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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 - 8. Chapter 8: A special surprise.

Antonio was coming down the stairs hurriedly with a stern look on his face while busy fixing his buttons on the shirt he was wearing that day. He was putting on a beautiful blue traditional attire with a long jacket-like shirt and a pair of trousers of the same color. He had sandals on his feet and he had a red band tied around his head. He wasn’t interested in the fast but his aunt had forced him just like she did in the last six years.

Even as he was coming down, he could see a lot of gifts in the living room and almost the entire place was decorated with beautiful flowers and expensive decors. And of course, he wasn’t surprised because his aunt always outdid herself to host the event. She was passionate about the marital fast.

As Antonio reached down the stairs, he saw Steph rushing to him and she was looking really beautiful in a red traditional dress. He smiled brightly, knelt, and opened his arms where she rushed and he kissed her cheek.

“How’s my princess doing?” He moaned softly.

“I am fine, uncle!” Steph said when she pulled away from the hug but had her little arms around Antonio’s neck.

“Well, uncle is fine too. So tell me,” He said as he played with her well-combed hair. “Is my little princess fasting for me too?”

Antonio laughed when Stephanie abruptly nodded. “I am fasting for you and daddy so that you can love me more.”

Antonio was happy when he heard those words from the little girl. “Hmmm… I am jealous. Why are you fasting for daddy too? I thought it was only for me.” He asked jokingly. “Daddy has mommy, you know.”

“Because I love you both equally!” Stephanie said happily. “You both are my daddies.”

Antonio got emotional when he heard those words from Stephanie. He pulled her into a hug, closing his eyes as he enjoyed her warm embrace. He had always wanted to have a child of his own and he thanked God for Stephanie every day. Ever since she had been born six years back, she had come with some ray of happiness for him. A part of his sadness had gone. But Antonio didn’t see himself having a child of his own. He didn’t think he was in his right frame of mind to raise a baby with all the anger in him.

“Wow! That’s touching!” A voice spoke, followed by a chuckle. “What’s going on here? Did I miss something?”

Antonio pulled away from the hug and saw his brother together with Ethan and they were both smiling and looked like they were teasing him. Ethan was dressed in a similar attire with Antonio but it was brown and Eduardo was putting on a green one. Both of them were looking amazing.

“Nothing, you idiots!” He commented, followed by a laugh while lifted Stephanie into his arms. “By the way, Ethan, I didn’t know you were here already.”

“Yeah! You know I wouldn’t miss a chance of you being weird on this day. I was only talking to Eduardo since he’s fun to be around compared to you.”

“Fuck you, Eth…”

“Hey!” Eduardo raised a finger, gesturing to Stephanie. “Careful now. We don’t want her to grow up spoilt like you.”

Antonio gasped, his mouth gaping. He couldn’t believe his brother had just said that. And when the two men saw his reaction, they both laughed at him. It was wonderful to see them laughing like that. Antonio couldn’t remember the last time he had seen his brother like that. He was happy and he wished he could hug him.

“Hey, did I ever tell you that this boy was insulting as early as 4 years?” Eduardo laughed, patting Ethan’s shoulder.

“No way!” Ethan laughed, looking at Antonio. “I have always known he’s a spoilt brat but I never knew he started that early.”

Both of them laughed at the top of their voices. Although Antonio was happy the two men he loved most on earth were happy, he was also getting annoyed. It wasn’t funny anymore that they were laughing at him.

“Look at his facial expression!” Ethan pointed, laughing hard. “We’re just lucky Celine isn’t here otherwise, she’d have reprimanded us for making him look like that.”

“What?”

The two men stopped laughing when they heard Celine’s voice. Everyone turned and looked towards the entrance where Celine was coming with a sexy, seductive smile, walking like she was on the runway. She was looking amazing and captured her husband’s heart right there.

Eduardo felt his heart begin to race when he saw his wife cat-walking towards him. She was looking really lovely in traditional attire, a beautiful, white, short-sleeved, long flared dress that made her look amazing with a big ribbon at the back. Her hair was curled and she had beautiful white makeup on, her lips as red as blood, just inviting him to kiss them. She had beautiful sparkly jewelry on her and… damn, she took Santiago’s breath away.

Celine came to her husband and she could tell that he was mesmerized by her beauty. She couldn’t help but smile.

“Hey!” She kissed his cheek and tried to pull her away but he held her waist and brought her closer.

“With the way you’re looking right now, we might just give Stephanie a brother.” He whispered, licking her slightly on the ear.

Celine had to suppress her moan but she smiled. “You keep pushing. Maybe it might happen.”

While the two were busy romancing, Antonio was in his world wondering whether it was a dream or his mind was playing tricks on him. But he could see Travis/Praveen coming to him with a beautiful smile on his face, blushing lovingly.

He was dressed in beautiful traditional attire, different from what Antonio was wearing. It was a red traditional attire but the way it was made, the way it fit his beautiful sexy body, and the way he had that long hair tied, revealing his gorgeous face, Antonio couldn’t help but gulp as he felt his heart begin to race.

He was holding a prayer plate and he didn’t even pay attention to what was there. His eyes on that beautiful face. The smile on it made Antonio smile and he felt goosebumps all of a sudden. It was like someone had poured cold water on him. He was drooling. Shit!

Travis came to him, flipped his hair, and bit his lip seductively. Antonio was now grinning like an idiot and he was getting closer, his eyes on those lips that he wanted to just suck on like a lollipop. Hmm…. He felt like his heart was trying to tear through his chest.

“Hello, baby….”

And that was when everything turned sour. As soon as Antonio heard that voice, he came back to reality and found Bruce looking at him, giving him those ‘come fuck me’ eyes that he didn’t like. Antonio lost the smile on his face, acting like a lost puppy. Bruce was wearing the same outfit that he had just daydreamed Travis in.

“Well, we just came from the temple for the Morning Prayer and the priest gave us threads and some offerings.”

He took the offering and carefully fed it to his husband, smiling like he’d won a lottery. Bruce was happy and he knew that luck had started that day. Andrea had been right. His husband had looked at him like he wanted to make love to him right there. Shit! He was horny.

“And this thread is to be worn for the rest of the day.” He said as he tied the red thread around his husband’s wrist. “It symbolizes my love for you and it will protect you from any evil eye.” He took his husband’s hand and rubbed on it. “I love you so much, Antonio. Nothing will ever stop that love.”

Antonio smiled sheepishly and then leaned forward, kissing Bruce on the cheek. “Love you too.”

He quickly turned and left with Ethan. Bruce remained standing there, holding his cheek while smiling hornily. His husband had just kissed his cheek. He felt a myriad of emotions and got frozen, staring at the hunk as he left with his husband.

***

“What do you mean they left long ago?” Emma yelled, rubbing her forehead. “They’re late and they’re supposed to be here by now. They’re supposed to be in the kitchen cooking because there’s just a lot to cook. I don’t want any last-minute things because this is important.”

‘I am very sorry, miss Gonzalez.’ A woman apologized on the other end. ‘Please, just give it some time. They’ll be there very soon. And you shouldn’t worry about anything. They’ll be done before the event because they’re very good.’

“You don’t have to tell me if they’re very good or not. I will be the one to see how good they are.” She said rudely. “Now, if they don’t arrive here in the next minute, they shouldn’t come at all because I’ll hire people that are competent and punctual.”

With those words, she cut the call and she was very angry. She had left for the temple together with everyone in the house who were praying for their husbands and had come back to find that the people she had hired from a catering company had not arrived. She was so mad.

Emma was dressed in a beautiful sky blue traditional dress with her hair tied in a bun, looking amazing and sexy with high heeled shoes. She had gotten the dress from a designer shop and she was gonna slay that day. She could already see people being envious at the event.

“Damn, stupid…”

“Ma’am!” Emma heard a weird voice behind her.

She furiously turned and almost bumped into a weird and ugly guy. First, she looked at him from head to toe and then up again. Damn, he was ugly and disgusting.

The guy was a bit tall with big, weird, and cheap-looking black spectacles. He was wearing a smile and those braces in his teeth were so cheap looking and disgusting, making him look like a cheap local, teen from a dirty village.

He was wearing dirty looking clothes, a green cheap t-shirt, a black cheap skinny jean, and cream white dirty looking snickers. Everything about him was cheap and when she looked at his head, she nearly cursed. His hair was in brit-pop mop, those fringe and sideburns looking like they’d seen their life flash before them. He was an ugly looking thing and if that expression on her face didn’t show it, then nothing was gonna. And when he smiled, she almost puked.

“Yes!” She said rudely. “Who are you and what do you want?”

The man chuckled happily. “Well, ma’am, my name is Rodrigo but my friends call me Rodrigito.” He said in a Spanish accent that Emma found annoying. “…and I am the head of the caterers that you hired for this event.”

That was when Emma saw about 8 people behind him with big pots and whatever they had. She didn’t care. They were all dressed in white uniforms and they looked far much better than the idiot that was talking to her.

“So ma’am, you can call me Rodrigito too since…”

“Whatever!” She gestured, raising her hand to point to the kitchen. “That’s the kitchen. You can start cooking right now since you’re late. And I sure hope your food is not as ugly as you.”

Rodrigo bowed slowly but he didn’t lose the smile on his face. “You will not be disappointed, ma’am. I can assure you that you’ll never taste food as delicious as ours and you’ll hire us for all your events. Your friends and family…”

“Enough!” She snapped, getting closer to the man. Surprisingly, he was still smiling. “Now you listen, don’t think that just because I hired you to work here means that you can just talk anyhow or that you and I are of the same class. Take a very good look at this house very well and yourself. You’re not even worthy to step here but I’ll let it pass just this once. All the food items you need are in the kitchen and let me not lose anything there.

If I lose even a spoon, I’ll take down that company of yours together with you. Do you understand?”

Rodrigo nodded but he was still smiling.

“Understood, ma’am.”

“Now get the hell out of here and get to work!” She yelled.

Rodrigo gasped and started rushing to the kitchen together with his crew. He was looking around as he entered and couldn’t help but admire the mansion. It was really beautiful.

“Annoying, little beotch!” Emma muttered, clenching her fists.

Then she went out of the living room to check out how other preparations were coming.

***

Andrea was standing in front of a huge mirror, checking herself out. She was wearing a beautiful, seductive smile while checking how sexy she looked in the attire she was wearing. She was putting on a pink, beautiful flared dressed that almost touched her feet. The dress was see-through from the waist up and she had a red bra inside that made her look even sexy. She had her hair curled with beautiful jewelry on her and beautiful pink makeup. She also had high heels on her feet.

