*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 13HERE
Hunter stands over Blake his gaze enough to burn a hole through his skull.
“I’d wipe that stupid smirk off your face, if I were you,” he says slamming a file folder full of evidence on the table in front of Blake. The interrogation room dim, cold, gray.
“You think you know her so well.” Blake says with a devilish grin.
Hunter laughs, “And you think you know her. Just because you’ve stalked her for a year doesn’t mean you know her.”
“Actually we know her in very similar ways,” Blake says leaning back, his cocky smirk still in place. “The moans she makes, they’re a real turn on, huh?” he asks glaring up at Hunter.
Hunter narrows his eyes at him.
“And that little tattoo on her right hip, mmm, drives me wild.” Blake says biting his lip.
“Ok enough,” Leo says. “You don’t have a leg to stand on here Miller. We’ve got you. Taking shots here, is only going to piss him off even more.”
“How do you know if that’s not what I’ve wanted all along?” he says staring up at Hunter.
“So you don’t care about Henley, then? I’ll be sure to tell her that.” Hunter says.
“No. I love Henley. And she loves me. But you, you always got in the way.”
“Really now? And how is that?” Hunter says crossing his arms staring Blake down.
“Every time I thought I had a clear to make a move, there you were always swooping in.”
“I’ve known and loved Henley for over a decade. You’ve known her 5 months at best. Just because you were stalking her for longer doesn’t mean a thing. It doesn’t give you a claim on her in any way. What did you plant herself at that bar that night. Schedule a little run in- so you could weasel your way into her life.”
“You really don’t remember, do you?” Blake says with a chuckle as he leans back in his chair, the sound of it squeaking loudly.
Hunter laughs. “Take him in, I don’t have any more patience for his bull shit stories,” Hunter says gesturing to a nearby officer holding hand cuffs.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 12HERE
Henley opens her apartment door. Hunter follows closely behind. He grabs her by the waist, and pushes her gently behind him, as he walks into her apartment first.
“Hunter?” she huffs pushing past him, she flicks on the light. “Don’t be so dramatic.”
“Oh ok, so you’d prefer to stay alone? Ok, fine then,” he says walking back toward the door.
“Wait. You can stay. If you want. I mean I guess it wouldn’t be the worst thing to have you around,” she says rolling her eyes.
“I don’t understand why you just can’t admit that you need me, or that you want me to stay.”
Henley looks at him, as she rolls her eyes, with a sigh.
“Will you stay?”
“Why?” he asks.
“Come on, you’re really gonna make me work for this aren’t you?” she says smirking at him as she shakes her head.
“Oh absolutely,” he says smirking as he raises an eyebrow.
“Ok fine. I’d like you to stay. Because I’d feel safer with you here,” Henley says cutting the bull crap.
“Hen, I was never not staying, even if I had to fight you on it. There was no way I was leaving you alone. But I have to admit it’s awesome knowing that you actually want me here.”
Henley rolls her eyes again, as she laughs, “Well thank you. I appreciate all you’re doing for me.”
“Anytime.” He says taking her hands in his as he places a sweet kiss on her lips. “This guy’s really got you nervous, huh?” he says looking at her with concern.
“I guess I didn’t realize how much, until I was faced with the idea of having to stay home alone at night,” she says looking away.
“Have you heard from him at all recently?”
“No. Thank god,” she says sitting on her couch. “I told him I would be working late tonight.”
Hunter makes a wincing face.
“What?” she asks.
“Not hearing from him isn’t necessarily a good thing at this point,” he says sitting next to her.
“What do you mean?” Henley says confused.
“Well, with stalker behavior if you haven’t heard from them, that usually means their stewing in their own weird delusions. A creep like him, he isn’t just going to go away. And if he suspects even in the slightest that you’re onto him, then you can bet he’s going to be extra careful.”
“Oh god, what more can he possibly do?”
“Hey, look, Leo and the team are already on it. Ok, they’re working on getting a warrant to search his apartment. Don’t worry we’re gonna get this guy.”
“I just can’t believe I let this happen. I mean at first I just thought he was so attentive ya know? I thought it was endearing that he cared so much. And then today I just got a really weird feeling. Something in my gut. A little late I know, right? Ugh, how could I be so stupid!” she says getting up and pacing her living room, covering her face.
“Hey, you’re not stupid. You didn’t know he was a weirdo. You have a good heart. You trusted someone, who turned out not to be trust worthy. It wouldn’t be the first time,” he says knowingly looking at her as he gets up walking over to her.
“That’s different. I loved you. And I knew you were struggling. Do not put yourself in the same category as him. Even on your worst day, I was never made to feel this scared. Scared to lose you, yes. But afraid that you’d hurt me, never.” she says looking at him.
“Well I’m grateful for that. That was always my biggest regret, scaring you,” he says taking her hands in his, as he looks away.
“I just… I can’t believe I didn’t see this guy coming from a mile away!” she says frustrated.
“Look, it’s tricky with stalkers, they know how to play the game. You never really know with them.”
“No I didn’t, but you did. And I didn’t listen to you. I just thought you were being a jealous ex-boyfriend,” Henley says rolling her eyes at herself.
“Well I was. At first. But when I met him, I just got a bad feeling about him. The way he watched you like a hawk. It was just unsettling.”
“Hmm, I’m sorry. Don’t you watch me like a hawk?”
“Ah maybe, but I do it with a certain sexy flare, don’t you think?” he says smirking as he pulls her by the waist over to him.
“Yea maybe so,” she says smirking. She pulls him by the neck into a kiss. Hunter’s arms pull her in tighter. Henley starts unbuttoning his shirt, but Hunter pulls away. He looks at her for some type of signal to either stop or keep going.
Henley smiles simply as she reaches for his belt buckle.
“Hey…hey…It’s been a long day,” he says stopping her hand. “You should get some rest,” he says looking at her.
Henley looks up at him, confused yet offended.
Hunter’s phone starts to ring as he pulls away to answer it.
“It’s Leo,” he says looking down at it, “Hey Leo, what do we know?” he says turning away.
Henley stares awaiting any sign of good news, but also partly falling apart inside from Hunter’s rejection.
“We got the warrant, we’re on our way to search his apartment now,” Leo says walking up to his unmarked car.
“Ok good, I um, I’m staying with Henley, so keep me posted. Let me know if you need anything.”
“You got it,” Leo says nodding as he gets into his car and drives off.
“They got the warrant, their on their way to search his apartment,” Hunter says with a pleased smirk.
“Oh wow, that was fast.”
“We work fast.” he says smiling.
“You know you can go. If you want.”
Hunter looks at her confused.
“I mean clearly you want to go and see things for yourself, so…go, I’ll be fine. I’ll call Piper or something,” Henley says with a shrug of her shoulders.
“Look, would I like to investigate this myself, of course. But Leo’s on it, I trust him. I’d rather be here with you, knowing your safe.”
“Are you sure about that? Because I feel like you can’t even look me in the eye?”
“What are you talking about?” he says with a laugh, looking straight at her, making clear eye contact.
“You just, you couldn’t answer your phone fast enough, saved by the ringtone, right?” she says motioning to the moment they were just having.
“Oh my god, Henley really? You’re freaking out because I stopped us, while we’re waiting on news about your stalker. I’m sorry if I’m not exactly in the mood.”
“You’re always in the mood. So it just reaffirms my worry that you do in fact think less of me, because of all this. You don’t want to be with me, because you know I’ve been with him. And I hate it, because it was such a mistake. And I know it. Ok? I know it. It wasn’t anything like it is with you.”
“Ok first of all I’m not gonna pretend and act like that doesn’t make me happy,” he says smirking at her confession. “But you’re jumping into making some serious snap judgements. Second of all, I love you. So much. You know that. Stop questioning that. Is this whole thing crazy? Yes. Do I hate that you had sex with another guy? Yes. But that would be the case no matter who he was. Do I still love you, and want to be with you no matter what? Hell yes. So stop overthinking this. It has been a long day. You should rest. And I need to be alert in case of anything. I can’t jeopardize your safety, just because I want to make love to you. Because I do, of course I do. I always do. But now’s not the time. Just be realistic Henley. Get out of your head and maybe cut me some slack, please. Give me some credit for being madly in love with you.”
“I’m sorry,” she says covering her face. “Ugh god, I hate this.”
Hunter softens, “Come here,” he says pulling her into a hug, he kisses her forehead. “Why don’t you sit, take a nap, I’ll figure out something for us to eat.” he says looking down at her.
Henley nods as she gives him a small smile, and cozies up on her couch.
Hunter sits watching TV, although it might as well be off, his senses all on high alert.
Henley sleeps on his chest, all snuggled up on him.
He turns and looks down at her, placing a kiss on her forehead, her hair smelling of lavender.
Hunter’s phone rings, as he wiggles out from under Henley and walks off to the side, “Stone,” he answers.
“Hey, we just got through combing his apartment, nothing out of the ordinary at first, but we kept at it. And well…we found something. You’ve got to see this Hunter,” Leo says as he switches his phone to video.
Hunter squints in the darkness of the apartment as he focuses his tired eyes on the tiny screen before him. Leo clicks through images on Blake’s computer, there are thousands of images of Henley. Henley out meeting with Piper and friends, Henley in a towel in her apartment, Henley at work, Henley and Hunter kissing, the images just kept coming.
“What the hell?” Hunters says, “He’s been following her for months? Who is this guy?”
“Look Hunt, I don’t know, but there are some seriously delicate images on this computer of Henley, of Blake and Henley, of you and Henley. This guy is obsessed with her.”
“Bring him in, I’ll meet you at the station,” Hunter says, as Henley starts to stir.
“You got it, I’ll have all this logged into evidence too,” Leo says.
“Thanks Leo, you’re the only one I’d trust with this,” Hunter says.
“I got your back, man, I’ll see you at the station soon,” Leo says hanging up.
Hunter hangs up, obviously thrown. He knew Blake was a creep, but didn’t think he could get any creepier.
“Hey, was that Leo?” Henley says getting up from the couch. Her voice scratchy. Her hair tousled.
“Hey, yea, they uh- searched Blake’s place, and found pictures of you on his computer.”
“Oh god, ew” Henley she says making a face as she slips her shoes on.
“A lot of pictures Hen, like, thousands. I mean but it’s not just of you, I’m in them, Piper, the girls. But the even scarier thing is you only met Blake what 5 months or so ago?”
“Yea about that long ago, why?”
“The pictures he has of us, they date back like a year ago, he’s been watching you and us for quite some time. Like literally through the blinds…,” he says his voice trailing off.
“Oh, that’s just sick. Why would he want pictures of me with you? I don’t understand. And when I met him, he acted like he didn’t know me, or know my situation with you. What’s his angle here? None of this makes sense.”
“Look, I don’t know yet, but we’re sure as hell gonna find out.”
“Hunter, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you’re being dragged into this. I had no idea this guy was out there all this time- watching.”
“Stop. This isn’t your fault. You didn’t ask for him to come along and stalk you.”
“I know but, I encouraged it that night we met at the bar. I should have just ignored him-“
“Stop. I won’t let you blame yourself for this. I didn’t know he was out there either. How could we? There is no way you could have known.”
Henley frowns looking away.
“But listen, Leo is bringing him in, and I need to go down to the station, so I need you to come with me.”
“I don’t want to see him, Hunter.”
“You don’t have to, but I’m not leaving you alone.”
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 11 HERE
Henley kisses Blake as he opens her apartment door to leave for work. After a minute she goes to pull away but he pulls her back, his grip on her feels uncomfortable. Something she’s been noticing a lot lately. In order to get out of an awkward situation Henley, laughs against his lips, “Ok, go, before your even later for work,” she says smiling at him. Although anyone that really knew Henley would know there was an underlying feeling behind that so called smile. Blake smirks, a glaring twinkle in his eye. “So, I’ll come back here, straight after work?” he asks.
“Oh um, I actually have a work event I have to go to. I’ll be home late.”
“Hmm, you never mentioned that.” he says, his jaw clenching.
“Oh sorry, I totally spaced, my schedule at work has been a little hectic. We’re understaffed this weekend so…”
“Hmm,” he says almost suspiciously.
“I’ll call you though,” she says smiling simply as he walks off seeming agitated.
Henley rolls her eyes as she closes the door.
Her cell phone rings, and she looks at it, Blake’s name flashing across the screen.
“You’ve got to be kidding me?” she says “You’re smothering me, Blake,” she says aloud as she tosses the phone on her coffee table and heads toward her bathroom to start her shower.
Blake’s face appears in the window as he sees her retreating figure walking away from her phone, his face one of glaring anger.
“Knock, knock,” Henley says as she knocks on the door molding.
Leo looks up.
“Hey Henley, what’s up?”
“Nothing, I was just in the neighborhood, thought I’d stop in and say hi. Is Hunter in today?”
“No. He’s off today,” Leo says folding his arms as he smirks knowing something is up.
“Oh right,” Henley says trying to act aloof.
“Henley, I’m pretty sure you know Hunter’s schedule better than I do, and I work with the guy. Besides you know I’m a cop, right? That’s kind of what all this is about, (he says gesturing to his office and his badge and gun with a circling of his fingers) I can tell your lying. What’s up?”
“Ok!” Henley says cutting the bull, “Look, I’m having a bit of a stalker-ish situation,” she says walking into his office as she talks with her hands while spilling out her rapid fire dialogue.
“Oh, really? Well that does not sound good. Have a seat.” he says concerned.
“Thanks,” she says sitting as she looks around the office room made of clear windows.
“Look you know I will do whatever I can to help you. But I’m sure you also know that if Hunter finds out you came to me instead of him…” Leo says noticing her eyes scanning the premises for Hunter.
“He’s going to flip, I know. I’m sorry I don’t mean to put you in a tough spot, I just- I know Hunter. He’ll get all over protective and bossy. Not to mention that it’s this guy Hunter warned me about, so I just really don’t want to deal with the whole, “I told you so” speech. I mean technically you know if Hunter were to take this case, well it’d be a conflict of interest, right?” she asks folding her arms.
“Well that depends are you romantically involved with Detective Stone?”
“Well, sort of. Not currently. But we were. We have been in the past. (Henley sighs, rolling her eyes) It’s complicated.”
Leo laughs as he shakes his head, “I’m messing with you, Hunter can never give me a straight answer either. I mean he’s arrogantly hopeful, of course,” he says with a laugh.
“Of course,” Henley says laughing, as she rolls her eyes knowingly.
“Ah, I thought I’d just give it a shot and ask you. You guys have been dancing around each other for years. You do know that the guy worships the ground you walk on right?”
Henley scuffs and rolls her eyes.
“I’m just saying, he loves you. He may over-react at times, but it’s only because he cares so much.”
Henley sighs, her eyes softening.
“Look, he’s off today anyway. So I will help you. But when it comes to Hunter Stone, I won’t lie to him. He’s my partner and he’s a good guy. And he’s one hell of a cop, best one I know. I respect him and his judgements. If Hunter thinks something is up with this guy you’re seeing, there’s probably more of a reason than him just being a jealous ex. He’s always said he just wants you to be happy. “
“Ugh, god, when you put it that way, I sound like a horrible person,” Henley says covering her face in embarrassment.
“No you don’t. Look I get it, you guys have a lot of history. But, I won’t lie to him, especially not about you. You mean too much to him.”
“I’m not asking you to lie, I’m just asking that you not voluntarily tell him. There are just some things I don’t want him to know regarding the case. I just feel like he might get his feelings hurt if he knew.”
“If you want my advice, knowing how smart Hunter is, he will find whatever it is out. I won’t be able to stop him and neither will you. So whatever it is you should just talk to him. He loves you.”
“I know that he does, and I…” Henley stops as she looks away, her voice trailing off, “Sometimes I just don’t think I deserve it.”
“Talk to him, let him be the judge of that. As far as I can see, there is nothing you could ever do that could make him stop loving you.”
“Yea well, there may be something, that’s what I’m afraid of. Look I talk a big game. But I wear my heart on my sleeve. Especially when it comes to Hunter. He is the only guy I have ever really loved. And he broke my heart, a long time ago. I know he was struggling back then, I know he’s sorry, and I know it was forever ago. And we didn’t know the full story of what happened up until recently, I was misplacing blame for years. But even with that said, there is still pain there. And it’s what always stops me from really being with him.”
“So then what, you two are just gonna sit it this dance forever? Let him chase you, while you still get all the glory. But he has to apologize for the rest of his life, while you get to date and do your own thing. But it’s ok, because you’re not really exclusive? Come on Henley, that’s bull.”
“I know that. But I can’t let him go,” she says her eyes watering.
“So don’t, work it out. Take the leap. Tell him how you feel.”
“I can’t. Look I will tell him about the case, but can you just give me a day or two so I can figure out how to?”
“I won’t tell him. But if he asks me, I will not lie to him.”
Henley and Leo shake on it, as Hunter walks into the precinct, he sees them.
“Hey, what’s up?” he says his walking into Leo’s office, his suspicions high.
“Hey, I was just stopping by to see you. I got a parking ticket, but Leo just cleared it up for me, ya know, cuz you weren’t here,” Henley says smiling nervously, not making eye contact with him.
Leo looks at her and then at Hunter, clearly uncomfortable.
“Henley what’s really going on?” Hunter says leaning against the door frame, glaring at her.
“I just told you.”
“And I know you were lying. So why don’t we try that again.”
“Damn it, why do you have to be a cop,” she says in a whiney tone, looking away.
