*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love – Read Chapter 17 HERE
His picture pops up on the screen as both Piper and Hunter’s heads spring up to watch. “Oh my god!” Piper says. “Henley!” Hunter rushes toward the door as Leo rushes in. “I just got a call…” he says “We saw. Let’s go!” Hunter says rushing toward the doors of the church. As Elena walks out of the bridal sweet. “What’s going on, is everything ok?” she asks worry making its way onto her once perfectly smiling face. “Baby…I’m sorry I have to go, I’ll explain later ok…You look beautiful by the way,” he says kissing her and then rushing off with Leo. “Ok…what the hell just happened?” she says nervously yet angered. “Um…they have a work situation.” Piper says uncomfortably. “And there was no other police officers on duty that could handle that…it’s our wedding day?” “We think it has something to do with Henley. The guy that was stalking her…he escaped. It’s all over the news. And no one has heard from Henley today. At all,” Piper says battling her own nerves. “Oh my God. Oh…my God. I’m so sorry. I had no idea,” Elena says her eyes wide with confusion and concern. “It’s ok, it’s not your fault. None of this is.” Piper says smiling small as she walks away. Parker followers close behind. “Hey…hey hey hey, you ok?” he asks grabbing her by the waist and pulling her toward him. “What if he hurts her?” “Don’t go there okay? You don’t even know what’s happening yet. Besides your brother and Leo are on their way. They’ll find her and they’ll bring her home.” “I’m so scared.” She says as her eyes begin to water. “I know you are, I am too. But we just gotta have faith, okay? Come here, I’ve got you,” he says pulling her into a hug as he places a kiss on her forehead. “Ugh god, I think I’m gonna be sick,” Piper says rushing to the bathroom, as Parker rushes after her.
Hunter whips a quick turn as their car blasts through another red light, siren blaring. “Hunter, slow down man, we can’t save her if we’re dead.” “I knew something was wrong. I felt it in my gut. I just didn’t wanna admit it. My sister’s right I’ve been avoiding this thing with Henley. If I hadn’t been such an asshole, Henley would be safe right now.” “Don’t go there. It’s not gonna help you or Henley. This isn’t your fault. Just focus on finding her.” A voice comes over the radio. “This is Halstead, we’re at Henley’s apartment, everything looks vaguely normal but there’s no sign of her. And it looks like she was getting ready to leave, clothes laid out on her bed, purse by the door. Wherever she is, I’m sure she didn’t plan on leaving these things. Her phone is here as well.” “What about her car?” Hunter asks not taking his eyes off the road as he speeds through an intersection. “It’s parked in front. We’re gonna ask around and see if the neighbors saw anything out of the ordinary.” “Where would this son of a bitch take her?” “Profiling a stalker…I’d say some place secluded.” Leo says Cops are combing Henley’s apartment. Hunter rushes in. He looks around for something anything. Leo walks over, “Detective Stone…this is Henley’s neighbor Mrs. Greenwood.” “Mrs. Greenwood, hi.” “I know you. Your Henley’s boyfriend.” Leo glances over at a pained Hunter who just nods with a small smile. “You two always looked so happy. Such a beautiful couple. Oh she loves you so much,” says the gray haired woman with a sweet spoken voice and smile. “Mrs. Greenwood, Can you please tell Detective Stone, what you told me?” Leo says trying to break the emotional tension brewing in Hunter. “Yes of course. Henley as you know is an incredibly sweet soul. A fire cracker too, but so sweet.” She says with a sweet little laugh. “She always stops by every morning to bring me my mail and a little sweet gift. And this morning she never came. I thought it was just an oversight but I heard scuffling next door about 4 hours ago. And then the door opened and it sounded like someone had left. I tried to make it to the peep hole in time to see, I’m a nosy old woman. You know it passes the time. But all I saw was the back of a man. He was wearing dark clothes, maybe a baseball cap. And I haven’t heard Henley at all today. She usually always has music playing as she gets ready. I didn’t think much of it, because I didn’t hear any alarming sounds, but now that you’re here, I wonder…well I just fear something terrible might have happened. Henley is such a sweet girl. I just pray that she’s alright.” “We all do, Mrs. Greenwood, thank you.” Leo says as she nods and walks slowly away escorted by a female police officer. Hunter stands, hands on his hips, his glare distant. “Hey…we’re gonna find her.” Leo says looking at his partner, concerned. Hunter looks around the room. His eyes land on the photo of he, Piper, and Henley from college graduation.
He walks over and picks up the photo and feeling behind it, he notices there is a small speaker taped behind it.
Hunter pulls it off and holds it up for Leo to see.
“Son of a bitch,” Hunter says.
Leo picks up his radio, “Halstead, check all files on Finley’s computer in evidence we found a speaker in Henley’s apartment. We know he was listening in on her for a while, so maybe there’s a clue as to where he was planning to take her.”
“You got it Dixon,” Halstead says over the radio.
Hunter looks around Henley’s apartment trying to find some kind of clue as to where Blake could have taken her. Any clue.
Hunter looks back at the picture.
“Gregory Miller,” Hunter says thinking, “What’s this guy’s angle?” he says as he thinks back to the moment the three of them took the photo.
Henley and Piper are taking photo after photo together. As Hunter smiles from the sidelines.
“Babe, get in,” Henley says waving him over.
“No, its okay,” he says shaking his head.
“What! Get in here, it’s your graduation day too,” Henley says smiling as she pulls him over.