“Wow! Someone looks sexy today. What’s going on?”

Andrea glanced at her friend through the mirror and blushed, acting as a professional whore. Then she started humming ‘perfect’ by Ed Sheeran which surprised Bruce. He started getting closer with a raised eyebrow.

“Hmm, which reminds me. You followed us at the temple today this morning and I heard your prayer too.” He put his hand on his hairless chin, rubbing on it. “Are you fasting? And for who?”

Andrea slowly turned and put her hands on her chest, acting like a teenager in love.

“Who else but the love of my life, Ethan!” She giggled, biting her bottom lip while getting lost in thought. “I am fasting for our love which is about to bloom tonight.”

“What? Shut the front door!” He rushed to her and held her hands. “You bitch, how long have you been hiding this from me? I thought you were gonna talk to Antonio about it.”

“And I plan to.” She breathed in the air of love. “But tonight, I am gonna try my luck. I will seduce Ethan and he’ll have no choice but tonight…” She breathed in through her teeth, making it sound like she was moaning. “….I wanna have him to myself. I want to taste those lips and feel him inside of me right there.” She gestured to the bed. “I want us to be one.”

Bruce was shocked by what he was hearing. But knowing Andrea, he knew she was gonna execute what she had planned.

“And how do you plan on doing that? If you’re fasting for a man and he’s still alive, to make your love stronger…” He paused and chuckled. “…he needs to break your fast by giving you water from his hands, just like Antonio will tonight.”

Andrea smiled. “Of course, I know all that. Why would I venture into something that I didn’t plan thoroughly? Leave that to me. Ethan will break my fast and our love will blossom.”

Bruce clapped, wrapping his hands around her. “I know you’ll do it. And I trust that you two will become a couple and as soon as we get rid of all our problems, we’ll go abroad for a double honeymoon. What do you think?”

“What do I think?” Andrea chuckled. “Of course, we’re going.”

“And tonight is our night. Antonio will be mine forever after tonight. He’ll never think about anyone else.”

“Hmm, and how do you plan on doing that?” Andrea asked. “I don’t suppose you want to kill my brother.”

“Kill him with pleasure, you mean!”

Both of them laughed at the top of their voices. Their happiness had reached its peak that day. They had planned a lot and nothing was gonna go wrong. Everything was gonna go according to their plan.

***

Emilia entered the kitchen slowly and she got emotional when she saw how busy it was. Different foods were being cooked while other foods were being packed. She had no idea why she was always got emotional at events like that.

She could very well remember how she had seen her son kissing Bruce when she had entered the house as soon as she came from the temple. She was very happy and although her husband was dead, she was fasting like she always did even after her husband’s death and on such a day, she missed him terribly.

Emilia was wearing a red traditional flared dress and she looked really beautiful with her hair loose. Though she wasn’t putting on any makeup, she was really beautiful though not as before. Her pain and anguish had made her a bit thin.

Emilia was so lost in thought that she didn’t even realize that she had tears going down her cheeks.

“Are you okay, ma’am?”

Emilia got out of her thoughts and saw a young man staring at her with concern on his face. She quickly rubbed her tears and tried to smile.

“I am sorry!” The man apologized in a strong Spanish accent. “I know I shouldn’t be interfering but I saw tears and I thought…”

“Tears of joy!” Emilia chuckled nervously. “A mother’s joy always comes when her family gets together and forgets about their sorrows. Even if it is just once, a mother feels like all the burden has been lifted and all she wishes is to see her children happy.”

Rodrigo nodded, smiling sheepishly. Emilia chuckled when she looked at him. He was looking like a poor boy but she could see through him. He was handsome and he had beautiful, light blue eyes. But she didn’t wanna comment on that.

“You’re right, ma’am.”

Emilia smiled, nodding. “When your children are too busy, it is only during events like these that you get to spend time with them without even having to worry about anything. I am sure that your mother also feels like that.”

Rodrigo shook his head though he was still wearing a smile. “No, ma’am. My mother is late. It is just me and my father.”

“Oh!” She lost the smile on her face. “I am so sorry. That must have been tough for you. You look so young and I am sure that your father is really lucky to have you. You know…” She paused and chuckled. “…as a mother, I love seeing my children happy. They’re all now settled and I can see that they’re finally getting the happiness they deserve.”

Rodrigo nodded softly.

“And you too, I am sure that very soon, you’ll find a really beautiful girl who will love you.” She said, resting her hand on his shoulder. “She’ll make you happy and you’ll forget about all the pain that you’ve gone through. She’ll fast for your happiness and long life at events like these. And when you have children, you’ll experience the most joy.”

Rodrigo just nodded without saying anything but he was still smiling.

“Excuse me!” Emilia chuckled. “You may continue with your work. I don’t wanna disturb you.”

With a smile, Emilia left the kitchen, leaving Rodrigo standing there. He lost the smile on his face and just stared at the woman as she left. He had no idea why what she had said made him emotional. What was going on?

***

Bruce came out of the bathroom, busy wiping his hands clean. It was already evening and the sensations he felt as he stared at the bed almost made him moan. He could picture Antonio making sweet, hot love to him on that bed that very night and he couldn’t wait. He couldn’t wait to feel that beautiful cock driving him crazy with pleasure and lust. He knew it was gonna happen and he had a perfect plan for it. After that, Antonio was gonna want to be with no one else but him. They were gonna be making love, fucking everywhere like dogs. Shit! Thinking about it was making him super hard.

“Calm down, Bruce!” He muttered, wiping the sweat off his forehead. “All in good time. You need to get ready to go downstairs because the event has probably started.”

He glanced at his watch and realized that it was almost 8.pm. Bruce started going towards the door but stopped mid-way when he saw a beautiful white tray on the bed with about three beautiful roses and a small paper.

Bruce rushed to the bed, took the paper, and almost immediately felt his heart miss a beat. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His breaths became harsh and his body vibrated in ecstasy.

‘To the love of my life, Bruce. I know that you haven’t had anything to eat since morning and you must be hungry by now. I can’t let you starve for my sake and that’s why I fixed you something special. I know you’re fasting for me but I can’t just watch you starve. I don’t believe in that anyway. After all, love is expressed through actions and I can see your love already. I am sorry for my shortcomings, baby. I will make it up to you tonight. Love you, your husband.’

Bruce had a smile on his face that was just priceless. Tears of mirth formed in his eyes and he felt like he was running out of air. He held the note close to his chest, acting as he had just won a trophy. It was too good to be true. He hadn’t even done anything and Antonio was already his. It was just too much.

Bruce looked at the white tray and saw a glass full of juice and a plate which he quickly opened. There were two beautiful muffins and he couldn’t wait to have them in his mouth. His husband was being romantic to him for the first since their marriage and he was happy, really happy.

He tried to touch the muffin but quickly withdrew, losing the smile on his face.

‘What am I doing?’ He thought. ‘I am fasting for my husband’s love and long life. I shouldn’t eat anything until 9.pm. And there was like 90 minutes remaining for this fast to end. I can wait and then eat later.’

He covered the food and started going but…

‘…I know you’re fasting for me but I can’t just let you starve. Love is expressed through actions and I can see your love already.’

He quickly turned and looked at the tray. If Antonio found out what he had done, he was gonna be mad, he thought as he got closer. What was the harm in eating food when he had already fasted the whole day? It was only gonna be between him and his husband.

He rushed to the food, opened the tray, and started eating while imagining the love he was gonna make with Antonio that night.

***

The whole garden was beautifully decorated, sparkling jealously, and looking amazing. The fountains there were also decorated and since it was near the pool, everything looked amazing. The garden was filled with people that Emma had invited to come and share that night with them and of course, to show people that she was the queen of throwing parties.

There were also Antonio’s friends, Bruce’s friends, and Emma’s friends too. There was a lot of food on a huge table with drinks of different varieties. Everyone was dressed in beautiful traditional attires but not as beautiful as the ones being worn by the Gonzalez. They sure owned the night.

“Wow, Emma…” One of the women gasped, looking all around. “…you’ve outdone yourself this year. Just look at these arrangements. I am impressed and I can assure you that this will be the most talked-about marital fast in the city.”

“You’re right!” Another agreed. “And look at your outfit, it’s wonderful. And your family indeed has a marvelous sense of fashion. It makes us look like amateurs.”

Emma laughed, feeling her heart racing in excitement. “You can say that again. You know me of course, I like to go a little higher than expected.” And rub it in their faces. She enjoyed doing that. “I just hope you’ll love it here.”

“Love it!” The blonde woman laughed. “If there was another word, I’d sure use it. So where’s your son in law? You know that we always love having him around. He’s really funny and he knows how to make this party interesting.”

“I am sure he’ll be here soon.” Emma chuckled. “It is almost time for prayers. You know he loves his husband so much and can’t miss these prayers for the world.”

The women all laughed and before they could even finish, they saw Bruce entering the garden slowly, looking everywhere.

“Speak of the devil!” One of the women chuckled softly. “Let me go and get him before the prayers start. We need to interact with him. It’s been so long.”

The woman was so excited and she rushed to Bruce, acting like she was gonna be winning a trophy. She reached him, gripped his arm quickly, and started taking him to where Emma was with the other women.

“You’ve got no idea how happy we’re that you…”

But the woman didn’t even finish her sentence when she got the shock of her life. As she was walking, Bruce furiously released his hand from her and pushed her so hard that she almost fell if not for a tree where she balanced. She quickly turned and stared at him as she had just seen a ghost.

“Don’t ever touch me!” He warned, his voice sounding weird. “Don’t you ever touch me, you old witch? I… I am not your class and you stink.”

The woman was beyond shocked. She just stood there, staring at him without moving an inch.

Emma on the other hand got shocked when she heard Bruce. She rushed to him just as people began gathering, wondering what was going on.

“Bruce…” She got closer. “…are you drunk? What’s wrong with you?”

“Will you move?” Bruce said harshly, laughing in the process. “Get out of my way.”

Emma’s eyes gaped as she opened her mouth to speak but got shocked when Bruce pushed her out of the way. He started staggering to where Emma’s friend stood, looking shocked.

“You hosted such a lavishing party at home and…” He looked around. “…you didn’t even invite me. But… you invited these dirty, old bitches.” He pointed at the woman that was in front of him.

“What?” One of the women snapped, shaking her head angrily. “What is this, Emma? Did you invite us here so that your son in law can insult us? Do you realize that we’re far much older than he is?”

