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Efflorescence

Summary:
Years after Breaking Dawn, a new family moves from Chicago to their old home in La Push, Washington. Even if it's unintentional, they cause more problems than the Cullens or the Quileutes bargained for. The Volturi are back in action, seeking Renesmee's growth process. A new member of the pack enters the picture, the epidemic of imprinting strikes again. Can the Cullens and Quileutes defeat earlier struggles a second time around? Jacob/Renesmee, Embry/Imprint Varying POVs


Notes:


1. Chapter 1

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3222   Review this Chapter

Kiana

Rain drizzled down the backseat window as the car glided down the slickened road, just passing the sign stating the entrance into La Push. All I could see was green—vegetation from the soil, leaves in the trees, even the bark was growing so much moss that the brown couldn’t fight through. Everything seemed wet. My eyes followed the raindrops racing down the glass, trying to avoid the greenery around me. I missed the city; the lights, the buildings, the harbor. I even missed the smog. The air here was too fresh. The blue mountain range was beautiful, and definitely a sight to see, but not something to live in. There weren’t enough people here, either, it was nearly deserted. I liked weaving through crowds, the noise of civilization. All that was to be heard here was the rain on the pavement and the rustle of leaves in the trees. As we started to get closer to our new home I could faintly here the sound of waves in the distance. And the sound of my sister’s fingers flying rapidly over the keyboard of her cell phone from the front seat.

“How does the scenery look so far?” my mother, part-time people pleaser and full-time optimist, questioned. Her smile struggled to brighten the mood in the car. I knew my sister would answer, so I sat back and listened.

“Mom, it’s raining,” Danielle said, looking over at her. “It’s not exactly the best welcoming.”

“But it’s so revitalizing!” Mom smiled. I rolled my eyes. “It’ll be over soon. It won’t ruin the day.”

“It’s already four.” Danielle answered dryly. “The day’s over.”

"Well, what do you think, Kiana?” Mom turned her head back to look at me, her eyes hoping for a more positive response.

“I don’t know, Mom, we just got here.” I tried to make my answer direct her focus back on the road. The narrow curves and turns were making me uneasy.

Danielle’s hands flew even faster across the phone keys.

“Dan, relax with that,” Mom complained lightly. “You’ve only been away from your friends for a few hours.”

“It’s not like I’ll ever see them again,” Danielle sighed, somewhat spitefully. “’Sides, I wasn’t even talking to them. I’m telling Dad that we made it safely.”

Dad. I forced my eyes back out the window. Ever since the separation, followed by the divorce, our father-daughter relationship had suffered. Of course, he had difficultly in admitting his mistakes and respecting others’ opinions other than his own, so tension between us was inevitable. And it was always a pleasurable reminder that Danielle and him were getting along better than ever.

“We’re almost there,” my mother interrupted my thoughts. Even she had resolved most of her animosity towards our father, leaving me betrayed. She started drumming her fingers on the steering wheel, her anxiousness growing.

It was clear that our mother was excited about the move, finding it promising that we would live next to her childhood friends who were now adults like her. Our godmother, Emily Uley, would live just down the street from us. Though Mom wouldn’t necessarily admit it, Danielle and I both knew that that was the main attraction in moving back to Washington.

We had lived here when we were younger, until Mom met Dad and they shipped us off to Chicago. Danielle was six while I was nearly three, so I didn’t remember much. Danielle at least had the comfort in knowing that she was familiar with the people here on the reservation. I knew no one except my godmother; now expected to spend the summer here and start my sophomore year in the fall. Danielle was going to finish her senior year and browse colleges, defiantly disregarding the elephant in the room—the fact that Mom couldn’t afford to send her off to a state school, much less a university. Unless she could rack up a few small scholarships, the chances were not in her favor.

The car pulled down a tight dirt road, which I soon realized was the driveway of our new house. Mom nearly bounced in her seat, squealing in delight when the house loomed into view. Danielle unbuckled her seat belt. I followed.

When the engine cut and her Mom burst from the driver’s side door, Danielle sighed again and sat back in her seat.

“Here we are, Kit,” she said to me. I stiffened at the name. It used to be my father’s pet name for me, and Danielle just recently started resurrected it from the grave.

