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    vanalas
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Raging Love - 2. Chapter 2: Travis's behavior shocks everyone. Is he still the same?

Raging Love Ch. 02

The entire room was lit by wonderful decorations that made the room glitter like gold. Beautiful golden and silver decors made the entire house look gorgeous and expensive, imported flowers placed everywhere and the whole place was just amazing.

There was a great party that was held at Paul Mendez’s house, a rich businessman and one of Antonio’s friends and business partners, well for more than four years. They had become great friends. The party was held inside his house, in the large hall room which looked just like a grand party hall.

There was slow gorgeous music that was playing, making the mood of the people in attendance to be lit. Everyone that had attended the party was either a businessman or a celebrity. They had all come to celebrate with their fellow businessman, Paul because he had just landed a big business deal. After all, it was expected in the business world.

There was food, drinks, and everything else to make people enjoy. Everyone in attendance was dressed their best, looking marvelous. But none was as dashing as Antonio Gonzalez, a renowned fierce business tycoon, and musician. People had their eyes on him because it wasn’t every day that people got to mingle with a big fish like Antonio.

He was dressed in a gorgeous black tuxedo with a beautiful pink shirt inside and pitch-black shoes. His hair was gelled to perfection and his face was handsome as hell, giving the people in there wild thoughts. He was holding on to Bruce’s waist who was equally happy, smiling at the people, and warning them to keep their hands off his man. Antonio belonged to him and it was gonna be like that until eternity.

Bruce was wearing a white designer’s shirt that was tucked in a sexy blue skinny jean with white snickers on his feet and a white blazer. He was looking gorgeous, especially with his hair made into many braids that showed his cute face. Being with Antonio in that room was heaven. Bruce had become a famous model and he and Antonio were called the power couple. They ruled the celebrity world and no one could beat that.

Andrea too was in attendance, wearing an expensive red designer’s dress which reached her knees, expensive silver high heeled shoes, and a gold purse with all kinds of jewelry on her. Her makeup was on point and she was clinging to Ethan, whom she was glad had agreed to be with her during that party. She couldn’t wish for something else.

Ethan was dressed in a black tux like Antonio’s, hair combed backward, and a smile that drove all women in that room insane. If not for the fact that Andrea gave them evil looks, they’d have surely tried their luck. After all, Ethan was one hell of a hunk. He was irresistible.

And here was our man of the night, a handsome Mexican hunk with tan skin, cute round face, well-shaven beards, and a cute buzz cut that made him look drop-dead gorgeous. Women and men in that room were drooling over him and the fact that he didn’t have any date was killing them inside. He was dressed in a blood-red designer’s suit, white shirt inside, blood-red shoes and that smile on his face was the final ingredient to his sexiness. Apart from the fact that the party was great, the men in that room were delicious.

“Antonio, my man!” Paul extended his hand and powerfully shook Christian’s hand and pulling him into a hug. “Glad you made it. I know this party is not as gland as those you’ve been throwing but I hope you’re enjoying yourself.”

Antonio chuckled to himself, raising an eyebrow. “Are you kidding? Of course, this party is great. Besides, it’s not the party, it’s the people in attendance that make the party. This is your day so embrace it although….” He paused and just smiled brightly. “…I don’t see your date. Where’s she?”

Paul laughed softly, shaking his head. “That’s because I am not interested in any of them.” He said with a sexy smile. “It’s not every day that you meet a Bruce, you know!” He gestured to Bruce who was smiling like he’d won a lottery besides his husband.

Antonio chuckled, shaking his head. “How long have I known you? Three, four years? Man, you need to get hitched. You’re not growing any younger. You’re handsome…” He paused and stared at the ever-smiling man. “…you’re rich and you’re very successful. You need someone by your side, at least for tonight. There are a lot of beautiful ladies and men in here. You can’t tell me none of them has caught your eye, dude!”

Paul chuckled sheepishly, slipping one of his hands in his pocket. Then he took a sigh and looked at Antonio. “Well …. I am waiting for someone special tonight.” He took a deep breath, feeling a bit nervous. “…he’s part of the reason why I threw this party.”

Antonio moaned, biting his lip. “So the hunk is finally in love and how come…”

“It’s not like that.” He chimed in, raising his hands like he was surrendering. “We’re not together like that. We’re just friends but…” He paused and smiled brightly, getting lost deep in his thoughts. “…he’s the most beautiful person I have ever set my eyes on. You need to see him…. He’s the perfect package and…”

“Then what’s wrong with that?” Bruce interrupted, smiling brightly. “…Antonio and I were friends before we eventually got married. Friendship before love is the best thing, I tell you.” He chuckled happily, slightly resting his head on his husband’s shoulder. “You need to tell him how you feel if you love him and… if you want, I can talk to him for you.”

“Not really!” Paul was as nervous as hell. “We just met a few months back in the U.S and we don’t know each other that well. I don’t need to rush things.”

Antonio laughed mockingly, staring at his friend. “Are you telling me you’re afraid? I have never thought of you as a coward.”

“I am not… it’s just that…”

“Then go and get him.” He said, patting on his friend’s shoulder. “I’ll be rooting for you, I swear. Go and get him, tiger!”

Paul scratched his head, trying to think of how to answer his friend. But before he did, his phone started ringing and he excused himself to answer it. Even as he talked on the phone, Antonio could see the happiness on his face and he couldn’t be happier for his friend.

“Dude, he’s here!” Paul said happily, patting on Antonio’s shoulder.

Without hearing anything that Antonio had to say, Paul rushed to the front, the stage, and got the microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please!” He announced happily, getting the attention of everyone in that place. “Thank you so much for coming to celebrate with me on my achievement and I appreciate it a lot. But my happiness has just doubled because I have in my presence, someone that is very special, someone that has just joined the business world, and a very good and important person in my life. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you…” He paused and just stared at the people with a smile on his face. They were curious and anxious to hear what he had to tell them. They all stared at each other in anticipation.

People started clapping, cheering at Paul. Then Paul smiled and gave the microphone to the DJ. He fixed himself up and started walking slowly to the entrance, smiling like an idiot in love. Everyone stared at him, wondering what the hell he was doing.

Suddenly, just like a dream, everyone got the surprise of their lives when a really beautiful young man who looked to be in his early 20s emerged from the entrance, coming inside looking like an angel.

All the men and women in that room felt their heart pound in lust as he entered, walking gracefully like he was on the runway. It was like wind suddenly blew on his face, blowing his long hair backward, revealing his angelic and cute face. It was like everything else disappeared as everyone had their eyes on him, drooling all over him.

He had beautiful, long caramel brown balayage hair that looked like it was made in heaven. He was dressed in a beautiful, expensive-looking long-sleeved green see-through mesh shirt with a white vest inside which was fitted on his sexy body perfectly. It was tucked in a beautiful, designer’s black skinny trouser that showed his killer curves and black expensive shoes on his feet. He was drop-dead gorgeous and everyone in that room admired him.

Suddenly, there was a loud shutter of glass but no one even paid attention. It was Antonio, his glass had just slipped from his hands. His heart gave a sharp pound as shivers ran down his spine, giving him his greatest fear and pain. His eyes widened as his body felt cold and frozen. He felt himself go limp and he gulped as a sharp vibration took him by storm, hitting him right in the heart.

‘You’re nothing to me. You and I share no bond. I am no longer your husband and you… you don’t belong to this family. Whore!’

Antonio felt tears build in his eyes as his body visibly shook. He didn’t know if it was because it was a cold night or he instantly felt weak. He was scared. But then again, there was some heat deep inside of him that was rising.

Everything happened so fast though it seemed like the man was walking in slow motion, torturing his very existence. He was truly beautiful, looked classy and elegant too, his body was definitely sexy and though his hair had changed plus the way he looked, Antonio would know that face anywhere.

“Praveen!” He gasped painfully, his heart missing a beat.

He couldn’t stop staring and with each second that passed, Antonio’s anger rose more and more. His breaths were coming out harshly and the fire inside of him was unquenchable. He was super mad. Six years…. Six fucking years and he just suddenly appeared, Antonio thought as his hands slowly moved away from Bruce’s waist.

Bruce and Andrea on the other hand both thought they’d seen a ghost… as their pasts had just come to haunt them. They were hearts pounded sharply in their chests, making them extremely scared. They stared wide-eyed, breathing as they’d just encountered the hounds of hell. It was impossible.

“Hey!” Paul greeted the sexy looking boy.

“Hello!”

He reached the boy, kissed his cheek sweetly, and gripped him into a tight hug, feeling like he was heaven. He wanted to pull away but just paused at the ears and chuckled softly.

“You look amazing tonight!”

The boy chuckled seductively, biting his lips. “Oh, thank you so much. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”

“Yeah!” Paul smiled, literally brushing his lips on the boy’s cheeks.

To the people that were watching, especially Antonio, they thought the two guys were romancing and it looked cute, if not for the fact that Antonio was raging mad. His fists were clenched… his jaws shook and his eyes were already turning ready. He felt like he was put in a furnace with the heat that he felt in his body. He was so damn mad.

“Let’s go!” Paul held the boy’s hand.

