AFFยฃCTION โ„๏ธ
[ Say You Love Me, Slowly… ]

๐—–๐—›๐—”๐—ฃ๐—ง๐—˜๐—ฅ 53โžช54

๐—•๐—ฌ; ๐— ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—œ๐—˜ ๐—š.

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โ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž โž
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๐Ÿ’Œ WE KILLED THE RICHARDSON TOGETHER, SON. HOW WILL YOUR DORA FEEL IF SHE FINDS OUT? Another message popped up and the phone left his hands.

” Hey buddy, is everything alright?” Eduardo left the bed and approached Mariano. The sudden change of expression on Mariano’s face got him worried and seeing how the phone left his hands, he was sure he saw something disheartening.

He picked up the phone and glanced at it. He looked up at Mariano who suddenly burst into laughter.

” Ethan? His alive? That motherf*cker didn’t diรฉ? What sort of miracle happened to him too?” He laughed again which slowly turned into a frown.

” What is Ethan trying to do? Why is he showing up just now? Has he been keeping a tab on you?” Eduardo asked.

” He killed the Richardson and I know of it? How’s that possible? Why isn’t it recorded in my memory?” Mariano wondered aloud.

” Why don’t you ask your brother? He must’ve remembered something about it too” Eduardo suggested. Mariano stared at him briefly before leaving the room.

” Can I have a word with you, ermm… Santario?” Mariano asked, not sure of what to call him.

” Mariano, I’d love to talk to you and your brother after the meal” Rose said and started leaving to the kitchen once more.

” Mom, do you have any idea if Ethan is alive?” Mariano asked.

Rose held the hem of her dress tightly immediately the word left his mouth. After studying her facial expression, Mariano smiled.

” We’ll talk about it later then” He held Santario’s hand and started leading him to his room. Santario stared at their interlocked hands, his mind drifting to when they were younger. How Mariano always pulled him up without warning, to either show him something or whenever he wants them to play together. Back then, Mariano always had a wide smile on whenever they were together.

When they got to the room, Santario withdrew his hand.

” Why did you bring me here?” He asked and Mariano cleared his throat.

” I received a message from Ethan ”

” And what does that have to do with me?” Santario frowned.

Mariano took out his phone and showed him the message. After glancing at the message, he scoffed.

” That scumbag didn’t diรฉ?” He smirked.

” Do you remember anything about Mariano being part of his scheme?” Eduardo asked.

Santario scoffed as he watched them skeptically.

” I thought you said your friend is smart. You kept praising him at the hospital about how sensible he is. Tell him to use the same brain you’re jealous of once more ” Santario eyed Eduardo before turning to leave.

” Miguel!” Mariano called and his steps halted.

” Have you been pretending all this while? I mean since I was a kid. Were you just pretending to like me back then? Cos I don’t know why you don’t feel happy about knowing I lived well. You’re disgusted by the sight of me, but I must tell you this;… ” He took in his lips and glanced at the ground before looking up again.

” The wasn’t a day I didn’t think of you. I held Rose captive when I was 21 and the past five years were hell for her. I thought she killed you, the most important person in my life which is why I tormented her. I wasn’t mร d when she poisoned me after I caught her cheating with Nathan, and… ” He paused.

” Can’t we be brothers anymore?” He added.

Santario stood transfixed on the spot for a while before turning around.

” I don’t know what you heard Ethan say on the phone, but that day, he was talking to his mistress and I’m sure you heard their conversation. You should try to remember. I think he threatened you about telling anyone, and when I asked you, you kept crying and just kept repeating โ€œ accident โ€. That was the day you left home and came back almost dead”

” Ethan threatened me about telling anyone? Then where did I go that day?” Mariano thought for a while yet nothing came to his head.

” Fลฏรงฦ™! It can’t be true, I wouldn’t have kept quiet about it. I must have told Attorney Bills about it right? Gosh, I’m confused” He hissed as he touched his forehead.

” Since Dad was close to the Richardson, why don’t we ask him? I’m sure he knows the real killer and that’s why they wanted him dead ” Eduardo spoke up.

