ENDS

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15- Clearly

Hunter's p.o.v.

" You seem scared to see me, what's the matter?" Her voice came out mockingly as she took the same position Chance had before he left.

" Diane what do you want?" I gritted out and prayed she had plans of leaving soon.

Who's Diane?

Well, how exactly am I going to explain this?

Diane is Soldo's first and only child. And apparently my first girlfriend too.

Back then we always went on deliveries together, giving us enough room for anything other than delivery.

She was my first everything.. from kisses to first sex. And apparently it was vice versa.

How Diane and I lost contact with each other?

When I was in ninth grade , Diane had to go for a delivery alone cause I had a test to prepare for.

Sadly the operation got intercepted by the police and soon enough she was declared wanted after a narrow escape. Soldo had hidden her under radar such that no one could tell her whereabouts except him.

So seeing Diane after nine years of her technically vanishing from the surface of the earth at a time like this is enough to cause discomfort in ones soul.

" That's not at all how I expected you to react to my presence seeing how much I've missed you " she hissed and stealthily took a seat across me.

" Now is not a good time "

" Then when is?, let's go talk this over a cup of coffee. Or possibly dinner. I'm game for pasta" she said reclining into her seat as a Cheshire grin made its way to her lips like she was already victorious with whatever she came to do.

" I'm busy Diane, so I suggest you speak up now or leave "

" Someone's in a haste to get rid of me"

" Does it bother you?" I scoffed

" Kinda.. it's new"

" There's always a first time for everything "

" I don't like this new change"

" Neither do I, but what choice do we have "

" You could be nicer"

" I have enough on my plate, niceness can find its way in the freezer"

" You used to love me "

" I think we both know we were being childish "

" So now I'm no longer important?"

" And I repeat, I have too many things on my plate to think of Diane. A lot more trivial than this"

" So whatever I have to say concerning us is irrelevant? "

" Your words not mine"

" So anything I have to say about my dad is also irrelevant ?"

I was about to retort when her statement finally sank in.

And she figured she had my attention because a smirk made its way to her face.

" Dinner at El Diablo restaurant. Nine o'clock, don't be late" she curtly says with a sly smile knowing fully well that she had gotten me right where she wanted.

Diane stood to her feet, still smiling and began taking her steps slowly back to the door.

" oh, and you grew into a delicious specimen" were her last words as she blew me a kiss and walked out.

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Iris's p.o.v.

" oh.. I was beginning to get scared that you wouldn't want to go. I was already planning how I'd have breakfast alone " Hunter's mom said with a hint of relief in her voice. It seemed like she was just done with the dishes as she casually patted her moist but not so wet hands on her pleated skirt.

" I'm sorry for the delay. I hadn't freshened up when I was informed " I explained actually feeling very sorry for the delay.

" Oh, no worries. The major thing is that you're here. Are you ready to go?" She asked, picking her bag from the nearest stool in the kitchen and adjusting her grip from the shoulder.

" yes please " partially releasing a sigh.

" Alright then, shall we" she grinned and began leading the way to the door.

I followed her directly, almost trailing by her tail. Her pleated skirt swooshed both sides each time she took a step, gracing her movements with elegance.

The moment we stepped out of the house, the sharp sun rays hit my eyes that I had to squint them a bit and I could see her do the exact same thing except she used her hand to block out a lot more of the light.

" Love, we'll be back soon" Mrs McConnell called out but no response came from within, but I do believe she was loud enough.

After she shut the door, we walked down the two flight of stairs and began walking on the pathway.

The neighborhood was virtually a quiet one, single detached houses that if not for some children playing on a few lawns, you'd assume it's empty.

Soft howling of the wind could easily be heard as it was accompanied by some birds chirping and the flight of a few fallen leaves like it would be in the autumn. Although our footsteps on the pavement was the most prominent sound, a few cars passing by and a bike had dulled that for a few seconds.

Some seconds had passed and not a word had been said between us. I was still slowly trailing behind her to avoid bumping into her fragile frame in case she decided to stop abruptly.

" You know, this is a stroll and you are indirectly a daughter to me. So I wouldn't mind you walking by my side " she said and quit walking for a few seconds just to turn around and send me a reassuring smile.

I smiled back and then fell into step with her as we continued our journey.

" So is there anything you want to ask me?" She continued but kept her head looking straight ahead. I believe our chitchat has started then.