The boy smiled brightly and held Paul’s hand seductively and both of them went to the front where Paul took the microphone again.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” He paused and looked at the beautiful angel. “It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Travis Marasigan, a businessman and heir to all Marasigan empires and a new face to the business world and most especially, the guest of honor tonight.”

As soon as he announced, everyone started clapping and whistling, except for Antonio, Andrea, and Bruce. They were so shocked but Antonio didn’t care. All he cared about was the anger and the pain that had suddenly resurfaced.

Bruce gulped, moving away from his husband. He rushed to Andrea and both of them just stared in shock.

“Travis is the son of Richard Marasigan and now his heir.”

People were still clapping. Travis had been nervous at first but when he saw how the people welcomed him like he was one of them, he got happy and that smile on his face was super sexy. He was looking at the faces of all the people when suddenly, he saw him, Antonio Gonzalez, staring right at him with nothing but anger in his eyes.

When Travis saw him, he got shocked and felt his heart begin to race. He got nervous but he knew he had to act cool so he just focused on the happy faces and smiled brightly, waving at the people that seemed happy to see him.

“Come on,” Paul coiled his arm with Travis’. “Let me introduce you to some of the people, especially my friends.”

Travis nodded, smiling even brighter. “Sure!”

Travis followed Paul and he started introducing him to some businessmen that seemed too happy to meet him. Travis couldn’t have been happier because he felt like a part of them. They were all telling him how great his father was and how happy they were to meet him and also how they couldn’t wait to see how good of a businessman he was.

Travis was super happy and he was introduced to a lot of men and women. Some of them, well, most of them commented on his beauty and he was happy about it. But Travis’ smile wasn’t genuine. He was so nervous and he wanted to fix himself up. He excused himself and got directions to the restroom. He just needed to get out of that room for a few seconds.

Travis was busy rushing to the restroom when suddenly, he felt someone pull his arm furiously and before he knew it, he was close to a body. He quickly raised his face only to meet with the angry eyes of Antonio, breathing like a wounded buffalo.

Travis felt his body vibrate and he gulped, his face getting stern. He didn’t need to be a genius to know that the man was still pretty much angry.

“Why are you here?” Antonio roared, tightening his grip on that arm that he was dying to break. “Tell me why the fuck you came back.”

But all Travis did was release his arm and without answering the question continued heading to the restroom. But he barely took two steps when Antonio furiously pulled his arm again and brought him closer. It hurt and Travis couldn’t hide that frown on his face.

“Please, let me go.” He said in a soft voice, not even bothering to look up. “You’re hurting my arm.”

But all Antonio did was just apply pressure on that arm. “I hate you so much. I hate your very existence and your very being.”

“Get off me!” Travis furiously released his arm and turned to face the angry-looking man. “I don’t know who you are and I don’t care to know. Leave me alone!”

Antonio laughed. He laughed when he heard Praveen’s words. He was so mad but Praveen’s words made him laugh.

“Are you kidding me?” He asked and then his face became stern. “So what, you’re now Travis or whatever he was calling you?”

Travis sighed gloomily, shaking his head angrily. He had no idea where his anger was coming from. He just wanted to get out of there because…

“Look, whatever…”

“Please, don’t create a scene,” Travis said softly, his voice sounding harsh and cold. “I don’t want any drama. I don’t know who you are and…”

“Really?” Antonio was now mad. “Why did you return, huh?” He snapped. “Why the fuck are you back?” He was getting dangerously closer to the beautiful boy, his breaths increasing each second. “Why the fuck didn’t you just die where you went?”

Travis was taking a few steps back, wondering why he got so irritated and scared. He wanted to move but the guy had blocked him. There was so much inside of him and it was dying to come out. But it wasn’t compared to the pain he felt surrounding him. Just being in Antonio’s presence made him fume a bit.

“What do you think?” Antonio glowered, clenching his fist. “Changing your name, your identity and your way of life is gonna change anything?” He chuckled bitterly, staring into the beautiful eyes of the boy. “Well, it doesn’t because it can’t change anything that happened in the past. You turned me into a predator and…”

“Please!” Travis gasped, slightly closing his eyes. “Stop this nonsense and…”

“Or what?” He smiled evilly, bringing his fist forward. “I won’t do that. No matter what you tell me or how much you change, it won’t change the fact that you’re a cheater, a betrayer, and a whore.”

That was it. Antonio didn’t know what happened suddenly. First, he was staring at the boy and the next thing he felt was a sharp pain across his cheek that made him feel like his skin had been ripped. Pain slipped through him so much that his anger instantly rose and he furiously looked at the boy.

What he saw when their eyes met was nothing but anger, the anger that he had never seen in Praveen’s eyes before. He was shocked and extremely mad. His jaws shook and his fists shook as well, the fire inside of him burning him to the core.

He raised his hand furiously. “How dare…”

But he didn’t even finish his sentence as the beautiful boy caught his hand and powerfully gripped it, now breathing like a predator. “Don’t you dare?” He warned. “I have always been nice and I have tried to avoid your stupid words but it seems it’s not working. Like I said…” He paused and furiously threw the man’s hand away. “…leave me alone. You’ve got me mistaken for someone else and listen…” He pointed angrily. “…I am a very good person but don’t take my meekness for weakness because you might just be disappointed and pay ultimately for it. If I were you, I’d be very careful. I am not intimidated easily so mind your words.”

He shook his head angrily and made a quick turn, leaving the handsome hunk standing there in shock and looking like he had just seen a ghost.

What had just happened, he thought as he tried to come to terms with what had been done to him? He touched his cheek and it hurt like hell. Did Praveen just slap him, he thought as his eyes scanned the direction where the boy had gone? His anger simply rose when he saw him with Paul, smiling and laughing as nothing had happened.

“Bitch!” He snarled, groaning angrily.

“Hey,” Paul whispered, smiling at Travis. “You took longer!”

Travis chuckled happily, glancing in the direction of Antonio, the man that looked like he was about to burst from anger. He looked mad and something about that made Travis happy inside. He had given the guy a piece of his mind.

“I just had an encounter with someone.” He said sweetly. “But don’t worry. I can handle it.”

“Okay.” Paul sighed happily. “Come on, I gotta introduce you to a very good friend of mine.”

He nodded. “Sure!”

The both of them walked arm in arm happily, talking like long lost friends. They reached where Antonio was standing, looking mad as hell with a glass of champagne in his hand. He had a firm grip on that glass to the point where it was almost breaking.

“Hey!” Paul patted on his friend’s shoulder. “Buddy!”

“Huh?” Antonio quickly turned and found another shock. “What?”

It was Paul and he was with Travis or whatever he called himself. When Antonio’s eyes landed on Praveen, he felt something inside of him turn and he felt like just punching his face. Everything that had happened that night, exactly six years ago came back and began haunting him, causing him pain.

“Err… I know I introduce him to everyone but I would like to personally introduce him to you.” Paul chuckled happily. “His name is Travis Marasigan, son of late Richard Marasigan and heir to all the billionaire empires of Marasigan and a very good friend of mine.”

Antonio felt all the anger building inside of him and he groaned. He didn’t wanna create a scene in front of his friend. He didn’t wanna ruin his party.

“And Travis…” He paused and looked at the boy. “…I am sure you know him, Antonio Gonzalez, the famous musician?”

Travis looked at the angry looking and frowned, shaking his head. “Well, actually, I have heard of him but haven’t known who he is. It is nice to finally meet you, Antonio Gonzalez.” He extended his hand, smiling brightly.

Antonio looked at the hand and then he didn’t know what happened. His hand slowly moved and he held Travis’ hand. When their hands touched, Antonio felt his heart pound sharply and his body vibrate, something that he couldn’t control. But suddenly, just like a flash, he started having flashbacks of what had happened in the past.

He quickly withdrew his hand and nodded, his face still stern. He couldn’t stay there because he knew he was gonna make a mistake if he stayed there longer.

“I… I am sorry but I gotta go.” He was already walking away before he finished saying that.

Paul looked at his friend and he wondered what was wrong with him. He wanted to talk to Travis but something disturbed the two of them, Travis’ phone. He had to excuse himself to go and answer the call.

***

“Where the fuck is the driver?” Antonio snapped, glancing angrily at his watch. “Did you call him to come to the entrance?”

Andrea sighed, staring at her brother. She had never seen him so mad. “Calm down! He’s coming. I just called him like two seconds ago.”

“Fuck!” Antonio gripped his hair, feeling all the anger inside of him blinding him.

Andrea knew better than to talk to her brother. His hatred for Praveen had gotten out of hand now that he had seen him again. He glanced at Bruce and saw him standing a distance away from his husband with his arms crossed, lost deep in thought. He knew what was on his mind. Both of them were surprised.

Antonio felt like he had been waiting forever. He furiously groaned, made a quick turn, and just froze. He saw Praveen rushing down the staircase, looking sexy while talking on the phone. He seemed to be in a hurry and…

“I am coming right now…” Travis said abruptly, adding to his pace. “…I didn’t mean to take this long. I am coming, my love.”

