The Next Morning.
It was Saturday morning, a quiet and peaceful morning. Claire was in the middle of drinking her coffee and eating her breakfast, an omelet sandwich while texting with her friends on the phone.
Her friends were asking about her plans for her birthday, which was tomorrow. They asked if Claire could go back to Qoya City for the day to spend time with them and Claire gave them a general answer, she’ll ask Hunter first and she’ll go back and inform them.
Speaking of the devil. Claire slightly thought when she saw Hunter out from her room and walking toward her.
With his handsome morning hair, his loose unbuttoned shirt which shows his perfect abs frame more, and the sexy five o’clock shadow on his face, everything just completes his masculinity.
Claire pushed herself to look away and not just stare. She put down her phone and drank her coffee, pretending to be cool as if his presence didn’t affect her at all.
For a second there, Hunter wasn’t really sure what to say. He already saw the folded blanket and the pillow on the couch which told him that Claire had slept there.
He scratched his head, feeling confused with what to start.
“... Sorry, I sabotaged your bed,” he said, with a little bit of an awkward tone. “You should’ve woke me up,”
“It’s fine... At least one of us could sleep well till morning without any nightmare at all.--” Claire said, a bit too flat as she brought her dirty plate and cup to the sink.
“Honestly, I’m actually surprised you didn’t end up alcoholic -- knowing you could sleep well when drunk.--”
As soon as she said those words, Claire stopped and turned her back, facing him. She softened.
Did I say it all out loud?
“-- I-I’m sorry... I didn’t mean that...” Claire said nervously before biting her inside lips.
Hunter slightly looked down and shook his head.
“Yeah,--been there, done that. Not a good solution.--"
“--Anyway... I’m the one who should apologize…--” He said awkwardly without losing his charm.
He licked his lips as he recalled kissing her.
“--I shouldn’t have come to you, uh, or came home drunk. Ahem, I guess I wasn’t aware of my drinking limit anymore.”
Seemed like I didn’t even know why I drank that much. Hunter thought inside before secretly remembering that he was trying to get her off his mind last night.
Which exactly had brought him even closer to her because of their intercourse last night.
And apparently, I still want more. He admitted inside.
It was a weird and sweet coincidence that they were secretly thinking about their kiss and their connection last night as they were in silence for a second.
Does he...remember kissing me?
Judging from what he said about the drinking limit, he might have a strong stomach when it comes to drinking. So if he passed out just before he could reach his bed, it’s safe to think that he didn’t remember anything, right? Claire thought.
She wasn’t really sure which was worse, he remembered all about last night or not. But one thing that she was sure of, there’s something inside her that made her really want to find out the reason why he kissed her.
“It’s okay…--” She finally said. “--Though, I have to ask… Do you...remember wh-why you came to my room,--or why you...kissed me?--” She said kindly before gulping. A slight regret came to follow after she asked.
What is it with her this morning? It seems like she couldn’t resist saying something in her mind at all. She thought.
Hunter was slightly tense all of a sudden, he knew where the conversation would lead. Feelings. That kind of conversation will lead to a confession.
Hunter thought she wouldn’t dare to bring up something especially about their kiss from last night, but he was wrong.
Claire slightly looked down before carefully speaking. “I’m not trying to prove anything here... I’m just--a little bit confused, a-about last night, they say people are mostly honest when--” She was rambling.
“Yeah, well, not me.” Hunter cut in coldly.
“I was drunk, that’s it. Or I must have confused you with someone else,” he said shortly.
His sharp dark eyes darkened, a muscle popped up on his strong jaw.
Claire’s lips were slightly parted as she was speechless for a second. She didn’t intend to make him say he loves her, she was just trying to say that maybe he doesn’t hate her that much, or maybe, they could get along.
Claire was flashing back to the day where he sarcastically warned her about how he’d be drunk enough to ever be attracted to her. So, maybe it’s true he really did have to be drunk to be into her or like her, or even just to be nice to her. She thought.
Okay...There’s no point in discussing this.
But how come every time he started it, I’m the one who ended up guilty?
Claire was conflicted inside but she knew if she kept pushing it they would fight, again, so, despite her curiosity--which was already cleared based on his answers, and upsetness, Claire decided to drop the kissing case. At least not now.
“Well, you said you want to say something important to um, this someone else- not-me--” Claire calmly said, pretending to be confused, her fingers were on her lips.
“--I don’t really know anymore, is it me or her that you need to say something…telling her about our fake marriage perhaps?” She slightly mumbled.