Emma was beyond shocked. Her heart was racing and everything seemed like a dream. She wanted to answer her friend but she couldn’t find her voice. She just stood there with her hands rubbing on her arms.

“What audacity!” Another woman said. “This is supposed to be an occasion where we pray for our husbands’ health and prosperity but what is your son in law doing? He is busy insulting us and we’re old enough to be his mothers.”

“Who cares if you’re older?” Bruce frowned, shaking his head like a drunk man. Everyone could see that he had had enough to drink. “I am richer…. More famous and more beautiful than all of you hungry bitches put together.”

“What?”

Andrea came rushing to where Bruce was and she got shocked by the state that she found him. She quickly cupped his cheeks and he laughed like a kid, holding her hands sweetly.

“Andrea… Andrea, baby… these bitches are insulting me.” He said, pointing at them weakly. “Just look at them. They are…”

“Stop it!” Andrea snapped, feeling like slapping the hell out of him. “What do you think you’re doing? And how dare you drink on such an occasion!”

“I am… not drunk!” Bruce said, pushing Andrea away from her.

He started staggering towards the women again and almost fell but Emma reached there quickly and held him. “Stop this!” She muttered. “Let’s go inside.”

But Bruce just laughed and got up, raising his finger. “I must say you’re a witch!”

Emma’s eyes widened. “Will you stop that nonsense and…”

“Don’t yell at me, you old witch.” He said angrily, getting away from her. “You want me to go away so that you can enjoy this party alone. You’re truly a witch and no wonder... you want me to leave. I need a drink.”

At that moment, Antonio and the rest of the family arrived and they were shocked to find all the commotion going on. Celine and Emilia had their hands covering their mouth, their eyes almost popping out of their sockets. Ethan, Eduardo, and Antonio just stood in shock, trying to see what was going on.

“Will you stop that nonsense?” Emma snapped, raising her finger at him. “How dare you say that? You know very well that this is not a party but a fast for our husbands.”

As soon as she said that, Bruce started laughing hysterically, taking a few steps behind while pointing at Emma. “You’re fasting for your husband… which husband? Because I haven’t seen your husband.”

Emma felt those words hit her right in the chest. She felt her heart being torn to pieces and she got weak in the knees. Tears formed in her eyes and no matter how much she tried to fight them, they came rolling down her cheeks. She rubbed them quickly but everyone saw them.

Antonio wanted to do something but he was probably too shocked to even act. He just stood there, looking like he was in the wrong room.

“Wow, Emma!” The blonde lady clapped, getting closer. “I have never been so insulted my entire life. This is our culture and you know very well how important this day is to us and for our husbands. Yet you brought your drunk son in law to come and insult us. What kind of nonsense is this?”

Bruce giggled. “The old bitch is still talking. Don’t you have your own house that you had to come here? You’ve got no shame that you took your fellow old bitches to come here?”

“Bruce!” Antonio snapped, furiously rushing to him. He stood right in front of him and got upset. “What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you get drunk on such an occasion?”

“Baby?” Bruce chuckled like a mad man, cupping Antonio’s cheeks. “Oh, my baby…. Are you here to kiss me? Let’s make love right now. I need you so bad.”

Antonio was more than shocked. “Stop this nonsense.”

“But you’re my baby.” Bruce chuckled hysterically. “You’re so handsome, baby.”

He moved from Antonio and staggered to the woman nearby, putting his arms around her neck. “You see my husband… he’s only mine, you bitch. You shouldn’t even look at him. He’s very handsome and your husband is an ugly monster.”

The woman’s eyes widened. “What the… how dare you insult my husband!”

“I am just telling the truth. If you can’t take the truth then you can get… the fuck out of here. The exit is just over there.” Bruce laughed, walking slowly towards the table where there was food. “And why… why is there lots of food. Look at all this food. Why would you waste all of this food on all these ungrateful bitches?”

He started rushing to the table but staggered uncontrollably and found himself heading to the ground. Bruce gripped the table cloth, pulled on it hard and the food started falling to the ground together with him. By the time he was reaching the ground, half of the food was already on the dirty ground. Everyone had their mouths covered.

“Look… what you did.” Bruce groaned, getting up.

But he was too stable and as soon as he got up, he fell on the table and broke it, taking the rest of the food with him. And that was how he also passed out over there.

Seeing what had happened, Antonio and his family rushed there. Antonio was so mad and he’d never been so embarrassed his entire life. He was a celebrity for fuck’s sake and that could ruin his family’s image. He was really mad.

“Oh my God, what had happened to him?” Andrea gasped, looking at her brother pitifully. “Let’s get him inside.”

Antonio slowly took his husband carefully in his arms and started leading him out of there but…

“Just a minute, Antonio!”

Antonio stopped and saw an older woman coming to him with a stern face and her arms folded. “I have never been here for an occasion like this before and this is an important event. When I heard that you were married again five years ago, I thought that all of you were lucky. We all thought you got a talented, beautiful supermodel as a husband. But with this behavior I have seen today, I must tell you that you’re at a loss.”

Antonio couldn’t even look the woman straight in the eyes. He was so embarrassed.

“When I heard that you have married again barely a year after your first marriage ended, I wasn’t really happy.” The woman continued. “I wanted to talk to your grandmother but she was sick. But then I understood you and your pain. But right now, with this insult that I have seen, you’ve married not only a characterless boy but an uncultured one for that matter.

He doesn’t have respect for his elders or his husband or even this family or your mother. I can’t believe you could tolerate all this.”

Antonio just wished the ground could open up and just swallow him.

“And Emma…” Another woman said and man she was angry. “…we’ve been friends for a long time and I must say that you’ve changed. He was insulting you and you just stood there like a statue, watching everything. Old Emma wouldn’t have tolerated this. Granted, your first son in law had cheated on this family but he was far much better than this one that you’ve brought home.

He knew very well how important this event is for his husband but he still got drunk and ruined everything. And not only did he ruin it for himself, but he ruined it for us too. Our fast was disturbed and now we don’t even know what to do.”

Emma raised her teary face, looking at her friend. She couldn’t believe the pain that she felt at that time and the humiliation. Everyone was staring at her like she was an outcast, probably judging her. Some people even had their phones out.

“I am sorry…”

“Sorry won’t fix this mess.” The blonde woman, Emma’s friend snapped. “I was so wrong about that so-called son in law of yours. He’s a witch and a vicious one for that matter. Not only have you insulted us, but you’ve also insulted our husbands and I won’t take it. You boast about class and elegance. You also boast about how your son in law loves this family and how cultured and well-mannered he is. But with what I have seen today, I am disappointed and ashamed to call you my friend.”

Emma cried softly and Andrea rubbed her shoulders. Andrea too was really upset. Bruce had ruined everything, every plan that she had made for that night had gone to waste and she wasn’t gonna spare him. That was a promise.

“I didn’t even know that…”

“You didn’t know.” Another woman chuckled bitterly, getting closer. “I thought you run this house and your son in law is under control. There’s more to taking care of a home than makeups and designer clothes. When Emilia used to run the house, everything was under control but what can we expect from a woman who only knows how to impress people with parties?”

Emilia got emotional when she heard what the woman had said. Emma was hurt but there was a lot of truth in what the woman had just said to her. On the other hand, Rodrigo was standing at a distance with a grin on his face, enjoying the whole drama.

“We’ve been insulted enough together with our husbands and it's all thanks to you.” The woman yelled. “He also snatched away our right to fast for our husbands. He’s ruining your family and our families too. But you’re gonna bear the consequences alone because I am done here and I’ll never step my foot in your house ever again. You can boast to your heart’s content.”

With those words, the woman furiously turned, took her husband’s hand and they stormed out of there.

“What did you say?” Another woman said, looking at Emma angrily. “That this fast is gonna be grand. But this has never happened before and if anything happens to my husband, I’ll hold you responsible.” Then she looked at Antonio whose eyes were now red. “I am so sorry, Antonio, but what you have is a loss and I feel pity for you. You don’t deserve this. It’s better being single than having that boy as a husband.”

At those words, the woman left and everyone else started leaving too. They all left angrily, leaving Antonio and his family standing there like statues. Antonio too stormed out of there and took Bruce inside the house.

Emma broke down and started crying uncontrollably. It was like a nightmare.

***

The taxi stopped in front of a building and Rodrigo got out, waving at the driver. As the car went away, he stood there, glancing at his watch. The man he was supposed to meet was a bit late. And he had thought he was gonna find him there.

Suddenly, he felt someone tapping on his shoulder and he quickly turned, clenching his fist. But when he saw the person that was there, he just smiled brightly.

“Sorry about that.” The man apologized, giving a brilliant smile. “How did it go?”

“Perfect!” He purred. “I didn’t think it was gonna work but it worked wonders. You should have been there.”

The man laughed. “You don’t have to use that Spanish accent on me….” He paused and got closer. “…Travis!”

Travis raised an eyebrow. “Well, I am kinda used to the character now. Being Rodrigo was more fun than I had anticipated. No one suspected a thing.”

“How could they?” Santiago laughed, taking hold of his hands. “Even I can’t recognize you right now. But I was really scared you weren’t gonna pull it off. And now… now I am really happy that you pulled it off. Did you manage to…”

“Every moment of it!” Travis raised his phone, smiling like an evil genius. “You should have been there to witness everything. Bruce gave them such an epic entertainment and later…” He folded his arms. “…everything was ruined. I am sure that everyone is dying in shame right now. And Antonio…” He chuckled bitterly. “…the poor guy must be feeling terrible. All the little love he probably had for Bruce has vanished.”

Travis was really happy with everything. He had captured every bit of the embarrassing moment Bruce had done and he was gonna put it to good use.

Travis had come up with a plan to finally cripple Bruce and though he had been hesitant at first, he had asked Santiago for help and the guy though he’d been scared had agreed. Travis had wanted to put Bruce in a really tough position, a position which was gonna make him very miserable and finally break down.

He’d gone to the Gonzalez mansion disguised as a caterer and it had worked. No one had recognized. He’d taken that tray to Bruce and Antonio’s room, faked a note and though he wasn’t sure, it had worked in his favor. The juice he’d left Bruce had been laced with a very special drug. The drug had intoxicated Bruce and he’d ruined his fast.

“You’re evil, you know that?” Santiago said with a raised eyebrow. Then he burst into laughter. “I loved your plan.”

“I only learned from the best.” His face got stern. “That was only a dose. Did you find out anything?”

Santiago sighed, nodding. “There’s a lot.” He handed Travis a file which he started checking out. “From what I remembered from six years ago, you and Antonio never got legally divorced. But…” He didn’t know how to break the news to him. “…well, according to my findings, you and Antonio are legally divorced.”

