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Raging Love - 9. Chapter 9: The truth is out. Is Travis safe or will he lose the most precious thing he holds closest to his heart?

Antonio rushed to his family when he saw them standing quietly in the hospital near a door. Celine was holding Emilia’s hands tightly, trying to contain herself and her face was teary. Emma, Bruce, and Andrea stood still looking a bit nervous and Ethan was seated on the chair with his face between his palms.


Celine felt a shiver when she heard Antonio’s voice. She rushed to him, threw herself on his chest, and sobbed softly. Antonio cupped her cheeks, looking into her teary face. He was really scared and restless.

“What happened? Where’s Sean?”

Celine pointed towards the door shakily. “He’s in there. Eduardo is working on him. He lost lots of blood but luckily, blood was available.”

“Shit!” Antonio fumed, shaking his head. “How could this have happened to him? Where were all of you?” He yelled.

Celine rubbed her tears. “It was Bruce. He pushed him from the stairs.”

Hearing Bruce’s name, Antonio landed his eyes on Bruce and felt so much anger enter him. He had never hated Bruce the way he hated him at that time. First of all, he was already in so much pain and anger and now, Bruce had just made things worse.

“Antonio I swear…” Bruce started walking to him but just one gesture from Antonio made him stop. The man was so mad.

“Not a fucking word from that stupid mouth of yours.” He warned, swinging his finger in the air. “I don’t ever want to hear any word from you. How could you do this to a little boy? You’re so despicable and I’ll never forgive you for this. If anything happens to that boy, you’ll pay with your life. I promise you.”

Bruce felt chills all over his body and he just remained silent. He knew that Antonio meant every word that he had uttered. He had that serious look on his face, the look that scared Bruce to the core. He knew it was gonna be so difficult to make him understand.

Meanwhile, Vanessa came running like the hounds of hell were after her. She was dressed in a beautiful red designer’s dress with slippers on her feet, looking beautiful and amazing. Her hair was tied backward. When she saw Celine, she rushed to her and held her hands.

“Celine, where’s my grandson?” She said, shaking her head in fear. “What happened to him? What did the doctor say?”

Celine tried to smile but she couldn’t do it. “The doctor hasn’t come out yet, Miss Vanessa but I can assure you that he’s in good hands. My husband is working on him and I know that nothing will happen to him. Please, calm down.”

“How can I calm down?” She said angrily. “I thought my grandson was gonna be in good hands. You assured me that you’ll keep him safe and…”

“We’re very sorry, ma’am!” Antonio spoke, putting his hands together as he moved closer to the woman that had her back to him. “Please, we don’t…”

“You don’t know what?” Vanessa furiously turned.

But the moment she turned, she felt her heart miss a beat and a really cold wind blew on her face. Strength left her and she felt like she didn’t have any bones in her. Vanessa’s heart then gave a sharp pound as a tear went down her cheek. The more she stared at the man, the weaker she became. It was like she was standing in a huge storm.

‘Antonio Gonzalez!’ She heard her voice inside her head mutter.

Vanessa didn’t want to believe that she was looking at Antonio Gonzalez but the man was standing right there staring into her eyes. She’d never been that scared in the last six years. Her heart pounded so violently that she thought she was gonna have a heart attack. All that time, she had let her grandson go to Celine’s house but she didn’t have any idea that he was going to his father’s house. Shit! Her hands began trembling.

Antonio thought it strange that a woman he had never seen before was staring at him like that with her hands trembling. Maybe it was because she was in a panic due to her grandson’s accident.

“Ma’am, I am truly sorry.” Antonio apologized, tears forming in his eyes. “We’ll do everything we can to make sure that Sean is completely fine. This is our hospital and we’ll take care of everything. As for…” He paused and glanced at Bruce. “…my husband who pushed him off the stairs, I’ll make sure that he pays for his crime.”

Bruce felt tears building in his eyes and his heart race uncontrollably. He knew just how much Antonio loved the little boy and the affection that he showed him.

“And ma’am, I am ready to receive any punishment you deem fit,” Antonio added.

‘Oh God,’ Vanessa thought as sweat broke off her forehead. ‘It’s Antonio Gonzalez and his family. How could I have not known? How could I have been so blind? It’s gonna be a disaster if Travis comes here. Antonio is gonna find out about Sean and all his plans will be ruined. I need to get out of here and find a way to call him.’

She rubbed the sweat off her forehead and quickly turned to leave. But she got another shock when she saw Travis standing just in front of her looking like a statue. He had tears in his eyes… his fists were clenched and he sure looked mad. He was just looking at one person, Bruce and the anger that he felt was nothing like he’d ever experienced his entire life.

Travis could have said he was shocked but what he felt was beyond that. When he had first arrived and found the Gonzalez family, he had been shocked and had wanted to leave. But then he heard Antonio’s words that Bruce had pushed his son from the staircase. He had gotten so mad that nothing was gonna prevent him from killing Bruce that day.

Suddenly, everyone saw Travis and they got shocked, wondering what he was doing there. Antonio got mad and he clenched his fists, rushing to him.

“What the fuck do you think…”

But he didn’t even finish his sentence when Travis raised his hand and gestured him to keep quiet. Then he started walking to the shocked looking Bruce. The closer he got, the more he felt like venom was moving in his veins. He remembered what Bruce had done to him in the past and it just hurt a whole lot. When he however reached Bruce, he just stood straight, staring into his eyes with his fists clenched.

Bruce frowned. “What the hell…”

But Bruce was welcomed by a dirty slap across his face, sending him flying to the floor. He fell to the floor with a thud, hitting his arm painfully. He groaned and furiously held his cheek, giving Travis angry eyes.

“How dare you!” He furiously rose, breathing like a warfighter. “How dare you follow me here and… ow!” He screamed in pain, holding his other cheek while taking a step backward. Travis had slapped him hard again.

Bruce’s heart started racing violently and his breaths became heavy. He was now staring at Travis like a scared dog because he was that scary. He was expecting someone from his family to come to his aid but everyone there was just as shocked as he was.

A tear of anger went down Travis’ cheek as he got closer, clenching his fists. “How dare you, Bruce! Who the fuck do you think you are? Didn’t you get satisfied by torturing me six years ago? Didn’t you get satisfied by hurting me every chance that you got?”

Bruce got confused with Travis’ words. “What the fuck are you talking about? You’ve got insane.”

Travis chuckled through his pain. “You can play with my soul, you can play with my feelings and you can do whatever you want with me. But I will not take it if you play with my life. I am ready to kill anyone just to protect him, do you understand?”

Bruce was getting confused by the moment. Even his allies had frowns on their faces, wondering what he was talking about. Ethan was standing there acting like a lost puppy, shaking his head.

“Travis, what’s this?” Ethan gasped, getting closer. “What’s the meaning of this? Please, this is not the time…”

“This is the right time to settle this,” Travis said harshly, not for a second looking at Ethan. “This bastard can do whatever he wants to me but I will not let him hurt my son!” He yelled, his voice sounding like a storm.

Bruce felt like someone had just stabbed his heart. His eyes widened to the point where he felt like they were gonna pop out of his sockets. He started hyperventilating, breathing like he was in labor. He had no idea why he felt like he was running out of air.

Antonio on the other hand frowned, getting even more confused. He couldn’t believe that Sean was Travis’ son. Everyone else too was confused and they just watched with frowns on their faces.

“My son is my life, the only reason why I live.” He added, pointing his shaky finger at Bruce. “Where were you when I was suffering for that boy? You didn’t help me raise him and you didn’t also help me give birth to him. I can kill for Sean and you’re no exception.”

Bruce shook his head, removing his hands from his cheeks. “You’re even more insane than I thought.” He said harshly in between clenched teeth. “And even more pathetic. You used your son…”

“My son is my life and you don’t have any right to talk about him.” He warned, his face getting wet. “If I had known that it is your house he was coming at, I would have stopped him long ago. Why in the world would I bring my son to a house of monsters and…”

“That’s enough!” Emma said harshly, furiously walking to him. “When will you get your bad omen out of our lives? And what kind of father are you who would use his son…”

“With all due respect, Emma, I suggest you keep quiet!” Travis said rudely, surprising her. He was being so disrespectful. “Who are you to teach me about parenting, you who didn’t care about her husband? A selfish egocentric woman like you who led her only daughter to death simply because you wanted her to please you.”

Emma felt a cold breeze hit her in the heart. She had no idea where tears came from or when her face got wet. The truth hit her so hard that she couldn’t bear it. It was like every sin that she had committed had come back to haunt her.

“You don’t have any right to talk to me about parenting or love. Why am I even talking to you because you have no heart?” He added. More tears flooded his face and he could feel the pain slowly start to take control of him. “My son’s life is in danger and…” He paused, sobbing softly. But then he rubbed his tears and his face got stern. “…he’s just a child. But what can I expect from a woman that killed her daughter due to her selfishness? You didn’t care about your daughter so I don’t expect you to care about my son.”

“How dare you, Travis!” Andrea snapped, coming closer. “Don’t think that you can just come here and start making noise. Who do you think you are and how dare you talk to aunt like that?”

“I am Sean’s father!” He yelled. “None of you suffered with me to give life to that boy, okay.” He snapped. He was now staring at Bruce, getting closer. “And as for you…” He warned, pointing his finger angrily. “…if anything bad happens to my son, you’re gonna pay with your life. You’ve got no idea what I can do so you better pray to the almighty that nothing happens to him. Otherwise, you can start arranging for your funeral.”

Bruce rolled his eyes shaking his head. He wasn’t really scared of Travis.

Suddenly, the door to the emergency room opened and Travis rushed there and almost bumped into Eduardo who was coming out hurriedly. When Eduardo looked at Travis’ face. he got shocked and wondered what was going on. The boy’s eyes were red and watery.

“How’s he?” He gasped, putting his hands together. “How’s my son, Eduardo? Please tell me he’s okay.” He sobbed softly.

Eduardo sighed, getting the mask off. “Well, I’m sorry for what had happened to your son, Travis.” His voice was really low. He couldn’t believe that all this time, Sean was Travis’ son and no one even knew about it. “But everything is gonna be alright. He had lost lots of blood but fortunately, his blood type is not difficult to find.”

Travis covered his mouth, feeling warm tears decorating his face. He felt arms wrapping around him and he knew that it was Vanessa. He looked at Eduardo, hoping and praying that the news he was gonna get was good.

“And well, he… he…” Eduardo had no idea why he was so nervous. He was a fucking doctor for goodness sake. “…he sustained some minor injuries to his head and his forehead. But thankfully, he doesn’t have any fractures.”

Travis cried softly, not even rubbing his tears. “My son. My poor son.”

“Don’t worry,” Eduardo reassured, trying his best to smile. “I will not let anything happen to him. I will do my best for your sake and my Stephanie’s sake.”

He patted on Travis’ shoulder and went back inside. As soon as he left, Travis held his aunt tightly and just cried. It was just too painful to even imagine that he was gonna see his son with wounds. He couldn’t bear it.

But Travis lost his cool when he saw Bruce laughing to himself and acting like he was holding in a laugh. He didn’t know what possessed him or when he furiously moved from Vanessa. He just found himself staring at Bruce with his fists clenched and tears of anger rolling down his face.

“You’re the reason my son is lying in there and you have the nerves to laugh!” He roared, his mouth shaking uncontrollably. “If you have any problem with me then settle with me but leave my son out of it. If you think I am still the same boy that I was six years ago then you’ve got another thing coming.”

The moment Travis said, Bruce felt something hit his heart and he gasped in fear, his eyes widening. His body went cold and his breaths turned into pants. His mouth visibly shook and Travis’ words started ringing in his head continuously. He was staring at the boy’s face and he could see the anger in his eyes. From that look he gave him, Bruce didn’t need to be a genius to know that Travis was Praveen. What he felt at that time was exactly what Andrea and Emma felt. They were scared to the core.

Emilia and Celine on the other hand were just staring at Travis as they’d just seen a ghost. They couldn’t believe what they had heard and honestly, they were scared. Celine felt tears going down her cheeks and she covered her mouth. Antonio just rolled his eyes angrily and clenched his fists.

“That boy who was hurt easily manipulated easily, and scared easily is gone. He died six years ago. Praveen died six years ago.”

Bruce felt like someone had injected poison in him. “Now Travis standing in front of you is a different man, a monster in disguise and that boy you just toyed with is my life, do you get it? He has been my reason for living since you destroyed my life six years ago with your lies.”