“I don’t have to be a cop to know you’re lying Hen. I know you.”
Henley looks guiltily at Leo. Leo still stands uncomfortably not knowing his next move.
“Ok…what is this? Are you two like…screwing around or something-” he says choking it out.
“What?” Henley says as Leo simultaneously says “No!”
“How can you even ask me that?” Henley says obviously offended.
“Well what am I supposed to think? I show up on my day off to grab something from my locker and see you two shaking hands and instantly you’re both acting weird…”
“Leo is helping me with my case,” Henley blurts out cutting him off.
“Your case? What case?” Hunter says with a concerned tone.
“I’m going to leave you two alone,” Leo says walking out of his office.
Hunter’s eyes fixate on Henley, as she shuts the door.
“You were right about Blake…there’s something not right with him.”
“I knew it. Damn it Henley,” Hunter says frustrated as he looks away.
“See this. THIS is why I didn’t come to you, because I knew you would react this way.”
“I don’t care about being right Henley. I care that you’re safe.”
“And I appreciate that. But you’re not my cop boyfriend anymore…”
“Stop right there. I don’t care what state we’re in romantically, if you have a problem you
can always come to me. I will always be your cop, boyfriend or not.” he says his eyes locked onto hers.
Henley smiles at him.
“I appreciate that you care so much, but you don’t need to always be rescuing me from the big bad world. I can take care of myself.”
“I never said that you couldn’t. Believe me, I know what a badass you are, I’ve seen you in action,” he says laughing, “but sometimes in these situations you need to learn to come to me. The kind of help you need in this situation, is literally in my job description. I’m trained to handle this. So let me. If it helps at all, don’t think of me as your overprotective boyfriend cop, just think of me as a cop.”
“Hunter. I wish it was that simple. It’s not that I don’t trust you. I know you are a great cop and I would trust you with my life. It’s just that when it comes to me, I know your professional line can blur. And I don’t exactly feel comfortable disclosing everything that happened with Blake to you. There are some things that I’d rather you not know.”
“Henley… I’m well aware that you two are probably having sex You’ve been dating a few months. It’s not going to stop me from helping you.”
“But there’s a little more to the story,” she says looking down at her hands as she fidgets.
“What does that mean?”
“Henley, I’ve been a cop for a long time. I’ve seen it all. Just talk to me,” he says gesturing her to sit as he sits in Leo’s chair across from her.
“I think he has a video or something of he and I…ya know….” she says not wanting to actually say the words.
“Like a sex tape?” he says looking at her.
“I’m not 100% sure, but after the first time he and I were together, I remember getting up in the middle of the night and seeing his phone propped up on my vanity. I just thought I was being paranoid. If that’s what it is I didn’t know he was taping us, and I wouldn’t have agreed to it anyway. But he’s constantly taking pictures of me when I’m not looking. And I just feel like I have zero privacy. He calls me constantly, he’s over my apartment all the time. I haven’t had a minute to hangout with Piper or anyone since we became more serious. And that’s not what a normal relationship is. It’s like he can’t leave me alone for more than a few seconds.”
“Ok, just forget it okay, I can’t do this with you,” she says standing up.
“What I didn’t say anything!” he says holding his hands out.
“You didn’t have to. I know what you’re thinking.”
“I highly doubt it, but by all means, humor me,” he says getting up and leaning against the front of the desk, folding his arms across his chest, challenging her.
“You think I’ve changed. That I just sleep around. That I’m a slut,” she says talking with her hands. “Do you know how hard I’ve worked to try to get over you, all these years? I basically swore off all men. And then Blake came along and he seemed half way decent and he seemed like such a nice guy and I just-” she’s pacing the office floor.
“I love you,” he says as she stops and stares at him. “That’s what I was thinking,” he says his tone soft, and his glare steady, and loving.
“What?” she says baffled.
“I was thinking about how much I love you, and how I hate that this is happening to you. And how I want to kick this guy’s ass for doing anything to hurt you.”
Henley sighs as she looks at him with a look of relief and disbelief, she walks over to him as she wraps her arms around his neck. Hunter’s arms tighten around her, pulling her close.
“How could you ever think that I would think those things about you? Or judge you.” He whispers in her ear.
Henley pulls away to look at him, her hands resting on his chest as Hunter holds onto her hips.
“We both know I have the shittiest track record,” he says looking at her knowingly.
“I just- when it comes to you, I feel like. I don’t know, I feel like you tend to think of me in a certain light, and I’ve come to like that. I guess I didn’t want to settle for being anything less in your eyes.”
“Ah well, your perfect in my eyes,” he says taking her hands.
“I’m far from it, but thank you,” she says rolling her eyes and smiling.
Hunter winks at her, and raises her hand to his lips, placing a kiss on it.
“We’re gonna figure this whole thing out, ok?” Hunter says locking eyes with her.
“Figure what out? You and me, or my whole stalker sex tape thing?” she says with humor.
“All of it.” Hunter says smirking.
Leo knocks on the door, Hunter gestures for him to come in.
“Safe to enter yet?” he says peeking his head in.
“Yes, I’m sorry Leo,” Henley says.
“Hey, it’s cool.” Leo says with a wave of his hand.
“Man, I’m sorry about what I said. I know you always have my back. I should have never assumed-“
“Already forgotten. I know when it comes to this one, you tend to be a little possessive,” Leo says laughing as he points to Henley.
“You know, I resent that. Can’t we just call it concern?”
“We could, but well then we’d be lying.” Henley says smirking.
“Oh whatever, I love you like crazy, sue me.” he says wrapping his hand around her waist and kissing her forehead, as she leans into him she can smell the scent of his cologne and instantly she feels her body relax. With Hunter, she feels safe.
“Ok so let’s get this report written up,” Leo says as they all sit around the office. Hunter rubs her lower back in a comforting manner.
Hunter and Henley walk out of the precinct. Henley reaches for his hand, lacing her fingers through his. Slightly shocked he looks down at them.
“Hey, thank you again,” she says kissing him on the cheek.
“I told you, I will always be here for you,” Hunter says smirking down at her.
“So can I give you a ride home?” he says.
“Don’t worry I know we stopped with all the sex, I’ll just drop you off. Walk you upstairs, check your apartment for any stalkers and leave,” he says jokingly, but actually meaning every word.
“No, I mean I was just going to ask if you had the Harley Davidson.”
“Oh, hell yea.”
“Ok then, a ride sounds good, all of it sounds good,” she says smiling as he takes her hand leading her into the parking lot.
Henley stops, pulling him back toward her. She cups his neck, as she places a kiss on his lips.
Hunter deepens it as his hands circle Henley’s waist.
“Wow, what was that for?” Hunter says his eyes fluttering open to meet hers looking up at him.
“Are you complaining?” Henley says raising her eyebrows up at him.
“No, not at all,” he says kissing her again, “I’m just surprised,” he says whispering.
“Well, let’s just say, I’m thankful that I can always feel safe with you.”
“Yea?” he says staring down at her his jaw line prominent and perfect.
“Yea. Always,” she says kissing him again.
Hunter smirks whispering “Well that, makes me very happy to hear,” against her lips as he kisses her swiftly, lifting her up onto his bike.
“Let’s get you home.” He says as she smiles Hunter climbs onto the front of the bike.
“Hold on tight,” Hunter says as Henley tightens her grip.
“Don’t mind if I do.” She says. Hunter let’s out a laugh, as they speed off.
Blake appears, sneaking out of the bushes as he watches them drive off. He looks at his phone screen at the picture he just snapped of Henley and Hunter kissing. His glare, deadly.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
“Since you won’t admit this thing with us is real and actually going somewhere. It’s never been fully over, and it never will be. I tell you I love you and I want us to be together, you fight me. I try to respect your wishes, you fight me because you’re offended. Can you see how confusing this is for me?”
“Would you just shut up and kiss me,” she says cupping his face and leaning in.
“No. Henley I’m serious. I can’t keep doing this. This back and forth, it’s killing me. Your giving me whiplash, woman. I know what I want. You have no idea. You’re all over the place,” he says pulling her hands away from his face and taking a step away from her.
“Wow. Ok. If that’s how you really feel. I’ll go.” she says grabbing her purse and heading for the door.
“Henley, hen, stop I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out like that,” he says rushing to stop her.
Henley looks up at him.
“Look, I don’t know what’s going on with me, ok? I just I had a really weird day at work. And I ended up here. I just wanted to see you, I guess,” she says shrugging as the tears roll down her face.
“See now was that so hard to admit,” he says smiling softly as he wipes her tears away with his thumbs.
“Yes.” she says rolling her eyes.
“Why? It’s just me Hen-you know you can tell me anything.”
“You know why. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.”
“I’m sorry, but at least we know the full truth now. And we can start to heal, more.”
“Yea. It’s always there, isn’t it? No matter how hard I fight it. I think that’s why it scares me so much. When we talk about it, I have to think about why we broke up. And how stupid I was to believe Alexis all these years. If we’re just messing around, I don’t have to think about anything. Just that in the moment it feels good to be with you.”
Henley stands there vulnerable as her eyes float up to meet his.
“Ugh screw morality,” he says grabbing her as she laughs and they fall onto his bed as he pulls off his shirt tossing it to the side, continuing to cover her in kisses.
Hunter and Henley lay in bed, Hunter’s arm wrapped around her as she lays on his chest, her hand placed over his heart. Hunter’s spaced in deep thought.
“Hey?” Henley says looking up at him, “Where’d you go?” she asks.
“Nowhere, I’m here,” he says smiling down at her. Although she can tell that smile is fake from a mile away.
“Truth.” Henley declares, her eyes lifting up and staring into his.
Hunter laughs sarcastically, “You wanna call truth right now, really?”
“You know if I have to be honest, then so do you.” he says looking down at her, his hand stroking her shoulder.
“I know that.”
“You sure you’re ready for that?” he asks
“I’ll go first…” she says sitting up and facing him.
“Ok.” Hunter says facing her.
“I feel like you think that I’m using you.”
“Use me. Trust me, I’m not complaining.” he says smirking as he inches his lips onto hers, kissing her in a teasing manner.
“I’m serious.” she says hitting him in the shoulder.
“Oh so am I,” he says his eyebrows raising.
“You wanted me to be honest. Now you need to be. Do I make you feel that way?”
“I don’t think that you mean to. But yea. I do feel like you use me to escape your problems, and being that I am in some way one of those problems for you still, you circle back to fighting me on this and our connection. Because every time you say it’s the last time, it’s not.”
Henley looks up at him, her eyes darker somehow, like when the sun shifts and the room suddenly changes in light.
“Henley, hey, I’m sorry…”
“Don’t apologize, I asked.”
“Yea but now your upset.”
“So what, you’re allowed to say what you feel. And if it upsets me that just means there’s truth to it. And it’s something I need to work on. I’m the one who’s sorry. I guess I didn’t realize I was taking your love for granted. I do care about you.”
Hunter smirks slightly.
“What?” Henley says looking at him expectantly.
“Henley. You love me. I know that you do. But I mean after all this time. If you still can’t say that. If you still can’t admit that to even yourself. We really don’t have much of any kind of future. Not even as friends,” he says moving away from her.
“God why do you always have to go there? And get so deep?” she says noticing his distance and pulling away herself.
Hunter laughs sarcastically, “You wanted honesty, see this is our problem. No actually, baby, it’s your problem. You don’t really want the truth, and sometimes I’m too scared to hurt your feelings, because god forbid I make you mad again. Well then I’ll really lose you forever. Well you know what it doesn’t really feel like I have you now anyway, so what’s the point? I love you yes. But I can’t keep paying for who I USED to be. Especially when we now know nothing really happened between me and Alexis. If you can’t see that I’ve changed, that I’m a trustworthy man. A man who will love you forever and support you in everything imaginable. Then your right, we shouldn’t be doing this, nor should we be in each other’s lives at all.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“I made a promise to myself when I was in rehab, that once I got better and built my life back up, I would do everything in my power to get you back. And you know what? I have. I have gone along with what you wanted for years. I have been you’re in between guy, your late night guy, your early morning guy, your shoulder to cry on, your everything and still you can’t admit that we could have a future. I think by now you know that you are more than just sex to me. But you like to hide us under the friends with benefits tab, and act like its all ok, because you’re too scared to admit that you might have to actually let your guard down and let me in. I love you Henley. I love you so much. You’re my everything. But clearly I’m not yours. I’ve done everything I can think of to make this work. But I’m out of ideas. I can’t just be your friend. I can’t watch you move on and be with other guys. Because quite frankly, that just sounds like pure torture.”
“You just need to be patient with me, ok? I’ll get there, I just need time.”
“You’ve had time. You’ve had space. You’ve had years to decide whether or not you can see yourself being with me forever. Henley, I’ve asked you to marry me quite a few times already, and still nothing. As much as it pains me to say this, I think it’s time for me to actually move on.”
“So much for waiting for me forever,” Henley says looking away, her heart breaking.
“Don’t. Don’t do that. Don’t use my words against me.”
“Who can’t handle the truth now?”
“How do you expect me to wait for you forever, when you keep pushing me away. Oh I’m sorry wait, you do occasionally show me some emotion when you feel like it, but when I try to expand on that and reciprocate, you freak out. You can’t have my forever, if I’m not even slightly part of yours. In all these years have you ever mentioned us as a couple, like an actual couple in the future? Our wedding, our house, our family, our kids? No. So what am I supposed to go on here, Henley? I’ve worked too hard to get healthy, I refuse to be a doormat. I want to be happy. And at this point if that’s not with you, then I guess I have to finally accept that. As hard as I know it’s going to be. Maybe you don’t love me. Maybe you never did. Maybe I was just a mistake you made a really long time ago, that you can’t shake. But don’t worry, I get the message. Loud and clear. Finally. I get it.”
“How dare you?”
Hunter shrugs his shoulders as tears pool in his eyes.
“How could you possibly say that? I loved you with everything in me. I was a mess when you went to rehab. I was an absolute wreck. You want proof. Ask Piper. Go ahead, ask your sister, how I would cry myself to sleep every night, wondering why I wasn’t ever enough for you to stay on track. You don’t realize that it wasn’t just you who went through that. We all did. We all feared for you. We all hated having to watch you suffer, knowing there wasn’t anything we could do to help you,” she says, as the tears stream down her face.
“Henley, I was sick. I was dealing with things that I couldn’t tell anyone. It wasn’t your doing. It wasn’t your fault. All you ever did was be there for me. But you couldn’t fix me. It was something I had to do myself. And I know it took a lot to get me there. But rehab saved my life. You don’t always have to be so scared to be with me.”
“There is so much pain in our history Hunter, you can’t expect me to just forget that.” she says getting dressed.
“A decade later, here we are, still running around in circles.”
“I want to just dive into this with you, ok? But I just….I can’t.”
“That’s my cue,” he says pointing to the door.
“Hunter, hunter, please don’t leave.”
“Give me a reason to stay.” he says looking at her.
“It’s your apartment.”
He huffs, “Your’e right, maybe you should leave.”
“Why would you want to stay?” he says getting out of bed and slipping on his jeans,
“Because I care about you. I want us to be in each other’s lives no matter what.”
“That’s not enough for me, Henley.” he says walking out of his apartment.
“Hunter, hunter!” she says screaming as the tears continue to pour down her face.
Hunter shuts the door behind him. He stops, hearing her cries, his eyes tearing. He sighs and walks away, his heart breaking.
**TWO WEEKS LATER**
Henley is at work when her phone rings.
“Hey love,” she says with a big smile.
“Hello, hello,” Piper says in a sing song tone.
“What’s up?” Henley says with a laugh. “How was the honeymoon, I want to hear everything!”
“Oh absolutely, I have so many pictures to show you, Lunch tomorrow?”
“Yes of course, so what’s up?”
“Nothing much, just wanted to check in on you. See how you were doing?” Piper says walking into her house with an armful of groceries.
“Oh, I’m assuming you’ve spoken to your brother.” Henley says.
“Well yea, he might have mentioned the two of you put a hold on things for the time being.”
“Yes but I think it was a bit more painfully definitive than that. But you know what I think its for the best. I’m ok. Or at least I will be,” she says with a little laugh. “You really don’t have to worry about me, ok? I didn’t tell you myself because I didn’t want to drag you once again into my mess of a life.”
“Henley, I was such a jerk to say what I said. You know you can always talk to me, right?”
“I do. But I also know, it’s not fair to keep putting you in the middle. So please stop apologizing. You were right and I finally get it. So don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I actually have a date tonight.” Henley says with a smile as she sifts through some papers on her desk.
“Ohhhh, really. That’s exciting, who with?”
“Do you remember that really cute guy from the bar that night?”
“Oh you mean the guy you made out with?” Piper says with a laugh.
“Yes. He called last night,” Henley says smiling ear to ear.
“Oh la la, nice, where are you guys going?”
“To a show at the Beacon Theater and then dinner.”
“Ah very swanky, have fun! I expect full details tomorrow.”
“But of course,” Henley says smiling.
“Ok bye, love.” Piper says as she starts to open her bags and place her groceries on her kitchen counter. Parker comes through the door with a few cases of bottled water, shes rushes over to hold the door open for him.
“Bye,” Henley says hanging up.
Henley looks at herself in the mirror as she puts her lipstick on with precision.
Smacking her lips together she smiles when she hears the door bell ring.
Henley grabs her jacket and her purse and opens the door to reveal a very handsomely dressed Blake.
“Hi,” she says smiling brightly as she notices the bouquet of red roses in his hand.
