Chapter 15: Sunny Side
Hunter checked his cellphone to make sure that the time on his wristwatch was correct because when he walked into Hailey’s class, she wasn’t there and her students were gone too. The pleasant expression on his face instantly turned into a scowl that frightened the three boys standing near the opened lockers.
“Hey, you three,” he called them out and startled them.
“Y-yes,” said the tallest.
“Where is Hail-” he paused- “where’s Ms. Swan?”
The boys looked at each other, and then, they looked at the shortest to answer. “She’s in classroom 301, Sir,” he answered.
“Alright, thanks,” Hunter said and then his scowl returned to them. “By the way, why aren’t you three in class?”
“We have a period off, Sir,” said the shortest boy.
Hunter laid his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Thanks, kid.”
“It’s Brody,” he crossed his arms.
“Oh,” said Hunter. “You’re Lauren’s kid, right?”
“Yes,” Brody answered like he was bored. “Classroom 301 is down the end of the hall on the right. Ms. Swan should be there with the senior students.”
“I know where the classroom is.” Hunter was dumbfounded at the boy who didn’t even reach Hunter’s hip and here he was giving Hunter instructions, like he was some schoolboy. Hunter shook his head at the attitude kids had nowadays, but who was he kidding? Hunter was even worse than them at their age.
He thanked them and made his way towards classroom 301. It didn’t take him long to navigate through the halls, and each corner-turn had numbering signs that made it easier to find classrooms. Hunter was sure that this was Klaus’s idea- that guy always found ways to make their lives easier. Weirdly enough, he remembered Brody’s instructions even though he knew where to go. Hunter found himself in front of the classroom, the large windows gave the perfect view inside the class and there she was.
Hunter almost dropped the cups of coffee that was in his hands when she turned around with a smile that pierced his heart. She was absolutely radiant in that class under the sun and in that dress; the tight bodice of the lavender lace perfectly molded to the curve of her small waist, the strapless lace secured her heavy breasts that he adored tremendously and shaped into a lovely sweetheart neckline. At the slightest movement of her swaying hips the skirt followed, the long flimsy fabric ended around her calves and she endured the height of the brutal black heels effortlessly. Hunter wanted to march right in there and kiss her glossy pink lips that reminded him of last night.
The sun hid behind a cloud and the school bell rang though the halls of the Institute. Hailey looked at the clock and her eyes widened when they spotted him, she quickly looked away but Hunter noticed that she was flustered enough that a dusty rose coloured her cheeks.
The class of students packed their bags and dropped the book that they were all reading on the table at the front. Quickly, all the doors in the hall opened almost simultaneously and kids poured out and rushed towards their lockers to go home for the day. The kids in Hailey’s class opened the door and some walked out after noticing him with surprised expressions. He walked into the classroom and finally the scent of his mate bonded with his own again and he felt complete.
Hailey looked up from her purse. “Hi,” she said with long breath like she was still shy around him.
“Hey,” Hunter found himself smiling all on his own. He leaned down and kissed her lips, something he had been eagerly waiting to do. He broke the quick kiss and looked down into her eyes. “I hope you had a good day.”
“Ooooh!” The remaining students chuckled and whistled at the show of affection in class, and then, they ran out when Hunter dangerously glared at them.
Hailey giggled at the kids who ran out with their tails between their legs. “I had a great day,” she said. “Thank you.”
“I brought you coffee,” he showed her cups and the blush on her face was replaced with pure joy.
“You have no idea how much I needed coffee right now,” she said and grabbed the cup of caffeine from him, she downed the first sip and moaned when she got that irresistible taste of darkly roasted coffee beans. She leaned forward on her toes and lightly kissed him that teased him to take more from her. “You’re so sweet to me, thank you.”
Hunter grinned over the rim of his own cup. “Anytime,” he said. “Are you done for the day?”
“Yeah,” she answered as she grabbed her bag and locked up the classroom before leaving with Hunter. “I didn’t know you’d come to my class,” she said.
Hunter held the door open for her as they left the building behind. “The only thing I could think about was finding you after your classes were done,” he didn’t shy away from telling her the truth, he wanted her to know exactly how he felt, so she would perfectly understand that he wasn’t going anywhere from her side.
“Oh,” she sipped her coffee. “How’d you find me then? I wasn’t in my classroom.”
“I asked a few kids,” he told her. “You know Brody, Lauren’s kid.”
Hailey nodded. “Yup,” she said. “He told you?” Hunter nodded to her question.
“Why weren’t you in your class anyways?” asked Hunter as they followed the small track towards her cabin.
“My class was dismissed early,” she said. “So, Klaus asked if I could teach another spare class. I didn’t mind and was happy to oblige. Weirdly enough, the senior kids gave me more trouble than the young ones.”
Hunter stiffened on the path. “Should I have a talk with them?” he asked sternly.
