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From Her

Quil and Claire, now twenty-seven, are getting married. The darkest days are past. Perhaps further danger looms, but all on their minds now is the wedding. In the series For Her.

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10. Chapter 10

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The dress fell easily to the floor. She quickly scooped it up and placed it carefully on one of the carved, ornate hangers. I gulped.

She still had some elaborate undergarments on. It was far less actual skin than I’d seen, say, when she went swimming, but it was somehow more private.

She began to unlace the front of her corset-like shirt.

I looked down. I couldn’t believe this was happening. This was the woman I worshipped. She was the whole world to me… and had been for twenty-five years.

I couldn’t believe this was happening… did I already say that? I was more than a little distracted at the moment. Lust, definitely, but something more… it’s hard to explain. When someone is that important…

At the very core, imprinting is the urge to protect. Keep her safe. Keep her safe, whatever you do. Keep her safe.

Sam had a theory it’s an evolutionary strategy… he wasn’t much one for legends. Science can explain it all. If you fight for a whole tribe of people, that’s one thing. But if all the power and strength of your soul is focused on one person, you fight a hell of a lot harder.

The need to protect eventually turns to worship. If it’s so important to have her safe, she herself becomes desperately important. Protection, not just from the ancestral threat, but from every harm, is paramount.

And to do that, you have to be close to her. It is important more than anything else, to know she is safe.

Imprinting isn’t necessarily romantic, really… it just turns into that heartbreak is another kind of pain, and you can’t stand to see her hurt in any way, and if you can keep her safe by offering her your heart… well, it’s hers.

And she’s so important, special and precious and delicate, that the closer you become to her, the paragon of all virtues, the better you yourself become.

Right now, as I rambled on in my head, I was about to be closer to her than I had ever dreamed to imagine. That terrified me. I was deeply unworthy of it, and I feared I would disappoint her.

I had no experience with this… none at all, and it was important. I had to make this special and wonderful for her, I couldn’t scare her, I couldn’t let this be anything less than wonderful, and I had no idea how to make that happen.

She took the corset off. I bit my lip, hard enough that it hurt.

“Are you just going to stand there and watch me take my clothes off?”

“Do you need help?” Help is good. I know how to help Claire. That I’m good at.

She glared at me. “I don’t need help. I get my pants off fine every night. I’d like some kind of reaction, though.”

“Claire…” I said… it came out sort of like a moan, embarrassingly.

“That’s sort of what I was looking for on the first take.” She grinned, and I couldn’t help but smile back.