He smiled brightly. “Take very good care of Antonio and make him understand too.”

He slowly turned and started walking away as fast as he could. While he did, he lost the smile on his face and held his chest, trying to contain the pain. It was getting even more painful as he moved further away from the hospital.

***

Ethan entered the ICU and he stood still, staring at the bed like he’d seen a ghost. There was no one on the bed. The sheet was on the floor and there were drops of blood on the floor and some on the sheet. Ethan’s heart started racing and he got really scared. He rushed to the bed, looked under the bed, and scanned the whole room but there was no sign of Antonio anywhere. Even the nasal cannula had been removed and the blood that was being transfused into his body was on the floor.

Ethan took the nasal cannula and looked all around. “Antonio! Buddy! Are you in here?”

But he was dead wrong. Antonio was not in the room. It scared him so much that he went running outside like the hounds of hell were after him. When he got out, he almost bumped into Emilia who was coming from the cafeteria, holding a cup of tea.

“Ethan?” She asked, looking at him like she’d seen a ghost. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

Ethan gripped his hair, looking nervous. “It’s from Antonio! He’s not in the room. I have looked for him everywhere.”

“What?” Emilia gasped and she dropped the cup to the floor. Some tea spilled on her leg and she didn’t even feel it. “What are you talking about?”

Ethan took a deep breath, feeling hot all of a sudden. “He’s not in the room. I have looked everywhere and it seems… it seems he….”

But he didn’t even finish his sentence and Emilia was already rushing inside the room. It was true. Antonio was no longer there. Emilia remained standing there, looking all around. She was frozen and her eyes widened in fear. She was breathing like she was in pain. She looked at the bed but there was nothing there. Everything in there was a mess. She didn’t wanna think things but she couldn’t help it.

“Antonio!” She muttered, her body starting to tremble. “Where… where could he be?”

Ethan held her. “Please, calm down. We’ll look for him. Maybe he just went for some air or something.”

“How?” Emilia asked. “It’s not possible. He’s not completely healed. What if… what if something bad has happened to him? What if my son’s life is in danger?”

“Please, aunt!” Ethan held her hands, trying to make her understand. “He’s probably just somewhere or maybe Celine and Eduardo are with him. Let me give them a call.”

He quickly took his phone from the pocket and dialed Eduardo’s line.

‘Hello!’ Eduardo answered on the other end. “Is Antonio awake yet?”

Ethan got weak by that response. He opened his mouth to speak but closed it again. He was now starting to sweat and he simply got pale. He looked at the woman who was staring at him, expecting to hear some good news.

‘Hello!’

“Yeah! I… I was asking if you’ve seen Antonio.” He said in a cracking voice. “He’s missing from his room?”

‘What?’ Eduardo yelled at the other end. ‘What do you mean he’s missing? How can a man who was just operated on be missing? It’s impossible. Are you sure that….”

“Yeah!” Eduardo said, running his fingers through his hair. He was scared as fuck. “He’s not in the room and he removed everything that was on him.”

‘Fuck!’ Eduardo cursed. ‘Fine! Meet me at the entrance. We’ll find him together.’

“Cool!”

Ethan cut the call and found Emilia in tears, holding her hands together. She was really scared. “Where could he be?” She cried. “I haven’t even seen him since he got operated on.”

“We’ll find him,” Ethan assured. “Nothing will happen to him. Let’s go meet Eduardo.”

The two left the room quickly, running like the hounds of hell were after them. They were both praying in their hearts for Antonio to be safe and not do anything stupid.

***

Antonio slowly entered the temple, his eyes fixed on the statue that was in front with its hand-stretched, and as if it was smiling at him. He was so much in pain and he was holding his abdomen, near the area where his wound was. He was limping and he was feeling a bit weak.

Antonio was wearing black trousers with a blue t-shirt. He had a hoodie on because he didn’t want anyone to recognize him. There was no one in the temple and so, he felt at least safe. Antonio had left the hospital quietly and he had made sure that no one saw him because he had disguised himself. It had been difficult leaving but he was just so happy that he had managed to leave. Even though he was in there, he was so much in pain. It was the first time he had entered the temple.

He managed to reach the front and he knelt in front of the idol, looking at its face.

“I don’t know the reason why I felt the need to visit you today and honestly, I don’t even know if I am welcome here.” He started softly. “I don’t know why I missed you so suddenly when I have never actually believed in you. Maybe I wanted to thank you. I thank you the most because… because you saved and took care of the boy that I love with my entire heart. Through him, I have come to realize that you truly exist and you’re very powerful. I am here right now because of his prayers and his love.”

Antonio was getting emotional as he talked. Tears had started forming in his eyes and his pain was getting too much.

“I… I am leaving. I have decided to go away.” He cried softly, not bothering to rub his tears. “But I cannot leave without seeing you, talking to you, and thanking you for what you’ve done for me although I didn’t deserve any of it. I was like the violent waves but… you’ve calmed me down. Right now I am going away from everyone that I love, my family, my business, my career, and the boy that I love so much. I am going away from my son and… and I don’t even know what the future holds for me.

Please, take care of everyone for me. Keep everyone under your grace. It’s so difficult for me to take this path, away from the love of my life and my son. But I have to do this. Give him all the happiness he deserves and help me find mine. I will never go away from you again. Give me the strength to forget about my past and start afresh. I don’t know where this journey will lead me but I need your guidance.”

He put his hands together and closed his eyes, praying in his heart. Tears were rolling down his cheeks and a strong wind blew on his face. The wind was warm and he felt really strange sensations take control of his body.

As Antonio was praying, he felt a hand on his shoulder and he slowly opened his eyes. He found the priest dressed in white with his staff, staring at him with a smile. He didn’t know why but that smile gave him hope.

“The almighty has heard your prayers, my son.” The priest said in a deep voice. “And he never left you. He was always with you, guiding your every path, and protecting you. You’re welcome here.”

Antonio got up with a lot of difficulties, groaning in pain.

“The almighty has welcomed you with open arms and you don’t have to worry. He will protect you through your journey and guide your path again. You’ll soon find true happiness and you’ll forget about your past.”

Antonio nodded slowly, more tears running down his face. “I never thought a time would come when I’d be faced with this decision.” He sobbed. “I have always gotten everything I wanted in my life. But the most important thing that I need… I can’t have it.”

“Your hearts were destined to be together.” The priest said with a stern face. “But sometimes, circumstances can change our destinies. Now the Almighty has given you both a chance to be happy and choose what you want. If you two are truly destined to be together, you’ll eventually end up together. But for now, this is the almighty’s will.”

Antonio nodded, rubbing his tears. “I don’t know much about… about all these religious things but I am begging you to go to my house and cleanse it. Please!”

“You don’t have to worry.” The priest assured. “The almighty was angry with your family when you treated his devotee so badly. That was why he left your house. But now that he’s forgiven you, he is ready to return.” He rested his hand on Antonio’s head, blessing him. “Go well, my son. May the almighty be with you always!”

Antonio put his hands and bowed with difficulty. Then he turned and started walking away. It was so difficult to leave everything behind and the tears in his eyes showed it all. But he had to leave.

***

“Antonio!” Emilia hollered as soon as she entered the house. She was shouting like a madwoman. “Baby, are you in here? Please, baby… come out. I wanna see your face. I am worried about you. Antonio!”

“Emilia!” Granny Katy came rushing to the living room, looking worried. “What’s going on?”

“Mother?” Emilia rushed to her. “Is Antonio here?”