“Yea bro, you should be very proud of yourself. You worked your ass off to catch up,” Piper says smiling at him.
“Ok big smiles,” Henley’s dad says as he snaps the picture.
“Say, we did it!” Henley’s mom says smiling joyfully.
“We Did It!” they all say in unison with big cheesy smiles as they all pose in their caps and gowns.
Hunter removes the back of the frame, taking out the photo, he looks at it. He unfolds an end that had been folded back in order to fit the frame. In the blurry background lies a familiar face. Lurking. Staring. Glaring. Plotting.
“Gregory Miller. Shit. He was in our graduating class at Thompson Tech.”
“How did you and Henley not recognize him?” Leo asks confused.
“It’s been over a decade. And he wasn’t exactly in our circle of friends. He definitely had some facial work done, but this is him. The school.” “What?” Leo says trying to follow his thought process. “Where he met her, where his obsession started. Maybe he took her to the school.” Hunter says rushing out of Henley’s apartment. “Hunter, slow down man, you’re just going off of instinct here.” “Yea, well wouldn’t you, if the love of your life was missing?” Leo looks at him, and Hunter knowingly sighs. “I’ll drive” Leo says as Hunter tosses him the keys they both jump into the car. “You honestly think he’d take her to such a well-known public place?” “It’s not open, they shut it down for the past year for renovations. But a pipe broke during construction and it’s been vacant for months. The school hasn’t had the funds to repair it.” “Hunter we have no guns, no back up, what do you suppose we do here exactly?” “We are enroute to Thompson Tech College, plain clothes off duty officers requesting back up and side arms.” “Back up on its way,” the voice crackles through the speaker.
Henley’s eyes flutter open as she is met by blackness. Her mind hazy. Her hands tied behind her back, mouth gagged. She feels her body shift as she gets bumped around. She starts to scream and kick the top of the trunk as she soon realizes where she is.
Leo circles the school. “Ok how do you wanna play this? Do you wanna wait for back up?” Hunter looks at Leo, “What do you think?” he says sarcastically. “I’ll drive a few blocks back, we need to hide the car,” Leo says knowingly. Leo parks the car as Hunter hops out before the car is even off.
Hunter looks at the school building, trying to access the best way to get in without causing attention.
“Ok, look,” Hunter says with laser focus as he grips Leo’s shoulder to feed him the plan. “If memory serves correctly. There is a special entrance to the pool off the side. I think if we get in through there, we can still hold onto the element of surprise.”
“Ok you lead, I’ll follow.” Leo says nodding as Hunter starts walking swiftly to the pool entrance.
Hunter and Leo duck through the shadows as they stay close to the building.
Hunter tugs on the side door and it opens.
The two of them look at each other.
“That was too easy,” Hunter says.
“Way too easy,” Leo agrees.
“He wants to be found,” Hunter says his stare cold.
“Look this guy seems to not only be invested in Henley, but also in you.”
“If you go in there without a gun, this won’t end well,” Leo says pleading with Hunter.
“It doesn’t really matter if I have a gun or not Leo, Henley’s in there.”
“Ok, Look. Let me go. He obviously expects you, he wants you to find them. So let’s throw him off,” Leo says.
“I can’t ask you to do that,” Hunter says.
“You didn’t. Let me be the one he sees coming. You…find another way in,” Leo says nodding.
Hunter nods as he holds his fist out. Leo fist bumps Hunter, “Good luck, man,” he says.
“You too,” Hunter says rushing off to find another way in.
Leo opens the door and walks in.
The trunk door opens as Henley squirms toward the back of the trunk.
Blake huffs and pulls her out as she kicks and attempts to scream.
“Stop screaming, no one is going to hear you,” he says carrying her into the abandoned school.
Leo rounds the corner of a hallway carefully, as he hears scuffling and muffled screaming.
He peers and sees Blake and Henley, he ducks behind some crates, out of sight.
Blake sits Henley on a wooden chair in the center of the school basement.
“Henley,” he says kneeling in front of her, his hands gliding up her thighs.
She winces turning her head away, as her chest rises and falls quickly, her panic setting in.
“Baby, baby, hey…I’m not going to hurt you,” he says cupping her face and pulling her gag out, he places a kiss on her lips.
Henley moves away quickly, spitting and wincing at the contact.
“Don’t touch me,” she says angrily.
“Your upset with me.” He says sadly.
Leo steps in the background as Henley notices.
He nods motioning for her to keep Blake talking.
Henley looks up at Blake, as she notices the gun holstered at his hip.
“Yes. Yes I’m upset with you. You kidnapped me Blake. You chloroformed me, tied me up, and threw me in your trunk!”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It was the only way I knew I could get his attention.”
“Who’s attention?” Henley says wanting to drag as much information out of him as possible.
“Hunter? What does Hunter have to do with any of this?” she asks as her eyes follow Leo, and Blake paces the dusty tiled floor.
“Hunter Stone has everything to do with this.” He says his eyes darkening, glaring at her.
“Blake. I don’t understand. You and I were doing so well. You were so amazing.”
“I couldn’t have been that amazing. I mean you kept going back to that drug addict, alcoholic, shit show of a man.” He says his tone menacing. “He doesn’t deserve you!” He screams whipping around, as his eyes glare an evil Henley has never seen before.