Travis raised his head quickly, a frown appearing on his cute face. “What? How’s that possible? I never signed any divorce papers.”

“You never did.” Santiago’s face was stern. “But your signature was forged.”

“By Antonio?”

Santiago shook his head. “No! According to what I found out, you sent signed divorce papers to Antonio a week after you left!”

Travis was beyond shocked. “What?”

“Yes!” Santiago nodded softly. “And not only that, but you also sent it together with some pictures of you and I being intimate and a letter that you insulted Antonio, admitting that you and I were….” Santiago trailed off. He couldn’t say the word that he wanted to use because it was a bit painful.

“I can’t believe this.” Travis was shocked and felt a bit weak. “People can stoop so low and…”

“There’s also one more thing.” Santiago chimed in.

Travis slowly raised his face, feeling his heart begin to race.

Santiago got closer and squeezed Travis’ shoulder. “Andrea has been trying to steal all the Gonzalez wealth. All of the companies, including Antonio’s music company and Eduardo’s multi-billion hospital have one mother company. If she manages to get her hands on the mother company, she’ll be able to control them all. But for the last six years, she has been failing.”

Travis was confused. “Why would…”

“Because all the Gonzalez wealth is yours.”

Travis looked at Santiago with a raised eyebrow and then he burst into laughter, touching his chest. He found it funny but when he looked at Santiago and saw that seriousness in his eyes, he stopped laughing and frowned, shaking his head.

“Tell me you’re joking!”

Santiago shook his head. “I am not. When Mr. Gonzalez died, he left his entire wealth in your name, Praveen Garcia. The only way that wealth could have been transferred is if you had signed power of attorney papers, which you didn’t.”

Travis was looking like a deer caught in the headlight.

“According to the will, Antonio was to become the custodian of the wealth after your marriage and only the owner if you transferred the wealth into his name.” Santiago continued. “Andrea tried six years ago to get possession of the wealth by getting Antonio’s signature but she failed. That was also when she found out that the wealth wasn’t theirs. Since then, she has been trying to forge your signature but has failed.

I don’t know what you’re going to do with this information but…”

“No!” Travis shook his head, turning his back to Santiago. “This gives me a great idea, the final brawl. I suffered in that house when I should have been the one enjoying the wealth. I was treated like trash and thrown out like a dog.”

Travis turned again and faced Santiago, taking his hands into his. “With what has happened today, I am sure that Andrea and Bruce will become more vicious, more desperate. But I will use that to my advantage and finally expose the truth. But I will need your help, Santiago. More than ever, I need your help.”

“I am always with you. You know how much I love you.”

Travis felt his eyes get teary and he threw himself on that muscular chest, hugging him tightly. “Thank you so much. I love you too.”

And when Santiago wrapped his arms around him, Travis slightly closed his eyes and just enjoyed the warmth the man was giving him.

‘Please, almighty, give me the strength to conquer my enemies.’ He prayed in his heart. ‘Let nothing go wrong, please.’

***

Antonio’s eyes were on his beautiful tablet, staring at it like he expected something out of it while his hands gripped the device harder. Antonio felt like a vessel of anger, feeling as it slipped through his entire system, giving him a terrible headache. His heart was pounding deeper in his chest while his breaths were harsh.

Antonio was really mad and anyone in their right frame of mind knew better than to talk to him or disturb him. His shirt was completely unbuttoned and he was breathing like an animal.

Antonio was looking at a video, a video of Bruce’s drama and insults. The video had only been uploaded like two hours back but there were over a billion comments and they all made Antonio mad. He couldn’t believe someone he called his husband chosen to humiliate him like that.

‘I wonder why Antonio had to marry such an excuse for a husband in the first place.’ One of the comments read. ‘He doesn’t even care about his husband’s wellbeing. I pity the sexy hunk. He doesn’t deserve this.’

‘It’s a shame how these celebrities like showing us that they’ve got a perfect life when all they have is a shitty life. Anyway, nothing is hidden under the sun.’

‘Lol…’ One of them wrote. ‘…so Bruce the model just turned to Bruce the drunkard/disrespectful drunkard bitch! Funny. I wish I was there.’

There were a lot of rude comments and Antonio saw that his fans were disappointed with what had happened. Some of the comments were also directed at him, insulting him and telling him that he was an asshole for tolerating such nonsense.

‘Birds of the same feather if you ask me. Antonio is a huge asshole and the Gonzalez are no angels either. They’re wolf in sheep’s clothing.’

“Fuck!” Antonio groaned, throwing the tablet harshly to the floor. It broke into pieces.

Everyone’s hearts jumped violently and they all gasped. It was almost 3.am and everything was getting worse. They were unable to sleep because they kept on receiving calls from almost everyone. Emma was seated on the floor looking like she was mourning. She still couldn’t get over the fact that someone she had trusted had betrayed her trust and humiliated her. On top of that, she had thousands of texts from her friends telling her that they didn’t wanna see her.

Suddenly as the family was in a moment of silence…

“Oh, my head….” Bruce moaned softly.

As soon as they heard his voice, all of them quickly diverted their attention to where he had been sleeping on the couch. They saw him slowly raising his head while massaging it. He first took his feet down and then sat up slowly, mourning in pain.

Bruce had a terrible headache and he didn’t know what had happened. The last thing he remembered was being in the room. And now he had woken up and had no idea what had happened and with a terrible headache.

“God!” He groaned.

When he eventually opened his eyes, his vision blurred for a second but he was able to see clearly. He got the shock of his life when he opened his eyes and saw everyone staring at him with frowns on their faces. He looked at all of them and none seemed happy.

“What’s going on?” He muttered. Then he gasped, quickly getting up from the couch. “Oh my God! The fast… everyone must be waiting for…”

But Bruce didn’t even finish his sentence as he heard loud claps. He quickly looked in the direction and found his husband walking towards him, clapping and his face was stern. He got surprised because he had no idea what was happening.

“Wow! The drama king has finally woken up. Wow! Isn’t he amazing?” Antonio chuckled bitterly, feeling like beating the crap out of him. “Wow! Such a wonderful performance, my love. You deserve an award, seriously.”

Tears formed in Bruce’s eyes. “What are you talking about, baby? Why are you talking to me like that? Is the fast over and…”

“The fast?” Antonio laughed, shaking his head. “Which fast are you talking about? We only had a drinking and insulting fest. Is it the one you’re talking about? It was amazing.”

Bruce looked at everyone and got shocked when not anyone was coming to his aid. “Baby, I am confused. What are you…”

“You wanna know? Okay, I will show you.”

Antonio furiously gripped Ethan’s phone, played the video, and gave it to Bruce. When Bruce’s eyes landed on that video, he felt like a thousand arrows had just pierced his heart. Tears soon flooded his face in billions and he shook his head uncontrollably, feeling a shiver going down his spine. It was like all emotions had taken control of him at the same time. It hurt like fuck.

“No, I…”

“I have never been so humiliated my entire life!” Antonio roared, making Bruce almost jump out of his skin. “And here I was thinking that my husband was gonna observe the fast for me and maybe… just maybe we were gonna be happy but what did I get….” He snapped. “…a stupid drunkard who insulted everyone and ruined everything.”

Bruce sobbed, shaking his head. “No, Antonio… I don’t know how that happened.”

Antonio raised his eyebrow and laughed, looking at Bruce in disgust. “You don’t know how it happened. Did someone take you by force and shove a bottle of beer into your stupid mouth or were you suddenly possessed by a demon?”

Bruce was confused. He was trying to remember but nothing was coming into his mind. He couldn’t remember taking anything that day. All he remembered was that he had been fasting for his husband.

“My family reputation, my name has been put on the line because of your drama!” Antonio barked. “Now everyone out there thinks our family is characterless and that this is the kind of behavior that we tolerate.”

“I swear...” Bruce tried to hold his husband’s hand but he withdrew it like Bruce was contagious or something and hissed, breaking Bruce’s heart. “…please, I don’t know what had happened. I swear on my life. I would never do anything to humiliate you and….”

“Once! Just fucking once, I thought you were gonna do something for your husband. But maybe I was expecting fucking too much from you!”

“No, baby….” Bruce cried, putting his hands together. “…you know how important that fast was to me. I would never do anything to ruin it.”

Antonio chuckled bitterly. “And yet you did. Wow!”

Bruce needed help. He knew that he wasn’t gonna convince his husband. Someone always came to his help whenever his husband was mad like that. He rushed to Emma, knelt before her, and took her hands.

“Aunt, please…” He pleaded, rubbing on her hands sweetly. “…you know me very well. I would never do that on purpose. You know I had been preparing for this day for a long time. Why would I ruin it for you?”

But Emma simply withdrew her hands from his, standing up furiously. Her eyes were red and she never thought she could be mad at a person that she considered her ally. She wanted to hug him, kiss him and wipe his tears away but the pain she felt at that time was too much.

“I can’t believe you would do this, Bruce!” Emma said angrily. “I trusted you and I believed in you. All that I was expecting from you was just to pity me and our family. I just wanted us to be spared from shame but you not only insulted my friends but my trust and my dignity as well.

You insulted me.” She pointed at herself, feeling tears building. “You humiliated me and our family. Why didn’t you just reject the fast than pretend you were fasting and drink in privacy just to insult all of us? You poisoned our family and for this…” She paused and pointed at him. “…I don’t think I’ll ever forgive you or forget how you ruined my image today.”

“No, please…” Bruce quickly rose from the floor, putting his hands together. “…don’t say that, aunt. You know I’d never survive without your love or support.”

“I will never support you because you’re a disgrace to all sons in law.” She added.

Bruce couldn’t believe he was hearing that from Emma. “No! I swear, I would never…”

“You keep on saying you would never.” Emma got closer, breathing like a monster. “Then why did you get drunk if you were fasting?”

Bruce sobbed. “I didn’t. I only….”

Then it hit right there. He remembered what had happened, how he had found Antonio’s note, and how he had eaten the food to please his husband.

“Yes!” Bruce quickly rubbed his tears. “I was fasting but then… I found a tray that my husband left me in the room together with a note. I drank the juice and ate the muffins and…”

“Excuse me!” Antonio barked, furiously walking to Bruce. He angrily turned him and looked at him. Antonio was so damn mad. “What the fuck did you just say? Did I leave a tray of food for you? Am I insane? Why in the world would I do that? Are you accusing me of getting you drunk?”

