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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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7. Chapter 7

Rating 5/5   Word Count 636   Review this Chapter

I enjoyed the party immensely, I must say. Everything was absolutely lovely, especially Claire…

The food was excellent. Men in white shirts and crisp black pants brought steak, mashed potatoes, and crisp green beans to me. Claire had the second option, some array of attractively framed vegetables with a sauce the color of my skin.

I stared as she ate. I couldn’t help it. As I wolfed (literally) down my food, she was chewing delicately. She speared each piece of the meal carefully, holding her fork like a pen rather than the weapon I welded it as.

She froze about halfway through the meal and looked up at me. “Quil, you’re staring,” she said.

“Do you mind?”

“Not at all.” Then she laughs. “That sounded vain.”

“If anyone has a right to be vain, it’s you. Especially today, sweetheart.”

“It’s been a long time since you’ve called me that.”

“Sweetheart. Darling. Angel. Love.”

“Love, angel, music, baby…” This is Leah, humming on the other side of the table. I smiled at her. Sometimes she wasn’t precisely the most tender person, but she was my sister, underneath it all.

“What’s that?”

“A song. It was popular when I was about… thirteen, I think.”

“So I wasn’t even born yet?”

Leah laughed, a rare sound. She was fully included in the conversation now. “The wonderful thing about age diversification is that it really expands your tastes. Of course, that’s a bit of a problem for me… I look like an eighteen year old and enjoy stuff that was popular about forty years ago. I always have to catch myself before I start thinking about the good old days, or reminiscing about them.”

Leah had sworn to herself she would never stop phasing. She’d never gotten over Sam, not really, and that bitterness truly affected her. I had a pet theory she would someday imprint, but that until then, she’d remain clinging to the pack like her last hope, unable to admit how much she needed us.

She’d probably end up Alpha someday, if Embry ever quit. Perhaps it had been a bit misogynistic of us not to even consider her when Sam stopped phasing, but he hadn’t suggested it. He and Emily tried not to think about Leah.

“I do that too. It’s almost embarrassing, having to fill out a wedding certificate where one of us is twenty-seven and the other forty-one. I’m a cradle-robber.”

Claire glared at me.

“Well, actually, when Lina ordered me away from you, I literally almost did rob the cradle… but let’s not tell that story at parties.”

This she didn’t dignify with a response. Leah, on the other hand, laughed.

During this conversation, the meal had been finished. We would have dessert after the dancing started, which it did at the exact moment we rose.

Could this day be any more perfect?

The music was slow, fierce, beautiful instrumentals. Ironically, or amusingly, (I failed seventh grade language arts) the instruments were manned by the vampires. I guessed it was better than having them interact with our guests.

I danced with Claire for some time, though not nearly long enough. Her gown felt lovely underneath my hand, resting at the curve of her waist. The material was very nice, and even nicer was how close I could stand to her, and not have to fear her fear…

Because she was my wife.

“Claire, I love you,” I whispered.

“I know,” she answered.

I had to glower at her for three straight songs before she finally grinned and said, “I love you too, you idiot.”

“That’s all I want to hear,” I said, and kissed her.