He cut the call just as he climbed down the staircase but got the surprise of his life when he raised his face and saw Antonio and his gang standing right in front staring at him like they wanted to kill him. Seeing them, Travis stopped in his tracks, wearing a stern face. When his eyes landed on Bruce, he felt like a bolt of electricity had just jolted into his system. But he had better things to do so with one angry look at the trio, he started going his way but…. he got the surprise of his life when Andrea stretched her hand and blocked him.

He stopped and just stood still, feeling anger getting the best of him.

“Wow!” Andrea chuckled, moving in front of him. “Just look at him, all polished up and looking like a businessman. So, whom did you seduce to get all that…” She gestured, giving an evil grin. “…wealth? Oh, pardon me!” She gasped in mock astonishment. “They must all be from your lover, Santiago, right?” She laughed then got serious. “You have no shame at all. You might be living a luxurious life with that cheater but that doesn’t mean that you’re in the same class as us. What did you think?” She yelled. “That by coming here, you’d get to achieve anything or that you’d get to seduce my brother over and over again?”

Travis smiled brightly, staring at Andrea like she was saying something important.

“News flash!” She snapped her fingers in his face. “He’s happily married to Bruce and our family is happy as well. No matter what you do or what you wear, you’ll always be the same old dirty boy from six years ago. That will never change no matter what kinda designer perfumes you use. A pig will always be a pig, Praveen! Who do you think you are badging into this party like a whore!”

Travis chuckled, folding his arms on his chest. “If you’re done with your ranting, I have better things to do.” He said with a mocking smile. “And by the way…” He glanced at Antonio who looked dumbstruck and got serious. “…Who is this Praveen that you speak of? I have no idea what you’re talking about. And secondly, I have no interest in you or your brother so… next time, you should choose who you talk to because not every quiet person is quite the angel you perceive them to be.” He got closer and pointed at Andrea, breathing like he was in a fight. “Do not take my meekness for weakness because I do not take just an idiot talking to me lightly.”

“What?” Andrea gasped, her mouth shaking. “How dare…”

She tried to raise her hand at Travis but got the shock of her life when he caught her hand and gripped it painfully. Then she saw something that scared her, anger and rage, something she’d never seen in Praveen before.

“The next time you try to talk to me like that, I will not take it lightly.” He warned, furiously letting go of her hand.

Before Andrea even had the time to say something, she felt a sharp pain on her cheek. She held her cheek and gasped in pain, raising her eyes at Praveen. She was surprised. He had slapped her so hard that she felt like her skin was peeling. What she felt rising deep inside of her was intense, anger, rage, and pain. Tears formed in her eyes and she clenched her fists, breathing like an evil queen.

“How dare you?” Andrea raised her hand furiously to slap him but got another shock when he caught her hand and squeezed it painfully. She groaned in a pain, a tear going down her cheek.

Antonio was shocked and Bruce was surprised and scared. The slap Andrea had got sure left a red mark there and Bruce covered his mouth, surprised at what he saw. He couldn’t believe it.

“I dare you to try anything stupid!” He fumed, getting closer to her. “I dare you to raise your hand at me again. You think just because you’re rich and your… brother is famous that you can step on anyone?” His face was purely evil and that look on Andrea’s face was priceless. “I might look younger than you but listen to me and listen good!” He warned, ignoring Andrea’s painful groans. “Travis Marasigan doesn’t take any nonsense from anyone, not even people that are richer and powerful than him. Since I came to this party, you and your stupid brother have been trying to intimidate me but I am not who you think I am.” At least not anymore.

“And the next time you try such stunts with me, always remember this!”

Just like a flash, Travis furiously raised his hand and backhanded Andrea so hard on the other cheek that she screamed in pain but he still didn’t let go of her hand. He pulled her painfully and breathed in harshly, enjoying the terror in her eyes. She was scared, scared and tears were coming down her cheeks. Everyone else just watched in shock, surprised at what they saw. Even though Antonio was mad, he was in awe.

“As for the whore you just called me…” He chuckled bitterly, applying more pressure on that hand. Andrea cried out in pain, breathing heavily. “…you don’t know me so don’t you ever in your life say that to me again. I know women like you. I have had so many encounters with them but I know how to put them in their places.”

Andrea tried to move her hand but she was so much in pain. But she was angry too. She couldn’t let him embarrass her like that. “What are you talking about? Get your hand off me, whore!”

But Travis just stared at her with a stern face and what followed was a series of slaps that felt like fire on Andrea’s face. She tried to take a step back but since she was wearing high heels, she tripped and fell flat on her ass, holding her bruised cheeks while staring up at Praveen, breathing like she was in labor.

She cried softly, trying to get up but she felt weak. Antonio stared at his sister and got angry, clenching his fists hard. Then he raised his head and saw Travis slowly walking to him, his eyes becoming glassy. Travis got flashbacks of the moment when the idiot had taken his virginity, the memories that had now become painful. He tried to fight his tears but he had no idea why he felt such weakness.

“And as for you…” He raised his shaky finger, pointing at Antonio. “…just because you think you’re all mighty and powerful doesn’t mean shit to me. Don’t you ever do what you did in there because sometimes, I turn into a monster?”

He angrily glanced at Bruce and started walking away. Just as he was leaving, he almost bumped into Ethan who was coming from the entrance. Both of them just stared at each other but Travis didn’t wanna look for long. He just continued in his way and before he even exited, a beautiful red 2020 Lamborghini Urus packed at the entrance, and a guard quickly opened the door.

Travis took a glance at the people that were staring right back at him and he entered the car and drove off.

Ethan was shocked at seeing the boy. He looked different, but even more beautiful. He might have changed his hair color but he didn’t change that much. When he reached Antonio, he got the shock of his life when he saw Bruce helping Andrea up who looked like she had just been in a fight.

“What’s going on?” He gasped, looking at the faces. “What happened?”

But Antonio didn’t say anything. He just stormed out of there, walking like the hounds of hell were after him. Ethan looked at Bruce and Andrea but before he could say anything, they too angrily left from there.

“What’s going?” He groaned, following behind.

***

The car parked right at the entrance of the big mansion and Travis was already rushing inside the house, his heart racing. He had no idea why he felt uneasy and scared at the same time. When he reached the living room, he was welcomed by a heartbreaking scene that made him tear up.

His aunt was holding his son tightly, moving from side to side, and trying to soothe him. But the little boy was crying at the top of his voice. He was heartbroken because his son was his life and he loved him so much.

“Aunt!” Travis gasped, rushing to where she stood, rubbing on the little boy’s back.

Hearing the voice Vanessa had been waiting to hear from since that afternoon, she quickly turned and saw him rushing towards her, looking magnificent, beautiful, and classy.

“Oh, my baby…” Travis moaned, getting his son from Vanessa’s arms. When he looked at his face, he got even more heartbroken. His little son’s eyes were red and a bit swollen. Shit, he couldn’t fight his tears. His eyes became glassy as he rubbed his son’s tears.

He made him stand on the glass table while he leaned and slowly rubbed his tears, kissing his cheeks. His little son was just so beautiful, the very boy that had given him another reason to live. Sean Richard Marasigan was a handsome five-year-old boy, too handsome maybe. He had beautiful dark, silky hair that was shaven on the sides and kept a bit long in the middle. His perfect skin tone looked tanned, well he was of mixed race but cute. He had beautiful green eyes like Antonio, yeah, the bastard won. But his features reminded Travis more of him when he was young and he was happier that way. Sean was a beautiful boy.

“My love!” Travis held him in his arms and felt at peace when his sobs subsided. “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to leave you.” He stared at his beautiful aunt who was smiling at the scene before her. “How long has he been crying?”

“A few hours maybe!” She sighed, sitting on the chair. “That grandson of mine is stubborn. I tried all I could to soothe him but he wouldn’t stop crying. He just wanted you. I had been calling for long but you weren’t picking up. Where did you go, Travis?”

Travis got up with his son in his arms, staring at his aunt. “I went to a friend’s party, aunt.” He sighed, remembering what exactly had happened. “But I think I shouldn’t have. My son…” He paused and rubbed his son’s head. He felt him moan softly and he knew that his little angel had slept. “…I made a mistake.”

“What?” Vanessa got up, a frown appearing on her face. “Did anything happen there?”

Travis felt his heart race a bit. “Yes!” He nodded. “He was there, aunt! I saw him there. He’s friends with Paul Mendez and I had no idea.”

Vanessa felt a bit scared. “Antonio Gonzalez…” She paused and took a deep breath. “…Sean’s father?”

Though it hurt when he thought about it, he slowly nodded. “Yes!”

Vanessa rushed to him and rubbed his arms, trying to make him calm. “My son, I hope he didn’t do anything to hurt you.”

Travis sighed, slightly closing his eyes. “Somehow, his hatred for me seems to have grown.” He said, chuckling bitterly. “He tried to hurt me but… I slapped him. I told him I am not who he thinks I am.” He sighed, feeling pain and anger rising deep inside. “I couldn’t allow him to hurt me again, not anymore aunt. I went through a lot in the hands of that man and… it ended my previous life.”

Vanessa smiled brightly. “I am glad you’re stronger now. Nothing can hurt you again, my son.”

Travis smiled softly, remembering what had happened. “Honestly, I had no plans of meeting them today. But I am glad I did because they’ll never forget what I did today.”

Vanessa raised her eyebrow, smiling at Travis. “What did you do?”

