Chapter 8 "Lies, nothing good ever comes of them... does it?"
He'd gone to bed when Tori met him at the common room, after arriving. The girl had been taken to the clinic and was being treated.
Hunter hadn't bother asking if she was going to okay. It wasn't that he didn't care, it was just another casualty from his father's methods, nothing he wasn't already used to experience or live with. Sure it wasn't his actions but still sometimes it was hard not to take it upon his shoulders. Back in Ilks he grew up being known as Hunter Blackwood. He'd used his mother's last name and not his father's, but when he made the call of enlisting himself into UNSEEN his mother had only one rule. He would have to use the name Marquinn. Hunter had always known who his father was, he'd never wished to meet him, especially as a kid, he was scared of the man, but as he grew older he realized his biological father was nothing more than a power crazed-maniac, a bully. Until these day though, he had no idea why his mother would make him go through such a thing. Once people knew who he was they looked at him with hate, sneered, some were too afraid to do anything at all besides stray from his shadow. It was horrible, but he'd lived through it and was proud of himself for it.
He still missed being called Blackwood, though. It was part of him, of his childhood, taking it away was like throwing away all his memories from before joining the Organization.
Hunter shoved the thoughts away when a beeping came from his bracelet. Again. With a sleepy groan he threw the covers away, got up and took a look at his face in the small bathroom mirror. It was like a mini-tornado had used his hair for a dance-stage. He fixed his hair by wetting it and drying it, taming it with a comb.
Having dressed himself in five minutes he walked out his room. His stomach wasn't giving him any choices in where to go, sometimes even he wondered if his appetite was normal.
He sat by himself after collecting food for a small army. It wasn't very early in the morning yet he was mostly the only one at the cafeteria. He didn't really mind, enjoying peace in quiet was a bliss for him, especially in the morning. No one wanted to be loud around him then.
Hunter paused when he was going to eat a pear. He'd only eaten a pear once before; it'd been in Calibri the morning after his sleepless night, Ruby had ordered food for both of them since he couldn't keep much food down, which was really messed for him, she'd ordered him to eat fruit. It would've been funny to defy her order hadn't he been almost passing out from chills.
He finished off the juicy fruit, lifting his violet eyes once he felt eyes on him. Two girls, one in particular, were staring and giving sheepish smiles. Hunter couldn't say he wasn't used to getting those; he smiled once before going back to his breakfast. When the door 'whooshed' his head turned out of instinct to see a familiar face.
"Up already?" Luke patted his back sitting in one of the empty seats.
"I can never sleep for too long."
"And you have an appetite." Luke whistled looking to his tray "How did your mom manage to cook for you, kid?"
Hunter let out a good nature laugh, taking another look his food.
"With what? The eating?" This time they both laughed "The Rick I know eats through a sea of food."
"Maybe I got that from watching him."
"How's Rick doing?" Luke gave a look to the two girls, then turned back to Hunter who wore a very innocent face. Luke chuckled.
"Huh... Rick. Rick's doing alright, he's still a bit of slacker when it comes to housekeeping, other than that my mom doesn't yell at him a lot."
"Mom used to yell at him all the time, too, seems it never got through his thick head."
Hunter nodded along with Luke's words. Rick was Luke's older brother, and he was also Hunter's fatherly figure. Rick and his mom were together since he was four, most of the time he called him 'Rick' other times though he'd actually called him 'dad'. Rick had just become an instructor when he met Hunter's mother; she never hid anything from him, since the beginning he knew who Hunter's real father was and he couldn't say he enjoyed the idea at first, but as Hunter grew up Rick's liking grew too. Of course, Luke, was like an uncle. When Hunter decided to join UNSEEN he was all for it even when his mother made him change his last name, Luke wanted to have Hunter come to Celtus from the start, but Rick didn't want it. So he'd trained under Rick and graduated with brilliancy.
"No one would say he's the older brother that's for sure."
Hunter bit down the 'uncle' part, he was too used to treating Luke by 'uncle Luke'.
"Believe it or not Rick's gotten around to cook without burning the kitchen." Hunter said in serious voice, which was clearly meant for more laughter.
"Good picture you just put in my head, kid." Luke smirked stealing an apple "Did you have anything to do with the heroic-rescue from last night?"
The humor was gone like drawings on the beach.
"No. I was here all night, didn't go anywhere." The young Expert said around a bit of bacon "Are they in trouble?"
