Cold Heart

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Trouble Maker

Claire and Hunter were exchanging looks, they didn’t see it coming. And for a second there, Claire could see Hunter’s jaws tightening.

“I, Uhm, heh-- I don’t think they can…” Claire said, looking down at her feet. “My...mom, left me when I was 12... I don’t know where she is now…” She explained calmly.

“And my father--”

Claire glanced at Hunter for a second before glancing down at her feet again. She quickly thought that it might not be a good idea to tell her mother-in-law anything about her father.

“--I, -I feel like...I don’t know him either,” Claire said, slightly lifting up her shoulders.

“Oh, dear…” Mrs. Wright was stroking Claire’s hair. “I’m sorry to hear that,”

“Heh, it’s fine,” Claire said.

“Well... Fortunately, you have Hunter and us now…as your family,” Mrs. Wright said as she squeezed Claire’s hands.

“Is there...any reason why you asked, mom…?” Hunter asked.

“Oh! Heh, I just thought--”

“Hunter!” Nate came toward them, cutting in. “Are we gonna spend the night at the bar or not?”

“I… Don’t remember making any plan to go there,” Hunter said after breaking eye contact with Claire.

“Dude! It’s tradition!” Nate said. Every time Hunter came there, they always hung out together at the local bar. “How about you uh--Mrs. Colten? Do you want to go with us and spend the greatest night of your life??”

Claire chuckled before letting out a smile.

“I think I’m gonna sit this one out… Heh, I’m a little bit tired…” Claire kindly refused. “Thanks for the invite, though.”

It was obvious if she goes with Hunter, they both would have to stay in character. Not to mention Hunter’s cold disapproval look when Nate invited her, which gave her a clear message.

“Okay then!” Nate put a tap on Hunter’s back. “Let’s go, man,”

For a second, Hunter and Claire were staring at each other. The strange thing was, even without saying anything it was as if they both knew what’s on each other’s minds.

Hunter was worried that Claire would do or say something else that could blow their covers. And Claire knew that Hunter doubted her.

Noticing that they’ve been quiet too long, they both lightly flinched before talking at the same time.

“Ha-have fun…!”

“Don’t wait up,” Hunter said while stepping forward and gave Claire a light kiss on her cheek, before leaving her with her blushing cheeks.

Of course, Claire of all people understood that the light kiss was just Hunter playing her husband’s part. What she still was not used to was the feelings every time Hunter touched her.

**

B&B Bar, Mowbit City.

Hunter and Nate were sitting at the bar, drinking their third beer. Nate wanted something stronger for their drinks but Hunter disagreed since he needs to keep his mind strongly intact, since every time he was close with Claire he just kept losing his mind.

Who knows what I’d be doing to her when I’m drunk. He thought. He couldn’t even trust himself when he was sober.

“So, are you gonna tell me the truth about Claire, now?” Nate said out of nowhere.

“What are you talking about?”

“Come on, man! I have known you for a long time, dude. And I was there-- Well, mostly I know times when you were..being you with Valerie--”

“Why did everyone keep bringing her up tonight?” Hunter said with a sigh, sipping his drink.

“Well, because you just suddenly married someone new and no one knows anything! -- Though, as I said, we’re happy for you… Claire is something,” Nate said seriously. “And I’m telling ya, I’m never seen you easily jealous or uptight like tonight, not even with Valerie,”

“And your point is?” Hunter said lightly. Hunter knew how flirty Nate could be, and he remembered those flirting times Nate had with Valerie. Nate’s observation was true, he never got really jealous when with Valerie.

But that’s just because he could trust both Nate and Valerie. He knows them. Well, at least he can count on Nate. So it’s a different thing with Claire and it’s completely natural if he felt suspicious of her all the time. Right?

His mind was playing with him. All he knew was when it involved Claire he just couldn’t help it.

“It would be nice to know something from you, man! I know you don’t like any bromance shit, and neither do I-- But, I got your back, man…you can tell me anything,” Nate said.

“Yeah, I know, bro,” Hunter raised his bottle and clinked it with Nate’s. “You know I appreciate it… and you were right...Claire is--”

“Colten?!” Some guy just called Hunter’s name, which made Nate and Hunter look back.

“Ah, shit! It’s Bobby Creed.” Nate said.

Hunter glanced at Nate with his eyebrows up before he turned his back to face Bobby who came closer at them.

“Do I know you?” Hunter said. He actually knew Bobby, after all, how could he forget the guy who stole his first love?

Bobby chuckled. “Nice one, heh!” Bobby was not looking good, like, life had not been good to him.

“I heard that you’re in town… and I also heard that you’ll get married here!” Bobby said.

Hunter was just staring with a calm smile, he was not intended to play Bobby’s game. Even though he did find how fast the news about his wedding spread was strange.