“Kiana,” I corrected. “And reach over and unlock my door. Mom forgot to do it.”

She obeyed and the two of us ducked out in the rain and hurried to the front door. The house was an olive green; I groaned because it nearly matched the color that blinded me on the drive here.

“It’ll be alright,” Danielle assured me, mistaking my annoyance for reluctance towards the move. Her arm wrapped around my shoulder and she rubbed it. “We’re in this together, right?”

I didn’t answer.

Opening the door, Danielle took off her Bears sweatshirt and hung it on one of the pegs on the wall. Her raven black hair fell down her back. My eyes averted themselves to avoid further bruising on my self-esteem, which was already abused enough as it was, especially with living with my older sister. The male population always basked in Danielle’s obvious and natural beauty; I hid behind in her shadow. What was worse was that Danielle never seemed to notice the effect she had on the opposite sex, she was much too modest. I pretended not to notice, either.

“Girls, come see this kitchen!” our mother cried happily from the other side of the house. The two of us padded down the hall towards the sound of the shrill voice. On the smaller side of the room, it had freshly potted orange flowers on the countertop. The walls were a pale cream, and there was a sliding glass door on the other side of the room. Mom’s smile was the biggest it had been all day.

“At least she’s happy,” Danielle whispered, mainly to herself. She turned and headed up the stairs. Mom was practically twirling, she didn’t even notice.

“I’m going to check out upstairs,” I voiced, barely noticing whether she heard her or not. I hurried to catch up with Danielle, and nearly knocked into her as I reached the second floor.

“I get this one,” Danielle murmured, her fingers caressing the crimson walls as she slowly entered a room. “I call it.”

My face fell. I scoped the room next to Danielle’s—it didn’t have crimson walls. It wasn’t as big. It didn’t even have the large window to the west, like Danielle’s did, so she could watch the sunset. But I was used to getting second best, to being second best. So I let Danielle have the room she wanted. Just like anything else.

The doorbell rang just as I stepped into my new bedroom. Danielle peered down the flight of stairs, a wide smile brimming across her face. “Emily!” she laughed, bouncing her way down the stairs, her hair gently flowing behind her. My hand instinctively flew to my stomach, trying to soothe the pain that gripped it.

Voices bubbled up from the entrance of the house. I slowly descended the steps, my nostrils catching the faint scent of Danielle’s raspberry perfume trail. When I reached the bottom, a woman stood with her back to me, hugging my mother tightly. She had black hair like Danielle, and the same olive skin like Mom. However, when Mom extracted herself from the embrace and smiled brightly at her friend, the smile faltered—then disappeared completely.

Emily,” Mom gasped, so sharply that it made my heart race with sudden, unknown panic. “What—what happened?” Her thumb hesitantly stroked Emily’s face. She still hadn’t turned around fully for me to see her. “Oh, my goodness, Emily, honey, what—?” Mom’s head shook back and forth quickly in confusion, her face contorted with pain and anxiety. I hopped down from the last step to see what the problem was. Danielle’s face nearly matched Mom’s.

“I was in an accident a few years back,” the woman, Emily, said in a voice that was soothing and comforting, trying to calm the two down. I stood there, still confused.

“It was a bear,” Emily continued. “Salmon season. I guess I was a little too close,” she added with a small smirk.

When she turned to look at me, she smiled again. That’s when I saw what the reason for panic was: four pink lines, extending from Emily’s hairline to her shoulder. Scars. With her explanation, it was clear that they were definitely the result of a large bear paw. I tried not to stare, meeting Emily’s almond gaze.

“Hi,” I said quietly. Emily’s hand rubbed my shoulder, similarly to when Danielle had.

“Wow,” Emily breathed. “Kiana. I haven’t seen you since, what, when you were two? Three? You’ve grown. Look at those eyes. You’re just as beautiful as your mother,” her hand squeezed.

“Thank you,” I answered, slightly surprised. It wasn’t that my mother’s friends hadn’t called me beautiful before, as do most adults to most teenagers, but it was something about Emily that just made the comment ring with sincerity. “How’ve you been?”

