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 A little unsteady, Kieran Hill
Kieran Hill
 Posted: Aug 11 2018, 07:47 AM
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Local
Natalie


Kieran smirked at her, "I don't mind helping with that" he said, in actual fact he'd love to take her out on a proper date but he feared he wasn't quite ready to be dating again just yet. As much as he thought he was over Zoe, it was still early days and he'd hate Rachel to think he was rebounding. Then again, he also didn't want some other guy to come in and snap her up before he got the chance. So he as stuck in a bit of a tricky position not quite knowing how to play things. He guessed he was just going to have to see how things went.

He nodded his head at her, pleased to hear that she could at least get a week off work. "As long as you come back afterwards..." he teased her when she mentioned she might go back to England for a few days. He didn't want to lose her just yet. "But you'll appreciate having some time off. I always do when I've been really busy, it's just nice to chill for a bit and have some down time" he smiled, although there wasn't much down time being a parent. At least he only had one child though, and Grace wasn't exactly a little rascal anyway. She might have her moments like any other child of her age, but on the whole she was well behaved and liked to have her quiet time.

Rachel asked him if having time off had helped and he honestly did have to think about that for a moment. He sighed lightly, "A bit. I'm not sure. I guess it took my mind of things whilst I was away, but it's not solved all my problems" he shrugged, she was probably going to wish she'd never gotten to know him. "I saw my ex recently, for the first time since we broke up. It was just... all a bit weird. I know she purposefully tries to avoid me and I find that quite insulting. Especially when she was the one to tell me she didn't want to cut me out of her life completely" he rolled his eyes and sighed, pausing for a moment before he looked at Rachel. "Sorry... I'm ranting. She just said some things that didn't sit well with me" he shrugged again, because Zoe had told him a few things he really hadn't liked and now he was overthinking things again.

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Rachel Hyde
 Posted: Aug 11 2018, 09:04 AM
Quote
Stranger
Kate


At this point Rachel wasn't going to start reading into his flirty nature. For all she knew he could just be that way with every woman he came into contact with so she certainly wasn't going to start thinking she was special or that he actually wanted to pursue something with her. Having said that, it did feel nice to have a guy flirt with her a bit. "I will, I promise" she laughed when he tried to imply he might be worried she'd end up staying back in England again. She wouldn't have moved her whole life out here if she thought there was any doubt she didn't want to be here.

He was right that everyone needed to slow down sometimes and take a break, but she was now getting the impression that perhaps that hadn't really worked out so well for him. She supposed once you got back from a vacation and went back to reality, those problems you'd been facing soon managed to come back. She watched him with her brown eyes as he spoke about bumping into his ex-girlfriend. Well it was always going be awkward seeing your ex for the first time since breaking up with them, but it sounded like his meeting with her hadn't gone quite so well. "Oh..." she said simply, getting the impression there was some bitterness there on his part. Which in turn made her wonder if he still had feelings for her. She smiled slightly at him, "It's alright, it's good to rant sometimes... might make you feel better" she said, getting things off your chest did help from time to time. Not that she was really any good at talking or expressing her feelings. "You can tell me about it if you want?" she offered, though there was no pressure if he didn't want to. Not everyone really liked to be reminded of their exes or to talk about them in general.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Aug 11 2018, 10:13 AM
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Natalie


That awkward encounter with Zoe could definitely have gone a whole lot better, but she'd only gone and made things worse by continuing to avoid him. What was it she was afraid of? That he was going to shout at her or beg her to take him back? Because he'd not been planning on doing either those things. All he'd wanted to do was say hello and ask how she was. But she didn't seem to even want that so he wondered why he bothered. Maybe next time he saw her he'd avoid her just so she knew how he felt about her doing it to him.

He didn't really know how much to tell Rachel. Had they been dating as such then he probably wouldn't have told her any of this. It just wasn't really the done thing to start talking about your ex. "Maybe..." he shrugged when she told him that ranting might make him feel better. Perhaps it would. He felt bad for putting this all on her though. It wasn't that he was looking for sympathy or even any advice on the situation, he was just feeling a bit pissed off and wanted to moan about it. "I don't really want to go into it too much" he said quietly, hesitating for a moment whilst he thought to himself. "My ex... Zoe... she's lovely... I've never really said a bad word about her but... I don't know, it pisses me off when someone starts accusing me of things. I mean I followed her out of the grocery store because I knew she was avoiding me and all of a sudden apparently I'm stalking her?" he frowned and shook his head, it couldn't have been further from the truth. "Then she told me I'm insecure and suggested I'll never make it work with any girl I date" he rolled his eyes and shrugged. "I did a lot for her and it feels like she's just thrown it all back in my face, making me out to be the bad guy for no reason when it can't be helped that we just weren't going to work out in the long run" he shrugged, it felt like she was looking for any reason to hate him.