” All my life, Ruby made it known to me that I killed the Richardson and that was why he was able to find me after I woke up, but now that I think about it, it wasn’t me ” Santario said

” What do you mean?” Mariano furrowed his brows.

” The accident happened 15 years ago at 9 pm, which was thirty minutes before I died. That means I was still with my family when the accident happened. I hadn’t met Ruby then. I met him after the accident and since I couldn’t remember my past, he made me the culprit ”

” Tsk, tsk! he’s so clever ” Mariano tutted.

” But the news… ”

” What news?” Mariano and Eduardo asked at a time.

” It was made known that they had a bullet in their skull too. At 15, I wasn’t even capable of holding a gun, nor could I drive a car, but that motherFลฏรงฦ™er made me believe I killed them, and that was the memory registered in my head for the past 15 years!”

” That foรณl even made a live broadcast shading fake tears which I think moved the people. Since he was the closest and most trustworthy person to Marlo, he was asked to attend the meeting on late Marlo’s behalf. Gosh, can’t believe I’ve been fooled all this while”

” Are you saying, Ruby may be the killer?” Eduardo asked.

” Since Ethan claims to be the killer, he might be right. Though the Ethan I know has never in his life held a gun. He’s callous, but he mostly deals with using metal rods and baseball bats. He loved seeing his victim suffer painfully with no hope till they slowly die” Santario said.

” I think Ethan is bluffing. But where the hell has he been all this while?” Eduardo asked.

” Whether he’s the Mastermind behind the Richardson’s death, or it’s Ruby, I don’t really care but as for Ethan, he must be somewhere close, watching mom… ” Mariano’s face brightened as a thought came to his mind.

” Why haven’t I thought of this?” He smirked as he remembered Rose always screaming and saying they were gonna kill her.

Who was she referring to? He was starting to get the puzzles together and now that he was thinking about it, it’d probably be her husband she was referring to.

He smirked broadly.

Santario and Eduardo exchanged confused glances before moving their gaze back to Mariano.

” Miguel… ” Mariano called with a smile.

” I’ll be needing your gun, I need to finish my scores with Ethan ” He said.

” He doesn’t deserve an easy death, I won’t allow that” Santario added.

Eduardo smiled.

” Now your psychopathic brain is activated!” He sniggered.

” His first target is Menodora, he’ll be messaging her soon ” Mariano inhaled.

” Oh, no! Menodora would be mร d”

” It’s her choice to believe me, or not. I’m not gonna force her, I just hope she trusts me” Mariano inhaled.

Eduardo held his shoulder.

” Let’s trust her on this ” He muttered. Since there was nothing to say anymore, Santario left the room.

” Let’s meet the others” Mariano started leaving and Eduardo followed.

They met the ladies setting the dining for dinner and they joined them. Mariano called every one of them in his house to join in the feast.

Max, Louis, and Camelot’s joy knew no bounds. That would be the first time they’ll be having a feast together.

After serving everyone, Menodora made to sit and that was when her phone vibrated. She checked it to see a message from Frida.


Menodora was shocked by the message, but she noticed another message was already on her phone before the one Frida sent, so she viewed it


Menodora frowned and looked at her.

” Did Ethan send the message already? He’s quite fast ” He thought.

” Did something happen? You look bothered” He spoke up, and everyone faced her at once, each of them waiting for her answer.

” Oh, it’s nothing serious. I just received a message from my aunt, she said Gladys is dead. She was poisoned” She replied.

” What!” Dorian’s eyes widened.

” She’ll be buried today” Menodora added.

” What? Gladys is dead? Wow… I might hate that bitรงh, but I would never wish her death ”

” You have an aunt? ” Rose asked.

” Yeah. Frida Renzoni, elder sister to Miranda Renzoni ” She replied.

” Frida Renzoni?” Rose asked and she nodded gently. Everyone around the table was staring at them already.

” We should talk about it later, table manners” Mariano cautioned.

” But… ”

” No buts… They never really cared about your whereabouts right from the day you left home. If you’re to go see them, that’ll be after I must’ve permitted you to, but I’m not heartless. We can pass by after breakfast ” Mariano said and began eating. Dorian nodded at Menodora who didn’t say a word as she ate too.



