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Hold Her

Summary:
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.


Notes:
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.


5. Chapter 5

Rating 5/5   Word Count 537   Review this Chapter

“Of course. I’ve been waiting for you to for three years. I was beginning to think you didn’t… want me.”

I took a deep breath and settled her doubts.

When my arms encircled her, she smiled encouragingly into my face. I bent down and went into heaven…

But the instant I reached it, the split second my lips touched hers, she froze.

So I backed off. It wasn’t even a conscious choice- I just responded. She was afraid. I was scaring her. There wasn’t a chance I could continue.

I took a step away from her. She was shaking, her eyes down. She was clearly terrified. It reminded me of when she was ten and I’d seen her at her fourth grade class, eyes downcast, face bruised.

And though she was no longer physically scared, the signs were still there. I could see them now.

“I’m sorry, Claire.”

She didn’t respond, just sort of quivered. Like jelly in a hurricane, standing there under the streetlamp.

“Claire?”

I dropped it. She was obviously too scared to respond. I would ask her whether she was angry when she was talking again. I didn’t think she was, it wouldn’t be like her, at all, especially not after she’d given me express permission- which she had… right?

There was no point, no point to this. I would just wait for Claire to talk to me. I stood awkwardly a few feet from her, and waited. It was a long, slow, excruciatingly painful wait. I was slowly dying as I waited, but wait I did. Wait I would, for her.

In twenty minutes at the very least, she stopped shaking, but did not look up, did not move towards me. “Sorry,” she whispered, as quietly as once she always had.

“Not your fault.”

“Can we go home?”

“Of course.”

I very cautiously took her hand. She silently followed me to the car. My vivacious, laughing Claire of a minute ago had disappeared, carrying my beautiful evening along with it. Now she was shrunken and terrified. I drove home. After a few silent, awkward minutes, I sighed.

“Are you mad at me?” she whispered.

“No, of course not. It’s just a side effect. Of something that happened a long time ago. It’s not your choice, and it wouldn’t make any sense for me to be mad at you. Besides, I love you. No, sweetheart. I’ll never be mad at you for saying no to anything. It’s always your choice, remember? Always yours. I will never blame you. I love you.”

“I love you too,” she whispers, but it doesn’t sound like an earnest statement, just something she had to say.

“All right. I’m not going to make you talk anymore. I can see it’s hard for you right now. When you’ve forgiven me, or when you feel better, whichever it is, you can start talking. We can talk about this, when you’re ready. Then. I love you.”

She smiled a teeny little smile, which made me smile an encouraging big huge smile.

I had goofed up. But I would fix it.