Hailey laughed and patted his shoulder. “They’re kids, Hunter,” she shook her head. “And I think I can handle kids better than you.”
Hunter looked at her shocked. “I’d like to point out that I raised and disciplined AND trained Vincent, Viola and Klaus and they turned out perfectly fine,” he stated proudly but then his brows furrowed. “Well, Klaus turned out fine. I don’t know about the other two.”
“Vincent and Viola aren’t that bad,” said Hailey.
Hunter looked betrayed. “You’re siding with them already,” he rubbed his jaw. “I can’t have that.”
Hailey shook her head and they both didn’t even realize that they had reached her house. “What’s that?” she asked as her eyes spotted a massive white box on her porch. “I don’t remember ordering anything.”
“Oh, I ordered some stuff,” said Hunter and they climbed the steps to her front door.
“What did you order?” asked Hailey. “And why is it at my house?”
“I’ll answer all of your questions, just open the door first,” said Hunter.
Hailey dug threw her purse for her keys. “I’m being bossed around on my own porch,” she huffed under her breath.
Hunter chuckled. “Then you’re probably not going to like what I’m about to say next.”
Hailey’s silvery blue eyes narrowed into thin slits as they assessed him. “What is it?” she asked suspiciously.
“Nothing to get apprehensive about,” he turned the key she had put in the lock and pushed the front door open.
“We got your tool box!” a voice interrupted them. And instantly, Hunter knew who it was without even looking up. Vincent and Ryder approached with a tool box and wide smiles.
“Did both of you have to come?” asked Hunter as he sighed in defeat.
“We’re a package deal,” said Vincent pointing to himself and Ryder.
“And is that any way to talk to the people who came to help you,” remarked Ryder. “Hey, Hailey.”
“Hi, Ryder,” she replied and then she asked them out of curiosity, “help with what?”
Hunter felt the greatest urge to grab the toolbox and take Hailey inside alone, but he couldn’t deny that he would need the help to put the baseboard heater up in Hailey’s living-room.
Vincent climbed the steps and smiled at Hailey. “Hi, Hailey,” he greeted her with the respect that Hunter approved of, but he didn’t expect any different from Vincent or Ryder.
“How are you, Vincent?” asked Hailey with a kind smile that told Hunter that she would fit right into the family, and he loved that about her.
“Great. Now that I’ve seen you look so radiant this fine afternoon,” he teased.
Hunter’s smile flipped into a scowl. “If you two are here put yourself to some use, so I don’t regret calling you for help any more than I already do,” Hunter barked the orders. “Lift the box and get it inside.” Vincent and Ryder rolled their eyes but they easily complied to Hunter’s wishes.
“Sorry for intruding like this, Hailey,” said Ryder before he helped Vincent.
“What’s going on?” she asked Hunter. “Why are they taking that box inside my house?”
“I got you a baseboard heater for your living-room,” said Hunter.
Hailey still had a look on her face that was puzzled. “But why would you do that for me?”
“Because I don’t want my mate dying from the cold every night,” he replied.
“I can’t accept this,” she said. “That must have been so expensive.”
“Not really,” said Hunter. “And you will accept it because I want you to.”
“At least let me repay you?” she offered.
“There’s no point in arguing with him, Hailey,” said Vincent as he joined them on the porch again. “Hunter’s not going to take the money. And if I were you, I’d just accept the heater as a gift.”
“But still-” Hailey filled with guilt.
“He’s right,” said Hunter with a smug look. “Let’s get this heater installed and the porch lights.”
“Porch lights?” asked Hailey hastily.
“Did we leave that part out?” Vincent asked his brother as they both entered her house and made themselves comfortable.
Hailey shook her head and followed them into her living-room. Ryder and Vincent held the baseboard heater above the couch as Hunter installed the machine, they worked with perfect harmony and efficiency that was unmatched.
She put her purse down on the table and quickly prepared cold glasses of iced-tea and crustless sandwiches, it was the least she could do for them.
She put them on a tray and arranged them on the table. “Hunter, Ryder, take a break and eat,” she told them and they both grabbed the drinks first before reaching for a sandwich each, although they didn’t stop the work.
She grabbed the last glass and put two slices of bread on a separate plate for Vincent. She strode out onto her porch where Vincent was installing two wall lanterns on each side of the door frame. “Lunch break,” she offered and he smiled.
“Thanks,” he put the drill down and left the wires hanging for now.
“It’s iced-tea and I made sandwiches,” she told him as he joined her on the chairs and didn’t hesitate to dig into the food just like his brother. “Thank you for everything you’re doing for me.”
Vincent’s hazel eyes softened. “I’m not doing much,” he said. “My brother asked and I was happy to oblige because I’m quite fond of you too.”
“I’ve only talked to you about a dozen times,” she said. “How could you be fond of me already?”
