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Near Her

Summary:
The latest installment in the For Her series, sequel to Protect Her, Love Her, Hold Her, Keep Her, From Her, With Her, and Beside Her. Quil and Claire have finally triumphed. Despite the obstacles littering thier way, they are at last happy. What happens when the darkest secret of their past comes back and threatens to seperate them forever?


Notes:
I disclaim. Y'all should read the sequels first.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 611   Review this Chapter

Claire had a hideous cold. I was a bit unduly worried about that. We were happy enough, however, at this exact moment. She was at my side, tucked into my shoulder. I rubbed her back gently, always conscious of my greater strength.

Leah and Li’l Quil were downstairs, in the extra bedroom I’d converted for him. The couch there was just long enough for a very determined young woman to fit on- sheer happenstance, of course.

It had started as a ‘just this once’ thing, when I wanted to go out with the pack and Claire had a night shift (she’d started work again, and I stayed home now). Leah had to sleep somewhere, and she felt so much better if she could see him. Claire consented to the sleeping-on-the-couch.

And then, eventually, Leah had simply stopped going home. I’d picked up a day or two a week at Jake’s shop, Claire had taken on full responsibilities at work, and Leah had basically told Embry she’d done her part for the pack, she was imprinted now, and he could shove ‘her duty’ up his… well, she doesn’t use words like that around my child.

Claire and I have the world’s most reliable and least expensive babysitter. That’s certain.

I was jerked out of my reverie when Claire started to fumble with her nightgown.

“What are you doing, sweetheart?” I asked. “Not that I object, but…”

“’m hot,” she muttered.

“I should move, then.” Unwillingly, I started to shrug away. This was very comfortable, but if she was warm, I needed to move my abnormally high body heat away from her.

She grabbed my arm. “No, you feel nice. Cold.”

“Claire? Are you okay?” I asked. Admittedly, I was only about a hundred and four now, since I hadn’t phased in so long, but it still wasn’t cold, by any stretch of the imagination. I touched her forehead.

Her skin was sweaty and… hot. It had to be at least three degrees warmer than my skin. And if something feels hot to a werewolf, it has a fever. That’s a good general rule of thumb.

I sprung to my feet. “Damn!”

“What’s wrong?”

“You have a fever. I’m getting a thermometer.”

“M’kay,” she assented, and then rolled back on top of the sheets, instantly asleep.

This was not good. I tried to restrain my panic. She had to be pretty sick, but she was able to talk coherently. So maybe her fever wasn’t that bad. She should probably get to a hospital, though.

I all but ran down the stairs, rifling through boxes to find the thermometer. Since I was born, they’d made the things a heck of a lot smaller. Of course, that only made them even harder to find.

I had just put my hand around the little chip when I heard the distinctive jingle of a doorbell. I looked up at the clock. It was two in the morning.

Who could possibly want something at this hour?

With a grumble, I scrambled to the door. It was probably a pack member. For god’s sake, we weren’t sixteen anymore. We couldn’t be cruising the neighborhood in the middle of the night.

And my Claire was ill. She needed me.

The doorbell rang again. I opened the door.

Charlie Swan’s replacement, Jeremy Gray, stood there, hands on hips, badge flashing on chest.

“Are you Quil Ateara the Third?”

“Don’t give me that, Jeremy. You’ve known me since we were three.”

“You are hereby under arrest.”