A/N: ...If I appear on the A/N are you going to kill me? Ahaha, i finally updated Hello My Darling! After my really long disappearance, I finally felt like continuing my story and TRYING to finish it for good. TRYING. I don't know if I'll finish it, but I do know that it won't be much longer til the end. Is that a spoiler? Don't kill me. Just bear with me for a few more chapters and I'll be gone.
I don't know about the other stories I have, I'm seriously considering just deleting them since I don't know if I'l finish them or not. I'll store it and if I ever finish it, i'll upload them all at once.
So recap, Gray and Claire went to the city where they met his mother, Geraldine Worthington, and Claire saw Kai with another woman. Have fun with this chapter.
Disclaimer: I miss you too disclaimer. I don't own Harvest Moon, okay? Now please stop haunting my dreams!
"-I'm telling you, Gray. You wouldn't believe the kind of people that live here! I saw it with my own eyes. I mean, I FELT it with my own body! A tiny grandmother literally sent me flying when she pushed me out of her way!" Claire continued on complaining as they both got down from the bike. Gray was still chuckling as he came over the other side to support her.
"And I still think that you were hallucinating, no grandma as small as you're describing could be that strong. Strong enough to, and I quote, 'send you flying'." He slung an arm around her waist and pulled her arm up to wrap around his neck. Claire gave him a dirty look.
"I'm bleeding on my knees! My clean cheeks have scratches that would most likely give me a scar or can kill me if they're infested. My shirt is ripped when I had to detangle myself from the bush. A dog stole my shoe, and you're still not going to believe me? You're the worst friend in the world, Gray!"
"Or maybe I'm the best friend in the world. Since I chose not to give in to your made up stories-"
"They're not made up!" Claire interjected, but Gray went on talking as if she didn't.
"-then you're not going to get spoiled. I'm looking out for you here."
"Oh yeah? Well-" But before Claire could say anything else, the door that led them inside the house swung open, revealing Geraldine in her ever-lasting beauty. She smiled at her son, but when she looked over at Claire, her lips twisted into a smug smile.
"My my, Clarissa dear, did you get a haircut?" She asked.
"No…Geraldine, she fell. That's all." Gray answered, tightening his grip around Claire's waist.
"Oh? I thought that was how you looked like when you left the house. Are you hurt, Clarissa? Shall I call a doctor for you?"
"No, thank you. I'm fine, Geraldine." Claire answered with a smile through gritted teeth. Oh how she longed to give her dear mother-in-law a slap on the face to wipe the Botox out.
"Alright, Grayson dear, be sure to tidy her up before she enters the house. I don't want filth inside." She ended before walking away, the clicking of her heels getting softer and softer as she disappeared inside the house. A maid walked timidly into the garage to take the lilies that were tied to the back seat of his motorcycle before scurrying away after Geraldine.
"Sorry about that…again." Gray immediately apologized for his mother as he helped Claire inside. Claire didn't respond until they made it inside her bedroom. When he closed the door behind them, she instantly let out a frustrated groan.
No one said anything while Claire continued on making weird noises into the pillow. Gray sat down on the edge of the bed beside her with a first aid kit he got out of the cabinet in the bathroom. He took out a cotton ball and some alcohol, dropped some on it and breathed in deeply before he wiped it across her scratches. Claire screamed into the pillow from the pain. He grimaced at the sound, feeling bad that he was inflicting even more pain onto her. He tried to think of something good to say to her to make her feel better.
"She doesn't hate you that much, Claire…" But then regretted saying that the second he it came out of his mouth. Claire pulled the pillow off her face and scoffed, leaning on her elbows to give him an 'are you kidding me?' look.
"Are you fudging kidding me? The woman hates my guts. She called me filth!"
"She was talking about the dirt on your shoes…"
"Please, Gray. Be naïve some other time. Your mom hates me…if she could kick me out she would jump at the chance."
"She-" Gray continued trying to make persuade her that Geraldine didn't mean any harm, but then gave up trying since even he didn't believe in what he said. "Fine, she hates you. But on the bright side, by tomorrow morning, the boat will be back to pick us up and we don't have to come back ever again. Unless you want to."
