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.
7. Chapter 7
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“You’re not going,” I said, my voice steely.
“Why not? This is more my business than yours.”
“He’s my son.”
“He’s my imprint,” she rebuffed. I couldn’t argue with that—I understood the levels of importance in the mind of an imprinted werewolf. First the imprint, and then everything else, so far behind that it doesn’t even matter what order they go in. In my mind, at least, it supercedes a parent’s right. The depth of the connection is beyond anything else.
“All right. But you have to understand my reasoning. I know what I said to Embry, but what if something does go wrong?”
“Then you should have me there,” she answered automatically, fearless as usual. We weren’t easily frightened.
“There are eight of them and two of us. What are the chances either of us can make it out alive? We’ll both be killed, no question about it, if it comes to a fight.”
She nodded reluctantly, spellbound by the truth of the words.
“And if we die, that leaves Claire alone.”
“So? I’m not risking his life to defend your imprint. That’s your job.”
“Leah, this is about him. I know the pack would take care of her for me, take care of all of them. But do you really want Quil growing up always at a daycare center or Emily’s house being the cousin who never quite belongs anywhere? Claire works all day, and she can’t be there for him. Somebody should be there to clap at his football games and his graduation from Kindergarten, to yell at the teacher who doesn’t like him, to make him study for the test. He needs you. He needs you to live.”
“I don’t want to be a coward.”
“You aren’t.” There was silence. “Leah, you don’t have to prove yourself just because you’re a girl. You’ve done that time and again. You’re probably the best of us, you know. The fastest, and the bravest—you didn’t fear death, for such a long time. And you lived through the heartbreak. I sulked for five years straight. Jake basically sat around and waited to imprint, after running away from his duty. You just dealt with it all. We know that. And listen, you need to do what’s right. For yourself, but for everyone else too. Stay here with Quil. Raise him. Marry him someday. Be happy, for once.”
She smiled. “I really hope you don’t get yourself killed, Quil. And… thank you.”
“Any parting words? You know. In case.”
“Yeah. In case. Well, in case, you have my blessing, you know, with Quil and all. Be there for him—I know you will be. Do what I’d do for him. And… take care of Claire, all right? Because, even if I’m dead, I don’t think I could… live with myself, if I let her get hurt again.”
“I’ll keep an eye out.”
She grabbed my arm in a sisterly embrace, and then ran past me as I walked into my house.