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Rachel Hyde
 Posted: Aug 11 2018, 12:55 PM
Quote
Stranger
Kate


Rachel didn't want to have to push him to talk if he didn't want to, but he'd been the one to mention his ex so she figured whilst they were on the subject she may as well let him know he could talk about it if he wanted to. He had suggested before that he didn't really have anyone to talk to or any close friends, so she could offer him a shoulder at least. It wasn't like she was going to judge him, she was still getting to know him after all.

And now his ex-girlfriend had a name. Zoe. She could tell he didn't want to have to say bad things about her, but she'd clearly annoyed him and now he felt like there was something he needed to get off his chest. So she let him talk, not wanting to interrupt or talk over him. Rachel wasn't really sure what to think, but there were always two sides to a story and why would his ex tell him he was insecure if she didn't have good reason to? Not that there was anything wrong with being a bit insecure and she figured that maybe it stemmed back to his time at school, he'd already told her he'd been bullied and she knew that kind of thing stayed with you throughout your life. "Oh dear... I guess running into her didn't go as well as you might have liked" she said, unsure of what to say for a moment. "I suppose we can all say and do things in the heat of the moment. I can't really comment because I don't know her, but it sounds like she just wants someone to blame. That someone being you" she said, taking a sip from her water as she peered at Kieran. She could tell he was obviously feeling down about it and clearly hadn't quite moved on yet. "Would you say there was any reason in particular you didn't work out?" she asked, "And... wait... did her friends say anything to her about seeing us together that time?" she asked, only just remembering that now. Oh god, maybe that was the reason his ex wasn't all that pleased with him.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Aug 12 2018, 03:52 AM
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Local
Natalie


He wasn't quite sure how exactly he'd expected that little encounter to go, but he'd not expected Zoe to be quite rude towards him. Obviously there had been things she'd left unsaid and suddenly felt like she needed to tell him. "Not really" he shrugged, but he should have realised what it was going to be like considering she'd clearly been avoiding him for the past few months. That just said it all. He sighed lightly, wondering if Rachel was right, "I'm always the one to blame... for everything. Nothing ever changes there" he shrugged, hadn't it been the same story his whole life? And to think it had all started with Zoe's brother. He really shouldn't have gotten involved with her in the first place, how had he ever thought it could possibly end well?

Well he'd really gone and turned this into a rather depressing conversation and he was starting to feel bad for that. But Rachel seemed to be a good listener and maybe that was all he needed right now. It didn't make it any easier to talk about all this though. "I don't think there was one specific reason. I mean... she was quite a bit younger than me... nearly nine years. It didn't really matter to me, but I always made it clear I couldn't promise her certain things... you know... like more children. I already have one. She won't admit it, but I guess she realised that by staying with me she might miss out on all that. I can't blame her for that" he shrugged, running a hand over his jaw because he knew there were several more reasons. "It's not just that. I think she just got very frustrated with me. I don't open up much and I think she needs a man who knows how to express his feelings more" he said, because he didn't think he was going to change in that respect either.

He smirked at Rachel's last question, because really he had to see the funny side of it. "Oh yeah... that's the best part. According to Zoe I've moved on too quickly and apparently you're my new girlfriend" he chuckled slightly, "Nice to know I can't so much as look at another woman without being romantically linked to them" he grinned, this was one of the joys of living in a small town where everyone knew each other.

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Rachel Hyde
 Posted: Aug 12 2018, 07:49 AM
Quote
Stranger
Kate


Without knowing the whole story it was hard to know what to think right now, but naturally she was going to take Kieran's side just because she considered to him to be a friend... one of her first friends here and therefore she felt she should have his back. And hopefully she'd expect the same from him in return. But she got the impression he didn't have much luck when it came down to relationships, or maybe just friendships in general because why would he always feel he was blamed for everything? Maybe if she got to know him even better she'd find out if there was another side to him.

Ah, an age gap relationship. She'd not been in one herself, Ben had only been a couple of years older than her and she'd never been on a date with someone who was considerably older than her. Not that she'd rule it out, if she felt she got on with someone and developed feelings for them then why not? Why should it matter? You just had to make sure you were on the same page as them and wanted the same things out of life. That sounded like one of the reasons why Kieran and his ex had broken up. "No... well I suppose that could turn out to be a huge issue. Helps if you both want the same things from life" she said, but he clearly realised that or he wouldn't have mentioned it. But by the sound of it, that wasn't the only factor in why they'd broken up. "But if that's just the way you are, it can't be helped. Not everyone is an open book... and that's okay" she smiled, neither was she, and if someone couldn't deal with that then maybe they weren't supposed to be in her life.

