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Adore Her

Summary:
From Quil's perspective, as their children go through the tumultuous adolescence that nearly destroyed him and Claire, a decision must be made. But it doesn't rest in his hands. Part of the For Her series.


Notes:
well, here 'tis. read the prequels first, plz.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 630   Review this Chapter

For his first birthday, Leah bought Quil a Gameboy. Not the kiddie kind, with the oversized graphics and simplified storylines that consisted mostly of matching one block with another. She had some complex sixteen-digit name for it, and she insisted it was the best, newest model.

The same thing she said about the next one the next year.

It was a tradition. Quil was turning sixteen in three days. He was about to get his sixteenth Gameboy. Leah was showing it off, attempting to explain to us just how wonderful the graphics were and how very much he’d love it. I simply didn’t get it.

“Another one? Leah, one day there isn’t going to be a new model for you to get him. What are you going to do then?”

She grinned and gave me the finger. I rolled my eyes.

“Wow, you’re still a bitch.”

Leah replied just as she’d been doing since we were teenagers. “You know I’m touchy about that. Or do you want me to start calling you pedophile?”

“Really, that was so much more effective before you imprinted on my two-day-old kid, Leah.”

She shrugged, acknowledging the hit. “Ooh. You’ve got a point.”

“Always do.”

The door opened. Claire walked through. “Hey, what’s up?”

I crushed her in a hug. “Sweetie! You’re here!”
“As anyone with eyes can see,” she murmured. I laughed.

“How was work?”

“Great. Saved lives and stuff. Em came in to get a treatment for the scars. They’re almost gone now—there’s this great little machine we have.”

I grinned. “Oh, that’s wonderful!” It would be such a relief when she could smile again, really smile.

“I’m so happy for Sam,” Leah said, dropping the playful hostility and leaning against the railing to talk to us.

“Sam?”

“Yeah.”

“Why him? It’s not his face.”

Leah and I exchanged a glance. I explained. “Claire, you haven’t read his mind. It’s not a fun place to be.”

Claire looked up at Leah. “I’m sorry to bring this up. It’s not fair to you.”

She shrugged. “No big deal. Y’know, Quil’s turning sixteen soon.”

“Yeah. Does he know how you feel?”

She glared at me. “He’d freak! I’m sixty-one, for god’s sake.”

“He’d understand,” Claire said. “The age difference never bothered me.

I realized it before she did, and gasped. “Leah, he doesn’t know? You haven’t told him?”

She hesitated, weighing her answer, trying to figure out the best way to say it. Finally, she went with the simple route. “No. I haven’t.”

“Leah, really,” I began. She cut me off.

“Shut it, Ateara. My choice.”

Claire waited for an instant, turning out of the hug that I’m sure was crushing her ribs by that point, and looked at Leah. “I’ll tell him if you don’t.”

She growled, her arms shaking just a little. I stepped in front of Claire. “I’ll kill you,” she hissed. “My choice,” repeated, “My imprint,” firmly, “My business.” It’s a conclusion, and her eyes flashed fire.

“Don’t threaten Claire,” I warned.

“Sorry. But you… I… my point remains the same.”

“You have to…” I began.

“I can’t.”

“You’ll lose him if you don’t,” Claire said. I could hear the sense of import behind her words. She knew what they meant and what they’d do.

Leah didn’t scream or cry or hit things like I knew the mere thought of that must make her want to. She merely said, quietly, “I know.”

“Leah…”

“It’s a risk I’m going to take.”

She stepped away from us and began wrapping the present. Carefully.