“What?” Katy frowned. “Antonio, here? No!” She shook her head. “Isn’t he at the hospital?”

Emilia was dead. She died and she fell to her knees crying. Katy was confused. She looked at the faces of everyone and they all looked lost and worried. She was about to ask what was going on when all of a sudden…

“Ethan, sir.” A guard came into the living room and bowed. “Antonio sir has left a letter for you.”

“Antonio!” Ethan gasped, rushing to the guard together with everyone else including Emilia. “You saw Antonio? Where’s he?”

“I met him near the hospital.” The guard said, handing him the letter. “He just told me to bring him some documents and a small suitcase.”

“What?” Ethan gasped, feeling his heart begin to race. “That means he… he left.”

He quickly took the letter and opened it, his hands beginning to tremble as he opened it. He was scared of what he was gonna find in that letter. He knew Antonio very well. He started reading it and everyone’s eyes were in that letter.

‘Ethan, you’ll be worried about receiving this letter.’ It read. ‘But please, try to understand me. What I am doing is important for me and everyone else. I am leaving, Ethan. I am going far away and you might not see me for a long time.’

Emilia felt her strength leave and her blood pressure instantly went high. She covered her mouth and cried. Celine held her and led to the seat. It was too much to bear and Celine too was confused.

‘I need some time to understand everything that took place in my life these past six years. Ethan, don’t think I am running away because you know, I am not the one who runs away. But for the first time in my life, I feel as though I don’t know myself… or whatever I knew was all wrong.

To figure myself out, understand, and accept my mistakes, I will have to leave. I know all of you will feel bad but this is what I want to change. From today, I don’t want to hurt anybody because of my self-centeredness and my selfishness. I don’t want to give anyone any reason to complain. And if anyone asks, tell them I am very happy.

And if Travis asks, tell him that for the first time in my life I am blindly listening to somebody. He will understand the rest. I want him to find happiness as I hunt for mine and hopefully, we might meet in this big world if the Almighty wills it. And that time, I hope both of us will be happy with our lives. Tell him to take very good care of my son.

And Ethan, I want you to take care of everyone while I am gone. Be a brother, a son, a grandson, an uncle,, and an active member of that family. You’ve earned it. And I want you to manage all my companies with the one person I know can do it very well, Travis, if it’s not too much to ask. Goodbye, my brother, and take care.”

Travis folded the letter and he felt like something had just left him, something really important. He looked at Ethan and the guy was looking like he was about to cry. The guy had brought the letter to him and Travis was really sad about reading it.

“Travis, please, we’ve got to go and look for him.” He pleaded. “He’s injured and who knows what might happen to him where he’ll go?”

Travis shook his head. “No, Ethan. Antonio doesn’t want any of us to do that. He wants…”

“But you don’t understand.” Ethan chimed in, getting closer. He could feel someone rubbing on his back and he didn’t know who. “Antonio is very vulnerable and we shouldn’t leave him alone in that situation.”

“I think it’s for the best. Nothing will happen to him. He needs to be alone and find himself again. When he feels he is ready, he’ll return. Please, don’t cry.” He smiled sheepishly and squeezed Ethan’s shoulder. “Excuse me!”

Travis went upstairs and he could hear Ethan sobbing and Santiago trying to soothe him. He rushed upstairs to his room and locked the door behind him. As soon as he did, tears rolled down his cheeks and he sat on the floor, leaning to the door.

“This is what I wanted.” He muttered, clenching his fist and bringing it to his chest. “But why does it hurt so much, Antonio? I never thought you’d leave just like that.” He sobbed.

‘Antonio, my first and only love.’ He cried. ‘Why did you go like that? Why, Antonio? But maybe… maybe it’s for the best. You need to find happiness and I need to forget you and move on too.

Goodbye, Antonio.’

He closed his eyes and just cried. Deep down, he knew it was gonna be so difficult to forget about him. But it was necessary to do so. After all, he was the one that made that decision.

‘Goodbye, Antonio!’

***

6 months later

*

Newspapers and magazines were lying on the table and some were on the table with different headlines.

‘Antonio Gonzalez, where has he gone?’

‘Will our beloved star ever return?’

‘Music is not the same without Antonio Gonzalez.’

There were many newspapers with different headlines, all asking about Antonio. It wasn’t only Antonio’s family that missed him so much but everyone missed him too. Music was no longer the same. Six months had passed since he had left and no one had heard anything from him. No calls, no texts, or emails had been received. His email address had been inactive.

There were stories of him being spotted in hotels, bus stops, airports, and parks in so many different countries but they were all dead ends, probably made by obsessed fans. It was terrible.

And here she was, seated on the couch comfortably with a magazine in her hands, reading an article about her son. Emilia Gonzalez had a smile on her face although she was just moments away from breaking down like she usually did. It was really, really sad but at least now, she was able to smile and pray that everything was fine.

Emilia was dressed in a really beautiful blue dress with red shoes on her feet. Her hair was tied in a bun and she was looking really beautiful and young.

“Mother!” Emilia heard a voice sigh.

She quickly raised her head and found Celine staring at her with a smile on her face. She couldn’t help but smile. Celine was looking amazing in a black dress with blue slippers. She had her hair in a fishtail crown braid, revealing her beautiful face. She sat together with Emilia, holding her hands sweetly.

“Everything is gonna be okay, mom.” She assured, giving her a brilliant smile. “Antonio is the strongest person I know. Once he is ready to call you, he’ll call.”

“I know.” Emilia sighed. “But I am a mother. It is only natural that I am feeling this way. I have tried everything I can just to trace him but he’s just like his father, very smart.”

“Of course,” Celine chuckled happily. “I am not telling you to forget about him, mom. What I am telling you is to just be happy. I am sure that Antonio is happy wherever he is.”

Emilia nodded and then pulled Celine into a warm hug. She had no idea what she had done to deserve a daughter like her. And she had thought everything was over when her daughter got arrested and refused to repent. But now, she was alright.

“Granny!”

Emilia felt her heart jump in her chest when she heard the sweet little voice. She quickly withdrew from the hug and before she even had the chance to see, she felt tiny arms wrapping around her neck. The joy that she felt was from out of this world. She was extremely happy.

“My little grandson!” She chuckled as she pulled away from the hug. “You look so beautiful, baby.”

She was staring at Sean, feeling like she was in heaven. He was wearing a beautiful black skinny jean with a brown t-shirt and white sneakers on his feet. The little boy grew even more handsome every day and he reminded her of her son, Antonio.

“You’ve got no idea how happy I am that you are here.”

“Well, it’s not about happiness.” A happy voice spoke before footsteps were heard.

It was Vanessa and she was looking gorgeous in her outfit and that smile on her face was priceless. She wore a pretty fashionable green dress top that was tucked in a wonderful black tight skirt that reached her knees and she had pure white high heels on her feet. Her hair was made in bombshell curls and the makeup on her face was on point.

“Vanessa, what a surprise.” Emilia chuckled, getting up with her grandson in her arms. “I was just thinking about calling you. I am glad you’ve brought my sweet Sean home.”

“Well, I didn’t bring him. I came here to pick you up with Steph. The four of us are gonna have a lot of fun, just grandmothers and grandkids.”

“What?” Celine gasped, folding her arms on her chest. “What about me? Shouldn’t I be with you guys?”

“Shouldn’t you be going on dates with your husband?” Vanessa asked, raising her eyebrow. “I think you two should begin working on having baby number two.” She gestured and when Celine frowned, the two women laughed. “I think Steph needs a sibling. And I am not getting no for an answer.” She said when Emilia tried to speak. “You spend too much time indoors. Just go in, put on something nice, and let’s go have fun.”

