Cold Heart

All Rights Reserved ©

Decide

The Next Day, Claire’s Home.

Claire was on her bed, flipping Hunter’s card back and forth in her hand as she was trying to find another way in her predicament. But she always came to a dead end, not to mention she did ask Waller the alternatives that she could do, the answer always the same. There’s nothing she can do except to make Hunter her husband.

Waller said that Hunter was the only buyer that’s still interested in CGX which is not a surprise for Claire since his reason was personal, and if CGX couldn’t find an investor soon CGX would be sinking fast.

Of course, for a few months Claire still could provide for his father considering she had a few savings, but to provide for her father long-term with his father’s treatment expenses won’t be a wise decision for her if she’s not planning it effectively and immediately.

Miles always said that she should focus on the CGX, changing the course of her job, but Claire believed that people should know their own talents, skill, and passion to be great or at least adequate. Moreover to align those with your educational background. Claire knew herself to know that CGX was not her field or passion.

Oh, Miles. She thought, sighing as her tears fell on her cheeks. She couldn’t even tell Miles about any of this.

How could she tell Miles to break up?

Should she tell him in detail so Miles would wait for her?

Claire was sighing when she noticed how selfish she sounds. Asking Miles to wait for her while she’d be marrying someone else? She must be crazy to think that Miles will accept everything without any objection at all, even when she thought that Miles is the warmest and kind person that she ever met.

Unlike Hunter Colten.

How could he even come up with the idea?

Doesn’t he want to marry the girl he loves?

Does he have a girl that he loves?

Claire was sighing, feeling desperate. But she couldn’t give up on her father too despite his mistakes. The last day Claire had spent with her father was enough for her to know that her father had changed and would have fixed his mistake if he got the second chance.

True, to be fair, that she didn’t know what her father had done to Hunter, but what did he expect her to do? Just abandoned her father to death?

Claire took her phone and typing.

____________________________________

Claire: Hunter, it’s Claire..

...

Claire: Let’s say for a second that I reconsider everything,

Claire: Can we discuss more?

Hunter: Colten-Ex building, 98 street. 10 AM.

___________________________________

Hunter poured some bourbon after replying to Claire’s text. Deep down he despised his soft side that apparently appears every time he sees Claire, not to mention the sudden attraction toward her he sometimes felt.

It was not an attraction, I’m just being a guy. Besides, Valerie is a great girl and she’s perfect for me. Hunter denied himself, soothing himself as he drank the bourbon.

He was actually never gonna be on board with the idea of marrying Claire too if it’s not the only way. Not to mention he had to keep that ‘idea’ from his foster parents and especially from Valerie.

Lucky for him, Valerie would be very busy in her continent-tour which could take more than a year for her to finish. So, if everything went smoothly, marrying Claire for a year won’t be a problem for his relationship with Valerie.

He would still come to see Valerie as usual, considering that they hardly see each other too anyway so it won’t be much different for them.

And he won’t be hard to find an excuse to go since he often goes on a business trip which he intended to do to avoid his ‘wife’ later. Besides, Valerie doesn’t need any distraction for her career, she should be focused on her tour, not his problem.

The problem that’s once again caused by Harrison. Hunter said inside, finishing his bourbon.

***

Colten Ex. Building, Qoya City.

Claire was sitting at a big table with lots of chairs in the meeting room alone. It’s still 09.45 am on the clock and a lady who she guessed to be some sort of a secretary, led her to the room she’s in now, telling her to wait there.

So there she was, taking a leave from work and waiting anxiously as she played with her engagement ring on her finger which was from Miles.

“Where’s your lawyer?”

Suddenly she heard a voice she recognized. She saw Hunter standing at the other side of the table looking all sharp, professional, and dangerous. And perfectly handsome. Oh, come on Claire!

“A-a lawyer…?” Claire fluttered her eyes and slowly stood up from her seat as she assumed that the other guy beside Hunter was a lawyer. “D-do I need one…? I, uh, was hoping we still could find another way…” She said carefully.

Hunter took a deep sigh. This girl is either the worst con in the world or just plain naive for not bringing any lawyer with her. Does she even know what she’s dealing with? Hunter thought.

He’s not supposed to give a damn since without a lawyer’s help on Claire’s side it would be his gain, not saying that he will deceive her but she’d be exposed. Hunter gave one look to his lawyer that made the guy nod before leaving them alone.

Oh, dear, maybe I shouldn’t stand up. Claire said inside, regretting her decision to stand up since she found her knees were starting to fail her. There’s something about Hunter that made her easily melt.

