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Beside Her

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.

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.

11. Chapter 11

Rating 5/5   Word Count 585   Review this Chapter

“What do you mean?” she asked. I shook my head.

“Be careful with him. Incredibly careful. I know you’d never intentionally hurt him, but there are so many ways to unintentionally cause pain. Don’t hide things from him, Leah. If he asks you a question, tell him the truth. Even if it’s hard… even if it’s impossible.”

She looked away from me. “I’m not you, Quil. And he isn’t Claire. Sometimes… the truth’s too…”

“No. The truth’s never too much.” She didn’t seem to believe me, and I offered an example. “Leah, I told Claire about imprinting before she turned ten. She had only come to live with me about… a few weeks before. She was so scared. She ran away from me. All I could do was sit there, and wait, and wait, and… it was awful, Leah. But I don’t regret it, because she came back, and because she knew the truth. It’ll work out… if you tell the truth.”

She nodded. “Any more advice?”

It’s half sarcasm, because I was being irritatingly preachy, but it’s half an honest question, too. Because I could honestly have used some advice when I’d imprinted on a toddler, I had to help her out. “Well, if I were you, I’d keep the… more… romantic feelings you have from Claire. Until he’s older. It would not be a good idea, for example, to talk about that you want to be with him. That you want to marry him. That you think he’s the most human being on the face of the Earth.”

“I don’t,” she said, far too quickly.

“You’re a terrible liar. And you forget, I’ve done this too.”

“Maybe you’re just a perv. Ever think of that?”

I growled at her. “Take it back.” She often did this, pushing any button she could think of. I guessed it was stupid to expect her to change so dramatically and instantly.

“I’m sorry.” It’s the first time I’d ever heard Leah apologize for anything. “So it’s not… freaky… that I want him to be all grown up so we can…”

“I’m the only one I know about, but from my experience, it is perfectly normal. You don’t want to do it now, of course, but you don’t mind the thought of later.”

She nodded. “That’s a relief.”

“Again, just don’t tell Claire. That would… not be good. It’s the only thing I ever kept from her, and it was really only a lie by omission. All those years, until she was almost seventeen and chose me, I never would have acted on them, not unless she wanted me to, so I decided to keep the feelings secret. That, and nothing else, is an acceptable deception. The other thing is start working on that tendency of yours to say the absolute cruelest thing you can think of. You don’t want to do that to him. And… there’s a chance… you may not be the only person he’ll ever be with. You’ll need to accept that. Even if he doesn’t want you in all the ways you want him, you can’t lose control.”

“Sam and Emily,” Leah said, nodding. “I don’t want to be like him.”

Another first- there’s no pain, none at all, on her face, when she said his name. “I get off work in thirty minutes. Want to hang around? We can go talk to Claire together.”

She smiled. “Sure.”