Emilia smiled brightly. “Alright. I will be back.”

She kissed her grandson and left upstairs.

“Thank you so much, Aunt Vanessa,” Celine said with a stern face. “You just came at the right time. I can’t bear to see her like that. Thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me.” Vanessa smiled brightly. “I know exactly how it feels like to lose someone that you love so much. In my case, it was permanent but for her, at least, she knows he’s still alive. And you can come with us. You’re very welcome.”

“No!” Celine shook her head. “I need to meet my husband. He invited me to lunch.”

“Oh…” Vanessa chuckled teasingly, taking a seat on the couch. “So I was right about the date and the baby-making process?”

Celine laughed. “Well…” She shrugged, seating on the armrest. “…not really. But anyway…”

The two women continued talking happily like good friends. A lot had indeed changed in the last six months. Emilia and Vanessa had become great friends.

***

“Don’t worry about anything, Mr. Dave,” Santiago assured with a smile on his face. “We’ll deliver your goods before the end of tomorrow. They’re just under inspection right now.”

‘Well, since you say it. I have no choice but to believe it.’ The man said on the other end of the line. ‘Thanks a lot for this. You’re a lifesaver, Mr. Santiago.’

Santiago chuckled softly. “I am just doing my best. Thanks and see you tomorrow.”

He cut the call and put it on the table, taking a deep sigh. Santiago was wearing a black muscle shirt with green shorts and black sandals. He was looking cute with his shaved on the sides and left a bit longer on top. In six months, his life had become better and he didn’t wish to change anything.

As he was busy smiling for reasons best known to him, he saw Vanessa coming inside together with Sean. They both looked really happy and the little boy ran to him as soon as he saw him. Santiago kissed him, took him in his arms, and hugged him tightly.

“I missed you so much, my baby.” Santiago moaned.

“I missed you too, Uncle Santiago,” Sean said in his cute little voice.

The two just continued hugging and Vanessa just stood and watched the wonderful scene. It was to die for.

“Ahem!” She cleared her voice, bringing them all to reality. “With all this hugging going on, you’re making me a bit emotional.”

“You can join in if you want, aunt!” Santiago said with a raised eyebrow. “There’s still more space.”

“Very funny!” Vanessa laughed. “I think I am a bit too old to be hugged by hot hunks like you. You should save that for Travis. And speaking of which…” She frowned. “…has Travis returned?”

Santiago shook his head. “No! I have been waiting for him, both of them. It’s been over a day since they left for the meeting and they were supposed to be here by now.” He glanced at his watch. “I wonder what’s keeping them so long.”

“Hmmm….” Vanessa moaned, taking the phone from her purse. “…I thought I was gonna find him here. Let me give him a call.”

Vanessa dialed Travis’ number and called him. It didn’t take long before the phone started ringing. And to her surprise, the phone started ringing right behind her. She got confused and quickly turned to find a amazing surprise.

Travis was standing at the entrance with a smile on his face, holding the phone in his hand. He was looking amazingly beautiful. He was dressed in a beautiful blue designer’s shirt that was tucked in a black skinny jeans, showing his gorgeous curves to the world. He had white snickers on his feet. His long caramel brown straight hair was made into a slicked-back high fashion, revealing his gorgeous face.

He was together with Ethan who was smiling too. He was dressed in a white designer’s shirt with a brown tight trouser and black shoes on his feet. His hair was shaggy but stylish. Both of them looked amazing.

“Looking for me?”

“Daddy!” Sean got out of Santiago’s arms and rushed right into his father’s arms. “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too, my love.”

Travis couldn’t describe the feeling when he got his son into his arms. It was amazing and he felt like holding his son like that for a long time. He kissed him all over his face, enjoying his wonderful giggles. Then he closed his eyes and just enjoyed the moment.

“Hi, baby!”

When Travis heard those words, he opened his eyes slowly and found Santiago slowly walking towards him with a sexy smile. When he saw that, he couldn’t help but smile. He had no idea why seeing the man smiling gave him so much joy.

“I missed you.” Santiago moaned, biting his lips sensually.

“I missed you too.”

Santiago rushed to Travis, gave him a tight hug and a beautiful peck near his lips. Both of them looked at each other lovingly and then smiled. Then Santiago moved away from him and went to Ethan. Right in front of everyone, he locked his lips with him and gave him a hot and explosive kiss that left both of them senseless.

When they eventually broke away, they just caressed each other’s cheeks, looking into each other’s eyes like they wanted to make crazy love right there. It was such a beautiful moment to see. Travis was happy for both of them.

“I missed these,” Santiago said in a barely audible voice, rubbing his finger on those sweet lips he couldn’t wait to taste again. “You left me a bit lonely.”

“Well then…” Ethan blushed, biting his lips, seducing the man even more. “…I guess it was what I wanted because the kiss you gave me has made me love you more.”

Santiago laughed and leaned to Ethan’s ears like he was hugging him. “I missed you so crazy that I can’t wait to make love to you tonight.”

Ethan bit his lip to suppress a moan. Wait, did they even realize that they were not alone?

But anyway, everyone else was really happy with what they saw. If there were people that deserved to be happy, it was Ethan and Santiago. The two guys were a perfect package. They’d been dating for almost three months. The two guys had fallen in love without even realizing it.

From Santiago comforting Ethan when he was missing his friends to the two of them becoming friends, having dates and the rest was history. Their love inspired Travis a lot. He wished for his love to start like that also, that was if he was gonna be ready to fall in love again. He was now a top-notch businessman and he was managing a lot of them at the same time. He only had time for his son, his family, and his businesses. As long as they were all fine then he was happy.

“They look so sexy, don’t they?” Vanessa asked, resting his hand on Travis’ shoulder.

Travis smiled, nodding. “Yes, they do a lot.”

“Don’t worry, my son,” Vanessa assured. “Very soon, a new ray of light will enter your life, there will be brightness. I pray to the almighty that he should bless you with success.” Travis slowly turned and faced Vanessa, losing the smile on his face. “He should bless you with lots of happiness because you deserve it.”

Travis felt tears of mirth form in his eyes. He gripped his mother and brought her into a tight hug.

“May the almighty bless you forever.”

“He has blessed me with a mother like you,” Travis said softly. “It’s more than enough for me.”

“You two are too much!” Santiago said, walking towards them. “I have already told you guys, there’s no place for tears in this house. Only happiness is allowed.”

Travis chuckled happily, nodding. “You’re right about that. Sadness went a long time ago. What you see are tears of joy and nothing else. Anyway, enough of this emotional drama and the kissing.” He laughed when Santiago raised his eyebrow. “I am starving and I hope you cooked something.”

Santiago laughed. “Of course, there’s a lot. Shall we?”

Travis nodded and they all started heading to the dining room but before they got further…

“Daddy!” Sean asked. “I miss my father!”

Travis stopped in his tracks and looked at his son like he’d just seen a ghost. He couldn’t believe what his ears had just heard. His heart began racing and he felt shivers run down his spine in series. Everything went quiet and his mouth began shaking. In six months, that was the first time Travis heard Sean say that he missed Antonio. He was beyond shocked.

“I miss him so much, daddy,” Sean added. “When’s father coming back to me? Did he leave because he doesn’t like us anymore?”

