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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!


42. Kiss (Nightmare Awake)

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1020   Review this Chapter

I breathe in deeply. He wants me. It is an incredible relief.

And he isn’t going to propose. That’s a relief too.

Now the question is, can I do this? I want to. As a cool breeze sweeps through the area, my whole body is crying out for the warmth of his arms.

But part of me protests. Don’t let this go any further. You won’t be able to handle it. I know the naysayer in my head is right. I’m going to freak out. I’m going to panic.

Yet, just like when I told him I loved him, is it any fairer to not give him the chance? If I let him down, I won’t tie him here. I should at least let him take a shot.

And I want him so much.

“Of course. I’ve been waiting for you to for three years. I was beginning to think you didn’t… want me.”

I see the resolve on his face. His hands settle around the back of my neck, and I feel sweat form there, as the heat sends a shiver down my spine.

It feels good. I look up at him, and smile, and I can see that familiar overwhelming look of adoration in his eyes, black as pitch and burning like his touch.

Suddenly, abruptly, my doubts are gone. This is what I was made for, and I am ready for it. Quil is the other half of my heart. We belong together, and he’s waited much too long.

He bends, slowly, slowly, and his lips close around mine.

My eyes close, trying to hide the scene from me, but the image is burned into my mind. He is everywhere, surrounding me, pushing in from all sides so there’s no way to turn away and nowhere to go and nowhere to run…

He pulls away. I am free, yet I cannot flee, I’m trapped here, glued to this spot… I tremble.

“I’m sorry, Claire,” a voice says. Surprisingly deep and gentle. It isn’t his voice. Who’s here? Has someone else…

Quil. It’s just Quil.

Now I remember, now I know, beyond the paralyzing terror, that it was only Quil. And I told him he could kiss me, I wanted him to. I love him.

He’s dead. Quil killed him, and he’s never going to hurt me again.

At least, that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.

“Claire?”

I can’t find my throat to answer. My words are all gone, jumbled, lost. They’re with me, back ten years in the past, back in hell.

I thought I’d escaped. I thought Quil had rescued me. But I guess not. I guess I’m still there. Maybe I’m going to spend the rest of my life, waiting to make it out of the prison I can’t run from. My feet are lead and they’re bound to the floor.

Quil is standing a few feet away. I glance at him from the corner of my eyes. Abject misery is written all over his face, his familiar and beloved face.

I love him.

I love him.

If I tell myself enough times, it’ll be true.

No, it is true. It’s just not true enough. But maybe if I repeat it endlessly, it’ll be sufficient, adequate to overcome the terror. I’ll love him more than I’m afraid, someday.

How can it be this bad? I love him so much. He’s everything I could ever want. And yet the fear is worse, is more than he is.

It’s so unfair to him. I can’t stand to see what I’m doing with every minute I stand here, dwelling in the pain and emptiness.

With difficulty, I find my throat. “Sorry,” I manage. It’s barely a whisper, and I recognize the old voice, from days long ago.

“Not your fault.” He addresses me like you would a wounded animal, likely to run at any minute. I guess I am.

“Can we go home?”

I had to get away from here, from this spot that had become as cursed as any other place where it happened.

“Of course.”

He walks to me. After a second, his hand reaches toward mine. My heart beats faster, but I let him take it. Silently, I trail him to the car. If I speak, if I think, it’ll come back. It’ll drag me down and I can’t do that to him.

He breaks the silence when we’re almost home, not with words but with a quiet sigh.

“Are you mad at me?” I ask. It pops out of my mouth without bothering to inform me beforehand.

“No, of course not. It’s just a side effect. Of something that happened a long time ago. It’s not your choice, and it wouldn’t make any sense for me to be mad at you. Besides, I love you. No, sweetheart. I’ll never be mad at you for saying no to anything. It’s always your choice, remember? Always yours. I will never blame you. I love you.”

He is gentle and sweet and so earnest. His heart is in every word, and I can only blandly recite, “I love you too.” In my head, I know it’s the truth, but my heart is breaking and shaking and afraid and not in it.

“All right. I’m not going to make you talk anymore. I can see it’s hard for you right now. When you’ve forgiven me, or when you feel better, whichever it is, you can start talking. We can talk about this, when you’re ready. Then. I love you.”

He sees. He understands. He knows me so well. He even sees that it was him that frightened me, as nonsensical as it is (didn’t I say it was all right?) and he doesn’t blame me. He loves me.

I smile, just a little.

He grins at me, and I feel my heart shatter a little more.