I paused for a few seconds to think of anything at all that I may want to ask her and figured out that there's none.

" Not really. No" I replied with a sheepish smile that caused her to look at me and released a graceful chuckle.

" Really? Not even 'why are we having this walk?'" She asked still smiling and I found it hard not to reciprocate.

" Okay, that seems like a good question "

She chuckles again before responding " well, you are the mother of my first grandchild clearly making you a daughter in law to me. So what's the harm in getting to know you better "

" Oh" I really don't know why, but her statement brought a little blush up my neck.

" Now I've got my own question " she started " but I think I'll like us to talk about it over a cup of coffee, are you okay with that?"

" Sure" I looked ahead and saw the coffee shop just a couple of feet away and we made our way into it.

Once we were out of the sun and in the building , my eyes took a while to adjust to the contrasting darkness of the room. But when it did, I found the interior decor unique and simple but yet amazing.

We took our seats opposite each other by the window and the moment we got comfortable, a waitress came to take our orders.

" I'll have a black coffee, no sugar. What about you hun?" Mrs McConnell asks as the waitress glances to me to write my down too on the visibly small notepad she had in her hand.

" I'll just have a glass of water please " I say and the lady passes me a nod as she writes it down and walks away.

" Poor appetite?"

" yeah" I reply to her question and return my gaze to admiring the room. But I remembered she had her question yet unasked.

" You said you wanted to ask me something ma'am?" I say but a disproving look crosses her face at the signatory I had given her.

" please call me mum or Rose. I'd prefer that. And yes I did have a question " she started and as if on cue, the both of us adjusted our sitting positions like we could get any more comfortable.

" You and my son went to the same school at some point right? Back in St. Alamos"

" yeah we did"

" Were you art or science inclined?"

" I was actually business. Wanted to be an entrepreneur "

" Oh... you can still make that happen you know? Seeing as you no longer work with us"

" I'll think about it" it came out with a smile but I wasn't totally lying.

" That'll be great" She commented, also smiling and right on time our orders came in.

" thank you " the both of us passed unto the waitress at the same time and instantly, I began to drink my glass of water.

" So how did you get pregnant with Louisa?"

Her question came out without wavering, like she had it planned all along and I wouldn't lie that it shocked me so much that I choked.

" I'm sorry?" Still coughing

" How did you get pregnant for him? You two never dated"

" He mentioned that it was a high school fling " bringing back the cringe worthy explanation Hunter had given yesterday.

" Yeah.. he did. But can I ask something else?" She softly says like she was scared I'd withdraw from the conversation.

I nodded and that was the approval she needed.

" I don't mean to make you seem like a liar but Hunter is my son. I just... I just want to know the truth. Did he really bully you?"

I still couldn't say a word.

I was literally dumbfounded.

What is she expecting me to tell her?

" I don't like where this conversation is going " I audibly state how uncomfortable I am with the present situation.

" Iris please. I'm not only talking about my son here. I really care about you too. But I'm a mother, a mother who has spent twenty three years of her life raising two children, thinking I knew their capabilities and possibilities. I'm speaking to you like you're my own child. I want to know the truth. I want to know what exactly happened between my children. I just want to know. I'm tired of hearing it off sources when the people in question are my own children. Iris please help me calm my quavering soul and answer my question. Please? I ask again..... Did he bully you?"

I didn't know how much her words had affected me till I saw myself nodding at her question.

Her face morphed into so many expressions at once. From anger, to disappointment, to pain, to heartbroken. But she still tried to put up a smile.

" Then how did you get pregnant for him?"

I still wasn't ready to answer this question, but I had to.

" through sex I guess?"

" You willingly had sex with your bully?"

I shrugged and she sighed.

" Except if the world has evolved, no one willingly has sex with their bully. Please talk to me "

No words could find its way to my mouth. I literally opened up my lips but closed them back.

" Iris did he threaten you?"

I shook my head to indicate a negative response.

" Did he drug you?"

Still a no.

" Iris please tell me "

I took a deep breath and looked her back in the eye like she had been doing to me, my glass of water is still surprisingly within my grasp. I had suspected that it should have fallen out some minutes ago.

" He raped me " merely above a whisper.

My voice was merely above a whisper but I'm certain she heard every word cause her graceful features and aura had become crestfallen.

" I-I'm sorry " she apologized like she was the one guilty in the case.

" it's okay " I said even when it's clearly not.

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