“Hi, you look stunning, these are for you. I hope you like roses,” he says smiling.
“They’re my favorite, thank you,” she says taking them and smelling them. “Let me just put these in water, before we go. Come in,” she says opening the door to allow him in.
Blake smiles as he walks around her living area, Henley walks into her kitchen to grab a vase. Her high heels clicking as she walks.
Blake looks around his eyes scanning, taking it all in. His glance landing on a picture of Henley, Piper and Hunter on their college graduation day.
His eyes flicker an unreadable expression.
A few minutes later Henley walks back in with the vase full of roses as she sets them on her entry table.
“You have a great place here,” Blake says turning toward her.
“Thanks, it’s really quiet, everyone pretty much keeps to themselves,” she says smiling.
“Thank you again for these. I love them.”
“You’re very welcome,” he says smiling.
“Shall we go?” Henley asks with a smile.
“Absolutely, lead the way,” he says smiling as he glances back at the photo.
Henley and Blake walk along the city streets, as Blake takes her hand lacing his fingers through hers. They pass side walk vendors. People shuffling by them quickly as cars busy on by, taxi horns honking.
Henley feels a flutter in her stomach. She smiles over at him.
“Did you enjoy the show?” he asks with a sweet smile.
“I really did, I love Broadway shows. I haven’t been to one in years.”
“What? You’re a New Yorker, how is that possible?” he asks with a cute chuckle.
“I um…I don’t know-” Henley says shaking her head laughing nervously.
“Let me guess that uh -it’s complicated ex- of yours wasn’t big on Broadway?”
Henley smiles as her eyes meet his, “something like that.”
“Was that him, in the graduation picture in your living room?”
Henley sighs, as she smiles, “Yes, but the other girl in the photo is my best friend- you know Piper, it was her bachelorette party that night we met.”
“Of course, my tequila buddy,” he says with a laugh.
“Right,” Henley says with a laugh, “Well she just happens to be his sister and we were all really close, anyway the picture was a gift, and it reminds me of a simpler, time. I’m kind of a sucker for nostalgia. So that’s why I keep it out. And now I realize that was probably a longer answer than you needed. Sorry,” she says laughing.
“No, it’s fine. Besides I think in order to make new relationships work, it’s important to know where someone’s heart has been. It helps you get a better read on them.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” she says smiling. “So what about you? What skeletons are you hiding in your closet?” she says with a giggle.
Blake smirks, “I’m afraid I’m a bit of a bore,” he says with a chuckle as his eyes gleam at her.
Henley smiles. Once they reach the restaurant, Blake holds the door open for her.
Henley walks into the restaurant and the smell of finely cooked Italian food fills the air.
Reds and whites are being popped and poured into crystal clear glasses and the feel of Blake’s hand on the small of her back gives her a sweet chill.
It’s new and exciting, and so much simpler than Henley has ever been used to.
The waitress shows them to their table as Blake pulls Henley’s chair out for her, she smiles taking a seat. What a change of pace, she thinks, an absolute gentleman.
The conversation is flowing and so is the wine as Henley finds herself actually feeling like a weight has been lifted.
This isn’t complicated. I’m not stressed, I’m not worried about what it all means. I can finally breathe, she thinks.
Henley laughs at a poor joke Blake makes.
“Oh gosh, that was terrible,” he says laughing at himself.
“No it was actually really funny,” she says catching her breath.
“You have a beautiful smile, you know that?” he says smirking at her in wonderment.
“Thank you,” she says with yet another sweet smile. Her eyes sparkling at the man before her.
Blake’s car pulls up to Henley’s apartment building. He gets out and rushes over to open her door for her, extending his hand to help her out. Blake laces their fingers together as he walks her to her door.
“I had a really nice time tonight Blake, thank you so much,” Henley says smiling at him.
“You’re very welcome. I’m really glad you decided to answer my call. I honestly wasn’t sure you would,” he says with a smirk.
“I’m really glad I did too,” Henley says smiling up at him. Blake’s eyes meet hers. Henley’s heart beat quickens, as he leans in and cupping her face, he kisses her softly.
But it was enough to make Henley weak in the knees.
“I’m sorry, I’ve been wanting to do that all night,” he says smirking and looking down at his feet nervously.
Henley laughs, “No, its okay. Really. I’m not complaining,” she says smiling up at him.
“So maybe we can do this again, sometime?” he asks.
“Yea, I’d like that,” she says nodding happily.
“Ok, cool,” he says with a nervous grin. “Well, good night,” he adds.
“Good night,” Henley says with a wave as she heads up to her apartment building.
Henley opens her door, as she walks into her apartment, she feels weightless like she’s floating. A smile planted on her face. She drops her purse and jacket onto the floor beside her as she slinks down onto her couch. She mindlessly removes her shoes dropping them to the floor. She touches her lips with her fingertips. The imprint of Blake’s kiss still there. A smile spreads across her face.
Her phone buzzes as she reaches into her purse for it. Her mind still a haze, her eyes drift to the screen. She sees Hunter’s name flashing. And just like that she plummets back down to solid ground. She hits reject and heads upstairs to get ready for bed.
Hunter hangs up his phone and huffs.
“Oh so I guess now she’s ignoring my calls too,” he says as he sits at his desk in his office.
Leo pokes his head in.
“Hey, I thought you were outta here?”
“I was. I am. I was just trying to get a hold of Henley before I left.”
“Oh, I thought you guys ended that,” Leo says confused once again by the vicious cycle romance between the two.
“Yea, it was just a stupid fight. We never actually mean it,” Hunter says with a chuckle.
“Ah,” Leo says with a laugh.
“Anyway she’s playing hard to get tonight. She probably just needs a few more days. So you wanna go to Mike’s? Grab some food?” he says.
“Yea sure. Some of the staff is already on their way there, I came to see if you wanted to join.”
“Alright then. Sounds good, let’s go,” Hunter says shutting his desk lamp and laptop and grabbing his jacket as he follows Leo out.
Henley rushes over to the table she sees Piper seated at and covers her eyes from behind.
“Guess who? I’ll give you a hint, it’s your favorite person in the whole world,” she says.
“Alexis?” Piper says unable to hold back her laughter.
Henley lets out a loud cackle, “That’s a good one,” she says sitting across from Piper.
“So! Tell me EVERYTHING!” Piper says with excitement.
“He is really something,” Henley says her eyes sparkling, her smile bright.
“Really?” Piper says with a smile.
“Yea, he’s sweet, and funny and an absolute gentleman. I mean he opens car doors, and pulls out chairs.”
“Don’t you kind of hate that stuff?” Piper asks with confusion.
“I don’t hate it. I was just always so independent,” Henley says with a laugh.
“And what…suddenly that’s changed?” Piper asks with sass.
“No of course not. I mean look who you’re talking to. I’m nearly incapable of asking for help. Even if I really need it.”
“This is true,” Piper says nodding matter of factly.
Henley laughs at her best friend’s blunt tone.
“So then what changed?” Piper asks.
“Well, I don’t know. Nothing really. I just suddenly realized it was just so nice. It was refreshing to just enjoy someone (she stops herself) something new.” She says making the correction.
Piper smiles simply as she looks down at her menu.
“I’m sorry Piper, I didn’t mean it like that. You know how much I care about Hunter…”
“It’s ok. I get it. It’s new, it’s exciting. I’m happy for you.”
“Thank you,” Henley says smiling.
“Just do me a favor?” Piper asks.
“Please tell Hunter yourself, ok? Don’t let him find out from someone else…”
“I will talk to him, myself. Don’t worry.” She says smiling. “Now enough about me, I wanna hear all about your honeymoon, show me all the pictures,” Henley says smiling brightly.
Piper smiles brightly as she pulls up pictures on her phone.
Henley waits anxiously in front of Hunter’s door as she knocks.
Hunter opens the door, he smiles at her.
“Hey you, long time no see, come in,” he says stepping aside to let her in.
“Thanks,” Henley says walking in as she looks at her fidgeting hands.
“You could have just used your key, you know,” he says smiling as he shuts the TV off.
Henley rolls her eyes.
“I’m glad you called, I’ve missed you,” he says pulling her to him as their lips almost touch. Henley places a hand on his chest, stopping him.
“Hunter we aren’t together. We haven’t really been together in years. And everything you said that night, you were right. We both need to move on.”
Hunter looks at her with a smirk.
“Henley, I’m sorry about what I said. I was upset. But you know that not being with you, is never something, I could actually agree to, right? It was just a stupid fight that went too far. I’m sorry. Come here, let me make it up to you,” he says pulling her waist toward him.
“Hunter,” she says pulling away. “We are not together.”
“Whatever you say babe. I’ll play along, we’re not together. Now do you wanna be on top, or,” he says smirking as he reaches for the hem of her shirt.
“Hunter,” she says stopping his hands, “I’m serious.”
“So then why are you here?” he asks confused.
“Because I wanted to tell you something. And I didn’t want you to hear it from someone else and think that I was hiding it from you. And it isn’t exactly a phone call type of conversation either.”
Hunter locks eyes with her. He waits, anticipating the news. Hands on his waist.
“I’ve started seeing someone,” Henley says her eyes falling away from him as her heart breaks seeing his face fall. Her words hit him like a ton of bricks.
Hunter huffs as he rolls his eyes.
“Come on Hunter, don’t be like that.”
“Be like what?” he asks obviously annoyed.
“Like a child. I came to you like an adult. I expect the same in return.” She says glaring at him, now suddenly getting angry at him.
“What do you want me to say, Hen? I’m not exactly thrilled to know you’re seeing some other guy. Who is he anyway?”
“You don’t need all the details Hunter, ok? I just thought I’ll let you know as a courtesy.”
“Oh come on, you wanna be adults, why can’t you tell me who he is?”
“Ugh fine. His name is Blake. I met him that night at the bar. The night of…”
“Piper’s Bachelorette Party,” he says nodding his head knowingly as he looks away, angry.
“Yes,” Henley says looking down, feeling guilty.
“You mean the same guy you made out with and then came home and made love to me?”
“Ok, look, I know that it seems like I have some kind of hidden agenda here. But I don’t, ok? I really don’t. I am not trying to hurt you. I just need a clean slate. And he isn’t part of my past. It’s just different. I’m sorry I can’t explain it.” She says her heart hurting.
“Right.” He says walking away from her.
“Hunter it’s not really fair for you to make me feel guilty about this,” she says following him.
“Oh come on Hen, we both know I could never MAKE you do anything,” he says his glare cold. “If you feel guilty it’s because maybe deep down you know you’re meant to be with me.”
“Look if that’s really true, then we will find our way back to each other. But this is what I need right now. I’m not saying you have to like it. Or me. I’m just asking for you to please understand and respect it. I don’t want to fight with you. I hate that I hurt you.”
Hunter can see the tears forming in her eyes.
“Is he good to you?” Hunter asks his eyes and emotion softening as he looks at her.
“I mean we’ve only been on one date, but yes,” she says.
“Good.” He says nodding.
“Ok, well thanks for letting me stop by…I should really get going.”
“You don’t ever have to thank me for that, you’re always welcome here you know that.”
“Thank you,” she says smiling. “Well, I should get going, but I’ll see you around?” she asks.
“I’ll be around,” he says nodding with a smile. “Hey Hen…if he hurts you…you know I-”
“I know,” she says smiling back at him.
Henley leaves as Hunter sniffles, tears springing to his eyes as he runs a hand through his hair, pacing his hardwood floor.
Henley smiles over at Blake as he places one hand on her knee while he drives.
“You ok? You seem nervous,” he asks with a sweet chuckle.
“I guess I am. Just a little,” she says shrugging.
“Why, you don’t think my charm will win your friends over?” he asks flashing a sexy smile.
“No, of course it will. I just worry about Hunter being there. I don’t want it to be weird.”
“Ah the infamous ex- boyfriend,” he says laughing, “Don’t worry I can handle that you have a past,” he says leaning over and placing a kiss on her lips.
“Thank you. You’re amazing,” she smiles, kissing him again.
Blake smirks as the light turns green and he starts driving again.
Blake shakes Piper’s hand.
“It is so nice to finally meet the famous Piper,” Blake says with a smile.
Piper smiles, “Nice to meet you too!”
“Word of advice, these two are joined at the hip, so just get used to being a third wheel now,” Parker says jokingly as the girls laugh.
Blake laughs as he shakes Parker’s hand too.
“I’ve noticed,” Blake says with a cute smirk.
“Speaking of which, I need to borrow her for just a second,” Piper says pulling Henley and linking arms.
“He is soooo cute!” Piper says once they get into the kitchen for some privacy.
“Isn’t he?” Henley says happily.
“So you told Hunter?”
“I did. I told you I would.”
“No I know. I just know how hard it probably was for you both to have that conversation.”
“It was, it was really hard. I don’t want to hurt him. But he was actually really great about it. I mean he wasn’t thrilled, but he took it better than I thought he would. So I’m grateful for that. He’s pretty amazing.”
“Well I would say that I have it on pretty good authority that he thinks you’re pretty amazing too.”
“I just hope that we can find some way to be in each other’s lives. Even if it isn’t romantically. He still has such a big chunk of my heart, ya know? That’s never gonna go away.” Henley says smiling
“Look at you two being all adult. I’m really happy for you. And I think Blake’s great,” Piper says with a sweet smile.
“Thank you. You know that means the world to me.” Henley smiles as she gives Piper a side hug. “Speaking of Hunter, I thought he was supposed to be here tonight?” she asks.
“He was, but he got called into work last minute. He said he’s still going to try to make it later though.”
“Oh, so you don’t think he’s avoiding me?”
“No, I really don’t think so,” Piper says with a laugh, “You know how unpredictable his job can be.”
“Oh I remember it well.” Henley says with a chuckle as her mind pulls her into a flashback.
Henley looks at the clock as she sits in Hunter’s empty apartment. She checks her phone again. No messages. No texts. Nothing.
She sighs as she turns on the TV and lays down on his couch.
Before she knows it she’s being gently nudged on the shoulder as her eyes flutter open to find Hunter kneeling before her.
“Hey you, you stayed?” he says with a sweet smirk.
“Yea, well, I hadn’t heard from you, so I figured you got stuck at work. You know me, I worry, so I just figured I’d stay until you came home.”
“Well I’m sorry I’m so late,” he says handing her a bouquet of roses. “But I’m really happy you stayed.”
Henley smiles as she takes the flowers, “This was very sweet,” she says cupping his face and kissing him.
“So um…just out of sheer curiosity how tired are you?” Henley says looking up at him.
“Suddenly I’m not tired at all,” he says smirking as he kisses her leaning them back onto the couch as Henley laughs wrapping her arms around his neck.
Hunter wakes up to find Henley wearing his t-shirt and making something to eat in his kitchen. Her back to him, he silently wraps a blanket around his waist as he sneaks over to her.
“I love coming home to you,” he whispers in her ear, as she jolts, he chuckles, and places kisses along her neck.
“Haven’t you learned not to sneak up on a girl, holding a knife, officer?” she says stopping what she’s doing and turning around in his arms.
Hunter laughs as he pulls Henley into another kiss.
“Did I mention how happy I am that you waited for me?” he says looking down at her.
“Wha- why are you so surprised?” she says rolling her eyes at him.
“Because normally you run away from me, every chance you get,” he says laughing.
“Uh, hey, I resent that. I don’t run. I shimmy. Sometimes.” She says laughing.
“You run.” He says shaking his head at her.
“We’re just… we’re always so heavy, ya know? It’s just a lot sometimes.”
“Yea. I’m sorry,” he says tucking her hair behind her ear, as he looks into her eyes lovingly.
“I’m sorry for always running. I definitely don’t think it’s fair or nice to you. I guess I just can’t help it sometimes.”
“It’s understandable. I put you through a lot. Our past is a lot.”
“Yes. But I shouldn’t be punishing you for it, still.”
“Well, you can punish me anytime,” he says rising an eyebrow as he smirks leaning in to kiss her. Henley laughs as she playfully hits his chest.
Hunter smirks as he kisses her, lifting her up onto the kitchen counter, Henley wraps her arms and legs around him.
“I think I want my shirt back,” he says smirking down at her.
“Really? Well then I guess you’re just going to have to take it off of me, because I’m not giving it back.”
Hunter smirks at her as his eyes flicker a certain heat he cups her face in his hands before placing a passionate kiss on her lips.
“It looks better on you than it ever did on me,” he whispers as he kisses her again his hands sliding up her legs.
Henley and Hunter lie in his bed, wrapped in each other’s arms.
“So I have to ask…why did you stay tonight?” he says looking over at her with curious eyes.
“I know we’ve been having so much fun together, and things have been so good. If I left I knew that could change.”
Hunter smiles and kisses her as he makes his way back on top of her.
“Again? Really?” she says gasping as she wraps herself around him, accepting each kiss on her lips happily.
“You know what they say, third times a charm,” he says smirking.
Henley laughs, “Oh yea because you really struck out the last two times,” she says sarcastically.
Hunter smirks as he pulls Henley into another kiss.
Piper waves a hand in front of her face.
“Earth to Henley.” She says.
Henley snaps out of her memories.
“Where’d you go?” she says laughing.
“Nowhere. Sorry I just spaced. It didn’t get much sleep last night,” Henley says with a laugh.
“Oh, Blake keeping you up all night?”
“What? No. No. We haven’t done that yet.” Henley says thrown by her own personal provocative walk down memory lane.
“Oh…Ok…well when you do, you know I want details.”