“Look Blake. You knew that Hunter and I had a history. I was very clear on that. You can’t fault me for having a past. But you and I- we….we were building something special. Something of our very own, and then you started to do things, that weren’t exactly right,” she says exercising all her knowledge of survival tactics. Act like you care about this psycho piece of shit and maybe he won’t kill you, she thinks.
“I would never hold your past against you, I would never,” Blake says sounding so heart broken. From menacing to compassionate in 3 seconds flat. It was eerie for Henley to see the switch flip so quickly. “But Hunter never knew how to STAY in your past. And you let him climb between those legs far too many times while you and I were SUPPOSED to be together.” He says yelling, whatever composure or resolve he once had withering away. Quickly. Henley’s panic level increasing as she scans the room for any sign of Leo. None.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Henley says trying to buy time.
“I saw you outside the precinct, holding hands, kissing, and then that night in your apartment.”
“You’ve been spying on me?” Henley says angrily.
“You gave me reason to,” he says angrily, “I thought you and I were finally really starting something special. But no, Hunter Stone had to once again come in and make it all about him.”
“Blake, what does that mean? You’re not really making any sense.”
“It’s Gregory. Gregory Miller. And I sat behind you in freshmen year Economics at good ole Thompson Tech College,” he says holding his hands out gesturing to the room.
Henley looks around as she starts to connect the dots.
“And you drove me crazy for 4 years. Playing with me. Taunting me with your perfect body,” he says sliding his hands up and down her thighs as he kneels right before her.
Henley freezes and then jolts away from him.
Blake gets within inches of her face and inhales her scent deeply.
Henley swallows hard, fearing what could come next.
“And for years I had to watch Hunter Stone chew you up and spit you out like a piece of meat. I never understood why you gave him countless chances.”
“Blake…I mean Greg…Hunter and I were complicated. I was young and I made mistakes. But when I met you that night I was so happy to finally be in a stress free, fun relationship.”
“Then why did you continue to screw Hunter Stone???”
“It was just one slip. Ok, it was just an old habit. I promise it’ll never happen again. Please, just untie me and we can just get back to us, get back to building our relationship,” she says pleading with him.
Blake looks at her, his eyes softening.
“Is that what you really want?” he says with hopeful hysteria lurking in his eyes.
Henley, sees Leo peek his head out, and Blake follows her gaze and he raises his gun and shoots, hitting Leo in the shoulder as he goes down.
Henley screams, as she hops up and crouching down quickly swings her leg knocking Blake flat of his back, as Henley kicks the gun out of his hand, Blake catches her foot as he trips her causing her to fall next to him. Blake pounces on top of her, as his hands wrap around her neck choking her.
Henley gasps for breath as she kicks her legs, trying to free her hands.
Hunter emerges from the roof entrance, as he hears shuffling and the echo of a shot being fired. His heart stops in his chest, as he runs out onto the second level floor seeing Henley pinned down by Blake.
Hunter hops over the railing and onto the next level rushing down the stairs as he rushes over to Blake, ripping him off Henley. Henley gasping air, as Blake lunges at Hunter, Hunter ducks as he hits Blake with a punch to the face.
Blake chuckles as he spits out blood, his glare flickering a hatred like no other.
“Is that all you got,” he says smirking.
“This is the fight, you’ve wanted all along…isn’t it Greg?” Hunter says his stance ready, staring him down as he guards Henley.
“Oh, you have no idea, all the pain you’ve caused over the years. You weren’t even there for her when everything happened with the baby, some man you are.” Blake says reaching behind his back as he whips out a knife, lunging toward Hunter, as Henley screams in her state of confusion, fear and shock. She grabs the gun off the floor and shoots, as Blake falls.
Henley stands there, in shock, as tears fall down her face, her body shaking.
“I- I-I…I shot him, I -” she stammers her head spinning as Blake lays there lifeless.
“It’s ok, hey, here, give me that,” Hunter says taking the gun from her and putting it in his back pocket. Hunter grabs her, pulling her close to him.
Officers swarm the school, as Hunter holds up his hands, “We got him,”
“Henley, did you see Leo?,” he says cupping her face.
“Yes, he was here, but then Blake saw him and he shot, I- think he got hit in the shoulder, I- I’m sorry, I-”
“It’s ok, hey, it’s ok, it’s not your fault,” Hunter says as he gives a nod to the rest of his team to take a look around.
“Detective Stone, he’s over here, he’s alive, but he looks like he caught one to the shoulder and then hit his head on a pipe or something. Must have knocked him out.”
Hunter takes Henley by the hand and rushes over.
“Radio?” Hunter says holding out his hand as an officer hands him one.
“This is Detective Stone, Thompson Tech College, Officer down, suspect deceased, roll an ambo,” he says as he leans down to Leo.
“Leo, Leo, can you hear me,” he says shaking him, he feels for a pulse.
Leo’s eyes flutter open, as he grabs his head.
“Son of a bitch,” Leo says.
“Ah, welcome back, brother,” he says smirking as he helps Leo sit up.
“Gregory…Is he…” he begins to say jolting up in his seat on the dusty floor, nervously.
“He’s not a problem anymore,” Hunter says as Leo nods, the officers begin to tape off the scene and take pictures and start to log evidence.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 16 HERE
It’s Hunter’s Wedding day and everyone has arrived at the Church. On a day like today, you’d think the sun would be shining, but it was as if Mother Nature knew there was someone not being so honest with his heart. The day was gloomy, an overcast hovering, and a mist that made it all feel wrong.
Piper smiles at her brother as she fixes his tie, her eyes begin to water.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Hunter asks, worried.
