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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.


8. Chapter 8

Rating 5/5   Word Count 593   Review this Chapter

Claire was gone when I woke up. I could hear her downstairs, talking calmly to Leah. I supposed she was feeding the baby.

I grumbled and put the pillow back over my eyes.

Too early, way, way too early. Any sane person would still be unconscious, but of course I have an infant and a brand-new job.

I can’t.

I was going to work at Jake’s shop. Pretty much a dream-job. I get paid to hang out with my best friends and fiddle with cars and stuff.

It was the first thing besides Claire and my family that had excited me for a long time. I could hardly remember what I’d wanted to do with my life before the whole werewolf business, possibly because I really wasn’t the sort of kid who planned that far ahead.

No, I recalled, vaguely, something about traveling the world, going into business. In retrospect it never would have worked. I didn’t have the patience. It just wasn’t the person I was… but I would have been happy with this job.

Embry worked in the shop, helping Jake with the cars. Jacob still couldn’t stand the sight of a motorcycle, not after Bella, and Embry didn’t feel quite comfortable with working single-handedly, so I would be able to help a good deal with that.

It felt good to be useful to my friends for the first time since we’d been killing vampires together.

I dressed quickly, in random clothing in the dark, and walked downstairs.

Claire looked far too beautiful, sitting on the couch, her hair falling into a dark curtain between me and her hair. She didn’t glance up at me. “Hi, Quil.”

I kissed the top of her head. “Good morning, beautiful.”

Leah snorted. “Weirdo. You shouldn’t embarrass her like that.”

“If you manage to convince him of that, it’s more than I can do, Leah.”

The two women laughed. Claire lifted her head finally, her huge green eyes looking right into my heart.

Was that unnecessarily mushy? It was true, either way.

I patted the baby on his tiny red head too before heading off to work. He was soft, like a puppy. I smiled at my son and my wife and my adopted sister. My whole happy family.

I was so happy. I had a nice, stable, settled existence, and to tell the truth I liked it. I was, as the Leah incident had so pointedly reminded me, not exactly a spring chicken. I was forty-three. My days as an aggressive wandering adolescent were over.

And Embry’s weren’t. This was a shock, though I had of course seen him before. But the first day at the job was the most time I’d spent with him since I’d gotten back to La Push.

He was a sixteen-year-old boy. Embry had always been way more mature than me, shy, introverted, smart… but he was a kid nonetheless.

It was amazing. I wondered if it was because of the sixteen-year-old body, if he couldn’t mature, if the age of his heart was tied to the age of his physical form, or if it was just that Embry was only responsible for…

For all the people in the tribe? He was the pack leader. It was crazy to think he was just a kid. Yet he so clearly was.

It was a puzzle. It made my head spin. And it made me feel abruptly very old.