Bruce felt like someone had just pierced needles all over his body. He got pale. “W… what are you talking about?” He stammered, sweat starting to form on his skin. “… I…. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Travis chuckled bitterly, getting closer. “You don’t know what I am talking about? Do you think I am stupid? I know exactly what you did six years ago that destroyed my relationship with Antonio.”

Bruce, Andrea, and Emma felt like the world had just collapsed on their heads. They got paler and their eyes widened in fear. They were visibly shaking.

“What are you talking about?” Antonio quivered, a frown appearing on his face. What Travis had just said confused him and scared him to bits. “Are you saying that…”

“Will you just keep on standing there and listen to him?” Emma chuckled bitterly, shaking her head. She was trying to act confident but deep down, she was really scared. “He’s nothing but a liar. If he’s Praveen and he’s been hiding under a fake identity then he’s got a hidden agenda. How come he came back in our lives and pretended to be some rich man’s son?”

Travis glanced at Emma, wiping his tears. “I am not fake like you, Emma. You know that what I am saying is the truth.”

Emma laughed. “You’re a lunatic and you need help. You’re just obsessed with our family and you’re still after our wealth, the same old gold-digger. You’re lying even now and…”

“You know he’s not lying!” A voice hollered a familiar voice.

When everyone heard that voice, they turned in the direction of the voice and got the shock of their lives. Bruce felt like someone had just struck his head with something really heavy and sharp. Everything around him disappeared and it became quiet. He could hear his heart as it pounded sharply in his chest, threatening to rip out.

He could feel the blood passing through his ears and the coldness he felt was like he was buried in snow. At first, he thought he was dreaming and he even rubbed his eyes but she was still there. Emma and Andrea too felt their lives flash before them.

“Granny Katy…” Antonio gasped, tears forming in his eyes.

Katy was standing a distance from all of them, staring right at the three culprits who looked like they had died. She was wearing a black simple dress with black slippers and her hair was tied behind. She looked really thin and a bit pale. She was also looking older than anyone remembered.

Katy was being held by Santiago who had a stern face. When Andrea and Bruce saw him with Katy, their hearts simply went cold. They knew that they were so much in trouble.

“Mother!” Emilia sniveled, covering her mouth. She rushed to her and gripped her in a tight hug, sobbing uncontrollably. “Where did you go, mother? You’ve got no idea how long I have been waiting to see you.”

Emilia pulled away and smiled but the woman still had her eyes on the three. She started walking slowly towards where they stood and although she didn’t fully recover, she clenched her fists and walked towards them and when she eventually reached Emma, she stood right in front of her, looking in her eyes. Emma dropped her eyes to the floor, feeling like death was staring right into her eyes.

“Why don’t you ask Emma where I was?” She said harshly. “She knows exactly where she took me?”

“What?” Antonio gasped, rushing to his grandmother. “Granny, what are you talking about? No one knew where you went and…”

“Or maybe you can ask your husband or your sister.” She added.

Antonio was confused, really confused. He looked at Andrea and she looked away. He looked at Bruce and the guy dropped his eyes. He could tell that they were really scared but from what.

“Andrea, what is granny talking about? Where did you guys take her?”

But Andrea couldn’t utter a word. She tried to say something but she couldn’t even open her mouth. She was really scared and her heart was racing miles away.

“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?”

Emma knew that she was in so much trouble. “Well, Antonio, mother just went for one of her pilgrims. She was praying for…”

But before she could even finish her sentence, Emma was smacked across the face so hard that she went flying to the floor. It hurt and she held her cheek, raising her face to stare into the eyes of the angry woman. What she saw was a fire that she had never seen before.

“How dare you, Emma!” Granny snapped. “Even when you’re caught, you can’t stop lying. Why don’t you tell your favorite son that you tried to have me killed? You had hired goons to eliminate me because I had found out the truth!”

“What?” Antonio gasped, feeling his heart pound in his chest.

Celine covered her mouth in shock while Emilia felt her strength leave her. She almost fell if not for Ethan who held her tightly. He too was beyond shocked.

“No, granny!” Antonio chuckled, shaking his head. “That can’t be. Aunt cannot… she can never….”

“Not unless she was trying to prevent the truth from coming out,” Katy said, a tear going down her cheek. “All the three of them…” She pointed. “…have been hiding it from us. When I eventually found out, they tried to kill me.”

Antonio had been smiling but once he looked at his granny and his sister, he lost the smile on his face. He got really scared, so scared that his hands began trembling. “What truth, granny? What are you talking about?”

Granny sniveled, getting closer to her grandson. “The truth about what happened six years ago on the night of Andrea’s engagement.”

Antonio felt a cool breeze hit his face and he groaned in pain. “W-what are you talking about granny? What truth?”

Granny glanced at Travis and then stared at Antonio, reaching for his hand. She felt him trembling.

“He’s innocent, Antonio!” She said softly, trying to fight her tears. “Praveen didn’t betray you six years ago. He didn’t cheat on you. It was all a plan to separate the two of you.”

Antonio felt a sharp pain in his heart and he quickly held his chest, a sharp breath escaping him. It was like suddenly where he stood got hot. Tears made their way down his cheeks and he felt like they were burning his skin.

“No!” He shook his head. “That’s not true, granny. Praveen cheated on me. I saw the pictures with my own eyes. He was…”

“That’s what you were made to believe,” Granny said in a sharp voice. “Those pictures were fake and they were made by Bruce, Emma and…” She paused and took a deep breath. “…Andrea!”

The moment Antonio heard that he felt like lightning had struck his heart. He shook his head slowly, trying to deny everything Katy was telling him. It couldn’t be true. It was a lie. Emma and Andrea loved him too much to cause him such pain.

Emilia on the other hand was shocked. She went limp in Ethan’s arms who was equally shocked. She couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She was suddenly overcome with a myriad of emotions and her heart began racing.

Antonio slowly turned and looked at his sister who couldn’t even raise her head to stare at him. Her face was sweaty and she was visibly trembling. He slowly walked to her, stood right in front of her, and just stared at her. He was beyond scared.

“Andrea!” He muttered. “Please, tell me what granny is saying is not true. Tell me that is just a big misunderstanding.”

Andrea could feel the sweat running down her body in streams. Her heart pounded so violently and her breaths were heavy. She wanted to say something but she couldn’t find her voice. She had never been as scared as she was at that time.

“Andrea.” He muttered. But the girl was just quiet and she couldn’t even look at him. “Andrea!” He snapped, making her gasp and raise her head. Her face was wet with tears.

Andrea shook her head, putting her hands together. “I am so sorry, Antonio.” She cried at the top of her voice. “Please, forgive me. I love you so much and I did that for your happiness. I knew that you were not happy and….”

Antonio felt like something had possessed him and before Andrea even finished her sentence, he raised his hand and gave her a hot slap that left a huge mark on her cheek. Andrea dropped her head, holding her hurting cheek while she sobbed uncontrollably. Before she even got to realize it, he gave her another hot slap that sent her to the floor with a thud. She sobbed uncontrollably, crying like a little kid. That was the first time Antonio had hit her and gotten mad at her.

“How dare you!” He snapped, more tears flooding his face. “How could you do this to me? I loved you more than anything in the world. I had put your happiness before mine and I was ready to sacrifice my life for your happiness. You are supposed to be my sister and my happiness was supposed to be your job.”

“I am sorry!” Andrea cried, getting to her knees. She tried to hold Antonio’s hand but he took a step away from her. “You didn’t love him and me… I… I just wanted to see you happy and…”

“Happy?” Katy laughed. “You didn’t do this for his happiness but your own and your selfish needs. You knew that he was getting closer to Praveen and you were scared that if they got closer, you wouldn’t get your hands on the wealth.”

Andrea just cried because she knew that it was the truth.

“Antonio, there’s something else that you need to know,” Katy said softly, resting her hand on his shoulder. “All the wealth that you have, the companies and the hospital all belong to Praveen. That day…” She sobbed softly. “…I came to your office to tell you about my emergency pilgrim. I didn’t find you there so I thought you were in Andrea’s office.”

Katy could still remember it like it was yesterday. “When I went to Andrea’s office, I heard them talking. They were angry that even though Praveen wasn’t in our lives, he still made them miserable because they couldn’t get their hands on the wealth. Even after they framed him, he was still hurting them. I heard it all.

Andrea didn’t want to get married to Santiago so she collaborated with the two of them to frame him up. The pictures that were sent to the party were all fake and they got what they wanted when they destroyed his image, his dignity, and your marriage. They knew they had already won. The signed divorce papers that were sent to you six years were also fake. They were made by the three of them.

When I found out about this, I was so confused and I thought of telling you. But before I could reach you, I was kidnapped and taken to a cliff. They tortured me and shot at me. But before I was shot at, I was told that the three of them had hired them. It was by the almighty’s mercy that I survived. I had been in a coma for five months.” She sighed gloomily.

“A good doctor took care of me. I met Praveen and Santiago at the temple today and I told them that I wanted to talk to you. You needed to know the truth, Antonio. Your husband didn’t betray you. He was only a victim in this whole situation.”

Antonio felt like he couldn’t breathe. The pain he felt in his heart was murdering and his head started pulsing like crazy. He slowly turned and glanced at Travis and when he saw those tears rolling down his face, his heart broke to pieces. He couldn’t even imagine what the boy must have gone through when he threw him out of the house that night.

‘I am not your husband. I don’t love you and I don’t care about you. I only have one love and that’s Bruce.’

Antonio’s heart wept as he remembered those words. He ripped his eyes from Travis, his fists clenching as they landed on Emma and Bruce. He felt so much anger and he wanted to murder him. He started getting closer and he could see Bruce taking a few steps back, shaking his head.

“Please, my love…” Bruce shook his head. “…I can explain.”

Antonio was ready to hit the man in front of him but suddenly, the door to the emergency room opened and Eduardo came out with a smile on his face. Antonio stopped and just stood there, looking at his brother.

“Eduardo!” Travis asked.

Eduardo smiled, squeezing the man’s shoulder. “He’s gonna be fine. I am gonna need to keep him under observation for the next 24 hours though. If everything is okay within that period then you can take him home.”

Travis chuckled softly, rubbing his tears. “Thank you so much for this. You’re truly a good man. Can I… see my son now?”

“Not yet!” He shook his head. “The nurses are cleaning him up. They’ll send him to a room after they are done. Then you can see him from there.”

Travis nodded and he felt his aunt hold him tightly. He moved to the door, placed his hand there, and just prayed with his heart that his son was gonna be alright. While he was praying, he felt a hand on his and he quickly opened his eyes. He got shocked when he saw Antonio holding his hand sweetly, staring into his face with teary eyes. Travis got nothing but pain. He quickly withdrew his hands and moved away.

‘Nothing is connecting us anymore so get out of my life and my house. Get out! You’re dead to me and everyone in this house.’

He was getting closer to Travis and the boy just kept on taking steps backward while trying to fight his tears. He remembered every pain Antonio had caused him that night, breaking off every tie he had with him. He took his ring away and broke his wedding chain.

Travis quickly turned and tried to go away but Antonio gripped his arm and started getting closer.

“Praveen, please!” He pleaded, crying like a baby.

Travis looked at Antonio as a million tears graced his face. He pulled his arm away from Antonio’s grip, giving him angry eyes. Then he shook his head. “This doesn’t change anything, Antonio. I am no longer that boy and nothing changes between us.” He furiously rubbed his tears. “You can all leave from here. I don’t want to see any of you.”

He started going away but Antonio held his hand once again. Travis had no idea what happened to him but he furiously turned and backhanded Antonio so hard. Antonio didn’t even touch his cheek. It hurt but he deserved that. He looked at Travis and got closer again.

But Travis took a step back and then turned and started walking away from there. As he did, tears flooded his face, bringing back the pain from his past. After six years, he finally felt free from the pain and the hatred that had been growing in his heart. But it was still so painful. Vanessa and Santiago both followed him because they knew that he needed them.

Meanwhile, Antonio fell to his knees and cried. “Praveen!” He screamed right in the hospital. “Praveen!”

Ethan rushed to him and held him in his arms. He didn’t know what to say to him because he too was hurting and so was everyone, except for Eduardo who was standing there looking lost. He had missed all the action.


Then like he was going insane, Antonio rose to his feet and started running away from there. His mind told him to just follow the boy he loved.


Travis reached the terrace and he rushed to the edge of the building where he broke down and cried like a baby, holding his chest. He was feeling like someone had stabbed his poor heart and it hurt like hell. The truth had finally come out and he had no idea why he felt the way he did. He was supposed to be happy… he was supposed to be celebrating and not crying like the way he did. It was painful.