Rachel raised her eyebrows at him. She shouldn't have been so surprised, she knew that girls talked and in a small town like this she could see how easy it was for rumours to start. "Oh god. Am I a subject of town gossip already?" she smirked, she was going to have to try and see the funny side of it. "I forgot... a man and a woman can't possibly be just friends. I mean, how absurd!" she laughed, not like she had any close guy friends anyway, but people were quick to judge. Apparently even quicker in a small town.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Aug 12 2018, 09:52 AM
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Local
Natalie


Kieran nodded his head, of course it could be a huge deal. Maybe not now, but in five... ten years time it would be. So as sad as it was, it was best they'd ended things now before they had to cross that bridge. "Yes. Well she told me she didn't see a future with me, so that's that" he shrugged, what would have been the point in fighting for her? They weren't meant to be and so he had to let her go. He just had to stop being so bitter about it all. He did appreciate Rachel's comment though and it at least gave him some hope that someone understood, but it was too early to tell just yet, they hadn't known each other for that long. "I know that. But every girlfriend I've ever had just ends up getting frustrated with me for the same reason" he shrugged, "Talk more, Kieran... hug me more, Kieran... do more, Kieran" he rolled his eyes and shook his head, was it just the women he ended up falling for? Or was he the problem? Either way, he'd well and truly given up on love now.

He smirked at her, he guessed she wasn't used to living in such a small town and therefore didn't know how things worked just yet. "Yeah, congratulations and welcome to Lochland Grove. You're now an official citizen" he laughed, he wondered how many rumours there'd been about him in the past. He tried not to pay much attention to it anymore. He laughed at her final comment, choosing not to tell her that he'd never been capable of staying 'just friends' with a woman. At least not one he was attracted to and felt he could flirt with. Let's face it, it was probably only a a matter of time before he made a move on her anyway, but right now he didn't want her to think that she was just a rebound girl to him. "Right. People are just quick to judge I guess. Anyway... enough of me ranting" he grinned and then leant forward slightly, putting a hand on her arm. "Are you feeling a bit better? I should probably take you home. Want me to call a cab?" he asked, he'd make sure she got home safely and in one piece, it was no trouble.

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Rachel Hyde
 Posted: Aug 13 2018, 12:55 PM
Quote
Stranger
Kate


It couldn't be very nice to hear your partner tell you they didn't see a future with you. But then it was best to be honest. "Well... at least she had the decency to tell you. My ex clearly didn't see a future with me yet didn't have the guts to admit it and instead slept around behind my back" she shrugged, he was a coward and maybe if he'd just been upfront about not wanting to be with her then it would have saved a whole lot of pain. But the past was the past and she was really trying to move on from it. It had been well over two years now since she'd ditched him, it was probably about time she started dating again. She was just afraid of the same damn thing happening again. Her brown eyes focused on Kieran as he went into a rant again, it was obvious that he was frustrated about the situation and was now thinking back to every other relationship he'd had that hadn't worked out. "Maybe you just... pick the wrong girls?" she suggested, she had no idea what his type was, but if all the girls he dated were just carbon copies of each other then maybe that was the problem.

Rachel chuckled slightly and flashed him a smile, "Thank you... I'm honoured. I feel like I'm part of a secret society now she laughed, it sounded like everyone around here was a subject of gossip at some point of their lives, so she may as well get it out of the way now. She smiled when his expression suddenly changed and he decided he didn't want to rant anymore, her brown eyes flicking down to the hand he'd just put on her arm which sent her pulse racing. He was really very attractive... she couldn't believe she hadn't noticed that the first time she'd met him all those years ago. "Mhmm... I do feel much better now. Sitting down definitely helps" she smiled, quite glad that he suggested calling for a cab because she didn't think she'd be able to walk home. "That'd be great... thanks" she said with a small smile as she ran a hand through her hair. "You don't have to come back in the cab with me... I can manage. I don't want to ruin your evening, I don't know... you probably have other plans" she shrugged, now she felt like she was rambling. A sign she was a bit nervous. God knows why, he hadn't done anything to make her feel uncomfortable.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Aug 13 2018, 02:07 PM
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Natalie


Well that sure put things into perspective. At least Zoe hadn't done anything terrible to him like cheat or betray him in some way. Yes, he could have been a better boyfriend but he wasn't low enough to ever cheat on someone. If he was with someone he was loyal to the bitter end. "Ugh... I know. What a bastard" he said, he was sure she didn't mind him saying that, let's face it, it was clear she was only thinking the same thing. He sighed lightly, wishing he really knew where he was going wrong, "Well... I did think that was where I was going wrong. But... honestly... I know this sounds cliched, but I really thought Zoe was different" he shrugged, he genuinely thought there had been something so special about her. No wonder he always felt like she was too good for him. "I think it's me that's the problem though. The sad thing is that she was probably right, it'll be the same story with every future relationship I have" he shrugged, maybe he should have a little more faith in himself. But Zoe was also right about him having insecurities. For someone who came across as being so confident and maybe even a little arrogant at times, he didn't actually think very highly of himself at all.

