What does Claire's mother think when she finds out???
The Quil/Claire relationship has always been one of my favorites!
1. Chapter 1
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“You what?!” Had he not been so terrified, Quil might have found her expression humorous. But as it was, her reaction was not looking good.
“I’m a werewolf. And I’ve imprinted on your daughter,” he repeated hesitantly. “Like in the old legends… Except, they’re not just legends.”
Claire’s mother raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips. “So tell me if I’ve got this right. A big hairy dog has some magical love for my two-year-old? Forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy at the thought.”
Quil swallowed. “It’s not love, exactly. Well, it is, but not like that. It’s nothing romantic, I swear. Please just let me be around her. If you really want, we’ll never be alone. Just please don’t take her completely away.” He waited for her response.
She looked for a moment like she would give him an angry retort, then her face turned into a frown and she shook her head. “I just don’t know about this. I’ve heard the stories since I was younger than Claire is now and I always thought that they were just that; stories. Why now?”
“I’m a relatively new werewolf. See, the way imprinting works is you have to see the person after your first transformation. This was just the first time I’d seen her since I’d changed.”
Claire’s mother sighed and rubbed her forehead. She turned her body toward the counter upon which she had previously been leaning and poured a glass of water. “I never thought I’d actually believe this stuff. I always thought they were stories to inspire the young, you know?” She ripped the packaging of an Alka-Seltzer packet and dropped them each into the glass. They made a soft plop as they landed in the water, then they began to fizz. The reaction was violent at first, then gradually the fizzing eased. There was silence through the kitchen save for the humming from the fizzing Alka-Seltzer and she stared unseeing into the glass, caught in her own whirlwind of thoughts. When she finally turned around again, glass in hand, she said softly, “Prove it.”
“What?” Quil asked, momentarily caught off guard. His thoughts had inevitably been on the toddler asleep in the next room. With his sensitive ears, he could make out her rhythmic breathing and he felt his heart melt. That little girl already had him wrapped around her little pinky.
“If you can prove to me that you are what you say you are, then I might consider what you’re asking.”
Quil grinned widely and said, “I can do that. Come outside and I’ll show you.”
He led Claire’s mother out of the kitchen and into the hallway. He tried not to slow his pace as he glanced into the living room and saw little Claire passed out on the floor, her small body curled around the stuffed dog that Quil had gifted her with earlier that day. Her fingers were entangled in the creature’s fur and her face was pressed into its back. How could she possibly breathe through the stuffed animal? Quil’s heart gave a lurch at the thought and he paused for a split second in his walk to the front door. Then, hearing her breathing continuing as normal, he forced his foot to descend as it had been before his scare. The girl’s mother didn’t even notice the slight hesitation in his step.
Quil opened the door and held it for the woman as she headed out in front of him. The cup she held in her hand was still emitting faint fizzes every now and then, but for the most part it seemed to be done with its tirade. She waited on the steps with her arms crossed while Quil disappeared behind a tree.
Claire’s mother had never had a particularly good heart. Her father had succumbed to heart disease early in life and her mother’s had been causing some worrisome problems lately. The doctors had warned Claire’s mother that if she wasn’t careful with her exercise habits and with her diet, she could increase her already sky high risks of heart problems.
Claire’s mother thought she was going to keel over of a heart attack when Quil stepped out of the trees. Except that it wasn’t Quil who stepped into view. In his place there was an enormous chocolate brown wolf standing where Quil should have been. The woman’s hands both flew to her face to stifle the scream that had instinctively tried to escape her, and the glass of Alka-Seltzer fell to the ground. It shattered, spraying the surrounding area with shards of glass and splashing her feet and legs with the medicine.
“Shoot!” she exclaimed, looking down at the mess she had made. The sight did not hold her attention for long, however, for Quil was walking slowly to the steps where she stood. His tail was straight out behind him, wagging slowly and he slunk with his belly close to the ground. As he came closer, he whined slightly and looked up at her with big, brown, soulful eyes.
Her hand reached out to him and he raised his head to meet her hand in the air. She ran her fingers through the fur atop his skull and whispered in amazement, “What would her father think? The legends are true…”
Quil gazed at her, his eyes asking the question that needn’t even be voiced.
Claire’s mother smiled faintly. “Yes, I believe you. And no, I will not forbid you to be with her. However-“
She wasn’t able to finish the sentence. Suddenly an enormous wolf was standing with his front paws on her shoulders licking her face thoroughly. She laughed and shoved him off, wiping her face on her apron.
“Oh, gross!” She took a breath to regain her bearings. “As I was saying, there are a few conditions. First, I don’t want you playing rough with her. Second, if you’re going to be here for her, you’re going to be here through all of it: the good, the bad, and the parts of it that’ll be a downright nightmare from hell. Oh yes, there will be times like that. And lastly, third, the most important. If this turns into anything romantic before the exact day that she turns eighteen, you will not be allowed to see her again and I will kill you myself. Got it?”
The wolf nodded solemnly, then, unable to help himself, squirmed a little, licking at the air. A small yelp escaped him and he bounded happily into the house. Claire’s mother laughed and followed him in.