Mrs. Hayes's POV:
My husband and I were busy distracting Libby while Hunter went upstairs to call his best friend. He and Ryleigh had, of course, told both of us what had happened and what Libby appeared to be attempting. As I heard him come back down the stairs, I asked,
"Libby, can I get you another glass of iced tea?"
"Thank you, Mrs. Hayes, I would love another one."
I grabbed her glass and walked out to the kitchen where I saw my son leaning against the fridge. He looked like he wasn't sure he wanted to go back out to the living room.
"Really glad you don't like her, you know."
"I know, Mom."
"You are still in love with Ryleigh, right?"
"Yeah. But you already know that. Why are you asking?"
"Haven't you been faking this 'relationship' with Libby long enough? Hunter, you've been fake dating her for 2 and a half years."
"I know, I just don't know how to break up with her without her threatening everything."
"Maybe you should talk to Ryleigh about it. The two of you have always confided everything in each other."
He didn't seem to have an answer to that, just continued resting both hands on the island counter before finally moving back into the living room and slumped down next to the ice queen herself. Until Libby finally asked him,
"Are you alright, Hunter?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just thinking about a lot right now. In fact, I'm gonna go outside for a walk to clear my head."
"Oh, let me come with you. We can walk together and you can show me around your hometown."
"I'd love to, but I need to be alone with my thoughts right now. You understand that, right?"
"Oh, ok. I'll stay here." And with that, she whipped out her phone and promptly ignored everyone else in the room while Hunter got up and slid out of the house.
I've been waiting for my best friend since birth to meet me in my parents' backyard for the past 30 minutes. I'd about given up hope of him coming and was headed back towards the house, when I heard a voice behind me say,
"Don't go. Sorry I took so long."
I turned around to see Hunter standing by the faded red hammock style swing filled with soft comfy pillows and a couple blankets. My face instantly lit up and I ran into his outstretched arms, burying my face into his neck, finally allowing myself to relax. When the hug ended, I looked up at him and said,
"So, what's going on?"
"We need to talk about this whole 'Libby' situation. I'm tired of fake 'dating' her."
"Actually, I'm glad you brought that up." We sat down on the swing as I pulled out my phone to show him something I'd seen online. "I was browsing some of the tweets sent to RoadGuy and answering a few of them when I also found a discussion on the official website that, well, I think might help our 'situation' with the ice queen herself." I handed him the phone to read it himself.
'Hello, fellow Hayniacs,
I think many of you would agree with me when I say that we don't like that Hunter is dating and it's not us. But of course, if he's happy and we're true fans, we should try to be happy for him. I don't know about you, but I don't think he is happy. We don't know what the situation is. Remember his best friend and tour manager, Ryleigh? She left so suddenly after he started 'dating' Libby. Why would she have done that if she's really his best friend? As true Hayniacs we need to stand up and show our support for Hunter no matter what he chooses. I just hope he makes the right choice.
That was the initial discussion topic and below were a couple comments that Hunter continued to read on my phone.
'I agree! Ryleigh was always with him. She could always be seen behind him in the FTLOM episodes. I even saw her at two of his live shows. She's so close with him, she must know so many more secrets that we can only pretend we know. How could that close of a friendship end just before the 'Wanted' tour? And she hasn't been seen in his public life since? That's a weird coincidence that she left right after Libby appeared.'
'Absolutely! They'd be perfect together! So cute! Hope they reunite! Love them! I personally wouldn't mind Hunter dating if he was dating Ryleigh. As long as it's not HER!
As soon as he set my phone down, a new look of shock on his face, I said,
"See? The fans sound like they're on your side. I think even if you break up with Libby. In fact, I logged in anonymously and started a poll to see how many would support you and still be a fan of you and your music and how many wouldn't. Hunter, 85% of the people who answered said that they'll support you no matter what Libby does."
Before we could finish our conversation, his phone rang. I could tell it was Libby calling even though I couldn't hear her voice at all. As soon as he hung up, he said,
"She's going back to Nashville. Some kind of family emergency. Ryles, I'm not traveling back with her. I'm here for the whole week."
He ended up staying for 2 weeks after that, but of course, too soon he had to go back to Nashville again. But he promised we'd stay in touch even better this time.