"Not trouble." Luke held his chin with a thoughtful gaze "They were doing our job. The UNSEEN wants to stop Conner's actions, they were doing just that."
"How's the girl?"
"Alive, but in a coma." Luke tapped his finger on the table "Nano paste would do no good, her injuries are internal."
Hunter almost choked on his food. Ruby had used nano-paste on his injury back in Calibri. Nano-paste or healing-paste was really good to heal outside injuries but it was a rare thing to come across, the one Ruby had must've been taken from the clinic without anyone knowing. For her sake, he kept very quiet, letting the subject fade.
"Aren't you going to eat?" Luke showed him the half-eaten apple "My mom would say that's no proper breakfast."
"She's not here, kid, so don't tell her." Luke winked getting up, giving his adoptive nephew a friendly shove "Stay out of trouble."
"I'm not making any promises." Hunter whispered with a chortle.
Don't think about that girl. She's not your problem. Hunter thought quickly, feeling the jabbing guild seeping into his mind, Nothing Conner does is your fault. It's not.
"Nice job your dad did last night."
Well, so much for not taking the guilt for his father's actions.
"Don't know what you're talking about." Hunter replied with a neutral voice.
"Don't be a wise guy, Marquinn-junior," Wow that was a new one, no one ever called him that but he couldn't say it was the worst he'd been dubbed. Of all the names 'Tyrant Prince' was the most elaborate one "I have no idea how the hell anyone let you in, in the first place but I sure know that you're not welcome here. Not by any of us."
Hunter took in what Colin said with the most calm face he was able to conjure. In reality he was itching to just punch the guy, still he did what Rick always told him. Wait until the offender made the first move.
"Hmm. Listen, kid, if it helps your vendetta I have nothing to do with Conner, little alone what he orders his goons to do." Hunter stood up, easily towering over Colin "Now one advice, don't pick a fight with me."
Hunter's viola iris pierced through Colin's.
"What are you doing?" Jake came up to his younger brother's side, shoving him behind him "Did you just threaten my brother?"
Now, this was getting off-hand.
"Do you even know what a threat is?" Hunter hid his smiling lips in his palm, he coughed to cover up a laugh. "I advised him to leave me alone. I'm not a morning person." He dropped his hand to his side, the other one resting on his hip.
Jake silenced his brother with a shove, staring Hunter squarely in the eye.
"You do anything to my brother and I'll ship you back wherever you came from. Only it'd be in a coffin." Jake's hand was dangerously close to pushing Hunter's chest, a grim line across his snarling lips.
"You do know what a threat is." Hunter batted Jake's hand smoothly, like he was swatting a mosquito. "Too bad you can't make good of your threat."
"Wanna bet, Marquinn?" Now Jake's voice was so low Colin had to stretch his hearing and he was standing right behind his older brother.
Both girls who'd been staring at Hunter with giggles were giving each other looks, like they knew all too well what would happen if no one broke them apart. Like she'd read their mind, Ruby came in, sleep still embedded in her eyes. Although, it didn't stop her frown from showing up.
"What's going on here?"
Hunter pulled himself into a straight pose, crossing both arms over his taut chest, a no-care-in-the-world smile came over him.
"Just talking a few things out, trying not to leave misunderstandings." Hunter tilted his head to Ruby, than back to Jake and Colin. "Isn't that right, Jake?" The sound of his voice was soft, but lethal.
"Sure, clearing things up."
Colin hadn't ever seen Jake defend him as fiercely, so he swallowed at his brother's face, it did not sport a friendly attitude, until he moved to Ruby, motioning along.
Ruby studied both boys, ignoring Colin, getting an idea of what must have gone down between them and what would've unfolded if she hadn't walked in.
"What, no appetite today?" She tried to be her normal teasing self, promising her mind to probe Hunter later.
Hunter kept walking with the most careless attitude, leaving Jake to bore holes in his back.
"Gonna tell me what you were talking with Hunter?" Ruby forked her scrambled eggs.
Jake put down his glass of juice with a firm hand.
"Didn't seem like 'nothing'," She moved her yellow food around "still doesn't."
Jake's strawberry hair dangled in front of his eyes, covering the sharp glare he bared.
"Why do you care?"
"Huh, hello?" She waved a hand in front of his face, after dropping her fork. "He's my partner!"
The boy beside her shifted with a groan at the word 'partner'.