"…" Claire thought about what she saw today at the flower shop. Kai with another woman…just thinking about it made her face flush with anger. She furiously shook her head, "No. I don't want to come back."
"Neither do I…umm…you should grit your teeth now." Gray warned as he got ready to clean another scratch on her leg. Claire gritted her teeth…hard and then buried her face into the pillow she was hugging as she waited for the flash of pain.
"Grayson dear!" Geraldine's voice floated into the room, her voice booming from downstairs, getting closer and closer to the door as they hear her heels clicking towards them. The door was opened by a maid as Geraldine waltzed inside, frowning disapprovingly at the scene of Gray cleaning Claire's wounds. She pursed her red lips and brushed a strand of hair away from her pale face. "Grayson dear, didn't you remember that we're having a guest over?"
"Uhh…no." At his answer, Geraldine flashed Claire a dirty glare, as if accusing her that it was her fault that he didn't remember.
"Well then, I was expecting you to freshen up to be ready to greet her. Madison Van Lowe is coming and I want you to look your best for her since you'll be taking her out for lunch."
"…I'm sorry, Geraldine. The alcohol must be messing with my head, but did you just say that I was expected to take Madison Van Lowe out to lunch?"
"…" Claire silently stared at the both of them, wondering who Madison Van Lowe was, and whether or not Geraldine already forgot that Gray was married. Married to her.
"She's really looking forward to seeing you, dear. So you better not let her down."
"You seem to be forgetting something, mother." Gray emphasized on the last word, "I'm married and my wife is sitting here right beside me." Gray grabbed Claire's hand and dragged her closer to him.
Geraldine gave a tired sigh, "Take it with you if you must. But I want you to go and get dress now. I'll have a maid come and finish this up for you." And before anyone could say anything else, she left the room, leaving a timid-looking maid alone at the door.
"Claire, I'm sorry about-" Gray started to apologize, but again before he could finish, Geraldine's voice interrupted him.
"Now, Grayson!" Geraldine's shrilly voice floated from downstairs, loud enough to startle everyone in the room. Gray sighed in boredom, giving Claire an apologetic smile before getting up to go change in his room. When he passed the maid, he ordered her to take care of Claire and find her a dress first before leaving. The maid scurried over to Claire and started working on the scratches on her arms.
Claire glanced over at the maid and muttered, "She's a bitch ain't she."
A shy smile tugged on the maid's lips before she answered politely, "That she is, ma'am."
That bitch! I could just strangle her with that pretty pearls of her around her neck. And I would enjoy doing it too…believe me. Just go behind her and choke her and that would be the end of Geraldine Worthington.
But of course, I wouldn't want to stoop down to such levels just because I'm furious at her. I'm not that low. All I did was take whatever she dished out with a smile and got into the car that was taking me to the restaurant. Alone. Without Gray.
Oh, well, guess what? Madison here came a tad bit early and without having anyone telling me, she and Gray were sent off to go to the restaurant first to wait for me there! When I got downstairs in my new 50 dollar dress that I bought when I came here and my only pumps, I was surprised to see that there was no one there waiting for me. And when I searched for them, only to find Geraldine sipping tea and eating biscuits in the living room, she told me that they left and suggested I stay behind.
Stay behind my butt.
Knowing that she would rather kill herself before providing me with transportation, I had to call for a cab and go to the restaurant myself…which is what I'm doing right now.
"I'm sorry but can you please, for the love of Goddess, step on it! Someone's waiting for me!" I practically screamed at the cab driver, but it did nothing but made my throat dry. Ugh, city cab drivers…they'll ignore you until you wave a green note in front of them. I quickly opened my purse to find some gold before throwing it to the front. "There! Now can you please go faster?"
Satisfied, he finally stepped on the gas and sped through the streets, reaching the restaurant in less than 10 minutes. I threw some more money at him before jumping out…a little too quickly. You see, that day I was wearing a coat since it was a little windy, and as you know, coats are long so…
I heard the loud rip behind me and when I turned around, the cab had already drove away, along with a portion of my coat. The bottom half of my coat was missing now.
"Fudge! Fudgidy fudge fudge!" I started muttering, stamping my feet on the pavement out of frustration. How the heck am I supposed to go inside there now? I'll be a laughing stock and the little snobby brat of a girl that Geraldine set Gray up with will probably tell Geraldine and laughing about it with her over tea and crumpets later at the club.