Bruce shook his head abruptly. “That’s not what I meant. I only ate the food that you left me. I swear…. You said that this event wasn’t important to you and you begged me to…”

“Will you stop it?” Antonio snapped, pointing his shaky finger at him. “Why would I do that? When did I even talk to you today?”

“You left a note that…” He tried to get the note from where he had put it in his pocket but found that it was not there. “…I swear.” He sobbed, shaking his head. “…please, you’ve got to remember. I found your food and…”

“Bruce, what are you talking about?” Ethan asked. “Antonio couldn’t have done that. He’s been with Eduardo and me the entire day. And…”

“What are you trying to do, Ethan?” Antonio chuckled bitterly. “Isn’t it clear that he’s lying? He can’t just accept the fact that he fucking messed up. Because of him, we’re all here suffering for it.”

Bruce felt weak and hot. It was like he was melting and it hurt like hell. He could remember very well what had happened but no one believed him.

“Maybe someone had spiked my drink.” Bruce sobbed. “I would never do this to the family. You know how important all this is to me.” He fell to his knees and held Antonio’s legs tightly. “Please, forgive me for this. I didn’t do it on purpose. I swear someone else is trying to….”

“Will you stop it?” Antonio furiously gripped Bruce’s arms painfully and got him up, looking into his eyes angrily. Bruce winced because it was painful. “Now you listen to me and listen very well, I will not let you destroy my family together with yourself, do you understand?”

“Ouch!” Bruce winced, trying to let loose but he just got hurt more. “You’re hurting me.”

“I don’t care about what you do behind my back, you can drink and you can even pretend to love and care for me.” He warned, breathing heavily. “I don’t give a fuck about that. But I will not let you ruin my family and my reputation. Find a way to fix this mess you’ve caused because I will kill you if you don’t.”

He let Bruce go and the man fell to the floor with a thud, making everyone cover their mouths. Then he furiously turned and started heading towards the staircase with his fists clenched.

“Please, my love…” Bruce yelled. “…don’t do this to me. I love you so much.”

Antonio took a glance behind. “I don’t!”

With those words, he stormed out of there. Bruce felt a cold breeze hit his face as soon as he heard those words from Antonio. It was like his heart was frozen and he couldn’t feel it beat. His husband just said he didn’t love him and it hurt like hell. It was like the blood in his veins had just turned to poison. He couldn’t even cry.

He looked at Emma and the woman just looked away and stormed out of there. Everyone else started leaving too except for Andrea who was standing there staring at him. Bruce had no idea what was in her mind.

“Are you mad at me too?” He sobbed, slowly rubbing his tears. “You don’t believe me too?”

“I want to,” Andrea said angrily, cat-walking to him. “But you know how important this night was to me. I told you my plans and as if that wasn’t enough, you got drunk and insulted our guests and Aunt Emma. Our family reputation is in shambles and it’s all because of you.”

“You also know how important this night was to me too.” Bruce got up weakly. “Do you think I’d ever ruin it? You know how hard I have been trying to please Antonio and now that I had an opportunity, do you think I would ruin it just like that? I am not at fault here, Andrea. We were together and I only left you to go and freshen up. Someone had played a trick on me, someone that doesn’t want to see me and Antonio together.”

“Travis?” Andrea laughed, raising an eyebrow. “Can you hear yourself? The guy wasn’t even here.”

“But somebody played with me?” Bruce’s voice rose slightly. “They know Antonio is my weakness and they used that. I only drank that juice because I thought it was from Antonio and…” He sobbed. “…now look what happened.”

Andrea raised her hands like she was surrendering. “I need some time alone. I can’t deal with this right now.”

She started walking away, leaving Bruce over there alone. Bruce cried because he had lost all his allies in that same night. It was painful. No matter what he did, it was like everything was backfiring. He didn’t know what to do because he was now at the edge of losing Antonio and he couldn’t afford that. But then…

‘You will not get my blessings, I curse you. You will never be happy with him.’ Granny’s words from six years back hit. That had been the time Antonio had officially introduced Bruce, a month after Praveen went away. She was so damn mad and she was going insane at that time. ‘I will never accept this relationship and the almighty will bear me witness.’

Bruce’s heart began racing as he remembered those words. It was like she was standing right there, cursing him.

‘No!” He thought, rubbing his tears slowly. ‘I will not lose Antonio. He’s my life and I’ll do anything just to protect our relationship. I swear.’

He clenched his fists and swore that he was gonna get his husband back.

***

“Well, thank you so much, gentlemen,” Travis said, greeting the men in the room. “This was a wonderful meeting and I appreciate you for this.”

The three men shook Travis’ hand, all of them not missing that beautiful face. They were British men that Travis had just struck a deal with. He was very happy and nothing could describe how happy he was at that time.

“Well, you’re a very tough businessman and I must say that Tonzalez blue is very lucky to have you.” One of them commented, making Travis blush. “You really impressed and I can’t wait for you to visit my company and I show you around.”

“All in a good time, sir!”

The men laughed and left Travis in the conference room smiling brightly. He took his blazer from the chair and wore it carefully. He was looking really beautiful in a blue bright shirt that was tucked in a black skinny jeans with black shoes on his feet and a white blazer. His hair was tied in a simple ponytail but he sure looked amazing.

Travis took his files and was about to head out of the room when suddenly something caught his attention, Antonio. Antonio was seated in the chair with his mind elsewhere, looking like he was really mad. He was wearing a gorgeous red designer’s suit with a green shirt inside. He was biting on his thumb but looking lost in thought.

At first, Travis felt pity for him but maybe the guy deserved it. He had chosen the life that he currently lived and if he had to pay for what had happened in the past with pain, Travis was okay with it. After all, he had suffered more than Antonio was doing there. So he deserved it. Travis found himself grinning evilly and he cleared his throat before approaching the man.

He snapped his fingers in Antonio’s face and the man gasped, getting back to reality.

“What?” Antonio barked, hitting his fist on the table.

Travis frowned, taking a step back. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I am sorry.”

Antonio rose his face up and saw Travis looking at him with a blank face and he cursed, rubbing his face. “I am sorry. Is the meeting done? I was kinda lost. Did we strike a deal with them?”

Travis nodded. “Yeah! Thankfully, I managed to strike a deal with them. Anyway, you don’t look so good. Maybe you should go and rest.”

Antonio gave a sigh of frustration, getting up from the chair. “I know you heard about what happened at my house yesterday so don’t pretend and I am sure that you know how people are reacting to it. It is just making me worried and I don’t know what to do. I…”

Heard it! He planned all of it and he was there too. “Mr. Gonzalez, I don’t like pocking my nose in other people’s businesses. You’re right, I heard everything that happened but I don’t know what people are saying.”

Antonio was so confused and he felt like he was gonna burst. He hated Bruce so much and whatever love he had felt for him was no longer there. It had completely vanished. God knows how many people had called his music company just to ask about the issue. His fans were demanding answers and were calling him a hypocrite.

“Shit! I just don’t know what to do.” He groaned but he got closer to Travis, looking at him pitifully. “I could use a friend right now. Would you…” he paused and took a deep breath. What was he doing? “…please go for lunch with me?”

Hearing Antonio’s offer, Travis raised an eyebrow and laughed. “Are you being serious right now? I am sure you’ve got many friends that can go with you. You can call Paul. He’s just…”

“Please!” Antonio took Travis's hand and cupped it in his. “Please!”

Travis took a glance at the hand and then at Antonio. Then he sighed. “Okay, fine! I am hungry anyway. But you’re paying for my lunch since you invited me.”

Antonio managed a smile. “Definitely. Shall we?”

Travis smiled and both of them left the conference room.

Meanwhile, downstairs Bruce had just entered Tonzalez blue building and he could already see the eyes of everyone on him, judging him. He was alone and he felt nervous, stupid and he just wanted to run away from there. But he couldn’t do it. He had to swallow his shame.

The man was dressed in a simple black designer’s shirt that was tucked in black trousers with black shoes. He had a black band tying his hair and he was looking pale. He wished Andrea had been there with him but the girl had woken up early and left before he woke up. Was she mad?

Bruce could see people talking among themselves but he didn’t care. He just wanted to go upstairs to his husband’s office and apologize to him. He didn’t know how his husband was gonna react but he was gonna try anyway.

Bruce was going towards the elevator when the shaft opened and out came his husband together with his enemy. He stopped in his tracks and just stared at the two of them as they walked closer together like best friends, smiling and chatting.

It hurt. It hurt real bad and he felt anger getting the best of him but he knew better than to make his husband madder. He gave a fake smile and slowly started walking to his husband. But when Antonio saw him, he lost the smile on his face and groaned.

“My love,” Bruce smiled sheepishly, slowly walking towards him. “I was just coming to your office. Are you busy?”

“For what?” Antonio said harshly. “As you can see, Travis and I are going out for lunch. And I don’t think you and I have anything to talk about.”

Bruce lost the smile on his face, glancing at Travis. What he saw was a mocking smile that pierced his heart. He felt tears building but he smiled through them.

“But honey, it won’t…”

“Travis, I am really hungry. Shall we?”

Travis nodded. “Sure!”

The two men left arm in arm, leaving Bruce in tears. He didn’t care about who saw the two of them but it was really painful to see. It was like his husband was no longer his.

***

“Wow! I had no idea you knew martial arts.” Antonio laughed, staring at the beautiful smiling face. “No wonder that night, those men had trouble kidnapping you.”

“Of course, I wasn’t gonna make it easy for them,” Travis said as he took a sip of his apple juice. “I might be all smart and beautiful but I am really tough. I never make it easy for anyone.”

“Impressive!” Antonio nodded, wearing a smile. Somehow, being with Travis had sure lifted his mood and he even forgot that he was troubled. “So do you mind telling me how you learned martial arts?”

Travis laughed, taking a deep breath. “I spent most of my time abroad. When my mother died, my father was so devastated and he thought he wasn’t in his right frame of mind to raise me by himself so he sent me to my grandmother in Italy. At my school, there were martial arts so I learned it from there. The rest is history.”

Though he was lying, he made it look convincing that Antonio just nodded. He had ordered food but he didn’t even touch it once. He was rather enjoying Travis’ company more than any food. That was the first time they got to have a conversation that made Antonio smile and forget about his troubles. Maybe he had mistaken him for Praveen but he wasn’t the one.

“Wow! You’ve had quite an interesting life.”

“Not really!” Travis sighed, chuckling nervously. “Losing my mother and my father had been the greatest pain of my life. But I have Aunt Vanessa and she’s like a second mother to me.”