“Nothing. I’m just really happy for you. I just…” she shakes her head as she wipes away a fallen tear. “Never mind,” she adds huffing at herself.
“You just thought I’d be marrying Henley?” he asks looking at her knowingly.
“Yes! I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t be bringing this up, it’s just even after all these years of hating being caught in between you two, I still deep down always thought you’d end up together. I’m sorry.” she says looking away.
“Hey it’s okay. For a long time I thought that too. But it was time to move on, ya know? I will always care for Henley. A part of me will always love her. I mean after everything we’ve been through, how could I not? But I just wasn’t what she wanted anymore. And it was time for me to finally accept that. She’s actually been incredibly supportive.”
“Would you expect anything less?”
“Of course not, that woman’s amazing.”
“Don’t you ever forget it,” Piper says smiling.
Hunter laughs, “I couldn’t if I tried.”
“I should actually double check on her, I told her to text when she got here. I haven’t heard from her all day.”
“You mean you didn’t do your usual best friend morning check in?” he says with an exaggerated gasp.
“Well no, I didn’t have time what with my brother being such a needy groom. Gosh…,” she says sarcastically.
“I love you Pipe,” he says hugging her, “thanks for always having my back.”
“Anytime, love you,” she says smiling, “I’ll see you in a bit.”
“Ok,” Hunter says smiling as she shuts the door behind her allowing Hunter a minute to reflect, alone.
He looks at himself in the mirror, and straightens out his tux as a memory of Henley laughing and pulling him into a kiss zaps into his brain like lightning.
“You love Elena, Hunter. You love her and she loves you. She’s good for you.” he says willing himself to believe.
Piper steps out of the church as she holds her cellphone pressed to her ear.
“Hey you’ve reached Henley, I can’t come to the phone right now, but-oh well it’s 2019 I’d be surprised if you haven’t hung up already…just text me, and I’ll get back to you soon!”
“Henley, it’s me. I’m getting a little worried because I haven’t heard from you all day. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I know this isn’t exactly the easiest day for you. Trust me, I feel it too. Anyway, I love you. I hope you’re on your way. See you soon.” Parker walks out of the church doors over to Piper.
“Hey no word?” “No, I just keep getting her voice mail.” “I know you don’t want to hear this, but do you think maybe just maybe… she just decided not to come.” “I mean I know it’s been hard on her, but she told Hunter she’d be here. She wouldn’t break that promise. I don’t know babe, I’m starting to really worry.”
Parker rubs her shoulders trying to calm her.
Leo steps out. “Just out of curiosity, what’s the hold up?” He says with a small smirk “we have some antsy guests in there.”
“Henley isn’t here yet.” “Oh, well do you think maybe she just decided not to come. I mean to be honest, I can’t say I would blame her. I certainly wouldn’t want to watch my ex get married.”
“Yes, she was struggling a bit, but she told Hunter she’d be here. She told me she’d be here. This isn’t like her.”
“Well maybe she’s stuck in traffic, keep trying her, I’ll stall.” Leo says. “Thanks Leo,” Piper says handing her phone to Parker, “keep trying, I need to go check on my brother.”
Parker nods taking the phone. “Hey,” he says grabbing her hand, “this isn’t your job to fix everything okay, just take a breath. Everything’s gonna be ok.” Piper squeezes his hand and sighs.
“Thank you, I needed that,” she says smiling up at her husband. He smirks, “Anytime.” “I love you,” she says placing a kiss on his lips. “I love you,” he smiles as she starts to walk back into the church.
“Hey, just in case I didn’t get to tell you yet, You look sexy as hell Mrs. Nash.” He says smirking at his wife.
Piper smiles as she walks back toward him, “that just earned you an extra kiss,” she says kissing him passionately.
Parker smirks against her lips as he cups her face, deepening their next kiss.
“I don’t know how I’d get through any of this without you,” she says looking up at him.
Parker smirks, “Well, lucky for you, I’m not going anywhere,” he says kissing her forehead as he taps her butt, shooing her back into the church. Piper smiles at him as she walks through the church doors. Parker sets to dialing Henley again.
Hunter stands in the groom’s suite laughing with his groomsmen. “All decent boys?” Piper says walking in. They all laugh. “Uh do you all mind if I have a word with my brother?” They all nod and start to file out. “What’s up?” He says turning to her. “So weird thing, Henley’s not here yet. And I tried calling her a hunch of times, left a message and nothing…”
“Oh…” he trails off and looks away. “I guess she decided she didn’t wanna come.” “Why is everyone saying that! No. This may not be her favorite situation ever, but she promised you she’d be here. You know Henley, she keeps her word.”
“Look I know that you want to believe that she could rise above this and be here but maybe she felt she couldn’t. You know, I get that this is hard for her. I don’t blame her. I just wish she could have been honest with me. I really wanted her here.”
“Why?” Piper asks. “Why does everyone keep asking me that! Henley is my friend. I spent my whole life, loving her. And she’s the reason why I can even have a relationship. She’s important to me, that’s why I wanted her here.”
“So if you honestly believe all that, do you really in your heart believe that she wouldn’t be here for you?” “Ok…so then what, what are you trying say?” “I think something’s wrong, Hunter. And not like flat tire wrong. Like wrong. Henley and I always check in. Always. You know this. And I haven’t heard from her since last night. I just, I have bad feeling. I can’t explain it.”
