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Beside Her

Summary:
Latest installment in For Her, sequel to Protect Her, Love Her, Hold Her, Keep Her, From Her, and With Her. Whew! In this story, Quil and Claire's first child is born. They face the ordinary travails of parenting, along with some special dilemnas.


Notes:
Largely fluff. no forseeable evil conflicts of doom... but don't worry, there will be plenty in the next tale! this is the series that never ends. 100 reviews, people. or the sequel doesn't go up. or get written. and we don't want that.


10. Chapter 10

Rating 5/5   Word Count 696   Review this Chapter

The next day, Leah Clearwater, in a frilly light blue dress, was leaning against the hood of a car when I got to work. “Hey.”

She was really very attractive. Quil was a lucky kid. “Hi.” There was a time when Sam had tried to push us towards her, to fix that heart he couldn’t help but break, but it would have been almost incestuous, dating a pack member.

“I came to talk about Quil.”

“I know. What else is there to talk about?” I said, grinning.

“I swear to God I’ll never hurt him,” she began.

I almost laughed out loud. She was definitely consulting with the wrong parent here. “Leah, I know that. You need to tell Claire that, not me. You’d die before you’d hurt him. You’d die a hundred times before you’d see him hurt, see one frown on his face. You’d do anything just to make him happy. There is nothing in the world more significant than him. You love him, but it isn’t the kind of love that’s at all selfish, that would allow you to want something not in his best interest. You just want him to be happy… forever.”

“How do you know?” she whispered, her voice taken away by shock. “How…”

“How do I know? Don’t you remember?”

“That’s right… you’re…”

“Something of an expert in this field,” I said, grinning. “No, I know everything about being in love with a baby. I was once, too… but if you’ll remember, I never… everyone kept asking me if I would hurt her, if they could trust me… I remember how angry that made me, the assumption that I would try to… It still makes me… because someone did hurt her, but it sure as hell wasn’t me.” My smile had faded as I spoke. I was shaking, in fact, with the anger I had thought was gone, the fury that washed down my spine in a red haze, burning me up… no.

I caught myself.

I would not do this.

Control, Quil. Control.

“Wow. Did you just almost…”

“Like I said, it makes me mad.”

She stared, nodding, in wonder, and then caught herself. “Claire… I…”

“I thought the two of you had come to an understanding.”

“I’m pretty sure she’s okay with it, Quil. Pretty sure. But pretty…”

“Isn’t good enough,” I chimed in, and we laughed at how ridiculous it was, that we were so alike in this, when she and I had once been at mortal odds in the pack, constantly fighting, rivals and enemies- I hated her whininess, she was furious at my lightheartedness. We were in the same boat now, though…

“I have to know I can keep him safe. I want to be with him every single second of every day…”

I held up a hand. “Leah, you don’t have to convince me. I know what you’re going through.”

“Will you let me see him?”

“You have my permission. But you need Claire’s.”

“What about when she’s at work?” Leah whispered- contingency plans.

“No. I’m sorry, but I won’t lie to her… not even for you, not for the world, Leah.”

“I wouldn’t ask you to. Well, for him…”

We laughed again in unison. “You would. Look, I’ll try to convince her it’s worth it, that she can do this, but I can’t promise you anything. But if I were you, I’d hold out the hope.”

“It’s all I can do. Quil…”

“I’ll try, Leah. I’ll try. But she’s first, before you, or him, or anyone, to me, and he’s first to you. But he’s my son. I’ll protect him…”

“Because you did such a good job the last time,” Leah snapped, back to her old habits. Then she sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s going to be hard, getting used to not having a broken heart. I have a whole new one now, but it’s his. All his.”

I nodded. “Be careful, Leah. That’s all I can say.”