Antonio could only shake his head. “Okay. So are you in a relationship or is someone trying to woo you? I am pretty sure that both men and women must be crazy about you.”

Travis laughed, raising an eyebrow. “What makes you say that, Mr. Gonzalez?”

Hell, because he was going insane too, he thought while smiling like an idiot. “It’s just a thought.” He took a sip of his juice. “You’re very beautiful and very young. It is only natural that you have someone trying his best to win your heart. Trust me, they always do.”

Travis laughed. “Well, I really can’t say that…”

“Hi!”

But Travis didn’t even finish his sentence as he heard the most annoying voice that he hadn’t been expecting. He quickly looked and found Bruce smiling like a horny idiot, waving at the two of them. Both his and Antonio’s moods were completely ruined. Antonio’s smile faded and he just looked at the table, clenching on a spoon he was holding.

“Well, I just thought that since you two were having lunch and I was hungry, I could join you.”

While Travis was still smiling, Antonio had completely lost it. He furiously stood up and without staring at Bruce moved away from the table. “Travis, I will be waiting for you outside. Please, can you meet me there?”

Travis nodded and Antonio left. Bruce lost the smile on his face and gave Travis a really angry look. He just wanted to kill him. Travis on the other hand gracefully got up from the chair and looked at Bruce from head to toe before he started walking away. But the guy gripped his arm and pulled him back.

“I know exactly what you’re doing so don’t act smart with me,” Bruce warned. “You’re trying to take advantage of the fact that Antonio and I are having problems to seduce him. But I am warning you.”

Travis slowly released his arm while looking at Bruce in disgust. “You know you’re starting to sound like a broken record and it’s starting to get annoying.” He said softly, a smile brightening his face. “And what’s with this outfit? Are you having a funeral or something?” Then he gasped, touching his chest in mock astonishment. “That’s right. You’re the latest celebrity in this city, Bruce the disrespectful drunkard bitch!”

“How dare you…”

“Relax!” Travis raised his hands like he was surrendering. “I thought you were hungry. We wouldn’t wanna have you using your remaining energy. But come to think of it, of course, you would be hungry after that award-winning performance you gave the city last night.”

Bruce was so mad that his breaths were heavy and his senses were flying away. Tears had already formed in his eyes and his fists were clenched.

“So what would you like to have?” He asked, getting closer. “It’s all on me, don’t worry. Do you want pizza, curried rice, a bucket of pies, chicken casserole, and of course, a big bottle of red wine? I am sure that it’s gonna take a lot of food to fill that belly.”

Bruce groaned. He was now breathing like he was in labor. “How dare you insult me!” He barked, getting the attention of people. “How dare you say that to me you husband snatching whore!”

“Oh my God, it must be the hunger talking.” Travis gasped. “I am so sorry. Can I order now?”

“Travis you’re very disgusting, despicable, and annoying. I am warning you!” He pointed. “Don’t ever cross my path or else, I promise you that you’ll regret ever crossing my path. My husband is mine and mine alone. I will so deal with you if you ever touch…”

“Shh…” Travis whispered. “….everyone’s watching. You wouldn’t wanna create another scene. At least, I care about you enough to worry about your dignity. And as for your man…” He laughed. “…the only thing chasing him away is your ugly personality because you stink!”

He took his phone from the table and left out there. Bruce remained standing there and he couldn’t fight his tears. They came flowing. He stormed out of there and could hear people laughing.

***

Bruce burst into the office with a bang, making Andrea’s heart almost jump out of her chest. She furiously rose from the chair, staring at him like a mad person. She was holding a cupcake and she had a cup of coffee on her desk.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” She asked, a frowning appearing on her face. “Do you want to give me a heart attack or something? Why would you enter my office like that?”

“Well, you should be glad I am the one almost giving you a heart attack.” Bruce chuckled bitterly, hitting on the table hard. “You should even be thanking me because a heart attack will come soon if you just keep sitting there.”

Andrea frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“No!” Bruce folded his arms. “You can continue what you’re doing and forget I said anything. Are you also hating me because of what had happened yesterday? You’re my best friend and we’ve come a long way. I expected you to understand me. You know me better than anyone in that house, Andrea. I would never do anything that would put my husband’s life on the line. I have been working so hard to win over Antonio.

Why in the world would I get drunk on an event that I knew was so important to him? Someone tricked me and that person wants me out of the house. And as my friend, I expect you to understand that but you hurt me deeply, Andrea. You hurt me real deep.”

Andrea felt guilty when she looked at Bruce. He seemed sad and broken. Maybe what she had said to him wasn’t right after all. Andrea sighed, running her fingers through her hair.

“Look, I am sorry. I was just confused. What had happened was shocking and….”

“It’s okay, Andrea.” Bruce smiled brightly. “I forgive and I probably would have done the same. I ruined your night. You had it all planned and I ruined it for you. Maybe by now, Ethan would have been yours.”

Andrea laughed, rubbing on her face. “There’s always a next time. Besides, Ethan is always there. Right now, we need to find a way to fix the problem that’s on the media. We need to come up with a great plan.”

Bruce smiled, thanking the almighty that he had gotten his friend back. “I know that and we will. But right now, we have got bigger problems at hand.”

Andrea frowned. “What are you talking about? What could be bigger than…”

“Travis!” Bruce’s fists were now clenched and his face was stern. “That boy is becoming a dangerous poison and I wouldn’t be surprised if he engineered what had happened at the house yesterday.”

“What? What is he up to?”

“He’s taking advantage of the situation, taking advantage of Antonio’s weakness.” Bruce groaned, his jaws shaking in anger. “That bitch was with Antonio a few hours ago and he insulted me in a restaurant. If he manages to seduce Antonio in this period then…”

“No!” Antonio furiously shook his head. “We can’t allow that. That’ll be a disaster.”

Bruce chuckled bitterly. “I have a plan, something that will cripple that boy for good. We’ll crush him to the ground and he won’t even show his face to us anymore.”

Andrea gave an evil grin, getting closer. “What have you got planned?”

Bruce grinned. “We need to break whatever relationship has started between them. We need to bring out the monster in Antonio for our plans to work.”

Andrea nodded. “I agree. But how do we do that?”

Bruce took a deep breath and smiled brightly. Both of them grinned like evil bitches. What plans did they have?

***

Travis was standing in his room, looking at the files that he was holding, really important documents. He was only in black designer’s shorts and a brown-gold t-shirt with nothing on his feet. He had a band tied around his head, making him look amazing.

Travis raised his head and looked at the handsome hunk standing in front of him. He had a stern look and his arms were folded. He was putting on black cargo short and a brown muscle shirt with green sandals.

“Are you sure that this is all you could find out?” Travis asked as he went through the files.

“Yes!” Santiago nodded. “Those are all the things that we might need to finally get the truth out of them. The pictures that were sent to the engagement party six years ago to defame us were made by Andrea and Bruce. And funny thing is, I don’t know how Andrea managed to bribe one of my guards to keep an eye whenever you came to my house. Fortunately, I met with him and he confessed everything to me.”

“That bitch!” Travis groaned, clenching his fists. “How could someone be so evil? I knew that she had planned on getting me kicked but I had no idea she could stoop so low.”

“And not only that…” Santiago sighed, rubbing his forehead. He was feeling a bit mad but he didn’t wanna show it. “According to the files you are holding, Bruce was cheating on Antonio for over three years. He had a side nigga named Kendrick and the guy disappeared about a year ago. No one has seen him or heard from him. But I can bet you that Bruce paid him off and he went to start anew elsewhere.”

Travis chuckled, a grin appearing on his face. “Kendrick, huh! And with all the love Bruce says he has for Antonio… who would have known he’d cheat? It’s funny how people say they love us yet cheat on us. But what’s my business?”

Santiago chuckled. “And they’ve been trying hard to get their hands on the Gonzalez wealth. A few months back, Andrea tried to sell off a company which she thought wasn’t linked to the mother company but it bounced back.”

“Why?”

“Because you own everything, Travis!”

“Hmmm…” Travis rubbed on his chin, taking a deep sigh. “…I wonder what’s been on their minds. But if they know that all the companies are still in Praveen’s name, why haven’t they told Antonio yet? And besides, Antonio should have been able to find out that they’re…”

“That’s because they’ve done their best to hide it from him. Because they know that once Antonio gets to know that all the wealth is owned by Praveen…”

“He’ll find out the truth about six years ago.” Travis chimed in, putting the files on the bed. He got really confused and didn’t know what to think. Now he was wondering what they’d done to Antonio to make him that bitter. “But eventually, I am gonna have to bring out the truth. This information makes it so easy. Now that I have seen the rift I have created between Antonio and Bruce, I think it’s about time I broke everything off. I will use this information to finally make those two confess.”

Santiago sighed but he took a sigh and rested his hand on Travis’ shoulder. “And I know I shouldn’t be saying this but…. you’re gonna have to come out as Praveen once again.”

Travis felt a shiver go down his spine. “What? But…”

“That’s the only way,” Santiago said, looking deep into those wonderful blue eyes. “I know that coming out as Praveen will bring a lot of pain back and I don’t want to see you like that because… because it will hurt me too. But with this information we have right now, coming out as Praveen will be the only way. That also means… I have to show myself to the world again.”

Travis was nervous and he had no idea what he was going to do but…

“You’re right.” He took a deep breath, squeezing the man’s hand while smiling. “It’s about time I stopped hiding behind this mask. With this information that I have, I will finally prove my innocence, our innocence. I will do it for me, for you, for my son and most especially… for my father.” Tears were now forming in his eyes.

“You’re stronger now. It’s about time we both got face to face with our pasts.”

Travis smiled. “Well then, the showdown is here, Santiago.” He rested his head on that muscular chest. “All we need to do is play a little game. It’s about time we ended this madness.”

Santiago wrapped his arms around Travis, kissing his head. “And I will be with you all the way.”

Travis smiled and closed his eyes, burying his head deeper in that chest. He felt so peaceful and so happy but yet nervous. But having the hunk with him was making him happy.

***

“Okay, Mr. Zayn, we’ll meet in the afternoon.” Antonio chuckled happily as he opened the door to his beautiful building. “We have a lot of samples to show you and I am sure you’ll be impressed.”

‘I already am.’ The man on the other end said in a deep manly voice. ‘I hope you’re coming with Mr. Marasigan though. It will be an honor to meet him. I hear he’s now the lucky charm of your company. I saw his magazine and it was absolutely sexy.”

Antonio couldn’t help but smile. “I will bring him along. See you.”