“He’s already married,” Nate said. “And we’re still celebrating here, so do you mind?”

“Oh? That’s too bad--”

“Just run along, Bobby. Stop looking for trouble.” Nate cut in since he sensed that Bobby would eventually bring up how he stole Hunter’s girlfriend in the past.

“Hey… I’m not looking for trouble,” Bobby said, lifting his hands as if he was backing down.

Hunter and Nate turned their back to the bar, intending to ignore him. They thought Bobby would leave, but Bobby was still there.

“I was just thinking that it was too bad that I missed your wedding… who knew, she might like me too,” Bobby said with a laugh that was meant to embarrass Hunter.

Nate could see Hunter’s hands making fists.

“Chill, man… He’s not worth it,” Nate said half-whispered otherwise, he’d make Bobby know that Hunter started to lose it.

Normally, Hunter wouldn’t even bother at all, especially to a pathetic human being like Bobby. Besides, he’s not a teenager anymore who often struggles with self-control. He could handle Bobby Creed.

But that was before Bobby kept bringing up his fantasies about harassing and fucking with Claire.

And the mother fucker just doesn’t know how to shut!

Hunter knew he had two choices that time, ignore everything that Bobby threw at him and leave, or shut him up with his fists.

The second choice seemed more tempting for him, but he knew he shouldn’t. Besides, people were starting to stare at them since Bobby himself had made a scene by being too dramatic in every word he said.

The question was, how long he could take it? Not to mention Bobby was still blathering so many inappropriate thoughts about Claire even though he tried not to listen.

“Piss off, man! What’s your problem?!” Nate stood off from his chair and faced Bobby. It turned out Nate himself couldn’t take it anymore.

“Hey, hey!” Hunter held Nate’s shoulder, he still could think straight despite his boiling anger inside. “You’re right he’s not worth it, let’s go,” Hunter said.

Deep down Hunter was an inch away from losing it.

“Yeah, go and find another bar for wimps, hah!” Bobby said.

“Oh, and Hunter, I heard that your new wife is a keeper! Don’t be surprised if you find her with me again!” He added.

Hunter, who was just on his way out, stopped. He slowly turned his back from the door.

Nate could tell by Hunter’s look that Bobby had made a tremendous mistake.

There’s no turning back now, things would get ugly just because Bobby kept poking the sleeping beast inside of Hunter. For a second there, though Nate’s ready to stand by Hunter’s side, he just hoped that Hunter would not kill someone.

Just before Hunter could reach Bobby, Nate spoke to a waiter close by.

“Call 911 will you?”

***

The Wright’s Manor.

Claire was in the bedroom that was settled for Hunter and her to sleep. Their room was big, and everything was very comfy, the thick and soft carpet, the bed, everything was comfortably perfect. When Claire first saw the manor, she didn’t expect that inside the manor was as big and beautiful, elegant and trendy as the outside.

Claire was already in her pajamas, sitting on the comfy big couch with a novel in her hand, and a hot cup of milk on the side table. She was reading a romance novel called ‘Sweet Temptation’ which she enjoyed every page.

She was deeply drowned in her zone when suddenly she heard some chattering voices. Claire looked at the door and soon the door was opened. Her mother-in-law came into the room looking upset.

Claire put down the book on the couch and stepped down the couch, but when she looked up, she found Hunter inside the room with a few bruises on his face.

“What happened?!” Claire said between her gasps. She lightly closed her mouth with her hands as a reflex move.

Hunter’s mom grabbed some first aid kit from one of the drawers in the room while grumbling.

“He and Nate got into a fight… Again! To think that those days of this-- were over! I’m very disappointed in you, Hunter! You’re not in high school anymore for heaven’s sake!”

Mrs. Wright gave the kit into Claire’s hands before putting her hands on her hips. For a second there Claire’s eyes and Hunter’s met each other.

Hunter couldn’t lie that he found Claire’s worried eyes delight him. But at the same time, he was embarrassed too since his mother scolded him like he was a child in front of Claire.

“We did try to walk away, aunty Lizzie,” Nate said. He was standing near the door the whole time. “But Bobby just kept --”

“Bobby? Bobby Creed?” Mrs. Wright was surprised, staring at her son. Now she knew why Hunter fought again even though she still disagreed with the fight.

“Ye-yeah! We didn’t even get the chance to wait for the strip show, ’cause he kept yapping about taking--”

“Strip show?!” Mrs. Wright gasped, and Claire was too without being too obviously seen but Hunter noticed how her shoulder raised up as if she was holding her breath.

“Nate, you’re not helping,” Hunter cut in, stopping Nate with his looks.

When Hunter was looking back at his mother’s face and found her look was even more upset, Hunter slightly pinched his nasal bones before lifting his hand, asking his mom to hear him out.

If there’s anything he hates in the world, one of them was to disappoint his parents, especially his mother.

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