An evil grin appeared on Travis’ face. “Andrea tried to intimidate me, insult me but with what I did today, she’ll think twice before she crosses my path again.” He chuckled when Vanessa frowned and he knew the woman was dying to hear it. “I gave her several slaps right in front of her gang. I will never allow that family to hurt me again, aunt.” He frowned, his face becoming stern. “I will never allow them to cause me the pain that I went through in their hands, not ever again.”

He passed his fingers through his sleeping son’s hair and kissed his head sweetly. “But most especially…” He clenched his teeth, breathing heavily. “…I will never allow them to find about Sean, aunt. Never!”

Vanessa smiled sheepishly, nodding her. “That’ll never happen. Sean is ours and no one will ever take him away from us.”

“That won’t happen.” He vowed, shaking his head. “Never! Antonio got me pregnant and then abandoned me.”

“You’re back now. What are you gonna do?”

“My plans are still intact, aunt!” He chuckled sinisterly. “Antonio never loved me so much as to stand by me. I know very well that he, together with Bruce, Andrea and Emma hated me a lot in that house. I also know that what had happened six years ago was planned by someone in that house and this ruined a lot of lives.” He said harshly, clenching his fist. “I shall bring the truth to light but I am gonna make them regret messing with me.” He vowed, fighting his tears. “I don’t care about what relationship I had with Antonio or what bonds us.

All that love I had for him has been neutralized. What I feel for that family is hatred and I shall make them pay for what had happened to me. Praveen died six years ago. Only Travis is alive.”

Vanessa felt terrible because she knew exactly what had happened to him and how he had suffered through it all. She understood him completely.

“You’re right.” She smiled, caressing his cheek. “Why don’t you come and have something to eat?”

Travis smiled. “I had something at the party.” He lied, smiling brightly. “I will just take Sean to bed. I will see you tomorrow.” He kissed her cheek sweetly.

“Yeah…” She hugged him tightly. “Goodnight! And oh, you’ve got to meet with the board tomorrow, okay?”

“Sure!” He nodded. “I know, aunt.”

“Okay, and I was thinking of getting Sean enrolled in school tomorrow.”

“That’s okay.” He smiled brightly. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Vanessa smiled and then watched as Travis and her grandson went upstairs. She shook her head, sighed excitedly, and took a magazine from the table and started going through it. She was happy that Travis was back home with Sean.

***

The entire family except for the three that had gone to the party were seated in the living room, talking and laughing, well everybody except for Emilia who was feeling uncomfortable. Whenever she said something, she got angry looks from Emma. She was just happy that Eduardo, Ryan, Celine, and Steph were there. But she still didn’t feel comfortable.

“Excuse me!” Emilia got up from the couch. “I need to go and check up on mother!”

Emilia got up and started rushing towards the staircase when all of a sudden, the door to the entrance furiously opened, making a noise that scared the shit out of everyone. Everyone got up to the shock of Antonio who was storming in with his fists clenched, breathing heavily. But they weren’t as shocked as when Andrea rushed inside, her face with red marks and she too was mad. She was with Jack and both their moods were not right.

“Guys!” Celine quickly rushed to them. The shock on her face couldn’t be masked. “Why do you look like that? Andrea, what’s going on?”

But none of them said anything. Antonio rather just groaned as the images of what had happened at the party started forming in his mind. He had no idea what sort of anger had taken over him that night. He simply saw red and his body shook uncontrollably.

“Andrea?” Emilia was scared when she saw her daughter. She quickly rushed to her and then held her hands, feeling tears begin to form. “What happened, honey? Why do you look…”

“Oh please, mom!” Andrea snapped, furiously releasing her hands from her. “What do you care if I live or die?”

“What?” Emilia gasped, shaking her head. “Why would you say something like that to me? I am your mother and…”

“You never filled that spot years ago and you’ll never fill it now.” She yelled, breathing heavily while raising her shaky finger. “You should be happy because your favorite son is back.” She yelled, her voice echoing throughout the room. “That bitch is back and…”

“What?” Emilia’s heart pounded in her chest. “What do you mean by that? Which son are you…”

“Oh stop pretending!” Antonio’s animalistic voice filled the entire room. “Stop pretending not to know and stop pretending to care. You’re the cause of all this and now all of us are suffering because of it. You must be pretty happy.”

A tear went down Emilia’s cheeks. “Why would I be happy when I see you suffering because of my mistakes six years ago?” She sobbed, slightly closing her eyes. “Why would I choose to make my family sad, the family that I…”

“That you destroyed with your own hands?” Antonio chimed in, chuckling bitterly. “Well, you don’t have to be sad anymore because your son is back, that bitch is back.” He stamped his foot on the floor, yelling in his mother’s face. He didn’t even care about her pain.

Antonio’s words rang in Emilia’s head, raging like a storm. More tears left her eyes as she remained dumbstruck, her eye-widening.

“He’s back and you and he can now stay together if you want.” He yelled, breathing like a storm was rising deep within him. “But I…” He pointed at himself, chuckling bitterly. “I will make him pay for what he did to me and my family, mark my words. For that slap he gave me at the party, I’ll make him pay.” He vowed, clenching his fists. “And for those slaps he gave Andrea, he’ll pay for that too. Nobody lays hands on my sister and gets away with it. He thinks by changing his name and identity, he can change everything? Well, he’s dead wrong. He’s made an eternal enemy and I’ll make sure that he pays for it.”

With a final look at his weeping mother, he stormed out of the living room and left his mother there, sobbing with her hands on her mouth while everyone waited.

“My poor child!” Emma rushed to Andrea and hugged her tightly. “My poor, poor child. So sorry.”

Andrea hugged her tightly, looking at her mother like an outcast beyond that shoulder. Emilia couldn’t take it. She covered her mouth and ran away from there, crying softly. Her wounds had once again been reopened and she couldn’t take it.

She reached the room, locked the door, and then leaned on it, slowly falling to her knees while she cried and did her best to cover her mouth and prevent any more cries. But that didn’t help matters but muffled cries could be heard.

“Harvey, I made a mistake…” She cried softly, holding her chest. “…I don’t know exactly what to do. Our son and daughter hate me a lot. They consider me to be the enemy of family and I don’t know if I can take this pain anymore. I don’t know what to do.”

She closed her eyes, breathing like she was in labor. “I wish you were honey, my love. I wish you were here to comfort me and wipe my tears. Praveen has made me suffer greatly. We made a big mistake by arranging that marriage.” She just cried softly and felt as a headache slowly set in. “That boy has made me suffer, my love. I don’t think I can take the pain anymore. It’s too much.”

Emilia lay on the floor crying until she drifted off to sleep.

***

Bruce quickly opened the door and he let himself inside, finding Andrea holding a mirror while touching her face. She just had tiny red marks on her cheeks but it was nothing that makeup couldn’t hide. Bruce breathed and then entered, locking the door behind him. He was nervous as hell and he kept on rubbing his hands.

When Andrea saw him, she just stared at him and continued staring at herself in the mirror. She was mad and that anger inside her just couldn’t be quenched. She was mad as hell.

“That bitch!” Andrea snapped, furiously throwing the mirror on the floor. It broke to bits. “He’s gonna pay for what he did to me today.” She vowed, chuckling bitterly while she clenched her fists. “I am gonna make him pay for all the pain and humiliation.”

Bruce gulped, shaking his head. “What happened, Andrea?” Bruce gasped, rubbing his hands. “I don’t know what I saw back there. He might look like Praveen but he’s changed and…. for a second there, I felt scared when I saw him. Do you…”

“What I think right now doesn’t matter.” Andrea groaned, furiously sitting on the bed. “I don’t care what he thinks he is, whether he’s Praveen or not. What I know is that he’s pulled on the tail of a tigress and he’s gonna pay. How’s Antonio?” She asked, staring at Bruce with concern in her voice.

“Thankfully, he’s fine!” Bruce said softly, rubbing through his hair. “I left him asleep but he’s still pretty mad. That boy slapped him at the party and…”

“Good!” Andrea got up from the bed and cat walked in her nightgown to the window. She reached there and wrapped her arms around herself, staring out the window. “Right now, we cannot afford Antonio becoming soft or awakening what has been buried. Travis’ sudden appearance has gotten me worried.” She sighed, turning to look at her friend. “I can’t deny the fact that this boy is different from Praveen in the way he acts, talks, and carries himself. He’s also stronger because…” She didn’t wanna say it. “…we need to be careful. We don’t know where he’s been and why he’s back.”

Bruce nodded. “I thought so too. But one thing I can tell you is that I won’t allow him to get closer to Antonio. I’ll do anything I possibly can to keep him away from my husband. Antonio must not find out the truth about six years ago.” He shook his head, his voice cutting. “He…”

“He won’t find out!” Andrea quickly held his hands and looked straight in his eyes. “That boy is too weak for us. You and I defeated him before and we won’t allow him to find out the truth or bring it to light. We’ve kept this for so long and it won’t come out. Promise you’ll stand with me on this.”

Bruce smiled, shaking his head. “He just got lucky!” He chuckled manically. “That won’t happen anymore. We’re gonna put him back in his place and he won’t even want to show his face to the world again.”

