Refused to give husband the covers, and quite fierce about it (8)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'refused' is the definition.
(withholding is a kind of refusing)
'and quite fierce about it' is the subsidiary indication.
'and' becomes 'with'.
'quite fierce' becomes 'hld' (I can't explain this - if you can you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'about' is an insertion indicator.
'it' becomes 'e' ('e' can mean 'electronic' which is similar to 'IT').
'hld' going around 'e' is 'held'.
'to give husband the covers' is the link.
I am not very happy about this link. Some or all of it may belong to another bit of the clue.
(Other definitions for withheld that I've seen before include "Kept back, refused to hand over", "Not given" and "Not issued".)