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Keep Her

Sequel to Protect Her, Love Her, and Hold Her. Claire is a medical intern. She and Quil are deeply in love, but he's still haunted by ghosts that whisper one word... failure. Will he overcome his fears and regrets to take the next step? Will their truest of loves ever bind them into one?

Read the prequels first. And review them! This series has the sixth most reviews out of any on the site, and i'm angling for first. ambitious, right? so review a lot! i'm pretty shameless, but i will never withhold a written chapter to get reviews. however, my life is full and i am writing lots of little sidefics, not to mention a novel, a full-length play, and an award-winning-to-be compilation of original short works. oh, and school, but that's not important. EXPECT updates twice a week. they often come as soon as twice, three, once even SEVEN times a day. i'm good, i know. but when this happens, i expect rewards, in the form of reviews. and i own nothing.

2. Chapter 2

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 547   Review this Chapter

Everything must be perfect. Absolutely, totally perfect. This day must shine. It must please and delight her.

I was quite good at that.

I had plenty of practice.

Claire arrived home exhausted. She appeared to have been weeping for hours. “Someone died, Quil. I was standing right there, trying to convince her to take her medicine. And she just died. While I watched… oh, Quil!”

I buried her in my embrace. “Sweetie, I’m so sor… I wish you didn’t have to see that.”

“It’s all right. I chose this job, and I knew I’d have to see things like this.”

I focused my heart and soul on the quivering body in my arms. Maybe the moment wasn’t quite right, but I was ready. And if I didn’t do it now, I would never find the courage.

I slipped away. The floor struck my knee with an almost painful pressure, and Claire looked down on me in surprise. I removed the box from my pocket, opened the velvet.

The ring was small, but beautiful- a triangular diamond surrounded by a tiny path of tiny stones laid in a style the man at the jewelry counter called pave.

“Claire, you know I love you. I would do anything for you. You are everything in the world to me, as I’ve said time and again. I want to make you mine as I am yours. Claire, beautiful, beloved Claire, will you marry me?”

Her eyes closed and darted away. “No.”

I could hear the unspoken apology. I brushed past the pain. “Why not?”

“Because I’m scared.”

“I thought you didn’t want to let him win, Claire. Do you want to give up a chance to be happy?” I didn’t want to pressure her, but I wanted this so much…

“No. But I don’t want to be trapped. I don’t… I don’t want there to be nowhere for me to go.”

“Is there any way I can make you feel like that isn’t going to happen?”

“I don’t think so. I’m sorry, Quil.”

“No sorry.”

She smiled.

“You’re tired, Claire. Go to bed. Don’t be sorry.”

She scampered to bed, and I sunk the few steps to the ground. I would not weep- I hadn’t cried since I had found Claire beaten and terrified all those years ago- the memory still terrified me.

I felt the tears of rejection building behind my eyes, however. And I understood why, but I had to convince her. This seemed to me like the final thing that would convince her. The final sign of love, of our finality, of the fact that I would always keep her.

It was already true, but I wanted to tell her.

And I knew that she knew it. And I loved her. And all my thoughts were running in circles. My poor angel. She was so afraid, so weary. I shouldn’t have asked. But there was no way I could resist. It was almost a compulsion to prove myself to her.

Claire, I love you…

I closed the lid to the box.

Against all efforts a single tear splashes onto the black velvet.