The two looked at each other evilly and gave evil grins. It was so on! But did they know what exactly they were dealing with?

***

Travis suddenly woke up, feeling sweaty and hot. He had no idea why he had such a dream after a long time. He opened his eyes, taking a deep breath. He took a glass of water from the table and before it even left his lips, it was empty.

He sighed, rubbing through his hair but before he even finished, his eyes caught the wonderful sight in front of him, his sleeping son. He looked cute, snoring softly and he looked as if he was smiling. Travis had never seen a kid as cute as his son, a perfect image to behold. He thanked the almighty for giving him such a gift even when he knew he didn’t deserve it.

He leaned down and kissed his son softly on the cheek, smiling like he was going insane. “You’re my happiness, the reason for my existence, my son, a miracle child.” He said. His smile kept on getting bigger and bigger. “No matter what happened in my past, I have never regretted having you. You might be his seed but I don’t love you any less. I love you so much. Please, forgive me if daddy doesn’t always remain by your side. I almost lost you in the past but I’ll never lose you. I promise.”

*

6 YEARS AGO

*

“My son,” Richard said softly, holding his son’s hands sweetly. He was emotional and his tears were just at the surface. “Please, you don’t have to stay like this. You need to eat, be strong for your child. Please, don’t punish that baby for what it doesn’t know, please!”

Praveen stared at his father and tears started flowing. He had no why the pain just wouldn’t go away. He wanted to talk to the man, hug him but he couldn’t do anything. Richard had explained the entire story to him and the DNA test had proved that he was truly his son. He understood everything, including the fact that his late father, the man he loved a lot had married his mother so that Praveen wouldn’t be called a bastard. He had tried to call Richard ‘dad’ but had failed. The man was powerful and had taken every scandal involving him out of the media. It had all died down. But that didn’t stop his pain. It grew stronger and stronger every day.

“Please,” Richard put his hands together, a tear following. “For the sake of the baby.”

Praveen sobbed, slowly moving his hands to his baby bump. He was now 4 months pregnant and the bump had also grown. But so did his pain.

“What is food, if it’s tasteless?” He sobbed uncontrollably, leaning his head on the pillow. “My child will understand. Besides, what am I living for? I have lost everything that I had.” He cried softly. “I have lost my husband, my family, my dignity, and my pride. The man that I loved is busy enjoying himself with his lover and…” He paused and stared at Richard in pain. “You shouldn’t have saved me. You should have just let me die instead of this pain.”

Richard shook his head. “You still have me and Santiago is there for you. Stop saying…”

“Just leave me alone!” He said hoarsely, rudely moving his hand away from Richard’s. “Go away!”

Richard was hurt but he simply nodded and left.

Praveen just sat there on the bed, crying himself to death. He felt hopeless and just wished for death but the child inside him deserved to live. There was no way he was gonna kill an innocent child because of its parents’ mistakes.

Praveen stayed like that for hours. It was in the evening when he decided to go and pee when just as soon as he got off the bed, he felt a terrible pain in his abdomen and his lower. It was painful but he decided to just ignore it. He took a few steps and was almost near the bathroom when he got the horror of his life.

It happened so fast that he didn’t even know how it started or what happened. He felt something like water dripping down his leg and it got him scared. He thought maybe he’d peed himself but he quickly shifted his eyes and got the shock of his life.

Praveen’s breaths became harsh as his body trembled in fear… his hands shook as he touched his thighs and his heart gave a sharp pound in his chest. He felt like he was about to pass out and the pain that he experienced together with the shock was unbearable.

“No!” Praveen screamed at the top of his voice. “Santiago, my baby…” He cried at the top of his voice, staring at his blood-stained white pajama. “No!” He cried, touching his thigh. His horror became worse when he saw blood on his hands. “Daddy!” He screamed, falling to his knees. “My baby… daddy!”

That was the first time he called Richard, ‘daddy.’ Richard came rushing in the room together with Santiago and both of them were in shock when they saw him bleeding. Santiago’s eyes became glassy as he rushed to the weeping boy, holding him tightly and carefully.

“Oh my God,” Santiago sniveled. He’d never been so scared in his life.

“It hurts,” Praveen cried, holding his bump. “Santiago, daddy…” He stared at his emotional father. “…save my baby, I beg you. Save my child!”

Santiago breathed heavily, a tear going down his cheeks. “We need to take him to a doctor!”

Richard nodded, holding his son’s hand tightly. “You and my grandchild will be fine!”

Praveen wanted to smile but the pain and fear he experienced were just too much.

“Please, save my baby…”

Those were the last he spoke before he passed out from pain and shock. The next thing he remembered was waking up in the hospital with Santiago holding his hand tightly with tears in his eyes.

“Why are you so stubborn?” Santiago’s voice rose. “Why do you have trouble listening?”

Praveen felt his heart race painfully and he knew what had happened. “No!” He moaned, shaking his head. “My baby…”

He moved his hand to his tummy but got relieved when he still felt the bump.

“Fortunately, we brought you here in time otherwise…” Santiago paused and hissed, shaking his head. “….we don’t know what would have happened to you or that baby. The doctor said it was a threatened miscarriage.”

Praveen sobbed softly, feeling some form of joy. “Thank the almighty, I promise I won’t ever do this again. I won’t put the life of my baby at risk. I promise.”

Santiago smiled softly. “That’s the right thing to do. No matter what kind of bastard his father is, he still needs to live. Don’t ever scare us like that again!”

Praveen nodded.

Since that day. He took care of himself and made sure that his baby was healthy.

***

Present-day

*

Travis opened his eyes and breathed, slowly lying closer to his son. He carefully took his little body and spooned him, kissing his head sweetly. He had no idea where the peace that he felt came from but he was happy.

“Never again, my son…” He whispered as he breathed in his son’s scent. “It’s just you and me forever. Very soon, I’ll accomplish my plans and we’ll go away forever, baby. You, Aunt Vanessa, and I. We’re gonna be one happy family.”

He closed his eyes and it didn’t take long before he slept.

***

Antonio was seated comfortably on the chair, his hand on his chin and his eyes in front, staring at the man that was standing in front, the chief operating officer of the company. Antonio was dressed in a red designer’s suit, killing it as usual with a blue shirt inside. He was serious as usual and he didn’t want anything to ruin his mood.

He was in the conference room together with his board members, the furious five as he called them because he had managed the company with them so well. Some were his business partners, well only Paul, while others were just part of his company. Tonzalez blue was a big company in the country and it was the only company that Antonio owned which other people had shares in, well, he owned 55% of the total shares so he was still the boss.

“Well, gentlemen, as you know…” The chief operating officer, a tall man in his late forties spoke, staring at the men seated there. “…Mr. Sylvester has been gone for a few months now and he was one of the larger shareholders at this company. You also know that before he relocated to the U.S, he sold his shares and we’ve all been waiting to meet our new business partner. But, today, I just received a call that he’ll be coming here. He’s on his way up here as we speak.”

Everyone started clapping, including Antonio even though he wasn’t smiling.

“So gentlemen, I would like us to welcome our new business partner, Mr. Travis Marasigan.”

The moment the man said that name, Antonio felt a shiver go down his spine and he felt cold all of a sudden. His heart gave a sharp pound as he froze where he stood, that name ringing in his head like a bell. He didn’t know if it was a trick or maybe he heard right but he was scared, mad, and raging where he stood. He clenched his fits when the conference entrance door opened suddenly and a seductively smiling Travis entered.

Shit! He was looking sexy in a sky blue, shiny designer’s suit with a green shirt inside, blue shoes, and his hair was tied in a sexy ponytail, revealing his beautiful face. The suit had fit him like a second skin, revealing his sexy, seductive body. He was to die for.

At first, everyone was clapping except for Antonio but as he neared, everyone stopped clapping and started staring at him as a ghost had just entered the conference room. Only Paul was smiling like an idiot, admiring the young man as he moved to the front.

Travis on the other hand moved to the front with a gorgeous smile, staring at every face in there. They all looked lost, like they had seen a ghost or something. Seeing them, Travis smiled sheepishly. Even the man that had called his name looked lost and shocked.

Travis took a glance at Antonio and when their eyes met, he saw a fire in Antonio’s eyes. But an evil grin appeared on Travis’ face.

“Well, thank you so much…” Travis spoke, chuckling softly. “...it is an honor to finally meet my new business partners. I look forward to working with you and taking this company to greater heights. Thank you so much, all of you.”

But the men just stared, even more, making Travis a bit uncomfortable.

The chief operating officer decided to end the awkward moment by chuckling nervously, shaking the young man’s hand. “Welcome, Mr. Marasigan. Please, forgive us for our reaction. It’s just that you remind all of us of someone that we knew six years ago.”

Travis raised his eyebrow. “Who?”

The chief operating officer gulped. “Praveen!”

Travis dropped his neck, rubbing on his temple softly. “Oh ?” He chuckled softly, taking a deep breath. “Anyway, I just returned yesterday and came to just see all of you. I have to run now. I have another important meeting and I am running a bit late. But I have an important presentation that I need to show all of you. I will do that tomorrow and we’ll get to know each other from there. Thanks.”

