A shorter one this time…a scene from CH 8, from Hunter’s POV, and giving you a bit more insight into who Hunter Painter really is. Another of his secrets, exposed. 🙂 Poor Hunter. He’s so befuddled.
I duck, climbing in, nod my thanks, but don’t speak.
He talks enough for both of us. My head hurts.
I yell at him, see his shocked face.
He stops, pushes me out, drives away fast.
~ Traveling Man ~
Saturday, January 19, 2013
HUNTER WATCHED WILLOW stroll through her herb garden, basket over her arm, and small, sharp scissors in hand. The weather had been mild this winter, and there were plenty of hardy herbs still green and fragrant. She gathered bunches to hang in the kitchen, and the snip-snip sound followed her as she moved along each row.
Sitting at a white wrought iron table in the shade of a young laurel oak, legs stretched out in front of him, Hunter’s sharp eyes missed very little. Admiring Willow’s graceful movements had been a pastime of his since the first day she came into his life, an activity as familiar as breathing in those days. Today, it brought a perspective that was new—and completely unanticipated.
Today, she was his, as he was hers. Today, his heart was at peace, even if only temporarily, and the constant, unfulfilled longing from years ago was gone. She loved him, which made everything different, and he refused to let anything steal this moment from him.
His gaze lingered on the silky blue fabric of her skirt, blowing around her slim legs, and the pale gleam of her unbound hair, cascading down her back. Words tumbled through his mind, and that familiar need to commit them to paper took over.
With his small, spiral notebook and pen in hand, Hunter wrote, spilling his thoughts onto each narrow blue line, still as in love with the process as he had been as a young child. Then, as now, random marks turned into letters in front of his eyes, and letters into words. Words became sentences, then thought, then pure emotion. His pen flew across the paper, capturing every image and feeling, so he could revisit them later, at will.
Hunter Painter loved to write. It helped convince him he wasn’t simply taking up space on this planet, and it was as much a part of him as his gray eyes and brown hair. When he was lost in the process, the rest of the world disappeared, which is why he didn’t realize Willow had finished her herb gathering, and stood behind him, reading over his shoulder. Oblivious, he scribbled on, trying to capture each word before it got away.
When she laid her palm on his shoulder, he shot straight up, pen flying from his hand, and spiral notebook dropping to the ground. “Geeze, Willow! Didn’t know you were there!”
He scrambled around, retrieving pen and notebook, hoping she hadn’t had a chance to see what he was doing, but one glance at her expression told him he’d been caught. Running wouldn’t help. He’d tried that. She would follow.
Willow took a seat at the tiny table, the basket of herbs by her feet. “You write.” Amazement was in her voice and shone from her eyes. “Poems.”
Cheeks burning, he eased back into his chair, uncertain how to respond. “Yeah … I guess I do.”
“You guess? You write, Hunter. Why are you so embarrassed? What I read was wonderful.”
He stammered, face flushing redder. “I never … show anyone. It’s just … something I do.”
“For how long?”
“Always. Long’s I can remember.”
“You’ve been writing as long as you can remember, and no one knows about it? No one has read any of it?”
Hunter sank lower in his chair, groaning inside. She wasn’t going to let this go. “No. Never.”
“Why on earth not?”
He shrugged, face still hot. “Never showed it to anybody.”
Brow slightly furrowed, she uttered a noncommittal sound. “Hmm.”
“What’s ‘hmm’ mean?”
She rose, picked up her basket, and beckoned to him. “Let’s go inside. I’ll fix us some lunch.”
Left alone, he had little choice but to follow her, muttering under his breath the entire way. “Done it again. Never showed anybody a word I’ve written for thirty years, and somehow, after only a few weeks, Willow knows all about it. How does this keep happening?”