Suddenly, Antonio came running to the terrace and when he saw Travis crying there like a baby, his heart broke and he too started crying. He had no idea what to say to him, how to apologize, and if the boy was gonna forgive him. He was really scared and had no idea what he was gonna do.

“Praveen!” He muttered, getting closer.

When Travis heard Antonio’s voice, he stopped crying and furiously rose his head. Once his eyes landed on the man that had caused him nothing but pain, he got really angry. He wanted to stop crying but it was just so difficult.

He didn’t want to talk to him so he decided to leave. But Antonio wrapped his arms around him tightly.

“Please, Praveen!” Antonio sobbed. “Please!”

Travis started hitting Antonio’s chest hard until the man released him. “What do you want from me, Antonio? Please, leave me alone.”

“I… I am so sorry.” Antonio said in a really weak voice. “Please, forgive me.” He put his hands together. “I know I had hurt you and told you terrible things but…”

“Why are you apologizing?” Travis asked in pain. “You don’t have to apologize because you didn’t even…”

“Don’t say it!” Antonio cried, dropping to his knees. “Please, I beg you. I am sorry. I will fix this, I swear. I will fix it.”

Travis chuckled bitterly, slowly rubbing his tears. “You’ll fix what? There is nothing to fix because there was nothing between us in the first place.”

Antonio shook his head, crying even more.

“I have already accepted my fate. My only goal was to prove my innocence.” He said softly. “I didn’t do this so that I can have you back. As I said, nothing changes. I have a new life now with my son and my family. Please, just leave me alone.”

“Sorry!” Antonio said softly.

“Sorry!” Travis yelled. “Do you think sorry will get back the life that I have lost? My dignity, my identity, and my life were destroyed six years ago. If you’re looking for Praveen then I am sorry to tell you that he’s dead. There’s only Travis Marasigan and there’s no place for anyone else in his life.”

He took a step back. “My father died through all this drama and I nearly died. I suffered because of what you and your family did to me. I don’t even wish to see your face and neither do I want to do anything with you. Please, leave me alone.”

He furiously turned and ran away from there, leaving Antonio on the floor crying. With all the pain and anger that he saw in Travis’ eyes, Antonio had no idea if he still stood a chance with the boy. He remained crying there with his face between his palms.


“I can’t get to him,” Ethan said as he tried to dial Antonio’s line. “It’s ringing but he’s not picking up. Where could he be?”

“I can’t get through either.” Eduardo sighed, groaning angrily. “Shit! I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.”

Everyone was really worried. They had come home from the hospital to see if they could find Antonio but he wasn’t there. They had seen the shape that he was in and they knew exactly how he acted whenever something terrible happened. They knew that he was completely broken.

Emilia was seated with Celine who was holding her tightly. She was in tears and she kept on thinking about what had happened at the hospital. She couldn’t believe after six years of hating Praveen and cursing him, he was after all innocent. She hadn’t uttered a word since she came.

Emma was seated on the couch with her face between her palms, crying softly. She couldn’t believe she had been exposed just like that. She didn’t know what she was gonna do or how she was gonna get out of that mess. Andrea was seated on the floor together with Bruce and her eyes were swollen and her cheeks too. She felt like her skin was peeling due to the pain that she felt.

Suddenly, the entrance door opened furiously and a bad looking Antonio walked in slowly, looking like a zombie. His eyes were red… his fists were clenched and veins had popped up in his head. He looked like an ancient roman warrior and scared everyone.

As soon as he entered, Andrea got up and rushed towards him together with Bruce who was hoping to get out of that situation.

“Antonio, please!” She cried. “Forgive me.”

Antonio felt his anger taking him by storm. He groaned, stamping his foot on the floor. Andrea shielded her face because she knew that he was gonna slap her. But she got shocked when she didn’t feel anything. However, when she removed her hands from her face, what she saw scared her even more.

Antonio’s eyes looked blood red. His jaws were shaking uncontrollably and he was staring at her like he wanted to kill her. When he started getting closer to her, she started taking steps backward, shaking her head.

“I am sorry.” She sobbed uncontrollably. “I did it for you. You were falling apart and…”

“My entire life, I have loved you more than anything in this world.” He roared, his voice sounding animalistic. “I gave you everything that you wanted. All I expected in return was for you to care about my happiness. But I had no idea that you were my worst enemy. I can’t even bear to look at your face.” He raged.

Andrea shook her head, putting her hands together. “I wanted to save you.”

“If that’s how you save me then how will you destroy me? My sister whom I loved so much just turned out to be my worst enemy.”

“No! Antonio, don’t say that…” She tried to touch him but he moved his hand furiously. “I love you so much.”

“Stop lying!” He fumed, angrily throwing a vase that was near him. It fell to the floor and broke into pieces. “For six years you’ve seen how I have suffered, you watched me die silently and you kept on making it worse. You knew that my love for Praveen was still there and you did your best to try and destroy whatever I still felt. And you were destroying me.

I thought my worst enemies were out there but I never knew that they were right in front of me. You even tried to kill your grandmother.” Andrea shook her head, putting her hands together. “You claim you loved me but you were destroying me and you even destroyed two innocent people’s lives. How could you stoop so low?”

“It was because we loved you.”

Antonio felt like someone had just poured liquid electricity on him when he heard that voice, the voice that raised his blood pressure… the voice that made his heart rage… the voice that turned his humanity off. He felt so much anger, so much rage, and so much hatred.

And when his eyes landed on Bruce, he simply saw nothing but evil. He slowly started walking towards him, his fists clenching and shaking terribly. A tear started rolling down his cheek while a splitting headache struck him. But he didn’t care. He felt hot and something was moving inside of him that he couldn’t understand. It was giving him so much power.

Bruce could see the anger in Antonio’s eyes but he just stood still. “You know how much I love you. I did it for our love. He was only destroying our relationship and I needed to save it. Remember our plans, Antonio? You were supposed to divorce him so that you and I could get married. Look at us now. We’re married and we can forget about all this and move on. We can be happy. Remember that we do crazy things when we’re in love, right?”

Antonio stood right in front of Bruce, staring into his ugly face.

“I love you so much, baby.”

Bruce made the mistake of touching Antonio’s hand and the reaction he got wasn’t what he had expected. The very moment Bruce touched Antonio’s hand, Antonio groaned angrily and then raised his fist, directing it right at Bruce’s face. Before Bruce even got the chance to see what Antonio was doing, he was hit on the nose so hard that the impulse itself sent him flying to the floor. Unfortunately for him, he fell right on a small glass table, hitting his head hard. The table broke and Bruce felt like something inside of him had broken.

He groaned and that was when he tasted it, his blood filling his mouth. Bruce touched his nose softly and his hand instantly became bloody. Then there was a sharp pain that he felt on his nose and realized that it was broken. He was bleeding like a mother fucker.

He tried to get up but the pain he felt was from out of this world. He groaned and covered his nose. But he was ripped from where he lay and gotten up. He just stared into Antonio’s angry eyes as soon as he raised his head.

“Don’t you ever call me that!” Antonio warned, gripping Bruce’s neck furiously.

Bruce couldn’t breathe. He started hitting on Antonio’s hand but the more he hit, the stronger the grip got. He felt the pressure building in his head at a faster rate. Tears formed in his eyes as they became blood red. Veins popped up in his neck to his head.

“I curse the day I met you and I regret ever having anything to do with you.” He squeezed harder, enjoying the look of agony on Bruce’s face. “You destroyed my life, my marriage and you caused the boy that I loved so much pain. I am gonna kill you. I will do the world a favor.”

Bruce wanted to say something but he couldn’t do anything. He started kicking his legs softly, trying to let himself loose but nothing was helping. He was bleeding… he was in so much pain and he was on the verge of death.

Meanwhile, Ethan got scared when he saw how Bruce was looking like. He was starting to convulse and he knew that Antonio was hell-bent on killing him. He rushed to him, held his arm sweetly, and looked at him.

“Antonio, stop it!” He asked in fear. “You’re gonna kill him. Please!”

“That’s what I am trying to do.” He groaned, adding more pressure. Bruce felt like his head was gonna explode. “I wanna end the life of this bastard for what he did to my Praveen.”

“No!” Ethan shook his head. “If you kill him then you’ll spend the rest of your life in prison. Please.”

“I don’t give a fuck!”

“Then how will you get back Travis?” Ethan asked, trying to reason with him. “He still needs you. You haven’t asked for forgiveness yet. How do you think he’ll feel when he gets to know that you murdered someone and you’re in prison? Don’t soil your hands with his dirty blood. There are other ways to deal with him.”

Antonio felt tears on his face. He groaned angrily and furiously let go of Bruce. Bruce fell to the floor with a thud and started coughing while trying to catch his air. He was still bleeding but he didn’t have the energy to cover his nose. His strength was completely gone and he crawled on the floor, trying to get away from Antonio.

“And you….” Antonio roared as he furiously walked to a scared-looking Emma. “….you stupid ugly bitch. I should have known that you’re a witch from the very beginning.”

“Antonio….” Emma sobbed, shaking her head. “…I only did that to save this family.”

“Save which family?” Antonio snapped. “You’re gonna pay for this, I promise you. I am gonna make sure that you pay for it big time. You’re gonna wish you hadn’t crossed my path, you bitch!”

Emma dropped her eyes to the floor, crying softly. She knew very well that it was over. She regretted everything that she had done. She needed to explain even if it was just once to him, ask for his forgiveness.

Emma raised her head and tried to say something but she got the shock of her life when she saw the police detective with about five police officers behind him entering the house. Her eyes widened and her heart pounded deep in her chest.

“Police?” She gasped. “Who called the police here?”

“I did it!” Eduardo said harshly, folding his arms on his chest. “Did you think you were gonna get away with everything you’ve done? No! Antonio might be soft but I don’t have the heart to just watch all your evil deeds.”

Emma shook her head. “You called the police to arrest members of your family.”

Eduardo chuckled bitterly. “Not my family but criminals that should be behind bars.”

Emma shook her head, feeling her strength leave her. She hadn’t expected them to involve the police. She looked at the police inspector who was standing there without saying anything and she felt a shiver go down her spine.

“This is a family matter. Shouldn’t we just talk about it?”

“Talk about what?” Emilia snapped as she furiously walked to her sister in law. “What the hell should we talk about? Should we talk about how you framed and destroyed an innocent boy or how you tried to kill mother? Women like only give other women a bad name. You’re supposed to be a mother, building a home, and not destroying it. But you’re the poison in this house. For so many years I have kept quiet ignoring you but not anymore. Who do you think you are to do this to my son?”

Emma sobbed. She had never seen Emilia as mad as she was at that time. The woman had her fists clenched.

“My husband was the most unfortunate man on this earth for having a heartless sister like you.” She added, pointing angrily at her. “On one hand you pretended to love and care for my son and on the other… you were destroying him.” Emilia’s eyes became glassy. “I thought my son was in good hands but it was a show for you, a game. You played with three lives here.”

“I didn’t intend to hurt him. You know how much…”

“Not another word from you!” Emilia warned, breathing like she was in labor. She had never felt so angry her entire life before. “For six years I have lived in hatred, hating an innocent boy. I have been laying curses on him when it should have been you I was cursing!” She yelled. “He was never wrong. He was only a victim in your disgusting game. That was what this entire thing was to you. But you destroyed that boy’s life. Only God knows what he went through when he left this house.”

Emilia covered her mouth and cried. “I told him some awful things but you are the witch and not him. Praveen was so innocent and even when Antonio used to hurt him, he never said a word to me or mother. He was always so cheerful and had the welfare of this family in his mind. But I had hurt him.”

Emilia cried uncontrollably, remembering the harsh words that she had used on him. Oh God, it hurt like hell and she felt like she had been stabbed in the heart. “I failed my husband. I failed Praveen’s mother. I should have stood by his side. But Eduardo is right. You’re gonna pay for all your sins against that boy.”

Emilia proceeded and looked at her daughter who looked weak and sobbing uncontrollably. She was always her sweet daughter, so innocent and beautiful. How did she turn so evil, Emilia thought as she got closer?

Andrea looked at her mother and just got weak. “Mother, I am sorry…”

But Emilia gave Andrea a hot slap that left her crying. “I wonder what sin I had committed that the almighty decided to punish me with an evil child.” She muttered. “I thought I had done my best in bringing you up but… I completely failed as a mother. I am not evil and neither was your father. I wonder what genes you carry.”

“Mom, I… I…”

“Now I am your mother?” Emilia sniveled. “What happened to bitch, evil woman, and wicked woman?”

