Chapter 16: Unraveling
He really does have a good taste...
I eyed my reflection in the mirror, turning to a side to better look at the final product of the long, sleeveless, silver-white dress that hugged my curves and form perfectly. Hunter had brought in a very nice lady a couple of days prior and had her take my measurements for a specific dress that he had picked out—one that he wouldn’t allow me to see for the sake of ‘surprising’ me.
I was not disappointed. In fact, I was very surprised seeing as the dress was ordered at the last minute and Hunter didn’t seem too excited about the ball after he asked me to be his...date.
His demeanor had changed almost entirely, and he behaved stranger than usual. For a moment, I actually believed he felt that he had made a mistake in inviting me and wasn’t sure how to go about taking it back.
Really, however, I would’ve understood. He truly isn’t the type to go about doing or saying things nicely, so I wouldn’t have been so disappointed if he took it back nor would it have caught me off guard.
What did throw me off, however, was the fact that he went about asking my father for his permission to allow me to accompany him. He could’ve just...dragged me along seeing as last night, everyone, for the exception of my brother and his ‘friend’ Rylee, left on some kind of short vacation and won’t be back until tomorrow night.
When a sudden knock echoed from the doorway, I drew my attention from my thoughts, turning away from the mirror to eye the door as I stated, “It’s open.”
Almost instantly, the door swung open and there Hunter stood in a very nice tuxedo. His hair had been neatly combed to suit his features, and he gave off that bad boy look that I’m sure any woman would come crawling to him over.
Straight woman, that is.
His gaze had remained strictly on me and he shot me a flirty smirk when he came to stand but a couple of feet before me. He nodded, narrowing his eyes at me as he divulged, “You look...nice.”
A complement? That’s a first.
I giggled, amiably punching his shoulder, “Well, you don’t look so bad yourself Mister Seeker.”
With a smile to regard my comment, he stepped closer to me and asked, “Are you ready?”
I merely nodded in response and leaned into him. I noticed that his eyes lingered on my form a little longer than they should’ve, but I refrained from pointing it out for his sake. He was a playboy, from the little that I knew, him looking at me in a sexual way was probably the way he looked at everyone of the opposite sex.
It was too bad. If I was into his kind of being, maybe...I’d be his if he asked me to.
Who am I kidding? My father would never allow it.
The sudden feeling of Hunter wrapping his arm around my waist made me flinch and I gasp when he abruptly pulled me into him. My eyes snap up to meet his and my breath caught in my throat as our lips lightly brushed against each other.
“Keep your mind here. Focus on me and the feeling of my touch on you,” he softly stated. “You’re going to feel as if you’re suffocating because of the changes in atmosphere. Just try to keep your breathing steady alright?”
His approach was dumbfounding and I slightly pulled back to merely nod in response. I hadn’t realized that my hands were clenching onto the front of his suit until he arched an eyebrow and cleared his throat, shifting his gaze between my eyes and my hands.
“Oh, sorry,” I whispered.
It didn’t change anything though. I still wouldn’t dare remove my hold from him for the simple fact that, despite being in this awkward position, the thought of crossing over to a world that I had never been to before made me uneasy.
He must have noticed this because in the next moment, he moved one of his hands up to my mid-back and lightly patted as he comforted, “Relax...”
As quick as those words left his mouth, he inhaled a deep breath and I felt the unfamiliar spiral of his magic entering and leaving my body, crossing between his and mine. I drew closer—if possible—to him, allowing my eyelids to slip shut as the great difference in atmosphere intensely pressured my chest.
He really wasn’t joking when he said that I would feel as if I was suffocating.
My breathing grew erratic and I clenched my fists tighter as I attempted to gasp for air. It was utterly useless, my lungs constricted almost entirely.
“You’re okay. Breathe,” I heard Hunter say, and in the mix of settling into the different plain, he moved his touch to my face.
His thumbs lightly brushed my cheeks, his hands lifting my head to catch my gaze in his. The instant our eyes met, the barrier in my lungs lifted and slowly, I caught my breath.
For a long while, he did nothing but stare at me in concern while I stared back in nothing but curiosity.
He looked so...sad.
In realizing what I was doing, he pulled away to turn and give me his back, but not before I could see that he had the eyes of a lonely one.
He cleared his throat, turning his head to a side to acknowledge, “We should go.”
He’s so lonely...
