Sequel to Protect Her, Love Her, Hold Her, Keep Her, From Her, With Her, Beside Her, and Near Her. Thirty years and three children later, Quil and Claire have settled down and settled in to their happy life together. But when an old enemy moves back into town and threatens a member of their family in a way no one could have predicted, how will they keep him safe?
I am SERIOUSLY running out of titles here. I'll need some suggestions when the sequel rolls around. So read the prequels. Please. Or else this will be extremely confusing.
11. Chapter 11
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It was a long, slow stroll home. I briefly wished I could just phase and spring back, but obviously that wasn’t an option.
Instead, I put one foot in front of another. I was so anxious to get there that I was sprinting as fast as this body would allow by the time I caught sight of her. Claire stood in front of our house, her hands on her hips, her lips pursed. “So you survived,” she observed coldly.
“Sure did!” I laughed loudly, the relief fully hitting me as I saw her face. Her beautiful face, eyes shining with an emotion I couldn’t interpret, that pale color the only thing in my world and aimed right at me.
“What’s the verdict?” she asked in a monotone.
“Vamps moving out of town.” I couldn’t resist a little whistle of falsely nonchalant pride.
Claire doesn’t react beyond a, “Leah will be glad to hear that.”
“Sure she will.” It finally hit me. I took in her expression and her grim responses, and asked, “Claire are you mad at me?”
I grinned. “Well, I just risked my life and all, and you’re just sorta standing there, you now? I was expecting you to be happy.” In fact, I had quite the little hero’s welcome, complete with proud embrace and relieved laughter, planned out for myself.
“I’m glad you’re not dead,” she answered stiffly.
“My pleasure.” I smiled even wider, and when she didn’t laugh, I realized I was really in trouble. This was exactly the kind of really-not-funny humor that usually made her crack up. Why was she so furious? “Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” I asked, trying to keep the worry out of my voice, keeping my tone carefully gentle.
She bit her lower lip and sighed. “You can’t keep doing this.” When I don’t answer, she continues. “Do you not get it? I don’t want you to keep risking your life. It’s now or never… you can’t… Never again. No matter what. I don’t care if it’s everyone we know, all those lives. If yours is at risk, you tell me of the danger. You ask me first. No more going off like this, Quil.”
I was thoroughly confused. “You said…”
I had asked her… hadn’t I? Was my memory that defective?
“I know what I said. Listen to what I’m saying!” she exclaimed. “I’m saying I can’t stand this.”
“Oh, Claire…” What was this? Me fighting vampires? The danger? Don’t let it be me. Please, God, don’t let it be me… yeah, cause the whole praying thing went so well last time. “What do you mean?”
“Waiting at home with your children, wondering if you’re ever going to come home… next time, Leah goes. Or I come with you. I face the danger with you. I watch what happens. Understand?”
Oh. I nodded, relieved. “Yeah.”
“All right.” She paused for a moment, and then let the smile break across her face. She ran to me, flung her arms around me, and pulled me to her. “I’m really, really glad to see you.”
I kissed the top of her head softly. “Me too, sweetie. Me too.”