“Great,” she nodded. “Wonderful. And yourself? How do you think you’ll like La Push?”

I noticed that my godmother hadn’t removed her steady hand from my shoulder yet. I didn’t mind. Her presence put me into a comfortable trance.

“I don’t know yet,” I responded honestly.

“Well, come on, Emily,” Mom said gently, still recovering from the shock of Emily’s face. “Come see my kitchen. I love it already.”

While the two childhood friends made their way into Mom’s sanctuary kitchen, Danielle and I slowly strolled behind. In a matter of minutes, Mom managed to have hot tea and toast ready on the table.

“You really have to meet everyone,” Emily sipped from her mug. “They’re all very excited. When I saw the car in the drive, I came over as fast as I could.”

“We’re excited, too,” Mom spoke for everyone. “I can’t wait to see everyone. It’s been, what, eleven years?”

“Eleven years,” Emily nodded, chuckling with Mom. “It was my twenty-second birthday when you left for the city.”

“And I was twenty-seven,” Mom smiled.

“How’s Sam?” Danielle cut in. “From what it looks like, your marriage seems to be going really well.”

“It’s fantastic,” Emily smiled warmly at her. “I am,” she paused to laugh a little, “I’m in love with him, of course.”

Danielle laughed. “That’s really beautiful,” she said. “How two people can be so in love.”

I could tell it was nearly my cue to leave, but I knew it’d be rude, so I sat there quietly. This conversation has nothing to do with me, for I had nothing to contribute. In a month or so I’d be fifteen—fifteen, never kissed, never hugged, never looked at by a boy. I was not my sister, so I mostly stayed by myself.

“Why don’t we go right now?” Emily suggested, her smile never breaking. She glanced over at Danielle and I, though I knew nothing of what she was referring to. I stared questioningly.

“I say we do it,” Danielle said. “I need to reacquaint myself with everyone, seeing as how we’re going to be here for a while.” She got up to retrieve her sweatshirt once again. Emily rose as well, followed by Mom.

“Go borrow one of your sister’s jackets, Kiana,” Mom told me. “Take the lavender one. It compliments your skin.”

“I have my own jackets, Mom,” I told her patiently. I made my way down the hall to where Danielle waited, wearing her Bears sweatshirt and yoga stretch pants. Before I slipped on my own sweatshirt, I realized for the first time that my sister and I were wearing the same thing.

“Twins,” Emily said, appearing behind us, as if reading my thoughts. “You two are becoming such beautiful young women.”

“Thank you,” we repeated simultaneously, on instinct.

Mom led the way out the door, her and Emily still chatting as they headed towards the road. The rain had ceased, if only briefly.

“Where are we going?” I murmured to Danielle, who was walking beside me.

“Emily’s?” my sister answered questioningly. “Were you not listening to the whole kitchen conversation?”

“I guess not.”

Danielle twirled a strand of my hair through her fingers. Her hazel eyes gazed caringly down at me. For fear of that stabbing feeling in my stomach again, I avoided her stare.

“Your hair’s getting long,” Danielle smiled. “Keep it that way.”

I tried not to flinch away. “Thanks, I guess.”

Danielle hesitated before saying anything else. “Look, Kiana, I know you’re still kind of resenting the whole idea of this move…but…I want you to know that I’m here. And I know we said earlier that we’re in this together, but I really want you to know that we are in this together. If you ever want to talk, about anything, I’m here. Really.”

“I know you are,” I muttered. She wasn’t going anywhere.

Danielle smirked at my reaction, but otherwise let the topic rest. We were rounding the corner to Emily’s house, anyway, and I was prepping myself mentally for the abundance of awkward introductions.

Emily’s house was nearly identical to our new one, other than the fact that it was a bright yellow, with the front of it sprinkled with orange marigolds. It was clearly livelier than our own, having been inhabited for quite some time. Even from the outside, we heard voices floating from indoors, and I immediately felt a tightening within my core. I never enjoyed meeting new people, but now was the time where I was forced.

Immediately when we entered, smiles and greetings erupted from the guests in the house. It was obvious that it was common knowledge that we had arrived, and I felt myself nearly cower into Danielle.