He cut the call and just stood, smiling like a teenager and he had no idea why. He was dressed in a dark blue designer’s suit with a white shirt inside and black shoes. Though he had been so mad while at home, he got really happy when he got to know that… anyway, never mind. He didn’t wanna think about it much.

Antonio shook his head and started walking but the moment he looked in front, he got the shock of his life when he found a lot of people there talking among themselves. He frowned, wondering what was going on.

Antonio rushed to them, passing among them to go in front but the moment his eyes landed there, he felt something pierce his heart and he started bleeding right there. He felt like something powerful and dangerous had possessed him and he could feel it taking control. He was suddenly filled with a myriad of emotions that made him so vulnerable and dangerous…. Hatred, anger, pain, and despair. His heart pounded violently in his chest, threatening to rip out.

His face got red from anger and his eyes were red too and tears of anger formed there. Everyone that saw him started taking a few steps back because the person in that room was no longer Antonio Gonzalez but a monster.

Antonio’s fists clenched as he slowly moved in front, looking all around while his heart ripped to shreds. He couldn’t believe what he saw. He couldn’t believe the pain he felt or the terrible ache in his heart.

‘…this boy is a fake!’ Emma’s voice rang through his head. ‘These two have been having an affair right in our faces. He’s a whore!’

A tear went down Antonio’s cheek just when his eyes landed on all the pictures that were displayed on the wall in front of him, a lot of them. There were pictures from his past, pictures that had nearly destroyed his life. Pictures of Praveen’s betrayal. The same pictures that he had vowed were not gonna haunt him anymore.

He looked at the walls and all he could see was Praveen with Santiago fucking everywhere. It hurt and Antonio wasn’t gonna spare anyone.

He furiously turned and was about to snap but froze when he saw Travis standing with some people with his eyes wide open and tears in his eyes. Travis had just arrived when he had found the commotion. When he got to see what was going on, his heart nearly died and his pain came back. Everything that he had experienced on that particular day came back to hurt him. He looked at Antonio and all he saw was a monster with red eyes.

Antonio didn’t know what happened to him. But the moment he saw Travis there, all the anger and the hatred he felt diverted at the boy. He angrily walked to him, gripped his arm painfully, and pulled him to the front, pointing at the pictures on the wall.

“How dare you!” He barked, his jaws shaking uncontrollably. “How dare you! Who you think you are?”

Travis’ breaths got harsh and he looked at Antonio with fear, more tears forming in his eyes. He had never seen him look like that before.

“You have made fun of my life.” He roared, shaking his head. “My personal life, that whore’s betrayal, you’ve turned it into entertainment for everyone? What a nasty joke!” He stamped his foot angrily on the floor, making Travis take a step back.

“Stop your game!” Antonio warned, pointing his shaky finger at him. “I thought you were different and you didn’t want to fight with me but remember, you’ve made this war personal. You will face the consequences too. And if you thought you had seen a monster before, I can assure you that you had seen nothing.”

A tear went down Travis’ cheek but he quickly rubbed it. “War? What are you saying? Did you think…”

“Shut the fuck up!” Antonio snarled, clenching his teeth. “Do you feel good by driving me insane? I thought I tortured you enough not to know that you shouldn’t mess with me. I thought I was doing injustice by torturing you for that cheater’s betrayal. But I’ve got the answer today. You’re even worse than me.”

Travis tried to say something but his mouth shook uncontrollably such that he couldn’t even utter a single word.

“You had us all fooled, you had me fooled because behind all these innocent looks lies a shrewd player.” He yelled in the boy’s face. “But I will deal with you in such a way that you’ll tremble whenever you hear my voice or my name.”

Travis felt his heart in his throat, taking his breath away. He was having flashbacks of his painful past six years back and it was driving him insane. It was like he was suddenly weak. He couldn’t think straight and he felt fear slip through him.

Meanwhile, Bruce and Andrea were standing there watching the whole commotion with evil grins. Their plans had been successful and result that they had hoped for were showing. They’d gotten the Antonio they wanted which meant they won the war.

“You’re so fucking annoying!” Antonio threw his hand angrily and turned to leave from there. But he had only walked a short distance when…

“I am not getting personal,” Travis said softly, making Antonio stop in his tracks. “You’re getting personal.”

The moment Antonio heard that he furiously turned and looked at the boy, feeling his blood boiling within him and anger taking hold of him as a huge storm. He furiously walked to the boy and looked at him.

“What did you just say?”

“I said you’re getting personal with me and not vice versa!” Travis said confidently, not minding that he had tears in his eyes. He wasn’t gonna let Antonio intimidate him. “I don’t need to get personal with you because I don’t have any enmity with you. Why in the hell would I play such a stunt when I very well know that the boy in that picture has my face.” He yelled. He was getting angry.

“Do you think I am stupid? What would I gain from this rather than humiliating myself?”

He angrily rubbed his tears but they came flowing again.

“Since I came here, you always get angry at everything.” He said angrily. “Do you see the evil in every person? You call me foolish, stupid, a whore, all kinds of words. But it’s better to be foolish than to be an intelligent person like you.”

Antonio felt his anger overflowing and he got closer, raising his hand. “You…”

“You can’t burn the entire world in the fire of your retribution, Mr. Antonio Gonzalez!” He raged. “Ever since I came here, you’ve done nothing but try to hurt me. You always talk about your husband’s betrayal and how he was a whore.” He said with tears flowing. “You claimed you loved him so much and he betrayed you.

But did you at least try to find out what was really going on? Did you even listen to him when he was trying to explain to you? No!”

Antonio couldn’t fight his tears. They came flowing and he dropped his eyes to the floor, trying to contain the pain that was increasing. Bruce and Andrea slowly started losing their smiles. They hadn’t expected Travis to answer back.

“Your husband loved you so much despite being married to an arrogant, egocentric maniac like you.” He added. “He played his role very well despite experiencing nothing but hatred and pain from you. You didn’t even think twice about how he was gonna feel before you accused him of cheating and calling him a whore. But he still loved you despite everything that you did.

But perhaps you didn’t deserve that kind of love, Mr. Gonzalez!” He yelled.

Antonio felt those words hit him in the heart and he could feel it go cold. It was really painful. He slowly raised his head, his fists shakings uncontrollably. He was only seconds away from hurting the boy in front of him.

“A boy who probably loved you unconditionally his entire life and just because you saw some pictures that were probably fake….” He sobbed. “…does all your love for him turn false? And yet you claimed you loved him. What kind of love was that?”

Antonio couldn’t fight his tears anymore. His face got flooded and he felt weak with the words that Travis had used on him. He couldn’t be there anymore. He tried to go out of there but Travis furiously gripped his arm and pulled him back, staring him right in the eyes.

“Shit!” Andrea muttered, feeling a bit nervous. “This boy is ruining our plans. I wonder what drama he’ll create next.”

“What’s your problem, huh?” Travis asked angrily, nodding. “Why aren’t you talking?” He hit Antonio’s chest hard, making him take a step back. “Are you afraid that what you’ve heard today might be right? If you accept for once that you were wrong about your husband then what will happen to you?”

Antonio was acting like he was about to go insane, his eyes getting redder. There were a lot of voices in his head and he didn’t even know what to listen to anymore.

“Why are you silent now?” He pushed him again. “Answer me! Speak up! Why are you silent? You’re silent because you know that you were wrong and…”

“Enough!” Antonio snapped, his voice sounding like a violent storm. “What fucking truth are you talking about? Who are you and how are you related to me? What kind of stupid mind do you possess? Telling someone that you love them while fucking another man behind their back is not called love but betrayal.

And what the fuck did he expect me to do when I realized about his betrayal? That I was gonna go crazy due to my love and die? I used to love him boundlessly… but not for betrayal. I told you, my hatred is more boundless than my love.”

Travis felt a whole lot of pain. He wasn’t connected to Antonio in any way but it still hurt like hell.

“I will not give him the pleasure of my death!” He said hoarsely, raising his finger at Travis. “I don’t deserve this!” He raged, making Travis take a step back. He had honestly thought Antonio was gonna slap him but the man just furiously stomped on the floor. “I try to be nice for once but never did I imagine that I was being nice to a snake. Now neither will be nice nor will I let anyone trick me like the way you’ve done and trust me, you’ll pay and you’ll wish for death.”

Travis tried to suppress his tears but they came flowing once again.

“I’ll save myself from all this pain. But you…” He furiously rubbed his face. “…you’ll feel the full impact of my storm so if I were you, I would watch my step. Your stupid lecture won’t change the fact that Praveen was a cheater. He was a bloody cheat!”

Travis sobbed slowly, staring right into those eyes. “You’ve gone insane,” Travis said between clenched teeth. “You ignore the truth even when it’s right in front of you. But your husband was the unlucky one for loving a man like you because you didn’t deserve it. He did the right thing by leaving you because you don’t deserve to be loved.

And always remember that as you sow, so you shall reap. That is fate. Good luck with your life, Mr. Gonzalez!”

He looked at him once, shook his head angrily, and got out of there, leaving Antonio standing there with all the voices torturing him. All the people there felt pity for him because they’d never seen him cry. But the most painful thing was seeing their dear Travis in tears.

Meanwhile, Travis got out of the building and he was in tears. It hurt so bad reliving those painful moments from six years and hearing additional words from Antonio. He leaned on a pillar and sobbed uncontrollably, covering his mouth. He had wished things had gone differently. But as usual, Antonio was the same asshole as before.

As he was busy crying, Travis felt a hand rubbing his back and he quickly rose. When he saw the person that was there, he threw himself in his arms and cried while holding him tightly.

“Shh. I came as soon as I heard.” Santiago said as he wrapped his arms around him. “Your guard called me and told me everything that was going on. I am sorry I couldn’t be here sooner.”

Travis sobbed. “It’s fine, Santiago. You’re here already as usual to save me. Thank you so much.”

“Where’s that bastard?” Santiago groaned, cupping Travis’ cheeks. He rubbed his tears softly. Man, he got so mad when he saw Travis crying. “I want to give him what he deserves today.”

“No, Santiago!” Travis shook his head abruptly. “Let’s just go. I wanna get out of here, please. I need to be somewhere very important and I want you to come with me.”

Santiago run his fingers through Travis’ hair and smiled brightly. “You know I am ready to go with you anywhere you want.”

Travis smiled and chuckled softly. “Thank you.”

Both of them turned to leave but got shocked when they saw Antonio standing right in front of them with his eyes wide open and his mouth gaping. Tears were on his face and he looked like he’d seen a ghost.