“Um, yea, I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet. You know to be that close to someone. You know Hunter’s the only guy I’ve ever been with. So it’s a little a-”
“Oh my god, of course. I’m sorry love. I didn’t mean to sound so crass.”
“No it’s ok, I get that your just being supportive and I appreciate it. I just, I do think that getting over Hunter is going to be a process. And I just have to take it, one step at a time.”
“Absolutely.” Piper says hugging her.
“Let’s get you back to your party,” Henley says grabbing a bottle of wine to bring out as Piper grabs a few glasses.
Little did they know, a certain pair of ears were listening.
Blake walks off back into the living room, a glare in his eye.
The party is underway, as everyone continues to mingle.
A knock is heard at the door as Parker yells, “I got it babe.” Piper blows a kiss his way as she refills a bowl of chips.
“Hey Hunter, you made it!” Parker says as he gives him a bro hug.
“Hey man, sorry it’s so late,” Hunter says walking in and taking off his jacket.
“No worries man, come in, I’ll take that,” he says taking Hunter’s jacket, “Grab some food, everyone’s still here.”
Henley’s eyes land on Hunter as he walks in giving his sister a hug.
Her heart drops to her stomach, and she suddenly starts to sweat. Her nerves kicking in.
Blake notices as he places a hand on the small of her back.
“Why don’t I get you a drink?” he asks.
“Yea yes, that’d be great, thanks,” she says suddenly parched as Blake smiles he places a kiss on her cheek before heading to the kitchen.
Hunter makes his way over to the crowd saying his hellos to all.
He locks eyes with Henley. She waves slightly, obviously nervous. He knows this. He knows her.
“Hey you,” he smiles walking up to her.
“Hi,” she smiles slightly.
“You look less than thrilled to see me,” he says with a chuckle.
“No, no. That’s not true. I guess I just feel like it’s awkward. Blake is here and I just don’t want you to think I’m being heartless, or trying to rub it in your face.”
“I don’t think that. Besides, you’ve been seeing this guy for what 2 months or so now, I think we’ve avoided it long enough. It’s time, don’t you think?”
“Since when did you become so adult?”
“I guess I just figured if he makes you happy then I should be happy for you. When you love someone as much as I love you, all that matters is that they are happy. So…where’s this gentleman of yours?” he says raising an eyebrow.
Henley looks up, rolling her eyes at him.
“What you don’t think I ask about you?” he leans in whispering as he smirks down at her. Henley’s whole body tingles. Damn it. He still has that effect on me, she thinks.
Blake notices the close exchange as he approaches them, two drinks in his hands. A flicker of anger or something more unnatural gleams in his eyes. And yet instantly as if he flicked a switch, a smile spreads across his face. Blake walks up to Hunter and Henley.
“Hey babe, here’s your drink,” he says handing Henley a glass of wine.
“Thank you,” she says with an awkward smile, and she takes a gulp, because let’s face it she needed more than a sip.
Blake looks at Hunter.
“Hey man, you must be Hunter,” he says smiling as he extends his hand.
“I must be,” Hunter says smirking as his eyes drift and meet Henley’s for a brief second and then back to Blake.
Hunter instantly notices that the grip of Blake’s hand shake does not quite match the wholesome smirk on his face.
Hunter locks that gut feeling safely in his memory.
“Henley’s told me a lot about you.”
“Oh has she?” Hunter says smirking at Henley as his eyebrow raises.
“Yea. I’m really glad you’re doing ok, man. I know people who have dealt with addiction and sadly couldn’t shake it.”
Hunter glares at him, and then looks over at Henley.
“Right, well when you have good people surrounding you, it’s a hell of an incentive. Excuse me,” Hunter holds his composure as he walks away.
Henley notices Hunter’s clenched jaw as she looks at Blake confused. She rolls her eyes and rushes after Hunter.
“Hunter…hey….wait up please.”
“You know I get that my past may come up in conversation with someone you are dating. I understand it’s something you may need to talk about with a perspective partner. But I don’t need someone I don’t even know, weighing in on my recovery. What the hell was that? You tell him our story and suddenly he thinks he knows me and feels free to comment on it?”
“I’m sorry. I honestly don’t know why he would say anything. Especially after just meeting you for the first time. I don’t condone that. Ok. You need to know that. And I will straighten this out with him, so that it never happens again.”
“He’s marking his territory Henley. That’s what that was about,” he says looking at her.
“I get that you’re upset. But come on Hunter, we can move past this can’t we?”
“Of course. But for the record, I don’t like him.” He says looking at her.
“I should have known you wouldn’t keep this civil attitude up for long.”
“Oh come Hen, you can’t be that naïve? It’s the oldest trick in the book. Make the ex look like a good for nothing to show the girl how much better she has it now.”
“Wow. You have some imagination,” Henley says laughing as she rolls her eyes.
“I’m a cop, I have a pretty good read on people, and I’m telling you right now. You need to be careful with that one. There’s something in his eyes. Somethings not right.”
“I get that this is hard for you. To see me with someone else. If the situation was reversed I know I would be looking for everything wrong with whatever girl you were with. But you don’t need to make things up, ok?”
“Do you honestly think I would make something up, when it involves your safety?” he says insulted.
Henley takes his hands in hers, “Thank you for your concern, but I’m a big girl and I can take care of myself.”
“Good night Hunter. It was good seeing you.” She says walking away from him and back to the party.
As he takes a sip of his seltzer, Hunter watches Henley and Blake interact.
Parker walks over, “That’s gotta be tough, seeing Henley with a new guy? I’m sorry man.”
“I don’t like him,” Hunter says.
“Shocker,” Parker says with a laugh.
“No I’m serious I think there’s something up with him. When he shook my hand his grip was insane like he was trying to prove some kind of point.”
“Well you’re the ex, he’s probably just intimidated, I mean anyone in this room tonight could see that there’s still a lot of unresolved emotions between you and Henley. The guy is probably just scared you’re trying to win Henley back.”
“Nah, it’s more than that. It’s like he has this switch.”
“A switch?” Parker says confused.
“Yea like one minute he’s loving on Henley and the next he’s glaring. He’s good at covering, but I can tell. Somethings off about this guy. I can just feel it in my bones.”
“Hey big bro, thanks for making it!” Piper says smiling as she joins the two men.
“Of course, wouldn’t have missed it,” Hunter says smiling as he takes another sip of his seltzer.
“So be honest, what do we think of Blake?” Piper says looking at Hunter.
“Hunter has a gut feeling that maybe Blake is a little….off,” Parker explains.
“So you don’t like Henley’s new boyfriend….I am shocked. Dismayed even,” she says with a laugh. Her statement laced with sarcasm.
“This Blake, does he have a last name?” Hunter says watching Blake’s arms wrap around Henley as they laugh at a friend’s animated story.
“Finley, or something like that. I think. Why?” Piper says innocently.
“Oh honey,” Parker says shaking his head, knowing full well what Hunter’s plan is.
“Oh no, you’re going to do a back ground check on him aren’t you?” Piper says covering her face with her hands.
“Damn right I am.” Hunter says.
“Rookie mistake, Piper,” she says scolding herself.
“What? You don’t think I did a background check on Parker when you two first started dating?”
“What?” Parker says insulted.
Piper smacks her brother in the shoulder.
“Hey you have my back, I have yours. Anyway it’s not like I ever found anything. The guy has never even gotten a parking ticket,” he says, laughing at Parker as he smiles proudly.
“That’s because he’s perfect,” Piper says smiling and kissing her husband on the cheek.
“Aw no, you’re perfect,” Parker says placing a sweet, soft kiss on her lips.
“Ok well, that’s my cue to leave,” Hunter says as Piper and Parker turn to him and laugh. “Thanks for the invite, we’ll talk soon.” Hunter says giving Piper a kiss goodbye and Parker a bro hug.
“Good night, everyone. Have a good one,” he says to the room as he waves and starts to walk toward the door. Friends waving and calling out their goodbyes. As he shrugs on his jacket, Henley notices and excuses herself from Blake’s arms, she rushes over to him.
Cuddling his wife on the other side of the room, out of the corner of his eye, Parker notices the glare in Blake’s eye as he sees Henley rush after Hunter. Parker feels suddenly uneasy.
“Hey Hunt…were you just going to leave without saying good bye,” she says.
“You seemed rather busy,” he says turning to face her.
“Please Hunter. I don’t want it to be like this.”
“Neither do I, but it is, isn’t it? You still don’t trust me. Not even about this.”
“Go back to the party Henley. Your boyfriend’s waiting,” he says walking away as Henley feels a sucker punch of emotion in her gut.
Hunter walks into his office after hours, seeing the night staff hard at work.
Leo notices and nods at him, “Hey I thought you left like hours ago? What are you doing back here?”
“I need to run a background check,” Hunter says walking into his office and flicking his lamp on, as he sits at his desk.
Leo follows, “Wait for who, Collins ran the background checks for-”
“That’s not what I’m talking about.”
“Ok, so who then?”
“Blake Finley,” Hunter says typing away.
“Blake Finley….who the hell is Blake Finley?” Leo says confused.
“We are about to find that out right now,” he says as the search buffers.
“Wait…this is Henley’s new guy isn’t it?”
Hunter looks up at him.
“Damn it Hunter, you gotta stop doing this to yourself, you and Henley both really need to just move on,” he says rounding the desk and standing beside his partner.
“This is not about me being a jealous ex. Ok? Look I met him tonight and just the look in his eye, and the way he shook my hand. It was like he was trying to stake a claim. I just- I know somethings up with this guy. I can feel it.”
“Oh man Hunter, look I get this is hard for you…but-”
“Have you ever known my instincts to be wrong about someone? In all the years we’ve worked together?” Hunter says cutting him off as he stares at Leo.
“No. Look I’m not questioning your detective work ok? I know you’re a good cop. But I also know that when it comes to Henley you can be a little…”
“A little what?” Hunter says defensively.
“Irrational.” Leo says with a shrug.
“I will admit that, but I swear to you, Leo. I don’t feel good about this guy. But by all means, join the Hunter’s a crazy stalker ex – fan club. I know what I feel. And I wouldn’t feel right if I ignored my gut and then something did happen to Henley and I could have prevented it. At the very least, we find out he’s a great guy and I get to be wrong for the first time since I joined the academy.”
“Nice.” Leo says with a laugh.
“Damn it, these computers are glitching again.” Hunter says as his computer screen turns black.
Henley sits in the car as Blake drives. The silence deafening.
“Is there something wrong?” he asks glancing over at her.
“Look, I didn’t want to bring this up at the party in front of everyone, but what you said to Hunter was kind of underhanded and uncalled for.”
“Oh baby, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. I honestly was just trying to pay him a compliment and in hindsight that was probably not how it came off. Oh I feel like such an asshole right now,” Blake says covering his eyes with his free hand, as they sit at a red light.
“No it’s ok. You know it’s just a sore subject for all of us and being that you barely know him, it was just a little…ya know odd.”
“I completely see your point. And I’m sorry. That was not my intention at all. I can tell he means a lot to you. I guess I was just trying to make a good impression. Trying to connect with him in some way. But I promise I’ll never bring it up again.”
“It’s ok, I believe you, Thank you,” Henley says.
“No, thank you for bringing it up. I want you to be able to talk to me about anything. Especially if I hurt you in some way.”
“Well thank you, it means a lot to know you care so much,” Henley says with a big smile as she places a kiss on his cheek, a glare flickering in Blake’s eyes.
Blake smiles as he leans in and places a deep kiss on her lips. As cars begin to beep at them, from behind.
Henley and Blake share a laugh as she says, “I think you better drive.”
Blake laughs as he places a sweet kiss on her nose and drives off.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or other wise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 9 HERE
Hunter collapses next to Henley as they both smile brightly trying to catch their breath.
“That was…” he says at a loss for words.
“It was.” she says looking over at him, “but that really, really, REALLY can’t happen again.”
“Oh gosh, here we go again,” he says smirking as he climbs on top of her again, kissing her neck.
“Hunter,” Henley says breathlessly, as her hands circle his neck.
“Marry me?” he whispers against her lips before he places another kiss on them.
“Stop it,” she says her breath catching in her throat hearing him utter those words for yet another time.
Hunter smirks, leaning into her, she pulls him into a passionate kiss.
Pulling away slightly, he looks at her lovingly, “You thought about it, didn’t you?”
Henley looks up at him, her head spinning, her eyes heavy, as her body fills with a variety of emotions.
“Hmm?” is all she is able to utter.
Hunter laughs sweetly against her lips as he whispers, “You thought about saying yes didn’t you? Saying yes to being my wife. I saw it in your eyes. You entertained it for a hot second,” he says voice raspy and sexy.
“Hot being the operative word,” she says lifting her body to close any distance between them, as she kisses him again, he moans. “You can’t ask me that, while you’re…” she says her voice trails off as he kisses her, her nails digging into his back as he grips her thighs that circle around his waist.
“Say yes.” he whispers, pressing his forehead against hers as he stares at her, willing her to open her eyes.
“You know I can’t do that,” she says breathlessly as her eyes flutter open to meet his.
“Give me one good reason why not,” he says as a gasp escapes her lips, her body inching toward him.
“Because I can’t be expected to think clearly right now,” she says kissing him, as he laughs loudly, she giggles.
Hunter lifts Henley up and onto him as she pulls his face into a kiss. Water splashes over their bodies. Hunter leaning Henley up against the shower wall.
“Ok, we have to stop,” she says in between kisses.
“Yes, we must,” he says smirking as he kisses her again.
“I’m serious,” she says pushing him away, as he sets her legs down. “I promised Piper, I wouldn’t continue to make this a messy situation anymore. And she’s not even gone a full week, and we’ve already had sex, a lot of it.”
“Let’s just at least finish this time,” he says smirking as he pulls her toward him, his hands sliding down her body.
“Hunter. We can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep ending up in bed with you.”
“Admit it, you secretly love it,” he moans into her lips as her eyes flutter closed once again. Hunter lifts her up once more.
“I love you,” she says letting go of all restraint as she covers his lips with hers, her hands clawing at his back as they move together.
Henley wraps a thin silk robe around her as she fluffs her damp hair, she looks in the mirror, noticing the twinkle in her eye, and the flush in her cheeks. Her body feeling both exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time. Hunter had a way of making her feel like the sexiest woman on earth.
“Well I certainly got my exercise in for today,” she says smiling as she walks out into the kitchen to find Hunter making them something to eat.
“You and me both,” he says smirking at her.
“Great sex and he’s cooking, hmm I may just have to keep you around,” she says coming over to him and wrapping her arms around him, her hands gliding across his bare chest.
Hunter lets out a laugh, as he turns in her arms to face her. His eyes glance down at her, and they give her their usual once over, as his mouth lifts into a smirk.
“What?” she says.
“That robe you’re wearing leaves very little to the imagination,” he says referring to its thin material. Her curves peeking through.
Henley gasps, “Babe!” she says hitting him, as she tries closing up the top.
“Oh trust me, I am not complaining,” he laughs pulling her in by the waist, as his eyes drift down to her cleavage, he lifts a finger to peek down her robe, “What’s in there, Whattaya got down there?” he whispers peering down at her body as he smirks she laughs, swatting his hand away. “Babe, stop!” she says grabbing a piece of bacon off a nearby plate.
“I can’t help it,” he says spinning her in his arms, “you drive me crazy,” he says sliding his hands over her backside as he places a passionate kiss on her lips.
Henley kisses him back, her heart beating so fast, she feels like it could burst. But not wanting to stop even for the slightest moment.
She reaches for his pajama bottoms, untying the string, she whispers, “Get these off.”
Hunter laughs, “Yes ma’am,” he whispers sliding his pants down, as she reaches for her robe belt, “And this, get this off of me,” she whispers. Hunter nods, as his lips cover hers, he loosens her belt and pulls her robe down off her shoulders. Lifting her up onto the kitchen counter. Her legs wrapping around his waist as they both fall into each other’s embrace.
Hunter lays on the living room floor near the crackling fire, a blanket covering him slightly, his chest drenched in sweat as a very satisfied Henley lays next to him. She tugs at the blanket to cover herself as well.
“I think we may have set a world record today,” he says out of breath.
“Oh…are we done for today then?” she asks as she looks over at him, a smirk on her lips.
Hunter laughs, “Are you trying to kill me woman?” he says turning to face her as he strokes her arm with his hand, she smirks, lacing her fingers through his.
“Hunter. We should probably talk,” she says her eyes flickering a more serious look.
“No. I won’t let you lessen these feelings.”
“What do you mean?” she says confused.
“I know you. I know what you’re going to say. That it’s just sex. That it’s just us falling into old familiar habits. That we’re not back together. It’s a load of bullshit, Henley. I know you want to be with me. I know it. You let it slip earlier ya know? You admitted that you love me.”
“This isn’t about whether or not I love you Hunter. Of course I still love you. How could I not. Our pasts are so intertwined. But I just-“
“You’re just scared. And I get it. But we can just take our time. We can go however slow, or fast you want. I know that you want this Henley. I felt it every time we made love today. I felt your heart beating quicker every time I touched you, I felt the urgency in your kiss, the way your body leaned into mine, the grip on my back. I know that you want this just as much as I do. All you have to do, is let yourself have it. I’m not going anywhere. Because you are my everything. You are the love of my life.”
“Hunter…” she says her eyes tearing.
Hunter looks at her for a beat, and then starts to get up, “I should go,” he says his face falling.
