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Protect Her

Summary:
Quil is Claire's. He will do exactly what she needs of him. Even when her newly divorced father gains custody and forbids him to go anywhere near her, he does what's best... he leaves her alone. And then, after five long years, he realizes what's been happening to the one he was born to protect. He WILL save her, no matter what it takes.


Notes:
Quil/Claire. Yes, it's a little creepy. He's in love with a two-year -old. Mostly post-eclipse, will skip around a bunch... *disclaims*


12. Chapter 12

Rating 5/5   Word Count 564   Review this Chapter

Carlisle wanted to see her one last time, just to make sure everything was going well. I took her willingly enough to his office. Not exactly happy to bring my love to a leech’s presence, but anything that could make it up to her, even a little, I would do with a smile on my face.

“Well, Ms. Denson, your arm has healed up nicely.”

I could have killed him there from the horror on her face.

“Don’t call her that! It scares her!”

His eyes widened in surprise, and sudden horror. “Oh. I’m terribly sorry, Claire… Ms. Young?”

He tactfully granted her the maiden name of her mother. I almost believed that he wasn’t evil, that he really was sorry. Not quite, but almost.

Okay, he’s my natural nemesis! I’d be grateful, but I evolved to hate him. So the best bedside manner in the world doesn’t really stand a chance against that.

“I believe you are free from any physical damage caused by the abuse. I cannot do anything about psychological trauma… I’ve never studied psychology. But I do wish the both of you best luck. Good-bye.”

And our land was safe from these leeches at last…

But it was the idea of damage to Claire that stuck with me more than that idea that truly should have comforted me.

Damage… like a fragile vase?

But she was fragile, weak, young… helpless. And I was supposed to have helped her! I had failed, failed myself, failed her!

“Quil, what’s wrong?”

Her voice was modicums stronger than when I’d first found her, but only a little bit.

“I’m sorry,” I said. Sorry for everything! So sorry! I don’t deserve you.

“You look sad. Don’t be sad.”

“Oh, sweetheart. I just feel so bad. I left you for so long there, didn’t come looking for you. Didn’t help you, when such terrible, terrible things were happening. I would have done anything, anything, Claire, to save you that.”

Her eyes bore into mine, and I felt my head go woozy… at the deep, soul-searching stare of a prepubescent girl.

“It’s not your fault. Not any more than it is mine.”

“WHAT! Oh, honey, you are never, never, never, to believe that anything he did to you was your fault!”

“I didn’t say I did. I just said it’s not any more your fault than it is mine. It’s his fault, Quil. Not mine and certainly not yours. You’re the one who saved me… the one who loves me. I don’t want you to feel bad, Quil.”

The way she stared at me sent shudders through my soul. I returned the look with a weak smile.

I could not be forgiven. I was unforgivable. But my Claire did not hate me for my failure. She did not blame me.

I could not argue her ferociously clear logic.

Nor could I remove the guilt. I knew only that she didn’t want me to feel bad.

And anything she wanted was hers. I would give her my happiness.

“I don’t feel bad.”

“Liar.” She laughed. A joke. And suddenly, I wasn’t a liar anymore.

She was happy. And so was I. And that was really all that mattered.