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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.


9. Chapter 9

Rating 5/5   Word Count 574   Review this Chapter

Embry didn’t help. “Hey, old man.”

“Hello, young people. My, you children are ruining our society today… with your music and your hair…”

Embry laughed and I trailed off, grinning with the familiar friendship restored suddenly. “Good to see you, Quil. Good to have you here.”

“Good to be here. You know, it was Claire’s idea to move here, but I don’t think I could be happier.” I wasn’t sure it was really what she’d wanted, to tell the truth. It seemed almost like merely a favor to me, but I wasn’t arguing.

“I will never understand you imprinted guys. Does it ever, you know, totally suck, to have your own life ruled by someone else?”

There was a keen, burning interest in his eyes. I sighed, and grabbed the fender I was supposed to be polishing. I wasn’t sure what his motivation was for asking me this. I had begun to honestly doubt that Embry would ever imprint. He, Colin, Brady, Seth and Paul were the only ones left. A whole half of our once-sprawling pack were permanently in love. I wasn’t sure that he was jealous, exactly, or angry, or perhaps merely curious. I wasn’t certain. After all, I no longer knew Embry well enough to read his thoughts, and I couldn’t literally do so anymore.

“No. Not at all, because… all I want, all I ever want, is to make her happy. If I can do that, I’m happy. I don’t care about anything except her, Embry. If she wanted me to do anything, I’d be delighted to do so, because I know I’m right if she’s the reason I do something. You know? I have total confidence in my actions when I do them for her.”

“You’ve changed,” he said. “Not in a bad way, but… I noticed it even before you moved away, from the moment you met her. You weren’t such a goofball anymore. You thought about your actions, you know? You waited, and only did something if you were sure it would be okay for her. And it’s more now, that you’re grown up, god, you have a kid!”

“And you haven’t changed at all.”

Embry winced at that, and I quickly corrected myself.

“That isn’t a judgment. I know you’re the Alpha, that you have responsibilities, and besides, if I were you, I’d never stop phasing… I loved being part of the pack.”

“It’s the only time I’ve ever been part of something,” he whispered. “And it keeps falling apart. Will I never have a reason to stop being sixteen? I can’t date…”

“Of course not,” I concurred. No one needed another Leah Clearwater situation. “You can’t break a heart for no reason except that you’re lonely.”

“And I’m not, really. I have the guys, but… I miss being myself.”

He had a point. We were so much all one person when we were phased, all a compound mind, ruled by one thought, and pulling always against these invisible reigns- “I’m sorry, Embry.”

“No, it’s not… not a bad thing.” He stopped for a second. And then the talk was familiar and meaningless again. “Hey, pass me that rag, would ya?”

“Sure!” I threw it over. “What’re you doing this weekend? Got patrol?”

“Nah. I’m going over to Jared’s. We’re gonna watch football. Want to come?”

“Of course.”