Cold Heart

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Play The Role

Moby Beach, Mobwit City.

As soon as Hunter and Claire had reached the Wright’s Manor, the butler gave them a message from Hunter’s mom, Mrs. Elizabeth Wright, to come to meet them and the rest of their family at Moby Beach.

When they got there and from the moment she stepped her feet to the ground, Claire was both feeling nervous and astonished.

Astonished by the view of the beach, its soft sand, clear blue water, breezing wind, and perfect laughter of children. Which alerted her senses back to her chaos, nervous feeling because soon she will meet Hunter’s family and pretend.

Claire was spontaneously checking her dress by rubbing down her waving skirt before fixing her wavy auburn hairs which were waving with the wind.

Hunter noticed her nervousness but he seemed to notice something else too. Her natural beauty. She never put too much make-up on her face, and everybody knew that maybe, Valerie was prettier than her, but there’s something about Claire that made him captivated. Not only that, even a glimpse of her thighs that kept showing because of the wind playing her skirt just made him unstable and felt like a pervert.

Realizing his own reaction, Hunter decided to look away and brought out his wallet. He took a black card and gave it to Claire.

“They will tell you to dress up for the occasion... you can use this,” Hunter explained as he referred to swimming attires.

Claire was hesitant to take the card, she was just staring at the card for a second before glancing at the beach.

“I… I think I’m just gonna sit this one out? I mean, I don’t feel like swimming anyway,” she said.

“That’s up to you… but… just in case you couldn’t say no and change your mind you can use this card,” Hunter said, taking her hand and putting the card into her hand. “--the pin number is our wedding date and year,”

Claire was puzzled for a while after hearing the information he gave her, not to mention his touch on her wrist.

When did he prepare any of this?

The card, the choice of its pin number.

But this is all just part of the plan, right?

Of course, don’t flatter yourself, Claire.

That must be it. Claire slightly thought.

She spontaneously forgot to decline anymore under Hunter’s eyes, she was just staring at their hands before slowly nodding. Then she pulled her hand as soon as their eyes met and put the card inside her wallet.

“Are you ready?” Hunter asked flatly.

“Y-yes.” Claire answered, not too convincingly. Which made Hunter look at her, questioning her readiness with his piercing eyes.

“I’m ready,” Claire said sturdier than before, staring at him back.

When Hunter turned his back and led the way, Claire let out a relieved breath. But soon, the jitters crept in right to her guts with every step she took. And her heels weren’t helping either since they kept sinking deep into the sand.

Claire decided to open her heels as she kept trying to keep up on Hunter’s tail. She must admit, the sand feels nice on her feet, it gave her a slight relaxing effect.

“Hunter!!” A middle-aged man shouted with his hands open wide. Beside him was a lovely middle-aged woman wearing an elegant sun hat, she was spontaneously smiling and thrilled to see them.

“Mom, Dad…!” Hunter walked into his father’s arms and they were hugging for a second before he hugged his mom.

Claire was observing and found that it was the first time she ever saw Hunter smiling. It’s definitely a rare view, seeing Hunter hugging with his foster parents.

Well, apparently he does have feelings after all. Claire slightly thought inside. Her heart melted for a second. Wasn’t he lucky to have parents and family like them? Claire thought as she sighing inside when she realized Hunter’s big posture comparing to his parents.

“Oh, this must be Va--”

“Claire, honey, Claire…!” Hunter’s mother slightly patted her husband’s back as she cut in. She gave her warm smile to Claire.

“Dad, this is Claire...Colten… My wife,” Hunter said, despite the awkward feelings he felt after saying the word ‘wife’, Hunter decided to make everything clear before his father asking the follow-up questions about his lag behind.

“Claire, this my father and mother, Mr. Bentley Wright, and Mrs. Elizabeth Wright,” Hunter said.

Claire was smiling, looking a bit shy and nervous as she gave out her right hand. Her shy acts were shown from her reddened cheek and her cute hesitation which Hunter found secretly attractive.

“Hello, um, It’s love--”

“Oh, don’t be shy! Call us dad, and mom, Claire! You’re family now…!” Mr. Bentley said between his chuckles. He pulled Claire’s hand after they shook and gave Claire a hug.

Dad is right…!” Mrs. Elizabeth chimed in as she took turns hugging Claire. “Oh, honey, aren’t you pretty…!” She said while touching Claire’s cheeks and wavy hair.

“I really don’t know why he kept you so long from us,” Mrs. Elizabeth added as she lightly rolled her eyes. “Let’s go meet the other family!” She took Claire’s elbow and led her away from Hunter.

