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.
4. Chapter 4
Rating 5/5 Word Count 552 Review this Chapter
“Embry says the treaty holds.”
One sentence, one that would probably bewilder an outsider, sent us into tumult. “What?”
“No attack, then.”
“I think it’s a good thing… for us, at least.”
Leah nodded. “For all you retired guys. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a little action, but… guess this isn’t so bad. And it’s not like the leeches did anything wrong, not that they weren’t doing anyway. We’d only get all of ourselves killed.”
“And nobody wants that.”
“’Least, not anymore,” she said, grinning.
“Imprinting. It does wonders for one’s interpersonal relationships.”
“Sometimes,” she amended softly, remembering old wounds. And then she brightened again. “Hand over the cake, Quil.”
She scowled at me and yanked the plate from my grasp. Amazing how much anger she could put into the action of eating cake.
The party dissolved, slowly, and that night, when Julia had finally gone to sleep and the baby was resting, eyes open, waiting for the right opportunity to use her screaming to our maximum inconvenience. Leah was downstairs, sleeping lightly in Quil’s room. I remembered the time I slept on Claire’s couch, my knees in my chest all night long, waiting for the bad dreams I had to fight away. I wasn’t sure what invisible nocturnal enemy my son had, but I didn’t blame Leah for a touch or two of paranoia.
“Quil, they can’t stay here,” Claire said suddenly.
“Huh? Why not? I thought you liked them.” I remembered the wedding, when Claire and Bella Cullen had become, quite suddenly, very good friends. I was the one who thought vampires should stay far, far away from my family. Though I was among the more tolerant pack members (I let them come to my wedding, didn’t I?), I still didn’t trust them. Not by a long shot. And certainly not near Claire.
“I do. But it isn’t about me.”
I scoured my brain and came up spectacularly blank. “What then?”
For an instant, I was no more enlightened. The flat tone she used made me think she was somehow irritated… I was in some kind of trouble. What had I done wrong…
And then it hit me like a lightning bolt.
“Oh my God. Quil.”
“And maybe the girls, too. We can’t be sure, with Leah…”
“Leah. We have to call Leah. This concerns her, too.”
Claire nodded. “You’re right. More than it does us, even. I never remember her. I guess you’re the one who understands it.”
I ran downstairs and brought her up.
She had another thing to add. “What if he imprints?”
“Well, that wouldn’t be a problem…”
“On someone else.”
“That would be a problem,” I revised.
“Not that I wouldn’t be happy for him, but… you know, when he was born, I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if he turned out like us. You and I talked about it, remember? But if he gets… if he gets hurt… It’s too dangerous.”
“You’re right,” I agreed, slipping an arm around Claire’s shoulders. I would not watch the vampires tear my life apart again.
“We have to get rid of them.”