Chapter seven- kisses
Hunter stood in the barn listening to the music that blared through the headphones of his green ipod nano. A blue roan horse nickered next to him, obviously getting impatient for the grooming to continue.
After nearly five minutes of brushing through Silos' tail, Hunter began work on the mane and forelock. Once finished he gave his beloved horse a kiss between its almond-shaped, blue eyes and left the stable, locking the thick timber door behind him (even though he was sure that Silos wouldn't run off). Hunter gathered up the items on the floor and strode down the aisle toward the large, double doors.
"Didn't think that I'd see you here. How's Silos?" Aonie commented as she skipped up to Hunter's side.
Hunter grinned at her and Aonie flushed (even though she was insanely in love with Edward, Hunter was exceptionally gorgeous and had an incredible smile).
"He's much better now that he's had a decent grooming, not that the grooms here don't do an impeccable job but I know that he can be a bit out of hand for anyone that is not me … or Arabella. How are you doing, we never got a chance to talk that much yesterday?" Hunter replied and grinned even more as he realised his grin's affect on his friend.
"I'm super. I had a fun night with Helena and Arabella last night, I didn't know Helena could be so bad in the mornings. I went to go and say goodbye to her this morning but she threw a pillow at me. It actually hurt. I stand by what I said when I first met her though, she'll be a legend before we know it. I tell you Hunter, something will happen soon and we'll be all she has. She'll willingly join, even if it is to Arabella's displeasure. Anyway, I so can't wait until we get started on training. I might be able to learn some moves from Arabella if I'm lucky."
"I know what you mean, I am so pleased that Arabella is here to stay now. Well … until the end of the battle anyway. But who knows how long that will be. I think it will be great to spend the entire day just thinking and coming up with strategies that will destroy those vile beasts."
Hunter dropped the brushes and combs into a large blue bucket that was filled with halters, horse treats, medicines and first aid equipment. Then he turned back to Aonie and offered her his arm. Aonie took it eagerly and then tugged him along as she made her way back into the barn.
"What are you listening to? It sounds very familiar." Aonie said as she reached for Hunter's left headphone. She placed it in her ear and listened carefully. "Ah, Oblivion. Funeral For A Friend, I believe."
"You are correct." Hunter answered as he retrieved his headphone and replaced it in his ear.
"You know, I was planning on having dinner in my quarters tonight. Would you like to come?" Hunter proposed as the pair continued through the aisle of the barn to the back entrance.
"I'd love to. I'll bring Edward, too. If that's okay of course." Aonie replied with a sly grin. Hunter gave a shocked look which quickly turned into a mischievous one as he registered Aonie's expression. He chuckled as Aonie elbowed him playfully in the ribs.
"Oh, that actually hurt!" Hunter exclaimed. "I'm going to get you now."
"You'll have to catch me first." Aonie sang as she slipped her arm from his and began to sprint away from him down the path that led way through acres of meadows.
Hunter smiled to himself and then took off after her.
Aonie wasn't going to live this down.
* * *
"I don't know Capricorn. He hasn't been seen in nearly a fortnight. What if he's dead? I wouldn't be able to cope with the pain that Helena would go through. I don't know if I would be able to cope with not having to look after Helena anymore either though. I don't know Cappie." Arabella admitted to her relaxing steed. The dun horse lay on the lush grass with Arabella's head leaning on his stomach. His golden coat had turned a strange shade of blue with the disarray of colours that came from the sky above.
Arabella shot upright as a piercing cackle cracked the silence that had, seconds ago, engulfed Arabella and the world around her. Arabella instantly recognised it as Aonie and stood up to get a better view. Just at that moment Aonie came leaping over the fence into the meadow that Arabella stood in.
"What are you running from?" Arabella shrieked as Aonie gasped for breath.
"Hah, found you! I've got you now." Hunter exclaimed as he, too, leaped over the fence. He sprinted up to the two girls and lunged himself into the air.
His tackle was meant for Aonie but she dropped to the ground and rolled out of the reach of his arms. Instead, Hunter rugby tackled Arabella to the ground, and landed on all fours. He glared back at Aonie's retreating figure for a moment then turned his gaze to Arabella who was sprawled out on the ground beneath him.
"I am so sorry, Arabella. I meant to get Aonie. You look lovely today, by the way. Not that you don't every day though." Hunter apologized. However, his voice was merely a whisper as his mind caught on to the position Arabella and himself were in.
"It's okay. I'm used to being like this with males." Arabella murmured back to him. Instantly, Hunter locked up and Arabella could tell that he was furious at what she had just admitted.
"What?" Hunter shouted, his grey eyes wide in shock.