Travis felt like someone had just poured ice water on him. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing from Sean. He had heard Sean talking to Emilia about Antonio before but what he felt at that time was beyond explanation. It was like he was dreaming.

“It’s been long, daddy. I want my handsome father back.” Travis could see the tears in his son’s eyes and it just made him weak. “Doesn’t he like us anymore?”

“Sean, what are you saying?”

Travis felt at peace when Vanessa came to his rescue. He had been so dumbstruck that he felt like Sean wasn’t gonna stop asking those questions.

“Of course, your father loves you a lot.” She took him from Travis’ arms. “He loves you so much and he’ll come back very soon. He’s also having a really hard time being away from you. But you know what…” She playfully pinched his cheeks, smiling when he giggled. “…daddy, Uncle Santiago, Uncle Ethan and I are all here for you and we’ll never leave you alone.” Sean smiled. “Now let’s go and enjoy our food.”

As they were leaving, Travis kept on staring at his son and he had no idea why he got so much fear. He knew the young boy was becoming curious and that wasn’t the last time he was gonna ask that question. Why was his son trying to bring back memories he was trying too hard to forget?

“Are you okay?” Ethan asked, squeezing his shoulder.

Travis nodded. “I am fine.”

He started following the dining with a smile on his face. He wasn’t gonna allow that to mess with his head.

***

Travis took a sip of his fresh pineapple juice, enjoying the wonderful flavor that it left in his mouth. He never got enough of that flavor. Travis was in his pajamas, busy looking at his laptop, reading some of the emails that had been sent to him.

As he was busy reading, he heard a knock on his door and he told whoever was knocking to come inside. Ethan came inside with a smile, heading to where Travis was seated. He sat closer to him, still wearing that smile.

“Hmm…. Look who decided to spend the night!” Travis teased, chuckling softly. “Aren’t you two cute?”

“I know, right. Well, he insisted I spend the night so…” He shrugged. “…here I am.”

“Hmm….” Travis moaned. “Well, you better keep it a little down. I don’t want to hear any moans tonight.”

“Crazy!” Ethan hit Travis slightly on the shoulder, making both of them laugh. “I love the new you. You’re hilarious and fun to be around.”

“Hmm…” Travis folded his arms on his chest, his face getting stern. “…now I am wondering what that is supposed to mean.”

“Don’t take it in a bad way.” Ethan raised his hands like he was surrendering. “You were very serious months back and you were always busy with work. But right now, you’re fun and down to earth. I never actually thought we’d even become great friends. It is thanks to you that I met the love of my life!”

“Oh…” Travis smiled, giving Ethan a quick hug. “I love you too. Now I have to send you out. I need to do some work before I hit the bed. Do you mind?”

“Not really!” Ethan sighed. “But I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow evening, we are meeting a very important client, Mason Williams. He is having a party and he is personally inviting us. That way, we can also discuss the designs for his wedding outfit and also take measurements too.”

Travis frowned. “Do I have to? You know I don’t like these…”

“I don’t want to hear that.” Ethan got up, covering his ears. “We’re both going and that’s final.”

“But…”

“I can’t hear you!” Ethan covered his ears and left laughing.

“Ethan!”

But he was already gone. Travis remained smiling. He had no idea why he was so happy. He shook his head and got back to his work.

***

Travis, Ethan, and Santiago were welcomed by slow music as soon as they entered the house of their client. There were beautiful, classy decorations and the entire place was just amazing. There were a few people, maybe just close friends and business partners, and they were all dressed beautifully. Some of them were talking, others eating and drinking. Everyone seemed happy.

Travis was killing it that evening with an all-white outfit and white shoes on his feet. His hair was tied in a curled ponytail, revealing his beautiful face. Ethan and Santiago looked amazing too and they couldn’t help but admire the house and the way the party was organized.

It didn’t take long and they saw someone waving at them happily while rushing towards them. He was a handsome young man with short blonde hair and a smile to die for. He was putting on a blood-red designer’s suit with red shoes. He was looking amazing.

“Hey!” Mason said happily, shaking Travis’ hands powerfully. “You made it for my party. You’ve got no idea how happy I am to see you again.”

“Same here!” Travis smiled brightly.

Mason blushed, taking a deep breath. “And Ethan, you look amazing tonight.”

“Thanks!” Ethan said happily.

“And who is this sexy man with you?”

Ethan glanced at Santiago and gave the brightest smile yet. “This is my boyfriend, Santiago.”

“Wow!” Mason just nodded. “You two look good together. I can honestly say that you’re a match made in heaven, just perfect.”

“Thanks!”

Mason chuckled. “Anyway, you’re welcome to my party. Why don’t you enjoy…”

“Well, actually, I was hoping we could talk right now,” Travis said, literally pleading with the guy. “I have somewhere important that I need to be.”

Mason glanced at his watch. “But it’s too early, Mr. Marasigan.”

“It might be. But I need to hurry.”

Mason sighed gloomily. “Alright, we can do that. But I am sure the couple can have a bit of fun while we talk.”

“Sure!” Ethan nodded.

Mason smiled. “Alright, let’s go.”

While Ethan and Santiago joined the party, Travis and Mason went to the living room area and sat on the couch. Travis didn’t like parties. He hadn’t attended any party in the last six months. He had just suddenly hated them.

“Are you alright, Mr. Marasigan?” Mason asked. “You surprised me when you said you were in a hurry. Don’t you like parties?”

Travis gave a sheepish smile. “Just in a hurry, Mr. Williams. I am a very busy man. And if you don’t mind, can we get into business? I need to know the kind of designs that you want for your wedding.”

Mason nodded, smiling at the beautiful man. “Sure! I believe that your company is the best when it comes to fashion and I honestly don’t have any doubt because I have seen your work. What inspires me the most is how dedicated you are with interacting with a client?”

Travis smiled brightly. “I just love my work and my clients’ happiness is my priority.”

“That’s great. Anyway, I threw this party for my fiancé. He is coming back from abroad and our wedding is set for next week. Do you think you can manage to finish our outfits before that?”

Travis chuckled. “Anytime you need them, they’ll be ready.”

“Cool! I don’t want to see any of your designs. I want you to surprise me, hit me with your best shot.”

Travis chuckled nervously. “Are you sure that’s what you want?”

“Yes!” He took an envelope from the table and handed it over to Travis. “In there are the details about my wedding, the plans, and everything that you might need to inspire you. Not only do I want you to design the wedding outfits, I need you to plan my wedding too. I hope you can help me with that?”

Travis opened the envelope and started going through. Even as he did, looking at the pictures, he could already picture some of the ideas for the outfit. A smile popped up on his face and he took a deep breath.

“Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?” Mason asked.

As soon as Travis heard that question, he raised his head and lost the smile on his face, shaking his head. “No!”

“Married?”

“No!”

“Why?” Mason asked curiously. “It is not every day you come across a handsome guy who’s neither dating nor married. You must be unique.”

Travis nodded nonchalantly, giving a fake smile. He didn’t want to talk about his love life because it was a chapter that he had closed already. He continued going through the envelope, reading through and getting some ideas from it. But suddenly…

“Oh finally!” Mason said happily, rising from the couch. “He’s here.”

Travis raised his head to find Mason rushing from where he sat. He smiled brightly because he knew that his fiancé had arrived and he was gonna be meeting him for the first time. He rose from the couch and with a brilliant smile, he slowly turned to finally meet the man that had swept crazy Mason off his feet.