Andrea was quiet. She couldn’t even utter a word because she knew that her mother was angry. She had never seen her that angry.

“Your selfish ambitions turned you into an evil bitch!” Emilia yelled, surprising everyone in the room. That was the first time she used a word like that. “I understood your hatred towards me but what about your brother? What did he ever do to you? And what did your granny do to you that you tried to have her killed? Up to now, I still can’t believe that my only daughter turned out to be the enemy of her own home.

Did you collaborate with Emma and Bruce to destroy your own brother? You’ll pay for this.”

“Mom, please!” Andrea put her hands together. “Forgive me. I will change. I don’t want to go to prison, please. Talk to…”

“I will do no such thing. You deserve to be there.” Emilia barked. Although she was saying that to her daughter, Emilia was getting pain from it. “You deserve to suffer a thousand times more for what you did to Santiago and Praveen. I will pray to the almighty every day that your suffering increases tenfold every day until you meet your demise.”

“No!” Andrea threw herself at her mother’s feet, holding her leg tightly. “Please, don’t say that.”

“And from today onwards….” She paused and closed her eyes. She was feeling so much pain from what she was about to say. “…I don’t have a daughter called Andrea. You’re dead to me and I don’t ever wanna see your face again. I pray you rot in jail.”

Andrea’s strength left her. Her heart started beating weakly and she dropped on the floor, crying softly. Her mother had just cursed her and she had never imagined that before. She was always so understanding and called her her baby.

“Detective!” Eduardo called harshly. “Take these criminals away from here and deal with them however you wish.”

Andrea’s eyes widened at her brother’s words. She quickly got up and looked at him, giving him puppy eyes but he just looked away.

The detective chuckled. “The three of you are under arrest. I am taking you to a place where murderers like you should be. Cuff them.” He ordered.

At the detective’s words, three police officers went to cuff the three culprits. They handcuffed them and Andrea was still pleading but no one was helping her. Antonio was just standing there quietly, crying to himself.

“Antonio, please…” Andrea screamed. “…please, don’t let them do this to me. I am sorry.”

But Antonio didn’t even look at her once. He was just so mad.

The policemen started dragging them out but Bruce stood still and looked at Antonio for a long time. “This isn’t over, Antonio!” He said, chuckling through his pain like a maniac. “It is you and I forever. We’re married and nothing will come between us. You’ll surely hear from me.”

“Please, detective, take him away from here.” Ethan pleaded.

The detective and his policemen took the three culprits away.

Seeing her daughter leaving, Emilia felt something inside of her move. She couldn’t bear it anymore. She covered her mouth and started rushing away from there. But before she even reached the staircase….


Emilia felt chills when she heard that voice. She quickly turned and found Antonio walking slowly towards her with tears in his eyes. He looked miserable and in pain. Emilia felt her heart jump with joy and she cried even more. After six whole years, she finally heard her son call her ‘mom’ again. It was a joyful moment. But she just stood there and looked at him.

Antonio walked to Emilia and once he reached her, he dropped to his knees and put his hands together, staring her right in the face. He remembered the way he had been treating her, the insults that he had rained on her, and all the pain that he had caused her. He didn’t know what to say to her and where to start. So he just cried uncontrollably.

“I am so sorry, mom…” He muttered, dropping his eyes to the floor. “…I don’t even know what to say to you after the way I treated you. I was a bad son to you and I caused you nothing but pain. I don’t think I deserve your forgiveness, mom. I don’t even deserve to be called your son.”

Emilia covered her mouth, looking at him.

“All I can say is that I am truly sorry. I don’t know if you can ever forgive me but…”

“Shh!” Emilia dropped to her knees and held his hands, kissing them softly. “I don’t want you to say another word. I am your mother and even though you hated me, I loved you a lot. That’s what mothers do.”


“It wasn’t your fault,” Emilia reassured, bringing him closer. “You were hurt and I understand what you did. You were in love with him and you thought he had betrayed you. Andrea, Emma, and Bruce are to blame for this. I am just so happy that you’ve called me mom again.”

Antonio gripped her and pulled her into a hug. Both mother and son just cried uncontrollably as they hugged. It was emotional for everyone that was present and their eyes got glassy.

“Please, save me, mom.” Antonio cried. “I can’t take this pain. Please, I can’t take it anymore. Why do these things always happen to me? I love Praveen so much and I want him back.”

“And you’ll have him back,” Emilia said, holding him tightly. “I promise you baby that Praveen will be back in your life. Now that the truth is out…”

“But he hates me.” Antonio sniveled. “He doesn’t want to ever see my face. I tried talking to him but he chased me away, mother. I don’t know what to do.”

“Shh…” Emilia was rubbing on her son’s back to make him feel better. “…everything will be fine. I am right here for you. All of us are here for you.”

Antonio closed his eyes and just cried on his mother’s shoulder. He was hoping to feel better again but the pain he was feeling was just too much. It was from out of this world. He didn’t know what he was gonna do.


Travis was seated closer to the bed where his son was sleeping peacefully, holding his hand sweetly and kissing it from time to time. He had tears in his eyes and he hadn’t left his son’s side since the time he had been brought into the room.

His son had a bandage wrapped around his head and although his wound wasn’t deep, Travis was still worried. His son had woken up and had cried with a headache. The doctor had given him an injection to send him back to sleep and hopefully, when next he was gonna be awake, he was just gonna be fine.

Travis sighed, burying his face in the mattress. He had a lot going on in his head and he just wished they could go away. As he was busy thinking, Travis felt a hand on his shoulder and he slowly raised his head and found Santiago looking at him with a stern face.

“Are you okay?” Santiago asked softly. “I am so worried about you.”

Travis nodded softly but before he did, tears started rolling down his cheek. He quickly got up from the chair and buried his head in Santiago’s chest, crying softly.

“Hey!” Santiago wrapped his arms around him. “Everything is gonna be fine now. You’ve finally proved your innocence to the entire Gonzalez family. You should be happy.”

Travis raised his head and looked at the hunk. “But why do I still feel like there’s still a lot that I have to do? I am really worried, Santiago. My son is hurt and… and Antonio won’t leave me alone. I just want to leave in peace. Can’t I have that?”

“You will,” Santiago assured. “You deserve it more than anyone. Now that the truth is out, both of us are free. The entire world will know that we didn’t do anything wrong. You’ll be vindicated and they won’t see us as cheaters anymore.”

Travis sobbed. “Thank you so much, Santiago.”

Santiago sighed, cupping the boy’s cheeks. “For what? I didn’t do anything.”

“For being with me to the end. You never left me when you had every chance to.” He said in an emotional tone that made Santiago teary. “You stood by my side through thick and thin. You saved my life and you’re still here. I don’t think I deserve this. All I did was cause you and your brother pain.”

Santiago slowly rubbed Travis’ tears, locking his eyes with him. “Until when will you stop blaming yourself. I chose this path myself and I don’t regret any of it. I have learned a lot from you and I am stronger because of you. If I could relive every moment I have spent with you all over again, I would. Only this time, I wouldn’t want to see you in pain.”

Travis smiled sheepishly, wondering what he had done to deserve someone like Santiago. From the very beginning, the man had been with him, showing him nothing but unconditional love. Travis and Santiago were so lost that they didn’t even realize that Vanessa had entered the room. The next thing they heard was someone clearing their throat, bringing them back to reality.

Both of them stood still and looked like they’d been caught doing something. Vanessa couldn’t help but chuckle to herself.

“Sorry about that.” Vanessa apologized, getting closer to Travis. “How’s he?”

“He’s okay.” Travis sighed. “But I will not be at peace until I have him out of here. I am really scared, aunt. Antonio already knows that Sean is my son. What if he finds out that…”

“He won’t find out!” Vanessa reassured. “Only the three of us here know that you were pregnant when you left that mansion. He won’t find out and besides, you’re a man.”

Travis ran his fingers through his hair, taking a seat closer to his son. He held his hand and kissed him. He felt his son stir and he couldn’t help but smile.

“Still. Until I get out of here, Antonio won’t stop pestering me. I need to get my son out of here and take him home. A doctor will come and check on him until he’s completely fine.”

“I understand and I agree.” Vanessa sighed. “But are you okay?”

Travis nodded. “Did you call his house to inform him about granny?”

“Yes! I called Celine and she told me she was gonna tell Eduardo.”

“Good!” Travis sighed gloomily, glancing at his aunt with a smile. “We can now leave without having anything to worry about. I don’t want to have any connection with Antonio.”

“But are you sure you want to leave without seeing granny?”

Travis was quiet for a second before he nodded. “I am sure. It will be better this way.”

He rubbed on his face. ‘I am so sorry, granny.’ He thought. ‘But I cannot take you with me. I need to cut out everything that still connects me to Antonio.’

Travis just prayed in his heart for the almighty to give him strength and peace. He didn’t wanna dwell in the past anymore.


Eduardo burst into the room like the hounds of hell were after him. He stopped in his tracks when he found his granny lying on the bed with a doctor checking her up. She looked peaceful and she wasn’t acting the way she did. He had no idea why he felt so emotional when he saw her. It had been long.


Eduardo rushed to her and buried his head on her chest, holding her tightly. “You’ve got no idea how happy I am to see you, granny.”

Eduardo closed his eyes and just held her tightly. He was expecting her to start her tantrum again but got shocked when he felt a hand on his head, playing with his hair.

“My grandson!”

Eduardo gasped, quickly raising his head. When he looked at granny, he found her smiling brightly with tears in her eyes. He thought he was dreaming but the woman caressed his cheek and chuckled softly. Eduardo couldn’t hold himself. Tears of mirth made their way to his cheeks and he started chuckling.

“Granny, are you okay?”

“Yes!” The doctor that was checking on her nodded. “She’s very much okay. It seems the impact of her fall was able to bring her memory back. Along with her mental problem, she had retrograde amnesia. She has been fine for some weeks now and she tried to walk but fell. Miraculously, her memory came back and she’s now fine.”

“Granny!” Eduardo chuckled in tears. “You’ve got no idea how much I missed you.”

He quickly glanced towards the door. “Antonio, come and see. Granny is fine now.”

Antonio was standing in the doorway with tears in his eyes. He was putting on a black skinny jeans with a white shirt and brown sandals. He looked like he had been crying the entire night. Eduardo had taken him with him. Of course, he wanted Eduardo to help him talk to Travis, make him understand.

“Antonio!” Granny opened her arms widely, a tear going down her cheeks. “My grandson. Please, come here. I missed you so much.”

Antonio sobbed and rushed to granny. He fell right in her arms and cried. She held him tighter and kissed his head.

“It’s okay, my baby,” Granny said softly. “I am fine now. You don’t have to cry.”

“It’s over granny.” Antonio cried. “I have lost him. He doesn’t want to forgive me. He hates me so much. Please, you need to help me talk to him. I had found out that he’s innocent. All that happened six years was all a frame-up by Aunt Emma and Andrea. I cannot afford to lose Praveen again. Please.”

Granny lost the smile on her face when she heard Antonio’s words. “Antonio, you cannot lose him. Travis is a good man. He’s just hurt because of what you had made him go through, son.”

Antonio raised his head and looked at his granny. “What am I supposed to do, granny? He told me to my face that he doesn’t want to do anything with me.”

Granny shook her head. “You cannot lose him.” She sounded really scared. “You need to fight no matter what happens. You need to get him back at all costs. You cannot lose him, not now that….” She paused and just looked at him.

Antonio frowned. “What are you saying, granny? Are you okay?”

Granny nodded. “Antonio, you need to fight. You cannot lose that boy. You need to fight at least for your son.”

The moment Antonio heard that he felt his heart pound sharply in his chest. His eyes widened and he got confused, a frown appearing on his face. He couldn’t understand any of the words that granny had just uttered.

“What are you saying, granny? I do not…”

“Listen to me, son.” Granny cupped his cheeks and looked into his eyes. “Travis has a son. His name is Sean. He’s been hiding him from you and…”

“Yes, granny!” Antonio nodded. “I have met Sean already but he’s not…”

“He’s your son!” Granny hollered. “Sean is Travis and your son. When I was staying with them, I found out that Travis was pregnant when he left our house six years ago.”

Antonio felt so scared that his hands began trembling. “No, granny. I think you’re not completely fine. Travis is a man. He can't get pregnant or give birth. Sean is Travis’ son but he’s not my son.”

Eduardo nodded. “I agree. It is scientifically….”

“It is but it is possible with the almighty. I don’t know how but he got pregnant and Sean is the product of that pregnancy. Sean is your son.”

Antonio’s body felt cold. He froze where he stood, staring at granny like he was going insane. There was no way Sean was his son. It was impossible, right? It couldn’t be the truth.