Arabella laughed her signature laugh. " I was only joking! Would you seriously be angry though if I wasn't?"
"You know I would. I'd be angry if it were just a kiss."
"Well, I don't see why since we haven't even kissed yet. I do see where you're coming from though, I'd be sort of mad if you kissed a girl that wasn't me."
Hunter grinned down at her mischievously. Illusive thoughts shot through his mind and he could tell that Arabella was seeing all of them. A grin broke out on her own face, it stopped Hunter's heart cold and he stared at her in awe. Arabella's top teeth came over the top of her bottom lip as her head bent down to her chest. Hunter's hand came under her chin and she tilted her head back up to look into his foggy eyes.
Can I kiss you?
Their lips met and the world around them fell to shards. Arabella and Hunter could feel themselves being pulled into one another's mind. That was what happened to people like them, soul mates. But ssh, they don't know it yet! The two of them were exploring the other's mind, looking deep into corners and crevices. A quiet moan escaped from Arabella's throat and Hunter smiled to himself. They were both in complete bliss, and they were both pondering over the cause of not doing this before. Hunter gently pushed Arabella's mouth open. Arabella realised and gave in willingly, she giggled slightly at Hunter's boldness.
"Well, look who's making out in the meadow." A voice snapped from the outside world. Their minds zoomed back to reality and Arabella pushed Hunter away firmly. She hadn't even realised where her hands were until they were nudging at his chiselled chest. Arabella's head turned to see who the intruder was but Hunter just continued to gaze down at Arabella with a dazed smile toying at the edge of his mouth.
"Helena, Peter! What are you two doing here?" Arabella mumbled, her head still a blur of emotions.
"We could ask you two the same thing if it wasn't as clear as crystal. Finally!" Peter exclaimed with a sly grin in his eyes although his mouth was set in a shocked "O" shape. Hunter lifted his right leg from the ground and softly fell so that he was lying on Arabella's right.
"I was coming to find you when I bumped into Peter. He offered to help me look for you." Helena offered. Arabella turned her head to look at them properly and noticed something that she hadn't the first time.
"And at what point in this did you get to holding hands?" She demanded with a smile in her voice. Peter began to slip his hand from Helena's but she gripped his firmly.
"Oh, well at least we weren't kissing." Helena blurted. Peter flinched, a swarm of memories bombarded him. Helena turning on him and pinning him up against the stable door and his heart thudding furiously. He shook his head slightly to try and rid his head of those thoughts before the others picked up on them.
"Um … I'm having dinner in my quarters tonight if you three would like to come. It will be at six. You don't need to wear anything formal just casual." Hunter offered to the green, primrose and metallic streaked sky.
"Awesome, I am so there. Anything to wear something normal." Helena sighed. She waved over her shoulder then stalked off dragging Peter after her.
"They make a cute couple." Hunter acknowledged as he stared after them. His eyes fell onto Arabella next him. He registered her flawless curves and her seductive body. More improper thoughts erupted through his head and Arabella caught hold of them. She gasped and then grinned at him in the way that made his heart go cold. Hunter gave her a disapproving look as he cropped himself up on his elbow.
"You'll be the death of me Miss Beaumont. I assure you that." Hunter stated just before his lips found hers once again.
However, this time there were no distractions. So how far would they go?
* * *
Hunter's quarters were shocking. The dining room was the first room that they entered, it wasn't painted but it kept the colour of the sandstone. In the centre of the room stood a six-seater, Ash tree table. Now, this table was nowhere near as elaborate as the one that Helena had seen on her first evening here.
"Do you like it?" Hunter asked in Helena's ear, making her jump almost three feet in the air. At the sight, Aonie burst into unstoppable laughter.
"It's very nice, subtle. Very different … in a good way of course." Helena gasped. Aonie was, at that point, rolling over on the floor as tears overflowed down her flushed cheeks.
"Oh, grow up! It wasn't that funny!" Helena snapped at Aonie who was still suffocating on the sandstone floor.
"Leave her. Once she's in one of her laughing fits she doesn't stop." Edward said as he stood, exasperated, on the other side of Aonie.
"Please, all be seated while Aonie recovers." Hunter proposed from the hallway that led, supposedly, into the kitchen. Well, that was where the great smell was coming from. Everyone, bar Aonie, took their seats at the table in the centre of the room. Arabella and Hunter sat at the ends, Helena sat to the right of Hunter ( with Peter opposite) and Aonie was supposed to sit next to her, once she sat down (with Edward opposite her).