I was really considering calling a cab to get back, or at least find a bin to throw the damn thing away, but then…
"Claire?" Gray called as he walked out from the restaurant.
Damn…why did he have to see me like this? I tried to muster a confident smile as I waved at him.
"Hey Gray…uhh…what are you doing out here?"
"Well I was waiting for you and when I saw you coming out of the cab, I came to get you…uhh, your coat…"
Double damn! He saw that too!
"Yeah…I guess the cab driver really liked my coat, so he ripped it off of me. It's a crime to wear pretty things in this city. Hehehe…he…" I chuckled nervously. Gray chuckled along with me as he took off his blazer and helped me out of my coat.
"I'll buy you a new coat before we go home, alright?" He asked as he helped me put on his blazer. It was really big since compared to Gray, my head reached only to his chin. He also had wide strong shoulders, big and begging for a pair of arms to wrap around. I felt tingly all over just imaging about that…to wrap my arms around his-
Woah there! Hold it Claire, what in Goddess name are you thinking? Snap out of it!
I gave myself a imaginary slap in the face. I turned to look at my reflection in the mirror and saw how big the blazer was on me. It looked like as if a piece of clothing was swallowing me whole! I pulled off the decorative belt I had on and handed it to Gray as I rearranged the blazer on me. I pulled it closer, making it tight so it won't make it look baggy, and then used the belt to keep it in place. I actually looked good like this. Gray was smiling down at me when I was done.
"Perfect, no one would've guessed that a hobo cab driver stole half of your coat. Come on, let's quickly eat so we can get back to pack out stuff and leave this place. I'm actually starting to miss the old man." He gave me an arm and I took it…after giving me a few more slaps in the head. I can't help it, there's just something about being offered an arm that you can't refuse.
"Why Grayson Worthington, I do declare! Is that sentiment I heard in your voice? Your granddaddy will be overwhelmed with joy when I tell him that." I teased him, talking in an southern accent while jabbing him teasingly in the waist.
"Yeah yeah, yuk it up." He bumped me with his hip slightly, but it was enough to make me sway to the side. I bumped him back and he bumped me again. We attracted a few disdaining stares from the rich folk inside, but we didn't care and continued doing it until we reached our table…where Madison was sitting alone. She didn't look too happy.
"Grayson. I was waiting for so long! What took you so long?" She started complaining the second we were in hearing distance. Gray made a bored and annoyed look on his face. I agree with him. I'm annoyed of her already.
"Claire, meet Madison. Madison, Claire." He introduced us to each other, pulling a chair out for me to sit before sitting next to me. Madison gave us both a look. Pursing her lips, she tried to regain Gray's attention.
"So Grayson, I loved the lilies you bought for me. Thank you!"
"You're welcome." Gray answered in a bored tone. The flowers were for her? I gave him a look and he mouthed, 'I didn't know.'
"So Grayson, your mother tells me that you make accessories." She continued talking.
"Um. Yeah, I do." He answered back. She gave him a smile and tried to lean in a little closer.
"Maybe you can make me something?"
I could see her fake eyelashes fluttering like crazy when she tilts her head into the light like that.
At that point, I was really hating the crap out of this Madison. I sat there in silence, staring at the menu while listening to their conversation. If Gray decided to make her something special, we're going to have a long talk.
"Uh…I'll be leaving tomorrow so it'll be kinda hard to make you something."
Hah! Take that Madison!
She frowned and was about to say something else, but then I interrupted.
"Waiter! We'd like to order!" I called the waiter, signaling for him to come. I turned to glance at Madison, and at that moment, our eyes connected.
It was on.
The food couldn't come here fast enough. By the time it came, Claire and Madison were having cat fights with their eyes nonstop. Gray, clueless as he was to the whole drama before him, stayed silent. He sensed the tension, but what could he do about it? Very little, that's what.
"Grayson, you should try this!" Madison chirped brightly, putting a spoonful of fillet mignon on his plate, "It's superb."
"Gray? You should try this too!" Claire added, stuffing a spoon of spaghetti into his mouth before he could stop her. "It's superb."
