Cold Heart

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Troubled Heart

“A-are they--?” Claire stammered with her round eyes on Hunter, her cheek starting to blush. She slightly bit her bottom lips and looked down at her feet.

“Yes,” Hunter said while looking down at her face. “So, let’s just get this over with,” Hunter said coldly and half-whispered.

He took his hand, touching between her jaw and cheek.

Claire felt as if her heart was about to explode because she’s feeling both nervous and excited by his touch and the gazes from everyone there.

She was slightly held back between fluttering her eyes and gasping, but Hunter’s fingers were already on her nape.

His thumb was under her jaw, he gave a slight pressure with his thumb which made Claire have no other choice except to bring her chin up a little bit more.

As soon as their lips clashed with each other, Claire didn’t hear any sounds at all. She could hear her beating heart pounding so hard, and her surroundings turned blurry as if they were alone.

For a moment there, she felt a peaceful silence as she closed her eyes, waves of heat, and all her senses were rejoicing.

The way Hunter kissed her was intimate, longing, but also gentle at the same time. It was almost as if he really wanted her, cared for her.

Or... love me...

But that’s impossible, right? Claire thought slightly.

After opening her eyes, Claire quickly knew that the crowd made Hunter kiss her the way he was and not what her delusional mind thought.

Hunter’s family was clapping their hands, whistling, and cheering, happy to see them. Except for Serena of course who’s already there which made Claire remember to ask.

She looked at Hunter who looked like he was annoyed about something, she could see from his jaw’s muscles that popped out.

“Is-is everything okay…?” Claire gently asked, afraid if she made some mistakes in their kissing act.

Hunter cleared his throat for a second before looking stable as usual. “Yes, fine.” He said shortly.

On the inside, he was far from fine. Hunter was secretly struggling with himself.

How come every time he kissed her he ended up wanting something more? Something much more, and that’s the only struggle that kept bothering him.

“Hunter…” Claire called him with her unsure voice. “What’s...with Serena…?--” Claire said carefully. “--I, um… I can’t help but hear her say and your dad mentioned--”

“Don’t.” Hunter cut in strongly, looking straight into Claire’s eyes.

Claire hesitated before deciding to go on since she already asked.

“But… Don’t you think I should know--something?” Claire tried to reason.

“That something,-- doesn’t concern you.”

“But what if someone asks me...a-about this--Valerie… and I know nothing because you kept me in the dark?” Claire explained her worries with her low voice, they both realized that Hunter’s parents were heading toward them.

Hunter yanked Claire’s arm discreetly, not enough to hurt her but Claire knew how he turned very seriously upset.

"Listen...! If I said that she’s not your concern, then let it go!-- Let me remind you, that I’m not like one of your clients that you can analyze at every chance you find--!”

He clenched his jaw for a second, looking all upset which made Claire afraid his parents would know their situation.

“--I’m gonna say this once. I don’t have to explain --Anything, to you and I don’t want to hear her name coming out of your mouth--ever...again! Do you understand?” He emphasized quietly.

Claire’s mouth opened spontaneously, she was frightened and confused. It seemed like she just pushed the wrong button, again. Her lips were slightly trembling as she tried to respond but what could she say? Claire bit her bottom lips just to hold her lips from trembling.

Then, before Claire could say anything, Hunter’s parents came and Mrs. Wright just hugged her from the back.

“Aww, you guys are so sweet together!” Mrs. Wright slightly squealed. “I’ve never felt so happy like tonight,” she said while looking at Claire’s face.

Claire forced herself to smile, pretending to be happy. Unfortunately, Mrs. Wright knew the look from Claire’s face and she quickly glanced at Hunter at the same time Hunter’s phone was ringing, he took his phone and turned his back after checking on the screen.

“Claire… is everything okay? Are those tears?” She said, holding Claire’s shoulders.

Claire fluttered her eyes and softly chuckled.

“Heh, no… It’s--.. I’ve got something in my eyes, maybe sand or something,” Claire said, lying. She knew that she couldn’t help to hold her eyes from being glassy. “I’m just gonna check it in the restroom…excuse me,” Claire gently patted Mrs. Wright’s hand before heading toward the toilet.

Mrs. Wright came to Hunter and since Hunter saw his mother was approaching, he quickly ended the call.

“What did you do or say to Claire?” She said to her son.

Hunter slightly squinted. “Huh? What do you mean?”

“Does this have to do with that phone call? I saw your screen before you picked it up, it was from Valerie, wasn’t it?” His mother pressed.

Judging by Hunter’s hesitation in answering, his mother smacked her lips in upset.

