Destiny is hard to meet; it'll hunt you down somewhere along the way.
Dare you look inside, to see the darkness that you hide?
- Cryoshell, Closer to the Truth
Jacob Black paced nervously back and forth on the balcony that went off from his room. He gazed down and wondered if he could survive if he were to jump. His room was on the second floor, and the mansion backed up to somewhat steep cliffs. Being a vampire now, however, he felt as though he stood a chance. On the other hand, even if he were to survive, he remained unsure of whether or not he could make it past the guards and the large gates surrounding the property. He sighed, frustrated. Kathryn truly had him trapped.
As if she had heard him thinking about her, there was a knock at his door. He looked up as her head peeked around the corner. "Jacob, is it alright if I come in?"
"Sure, sure," he muttered, tensing up. He tried to hide how nervous he felt as she stepped into the room, striding quickly across it and joining him on the balcony.
"I know you were eavesdropping on my conversation with Adara and Brynne earlier," she stated point-blank.
He momentarily tensed up. "No, I was not." He looked to see her looking at him with an accusatory expression. "Honestly," he added.
"If you insist. I suppose that since you were not listening, I should start from the beginning." She looked up and met his gaze, sighing softly. "I know we do not know each other well, but I already know you are not going to like this."
"What?" he asked, worried for his life.
"Have you ever done something you deeply regretted immediately after?" she questioned.
"Yes…" he replied hesitantly.
"Well I did that when I was seventeen. Only I did not get away with it like most people would." She stared down into the dark abyss of the cliff below her.
"What was it?"
She continued to gaze downward for a few more moments before turning back to him and continuing on. "I had an affair with a married man."
"A lot of people do that. What makes your case so special?" he asked.
She gave him a bitter smile. "Because this man was married to a woman known to worship demons."
"Wow," Jacob said with a look of mild revulsion. "I can see why he had an affair," he joked, trying to lighten the mood.
"His name was Alexander," she said softly, as if she had not heard him. "And I realized that it was wrong of me to go after him. But I just could not resist. He had so much charm. He was so thoughtful, such a pleasure to be around. Everything about him was perfect." She paused for a moment before continuing on. "I was seventeen, he was twenty; we were young and we were in love. But his wife, of course, inevitably found out."
"So this is where the demons come in," he guessed.
"Yes, indeed; this is where the demons come into the story. We did not pay enough attention at the time, none of us who knew her did. She had what I realize now to be the tendencies of a sociopath. She did not love Alexander; she was incapable of love. I did not believe it was fair. I wanted him so badly, and she had him. But she didn't even care. Did not realize how lucky she was."
"So how did she turn you into a vampire?" he asked softly, guessing the next part of the story.
"Part of the worshiping involved black magic. Alexander told me he had heard her practicing it once, but did not believe that anything was actually possible. Until that night, that is. The night she got angry and came after us."
Jacob saw the tears beginning to pool up in her eyes, and he stepped closer, his fear of her forgotten as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer. She rested her head in his shoulder for a few minutes, attempting to regain her composure. He heard a single nearly inaudible sob escape her lips.
"You don't have to finish the story now if you don't want to," he tried, giving her arm a gentle squeeze.
"No, no, you need to know," she said, pulling away and wiping the last few remaining tears from her eyes. "That night she found out… she was unhappy, to put it nicely. She frightened a close friend of Alexander's who knew about our relationship into telling me that he wanted to see me that night. I, being foolish and in love, thought nothing strange of this. So I went to meet him at the location in the woods where he had asked me to meet him.
"When I got there, I found him tied up. I rushed to his side to help him. He whispered to me that I needed to leave before she returned, but I paid no attention to his warnings. And that was when she stepped out from inside the dark shadows of the trees." Kathryn squeezed her eyes shut as if trying to block out painful memories.
"You don't have to tell me in great detail. I just want to know how I come into this," Jacob said gently.
"Thank you for your consideration, Jacob," she said quietly. She thought for a moment on how to sum up the horrid ending of her story. "She found a way to use the demons in a ritual of her black magic. She placed an evil inside of me. It was horrifying, being so young and having all of this happen to me. I was terrified out of my mind. But that did not satisfy her," she explained sadly.
"The evil she placed inside of me caused me to thirst for blood. Human blood and only human blood. My skin hardened; I felt my skin turning to stone. I cried and pleaded, begging for her to stop and forgive me. I promised to stay away from Alexander forever. He began shouting at her to stop and leave me alone, swearing that he would do anything. But she was vengeful, and she was unforgiving. I felt my canine teeth sharpen and begin to grow. The pain was unbearable.
"After I felt the transformation complete, my mind was racing. I was cold; I was in pain. I was shaking uncontrollably. She told us that she had put a curse on their son as well. Somewhere down his bloodline, there would be an exact copy of Alexander."
"Like a doppelganger?" Jacob asked, completely horrified yet compelled by her story. Listening to the story was like seeing a horrible accident; as much as an onlooker would desire to look away, it was not possible.
"Yes, if you want to use that term," explained Kathryn. "She told me that his doppelganger would appear eventually, and I would have to wait for this doppelganger in order to become human again."
"How would the doppelganger be able to help you, though?" he asked.
"She said I was to drain the doppelganger to the point of death; it was a sick game, you see. She wanted me, after so many centuries without Alexander, to kill this human who resembled him. Doing so would swap our souls; he would die, and I could truly live again. But can you imagine the horrors of killing someone who looks exactly like the one whose love completely consumes you? A person who looks exactly like your lover, but has no idea who you are?"
"That sounds like a nightmare," Jacob agreed. He silently played with the ring on his finger, completely dazed by her story. "So what happened to Alexander?"
She appeared once more to be on the verge of tears. "He is dead," she replied simply. Jacob wondered what exactly that meant, but decided it was best not to push the matter any further for the time being.
"So did you ever find him?" he asked.
"Who?" she asked, still caught up in her memories.
"The doppelganger," Jacob explained. "Has he turned up yet?"
"Yes, he has," she told him carefully.
"Then why are you still a vampire?" He felt angry that someone like Kathryn was still stuck in this state after thousands of years. She did not deserve it.
"Because, when I finally found him, I did not have the heart to do it. So I just watched him for a while. I had decided to leave him alone and let him live, and remain cursed forever. It was not worth selfishly taking his life for my own needs. I was on my way back home when I noticed him take a suicide dive off of a cliff."
Jacob froze, realizing what her words meant.
Noticing that he had caught on, she smiled sadly, placing a comforting hand on his arm.
"Yes, Jacob. You are Alexander's doppelganger."
A/N: Did anyone see that twist coming? I sure hope not. Please don't forget to leave a review telling me what you think! Do you think Kathryn is telling the truth/whole truth?
I would also like to add that I am changing the way vampires bodies are in this story; I know Twilight inside and out, so I am aware that not all of the things I am saying are in the books.