“I thought I’ve made it pretty clear that if you’re not agree with the plan you shouldn’t bother to call me.” Hunter said firmly. He looked a little bit irritated.

“I-I know…”

“So what are you doing here? If it’s not to sign our agreement?” He sighed again after glancing away for a second.

Claire was slightly gasping with her parted lips, Hunter’s cold-emotionless acts always made her more anxious and at a loss of words. She gulped and licked her lips in nervousness.

“I thought--”

“There’s no other way, Claire.” He cut in coldly, staring sharp into Claire’s eyes even though he noticed how inviting her lips were.

“It’s the only way. --And it’s just a one year marriage,” His voice was raised a bit as he slightly lifted his hand.

“Don’t overthink it and get carried away by it…! Or maybe the thought that you must make our marriage work or live happily ever after together. It’s not even a real marriage. It’s just a business deal.” Hunter’s heartless look was so obvious in Claire’s eyes.

Claire was just staring at him for a while in her round eyes, surprised by the fact that Hunter read her mind before looking down at the floor and sadly scoffed. Will everything I say make a difference?

“M-maybe it’s easy for you to say... cause you seem--” Heartless? Cold-hearted? Mean? Merciless? Claire couldn’t say those words.

“--really know what you’re doing…” her voice softened. “But for me...I c-can’t take marriage lightly, especially when I’m...I’m in love with someone else,” She quickly said.

Hunter glanced away between his clenched jaws.

"That’s not my problem.” He said coldly, staring straight into Claire’s eyes again.

Claire was speechless and shocked inside, knowing how insignificant she was in Hunter’s eyes.

“And maybe I should remind you again, if I don’t get the 40% share that your father has held for you, there’s no reason I should take care of the rest 14% available because that’d mean I’ve failed anyway.” He emphasized.

“Thanks to your father who apparently still can make my life a living hell!” Now he’s being sarcastic.

“Do you think I want this...?--” Hunter said harshly without losing his coolness. “Marrying someone who constantly reminds me of the one person I hate the most? Let me tell you--”

“Okay, I get it!” Claire cut in, trying to make her voice steady.

“We both want to get out of each other’s way... I just wish for another way that could be less...complicated,” Claire slowly said as she looked down, containing her emotion or her tears.

It’s funny when you know that someone you barely knew hates you, Claire simply thought. She couldn’t resist feeling heartbroken even though she’s not sure of the reason.

Hunter was quiet for a second, feeling a little bit too harsh on her but he quickly shook that feeling as he exhaled.

Claire slightly looked away to ease her glassy eyes. “Let’s carry on then,” she said weakly.

A muscle popped out on Hunter’s jaws, deep down he hated it. He hated the fact that he was one step closer to fulfilling his vow but on the other hand he knew that Claire was forced to redeem Harrison’s mistakes. Ah, damn it. Why did he keep thinking for her sake? Hunter mocked himself before clearing his throat slightly.

“I’ll give you some time to get in touch with your lawyer,” He said while taking a step to the door.

I don’t have one. Claire swiftly thought before responding to him.

“It’s… It’s fine…” Claire softly said. “Let’s just proceed…” She said, submitting.

Hunter was hesitating for a second as he’s thinking about her vulnerability again before calling his lawyer back inside.

The lawyer guy soon opened up his briefcase and gave her a few documents. Claire took her time to check all the documents, which made Hunter watch her more unintentionally.

Observing Claire’s gentle look, her fringe, her lips, some part of her collarbone, and a silver small chain necklace that led down to a hint of her cleavage from her unbuttoned shirt...

What the hell am I doing? Hunter looked away, running his hair with his fingers.

Hunter would be lying if he’s not attracted to her. Fine, I admit it, she’s a beautiful girl, she looks nice, and she’s a good girl… but that’s just it. It’s natural if he felt drawn to her, he’s a guy. There’s no guy in the world who wouldn’t fall for a pretty face and sensual body.

Bottom line, what he felt was commonplace, and besides, he’s got Valerie who is greater than her. Even though there’s something about Claire that made him-- Wait, stop. He did it again. Hunter decided to divert his thoughts to his phone rather than failing not to put his eyes on her.

He swore inside, no matter how she’d make him feel, he was still going to accomplish his vow. Besides, he didn’t know what kind of person she is and a pretty face can be deceiving. Hunter thought as his eyes were back to Claire. Dammit, Hunter!

***

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.