But when Travis eventually turned, he simply froze. The smile on his face started fading slowly… he felt a sudden sense of coldness taking over, feeling like a cold wind went through him… his skin began tingling and he felt like his heart had stopped beating. It was like every sound in that room was fading. He was horrified.

It couldn’t be. There was no way what he was seeing was real… it was impossible… it had to be a dream. Travis found himself staring without even blinking. He became aware of his heartbeat and he couldn’t believe just how loud it was. His heart pounded so violently in his chest that it almost gave him a heart attack.

He watched as Mason kissed his fiancé before the both of them hugged tightly. They were both smiling and they looked so happy and in love. When Mason’s fiancé raised his head, Travis’ eyes locked with his and they both stared into each other’s eyes. A shiver went down Travis’ spine and he got really scared. The man was looking into his eyes and he wanted to look away but he couldn’t do it. He found himself staring.

After the hug, the two of them coiled their hands and they started coming towards him. The man was dressed in a really beautiful pink designer’s shirt with his hairy chest exposed on which a beautiful golden chain rested. The shirt was tucked in a tight black trousers with black and white striped shoes on his feet. His golden-brown hair was made into a textured falling quiff, revealing his beautiful face. Although he had glasses on, Travis could remember that face anywhere.

Travis kept on staring at him in fear even as the couple came to him.

“Wow, I am so glad you’re finally here,” Mason said excitedly. “You’re just in time to meet Mr. Travis Marasigan. He’s personally designing the wedding outfits. How cool is that? I mean, the owner of fashion and the city will be designing the outfits.”

Even though Mason was saying that Travis’s mind and eyes were elsewhere. He couldn’t even hear a thing.

“Anyway, pardon my manners…” Mason apologized, resting his hand on Travis’ shoulder. That was when he came back to reality. “…Travis, this is… this is Antonio.” He rested his head on his chest lovingly.

Travis felt the wind push him behind and he took a step backward. Tears were welling up in his eyes. He couldn’t believe he was staring at Antonio, right in front of him. The man looked really different but extremely handsome. Staring into his eyes, Travis couldn’t help but remember all the things that had transpired between them.

“Now that he’s here, you can also take his measurements.”

Antonio was staring into Travis’ eyes and he didn’t know how to react. Six months had felt like forever and after so long, he had managed to pull his life together. But now it was like he was confronting his past. His heart raced so much and he felt really hot. Then suddenly, he gave a brilliant smile and removed his glasses, slowly stretching his hand.

“Nice to meet you, Travis!”

Travis felt like someone had stabbed his heart when he heard Antonio’s voice and that smile on his face. He didn’t know what was happening but something awoke in him and he didn’t know what. He couldn’t feel any pain but what he felt was making him weak. He couldn’t believe that Antonio was the one marrying Mason.

He glanced at the hand that was waiting to shake and without even realizing it, he slowly stretched his hand. And when their hands touched, Travis felt like he’d been connected to a cable of electricity. He didn’t even realize that a tear had just rolled down his cheek. He quickly withdrew his hand, taking a step away from Antonio.

“I am sorry!” He apologized abruptly, picking the phone from the couch. “I am sorry but I gotta go.”

With those words, he started rushing out of there like the hounds of hell were after him.

“Excuse me!” Antonio said before he started rushing after Travis.

He was running like a mad man. “Travis, please wait!” He hollered. “Please!”

But Travis just increased his pace and went running through the crowd. He wanted to go away from Antonio as fast as he could. But Antonio too was running.

Why was he running anyway, he thought? Antonio had no impact on him. He had broken all ties with him and had released him. Shouldn’t his being married and moving on make Travis happy? It was what he wanted, right?

“Travis!”

Antonio pulled Travis’ arm quickly, stopping him instantly. Travis stopped but didn’t even bother to turn. He didn’t want to look at Antonio.

“What’s going on?” Antonio asked worriedly.

Travis clenched his fists. “Why are you back? Please, don’t touch me. Let me just go in peace.”

“What’s wrong?” Antonio asked, wondering why Travis was acting that way. “Why are you leaving? I thought you were supposed to be taking measurements for the outfits?”

Travis shook his head. “I have changed my mind. I just need to…”

“And why’s that, Travis? I thought work was more important to you and besides, it’s not right to back out of a contract.”

Travis was having difficulties breathing. “I have changed my mind.”

“But why’s that?” Antonio asked. “Why’s this wedding affecting you so much? I thought you were good at it. Besides, this is important and it’s happening next week. You can’t back out of it. Think of what this might do to the wedding.”

Travis felt a tear rolling down his cheek and he quickly rubbed it. “I am so sorry but…”

“Why?” Antonio asked in a raised voice, alerting some people. “Why can’t you continue with this contract?”

“I have my reasons.”

Meanwhile, Ethan who had been passing by with his boyfriend got the shock of his life when he looked in front of him and saw his best friend at the party. He was just as shocked as everyone that saw Antonio. His eyes were wide open and he was frozen, staring at Antonio like he’d seen a ghost. His heart was racing and he thought he was in a dream. Tears had already formed in his eyes. He wanted to rush to Antonio, hug him but he was frozen.

“But this is important, Travis.” Antonio pleaded. “By canceling this contract then… then this entire thing will be ruined.”

“You can always find someone else. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“Why’s that?”

“Please…”

“Tell me!” Antonio asked, getting closer. “Why can’t you continue?”

“Please!” Travis covered his ears slightly, feeling a headache setting in. “Leave me!”

“Tell me! What’s the reason? Why are you backing out?”

Travis covered his ears but he could still hear Antonio’s voice. It was like Antonio was in his head and it was driving him insane. His head was hurting so bad and his hormones were starting to prey on him. He could feel his anger rising.

“Tell me!”

“Enough!” Travis snapped, furiously turning to face the man. “What the hell do you want from me when you’re already getting married? Why don’t you just go to your fiancé and leave me alone! I don’t want anything to do with this wedding and neither do I want the contract.”

Travis said that out loud without even realizing that he had said it. He felt terrible and he was panting. Antonio was beyond shocked. He hadn’t expected that at all.

“Do you think you can just play with someone’s feelings like that?” He asked with a tear going down his cheek. “Is this entire thing a game to you? Don’t you know when to stop with your games?” He furiously shook his head. “And here I was, thinking that you were gonna change but I was wrong. I am such fool for even thinking that you and I….”

Travis trailed off, feeling like someone had just covered his mouth. He didn’t even know he had uttered those words out of anger. He glanced around and found that all faces were on him. Shit! He felt hot and he was very nervous. He felt silly and he knew that he had to get out of there.

With a glance at the man that was staring at him with his eyes wide open, he quickly turned and started rushing out of there. He had just taken a few steps and was almost getting out of there before another shock hit him.

“Will you go on a date with me?”

Travis felt his heart pound in his throat and he froze where he stood. He was beyond shocked and a myriad of emotions took control of him. He was really scared and confused. Antonio’s voice kept on ringing in his head.

“I want to go on a date with you. Will you give me a chance?”

Travis slowly turned and got another shock. Antonio was on one knee with his hand stretched, literally asking for Travis’ hand. Travis remained standing there, his eyes wide open and his mouth was shaking.

“I know I am an unworthy, unfortunate guy but would you consider going on a date with me? I love you so much, Travis!”

Travis slowly started walking to where Antonio was kneeling, staring right into his eyes. His face was stern and what he was feeling inside was too deep to describe. He reached Antonio, looked at him, and groaned.

“You’re despicable.” He chuckled bitterly. “You’re getting married to another person and you want to date another person? How sick are you, Antonio?”

