Hunter

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Chapter 12

Claire had a blast as the night wore on. The club was explained to her and she found out everyone had a ‘road name’ she found Hunter’s name particularly fascinating. She ended up pulling her tablet out and began researching the Seven Archangels.

“What do I wear?”

This caught the attention of all the women. Stella stood up. “Ladies.” She grabbed Miss Betty and Claire and pulled them into the house. Claire looked back at Hunter, opened mouthed as the women filed into the house.

“I…I have no idea what’s going on.”

She looked at Stella as they ran around the house looking in her closets that were packed with clothes. She had racks and more wardrobe boxes she had to unpack. Soon a pair of jeans, boots and a long sleeve lightweight shirt were thrown together. Miss Betty would loan her a jacket and helmet. She was in shock when everything was laid out. The ladies were going through her closet that featured everything from thrift store to couture. Her closet and all purses, shoes and jewelry Toby purchased she got to keep.

The men congregated together and filled up their glasses with shots of whiskey.

“We ridin together Prez?” Gabe smirked at him.

“No.” Hunter wasn’t sure where this was going.

“You going on the open road, you need riders with you. Especially after the other night.”

Hunter grunted at him.

“I’m serious. It’s one thing to go through town. It’s another to go open road with her, she’s inexperienced. She wouldn’t know how to tuck in and let the bike do the work if you had to maneuver quickly."

“Let me see what she says. I don’t want a full club escort if I can avoid it. No reason to get excited. It’s a casual ride.”

Max snorted quietly. He knew this was way more than a casual ride. The President did not take casual rides out. Everyone sitting there knew it.

The women came out and Stella had an enormous plate of brownies. Claire looked a little shell shocked and he had to suppress a laugh. He stood up and pulled her chair out.

“My goodness I declare…that was…as crazy as fat rat in a cheese factory. But I am assured that I will look quite proper on the back of that vibrating steel horse.” She flushed red and he wanted to get on his knees.

“I can’t wait to see the end result.” He couldn’t keep the grin off his face. She leaned into him and he leaned down. His heart was pounding along with the song that was playing on the Bluetooth speaker.

“If um…it’s not appropriate, you’ll bend my ear?”

He cocked his head at her.

“You’ll let me know if I ain’t appropriate.” She wasn’t too sure about the skin tight jeans and midriff skimming shirt.

He wanted to slide out his chair and onto the patio. He caught Cherry’s wink and then Stella’s. He grinned and silently saluted them and he wasn’t even sure why.

“I’ll promise I’ll let you know but I reckon what they picked out will fit just right.” He was pulling deep from his own long buried southern roots to decipher her southern speak.

“Thank you. I...I been in situations where I embarrassed others. I didn’t rightly know some things.” She inwardly cringed when she thought about the first cookout she was invited to with Toby. She wasn’t like the other football wives. She showed up in daisy dukes and flip flips. They had on designer shoes and professional make up.

Hunter wanted to beat the shit out of anyone that might think she didn’t fit in. He knew the country bumpkin persona the gossip columns wrote about was far from reality. He couldn’t wait to give her some much needed freedom on the road. He idly wondered how early was too early. He leaned over and she leaned her head back to look at him.

“Hi…”

“Hi…”she smiled at him.

“Would you want some company tomorrow on the ride?”

Claire thought about it for a moment and she wasn’t sure how to answer. “Do you?” Her head was rolled towards him and they were talking, particularly close.

“Not particularly…however…the other night we had a situation we had to deal with. It would be better if we went as a small group.”

“I reckon that’d be alright. Are Max and Stella coming?”

“Yes!” Stella yelled out.

“And Cherry?”

Hunter gave her a slow, lopsided smile. “Do you want her too?”

“Yes.” His smile was making her smile.

“Bolt.” He barked out.

“Yes sir.”

“They call you sir?” Claire snorted out with a laugh.

Hunter couldn’t help but grin. “Yes.”

“Done Sir. Miss Cherry…would you accompany me on a ride tomorrow?”

Cherry burst out laughing and graciously accepted his invitation.

“And what about Gabe and Maggie?”

He is eyes snapped up to meet his Vice Presidents. He knew Gabe was interested in Claire.

“Well little lady…its up to you.” Gabe held Hunter’s stare.

“I think that would right nice.” She smiled back at Hunter. “Will anyone’s feelings get hurt for being left out?” The football wives left her out of a lot of things.

The group burst out laughing.

“No sweetheart…no one is going to be hurt that they get to sleep in tomorrow.”

He noted the time and reluctantly decided the group needed to clean up and leave. He ripped a loud whistle and told the group they needed to leave. They had an early morning. Several bikes had been rolled into her garage and vehicles loaded up with slightly drunk bikers. The girls helped clear the leftovers and put them away. It had been decided to leave the food since they were most likely going to eat it tomorrow.

Gabe and Maggie left with one of the sober prospects. His eyes had been on Claire all night and several of the club members noticed it. Including Hunter. He wasn’t happy about him coming on the ride but would deal with it later. Max and Stella waived as they left, following Miss Betty home who kissed and hugged Claire. She had taken her aside earlier and told her what had happened and she thought the new business name was very fitting. Betty would be talking with Hunter in the morning.

Claire was sad to see everyone go. She liked the laughter and the loud of the group. They were all nice and felt like a giant family. That’s all she ever wanted was a family and to be okay. She felt heavy as she watched everyone leave.

“You okay?”

She glanced at Hunter and smiled. “Yeah…just got quiet. I like havin folks around.”

“Trust me…you would have had guys drinkin all night and sleeping on your floor in the morning. You don’t want to start that.” He watched her and the sadness that settled over her. She glanced at the beer and whiskey and he frowned.

It wouldn’t have been the first time she had large, drunk men sleeping in her house. Off season was one big party for some, torture for others. She moved to go get a beer and Hunter cut her off mid walk.

“I’ll be here early.”

“Breakfast and coffee early?”

“Yes.”

“The rest?”

“Nope…just you and me.”

“How are ya gettin home?”

He turned to look and everyone had left but one of the prospects who was shrugging at him. “Shit.”

“Since I don’t want drunk bikers sleepin on my floor…as you pointed out. You could take my suv home.”

He barked out a deep laugh. “Cut my nose off to spite my face with that one.”

She laughed and tossed her keys at him. “I’ll keep your salsa safe.”

“Thank ya kindly.” He smiled at her and found himself not wanting to leave.

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