Ruby stomped his feet softly on the ground as he sat on the couch, patiently waiting for whoever wanted to pledge loyalty to him.

Not long after, he heard the doorbell and with the help of the crutch with him, he got the door to see a young boy standing before him.

” I might look small, yeah, that’s because I’m 19 but age is just a number, I can do a good job” The unknown guy said and entered the house as soon as Ruby made way for him.

” And why do you think I’ll believe you?” Ruby asked.

” Yeah, I know you won’t trust me but, I worked for Nathan… and I did a little research about you too. Well here’s a hint; Nathan is Mariano’s late uncle. Mariano killed that foรณl because he wasn’t that smart, he’s just old ”

” Then why are you here? ” Ruby asked.

” I like money very much, and I can do anything for you if you promise to pay more than the amount Mariano offered me. The foรณl gave me six million dollars and what? He thinks he can control me? He thinks the money will carry me on forever? Nah, I just can’t stay still. I want more”

” You’re greedy and I like that” Ruby grinned lopsidedly as he took his seat.

” I’m Charles, and I know you killed your best friend Marlo and his wife Miranda. You made a 15-year-old the culprit just because he had amnesia. And you know what? that kid happens to be Mariano’s elder brother, the only person he ever cherished. You’re a great actor, yunno. I give you your flowers” Charles laughed.

” You’re too smart for your age ” Ruby smirked.

” Like I said, I get smarter if I see money” He smiled.

” I’ll give you double if you can kill those foรณls” Ruby said and Charles nodded.

” Deal?” He asked, and it was Ruby’s turn to nod.

Charles stood up and started leaving, but he only took four steps before he stopped.

” Ahhh… Lest I forget, Ruby mankind ” He turned around.

” Gladys considered you a father figure, but you deceived her and had sรจx with her. I heard she died yesterday and It was probably due to shock. Her boyfriend suddenly turns into an old man with wrinkles overnight. That’ll definitely give anyone the shock of their lives” He chuckled lightly.

” Her burial is today though. Poor senseless girl ” He clicked his tongue, shaking his head in fake sympathy.

” Don’t be heartless and see her off ” He said again.

Ruby stood up and entered his room. He came back as a totally different person. Different from Jesse and Ruby, he was putting on a totally different mask.

” Gosh, you scared me for a bit” Charles said when he saw Ruby. ” You’re good at hiding, aren’t you? Only cowards hide the way you do” He said again, but Ruby ignored him completely as he left the building to his car. He sat at the back while Charles took the driver’s seat and drove out of the building after getting orders from Ruby.



They were done with breakfast and Menodora stared at her watch. She wanted to go say her final goodbye to Gladys cos she was a nice girl until she ( Menodora ) got admitted and Steve started following her around.

After clearing the table, Rose left for her room while Dorian and Santario went to another. Max, Camelot, Louis, and Monica left the place too.

” You’re worried?” Eduardo asked and she stared at Mariano.

” Don’t be scared of me. You’re free to do as you want. You should be careful cos there’s someone other than Ruby that’s after you” Mariano said and went upstairs.

” You’re not going with me?” She asked.

” Why will I let you go alone?” He asked back and she smiled.

” I should come too ” Eduardo pouted.

” You’re wounded, I can’t afford to get killed by Tessa ” Mariano said as he entered the room.

” Be careful. Ethan might tell you gibberish, but I need you to trust Mariano, I believe he’s innocent” Eduardo said and leaned on his chair.

Soon after, Mariano descended the stairs. He got to Menodora who smiled at him and like that, they left the house.



Gladys was placed into the grave already, and Frida couldn’t stop her tears. She blames herself for her daughter’s death and all she’s been wishing for, is death too.

Menodora walked towards the grave and dropped a flower. Frida turned to see who it was and was shocked to see Menodora right in front of her.

She didn’t only get beautiful, her face was flawless and sparkling, and that only brought tears to her eyes.