“You don’t have to.” she says confused. “Stay.”
“No it’s fine. I have work in the morning and it’s getting late. I’m sorry I pushed the issue again,” he says wiggling into his boxes under the blanket as he stands, Henley begins to gather the blanket around her as she gets up to follow.
“Hunter, please don’t leave like this,” she says stopping him in his tracks as her eyes well up.
Turning, his eyes well up just the same as he just looks at her, he whispers, “What do you want from me?”
“I don’t really know…”
“I don’t buy that. Not anymore. Not after the past few days. And especially not after today.”
“I don’t want you to be sorry Henley. I want you to- for once, just tell me how you feel. What do you want?”
“I’m scared to want you, ok! I know I love you. I love you so much. That’s something that has never changed. And getting to lose control today with you, has been the best day I’ve had in a really long time. I haven’t smiled or laughed this much in-I can’t even tell you how long. When you asked me to marry you, I wanted to say yes, with everything in me, I wanted to say yes.”
“So then why didn’t you?”
“Because it terrifies me. Are we really marriage material? I mean sex we are golden at. The whole relationship thing, that’s what we have a problem with. I lost you once Hunter, I don’t think I can ever go through that again.”
Hunter’s eyes soften as he walks over to her, “You won’t ever have to,” he says cupping her face gently as he places a kiss on her lips.
“Hunter, I wish things were simple. But so much has happened. And I just- there are things I just can’t get past. And I’m not trying to punish you. I just guess I’ve had a hard time letting go.”
“Is that what you’re trying to do? Let me go?” he asks, his eyes watering.
Tears roll down her cheeks as she hugs him, the two sit in silence.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 8 HERE
Hunter comes over to Henley as one by one the guests come by to give the girls prop for a nostalgic job well done.
“Wow, you still got it, not that I doubted it,” he says laughing. “Yea, not so much. I think I pulled a muscle on that last stage jump,” she says laughing as she rubs her thigh. “That reminds me, of that one time you pulled a muscle, while we-“ “NOT the kind of muscle injury I was referring to Hunter,” she says with a sly smirk. Hunter smiles.
“Walk with me?” he says holding out his hand to her.
Henley smiles small as she glances around before taking his hand, Hunter rolls his eyes as he laces his fingers through hers and leads her out of the ballroom. “You know, I was thinking about what you said last night.” “Oh god…last night is still a little hazy, refresh my memory?” she says wincing. “It was nothing bad, just that you feel like your clock is really ticking now that Piper is married and I mean you basically proposed to me, so surprise we’re engaged!” he says with a 10 watt smile.
Henley laughs as she covers her face, “Shut up!” she says playfully hitting him in the chest.
“I’m just saying, if you’re ever looking for a husband or ya know a father for your babies,” he says smiling, “I’m available.” She smiles slightly as her eyes drift from his intense sexy glare, “Hunter, I-” she stutters trying to find the right words, her mind spinning with past painful events and new exciting urges and feelings. And love. Deep rooted love for this man standing before her.
“You look beautiful, Hen,” he says placing a kiss on her cheek, a small chuckle escaping him as he walks away all calm, cool, and collected, hands in his pockets. Henley’s eyes following, her breath taken away. Hunter Stone did that do her. Often. Even though she won’t admit it.
If I don’t say this now, I will surely break. As I’m leaving the one I want to take. Forgive the urgency, but hurry up and wait. My heart has started to separate…
Hunter walks over to Henley as he holds out his hand, he cocks his head ever so slightly towards the dance floor, “I believe they’re playing our song,” he says smirking.
“Hunter-” she says smiling politely up at him and shaking her head.
“Come on, just one dance,” he says pulling her up, as she follows him onto the dance floor.
Alexis watches Hunter and Henley dancing from across the room.
Hunter laughs at something Henley says as he wraps his arms around her waist, the two swaying to the music.
“You know Henley is literally his heart. I don’t know why you’re so hell bent on trying to get in the middle of them. Still, even after all these years,” Piper says standing next to her.
“If you think so little of me, why do you even bother inviting me?” Alexis says, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
“Because you once were such an amazing friend to Henley, to me, to the girls. We were all a team. I guess I just hoped that one day you’d be that person again. But, turns out, I was very wrong. Lesson learned,” Piper says walking away as Alexis looks down at her drink with sadness and shame in her eyes.
Henley and Hunter finish their dance. Hunter places a kiss on her cheek, and she excuses herself to take care of something party planning related.
Alexis walks over to Hunter. He notices and looks away, sighing.
“No Alexis, don’t start,” he says walking away.
Alexis grabs his arm, “Please just give me 5 minutes. There’s something I never told you…about that night,” she says looking at him sadly.
Hunter rolls his eyes, and pulls his arm away, crossing them in front of his chest.
“Why should I believe anything you say, after what happened?”
“You don’t know the whole truth…because I only let you think what I wanted you to think,” she says looking up at him, nervously.
Hunter looks at her intensely, his mind spinning with confusion.
“What does that mean?” he says glaring.
“Can we please not do this here, I don’t want to give Piper and Parker’s wedding a second show,” she says looking around.
Hunter rolls his eyes as he walks toward the balcony.
“5 minutes,” he says as she follows.
Henley’s eyes float toward Hunter as she notices, her jealousy kicking in instinctively.
“What is it? What’s so important that you had to pull me away from my sister’s wedding Alexis?” he says crossing his arms in front of his chest.
Alexis noticing his walls and boundaries building up. A fortress if you will.
“That night that Henley found us together…I may have manipulated the situation in order for it to appear a certain way,” she says her eyes avoiding his glare.
Hunter’s jaw clenches, “What?” he says his tone laced with anger.
“You and I, well we never really slept together. I just made it look like we did, so that Henley would break up with you,” Alexis says nervously as she fears the worst.
“What! Why? Who does that?” he says his voice raising.
“I was jealous of you and Henley,” she says shaking her head at herself and the level of stupidity laced in her reasoning.
“Why? She was your best friend,” Hunter says confused.
“I know that. But…I saw you first,” Alexis says her eyes filling with tears.
“Ok, see that doesn’t really make much sense because, I met you the same night I met Henley and the rest of the girls,” he says trying to connect the very sporadic dots.
“That’s not true,” Alexis says looking up at him.
“I don’t understand,” Hunter says confusion written heavily all over his face.
“You don’t remember this, but we met before that night. It was the first day of my freshmen year, and I was pretty anxious about this math class I knew I had to take, because I heard the professor was really hard. And I was of course late on my first day, and I forgot the textbook, which the professor had specifically emailed us about weeks before so we’d all be prepared…”
“Ok Alexis, speed it up here…” Hunter says waving her along, waiting for answers.
“Yes, sorry. Anyway, you were sitting next to me, and you must have seen the sheer panic on my face when I realized I didn’t have the book, that you smiled over at me and pushed your textbook into the center of the table so that I could share. It was so sweet, and something about your eyes, I just couldn’t get over them. I felt butterflies every time you walked into the room.”
“Wow, I um, I’m sorry. I-I don’t remember that,” Hunter says suddenly feeling bad for the woman he’s despised for so long.
“Well I suppose you wouldn’t. Because you transferred out after a few weeks, and we never really ran into each other again until that night at the pub, the night Piper signed us up for that gig. The same night that you…”
“That I met Henley,” he says nodding.
“Yea and you didn’t remember me that night either, and you were of course infatuated by Henley. Everybody is. And I know that what I did was terrible and I am a horrible human, but I was just so upset that once again Henley got the guy and I didn’t. It’s like living in someone’s shadow constantly. Things just always seemed to come so effortlessly to Henley. And I don’t know, I just got so tired of it. I had feelings for you first. It just didn’t seem fair. And it was torture watching you with her, knowing I meant nothing to you.”
“Ok, you didn’t mean nothing to me, we were friends. But I’m sorry Alexis that doesn’t justify what you did. That doesn’t make it right. And not only did you lie, but you kept lying for a decade! Do you realize how what you did ruined relationships for years to come? How could you hold so much anger towards Henley if you never told her that you had those feelings? I mean I certainly didn’t know,” he says completely thrown.
“Would that have changed anything?” she asks looking up at him with curious eyes.
Hunter sighs, looking away, “Alexis, I’m sorry. I’m not trying to hurt you. But I can’t rewrite history here. I love Henley. Always have. Always will. I can’t apologize for that.”
“No, yea I get it, and you shouldn’t. I don’t expect you to,” Alexis says looking down at her hands, as she bites her lip. Tears streaming down her face.
“I am sorry that you were hurting all those years. But I have to be very clear about something, so that there is no confusion. Henley and I may be complicated. But she means the world to me. She’s the love of my life. So if you are still holding onto any of those feelings. I really urge you to move on.”
“And trust me, I wasn’t worth jeopardizing your friendship over. Because even though what you did broke my heart… more importantly, it broke Henley’s heart. And if I remember correctly, she was always such a good friend to you.”
“You’re right, I know that,” Alexis says as the tears continue to stream. “I have been holding onto this for so long that I just couldn’t tell her, because as much as she hated me for what she thought I did. I know if she knew the truth, she’d hate me even more.”
“You can’t keep hiding behind this secret. Especially now that I know the truth, you can’t expect me to keep this from her.”
“Hunter, please. Please don’t tell Henley…” she says pleading with him as she places her hands on his chest.
Henley sees the two through the balcony glass door. Her eyes narrow, as her blood begins to boil.
Piper walks over, “Hey, whoa, what’s with the death glare?” she says following Henley’s stare.
“Nooo!” Piper says in shock, gasping.
“I need a drink,” Henley says stalking off to the bar, visibly annoyed.
“I’m not going to tell her, Alexis. You are,” Hunter says as he removes her hands.
“She will never forgive me Hunter.”
“She already hasn’t from the first lie you told. Maybe somehow this can be a good thing.”
“You just don’t understand.”
“No, I don’t understand any of this,” Hunter says in a matter of fact, yet annoyed tone.
“I know she hates me now. But at least she and the girls hate me enough to still tolerate me, because they are still using their energy to hate me. I mean if it weren’t for that, I’d never be able to be a part of Henley’s life.”
“Why would you want to be?”
“Because, she’s my best friend.”
“Alexis, you do realize how crazy you sound right?”
“Yes ok. Look even though I would get jealous of Henley at times, she was always such an amazing friend. And one stupid, over drawn lie and mistake cost me the best friend I ever had. It was just this lie that kept snowballing and it got too big. And you had went to rehab shortly after everything…”
“Please don’t blame my recovery for your lie,” Hunter says getting annoyed and defensive.
“I’m not at all. I’m sorry. I just knew Henley was reeling from everything that happened and it wasn’t the right time to drop that bomb on her. I lied and I hurt you both. It was selfish of me, and I am sorry.”
“Ok fine, but if you are so sorry and you want to rebuild your friendship with Henley, why still keep this act up. I mean do you honestly still have feelings for me?”
“Sometimes I feel like I do. But then I think about it and I realize it’s just the idea of you. The idea of having someone fight for me, the way you fight for Henley. Seeing you with her tonight. I just realized how meant to be you are. And I should never have done what I did. I should have just been a supportive friend. Believe it or not, I still do love and care about Henley. It’s the only reason I still hang around. God bless your sister’s forgiving heart.”
“Yea, sometimes it gets her into trouble,” Hunter says with a small laugh.
“Look, I know you have no reason to believe that I’m sincere, but really I have nothing to gain here. Either way I lose. I just thought it was finally time to put some pain to rest. I truly am so sorry.”
“I believe you,” he says seeing her truth.
“Really?” Alexis says with a hopeful smile.
“Yea. I mean I’m a cop. I’d be able to tell if you were lying,” he says shrugging.
Alexis laughs as she wipes her tears.
“Look, I can’t speak for Henley, but I’m willing to put this pain in the past. I mean I’m pissed, don’t get me wrong. Livid actually. But I can’t change it, I can only put it behind me and move towards what I want. Which is a life with Henley. And hopefully after she knows this, it’ll move in that direction.”
“I’m sure that it will. She is very much still in love with you,” Alexis says with a small smile.
“You have to tell her, but maybe not tonight. We don’t need to have a catfight break out in the middle of Piper’s wedding,” he says with a laugh.
“You’re right. I’ll talk to her tomorrow morning.”
Henley wakes up the next morning in a bed that she has no recollection of getting into the night before. She looks around confused as she tries to place the room. Her eyes land on the TV as it hums the hotel schedule. She hears the shower running as she jolts up, “Oh god,” she says covering her face.
She looks under the blankets as she sees she’s wearing a man’s t-shirt.
Henley looks around the room, trying to place an identity to the man. She smells the t-shirt. And her body relaxes. “Oh, it’s Hunter,” she says smiling and falling back onto the bed.
“Hey you, good morning,” Hunter says smiling as he emerges from the bathroom in a towel, his hair wet, and his chest glistening.
“Hi,” she says laughing as she covers her face.
“How are you feeling?” he says laughing as he grabs some clothes from his suitcase.
“Aside from a massive headache, surprisingly not too bad.”
“Here,” he says handing her a bag.
“Oh yes the hotel hang over kit gift bags, thank you party planner me,” she says digging out the aspirin and Gatorade.
Hunter laughs as he walks into the bathroom to change.
“So…I assume we had sex?” she says knowingly.
“No…” Hunter says walking back out a few minutes later.
“No?” she says surprised.
“No. You were drunk, I would never do that. Besides there was little time to think about anything like that, since I was too busy holding your hair back as you puked. Hence why I had to change you,” He says scrunching up his nose.
“Oh my god. No.” she says covering her face, “I’m so sorry Hunter.”
“Hey don’t be. After all the many times you stayed with me, I owed you one,” he says with a smile.
“No. No I don’t want you to think that ok? That doesn’t make it right. It was insensitive and I’m sorry.”
“Stop it, Hen. Come on your being too hard on yourself!”
“No I just don’t want you to think that I’m like this all the time. I mean first the rehearsal dinner, then last night at the wedding. I would never want to drag you back into that world. I know how hard you worked on your sobriety.”
“As flattered as I am that you care what I think. How could you ever think that I could or would judge you? How could you ever think my love for you would ever waver? Because I can promise you, there is nothing that you could ever do, that could ever make me love you any less,” he says staring at her as Henley’s heart melts.
“Ugh, god Hunter. The way you love me. It terrifies me, sometimes,” she says looking away with a sigh.
“Why?” he says confused.
“Because, I’m not perfect. And having someone think that I am, my god! I’m just worried that one day you’re going to realize I’m not and just leave. For good.”
“Henley, look. I know that I always joke and say that I think you’re perfect. But the truth is I am very well aware that you’re not,” he says with a smile.
“Gee thanks, way to kick a girl when she’s down,” she says shocked and slightly offended.
“Here me out,” he says with a laugh as he sits next to her on the hotel bed. The white linen sheets tussled about. “You are opinionated, and judgey, and you can be incredibly infuriating in a fight.”
“Hey!” Henley says laughing.
“But…But you’re also really passionate, and caring, and when you love, you love with your whole heart. And I’m sure if you had to name some of my flaws you could in a heartbeat,” he says raising his eyebrows at her.
“Yea, you may be right about that one,” she says smirking at him.
“I love you unconditionally. Everything about you. And the fact that someone like you, could love someone like me, flaws and all, it just makes me seriously grateful. You are my favorite to fight with. And it’s not always so easy between us. I know we have a lot of painful history, but that love…it only grows with each passing day. At least for me,” he says placing a hand on his chest.
“For me too. I’d rather fight with you forever, than love anyone else,” she says smiling over at him.
Hunter smiles brightly as they both lean in, their lips meeting in a sweet kiss.
Henley pulls away, placing a hand on his chest stopping him.
“I do have to ask you something though,” she says her smile shifting to a less happy expression.
“Ok…”Hunter says slightly worried as he looks into her eyes.
“I feel stupid even bringing it up,” she says looking away.
“What is it?” Hunter says shaking his head, as he cups her face, encouraging her to talk to him.
“So I saw you and Alexis on the balcony last night and it just looked like a pretty intense conversation…”
“It was an intense conversation,” he says looking at her as he places a hand on her knee.
“About what? Oh no wait, let me guess. She was probably trying to seduce you…”
“No, look Henley you’re going to have to talk to her about it.”
Henley looks at him, her confusion slowly climbing the emotional ladder to anger.
“What?” she says standing up and folding her arms across her chest. Her stance strong.
“Alexis told me something that I think would clear up some questions we might have had about that…night,” he says painfully.
“What night? The night she ruined our lives?” Henley says her anger only rising.
“Everything wasn’t exactly how it seemed. You just…I know you don’t want to, but you have to talk to her,” he says gently stroking her cheek.
“No. How could you expect me to believe anything she says?”
“Henley baby, baby. Hey. Let me ask you something. Do you think I’m a good cop?” he says gently grabbing her by the shoulders.
“Of course. The best,” she says softening her anger.
“Ok, so don’t you think if I interrogate people for a living, that I could tell if she was lying?” he says.
“Ugh yes, of course.” She says huffing as she places her hands on her hips as she paces the paisley carpeted hotel room floor.
“So whatever she told you…you think she’s telling the truth?”
“Yes I do.”
“So why can’t you just tell me?”
“Because as someone who was never fully aware of the details of what happened that night due to my drunken and baked state, I don’t feel like it’s my story to tell.”
“Fair enough. Where is she?” she says removing his shirt as she stands in her undergarments. As she sets to looking through his bag for something to wear. Hunter stares as his lips form into a smirk.