“Is this a game to you Hunter? You’re married to Claire but still maintaining a relationship with Valerie?” She said, sighing. “Claire’s a good girl, Hunter…” She rubbed Hunter’s arm.

Hunter slightly closed his eyes, pinching his nasal bone.

“Mom, first of all… I don’t know why you’re suddenly nagging me this way,” Hunter said, trying to be patient.

“Secondly, apart from the fact that you’ve just met Claire--today, I find it hard to hear you comparing them two-- I-mean…”

Looking at his mom’s face, Hunter knew he gave the wrong impression. Hunter lifted his hands, asking his mom to hear him out.

“Look, I’m not cheating with Valerie… and even if Claire was upset about something it’s not because of Valerie,” he said.

“Well, she looked like she was crying... just before I came here and talking with you,--”

Hunter slightly gazed around to find Claire, but he couldn’t find her.

“--And I have lived long enough to know a kind and good person when I see one…!” Elizabeth held her son’s face. “I see people...with my heart, baby… I’m sure you can too, if-- If you choose to open your heart just a little bit,”

“Mom… you really lost me here,” Hunter said slowly with a sigh, taking his mother’s hands and gently kissing them.

“Don’t worry, okay? There’s nothing going on between Claire and me, we’re fine… Tell you what, --” Hunter said, soothing his mother by holding her shoulders.

“--I’m going to find Claire right now, and let you know that she’s okay and not...crying, okay?”

“Okay…” Mrs. Wright said with a sigh. “She’s in the toilet,” she added.

Hunter nodded before walking away and ran his hair as he was upset.

Why on earth did she have to cry? And for what reason?

And how come his mom is already on her side all the way?


Somewhere not far from the restaurant, Claire was taking her time alone at the shore.

Sightseeing at the stars, the decoration around the place, feeling the sands with her bare feet just soothing her. Not to mention the sound of the waves too.

She was slowly pacing and gazing far at the horizon with her heels in her hand before looking down at her steps.

A lot is going on in her head. Like, why Hunter didn’t want to tell her anything about Valerie.

Or why he was so defensive and sensitive about that.

Claire took a deep sigh before slowly sitting on the sand. Her mind was wandering to Miles and the moment when they were together. He treated her well and was always gentle with her, except for the last incident of course, which was acceptable since she’s the one who did him wrong.

But...the kisses. How come it was so different with Hunter? It was nothing like the feeling she felt when she was kissed by Miles.

Way different... Claire slowly touched her lips. Lingering how it felt to be kissed by Hunter before sighing.

What am I doing? Keeping the sensation and forgetting about how Hunter kept shutting himself to her, or the fact that he hates her so much?

Why does she get carried away easily too? It’s like she’s always hoping that they could be something more together.

Claire put her chin on her arm, resting her head on her knees, feeling blue. She looked at her wedding ring and slightly played it around in its place since it’s a little bit too big for her, she even almost lost it every time she washed her hand.

She was still lost in her thoughts and didn’t know that Hunter was there.


He called after a while. Claire slightly flinched before turning her back and meeting his eyes. She slowly stood and patted her dress, cleaning it from sands.

“... What are you doing here...?” Hunter asked nicely.

Claire walked past him and responded listlessly without looking at him.

“Just needed some time alone…”

Hunter caught Claire’s arm, making her stop, but Claire didn’t look at him.

“Is this...alone time has something to do with our last conversation?” Hunter said flatly.

“No,--” Claire said not too convincingly, even she knew that. Well, lying was not something that she’s good at. She quickly changed her answers.

“Maybe.-- Does it matter?”

Claire was looking straight into his eyes as she spoke with her upset but polite tone, which made Hunter unable to react for a while.

“My mom wanted me to find you,” Hunter said with a sigh. “She thinks I’ve done smth that made you upset and cry,”

Hunter tilted his head. “Were you?... Crying?”

“No,” Claire quickly answered. Almost. She said inside while looking at her feet.

Claire slowly freed her arm from Hunter’s grip and walked away back to the pier where most of his family were there. Hunter followed behind her.

For a second there Hunter was considering telling her about Valerie since every time he watched her fall and gloom, all he could think about was to soothe her.

But what good would it bring? Once he told her about Valerie, there will be another question that follows.

And things could get more complicated than it already is. He thought slightly.

“Claire! There you are…!” Her mother-in-law called her. “Everything alright…?”

Claire gave her best smile and act, accepting her mother-in-law’s open arms.

“Yes, of course...I was just enjoying the beach and lost time… you wished to see me?”

“Oh… I just want to ask you…” She said slowly while glancing at both Claire and Hunter.

“What do you think... about inviting your parents here…?” She added with a bright smile on her face.

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