If It Were Her...
Protect Her outtake. Sam's POV on the chapter where Quil brings Claire to his house.
this will make no sense if you haven't read PH.
Rating 5/5 Word Count 689 Review this Chapter
Emily’s angel voice calls to me. “Sam, darling?”
“Quil’s back. And I don’t think he’s alone.”
The fury starts through me. Of course, I restrain myself, but Quil is a fool if he thinks he’s getting away with this. “I’ll go deal with him,” I mutter. “Thank you, Emily.”
I rush outdoors, fuming. I understand his pain, I’ve felt it for myself, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. She’s nine years old, and she needs a father. A perpetually adolescent werewolf can’t raise this poor girl on her own. And he’s going to bring the cops down on the pack, and God knows we can’t have that.
Quil’s fancy car shudders to a stop on my lawn. I glare, my hands on my hips.
Em was right. Quil steps out of the car, and doesn’t even glance at me. With slow movements, like he’s afraid of something, he tiptoes around the front of his Mercedes—Jake’s handiwork and a lucky find on the side of a road, Quil hasn’t even got a job—and opens the door for someone. He doesn’t offer her a hand, which I think is strange. Before I remember that I’m furious.
Claire steps out of Quil’s car onto the gravel of my driveway, and I let it rip.
“What the HELL, Quil! I told you! VISIT means VISIT, not KIDNAP.”
The little girl, her face downcast, cowers behind Quil. Huh, I didn’t think I was that scary. She’s not touching him, but her whole body is behind his, like he’s a shield.
Quil doesn’t argue with me, but his jaw sets in determination. He won’t defy me, but he’s going to try to persuade me. Me, the stubbornest man alive. I wish him luck.
“Claire, honey, can you show him that bruise?” Quil says softly.
My niece ducks out from behind him. For half a second, I can see her.
She isn’t the little child she used to be, with the dimples and the gigantic grin. I can’t see her eyes, they’re so thoroughly directed at the floor. Her smile is replaced by a bit lip and a shaking jaw. And her skin… the whole left side of her face was a gruesome color of yellow. That bruise…
I dig my nails into my fist to quell the shaking. I don’t know how Quil’s dealing with it. It’s bad enough for me, and I didn’t imprint on the kid.
“Sam, he was hurting her. Hitting her. And… and…” he stops. He can’t go on. As he speaks, Claire ducks behind him again. It’s all too clear why now. Horror dawns in my eyes. “I can’t even say it, but I can see in your face you know what I mean. What do you want me to do?”
“Anything else,” I say. Even though it’s horrible, poor innocent Claire suffering so much—most of me is still reeling in shock even as I answer him—he needed to do something besides steal her from her home and bring her to my house.
“Sam. What if it was Emily?” he asks, and my heart stops beating.
If it was Emily? I would destroy them. I wanted to kill myself because I hurt her one time. Let alone someone else, again and again, tearing her apart…
“What if she was being beaten up by someone? Helpless, because you weren’t helping her? Unprotected, because you weren’t protecting her? What if someone was raping her? And she isn’t even an innocent baby. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done exactly what I did.”
I can’t argue with that. Even the thought of someone… forcing her, torturing her, my Emily, my life… I shudder. My hands clench into fists. The urge to kill is strong, like I’m smelling a leech. “You killed Jack?”
“Yes,” he says calmly. I hear a little whimper from behind him—poor Claire.
“Good.” It’s not like he didn’t deserve it. I swallow back my pride and add, “And I’m sorry.”
“So am I,” Quil whispers, and follows me back to Emily.