The way Claire was always calm but sarcastic, and gentle but also firm, always made Hunter torn in dilemmas. On one side his pride was burning him inside, waiting to blow up, but on the other side, he felt like he got his match who always intrigued him.
Not to mention her round eyes, her hair, her scent, her femininity, everything about her was intriguing to him. So there he was, still unable to say anything. He even barely reacted at all.
He did remember about that ’something important that he intended to tell Claire last night, it was about the charity dinner.
How could he lose in this war of conversations or his own lies?
If he tells her right away, he’d be confirming that he didn’t confuse her with someone else, but if he tells her later--which there wasn’t much time since the dinner is later that night, eventually she’ll know that he lied.
“You know what?-- Now I do remember why I was drunk the first time--!” Hunter said as he walked closer to Claire.
She firmly looked into his eyes, challenged him.
“--I remember that I have to take and introduce you to all of my colleagues at tonight’s event, just because they know I have a wife now. Which wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have that accident--!”
So that’s what he was gonna tell me! Claire slightly thought. And that’s why he got drunk, he hates the fact that he has to bring her to the event.
Upset with the fact that Hunter even denied that he’s got something to say to the real her last night, Claire kept her steadiness, crossing her hands on her chest.
“Don’t worry…! I’ll lay down so low you won’t even know I’m there…!-- Besides, I doubt it that I’d like it there, with your friends anyway,” Claire said with an angry tone, slightly wincing her eyes.
She of all people knew that saying ineffective words just to win the debate was the root of all failed communication in marriage, but at the time she just couldn’t take it. She’d been nice from the start and Hunter was the one who acted defensively and harshly.
Some part of her can’t blame him for the fact that flashing his fake wife was indeed uncomfortable, for both of them.
They were facing each other again so close for a while, feeling both angry but also secretly attracted, drawn at each other at the same time.
It was like every time they got close, the feeling of being closer, holding on to each other, and the urge was always there, and strong.
Hunter turned his back as he ran his hair, maintaining his space.
Better not doing the same mistake, he thought.
“Good, you do that.--! I got the same feeling anyway.” Hunter said.
“Fine…--!” Claire said with her chin up.
“Fine.” He replied as Claire walked away, leaving the kitchen.
Hunter too, headed toward his room as he ordered. “Be ready at 3 pm, the driver will take you to the stylist!”
They went to their rooms and closed the door at the same time. Claire quickly threw her body to the bed between her glassy eyes.
When will I learn…?
To accept that he doesn’t want to do anything with me?
Why would I always have high hopes?
She decided to check on her phone, trying anything works that could shake off Hunter from her head which hardly working.
In Hunter’s room, Hunter was upset too, with the fact that she could make him feel that way. He unbuttoned the rest of the buttons of his shirt and tossed it on the floor.
This is absurd! What do I gotta do to shake her out of my skin? To get her out of my head??
It was 6 pm on the clock, Hunter was sitting inside the limousine waiting for Claire to come out.
On the way to the stylist workshop before, Hunter had tried to call Valerie. They haven’t met again ever since their last meeting. They kept in touch by texts, but as Hunter predicted, her tour had taken most of her time, they barely connected with each other, let alone to have the time to meet.
During that time too, Hunter was considering telling Valerie and coming clean about his fake marriage a few times. Perhaps, trying to save their relationship from a deadly secret.
He was annoyed by the fact that deep down there’s a voice telling him that maybe he only tried to focus on his feelings for Valerie just to avoid what he really feels about Claire.
But that’s just impossible, he’s crazy about Valerie, right? He thought slightly.
After leaving a short message to Valerie that says they need to talk, he sighed, running his fingers on his hair before impatiently coming out from the car.
But when he looked up straight he found Claire came out from the workshop. She was wearing a white coat that almost covered her evening dress.
That’s a good thing, Hunter thought. From the surface, there’s no sign of any open parts, only a slight of a cut skirt that showed every time she walked. Her hair was down and elegantly wavey, her make-up was soft yet made her beauty sharper. She looks gorgeous.
Hunter held the door open to let Claire get inside the limousine. She walked past him and got inside the limousine without saying anything, and she was also quiet too when the car was starting to move.
Hunter chose to quiet for a while too, struggling with himself as he started to realize that his body was reacting to her perfume, and apparently, everything about her.
He cleared his throat, slightly pulling the neck part of his tux where his bow tie felt too tight. Or was it only the way she makes him feel?
Nervous and weird, he thought.