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.
well, here 'tis. read the prequels first, plz.
10. Chapter 10
Rating 5/5 Word Count 583 Review this Chapter
“Quil, son, can we talk to you?”
It was the day after all the Leah stuff. Claire and I had decided that we were going to tell him the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. All that good stuff. After all, Leah’d told her part of it, and ours could hardly be more uncomfortable.
Well. Maybe it could.
“Yeah, sure, Dad, what is it?”
“Um, we wanted to… Claire, save me here,” I begged. She laughed and wrapped an arm around my back.
“All right, my ludicrously awkward darling. Come on, kiddo, we’re gonna tell you a story.”
We trailed back to the living room, where we took our typical places on the couch. The same seats we usually occupied to watch a movie or something—me and Claire on the loveseat, Quil on the huge couch with his sisters and Leah. Only we weren’t watching a family film tonight.
“We… Quil, you start.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay. Fine. Um… so… um… I phased when I was sixteen. Loved it, since I got to be with my buds all the time. It was amazing, basically. And then Emily brought her nieces over for a visit. I walked in the door from a patrol, half-naked and starving. I hoped Em had some food around the place, that’s why I was there. And on my way into the kitchen, I saw this little tiny face. Popped up in my path, grinning. That second, my entire world changed. I knew… It wasn’t romantic, then, obviously. That wasn’t what she needed from me. But I knew so absolutely, that if she needed something, anything I would give it to her, and more than that, that I adored her with every fiber of my being. She was then and forever the only thing that mattered to me…”
Claire cleared her throat, sending me back into reality.
“I realized I’d imprinted. It was pretty confusing, a little scary at first. I was worried… the pack freaked. I figured Sam might stop me from being able to see her, and I knew that would kill me. He didn’t have a problem with it, once he realized it was… the only thing that mattered to me, from that moment on, was Claire’s happiness. But when her parents got divorced… her dad got custody. And he wouldn’t let me see her. It was five years. Five years of hell. It hurt every second, but I made it through. I knew sooner or later she’d need me. And… if only… I’d known how much she did…”
I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t tell the rest.
“What… is this that thing you… the thing that’s wrong with Mom, that no one can talk about without you growling at them?”
“Um…” Did I do that?
“Yeah. Quil…” Claire bit her lip, squeezing my hand for support. “When I lived with my dad for those five years… let’s just say that… he was… not… exactly…”
I couldn’t listen to her stumble with the words. Swiftly and quietly, I explained. “He beat her. For five years…” I couldn’t even feel the rage anymore. There was a weary sorrow instead, the horrible guilt obviously still there, as I tried to explain the thing that had haunted my entire life. “And more than that…”
At those words, I saw something inexplicable, and yet familiar.
Quil’s hands started to shake.