Sequel to Protect Her and Love Her. Quil and Claire have escaped from the past-- mostly. They are trying to fit in at college and find themselves and each other.
This will be fluffy, mostly. Some angst, of course. go read the prequels first. and enjoy. i don't own quil. poor me. review. please please PLEASE review.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 663 Review this Chapter
“Well, this is intimidating,” Claire remarked.
We were spending are first day on the campus of Claire’s new school. She had been accepted at Duke, and needless to say I was willing to move untold mountains to pay the tuition. Fortunately, she’d gotten a partial scholarship, so I only had to fork over a hard-earned $20,000 a year. I probably couldn’t have gotten the other half…
Well, maybe I could’ve. Considering the look in her eyes when she got the acceptance letter, I could have figured something out. Like giving up sleep and working four jobs? Or taking up bank robbery or something.
“Wow. But it’s beautiful.”
“Glad you like it, Claire.”
I liked the way her name felt on my lips. Claire. I could have spent a million years, doing nothing but saying it over and again, Claire, Claire, Claire.
I didn’t have the pack in my head now to calm me down, but I caught myself. I had made a promise… I would be as normal as I could. I would not go wild, would not overdo it, would not show everyone how my world was her.
Instead, I would do my best to be totally average, the perfect, perfect, boy for her. Everything everyone expected, and also everything she wanted, I would be.
And I was proud of it. I was proud to do anything she wanted.
She was so enthralled with everything she saw here, absolutely everything. We were strolling the beautiful green gardens, walking over the grass clipped perfectly even and very short, enjoying the beautiful balmy air. I could see the sky. It was much different than Washington, that’s for share.
“I love it here,” Claire whispered.
“I love it too, then.”
She gave a half-smile, half-blush, a sort of embarrassed curling-up of her cheeks. She was fascinated by the architecture, the curling curving lines of every part of the buildings. The gray ans and tans of the stones, natural colors in unnatural formations, were beautiful. However, I was much more interested by Claire’s expressions. She’d never seen anything this majestic.
And it was I who had done this for her, put this smile on her face.
I had made her happy.
Which was of course the goal of my life. We took another step toward the large hall where she would be welcomed as a new student, its columns surprisingly less forbidding than that of the other architecture nearby. As we walkied, I was surprised to feel her hand take mine.
It was the best surprise ever. But Claire didn’t usually do things like this. It was usually I who took the lead here, who made the occasional “move,” as it were. I tried not to scare her, but she rarely shied away anymore—but neither did she ever step forward to actually touch me. This was new and different, in the best of ways, and so Claire must have been expecting my questioning gaze.
She shrugged. “Well, you know I want to put everything in the past… that’s part of why I wanted to come here. Sometimes the forests feel like they’re pulling me back, dragging me down… and I didn’t want to leave them behind entirely. It’s a good balance here. And part of that balance is that I can be a normal kid, with normal friends… I’ll miss Tina and Kati and them, but I also want… a boyfriend… no, you. I don’t want to be afraid and alone. I want to make a fresh start.”
“You never, never, never, need to be alone, sweetheart. I will always be here for you.”
“I love you.”
Her only answer was a smile. I held the door as she walked away from me into the hall that signaled the beginning of the sweeter chapter of our shared lives.
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