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A Fresh Start

Summary:
Claire's been gone for four years. What's in store for her when she returns home? Quil/Claire


Notes:


5. Forgiveness

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1240   Review this Chapter

Claire laid face down on the couch in her living room and sobbed. After Quil had left, she had looked for him for a half an hour, but could not find him. Damnit, she thought to herself, how could I have been so stupid? What in the world made me think that telling Quil that was a good idea?

If there was one moment in Claire’s life that she could completely erase, it would be the one, and only, time that she had sex. Not that it had been a completely horrible experience—it wasn’t— it just hadn’t been with Quil.

She could remember the night that she lost her virginity clear as anything…well, part of it, at least. It had been five months ago, the night of her eighteenth birthday. She and her school friends had gone out to a pub, to celebrate the fact that she was finally legal (the drinking age in London was only eighteen). That night was the first night that she had ever gotten drunk. She had spent most of the night flirting outrageously with Joe Flannigan, who she had been dating casually for about three months. If Claire was being completely honest with herself, then she would have to admit that Joe liked her a lot more than she liked him, and that she had only been dating him in an attempt to get over her pathetic crush on Quil. Of course, while she was in her alcohol-induced haze, she didn’t realize any of this. The next thing she knew, she had invited Joe back to her dorm room, and one thing led to another. When she woke up the next morning, she had immediately regretted it. In fact, she was so ashamed of herself, that she had mentioned it to no one, until just a few hours ago, when she had told Quil.

Quil. The mere thought of his name made her cry even harder. There was no way he would ever forgive her. And why should he? He had waited half his life for her, and she had thanked him by going off and doing the nasty with some other guy.

Her trip from Self-Hatred Lane to Self-Loathing Road was interrupted by a knock on the door. She immediately jumped off the couch to answer it, hoping that it was Quil. When she checked the peephole, she was not disappointed. She tried to wipe the tears and snot from her face before she finally wrenched the door open. “Hi,” she said, her voice quivering.

Quil studied her for a moment, and then took her hand and led her to her bedroom. He sat down at the edge of her bed, pulling her with him. He wiped at a traitor tear from her face and frowned at it. “Were you crying?” he asked gently.

Claire nodded, a bit stunned. This was not the reaction she had been expecting from Quil. She had thought he would be angry, yet the only thing she could sense that he was feeling right now was sadness. This made her even more angry at herself than she was before. “I’m sorry!” she blurted out.

Quil let out a dark chuckle. “You’re sorry? No, Claire, I’m the one who should be sorry,” he argued, shaking his head at her, a self-depreciating smile gracing his handsome features. “I shouldn’t have freaked out like that. I could have seriously hurt you. Sometimes, when I get taken by surprise, like before, I have trouble controlling my anger and I transform into the wolf. Not that that’s any excuse. I mean, if I had changed while you were in the room you could have ended up like…” he trailed off, clearly uncomfortable. “Anyways, that’s not important. What I really should be apologizing for is the fact that I got mad in the first place. It was wrong of me to expect you to wait for me, when you hadn’t even thought that there was ever going to be a you and me.”

Claire stared at him, skeptic. “So you’re not bothered by the fact that I’m not a virgin?”

Quil grinned at her. “I didn’t say that. I am trying to get over it though, and keep the past in the past.” He pulled her onto his lap. “You don’t even have to tell me anything about your past sexual…er, encounters, if you don’t want to.”

“Encounter,” she corrected him, “not encounters. And I’m not quite sure if I really want to share that story with you, yet,” she told him.

He pecked her on the lips. “That’s fine with me.” Then he kissed her, long and hard. This kiss was different from their previous kisses. It made Claire feel as if their souls were reaching out and touching each other. Quil’s fingers trailed down her spine, making her shiver with delight. Claire wanted more, more, more.

Quil broke away, chuckling. “And on that note,” he said, mock-seriously, “maybe we should continue the discussion that we were having before I so rudely interrupted it by jumping out the window.” At Claire’s confused look, he reminded her, “The one about me not pushing you for sex. I just wanted to know what your…boundaries are.”

“Boundaries?” Claire giggled. Quil frowned in response to that, which made Claire instantly serious. “Boundaries,” she repeated. “Okay..so…no sex…for a while. I’m not ready for that at all. Nothing below the waist, either. Above the waist can be discussed when the issue comes up. And, of course, kissing is always welcomed. Deal?” She arched a defiant eyebrow at Quil.

He saluted her. “Aye aye, Captain!” he exclaimed. He wrapped her in a tight bear hug. “You never said anything about hugging,” he whispered into her ear, “but I figured that I would risk it.”

“Mmm,” she sighed, snuggling her face into his warm—and bare, she had just noticed—chest. “Hugging might be on the list of things that are okay. I’ll have to check.”

Quil made a sound of contentment in the back of his throat. “I almost forgot,” he murmured. “There’s going to be a bonfire tonight, where we’re going to tell all the tribal tales. Would you do me the honor of accompanying me?”

“Of course,” Claire agreed, “someone needs to protect you from all those big, bad wolves.”

“That’s not why I asked you, and you know it,” Quil sniffed.

“Poor Quil, too manly to admit that he’s afraid,” Claire retorted.

Quil growled, making a sound that Claire didn’t think that any human was capable of. Of course, Quil wasn’t really a normal human. “You’ll pay for that,” he threatened playfully.

“Oh yeah?” Claire asked. “How?”

“This.” His lips came crashing down on hers, his hands skimming her body like they never had before. She slid her hands up and down his chest, loving the feel of his warm skin. And, oh God, did he have an amazing set of abs.

A coughing sound caused them to jump apart. Claire turned to look to see her very stunned father, looking like he was ready to pummel Quil.

In that instant, Claire realized two things. The first was that her dad was probably going to murder Quil, werewolf or not, he’d find a way. The second was that Quil’s hands had somehow managed to land on her breasts when they had broken apart. Neither of which was a good thing, especially if she wanted to keep on living.