ENDS

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37- Meant

Third person p.o.v.

“ You can’t just leave her here, she asked to come with you and you accepted” the doctor who was invited to tender to Iris’s wounds said as Hunter made his intentions plain.

“ I didn’t want her to come along, she forced her way through and see the end point”

Even though Hunter was right, the doctor didn’t find it nice that he’ll want to leave the poor lady out here with the rest of the crew when all she wanted to do was to go find her own daughter.

The tall woman looked to where Iris lay, the injuries weren’t fatal which they were thankful for; a concussion and few bruises. Even though she was perfectly stable, she was definitely going to be in a lot of pains and the best option was to sedate her for now.

She understood where Hunter was coming from and released a sigh.

Knowing how stubborn Hunter was, she felt it was best to drop the argument.

“ But you knew the risks involved in bringing her along, yet you did. Doc, left to me he should finish what he’s started” Diane said as she hoisted herself up from the chair beside Iris’s bed, where she watched her.

“ God forbid that I finish what I started and she loses her life”

And he meant it.

The guilt was killing him, he’s the reason they’re all in this mess in the first place and he was wondering what exactly was wrong with him when he allowed her tag along.

He could’ve just dropped her off at home before continuing his journey.

“Consider the fact that she’d wake up and realize you left without her. After coming this far, this is by far the worst decision you’re about to make” Diane said so curtly, that you’d think she was commanding him.

“ She’s even out; After this, what makes y’all think she’d wanna continue the journey” He tried to convince them once again but only got him an eye roll from the doctor and a scoff from Diane.

“ Mrs. Adams, you still got some of that sedative? I think Hunter is going nuts” Diane teased as she placed the back of her palm against his forehead in a faux attempt to check his temperature.

The action sent Mrs. Adams reeling in laughter but Hunter didn’t find it quite amusing as he slapped off her hand from his face.

“ Touch me again and you’d miss that limb” he growled.

But once again, the both found it funny and this time around it really got on his nerves. So he excused himself and left the little room for the both of them.

They didn’t understand where he was coming from and it was a lot more annoying than he expected.

He walked out through the door and entered another little room where six of Mr. Reid’s men were seated playing a game of chess.

They apparently acknowledged each other with some eye contact and he passed through the room to get out the second door which was the exit to the building.

As soon as he was out, it felt like he had been relieved of one out of the five weights he carried on his shoulders.

He needed space alone and some time to think.

When help came earlier today, they had discovered their car was bugged and that was why he was instructed to crash it.

Then they were driven deeper into the woods where this cabin was discovered, just by the shore of a really large pond.

He walked till he got to the bank of the water, and slowly he took a seat on one of the big stones that he had found there.

His heart was heavy and so was his head. Only one song filled his mind at this moment, it was a lullaby of regret.

Multiple regrets if he was asked.

But no one cared enough to ask him anyway.

He heard the door to the cabin open and he turned around to see why, then he spotted Diane stepping out and searching the area for a while till her eyes fell on him and she began approaching.

To be honest, he didn’t want company. He wanted to be alone.

Actually, he needed to be alone.

Everyone was crowding his thoughts of recent with their opinion that he hardly even got the chance to think of his own decisions.

Not like the decisions he made in the past were the right ones anyway.

A quick flash of how Iris fell unconscious in his arms earlier today crossed his mind.

And uncontrollably, he felt himself shiver and a sudden weight sat at the bottom of his stomach.

He could still feel how her body warmth was gradually taking a colder temperature. He was scared was undermining the situation.

He had never been more terrified in his life. Suddenly Soldo or Pedro trying to kill him didn’t sound as bad anymore.

The worst hit he’d have to take this year is if Iris or Louisa dies.

He’s the reason they’re in this fucked up situation in the first place and it scares him that the more he tries to fix things up, it’s like the worse it gets.

“ You don’t really plan on leaving her behind, do you?”

He had actually forgotten Diane had joined him outside until her words invaded his thoughts.

“ No”

He knew it was impossible. He wasn’t going to even try stepping out of the area until she wakes up and he’s convinced that she’s okay.

Anything other than that, he’s grounded here.

He doesn’t know why, but Diane found his response funny and this time around, he looked warily at her till she was done chuckling and explained what she found funny.

She didn’t even spare him a gaze after that, she just kept her eyes staring into space but could definitely feel the weight of his silent question on her.

“ The more I see, the more I realize that every human can have a weakness and who would’ve believed that the weakness of Hunter Brooks McConnell, the ladies man.. would be a little quiet lady from Saint Alamos”

“ Iris is far from quiet” he scoffed and returned his concentration to the water body in front of him.

This extracted another chuckle from Diane. “ Cheers to the fact he didn’t deny that she’s his weakness”.

“ If you’re done, you can go back in now”

“ Hunter, they know”

He wanted to feign ignorance and ask who’s they but he knew exactly what she was talking about.

Soldo knew.

Now the message he got days ago made a lot more sense.

Protect her didn’t mean Michelle.

They meant Iris.

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