“Look, what…”

“It’s my foolishness, Antonio!” Travis chuckled bitterly. “I am being played for a fool but what could I have expected from you? You are a liar. There’s a limit to toying with someone or even playing a prank.”

Antonio got up, a frown appearing on his face. “Travis, listen…”

He tried to go away but Antonio pulled him back and he quickly withdrew his arm. He couldn’t believe a man like Antonio had done that just to hurt him. It was hurting so terribly.

“Please, try and understand me,” Antonio said softly. “I am not who you think I am. You told me to fix my life. You told me to find happiness, fall in love again. I took your advice and you’re still upset with me?”

Travis couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He could very well remember that he had told that to Antonio when he was fast asleep after the operation. He felt a really cold wind go through his body and he slightly dropped his eyes to the floor. He had kissed Antonio that day.

“I took your advice and I went away. I tried to fix my life and with so much difficulty, I managed to forget about everything and brought my life back on track. But even still, I couldn’t find happiness because my happiness lies here with you.” He took Travis’ hand but Travis quickly withdrew. “Can’t you see how much I love you? I came back here for you because I want to start my life anew with you. Give me a chance. Go on a date with me and let’s start this beautiful thing between us.”

Travis shook his head, feeling like someone was drawing air out of him. “Look at you!” He chuckled bitterly. “You like drama a lot, don’t you? You’re getting fucking married and what kind of person do you think I am, a cheap slut? You must be enjoying this. Is this revenge for what I did to you in the past?”

Antonio chuckled, feeling hurt. “You told me to fix my life and move on. But you’re still living in the past. I would tell you to take your own advice. You’re so good at giving great advice but you don’t follow it yourself. You’re still living in the past. Like I am incomplete without you, you’re incomplete without me.”

Travis was finding it so hard to fight his tears.

“As I love you, you love me too. I can still see it in your eyes.”

Travis laughed in his tears. “Is that what you see, love?”

“Yes!” Antonio nodded. “If you don’t still love me then why did you cancel the contract when you found out I was the groom? Why are you still single after all these months? Why do I see tears in your eyes?”

Travis felt trapped. He closed his eyes, clenching his fists. “You are just exaggerating.”

“No!” Antonio cupped Travis’ cheeks and looked in his eyes. He was hypnotized by those beautiful eyes that spoke to his very soul. “I am serious because now I understand. You deserve every happiness in the world. You deserve love. The love which is your right. I know you’re afraid of what might happen.”

Travis looked into the eyes of the man that was speaking so seriously to him. He moved away from Antonio, shaking his head.

“Travis I am not the same man that you once knew. I stayed away from you with so much difficulty.” He said with tears forming in his eyes. “It was the worst six months of my life and I felt like I was dying. I am not asking us to fix our broken relationship. All I am asking for is a chance for this man that loves you so hopelessly. To me, you’re the definition of love, the most beautiful soul and I want to start something special with you. But this time, with a different man. I love you.”

Travis closed his eyes. He felt disgusted.

“You…”

“And I am not getting married, Travis,” Antonio added, getting a bit closer. “I came here to fall in love with you all over again but this time it will be different.”

Travis was now dumbfounded. He was staring at Antonio as he’d just grown another head.

“Mason is the fiancé of the friend that I met during my difficult moments.” He said with such seriousness. “I have never been with another person since I left this country. I only came here for you, to love you as you deserve.”

Travis’ lips were shaking uncontrollably. “And what makes you think I care or I believe you?”

“Because it’s the truth!” Mason said as he rushed towards them. He stood beside Antonio, staring at Travis with a teasing smile. Travis was shocked once again. “Antonio and I have nothing between us. He was supposed to be measured for the wedding outfit because he is gonna be the best man. Wait!” Mason laughed. “That’s why you left like that? Come on, Antonio is very much single and if the love I have seen in him since the time I met him is for you, then you should give him a chance. He loves you.”

Travis looked at Antonio and he simply got weak. Deep down, he was feeling relieved because of what he had heard. But still, he felt the need to get out of there.

“Please…”

“Why did you come back?” He said in a weak voice. “Why Antonio?”

Antonio got closer to the love of his life. “Because I couldn’t handle it anymore? I came here for you and myself. I love you so much and if I want to start over…” He took Travis's hand, rubbing on it sweetly. “…I want it to be with someone like you. Please, give me a chance, Travis. Give our love a chance. Let me show you that I have got more to give you and show you.”

Travis closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He quickly opened them and withdrew his hand, slowly moving away from the man. “I don’t love you, Antonio. I am sorry, I can’t do this.”

With those words, Travis made a quick turn and started leaving. Antonio didn’t wanna give up. Without even seeing where he was going, he started going after Travis. But unfortunately for him, he tripped over a small table and he went flying with full force to the floor. He hit his forehead on the floor and the pain that he felt was unimaginable.

“Antonio!”

Travis quickly stopped when he heard a terrible thud behind him and someone screaming Antonio’s name right before almost everyone gasped. He made a quick turn, feeling his heart miss a beat. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped at what he saw. Antonio was slowly getting up with the help of Mason and he was bleeding from his forehead, blood making its way to his eyes.

Travis felt such terrible pain but he left as quickly as he could because he didn’t wanna make a mistake. As soon as he got out, he leaned on his car, sobbing softly. He had no idea why he felt the way he did at that time. It was so very painful. Suddenly, as he was crying…

“Hurts, doesn’t it?” He heard a familiar voice say.

Travis quickly raised his head to get the greatest shock of his life. He was staring right into his face but a younger version of him, Praveen. He was dressed in a really beautiful simple white attire with a stern look on his face. Travis had no idea why he got so scared.

“You…”

“How long will you continue running away, Travis?” The man in front of him asked. “How long will you continue searching for happiness when you very well know that your happiness lies with him?”

“It’s a lie!” He said, shaking his head.

“Really?” The man in front of him laughed. “Then why did you get hurt when you found out he was the groom? Why did you feel that pain when he got hurt? Why do you feel like you left your heart inside? Don’t commit a mistake that you’ll regret later. Six years back you… we were stuck in a marriage where there was no love. I know the reason why you’re like this. Should I tell you why you fear being in a relationship?

You’re afraid of being in love once again.” He said softly. When you fell in love for the first time…. when you trusted it and gave everything that you had, your love betrayed you. You’re afraid of betrayal. You’re afraid of the pain that betrayal causes.”

Travis felt confused with the words of the man in front of him. A tear went down his cheek and he didn’t even bother rubbing it.

“You were heartbroken earlier but this time you can feel that Antonio is telling the truth.” The man continued. “Why do you wanna get heartbroken again? You have had so many chances to fall in love again but you haven’t embraced them. You had an opportunity to start anew with Santiago but you didn’t because you were afraid of not giving him the love that he deserved. You had a chance to fall in love with Paul but you were afraid that you might fail to do anything with him and he might be heartbroken. But do you know the real reason?”

“No!” Travis shook his head. He didn’t wanna hear it. “Please, don’t say it!”

“That’s because you’re still very much in love with your first love, the father of your son.” He added with a smile. “And if not for you, what about Sean? Doesn’t he deserve happiness too? He loves his father so much and he deserves to be with him.”

“Antonio can still be with his son. I have no objection to that.” He hollered, breathing heavily. “I don’t love him. Why doesn’t anybody understand that?”

“Because it’s a lie! If you don’t love him then look into my eyes and truly say that you don’t love him.”