When he began to walk away from me, I hurried to reach his side. I hadn’t realized that we truly had switched realms until we had stepped outside and I turned back to look at the mansion. The house was identical to the one we had back home for obvious reasons: to avoid confusion, exposure, or possible accidents when switching.
I wasn’t allowed to dwell on the thought very long, Hunter walking away and I hurrying to catch up to his side once more. When we finally did come to a stop, we stood in front of a car and he opened the door to the passenger side, motioning me to get in.
I wanted to talk to him, maybe try to understand the different side of him that he kept buried, but I also didn’t want to bother him. So, I left it be and got into the car as he wanted me to. Seconds later, I found him sitting in the driver seat and we were off, speeding on the perfect dark and empty road.
I could feel the intense awkwardness that fell between us as the roar of the engine met our ears. He hardly bothered to turn to me and I wouldn’t dare look at him in fear that the uneasiness would grow even more so.
However, after we met the first street light in miles, Hunter cleared his throat and he asked, “I don’t have to remind you how to behave, do I?”
“No,” I responded almost instantly, shaking my head to assure him that I meant it. I didn’t want to make him regret taking me with him, because I hardly got to go anywhere without supervision under my father’s orders.
It was nice to see this as friends hanging out, not me going to a party with a babysitter.
“Can I ask you something?” I questioned, turning my head to a side to look at Hunter’s still features. I had a sudden thought that I felt as if I had been asking myself for a very long time, but it was hard to understand.
“If I say no,” Hunter smirked, “will you not ask?”
I rolled my eyes in sarcasm, ignoring his own as I asked, “Do you think it’s possible to not know what you want?”
When I saw that he furrowed his eyebrows, more than likely not understanding exactly what I meant, I added, “I mean, sure, people say that they don’t know what they want all the time, but I think most of the time it’s just said to not hurt the other person by saying the truth. Deep down...we should know what we want. Right?”
He gave me a brief sideways glance then shrugged his shoulders. “I-I don’t know,” he stuttered. “I suppose?”
The question sure made him think because in the very few seconds of silence that came, he held a thoughtful look on his features. Finally, he pried, “Where’s this coming from, anyway?”
“It’s just a thought,” I responded blankly.
A light hum emitted from the back of his throat and he rocked his head lightly before stating, “I think you’re allowed to not know what you want. If you’re the type of person that can love more than one thing at a time, then sure, you can not know what you want.”
“But you’ll always love one thing more than the other,” I protested. “So —”
“Put it like this: your mother and your father,” he cut me off. “If you had to pick who to keep, who would you pick?”
I didn’t answer, knowing that I couldn’t pick. When he noticed this, he said exactly what I was thinking, “You don’t know because you love them both equally.”
With that, I thought back to the question I had been asking myself since the day she left.
“Do you think Silver is no exception?” I mumbled. “Do you think that after she left...she realized she doesn’t know what she wants and maybe can’t find her way back?”
Hunter’s muscles tensed at my question and his grip on the steering wheel tightened. He thought for a moment then shook his head and breathed out, “I think it doesn’t matter what I think. I also think that your questions will be answered sooner than you think.”
“What if those answers aren’t what I want to hear?”
I bit my inner cheek, glancing at him.
“You’ll heal and move on,” he answered as if he already knew the answers to my questions. It seemed as if he saw them coming and had prepared long before I even thought about questioning him. “It’s better to know that you’re wrong than keep hoping otherwise by wanting to be right.”
I wanted to believe that she missed me and she was trying to come back to me. However, somehow, I also felt that she didn’t really want anything to do with me anymore.
If she did...why did she leave me?
The bridge of my nose stung and my voice shook when I admitted, “I love her, Hunter.”
I could tell that he knew it bothered me, and I could also tell that it bothered him that I was troubled. I think...that was more than likely the reason why he hadn’t snapped on me.
It wasn’t long before we met our destination and Hunter had parked the car. When he stepped out, he hurried to the passenger side and opened the door for me. In the time that it took me to step out of the vehicle, I didn’t remove my gaze from him and neither did he from me.
He had given me a small smile and nudged at me after shutting the door before me. With that, he took my arm in his, entwining it, and he pulled me to him.
“Do not leave my side,” he warned. “Your father would kill me if you went missing.”
The corners of my lips tugged to a smirk and I teased, “Is the big bad Seeker scared of him?”
Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw him narrow his eyes on me and he spat, “Shut up.” He then quickly lowered his voice to say, “Even the devil would be afraid of that man.”
And that is why no one messes with me.