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Keep Her

Summary:
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?


Notes:
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.


6. Chapter 7

Rating 0/5   Word Count 548   Review this Chapter

“Claire.”

I was taking pleasure in speaking her name without agony. That sweet syllable lingered on my tongue. “Claire.”

“Just think, Quil. Soon, I’ll be Claire Ateara… that sounds so nice. I like it better than Claire Uley. I never really got used to that.”

“Dr. Claire Ateara. I like it a lot.”

We smiled at each other. It felt wonderful.

And in that blissful moment I couldn’t help wondering… what would have happened if he hadn’t overstepped the boundary?

If I hadn’t had the chance to save her…

I do not think she would have chosen me. I think she would have preferred to leave it all behind. Oh, she loves me- but she would rather accept herself.

She would not have chosen me.

She notices my shudder. But I am too entranced in the pain.

What would I have done?

I know exactly what. I would have stayed close to her. I would have watched her happiness and known I could not erase her sorrow. I would be at their wedding. I would see the birth of the children that should have been mine. I would always be there.

But I would be dying, dying within.

“Stop it,” she whispers. “I know what you’re thinking, and it isn’t true. I love you.”

“Thank you.” I don’t believe her. I cannot bring myself to, though I want nothing more in the world. It will take some time before I really know I can keep her by my side. I catch sight, then, of her tiny hand, with the stone I rather tastefully selected twinkling on a delicate finger.

It is entrancing. I cannot keep my eyes of this token. It seems to be the truest thing in the world- her beauty, her perfection, which I want more than anything, which she has, oh, thanks to god, chosen to share with me. I will never take anything from her. I can’t be normal like he can, but Claire doesn’t need normal. She needs me.

She needs me. Not as much as I need her, but some, at least. I will always be what she needs.

Maybe she would have chosen me… no, she wouldn’t. I can’t help but relish in the victory. I feel like the lucky survivor of a great disaster. I came so close to losing everything, and yet everything I’ve ever wanted has been given to me.

Would that this moment could last forever…

She smiles at me. “Shall we set a date?”

“Greedy for another ring, are we?”

“You know me too well…”

“How about this summer?” Six months. It would be long. And painful. But glorious, of course, if the time was spent with her.

“Sooner. The spring, I always thought weddings should be in spring. We’ll have to hurry… but I think you’ve done enough waiting.”

“Thanks.” Three months. The hours will be agony. She cannot be all mine fast enough.

And I can picture it so perfectly. Claire, radiant, radiant, waiting for me in white, the ring twinkling, her smile eclipsing it indescribably… the rest of the world doesn’t matter. She is the only important thing.