"Does that mean that just because of that you're okay with who he is? Who his father is?" Jake hit his palm down on the table "That girl is in a coma, Ruby. You know why. The other one is dead. You know why, too. Because it all traces back to the same person." Jake's fists drew tightly. "Conner Marquinn."
Ruby was just a little out-of-place. Sure last night she knew Jake didn't trust Hunter or like his presence but to hear him speak that way... It wasn't something she expected from someone like Jake.
"What happened before I came in?" Ruby was already getting on the limits of her patience which weren't long to begin with.
"Just a thing with Colin."
"Of course, it had to be your brother, didn't it?"
"My brother was only telling him a few things about what happened last night. Hunter was the one who threatened him." Jake shook with rage just thinking back to it.
"Hunter did that?" A shadow crossed Ruby's face, she didn't really care about Colin and she figured he pissed Hunter off with a stupid comment but she didn't exactly know what to make of that piece of intel.
Had Hunter really threatened Colin? And if he had, would he ever follow through with it?
She wouldn't stop thinking about it now, she had to hear what Hunter had to say.
Finding him wasn't hard. Apparently he liked to stare off into the ocean too.
Coming up from behind him, she thought of their first talk right here at the peer.
"Thinking about going for a swim?"
Hunter's head swayed in her direction, his shoulders were hunched over the railing, his hands hanging limply from the bar.
"I'm not a big fan of swimming." He felt her walk closer "Over at Ilks we don't really have many times to swim."
"Oh, yeah, the weather's cold all the time, isn't it?"
He nodded slowly.
"We get a month of heat, though it's not much warmer." He caught Ruby looking at his skin. "It's my natural skin color, my mom's got a little tan of her own, guess it passed onto me."
His fingers played across the railing as if it were a keyboard, Ruby was already feeling herself calm down thanks to the sound of crashing waves.
"I think it's going to rain." Smack yourself right now, Ruby. She scolded her brain, she'd come out here to ask him, confront him with what Jake told her. So why was she hesitating? She didn't do that. She couldn't risk it.
"What did he tell you?" Hunter was in no mood to dance around the subject so it seemed.
Glad for that, Ruby pressed her back to the rail.
"That you threatened Colin." Hunter snorted elegantly "Which is fine by me if you did, I don't like him..."
"But?" Hunter changed his stance to look at her profile.
"But," She repeated "I want to know if you'd actually follow through with it."
There, simple and clean. Her question was out and so was her face of distrust.
Hunter was just a little taken by surprise. He'd thought he'd gained Ruby's trust with the last few days, not to mention the mission, now, she didn't even consider that he might not have made threats at all.
"For starters, I didn't threaten Colin." He pushed his body away from the metal bar. "I told him not to pick a fight with me. I don't make threats, Ruby. To make a threat is to lose your element of surprise, when I think of doing something I don't want my target to see me coming."
Something chewed on the back of her mind, something just like Hunter said... She'd heard from... From Luke! That was it. Luke kept telling Rookies that the element of surprise was a point to winning; to lose it could mean losing your life.
"You sound like Luke." She muttered "So if you didn't threaten Colin what did you do?"
"Nothing. I just told him to back off." Hunter paced cracking his neck "If you wanna talk about threats..." He stopped, he wasn't going to tell on Jake, he wasn't five anymore. "You got the answers you wanted?"
"Why would Jake lie to me?"
"I don't know... Wait." Hunter stopped from taking another step "You believe him don't you?"
Ruby's bourbon iris glinted and her eyes were half-slitted.
"I've known him for two years."
Hunter kept his mocking-laugh from leaving his throat.
"And because of that you think I'm a liar and he's not?"
Ruby looked behind her, the sea revolted against the rocks below.
Hunter gave a half-shrug, without another word between them he left standing outside alone. It was official, he wasn't in a good mood. Not even close. It was like Jake was some type of saint, like he couldn't tell a lie. Now, Hunter, he was the liar, sure.
Hunter led himself into a training room wasting no time programming the virtual reality. He drew his weapon, morphing it into his favorite. The long-sword. Once he adopted his stance the reality didn't take long to twist and change.
He leaped over a random cop, diving down with a kick knocking the man unconscious. With a whip of his sword blood drenched the ground; he could see it, even touch it, but not smell it. It wasn't real, but it didn't matter he just needed to blow off steam, who knew how long he'd take.
"So you don't trust him?"
"For the last time!" Ruby threw her hands around "I don't know! I'm not a freaking liar detector, am I?"
Tori didn't grace her with a comment, she limited herself to put on another jacket, before deciding yellow wasn't her color today either.
"We've known Jake for two years now, and Hunter..."
"He was unlucky to be Conner's son, it wasn't his choice." Tori sat at the foot of her bed "You never did tell me what happened in Calibri for you to start thinking he deserved a chance."
Ruby froze her voice. Thinking back to that moment they'd shared was like slapping herself for being careless. People lied, Hunter could've made that story up to gain her trust, to lower her guard. She hadn't even consider the possibility back then because of how he was, because he'd just taken a metal arrow to his leg. He'd completed the mission perfectly.
The fact remained though, he could have been lying. He could have lied to her and the instructors, though they'd probably do a background check to confirm what he said, even then Hunter could've forged evidence... Boy, was her head hurting.
"I don't know if it's even true." Tori's lips pressed into a line "People lie Tori."
"You have serious trust issues—" She slapped her mouth shut.
Ruby looked rather unfazed by her best friend's words, even if it did summon up the reasons why she had trust issues, but she knew that to be true.
"I do have them, and I'm glad I do. It's kept me alive, out of Conner's path."
"But... Not everyone betrays and lies." Tori softly put in. "I'm mean, I'm not saying to tell him everything about your life just... give him a shot. He hasn't done anything wrong, not that you've seen or heard."
"Jake might have lied, is that what you want to say?"
"You said it, not me." Tori shrugged going over to her messy wardrobe "But if you want my opinion, I think Jake's jealous."
"Duh, it's clear he has a thing for you, now Hunter comes along and you're his partner..." Tori paused with a finger on her chin. "You have to admit Hunter is so much hotter—"
"Off topic—" Ruby rushed.
"Than Jake." Tori finished with a cute smirk "Not off topic."
"I can barely trust this guy, Tori."
"Ah-ah!" She jumped pointing squarely at her sitting friend "You didn't deny he's hot. Hotter than Jake."
If there were auras Ruby would be certain Tori's would be dancing with glory and fulfillment.
"I... This conversation is so over." She dragged out crossing both arms leaning against the wall.
"Nah-huh. You still haven't told me what made you trust him a little bit." Tori grabbed Ruby by the shoulders "Come on, don't hold off on me."
Ruby snorted twisting out of her grip, Tori did her best baby-face, pouting excessively.
"Don't." Ruby denied "If it is true, I don't think he wants me to be the one to tell everyone. Not even you."
Tori backed off like a wounded kitten.
"Alright..." She recovered quickly when rain hit her window "I love rain."
Ruby almost clapped at her weather-prediction skills.
"Where do you think he went?"
"No idea." Tori watched Ruby biting her lip and knew an idea had popped up in her best friend's head "There were two girls when I got there, maybe they know what happened."
"Who were they?"
"I think one of them was Blair."
Tori rushed to accompany Ruby, she'd chosen a purple skinny jacket or Ruby had said 'yes' when she asked if it looked good on her, though Tori could see she was trying to hurry her on, and if she was honest her curiosity for what happened between Hunter and Jake was making her ache.
"Wait up, it's Josh!"
"We don't have time for you to be staring—"
"Shh!" Tori scold "And it's not that. His room is next to Blair's, maybe he's seen her."
The first thought Ruby was hit by was, how did she know where Josh's room was? Then she pulled Tori along meeting up with Josh.
"Josh, have you seen Blair?" Tori asked with anticipation, almost on her tiptoes.
Josh brushed a short strand, from his eyebrow, looking behind himself once.
"I did 'bout ten minutes ago, she was with Ethan." A smile spread, after he saw Tori's big 'who?' gaze. "Her partner."
Tori was snatched from Josh's side, Ruby could see her fainting into his arms any second.
"Where were they?"
"Huh, in a hallway but I think they went into a common room."
"It was this hallway, so the one on this floor." Josh let Ruby pass him by, before he risked being knocked over. "What did Blair do?"
"She has some vital information Ruby needs."
"Talk about vital." Josh chuckled.
Tori stayed near him for a second longer before leaving after Ruby throwing a 'thank you' over her shoulder. Ruby wasn't easy to catch up to, leaving Tori to pick her way though the hallway turns alone. They only met again by the common room door, Tori could bet she was still outside because the door was taking its time opening for her.
"A little slow, aren't you?"
"I'm not a field agent." Tori pointed out.
Tori spotted the short girl talking to a boy with slightly buzzed hair. While they walked up to them Tori imagined, not for the first time, where Angela could be.
"Blair can we talk?"
Blair's face still bared traces of a smile once she looked up at both girls.
"Sure," Her eyes moved to Ethan anew. "don't forget what ya' were telling me about that comedy flick." She giggled out one last time.
Ruby walked to a secluded place in the common room, where no one would hear their conversation.
"What can I do ya' for?" Blair's country accent made itself known a little more than before.
"I wanted to ask you about this morning. In the cafeteria."
Blair's light eyes gave a little widening.
"I saw you there before I walked in, so..." Ruby shrugged when Blair was already nodding her understanding.
"Yall wanna know who started it." Blair drawled with a cross of arms. "Well, ya' partner was finishin' up breakfast 'till Colin showed up. He started sayin' some bad thangs 'bout him. After Colin was done talkin' sass to Hunter Jake showed up, thangs were kickin' up a ruckus..."
"Did you hear Hunter doing threats?"
Blair was quick shaking her head, curls of brown honey flying about.
"He didn't. Jake was the one gettin' out of hand."
As Blair cleared what she could with Ruby and Tori, Ruby felt her emotions shift between anger, disillusion and some deep part in her felt happy.
Jake had lied to her. Hunter... He hadn't actually said anything wrong to Colin, only what he'd told her and he certainly hadn't preached to her about Jake's menacing talk. Not that he actually cared.
"So, Jake's lying." Tori started as they left. "I think he just lost a few points, am I right?"
"What points?" Ruby gritted her teeth. "I told you, we were going out. Just that. No date."
With the scary face Ruby was putting on Tori didn't take long to believe her.
"What's you going to do now?"
"Now... now Jake better hope I don't use him as a punching bag."
"I was talking about Hunter." Tori stopped taping her foot. "You did doubt him."
"I know." Ruby said in a monotone; Tori hardened her stare, Ruby groaned under it. "I know, I know! I'll clear things up with him when I see him."
"When you see him?"
"I never loved that sound so much." The bourbon eyes girl adopted a smirk and shooed the other. "Go, go."
Tori went on with a not-so-happy face.
Now that Tori was gone, it was time for to solve all the crazy pain in her head. Starting with Hunter. Because no matter what Tori was right, and she hated when that was the case.
Hunter marched up to his bedroom. He made sure he was exhausted before exiting the virtual training room. It'd done him some good. At least, that was what he told himself.
By his door was Ruby, sitting down crossed legged, head leant back. Hunter pondered if he was really that tired or if he could return to training, sweat a little more and comeback say... after she wasn't there? He wasn't in a good mood, not enough to listen to her preach how he couldn't be trusted.
"Don't even think of leaving."
His head shot in his room's direction, she'd already seen him; he mentally cursed his luck.
"You're right, I'm not leaving, you are." He stepped forward, one hand rested on the round door as he looked down at Ruby. "You're blocking my way."
Ruby tried not to make contact with him while getting up, her legs had lost some feeling though and her back pressed behind on the metal door.
"I didn't wait for you to fight."
Hunter's breath washed over her momentarily, it was enough for her to feel blood rushing. She breathed quietly, not steadily though.
She could be a lot of things, though one thing was certain, when she was wrong she admitted and she apologized when she needed to. Hunter backed up a little, frozen shock mirroring his viola iris; she couldn't really blame him, he barely knew her.
"Can we talk inside?" She steadied her eyes on his.
He didn't utter a word, only giving a lifeless nod he placed his bracelet in front of the green scan.
His hand shot forward when the door parted open. Ruby gulped when her face pressed against him. She prayed no one was passing in the hallway, she might be trying to trust him, to get along with, she didn't however want people thinking she was... romantically involved with Hunter, because even if what he said about Conner not knowing about his existence was true, he was still Conner's son. Nothing would ever changed that.
Hunter pulled them inside, allowing the door to inclose them in the personal bedroom. She felt the moist of his t-shirt, her nose picked up on something unusual. It was sweat, all the sweating had long ago dried, all that remained was another scent—one she couldn't identify... some type of citrus.
"Okay... I'm okay now."
Hunter proved he heard her whisper by releasing her waist. Viola orbs never ceased looking her over, not until she straightened somewhat clearing her voice in the process.
"I'm sorry for thinking you threatened Colin."
Hunter didn't question her on the why. He was telling himself he didn't care if she had a change of heart or not, if it'd been something else.
"Why didn't you tell me he threatened you?"
Hunter blinked softly; he was sure Jake hadn't told her, only if she'd forced it out of him and he didn't put it beside her.
"What good would it do? It'd be my word against his, and somehow I think you wouldn't believe me." Hunter saw her shift under his burning stare. "Thought so."
He turned his back to her going to open the door, tell her to leave—
"You wanna know why I hate your father?" She watched his shoulder blades draw with tension at 'your father', she didn't correct it because in the end there was nothing to correct and he knew it as well as she did.
"Because he kills innocents, tortures whoever has information he needs, because he stole freedom?" Hunter sadly smiled to the door. "Because he ruined your life, like everyone else's?"
"Because he made me murder my parents."
Hunter's heart skipped a beat, not in a good way. He'd heard a lot of things, things his father had done. Him. Or men sent by him, men who followed him. He'd never heard of Conner forcing someone to kill their family, though he wouldn't pass him.
This time he turned on his heel facing her with a shroud of sympathy.
"My parents were scared if Conner found out I was in UNSEEN, they planned on turning me in. Drugging me and handing me over. I had to survive, I didn't have a choice. I killed them." All of her explanation was apathetic, controlled. "It's his fault."
That explained her hesitation to trust him—no he was surprised she'd taken his hand at the Ceremony. Hunter learned she seemed to like challenges, so maybe she was seeing him as one of them. Something she had to surpass.
What would he say? What could he say? That he was sorry? That was the same as taking the fault for something he didn't have responsibility over. He looked into his reflection, in the bathroom's mirror, if he cut out the nearly platinum hair he could almost be Conner's spitting image.
"Would hitting me make you feel better?"
It was said without thinking, without him considering if it was time for humor. Later in the future, he'd thank every holy thing in the world, if there was still any.
Ruby laughed. Not dryly, or forcefully. Just a normal, real, laugh. It was charmingly quiet.
"That's a 'yes'?" Hunter found himself venturing once she showed no sign of stopping.
She shook her head, lustrous hair whipping softly, the laugh reduced to chuckles and with straight face that kept slipping into a smile, Ruby gathered forces to look him in the eye.
"Sorry, sorry... that wasn't funny at all, was it?"
"You tell me." Hunter sorted out his hair trying to hide some embarrassment.
"I always imagined what people would say if I told them about what I did, all who know said the same thing. That they were sorry or that I didn't have a choice... I never thought I'd hear someone offering themselves to be a punching bag."
They stood there for some time, just looking at one another. Studying, evaluating. A peaceful moment was established between them both.
She was someone he knew almost nothing about, and still, this stranger who didn't even get along with him most of the time—He wanted to earn her trust, he wanted her to trust him badly. So badly that Hunter wished, silently, that he could just go back to being Hunter Blackwood, but he found out something shocking. Something selfless. It wasn't because of his pain, it was for hers. If he was still a Blackwood she wouldn't have to go through the whole process of figuring out where his allegiance laid, she wouldn't need to question every word he said, like he knew she did.
"I'm glad I made you laugh, at least I think so." He cracked in a hushed tone, she nodded advancing to the door, going pass him; avoiding eye contact.
"We're okay about this whole Jake thing?"
Hunter stopped nodding dumbly when he remembered she couldn't see him.
"Yeah." He whispered a little breathlessly, hearing the door open.
"Good." Ruby lingered one moment longer before stepping into the hallway. "You're skin's sticky, you better shower."
Hunter grinned into the mirror when she was gone.
I wrote so much in this chapter that I just blew myself away! Okay not that much, still it is the biggest chapter I've written for this story, I'm quite pleased.
This chapter we found out: 1. A little more about why Luke knows Hunter won't betray them to Conner.
2. Jake does not like Hunter at all, and in Tori's eyes, he might even be jealous.
3. Ruby hates lies, so I'd say Jake is pretty much done for, unless he can pull off something very impressive and redeeming.
4. Hunter and Ruby might be on the path to become partners.
Now, does Jake have a reason to be jealous? (Tori does seem to know a lot about boys XD) Can Jake do some grand gesture or something like that to gain Ruby back? Or is Ruby just going to blow him off? And in all of this, where is Tori's partner?
Keep reading or else you won't find out.