Claire was just nodding between her smiles when Hunter called his mother.

“Mom, I don’t know…we just got here, maybe Claire wants to sit here and relax first?” Hunter said before looking straight at Claire, just to find her clueless round eyes.

Claire was opening her mouth, she was about to talk when Mrs. Elizabeth talked first.

“Oh, come on, Hunter, I’m just gonna borrow her for a little while…! She’ll be back soon, in no time…Hah, newlyweds!” Mrs. Elizabeth said with a chuckle.

Then she proceeded her steps along with Claire who had no choice but to follow her new mother-in-law.

Claire saw a glimpse of a worried look in Hunter’s eyes. He definitely worried about her blowing their cover.

Well, that makes two of us. Claire thought.

**

After Claire and Mrs. Elizabeth were far enough, Mr. Bentley took a bottle of beer and handed it to his son, who’s apparently still gazing in Claire’s direction.

“Congratulations, son! She’s lovely… I’m sorry I almost cost you trouble, heh… I thought you’re still with, Uhm, what’s her name again? Valentine,--the performer?”

“Valerie, dad.” Hunter took a seat beside his dad. “She’s a singer artist,--” Hunter pointed out without being too emotional. “--And thanks,”

His father clinked his bottle with Hunter’s. “Well, I like this one better…”

“You...never even met one of them until now,” Hunter said flatly before gulping his beer.

How was it even possible that Claire had got his parent’s hearts this soon? She’s not even here longer than five minutes, Hunter thought.

“Call it an old man’s hunch, heh... Besides...you wouldn’t be marrying her if I’m not right, right?” Mr. Bentley laughed. “But, really, son… What’s with the secrecy…? We’re your family… We’re supposed to be there with you at your wedding,”

“Yeah, I know… I’m sorry… I guess I couldn’t wait to marry her,” Hunter said smoothly. “I mean, I had to marry her,” he added, feeling proud of himself for telling the truth about he really ‘had to’ marry her.

“But you just couldn’t tell us at all…? And why so sudden? Am I going to be a grandpa?” Mr. Bentley said, grinning.

“What? No! Gee…dad,” Hunter replied, a little bit too defensive.

“Then why…? I know that you like to keep everything for yourself, but this is a little bit out of line… when your mom found out about it, she was pretty upset actually,” Mr. Bentley said. “But don’t tell her I told you,”

Hunter slightly looked away, running his hair as he was feeling edgy for being pressed. Not to mention he still didn’t have a great reason, but his mind worked fast. He decided to keep the lies close to the truth.

“She was almost marrying someone else, okay?” Hunter said, raising his voice a bit since he lost his cool there for a second.

“There’s this guy...who was closer to her than me… and I knew that that guy was planning to propose and marry her… So I made my moves first, and there’s no time for a long-planned wedding… I just flew to her and married her right away,” Hunter explained steadily before sighing.

He realized even though what he said was a lie, deep down he really was still annoyed by the thought of Claire being with her ex-fiance.

Mr. Bentley was quiet for a second, watching his son. He let out a sigh and drank his beer. “Well… We’re happy for you, and what’s done is done… I just hope you know that we’re your family… We’re always gonna support you,”

Hunter was tempted to speak his mind since they all knew the only thing that his family won’t support was anything related to Harrison Neverner and his vow. But he chose not to speak his mind. He didn’t want to start a scene and ruined the family vacation, or to ruin his own plan.

“I know…Thanks, dad.” Hunter said shortly.

“So how’s it going so far…?”

“What’s going so far?”

“Your marriage life, silly! How was the honeymoon…?” Mr. Bentley said, raising his eyebrows up and down several times.

Ah, shit. Hunter was swearing inside as he could believe that Claire’s prediction came to life.

“Really, dad? If you’re gonna keep asking a lot of questions like this, I’m gonna need a stronger drink,” Hunter said, looking far away to search for anybody or anything that could help him escape his dad.

“What…? There’s nothing wrong with my question… Oh, I see, it was that good huh…?” Mr. Bentley couldn’t help laughing.

Hunter shook his head and gave out a thin smile. He slowly stood up from his seat and diverted his dad with another plan to do. Before I lost my mind. He thought.

“Let’s just go after mum, shall we…?” He said.

“Avoiding my question, huh?” Mr. Bentley said as he joined his son. “I don’t know what’s so hard for you to tell me about your honeymoon… If you ask me about how your mom and I did it in our glory days--”

Mr. Bentley started to blabber about the things he shouldn’t listen to, putting his hand on Hunter’s back as they walked.

“Dad, please stop?” Hunter pleaded, chuckling.

**

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