“She’s probably downstairs at the brunch, which we should probably be getting to…and I really don’t think you should show up wearing my clothes. Might give Piper the wrong idea,” he says smiling.
“Right,” she says grabbing his bathrobe.
“You just can’t help it can you…” he says shaking his head.
“Stealing my clothes.”
“You want me to put my pukey clothes back on?”
“Of course not,” he says smiling.
“1) you love it. And 2) they smell like you. That’s why,” Henley she says smirking at him.
“Ok well, thank you for saving me from myself last night. Promise not to make it a habit. But I should really run and change. I’ll meet you downstairs,” she says placing a quick peck on his lips.
“Sure,” he says smirking as he catches her hand pulling her back toward him, “One more,” he whispers placing another kiss on her lips. Henley smiles against his lips as his eyes follow her retreating figure.
Piper and Parker sit at a table at brunch loving on each other.
“Hello love birds,” Henley says walking over to them. “How was your night?”
Piper and Parker exchange loving glances, “Perfect,” Piper says as they lean into a kiss.
“Happy for you,” Henley says smiling.
“Thank you, love you.” Piper says blowing her a kiss.
“Love you,” Henley says returning the sentiment.
“How was your night?” Piper asks.
“Interesting. But I’ll tell you later. Enjoy your first official day as Mr. and Mrs. Nash.”
Piper and Parker rush through the bunch of people standing outside the ballroom awaiting their exit as they throw white rose petals in the air.
Piper rushes over pulling Hunter and Henley into a huge bear hug.
“Thank you Thank you Thank you…for everything. I could NOT have done this without you. Nor would I have wanted to,” she says looking at Henley.
“Where else would I be?” Henley says smiling brightly at her best friend.
Piper hugs her tightly.
“I’m so sorry Hen-“
Henley pulls away, looking at her friend, “Do not say another word. It’s water under the bridge. Now get the heck out of here and go get your sexy on, during your honeymoon with your new husband!” she says smiling and pushing her gently toward Parker.
“Oh ew,” Hunter says covering his ears as the girls laugh.
Piper smiles and she takes Parker’s hand as he helps her into their limo.
Parker turning back to say his goodbyes to the two.
“Enjoy brother,” Hunter says giving his new brother in law a hug. Henley smiles as she kisses Parker on the cheek.
“Make some babies!” someone in the crowd yells as the crowd cheers and waves. The new couple smiling as they wave, the car driving off.
Back in the hotel…
Henley sees Hunter walk in as she smiles at him. She walks up to Alexis.
“I hear you have some new information you’d like to share?” she says.
Alexis freezes as she looks at her.
“Hunter told you?” she asks worry etched on her face.
“No…but by all means do tell…”she says her glare intense.
“Ok, maybe here’s not the best place. I don’t wanna make a scene.”
Henley laughs, “Oh please, Lexie you live to make a scene.”
“You called me Lexie,” Alexis says with a small hopeful smile.
“What?” Henley says annoyed.
“Nothing.” Alexis says not wanting to push her luck.
Hunter walks over, to make sure things don’t escalate.
“Hey, let’s move this someplace else, shall we?” he says guiding Henley by the waist into a nearby coat room.
“What’s the lie this time, Alexis?” she says emphasizing her full first name.
Alexis looks up at Hunter, nervously.
“Don’t look at him. Don’t you dare. You look at me and tell me what the hell this is all about.”
“I lied!” Alexis blurts out.
“What?” Henley says her glare menacing and cold.
“That night that you found me and Hunter together. We didn’t really have sex. I just made it look like that,” Alexis says her heart sinking into her stomach as her hands and knees shake.
“I knew it,” she says angrily. “God I knew it! You are a horrible, horrible person,” Henley says pointing in her face and she storms out of the coat room, Hunter rushing after her.
Alexis follows, “Henley please,” she says pleading.
“No. You’re dead to me,” Henley says storming out of the hotel.
Alexis looks down as the tears fall.
Hunter looks over at her with sympathetic eyes.
“I’m sorry that didn’t go well. But you had to know that she’d be upset.”
“Of course, I don’t blame her. I mean she has every right to be pissed at me. I just wish she’d listen long enough for me to apologize.”
“Just give it a beat…and try again soon. She may very well never forgive you. And you’re going to have to find a way to be okay with that. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your actions and accepting the consequences.”
“Excuse me,” Hunter says following after Henley.
Henley paces outside the hotel, as she takes deep breaths of the cool air.
Hunter walks out, and noticing her shivering shoulders, he takes off his sweater and drapes it over her shoulders.
“Henley it’s freezing out here.”
“Thank you,” she says holding his hand.
“I know how upset you must be…” he says lacing his fingers through hers.
“Upset…doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now.”
“How are you so calm!” she says yelling. “She ruined our entire relationship and all over a lie…for what? What was the point?”
“Not my story to tell, babe,” he says looking down at her as his thumbs stroke her hands.
“Well it doesn’t matter, because I am definitely never talking to her again.”
“I’m not saying that what she did was right. But let’s just say that maybe Alexis was dealing with her own issues.”
“What issues? I was her best friend. She could have come to me.”
“We all make mistakes. But she actually does seem to have a lot of remorse.”
“Where? Because it’s been 10 years and she hasn’t changed.”
“Sometimes people play a part,” he says shrugging.
“Why are you defending her?” Henley says glaring.
“I’m not. But I know how much you loved her. I know how much your friendship with her meant to you.”
“Well obviously it didn’t mean much to her!”
“I can’t answer for why she did what she did. But I can say that if it weren’t for that night, I may not have gone to rehab.”
“Don’t give her any credit for that. That was all Piper. She was the one to convince you to go.”
“Yes of course. But if it weren’t for me thinking that I broke us, then I would have just been continuing on the disastrous path I was on. And who knows what could have happened. So in a weird way, that lie, was what I needed to realize that I needed help.”
“But it doesn’t bother you that because of her… I questioned you. I questioned our love. And for 10 years I’ve struggled to trust you.”
“I hate how much time we lost. Our lives would have probably been very different. But we can’t go back. We can only go forward. And I refuse to waste anymore of our time. I just want to forgive her and move on. But more importantly, I just want to love the hell out of you,” he says with a sexy smirk as he stares into her eyes.
Henley softens as she runs her hands down his chest, her eyes locking onto his. She lets out a sigh.
Hunter awaits her next move patiently.
Henley grabs him by the neck as her lips crash onto his.
Hunter deepens the kiss as Henley’s hands slide into his sandy blonde hair.
Hunter’s hands sliding up and down her curves.
“Mmm, we’re in public,” Hunter says laughing against her lips as he pulls away.
“Like that’s ever stopped us before,” Henley says smirking up at him, as she raises an eyebrow.
Hunter smirks as she cups his face kissing him passionately, his hands sliding up the back of her shirt.
“Why officer I do believe you are breaking some kind of PDA law,” she says jokingly.
“I’ll break them only for you,” he says as his hands grip her hips, causing her to jolt against his toned body.
“You know I still have an unused hotel room,” Henley says her eyes looking up at Hunter with heat in her eyes.
“Mmm” he moans kissing her, “as much as I want that. I think you might want to finish your conversation with Alexis.”
“No, I don’t want to see or talk to her ever again. And why would I want to do that when I get to kiss these beautiful, soft, sexy lips,” she says grabbing his face and placing a slow, yet intense kiss on his lips.
Hunter chuckles, “That sounds vaguely familiar,” he whispers against her lips.
Henley laughs as she cups the back of his neck, burying her face in his chest, “Oh my gosh, please don’t remind me,” she says.
“What you mean about our first kiss?” he says his eyes sparkling. “Cuz I’m pretty sure you described my lips the exact same way,” he says with a chuckle as he takes her hands in his, lacing his fingers through hers.
“That was not fair, I didn’t mean to actually say the words out loud,” she says laughing. “I just remember you making me so nervous, I would just blurt my thoughts out to fill silence,” she says laughing.
“I knew that, and I loved the fact that I could make you nervous,” he whispers inches away from her lips.
“You wanna know a secret?” Henley whispers back, their lips touching ever so slightly.
Hunter nods, “You still do,” she says pulling him into a kiss. He could feel her heart pounding in her chest.
Alexis exits the hotel, her eyes scan her surroundings landing on the two, as she sighs a sigh of relief, her lips curling into a smile. She walks back into the hotel.
Hunter pulls Henley closer to his body as he deepens their kiss, pulling away briefly he whispers, “Even after all these years, you still make me nervous too,” he says taking her hand and placing it over his heart as his heart pounds in his toned chest.
Henley smiles as the two sit in a memory.
**Flashback to college years…
Hunter and Henley walk side by side on a dimly lit city street block.
“Sorry, I guess this wasn’t the best first date idea…the party,” he says sheepishly, his hands in his pockets.
“Oh, that’s ok,” she says shrugging, “the location doesn’t really matter to me,” she says smiling over at him.
Hunter smirks as he takes her hand in his, Henley smiles as she looks away nervously, Hunter notices.
A few minutes later they reach Henley’s door step.
“I had fun tonight,” Henley says turning to him, as she fiddles with her keys.
“Yea me too, next time, I promise it’ll be just us,” he says laughing.
Henley smiles, as her eyes lock onto Hunter’s, he swallows nervously as he leans in to kiss her, and Henley turns away, “I think my parents are home, I should really get inside,” she says opening the door quickly and going inside.
“You turned your cheek, do you remember that?” Hunter says laughing as they come back into the present. “You’re parents weren’t even home, you liar. No lights. No car.”
Henley laughs covering her face, “I was scared, you were my first date, my first kiss, my first everything,” she says looking up at him as his eyes soften lovingly, he places a sweet kiss on her lips.
“You’ve always scared easily,” he says smirking as he shakes his head.
“Only when something means so much to me,” she says looking at him.
“I’ll never forget you running after me that night though, I swear I thought maybe I misread the signals, that maybe you weren’t feeling it,” he says with a chuckle.
“No I was definitely feeling it, hence me commenting on your beautiful, soft, sexy lips,” she says laughing.
**Back to the flashback…
Henley shuts the door as she sinks down to the floor, “What the HELL, is your problem Henley! You like him! Why didn’t you just kiss him?” she says yelling at herself as she hits her forehead with her palm repeatedly, “Stupid, stupid, stupid,” she says.
Henley bolts up and opening her door she rushes down the block, “Hunter, Hunter wait!” she calls after him.
Hunter stops turning to see Henley running toward him.
“Is everything ok?” he says nervously.
Henley grabs him into a kiss. The. Best. Kiss. Ever.
“Whoa,” Hunter says his eyes heavy as he looks at her.
“Wow, you have the most beautiful, soft, sexy lips,” she says in a romantic fog.
Hunter smirks as his eyes lock on her lips, “Trust me, your lips are sexier,” he says pulling her into another kiss.
Back to the present…
Henley and Hunter stand in front of the hotel in each other’s loving embrace as their foreheads touch, their eyes closed.
“Shall we go upstairs,” Henley says smiling up at him, biting her lower lip.
Hunter pulls her into a passionate kiss.
“Hey. I love you and I would love to take you upstairs, but I really think you need to talk to Alexis. I get that you’re mad. Trust me, I get it. I was livid. But I think that it was the way things had to be in order for us to get to where we are today. Think about it. Maybe everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is.”
“I’m not sure that I believe that. For what reason, could she possibly have for wanting to hurt me that much?”
“Look, I don’t think it was necessarily about you as much as it was about me, or the idea of me,” he says looking away.
“I don’t understand,” Henley says confused as she laces her fingers through his, looking at him.
“Apparently…the night that you and I met for the first time, wasn’t the first time I met Alexis,” he says.
“Ok?” Henley says confused.
“But I’d rather you let her tell you why she felt to do what she did. I’ve been caught in the middle of this fight between the two of you far too long. And now that I know that it really wasn’t my doing, I’d really like to stay out of it.”
“No, yea I get it. You’re right. I’m sorry. God, I am just so mad right now.”
Hunter sighs as his brow furrows, his lips pouting.
“I know, baby,” he says cupping her face.
“But maybe after you hear her out, you can finally put all this behind you once and for all,” he says.
“And Hen- I just want to be very clear. I love you. And only you,” he says staring at her.
“I know,” she says smiling, “I know baby,” she whispers against his lips as they both lean into a kiss, “I love you too.”
“Come on let’s go pack, I’ll drive you home,” Hunter says leading her back toward the hotel.
Alexis sits at a table in a coffee shop fidgeting anxiously checking the door with each draft cast through it’s opening.
Henley walks in, obvious anger etched on her face.
She sits down with determination, frustration and a fiery glare.
“Hi,” Alexis says looking up. “Thanks for coming, I know I don’t deserve-“
“Don’t. Don’t play the self-deprecating role right now, because I’m not buying it. I have one question for you…it’s one that has haunted me for 10 years…and unfortunately you are the only one that can answer it for me.”
“Of course. Ask me anything,” Alexis says nervously.
“Why?” Henley says tears building.
“I was hurting, I guess. Do you remember the guy I told you I had a crush on in my math class freshmen year?”
“The textbook guy?” Henley asks confused.
Alexis nods, as Henley suddenly begins to connect the dots.
“Hunter was textbook guy?”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Henley says confused.
“Because I realized that he didn’t even remember me. Once again the spark I thought I felt was all in my head. And I could tell he was interested in you and you were interested in him. I just thought that if it was nothing then why should I say anything? I felt so stupid even thinking about bringing it up.”
“Alexis…regardless of whether or not Hunter remembered you…if you still had feelings for him no matter how small the interaction was- if I would have known- I would have never started dating him. You were my best friend,” Henley says as tears begin to fall down her face.
“I know. And you were mine too. I’m sorry I just- everything was changing. And you had Piper as a new best friend and you had Hunter and it just seemed like your life was always effortlessly perfect. For as long as I’ve known you I just always felt like things just would always work out for you. It just started feeling like you didn’t want me in your life anymore. And as much as I tried to get over it, the idea of you and Hunter still stung. I just got angry and jealous and I did something stupid that cost me my best friend. And I regret it every day.”
“Perfect? You thought my life was perfect. Alexis I lost my parents at 17. My life has been far from perfect.”
“No that’s not what I meant. I’m so sorry. Your parents were amazing people. I just-meant that before you lost them, growing up you just seemed to always have it all. It was like you could do no wrong. Perfect grades, loving family, beautiful home, and the guys always loved your natural beauty. And it was like I always tried to measure up, but never could.”
“Appearances can be deceiving sometimes. Because all that time, I envied you and how free you could be.”
“Well what you took as free was me just trying to make the best of a crappy upbringing. You know my parents. They’d rather throw their credit at me, then ever actually spend any time with me. I guess it’s true what they say, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Alexis says shrugging.
“True. But I have to ask…why not just come clean after everything, why let it go on for 10 years?!”
“I was ashamed, and I didn’t think you would forgive me either way. If you hated me, it was still some type of feeling toward me. And you not cutting me out of your life completely said a lot too, Hen.”
“That was all Piper. She’s much more forgiving then I am,” Henley says rolling her eyes.
“Come on Hen, she’s not that forgiving. Not forgiving enough to let me stick around after I hurt you- her best friend. No I’m only allowed to stick around, because you allow me to. Which must mean that you still hold onto our years of friendship. Just as much as I do. Because the Badass Henley I know would have cut me out of her life a long time ago, had I been anyone else.”
“Well you know I could be a sucker for nostalgia,” Henley says rolling her eyes as she wipes away some tears.
Alexis smiles small, “Henley, I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry,” Henley looks at her with mixed emotions. And for the first time, in a long time Henley saw a glimmer of her old friend.
“Do you still have feelings for Hunter?” Henley asks her tone uneasy.
“So then why the constant drama, the flirting…” Henley asks as her brows raise with confusion.
“I was playing the role I cast myself in. Like I said I’d rather you hate me. Then be indifferent.”
“I feel for you. I do. I can only imagine how hurt you were seeing me and Hunter together. But it was your fault for not saying anything. Sure we were best friends, but I’m not a mind reader. What you did was awful. You broke hearts, relationships. And it’s been a really tough road. You made me question Hunter’s loyalty/his character.”
“I know,” Alexis says covering her face in embarrassment and shame.
“And to be honest, your reasons for doing what you did do not justify any of it. It all sounds selfish and kind of crazy.”
“I know, I know,” Alexis says crying heavily.
“But. Lucky for you Hunter brought up a good point.”
Alexis looks up at her through a blurred line of vision. She wipes her eyes.
“If you hadn’t done what you did. Hunter might not have went to rehab. So in a bizarre way, I guess it all sort of worked out,” Henley says shrugging her shoulders.
“Does this mean, that you forgive me, and we can be friends again?” Alexis asks with hopeful excitement evident in a smile.
“No. Not quite. Even though you didn’t cheat with Hunter, you still lied to me. And you hurt me. So the forgiveness is going to take some time. But I am open to healing…our friendship…with baby steps.”
“Absolutely, I completely agree. Baby steps, you got it.”
“And as for my relationship with Hunter and with Piper…I never meant to make you feel like you didn’t matter. I have a big heart. There’s a little room for everybody,” Henley says.
Alexis smiles as Henley returns a small smirk.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 7 HERE
Henley fluffs Piper’s dress and fixes her veil as the newly married couple stand posing for pictures in the center of the ballroom. White roses kissing the corners of the room, white lily scented candles in the center of each table. Twinkling fairy lights lining the soft sweeping silk white curtains as people start to flood in taking their seats. The DJ begins to play soft background music. The whole room set a feeling like an enchanted fairy forest. Henley blows Piper a kiss as Piper mouths the words “Thank you,” she smiles brightly her way.