“You need to get him back. He’s your son. You cannot lose Travis.”

Antonio was feeling cold but then fear took control of him. Images of his first encounter with Sean started forming in his mind. He remembered how he had felt the first time he had laid eyes on him, the peace he felt, and how emotional he got. But most of all, he remembered the connection that he had felt.

‘Handsome uncle!’

Antonio gulped and stood up slowly, tears flowing down his cheeks. He looked at granny once again and couldn’t still believe it. “It is impossible. Sean’s not my son. I… I….”

“You need to get him back.” Granny pleaded. “If you think I am lying to you then… why don’t you go and ask him?”

Antonio took a deep breath, getting back to his senses. He rushed to his confused looking brother. “Where is Sean’s room, Eduardo? Where?”

“Room 554!”

Eduardo didn’t even finish his sentence and Antonio was already running out of that room like the hounds of hell were after him. He ran through the hospital like a crazy man, not caring who he bumped into. All he wanted was to reach Sean’s room and get an explanation from Travis.

Antonio didn’t take long and he reached the room, badging in like he was crazy. But unfortunately for him, he found one of the nurses busy arranging the room.

“Nurse!” He gasped. He was out of breath. “Where is the little boy that was admitted into this room?”

“Oh sorry, sir!” The nurse apologized. “They went home an hour ago.”

“Fuck!” He cursed and started running out of the room.

He was gonna find Travis one way or another. He wasn’t gonna stop.


Travis felt at peace when he finally entered his house together with his family. He got really happy and relieved and he also thanked the almighty that Antonio hadn’t come back. He was holding his son in his arms tightly, rubbing on his back. He was happy that his son was at least fine except for the healing process which remained.

“Here we are,” Vanessa said, taking a deep sigh. “Would you like anything?”

Travis sat on the couch with his son on his lap. He looked at him and the boy smiled. Travis couldn’t help but smile. His son was a really strong boy. Since working up the second time, he hadn’t cried or complained of pain. He had been the one who had even wiped Travis’ tears when he had cried.

“Baby, is it hurting?” He asked, slowly looking at the bandage around his head. And when Sean shook his head, Travis smiled and kissed his cheeks. “Would you like anything to eat? Daddy will cook for you anything you want.”

“Chocolate!” Sean giggled. “I want chocolate and ice cream.”

Travis chuckled. “I will give you chocolate and ice cream later, baby. Right now, you need something warm. You haven’t had anything.”

“But I want ice cream,” Sean said.

“Hmmm…” Travis moaned. “Okay, why don’t you go upstairs with granny to freshen up? Then daddy will make you soup and after that, you can have all the chocolate you want. Deal?” He stretched his hand.

“Okay, daddy!” Sean shook Travis’ hand and kissed his cheek. Travis couldn’t help but get emotional. His son was back. It was a pity he had a wound.

“Alright!” Travis hugged his son, getting up from the couch.

But before Travis could even give his son to Vanessa, a maid came rushing inside. “Excuse me, Sir. Travis, there’s a man causing trouble outside looking for you.”

Travis frowned as he gave Sean to his grandmother. “Who is it?” He didn’t remember giving anyone his address.

“I don’t know, sir.”

Santiago rushed to the door and once he glanced outside, he felt a shiver go down his spine. He quickly came back to Travis, looking at him in fear. “Travis, it’s… it’s Antonio.”

“What?” Travis gasped, feeling his heart jump in his chest. “What is he doing here and how did he find me?”

“Celine!” Vanessa felt scared. “She’s been here before. I think she gave him the address.”

Travis gripped his hair, feeling mad. He had no idea what he was gonna do. And he had thought that he had gotten away from Antonio once and for all. The idiot followed him home.

“Sir, the guards tried to stop him but he grabbed one of their guns and forced himself inside. He’s calling for you.”

Santiago clenched his fists. “I will go and face him. He needs to leave you alone.”

“No!” Antonio shook his head, staring at his aunt who was holding Sean tightly. “Aunt, please, don’t let Sean come out. I will go and face Antonio. Take care of Sean.”

Vanessa agreed and started rushing upstairs together with Santiago. Travis took a deep breath and got out of the house. He found Antonio holding out a gun while shouting his name like he was going out of his mind.

“Why are you here?” Travis said harshly. “What the hell do you still want from me?”

Antonio quickly turned and dropped the gun when he saw Travis standing there looking stern but very sexy. “You!”

He started rushing to him, getting closer. But Travis started taking steps backward, getting away from him. His pain slowly started coming back and he retaliated when Antonio tried to touch him. Antonio, on the other hand, could see the pain on Travis’ face and it hurt him like hell.

“You’re the reason why I am here, Praveen.”

“Don’t touch me!” Travis warned. “Stay away.”

He tried to touch the boy but he retaliated again. “Praveen….”

“Don’t you touch me!” He warned, his voice sounding a little bit weak. He had no idea why he suddenly got weak. “I am warning you, Antonio!” He raised his finger. “You won’t like what I will do next if you don’t leave from here.”

“But why?”

“If you don’t, I will have you arrested for trespassing. Why can’t you leave me alone? Go back to your family.”

“I can’t. Can’t you see?” Antonio was getting weaker. His heart was racing and he was tearing up. “I love you so much, Praveen. I know I was a fool but put yourself in my shoes. I am helpless here. I am still your husband and…”

“Stop it!” Travis warned, his eyes becoming glassy. “You’re not my husband. For the last time, I am not Praveen!” He yelled and then started walking away angrily. “What do you want me to do so that you can leave me alone? I don’t want…”

But as Travis was still talking, Antonio pulled on his arm abruptly and the next thing he felt was the man’s lips locking on his. He felt like he’d been connected to a cable of electricity when Antonio’s lips started sucking on his, kissing him tenderly and passionately. Travis felt weak to the point where he couldn’t do anything.

The way Antonio was holding his waist tightly while he moaned as he kissed him… the way he pulled him closer, leaving no space in between them, and the way he smelt, it all made Travis even weaker. But then his emotions started taking over and he started responding, closing his eyes. But before they were completely shut, he tore his mouth away from Antonio’s lips and pushed him away furiously.

Then before the guy even realized it, he gave him a hot slap.

“How dare you!” He roared, trying to fight his tears. “You’re despicable. Get lost and…”

He raised his hand to slap him again but got surprised when Antonio caught his hand sweetly and just looked into his face. “Tell me you didn’t feel anything from that kiss? Tell me you didn’t feel my love from it because I felt the love from yours.”

Travis withdrew his hand and got away from the guy. “Get out of here! Get out or I’ll have you arrested.”

Antonio was hurt. “You have changed in so many ways, Praveen. What’s happened to you? Now you’re this… this cold-hearted Travis?” He said, a tear rolling down his cheek. “What do I have to do to earn your forgiveness? I know that my Praveen is still inside there. I can tell from your embrace, from the way you kissed me.”

Travis got even weaker and he furiously rubbed his tears. The more Antonio got closer the more Travis got weak. His heart was racing so much and he felt like the guy was torturing him. It was too painful and he knew he needed to get out of there.

“You’re still my Praveen.”

“Why?” Travis shook his head as another series of tears made their way down his cheeks. “What is your proof that I want you? Did you get that from a stolen kiss? You abandoned me and you think you’re just gonna come here, kiss me and everything’s gonna go back to normal. You’re so pathetic and annoying. I don’t love you and I don’t want to do anything with you. I don’t even want to have any connection with you. Get out of here before I order my guards to hurt you.”

With those words, Travis started and started rushing back into the house.

“What about my son?”

Travis felt like something had just entered inside of him, taking his entire strength away. His eyes widened as he was suddenly struck by chills. He got really scared and his heart started pounding in his chest, threatening to rip out. His hands trembled and he felt out of breath.

He furiously turned and looked at Antonio, wondering how the guy had found out. But he wasn’t gonna give him the pleasure of making him weak. “What son?” He gasped, acting like a deer caught in the headlight. “What are you talking about?”

“Sean?” Antonio said softly. “He’s my son, isn’t he?”

Travis laughed bitterly, raising an eyebrow. “You are even more pathetic and crazier than I thought. Sean is my son and not yours? Are you stupid? You’re only wasting your time here so I suggest…”

“I know exactly what I am talking about?” Antonio snapped, getting closer to the boy. “That boy in there is my son because granny told me everything.”

Travis felt like dying right there. Shit! He could feel sweat forming on his skin and he gulped as he tried to come to terms with what he had heard.

“She told me that you were pregnant when you left that house,” Antonio said with tears forming. “I don’t know how you got pregnant but I believe that Sean is my son. My grandmother cannot lie to me.”

Travis was getting weaker. “You’re so pathetic. Where did you see a man getting pregnant and giving birth? You’re just really desperate and…”

“I will not listen to anything you say right now. As much as it sounds crazy, I believe granny because I don’t know what I felt the first time I saw Sean. Take off your shirt!” Antonio demanded, getting closer. But Travis got away from him. “Show me your belly.”


“Or better still, let me go in there and see Sean.” He added, making Travis so scared that he started panting. “I will take him for a paternity test.”

Travis’s felt warm tears running down his cheeks. “If you think I will let you take my son with you then you’re dead wrong, Antonio Gonzalez. I will fight you till the last drop of my blood if you dare touch him!” He yelled, looking at him in disgust. “Get out of here!”

“What are you so afraid of?” Antonio got closer. “If Sean is not my son then why should you worry? It won’t take long. Sean!” Antonio yelled at the top of his voice. “Sean! It’s your father.”

“No! Please, don’t call him.” Travis cried, getting closer to Antonio. “Please!”

“Sean, come out. It’s…”

“He’s your son!” Travis said abruptly.

When Antonio heard that, he felt his entire body go cold. He looked at Travis and saw him crying, looking vulnerable. Antonio’s face got flooded with tears as he got emotional.

‘He’s your son!’ Those words rang through his mind.

Antonio’s heart started racing and honestly, he got really scared. “I… I have a son?” He gasped, his eyes widening as he got closer to Travis. “We have a son? How’s this possible? How…”

But Travis shrugged off his hand and moved away. “Don’t ever touch me, Antonio. What do you think, huh? That by coming back to me, I am gonna just welcome you with open arms?”

Antonio remained standing there like a statue with tears on his face. He had so much joy inside of him yet he couldn’t even embrace the boy that he loved so much. He was a father now and he got emotional. All that he wanted to do so bad was to hold Travis in his arms, kiss his lips tenderly, and just be the way they were before everything went sour.

He got closer. “Please forgive me!” He muttered. “I can’t even imagine the pain that you went through, being pregnant, and giving birth to our son. You raised him all alone and… and I wasn’t there to help you through the entire process. Please,” He put his hands together. “Forgive me.”

Travis sobbed. “Why? And… for how many mistakes should I forgive you?”

Antonio shook his head. “I don’t even know how to answer that question. I had promised that I would protect you and would cause you no pain. I promised to stand by your side and never leave you alone. That night….” He paused and cried like a baby. “…that night I broke all the promises that I made to you. I never stood by your side through thick and thin. I am sorry.”

Travis frowned, his mouth shaking uncontrollably. “Why?”

“Because I can’t live without you!” Antonio said softly. “Because I love you. Because I want us to raise our son together as a family. I wanna know my son. I wanna hold you in my arms when I sleep and wake up with you each morning.”

Travis tried to fight his tears but he couldn’t. With each word that he heard from Antonio, his pain got out of hand. “So Antonio…” He furiously rubbed his tears. “…now that you’ve found out the truth about what happened to you, I am worthy of you?” His voice was rising. “That’s why you are apologizing to me?”

Antonio shook his head slowly. He didn’t even know what to say to the boy he loved.

“Why, Antonio?” He cried. “Why should I forgive you?”

Antonio got closer. “Because whether we want it or not, whether we accept it or not, our destiny has tied us together. Remember when we got married six years ago, the priest said that our hearts are destined to be together.”

Travis just looked at Antonio and continued crying. His heart was weeping and it was hurting so terribly. It was like something sharp had pierced it.

“Because you were right, Praveen.” He added. “I am not perfect, I am a fool. Our destinies are tied together and we were already late. I wanna be with you.” He moved his hand and caressed the boy’s cheek, making him slightly close his eyes as he wept. “I am sorry. I am so sorry.”

Travis could feel Antonio’s hot breaths on his face…. he could feel him getting closer…. He could feel the passion in his breaths and the way he breathed that he wanted him. But when he felt Antonio’s lips brush on his, he furiously opened his eyes and pushed him away from him.

“Don’t touch me, Antonio!” He warned. “Don’t even think of coming near me. Why should I forgive you? After all that you made me go through in your hands. You hated me, Antonio. You tortured me in that house. Not only did you physically torture me but you also did it emotionally and mentally. You have found out about Sean and so what?” He snapped.

Antonio remained standing there with nothing but tears, feeling the weakness preying on him.

“You promised you were gonna stand by side but you broke your promise that same night. People brought some pictures and you didn’t even think twice to throw me out like some whore!” He cried, yelling at the man. “You didn’t even care about what was gonna happen to me. You sent me out there in the middle of the night. I almost… almost got raped, Antonio!” He cried, breathing like he was in labor.

“If not for Santiago, the same man whose life you destroyed, would you still be here asking for forgiveness?” Antonio shook his head, crying softly. “No! You destroyed my life, Antonio and along with that, you got me pregnant. You shattered my soul with your rejection and your words. I became a shadow of myself. I couldn’t face anyone. Do you know that I died, Antonio?” He asked harshly.

Antonio couldn’t even utter a word. It was like someone was crushing his heart from the inside. He could see the pain on his lover’s face and it hurt him so much.

“I committed suicide at the holy river.”

“Oh my God, baby…” Antonio tried to get closer but Travis gestured for him not to even move. “…I am so sorry.”

“I survived by a miracle and it was because of Santiago.” He yelled. “But still the almighty gave me two reasons to live that day because I found out I was pregnant and I also found out that… that…” He paused and just cried uncontrollably, feeling weak and cold. “…I found out about a father I never even knew of. He did his best to try and bring me out of my misery. But through all this drama, I lost him all because he sacrificed his life for me.

My father donated his blood after Sean’s birth because I had difficulties during my caesarian section and lost a lot of blood. He never cared about his heart problem. All he wanted was to see both his son and grandson live. He died right in my arms. Do you know the pain of losing a father even before you knew who he was? Where were you?”

Antonio put his hands together, getting closer. He took Travis’ hands but Travis furiously pushed him once again, leaving him vulnerable. “Please, I am sorry. I was also a victim of this. Please… forgive me for the sake of…”

“Don’t you dare say it!” Travis warned. “You were supposed to be there for me, for Sean. But you were busy having fun with your lover throughout the town.”

Antonio shook his head abruptly. “I am sorry.” His voice was barely above a whisper.

“I almost lost Sean. I almost had a miscarriage and I was so scared.” He said softly, rubbing his tears. But they came right back. “I had difficulties my entire pregnancy because my body couldn’t handle the stress you gave me, Antonio. And now you think that you can just come back and everything will be alright? No!”

“I know I messed up, Praveen.” Antonio cried, dropping to his knees. “But I have suffered a lot too. For the last six years, I have lived in pain, the pain of loving you. I was living in self-denial. I still loved you.”

Travis chuckled bitterly, getting closer. “You still loved me?” His face then got stern. “If you still loved me then why did you marry someone else? Why?”

Antonio was quiet. He didn’t even know what had happened to him.

“I will answer that question for you.” Travis furiously rubbed his tears. “It is because the fucking dirty, village boy that was ruining your life was no longer there. You wanted to live your life now with the one you truly loved.”

Why did it hurt so much by saying that?

“That’s not true, my love…” Antonio shook his head abruptly. “…I accept that I was a fool. I was just in pain and I thought that I was gonna be happy. But the love that I had for you was stronger than I thought because I didn’t forget about you. Please, I am begging you. Forgive me. Don’t deny me the chance of being a husband to you, of being a father to Sean. I promise that I will make it up to you in whichever way you want. Let’s go back to the way we were, please.”

Travis felt his heart stop for a second and when it eventually started beating again, he felt terrible pain.

“What’s there to fix, Antonio?” He said in a painful tone. “There was nothing between us in the first place. What happened that night was a mistake that…”

“Please, don’t say that.” Antonio chimed in, crying like a baby.

“It was a big mistake that gave me a blessing in return.” He continued. “Sean is my reason for living and he’s my life. I don’t wanna get hurt anymore. We just have to accept that we didn’t have anything. I never loved you and I don’t love you, Antonio.”

Antonio’s heart shattered to pieces with those words. He felt a cold wind hit his face and then like he was insane, he started wailing like a kid, crawling towards Travis.

“Leave me alone. I just want peace. You can go home and forget you ever met me.”

With those words, Travis turned and started leaving.

“Please, don’t leave me.” Antonio wept. “I love you so much, you and our son.”

Travis took a glance behind. “If your love for me and our son is true, then you’ll leave us alone.”

He started rushing in with tears flooding his face. Antonio wanted to follow him but some guards came and started dragging him away. Travis went inside and locked the door, leaning on it while he cried. He could still hear Antonio’s voice calling for him and pleading with him as they took him until it got fainter and he couldn’t hear it anymore.

Travis felt weak. He moved his shaky hands to his lips, passing his hands on them. He could still taste Antonio on them and it hurt like hell. He felt like something was moving inside of him. The pain he had experienced six years ago was suddenly back.

“Curse you, Antonio!” He said in between sobs. “Why is it that up to now, you still have what it takes to hurt me so much?”

He just remained there and cried like a little child. He wanted everything to just go away. Even with the truth out, he was still hurting. It was so unfair. Suddenly, Travis moved his eyes forward and got shocked when he saw his son slowly walking towards him with tears in his eyes. He rushed to him and held his legs. Travis didn’t even bother to rub his tears. He just held his son tightly and cried.

“Daddy, why are you crying? Did that man make you cry?”

He slowly knelt, holding his son’s hands. No matter how much he wanted to stop crying, he couldn’t do it.

“Who was he, daddy? Why is he fighting with you? He’s bad.”

Travis would have laughed at his son’s words but he wasn’t in his right state of mind. He shook his head without saying anything and got emotional when his son started rubbing his tears. He leaned forward, kissed his son’s cheek, and hugged him tightly while crying. He had no idea why he got really scared. He knew that now that Antonio had found out about Sean, it was gonna be difficult to keep him away. After all, Antonio was a really powerful man.

He glanced at his aunt past his son’s shoulder and from the way he looked, the woman didn’t need to be a genius to know that Antonio knew about Sean. She covered her mouth in shock, shaking her head slowly.

“How did he find out?” Vanessa asked softly. “What are we gonna do now?”

But Travis was too weak to answer. He just held his son tightly and cried.


Emilia was seated on the couch deeply lost in her thoughts. She was holding a cup of coffee close to her lips and she looked like she was frozen. Emilia was feeling terrible and she had tears in her eyes. Everything around her seemed wrong. Even when she had gotten her son back… he had even slept in her room. But something was missing and she was hurt about her daughter.


Emilia came out of her thoughts and found Celine seated by her side, staring at her emotionally. She tried to smile but it failed terribly.

“You don’t have to hide your pain, mother,” Celine said softly, holding her hands softly. “Even I am feeling the same way.”

Emilia sighed, putting the cup on the table. “I don’t know what to do anymore, Celine. Everything that happened yesterday is still fresh in my mind. I still can’t believe that my family members were the ones that were destroying our house. Now all of us are broken.”

“I understand you,” Celine said in a low tone. “I am in pain and I don’t know what to do. For six years, we’ve been living in the shadows hating on an innocent boy that didn’t deserve what happened to him. How do we even face him now? We said some pretty bad things to him and….” She couldn’t even finish her sentence.

Emilia chuckled softly though in pain. “I am worried about my son. Until when will his pain go away? It hurts me to see him like that and I just want him to go back to the way he was before all this started. He doesn’t deserve this. He deserves to be happy.”

“He’s gone to get back his love. He’ll be fine.” A voice hollered.

Celine and Emilia quickly moved their eyes and found granny smiling at them as Eduardo pushed the wheelchair. Emilia and Celine both gasped in shock and rushed towards her. Once they reached her, they both fell into her arms and just sobbed. Granny held both of them tightly, rubbing on their backs.

“Oh mother,” Emilia cried. “You’re okay? You’ve got no idea how happy I am to see you. I missed you so much.”

Emilia was feeling a whole lot of pain. She couldn’t believe this was happening.

“I missed all of you too,” Granny muttered. “But you don’t have to worry. I am fine now. Travis took good care of me and I am now fine.”

Emilia cried even more. When she pulled away from the hug, she looked at granny’s face and got weak. “I failed you, mother! I failed your expectations and I failed Harvey as well. I couldn’t manage this house properly. I failed as a mother, as a daughter-in-law and as a grandmother. I don’t know what to say to you because…”

“What are you saying, Emilia?” Granny asked. “You’re the best daughter in law any mother in law can ask for and you’re the best daughter any mother can ask for.”

“I failed!” She sobbed uncontrollably. “Everything has fallen apart. Andrea and Emma were arrested yesterday. They tried to kill mother and them… they…”

“They got what they deserved,” Granny said harshly, getting a little angry. “Even the almighty tells us that no evil shall go unpunished. Eduardo told me everything and you’ve not failed at anything. You’re still the best mother. You did all you could to try and save your daughter from this but she didn’t wanna listen.”


“As for that useless daughter of mine, she can rot in jail for all I care,” Granny said furiously without any regret. “I don’t even wanna see her. As far as I am concerned, she’s dead to me. I’ll never forgive them for what they did to that poor boy. I will never forgive me. They shall suffer a million times more than that boy suffered.”

Emilia just looked at granny and tried to smile but she couldn’t. She glanced at her son and he smiled back.

“But everything will be alright now.” Granny smiled. “We’ve gotten rid of all the poison that was in our house and we shouldn’t cry at all. Antonio will be fine. You shouldn’t worry about him. Very soon, he’ll bring back your son in law.”

Emilia smiled and slowly rubbed her tears. She hugged her mother tightly and got up so that they could go to the living room. But as soon as she got up, she saw her son slowly coming inside the house looking like he was completely hopeless.

His eyes were blood-red… his hair was messy… his clothes were messy and he was looking like he didn’t have any single strength left in him. When Emilia saw him, she felt her heart pound painfully and she gasped, rushing towards him.

“Son! Oh my God!”

Everyone’s eyes were now on Antonio.

“Son?” She reached him and held his hand, looking straight into his eyes. He couldn’t even utter a word. “Are you alright? What happened? Why do you look like this?” But Antonio wasn’t even saying anything. The only thing moving on his body was his mouth which shook uncontrollably. “Come here.”

She started taking him to the living but she barely reached than when Antonio dropped to the floor and started crying. Emilia dropped to the floor and brought her son closer to her, holding him tightly. He lay on her lap and just cried for close to ten minutes. Emilia just played with his hair, trying to make him feel better. She knew how much pain he was experiencing and she felt he needed to cry it out. Antonio’s cries eventually subsided.

“Cure me, mother!” Antonio muttered in between sobs. “Please, cure me. I don’t wanna leave like this anymore. I am tired.”

Emilia slowly rubbed her tears. She needed to be strong for her son.

“I know the pain that you’re going through, my baby.”

“No, mom…” Antonio cried. “…I don’t think anyone would understand what I am going through. Praveen doesn’t want to see me. He… he hates me so much. He threw me out like a criminal and told me to my face that there was never anything between us. He doesn’t love me anymore. I love him so much and it hurts.”

Emilia shook her head. “No, baby…. Praveen doesn’t hate you. He’s just hurt and…”

“No! He hates me. I could see the pain when he was talking to me.”

“No, baby…” Emilia needed to think of something. “…I promise that he loves you. He’s just hurt. Why did he come back to you when he could have stayed away? He didn’t even take your companies away because he still loves you and…”

Antonio cried at the top of his voice. “This hurts a lot. He didn’t… he didn’t even let me see my son.”

The moment Antonio said those words, there was silence in the entire room. Emilia rose her head and she just looked at Celine who was equally shocked. She looked at her son again.

“What are you talking about, baby?”

“Sean!” Antonio wailed. “I don’t know this can be possible but… but Praveen was pregnant when he left that night. He had a child and that is… Sean.”

Celine and Emilia felt their hearts begin to race. “How’s that possible?”

“I don’t know,” Antonio said in between sobs. “But he hates me more for that. He blames me for everything, every pain that has ever happened to him. He blames me for his father’s death and for… for almost causing his death when he nearly died in the holy river. He also blames me for almost losing our son when he was pregnant. He asked me to leave him alone if I truly love him.”

“Oh my God!” Celine gasped, covering her mouth while flashbacks of all her encounters with Sean started coming back to her. “No wonder I was feeling that way. I… He was right in front of us and we never even realized it.”

“I don’t know what to do. Maybe he’s right. There was never anything between us that can be fixed. Andrea, aunt, and Bruce have destroyed my life.” He wailed, making everyone in the living room to tear up. It was really sad and emotional. They’d never seen him like that before. “Now, who will fix me? My broken heart… my life? And me? I just can’t leave my life without him because I love him so much. He’s my life, mom.

I just want to be with him and our son. Now I can’t even see my son, hold him, and kiss him. Mom, please, help me. I want Praveen back. I want him back or I will die.”

Emilia wrapped her arms around him tightly and he just cried there like a baby. He didn’t even know what was hurting anymore. His heart was in excruciating pain and his head was pulsing terribly, making it feel like it was gonna explode any second. He cried and cried until he slept on his mother’s lap.

But even though his sleep, he looked terrible and he was still sobbing. Emilia raised her face and looked at her family.

“I can’t bear to see my son this way. What are we going to do?” She cried.

“I don’t know,” Eduardo said softly, rubbing his tears. “I don’t even know if we have any right to go to Travis’ house after the way we treated him six years ago.”

“We have to try,” Celine said in between sobs. “We have more than enough reason to try and fix this relationship. Sean belongs here and Praveen too. No matter what pain he’s in, he’s gonna have to forgive us somehow.”

They all knew Celine was right but the question at the back of each of their minds was, ‘did they deserve his forgiveness?’


Travis was leaning on the floor, smiling brightly while checking on his son’s wounds who was standing on the huge table smiling back.

“Does it still hurt, baby?”

Sean shook his head abruptly. “Just a little, daddy.”

Travis smiled brightly and then kissed his son’s bandage softly. “Daddy will not let you feel any pain. I will be here with you. Now, tell daddy what you would like him to do for you.”

“Can I play with my toys now, daddy?”

Travis raised an eyebrow. “But you’re not too well, sweetie.”

“But I am fine. I will be here with you.”

Travis smiled. “Okay.”

The little boy giggled and then kissed Travis on the cheek. He got to the floor, picked up his toys, and started playing with them.

Travis on the other hand sighed and just sat on the couch, watching his son play. He got lost in his thoughts again and fear took him by surprise. He was putting on a simple green t-shirt, brown skinny jeans, and black sandals.

“Have you read the newspaper today?” Vanessa chuckled as she came to the living room. “There’s some juicy news here. Andrea, Bruce, and Emma were arrested two days ago and they’ve been charged with attempted murder, fraud, and many other things. I bet those idiots will be in jail for a long time. Serves them right if you ask me.”

She looked at Travis and he seemed so lost in thought.

“You’re still worried that Antonio might come back.” He heard Vanessa’s voice right before she sat on the couch closer to him.

Travis took a sigh of frustration and looked at his beautiful aunt.

“I don’t think he can muster the courage to show his face around here again.” She added, taking his hands into hers.

“He won’t leave me alone, aunt!” He said in a tone that scared Vanessa. “Right now, I am even scared of going out with my son because I feel that he might be watching me. He won’t leave me alone. I know what kind of man he is.”

Vanessa took a deep breath. “Then file charges.” Travis looked at his aunt in shock. “File a lawsuit to scare him off.”

Travis was really confused. He rubbed his face. “Antonio is a very powerful man and he can easily escape that. And even if he doesn’t, I don’t want this to end up as a legal issue. If I was the only one he was bothering it would be alright. I can deal with him. But I am afraid for Sean. I am scared of what is gonna happen once he finds out the truth. I don’t wanna lose my son to anyone, aunt. That’s why I need to deal with this issue once and for all.”

Vanessa frowned. “What do you have planned?”

Travis ran his fingers through his hair, getting up from the couch. He was so damn nervous and he couldn’t hide it.

“I was thinking of going back abroad.” He said with a lot of difficulty. “As soon as Sean recovers, we’re going back abroad and this time….” He paused and felt tears building. “…this time it will be for good. I have achieved my goal and it’s about time I started a new life with my son somewhere far away from Antonio.”

Vanessa got up and looked at him. “But you’ve always said you want to be close to your parents.”

“I know.” Travis’ tear rolled down. “But this is a sacrifice that I have to make. I am sure my parents will understand, even if it means I will never visit them again.” He was in pain. “I just want to start my life all over again with my son. That’s all that matters to me. Besides, I still have my….” He paused and sobbed. “…I still have my mother with me.”

Vanessa felt like someone had just added life into her when she heard those words from Travis. She didn’t even know when she started gasping or when her face got wet with tears or when her heart began racing. She had been waiting for a long time to hear that from him. It was an achievement for her. Vanessa opened her arms wide and Travis rushed in them.

“I love you so much, my son.” Vanessa kissed him all over the head. “I will go with you anywhere in this world. You and Sean are the most important things to me. I will die loving you.”

Travis just sobbed while holding his newfound mother. He was in pain and it was gonna be difficult to leave the place he had grown up in, a place that was his home. It was gonna be really hard for him to go with the thought that he was never gonna see his parents again.

As the two of them hugged, suddenly a maid came there.

“Excuse me, sir!” She said, slowly bowing. “You’ve got some visitors.”

Travis pulled away from the hug and rubbed his face. “Who…”

But Travis turned and he got the shock of his life. His heart started racing and his fear doubled. Ethan and Emilia were standing right in front of him with sadness on their face, staring right at him. Travis had no idea why he felt so much fear.

“Aunt, please, take Sean inside.” He asked abruptly.

Vanessa quickly took the boy in her arms and she rushed upstairs with him. The boy didn’t even realize what was going on. Emilia on the other hand had her eyes on Sean and she couldn’t help but feel the need to hold him and just hug him. He was handsome, the most handsome kid she’d ever laid her eyes on.

“What are you doing here?” Travis asked harshly, folding his arms on his chest.

Emilia took a deep breath and looked at him. “We need to talk, Praveen. I know that…”

“There’s nothing to talk about. Whatever I needed to say, I told your son yesterday.” He said hoarsely. “Why don’t you go and ask him?”

Emilia remained quiet. She could hear the pain and anger in his voice.

“Travis, I know that all of us had hurt you.” Ethan pleaded, putting his hands together. “But please, we’re all begging you to forgive us. Antonio is suffering and as his best friend, I can tell that he loves you so much. He was a fool to have hurt you but…”

“I don’t hold any grudges against you,” Travis said. “But I am sorry, I cannot help you. Antonio needs to solve his problems. I am not his problem because he never loved me and he was always hurting me. There was nothing between Antonio and me to start with. We were just two souls that got married due to circumstances.”

Emilia sobbed softly. “Praveen, my son, please.” She put her hands together. “I am begging you. You’re a father too and I am sure you understand my situation. My son is suffering and I cannot bear to see his pain. For the sake of the relationship you and I shared…”

“I thank you so much for the way you took care of me, your love, and everything you gave me.” Travis chimed in, getting closer. “But our relationship ended six years ago, that same night. Do you remember?”

‘Even a witch doesn’t attack her own home. But you were destroying your own house? I am not your mother and I will never be. Get out of here!’

Emilia sobbed softly when she remembered the painful words that she had used on him. She slightly closed her eyes and felt Ethan holding. Ethan too was hurt. He didn’t know what words to use on Travis because he had changed.

“I don’t want to do anything with your family.” He added. “The truth is out. All of you should just forget that I was ever there. You can live in peace now as I want to live peacefully too.”

Emilia was still crying. She looked at Travis and he looked away. She was hurt.

“Can I at least see my grandson?” She muttered.

Travis frowned, clenching his fists. “Please leave!” He gestured towards the door. “I want you to leave right now.”

Emilia held on closer to Ethan and just looked at Travis who was fighting his tears. It was really hard to throw them out because he still loved them both. But it was for the best.

“Travis!” Santiago came rushing downstairs.

When he saw the two that were with him, he went straight to Travis and took his hands.

“Santiago, please, tell them to get out of here.” He pleaded.

Santiago nodded. “I will handle it.”

He kissed Travis’ forehead and went to the two that stood pitifully there. He took a deep breath. “Please, come with me.”


“Ma’am…” Santiago said softly. “…it’s okay. Just come with me.”

Emilia and Ethan looked at Travis one last time before they left with Santiago. As soon as they left, Travis burst into tears, falling to his knees. It was just so hard.

“Look, I am truly sorry for what you heard back there.” Santiago apologized as soon as they got out. He put his hands together. “But you’ve got to understand Travis. He’s been through hell and back. He’s just trying to protect himself and his son from pain again. I have been with Travis since that night and what he’s been going through has been hell. He committed suicide at the holy river six years ago and it was by a miracle that he was revived.”

Ethan took a deep sigh, trying his best to be strong. “I don’t even know what to say to you, Santiago. You’re a good man and going through what you did years ago wasn’t fair for both of you.”

Santiago chuckled, taking a sigh. “I don’t care about myself, Ethan. I didn’t even care about what had happened. The only pain that I had to live with was seeing Travis getting hurt every day. He might have gotten rich but I could still see that pain in his eyes. Maybe what happened was the almighty’s doing.” He shrugged.

Emilia sobbed softly. “I am so sorry, son. I didn’t trust you and I apologize on my family’s behalf. On the brighter side, I am glad the wedding didn’t happen. You didn’t deserve a woman like that. You deserved someone better because you’re such a good man.”

Santiago smiled sheepishly. “I hold no grudges against your family. But… I don’t think I can help you talk to Travis about Antonio. I also think it’s best if you just do as he says.”

Emilia nodded softly. “You do love him, don’t you?”

Santiago smiled. “I have never met anyone like him before. He’s just so unique and to answer your question…” He paused and looked at her. “…Yes! I love Travis a lot. But what he needs from me right now is a friend and a companion. And what matters to me is just his happiness and Sean’s happiness.”

Emilia smiled sheepishly and then squeezed his shoulder. Then she started leaving.

“If you can help us, please do,” Ethan said softly, trying his best to smile. “My friend is suffering and he’s just a victim in all this. I know that you’re a good man and Travis is lucky to have you as his friend.”

Santiago smiled. “Thanks, buddy!”

They both shook their hands, smiled at each other before Ethan left. Santiago remained standing there, leaning on a pillar deeply lost in thought.


The entrance door to the abandoned mansion flung open, making it brighter everywhere. Antonio was standing at the entrance, looking all around. The entire place was dusty, chairs were covered with white clothes and it was entirely abandoned. There were cobwebs everywhere, broken furniture, broken glasses, burnt furniture, and a whole lot of ugly things. It was completely a mess.

Antonio slowly started walking into the mansion he hadn’t stepped in for the last six years. As soon as he took the first step in, he was suddenly hit by a really cold wind that traveled all over his body. He glanced down and saw the bloody footprints that had failed to be wiped.

‘Get out!’

He remembered the day Praveen had made those footprints. He had hurt himself while leaving and he had been looking so disoriented. It killed Antonio to remember that. He leaned down, passed his hands on those prints, and cried.

He got up, looked all around and all he could see was the way he used to hurt the boy. He remembered the insults on that very night.

‘You know how much I love you. I can never betray you like this. Someone is just trying to separate us. Please, my love!’

‘Don’t touch me with your filthy hands. I never knew I was married to a whore.’

Antonio’s tears started flowing as he started walking up the stairs to his room, well, the room he used to sleep. It was just the way he had left it. It was burnt on one side because he had wanted to burn all the memories that were in that room. He had just gone insane when Praveen had left. He had even stopped sleeping there.

He scanned the whole room and cried, even more, when he saw a broken portrait of their wedding picture right on the floor near the bed. He slowly walked towards it, knelt down, and just looked at it. Both of them had been serious because they hadn’t wanted to get married. He slowly took the portrait, passing his hands-on Praveen’s picture.

‘No matter how much you hate me or torture me, I will fulfill my duties.’ He remembered Praveen’s words. ‘I am not your enemy but you may choose to believe whatever the hell you want. I never wanted to marry. I only did it for the sake of my mother.’

‘As long as you’re married to me, you’ll be suffering for the rest of your life. I promise you.’

Antonio began crying and just held the picture close to himself. He was so lost in his pain that he didn’t even realize that his phone was ringing. He didn’t even hear it. All he wanted was Praveen. He was tired of crying. His eyes were always red and completely swollen. He just wanted Praveen and his son back.


Travis was coming down the stairs, looking sexy in a beautiful see-through shirt with a black vest inside. He was wearing a white skinny jeans that showed off his gorgeous body with black snickers on his feet. His hair was tied in a simple ponytail, revealing his gorgeous face.

A smile popped up on his face when he saw Santiago and his son waiting for him downstairs with smiles on their faces. They were both dressed in black cargo shorts and white vests. He couldn’t help but laugh.

“Hmm….” He moaned. “What’s going on? What’s with the outfit?”

Santiago smiled. “Just two men having fun. Is daddy jealous?”

“Not really!”

Travis leaned forward and kissed both their cheeks before ruffling their hair. They both laughed but it was the giggles of his son that made Travis smile like he was going crazy. The little boy was healing and Travis was happy. A day or two and the bandage was gonna be removed.

“Where are you going, daddy?” The boy asked. “Come and play with us.”

“Oh, sweetie!” He took him from Santiago’s arms and kissed his lips. “I would have loved to but I have to go to the office to get some important stuff. I will be back later, okay?”


Travis smiled and gave him back to Santiago.

“Are you sure you wanna go there?” Santiago asked with a stern look. “You can always tell someone to bring those things.”

Travis gave a gloomy sigh. “I have to do this. There are somethings at Tonzalez blue that I need to do personally. I will be back very soon. Aunt just went to the mall to get some things. She’ll come and help you take care of Sean.”

“As if I am complaining.” Santiago laughed. “I can spend an entire year with this bundle of joy. Just go and come back quickly.”

Travis kissed both of them goodbye and quickly left though he was feeling nervous.

“Alright, Sean…” Santiago said with a raised eyebrow. “…just you and I now. We’re gonna have so much fun.”

He started running around the house with the boy on his shoulders and from the way the little boy laughed, Santiago knew he was having fun.


Travis put the last item that he was holding, his father’s picture in a box, and closed. He was done picking all his things and he wasn’t gonna lie, he was gonna miss that office. But it was for the best. He had cleared his desk, taken all his things, and was now ready to leave. With a final look, he slowly turned and smiled brightly. But he found his assistant staring at him with a sad expression on her face. He walked closer to her, rested his hand on her shoulder, and sighed.

“You don’t have to be sad. You’ll be okay.”

She shook her head. “Nothing is ever gonna be okay, sir. I don’t even know how we’re gonna survive without you here.”

“There are still a lot of people.”

“They are also sad that you’re leaving this company.” She added. “Is there no way of you resolving this with Sir Antonio without you leaving.”

Travis chuckled nervously. “This moment was gonna come sooner or later. I will miss all of you guys too. I have already apologized and I have given each of my team members 100 000 dollars as a thank you. You’re the best assistant and I will miss you too. Besides, I am not dying. I am only leaving this company. We’ll be meeting and you have my line. You can always call me.”

She nodded and dropped her eyes to the floor, hiding her tears from him.

“Cheer up!” He raised her head using her chin, smiling at her. “Why don’t you help me take this box downstairs? I will be with you shortly.”

She nodded and took the box, leaving Travis all alone in the office. Travis took a sigh and just remained quiet, looking all around.

“Goodbye, office…”

Travis then turned to leave but he felt his heart jump when he found Antonio in the doorway staring right at him with tears in his eyes. He was looking messy and his eyes were a bit swollen. The guy was wearing an untucked white shirt and black trousers with white shoes on his feet. He looked like someone that hadn’t slept in days. Travis felt pity for him but he needed to get out of there.

He started rushing towards the door but Antonio quickly closed the door and leaned there with his back on the door. He was staring at Travis and he could see the pain in his eyes. The boy was about to tear up.

“I have fulfilled your wish of staying away from you and our son even though it’s been killing me inside,” Antonio said softly. “But I don’t think I can do it anymore, Praveen. Every day that I stay away from you, it kills me slowly. I can’t bear the pain anymore.”

He furiously moved to Travis and stood in front of him. “I am a bad person… the biggest asshole on the planet… I deserve all this pain for what I did to you. But please, forgive me. I beg you. You can do anything you want with me.”

He took Travis’s hands and started hitting himself on the cheeks. “You can slap me. You can punch. You can even stab me right now. But don’t tell me to stay away from you and our son, please.”

Travis was feeling himself going weak and tears forming in his eyes. He hadn’t expected to see Antonio and he was shocked.

“Please, forgive me.” He cried. “I beg you, Travis.”

Travis moved his hands away from Antonio and started rushing to the door. He needed to get out of there. But before he even touched the knob, Antonio grabbed him and pinned him to the wall, getting closer to him. Travis felt a tear going down his cheek as his entire strength left him.

“That night we made love…” Antonio continued. “…that was one of the best moments of my life. Not only did we make love that night, Praveen. But Sean was also conceived, our miracle son. That night, I fell deeply in love with you and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. But due to circumstances, I doubted your love and that was the biggest mistake of my life.

I… I was just deeply hurt because something that I felt was real for the first time… I thought it was a lie and I am sorry for that. I… I don’t even know what to say to you, Praveen. I thought I had a lot to say but… I am so sorry.”

Travis wanted to move away but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t move. It was like he was frozen in a myriad of emotions. Antonio was getting closer to him, their lips almost touching but he couldn’t move. His heart was racing and he was scared.

“I just want to hold you again with all my heart…” He said softly, getting closer. “…I want to kiss those lips again with my entire soul and I wanna make love to you, make you mine again. I miss you so much, Praveen. I have never stopped.” He took Travis’s hands and kissed them. “Please, baby. I love you so much.”

He looked up and got locked with Travis’ eyes. Both of them were staring into each other’s eyes and they didn’t even realize that space in between them was closing. They were lost in each other and they were both in tears. Their breaths were one and their lips were ready to touch but suddenly…

Antonio’s phone started ringing and Travis snapped out of his mood, furiously rubbing his tears. He pushed Antonio away and gave him an angry look. He couldn’t believe he’d just been about to kiss him.


“Answer the call.” Travis didn’t even realize what he was saying.

“Listen to me…”

“Please, just answer your call and leave me alone.”

Antonio quickly took out his phone and found it was Ethan. He furiously picked up the call.


“Thank God you’ve answered.” Ethan sounded out of breath and it worried Antonio. Travis wanted to leave but Antonio used his leg to block him.

“I have been calling you for a long time and…”

“That’s because I am busy and I am gonna cut the call.”

“Listen to me you big baby,” Ethan yelled on the other end. “Bruce escaped from jail last night.”

Antonio felt his body go cold and his eyes widened, his heart giving a sharp pound in his chest. He got really scared and he glanced at the boy who looked super mad.

“What?” He gasped, his voice sounding low. “What do you mean by that? How?”

“The inspector has been trying to get ahold of you but you’ve been acting like a dick and not picking up anyone’s call.” He said angrily. “Bruce escaped last night and they’re unable to find out where he is. But they believe since Bruce is kinda powerful, he might have bribed someone of higher rank and they helped him escape.

The inspector has every reason to believe that Bruce is armed. And I think he might be going after Travis and Sean. He was talking about revenge to his inmate.”

Travis felt like someone had just hit him in the head. “I am with Travis right now.”

“Good! Keep him safe.” Ethan sounded scared. “Don’t let him out of your sight. I will tell the inspector where he is and he’ll come there. I will call back later.”

Antonio cut the call and rushed to Travis. “Listen…”

“If you are done with your drama, I would like to leave,” Travis said harshly. “If you don’t let me go, I am gonna do something terrible to you and…”

“Please, listen…”

“To what?” Travis snapped. “And don’t you ever touch me. Watch yourself, Mr. Gonzalez.”

“Travis, please…”

But before he said anything, Travis’ phone started ringing and Travis moved away from him.

“Hello, mommy, what…”

‘Travis!’ Vanessa gasped in fear on the other end.

“Mother!” Travis got scared. “What’s going on?”

‘It’s Sean!’ Vanessa sobbed. ‘He’s missing.’

“What are you saying?”

‘Someone broke into our house, Travis.’ She cried. ‘The guards were drugged and I don’t know how but all of them passed out. And Santiago was hit on the head and he passed out. I found him on the floor with a wound on his head. I believe… I believe…’ She cried uncontrollably. ‘…someone has kidnapped our little boy. Someone has kidnapped Sean.’

Travis’ phone dropped to the floor with a thud while he remained standing there looking like he had seen a ghost. His body instantly went cold and he got pale. He didn’t know the pain that struck him or when Antonio rushed to him and got him in his arms before he could completely fell to the floor. His face was wet with tears and he was gasping for air. Anyone that would have seen him at that time would have thought he was asthmatic.

‘Someone kidnapped our little boy. Someone kidnapped Sean.’

“No!” Travis cried at the top of his voice, gripping Antonio’s shirt. “No! Please, get my son back. Save our son, Antonio. Please!”

Antonio got shocked by what he heard. “What are you…”

“He’s missing, Antonio!” He cried, pulling him hard. “Our son has been kidnapped. Please, get him back, Antonio. I beg you.”

Antonio felt like someone had stabbed his heart. But he couldn’t afford to go weak with the state Travis was in. He needed to be strong. He held him tighter and was about to say something right before Travis’ phone started ringing again.

Travis didn’t know how he got away from Antonio but he found himself crawling to his phone. Without even seeing who it was, he quickly answered and simply froze when he heard the voice that was there. He stopped crying and just remained still while Antonio held him.

‘Did you miss me?’ The voice on the other end said.

Travis felt chills. “Bruce!” He gasped.

‘I missed you.’ Bruce laughed at the other end. ‘That’s why I wanted us to have a wonderful reunion. Someone has already joined me. It’s just you remaining. Wanna hear?’

It was silent again but…

‘Daddy…’ Sean screamed on the other end, completely shuttering Travis’ soul. He started breathing like he was in labor. ‘…daddy, help me.’

“Sean…” Travis couldn’t even recognize his voice.

‘Now you listen to me,’ Bruce said in an angry voice. ‘If you wanna see your son alive, you better come to the address I will give you. Do not involve anyone or the police otherwise, I will fucking send your son’s body in pieces. So it’s up to you if you want him in piece or in pieces.’

“No, please, don’t…” Travis sobbed, visibly shaking. Antonio was scared.

‘Good boy,’ Bruce laughed. ‘You’re intelligent. Now listen to me…’

As Travis listened, he simply got weaker and his strength completely left him. He was sweating terribly and his heart was beating violently. He knew he couldn’t mess up because his son’s life was now in his hands.

What happens now? Will this epic second book end like the first one or will Travis prove that he’s not only beautiful but also as tough as the ‘iron rose?’

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

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Chapter Comments

Arrrgh, Bruce is a cockroach; so elusive but never far from being unseemly and extremely dangerous.

Ok, you got me with Grandma Katy. I dismissed that possibility thinking of stronger, more direct ties to Praveen; in her waking calls she had desperately wanted Antonio, to warn him; touché! lol 

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Damn Bruce but ugh while it’s not nearly to the same degree I’m not too thrilled with the others either. How self-centered can you be? I originally like Celine a good bit but I don’t enjoy them deciding that Sean is meant to be with them as that’s not their place. They aren’t his family regardless of blood and they have no say in where he’s “supposed” to be. As far as Ethan goes...I get that he’s Antonio’s friend so I understand that he wants the best for him yet Antonio isn’t merely a victim in all this. Yes he eventually fell for Praveen as well as was tricked with false photographs yet he also continuously verbally & physically abused Praveen throughout their “relationship” as well as blatantly cheated on him. Then he without even second guessing those photos easily called Praveen a whore and tossed him out of his life. Just seems like once again these people are thinking solely about their happiness without giving a damn about Travis/Praveen’s happiness. 🤦🏻‍♂️
As far as Antonio being a powerful man while he does have a career that earns him a large amount of money Travis is forgetting that all of the family money is in his name so he could really cripple Antonio’s financial ability to hinder his freedom if he chose. Also I’m now recalling the guy Bruce was having an affair with for years prior to marrying Antonio and I’m wondering if he’s going to be helping Bruce in some way since he apparently dropped off the map years ago as well as is someone Antonio still doesn’t know about.

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If destiny is to be for Antonio and Praveen, I could see both of the supporting best bi-friends becoming closer.

I agree with you on what Celine said, but I also kept the interpretation to be less possessive and more inclusive as to Sean belonging here.

Edited by Philippe
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Antonio's family has a lot of nerve going to Travis to demand anything! He doesn't owe them shit for what they did to him. If I were him I wouldn't want my son anywhere near a family who is not only so quick to banish someone from their family but also make their life a living hell. None of them deserve forgiveness as far as I'm concerned. I'm all about karma, and I think the tip of the iceberg had barely been hit as far as how much Antonio and his family deserve! Bruce just needs to be wiped away. My heart breaks for Sean being in the situation he's in.

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