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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*


6. Chapter 6

Rating 5/5   Word Count 597   Review this Chapter

I picked Claire up hours later, wearing her father’s clothes. I had just finished an internal debate over what would scare her more, his stuff or the bloodstains.

I went with removing the gore, but doubted my decision when I saw her shudder.

“Hey, Claire.”

“Hi.” Her gaze was directed at my shoes. I so wanted to see her face.

“Do you remember me?” I didn’t expect it.

“Yeah. Quil. From before…”

“Yep. That’s me. Quil from before. And you’re Claire. And I’m coming to take you to your mom’s or maybe Aunt Emily’s… up to you.”

“I haven’t seen them in ages. I’m not allowed… Daddy’ll be angry.”

I could only imagine what he did to her when he was angry… and forced back the invisionment. I could not afford to phase in front of her.

“Honey, I’m not going to let him hurt you. That’s why you’re coming with me… so your daddy can’t hurt you anymore. All right?”

“How do you know?” It is little more than a whisper.

“I talked to him… he said that he had. And that made me angry. I don’t want to see you get hurt. You might not remember, but I love you very, very much, Claire. I want you to come with me so you’ll be safe.”

“Daddy said… he said not to trust you… that you wanted, wanted to…”

She blushed.

“Oh, sweetie, no. He’s lying. I’d never do anything to hurt you. All right? You don’t have to stay with me. You can live with your mom, or your aunt.”

She looked into my eyes, finally, completing my soul. “Aunt Emily. I don’t want Mommy… she never came.”

Neither did I. My eyes filled with tears. Tears. I was weeping. Like a child. But Claire was hurt, after all. If anything deserved tears, it was her sorrow.

“I’m sorry. You need to get anything?”

“No. I don’t want his stuff. I want to start over.”

That sent shudders down my back. “I’ll do my best to help.”

The ride was long and silent, winding through the green bowers. Claire did not speak, and I did not engage her. She simply stared pensive out the window.

The bruised side of her face was facing me…

We disembarked to find Sam waiting for us. “What the HELL, Quil! I told you! VISIT means VISIT, not KIDNAP.”

I didn’t answer him… arguing with Sam was never worthwhile. “Claire, honey, can you show him that bruise?”

She stepped shyly forward, turned her yellowed cheek, and dashed back behind me. I tried not to think about how close she was to me.

“Sam, he was hurting her. Hitting her. And… and… I can’t even say it, but I can see in your face you know what I mean. What do you want me to do?”

“Anything else.”

“Sam. What if it was Emily?”

That was below the belt and I knew it.

“What if she was being beaten up by someone? Helpless, because you weren’t helping her? Unprotected, because you weren’t protecting her? What if someone was raping her? And she isn’t even an innocent baby. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done exactly what I did.”

“You killed Jack?”

“Yes.”

Claire whimpered… in relief or grief, I am unsure.

“Good. And I’m sorry.”

“So am I.”

Claire trailed me into Emily’s house.