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Being Her

Summary:
A series of one-shots in Claire's perspective throughout the series For Her.


Notes:
Um, will not go in any order. they come as i get bored enough to write them. PSSSTTT if you want a new story, go review with her!


41. Date Night

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1957   Review this Chapter

I walk through the door, my legs aching from the too-long day of running from class to class to work to lecture to class, but all that stress disappears the minute I catch sight of Quil.

His whole face lights up. It’s seriously not a figure of speech… the grin he wears makes his skin, and his smile, and especially his eyes, glow with a radiant light. “Claire!” he calls.

I smile. “Hi, Quil.”

Unexpectedly, he announces, “I’m calling in sick to work tonight.”

I join in the game. “Why?”

“Because… I want to take a break. I’d like to go somewhere with you.”

Can he actually be nervous? What does he think I’m going to do, turn him down? “Anywhere in particular?”
“Yep.”

“Planning on telling me where?”

“Nope.”

I let my eyes linger on his face. I know he’ll write it off as me scrutinizing him for his hidden evil plan, but I’m really shamelessly ogling him. My eyes drift down the line of his chin, mentally tracing his jaw, the perfect, hairless skin a smooth mahogany, and again I find myself wanting to pull his arms around me and press my lips against his.

And then I laugh, because I know it’s just so stupid to consider… if I want to kiss Quil, I should just do it. I’m never going to be able to get over myself and just do it, and I’m pretty sure he’s too afraid of scaring me away.

I’m probably going to die without ever kissing him. “Quil, are you taking me on a date?”

“Maybe.”

“I love you,” I say, smiling. I mean the words only to reassure him that I do want to go with him, but they turn into something more, as always.

“Love you more.”

His low voice fills with warmth and in that moment I trust him, not completely, but to an extent that really shocks me. “I don’t see how that’s possible.”

“You should probably dress up,” he segues, his tone containing a note of wistfulness. He sounds so happy.

“Quil, you know we’re broke,” I protest. He’s always trying to spoil me, when we both know that, although I appreciate the romance more than I let on, we really can’t afford fireworks and a private jet or whatever he’s done this time.

“Not when it comes to you,” he says, and I am not sure how I’m supposed to argue with the soft iron in his voice. He states it like a fact, of course I love you and you’re perfect, what else?

I give in. “All right.” Sometimes I think he sets up these elaborate schemes just to see me dress up. “But you, mister, had better get pretty too.”

He smiles with exaggerated innocence. “Deal.”

I slip into the room I slept in. Poor Quil was stuck in the renovated laundry room (renovations defined as sticking a bed in the corner) but he usually wound up in here anyway, watching me sleep, eventually collapsing on the couch.

And again, my body would cry out for him, every instinct saying he should be in the bed, holding me, but my mind protesting I couldn’t hurt him, couldn’t get his hopes up like that.

I slip on a deep green dress, the color of home’s forests, and carefully line my eyes with matching liner. It’s a really fancy outfit, the nicest thing I own. Quil got it for me when I didn’t go to the prom in senior year.

He said I should get to have the dress anyway, which made no sense. But he wanted me to be happy.

And I wanted the same for him.

I dug through my little bag of tricks and pulled out the earrings he’d given me for my twelfth birthday. I rarely wore them.

They were too special. I couldn’t bear to lose them, not these beautiful symbols. I hold the familiar jewelry in my hand and smile, looking at the glimmer on my palm of the long strands. They are cool to the touch, soothing.

I fasten them in my ears and walk out of my room, slicking on a coat of nude lip gloss as I go.

Quil’s eyes widen when he sees me. I break from his overwhelming gaze and examine him, instead.

He’s wearing a suit as opposed to the typical shorts, more of his beautiful skin covered, but the material provides a perfect foil for his coloring. His lips are trembling a little, his hair lying in uncharacteristic neatness. I look into his eyes, black as night, deep as forever, and smile.

“You look incredible,” he whispers.

I know I’m not beautiful, but I don’t care. He thinks so, and does anyone else’s opinion matter?”

“So do you. I’m the luckiest girl in town.” I get plenty of jealous looks when I’m out with Quil, believe me. I’m nothing special and he looks like a male model with a bodybuilder’s muscles.

“You have that backwards… wait, nevermind.”

I start to snicker. “You are too funny.”

“Thank you,” he taunts.

“You’re welcome.”

He hesitantly covers his hand with mine, and I nod a little, reminding him this is all right. It’s actually very reassuring to hold his hand, the warmth of his skin radiating off him. He leads me to the car, which he tells me was another brilliant repair job by Jacob. I honestly couldn’t care less.

He opens the door for me, and I smile. When he bows as he closes it, an exaggerated motion, I laugh aloud.