Two of the first couple people to greet us were Sue and Leah Clearwater, who were related to Emily. Mom grew up with Sue, and immediately—after a short introduction to Danielle and I—got to talking. Her daughter, Leah, was a little older than Danielle.

“Leah,” she shook hands with me. I smiled tentatively, though her expression held a hard edge. “It’s nice to finally formally meet you.”

I nodded politely in agreement. Leah led Danielle around the house, introducing her to everyone in attendance. Emily’s living room was small, but the people there made it homey and warm. Danielle shook hands with many people and her charm was evidently the most sought-out attraction. She especially caught the eye of one of the boys, who’s name I did not know. As his eyes fixated on my sister, the boy behind him put a steady hand on his shoulder. They shared a meaningful look. I hovered closer protectively.

Leah made her rounds to the group of boys. “Danielle,” she said, “this is Jacob Black and Embry Call. You remember Rachel and Rebecca, right? The twins? They’re Jacob’s sisters.”

“Nice to meet you,” the boy Jacob smiled, his voice a throaty sound. I noticed his hand still held his friend’s shoulder.

Every male in the group was over six feet tall, and their tan skin reflected their toned muscles. I looked away in embarrassment. Danielle, however, shook hands confidently with each and every one of them—even Embry, the one who couldn’t take his eyes off her. I nearly felt stinging tears well in my eyes. I was so uncomfortable, standing there, while Danielle held the attention of everyone she was near. How her back was poised and her white smile was contagious, how her hair fell perfectly and her eyes stayed alert and focused—and then there was me, who was avoiding practically all eye contact, ducking behind my sister’s radiance. And no one seemed to notice. It was how things always were, how they always are, and how they always will be. Even in this new town, this new state, this new life that I would be beginning. Yet I would never get used to it.

Before I realized what was happening, Leah and Jacob Black were gradually moving out of the room, engaging in a heated yet hushed debate over something I didn’t catch. Danielle was no longer standing next to me. Instead, she was nestled nicely next to the boy, Embry, on the Uley’s couch. It took a moment for her to realize that I was just standing there, staring down at the two of them, without a clue as to what to do or where to go. I was left stranded.

“Embry,” she said slowly, throwing me a bit of a confused look, “this is my little sister, Kiana.”

“Hey,” Embry smiled up at me, though I couldn’t miss the fact that his face was almost put into a struggle to break away from Danielle’s face. That was my breaking point; my limit. I forced a polite smile, which probably turned into more of a grimace, then spun and blindly stumbled my way out of the room. I heard Danielle apologize to him. I ran to find my mother.

Passing by the kitchen, I saw that Emily had a porch outside, filled with more marigolds. The flash of Mom’s dark chocolate hair caught my eye, and I spun to change direction, and was directly hit with a hard obstruction. I yelped and stumbled back.

“Whoa,” Jacob said, steadying me with his hands. Though he was staring at me, I could tell his eyes were impatient to look somewhere else. Distracted. “Sorry about that. Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I said breathily. I clenched my nails into the bed of my palm to calm down. “Excuse me,” I said, quickly ducking around him.

I flung the door of the porch open, though it was heavy and took most of my strength.

“Mom,” I interrupted. “I don’t feel good. I think I need to go.”

She started to get up. “Oh, alright, honey,” she said. I held my arm out to stop her.

“No, no,” I shook my head. “Stay. I can find my way back.”

Without waiting for a response, I smiled politely to Emily and the other women on the porch. I shut the door and headed for the front one. The rain had started up again, but I barged my way through the threshold and hurried across the lawn. Before I realized, Danielle’s voice cried from behind me.

“Kiana!” she shouted. “What’swrong?”

Shut up, shut up, shut up, I chanted. “Don’t feel good,” I answered without turning around, having to raise my voice over the rush of rain. “I’ll see you later.”

It was enough that she could mortify me with her looks, now she was going to use her words. The tears broke through. I was stuck here, in this rainy town, with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Nothing at all, complete oblivion.

Though she would adapt perfectly well here, at least Danielle could go to live with Dad back in Chicago if things didn’t work out for her. I couldn’t go anywhere.