Later that night, Kiralee was up in her room, pacing. All she could think about was Jacob.
How was she going to tell him? She knew he wasn’t going to listen to her when she first broke the news. He was in love with Ginger. He wouldn’t believe her for a second. It was inevitable.
But she had to do it. Somehow, someway, she was going to. If she had to corner him and shove the truth down his throat, she would. She hadn’t a clue as to how she would approach this.
Of course, she could do it, right? She’d be able to manage everything else—from telling Seth and the pack to dividing up a plan to take on the Volturi—without a problem. This part should be the easiest. But why was she feeling so remorseful, before the truth was even spoken to him?
Oh, that’s right. Because Kiralee Katherine Clearwater was a coward. Say that five times fast. She knew she could. Even the alliteration sounded pitiful.
Her heart felt like it was diced into pieces and then whipped through a blender. It was crushed—more than crushed, actually. It was obliterated.
She knew Jacob wouldn’t, and couldn’t, handle it. Handle the truth. You know the quote, ‘You can’t handle the truth’
? Yeah, that was pretty much the whole problem in this mess.
If Jacob hadn’t been involved with Ginger—if she had just come here, checked on the Cullens and left, no one would be in this situation. Right?
Wrong. How could Kiralee blame this on Jacob? If anyone’s to blame, it’s her. She brought the phony into her own home and allowed this to happen. Shame on her for even looking to blame someone else.
She wanted to run away. To run away from this whole mess, hoping her troubles wouldn’t follow her. But she was wrong. Wrong again. Her troubles were glued to her like a hot-wired magnet.
And she couldn’t run away. Running away would just get her closer to nowhere.
That’s what Jacob didn’t understand. Running away, it just gets you closer and closer, until you finally reach the spot where you’re unable to go further, and realize…
What did that do
Exactly. That’s the question with the answer that everybody hates. And that shunned answer; the answer nobody wants to hear is…
The answer is nothing.
What is nothing? Well, no one really knows, but we all have a pretty good idea that nothing is something that shouldn’t be desired. Or rather, just isn’t
desired. Running away will get you nowhere, will bring you to nothing. Nothing is emptiness.
And she had a pretty good feeling that she didn’t want to run away to nothing.
But that’s what got her thinking. Maybe ‘nothing’ is what she needed. Is what Jake needed, at the time.
She flopped down on her bed, exhausted. She started thinking about another topic, and topic that wouldn’t fry her brain as much. She needed an extinguisher that could cool off every stressful thought burning away at the core of her mind. Taking a deep breath through her nose, she stared at her ceiling.
The phone rang, a shrill, musical noise that sent her heart hammering.
She got up and answered it, breathless.
“Is this the Clearwater residence?” a liquid, persuasive voice asked through the receiver. Kiralee’s eyebrows furrowed suspiciously and cautiously.
“Who is this?” she asked, lightly dodging the stranger’s question.
“Is this Kiralee Clearwater?” the stranger asked, lightly dodging her
“Yes. Who is this, again?”
The voice seemed to relax a little, losing some of the bravado tone and switching to a more polite, generous octave. “Kiralee, this is Edward Cullen.”
She bit her lip. It was very late Friday night—or, more like, very early Saturday morning. Didn’t Sam say that the pack would inform them by Sunday?
“Edward, yes, this is Kiralee. Thank you for calling. Did Sam and the pack reach you?”
“They have. We are just starting to head back south to Washington. Are you okay? I noticed they didn’t leave anyone behind—except Jacob, of course—to look after you.”
“No, I’m fine. Is everyone alright up there?”
“Everyone is fine. What about your mother? Is she okay?”
“She isn’t in town. She’s on a business trip in Seattle—I don’t think Ginger would waste time searching for her up there, so she shouldn’t be in any harm.”
She heard Edward growl a little, which sent a shudder through her. A vampire’s growl wasn’t something that she enjoyed hearing—not like she’d ever heard one before.
“So you’re alone?” he asked angrily.
“Yes. I know, it’s stupid, but I can take care of myself. It’s not like Ginger is a—” she struggled with the word for a moment, which was strange, because she usually didn’t have a problem with saying it aloud. Maybe it was because she was talking to one. “Vampire.”
“But she could still do you bodily harm. I’ll talk to Sam about that—just stay where you are, and we’ll be back in La Push in a few hours. My family will be able to come into Quileute lands now in order to resolve this. Sam and Carlisle—my father—are renewing the treaty now.”
This was getting strange. Why did Edward Cullen have such a protective edge to his voice when talking about Kiralee? Was it because she was young? Even so, she had the pack to protect her, and she was only a couple years younger than Seth, who was seventeen. She hadn’t even met Edward yet.
“Oh, okay. I’ll see you guys then, I suppose.”
Kiralee thought for a second. “Wait!” she called, maybe a little louder than was necessary.
Apparently, Edward Cullen hadn’t hung up yet. “Yes?” he asked, his tone bordering frantic. "Are you okay?"
“I—I don’t know, Edward. You have to help me out on something.”
“What do you need?”
“You see, I know that Ginger is apart of this Volturi family. But I just can’t prove it yet. How am I going to do that? For all I know, I’m wrong.”
She could almost hear the hard grin Edward was wearing as he spoke. “No, Kiralee, you’re not wrong. In fact, your assumptions were ultimately all correct. My sister, Alice, she can see the future. That’s her—vampiric gift, if you will. And right as Sam and the pack arrived, she had a vision.”
“And that vision was about…what, exactly?”
“Her vision starred some the Volturi members—Aro, Caius, Marcus, Jane, Felix and Alec. They were all coming to Forks and La Push, in search of this ‘Ginger White’. You were right—using some of their own vampiric gifts and other torturous methods, they molded her mind into thinking she was serving them. They did this to many of their captives. Alice saw them bringing a couple of the other victims as well. I have to applaud you, Kiralee Clearwater, for what you saw and pieced together may have saved your tribe and family.”
She smiled sheepishly, although Edward could not see. “Thank you, Edward Cullen. And you must convey to your family my greatest gratitude. I don’t know what we would’ve done without your agreement to help us.”
“Of course. I know Carlisle is very anxious to meet you, as am I, in person.”
“One more thing.” she said.
"Is it me, or does this all seem a little too coincidental?"
He thought about this.
"Perhaps," he finally said. "But luckily, all the coincidences are on our side. So why bother questioning them?" he chuckled.
She shrugged. It sort of made sense.
"Until tomorrow, then, Edward Cullen."
"Until tomorrow. Goodbye, Kiralee."
She hung up. Placing the phone back into its cradle, she fell back into her bed. For the next hour or two, she lay in the darkness, until the shadow of sleep cast over her.