He grins back at me, and my breath catches a little in my throat. He just looks so happy- anyone could be that strongly affected. It’s a shattering depth of emotion.

He drives to an unfamiliar neighborhood, a quaint little place several miles away. The ground is uneven, and I stumble a little. His arm is around my waist before I can even straighten up. Quil deftly shifts my weight to his arm, tucking mine through his elbow, and leading me across the street to a path lined with flowers.

I can feel the heat of a blush rising on my face to match the warmth in my hand. “Quil, I’m not quite that delicate.”

“But I must be careful… I wouldn’t want to damage you. Those shoes look perilous. And pretty.”

“They are, the first at least. You’ve never worn four-inch heels.”

“Nor do I plan to… unless you ask very, very nicely.”

I laugh, though it really isn’t a joke. He would do anything when it comes to me, wouldn’t he?

I have to be very careful not to abuse that.

Especially at this moment, when I catch sight of the beautiful building. I punch him in the stomach as hard as I can, and he doesn’t even flinch. I rub my knuckles absentmindedly. That was stupid.

“What did I do?” He sounded so innocent.

“HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING FOR THIS!!” I howl.
“Um, I haven’t paid anything yet… unless you count the dress.”

“This must be incredibly expensive.”

He lets go of my hand and puts his on my shoulder, gently pulling me around so I’m looking right into his eyes. I swallow hard, because I know I’ve lost the argument the instant I really take a look at the sheer love he’s focusing right at me.

“Claire,” he whispers, his low voice unbelievably intense, “please, please let me do this for you. Please.”

Why am I beginning to believe he has an ulterior motive here? Crap, I hope he isn’t going to propose! I’m not ready.

I take a deep breath. “Okay. But you owe me one.”

And then I start to laugh, and he joins in.

He guides me into the restaurant, where a waiter pulls out an upholstered chair. The chandelier directly over my head gleams with reflected light. I feel appallingly out of place. This isn’t our quiet forest world. It’s a place for rich old white people.

But it’s really nice. There’s something appealing about this world I don’t belong in, gilded and beautiful, where people wearing suits do your bidding.

That excluded my date.

“I am not, no matter how much you beg, eating goat intestines. Nice try.”

He sighs and turns the menu over. “I think they’re cow intestines, actually.”

“Read my lips, Quil. No.”

He gave in and suggested something more reasonable, a pasta dish for me and a steak for himself, along with a couple of salads.

I agree, and he orders. I change my mind at the last minute and order a leek tart instead.

When the salad comes out, a big piece of cheese melted into a thin tulle over the top, I immediately break off a piece and hand it to him. “Eat,” I command, and he does, smiling.

I turn to the salad.

It’s really, really good. Possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I can’t keep up with Quil’s supernatural pace, but I finish it off pretty quickly.

I laugh as he devours a steak the side of both his fists. I pick, slowly, at the tart. It’s delicious.

“This is good!”

“You’re welcome.”

“Thank you.”

Our backwards exchange is interrupted by the waiter. “Would you like any dessert?”

“No,” I snap quickly.

“Yes.” Quil glares at me.

The menu is covered in leather and has the word Desserts embroidered in golden letters. The first thing on the list catches my eye. Key Lime Pie.

My one weakness. I give in and order it, with a mocha to drink. Just to make Quil happy.

Quil hid the check from me, when it came, but I’d Googled the restaurant beforehand. I knew it had probably come to about four hundred dollars.

I slurped down the last grainy sip of the mocha.

“Want to take a walk?” he offers as we stand.

“Ugh. Yeah. I must have gained ten pounds from that meal.”

My stomach is stiff, pressing against the inside of my body. I am mildly nauseous from the overeating. A little movement will do me good.

“You’d still look great if you gained ten hundred.”

“You mean a thousand?”

“My way’s more poetical.”

I laugh again. We’re walking down a deserted little street, the tiny houses gleaming under the light of quaint streetlamps.

The moon is full. “It was a night like this when you told me you loved me the first time,” Quil says, suddenly serious, as he looks up at the pearly sky.

“That was a good night,” I reply, smiling.

“Yeah.” I take his hand carefully. He smiles and says, “Claire, can I ask you something?”

My heart beats faster. I pray internally he won’t ask me to marry him. I’m too young. It’s ten years, but it’s too soon.

But I reply lightly. “Of course. You just bought me two hundred dollars worth of food, didn’t you?”

He scowls teasingly, but then sobers. Quil speaks slowly and gently, and it breaks my heart and warms it at the same time.

“I understand if it makes you uncomfortable and you don’t want to… but I want to know if you’re ready. Claire, may I kiss you?”