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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.


6. Chapter 6

Rating 5/5   Word Count 578   Review this Chapter

“There’s something more,” I commented, keeping my voice even, as we lay in bed side by side.

“Mm…”

“Something you’re not telling me. That’s fine, you know. You don’t have to. But I am curious, sweetheart.”

“Mm-hm…”

“Go to sleep, Claire,” I whispered. We could have this conversation in the morning.

“’Kay.”

I heard a little squeaking noise, made by the mattress, as she turned toward me, snuggling into my arms. “Love you, Quil. So much.”

“Love you too.”

“I know.”

I could hear her breathing slow, become steady and even, as she drifted off to sleep, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

And with Claire asleep in my arms.

God, I loved her. It was hard, sometimes, to express, or even to stand, the depth and strength of the emotion. I loved her so much, too much, and yet could never love her enough.

And I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. I would have thought she would not be so… upset. Worried. That she would want this for our little boy, that she wanted it for herself.

I was rejoicing. Finally, Leah, my poor bitter broken sister, could be happy. Finally.

And I knew my son would be safe with her, and loved, and that he wouldn’t ever be lonely or alone.

He’d always have her, like I’d always be there for Claire.

That couldn’t be a bad thing, could it? Was there something wrong with devotion?

Could it be that Claire had never wanted me, that she’d felt that since I loved her so much she had no choice but to love me back?

Josh. I remembered Claire’s only other boyfriend with retroactive loathing. Josh-the-bastard, he was entitled, perhaps unjustly, in my mind, number three on my personal list of least favorite people, after Jack-the-creepy-child-molester and Lina-the-coward.

He’d been a part of that. She had chosen him, of her own free will, without any imprinting or adoration on his part, without his years of love and work and devotion…

And perhaps, that was what she wanted. Maybe she just couldn’t take hurting me, because that was how dear and good her heart was. Maybe she felt like she had to be mine in the end.

And maybe that was where her fear came from, that she didn’t want this for her child.

Or for herself.

Her head dropped onto my shoulder with all the weight of a bowling ball. Her neck was limp in sleep.

I pulled her closer, softly stroking her cheek, feeling the gentle delicate cool touch of her skin, the way it moved over the muscle and bone of her skull, the deep brown color I couldn’t see, but remembered so perfectly it didn’t make much of a difference.

She murmured something. I smiled in the darkness at the sound of her voice.

I loved her, no matter what. Even if she didn’t love me.

I wondered why I was having these doubts now, with our lives happily entwined, lying in bed married to her.

Maybe it was hard to believe someone so precious and perfect could really want to be mine forever.

And maybe they weren’t groundless, my fears.

“Oh, Claire. What will I do without you?” I whispered.

I kissed her forehead.

In her sleep, she screamed.