Travis got closer and looked the man in front of him straight in the eyes. “I don’t love Antonio!”

The man nodded and just got closer. “Then why are you crying?” He asked, giving a teasing smile. “Don’t lie to yourself?”

Travis felt a shiver run down his spine and he quickly rubbed his tears, trying to make himself look okay.

“That doesn’t prove anything.”

“Okay!” The man got closer and rested his hand on Travis’ shoulder, his face getting stern. Travis felt his touch and it felt so real. “You can deny it as much as you want. But you’ve got two options. You can either get into that car…” He gestured with his head. “…and drive away, forget about Antonio forever. Or you can go back in there and be happy with the love of your life. The choice is yours. But all I can say is that one leads to endless loneliness and regret while the other leads to happiness and freedom.”

Travis felt like he’d been put in between a rock and a hard place. His heart began racing and he took a glance behind him. By the time he was looking forward again, the lookalike he was talking to was no longer there. He was gone. That was when he realized that he’d been having an imagination. But it was not gonna change anything. He took a deep breath and started rushing to his car.

***

“Careful!” Mason said softly, helping Antonio up. “We need to treat that wound.”

Antonio was in so much pain but not the physical pain from the wound. It was the pain of rejection once again. How could he have even thought that he’d have a chance at convincing Travis to be with him? He was such a fool and he knew from that moment that it was truly over.

Antonio slowly turned and started going with Mason, limping slowly. He didn’t even see his best friend who was in tears, staring at him. It was so painful to see him like that.

Antonio was walking slowly when suddenly he felt arms wrap tightly around him, so tight that he couldn’t even breathe. It was like he had been connected to an electric cable with the sensations he felt around that area. His heart began pounding in his chest and he froze.

“Why has my heart refused to let you go?” Travis spoke, sobbing softly. “Why can’t I forget you even when I am trying so hard to? Why do I love you so much that I can’t see myself with anyone else? I love you so much, Antonio?”

Antonio felt like liquid electricity had just been poured into his system. His body gave a slight jerk as his hands began trembling in fear. His mouth dropped open and his eyes got wider. He couldn’t move. He thought it was all a dream.

“I don’t have the strength to run away anymore. My heart has given up. You’ve won.”

Antonio slowly turned and found Travis staring into his eyes with tears. He couldn’t help but cry too. He moved his hands up and began rubbing those tears.

“I love you so much, Travis. You’re the one who taught me how to live again and face myself.” He said, chuckling through his tears. “You taught me how to love again. You are my life and I promise to always protect you. I swear on the almighty’s name. I will always protect you and make you happy. Thank you so much for giving me a chance.”

Travis smiled, chuckling in his tears. “Why are you so stubborn? You’re now even hurt?”

“I don’t care about the pain because the love I feel for you take all the pain away.” He moaned. “I just want to make you happy, for both of us to be happy. Will you be mine again?”

Travis nodded softly. “Yes, Antonio! Yes!”

Antonio felt alive. He jumped up and down like a little kid, not minding the pain from the fall. He couldn’t believe what he heard. Travis had just agreed to give him another chance. Everyone in that room could feel the intense emotions emanating from him.

“Yes!”

He leaned forward and like a flash, he took Travis’ lips and placed a really hot kiss on them. At that moment, everyone started cheering like they were going crazy. It was a wonderful moment and most people in there shed a tear or two. Apart from the fact that their favorite superstar was back, they witnessed the most romantic come back ever. It was to die for. Even Ethan was beyond happy.

The two people were kissing softly, passionately, and amazingly cute. Many people got out their phones and started capturing the sizzling moment.

Meanwhile, Antonio tried to pull away from the kiss but he got shocked when Travis pulled him back and they started kissing again. They sucked on each other’s lips, exploring each other’s mouth. Travis felt so alive and the joy in his heart was something that he couldn’t explain. It was from out of this world.

The two kissed softly and when they eventually broke away from the kiss, they were smiling at each other.

“Thanks a lot!” Antonio said, kissing both Travis’ hands. “You have made me the happiest man on this earth.”

Travis couldn’t help but blush a bit. Everything seemed like a dream. The two hugged each other lovingly, enjoying the cheers from the people that watched them. Travis was feeling nervous and a bit scared but what he was sure of was that it was what he wanted. It was what he needed and he only hoped he had made the right decision.

***

Vanessa came out of the kitchen dancing and singing happily while holding two pots of food that she had specially cooked with her entire heart. Her mood had shot the skies that day and nothing was gonna wipe that smile off her face. She was living one of the best lives that she could ever wish for.

The gorgeous woman was putting on a really beautiful white apron and underneath was a gorgeous designer’s dress with black high heels on her feet. Her hair was perfectly curled and she was looking really beautiful.

She placed the two pots on the table where there were a lot of other foods that she cooked. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, taking in the aroma of the food. She was super proud of herself and she was just hoping everyone was gonna like it.

“You look very happy today,” Santiago asked, folding his arms on his chest. “What’s the matter? By the way, do you know the last time that I saw you that happy?”

“When was that?” Vanessa asked, glancing at the handsome hunk.

“It was when Sean was born.” He said with a chuckle. He was excited too.

“Well, when everything is going fine in your house, you’ve got to be happy.” She hollered, opening her arms wide.

The two laughed happily. But soon, they heard the doorbell ring and they looked at each other in excitement. Vanessa quickly removed the apron, leaving her sexy curves on the view. She rushed to the door together with Santiago and as soon as they opened it, her excitement simply went past its limits.

“Finally!” Vanessa gasped, opening her arms widely. “Welcome. Welcome.”

“How are you?” Emilia chuckled, giving Vanessa a really quick hug.

“Perfect!” Vanessa smiled.

She looked at everyone that was there and her smile brightened. Emilia had come with her entire family and they all looked amazing. Granny was now okay and she was able to walk properly. Celine, her husband, and child looked amazing too. Everyone seemed too classy that day. Ethan and Santiago were staring at each other, smiling like they were going insane.

Meanwhile, Antonio was wearing a really beautiful smile with his hands put together. He was dressed in a beautiful red traditional attire, looking so handsome and smart. He was dying to see the love of his life because he couldn’t see him yet.

“When you came to ask my son’s hand in marriage, you stood with folded arms,” Vanessa said with a raised eyebrow. “And now that you already have my permission, you’re still standing like you’re still asking? Don’t be a boring son in law. Come and hug your mother.”

Antonio blushed before he rushed to Vanessa and hugged her.

“Bless you, son!” She said softly, pulling away from the hug. “Why don’t you all come inside? We have plenty to discuss and I have a surprise to show all of you.”

“Hmm, surprises from you are always amazing.” Celine gestured. “Can’t wait!”

Everyone laughed and they made their way inside. Antonio was happy to have come there though he was nervous.

“Papa!” He heard his son’s voice right before he felt his little arms wrapping around his waist.

Antonio smiled, got his son in his arms, and gave him a gorgeous kiss. He was still smiling but his smile started fading away when he looked in front of him and saw Travis slowly coming to him with the sexiest smile that he had ever seen on him. He was dressed in a sexy designer’s white traditional attire with sandals. But the way everything fit him, showing his killer curves was amazing.

His hair was made in a one-sided braid and god, Antonio could feel his hormones kicking in. And the way he blushed, shit, Antonio’s heart began racing. He slowly put his son down and he went running around the house with Steph.

“Wow!” He moaned. “I had no idea you were thinking the same way as me, I mean the traditional attire. You look amazing and sexy.”

