SEQUEL TO PROTECT HER. Quil is Claire's, heart and soul. At last, she is old enough for him to pursue hers... but can she overcome the terror and demons of her past to find true love?
I disclaim. This story is stolen from Ms. Meyer's beautiful universe. it is all hers, so please don't sue me. right. enjoy. oh, i reccomend you read Protect Her first. And review it. after every chapter. well, once at least. but seriously, read it or this will make no sense. and thanks to all the people who read, reviewed, and encouraged me on Protect Her. I couldn't have written it without the continuous support i found, and i hope this story will get a similar response.
10. Chapter 10
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 635 Review this Chapter
“What?” Wow, Quil. Very, very intelligent. Those are the four words you’ve been awaiting for fourteen years, and ‘what?’ is the best you can come up with. Claire is sure to be very impressed.
“I love you. That’s what I didn’t want to say. At first, I didn’t believe it myself, and then I didn’t want to say it.”
“Why not?” I sounded almost combative. I must have been in shock. Maybe I’d lost my marbles?
“I was afraid. I still am… I don’t know why.”
“You don’t need to be afraid of me.” There. I’d slipped into the familiar role of protector. I felt my over-excitement dull. I knew what to do now. I knew how to keep Claire safe.
“I’m not afraid of you. I guess I’m afraid… that this will change everything somehow? That you’ll not love me someday, that it’s going to be just like Kati and Sean. They were best friends for years, and then they went out for a week and haven’t spoken since. I’m scared, Quil, because I only feel safe when you’re around.”
“That’s one thing you should never be afraid of. Being imprinted on kind of guarantees that it’ll last forever. I will never love anyone else.”
“And I know that, but it’s hard to believe, that anyone could love me. What’s special about me?”
“Everything. You’re brave, and smart, and kind. You never ask for anything. You have something special inside you that nothing can crush. And you’re the most beautiful girl… the most beautiful woman… that I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. I love you, Claire, and I always will. Imprinting isn’t reversible. I love you. I swear that I always will. I can’t help it.”
“I love you.”
It is impossible to describe the joy I felt in that moment, when I understood that she meant it, that she loved me in the same way I loved her, that what I’d dreamed of and planned since she was two could finally be.
“I’m still scared, though. You know that, right? I’m not ready to just plunge into this.”
“Tell you what. We won’t do anything. We’ll take it really slow, and in two years, we can move to North Carolina. And you’ll go to college, and if you’re ready, we can date. Where no one knows that I’m fifteen years older than you—technically.”
“You’d do that for me?”
“Claire. Everything I do, I do for you. You’re the reason behind my whole life. I don’t think you can understand what you’ve given me tonight. You’ve given me, not just a gift, but an honor. I am happier than I’ve ever been before.”
Her smile was the reason the world was made, in my opinion. That tiny hope, the flicker of joy that set the universe’s most beautiful face aflame. “Just so you know. There’s going to be… limits. I mean, what we can do. I don’t want to have to explain to people that we’re… whatever we are. So it’s good to wait. But I mean, physically…”
Did she really think I would do anything that would hurt her? She didn’t have a clue how I felt, did she? “Oh, no! When you’re ready. When you want. You decide, you lead, you make the choices. I’m never going to pressure you into anything. I promise not to even bring it up.”
Cautiously, she took my hand. I thought my smile would split my face in half the whole way home.
The only thing I could manage to comprehend was,
She loves me.
She loves me, she loves me, she loves me.
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