"Horses sitting ready. Ready. Set. Go!"
Forrest ushered us into crowded stands. Hunter's hands were on my shoulders making sure not to lose me in sea of bustling bodies.
"I've bet on Manhunt! He's never lost a race!" Forrest shouted over the heads of the people.
"Really? I bet on Colly! She any good?!" Noel yelled back at him.
"I don't know! She's a new racer!"
My hands were gripping on to Hunter's pants until he took my hands away from the warm fabric. "Wanna get out of here?" He whispered, cupping a hand over my ear.
I nodded up at him, and he took my hand dragging me back through the crowd to where to betting booths were held, then passed that down some stairs and out an 'exit' door to the parking lot.
"You ok? I saw you were getting antsy."
"Um... Yeah I feel better now." I felt my breathing had hitched, and my cheeks burned, I rubbed my face in my hands.
"You sure Kai?" The back of his hand touched my forehead, then cupped my face, he looked at me with worry all across his face.
"I'm fine please let go." Hunter snatched his hands away blushing, "I'm sorry i didn't mean t-"
"No no it's fine!" I said a little louder then I should have, "I'm sorry..."
"No don't be sorry! I'm sorry."
I whimpered a bit looking for words.
"....so cute." His green eyes twinkles down on me.
More words seemed to stop at the tip of my tongue.
"Shit! Never mind..." He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.
The silence was awkward and broken only by distant shouts of crowds.
"Maybe we should go back." He turned quickly on his heels reaching for the exit door we came through.
"No! No just stay please... I like it here." My voice shrank into my throat when he turned and stepped closer to me. Hunter looked behind him, taking my hand, and lowering us down to the concrete to sit side by side against the black wall. We were shoulder to shoulder looking off at the trees in the distance.
"Hey you haven't gone to the police station have you?
I shook my head no.
"Yea it's ok I turned in a picture if you already..."
His eyes widened. "Um... This morning... You were asleep." His face pinked.
"Ok thanks." I nodded and smiled.
His eyes slid to my chest then back up. "Um... Do you mind if I asked who gave you those marks?"
I pulled my knees to my chest and paused for a moment. "J-Jasper did."
"D-Do you like Jasper?"
I paused, I barely knew Jasper. "No."
His eyes looked frustrated. "Then why'd you?!" He stopped himself, when he saw me cringe. "Sorry... It's just... I don't know.... Never mind." He put his head in his hands.
I went to rub his back but his head shot back up.
"You're leaving any how I'm sure..." He shrunk back down, then rose back up. "Unless! Wait how old are you?"
"Then you can stay! You aren't a minor! So you stay with me right!?" He was up on his feet now looking down on me.
He saw how confused I was.
"I was talking with the sheriff and he said depending on your age if you'll be sent to CPS!" He still had the excited expression on his face.
"But why does it matter where I am Hunter." I didn't look at him when I spoke.
His face dropped, with his body, as he moved towards me on his knees. "Cuz Kai..." His thump moved to my lips gently pressing "damn..."
Our eyes were locked together, the distance sound of screams slowly drowned out. He moved closer to my face inches away, I could smell citrus again, like the first day.
Hunter moved his thumb from my lips and it snaked across my cheek, then my jaw, then ear. He threaded his fingers into my hair and I tilted my head into his large palm. His other hand came up and trailed a line down the other side of My face and slid down my neck stopping at the hem of the turtleneck I wore. The hand at my neck took a clump of hair and Hunter brought it to his face and took a deep breath, shutting his eyes.
"Kai..." He whispered. My breathing hitched and my insides grew tight. I held my breath, I what did I eat earlier.... Do I stink? My hands grew hot and sweaty, and my breathing grew rapidly in anticipation. My face and ears burned to the point where I thought I would die.
His eyes had been roaming my body, and I wanted to shrink into myself. His eyes met me again moving closer brushing our noses together. I knew I felt something on my lips but it was so soft and light I wasn't sure if I had dreamed it. I felt Hunter press his lips on mine almost hesitant, he pushed a little further and I responded tangling my hand in his curly brown hair. I slipped my tongue into his mouth, and he deepened the kiss, lifting me up on his lap his my legs wrapped around him. I pulled back for air, he were both breathing heavily, smiling wildly.
He pushed back into my mouth, massaging his hands through my hair, and gently pushing my body against the wall with his. My arms were wrapped around his neck, refusing to let him go. His lips left my mouth and trailed down to my neck I felt him stop and his face on the crook of my neck, not breathing.
He pulled back breathing deeply. "I'm sorry. Let's just wait until those clear up and we should probably get going." He kissed the top of my head, and stood up.
I wanted to scream no, and he saw it in my face.
"I'm sorry Kai, I just wouldn't be able to share you." His eyes were pleading.
"I get it." I lowered my gaze.
"No Kai don't look like that..."
I looked up trying to smile. "No it's fine I kinda deserve it."
The door swung open and hit my shoulder.
"Oh shit sorry Kai! Why were you sitting there?" Forrest was on the other side of the door, walking through with the rest of his brothers. "And why'd y'all leave?"
"Kai didn't like the crowds."
"Oh I see always looking out for little Kai." Forrest smiled down at me holding out his hand.
When I hesitated, Hunter bent down taking my arm pulling me up and lacing his fingers into mine.
Forrest gave us a look. "Um... Well then ok... Let's go."
Hunter started walking forward, into the parking lot.
"I left my bike at the diner so I'll meet you guys at the house." Jasper waved us off and began jogging ahead of us.