Henley smiles at the love between Piper and Parker. Hunter watches, his eyes always seeming to somehow find her in a crowded room.
A little while later…
“I gotta hand it to you Hen…you really out did yourself with this wedding,” Hunter says walking over to her.
“Thanks,” she says smiling, leaning against the bar. “I really wanted everything to be perfect, they deserve it. They look great out there, don’t they?” she says watching the two newlyweds dancing up a storm.
“Yea they really do…So you ready for your speech?” he asks smiling.
“Uh, yea I guess. You know I’m not super into public speaking, so I’m a little nervous, but- hey,” she says shrugging.
“Oh come on your gonna be fine. You know mostly everyone in this room, and we all love you. There’s no need to be nervous.”
“Yea I guess you’re right,” she says smiling at him as the bartender hands her a glass of water.
Just then Piper hops onto the stage. “Hello hello, I have a bit of an announcement to make, or a request rather,” she says holding the mic.
Hunter and Henley along with the room full of guests turn to face the stage.
“So as many of you know, Henley Hendrix that beautiful soul right over there,” she says pointing.
Henley looks at her as her brow furrows, “What the hell is she doing?” she whispers to Hunter, as she let’s out a laugh.
Hunter laughs, “I don’t know, but should be interesting,” he says sipping his soda.
“She is my maid of honor, and I am sure that she has an epic speech planned for tonight- BUT I don’t want to hear it.”
Henley looks taken back, as she and Hunter share a puzzled look.
“See I’ve known Henley for years, we met in college and fun fact, Henley and I actually used to be in a girl band and-“
Henley’s eyes widen, “Oh no.” she says. Hunter looks over at her, “Oh yes,” he says with a big smile on his face.
“And we used to do covers and there was one song that I always used to joke about and tell her, when I got married, she had to sing it at my wedding. Well Henley, it’s my wedding, time to call in some old favors. Ladies… leather jackets and combat boots please…” She says as Alexis, Camila, and Brooke rush on stage in their getups.
Hunter starts laughing hysterically, as Henley looks over at him.
“No,” Henley says shaking her head and waving her hands at Piper.
“Oh yes, get your ASS UP HERE!!!!” Piper screams as the crowd cheers.
“No,” Henley stays put.
Hunter smirks as he sweeps her up throwing her over his shoulder and bringing her to the stage.
“Oh my god, are you serious!” Henley says hitting his back, as she laughs, the crowd laughing at her misfortune.
“Thank you brother,” Piper says saluting Hunter, “I believe your audience awaits,” she says handing Henley her leather jacket and combat boots.
Henley rolls her eyes, “I cannot believe you!” she says laughing as she shrugs the jacket on and switches her shoes quickly.
Her friend Camila handing her a guitar.
“Oh my God, guitar too? Are you kidding? I haven’t played this song in years,” she says putting the strap over her head.
“Well a promise is a promise,” Piper says laughing.
“I hate you.” Henley says laughing, “But you’re lucky I love you,” she says glaring at Piper. “Bear with me everybody, it’s been a minute since I’ve touched a guitar or sang,” She says strumming her first cord as she lets out a laugh.
“Hey you guys we’re Imperfection!” Piper says into the mic and the crowd cheers.
Piper and Henley exchange looks as they laugh.
“I’ve been driving for an hour, just talking to the rain…” Henley sings into the mic as Hunter smiles feeling a sense of insane nostalgia.
**Flashback to Henley’s freshmen year of College…Hunter’s sophomore year.
Henley gets off the stage after performing that very same song.
Piper drags her friends over to Hunter who has undoubtedly been watching Henley the entire time, and yes she noticed.
“Hunter, this is Henley, Brooke, Camila and Alexis, my epic girl group I was telling you about,” she says smiling.
“Hey, nice to meet you,” Hunter says holding out his hand to each of them and leaving Henley for last.
“You too,” Henley says with a smile as she shakes his hand, a spark running through both of them. Alexis and the other girls taking notice.
“Oh my god, I love this song, girls let’s dance,” Piper says pulling Henley’s hand.
Henley looks back at Hunter who just so happens to be looking back at her too.
Later that night…
Hunter walks up to Henley, her eyes notice as she looks away trying to act uninterested.
“Henley right?” he says with a smirk.
“You guys killed it,” he says pointing to the stage.
“Thanks,” she says playing it cool.
“So Henley…you have a last name?”
“Why, you wanna stalk me online?” she says her sassy side showing early on.
“Maybe,” he says with a smirk, challenging her.
“You’re cute,” she says smirking back.
“Cute…ouch,” he says looking away with a laugh.
Henley laughs, “I’m sorry, did I bruise your ego?” she says pouting.
“Yea a little bit,” he says leaning in closer to her.
“Aw well I mean seeing as you are my best friend’s brother I guess I can try to make it up to you, somehow,” she says smiling.
“Ah, yes, please do.”
“So…what’ll it be…a drink?” she says as they stand near the bar.
“How about a date?” he says smirking over at her, as she tries to conceal her shock and excitement.
“Hmm, maybe that can be arranged.”
“Maybe huh? I’ll take it,” he says his eyes locking onto hers.
“Friday, 7 o’clock, that work for you?” she says taking control of the situation.
“Friday it is,” he says smirking.
“You know where to find my room.” she smiles as he nods knowing she shares a room with his sister. His eyes scanning her features with awe.
“It’s Hendrix, by the way…”
Hunter looks at her with a confused expression.
“My last name. It’s Hendrix,” she says smiling.
“Wait a minute, your name is Henley Hendrix?” he asks obviously intrigued.
“That’s kind of epic,” he says turning toward her, his attraction for her growing with every new piece of information.
“Don’t you forget it,” she says smirking as she turns on her heel, her hair flipping while she walks away leaving him in a pool of wonder.
Hunter is brought back to the present as Henley, Piper and the girls rock out on stage like the good old times. The crowd whistling and hollering as Piper and Henley share the mic and the other girls play piano, bass, and drums. Hunter’s eyes once again glued to Henley as she owns a stage yet again.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love – Read Chapter 6HERE
Henley is fixing little details at the rehearsal dinner, as Hunter walks in dressed in a crisp black suit his eyes land on her.
“Well, you look incredible,” he says coming over to her and wrapping his arms around her waist from behind, he kisses her neck.
Henley smirks as she stands in it for a beat, and then realizes people are noticing, she quickly pulls away.
“Hunter,” she says as he moves away, confusion on his face.
“I’m sorry didn’t we just wake up in bed together this morning. Yea, pretty sure we did.” he says smirking at her.
“Not here,” she says giving him a stern look, as she turns away to fix some table décor.
“Is this about what my sister said?” he asks as Henley looks up at him.
“Hen- come on, she didn’t mean it.”
“Yes, she did. And she’s right. I’m her best friend, you’re her brother. How could I think that she could stay objective. Of course she’s pissed, I’d be too, if I saw someone treating someone I loved the way I’ve treated you. I just never realized what I was doing. And I never knew it bothered her that we were together. I’m a terrible person.”
“Oh yea you’re really terrible. God just the worst. That’s why I’m madly in love with you, and why Piper has been crying all day because she hurt you. And why you are here working your ass off to make this a perfect time for your best friend. Just terrible.”
Henley looks up at Hunter and smiles as the room begins to fill with guests dressed in their best.
“Thank you for that,” she says.
“So needy,” he says smirking with a roll of his eyes.
“You know you were being so wonderful and now the moment’s over,” she says smirking at him, as she shakes her head, hands on her hips.
Hunter laughs, “Yea well, it’s part of my charm,” he says fixing his tie, dignified.
Henley laughs as she smiles up at him.
“So…put me to work, what can I do?” he says looking around.
“Nothing really, everything is pretty much set. How does it look?” she says looking around, her eyes scanning the room for the slightest imperfection.
“It looks like page 14 of Piper’s dream wedding planning book,” he says looking around and nodding.
“Check,” Henley says with a finger as she smiles. “You know it’s kind of sexy that you know that.”
“Oh yea, does my interest in wedding planning do it for you?”
“Yea. A little bit,” she says smiling at him, unable to stop herself from flirting with him.
“Oh really well let me show you my Pinterest board,” he says wrapping his arms around her waist as he pulls her toward him.
Henley laughs as she looks up at him.
“That didn’t work did it?” he says regretting it immediately.
“No not at all. But I appreciate the effort,” she says laughing as he kisses her cheek.
“Ok I’m going to get a soda, can I get you anything?” he says.
“Yes water please,” she says smiling.
“You got it,” he says winking and walking away.
“Yea?” he says stopping and turning back toward her.
Henley walks over to him, she takes his hands in hers.
“I really care about you. So much. You mean a lot to me. And I know our history is screwed up. And there are things I can’t let go of. But I hope you know that if I ever hurt you or made you feel like I was just using you. I’m sorry.”
“Hen- you don’t have to apologize…”
“Yes I do. I’ve been taking you for granted. And I’m sorry. I know I’m a lot to handle. And I know I’ve been confusing and sending you tons of mixed signals, but I just- I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you in my life. Because I do. I just don’t know in what way yet. I just know that I want us to always be in each other’s lives. Somehow. My worst fear is you not being there. It scares me to think about. That’s been really hard for me to admit. But there it is,” she says looking up at him.
“You don’t know how bad I wanna kiss you right now,” he says smiling as he looks away.
Henley blushes as she looks away too.
“If I wasn’t so screwed up right now, I might have let you,” she says with a small smile.
“I will never not be here for you,” he says smiling at her.
“And I will never not be here for you,” she says smiling back at him.
“Besides, if I really had a problem with our arrangement I wouldn’t be such a willing participant,” he says raising his eyebrows as he looks around to check if anybody’s looking, he places a sweet, soft kiss on her lips, as Henley kisses him back.
Piper and Parker walk into the restaurant hand in hand as Henley waves and smiles at them, Piper blowing her a kiss as a thank you. The crowd mingles and enjoys the grand array of food. Glasses clinking and utensils clanking upon plates. Floral scents mixing throughout the air. The ambiance romantic, yet subtle. Henley’s signature style for planning. Everyone chatting about something funny that the priest said at the church earlier.
Later on that night, Henley sits on the balcony with a glass of wine.
Hunter walks out.
“Hey you, I saw you come out here all by yourself, you ok?” he asks.
“Yea, I’m good. Feeling real good,” she says slurring her words as she looks up at him with a goofy grin.
“Ohhh, Ok. Yea, I bet. You’re a little tipsy there aren’t you?” he says smirking down at her as he sits next to her.
“Yes. I am. I’m sorry. That’s insensitive of me. Does it bother you?” she says worried.
Hunter smirks, as he looks at her, “No, of course not. You’re allowed. It’s not some rule that says just because I can’t drink, you can’t.”
“I just worry.”
“I know you do. But I also know that getting drunk isn’t really like you. What’s this really about?” he says bumping his shoulder into hers.
“I just- she’s getting married, you know? And I am so happy for her. I am. Parker is great. And he really loves her. And she deserves this. All of this. But-“
Hunter looks at her.
“It just makes me think ya know…when is it going to be my turn? I don’t know sometimes I just realize how you know time isn’t really on my side. The clock is ticking and I am so far away from my happy ending. I don’t even know if I’ll ever get it. You know the house with the white picket fence, and the kids running around in the backyard and the really amazing husband that just makes life better somehow. You know how they say those who can’t do, teach, well those who can’t have their own wedding, plan them.”
“No no, not you. You’ll get there.” He says looking at her longingly.
Henley rolls her eyes.
“You will. I promise you, you will,” he says his glare deep and knowing.
“How do you know that? Are you going to marry me? And have my babies?” she says drunkenly.
Hunter laughs, as Henley looks at him confused, “Oh you know what I mean.” she says waving her hand.
“Sure,” he says smiling at her, “I’d marry you in a heartbeat.”
“Shut up,” she says rolling her eyes.
“Your happy ending, its coming, its closer than you think.”
“I hope your right,” she says smiling as she snuggles into him.
“I know I am,” he places a kiss on her forehead as he breathes in the familiar scent of her lavender shampoo. His heart skipping a beat.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love- Read Chapter 5 HERE
Henley throws some clothes on and heads out of the room into the kitchen, where Piper sits sipping a cup of coffee.
“Hey, Bachelorette, the girls leave already?” she says smiling.
“Yea early this morning and Shhh,” Piper says cradling her head.
“How are you feeling, hungover, huh?” she says laughing.
“Yea, so bad. How are you not? You drank a lot too?”
“I don’t know, guess I just got lucky,” Henley says shrugging.
“Yea we all heard,” Piper says rolling her eyes.
“What?” Henley says confused as she grabs a water from the fridge.
“Let me ask you a question… do you think my guest room is sound proof?” Piper asks her sarcasm evident.
Henley closes her eyes, “Oh my gosh! Piper, I’m so sorry I didn’t realize we were being that loud. I guess Hunter and I just got caught up in the moment. I’m sorry. I will wash the sheets.”
“Well I guess I should be grateful that it was Hunter you chose to hook up with in my guestroom, and not random bar guy.”
“Whoa, are you serious? Moody much?” Henley says looking at her best friend with slight disbelief.
“Look you’re my best friend and I love you. And I have always stayed out of this as much as I could, because I never wanted to take sides. But Henley there’s a lot that I hold back when it comes to your relationship or non-relationship with Hunter.”
“Ok, well we’ve never really talked about it…”
“Yea why do you think that is?”
“Well I just never wanted to drag you into it.”
“And yet here we are. You making out with Hunter in front of everyone before we go, out basically staking your claim on him. Then you making out with some stranger at the club. Then, what you came back and just decided to have sex with Hunter just because you know you can. In my guest room none the less. Do you not see how screwed up that is? You put me in the middle all the time. Whether you see it or not.”
“I’m sorry. You know Hunter and I have a complicated thing going on. I don’t mean to-“
“No see that’s just the thing you call it complicated just as a cover up. It’s not complicated Henley. You’re using him. And it’s not ok. He loves you. And yea I know he hurt you back then, but he doesn’t deserve to be your punching bag for the rest of his life. Especially when he’s a recovering addict. I know you love my brother. I do. But if you keep doing this to him, he will break. I refuse to have to check him back into rehab. Because that was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, and that includes losing my parents at 17. So make up your mind. Get over it, or don’t. Either be with him, or let him go. Just make a decision. He deserves to be happy.”
Henley looks at her best friend, stunned by her words.
“Wow. So you really have been holding a lot in all these years,” she says her eyes welling up.
Hunter comes out from the Bathroom, his hair wet as he dries it with a towel.
“Hey what’s going on?” he says with a smile.
“Nothing I was just leaving,” Henley says grabbing her purse.
“Henley, Hen. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-” Piper says sighing as she looks after Henley, who shuts the door behind her.
“What the hell just happened?” Hunter says confused.
“I may have just bitched out my best friend.” Piper says covering her face.
“Wait what? You were mean to Henley. You guys don’t fight,” he says confused.
“Well I just let my hangover throw up all my feels.”
“Feels about what?”
“About you and her, how I don’t like that she strings you along, like a little puppy.”
“What? Piper are you kidding? You said that?” Hunter says shocked.
“Something to that effect,” Piper says covering her face in frustration with herself.
“You do realize that I’m the relentless one right? I’m the one who’s been chasing her.”
“Yea well you know what she uses that for when she needs to or wants to. She loves that you’re always there. She loves that you chase her. But then she holds onto the whole cheating incident when you get too close. It’s mean, and it’s not fair. You deserve better.”
“Better than Henley, your best friend?” he says baffled.
“Oh god, I was out of line wasn’t I?” Piper says covering her face.
“You think? You need to call her and apologize.”
“I know! Oh it was really bad, it was like everything I’ve ever thought for the past decade just spilled out of my mouth. I couldn’t stop it! Ugh I blame the tequila!” she says putting her head down on her kitchen island.
“Don’t start blaming alcohol for your problems now,” he says knowingly.
Piper lifts her head up and nods at him, “You’re right, phone?” she says pointing to her landline.
Hunter smirks and picks up the phone handing it to her, “There’s the girl I know and love,” he says smiling.
Piper, smiles faintly as she begins to dial. She stops and hangs up.
“What are you doing?” Hunter says confused.
“Before I patch things up with her. I need you to know something. I know I mess with you a lot when it comes to your relationship with Henley. It may seem like I’m always on her side. But I hope you know that as much as I love her and will support her. You’re my brother and I will ALWAYS have your back. I tell you when you’re wrong. And this time, I needed to tell her when she’s wrong. I love her, she’s one of my absolute favorite humans. But I do not like the way she’s been treating you. And I know you love her, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it. I just don’t want you to let her walk all over you. I know her heart is good, and she may not realize what she’s doing, but I can see it. And so can everyone else. I just hope you can to. At some point I think you may have to realize if she can’t fully forgive you, you need to move on.”
“Piper, oh come on. Your making this more than it is ok? I love her, and I know she loves me. We belong together, she just needs time to realize that.”
“Maybe, but how much time? It’s been 10 years. She knows you, she knows your heart, she should know by now, if you’re the one,” Piper says raising her eyebrows.
Hunter looks at her, taking it in.