“Piper, are you serious? I know you and Henley think you have this weird best friend twin like connection. But I honestly think you’re just really stressed and it’s an emotional day…”
“You know what fine! No one believes me! Out of all people I would think that you would understand! You are the only one who knows her as well as I do. This is not like her. She loves you, so much. She knew you wanted her here. She wouldn’t just not show up. At least not without letting us know. And it’s really sad that you are this avoidant because you can’t stomach the fact that you’re marrying the wrong woman.”
Hunter’s face falls as he turns to look at his sister. “Wow. So there it is. You know I’ve been waiting for you to drop that bomb on me this whole time. I just didn’t think it’d be on my wedding day. Are you insane Piper?” “Are you? How can you stand here all calm and collected when you know deep down you are making a HUGE mistake. I love you, but this just isn’t right. None of it.” “I can’t believe you’re doing this right now! Piper this is my wedding day!”
The TV in the corner that’s on a low hum cuts through their words.
Breaking News! The New York Police Department has just released a statement…one of their prisoners has recently escaped. Gregory Miller, otherwise known as Blake Finley.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love – Read Chapter 15HERE
Henley rushes out of the party, the cold air hitting her in the face as she inhales sharply.
Piper shows up a moment later, as she rushes over to her.
“I’m sorry. I just I had to get out of there,” she says clutching her chest.
“It’s ok. I understand. I know this is probably so hard on you. What can I do?”
“Nothing. This isn’t your fault,” she says sitting on a nearby bench.
“Then why do I somehow, feel responsible?” Piper says sitting down next to her.
“Maybe because I always drag you into my messes. Even when I shouldn’t. Even when you ask me not to. I’m really sorry about all this Piper. Trust me, if I could do things differently I would,” she says her eyes watering.
“Hey…look…life is never perfect. But we can’t live in the past. All you can do, is do better next time.”
“Yea, except he’s getting married. So for us, there really is no next time. I guess that’s what happens when you think someone will be there, waiting forever. I mean I was stupid to think he wouldn’t eventually find someone new. But you know what I will pick myself back up and just deal. I’ve been doing it for years,” Henley says wiping a few fallen tears from her face.
“Have you ever thought about just going to him, and telling him how you feel?”
“And ruin his chance at happiness. No. Never. He deserves a clean slate. And Elena, she seems wonderful.”
“God, she really does right? I kinda hate how nice she is,” Piper says rolling her eyes in frustration.
Henley laughs slightly and she nudges Piper. “You know, it’s ok to like her Pipe.”
Piper looks at Henley as her eyes water.
“Hey….come here,” Henley says pulling her friend into a side hug.
“I just…you know that no matter what…she can never take your place right?”
“Oh hell no,” Henley says smirking as they hug again, tears streaming down both of their faces.
“I love you,” Piper says laughing.
“I love you too,” Henley says with a laugh as they sit there.
Parker walks up behind them, “Hey, everything ok out here?”
The girls turn to see him standing there, as they both laugh, swiping their tears away.
“Yes, we’re just having a…” Piper begins to say
“Best friend moment?” Parker says finishing his wife’s sentence.
“Henley you left your shawl and purse behind. Thought you mind need it,” he says handing her them.
“Thanks, you know you picked a good one, Pipe.” she says smiling at the two of them.
“Don’t I know it,” Piper says smiling over at her husband.
“You need a ride home, Hen?” Parker asks “I think the party is kind of dying down.”
“No, no I have my car. But thank you, both of you,” she says smiling as Piper hugs her goodbye and walks over taking Parker’s hand.
“Good night,” Parker says with a small smile as he gives her a hug.
“Good night,” she says waving to them as they walk off.
Henley lets out a long sigh, wipes the last of her tears and straightens out her dress as she walks off toward the parking lot.
“So how is she really?” Parker asks looking down at Piper as they walk back towards the building hand in hand.
“She’s a mess. I mean how could she not be. But she’ll be ok. I just have to go yell at my ass of a brother. Honestly what the hell was he thinking pulling something like this? This is not him. This big whole show.”
“Stay out of it babe.”
Piper halts and looks at him.
“Are you serious? He’s making a huge mistake. You and I both know Henley is the love of his life.”
“Look I know. But sometimes, you don’t always get to be with the love of your life.”
Piper looks at him suspiciously. “Oh, Okay?” she says obviously offended.
“I’m not referring to us. I’m just saying sometimes, it doesn’t always work out for people. Even if they love each other. Besides I kind of already let Hunter have it and he didn’t want to hear it. He claims to be in love with Elena and committed to marrying her.”
“Aw, babe, you meddled for me?” Piper says smiling up at him, as she wraps her arms around him.
“I figured, you could use a break.” he smirks placing a sweet kiss on her lips.
“Mmm, I love these lips,” She says squeezing his face in her hand as she places another kiss on his lips.
“Well, they love you too,” Parker says laughing as he pulls her in closer.
“What do you say we say our goodbyes and head home? I have some new lingerie I’ve been waiting to show you.” she says smiling.
Parker’s eyebrows raise.
“Hell yes.” he says nodding as Piper laughs she pulls him by the hand toward the hall doors.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 14 HERE
After Blake’s arrest, Henley and Hunter decided to focus on their friendship. Things were actually going really well. And Henley started to feel like she had some of that old Henley spark back. She felt more like herself than she had in a long time.