Vincent didn’t look like his brother, but that stare that pinned people wherever they stood was the same. “You’ve given us something we didn’t think was possible,” he said.
“What is that?” she asked.
“The hope to be a good family again,” he answered with that dashing smile that was notoriously famous of his. “And you’ve managed to wrap my domineering brother around your finger.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” she chuckled. “He’s got quite the impression on me as well.”
Vincent sipped his tea. “Don’t take this so lightly, Hailey,” he said. “Other than Gabriel, you got the coldest and most dangerous brother from the Centauri’s. You’ll have your hands full for a very long time.”
Hailey knew how infamous Hunter’s reputation was, but for the past couple of days he has showed her nothing but compassion and that wasn’t something that can be faked. “You all gave me something too, you know?”
Vincent’s expression changed to the mask that always told the other person that he was composed. But Hailey could tell the difference and so could her wolf. “And what is that?” he asked curiously because he couldn’t help himself but feel intrigued about this wolf that bewitched his ruthless brother.
“A family,” she looked him dead in the eyes.
The mask of composure fell from his handsome face and all he could do was meet her determined expression. Suddenly, he burst out laughing. “Now I know why he loves you so much,” he said between his hysterical laughter. “I’m so glad my first sister-in-law is so cute and endearing.” He put the empty plate down and kissed her cheek. “Thank you for the food, it was delicious.” She grabbed the plate and glass. “Go back inside and let me finish this before your mate comes stomping outside asking questions.”
“More like making demands,” sighed Hailey.
“Vincent, those lights better be done!” Hunter’s voice boomed from inside surprising Hailey and Vincent of the timing, which ultimately made them laugh again.
A good hour went by before the heater was fully installed and the lights had been fixed into the wall.
“I can’t thank you boys enough,” said Hailey as they packed all the garbage away and made sure to clean up her house. For a bunch of badass wolves, they were extremely sweet.
“You can always send more of those cupcakes and cookies as a thank you,” remarked Vincent.
Hailey smiled, “You got yourself a deal,” she said and that earned Vincent an icy cold scowl from Hunter.
“Damn. It got cold all of a sudden,” Ryder shivered and glanced at Vincent. “Let’s get out of here before you get us killed over cupcakes.”
“That’s because you haven’t tried her cupcakes,” retorted Vincent.
“Can you two give me a moment?” asked Hunter sternly through gritted teeth and they ran out the room without hesitation.
“They’re sweet,” said Hailey.
“They’re a pain in my ass,” remarked Hunter.
Hailey knew that Hunter may get annoyed easily but he adorned those two more than anything. “I just wanted to thank you,” she said. “You went out of your way and thought about me. It is very sweet of you.”
Hunter grim stare transformed the moment he laid his eyes back on her. “I will always take care of you like this,” he said but it sounded like a promise.
Hailey wasn’t used to anyone taking care of her like how he does, this was new to her but she didn’t hate it, especially not from him. She reached up and kissed Hunter like she never done before, their lips were slow and relaxed like this moment would last forever. They kissed so gently it made both of their bodies shudder with a great chill. This kiss told them how they felt after bonding, they knew their fates were sealed together and now nothing would separate them.
Hailey devoured Hunter’s strong and hypnotic taste swept her off of her feet and into his arms. Hunter’s hands rested on Hailey’s hips, they were contempt like he didn’t want to disturb Hailey’s turn to explore him.
But she pulled away with the little control she had left. “Since you gave me a gift today,” she said. “I’ll grant you any wish.”
Hunter’s smoking amber eyes that were transfixed on her lips. “Anything?” he asked forebodingly.
Her gut flipped. “It better not be anything I can’t handle,” she pointed her finger at him as a warning.
Hunter’s grin widened. “It’s nothing you can’t handle, I promise,” he said. “Hailey Swan, would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?”
Hailey gaped. “As in a date?” she clarified for herself to understand his intentions.
Hunter bit back his laugh. “Dinner with me should indicate that it’s a date,” he said.
“Yes,” she answered without hesitation.
Hunter tilted her head back and he kissed her again. “I’ll pick you up at seven,” he said softly. “Wear something sexy for me.”
“Damn!” Familiar voices boomed from the porch and interrupted Hailey and Hunter. “Wear something sexy! Was that what he said?” asked Ryder loudly that maybe the whole pack heard him.
“I’m going to kill them,” snarled Hunter.
Hailey grabbed Hunter’s hand before he was going to run after them. “I’ll see you at seven,” she told him and all the anger left his face.
“Seven o’clock,” Hunter promised. “Enjoy the heater,” he kissed her cheek and then ran off the porch.
Hailey burst out laughing when she heard Vincent and Ryder’s screams after Hunter stormed after them in his wolf form. She wanted to see them tussle and fight, but she had to run up to her bedroom and spend the next three hours preparing herself for their date.