Santiago clenched his fists angrily and started getting closer. But Travis gripped his arm and brought him.

“Forget it, Santiago.” He said, locking his eyes with the man who was looking like a statue. “Some people are not worth touching. I don’t want you to soil your hands with his blood. Let’s just go.”

Santiago gave Antonio one angry look before he turned and then went to the car with Travis without even looking. Both of them drove off.

Antonio couldn’t believe what he’d just seen. He couldn’t feel his heart beating and neither did he feel his breaths. His body was so cold, completely frozen and he trembled. He didn’t know what he felt, whether anger or fear. He had just seen Santiago with Travis and that meant that…

“Prav… Pra….” Antonio was so scared and shocked.

He remembered the argument he had just been from having with Travis, all the painful memories from his past came back to haunt him and he felt like he was going insane. Without even realizing it, he rushed to his car and drove off like a maniac.

***

Bruce entered the house slowly, lost deep in thought. A lot was going on in his mind and he was really, really mad. He had made a perfect plan, a really good plan but now he had no idea if it had even worked. Travis had probably ruined everything. He was only praying in his heart that everything turned in his favor.

Bruce started heading up the stairs and he only took three steps before he felt someone pulling his shirt. He got out of his thoughts, took a turn, and found someone that annoyed him holding the hem of his shirt.

“Uncle, sorry…” Sean apologized, looking up at Bruce whose anger just overshoot and he had no idea why. “…do you know where the handsome uncle is? I was…”

“Don’t you have anything else to do?” Bruce angrily pulled the hem from the boy’s hands. “And I don’t even know why the hell you even come here. Don’t you have your own house or what?”

Bruce’s voice was so loud that little Sean got scared. He lost the smile on his face and just looked at him in fear. “I am sorry, uncle…”

“And I am not your uncle!” He glowered, looking at the boy in disgust. “If I were you, I wouldn’t even come to this house because no one likes you here. We all hate you and we don’t wanna see you. Do you get it?”

Sean shook his head. “You’re lying.” He said in a tiny voice. “Stephanie and handsome uncle like me. You’re lying and you’re very mean.”

Bruce laughed sinisterly, not minding that he was talking to a child. “You can suit yourself. But while you’re here, stay the fuck away from me. Do you understand?”

Sean just looked at Bruce without saying a word. Bruce hissed and then furiously turned to leave but…

“I want handsome uncle!” Sean pulled his shirt again.

Bruce had no idea what possessed him but he furiously turned and smacked the little boy across the face. He heard the boy’s scream and the next thing, the little boy was rolling down the staircase. When he reached the ground, he was lying lifeless with blood coming out of his forehead and somewhere from the head.

Bruce felt his heart pound sharply and his breaths seized for a second. His eyes widened and he froze on the staircase, looking at the boy in fear. Shit! He swore the boy looked dead. He felt really cold and tears formed in his eyes.

“Oh my God, Sean!” Celine gave a deafening scream when she saw the boy lying on the floor. She started running to him and she slowly held him in her arms. He didn’t even move. “Sean!” She screamed. “Sean, please get up.”

Then she looked at the staircase and saw Bruce standing there trembling. “What have you done, you monster? Don’t you know that he is a child?”

“I… I didn’t mean to. I swear, I…”

“Shut up!” Celine barked, tears rolling down her cheeks. She had never been so mad in her life before. “Mother! Please, come here!”

Emilia came rushing together with the rest of the family members except for Antonio.

“Oh my God, what happened?” Emilia knelt in front of a crying Celine, holding Sean’s hand. “What happened to him?”

“Please, mother, we’ve got to take him to the hospital before he loses lots of blood.” Celine cried. “Please.”

“What happened?”

Celine glanced at Bruce. “That monster pushed him off the stairs.”

Emilia looked at Bruce and she didn’t know what possessed her. She furiously rose, rushed to him, and before he could even say anything, she smacked him across the face so hard that everyone that saw just covered their mouths. Bruce held his painful cheek, giving Emilia angry eyes.

“How dare…”

“Not another word, you stupid excuse of a son in law!” She roared, pointing her finger at him. “If anything happens to this boy, I will kill you myself. That is a promise and not even the almighty will save you today.”

She quickly turned and helped Celine get Sean up. His body was getting cold and he was losing blood. Both of them stormed out of the house like the hounds of hell were after them. They couldn’t allow anything to happen to the boy.

Bruce remained standing there, holding his cheek and wondering what had happened. He knew that Antonio was very fond of the boy and he wasn’t gonna spare him. With a groan, he furiously left the house.

***

Antonio had his eyes on the road, his foot on the accelerator and his hands gripping the driving wheel so hard that if it was flexible, it would have been broken. His car was driving at lightning speed and though he had his eyes on the road, he couldn’t even see clearly.

‘I love you so much, Antonio.’ Praveen’s words rang through him.

Antonio remembered the first time he’d slept with Praveen, the passionate night that had to awaken his feelings. He regretted everything as it caused him nothing but a whole lot of pain.

‘My name is not Praveen. I am not who you think I am.”

Antonio then remembered what had happened a few minutes back. He had seen Santiago with Travis which meant that Travis was Praveen. He had come back to hurt him once again. It was so painful and he has fallen for it like an idiot. Shit, he hit the driving wheel several times breathing like an animal.

‘You’ve had me fooled once again, Praveen.’ He thought as he added speed to his car. “Once again, you have betrayed me but this time you’ll pay for it. Even I have the right to get love and faithfulness.’ Tears were now forming in his eyes. ‘I will never allow you to hurt me ever again, Praveen. You’ll pay for this game, I swear. Even if it’s the last thing I do.’

Antonio came back to his senses and he got the shock of his life when he realized that he was almost at the cliff. He furiously hit the brakes and the impact sent him furiously forward and he hit the driving wheel slightly before the car came to a halt. It hurt!

Antonio’s heart was racing. He slowly raised his head and realized that had he not stopped his car even for a second, he’d have gone down the cliff. Shit! He’d have surely died and all because of Travis. He didn’t even realize that he had been on the outskirts of town. God!

As Antonio was trying to recover from the impact of that save, he heard his phone ring and he didn’t know when he answered it.

“Hello….”

‘Antonio, please….” It was Celine and she sounded scared like she was crying.

“Celine!” He gasped. “What’s going on?”

‘It’s Sean, Antonio!’ She sobbed. ‘He was hurt and we are taking him to the hospital. Please, you need to come.’

Antonio cut the call and slowly turned the car and drove like he was going insane. He got so scared when he heard that the young boy that he loved so much was hurt. He couldn’t allow anything to happen to him.

***

Travis rose to his feet and slowly bowed in front of the idol in front of him which was smiling. He felt a bit better and he was only hoping the almighty’s blessings were gonna be with his even as he did his final mission and got out of Gonzalez’s lives for good. All that he prayed for was for his plans to be successful.

Travis felt a hand on his shoulder and he took a glance behind, smiling at the handsome hunk. “You don’t have to worry, Santiago. I am a fighter and I am fine. You said coming out as Praveen was gonna help us and there you have it. All we need to do is start with the blackmail since we have the evidence and the almighty’s blessings. Everything will turn in our favor.”

Santiago nodded. “That’s my champion.” He smiled, squeezing his shoulder. “We should be heading home now. Sean might start looking for us.”

Before Travis could nod, his phone started ringing and he saw that it was Vanessa speaking.

“Yes, aunt!”

‘Travis…. Travis!’ Her voice was cutting and it was like she was crying.

“What’s going on, aunt?” He glanced at Santiago, getting a bit scared. “Are you alright?”

‘It’s Sean. He was involved in an accident. He fell down the stairs and he’s hurt.’

Travis felt like something had just struck his heart, piercing it so badly. The pain he felt was blinding. His heart pounded violently and his breaths became heavy. Chills took control of his body and he got weak. He didn’t even realize what was going on until he felt Santiago holding him tightly.

“What?” He gasped, tears rolling down his cheeks. “My son, aunt! What happened? Please, tell me he’s alright.”

‘He went to Steph’s house and he got hurt there. I am sorry. They’ve taken him to a hospital and that’s where I am headed. I will send you the address.”

“Aunt, please…”

‘And one more thing,’ Vanessa paused. ‘Granny too fell. She was trying to get up but she fell and she has hurt herself. She’s unconscious right now and I am taking her to the same hospital. I will meet you there but please hurry.’

Travis cut the call and he was crying like a baby, looking right into Santiago’s eyes. Santiago got scared and held his cheeks, looking deep into his eyes. Both their faces were closer and Travis was inconsolable. He was crying.

“Travis, tell me.”

“My son!” Travis was trembling. “Granny! We need to go, Santiago. I will tell you everything.”

“What….”

“Please, let’s go. I need to be with my baby.”

Travis couldn’t believe his son was hurt. It was what he had feared most and it was coming true. Shit! He was having a panic attack.

Santiago kissed his forehead and smiled. “Sean will be okay. Please, calm down. Let’s go.”

Travis nodded and then turned to leave. But the moment he turned, he got another shock of his life. He felt his heart miss a bit and a shiver went down his spine. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped, feeling scared.

What did Travis see?

Find out in the next chapter.

Copyright © 2020 vanalas; All Rights Reserved.
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What did Travis see?

Hmmm, well...Sean and Granny are set up for out-of-body experiences, but likewise Travis’ mom and dad both could be having a spirit venture. The evil that resides within Emma, Bruce, and Andrea doesn’t yet allow me to believe that guilt would have claimed them; nor would a spirit meeting at the temple strike me as a probable confession or of remorse in death from those characters.

Given the position we find ourselves in; I believe we may be seeing Sean, drawn to dad, placing all of his innocent confusion before Travis where as a spiritual person Travis may learn of Sean’s frustrating search for Stephanie’s “beautiful uncle” and where he may lay blame with mean uncle. Given all Antonio’s faults, he is still Sean’s father too, and the natural pull has already been observed but not yet understood. Can Travis, Praveen, send Sean back to Celine, Stephanie’s mom, as his anchor to return to his body and and an understanding that dad is speeding is way.

What will be the reaction when daddy Travis sees Praveen’s ex husband as an emotional wreak at the bedside of his, their, son? How will the family reunion be with, Emilia, Celine, Antonio, Aunt Vanessa, and then Eduardo, Ray, and Stephanie. I’m betting the odds of a good night for the evil three will be near nonexistent!

, @vanalas, you’ve given us one heck of a cliffhanger; those are totally unfair when life and death, of a child, is involved. Correct this ASAP, post, post quickly, HELP!

Edited by Philippe
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