Morning light filtered through the curtains of the hotel room, casting a beam across the queen-sized bed where two bodies slept. From his back, rose a naked Hunter Divine, his head pounding from a hard night of drinking, cloudy memories littering his mind, bits and pieces he couldn’t grab hold of. He shook his head to clear what cobwebs remained, finding his equilibrium before standing and walking over to the curtains. Taking a gander outside, the bright sunlight hurt his eyes, noticing the day was well underway, the clock by the bed showing in bright LED red—9:17.
His forty-three-year-old body felt stiff, a few scars and healed broken bones from the life he’d led made his first movements each morning challenging. Opening the curtains further, unworried if anyone saw his bare body, he reached both arms above his head and stretched as much as he could trying to loosen up. A fact which seemed harder to do with the beginning of each day of his complicated life. His mouth felt dry and his body dirty from a long night of vigorous sex with the still sleeping woman, whose name escaped him. They had meet in a bar a few blocks from the hotel, frequented by a younger up-scale crowd, the twenty-two-year-old female looking for an older man to hop in bed with. Hunter didn’t really care to find out the reason for this, he just enjoyed the attention her young body gave him, her insatiable desire driving his. They would likely never see each other again, but that was fine with him. It was a physical requirement fulfilled and one he happened to enjoy, even if there was a nagging guilt the next morning. The day would come when he would need to clean up his act and stop his licentious behavior, but that day seemed distant.
Hunter walked into the bathroom to relieve himself and then took a long look in the mirror, the redness in his eyes burning back at him via the silver backing. He didn’t like what he saw and hadn’t for some time now, his life turned upside down by a powerful US Senator. He’d taken work where he could find it, living from hotel to hotel, moving around wherever his employment took him. Once a US Marshal, that life had been forcefully taken away when someone he was protecting had been murdered. The guilt was still there, the memories while awake or asleep, still haunted him, buried beneath the drinking, drugs and one-night stands with whatever female he could find. He had money to move around, but even that wasn’t endless. When that day arrived, he would have to face the facts of what his life had become.
Houston was his temporary home now. The job finished; the fee collected for roughing up someone who had threatened his client. The point was made, the problem solved. His knuckles were still sore from the strategically placed shots to the man’s body. A far cry from the work he’d done in the past, which was satisfying, contrary to his current work that provided little joy. It paid well and kept his mind occupied and away from his troubled soul.
He walked back into the room and found a joint on the table, lighting it up, the no smoking sign staring him in the face. The substance was not legal in Texas, yet it didn’t stop the woman from having a couple in her purse which added to the festivities of the night before. Taking a long draw Hunter held it in before releasing the smoke, the stimulate helping to juice up his mind and body, a temporary mask for his physical and mental pain.
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