” I’m sorry Menodora, I’m sorry. I was jealous of your mom. Ethan and I planned your parents’ dead but I’m sure I didn’t kill them cos your parents got shot Instead ”

” Ethan?” Menodora pretended to be surprised and Frida nodded.

She tore her gaze away from Frida’s and stared at Gladys’ grave once more.

” You lived like a princess while I danced ฦ@kฤ“ษ— in your mom’s clubhouse. I stopped schooling cos you posted the video on the school blog, but I pretended I didn’t know so I might keep living to avenge my parents. I wish you were still alive. I really wanna pull out your hair and make you go bald ” She sniffed, and turned to leave but Frida held her hands.

She snatched her hands away before going to meet Mariano.

” Let’s go ” She said with red eyes and Mariano nodded. He helped her to the car and as soon as she got in, she started crying.

Mariano made to enter too but he sighted Ethan from a distance.

” Ethan” He muttered and stared back at Menodora.

” One minute” She nodded.

He looked up again, but this time he found no one. He balled his fist and entered the car.

” What happened ”

” I just saw Ethan ” He replied and She blinked twice. She took out her phone and showed Mariano the message she received from Ethan.

” Why? ”

” I know you’re innocent.” She said and he looked at her.

” I remembered everything. You came by the mansion but my parents were in a hurry so I was asked to stay back because they didn’t believe you. My aunt was there too. You came to the mansion barefooted and with bruises all over, just to stop my parents… I remember now ”

” I did immediately I received the message from Ethan, then I recalled you came to warn us, but I’m still not sure who killed my parents. Even if it happens to be your dad, I won’t blame you ” She hugged him tight. Mariano blinked rapidly, trying to stop himself from tearing up as he tightened the hug. They remained in that position for a while before breaking the hug.

” Don’t blame yourself cos I don’t blame you. The sweetest thing is that you were actually my first love. The brave little boy who got bitten by a dog just to save me” She smiled. Mariano didn’t recall those moments and it made him sad that she remembered him first.

” I love you Mariano ” She said cutely with tears in her eyes.

” I love you too, Menodora. Right from the beginning and till now, my love for you will know no limit” He said and she hugged him again.


” Those are the two people you’re looking for, right?” Charles asked, but Ruby kept mute.

” Leave him to me, he trusts me anyway. I’ll just take my kid sister to him, and show him I’m changed. I believe he’ll be moved ”

” Poor Gladys, but I’ve never been sorry for whatever I do” Ruby said and entered the car. Charles got in too, and they drove off.



After having dinner, everyone else retired to their rooms.

” Baby, can you stay with Dora in Mariano’s room? You know you always claim to be her elder sister ” Miguel said and Dorian smiled cutely while Menodora frowned.

” Elder sister my bรปtt! We’re both 21. The difference is just 5 Fลฏรงฦ™รฏแน…g days ” She feigned annoyance as she took the stairs to Mariano’s room. Eduardo chuckled, Mariano wasn’t left out.

Dorian pecked Santario’s lips while Eduardo cleared his throat dramatically. Santario chuckled as he let go of her. He watch her leave the sitting room.

” The soundproof?” Mariano asked.

” Trust me ” Eduardo winked as they headed to Rose’s room. When they got there, they met someone standing in front of Rose who looked frightened. Whoever it was, was holding a mask in his left hand.

” Long time, Father!” Mariano spoke up and, the guy turned to see who it was and his eyes widened when he saw his sons. He actually thought they had retired to bed.

” I wonder why it took so long to catch you. Gosh! can’t believe you were under my nose all this while and couldn’t catch you ” Mariano laughed dryly.

” Trust me when I say your dead won’t be easy ” Santario smirked.

” Who is he really? Is he in disguise?” Eduardo asked, confused.

” It’s a surprise, you know I love surprises” Mariano smiled. Seconds later, the door opened and Max Came in, Camelot entered next.

” Where’s Louis? We’ve been searching for him ” Max stated.

” There he is… ” Mariano smiled evilly. Shock was obvious on Max and Camelot’s face. Eduardo wasn’t exempted.

” Wait, what? Ethan is Louis in disguise?” Eduardo exclaimed.





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