I actually intended for Chloe to end up with Simon, which is what you see in The Summoning. But as the characters developed, I realized that wasn’t what Chloe would want. Simon is the guy a mother would want for her daughter’s boyfriend–he’s an easy guy to be with. But Chloe needs someone who will challenge her more, push her to grow, and that’s Derek. She does the same for him, in a way she wouldn’t have done with Simon.
Kelley Armstrong on the progression of Chloe and Derek’s relationship [x]
How could a parent blame her child for not overcoming a mental illness? It was like pushing a reluctant student to get a passing grade. It was like blaming one with a learning disorder for not getting As.
He disappeared into the brush. I turned around. A couple minutes later, the leaves crackled as he came out.
“I’m decent,” he said. “Got my shorts on. Nothing you haven’t seen.”
My cheeks flamed at the memory, which was stupid, because seeing a guy in his boxers shouldn’t be any different than seeing him in swim trunks. I’d even seen guys in their underwear, pranking at camp by running around our cabins, and I’d laughed and hooted with the other girls. But none of the guys at camp had looked like Derek, with a muscular back, bulging biceps, and…
And that was enough of that. I looked away to scan the forest and took a few deep breaths of my own.
Is there anything I can do?”
A voice inside my head said, “Sure. Run for your life!” But it was a small warning, not even serious, really, because there was no question of running. This wasn’t a matinee monster. Even now, with hair sprouting on his arms, fingers twisted into claws, when he looked away and growled at me to leave, I knew that whatever was happening, he was still Derek.
“Is there anything I can do?”
A ridiculous question. I could imagine the response he’d make any other time —the curl of his lip, the roll of his eyes.
But after one halfhearted “go away,” he crouched there, head turned, body trembling, each breath a rasp ending in a quaver.
“Don’t.” His fingers dug into the ground, arms stiffening, then relaxing. “Go.”
“I can’t leave you here. If there’s anything I can do …”
“Don’t.” A sharp intake of breath, then he expelled the words. “Don’t go.