The rest of the lunch went on with both of them trying to feed Gray, help Gray, or gain his attention. Most tables were staring at them. Most men were staring at Gray with envy.
"Grayson/Gray!" Both Claire and Madison called his name, trying to put each of their dessert on his plate. Annoyed and fed up, he pulled his plate away from the table. Their dessert fell and landed on the table.
"Enough!" Gray said sternly. "I have my own dessert! I don't need either of yours." Feeling a little mean, he added quietly, "Thank you…"
"This is all your fault!" Madison hissed at Claire, trying to do it quietly enough for Gray not to hear.
"My fault? I wasn't the one who practically gave her whole dish to Gray like an offering!" Claire hissed back.
"I'm right here…" Gray reminded them.
"Oh shut up, Gray-" Claire said but stopped midway, her eyes gliding over and past his head to the table in the corner. Was that Kai and the woman she saw earlier?
She tried blinking a few times, desperately hoping that she was hallucinating, but no matter how many times she closed her eyes, Kai was still there when she opened them. With another woman. He was wearing a nice black suit, his bandana off and tucked in his pocket. The woman was wearing a plain white dress. They were laughing together, drinking champagne and eating lunch.
"Excuse me…" Claire muttered quietly, getting up from the table and walking away.
"Claire?" Gray called, wiping his mouth with the napkin first before following her. "Be right back." He yelled back to Madison at the table. He left in such a hurry to follow Claire that he didn't notice Kai who looked around the restaurant when he heard Gray's voice.
Gray found her outside the restaurant, sitting on the waiting bench. He sat beside her.
"You okay?" He asked.
She nodded, "Yeah, I just felt…a little sick. That's all. I guess the lobster isn't sitting too well." She grimaced and stuck her tongue out with a sick expression.
"It better stay in your stomach. You ordered the most expensive dish on the menu." He sounded a little miffed.
Claire frowned with confusion, she looked up at him and asked, "I thought Geraldine was paying for the meal."
"No…she's not. The money is coming out from my pocket."
Gray laughed and ruffled her hair playfully. He put an arm around her and drew her closer so that her head was leaning on his shoulder. He drew in a breath and her vanilla scent filled his nostrils.
"Hey…if you want to talk about anything that's on your mind…I'm right here." He said softly in a comforting tone. "Might it be about your farm or...Goddess forbid, shoes. I'm here."
"My my, aren't you being a good husband." She teased, looking up to see him smiling.
"Yeah…I knew marrying you was going to be troublesome. I just have to suck it up and deal with my mistakes." He made a pained expression, laughing again when she hit him in the shoulder. When she finished, she went back to leaning against him.
"So you're calling me your husband now, huh?"
"Don't ruin the moment, Gray…I'm taken." For now, she thought to herself. She thought that she gave her whole heart to Kai, but these days, she's not sure if she did. She wasn't sure either if he ever did give her his.
"Sorry…" He muttered, glancing back at the restaurant. He didn't want to go back inside at all. "Wanna get out of here? I paid already before I came out. We can just leave if you want."
"And Madison?" Claire asked, drawling her name out in a snobby, pompous tone. "I really don't like her…trying to give you food like that. Ugh!"
Gray looked down at her and saw her pouting her lips. "If I don't know any better, I'd think that you're jealous, Claire."
Claire blushed instantly, putting her head down to hide it from him. But she couldn't hide her stuttering.
"W-What? Jealous? Me? No!" She couldn't even form a whole sentence properly because…he was right.
"Okay okay. Let's get out of here then. Madison can get herself a cab." With that, he got up and pulled Claire up with him. When he whistled, his driver came around and parked the car in front for them to get in. He opened the door for her to get in, but before she did, she looked back at the restaurant once more. Pass the window, she could still see Kai, talking happily with that unknown woman. She looked back at Gray, opening the door for her.
"Get your ass in the car, Claire. Hurry up." He muttered, pushing her head in the car so he could get in after her. She laughed when he pushed her in, making her fall to make space for himself.
She looked at his face again, at which point he turned to glance at her and smiled. She was certain that she was wrong. Kai didn't have her whole heart. Not anymore.
Is Claire FINALLY giving in and admitting that she likes/LOVES Gray? Fingers crossed!
Don't forget to review. (: