Beautiful banner mane by Kayla Ariev. Isnt that guy gorgeous?! We learned in Eclipse that Quil is a werewolf now, and that he imprinted... on a two year old. How did that happen? And what happened when he finally phased? And what does the future hold for Quil and his Claire? I'm ending it there guys, sorry!
This story is probably going to end up being part of a series... the last one. Good thing it won't matter what order you read them in. It's going to be an imprinting series, I'll do one about Sam and Jared as well as this one about Quil. Those ones might not be as long though. This one will be four or five chapters, unless I go overboard. The one about Jared will only be a one shot, but I'm not sure about Sam. There's a huge story there, but I don't know if I'm the one to write it.
3. Ah... The Preteen Years
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2055 Review this Chapter
I stood outside on the porch, listening to Claire rush around trying to find her backpack. It was her first day of junior high – a very big deal for a girl who wasn’t quite thirteen
“Quil!” she whined, taking a second to glare at me through the door. I looked at her innocently. I knew exactly what she wanted, but she was going to have to ask nicely. She’d had a bit of an attitude lately, and I wanted to remind her that I was her friend, not her employee.
She pouted, but I turned away. I knew that I couldn’t resist her anything for long, but it helped if I didn’t look at her face.
“Will you help me find my book bag, please?” she finally asked, and I turned back to her with a grin.
“Sure. Did you check under your bed? I’m pretty sure you threw it there when we were cleaning up your room,” I said, knowing that’s where it was. I had figured it out twenty minutes ago when the hunt began.
She hit herself in the forehead and bolted into her room. She came back out a moment later, the bag secured in her hands.
“Let’s go! I’m going to be late for the first day!” She ran outside to where my car was parked, and I followed at a more reasonable pace. Lately, I had been feeling more like a parent than a friend. At this stage in her life, she didn’t need a brother or a lover, just a friend. And that’s what I was. A best friend.
“We can’t have that, can we?” I joked, and got in. “What do you have after school? Anything?”
“I don’t think they have any extra curricular things on the first day of school. Are you picking me up?” Her voice was hopeful.
“Unless you want to ride the bus …” I let my voice trail off, as if I was giving it a serious thought. Claire hated riding the bus; her first day of Kindergarten had ruined it for her. Her mother, Sarah, and I had taken her to the bus stop. She had sat in my lap on the tiny bench, looking very excited. That is, until the bus had actually stopped and it was time to get on. She had made it up the first step, then turned around to look at me. I gave her a smile, and she burst into tears.
“No! Mommy, I don’t wanna go to kinner-garden!” she had wailed, running back to me and wrapping her arms around my leg — at the time she was only about 3’11 to my 6’5 — then telling me not to make her. Her mother and I had, of course, made her get on, but to this day she hated it.
“What are you thinking about that’s so funny?” she asked irritably. She had probably said something that I had ignored in favor of my trip down memory lane.
“Your first day of school,” I answered truthfully. She shuddered.
“Stupid bus driver,” she muttered. “He had a mustache bigger than Czechoslovakia!”
I stared at her. “Czechoslovakia?
Where-.” I decided not to finish that sentence. Claire was famous in the Pack for lecturing us on our lack of education. She didn’t know we were werewolves, so we couldn’t really explain why most of us had quit school or let our grades fall after a certain age.
She looked at me strangely, daring me to finish. I ignored the look and kept my eyes on the road.
“Bye!” she called, running away from the car the minute I pulled up to the entrance.
“Bye,” I replied unnecessarily. She was already running in the front doors.
I sighed sadly and started the engine again. The Pack was meeting at Emily’s to decide what to do about the Cullens. They had taken off with Bella around ten years ago, after she and that leech had gotten married. We had been unable to find them … until now. Paul had been talking to one of his relatives in Alaska … apparently there had been a shortage of polar bears and other wildlife, and two missing persons. That pointed to bloodsuckers.
My mind could only stay away from Claire for so long, and thinking about Bella and vampires sent it straight back to her. What if what had happened to Jake happened to me? What if Claire didn’t want me, especially after she found out I was a werewolf? What would I do? Would I commit myself to revenge against the one who caught her eye, or would I spend my time protecting them, like Jake did? Jake kept trying to tell us to leave them alone, that it was Bella’s choice. But even he couldn’t deny those disappearances … the only sure sign that Bella was having a hard time controlling the thirst that all new vampires were slaves to.
I pulled up at Emily’s, Jake’s VW Rabbit right ahead of mine and Sam’s pick-up to the side.
I walked in, and Emily greeted me cordially. She still wasn’t thrilled with the idea of her niece being with a guy who was so much older… but as it became apparent that I loved her more than anyone, she grew more and more comfortable. Especially after Sam and her tied the knot, and now had two kids of their own.
Sam and Jake sat at the table, waiting for the others. None of us had started to age yet … it was too hard to control our emotions long enough to give up phasing completely. I, of course, wouldn’t even try to stop until Claire had caught up in a few years. I looked about twenty … so I would have to wait until she was at least eighteen before we could be together.
“Before the others get here, why don’t we figure out what we think?” Sam said, surprising me. He usually waited until everyone was there to start meetings.
Jake replied instantly. “Leave them alone. It was Bella’s choice.” His voice became tortured. “She’s happy, Sam. And she didn’t kill those people. I know she didn’t.” His eyes took on a pained expression as he recalled a promise he had made. “She said once, that we might have to take her out for being a menace. I told her I’d hamstring anyone of my brothers who tried. I meant that. I can’t hurt her.”
Sam looked annoyed, but didn’t say anything. He just nodded slowly. “I think we all know how you feel, Jake.” He looked up at me, still standing in the doorway. “What about you, Quil?”
I replied carefully, not wanting to upset either of them. “I think that … it’s a hard decision. Both of you are right.”
Sam thought that we should take them out. Or at least try.
“You’re right in saying that they broke the Treaty. Can we really let that go unpunished? But then again, we knew they were planning on it, and we didn’t do anything. Is it really fair to act now? And we all know Bella. She was a great friend for a long time, and she and Jake still talk. Is it fair to ask him to kill her, and the one who makes her happy? That would kill her just as effectively as killing Emily would kill you.”
Sam glared at me, his arms shaking a little. That was the most surprising of all. He was always the most under control, and ten years had made it even easier for him.
“Don’t you dare compare Emily to that bloodsucker!”
“He’s right, though,” Emily said. “It isn’t fair. And I saw Bella when he left her, Sam. Just like when we went our separate ways after this happened.” Emily gestured to her scars. “She was broken. I would have killed myself if it meant being with you forever. Leave them alone.” Emily growled at him, taking our side. I knew that meant we would win.
Emily asking Sam for something was like Claire begging me; they couldn’t be denied.
When we told the rest of them, Paul and Leah had to run outside to keep from attacking us.
Ah, Leah. Soon after we had discovered Seth was one of us, Leah had come along. She stood almost as tall as the rest of us, and was the same temperature. We had all rebelled against it, at first, especially Sam. He had broken Leah’s heart, and he didn’t want to face the condemnation in her eyes every day. Soon, we realized we couldn’t deny it, and she joined us. She was nearly as volatile as Paul, and sometimes had more trouble controlling herself.
After a few more hours of arguing, I left to go get Claire. It was already clear that Jake and I had won the argument, and Bella would be left alone.
When Claire climbed in the car, she didn’t look at me. Her hair covered her face, and her clothes were dirty.
“So, how was school? Did you have the best first day of junior high?” I asked, trying to get her to talk to me.
“It was … fine,” she mumbled. I stopped the car and grabbed her chin, forcing her to look at me.
I sucked a breath in through my teeth, trying to control the heat washing down my spine and the tremors shivering through my entire body. Discovering I was a werewolf this way would not help things. I would either kill her, or scare her off completely.
“What … happened?” I demanded, taking deep breaths.
“Nothing,” she mumbled, covering her black eye and bleeding lip with her hands. I grabbed them away, trying to be gentle.
She took a deep breath and raised her good eye to meet mine. “Some new kid decided he didn’t like me. He hit me.” She glared at me, daring me to comment. “I hit him back, and he has two black eyes, so you don’t have to go into that freaky overprotective mode. I’m fine. Nothing serious.”
My ‘freaky overprotective mode’ is what she called it when I had to fight against phasing. Some day she would understand, but today I had to play along.
“Sure, sure,” I said in a patronizing tone I had learned from Jacob. Tomorrow, though, I would be really overprotective. That kid was going down. “I’ll come in with you tomorrow, and you’ll introduce me,” I said firmly, telling her that’s what was going to happen.
“Quil, no! He’s huge! He failed the twelfth grade twice!” She sounded panicked.
I had to grin at that. “And I’m a midget, huh?”
She blushed. “No- I mean- well, just, fine!” Claire was done arguing, I could tell. She wouldn’t like it, but I was going to fix this for her.
We finished the ride to Emily’s in silence. “Well, we’d better go in there. We can’t deny Emily a chance to fuss over you. Plus, I’m sure Sam will want to go beat up your bully for you. Make sure you tell him I’ve got it covered.”
Claire growled something incoherently, and I grinned back.
As I predicted, Emily kicked up a fuss when she saw Claire’s face. Jake grinned and said, “God, Claire, what’d you do? Fall down a flight of stairs?”
The others had all left, so it was just the five of us. Sam simply said, “Quil, I’m going to assume you’ve got this taken care of?”
“Of course he does. He totally overreacted when I told him what happened, and now he’s going to get himself killed by Jerk face!”
Ah, teenage drama.
This time, Sam and Jake both grinned, with Emily rolling her eyes behind them.
“I think Quil can handle it.” Jake said, guffawing loudly.
Claire yelled in frustration and stalked off outside. “I’m going home!”
The next day after school, ‘Jerkface’ came to Sarah’s and apologized to Claire, sporting two real black eyes and a broken nose.