“Just promise me that you’ll put your heart first from now on, even if that means you have to start dating someone else. It’ll be healthy for you. And if down the line you both find your way back together then great. If not, then it wasn’t meant to be. Please promise me Hunter, because I can’t take seeing you broken again. I just can’t do it. When you went away, it wasn’t just you that was effected ok?” she says starting to cry.
“Hey hey, I know. I know that. I’m not going back to that life. Never.” he says pulling her into a hug, as he kisses the top of her head.
“Promise me you’ll break it off, if it’s time…”
“Ok, I promise, IF it’s time.” he says.
Piper nods as she wipes away her tears, she picks up the phone again and starts dialing. Hunter walks over to the fridge.
“Oh and by the way, your washing my sheets, now.” she says pointing toward her guest room.
Hunter winces and turns toward her, “Yes, on it. Sorry,” he says smirking sheepishly, as he walks away.
Piper inhales sharply as she hears her best friend’s voice choke out a “Hello.”
“Why? You were right,” Henley says sniffling as she sits in her car, stuck in traffic, her face stained with tears.
“I didn’t mean to come at you like that. I guess between the alcohol and everything that’s been going on, I just kind of exploded. But yes, if I’m being totally honest, there were some real feelings in there. I mean he’s my brother Henley.”
“I know that. But I thought that you were always honest with me about how you felt about me dating him.”
“Dating him, yea. But this. This is not dating him. And you know that. Look I don’t want to fight with you. I hate that I hurt you. But as much as I am protective over your heart and how Hunter treats you, I am very protective of Hunter’s heart too. I hope you can understand that.”
“I do. I do understand that. I just wish you told me this sooner. Hurting him or you has never been my intention. I’m sorry. And I’m sorry about putting you in the middle all these years.”
“Look I’m going to tell you, what I told him. If you guys are not meant to be. Let each other go. This back and forth, does no one any good. It may be time to just move on.”
New tears grace Henley’s face as she covers her mouth.
Piper can hear her sobs, “Henley. Aw honey. I’m sorry. I don’t want you to cry. Where are you, let me come meet you?”
“No no, it’s fine. I’m fine. You know it’s true what they say- the truth hurts. I just- I love him. I do. And the thought of losing him, terrifies me. But I’m not ready to be with him yet. Like fully be with him.”
“Then I think you found your answer,” Piper says solemnly.
“I have to go get home and change before work. I’ll see you later tonight at the rehearsal dinner, ok?”
“Ok, Hen- I’m sorry again. I love you.”
“I know, I’m sorry too. Love you, bye.”
Henley hangs up, as she cries out loudly, covering her face with her hands.
Green light flickers before her. Telling her to go. Yet Henley is stuck frozen in stillness. People around honking her to move along. Seemingly a metaphor for her life.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 4 HERE
The girls are all at a club dancing, drinking and having fun. Henley has really chosen to let go of all worry tonight.
She’s got a drink in her hand, and is dancing like her life depends on it. Strobe lights flashing neon shades. The music pulsating through their bodies as the DJ plays hit after hit. The dance floor full of diversity and sweat.
All of a sudden Henley notices one guy sitting at the bar, the same pair of eyes that she noticed starring at her all night. Being the ballsy blonde that she is, and with the help of a little liquid courage, she walks over to him.
“Excuse me, can I help you?” she says, her sass real and her vibe boozy.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare. You’re just so beautiful,” he says, his smirk illuminating perfect pearly white teeth.
Henley smirks, “I’m sure that line really works for you.”
The tall, dark and handsome man lets out a chuckle, his ocean eyes sparkling as he stares into hers.
“I’m Blake,” he says holding out his hand.
“Henley,” she says shaking his hand.
“Well Henley, Can I buy you a drink?” he asks, his smirk inducing some serious sexual tension.
Piper is dancing with the rest of her girls, dressed in her white feather boa and bride sash, a sparkling crown on top of her head, and her drink splashing all over as she dances. She looks around and notices Henley talking to some guy, and drunkenly stumbles over.
“Hey if you buy her a drink, you have to buy all of us one,” she says pointing to her girl gang on the dance floor as they scream, throwing their hands up in the air. Even Alexis seems to be enjoying herself. Surprisingly.
“She’s right, it is a bachelorette party. Those are the rules.” Henley says nodding as she drapes an arm over Piper’s shoulders.
He laughs, and turns to the bartender, “6 shots of tequila.”
“Woooo!!!!” Piper screams waving her hands in the air with victory.
Henley laughs as she waves the rest of the ladies over to the bar.
They clink their glasses in cheers, knocking back the shots. Taking the shot with them, Blake smirks as his glare fixates on Henley.
Henley is dancing with her new mystery man, as the music blasts creating a thumping feeling in her heart. Or maybe it was a little more than just the music causing her heart to flutter. Suddenly he leans in, pulling her into a kiss.
Piper freezes as she sees Henley hesitate at first, but then she pulls him in closer, kissing him back.
Alexis leans over to Piper, “Hunter who? Right?”
“They aren’t official. She’s not doing anything wrong. Besides you’re one to talk.”
Alexis rolls her eyes, as she heads off to the bar.
Henley stands in the middle of the dance floor, her arms wrapped around this mystery guy. As they continue kissing, Blake’s hands sliding up and down the curves of her body. Suddenly Henley’s mind starts to clear and she imagines her nights with Hunter. How sweet he is. How he touches her, how HE feels. And the guilt surrounds her. Enveloping her.
She pulls away, needing a breather.
Blake looks down at her, smirking, “You okay?” he says breathlessly.
“Yea I just, I don’t think I should have done that.”
“It’s complicated. But I don’t wanna hurt him.”
“Hey blame it on the alcohol, right?” he says with a smirk as he moves away from her.
Henley lets out a small, fake laugh, old painful memories resurfacing.
“I know this is a long shot, but can I at least get your number, if I call and you don’t pick up I’ll know you worked things out with your ex. But if you answer, I’d really like to take you out,” he says his hands in his pockets, a sweet smirk on his face.
Piper watches from afar.
Henley looks up at him, not sure of what to do. Sure she loves Hunter, but they have so much complicated history sometimes it’s just exhausting. Blake seems like an easier, more whimsical choice. It’s not like she has to marry the guy, she can just have some fun.
“What the hell?” she says shrugging as she nods. Blake smiles and takes out his cell phone. Henley punches in her number handing it back with a smile.
Alexis walks over to Piper, “Wow, she’s giving him her number…classy.”
“God, why are you even here?” Piper says walking away, clearly bothered.
Alexis looks after her with what one might think are slightly saddened eyes.
Piper fiddles with her keys as all the girls gather around the apartment door. She drops them, and they all laugh.
“Shh,” Piper says as she bends down to get them, the apartment door opens.
“I thought I heard something,” Hunter says clearly woken from a deep sleep, his hair tussled.
Hunter looks at the girls, Piper hanging onto Henley as they both try to steady each other.
“Hey how’d you get that door open?” Piper says in her confused drunken stupor.
Hunter laughs, shaking his head, and opening the door to let the drunken girl parade in.
Alexis walks in and eyes Hunter.
“Alexis,” he says giving her a stern look.
“Hunter,” she says smirking.
Hunter shuts the door as he walks over to the kitchen to check on his sister.
Henley’s got it covered already. She grabs a bottle of Gatorade from the fridge handing it to Piper.
“Drink this,” Henley says.
“NO! I want to partyyyy!!!!” Piper says getting up and doing at little dance, only to lose her balance, as both Henley and Hunter catch her.
Hunter laughs, “Wow, she went in.”
“Oh yea,” Henley nods laughing.
“Where is my fiancé?”
“He’s already in bed,” Hunter says.
“Really?” Henley asks surprised. “You guys had some, rager huh?” she says laughing.
“Let’s just say Parker can’t hold his liquor as well as I had hoped,” Hunter says laughing.
“Oh No…Did he?”
“Chunks everywhere,” Hunter says grossed out. “His friends were all pretty messed up too, so I just sent everyone home in a cab. Came back with Parker, figured I’d keep an eye on him.”
“That was sweet. But I’m sorry that doesn’t sound like a fun night for you though,” Henley says still trying to get Piper to drink her Gatorade.
“Like I said it wasn’t about me,” Hunter says with a shrug of his shoulders.
“You’re a good friend,” she says smiling at him, feeling herself sobering up.
“So are you.” he says smiling at Piper and Henley.
“Yea well I’m about to be a strict one,” she says grabbing Piper’s face, and squeezing her cheeks in as she places the Gatorade bottle to her lips, making her take a few sips. “Piper, drink it.”
Hunter laughs, as Piper finally takes a sip.
“I just don’t want her to be dehydrated.”
“I’m sure she’ll be fine, (he says knowingly) she kind of looks like she just needs to sleep it off.”
“Where’s my fiancé!” Piper yells.
“Shhh, he’s already sleeping, why don’t you go join him,” Henley says, as she lifts Piper to her feet. Hunter helps her.
“I got her, I’ll be right back,” Hunter nods as Henley walks Piper toward her bedroom.
Hunter sits in the living room chair, Alexis and the other ladies on the floor and couch.
Henley walks back in, she’s looking at her phone and laughing.
“What’s up?” Hunter says looking up.
“The two of them are a mess,” Henley says showing the girls a picture of Piper and Parker, drunkenly sleeping in their bed.
“But they’re really cute,” she says smiling as she walks over to show Hunter.
“So Hen- did you tell Hunter about the cute guy you made out with tonight?” Alexis asks in a sweet nice tone.
Hunter and Henley look at her. Hunter confused, Henley shooting daggers at her.
“You gave him your number, right? What was his name- Blake or something?” she says pushing things further.
As Hunter’s eyes lock with Henley’s he can already tell it’s true. He gets up leaving the room, heading toward the guest room.
“Really, Alexis?” Henley says.
“What, I thought you guys were friends, don’t you guys talk?” she says casually.
“You are such a b- you know what I’m not wasting my breath on you,” she says going after Hunter. The other two girls just look at Alexis in awe, clearly feeling very uncomfortable.
“Hunter,” she says opening the door.
Hunter stands by the window, hands in his pockets, he turns hearing her.
“I’m sorry, maybe I’m misreading signals, but when you left here, I thought we were in a good place. Or was that all for show? As part of your showdown with Alexis.”
“Of course it wasn’t just for show.”
“So then what the hell, Henley?”
“We aren’t together right now.”
“Ok, yea fine, you and I aren’t exclusive, you keep saying that. But we’ve only been sleeping together and having this on and off relationship for years!”
“So you’re trying to tell me that you’re not seeing anyone else?” Henley asks thinking she knows all.
“No, I’m not.”
“Well, maybe you should be,” Henley says.
“What! No. I don’t want to. And whether you admit it or not, you don’t want me to either. Look how jealous you get when Alexis even glances at me. You know that you and I are meant to be together, you just said so yourself. We’re not together, right now. As in you know we will be at some point.”
“Look, I’m just not ready to jump into a super serious relationship right now. And with us everything goes from a kiss to a marriage proposal within minutes. I cannot do that. I thought you understood that. I’m not intentionally trying to hurt you. I just wanted to not have to stress for one night. Kissing this guy was…”
“Oh god please, spare me,” he says waving his hand and turning away from her.
Henley pauses as she looks up at him, “It was just easy. I didn’t have to worry about where it was going, or what it meant to him or to me. And I’m sorry if you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth ok? I just needed to let loose tonight. I didn’t set out to meet someone, it just happened.”
“So you’re planning on seeing him again?”
“I don’t know.”
Hunter stares at her.
“I hate this. I hate the idea of you with other guys. It physically makes me sick,” he says gesturing like he wants to throw up.
“And all I did was kiss him.”
Hunter looks at Henley knowingly.
“I didn’t mean to go there again,” she says frustrated with herself.
“No it’s fine, I get it. Unfortunately there’s a lot of messed up history between us. And believe me I take full responsibility for my actions. I didn’t know how to handle life back then without the help of drugs and alcohol. But I’m much stronger now. It’s the whole reason I became a cop. I’m a better guy now Hen- “
“You were never a bad guy Hunter,” Henley says looking away from his intense glare. “You just had a tough go once, and you kicked addiction’s ass. I’m sorry that I can’t let go of the past as easily as you.”
“Trust me. None of this is easy. All those years without you. They wrecked me. I’ll never forgive myself for losing you in the process. I’m sorry, no matter how many times you tell me you don’t want this. I just can’t let it go. I can’t let you go. Because, Henley I am still so in love with you, and that’s never going to go away. You can’t tell me that you don’t feel it when we’re together? I know you do,” he says looking at her with eyes mixed with love and heat.
Henley looks away, with a loud sigh, as her hands find her hips.
“Look if it’s any constellation, after kissing Blake I felt guilty. And we stopped because I thought about you and how if you found out, you’d be hurt and I didn’t want that.”
Hunter’s eyes soften as he pulls her toward him, hugging her, he places a kiss on her forehead.
Meanwhile back in the living room…
“Wow, they’ve been in there a long time, I hope everything’s ok,” Alexis says with fake concern.
“Oh please, you knew exactly what you were doing,” Brooke says rolling her eyes.
“I wouldn’t worry, they’re probably having makeup sex right now. Hunter loves Henley too much to be mad at her for long. Besides we all know he’s done far worse than kissing a stranger in a bar,” Camila says eyeing Alexis.
Alexis huffs loudly as she looks away, yet appearing slightly wounded.
Henley looks up at Hunter as she places a kiss on his lips.
“You love messing with me don’t you?” he says smirking down at her as he lifts her up bringing her over to the bed.
As moans and rattling can be heard, Camila points toward the guest bedroom with a laugh as Alexis grabs her coat, “Whatever, this night was lame,” she says leaving.
Camila and Brooke let out a few laughs as Brooke turns on the TV to drown out the noise.
Henley wakes up noticing clothes scattered all about. She’s all wrapped up in sheets and Hunter’s arms. Well it wouldn’t be the first time they couldn’t control themselves in someone else’s home.
***Flashback to freshmen year of college.
Henley grabs Hunter’s hand as she leads him into her bedroom, closing the door and locking it.
“Uh, what are you doing, there?” he asks with a smirk.
“Well seeing as this bedroom is a virgin and so am I and so are you,…I thought you and I could christen it together,” she says walking over to him.
“Are you serious?” he asks with a laugh. “Are you suggesting that we have scandalous sex in your childhood bedroom?” he says jokingly.
Henley unbuckles his belt.
“Oh, you are serious?” he says nervously. “Henley, I can’t do this here,” he says trying to stop her.
“Of course you can, we have been waiting forever. We’re two adults in love. Let’s do it. I’m ready. I love you. Besides no one’s home, when has this ever happened?” Henley says smiling.
“Henley baby,” he says shaking his head nervously.
“Do you not want to?” she says pulling away from him, feeling rejected.
“Of course I want to. Henley are you kidding me? It’s all I think about. Like I’m serious it’s kind of embarrassing how much I think about it.”
Henley giggles, “So then what’s the problem?” she says pulling him toward her.
“Because, this is your parent’s house. Are you insane? If they come home…” he says his voice trailing off as she kisses him, his hands gripping her hips.
Henley places a kiss on his neck.
“Henley, what are you doing?” he says groaning, as she pulls him into another heated kiss. He pulls her against him as he deepens the kiss.
Henley smirks as he lifts her up and carries her over to the bed. Emotions escaping her, the two of them feel the lines blur between real and fantasy as they begin to undress each other.
“Damn it, Henley,” he says smirking against her lips.
“What?” she whispers looking up at him.
“I love you so much,” he says staring into her eyes.
“I love you too, so much,” she says wrapping her arms and legs fully around his waist as he starts to untie the top of her dress, placing kisses all along her chest. Their heart beats syncing up with each movement.
Back to the present…
She leans over and kisses his cheek, he stirs.
“Hey you, good morning,” he smiles.
“Good morning, I should get dressed, I have to check on the bride and get to work.”
“Ah right,” he says with a laugh, rubbing his eyes.
Henley leans in and cups his face into a slow, long kiss.
Hunter’s lips fall into a rhythm with hers as he shifts on top of her, her arms wrapping around his muscular back.
Hunter cups her face as he deepens each kiss, leaning into her as their bodies dip further into the mattress, creating their own unified indentation.
Henley lets out a moan, her nails scratching along his back creating new scratches on top of old ones.
Hunter gets out of the bed as he throws on his boxers.
“I’m gonna take a shower,” he says leaning down and placing a peck on Henley’s lips.
Henley smiles with a nod, as she lays in the bed, her bare leg peeking through the red satin sheets.
“You wanna join me?” he asks eyeing her body from head to toe.
“Maybe next time. I should really get going to work, I want to check on Piper before I go.”
Hunter nods, with a smirk.
“What?” she says playing coy.
“You said next time,” he says shrugging.
Henley laughs as she rolls her eyes.
“Mark my words Henley Hendrix, I will win you over,” he says leaning down and placing a slow kiss on her lips.
Henley laughs as she shakes her head.
Hunter smirks and turns to head out the door.
“Hey Hunt,” she says calling after him.
He smiles, turning back to her.
“I’m sorry about last night.”
“I’m not,” he says raising his eyebrows, with a smirk.
“Not that. You know what I mean. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
“It’s ok. Hey the way I see it, you ended up in bed with me last night, so…” he says shrugging.
“I guess you’re right.” she says laughing.
“I’ll see ya later,” he says winking and heading into the bathroom.
Henley smiles as she covers her face and cozy’s into the bed.
To be continued..
* I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*