Now, onto fashion. Helena wore a pair of marine blue shorts with a grey, cotton cardigan over the top (it was very fashionable on Earth at that point). Peter wore black, suit bottoms with a loose, cotton, sea blue shirt. Aonie wore black drainpipes and an orange, skin-tight t-shirt (she looked like a Halloween costume). Edward was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans with a grass-green shirt that contrasted perfectly with his white hair and violet eyes. Hunter was wearing a rumpled black, cotton, smart shirt with black, suit bottoms that looked like they'd just been plucked off an Armani model (and he looked like an Armani model in them). Arabella wore a deep red shift dress that fell to her calves gracefully.
Arabella looked stunning, as usual! So stunning, that Hunter couldn't take his smoky grey eyes off of her (or that might have had something to do with that afternoon's antics! What had they gotten up to, I wonder?). At that moment, six servants stepped into the room carrying plates of delicious smelling food, and Aonie launched herself into her chair. The plates were placed on the table and everyone tucked in hungrily.
One-and-a-half hours later, the table was cleared and filled with excited chatter that was passed between Aonie, Edward, Peter and Helena. Hunter and Arabella, however, just sat and stared at each other.
"I'm going to the bathroom, please excuse me." Arabella announced. She stood and turned on her heel. As she sauntered off down the hall, Hunter stood and followed her only he turned off before Arabella.
"Shall we leave these two lover birds and head out into the meadows?" Edward proposed. The others grinned and, instantly and silently, rose to their feet. They left the chambers through the main entrance and ran off down the hall, trying to make as big a distance between Arabella's fury and themselves.
Arabella and Hunter came into the dining room at the same time, and froze when they noticed that everyone had left.
"Unbelievable!" Arabella grumbled into thin air.
"What's wrong? They did us a favour in my opinion." Hunter commented. His voice instantly soothing Arabella into a calm and tranquil state. She turned to him slowly and looked up at him from under her long, thick lashes.
"Do you ever think about the stars? You know, when you're on Earth?" Arabella asked with utter sincerity. It would have shocked anybody and, strangely, it shocked Hunter.
Hunter began to move back down the hallway and Arabella followed. She'd never really had the chance to explore his chambers and she felt a tad embarrassed that she didn't know where they were going. Hunter finally opened the doors and they emerged into a large, placid room. This room was similar to the main chamber, in the fact that it wasn't painted, it didn't have a table in the centre but instead housed a queen-size bed.
"You never were one for the fineries." Arabella acknowledged with a sad smile.
"To answer your earlier question, no I don't think about them. However, I do look up at them a lot and think about you." Hunter answered as he sat on the edge of the crimson bed sheets.
"Wow, good answer. I'm curious though, why is it that everything in this room is red?"
"Well, it reminds me of you when you're not here. Not that I need reminding … I see you all the time anyway. I just find that it helps to ease the pain."
"Pain! What pain?"
"When we are apart all I feel is this aching pain in my chest. Well … it's a bit more than that but it makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry until it stops! I shouldn't be louding you with this."
Hunter turned so that his back was facing Arabella and she had the most fiersome of urgess to run over and hold him until all of his pains died away. Arabella walked slowly over to the space on the bed behind Hunter, and she sat with her knees curled tightly beneath her. Her hands moved up to his shoulders and began to massage. She could feel the knots in his muscles beneath her hands uncoiling and loosening. Hunter's breath began to lengthen and deepen. A moan of pleasure slipped from Hunter's throat and Arabella grinned sweetly. Hunter's hand came up to find Arabella's and she stopped.
"I feel … I feel the same when we're gone. Like I'm missing a piece and if I don't find it soon I might die. And, Hunter … I want you to tell me things like this. I want to know otherwise I wouldn't ask!" Arabella stated, her husky voice a mere whisper and throbbing with pain that Hunter had never noticed before. As Hunter thought about the times when Arabella had let her guard down, he realised that there was always a twinge of pain in it. He turned to look into her eyes, the eyes that were always the picture of happiness. As he looked deep into those shimmering eyes he saw some things that had never been there before: pain; torture; and fear.
Hunter gasped and rapped his arms around Arabella. Arabella was mumbling something that Hunter couldn't quite pick up on, but he could have sworn that it were a prayer.Hunter's voice echoed in Arabella's mind. Arabella was too shocked to speak so she just nodded her head, ever so slightly, but it was his cue. His head leaned down as his eyes, first, glanced Arabella's lips, then, shot up to her own eyes., Silos. You have gotten grumpy since the last time I was here to groom you." Hunter apologized as he picked up a mane comb from the pile of grooming utensils on the hard concrete ground. He positioned himself at the hind-quarters of the horse and gathered his thick tail in his left hand. With his right he began to smoothly and rhythmically comb through the everlasting mass of the horses tail.