“So I need help building this giant entertainment center for my living room. If I offer to make you dinner, will you come over and help me?” Henley asks nudging Hunter with her hip as he stands by the pool table at the back of their favorite lounge. Piper and Parker’s team taking their current turn.
Hunter smiles, “Of course.”
“And by make you dinner, you know I mean…”
“Make a phone call?” Hunter says knowingly with a laugh.
“Yea,” Henley says laughing.
“Sounds like a plan. Tomorrow night, ok?”
“Yea tomorrow is perfect,” she says smiling.
“You know this set looks like the exact same one in my therapist’s office,” Hunter says glancing at the picture on the box.
“You go to therapy?” Henley asks surprised.
“Yea it’s part of my sobriety, part of my protocol for work too. I’ve been going for years.”
“Oh…wow…I didn’t know that. Does it help you?” she asks curiously as she hands him another tool.
“Do you… ever talk about me?” she asks curiously. Her eyes flirtatiously glancing at him.
“Yea, sometimes.” He says with a laugh.
“Sometimes? What you mean I’m not the center of your universe? Gosh!” she says faking insult as she rolls her eyes.
“That’s just it Hen, you still kind of are,” he says looking at her. His jaw line strong, his glance loving yet intense.
Henley’s eyes soften as she looks away.
“Damn it Hunter. You drive me crazy most of the time and then you say something like that and my heart just melts.”
“Well you know what they say, some people are worth melting for,” Hunter says with a goofy smile.
“Really? You’re quoting Olaf from Frozen, god you’re corny.”
“Oh please, you love that stupid movie. You made me watch it at least 5 times just last month,” he says laughing.
Henley laughs as she laces her fingers through his, “You try to be all hard and guarded, but I see you Henley Hendrix. Deep down you’re just a big ole softy,” he says noticing their hands intertwined. His heart beat quickening.
“But come on, Olaf is the coolest,” she says defending her movie choices.
Hunter rolls his eyes with a laugh.
Hunter and Henley sit sprawled across her apartment floor, scattered wooden pieces surround them.
“You sure you know what you’re doing?” Henley says uncertainly. “I mean maybe we should just glance at the directions?” she questions.
“Oh ye of little faith,” Hunter says with a laugh as he glances up at her.
“I’m just saying…” she says laughing.
“Henley who put together all your ikea furniture in college?”
“You did,” she says rolling her eyes.
“Ya damn right. I got this,” he says screwing two pieces together.
Henley walks over and hands Hunter a can of seltzer.
“Thanks,” he says as he steps back admiring his handiwork. “Not bad, huh?” he says.
“It looks great, thank you,” she says smiling.
“You’re welcome.” He says smirking at her.
“What?” she says confused.
“You know I have to say. I’m impressed.”
“Why?” Henley asks with a laugh.
“You never ask for help. I mean you know I don’t mind. In fact I always offer, but you always turn me down.”
“I guess, this was a bigger project than I anticipated. And I may have missed you, just a little,” Henley says with a tiny smirk as her eyes roll.
“Ah,” Hunter says smiling.
“Look I just thought about how much fun we’ve been having together, you know without all the drama. You and I used to have a good time just hanging out and talking. I guess I was just wondering if we could still do that. If it was even possible. I mean every time we’re around each other there’s always this weighted sexual tension. It’s been nice to see that we can put that all aside. I’ve really loved just having my friend back.”
“Henley don’t get me wrong this was really great. But that sexual tension, I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. Because no matter how hard we try, there is still a part of me, that is always going to want to just rip your clothes off.” He says staring into her eyes, as his flicker a familiar want. A familiar heat. And so much love.
“Damn it, Hunter,” she says pulling him into a kiss as he smirks lifting her up and carrying her to her bedroom.
A few minutes later, Henley can be heard moaning loudly.
As their bodies mold into one, their hands sliding all over each other, each kiss deeper and more intense than the last.
Henley’s heart beating out of her chest as it matches Hunter’s.
Hunter’s eyes flutter open as he moves with her, her eyes meeting his.
As they stare into each other’s souls, silence only interrupted by heavy breaths and heart beats.
Emotions running high. A tear rolls down Henley’s cheek as Hunter wipes it, he places a kiss on each of her eyelids.
Words not needing to be spoken, because somehow they each just knew what the other was feeling in that very moment. Absolute, unconditional, love.
Hunter pulls on his clothes the next morning as Henley lies sleeping in her bed.
Hunter leans beside her, as he places a kiss on her lips, she stirs.
“Hey, where are you going?” she says reaching for him.
“I just got a call, I have to go to work,” he says.
“Oh, ok,” she says grabbing a silky robe nearby, and shrugging it on. “I’ll walk you out,” she says smiling up at him as she laces her fingers through his.
Hunter smirks at her as they walk toward her apartment door.
“So thank you for putting my entertainment unit together, I’m sorry you got jipped out of a dinner,” she says smiling.
“Mmm you’re very welcome,” he moans before kissing her, “Besides I’d say I got a way better thank you than dinner,” he says raising an eyebrow.
“Oh yea? How much better?” she says smirking as she kisses him in a teasing manner.
Hunter laughs against her lips, “Oh baby you have no idea. Last night was amazing,” he says his hands finding her waist as his lips cover hers.
Henley’s hands wrap around his neck, as she deepens the kiss.
“Oh baby, I was there too,” she says laughing as she kisses him, “I wish you didn’t have to go,” she whispers sadly, as she looks up at him.
“I know me too. Trust me. I wish I could stay in that bed with you all day,” He says kissing her passionately.
