Spilling the tea to grams…(MB #8)

I was sat down in grams’ garden on an old-wooden chair warmed by the sun, tea cup in hand despite not being a tea person, waiting for her to bring some snacks for us to enjoy whilst chatting. She’d seen right through me as soon as I’d walked in. Puffy, red eyes that couldn’t hide the tears I cried minutes earlier in front of Hunter and a fake smile that I tried to put on to not worry her.

Attempting to lie to her and deflect from the truth had been a mistake since that only earned me a ‘I’m not buying this crap’ look and I didn’t have another choice but to admit to have been crying. I insisted I was fine now, even though I was so far away from it and she’d simply nodded taking me inside but not without telling Hunter off for not bringing me here sooner. She shooed him away from the house and brought me to the garden.

‘I baked some muffins earlier, I thought they’d be a good treat.’ Grams said softly, appearing from the kitchen with a basket full of blueberry muffins. I smiled and nodded, thanking her for the gesture. ‘Thank you, Nora. I really needed this.’ Shaking my head, I imagined she thought I’d meant the food and tea but it was her company and Hunter’s that kept me from crumbling down in a puddle of tears. ‘It’s nothing dear. I’m just glad you came here instead of somewhere else. You shouldn’t be alone.’

But I am…and that terrified me.

‘I’m sorry for coming earlier, I just couldn’t stay at my house anymore. For some reason this living on my own thing has me really riled up and I can’t seem to feel at ease there.’ Even with Loki there, I felt like something was off, like someone was watching me and I was in danger all the time. ‘Are you getting any sleep?’ I nodded in approval, sleeping wasn’t an issue since I locked my bedroom door at night and had Loki in there to alert me if someone was trying to break into my bedroom but now…with James dead I couldn’t even close my eyes without seeing that image of his dead body being dragged out of the lake. ‘Mia, darling. Why were you crying earlier, is someone trying to hurt you?’ Once again I nodded unable to utter a simple yes. Overcome by emotion, I started sobbing again, ‘I’m scared that something will happen to me, Nora. That they might kill me’. Because the truth was, that was the reason I had ran away in the first place, not because I wanted to move to some secluded town to write my book but because I feared for my own life.

Concern and a flash of fear washed over her face and she got up from her chair and came to my side to try and soothe me, ‘Who are these people? Why are they trying to kill you?’ she asked, in a trembling tone unsure perhaps if she wanted to know the answer to that or not. Still, I told her if only to ease some of the anxiety bottled up inside of me. I walked her through everything from when I’d arrived into town to last night’s news of James’ death. She was trying to help and I didn’t feel like withholding information from her was fair since she was being so understanding and kind.

By the time I finished telling her my story in between sobs and eaten muffins she looked at me with her own tears threatening to set her off and said, ‘You can stay here with us at the farm. I won’t take no for an answer. You don’t have to be afraid here, we’ll keep you safe. No one even has to know you’re here, you can stay in our guest house.’ ‘Nora, that’s…I can’t accept your offer.’ she shushed me and immediately got up and said ‘You need a place to stay until things calm down. I’m offering it.’ ‘It’s not that simple. If these people do find me…I don’t want them to hurt you or your family’. I couldn’t bare the thought of something happening to any of them much less being responsible for that happening.

‘No one comes here and they won’t even know you’re here. You can keep doing the work you came here to do and not worry about your safety until you know more about these people.’ I hesitated for awhile and tried to compromise ‘I’ll think about it, I promise but it’s a lot to ask of you.’

‘What’s a lot to ask?’ I heard Hunter say as he came out of the house and joined us in the garden. Sweaty and tired-looking he grabbed one of grams’ muffins and stuffed it in his mouth. I took a look at grams and she was fuming from what I could read from her body language. ‘I was asking Mia to stay in our guesthouse for awhile. She thinks it’s too much to ask for.’ A cough was all the reaction grams got from Hunter. Rolling her eyes at him in dismissal she looked at me softly and said ‘I won’t take no for answer but take your time to think about it, Mia. I understand it’s a big decision. I’m going to get some more tea and perhaps some sandwiches while you think it over. Someone seems to be hungry.’

Eyeing Hunter disapprovingly she left the two of us alone. I was torn between Nora’s offer and my fear of putting them in danger whilst Hunter looked uncomfortable in my presence, not knowing what to say since his grandmother decided to invite a stranger to live with them. ‘I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean for her to offer me to live here. I just needed someone to talk to and things went off course…’. With an apologetic look, I tried to excuse myself but he didn’t say a word in response. He eventually placed his hand over mine, his warmth immediately engulfing me, and said ‘I trust and respect grams. She’s never been wrong about anyone and that includes a lot of the women I’ve dated, my parents and even me. If she’s offering you to stay here it’s because she really trusts you. She wouldn’t do this for just anyone’. I debated his answer and asked him ‘Do you trust me?’ not expecting him to say yes like he did, ‘If she does, I do and besides if you live here I’ll get to see you more often which means you might stop thinking of me as some axe murder.’

‘Why does what I think of you matter?’ I asked, fishing for something I could hold on to. ‘Because I like you and when you’re ready for me to ask you out, I want you to see the real me not what your mind has created out of fear. Just me.’ Just him…just Hunter.

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