With those words and without even staring at Antonio twice, Travis left the conference room. His heart was racing and he felt like he was running out of air. He still had to see the board members at his company and they were waiting for him.

“Travis!” He heard someone call him.

Travis quickly turned and found Paul rushing towards him with a smile on his face. “Oh my God.” Paul gasped, still wearing that smile. “I can’t believe you…” He didn’t even know what to say. “Why didn’t you say anything? I never thought that you…”

“Calm down!” Travis chuckled, holding Paul’s hand. “What are you saying? How would I have known that you’re also a business partner of Tonzalez blue? I had no idea. I am sorry, I’d have told you but I didn’t think it was necessary. But now you know and… I bet we’ll have a great time working together.”

Paul was still confused. “Wow!” He gasped, staring at the beautiful boy. “I am so happy right now. I get to work with you and… we’ll get to know each other more.”

Travis chuckled nervously. “Sure! Anyway…” He glanced at his watch. “I have to go now. I have an important meeting at my company. I’ll see you!”

He leaned forward and gave Paul a quick hug and left. Paul remained standing there, looking lost and happy. It was only after a few seconds when he realized he was smiling like an idiot when he decided to leave.

Travis rushed to the elevator and pressed the button. It took a few minutes before the elevator opened and he quickly rushed in. The elevator was almost closing when all of a sudden, a hand stopped it and in came a man, the man that gave Travis chills. It was Antonio. Antonio was looking mad… his eyes looked red… his fits were clenched and his body trembled. Travis felt himself go angry all of a sudden and he wanted to go out but the elevator closed and started moving. He was on the 22nd floor and he knew he had a lot of time with the idiot in there.

“How dare you?” Antonio roared. “Whom do you think you are? What did I just hear in there? You bought shares in my company?”

Travis stared at the man with a stern face without even moving or feeling intimidated by him. He rather just remained quiet and decided to ignore him.

“What do you think you are trying to do, huh?” He groaned. “I want you to give those shares to me right now. I am gonna have to buy them if I have to but I won’t have you here.” He quickly got out his checkbook and signed a blank check for Travis, handing it over to him.

“That’s a blank check. You can put any amount you want but get the fuck out of my company.”

Travis felt hurt, insulted. He slowly looked at the check Antonio was holding to him and slowly raised his hand. He got the check and chuckled softly. Then his face became stern. He did something that even shocked Antonio to the core. He ripped the check to shreds and threw the pieces on Antonio’s face.

“You can keep your money, Mr. Gonzalez.” He said hoarsely, breathing heavily. “I am not interested in it. And as for working with you, I wouldn’t have even bought those shares if I had known you were this… this person. But the did has already been done and there’s no way I am gonna withdraw and…”

“Are you trying to act smart with me?” Antonio snapped, raising his finger. “First you crashed the party yesterday and now you badge into my company like you didn’t know what was going on and how dare you…” He paused and gripped Travis’ hand painfully. “Do you think by coming closer to me, you’re gonna seduce me again?”

Travis furiously released his hand. “Don’t touch me and don’t be so sure of yourself!” He warned, raising his hand at the huge man in front of him. “If I had a chance, I wouldn’t even look at you twice. I don’t owe you anything or any explanation for joining this company. You’re not my boss or my father to question my motives. I didn’t get into this company because I wanted to get close to you or something. I don’t know you and I don’t want to get….”

“Then get out!” He yelled and Travis closed his eyes slightly. “Get the fuck out because you’ll pay for this move that you’ve made, I promise you.”

“What?” Travis snapped, breathing harshly like he was in a war. “Are you threatening me, Mr. Gonzalez?”

Antonio chuckled bitterly. “Stay and you’ll find out if I am threatening you or promising you.”

“I am not scared of you!” Travis breathed, trying to hold in his pain. “You can say whatever you want because you own this company and…” He paused and gasped in mock, an evil grin appearing on his face. “….oh, I own shares here now which means it’s our company.”

Antonio groaned, his jaws shaking uncontrollably. “I hate you so much.”

“I don’t care. I don’t even wanna hear your opinion about my life.” Travis shrugged. “I don’t give two hoots about your hatred right now because I am not your fan either. Your hatred won’t put my life on hold. However, when it comes to business you’re just gonna have to tolerate me.”

He tried to move forward so that he could try to stop the elevator and get out of there but Antonio gripped his arm painfully and pinned him to the wall, their bodies so close that Travis’ heart began racing. He tried to release his arm but he found that he couldn’t. The man was just too strong and it scared Travis to some degree.

Antonio was so close that Travis could feel his harsh breaths on his face. It made his body quiver in what he didn’t even know. He tried to move his arm and managed to but the guy did something even crazier. He put both his hands on the wall, putting Travis in between. When Travis tried to move, the guy just got closer.

“You’ll pay for this dearly, Travis. I will make your life a living hell.” He vowed, getting even closer. “This company belongs to me and everything here is mine. Whenever I look into that face of yours, it reminds me of that cheater, that whore six years ago. It reminds me of what he did to me. How will you convince yourself now?” He chuckled, bitterly even dangerously closer. His heart raced so much that he was trembling. “How will you lie to yourself? You might have changed your name, your identity, and might fool everyone else but I…. I know exactly who you are. I feel angry each time I see anything that reminds me of him and I feel like taking revenge. But since he’s not here and you are, face it! You have his face and as long as you choose to remain at my company, I will settle my scores with you.”

Travis’ face was priceless. He was staring at the man like he was scared. One moment he was acting scared and then suddenly, he burst into laughter, a laughter that angered Antonio. He thought the boy was gonna be scared, beg him to let go of him and probably cry but there was not a single tear.

Then he clapped in mock, raising his eyebrow. “Wow! That was a great speech, Mr. Gonzalez. great. But you seem to forget something.” He chuckled bitterly. “Do you think your threats will scare me? I don’t give a fuck about your past or who you’re talking about! You can do whatever you want because it’s your life.”

Antonio was shocked. For a second, he thought he was dreaming. The boy he remembered would never use such a word on him, not even on anyone.

“If you think I am scared, then you don’t know me.” He glowered, his breaths becoming harsh. “I am a lamp that will keep burning even in a horrendous storm. The wick might indeed flicker but won’t be extinguished. Who do you think you are, Antonio Gonzalez?” He asked but his voice sounded so cold. “You just met me yesterday and you think you know me. Well, news flash, you don’t!” He yelled, furiously pushing Antonio away from him. Antonio took a step back and hit the cold metal behind. He remained standing there, looking lost and mad.

“I thought I had met the worst people but I was wrong.” Travis fumed, raising his finger. “You’re a very foolish, insolent, and despicable person. You just met me yesterday and you think you know everything about me. Your thoughts, actions, and even words have been so venomous. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine. I had told you earlier and let me repeat myself.” He warned, pointing at the angry-looking man. “This anger that you express, whatever it is for, you’ve got the right to express it but don’t cross my path because you don’t know me that well.

Maybe the person that you hate so much did the right thing by leaving you.”

He tried to move but Antonio gripped his arm once again and pulled him closer, staring into his face like he wanted to punch him. All the words that Travis had used on him brought nothing but unquenchable anger in him. He was so mad that he saw red. His breaths were so harsh that it sounded like a monster was in that elevator. His eyes were red and tears had already formed in them, tears of rage. The anger had infiltrated every fiber of his being.

Suddenly, the elevator opened and both of them didn’t even realize it. They just stared at each other, showing how much they hated each other. All the love that they had probably felt years ago had vanished. Now all that was there was nothing but pure hatred and anger.

Suddenly….

“What’s going on here?” An angry voice spoke, getting the two of them out of their frenzy.

Antonio quickly let go of Travis and then turned to find Bruce looking angry. He was staring right at Travis, breathing like he was in a war. He was with Andrea who was equally shocked at what she saw.

Travis ripped his eyes from Antonio and then at Bruce who was looking like he had just lost a war. When Travis saw him, he just gave an evil grin and started going away but…

“How dare you come to our company and try to seduce my husband?” Bruce yelled. His voice could be heard by everyone on that floor. “Whom do you think you are?”

Travis stopped in his tracks and turned to find Bruce coming towards him. “What do you think you’re doing here, huh?” He snapped. He was so mad that he felt like killing the guy in front of him. “Can’t you stay in your lane? This is what you’ve resorted to now, seducing other people’s husbands? Oh, I see….” Bruce chuckled bitterly, folding his arms on his chest. “…so you just came back to try and seduce him so that he can come running to you. You are just the same person that you were years ago. But I am not surprised. Old habits die hard, right?”

Travis lost the smile on his face as he stared into that ugly face that he so wanted to injure. People were watching and talking among themselves because Bruce had already created a scene.

“Do you see this man?” Bruce held his husband tightly, wrapping his arm around his waist. “You and I know that he’s so powerful and very handsome and apparently, every guy in the world would want a piece of him. But you know something…” He got closer, holding Antonio’s hand. “…my husband is not a book and neither is he a toy that can be borrowed or shared. But you see….” He smiled brightly, glancing at his angry looking man. “…my husband is mine. Only mine. Do you understand?”

Travis chuckled, shaking his head. “All those speeches you’re making, all the insecurities you’re feeling… are only for yourself.” He sighed, folding his arms. “As for your…” He paused, glancing at Antonio. “...husband, you can keep him. I am not interested in him. On the other hand, you should be telling him to keep his hands off me.”

He gave a mocking smile that pierced through Bruce’s very heart. “It seems he can’t just stay away from me. And I don’t care if you think your boyfriend… oops!” He gasped in shock astonishment. “… your husband is a toy or not. It doesn’t matter what you say to me because that man…” he pointed at Antonio. “…is not even worthy of someone like me. You two deserve each other because you’re both despicable and annoying.”

With those words, he turned and walked gracefully out of the building, leaving the three idiots standing like statues. Antonio thought he was mad couldn’t keep his eyes off Travis. His body was different and he had to say that Travis had that ass that could drive any man insane with desire but not him.

Antonio furiously turned and started going towards the elevator with the two confused idiots behind him. When he reached the office, he picked up his phone and started dialing a number but it wasn’t going through. He was, mad and his mood that day had just been ruined.

“What the hell?” He groaned, furiously hitting the phone on the table. “Does anything fucking work right in this fucking country?”

“Antonio, don’t beat yourself up!” Andrea quickly rushed to him and held his hand. “You need to calm down!”

“Calm down!” Antonio snapped, furiously pointing towards the window. “Right now, all my nerves have just gotten to my brain and I don’t know what to do. That whore just managed to enter this company and you expect me to calm down?”

“What?” Both Andrea and Bruce gasped in shock.

“Yes!” Antonio groaned, clenching his fists. “Somehow, he managed to buy the shares Mr. Sylvester owned here and…. how could I have been so stupid?” Antonio groaned, pulling on his hair. “I should have bought those shares when I had the chance. Now he’s managed to infiltrate the company and… I can’t help but feel that he’s up to something.”

Bruce sighed, rubbing on his shoulders. “My love, don’t stress too much. We both know that he’s just trying his best to seduce you again. But he’s only one guy. We can defeat him together and…”

“I don’t care about that.” He furiously moved his hand. “I will make that boy pay for what Praveen did to me and my family six years ago. Whether he’s Praveen or Travis, I will make him pay or my name is not Antonio Gonzalez.”

The two culprits looked at each other, evil grins appearing on their faces. They knew that they still had the ultimate weapon and Travis had no chance of defeating them. Antonio’s anger and hatred were still intense and they knew they had the upper hand.

***

Travis was in his car, staring out the window and remembering all that had happened back at the company, Antonio being close to him and all the words that he had used on him. His eyes were teary and the pain in his heart was just too much.

“You’re gonna survive this, Travis Marasigan.” He whispered, taking a deep breath. “You just need to endure for a bit. This is all just in line with your plans.”

He slowly fixed himself and before he even finished, his phone began ringing and he quickly picked it.

“Hello, aunt!”

‘Hey, how did it go?’ Vanessa asked on the other end.

Travis chuckled. “It was just going okay. Just had another encounter with Antonio Gonzalez. But that’s inevitable anyway since… he and I will now be seeing each other more often.”

‘Yeah, I just wanna see you safe.’ Vanessa spoke softly. ‘Getting in that company was risky enough. I don’t know if you’re that strong yet.’

“It’s necessary, aunt!” Travis chuckled happily, taking a glance out the window. “Sometimes, little pain is necessary to get what you want. Besides, I don’t think I can get more hurt than already did.”

Vanessa sighed. ‘Just be careful, Travis. I don’t wanna see you in any more pain than you already passed through.’

“That won’t happen!” He laughed, shaking his head. “At least, this time, I’ll give them a dose of my pain. They made me lose everything that I held dear to my heart. But that’s okay. Anyway, how did it go? Have you managed to enroll him?”

‘Yeah, we just came out.’ Vanessa said. ‘He’ll be starting tomorrow morning though I am not sure this son of yours will make it any easier. He doesn’t wanna be at this school where he’s got no friends. He’s as stubborn as you, Travis!”

Travis laughed harder, shaking his head. “I don’t think so, aunt! He’s more stubborn than me. Maybe he gets that from his….” He paused and lost the smile on his face when he realized exactly what he had been about to say. “…err… I will call you later, aunt!”

He cut the call and remained quiet, feeling his heart begin to race. It was not gonna be easy but he was gonna endure it.

“You’ve got no idea who you’re messing with!” He grinned sinisterly, ordering his driver to start moving.

***

“Sean, come on….” Vanessa stretched out her hand for the little boy that was running behind her. “…we need to go.”

“Coming, granny!” Sean giggled in his cute little voice.

Sean was looking smart and cute in a tiny brown designer’s shirt that was tucked in a black skinny jeans with brown snickers and a little black tie. He was amazing and his hair was gelled. Vanessa Marasigan too didn’t just look amazing, she was looking like a queen in a black designer’s dress with silver high heels and her hair curled.

She was so lost looking at her grandson that she didn’t even see in front of her. The next thing she felt was bumping into someone and then her purse fell to the ground.

“Oh my God,” A woman gasped, quickly leaning to pick up the purse. “I am so sorry. I didn’t see you. I… I was… I am so sorry.”

Vanessa quickly looked forward and found a beautiful young woman, probably in her late twenties staring right at her while handing her the purse. She was looking beautiful in designer clothes and her hair tied in a ponytail. Vanessa had never seen her before but she found herself smiling.

“No!” Vanessa took the purse. “It’s my fault. I wasn’t looking where I was going. I had my mind on my grandson and…”

“Grandson?” The woman chuckled happily. “You have a grandson? You don’t look that old?”

“Oh, thanks…” Vanessa grinned. “…but yeah. I have a beautiful grandson and he’s only five years old. He’s my son’s first child and so…” She opened her arms. “… I am a proud grandmother to a beautiful boy. His name is Sean and I just came to enroll him at this school.”

“Wow!” The woman extended her hand. “Nice to meet you….”

“Vanessa!” She shook the woman’s hand cheerfully.

“Vanessa!” The woman chuckled happily. “My name is Celine and it’s nice to meet you. I came to bring my daughter to school, Stephanie. You know she can be stubborn at times and….” Celine chuckled happily when she saw her daughter and the most handsome male kid she had ever set her eyes on, playing and holding hands a distance from where they stood. “…looks like they’re friends already.”

Vanessa took a glance behind and she couldn’t have been happier. “That they are. I bet Sean may not be so stubborn since he has made a friend already. By the way, you have a beautiful daughter.”

Celine gasped, touching her chest. “Thanks, I was just about to say the same about your grandson. He is handsome.”

“Thanks!” Vanessa breathed happily. She couldn’t have been prouder. “He gets that from his father.”

“He must be handsome?” Celine commented.

“He is.” Vanessa chuckled happily. “Anyway, it was nice to meet you, Celine. But I have to run now. I need to go somewhere so… see you around.”

“Definitely!” Celine shook the woman’s hands.

Vanessa smile. “Sean, baby, let’s go.”

And when Sean came to the woman, she took him in her arms and started heading towards where their car was parked. But what the two women had no idea of was that the bond that the two kids felt was stronger and deeper than they thought. It was a bond that only siblings felt.

As he left in his granny’s arms, Sean waved at Stephanie and she waved back. Celine was happy. She had a strange feeling though and she was anxious about knowing the father of such a handsome boy. She loved the boy already and she had a strange feeling like the boy was bonded to her or something.

***

Vanessa came downstairs with a smile on her face, opening her arms widely.

“Finally, you’re here! How did it go?”

Travis held his aunt tightly and kissed her cheek. “Better than I expected. The board was all happy to see me.” He chuckled. “Everyone was nice and I think they like me.”

“That’s great!” Vanessa said with a smile on her face. “Who wouldn’t love the son of the great Richard Marasigan? Your father was a legendary businessman although not everyone knew him personally. He was powerful and influential too.”

Travis smiled sheepishly, taking a sigh. “Yeah, but…. I just wish he was here.” He was sad and emotional. “I miss him and I don’t understand why….”

“Shh….” Vanessa covered his lips with her hands. “He’s proud of you. Besides, your father is still here with us. He lives in little Sean and that’s why you gave him his name, right?”

Travis had to fight his tears. “Yes. That’s why I miss him even more and maybe…” He paused and sighed. “…if any of these things hadn’t happened, he’d still be alive. He got caught up in my mess and… I won’t let his death go in vain, aunt. I will hurt them where it hurts the most, I swear.”

Vanessa rubbed on his shoulders, smiling brightly. “I understand all that. But can you bear to hurt your son’s father? Are you sure you want to do this?”

Travis chuckled bitterly. “Sean has grown up without him. Antonio had hurt me more than anyone and though…” He paused and gave his aunt a worried look. “…I don’t understand why he’s so mad at Praveen. Whenever I look at him, I see nothing but pain and anger. He tries to hurt me any chance he gets. But that won’t change anything. He didn’t stand for me, for our child, or our relationship. He was the reason why I almost lost Sean and the reason for father’s death.

I could have understood him but… it was barely two months I left and he was already romancing with Bruce.”

Vanessa held her nephew’s hands. “I understand and I’ll support you through it all.”

“Thanks.” He smiled brightly. “You’ve been like a mother to me and I thank you for that. In my quest for truth, I want your support.”

“You have it!” She smiled brightly. “Anything you need, just tell me.”

“I will.” He smiled brightly. “So where’s Sean?”

“Sleeping!” Vanessa chuckled. “I think the little guy had a long day. He’ll be starting school tomorrow morning and I think he made a friend today.”

“?” Travis was excited. “Already?”

“Yeah, we met Stephanie today and I think they’re gonna be great.”

“That’s good. I didn’t want my son to be lonely.” He said happily, getting up. “I need to rest now.”

“Wait!” Vanessa gripped his hand. “What about dinner?”

He laughed. “I’ll have that later. I am tired and I need to see my son. See you tomorrow.” He gave her a peck.

“Goodnight!”

Travis went upstairs and found his son sleeping while holding his picture. He just stood in the doorway, admiring the cute boy. He was just so happy when he was around his son.

***

“What?” Emma gasped in shock, her mouth shaking. “He did what?”

She couldn’t remember the last time she was that mad.

“He bought shares in our company!” Andrea said while her jaws shook. “And he was acting all high and mighty. But that’s not the problem, aunt! Do you know who this boy claims to be his father?”

Emma frowned. “Who?”

“Richard Marasigan!” Andrea chuckled bitterly, clenching her fists.

“Richard Marasigan?” Emma’s voice shook. “That’s the mysterious business tycoon who never appeared in pictures or magazines. Wait, wasn’t he one of the most powerful and influential businessmen in the country like six years ago? Nobody has heard from him for six years. It’s just impossible that Praveen is his son. Last I heard….”

“Why are we even talking about this?” Eduardo asked, shrugging. “This can’t be Praveen. It’s probably just a lookalike that…”

“Are you serious?” Andrea laughed, folding her arms on her chest. “That boy has been missing for six years and then six years later, Travis emerges. Doesn’t that like bother you a bit? And then he finds himself mysteriously in our company.

If he’s the son to the mysterious Richard then what does he want at our company. Richard is a very rich man and he’s got many companies at home and abroad. That boy is up to something. He now owns 30 percent of the company shares and you think that’s a joke?”

Bruce laughed, raising an eyebrow. “He wants Antonio, that’s what. He wants to seduce him again. He wants to get back in his life. But I won’t allow that to happen. Antonio is my husband and nobody will get him away from me. Whatever plans that boy has, I will see to it that he fails. After all….” He chuckled, an evil grin appearing on his face. He had defeated him six years back. “…Antonio is now mine just like he should have been years ago. I won’t allow anyone to come between us.”

Celine sighed, shaking her head. “You might just be wrong. The Praveen I remember was never like that. You said it yourself, Andrea. This boy is powerful, gutsy and the way he carries himself is just different. Praveen was naïve, usually quiet and…”

“I don’t expect anything sensible to come out of that mouth.” Andrea snapped, giving Celine evil looks. “People do change and if you think being stupid is the way…”

“Excuse me?” Celine snapped, furiously getting up the chair. “Don’t ever call me stupid, Andrea. I am older than you so I deserve some respect from you. Maybe you’re just mad at this boy because he had put you in your place yesterday and gave you slaps.”

With those words, she got up and left the living room, leaving Andrea looking like she had just seen her life flash before her. She was mad that her heart felt like it was about to rip out of her chest.

“What?” She gasped in shock, clenching her fists. “Did she just…”

“Forget about Celine!” Emma said, patting on her thigh. “We have more important matters than her. How’s Antonio?”

“He’s mad!” Bruce said, getting up the couch. “Ever since that boy returned, he’s been upset. He was in the gym earlier and I don’t even know what to do right now.”

Emma sighed, burying her face between her palms. “My poor son. I just hope he gets the strength to handle this boy once and for all.” She was scared and she only prayed for one thing, for Antonio to gather strength and get rid of the boy forever.

But question was, did God answer such prayers?

***

Emilia was seated beside granny’s bed, holding the old woman’s hand sweetly, cupping it in hers. She was sad and the tears that never seized to flow had flooded her face. As a mother, seeing her children suffer because of one boy was too much for her. Her pain was beyond the pain itself. She didn’t even know what hurt even more.

Granny was sleeping after the nurse had given her some sleeping pills. The woman wasn’t getting any better. She was getting worse day by day. Her mental state was deteriorating and Antonio had refused to take her to the mental hospital because he said his granny was a sane woman. She couldn’t walk properly on her own because she had fallen down the staircase six years back, two days after Praveen had left the house. She used a wheelchair.

Emilia sniveled, kissing granny’s hand. “You’ve probably suffered even more than me, mother. I don’t know what to do anymore, mother.” She cried softly. “Every day, I feel like giving up, mother. Please, get better and make everything right again. I know that if you had been okay, everything in this house would have been okay too. Antonio, Andrea, and everyone else wouldn’t have hated me so much.

Please, get better, mother.” She sobbed softly, lying softly on her chest. “Please, their hatred has gone deeper now that he’s back. They say he’s changed a lot but their hatred has also grown deeper.”

Emilia had so much anger for the boy that had destroyed her home. She had no idea if she was gonna forgive him. She just couldn’t see herself forgiving him although there was still a part that wished to see him, tell him how much pain he had caused for all of them and how he had destroyed her home. She remembered six years ago what had happened……

‘The almighty never abandons his devotees and if they’re wronged, sometimes he goes together with them.’ The priest had said six years ago when Katy had called him. ‘This family has been destroyed by the person that you had all trusted and loved a lot. You need to be careful, however…. Because evil always comes back to haunt us just when we think that we’re free and it comes in all directions. One day, you’ll get to understand all this. It’s just a matter of time and it’s not in my power to say anything.

This house has been desacralized because of the abomination that had been caused. The almighty has already left this house and your lives because of the sacrilege that occurred here. I don’t know when he’ll return. Your name has been tarnished.’

The priest had spoken all those words while standing outside the house. He had refused to enter.

“I wish you were here, mother Katy…” She sobbed, holding on tightly to her mother. “I wish you were here because you used to comfort me and mother was getting better with you around. Why did you leave just like that?”

Katy had left about a month ago because she wanted to offer some prayers for granny’s health. But ever since, Emilia and the entire family hadn’t heard from her. Her phone used to ring but she never picked it up or responded to any of the messages that they had sent. Everyone thought that she was mad because the night before she had left, she had a terrible argument with Antonio about taking granny to a mental asylum. Since that time, no one had heard from her. Antonio himself had tried to call but she never picked up. He had even called her home but no one saw her.

“Please, come back…”

***

Somewhere deep in a village

*

A lady in her mid-30s was standing near a bed where an elderly woman slept, a woman that had been in a coma for over a month. She was on oxygen and drip, the things that ensured her survival. The woman still had some on her forehead where there had been a huge wound.

“Every day that passes,” The lady spoke, staring at the nurse that had just been cleaning the woman. “I feel like this woman is fighting for something. Though she hasn’t even moved since we found her in the river, I still have hope that she’ll wake up soon.”

The lady was the village doctor and she had devoted her life to the villages, to help them and heal them when necessary. She was beautiful, with brown eyes and dark short hair. She was dressed in a white dress with sandals on her feet

“Yeah,” The nurse nodded. “I believe so too but…” She paused and looked at the beautiful doctor. “…we haven’t been able to find out who she is. There has been no case of her being reported missing. Maybe we should just take her to the hospital in the capital so that she heals faster and maybe…”

“No!” Abigail shook her head, looking at the nurse. “I can’t do that. This woman might be in danger. Remember, we found her in the river with several wounds on her body. I think someone wanted her dead and they thought she died.” She laughed softly.

“The world is very wicked, dear. I might be young but I know exactly what goes on out there. My only concern is, why would someone want to kill an old woman like her? She seems harmless and sweet.

Only when she wakes up will we be able to know who she is and where she’s from. Until then, we cannot make any decisions. We just need to keep doing our best to ensure she wakes. Do you understand?”

The nurse nodded.

The two souls just stared at the woman with their arms folded, praying in their hearts that she woke up soon because they needed to know who she and where she was from. She had been in the coma for too long but they both knew that she was fighting for something and that was what made them curious.

Suddenly, the woman moved her fingers slowly. It was quick but none of them saw it because they were looking at her face. It happened rapidly and then she was back to being immobile.

To be continued....

 

 

Copyright © 2020 vanalas; All Rights Reserved.

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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Chapter Comments

Don’t tell me Andrea, Emma, and/or Bruce attempted to murder Katy? I’m really enjoying this “Travis” as this despicable family barring Katy, grandma, and Celine deserve what they’re going through. Praveen’s sweet nature was wonderful to a point but it was painful to see how much of a doormat he was so seeing this new side is a breath of fresh air as now he can demand the respect he’s always deserved. 

Edited by NimirRaj
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Wow, what happened to Praveen?

Like the new Travis but still miss taht loving and caring Praveen

Andrea deserved what she got but surprised that Bruce is unscathed yet

Antonio, you deserved at least this much 

cant wait to see what's in store for Emma 

Sean and Stephanie you are going to be the mender looks like with a surprise for Celine 

Where is Santiago

Please post soooon

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