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Help Her

Summary:
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?


Notes:
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.


5. Chapter 5

Rating 5/5   Word Count 568   Review this Chapter

The next day, Claire and I were watching the sun go down along first beach. Well, Claire was watching the sunset, and I was watching Claire. Her eyes widened a little more with every new color that appeared in the sky.

I could hear the laughter behind us, Quil and Leah in the sand, playing lightheartedly. He didn’t know his life was at stake, and Leah was trying as hard as she could to forget. It was the kind of terror that would incapacitate you if you thought about it. The danger to him could paralyze her, and that was unacceptable. We couldn’t fix it if she was that afraid.

Claire and I were going to figure out what to do, and then Leah would help us actually do it.

“What do we do, Claire?” I asked.

“Well, I think we should go talk to them first. Remind them what happens when they’re around here, you know? They’re not unreasonable people. There’s a good chance they’ll listen.”

“They’re not exactly people, Claire.”

She sighed. “Quil…”

“I know, that’s not the point. Look, if we’re going to go talk to them, it’s going to be me and Leah. We can take care of ourselves—I don’t think it’s safe for you.”

“My overprotective husband.” She shook her head and considered it for a moment. “All right. I don’t want you to worry yourself to death.”

“You know that’s exactly what I’d do, don’t you.”

“Well, by now I know you pretty well, yeah.” She smiled and rested her head against my shoulder. “Look at that, Quil. Isn’t it beautiful?”

She pointed at the water. The way First Beach was shaped allowed us to watch the sunset over it, even though we were on the West Coast.

“Yeah.” I turned, and pointed at Leah and Quil. He was laughing and laughing, and she was beaming. If she smiled any wider, her teeth would fall out. “Isn’t that beautiful?”

She nodded. “Quil…”

She hesitated.

“What?”

“Was it ever that easy? You know, with us. Was there a time when it was simple? Was I… was I ever that happy?

I stopped for a moment, thinking back. It took a minute. Those times were long ago. Much too long. “Yeah. When… when you were really little. You know. Before.”

“Oh.”

“You were three years old when they took you away from me, Claire. Still a baby. You laughed and smiled at all the littlest things, sweetheart, and most of it was because of me. I would play with you the whole day, sometimes. Just to see you smile. It was worth it. That was probably the last time, right before your sister took you up to give you a bath, the day… that day. You were so totally happy. After that, no matter how good it was at the moment, it wasn’t whole. You weren’t perfectly in the moment. Part of you was always… back with him.”

I could feel her tense beside me. “Thanks for telling me,” she whispered.

I wanted to apologize, but I knew she’d only shut me up. Instead, I said, “That’s never going to happen to him. He’s always going to be happy like this. All our kids are.”

She smiled. “We’ll make sure of it.”