Henley pouts, “Ok, well, go be amazing, and save people.”
“Alright,” he says laughing as he kisses her one last time.
“And Hunter, stay safe,” she says.
“Always,” he says smiling back at her before he leaves.
“Oh and one more thing, if you wanted to come back when your shift is over, we could try out the new entertainment center?” she says raising an eye brow.
Hunter smirks, “I’ll be here.” He says smirking as he leaves her apartment.
Henley smiles to herself as she places her hand over her heart, looking after him longingly.
Henley and Hunter seem to have a montage of beautiful moments as of late. And she’s been feeling like they are finally back on track.
A dressed to impress, Henley looks at her clock as she hears a knock at her door. She fluffs her hair and smooths out her dress, checking herself in her full length mirror near the door.
She smiles bouncing over to the door happily, she opens it to find a handsomely dressed Hunter, holding a bouquet of roses.
“Aw, are those for me?” she says smiling.
“Oh these, no your neighbor that cute little old lady, yea she gave them to me,” he says chuckling.
Henley rolls her eyes, and he smirks handing them to her.
“Happy 3 Month Anniversary, babe,” he says leaning in and kissing her.
“Happy Anniversary,” she says smiling.
Henley and Hunter sit in a beautiful restaurant.
“That was delicious! Seriously so good!” Henley says wiping her lips with a napkin.
“I’m glad,” he says smiling as he reaches across the table to take her hand, “Did I mention how beautiful you look tonight,” he says looking at her with adoring eyes.
“Maybe once or twice,” she says with a laugh.
“Well you do.”
“Thank you,” she says smiling as he places a kiss on her hand.
“I actually have a little something that would match your outfit,” he says smiling.
Henley smiles, “Baby, we said no gifts,” she says rolling her eyes.
“It’s not exactly something new, I’ve actually had it for quite a while,” he says smirking, as he gets up.
Henley looks at him confused. Hunter kneels down on one knee in front of her, “I love you so much. Will you marry me?”
“Hen- did you hear me?” he says nervously.
Henley stars at the ring, and then at him.
“It’s a little quick don’t you think?” she says her voice barely above a whisper.
“I mean, we’ve known each other over a decade, babe.” he says smiling.
“I just um…” she smiles nervously as she clears her throat.
“You’re saying no. Again,” he says getting up and sitting in his chair as nearby eyes watch in horror.
“I’m just a little thrown-” she stammers.
“Why? We’re back together. Things are great. We are finally back on track.”
“I know that. And it’s been wonderful. I just didn’t think we had to rush things this time, ya know?”
“Are you ever going to be ready?” he says softly as he looks into her eyes.
“You scare easily. I get it.” He says taking a drink of water as he puts the ring back in his suit pocket. “I’m going to take care of the bill, I’ll meet you by the car,” he says walking off.
Henley sighs as she turns to watch him leave.
Hunter pulls up to Henley’s apartment. The ride was silent. She opens the car door and begins to step out.
“So um, I guess I’ll talk to you later then?” he says looking at her briefly.
“Oh um ok, you don’t want to come up?” she says sadly.
“No I don’t think that’s the best idea right now,” he says avoiding her eyes.
“Ok. Can we just talk about what happened?” she says closing the door and turning toward him.
“Do you honestly want to be with me, Henley?” he asks, his voice low. Sad.
“Of course I do. I just-“
“Are you sure? Because I feel like every time I try to take things to the next level with us, it’s like you hit a wall.”
“Look, just come upstairs ok. Let’s talk.”
“Ok maybe tomorrow night?” she says looking over at him, with hopeful eyes.
“No, Hen. I mean. I can’t anymore. I can’t do this anymore.”
Henley freezes, her stomach knots, her heart sinks.
“Hunter…” Henley says her eyes filling up. “Please let’s just go upstairs and talk, ok? Please.”
Hunter’s tears begin to fall as he turns to her, he takes her hands in his.
“I don’t want to hurt. I love you. I do. But something is preventing you from giving me your all. I thought it was what Alexis did, but we both know what really happened now. So I can’t make sense of it. Make sense of why you keep me at bay. And I’m sorry it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. I’ve loved you practically my whole life. I’ve never even considered that maybe you just don’t want to get married. But I do. I want a family Henley. And as much as it pains me to say this, I can’t wait until you finally decide your ready.” he says his heart breaking with each word.
“I just need a little more time, Hunter Please. I’ll get there. I know it.” she says crying.
Hunter lifts her hands to his lips as he kisses them gently.
“I know that I want you. I’ve always known. But you obviously don’t feel the same way. Otherwise you would have said yes. I don’t want you to have to convince yourself to marry me.”
“That’s not what it is, you have to believe me,” Henley says her tears mixing with his as she pulls him into a kiss.
Hunter kisses her softly, as he pulls away, looking into her eyes, “I need to move on Henley. I need to learn how to let you go. It’s what’s best. For the both of us,” he says pulling her hands from his neck as he leans back in his chair.
Henley sits there stunned.
“Please Henley. Just go ok? Don’t make this harder than it already is,” he says sniffling as he looks away, another tear falling.
Henley opens the door in a robotic fashion, her legs stepping out of the car, one by one, like their on auto pilot. She closes the door and walks to her apartment building, before she reaches the door knob she turns back seeing Hunter speed away. Her tears flowing freely.
“Hey,” Hunter says walking over to Henley and Piper.