Kieran laughed at her, "Great! I'm proud to have you as a member. We should hold weekly meetings... preferably with wine" he winked at her, maybe he was suggesting he would quite like to see her more often. It depended how she felt about that, but they got on so well that it would be a shame not to spend more time together and see how things went.

He was pleased that she was feeling a bit better now, he rubbed her arm lightly as he pulled his phone out of his pocket. "Good. You're looking better already" he smiled before shaking his head, "Don't be silly. I don't have plans... and I want to make sure you make it home safely. It's my duty of care as your secret society partner in crime" he teased as he held his phone to his ear and rang through to arrange a taxi. Within a matter of seconds it was booked. "It's on it's way, should only be a couple of minutes" he smiled as he put his phone back away and fell silent, he'd probably done enough talking... and ranting for one night. Poor Rachel was probably hoping he'd just leave.

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Rachel Hyde
 Posted: Aug 14 2018, 07:25 AM
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Stranger
Kate


Rachel smirked slightly when he called her ex-boyfriend a bastard. Honestly, she didn't care. He only said what she was thinking anyway. She would have been foolish to stay with Ben after what he'd done to her. What was it they said? Once a cheat always a cheat. She wondered if he'd managed to stay faithful to whoever his current girlfriend was now. Rachel stayed quiet again, wondering if Kieran was just overthinking everything. It was a difficult time breaking up with someone, you just kept analysing everything wondering what exactly had gone wrong. She smiled lightly, wondering if he was the kind of guy that told every girl she was 'different' and 'special'. Or then again, maybe he truly believed it. It would explain why he was obviously still so hurt by it and seemed to have lost all faith in finding love. She hesitated for a moment as she heard him out, "So... prove her wrong then" she said, because what could be more satisfying than that? If someone told you that you couldn't do something it should make you want to do it even more.

At this point, Rachel couldn't tell whether he was joking or actually being serious. Though he did seem to be quite suggestive so she took it mean he was actually up for it. "Maybe..." she said simply, not wanting to sound too keen even though the idea of seeing him regularly was most appealing.

She tried not to make anything of him rubbing her arm like that... but ohh, why did it feel so nice? She realised she'd had next to no physical contact with anyone (let alone a man) for quite some time and maybe she was starting to crave it a bit. She chuckled slightly, it seemed they had their own inside joke now, "Your duty of care? That's one of the perks of my new membership is it?" she grinned, although jokes aside, it was nice that he wanted to look out for her and make sure she got home safely. She couldn't really argue with that. She nodded her head when he'd called for a taxi and she leant back against her chair as they waited, taking another few sips from her glass of water. The minutes seemed to pass quickly and when she glanced up, she saw a cab arriving at the entrance. "I guess that's our ride?" she said, grabbing her clutch purse and then standing up, wobbling slightly because she knew she should have taken her time to get up. She placed a hand down on the table as if to steady herself, she would be okay, the worst of it had passed now. She just needed to get home and go to bed.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Aug 14 2018, 09:42 AM
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Natalie


He realised that he was probably whining just a little bit too much. But it was just thoughts that he'd kept to himself for the past few months and now all of a sudden he felt the need to get everything off his chest. With any luck he might actually feel better for doing so and he could start to move on. He was sure Zoe seemed to think the breakup hadn't affected him at all and he was just jumping straight into something with another woman. As tempting as it had been to just go out and find a rebound girl, he knew deep down that wasn't going to solve anything. He let out a small sigh and smiled at Rachel's comment, nodding his head. One day, maybe he would. Truth was, he wasn't quite sure what he wanted anymore.

He was going to have to try convincing her a little more that it was a good idea. But at the moment he was just teasing, trying to work out if she actually liked the thought of spending some more time with him. He just had to be careful. His track record of leading women on wasn't particularly great and he didn't want to have to make the same mistake again just because he couldn't work out what the hell he wanted.

Flirting was fun. But it was even better when it was reciprocated. Whether she meant for it come off that way or not, he was convinced that she at least enjoyed his company and was game for a laugh or two. "Yes. That's just one of the many perks" he smirked, but that could be left to her imagination. He eventually took his hand away from her arm, watching what was going on around him before he realised the cab had arrived. It seemed Rachel stood up quicker than he did and he thought for a moment she was going to fall back down, "Woah... take it easy" he said, standing up and offering her his arm so he could help her over to the cab, holding the door open so she could get in first. "West Lochland, right? I'll see you get in okay and then I'll walk back to mine afterwards" he said as he slid into the back of the cab beside her, he could use a walk and it wasn't like it was really that far anyway.

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