I saw Forrest shoving his phone into his pocket.
"And I have a ride, so I'll see you tomorrow maybe." He winked at me and walked back into the arena.
"I still need a ride by the way." Noel had his hands in his back pockets swaying forward.
"Yea no problem, I still like you Noel." Hunter nodded at his brother.
Noel's eyes moved to me and back up over my head at Hunter. "Are y'all like a thing?"
"Yes we are." Hunter glared at him when he spoke.
"Didn't ever wanna give a brother a chance?" Noel shook his head.
"I gave you two days."
"Damn... What. A. Shame. Anyway! Kai if he breaks up with ya call on me and I will happily be a rebound guy."
"God your full of yourself." Hunter rolled his eyes.
"Who could be better to be filled with?" Noel winked at me.
"Your disgusting!" Hunter pulled me to the other side of him, using his body to block me from Noel's comments.
Noel burst into laughter, and Hunter glared at him further. Hunter pulled the car keys out off his pocket stopping in front of a black pickup truck. He jammed the key in unlocking the door. Hunter turned back around pressing his lips into mine, he pulled back looking into my eyes, giving me a quick peck and herding me into the car.
He walked around and hopped into the car, he buckled his seatbelt, pulling from the parking space.
"So how did Colly do?"
"Who?" Noel leaned his head forward from the backseat.
"The horse! Colly!" Hunter hit his hand on the steering wheel.
"Oh... She lost, Manhunt won again."
"Hmm" Hunter nodded, eyes on the road.
There was a lull in conversation until Noel spoke.
"So which brother is a better kisser?"
"Noel shut up." Hunter lowered his voice.
"H-Hunter...he's better." I spoke quietly.
Noel hollered. "Really?! To think that'd be ole Forrest! Then again Jasper likes to hold back, I'm sure he's got secrets."
I looked over at Hunter, his face was bright red and he gripped the wheel tightly with both hands.
The ride stayed silent apart from Noel's brief comments on the scenery which was apparently extremely boring. He were back at the house sooner than I thought, I could tell all the lights had been shutoff.
"Yay! Home!" Noel sprinted out of the car and into the house.
I unbuckled my seatbelt and reached for the door but Hunter's hand stopped me. I looked at him.
"Kai... Please tonight stay with me?" His hand shook when it toyed with my hair.
"Y-yea ok" I nodded.
He leaned forward, placing a kiss on my forehead. We exited the car and we walked into the house and no one seemed to be down stairs.
"Let's go to your room, mine doesn't have a lock." Hunter took hand, leading up the stairs.
"Yeah not since 8th grade." He put his hand on the doorknob. "Don't ask."
We walked into my room, he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me onto the bed flopping down holding me to his chest.
"Finally..." He breathed.
I moved my lips to say something, but Hunter's calm and even breathing stopped me, and for a few moments I listened to his heart beat. I look at a clock on the wall that read 3:15pm, I disregarded the time and allowed myself fall asleep on Hunter's chest.
I opened my eyes and I was still snuggled against Hunter, except now we were under the covers and he was snoring. Violently. I lifted my body, looking up at the clock, it read 12:30 am.
I shook Hunter. "Hey Hunter wake up!"
He didn't budge. I was looking down on his face, wondering if it would be creepy or sweet to kiss him awake. I decided to brush his lips with my index finger, his eyebrow twitched a bit and I pulled back.
I next pressed my lips onto his, I felt him moan a bit and slide his hand up my thigh, and sliding further up and stopping at my ass. I couldn't smell Hunter's citrus anymore. Now I smelt cigarettes, and smoke surrounded a room that seemed to shrink around me, the bed had moistened as if I was laying in a muddy pool. The body under neath of me didn't feel like Hunter, it was bigger and hairier and smelled like sweat. His face was blurred from my vision but the yellow teeth were prominent.
"Hey babe." His voice was rugged and thick in my ears.
I shook my head.
"Manhunt said I could have my way." Each syllable he spoke, ripped into my skull with a searing pain.
His body rolled over onto mine, and I blacked out.
Then I felt hands on my shoulder shaking me awake.
"Kai! Kai! Get up!" Hunter was hovering over me.
I was covered in sweat and I had a burning headache, tears were streaming down my face.
"Kai was it a bad dream?" Hunter's eyes were concerned, as he wiped the tears from my face.
"What?" I breathed my voice was raspy.
"You were freaking out a minuet ago. Do you want some water?"
I nodded, attempting to swallow.
"Come on." He lifted me up into his arms and I cuddled my head into his neck.
He walked me downstairs, and I didn't hear anyone moving about in the kitchen. Hunter sat me on top of the cold counter tops and turned to get a cup of water. I saw a clock sitting on the counter that read 12:30 am... What?
My head was still ringing when I gulped down the cup of water Hunter handed me.
His hands were planted on the counter at both sides of my hips, he watched me as I drank the water. When I finished he took the cup and sat it on the counter.
"You feeling better?" His voice was quiet, matching the chorus the crickets made outside.
"Yeah, my head hurts really bad."
"Where were you before Kai?"
"I don't know."
"Is Kai your real name?"
"I've.... I'm..." My head screamed fervently.
"Forget it." He pushed away from the counter. I found my hands grabbing for him, and pulling him back to me.
He paused for a moment then managed to hug me back. I smelt citrus again.
"Please don't let go." I whispered against him.
He rubbed my back. "Don't worry I'll hold on."