“I’m gonna go find my husband,” Piper says awkwardly as she rushes off.
“Hi,” she smiles slightly. “So your engaged!?” she says with an unreadable face.
“I am,” he says with a simple smile.
“Congratulations, Elena seems like a really nice girl,” Henley says her stomach tightening in a knot.
“Thank you, she really is,” Hunter says smiling, his eyes looking at her with almost an indifference. Henley feels a heaviness building in her chest, and a lump forming in her throat.
She smiles, uncomfortably as she looks down at her hands.
“Hen-Hey, I’m sorry if you felt blindsided. I didn’t mean for you to find out this way. I wanted to tell you myself.”
“So then…why didn’t you?” she asks surprising herself.
“I guess I just figured you wouldn’t wanna see me, if I called.”
“Well that could not be further from the truth. I um…I’m really happy for you. You deserve this.”
“Thank you.” he says smiling at her. “I hope you’ll come…to the wedding…”
“I um, I would love to, just um, let me know when and I’ll be there.”
Hunter nods and smiles as they stand there awkwardly the tension growing. Hunter’s fiancé Elena comes over, with a big smile on her face, “Hi, I’m sorry to interrupt, but can I steal him for a second, the photographer wants a few photos on the balcony.”
“Of course, steal away.” Henley says smiling, the pain in her heart throbbing.
“I’ll be there in a second, babe,” he says.
“Ok,” she says placing a kiss on his lips, as Henley looks away awkwardly.
“So great to meet you, Henley,” Elena says with a big porcelain white smile as she waves.
God why is she so nice. Henley thinks.
“You too,” Henley smiles, waving.
“Really good to see you Hen,” he says holding out his arms for a hug.
“You too.” she says smiling and accepting his hug as her heart beat quickens. His cologne smell both a personal comfort and a heartbreaking reminder of what she lost.
“I should really get over there,” he say pulling away and looking down at her, as he takes her hands.
“Yea, yea of course, go. I’m going to be taking off anyway.”
“Ok, I’ll call you, maybe we can all grab lunch?” he says with a smile.
“I would love that.” she smiles nodding happily. Trying to stay pulled together.
“Ok. I’ll see you,” he says with a wink as he walks off.
Henley rushes from the room quickly as Piper’s eyes follow, she rushes after.
Henley bursts through the ladies room door as she lets out the breath she’s been holding in.
Piper comes in.
“Hey,” she says solemnly, “Are you ok?”
“How could you not tell me, he was engaged!”
“I’m sorry. It literally just happened. He kind of sprung it on everyone just before you got here, I swear if I would have known I would have given you a heads up.”
“I can’t believe this. I feel so stupid! I shouldn’t be here. I can’t believe I’m here. Why am I here?”
“You were invited.”
“Yes to something I thought was a Stone family party, not an engagement party for my ex-boyfriend and his perfect new fiancé! I knew he had moved on, but I didn’t think he’d be getting ENGAGED this soon after he ended things.”
“You thought you’d still end up back together, didn’t you?” Piper says sadly.
“Yes. I guess, I just assumed that’s how it would be. We’ve always had this connection. I just took it for granted that he’d always be there. That he’d be my forever no matter how much I pushed him away. And now that’s never going to happen. I feel like I can’t breathe. I have to get out of here,” she says storming out of the bathroom.
Piper rushes after her.
“Henley. Henley wait.”
She says rushing past Parker who looks on concerned.
“I’ll be back,” she whispers as he nods watching his wife rush after her friend.
Parker looks back at Hunter who notices with worried eyes as his arm circles his new future bride’s waist, standing with her circle of friends and family.
Parker nods his head toward the balcony as Hunter excuses himself.
“What was that about?” Hunter says worried.
“You really have to ask?” Parker says looking at him.
Hunter looks down.
“What the hell Hunter? You turned a family gathering into your surprise engagement party to another woman and you knew Henley was coming. How did you think she would take it? I mean the least you could have done was tell your sister, at least she could have given her a heads up.”
“I knew if Henley would have known, she wouldn’t have come.”
“So…why’s it so important that she be here? If your so over her, and you’re really ready to move on, why does she need to be involved.”
“Because, she’s my friend. She’s part of my life.”
“Is she though? How much have you two actually spoken in the last few months?”
“Ok, I get what you’re saying. I just wasn’t ready to face all that. But time has passed, my heart has healed. I still care about her, I want her in my life.”
“No I just think you want her to see what she gave up.”
“It’s not like that. I would never rub my relationship in her face.”
“But you kind of are, aren’t you?”
“Not intentionally. Of course I want her to be happy too. I heard she was seeing someone too, so I don’t understand what the big deal is.”
“Come on Hunt, you knew what you were doing. And if you ask me, I think you may still have some unresolved feelings, because a guy who’s really ready to move on, wouldn’t want his ex anywhere near his future wife. The fact that you’re bringing them into the same circles is kind of a red flag. Besides you’ve been seeing this girl for what 3 months, can you honestly tell me you think she’s the one?”
“Parker, I love Elena.”
“I didn’t say you don’t love her. But can you honestly tell me you don’t still love Henley. I mean after all those years, all that history between the two of you. Feelings like that don’t just go away. Especially not in 6 months, even more so not in 3. And it’s really not fair to Elena for you to continue this relationship if you still have feelings for Henley.”
Hunter gives Parker a look. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I love Elena and she is going to be my wife, end of story,” Hunter says walking away.
To be continued…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
*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.*