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Love Her

Summary:
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?


Notes:
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.


9. Chapter 9

Rating 5/5   Word Count 564   Review this Chapter

We arrived at Sam’s. Lina was waiting, frantic. “Claire! Oh my baby! Are you all right?”

“Thanks to Quil, mostly.”

She endured an overly enthusiastic embrace. Her mother’s arms flailed all over, patting her down as though attempting to check for a weapon or serious injury.

The visible ones had faded.

“Oh, sweetie, are you okay? What’s wrong? Don’t you worry about anything. You can just come with me now and everything will go back to normal and…”

Claire stepped aside and observed her mother blankly. “You want me to come live with you.”

“Of course! You’re my baby girl. I lo…”

“You think we can just pretend the last fourteen years never happened? You haven’t seen me since I was four. Since you gave me up like it didn’t matter so your life would be easy. So you could have what you wanted. It’s not happening.”

“Why not?”

“Because you want me to go live someone else’s life. The life I should have had. The life I would have had. I’m not the little girl who didn’t know how to say ‘mommy’ yet. I’ve done and been and seen things you can’t imagine, and I’m not going back. Sorry.”

That’s my girl. I wondered if she could comprehend how insanely proud I was right now.

“I’m sorry, Claire,” Lina said.

“Sorry isn’t enough. Sorry is never going to be enough. I can’t understand. I can’t understand how you could let this happen. I, ma’am, am the one who’s sorry. I’m sorry that I don’t have it in me to forgive you. I won’t. I won’t come live with you. I’m going to stay here with Quil, where I’m safe. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t you want to have a normal life?”

“No. I like my life. I like living here with the pack and my friends and school and Quil. You signed me over, remember. I’m not your kid anymore. You can’t come revoke that fourteen years later. You don’t know me.”

This was so unlike her. I didn’t think it was a bad thing, mind, but Claire wasn’t usually one for telling people off.

“You don’t want to be my daughter.”

“No. I don’t. And if you don’t mind, I need to go home. Good-bye, Mrs. Denson.”

I thought that hurt Lina more than anything else. I saw the way she shrunk back, hid. “Bye, Claire.”

“Good-bye.”

Claire made it all the way to the car before she broke down. “I’m such a terrible person…”

“No, you’re not. That was a beautiful, brave thing to do, and I’m very proud of you.”

I let her slump onto my shoulder and cry, but I think we both realized something. She wasn’t a baby anymore. Claire was sixteen, and she could take care of herself in more ways than either of us had previously realized. She had handled that whole thing herself. I was so proud.

Maybe she didn’t need me quite as much anymore, but I would always be there, waiting. Even if she didn’t want me, I’d be close. Waiting.

I needed her.

“Claire?”

“Uh-huh?”

“Not to scare you, but just so you know… I love you.”

“I love you too.”