Travis blushed, biting his lips. “Thanks! And my handsome husband to looks amazing.”

Antonio chuckled and went closer to Travis's ears. “I can’t wait to walk down the aisle with you. And by the way, if you continue looking this beautiful then… we might start expecting junior very soon. Even before we walk down the aisle.”

“Hmm…. You’re gonna have to work harder than that, Mr. Gonzalez.” He whispered. “I won’t give in to you any time soon.”

Antonio gave a teasing laugh, wrapping his arm around Travis’ waist. He pulled him closer, their noses brushing on each other. Their breaths became harsh as they stared into each other’s eyes, lusting after each other. Antonio was getting horny and he wanted to kiss those lips so badly.

“Is that a challenge, my dear lover?” He moaned as he got closer to those lips.

Travis couldn’t move any part of him. He too was dying to have a taste of those lips. Antonio smiled as he got near. Those lips touched Travis’ but he was ripped from Travis.

“Ow!” He chuckled as he slowly turned to see the person that had held his ear. He laughed nervously when he found Vanessa with a stern look on her face. “Hi!”

Travis couldn’t help but laugh when he saw the expression on his man’s face.

“The dinner table is over there!” Vanessa gestured, smiling. “I will not allow you to touch my son until you walk down the aisle. Do you understand me, young man?”

Antonio nodded. “Yes, ma’am!”

“Now let’s go!”

Vanessa took Antonio to the dining room by his ears and the two of them looked so cute. Travis couldn’t help but admire the scene. Everything had been going so perfectly since he’d gotten back with Travis. He knew from that very moment that he had started a new life with a huge family and a great responsibility. He was enjoying his relationship without any complaints. Even when they argued, it was always so romantic and sweet. He had arrived at his destination and he couldn’t wait to be married to Antonio.

With a smile, Travis went to the dining room and joined his family. It was beautiful to spend time with them.

***

The stars had filled the skies, making the sky look even more beautiful. It was really quiet except for the sound of the waves from the sea. The cool breeze made everything even more romantic on the sea and what better way to spend such a night than with the love of your life, holding each other closely?

It was a romantic night. There were big candles that were put on the sand, making a beautiful pathway in which the middle was red flower petals. The candlelight pathway led to a really beautiful, romantic floating beach bed with a white see-through net surrounding it.

There was little lighting there but that was what made it even more romantic. And here they were, two lovers enjoying their time together, exploring each other’s bodies. The only thing covering them was a red sheet and although it was a cold night, to them it was the hottest night of their lives.

Their mouths were on each other, their lips moving in rhythm as they shared a passionate kiss that set their bodies on fire. They were lying side by side with Antonio’s hands caressing Travis’ cheeks as he enjoyed those sweet tender lips. Their tongues danced on each other as they moaned their senses out.

Antonio’s hands curled through Travis’ free hair as he claimed his mouth, bringing his body closer. He wanted them to be one again. He wanted to feel his pleasures and he wanted to claim him. His heart was racing and his body was on fire. Everything had just been perfect and the feeling was intense. Travis was his and no one was gonna take him away from him.

He slowly moved his body, laying Travis carefully. Then he began his work and started making love to Travis, enjoying every bit of it. It had been so long and the ecstatic pleasure he got was heavenly. He was on cloud 9 and he didn’t want to stop.

It wasn’t still clear if Travis dreamt this moment to life but what he felt was amazing. He didn’t want it to stop. The way Antonio kissed him as he made love to him for the first time after they got back together. The pleasure he got each time Antonio nailed his pleasure button and the sensations he felt, holding on tighter to his man. They all drove him insane.

It was from that moment that Travis knew that their bond had been sealed forever. He had become one again with Antonio, a new chapter had been opened. And this time, there was nothing in their way to stop them, and even if there was, they were gonna fight it together. Their love was now stronger and it grew stronger and stronger by the day. Finally, they got the happiness they deserved.

‘Sometimes we go through so many hardships and pains of love. But oftentimes, these pains just prepare our hearts and make them stronger. Love without ups and downs wouldn’t be love at all. Someone once told me that true love is not how you forgive but how you forget, not what you see but what you feel, not how you feel but how you understand, and not how you let go but how you hold on.

And I have come to learn that, if two hearts are meant to be together, no matter how far they go, how tough it seems, fate will bring them together to share their love forever. And my story is proof of that!’

Love always wins and destined hearts will always end up together. Travis and Antonio’s hearts were destined together although circumstances separated them. But nothing can prevent two hearts destined to be together and the raging love inside the heart will always come to the surface.

The end....

Thank you so much guys for taking this long, emotional journey with me. I appreciate it a lot and to be honest, as a writer, this was my favorite story to write. I got connected to all the characters, especially the Praveen/Travis character. Letting go of this story is really difficult because it became a really big part of me. I thank everyone that supported this journey right from ‘Destined hearts,’ everyone that loved the characters, everyone that hated some characters and most importantly, everyone that laughed, loved, cried and enjoyed this story. Together we made this journey a very successful one and I am hoping the ending was great.

Don’t forget to drop your comments and rate this chapter. Your views are pretty important to me, whether negative or positive because they challenge me to be a better writer. Get ready to welcome another hot story with a storyline that I promise will have you hooked. I just hope it will be a hit like the others.

I love you guys a lot and I hope you felt the passion in this story.

Vanalas out…

Copyright © 2020 vanalas; All Rights Reserved.
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Thanks a lot to everyone that took the time to read my work. I really love you all guys a lot. Don't forget to drop your comments about what you really think about my work

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@Vanalas..you sure know how to pull at our heartstrings..that has been a marvelous adventure. One I have enjoyed from the very first word of the first chapter of this saga. It has been cathartic reading the last chapter. I can only say thank you for making this lad from East Africa believe, through Praveen/Travis and Antonio, that love can extinguish the darkness in our lives!..Take care!

 

 

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What a story from where I was so afraid of losing Praveen to learning of the new Travis with a new strength in him till finally having Bruce finished. Eagerly await your next adventure. Hope the tears are not a heavy on your next adventure. Your right love will overcome evil. 

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Oh wow, what a rollercoaster you have built for the journey of these young lovers.

I was very unsettled in the way book one ended; thinking that the story had terminated before its time. Then you started with the posting of this continuing saga, and what a tale it is. Together, these stories take us on a journey of every emotion known to man; and it’s so intense as we often go from one extreme to the other within a paragraph or two.

But the rollercoaster theme does final arrive at destination love; but not just for our power team but their besties too! 😂 Now little Sean gets to grow while surrounded by his complete family of blood and love.

This is an intensely emotional but a very rewarding read, the plot and twist will have you ready to puke 🤢 and then screaming in excitement, then to jerk to tears before discovering love ❤️.

Thanks for sharing you story, your discussions,  and time with us; and congratulations on completing a wonderful story.

Edited by Philippe
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Omg, I think this has to be one of the best stories I have ever read on here! Words can't express how much I love this story! So glad that Bruce got what was coming to him. So glad that Travis and Antonio were able to be together once again, and both families were able to heal. Outstanding!

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This is a touching ending to a chaotic, drama filled journey. Very interesting to see Santiago and Ethan end up together though in retrospect it makes sense.

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Love this ending very much didn’t know it was the 2nd part anyway love it glad the wicked got their just results and was so happy for Ethan and Santiago beautiful story even though it reads like an Indian soup opera (those I don’t like) I enjoyed it thank you 

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Second time reading still love it I was really sad we didn’t see the Adrian character again any great ending thanks 

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